Missed some ag news this week? Here are seven stories to catch you up, and don't forget to check out the bonus, there's always a bonus.
1. About those mystery seeds. There are a lot of theories about those bags of seed people are getting (usually marked as jewelry or some other product). USDA's Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service would like those bags sent in, but the place to start is your state department of agriculture. We've rounded up information from across the country on this mystery, which we continue to update. Is it a marketing ploy? A move to bring invasive species into the country? The mystery remains. Did you get some seeds? – Wallaces Farmer
2. Rolling in profits. Brazilian farmers are in a position these days to lock in a 25% operating margin on their corn for next season. In Ag Marketing IQ, columnist Matthew Kruse, president, Commstock Investments shares the factors that make up that margin. Ethanol is part of that mix – Farm Futures
3. Weather is bringing its usual challenges. This year drought is rearing its ugly head across the country, but how does a corn breeder look at the issue? Interesting insight from our Breeder's Journal column, showing how you may be able to minimize stress – Indiana Prairie Farmer
4. Playing catch-up? Reuters is reporting that for China to make those Phase One promised trading targets, they're really going to have step up the buying plan. The target is to buy $36.5 billion in U.S. farm goods this year, higher than the last record. But they're behind – Reuters
5. A switch to goats. For 150 years a Vermont family has run a dairy farm, but their 500-cow operation is about to welcome 1,500 goats. They already have a buyer for all that goat milk which will go to Vermont Creamery, a dairy company owned by Land O'Lakes. Talk about a farm transition – VTdigger.org.
6. It's good to have goals, really. The beef industry has set out its Long Range Plan which looks five years into the future. BEEF Editor Burt Rutherford offers a look at the plan and offers some insights. The plan gives producers more areas of focus. Check out the BEEF Editor's blog – BEEF Magazine
7. Land in transition? We've long written across all our brands about the changing shape of rural land ownership, and farms in transition. But what might it mean with other investors buying in? National Public Radio recently took a look at the issue, sharing that big-money investors are making a trillion-dollar bet on farmland – NPR
And your bonus…
ICYMI with the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days canceled, they're merging into the Farm Progress Virtual Experience, and the aim is to provide farmers with a near-live experience through their computer, tablet or smartphone. In the Around Farm Progress podcast, Matt Jungmann, events manager, shared more about this event. Learn how going virtual does not mean missing out on what matters – Farm Progress