Saturday, June 22, 2019

Friday June 21 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.43 million cattle on feed on June 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 4 percent from last year. Placements during May totaled 460,000 head, down 1 percent from 2018. Fed cattle marketings for the month of May totaled 570,000 head, unchanged from last year. Other disappearance during May totaled 20,000 head, down 5,000 head from last year.


 Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 660,000 head on June 1, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was down 3 percent from May 1, 2019, and down 8 percent from June 1, 2018. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 595,000 head on feed, down 5 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,255,000 head, down 4 percent from last month and down 5 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during May totaled 68,000 head, down 20 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 45,000 head, down 32 percent from last month but up 67 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 113,000 head, down 25 percent from last month but up 6 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during May totaled 85,000 head, down 25 percent from last month and down 2 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 70,000 head, down 3 percent from last month but up 27 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 155,000 head, down 16 percent from last month but up 9 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 8,000 head.

 United States Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.7 million head on June 1, 2019. The inventory was 2 percent above June 1, 2018. This is the highest June 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Cattle on Feed  -  By State

                        (1,000 hd      -   % June 1 '18)

Colorado .......:        1,060          112           
Iowa .............:          660             92                
Kansas ..........:        2,380          103              
Nebraska ......:        2,430           96               
Texas ............:        2,870          105          

Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.06 million head, 3 percent below 2018. Net placements were 1.99 million head. During May, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 370,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 305,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 500,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 539,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 235,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 115,000 head.

Placements by State

                            (1,000 hd    -   % May '18)

Colorado .......:              160            94           
Iowa .............:                68            85           
Kansas ..........:              450            94         
Nebraska ......:              460            99            
Texas ............:              575           101          

Marketings of fed cattle during May totaled 2.07 million head, 1 percent above 2018.  Other disappearance totaled 72,000 head during May, 1 percent below 2018.

Marketings by State
                            (1,000 hd    -   % May '18)

Colorado .......:           150           100     
Iowa .............:             85            98      
Kansas ..........:            440           100     
Nebraska ......:            570           100     
Texas ............:            485           105     


All layers in Nebraska during May 2019 totaled 8.82 million, up from 7.78 million the previous year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nebraska egg production during May totaled 223 million eggs, up from 201 million in 2018. May egg production per 100 layers was 2,527 eggs, compared to 2,584 eggs in 2018.


Iowa egg production during May 2019 was 1.47 billion eggs, up 5 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The average number of all layers on hand during May 2019 was 58.6 million, down 1 percent from last month but up 1 percent from last year. Eggs per 100 layers for May were 2,509, up 6 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last year.

May Egg Production Up 3 Percent

United States egg production totaled 9.56 billion during May 2019, up 3 percent from last year. Production included 8.35 billion table eggs, and 1.21 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.12 billion were broiler-type and 90.9 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during May 2019 totaled 398 million, up 2 percent from last year. May egg production per 100 layers was 2,404 eggs, up 2 percent from May 2018.
All layers in the United States on June 1, 2019 totaled 395 million, up 1 percent from last year. The 395 million layers consisted of 332 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 59.9 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.46 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on June 1, 2019, averaged 77.9 eggs per 100 layers, up 2 percent from June 1, 2018.

Egg-Type Chicks Hatched Up 2 Percent

Egg-type chicks hatched during May 2019 totaled 60.8 million, up 2 percent from May 2018. Eggs in incubators totaled 51.6 million on June 1, 2019, up 3 percent from a year ago.  Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 215 thousand during May 2019, up 16 percent from May 2018.

Broiler-Type Chicks Hatched Up 2 Percent

Broiler-type chicks hatched during May 2019 totaled 856 million, up 2 percent from May 2018. Eggs in incubators totaled 703 million on June 1, 2019, up 1 percent from a year ago.  Leading breeders placed 8.77 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during May 2019, up 6 percent from May 2018.


LB657, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts, adopted the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act and amended existing statutes to establish a state hemp program within the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA).  The legislation gave NDA the authority to regulate the growing, harvesting and processing of hemp for research purposes in Nebraska under a licensing agreement until further action is taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

To legally grow hemp in Nebraska, interested parties must apply for and receive a signed license agreement from NDA.  Applications for individuals and/or businesses interested in growing and/or processing hemp for research purposes in Nebraska are now available online at:  Applications must be received by NDA by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 28.

Growing, handling and/or processing hemp without a signed license agreement from NDA is illegal in Nebraska.  Additional information can be found at      

Western Integrated Seed Finalizes Long-term Agreement with Dahlco Seeds

Western Integrated Seed, Inc., a fully independent, custom seed production company, is expanding its operation with the announcement today that it has finalized a long-term strategic agreement to assume the day-to-day operations of Dahlco Seeds, Inc.

Together, the two family-owned businesses, Western Integrated Seed (WIS) of Hooper, Neb., and Dahlco Seeds of Cokato, Minn., have nearly 180 years of experience in seed production. With a common culture and long-standing family legacies in the seed industry, the combined operation will further serve to enhance a shared commitment of providing high-quality production and tailored solutions to customers through first-class service.

By operating with additional facilities in key geographies, WIS will offer expanded conditioning, logistics, distribution and an entire range of seed production services across all maturity zones for the North American seed industry. Included in the agreement, Duane Dahlman, president of Dahlco Seeds, and other key employees of Dahlco Seeds, will remain in essential roles providing the same level of service customers have come to rely on.

Farm Finance and Ag Law Clinics this July

Free legal and financial clinics are being offered for farmers and ranchers at six sessions across the state in July. The clinics are one-on-one meetings with an agricultural law attorney and an agricultural financial counselor. These are not group sessions, and they are confidential. The attorney and financial advisor specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and other relevant matters. Here is an opportunity to obtain an independent, outside perspective on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.

Clinic Sites and Dates

    Fairbury — Monday, July 8
    Norfolk — Wednesday, July 17
    Valentine — Thursday, July 18
    Fairbury — Monday, July 22
    Ogallala — Wednesday, July 31
    Grand Island — Thursday, August 1

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258. Funding for this work is provided by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Legal Aid of Nebraska, North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Ricketts Thanks President Trump for Launching RFS Waiver Review

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that President Donald J. Trump had ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to review the practice of issuing waivers to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Thank you to President Trump for ordering this much-needed review of waivers to the RFS,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Many in ethanol producing states like Nebraska are concerned that an escalation in refinery waivers has resulted in significant reductions in the blending of ethanol.  A study will help understand how much of an impact these waivers have had on ethanol production, and can help ensure the integrity of the RFS remains intact.”

NBB Letter to EPA’s Wheeler Highlights Economic Damage from Refinery Exemptions

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today sent a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, highlighting the economic damage to the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry from the agency’s retroactive small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The letter takes issue with the Administrator’s recent comment that the approval of year-round E15 sales will make up for the damage from the exemptions.

“The E15 waiver will not provide market growth for biodiesel and renewable diesel, but small refinery exemptions have had a detrimental impact on demand for those fuels,” the letter states. “EPA is required to repair the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel resulting from the agency’s flood of unwarranted, retroactive small refinery exemptions.”

Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “If EPA continues to undercut the biodiesel market by handing out RFS exemptions to every refiner that asks, America’s soybean farmers and small biodiesel producers will be hit hardest. America’s soybean growers need new markets and additional value for their crops; biodiesel is an important market that adds value to every bushel.

“When you consider how large some of the exempted refineries are compared to biodiesel producers, you can understand the threat to the agricultural economy. According to University of Illinois Professor Scott Irwin, the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel could reach 2.45 billion gallons over the next few years causing a $7.7 billion economic loss for our industry.”

Naig Initiates New Program to Create Markets for Iowa Meat Products

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has applied for a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. The program will allow participating state-inspected meat and poultry processors to distribute their products across state lines.

“We are pursuing an agreement with the USDA as part of our continued commitment to expanding markets for Iowa products,” said Secretary Naig. “This program can open new markets for Iowa livestock producers and meat processors, and give more consumers the opportunity to choose Iowa meat products.”

State-inspected meat processors are smaller than their federally-inspected counterparts but are held to equal standards.

“CIS will provide many opportunities for small, State of Iowa-inspected meat plants,” said Dr. Joe Cordray, Iowa State University Extension meat specialist. “It will allow them to take advantage of internet sales and other sales opportunities outside of Iowa. It will also enable them to work with Iowa’s many local livestock producers who want to sell their products out of state. CIS provides an excellent opportunity to stimulate the economy in rural Iowa communities.”

Iowa’s small meat processors generate $1.5 million in total economic output, $596,000 in labor income and about 15 jobs for every $1 million in sales, according to a study by David Swenson at the Iowa State University Department of Economics.

To qualify for the CIS program, a meat processor must have fewer than 25 full-time employees and comply with all federal food safety, sanitation and facility regulations.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has submitted a formal application to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is the first in a series of steps required to finalize the agreement. The changes will likely go into effect in 2020. Visit the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website to learn more about the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

Three FFA Chapters Named Finalists in Pioneer® brand A-Series Soybeans Big A Challenge

Today, Pioneer announced three FFA chapters have been chosen as finalists in the Pioneer® brand A-Series Soybeans Big A Challenge. Each winning chapter will receive a cash prize and will have their decorated statues prominently displayed at the 2019 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.

Judges selected the Mount Ayr FFA (Mount Ayr, Iowa), North Tama FFA (Traer, Iowa) and Wayne FFA (Corydon, Iowa) chapters as the top three finalists from 15 participating FFA chapters in Iowa and Illinois. The Big A Challenge teamed Pioneer and FFA to focus on the next generation of soybean varieties and the next generation of farmers. The winners, to be announced on Aug. 28 at the Farm Progress Show, will receive $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second and $1,000 for third.

Mount Ayr FFA (Mount Ayr, Iowa), North Tama FFA (Traer, Iowa), and Wayne FFA (Corydon, Iowa) chapters named finalists in the Pioneer® brand A-Series Soybeans Big A Challenge and will be recognized at the 2019 Farm Progress Show.

FFA chapters showed their creative talent by decorating a 7-foot-tall Big A statue highlighting A-Series soybeans’ game-changing performance while celebrating their communities. Just as Pioneer® brand A-Series soybeans are bred using localized research and testing to fit many growing environments, FFA chapters used the Big A statues to showcase what makes their local communities unique.

Pioneer also would like to congratulate the other 12 chapters participating in the Big A Challenge:
    Atlantic FFA — Atlantic, Iowa
    Clay City FFA — Clay City, Illinois
    East Marshall FFA — LeGrand, Iowa
    Farmington FFA — Farmington, Illinois
    Maroa Forsyth FFA — Maroa, Illinois
    Massac County FFA — Metropolis, Illinois
    MMCRU FFA — Marcus, Iowa
    Mulberry Grove FFA — Mulberry Grove, Illinois
    Newell-Fonda FFA — Newell, Iowa
    Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA — Sibley, Iowa
    Stewardson-Strasburg FFA — Strasburg, Illinois
    Wilton FFA — Wilton, Iowa

The 15 Big A statues will be displayed at the Farm Progress Show and all 15 FFA chapters are eligible to win the People’s Choice Award. The public will vote online for their favorite Big A statue from Aug. 26-30; voters need not be present at the Farm Progress Show to cast their vote. The winning FFA chapter will receive Pioneer branded items for its members. For a sneak peek at the decorated Big A statues, look for #FFAseries on Facebook and Twitter.

USDA Cold Storage May 2019 Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers on May 31, 2019 were down 2 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 6 percent from the previous month and down 13 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were up 1 percent from the previous month and up 1 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 5 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on May 31, 2019 were down 2 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 5 percent from the previous month and down 5 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 5 percent from last month but down 8 percent from May 31, 2018.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on May 31, 2019 were down 1 percent from the previous month but up slightly from May 31, 2018.  Butter stocks were up 8 percent from last month but down 7 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks were down 6 percent from last month and down 2 percent from a year ago.  Total frozen vegetable stocks were down 9 percent from last month and down 6 percent from a year ago.

USDA Offers Producers Options to Re-enroll or Extend Expiring CRP Contracts

Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts may now re-enroll in certain CRP continuous signup practices or, if eligible, select a one-year contract extension. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) also is accepting offers from those who want to enroll for the first time in one of the country’s largest conservation programs. FSA’s 52nd signup for CRP runs from June 3 to August 23.

“Agricultural producers with expiring CRP contracts have set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health for at least a decade,” said U.S. Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “We want to make sure they – and their neighbors who may not have a CRP contract – know they have opportunities within CRP to continue their valuable contribution to our country’s conservation successes.”

FSA stopped accepting offers last fall for the CRP continuous signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the program this past December, and FSA has carefully analyzed the bill’s language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.

This year’s CRP continuous signup includes such practices as grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved for this signup.  Continuous signup enrollment contracts last for 10 to 15 years. Soil rental rates are set at 90 percent of 2018 rates. Incentive payments are not offered for these practices.

Producers with Expiring CRP Contracts

Letters are in the mail to all producers with expiring CRP contracts, describing possible options.

A one-year extension is being offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less that have practices not eligible for re-enrollment under this CRP signup.

Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

CRP Continuous CREP Signup

This signup also enables producers to sign up under existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements. CREP is part of CRP and targets high-priority conservation concerns identified by a state, and federal funds are supplemented with non-federal funds to address those concerns. Download this fact sheet to learn more.

Other Future CRP Signup Options

FSA is still planning a CRP general signup in December 2019, with a CRP Grasslands signup to follow. Those that extend their contracts may be eligible for one of these signup types or another continuous signup in the future.

More Information

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.

Producers interested in applying for CRP continuous practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who want to extend their contract, should contact their USDA service center by August 23.

USDA Partners with U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance to Promote U.S. Agriculture

On June 18, 2019, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach, announced the new partnership with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) to promote U.S. agriculture and agricultural products in domestic and international markets.

USFRA Chairman Chip Bowling and Under Secretary Ibach formalized the partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote goals in the new partnership. Supporting agriculture across the U.S. remains at the core.

“American agriculture has had some serious negative press over the last decade from outside groups,” said Anne Meis, USFRA Secretary and District 1 Board Member of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “Now is the time for agriculture to work together through organizations like U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance to lead the conversations about where our food comes from.”

The Nebraska Soybean Board supports USFRA and its ability to convene food and agriculture stakeholders/consumers in a dialogue on the sustainable food systems of the 21st century.

“This partnership with USFRA and USDA Department of Marketing and Regulatory will provide a national voice to truly rebrand agriculture as providing safe, healthy, affordable food in a sustainable way,” said Meis. “Let’s change the conversation and share that farmers are true stewards of the land, water, and natural resources and we can lead solutions for true sustainable practices.”

Ibach, former Nebraska Director of Agriculture, also speaks of benefits of the upcoming partnership.
“This MOU lays the groundwork for a fruitful partnership that will enhance consumer confidence and drive demand for U.S. agricultural products, particularly among the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the United States,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach.

The MOU outlines these goals:
- Promote U.S. agriculture and U.S. agriculture products.
- Build awareness of the importance of U.S. agriculture to the U.S. rural economy.
- Reinforce the relationship between what U.S. farmers produce and what U.S. consumers eat.
- Support awareness of U.S. agriculture’s key role in an environmentally-sustainable food value chain.
- Drive demand for U.S. agricultural products in both domestic and overseas markets.

2019 Young Cattlemen’s Conference Participants Prepare to Tackle the Future

After ten days of intensive leadership training and a three-city tour which showcased every facet of the beef industry, 60 beef leaders have successfully completed NCBA’s 2019 Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). The event, which is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, Elanco, Farm Credit, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, John Deere, Tyson and NCBA, is designed to give participants exposure to the full supply chain. Completion of YCC prepares participants to serve as leaders within their state associations in addition to being advocates for NCBA and the beef community. The 2019 class began its journey in Denver, Colo., with classroom sessions designed to provide background knowledge about NCBA and the work it conducts on behalf of its members and the beef community.

In Denver, participants took part in leadership development sessions, media training, and hands-on demonstrations of the work NCBA does as a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. The group made a visit to Greeley, Colo., to tour Five Rivers Cattle Feeding’s Kuner Feedyard, the JBS processing plant and an opportunity to meet with the executive team at JBS Headquarters. Prior to leaving Denver, participants also stopped at a nearby Safeway flagship store to learn how beef is being marketed to consumers at the retail level, giving the group an in-depth understanding of every aspect of the beef supply chain.

“The market for beef is becoming increasingly complex and it’s important that the next generation of leaders has a complete understanding of how changes in the marketplace impact our product,” said NCBA President-Elect Marty Smith. “The participants in YCC return to their respective state associations and serve in a wide variety of leadership roles and many of them rise to the national level, so providing them with the background knowledge they receive during this trip, helps prepare them for that future in leadership. It’s an important function for NCBA and one we take seriously.”

Visits in Chicago included stops at Hillshire Farms and McDonald's global headquarters office. Participants also gained a behind the scenes look at the manufacturing facilities of OSI, Inc., one of the nation’s largest beef patty manufacturers.

The 2019 YCC class finished its whirlwind tour in Washington, D.C., where participants learned how NCBA’s policy work impacts their operations and the broader industry. After an in-depth policy issue briefing from NCBA’s lobbyists and staff experts, participants took to Capitol Hill, visiting more than 200 congressional offices to advocate for industry policy priorities.

“This week, we had participants from across the nation, come together both as a class and as leaders, to serve the beef industry. The knowledge and friendships that have been gained over the past 10 days will last a lifetime and each of the 2019 participants will leave their mark on the future,” said 2019 YCC Chair Andy Bishop, a cattleman from Kentucky. “Visiting the offices of elected officials in Washington, D.C., to advocate for the issues that affect us, was particularly meaningful for our class and we’re proud of the impact we’ve had this week. After spending time with each of these talented individuals, I’m absolutely confident that the future of the beef industry is bright.”

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