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Agriculture

Chinese cutbacks cause nitrogen price surge

A sharp cutback in Chinese fertilizer exports is responsible for the steep increase in prices for urea and other forms of nitrogen over the past year. Nitrogen is a major expense for farmers, with the price of such products as anhydrous ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate, or UAN, generally tracking the price of urea, a globally traded commodity.A ton of urea is now trading in the range of $310-$325 along the Gulf Mexico wholesale market, up from a low point of roughly $160 in mid-2017.

Dairies Continue To Close At A Rapid Pace Throughout United States

According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 497 dairy farms have called it quits year-to-date. That number is 630 year-over-year. While Wisconsin is a big dairy state, operations are closing throughout the United States.

Chinese and Brazilian companies qualify for anti-China tariff bailout from USDA

A Chinese-owned pork producer is eligible for federal payments under President Trump’s $12 billion farm bailout, a program that was established to help U.S. farmers hurt by Trump’s trade war with China. Smithfield Foods, a Virginia-based pork producer acquired in 2013 by a Chinese conglomerate now named WH Group, can apply for federal money under the bailout program created this summer, said Agriculture Department spokesman Carl E. Purvis. JBS, a subsidiary of a Brazilian company by the same name, is also eligible to apply for the federal money.

Investing in longevity: Ohio dairy builds second facility for mature cows

VanderMade says they wanted the cows to be in a low-stress environment and never have to look for a place to eat, drink or lie down. The idea was to create an environment specifically for the comfort, health and longevity of the older cows.“We want our cows to live a long, happy life,” VanderMade says. He adds they now feel their older cows are producing to their full genetic potential. Some may have considered designing a barn just for older cows to be a gamble, but VanderMade says the facility has paid huge dividends.

Monsanto punitive damages slashed by judge; Verdict upheld

A judge on Monday upheld a jury's verdict that found Monsanto's weed killer caused a groundskeeper's cancer, but she slashed the amount of money to be paid from $289 million to $78 million. In denying Monsanto's request for a new trial, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos cut the jury's punitive damage award from $250 million to $39 million. The judge had earlier said she had strong doubts about the jury's entire punitive damage award.In a tentative ruling on Oct. 11, Bolanos said it appeared the jurors overreached with their punitive damages award.

Farmers helped propel Trump to the White House. Their loyalty is being tested by his trade war.

In good years, cargo trains moving west along the flat, sweeping grasslands of North Dakota’s plains are a sign of money rolling in. Today, as tariffs from America’s largest foreign soybean market -- China -- threaten to upend the industry, many trains sit idle.“There are no shuttle trains leaving. There is no nothing,” said Joe Ericson, the 38-year-old president of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.

The 2018 milk prices could be the new normal

Milk prices have remained in a fairly narrow range thus far in 2018, with the monthly low of $15.30 per hundredweight (cwt.) registered in February and the high of $16.30 per cwt. posted in June. Early in 2018 there was optimism that U.S. milk prices would move higher in the second half of the year, as it was expected that stronger demand, especially export demand, and lower milk supplies would give a boost to prices. The time has come to recognize that it is going to take a notable shift in one of three areas to move US milk prices higher: 1. A slowdown in U.S. milk production 2.

Farmers in Hawaii lost $28M because of volcano

A survey of Big Island farmers has found that they suffered nearly $28 million in damages because of the months-long eruption earlier this year of the Kilauea volcano, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported.

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