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HARVEST OFF TO SLOW START –

Some combines finally emerged slowly out of storage sheds last week. While harvest progress was extremely limited, at least a few initial crop reports were fairly positive despite extreme crop variability. Massac County farmer Marc Bremer harvested corn four consecutive days last week and was pleasantly surprised with yields slightly above average from a field planted in mid-May. “There’s no guarantees this (early harvested corn) is our best or our worst. Like a lot of people, we’re not going to know exactly what this crop is until it hits the bin,” Bremer said. (FarmWeekNow)

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS AG LEADERS REMIND OF ANHYDROUS AMMONIA DANGERS –

Agriculture leaders want to remind farmers about the dangers of anhydrous ammonia. “Anhydrous ammonia is a compressed liquid gas with a nitrogen source. A liquid fertilizer we’ll call it,” said Ag-Land FS Operations Manager Eric Long. “You want to take precautions. Number one you want to have the proper protective equipment. Gloves, goggles is minimum,” said Long. Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association will hold classes for farmers to learn how to properly handle anhydrous ammonia. (Central Illinois Proud)

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ILLINOIS MARIJUANA GROWERS TO FACE ENERGY EFFICIENCY, REPORTING RULES –

When Illinois’ new law legalizing recreational marijuana takes effect Jan. 1, growers will face some of the strongest energy efficiency and reporting requirements in the country. Marijuana can be an energy intensive crop. The new electricity load to power lighting, heating and ventilation for indoor grow facilities has strained the grid and even caused blackouts in other places after it was legalized. The Illinois law seeks to avoid those problems by mandating efficiency standards and capping the amount of power used per square foot. (Energy News Network)

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HOUSE DEMOCRATS THREATEN FARMER TRADE AID PAYMENTS –

House Democrats are considering a stopgap spending bill that could prevent or slow delivery of President Trump’s trade aid payments to farmers after the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., has proposed to deny a request from the White House to include a provision in the continuing resolution keeping the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) from going over its $30 billion borrowing limit. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been using the CCC authority to make payments under the Market Facilitation Program. The House is scheduled to vote next week on the bill. (Agri-Pulse)

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FARMERS CONFUSED BY TRUMP TRADE AID PAYMENTS –

Farmers are confused by the trade aid distribution method for damages caused by the ongoing trade war with China, according to a Reuters report released on Friday. The report notes that a Texas cotton farmer is receiving $145 an acre for financial damages while Betsy Jensen, a soybean farmer in Minnesota is receiving $35 an acre. Soybean farmers have been particularly hard hit in the dispute. “It makes no sense,” Jensen told Reuters. Payment disparity traces to the system for allocating the funds. (Newsweek)

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VALUE OF U.S. DAIRY EXPORTS GROWS DESPITE TRADE ISSUES –

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for U.S. dairy farmers who’ve absorbed a multiyear run of poor margins. Higher domestic dairy consumption and increased export values drove a slight uptick in USDA’s latest dairy price forecast. It pegged the all-milk price forecast for 2019 at $18.30 per hundredweight, up a dime from the previous projection. This despite a 16% decline in U.S. dairy sales to China so far this year compared to a year ago due to the ongoing tariff war. (FarmWeekNow)

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