Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Tuesday June 21 Ag News - Crop Progress Report and more....


For the week ending June 19, 2022, there were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 14% very short, 30% short, 54% adequate, and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 16% very short, 30% short, 53% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 3% very poor, 9% poor, 20% fair, 57% good, and 11% excellent. Corn emerged was 98%, near 100% last year, and equal to the five-year average.

Soybean condition rated 4% very poor, 8% poor, 20% fair, 57% good, and 11% excellent. Soybeans emerged was 94%, equal to last year, and near 92% average.

Winter wheat condition rated 15% very poor, 19% poor, 41% fair, 22% good, and 3% excellent. Winter wheat headed was 95%, near 97% last year, and equal to average.

Sorghum condition rated 1% very poor, 8% poor, 26% fair, 61% good, and 4% excellent. Sorghum planted was 95%, near 96% last year, and equal to average. Headed was 1%, equal to last year, and near 2% average.

Oats condition rated 7% very poor, 13% poor, 22% fair, 52% good, and 6% excellent. Oats headed was 73%, behind 81% last year, and near 77% average.

Dry edible beans planted was 87%, near 89% last year. Emerged was 60%, behind 67% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 10% very poor, 21% poor, 32% fair, 33% good, and 4% excellent.

Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report

Most of the state saw little rainfall and above average temperatures resulting in 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 19, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included cutting hay and spraying corn and soybeans.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 3 percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 4 percent very short, 19 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.

Corn condition rating was 83 percent good to excellent. Ninety-three percent of soybeans have emerged, 6 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of average.

Iowa’s soybean condition rating was 80 percent good to excellent.

Sixty-two percent of the oat crop has headed, 3 days behind last year. Iowa’s oat condition remained at 82 percent good to excellent.

Eighty-one percent of the State’s first cutting of alfalfa hay has been completed, 1 week behind the previous year and 4 days behind average. Some producers were working on their second cutting. All hay condition rated 73 percent good to excellent.

Pasture condition rated 62 percent good to excellent. High temperatures resulted in some stress for livestock.

USDA:  Corn, Soybean Condition Ratings Fall for Week Ended June 19

Corn planting wrapped up last week, while soybean planting moved slightly ahead of the average pace by Sunday, June 19, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress on Tuesday. Crop conditions for both crops fell slightly last week. The report, which is normally released on Mondays, was delayed this week due to the Juneteenth holiday.


-- Crop development: 95% of corn was emerged nationwide as of Sunday, up 7 percentage points from the previous week and now equal to five-year average.
-- Crop condition: 70% of corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage point from 72% the previous week but up from 65% a year ago.


-- Planting progress: 94% nationwide as of Sunday, up 6 percentage points from the previous week, and now 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 93%.
-- Crop development: 83% of soybeans had emerged nationwide as of Sunday, up 13 percentage points from the previous week and near the five-year average of 84%.
-- Crop condition: 68% of soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from 70% the previous week but up from 60% last year.


-- Crop development: 91% of the winter wheat crop was headed nationwide as of Sunday, 4 percentage points behind the five-year average of 95%.
-- Harvest progress: 25% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, 10 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 22%.
-- Crop condition: 30% of winter wheat was rated good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week and below conditions in 2013. That portion of the crop rated very poor to poor rose by 1 point to 43%.


-- Planting progress: 98% of the spring wheat crop was planted as of Sunday, up 4 percentage points from the previous week, but down 2 percentage points from the five-year average.
-- Crop development: 89% of the crop had emerged as of Sunday, 8 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%. Just 80% of North Dakota's crop had emerged.
-- Crop condition: 59% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 5 percentage points from 54% the previous week and well above last year's rating of 27%.


National Pollinator Week

Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator in Dodge County

It is estimated that just 1-2% of insects cause problems to human health, crops, and structures. For some, “bugs” is a derogatory term that signifies unclean conditions and a messy household.  For the roughly 98% of insects that don’t fit into this description, it is a giant leap forward to recognize the importance of pollinators during National Pollinator Week.

While honey bees and monarch butterflies enjoy recognition for their contribution towards beauty, food production, and honey, most pollinators go unsupported and unrecognized. Enter the native bees, wasps, beetles, flies, moths, and butterflies, the real workhorses of the pollination world. Just 250 native bees do the pollination work of 20,000 honey bees, being more efficient at what they do and pollinating a greater array of plants. Approximately ⅓ of our food supply exists because of pollinators. For wildlife, half of their food supply is impacted by pollinating insects, who do the hard work of moving pollen from plant to plant while collecting pollen and nectar for their own needs AND the next generation of pollinators.

“More bees? Won’t that mean that I’ll get stung?” are common questions when talking about pollinators.  The answer to that is no, not necessarily.  Honey bees are communal, sharing a common goal to make and defend their honey which means they get quite aggressive when their food supply is threatened.  Most species of native bees, however, are solitary, never make honey, and tend to be very mild-mannered, going about their normal activities with nary a thought towards humans. Aside from bumble bees, many of the native bees are not even recognized as bees.  Smaller bees like the sweat bee, the leaf-cutter bee, the yellow-faced bee, and the carpenter bee are some of the native bees rarely recognized by people, much less understood for their importance to the ecosystem.

While we cannot pay pollinators for this important activity, we can thank them and allow their numbers to flourish through smart planting and landscape management practices.  Planting native plants, staying away from plants with double flowers, putting stones into the bird bath so pollinators can safely land, making sure there are flowering plants throughout the growing season, leaving a patch of bare soil for the ground nesters, installing a pollinator hotel for the cavity nesters, growing dandelions and clover in the lawn, cutting back stems of perennials to 10 inches in the spring rather than the fall, and reducing the amount of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are positive activities to support pollinators. More information may be found here: .

Remember, thank a pollinator!


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Row crops often get priority attention when a hailstorm rolls through, but bad storms can do a number on perennial forages as well.  When hail strikes your pasture or hay field, do you know what to do?

Timing of hail is probably the most important factor when assessing hail impacts on forage crops.  Because our perennial forage crops are resilient, they do put up with regular grazing or haying after all, the real danger of a hail event is lost yield.

In pastures where standing forage may now be lying on the ground, it’s a good idea to move animals from the affected pasture to allow plants to recover.  If regrowth does occur, graze appropriately so overuse doesn’t occur.  When dry conditions and hail intersect, regrowth may not happen and returning animals to the pasture may not be an option until moisture returns.

In alfalfa fields, the amount of damage inflicted and timing are key.  The University of Wisconsin recommends management by assessing damage based on plant stages of development.  Fields with over 2 weeks to go before harvest can often be left alone and harvested normally, with some yield loss expected.  If damage of terminal buds is over 50%, management should instead focus on harvesting regrowth appropriately.

Stands with less than 2 weeks to go until planned harvest can be harvested normally, with expected yield loss.  For those with severe lodging, wait 3-4 days for plants to right themselves.  Disk mowers are better at picking up a lodged crop than sickle bars, but for both, tilt the bar or disc forward to increase forage pickup.  If stand damage is severe enough that expected yield does not justify harvesting, management should focus on the harvest of regrowth.

Hailstorms are an unavoidable part of living on the plains.  When a storm impacts your forage production, assessing damage and adjusting management appropriately can help make the best of an unfortunate situation.


Each year, plant-eating pests account for about 20% of crop losses worldwide.

Growers have relied on what were once considered silver bullet approaches to manage the problem: insecticides and genetically engineered plants. But although both have been successful to a degree, they’ve failed to fully rein in the problem. Additionally, these methods have stirred a variety of concerns: mounting worry about pesticides’ impact on the environment and human health; consumer weariness about eating chemically treated or genetically modified food; and increasing insect resistance to many of the most commonly used pesticides.

That’s why a University of Nebraska–Lincoln research team is taking a closer look at an alternative method of pest control that may overcome or mitigate the problems associated with standard approaches. Entomologist Joe Louis and collaborators recently received a nearly $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to explore methods of shoring up the natural defense mechanisms of sorghum — a promising crop for food, feed and fuel — that would fortify it against sugarcane aphids, a pest that’s plagued the plant since 2013.

“Since pesticides remain in the environment and may affect the quality of food, we’re thinking in the direction of how alternate approaches can be used,” said Louis, Eberhard Professor of agricultural entomology. “That’s why we started on developing the innate immunity of the plant. If we can boost many of those innate defenses, we can protect the plants from the majority of these insect attacks in a way that may be more durable and sustainable than current approaches.”

The team also includes Tomas Helikar, Susan J. Rosowski associate professor of biochemistry; Scott Sattler, adjunct associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and research molecular biologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service; and Rupesh Kariyat of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The team is focused on one of the most plentiful components found in plants: lignin. It has a central role in forming rigid, stable cell walls and facilitating water transport. Because the polymer is found throughout sorghum — including on its outer surfaces — it’s one of the first components that sugarcane aphids confront when they insert their needle-like mouthpart into the plant.

But little is known about how, exactly, lignin may help sorghum fend off sugarcane aphids. Louis and Sattler became intrigued by lignin’s potential defensive role when they noticed that in some sorghum plants, altered lignin levels impacted the behavior of aphids, and the plant became either more resistant or more susceptible to the pest.

Preliminary data from these plants indicated that the monolignol pathway, which plays a key role in synthesizing lignin, and a gene known as Brown midrib12, or Bmr12, located in the lignin biosynthesis pathway, might be particularly important in driving these changes.

To pinpoint exactly how Bmr12 influences a plant’s natural immunity, Louis’ team will weave together a variety of approaches — transcriptomic, biochemical, electrophysiological, histological and computational biology. This wide-ranging, transdisciplinary approach is a major strength of the research.

“This is a holistic approach in understanding plant-aphid interactions, using multiple approaches to answer the question of how Bmr12 is involved in modulating sorghum defenses against aphids,” Louis said. “That’s how it stands out as a unique project.”  

The computational component is particularly innovative. Helikar, an expert in computational systems biology, will develop a network analysis model showing how Bmr12’s behavior has ripple effects throughout the plant. The system will enable the team to easily test hypotheses about how a change in Bmr12-associated pathways may impact a plant’s properties and defense mechanisms.

Louis and Helikar will introduce Husker students, undergraduate and graduate, to these computational approaches through new laboratory modules they’re developing as part of the project. The new curriculum pieces are aimed at opening students’ eyes to the power of interdisciplinary methods and computational modeling to solve problems in biology, entomology and ecology.

Kariyat, the collaborator at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, is leading an additional student outreach effort at a middle school in the Rio Grande Valley, at which more than 90% of students are Hispanic. He will engage these students in inquiry-based experiments focused on plant-insect interactions.

Beyond its role in lignin production, Bmr12 may also influence a plant’s indirect defenses by producing volatile organic compounds that strengthen a plant’s immunity. When certain pests attack, crops respond by producing these compounds. They strengthen plant tissues against pest-induced damage and send airborne signals to neighboring plants, triggering their defense systems. Louis’ team will investigate how disturbing Bmr12-associated pathways could strengthen this protective mechanism.

Long term, Louis envisions the work on Bmr12 as just one piece of the larger puzzle of bolstering plants’ natural immunity — there are many other genes and pathways that researchers can exploit to boost resistance to pests. He doesn’t expect that natural immunity methods will completely supplant pesticides but believes their use can be reduced to much lower levels.

“Ultimately, we hope to bring in another tool for farmers that will help them cut down on the use of toxic insecticides,” he said.

The research is funded by the Plant Biotic Interactions Program, a joint initiative of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.

May Milk Production in the United States down 0.7 Percent

Milk production in the United States during May totaled 19.7 billion pounds, down 0.7 percent from May 2021. Production per cow in the United States averaged 2,096 pounds for May, 8 pounds above May 2021. The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.41 million head, 102,000 head less than May 2021, but 2,000 head more than April 2022.

Iowa:  Milk production in Iowa during May 2022 totaled 493 million pounds, up 3 percent from the previous May according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service -- Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during May, at 232,000 head, was 1,000 above last month and up 4,000 from May 2021. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,125 pounds, up 30 pounds from last May.

June 2022 Dairy Market Report Now Available

Dairy farmers and the entire industry continue to deal with a high-price, high cost environment unlike any seen for at least a decade, and in many ways, not in the past four decades. March and April set consecutive all-time highs for the monthly average all-milk price in the U.S., while the four federal order class prices set a collective record in May. Monthly retail prices of whole and lowfat milk, butter, ice cream and yogurt also reached all-time highs. Meanwhile, monthly U.S. dairy exports posted a strong recovery in April from a recent low in January, amounting to 18.7 percent of U.S. milk solids production, the third highest ever for a single month by this measure.

The combination of continued lower U.S. cow numbers, milk production and record-high milk and retail dairy prices is beginning to show signs of impacting domestic dairy product consumption at retail and also food service. However, since retail price inflation is occurring for all food and beverages, and throughout the entire economy, it is unclear how or whether this will play out differently than if higher dairy product prices were an exception in an overall non-inflationary economy.

View the full report here....

USDA Announces National Pork Board Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of six members to the National Pork Board. Five appointees will serve three-year terms beginning June 2022 and ending June 2025, and one appointee will serve a one-year term from June 2022 through June 2023.

The appointed members are:
    Bill Luckey, Columbus, Neb.

    Jeremy Burkett, Evansville, Wyo.
    Alayne Johnson, Columbia City, Ind.
    Chad Groves, Overland Park, Kan.
    Jess Campbell, Waynesville, Ohio
    Daniel Tubbs, Oakman, Ala. (1-year term)

The National Pork Board is composed of 15 pork producers nominated by the National Pork Producers Delegate Body, which is made up of 155 producer and importer members.

The program was created and is administered under the authority of the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. It became effective
September 5, 1986, when the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order was implemented. Assessments began November 1, 1986.

More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Pork Board webpage and on the National Pork Board website,

NPPC Praises Biden Administration for Standing Up for Consumer Choice and American Farmers

The Biden administration, international trading partners and business groups representing the full scope of the U.S. economy, among others, filed amicus briefs in support of the National Pork Producers Council ahead of the Supreme Court case to review California’s Proposition 12. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from pigs that do not meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, including pork from pigs raised on farms outside of California.
“We commend the Biden administration for taking action to stop ill-considered ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 12 that undermine vital supply chains, national markets and consumer choice and further inflate food prices,” said Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel. “Additional supporters filed briefs opposing Proposition 12 and stood up to preserve the free flow of commerce among states to ensure consumers all over the nation have access to affordable, safe and wholesome food.”
In a joint brief to the Supreme Court filed earlier this month, NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) argued Proposition 12 violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. The brief states that Proposition 12 “will require massive and costly changes across the entire $26-billion-a-year hog farming industry. And it inescapably projects California’s policy choices into every other state, a number of which expressly permit their farmers to house sows in ways inconsistent with Proposition 12.”
Amicus briefs filed in support of NPPC and AFBF:
    Brief of the United States
    Brief of Indiana and 25 Additional States
    Brief of The Retail Litigation Center, Inc., The Restaurant Law Center, The Food Industry Association, The National Retail Federation and Affordable Food For All
    Brief of National Association of Manufacturers and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
    Brief of North Carolina Chamber Legal Institute, North Carolina Pork Council, North Carolina Farm Bureau, and 11 Other State Farm Bureaus, Pork Councils and Business Groups
    Brief of The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America
    Brief of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
    Brief of Association for Accessible Medicines
    Brief of North American Meat Institute
    Brief of Canadian Pork Council, OPORMEX and Illinois Pork Producers Association
    Brief of State Pork Producer Associations
    Brief of The American Association of Swine Veterinarians
    Brief of Michael Knoll and Rush Mason (Law Professors)
    Brief of Lea Brilmayer (Law Professor)
    Brief of Association Des Éleveurs De Canards Et D’oies Du Québec, Hvfg LLC, And Sean “Hot” Chaney
    Brief of the Pacific Legal Foundation
    Brief of the Washington Legal Foundation
    Brief of Buckeye Institute
    Brief of Protect the Harvest

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 11, 2022.

Armstrong Research Farm to Host Forage Field Day

Stressed pastures and high grain markets continue to limit forage productivity and land access for cattlemen. Many producers have turned toward integrating cover crops as an alternative to extend the grazing season, and some have even begun utilizing warm season annual forages to fill some voids during the summer slump.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Armstrong Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm will host a field day featuring ongoing forage research with summer annuals. The event will take place Tuesday evening, July 12, at the Wallace Learning Center on the research farm near Lewis.

The field day will start with a classroom session featuring swath grazing of warm season annuals as a winter feeding strategy. Head researcher Garland Dahlke of the Iowa Beef Center will discuss forage quality and utilization, and the challenges and successes of using pearl millet, forage sorghum and sorghum sudangrass for swath grazing in Iowa.

Attendees will have the opportunity to view summer annual test plots at the farm including German millet, pearl millet, sorghum sudangrass, sudangrass and teff. Warm season species selection, farm usage and application, forage nutrient value and anti-quality issues also are on the agenda.

Registration and a light meal begin at 5:30 p.m., and the program runs from 6-8 p.m. Other presenters are ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist Aaron Sauegling and Beef Specialist Erika Lundy-Woolfolk. See more details on the field day flyer.

The field day is free thanks to grants from the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee. To ensure adequate meal count, preregister by July 8 by calling the ISU Extension and Outreach Cass County office at 712-243-1132. For more information, contact Lundy-Woolfolk at

Public Meetings to Address Iowa Drought Plan

As part of an effort to develop a statewide drought preparedness plan, the Iowa DNR and partners will host a series of four public stakeholder meetings in July and a virtual meeting in August to gather ideas and input.

"Iowa has been through significant droughts in 1988, 2012 and 2021. While the state responded well to those events, a statewide drought plan would allow for better coordination between agencies, better communication, and improved response," said Tim Hall, DNR's coordinator of hydrology resources.

A number of state agencies have come together to develop such a drought plan for Iowa, including the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

An important part of drought planning efforts is the collection of ideas and experiences from Iowans. To gather information, the agencies will host a series of public stakeholder meetings:

Iowa Falls: July 6, 9 a.m. -- Ellsworth Equestrian Center, 709 Ellsworth Ave. Register for Iowa Falls Drought Planning Meeting at

Sioux City: July 20, 9 a.m. -- Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, 101 Pierce St. Register for Sioux City Drought Planning Meeting at

Cedar Rapids: July 21, 9 a.m. -- Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Bld. SW. Register for Cedar Rapids Drought Planning Meeting at

July 22, 9 a.m. -- Southwestern Community College, 1501 West Townline St. Register for Creston Drought Planning Meeting at

Online-only meeting: Aug. 3, 9 a.m. -- Details to be released closer to meeting date. Register for Virtual Drought Planning Meeting at

Monthly reports on drought conditions in Iowa can be found in the Water Summary Update at

#CUTC22 Content is Just a Click Away!

Since 1987, the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) has convened the corn industry’s leading innovators to participate in scientific exchange and thought-provoking discussions.  This year’s virtual edition—focused on New Uses and Mycotoxins—did not deviate from that formula, allowing a diverse group of researchers, farmers and other industry leaders to come together to consider the future of the industry from the varying perspectives of each stakeholder’s lens.

Day one of the conference kicked off with New Uses sessions focused on topics including advancements in wet and dry milling, sustainable aviation fuel, advocacy for biotechnology and renewable products, innovative financing solutions and commercialization of renewables. The following two days, Mycotoxins were forefront, including but not limited to the prevalence of mycotoxins, advances in technology to reduce fumonisins, vomitoxin, aflatoxin and approaches for mycotoxin-contaminated corn products.

“CUTC is a one-of-a-kind event. There is no other conference focused solely on the development of technologies and innovations which aim to enhance and extend the uses for corn,” said Nebraska grower and NCGA Sustainable Ag Research Action Team Chair Jason Lewis. “These webinars proved that CUTC remains the premier forum for researchers in the corn sector to share new ideas and visions which further advance corn as a highly versatile and sustainable resource.”

For access to the catalog of this year’s virtual CUTC recorded sessions, visit

NCGA would like to thank our gracious sponsors whose funding has helped make this virtual edition of CUTC possible: Fluid Quip Technologies, GPC, the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, ITOCHU, John Deere, the Kansas Corn Commission, the Nebraska Corn Board, the North Dakota Corn Council, the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association, the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team, Syngenta and the Wisconsin Corn Promotion Board.

USDA Trade Mission Underway in London

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh arrived today in London to launch a USDA agribusiness trade mission to the United Kingdom. Deputy Secretary Bronaugh is joined by a delegation of representatives from U.S. agribusinesses, farm organizations and state departments of agriculture who are interested in exploring export opportunities in this important market.

“I am honored to lead this diverse group of U.S. agribusinesses and representatives to the United Kingdom,” Dr. Bronaugh said. “The United Kingdom is a valued trading partner whose consumers demand the best quality products at a competitive price. I’m excited for mission participants to engage with potential customers for their world-class agricultural products. In 2021, the United Kingdom imported $1.9 billion of U.S. agricultural products and I’m confident this visit will help us continue to exceed expectations and meet the needs of UK consumers for years to come.”

Trade mission participants will engage directly with potential customers, receive in-depth market briefings, and participate in site visits.

 Growers Disappointed Supreme Court Decides Not to Hear Glyphosate Case

Agriculture groups including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and National Cotton Council issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the writ of certiorari petition to hear the case Monsanto v. Hardeman, which pertains to state glyphosate health warnings:

“We are disappointed the Supreme Court has decided not to hear this case, which has significant implications for our global food supply and science-based regulation. With the conflict in Ukraine threatening food security around the world and the persistent dangers posed by climate change, too much is on the line to allow the emergence of an unscientific patchwork of state pesticide labels that would threaten grower access to tools needed for productive, sustainable farming. We will be discussing the implications of the court’s announcement and will determine what reforms may be needed to ensure a patchwork of state labels does not jeopardize grower access to these vital tools or science-based pesticide regulation.”

On May 23, the groups sent a letter signed by 54 agricultural groups to President Biden urging him to withdraw a Solicitor General’s brief submitted to the Supreme Court advising against taking up the case. In a disturbing departure from previous bipartisan administrative policy, the Solicitor General’s brief argues federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not preclude states from imposing additional labeling requirements, even if those requirements run counter to federal findings. The groups will be considering today’s decision and what additional reforms may be needed to prevent a patchwork of state labeling requirements from disrupting commerce and undermining science-based pesticide regulation.

The GROWMARK Foundation Launches Relief Effort for Ukraine  

GROWMARK, Inc. is partnering with the Midwest Food Bank to deliver relief to war-ravaged Ukraine. Beginning today, GROWMARK System employees, members, and customers can make financial donations to the GROWMARK Foundation which will go directly to providing Tender Mercies to Ukraine.

Tender Mercies meals have been a hallmark of the Midwest Food Bank’s mission to fight against food insecurity across the world. Every dollar donated provides four servings of meals that are designed by dieticians to provide critical nutrition. The GROWMARK Foundation is also offering a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $5,000 donated through the program.

“This is a specific point in history when we have the opportunity to live out our noble purpose ‘to help feed and fuel the world,’” said Ann Kafer, GROWMARK Executive Vice President, HR and Corporate Services. “Partnering with Midwest Food Bank to get high-protein, easy-to-use food into Ukraine through reputable partners is a blessing and squarely in line with who we are as an agricultural cooperative system. It was an easy ‘yes’ for GROWMARK, and something I’m proud to support personally as well. While everyone gives in their own ways, if anyone is looking for an impactful way to support people in Ukraine, please consider this effort.”

While based in Normal, Illinois, Midwest Food Bank has partnerships across the globe to provide food relief in times of disaster through its Tender Mercies program. Tender Mercies are high-protein, shelf-stable food packets that can be prepared using only boiling water, making them ideal for people who may not have access to normal cooking facilities. To aid in Ukraine relief, Midwest Food Bank has partnered with Convoy of Hope, which is working on the ground in Ukraine and nearby countries to distribute food and other supplies to those who need them most.

“Midwest Food Bank is honored to partner with Convoy of Hope to provide food for Ukrainian refugees,” said Jada Hoerr, Midwest Food Bank Chief Resource Officer. “Together, we are able to provide nutritious meals for the displaced Ukrainians in Romania and other parts of Europe.”

Donations can be made online at or by mailing a check made out to GROWMARK Foundation and mailed to GROWMARK Foundation, c/o Karen Jones, 1701 Towanda Avenue, Bloomington, IL 61701.

Midwest Food Bank has 12 locations, including 10 in the U.S. and one each in East Africa and Haiti. For more information about Midwest Food Bank, please visit their website at:

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