Thursday, April 5, 2018

Wednesday April 4 Ag News

Sasse Hosts Agriculture and Trade Roundtable 

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse released the following statement after hosting an Agriculture Roundtable with USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and some of Nebraska’s key agriculture leaders. Prior to the Under Secretary’s confirmation, Senator Sasse received a commitment from Mr. McKinney to come to Nebraska.

“Here’s a fundamental truth: Nobody knows trade better than Nebraska,” said Sasse. “That’s why I keep working to put Nebraskans at the head of the table during these discussions. It’s clear that the anti-trade talk coming out of Washington needs to stop. Those voices would be better served by listening to our state’s producers. Today, farmers, ranchers, and even some FFA students from across the state joined me with this simple message – and it’s a message I hope Washington hears: trade is good.”

Background:

In 2016, Nebraska exported $6.6 billion in commodities to:
-   CHINA $1.43 billion
-   MEXICO $956 million
-   JAPAN $887.1 million
-   SOUTH KOREA $499.9 million
-   CANADA $433.5 million

Nebraska ranks 5th in total ag products exported by value among the 50 states:
-   1st in total beef exported
-   8th in total pork exported
-   3rd in total corn and feed exported
-   5th in total soybeans exported

From 2004 to 2014, Nebraska’s exports have increased 211% to countries with Free Trade Agreements in effect.

Attendees:
NEFB – Steve Nelson & Mark McHargue
NE Cattlemen – Craig Uden & Buck Wehrbein
NE Pork Producers – Al Junke
NE Sorghum Producers – Don Bloss
NE Soybean Assoc. – Dennis Fujan & Ken Boswell
NE Wheat Growers – Caroline Brauer
NE Corn Growers – Kelly Brunkhorst & Dan Wesely
Bryan High School FFA Students
Cindi Allen – Ogallala
Rod Gangwish – Shelton
Jeff Wilmes – Fremont
Tom Weitzenkamp – Hooper
Alice Licht – Lincoln
Todd Schroeder – Wisner
Bart Ruth – Rising City



NE FFA Convention Opens in Lincoln


The 90th Nebraska FFA Convention first general session took place on April 4, 2018 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska with state officer Kelli Mashino serving as the session chairperson. Kelli is originally from the Boyd County FFA chapter, advised by Mr. Jerome Engelhaupt.

Nebraska FFA welcomed Dean of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Dr. Tiffany Heng-Moss. Dean Heng-Moss spoke about the importance of the student leadership Nebraska FFA members exhibit, her enthusiasm for those students and agriculture on UNL’s campus, and her love for Nebraska FFA. 

State Vice President Hailey Coufal gave her retiring address entitled “We Get To” during the first general session, and she encouraged Nebraska FFA members to appreciate the opportunities in their lives.  The briefest interactions influence our attitudes and productivities.  “One little act of appreciation can motivate, inspire, and even change a life.”

The exciting opening session of the 90th Nebraska FFA Convention included a moving message from Melvin Adams from Texas.  He was a two-time All-American NCAA basketball player, and now shares his passion for travel and life. “Don’t quit! You got one more move.” Adams shared a message of perseverance no matter the situation, and that we are important, cared for, and in charge of our own decisions. “You are great - not because you won an award, not because of the money you don’t have to impress the people that you don’t like, but because of the one hair that you were born with that makes you different.”

The NE FFA Convention continues through Friday. 



Women Caring for the Land meeting to take place in Dakota City


Women who live in the Sioux City and surrounding areas, and own or manage farmland are invited to a conservation discussion focused on soil health and conservation practices.

This “Women Caring for the Land” meeting is hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs and made possible by funding from a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The event is set for Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 9 to 11 a.m., at USDA Service Center conference room, 1505 Broadway St., Dakota City, Nebraska.

Women non-operator landowners who own more than 40 acres, may have inherited farmland, or are feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions of farmland management will find this event especially helpful.

“Maintaining healthy soil is the key to productivity and environmental health for our farmland,” said Sandra Renner, project specialist for the Center for Rural Affairs. “Women landowners who attend this meeting will learn to assess and improve the health of their soil, and there is no obligation to pursue any new management style.”

Registration is required by April 17. The cost of the workshop is $10 and includes a light breakfast. No walk-ins due to limited space.

To register, contact Sandra Renner at sandrar@cfra.org or 402.320.3444. Visit cfra.org/events for more information.



Newly Elected Leaders of Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Ready to Make Difference


New officers for the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) were elected during the NARD Board meeting on March 12, 2018.

Larry Reynolds from the Tri-Basin Natural Resources District (TBNRD) was elected President of the NARD Board of Directors. Reynolds has been a member of the TBNRD board for 33 years and served in the United States Air Force for eight years and in the Nebraska Air National Guard for 18 years. Reynolds currently farms and helps manage the family cow/calf operation near Lexington. Reynolds served as the NARD secretary-treasurer from 2014-16 and the vice-president from 2016-18.

“It is an honor to serve with elected citizens who are concerned about the wise and sustainable use of our natural resources, not the least of which is water,” Larry Reynolds said. “Their expertise and willingness to participate in a natural resources district system, which is the envy of the nation, is truly inspirational.”

The NARD Board elected Jim Eschliman from Lower Loup Natural Resources District (LLNRD) as vice-president. Eschliman is also the vice-chair of the Lower Loup NRD Board and has served on the NARD Board since 2016. He has served on the LLNRD Board for 13 years. He has also served as program and projects committee chairman. Jim operates Eschliman Family Dairy along with his wife, Deb, in Wheeler County by Ericson. In addition, Eschliman is on the local Coop Board and the Cattleman’s Beef Board.

“I am very humbled and honored to be elected to the position of vice-president of the NARD board,” Jim Eschliman said. “I’m excited to work with Chairman Larry Reynolds and Secretary-Treasurer Milt Schmidt to further the NRDs’ mission.”

The NARD Board elected Milt Schmidt from the Lower Platte South NRD (LPSNRD) as secretary-treasurer. Schmidt has served as the Lower Platte South NRD representative to the NARD Board since 2016. He also served as the alternate NARD Board member from 2014-16. Schmidt was elected to LPSNRD in 2012 and has served in several leadership roles for the district. He served two years as chairman of the Recreation, Forestry & Wildlife Sub-committee and two years as chairman of the Platte River Sub-committee. He has also served two years as Secretary for the LPSNRD. Schmidt retired from Goodyear after 35 years. After that, he worked for the United Way in Lincoln for five years. He continues to volunteer his time for many charities in the Lincoln community.

“The NRDs work hard to protect the future of Nebraska as we conserve our natural resources,” Milt Schmidt said. “I’m excited to work with this team to continue making a positive difference in people’s lives now and for generations to come.”

The officers serve on the NARD Executive Committee along with chairs from the Information and Education Committee, Legislative Committee and the past NARD Board President. Larry Reynolds re-appointed Jim Johnson from South Platte Natural Resources District (SPNRD) as chair of the Information and Education committee and Jim Meismer from Twin Platte Natural Resources District (TPNRD), as chair of the Legislative and Government Affairs Committee.

Jim Bendfeldt from the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD), will serve on the NARD Executive Committee as the past NARD Board President. Bendfeldt is currently board chairman of the CPNRD. Bendfeldt previously held the president, vice president and secretary-treasurer positions. In 2011, Bendfeldt was awarded the NARD Director of the Year award. Bendfeldt also serves on the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Board as a land acquisition member.

The NARD Board consists of representation from each of the 23 local NRDs. The board members meet five times throughout the year and help guide the association and the NRDs in decision-making that protects lives, protects property and protects the future of Nebraska’s natural resources.

At the March 7, 2018 NRD managers meeting, John Berge, general manager of the North Platte NRD, was elected as chair of the NRD Managers Committee and Dave Eigenberg, general manager of the Upper Big Blue NRD, was elected vice-chair of the NRD Managers Committee. The NRD Managers Committee includes managers from all 23 districts. The committee meets five times a year to coordinate NRD activities with state and federal agencies, conservation partners and other parties to protect natural resources.



Nebraska leads Water for Food discussions at the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil


At an event that drew more than 20,000 participants from 170 countries around the world, a small team of experts from Nebraska led the way in sessions related to water use in food production or processing. The 8th World Water Forum, held in Brasilia, Brazil, March 18-23, focused on the challenges and solutions to ensuring water security around the world. The event, organized by the World Water Council, is held every three years to build awareness and promote action on global water issues, along with planning and managing environmentally sustainable use of limited water resources.

The Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska (DWFI) coordinated the Water for Food track of sessions with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Three sessions were organized: (1) Soil and Water Conservation Practices; (2) Water for Food Processing, Waste Reduction, Optimization and Reuse; (3) Floods, Droughts, Wind, Fire: Building Resilient Agricultural Systems. The University of Nebraska was the only U.S. university to co-lead a thematic track of the World Water Forum.

The institute organized a High Level Panel on Water for Food, moderated by DWFI executive director Peter G. McCornick, featuring five international leaders:
-    Blairo Maggi, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply of Brazil
-    Claudia Sadoff, director general, International Water Management Institute
-    Celestino Zanella, president, Association of Farmers and Irrigators of Bahia, Brazil (AIBA)
-    Isabel Garc√≠a Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain
-    Mauricio Antonio Lopes, president, EMBRAPA, The Federal Agricultural Research Agency of Brazil

The panelists shared their views and experiences on ways organizations and nations can work together to improve food security and successful farming production, conserve natural resources and mitigate the effects of climate variability.

“Where we have irrigated farming, we have younger, more productive rural areas. Irrigation is synonymous with prosperity and vitality," said Isabel Garcia Tejerina, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Environment of Spain.

Claudia Sadoff, director general of the International Water Management Institute, suggested that large irrigation schemes are just part of the solution, and not suitable for all types of farming. “There are general challenges in water scarcity, access, quality, availability and predictability. But solutions are more context specific. For example, there are areas of Asia with too much water in one season and not enough other times of the year. We need solutions for monsoonal regions that capture and store the excess water so it can be used during the dry seasons.”

Producer Celestino Zanella said that farmers often get blamed for “hurting the environment,” but that farmers are the ones actually working to preserve and improve the environment. “We have mitigated forest fires and insect damage. We share knowledge with smallholders about effective farming practices and good water management,” he stated.

From discussing techniques to maximize water use in food processing, to tools to monitor and mitigate drought, to sustainable groundwater management techniques used in Nebraska and other states, DWFI delegates shared their expertise and perspectives on a range of topics related to its mission to ensure water and food security throughout the world.

“Water reconditioning and reuse in the food industry is a helpful solution to the challenge of water scarcity. Technologies available today enable us to obtain specific water quality for reuse that does not compromise food safety,” said Yulie Meneses, DWFI water for food processing specialist.

A session featuring representatives from the North Platte Natural Resources District and the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District gained a lot of interest and questions from the crowded room. Many countries are looking at Nebraska’s model of water governance to see how they may implement similar groundwater management systems.

“This is just amazing – that we are here sharing the things that work for us in the middle of Nebraska with people from Nigeria, India, Australia and China,” said John Berge, general manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District.

“No matter who you are or where you’re from, it all comes down to building trust,” added Scott Snell, public relations manager of the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District. “Our farmers want clean water, too. We work on solutions together so there is transparency in the process.”

DWFI also held a side event to discuss ways in which organizations can support farmer-led agricultural production, including access to irrigation for small-scale farms. Participants recommended looking at a variety of projects in this focus area, building on successful programs that have the potential to be scaled-up.

“We are building awareness of the urgent importance of looking at water issues differently, especially when it comes to agriculture,” said McCornick. “If we’re not including agriculture in the water security challenge, we’re ignoring 70 percent of the equation [the estimated amount of fresh water used in agriculture], and missing the opportunity to increase resilience in our food systems. Nebraska has a lot of expertise to share, as well as a lot to gain through our involvement with the many partners participating in the World Water Forum – developing potential projects that will further our goal of ensuring water and food security.”



Grassley to Join Delegation Trip to China and Korea


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa will join a delegation led by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana that also includes Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, David Perdue of Georgia and Ben Sasse of Nebraska on a congressional delegation trip to China, South Korea and the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The trip has been developed over the past six months.

"We are looking forward to traveling to China, South Korea and the DMZ as part of a congressional delegation trip. On our trip we will address issues important to the United States including trade, intellectual property, technology, security and human rights," the delegation members said.

The delegation also commented on today's announcement by the United States Trade Representative regarding trade tariffs on China.

"Today, the president announced a series of tariffs on China in response to concerns over the country's trade practices. Given this announcement, we look forward to engaging in strategic discussions about how best to ensure free and smart trade," the delegation members said.

While on their trip, the senators will prioritize the following trade concerns in discussions with Chinese leaders:
- Forced technology transfers
- Discriminatory licensing restrictions
- State-coordinated and supported acquisition of advanced technologies and strategic assets
- Unauthorized intrusions into computer networks and intellectual property theft

Details regarding the delegation trip will be available following the conclusion of the trip.



USDA Looks Into On-Farm Labor


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey during the second half of April. The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 550 Iowa farmers and ranchers.

“The beginning of the year is the time when agricultural producers plan out the rest of their growing seasons and it is a great time to assess on-farm labor needs,” said Greg Thessen, Director of the NASS Upper Midwest Regional Field Office. “The data that farm operators provide through NASS’s Agricultural Labor Survey help federal policymakers base farm labor policies on accurate information.”

USDA and the U.S. Department of Labor use statistics gathered in the Agricultural Labor Survey to establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies.

In the survey, NASS asks participants to answer a variety of questions about hired farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, the average hours worked, base wage rate, and wage rates paid for the weeks of January 7-13 and April 8-14. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.

“By asking about two separate time periods each of the two times we collect data during the year, we are able to publish quarterly data and capture seasonal variation,” said Thessen. “This approach reduces the number of times we survey farm businesses while ensuring that accurate and timely data are available for anyone conducting research or analyses.”

NASS will compile, analyze, and publish survey results in the May 17 Farm Labor report.



National Young Farmers Coalition releases innovative calculator tool for farmers seeking land


Beginning farmers have a powerful new tool in their digital toolbox. The Finding Farmland Calculator (https://findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org/calculator), developed by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) and Fathom Information Design, brings together innovative design and practical resources to help farmers overcome two top obstacles to starting a farm—access to land and capital.

“Buying land is one of the most consequential decisions that a farmer can make,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, executive director and co-founder of NYFC. “We built the Finding Farmland Calculator to help farmers make that choice with more confidence. The tool helps users understand their financing options, the full cost of buying land, and strategies to make a farm more affordable.”

“Purchasing farmland can be remarkably complex,” said Ben Fry, principal of Fathom. “So we worked with NYFC to provide perspective on affordability in a way that's simple and clear. This updated tool captures all the details of the process and helps current and aspiring farmers identify their best possible scenarios.”

A decision-making tool designed specifically for farmers seeking land, the Finding Farmland Calculator makes it easy for farmers to understand and compare farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a loan officer. The calculator was created in consultation with young farmers and farm service providers, such as Farm Credit, to fill a specific need: giving farmers free and easy access to information that will help them find affordable farm financing and successfully pay it back.

With nearly 100 million acres of the nation’s farmland expected to change hands in the next five years, and young farmers citing land access as their top challenge, NYFC is focused on making secure, affordable access to land possible for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. NYFC’s Finding Farmland Calculator is part of a larger land access campaign strategy, which includes farm bill and state policy advocacy, land access workshops for farmers, a land access webinar series, and a series of trainings for land conservation professionals around the country.

This project was made possible by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which supports projects that develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.



Most Retail Fertilizer Prices End March Slightly Higher


Average retail prices for all but one fertilizer continued to edge higher the fourth week of March 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Prices for seven of the eight fertilizers were up slightly from the previous month. DAP had an average price of $470 per ton, MAP $506/ton, potash $350/ton, urea $370/ton, 10-34-0 $425/ton, anhydrous $507/ton and UAN28 $237/ton.

For the first time in a few weeks, one fertilizer was slightly lower in price compared to the previous month. The average price of UAN32 was down about 2.5% from last month at $272 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

Half of the fertilizers are now higher in price compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both potash and urea are 4% higher, DAP is 7% more expensive and MAP is 9% higher than last year.

The remaining half of fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. Anhydrous is 1% less while UAN32 is 3% less and both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 4% less looking back a year.



Loss Of Foreign Workers Would Hurt Agriculture


Given a tight labor market, particularly in rural areas, the loss of foreign-born workers would lead to a drop in agricultural jobs, according to a study commissioned by the National Pork Producers Council.

Economists with Iowa State University (ISU), using a study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, determined that a reduction in the foreign-born workforce – prompted by a change in immigration policy – would not be offset by native-born workers and permanent residents. Instead, they found, the tighter supply of foreign-born workers would reduce overall demand for workers as production costs increase and would decrease agricultural output as farmers abandon labor-intensive operations.

The result would be a 3.4 to 5.5 percent decrease in the total number of farm workers.

Several factors have led to a severe labor shortage in agriculture, including a negative population growth rate in rural areas since 2010, an aging rural workforce increasingly unable or unwilling to do strenuous agricultural work, a decline in immigrants going into rural labor markets and an unemployment rate hovering near 4 percent (most economists consider 4 percent “full employment”), the ISU economists found.

“The U.S. pork industry needs access to a legal and productive workforce,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “And skilled and unskilled foreign workers have been crucial to maintaining and growing the workforce and revitalizing rural communities across the United States. We need more of them, not less.”

NPPC is supporting congressional legislation that would create a new visa that allows non-seasonal foreign agricultural workers to remain in the United States for up to three years while deferring a portion of their pay as incentive for periodic “touchbacks” to their country. The H-2C visa would replace the current H-2A temporary, seasonal agricultural worker program. The legislation initially would let agricultural employers hire up to 410,000 foreign workers for on-farm jobs and 40,000 for meatpacking plants. It also would put the H-2C program under USDA rather than the Department of Labor.

“If we don’t address the current labor shortage or it gets exacerbated, we could see animal health and well-being suffer and agricultural facilities shutting down, causing severe financial harm for farmers and ranchers and to rural communities,” Heimerl said.



EIA: Ethanol Stocks Decline


Domestic ethanol inventories fell nearly 2% last week as production slipped and blending demand edged higher, Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday shows.  EIA reported ethanol supply fell about 400,000 barrels (bbl), or 1.8%, to 22.4 million bbl during the week-ended March 30, 1.3 million bbl, or 5.5%, lower than a year ago.

Plant production dipped 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) on the week to 1.038 million bpd, down 19,000 bpd, or 1.9%, from the same week in 2017. For the four-week period ended March 30, production averaged 1.038 million bpd, down 2,000 bpd versus same period in 2017.

Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, gained 3,000 bpd during the week profiled to 903,000 bpd, down 15,000, or 1.6%, versus a year ago. For the four weeks ended March 30, blending demand averaged 907,000 bpd, down 7,000 bpd versus same period in 2017.



NCGA Statement on Small Refinery Exemption

Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association


“Today the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) along with state corn grower associations, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on the small refinery exemptions being granted, allowing refineries to avoid meeting their RFS volume obligations.

“EPA continues to take actions that undermine the RFS and contradict President Trump’s commitments to America’s corn farmers. EPA is clearly overstepping its bounds, and we ask Administrator Pruitt to stop granting these waivers and damaging the RFS behind closed doors.

“Yesterday, EPA reportedly granted exemptions to one of the nation’s largest refiners, Andeavor, which posted net profits of $1.5 billion in 2017. This improper application of the small refinery hardship exemption is yet another example of EPA actions that destroy demand for ethanol and corn.

“EPA reportedly has more than 30 petitions under consideration, and up to 25 waivers may have been handed out in secrecy last year. Granting this number of exemptions would remove a significant amount of renewable fuel gallons from the RFS volume requirement. This would have a direct impact on corn demand and corn prices at a time when net farm income has already decreased more than 50 percent over the past four years.

“EPA needs to stop granting these waivers and fully weigh the impact of these decisions on rural communities and America’s corn farmers.”



 EPA’s Undermining of RFS Through Waivers Must Cease, NFU Says


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has improperly handled the administration of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by lowering total volume requirements and granting “hardship waivers” to large corporations, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).

NFU President Roger Johnson sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt today, insisting the agency either cease granting the waivers or raise volume obligations to account for a large increase in waivers the agency is handing out.

“The RFS was passed by Congress to spur growth in the American-grown biofuels industry, and, to date, it has reaped significant economic and environmental benefits for rural America,” said Johnson. “EPA’s recent trend of undermining this law on behalf of the oil industry is disturbing, and it flies in the face of the Administration’s numerous promises to farmers and rural communities to support the RFS. They must stop these actions and instead work towards expanded use of biofuels in our transportation fuel sector as intended by the RFS law.”

 NFU’s criticism stems from recent reports that the EPA, who sets RFS volume obligations and ensures compliance with the law, has allowed major oil refiners to skirt the law. Reuters reported today that EPA granted 25 exemptions to oil refineries in 2017, roughly three to four times the amount that previous administrations granted on a yearly basis. In fact, three “hardship waivers” were given to refineries owned by Andeavor, a corporation who took in $1.5 billion in profits last year.

Johnson noted it is EPA’s responsibility to ensure transportation fuel sold in the U.S. includes a certain amount of renewable fuel. Congress set these volume obligations and gave EPA limited authority to reduce the amount. Since 2016, the agency set volumes below their statutory levels in order to make them “reasonably attainable” to meet for the oil industry. Importantly, said Johnson, EPA lowered the obligations and found the new levels would not have significant economic impacts on small oil refiners.

The RFS statute allows small refineries an exemption from complying with annual RFS requirements, and an extension of this exemption if the refinery can demonstrate that compliance with the RFS will cause them “disproportionate economic hardship.”

“What’s troubling is the EPA would lower volume obligations, say they are attainable to small refineries, and then grant small refineries waivers when they say the levels are not attainable,” said Johnson.

Johnson said these actions work contrary to the intent of the RFS law by reducing demand for biofuels. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the three “small refineries” owned by Andeavor represent over 2.3 billion gallons of production capacity, resulting in a reduction of the 2016 RFS requirements by almost 200 million ethanol-equivalent gallons. Estimates indicate that the requests that have been submitted could represent a reduction of approximately 1 billion gallons of renewable fuel for 2017.

Johnson also took issue with the agency’s lack of transparency. The RFS statute requires public notice and comment for waivers under the statute, but EPA is granting these exemptions (and therefore waivers) without any public input. “This Administration has provided little, if any, information on small refinery exemptions, which is causing speculation and market disruptions that they have indicated need to be addressed,” he said.

“Exempting refiners from RFS compliance essentially waives away demand for corn at a time when family farmers need to significantly cut into corn oversupply. And it is certainly contrary to the intent of the RFS,” said Johnson. “NFU asks that EPA cease granting these waivers or act to adjust for these additional waivers and comply with its obligations under the statute. EPA should also adjust its process in the future to ensure that these exemptions do not reduce the applicable volumes required under the RFS.”



Chinese Retaliation is No Longer a “What If” for Soybean Farmers


Following China’s announcement of a proposed 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. soybeans, the American Soybean Association (ASA) is again expressing its extreme frustration about the escalation of a trade war with the largest customer of U.S. soybeans, and calling on the White House to reconsider the tariffs that led to this retaliation. China purchases 61 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and more than 30 percent of overall U.S. soybean production. ASA President and Iowa farmer John Heisdorffer issued the following statement:

“It should surprise no one that China immediately retaliated against our most important exports, including soybeans. We have been warning the administration and members of Congress that this would happen since the prospect for tariffs was raised. That unfortunately doesn’t lend any comfort to the hundreds of thousands of soybean farmers who will be affected by these tariffs. This is no longer a hypothetical, and a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans into China will have a devastating effect on every soybean farmer in America.

“Soybean futures are already down nearly 40 cents a bushel as of this morning. At a projected 2018 crop of 4.3 billion bushels, soybean farmers lost $1.72 billion in value for our crop this morning alone. That’s real money lost for farmers, and it is entirely preventable.

“We regret that the administration has been unable to counter China’s policies on intellectual property and information technology in a way that does not require the use of tariffs. We still have not heard a response from the administration to our March 12 letter requesting to meet with President Trump and discuss how the administration can work with soybean farmers and others in agriculture to find ways to reduce our trade deficit by increasing competitiveness rather than erecting barriers to foreign markets.

“But there is still time to reverse this damage, and the administration can still deliver for farmers by withdrawing the tariffs that caused this retaliation. China has said that its 25 percent tariff will only go into effect based on the course of action the administration takes. We call on President Trump to engage the Chinese in a constructive manner—not a punitive one—and achieve a positive result for soybean farmers.”



U.S. SOY RESPONDS TO PROPOSED CHINA TARIFF


In response to today’s announcement that China is proposing to tax U.S. soybean imports by 25 percent, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the American Soybean Association (ASA), the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and the United Soybean Board (USB) release the following statements.

“ASA has consistently raised our significant concern since the prospect for tariffs was raised. Now this is no longer a hypothetical, and a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans into China will have a devastating effect on every soybean farmer in America,” says ASA President John Heisdorffer. “We believe strongly that soy can help reduce our trade deficit by increasing competitiveness, and we will continue to work with our partners at USB and USSEC to show how that’s possible.”

“The U.S. Soy industry has a 36-year track record of actively investing and partnering in programs that support China’s goals of achieving sustainable food security and food safety,” says USSEC Chair Derek Haigwood, a soybean farmer from Newport, Arkansas. “U.S. soybean farmers and exporters should know that USSEC is continuing to work on their behalf to build global demand and expand market access for U.S. Soy products in China and other markets.”

“Today China announced a proposed 25 percent tax on U.S. soy imports into China,” says USB Chair Lewis Bainbridge, a soybean farmer from Ethan, South Dakota. “I want to assure farmers that their soy checkoff will continue to invest in new market opportunities to build a portfolio of global demand for U.S. soy products.” 



Iowa Soybean Association Statement on China announcement of tariffs on U.S. soybeans


China’s proposed 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean imports was anticipated by the industry. The country is very politically astute and had promised to respond in-kind to tariffs announced by the White House. China has followed through on that promise.

Trade issues between China and the U.S. are not new. Iowa soybean farmers understand there are legitimate issues needing resolution, particularly those involving intellectual property rights. We appreciate the importance of these matters and encourage additional dialogue between the two countries to resolve them.

It’s important to note that the announced tariffs on U.S. soybeans have not been imposed; they are targets.

That said, China’s proposed tariff on U.S. soybean imports is disconcerting for Iowa farmers poised to plant this year’s crop. Short term, the volley of proposed tariffs between the countries will negatively impact soybean prices. Long-term, an ongoing trade dispute with China risks stoking anti-Americanism sentiment that could jeopardize the strength of trade relations between the two countries – relationships that have taken U.S. soybean farmers nearly 35 years to develop.

China is a significant player in the global soybean market. The country consumes nearly 62 percent of all soybean exports. Approximately 33 percent of total U.S. soybean production is destined for China, fulfilling almost 40 percent of China’s total soybean imports. Therefore, both stand to lose if this trade dispute escalates.

A study recently conducted by Purdue University on behalf of U.S. soybean farmers finds that a 30 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans could result in a 71 percent reduction in soybean exports from the United States to China. Total U.S. soybean production would decline by 17 percent. The study also indicates reductions of:
    U.S. producer soybean prices by 5.2 percent
    U.S. economic welfare by $3.3 billion
    Chinese economic welfare by $2.6 to $8.4 billion

China needs U.S. soybeans. The U.S. soybean farmer needs China. It is our hope that U.S. and Chinese officials will quickly transition from politics and posturing to resolving this escalating trade dispute for the benefit of American farmers and our Chinese customers.



Fischer Statement on China’s Retaliatory Tariff List


U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today on China’s list of retaliatory tariffs for U.S. agricultural exports that includes soybeans, sorghum, and beef:

“Agriculture is the economic engine of Nebraska and these retaliatory tariffs proposed by China will hurt our state.

“After reviewing the list of ag commodities and industries targeted this morning, I immediately reached out to the administration. I’ve spoken directly today to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and White House Legislative Affairs Director Mark Short. In my conversations, I emphasized the significant market loss our producers would face should China’s tariffs be finalized.

“Additionally, this afternoon I held a meeting with Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade, Ted McKinney, and several of Nebraska’s top agribusiness leaders where we communicated our concerns in person.

“I will continue to work with Nebraskans and the administration to reach a positive outcome for our farmers and ranchers who feed the world.”



Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding China’s Tariff on U.S. Soybeans


“When President Trump first announced he was considering tariffs on Chinese goods, we voiced our strong concerns that such action would lead to retaliatory tariffs and a potential “trade war” with China, one of the largest consumers of U.S. and Nebraska agricultural products. Despite these warnings, this Administration moved forward. Over the course of the last three days those actions have led to China enacting retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork, and today, U.S. soybeans. These actions have cost farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost value in agriculture markets at a time when they can least afford it. Nebraska farmers and ranchers and the markets they rely on should not be sacrificed as a negotiation tactic. It’s critical the United States and China stop the ‘eye for an eye’ tactics and return to negotiations that serve the greater good for both interests.”



Cattlemen Respond to China Including U.S. Beef on Retaliatory Tariff List


Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today issued the following statement regarding the announcement that China has included American-produced beef on a list of proposed retaliatory tariffs:

“It is unsettling to see American-produced beef listed as a target for retaliation. Sadly, we are not surprised, as this is an inevitable outcome of any trade war. This is a battle between two governments, and the unfortunate casualties will be America’s cattlemen and women and our consumers in China. The Trump Administration has until the end of May to resolve this issue. We believe in trade enforcement, but endless retaliation is not a good path forward for either side.”



 Iowa beef included in China’s proposed tariff hike


Iowa’s agricultural products, including beef, have become victims of a trade war meant to benefit the US manufacturing industry.

In addition to a 25% tariff on pork and ethanol that went into effect on April 2, the Chinese government announced a proposal to increase tariffs on US soybeans, corn and beef by 25%. The April 4 proposal was made in retaliation for tariffs levied by the Trump administration on Chinese products.

“The Chinese export market for beef has been growing since 2017, when US beef was allowed into China for the first time since 2003,” says Matt Deppe, CEO of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “An additional 25% tariff, on top of the 12% tariff currently in place, definitely has the potential to slow that growth and ultimately, hurt our Iowa cattle producers.”

According to the US Meat Export Federation, US beef exports to China totaled 3,020 metric tons valued at $31 million in the second half of 2017, following the market reopening.  In January 2018, exports reached the highest monthly volume to date at 819 metric tons, valued at $7.5 million.

“It’s not surprising that China retaliated through agricultural tariffs. The US truly feeds the world, and exports are an important market for farmers, especially in Iowa,” says JanLee Rowlett, Government Relations Manager for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “These proposed tariffs have already affected corn, soybean and cattle futures, and our top priority now is ensuring that they do not go into effect. We are hopeful that the Trump administration can resolve this trade war before farmers are hurt any more.”

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association policy, developed and ratified by its 10,000 members across the state, supports trade agreements that benefit beef producers. Following US withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, an agreement that included 11 other countries, including several major US beef importers, ICA’s focus has been on preserving the positive aspects of NAFTA and advocating for bilateral trade agreements, like the recently renegotiated US - Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) which includes favorable terms for US beef exports to South Korea.

Iowa has over 27,000 cattle producers and is 4th in the nation for cattle on feed. The majority of Iowa’s beef producers are also corn and soybean farmers, and the tariffs on ethanol, corn, and soybeans are also concerning, given the current agricultural economy. US net farm income is expected to fall in 2018 for the 4th time in 5 years.



Grassley Statement on Chinese Tariffs


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a lifelong family farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement regarding China’s second wave of tariffs targeting U.S. commodities, including soybeans, which were announced in retaliation to the Administration’s tariffs on Chinese products.

“We need to protect U.S. intellectual property and American competitiveness. Foreign theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, discriminatory licensing restrictions and other unfair practices harm U.S. innovation and affect every sector of our economy, including agriculture. On my recent congressional delegation trip to China, I urged Chinese government officials to rein in unfair trade practices and policies, including the theft of U.S. intellectual property, which have adversely impacted American businesses. I’m concerned that my urging fell on deaf ears.

“The United States should take action to defend its interests when any foreign nation isn’t playing by the rules or refuses to police itself. But farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be expected to bear the brunt of retaliation for the entire country. It’s not fair, and it doesn’t make economic sense. The Administration knew that if it imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, China would retaliate against U.S. agriculture. I warned President Trump as much in a White House meeting in February. Today shows that’s exactly what happened. If the federal government takes action on trade that directly results in economic hardship for certain Americans, it has a responsibility to help those Americans and mitigate the damage it caused.

“I will be addressing these issues through the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade policy. I’ll also be addressing these issues as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for patent, copyright and trademark policy.”

Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.



USMEF Statement on China’s Latest Tariff Announcement


On April 4, the Chinese government announced a proposal to levy retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on China's imports of agricultural and food products from the United States, including U.S. beef.

Statement from U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom

China is a promising market for U.S. beef, and, since the June 2017 reopening, the U.S. industry has made an exceptional effort to provide customers with high-quality beef at an affordable price. This is not an easy task, due to our 13-year absence from the market and China’s beef import requirements.

Over the past nine months, interest in U.S. beef has steadily gained momentum in China and our customer base has grown. But if an additional import tariff is imposed on U.S. beef, these constructive business relationships, and opportunities for further growth, will be put at risk. USMEF is hopeful that this trade dispute can be resolved without China introducing additional obstacles for U.S. beef.

In the second half of 2017, following the market reopening, U.S. beef exports to China totaled 3,020 metric tons valued at $31 million. In January 2018, exports reached the highest monthly volume to date at 819 metric tons, valued at $7.5 million.



NCGA Statement on Proposed Tariffs and Trade with China

Wesley Spurlock, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association


“There are no winners in a trade war, only casualties.  As trade tensions continue to mount with China, the expanded list of tariffs on food and agriculture exports are making America’s farmers the first casualties.

“Our corn farmers have worked for decades to support fair and open trade practices because we understand that trade is a two-way street.  In today’s global economy, we know that we need to be competitive to grow and maintain our market share.  Our farmers have done that, which is why agriculture has a positive trade balance.  In 2018, the U.S. is forecast to export $139.5 billion in agricultural goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S.  Instead of new protectionist policies, our nation’s focus should be on growing market access and promoting expanded trade from our most competitive industries.

“We do have a window of opportunity to reach a mutually beneficial trade position with China until the time that tariffs are fully implemented. We need to be measured, professional and business-like in our approach to keeping the trade doors open with China. Equally important, we need the President to understand the implications that these trade actions have for America’s farm families.”



NFU Calls for Plan to Protect Family Farmers from Brunt of Trade War


In the latest of a series of tariff threats exchanged between the United States and China, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) this morning announced plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods, including soybeans corn, beef, and other agricultural products.

National Farmers Union (NFU), a family farmer-led organization who supports aggressive efforts to fight unfair trade practices, is urging the Trump Administration to work with Congress to develop a Farm Bill that protects family farmers from harm as a result of retaliatory tariffs. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“These tit-for-tat tariff threats were expected from the moment the administration first engaged China. The President and his administration continue to claim there won’t be a ‘trade war,’ and that agriculture won’t feel the brunt of retaliation, but the daily news announcements indicate otherwise.

“As trade tensions escalate, Farmers Union is increasingly concerned that there is not a plan in place to protect our family farmers and ranchers who are always the first to bear the brunt of retaliatory tariffs. Farmers are dealing with severely depressed farm prices and a 12-year low in farm income, and a trade war will undoubtedly make these conditions worse.

“We urge the President and the administration to immediately engage with the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to develop a Farm Bill that will protect farmers and ranchers from the collateral damage that we are seeing as a result of these actions.”



Farm Bureau Statement on Chinese Tariff Announcement

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:


“Farmers and ranchers are, by necessity, patient and optimistic. We know markets ebb and flow. But China’s threatened retaliation against last night’s U.S. tariff proposal is testing both the patience and optimism of families who are facing the worst agricultural economy in 16 years. This has to stop.

“Growing trade disputes have placed farmers and ranchers in a precarious position. We have bills to pay and debts we must settle, and cannot afford to lose any market, much less one as important as China’s. We urge the United States and China to return to negotiations and produce an agreement that serves the interests of the world’s two largest economies.”



China’s Response to New U.S. Tariffs Will Hurt U.S. Wheat Farmers


 With the announcement today that China intends to retaliate against the latest proposed U.S. tariffs, hard-working U.S. farmers are clearly in the line of fire from what looks more and more like an escalating trade war with China.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) believe wheat farmers are going to get hurt by the 25 percent tariffs China quickly proposed after the United States government announced new tariffs on $50 billion of imported Chinese goods on April 4, 2018.

“People may not know that China imported more than 61 million bushels of U.S. wheat in marketing year 2016/17, making it our fourth largest buyer in the world,” said USW Chairman Mike Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash. “Farmers across the country have invested a lot of money and time over the years to develop a Chinese market that has great potential to buy even more American wheat. Now that effort is in jeopardy at a time when big global supplies have already pushed farm gate wheat prices down to unsustainable levels.” 

“America’s wheat farmers are experiencing several hardships and adding a 25 percent tariff on exports to China for U.S. wheat is the last thing we need during some of the worst economic times in farm country,” stated NAWG President Jimmie Musick a wheat farmer from Sentinel, Okla. “Continued drought, low prices and trade uncertainty adds pressure to passing a Farm Bill on time as well as creating uncertainty for producers and lenders. In a trade war, agriculture is always the first target. The Administration can support rural Americans by working with Chinese officials to avoid these damaging tariffs.”

The proposed Chinese tariffs would further erode the incomes of farm families who strongly support addressing the real concerns about China's trade policies. USW and NAWG know that farmers still want our organizations to keep fighting for fair opportunities to compete in China and other countries. They would prefer, however, to see our government do that within the processes already in place, as the Administration has done by challenging China's domestic support and tariff rate quota policies through World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute cases.

We have also said that the proposed U.S. tariffs represent unilateral actions that violate WTO rules. We urge the Administration to pull back from this dangerous course that puts vulnerable U.S. industries like wheat production at risk and in a larger sense undermine the established rules-based global trading system.



China Retaliation Threatens to Further Harm U.S. Sorghum Farmers


China’s announcement today of a possible future retaliatory 25 percent tariff on imported U.S. sorghum will not help China’s consumers or U.S. farmers, according to National Sorghum Producers.  Such tariffs would mean additional financial burdens on U.S. sorghum farmers, who are already in the midst of cooperating with China’s self-initiated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations of U.S. sorghum.  More tariffs would also mean higher prices for Chinese consumers for whom sorghum is an important product. Chinese customers are valued trading partners of the U.S. sorghum industry and farmers, purchasing over half of total U.S. sorghum exports. NSP Chairman and Nebraska farmer Don Bloss issued the following statement:

“Right now we are taking a close look at the list indicating sorghum and many other important agriculture products are among those included for a possible future 25 percent Chinese tariff. There are additional steps in the process announced today. The proposed tariffs are not immediate and the timing of possible additional tariffs remains uncertain. But the financial toll on our producers is already taking place with this morning’s widespread market reaction to the announcement by the Chinese government.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time sorghum farmers have faced depressed prices and market uncertainty.  We saw a similar reaction after the announcement of anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of U.S. sorghum into China on February 4, following the Administration’s tariff action on imports of Chinese solar panels and washing machines.

“Trade wars are not good for anyone, and we urge President Trump and other negotiators to take a constructive approach in the ongoing negotiations that do not threaten more harm to U.S. sorghum producers. Our hope is that this situation will be resolved sooner rather than later. Sorghum is good for U.S. farmers and traders, and good for China.”



NMPF Urges Enforcement Action Against Mislabeled Bolthouse Farms Pea Powder-Based Beverage Marketed as “Milk”


Bolthouse Farms’ pea powder-based beverage is unfairly and illegally skirting federal regulations by marketing its product labeled as milk, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), and FDA must take enforcement action against the maker of the product, Campbell Foods.

In a letter sent today to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), NMPF criticized both Campbell Foods and its California-based Bolthouse brand for the prominent use of the word “MILK” on the center of its package. According to NMPF, Bolthouse violates federal regulations by inaccurately labeling its product as milk, and ignoring FDA standards of identity that make clear milk and other dairy products must be sourced from animals, not plants.

Adding to the concern, the letter noted that in many grocery stores the Bolthouse product is sold in the dairy case immediately adjacent to real cow’s milk, further leading to consumer confusion about the origin and nutritional content of the product. The “lack of segregation, combined with the deliberate attempt to mislead consumers with the prominent use of the term ‘MILK’ on the label,” can easily confuse customers into believing the pea powder-based product is another brand of cow’s milk, NMPF wrote.

“At first glance, a consumer will see the word ‘milk’ and assume it’s an attractively packaged dairy product,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Bolthouse shouldn’t deceive consumers in this way. FDA needs to immediately stop Campbell’s egregious violation of longstanding food labeling laws.”

The opaque powder-based fluid sold by Bolthouse Farms attempts to replicate the color, taste and mouthfeel of regular milk. But compared to milk’s three ingredients, Bolthouse’s pea product contains 14, all of which are added during factory processing.

At a time when consumers are seeking clean labels and more natural products, “Bolthouse is inaccurately labeling its product and deceiving consumers about its true content. Regular milk is the simple, natural product of a healthy dairy animal,” said NMPF’s Beth Briczinski. “No matter how much gum and vitamin or mineral supplements you add to a product, it will never replace milk’s natural goodness.”

In the fall of 2016, NMPF and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) contacted Campbell Foods before the launch of its new Bolthouse Farms’ pea powder-based beverage, telling the company’s general counsel that the product did not adhere to federal standards of identity for dairy foods and therefore should not be labeled as “milk.” The dairy groups sent the letter “to provide Campbell’s an opportunity to address these issues before officially launching the product line.”

NMPF’s previous outreach to Campbell Foods “unfortunately has fallen on deaf ears, requiring us to bring this matter to the attention of FDA,” Mulhern said.



Syngenta breaks ground on $30 million Trait Conversion Accelerator in Nampa, Idaho


Syngenta has broken ground on a Trait Conversion Accelerator at its Nampa, Idaho, research and development and seed production facility. Construction of the $30 million site enhancement is expected to be completed in 2019.

The Nampa site will accommodate the majority of Syngenta’s North American corn trait conversion work previously done in open field or semi-controlled environments. It will provide a reliable growing environment to conduct marker-assisted backcrossing and version generation, as well as deliver the introgression of market-leading traits into Syngenta’s most advanced corn germplasm.

“Put simply, the Trait Conversion Accelerator will enable Syngenta to more quickly, reliably and efficiently deliver corn hybrids with its latest trait packages to market,” said Ciriaco Franks, Nampa site manager for Syngenta. “This investment, which reinforces Syngenta’s commitment to a research and development presence in the region and the jobs located here, will result in state-of-the-art greenhouses and laboratories to help shorten product development life cycles.”

According to Dirk Benson, head, seed development – product selection at Syngenta, the Nampa site was chosen for this investment in trait conversion because it offers an excellent combination of climatic factors (e.g., solar radiation, heating and cooling, etc.) as well as access to a highly skilled workforce.

“At Syngenta, our mission in research and development is to design and consistently deliver products that go beyond current limits,” Benson said. “The Nampa Trait Conversion Accelerator demonstrates Syngenta’s ongoing commitment to increased investment in genetics and traits and to rapidly deliver new products to market.”

The Nampa facility will house the capabilities and capacity to bring choice in traits to corn growers. Customers of the NK® and Golden Harvest® corn seed brands, as well as independent seed companies that license Syngenta technologies through Greenleaf Genetics®, will benefit from faster access to more hybrids with the latest Agrisure® trait technologies.

“We aspire to offer – and do offer – unique choice to the market,” said David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds and North America region director. “We have one of the largest global germplasm pools in the industry and a proprietary trait platform that is equipping growers with market-leading insect protection and enzyme capability, and weed control choice. This world-class facility will provide access to our traits paired with the latest genetics even more quickly than before.”

Syngenta invests more than $1.3 billion each year in research and development globally. The Nampa Trait Conversion Accelerator is part of an incremental investment over the next five years that includes adding significantly more resources in product breeding, product selection leads and trialing.

“Syngenta’s work is clear – to help growers be successful year after year,” Hollinrake added. “We do this through ongoing innovation, by designing and consistently delivering products that provide greater value to our customers and channel partners.”



Dow AgroSciences Donates $10,000 to Feeding America


To encourage farmer usage of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program practices and to support finding solutions for nationwide hunger issues, Dow AgroSciences has donated $10,000 to Feeding America.

The donation was made possible thanks to farmer pledges made at this year’s Commodity Classic, Feb. 27 to March 1 in Anaheim, California. At the Dow AgroSciences booth, farmers were asked to pin the location of their farm on an oversized map of the United States, expressing their 4R commitment. For each pin on the map, Dow AgroSciences donated $100 to Feeding America, the show’s official charity partner. With 100 total farmer commitments, Dow AgroSciences donated $10,000 in total.

“The 4R’s of nutrient management are important guidelines for farmers to implement along with a nitrogen stabilizer, especially given the current low price of commodities,” said Kenny Johnson, CCA U.S. product manager, nitrogen stabilizers at Dow AgroSciences. “By encouraging farmers to commit to the 4R’s, we’re helping them maximize their ROI and they’re helping us support Feeding America’s mission to battle hunger issues.”

At the show, farmers learned about the 4R’s, which are simple, best-management practices for fertilizer application and maintenance. The concept focuses on applying the right source of nutrient, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place. Farmers also learned how using the right nitrogen stabilizer, like Instinct® or N-Serve®, in conjunction with 4R practices can provide better protection against uncertain environmental conditions.

Dow AgroSciences’s donation to Feeding America helps solve hunger issues across the nation via food banks, disaster food assistance and senior-, school- and children-specific programs. Currently, a $10,000 donation would provide 100,000 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of member food banks.



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