Friday, June 6, 2014

Thursday June 5 Ag News

USDA Announces Funding, Issues Federal Order to Combat PEDv

In response to the significant impact porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) are having on U.S. pork producers, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases. Additionally, USDA issued a Federal Order requiring the reporting of new detections of these viruses to its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or State animal health officials.

These viruses do not pose any risk to human health or food safety, and they are commonly detected in countries around the world.

"In the last year, industry has estimated PEDv has killed some 7 million piglets and caused tremendous hardship for many American pork producers," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "The number of market-ready hogs this summer could fall by more than 10 percent relative to 2013 because of PEDv. Together with industry and our State partners, the steps we will take through the Federal Order will strengthen the response to PEDv and these other viruses and help us lessen the impact to producers, which ultimately benefit the consumers who have seen store pork prices rise by almost 10 percent in the past year."

The $26.2 million will be used for a variety of activities to support producers and combat these diseases, including:
-    $3.9 million to be used by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to support the development of vaccines
-    $2.4 million to cooperative agreement funding for States to support management and control activities
-    $500,000 to herd veterinarians to help with development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection
-    $11.1 million in cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices.
-    $2.4 million for diagnostic testing
-    $1.5 million to National Animal Health Laboratory Network diagnostic laboratories for genomic sequencing for newly positive herds

APHIS' Federal Order requires producers, veterinarians, and diagnostic laboratories to report all cases of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus diseases to USDA and State animal health officials. The industry is already seeing herds previously impacted by the virus become re-infected, and routine and standard disease reporting will help identify the magnitude of the disease in the United States and can help determine whether additional actions are needed.

The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian or USDA or State animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. Plans will be based on industry-recommended best practices, and include disease monitoring through testing and biosecurity measures. These steps will help to reduce virus shed in affected animals, prevent further spread of the disease, and enable continued movement of animals for production and processing.

The international animal health governing body, the OIE, believes that cases of PEDv and these other swine enteric coronavirus diseases shouldn't be the basis for countries to restrict exports of pork and pork products from the U.S.

For full details of the Federal Order and program requirements, along with a Q&A on this topic, visit the APHIS website at:

NPPC Wants Focus On Research, Testing, Biosecurity In USDA’s PEDV Reporting Plan

The National Pork Producers Council is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to commit resources to research and testing on and biosecurity measures related to Porcine Endemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) as part of the agency’s new PEDV reporting program.

PEDV has affected hog operations in 30 states, killing an estimate 8 million animals, mostly pre-weaned piglets.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, during a speech at the World Pork Expo held here, announced the new PEDV program, which includes mandatory reporting of the disease.

Since PEDV first was identified in the United States more than a year ago, NPPC, along with the National Pork Board, has been encouraging pork producers who have had outbreaks of the virus on their farms to voluntarily report to their state veterinarians.

The two organizations and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians met with Vilsack prior to his speech to NPPC members, asking him to commit to:
·         Conducting in-depth investigations to discover the pathway PEDV used to enter the United States.
·         Collaborating with the U.S. pork industry to fund, prioritize, coordinate and conduct research on the virus.
·         Coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the pork industry to enhance the biosecurity of feed and feed ingredients.
·         Collaborating with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network to ensure seamless and efficient inter-laboratory communications and data sharing.
·         Providing funding for diagnostic testing and viral genetic sequencing to gather information needed to control the disease.
·         Providing funding to enhance agricultural biosecurity, including on farms, in packing and processing plants and at U.S. border entry points.

“We’re hopeful the USDA plan will work,” said NPPC President Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian and pork producer from Cambridge, Iowa. “We still need to see the fine details of the program, but if USDA can focus a lot of the plan on researching and testing this devastating disease and on helping producers enhance their biosecurity, that would go a long way to helping us know how to control and to prevent the virus.”

Groups Working to Create PEDv Database

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced a joint venture with the University of California-Davis, University of Minnesota and Iowa State University to create a Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus database. Announced at the World Pork Expo, the database will give producers and veterinarians an opportunity to report PEDv in locations as they occur.

The company also intends to add a smartphone-based method to add clinical data. Greg Cline, DVM, swine technical manager with Boehringer Ingelheim, explains the database also allows them to be part of a database so you can watch in your geography if cases are increasing or decreasing.

"Also, when this is fully developed, you will have the opportunity to see the sequence of the virus," Cline said. "This will allow you to see what strain you had on your farm and compare it to others in the region or others in the United States."

The database is currently in the final stages of development.


Nebraska ag groups say no thanks to EPA's water rule

Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska State Dairy Association and Nebraska Soybean Association submitted comments today calling for the immediate withdrawal of the “Waters of the U.S.” Interpretive Rule (WOTUS).  This Interpretive Rule is the first part of a “Waters of the U.S.” rulemaking proposal by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The second part, a Jurisdictional Rule, has a comment deadline of July 21st.

The Interpretive Rule has been touted as beneficial to agriculture; however, these claims by EPA are misleading.  In reality, the Interpretive Rule significantly increases liability for farmers and ranchers in Nebraska, deceives the public and will hurt conservation efforts and water quality.

EPA claims the Interpretive Rule “exempts” certain Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation practices from Clean Water Act permitting requirements.  However, these practices were already exempt and the creation of a list actually narrows this existing exemption from Clean Water Act permitting.

The agency also claims this rule provide “assurances” to the agricultural community.  The truth is it adds complexity and can be modified or retracted at any time without public notice or comment.

Finally, EPA asserts the Interpretive Rule will “benefit” conservation efforts.  But, the rule discourages engaging in conservation practices because of unknown parameters and new risk of Clean Water Act penalties.   It also turns NRCS, an agency with a long standing relationship of partnering with landowners in voluntary conservation, in to a regulatory enforcement agency.

It is clear the Interpretive Rule is just another ploy by EPA to push its burdensome regulatory agenda and any claim by EPA otherwise is false.

For more information visit


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Pasture weeds are a problem for many of us.  It’s a challenge to control or prevent them in the first place.  The right grazing practices, though, can help reduce this problem.

               If you have weedy pastures, first ask yourself – Why?   Nearly always the existing forage stand was not thick or vigorous enough to out-compete invading weeds.  So the next step in pasture weed control must be to manage pastures so they can be competitive.  That may include fertilizer, extra seeding, and especially well-managed grazing.

               Once weeds become a problem, though, control strategies must be used.  One grazing method is to heavily stock part of a pasture, maybe with a ten-fold higher concentration of animals per acre than usual, for a very short time.  Only do this if your good grass is healthy.

               You might need to use temporary cross fences to create small enough areas to achieve these high animal concentrations.  If this is done while problem weeds are still young, many of them will be eaten readily.  Weeds like crabgrass, foxtail, lambsquarter, and field bindweed make good forage when young.  Animals even eat cheatgrass, downy brome, and sandbur when plants are young.  Once they form seed stalks, though, cattle almost totally reject them.  Be sure to remove animals while desired grasses still have a few leaves remaining so they regrow quickly and compete with new or recovering weeds.

               Some established weeds aren’t controlled easily with grazing.  Clipping or spraying these weeds when their root reserves are low and to prevent seed production will reduce their pressure.  But remember, they will return quickly unless follow-up grazing management keeps your pasture healthy, vigorous, and competitive.

               Pasture weeds are troublesome, but proper grazing helps control them.


Soybean sale to China inked

A purchase agreement signed today in Des Moines will result in four Panamax ships full of soybeans setting sail from the United States to China during the next marketing year.

China Jiusan, one of the largest soybean crushers in China, agreed to buy 200,000 metric tons of soybeans from Zen-Noh Grain Corp., a grain trading company based in Mandeville, La. The action occurred during a contract signing ceremony hosted by Iowa Economic Development Authority at the state capitol.

The deal is worth an estimated $100 million and was one of several contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOU) signed between Chinese government and business representatives and Iowa agriculture and business officials.

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship each signed a MOU of cooperation with the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs & Native Produce to foster even more agricultural trade between Iowa and China.

More than 50 people, including farmers and agriculture, business and government officials from Iowa and China, filled the Iowa Supreme Court Chambers to witness the signings.

Grant Kimberley, ISA market development director and central Iowa farmer, said the soybean purchase agreement and ceremony at this time of year is significant.

“China is securing soybean supplies early. And, it’s a continuation of the strong relationship between Iowa and China established by Gov. Branstad and President Xi,” Kimberley said.

U.S. soybean farmers exported a record 1.58 billion bushels in 2013, valued at nearly $28 billion. Soybeans are the nation’s leading farm export.

With four months left in the current marketing year, soybean exports are on pace to set a new record. A growing middle class in the world’s most populous country craving more protein is the major reason. Chinese pork production is up 39 percent since 2000, and soybean meal is needed to feed hogs.

ISA President Brian Kemp, who farms near Sibley, signed the MOU on behalf of the association and its 11,400 members. He said it forges a relationship of cooperation and transparency.

“China is our No. 1 customer. With that partnership comes a responsibility,” Kemp said. “For soybean farmers, that responsibility is to grow a high-quality, reliable supply of soybeans while caring for soil and water quality. We’re dedicated to continuous improvement.”

According to Ross Trentadue, merchandiser for Zen-Noh Grain Corp., the company sources much of its soybeans from the Midwest via barge and rail. One in four rows of soybeans grown in Iowa is exported, officials said.

Continuing to build friendships with the top foreign buyer of U.S. soybeans is why ceremonies and farm visits are important, Kimberley said. The Chinese officials also toured the Kimberley grain farm near Maxwell. Grant and his father, Rick, have hosted several Chinese delegations.

Rong Weidong, vice president of the China Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuff & Native Produce, said the spirit of cooperation is alive and well between the two nations. The chamber works with grain buyers in China to determine the nation’s needs.

“Through the signing ceremony, we hope to foster a partnership with Iowa and a better future for all of us,” Weidong said.

ISA District 5 Director and Secretary Rolland Schnell agreed. The rural Newton farmer said building even stronger friendships with China will help soybean farmers and all Iowans.

That bond was evident today. It will take about 7.4 million bushels of soybeans to fulfill the contract signed today, which is more than what Schnell and fellow farmers in Jasper County produced last year (5.85 million bushels). The delivery date is sometime between November and October 2015.

“Without a good relationship, they wouldn’t have confidence in our soybeans,” Schnell said. “The relationship will carry us through bumpy spots whether economic or political.”

Iowa Farm Poll: Room for Improvement in Nutrient Management Strategies

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy sets ambitious goals for keeping agricultural nutrients out of the state’s waterways. To reach the reduction targets, Iowa farmers and their advisers will have to work together to improve nutrient management strategies, according to the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.

Nitrogen management is important to Iowa agriculture. Most of the nutrients that are applied to agricultural lands serve their intended purpose of increasing crop yields. However, substantial quantities flow from fields into waterways, where they degrade water quality in Iowa’s streams, lakes and other water bodies. The loss of nitrogen and other nutrients from agricultural activities leads to economic and environmental costs in Iowa and elsewhere, since some of that nutrient flow eventually finds its way into the Mississippi River and then the Gulf of Mexico.

A new Farm Poll report presents data on the types of nitrogen management practices that Iowa farmers are using, the methods they use to determine fertilization rates, and the information sources they look to for advice on nutrient management. It was developed primarily to support the efforts of ISU Extension and Outreach and other agricultural stakeholders as they strive to help farmers meet nutrient loss reduction targets set in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, said J. Gordon Arbuckle Jr., a sociologist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Arbuckle co-directs the annual poll with Paul Lasley, also an ISU Extension and Outreach sociologist.

“Some of the most innovative and effective nitrogen management practices, such as nitrogen inhibitors and calculators for determining optimal fertilization rates, are not used by many farmers, and large percentages of farmers are not familiar with them,” Arbuckle said. “Farmers and farmland owners need to learn more about which practices are most effective for their particular situations. They will have to set nutrient management goals and then implement the right mix of practices to reach those goals.”

The data come from the 2012 Farm Poll, which measured farmers’ knowledge and use of various methods for managing nitrogen based on the 2011 corn and soybean crop season. Nearly 1,300 farmers participated in the poll, and Arbuckle and graduate student Hanna Rosman have published the findings in a new report, “Iowa Farmers’ Nitrogen Management Practices and Perspectives.”

Another important finding was that fertilizer suppliers are the advisers that farmers tend to look to first for guidance on nutrient management. “These and other stakeholders that provide products, advice and technical assistance to farmers should shoulder some responsibility to help their clients set and meet nutrient loss reduction goals,” Arbuckle said. “They must be prepared to provide information and technical assistance on the most effective management and structural practices to reduce loss of nitrogen and other nutrients into Iowa waters.”

Arbuckle said that more than half of the survey participants believed that farmers over-apply fertilizer to ensure yields. At the same time, 75 percent thought the amount of fertilizer that Iowa farmers apply is “about right.” This means that many farmers who believe that farmers use excess fertilizer to ensure yields also believe that the amount applied is about right. These results support anecdotal evidence that applying excess nitrogen as yield insurance is a common practice.

“With variation in weather, soil types, time constraints and other factors, it can be difficult to calculate and time application to ensure that the exact amount of nitrogen that plants will need is there when they need it. The perceived economic risks of under-applying are high, and these results suggest that, for at least some farmers, over-applying, as ‘insurance,’ is simply part of farming,” Arbuckle said.

In 2013, the state of Iowa released the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy , a science and technology-based framework to guide actions that reduce the loss of nutrients to surface water. It was developed through the collaboration of Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Beef, Pork Exports Continue Growth Trend

U.S. beef and pork exports continued their positive growth trend in April, increasing by double digits in volume and by an even healthier margin in value, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Higher prices commanded in the global market have driven up per-head export values for both U.S. beef and pork, as international customers have, so far, been willing to pay higher prices for larger volumes.

For the month of April, total U.S. pork exports (muscle cuts plus variety meat) rose 11 percent over year-ago levels in volume to 192,924 metric tons (mt) valued at $596 million, a 26 percent increase. For the first four months of 2014, pork exports are up 11 percent in volume to 776,601 mt valued at $2.25 billion, a 14 percent rise.

The U.S. exported 99,297 mt of beef in April valued at $537.4 million, increases of 15 and 24 percent, respectively. Year-to-date, beef exports are up 10 percent in volume and 17 percent in value to 376,377 mt valued at $2.05 billion.

“Even with a plentiful supply of EU pork products in the marketplace and large volumes of Australian beef, we are still seeing demand grow in most of our key markets and remain steady in others,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “It is encouraging to see solid growth in sales to markets where the U.S. industry has made the biggest commitment in resources. A good example would be Korea, where export volumes have struggled since 2012 but, as Korea’s domestic supply levels of beef and pork normalize, we are seeing a robust rebound in demand for U.S. products.”

Pork notes

Pork exports in April accounted for 28 percent of total U.S. pork production and 23 percent of muscle cuts alone, increases from 25 and 21 percent, respectively, over last April. Export value per head slaughtered equated to $67.35 for the month, up from $50.75 a year ago.

Pork export markets of note in April included:
    • Mexico: the top volume market was up 42 percent in value to $132 million on 1 percent higher volume (53,288 mt), helping support record ham prices.
    • Japan: export volume set a new monthly record of 48,507 mt (up 39 percent). Sales to the top pork export value market rose 26 percent to $193.9 million.
    • South Korea: imported its largest volume of U.S. pork since March 2012: 17,126 mt (up 95 percent) valued at $51 million (up 122 percent).
    • Canada: the No. 4 export market for U.S. pork rebounded slightly in April with volume up 4 percent (17,384 mt) and value up 27 percent ($75.6 million).
    • Colombia: the top market in the Central/South America region continues to sizzle, up 76 percent in volume in April (4,398 mt) and 74 percent in value ($11.4 million).

Beef notes

Beef exports in April accounted for 14 percent of total U.S. beef production and 11 percent of muscle cuts alone, increases from 12 and 9 percent, respectively, last April. Export value per head of fed slaughter equated to $262.41 for the month, up from $207.70 a year ago. Strong beef exports to Asia helped support near-record prices for short plates, short ribs and chuck short ribs.

Beef export markets of note in April included:
    • Mexico: volume up 16 percent to 18,668 mt valued at $86 million, a 31 percent increase over April of 2013, although off March highs, contributed to sustained high prices for U.S. rounds and shoulder clods,.
    • Japan: the top destination for U.S. beef in April took 20,614 mt, down 4 percent but valued at $130.6 million, even with last year.
    • Hong Kong: continues its rapid growth with volume up 99 percent (11,419 mt) and value up 133 percent ($82.2 million).
    • South Korea: volume up 27 percent to 8,630 mt and value up 53 percent to $56.6 million.
    • Central/South America: volume up 11 percent to 3,915 mt and value up 40 percent to $16 million – paced by Chile (up 52 percent in volume to 1,449 mt and 50 percent in value to $7.3 million).
    • ASEAN: volume up 71 percent to 2,628 mt and value up 29 percent to $11.6 million, with growth to the Philippines (up 55 percent in volume to 1,604 mt valued at $6.9 million, a 32 percent increase) helping fuel the increases.

Lamb notes

Lamb exports to the top three markets of Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada continued to be down in April, with total exports of 927 mt valued at $2.3 million down 25 percent in volume and 10 percent in value for the month. Through the first four months of the year, lamb exports are down 18 percent in volume (3,572 mt) and 11 percent in value ($8.9 million) compared to the same period last year. The biggest bright spot is Saudi Arabia, the No. 4 market, where lamb and mutton sales through April totaled 68 mt (up 31 percent from a year ago) valued at $253,000 (up 24 percent).

Soybean Research & Information Initiative now live

The North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP) recently launched the Soybean Research & Information Initiative (SRII), designed to provide easy access to expert information and news about soybean pests, diseases and agronomics.

The new website,, replaced the Plant Health Initiative. SRII, funded by the soybean checkoff, is a one-stop-shop for farmers or anyone with an interest in soybean production to quickly find the latest research and information about ongoing projects in the 12 soybean-producing states that encompass the NCSRP.

As farmers across the Midwest finish planting soybeans and plants start to grow, the SRII website is the go-to source for information to make management decisions.

“When you do have questions, there’s now a website that serves as a central location for soybean information,” said Trevor Glick, NCSRP president who farms near Columbus, Ind. “It’s nice to have a resource with accumulated, unbiased research on the same subject.”

With an increase in soybean checkoff-funded basic and applied research by NCSRP and at the national level, NCSRP Director Ed Anderson said it became clear a new, expanded website was needed with better capabilities and functionality to disseminate information.

The primary improvements are consolidating information and pictures of soybean pests and diseases to readily find information and help with identification. Drop-down menus featuring those two subjects and diagnostic tools are easily found at the top of the SRII home page. The menus consist of dozens of topics ranging from soybean aphids and sudden death syndrome to soybean growth stages and suggestions of where farmers can contact their nearest diagnostic clinic.

"The Plant Health Initiative served its purpose, but we wanted to take the soybean research and information to a whole new level,” Anderson said. “We’ve expanded content and utility to go way beyond just disease and insects. There’s now an agronomic section and a resource library --- we’re providing everything soybean to farmers, academia, government, industry, farm organizations, etc.”

The new agronomics section contains helpful tips and information concerning a variety of topics such as variety selection, planting, cover crops, organic production and more. Results from all land grant university soybean variety trials conducted in the region are available on SRII. If farmers want to speak with experts conducting NCSRP-funded research projects, contact information is provided.

The website also provides information about NCSRP, the latest soybean news and topics, videos and a complete library with brochures and field guides from land grant universities and extension services covering more than three dozen issues soybean growers deal with in the Midwest.

“Research is only useful if it’s communicated,” Anderson said.

To learn more about NCSRP, visit its website at

USDA Announces Continuous CRP Signup & One Year Contract Extensions

On Monday, June 9, Farm Service Agency offices will start accepting continuous sign-ups through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, making several modifications to the program and lowering the overall program acre cap to 24 million acres. The CRP Transition Incentive Program (TIP) continued in the Farm Bill will also accept applications beginning on Monday. CRP TIP provides two years of payments for retiring farmers that transition CRP acres to beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers and military veterans. As part of the Farm Bill provisions, qualifying CRP general sign-up contract holders will be allowed early release from their contract without penalty in fiscal year 2015. USDA has also announced that they will not be holding a general sign-up this year, but instead will be offering one-year contract extensions for general sign-up contracts expiring this year. For additional information, please visit your local FSA office.

Australian, Canadian and U.S. Groups Reconfirm Commitment to Innovation and Biotechnology in Wheat

Sixteen organizations in the Australia, Canada and the United States representing producers and millers together publicly confirmed  support for innovation in wheat, including the future commercialization of biotechnology. The statement, which lays out shared commitments for the responsible advancement of biotech traits and other breeding advancements in wheat, comes five years after an original document was signed. This new pledge welcomes the addition of broad-based groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union to a wide coalition of wheat organizations in the three countries.

The signatories call for further innovation in research as wheat represents about 20 percent of human calorie intake, making it an essential part of the global diet and critical to food security. As demand increases, they state, wheat supplies must remain abundant while meeting the highest quality and nutrition standards. Advanced breeding and biotechnology will help protect the continued availability of wheat foods and “ultimately offers the promise of improved products, more sustainable production and environmental benefits,” according to the statement. 

The groups also encourage the governments of wheat producing and importing countries to maintain sound, science-based regulatory systems as well as to adopt reasonable low level presence policies to minimize trade disruptions. For the same reason, the groups stated they will work toward the goal of synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in wheat in the three countries. Similarly, they reiterate that customer choice is paramount: “We stand ready to assist all industry segments to assure supplies of non-biotech wheat within reasonable commercial tolerances to markets that require it.”

U.S. organizations signing onto the statement include:
    American Farm Bureau Federation
    National Association of Wheat Growers
    National Farmers Union
    North American Millers’ Association
    U.S. Wheat Associates

Canadian signatories:
    Canadian National Millers Association
    Cereals Canada
    Grain Farmers of Ontario
    Grain Growers of Canada
    Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association

Australian signatories:
    AgForce Queensland
    Grain Growers Limited
    Grain Producers Australia
    Grain Producers SA
    Pastoral and Graziers Association of Western Australia
    Victorian Farmers Federations Grains Group

DuPont Pioneer Announces Unprecedented Effort with Eight Land-Grant Universities To Enhance Grower Productivity, Sustainability

DuPont Pioneer has announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with eight Midwestern land-grant universities through their respective soil nutrition management experts to help growers more sustainably maximize crop yields.

Through support offered by Pioneer, this collaboration will pull together expertise in different soil nutrition areas and generate field data to improve crop models used to enhance more efficient production practices. Each university will be able to significantly expand its field data collection and analysis.  

The universities involved in this effort are Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, Purdue University, the University of Illinois-Urbana, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Each university has a three-year agreement with Pioneer. 
“We’re proud to be involved in this unprecedented public-private collaboration with these prestigious universities,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, regional business director – U.S. & Canada.  “We believe this collaboration will result in high-tech field modeling with crop and soil sensing that will be second-to-none in the agricultural industry.  Growers stand to benefit greatly from this effort through improved productivity, profitability and environmental stewardship.”

Targeting Nitrogen Management; Offered through EncircaSM Services
The collaboration centers on nitrogen management practices; nitrogen is applied as fertilizer to corn fields to help increase yields.  Pioneer agronomists estimate that farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt currently lose $50 to $60 an acre as a result of nitrogen management inefficiencies - with much greater losses occurring during heavy rains.

Results of data collection and research from this collaboration offer opportunities to improve crop nitrogen management, both in pre-plant and in-season fertilizer applications.  This advanced solution will significantly narrow the nitrogen profit loss gap by giving farmers a new ability to plan, monitor and adapt nitrogen management practices to maximize profitability and improve environmental quality in the face of climatic uncertainty.

The field data generated through this collaboration will enhance on-farm nitrogen management for farmers, as well as EncircaSM services, the new whole-farm decision solutions offering from Pioneer.

 “DuPont Pioneer is excited to begin enrolling growers in EncircaSM Yield this summer,” said Reno. “Encirca Yield is our new input management offering that helps growers use their data, combined with these new models and the advice of an Encirca Certified Services Agent, to make real-time decisions that impact their productivity, profitability and sustainability.”

Pork Industry Poised to Meet Growing Demand, Turn Back Clock on Resource Use

With meat, milk, and egg prices reaching record levels, we’re already experiencing the effects of growing population and increasing affluence at the checkout counter. And a new report from Elanco indicates we’ll need 50 percent more pork by 2050!

In the next few decades, the global population will reach 9 billion people, and more than 3 billion will enter the middle class. In fact, the fastest period of growth will occur in just the next 6 years. Elanco assembled a team of experts to study this situation, creating the Global Food Forward Analysis, a model which has been validated by Informa Economics and Global AgriTrends. The latest report evaluates future demand for pork, which is the most widely consumed meat in the world.

Unlike milk and eggs, availability of pork per person has doubled since 1961 from 5.4 oz to 10.7 oz per week. By 2050, the analysis shows we will need about 1 more ounce per person per week to meet global demand. While it sounds simple, that means the industry will need to increase production by 61 million tons to total 179 million tons!

“Our research shows that pork producers are making great strides in production efficiency. In fact, the industry can meet future demand on fewer resources than were used in 2010,” said Rob Aukerman, president of U.S. Operations for Elanco. “But it requires the right approach. It requires acceptance of innovation and best practices, and the ability to bring new technologies and practices to the market. Otherwise, this story could go the other way.”

Today, 1.38 billion pigs are raised globally. Without additional access to innovation, the industry would need to add 710 million more pigs to provide consumers the 12 oz of pork they will expect each week in 2050. This approach would also require about a 50 percent increase in resource use!

But with expanded access to innovation, farmers can produce 50 percent more pork with only 1.7 billion pigs and fewer resources than they currently use, annually saving:
• 484 million tons of feed, which would fill enough rail cars to circle the Earth’s equator twice!
• 262 million acres, equivalent land the size of Texas and California combined
• 260 billion gallons of water, the same annual household consumption of New York City and Philadelphia combined.

With the global population already overusing Earth’s resources, these are critical savings that must be achieved. But, it means supporting policies and practices that allow producers to optimize efficient production. This becomes clear when comparing average global production to today’s leaders.

Today, the average pig grows to 229 lbs. in 38.6 weeks. Leading producers are raising pigs that are 44 lbs. heavier and far more efficient, reaching market weight about 70 days earlier. To achieve future needs, the new research shows pigs will need to be 9 lbs heavier than today’s leaders and reach that weight about 3 weeks earlier.

“With a growing global population and increasing demand for meat, milk and eggs, our industry must continue to innovate and bring novel, safe technology to the market that will help producers deliver more pork in a sustainable way,” Aukerman said. “Elanco is committed to investing in innovation, not just in products, but also in people and services.”

For more information on what you can to do to help achieve food security, visit and consider joining the Enough Movement.

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