A bipartisan group of senators today followed the lead of 156 House lawmakers in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help livestock and poultry farmers deal with severe drought conditions by waiving the federal mandate that requires corn-ethanol to be blended into gasoline.
The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) requires 13.2 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol to be produced in 2012 and 13.8 billion gallons in 2013, amounts that will see the ethanol industry use about 4.7 billion and 4.9 billion bushels, respectively, of the nation’s corn....More
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today praised a group of congressional lawmakers for asking the U.S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) to waive the federal mandate for the production of ethanol to help livestock and poultry producers weather the worst drought in more than 50 years....More
Following the tremendous response to an emergency program to help drought-affected farmers, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced on July 26, 2012 he is directing another $5 million into the program to supplement the initial $2 million dedicated from the State Soil and Water Reserve Fund....More
As the historic drought of 2012 has expanded to cover the main grain-growing areas of the United States, the cost of pork production has gone up markedly.
Unfortunately, this means producers’ need for plentiful and high-quality grain to feed their animals is likely to go unmet as experts predict both grain quantity and quality of the 2012 crop to be severely compromised....More
Heat and drought in the Corn Belt have created the perfect conditions for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn grain and silage – something Purdue Extension plant pathologists say grain and livestock producers need to prepare for.
The disease is caused by a fungus that produces aflatoxin, a toxic carcinogen for livestock that consume contaminated grain or silage....More
Sometimes, it gets worse. The showers that moved through Iowa and other Corn Belt states over the weekend missed more acres than they hit. And the “it-might-save-the-soybeans“ refrain about late-season rains is beginning to ring hollow, too....More
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is using his existing authority to provide new flexibility and assistance in the USDA’s major conservation programs to assist livestock producers as the most wide-spread drought in seven decades intensifies. Secretary Vilsack said, “Beginning today, USDA will open opportunities for haying and grazing on lands enrolled in conservation programs, while providing additional financial and technical assistance to help landowners through this drought. And we will deliver greater peace of mind to farmers dealing with this worsening drought by encouraging crop insurance companies to work with farmers through this challenging period. As severe weather and natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you.”...More
The drought of 2012 has the potential to increase mycotoxin risks, particularly aflatoxin concentration in this year’s corn crop. Conditions favorable for aflatoxin production include drought stress during corn silking stage and nighttime temperatures greater than 70 degrees F. An informational Web site is found at http://vetmed.iastate.edu/diagnostic-lab/diagnostic-services/diagnostic-......More
This week's U.S. Drought Monitor reflects intensifying drought conditions in South Dakota, says Dennis Todey, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension state climatologistof the July 26 drought summary.
“Extreme Drought (D3) was introduced in many southeast, south and western counties,” Todey says. “This is a one category degradation from last week, where much of this region had been in D2, or Severe Drought.” ...More
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) was among the groups testifying on behalf of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) at a congressional hearing this week. The NIDIS was established via a 2006 law in order to provide national drought data and information. Funding for the system is set to expire at the end of this fiscal year. A draft bill proposes to extend NIDIS funding through 2017....More
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has rolled out a new section of its Web site providing key information and resources to help Minnesota farmers deal with the drought conditions now deepening across southern and western Minnesota. The web page can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/drought, and a link is provided on MDA’s home page....More
As the drought of 2012 continues to intensify statewide, Ohio State University Extension experts have developed two Web sites dedicated to helping farmers, producers and consumers find ways to deal with the dry conditions and extreme heat.
Already, all of Ohio except for small portions of four southeastern counties near the West Virginia border is experiencing moderate drought, with areas in the western and northwest regions of the state near the Indiana and Michigan borders experiencing severe drought as of July 17, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor....More
As the outlook for feedstuffs continues to worsen with the widespread drought, the Pork Checkoff wants to remind producers of the management tips and resources that Pork Checkoff has compiled to assist them in identifying opportunities to increase on-farm efficiencies and reduce feed costs....More
It is almost unbelievable to think that at the beginning of June, corn prices were $4.00/bu. Now, prices in southern Minnesota have nearly doubled and new crop corn was priced at over $7.60/bu. on Friday, July 20. Soybean meal costs have gone from $380/ton in June to trading at $540/ton. It is our best estimate that feed cost per head for a farrow-to-finish producer is between $125-$130, putting breakeven costs at $180 to $190/head....More
Circle Aug. 10 on your calendar. That is the day USDA will release its monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). It may also be the single most important day for U.S. livestock and poultry producers any of us can remember. Dec. 23, 2003, when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in the United States was a big one, but the impact of the next WASDE report could be even larger....More
A webinar focused on crop and livestock issues related to continuing drought conditions is set for this Wednesday afternoon, (July 25) from 1 to 3 p.m. Offered by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, a number of county extension offices will host the program that’s available to the public at no charge.
Program content includes primary areas of livestock, crops and farm finance, and the entire program will be recorded and available for public access following the event....More
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced new flexibility and assistance in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's major conservation programs to get much-needed help to livestock producers as the most widespread drought in seven decades intensifies in the United States.
Vilsack also announced plans to encourage crop insurance companies to provide a short grace period for farmers on unpaid insurance premiums, as some farming families can be expected to struggle to make ends meet at the close of the crop year....More
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today designated 39 additional counties in eight states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat. During the 2012 crop year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 1,297 counties across 29 states as disaster areas, making all qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The additional counties designated today are in the states of Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. The U.S....More
Farmers throughout Missouri affected by the heat and drought that has gripped the state will now have access to low-interest loans and other assistance from the federal government, Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack has designated all 114 counties as primary natural disaster areas, following a request by the governor....More
As serious drought conditions continue to creep across nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials are fanning out to rural communities across the country to show support to farmers and ranchers affected by a string of extreme weather in 2012....More