Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wednesday November 13 Ag News

Ricketts Visits Graepel, Showcases Great Jobs Created by German Manufacturers in Nebraska

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts visited the international headquarters of Graepel during his trade mission to Germany.  Graepel, a manufacturer of perforated metals, has its North American headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

During the visit, Governor Ricketts met with the company’s executive leadership to thank them for their continued investment in Nebraska and toured their facility.  Graepel employs 40 Nebraskans and has a total workforce of 750 worldwide.  Their facility in Nebraska produces perforated and formed metal products for the agricultural machinery, construction equipment, heavy duty truck, and rail industry.

Nebraska companies exported almost $179.4 million of goods to Germany in 2018.  Exports to Germany have increased by 26% since 2010 ($142.1 million).  Over the last five years, Germany has been Nebraska’s 10th largest trading partner.

Nebraska has recently experienced a surge in manufacturing jobs.  Manufacturing employment is currently at its highest level since October 2008 with over 100,000 Nebraskans working in manufacturing jobs.  According to the National Association of Manufacturers, Nebraska’s manufactured goods exports have grown 40.9% from 2010 to 2018.

2018 Irrigation and Water Management data now available

There were 231,474 farms with 55.9 million irrigated acres, which included 83.4 million acre-feet of water applied in the United States, according to the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey results, published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In 2013, the irrigation survey results showed that there were 229,237 farms with 55.3 million irrigated acres, which included 88.5 million acre-feet of water. The results show that though the number of farms irrigating and the amount of land irrigated increased slightly between 2013 and 2018, the total amount of water used for irrigation declined.

“The 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey, formerly titled the Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey, expands on the data collected in the 2017 Census of Agriculture,” said NASS
Administrator Hubert Hamer. “This report offers detailed, comprehensive, up-to-date information specific to the agriculture industry’s use and management of water supplies.”

Data highlights from the 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey include:
- The total amount of water used in 2018 was 83.4 million acre-feet, down 5.8 percent from 2013.
- The average acre feet applied was 1.5, which compares with 1.6 in the 2013 irrigation survey. (An acre foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot.)
- The largest portion of irrigated farmland acres in the United States was dedicated to cropland – including grain and oilseed crops, vegetables, nursery and greenhouse, and hay crops.
- Farmers irrigated 51.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the open in 2018.
- Ground water from on-farm wells accounted for 50 percent of irrigation water applied to acres in the open; the average well depth in 2018 was 235 feet.
- The irrigation results show more irrigated acres with sprinkler systems than gravity irrigation.
- Five states accounted for around one-half of the irrigated acres and water applied – California, Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas, and Idaho.
- Equipment, in general, is one of the leading irrigation expenditures with farmers and ranchers spending more than $2 billion on irrigation equipment, facilities, land improvements and computer technology in 2018; energy costs for pumping well and surface water amounted to $2.4 billion.
- Irrigated area of horticulture under protection was 1.53 billion square feet in 2018. This compares with 1.41 billion square feet in 2013.
- Irrigated horticulture grown in the open was 581,936 acres in 2018. This compares with 524,227 acres in 2013.

The 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey followed up with approximately 35,000 producers who indicated in the 2017 Census of Agriculture that they irrigate. Producers provided information on water sources and amount of water used; acres irrigated by type of system; irrigation and yield by crop; and system investments and energy costs.

“The 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey results provide valuable information that farmers, ranchers, policymakers, and others can use to make agriculture water use more efficient,” said Hamer. “In making decisions about their operations and their communities, producers and policymakers can learn about the use of improved technology, efficient ways to irrigate, and ways to reduce irrigation- related expenses.”

IPIC Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness Workshops in December

The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, in collaboration with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, will hold six workshops in December to address preparations for an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. The outbreak of a foreign animal disease would be a huge challenge for Iowa pork producers. Planning ahead for an outbreak may reduce some of the stress and assist operations in preparing appropriate actions.

The IPIC team will explain what the state and federal response might include in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., and how producers can individually prepare for such an outbreak on their farm. If individual producers are more prepared, the industry as a whole is more prepared, according to IPIC extension program specialist Amanda Chipman.

“We want to help producers prioritize actions steps and set goals to accomplish on their farm today,” she said. “These workshops will build on experiences from previous workshops and insights we gained while observing the African Swine Fever functional exercises in September 2019.”

Following the workshop, attendees can expect to have better understanding of foreign animal disease preparedness and will leave with practical strategies that can be used immediately to improve the protection of their herd from endemic diseases already in the U.S. swine herd. Producers are invited regardless of whether or not they attended one of the first series workshops earlier this year.

These sessions cover what to expect during a foreign animal disease outbreak and response, mass depopulation and disposal options, how to write your personalized, enhanced biosecurity plan, how to keep the required movement records and monitor for clinical signs consistent with an FAD outbreak. Individual or small group assistance sessions with enhancing biosecurity and developing a Secure Pork Supply plan for your operation also are available and can be scheduled upon request.

Workshops are scheduled for the following dates and locations. Each will be held from 1-4 p.m. with an optional help session from 4-5 p.m. All sessions are available at no charge thanks to IPPA support.
    Dec. 2, Public Library, Dike.
    Dec. 3, Sioux County Extension Office, Orange City.
    Dec. 4, Mahaska County Extension Office, Oskaloosa.
    Dec. 9, Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, Ames.
    Dec. 10, Audubon Recreation Center, Audubon.
    Dec. 11, Cedar County Extension Office, Tipton.

Use the online form to register for the desired workshop location....

Farm Couples Can Enjoy a Weekend Getaway This Winter

In response to high levels of both personal and financial farm stress, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering four “Farm Couple Getaways” aimed at farmers wanting to take advantage of activities to improve farm family communication, work on farm or family goal-setting, or work on farm transitioning, or who would just like a weekend away to discuss farm and family issues.

The first getaway will be held Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, at EWALU Stone Center in Strawberry Point. The dates and locations for the other getaways are as follows:
    Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020, at Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah.
    Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-Feb. 22, 2020, at Lake Shore Center at Okoboji in Milford.
    Thursday and Friday, March 19-20, 2020, at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Dubuque.

The getaways run from 12:30 p.m. on the first day to 3:15 p.m. on the second day. There is no cost to attend, as food, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by sponsorships. However, there is a $50 per couple deposit to hold each reservation, refundable on the second day of the getaway.

“Past ‘Farm Couple Getaways’ have proven to be beneficial. They are a very productive and delightful time to discuss items of importance to help farms and families be successful,” said Larry Tranel, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Each getaway will consist of 10 farm couples and the extension facilitators. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, due two weeks prior to each session.

Registration brochures for the various sites can be obtained from Jenn Bentley at, or at the ISU Extension and Outreach Winneshiek County Office, 563-382-2949; Fred Hall at, or the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office, 712-737-4230; and Larry Tranel at, or at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dubuque County Office, at 563-583-6496.

The Farm Couple Getaways are sponsored statewide by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, with other local sponsors recognized at the local events. More information is available in the event brochure...

Midwest Dairy Leaders Elected to National Boards

Five Midwest Dairy leaders are among the newly elected officers of Dairy Management Inc.™ (DMI), the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA) elected to serve the industry for the 2019-20 term.

These officers were elected at the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting of the NDB, UDIA and National Milk Producers Federation in New Orleans, and they will serve to lead national dairy checkoff strategies and programs to protect and grow sales.

“I look forward to serving the dairy community in the coming year as a member of the UDIA board,” said Allen Merrill, who is also the Chairman of the Midwest Dairy Board. “We will work together and, as an industry, address the challenges we’re facing, capitalize on the opportunities in front of us and continue to tell the story of dairy to drive demand.”

UDIA officers elected were:
·       Chair – Neil Hoff, Windthorst, Texas
·       1st Vice Chair – Allen Merrill, Parker, S.D.
·       2nd Vice Chair, American Dairy Association – Tom Woods, Gage, Okla.
·       2nd Vice Chair, National Dairy Council – Audrey Donahoe, Clayville, N.Y.
·       2nd Vice Chair, UDIA Member Relations – Rick Podtburg, Greeley, Colo.
·       Secretary – Michelle Schilter, Chehalis, Wash.
·       Treasurer – John Brubaker, Buhl, Idaho

The UDIA is a federation of state and regional dairy farmer-funded promotion organizations that provide marketing programs developed and implemented in coordination with its members. The UDIA is overseen by a board comprised of dairy farmers elected by respective local and regional boards of UDIA member organizations.

DMI officers elected were:
·       Chair – Marilyn Hershey, Cochranville, Penn. (re-elected)
·       Vice Chair – Steve Maddox, Riverdale, Calif.
·       Secretary – Skip Hardie, Groton, N.Y.
·       Treasurer – Deb Vander Koi, Worthington, Minn.

DMI manages the national checkoff program and is co-funded by NDB and UDIA.

The NDB officers elected were:
·       Chair – Brad Scott, San Jacinto, Calif.
·       Vice Chair – Connie Seefeldt, Coleman, Wisc.
·       Secretary – Arlene Vander Eyk, Tulare, Calif. 
·       Treasurer – Alex Peterson, Trenton, Mo.

The 37-member NDB, formed in May 1984 under the authority of the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983, carries out coordinated promotion and research programs to help build demand, and expand domestic and international markets for dairy products.

American Dairy Association officers elected were:
·       Chair – Tom Woods
·       Vice Chair – Jerrel Heatwole, Greenwood, Del.
·       Secretary – Lowell Mueller, Hooper, Neb.
·       Treasurer – Corby Werth, Alpena, Mich.

National Dairy Council officers elected were:
·       Chair – Audrey Donahoe
·       Vice Chair – Christine Sukalski, Leroy, Minn.
·       Secretary – Harold Howrigan, Sheldon, Vt.
·       Treasurer – Lynn Ramsey, Emory, Texas

Dairy Margins Widen to Highest Since 2017 in Positive Economic Sign


In welcome news for the dairy economy, the September margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program rose by $0.56 per cwt. over the August margin to reach $10.41 per cwt, the second consecutive month margins have fallen outside the threshold necessary to trigger a federal payment. The is the highest seen since the beginning of 2017, allowing for the change in the alfalfa hay price in the margin formula’s feed cost calculation. The September all-milk price was $0.40 per cwt. higher than August’s and the DMC calculated feed cost for September was $0.16 per cwt. lower than August’s, mostly due to a drop in the price of corn.

As of November 6, USDA’s DMC margin is currently projected to remain above $9.50 per cwt. for the remainder of 2019 and during all of 2020. Milk prices are expected to generate most of the monthly changes in the margin forecast, while feed costs are anticipated to remain relatively stable during that time.

CWT-assisted October Contracts Move Year-to-Date Export Sales Total Over 100 Million Pounds

The 41 sales contracts CWT assisted member cooperatives in securing in October brings the year-to-date total export sales CWT is helping members move overseas to 100.1 million pounds. The total is made up of 45.4 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 4.6 million pounds of butter, 277,782 pounds of anhydrous milkfat (AMF), 43.8 million pounds of whole milk powder and 5.9 million pounds of cream cheese. The milk equivalent of these sales is 897.5 million pounds on a milkfat basis.

Looking at October activity specifically; 22 contracts for 4.1 million pounds of American-type cheese, one contract for 125,664 pounds of butter, 5 contracts for 1.9 million pounds of whole milk powder and 13 contracts for 892,872 pounds of cream cheese were secured by member cooperatives with CWT’s assistance. The products will be going to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, Oceania and South America and will be shipped to 29 customers in 11 countries during the months of October 2019 through April 2020.

Assisting CWT member cooperatives gain and maintain world market share through the Export Assistance program positively impacts all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price. It does this by expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products beyond the domestic market thereby increasing the total demand for U.S. farm milk.

Fertilizer Prices Remain Mostly Lower

For the first week of November 2019, the majority of retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continue to show lower prices compared to a month earlier.  Five of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price from a month earlier, although none were significantly lower. DAP had an average price of $462/ton, MAP $471/ton, urea $396/ton, anhydrous $499/ton and UAN28 $249/ton.  The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher from last month. Potash had an average price of $384/ton, 10-34-0 $473/ton and UAN32 $289/ton.

Half of the fertilizers are lower in price from a year ago while the other half are now higher.  MAP is now 11% less expensive, DAP is 8% lower, anhydrous is 4% less expensive and urea is 3% lower from last year at this time. UAN32 is 1% higher, UAN28 is 2% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 3% higher and potash is 4% more expensive compared to last year.

Brazil Forecasts Record Soy Crop

Brazilian crop agency Conab raised its forecast for the country's soybean crop in the 2019-2020 season as the area planted and productivity are expected to increase.

Brazilian farmers will grow 120.9 million metric tons of soybeans this season, for which planting is more than half finished, a slight increase from the 120.4 million forecast in October. The country grew 115 million tons of soybeans in the 2018-2019 season. The area planted will increase 2.3% from last year, Conab said.

Unusually hot and dry weather in some soybean-producing states at the end of last year and the start of this year reduced yields in areas, and led to a smaller crop in the 2018-2019 season compared with the record 119.3 million tons grown in 2017-2018. The 2.7% increase in productivity forecast for the current season is partially because of the decline in productivity in 2018-2019.

Brazilian farmers will produce a total corn crop of 98.37 million metric tons in 2019-2020, compared with the October forecast of 98.39 million metric tons. That's also down from the record 100.05 million tons produced in 2018-2019, Conab said.

NCGA Engages with the Next Generation of Leaders

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) had the opportunity to participate in the Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference (AFALC) in Kansas City, Missouri. AFALC offers four different and distinct tracks for college students to assist them in developing both personally and professionally. The tracks vary based on where students are within their college journey.

“These are the future leaders of our industry and it is great to represent America’s corn farmers to talk about opportunities with NCGA and the industry,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché.

Granché helped staff a booth where he engaged with students about NCGA and student opportunities within the association. Granché also served on a roundtable, where he discussed his career path with students and answered their questions about association work as well as offering advice for navigating academia and career.

While there, Michael was reunited with NCGA former intern, Emily Keiser, who was participating in the conference’s third track. Keiser anticipates graduation this spring from South Dakota University.

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