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Rural Wrap-Up: Five things you missed last week

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1. Producers across the Plains and Midwest cope with winter storms

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Photo via Ryan Cone on Twitter

A blizzard has affected ag operations, forced road closures, and made travel difficult for rural areas.

More than a foot of snow has fallen in parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. A meteorologist with World Weather Incorporated tells Brownfield Ag News that more moisture is still needed to reduce drought conditions and livestock care is a major concern during these storms.

Ranchers point out that by moving cattle into barns they will go through more hay to keep them fed since grazing pasture is not an option.

To read the full story, click HERE.

2. HPAI now in 49 states; could mutate into a less potent version

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Texas Country Reporter

High Pathogenic Avian Influenza is now confirmed in 49 states across the U.S. According to APHIS, the only state that has not seen an outbreak this year is West Virginia.

USDA veterinarians say they fully expect the virus to mutate at some point into a less potent version.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a clear indication of how long that might be, and certainly looking to our friends in Europe who’ve been dealing with this for about a year longer than we have, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon,” said Dr. Rosemary Sifford.

So far this year, more than 3,000 wild birds have been killed due to HPAI along with a record-breaking 53 million domestic birds.

To read the full story, click HERE.

3. Mississippi levels have improved but still not great

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Barge movement has been better, particularly south of St. Louis, but leaders at ag transport company CGB Enterprises say they are not out of the woods yet.

They say current river levels will work for now but are cautious looking ahead just two weeks, saying the river needs sustained rain.

To read the full story, click HERE.

4. Landfills saw an overabundance of cowhides


There is currently an overabundance of cattle hides ending up in landfills. This is due to a lack of demand and increased use of fake leather, which is primarily made of plastic.

Leather and Hide Council of America President, Steve Sothmann spoke with RFD-TV’s own Suzanne Alexander about the current state of the leather market, the environmental impact of synthetic leather, and if there is a way for entrepreneurs to capitalize on hide availability.

To watch the full interview, click HERE.

5. Herd of cows “steered” a fugitive into police’s arms

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Photo via NPAS South West Region official Twitter page

A few police officers arrested a fugitive on the loose with the help of a herd of cows.

The herd chased the man out of their field and into the hands of the law. Police shot this night-vision footage showing the wanted suspect being lured into a field by the group of livestock.

To read the full story, click HERE.