Friday, March 2, 2018

Friday March 2 Ag News

 2018 Corn & Soybean Collegiate Ambassadors Announced

 This year, 10 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, as part of the 2018 Corn and Soy Collegiate Ambassador Program, are getting the chance to learn more about the agriculture industry.

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association and Nebraska Soybean Association launched the Corn and Soy Ambassador Program to give students a comprehensive understanding of the industry. The program’s goals are to educate the students about state and federal policy issues affecting agriculture, and about opportunities available by supporting industries like the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Soybean Board and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Following the completion of the program students will be recognized at the annual meetings of the corn and soybean associations, and each will be presented a $500 scholarship to help them with school expenses. Funding for portions of the program is being provided by the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board.

The 10 members of the 2018 class are:
§ Claudia Dinardo – Auburn, IL
§ Alyssa Ehler – Elkhorn, NE
§ Ty Hadwiger – Riverdale, NE
§ Vince Konecky – Wahoo, NE
§ Bryce Lammers – Fordyce, NE
§ Nathan Lundeen – Minden, NE
§ Matthew Oswald – Aurora, NE
§ Shelby Riggs – Mitchell, SD
§ Elizabeth Ruskamp – North Bend, NE
§ Jack Spilker – DeWitt, NE

During the year ambassadors will take part in four seminars. The first meeting covers state and federal policies affecting the corn and soybean industries. The second meeting will focus on the role of checkoff programs in promoting corn and soybeans.

This summer the students will partake in an ag industry bus tour. Stops will include different facets of the ag industry including, manufacturing, production, and processing. These stops will hopefully give students more insight into potential jobs and internships in the industry.

During the course of the program, students are asked to spend time to promoting the state’s corn and soybean grower associations and checkoffs at promotional events such as Husker Harvest Day and Soybean Management Field Days. Following the events, they are required to report on their experiences and what they’ve learned.

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association and Nebraska Soybean Association would like to congratulate the recently graduated 8 members of the 2017 Corn and Soy Ambassador class on a successful year.

Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding President Trump “Trade War” Tariffs

“President Trump’s plans to place U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum presents a real and viable threat to the future of U.S. agricultural trade and the prosperity of American agriculture. History has shown us that these types of actions lead to retaliation from our trade partners that ultimately destabilize markets for agricultural commodities; markets that Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers depend upon for their livelihoods.”

“Today, more than 30 percent of U.S. gross farm income is derived from our ability to export agricultural commodities. Retaliatory actions will most certainly target U.S. agricultural commodities, many of which are produced here in Nebraska. Contrary to the president’s assertions, trade wars are not good and they are not easy to win.”

“Since the president’s inauguration, we have been consistent in our message that trade is critical to agriculture and that any actions taken by this administration should ‘do no harm’ to the significant gains that have been made in agricultural trade. We urge the president to rethink this dangerous course of action that could have long-lasting negative impacts to an already struggling U.S. agricultural economy and the farm and ranch families that will feel the real consequences of lost markets.”

NE Cattlemen to Host ELD Webinar March 20th

Electronic Logging Device Mandate Webinar
TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. Central

REGISTER AT:  After you register an email confirmation will be sent to you.

You are asked to submit any questions you have on this topic to be provided to the speaker in advance to: 

How will the ELD impact you?

Wondering  about the upcoming ELD that is effective on March 18th, 2018 and how it may impact you? Here are two documents from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that may help answer your questions.....

Legislative District 30 Candidate Forum March 13

Those interested in learning more about the candidates running for the District 30 seat in the Nebraska Legislature are invited to a candidate forum to be held Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. (CST) at the Hickman Community Center located at 115 Locust St., in Hickman. The event is sponsored by both the Gage County Farm Bureau and the Lancaster County Farm Bureau.

The forum will provide an opportunity for the public to meet and ask questions of the candidates who are seeking to represent the district in the Nebraska Legislature. The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open 30 minutes before the forum begins to enable attendees the opportunity to meet the candidates and submit written questions for consideration at the forum. The forum will last 90 minutes.

All of the filed candidates seeking to represent District 30 have indicated they will participate, including Myron Dorn of Adams, Joe Murray of Firth, and Don Schuller of Wymore.

Legislative District 30 encompasses all of Gage county and parts of Southeast and Central Lancaster county. The seat is currently held by Sen. Roy Baker, who is not seeking re-election.

Legislative District 40 Candidate Forums March 15 and 19

Those interested in learning more about the candidates running for the District 40 seat in the Nebraska Legislature are invited to participate in a pair of candidate forums sponsored by the Boyd, Cedar, Dixon, Holt, Knox, and Rock County Farm Bureaus.

The candidate forums will be held:
Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m. (CST) at the Knights of Columbus, 410 W. Douglas St., in O’Neill.
Monday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. (CST) at the Wausa Auditorium, 406 E. Broadway, in Wausa.

The forums will provide an opportunity for the public to meet and ask questions of the candidates who are seeking to represent the district in the Nebraska Legislature. The events are free and open to the public. Doors will open 30 minutes before the forums begin to enable attendees the opportunity to meet the candidates and submit written questions for consideration at the forums. The forums will last 90 minutes.

All of the filed candidates seeking to represent District 40 have been invited to participate, including Thomas Ferry of Ponca, Timothy Gragert of Creighton, Shane Greckel of Bloomfield, Keith Kube of Crofton, Michael Sobotka of Inman and Julie Thomsen of Wakefield.

Legislative District 40 encompasses all of Boyd, Cedar, Dixon, Holt, Knox, and Rock counties. The seat is currently held by Sen. Tyson Larson, who is unable to seek re-election due to term-limits.

The March 15 forum will be broadcast live on KBRX, 102.9 FM radio. It will also be live streamed at

The March 19 forum will be broadcast live on News Channel Nebraska (NCN 35) television.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension

               Warm weather should soon green up your alfalfa.  Before that happens, though, maybe you should do a little weed control.

               Weeds like pennycress, downy brome, mustards, cheatgrass, and shepherd's purse are common in first cut alfalfa.  They lower yields, reduce quality, lessen palatability, and slow hay drydown.  If you walk over your fields during the next few weeks when snow is gone you should be able to see their small, green, over-wintering growth.

               If your alfalfa variety is Roundup Ready, you can spray almost anytime without hurting your alfalfa.  However, once conventional alfalfa starts growing, you can't control these weeds very well without also hurting your alfalfa.  Fortunately, if you treat your alfalfa as soon as possible during upcoming spring-like weather, you can have cleaner, healthier alfalfa at first cutting.

               Before spraying these weeds, be sure they are causing economic damage to your alfalfa.  Spraying will give you more pure alfalfa but may cost some in total tonnage.

               Several herbicides can help control winter annual grasses and weeds in conventional alfalfa.  They include metribuzin, Velpar, Sinbar, Pursuit, Raptor, and Karmex.  They all control mustards and pennycress but Karmex and Pursuit do not control downy brome very well.

               To be most successful, you must apply most of these herbicides before alfalfa shoots green-up this spring to avoid much injury to your alfalfa.  If alfalfa shoots are green when you spray, its growth might be set back a couple weeks.  If it does get late, use either Raptor or Pursuit because they tend to cause less injury to your alfalfa.

               Timing is crucial when controlling winter annual weeds in alfalfa.  Get ready now, in the next couple of weeks before alfalfa greens up, to take advantage of nice weather when you get it.

Northwest Iowa Field Days Look at Integrating Cover Crops into Row Crops and Cattle

Farmers and beef producers interested in learning more about cover crops and successfully integrating cover crops as a forage resource into their current beef and row crop enterprises are invited to attend either of two upcoming field days in Monona or Buena Vista County.

Erika Lundy, extension beef program specialist with the Iowa Beef Center, said both events feature similar topics but will be held on different days at two of Iowa State University’s outlying research farms. There is no cost to attend and a free meal is included at both locations.

“The first field day will be held at the Iowa State Western Research Farm near Castana on March 28 from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m.," she said. "This field day's focus is on cover crop usage in the Loess Hills and will highlight a current Iowa State research study using stocker cattle to graze cereal rye.”

Rebeca VIttetoe, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said presenters also will offer information on benefits that cover crops can provide and how cover crop management in the Loess Hills may be different from other areas of the state.

“Preventing soil erosion is important, especially in Iowa’s Loess Hills as the soil is quite vulnerable to erosion. Cover crops are one tool farmers can use to reduce soil erosion on their farms,” she said. "Joel DeJong, extension field agronomist in northwest Iowa, will talk about using cover crops to protect the land."

Other sessions at Castana include nutritional considerations when grazing cover crops, and fencing and watering considerations. Additional agronomy focused topics include cover crop seeding and termination methods, and the impact of cover crop and grazing cover crops on soil compaction and future crop yields.

The second field day will be held on Thursday, April 12, at the Allee Demonstration Farm near Newell. This program agenda is similar to that at Castana, featuring best management practices for cover crop establishment, grazing cover crops, cover crop termination, and fencing and watering systems.

“At the Allee field day, we also will have a local producer panel to discuss their personal challenges and successes of integrating cover crops into their operations," Vittetoe said. "In addition, the Allee Farm manager Lyle Rossiter will discuss on-going cover crop research at the farm.”

Additional speakers and project collaborators are:
        Mike Witt, field agronomist, ISU Extension and Outreach
        Paul Kassel, field agronomist, ISU Extension and Outreach
        Beth Doran, beef specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
        Dan Loy, beef specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach
        Kris Kohl, ag engineer, ISU Extension and Outreach
        Chris Beedle, farm manager, Iowa State University Western Research Farm

There is no cost for either field day thanks to the sponsorship of ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa Beef Center and Iowa Nutrient Research Center. However, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to ensure adequate meal counts and materials. To RSVP for the Castana field day, contact Monona County Extension Office by phone at 712-423-2171 or email To RSVP for the Newell field day, contact Sac County Extension Office by phone 712-662-7131 or email

Iowa’s Best Burger: Less Than Two Weeks to Nominate 

There is still time to nominate your favorite burger for this year’s Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. The annual contest sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is looking to award this title to the best burger in the state.

“Our goal is to surpass last year’s total of 9,200 nominations,” says Brooke German, Director of Marketing for the IBIC. “We are on track to reach this goal but time is running out to nominate your favorite burger.”

Nominations are being accepted online at The nomination period closes at 5:00 p.m. on March 12.

Details about the contest, rules, and nomination forms are available on the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s website, Burger lovers can also find a link to the online nomination form at the Iowa Beef Council Facebook page; or by texting BEEF to 313131. Photos of your favorite burger can be shared socially using #IABestBurger.

The quest to find Iowa’s best burger began on February 12. To qualify for the title, burgers must be a 100% beef patty, served on a bun or bread products and be cooked to 160° F doneness.

The 10 restaurants with the most votes will be named on March 19. In addition to receiving the title of one of the Top 10 best burgers in the state, these finalists qualify for the title of Iowa’s Best Burger.  A secret panel of judges will visit each of these restaurants to taste and judge their burger to help us determine the winner.

“This contest is a great way to celebrate beef and the 27,000 beef producers in Iowa,” said Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications for ICA. “Our cattlemen and women raise a great tasting product that all Iowans can be proud of.”

It’s also a great way for Iowa’s restaurants to build their businesses. The past three winners have been relatively new restaurants who have added staff and increased beef sales as a result of the contest. “We’ve doubled the number of lunchtime staff since winning the Best Burger contest,” said Natalie Schumann, front-of-house manager for The Smokin’ Hereford in Storm Lake, the 2017 Iowa’s Best Burger Contest winner. She says visitors have come from all over the state because of the contest.

Kim Reha, owner of The Chuckwagon in Adair, the 2016 contest winner, agreed that the contest was good for business. “Now that we are famous for burgers, we sell a lot more beef than we ever did before,” she says. The Chuckwagon has also added staff as a result of the competition.

In 2017, more than 9,000 nominations for nearly 500 restaurants were received in the contest. The final winners in previous years are: 2017 – The Smokin’ Hereford, Storm Lake; 2016 – The Chuckwagon Restaurant, Adair; 2015 – The Cider House, Fairfield; 2014 – Brick City Grill, Ames; 2013 – 61 Chop House Grille, Mediapolis; 2012 – Coon Bowl III, Coon Rapids; 2011 – Rusty Duck, Dexter; 2010 – Sac County Cattle Company, Sac City.

 NPPC Elects New Officers, Board Members

The National Pork Producers Council today elected new officers and members to its board of directors at its annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – held here.

Elected as president of the organization was Jim Heimerl, of Johnstown, Ohio. Heimerl and his wife Kathy, along with three sons and a daughter-in-law, run three farrow-to-finish farms in Ohio and own 80 contract finishing farms in several states. Heimerl Farms LTD also consists of crops and cattle, as well as a trucking division and feed mill. Among other positions, Heimerl previously served as president of the Ohio Pork Council and as a board member of the Ohio Soybean Association.

David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C., was elevated to president-elect of the organization. Herring is vice president of Hog Slat, which supplies equipment to pork operations, and of TDM Farms. He and his two brothers started in the farm in1983 as a feeder pig operation. Today, TDM Farms is a sow farrow-to-finish operation, with farms in North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. Herring is a past president of the North Carolina Pork Council.

Howard AV Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wis., was chosen as vice president. A fifth-generation farmer, he owns and operates Roth Feeder Pigs. In addition to serving on the NPPC board for the past six years, Roth previously served on the Wisconsin Pork Association board of directors and currently serves as chairman of the association’s Swine Health Committee.

Heimerl takes over from Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill., chairman of Maschhoff Family Foods and co-owner and chairman of The Maschhoffs, the third-largest pork producer in the United States. Maschhoff now is NPPC immediate past president and chairman of the organization’s Trade Policy Committee.

Re-elected to the board for another three-year term were Dale Reicks, of New Hampton, Iowa, and Kraig Westerbeek, of Warsaw, N.C. Craig Andersen, of Centerville, S.D., and Duane Stateler, of McComb, Ohio, were elected as new members of the board for a three-year term. Elected as the Allied Industry Council representative was Dr. Gordon Spronk, of Pipestone, Minn., a veterinarian and chairman and senior owner of Pipestone Holdings.

They join current directors Cory Bollum, with Hormel Foods Corp. in Austin, Minn. – who is the Packer Processor Industry Council representative – Phil Borgic, of Nokomis, Ill., Jim Compart, of Nicollet, Minn., Scott Hayes, of Monroe City, Mo., A.V. Roth, of Wauzeka, Wis., Jen Sorensen of Ankeny, Iowa, and Terry Wolters, of Pipestone, Minn.

Elected for two-year terms to NPPC’s Nominating Committee were Joe Baldwin of Indiana, who was re-elected, and Jim Petrik of South Dakota.

“Jim, David and AV have tremendous experience and leadership that will greatly benefit NPPC and our producers,” said NPPC CEO Neil Dierks. “And with the addition of our new board members, NPPC once again has a strong team guiding our work of protecting the livelihoods of America’s pork producers.”

Students Awarded Pork Industry Scholarships

The National Pork Producers Council today at its annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – awarded scholarships to 10 college students who intend to pursue careers in the pork industry. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation and managed and administered by NPPC.

The 2018 winners of the $2,500 scholarships – named after the late NPPC vice president from Mt. Olive, N.C. – are:
·         Jacob Sterle, Iowa State University
·         Erin Bryan, University of Illinois
·         Tim Grote, University of Illinois
·         Reid Hansen, South Dakota State University
·         Madeline Herring, Iowa State University
·         Macy Marek, Iowa State University
·         John Eilertson, Casper College
·         Ben Wikner, Iowa State University
·         Jaclynn Knutson, South Dakota State University
·         Gabe Greiner, Kirkwood Community College

The scholarship program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CME hog futures. The scholarship was renamed in 2006 to honor the passing of NPPC board member Lois Britt, a lifetime supporter of agriculture. Britt spent 34 years with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, finishing out her career for 15 years with Smithfield Hog Production in public and government relations. She was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame, the N.C. Pork Council Hall of Fame and awarded the N.C. 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be undergraduates in a two-year swine program or a four-year college of agriculture, provide a brief letter describing their expected role in the pork industry, write an essay on an issue affecting the pork industry and submit two letters of reference from professors or industry professionals.

“These outstanding young people represent the future of the U.S. pork industry,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “They are the next generation of leaders, and NPPC and CME Group are pleased to recognize their commitment to the pork industry with these scholarships.”


U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week announced plans to seek a three-year extension of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which allows the president to negotiate trade deals with congressional oversight. An extended TPA would be used to forge agreements with Japan, Vietnam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Lighthizer. To formally make the extension request, President Trump must send a letter to Congress by April 1. Since the United States withdrew from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017, many ag groups have been urging the administration to initiate bilateral agreements with countries that are still part of that agreement, including Japan. 


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee this week voted 22-1 to reauthorize the Animal Drug User Fee Act (ADUFA) and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (AGDUFA). The measure now moves to the full Senate. Set to expire Sept. 30, both grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permission to collect fees from the makers of new animal drugs, including generic animal drugs, which are used to support the agency’s drug approval and market introduction programs. The bipartisan legislation includes a requirement that all requests for new animal drugs be submitted electronically beginning Oct. 1. The National Pork Producers Council supports the reauthorization of ADUFA and AGDUFA, which are crucial for ensuring that animal health, human health and food safety are protected. Failure to renew the laws by the deadline will result in a major disruption for the livestock production industry.

Farm Bureaus Gear up for Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week

Farm Bureaus across the nation are gearing up for Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Week, March 4-10. The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers are joining Farm Bureau in keeping friends and family safe and healthy by recognizing common agricultural hazards with the theme “No One Can Take Your Place.”

A specific focus will be highlighted each day of ASAP Week:
Monday, March 5 – hearing
Tuesday, March 6 – respiratory
Wednesday, March 7 – distracted and impaired driving
Thursday, March 8 – fire
Friday, March 9 – general health.

Free webinars slated for Monday, March 5 (hearing safety) and Friday, March 9 (mental health) will be announced on the AFBF Agricultural Safety Awareness Program Facebook page and the American Farm Bureau’s ASAP Week webpage.

Visit the Centers’ YouTube channel ( and for new content and fresh ideas about how to stay safe while working in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Join the movement and share your own safety messages using these hashtags:

World Food Prices Rise 1.1 Percent in February

World food prices rose in February from the month before, as rising prices for staple grains and dairy products more than balanced out lower values for vegetable oils, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 170.8 points, up 1.1 percent from January.

Food prices on international markets were 2.7 percent lower than last February.

Agricultural commodities have emerged from a highly volatile period and FAO has said it expects them to remain stable over the next decade.

FAO raised its estimate for global cereals output in 2017 by 2 million tonnes to 2.642 billion tonnes, a record high.

In its first forecast for 2018 wheat production, the agency predicted output of 744 million tonnes, saying this would be an above average yield, but the second consecutive annual dip.

NAWG AND U.S. Wheat Applaud the Senate Confirmation of Gregg Doud to be Chief Ag Negotiator at USTR

On March 01, 2018, the United States Senate confirmed Gregg Doud to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Trade is a top priority for U.S. wheat farmers and this nomination is welcome news for our growers. 

“We believe the confirmation of Gregg Doud will bring a needed agriculture voice to USTR’s political leadership,” stated NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “NAWG congratulates Doud on his appointment and are looking forward to working with him and his team in the future.”

From 2011-2013, Doud was a senior aide to the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Thad Cochran. There he assisted in drafting what would become the 2014 Farm Bill. For eight years, Doud also served as Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He is also a former market analyst with U.S. Wheat Associates (USW).

“We are pleased that Mr. Doud’s confirmation comes at a time when our organizations are actively engaged in discussions at home and overseas customers about trade policies that directly affect export demand,” said USW Chairman Mike Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash. “We need his experience in the NAFTA renegotiation and to help prevent huge potential export losses under the new Trans-Pacific Partnership that will be signed March 8 without the United States.”

Land O'Lakes, Inc. Announces Record Results for 2017

Driven by strong performance across its portfolio and strategic growth across the business, Land O'Lakes, Inc. today reported record earnings for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017, up 14 percent from 2016.

The company reported a record $364.8 million in net earnings on $13.7 billion in sales, up from net earnings of $319.9 million and net sales of $13.2 billion in 2016. For the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, 2017, the company reported $3.6 billion in sales, and $94.5 million in net earnings, compared to $3.3 billion in sales and earnings of $73.5 million in the same quarter in 2016.

"These record results reflect our dedication to an insight-driven, value-added strategy that differentiates us across the areas in which we compete,” said Land O'Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski. “From new product innovations and sustainability applications, to supply chain optimization and merger and acquisition activity, we understand the critical need to listen to our customers and members as we constantly improve. We are confident our strategy of delivering value-added, branded products and services has positioned us well to navigate dynamic food and agriculture industries and continue delivering value to our farmer owners and retail partners in 2018 and beyond.”

Policinski continued, “These results reflect another year of continuing to develop our own value-added culture and capabilities by our talented, highly-engaged employees.”

For Land O’Lakes, 2017 marked the fourth consecutive year of positive net earnings growth. Earnings improvements in each of its core businesses drove this year’s record performance. The company completed the largest merger in its history, fully integrating WinField United, brought multiple new products to market in its Animal Nutrition division and diversified its platforms in Dairy Foods with the acquisition of Vermont Creamery, a specialty producer of artisanal aged and fresh goat cheeses and premium cultured dairy products.

Internationally, Land O’Lakes continued to build its commercial portfolio in Mexico, Canada and Africa. The company’s Villa Crop Protection business in South Africa achieved record sales in 2017.

Business Segments 

Dairy Foods reported 2017 net sales of $3.9 billion, up from $3.8 billion in 2016. Pretax earnings for Dairy Foods totaled $71.0 million in 2017, up from $70.1 million in 2016. LAND O LAKES® branded butter realized improved margins while margins in the Global Dairy Ingredients business were lower due to a challenging operating environment for global milk powders and other key dairy markets. Meanwhile, the acquisition of Vermont Creamery expanded the division’s portfolio to include more specialty, artisanal and premium style dairy products.

Crop Inputs delivered sales of $5.7 billion and pretax earnings of $230.1 million. That compares with $5.5 billion in sales and $202.9 million in pretax earnings in 2016. Strong performance was driven by higher volumes within proprietary and vended crop protection products, as well as higher seed volumes. Land O’Lakes also completed the acquisition of the Armor Seed brand and Solum soil testing lab, and continued to make significant investments in ag tech, including new functionality in its R7® Field Forecasting Tool.

Animal Nutrition reported 2017 net sales of $3.7 billion and pretax earnings of $91.6 million, compared to $3.8 billion in sales and $72.9 million in pretax earnings in 2016. The business achieved record operating earnings in its formula feed and premix platforms, and improved margins and product mix overall.

The company continued its investment in Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, gaining ground with new customers in 2017 with its Conservation Agronomy platform. Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN launched new tools in 2017 such as a new conservation planning tool, Agren® BufferBuilder, and two services for Land O’Lakes members, with the Conservation Dairy platform and SUSTAIN Innovation Fund to help dairy members drive measurable improvements for air, soil and water.

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