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 »

CattleFax foresees stable corn prices in 2016

Cattle marketing advisory firm Cattle Fax predicts spot corn futures prices will average $3.75 per bushel in 2016, virtually the same as last year. Speaking at the recent CattleFax outlook session in San Diego, analyst Chad Spearman said a major production issue this summer could alter that prediction. But in the short-term, Spearman expects the… Read more »

Balance GT update from the Iowa Power Farming Show

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In a phone interview from the Iowa Power Farming Show, MS Technologies brand manager Lindsey Seitz gives us a update on the new Balance GT soybean performance system. According to Seitz, the Balance GT system will initially be a double-herbicide tolerant trait stack featuring a new form of glyphosate tolerance for soybeans, coupled with tolerance… Read more »

Fate of Nebraska’s packer ownership ban to be decided

A final vote on LB176, a bill lifting Nebraska’s ban on packer ownership of hogs, is slated for tomorrow (Friday) in the Nebraska Unicameral. Nebraska Farmers Union is leading the fight to defeat the measure, saying it would reduce competition in the marketplace and threaten family farms. Another one of their arguments, says Farmers Union… Read more »

Cattlemen hope for a smoother road in 2016

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After a rough market ride in 2015, cattlemen are hoping for a smoother road this year. At the CattleFax outlook session during last week’s Cattle Industry Conference in San Diego, CattleFax CEO Randy Blach predicted the recent price shock in cattle markets is nearly over–but said there’s still some turbulence ahead. On today’s program, we feature excerpts from Blach’s… Read more »

State ag department heads discuss food safety, TPP

State agriculture department heads, at their winter policy conference in Washington, D.C., are expressing concern about implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Nebraska ag director Greg Ibach is the president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). He tells Brownfield most state ag departments have a role in food safety and… Read more »