Michelle Rook / AgweekTV Anchor
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Alfalfa production is already huge in the region, but interest continues to grow, especially with strong prices and good demand with the expansion of the dairy industry in the Interstate 29 corridor. Those wanting to learn how to produce top-end alfalfa for the market gained insight from the experts at Alfalfa U in Sioux Falls.
As farmers plan for the upcoming growing season, they are facing higher fertilizer prices verses 2018 and that is dictating increased management. Retail fertilizer prices continue to move higher, with nitrogen fertilizer leading the way because of the increased cost of natural gas used to make those products. For the last week of January, anhydrous prices averaged $584 per ton verse $490 per ton for the same week in 2018, which is up 19 percent. Urea was at $409 per ton, compared to $353 per ton last year, an increase of 16 percent.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Farmers in the western Corn Belt will soon have some new options for weed management, especially for resistant weeds.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Ethanol, trade and livestock development were the top issues among farmers attending the South Dakota Corn Growers Association annual meeting Jan. 19 in Sioux Falls. Members held their business and delegate session and reaffirmed their support of E15, but also considered several E30 resolutions, which failed.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — 2018 was a challenging year for pork producers on the trade front, but their hoping for a better year in 2019. Trade, the government shutdown and continued expansion in the industry were top of mind with producers attending the 50th annual South Dakota Pork Producers Council Pork Congress and Trade Show in Sioux Falls on Jan. 9-10.
VERMILLION, S.D.—Farmers are looking at tight margins again for 2019 and are trending toward planting more corn and less soybeans in 2019. That was the talk among those attending the 36th annual Dakota Farm Show on January 3-5 in Vermillion. Exhibitors like 'N-Rich Plant Food, Inc. of Humboldt, S.D., which sells starter fertilizer, already is seeing the acreage shift to more corn in its early sales. Owner and President Dave Schwans says, "We've got about 30 percent or 40 percent of our customer base that has already raised their corn acres going into 2019."
Farmers regionally and nationally are talking about planting more corn and less soybeans in 2019. This follows a year of disastrous soybean prices in 2018 due to the ongoing trade dispute with China and record soybean production in the United States, which led to record carryout of 955 million bushel.
2018 was a roller coaster ride in the grain markets with big crops and the trade war dominating headlines. Market analysts say that uncertainty will carry over into 2019, especially as the trade watches the negotiations between the U.S. and China. Most are not optimistic about a deal with China by March 1. "With the fact that the Trump administration likes tariffs, I don't think we will see a deal done," says Randy Martinson, with Martinson Ag of Fargo.
The nation's farmers will be receiving a second trade aid payment under USDA's Market Facilitation Program. President Donald Trump made the announcement on Dec. 17, giving farmers an early Christmas present. Soybean farmers were pleased the president delivered the trade aid he promised, since there was some question about whether the payments would be made with the Office of Management and Budget concerned about the cost.
As the great debate over fake meat continues, farm groups are pushing for federal regulatory oversight of the products by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are also requesting the government prohibit the use of commonly known and industry recognized "meat" terms in the labeling and advertising of all lab-grown and plant-based alternatives.