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Agriculture

Webinar April 9th on Dairy Margin Protection Program Changes

Significant changes to the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers were made in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The Farm Service Agency has recently announced new implementation rules to accommodate the changes. Mark Stephenson and Andrew Novakovic, dairy economists with the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University, respectively, will conduct a webinar Monday, April 9th, at 1 p.m. Eastern, to walk you through these changes and to assess impacts on producers who participate. 

Wall Street hit by trade war fears

China said it would place 25% trade tariffs on 106 US goods, including soybeans, aircraft and orange juice.The tit-for-tat action comes hours after Washington detailed about 1,300 Chinese products it intended to hit with tariffs - also set at 25%.Wall Street opened sharply lower, but regained ground by mid-day.After starting down more than 400 points or 1.75%, the Dow was only down by about 0.6% by late morning.

Tree Defender proves to be a highly effective, profitable weapon against citrus greening

The Tree Defender was originally created by growers for growers to provide an immediate solution to citrus greening by preventing psyllids from infecting trees. Having been in the field now for over three years, Tree Defender can still confidently say that no psyllid has yet to be found on any tree being covered by their protective, breathable screen.The goal is to use Tree Defender to protect young trees from psyllids and greening during their first two years as they are in a vegetative and growing state.

Pork Tariffs Sour Industry Outlook

The 2018 outlook early this year was for modest profitability. Now, it has shifted to losses. The reasons are clear. Higher costs and lost exports as China has implemented a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork that goes into effect today, April 2, 2018. Several forces are driving costs higher, but feed is the primary culprit. Since the start of the year, corn futures are about 27 cents per bushel higher and soybean meal futures are about $55 per ton higher. This means that feed cost are nearly $3 per live hundredweight higher.

Delaware County officials end fight against 10,000-hog farm

Officials in a central Indiana county are dropping their fight against a proposed 10,000-hog farm after threats of legal action since a state agency has approved the project. The Delaware County commissioner had put a hold on building permits for the farm in the northern part of the county. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management recently approved plans for the confined animal feeding operation. That's despite concerns from residents over possible well water pollution and the farm field application of manure produced in the site's four barns.

Prospective soybean planted acres a ‘stunner’

The prospective plantings report released March 29 sent ripples across the commodity trading floors and turned screens green. The U.S. Department of Agriculture report, based on farmer surveys, projected U.S. soybean planted acres of 89 million and 88 million corn acres. The USDA initially projected 90 million planted acres of both corn and soybeans in its Feb. 23 agricultural outlook forum.

Human-centered design is key to forming partnerships for large-scale conservation succes

To recruit more fishers to help with marine conservation, cast a wider net. New findings question previous assumptions in the field that the payments themselves are the most effective motivator of participation. "Similar to the way consumers make purchasing decisions, voluntary conservation programs are value propositions," said Josh Donlan, founder and director of Advanced Conservation Strategies and co-author on the study.

Judge: Jury won’t take smell tour of North Carolina hog farm

A federal judge says he won’t send jurors for a see-and-sniff tour of a North Carolina hog-growing operation at the center of a lawsuit claiming industrial-scale pork production causes ugly conditions. Judge W. Earl Britt ruled Monday that jurors would not get a true feel for conditions with one quick visit to a Bladen County farm growing animals for Virginia’s Smithfield Foods. Britt’s decision came as jurors were being selected for a trial that could shake the profits and change production methods of pork producers after a generation of raising hogs in confined conditions.

Agriculture Is Being Left In The Digital Dust

Agriculture is the least digitized of all major industries, according to the McKinsey Global Institute’s Digitization Index. That’s right. Agriculture is dead last for living up to its digital potential. It’s never good when you realize you’re even being outflanked by slow-moving sectors such as government and education. In the digital horse race, our industry is being left in the dust. When you’re being beat by a bureaucracy, you know you’ve got serious problems.

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