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Family Farming

Iowa – Corn, Soybeans, Hogs & the Hotel Pattee

March 22nd, 2017 by Dan Block

I just finished a short trip to SW Iowa to look at a hog manure spreading operation. What an interesting business. According to Purdue University, the nitrogen from hog manure will reduce a farmer’s costs by $50 per acre. It’s a whole lot different agribusiness than retailing organic blueberries at Whole Foods. But that’s what’s great about agriculture! My big take … + read more

U.S. Apple Export Council’s Strategic Planning Workshop in DC

January 27th, 2017 by Dan Block

US Apple Export Council (USAEC) board members and representatives met in Washington, DC this week to develop a strategic plan for the council’s international market development programs. Two days following the presidential inauguration, DC seemed back to normal and business as usual as apple industry leaders planned for enhancing US agricultural exports overseas. As principal consultant, I was retained to facilitate this planning process and work with the Council’s executive director to prepare … + read more

California Olive Committee takes fresh look at Ripe Olive Production Costs

January 4th, 2017 by Dan Block

D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs. This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in … + read more

North Dakotans Reconsider a Corporate Farming Ban, and Their Values – Timely read in NYT by Julie Bosman

June 16th, 2016 by Dan Block

It is interesting what North Dakotans are facing regarding their famers and farmland. It is a challenge to find that balance between growth and efficiencies while still preserving the competitiveness of small and mid-sized farms and important qualities of life. Take a read: