DL News Staff
What is the future of wheat in Minnesota? First of all, if there is to be one, it rests primarily with spring wheat as the winter hardiness trait is lacking in winter wheat varieties that could be successfully planted in the northern counties. Secondly, the current primary use of wheat is flour.
The Minnesota and North Dakota Farm Business Management Education programs have compiled their annual financial summary of farms in the Red River Valley. This is the most detailed farm analysis information available to the public for this region. It is available at www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/aginfo/farmmgmt/FBM.htm and will soon be available at www.mgt.org . Financial performance in 2005 was much worse than in 2004. Gross revenues were similar, but total expenses were up 10 percent. This caused net farm income to shrink by 49 percent.
There are thousands of acres of what are termed "permanent grass pastures" in central Minnesota.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (R-Minn.) will host a farm meeting in Ada on Monday, April 10. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. at the Ada VFW. Peterson, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, will address issues like the budget, the upcoming farm bill, renewable energy, and disaster assistance. "The President's budget proposal has created a lot of uncertainty for farmers," he said.
U.S. soybean acreage for 2006 is projected to rise 7 percent over last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The department released its prospective plantings report March 31. It suggests fewer corn and wheat acres to be planted this spring. It is a different story in Minnesota.
Persons attending the "Wheat Summit" in Moorhead Wednesday answered a number of questions posed on wheat's future in Minnesota. Some of the questions and answers were: What topic do you feel will help keep wheat viable in this region? The top two answers were biotechnology and high yielding wheat. What are research priorities? Finding and using wheat traits that are also consumer acceptable, and disease tolerance. What areas should research dollars be applied to? Biotechnology and spring wheat breeding.
The signup deadline for persons wishing to re-enroll acreage or extend contracts in the federal Conservation Reserve Program is April 14. The deadline applies to landowners with CRP contracts expiring Sept. 30, 2007. Landowners must notify their county Farm Service Agency office of their intentions.
At several meetings that I have presented at this year, livestock producers have asked if Avian influenza, commonly referred to as bird flu, would impact livestock prices. One cattle producer commented that he thought bird flu could be good, since destroying chickens would mean less competitive meat for the beef industry. However, livestock producers should be very concerned because bird flu already may have negatively impacted beef and other meat prices. According to USDA ( www.usda.gov/birdflu ), bird flu is a disease caused by a virus that infects domestic poultry and wild birds.
The following are daily future price settlements on near-contracts for grain, livestock and dairy commodities for the week of March 31-April 6. Minneapolis spring wheat, May contract; Friday $4.04 1/4; Monday $4.02 1/2; Tuesday $4.05 1/2; Wednesday $4.11 1/2; Thursday $4.16 3/4. Chicago corn, May contract; Friday $2.36; Monday $2.36 1/2; Tuesday $2.34 1/2; Wednesday $2.36 1/4; Thursday $2.41 1/2. Chicago soybeans, May contract; Friday $5.71 1/2; Monday $5.65; Tuesday $5.58 3/4; Wednesday $5.61 1/2; Thursday $5.64. Chicago live cattle, June contract; Friday $74.35; Monday $74.15
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Archery Trade Association officially launched a partnership to promote Minnesota archery and bowhunting at a ceremony April 8 in St.