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Northern Ag Network’s Top 10 Stories of 2016

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Northern Ag Network’s Top 10 Stories of 2016

2016 was a busy year in the agriculture community, and you can be sure Northern Ag Network was busy making sure you had the news that was important to our regions farmers and ranchers.  Here are some of our top stories that caught your attention this year.

Two of our favorite stories of the year came in at 9th and 10th place, Farming Community Works Together to Help Bring in the Harvest

When Vida famer, Richard Rush was told by doctors about two weeks ago that he was going to need emergency heart surgery, it couldn’t have come at a worse possible time: right in the middle of getting ready for the wheat harvest.  While he was home recovering from the quadruple bypass heart surgery, the neighbors decided to give him a hand to make sure the harvest was one less thing he had to worry about.

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And Cow Midwives to the Rescue was a big hit with some pictures that have to be seen to be believed!

North Dakota rancher, Doug Tescher, has raised and foaled out horses for many years, but his experience earlier this week, was a first.

Apparently a couple of cows decided a newborn foal and his mom needed a little help.  One cow even chased Doug away from the foal!

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8.  Coming in at number 8, oddly enough was a story we ran last year, but made the rounds again in social media and picked up even more attention this year than last.  Apparently, Montana State University professor Mark Anderson’s Study Finds Students in Rural Schools Benefit from 4 Day School Week has a lot of interest in rural america!

A Montana State University economics professor has found the academic performance of elementary students is positively affected by an increasingly popular four-day school week in rural school districts.

Mark Anderson, assistant professor in the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, recently co-authored a study showing a positive correlation between a four-day school week and the reading and math skills of fourth and fifth graders.

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6.  Our top 7 story of the year falls in with the third most read article so we are skipping to number 6!  Rancher Awarded $246,000 for Shot Guard Dogs got a lot of attention particularly since it sometimes seems that it is pretty rare for livestock owners to see justice in the court system.

An Oregon rancher was recently awarded $246,000 settlement from two hunters who shot and killed three of his Great Pyrenees guard dogs.

According to Capital Press (http://bit.ly/298EI0t) two brothers, one a retired Oregon State Police officer, had been convicted of animal abuse charges for fatally shooting three sheep guard dogs in the Ochoco National Forest in 2012.

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5.  Grizzly bears were a big topic in 2016 especially with so many bears moving into new territory and the livestock kills from these bears shot up.  One of the worst took place in Valier with  Grizzly Kills Over 40 Sheep Memorial Weekend 

BILLINGS, MT–Over Memorial weekend, a grizzly bear sow attacked and killed over 40 sheep, mostly lambs, on a ranch near Valier.  This was the second time this sow had killed sheep on this ranch.  Last July, she had killed at least 10 sheep before being darted by Wildlife Management Specialist, Mike Madel, and relocated.

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4. Ranchers from all over the U.S and especially their closer neighbors in Montana were closely watching the horrifying outbreak of Bovine Tuberculosis in Canada.  We could only imagine in sympathy what it would feel like if our herds were part of the 10,000 Cattle to be Killed After Bovine Tuberculosis Outbreak as well as the concerns of making sure that the health inspection measures were in place to keep this terrible disease from spreading.

Federal officials say at least 10,000 cattle are going to slaughter as a result of a bovine tuberculosis outbreak in western Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the animals are considered “high risk” for contracting or transmitting the infectious disease, even though only six cattle have tested positive for bovine TB since the first case was confirmed in September.

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3.  In September, the two most talked about articles involved the impending arrival of Brazilian beef. Coming in at 7th place with almost 10,000 pageviews was JBS Outlines Brazilian Beef Shipment Plans to U.S. for 2017 and the third most read article of the year with over 16,000 pageviews was The First Fresh Beef Shipped to US from Brazil.

Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA, a JBS rival, announced on Sunday that it had shipped its first cargo of fresh beef to the United States, saying it was the first trade of that type ever done.

One day later, JBS SA said a container had left one of its plants heading to the American market.

Brazil is expected to ship some 20,000 tons of beef to the United States this year.

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 The cattle market caught everyone’s attention this year and accounted for our two most read articles of the year.

2.  The Real Culprit Behind the Rapid Decline in Feeder Cattle Prices written by Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University, Anton Bekkerman for the ageconmt.com website in October came in second with over 21,000 pageviews this year.

Last Tuesday, one of the students in my Economics of Agricultural Markets class asked me a question that I hadn’t heard in several years, but is inevitably brought up when prices drop: Why is the U.S. meatpacking industry allowed to unfairly bring down prices for cattle producers and, as such, extract higher profit margins for themselves? The question was in part prompted by the fact that after a couple of years in which cattle producers received historically high prices (reaching approximately $2.60/lb for feeder cattle), the current feeder cattle futures price hovers around $1.21/lb, representing a 46.5% reduction in market prices.

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1.  With over 54,000 pageviews, Cattle Price Collapse Questioned written by Todd Neeley with DTN in January was our top story of the year.

The recent collapse in cattle prices has the attention of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman.

In a teleconference with agriculture reporters Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said cattlemen in Iowa have told him there are few market reasons for a price drop of around $50 in the final months of 2015. R-CALF USA formally asked Grassley’s committee last week to consider opening an investigation into the cattle market.

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As we break into the new year, you can be sure, Northern Ag will be following the top ag news of interest to you in 2017 and look forward to serving you!

© Northern Ag Network 2016

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