Thursday, June 6, 2019

Wednesday June 5 Ag News

ENREC open house is June 12

The University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (ENREC) near Mead is hosting an open house on Wednesday, June 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This is an informal and informative opportunity to come see how ENREC is making a difference. The event is for both rural and urban audiences.

Join us at the August N. Christenson Building for...
-    Christenson Annex Building Tours - Be one of the first to tour the Christenson Building annex.
-    Demonstrations & Displays –
       + See how the University is learning and teaching with drones, a hail simulator machine, and beef and science mobile labs. *
       + ENREC has been serving as a collection site for hay, fencing and livestock supply donations for Nebraska producers impacted by the March flood and blizzard events. Learn about the project and the University’s role in leading disaster relief.
       + Who works at ENREC and what do they do? Learn about the work we are doing & why it is important to Nebraska.
-    Refreshments - Enjoy free refreshments, including “Nifty N150” ice cream.
-    3:15 or 4:15 Bus Tour - See where research projects and educational programs are taking place

Naig Commends Federal Disaster Aid to Help Farmers Affected by Flooding

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement in response to the announcement that the House passed the federal disaster aid bill last night.

“I want to thank Gov. Reynolds for her continued leadership and our congressional delegation for including provisions in this disaster relief bill that address the needs of Iowa farmers who suffered staggering losses during the spring flooding,” said Secretary Naig. “This is a critical first step to recovery. I am committed to working with the affected landowners and agribusinesses as they clean up fields and damaged grain and take important steps to resume normal business activities.”

Secretary Naig is leading the Ag Working Group for Gov. Reynolds’ Flood Recovery Task Force.

Breakdown of the $19.1 billion federal disaster aid package:
-    Approximately $3 billion is provided to the USDA Office of the Secretary to cover producers’ agricultural losses due to natural disasters.
-    $435 million will be provided to the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) for rural watershed recovery.
-    $558 million will be provided to the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for repairs to damaged farm land.
-    $150 million will be allocated to repair Rural Development Community Facilities in towns affected by natural disasters. 

Estimated agricultural flood damage in Fremont, Mills and Pottawattamie counties:
-    1.9 million bushels of corn lost
-    482,000 bushels of soybeans lost
-    2.4 million bushels of corn and soybeans lost in on-farm storage, valued at $10.9 million
-    418 grain bins damaged, valued at $11.6 million

IFBF Economic Summit taps into possible industrial hemp opportunities in Iowa

The Iowa Hemp Act, which allows licensed producers in Iowa to grow up to 40 acres of industrial hemp as a cash crop, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Iowa Legislature before being signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds in early May. While official regulations are still being written for this new opportunity, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is bringing a representative from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and an industrial hemp grower from Canada to the 2019 IFBF Economic Summit, June 28, to answer farmers’ questions.

“This market is really in its pre-dawn stages,” says Dr. Sam Funk, IFBF senior economist. “We don’t know what the market potential will be, but we want to provide information to help farmers make good informed decisions as they plan for the future.”

Iowa joins 41 other states to legally grow industrial hemp, harvested for several uses including fiber, food, or oil. An important distinction needs to be emphasized between industrial hemp and medicinal or recreational marijuana. Iowa law prohibits hemp with more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in the drug marijuana, from being grown. In fact, Iowa hemp growers will be subject to annual inspections to ensure this law is followed.

Robin Pruisner, IDALS state entomologist and plant science chief ag security coordinator, will be covering the guidelines in the summit breakout session, “Industrial Hemp: Regulations and Production.” Pruisner will explain the next steps and potential timeframe for legalizing hemp production in Iowa and what farmers will need to know to apply for a hemp permit.  Adam Ornawka, a farmer from Saskatchewan, will share his challenges and successes adding hemp to his small grain crop rotation.

“Without hemp trials done in Iowa, it’s hard to know what impact production of this plant and in-field practices will have on water quality and soil health. It has challenges in agronomic management and market development that will be crucial—these questions and more are what we hope to cover in this year’s Economic Summit,” says Funk. “As details on the provisions of growing industrial hemp in Iowa continue to unfold, it will be interesting to see what types of opportunities become available in this untapped Iowa market.”

The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for states to adopt growing hemp. USDA Administrator Richard Fordyce is confirmed to attend and will speak on Farm Bill implementation.

The IFBF Economic Summit will be held at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. Registration is $30 for Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members before June 19.  Tickets will be available at the door--$60 for members and $150 for non-members. For more information on additional keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit or listen to the latest Spokesman Speaks podcast for additional insights.  

Pork Quality Assurance® Plus Revisions Take Effect Today

Revisions to the Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) 4.0 are effective today. The updated program reflects pork producers’ commitment to continuous improvement and features two training options – first-time and recertification.

“Pork producers are committed to the six We CareSM ethical principles because we want to do what’s best for people, pigs and the planet,” said David Newman, incoming National Pork Board president and a pork producer from Jonesboro, Arkansas. “This program has been a collaborative effort between producers, packers and industry representatives for over 30 years.”

New research information has been incorporated into the latest version to increase the program’s effectiveness and to help ensure its validity with customers and consumers. Pork producers remain focused on providing a safe, high-quality product while promoting animal well-being, environment stewardship and public health.

The PQA Plus enhancements include:
-    First-time certification provides new caretakers with the basic knowledge and education needed to work in the industry. The 75-minute presentation includes core content needed to be successful in the industry.
-    Recertification training gives experienced caretakers the opportunity to renew their certification in a scenario-based setting with their advisor or online.
-    Advisors can customize a portion of the training to fit the caretaker or group, based on experience and skills that need to be refreshed. Beyond core training, additional content is available for advisors to focus on particular production areas.
-    Producers may complete first-time or recertification training online through interactive learning modules. The online training modules, divided into the six We Care ethical principles, are each two to 14 minutes long.
-    To help producers prepare for a foreign animal disease, a Secure Pork Supply resource is included in the updated PQA Plus.

For more information on the revised PQA Plus program, visit

Pork Checkoff Names 2019-2020 Officers

David Newman, a pork producer from Arkansas, was elected president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. The National Pork Board’s 15 producer-directors represent America’s pig farmers.

“The U.S. pork industry is facing a time of unprecedented change and I look forward to serving America’s 60,000 pig farmers in the year ahead,” Newman said. “From preparing the global food industry for the threats facing us from foreign animal disease, implementing our Secure Pork Supply plan and driving home our messages of what sustainable pig production looks like in the U.S. and abroad, I cannot wait to lead the Pork Checkoff in delivering value to our producers.”

Newman is in his second term as a board member and owns and operates a farrow-to-finish Berkshire farm in Myrtle, Missouri, that markets pork directly to consumers throughout the U.S. Serving with Newman on Pork Checkoff’s executive officer team are Mike Skahill, from Williamsburg, Virginia, as vice president; Gene Noem, Ames, Iowa, as treasurer; and Steve Rommereim, Alcester, South Dakota, as immediate past president.

“In the year ahead, the Pork Checkoff will focus on redefining itself as we execute our new strategic plan,” Newman said.  “We will do this through increased collaboration with the producers who fund our programs. Our priorities remain clear: delivering value to our producer and supply chain partners, building consumer trust and driving continuous improvement on the farm.”

The four executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions effective at the close of the June board meeting.
Additional biographical information

Dr. David Newman, President – Newman is an associate professor of Animal Sciences at Arkansas State University where he teaches and conducts research, with an emphasis in meat science. Newman most recently served as board vice president, on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force, and on the Swine Health committee. He previously chaired the Domestic Marketing committee, served on the Producer Services committee and participated in Pork Leadership Academy.

Michael Skahill, Vice President – Skahill is a vice president for Smithfield Foods. Smithfield is a U.S.-based global food company and the world’s largest pork producer and processor annually marketing 16 million pigs. Skahill is in his second term on the board, most recently serving as board treasurer. He serves on the National Pork Board International Marketing Committee, the U.S. Meat Export Federation Pork Allied Industries Committee and chairs the trade committee for the North American Meat Institute.

Gene Noem, Treasurer – Noem is the owner of KD Feeders near Ames, Iowa, a wean-to-finish operation that markets 20,000 pigs annually. Noem also manages the contracted gilt multiplication for PIC North America. Noem is in his second term on the board, most recently serving on the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force and co-chairing a joint We CareSM task force with the National Pork Producers Council. Noem also serves on the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors and on its promotions committee.

Steve Rommereim, Past President – Rommereim most recently served as 2018-2019 board president. Rommereim is the owner, manager and operator of Highland Swine, which markets 12,000 pigs annually and grows corn and soybeans on 1,600 acres. Steve and his family are also part owners in SDI Pork LLC, which finishes 120,000 hogs annually. During his tenure on the National Pork Board, he has served on numerous committees, including the 2020 Strategic Planning Task Force. He is past president of the South Dakota Pork Producers Association, and currently serves on South Dakota Animal Industry Board and was just elected to the U.S. Animal Health Association.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/31/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 31, ethanol production declined 13,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1.2%, to average 1.044 million b/d—equivalent to 43.85 million gallons daily. It remained 3,000 b/d (0.3%) above year ago levels. The four-week average ethanol production rate moved 0.2% higher to 1.056 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.19 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks shrank by 0.3% to 22.6 million barrels. However, this remains 3.0% higher than year-ago inventories. Stocks rose in the Midwest, fell in the Gulf Coast and were fairly stable in other regions (PADDs).

There were no imports reported by EIA for the 29th week in a row. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied increased 0.5% to 9.441 million b/d (396.5 million gallons per day, or 144.73 bg annualized). However, refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol declined 1.8% in the holiday-shortened week to 931,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.27 bg annualized, but remained 3.3% above the year-ago level.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 11.06%.

Fertilizer Prices Evenly Mixed

Retail fertilizer prices continue mixed with half of the eight major fertilizers moving higher and the rest moving lower, according to locations tracked by DTN for the fourth week of May 2019. All price moves were fairly small.

Of the four fertilizers with higher prices, potash had an average price of $392/ton, up $2; urea $430/ton, up $$17; 10-34-0 $487/ton, up fractionally; and UAN28 $270/ton, up $2.

The remaining four fertilizers were slightly lower compared to the previous month. DAP had an average price of $497/ton, down $1; MAP $527/ton, down $1; anhydrous $590/ton, down $5; and UAN32 $314/ton, down $1.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.47/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.49/lb.N.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 3% higher, MAP is 4% more expensive, both potash and 10-34-0 are 11% higher, UAN28 is 12% more expensive, UAN32 is 14% higher, anhydrous is 17% more expensive and urea is now 18% more expensive compared to last year.

Farmer Sentiment Hits Lowest Level in Over 2 Years

Ag producer sentiment dropped to its lowest level since October 2016, erasing all improvements recorded following the November 2016 election. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S., declined 14 points in May to a reading of 101, down from 115 in April.

The decline in the barometer came about because producers' perspectives on both current and future economic conditions worsened considerably compared to a month earlier. The Index of Current Conditions fell to a reading of 84, down from 99, and the Index of Future Expectations fell to 108, down from 123.

"Ag producers are telling us the agricultural economy weakened considerably this spring as the barometer has fallen 42 points (29%) since the start of this year," said James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture. "Farmers are facing tough decisions in the midst of a wet planting season and a lot of uncertainty surrounding trade discussions."

The Large Farm Investment Index, which measures producers' attitudes toward making large investments in their farming operation, has ebbed and flowed over the past year; however, since the beginning of 2019, the index has trended significantly lower. In May, just 18% of farmers stated it was a "good time" to make large farm investments while 81% stated it was a "bad time," pushing the investment index down to a reading of 37. This is the lowest Large Farm Investment Index reading since the Ag Economy Barometer's October 2015 inception.

Farmers' optimism toward short- and long-term farmland values has also waned since the early part of 2019. For example, the percentage of farmers that expect farmland values to decline over the course of the upcoming year jumped from 21% in January to 25% in March and most recently to 30% in May. Looking farther ahead, just 39% of producers said they expect farmland values to rise over the next five years, compared to 48% expecting rising values in the March survey.

Agricultural trade continues to be a source of concern for producers. For the past three months, producers were asked whether they expect the soybean trade dispute with China to be resolved by July 1 and whether they feel the resolution will benefit U.S. agriculture. When the question was first posed in March, 45% of respondents expected the dispute to be resolved by July 1; that number declined to 28% in April and fell further to 20% in May. Regarding whether they ultimately expect an outcome favorable to U.S. agriculture, 77% said yes in March, which declined to 71% in April, and fell further to 65% in May.

"At this time, a majority of producers still expect a favorable outcome for agriculture to the trade dispute," said Mintert, "but that majority appears to be shrinking."

Read the full May Ag Economy Barometer report at This month's report includes more information about each of the survey questions, as well as a look into farmers' perceptions toward their equity positions. The site also offers additional resources -- such as past reports, charts and survey methodology -- and a form to sign up for monthly barometer email updates and webinars. Each month, Dr. Mintert also provides an in-depth video analysis of the barometer, available at

NMPF, IDFA Commend Introduction of Bipartisan School Milk Nutrition Act

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today offered their strong support for a bipartisan bill to codify into law current milk varieties that schools may offer and reaffirm the long-standing requirement that milk served in schools be fully consistent with the most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), preserves current policy which allows schools to offer students low-fat and fat-free milk, including low-fat (1%) flavored milk. The bill permits individual school districts to determine which milk varieties to offer their students, provided that they align with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

According to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, American children and adolescents over four years old are not consuming enough dairy to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations. As the American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Dairy products play an important role in the diet of children… In fact, milk is the leading food source of three of the four           nutrients of public health concern (calcium, vitamin D, and potassium) in the diet of American children 2-18 years.” Milk also provides numerous additional health benefits, including stronger and healthier bones, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Milk has been an integral part of school meals since their beginning, and greater milk consumption equals better nutrition for America’s kids,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “USDA’s action last year to return low-fat flavored milk to school menus has been good for schools, students and American dairy farmers. This legislation would further that progress by letting school districts know they can continue to offer low-fat flavored milk in years to come.”

The bipartisan legislation does not expand the varieties of milk that may be offered in schools but codifies current options into law to provide certainty to schools and school districts and ensure that future generations of milk drinkers are introduced early on to healthy, nutritious dairy products that they will want to drink. Milk is the leading food source of nine essential nutrients in children’s diets, including calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.  A survey of over 300 schools that offered low-fat flavored milk during the 2017-18 school year found that 58% of schools saw an increase in milk sold and 82% of schools found it easy or very easy to include low-fat flavored milk within their overall calorie maximums.

“One of the best ways to help our growing children and teens get the nutrients they need is by providing healthy dairy options at school that they will actually drink,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “We are grateful to Representatives Thompson and Courtney for introducing this bill that will maintain the option for schools to offer low-fat 1% flavored milk to students. Most students prefer these options at school because many enjoy them at home. The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2019 is a good first step toward providing expanded milk options that will help ensure students get the nine essential nutrients that milk uniquely provides, including powerful protein, calcium, vitamin D and potassium.”

Hearing Highlights Implications of ERS, NIFA Relocation for Agricultural Research

During a hearing held today by the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, key stakeholders expressed concerns about the current and potential ramifications of reorganizing and relocating two major agricultural research agencies. In accordance with previous announcements, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is continuing with plans to move the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside of the nation’s capital and realign ERS under the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).

National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s oldest general farm organization and a vocal proponent of public agricultural research, has objected to the proposal since it was first introduced last August. At the invitation of the committee, NFU President Roger Johnson submitted a statement for the record, reaffirming the organization’s opposition.

“Between economic uncertainty, climate change, trade disputes, and a host of other issues, family farmers and ranchers are juggling more today than they ever have. Publicly-funded agricultural research, including that done by NIFA and ERS, is absolutely critical in ensuring that food producers have the data and tools they need to keep all these balls in the air.

“Yet as the need for federally-supported science grows, this proposal pulls the rug out from under the agencies who provide it. Already, USDA’s hasty approach has disrupted operations – as experienced researchers scramble to find new jobs, NIFA and ERS have both lost decades of institutional knowledge. This is bad enough, but the long-term consequences could be even more serious. By moving these agencies farther away from policy makers, we are concerned that their research will be devalued and their influence diminished. Similarly, we worry that reorganizing ERS from under the Research, Education, and Economics mission area to the Office of the Chief Economist may undermine the scientific integrity and objectivity of its work.

“Farmers desperately need more objective, science-based research to face the many challenges of modern-day agriculture, but so far, USDA’s process has done just the opposite. We strongly oppose the relocation and reorganization of these agencies, and we thank the Committee for bringing attention to this important issue.”

NSP Statement on Proposed USDA Biotechnology Regulations

National Sorghum Producers Board of Directors Chairman Dan Atkisson, a sorghum farmer from Stockton, Kansas, made the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's proposed new SECURE rule, which updates biotechnology regulations and other agriculture innovations.

"National Sorghum Producers appreciates the efforts of Secretary Perdue and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in aggressively pursuing the needed updates to USDA’s 30+ year biotechnology regulations. Innovations through new breeding methods are vital to sorghum growers achieving improved production, meeting sustainability goals and maintaining our competitiveness in the global marketplace. We have been encouraged by the level of engagement and transparency USDA has displayed while evaluating this important issue. NSP looks forward to reviewing the biotechnology proposal and submitting substantive comments to further assist the department toward final rule making."


Today is World Environment Day and for U.S. farmers that makes it a great time to celebrate their success in modernizing agriculture and make it more environmentally sustainable. Improved soil management like no till and use of cover crops, precision farming tactics that better utilize nutrients and pesticides, and reducing trips across fields reduces fuel use and air pollution.

This list could go on, but suffice it to say, caring for the planet is vital to our survival. As caretakers of massive tracts of land farmers play a key role in improving our environment and they take this responsibility seriously.

From the Soil Health Partnership, which is building new soil for future generations; to the Take Action initiative that is constantly educating farmers on the latest and best ways to use crop products like herbicides and pesticides; to our efforts to save honey bees and Monarch butterflies, NCGA is working hard to keep farming profitable and assure environmental improvement.

World Environment Day is the United Nations' most important day of the year for promoting awareness and action to protect the environment. It began in 1974 and is a well-known global he National Corn Growers Association platform for positive change that is celebrated in over 100 countries.

As a farmer, take time today to tell your friends and neighbors about the positive improvements happening in agriculture and how you are making a difference. If you live in the city, you can help too by picking up trash that can end up in our ocean and fill up your car with cleaner burning ethanol fuel. We’re all in this together and enough small actions can lead to big change.

Adoption of Blockchain for Agricultural Commodity Trading Brings Challenges

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which allows multiple computers to store identical transaction records, is still in its infancy. Yet interest in blockchain and enthusiasm about its bevy of potential benefits has led to a flood of investment and pilot programs from companies around the world as they race to harness its power to aid tracking and transparency.

Blockchain innovations in agriculture are numerous but have been slow to gain industry-wide acceptance, particularly in the realm of global agriculture commodity trading. According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, blockchain application to commodity agricultural trade brings a unique set of challenges. Obstacles include grain blending along the supply route and a lack of digital documentation within sections of the supply chain. However, digital solutions are evolving quickly, creating an environment where blockchain technologies may become more viable in ag commodity trading in the future.

“Previous attempts to digitalize trade finance with tools like bank payment obligation have been slow to take hold, raising doubts among some market participants about new digitalization efforts like blockchain,” said Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “Nonetheless, banks and agribusinesses remain keen on finding distributed ledger solutions to deploy industry-wide and potentially achieve efficiencies from faster transaction speeds, less cumbersome documentation, and simpler and faster payments between buyers and sellers around the world.”

Blockchain data for grain traded on the inland river system would also have to integrate with systems for ocean-going vessels heading to international markets, thereby requiring international standards for data and governance. Given the current geo-political environment in global trade, such an evolution in international cooperation will likely be years in the making.

BASF opens global Agrochemical Application Research Center

BASF opened its new global Agrochemical Application Research Center (AARC) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The facility will help to further optimize stewardship guidelines regarding on-target application of BASF crop protection products used worldwide. Research conducted at the facility will also address application buffer zones for the company’s products as well as specific tank mix combinations.

“The new Research Center will help us bring new technologies to growers that reduce drift, use rates and fulfill required regulatory testing,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President North America, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “Additionally, research from the facility will provide our Technical Service teams with guidelines to help educate our customers on proper application and stewardship best practices.”

The AARC contains a wind tunnel to test the drift potential from spray applications by measuring the droplet size distribution in each crop protection product. Solutions being analyzed are sprayed into a controlled air stream using the same nozzles available to growers. Droplet size distribution is important because it is used to predict the size of land buffers that are required for acceptable product application in commercial settings. Knowing proper application constraints will mitigate the risk of off-target movement and subsequent crop symptomology or injury in downwind locations.

“The Application Research Center allows us to identify the most promising early stage technology under highly realistic application conditions, so we can better tailor further development,” said J├╝rgen Huff, Senior Vice President Research and Development Crop Protection, BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “We will continue to emphasize and support application stewardship to growers and develop best practices to apply the formulations in a commercial setting.”

New National Consortium Welcomes Nutrien as Founding Circle Member

Nutrien Ltd. (Nutrien) announced today that it is now a Founding Member of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC), a collection of private-sector and nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing sustainability throughout the agricultural supply chain.

The ESMC is driving an ambitious national effort to incentivize farmers and ranchers by creating programs that quantify, verify and monetize sustainability practices in crop production. The consortium will also drive further development of advanced analytical tools and technologies to cost-effectively measure and monitor changes in sustainability outcomes.

Nutrien will play a key role in achieving these objectives due its unique position in the marketplace as the largest provider of crop inputs and agronomic expertise in the world. The company has up-close relationships with over one-half million farmers in the U.S. a working staff of 3,500 agronomists and retail operations in 1,700 global locations. Nutrien also offers some of the most advanced tools, technologies and metrics available to farmers for measuring sustainable practices and assigning values to them.

“We are excited to have Nutrien as a member of the ESMC,” says Debbie Reed, executive director of the consortium. “The agronomic expertise and strong farmer relationships that Nutrien brings to the table will really help to scale our ecosystem service market opportunities for farmers across the country.”

Nutrien already has a major sustainability initiative underway, including conducting four pilot programs in different geographies that feature measurable outcomes having a positive impact on the environment. These sustainability objectives are being achieved with no additional cost to the farmer. Many of these participating farmers are benefitting economically due to increased crop yields and reduced production costs.

“Sustainable agriculture is extremely important for Nutrien and our grower customers, so we are proud to be a founding member of the ESMC,” says Mike Frank, CEO of Retail for Nutrien. “We believe that good environmental stewardship and good economics can – and must – go hand in hand, and we look forward to collaborating with our ESMC partners to continue to bring these priorities together.”

Nutrien joins a distinguished roster of Founding Circle and Legacy Partner members of the ESMC, including ADM, Bunge, Cargill, General Mills, McDonald’s USA, Indigo Agriculture, Noble Research Institute, the Soil Health Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Mars Incorporated and the Noble Research Institute L.L.C. The consortium will work together to develop and advance a market-based approach to promoting land stewardship to build healthy soils, sequester more soil carbon and improve water conservation.

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