Michelle Rook / Special to Agweek
VERMILLION, S.D. — At the 35th annual Dakota Farm Show, held Jan. 3-5, farmers were once again interested in management strategies or technology that could help them improve their return on investment in the continued low commodity price environment. However, those same farmers were also looking at ways to be better environmental stewards. John Riles Jr. with Midwest Shows says many of the nearly 300 exhibitors at the show were displaying various technologies designed to help producers improve their margins.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Truckers hauling livestock have received a 90-day waiver from the Electronic Logging Device, or ELD, mandate, but the industry is hoping for a longer-term solution. The rule went into effect on Dec. 18 for most operators, but the U.S. Department of Transportation delayed the regulation for those transporting livestock until mid-March.
MITCHELL, S.D. — For seed stock producers, quality semen is the foundation of any breeding program. It's no secret beef producers in South Dakota have some of the best genetics in the country, so it is critical to have a way to collect and preserve those genetics through custom semen collection.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — 2017 wasn't a record year for soybean production in South Dakota, but it was close. Despite a challenging growing season, farmers posted another year of high yields, and those results were evident in this year's South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest. Jon Schaeffer, South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest chair, says many farmers planted late and then were hit by drought, so the yields were surprising. "For the most part the yields were still very good," he says. "They were not like the record year of last year, but the farmers always seem to come through."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — More than 700 farmers in the region attended the South Dakota Soybean Association Ag Outlook Meeting on Dec. 7 to get a jump start on their plans for the 2018 growing season. This year the focus was on helping farmers increase soybean yields and profitability in a tough price environment. Featured speakers included Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy, who holds the world record for soybean production at 171 bushels per acre. He says South Dakota farmers can do the same by paying attention to detail and analyzing their data.
YANKTON, S.D. — South Dakota farmers who wanted direction in marketing another year of bumper crops received some expert advice at the Growing On meeting series, which made a stop in Yankton, S.D., on Dec. 1. Iowa State University Farm and Ag Business Management Specialist Steven Johnson has been leading the workshops for the last 15 years. He says in that time he's never seen as much on-ground storage of corn in bags or in piles at elevators in the region.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The South Dakota Farm Bureau held their centennial convention in Sioux Falls, S.D., on November 23-25, wrapping up a year-long celebration for their organization. The meeting featured the traditional focus on agricultural policy but also many special speakers and guests. Delegates passed various resolutions including one to support the precision agriculture building at South Dakota State University.
WASHINGTON — As 2017 winds down, tax reform and trade are the top policy priorities for farm groups. A tax reform package already has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, with the Senate Finance Committee approving its own version. So far, there is consensus from farm groups on many of their priorities, including the elimination of the estate tax, stepped up basis and preservation of the Section 1031 like-kind exchanges.
The harvest season is wrapping up in South Dakota, and it's a time of pride for farmers as they bring in the crop they've been working for all season long. 2017 was a challenging growing season with great variability, followed by a harvest that was drawn out by cool, wet fall weather. However, once farmers got the combines in the field, they were very thankful for their yields, which by most accounts were above expectations.
Fed and feeder cattle cash prices have been strong this fall, much to the surprise of many in the industry. At the same time, live and feeder cattle futures also pushed into new contract highs to start November, with prices in the deferred contracts looking very positive into 2018. Some analysts have attributed the strength to the extremely long position held by the hedge and index funds, while others are pointing to the rally in the stock market. However, according to industry participants there are many other factors.