Ag briefs: Record soybean harvest expected

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


Record soybean harvest expected amid continued trade dispute

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers are expected to harvest the largest soybean crop on record but must deal with a constricted market in which to sell the crop because of President Donald Trump's tariff battle with China.

In its latest update released Thursday, the USDA places the expected soybean harvest at 4.6 billion bushels, the largest ever.

Illinois leads soybean production with 688 million bushels and Iowa is second.
Selling soybeans to China has nearly halted with the tariff dispute resulting in a growing stockpile and the lowest prices for farmers in more than a decade.

Corn production is estimated at 14.6 billion bushels, the second largest crop on record.
Iowa remains the nation's leading corn producer with an expected 2.5 billion bushels.


Coca Cola to introduce yogurt in Brazil

The world’s largest soft-drink maker wants a bigger piece of Brazil’s $20 billion dairy market.

Coca-Cola Co., facing declining sales as consumers turn away from sugary soda, says it is producing Brazil’s first “natural” yogurt, making the product without artificial flavorings, dyes and preservative, according to Bloomberg.

The company acquired Verde Campo, based in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, in 2016 and has invested about $13.3 million to expand production of natural dairy products. With consumers worldwide seeking healthier options, the company will pull artificial ingredients from its yogurt by the end of the month, with plans to follow up with cheese and other products by the end of 2019.


Livestock lost in fire at school ag barn

Firefighters say a fire that raced through an agricultural barn at a central Oklahoma school district destroyed livestock raised by students.

An electrical fire on Saturday destroyed a barn used by the Cashion Schools FFA chapter. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 10 minutes, but the animals inside died of smoke inhalation.

The Oklahoman reports three show hogs, a sheep and a goat raised by students were lost in the blaze.


Dairy penalized $100K air-quality violations

 A northeastern Iowa dairy that makes cheese has agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty and install expensive pollution control equipment for violating air-quality rules for a dozen years.

The Iowa Attorney General's office said in a written statement Nov. 9 that Prairie Farms Dairy in Luana admitted to the violations in a consent decree signed earlier this week. The plant formally operated under the name Swiss Valley Farms. Prairie Farms and Swiss Valley merged in April 2017.

State prosecutors and environmental officials say the plant removed an air pollution control device called a baghouse in 2004 without seeking a permit. In 2016, it installed a dryer stack fan that reduced emissions.

As part of the consent decree, Prairie Farms has agreed to install a baghouse at a cost of $1.4 million.


Fire destroys meat packing plant

A large fire has destroyed a meat packing businesses in central Illinois as flames shot more than 50 feet into the nighttime sky and burned for hours.

The fire broke out on the evening of Nov. 8 at Raber Packing Co. on the western edge of Peoria. Limestone Township fire chief Larry Gilmore says firefighters were ordered from the building after a ceiling fell in. No injuries were reported.


Hazelnut harvest falls short

Hazelnut growers in Oregon were anticipating a record-high crop in 2018, although it appears the harvest is coming in short of expectations.

The Capital Press reported Monday that the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service predicted 52,000 tons of hazelnuts in August, which would have beaten the previous record of 49,500 tons in 2001.

Nearly all U.S. commercial hazelnuts are grown in Oregon.