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7 ag stories you can’t miss – September 22, 20237 ag stories you can’t miss

Catch up on harvest progress across the Heartland, how the UAW strike could affect pickup truck availability, EPA’s new report questioning the benefits of corn-based ethanol and more!

Rachel Schutte

September 22, 2023

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.

Harvest underway across the Heartland

This week’s USDA crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through September 17, offered an update on corn harvest along with the first look at soybean harvest data. According to the report, 54% of corn is fully mature and harvest is 9% complete. Soybean harvest reached 5% last week. Harvest pace for both crops is ahead of average. – Farm Futures

7 steps to enter direct-to-consumer meat market

In recent years, the direct-to-consumer market has become trendy, especially in the meat industry. Entering this market requires careful planning and execution and it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are seven essential steps to get your direct-to-consumer meat business up and running in time for the holiday season. – Missouri Ruralist

How fertilizer prices dropped by half

Fertilizer prices are down 42% in the past year, in part because of skyrocketing costs following unrest in Europe, Ukraine and Russia. Now nearly years later, prices have reset and demand has come back with a scream. See what factors to watch when it comes to fertilizer prices and get tips on how to make crucial production decisions. – Prairie Farmer

UAW set to expand strike against 3 auto giants

United Auto Workers began the unprecedented strike against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (makes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands) September 15, and it could last a while. This is the first time in history that the union has taken on all three auto giants at once. Analysts expect plants that build more profitable pickup trucks like Ford's F-150, GM's Chevrolet Silverado and Stellantis' Ram to be the next strike targets. – Farm Progress

EPA warns ethanol may not be green enough

The U.S. government’s scientists are now questioning whether corn-based ethanol is better for the environment than traditional petroleum-based fuels. The EPA’s Science Advisory Board agreed to advance a report questioning ethanol’s carbon intensity and urging more studies. Science advisers say there's uncertainty about how much cropland has expanded to grow corn for ethanol as a result of biofuel-blending quotas under the RFS, but corn and ethanol industry reps say that’s not the case. – Bloomberg

Senate targets December for farm bill passage

The current farm bill is set to expire Sept. 30, and the U.S. Senate is aiming to get the farm bill done before year’s end as negotiators struggle to strike a bipartisan agreement. Although the House typically releases its draft first, dysfunction in the lower chamber is pushing the Senate to take action. – Agriculture Dive

First big grain ship leaves Ukraine's Black Sea port

The first big ship carrying grain from a Ukrainian Black Sea port since Moscow quit a deal in July allowing exports set sail on Friday carrying 17,600 metric tons of wheat to Egypt, according to a Ukrainian deputy prime minister. It was the second carrier to leave the port this week using what Kyiv calls a new temporary humanitarian corridor. The first left on Tuesday, testing the route with a cargo of just 3,000 tons. – Reuters

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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