Michelle Rook / Special to Agweek
YANKTON, S.D. — President Donald Trump recently announced the details of his much-anticipated $1.5 trillion Infrastructure Plan. Farmers and farm groups were excited as the president specifically included rural America as part of that plan. Yet there is still some uncertainty as to what it will really mean for U.S. agriculture.
YANKTON, S.D.—The recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Prospective Plantings Report contained a few surprises, with United States farmers indicating they will plant fewer acres of corn and soybeans but more acres of wheat versus a year ago. The March 29 report showed farmers plan to plant 88 million acres of corn, down 2 percent from 2017, with soybean acreage also down 1 percent at 89 million. All wheat acreage was up 3 percent at 47.3 million acres, and spring wheat was up 15 percent at 12.6 million acres.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The last year has been rough for dairy producers in the region with a milk surplus driving prices below the cost of production. But dairy producers attending the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 27-29 were focused more about the other challenges they are currently facing, including a labor crisis and a possible trade war.
MERIDA, Mexico—Mexican agribusinesses are concerned about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Many Mexican companies already have been buying South American grains and oilseeds over the last year to be proactive, in case the talks are not successful.
VERA CRUZ, Mexico — With the United States in the midst of the re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the importance of the Mexican market to agriculture has made headlines. A delegation of 10 South Dakota farmers returned from a Feb. 18-24 trade mission to Mexico to talk with their neighbor and customer to solidify this relationship. The See for Yourself tour was hosted by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
After a challenging growing season, South Dakota farmers are finding some surprisingly good soybean yields as they harvest this fall. Doug Hanson, a farmer from Elk Point, S.D., started the season planting the soybean crop late and into mud, and then the weather changed. "From June 20 onto the rest of the summer it just quit raining," he said. The soybean crop finally got some rain in August and recovered, only to face another challenge with late season hail.
MORGAN, Minn. — Crop ratings for corn and soybeans nationally have been running well below last year for much of the growing season and major production states are following suit. One exception has been Minnesota, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most recent crop ratings were 80 percent good to excellent for corn, down 1 percent from last week, with soybeans rated at 74 percent, up 1 percent.
WASHINGTON D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have filed an official proposal to withdraw the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule due to the concerns of rural America. EPA now begins a replacement rulemaking process re-evaluating the definition of WOTUS in the Clean Water Act and gathering input from stakeholders.
BROOKINGS, S.D. — Dairy is a $2.4 billion industry in South Dakota and consumers got to see that first hand at the 2017 Dairy Fest in Brookings. The fourth annual event highlighted the importance of the dairy industry for the public and took consumers through the dairy industry from farm to fork. "Our focus is on the consumer and getting them exposed to agriculture and the dairy industry as a whole," says Tracey Erickson, South Dakota State University Extension dairy field specialist.