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Brownfield AG News

2015 Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers

The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program has graduated two new and four returning Master Cheesemakers. The newest Master Cheesemakers are Adam Buholzer, of Klondike Cheese Company in Monroe, and Chris Roelli, of Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg.  Buholzer is a fourth-generation cheesemaker and one of four Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers in the Buholzer family.  Adam is now... Read more »

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John Deere responds to ownership article

  A spokesman for John Deere says he wants to make it clear that if a farmer buys a tractor from John Deere, they own it. Barry Nelson, Deere’s media relations director, tells Brownfield the question of who owns their equipment past the point of purchase has been in the news lately after a recent... Read more »

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Wisconsin to issue daily H5N2 briefings

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will issue a daily Avian Influenza Briefing, Monday-through-Friday as long as the situation warrants.  News releases will be issued for significant new developments.  There were no new infections in the state on Friday. As of Friday afternoon there are six infected farms in four counties affecting... Read more »

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Syngenta official: technology should not be withheld

A Syngenta official says there’s a long-term risk in withholding biotechnology advances from U.S. farmers.  Responding to lawsuits against Syngenta, Agrisure commercial traits lead Duane Martin says growers and companies need new technologies as they become available. “The fact that this has become a delay, an increase in potential costs, a legal and regulatory risk,... Read more »

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Another good week in the dairy markets

A quiet close to the week in the dairy markets on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday.  Cash cheese and butter unchanged, nonfat dry milk increased a quarter-cent.  Class III futures were narrowly mixed. For the week, cash cheese barrels slipped a half-cent, blocks gained 3.5 cents, butter increased 2.25 cents and nonfat dry milk... Read more »

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Minnesota Farm Bureau seeks tax relief for farmers

  The number one priority for Minnesota Farm Bureau going into the 2015 legislative session was agricultural property tax relief. Farm Bureau Policy Director Doug Busselman tells Brownfield most farmers in the state pay ten times the amount of property taxes for school buildings than non-farm Minnesotans.  Farm Bureau was looking to have that equalized... Read more »

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Iowa, Indiana farm moms among top five

A Minden, Iowa woman and a Franklin, Indiana woman are among the five regional winners in Monsanto’s search for Farm Mom of the Year. “I actually grew up in town, so when I met and married a farmer from Iowa I had a lot of learning to do,” said Sara Ross, Minden, Iowa, who is... Read more »

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Senate ag committee focuses on Cuba

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week on expanding agricultural trade with Cuba.  Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the committee wants to improve agricultural trade opportunities. Stabenow says there is potential for billions of dollars in trade.  She says Cuba can benefit from U.S. commodities and agricultural equipment just 91 miles from their... Read more »

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South American harvest pressures soybeans

  Soybeans were lower on fund and speculative selling. Harvest weather for South America looks good, with another higher production guess for Argentina out Friday. Argentina’s Ag Ministry now sees 2015 production at 59 million tons, 1 million more than the previous projection. Also, a renewed truck strike in Brazil hasn’t had much of an... Read more »

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Wisconsin farmers “ready to rock-n-roll”

With a forecast for sunshine and highs in the 60’s and 70’s, Wisconsin farmers are ready to roll in the fields next week.  Mike Weiss is a Technical Agronomist with Asgrow/Dekalb, he says some corn was planted in northwest Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago but most farmers are just getting things ready, spreading manure,... Read more »

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Black Cutworm moths in Midwest states

Midwest growers are encouraged to be vigilant for early signs of black cutworm damage when corn seedlings emerge. University of Illinois entomologist Mike Gray says captures of the species have been common in Illinois and other Midwestern states, including many areas of Indiana. While the flights of the black cutworm moths have included fewer than... Read more »

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House panel advances Trade Promotion Authority bill

The House Ways and Means Committee has passed the Trade Promotion Authority bill.  The bill provides for trade agreements to be considered by Congress with an up or down vote, but without amendments.  It’s thought that extending TPA to President Obama may ease the way for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal now being... Read more »

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Cattle continue to trade

A light to moderate cattle trade was evident in parts of the North on Friday afternoon with dressed sales in a fairly wide range from 253.00 to 260.00. The top end of the spending would be 2.00 to 7.00 higher than Wednesday and generally steady with last week. The weekly kill was estimated 544,000 head,... Read more »

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Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 24, 2015

May corn closed at $3.64 and 1/2, down 6 and 1/4 cents May soybeans closed at $9.69 and 3/4, down 8 and 1/2 cents May soybean meal closed at $314.60, down $2.00 May soybean oil closed at 31.67, down 35 points May wheat closed at $4.86, down 11 and 3/4 cents Apr. live cattle closed at $161.17, up $1.87 Jun. lean hogs closed at $79.45, up $1.12 Jun. crude oil closed... Read more »

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Cattle on feed, placements up slightly

  The latest round of USDA cattle on feed numbers have modest increases in a couple of the major categories. Before the report, most analysts were expecting year to year declines, so the numbers do indicate at least some herd expansion. According to DTN, on average, analysts were expecting the total number of cattle on... Read more »

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FFA Skills Contest breaks record

The Michigan FFA Ag Skills contest today reports the highest level of member participation ever recorded. Dr. Randy Showerman, Michigan FFA Association State Advisor says they have over 717 teams competing in 23 FFA Ag Skills Contest, and more than 500 students than last year. “The major increase I believe is because to the direct... Read more »

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Regulations on drones don’t go far enough

Ag aviators, pilots applying crop protection products, have concerns when it comes to sharing air space with drones.  Andrew Moore, Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) says aerial applicators need to know what’s in the area they’re working and that proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for drones don’t address ag aviator’s... Read more »

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Activists deny reality, attack the messengers

Why are some “consumer protection” groups deaf, dumb and blind to the opinions of the folks they purport to protect?  In the case of those seeking labeling of foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients, this triple affliction seems particularly severe and chronic, complicated by paranoia, petulance and an apparent compulsion to speak out of both... Read more »

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How long should we keep food?

How long can you safely keep food?  There’s an APP for that. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed the application for use in giving us guidelines to help decide whether it’s time to throw something out or keep it.  The app is free and is called FOOD KEEPER. The app is available for Android... Read more »

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Midday cash livestock markets

The cattle trade is slow to get off the ground on Friday, following light trade on Wednesday and Thursday. The best early guesses are that about 6,000 head moved in Nebraska yesterday at 252.00 to 253.00 dressed, and live sales at 160.00 with a few late deals at 160.50. Only a light trade was reported... Read more »

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Using UAVs improve crop insurance claims

ADM Crop Risk Services will utilize unmanned aerial vehicles to improve its crop insurance claims processing.  The company received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration this week. Greg Mills, president of ADM CRS says the company is working to expedite the crop insurance claims process.  “The deployment of the UAV will allow our adjusters to... Read more »

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Luncheon celebrates Indiana agriculture

Indiana First Lady Karen Pence honored Indiana agriculture and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry during her second annual “Indiana First Lady’s Charitable Foundation” Luncheon. The foundation was launched to support and recognize communities and organizations that promote the well-being of Hoosier children and their families. First Lady Pence says each year the foundation has a different theme... Read more »

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A tale of two different planting seasons

Spring planting in Illinois is telling two different stories.  Mike Toohill, Illinois based agronomist for Diversified Services says the northern two-thirds of the state is in need of a rain.  “Soils are pretty dry here,” he says.  “Basically north of 70 in Illinois – we could take a half-inch to an inch of rain and... Read more »

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Michigan preparing for avian outbreak

The threat of avian influenza is creeping closer to Michigan, now with two case reported in Wisconsin and dozens throughout the Midwest. Dr. Nancy Frank, Assistant State Veterinarian of Michigan, says they’re getting ready for a possible outbreak.  “We’re doing a lot to get prepared right so that if we do have a case or... Read more »

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Iowa reports third case of avian flu

Iowa is reporting its third case of avian flu. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has confirmed the outbreak at a 34-thousand bird turkey farm in Sac County in west-central Iowa. The farm has been quarantined and the turkeys will be euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease. Officials say the farm... Read more »

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More rain for the southern Corn Belt

During the next 5 days, an active weather pattern will result in 2- to 4-inch rainfall totals (and locally severe thunderstorms) from the southern Plains into the Southeast. Late-week rain will spread as far north as the southern Corn Belt, but the nation’s northern tier will remain mostly dry. Many areas from the Pacific Coast... Read more »

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A cold start in the far eastern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, chilly conditions linger east of the Mississippi River, where widespread frost and freezes were noted early Friday. Daily-record lows for April 24 included 24° in Flint, Michigan, and 28° in Columbus, Ohio. In contrast, mild weather and a few showers are returning to the western Corn Belt. On the Plains, rain... Read more »

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Michigan Corn returns from the Netherlands

Michigan Corn traveled with the U.S. Grains Council to the Netherlands recently.  Angel Jenio, Communications Specialist for Michigan Corn, says they were able to meet with international staff to learn more about export efforts.    She says expanding ethanol exports is one area that will benefit corn growers. AUDIO: Interview with Angel Jenio (1:59 mp3):

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TB found in Michigan dairy

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed an Alpena dairy herd positive for bovine tuberculosis (TB) during routine testing. This is the 61st herd confirmed with TB since 1998 in Michigan. Beef and dairy cattle producers are invited to an information meeting in Alpena county May 17, 2015 to learn how this will... Read more »

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What will be the next ‘revolutionary’ idea in farming?

Few would argue that the development and adoption of insect and herbicide resistant crops revolutionized agriculture.  So what will be the next “revolutionary” development in crop farming? Prior to his recent presentation at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we put that question to Monsanto’s chief technology officer Robb Fraley, often referred to the father of agricultural... Read more »

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Another H5N2 turkey flock in Wisconsin

A second turkey flock in Barron County has avian influenza.  The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says the H5N2 virus has been confirmed in a 90,000-bird facility. This is the sixth case of the disease in the state, three turkey flocks in Barron and Chippewa Counties, two egg-laying chicken operations in Jefferson... Read more »

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Midwest Dairy Association elects leadership

  The board of directors for Midwest Dairy Association has elected officers.  Jerry Messer or Richardton, North Dakota will serve another term as corporate chairman.  Also re-elected were vice chairman Allen Merrill of Parker, South Dakota and first vice chairman Bill Siebenborn of Trenton, Missouri.  Ken Herbranson of Clitherall, Minnesota will serve as secretary and... Read more »

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Grain Standards Act may get more protections

The Grain Standards Act is coming up for renewal – after 10 years – and there’s a move in Congress to include protections against port slowdowns like the one in Washington State. Congressman Rick Crawford of Arkansas, chairman of the House General Farm Commodities subcommittee, says a bill is being worked on by the House... Read more »

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Biotech approval delays have costs

Soybean growers say that delays in biotech trait approvals are expensive for farmers and consumers.  Iowa farmer Laura Foell is in China with growers from other soybean exporting countries to impress on China the importance of timely, science-based approvals for biotech traits.  On a conference call from China, Foell, who chairs the U.S. Soybean Export... Read more »

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Senators want EPA to maintain a strong RFS

A bipartisan group of 37 senators is calling on the EPA to maintain a strong Renewable Fuels Standard. In a letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, the senators urged the agency to reverse course from its 2014 proposed rule which would lower the biofuels volume requirements in the RFS.  The senators said such a reduction... Read more »

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Class III futures keep pushing higher

No changes in the cash prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Thursday but solid gains in the Class III futures.  The May contract increased 27 cents, June added 52 cents, July increased 40 cents. Eric Meyer with HighGround Dairy says they are “befuddled” by what is happening in the dairy markets.  Cash cheese has... Read more »

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Monsanto’s Fraley spreads ‘innovation’ message

After years of playing defense on the topics of biotechnology and GMOs, Monsanto has gone on the offense in recent months. Leading the charge is Monsanto chief technology officer Robb Fraley, often referred to as the father of agricultural biotechnology.  Fraley was in Lincoln, Nebraska recently for a presentation at the University of Nebraska. “Typically,... Read more »

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Commercials support soybeans, wheat

  Soybeans were higher on fund and commercial buying. Weekly export numbers remain on target to meet USDA projections. There are some near term harvest delays in South America, but longer term forecasts look conducive for activity. Soybean meal and oil were modestly higher on commercial demand and spillover from beans. Statistics Canada estimates soybean... Read more »

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MSU discovers plant switch

Improving plant efficiency to feed and fuel a growing population continues to challenge the plant research community. Dave Kramer, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor in Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics, says the rate of traditional plant breeding is slowing down and research needs to look at more than plant architecture to increase efficiencies.  “The next step we... Read more »

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A few cattle trade on Thursday

USDA Mandatory reported cattle trade in Western Nebraska and Colorado. The trade was light on light to moderate demand with live sales at 160.00. In Kansas a few sales were reported steady with Wednesday at 158.00. Trade was mostly inactive in all other regions. The kill was estimated at 105,000 head 3,000 more than last... Read more »

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U.S. poultry production up 9% in March

  U.S. poultry production during March totaled 3.940 billion pounds, up 9% on the year, according to the Department of Agriculture. Most of the total was chicken at 3.425 billion pounds, up 9%, with turkey at 501.929 million pounds, 10% higher. For the year to date, U.S. poultry production is 11.301 billion pounds, 5% more... Read more »

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Rural water, wastewater and Earth Day

The USDA has helped improve water and waste treatment systems in rural America which the agency says is worth celebrating on Earth Day. Jacki Ponti-Lazaruk, assistant administrator of Water and Environmental Programs at USDA’s Rural Development, says the projects have helped 16 million rural residents since 2009.  

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March pork production jumps 14%

  The USDA reports U.S. red meat production during March 2015 was 4.064 billion pounds, an increase of 7% from March 2014. For the first quarter of 2015, U.S. red meat production is 11.883 billion pounds, 1% above last year, with beef 3% behind its 2014 pace and pork 7% ahead. Beef production was down... Read more »

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Understanding Cuba

A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee says there are real opportunities with Cuba. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tells Brownfield the biggest obstacle to overcome is breaking down the rules currently in place. “I think it’s also just learning about Cuba,” said Brown. “It’s their learning about how to do in a Capitalist system... Read more »

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Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: April 23, 2015

May corn closed at $3.70 and 3/4, down 1 and 3/4 cents May soybeans closed at $9.78 and 1/4, up 7 and 3/4 cents May soybean meal closed at $316.60, up $1.10 May soybean oil closed at 32.02, up 46 points May wheat closed at $4.97 and 3/4, down 1 cent Apr. live cattle closed at $159.30, up $3.00 Jun. lean hogs closed at $78.32, up $2.37 Jun. crude... Read more »

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Cold soil temperatures slowing emergence

The recent cool weather has dropped soil temperatures drastically in many parts of the Corn Belt since last week.  Mike Toohill, Illinois based agronomist for Diversified Services, says while the drop in temperatures will likely stunt the corn crop that’s planted so far, as long as the soil doesn’t freeze to seed depth, the seed... Read more »

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Alltech to buy Ridley

Alltech is buying 100 percent of Ridley Incorporated.  The boards of directors of both companies have approved the deal for $40.75 per Ridley share for a total of $521 million.  Ridley is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Based in Mankato, Minnesota, Ridley has 700 employees in three divisions: Hubbard Feeds, Ridley Ingredients and Ridley... Read more »

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McCain Foods to close Wisconsin plant

McCain Foods is closing its processing plant in Fort Atkinson.  The plant employs 130 people, closure should be completed by the end of December.  Production will be moved to McCain’s Rice Lake facility.  The company also has plants in Plover and Appleton, Wisconsin. Headquartered in Canada, McCain employs over 20,000 people in 57 plants on six... Read more »

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Troubled times for California agriculture

California agriculture continues to struggle under the continuing drought.  Steve Maddox has Maddox Farms at Riverdale, California, about halfway between Los Angeles and Sacramento.  Besides the dairy farm, he has 2,300 acres of wine grapes and 1,500 acres of almonds. From the dairy perspective, Maddox says yes, California milk production is running a little behind... Read more »

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Midday cash livestock prices

For the first time in over a month cattle traded on Wednesday. The country is slow to start today following that light trade in most areas yesterday. Live sales in the South trended generally $3.00 lower than last week from 157.00 to 158.00. Northern business in Nebraska and Iowa was $3.00 to 4.00 lower on... Read more »

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