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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 preliminary railroad and rail union agreement, surging farmland values and cash rents, new crop nutrient options 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.

Tentative labor agreement avoids rail strike

Railroad and rail union representatives reached a preliminary deal in time to avert a nationwide rail shutdown early Thursday morning. The agreement provides rail employees a 24% wage increase during the five-year period between 2020 and 2024, while also paying out an immediate $11,000 upon adoption. This came after railroads began phasing out shipments of grain, fertilizer, and other essential goods. The labor unions have agreed that they will not strike while the agreed-upon deal goes through the ratification process. – Farm Progress

Focus on farm safety

Next week, Sept. 19-23, is recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. As we enter the busiest and most dangerous time of year for farm workers, it’s important to take some time to reflect on safety precautions for farm employees as well as those of us who live and work in rural areas. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety will be hosting two free webinars on different farm safety topics daily. – Delta Farm Press

USDA provides $3.5B for climate-smart commodity projects

A new program from USDA called Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities provides up to $2.8 billion for 70 selected projects under the first pool of funding. The resources will be invested over a period of up to five years to provide technical and financial assistance to implement climate-smart practices. Another $700,000 worth of projects in a second funding pool to be announced later this year. – Farm Progress

Farmland values, cash rents surge

Farmers will need solid crop and livestock earnings into next year for 2023 farmland values and cash rents to possibly match 2022 gains. From 2021 to 2022, Iowa cropland surged 19.7%, from $7,810 per acre in 2021 to $9,350 per acre in 2022 – a new record for the state and the highest annual jump since 2012. – Wallaces Farmer

New soil sampling technology

This summer Precision Planting began a new venture – Radical Agronomics. The team determined a need existed for a more reliable system of sampling and testing soils and so farmers can apply results to the field. The new soil sampling technology system includes the GeoPress to assist with collecting samples, RFID-identified tubes, and a mobile lab to complete analysis. – Indiana Prairie Farmer

Crop nutrient startup enters new markets

Sound Agriculture has been building its market with two products, Source Corn and Source Soybean. But for 2023, the product line is expanding and changing. Source DC will provide producers of cotton, wheat, alfalfa and grass hay the benefits of the nitrogen-fixing and phosphorus-liberating product. In addition, the company announced the name change of Source Soybean, now with a new formulation called Source SC. – Farm Progress

Determine pig fertility at weaning

Researchers at Purdue University developed a way to determine the fertility potential of young female pigs at weaning. Currently, 50% of young female pigs selected at three weeks of age are infertile by the time they reach 32 weeks of age. The new technique identifies fatty acids that are strong indicators of long-term fertility. This could become a cost-effective solution for breeding selection. – Purdue

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