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ICYMI farm news highlights | Monday, December 13, 2021

Holiday festivities fill the calendar this time of year. It’s easy to lose track of the headlines as year-end chores fill your to-do list. In case you missed it, here are a few of the latest top headlines.

Weather News

Over the weekend, a deadly tornado devastated communities across several states. At least 64 people lost their lives. Countless others lost their homes and businesses.

“We have a 200-mile swath through Kentucky that has pulled-down grain systems, destroyed chicken hatcheries and, of course, blown over barns,” said Ryan Quarles, Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner.

Poultry is Kentucky's top agricultural commodity, and at least a dozen chicken barns collapsed, Quarles said. The destruction could cause chicken prices to continue to climb and intensify supply-chain issues for parts and crop inputs for farmers. 

Looking to South America, the weather forecast is starting to sound like a broken record. Much of the same is expected across Brazil and Argentina as seen the past several weeks: drier across southern Brazil and growing regions of Argentina, but wetter across Central and Southeast Brazil, says Krissy Klinger of WeatherTrends360.

Crop Management

Fertilizer prices have skyrocketed since last growing season, causing a laundry list of concerns for farmers. Market analysts, fertilizer companies, and university economists each have their own perspectives on what is happening. 

At the same time, farmers wonder what the most cost-effective crop will be. What are the pros and cons of acquiring manure vs. buying synthetic fertilizer? How should farmers get the most out of the fertilizer they do spend their money on? 

Successful Farming editor Madelyn Ostendorf tackles this and more in a new story appropriately titled, “What is going on with fertilizer prices?”

In Minnesota, the department of agriculture is proposing a June 12 cutoff date for dicamba application south of Interstate Highway 94.

This area encompasses much of central and southern Minnesota. Soybean farmers north of Interstate Highway 94 may apply dicamba formulations on dicamba-tolerant soybeans up until June 30. This is the same cutoff date as the federal label approved in October 2020.

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