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The 16 questions facing production agriculture in 2017

More importantly, the questions facing production agriculture in 2017 seem to be more critical than years earlier. With that said, here is our list of the 16 key questions facing production agriculture in 2017. 1. Are farm financial conditions stabilizing… or just getting serious? 2. Will the jump in producer sentiment meet reality? 3. Another year of above-trend yields? 4. Will La Nina make a splash? 5. Demand and grain exports have been strong. Will it continue? 6. Planting intentions? 7. Is wheat the canary in the coal mine? Or don’t worry about it? 8.

Consumers, birds could suffer when activists direct poultry production

The recent election was very controversial.  No, I am not talking about the Presidential election, but the measure that was passed in Massachusetts to prevent confinement rearing of several species including table-egg hens.   This measure is estimated to increase the food bill of each resident of that state by $45 per year.  I wish that we could somehow communicate more effectively how many advancements have been made in animal welfare in the last 15 years.  It has been a meteoric change in housing, audits to verify animal care, record keeping and handling.  We all appreciated how many chan

Sanderson Farms opens North Carolina poultry complex

New deboning facility to employ 1,100 people and provide opportunity for 100 contract growers.Sanderson Farms has opened a new $155 million poultry processing plantand wastewater treatment facility in St. Pauls, North Carolina.This new 180,000-square-foot plant will accompany the existing 65,000-square-foot hatchery located in Lumberton, North Carolina, as well as a feed mill in Kinston, North Carolina., making it the company’s eleventh fully integrated poultry processing facility nationwide.

Puerto Ricans Could Ease South Dakota Dairy Labor Shortage

Unable to find enough workers to carry out the painstaking tasks of milk production, dairy producers in South Dakota hope to tap into a different labor force: unemployed residents of Puerto Rico.  It could be a tonic both for dairy operators and Puerto Rico, where the jobless rate stands at 12 percent but workers are far freer to travel to the U.S. for jobs than immigrants due to the island's status as a U.S. territory. South Dakota dairy farms produced 209 million pounds of milk in 2016, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Environmental Groups Concerned About Oregon Mega-dairy

A coalition of health and environmental groups is asking Oregon officials to investigate construction of a mega-dairy in Morrow County. It's unclear whether state agencies will sign off on the controversial 30,000-cow dairy farm. It hasn't been determined whether Lost Valley Ranch broke the law by breaking ground long before it secured the necessary permits.

Rising Sea Levels, Coastal Development’s Effect on Gulf Coast Wetlands

As coastal development along the Gulf Coast continues to expand, tidal saline wetlands could have difficulty adjusting to rising sea levels. Tidal saline wetlands along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast, such as mangrove forests, salt marshes, and salt flats, face survival challenges as sea levels rise rapidly and development along coastlines continues to grow. But, a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study shows there is hope for some of these at-risk Gulf coast wetlands.

Refund:Milk purchased in these 15 states may get you $70 refund

Thanks to a class action settlement, Oregon residents who has purchased milk or milk products since 2003 may be entitled to a payment.  The $52 million settlement over price-fixing of milk and milk products includes Oregon, 14 other states, and the District of Columbia. While the payment amounts will vary depending on the number of products and the number of submitted claims, a website for the settlements says consumers may receive up to $70. No proof of purchase is needed to be eligible. In order to be eligible, you must have purchased milk or milk products from a grocery store.

Upper Midwest Land Values

Last month, in its third-quarter 2016 Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis indicated that, “Following a trend from recent quarterly surveys, land prices and cash rents retreated from historic highs. The average value for nonirrigated cropland in the district fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier, according to survey respondents.

Ban on powdered gloves takes effect January 18

Powdered gloves will no longer be permitted for use in veterinary medicine beginning January 18, under a rule issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  For veterinarians who already use non-powdered gloves, the rule will have no impact. In fact, the FDA indicated that Global Industry Analysts projected the share of powdered disposable medical gloves sales to decrease to only 2 percent in 2015, so many medical providers likely won’t feel an effect from the rule.

New Financing Helps Iowa Farmers Pass the Torch

More than one-third of farmland in Iowa is owned by people 75 and older, and increasing land prices can make it difficult to pass the torch to the next generation of farmers. A social impact company is working in Iowa to help make these transfers possible.  Through financing from Iroquois Valley Farms, fourth-generation farmer Jim Peterson of Knoxville purchased 320 acres from elderly owners whose family had owned the land since 1903. Peterson says it will be used for organic grains, cattle and sheep production, perhaps for many years to come.


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