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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Quarterly Hog Report Shows 7 Percent Increase

WASHINGTON –As of March 1, there were 65.9 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 7 percent from March 2014, but down slightly from December 1, 2014, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:

Of the 65.9 million hogs and pigs, 60.0 million were market hogs, while 5.98 million were kept for breeding.

Between December 2014 and February 2015, 28.8 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 9 percent from the same time period one year earlier.

From December 2014 through February 2015, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.17 pigs per litter.

U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.87 million sows farrow between March and May 2015, and 2.93 million sows farrow between June and August 2015.

Iowa hog producers accounted for the largest inventory among the states, at 20.4 million head. North Carolina and Minnesota had the second and third largest inventories with 8.40 million and 7.85 million head, respectively.

   

Iowa Continues To Lose Farms

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a new report that the number of farms in Iowa continues to slide. 
     In an annual report released Thursday the USDA says Iowa farms fell to 88,000 last year, 500 fewer than the year before. Most of the decrease came in the small farm category, those with annual sales between $1,000 and $10,000.
     The number of Iowa farms has fallen 1.2 percent since 2010, while the average farm size is up 1.2 percent in the same period, a reflection of national trends.
     The average farm in Iowa is 347 acres, up one acre from the year before. 
     Iowa had 30.5 million acres in farms last year, down 100,000 acres from the year before.

   

Hundreds of Farmers File Suit Against Syngenta

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers and farm businesses in 20 states have filed more than 360 lawsuits against agricultural chemicals-maker Syngenta, and hundreds more may be coming as a federal judge in Kansas City coordinates the cases so they can proceed.
     The dispute centers around Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera, a corn seed genetically modified to contain a protein that kills corn-eating bugs. China hadn't approved it for import, and boycotted U.S. corn once Viptera was detected in its grain shipments in 2013.
     Farmers who did not plant the seed, grain handlers and exporters claim the boycott cost them money.
     Syngenta says it plans to seek dismissal because there's no legal authority barring the introduction of a U.S. government-approved product simply because it wasn't approved for sale in a foreign country. 
     China approved Viptera in December.

 

   

Grain Prices Likely To Remain Low Through 2015 Marketing Year

(Le Mars) -- Corn prices are low, as are gasoline prices, so how is the ethanol industry faring?  An Iowa State University agricultural economist says the ethanol industry is facing a good news - bad news scenerio with profit margins becoming very slim.

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Chad Hart spoke at a Crop Advantage seminar in Le Mars on Tuesday.  He says ethanol is able to compete when oil prices are high, but times like today, the ethanol industry still needs support from subsidies.
 
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Hart says there isn't much optimism for improvement in the grain prices for this next marketing year.

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The grain marketing specialist says if there is a possibility for hope in the grain markets, it could be with exports.

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