Area Farm & Ag Headlines

July WASDE

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The USDA has released its July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.

Projected 2013/14 U.S. feed grain supplies are lowered this month with
reduced beginning stocks for corn and sorghum and lower forecast harvested areas for corn and
sorghum. Corn beginning stocks for 2013/14 are projected 40 million
bushels lower.

Projected U.S. wheat supplies for 2013/14 are raised slightly this month with lower
beginning stocks more than offset by higher production.

Stay tuned for a breakdown of the report on Friday morning at 8:10 a.m. with Ted...


Water Quality Pilot Program Launched

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On Monday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton officially launched a new agricultural water quality pilot program designed to enhance water quality in the state. The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification program is the first of its kind in the nation and is the product of a state-federal Memorandum of Understanding signed by Governor Dayton, Secretary Vilsack and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson in January 2012.

Under the certification program, farmers who implement and maintain approved conservation plans will be certified and...


Franken Requests Feed Aid to Minnesota Farmers

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Yesterday, U.S. Senator Al Franken sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting assistance in alleviating the feed and forage shortage facing livestock producers in southern Minnesota. In his letter, Franken expresses an urgen request for waiving USDA rules against harvesting emergency forage crops before the November 1st date.

Find the full letter below, as dictated by the Al Franken official website.


The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear...


Minnesota Century Farms Honored

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The Minnesota State Fair and Minnesota Farm Bureau congratulate the Minnesota farms that have been recognized as 2013 Century Farms. Qualifying farms are those that have been in a continuous family ownership for a minimum of 100 years and are 50+ acres.

Congratulations to the area 2013 Century Farms!

Blue Earth County
Good Thunder: Charles H. & Marilyn E. Barnard, 1912
Mankato: Ronald & Elaine Marzinske, 1913
Vernon Center: Will & Paula Purvis, 1913

Brown County
Morgan: Marjorie & Elmer Zempel...


Auto Steer - Good or Bad?

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With the cold, wet spring causing delays across the board here in the Midwest, we are almost to June and hearing farmers are just wrapping up planting or are still waiting for conditions to dry to complete their corn and/or beans planting.

With today's technology and size of planters, farmers are reminded just how much work they can get done in a few hours. How much of that time is spent in the tractor being absolutely bored as auto steering takes away much of the work? Watch as this farmer showcases a mockup of just what might be happening out there in the fields...hope it's some...

See video

PEDV Confirmed in Iowa

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The USDA has confirmed that porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been identified in the United States for the first time through testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. It has been rumored to have appeared in Iowa and Minnesota but sources can only confirm it in the Iowa hog population.

PEDV is not a new virus, nor is it a regulatory/reportable disease. Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease. PEDV may appear clinically to be the same as transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus...


Princess Kay Finalists Selected

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This year's finalists for the title of Princess Kay of the Milky Way have been named. The 12 young women from dairy farm backgrounds were selected at the conclusion of a three-day event for county dairy princesses held in St. Joseph. The finalists include:

  • Katelyn Blackwelder, 20, Chokio, representing Big Stone County, daughter of Mark and Amy Blackwelder
  • Katie Buckentine, 19, Chaska, representing Carver County, daughter of John and Jean Buckentine
  • ...

House Ag Committee Passes Farm Bill

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After a late-night session Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee voted to approve a $940 billion farm bill, a day after the Senate passed its version. The vote was 36 to 10, with mostly Democrats voting against the bill after nine hours of debate.

The House farm bill passed the committee with strong bipartisan support but exposed a division among committee members over the size of cuts to the food stamp program, which has long been a target of conservatives. Committee members also rejected an amendment that would strip the supply management provision of the bill's dairy title,...


Supreme Court Rules 9-0 in Bowman v Monsanto

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In a unanimous ruling delivered today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its support for protecting U.S. innovations that are a critical part of supporting the world's growing needs. The case, Bowman v. Monsanto, centered on the protection of intellectual property and its outcome was crucial for innovations that deliver benefits to millions of Americans.

The Supreme Court's decision affirms the basic purpose of the U.S. patent system – providing an incentive to innovate by providing inventors a meaningful opportunity to recover costs on their R&D investments. The decision also...


Senators Push for Breakdown of Ag Biotech Barriers

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Senator Chuck Grassley is pressing the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative to engage U.S. trading partners in high-level discussions on breaking down barriers to biotechnology. Grassley is the former Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over international trade policy.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that as much as 90 percent of commodity crop acres utilize seeds improved through modern biotechnology. Trade disruptions caused by barriers to biotechnology derived crops hurt both American farmers...