Area Farm & Ag Headlines

2012 Farm Bill Update (as of Jan 2, 2013)

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Working into the wee hours of the new year, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a fiscal cliff bill that will extend farm policy through September. With this extension, legislation has essentially kicked the farm bill can down the road in an attempt to avoid the so-called Milk or "dairy" cliff.

The giant New Year’s tax package rushed through Congress Tuesday includes a nine-month farm bill extension that forestalls any immediate spike in milk prices but also represents a bitter blow for farmers who had hoped for long-sought changes in the dairy support program.

Continuation...


University of Minnesota Crops Trial Bulletin Available

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The University of MN Field Crop Trials Bulletin is now available in print and electronic forms. The new publication, dated January 2013, provides results from U of MN trials conducted in 2012 across the state. The varieties tested are from both public and private breeding programs and include U of MN developed forage, grain, and oilseed crop varieties.

Plant varieties tested include alfalfa, barley, birdsfoot trefoil, canola, corn for grain, corn for silage, oat, soybeans, spring wheat, and winter wheat. Trials were conducted across the state at Research and Outreach Centers...


USDA December WASDE Report

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The big news for markets today circulates around the USDA December report that came out at 7:30 a.m. this morning.

For U.S. Carryover Numbers:
• Corn:
Unchanged, sitting at 647 million bu (Nov projection at 647 million)
Beans: 130 million bu, down from Nov projection of 140 million
• Wheat: 745 million bu, up from Nov projection of 704 million bu
• Cotton: 5.4 million bales, down from Nov projection of 5.8 million 

One of the surprises with the December report was that USDA opted...


Farmer Style

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You may remember the Peterson Brothers (Greg, 21; Nathan, 18; and Kendall, 15 from Saline County, Kan.) when they became a viral hit with their version of "I'm Sexy and I Know It" revised to "I'm Farming and I Grow It" back in July 2012.

Even sixth-generation farmer and radio stud Trent Loos acknowledged this excellent video and work done by the Peterson Brothers, calling it "passionate. It is genuine and it is sexy. Yes, today everybody is talking about making modern farming sexy and these three...

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Novozymes Acquires Natural Industries, Inc.

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In a press release on November 28th, Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation, revealed it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Natural Industries Inc. based in Houston, USA. Natural Industries Inc. is a bioagricultural player with annual revenues of $5 million.

This acquisition expands Novozymes’ position in key high-value markets for sustainable bioagriculture solutions.

“I am excited to have the people and technologies of Natural Industries Inc. join our growing BioAg business. Natural Industries Inc. expands Novozymes’ position in the important biocontrol...


Record-High Farm Income Despite Drought

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(News release provided by Jeff Wilson and Elizabeth Campbell) -- Even after the worst drought in a half century shriveled crops from Ohio to Nebraska, U.S. farmers are having their most-profitable year ever because of record- high prices and insurance claims.

Farmer income probably will jump 6.9 percent to $144 billion, exceeding the government’s August estimate of $139.3 billion, said Neil Harl, an economist at Iowa State University. Parched fields that drove corn, soybean and wheat futures as much as 68 percent higher since mid-June mean insurance payouts may more than double to...


Sioux Falls Biodiesel Facility Grand Opening

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America’s only advanced biofuel is now available year-round in southwestern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota and northwest Iowa. The South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Harms Oil Company, National Biodiesel Foundation and Clean Cities have partnered to expand the availability of biodiesel in the region. Previously, biodiesel was only offered for seasonal blending.

Biodiesel, in its pure form, is regularly blended at temperatures above freezing, so it was not offered for blending during winter months. Through this...


MN Farmer Matt Lantz Discusses Efficiency

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Minnesota farmer Matt Lantz of Lake Crystal! He talks about how being more efficient gives him more time.

What's Your Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra Story? Matt Lantz, Lake Crystal, MN, explains how this new integrated refuge technology from DuPont Pioneer simplifies corn planting. Being more efficient gives him more time, and free time is valuable!

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Ag-Related Ballot Initiatives

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With the 2012 election wrapping up, it was imperative to also look at amendments and ballot initiatives that could have influenced ag policy and practices.

Proposition 37
Voters in California and North Dakota rejected two ballot initiatives that were opposed by agriculture groups. Californians rejected Proposition 37, that would have mandated genetically modified foods (GM) to be labeled as such.

The opponents of Proposition 37 did not so much directly attack the notion of consumers’ right to know. Instead, they said Proposition 37 was worded in a way that might lead to...


Biodiesel Boosts Performance

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In a sport where horsepower is everything, it is no surprise that higher biodiesel blends that boost engine performance have grabbed the attention of tractor pulling enthusiasts. Biodiesel has a higher cetane rating than petroleum diesel, plus it adds lubricity, two key factors in power, performance and engine life.

During competition this summer at the Rice County Fair, all of the Super Farm Class tractor pullers of the United Pullers of Minnesota (UPM) ran B100 to test its performance.
B100 is a legal, petroleum diesel substitute that safely runs in diesel engines with...