Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday June 27 Hogs & Pigs Report + Ag News


Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2014, was 3.05 million head, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  This was unchanged from June 1, 2013, and unchanged from March 1, 2014.  

Breeding hog inventory, at 390,000 head, was down 2 percent from June 1, 2013, and down 2 percent from last quarter.  Market hog inventory, at 2.66 million head, was up slightly from last year, and from last quarter.  

The March - May 2014 Nebraska pig crop, at 1.73 million head, was up 1 percent from 2013.  Sows farrowed during the period totaled 165,000 head, up 3 percent from last year.  The average pigs saved per litter was 10.50 for the March-May period, compared to 10.75 last year.

Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 170,000 sows during the June-August 2014 quarter, up 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago.  Intended farrowings for September-November 2014 are 165,000 sows, unchanged from the actual farrowings during the same period the previous year.  


On June 1, 2014 there were 19.2 million hogs and pigs on Iowa farms, was the lowest hog inventory in Iowa since March 2011 according to the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Hogs and Pigs report. The June 1 inventory was down 3 percent from March 2014 and down 4 percent from a year ago. 

The March-May quarterly pig crop was 4.98 million head. A total of 470,000 sows farrowed during this quarter, down 5 percent from  the previous quarter. The average pigs saved per  litter was 10.60  for  the March-May quarter,  rebounding  from 9.90  the previous quarter. 

As  of  June  1,  producers  planned  to  farrow  495,000  head  of  sows  and  gilts  in  the  June-August  2014  quarter.  Farrowing intentions for the September-November 2014 quarter are estimated at 485,000 as of June 1, 2014.

United States Hog Inventory Down 5 Percent

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2014 was 62.1 million head. This was down 5 percent from June 1, 2013, and down 1 percent from March 1, 2014.  Breeding inventory, at 5.85 million head, was down slightly from last year, but up slightly from the previous quarter.  Market hog inventory, at 56.3 million head, was down 5 percent from last year, and down 1 percent from last quarter.

The March-May 2014 pig crop, at 27.4 million head, was down 5 percent from 2013. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 2.80 million head, down slightly from 2013. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 48 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 9.78 for the March-May period, compared to 10.31 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.80 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 9.80 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

United States hog producers intend to have 2.89 million sows farrow during the June-August 2014 quarter, up slightly from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2013, but down 1 percent from 2012. Intended farrowings for September-November 2014, at 2.88 million sows, are up 4 percent from 2013, but down slightly from 2012.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 48 percent of the total United States hog inventory, up from 46 percent last year.

Breeding, Market, and Total Inventory - States and United States: June 1, 2013 and 2014

                    :         Breeding               :          Market              :           Total          
                    :           : 2014    :2014 as:         : 2014 :2014 as  :         : 2014 :2014 as
      State      :  2013  :            :percent : 2013 :         :percent   : 2013 :         :percent
                    :           :            :of 2013 :         :         :of 2013   :         :         :of 2013
                    :     1,000 head   percent -- 1,000 head --  percent  -- 1,000 head --   percent
Colorado ......:    145       160     110       565       530      94       710       690        97 
Illinois ..........:    500       490      98      4,150     3,860    93     4,650     4,350      94 
Indiana .........:    270       270     100     3,230     3,230    100    3,500     3,500     100 
Iowa .............:  1,030     1,000      97    18,970  18,200    96    20,000    19,200     96 
Kansas .........:    170       170     100     1,690    1,480     88     1,860     1,650      89 
Michigan .......:    110       110     100      890       900      101     1,000     1,010     101 
Minnesota .....:    580       570      98      7,220    7,180     99     7,800     7,750      99 
Missouri ........:    350       380     109     2,300    2,110     92     2,650     2,490      94 
Nebraska .......:    400       390      98     2,650    2,660     100     3,050     3,050     100 
North Carolina :    870       860      99      8,030    6,840     85     8,900     7,700      87 
Ohio ..............:    160       165     103     1,970    1,835     93     2,130     2,000      94 
Oklahoma ......:    410       430     105     1,830    1,480     81     2,240     1,910      85 
Pennsylvania ..:    100       100     100     1,020    1,020    100     1,120     1,120   100 
South Dakota .:    180       175      97      960       1,035    108     1,140     1,210   106 
Texas ............:    100       100     100      520       570      110      620       670     108 
Utah ..............:     75        75     100       655        645       98      730       720       99 
Other States ..:    434       410      94      2,654     2,698    102     3,088     3,108    101 
United States .:  5,884    5,855    100    59,304    56,273    95     65,188    62,128   95 

Sows Farrowing, Pigs per Litter, and Pig Crop - States and US: March-May 2013 and 2014

[May not add due to rounding]
                     :       Sows farrowing        : Pigs per litter    :         Pig crop
                     :         : 2014 : 2014 as    :         :              :         :  2014   : 2014 as
      State       :         :         :                 :         :              :         :         :        
                     : 2013 :         : percent     :         :              : 2013 :         : percent
                     :         :         : of 2013     : 2013 : 2014      :         :         : of 2013
                     :     1,000 head   percent    ---- number ---    -- 1,000 head --  percent
Colorado .......:     69         72      104        9.50       9.30      656       670     102  
Illinois ...........:    250       250      100      10.30      9.90     2,575     2,475    96  
Indiana ..........:    125       125      100       9.85      9.25     1,231     1,156     94  
Iowa ..............:    465       470      101      10.50    10.60     4,883    4,982    102  
Kansas ..........:     79        82      104       9.95      9.25       786       759       97  
Michigan ........:     50        52      104      10.20      8.90       510       463       91  
Minnesota ......:    290      285       98      10.70     10.60     3,103    3,021      97  
Missouri .........:    180      185      103      10.50      8.90     1,890    1,647      87  
Nebraska ........:    160      165      103      10.75     10.50     1,720   1,733     101  
North Carolina .:    460      440       96      10.05      8.70      4,623    3,828      83  
Ohio ...............:     80        80      100      10.30      9.50       824       760       92  
Oklahoma .......:    185      185      100      10.30      9.60     1,906    1,776      93  
Pennsylvania ...:     44        48      109      10.20     10.30       449      494      110  
South Dakota ..:     88        88      100      10.90     10.70       959      942       98  
Texas .............:     38        42      111       8.90      9.40       338        395      117  
Utah ...............:     41        41      100      10.30     10.50       422       431     102  
Other States  ..:    202       187      93      10.11      9.76       2,046    1,829     89  
United States ..:  2,806     2,797   100      10.31      9.78      28,921  27,361     95  

“Take a Second for Safety” at upcoming workshops for emergency grain rescue personnel

National statistics show that farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in America.  The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association are asking all farmers to slow down — and take a second for safety.  They are encouraging emergency rescue personnel who might be called to a grain engulfment rescue to attend a free upcoming training session.

Over the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported—and the fatality rate is 62 percent. With a 10-inch auger, it takes just 25 seconds for a 6-foot person to be completely buried in grain.

Nebraska farmer, Ron Woollen has a mission to educate farmers and those working with grain stored in bins after losing his son in a grain bin accident.

“Grain bin safety is so important because we are always going to store grain,” said Woollen. “Equipment has improved dramatically. More options are available to monitor grain condition which is the biggest factor in grain bin accidents. However, there will always be times when it is necessary to enter a bin.”

Woollen said that when farmers have to enter a bin, they need to know the proper procedure and follow it.

When working around grain bins, here are safety tips to keep in mind when you are taking a second for safety.
-    Use inspection holes or grain level markers to understand what's happening inside the bin.  Use a pole from outside the bin to break up grain bridges.
-    You should enter a grain bin only if absolutely necessary.   If you must get into the bin, use a body harness secured to the outside of the bin.  Have at least two people watching over you as you enter and work inside the bin.
-    Use hand signals to communicate—and make sure everyone you're working with knows what those signals are.

These safety strategies and more will be emphasized at two free Grain Engulfment Rescue Training workshops this July sponsored in part by GSI, Inc.  The first will be July 7th at the Dawson County Fairgrounds in Lexington hosted by the Dawson County Corn Growers.  The following day, July 8th, the Saunders County Soybean Growers and Saunders County Corn Growers will host a grain safety seminar at the American Legion in Ceresco. Both free seminars begin at 5:30 p.m.

The grain engulfment rescue training is intended for industry personnel that actively work in the grain and commodities industry as well as fire fighter emergency rescue personnel who might be called to an engulfment rescue.

“Last year, I attended a training seminar in Kearney for first responders and EMT’s,” said Woollen. “I was very pleased with the quality of the training and the equipment now being made available for grain extraction.”


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Rained on hay.  Sometimes it’s down so long that it’s virtually worthless.  Trouble is, what do you do with it?

               Rained on hay causes many problems.  Obviously, feed value of the hay is lowered.  And many times, in our rush to put this hay up, it gets baled or stacked too wet, which causes mold or heat damage to develop.

               Sometimes a bigger problem, though, is the long-term damage to the regrowing plants.  Driving over the field repeatedly — trying to turn hay to hasten its drying — will injure regrowth and can cause soil compaction, especially if the ground is wet and soft.

               But, not driving on the field may result in an even bigger problem with the windrows.  If they lay there too long, the plants underneath will be smothered.  This not only lowers yield, it creates a terrible weed problem as grasses and broadleaves infest the killed strips.  These weeds will contaminate all future cuttings.  In addition, if rained on hay windrows are left in the field until next cutting, they frequently will plug your mower, both slowing you down and maybe even expanding your vocabulary.  Not to mention the reduced quality of this new hay.

               So — remove that hay any way you can.  Bale it, chop it, even blow it back on the ground as mulch.  You may need to damage plants by driving on them to turn hay to speed drying and get sunlight to plants underneath.  But do it anyway to prevent old windrows from ruining the rest of your haying year.

               Then, watch for problems in the damaged strips.  Insects and weeds may invade, and then need treating to prevent further problems.

               There isn’t much of a positive payback managing rained on hay, but to ignore it is even more expensive.

Biotechnology is Important to Nebraska

Governor Dave Heineman

The recent Bio International Convention in San Diego drew stakeholders from around the world zeroing in on issues and cutting-edge research and technologies that will impact and shape our world for decades to come.

Representatives from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, University of Nebraska, Innovation Campus, UNeMed, University Nebraska Medical Center, as well as private industry members from Benchmark Biolabs and Nature Technologies attended on behalf of Nebraska.

Modern biotechnology is being translated into breakthrough products, technologies and services that are turning crucial corners in the fight against rare and debilitating diseases and health conditions. Biotechnology is helping us feed the hungry, clean up and safeguard our energy sources, and design more efficient, safe and environmentally friendly industrial manufacturing processes.

A sampling of forums at Bio International included Biofuels & Renewable Chemicals, Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics, R/Evolution of Agriculture Technologies, Regenerative Medicine, Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. All of these topics are woven throughout Nebraska’s goals to grow healthy, happy, productive communities.

For example, a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists recently received a four-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to begin the next research phase toward what may ultimately result in a breakthrough vaccine for people with HIV. The number affected by this disease is now estimated at more than 35 million with 2.5 million new infections recorded yearly.

An Omaha biotech start-up company is paving the way to create a new tool that may help combat antibiotic resistance worldwide. One of its very first applications may be for treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureaus more commonly known as MRSA, which often leads to serious and often deadly infections. The company is working toward creation of a new drug application for animals with the ultimate goal of an application for humans.

An Omaha biomedical startup is developing technology to simplify orthopedic surgeries. The $3.2 million capital the company raised included $500,000 from Invest Nebraska Corporation, which partners with DED among other organizations.

Nebraska has enjoyed a favorable uptick of 1,000 or more jobs in the wide-ranging biotechnology field from 2007-2012 according to the Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014 study.

I am proud of the fact that Nebraska was named 3rd in Biotechnology Strength Specialization Leaders, and in the Top 10 in Biotechnology Strength Emerging Biotech Hubs by Business Facilities in the past two years.

During my years as Governor, we have recognized and fully supported the ongoing need for and development of bioscience and medical technology companies by providing financial assistance in the form of the Nebraska Small Business Innovation Research Initiative, Nebraska Innovation Fund, and Nebraska Research and Development Program. Nebraska is home to approximately 106 biotechnology companies targeting Agricultural & Animal Health, Biofuels & Chemicals, Medical Devices & Equipment, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, and Research, Testing & Medical Facilities or Laboratories.

Keynote Speakers for the 7th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference Confirmed

Headlining the agenda for the seventh annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference and Exhibition are four keynote speakers who will help lay the foundation of the theme for this year’s conference “Turning Challenges into Nebraska Opportunities.” The conference is planned for October 29-30, 2014 in La Vista, Nebraska at the La Vista Conference Center.

Tom Keirnan, president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will open the conference Wednesday morning and address the Current State of Wind Development. Kiernan joined AWEA in May of 2013 and spent the previous 15 years as President of the National Parks Conservation Association. Prior to that, he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was instrumental in President George H.W. Bush’s administration’s efforts to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

Commissioner John R. Norris of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will speak later in the morning. Commissioner Norris, an attorney, has years of experience in energy policy and regulatory affairs. Prior to being nominated by President Barack Obama to FERC, he served as Chief of Staff for Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and served as Chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board.

Wednesday’s luncheon speaker will be Dr. Jonathon Pershing of the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE). Dr. Pershing is the Principal Deputy, Office of Energy Policy & Systems Analysis, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate, Office of International Affairs.  In these roles, Dr. Pershing supports the USDOE’s domestic policy agenda, as well as leads on international climate policy for the Department.

The luncheon speaker on Thursday will be Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, KS. On May 4, 2007, a tornado swept through Greensburg razing 95% of the town. Mayor Dixson and other community leaders led the town’s charge to become a model for other rural towns who wanted to be green. The town is powered by 100% renewable power, and large commercial buildings must meet LEED platinum standards.

“We are excited to welcome these speakers to our conference and know they will provide the knowledge to turn challenges into opportunities in Nebraska,” said John Hansen, Committee Co-Chairman.

Full bios of the speakers will be released in the coming weeks. Registration for the conference is $100 before September 29, $125 between September 29 and October 28 and $150 for walk-in registrations the day of the conference. For participant registration, and to view the program, go to  For hotel reservations, contact Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista/Hotel & Conference Center, 12520 Westport Pkwy, La Vista, NE 68128 402-331-7400. To view last year’s presentations, go to

ISU Extension Brings Help as Flooding Gives Cattle Producers New Set of Challenges

Cattle producers in many parts of Iowa are shifting rapidly from drought conditions to extremely wet and flood conditions, and they have a new set of issues to manage. Water-logged facilities, flooded pastures, earthen basins that are full and financial issues are immediate concerns. The Iowa Beef Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are addressing producers concerns in multiple ways, including online resources.

Production Issues

“One of the first things to check is the structural strength of the livestock buildings, electrical equipment and safety of the water systems,” said Beth Doran, beef program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “The potential for flooded or spilled pesticides, fuel or oil spills and flooded grain bins should also be monitored.”     

Doran also reminds producers that flood conditions can affect the health of animals. Producers should watch for symptoms of lameness, fever, difficulty breathing, muscle contractions or swelling of the shoulders, chest, back, neck or throat.

“The potential exists for grazing cattle to swallow storm debris, such as nails or staples,” she said. “Consequently, cattle should be monitored for hardware disease.”

Pasture management is critical. Remove any debris and return cattle to the pasture when the ground is dry and solid. Returning cattle too soon results in trampled pastures and damaged plants. If areas of the pasture or hay ground are eroded or silt- or sand-covered, reseeding may be necessary.

Manure Management

For feedlots, the issue is manure containment structures that are full and possibly over-topping. Transfer manure from full storage structures to alternative structures, if available. If no alternative storage is available, contact regional staff at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to discuss emergency measures. For more assistance, contact your local extension beef specialist. A list of specialists is available at

Family needs

“There is no doubt that people who experienced flooding were affected financially,” said Doran. “Fortunately, the new Farm Bill contains several kinds of disaster assistance programs for livestock producers.” Livestock producers with livestock losses should contact their local United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. Applicants will be asked to provide documentation of the number and kind of livestock that have died.

Dealing with Flooding – 2014 is the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach website with resources for dealing with flooded gardens, drinking well, basements and many other home cleanup, health and safety issues that come with home flooding – including stress. Find a link to it at Extension and Outreach also operates the Iowa Concern Hotline that offers 24-hour confidential assistance related to stress, legal questions and financial concerns.  To reach a stress counselor call or  800-447-1985, or visit the website at to "live chat" with counselors.

Purdue, OSU Assisting in Iowa Ag Meeting for Corn Belt Farmers

Purdue and Ohio State Universities are part of an organization that is sponsoring a meeting this summer to help Corn Belt farmers make their agricultural systems more resilient and sustainable.

The Resilient Agriculture Conference Aug. 5-7 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, will bring farmers and agricultural scientists together for three days. The conference is being organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Corn Project. Purdue and Ohio State are among partners in the organization.

"The meeting is an opportunity for farmers to hear the latest scientific findings on practices that are being tested for their effectiveness in making corn-based farming systems more resilient and sustainable," said Eileen Kladivko, Purdue agronomy professor and co-principal investigator on the project. "Farmers also will participate in activities in the field to increase their understanding of the practices being researched and to learn how to use new decision support tools."

Farmers will hear from project scientists who will share their expertise. The project scientists will hear from farmers about their challenges and successes involving practices that make corn-based systems more resilient in times of drought, reduce soil and nutrient losses under saturated conditions, reduce farm field nitrogen losses, retain carbon in the soil and ensure crop productivity.

U.S. agriculture produces nearly $330 billion annually in agricultural commodities and is directly and indirectly affected by extreme weather and variable climate conditions that affect crop and livestock productivity, pest and pathogen pressures, and soil and water resources, said Lois Wright Morton, director of the Sustainable Corn Project.

"A major goal of our project is to share with farmers what we are learning about a set of practices that have potential to better manage the uncertainty associated with climate variability," she said.

The meeting agenda, location, registration and more details can be found at

Iowa Corn Giving Away $10,000, including VIP Packages, Ethanol

To celebrate the 8th running of the Iowa Corn Indy 300, Iowa Corn is giving away 300 VIP race day packages. The VIP packages include tickets to the race, access to the Iowa Corn VIP tent with free food and drinks, limited edition race day t-shirts and time to socialize with other race fans. Other prizes include $25 ethanol gift cards from Kum & Go.

The 2014 Iowa Corn Indy 300, presented by DEKALB will be on July 12 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. This will be the 8th running of the Iowa Corn Indy sponsored event. IndyCars are powered by 85% ethanol with speeds over 200 mph!

"Iowa Corn sponsors the Iowa Corn Indy 300 to educate consumers about ethanol, specifically higher blends and E85," said Shannon Textor, director of market development. "Being able to inform consumers about the Iowa farmers ability to produce corn for key markets including; livestock, ethanol and exports is extremely important."

For more information about the giveaway or to enter to win visit,

Surface Transportation Board Issues New Order to BNSF & CP Railways

(from ASA)

The Surface Transportation Board (STB), the federal entity with regulatory oversight over the rail industry, issued a new directive this week requiring BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to provide detailed reports on their plans to eliminate backlogs of grain shipments, and to submit weekly reports until the problem is resolved. Previously, the STB required BNSF and CP to submit reports on their spring deliveries of chemical fertilizers to farmers, mostly in the upper Midwest and Great Plains but as far south as Texas. These directives follow a STB hearing earlier this year at which the American Soybean Association testified.

Rail service along the northern tier has experienced significant backlogs and service problems resulting from explosive growth in oil and gas shipments, bumper crops of corn and soybeans and severe winter weather conditions that stressed the rail delivery network.

Going forward, one concern for farmers and grain shippers is that the industry is now facing the start of wheat harvests, which can draw off some grain hoppers this summer, and that corn and bean shippers could be scrambling for enough cars and locomotives right up to the next fall harvests. This concern is reflected in the STB notice, which states, “Although the data submitted by both railroads indicates some initial progress toward reducing their grain car order backlogs and grain car delays, the Board remains very concerned about the limited time period until the next harvest, the large quantities of grain yet to be moved, and the railroads’ paths toward meeting their respective commitments. For these reasons, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 721(b), the Board will direct CP to provide its plan, and BNSF to provide an updated plan, by June 27, 2014, to reduce their respective backlog of unfilled grain car orders and resolve grain car delays (for CP, on its United States network) including their timeline for doing so.”

52 Lawmakers Ask White House to Boost Biodiesel

Expressing urgent concerns about a proposed cut, 52 U.S. representatives from across the country called on President Obama this week to continue growing biodiesel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“During your time in office you have supported the development and growth of the biodiesel industry.  Now, biodiesel producers around the nation have the ability to generate nearly two billion gallons a year of the only EPA-approved advanced biofuel, which is commercially available across the United States,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Obama. “Therefore, we believe now is not the time for a critical shift in biodiesel policy. We urgently ask that you raise biodiesel’s RVO for 2014 above 1.28 billion gallons.”

The lawmakers signing the letter represent 22 states.

In a draft RFS rule released in November, the EPA proposed holding biodiesel volumes at 1.28 billion gallons – a sharp drop from last year’s actual production of nearly 1.8 billion gallons. Biodiesel producers around the country have warned that such a proposal will cause severe contraction in the industry. A nationwide survey of producers conducted by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) in April found that more than half have already idled a plant this year and 78 percent have reduced production from last year. Nearly two-thirds – 66 percent – have already laid off employees or anticipate doing so.

“Biodiesel is the most successful EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel being produced today,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “This is an RFS success story that is delivering tremendous benefits to the nation in terms of cleaner air, jobs, and diversity in the fuels markets that is helping consumers. We need consistent federal policy to continue the progress we’ve made, and we are urging the Administration to finalize a strong RFS volume as quickly as possible.”


Preliminary prices received by farmers for winter wheat for June 2014 averaged $6.70 per bushel, a decrease of 59 cents from the May price according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The preliminary June corn price, at $4.30 per bushel, decreased 36 cents from the previous month.

The preliminary June sorghum price averaged $7.50 per cwt, a decrease of 65 cents from May.

The preliminary June soybean price, at $14.10 per bushel, was down 40 cents from last month.

The June alfalfa hay price, at $133.00 per ton, was up $8.00 from May. The other hay price, at $105.00 per ton, was up $11.00 from May.


The preliminary June 2014 average price received by farmers for corn in Iowa is $4.40 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This is down $0.31 from the May price, and $2.69 lower than June 2013.

The preliminary  June 2014 average price  received by  farmers  for  soybeans, at $14.10 per bushel,  is down $0.60 from the May price, and $1.10 lower than the June 2013 price.

The preliminary June oat price is $4.60 per bushel, down $0.35 from May, but $0.10 above June 2013. 

All hay prices in Iowa averaged $165.00 per ton in June, up $4.00 from the May price, but $105.00 per ton less than June 2013.  Alfalfa hay prices fell $100.00 per ton from one year ago, to $180.00 and other hay prices were $62.00 per ton lower than last year, at $118.00.  

The preliminary June average price was $23.50 per cwt for milk, down $1.40 from May, but $3.40 per cwt above one year ago.

June Farm Prices Received Index Down 3 Points

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in June, at 111 percent, based on 2011=100, decreased 3 points (2.6 percent) from May. The Crop Index is down 1 point (1.0 percent) and the Livestock Index decreased 3 points (2.3 percent). Producers received lower prices for corn, milk, broilers, and eggs and higher prices for oranges, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and lettuce. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of wheat, hay, grapes, and peaches offset the decreased marketing of oranges, cattle, milk, and broilers.

The preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 1 point (0.9 percent) from June 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 121, decreased 3 points (2.4 percent) from last month but increased 12 points (11 percent) from June 2013.

All crops:

The June index, at 97, decreased 1.0 percent from May and is 12 percent below June 2013. Index decreases for oilseeds & grains more than offset the index increases for vegetable & melon production and fruit & tree nut production.

Food grains: The June index, at 92, is down 9.8 percent from the previous month and 8.9 percent below a year ago. The June price for all wheat, at $6.61 per bushel, is down 47 cents from May and 76 cents below June 2013.

Feed grains: The June index, at 73, is down 7.6 percent from last month and 37 percent below a year ago. The corn price, at $4.37 per bushel, is down 34 cents from last month and $2.60 below June 2013. Sorghum grain, at $7.37 per cwt, is 84 cents below May and down $3.73 from June last year.

Oilseeds: The June index, at 110, is down 2.7 percent from May and 7.6 percent below June 2013. The soybean price, at $14.10 per bushel, decreased 30 cents from May and is $1.00 below June 2013.

Livestock and products:

The June index, at 127, decreased 2.3 percent from last month but is up 15 percent from June 2013. Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for cattle, milk, hogs, broilers, calves, market eggs, and turkeys.

Meat animals: The June index, at 127, is down 0.8 percent from last month but 18 percent higher than last year. The June hog price, at $82.10 per cwt, is down 70 cents from May but $7.70 higher than a year ago. The June beef cattle price of $145 per cwt is down $1.00 from last month but $23.00 higher than June 2013.

Dairy products: The June index, at 116, is down 3.3 percent from a month ago but 20 percent higher than June last year. The June all milk price of $23.30 per cwt is down 90 cents from last month but $3.80 higher than June 2013.

Poultry & eggs: The June index, at 140, is down 4.1 percent from May but 8.5 percent above a year ago. The June market egg price, at 87.4 cents per dozen, decreased 9.6 cents from May but is 17.9 cents above June 2013. The June broiler price, at 71.0 cents per pound, is down 3.0 cents from May but 4.0 cents above a year ago. The June turkey price, at 72.8 cents per pound, is up 0.2 cents from the previous month and 7.1 cents from a year earlier.

Prices Paid Index Unchanged

The June Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 112 percent of the 2011 base. The index is unchanged from May but 6 points (5.7 percent) above June 2013. Lower prices in June for feed grains, feeder pigs, hay & forages, and supplements offset higher prices for feeder cattle, nitrogen, complete feeds, and other services.

Council’s Beijing Conference Assesses China’s Feed Grains Outlook

More than 300 participants crowded the U.S. Grain and Oilseed Market and Trade Forum, held last week in Beijing, to assess the evolving role of trade in meeting China’s strategic food security objectives. Iowa producers Kevin Ross and James Grief presented on the U.S. producers’ perspective and current crop conditions at the Forum.

“The Forum was focused on food security, sustainability and safety,” said Kevin Roepke, U.S. Grains Council director of trade development in China. “It’s the only conference of its kind in China to join government, traders, end-users and other interest groups to debate how to meet our non-negotiable mandate – to feed the world’s growing and increasingly affluent population.”

Sponsored by the Council and other cooperators, the Forum attracted an audience of traders, government officials, buyers and policy researchers interested in the long term dynamics of the feed grains and meat production in China.

U.S. corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) exports to China have been disrupted by complications arising from the detection of as-yet unapproved biotech traits in some export cargoes. Click here for an update on the current situation. The current disruption, however, does not change the underlying dynamic of rapidly growing demand as China continues to advance economically.

Forum topics included current market developments, market risks, incentives for greater industry cooperation and the need for companies in China to access global markets to upgrade management skills.

Steady growth in food demand fueled by China’s rapidly expanding middle class will create incentives for the expansion of trade and further cooperation between the United States and China. Access to global markets and an improved system for the approval of biotech events are clearly among the most cost-effective and economically productive ways to meet China’s strategic food security goals.

ConAgra Announces Quarterly Losses

ConAgra Foods unveiled red ink in the company’s fourth quarter, swinging to a loss amid significant write-downs and lower revenue.

The maker of packaged foods had already cut its outlook for the latest period. Weak results in the private-labels segment and a drop in consumer foods volume weighed on ConAgra's bottom line.

ConAgra said Thursday it posted a loss of $324.2 million, or 77 cents a share, compared to a profit of $192.2 million, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding $681 million in charges and other one-time items, adjusted earnings slipped to 55 cents a share from 60 cents, meeting ConAgra's forecast.

Revenue was down 2.8% at $4.44 billion. Wall Street analysts expected $4.4 billion. Gross margin fell to 20.4% from 21.1%, while input costs decreased 2% to $3.53 billion.

ConAgra, which makes Hunt’s ketchup, Chef Boyardee pasta and other products, became the nation’s top private-label food maker when it acquired Ralcorp for $4.95 billion last year. But the business has been slow to meet ConAgra's expectations for profit growth.

GROWMARK Names Spradlin New CEO

Jim Spradlin, Morton, Ill., has been named chief executive officer of GROWMARK, Inc. effective Sept. 16. He replaces Jeff Solberg who will retire in September.

In announcing Spradlin as CEO, GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck said, "Selecting a CEO to lead GROWMARK's management team is among the most important and impactful decisions the Board can make. Jim has the skills, knowledge, experience, and support to successfully lead GROWMARK into the future. The Board has great confidence in him and his ability to lead the multitude of talented employees throughout the GROWMARK System."

Spradlin is a 1982 business administration and economics graduate of Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill. He has held various positions within the GROWMARK System of cooperatives, including controller of Schuyler-Brown FS, regional administrative director, general manager of Piatt Service Company, general manager of Ag-Land FS, and region manager (Central Ill.), energy division manager, agronomy division manager, and vice president of agronomy for GROWMARK. Jim is one of five members of the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture's Industry Advisory Council. He serves on the board of directors for The Fertilizer Institute, and is a former local director of Rotary International.

"GROWMARK and its FS member companies have a long-standing reputation as a progressive and reliable supplier of quality products and services, for being easy to do business with, and for its highly-trained employees who operate with integrity. It is truly an honor to have the have support of the GROWMARK Board of Directors as we work together to guide the GROWMARK System," Spradlin said.

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