Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday September 24 Ag News

UNL Extension to host Husker Beef Nutrition Conference

UNL Extension will be hosting the Husker Beef Nutrition Conference on Friday, October 31 at the August N. Christenson Research and Education Building located at the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead, NE. This program is targeted toward nutrition consultants and Extension Educators.

Registration starts at 8:15 with the program to start at 8:45.

The conference will address beef industry issues and economics as well as nutrition.
-    Dr. John Patterson, NCBA - Cows: Where are they and growth areas
-    Dr. Kate Brooks – Cattle Feeding Economics by Region
-    Dr. Terry Klopfenstien - Feedlot Management Intern & Intensive Cow Project Update
-    Bill Dicke, Cattlemen's Nutrition Services – Byproduct experience across 40 years & what now?
-    Dr. Jim MacDonald – Residue Use
-    Dr. Fred Owens, Pioneer – Silage Yield and Quality Data
-    Dr. Mary Drewnoski - Cover Crops
-    Dr. Galen Erickson and Dr. Matt Luebbe – Research Update

For a registration form and more information please see Husker Beef Nutrition Conference.

Registration is $25 per person if preregistered by Monday, October 27 and may be paid on-site. $50 if not preregistered and due on-site.

Please RSVP to Galen Erickson (402-472-6402) or


Bruce Anderson, Extension Forage Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

It’s thistle time again.  Even if they are hard to see, this is the time to control them.

Timing is everything.  That's particularly true with thistle control.  And October to early November is one of the best times to use herbicides.

Did you have thistles this year?  If so, walk out in those infected areas this week.  Look close.  I'll bet you find many thistle seedlings.  Most thistle seedlings this fall will be small, in a flat, rosette growth form, and they are very sensitive now to certain herbicides.  So spray this fall and thistles will not be a big problem next year.

Several herbicides are effective and recommended for thistle control.  Several newer herbicides like ForeFront, Milestone, and Chaparral are very effective.  Two other very effective herbicides are Tordon 22K and Grazon.  Be careful with all these herbicides, but especially Tordon and Grazon, since they also can kill woody plants, including trees you might want to keep.  2,4-D also works well while it’s warm, but you will get better thistle control by using a little less 2,4-D and adding a small amount of Banvel or dicamba to the mix.

Other herbicides also can control thistles in pastures – like Redeem, Cimarron, and Curtail.  No matter which weed killer you use, though, be sure to read and follow label instructions, and be sure to spray on time.  

Next year, avoid overgrazing your pastures so your grass stands get thicker and compete with any new thistle seedlings.

Give some thought now to thistle control during October and November.  Your pastures can be cleaner next spring.

2014 UNL Sorensen Lecture

Co-sponsored by the Unitarian Church of Lincoln and the School of Natural Resources

OCTOBER 19, 7:00 p.m.
Hardin Hall Auditorium
School of Natural Resources, UNL Campus, Lincoln

Can the World Feed Nine Billion People? Implications for Nebraska

Doug Bereuter, Nebraska Congressman, 1979-2004

The lecture will address the broad question of whether the world can produce enough nutritious food to feed a population that is conservatively estimated to increase from the current seven billion people to a population of more than nine billion by 2050. It will highlight the pressing and generally under-appreciated food security challenges facing the world, including the trade and access problems of food supplies and agricultural inputs, the necessity of enhancing nutrition in the food supplies, the prospects for political turmoil and conflict caused by food shortages and price volatility, and the adaptation and mitigation initiatives required to cope with climate change and increased weather volatility. With respect to the latter in particular, Bereuter expects to consider and build upon the Sept. 25 Heuermann Lecture at UNL that presented the university's much-anticipated report, "Understanding and Assessing Climate Change: Implications for Nebraska."

Bereuter is a fifth-generation Nebraskan who represented the state’s 1st Congressional District for 26 years from 1979-2004, after which he served as president and CEO of The Asia Foundation. Since 2011, he has been president emeritus of the foundation. During his congressional career, Bereuter was deeply involved in international issues, including membership on the House International Relations Committee, where his service included the Human Rights Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Economic Policy and Trade. Bereuter is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board. He is a board member of the Nebraska Community Foundation, a past chairman of the Arbor Day Foundation and co-chair of the Chicago Council of Global Affair’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative. Bereuter is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Nebraska, and has master’s degrees in city planning and public administration from Harvard University.

Contact: Don Wilhite, 402-472-4270,
The Unitarian Church of Lincoln, 402-483-2213

American Farm Bureau Releases Videos on Big-Data Risks, Rewards for Farmers

The American Farm Bureau Federation released a series of short educational videos today to help farmers and ranchers understand the rewards and risks of data-analysis technologies sweeping the agricultural landscape.

“Modern data technology offers great benefits for America’s farmers and ranchers, but these new advantages don’t come without some risks,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

From collecting weather data to analyzing nutrient applications and seed varieties, agricultural technology providers collect data that help farmers increase efficiency and yield higher profits. But many questions remain unanswered regarding who owns and controls this information once it is collected. Farm Bureau is leading the way in helping farmers get answers to these questions and secure their business data.

Through a series of four new educational videos, Mary Kay Thatcher, senior director of congressional relations for AFBF, explains ownership of data, discusses key concerns for data use and provides guiding questions for farmers as they translate privacy agreements and terms-of-use contracts.
“Farmers must understand the issues being raised now, before they sign an agreement with an ag tech provider,” Thatcher said. Ownership of data is often misunderstood, but this educational tool is an important introduction for farmers and ranchers considering signing on with ag tech providers.

These videos are available at:

Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture

“Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture” is the first in a new series of resources the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is launching to foster discussion on questions consumers have about food production and agriculture.

Modeled after quick-reference subject-area cards found in bookstores, the single-page, front and back laminated cards feature questions, answers and suggested strategies for meaningful discussion.

“Our goal is to help connect consumers with the men and women who produce their food, fiber and fuel – while giving them an opportunity to confidently discuss issues most important to them,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.

The cards feature “farmer spotlights,” with real answers to important questions such as “Can animals be raised without antibiotics?” and “How are decisions made about animal care?”

Start the Conversation cards may be used to:
-    Facilitate discussions about fact, fiction and the science of agriculture in middle- and high-school classrooms;
-    Open discussions about food and farming at fairs and festivals; and
-    Equip farmers and ranchers with science-based messages related to common consumer questions.

Order Start the Conversation: Let’s Talk About Animal Agriculture cards online at (click on Resource Orders).

NCBA’s 2015 Record Books Available for Purchase

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing U.S. cattle producers, has published the 2015 Integrated Resource Management Redbooks. The books provide an effective way for cattle ranchers to record their production records in order to enhance profitability of their operations.

For more than 30 years, these books have assisted cattle producers in effectively and efficiently recording daily production activities. The 2015 Redbook provides more than 100 pages to record calving activity; herd health; pasture use; cattle inventory; body condition; cattle treatment; and more. It also contains an annual calendar; address section; Beef Quality Assurance national guidelines; and proper injection technique information.

The IRM Redbooks can be customized with company information and/or logo on orders of 100 books or more at a reduced rate. Please contact Grace Webb at (800) 525-3085 or for more information. Individual 2015 Redbooks will be available for purchase for $6.25 each, plus shipping through NCBA’s website at starting October 1, 2014.

Ethanol Production Falls to 6-Mo. Low

The Energy Information Administration released data Wednesday, Sept. 24, showing ethanol inventories in the United States fell last week as domestic production tumbled to a six-month low.

Total ethanol stocks fell 200,000 barrels (bbl), or 1.1%, to 18.6 million bbl during the week-ended Sept. 19, down from an 18-month high posted a week prior. Stocks were still 3.0 million bbl, or 19.1%, above a year ago.

Plant production plunged 42,000 barrels per day (bpd) last week to 889,000 bpd, the lowest output rate since the week-ended Mar. 21, while 6.9% higher than a year ago. Four-week output through Sept. 19 at 917,000 bpd averaged 83,000 bpd or 9.9% higher than during the comparable year-ago period.

Blender inputs, a proxy for ethanol demand, jumped 40,000 bpd to 886,000 bpd last week, while up 4% year-over-year. Blender inputs during the four weeks ended Sept. 19 averaged 866,000 bpd, up 19,000 bpd, or 0.2%, from the year prior.

USAID awards Kansas State University $50 million grant to establish Feed the Future Innovation Lab

The U.S. Agency for International Development today awarded Kansas State University a $50 million grant to establish a Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Sustainable Intensification. The grant supports USAID's agricultural research and capacity building work under Feed the Future,, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative.

"Through our Feed the Future Innovation Labs, USAID is empowering the world's finest universities to help improve nutrition and end widespread hunger around the world," said USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah. "By creating and scaling cutting-edge solutions to our most pressing agricultural challenges, we can help the world's most vulnerable people move from dependency to self-sufficiency — and out of the tragic cycle of extreme poverty."

"With four Feed the Future Innovation Labs now hosted by the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension, USAID is making a nearly $100 million investment in Kansas State University's ability to provide leadership to the global food systems research, teaching and extension efforts,” said John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University.

Nina Lilja, associate dean of International Agricultural Programs and co-principal investigator for the lab, said, "USAID is recognizing Kansas State University's ability to develop and implement effective science-based international programs in agriculture."

Karen Burg, vice president for research and professor of chemical engineering, said, "The grant is a major win and a testament to the capabilities and longstanding commitment to agriculture shared by Kansas State University and the state of Kansas."

This newest Feed the Future lab will identify technologies to help smallholder farmers in Africa and South Asia improve land, water, soil, crop and livestock management while simultaneously improving yields and sustaining natural resources. The lab will focus on countries in West Africa, east and south Africa, and South Asia.

"The research is mutually beneficial to both international and U.S. agriculture," said Vara Prasad, Kansas State University principal investigator who will serve as director of the lab. "We will be working on leading research and capacity-building of all our partners, including training graduate students, scientists and farmers."

Gary Pierzynski, university distinguished professor and head of the Kansas State University agronomy department, is also a co-principal investigator of the lab.

This is the fourth Feed the Future Lab awarded to Kansas State University. Other labs focus on sorghum and millet research; applied wheat genomics; and the reduction of postharvest loss. Currently there are 24 Innovation Labs led by 15 U.S. universities, with involvement from more than 60 U.S. colleges and universities in 39 states.

Feed the Future is working to scale-up proven technologies and activities, expand nutrition interventions and programs, and conduct research to create the next generation of innovations that can change the lives of food producers and their families. In 2013, Feed the Future reached more than 7 million farmers and other food producers with new technologies and management practices on more than 4 million hectares of land, while reaching more than 12.5 million children with high impact nutrition interventions that improve health and development.

Outstanding Lineup of Speakers Slated for NIAA Antibiotic Symposium

            Anticipation is growing with the announcement of several guest speakers for the 2014 Antibiotics Symposium hosted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA). Dr. Lonnie King, dean, College of Veterinarian Medicine at The Ohio State University and this year’s keynote speaker, will be joined by Dr. Robert Tauxe, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Dr. Steve Solomon, CDC; Dr. Larry Granger, U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS); Dr. Tom Chiller, CDC; and Dr. James Hughes, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.

            Dr. Tauxe is the deputy director, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at CDC. With degrees from Yale University and Vanderbilt Medical School, Dr. Tauxe completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington, then trained at CDC in the Epidemic Intelligence Service for two years, and joined the CDC staff in 1985. His faculty appointments include the School of Public Health – Department of International Health and the Department of Biology, both at Emory University.

            Joining him from CDC is Dr. Solomon, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), in the Office of Infectious Diseases. He earned degrees from Rutgers and Tufts universities, and is board certified in internal medicine, infectious diseases and preventive medicine. Prior joining CDC in 1981, Dr. Solomon was in the clinical practice of internal medicine and infectious diseases. He is currently a co-chair of the Federal Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance.

            Dr. Granger leads the antimicrobial resistance program for USDA APHIS – Veterinary Services. With a degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University, he was in private practice for nine years before joining the Michigan Department of Agriculture as the Pseudorabies Eradication Program Manager. He held several positions within the Michigan Department of Agriculture before becoming Veterinary Services’ associate deputy administrator for Emergency Management in 2003, a position he held until he became the director of Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health in 2006.

            Also speaking from the CDC, Dr. Chiller is the associate director for Epidemiologic Science, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, NCEZID; he also serves as the deputy chief of the Mycotic Diseases Branch. Dr. Chiller received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his medical and public health degrees from Tulane University. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas, Southwestern, and is board certified in infectious diseases. As a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Emory School of Medicine, he practices infectious diseases at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Atlanta, Ga.

            Rounding out this group of guest speakers is Dr. Hughes, professor of Medicine and Public Health with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the Rollins School of Public Health, both at Emory University. He serves as the executive director of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats; senior advisor, Emory Center for Global Safe Water; and senior scientific advisor for Infectious Diseases, International Association of National Public Health Institutes. Prior to joining Emory in 2005, Dr. Hughes worked for the CDC, and as a Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service.

            Officially themed “Antibiotic Use and Resistance: Moving Forward Through Shared Stewardship,” dates for the symposium have been set for Wednesday, Nov. 12-Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Atlanta, Ga., at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown hotel. More information about the Antibiotics Symposium and NIAA can be found at NIAA’s purpose is to provide a resource for individuals, organizations and the entire animal agriculture industry to obtain information, education and solutions for challenges facing animal agriculture.

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