AG Rural News

The Federal Reserve  says additional interest rate increases could put more pressure on some farm operations. The latest quarterly report by the Fed shows ag bankers are slowly raising interest rates on operating loans to farmers, but current delinquency rates remain low. Lenders charged an average rate of nearly 5 percent this spring, up from 3.5 percent during the final quarter of 2015 when rates were at historical lows. Continue reading Higher interest rates could add more pressure on ag economy at Brownfield Ag News.
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Extension educators in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are preparing to help dairy farmers recognize and manage stress.  Jennifer Bentley with Iowa State tells Brownfield they are hosting a series of webinars starting July 10th.  “The first webinar is really designed to help service providers and industry people to recognize those signs of stress get people the help that they need.” Bentley says farmers, agribusiness professionals, and others can participate or just listen in.    Continue reading Webinar to address dairy farmer stress at Brownfield Ag News.
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Ag News

The impact of China’s retaliatory tariffs was reflected in the latest supply and demand report from the USDA. USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson says soybeans have been negatively impacted. “Exports of whole beans is done by about 250 million  bushels,” he says. The USDA says pork trade forecasts are unchanged despite an increase in production at a time when tariffs are in place. Johannsson says lower prices are helping to… “Increased demand for pork across global consumers,” he says. Continue reading Tariff impact reflected in supply and demand report at Brownfield Ag News.
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“Animal liberation” was the focus of a recent national meeting of animal rights activists in California. The Animal Agriculture Alliance had a representative at the Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles. Alliance spokesperson Hannah Thompson-Weeman says conference speakers made it clear their objective is the liberation of animals, not enhancing animal welfare. “They talked about opening up all the cages and emptying out all the farms—bending the law and extrapolating the limits of the law in order to advance their goals,” says Thompson-Weeman. Continue reading ‘Animal liberation’ is the focus of animal rights conference at Brownfield Ag News.
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How will the USDA estimate tariff damages to farmers? “We have analytical procedures that can give us some idea but it’s really going to be really hard,” says Carl Zulauf, Ohio State ag economist. US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue continues to say there will be help for farmers hurt by the trade disruptions, “I’ve kind of set a deadline for myself, not for anyone else, as Labor Day. That if we can’t have some resolution on trade by Labor Day then we need to look at mitigation procedures and protections for ag producers that really have a negative impact of trade on...
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A recent Food and Drug Administration hearing on lab-produced meat may have been the first volley in a potential “turf war” over regulation of the new technology. Danielle Beck of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, who attended the meeting, says FDA officials made their position clear—they believe they should have regulatory authority over lab-produced meat products. But Beck says NCBA believes that jurisdiction lies with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Continue reading Potential ‘turf war’ over who regulates lab-produced meat at Brownfield Ag News.
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