Thursday, September 8, 2022

Wednesday September 7 Ag News

 Husker Harvest Days 2022 Will Have a New Look, But the Same Legacy

The world’s largest totally irrigated working farm show is back, but show attendees are in for a whole new experience during the event in Grand Island, Nebraska, Sept. 13-15. In addition to the highly anticipated demos, seminars, and displays, visitors will enjoy viewing and networking with over 60 new exhibitors and get face-to-face with some of the most modern innovations in the agriculture industry.

“I think many attendees have a ritual in place when they visit the show. They take the same path every year to see the same exhibitors, but the 2022 Husker Harvest Days will be a novel experience for every producer that walks through the gates. Farmers and ranchers will still see familiar favorites, but they’ll want to take their time walking around because we’re packed with fresh exhibitors,” said Farm Progress Show Director, Matt Jungmann.

The roads and entry points around Husker Harvest Days were also improved this year with an environmentally sustainable, soybean-based dust control system, made possible by the Nebraska Soybean Board. The application, which covers the entirety of the show perimeter, will increase visibility, improve safety, and showcase the diversity of soybeans for practical use.

The innovation doesn’t stop there, though. Visitors will find a building dedicated to startup companies at the forefront of agriculture’s future technology. Those who want to see modern equipment in action can take part in Husker Harvest Days’ field demos, which are some of the most expansive demonstrations in the United States.

Whether you’re attending Husker Harvest Days to meet industry experts face-to-face, or you’re coming to celebrate your farming legacy, Husker Harvest Days is an unforgettable experience that's purely agriculture. We can’t wait to see you at the show.

Plan to attend

Husker Harvest Days is located west of Grand Island, 1-1/2 miles north and 2 miles west of Alda in central Nebraska on Husker Highway. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for ages 13-17, and ages 12 and under are free. Those purchasing advance tickets online receive a discount of $5 per adult ticket. For additional information, visit


Husker Harvest Days includes Free Trees and Water Testing

Questions about trees, erosion, drought or water quality? Stop in to visit with Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts during Husker Harvest Days Sept. 13-15, 2022.

“This is a great opportunity for producers to meet with conservation agencies all in one place and learn more about cost-share programs that can benefit their operation and Nebraska’s natural resources,” said Dr. Orval Gigstad, president of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD).

Located in the Natural Resources Hub (39E), Nebraska’s NRDs are stationed with various organizations that offer conservation assistance, cost-share opportunities, and producer programs. Attendees can visit with the Nebraska Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program, the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, The Nature Conservancy, and Central Platte NRD’s Native Prairie and Pollination Awareness Program.

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Water Well Standards Program will also be on site to provide free water testing to screen for nitrate in minutes. Private well owners should bring a cup-size sample of water in a clean container.

In addition, the Natural Resources Districts will announce three individuals to induct into the NRD Hall of Fame during a press conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, on the Hospitality Tent Stage (SE Quadrant, #33). These Hall of Fame inductees have made significant contributions to protect our state’s natural resources through the NRDs. Hall of Fame categories include:
    Natural Resources District Board Member
    Natural Resources District Employee
    Natural Resources District Supporter

During the three-day event, Husker Harvest attendees also will receive a free Colorado Blue Spruce tree seedling from the NRD Conservation Tree Program. All 23 Nebraska NRDs administer tree planting programs to provide trees and shrubs for local landowners. Each district varies, but possible services include planting, weed barrier installation or weed control, and drip irrigation. Free prairie grass seed will also be available as part of the Native Prairie and Pollinator Awareness Project.

For more information on the Conservation Tree Program and other conservation resources, visit

Throughout 2022, the NRDs will commemorate breakthroughs and achievements in conservation for their 50th anniversary. To join in the celebration and follow the Natural Resources Districts’ special activities throughout 2022, visit and follow #Since1972 on social media.

Nebraska Cattlemen Applauds Success of Rancher-Owned Company

Sustainable Beef LLC Beef Processing Facility to Open in 2024

Last week, Sustainable Beef, LLC announced a new minority partner in their rancher-owned company based in North Platte, Nebraska. This partnership solidifies the necessary resources for the company to move forward and bolster existing processing capacity in Nebraska, an ongoing goal of Nebraska Cattlemen.

Nebraska Cattlemen President Brenda Masek stated, “Sustainable Beef’s processing facility will not only create new jobs to enhance the local economy of North Platte, but also expand marketing options for cattlemen in Nebraska. She continued, “This investment in Sustainable Beef, LLC will help ensure the plant opens their beef processing facility in North Platte, with expectations the facility will open in late 2024.”

Sustainable Beef, LLC's primary goal is to create a new beef processing plant to add beef processing capacity to the industry. According to the announcement, Walmart's minority partnership with Sustainable Beef, LLC is the latest step in the retailer's commitment to increasing access to high-quality beef at an affordable price for its customers while boosting capacity for the beef industry and ensuring long-term economic viability for cattle ranchers.

Nebraska Cattlemen's efforts to support and expand processing capacity in Nebraska:
-    Independent Processor Assistance Program (IPAP): Nebraska Cattlemen worked with Senator Brandt in the 2021 legislative session to create the IPAP to provide technical and financial assistance for independent meat processors to modernize and/or expand their processing capacity.
-    During the 2022 legislative session, Nebraska Cattlemen doubled down on these efforts:
-    LB783  McDonnell - Appropriate federal funds to the Department of Economic Development for the beef processing industry. LB873 was amended into LB1014 at $20 million and signed into law by Governor Ricketts.
-    LB755 Brandt - Appropriate federal funds for the Independent Processor Assistance Program.
-    LB755 was amended in LB1014 at $9,875,000 to the Department of Agriculture for grants for small-to-medium meat processors. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture announced the call for the first round of grant applications in August 2022!
-    Federal programming: Nebraska Cattlemen leadership and staff worked with USDA and Nebraska's federal delegation to ensure technical and financial assistance was available to independent processors to modernize and/or expand their facilities.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Range & Forage Specialist

Was cheatgrass, sometimes called downy brome, or wild oats abundant in your pastures this spring?  Although difficult, they can be controlled and your pasture revitalized.
Winter annual bromes often invade thin or overgrazed pastures in fall and early spring.  Livestock dislike grazing them after they become mature and over time they can take over and make large patches in a pasture.

Research by the University of Nebraska evaluated herbicides for controlling cheatgrass.   Products containing rimsulfuron and imazapic (Plateau®) can provide good control of cheatgrass from a single application, but control can vary widely from year to year depending on when the application is made, maturity of cheatgrass plants, and the weather patterns.  A one-time management operation, utilizing grazing, mowing, or a non-residual herbicide, like rimsulfuron or imazapic, usually does not have a lasting impact on the cheatgrass in the seedbank. To reduce the seedbank, control needs to be close to 100%, and repeated over several years.

Rejuvra™ is a new rangeland herbicide product from Bayer that works differently from existing cheatgrass herbicides. Rejuvra™ has limited activity on emerged plants and only controls seedlings as they germinate, so it is best to apply Rejuvra™ in early fall before seeds germinate.  This herbicide can provide control up to two years post application.

In warm-season grass pastures, there is another option.  You can use glyphosate herbicides after top growth of these grasses has died due to a hard freeze or two.  This can kill emerged annual brome seedlings without harming the desirable grasses.  However, do not use glyphosate in cool-season pastures because it will injure or kill the pasture grasses as well.  With any herbicide, always read and follow label directions.
With these herbicide options and proper grazing management, your pastures can develop thicker stands of the more desirable grasses.

University of Nebraska System fall enrollment is 49,560

In line with projections, enrollment across the University of Nebraska System for fall 2022 is 49,560, according to new census figures announced today by President Ted Carter.

Enrollments within several key workforce areas grew this year, including in agriculture, public health, allied health and a record-high enrollment in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering. The University of Nebraska at Omaha has its largest incoming first-year class in history, the University of Nebraska Medical Center set its 22nd straight enrollment record, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney saw growth among nonresident undergraduates.

NU’s student body is again the most diverse in university system history, with 22 percent of students identifying as minority.

The total headcount enrollment for the NU System’s four campuses plus the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a 2.2 percent decline from 2021. The decrease aligns with projections built in to the university’s 2022-23 operating budget, approved by the Board of Regents in June.

“The University of Nebraska has not been immune to challenges facing colleges and universities across the country,” Carter said, noting that postsecondary enrollment nationally has declined in recent years. “But the fact is, Nebraska needs and expects its public university to grow. The University of Nebraska System is the largest producer of workforce, research and service in the state. We can’t afford to be stagnant on enrollment.

“These numbers aren’t shocking to us, but they are disappointing. I’ve told the chancellors that I expect an all-hands-on-deck effort to get us where I know we can be. This is the time to be bold and creative in our thinking. Enrollment is our top priority.”

Carter highlighted a number of recent system-wide steps designed to expand access and opportunity for students and families, including the creation of the Nebraska Promise, which allows qualifying Nebraska students with family incomes of $65,000 or less to attend the university tuition-free; two straight years of tuition freezes; and application fee waivers during the fall.

The university also is focused on expanding transfer opportunities so that students can seamlessly transfer between postsecondary institutions, as well as expanding educational opportunities for working adults, particularly the 300,000-plus Nebraskans who have some college credits but no degree.

“A University of Nebraska education transforms a student’s life,” Carter said. “The value that higher education brings to individuals, communities and our economy is as great as it has ever been. Our task now is to make sure we bring that opportunity to each and every student.”

Details on the University of Nebraska System’s fall 2022 enrollment follow. Figures are based on a student census taken on the sixth day of classes.

Campus enrollment totals:
·         University of Nebraska-Lincoln: 23,805 (2.6 percent decrease)
·         University of Nebraska at Omaha: 15,058 (1.7 percent decrease)
·         University of Nebraska at Kearney: 6,041 (3.7 percent decrease)
·         University of Nebraska Medical Center: 4,406 (0.4 percent increase)
·         Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: 250 (2.3 percent decrease)

System-wide enrollment totals:
·         University of Nebraska System total headcount: 49,560 (2.2 percent decrease)
·         First-time freshmen: 7,847 (0.2 percent decrease)
·         Undergraduate students: 36,370 (2 percent decrease)
·         Graduate students: 9,498 (3.6 percent decrease)
·         Professional students: 3,442 (0.2 percent decrease)

Other enrollment highlights:
·         In addition to a 7 percent enrollment increase in the UNL College of Engineering, enrollment in UNL’s Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is up 6.2 percent, with strong growth from the new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.
·         Enrollment of first-time freshmen grew in UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, College of Business, College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. CASNR has its second-largest enrollment of new students (first-time freshmen and transfer students) in history.
·         UNL’s enrollment of U.S. undergraduate students from outside Nebraska is up 3.6 percent over last fall.
·         The number of first-time freshmen enrolled in UNK’s health sciences programs is up 14 percent.
·         Enrollments of international students at UNO and UNMC increased as institutions begin to rebound from pandemic-related declines.

Iowa Farm Bureau names Senator Chuck Grassley, Governor Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig a ‘Friend of Agriculture'’

The Iowa Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (PAC) has designated Senator Chuck Grassley, Governor Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig as a ‘Friend of Agriculture’ for the 2022 general election. Guided by grassroots input from every county Farm Bureau in the state, Senator Grassley, Governor Reynolds and Secretary Naig were selected based on support of Farm Bureau policies and commitment to Iowa’s farm families and agricultural economy.  

Candidates earn the Friend of Agriculture designation by supporting issues that directly impact Iowa’s agricultural economy, farm families, and their communities.

Grassley, Reynolds and Naig have a proven track record of leading the way on issues that matter to Farm Bureau members. They each understand and have demonstrated that agriculture, both crops and livestock, are key to growing a more prosperous Iowa.

“With one in every five Iowans employed in agriculture and ag-related industries, we must elect leaders such as Senator Grassley, Governor Reynolds and Secretary Naig, who will continue to be champions for agriculture and the hard-working Iowa families who make their living feeding and fueling the world,” said Boone County farmer and IFBF PAC Chair, Kriss Haglund.  “From conservation and water quality efforts to increased biofuels promotion and usage, to tax reform and job growth, Senator Grassley, Governor Reynolds and Secretary Naig have earned Iowa Farm Bureau’s endorsement and we need to keep them working to make our great state even better.”

Maximize Agronomic and Environmental Outcomes through Improved Manure Management

The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place Sept. 14 at noon CDT will feature Brian Dougherty, field agricultural engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Dougherty’s research and outreach focuses on the effects of cropping systems and management practices on soil health and water quality.

Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

In the webinar, “Improving Manure Management to Maximize Agronomic and Environmental Outcomes,” Dougherty will discuss the results from a five-year study that assessed the effect of manure application timing, fall cereal rye cover crops and utilization of nitrification inhibitors on water quality and crop yields. He will also explore some best management practices in relation to maximizing the value of manure nutrients while minimizing environmental losses.

“As we approach harvest season for most row crops, planning for fall cover crop establishment and fall or winter manure application should be underway now,” said Dougherty. “This is the time to review the latest research on application timing, use of nitrification inhibitors and practices that will keep nutrients in the fields where they deliver the most value. I am hopeful that participants in this webinar will gain in their appreciation for the impacts management decisions regarding manure application timing will have on agronomic and environmental outcomes.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.
Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT, Sept. 14:
    Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser:
    Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172.
    Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923; meeting ID 364 284 172.

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming webinars in the series
    Sept. 21: Trisha Moore, Kansas State University.
    Sept. 28: D. Raj Raman, Iowa State University.
    Oct. 5: Vinayak Shedekar, Ohio State University.
    Oct. 12: Laura Alt, Iowa State University.

DAP Leading Way as Prices Continue Lower

Retail fertilizer prices continue their slow price decline, according to numbers tracked by DTN for the last week of August 2022. It has now been five weeks when all eight of the major fertilizers are less expensive compared to a month ago.

Only one fertilizer price was significantly lower. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or greater. DAP was 5% less expensive looking back to last month. The phosphorus fertilizer's average price was $952/ton. The remaining seven fertilizers were just slightly lower. MAP had an average price of $1,022/ton, potash $877/ton, urea $804/ton, 10-34-0 $866/ton, anhydrous $1,364/ton, UAN28 $576/ton and UAN32 $671/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.87/lb.N, anhydrous $0.83/lb.N, UAN28 $1.03/lb.N and UAN32 $1.05/lb.N.

Despite lower prices in recent months, all fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier. MAP is 35% more expensive, both DAP and 10-34-0 are 37% higher, urea is 44% more expensive, potash is 53% higher, UAN28 is 56% more expensive, UAN32 is 60% higher and anhydrous is 82% more expensive compared to last year.

USMEF Statement on Advancement of Chief Agricultural Negotiator Nomination

Today the Senate Finance Committee reported favorably on the nomination of Douglas McKalip to serve as chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued this statement:
In addition to USTR's ongoing efforts to improve and maintain international market access for U.S. red meat, several new Biden administration trade initiatives are underway that will benefit from Mr. McKalip's agricultural experience and expertise. USMEF thanks the Senate Finance Committee for advancing his nomination and we urge prompt approval by the full Senate.

AFBF Supports Advancement of Doug McKalip for Chief Agricultural Negotiator

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on the Senate Finance Committee vote to advance the nomination of Doug McKalip for chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to see the nomination of Doug McKalip for chief agriculture negotiator move forward to the full Senate. Doug is a government professional with experience in agricultural issues, and today’s unanimous vote further proves that Doug is well suited to represent farmers’ interests on the international stage.

“The vote comes at an important time as current and future trading partners are looking to the United States to meet a growing demand for food, fuel and fiber. AFBF is eager to work with Mr. McKalip and Ambassador Tai to strengthen current agreements and create new opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers. We urge the full Senate to quickly confirm Doug McKalip.”

Statement on Unanimous Approval of Ag Trade Negotiator Nomination in Senate Finance Committee

Today, Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade, the nation’s leading ag trade advocacy coalition, released the following statement after Doug McKalip nomination as Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was unanimously supported by the Senate Finance Committee. McKalip’s nomination now moves to the full Senate for approval.

“We applaud the Senate Finance Committee for unanimously moving Mr. McKalip’s nomination forward to the full Senate. It’s abundantly clear that there is bipartisan momentum behind both his nomination and the need to open markets for American farmers who rely on trade. Our nation’s ag trade negotiator is a critical voice for expanding access into new markets for food and ag. That’s why we we’ve been particularly encouraged that during the nomination process, Senators Stabenow, Grassley and others pointed to the vital need to get Mr. McKalip in office as quickly as possible.
This strong, bipartisan vote is a reminder of the universal support for opening markets for American farmers. We should build on that support in our efforts to access markets across the globe. We look forward to working with Mr. McKalip, particularly as the U.S. addresses foreign trade barriers, pursues the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and considers tariff rollbacks.”

NCBA Urges Senate Committee to Pass Livestock Regulatory Protection Act

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) urged the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to approve the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act.

“American cattle producers’ commitment to reducing their environmental footprint while simultaneously improving efficiency makes our farms and ranches the most sustainable in the world. Unfortunately, overregulation and excessive permitting would jeopardize the cattle industry’s progress towards greater sustainability,” said NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “NCBA strongly supports the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act, which protects farmers and ranchers from onerous regulation. We thank Senators John Thune (R-SD), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), John Boozman (R-AR), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) for their sponsorship and we urge all senators to support this bill.”  

The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act aims to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing Clean Air Act Title V permits for emissions like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor, or methane that result from livestock production.

These emissions are naturally occurring due to cattle’s biological functions and cattle producers continue to employ innovative practices to mitigate the impact of these emissions on the environment. Overall, emissions from cattle production represent only a very small portion of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For example, methane emissions from cattle account for just 2% of total U.S. emissions.

“SDCA thanks Senators Thune and Sinema for working to prevent the EPA from requiring unnecessary air quality permits for livestock producers,” said Eric Jennings, president of South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA). “America’s beef producers, like consumers and regulators, are focused on continuous improvement in environmental conservation and sustainability. Creating burdensome permitting requirements that aren’t firmly backed by sound science aren’t an effective solution to improving the environment, incentivizing good environmental management is.”

Today, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works heard testimony on the legislation. The committee will now need to vote on the bill before sending it to the full Senate for consideration.

National Pork Producers Council Statement on SCOTUS Reply Brief to Petitioners on California Proposition 12

Terry Wolters, NPPC president and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minnesota

"Today's filing of our reply brief to petitioners brings the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation one step closer to the Supreme Court hearing our case on how California Proposition 12 violates the U. S. Constitution.
"Ironically, California's Department of Food and Agriculture also announced today it finally completed the Proposition 12 implementation rules, more than three years after the original statutory deadline. This delay unnecessarily exacerbated pork supply chain disruptions and now creates significant concerns for farmers that these arbitrary regulations put the nation's pig herd at risk of disease. Any farmers raising pigs that provide pork products to the California market must register and will be required to have California agents inspect their farms, which will create serious biosecurity threats across the country.
"We look forward to presenting our case before the Supreme Court on October 11 to defend the livelihoods of America's pork producers."

Dairy Management Inc. Annual Report Posted Online

Dairy Management Inc., the planning and management organization that oversees the national dairy checkoff program on behalf of America's dairy farmers and importers, has posted its 2021 annual report at  

The report provides checkoff funders and other members of the dairy community key highlights of 2021 strategies and programs and an audited financial report. It also outlines activities aligned around DMI board-approved priorities that focus on growing sales domestically and internationally, building trust with consumers and youth, and positioning dairy globally as a sustainable food source.

"Our annual report is just one of many ways that farmers and other checkoff funders can learn more about their investment in the program," said Marilyn Hershey, Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI chair. "Not only does the report share examples of 2021 outcomes, it offers links to more information for those who want to take a deeper dive into checkoff priorities and programs."

Dairy Management Inc. is funded by America's nearly 30,000 dairy farmers, as well as dairy importers. Created to help increase sales and demand for dairy products, DMI and its related organizations work to increase demand for dairy through research, education and innovation, and to maintain confidence in dairy foods, farms and businesses.


Dairy Farmers of America, along with its employees and family farm-owners, is continuing its commitment to help fight hunger by supporting Feeding America®’s Hunger Action Month this September. Through its DFA Cares Foundation Farmers Feeding Families Fund, DFA is donating much-needed commercial refrigeration to community food pantries across its seven regional Areas and stocking those fridges with milk through the end of the year.

Food insecurity continues to be a significant problem in the United States. According to Feeding America, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, are facing hunger and food insecurity, with added pressure caused by inflation. And, while every community in the country has families that face hunger, rural communities are especially hard hit.

In 2020, DFA began donating refrigerators stocked with milk to community food pantries in its local Areas to support Hunger Action Month. With this year’s donation, the Cooperative has provided access to refrigeration for more than 34 community food pantries and provided more than 270,000 servings of milk through Hunger Action Month efforts.

“Refrigeration is a challenge for so many community food pantries, which means that it’s hard for them to keep fresh foods like milk and other dairy products on hand,” says Jackie Klippenstein, senior vice president of government, industry and community relations. “We are so pleased to not only provide nutrient-rich milk and dairy products to our partners in the food bank community, but also to help ensure that they’re set up for the future with the infrastructure improvements these cold storage units provide.”

“As farmers, we work hard every day to make food for our local communities,” says Ron Shelton, chairman of DFA Cares and a dairy farmer from La Salle, Colo. “It’s an honor to be a part of this effort and to help provide food for people who are facing tough times.”

Since the start of the pandemic, DFA’s Farmers Feeding Families Fund has raised $950,000, along with dairy product donations from DFA’s commercial divisions, which has positively impacted 617 local communities and provided the equivalent of more than 36.4 million servings of dairy to those in need. For more information about DFA’s Farmers Feeding Families Fund or to donate, visit

NGFA urges Congress to approve Robert Primus for another term at the STB  

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) issued its strong support for Robert Primus to continue serving as a member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“The agricultural sector has been adversely impacted by railroad market power and by recent changes to railroad operations,” NGFA noted in the letter sent in advance of Primus’ Sept. 7 confirmation hearing. “The rail industry has reduced the number of locomotives, crews, and other human and capital assets to reduce railroad operating costs, but often at the expense of their customers. During the past couple of years with Mr. Primus as a member, the Board has responded to these developments with proactive oversight and long-overdue efforts to modernize its regulatory oversight.”

In July, President Joe Biden renominated Primus to a second term of five years on the STB. Primus was nominated by President Donald Trump in July 2020 and confirmed by the Senate in January 2021 to fill an unexpired term of Democrat Deb Miller ending Dec. 31, 2022. If confirmed by the Senate, Primus’ second term would expire Dec. 31, 2027.

This year, STB has requested plans from rail carriers on how they will restore service to acceptable levels and has developed momentum in attempting to create more rail-on-rail competition and a more streamlined method for freight rail customers to challenge unreasonable rates.

“The ability of the STB to follow through and pursue a modern and more balanced approach is dependent upon it having members that are knowledgeable and objective. We respectfully believe Mr. Primus exemplifies these principles,” the letter noted.

Before serving on the STB, Primus spent 30 years in various staff positions in Congress working on a broad range of policy areas with a keen interest in freight and passenger rail transportation.

NGFA urged the committee to approve Primus and the full Senate to confirm his nomination as soon as possible.

U.S. Exports of Ethanol and DDGS Pick Up the Pace in July

Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst, Renewable Fuels Association

July U.S. ethanol exports rose 6% to 107.2 million gallons (mg), marking the tenth consecutive month that exports breached 100 mg. Canada imported 41.6 mg, up 1%, to maintain its status as our largest customer. Sales to Singapore quadrupled to 12.3 mg (its largest imports of U.S. ethanol since Jan. 2018), while exports to the Netherlands increased 7% to 11.4 mg. However, shipments to South Korea declined by a third to an 8-month low of 9.3 mg. Other substantial importers of U.S. ethanol included Peru (5.6 mg, +73%), Mexico (5.3 mg, +10%), and the United Kingdom (4.5 mg, -63%). China and Brazil again were not key market players in July. Total U.S. ethanol exports for the first seven months of 2022 were 932.9 mg, up 30% from the same period in 2021 and remaining on a record pace.

The U.S. logged 8.2 mg of Brazilian undenatured ethanol in July. (South Africa also shipped 10,601 gallons of denatured fuel ethanol.) Total year-to-date imports stand at 29.5 mg, up 16% from the same period in 2021.

U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, expanded 5% in July to a 6-month high of 1.06 million metric tons (mt). Mexico returned as our largest market, up 40% to 221,587 mt, representing 21% of July shipments. Turkey imported 111,813 mt, up 2% and its largest volume of U.S. DDGS in a year. Vietnam cut its imports by half to 103,068 mt on the heels of sharply higher sales in June, and exports to Indonesia slipped 1% to 93,161 mt. These four countries represented half of our export market in July. Other larger markets included Canada (87,431 mt, -11%), South Korea (86,071, +6%), Japan (59,187 mt, +118%), Israel (54,776 mt, +90% to a record high), and Ireland (45,388 mt, +36%). The remaining U.S. DDGS shipments were dispersed among another 20 countries. Year-to-date exports totaled 6.73 million mt, which is 4% greater than the same period in 2021.

NIAA Opens Nomination Period for Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is now accepting nominations for the second cohort of the Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders program. Nominations are due November 1.

In 2021, NIAA launched a new program providing emerging leaders a new opportunity to gain next-level leadership and professional development training specifically focused on the animal agriculture segment of the industry. Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders was developed and sponsored by the United Soybean Board (USB) and NIAA. The program empowers professionals in the early or middle part of their careers to build on previous leadership development experiences and collaborate with peers across the industry. Participants in the program will represent a range of agricultural sectors and will collaborate to advance animal agriculture’s role in today’s food system.

The 16-month leadership program blends in-person and virtual working sessions to focus on four areas of development: critical thinking, leadership development, connecting and relating skills, and operational excellence. Members of the program work together on applied-learning, small-group capstone projects, which will incorporate topics identified by supporting NIAA sponsors. Project outcomes will be shared at the NIAA Annual Conference held each April.

“Part of NIAA’s mission is to foster collaboration and cooperation throughout the industry. This program was intentionally developed to build upon existing leadership experiences, so professionals advance their leadership and, specifically, collaboration skills,” said Eric Moore, NIAA Board Chairman. “It was important to me to participate in the inaugural cohort and it has been an enriching experience for me and my fellow leaders.”

USB serves as the founding sponsor of the Advanced Training for Animal Agriculture Leaders Program, with additional financial support provided by NIAA and its members and partners. Sponsorship funding allows participants pay a fee of $2,500, while receiving an estimated $10,000 in training and resources. The enrollment fee also includes one year of NIAA membership.

NIAA is accepting nominations for the program’s second 20-member cohort now through November 1. The selection process begins with a nomination from a sponsoring organization. More information about how to nominate an individual for the program or become an applicant is available at

Taranis Raises $40 Million to Advance Crop Intelligence and Unlock Growth Opportunities for Agribusinesses

Taranis, the leading crop intelligence provider, announced today that it has raised $40 million in Series D funding. This latest round brings Taranis’ total funding to $100 million.
“Taranis has had tremendous growth over the past seven years with a goal of delivering advanced crop intelligence to help growers deal with soaring costs and a constant need to increase productivity and yield,'' says Mike DiPaola, Taranis’ Chief Commercial Officer. “More than 100 agricultural retailers and advisors are sharing our journey as innovation partners, relying on Taranis as the critical source of crop intelligence insights to drive better outcomes for their growers.”
Taranis’ crop intelligence platform uniquely leverages leaf-level imagery and a robust artificial intelligence system, backed by the industry’s largest crop data set containing more than 200 million AI-data points, to create actionable insights that can be delivered straight to growers via their agronomist. In the most recent growing season, Taranis delivered crop intelligence insights to retail crop consultants and growers, empowering more informed decision making to help make crop management more efficient. This partnership helps improve business at the retail level while delivering significant benefits to their grower customers, creating a stronger economic environment for rural communities.

“The value we find from Taranis is that it really helps complement our crop consulting and scouting programs,” says Glen Franzluebbers, Director of Professional Ag Services, Central Valley Ag, Oakland, Nebraska. “We are actually doing focused and directed scouting versus random scouting so our crop consultants can be more efficient and make better decisions. When our co-op is successful, and our customers are successful, that trickles down to our employees and our local communities.”

“Inven Capital is delighted to lead this important investment round,” says Petra Sokolová, Investment Manager at Inven Capital. “Agritech innovations are critical in advancing sustainable agriculture, making the most efficient use of our Earth’s resources, and securing the future of farming. Technologies that facilitate crop intelligence and agricultural carbon credits such as Taranis’ solutions have large-scale potential to improve sustainability and enduring prosperity. We are excited about the impact they will have in the local communities they serve, and to support them in their mission.”
“I’m excited about our growth trajectory,” said Bar Veinstein, Taranis’ CEO. ”The new funding will allow us to accelerate our 3-year plan, rapidly expand our operations, and deliver transformative technology to the market faster. We are delighted to welcome our new investors and continue to be grateful to our existing investors for their support.”

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