Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

Farm income continues to shrink so loan demand growing

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Federal Reserve says demand for farm loans is still growing because cattle and crop prices are lower than they were a year ago and farm profits are shrinking.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Missouri, said Thursday that over 87 percent of bankers in the region reported a decline in farm income in the third quarter.

The changing conditions have bankers expecting loan demand to continue growing while repayment rates decline.

The 10th Federal Reserve District covers Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.

The value of irrigated farmland in the region fell 7 percent while non-irrigated land declined 6.1 percent and pastures declined 6.5 percent.

Consolidated Sourcing Solutions announces senior vice president

Sioux City, Iowa — Gary Voichahoske has been promoted to senior vice president of Consolidated Sourcing Solutions, LLC (CSS). Mr. Voichahoske provides CSS with vast working knowledge and experience in the fertilizer industry. In his new role as senior vice president, he will work closely with President Steve Namanny to assist the CSS partners in sourcing fertilizer information, managing logistics and sourcing products used by thousands of cooperative member-growers in the Midwest and Upper Great Plains.

“Gary’s experience and knowledge of the industry is a huge asset for the CSS partners in his new role as senior vice president,” Steve Briggs, chairman of the CSS Board of Directors, says.

Mr. Voichahoske will continue to work out of the CSS corporate office in Sioux City, Iowa.

Consolidated Sourcing Solutions is an LLC, formed in 2010 between the cooperative partners of Landus Cooperative, Ames, Iowa; Central Valley Ag Coop, York, Neb.; and Wheat Growers, Aberdeen, S.D. Consolidated Sourcing Solutions assists these cooperatives in their global intelligence with regard to fertilizer supply and provides sourcing of product information.

South Dakota ranchers discuss future of cattle industry

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Ranchers from across western South Dakota gathered in Fort Pierre not to deal cattle, but to organize ways to protect their industry.

The Capital Journal reports that Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA – the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America – gave a presentation in which he said consolidation in the packing plant industry and unfair free trade deals with countries competing in cattle raising are the cause of plummeting prices the past two years.

Bullard said the assembly of President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration provides “a window of opportunity” to bring about changes in federal policies that affect the cattle industry.

Bryan Hanson, president of R-CALF USA, says that Trump’s criticism of free trade agreements aligns with the group’s concerns.

Turkey barns destroyed by fire

HANSKA — As many as 11,000 turkeys perished in barn fires at a Hanska poultry farm on Nov. 11, less than two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Crews from several fire departments responded to the 2:15 p.m. blaze and battled the fire northeast of Hanska throughout the afternoon, according to KNUJ radio in New Ulm. One barn was fully engulfed when crews arrived and the fire had spread to a second barn. Two other barns on the property were saved. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

— The Free Press, Mankato, Minn., McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Alexandria man killed by combine in western Minnesota field

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) — An Alexandria man is dead after he was run over by a combine in a cornfield in western Minnesota.

Douglas County sheriff’s authorities identify the victim as 62-year-old Ewald Wussow.

Authorities say Wussow’s brother was backing up the combine on Nov. 11 and did not know Wussow was in the field near the combine.

First responders and an ambulance responded, but Ewald Wussow was dead.

An autopsy is planned, but authorities say the death appears accidental.

Groton FFA recognized at Ag Appreciation Banquet in Aberdeen

Groton FFA was a winner twice over at this year’s Ag Appreciation Banquet on Nov. 11 at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen.

Adam Franken, Groton FFA adviser, won the Make a Difference Award.

Franken, who is also a member of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce’s ag committee, has been teaching for 13 years.

“Agriculture is what makes this community run,” he said. “For me, it’s just doing something I’m passionate about: Agriculture and educating our youth.”

Groton FFA was presented a check for $800 by Brett Deibert from Farm Credit Service in recognition of the kids’ knowledge and involvement in the fourth-grade ag fair and other events.

The annual banquet celebrates area farmers and ranchers and give thanks and recognition for their work in the ag industry.

“There is no reason for Aberdeen to be here except for ag,” Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen said at the event. Even though a lot of people are no longer directly involved in ag, it affects everyone, he said.

“You make us what we are because of what you are,” Levsen said of the ag community.

— American News Reporter Reporter Kathy Jensen