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Agriculture News

Ethanol and biodiesel boost bottom line for farmers

Nebraska TV | Posted on May 25, 2017

Ethanol shines in Nebraska -- creating jobs in communities like Cambridge, Ord, and Ravenna, while also boosting the bottom line for farmers. Nebraska produces more than two billion gallons a year, with two dozen plants, most in small communities. Ethanol, even higher blends up to 85 percent widely available in Nebraska. But it's another biofuel made from soybeans – biodiesel – that’s seen a big jump in recent years.Soy biodiesel demand has skyrocketed a thousand percent in the last decade, and that also means more soybean meal as a byproduct, as producers crush more soybeans for their oil.

Large Dairy Farm Developers Turn to Wisconsin Supreme Court

US News and World Report | Posted on May 25, 2017

The owners of a proposed large-scale dairy farm in Wood County have asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that blocked the project.Golden Sands Dairy maintains it has rights to use most of its 6,400 acres for growing crops and manure spreading because the land was zoned unrestricted when the dairy filed for building permits in 2012 and the applications referenced the land.The Town of Saratoga argues the dairy can't use the land that way because it was re-zoned for preservation four months after the applications were filed.A state appeals court blocked the project last month.The developers, the Wysocki Family of Companies, asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court this week to review the decision, saying the appeals court failed to properly apply the relevant laws.

Deere profit beats on better demand for farm equipment, shares jump

CNBC | Posted on May 24, 2017

Deere reported on Friday a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit, as sales rose for the first time in 13 quarters on improving demand for its farm and construction equipment.Shares of Deere, which has cut jobs and lowered production due to declining demand for its trademark green tractors and harvesting combines, were up 7.3 percent at $120.30 in premarket trading.The U.S. farm equipment maker also raised it fiscal 2017 equipment sales growth forecast to 9 percent, from the previous 4 percent forecast in February.Deere now expects fiscal 2017 net income attributable to the company to be about $2 billion, up from $1.5 billion previously.

Sanderson: Veterinarians would leave if antibiotics cut

Watt Ag Net | Posted on May 24, 2017

Sanderson Farms CEO Joe F. Sanderson Jr. reiterated that the company has no intention of moving into the antibiotic-free chicken market. “For a lot of reasons, we didn’t think it was right for us to do antibiotic-free. Our veterinarians, half of them would leave us if we did. They’ve taken an oath,” Sanderson said.Sanderson also noted that veterinarians in general do not advocate denying sick animals antibiotics.“I’ve taken care of cattle, I’ve taken care of hogs, I have two dogs, and no veterinarian has ever told me to give my dogs -- what is it?-- herbs,” he said.Sanderson said he is aware many consumers in geographical markets such as New York and Boston place a higher value on chicken raised without antibiotics, but in Sanderson Farms’ primary markets in the Southeastern United States, “antibiotic-free is not a big deal, and organic is not a big deal.”“Every grocery store has a section of either antibiotic-free or organic, but it’s a small section. Mainly what they are carrying is regular chicken,” he said.

Tyson pushing sustainability targets through supply chain

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on May 24, 2017

Tyson Foods announced it is collaborating with the World Resources Institute to develop science-based greenhouse gas and water conservation targets for its operations and through the company’s supply chain.

Legal Issues Surrounding Prescribed Burning

Texas Agriculture | Posted on May 24, 2017

Prescribed burning (also called controlled burning) is a popular grassland management tool across the country. These burns, when conducted carefully, can serve to maintain and restore native grasslands, control weeds, improve forage quality and even prevent wildfires. When not conducted in a careful manner, however, disaster can strike, and damages can be severe and far-reaching.An important consideration for landowners considering the use of prescribed burning is their potential liability if the burn causes injury or property damage and to comply with any requirements included in prescribed burning statutes in their state.The legal approach to liability for prescribed burning varies by state. There are essentially three approaches: strict liability, ordinary negligence and gross negligence. This approach is the most concerning for the landowner conducting a burn. Under a strict liability approach, a burner is held liable for any injury or damage caused by an escaped fire, period.This standard does not take into account the reasonableness of the burner’s actions or any precautions taken to avoid injury. The mere fact that injury or damage is caused by a burn is sufficient for liability to attach.

As Syngenta deal closes, ChemChina and Sinochem press $120 billion deal

Reuters | Posted on May 24, 2017

Chinese state-owned Sinochem and ChemChina are in merger talks to create the world's biggest industrial chemicals firm, to be headed by Sinochem chief Ning Gaoning, four people with knowledge of the negotiations said. A deal could be announced by the end of the year, the people said, potentially just months after ChemChina completes its own $43 billion purchase of Switzerland's Syngenta (SYNN.S), China's biggest overseas deal to date.A consolidation of Sinochem and ChemChina would be worth around $120 billion, one of the people said, topping companies like industrial chemicals giant BASF.Talks to create a Chinese chemicals powerhouse were first reported last year, but were dismissed by both companies as rumor. Combining Sinochem and an enlarged ChemChina would put the group among the world leaders across the competitive chemicals, fertilizer and oil industries - a giant overseas and a major challenger domestically to Sinopec (0386.HK) and PetroChina (0857.HK).Sinochem is larger than ChemChina, but needs a long-term partner to expand globally market from its roots as an oil and chemical trader.Sinochem's growth in its energy business has stagnated, with more competition at home in trading from companies including Unipec and Chinaoil, while its overseas oil and gas assets have struggled amid prolonged weaker oil prices.

Canada not at fault for what ails US milk market

Oberver Today | Posted on May 24, 2017

In recent weeks, on the U.S. side of the border with Canada, much noise has been made about a festering dispute with our Canadian neighbors over ultra-filtered milk in U.S.-Canadian dairy trade. Ultra-filtered milk is condensed skim milk; a high protein, fat adjusted, reduced cost ingredient, used to fortify cheese and yogurt products. It did not exist at the time the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA) was signed. Ultra-filtered milk is an American contrivance deliberately designed to make a “trade loophole” to facilitate an end-run around Canadian negotiated NAFTA import tariff restrictions. An ever increasing amount of Canadian milk was being displaced in Canadian cheese and yogurt processing plants. From 2011 to 2016, U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk to Canada increased from $33 million, (US) to $98 million; a threefold increase. As matters were progressing, either Canada could rollover and watch its dairy farms be forced out of existence or they could stand-up to what was seen as a gross injustice and protect a vital national interest. In 2016 the Canadian farmers devised a solution: changing their pricing structure to allow Canadian produced ultra-filtered milk and other milk protein products to be sold at world market price to Canadian dairy processors. The Canadian government did not impose any tariff restriction on U.S. sourced ultra-filtered milk, as has been erroneously claimed in some U.S. media reports; it merely allowed Canadian milk protein products to compete with U.S. products, head to head, on a level playing field. Once again, Canadians were buying Canadian.Canada’s contention that U.S. over-production of milk is the real cause of U.S. dairy farmers’ difficulties has a solid basis in fact. For the last three spring seasons vast amounts of U.S. milk have had to be dumped because milk supplies out stripped U.S. processing capacity. More than 400 tractor trailer loads of milk per month were dumped on several occasions in Federal Milk Marketing Order No. 1 alone.

Walmart intends to push sustainability goals to the farm levels

Walmart | Posted on May 23, 2017

Agricultural practices have economic and environmental impacts for farmers, ranchers and buyers of their products. The adoption of best-in-class agricultural practices, including precision agriculture and feed optimization, can help reduce farmer input costs, improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. With almost 92 million cattle, 71 million swine and millions of acres of farmland in the U.S. alone, there is an important opportunity to scale solutions in agriculture.By pursuing best practices in areas such as manure management, enteric emissions and feed inputs in animal agriculture, we estimate there is a potential to reduce 300 million metric tons (MMT) of GHG emissions by 2030; while at the same time reducing waste and improving yield. In addition, we believe that through supporting fertilizer optimization and sharing best management practices with farmers in our agriculture supply chain, we estimate that there is a potential to reduce 25 MMT of GHG emissions by 2025.We are working with many of our suppliers to support efforts to optimize fertilizer use on a targeted 76 million acres of land by 2025. In addition, we are working with stakeholders across the beef, dairy, pork and poultry industries to adopt best practices that reduce enteric and manure emissions, optimize feed production and improve soil health. We hope you will join us in committing to reduce GHG emissions from agriculture. Your company should set a goal to reduce emissions at the farm level.

US officials note surprise record in New Zealand milk production

Forex Live | Posted on May 23, 2017

he USDA said it believes that New Zealand milk output will rise to a surprise record.  No impact from the headlines on the kiwi, at least not yet.