AG Rural News

Michigan’s first Office of Rural Development is outlining initial priority areas. During a roundtable Wednesday morning, Deputy Director Sarah Lucas told reporters the office plans to focus on workforce, housing, and broadband needs in Michigan’s rural communities to start. “A lot of communities have lost a lot of their young people in the last several decades which has really impacted the pipeline for our workforce and has left a lot of our industries in a really tough spot,” she says. ...
Read more...
An ag real estate expert is alarmed by the rising number of issues farmers are facing this year. With five decades of experience in agriculture, Farmers National Company’s Randy Dickhut says he’s never seen this much uncertainty at one time. “Starting out with a drought in some areas and then it’s too wet in the Eastern Corn Belt, Northern Plains, and other areas,” he said. “The big one of course is the war in Ukraine.” He tells Brownfield the war is adding to already short supplies of fertilizer. ...
Read more...

Ag News

A livestock economist says there’s been a shift in the tone of the Cattle on Feed numbers. University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says the last several reports have been relatively bearish for the markets.  But that’s not the case this time around.  “Placements in May were 2.1% below year-ago levels,” he says.  “That actually falls outside the pre-report range.” He tells Brownfield this could be a change in trajectory moving forward.   ...
Read more...
A new agreement between the USDA and the Port of Houston will increase capacity for exporting chilled and frozen ag commodities. Travis Arp with the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the plans allow the USDA to lease additional chassis to fully utilize the port’s capacity for refrigerated containers. “There was a lot of increased volume of refrigerated containers going through the Port of Houston,” he said. “Houston was having issues with managing those containers as well as having the available chassis to move that product.” He tells Brownfield the Port of Houston is a major point of international trade for agriculture. ...
Read more...
The Senate Ag Committee has advanced two bills aimed at increasing competition and transparency in the markets.  The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 and the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022 will head to the full Senate for consideration.  Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley proposed an amendment to the Special Investigator Act, which passed unanimously, that would ensure the assigned investigator would be a senior-level USDA staff person and not a political appointee.  ...
Read more...
An ag real estate expert says the land market continues to thrive. Randy Dickhut with Farmers National Company tells Brownfield, “We’re seeing good quality crop land that is still steady. Some places it’s still somewhat stronger than it was even a few months ago.” But, he says value of lower quality land is dropping off. “It’s probably a little bit weaker with not as aggressive bidding on it,” he said. “It just stands to reason right now with not as much on the market and not as much to choose from.” Dickhut says farm incomes, interest rates, and inflation are some of the...
Read more...