Hogs and pigs down 2%, breeding herd up 2%

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  USDA’s quarterly hogs and pigs report does show a smaller inventory, but is pointing towards re-expansion of the U.S. herd. All hogs and pigs in the U.S. as of September 1 came out at 65.361 million head, down 2% on the year, but up 6% from the previous quarter following a revision by USDA… Read more »

Report: Climate change presents big challenges for ag

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One of the lead authors of a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) report on climate change says Nebraska farmers and ranchers will face significant weather-related challenges in the coming decades. UNL climate scientist Don Wilhite says average temperatures will continue to rise–as much as nine degrees in a worst-case scenario–with a substantial increase in high-temperature… Read more »

Vilsack unveils risk management programs

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday officially unveiled the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs to help farmers manage risk. “I think it’s a recognition that there’s significant risk in farming,” said Secretary Vilsack, during a conference call to reporters Thursday, “not just from weather related circumstances, but also precipitous drops in crop… Read more »

Bayer says ‘neonics’ are essential

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A leading ag chemical company that is making a big investment in bee health and safety says it will not be moving away from a class of pesticides that some say is causing unnecessary bee deaths. “We believe that neonics are an essential tool for growers – in the Midwest but across the U.S. and… Read more »

Preparing for harvest

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Farmers aren’t the only ones preparing for harvest. Heritage Cooperative’s grain division manager Ed Nienaber says there are 22 grain facilities with nearly 26 million bushels of grain space to get ready.  “What we’ve done to this point is do the best we can getting all of our facilities pretty much to the point where… Read more »

National Farm Safety and Health Week

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Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first National Farm Safety Week proclamation in 1944, National Farm Safety and Health Week has been recognized by Presidential proclamation from every President since then. On Friday, September 19, President Obama issued the proclamation, proclaiming September 21-27, 2014 as National Farm Safety and Health Week. “And this year’s… Read more »

Historic lows in cattle on feed report

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USDA’s latest cattle on feed report includes some historic lows. Placements during August 2014 were 1.720 million head, down 3% from August 2013, and the lowest for the month since the series of reports started in 1996. That’s due to the very tight supply of feeder cattle, good grazing conditions, and expectations for better wheat… Read more »

President wants a plan to deal with antibiotic resistance

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President Obama signed an executive order Thursday to have the federal government develop a plan to deal with antibiotic resistant bacteria.  It establishes an interagency Task Force and a Presidential Advisory Council charged with monitoring resistant infections, improving regulation of antibiotic use and developing new methods to combat antibiotic resistance. The Task Force is to… Read more »

Zoetis to seek approval for PEDV vaccine

An official with animal health company Zoetis says the company is seeking U.S. approval before the end of this year for a PEDv vaccine. There is only one other vaccine to help prevent Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus in pigs – by Harrisvaccines, which was granted conditional approval from the USDA for its vaccine in June…. Read more »

Vilsack says voluntary conservation programs are working

There’s been considerable debate as to whether farming conservation practices should remain voluntary or be made mandatory.  But Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack believes voluntary programs are working and that farmers are embracing new conservation practices. “We’ve recently done a series of assessments in the Upper Mississippi River Basin and in the Chesapeake Bay area, specifically,… Read more »