Michelle Rook / Special to Forum News Service
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Most consumers are several generations from the farm but at the annual Ag Day at the Pavilion in Sioux Falls on March 17, they learned all about the state's top industry. More than 2,500 Sioux Falls-area consumers participated in hands-on educational activities about agriculture and food production. "They're learning that I don't just get my food in the freezer aisle or in the produce section. There's a lot of people involved to make this happen," says Kaia Hedrick, special events coordinator for the Washington Pavilion.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Uncertainty about trade under the Trump Administration continues with recent tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, leaving U.S. agriculture concerned about a possible trade war, especially with China. President Donald Trump on March 1 announced plans for import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 15 percent on aluminum. Trump didn't specify which countries the tariffs would apply to. However, it triggered response from Canada, the European Union, Mexico, Australia and China.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A few weeks after Congress passed the most sweeping tax reform in decades, farmers are working with their tax professionals to figure out what it ultimately means for their farming operations. Patricia Wolff, American Farm Bureau senior director of congressional relations, specializes in tax law. She says the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has many positive aspects for agriculture.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The livestock industry is the backbone of South Dakota's economy, and that was evident at this year's Sioux Empire Farm Show held Jan. 24-27 in Sioux Falls. Numbers were once again strong for the livestock shows and sales, including market hogs, sheep, goats and six breeds of purebred beef cattle. Plus, the caliber of livestock at the shows and sales reflects the strength of the livestock industry in the state and region.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Despite low corn prices, farmers are coming off a successful year for policy and growth in renewable fuels. That was the message industry leaders shared at the South Dakota Corn Growers Association annual meeting in Sioux Falls on Jan. 20. Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, looked at what's ahead for the ethanol industry post 2022 and the current success they're having working with gas station retailers to build the infrastructure to sell higher ethanol blends. She says it's part of their Prime the Pump Campaign.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Pork producers are coming off a profitable year in 2017 with strong exports and growth in the industry, and that was evident at this year's South Dakota Pork Congress in Sioux Falls. Pork producers started 2017 with a dismal outlook in part due to projections of record hog numbers in the U.S., which were expected to depress prices. However, despite the large supplies, hog prices and profitability far exceeded expectations. Steve Meyer, economist with Kerns and Associates, says the profit per pig for 2017 was a pleasant surprise.
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.
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 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.
MADISON, Wis.—The mood was positive among dairy producers and industry representatives at the 51st annual World Dairy Expo earlier this month in Madison, Wis., despite the challenging market the last few years. Producers attending the show say 2017 has been slightly more favorable for the industry than 2016, with low feed costs and milk prices at or slightly above breakeven. "On my farm the price of milk was just a little bit better, depending on what they're using for different marketing tools," says Allen Merrill, a dairy producer from Parker, S.D.