Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Monday October 31 Ag News


For the week ending October 30, 2022, there were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 44% very short, 41% short, 15% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 46% very short, 38% short, 16% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn harvested was 80%, ahead of 70% last year and 61% for the five-year average.

Soybeans harvested was 97%, ahead of 91% last year and 89% average.

Winter wheat condition rated 15% very poor, 23% poor, 40% fair, 21% good, and 1% excellent. Winter wheat emerged was 94%, ahead of 89% last year, and near 90% average.

Sorghum mature was 98%, equal to both last year and average. Harvested was 75%, near 77% last year, but ahead of 65% average.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 44% very poor, 38% poor, 16% fair, 2% good, and 0% excellent.


Row crop harvest was winding down ahead of normal as Iowa’s farmers had 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 30, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork included harvesting row crops, completing fall tillage, applying fall fertilizer, baling stalks, and hauling manure. Field fires were reported again in some areas with continued dry conditions.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 24 percent very short, 44 percent short, 32 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 26 percent very short, 45 percent short, 29 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Harvest of the corn for grain crop reached 77 percent complete, 5 days ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of the average. Corn harvest in northeast and south central Iowa continued to lag behind with 58 and 59 percent complete, respectively, while 95 percent has been harvested in northwest Iowa. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was 17 percent.

Soybeans harvested reached 94 percent complete, 1 week ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the average. Southwest and south central Iowa producers still had over 15 percent of their soybean crop left to harvest.

Pasture condition rated 25 percent good to excellent. Dry conditions were an issue for cattle and  any producers were moving them off pasture.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report

Dry conditions this fall in the winter-wheat-producing Southern Plains already are taking a toll on the newly planted 2023 crop, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday. However, some parts of the region could receive some beneficial rains later this week, according to DTN forecasts.

-- Harvest progress: 76% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, Oct. 30, up 15 percentage points from the previous week. This year's harvest progress is now 3 percentage points ahead of last year's 73% and 12 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 64%.

-- Harvest progress: 88% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, up 8 percentage points from the previous week. That is now 10 percentage points ahead of last year's 78% and 10 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 78%.

-- Planting progress: 87% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, 1 percentage point ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the average pace of 85%.
-- Crop development: 62% of winter wheat was emerged as of Sunday, 4 percentage points behind the five-year average of 66%.
-- Crop condition: In its first condition rating for the 2023 crop, USDA NASS rated U.S. winter wheat 28% in good-to-excellent condition, 17 percentage points below last year's rating of 45% good to excellent.


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Forage this fall is tight and crop residues offer a cost-effective opportunity for cows to graze or for baling and feeding later.  We’ve looked at corn and sorghum residues previously, so let’s take some time to assess the quality of soybean residues.
Soybeans themselves are very high in protein and fat. At about 40% Crude Protein and 20% fat the beans themselves can be a good feed source when fed in moderation. The high fat content can cause issues with rumen function, especially in young calves, so before letting animals out to graze a bean field, clean up any piles of spilled grain.
Soybean residues on the other hand, have a much different feed composition. Empty bean pods and stems contain only 4 to 6% CP and the TDN is only 35 to 45%. Soybean leaves are slightly higher in protein at 12%, but the leaves break down quickly and are usually no longer available for consumption once harvest has been completed.
With these qualities, soybean residues are unable support the nutritional requirements of a dry cow even if there is some grain left in the field. There is still opportunity to graze soybean residue in conjunction with a supplemented high-quality feed.  Not only does this provides rest to pastures, but can help stretch feed resources while still ensuring the cow is properly fed.
Baled soybean residue can be used as a roughage source in rations if needed. Just like grazing, baled soybean residue does not meet cow requirements, with even lower quality than baled corn stalk residues.
Soybean residue may not be the quality we often think. While it can be used to rest pasture and stretch feed resources, residue alone will not meet even a dry cow’s nutrient requirements. Supplementation will be need if you decide to utilize your soybean residue.

 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Travel to Nebraska, Announce Historic Investment to Increase and Expand Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity

On Wednesday, November 2, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit a local, family-owned meat processor in Omaha, Nebraska. There, he will announce a historic investment through the American Rescue Plan by the Biden-Harris Administration to expand meat and poultry processing capacity in Nebraska and across the country, which in turn increases competition, supports producer income, strengthens the food supply chain, and creates jobs and economic opportunities in rural areas.

The announcement is one of many actions that USDA is taking to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient for American farmers and ranchers, and builds upon the Department’s efforts to transform the nation’s food system.

Nebraska Farmers Union PAC Endorses Sen. Carol Blood for Governor

NEBFARMPAC, the political action committee of Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska’s second largest general farm organization with over 3,700 farm and ranch families, announced its endorsement of State Senator Carol Blood for Governor in the general election.

“Carol Blood is proud of her family farm roots, and has been a consistent champion of family farm and ranch agriculture as a State Senator whether the issue is rural healthcare, property tax relief, developing a more fair and balanced way to fund all Nebraska K-12 schools, Country of Origin Labeling for all food products, ending unfunded state mandates on local governments, or local control of the planning and zoning process,” said NEBFARMPAC President Vern Jantzen of Plymouth.

“Carol Blood does her homework, brings people to the table, and is committed to solving problems in an inclusive and non-partisan manner. Her track record in the Legislature shows she is a proven problem solver with a clear eye to the future,” said NEBFARMPAC Secretary John Hansen of Lincoln.

“State Senator Carol Blood has valuable experience as a local city council member, and of the legislative process as a State Senator.  As Governor, she would hit the ground running because of her broad understanding of the issues facing our state, and her understanding of how our local and state governments work,” said Vern Jantzen.

“We know Senator Carol Blood. She says what she means, and means what she says. She keeps her word. We know Governor Carol Blood believes in and would be a champion on protecting our state’s unique non-partisan Legislature from partisan pressures from any political party. Nebraska will not be well served by making our Legislature more partisan and more like the nonsense that goes on in Washington, D.C. Senator Blood is a person of character, courage, and integrity. Nebraska would be well served with her no nonsense, just the facts style. She will stand up to protect local planning and zoning authority and fight efforts to replace that system with a Governor appointed board that would control and oversee a state wide matrix system that leaves local views and values out of the equation,” concluded John Hansen.

International Trade

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer

Nebraska is one of the nation’s top agricultural states. Our farmers and ranchers have products that reach every corner of the country, as well as foreign markets around the world. In 2020, Nebraska exported $2.33 billion worth of soybeans/soybean products and $1.2 billion worth of corn. In 2021, Nebraska exported $1.81 billion worth of beef and $325.8 million worth of pork.

Nebraska’s ability to produce and export agricultural goods means international trade is vital to the economic livelihood of our state and its people. Our agricultural exports are also important to foreign nations, who rely on access to affordable, well-sourced products to help feed their country.

It’s troubling then that Mexico, a long-time trading partner of the United States, seems intent on enforcing a misguided ban on genetically modified corn.

This issue goes back to 2020, when Mexican President Lopez Obrador suddenly issued a presidential decree that Mexico would phase out the use of genetically modified corn by 2024.  Since then, there has been significant concern over whether the ban will actually be implemented, as well as what exactly it would cover. For example, the Mexican government has in the past indicated the ban would only apply to corn destined for human consumption, but there has been little action to clarify this.

Making matters worse, between August of 2021 and March of 2022, Mexican regulators have begun rejecting corn, soybean, canola, and cotton biotech products. These actions, as well as comments from Mexican officials, suggest the country intends to move forward with the ban.

It’s important to note that this kind of ban is not based on science. Genetically modified crops are not only safe, but also vital to modern agriculture. These scientific advancements have helped farmers to reduce water/land usage, lower input costs, and boost yield. Such a ban would also be contradictory to the clear free trade commitments Mexico made under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The impact of Mexico’s 2024 ban would be severe. Nebraska is the top state in the union for white corn, which is used in many food products. Nebraska exported over $348 million of corn to Mexico in 2020, making it our state’s largest export market for the product. Any restriction would devastate family farmers across our state.

But the impacts of this misguided policy go far beyond Nebraska. Over 90 percent of all corn acreage in the United States is planted with genetically engineered seeds. A ban would also hurt the people of Mexico and their economy by dramatically raising food prices.

Just the mere possibility of a ban is already impacting farmers. Without certainty about 2024, it’s hard for producers to know how to best plan out seed purchases and planting schedules.

Mexico’s ban against GMO corn would be a lose-lose for both countries’ economies, farmers, and science. I’ve been tracking this issue closely, and have been working with stakeholders over the last year to emphasize the gravity of the situation. It’s important that we all do everything we can to push back on this ridiculous policy and ensure it does not go into effect. I encourage the Biden Administration to fully enforce USMCA, including initiating an enforcement case if necessary, so we can reach a reasonable resolution with Mexico.

Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Announces 2023 Inductees

Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame inductees and industry award winners will be honored on Jan. 31, 2023, during the 14th annual banquet, which precedes the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans, Feb. 1-3. The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to honor the exceptional visionary men and women who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry.

Hall of Fame inductees for 2023 include Jerry Adams with Adams Land and Cattle in Broken Bow, Nebraska, and the late Ed Barrett of Barrett Crofoot Feedyards in Hereford, Texas. Thomas “Dee” Likes, former CEO of the Kansas Livestock Association, will receive the Industry Leadership Award, and Terry Wegner with Drinnin West Cattle Co. will receive the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award.

“Cattle feeders continue to play a key role in making the United States the world’s most efficient producer of safe, quality beef,” said Cliff Becker, senior vice president, Farm Journal, and Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame board member. “The 2023 inductees exemplify the visionary leaders who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry.”

Attendees of the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame banquet will find it convenient to stay in the Big Easy for the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, which starts the next day. The annual convention features important industry meetings, motivational speakers, valuable education, entertainment, a massive trade show, producer recognition and much more.

Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame banquet tickets are $200 per person in addition to convention registration. All proceeds from banquet ticket sales and corporate sponsorships benefit future Hall of Fame initiatives.

For more information about the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show and to purchase tickets to the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame banquet, visit convention.ncba.org. For more information about the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame and 2023 inductees, visit www.cattlefeeders.org.

MARAD Awards $25.5 million PIDP Grant for Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project

The United States Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD) has awarded the Port of Grays Harbor a $25.5 million Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) grant for the Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project.   The grant will be matched by $21.35 million in non-federal funds.  

The Port Infrastructure Development Program is a discretionary grant program administered by MARAD. Funds for the PIDP are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that improve the safety, efficiency or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. In FY2022, a total of $684,310,000 of funding was available to make awards under the FY 2022 PIDP grant program. The Port submitted an application for the Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project in May 2022.

Critical to the Port’s ability to accommodate Ag Processing Inc a cooperative’s (AGP) growth, attract private investment, increase international shipments and create jobs, the Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project will add 50,000 feet of rail for offloading, storage, and assembly; repurpose the 50-acre former 520 pontoon construction site into cargo laydown area; construct secured site access and roadway improvements, and replace the marine terminal fendering and stormwater systems.  

The project is in response to AGP’s proposed expansion to double their US soybean meal export capacity by developing a second export facility at Terminal 4b.  As a co-product of soybean processing, soybean meal exports are expected to increase in response to the growing demand for renewable fuel feedstocks, including soybean oil.  The project has received widespread support from soybean farmers and associations across the Midwest.

“We are incredibly grateful to our federal delegation and their staffs, who truly understand the importance of strategic transportation investment, for all of their support and leadership in securing this critical funding for the Terminal 4 Expansion & Redevelopment Project,” stated Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Tom Quigg.  “This project will allow us to accommodate AGP’s growth and private investment here in Grays Harbor, increase international shipments of US grown and processed soybean meal, and sustain thousands of farming jobs throughout the Midwest, while creating new jobs for our community.  As stated in our grant application, this is not just a project of regional significance, this is truly a project of National significance and we thank Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, Congressman Kilmer, MARAD and all our supporters for recognizing this.”

“The widespread, bi-partisan support we received for this project’s grant application was extraordinary,” shared Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson.  “From our local and tribal leaders, to Governors and US Senators and Representatives throughout the Midwest, this infrastructure project will play a critical role in the United States economy for decades to come.  We look forward to having this project be a poster-child for PIDP by showcasing how investment in public infrastructure can leverage benefits like private investment, job creation and opportunities for communities across our Nation.”

Soybean Farmers Provide $1.3 million to Help Expand Soybean Meal Exports

One of the most dynamic developments within the soybean industry in recent history has been the proliferation of current and planned expansion of soybean processing throughout the United States – largely inspired by the demand for soybean oil as one of the primary feedstocks for the expanding renewable energy market.  These current and planned investments present a profound question, “With all of the future processing, how can we most effectively access markets for the increased soybean meal?”.  A group of soybean farmer organizations are helping provide an answer to this question by assisting a future investment that will significantly enhance the amount of U.S. soybean meal exported to international customers.  

AG Processing, Inc. (AGP), the Omaha-based cooperative that owns and operates ten soybean processing facilities in the Midwest, announced on March 22nd a major expansion and upgrade to its export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Washington.  AGP plans to construct additional storage at its Terminal 2 facility and develop a new ship loader at Terminal 4.  These investments – scheduled to be operational in 2025 – will ultimately allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from 3 million to 6 million metric tons.  In order to accommodate this growth and investment, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand its rail infrastructure within the complex to efficiently handle the increased volume, as well as mitigate the surface traffic impact to the local community.

Given the profound benefit these planned investments will provide to a significant number U.S. soybean farmers, the United Soybean Board, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Kansas Soybean Commission, the Nebraska Soybean Board, the North Dakota Soybean Council, the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the Soy Transportation Coalition have committed $1.3 million to help offset some of the pre-engineering, design, and site development costs of the Port of Grays Harbor Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project.

“With more future soybean processing in this country, farmers are very interested in opportunities to assist with the increased need for soybean meal export capacity,” says Jonathan Miller, a soybean farmer from Island, Kentucky, and Chairman of the Soy Transportation Coalition.  “The more we can export a higher value product, like soybean meal, farmers will benefit.  I am proud how these soybean farmer organizations are demonstrating their commitment to their fellow producers by making this significant investment.”

“Over the past 20 years, AGP has been an excellent partner, and we are excited to continue to collaborate with them on this major expansion,” says Gary Nelson, Executive Director of the Port of Grays Harbor.  “We are extremely pleased and grateful to receive this generous support from soybean farmers.  It will clearly enhance this project as it moves forward.  We look forward to the Port of Grays Harbor becoming an even more significant economic engine for not only our local and regional community, but also soybean farmers throughout the country.”   

“AGP’s previous and future investments at the Port of Grays Harbor are motivated by the commitment to provide efficient and economical access to international markets for U.S. soybean meal,” says Chris Schaffer, Chief Executive Officer of AGP.  “For many years, this export terminal has served as a vital link between AGP farmer-owned cooperative members and critical international markets.  We very much appreciate the financial commitment from the soybean farmer organizations to support AGP’s efforts to enhance and upgrade the port’s export capabilities.”

“What happens over there impacts what happens over here, and what happens over here impacts what happens over there,” explains Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.  “It is well-established how investments in the Pacific Northwest will result in greater farmer profitability in the Midwest.  In turn, profitable farmers in the Midwest result in increased investment in the Pacific Northwest.  AGP’s expansion project at the Port of Grays Harbor is arguably the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity.  The Soy Transportation Coalition and other farmer organizations are pleased to partner in this important project.”  

IDALS & USDA APHIS Confirm Case of HPAI in Wright County, Iowa

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Wright County, Iowa.

The virus was found in a commercial layer flock, and this is the first confirmed case of HPAI in Wright County in 2022.

“With HPAI continuing to be a significant threat across the country, this is a difficult and stressful time for poultry farmers and egg producers,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “We have been preparing for the possibility of additional outbreaks and are working closely with USDA and producers to eradicate this disease from our state. With migration ongoing, we continue to emphasize the need for strict biosecurity on poultry farms and around backyard flocks to help prevent and limit the spread of this destructive virus.”

Commercial and backyard flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds or unusual deaths among birds should be immediately reported to state or federal officials. Biosecurity resources and best practices are available at iowaagriculture.gov/biosecurity. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases must also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5305.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections in birds do not present a public health concern. It remains safe to eat poultry products. As a reminder, consumers should always utilize the proper handling and cooking of eggs and poultry products. An internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.

Fall Insurance Prices Set for 2022

The fall price of corn in crop insurance calculations will be the highest since 2012 at $6.86. That's almost a dollar higher than spring's projected price and marks the third consecutive season of higher prices at harvest.

On soybeans, spring's projected price of $14.33 per bushel bests the $13.81-per-acre harvest price, which is the average of the November soybean contract's closing value each day during October. For corn, the December contract is used in calculations.

Revenue protection policies use the higher of the projected price or the harvest price to calculate revenue guarantees unless the farmer opted to exclude the harvest price as a way to lower premiums. Revenue guarantees are determined by multiplying the higher of the projected or harvest price by the farm's actual production history (APH) yield and the chosen coverage level, which typically ranges from 75% to 85% across the Corn Belt.

The projected price of soybeans -- $14.33 per bushel -- will be the second highest ever used in crop insurance calculations, falling shy of 2012's $15.39 per bushel harvest price.

USDA Trade Mission to East Africa Underway

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh arrived today in Nairobi to launch a USDA agribusiness trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania. The U.S. delegation includes representatives from 32 agribusinesses and farm organizations who are looking to establish trade relationships and explore opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports to East Africa.

“It is my great pleasure to lead this trade mission. Both Kenya and Tanzania are important growing markets and I look forward to strengthening our ties with both nations, and expand the opportunities for U.S. agricultural and food products exports,” said Bronaugh. “This is an exciting opportunity for U.S. agribusinesses and state representatives to learn firsthand about the local markets and build strong connections with their future partners in East Africa.”

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

 ASA/WISHH & USSEC Join USDA East Africa Trade Delegation

The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Program and U.S. Soybean Export Council representatives join the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agribusiness trade mission in Nairobi, Kenya, and Zanzibar, Tanzania on Oct. 31 - Nov. 4. Their participation reinforces the importance of U.S. soy protein for trade, development and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

WISHH Chair Roberta Simpson-Dolbeare, an Illinois soybean farmer, is one of the six U.S. soy organization representatives on the trade mission led by USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronough. “Kenya was one of the first countries where U.S. soybean growers sent WISHH to start building relationships there when we founded WISHH 22 years ago. It is exciting to see this wise, long-term investment has taken root through WISHH’s strategic partnerships with producers of high-quality soy-based foods and feeds,” said Simpson-Dolbeare.

USSEC Executive Committee Member Lance Rezac, a Kansas soybean farmer and United Soybean Board director, also joins the trade delegation. “With Kenya having recently authorized the import of GMO plant material, this mission is an especially important opportunity to engage with key stakeholders and share the insights on U.S. Soy's value and reliability,” said Rezac, “U.S. Soy farmers are proud of the high-quality, sustainable product we grow and hope to help foster improved protein sources in the region, whether it's through direct soy food consumption or through animal agriculture.”

WISHH and USSEC have collaborated on market access for the region. Joining the two farmer-leaders are WISHH Executive Director Gena Perry and New Business Lead Austin Leefers, along with USSEC Executive Director of Market Access & Strategy Rosalind Leeck.

According to the July 2022 USDA report, Opportunities for U.S. Feed Ingredients and Processed Products in Kenya, “Soybean meal has had the most consistent growth and is expected to increase further as livestock capacity increases. Grains for feed are mostly domestically produced. However, as the price of feed production increases, Kenya is expected to look outside of domestic products to supplement demand. In 2021, soybean meal reached its second-highest imports in history at $1 million, a 97% increase from 2017. Soybean imports have been minimal and volatile but offer potential. Over the past five years, imports have ranged between $30 thousand (2021) to $8.5 million (2020) with million-dollar soybean imports coming from Ukraine”

SMART Broiler Phase II Grant Advances Broiler Chicken Welfare

Today, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corporation announced that three of the six research projects funded in Phase I of the SMART Broiler program have been selected to receive a total of $1.63 million in Phase II. In this phase, researchers will optimize hardware and software configurations, advance data management and processing tools for measuring key welfare indicators and justify commercial investment in these new welfare monitoring tools. The technologies will be tested at two broiler producing barns, Tyson Foods Broiler Research Barn in Arkansas and Master Good in Kisv├írda, Hungary.

FFAR partnered with McDonald’s in 2019 to award approximately $4 million to develop precision monitoring technologies that improve the way broiler chicken welfare is measured globally throughout the supply chain. By identifying automated Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) solutions that can replace human observation and subjective scoring, the SMART Broiler initiative can enhance the welfare for 9 billion birds annually in the U.S. and improve producer profitability.

“FFAR is pleased to provide further support in Phase II of the SMART Broiler program to these bold projects that are developing technologies to meet consumer and producer demand for increased animal welfare, while helping farmers more efficiently produce one of the world’s most consumed meats,” said Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin, FFAR executive director.

The three SMART Broiler Phase II winners are:
    Brandon Carroll and Tom Darbonne with AudioT, a new venture established at Georgia Tech University, are receiving $300,000, with additional in-kind support provided by Tyson Foods, to develop a scalable, low-cost audio-monitoring tool that tracks bird vocalizations to alert farmers to broiler welfare and behavior. Bird vocalizations can provide insight into flock status and can be a complementary tool to video-based systems.
    Marian Dawkins with the University of Oxford is receiving $325,000, with additional in-kind support provided by Munters and Tyson Foods, to refine and extend the testing of a novel camera and computer system called OPTIFLOCK. The project is comparing key welfare outcomes, including hockburn, foot pad lesions and lameness, in commercial flocks managed with or without the technology and incorporates strategies to facilitate producer adoption of OPTIFLOCK technology.
    Niamh O’Connell with Queen’s University Belfast is receiving $1 million, with additional in-kind support provided by Moy Park, to transfer intelligent surveillance techniques used for tracking humans to provide real time monitoring of individual birds within a flock. This camera-based technology, called FlockFocus, represents a significant improvement to monitoring technology currently available to the industry and has the potential for revolutionizing animal welfare in other sectors.›

“McDonald’s is proud to partner with FFAR and take this next step in the SMART Broiler program, aimed at assisting farmers in providing even greater levels of care for their birds,” said Remi Rocca, senior director, Sustainable Sourcing, McDonald’s. “The collaborative work with FFAR, McDonald's producers such as Tyson, Master Good and Moy Park, allied associations such as USPOULTRY, as well as all of the scientists and innovators, is an excellent example of public-private partnerships that prioritize animal health and welfare.”

The six Phase I prize winners collectively received more than $2 million to explore potential technologies and monitoring methods that improve broiler chicken welfare.

To further support the SMART Broiler program, Accenture is providing program management, cloud services and technical consulting support to the Phase II awardees. USPOULTRY has also awarded $100,000 in sponsorship to the SMART Broiler program, demonstrating the strong support from the U.S. broiler industry for this initiative.

 AMVAC® and NewLeaf Symbiotics® Partner to Bring Biological Solutions to North American Crop Markets

AMVAC®, an American Vanguard® Company, and NewLeaf Symbiotics® of St. Louis, Missouri, are pleased to announce a new partnership to bring new and existing biologicals solutions to North American crop markets beginning in 2023.

This collaboration will harness the complementary marketing and technical strengths of each partner to expand the application of existing products and advance the development of future products utilizing the combined technical resources of both companies. The partnership also will expand and accelerate AMVAC’s growing GreenSolutions™ biological portfolio and facilitate NewLeaf Symbiotics’ objective of securing wider market penetration.

AMVAC leverages its deep market access, its strong sales teams in U.S. crop markets, and its growing portfolio of GreenSolutions™ biologicals. In the U.S., AMVAC’s GreenSolutions recently passed the 1.2-million-acre mark for application, a milestone for the company. AMVAC previously has announced biologicals-related partnerships with 3Bar Biologics, BASF, and Azotic North America.

NewLeaf Symbiotics brings to the partnership its proprietary microbial library, continued research and development capability, and its current product offering including PPFMs – pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs – which are naturally occurring beneficial microbes that deliver a range of benefits to crops throughout the entire growing season. Leading this new class of ag biologicals is NewLeaf Symbiotics’ Terrasym® microbial inoculants, which can make crops stronger, more resilient, and more tolerant of abiotic stress throughout their life cycle.

“GreenSolutions and AMVAC’s precision application technologies are key strategic growth initiatives built on the strong foundation of a highly successful, five-decade crop protection business,” said Bob Trogele, COO and Executive Vice President, AMVAC. “AMVAC continues to innovate using its own internal research capabilities as well as establishing partnerships with leading biological companies. With NewLeaf Symbiotics, we look forward to enhancing access to value-added biologicals that benefit North American farmers.”

Steve Kahn, CEO of NewLeaf Symbiotics, said, “AMVAC brings to the partnership longstanding access to the North American markets which is key to the growth of the ag biologicals sector. NewLeaf Symbiotics, as a major player in biologicals, is eager to broaden its North American market penetration through its partnership with AMVAC. Longer term, we look forward to finding additional synergies among the technologies and product lines of both our companies.”

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