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Brownfield AG News

USDA awards $25 mil to school kitchens

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $25 million in grants to help schools purchase needed kitchen equipment as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Over 90 percent of schools report that they are successfully meeting the updated nutrition standards, these […]
     


What we look for on the menu

Seeking to enhance consumer confidence in food, the restaurant industry has been making some changes on their menus. The latest research from Mintel shows consumers are looking for things which represent homemade such as “made from scratch.” Also tying into this trend is the growth of claims such as original recipe, freshly-picked, farmstead and farm […]
     


Commerce Department to investigate Mexican sugar imports

The U.S. Commerce Department says it will investigate charges that Mexico is dumping sugar cane and sugar beets below cost on the U.S. market. The American Sugar Alliance filed a complaint with the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission in March charging “The Mexican sugar industry, 20 percent of which is owned and […]
     


Dairy market notes

Butter prices slipped 8 cents for the week as Easter and Passover needs were met. The price is still above the world market; the Global Dairy Trade auction on Tuesday saw butter sell at $1.74 per pound. There are reports that the supply of organic milk is getting tight as the extended winter weather has kept cows […]
     


Kangaroo courts are coming…

My opinion since moving to Washington, DC – where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a law school graduate – is the world has enough lawyers.  However, there are times when lawyers are welcome because they’re very necessary.  Today there’s an animal rights initiative just getting legs and its success or failure will […]
     


USDA requires PEDv reporting

The USDA is now requiring the reporting of PEDv cases. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the agency is taking the action to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the U.S. swine herd while maintaining movement of pigs in the U.S. In addition to requiring reporting of the PED virus, USDA will also require tracking […]
     


Report discusses corn trade disruptions

Losses to the U.S. agricultural industry resulting from China’s rejection of corn shipments containing the MIR 162 trait could be as high as 2.9 billion dollars. That’s according to a report released by the National Grain and Feed Association.  NGFA says the bulk of that loss is in an estimated 11-cent per bushel lower average […]
     


Texan to be inducted in to Saddle & Sirloin Gallery

The Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery inductee for 2014 has been named. Minnie Lou Bradley of Childress County Texas will enter the livestock industry’s hall of fame in November during the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Kentucky. Minnie Lou’s career began in 1949 when she became the first woman to major in […]
     


Ham is an Easter dinner favorite

Consumer communications director Pamela Johnson with the National Pork Board tells us how ham came to be an Easter favorite.  She also explains the nutritional values of ham and how to store leftovers. Healthy Living Program – Ham for Easter (1:30 mp3) Pork Be Inspired – Ham Recipes
     


Getting your haying equipment ready for another season

It won’t be long before we’re back in the hay fields for another season.  Of course time is money when making hay, so we asked CLAAS product manager Matt Jaynes for some tips on getting those mower-conditioners ready to go. AUDIO: Matt Jaynes (3:00 MP3)
     


Good times for cow-calf producers

Cow-calf producers Tom and Paula Peterson farm near Waverly, Nebraska, just north of Lincoln in the southeastern part of the state. The Peterson’s recently hosted USDA deputy secretary of agriculture Krysta Harden when she visited Nebraska to promote the start of sign-up for USDA’s livestock disaster assistance programs.  During a break in the action, we […]
     


Wheat damaged? Get it appraised

Farmers walking their wheat fields assessing any damage to the crop from the latest round of cold temperatures are being reminded that before doing anything it would be a good idea to call their crop insurance agent. “They must have an appraisal done on the wheat crop before any chopping, any mowing of the wheat, […]
     


Farmland reaction surprises filmmaker

Director James Moll says he’s pleasantly surprised by the public reaction so far to the film Farmland. Moll talked about the Atlanta premier of the feature-length documentary that follows the lives of young farmers and ranchers. “We had a Q&A afterward; everybody stayed for it and they asked a lot of questions and they wanted […]
     


The ramifications of banning chocolate milk

In an effort to fight childhood obesity, schools across the country have taken chocolate milk off the school lunch menu. A new study from Cornell University finds that may not have been a good idea. The study looked at 11 elementary schools in one Oregon school district which banned flavored milk from the cafeteria. They […]
     


Dairy markets rebound

A bit of a bounce in the cash cheese market ahead of the three-day weekend. Cash barrels increased 7 cents while blocks added 5.75 cents.  No trading on Friday in observance of Good Friday, the markets will reopen on Monday. For the week, cash cheese barrels up 17.75 cents, blocks up 11 cents, butter down […]
     


Grains and oilseeds mixed ahead of holiday weekend

Soybeans were mixed in old crop/new crop spread trade. Weekly export numbers weren’t great, but do reflect the strong demand, and the overall domestic supply does remain very tight. Past that – the trade’s watching South America’s harvest and U.S. pre-planting conditions. Futures markets will be closed for Good Friday, with grain and oilseed trade […]
     


Feedlot cattle trade was very light

There was light buying activity in the cash cattle trade in parts of the North on Thursday. Most of the dressed business in Nebraska was around 238.00, roughly 1.00 to 2.00 lower than last week’s weighted average. There were also reports of cattle sold with delayed delivery of late April to early May. DTN says […]
     


The big footprint of the ag equipment industry

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has released a study on the importance of machinery to the productivity of agriculture. The Economic Footprint of the Agricultural Equipment Industry assesses the progress of equipment and how it has enhanced productivity to this point; how big of an impact the industry has on our economy and what […]
     


Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 17, 2014

May corn closed at $4.94 and 3/4, down 2 and 3/4 cents May soybeans closed at $15.14, down 4 and 3/4 cents May soybean meal closed at $488.30, down $2.70 May soybean oil closed at 43.41, down 30 points May wheat closed at $6.91 and 1/4, up 3 and 1/4 cents Apr. live cattle closed […]
     


Senators question methane reduction plan

A group of U.S. Senators is questioning the Obama Administration’s plan to reduce methane emissions from cattle. They say the methane reduction strategy released in March could cost medium-sized dairy farms upwards of 22-thousand dollars a year. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is among those expressing concern. “Iowans I talk to remain very skeptical about the […]
     


Lentsch: STB heard fertilizer concerns

South Dakota Ag Director Lucas Lentsch says he’s pleased the Surface Transportation Board was listening when he testified before the board last week. In that hearing, Lucas relayed Governor Dennis Daugaard’s concerns about the backlog of rail shipments in South Dakota.  It is a multi-state concern, not just in South Dakota. The Surface Transportation Board […]
     


Spring Cab Conversations coming soon!

Last fall Brownfield Ag News introduced Harvest Hangouts, the first in a series of Cab Conversations with farmers from across the Midwestern United States. Once a week during the harvest season, these farmers joined in the discussion from combine cabs, grain trucks, and even a duck blind, for an exchange of ideas in a relaxed, […]
     


Officials promote disaster assistance

Top USDA officials have been crisscrossing the country this week promoting the start of sign-up for USDA’s livestock disaster assistance programs. During a stop at a cow-calf operation near Waverly, Nebraska, deputy secretary of agriculture Krysta Harden said the programs will help livestock producers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters. “It’s not going […]
     


EPA proposal could put electric supplies in danger

Reliable and affordable electric supplies could be in danger with the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations for greenhouse gas emissions from new coal-fired plants.  Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association says the proposed regulations would remove coal-fired electricity generation from the mix of options that create a reliable electric grid. […]
     


Late-season chill continues in parts of the Nation

Across the Corn Belt, National Weather Service Frost and Freeze warnings were in effect early Thursday in parts of the middle Ohio Valley. Farther north, late-season snow continues to accumulate in portions of the upper Great Lakes region. Throughout the Midwest, cool weather is limiting spring fieldwork. On the Plains, a little light rain is […]
     


A warmer, wetter pattern for much of the Heartland

For the remainder of the week, significant precipitation will be mainly confined to the Southeast and Northwest. Rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches in the eastern Gulf Coast region and along the southern Atlantic Coast, while similar amounts can be expected west of the Cascades. During the weekend, a developing storm will produce widespread, […]
     


Thursday midday cash livestock markets

USDA Mandatory is reporting a limited cattle trade in Kansas on light to moderate demand. Compared to last week, early live sales are 1.00 lower at 146.00. Trading remains inactive in all other areas. DTN reports buying interest in the North seems to be slowly improving though they have not seen a major bid over […]
     


Beef exports hit marketing year high

USDA reports corn, soybean, soybean product, and wheat export sales for the week ending April 10 were within pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of corn and soybeans were more than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2013/14 marketing year, but wheat fell short of its mark. Wheat came out at 438,000 tons (16.1 […]
     


Nitrogen gene commercialization still a ways off

Commercialization of a nitrogen efficiency gene for corn, developed by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, is still several years away. That according to Iowa Corn technology commercialization manager David Ertl.  Ertl says they’re in the process of out-licensing the technology to seed companies. “Even if it is something they want to commercialize they still have […]
     


Making sure Easter eggs are safe to eat

Ashley Richardson with the American Egg Board says make sure you use “food safe” coloring when decorating Easter eggs. Although eggs are hard-boiled first, the shell is still porous and could let toxic coloring through to the egg itself.  Natural food coloring can be made from colorful fruits and spices such as blueberries and turmeric.  What […]
     


Program beneficial to Indiana producers

Eligible producers can now sign up for USDA’s new disaster assistance programs, restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.  The programs include the Livestock Forage Disaster Program; the Livestock Indemnity Program; the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Indiana Farm Service Agency Director Julia Wickard […]
     


Lower feed and fertilizer costs

We continue our conversation with Jerry Doan who runs a large cow-calf, grazing and cash-crop operation in North Dakota. Several years ago he took steps to improve the health of his soil including planting a cover crop of a dozen different plants which he then grazes in the winter. He says last year he saved […]
     


Wisconsin’s newest Master Cheesemakers

Wisconsin is adding to the list of Master Cheesemakers. The three-year program provides advanced training for licensed cheesemakers with at least 10 years of experience. . Cheesemakers can earn certification in up to two cheese varieties at a time and must have been making those varieties as a licensed cheesemaker for a minimum of five […]
     


Coalition to prop up bridge testing

The Soy Transportation Coalition is offering money to a dozen state departments of transportation to help offset the cost of upgrading to better, more accurate bridge testing equipment. Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek says bridges that farmers depend on to get crops to market are sometimes unnecessarily posted with weight limits. He tells Brownfield that […]
     


SDFU president suspicious of rail/oil connection

A member of the National Farmers Union Board says the problem with railways putting grain shipments on the back burner is as bad as it’s ever been and congressional investigation is likely needed. Doug Sombke, President of the South Dakota Farmers Union, says the Surface Transportation Board (STB) is not taking the issue seriously enough, “It’s very […]
     


FAS accepting foreign marketing apps

USDA’s Foreign Ag Service will start accepting applications this week for FY 2015 export development programs. Most of the funding, nearly $172 million is allocated to the Market Access Program (MAP) where USDA helps trade associations, cooperatives, small businesses and trade groups promote and market products in overseas markets. Another $24 million will go to […]
     


Looks like cash cheese has turned around

After steadily declining for a couple of weeks, prices have been increasing in the cash cheese market this week. Barrels went from $2.25 on April 2nd to $2.075 by April 10. They are now back up to $2.1875. Blocks went from $2.385 down to $2.165 and back up to $2.2225 during the same period. National Dairy […]
     


Board directs rail industry to provide delivery plans

Given the immediate need for fertilizer for farmers entering the planting season, the Surface Transportation Board will now require reports from the rail industry on its plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer to farmers in the upper Midwest. Steve Sharp president of Consumer United Rail Equity applauds the STB’s decision.  He says, “It’s in the […]
     


Fundamentals provide support for soybeans

Soybeans were higher on commercial and speculative buying. The near term supply remains tight and demand continues to look strong. China’s first quarter GDP growth was a little better than expected, up 7.4% from this time last year. Still, that was the slowest growth rate in the last year and a half and the slowest […]
     


Hog futures show gains on higher midday pork values

The cash cattle trade was at a standstill on Wednesday afternoon with just a few bids reported in parts of the North at 240.00. A few cattle sold in Iowa at 150.00 on a live basis. Asking prices remain firm at 149.00 to 150.00 in the South, and 242.00 to 243.00 in the North. Significant […]
     


Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 16, 2014

May corn closed at $4.97 and 1/2, down 6 and 1/4 cents May soybeans closed at $15.18 and 3/4, up 17 and 1/2 cents May soybean meal closed at $491.00, up $3.60 May soybean oil closed at 43.71, up 88 points May wheat closed at $6.88, down 13 and 3/4 cents Apr. live cattle closed […]
     


Disaster programs now available to producers

Eligible farmers and ranchers can now sign-up for USDA’s disaster assistance programs.  Indiana State Executive Director Julia Wickard says the Farm Service Agency has been waiting a long time to unveil livestock disaster programs.  “We were able to roll out four new disaster programs as permanent law that Congress enacted earlier this year,” she says.  “We’ve […]
     


Sign-up for livestock disaster assistance programs is underway

Eligible farmers and ranchers can now sign up for the USDA’s livestock disaster assistance programs, which were restored by passage of the 2014 farm bill. USDA deputy secretary of agriculture Krysta Harden was in Nebraska this week to discuss how those programs will help producers who suffered losses due to natural disasters.  One of her stops […]
     


Pork donations benefit foodbanks

Just ahead of Easter, Ohio pork producers, with support from the Ohio Association of Meat Processors and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program have donated over 16,000 pounds of pork to two area foodbanks. 6,500 pounds of pork has been donated to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and another 10,000 pounds donated to The Foodbank, Inc. in Dayton. […]
     


Mandatory reporting of PEDv considered

The executive director of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians says his organization does not have a position on mandatory reporting of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in pigs but believes it could help. PEDv is currently not a reportable animal disease but Tom Burkgren tells Brownfield Ag News the U.S. Department of Agriculture is […]
     


GMO labeling bill advances in Vermont

A GMO-labeling bill is working its way through the state legislature in Vermont. The House passed a bill late last year which would require products containing genetically modified ingredients to state-so on the label. The Vermont State Senate passed a similar bill this week. That bill will now be reconciled with the House version, once […]
     


Wednesday midday cash livestock markets

The cash cattle market is off to a slow start on Wednesday with feedlot operators passing on bids of 240.00 in Nebraska, however a few head reportedly were sold there at 242.00 per hundredweight to a regional packer on Tuesday. Packer inquiry should slowly improve today and we should at least start to see some […]
     


Another blow to the Plains’ wheat crop

Freezing temperatures as far south as central Texas this week may have caused further damage to the Great Plains’ winter wheat crop. However, agronomists say damage to the crop may not be apparent for another week to 10 days. There are a number of factors that determine the extent of freeze damage in wheat, including […]
     


New Nebraska FFA officers announced

Nebraska FFA has announced its officer team for 2014-15. Pictured, left to right, are Blair Hartman, State Vice President, Imperial FFA Chapter; Colton Flower, State Secretary, Scottsbluff FFA Chapter; Andrea Wach, State Vice President, Hayes Center FFA Chapter; Paige Dexter, State President, Chambers FFA Chapter; Amanda Lambrecht, State Vice President, Blair FFA Chapter; Brandon Nichols, […]
     


Nutrient management bill takes another step

When the Ohio House passed Senate Bill 150, it was just another step in the process for the so-called nutrient management bill. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass and then to the Governor for his signature, 90 days later the bill becomes effective. But beyond that, Adam Ward, […]
     


Wrightsman Cooling