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 »

Meat Matters campaign conveys virtues

The Animal Ag Alliance has an answer to the so-called Meatless Monday campaign with its new Meat Matters campaign. “You might be familiar with the Meatless Monday’s movement. It’s backed by a lot of activist groups and really they want to reduce the amount of meat and poultry on our plates and they want to… Read more »

Legislation could help boost ag exports to Cuba

Bipartisan legislation that would help agriculture exporters sell products in Cuba is getting attention again.  Last month the Obama administration loosened export restrictions on companies selling non-agricultural products to Cuba on credit, however restrictions on agricultural products, which require all transactions be advance cash payments, have not been lifted. North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is… Read more »

Addressing the ag teacher shortage

Despite an ongoing national effort to attract more ag teachers, there is still a shortage. Ellen Thompson with the National Teach Ag Campaign says there aren’t enough teachers to meet the current demand.  “We’re about 200 to 500 ag teachers short every year,” she says.  “In terms of being able to fill positions, last year… Read more »

ADM considers selling ethanol plants

The leader of one of the world’s largest ag processors says his company is considering selling three ethanol plants because of concerns about the industry long-term. During a fourth quarter earnings conference call Tuesday, CEO Juan Luciano said Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has brought in an advisor to help project different scenarios as it identifies… Read more »

Syngenta COO says lawsuits won’t affect deal

Syngenta’s chief operating officer says the proposed sale of the company to a state-owned Chinese company won’t affect the farmer lawsuits filed against the company over its MIR 162 corn.  Syngenta’s Chief Operating Officer Davor Pisk told reporters there won’t be any impact, “These cases are coming through – coming to trial – going through… Read more »

Minnesota a national leader in processed vegetables

The USDA says Minnesota ranks first among all 50 states in sweet corn production at 760,000 tons, more than 30 percent of the U.S. total. The 2015 major processed vegetables report says Minnesota’s green pea production climbed 44 percent from 2014 to 112,000 tons, placing the state second in that category. Overall, Minnesota remained in… Read more »

Is the milk price cycle shifting?

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A dairy business specialist says current dairy market conditions are starting to shift traditional price cycles. Farm lender and Vita Plus Business Development Manager Gary Sipiorski tells Brownfield since 1983 when milk supports were eliminated, the dairy industry has averaged a three year price cycle of highs and lows.  “That’s when we started to see… Read more »

Flinchbaugh: Kasich, Clinton best suited for agriculture

A veteran farm policy pundit says there are presidential hopefuls from both parties that could bode well for agriculture.  Barry Flinchbaugh remembers presidential elections as far back as 1948, but he says the one coming up in November stands out. “This one defies all logic; crazy, very hard to predict,” said the Kansas State University… 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 »