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What is today’s news? | Friday, March 4, 2022

There is a lot of news to talk about and as we head into the weekend, so be sure you’re informed with the latest headlines.

Here is a roundup in case you’ve missed it.

Ukraine

“Thinking about the people of Ukraine has evoked a whole new layer of emotion,” says Kansas farmer Justin Knopf. “I’m thinking of the families separated and the courage and tenacity of the Ukrainian people amid such hardship and challenge. I’m thinking about farmers in Ukraine and the reality of trying to operate a farm during this turmoil.”

Farmers in Ukraine grow winter wheat on a similar time frame as in Kansas. They, too, should be applying fertilizer to their crop during this time of year, but will that wheat even be harvested or make it through the supply chain? Will spring crops like corn even get planted this year?

The USDA is not considering suggestions that it open the land-idling Conservation Reserve for cropping this year to stabilize grain supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said press secretary Kate Waters on Thursday.

On Wednesday, economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois suggested an emergency opening of the Conservation Reserve for one year. Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s largest wheat exporters, may be out of the international market for months.

Machinery and Equipment

The world’s largest farm equipment maker, Deere and Co., unlawfully forces farmers to pay a Deere dealer when their tractors or other equipment break down, said farm groups in a “right to repair” complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday.

The FTC said last year that it would ramp up its law enforcement against repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, and consumers from fixing their own products.

After Jerry and Joyce Mez closed the doors to Farmall Land USA back in late September 2020, Ken and Mike Girard sold nearly everything from the museum in a series of six auctions.

The last one wrapped up just before planting time last year.

Editor Alex Gray writes, “Following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) discussed the state of the industry and its top policy priorities leading up to the midterm elections in 2022.”

“As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and work toward a new normal, we need to ensure that lawmakers continue to prioritize the policies that will help our industry fully recover from the effects of the pandemic that will last well into 2022 and beyond,” says Megan Tanel, president of AEM.

When temperatures begin to rise as we approach the spring and summer months, keeping grain cool and dry is the best defense against insects and mold. 

Ken Hellevang, grain storage expert and Extension agricultural engineer for the North Dakota State University Extension service, shares seven strategies to help you manage stored grain.

Markets

Analyst Bryan Doherty writes, “You are a producer, and your goal is to produce a great crop and sell it at the best price possible. Yet, what is the best price? You will only know this with the benefit of hindsight. If nothing else, monitor the market and sell into rallies. In a year like this, any sale can look like one that should not have been made since prices continue to reach new highs (due mainly to extreme events).”

Commodity trader Al Kluis expects increased market volatility to continue for the next several years.

“We are likely to have higher highs and higher lows, but I still expect lows during the Northern Hemisphere harvest. Holding on too long was a big mistake again in 2021 for producers who did not stay with a disciplined marketing plan.”

Hot Topics

Prior to the release of the Prospective Planting Report on March 31, Kluis Commodity Advisors and Successful Farming are teaming up to conduct their own acreage survey.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a farmer that grows corn or a feed mill in Europe that mixes feed, you need to know how much corn is being produced in the world, how much is being used, and how much will be left over each year,” says Al Kluis.

Editor Madelyn Ostendorf provides the latest updates on the spread of avian influenza.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial broiler chicken flock in Stoddard County, Missouri.

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