AG Rural News

More than 200 agriculture groups have signed a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to make rural infrastructure projects a priority.  Mark Hayes with Farm Credit Council tells Brownfield an extraordinary investment is needed.  “The infrastructure needs of rural America are different.  It’s not singularly focused on highways or bridges or harbors or port facilities like that, it’s broad and vast.”   Trump campaigned on rebuilding America’s infrastructure.  Hayes says it’s too early to know what proposals will be offered or how they will be paid for.   Continue reading 200+ ag groups push rural infrastructure improvements at Brownfield Ag News.
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An average six-percent decline in farmland values in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to the 2015 fourth quarter, is reported in the Federal Reserve Kansas City District.  But Federal Reserve economist Cortney Cowley tells Brownfield the demand for high quality farmland, when it becomes available, remains strong, “There’s even some places where they’re seeing really high quality land still go for higher prices than they even did last year,” Cowley says. “Mid-range land is down moderately and then some low quality land is down fairly significantly. Continue reading Farmland values down but demand for high quality remains at Brownfield Ag News.
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The keynote speaker at this year’s Iowa Pork Congress was Dr. Lowell Catlett, professor emeritus at New Mexico State University.  Despite agriculture’s current economic woes, Catlett remains positive about the future of the industry. He discussed his reasons why in an interview with Brownfield. AUDIO: Lowell Catlett Continue reading Futurist Catlett remains positive about agriculture at Brownfield Ag News.
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John Dolnicek of Lawrence, Nebraska says he’s never been much of a gambler. “I like to stay diversified and stay consistent,” Dolnicek says.  “That way we’re not stretching the limit on some things I don’t feel comfortable with doing. That’s kind of my program.” Dolnicek raises dryland (non-irrigated) soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum on his farm in south-central Nebraska. He’s also a director on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board.  We visited with him at a recent grain sorghum symposium in Grand Island. Continue reading Diversification, consistency are important to this Nebraska farmer at Brownfield Ag News.
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Ag News

Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee say the nation’s farm and food programs need tweaking, but shouldn’t require major changes. At a news conference prior to a farm bill field hearing in Manhattan, Kansas, committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow said there are a couple of commodities that will need special attention. “Dairy, where things didn’t work as well as we hoped with what we wrote, and the cotton folks also have some concerns,” says Stabenow. Continue reading Farm bill needs tweaks, but no major changes at Brownfield Ag News.
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The USDA says there are record high amounts of beef and cheese in cold storage. At the end of January, beef supplies were reported at 537.542 million pounds, up 1% on the year, with high slaughter rates cancelling out generally good demand. Pork stocks backed off from the record high set last year, down 16% at 526.669 million pounds. That includes a 77% drop in pork bellies, to a new record monthly low of 14.014 million. Continue reading Beef, cheese in cold storage at record highs at Brownfield Ag News.
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President Donald Trump sent a letter to attendees of the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego assuring them of his support for the ethanol industry. Trump told them to “rest assured” that he and his administration value the importance of renewable fuels to the nation’s economy and its energy independence. The letter, read by Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen in his opening remarks, pointed to Trump’s emphasis on renewable fuels as essential to America’s energy strategy. Continue reading Trump letter to “reassure” ethanol industry at Brownfield Ag News.
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An economist with CoBank says organic grain imports are limiting the ability of U.S. farmers to supply the domestic market. Director of Industry Research Dan Kowalski tells Brownfield premiums for organic grain are becoming increasingly volatile as organic imports have surged in the last year.  “When you’re looking at a three year conversion, knowing that that’s not stable, and you’re thinking about five, 10, 15 years down the road, you’re making a major decision on your farm that may not payout over the long-term.”  He says organic corn imports doubled in 2016 to almost half of the total U.S. Continue reading Imported...
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