Farm Bill 2014: The Dairy Title

The 2014 Farm Bill is officially in the books. While there are a few rules and regulations that have yet to be written, we now know the bulk of what the farm bill has to offer. In terms of dairy policy, there is a new program about to be rolled out called the Margin Protection Program. … Continue reading

March Supply and Demand Report Reduces U.S. Ending Stocks for Corn, Soybeans

Monday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) has had a significant impact on crop markets. Corn production remained unchanged at 13.925 billion bushels but ending stocks are reduced to 1.456 billion bushels, slightly lower than pre-report estimates of 1.487 billion bushels. The decrease in ending stocks is a result of a 25 million bushel boost in corn exports. … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Mar 07, 2014

Cash Cattle:
Following last week’s new records, cash fed cattle price pulled back just a bit this week. The five-area live and dressed price ended Friday at $149.13 and $238.29, respectively down $1.51 and $1.69. All regions except Nebraska did not have enough cash negotiated sales to determine a market trend. In Nebraska, live and dressed sales were at $150 and $237-$240. … Continue reading

Highlights of the Agricultural Act of 2014 for Specialty Crops

Important implications for the U.S. Specialty Crop industry can be found in several titles of the recently passed 2014 Farm Bill. Key programs to solve critical issues in the industry have been reauthorized and changes related to funding level and matching requirements have been incorporated in some of these programs. For instance, the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) program, … Continue reading

New sulfur regulations to increase gas and automobile prices

From the New York Times, the EPA will soon force oil refiners to remove all sulfur from gasoline.
 The Environmental Protection Agency plans to unveil a major new regulation on Monday that forces oil refiners to strip out sulfur, a smog-forming pollutant linked to respiratory disease, from American gasoline blends, according to people familiar with the agency’s plans. … Continue reading

Crop Market Update, March 3, 2014

Global events have been impacting U.S. crop markets over the last few days. The turmoil in Ukraine, a major exporter in both corn and wheat, has some fearing that their exports may suffer and has contributed to a jump in both corn and wheat prices in the last few days. Corn markets are also being boosted by a strong export sales report by the USDA on Friday while increasing gas prices is helping to support the ethanol market. … Continue reading

Summary of the Agricultural Act of 2014

The recent passage of the 2014 Farm Bill (formally known as the Agricultural Act of 2014) brings about some significant changes in agricultural policies, specifically within Titles One and Eleven in the legislation. The following summarizes the key changes that were made, the new programs that are being made available to landowners and producers, … Continue reading

Cattle Market Notes: Week Ending Feb 28, 2014

Cash Cattle:
After a short pause cash cattle prices built some steam last week and that momentum continued this week, pushing cash prices to new record levels. The five-area fed steer prices finished the week at $150.66 and $239.98, respectively for live and dressed, up $8.66 and $9.98. On Wednesday the Southern Plains sold live cattle at $150, … Continue reading

Projected Prices for Crop Insurance Are Sharply Lower for 2014

Recently released prices that are used by the Risk Management Agency of USDA to establish crop insurance protection levels for major crops in Mississippi are sharply lower for the coming crop year. Projected prices for conventional rice production are 11.5% below last year at $13.90 per hundredweight. The projected price for upland cotton is $.78 per pound, … Continue reading

Lemurs: fierce, friendly, ninjas?

My favorite part of this article is the three lemur photos. You do not want to mess with that first lemur! But the second lemur looks like someone you might feel comfortable taking home to meet your mother. The third looks like a ninja jumping off a rooftop.

Madagascar’s lemurs – the world’s most threatened primate – … Continue reading