5 stories farmers read this week: Jan. 9, 2016

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5 stories farmers read this week collage Jan. 9

Here are the most read stories on Farm and Dairy this week:

1. Veterinary Feed Directive: What producers need to know for the new year

Starting next January, producers will have to work directly with a vet to get medicated feed for their animals. Enforced by the Food and Drug Administration, the Veterinary Feed Directive was put in place to regulate antibiotics that both humans and animals use.

Producers will have to get a VFD from a veterinarian to use VFD drugs. Overuse or improper use of VFD drugs — which could lead to antibiotic resistance — is one reason why the FDA is moving toward having veterinarians issue VFDs to producers.

2. How to understand the livestock markets

Reporter Kristy Foster Seachrist takes a look at how livestock auctions operate. She breaks down how beef cattle markets run and what problems may arise, plus information about feeder and yearling cattle. She also explains sheep, goat and hog markets.

Next week, Seachrist will take a look at hay markets and how they operate.

3. Farm and Dairy’s top 10 stories of 2015

The Farm and Dairy editorial staff combed over the past year’s news and came up with the 10 biggest stories. From avian influenza to the Utica and Marcellus shale industry, these are some of the topics that impacting the farm world the most.

4. Challenges ahead: crop and livestock sectors face difficult new year

Farmers will likely see tight margins and lower profits in 2016. Corn prices are expected to sit between $3.50 to $4 a bushel, wheat prices are projected to be about $4.75 a bushel and soybeans will likely be about $8-$9 a bushel.

Higher land values may continue, but farmers could see increased expenses due to property taxes and loan interest rates.

5. Severe algal blooms aren’t going away

Toxic algal blooms — like the one that affected Toledo, Ohio, in August 2014 — could be the norm by second half of this century. According to researchers, algal blooms in Lake Erie could double over the next century.

In an effort to reduce the chance of future algal blooms affecting Toledo, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario have resolved to reducing phosphorus runoff by 40 percent in the next decade. However, climate change will also play a role in algal blooms.

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