Michelle Rook / AgweekTV Anchor
PIERRE, S.D. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its interim rule on industrial hemp production, but it hasn't changed Gov. Kristi Noem's mind about allowing the crop to be grown in South Dakota. In a statement on the USDA hemp guidelines on Tuesday, Nov. 5, Noem said her position on legalizing industrial hemp has not changed. "I remain opposed to industrial hemp in South Dakota because of the impact it will have on public safety and law enforcement's ability to enforce drug laws," she says.
The fall cattle run has started in South Dakota, and it has a huge economic impact on the state's cattle producers and rural communities. This is the time of year when most of the calf and yearling crop is marketed. "I compare the fall run of the calves as big or bigger than pheasant hunting in South Dakota," says Steve Hellwig, co-owner of Hub City Livestock in Aberdeen. He says thousands of calves and yearlings will move off ranches in South Dakota to be backgrounded or placed in feedlots.
ABERDEEN, S.D. — A segment of the cattle industry is calling for reforms in the current cattle market in a last-ditch effort to keep producers in business. It is in response to the recent plunge in fed cattle cash and futures prices to lows not seen in a decade. Feedlot operators were losing from $150 to $250 per head while packers were reporting record margins ranging from $350 to $850 per head.
YANKTON, S.D. — The signup for the 2018 Farm Bill is underway, and while some of the programs have not changed from the 2014 Farm Bill, the choice will be more difficult for farmers this signup. "You know, 99% of our producers chose ARC-County last farm bill and this time around I think it's going to be a lot more individualized," Elly Daisy, Farm Credit Services crop insurance agent says.
MADISON, Wis. — After five years of low milk prices, dairy farmers are finally seeing a better market. In fact, values are back above break-even for some operations. Mark Stephenson is the director of dairy policy analysis with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "We're about $1.30, $1.40 higher per hundredweight on milk than we were this time last year," Stephenson says. "So we've had a definite improvement."
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — 2019 has been a year of weather extremes for farmers in the western corn belt and this fall may be no exception. With the massive planting delays this spring the crops have been behind in development all season. Chapman, Neb., farmer Greg Greving farms says that means the corn will have a higher moisture content and so they're prepared for more drying at their farm. "It's going to be substantially more just for the fact that we're a week or 10 days behind," he says.
YANKTON, S.D. — The cattle market is trying to recover after recently hitting 10-year lows in the spot month live cattle futures and falling below $100. Prices were pressured by several fundamentals including bigger supplies and macroeconomic concerns. Elliott Dennis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension livestock marketing specialist, says he sees "uncertainty regarding trade, uncertainty regarding ... are we able to find homes for beef that's already on the market, the domestic market."
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Nebraska farmers faced the same weather extremes as the rest of the Corn Belt this spring, but are seeing improved prospects for the crop heading into harvest as long as the crop makes it to maturity. According to USDA's weekly crop progress report, on Sept. 15, Nebraska corn was 82% dented versus the 90% five-year average and 22% of the soybeans were dropping leaves compared to the normal 44%. "It's very geographic specific but here in Nebraska we're certainly a couple weeks behind," Matt Dolch, NK district manager for the western Corn Belt says.
BROOKINGS, S.D. — The ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new $59 million South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab in Brookings Sept. 6. The state's only animal health lab was built in 1967 and updated in 1993 and needed upgrades and expansion to meet today's animal health and biosecurity standards. Officials unveiled the first phase of the project with the new 80,763 square feet addition. The renovation of the existing facility will be the next phase.
MITCHELL, S.D. — 2019 has been a disastrous crop season for South Dakota farmers. The state led the nation in prevented planting acres this spring at a record 4 million-plus acres because of heavy snows this winter and relentless spring rain and flooding. Gary Duffy farms near Oldham, S.D., and says he only got a third of his intended crop planted. "Total for both corn and beans about 35% of our crop was planted this year," he says. "We're not sure whether we did the right thing by doing that, but so be it."