Ag products delegation goes to South America

ST. PAUL — Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and a 14-member agriculture delegation visited Colombia and Peru last week in an effort to expand markets for Minnesota beef, pork, poultry, corn and soybeans.

Since implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2012, U.S. farm and food exports to Colombia have more than doubled, reaching a record $2.9 billion last year. In 2018, 100% of Colombia’s soybean imports, 97% of corn imports, and 91% of pork and pork product imports were coming from the U.S.

With Petersen are representatives from the Minnesota Beef Council, Corn Growers Association, Farm Bureau, Pork Board, Pork Producers Association, Soybean Growers, Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Turkey Research and Promotion Council, Chicken and Egg Association and University of Minnesota Extension.

The delegation was in Bogota, Colombia for two days, June 4-5, and in Lima, Peru, for two days, June 6-7.

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2 new co-ops begin operations

CLARA CITY, Minn. — Two new agricultural co-op facilities have begun operations in Minnesota, featuring high-capacity dry fertilizer systems with greater speed and efficiency.

The new Farmer’s Co-op Oil is on a 17-acre tract in Clara City, replacing an older facility across from its present site. It provides agronomy as well as energy products, including propane, lube oil and bulk tractor fuel.

About 60 miles away is a new Meadowland Farmers Coop operation in Russell, Minn., offering agronomy, feed and energy products for farmers in parts of southwest Minnesota and eastern South Dakota.

It was built after Meadowland purchased the assets of Southwestern Minnesota Dairy in 2017.

Both facilities have the latest dry fertilizer handling equipment and advanced blending towers.

The tower can fill up to 13 24-ton trucks with custom fertilizer batches in one hour and sustain that rate for a full day, officials said.

Another Iowa county wants moratorium on livestock feeding farms

WATERLOO, Iowa — The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors has added its voice to those calling for a moratorium on new livestock feeding operations.

The board voted unanimously last week for a resolution that asks Gov. Kim Reynolds and state legislators to bar construction of new concentrated animal feeding operations until Iowa’s water quality improves. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that supervisors in 25 more of the state’s 99 counties have passed similar measures. The resolutions also call on the state to revise the regulations controlling the feeding operations and to give county governments more control over the operations’ locations.

Groups such as the Sierra Club and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say the operations are detrimental to human health and that failed manure management plans harm the state’s streams, rivers and lakes.