The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is wrapping up its reporting period for crop progress and soil conditions. While nearly all of the crops have been harvested, the big story that remains is the amount of soil moisture as the Corn Belt moves into winter, when there is less that can soak into the soil....More
We’ve been waiting for this news…but this was not the outcome most pork producers were hoping to hear about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) had been one of the organizations requesting a waiver of the RFS based on the outcome of this year’s severe drought and the resulting impact on feed availability and prices. In spite of the pleas from livestock producers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the agency has not found evidence to support a finding of severe “economic harm” that would warrant granting a waiver of the RFS....More
Low crop yields and limited carryover stocks have pork producers scrambling to find alternative feed ingredients. When evaluating alternatives, consider freight, storage, quality and short-term vs. long-term availability....More
The concern about ear mold in late-harvested corn is higher than normal this year following a drought that created conditions ripe for the development of Aspergillus ear rot, an Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist says.
Drought-stressed corn is more susceptible to infection by Aspergillus flavus, an ear rot fungus that produces a very potent group of carcinogenic toxins, called aflatoxins....More
“The deepening drought is not just a concern for farmers – it’s a concern for all Minnesotans and anyone who cares about the state economy,” says Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Minnesota’s agriculture and food sector generates nearly $75 billion in total economic activity for our state, and the sector has a total employment impact of more than 340,000 jobs. Anything that hurts our agricultural production puts those economic benefits at risk.”...More
At a national meeting of provincial pork organizations held this week, it was confirmed that Canada is threatened to lose many of its hog farmers in the coming year, according to a report from the Canadian Pork Council (CPC). This decline could equate to a shortage of Canadian-produced pork products for its consumers and jeopardizing $13.4 billion in economic activity associated with hog production....More
Due to this year’s ominous drought, many producers are now faced with the challenge of how to feed the 2012 yield to their livestock. “This year’s climate created all the right ingredients for a cocktail of mycotoxin challenges,” says Max Hawkins, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team. “Besides the industry-expected aflatoxin outbreak, we are finding that some other molds and mycotoxins may be big players in this year’s crops...More
Despite early concern, very little aflatoxin has been detected in Michigan’s new crop of corn. This is good news for growers who are already struggling with low corn yields, shattered soybeans and pending insurance claims, says James DeDecker, Michigan State University Extension....More
In its forecast released today of September crop production progress, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported corn production down and soybean production up.
Corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, down slightly from the September forecast and down 13% from 2011. NASS says this represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006....More
Because of the drought this growing season, soil sampling after harvest becomes very important when making nutrient management decisions says Ron Gelderman, South Dakota State University (SDSU) soils Extension specialist....More
Obviously, much of the U.S. Corn Belt region this year has suffered from drought conditions. Several states in that region have identified elevated aflatoxin levels in corn in some pockets within their states.
Since some corn contains aflatoxin levels above the tolerances established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for feeding to various species, FDA and the states have been cooperating to determine means to assure affected corn flows through the proper channels to protect the food and feed supply....More
Farmers dealing with moldy corn from the summer drought can find helpful identification and management information at a Purdue Extension Web site that focuses specifically on corn mold problems.
The Managing Moldy Corn Web site, http://www.purdue.edu/cornmold, was created in 2009 to help with mold problems related to late rains and a delayed harvest, but has been updated because of this year's drought....More
Farming is stressful enough in a normal year, but add a months-long drought and many producers could be vulnerable to mental and behavioral health problems, says a mental health expert and former Purdue University assistant professor of nursing.
The emotional strain of watching their crops wither and livestock feed prices soar could cause farmers to slip into deep depression, substance abuse and even thoughts of suicide, Roberta Schweitzer says. She urges farmers to get help dealing with their stress if they feel helpless and hopeless....More
Soybeans fell in Chicago to the lowest price since July and corn slipped as harvesting in the United States advanced at the fastest pace in at least three decades, helped by warm, dry weather, according to a report by Bloomberg....More
As of Sept. 1, there were 988 million bushels of corn and 169 million bushels of soybeans in storage, according to the quarterly Grain Stocks report released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)....More
President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney recently spelled out their positions on agriculture issues for the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a questionnaire, both candidates went into detail about their positions on energy, environmental regulations, farm labor and more.
Every four years, the American Farm Bureau Federation asks the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees to address the issues that concern farmers and ranchers most. This election, energy issues and farm policy are the driving forces in the candidate’s responses....More
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $11.8 million in additional financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers in 22 states apply conservation practices that reduce the impacts of drought and improve soil health and productivity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides this assistance through its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)....More
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently extended until Oct. 11 the deadline for filing comments on requests that it waive the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which requires a certain amount of corn ethanol to be blended into gasoline annually....More
All livestock producers are in a waiting game — waiting to see how short the 2012 corn crop will be, waiting to see where shortages will be felt deepest and waiting to see what adjustments will have to be made for quality. Experience has also taught us that drought-stricken feedgrains are more prone to molds and fungus, such as aspergillus, fusarium and gibberella. Each fungus has the potential to cause enough damage to the kernels to produce toxins detrimental to livestock....More
This year’s drought has producers wondering what early harvest means for early manure application. Iowa State University (ISU) specialists provide some observations and some solutions to those concerns....More
The season-long drought and extreme heat have created conditions prime for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn, so growers should scout their fields and inspect their grain, says Purdue Extension plant pathologist Kiersten Wise.
The fungus, which infects corn ears through the silks or wounds, produces aflatoxin, a toxic carcinogen that also can cause health problems for livestock that consume contaminated corn....More
The season-long drought and extreme heat have created conditions prime for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn, so growers should scout their fields and inspect their grain, says Purdue Extension plant pathologist Kiersten Wise....More
The drought of 2012 seems to be impacting every facet of livestock production from feed needs to manure application concerns. Several new resources are available to help producers and nutrient applicators take the right steps while applying manure this fall....More
The Agriculture Department’s monthly crop report lowered the 2012 production forecasts for corn and soybeans. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) economists say the report was “bearish” for corn prices in one respect, because the estimate for ending stocks was not reduced as much as expected by some market analysts....More