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Agriculture News

Producers’ Future Outlook Dims as Attention Shifts Toward 2017

Purdue | Posted on November 2, 2016

The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer settled lower in October. Based on a survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S., the monthly measure of U.S. agricultural producers’ sentiment was measured at 92, the lowest reading since March 2016 and the second-lowest Ag Economy Barometer value since data collection began in October 2015

Election could create flood of marijuana cash with no place to go

Reuters | Posted on November 2, 2016

Although the sale of marijuana is a federal crime, the number of U.S. banks working with pot businesses, now sanctioned in many states, is growing, up 45 percent in the last year alone. Still, marijuana merchants say there are not nearly enough banks willing to take their cash. So many dispensaries resort to stashing cash in storage units, back offices and armored vans. Proponents believe the Nov. 8 election could tip the balance in favor of liberalizing federal marijuana laws, a move seen as key to getting risk-averse banks off the sidelines. Measures on ballots in California, Florida and seven other states would bring to 34 the number of states sanctioning pot for medical or recreational use, or both. That could push annual sales, by one estimate, to $23 billion.

Small dairy farm concerns growing by the tank load

Ohio's Country Journal | Posted on November 2, 2016

s Ohio’s small dairies continue to battle slim to negative margins, mounting regulations and rising input costs, there is growing concern about increasingly limited markets because of a growing trend from milk processors.  The typical milk transport trailer carries 7,000 to 8,000 gallons of milk per load. Small dairies are worried about what seems to be a heavy preference from milk processors that the entire load should be filled from one single farm rather than multiple dairies. That is leaving many “smaller” dairies feeling left out merely because they don’t have enough cows to fill one truckload. The switch is ultimately being driven by the whims of consumers and adds an additional challenge for small dairies.

Cheap China Corn Seen Curbing Imports Amid Ample Domestic Supply

Bloomberg | Posted on November 2, 2016

China’s imports of corn and feed grains are set to slump after the government increased the amount auctioned from state reserves and domestic prices dropped to a decade low, according to analysts.  The government is offering about 7.9 million metric tons of corn from its stockpiles for a third week. That compares with 6 million tons offered in auctions held July 21 and 22 and about 2 million tons offered July 12-13, which included poor quality grain. China is the world’s second-biggest corn consumer.  Chinese corn futures tumbled to a decade low last week amid increasing sales from state reserves. Almost 13 million tons has been sold since auctions began on May 27, according to data from the National Grain Trade Center compiled by Bloomberg. Imports may slump 69 percent in the year starting October and purchases of alternative feeds barley and sorghum will also drop, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.

Eat Or Be Eaten: How ‘Big Ag’ Came To Be

Nebraska Educational Television | Posted on November 2, 2016

The industry that supplies farmers with the tools to raise crops is on the brink of a watershed moment. High-profile deals are in the works that would combine the largest agri-chemical companies, sending ripples through farm fields and dinner tables.  In some ways, the growth and consolidation of the agriculture industry is a common story of American business:  growth snowballed until small companies become part of larger conglomerates. But farming only transitioned from a self-contained enterprise to big business in the 20th century. And as the industry that produces our food, the consequences of corporate changes will reach nearly every American’s dinner table. To understand the significance of this consolidation, you have to go back a century to look at how the industry got to where it is today. Now, with companies seeing lower profits than they’d grown accustomed to, they’re arguing that to invest in the innovations necessary for the next century of agribusiness success, they again need to find efficiencies and increase collaboration.

The Dairy Industry Lost $420 Million From a Flaw in a Single Bull

The Atlantic | Posted on November 2, 2016

It started with a bull named Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief, who had a whopping 16,000 daughters. And 500,000 granddaughters and more than 2 million great-granddaughters. Today, in fact, his genes account for 14 percent of all DNA in Holstein cows, the most popular breed in the dairy industry. Chief—let’s call him Chief for brevity’s sake—was so popular because his daughters were fantastic milk producers. He had great genes for milk. But, geneticists now know, he also had a single copy of a deadly mutation that spread undetected through the Holstein cow population. The mutation caused some unborn calves to die in the womb. According to a recent estimate, this single mutation ended up causing more than 500,000 spontaneous abortions and costing the dairy industry $420 million in losses.

Potentially tainted rabbit feed prompts feed investigation

Idaho State Journal | Posted on November 2, 2016

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is cautioning commercial and backyard rabbit producers to refrain from feeding their animals feed manufactured by Cache Commodities of Ogden, sold under the brand name “Commercial Rabbit”, until sampling and testing is complete. If tainted feed is found, contaminated lot numbers will be confirmed and published by the department. More than 500 commercially grown rabbits in Utah which consumed the product have died since May. Consumers are strongly advised not to eat rabbits which may have consumed this feed product until testing is complete and reporting is made public. Producers with animals that have passed away are advised to bury or incinerate the rabbits to prevent predation by birds and other animals which could become exposed.

Cuomo: proposed Canadian milk rules could hurt NY exports

Times Herald Record | Posted on November 2, 2016

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about possible regulations on milk that Cuomo says could devastate the state's dairy export industry.  The Democratic governor said Monday that if the rules proposed in Canada take effect it could amount to a $50 million market loss for New York's dairy industry. Cuomo's office says the proposal would restrict imports of ultra-filtered milk from New York state. Ultra-filtered milk is the type of milk used in the production of cheese and yogurt.Canada is New York's largest international export market, and dairy products are the state's largest agricultural industry. Cuomo's office says state officials have been working for months on a possible resolution that could satisfy both New York and Canada.

ADM to build new animal feed facility in Illinois

Watt Ag Net | Posted on November 2, 2016

ADM is working with local permitting authorities and plans to begin construction in the near future, with a targeted completion date of mid-2018. The current Quincy facility will remain operational during construction.

Worker Awarded $700K Following Collapse In Field

Growing Produce | Posted on November 2, 2016

A Maine judge awarded a Machias, ME, man close to $730,000 in damages for injuries he sustained following a heat stroke collapse. Michael Lund sued Millard A. Whitey & Sons in 2015, claiming the berry farm did not prepare him for the burning of a field, work he says he had never done before. Lund allegedly became disoriented during the second burn of the afternoon of March 22, 2012 and collapsed. In a jury-waved trial in September, Superior Court Justice William Anderson found evidence that Millard A. Whitney & Sons did not educate workers to recognize the signs and dangers of heat stroke. Anderson also said Lund did nothing to contribute to his own injuries