Midwest Ag Report
April 4, 2014
Midwest Ag Report
Enlarging the bullseye
Record soybean acres
Lesser prairie-chicken
Feed delivery trucks
Vilsack announces


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HollyMartin mug Enlarging the bullseye on our back

Less than 2 percent of Americans are involved in farming and ranching. Fewer and fewer people have direct ties to the farm. The agriculture industry struggles with increased regulation and an activist movement like no other.


And yet, we as an industry continue to fight amongst ourselves. How can that be good? The answer is: It can't be good. And it needs to stop.


Case in point is a recent exchange between a group called Smarter Fuel Future and the National Corn Growers Association. Smarter Fuel Future is supported by a number of groups in the automotive industry but also several agricultural groups including the American Meat Institute and various dairy and chicken groups.


The exchange is recent, but the subject is old. One side wants to see continued or even increased support of the ethanol industry. The other wants to see the end of the ethanol industry altogether.


This recent exchange was started by a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the reduction of Renewable Fuels Standard by various groups including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council and National Pork Producers Council.


(Read more



headlinesTagAg News Headlines
for the
week ending April 4, 2014     
  • Record soybean acres expected, corn acres at 4-year low    
  • Lesser prairie-chicken goes on threatened species list   
  • Feed deliver trucks need biosecurity to control PEDv           
  • Vilsack announces increased opportunity for producers as part of new farm bill    

Record soybean acres expected, corn acres at

 4-year low


The prospective planting report released March 31 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service said producers plan to plant a record number of soybean acres nationwide and corn acres will be at a four-year low.


Producers surveyed across the U.S. intend to plant an estimated 81.5 million acres of soybeans in 2014, up 6 percent from last year and an all-time record high. Soybean acres planted are expected to be up or unchanged in all states except Missouri and Oklahoma.


Corn growers intend to plant 91.7 million acres, down 4 percent from last year and the lowest planted acreage since 2010. However, if realized, this will still be the fifth largest corn acreage in the U.S. since 1944.


All wheat acreage for 2014 is estimated to be down 1 percent from 2013, at 55.8 million acres. The 2014 winter wheat acreage is 42 million acres, down 3 percent from last year but up slightly from the previous estimate.


(Read more)

Lesser prairie-chicken goes on threatened species list


As was expected by many in the conservation community, but dreaded among agricultural, oil, and gas interests, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service March 27 announced the final listing of the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.


USFWS made the listing in response to "the rapid and severe decline" of the species. A "threatened" listing means the species is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future; it is a step below "endangered" under the ESA and allows for more flexibility in how the Act's protections are implemented.


Also announced was a final special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that will limits regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing.


"In recognition of the significant and ongoing efforts of states and landowners to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken, this unprecedented use of a special 4(d) rule will allow the five range states to continue to manage conservation efforts for the species and avoid further regulation of activities such as oil and gas development and utility line maintenance that are covered under the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies' range-wide conservation plan," a USFWS statement said.


(Read more


Feed delivery trucks need biosecurity to control PEDv


University of Missouri Extension swine nutrition specialist Marcia Shannon advises pork producers to take extra precautions with feed and delivery trucks to prevent the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.


The recent spread of PEDv increases the need for better biosecurity associated with all aspects of the farm, Shannon said. The virus is most deadly to piglets three weeks or younger and slows the growth performance of older pigs for about two weeks.


PEDv spreads through contact with contaminated feces, and the virus appears to survive in manure for a long time, especially in cold weather. TGE virus, which is similar to PEDv, will survive in manure for more than eight weeks at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and only two weeks at 70 degrees, Shannon said.


Use biosecurity measures when getting feed at the local feed mill or having a feed truck deliver feed to the farm, said Shelbina, Mo., veterinarian Stephen D. Patterson.


This lessens the chance that trucks, bagged feed, equipment, clothing and footwear become contaminated with fecal material.


(Read more


Vilsack announces increased opportunity for producers as part of new farm bill

On March 24 Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced increased opportunity for producers as a result of the 2014 farm bill. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Programs is available at http://www.usda.gov/documents/2014-farm-bill-changes-to-flp.pdf.


"Our nation's farmers and ranchers are the engine of the rural economy. These improvements to our Farm Loan Programs will help a new generation begin farming and grow existing farm operations," said Vilsack. "Today's announcement represents just one part of a series of investments the new farm bill makes in the next generation of agriculture, which is critical to economic growth in communities across the country."


The farm bill expands lending opportunities for thousands of farmers and ranchers to begin and continue operations, including greater flexibility in determining eligibility, raising loan limits, and emphasizing beginning and socially disadvantaged producers.


(Read more)



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