IFB News


TEXAS LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY REELS FROM STORM, OUTAGES – Bitter cold and power outages have created a crisis for some Texan farms and ranches, leaving livestock dead from exposure and raising fears that herds could run short of food and water. (Wall Street Journal)


THE LIVES OF ESSENTIAL WORKERS, ONE YEAR INTO THE PANDEMIC – It’s been a year since the pandemic hit America and sent more than 40 percent of our workforce home. But for delivery drivers, grocery cashiers, farmers, and so many more deemed vital to feeding our nation, things have looked a lot different. (Bon Appétit)


FARMERS, FAMILIES & COMMUNITIES PREP FOR PLANTING SEASON – Snow, cold or COVID, spring is on its way and in Illinois, that means farmers will be planting soon. The University of Illinois Extension is offering a free Zoom webinar on Thursday about safety during the planting season. (Northern Public Radio)


WHEAT AT ONE-WEEK HIGH AS FREEZING U.S. WEATHER IN FOCUS – Chicago wheat futures climbed 2% on Tuesday to hit a one-week high as frigid temperatures in U.S. growing areas raised concerns about crop damage. (Reuters)


ROBOTS MILK COWS SO FARMERS CAN SLEEP LATER; MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS FOR BOTH – A study published this month found that farmers using automated milking systems reported having better mental health than their peers. But farmers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the technology — the cows seem to prefer it, too. (FOX 5 New York)


EU WINEGROWERS HOPE BIDEN CAN LIFT THEM OUT OF THE RED – With Biden's new administration settling into the White House, wine lobbies and EU politicians are pressuring EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis to uncork the trade barrier. (Politico)


THE WORLD WILL PAY MORE FOR MEAT AS FOOD INFLATION DEEPENS – The Covid-19 pandemic upended food supply chains, paralyzing shipping, sickening workers that keep the world fed and ultimately raising consumer grocery costs around the globe last year. Now livestock farmers are getting squeezed by the highest corn and soybean prices in seven years. (Bloomberg)


FARMERS COULD SEE BIGGER PAYMENTS UNDER NEW PPP RULES – Farmers largely missed out on the first round of Paycheck Protection Program loans, but a change in how calculations are made for farmers could result in more substantial payments. (DTN)


GENERAL MILLS PUTS FAITH IN CEREALS, ICE CREAM AND MEXICAN FOOD FOR GROWTH – General Mills Inc will focus on eight key markets and five global product categories, including ice cream, cereal and Mexican meals, as the Betty Crocker cake mixes maker seeks to reach its long-term goal of up to 3% growth. (Reuters)


PASSION FOR RURAL HEALTH UNITES COUPLE – Passion for rural healthcare united this Illinois couple. Now they work down the hall from each other at the OSF hospital near Kewanee, a community that has especially appreciated being able to see family doctors during the pandemic. (KMA Land)


KNOWING WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM: CSAS 'REINTRODUCE AGRICULTURE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES' – Community Supported Agriculture programs — otherwise known as CSAs — help farmers with the planning part, while allowing supporters to share in the harvest by paying up front before the season starts. (Stamford Advocate)



WTO FORMALLY APPOINTS OKONJO-IWEALA AS ITS FIRST FEMALE LEADER – The World Trade Organization selected Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to be the first woman and first African as its leader, tasking the former Nigerian finance minister with restoring trust in a rules-based global trading system roiled by protectionism and the pandemic. (Bloomberg)


SHAWN MICHELLE’S IS SERVING THE CHICAGO COMMUNITY ALONG WITH ARTISAN ICE CREAM – Throughout the pandemic, Chicago’s Black-owned restaurants have remained vital centers in their communities. As the country observes Black History Month, Chicago Tribune presents some of the owners’ stories to recognize the importance of their businesses to the community and to Chicago history. (Chicago Tribune)


'LET'S THINK BIG' - GERMANY WANTS TO WORK CLOSELY WITH BIDEN ON TRADE, CHINA, CLIMATE – Germany wants Europe and the United States to strengthen transatlantic ties with a trade deal to abolish industrial tariffs, a WTO reform to increase pressure on China and a joint carbon-emission trading system to protect the climate. (Reuters)


OIL PRICES RISE TO NEW PANDEMIC HIGHS AMID TEXAS COLD SNAP – Oil is trading at its highest level in more than a year as freezing weather in West Texas and the Permian Basin sends demand soaring and limits production, but the global market is not likely to see a lasting boost until the second half of the year. (Forbes)


ILLINOIS PRODUCT EXPO MOVES TO ONLINE FORMAT DURING PANDEMIC – Each year, people flock to Springfield to attend the Illinois Product Expo, which is hosted by the Department of Agriculture. The expo has been held for more than 20 years, but like many other things this year, the in-person event has been canceled due to the pandemic. (WAND)


MACOMB FOOD PANTRY SERVING MORE RESIDENTS THAN EVER – Families are still struggling with the pandemic and the Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency is trying to help those in need. (WGEM)


BIDEN'S CLIMATE TASK FORCE HAS FIRST MEETING – The White House’s new National Climate Task Force held its first meeting Thursday, seeking a return to "credibility" on climate change. (The Hill)


CORN STEADY AFTER VOLATILE WEEK AS EXPORTS ASSESSED – U.S. corn futures edged higher on Friday, consolidating after a volatile week in which prices retreated from a 7-1/2 year high as a higher than expected U.S. supply forecast tempered support from recent Chinese demand. (Reuters)


LARGEST COVID WORKPLACE OUTBREAK DOUBLES IN SIZE, DESPITE SAFETY MEASURES – The LA area plant that makes the iconic "Dodger Dogs" is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 that continues to multiply exponentially, according to LA County public health records examined by the NBC4 I-Team. (NBC Los Angeles)


CLOSE, REOPEN, REPEAT. RESTAURANTS DON’T KNOW WHAT COVID-19 WILL DISH OUT NEXT – Nearly a year into the U.S. spread of Covid-19, multiple closings and reopenings are now almost commonplace for owners of restaurants, bars, gyms, beauty salons and other establishments grappling with shifting government directives as well as employee illnesses tied to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Wall Street Journal)


PEKIN’S HERITAGE FARMERS MARKET PREPARES FOR VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT – Pekin’s Heritage Farmer’s Market is gearing its weekend event towards Valentine’s Day. Even going as far as selling heart-shaped rib-eye steaks for an at-home dinner. (WMBD)


WIND ENERGY HAD A 'BANNER YEAR' IN 2020. HERE'S WHAT THAT MEANS FOR JOE BIDEN'S CLIMATE PLAN – A study from the American Clean Power Association released this month reports that 2020 was a record year for the wind energy industry, with developers adding enough megawatts of capacity to provide power for millions of homes. (USA Today)


BIDEN CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY DRAWS FARM BELT SUPPORT, CONCERN – Food producers said Tuesday at The Wall Street Journal Global Food Forum that they want the new Biden administration to give farmers incentives to cultivate crops in ways that capture carbon dioxide in the soil. (Wall Street Journal)


REP. BUSTOS NAMED CHAIR OF HOUSE AGRICULTURE SUBCOMMITTEE – U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, has been named chair of the subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management for the 117th Congress. (Quad-City Times)


STAY SAFE ON THE FARM THIS PLANTING SEASON – Spring is characterized by a fury of activity on Illinois farms. Preparing for a Safe Planting, a free webinar set for Feb. 18, will focus on preventing common farm injuries and illness. (Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)


FARM VISITS BOOST PROFITS IN 2020 – One of the few bright spots of 2020 has been the popularity of agritourism for Illinois farms. (Alton Daily News)


KELLOGG SAYS IT’S STRUGGLING TO MEET DEMAND FOR FROSTED FLAKES – Kellogg Co. has struggled to keep Frosted Flakes cereal on store shelves in recent months, recalling the production snags that plagued manufacturers earlier in the pandemic and left some pantry staples hard to find. (Bloomberg)

About Leader Page: This collection of articles from mainstream and agriculture media is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader in our organization. The articles here are not intended to represent Illinois Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to give you an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally and globally.









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