Category: Ag News

Ethanol industry ‘in dire straits’

Ethanol prices have hit a record low in recent days and the Renewable Fuels Association says many ethanol plants could be on the verge of shutting down. Kelly Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the board of the Siouxland Energy ethanol plant at Sioux Center, Iowa, says the industry is in “dire straits”. He says Siouxland Energy directors …

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Minnesota Legislature “on-call” in response to COVID-19

Leaders of the four bodies of the Minnesota Legislature have decided to scale back operations in response to COVID-19. The 2020 Session will proceed on an “on-call” basis until at least mid-April, meaning legislators and legislative committees will not meet unless pressing matters arise. The leaders also say they will focus on bills that pertain …

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SW Minnesota farmer optimistic as spring approaches

A southwest Minnesota farmer says conditions are favorable heading into the spring. Bill Rogotzke grows corn and soybeans near Sanborn. “I’m always optimistic, and I look for regular planting. We’re pretty much snow-free and tile is open and running. So we’re looking to be in pretty good shape.” He tells Brownfield he’d like to start …

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Rural hospitals vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s unclear how much pressure the coronavirus outbreak will put on the rural healthcare system. National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan says its critical hospitals don’t get overburdened. “With the limited capacity that most rural hospitals and rural health clinics have to be able to address this potential crisis, this is a great time …

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Rural healthcare system vulnerable to COVID-19

It’s unclear how much pressure the coronavirus outbreak will put on the rural healthcare system. National Rural Health Association CEO Alan Morgan says its critical hospitals don’t get overburdened. “With the limited capacity that most rural hospitals and rural health clinics have to be able to address this potential crisis, this is a great time …

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USDA officials address COVID-19 concerns

USDA officials say their agencies are prepared to “utilize authority and all administrative means” to ensure grading and inspection personnel are available as impacts from the coronavirus unfold. In a statement to the industry, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Mindy Brashears and Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach say the agencies …

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Legislation aims to improve conservation outcomes

Bipartisan legislation that would direct the USDA to establish a program to improve conservation outcomes has been introduced. Congressman Glenn G.T. Thompson of Pennsylvania says the Farmer-Driven Conservation Outcomes Act of 2020 would provide more transparency with reporting requirements for conservation outcomes.   “The government, Washington in particular, doesn’t look at the voluntary conservation efforts …

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Propane provides an environmental advantage

Among the many benefits of using propane energy, propane supplier Luke Fitzpatrick has this thought for the coming warmer months. “Propane is one of the cleanest fuels out there,” said Fitzpatrick, who’s with MFA Oil and is past chairman of the Missouri Propane Education and Research Council. Equipment designed to run on propane is available …

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A more efficient crop protection plan

In farming, efficiency is key. Farmers are looking for products that help increase yields and plant stand without increasing planting rates. In this Managing for Profit, Matt Hays, territory rep for UPL shares how the Unlock 5 strategies and solutions can boost the bottom line. …      

COVID-19 concerns cancel Dairy Expo

The Central Plains Dairy Expo is canceled. The city of Sioux Falls, where the expo was to be held March 24th through the 27th, declared a state of emergency limiting gatherings in the city to less than 250 to avoid spreading COVID-19. Organizers say the I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course, which is planned …

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Center for Soy Innovation ‘place for teaching’

Governor Mike Parson says the new Center for Soy Innovation in Jefferson City not only showcases soybeans and builds that brand, it serves as a place for teaching. Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn says the center’s interactive displays point out the soybean’s evolution and how technology plays a role in safe, nutritious food. To …

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Milk futures mostly lower Monday, cash dairy steady to lower

April Class III milk futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange a dime higher at $16.00.  May down 19 at $15.59.  June through August contracts 19 to 23 cents lower. Dry whey down $0.0225 at $0.3250.  Five trades made, ranging from $0.3250 to $0.3350. Blocks unchanged at $1.8725.  Barrels steady at $1.50. Butter down $0.04 at …

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Fed cuts interest rates to near zero, possibly saving some farms

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to near zero in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council CEO Tom Slunecka calls the move a saving grace for some farmers. “At these times, whenever we’re dipping into the equity of our farms (or) borrowing against the equity of that land just …

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COVID-19 not a food safety issue

The livestock sector maintains there’s no evidence COVID-19 can be transmitted through food. Minnesota Pork CEO David Preisler says this novel coronavirus is not a food-borne issue. “It really has not come to the forefront that it could be a problem, and we want to make sure that’s still the case. Unfortunately, you end up …

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Cattle, hog futures continue decline under broader market pressure

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live cattle ended the day sharply lower on follow-through selling and the ongoing meltdown of the broader markets amid the coronavirus outbreak concerns.  Feeder cattle were lower on the same factors.  April live cattle closed $3.72 lower at $91.85 and June live cattle closed $4.50 lower at $85.25.  March feeder …

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Soybeans, corn continue to follow broader market

Soybeans were sharply lower on fund and technical selling, ending the day near the session’s lows. Most ag commodities and the broader market in general continued to react to concerns about coronavirus and global economic health. That drop in the broader market was despite the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates and introducing an aggressive bond …

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NCBA addressing market concerns amid coronavirus outbreak

The CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says one of the top priorities right now is to keep beef moving through the supply chain. Colin Woodall says if any number of packing plants were to shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, it would worsen the price situation.  “We are talking directly to the …

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COVID 19 and the ‘Ripple Effect’ of Decisions

You can bet silent and/or out-loud prayers go up each time some media outlet interviews a health care pundit who declares “there’s no evidence” of novel coronavirus (COVID 19) transmission via foods from plants or animals.   However, food production hasn’t dodged the COVID 19 bullet. Local, state and federal governments are increasingly screwing down …

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Corn, sorghum export inspections up on week, year

The USDA says sorghum export inspections for the week ending March 12th were more than what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. The 2019/20 marketing year got underway June 1st for wheat and Wheat came out at 449,653 tons, down 9,747 from the week ending March 5th, but up 64,510 from the …

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Professional Dairy Producers conference goes all-online

Many large group events have been canceled because of coronavirus precautions, but this week’s Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin conference and trade show will go on… online. Executive Director Shelly Mayer says, “We are doing a virtual conference, so our speakers are still flying in. We’re going to be working with camera men. They’re going …

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