Friday, June 3, 2022

Thursday June 2 Ag News

 Fischer, Colleagues Call on USTR to Secure Long-Term Fertilizer Trade

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Ag Committee, joined Sens. Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai. In the letter, the senators urged Ambassador Tai to develop and execute a strategic plan for securing the United States’ long-term fertilizer needs.

“We write today to urge you to develop and begin executing a strategic plan for the long-term stability of fertilizer trade for our farmers and ranchers. Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is sparking concerns over famine in Africa and the Middle East. Societies dependent on agriculture are keenly aware of the threat of food insecurity. Big agrarian nations like Brazil are already acting to re-draw global trade routes, especially regarding fertilizer, to ensure the productivity of their nation and address the needs of a starving world. We must do the same,” wrote the senators.

The senators specifically outlined a series of actions USTR can take to better address fertilizer supplies.

“We believe enhancing our fertilizer trading relationship with Canada should be a priority of the administration. USTR should also consider negotiations to eliminate the cross-border vaccine mandate between the U.S. and Canada which is hindering the movement of goods. Second, we believe USTR should engage with China to reduce or eliminate their fertilizer export restrictions, which decrease the supply of phosphates on the global market, driving prices up. Finally, we strongly encourage you to use the tools at the administration’s disposal to eliminate barriers to the importation of crop nutrients, and to negotiate to ensure fertilizer supplies are abundant and affordable here in the U.S,” wrote the senators.

The full letter can be found below.

May 31, 2022
The Honorable Katherine Tai
United States Trade Representative
600 17th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Ambassador Tai,

We write today to urge you to develop and begin executing a strategic plan for the long-term stability of fertilizer trade for our farmers and ranchers. Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is sparking concerns over famine in Africa and the Middle East. Societies dependent on agriculture are keenly aware of the threat of food insecurity. Big agrarian nations like Brazil are already acting to re-draw global trade routes, especially regarding fertilizer, to ensure the productivity of their nation and address the needs of a starving world. We must do the same.

While some believe that current trade alliances will indefinitely meet U.S. fertilizer needs, recent events have underscored the need to explore alternative suppliers. Several major global producers of different crop nutrients – China, Russia, and Belarus – have proven to be unreliable trading partners. China leads global production of processed phosphates at 41%, while Russia and Belarus control roughly 36% of global potash production.

While the United States is also a major producer of nitrogen and phosphate, our farmers also rely on imports to fully meet demand, including reliance on Canada for potash. Other countries will likely look to Canada as the leading producer of potash. Additionally, Morocco is the second largest producer of processed phosphates, accounting for 15% of global production. The U.S. International Trade Commission has imposed duties on imports of Moroccan phosphate, resulting in exports from the country supplying markets other than our own. Currently, 36% of the global tradable supply of phosphate fertilizers is not subject to U.S. duties. Further, the U.S. is in the process of imposing additional duties on urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) from long-time supplier Trinidad and Tobago.

To believe these problems are only short-term is short-sighted. Even if the war in Ukraine would end tomorrow, our relations with Russia will take decades to heal and may never be the same. China and India are positioning themselves to capture crop nutrient trade from Russia, which will leave a supply gap for western agriculture. Western countries with fertilizer supply problems will be competing for fertilizer from “friendly” countries. We cannot be left scrambling in 2023 and beyond to find crop nutrients, we need to begin working today to solve this inevitable challenge.

We believe enhancing our fertilizer trading relationship with Canada should be a priority of the administration. USTR should also consider negotiations to eliminate the cross-border vaccine mandate between the U.S. and Canada which is hindering the movement of goods. Second, we believe USTR should engage with China to reduce or eliminate their fertilizer export restrictions, which decrease the supply of phosphates on the global market, driving prices up. Finally, we strongly encourage you to use the tools at the administration’s disposal to eliminate barriers to the importation of crop nutrients, and to negotiate to ensure fertilizer supplies are abundant and affordable here in the U.S.

Thank you for your attention to the serious issue. Our offices stand ready to assist you in developing and executing a strategic plan for securing fertilizer long term.

Senators Roger Marshall, M.D., Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, Deb Fischer
Cc: The Honorable Gina Raimondo, The Honorable Tom Vilsack, The Honorable Cecilia Rouse, The Honorable Jason Kearns.


– Brad Shick, NE Extension Educator

As the year begins to heat up and cattle are on pasture, it’s important to make sure there is adequate water for livestock. How much do cattle need and where should it come from?

The water requirements for cattle depends on their size, class, and environmental conditions. Cattle will receive some of their daily water requirements when they are consuming high moisture feedstuffs such as fresh forages when grazing pastures, silages, or green chopped feeds. Feeds that are high-energy increase the water requirement.

High humidity, greater temperatures, and other environmental factors also increase the water demand. A study by the University of Georgia lists the water requirements for days when the daily high temperature is 90°F. With these conditions, a growing or lactating animal needs two gallons of water per 100 pounds of body weight. This means a 1400 pound, lactating cow will need close to 28 gallons of water daily with 90°F daily highs. If the calves are 250 pounds, they will need about 5 gallons. Some of the water will come from grazed forage and for the calf, some water will come from the milk.

Having fresh, clean water should always be a priority. The ability to have water close by should also be a goal, although sometimes it’s simply not possible. More water locations can help meet the water demand and could also help grazing distribution too.

Keep an eye on water this year and make sure livestock have enough.

Nebraska Cattlemen Announce Support For Pillen

Today, the Nebraska Cattlemen Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its support of conservative Republican Jim Pillen to be Nebraska's next governor.

“As someone who helped build a successful family livestock business in Nebraska, Jim understands the concerns of the agriculture industry because he experiences them firsthand,” said Nebraska Cattlemen PAC Chairperson Brenda Masek. “Jim won’t be a politician analyzing our industry from the outside and making crucial decisions on our behalf - he has walked in our shoes, knows our struggles, and will be a strong supporting voice in the Capitol and beyond.”

"It's an honor to have the support of the Nebraska Cattlemen, an organization that represents thousands of Nebraska ranchers and cattle feeders," said Pillen. "We share a belief in the power of agriculture to grow Nebraska and make it a more prosperous state for us and our children. Together, we can fix our broken property tax system, grow our economy, and defend our conservative values."
Pillen has been endorsed by leading conservatives across Nebraska, including Attorney General Doug Peterson, Governor Pete Ricketts, former Governor Kay Orr, and Dr. Tom Osborne, as well as Nebraska Farm Bureau.

Companies Advance Nebraska Renewable Diesel Plant

Worley Ltd. has been awarded a contract by Heartwell Renewables LLC, a joint venture between The Love’s Family of Companies and Cargill, for a greenfield renewable fuels plant in Hastings, Nebraska. The new plant will produce an estimated 80 million gallons of renewable diesel per year from feedstocks such as vegetable oils and tallow.

This renewable diesel has the potential to reduce at least 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional petroleum-based diesel. It’s also compatible with diesel engines and can be used directly in engines designed to run on conventional diesel fuel with no blending required.

Under the contract, Worley will provide detailed and field engineering services carried out by their  team in Houston, Texas with support from the Global Integrated Delivery office in India.

“To help decarbonize road transportation, North America will be increasing its renewable diesel capacity significantly by 2025. We look forward to working with Heartwell on this important project that will contribute to the ambition of supplying more sustainable fuels to the market,” said Christy Tyer, Senior Vice President, Americas Central at Worley.

USGC Welcomes New Summer Intern

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) welcomed two new team members to the organization on May 31.

Teresa Myers joined the Council’s industry relations department in its Washington, D.C., headquarters as the new meetings manager.  In this role, Myers will plan, coordinate and execute the Council’s membership meetings, including annual, bi-annual and others, as needed. She will also coordinate staff assignments for meetings and conferences and work with contractors who support the execution of them.

The Council also welcomed a new member to the communications department. Emma Dostal will be spending her summer as an intern with the group, thanks to the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board.

Dostal will assist in general communications activities, website updates, press release preparation and other communications-related information in anticipation of the Council’s Export Exchange, a program allowing overseas attendees the opportunity to build relationships with U.S. suppliers of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), corn, sorghum, barley and other commodities, scheduled for October.

“We are very much looking forward to having Emma intern with us, as she offers a high level of communications training she's gained through her studies in Nebraska,” said Bryan Jernigan, USGC director of communications. “Her willingness to roll up her sleeves and dive right into the work will be a boon to the communications team, especially in light of the return to in-person programming for overseas buyers and end-users.”

Dostal is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she is majoring in global studies and advertising/public relations and minoring in French and political science.

She has previously served as a central diplomat-in-residence intern with the U.S. Department of State (DOS), where she led outreach within Nebraska to raise awareness of DOS programs and to underrepresented communities in Nebraska and globally, while also assisting in the creation of social media content.

NCGA Welcomes Hoffschneider, Peterson to Summer Internships

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomes two interns this summer thanks to the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA). Emma Hoffschneider, who is majoring in agricultural economics and agricultural & environmental sciences communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will be working in the NCGA office in Washington, D.C. Savannah Peterson is interning with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Peterson majored in agricultural communications and animal science at Casper College and will begin at Kansas State University this fall.

“I am so excited for this opportunity to grow my network and make real connections within the agricultural industry,” said Peterson. “There are really talented and influential leaders within this organization, and I look forward to learning from and working with them.”

Hoffschneider and Peterson are two of six interns in all who were selected for internships with key cooperator partners of NCB. Students will be based in the offices of the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, NCB and NeCGA. Most of these internships will conclude at the end of the summer, but two are year-long experiences.

“I applied for the Public Policy Internship with the National Corn Growers Association because I wanted to gain a broader perspective on the policy that affects our growers both at a state and national level,” said Hoffschneider. “After my internship this summer, I want to have a stronger understanding of the entire policy process, from the formation to the execution. As well as learning about potential career opportunities as I enter my senior year of undergrad.”

Not only will students gain real-world experiences from these internship experiences but will also acquire valuable insight on possible future careers.

Interns will document their learning experiences through written updates and social media posts. To keep up with these students and their experiences, visit or follow the Nebraska Corn Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

NCBA Commends Signing of U.S.-Japan Beef Export Agreement

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised the signing of an agreement between the U.S. and Japan to increase the Beef Safeguard Trigger level under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement.

“The agreement signed today underscores the importance of the mutually beneficial relationship between U.S. cattle producers and Japanese consumers, and we are hopeful that the improved safeguard will provide greater certainty for all segments of the supply chain. NCBA thanks Ambassador Tai for her continued efforts to reduce trade barriers and expand export opportunities for American cattle producers,” said NCBA Senior Director of International Trade and Market Access Kent Bacus.

In March 2021, Japan and the U.S. entered negotiations after record-setting beef exports triggered the safeguard provision of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. Today’s increase in the Beef Safeguard Trigger level will allow American producers to continue exporting high-quality beef to meet Japanese consumer demand.

Japan is a top export market for U.S. beef, accounting for over $2.3 billion in sales in 2021.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/27/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 27, ethanol production jumped 5.6% to a 24-week high of 1.071 million b/d, equivalent to 44.98 million gallons daily. Production was 3.6% more than the same week last year and 9.7% above the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume increased 2.6% to 1.017 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.59 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks thinned by 3.2% to 23.0 million barrels, the lowest volume since the start of the year. However, stocks were 17.2% higher than a year ago and 5.8% above the five-year average. Inventories dipped 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, increased 2.0% to 8.98 million b/d (137.62 bg annualized). Demand was 1.8% less than a year ago but 1.0% more than the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol rose 0.9% to 923,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.15 bg annualized and the largest weekly volume in nine months. Net inputs were 0.8% more than a year ago and 5.4% above the five-year average.

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

NFU Responds to USDA Food System Announcement

In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the framework for a broad effort to transform our nation’s food system.  

NFU President Rob Larew was in attendance at the event and issued the following statement:

"Farmers Union members have long known the importance of a strong and resilient food supply and a fair agricultural economy. Today’s announcement by Secretary Vilsack about how the USDA will work to transform the food system is a great step towards those ends. NFU will work collaboratively with USDA to inform this transformative process."

"Farmers Union members are ready and able to help confront the big challenges of our time— making agriculture markets more fair and competitive, breaking down barriers to healthy food, reinvigorating our communities, and addressing the climate crisis."

Through its Fairness for Farmers campaign, NFU has been working to bring many of the issues discussed today into the national spotlight, including broadening market opportunities, expanding processing capabilities, and addressing supply chain vulnerabilities.

Philippine Government Uses Free Trade As Deflationary Tool

The Philippines recently announced a decision to lower restrictive corn import tariffs on non-ASEAN corn from 35% to five percent.

Executive Order 171 cited the economics of the current world situation driven by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and corn’s pivotal role in more than 50% of the total production cost of large-scale broiler and swine rations for the decision to lower import tariffs on corn.

The Council believes this is a responsible step by the Philippine government as it encounters domestic inflationary pressures.

“The U.S. and Philippines agricultural industries have enjoyed a strong relationship for a very long time,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “The Council is standing by, ready to help the Philippine government and industry fill in any raw material supply shortage the country is facing. U.S. farmers have an abundant, sustainable corn crop ready to deploy when needed.”

The Philippines feed industry relies heavily on feed wheat imports due to its history of high import tariffs on corn outside ASEAN. The recent global wheat supply chain disruptions have had a disproportionally negative impact on Philippine input prices.

“If these tariff reductions stick long term, the Philippine livestock industry will have a chance to become competitive again with their ASEAN neighbors. When a steady supply of corn is available, the overall demand for corn grows, given corn is still the energy source of choice by many nutritionists,” said Caleb Wurth, USGC regional director for Southeast Asia and Oceania.

“This higher demand for corn will also help local corn producers join the global corn market, increasing efficiency and profitability. The Council will be right there with our partners to ensure all parties in the agricultural supply chain equitably participate in this historic move.”

U.S. Monthly Average Milk Price in April Tops March Record

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported Tuesday the U.S. average all-milk price was $27.10/cwt, the second straight month of a record high all-milk price and shattering the previous record set in March.

The March milk price, which was not revised in the recent announcement, was $25.90/cwt. That was 20 cents/cwt higher than the previous record, in September 2014, and only the fourth time the monthly milk price has been above $25.00/cwt.

Dairy futures prices as of the end of May indicated that the monthly all-milk price would stay in the range of April’s price through this fall.

USDA reported the April DMC margin was $12.29/cwt, a gain of $0.74/cwt over the margin for March. The April DMC feed cost rose $0.46/cwt, driven entirely by a higher corn price, while the soybean meal price declined, and the premium alfalfa price showed a small increase.

May CWT-Assisted Dairy Export Sales Totaled Nearly 19 Million Pounds

CWT member cooperatives secured 57 contracts in May*, adding 5.0 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 49,000 pounds of butter, 13.0 million pounds of whole milk powder and 679,000 pounds of cream cheese to CWT-assisted sales in 2022. In milk equivalent, this is equal to 147 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. These products will go customers in Asia, Central America, Oceania and South America, and will be shipped from May through December 2022.

CWT-assisted 2022 dairy product sales contracts year-to-date total 47.7 million pounds of American-type cheese, 95,000 pounds of butter, 5.0 million pounds of cream cheese and 28.5 million pounds of whole milk powder. This brings the total milk equivalent for the year to 690 million pounds on a milkfat basis.

USDA Seeks Nominees for the American Egg Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominees for the American Egg Board (Board) to fill 10 member and nine alternate member vacancies. One appointed member will serve a one-year term due to a resignation and the remaining nine members and nine alternate members will serve two-year terms beginning March 2023 and ending March 2025. The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 5, 2022.

Any egg producers owning 75,000 or more laying hens may be nominated by a certified eligible operation. USDA will select appointees from the nominated producers.

Nomination forms, a list of the three areas and the certified eligible operations within each area are available on the AMS American Egg Board webpage.

The Board is composed of 18 members and 18 alternates and administers the egg research and promotion program authorized by the Egg Research and Consumer Information Act of 1974. For more information, contact Barbara Josselyn at (202) 713-6918 or

John Deere to move cab production from Iowa to Mexico

John Deere will move its cab production in Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations from Waterloo, Iowa to Mexico.  In an email to its Waterloo employees, John Deere said, “production of all cabs, welding and assembly, for current and future products” will be moved to Mexico.

“John Deere’s plan to bring new product programs to our operations in Waterloo, Iowa, makes it necessary to consolidate the manufacturing of cabs from the Tractor and Cab Assembly Operations (TCAO) to Ramos Component Works in Mexico. The decision to move cab production ensures the company can balance workforce needs within the tight labor market, while also ensuring Waterloo can open up floor space to manufacture new products,” a spokesperson for the company said.

KTIV reported the cab move will occur in incremental phases with a completion date set for 2024.

The local union official told a local reporter that it is his understanding there are no planned layoffs at the facility, where approximately 1,100 people work.


Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business of Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, today announced the opening of an additional one-month sign-up period for its 2022 carbon program. Truterra enrolled an initial cohort of farmers beginning in December 2021 and is looking to drive additional supply through this second enrollment opportunity to meet buyer demand.  After successful verification, farmers can earn up to $25 per ton upfront for new carbon stored in soils.
The 2022 Truterra carbon program builds on the results generated by its 2021 program, which resulted in more than $4 million in payments to participating farmers, who sequestered over 200,000 metric tons of carbon. Truterra offers farmers greater earning potential by paying based on results – actual carbon stored – rather than a set payment per acre.
“We are extremely proud to be rewarding farmers for their stewardship of their natural resources and the work they are doing to store carbon in their soils,” said Jason Weller, President, Truterra. “We continue to learn from farmers and ag retailers and improve our program to best fit their needs and support their transitions to more sustainable practices that will hopefully open up new profitability opportunities for their operations and improve their soil health for the long-term.”
Farmers are paid in full after successful verification and Truterra covers all soil sampling and verification costs, including one-on-one data collection support to save time and ensure farmers can stay focused on their operations.
The Truterra carbon program is delivered through their agricultural retail network of trusted agronomy advisors, including 50 participating retailers across 17 states. This network, as part of the Land O’Lakes’ ag retail network spanning over 900 retail owners, brings together insights from the entire food supply chain spectrum to inform successful on-farm sustainability approaches.
The full footprint of Land O’Lakes, Inc., including WinField United’s agronomic leadership, provides a unique ability to help customers meet their sustainability commitments while providing new market opportunities for the cooperative system.
The Truterra carbon program offers a unique opportunity for companies and other organizations to support farmers and impact soil health systems across millions of acres, with real results to show for it. As a result, Truterra recently announced it would be continuing its relationship with Microsoft as a buyer of carbon dioxide removals in 2022 and 2023, in addition to its purchases through Truterra’s 2021 program.

For more information and to get started, visit

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