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Category: Ag News

More progress reported in U.S.-China talks

U.S. trade officials are describing this week’s talks with China as “productive” and say they made headway on some of the most difficult issues. Speaking to reporters this morning in Washington, President Trump confirmed the negotiations are going well. “We’re very much working very closely with China and President Xi, who I respect a lot—a very …

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New soy processing plant coming to Michigan

Wisconsin-based Quality Roasting has announced it will build a $10 million soybean processing plant in Michigan’s Thumb. Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Jeff Mason says the new facility in Reese will make the state’s agriculture and food-processing industries more competitive and benefit livestock farmers and consumers. Construction should start by April and finish in time …

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Illinois minimum wage bill sent to Governor’s desk, Representative calls it devastating to agriculture

A southern Illinois state representative says the passage of a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 will be devastating for Illinois agriculture and rural communities. “We can’t raise our price on corn or beans because it costs us more to put in. Our prices are affected on the world level. We …

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Oil-state senators press Wheeler

Five Republican oil-state senators led by Ted Cruz of Texas have written a letter to EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler asking for assurances from him for their confirmation votes. The letter, obtained by Bloomberg News, says they will have serious concerns with his nomination as EPA Administrator if he does not “lower the regulatory burden …

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Sustainable farming practices prevent soil erosion, improve soil health

Since he began to farm while in high school, Greg Thoren has worked to keep soil in place. “Erosion is a very large factor. [There are] a lot of waterways, a lot of conservation practices that have gone in place in our county,” said Thoren, describing Jo Daviess County in the hilly northwest corner of …

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Replacement demand driving equipment sales

The vice president of North America for Case IH says despite the sluggish farm economy equipment sales have increased slightly. Scott Harris says 2019 is shaping up to be a lot like last year.  “I think we’ll continue to build on the replacement demand that really drove our industry in 2018,” he says.  Lower farm …

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Wide-ranging temps; active pattern all to continue

Western storminess will gradually shift eastward, allowing widespread, locally heavy precipitation to taper to scattered rain and snow showers. Still, coastal and mountainous areas of California could receive additional precipitation totaling 2 to 6 inches. As Western storminess wanes, significantly below-normal temperatures will continue to dominate the West. Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will affect …

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Spring anhydrous

Nitrogen plays a critical role in corn development.  Many Midwestern farmers apply anhydrous ammonia in the fall to help recharge soil fertility.  But a wet harvest has forced many growers to wait for better conditions this spring.  Pioneer field agronomist Jay Zielske tells Brownfield compaction was common this past autumn while fertilizer applications became the …

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Analyst considers Electric Vehicles very over-hyped

An analyst dismisses concerns electric vehicles (EV’s) will soon displace fuels like ethanol. Pavel Molchanov with Raymond James and Associates spoke during the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando Tuesday. “Having covered all kinds of sustainable, green technologies for over a decade, electric vehicles are probably the most over-hyped of all these things.” While public awareness …

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Still many unknowns as China battles African swine fever

An official with the National Pork Producers Council isn’t convinced U.S. pig farmers will profit from the African swine fever outbreak in China. NPPC director of economics Dustin Baker says many unknowns remain as Chinese officials attempt to curb the spread of the disease. “A whole lot of opportunity exists, but there’s also a whole …

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Minnesota lawmakers hope to boost dairy farm incomes

The leader of the Minnesota House Agriculture and Food, Finance and Policy committee says legislators are looking for ways to boost the incomes of dairy farmers across the state. DFL Representative Jeanne Poppe of Austin tells Brownfield the dairy community is hurting and needs help. “And sometimes boosting incomes means having them pay less on …

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A blind side-dress could be in order this spring

A short window for spring fieldwork could force some farmers out of their comfort zone. Pioneer agronomist Jay Zielske says excessive moisture in many parts of the Corn Belt limited tillage and fertilizer applications last fall. If conditions are limiting this spring, he tells Brownfield a BLIND side-dress application of nitrogen might be beneficial. “In …

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Delayed planting expected, especially in southern Illinois

A spokesman for the Illinois Climatologist’s office says it is accurate to expect planting delays this spring, especially in the southern part of the state. “The soil moisture levels across Illinois are in the 90th percentile or higher and this has been the case for the majority of the winter season.” Brian Kerschner says there …

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Producer sentiment is up following second round of MFP payments

The second round of Market Facilitation Program payments and the passage of the farm bill contributed to a rise in producer sentiment last month. Purdue University’s Jim Mintert says the latest Ag Economy Barometer provided the first opportunity to measure sentiment since the two announcements. “That’s consistent with the idea that producers are really feeling …

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Hoosier corn and soybean farmers discuss priorities with lawmakers

Hoosier corn and soybean farmers discussed legislative priorities with lawmakers this week. Northwestern Indiana farmer Natasha Cox says supporting the state’s livestock industry is top priority.   “We’re opposing some additional restrictions on the livestock sector- while we want to be good stewards of the land, we understand that livestock is the number one consumer …

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Rural broadband improvements addressed in new report

A plan for improvements to rural broadband are highlighted in a new report released Wednesday. The American Broadband Initiative Milestone Report recommends how the federal government and private sector can work together to increase rural broadband access. It provides a detailed plan for streamlining the federal permitting processes to speed broadband deployment, leveraging federal assets …

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Green New Deal no big deal to ethanol industry

The leader of the Renewable Fuels Association says the Green New Deal is No Big Deal for ethanol.  CEO Geoff Cooper says RFA is still trying to figure out what the Green New Deal really is. “And I don’t think we’re terribly threatened or concerned about the omission of ethanol because there’s just really no …

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A different approach to the bottom line

The sagging farm economy has forced farmers to reevaluate how they look at their bottom line. In this Managing for Profit, Curt Hudnutt with Rabo AgriFinance talks about how they are coaching farmers to better understand their cost of production and how that impacts their farm income. AUDIO: Managing for Profit, Curt Hudnutt, Rabo AgriFinance Continue …

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MO Beef for MO kids is growing

More Missouri beef is being served to kids in a dozen school districts in the state.  The MO Beef for MO Kids program is a way for Missouri cattle producers to donate to schools and increase the amount of beef offered at mealtime. Mark Russell, head of the Missouri Beef Industry Council, says the goal …

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Accountant urges farmers to examine new federal tax law impacts

An accountant says the new federal tax law might require changes on the farm to keep from paying too much in taxes.  Austin Burby with Clifton-Larson-Allen CPA’s says what’s right for one farm might not work well for another. “Some of the big things are going to be the 20% business income deduction, the 199 …

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