Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday July 24 Ag News

Farm Service Agency Reminds Producers to Report Livestock Losses Due to the Heat

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Executive Director Sarah Beck today is reminding producers in Cuming County who suffered livestock losses due to the recent extreme heat that financial assistance may be available through the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).

“The Livestock Indemnity Program provides producers with a vital safety net to help them overcome the financial impact of extreme or abnormal weather,” said Beck. “The extreme heat in the past week has had a significant impact on some livestock producers, even with good management practices in place. We encourage folks to reach out to our county FSA office.”

To apply for LIP benefits, a livestock producer must file a notice of loss with FSA within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is first apparent.

LIP compensates livestock owners and contract growers for livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to an adverse weather event, including hurricanes, floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat and extreme cold. The payment rate is based on 75 percent of the average fair market value of the livestock. Livestock producers must provide evidence that the death of livestock was due to an eligible adverse weather event or loss condition. In addition, livestock producers should bring supporting evidence, including documentation of the number and kind of livestock that died, photographs or video records to document the loss, purchase records, veterinarian records, production records and other similar documents.

To contact the Cuming County FSA office, call (402) 372-2451. To learn more about LIP, visit

NE Extension Hosts BQA+T meetings

Beef Quality Assurance certification concerns itself with practices throughout the production process, mainly dealing with animal health, food safety and product quality.  No matter what the segment, from the cow-calf producer to the dinner plate, each step affects quality as well as the eating satisfaction of consumer.  BQA works with veterinarians and extension educators to conduct trainings for feedlots, livestock auction markets, anybody who handles cattle frequently.  We train people and keep them updated on latest animal health issues, products, and practices.

UNL Extension Educator Rob Eirich is the director of beef quality assurance (BQA) for the state of Nebraska.  The position is a partnership between University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Beef Council.

Upcoming BQA Trainings/Certification (All Times Are Local Time Zone)
    August 6 - Fordyce - Parish Hall-St John The Baptist - BQA 4:00-6:00 p.m., Meal 6:00, BQA Transportation 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    August 7 - Albion - Events Center-Fairgrounds - BQA 4:00-6:00 p.m., BQA Transportation 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    August 26 - Broken Bow - 4-H Building, Fairgrounds - BQA 4:00-6:00 p.m., BQA Transportation 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    August 29 - Bridgeport - TBA - BQA 4:00-6:00 p.m.

More BQA Trainings are being scheduled and posted ASAP to  Call Rob Eirich for more information at 308-632-1230, Nebraska Extension Office, or Local Veterinarians. 

AFAN Announces Hiring of New Livestock Programming Coordinator

AFAN has announced the hiring of Rylee Stoltz of Bassett, Neb., as its new Livestock Programming Coordinator. Her appointment was effective July 8.

AFAN (The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska) is a non-profit organization formed by leading agricultural membership groups in Nebraska to encourage the development of environmentally responsible and economically viable livestock production in the state.
Stoltz’s responsibilities at AFAN include creating and managing programming events for producers and communities and assisting with communications activities to enhance understanding about the importance of the agriculture industry in Nebraska.

She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness focusing on business and finance. She also holds the Associate of Science degree from Northeast Community College, Norfolk. Until joining AFAN, she was a loan administrative assistant at Sandhills State Bank in Bassett. While in Bassett, her community activities included founder of the Rock County Growth, Inc., Youth Engagement Committee and chair of the Rock County Growth, Inc. Housing Board.

“Rylee is a most welcome addition to our team,” said AFAN Executive Director Steve Martin.   “Her skills and experience will be used to expand AFAN’s outreach efforts by helping create and carry out programming services on behalf of livestock producers and by getting the word out about how critical agriculture and livestock is to Nebraska’s economy.”


The venue for the Aug. 12-14 Nebraska Grazing Conference has changed due to recent flooding in Kearney. The Conference will now be held at the Exhibition Building at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, 3807 Avenue N, in Kearney, near the Buffalo County Extension Offices.

For a list of hotels with contracted conference rates, refer to the Nebraska Grazing Conference website at Hotel reservations must be made by Aug. 1.

The 2019 Nebraska Grazing Conference includes a pre-conference plant identification tour on Aug. 12. Presenters on Aug. 13-14 will address grazinglands management, winter grazing and rangeland health.

Conference registrations should be made by July 31 at For assistance with online conference registration, call 402-472-8747.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

The extra rain received in central and western Nebraska this year has been mostly welcome.  But it has raised havoc with making hay, especially on wet meadows.

Wet meadows are a great resource.  Their natural subirrigation enables them to reliably grow many of the plants cut for winter hay for many ranches.

This year, however, many of these meadows have had too much of a good thing – rain.  Not only have frequent rain showers made it difficult to put up the hay, many meadows are so wet it’s been impossible to even get in to cut the hay.

So what do you do?  I suppose you can continue to wait until the ground dries and firms up enough to drive haying equipment over it.  But the quality of this late cut hay isn’t going to be very good and the cost of putting it up will be high.  And for many of you, much of your summer hay crew may already be back to school.

Maybe a better idea would be to winter graze the meadows, either as standing grass or by windrow grazing.  You might need to build some temporary fence to efficiently strip graze as well as figure out how cattle will be watered, but there are several advantages to this approach.  First, it saves you the time and expense of making and feeding hay.  Also, it reduces the risk of damaging the meadow with heavy equipment running over it when it’s too soft.  Cattle won’t cause damage if you graze only when the ground is firm or frozen.  And finally, research on both meadows and uplands has shown that dry cows do well when winter grazing, often needing just a little protein supplement to assure good fiber digestion and healthy calves.

With all these advantages, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you ranchers who try it decide to do at least some of it on a regular basis.


Summer heat hit us hard this past week.  How do these high temperatures affect different types of forage plants?

When it suddenly turns ‘hooey boy’ hot – you know, 90 plus degrees and humidity so thick you can almost see it – cool-season plants suffer along with you and me.  Alfalfa and clovers, bromegrass, orchardgrass, fescues, needlegrasses, and wheatgrasses all struggle during hot weather.

If you’re old enough, do you remember – before air conditioning – how drained you used to feel after spending a night when the temperature never dropped below 80?  The same thing happens to cool-season forages, resulting in very slow growth, lower forage quality as plants burn up the good nutrients, and limited recovery of root reserves after defoliation.  And if it also is dry these conditions can even become deadly.

Warm-season grasses are just the opposite.  Millet, sudangrass, sorghums, and our native bluestems, gramas, switchgrass, and other warm-season grasses thrive when the temperature is around 90 degrees.  Their metabolism runs at peak efficiency when it is hot so they grow rapidly while maintaining reasonable forage quality and good root growth.

Of course, this assumes these plants have adequate moisture.  Once they dry up, these grasses will overheat too, just like cool-season grasses do at lower temperatures.

As you graze or hay, be aware of the stress weather is putting on your forage.  When it’s too hot, allow plants to recover for a longer time before next use.  And don’t expect high feed values or good animal gains when the nutritional goodies are burned right out of the plants.

Proper expectations and management adjustments can limit the stress from stressful weather.

USDA to Pay at Least $15/Acre to Farmers Hurt by Trade War

The U.S. government will pay a minimum of $15 per acre to farmers hurt by President Trump's trade war with China under an aid package to be unveiled before the end of the week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday.

"We'll have information for you before the week ends," Perdue told reporters when asked about the aid, which is planned to total about $16 billion.

Reuters report that farmers, a key Trump constituency, have been among the hardest hit in the trade war between the world's two largest economies. Soybeans are the most valuable U.S. farm export, and shipments to China dropped to a 16-year low in 2018.

A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the Department of Agriculture's $12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.

The USDA has redesigned last year's aid program based on feedback. The new package will have a single payment rate per county, calculated by the damages in that area, instead of a rate for every commodity across the nation.

Perdue said the minimal payment would be $15 an acre. "We're anticipating right now three tranches; probably 50 percent ... or minimum there of $15 an acre initially," he said, adding the second and third tranches would be dependant on market conditions, Reuters reports.

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at last month's G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, to restart trade talks that stalled in May. The president said at the time he would not impose new tariffs and U.S. officials said China agreed to make agricultural purchases. But Trump said on July 11 that China was not living up to promises to buy U.S. farm goods.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 7/19/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending July 19, ethanol production averaged 1.039 million barrels per day (b/d)— equivalent to 43.64 million gallons daily. Output was down 27,000 b/d (-2.5%) from the previous week for an 11-week low, and 35,000 b/d lower (-3.3%) than a year ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate decreased 0.8% to 1.058 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.22 billion gallons (bg) and the smallest level since May.

There were zero ethanol imports recorded after logging volumes for two consecutive weeks. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of May 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied to the market jumped 5.0% to 9.673 million b/d (406.3 million gallons per day, or 148.29 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol increased 3.5% to 942,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.44 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production declined to 10.74%.

DOE Response to Sen. Grassley Shows EPA Ignored Recommendations on Small Refiner Exemptions

A recent letter from Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) confirms that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ignored DOE recommendations regarding whether small refiners should receive exemptions from their Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending obligations.

“The admissions of the DOE letter flatly contradict previous statements from EPA officials who claimed their hands were tied by DOE recommendations on small refiner exemptions,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “EPA has claimed it must follow DOE’s guidance on whether to grant or deny exemptions, but this letter clearly shows EPA ignored the recommendations and analysis provided by DOE. The demand destruction that has resulted from these exemptions has been real and significant. Ethanol producers and the corn farmers who supply our industry are facing some of the worst market conditions in a generation, and these small refinery bailouts are largely to blame for that. We urge President Trump and Administrator Wheeler to restore some integrity and judiciousness to the small refiner exemption program, and ensure that any exempted renewable fuel blending requirements are redistributed to non-exempt refiners.”

The DOE letter, which responds to an April inquiry from Sen. Grassley, states that EPA granted an exemption to a refinery when DOE analysis found no exemption was warranted. Further, DOE states that EPA has never granted partial exemptions--opting instead to grant full exemptions--despite the fact that in many instances DOE analysis indicated only a partial exemption may be considered.

According to the letter, “DOE is aware of one instance in which DOE’s analysis indicates that EPA consider no exemption, but the result was an EPA decision to grant an exemption to the petitioner.” EPA further acknowledges that “EPA has never granted a 50 percent exemption. EPA has…granted…(full) exemptions in the past for which the results of DOE’s analysis indicate that a 50 percent exemption may be appropriate.”

Cooper said the letter also corroborates information recently uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by RFA, in which a former EPA official warned former Administrator Scott Pruitt that granting certain exemptions “would be a clear violation of Mr. Pruitt’s oath of office.” Other information uncovered in the FOIA request shows the White House knew exemptions were being granted without any demonstration of “true economic hardship.”

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, small refinery exemptions have increased nearly four-fold and not a single request for an exemption has been denied. EPA gave out 54 exemptions from 2016 and 2017 compliance, reducing RFS blending requirements by 2.6 billion gallons. The 2016 and 2017 exemptions led to a reduction in both the volume of ethanol consumed and the ethanol blend rate in 2018—the first annual decline in either measure of ethanol demand in at least 20 years. Another 38 exemption requests remain pending at EPA.

REG to Close Texas Biorefinery

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. announced on Wednesday the closing of its biorefinery in New Boston, Texas, due to challenging business conditions and continued federal policy uncertainty, most notably the long-lapsed federal biodiesel tax credit.

The company acquired the 15 million gallon per-year biodiesel plant near Texarkana, Texas, in October 2012 and began producing biodiesel there several months later. The facility is capable of running both high and low free fatty acid feedstocks and has truck and rail access.

"We truly appreciate all the efforts of our team and those that support our New Boston plant," said Brad Albin, vice president of manufacturing. "They significantly improved safety, demonstrated capacity, yield, quality and costs. However, these improvements could not overcome the unfavorable economics of the plant relative to our other options for ongoing focus and forward investment."

The company is currently working with plant employees on relocation opportunities within the production network.

"This closure comes today as a result of the poor economics over the last 18 months resulting in large part from the uncertainty surrounding the Biodiesel Tax Credit," said Cynthia J. Warner, REG president and CEO. "Despite significant bipartisan support, Congress' inaction on this value-added incentive has led to unsustainable market conditions."

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Hold Steady

Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of July 2019 show prices continue to be mixed, but more fertilizers had slightly lower prices than higher prices compared to last month.

Five fertilizers were lower compared to the previous month with none down a significant amount, which DTN considers 5% or more. MAP had an average price of $532/ton, down less than $1; urea $430/ton, down $5; 10-34-0 $584/ton, down $2; anhydrous $585/ton, down $4; and UAN32 $317/ton, down $1.

Three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month, but again the move higher was fairly slight. DAP had an average price of $497/ton, up $1; potash $392/ton, up less than $1; and UAN28 $275/ton, up $5.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.47/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.49/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 2% higher, MAP is 5% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 10% higher, potash is 11% more expensive, both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 14% higher, anhydrous is 16% more expensive and urea is 18% higher compared to last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment