Winter Wheat and Barley Planted Amid Fluctuating Weather

Rain-saturated soil may have interrupted the plantings of winter small grains in Virginia, but farmers report crop conditions so far are good.

Plantings of barley and winter wheat are dragging behind last year’s progress slightly, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Nov. 1 crop report.

The report said precipitation from the remnants of Hurricane Zeta resulted in wet conditions that limited some fieldwork. Virginia farmers have planted 56% of next year’s winter wheat crop, which is mostly in good condition, but still trailing 2019 plantings. Barley crop conditions are slightly better, with 69% planted, down from 84% this time last year.

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New Specialty Soybean Contracts Available to Mid-Atlantic Farmers

Mid-Atlantic farmers can lock in new premiums by selecting high oleic soybeans for the 2021 growing season. Many Delmarva-area farmers have already decided to take advantage of this opportunity due to the minor adjustments needed from growing commodity soybeans and expanded convenient delivery location options accepting Plenish® high oleic soybeans from Corteva.

Maryland-based Perdue AgriBusiness has increased per bushel premiums for 2021 in hopes of encouraging more of the region’s farmers to grow high oleic soybeans to meet growing demand for refined high oleic oils. Mid-Atlantic soybean farmers have already received more than $10 million in premiums since the program began.

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New Guide Available to Help Meat Processors Operate in Virginia

The ongoing pandemic highlights a demand for red meat processing facilities in Virginia, and a new guidebook has been created for entrepreneurs interested in establishing a business in the commonwealth.

While demand is high for small-volume red meat processing facilities, there are challenges that need to be addressed. Those include the availability of skilled labor for meat processing and a low return on investment, which may thwart potential investors.

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EPA Issues Dicamba Registrations

Ben Rowe, National Affairs Coordinator

Back in June we reported on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to  vacate the registrations of three dicamba herbicides—Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan. This week we were pleased to hear from EPA that they are approving new five-year registrations for two “over-the-top” (OTT) dicamba products—XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide—and extended the registration for an additional OTT dicamba product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025. Farmers who use dicamba faced unpredictability when the courts stepped-in earlier this year. Through this decision, the EPA has provided farmers much-needed certainty for the next five years, and we commend EPA for its science-backed decision to ensure dicamba remains on the market.

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Orange County Agriculturalist Wins Young Farmers Discussion Meet

Gilley

Jacob Gilley of Orange County took top honors Oct. 21 in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers Discussion Meet, a virtual event this year.

First runner-up was WilliamBear” Lloyd of Washington County. Other finalists were Rachel Henley of Powhatan County and Brandy Puckett of Carroll County. First alternate was Mackenah Roberts of Louisa County. 

The Discussion Meet competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting in which discussion and active participation are expected from each contestant. Competitors are judged on their discussion skills, understanding of important agricultural issues and ability to build consensus.

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Southside Virginia Community College student wins Young Farmers Collegiate Discussion Meet

Tompkins

Díaz Tompkins, a student at Southside Virginia Community College, earned first place in Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Young Farmers Discussion Meet, held virtually Oct. 21.

First runner-up was Sarah Thomas, a senior at Virginia Tech. Other finalists were Kate Shifflett of Lord Fairfax Community College and Isabelle Leonard of Virginia Tech. Madison Cogle of Ferrum College was first alternate.

The Collegiate Discussion Meet competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting in which discussion and active participation are expected from each student contestant. Competitors are judged on their discussion skills, understanding of important agricultural issues and ability to build consensus.

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Wythe County Ag Educators Win Excellence in Agriculture Award

Jonathan and Kelsey Grimes of Wythe County have been named this year’s Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers Excellence in Agriculture Award winners. The Grimeses were recognized Oct. 14 in a live announcement on the VFBF Young Farmers Facebook page.

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes individuals and couples for involvement in agriculture, leadership ability and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations. The Grimeses were runners-up for the 2019 award.

Jonathan Grimes is an agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Fort Chiswell High School in Wythe County. He has taught agricultural concepts and mechanics, and horticulture to 2,600 middle and high school youth in his career. Kelsey Grimes is a Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H agent in Wythe County and has served 9,600 youth through 4-H since 2012—creating, implementing and evaluating all county 4-H programming. The couple has raised a cumulative $339,000 through grants and fundraising to promote agriculture and education.

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