Property tax concerns expressed at Nebraska hearing

Farmers and ranchers appeared before the Nebraska legislature’s Education Committee Tuesday, pleading for relief from ever-increasing property taxes. “I am here to tell you that we are bleeding in agriculture right now. We are bleeding to death and somebody has to help us,” said Dale Gronewold, who farms near Gothenburg. The hearing involved Governor Pete… Read more »

CME takes steps to address cattlemen’s concerns

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The CME Group is taking steps to address cattlemen’s concerns with extreme volatility in the cattle futures markets. One of the changes will be a reduction in the CME’s livestock trading hours. “We’ll be removing the afternoon session—the current 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. session—and concentrating trading during the 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central time… Read more »

Dr. Clayton Yeutter discusses international trade, TPP

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A recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln lecture on international trade featured two prominent Nebraska natives–Darci Vetter, chief ag negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and Clayton Yeutter, who served as USTR from 1985-89 and as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1989-91. Prior to the lecture, we sat down with Yeutter and asked him about… Read more »

Administration renews call for crop insurance cuts

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President Obama’s 2017 budget request to Congress includes a proposal to cut the federal crop insurance program by 18 billion dollars over ten years. The proposed budget would reduce the subsidies provided to farmers for harvest price revenue coverage. It also calls for reforming prevented planting crop insurance. The chairmen of the Senate and House… Read more »

Economist: Ethanol industry holding its own–for now

Low oil prices continue to pressure profit margins in the ethanol industry. “Times are tough—margins are definitely a lot lower,” says Matt Roberts, Extension ag economist at Ohio State University. “Depending on the characteristics of the plant and where it’s located, they’re teetering on maybe a few pennies of profit to some pretty non-trivial losses… Read more »

Crop insurance could be target for cuts

Another attempt to cut federal crop insurance is expected to be part of President’s Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, which is scheduled to be released today (Tuesday). Last year the Administration called for 16 billion dollars in cuts to the insurance program, but Congress rejected that proposal. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a member of the Senate… Read more »

Nebraska ag leader pleased with lifting of packer ban

The president of Nebraska Farm Bureau, Steve Nelson, is confident that the elimination of the state’s ban on meatpacker ownership of hogs will lead to expanded pork production in Nebraska. The Nebraska legislature voted last week to lift that ban, which means pork processors can now enter into agreements with Nebraska farmers to feed and… Read more »

Syngenta-ChemChina deal faces security scrutiny

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Even though Syngenta is based in Switzerland, the proposed purchase of the seed and chemical company by the Chinese firm ChemChina will undergo a U.S. national security review. The investigation will be conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which is comprised of representatives from 16 U.S. agencies, including Treasury, Homeland… Read more »

Nebraska legislature lifts packer ownership ban

Nebraska lawmakers have approved lifting the ban on meatpackers owning hogs in the state. The bill passed on a vote of 34 to 14. Nebraska was the only state that still prohibited meatpackers from owning hogs. The ban had been in effect since 1998. Supporters of keeping the ban in place argued that it was… Read more »

Cattle industry prepares for new antibiotic restrictions

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Changes to the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), which will take effect in 2017, will require veterinarians to sign off on drug use in feed.  While it’s not expected to have a major impact on beef production overall, Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Brian Lubbers says it will, in many cases, require improved communications between producers, their veterinarian… Read more »