Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday June 24 Ag News

NeFBF President, First VP to attend Town Hall Meetings with Ricketts, Heidemann

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is hosting a number of Ag and Tax Town Hall meetings across the state this week.  These meetings will feature NeFBF President Steve Nelson, NeFBF First Vice-President Mark McHargue, Candidate for Governor Pete Ricketts and his running mate Lavon Heidemann.  The Town Hall Meetings will take place at these locations across Nebraska, including on June 25th:

Norfolk: Prenger’s Restaurant
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
116 East Norfolk Ave. Norfolk, NE 68701

West Point: Neilsen Community Center
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
200 Anna Stalp Ave. West Point, NE 68788

Pete Ricketts has received the official “Friend of Agriculture” endorsement by NFBF-PAC, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. Ricketts is the Republican Party candidate seeking to win the Nov. 4 General election for Governor. 

"THE BEEF STATE" License Plate is Back!

Nebraska Cattlemen and Nebraska Cattlemen Research & Education Foundation are pleased to announce that they have received the 500 required applications for the “THE BEEF STATE” organizational license plate. The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles has begun printing the plates.

Those who have sent in an application for a plate will be receiving letters from the DMV referencing when they will be receiving the license plates.

For more information or to order a “The Beef State” license plate visit https://www.nebraska.gov/dmv/splate/index.cgi.

Crop Diagnostic Clinics Training Opportunities Offered near Mead

            Agribusiness professionals and crop producers will take a close-up look at field conditions, research and techniques at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's midsummer Crop Management Diagnostic Clinic on July 17.

            The UNL Extension clinic begins with 7:30 a.m. registration at the Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead and starts at 8 a.m. Participants will meet at the August N. Christenson Research and Education Building.

            Keith Glewen, UNL extension educator said,  “Benefits of the crop management and diagnostic clinics include one-on-one attention, on-site plot demonstrations, interaction with other participants, discussions about cutting edge research and an opportunity to earn continuing education credits through Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program."

            Topics on July 17 include:  Selecting Cover Crops and Comparing Seeding Methods; Use of Herbicides for Resistant Weed Management in Soybeans: Now and in the Future; The Herbicide Mode of Action Challenge; Crop Scene Investigation (CSI); Learn skills in how to diagnose field problems; Agronomics and Economics Behind Corn, Cover Crops and Cattle; and Corn Hybrid Placement.

            Six Certified Crop Adviser credits (soil and water management – 1.0, crop management – 2.5 and pest management – 2.5) have been applied for and are pending approval for this clinic.

            Early registration is recommended to reserve a seat and resource materials. Cost for one clinic is $160 for those registering one week in advance and $210 after.

For more information or to register, contact the ARDC CMDC Programs, 1071 County Road G, Ithaca, NE 68033, call 800-529-8030, fax 402-624-8010, email cdunbar2@unl.edu or visit the web at http://ardc.unl.edu/training.shtml.

            A precision ag clinic is scheduled for Aug. 27 and a clinic focusing on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil and water will be held on Aug. 28.

            Aug. 27 precision ag topics include:  Evaluating Crop Stress with Aerial Sensing Platforms; Crop Canopy Sensors for In-Season Nitrogen Management; Soil Conductivity, pH, and Organic Matter Mapping ; Overlap and Turn Compensation Control for Sprayers and Ammonia Application with Capstan’s PinPoint® Technology; and Improving Farm Productivity with Agricultural Technologies.

            6.5 Certified Crop Adviser credits (nutrient management – 3.0, crop management – 2.0 and pest management – 1.5) have been applied for and are pending approval for this clinic.

            Aug. 28 soil and water topics include:  Physical, Chemical and Biological Properties of Soil and Water….The Cornerstone of the Human Race; Cover Crops for Improving the Soil; Infiltration Test and Organic Matter; Soil Temp., Electrical Conductivity, pH, N and P tests; Soil Health’s Impact on Soil Water; Using Laboratory Tests to Determine Soil Health; Soil Characteristics, Productivity and Landscape Position; and Management Considerations to Improve and the Physical, Chemical and Biological Properties of Soil.

            7.5 Certified Crop Adviser credits (nutrient management – 2.0 and soil and water management – 5.5) have been applied for and are pending approval for this clinic.

Cost for one clinic is $160 for those registering one week in advance and $210 after. Cost for both August clinics is $280 one week in advance and $320 after.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Have you noticed an abundance of yellow sweet clover this summer?  This can be good or bad, depending on how it may affect your pastures, your hay, and your cattle.

               In many situations, I like sweet clover.  Sweet clover is a legume and is able to produce its own nitrogen.  In fact, sweet clover can provide more nitrogen for adjacent grasses than most other legumes.  So your pastures might get a production boost following a heavy sweet clover year.

               It also provides good quality grazing similar to alfalfa before plants bloom heavily.  After blooming, though, like now, plants get stemmy and woody, reducing both feed value and palatability.  Even young plants are quite bitter, so if other plants are available to graze, cattle eat only limited amounts of sweet clover.  This greatly reduces bloat hazards, which is a risk when sweet clover is abundant.

               Your biggest risk from sweet clover is in hay.  Specifically, in moldy hay.  Spoiled sweet clover produces a chemical called dicoumarin that interferes with metabolism and synthesis of vitamin K.  Without vitamin K, blood will not clot properly after an injury and blood can even seep out of otherwise healthy blood vessels.  That’s why sweet clover poisoning also is called sweet clover bleeding disease.

               Make sure hay containing sweet clover is extra dry before baling or storing to prevent mold.  And remember – mold can develop on perfectly dry bales if they get wet, so outdoor storage is risky.  If you must feed moldy sweet clover, alternate by feeding moldy hay for a week followed by alfalfa or other non-moldy forage for a week.  This intermittent feeding is safer than mixing good and moldy hay together.

               Sound management will enable you to handle the bad with the good when sweet clover is abundant.


The Nebraska Department of Agriculture today announced the selection of 202 Nebraska high school juniors and seniors to attend the 43rd annual Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) this year from July 7-11 on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus.

“This is the largest amount of NAYI delegates in the 43 year history of the Institute,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach.  “NAYI is designed to educate youth about agriculture, how to get involved in the agricultural industry, as well as about the numerous career opportunities available to them in the future.  The week also will provide the delegates an opportunity to network with industry leaders, top-notch speakers, and agricultural representatives.”

During the five-day Institute, the delegates will participate in agriculture policy discussions, agricultural career explorations, and group discussions.  Motivational speakers, a farm management program, and a media experience will help the delegates develop leadership potential, strengthen their pride in Nebraska’s agricultural industry and enable them to help tell the story of agriculture.

Mr. Jake Wilkins    Ainsworth          
Ms. Hannah Borg    Allen          
Mr. Chase Dye    Alliance          
Mr. Calvin Webster    Alma          
Ms. Caroline Howsden    Alma          
Ms. Meagan Carr    Amelia          
Ms. Sydney Taubenheim    Amherst          
Mr. Dusty Chandler    Anselmo          
Ms. Bradie Schmidt    Arlington          
Ms. Abby Rhea    Arlington          
Ms. Brooke Dahlkoetter    Ashland          
Ms. Jerrica Tietz    Bancroft          
Ms. Sarah Wollenburg    Beatrice          
Ms. Sarah Herzinger    Beemer          
Ms. JaCee Johnson    Belgrade          
Mr. Austin Martinez    Bellevue          
Ms. Victoria Talcott    Bennet          
Ms. Sydney Siekman    Bertrand          
Ms. Savannah High    Bertrand          
Ms. Emily Bledsoe    Blair          
Ms. Bailey Schlueter    Blair          
Mr. Shane Hoer    Blair          
Ms. Amelia Petska    Blue Hill          
Mr. Parker Goertzen    Bradshaw          
Ms. Jacy Spencer    Brewster          
Ms. Gabrielle M. Joe    Bruning          
Mr. Layton Dockweiler    Callaway          
Mr. Clayton G'Schwind    Callaway          
Ms. Danea Buschkoetter    Campbell          
Mr. Joel Schardt    Carleton          
Ms. Mollie Maresh    Central City          
Mr. Jordan Nelson    Ceresco          
Mr. Devin Mitchell    Chadron          
Ms. Jenna Podany    Clarkson          
Ms. Melissa VanDerslice    Columbus          
Mr. Michael Purcell    Cook          
Ms. Lindsay Weber    Cook          
Mr. Kaleb Fritz    Creighton          
Ms. Amber Wissenburg    Crete          
Ms. Marlys Brenning    Culbertson          
Mr. Rodger Bruce Farr    Curtis          
Ms. Spencer Bierfreund    Curtis          
Ms. Leah Werner    Davenport          
Ms. Lauren Schmidt    Deshler          
Ms. Rio Mohrmann    Deshler          
Mr. Max Latshaw    DeWitt          
Ms. Shelby Cammack    DeWitt          
Ms. Sara Hubbard    Dickens          
Ms. Paige Aylward    Dickens          
Mr. Emmet Caldwell    Edgar          
Mr. Ben Dush    Elba          
Ms. Ellie Dupree    Elm Creek          
Mr. Clayton Dana    Elm Creek          
Ms. Kaila Smith    Elwood          
Ms. Brittany Dickau    Elwood          
Mr. Matt Rahjes    Elwood          
Mr. Caleb J. Wilson    Elwood          
Ms. Breanna Jakubowski    Emmet          
Ms. Kodi Gehl    Ericson          
Mr. Collin Thompson    Eustis          
Mr. Matt Tomjack    Ewing          
Ms. Erika Schwartz    Fairmont          
Ms. Amanda Dvoracek    Farwell          
Ms. Haley Zabel    Firth          
Mr. Tyler Morton    Fremont          
Ms. Cassandra Wirka    Fremont          
Mr. Cody Zumpfe    Friend          
Ms. Sam Due    Friend          
Ms. Krystal Bialas    Fullerton          
Ms. Kelsey Kuhlman    Gothenburg          
Ms. Jessica Schmidt    Gothenburg          
Ms. Amanda Kowalewski    Gothenburg          
Ms. Holly McPheeters    Gothenburg          
Ms. Caylee Lorenz    Gretna          
Ms. Christina Grubbs    Harrisburg          
Mr. Nathan Larson    Hazard          
Mr. Jonah S. Vonderfecht    Hebron          
Mr. Gage Hoegermeyer    Herman          
Ms. Lydia Wiseman    Hershey          
Ms. Brenna Doeschot    Hickman          
Mr. Jared Roberts    Hooper          
Ms. Kara Jackson    Indianola          
Ms. Samantha Teten    Johnson          
Ms. Shauna Casteel    Kearney          
Ms. Clarissa Hunt    Kearney          
Mr. Brandt Florell    Kearney          
Ms. Maire Walsh    Kearney          
Ms. Maranda Kegley    Kearney          
Mr. Rowdy Keller    Kimball          
Ms. Haley Rogers    Lexington          
Mr. Kade Kalkowski    Lincoln          
Ms. Sydney Kucera    Litchfield          
Mr. Alex Carlson    Loomis          
Mr. Colt Johannsen    Louisville          
Ms. Mirissa Scholting    Louisville          
Ms. Julia Bray    Lyons          
Ms. Heidi Miller    Lyons          
Ms. Rebecca Cornelius    Madrid          
Ms. Renae Sieck    Martell          
Mr. Brandon Sieck    Martell          
Ms. Justine Stone    Maywood          
Ms. Bre Kahler    Maywood          
Mr. Kasey Taylor    Mc Cook          
Ms. McKenzie Crowe    Mc Cook          
Mr. Brendon Hauxwell    Mc Cook          
Mr. Caleb Bauer    Mc Cool Jct          
Mr. Auston Calvert    Mc Cool Jct          
Ms. Deidre Freitas    Mc Cool Jct          
Ms. Alecia Mertz    Mc Cool Jct          
Mr. Justin Ramsdell    Milford          
Ms. Samantha Vaverka    Milford          
Ms. Bailey Petersen    Miller          
Ms. Rena Garretson    Monroe          
Ms. Ellen Rice    Murray          
Ms. Sarah Morton    Nehawka          
Ms. Megan Murdoch    Nehawka          
Ms. Bailey Carpenter    Neligh          
Ms. Cassidy Chapman    North Bend          
Ms. Haley Dolezal    North Bend          
Ms. Morgan Hansen    North Platte          
Mr. Landon Swedberg    North Platte          
Ms. Eleanor Aufdenkamp    North Platte          
Ms. Michelle Henry    North Platte          
Ms. Kacie Gribble    O Neill          
Mr. Jacob Goldfuss    O Neill          
Mr. Grant Uehling    Oakland          
Mr. Jonathan Horvatich    Oakland          
Mr. Logan Kalkowski    Omaha          
Ms. Cadrien Livingston    Orchard          
Ms. Kenzie Drudik    Ord          
Ms. Andi Shellhase    Ord          
Ms. Elizabeth Todsen    Ord          
Ms. Rachel Wieseman    Osceola          
Mr. Tom Percival    Oxford          
Mr. Wes Anderjaska    Palisade          
Ms. Elizabeth Forbes    Palmer          
Mr. Shawn McDonald    Phillips          
Ms. Breann Zimmer    Pleasanton          
Ms. Lani Martin    Pleasanton          
Mr. Brayden Schultis    Plymouth          
Mr. Michael Bauer    Ravenna          
Ms. Michaela Urwiller    Ravenna          
Ms. Morgan Cuttlers    Raymond          
Mr. Zach Settje    Raymond          
Mr. Devin Dibbern    Riverdale          
Mr. Logan Dibbern    Riverdale          
Mr. Kris Rasmussen    Riverdale          
Mr. Colin Dibbern    Riverdale          
Mr. Bryan Wietjes    Riverdale          
Ms. Elizabeth Thiltges    Rulo          
Mr. Dane Hansen    Sargent          
Mr. Austin Novak    Schuyler          
Mr. Jaythan Lewis Scheideler    Scotia          
Mr. Ryan Langemeier    Scribner          
Ms. Alicia Dierberger    Seward          
Ms. Kasey Heath    Seward          
Ms. Brooke Tempel    Seward          
Ms. Vanessa Whitmore    Shelby          
Mr. Blake Stengel    Shickley          
Mr. Nathan Hendrickson    Shickley          
Mr. Grant Hebda    Silver Creek          
Ms. Maggie Louthan    Smithfield          
Mr. Dan Bauer    Spalding          
Ms. Tara Hestermann    Sterling          
Mr. Trevor Birky    Strang          
Ms. Miranda Pierce    Sumner          
Ms. Rachel Ibach    Sumner          
Ms. Sydney Glatter    Sumner          
Ms. Makayla Utecht    Superior          
Ms. Claire Dressman    Superior          
Mr. Ty Steager    Surprise          
Ms. Megan Homolka    Swanton          
Ms. Kate Likens    Swanton          
Ms. Kylie Peter    Trenton          
Ms. Olivia Fiala    Ulysses          
Ms. Abby Nelson    Valparaiso          
Mr. Tim Hoffbauer    Valparaiso          
Ms. Bekah Turnbull    Waco          
Mr. Jonathan Swanson    Wahoo          
Mr. Vince Konecky    Wahoo          
Ms. Mickayla Sheets    Wallace          
Ms. Emma Franklin    Wallace          
Ms. Alexandria Lundvall    Wallace          
Ms. Anna Wilkins    Waverly          
Ms. Caitlin Davis    Waverly          
Ms. Michaela Horn    Weeping Water          
Ms. Lindsey Mills    Weeping Water          
Mr. Hunter Schroeder    West Point          
Mr. Ronald Kramer    West Point          
Ms. Chelsea Nollette    Whitman          
Ms. Katie Odvody    Wilber          
Ms. Cortney Krauter    Wilber          
Mr. Wyatt Kowalski    Wilber          
Mr. Kory Wagner    Winnetoon          
Mr. Ryan Schroeder    Wisner          
Mr. Michael Liermann    Wisner          
Mr. Brody Garner    York          
Mr. Grant Suddarth    York          
Ms. McKinley Wells Wilson    Yutan          
Emily Wang (Taiwan)    Taiwan exchange student           
Arthur Huang (Taiwan)    Taiwan exchange student           
Roy Lee (Taiwan)    Taiwan exchange student        

Since its inception in 1971, NAYI has reached over 5,000 youths from across Nebraska.  The Institute is the longest-running agricultural youth institute of its kind in the nation.  Delegates are able to attend the Institute free of charge because of the generous donations of numerous agricultural businesses, commodity groups and agricultural organizations.

NAYI is coordinated by the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council (NAYC), which is comprised of 21 college-age men and women selected by NDA.

For up-to-date information about NAYI, please join them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NebraskaAgYouthInstitute

Corn Board Candidate Chrisp Does the Homework Necessary for Success

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2015 NCGA Corn Board

In addition to extensive experience, Lynn Chrisp brings an unwavering dedication to learning every aspect of multifaceted issues and a drive to delve into fellow farmers' perspectives to his work in association leadership. As he completes a three year turn, he seeks to continue building a better future for America's farmers and continue his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.

Over his years of service, Lynn developed a strong leadership philosophy.  As he believes his operation demonstrates, he is a strong advocate for collective wisdom, teamwork and dedication.  As a Corn Board member, he seeks to convey a professional image for the organization, maintain an approachable manner, communicate effectively and engage fellow members and others with differing views.

"I have always engaged with the understanding that there is more to farming than being on the farm," he said. "If a person is interested in the health and opportunities of farming, there is much more to their job than operating a tractor or combine. I have the motivation and opportunity to serve. This has pushed me to take opportunities to play an active role in improving the industry."

Over his three years on the Corn Board, Lynn has seen NCGA grow in amazing ways with outstanding efforts in its image and activism campaigns.  As a member of the board, he strives to act as part of a team that elevates NCGA's activities and influence for the sake of all of its membership by maximizing opportunities while limiting potentially detrimental conflict.  He also actively advocates for high levels of accountability and a conservative approach toward funding usage.

"I enjoy delving into the finances of the organization and making sure that we are on strong, sound footing," said Chrisp. "I believe that it is important to do your homework and deeply understand each issue facing farmers. It is crucial to effective leadership that one constantly prepares and is then able to thoughtfully participate in important conversations."

Chrisp farms a highly productive irrigated operation in south central Nebraska consisting of 1,150 acres.  With his son Brandon and part-time seasonal help, Lynn raises mostly corn with some soybeans.  During harvest, Lynn works together with his neighbor to jointly harvest 2,900 acres annually.

Currently, Chrisp serves on the NCGA Corn Board and acts as its liaison to the Ethanol Committee. Additionally, he serves on both the Finance and CEO Search Committees. Previously, he has served as the Corn Board's liaison to the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, chaired NCGA's National Corn Yield Contest and served on the Nebraska Corn Growers Association Executive Committee.

The NCGA Corn Board election takes place during Corn Congress on July 16 in Washington.

Seasonal Tipping Point

Matthew A. Diersen, Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

A couple of weeks ago the average price for 5-600# steers (stockers) in South Dakota topped $260 per cwt. That is by far the highest price in our records, and it caps about a 12-month run of price increases. How long will the run last? That seems to be on the minds of both buyers and sellers. Seasonally, June is the peak month for stocker prices in South Dakota. The average price tends to be 5% higher during June than in the surrounding months. January and November tend to have seasonal lows. From a historical perspective, one would expect stocker prices to fall at any time.

Seasonally the price for feeder cattle peaks in September. Futures price currently reflect that pattern, suggesting the trade expects the seasonal break also. The latest fundamentals from the Economic Research Service have projected prices for the fourth quarter of 2014 below third quarter levels. Thus, for buyers there is perhaps some relief in sight for prices. However, what could be done if the pattern does not hold? That is a tough call for buyers, as locking in calf or feeder prices today while not also locking in feed costs leaves buyers open to feeding margins changing. If they wanted to protect against a counter-seasonal move, then buying call options would be a way to approach it.

For sellers methods are more straightforward. One may be tempted to sell or price calves now before the seasonal decline happens. The potential cost of doing so is capping any further gains. Protection strategies are right at the sweet-spot where seasonally prices are high and volatility remains low. Remember, if you will be buying protection and volatility increases with corn price uncertainty, then options become more expensive. In mid-June the implied volatility in the November feeder cattle futures was at 11.5 percent. That is a little higher than in June of 2013, but well below the 17 and 18 percent seen in other recent years. Buying put options provides downside coverage while leaving the upside open to further gains.

Sellers of stockers and calves have another alternative this time of year - Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance. While it functions like buying put options, the price adjustment factor for calves is an attractive feature. With the high prices seen the past year the volume covered by LRP has reached a record high. Nationally, the volume with a week to go in fiscal year 2014 is over 296,000 head. In South Dakota producers have covered a record 80,000 head. In addition, more than 30,000 head have been covered by producers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The same low volatility that makes put options attractive also applies to LRP. Currently, LRP coverage can be purchased with end dates, when calves will likely be sold, from September through January. The highest coverage prices available, after premiums, are about $220 per cwt for 5-600# steers. While $220 is not $260, it would still be well above any fall price for stockers in our records.

The Farm Bill: How it Works

The American Farm Bureau Federation has produced a new series of videos and launched a website (http://goo.gl/ujjnny) to help farmers, landowners and other stakeholders better understand the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Featured content includes videos on key commodity program and crop insurance provisions of the farm bill.

“We have distilled down a massive and complex piece of legislation – the 2014 farm bill – into several ‘bite-size’ pieces, with the goal of helping farmers and managers understand how it will affect their farms,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist with AFBF.

“Now that safety net and risk management tools important in crop planning are in place, along with the new program for dairies, the next step is for farmers to be able to move forward with confidence in determining the best options for their individual farms,” Anderson said. “We created the farm bill video series with that goal in mind.”

The videos include a farm bill overview describing the basic provisions of the commodity title, including a description of the decisions related to program participation that will need to be made by farmers and landowners. Four other videos go in-depth on the Price Loss Coverage and Supplemental Coverage Option, the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program, the Stacked Income Protection Program for Cotton and the Dairy Margin Protection Program.

Links to useful farm bill information from USDA, land-grant universities, and other organizations also is available on the website at http://goo.gl/ujjnny.

Anticipating Soybean Stocks and Acreage Estimates

On June 30, the USDA will release an estimate of U.S. stocks of soybeans as of June 1 and forecasts of planted and harvested acreage. Both reports will provide important information to the soybean market, but the acreage forecasts should have more important price implications than the stocks estimate because soybean consumption is mostly already known. Although the acreage estimate may be more important, there is more to say about the stocks estimate.

"Because the magnitude of both the domestic crush and exports during the previous quarter are mostly known, the stocks estimate is expected to reveal the smallest June 1 inventory in 37 years," said University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good. "However, there is always room for some surprise in the June 1 stocks estimate as the magnitude of seed and residual use in the previous quarter is revealed. In addition, the unknown magnitude of imports during May will be reflected in the stocks estimate. Based on estimates from the National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA), members crushed 9.3 percent more soybeans from March through May this year than during the same three months last year. Crush estimates for the entire industry are not available, but the crush by NOPA members accounted for 95.7 percent of the industry total in the 10 months prior to the discontinuation of the Census Bureau crush estimates after June 2011. The USDA no longer makes quarterly crush estimates, but the NOPA estimates have represented 95.4 percent of the USDA marketing-year estimates in the past two marketing years. Assuming that ratio for the most recent quarter, the NOPA crush of 415.3 million bushels points to an industry total of 435.3 million bushels," Good said.

Census Bureau export estimates are available through April whereas USDA estimates are available for the entire quarter. Through April, cumulative marketing-year Census export estimates exceeded USDA export inspection estimates by 23.5 million bushels. "Assuming that margin persisted through May, exports for the March-May quarter are estimated at 186.7 million bushels," Good said.

Census Bureau estimates of soybean imports are also available only through April. Imports in March and April totaled 10.7 million bushels, and cumulative imports for the year totaled 31 million bushels. "If imports are to reach the 90 million bushels projected by the USDA, imports during the last four months of the marketing year need to average 14.8 million bushels per month," Good said. "If May imports were at that level, March-May imports would have totaled 25.5 million bushels."

Seed and residual use of soybeans during the March-May quarter ranged from 11.7 million to 62.7 million bushels in the previous 10 years. The average use was 41.2 million bushels, very close to the average of 47.6 million bushels in the past two years. "If use this year was at 47.6 million bushels, total consumption of U.S. soybeans during the March-May quarter would have been near 669.6 million bushels," Good said. "With March 1 stocks of 992.3 million bushels and quarterly imports of 25.5 million bushels, June 1 stocks would have totaled 348.2 million bushels.

"Unless June 1 stocks are 25 to 30 million bushels larger than expected, the domestic soybean crush during the final three months of the marketing year will have to be much smaller than during the same three months last year, and/or imports will have to exceed the projected level, in order to maintain year-ending stocks at a pipeline level," Good added. "Stocks below the expected level would obviously require a larger drop in the domestic crush or increase in imports."

The USDA's March Prospective Plantings report revealed producer intentions to plant a record 81.493 million acres of soybeans this year, 4.96 million acres more than planted last year. The surveys for the June 30 Acreage report were conducted mostly in the first two weeks of June. According to Good, forecasts of planted and harvested acreage will reflect some level of intentions. The USDA's weekly Crop Progress report indicated that 8 percent of the soybean acreage was yet to be planted as of June 15, mostly double-cropped acres following wheat harvest.

"Much of the uncertainty about the June acreage forecasts relative to March intentions centers on northern producing states where wet conditions delayed corn planting and may have resulted in some switching to soybeans," Good said. "Extreme wet conditions, however, may also result in some acreage not planted at all. Those prevented plantings may not all be revealed in the June surveys.

"For the most part, expectations are that the upcoming forecast of planted acreage will not be smaller than March intentions," Good concluded. "If large acreage is confirmed, prospects for a record-large soybean crop and a build in stocks during the year ahead will be maintained. The potential U.S average yield and size of the crop will be indicated by the weekly crop condition ratings. In the first two reporting weeks, the percentage of the crop rated in either good or excellent condition was record large. That percentage is expected to decline as the season progresses, as it almost always does, but it will likely be above average for at least the next few weeks," he said.

CWT Assists with 4 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 5 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) to sell 158,733 pounds (72 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese, 2.315 million pounds (1,050 metric tons) of butter (82% butterfat) and 1.574 million pounds (714 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered June through November 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 57.232 million pounds of cheese, 50.229 million pounds of butter and 13.596 million pounds of whole milk powder to 41 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.746 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

USDA Invites Suggestions for the 2017 Census of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now inviting suggestions for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted only once every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census provides detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture down to the county level.

“The recent release of the 2012 Census of Agriculture is the end of an ongoing 5 year-cycle that has started anew with the first stage of the 2017 Census – asking what changes to make in the next questionnaire,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly. “This is the perfect time to ask for suggestions since the 2012 data are fresh on our minds.”

NASS released the complete 2012 Census of Agriculture results on May 2, 2014. The agency is now planning the content for the 2017 Agriculture Census and is accepting input. Any individual or organization may submit suggestions on questionnaire items to add or delete, as well as any other ideas concerning the Census. There will be another opportunity to provide official comment through the Federal Register process in the coming weeks.

“There are many industries looking for data that we don’t already collect,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director Renee Picanso. “There are also some items that people may think are no longer relevant with changing trends in agriculture. Now is the time to express those ideas and concerns.”

Content suggestions for the 2017 Census will be accepted until Aug. 4, 2014. Comments can be submitted online at www.agcensus.usda.gov/Contact_Us/Census_Program_Input_Form/. Written suggestions may be mailed to: Census Content Team, Room 6451, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20250.

“We thank you for helping make the Census of Agriculture program a continued success,” added Reilly.

To learn more and to access the complete 2012 Census of Agriculture results, including State and County Profiles and all the other Census data and tools, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

Ethanol Highlighted Among the Alternative Fuels In Georgia Road Rally

The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign kicked off week two of the Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Rally this week following successful awareness events in Atlanta, Augusta, Warner Robbins, and Savannah on the first leg of the tour.  The Clean Fuels Foundation, Growth Energy, and a number of agriculture and ethanol supporters are among the sponsors of the tour which is designed to increase consumer and fleet operator awareness for alternative fuels.

The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign is focusing on the message that high level ethanol blends and FFVs are an option for private and government fleets and that they can be very competitive among the family of legally defined alternative fuels.

Clean Fuels Executive Director Doug Durante gave a series of presentations and media  interviews and took the opportunity to remind people that this is about clean air, consumer choice, energy independence.  “With prices jumping once again as a result of instability in the middle east, we can fight back with domestic  alternatives.  In the case of flex fuels this is an easy, immediate choice we can make to take advantage of the 20 million FFVs in use by fleets and consumers.”

Durante said that many of the city and fleet managers they met with were very interested in getting a better understanding of the options that FlexFuel Vehicles provide, including being able to use any combination of gasoline ethanol blends. 

The Alternative Fuel Road Show, now in its 4th year, is America’s largest clean fuel vehicle educational tour and is designed to reach fleet managers, civic leaders, and state legislators to help them make informed decisions about transitioning to clean, alternative transportation fuels.  The 2014 Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Show kicked off at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta with a media event and a workshop for fleet managers.  The Show will roar through 8 cities in total in Georgia, all with media and workshop events.

Durante praised the efforts of the military to lead by example as the tour visited the massive Warner Robins Air Force base in Georgia which is aggressively using E85 on base.  The FlexFuel vehicles are required to fill up on E85 and the staff has implemented several creative approaches to ensure they do so.  He also commended Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols who created the tour and attends every session.   “Mr. Echols is equally supportive of natural gas and propane, electric vehicles, and E85 and is working to get more flex fuel pumps in the state.  He drives a personal FFV on E85 and is on a mission to reduce petroleum use in every way possible.  We truly appreciate what he is doing for the state and the alternative fuels movement”,  said Durante.

In addition to the FlexFuel Awareness Campaign, other sponsors and contributing organizations include the Atlanta Clean Cities Program, the Georgia Public Service Commission, Nissan Motors, and many others.

“As part of an ‘all of the above’ approach, this Road Show showcases all the alternative fuels, and they all have their strengths and advantages in a given situation.  We are pleased to be part of this successful effort and make sure biofuels like ethanol are in the mix”,  said Durante.

Following the Georgia road show the program will move to the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC Metropolitan area with numerous events planned throughout the region. 

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