House Ag Committee passes Cuban trade bill

The House Agriculture Committee has passed the H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act. Introduced by Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Congressman Jerry Moran of Kansas, the bill would clarify how U.S. farmers and agricultural businesses can conduct sales to Cuba and removes long-standing travel restrictions. It would also allow exports… Read more »

Ohio ag groups strike deal with HSUS

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Reports out of Columbus, Ohio late Wednesday afternoon indicate that Ohio’s governor, the state’s ag and livestock organizations and the Humane Society of the United States have struck a deal in order to avoid another nasty ballot initiative fight this fall. According to those reports, the agreement would, among other things, require the Ohio Livestock… Read more »

Lincoln says 2008 farm bill is policy benchmark

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas says it’s important to strengthen the farm safety net in the 2012 farm bill. In her statement opening the first Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Wednesday on the 2012 farm bill, Lincoln said safety net features should come from the kitchen tables of farm country rather than from… Read more »

So far it has been a pretty nice week for dairy

Cash cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange nudged higher on Wednesday prompting some nice increases in the Class III futures for 1010. Cheese has been range-trading for a while now and this could be around the top of that range. We are apparently past “flush” in the Midwest, Dairy Market News reports most if… Read more »

Land is not being cleared because of ethanol

The Renewable Fuels Association says the latest acreage report from USDA is further evidence that ethanol production is not leading to land being cleared for crop production. RFA notes that while corn acreage has increased 1.6 percent from last year that is more than offset by reductions in other coarse grains and wheat. In fact,… Read more »

Do cell phones cause bees to get lost?

Some say mites, some say pesticides, some say overworking…now you can add another possible cause for the decline in honeybee populations…cell phones. Researchers in India fitted cell phones to a bee hive and powered the phones up for two, fifteen-minute periods each day. In three months time, the bees stopped producing honey, the queen bee’s… Read more »

Wisconsin Ag Education Grants awarded

The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Foundation has awarded seven Educational Improvement Grants. Five of the grants go to high schools to enhance education programs while two are to support professional development for instructors at Wisconsin Technical Colleges. High school grants go to Freedom, Independence, Laconia, Lodi and Manawa. Professional Development Grants go to Tracy Harper with… Read more »

Iowa sees biggest drop in corn acres

According to the USDA’s planted acreage report Wednesday, the state with the largest decrease in corn acres from 2009 is Iowa.  The reports showed corn acres in the Hawkeye State are down 400 thousand, to 13-point-three million acres.  Iowa Corn Promotion Board chairman Tim Burrack of Arlington, Iowa says that, because of the wet weather,… Read more »

Acreage, stocks reductions push corn sharply higher

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Soybeans were mostly lower on consolidation and old crop/new crop spread trade. All months started sharply higher following the lead of corn but couldn’t follow through due to the increasingly bearish fundamentals. USDA’s projecting record U.S. soybean acreage, pressuring the new crop contracts and while quarterly stocks were smaller than expected, they were up 3%… Read more »

POET acquires idled Indiana ethanol plant

The nation’s largest ethanol producer, POET, has acquired the idled ethanol plant in Putnam County, Indiana, just outside Cloverdale. The 90-million gallon per year plant, which went online in 2007, was previously operated by Altra Biofuels.  POET CEO Jeff Broin says they plan to have the plant up and running by April 1st of 2011…. Read more »