The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reporting an uptick in elk sightings throughout the state.
The DNR’s Mick Klemesrud tells Brownfield elk have certainly been seen in Iowa before, but it seems to be happening more frequently. “We’re trying to figure out where they are coming from,” he said. “They might be out looking for new cows to meet, and of course there are none in Iowa, so they just kind of keep wandering through.”
Klemesrud says most of the elk sightings have occurred in the western portion of the state.
Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen says he’s optimistic there is a sufficient feedstock supply to meet increased demand for biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuels.
“The feedstock market, I think, looks good for the industry,” he says. “We’re very excited to see the investments being made by the oilseed crushers, for instance. Soybean oil is still going to be a very prominent feedstock and for us to move from a two- or three-billion-gallon industry to a six-billion-gallon industry, which is what our vision is.
Three Michigan farmers have made serving others and their land a priority.
Fourth-generation farmer Joe Bryant grows 1,100 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat in Shepard. Bryant tells Brownfield he enjoys sharing the farm with others and relies on conservation and precision technology to ensure it for the future.
“I would just assume to have the soil here from my grandkids to farm as productive or more so than what I have.”
Dave Milligan farms 4,500 acres of corn soybeans, wheat, and dry beans in Tuscola County and has served on local and state ag boards for most of his career.
Biodiesel-production facilities like Western Iowa Energy are benefiting soybean growers and livestock producers.
Board Member Kevin Ross says Western Iowa Energy can turn multiple feedstocks into biodiesel.
“It’s a great opportunity for soybean oil and we process animal fats as well so we’ve been a multi-feedstock facility for several years,” he says.
The facility produces 45 million gallons annually.
He tells Brownfield growth in the industry returns value to producers.
Storage capacity in 2023 remains unknown for one Michigan elevator.
In mid-December, The Andersons’ Hemlock facility near Saginaw caught fire and a month later, reports of smoldering grain continue.
Justin Strahan, a grain merchandiser with the company, tells Brownfield he remains optimistic the facility will be operational by fall.
“The elevator is obviously in reclaim mode now, we’ve got to get it cleaned up before we can get it operational,” he says.
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were mostly higher waiting for the week’s direct cash business to finish up.
There was a light to moderate direct cash cattle trade that took place late in the day Friday. Live deals were at $156, $1 higher than the previous week’s weighted averages. There was a light round of business in the North on Thursday at $248 dressed, fully steady with the prior week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska.
An ag meteorologist says a trend to colder and wetter weather is likely in the Great Lakes region and beyond.
“Right now in the outlook, I think the key message is wetter than normal as we move into late winter and early spring.”
State climatologist for Michigan Jeff Andresen tells Brownfield as La Nina dissipates, increased precipitation will benefit drought areas.
“The long-term deficits still remain, so this outlook of above normal precip I think is favorable,” he says.
The Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Foundation recognized contributors to the state’s dairy industry during its recent annual meeting.
The former executive director of the Missouri Dairy Association, Dave Drennan, was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his 23 years of work in Missouri’s dairy industry. During his time at the association he focused on dairy promotion, education and policy in the state. This includes starting a multi-state dairy meeting and helping raise money to build the Gerken Dairy Center at the Missouri State Fair.
The president of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs is expecting another big year for county fair events.
Jill Hardesty tells Brownfield overall county fair attendance rebounded following the COVID-19 pandemic and both state fairs hit record attendance in 2022.
“I think everything will be just as full or fuller than what we had last year. There are so many people still wanting to get out in their community and help their local fair.”
She says live poultry shows are expected to return in 2023, following a ban last year caused by the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak.
Mar. corn closed at $6.83, up 1/2 cent
Mar. soybeans closed at $15.09 and 1/2, down 14 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $473.50, down $3.60
Mar. soybean oil closed at 60.62, down 17 points
Mar. wheat closed at $7.50, down 2 and 1/2 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $156.72, unchanged
Feb. lean hogs closed at $75.87, down $1.15
Feb. Class III milk closed at $18.06, down 26 cents