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Sales fraud in the horse industry


horse photo-penn state extensionMany people still believe that the old rule of “buyer beware” hold true for every transaction, including horse sales. But according to Julie Fershtman, who is considered to be one of the nation’s leading attorneys in the field of equine law, nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, Fershtman says, buyers can have several potential legal rights with respect to horse sales, and sellers need to be aware of them.

AUDIO: Julie Fershtman

Photo courtesy Penn State Extension

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A.G. upholds Wisconsin land ownership rule


Wisconsin farmland

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has issued an opinion upholding the state’s restrictions on foreign ownership of agricultural land. Non-resident aliens cannot own more than 640 acres in the Badger State.

Van Hollen issued the opinion at the request of State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos following an attempt by Governor Walker to repeal the law in his 2013-15 biennial budget. Walker contends the restriction is in violation of the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS).  Van Hollen’s advisory opinion states that while the GATS treaty applies to land purchased for a permissible service-based purpose, it does not override state law restrictions on foreign ownership.

Last June, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued an opinion on the matter at the request of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). CRS similarly found that the GATS treaty did not remove Wisconsin’s or Minnesota’s restrictions on the purchase of agricultural and forestry land by nonresident aliens.

Cooperative Network President and CEO Bill Oemichen welcomed Van Hollen’s opinion stating: “Wisconsin’s legal restriction on the purchase of agricultural land remains in place and ensures that Wisconsin farmland will continue to be owned by U.S. citizens.”

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Missouri foods in spotlight at Ag Conference


MissouriFood_EDITMissouri food products were in the spotlight at the kick-off of the 45th Annual Governor’s Conference on Agriculture at Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach.

The Taste of AgriMissouri Reception featured food and drinks promoted through the state Ag Department’s AgriMissouri program. Diana and Kevin Duncan of Duncan Farms in Centertown were given the Missouri Grown Award. Diana says the program has helped their cattle, hog, vegetable and pumpkin farm grow…

Duncan Family gets Agri-Missouri Award from Director Fordyce

Duncan Family gets Agri-Missouri Award from Director Fordyce

“I think it’s been beneficial in many ways. Education, our way. Getting OUR name out with the products that we have. So, it’s been wonderful. It’s been great for our business for sure,” Diana Duncan said in an interview with Brownfield.

Missouri livestock and commodity leaders held a State of the Industry discussion this morning – agreeing that this has been a very good year for Missouri producers – from crops to dairy to livestock. But they agree that many challenges remain.

The Conference continues through this Saturday.

 

 

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EPA announces coal ash standards


Pleasant Prairie

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the first national regulations for the safe disposal of coal ash from power plants. The ash is categorized as a “nonhazardous waste”.  It does mean coal ash cannot be disposed in landfills and certain other facilities that do not properly protect groundwater.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the strong safeguards: “will protect drinking water from contamination, air from coal ash dust and our communities from structural failures.”  McCarthy encouraged individual states to adopt the federal minimum criteria.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jo Ann Emerson says electric co-ops support the decision stating: At the end of the day, we all benefit from clear rules governing how we protectively manage this waste.”

Read more from EPA here:

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Milk production up 3.4% in November


CIMG0739

Milk production in the United States totaled 16.5 billion pounds up 3.4 percent from November of last year. The U.S. dairy herd increased 82,000 head to 9.28 million cows and production per cow increased 42 pounds to average 1,782.

In the 23 major dairy states, November production totaled 15.5 billion pounds up 3.5 percent from a year ago. There were 8.59 million cows in those states and increase of 93,000 head and production per cow increased 41 pounds to average 1,806.

California milk production was 3.34 billion pounds in November up 2.2 percent from a year ago. The Golden State dairy herd held steady at 1.78 million cows while production per cow increased 40 pounds to average 1,880.

Wisconsin milk production totaled 2.25 billion pounds in November up 2.8 percent from November of 2013. The Badger State dairy herd slipped 1,000 cows to 1.27 million but production per cow increased 50 pounds to average 1,775 pounds.

Read the full NASS report here:

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Dairy markets mixed


Cash cheese barrels decreased 3.75 cents while blocks increased a quarter-cent on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday. Butter gained a penny and nonfat dry milk increased 1.25 cents.  Class III futures for January increased 17 cents, February was up 19 cents, March added 21 cents but June declined 8 cents.

For the week: cash cheese barrels increased 4 cents, blocks are a penny higher, butter fell 28 cents and nonfat dry milk lost 8.25 cents. Class III futures for January gained 60 cents, February added 24 cents and the June contract lost 39 cents from a week ago.

 

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 7 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 1.056 million pounds of Cheddar, Colby-Jack and Gouda cheese to customers in Asia and the South Pacific. The product will be delivered December 2014 through June 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 102.545 million pounds of cheese, 53.383 million pounds of butter and 34.384 million pounds of whole milk powder to 45 countries on six continents.

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Grains, oilseeds end week on lower note


Markets Featured Image 600x500_edited-2

Soybeans were lower on fund and commercial selling. The trade’s watching weather around South America and at least right now, weather looks mostly good. There is a chance for flooding over the next few days in parts of Southern Brazil. Soybean meal was steady to lower and bean oil was modestly higher, with both squaring up at the end of the week.

Corn was mixed in consolidation trade. Contracts have recently moved to five month highs and trade is expected to be light over the next couple of weeks, so corrections are not out of the question. Still, demand remains strong with Japan and Mexico both buying large amounts of U.S. corn, 135,664 tons and 101,604 tons, respectively, with both for 2014/15 delivery. Ethanol futures were mixed.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and commercial selling. Wheat has rallied sharply from the September lows, expecting improved demand. However, even with the export woes from Russia, that increase in demand remains largely up in the air and the ruble was higher Friday. The European Union issued export licenses for 514,000 tons of soft wheat over the past week.

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U.S. cattle on feed up 1%


cattle grazing-bennett ne 3-30-12

USDA’s most recent set of cattle on feed numbers showed drops in placements and marketings, against a slightly larger on feed figure.

During November, placements on feed were 1.792 million head, 4% less than in November 2013, and the second lowest for the month since the series of reports started in 1996. By weight, placements of cattle weighing less than 600 pounds were 550,000 head and the 600 to 699 pound placements were 440,000 head, while 700 to 799 pound placements were 362,000 head and placements of cattle weighing more than 800 pounds were 440,000 head.

Marketings were the lowest all-time for November at 1.475 million head, a year to year decline of 11%.

The total number of cattle on feed in the U.S. on December 1 was 10.876 million head, up 1% on the year, giving an indication of just how much tighter supplies were a year ago. There was one fewer business day in November 2014 than there was in November 2013.

Other disappearances were 74,000 head, 9% higher than a year ago.

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Boxed beef is sharply lower


Feedlot country remained slow on Friday afternoon with scattered activity reported in several states. A few cattle traded in Nebraska at 251.00, and Colorado at 160.00. There appears to be several packers that would still like to buy cattle before calling it a week. However some feedlots raised their asking prices to around 160.00 in the South and 255.00 plus North thanks to the late rally on the board. The weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 552,000 head, 17,000 less than last week and down 65,000 from last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to sharply lower on light to moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was 3.38 lower at 238.57, and select was .44 lower at 229.88.

The monthly cattle feed report released after the close of trade looks quite neutral coming in very close to trade expectations. On feed numbers up one percent, November placemats down four percent, and marketing’s eleven percent fewer. Check the news section of our website for complete analysis of the report.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts ended with strong gains on Friday despite the continued pressure in the beef values. The aggressive rebound in the feeder futures had most live cattle traders just trying to keep up. December settled 2.05 higher at 160.75 and February was up 1.57 at 160.10.

Gains in the feeder cattle markets took advantage of the new trading ranges which started on Thursday, This allowed for gains of $3.00 to 4.00 per hundredweight to hold in several of the contracts. The move above $3.00 price level received double takes as traders and market watchers have become accustomed to trade being locked at the 3.00 lower level for so long. January was 3.07 higher at 220.15, and March settled at 217.97 up 4.20.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri markets this week totaled 26,071 head. It was a tough week for the cattle sector. Compared to last week feeder steers and heifers traded sharply lower. Steers were 10.00 to 15.00 lower, spots of down 20.00 to 25.00. Heifers were mostly 5.00 to 10.00 lower. Demand was good and the overall supply was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 673 pounds brought 238.72 per hundredweight. 673 pound heifers traded at 220.26.

Lean hogs continued to hold light pressure through the session as the support which was strong in cattle markets seemed to have overlooked the hog complex. Traders focus continued to be on the lack of support in both cash hog prices and pork values leading up to the Christmas holiday. February hogs were up .02 at 81.90, all other contracts were lower with April down .02 at 83.20.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed 1.37 higher at 77.40 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up 1.09 at 77.04 and the East was down 1.18 at 75.46. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to a 1.00 lower from 74.00 to 76.00.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant ended .55 lower at 86.93, with only the butt and loin primal higher.

Many pork producers across Iowa and Illinois are reporting especially severe problems with PRRS this winter. Many fear that sows weakened by PRRS could be left more vulnerable to PEDv.

The weekly hog slaughter was estimated at 2,298,000 head, 44,000 more than last week, but down 67,000 head from last year.

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Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: December 19, 2014


Markets Featured Image 600x500_edited-2

Mar. corn closed at $4.10 and 1/2, down 1/2 cent
Jan. soybeans closed at $10.30 and 1/2, down 4 and 1/2 cents
Jan. soybean meal closed at $363.50, down $1.80
Jan. soybean oil closed at 31.97, up 8 points
Mar. wheat closed at $6.32 and 1/4, down 23 cents
Dec. live cattle closed at $160.75, up $2.05
Feb. lean hogs closed at $81.90, up 2 cents
Jan. crude oil closed at $56.52, up $2.41
Mar. cotton closed at 60.89, up 7 points
Jan. Class III milk closed at $16.40, up 17 cents
Jan. gold closed at $1,195.70 up $1.20
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,804.80, up 26.65 points

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Top sorghum yield is 246 bushels per acre


grain sorghum-gi 9-14The top yield in this year’s National Sorghum Producers’ Yield Contest was 246 bushels per acre. It was produced by Henson Land & Cattle of Texas in the conventional-till irrigated category.

Other first place winners in each category are: Cody Sassmann of Missouri in the No-Till Non-Irrigated category with a yield of 207.98 bushels per acre; Weldon Alders of Texas in the Conventional-Till Non-Irrigated category with a yield of 205.74 bushels per acre; Taylor Equipment of Kansas who won the Reduced-Till Irrigated category with a yield of 202.66 bushels per acre; Sam Santini, Jr. of New Jersey in the Double Crop Non-Irrigated category with a yield of 193.33 bushels per acre; Joe Scates of Illinois in the Mulch-Till Non-Irrigated category with a yield of 185.36 bushels per acre; and Fike Farms of Texas in the Double Crop Irrigated category with a yield of 151.63 bushels per acre.

Ki Gamble of Kansas is the Irrigated National Food-Grade category winner with a yield of 177.97 bushels per acre, and Stanley Brandyberry Farms of Kansas won the Non-Irrigated National Food-Grade category with a yield of 118.96 bushels per acre.

The national winners will be recognized at an awards dinner at Commodity Classic in Phoenix in February.

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Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer awards


indiana-farm-bureau

Indiana Farm Bureau will be well represented next month at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in San Diego.  Chris and Marah Steele of Adams County will compete for the American Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Ag Award.  In addition to working off the farm, the Steele’s own and operate a corn maze and you-pick pumpkin patch.

Chris tells Brownfield their entrance into production agriculture wasn’t typical.  “We’re kind of a first generation farm in some terms,” he says.  “I’m the fifth generation to be on the farm, but my parents didn’t farm.  In some sense – we’re a start-up, a first generation farm.”

Chris and Marah Steele, Young Farmer Excellence in Ag Award

George and Carly Kakasuleff of Hamilton County are the 2014 INFB Young Farmer Achievement Award.   “It’s an award that recognizes you on your achievement,” he says.  “Not only in farming, but also the activities you’ve participated in in Farm Bureau.  Farm Bureau is something Carly and I have been involved in since we were invited to be on the state Young Farmer Committee while we were on our honeymoon.”

George and Carly Kakasuleff, Young Farm Achievement Award

Jeremy Barron of Noble County is the winner of the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet.

Next month, all three winners will compete at the American Farm Bureau  Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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Indiana Wines for the holidays


IndianaWines

It’s the holiday season and with 80 wineries around the state, it’s pretty easy to find the perfect wine for your holiday meal.

Indiana Wines marketing director Jeanette Merritt says start by stopping in your local winery.  “Tell the folks behind the counter what kind of food you’re going to be serving for those holiday meals,” she says.  “The winemakers can then help you decide what wines they have that may pair well with it.”

She says pairing isn’t important to everyone.  In that case – simply select wines that you like.

If you’re looking for Indiana wines, Merritt tells Brownfield there are wines produced locally.  “Chambourcin is a great example of a dry, red wine,” she says.  “It’s a red grape that grows well here in Indiana.  If you’re going to look at white – two of my favorites are Chardonel, a grape that is a hybrid of a Seyval blanc and a Chardonnay, and Traminette, which is our signature grape here in Indiana.”

To find a winery near you – visit www.indianawines.org.

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Iowa Soybean CEO celebrates 25 years


kirk leedsAs the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) celebrated its 50th anniversary this week, its CEO was recognized for being there for half of it.

Kirk Leeds celebrated his 25 years of service at the ISA 50th Anniversary Symposium and Banquet on Wednesday in Des Moines.

“I am humbled by the recognition and I have appreciated the opportunity to work for the Iowa soybean farmers for the last 25 years,” Leeds said. “I’m proud of the way our farmer directors have so willingly contributed time and energy to set the direction for ISA and for our industry.”

Highlights of Leeds’ tenure include the recently- founded Iowa Soybean Research Center at Iowa State University and the creation of two of ISA’s most successful programs, the On-Farm Network and Environmental Programs and Services. These departments provide Iowa soybean farmers unbiased research and brought water quality to the forefront in agriculture.

Starting as a field representative in 1989, Leeds would quickly work his way to CEO. He says he never anticipated spending 25 years at ISA, but it is an organization he has thoroughly enjoyed.

“I have gained many friends and the amount of respect that I have for farmers based on their desire to do the right thing for the right reason has only increased over the years,” he said.

AUDIO: Interview with Kirk Leeds

Photo courtesy of ISA

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Cuban market potential is big for agriculture


Illinois Corn Growers Association logo web

Approximately 50 percent of the Illinois corn crop is exported.  Kenneth Hartman, Illinois Corn Growers president says this week’s announcement to normalize trade relations with Cuba is a good move for agriculture.  “I think it’s a big positive for any farmer,” he says.

And,  it’s a market that is easily accessible.  “When you look at it we’re directly right down the river and then into Cuba,” he says.

Hartman tells Brownfield the US has been battling with Cuba for many years.  “I don’t think that we’ve hurt the people as far as the Cuban government,” he says.  “All we’re hurting is our own industry as far as exporting product to them and the impoverished people of Cuba.”

Earlier this week President Obama announced actions to improve trade and business relations with Cuba.

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Midday cash livestock markets


DTN is reporting a few cattle have sold in Nebraska at 251.00 today. There are also renewed bids of 158.00 on a live basis there. There was a light trade yesterday in some areas at mostly steady money with Wednesday’s decline. Asking prices on the cattle left on the showlists are around 160.00 in the South, and 252.00 in the North.

Boxed beef cutout values are weak to sharply lower. Choice beef is down 3.12 at 238.43, and select is .19 lower at 230.13.

Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri markets this week totaled 26,071 head. It was a tough week for the cattle sector. Compared to last week feeder steers and heifers traded sharply lower. Steers were 10.00 to 15.00 lower, spots of down 20.00 to 25.00. Heifers were mostly 5.00 to 10.00 lower. Demand was good and the overall supply was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 673 pounds brought 238.72 per hundredweight. 673 pound heifers traded at 220.26.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. The western market is down .41 with a weighted average of 75.54 on the carcass basis. The national direct trade is .67 lower at 75.68. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 1.00 lower from 74.00 to 76.00. Midwest hogs on a live bas are steady to 2.00 lower from 50.00 to 60.00 in a very light test.

The pork carcass cutout value is down .95 at 86.43.

Many pork producers across Iowa and Illinois are reporting especially severe problems with PRRS this winter. Many fear that sows weakened by PRRS could be left more vulnerable to PEDv.

As long as contract negotiations at major ports along the West Coast are delayed, the pace of U.S. meat exports is threatened to be seriously impeded.

 

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Biodiesel exec: More certainty needed


reg biodieselThe chairman of the nation’s largest biodiesel producer is calling for more “certainty” in U.S. renewable energy policy.

Jeff Stroburg of Iowa-based REG—Renewable Energy Group—says the down-to-the-wire extension of the biodiesel tax credit for 2014 is an example of the uncertainty the industry faces.

“We’re glad to see that get passed—it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the 2105 announced,” Stroburg tells Brownfield. “Of course, the sooner we can do that, the better it is for the marketplace, because uncertainty is not good for the renewable fuels industry.”

Stroburg says the EPA’s indecision on the usage requirements in the Renewable Fuels Standard has also hurt.

“Whether you’re consuming the fuel, whether you’re manufacturing the fuel, or whether you’re an Iowa farmer that’s growing the soybean oil that goes into the fuel, we need to have more certainty around public policy,” he says. “So the sooner we can get a number on the Renewable Fuels Standard, the better.”

The 25x’25 Alliance, a group that lobbies for growth in renewable energy, is also critical of what it calls “the stop-and-go process” on renewable energy policy. The alliance says it is destabilizing the environment for investors.

AUDIO: Jeff Stroburg

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NCGA announces 2014 Yield Contest winners


Dowdy

The National Corn Growers Association announced their 2014 Yield Contest Winners today (Friday).  Eighteen winners in six production categories have verified yields averaging more than 383.6 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 173.4 bushels per acre.

The all-time high yield record of 503 bushels per acre was set by Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Georgia (pictured above) and there were seven national entrants recording yields of more than 400 bushels per acre.

Lance Neff of Marshall, MO took first place in the AA Non-Irrigated with a yield of 362.8 bpa.  Kevin Kalb of Dubois, IN was second in that category with a yield of 361.5, followed by Jeff Brown of Blue Mound, Ill. with a yield of 350.4.

Willes Brothers, Inc. of Plattsmouth, NE took first place in A No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated with a yield of 357.5 bushels per acre.

Cox Farms of Delta, Mo. took first place in the AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated with a yield of 349.1 bushels per acre.  Nick Lanpher of Cape Girardeau, Mo. took placed second with a yield of 314.1 bpa, followed by J & M Farms of Scott City, Mo. with a yield of 312.6 bpa.

This is the 50th year for the NCGA Yield Contest.  A complete list of winners can be found HERE.

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‘Urban Ag’ is focus of new Nebraska program


urban ag program-omaha 12-14-editA new Urban Agricultural Education program is being launched in the Omaha area.

It’s a joint effort between University of Nebraska Extension, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture and the Omaha Home for Boys. Officials say the program will provide hands-on learning in local food production and help aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own urban ag enterprises. They say high school age students associated with the Omaha Home for Boys day program may be some of the first participants.

Educational activities will begin in January.

Photo: Omaha area beginning and  transitioning ag entrepreneurs and local food producers heard details Thursday of the new Urban Ag Education effort from program partners Jeff Moran, CEO and president of the Omaha Home for Boys; Mark Wilke, farm loan chief with Nebraska Farm Service Agency; Ron Rosati, dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture; and Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of University of Nebraska Extension.  (Mike Watkins photo)

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Nebraska adds another ‘Livestock Friendly’ county


cattle feedlot-milford 5-13Another Nebraska County is “Livestock Friendly”.

Saunders County is the latest to receive that designation through the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. With the addition of Saunders County, there are now 29 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program.

To apply for a livestock friendly county designation, the county board must hold a public hearing and pass a resolution to apply. A completed application is then submitted to Department of Agriculture for review. Local producers or community groups can encourage their county board to submit a livestock friendly county application.

 

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