Farm Progress

7 ag stories you can’t miss – April 12, 2024

Catch up on USDA's April WASDE report, the spread of highly pathogenic avian flu to dairy cattle, a recap of the extreme Midwest winter weather and more!

Rachel Schutte, Content Producer

April 12, 2024

3 Min Read
7 ag stories you can't miss
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Did you miss some news this week? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a collection of the top headlines in agriculture.

April WASDE fails to excite markets

Despite much pre-report trade anticipation for USDA to potentially make cuts to Brazilian corn and soybean production in Thursday's WASDE report, USDA left 2023/24 corn and soybean production estimates for the South American country unchanged. USDA trimmed 2023/24 ending corn stock volumes for U.S. supplies, but the markets had likely already priced in those expectations prior to the report’s release. – Farm Futures


Is China avoiding U.S. commodities as a political stunt?

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack implied that China may be favoring Brazilian corn and soybeans partly in retaliation against recent restrictions on ownership of American farmland. Vilsack said his counterpart in China recently brought up Arkansas’ move to force seed company Syngenta AG to sell 160 acres of farmland in the state. Vilsack said the U.S. needs to diversify by working more with other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. – Bloomberg

HPAI spreads to cattle in North Carolina and South Dakota

USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed positive cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in dairy cattle in North Carolina and South Dakota on Tuesday. Producers are encouraged to buckle down on biosecurity to protect dairy cattle and workers from the virus. Other states like Pennsylvania are putting quarantine orders in place before positive cases are detected. Due to the low mortality rate in cattle compared to other species, an industry group is encouraging the use of the term Bovine Influenza A Virus.


2023-24: The winter that never was

If the Grinch stole Christmas, who stole Old Man Winter? Someone certainly kidnapped him this past winter season. Beth Hall, director of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, explains the Midwest saw a very mild winter, especially in terms of snowfall. Check out these facts and figures from the 2023-24 climatological winter that prove it was extreme. – Indiana Prairie Farmer

Russia seizes assets of AgroTerra

Russia has seized assets of agricultural holdings company AgroTerra Group as part of a retaliation against “unfriendly” states amid heightened geopolitical tensions. The move follows similar asset seizures of Western companies such as multinational brewer Carlsberg and dairy giant Danone, which have moved to offload their operations in Russia. – Agriculture Dive

Republican senators look to strengthen crop insurance

Sen. John Hoeven, R- N.D., introduced legislation to strengthen crop insurance and make higher coverage levels more affordable. The Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience Act, or FARMER Act, would increase premium support for higher levels of crop insurance. Hoeven hopes the bill will be included in the new farm bill to lessen the need for ad hoc disaster assistance, resulting in a more resilient ag economy and a better deal for taxpayers. – Farm Progress

Make the most from off-farm income

USDA reported in 2019 that 96% of American farm households derived some income from off-farm sources. As Tax Day approaches, families might be reviewing how they’re making the most of those off-farm paychecks for their needs today and in the future. Principals and agriculture industry leaders Bill Glazner and Turner Polzin shared what farm families may want to keep in mind regarding their off-farm income streams. – Kansas Farmer

About the Author(s)

Rachel Schutte

Content Producer, Farm Futures

Rachel grew up in central Wisconsin and earned a B.S. in soil and crop science from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. Before joining the Farm Futures team, Rachel spent time in the field as an agronomist before transitioning to the world of marketing and communications. She now resides in northeast Iowa where she enjoys raising bottle calves and farming corn and soybeans alongside her husband and his family.

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