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What is today’s news? | Monday, February 14, 2022

Before spending this Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, be sure you’ve caught up on the latest agriculture news!

Machinery

XtremeAg’s Chad Henderson and Lee Lubbers are finalizing preparations for planting and making changes to nutrient programs due to high input costs. 

Lee Lubbers of Gregory, South Dakota, reports on the equipment status in advance of planting season. “Our new planter is about ready to be picked up. The row cleaners were ordered last June and should be at the dealership in a week or so. Other planters that were ordered just a few minutes after ours have already been pushed back to March and April. It’s certainly making for an interesting and challenging year so far. But that’s farming.”

Editor Jodi Henke interviews Neil Dahlstrom, author of Tractor Wars, in this podcast.

She says, “We take for granted the tractors that we have now. You can go out and plow, disc, plant, how many acres in just a few hours, and that wasn’t the case, of course, over a hundred years ago.” Learn more about the advent of modern agriculture via the tractor.

Editor Alex Gray covers the continued rise of tractor sales in North America, a trend that has carried over from 2021.

Total farm tractors sales in the United States gained 1.5% in sales for January 2022 compared to this time last year, according to data reported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). This boost in tractor sales was led by a boost in 2WD tractor sales, seeing a nearly 11% increase in sales from January 2021.

Livestock and Land

With sales to China waning, the growth markets for U.S. pork exports will be in Central and South America, said economist Brett Stuart of Global AgriTrends. Mexico accounted for 22¢ of every $1 in pork exports last year, and eight other Latin American nations are set to become major customers for U.S. pork.

“There are two really good growth markets and one is Mexico,” said Stuart during a National Pork Board webinar. Mexico imports the largest tonnage of U.S. pork of any country, but usually ranks second or third in dollar value of sales.

On February 11, federal and state authorities in Kentucky were alerted to a case of avian influenza in a flock of commercial broiler chickens near the border with Tennessee. State officials quarantined the premises, and an additional suspected case in a turkey flock in Webster County, Kentucky, is awaiting confirmation.

Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture established a 10-kilometer surveillance zone to determine if other cases can be detected.

Fueled by strong farm income and low interest rates, farmland values soared more than 20% in the central Plains during 2021, according to a quarterly survey of ag bankers by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.

A majority of the lenders said they expected values to increase this year, but an equally large number “also indicated that farmland values were currently overvalued, suggesting there may still be future risks of declines,” said the regional Fed.

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