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Agriculture News

Wisconsin farmers hope millennials will take over for the 500 dairy farms lost in 2017

edairynews | Posted on January 17, 2018

Over the last several years, Wisconsin has seen thousands of dairy farmers leave the industry. New statistics show the state lost more than 500 farms in 2017. Remaining farmers are trying to attract college students to continue the tradition of being America’s Dairyland.“As an industry, we have to figure out how we’re going to be able to have farms of all sizes and allow those farms to be profitable and how we can get the next generation of farmers on our farms,” said Mystic Valley farmer Mitch Breunig.


Lawsuit: Cal-Maine, Walmart used false claim on organic egg label

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 17, 2018

 class-action lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Cal-Maine Foods, with the plaintiffs claiming the two companies misled consumers about the conditions in which hens that laid Walmart store brand Organic Marketside eggs were raised. According to the legal firm involved in filing the suit, consumers paid high prices for what they were told were eggs laid by hens “free to roam, nest and perch in a protected barn with outdoor access.” However, according to the lawsuit, Walmart and Cal-Maine knew the hens were raised in barns with enclosed porches, and were unable to touch the soil or vegetation surrounding the barns. The suit, seeks reimbursement for consumers who paid premium prices for Walmart’s Organic Marketside store-brand eggs, which were sold as being laid by hens with outdoor access. 


USDA report shows record corn yield, soybean production in 2017

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 17, 2018

The Department of Agriculture released market-shifting reports on Friday, largely showing robust production in 2017 adding to an already solid amount of stocks on hand around the world. The reports noted records in U.S. corn yield and soybean production, all the while pointing to global stocks that don’t show any signs of providing relief for low commodity prices.In the Department’s annual Crop Production report, soybean production and harvested acreage both hit record amounts in 2017, coming in at 4.39 billion bushels and 89.5 million acres. The average yield came in at 49.1 bushels per acre, a dip of about 3 bpa from 2016’s record.


New Report Summarizes Cattle Death Loss

Ag Web | Posted on January 14, 2018

A new report from the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) summarizes incidence and causes of death loss in U.S. cattle during 2015. The report, titled Death Loss in U.S. Cattle and Calves Due to Predator and Nonpredator Causes, 2015, shows respiratory disease remains the leading cause of death loss in cattle. Death loss due to predation has increased since the last report in 2010, but remains a relatively low percentage of the total. The report lists total death loss in 2015 at about 3.9 million head, down slightly from just under 4 million in 2010. The percentage of adult-cattle and calf-crop inventories lost to all causes has been relatively consistent since 2000.Overall, the report estimates the cost of death loss in cattle and calves in 2015 at $3.87 billion, compared with $2.5 billion in 2010. In 2015, total U.S. inventory of adult cattle (over 500 pounds) was 78 million head, and total calf crop was 34 million head. Those inventory figures are about equal to those reported in 2010. Cattle prices during 2015, however, averaged significantly higher than those in 2010.


Lawsuit: Cal-Maine, Walmart used false claim on organic egg label

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 14, 2018

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Cal-Maine Foods, with the plaintiffs claiming the two companies misled consumers about the conditions in which hens that laid Walmart store brand Organic Marketside eggs were raised. According to Hagens Berman, the legal firm involved in filing the suit, consumers paid high prices for what they were told were eggs laid by hens “free to roam, nest and perch in a protected barn with outdoor access.” However, according to the lawsuit, Walmart and Cal-Maine knew the hens were raised in barns with enclosed porches, and were unable to touch the soil or vegetation surrounding the barns.The suit, which was filed on January 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, seeks reimbursement for consumers who paid premium prices for Walmart’s Organic Marketside store-brand eggs, which were sold as being laid by hens with outdoor access. The suit also seeks an injunction from the court to force Walmart and Cal-Maine to end the marketing of Organic Marketside eggs.


Grain glut leaves U.S. farmers facing losses from specialty corn

Reuters | Posted on January 12, 2018

U.S. farmers who sought to boost revenues by planting corn used to make tortillas may be forced to sell their crops at a loss to makers of ethanol or animal feed because of a glut of what typically is a human food-grade product. Oversupply of the most common grains such as corn and soybeans has spread to niche markets because so many farmers have switched to planting different strains of seed to diversify and bolster returns after four years of bumper crops cut farm income and pushed down prices for staple grains.White corn, which makes up roughly 1 percent of the 14.6 billion-bushel U.S. corn harvest, can command a premium of as much as $1 per bushel over the commoditized yellow strain. But premiums have shriveled to four-year lows - to as little as 5 cents above Chicago Board of Trade corn futures.Too many farmers planted white corn in states such as Illinois, Illinois, Kentucky and Nebraska. Corn prices in 2017 declined for the fifth straight year and record-large U.S. stocks pushed growers to look for potentially higher-value alternatives.


House legislation to tighten borders proposes new expanded ag guest-worker program

The Progressive Farmer | Posted on January 12, 2018

An overhaul of agricultural guest-worker programs is a major component of a House plan to fix the immigration status of young people involved in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is entangled in the latest immigration battle on Capitol Hill. Conservatives in the House introduced a broad immigration bill on Wednesday that included much of the language proposed last fall by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., in his agricultural guest-worker bill.Goodlatte and three other Republican congressmen introduced the "Securing America's Future Act" on Wednesday. The bill had several provisions ending green card lottery programs and claimed to reduce overall immigration levels by 25% a year, but at the same time would increase visas for skilled workers and for agricultural workers.The bill also authorizes a southern border wall, would boost security at ports and would expand border patrol agents. In employment, it would require all employers to use the federal E-Verify system to run Social Security information on prospective employees.


More dairy heifers leaving U.S.

Progressive Dairy | Posted on January 11, 2018

With the U.S. dairy herd stubbornly near a two-decade high, cow numbers are frequently cited as a reason for excess milk production stretching processing capacity. While latest information from the USDA shows dairy cow slaughter is outpacing year-ago levels and stabilizing cow numbers, there’s also been renewed demand for dairy replacement heifers in foreign markets. November 2017 exports of U.S. dairy replacement heifers totaled 2,596 head, valued at $4.8 million, according to latest USDA Foreign Agricultural Service data. It marked the fifth month sales topped 2,500 head in 2017.


Mexico will leave NAFTA talks if Trump triggers process to withdraw

Reuters | Posted on January 11, 2018

Mexico will leave the NAFTA negotiating table if U.S. President Donald Trump decides to trigger a 6-month process to withdraw from the trade pact, three Mexican sources with knowledge of the talks told Reuters. Among the most divisive are plans to establish rules of origin for NAFTA goods that would set minimum levels of U.S. content for autos, a sunset clause that would terminate the trade deal if it is not renegotiated every five years, and ending the so-called Chapter 19 dispute mechanism.


Canada increasingly convinced Trump will pull out of NAFTA

Reuters | Posted on January 11, 2018

Canada is increasingly convinced that President Donald Trump will soon announce the United States intends to pull out of NAFTA, two government sources said on Wednesday, sending the Canadian and Mexican currencies lower and hurting stocks.


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