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7 ag stories you might have missed

Collage with corn harvest, capitol building and angus beef cattle
Catch up on the annual Wheat Tour, the derecho in the Northern Plains, the best four-legged farm friends and more!

Did you miss some agricultural news this week? We’re here to help. Here’s a summary of the top headlines in agriculture from around the country.

Wheat tour underlines impact of drought

The Wheat Quality Council’s annual Hard Winter Wheat Tour was underway this week in Kansas. The Day 1 average reported after 248 stops was 39.5 bushels per acre. That’s about 20 bushels per acre less than the 2021 Day 1 estimate of 59.2 bushels per acre. Out of 254 stops Day 2, the average yield was 37 bushels per acre. Get the full tour recap. – Kansas Farmer

Struggling with high feed prices?

Whenever profitability is challenged, Dr. Katie VanValin starts to get questions about decreasing feed costs. This should come as no surprise, as feed costs are one of the biggest expenses facing beef cattle operations. She shares 10 tips for ranchers to save on feed to protect their bottom line. – BEEF

Diesel shortage on the horizon?

Filling a tractor tank daily now costs some farmers $1,000, twice what it was a year ago. Diesel prices are the highest ever, with warnings of shortages – especially in the eastern U.S. Russia's invasion of Ukraine tightened global supplies of the fuel. While the situation in the Midwest isn't as dire, wholesale prices in Chicago are still up 75% from a year ago. – Bloomberg

Derecho damages Northern Plains

Eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska and western Minnesota felt the brunt of Mother Nature late-afternoon, early evening of May 12 when what the U.S. National Weather Service has classified as a derecho made its way through the area. Winds gusted as high as 97 miles per hour near Madison, S.D., with an unofficial report of 107 mph near Tripp, S.D. – Farm Progress

USDA to distribute $6 billion in crop disaster payments

USDA released plans May 16 to distribute an estimated $6 billion in crop disaster payments that will soon be sent to recipients based on crop insurance data. The new Emergency Relief Program administered by the Farm Service Agency will offset crop yield and value losses from natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021. – Farm Progress

House advances bill to examine meat competition

The House Agriculture Committee advanced the Meat Packing Special Investigator Act, which would establish a new “Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters” within USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division. The USDA Special Investigator would focus on preventing shortages, enforcing America’s anti-trust laws, and holding bad actors in the meat and poultry industry accountable. – Farm Futures

2022 favorite farm dogs

This spring, Prairie Farmer editors gathered nominations for the Favorite Farm Dog Contest as readers sent in their best photos and short descriptions to enter their canine companions. Drumroll, please, for the 2022 winners and honorable mentions:

  • First Place. Bahia, a 5-year-old Australian cattle dog from Ashton, Ill.
  • Second Place. Miley, a 14-year-old Australian cattle dog from Salem, Ill.
  • Third Place. Bindi Sue, a 4-year-old Australian shepherd from Marietta, Ill.
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