• Milk production growth aligns with processing expansions


    Milk production growth aligns with processing expansions

    An ag economist says the recent growth in cow numbers in certain regions is reflective of where there is room for processing. 

    Ben Laine with Rabo AgriFinance says pandemic challenges have led some producers to grow not based on farm economics, milk prices, or feed costs, but rather by who’s buying.

    “We’ve seen more and more cheese plants coming into the middle of the country, expanding in the middle of the country, breaking ground, and so it’s really more about finding a market for that milk,” he explains.

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  • Demand concerns continue to pressure hog futures


    Demand concerns continue to pressure hog futures

    At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle were higher watching direct business develop, and getting ready for Friday’s on feed numbers.  October live cattle closed $.95 higher at $125.95 and December live cattle closed $.50 higher at $130.52.  October feeder cattle closed $.82 higher at $155.92 and November feeder cattle closed $.50 higher at $159.35. 

    It was a fairly active day for direct cash cattle trade on Wednesday.  Live deals in the South were at $124, fully steady with last week’s weighted averages. 

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  • Mild, showery weather ahead for the Heartland


    Mild, showery weather ahead for the Heartland

    Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures and precipitation across most of the country.

    Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Far West, including the Pacific Coast States and the Great Basin, while drier-than-normal weather should be limited to parts of the Northeast and southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

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  • Deadline for Michigan Master Farmer Award approaching


    Deadline for Michigan Master Farmer Award approaching

    Nominations for the Michigan Master Farmer Awards are open until November 1st.

    Jody Pollok Newsom, head of the Michigan Wheat Program, tells Brownfield she’s proud to help support one of the state’s top honors. “I think it’s a unique opportunity to highlight those folks in the state that go above and beyond, and really do an outstanding job of production on their farm,” she says.

    Applications and nomination letters will be judged on farm management, innovation, conservation, leadership, and community involvement.

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  • Cattle Contract Library Act introduced as push for market transparency continues


    Cattle Contract Library Act introduced as push for market transparency continues

    A bipartisan bill to establish a cattle contract library has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. 

    Ethan Lane, vice-president of government relations with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the bill would equip cattle producers with the market data to increase leverage in negotiations with major meatpackers.  “The contract library is one way to illustrate to the industry, and to participants who aren’t using these kinds of transactions just what kind of deals are out there,” he says. 

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  • Last year’s herd increases still weigh on production


    Last year’s herd increases still weigh on production

    Milk production for September again posted incremental growth even with farmers reducing cow numbers and per cow production.

    USDA says production in the U.S. for the month totaled 18 billion pounds, with production per cow down one pound from last year.  

    The herd size was up 27,000 head on the year but down 25,000 from last month. 

    South Dakota production grew nearly 15 percent followed by Georgia, up almost four percent.  Production in New Mexico declined by more than 12 percent, followed by Washington.

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  • Funding expected to help address healthcare issues in rural America


    Funding expected to help address healthcare issues in rural America

    Access to healthcare in rural America continues to be a challenge and new funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected to increase providers in underserved areas.

    Secretary Xavier Becerra says the $100 million in funding comes from the American Rescue Plan

    “So those who are doing primary care service, especially in communities that are oftentimes left behind or hard to reach, we’re trying to make sure that we help our state partners get to those workers and providers to let them know we’re going to be there to support and train those workers and ensure they’re prepared for what comes next,” he says.

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  • Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: October 20, 2021


    Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: October 20, 2021

    Dec. corn closed at $5.39 and 1/4, up 9 cents
    Nov. soybeans closed at $12.45 and 1/4, up 17 and 1/2 cents
    Dec. soybean meal closed at $328.40, up $5.80
    Dec. soybean oil closed at 64.70, up 231 points
    Dec. wheat closed at $7.49 and 1/4, up 13 and 1/4 cents
    Oct. live cattle closed at $125.95, up 95 cents
    Dec. lean hogs closed at $76.02, down $1.37
    Nov.

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  • Global factors push soybeans, wheat higher


    Global factors push soybeans, wheat higher

    Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. There’s talk of China buying U.S. beans and world vegetable oils are showing more strength this week. Several global vegetable oils notched new highs ahead of the U.S. open, including palm oil, Canadian canola, and Chinese soybean oil. U.S. harvest activity and planting in South America are both ongoing. Stateside, harvest conditions generally look good aside from some rain delays, while there are concerns about the impact of La Nina on production in Argentina and Brazil.

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  • Milk futures higher, cash dairy trade mixed


    Milk futures higher, cash dairy trade mixed

    Milk futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange closed higher at midweek as trader optimism lifted markets.

    October Class III milk up a nickel at $17.96. November a dime higher at $19.32. December up nine cents at $19.05. January up eight cents at $18.33. February through April contracts seven to nine cents higher.

    Dry whey unchanged at $0.60.

    Blocks unchanged at $1.75.

    Barrels unchanged at $1.81.

    Butter up $0.0275 at $1.80.

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