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Pettis County farmer is new Missouri FSA director

Written by TF Staff on .

Brent Hampy, a row-crop and cattle farmer from Pettis County, Mo., has been appointed as the new state executive director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Missouri. He joined the state’s FSA team Oct. 1, filling the vacancy left by the May appointment of Richard Fordyce of Bethany as administrator of the national FSA.

Hampy has farmed since 1987 in Smithton, Mo., and had been serving as Pettis County’s Eastern District Commissioner since 2012. He had also been a board member for the Missouri Farm Bureau since 2013. As part of the federal appointment, Hampy has stepped down from both positions.

His new duties will include overseeing FSA’s commodity and disaster relief programs for farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners.

Adapt-N now available throughout MFA territory

Written by TF Staff on .

MFA has expanded the partnership between its precision agriculture programs and Adapt-N, a professional software tool that combines advanced crop modeling with soil-type information, field management data and weather to establish real-time nitrogen recommendations.

Adapt-N is now available to the entire MFA trade territory, giving growers the ability to leverage field data already available within the MFA system to generate unbiased and scientifically validated in-season, variable-rate nitrogen recommendations, said Thad Becker, MFA Incorporated precision agronomy manager.

Working in conjunction with MFA’s Nutri-Track and Crop-Trak programs, Adapt-N adds another layer of beneficial data for growers, he added.

“We strive to serve our members with programs that improve their farms,” Becker said. “We accomplish this by providing nutrient recommendations tailored to each farmer’s unique growing conditions along with critical in-season field observations and our overall commitment to environmental stewardship. Everything we do has sound agronomy behind it. When we provide a service or product, you can count on it. We are excited to offer Adapt-N to customers throughout our territory.”

Adapt-N is built on more than a decade of university research plus continuous, multi-regional, on-farm testing since 2011. Adapt-N is operated by Agronomic Technology Corp and owned by Yara International.

“The increase in MFA’s use of Adapt-N over the past several years and the expanding availability of the technology across its territory are further evidence of MFA’s commitment to driving profitable sustainability for its growers,” said Steve Sibulkin, who leads the Adapt-N solution team at Yara. “This is completely aligned with our aspiration to bring timely recommendations to farmers that help them maximize yield while minimizing environmental impact.”

For more information, visit with your local MFA Crop-Trak or Nutri-Track consultant.

U.S. hog inventory up 3 percent

Written by TF Staff on .

As of Sept. 1, there were 75.5 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, up 3 percent from the same time last year, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Other key findings in the report were:
• Of the 75.5 million hogs and pigs, 69.2 million were market hogs, while 6.33 million were kept for breeding.
• Between June and August 2018, 34.2 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up 3 percent from the same time period one year earlier.
• From June through August 2018, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.72 pigs per litter.
• U.S. hog producers intend to have 3.16 million sows farrow between September and November 2018, and 3.12 million sows farrow between December 2018 and February 2019.
• Iowa hog producers accounted for the largest inventory among the states, at 23.6 million head. North Carolina and Minnesota had the second and third largest inventories with 9.40 million and 8.60 million head, respectively.

To obtain an accurate measurement of the U.S. swine industry, NASS surveyed more than 6,500 operators across the nation during the first half of September. The data collected were received by electronic data recording, mail, telephone and through face-to-face interviews. All surveyed producers were asked to report their hog and pig inventories as of Sept. 1, 2018.

This report and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

Tech tour

Written by TF Staff on .

Even in the midst of harvest, it’s important for farmers to take time to tell their story.

That’s exactly what Lynn Fahrmeier did on Sept. 24. The Wellington, Mo., farmer stopped his combine, staged equipment on the edge of one of his corn fields and hosted a group of 20 journalists as part of an agricultural learning conference organized by the National Press Foundation. The farm tour followed a morning of sessions at Bayer’s facility in Kansas City, where the journalists learned more about biotechnology and ag industry challenges.

“Purdue University would tell you I’m losing $500 an hour standing here instead of being in the field, but this story needs to be told,” Fahrmeier said. “As farmers, we’ve got a great story to tell, and there’s no way the media will hear it unless we tell it.”

His wife, Donna, and their children, Elizabeth and Samuel, were also on hand to show the media representatives what a true family farm is like. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat and sheep on 1,700 acres, some of which have been in the Fahrmeier family for more than a century.

During the tour, Fahrmeier took the National Press Foundation fellows through a typical Midwest crop production year, using a planter, sprayer and combine as illustrations of how technology has made his operation more efficient. MFA Precision Ag

Specialists Matt Stock and Scott Bergsieker were part of the program, too, explaining such practices as variable-rate seeding, fertilizing and crop protection applications. The Fahrmeiers work with MFA Agri Services in Lexington for precision services and farm inputs.

“Our goal was to blow these journalists away with technology,” Fahrmeier said. “Hopefully, they came away from here with some understanding of how farmers are shouldering the cost of technology to improve the environmental impact.”

Gala upsets the apple cart

Written by TF Staff on .

The Red Delicious will lose its reign as the most popular apple grown in the U.S. this year after more than half a century at No. 1.

The U.S. Apple Association, which advocates on behalf of 7,500 apple growers and 400 companies in the apple business, is projecting that the Gala apple will take over the top spot, as consumers prefer its “taste, texture and sweetness.” Gala already is the most popular variety sold in the U.S., followed by Red Delicious, according to the association.

In response to shifting preference, the U.S. will grow some 52 million bushels of Gala apples in 2018, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier. Gala originated in New Zealand in the 1930s.

Red Delicious production, meanwhile, is expected to tumble 10.7 percent to around 51 million bushels in 2018, the trade group predicts. Red Delicious will still account for about half of U.S. apple exports.

The Granny Smith, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples are expected to rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in U.S. production.

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