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The ag agenda: Advancing Agriculture in 2014

The mid-term elections are over. No doubt you're as relieved as I am to see the campaign ads fade away.

Now the holidays are already upon us. As we celebrate with friends and family, it's a good time to pause, look back and give thanks for the past year. Not much sooner than the holiday dinner dishes are cleared from the table, we'll also look to what we hope the next year will bring.

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Larger amount, less paperwork for beginning farmer microloans

The 2014 Farm Bill has made it easier for beginning ranchers/farmers to obtain a small loan of $50,000 or less, according to Bruce Nelson, Montana Farm Service Agency state executive director.

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U.S. cattle on feed numbers are up slightly

The National Ag Statistics Services reported on Nov. 21 that cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.6 million head on November 1, 2014.

The inventory was slightly above November 1, 2013.

Placements in feedlots during October totaled 2.36 million, 1 percent below 2013. Net placements were 2.26 million head.

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Market insider

CORN ANALYSIS - Corn closed the week $.10 3/4 lower. Last week, private exporters reported sales totaling 133,600 mts of corn

to an unknown destination. Weekly export sales of corn showed corn sales of 35.8 mb. Annual corn sales stand at 812.3 mb, 130 mb less than a year ago. In the weekly crop progress report, US corn harvest was reported at 89% complete. This compares to 80% last week, 90% last year and 88% on average.

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MFBF sets policy for 2015

The following article is a news release from the MFBF:

More than 170 delegates from across the state gathered in Billings Nov. 9-12 to vote on policy at the Montana Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention.  The voting delegates were part of the 400 convention attendees who participated in educational workshops, district caucuses and the awards banquet earlier this month. However, the main purpose of the convention is to set policy for the upcoming year.  County Farm Bureaus held their annual meetings in September to determine if policy was needed on a variety of issues; those policies were then brought to the MFBF Convention where they were discussed and debated. Not all county policy made is approved.

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