Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday March 31 Ag News


Nebraska corn growers intend to plant 9.40 million acres this year, down 6 percent from 2013, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Soybean planted acreage is expected to be a record high 5.40 million acres, up 13 percent from last year.

All hay acreage to be harvested is expected to total 2.45 million acres, down 2 percent from last year’s acreage.

Winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2013 are estimated at 1.50 million acres, up 2 percent from last year. 

Dry edible bean acreage intentions are estimated at 180,000 acres, up 38 percent from 2013. 

Sorghum growers in Nebraska intend to plant 160,000 acres, down 44 percent from a year ago.

Oat intentions are estimated at 100,000 acres, down 33 percent from last year.

Sugarbeet acres are expected to be 48,000 acres, up 4 percent from last year.

Sunflower producers expect to plant 33,000 acres, down 23 percent from 2013.  Oil type varieties account for 25,000 acres, down 11 percent from a year ago.  Non-oil varieties made up the balance of 8,000 acres, down 47 percent.

Estimates in this report are based on a survey conducted during the first two weeks of March.

Iowa Prospective Plantings

The annual Prospective Plantings report published by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service  is based on  the  voluntary  responses  from  approximately  two  thousand  Iowa  producers.    This  report  provides  an indication  of  the  acres  farmers  intend  to  plant  for  the  2014  crop  year.   Actual  plantings  will  depend  upon weather, economic conditions and  the availability of production  inputs at  the  time producers must make  their final planting decisions.

Iowa  farmers  intend  to  plant  14.0 million  acres  of  corn  for  all  purposes  in  2014,  according  to  the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Prospective Plantings  report.  This  is an  increase of 400,000 acres from 2013. 

Producers intend to plant 9.6 million acres of soybeans in Iowa this year. This is an increase of 300,000 acres from 2013.  

Iowa  farmers  intend  to  plant  130,000  acres  of  oats  for  all  purposes,  down  90,000  acres  from  last  year.   If realized, this would be the second smallest acreage since record keeping began.

Farmers in Iowa expect to harvest 1.05 million acres of dry hay for the 2014 crop year. If realized, this will be the lowest in state history, below the 1.14 million acres harvested in 2012.  

U.S. Farmers Expect to Plant Record-High Soybean Acreage

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 81.5 million acres of soybeans in 2014, up 6 percent from last year and an all-time record high, according to the Prospective Plantings report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). If realized, soybeans will surpass the previous record of    77.5 million acres planted in the United States set in 2009.

Planted acreage intentions for soybeans are up or unchanged in all states except Missouri and Oklahoma. The largest increase is expected in North Dakota with a record high 5.65 million acres, an increase of one million acres from 2013. If realized, the planted area of soybeans in Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin will also be the largest on record.

Corn growers intend to plant 91.7 million acres in 2014, down 4 percent from last year and if realized the lowest planted acreage since 2010. Expected returns for corn are anticipated to be lower in 2014 compared with recent years. Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts and Utah are expected to increase planted acreage from last year. If realized, planted acres in Idaho will be a record high.

The Prospective Plantings report provides the first official, survey based estimates of U.S. farmers’ 2014 planting intentions. NASS’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of more than 84,000 farm operators across the United States. Other key findings in the report are:
-    All wheat planted area for 2014 is estimated at 55.8 million acres, down 1 percent from 2013.
-    Winter wheat planted area, at 42.0 million, is down 3 percent from last year but up slightly from the previous estimate.
-    Area planted to spring wheat for 2014 is expected to total 12.0 million acres, up 4 percent from 2013.
-    Durum wheat is expected to total 1.80 million acres for 2014, up 22 percent from last year.
-    All cotton planted area for 2014 is expected to total 11.1 million acres, 7 percent above last year.


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 809 million bushels, up 38 percent from 2013, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Of the total, 440 million bushels are stored on farms, up 54 percent from a year ago.  Off-farm stocks, at 369 million bushels, are up 22 percent from last year. 

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 86.7 million bushels, up 23 percent from last year.  On-farm stocks of 17.5 million bushels are down 15 percent from a year ago, while off-farm stocks, at 69.2 million bushels, are up 39 percent from 2013. 

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 25.6 million bushels, down 32 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 1.50 million bushels are down 17 percent from 2013 and off-farm stocks of  24.1 million bushels are down 32 percent from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 6.31 million bushels, up 132 percent from 2013.  On-farm stocks of 900,000 are up 125 percent and off-farm holdings of 5.41 million are more than double last year. 

Iowa Grain Stocks

Iowa  corn  stocks  in  all  positions  on March  1,  2014  totaled  1.22 billion bushels  according  to  the  USDA  National  Agricultural  Statistics  Service March 1 Grain Stocks report. This is 16 percent more than last year, but still the  second  lowest  level  since  2004.   Of  the  total  stocks,  58  percent were stored  in on-farm  storage  facilities.   The  indicated quarterly disappearance from December  2013  through  February  2014  totaled  520 million  bushels, 2 percent more  than  the  510 million  bushels  used  during  the  same  quarter last year.

Iowa soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 208 million bushels,  up  slightly  from March  1,  2013.   Of  the  total  stocks,  36 percent were  held  in  on-farm  storage  facilities.    Indicated  disappearance  for  the December 2013 - February 2014 quarter was 132 million bushels, 1 percent more than the 130 million bushels used during the same quarter last year.

Iowa  oat  stocks  stored  in  all  positions  on  March  1,  2014  totaled 2.45 million  bushels,  down  12  percent  from  the  2.78  million  bushels  on hand March  1,  2013.    This  is  the  lowest March  1  stocks  since  estimates began  in  1950.    Of  the  total  stocks,  45 percent  were  stored  in  on-farm facilities.   Disappearance  during  the  December  2013  -  February  2014 quarter  totaled 2.04 million bushels, 30 percent  less  than  the  same quarter last year. 

United States Grain Stocks

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 7.01 billion bushels, up 30 percent from March 1, 2013. Of the total stocks, 3.86 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 45 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at  3.15  billion  bushels,  are  up  15  percent  from  a  year  ago.  The December  2013  -  February  2014  indicated disappearance is 3.45 billion bushels, compared with 2.63 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 992 million bushels, down 1 percent from March 1, 2013. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 382 million bushels, down 16 percent from a year ago.  Off-farm  stocks,  at  610 million  bushels,  are  up  13  percent  from  last March.  Indicated  disappearance  for  the December 2013 - February 2014 quarter totaled 1.16 billion bushels, up 20 percent from the same period a year earlier.

All wheat stored  in all positions on March 1, 2014  totaled 1.06 billion bushels, down 15 percent  from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 238 million bushels, up slightly from last March. Off-farm stocks, at  818 million  bushels,  are  down  18  percent  from  a  year  ago.  The December  2013  -  February  2014  indicated disappearance is 419 million bushels, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.


For the month of March, precipitation averaged less than 50 percent of normal across much of Nebraska, causing further depletion of soil moisture supplies, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Temperatures averaged 2 to 4 degrees below normal for the month.  Windy conditions dried soils and caused fire warning levels to remain high.  Crop producers focused on spring field work preparations.  Available soil moisture continues a concern going into spring.  Topsoil moisture supplies rated 16 percent very short, 46 short, 38 adequate, and 0 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated  18 percent very short, 42 short, 40 adequate, and 0 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 11 poor, 32 fair, 48 good, and 7 excellent. 
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report:

Stock water supplies rated 4 percent very short, 14 short, 82 adequate, and 0 surplus.  

Hay and forage supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 90 adequate, and 3 surplus.

Cattle and calf condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 10 fair, 80 good, and 9 excellent. Cattle and calf losses rated 5 percent below average, 91 average, and 4 above average. Percentage of cows calved since January 1 was 52 percent.

Sheep and lamb condition rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 14 fair, 82 good, and 4 excellent.  Sheep and lamb losses rated 0 percent below average, 99 average, and 1 above average.

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps at:

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor at:,HP.

Northeast Nebraska RC&D Hears of Farm-to-School Program

The Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council met March 24th at the Winside Public Library.  Caryl Guisinger, Center for Rural Affairs Farm-to-School Fellow, shared information on this program’s progression around the country.  Nebraska is one of only seven states without a farm-to-school program.  Caryl said that 1/3 of US children under age 17 are overweight and only 2% of US children eat sufficient fruits and vegetables.

Farm-to-School programs are seeing many gains through improved K-12 academic achievement, fewer behavioral issues, and improved diets.  Participating farmers have seen a 5% increase in income, new opportunities for diversity, and they’ve developed positive connections with students.  Communities are seeing it as a win-win for everyone.  The RC&D Council voted to start a Farm-to-School project and will be seeking input from citizens and schools. 

Dates And Probabilities For The Last Spring Freeze Across Nebraska

As spring planting approaches, it is important to understand factors that influence planting decisions. In addition to environmental and agronomic factors such as the crop planted, calendar date, soil temperature, and soil moisture, a major climatic factor is spring freeze risk. While each season is different from the previous ones, long-term average (30 years) spring freeze risks calculated based on available historic data provide valuable information for making planting decisions.  At the UNL Extension Cropwatch website, there is an article that features maps generated from High Plains Regional Climate Center data which shows an average date when spring freeze risk (32ºF) is low (10%), medium (50%), and high (90%), respectively.  Click here to see the maps and read the article...  

April 15, Deadline Nears to File Candidacy Petitions for Nebraska Soybean Board July Election

There are two district seats on the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) eligible for election this year.  Soybean farmers in Districts 5 and 7 are invited to run for election to the Nebraska Soybean Board by filing a candidacy petition by the April 15, 2014 deadline. The election will be conducted via direct-mail ballots and candidate information will be provided to all soybean farmers residing within the district in which an election is to be held.

The At-Large position on the Nebraska Soybean Board is open to all soybean farmers in Nebraska and will be elected by the NSB Directors at the July Board meeting.  A candidacy petition must also be filed by the April 15, 2014 deadline for the At-Large position.

This is an opportunity to see for yourself how the soybean checkoff money is invested, and become a part of the decision making.  You will become a VOICE representing your District on the Board.

NSB Directors and the At-Large Position receive no salary but are reimbursed for expenses incurred while carrying out Board business and will serve a three-year term which would begin October 1, 2014.

Director seats open are:
District 5:    Counties of Cass, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee and Richardson.
District 7:    Counties of Adams, Buffalo, Clay, Franklin, Hall, Kearney, Nuckolls and Webster.

Candidates for the NSB seats and the At-Large position must be:
A resident of Nebraska
21 years of age or older
Soybean farmer in Nebraska for at least 5 previous years

Prospective candidates must collect the signatures of 50 soybean farmers in their district using an official NSB Candidacy Petition and return such petition to the NSB office on or before April 15, 2014, to be eligible for placement on the ballot.  To obtain a candidacy petition, contact Victor Bohuslavsky, executive director, at 402-432-5720.

The nine-member Nebraska Soybean Board collects and disburses the Nebraska share of funds generated by the one half of one percent times the net sales price per bushel of soybeans sold.  Nebraska soybean checkoff funds are invested in research, education, domestic and foreign markets, including new uses for soybeans and soybean products.

For more information about the Nebraska Soybean Board, visit


Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll’s new feature length documentary, Farmland, will be released nationally May 1, 2014. The film will be distributed via D&E Entertainment in more than 60 major markets. Numerous national exhibitors will be carrying the film including: Regal Cinemas, Marcus Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Landmark Theatres and many key independent theaters.

The film will have its New York premiere at a private screening on April 17, during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Additionally, Farmland has been selected to be in competition this year at Cleveland International Film Festival on March 28-29, 2014; Atlanta Film Festival on April 6, 2014; Nashville Film Festival on April 19, 2014; and Newport Beach Film Festival in April 2014.  

The "FARMLAND" film will be able to be seen at several venues in Nebraska on its national release date of May 1st, including: 

The "FARMLAND" movie is scheduled to be shown in Wayne, NE, as well.  However, a venue, time, and date have yet to be determined. 

Farmland offers viewers an intimate and firsthand glimpse into the lives of six young farmers and ranchers across the U.S., chronicling their high-risk/high-reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve.

Among the cast of the movis is David Loberg, a fifth generation corn and soybean farmer from Carroll, Nebraska.  He runs the family farm with his mother. The farm also custom feeds 500 head of cows for a local dairy operation and runs an irrigation business. The 25-year-old Loberg and his wife have an infant son.  Other farmers are from Georgia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. 

“In Farmland, audiences will hear thoughts and opinions about agriculture, but not from me, and not from a narrator,” Moll says about his film. “They’re from the mouths of the farmers and ranchers themselves.”

The documentary features an original score composed by Nathan Wang with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The film also includes an original recording of “This Land is Your Land” performed in a first-ever collaboration with platinum rock band Everclear and Grammy® Award-nominated artist Liz Phair.

Visit to locate a theatre near you where Farmland will be screening, as well as additional information about the film and to watch the trailer.

Farmland was produced by Moll’s Allentown Productions, with generous support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®).


The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) organization is pushing for the advancement of LR 414 introduced by Senator Al Davis.

LR 414 is a resolution which asks the President, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Congress and the United States Trade Representative to protect Nebraska citizens as well as all citizens of the United States, by supporting Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation identifying meat purchases and refuse any attempt to change the current law governing the labeling process.

“We need to send a message to Washington,” said Davis. “A message from the number one industry in Nebraska – the cattle industry, to protect our residents by giving them the same advantage as foreign consumers; the opportunity to have country of origin labeling on our meat purchases so we can make informed choices.”

The resolution goes one step further and encourages those same leaders to express their concerns to the World Trade Organization and ask the WTO to abide by U.S. law and regulations for COOL.

“I find it interesting that Nebraska Farm Bureau (NFB) and Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) are worried about WTO compliance for COOL,” said ICON president Dave Wright. “The testimony against LR 414 NFB points out that Canadian beef will have a disadvantage to U.S. beef if COOL is passed. What would be the disadvantage? Are foreign auto makers at a disadvantage to U.S. auto makers? Are foreign clothing manufacturers at a disadvantage to U.S. clothing manufacturers? “

In recent years, opposition from Canada and Mexico weakened the COOL legislation by changing the labeling law so beef born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. was mislabeled as a mixed-origin product. Action by the USDA in November of 2013 changed the regulations so U.S. beef was not labeled as a mixed-origin product.

 “NC is afraid that if the U.S. is not compliant with WTO then Canada and Mexico will retaliate against the U.S. and we will have lost all the benefits that we now enjoy with our export market,” said Wright. “Benefits like the $6 billion in beef export in 2013, which equals $251/head slaughtered. Or the fact that 15% of Nebraska’s total exports consists of beef.” What NC fails to see is that those exports are LABELED as U.S. or in the case of Nebraska they are labeled as NEBRASKA Wright said. They also ignore the fact that the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) spends $6 million on foreign marketing and the Nebraska Beef Council (NBC) sends $50,000 to the Nebraska Department of Ag for foreign marketing. So NC makes it clear that labeling U.S. beef in a foreign market is profitable, but in the domestic market, not so much.

Wright added the Washington DC court of Appeal has just upheld COOL.

There is a move by Canada, Mexico and domestic meat importers now once again to weaken COOL. ICON encourages cattlemen in Nebraska to encourage their state leaders as well as national leaders to move forward with this legislation. It will not only protect the Nebraska and U.S. cattle industry but all consumers who, now more than ever, are seeking to be familiar with the background of the food they eat.

Animal Welfare and Agriculture Organizations Make Headway on Markets for Family Farmers

(from HSUS)

Various groups met Saturday to discuss ways family farmers in eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa can compete against industrial farms. The Humane Society of the United States, the Nebraska Farmers Union, the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, and Nebraska and Iowa farmers met with individuals representing various pork companies who presented opportunities to raise hogs under the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Program.

Global Animal Partnership brings together farmers, scientists, ranchers, retailers and animal welfare advocacy organizations to continually improve the lives of farm animals. The 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards recognize the welfare practices of producers who are certified by authorized, independent third parties; promote continuous improvement through its unique, multi-tiered design; enable retailers to have a selection of animal welfare labeled products for their customers; and better informs consumers about the way animals are raised.

Most breeding pigs in the U.S. are confined in "gestation crates" for virtually their entire lives. These individual crates are approximately two feet wide—so small the animals can't turn around or take more than a step forward or backward. Global Animal Partnership’s minimum standards prohibit crates, cages and stalls, the sub-therapeutic (preventative) use of antibiotics and tail docking.

John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union said: “The pork marketplace has changed. Doing business the conventional way has not worked well for most independent hog producers in recent years as the U.S. has lost 91 percent of our hog producers since 1980 thanks to concentrated, non-competitive, inaccessible, vertically integrated pork markets. The changing marketplace comes with both challenges and opportunities for hog producers. This event has focused on the positive opportunities that our smaller and newer pork producers might want to pursue.”

Angela Huffman, market development coordinator for The HSUS said: “Opportunities have never been greater – national food trends, rising consumer interest in animal welfare, and growing consumer health consciousness favor sustainable family farmers who demonstrate good stewardship of the land and the animals under their control. We are pleased to work with family farmers in opening these emerging markets and to do our part to assure their economic viability.”

William Powers, executive director of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society said: "People deserve to know that what they are eating was grown and raised in the very best conditions, which involves care of the land and the animal."

The HSUS advocates compassionate eating – or the Three Rs: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products, and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. The HSUS supports those farmers and ranchers who give proper care to their animals, act in accordance with the basic ethic of compassion to sentient creatures under their control, and practice and promote humane and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Iowa Farmland Values Begin to Dip

Iowa farmland values dropped 5.4 percent during the past six months, marking the end of a five-year run that saw land prices surge to record highs. The average price of an acre of tillable crop land was $8,268, down from $8,690 during the six months ending September 1, according to the semi-annual survey from Iowa Realtors Land Institute.

Land values declined the most in southeast Iowa (down 8.4 percent) and remained the steadiest in southwest Iowa (down 2.1 percent).

Farmland values rose 1.2 percent from March to September 2013. The last time farmland values dropped was in 2009, according to Agri-Pulse.

Despite softening prices, farmland values are still nearly double that of 2010, when tillable cropland sold for $4,268 an acre, according to the report.

The value of pasture and timberland rose in most parts of the state, driven by strong livestock prices and demand from hunters.

USTR:  Obama Administration Removes Barriers to Food and Agriculture Exports

In 2013, the Obama Administration opened markets worldwide by resolving unwarranted sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) barriers to the exportation of a wide range of food and agricultural products.  While each country should implement necessary measures to protect human, animal, and plant health, some countries impose arbitrary import restrictions to protect their products from foreign competition.  Expanding U.S. food and agricultural exports improves income for farmers and ranchers across rural America and supports jobs for workers in the food and agricultural sector.  Our efforts helped the United States to export a record $148 billion in food and agricultural products in 2013.  Exports of agricultural products supported over 929,000 U.S. jobs.

USTR’s fifth annual Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures identifies the Administration’s ongoing efforts to eliminate discriminatory or otherwise unwarranted measures that impede U.S. food and agricultural exports.  These unjustified barriers harm U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, workers, and their families and deprive consumers around the world of access to safe, high-quality American food and agricultural goods.

Examples of Obama Administration successes in removing unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to U.S. exports include:

Expanded Access for Beef and Beef Products

After the United States demonstrated the safety of U.S. beef, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, and Panama opened their markets to a wider variety of U.S. beef and beef products.  This allowed increased exports and streamlined trade, reducing costs for U.S. exporters.  Previously, Indonesia only accepted boneless U.S. beef originating from cattle less than 30 months of age, while the Dominican Republic previously allowed U.S. beef and beef products, both boneless and bone-in, only from animals less than 30 months of age.  Additionally, Mexico has agreed to allow imports of all U.S. beef and beef products recognized under international standards as being safe for human or animal consumption.  Previously, Mexico only allowed the importation of U.S. beef derived from animals less than 30 months of age.

Additionally, the Obama Administration worked intensively with the European Union to obtain approval for U.S. beef treated with lactic acid.  The February 2013 approval of this pathogen reduction treatment made it substantially easier for many U.S. producers to produce beef for sale into the European Union market.  A larger number of U.S. companies are exporting beef to the European Union as a result of the approval.  This helped U.S. beef exports to the European Union reach a record $252 million in 2013.

Overall, total U.S. beef exports world-wide grew 12 percent in 2013 to reach over $6 billion.

Increased Market Opportunities for Swine and Pork Products

After the Obama Administration provided robust scientific justification on the safety of U.S. swine, in February 2013, the European Union lifted its ban on the importation of live pigs from the United States.  Since the ban was lifted, the United States has exported high value live breeding pigs to the European Union.

Additionally, U.S. fresh and chilled pork products can now be sold in the Colombian market due to a U.S. government and industry collaboration to document the safety of U.S. pork from trichinosis and the strength of U.S. regulatory oversight over pork production.

After extensive U.S. engagement to demonstrate the effectiveness of the U.S. food safety system in reducing health risks from pathogens and other contaminants, Kyrgyzstan and Bahrain have agreed to reopen their markets to pork imports from the United States.

In 2013, the United States exported over $6 billion in pork and pork products worldwide.

Increased Fruit Exports to Australia

The Obama Administration reached agreements with Australia that allow the exportation to Australia of peaches and nectarines from California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  In addition, following extensive U.S. engagement in 2013, the state of Western Australia lifted its unwarranted ban on U.S. origin grapes.  Exports of U.S. peaches, nectarines and grapes to Australia reached $54 million in 2013.

Bolstered Horticulture Exports to Asian Markets

We also worked cooperatively with Japanese authorities to resolve Japanese pest risk concerns with U.S. cherries, leading to an opening of the Japanese market to U.S. cherries.  Additionally, the Obama Administration worked together with the U.S. pear industry to enable China to open its market for a certain type of U.S. pear.  U.S. businesses exported $2.7 million of pears to the Chinese market in 2013, up from $44,000 in 2012.

Soy Goes Global Inside New Nutritious, Delicious Foods

Guatemalan food company Alimentos Sociedad Anonima (Alimentos SA) launched three soy-based Amelia cream soups in March. Ugandan food maker SESACO Ltd. has introduced SoySip, a just-add-hot-water beverage that comes with packets of ginger and sugar. As the United States recognizes April as Soyfoods month, the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) salutes its partners in developing countries for their 2013-2014 introductions of exciting new African and Hispanic foods made with soy protein ingredients.

"We are seeing a bumper crop of new foods containing soy offered by companies and groups that WISHH has assisted through training, product samples and more,” said WISHH Chairman David Iverson, a South Dakota soybean grower. “The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Agency for International Development (USAID) and soybean checkoff funds are assisting WISHH and its partners to help meet the enormous need for protein in nutritious foods that are also affordable and available for developing country diets.”

Thanks to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service support, WISHH’s many spring 2014 activities include hosting educational conferences in Kenya and Ghana. At these programs, African and U.S. food industry as well as government participants explore opportunities in school feeding and retail programs to offer healthier foods.

WISHH’s USAID-supported work in Liberia is also an example of how production of new soy-based foods creates jobs, including for women, and makes much-needed protein available to local diets. Under the USAID-HANDS program, WISHH and Opportunities Industrialization Centers International have built two processing facilities where women manufacture fortified-blended “Super Gari” cereal made with local cassava. Adding U.S. defatted soy flour helps fill the protein gap that was in the traditional gari.

Click here to see SoySip, Amelia Cream soups and other examples of the new products that WISHH’s partners have introduced in the last year.

Interested in trying to make some international soyfoods yourself? Click here for WISHH and the World Soy Foundation’s recipe book produced by the National Soybean Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

U.S. and developing country diets share common ground in that protein is needed for good health. The majority of U.S. consumers (78 percent) agree that protein contributes to a healthy diet and more than half of adults say they want more of it in their diets, reported the NPD Group in a study released in March.

Global protein ingredient market revenues are expected to reach USD 28.90 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research. Plant proteins—led by soy-- accounted for over 56 percent of global volumes in 2013, and are expected to continue dominating the market over the next six years, growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 6.3 percent from 2014 to 2020. Soy-based ingredients accounted for more than 70 percent of global volumes in 2013.

WISHH is a trade-development program. Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, it has worked in 24 countries to improve diets, as well as encouraged growth of food industries. The WISHH program is managed from ASA’s world headquarters in St. Louis. For more information, visit

Mixed Messages on Brazil Soy

Private Brazilian analysts are giving mixed messages on the size of the country's soybean crop.  Over the weekend, Safras e Mercado raised its 2013-14 soybean view to 86.9 million metric tons from 86.1 mmt following a small upward adjustment in planted area and improved weather conditions over the last month.  In contrast, AgRural lowered its crop view from 86.0 mmt to 85.6 mmt following reports of lower-than-expected yields in the northeastern states of Bahia and Maranhao and the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.

Despite the diverging news coming out of Brazil, with the harvest over 70% complete, opinions about the eventual crop size are firming. Many forecasters now peg the crop at between 85 mmt and 88 mmt, although some still have higher figures -- most notably the Brazilian Vegetable Oils Industry Association's 88.6 mmt number.

The Key to Weed Control Comes Early in the Season

Want to improve yields, control weeds and fight resistance this growing season? Experts agree the key to success is early season weed control.

“Effective weed management today means starting the growing season with a clean weed-free seedbed,” said Bryan Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor of weed science, Purdue University. “That typically means tillage in corn and in some cases a spring burndown in soybeans. Then make sure that the field stays clean from that point forward throughout the season. Residual herbicides are critically important in helping us reduce weed competition to optimize crop yields and to improve control of our most problematic weeds.”

Residual weed control can save time and money by reducing the amount of post-emergence applications needed throughout the season.

Studies have shown that preplant and preemerge herbicides can improve net return by a potential $36 to $60 per acre after the cost of herbicide application in soybeans.

“Weeds are easiest to control at the beginning of the season,” said Mark Oostlander, Technical Market Manager, BASF. “Early in the season, weeds aren’t taking as many important resources such as water, sun and nutrients from your crops as they will later in the season. Controlling weeds in the beginning is the most efficient and cost-effective step you can take in weed control. I would recommend a preplant or preemergence herbicide with residual control.”

As weeds grow larger, they become a greater threat to crops. Studies have shown that soybean yields can be reduced six percent if weeds grow to nine inches. In corn, 12-inch weeds can cause up to 10 percent yield loss.

Not only is early season weed control an effective strategy for combatting weeds at their easiest stages, but it can also help in the fight against weed resistance.

“When you have weeds resistant to glyphosate and are utilizing different herbicide chemistries, a two-inch weed might be the maximum height you can control with the herbicide,” explained Young. “We’ve seen resistance happen before and it’s too risky to allow these weeds to emerge and depend solely on the timing of a post-emergence herbicide. For some weeds, we don’t have effective post-emergence herbicide options, it’s all about never letting these weeds get a start.”

No comments:

Post a Comment