South Dakota Works to Expand its Dairy Industry 

According to the International Dairy Food Association, the dairy industry has an economic impact of more than $628 billion annually in the U.S. In trying to identify the states with the biggest impact on that figure, you might say Wisconsin or California. But another state is adding value by growing its dairy footprint: South Dakota. Vikram Mistry, head of the dairy science department at South Dakota State University (SDSU), has seen an increase in the number of students in his classes. “Historically, we held steady with about 80 to 90 students between 1979 and 1986. This dropped by 2002 to about 40 following the Whole Herd Buyout program in 1986,” Mistry says. This was due to the decrease in dairy cow numbers from 250,000 to nearly 80,000 head by the early 2000s. Those numbers have grown back to 122,000, and the university has also seen renewed interest in its dairy program following strong recruiting. Today, there are 125 students from 13 different states. David Skaggs, dairy and ag development specialist for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, says when dairy farms decreased in the early 2000s, his department made it a priority to rebuild this part of the industry by adding staff in dairy development. Realizing this priority is what has helped increase cow numbers from the low of 80,000 up to 122,000 head today. “While we have made it a priority to build the dairy industry in South Dakota, we’ve also made it a priority for these operations to be family-owned,” Skaggs says. The dairy processing industry has increased in South Dakota, as well.

Oil prices gain around 1 pct on U.S.-China trade hopes

Brent crude futures were up 45 cents to $65.52 a barrel by 11:54 a.m. EST. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 53 cents, or 1 percent, to $56.33 a barrel. Washington and Beijing appeared close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as China pledges to make structural economic changes and end tariffs on the United States, a source briefed on negotiations said on Sunday. Growing anticipation of a positive outcome from U.S.-China trade talks has rendered a boost to oil prices in today’s trading session,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London. Supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-member allies, including Russia, also continued to support oil futures. OPEC and its partners, known as OPEC+, will likely decide on a new output policy in June instead of during the group’s April meeting in Vienna.


The news that President Trump and Premier XI may meet on March 27 was well received by the stock and commodity markets. Indications are that the US and China are close to reaching a trade agreement. Corn and Soybean futures rallied and Wheat was only down 2.25 cents. All three markets were poised to post a corrective bounce, so the uptick today comes as little surprise. The markets were otherwise quiet. The next USDA monthly supply and demand report is scheduled for Friday March 8thand as a side note, daylight savings time will begin at 2 am this Sunday March 10th.