Friday, June 10, 2022

Thursday June 9 Ag News

 Tallgrass Sequestering CO2 from Nebraska's ADM Corn Processing Complex

Tallgrass has entered into an agreement with ADM that would pave the way for Tallgrass to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from ADM's corn-processing complex in Columbus, Neb., and transport it to Tallgrass' Eastern Wyoming Sequestration Hub for permanent underground storage. By utilizing a converted natural gas pipeline for CO2 transportation, Tallgrass minimizes the need for new pipeline infrastructure while enabling ADM, a global leader in sustainable products, to further decarbonize its global operations and strengthen Nebraska's agriculture industry.

Tallgrass is advancing a project to convert its Trailblazer natural gas pipeline to CO2 transportation service and establish an approximately 400-mile CO2 pipeline to serve as the backbone of a regional CO2 transportation system. The pipeline, which runs through Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska, will be capable of transporting more than 10 million tons of CO2 per year for permanent sequestration and is ideally situated to transport CO2 from ADM's plant and other commercial and industrial sources to a sequestration hub in eastern Wyoming. In preparation for this initiative, Tallgrass recently announced plans to develop a commercial-scale CO2 sequestration hub in eastern Wyoming expected to be in service in 2024.

"We are excited to work on this project with ADM, a company that's already demonstrated it is on the cutting edge of carbon capture," said Kyle Quackenbush, segment president at Tallgrass. "We're able to repurpose existing infrastructure to create significant CO2 transportation capacity without impacting natural gas service in that region. At the same time, we are enabling customers to meet their decarbonization goals, as well as minimizing environmental and landowner impact. Our CO2 pipeline will be capable of transporting significant additional CO2 volumes to accommodate the capture, transportation, and sequestration of many other emissions sources in the region."

"Nebraska Farm Bureau's farm and ranch member families have long supported pipeline projects for use as part of our nation's important energy and carbon capture infrastructure," said Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. "As those who rely upon our nation's natural resources to produce the world's food, fiber, and fuel, Nebraska's farmers and ranchers are also dedicated to ensuring their future use for generations. Projects like these provide agricultural producers with options that add value and support key industries like ethanol production, while continuing to steward the land and climate families rely upon."

"ADM is meeting growing customer demand, advancing our strategy and living up to our purpose by continuing to lead in the decarbonization of our industry," said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM's Carbohydrate Solutions business. "Earlier this year, we announced an agreement that would allow us to sequester carbon from two of our biggest processing facilities in the U.S., and now we're looking forward to working with Tallgrass to continue our work towards meeting our decarbonization goals. Carbon sequestration is a key way in which we're evolving our Carbohydrate Solutions business, one that has already allowed us to deliver the industry's first net zero emission wheat milling footprint and will continue to enable us to advance our strategy and scale up our work to meet ever-expanding needs and make a positive impact for global populations."



IRRIGATING ALFALFA IN-SEASON

– Todd Whitney, NE Extension


Although alfalfa is relatively drought-tolerant, irrigation makes it possible to produce higher yields. This perennial forage does not have specific critical growth stages when less sensitive to water stress. When moisture stressed, the plant will slow or stop growing and go dormant. Then, when water becomes available, growth resumes.

Since alfalfa has a longer growing season, it uses more water annually compared to other crops. However, you can over-water alfalfa resulting in plant injury, disease, and possibly weed invasion. Irrigation can be challenging due to multiple harvests preventing watering for about 7 to 10 days per growth cycle and frequent heavy equipment traffic compacting soils. To reduce compaction, stop irrigating 2-3 days before cutting the alfalfa; and irrigate again when alfalfa regrowth begins. Heavy irrigation of alfalfa stubble may encourage weed growth.

Irrigation scheduling efficiency can be improved with using ET gages or soil moisture monitoring. Accurate weather forecasts can also allow growers to take full advantage of rainfall events and reduce irrigation applications.

As temperatures increase, daily water use is also increasing. Generally, the most yield impacting irrigation occurs just before the second cutting followed by the third and fourth growth periods typically requiring 6 to 7 inches of irrigation. Peak water usage is about 1/3 inch per day in July and August. However, hot, windy and dry days can move the maximum water demand up to ½ inch per day.

Our UNL website: https://water.unl.edu provides more alfalfa irrigation details. NebGuide, G1778, “Irrigation Management and Crop Characteristics of Alfalfa” is a useful free resource.

 

IDALS Launches Program to Strengthen Local Food Systems, Expand Economic Opportunities for Farmers


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is launching a statewide program to purchase and distribute Iowa grown and produced food to underserved communities. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Food Purchase Assistance program and is expected to bring $1.8 million to farmers for food grown, raised and processed in Iowa.

“As consumer demand for locally grown and produced foods increases, our farmers are rising to meet the challenge,” said Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. “This program builds a framework for long term partnerships that will grow economic opportunities for farmers, increase access to local food and improve supply chain resiliency.”

The program is focused on building partnerships between Iowa producers and organizations that support underserved communities. It is expected that at least 300 farmers will benefit from the program. The program has a tiered equitable purchasing standard and will create 2,000 distribution sites with food banks, food hub distribution partners and the Meskwaki Nation. Iowa food hubs will purchase, aggregate, distribute and market products from local farmers across the state.

Iowa Valley RC&D will lead project management and ensure successful program implementation. Other project partners include leaders and experts in Iowa food production, farmer outreach, distribution, aggregation, food safety and emergency assistance. Program committees include procurement and purchasing, community food distribution, and evaluation and financial controls.

Stakeholders interested in serving on a committee or participating as a producer or distribution partner can find additional information at https://iowaagriculture.gov/ILFPA.



PEST Week Live Offers Latest Recommendations to Manage In-Season Pest Resistance, Mitigate Resistance Development


The soy checkoff and partnering organizations supporting the Take Action program will host PEST Week Live on June 16 from 9-10 a.m. CDT. The event will be hosted through Zoom and streamed on Take Action’s Facebook page, and will feature discussions on the latest pest resistance research findings and recommendations. As part of the program’s Pest Elimination Strategies and Tactics (PEST) Week, June 13-17, this inaugural event is an opportunity for farmers, extension personnel, agronomists and crop production advisers to discuss current pest resistance management issues and strategies to help mitigate yield decline and crop loss.

PEST Week will mark 10 years of Take Action being agriculture’s go-to source for educational tools and resistance management development resources. As input costs continue to rise, the free Take Action resources are critical to reduce the effects of pest resistance and preserve current production technologies.

“The landscape of production agriculture continues to evolve, and the development of resistance is spreading across more regions each growing season,” says Kevin Wilson, USB farmer-leader and soybean farmer from Indiana. “I encourage my fellow farmers, and anyone involved in production agriculture, to register and attend PEST Week Live. The Take Action program provides timely advice and unbiased recommendations across the three areas threatened by resistance — weeds, diseases and insects. I’m proud of the soy checkoff and its supporting partner organizations for recognizing value in the Take Action program.”

Identifying pests is the first step toward an effective resistance management plan. A new herbicide classification chart is now available through the Take Action website as well as videos, webinars, posters and fact sheets to help farmers focus on the small steps they can take to mitigate pesticide resistance during the growing season.

“Losses in crop value caused by weeds each year are estimated to be over $10 billion. As we near a critical stage in this growing season, farmers must take initiative to effectively manage pest resistance,” said Bill Johnson, professor of weed science, Purdue University. “Register now for PEST Week Live to hear current pest resistance research findings and farmer panelists speak about their pest resistance experiences. Updating pest management plans now will help lessen the impacts of resistance later. This virtual event provides an opportunity for farmers and crop advisers to update their management strategies to minimize selection pressure that could lead to the development of resistance.”

Register for PEST Week Live at IWillTakeAction.com. Those who attend will be eligible to win a Husky Mobile Workbench Tool Chest, a DeWalt Atomic Cordless Combo Tool Kit or a DeWalt Mechanics Tool Set. One CEU credit will be available for those in the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and Certified Professional Crop Consultant (CPCC) programs.

PEST Week challenges farmers to remain proactive against pests and diseases. Farmers can access the Take Action Kit by visiting the Take Action website at IWillTakeAction.com/kit or on the go via the Take Action app for Apple or Android devices and tablets.



 As Demand for Renewable Diesel Grows, ADM, Marathon Petroleum Corp., and North Dakota Celebrate Groundbreaking of Green Bison Production Facility


Last week, leaders from ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp., along with local, state and federal policymakers, today celebrated the groundbreaking for North Dakota’s first dedicated soybean processing facility. By harvest 2023, the plant at Spiritwood – owned by the previously announced ADM-MPC joint venture Green Bison Soy Processing – is expected to be producing approximately 600 million pounds of refined vegetable oil annually, which will be supplied exclusively to MPC as a feedstock for renewable diesel.

“The need for lower-carbon, more sustainable products is one of the fundamental trends underlying ADM’s strategy and purpose, and we’re proud to continue to scale up our leadership in this critical area,” said Ken Campbell, ADM’s president of North America Oils, Biodiesel and Renewable Chemicals. “Renewable diesel is a potentially transformative opportunity for the oilseed industry, for farmers, and for the sustainability of our transportation system. We’re excited to celebrate our bright future, and we look forward to working with MPC and producers across North Dakota as we bring this state-of-the-art plant online in less than a year and a half.”

“The Green Bison Soy Processing facility represents another step in MPC’s commitment to investing in a sustainable, energy-diverse future,” said Dave Heppner, MPC’s senior vice president of Strategy and Business Development. “The Green Bison Soy Processing facility will help us further optimize our renewable feedstock sourcing, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with ADM and the state of North Dakota as we move forward with the development of this facility.”

When complete, the approximately $350 million complex will feature state-of-the-art automation technology and is expected to have the capacity to process 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day. Vegetable oil from the plant will be supplied exclusively to MPC to serve as feedstock for the production of a targeted 75 million gallons of renewable diesel annually.

The construction of the new complex is supporting hundreds of jobs in the region, and the facility is expected to employ approximately 75 people once operational.

“The new Green Bison Soybean Processing Plant brings together several important and necessary components for success,” said Dwaine Heinrich, mayor of Jamestown, North Dakota. “This joining of two of the most important components of North Dakota's economy – agriculture and energy – is made possible by a willingness to work together to achieve goals that will in the end benefit the city of Jamestown, Stutsman County and the entire state of North Dakota. Our thanks and congratulations to ADM and MPC for their collaboration to make this day possible.”

“As a Top 10 soybean-producing state, the ADM-MPC joint venture is a game-changer that will provide lasting benefits for North Dakota soybean growers,” North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said. “Green Bison will add value and expand the market for one of our farmers’ most important crops, while also creating 75 direct jobs and diversifying our economy to support our communities, our citizens and the entire state. It’s also a shining example of the growing synergy between our agriculture and energy sectors in North Dakota. We appreciate ADM and MPC for this significant investment in our state and their well-placed faith in our highly productive and innovative farmers, and we’re grateful for the efforts of Lt. Gov. Sanford and so many other state, federal and local partners who helped make this happen.”



Celebrating our Animal Ag Partnership During National Dairy Month


June is National Dairy Month, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to focus on the relationship between the corn and dairy industries! Did you know that dairy cattle consume 30% of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGs), a co-product of the ethanol production process? In 2021, DDGs used 1,055 million bushels of corn.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) engages with the dairy industry through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, who recently hosted the 2022 Dairy Sustainability Alliance Spring Meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois. NCGA’s Market Development Manager Michael Granch√© attended the conference where participants discussed sustainability in a transitioning world away from COVID-19 restrictions, the FARM ES data model, the intersection between high tech and high touch, driving profits with purpose, global methane pledges and cultivating a culture of social responsibility.

“It was great to engage in such high-energy conversations around what sustainability means to the dairy industry. When you think about dairy and dairy products, they’re much closer to the consumer, so they’re really tapping into what culture means for the dairy industry and showing that both dairy production and dairy consumption are for everyone,” said Granch√©. “And now that it’s National Dairy Month, it’s a great time to celebrate all the hard work that goes into producing all the delicious dairy products we enjoy! So go ahead, ask for extra cheese on your burger, get the double scoop sundae, and wash it all down with a tall cold glass of chocolate milk... you know you want to!”

The Dairy Sustainability Alliance membership spans the dairy value chain, and it represents a diverse cross-section of more than 160 stakeholder companies and organizations who all want to be part of dairy’s sustainability journey.

Here are a few fun facts about our dairy friends:
    There are 93 million dairy cows in the U.S.
    3% of U.S. corn exports are distributed to dairy
    Every $1 in exports of grain adds an additional $3.23 in business sales across the U.S.



Dairy Leader Urges Congress to Promote Greater Focus on Agricultural Trade


Sheryl Meshke, co-president and CEO of Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), told a Senate subcommittee today that the U.S. government must pursue additional market access opportunities and address export supply-chain delays in order for the U.S. dairy industry to keep up with its global competitors.

Meshke serves on the board of directors for both the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC).

“In pursuing exports, the U.S. dairy industry faces experienced and well-established competitors who have been exceptionally active with free trade agreements,” said Meshke, whose New Ulm, MN-based cooperative is a member of both NMPF and USDEC. “The United States needs to get back in the game and craft an approach to pursuing comprehensive trade agreements.”

Meshke also emphasized the importance of enforcing existing trade agreements, particularly U.S. dairy export access to the Canadian market under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Meshke addressed the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade, which convened the hearing on agricultural trade issues.

American dairy risks losing its competitiveness, as the global playing field slowly tilts against the United States due to competitors’ trade agreements with key dairy importing markets, Meshke noted in her testimony. She also said U.S. trade negotiators need to target priority markets for expanded access, including Southeast Asia, Japan, China, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

Meshke also emphasized the importance of combating non-tariff trade barriers, particularly the European Union’s aggressive efforts to confiscate food and beverage names in global markets by abusing geographical indications systems. She urged a strong defense of common food names: “We can’t wait any longer for the U.S. government to proactively defend the use of common food and beverage names against aggressive global efforts by the EU to restrict the use of generic terms we rely on.”

Congress and the Biden Administration must take further steps to address export supply chain delays, Meshke added. She specifically called for the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA), versions of which have passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, and for a suite of solutions to be pursued to mitigate this complex problem.

“As Sheryl outlined so well, we are now seeing dairy consumption grow at exceptional rates in many markets around the world,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “The U.S. dairy industry is well-positioned to meet the expanding global demand for sustainably produced dairy products. But to seize those opportunities, we must take a leadership role along with like-minded countries – advancing policies and crafting trade agreements that can deliver real benefits for dairy farmers.”

“Now more than ever, global markets are critically important to the health of the U.S. dairy industry,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “We need to make full use of every available trade tool – including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative, and Trade and Investment Framework Agreements – to improve market access in key export markets. At the same time, we can’t leave comprehensive trade agreements on the cutting room floor. Exports underpin U.S. dairy’s success in the present and, backed by trade agreements, exports will support the industry’s growth in the future.”



Sign up now open for the 2022 College Aggies Online scholarship competition, kicking off September 12


The Animal Agriculture Alliance recently announced that its annual College Aggies Online (CAO) scholarship program will return this fall, kicking off September 12. This nine-week program brings together college students from across the country to help them become confident communicators for agriculture. Undergraduates, graduate students, and collegiate clubs and classes are invited to sign up now.

Throughout the competition, students will have the opportunity to network with social media-savvy farmers and industry professionals while enhancing their communication skills. Previous mentors include Tara Vander Dussen, also known as New Mexico Milkmaid, Michelle Miller, known online as The Farm Babe, Brandi Buzzard of Buzzard’s Beat, and Emily Shaw, owner of Dairy Girl Fitness.

Each week participants receive training from these communication experts about current and emerging issues in agriculture. In the individual division, students earn points by completing weekly challenges, including writing blog posts, designing infographics, creating social media content, and submitting letters to the editor.

In the student organization division, collegiate clubs and classes will have the opportunity to host events on their campus to engage with peers about agriculture, along with virtual engagement options that provide flexibility in varying community and college health guidelines. Club events include hosting a campus event, food drive, farm tour and much more.

“The College Aggies Online program equips college students with the tools needed to confidently and effectively share animal agriculture’s story with the general public,” said Emily Solis, Alliance manager, communications and content. “The hands-on skills gained during the competition provide great experience for students to add to resumes when applying for future internships or job openings.

Last year, 160 individuals and 19 collegiate clubs participated, representing 34 states and 56 universities. Students reached more than 4 million people online with their social media posts and around 5,200 people in-person via campus events. The Alliance awarded winners more than $20,000 in scholarships.

Students interested in becoming confident and effective communicators for agriculture are invited to sign up today at https://animalagalliance.org/initiatives/college-aggies-online/.

CAO would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. To become a sponsor of this year’s program, see our  sponsorship opportunities and contact Casey Kinler, director, membership and marketing, at ckinler@animalagalliance.org.




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