Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tuesday May 17 Ag News

 Rob-See-Co Acquires Rupp Seeds Grain & Forage Division

Rob-See-Co, an independent seed company located in Elkhorn, Neb. acquired the Rupp-brand grain and forage division of Rupp Seeds, an Ohio-based seed company. The acquisition enables Rob-See-Co to expand its market and product offering to Rupp Seeds dealers and growers.

"We are excited to welcome the Rupp Seeds team to our Rob-See-Co family," said Rob Robinson, Rob-See-Co CEO. "Rob-See-Co and Rupp Seeds share the culture of a family-owned company. Both companies offer a simple, transparent business model and value the customer relationship. Given the similarities between the two companies, we see a mutually beneficial relationship."

Given there is no overlap with existing dealers, Rob-See-Co anticipates it will work with 100% of Rupp Seeds' dealers and will continue to sell Rupp corn, soybean, and wheat branded products through the 2022 growing season.

In 2023, the company plans to expand its offering to Rupp dealers to include Rob-See-Co and Innotech brand corn and soybeans, Masters Choice specialty silage, and Streamline Ag seed-driven crop inputs. The company will operate out of Rob-See-Co's headquarters in Elkhorn, NE. The Rupp family will continue to offer their vegetable seeds and other crops under the Rupp Seeds brand, operating out of their Wauseon, OH offices.

Customers will benefit from an expanded product selection. Rupp Seeds customers and dealers will gain the efficiencies of Rob-See-Co's operations, including broad germplasm and trait access, and improved testing and characterization. Rob-See-Co will benefit from an expanded footprint and access to additional trait and germplasm platforms. All customers will continue working with their respective Rupp Seeds and Rob-See-Co representatives, as there is no overlap in sales territories.

Rob-See-Co Completes Purchase of Germplasm Pool

Rob-See-Co, an independent seed company located in Elkhorn, Neb., announced the completed purchase of a germplasm pool. This germplasm’s strengths focus primarily in the northern plains, a market that has received less focus and investment, and gives Rob-See-Co the opportunity to develop and produce hybrids that enhance its overall product offering.

“The ultimate strength for hybrid improvement lies in the development of germplasm for underrepresented areas to maintain genetic diversity,” said Jim Robinson, Rob-See-Co Chief Technology Officer. “This material gives us the ability to develop products where we see a need and can help farmers improve yield and agronomics in regions where genetic gains have been stagnant.”

This germplasm has key strengths, in 95 RM and earlier maturities within the northern plains, including focuses on plant stature, husk cover, dry down and standability that will give growers greater yield, stability, and profitability.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Pasture & Forage Specialist

Did you have musk thistles last year?  If so, I’m sure you’ll have them again this spring.  And even through you may have done some herbicide control last fall, there are always those that may have been missed.  

While corn and soybean planting are a top priority for many, this is also a very good time to control musk thistles.  And I’ll also bet that you can get into your pastures to spray at least one or two days sooner than you can get into row crop fields to plant.

The current short rosette growth form in the spring is the ideal stage for controlling these plants.  That means spray herbicides soon, while your musk thistle plants still are in that rosette form, and very few plants will live to send up flowering stalks.

Several herbicides are effective and recommended for musk thistle control.  Some popular herbicides include Milestone, Graslan L, and Tordon 22K.  These herbicides will help control other difficult weeds like common mullein as well.

Other herbicides that can control musk thistles in pastures this spring include Chaparral/Oversight, Cimarron, Telar, Transline, Redeem R&P, and Curtail.  A tank mix of dicamba and 2,4-D also works very well.  No matter which weed killer you use, though, be sure to read and follow label instructions, and be especially sure to spray on time.

All these herbicides will work for you this spring if you spray soon, before musk thistles bolt and send up their flowering stalks.  After flowering, though, the shovel is about the only method remaining to control thistles this year.  

Midwest Dairy Awards Nebraska Division Educational Scholarships to Six Students

Midwest Dairy announces that six students will receive $500 - $1,500 scholarships to help cover costs as full-time undergraduate or graduate students at an accredited college.​​​ ​​​​​​​Recipients are required to have a family member (parent/guardian/grandparent/sibling) who owns a Nebraska dairy farm, or be employed on a Nebraska dairy farm. The dairy farm must have contributed to Midwest Dairy Checkoff as of January 1, 2022. Recipients were chosen based on past and present leadership involvement in their school, local community, and dairy community. On the application, recipients addressed what they see as the biggest challenge facing the dairy industry and how their future career plans address those challenges.

Congratulations to the following 2022 scholarship recipients:
    Marta Pulfer, of Wayne, Nebraska was awarded $1,500 and plans to graduate with her Veterinary Medicine Degree from Texas A&M University in 2024. Marta is the daughter of Kent and Jodi Pulfer.
    Jenna Albers, of Randolph, Nebraska was awarded $1,000 and plans to major in Animal Science or Ag Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jenna is the daughter of Doug and Joan Albers.
    Whitney Hochstein, of Wynot, Nebraska was awarded $1,000 and continues her pursuit of majoring in Graphic Design and Marketing from Wayne State College. Whitney is the daughter of Neal and Sharlee Hochstein.
    Allison Engelman, of Diller, Nebraska was awarded $500 and is headed to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Ag Education and minoring in Animal Science. Allison is the daughter of Adam and Brooke Engelman.
    Makenna Held, of Leigh, Nebraska was awarded $500 and will be headed to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Accounting and minoring in Agribusiness. Makenna is the daughter of Keal and Heather Held.
    Faith Junck, of Carroll, Nebraska was awarded $500 and is majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication with a dual minor in Animal Science and Leadership & Communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Faith is the daughter of Dwaine and Priscilla Junck.

For more information about the of Nebraska Division Educational Scholarship, please visit https://www.midwestdairy.com/nebraska-scholarships.

 Assistance Available for Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by Wildfire

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funding available to assist agricultural producers whose land was impacted by recent wildfires. Landowners have until June 30 to apply.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding is available to help producers plan and implement conservation practices on farms and ranches impacted by natural disasters. EQIP funding is available to assist in this wildfire recovery effort by planting cover crops on impacted cropland and to defer grazing on rangeland.

“Numerous fires have impacted farmers and ranchers across Nebraska over the past several weeks leaving ground vulnerable to erosion,” said Rob Lawson, state conservationist for NRCS. “We can assist landowners with installing conservation practices to help prevent any further damage to their agricultural land and aid in the recovery of rangeland productivity and soil health.”

“NRCS can help with recovery efforts,” Lawson said. “Our staff works one-on-one with landowners to assess the damage and develop approaches that lead to an effective recovery of the land.”

The application signup for this wildfire assistance is happening now and will run through June 30, 2022. Applications will be assessed, and even though some lands may be eligible for assistance, it is not guaranteed that all acres will receive financial assistance due to limited funding.

Interested landowners and operators should contact their local NRCS office in the USDA Service Center for applications and more information.

Iowa Biofuels Access Bill Ensures Iowans Have More Choices at the Pump

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is excited that Governor Kim Reynolds has signed the Iowa Biofuels Access bill into law today and what that will mean for Iowans. The bill gives Iowans more access to E15, a clean-burning, homegrown, lower-cost fuel choice.

Currently, just 17% of Iowa’s fuel stations provide E15 (also labeled at Unleaded 88). The bill is expected to provide E15 access to approximately 70% of fuel stations by 2024, which means more drivers will have access to the more affordable fuel option.

Choosing E15 at the pump also has a major impact on the environment and lung health. “The American Lung Association believes that renewable alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel reduces the carbon footprint and reduces the number of harmful petroleum gasoline components that cause lung cancer,” says Angela Tin, national senior director of Clean Air Initiatives at the American Lung Association.

Grant Menke, director of market development at ICGA, says every Iowan deserves more choices at their local gas station. “The bill increases consumer choice by giving more access to E15 around the state,” he says. “Today there are about 300 stations in Iowa that offer E15. When this bill is fully implemented, we will see about 1,000 more stations offering E15.”

“The Biofuels Access Bill has been a top priority for the Iowa Corn Growers Association to keep Iowa as the leader of not only corn and ethanol production, but also in access to cleaner-burning, more affordable, homegrown ethanol,” said Lance Lillibridge, a farmer from Vinton, Iowa, and President of the ICGA. “It expands the availability of E15 to consumers, saving them an average of 10 cents per gallon, and creates additional markets for Iowa corn farmers. It’s a win-win for Iowa.”

IRFA Celebrates Governor Kim Reynolds’ Signing Biofuels Access Bill

Surrounded by Iowa farmers and biofuels supporters, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Iowa Biofuels Access bill into law this morning on a family farm outside of Prairie City.
House File 2128, commonly known as the Iowa Biofuels Access bill, was passed by the Iowa Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this session. The bill increases consumer access to higher biofuel blends like E15 and B20 while also providing fuel retailers additional help to upgrade fueling infrastructure.
In response, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw made the following statement:
“With the stroke of her pen, Governor Reynolds made history today. The Iowa Biofuels Access bill is nation-leading policy that will greatly expand consumers’ ability to find lower-cost biofuels at pumps across the state. Iowa is now the first state to have an E15 program and the first state to incentivize B30. Iowa is now truly the leader in both biofuels production and biofuels policy. This would not have happened had Governor Kim Reynolds not introduced the bill and made it a top priority this legislative session. At a time of record-breaking fuel prices, the Governor's Biofuels Access bill will provide relief for consumers and long-term markets for farmers. It is not exaggerating to say that the Iowa Biofuels Access bill is the most important piece of biofuels legislation ever enacted in Iowa. IRFA deeply appreciates the leadership of Governor Reynolds and her commitment to empowering families and farmers.”

Hard Winter Wheat Tour Day 1 Average Yield Estimate: 39.5 BPA

Day 1 of the Wheat Quality Council's Hard Winter Wheat tour concluded Tuesday, May 17, with a total weighted average yield estimate of 39.5 bushels per acre (bpa). Last year, the average yield estimate was 59.2 bpa. Field sampling occurred in northwest and north-central Kansas and several counties in southern Nebraska.

Beef. It's What's For Dinner. Partners with FOX's MASTERCHEF JUNIOR

The stakes are high, as talented young chefs bring out their aprons and return to the kitchen on the hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF JUNIOR airing Thursdays (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. This week, the seven remaining junior chefs test their culinary knowledge of different cuts of steak. In the first challenge of the night the young chefs will have just 45 minutes to create an egg dish. The challenge winner earns immunity and decides the order in which the other contestants will choose a cut of steak in an Operation-style game. The winner of the steak challenge will get his or her recipe published on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com and win a trip to a cattle farm.

The episode is in partnership with the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It's What's For Dinner. brand and Endemol Shine North America, producers of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR.

"It's so exciting to have Beef. It's What's For Dinner. back on network television," said Sarah Reece, Senior Executive Director, Brand Marketing, NCBA. "It's amazing to see kids create these fantastic dishes that inspire people to cook and enjoy beef."

In 2019, Beef. It's What's For Dinner. and MASTERCHEF partnered for a Backyard BBQ challenge. Season 10 contestant Sarah Faherty's winning recipe, featuring a Tomahawk Steak, can be found on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.

"We are thrilled to once again partner with Beef. It's What's For Dinner. for another Mystery Box challenge in this week's episode of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR," said Tamaya Petteway, Senior Vice President, Brand Integrations, Partnerships & Digital, Endemol Shine North America. "Through this expanded partnership, beginning from MASTERCHEF Season 10 to now, MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season eight, we were able to not only creatively integrate Beef. It's What's For Dinner. in the episode, but offer something new to the winner and their family, an incredible prize package with a trip to a working cattle farm to experience the 'pasture to plate' process, see firsthand how cattle are cared for, learn about the beef production process and more. How exciting for our winner and the MASTERCHEF JUNIOR brand!"

Judges and mentors in Season Eight include world renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, acclaimed chef Aarón Sánchez and wellness advocate, author and new judge Daphne Oz. The three culinary heavyweights will determine which pint-sized home cook will be named America’s next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, taking home a trophy and $100,000 in prize money.

The episode of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, featuring Beef. It's What's For Dinner. airs Thursday, May 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Beef Checkoff Opens Funding Requests for Eligible Groups

The Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) invites all eligible organizations to submit funding requests for Beef Checkoff programs and projects for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2022. Requests must be in the form of an Authorization Request(AR).

By law, the Beef Checkoff contracts with national, non-profit, beef industry-governed organizations to carry out promotion, research, and education work directed in the Beef Promotion & Research Act and Order.  

As outlined by the Beef Promotion and Research Order, eligible groups that may contract for the Beef Checkoff are established national nonprofit industry-governed organizations that:

(a) are nonprofit organizations pursuant to sections 501(c) (3), (5) or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c) (3), (5) and (6)); (b) are governed by a board of directors representing the cattle or beef industry on a national basis; and (c) have been active and ongoing for at least two years.

Organizations must submit a first-round draft of an AR to the CBB by June 22, 2022. At the 2022 Summer Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada, July 25-28, organizations will have the opportunity to present their specific plans and funding requests to various Checkoff Program Committees. This valuable process allows producers and importers to provide their input on Checkoff-funded programs, build programs free of redundancy, and achieve the strategies outlined in the Beef Industry Long Range Plan (LRP).

The number of Beef Checkoff contracting organizations changes from year to year, and so does the available amount of funding, which is based on annual national Checkoff collections. In September 2021, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved nine contractors to conduct Checkoff work in the amount of $38.9 million for the current 2022 fiscal year.

If your qualified organization is interested in submitting an AR to the CBB for the 2023 fiscal year, contact Beka Wall, CBB Director of Evaluation and Outreach, by May 23, 2022, at 303-220-9890 or bwall@beefboard.org.

The deadline for draft ARs is June 22, 2022.

USDA Extends Deadline to June 15 for Public to Comment on Competition Challenges in Seed, Fertilizer, Other Agricultural Inputs, and Retail Markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a 30-day extension to the public comment period to identify the impacts of concentration and competition challenges in seed, fertilizer, other agricultural inputs, and retail markets. The new deadline is June 15, 2022.

Three RFIs (requests for information) were published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2022, each with a 60-day comment period ending May 16, 2022.

USDA seeks information about competition matters as they relate to: (1) fertilizer; (2) seed and agricultural inputs, particularly as they relate to the intellectual property system; (3) food retail, including access to retail for agricultural producers and small and medium-sized food processors through wholesale and distribution markets.

The RFIs are intended to provide USDA with data on competition and market access for farmers and ranchers, new and growing market competitors, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, and the context of these markets for farmers. Additional information is available at www.ams.usda.gov/about-ams/fair-competitive/rfi.

All written comments should be posted online at https://www.regulations.gov. Comments should reference the docket number of the RFI, the date of submission, and the page number of this issue of the Federal Register. Comments may also be sent to Jaina Nian, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Room 2055-S, STOP 0201, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.  20250-0201. Comments will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours or online.

To enhance fair and competitive markets, this initiative from the Biden-Harris administration supports additional fertilizer production for American farmers and spurs competition to address rising costs, including price hikes from the war in Ukraine, and recent supply chain disruptions.

Sustainable and independent choices for fertilizer supplies demonstrates the administration’s ongoing investment in American goods and services to rebuild a more resilient, secure, and sustainable economy. Additionally, a reliable supply of domestic fertilizer addresses climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation, while fostering more sustainable production and precise application

Interested in Learning More about Trade? Join us for Trade School!

The Texas Corn Producers Board, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and U.S. Grains Council are teaming up to host Trade School for farmer members and stakeholders in Belton, Texas, on Tuesday, June 14. Held at the Bell County Expo Center, the agenda will cover the benefits of trade, current hot button issues, regional trade topics, and key updates pertaining to policy initiatives and market development efforts.

“Trade School gives attendees an opportunity to learn more about the current global market that we all operate within and how to share that message with members of Congress or their local communities,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché. “In 2020, the U.S. exported 2,550 million bushels of corn, which makes up roughly 17.5% of our entire demand portfolio, so it’s important that we’re all aware of current trade barriers and that we’re all equipped with the information needed to talk about trade within our communities.”

Trade school started in 2016 and has been held in a number of states since then. Other event sponsors include the Bell County Farm Bureau, Texas Grain Sorghum Board, National Sorghum Producers, Sorghum Checkoff and Capital Farm Credit. You can register and learn more about the event here https://grains.org/tradeschool.

RCIS expands precision ag information services with Climate FieldView connection

Zurich North America today announced that its crop insurance business – Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) – has added Climate FieldView™ to its list of precision agriculture providers available to RCIS customers. FieldView enables farmers to collect, store and analyze planting and harvest data on one easy-to-use platform, backed by dedicated customer support, data-driven recommendations, and cutting-edge science. FieldView allows farmers to electronically connect field data to RCIS systems for a more seamless, accurate and secure crop insurance reporting experience.

“We continue to focus on our customers, simplify our processes and innovate to create new products and services,” said Jason Meador, Head of RCIS for Zurich North America. “We’re excited to add FieldView to the suite of precision ag providers we offer our policyholders, and we will continue to invest in new technologies to bring added time-saving steps and insights to farmers to complement their existing digital agriculture services.”

The addition of FieldView makes the process of recording and reporting a policyholder’s planting and production information much simpler. By leveraging technology already in use on farms, RCIS customers will have an important, new connectivity option and ease of use.

For RCIS crop insurance agents and policyholders, the process of reporting acreage and harvested production is one of the biggest time investments in crop insurance. Information must be provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, which is a requirement of the federal crop insurance program. Having planting and production acres easily accessible through FieldView also can save farmers valuable time leveraging harvest production data during the claims process.

“The addition of FieldView’s precision ag connection offers significant value to our policyholders for managing their farm production information and reducing their complexities,” said Nick Luett, RCIS Mapping Product Manager.

Mexico to Suspend Import Duties on Food to Tackle Inflation

Mexico will waive import duties for one year on a range of household staples, most of them foodstuffs, in a bid to curb inflation, the government said in its official gazette on Monday.

The products on the government list included pork, corn oil, rice, tuna, chicken, beef, onions, jalapeño peppers, beans, corn flour, wheat flour, eggs, tomatoes, milk, lemons, white corn, apples, oranges, wheat and carrots.

Bread, potatoes, pasta for soup, sardines, sorghum and hand soap were also listed in the decree.

Duties would also be suspended on imports of live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens, the government said.

The government said the waiver on the household staples would take effect from Tuesday and be in force for a year. The waiver on livestock would enter force pending the approval of Mexico's foreign trade commission, it added.

The measures could be extended for another year, it added.

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