Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday November 30 Ag News

Lt. Governor Sheehy Announces Holt County Designated Livestock Friendly

Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy today announced the official designation of Holt County as Nebraska’s newest Livestock Friendly County. With the addition of Holt County, there are now 21 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program, including: Adams, Banner, Box Butte, Cuming, Dawes, Deuel, Gage, Garden, Grant, Hitchcock, Jefferson, Kimball, Keith, Lincoln, Morrill, Saline, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Wayne, and Webster Counties.

“Holt County has shown it is committed to supporting the county’s livestock industry and related economic development,” said Lt. Gov. Sheehy. “Being part of the Livestock Friendly program is a way to recognize the tremendous impact the livestock industry has on Main Streets and the local economy. It provides jobs for those working with animals and a marketplace for grain and hay producers, while also adding value to those products.”

Lt. Gov. Sheehy presented the Livestock Friendly certificate to Holt County Commissioners Ralph Metschke, Don Butterfield, Donald Hahlbeck, Marvin Scholz, William Tielke, Robert Snyder, and Robert Young. The county will receive road signs bearing the program logo to display along highways. The program is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach said the official designation makes a positive statement about Holt County. Dir. Ibach stated, “It was clear from the submitted materials that Holt County officials have given some purposeful thought to supporting the livestock industry.”

To apply for a livestock friendly county designation, the county board must hold a public hearing and pass a resolution to apply. A completed application is then submitted to Department of Agriculture for review. Local producers or community groups can encourage their county board to submit a livestock friendly county application.

Additional information on the Livestock Friendly County program is available by contacting NDA toll free at 800-422-6692, or by visiting the Department of Agriculture website at and clicking the Livestock Friendly County link.

Smith Discusses Trade, Agriculture with EU Parliament Members

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) along with other members of the House Committee on Ways and Means met with Members of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade to directly discuss trade issues, including the possibility of a transatlantic U.S.-European Union (EU) trade agreement.  During the meeting, Smith stressed the importance of addressing agriculture trade barriers as part of any trade agreement with the EU.

“A comprehensive agreement would deepen our economic relationship with the EU.  Additionally, it creates a unique opportunity to address many longstanding barriers to U.S. food and agriculture exports in the European market.

“I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this important issue with our counterparts, and hope our meeting will serve as a constructive step towards reducing trade barriers in Europe for Nebraska’s exporters.”

The meeting today was part of the semi-annual Transatlantic Legislators Dialogue, which was established in 1999 to facilitate coordination and the exchange of information between the U.S. Congress and the European Parliament.

$10,000 to Purchase iPads for Ag Education Projects

The Nebraska Corn Board is pleased to announce they are the recipients of a $5,000 DuPont Pioneer grant towards iPad® technology for agricultural literacy.  In addition to this grant, the Nebraska Corn Board is matching the grant with an additional $5,000.

“At DuPont Pioneer, we are dedicated to developing seed that will help provide the food, fuel and fiber demands of a rapidly growing global population.  What we also recognize is how important agricultural education is to inspire the next generation of ag leaders who will provide the solutions needed locally and across the globe,” said Steve Reno – DuPont Pioneer western business unit director.  “We are proud to support ag literacy efforts like these that will help create a healthier, safer world.  We are truly all in this together.”   

“For the past year, I have been an agriculture consultant from my farm in Davenport, Nebraska with a classroom in an urban school in Texas using wireless technology,” said Mark Jagels, District 2 director for the Nebraska Corn Board.  “We need more agriculture in the classroom and using technology, such as the iPad, is the easiest way to do this.  Partnering with DuPont Pioneer to put more iPads into the school systems makes sense and we are able to reach many more school children.”

Nebraska schools can apply to receive an iPad for their school or classroom through the Nebraska Corn Board.  The application process begins on January 1 and ends on February 28.  For more information on the project and how to apply visit the Nebraska Corn Board website at

Don't Neglect Stored Grain This Fall and Winter

Tom Dorn, UNL Extension Educator

As most dryland corn producers know, you cannot assume that the 2012 corn in the bin has not been contaminated by molds, including mold species capable of producing mycotoxins. The only defense against mycotoxin contamination in corn is to manage the grain moisture content and grain temperature to minimize mold growth in the grain.

In an August 31, 2012 CropWatch story, I made several recommendations to help you protect your stored grain:

-- Dry dryland corn down to 13% moisture if it's to be stored for more than a month.

-- Run aeration fans whenever the air temperature was 10 degrees cooler than the grain temperature since the rate of mold growth is slower at cooler temperatures.

-- Cool stored grain down to 30°F (plus or minus 5 degrees) to stop mold growth. If you have not cooled the grain to the recommended temperature for late fall and winter , do so soon, especially if you plan to keep the grain into the new year.

-- In fall and winter, grain next to the bin wall will be cooled while grain in the center of the bin will stay warmer. The difference in temperature can result in convection air currents migrating through the grain. The warmer air in the center of the bin rises and the grain next to the cold bin wall sinks. When the warm rising air encounters the colder air at the top of the bin, the escaping air can go below the dew point temperature of the rising air and deposit moisture on the grain. This can create a wet spot in the top-center of the bin.

-- If the grain is warm enough for microbial activity, a hot spot can form and molds can grow, even in winter. This includes molds that can produce mycotoxins.

-- Run the aeration fan(s) at least once a month when the humidity is low and the ambient air temperature is 30 to 35 degrees. To conduct a preliminary check on grain quality, start the aeration fan(s), then climb up and lean into the access hatch. If the air coming out of the hatch is 1) warmer than you expected, 2) has a musty order or 3) If condensation forms on the underside of the bin roof on a cold day, continue to run the fan(s) long enough to push a temperature front completely through the grain.

--A rule of thumb is, the time (hours) to push a temperature front through a bin of grain is 15 divided by the airflow-cubic-feet per minute per bushel cfm/bu.

For example, a bin used for drying grain should be able to produce about 1.0 cfm/bu so it would take about 15 hours to push a temperature front through the grain (15/1 = 15). In another example, a bin equipped with a fan able to push only 0.3 cfm/bu could push a temperature front through in 50 hours (15/0.3= 50).

Master Conservationist Program Seeks Nominations

Recognizing long-term water conservation, innovation and implementation, the 2013 Master Conservationist recognition program is seeking nominations. 

A winner will be selected from each of the three established categories: agriculture, community and youth.  Production agriculture includes individual producers, partnerships and family farm or ranch corporations.  The community category is for groups, individual agencies or businesses that have carried out a water and/or soil conservation program for a minimum of two years.  The youth category seeks to recognize any individual or group of individuals 19 years old or younger for their conservation efforts. 

Master Conservationist brochures, which include details on the program, are available at local Natural Resources District and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service offices. Applications can also be found online by visiting and clicking on "In the Community" link. Entries are due Feb. 1, 2013.          

All entries are judged by members of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Master Conservationists will be recognized at the annual banquet of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts, Sept. 23, 2013, at the Younes Conference Centre in Kearney.  They will also be featured in the Omaha World Herald in September.

The Master Conservationist program is sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL.

'I Am Angus' Features Five UNL Feedlot Management Interns Dec. 3 on RFD-TV

Like many occupations, a career in agriculture evolves with experience – Up-close, hands-on, real-life experience that builds student appreciation and knowledge in a field of study. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides that through its one-of-a-kind Feedlot Management Internship Program.

The internship prepares students to meet a growing need for trained, responsible feedlot managers. And interestingly, many of the enrolled students are women.

In an upcoming episode of "I Am Angus," a documentary series produced by the American Angus Association, five UNL women are featured in a discussion about future leaders in the cattle industry.

"The business of producing beef requires a number of steps – from the ranch to the retailer, and everywhere in between," said Galen Erickson, UNL animal science professor. "And we need talented people involved to provide a quality product for consumers. That's why young people are fundamental to this industry."

"I Am Angus," airs at 7 p.m. Central Dec. 3 on RFD-TV. UNL students involved in the Feedlot Management Internship Program and featured on "I Am Angus" are: Stephanie Moore, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Caitlin Swartz, Winchester, Ky.; Kaylee Reedy, Maryville, Mo.; Meredith Bremer, St. Edward, Neb.; and Feedlot Internship Recruiter Kari Gillespie, Kevin, Mont. For more information visit

"I Am Angus," focuses on the heart of the Angus cattle business – its people, their heritage and why they are involved in agriculture. The hour-long documentary series explores each corner of the beef industry, Angus heritage and how animal agriculture meets the challenge of feeding a growing population.

Sponsored by the Angus Foundation, "I Am Angus" broadcasts on RFD-TV. The channel is distributed by more than 625 cable operators, and can be found on DirecTV channel 345 and Dish Network channel 231. Check local listings for more information.

For more information or to watch segments from past shows, visit the association's website at or YouTube Channel at

The American Angus Association serves nearly 30,000 members across the United States and Canada. It provides programs and services to farmers, ranchers and others who rely on the power of Angus to produce quality genetics for the beef industry and quality beef for consumers.

For more information about Angus cattle and the American Angus Association's programs and services, visit

Landowner Attorney for NEAT to Address Pipeline Issues At 99th NeFU Convention

Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) would like to let all landowners and Nebraska citizens know that Brian Jorde, an attorney with Domina Law Group, will be speaking about the recently formed Nebraska Easement Action Team, better known as NEAT, at the 99th Annual NeFU State Convention.  The Convention will be held at the Midtown Holiday Inn in Grand Island.

Jorde will be presenting on Saturday morning December 8th at 11:25am, and NEAT will have a booth where landowners and citizens can get more information on the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) review process of reroute, and also how to become a member of NEAT.  Sign-up sheets will also be available at the NEAT Booth in the Exhibitor/Break Area at the Midtown Holiday Inn.

NEAT is a non-profit landowner rights group with the purpose of creating a standard and strong Nebraska easement designed to protect Nebraskans from all oil pipelines and oil pipeline companies.

“Many new landowners on the new route have many questions in dealing with TransCanada easements.  This will be an awesome opportunity to get some facetime with a true easement expert in Domina Law Group Attorney Brian Jorde.  Every landowner should attend this event”, said Public Affairs Director Graham Christensen.

This event is timely as it falls shortly after the December 4th NDEQ public comment session and hearing at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Albion at 6pm.

The agenda for the entire NeFU Convention December 7th and 8th can be found at:  Registration begins at 8am Friday morning. Convention begins at 9am Friday, and resumes 8:30am Saturday.  As always, everybody and anyone are welcome.   For more information call the NeFU State Office at 402-476-8815.

Cost for Iowa to Meet Hypoxia Targets to Be Discussed at IFBF Meeting

"What would it cost, how long would it take and would the water quality improvement methods impact Iowa's economy and food costs down the road?" Those questions and more will be addressed as part of a panel discussion about Iowa's proposed nutrient reduction strategy and its role in protecting Iowa surface water and reducing the Gulf Hypoxia Zone at the 94th Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) annual meeting in Des Moines. The Dec. 4-5 meeting will be held at a new location this year: the newly remodeled Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The panel will feature Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey; Dean Lemke, natural resources engineer with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS); and Dr. Matt Helmers, professor and ag engineer from Iowa State University (ISU).

"The IFBF annual meeting education seminars always draw quite a crowd because they feature expert advice and guidance on issues that today's responsible farmers need to know to be sustainable as farmers and community leaders," says IFBF President Craig Hill. "We're especially excited about the Nutrient Reduction Strategy seminar because it is a science-based, detailed study which establishes a benchmark of what strategies farmers, cities and industries in Iowa can do now to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous loss."

The water quality plan is the beginning of a coordinated, intensified effort to improve Iowa water quality and satisfy the 2008 Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan, which challenged Iowa and other Mississippi River basin states to find ways to reach a 45 percent reduction in nutrients into the Gulf, which cause concerns for marine life. IDALS, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and ISU researchers studied the issue for two years; they'll discuss their draft plans and options for conservation with farmers at the IFBF meeting in Des Moines.

"One thing this study will illustrate is that conservation is not a 'one size fits all' issue. There are literally thousands of types of soils, multiple terrains and many land uses in this state, and we have to continue to feed a growing world from the same amount of land. This plan needs to focus on feasible solutions that help us make the real, immediate improvements our farmers are seeking, while being fiscally responsible," says Hill.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey agrees. "We will discuss Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy which studied several science-based management practices, including cover crops, wetlands, and nitrogen application timing, and looked at their impact on food production, farm profits, and water quality," says Northey. "Iowa farmers know the importance of protecting the land and water and have shown increasing willingness to voluntarily implement management practices to improve Iowa's water quality and downstream waters."

Members can register for the 2012 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices. For more information about the annual meeting, visit

Iowa DNR, Corps to Meet in Hamburg on Floodplain Permits

An informational public meeting on state and federal floodplain permit processes, as well as post-flood sediment disposal, will be held Dec. 10 at the Waubonsie State Park lodge.

The meeting, jointly hosted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will take place in the lodge's meeting room from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The park is located at 2689 State Highway 2 near Hamburg.

A short informational presentation on how to gain appropriate state, federal and local approvals for projects along the river and in the floodplain will begin at 2 p.m. The presentation will provide details on the different types of approvals and the step-by-step application processes.

The Corps of Engineers and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have staff available before and after the presentation to answer specific project questions and provide technical assistance as needed.

New Higher Ethanol Fuel Blend E15 May Cause Consumer Confusion

Although the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of the new E15 fuel in model year vehicles 2001 and newer, many automakers do not support the EPA’s position, says AAA. The only vehicles currently approved by automakers to use the new E15 fuel blend, which contains 15 percent Ethanol, are flex-fuel models, 2001 model-year and newer Porsches, 2012 model-year and newer GM vehicles, and 2013 model-year Ford vehicles. The use of E15 is expressly prohibited in heavy-duty vehicles, boats, motorcycles, power equipment, lawn mowers and off-road vehicles. Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) are on record saying their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15. Seven additional automakers (Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) have stated that the use of E15 may void warranty coverage. To help prevent any problems, AAA is urging consumers to carefully read fuel pump labels and know your auto manufacturer’s fuel recommendations before using any type of new fuel blend.  Fuel recommendations are listed in the vehicle owner’s manual.  Currently, more than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States contains up to 10 percent Ethanol.  Only ten fuel outlets in the Midwest currently offer the new E15 fuel. The stations are located in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska.


A recent survey by AAA finds a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent approval of E15 gasoline. An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15, a newly approved gasoline blend that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. With little consumer knowledge about E15 and less than five percent of cars on the road approved by automakers to use the fuel, AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected. 

Only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved by manufacturers to use E15 gasoline, based on a survey conducted by AAA of auto manufacturers. AAA automotive engineering experts also have reviewed the available research and believe that sustained use of E15 in both newer and older vehicles could result in significant problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false “check engine” lights for any vehicle not approved by its manufacturer to use E15.

“It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle,” said Kevin Bakewell, AAA Chief Public Affairs Officer, The Auto Club Group. “Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.”

Unsuspecting consumers using E15 could end up with engine problems that might not be covered by their vehicles’ warranties. Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) are on record saying their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15. Seven additional automakers (Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) have stated that the use of E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements specified in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.

The only vehicles currently approved by automakers to use E15 are flex-fuel models, 2001 model-year and newer Porsches, 2012 model-year and newer GM vehicles and 2013 model-year Ford vehicles. These approvals extend only to cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs). The use of E15 is expressly prohibited in heavy-duty vehicles, boats, motorcycles, power equipment, lawn mowers and off-road vehicles.

“The sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles,” added Bakewell. “Consumers should carefully read pump labels and know their auto manufacturer’s recommendations to help prevent any problems from E15.”

AAA urges fuel producers and regulators to do a better job of educating consumers about potential dangers before selling E15 gasoline. This outreach should include a consumer education campaign and more effective pump labels, among other potential safeguards to protect consumers and their vehicles. AAA also recommends additional testing to conclusively determine the impact of E15 use on vehicle engines and fuel system components. At least 10 gas stations currently sell E15 and that number is expected to grow, which means now is the time to suspend sales before more retailers begin offering the fuel.

The EPA in June officially approved the sale of E15 after receiving a waiver request from producers interested in expanding the use of corn-based ethanol. Despite objections by auto manufacturers, the EPA approved the use of E15 gasoline in flex-fuel vehicles and 2001 model year and newer cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles and SUVs. AAA urges consumers to follow the recommendations of manufacturers to truly protect themselves from voided warranties or potential damage.

AAA supports the development and use of alternative fuels. More than 95 percent of the gasoline sold in the United States contains up to 10 percent ethanol. Lower ethanol blends should remain available to consumers while the challenges with E15 are addressed.

The survey findings related to consumer knowledge of E15 are from a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,012 adults comprising 504 men and 508 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States.

AAA Reaction:  Big Oil Voids More Car Warranties Than E15 Ever Could. Where’s AAA Outrage?

In response to an E15 statement by AAA this morning, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), commented:

“If AAA weren’t so deep in the Big Oil politics, they would stop manufacturing concern about the efficacy of ethanol blend use and report enthusiastically about ethanol’s consumer gasoline price savings.  Their misplaced concern today, that E15 should be further tested before being offered for sale reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use.  The fact is E15 has been the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the Agency.  The miles driven on E15 equate to 12 round trips to the moon and back without a single failure, unless you want to count the deer that was killed on the test track!  E15 is a safe fuel, as evidenced by the fact auto manufacturers are now providing warranty coverage for it.”

Dinneen continued, “AAA’s antipathy toward ethanol is well known and tired.  But when put in contrast to gasoline quality issues AAA continues to ignore, one has to wonder whose interest they’re truly trying to protect, consumers or oil companies?  For years, refiners in vast swaths of the country have sold sub-87 octane fuel, which no auto company warranties today.  Where’s AAA’s outrage and concern about that?”

“You would think in this struggling economy, AAA would support a domestic renewable fuel that reduced wholesale gasoline prices by a national average of $1.09 per gallon in 2011, according to an updated study authored by professors at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University.  In the Midwest, savings were even greater at $1.69 per gallon.”

Dinneen concluded, “American consumers are looking for a choice when it comes to fueling their vehicles, and they now have one more domestic, renewable fuel option with E15.   Ethanol has helped reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by 45 percent in 2011 and is supporting more than 400,000 jobs across the country that can’t be outsourced.  There is a lot to like about this high octane green fuel.”

The RFA is working diligently with the petroleum industry, gas retailers, automakers, and consumers to ensure E15 is used properly.  For more consumer information, please visit

ACE criticizes AAA for trying to scare consumers about E15 blends 

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is dismissing concerns raised by the American Automobile Association (AAA) over the usage of E15 blends in most motor vehicles.

ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty says the warning from AAA is inaccurate and irresponsible.

“AAA has always had a bias against ethanol, so in that respect, this is not surprising. But in this situation, they appear to be relying on a study funded and supervised by Big Oil, while they are apparently unaware of three years and six million miles of testing by EPA, the Department of Energy, and other federal labs that do not have a financial stake in the outcome. Either that, or they are aware of the federal testing that showed no problems running E15 in the approved vehicles, and have chosen to ignore it” said Lamberty. 

The automotive group warned its members in an email message today that E15 usage could damage vehicles and void car warranties. “You would also think that AAA would have a better understanding of automobile warranties, and would defend their members from possible fraud by car dealers who want to avoid making warranty repairs. Not even the Big Oil study suggests any engines would have any kind of actual “break down.” Statements like this one – that ignore the huge volume of evidence that proves E15 is safe – amount to AAA providing cover for unscrupulous mechanics who want to charge motorists for expensive repairs that were never made.” Lamberty said.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this statement came out during a week when lobbying groups for both Big Oil and Big Food have started up their latest PR campaign against ethanol. The price of oil is down, and Big Oil is spending tens of millions trying to eliminate competition, while Big Food is turning the drought into an opportunity to increase prices and pad their bottom lines.” said Lamberty.

Petroleum Industry Targets Biodiesel with Latest RFS Challenge

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to require 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013. API and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) also filed petitions directly with EPA asking them to reconsider the 2013 requirement. The National Biodiesel Board indicated that they are reviewing the lawsuit and the petitions and will vigorously defend the program.

EPA previously denied another AFPM petition for reconsideration of the 2011 cellulosic and advanced biofuel volume requirements, and recently confirmed the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2012/2013 in denying the RFS waiver requests. Any court battle will last well into 2013, which means the volume of 1.28 billion gallons will go into effect on Jan. 1.

The statute creating the RFS mandated minimum annual biomass-based diesel volumes of 1 billion gallons from 2012 through 2022 and gave the EPA discretion to set annual targets higher.

In its petition challenging the decision, AFPM claimed that the decision would increase consumer fuel prices. AFPM also contends that the biomass-based diesel volume requirements will not help U.S. energy security because the country is a net exporter of diesel fuel. As part of the announcement of the lawsuit and petition, API said it will launch a full-scale effort to repeal the RFS in 2013.

Higher U.S. Soybean Yields Lead to Revised Global Soybean Production

The London-based International Grains Council Friday revised up its forecast for global soybean output in the current marketing year due to higher-than-expected yields in the U.S. and an expected record crop in South America.

Global soybean output is forecast to rise 12% to 267 million tons in the 2012-13 marketing year that began Oct. 1, the council said in a report. The council revised up its forecast for this marketing year by 3 million tons.

Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade hit a record in September due to successive droughts in South America and the U.S., the world's largest suppliers. A rebound in output would likely drag down prices.

After initial delays due to dryness in central areas of Brazil, notably in Matto Grosso, the country's largest soybean producing state, recent precipitation has allowed plantings to advance, with farmers also replanting some of the fields, the council said.

If the weather remains favorable and the forecast 7% expansion of Brazil's soybean plantings is realized, the country's output will rise 20% to 80.5 million tons, it said.

In Argentina, output is projected to rise by one-third despite recent heavy rains and flooding to 54 million tons.

The rise in output will shore up global soybean inventories that were depleted earlier this year because of the droughts. Stocks in the three major exporting countries--the U.S., Argentina and Brazil--are forecast to rise 50% to 10.5 million tons.

The IGC raised its forecast for global trade in soybeans in 2012-13 by 1.2 million tons to a record 96.8 million tons. This would be a 5.1% on-year increase, which the council attributed largely to further strong demand growth from China.

The IGC forecast China's soybean consumption to rise 7% on year to a record 75.1 million tons in 2012-13, mainly due to stronger animal feed demand. It put China's soybean imports at a record 61 million tons, up 7% from 57 million tons in 2011-12.

The IGC said the global soymeal trade is also expanding. It forecast a 4% on-year rise to a record 59.1 million tons in 2012-13 due to strong demand in the European Union and East Asia.

It said soymeal imports by the European Union, the world's largest importer, will likely rise around 7% on year to 23 million tons on the back of tight supplies of alternative feed ingredients such as rapeseed, also known as canola. The EU is switching to direct imports of soymeal in lieu of buying soybeans, it said.

Soymeal exports by India, Asia's largest exporter, are forecast at 4.6 million tons, down from 5 million tons in 2011-12, the IGC said.

It forecast global canola output in 2012-13 to fall by 2% to a four-year low of 58.9 million tons due to lower output in Canada and Australia.

U.S. Soy Industry Hosts First Sustainable Supply Forum in Mexico

The American Soybean Association (ASA), the United Soybean Board (USB) and the U.S. Soybean Export Council hosted the first Forum for Sustainable Supply of Grains and Oilseeds for the Americas, Nov. 13-15 in Puerto Vallarta. The event drew more than 80 top executives from international soy trading companies, U.S. exporters and U.S. grower leaders to discuss key issues affecting the oilseed and grain trade in North and South America.

Experts from Mexico, Central America, and the Andean and Caribbean regions presented valuable market intelligence highlighting drivers and inhibitors to expanding market share for U.S. soy in the region. The U.S. supply and demand situation was presented by USSEC Board Member and USB Director Tom Rotello, ASA Executive Committee member and Trade Policy & International Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Henry, USB consultant John Baize, and North American Export Grain Association President and CEO Gary Martin.

Topics discussed during the conference included risk management and procurement strategies to reduce cost and be more competitive; change management; biotechnology; food security; international certifications and regulatory standards; branding and digital marketing; and nutritional genomics. Audience response devices were utilized to allow conference participants to provide feedback in real time and helped drive meaningful discussions and informed conclusions.

The conference allowed participants to discuss emerging issues and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that face the soy industry. Linking buyers and suppliers for meaningful discussions and networking opportunities translates into an effective platform for trading and relationship building. This was the first such conference held in the Americas, and another first-time buyers conference is scheduled for Dec. 12-13 in Dubai, when American Soybean Association International Marketing (ASA-IM) will launch its new office there covering the Middle East, North Africa and Asia Subcontinent region.

The full program and speaker profiles are available in both English and Spanish on the forum website:

Checkoff-Funded Tool Highlights Importance of Animal Ag for State Economies

Because animal agriculture is universally important to all U.S. soybean farmers, the soy checkoff developed an easy-to-use tool to allow farmers access to data about animal agriculture in each of the 50 states. Use the tool online here...

The "Impact of Animal Ag" tool highlights the economic output, earnings, employment and taxes produced by farmers who raise poultry, hogs, cattle and other livestock. The tool, which uses information taken from a recent soy checkoff study on animal agriculture, also details economic growth of animal agriculture over a 10-year period in each state and looks at animal production in each state and soy meal use by each animal species.

A few of the interesting facts that can be found using this tool include:
-  Where’s the beef? Cattle production in Texas declined by 7 percent between 2001 and 2011, but still stands at over 7 billion pounds annually.
-  Rivaling small countries. Animal agriculture in Minnesota generates annual revenue of $13.6 billion, which is equal to the 2011 gross domestic product of the country of Iceland and more than double the GDP of both Liechtenstein and Montenegro.
-  Northeast staples. In 2010, Maine farmers used the meal from more than 1.4 million bushels, with most of it going into egg production (70 percent) and milk production (21 percent).
-  Top-ranked. Iowa was the leading user of soy meal in animal agriculture at 3.4 million tons, followed closely by North Carolina with 2.8 million, and then Georgia at 1.9 million tons and Arkansas and Minnesota at just under 1.7.

November Farm Prices Received Index Down 6 Points

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in November, at 203 percent, based on 1990-1992=100, decreased 6 points (2.9 percent) from October. The Crop Index is down 7 points (3.0 percent) but the Livestock Index increased 5 points (3.1 percent). Producers received lower prices for soybeans, corn, and apples and higher prices for broilers, eggs, and milk. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of corn, milk, cattle, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, and sunflowers.

The preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 19 points (10 percent) from November 2011. The Food Commodities Index, at 188, decreased 8 points (4.1 percent) from last month but increased 16 points (9.3 percent) from November 2011.

Prices Paid Index Down 1 Point

The November Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 217 percent of the 1990-1992 average. The index is down 1 point (-0.5 percent) from October but 11 points (5.3 percent) above November 2011. Lower prices in November for concentrates, diesel, supplements, and gasoline offset higher prices for feeder pigs, mixed fertilizer, supplies, and complete feeds.

Prices Received by Farmers

All crops: The November index, at 230, decreased 3.0 percent from October but is 12 percent above November 2011. Index decreases for feed grains & hay, oilseeds, and fruits & nuts more than offset the index increases for commercial vegetables, potatoes & dry beans, and food grains.

Food grains: The November index, at 265, is unchanged from the previous month but 11 percent above a year ago. The November price for all wheat, at $8.42 per bushel, is up 4 cents from October and $1.12 above November 2011.

Feed grains & hay: The November index, at 290, is down 1.0 percent from last month but 15 percent above a year ago. The corn price, at $6.71 per bushel, is down 6 cents from last month but 88 cents above November 2011. The all hay price, at $193 per ton, is unchanged from October but up $19.00 from last November. Sorghum grain, at $12.30 per cwt, is 10 cents below October but $1.60 above November last year.

Cotton, Upland: The November index, at 114, is unchanged from October but 26 percent below last year. The November price, at 68.8 cents per pound, is down 0.3 cent from the previous month and 23.8 cents below last November.

Oilseeds: The November index, at 245, is down 0.4 percent from October but 14 percent higher than November 2011. The soybean price, at $13.80 per bushel, decreased 40 cents from October but is $2.10 above November 2011.

Livestock and products: The November index, at 168, is 3.1 percent above last month and up 7.0 percent from November 2011. Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for broilers, milk, cattle, eggs, and calves. Prices for hogs and turkeys are down from last year.

Meat animals: The November index, at 161, is unchanged from last month but 1.9 percent higher than last year. The November hog price, at $62.10 per cwt, is up 10 cents from October but $2.30 lower than a year ago. The November beef cattle price of $123 per cwt is unchanged from last month but $3.00 higher than November 2011.

Dairy products: The November index, at 169, is up 2.4 percent from a month ago and 7.6 percent higher than November last year. The November all milk price of $22.10 per cwt is up 60 cents from last month and $1.60 from November 2011.

Poultry & eggs: The November index, at 183, is up 10 percent from October and 19 percent above a year ago. The November market egg price, at $1.02 per dozen, increased 18.3 cents from October and is 15.8 cents above November 2011. The November broiler price, at 57.0 cents per pound, is up 6.0 cents from October and 12.0 cents above a year ago. The November turkey price, at 74.9 cents per pound, is down 2.0 cents from the previous month and 3.2 cents lower than a year earlier.

A Good Year for US Sorghum in Japan

Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan

With the holiday season around the corner, many may be looking for new recipes to try out. In Japan, the use of sorghum in food is not widely known. The U.S. Grains Council has been advocating the use of U.S. sorghum throughout Japan. The Council has launched a sorghum dedicated website, held a recipe contest, participated in trade shows, in-store tasting events, conducted seminars and had multiple visits with food companies.

There is now a new series of white sorghum food products available in the Japanese market, thanks to the Council's sorghum promotion during the Japan Health Ingredients Show last month. Organic Foods Life Co., Ltd., has developed and started sales of several non-allergy products using U.S. white sorghum. They sell the pre-mix flour and ready-made sorghum pancakes, hotcakes and waffles online and in specialty food stores around Tokyo, including Nissin World Delicatessen and National Azabu Supermarket. Organic Foods Life Co., Ltd., also created a creamy salad dressing and frozen sorghum risotto.

Another company who visited the booth has also begun incorporating sorghum into recipes. The Norice Company presented samples to the Council of cookies, pound cake, and bread baked with a mixture of rice flour and white sorghum flour. They are continuing to find new ways to use white sorghum as an additional ingredient to improve the quality and flavor of their rice flour baked goods.

The Council will continue to educate and encourage the use of U.S. sorghum as a healthy ingredient to use in food. There have been positive results from the Council's efforts and we hope the Japanese continue to embrace sorghum in the food industry.

Study: Monetization Offers Benefits, Doesn't Disrupt Trade

A new report announced this week at a Capitol Hill briefing found that monetization of food aid generates multiple benefits for recipient countries and does not disrupt commercial trade when carried out properly.

The study was conducted by Informa Economics and commissioned by the Alliance for Global Food Security, which is made up of private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and cooperatives that are engaged in food aid, agriculture, nutrition and food security programs in more than 100 developing countries.

About 85 percent of food aid commodities are directly distributed overseas, while the remaining 15 percent are “monetized,” or sold in food-deficit countries to generate funds that support development activities. All food aid programs are planned in advance and approved by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or USDA.

Monetization has two major benefits to a food insecure country: it provides a commodity that is in short supply and generates funds to carry out programs that improve food security and economic development.

The Informa study found that this combination allows monetization to offer additional value. Monetization puts commodities into recipient countries’ marketing systems to generate economic activity and addresses constraints to imports presented by small volumes and lack of hard currency and credit.

Proper design and implementation of monetization programs can also avoid interfering with local commodity production or displacing commercial sales.

The report release was followed by a panel discussion about the implications of its findings and food aid policy more broadly.

Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte was one of the panelists available, speaking about food aid policy from a farmer’s perspective.

Wheat is one of the top commodities given as food aid, and monetization can increase availability of better quality wheat in recipient countries.

For instance, Informa studied programs in Uganda and Mozambique where millers were able to purchase wheat in their local currency at local prices, which would not be possible without monetization.

NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates are committed to global food assistance and encourage policies that include the full range of options to help countries attain lasting and sustainable food security.

The full report out this week is available at the Alliance’s website,

Hormel Foods Achieves $2B in New Product Sales

Hormel Foods Corporation announced that it has met its ambitious "Go for $2B by 2012" goal by achieving $2 billion in total sales from new products created since 2000 by the end of fiscal year 2012.

By attaining this goal, Hormel Foods continues its successful track record of creating innovative, new products to grow the company's brand portfolio. The "Go for $2B by 2012" goal built upon the company's success with its earlier Billion Dollar Challenge, which was to generate $1 billion in sales from new products launched in the decade, beginning fiscal year 2000 and ending fiscal year 2009. By the end of fiscal year 2007 -- two years early -- Hormel Foods reported total sales of $6.19 billion with more than $1 billion generated from new product sales.

"Our company was founded on innovation and that spirit continues to guide us today," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods. "Generating more than $2 billion in sales from products that didn't exist 12 years ago is a remarkable accomplishment. I am proud of all our 19,600 employees around the world whose hard work and commitment to making Hormel Foods successful continues to propel our company forward."

Hormel Foods was able to meet this challenge because of the success of new products across its business divisions. The most successful new products include Hormelparty trays, Hormel Natural Choice deli meats, Hormel Compleats microwave meals and Jennie-O Turkey Store oven ready items and turkey burgers. It is based in Austin, Minn., and is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry.

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