Old Man Winter Returns, Hampers Spring Fieldwork

IARN — U.S. farmers and ranchers each year eagerly await spring.

Anticipation continues to build, especially as folks remain homebound. Recent and impending weather, however, puts a temporarily hold on spring fieldwork.

Upper Midwest states received snowfall this Easter. Residents in select areas woke up to more fluffy matter on the ground this morning. Bryce Anderson, chief meteorologist with DTN, says this is not unusual. Read more

“In 35 Years Of Farming, I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This”

IARN — One of the largest pork processing facilities in the United States shuttered its doors. The recent move adds to a long list of challenges U.S. pork producers currently face.

Smithfield Foods on Sunday announced plans to close its Sioux Falls, South Dakota plant. The plant, which represents four- to five-percent of U.S. pork production, will remain closed until further notice. Read more

Somebody Is Making Money On This Situation And It Isn’t Producers

IARN — Questions and accusations have been flying at a high rate in the past few weeks. Hog and cattle producers are looking for answers. They are seeing their prices drop like a stone while they see the prices in the grocery stores remain steady or rise during this COVID-19 pandemic. With grocery store shelves being emptied, demand is obviously still high. Meatpackers are also strained from the pandemic and are shuttering to protect the health of their employees, but farmers aren’t blaming them for that. Their concerned with how they are going to stay in business. Read more

Chairman Peterson: USDA Should Up Commodity Purchases

IARN — In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday morning, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota urged the Administration to maximize the purchase of agricultural commodities for donation and distribution to aid hungry Americans and struggling farmers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The pictures and video of milk being dumped and fresh vegetables being plowed into the ground is unsettling to most Americans, but it is heartbreaking for those farm families that produced that commodity,” said Peterson, adding that purchases by USDA of those products can “help ensure that the production that no longer has a foodservice market can be made available to help our nation’s food banks.” Read more

Small Business Administration Doing Its Own Interpretation Of CARES Act

(IARN) — The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been called into question recently with its inclusion methods, or rather exclusion methods, concerning the agriculture industry. Many Ag groups have been lobbying the SBA to extend all their aid programs to farmers and ranchers. Apparently, they aren’t the only ones who are questioning what is going on. Read more

Swine Industry In “Dire Crisis” Requests Immediate Government Intervention

(IARN) — “America’s hog farmers take pride in supplying the world’s most popular, affordable, and highest quality protein. We are resilient, and typically a self-sufficient bunch,” shares Howard “A.V.” Roth, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) president.

Roth, however, continued by laying out the harsh reality United States hog farmers face: COVID-19 has created unprecedented circumstances, having a sudden and devestating impact on U.S. hog farmers. Read more