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Ag News Wire

Ag News Wire is published on the first and third Monday of each month, except on holidays. It will also be published at other unscheduled times in order to provide relevant, time-sensitive information. Ag News Wire highlights columns and other news about the University’s production agriculture research and outreach efforts.

A series of fact sheets on the Agricultural Act of 2014 - the farm bill - is available to help the agricultural community prepare for changes introduced by the recently passed federal legislation.

Application of manure on frozen ground almost guarantees economic loss on the value of manure while also potentially harming the environment. Phosphorus and nitrogen in manure can have negative effects in the environment when in excess.

As corn prices declined in the fall of 2013, so did farm incomes for a majority of Minnesota farms, according to a joint analysis conducted by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and University of Minnesota Extension.

A few actions now can help prevent springtime snowmelt problems on farmsteads with big snow piles and drifts.

The recent snowstorm left large amounts of snow and ice on agricultural building roofs. The extended cold temperatures prevent snow and ice from sliding off, which increases the total weight that trusses and rafters must support. Even well-designed roofs cannot take excessive amounts of snow, greater than four to six feet.

The "Agricultural Act of 2014," commonly called the farm bill, changes many programs and rules for farmers. Farmers need to make a crucial one-time, irrevocable election under the crop commodity programs. Farmers also have an opportunity to update their base acres and their base yields.

The recent spike in propane prices is additional incentive for swine producers to conserve heating energy. Pork producers may have propane contracted at a reasonable rate, but managing heating costs should always be a priority, especially when expenses are rising.

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