Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Wednesday May 4 Ag News

Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement recognizes four honorees, inducts 15 members during March ceremony

The Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement recognized four honorees and inducted 15 new members during its annual banquet, held on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus in March. It was the first induction ceremony the organization had held since 2019, as the 2020 and 2021 banquets were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Honorees celebrated at the 2022 event are:  
Owen Palm, Gering. Owen Palm is the owner and founder 16 Nebraska John Deere dealerships and the former CEO of Western Sugar Cooperative. He served as the co-chair of BluePrint Nebraska, and has been a strong supporter of UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Western Nebraska Community College and various natural resources groups, among other entities.  

Larry Sitzman, Lincoln. Larry Sitzman served as Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, initiating agriculture trade missions to promote selling Nebraska products. As vice president of International Sales for Sand Livestock, he fostered relationships in international markets. Additionally, Larry served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association promoting pork products and protecting pork producers’ interests by monitoring regulations, influencing policy and legislation.  

Boyd and Elaine Stuhr, Bradshaw. Boyd and Elaine Stuhr are fourth-generation agricultural producers and live on their farm near Bradshaw. As individuals and as a team, they have been strong advocates for the agricultural industry and education in Nebraska. The Stuhrs have made significant contributions to their community, state and nation through their volunteer efforts and leadership activities. Boyd was instrumental in the formation of the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards. He was elected to the first Board of Directors and later served as Chairman of NACEB. Elaine has been an active spokesperson for agriculture serving as a Director on the Nebraska Corn Board, US Feed Grains Council and the Ag Council of America in Washington, D.C.  

Also during the ceremony, NHAA inducted two new cohorts of members – nine nominated in the fall of 2019, who were to have been inducted during the March 2020 banquet, and six nominated in 2021.  

New members of the 2020 cohort are:  
    Dennis (Dennie) Bauer, Ainsworth, emeritus Nebraska Extension educator  
    Charles Brogan, Lincoln, KFOR Radio
    Jerry Johnson, Wahoo, former agricultural cooperative CEO; state Legislator  
    Pete Lapaseotes, Bridgeport, Lapaseotes LTD, CPN Farms, Greenwood Ranch
    Jim Pillen, Columbus, Pillen Family Farms, DNA Genetics, NU Regent  
    Steve Pritchard, Albion, Nebraska Extension Educator
    Rodney Schroeder, Ashland, agricultural cooperative management
    Charles Shapiro, Wayne, UNL professor of agronomy and horticulture
    Dan Steinkruger, Lincoln, retired executive director of Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA-USDA)

New members of the 2022 cohort are:  
    Barbara Batie, Lexington, ag journalist  
    Don Batie, Lexington, farmer/owner/operator of Batie Cattle Company
    Archie Clutter, Lincoln, dean of UNL’s Agricultural Research Division (ARD) and director of Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station
    Andrea Cupp, Lincoln, UNL professor of animal science
    Richard Katt, Lincoln, ag education/Nebraska FFA executive director
    Butch Schuler, Bridgeport, Seedstock cattle rancher and farming.  

Formed in 1916, the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement is dedicated to preserving and improving Nebraska agriculture. Each year, the group recognizes at least one honoree and elects new members. Honorees are recognized for their contributions to Nebraska Agriculture.  

More information on 2022 honorees can be found on the NHAA website,  

– Melissa Bartels, NE Extension Educator, Butler County

Be sure to get out and check your alfalfa fields as alfalfa weevils have been recently confirmed in southeastern Nebraska. Scouting alfalfa fields now to monitor larval and adult weevil counts prior to the first cutting is important to determine if management strategies such as harvesting your field early or an insecticide application is needed. Remember alfalfa weevils cause alfalfa plants to wilt and turn brown, symptoms also seen with drought and cold injury. Weevil larvae can rapidly deteriorate hay quality as they spend nearly all their time feeding on the fresh leaf tissue of the plants.

Once alfalfa reaches 8 inches tall a sweep net can be used to see if alfalfa weevil larvae are present. If larvae are found with the sweep net, move to the hand sampling method. For hand sampling, collect 10 alfalfa stems cut at ground level from five locations across your alfalfa field. Next, shake the larvae off the cut stems into a deep-sided bucket. Then, count the larvae in the bucket and calculate the average larvae per stem. Weevil larvae are small (1/16 to 3/8 inch long) pale yellow to dark green insects that curl into a C-shape when disturbed.

Next calculate your economic thresholds for determining if an insecticide application or early harvest might be beneficial. The final treatment decision is based on the economic threshold which varies by plant growth stage, treatment costs, projected forage value and average larvae found per stem. You can find the full economic threshold chart by visiting For example, an insecticide treatment and/or harvesting early maybe recommended if you count 2 or more weevil larvae per stem at the early bud stage of developing alfalfa valued at $100 per ton.

High School Social Media Contest Encourages Nebraskans to Celebrate Renewable Fuels Month in May

Have you ever switched on a light? Have you used a laptop or a smartphone? Have you ridden in a car or a bus? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have used energy. As technology develops and the world’s population grows, people need more and more energy. But meeting this need sustainably can be a challenge!
Nebraska high school students took on the mission of educating their peers about reducing their energy use and carbon footprint through the Field to Fuel student social media contest. Students were tasked with planning a one-week social media campaign to promote Renewable Fuels Month – a celebration recognized in May by Nebraskans and sponsored by Nebraska Ethanol, Nebraska Corn, Nebraska Soybean, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska.
Aditi Rai, a junior at Elkhorn South High School, received first place honor this year for her social media content, which will be featured on the Nebraska Ethanol Board’s social media throughout Renewable Fuels Month. Rai also received $1,000 from the Nebraska Ethanol Board, which she plans to donate to her school’s Unified Green Team – a club dedicated to recycling and taking care of the community.
“When I first heard about the competition, I wasn’t sure,” Rai said. “I didn’t know much about renewable fuels or designing a social media plan. However, it was really a valuable experience. I learned a lot about renewable fuels and even more things I can do to help the environment.”
Renewable Fuels Month recognizes the importance of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. The month of May typically kicks off the summer driving season, making it a great time to fuel up on biofuels to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.
Vehicles 2001 and newer can safely use blends of ethanol up to E15 and will often see a $.10 savings per gallon. Owners of flex fuel vehicles can use blends up to E85 and experience even greater savings. Find ethanol locations near you at Heavy-duty vehicles can lower emissions by filling up with biodiesel blends up to B20. Locations can be found at
As environmental issues continue to spark national discussions, both ethanol and biodiesel are well-suited to combat global warming and promote cleaner air. Ethanol blends can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 46% compared to regular gasoline, and biodiesel can reduce lifecycle emissions by 86% compared to petroleum-based diesel fuel.
“We’re really excited about Renewable Fuels Month as we work to share the benefits of biofuels with our state and its people,” said Tony Leiding, president of Renewable Fuels Nebraska. “I encourage everyone to help us celebrate, spread the word, and continue to use higher ethanol blends throughout the summer driving season.”
Each year, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declares May as Renewable Fuels Month with a proclamation. Throughout the month the group hosts fuel promotions at gas stations offering higher blends of ethanol, interviews on Pure Nebraska, and educates the public about renewable fuels through radio, print, and social media. To participate in Renewable Fuels Month, please follow Nebraska Ethanol, Nebraska Corn, Nebraska Soybean, and Renewable Fuels Nebraska on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) for upcoming events, trivia, and prizes.
Lawrence Nelson High School students – Sydney Biltoft, Nathan Elledge, Bailey Ceder, Jacob Kathman, and Riley Funk – took second place honor with a $600 prize for the Field to Fuel contest. Norfolk Senior High students, including Ashton Kruse, Brianna Buresh, Keri Sanne, Henry Espinalas, Courtney Hintz, Jenna Fisher, and Claire Steskal, took the third place prize of $400.
“We appreciate all the creative submissions we received for our annual contest and hope the students had fun while they learned,” said Jessica Sodeke, program manager for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “Students are the future of renewable fuels, which are vital to Nebraska’s economy and our environment. We hope to see more entries next year and would encourage teachers to devote part of their curriculum to highlighting ethanol and other renewable fuels.”
If educators would like more information about how to celebrate Renewable Fuels Month with your students or to introduce biofuels into your curriculum, please visit Ethanol in the Classroom under the Educational Resources tab at, or give the Nebraska Ethanol Board a call at 402-471-2941.
The 2023 Field to Fuel contest will kick off in early fall and is open to all high school students grades 9-12. Students do not have to be in FFA to enter; any students can enter, including those interested in agriculture, renewable fuels, supporting a cleaner environment, and/or film production. For more information about the contest, visit


The Nebraska Poultry and Egg Development, Utilization and Marketing Committee has planned a meeting for Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Advanced Association Management in Milford, NE.

PED - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
NPI- 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Committee Meetings – 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The current agenda of subjects to be discussed at this meeting is available for public inspection at the offices of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Poultry and Egg Division, 521 First Street, Milford, Nebraska.

Please send any funding requests or additions to the PED agenda to Alyssa no later than June 9, 2022.

Please contact the PED office at 402-761-2216 or if you have any questions.

NSB accepting applications for Research & Extension Coordinator

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) is a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The soybean checkoff program was created as a part of the 1990 Farm Bill in order to maximize profit opportunities for soybean farmers. NSB staff is tasked with carrying out projects passed by the nine members of the board in the areas of communications, domestic marketing, education, international marketing, and research.

The mission of the Nebraska Soybean Board is growing value for Nebraska farmers by maximizing their checkoff investments.

Job Description
The Research & Extension Coordinator's main responsibility is to implement a strategic soybean research and farmer support program to improve Nebraska soybean farmer profitability. This position will work closely with Nebraska research institutions, national and regional research groups, and the agricultural industry. This position is responsible for seeking projects that align with the NSB strategic plan and mission, maintaining the research budget, and supporting the work of the NSB board of directors.

Essential Functions
    Coordinate program/project development, contract development and compliance, budget preparation, and program/project evaluation. Identify, analyze, and communicate timely and relevant research information that impacts NE soybean producer profitability.
    Liaising with the NSB board, research committee, and staff to manage strategic investments in research projects and determine long-term research priorities.
    Facilitate the annual research grant process and implement the research objectives outlined in the strategic plan.
    Maintain effective relationships with ag organizations, universities, and related ag businesses interested in researching soybeans and soy products. Attend regular industry meetings or meetings of external organizations of which the Nebraska Soybean Board is a member.
    Soliciting grower input continuingly and representing those interests with researchers, extension personnel, industry colleagues, external stakeholders, and regional/national counterparts.
    Serve as NSB subject matter expert on applied agronomic research.
    Support the NSB's Production and Crop Research Committee in setting long-term research priorities and gauging the success of funded projects.
    Researching and promoting agricultural strategies to counter the effects of changes in soil, climate, weather, and pest damage.
    This position requires frequent travel throughout the state and occasionally may require an overnight stay.
    Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
    Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
    Ability to work in a team environment.
    Computer skills, critical thinking, prioritization, organization, analytical and planning skills.

Preferred Qualifications:
    Bachelor's degree in crop/weed science, soil science, plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, or other closely related agriculture fields; plus 3 years of agriculture work experience.
    Working knowledge of the soybean industry.
    Working knowledge of the land grant university system (particularly related to agricultural research and extension).
    Work experience developing and managing budgets and contracts.
    Work experience making presentations to groups, including boards.
    Work experience establishing and maintaining working relationships with a variety of people, including co-workers, farmers, agribusinesses, universities, and researchers.

The Nebraska Soybean Board offers a variety of employee benefits including the following:
    Employee stipend
    Short & Long-term disability insurance
    Life insurance
    A match of up to four (4) percent on company 401(k) plan.
    Up to 12 paid holidays each year
    Three weeks of paid vacation per year for the first five (5) years

If you are interested in the position, please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to Scott Ritzman at by May 16th, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Scott at (402) 432-5720.

Iowa Farm Bureau Backs Chuck Grassley, Champion for Iowa Agriculture

The Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC) has designated Sen. Charles Grassley as a "Friend of Agriculture" for the June 7 primary election. Grassley is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate, where he serves as ranking member on the Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Finance and Budget committees as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Guided by grassroots input from every county in the state, Grassley was selected based on his support of Farm Bureau policies, voting record and support of Iowa’s farm families and agricultural economy.

“Sen. Grassley has earned the Friend of Agriculture designation because he has a record of strong support for issues important to farmers and rural Iowans,” said Kriss Haglund, a Boone County farmer and Iowa Farm Bureau PAC Chair. “Sen. Grassley has long been a champion of agriculture in Washington, D.C. He has been a leader in defending taxpayers, promoting biofuels and fighting back against burdensome government regulations.”  

"It’s an honor to receive the support of the Iowa Farm Bureau and its members from across the state who work 365 days a year to fuel and feed the world. As long as I’m serving in the U.S. Senate, Iowa farm families will have a voice at the leadership and policymaking tables in Washington, D.C.,” Grassley said.

Grassley serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and he runs his fourth-generation family farm with his son Robin and grandson Pat in Butler County.

The Iowa Farm Bureau represents more than 160,000 member families across the state.

USDA Updates Livestock Insurance Options to Offer Better Protection, Flexibility

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated three key crop insurance options for livestock producers: the Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP), Livestock Gross Margin (LGM), and Livestock Risk Protection (LRP). USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) revised the insurance options to reach more producers, offer greater flexibility for protecting their operations, and ultimately, better meet the needs of the country’s swine, dairy, and cattle producers. The updates were published last week for the 2023 crop year, which begins July 1, 2022.  

“Great and sound customer service is the most important thing we can provide our nation’s producers, making sure the programs and products we offer give them the most useful tools for covering their risks,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “Agriculture is not a static industry, and these updates reflect the importance we place on always knowing the evolving needs of producers and offering the most people the best risk management tools we can.”  

DRP is designed to insure against unexpected declines in the quarterly revenue from milk sales relative to a guaranteed coverage level; LGM protects against the loss of gross margin (or livestock’s market value minus feed costs); and LRP provides protection against price declines.  

Producers will now have more flexibility for DRP, LGM, and LRP, when indemnities are used to pay premiums, which can help producers manage their operation’s cash flow. With these updates, producers can now have both LGM and LRP policies, although they cannot insure the same class of livestock for the same time period or have the same livestock insured under multiple policies.  

Additional updates by insurance option include:  

Dairy Revenue Protection
    Dairy producers are now able to continue coverage even if they experience a disaster, such as a barn fire, at their operation.  

Livestock Gross Margin  
    Cattle, Dairy, and Swine coverage has been expanded, making it available in all counties in all 50 states.   

Livestock Risk Protection  
    Insurance companies are now required to pay indemnities within 30 days, rather than the previous 60 days, following the receipt of the claim form.  
    - Head limits have been increased:     
    o    Fed Cattle: 12,000 head per endorsement and 25,000 head per crop year
    o    Feeder Cattle: 12,000 head per endorsement and 25,000 head per crop year  
    o    Swine: 70,000 head per endorsement and 750,000 head per crop year
    - The termination date under LRP has been extended from June 30 to August 31  
    - Location reporting requirements have been relaxed to list only state and county, instead of the precise legal location.  

Learn more on RMA’s Livestock Insurance Plans webpage. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.   

ASA & USB Remind All Farmers: #SoyHelp to Manage Farm Stress

The American Soybean Association (ASA), United Soybean Board (USB), and soy states want to help farmers who may need a hand managing the stress of life on the farm. This May during Mental Health Month, the soy community will continue its proactive communications campaign to combat farm stress by offering #SoyHelp.

Help comes in many forms and from many sources, and the groups have researched and updated a range of options that will be shared both nationally and by state soybean affiliates throughout the month—and that live on the website year-round:
1. National mental health resources, including crisis centers and suicide hotlines
2. Agriculture-specific resources for farmers and farm families, both national and by soy state

While the pandemic certainly exacerbated farm stress, farmers are routinely faced with varying levels of anxiety resulting from a host of ongoing and unexpected concerns, from weather occurrences to supply issues, trade troubles to creeping inflation.

Brad Doyle, president of ASA and soybean farmer from Arkansas said, “We want these resources to resonate regardless of age, location, race, gender, or the circumstances that have led to needing a hand. Whether a long-time farmer feeling overwhelmed by a current situation, a young person just starting out in agriculture facing financial hardships, or family members trying to navigate how to assist their loved ones, we want them to have a starting point for seeking help.”

Included in the resources are links to self-assessments, professional services, and local health care facilities; hotlines for urgent needs; warmlines for helpful advice; chat and text lines for instant access; and articles on symptoms, solutions, and how to start uncomfortable but healthy discussions.

Soy farmer and USB Chair Ralph Lott from New York said, “The #SoyHelp campaign has two objectives. Certainly we want to get resources in the hands of those who need help and make sure they are aware that options exist for managing and mending their mental wellness. But, we also hope this ongoing campaign will continue to chip away at the old stigmas that sometimes exist in talking openly about the tolls of stress and seeking help—especially in rural communities.”

The #SoyHelp campaign will include #SoyHelp social media posts throughout May on ASA & USB social media (Facebook, Twitter); related content in the organizations’ newsletters that can be shared by soy states and other interested groups; editorials from soy growers on their encounters with #FarmStress; and, qualified advice on the subjects of farm stress and seeking emotional support.

Retail Fertilizer Trends

According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of April 2022, prices are somewhat mixed to end the month of April.  Six fertilizers' prices were higher, but none were up significantly. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.

DAP had an average price of $1,049 per ton, MAP $1,082/ton (all-time high), potash $881/ton, 10-34-0 $906/ton, anhydrous $1,534/ton (all-time high) and UAN32 $730/ton (all-time high).  MAP is now at an all-time high price for the phosphorus fertilizer after tying the all-time high price last week.

Two fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month but nothing notable.  Urea had an average price of $1,004/ton, while UAN28 was at $631/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $1.09/lb.N, anhydrous $0.94/lb.N, UAN28 $1.13/lb.N and UAN32 $1.14/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier.  10-34-0 is 48% more expensive, MAP is 54% higher, DAP is 67% more expensive, UAN28 is 81% higher, UAN32 is 87% more expensive, urea is 96% is higher, potash is 103% higher and anhydrous is 116% more expensive compared to last year.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 4/29/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending April 29, ethanol production expanded by 6,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 0.6%, to 969,000 b/d, equivalent to 40.70 million gallons daily. Production was 1.8% more than the same week last year and 4.6% above the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume decreased 0.8% to 969,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.85 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks thinned by 0.3% to a fifteen-week low of 23.9 million barrels. However, stocks were 16.9% higher than a year ago and 5.2% above the five-year average. Inventories declined in the East Coast (PADD 1) and Midwest (PADD 2) but increased across the other regions.

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, rose 1.3% to 8.86 million b/d (135.76 bg annualized). Demand was 0.1% less than a year ago and 0.7% below the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol improved by 1.1% to 895,000 b/d, equivalent to 13.72 bg annualized. Net inputs were 0.9% more than a year ago and 5.2% above the five-year average.

There were no imports of ethanol for the fourteenth consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2022.)

U.S. Exports of Ethanol Softened in March, while Shipments of DDGS Improved

Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst, Renewable Fuels Assoc.
U.S. ethanol exports declined 13% to 125.1 million gallons (mg), the lowest March shipments in six years. Canada logged its twelfth consecutive month as our top customer with a 10% increase to 34.2 mg (equivalent to 27% of total exports in March). Sales to South Korea spiked 38% to a record high of 25.3 mg (20% of March exports). However, India cut its imports of U.S. ethanol by almost half to 13.7 mg (11% of March exports). Other larger customers were Nigeria (10.8 mg, +115% to a record high), Mexico (8.3 mg, +15%), the Netherlands (7.7 mg, +2%), Singapore (6.1 mg, +21% to a four-year high), and Peru (4.5 mg, +124%). Notably, China and Brazil were absent from our export market in March. U.S. ethanol exports for the first quarter of 2022 totaled 392.0 mg.

The U.S. did not log any meaningful imports of foreign ethanol in March (Brazil shipped 107,784 gallons of undenatured fuel ethanol while Canada and China shipped negligible volumes of denatured fuel ethanol). Imports for the first three months of 2022 totaled 10.6 mg.

March U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, improved by 6% to 927,134 metric tons (mt). While Mexico decreased its imports of U.S. DDGS by 11% to 182,313 mt (equivalent to 20% of total DDGS shipments in March), it remained our top customer for the eighteenth consecutive month. Overall, exports were chiefly buoyant across our other larger markets: South Korea (128,115 mt, +23%), Vietnam (111,305 mt, +117%), Canada (105,042 mt, +3% to a record high), Ireland (95,813 mt, +250% to a record high), Indonesia (70,549 mt, -4%), Japan (66,462 mt, +22%), and Thailand (49,086 mt, +235%). Year-to-date DDGS shipments totaled 2.9 million mt—the largest first quarter exports since 2017.

USDA Dairy Products March 2022 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.20 billion pounds, 1.1 percent above March 2021 and 8.3 percent above February 2022.  Italian type cheese production totaled 513 million pounds, 2.1 percent above March 2021 and 10.0 percent above February 2022. American type cheese production totaled 474 million pounds, 1.4 percent below March 2021 but 7.0 percent above February 2022. Butter production was 203 million pounds, 1.5 percent above March 2021 and 10.4 percent above February 2022.

Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with March 2021)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 190 million pounds, down 3.9 percent.
Skim milk powder - 33.0 million pounds, down 37.2 percent.

Whey products (comparisons in percentage with March 2021)
Dry whey, total - 82.0 million pounds, up 6.6 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 95.3 million pounds, down 2.6 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 41.4 million pounds, up 1.3 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with March 2021)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 67.1 million gallons, down 2.8 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 41.8 million gallons, down 11.5 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 2.90 million gallons, up 16.3 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 4.28 million gallons, up 12.7 percent.

NCGA Launches Call-to-Action Urging USDA to Help Ensure Fair Markets

Are you concerned about the rising input costs of your operation?

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public comment period on Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns, the National Corn Growers Association has launched a call-to-action to aid corn growers in raising a collective voice on this important and timely matter.

“We need a unified message if we’re going to effectively reach Washington decision-makers on this important issue,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke S. Appleton. “That’s why it’s critical that corn growers take this opportunity to submit comments to USDA, including detailed information about how rising input costs are impacting their operation.”

The call-to-action encourages corn growers to comment specifically on accessibility, price volatility and market competition.

You can submit comments directly to USDA here The public comment period closes on Monday, May 16.

This opportunity gives us a seat at the table. Submit your comments today.

CF Industries, Mitsui to Partner in New Ammonia Plant Project

Mitsui & Co., Ltd., one of the leading ammonia marketers in the world, and CF Industries Holdings, Inc, the world's largest producer of ammonia, announced their intention to jointly develop a greenfield ammonia production facility in the United States.

The new facility will produce blue ammonia by leveraging carbon capture and sequestration processes to reduce carbon emissions by more than 60% compared to conventional ammonia. Demand for blue ammonia is expected to grow significantly as a decarbonized energy source, both for its hydrogen content and as a fuel itself.

The companies anticipate that a front-end engineering design (FEED) study will commence shortly. A FEED study typically requires approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. As a result, the companies expect to make a final investment decision on constructing the blue ammonia production facility in 2023.

Construction and commissioning of new world scale ammonia capacity typically takes roughly 4 years from that point. As a result, the new project would be expected to begin production in 2027 at the earliest.

New trial data shows three key management practices increase corn yield potential

Golden Harvest announced today new trial data reinforcing the importance of understanding the interactions between hybrid genetics, environment and certain management practices is the key to maximizing corn yield potential. To evaluate the response of Golden Harvest® hybrids to management practices, such as seeding rate, fertility and foliar-applied fungicides, the Golden Harvest agronomy research team implemented field trials across the Midwest in collaboration with local universities. Golden Harvest Eastern Agronomic Research Scientist Brad Bernhard, Ph.D., and Steve Wilkens, Golden Harvest Agronomy Manager for the East, share how pairing the right Golden Harvest corn hybrid with the right management practices can help maximize yield potential.

Select the optimum seeding rate for each hybrid

Optimal seeding rate is hybrid specific and environment dependent. Depending on agronomic characteristics, the grain yield potential of some corn hybrids is more easily influenced by increasing seeding rate.

"When determining the optimum seeding rate, it's important to consider things like the hybrid's ear type," said Bernhard. "Hybrids that exhibit ear flex tend to produce a larger ear at lower planting populations and a smaller ear at higher populations, while fixed ear hybrids produce the same number of kernels per ear, regardless of population."

Golden Harvest offers a couple hybrids that are a good choice for farmers looking to increase seeding rate to maximize yield potential, including Golden Harvest corn hybrid G10D21.

"This hybrid retains ear size with increased seeding rates, making it extremely responsive to higher populations in high-yield environments," said Bernhard. "However, it also maintains yield potential in lower-yield environments at average seeding rates, as it frequently produces a second harvestable ear."
G10D21 yield response to seeding rate. Source: Syngenta.

Selecting the appropriate seeding rate for each hybrid's agronomic characteristics is crucial to helping achieve high yield potential in corn production.

Precisely place fertilizer

Precision fertilizer placement provides available nutrients close to the plant. The use of phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen helps corn plants develop strong roots, stems and foliage to increase corn yield potential.

Systems for precision fertilizer application include planter-applied fertilizer, banded fertilizer and strip-tilled fertilizer. Differing from broadcast applications, which increase the fertilizer rate, precision fertilizer application works best by concentrating the same or reduced fertilizer rate in a more concentrated area near the plant.

There are a few Golden Harvest corn hybrids that respond well to precision fertilizer applications.

"I would describe Golden Harvest corn hybrid G14N11 as a management-driven hybrid," said Bernhard. "This hybrid consistently responded better to banded and planter-applied fertilizer applications than other hybrids in trials throughout 2019 to 2021. Similar results were seen with Golden Harvest corn hybrid G15J91: Planter-applied fertilizer increased yield by 40 bushels per acre (bu/A) at our Slater, Iowa, trial site in 2021."
G15J91 response to planter-applied fertility at Slater, Iowa, in 2021. Source: Syngenta.

Proper fertilizer placement can increase late-season standability to ultimately increase yield potential in farmers' fields.

Apply fungicide to maximize return on investment

Fungicide applications can prevent plant diseases like tar spot, Southern rust and gray leaf spot from developing, while also helping suppress disease pressure that may already be present in a field.

"But the right fungicide can do even more for your corn plant health than prevent disease," explained Wilkens. "Fungicide applications can also lead to increased standability and stay-green, which prolongs photosynthesis and can boost yield potential."

In trials, Golden Harvest corn hybrid G11V76 consistently showed a large response to fungicide applications in both high and low disease environments. Across 14 trials, most of which had low disease pressure, the hybrid averaged a 12 bu/A yield response to fungicide.

Golden Harvest corn hybrid G14N11 also saw significant improvement in yield and late-season plant health from fungicide applications in high and low disease environments. Yield response to fungicide applications averaged 10 bu/A across 22 research trials for this hybrid.
G11V76 response to foliar fungicide application across 14 locations in 2019 through 2021. Source: Syngenta.

"Providing research insights on hybrid response to different management systems is one of the ways Golden Harvest shows its commitment to our farmers," said Wilkens. "Farmers can connect with their local Golden Harvest Seed Advisor for more recommendations to maximize corn yield potential this growing season."

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