Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday June 3 Ag News


Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach is in Europe this week working to promote Nebraska beef products in Germany, Belgium and England.

“We recognize that foreign markets place a high value on Nebraska beef products, and the European marketplace is one in which we see a tremendous opportunity for continued growth,” said Ibach.

Ibach arrived in Düsseldorf today and will be meeting with a current importer, along with several prospective customers of Nebraska beef products.  According to Ibach, Germany is one of the largest importers of Nebraska beef in the European Union (EU), having gone from importing $10.7 million worth of beef products in 2011 to $25.1 million worth of beef products in 2013.

On the second leg of his trip, Ibach will travel to Brussels to meet with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Mission to the EU Minister-Counselor Maurice House.  Ibach also will meet with several high-ranking EU officials, including European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV) Secretary General Jean-Luc Meriaux.

“During my time in Brussels, I hope to have insightful discussion with both U.S. and EU officials about agricultural policy, including an update from them on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade agreement and how that agreement may affect trade with Nebraska,” said Ibach.

The next stop will be Berlin, where Ibach will be joined by Nebraska beef producer Terry Vinton and Executive Director of the Nebraska Beef Council Ann Marie Bosshamer.  They will meet with U.S. Embassy representatives and host a special beef tasting promotion, where prospective importers will learn more about how U.S. beef is raised and how to purchase U.S. beef products.

For the final leg of the trip, Ibach will travel to London. There he will be joined by Jeff Rudolph, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, and Dawn Caldwell, a member of the Nebraska Beef Council.  While there they will meet with a number of different restaurants and distributors that sell Nebraska beef products.  The group also will host the Nebraska Beef Symposium at the Goodman Restaurant.  During the symposium, Dr. Chris Calkins from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will share with restaurant chefs the value and impact Nebraska beef can have on their businesses.

“I am proud to join Director Ibach in London and represent the Nebraska Cattlemen as we promote Nebraska sourced beef to the EU market.  The association has members that raise and feed cattle qualifying for the UK/EU market and benefit from these value added markets,” said Rudolph.

The market for Nebraska beef in the EU has grown over the past five years. In 2008, $32.8 million worth of fresh and frozen beef from Nebraska was going into the EU market. In 2013, that figure grew to $132.6 million.

Partial funding for this trip comes from the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

Early to mid-June is a popular time to spray pasture weeds and woody plants.  But, is it smart thing to do?

Why do you spray weeds in pasture?  Is it to kill plants that are poor forage – or is it just force of habit and to make the pasture look nicer?

Now I've got to admit, I often suggest using herbicides in pastures.  Herbicides like Plateau in warm-season pastures or 2,4-D, Grazon, or ForeFront in any grass pasture are most popular.  But the more experience I get with grazing and pasture management, the less spraying I do.  In fact, anytime a pasture is sprayed, it suggests that the grazing management has not been as effective as it could be or that the owner wants a quick fix.

Okay, so what am I talking about?  Well, several things really.  First, for pasture to be profitable, it must have high management input but controlled dollar input.  And spraying costs money.  Money we might save with better management.  Second, livestock eat many plants we call weeds.  And when they do, these plants no longer are weeds.  In fact, many weeds can be good feed if grazed while young and tender.  Third, unpalatable weeds usually become established in pastures after grass is weakened by severe grazing, and they thrive when grazing management fails to encourage vigorous grass regrowth.  And finally, unless pasture and livestock are managed to benefit both plants and animals, the weeds will be back despite your spraying.

So why spray pastures?  If you graze properly but you wish to speed up the process of replacing uneaten weeds with vigorous grass, that's a very good reason.  Otherwise, spraying may be simply cosmetic and a waste of money.

Nebraska Gains Hemp Industries Association Chapter

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a North American-based organization serving the constituents of the ever growing hemp industry, is proud to announce its most recent addition to the growing roster of statewide HIA affiliate organizations with the induction of the Nebraska Hemp Industries Association (NEHIA).  Following the recent passage of Nebraska Legislative Bill 1001, which was signed into law April 2, 2014, and allows for the production and marketing of industrial hemp, exempts industrial hemp from the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and provides powers and duties for the State Department of Agriculture to regulate the crop, 2014 marks the inaugural year for  NEHIA.

The novel association’s education initiatives include support for industrial hemp farming and manufacturing industries in the state, and the facilitation of a hemp business resource network throughout Nebraska. NEHIA will also provide resources to farmers interested to grow the crop, including information regarding sourcing certified hemp seed, information about seed varieties and hemp agronomy, and connect hemp producers with hemp manufacturers and processors both in the U.S. and abroad. NEHIA is bolstered by the support from the HIA network, which has been a key player in fostering the growth and integrity of the North American hemp trade since 1992.

“As Nebraskans continue to learn more about the value that hemp brings with it, NEHIA will be there not only as educators to the public, but also to facilitate the needs of all levels of the industry including research, farming, manufacturing and retail.” says Jason Feldman, the Nebraska chapter’s founder. “HIA and NEHIA hold no position on the issue of medical or recreational marijuana legalization. Industrial hemp has been clearly defined as distinct from marijuana, having no drug value whatsoever. The NEHIA will focus exclusively on the growth of the industrial hemp market throughout Nebraska.”

NEHIA will launch its initial fundraising campaign this year to create a strong association, in preparation for the emerging interest to establish hemp as a new trade commodity for the Nebraska economy. Fund raising is primarily based on both individual memberships and business memberships.

LB 1001 permits hemp cultivation for research and development purposes, per the parameters set forth in Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill, titled The Legitimacy of Hemp Research. Hemp is an incredibly versatile crop, whose industrial applications include paper, building materials, bio-composites, vehicle components, nutritional foods, bio-fuel, soap and cosmetics, animal bedding, packaging materials, textiles, and other products.

To learn more about NEHIA, please visit our website at NebraskaHIA.org, or find NEHIA on social media at Facebook.com/NebraskaHIA or on Twitter @NebraskaHIA.

Secretary of Agriculture confirms attendance to WPX

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will speak at the National Pork Producers Council's SIP member luncheon at World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA.  On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will headline World Pork Expo’s Strategic Investment Program (SIP) luncheon to share insights on Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED), pork exports and other issues affecting pork production. Your name badge will give you admission to the luncheon, which begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Varied Industries Building Upper East Meeting Room.

DuPont Virkon S Effective for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)

DuPont Chemicals & Fluoroproducts announced today that leading farm biosecurity company Neogen can now offer swine producers a proven disinfectant for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) – DuPont Virkon® S disinfectant.

  Having been independently tested for “Virucidal Efficacy of a Disinfectant for Use on Inanimate Environmental Surfaces against Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV)” the Virkon® S testing protocol was performed under strict test criteria established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  Virkon® S is proven to be effective against PEDV at a dilution rate of 1:600, in the presence of high organic content (5 percent) and at low temperatures (down to 5˚C) reflecting it’s proven performance and suitability for real world ‘on farm’ conditions.

  “During the recent PEDV outbreaks, Neogen has been offering swine producers timely advice on the clinical symptoms and treatment of PEDV and advising on enhanced biosecurity protocols across the whole range of possible infection vectors, including transport vehicles, housing facilities and personnel, said Dr. Gabriel F. Pardo, regional business & market manager, DuPont Americas. “We are delighted to now be able to confirm that Virkon® S is approved against PEDV, making it the disinfectant of choice for swine housing, surfaces, equipment and footwear. It is especially effective in combating the spread of disease via transport vehicles.”

  Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDV) remains a serious threat to swine producers, resulting in high levels of mortality and morbidity across North American swine herds.  With no vaccine approved in the U.S., veterinarians are recommending enhanced biosecurity measures and advising swine producers to urgently review and tighten their biosecurity protocols. 

  Regarded as one of the most potent virucidal disinfectant agents, extensive investment to assess the safety of Virkon® S shows that operators have no need for excessive personal protection during biosecurity procedures.

Japanese official says still far apart from U.S. on farm exports

The United States and Japan still have a way to go in resolving access for U.S. farm exports to the Japanese market as part of Pacific trade talks, a senior Japanese official said on Friday.

"There was some progress but we are still far apart," Japan's Deputy Chief Negotiator Hiroshi Oe told reporters after two days of meetings with U.S. officials on farm exports.

Talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation grouping that would stretch from Asia to Latin America, seek to remove tariffs and other barriers to trade, particularly for agricultural goods.

The United States wants Japan to open its rice, beef and pork, dairy, and sugar markets. Japan has said it cannot completely eliminate tariffs on all those products, prompting calls from U.S. farm groups for it to be dropped from the talks.

Oe brushed off the call and said U.S. negotiators had not raised the prospect of excluding Japan at the Washington meetings.

"Japanese farm groups are also stakeholders ... we are not negotiating with the stakeholders," he said.

Asked if Japan intended to offer the same terms to other TPP countries as it agreed with the United States, Oe said it would depend on the tariff line but in general, "we try to apply the same formula."

EPA Greenhouse Gas Plan Harmful to Economy, Agriculture

The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest greenhouse gas proposal will harm the nation’s economy, rural communities and America’s farm and ranch families if implemented, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.

The EPA’s attempt to impose a 30-percent reduction in carbon dioxide on the nation’s power plants will lead to higher energy prices. Farmers would face not just higher prices for electricity, but any energy-related input such as fertilizer. Rural electric cooperatives that rely on old coal plants for cheap electricity would be especially hard hit.

“U.S. agriculture will pay more for energy and fertilizer under this plan, but the harm won’t stop there,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said. “Effects will especially hit home in rural America.”

Today’s announcement follows EPA’s April “Waters of the Unites States” proposal that would unlawfully increase the agency’s role in regulating America’s farms under the Clean Water Act. AFBF responded with a formal campaign to “Ditch the Rule.”

"The greenhouse gas proposal is yet another expensive and expansive overreach by EPA into the daily lives of America's farmers and ranchers,” Stallman said. “Our farmers and ranchers need a climate that fosters innovation, not unilateral regulations that cap our future."

Test Your Beef I.Q. in “I Love Beef” Trivia Challenge

The beef checkoff, in parternship with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), is encouraging consumers in the Northeast to test their Beef I.Q. through the “I Love Beef Trivia” Challenge for the chance to win a burger-lover’s grand prize, including two tickets to the 2014 Burger Beach Bash at the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, Atlantic City, N.J., a meet and greet with the one-and-only Martha Stewart, plus $200 worth of Roseda Beef.

The “I LOVE BEEF TRIVIA” challenge launches Monday, June 9 at 8 a.m. EST at www.nebpi.org/2014ILoveBeefTrivia.

Each day during the 10-day challenge, participants will be asked 10 different beef-related questions, ranging from nutritional value to cooking methods to various cuts of meat. Each correct answer earns the eligible player an entry into a drawing for the Grand Prize, which includes $200 worth of Roseda Beef, two tickets to the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival’s Burger Beach Bash on July 26 where they’ll have the chance to meet Martha Stewart, plus a gift basket of Roseda Beef and beef checkoff items.

Entries for the “I LOVE BEEF TRIVIA” Challenge must be submitted online via the NEBPI website each day during the challenge period of June 9-18, 2014; limit one survey per email address per day. The sweepstakes is open to individuals 21 years or older living in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Visit www.nebpi.org/2014ILoveBeefTrivia for full details and official rules.

The beef checkoff, via the NEBPI and SDBIC, is also a presenting sponsor of the 2014 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, July 25– 27. NEBPI is teaming up with Roseda Beef from outside of Baltimore, Md., to provide samples of their grass-finished Black Angus beef throughout the weekend, and will be on site to share the facts about the nutritional benefits and versatility of beef. More information about the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival can be found online at www.caesars.com/acfoodandwine.

For more information about the beef checkoff’s involvement at the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival or the “I LOVE BEEF TRIVIA” Challenge contact Jennifer Orr jorr@pabeef.org or visit the NEBPI website.

DTN Fertilizer Trends - Big Jumps in Fertilizer Prices Slow

The majority of retail fertilizer prices continue to be slightly higher the fourth week of May 2014 compared to last month, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.  Five of the eight major fertilizers edged upward compared to a month earlier, but none were up with any significance. MAP had an average price of $631 per ton, potash $480/ton, 10-34-0 $559/ton, anhydrous $702/ton and UAN32 $406/ton.

Two fertilizers were slightly lower in price compared to last month, but the move was fairly minor. Urea had an average price of $551 per ton and DAP $596 per ton.

This week marked the first time anhydrous was above the $700-per-ton level since the last week of July 2013. That week the nitrogen fertilizer averaged $716/ton.  The remaining fertilizer, UAN28, was unchanged from the previous month. The liquid nitrogen price was set at $356/ton

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.64/lb.N and UAN32 $0.64/lb.N.

Although fertilizer prices have moved higher in recent months, three of the eight major fertilizers remain double digits lower in price compared to May 2013.  DAP, MAP and urea are all now down 3% while both 10-34-0 and UAN32 are 9% less expensive. UAN28 is 11% lower, anhydrous is now 16% less expensive and potash is down 18% compared to a year earlier.

Raise a Glass of Milk to Toast Dairy's Goodness

More than 75 years since the annual celebration began, June Dairy Month continues to recognize dairy foods and the people who make them possible to enjoy. Today, dairy's goodness comes from more than 9,000 dairy farm families from throughout the Midwest. Beginning in 1937, the observance was created as a way to help distribute extra milk when cows started on pasture in the summer months. June Dairy Month's rich history continues, with communities, companies and people from all over the country observing the nutritional and economic value dairy foods deliver.

Nutrient-rich dairy foods are one of the most economical sources of nutrition. In fact, few foods deliver dairy's powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable, appealing and readily available way. At only about 25 cents per 8-ounce glass, milk delivers nine essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D for strong bones and protein for healthy muscles.

At the heart of dairy's goodness are Midwest dairy farmers, who work hard every day to ensure nutritious milk is available to families. Recently, they partnered with Feeding America and the nation's milk processors to launch the Great American Milk Drive; the first program to deliver gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Fresh milk is the top food requested by Feeding America's food banks, but milk is harder for people to donate because it's perishable. That means 37 million Feeding America participants receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year -- far short of the recommended three servings of milk a day. "Dairy farmers share a passion for their livelihoods and in producing wholesome, nutritious dairy foods for everyone to enjoy," says Stephanie Cundith, a registered dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council, Overland Park, Kan. "Raise your milk glass to toast June Dairy Month!"

To celebrate June Dairy Month, families can:

-- Donate nutrient-rich milk to families who are served through the Feeding America Network. To give fresh milk to hungry families in your community, text "Milk" to 27722 or visit milklife.com/give.

-- Attend a June Dairy Month event in your state. In the Midwest, dairy farms and families open their doors for breakfasts and tours.

-- If you can't visit a farm, get to know some of the men and women who produce dairy's goodness by meeting a farmer in the Midwest.

-- Strive for three servings of dairy every day. A simple way to do this is by making milk the mealtime beverage.

-- Find a new dairy recipe to prepare, such as these beef sliders with chipotle yogurt sauce or a banana-caramel smoothie.

Additional dairy recipes, nutrition information and stories about where good comes from, can be found at DairyMakesSense.com.

Midwest Dairy Association is a non-profit organization funded by dairy farmers to build demand for dairy products through integrated marketing, nutrition education and research. Midwest Dairy is funded by checkoff dollars from dairy farmers in a 10-state region, including Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

CWT Assists with 1.3 Million Pounds of Cheese and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 11 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 850,984 pounds (386 metric tons) of Cheddar and Gouda cheese and 434,311 pounds (197 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Africa, Central America, the Middle East, and North Africa. The product will be delivered June through November 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 54.265 million pounds of cheese, 46.284 million pounds of butter and 10.772 million pounds of whole milk powder to 40 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.618 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.

Answer Plot Program by WinField Introduces Yield Optimization Demos and Enhanced Research Trials for 2014
The 2014 Answer Plot® Program by WinField is underway and will continue to build upon the program’s wide array of educational programming and trials. Each of the nearly 200 Answer Plot® site locations feature new elements to reflect agronomic advances, including yield optimization comparisons, increased alfalfa demonstrations and QR code enhancements.

The Answer Plot® Program lets farmers see firsthand how products perform in local fields, allowing them to make management decisions for their own operations with confidence. Through this program, farmers have yearlong access to national yield data as well as local, side-by-side product comparisons.

“The Answer Plot® Program has provided data and insights in Nebraska and throughout the U.S. to help growers optimize their yield potential in varied environments,” said Carl Scholting, Nebraska-based Regional Product Manager for WinField. “Year after year, the newest genetics are tested and provide in-season data and demonstrations for farmers, which allows them to preview and discuss crop management practices before applying to their own fields.”

New This Season

The 2014 program additions will continue to enrich one of the industry’s most extensive data sets, helping farmers get the most out of every acre:
·       Yield Optimization Demos – Test plots managed with WinField tools and products are compared to plots grown with typical management programs and inputs for a local area. The R7® Tool, Answer Plot® data, NutriSolutions® 360° program and MAX-IN® plant nutrients are used to drive smart crop decisions throughout the season to help optimize yield potential.
·       More Alfalfa Demos – Demonstrations will increase this season, spreading into more key hay-producing areas of the country with a specific focus on Roundup Ready® alfalfa products, and enhanced management with micronutrients and other production aids.
·       QR Codes – Quick response codes will be featured on demonstration and product signs, allowing Answer Plot® Program attendees to access additional information on specific hybrids and varieties using their smartphones during plot visits.
·       Research Trial Enhancements – Many new and enhanced trials will add thousands of data points and insights to the Answer Plot® data set. New trials include: NutriSolutions® 360° program, plant growth regulators (PGRs), late-season nitrogen in soybeans, insecticide use on traited products and response to fungicide.

The Answer Plot® Program includes hundreds of replicated trials and demonstration plots nationwide, including 15 locations in Nebraska. Local Answer Plot® Knowledge Events also offer local expertise from WinField agronomists, who are experts on local crop production issues, and able to answer questions from plant nutrients and weed, disease and insect management to plant growth and development.

2013 Insights

Each season of The Answer Plot® program produces science-based data points, which WinField develops into insights that continually advance the program in subsequent years.

Last year’s Answer Plot® trial results underscore the value of planting new, high-yield potential corn products. At Nebraska Answer Plot® locations, new CROPLAN® by WinField corn genetics beat the competition by an average of 2.8 bushels per acre, while providing a 7.6-bushel yield increase compared to mature CROPLAN® lines. Nebraska Answer Plot® data also revealed that new soybean genetics delivered .8 bushels more per acre than the competition.

Gleaner Introduces GleanerCare for S8 Super Series Combines

Gleaner®, the industry-leading transverse rotary combine brand from AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), has introduced the GleanerCareTM uptime assurance program for all Gleaner S8 Super Series combines.

GleanerCare is an optional program that provides maximum uptime assurance during harvest to farmers who purchase a Gleaner S8 Super Series combine from a GleanerCare dealer. GleanerCare provides farmers:
-    24/7 access to dealer GleanerCare advocates
-    Dealer service diagnosis and parts assessment within 12 hours
-    Repair completion within 24 hours of issue diagnosis*
-    Free loaner provided if GleanerCare-covered combine not repaired within 24 hours of diagnosis*

The goal of the GleanerCare program is to provide peace of mind to farmers who purchase Gleaner S8 Super Series combines, including the first Class 8 transverse rotary combine, which was introduced in the fall of 2013.

"We have been making high-quality combines for a long time, and we're proud to stand behind them," said Kevin Bien, Gleaner brand marketing manager at AGCO. "We built the GleanerCare program with the farmer in mind. Farmers today need to harvest more acres in a tighter time frame, so uptime is more important than ever. With GleanerCare, we are committed to providing farmers with rapid response to worst-case scenarios and getting them back in the field faster."

GleanerCare Advocates Provide Peace of Mind

GleanerCare advocates support each GleanerCare farmer's interests around the clock. These advocates have 24-hour access to Gleaner technical support and parts inventories to help them resolve issues quickly. To expedite issue diagnosis, Gleaner technicians can access and evaluate S8 Series combines remotely through AgCommand® telemetry. GleanerCare farmers will have the assurance that their combine will be fixed, no matter the time of day.

Priority Parts on Hand

GleanerCare farmers gain not only access to dealers and timely diagnosis, but a promise GleanerCare dealers will stock at least 75 percent of recommended S8 Series parts. If a needed part is not in stock, the GleanerCare parts team will locate it at the nearest dealership or AGCO parts distribution center, and arrange expedited delivery at no charge to the farmer. GleanerCare farmers also receive a Parts-on-Demand starter kit with AGCO parts for common maintenance items.

Added Reliability and Resale Value

A two-year inspection program is included with the GleanerCare package. Inspections and services are performed and recorded on each S8 Series combine with a GleanerCare certified decal. This helps owners retain a high-performance combine for the long haul. If the farmer chooses to sell a combine with GleanerCare, coverage is transferred with the combine.

"We've been developing and testing the GleanerCare service for two years. We've invested in people and technology to provide the highest uptime assurance in the business. It's our commitment to the success of your operation and your peace of mind," said Bien.

Launched on the Optimum Harvesting Performance platform, Gleaner S8 Super Series combines are the culmination of design refinements that minimize weight, size, fuel consumption, wear and complexity while maximizing capacity, grain quality, reliability and durability. These attributes have been part of many of the brand's design principles since it was introduced in 1923, and they heavily influence today's Gleaner combines.

GleanerCare is available from any GleanerCare dealer for $1,500. For more information about Gleaner combines and the GleanerCare uptime assurance program, visit www.GleanerCombines.com.

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