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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - July 12, 2019

How did POET get its start? Wisconsin breeder named Master Breeder. JPMorgan pulls back on ag investments.

Missed some ag news this week? Here are seven stories to catch you up.

1. JPMorgan Chase & Co invested in the agriculture sector in the late 2000s, growing its farm-loan portfolio by 76% between 2008 and 2015. Now, after years of falling farm income, JPMorgan and other banks are heading for the exits with agricultural loan portfolios of the nation’s top 30 banks falling 17.5% from December 2015 to March 2019. – Reuters

2. Exports remain one area of optimism for ethanol producers, but that optimism is based on China’s plans to convert to E10 by the end of 2020, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. – Western Farmer Stockman

3. The Local 3403 of the American Federation of Government Employees surveyed National Institute of Food and Agriculture employees and found 71% of staffers say they won’t relocate to Kansas City. The staff has shrunk from 315 in January to 224. – Government Executive

4. The American Jersey Cattle Association awarded the Master Breeder Award to Wilfred, Walter and Roger Owens of Owens Farms Inc., in Frederic, Wis. The herd consists of 721 cows with a December 2018 rolling herd average of 18,970 pounds of milk, 947 pounds of fat and 732 pounds of protein. – Wisconsin Agriculturalist

5. USDA’s NASS has suspended data collection for its annual Honey Bee Colonies report, citing the cost of data collection. The annual survey started in 2015. It gathers data on the number of honeybees per state by quarter. Outside groups have been critical of the Trump administration’s move, saying it’s another way to undermine federal research. – CNN Politics

6. The hay inventory in Ohio has dipped to the fourth-lowest level in the 70 years of reporting inventory. Excessive rainfall is also challenging hay growers. – Ohio Farmer

7. Pea prices are moving higher, driven by rising demand from pet-food makers and the alternative meat movement. Growers in the U.S. and Canada are responding by planting more acres. – Farm Futures

And your bonus.

How did POET biofuels get its start? Lowell Broin bought an inoperable plant in Scotland, S.D., in 1987. His son, Jeff, oversaw the renovation. Within seven years, the plant had reached 10 million gallons a year production. Now, POET is a leading biofuels producer with $8 billion in annual revenue – CNN Business

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