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Paycheck Protection Program 2.0 expands eligibility to farmers, ranchers, self employed

Another round of the Paycheck Protection Program has been issued, and it has expanded eligibility to include farmers, ranchers and other self-employed people. The following is information from the Small Business Administration's website and press releases: The Small Business Administration (SB...

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Paycheck Protection Program 2.0 expands eligibility to farmers, ranchers, self employed

Another round of the Paycheck Protection Program has been issued, and it has expanded eligibility to include farmers, ranchers and other self-employed people. The following is information from the Small Business Administration's website and press releases: The Small Business Administration (SB...

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Nat Geo Wild to premiere season three of Nebraska vet show on Jan. 30

Nat Geo Wild will premiere season three of the television show based on a Nebraska husband and wife veterinary duo on January 30 at 10/9 central. Season three of Heartland Docs, DVM, starring Docs Ben and Erin Schroeder of Hartington, NE, will feature an aggressive alpaca, award-winning heifers a...

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Additional support available for some producers through CFAP

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately c...

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TAPS hosts 2020 growing season awards virtually

NORTH PLATTE, Nebr., --The Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) awards ceremony was held virtually on Saturday, January 16, due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions. The TAPS program was created by University of Nebraska educators and specialists four years ago, as an innovative way of connecting ...

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Learn How Bioreactors Are Being Used to Improve Water Quality

AMES, Iowa – How bioreactors are being used to address water quality issues around the world is the topic of an Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at noon. Denitrifying woodchip bioreactors are promoted in the Midwest to clean nitrate from tile drainage, but did you know that t...

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Crops

TAPS hosts 2020 growing season awards virtually

NORTH PLATTE, Nebr., --The Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) awards ceremony was held virtually on Saturday, January 16, due to continuing Covid-19 restrictions. The TAPS program was created by University of Nebraska educators and specialists four years ago, as an innovative way of connecting producers to industry professionals and offering a way of testing out new advancing technologies through farm management competitions facilitated in North Platte at the West Central Research, Extension, and Education Center. The 2020 participants were honored Saturday evening with a number of awards. The sprinkler irrigated sorghum contest, in its third year, had 12 teams. The award winners were as follows: Greatest Yield was won by Marc Rasmussen of Cambridge, NE; the Highest Input Use Efficiency award went to Scott Jewett of Holdrege, NE; and Paul Hoyt of Culbertson, NE took home the highest recognition of Most Profitable. In the second year of the subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) corn competition, 16 teams competed. The award winners in the SDI competition included: Lorn Dizmang of Dizmang Ag of Moorefield, NE receiving the Greatest Yield award; the Tri-Basin Water Watchers team of Holdrege, NE won the Highest Input Use Efficiency accolade; and the Rattlesnake Boys from Wood River, NE won the top award for Most Profitable. The Tri-Basin Water Watchers team included Pat Nott, Chris Ecklun, Reed Philips, Rick Reinsch, and Curtis Scheele. The Rattlesnake Boys team consisted of Kevin & Amy Harsch, Jay Johnson, and Jeremy Gewecke. The fourth year of the sprinkler corn competition had 27 teams participate. The Greatest Yield award was presented to Mark McConnell of Paxton, NE. The M&M’s team of York, NE, which included Ron Makovicka, Jenny Rees, Jerry Stahr, and Stuart Spader, earned the Highest Input Use Efficiency award. Mark McConnel won the top award for Most Profitable, as well. The last award presented was for the Outstanding TAPS Advocate, which was started last year to honor an organization, person, or business that went above and beyond in supporting the UNL-TAPS program. This year, the award recipients was Tyler Harris with the Nebraska Farmer. The full recording of the awards ceremony, and/or a presentation of the data, can both be found at mediahub.unl.edu and search for TAPS. The TAPS program would like to thank all the sponsors, supporters, and competitors for being a part of and making the program a continued success. The plans are already in process for the 2021 TAPS competitions. Anyone interested in participating in the 2021 TAPS competitions can email Krystle Rhoades, TAPS Program Manager, at taps.unl.edu. You can follow the TAPS program through the growing season by revisiting the 2020 Friday's in the Field:

Learn How Bioreactors Are Being Used to Improve Water Quality

AMES, Iowa – How bioreactors are being used to address water quality issues around the world is the topic of an Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at noon. Denitrifying woodchip bioreactors are promoted in the Midwest to clean nitrate from tile drainage, but did you know that they are also being tested around the world for a variety of applications? Challenges involving agriculture, nitrogen and water are not unique to our region. Join Laura Christianson, assistant professor, Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, for this “stay-cation” to learn more about how bioreactors are being used at (almost) 80 stops around the globe. “Clean water is important no matter where you are in the world. Woodchip bioreactors are helping farmers achieve agricultural water quality goals in many places,” said Christianson. “They’re not a silver bullet but can be a powerful tool, especially when we learn from global neighbors.” Christianson does applied research and outreach on agricultural water quality, with a particular emphasis on denitrifying woodchip bioreactors. Webinar Access Instructions To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 p.m. CST on Jan. 20, click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172 Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 364 284 172. Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1-312-626-6799 or +1-646-876-9923; meeting ID 364 284 172. The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. A Certified Crop Advisor board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

The Friday Fontanelle Final Bell with Don Roose with U.S. Commodities

Crop report Trying to find levels to ration South American weather Harvest progress in South America Russia trying to slow down quotas Livestock structure is changing due to high prices grain Contract highs on the livestock Markets are closed Monday…but the rest of the world is trading  

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Livestock

Nat Geo Wild to premiere season three of Nebraska vet show on Jan. 30

Nat Geo Wild will premiere season three of the television show based on a Nebraska husband and wife veterinary duo on January 30 at 10/9 central. Season three of Heartland Docs, DVM, starring Docs Ben and Erin Schroeder of Hartington, NE, will feature an aggressive alpaca, award-winning heifers and even a 36-year-old parrot. Docs Ben and Erin live and work in Hartington, NE. Season one of the show is available on Disney Plus. Episodes of seasons one and two can be found on the NatGeoWild YouTube channel. Follow Docs Ben and Erin on Facebook and Instagram. Season Three Heartland Docs, DVM Trailer:   Season Two Feature Interview:

Sheep and Goat Market Report Week Ending 1-15

The sheep and goat market in the Midwest  for the week of January 15th was steady with higher undertones in most sales. The broader commodity sector received a lot of data this week and felt more volatility than recent weeks. Even with the volatility corn and soybean moved to highs not seen in 7 years. This put pressure on all livestock early on with concerns of continuing higher feed prices. Cattle and hog futures turned around at the end of the week as traders took profit in the futures market. There will be no futures trade on Monday in observation on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The biggest piece of data out on the week was the WASDE report. Sheep and goats are not specially listed in the report, but in general USDA does expect red production to taper off in 2021. Pork production is expected to see a slight increase, but lower beef, chicken and lamb will offset the increase. Currently there are no major ethnic holidays that call for sheep or goats. Passover/Pesach is coming up March 27-April 4. Easter is April 4th and Ramadan Month of Fasting is April 12-May 11. Weekly sheep and lamb slaughter under USDA inspection is estimated to be 36,000 head. That is a 1,000 more than the previous week and even with year ago levels. Year to date sheep and lamb slaughter under USDA inspection is 71,000 head, 18,000 less than the in 2020. Weekly lamb/mutton production is estimated to be 2.2 million pounds. That is even with last week and 300,000 lbs less or 12.5% less than last year. Year to date lamb and mutton production is 4.5 million pounds. 900,000 lbs less than year ago levels. As for inputs the Kansas and Nebraska hay market reports showed steady to slightly higher hay movement with mostly steady prices. Nebraska reported quality alfalfa in the Panhandle increased $10/ton. Kansas noted that premium alfalfa is starting to become tough to find and warrants higher prices. Sale Reports for the week of  1/15 Tue Jan 12 Producers Livestock San Angelo Texas sold 2,608 head this week compared to 3,405 last week and 7,810 a year ago. The supply in San Angelo was shortened due to a recent snow in the area that brought needed moisture. Compared to last week slaughter lambs 10.00-20.00 higher. Slaughter ewes steady. Feeder lambs not well tested. Nannies 10.00 higher; kids 10.00-15.00 higher. Highlighted quotes from the sale include; 75-85 pound slaughter lambs brought $320-$338/cwt; 130-165 pound slaughter lambs brought $150-$185/cwt; hair breed slaughter lambs weighing 50-70 pounds$340-$368/cwt; hair breed slaughter lambs weighing 80-100 pounds brought $256-$338/cwt; feeder goats weighing 36 pounds brought $360-$384/cwt; slaughter goats 70-90 pounds brought $275-$358/cwt; wethers 100-160 pounds brought $208-$245/cwt. Wed Jan 13 Centennial Livestock Fort Collins Colorado sold 1,375 head compared to 1,459 last week and 1,767 a year ago. Compared to last week: Feeder lambs and Slaughter lambs had no comparable test. Slaughter bucks and ewes traded steady. Slaughter kids traded 2.00-3.00 higher. Slaughter nannies sold mostly steady. Slaughter bucks and wethers traded steady. Highlighted quotes from the sale; feeder lambs 60-90 pounds brought $270-$355/cwt; Slaughter lambs weighing 100-115 pounds brought $215-$240; hair breed slaughter lambs were light in number, but 85-95 pounds brought $275; slaughter goats brought weighing 40-70 pounds brought $130-$245/cwt with higher prices being paid for the heavier kids; wethers weighing 100-150 pounds brought $290-$375/cwt. Wednesday Jan 13 Kalona Iowa sold 1,519 head compared to 729 last week and none a year ago. The sale was noted as having good demand with strong demand for larger packages. Compared to last Wednesday slaughter lambs firm, slaughter ewes and slaughter bucks mostly steady. Slaughter kids 15.00-20.00 higher, slaughter nannies 20.00-40.00 higher, slaughter billies 15.00 lower. Highlighted quotes; slaughter lambs weighing 60-90 pounds $260-$332.50/cwt; hair breed slaughter report 50-75 pounds brought $277.50-$354/cwt; slaughter goats 50-70 pounds $180-$245/cwt; wethers 110-145 pounds brought $$285-$330. Monday Jan 11 Hamilton Commission Company Hamilton Texas sold 614 head compared to 1,217 head last week. Dorper lambs were steady to $10 higher on heavier lambs, wool lambs were steady to $10 higher on heavier lambs, barbado lambs were steady to $10 higher on heavier lambs, ewes were steady, kids were steady to $10 higher on heavier kids, nannies were steady. Highlighted quotes from Hamilton Commission Company; dorper and dorper cross lambs weighing 40-70 pounds brought $300-$345 cwt, wool lambs weighing 40-70 pounds brought $285-$315/cwt; feeder kids 20-40 pounds brought $285-$350/cwt; slaughter kids 40-70 pounds $240-$355/cwt. Colby Livestock Colby Kansas had not published their weekly sales report yet at the time of this writing. I talked with the barn manager Leeland Wilson and he noted the market to be steady with higher undertones on certain classes. We will try to post their prices as soon as they become available. Verdigre Stockyards Verdigre Nebraska had not posted their sale prices from their sheep and goat sale earlier in the week. Due to the cattle sale on Friday they were unable to give comment on the market condition or direction. We will try to post their prices as soon as they become available. Links to sale reports Producers Livestock https://mymarketnews.ams.usda.gov/filerepo/sites/default/files/2014/2021-01-12/406641/ams_2014_00080.pdf Centennial Livestock https://mymarketnews.ams.usda.gov/filerepo/sites/default/files/1899/2021-01-13/407054/ams_1899_00083.pdf Kalona https://mymarketnews.ams.usda.gov/filerepo/sites/default/files/2153/2021-01-13/407123/ams_2153_00052.pdf Hamilton Commission Company http://www.hamiltoncommissioncompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1.11.21-sg-sale.pdf   Clay Patton audio report:  

The Friday Fontanelle Final Bell with Don Roose with U.S. Commodities

Crop report Trying to find levels to ration South American weather Harvest progress in South America Russia trying to slow down quotas Livestock structure is changing due to high prices grain Contract highs on the livestock Markets are closed Monday…but the rest of the world is trading  

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Technology

Learn How Bioreactors Are Being Used to Improve Water Quality

AMES, Iowa – How bioreactors are being used to address water quality issues around the world is the topic of an Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at noon. Denitrifying woodchip bioreactors are promoted in the Midwest to clean nitrate from tile drainage, but did you know that they are also being tested around the world for a variety of applications? Challenges involving agriculture, nitrogen and water are not unique to our region. Join Laura Christianson, assistant professor, Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, for this “stay-cation” to learn more about how bioreactors are being used at (almost) 80 stops around the globe. “Clean water is important no matter where you are in the world. Woodchip bioreactors are helping farmers achieve agricultural water quality goals in many places,” said Christianson. “They’re not a silver bullet but can be a powerful tool, especially when we learn from global neighbors.” Christianson does applied research and outreach on agricultural water quality, with a particular emphasis on denitrifying woodchip bioreactors. Webinar Access Instructions To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 p.m. CST on Jan. 20, click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172 Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 364 284 172. Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1-312-626-6799 or +1-646-876-9923; meeting ID 364 284 172. The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. A Certified Crop Advisor board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Cold weather, warm Runzas | Friday Five | Jan. 8, 2021

Midwesterners have been waiting for this moment for months. Now, the time has come and it's exactly what we need for a rocky start to 2021. Temperature Tuesday is back at Runza. Yes, it's true. Every Tuesday in January and February, the coldest temperature in Runza ®-land at 6am is the price you'll pay for an Original Runza ® Sandwich when you buy a medium fry and medium drink. Learn more about the Runza and its impact on agriculture!

Weed science organization names K-State researcher outstanding young scientist

HAYS, Kan. – A weed science researcher at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center whose work has helped boost dryland cropping systems in the Great Plains region has received an early career award from the North Central Weed Science Society. Vipan Kumar, an assistant professor of weed science, received the Young Scientist award during the NCWSS annual meeting, which was held online this year. The award honors a weed scientist working in the public sector who has made outstanding contributions to the field within 10 years after receiving a terminal degree. While the award has been given since 1990, Kumar is just the sixth young scientist to have received the award in the previous decade, and the 21st in the history of the award. “It is a humbling experience and I do feel honored and excited,” said Kumar, a native of the Punjab state in northwestern India. “This recognition also brings a sense of more responsibility to contribute further to weed science and the farming community.” Since beginning work at the Agricultural Research Center in 2017, Kumar has secured more than $2.7 million in extramural grants and contracts to conduct research, which includes many weed-related topics but specifically focuses on herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth and kochia – two aggressive weeds that steal water and nutrients in Kansas cropping systems. In 2019, Kumar’s research team confirmed the first report on a strain of Palmer amaranth in central Kansas that resists the 2,4-D herbicide, one of the most commonly used broadleaf weed killers. Kumar’s research program focuses on improving understanding of the biology and ecology of problematic weeds to develop cost-effective, integrated weed management (IWM) strategies in dryland cropping systems; developing innovative and sustainable IWM approaches to manage herbicide resistance; and understanding weed population dynamics in agroecosystems. An avid scholar, he has published 44 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 23 extension/technical bulletins and 114 abstracts in conference proceedings, and delivered several invited presentations in various grower, commodity and industry meetings. Earlier in 2020, he also received an Outstanding Reviewer award from the Weed Science Society of America; and Outstanding Weed Scientist-Early Career award from the Western Society of Weed Science. Kumar serves as associate editor for Weed Science, Weed Technology, and Agronomy journals and has served as chair and member of several committees in the Western Society of Weed Science, North Central Weed Science Society and Weed Science Society of America. Though his appointment with K-State is for 100% research, he has also contributed to the university’s extension mission by hosting and participating in numerous educational programs for growers in Kansas. Those include the annual Weed Management Field Day, Crop Pest Management Schools, Weed Schools and Multi-State weed research groups for mitigating herbicide resistance in the Great Plains region. “These awards motivate me day to day and further encourage me to give my best in helping Kansas growers with weed-related issues,” Kumar said. More information about weed science and other programs at the K-State Agricultural Research Center in Hays is available online.

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Ag Policy

Additional support available for some producers through CFAP

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response to ongoing evaluation of CFAP. “The COVID-19 pandemic has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilizing the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure our agricultural economy remains strong, independent and a global leader in production,” said Secretary Perdue. “As part of implementing CFAP 1 and CFAP 2, we identified new areas of support and Congress recently directed us to provide additional relief. This additional assistance builds on to the $23.6 billion in assistance already provided to our farmers and ranchers impacted by the pandemic, and we will continue to implement other provisions enacted by Congress.” Background: Expanded Eligibility for CFAP 2 Contract producers of swine, broilers, laying hens, chicken eggs and turkeys who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 as compared to their 2019 revenue because of the pandemic now are eligible for assistance. Producers could receive up to 80% of their revenue loss, subject to the availability of funds. Producers of pullets and turfgrass sod also now are eligible for CFAP payments. The commodities were not explicitly included in the initial CFAP 2 rule. Payments are based on eligible sales, and the payment calculation in the updated rule includes crop insurance indemnities, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), and Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+) payments. Updated Payment Calculations for CFAP 2 Similarly, FSA adjusted the payment calculation to use the producer’s eligible 2019 calendar year sales, and 2019 crop insurance indemnities, NAP, and WHIP+ payments, multiplied by the applicable payment rate for all sales commodities, which include specialty crops, aquaculture, tobacco, specialty livestock, nursery crops and floriculture, for CFAP 2. Producers who applied during the sign-up period that closed Dec. 11, 2020, can modify an existing CFAP 2 application between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26, 2021. Additionally, FSA adjusted the payment calculation for certain row crops for CFAP 2, specifically those for which a producer had crop insurance coverage but not an available 2020 Actual Production History (APH) approved yield. FSA is now using 100% of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option (ARC-CO) benchmark yield to calculate payments when an APH is not available rather than 85%, which was in the original CFAP 2 calculations. This calculation change is only for producers with crop insurance coverage who grow barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton and wheat. Producers who applied during the sign-up period that closed Dec. 11, 2020, can modify an existing CFAP 2 application between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26, 2021. CFAP 1 ‘Top-up’ Payments for Swine FSA is providing an additional CFAP 1 inventory payment for swine to help producers who face continuing market disruptions from changes in U.S. meat consumption due to the pandemic. Swine producers with approved CFAP 1 applications will soon automatically receive a “top-up” payment of $17 per head increasing the total CFAP1 inventory payment to $34 per head. More Information Newly eligible producers who need to submit a CFAP 2 application or producers who need to modify an existing one can do so between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26, 2021, by contacting their local USDA Service Center. New applicants can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364. In addition to the changes being made to CFAP, per language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, FSA will extend 2020 Marketing Assistance Loans to provide additional flexibilities for farmers. FSA is also preparing to move forward on implementation of the remaining provisions of the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. To learn more about this additional assistance, visit farmers.gov/cfap. All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors are also required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Our program delivery staff will continue to work with our producers by phone, email and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Secretary Perdue statement on H-2A modernization

(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a statement applauding the Department of Labor’s final rule modernizing the H-2A visa program: “This final rule streamlining and modernizing the H-2A visa process will go a long way in ensuring American farmers have access to a stable and skilled workforce, all while removing unnecessary bureaucratic processes. USDA’s goal is to help farmers navigate the complex H-2A program that is administered by Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department so hiring a farm worker is an easier process,” said Secretary Perdue. “These modernizations make the Federal government more responsive to our customers, ensuring American agriculture continues to lead the world for years to come.” Background: The final rule will streamline the H-2A application process by mandating electronic filing of job orders and applications. These elements are designed to bring the H-2A application process into the digital era, by harnessing the power of the FLAG electronic filing system to share information with other federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security while also sharing information with the State Workforce systems and domestic farmworkers. Additionally, the final rule will provide additional flexibilities to cut down on unnecessary burdens on the agricultural employers that use the program. These flexibilities include the ability to stagger the entry of workers into the country over a 120-day period and allowing agricultural employers the flexibility to file a single application for different dates of need instead of multiple applications.

KC Fed: Fewer new loans to farmers

Fewer new loans to farmers continued to drive a pullback in agricultural lending activity. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank reported this week that stronger prices for agricultural commodities, alongside continued support from government payments, may have reduced financing needs for some farmers and contributed to the slower pace of lending. A historically low number of new loans contributed to an increase in average loan size and drove a slight decrease in the overall volume of non-real estate loans at commercial banks in the fourth quarter. Changes in the average size and number of loans were generally consistent across all types of loans. For all lending purposes, the number of loans decreased, and the average loan size increased. While there were fewer loans for all purposes, operating loans continued to comprise the majority of non-real estate lending and accounted for over half of the overall decline. Interest rates on agricultural loans remained at historically low levels in the fourth quarter.  

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Markets

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