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7 ag stories you might have missed

Collage with corn harvest, capitol building and angus beef cattle
Catch up on Hurricane Ian’s impact on agriculture, low river levels hindering grain movement, the latest destructive livestock pest, and more!

Did you miss some ag news this week? Read on! Here’s a collection of the top headlines in agriculture from the past week to fill you in.

Ian’s impact on fertilizer

Fertilizer maker Mosaic Co. evacuated some of its Florida operations as Hurricane Ian prepared to make landfall earlier this week. The facilities are expected to remain closed for at least a week due to the hurricane, a hit that could see third quarter revenue fall by $240 million to $300 million. The phosphate-fertilizer market may take a few days to react to Hurricane Ian’s arrival over a key production area in Florida. – Bloomberg

Low river levels threaten ag trade

Water levels in key locations along the Mississippi River are at or below the low water threshold. The issue may worsen in the coming weeks with a dry forecast. Low river levels reduce the number of barges able to access the U.S. Gulf, the busiest export hub for the country’s grain and oilseeds. Slower barge traffic has reduced corn and soybean bids at river terminals this week. – Reuters

Boost in renewable diesel production

A new report shows the recent surge of investments in U.S. renewable diesel production capacity is likely to spark growth for the biofuels industry. Several industry stakeholders have announced plans for new soybean crush and refinery facilities over the last two years. To meet projected supply demands due to the new facilities, the U.S. will need 17.9 million additional acres of soybeans. – CoBank

USDA invests $500M to lower fertilizer costs

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack unveiled how USDA will offer $500 million in grants to expand access and spur innovation in the domestic fertilizer sector earlier this week. The new Fertilizer Production Expansion Program will provide grants ranging from $1 million to as much as $100 million to independent operations to expand capacity and competition. – Farm Progress

EPA’s action on pesticide-coated seeds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denied a legal petition from environmental groups requesting additional approval requirements for insecticide-coated seeds. EPA’s response denying the petition stated that it would “continue to review labeling instructions for pesticides registered for seed treatment” to ensure those instructions are “complete” for the seeds ultimately coated with these biocides. – Farm Progress

New pest in town

The Asian Longhorn tick has now been confirmed in 18 states. Ticks are always a concern for humans and animals, but this invasive little creature is making itself known. The Longhorn tick can colonize quickly on an animals and kill them – all because the male isn’t needed for reproduction. The female can clone itself, creating thousands of offspring. Learn how to help prevent the spread of ticks. – BEEF

Minnesota prison opens meat processing plant

Northeastern Regional Corrections Center in Minnesota unveiled its new $2 million meat processing plant that spans 5,200 square feet. Residents have been processing meat at the facility for decades, but there has been a strong push from local legislators for an upgraded meat facility since the mid-2010s. About a third of the meat products go toward feeding NERCC residents; the rest goes out into the community. – Star Tribune

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