Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tuesday June 14 Ag News

– Melissa Bartels, NE Extension Educator

Did you know clover can cause toxicity in horses? There are three clovers you should be able to identify that can cause problems for horses: red, white and alsike.

Red and white clover are not toxic on their own, but a fungus that causes black patch, a common disease, is toxic. This fungus produces a toxin that causes excessive drooling or slobbering in horses. While this might be unsettling to witness as an owner, the condition is usually not life threatening but can cause dehydration. This toxin can be found in both pastures and dried hay if the clover was infected. This disease likes cool, wet weather, so if these conditions are present, keep an especially close eye out for symptoms like bronze to black spots on the stems and leaves.

Alsike clover is another clover that can be found in pastures. With an appearance similar to red or white clover, you can identify this clover by its multicolored flowers, which are dark pink at the base and light pink towards the tip. Additionally, leaves will be serrated with no distinct white “V’ shape commonly found on red and white clover leaves. Once again, a fungus infecting the clover is what is responsible for the toxic symptoms seen in horses. Two serious conditions can be seen in horses from this toxicity, photosensitization, and big liver syndrome. Photosensitization causes the skin to react to the sun rays resulting in what looks like a bad sunburn; however, in some cases the skin dyes and may slough off entirely. Progressive destruction of the liver known as big liver syndrome can occur after long-term exposure to the infected clover and results in liver failure.

So, what can you do to protect your equine? First, properly identify clover that may be present to get an idea of the risk. Herbicides may be used to thin or remove clover from your pastures if desired. During periods of wet/humid weather, fence off large patches of clover, or keep patches of clover mowed short to prevent the favorable conditions for the fungus.

New Record Farmland Price Set in NW Iowa at $25,000-Acre

Normally, the month of May is one of the slowest months of the year with 500-900 acres going to auction. But this past month, sales came in at 5,589 acres. Compared to 2,418 acres the same time last year, auction activity remains well above average and there is a good number of auctions on the books for the next 30 days.

Northwest Iowa's Plymouth County topped the market this month with a sale at $25,000/acre for pure cropland with no influence from development or wind energy. This farm is in an equity rich neighborhood with few farms ever selling.

For perspective on current market conditions, this sale price is the highest in Plymouth County ever and by some distance. Dollars per tillable CSR2 in this county have increased 35.3% over the past six months, demonstrating explosive market conditions.

McCarthy, Thompson Lead Letter Calling on Biden Administration to Reduce Barriers to U.S. Agriculture Production

Today, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn "GT" Thompson sent a solutions-focused letter to President Joe Biden calling on the Administration to reverse overly burdensome regulations and policy barriers to U.S. agriculture production that have caused needless uncertainty for farmers, ranchers, and working families.

The letter to the President outlines administrative actions which would immediately provide real, near-term solutions to address the ongoing crises facing American producers, including:
    Addressing farm input costs
    Halting changes to "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS)
    Ensuring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refocuses on sound science
    Ending onerous climate rules

In the letter, Republicans write, "Long before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, America's farm families and consumers were struggling with fractured supply chains, skyrocketing input costs, and historic levels of inflation, each of which continue to contribute to increased food prices and diminished inventories. U.S. consumers are experiencing the largest price increase in nearly 40 years, with the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food rising by 9.4 percent between April 2021 and April 2022. The war between Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s biggest suppliers of wheat and sunflower oil, further disrupted the global food system resulting in increased energy prices, fertilizer cost spikes and shortages, and worsening food shortages in developing countries."

The Members continue, "Despite these impending crises, your Administration has neglected to take serious action to increase American production. In fact, you have proposed massive new tax liabilities for farmers, and your regulatory agenda would further limit American farmers’ ability to meet global food demand. America’s agriculture sector is vital to alleviating global food crises, and we urge your Administration to take the following actions to strengthen that role."

USDA Extends Deadline for Comments on its “Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced in the Federal Register that it was extending the deadline for comments and information from the public about its “Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns” notice originally published in the Federal Register on March 17, 2022. The new deadline for comments is July 15, 2022. The previous deadlines for comments were May 16, 2022, and June 15, 2022.

“We are extending the deadline for comments an additional month to enable commenters to provide additional feedback regarding the role of capacity expansion and related strategies to directly enhance competition in the fertilizer market,” said Andy Green, USDA’s Senior Advisor for Fair and Competitive Markets. “USDA is committed to using every tool at its disposal to enhance competition and improve resiliency in the fertilizer market. Finding ways to encourage sustainable and independent choices for fertilizer supplies demonstrates the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing investment in American goods and services to rebuild a more resilient, secure, and sustainable economy.”

In today’s Federal Register notice, USDA continues seeking input on:
    What obstacles exist to the financing and development of new fertilizer capacity that would enhance the competitiveness of fertilizer markets?
    Would new or expanded domestic manufacturing, mining, processing, or alternative fertilizer production capacity help promote access to and affordability of fertilizer for agricultural producers?
    Are there existing “shovel ready” manufacturing, mining, or other processes that could or should be adjusted to facilitate new fertilizer production?
    Are there other potential new entrants in the near or medium-term?
    How might USDA best support investment in new fertilizer capacity in the U.S.?

All written comments in response to this notice should be posted online at Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns. Comments received will be posted without change, including any personal information provided. All comments should reference the docket number AMS-AMS-22-0027, 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, DC 20250-0201. Comments will be made available for public inspection at the above address during regular business hours or via the internet at The deadline for comments is July 15, 2022.

Cowboy Poet Baxter Black Passes Away

American cowboy poet, humor columnist and veterinarian Baxter Black passed away on June 10 at the age of 77. Black wrote over 30 books of poetry, fiction – both novels and children’s literature – and commentary, selling over two million books, CDs, and DVDs.

Black was born in the Brooklyn Navel Hospital in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In high school, Black became the Future Farmers of America president, the senior class president and lettered in wrestling one year. He began riding bulls in rodeos while in high school and continued riding throughout college. He received his undergraduate degree at New Mexico State University and completed veterinary school at Colorado State University, graduating in 1969.

He was a practicing veterinarian from 1969 to 1982, specializing in large animals, such as cows and horses.

During the last two years of his veterinary career, Black gained popularity through public speaking with over 250 appearances. After this, his career as a poet began.

Black also hosted the public television series Baxter Black and Friends. He wrote a column, spoke on the radio and had shot segments on RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel.

 CHS to build state-of-the-art grain facility in Erskine, Minnesota

CHS will begin construction this summer on a new state-of-the-art grain facility with 1.25 million bushels of additional storage capacity in Erskine, Minn. The facility is slated to be operational in the fall of 2023 and will help CHS expand operational capabilities and increase efficiency across its footprint. The new shuttle elevator will bring total capacity at the location to 4.55 million bushels of storage and will complement existing CHS grain, agronomy and energy assets and offerings for area producers.

"CHS is committed to growing our cooperative with customer-focused solutions that make it easier for producers to do business with us," says Rick Dusek, executive vice president of CHS ag retail operations. "Our people, assets, capabilities and operational footprint are the strengths of our retail platform, and this important project advances our strategy to expand our customer-focused retail solutions platform, creating value and driving growth for farmers – as customers and owners. This facility is a key location in the flow of grain from the Upper Midwest to export terminals in the Pacific Northwest."

The new terminal is the latest in a series of investments throughout Minnesota and North Dakota by CHS. In keeping with its core value of safety, the company has placed priority on safety features and advancements to improve operating conditions.

"Along with expanding our grain handling capabilities and value to area farmers, the new facility will create advantages for our employees, farmers and community," says James Hardy, who manages CHS Northern Grain, a CHS business unit with 11 grain facilities in northwest Minnesota. "Improved traffic flows, better operating conditions, advanced equipment and the latest safety advances are just some of the innovations to help us provide a better customer experience. We want to get producers in, out and back to the field as quickly and safely as possible."

Vigen Construction out of East Grand Forks, Minn., is overseeing this construction project.

Heat Stress Kills Estimated 10,000 Head of Kansas Feedlot Cattle

The current heat wave blazing through Kansas feedlots has killed an estimated 10,000 head of fat cattle. Final death numbers continue to come in, but that early estimate was shared with DTN by livestock experts, who put the geographical center point for those deaths at Ulysses, Kansas.

What is known is that leading up to these losses, temperatures in the area were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, there was humidity, and there was little to no wind to help cool the animals. Temperature readings reported for Ulysses began to exceed the 100-degree mark on June 11. By June 13, the high temperature was reported at 104 degrees, with humidity levels ranging from 18% to 35%. Temperature and humidity levels began to break some on June 14. Just a few days prior to the heat setting in, highs had been in the 80s.

Nominations Now Open for the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Today, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) announced the public call for nominations to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The committee will review scientific evidence to help inform the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030. The departments will seek to appoint a committee that is balanced in expertise, experience, and education, and is reflective of the racial, ethnic, gender, and geographic diversity within the United States. Members of the public are invited to submit nominations for themselves or other qualified experts by July 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM E.T.

“The science reviewed by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee provides an essential foundation for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” said Adm Rachel L. Levine, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, and head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. “The committee’s review ensures that the Dietary Guidelines is based on sound scientific evidence and serves to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans.”

“Our goal is to appoint a committee that will make science-driven, dietary recommendations with health equity in mind,” said Stacy Dean, deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at USDA. “We are committed to bringing together interdisciplinary experts with a variety of professional experience who will ensure that the guidance in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is inclusive of the U.S. population.”

The committee will provide independent, science-based advice and recommendations to be considered by HHS and USDA, along with federal agency input and public comments, as the departments develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2025-2030. The committee’s evidence review will focus on diet and health outcomes across the lifespan, including the relationship between diet and risk of overweight and obesity with a new emphasis on weight loss and weight maintenance for adults. Importantly, a health equity lens will be applied across the evidence review to ensure factors such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and culture are described and considered to inform resulting guidance. The committee will use three approaches to examine the evidence: Nutrition Evidence Systematic Review (NESR) systematic reviews, food pattern modeling, and data analysis. Each of these approaches has its own rigorous, protocol-driven methodology, and plays a unique, complementary role in examining the science.

The committee will collaborate to review the latest scientific evidence and develop science-based recommendations. Full details on candidate requirements are available on

Viral Tag Team Stymied by New Corn Germplasm

A new corn germplasm resource developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Wooster, Ohio, is now available to use for breeding commercially grown varieties that can withstand the synergistic viral disease, maize lethal necrosis (MLN).

First reported in the late 1970s in Kansas and Nebraska, MLN today has become a global threat to corn (maize) production worldwide, particularly in East Africa, where initial outbreaks in Kenya inflicted yield losses of up to 90 percent. Maize lethal necrosis also is problematic in South America and Asia.

The disease strikes when corn plants are co-infected by the maize chlorotic mottle virus, which was first detected in Peru, and by maize-infecting potyviruses, which occur globally. Foliar symptoms progress from minor yellow mottling and mosaic-like symptoms to severe necrosis throughout the leaf. Other symptoms include stunted growth, premature aging, poor grain-fill of ears and drying of the entire plant followed by death.

Growers use a combination of methods to prevent or minimize MLN. These include controlling weeds like johnsongrass that can serve as reservoirs of the viruses as well as the insects that transmit them while feeding. Another tactic is rotating corn with non-host crops on which the culprit viruses cannot survive. However, planting disease-resistant varieties is the cornerstone defense, noted Erik Ohlson and Mark Jones, both with the ARS's Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research Unit in Wooster.

Toward that end, the two ARS researchers developed the "synthetic" corn population OhMCMV-1 as a germplasm resource. Resistance to maize chlorotic mottle virus is rare and OhMCMV-1 offers breeders a new breeding resource with novel combinations of resistance genes that can be used.

"A synthetic population is a term used to describe a breeding population that was developed from several parental lines with a specific trait or breeding goal," Ohlson, a plant geneticist, explained. "In this case, five MLN-tolerant corn lines were cross-pollinated with each other in all combinations over multiple generations to recombine the genetic backgrounds from these five parents." The researchers selected the most maize chlorotic mottle-tolerant plants to recombine and advance to the next generation, a breeding strategy called recurrent selection.

Growth chamber tests show that OhMCMV-1 plants can withstand the viruses that cause MLN as well as or better than its five parental lines. Credit for that goes to new combinations of multiple unique resistance genes from the five parental corn lines used for population development.

OhMCMV-1 is not intended for commercial production directly, but rather as breeding material from which elite commercial varieties or hybrids can be developed, according to the researchers, who published the results of their evaluations of OhMCMV-1 in the Journal of Plant Registrations.  The population is being released after one cycle of selection for tolerance to maize chlorotic mottle virus and a second cycle of selection is in progress, added Jones, an agronomist.

"The maize lethal necrosis epidemic in East Africa was a major consideration when this project was undertaken, but OhMCMV-1 has value for anywhere the maize chlorotic mottle virus occurs or maize lethal necrosis is or may become problematic," Ohlson said.

Current practices used by U.S. corn growers have kept the disease in check, coupled with the limited occurrence of maize chlorotic mottle virus. However, OhMCMV-1 can nonetheless be adapted to conditions in the U.S. Corn Belt, if necessary—thanks to a temperate-adapted parent among the five that were used.

Small quantities are available to qualified professional plant breeders and other research scientists upon request.

 Massey Ferguson® Produces One-Millionth Tractor

AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology, celebrates the production of the one-millionth tractor at its Massey Ferguson® Beauvais plant. This significant milestone coincides with the company’s 175th anniversary. Massey Ferguson has been manufacturing tractors in Beauvais, France since November 20, 1960.

“2022 is a year of milestone celebrations for Massey Ferguson,” said Darren Parker, vice president of Massey Ferguson, North America. “We applaud the hard work and dedication of our colleagues in Beauvais to produce our one-millionth tractor. We’re also excited to celebrate Massey Ferguson’s 175 years of straightforward, dependable equipment innovation this year. These dual milestones prove our status as agricultural problem solvers dedicated to providing the right equipment, at the right price, for individual farming operations. Our equipment, just like our customers, is Born to Farm.”

Celebrating 62 years of production in Beauvais
Thierry Lhotte, vice president and managing director, Massey Ferguson EAME, and president of AGCO in France presented the one-millionth tractor produced in Beauvais – a brand-new MF 8S.305 Dyna-VT™ - to Thierry Aubrée, an arable farmer and contractor from the village of La Chapelle des Fougeretz in Brittany, France. “On behalf of all our employees and dealers, I want to thank our customers for their steadfast trust,” said Lhotte. The new 8S adds to Aubrée’s expanding Massey Ferguson fleet that already includes four tractors, three combines, and two large balers.

Boussad Bouaouli, vice president, manufacturing Beauvais, emphasized employee commitment on the Beauvais MF campus development. “From 1960, there have always been people who kept the site moving, always with the right farmer-first focus to address challenges of the times and, above all, with a clear view to the future,” Bouaouli said.

It all started with the MF 825 in 1960. From then, the site grew continuously, producing iconic tractors driven by innovation, including:
    MF 3000 Series in 1986, the first tractor with onboard electronics,
    MF 8600 in 2008, introducing the efficient power concept, which reduces environmental impact, courtesy of the first use of SCR technology on an ag machine,
    MF 8S Series in 2020, with its award-winning Protect-U™ concept, which features a 9.4-inch gap between the cab and the engine installation, reducing heat, noise, and vibrations being transmitted to the cab and improving cooling and performance. The MF 8S Series received the Tractor of the Year 2021, Red Dot: Product Design 2021 and Farm Machine 2022 awards.

“The Beauvais plant and our dedicated employees embody Massy Ferguson’s commitment to farmer-focused equipment solutions. This plant, named Factory of the Year 2016, represents the modern era of Massey Ferguson. This campus sets our future and new standards,” Bouaouli said.

The site has seen innovative developments in recent years, including implementation of Lean Manufacturing practices, expansion of the Beauvais 2 cab assembly line and a logistics center, and a Tractor Customization Workshop. The facility produces many of the brand’s most popular tractors, including the MF 4700 M, MF 5700 M, MF 5S, MF 6S, MF 7S, MF 8S and MF 8700 S Series. Up to 100 tractors can be produced and shipped daily to dealers in more than 70 countries.

“As we hand over this one-millionth tractor, we are set to unify our sites into a single MF Campus with all our departments under one roof,” Lhotte said. “This offers high flexibility and leverages the unique experiences, skills and commitment of the people who work here. This tractor milestone is our 2,500 employees’ success, including our GIMA transmissions’ Joint Venture.”

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