Industry News | 07-11-2022

Overloaded with Stress? Don’t Go It Alone. A ‘Farm Counselor’ Can Help

After 30 years working in the field of rural mental health, Ted Matthews understands the factors that stress farmers – and there are a lot. Earlier this week, he ticked off four recent ones in quick succession during a brief interview on Agri-Talk. “Tornadoes, avian (bird) flu, corn and soybean crops that are average at best…and we aren’t getting enough rain in most areas right now,” says Matthews, director of Minnesota Rural Mental Health, Hutchinson, Minn. “Prices for everything are going up, so what are (input costs) going to be next year? That’s another stress farmers are going to be looking at in the very near future,” Matthews told Davis Michaelsen, Agri-Talk guest host.
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USDA: Small Family Farms Produce Majority Of Poultry And Eggs, And Hay

In 2020, most of the values of cotton (62 percent), dairy (73 percent), and specialty crops (57 percent) were produced on large-scale family farms. USDA defines a family farm as one in which the principal operator and related family own the majority of the assets used in the operation. Large-scale family farms are those with an annual gross cash farm income of $1 million or more. However, small family farms produced the bulk of hay production (59 percent) and poultry and egg output (49 percent) in 2020. Poultry operations are often classified as “small” because most output is under a production contract arrangement, with a contractor paying a fee to a farmer who raises poultry to maturity. Additionally, more than one-quarter of beef production occurred on small family farms that generally have cow/calf operations.
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Speakers at Women in Agribusiness Speakers Announced

Content provides knowledge, and that surely applies to the annual Women in Agribusiness (WIA) Summit, which will be held this year in Dallas, September 26-28, at the Hyatt Regency. Key to the expanded offerings are that breakout sessions are back, adding several concurrent sessions for attendees to select from on Day 2 of the two-and-a-half-day conference. "Pivoting to virtual conferences during the pandemic had limited our options to offer concurrent track sessions, which had grown to be very popular with our WIA community, so we are delighted to announce that the fully in-person 2022 event will offer three breakout sessions, each with four topics that will substantially add to an agenda already brimming with content," said Carrie Vita, event director for Women in Agribusiness. 

Breakout topic titles include: The Ever-Changing Vegetable Oil Market, Ukrainian Grain and Business Strategy, Managing Supply Chain Disruptions in Turbulent Times, and The Increasing Demand for Biofuels. A special animal ag track features Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, director of AgNext and professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, who will speak on "Animal Agriculture's Role in Mitigating Climate Change". Others presenting during this track are: Emily Metz, president & CEO of the American Egg Board; and Anna Forseth, director of Animal Health, National Pork Producers Council.
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Historic Americana Painted on Barns Now Fading Away

Barns have many uses. One that has all but disappeared is as billboards. Before interstates and before digital signs advertising all types of products and services, barns offered a prime spot for companies promoting their goods. Those traveling rural highways and byways commonly saw messages painted on barns, often on the sloping roofs. Now all that is left are a few faded letters and memories. Some of the latter belong to Robert Frischkorn, who grew up on a farm in southern Illinois. His family farm’s barn for years was painted with advertising messages.
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Product Helps Newly Weaned Pigs Take to Water

Newly weaned pigs often struggle taking to water. Callabria Petrino with swine nutrition company Tonisity says they’ve released a water medicator called PxW that is flavored in a way that “pigs lap it up.” “In our studies we’ve seen that the pigs can start on early as 30 minutes when they get in the barn, which if you work with baby pigs, getting them to drink anything is almost impossible during that stressful time. So the increased water intake is just impressive.”
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