Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday January 29 Ag News

2013 Beef Feedlot Roundtables at Three Nebraska Locations in February
Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator, Cuming County

Beef feedlot managers, owners, employees and supporting industry personnel will learn the latest in feedlot health, nutrition, environment, and economics at the 2013 Beef Feedlot Roundtables Feb. 19-21 in West Point, Lexington and Bridgeport with remote connections to locations in Iowa.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Roundtables will be offered Feb. 19 in the Gering Civic Center in Gering, Feb 20 at the Phelps County Extension Building in Holdrege and Feb. 21 at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point.  Registration is from 7:45-8:15 a.m. with introduction and welcome at 8:15 by local extension personnel.

University and industry representatives will speak on feedlot economics, animal health, nutrition and management which include a producer panel on adapting to the current environment, and a research update.

The Nebraska Beef Council will give an update on new beef products and sponsor lunch.

Feedlot economics and research topics include feeding options with more expensive inputs, issues related to formula pricing, animal welfare in the feedlot and current animal health issues.  The program will conclude with a research update and adjourn at 3:30 p.m.

Preregistration is available by phone, fax, e-mail or mail and requested by Feb. 14.  Cost is $30 and will be accepted with preregistration at the door.  Cost for those who have not reregistered will be $40.  For more information or a registration form contact Matt Luebbe at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Ave I, Scottsbluff NE 69361, phone 308-632-1260, fax 308-632-1365 or e-mail mluebbe2@unl.edu.

The Beef Feedlot Roundtable is sponsored by UNL Extension, ISU Extension, and the Nebraska Beef Council.

Morning topics will cover feedlot economics and environment with the following presentations: market outlook and key issues related to formula pricing, Jim Robb, Livestock Marketing Information Center; offsetting high priced grain, Galen Erickson, UNL Extension; cow confinement, Terry Klopfenstein/Karla Jenkins; UNL Extension; producer panel on adapting to the current environment, local producers and industry; and Beef Council update, Adam Wegner; Nebraska Beef Council.

Afternoon sessions will cover feedlot health and nutrition with the following presentations:  animal welfare challenges facing the beef feedlot industry, Temple Grandin, Colorado State University; generic vs brand name parasite control, Dale Grotelueschen, Pfizer Animal Health; research update: Matt Luebbe, UNL Extension.

Beef Feedlot Roundtable Sessions Also Offered at Six Iowa Locations

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the University of Nebraska are teaming up to offer a feedlot roundtable session at six Iowa locations on Thursday, Feb. 21, from 12:45 to 3:45 p.m. Iowa State Extension beef specialist Russ Euken said the feedlot roundtable sessions are offered annually in Nebraska for feedlot operators and interested agribusiness people.

“ISU Extension and Outreach and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension have a cooperative agreement that provides for the sharing of livestock educational resources and programs,” Euken said. “The Internet allows us to offer this popular Nebraska roundtable session at selected Iowa locations. The speakers and subject matter are sure to draw interest from our state’s beef community.”

Temple Grandin from Colorado State University is the featured speaker from the Nebraska program site. She’ll speak about animal welfare challenges for the beef feedlot industry. She’s followed by Stephen Koontz, also from Colorado State University, who will present a market outlook and information on issues related to formula pricing for fed cattle. This presentation is prerecorded for the program.

The afternoon’s schedule concludes with an overview of beef feedlot industry related research and projects at Iowa State University, by Dan Loy and Stephanie Hansen. 

The $10 fee covers proceedings, meeting costs and refreshments, and is payable at the door. However, you’re asked to preregister no later than Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the location you will attend to ensure adequate materials and refreshments.

Iowa roundtable locations and preregistration contacts
-    Delaware County Extension Office, 1417 N Franklin St., Manchester. Contact Denise Schwab,319-472-4739 or dschwab@iastate.edu
-    Howard County Extension Office, 132 1st Ave. West, Cresco. Call 563-547-3001
-    Kossuth County Extension Office, Hwy 18 E, Algona. Call 515-295-2469
-    Postville Vet Clinic, 110 Hyman Dr., Postville. Contact Julie Christensen, 563-568-6345 or juliechr@iastate.edu
-    Sac County Extension Office, 620 Park Ave., Sac City. Call 712-662-7131 or email xsac@iastate.edu
-    Wallace Learning Center Armstrong Farm, 53020 Hitchcock Ave., Lewis. Contact Chris Clark, 712-769-2600 or cclark@iastate.edu

Penalty Relief for Farm and Ranch

The Nebraska Department of Revenue will follow the decision of the IRS to provide relief to farmers and ranchers on the estimated income tax penalty.  The IRS has announced a delay in finalizing some federal tax forms used by farmers and ranchers, so  the March 1 deadline has been moved to April 15, 2013.  This will primarily impact calculations and penalties associated with the Nebraska Individual Underpayment of Estimated Tax, Form 2210N, filed with the Nebraska Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040N.

Corn and Soybean Growers Share On-Farm Research

Corn and soybean growers are invited to attend the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network research update program Feb. 11 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Agricultural Research and Development Center near Mead or Feb. 12 at the 4-H Building at the York County Fairgrounds in York.

The program is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at both locations.

Producers will obtain valuable crop production-related information from on-farm research projects conducted on Nebraska farms by Nebraska farmers in partnership with UNL faculty.

The goal of the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network is to put in place a statewide on-farm research program addressing critical farmer production, profitability and natural resources questions.

Growers take an active role in the on-farm research project sponsored by UNL Extension in partnership with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and the Nebraska Corn Board.

The February program will provide an opportunity to hear growers who conducted on-farm research share their results from the 2012 growing season.

Field length replicated treatment comparisons were completed in growers' fields, using their equipment.

Farm Credit Services of America serves as the corporate sponsor for this year's program which includes a complimentary noon lunch.

Farm Credit luncheon speaker at the ARDC is Bob Campbell, senior vice president, and presenting at York is Bill Davis, senior vice president and chief credit officer.  They will speak on "Managing Your Financial Position through Interesting Times".

Preregistration is requested by calling 402-624-8030 for the Feb. 11 program at the ARDC or 402-362-5508 for February 12 at the York County Fairgrounds.

To learn more about the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network and how to participate go to http://cropwatch.unl.edu/web/farmresearch/home.

CCA credits have been applied for and are pending approval.

Nebraska Farm Service Agency Reminds Producers of March 15 Sales Closing Date for Noninsurable Crops

Thurston County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Josie Waterbury urges producers who want to purchase coverage through the Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) to do so before the sales closing date of Friday, March 15, 2013.

The NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to normal disasters.

"Purchasing NAP protection is an easy way for producers to practice risk management," said Waterbury.  "2012 has proven that natural disasters can directly affect the profitability and recovery of agricultural operations," she said.

The following crops have a NAP application closing date of March 15, 2013:  Spring Seeded Mixed Forage, Alfalfa, Grass for Forage and Grazing, Oats, and Spring Seeded Vegetables.

In order to meet eligibility requirements for the NAP, crops must be noninsurable, commercially-produced agricultural commodity crops for which the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance is not available.  If the Risk Management Agency (RMA) offers coverage for a crop under the insurance program in the county, then NAP coverage is not available for that crop.

In the event of a natural disaster, the NAP covers the amount of loss greater than 50 percent of the expected production based on the approved yield and reported acreage.

Eligible producers can apply for coverage using form CCC-471, Application for Coverage.  Producers must file the application and service fee by the March 15 deadline.  The service fee is the lesser of $250 per crop or $750 per producer per administrative county, not to exceed a total of $1,875 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.

For more information on the sales closing dates and the NAP, contact the Thurston County FSA Office at (402) 846-5655 or by going to www.fsa.usda.gov/ne.

Northeast Nebraska RC&D Council Off to a Good Start

The Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council met last night for their first meeting of 2013 and President Wacker welcomed new board members - Judy Rasmussen and Dan Stark, both of Plainview are Pierce County representatives; Sandy Patton, Brunswick and Jerry Fields of Tilden represent Antelope County; Chris Kreycik of Niobrara is a Knox County representative and Brad Mahon, Verdel, will represent the Lower Niobrara NRD.

The group was aggressive in approving new projects and activities.  Showcasing of the area’s entrepreneurs’ and their creations will be continued.  A Household Hazardous Waste grant is being submitted to DEQ for funding of several collection events this fall.  And plans are being developed to again host E-waste recycling.

A Wildlife Habitat Tour will be co-hosted with Nebraska Game & Parks Commission in July and the Council hopes to offer an event at the new Nissen Winery & Outlaw Trail Center following that tour.   An educational Water Operator & Well Driller training day will be this fall featuring the Wau-Col Regional Water System and geothermal systems in use at Ponca State Park. 

A report was given on the recent Energy Center meeting held with Jim Schaeffer of Cimarron Light & Power who presented information on various alternative energy systems that would be beneficial to communities.  Jim can be contacted directly at 605- 354-7626 for more information.          

The RC&D is partnering with North Central District Health Department on the distribution of radon kits.  There is no fee for the kit and they may be picked up Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays at the RC&D from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Board of Directors wants this organization to continue providing services and assistance that are requested by citizens of the six-county region.   Everyone is encouraged and welcome to make suggestions, stop in to share those thoughts, or attend the next board meeting on Monday, February 25th at 6 p.m. at the RC&D Office in Plainview.

2013 Iowa Pork Regional Conferences slated for February 25-28

The Iowa Pork Producers Association has teamed up with the Iowa Pork Industry Center and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach swine specialists to host regional conferences February 25-28.

All sessions are hosted from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Conference dates and locations are as follows:
● Monday, Feb. 25 – Carroll, Carroll County Extension Office
● Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Sheldon, Northwest Iowa Community College, Building A, room 119
● Wednesday, Feb. 27 – Nashua, Borlaug Learning Center
● Thursday, Feb. 28 – Iowa City, Johnson County Extension Office

Conferences are free for those who pre-register or $5 at the door. Individuals can pre-register by calling IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or sending an e-mail to schristensen@iowapork.org.

“We have once again scheduled a lineup of topics and presenters with valuable industry updates and practical farm applications,” said Tyler Bettin, IPPA producer education director.

Prompt and accurate diagnostics addressing disease challenges affecting our current pork production systems can have a drastic impact on pig health and overall productivity. Diagnosis of disease may be influenced by multiple factors that include appropriate sample collection, sample quality and proper submission. Dr. Phil Gauger will share knowledge gained through experiences as a veterinary diagnostician at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory that will help make diagnosing disease on your farm practical and more effective. Particular focus will be given to diagnostic considerations in post-weaning enteric disease detection, oral fluid collection and using oral fluids as a diagnostic tool. 

Profit outlooks for livestock producers have been on rocky ground as a tremendous start to the 2012 growing season made way for drought through the summer months. The Iowa Pork Regional Conferences will welcome Iowa State University’s newest extension livestock economist, Dr. Lee Schulz, to discuss what profit opportunity may be available for pork producers in 2013 and share risk management resources available through ISU.

Maximizing feed efficiency and making sound feed management decisions are at the forefront of issues impacting profitability. Extension swine specialists will be on hand to discuss ways to stretch corn inventory, optimize selling weights, manage feed system components and determine your pig’s diet relationship to manure value and composition.

ISU swine specialists also will offer free PQA Plus training prior to each conference. Training will be hosted from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at each conference location. Contact Tyler Bettin at (800) 372-7675 or tbettin@iowapork.org for more information or to pre-register.

“We are looking forward to another round of sessions that can enhance decision making for all producers,” Bettin said. “We encourage anyone with a genuine interest in pork production to attend these conferences.”

Eastern Europe Ag Tour Offered

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) members have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in an intensive educational experience of the Black Sea region of Eastern Europe, in order to learn about the challenges and potential market competition for Iowa's agricultural products. The IFBF Black Sea Market Study Tour group will visit farmers, ag businesses, government officials and citizens of Urkraine, Moldova and Romania to learn more about the culture and customs that are shaping the region's farming and agriculture policies.

"We've chosen the Black Sea region for our organization's first exclusive trade and education tour, because it's an emerging competitive market for Iowa corn, soybeans and livestock production. For example, corn production in Ukraine has gone from 2.5 million metric tons to over 20 million metric tons in just a decade; that's nearly a 1,000 percent increase and there is more to come. This region has the right soil types and natural resources to be competitive to Iowa farming commodities in the not-too-distant future. This region is located strategically near growth markets of Africa and the Middle East, and has recently emerged as an exporter to China, so that is also an interest to Iowa farmers who understand the importance of trade issues and being competitive in a global market," says Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services.

The 2013 IFBF Market Study Tour is tentatively scheduled for June 22-July 3. Since space is limited, the trip is exclusive to IFBF members and applications need to be submitted before March 31. Members chosen for the Black Sea Study Tour will be required to fund $1,500 of the trip, to have a valid passport through December of 2014 and to give a minimum of four post-trip presentations to local, county, district or state venues. "This is a knowledge share trip and so a willingness to 'give back' to fellow Iowans is a must. Also, since the tour agenda includes a vigorous schedule, the applicant must also be in excellent health," said Miller.

For more information on the IFBF Black Sea Market Study Tour, or to complete an application, click on the rotating window on the IFBF website at www.iowafarmbureau.com.

Deal with Cold Stress in Cattle

When temperatures plunge into the single digits and the winds howl, people pile on the outerwear and look for warm food and beverages to help ease the chill. Chris Clark, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist, said it’s important to remember that although Iowa cattle typically can tolerate winter conditions surprisingly well, colder temperatures can mean higher nutrition needs for cow herds.

“Iowa cattle have thick skin, grow a thick winter coat and will be insulated by any fat cover they may carry. They also have the rumen, a large fermentation vat in the abdomen that produces heat during the digestion process,” Clark said. “Even so, during times of extreme low temperatures, cows can become cold enough to have a big impact on health and production.”

For each degree of cold stress below the animal’s lower critical temperature (LCT), the animal requires about 0.7 percent more energy just to maintain its body weight. The LCT is around 20 degrees for cattle with a heavy winter hair coat, but can increase to 50-60 degrees if the animals get wet.

“Don’t forget that wind, rain, snow and other weather conditions have an impact on the animals as well,” Clark said. “Wet animals, strong winds and deep snow all add to the cold stress, so make sure to provide adequate nutrition to meet the high energy demands of fetal growth and winter weather on your cows.”

As a general rule of thumb, each additional 10 miles per hour of wind speed to which cattle are exposed has the same effect as dropping the temperature 10 degrees.

“Keep an eye on thin cows because they lack the insulation of fat cover and will be more susceptible to cold stress and hypothermia,” Clark said. “A simple windbreak or a roof to keep them dry can make a big impact on animal comfort as well as on health and productivity.”

Following the drought of 2012, some cows may have come into the winter thinner than usual, so it might be wise to sort off thin cows to a separate area, he said. This way you can provide them with a higher quality ration while eliminating competition from other cows. Also, because last year’s drought may have taken a toll on quantity and quality of available forages, some producers are feeding CRP hay, corn stalks and other lower quality forages.

“If you are using lower quality forages, it’s important to supplement those forages appropriately to meet animal requirements,” Clark said. “Nutrient requirements go up throughout third trimester and early lactation, so cows that are thin right now will need a high plane of nutrition to keep up with fetal growth, milk production and Iowa winter weather.”

CME Group to Reduce Grain Trade Hours

(below is the letter from CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terrence Duffy

At CME Group, we are committed to the integrity of our deep and liquid grain markets, and listen intently to feedback from all of our customers.  We regret that recent comments in press reports this week were not representative of that commitment.

Since implementing extended trading hours in May of 2012, we’ve received significant customer feedback from a broad cross-section of market participants, including through a formal survey we implemented last week.  Though our survey is still underway, we have enough of your responses to be able to decide to reduce trading hours for our grain and oilseed markets, pending CFTC approval.  However, as there were varying opinions on what the reduced hours should be, we are continuing to vet alternatives with our customer base.  We will be communicating more specifics on the revised hours in the coming weeks.  

In addition, with respect to market pauses during USDA reports, CME Group understands the frustration of many of our customers, and we are open to considering a market pause allowing participants to evaluate the data if all exchanges and trading venues would do the same.  We would support a halt, as long as it was unified for all venues, as that would best benefit all customers by ensuring the necessary market liquidity needed for effective price discovery during this time.

We recognize the importance of this issue, and we take customer feedback seriously.   Our entire organization will continue to work with all of you and other industry participants to ensure efficient markets going forward. 

Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail fertilizer prices remained fairly steady the fourth week of January 2013, according to data tracked by DTN. This marks the 12th straight week prices have remained nearly unchanged.  Five of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, but these moves to the high side were fairly negligible. MAP had average price of $670 per ton, 10-34-0 $611/ton, anhydrous $866/ton, UAN28 $375/ton and UAN32 $425/ton.

Two fertilizers were lower compared to the fourth week of December, but again the move lower was extremely minor. DAP had an average price of $630/ton while urea was at $569/ton.  The remaining fertilizer, potash, was nearly unchanged from the previous month. Potash's average price was $598/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.62/lb.N, anhydrous $0.53/lb.N, UAN28 $0.67/lb.N and UAN32 $0.66/lb.N.

Two of the eight major fertilizers are still showing a price increase compared to one year earlier. Anhydrous is now 9% higher, while urea is 3% higher compared to last year.  Five fertilizers are single digits lower in price compared to January 2012. UAN32 is 2% lower, UAN28 is 4% less expensive, DAP and MAP are both 6% lower and potash is 9% less expensive compared to last year.  The remaining fertilizer is now down double digits from a year ago. 10-34-0 is 26% less expensive from a year earlier.

Antimicrobial Use, Resistance Symposium White Paper Released

Antimicrobial use and resistance and a start toward seeking resolution on these polarizing and often misunderstood issues are topics addressed in a White Paper developed by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. The White Paper contains a synopsis of presentations given by 13 human health, animal health and environmental health scientists and professionals and the results of four interactive sessions involving all attendees at the “A One Health Approach to Antimicrobial Use & Resistance: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose” symposium in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 13-15.

“This White Paper takes the complex subject of antimicrobial use and resistance and breaks it down into issues that need to be addressed, factors that need to be considered and actions that need to be taken in order to improve human, environmental and animal health,” states symposium co-chair Leah C. Dorman, DVM, Director of Food Programs, Center for Food and Animal Issues, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Symposium co-chair Dr. Jennifer Koeman, Director of Producer and Public Health for the National Pork Board, encourages individuals to share the antimicrobial use and resistance symposium White Paper with constituents within agriculture as well as those outside of agriculture.

“This White Paper can be used as a tool to further engage in open dialogue with all stakeholders, strive towards adopting a One Health mindset and move toward consensus on a path forward,” Koeman adds.

The Antimicrobial Use and Resistance White Paper is available online at www.animalagriculture.org. You can also view many of symposium’s PowerPoint presentations and hear the audio in full online at www.animalagriculture.org.

Real Farmers Struggle to Succeed on "The Edge of Farming"

New reality series offers an inside look at farming in the most demanding environments

With just one bad turn of the weather, a farmer can lose a season’s worth of work. “The Edge of Farming”, a new web-based reality series starting Tuesday, Jan. 29, tells the stories of modern farmers and how they strive to raise a profitable crop without losing it all. Each of the 11 weekly episodes provides an inside look at today’s farming challenges, and the ways hardworking farmers attempt to stack the odds in their favor using state-of-the-art farming equipment and practices.

The Edge of Farming chronicles the struggles of three farming operations:
-    Dale Kitchens Farms — Dale battles West Texas winds, blowing sand and extreme heat to grow a successful cotton crop.
-    Bergstrom Ranch — Fourth-generation farmers Tor and Shannon Bergstrom race to harvest their corn and till the soil for next year’s crop before the North Dakota soil freezes.
-    T&D Farms — Kent Toler and Carey Donahue fight to raise 2,500 acres of soybeans spread across the Mississippi Delta — one of the most demanding agricultural environments on earth.

A venue for more stories of modern farming

The creators of the “The Edge of Farming” realize farmers all across North America face their own demanding environments and unique struggles every year. So, in addition to the video series, “The Edge of Farming” offers a venue for all farmers to tell their incredible stories of farming survival, triumph or defeat. Farmers can find out more about sharing their stories at TheEdgeofFarming.com. Participants have a chance to win a $1,000 Cabela’s gift card and have their story featured on TheEdgeofFarming.com.

New episodes will be available on TheEdgeofFarming.com every Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET starting Jan. 29. There you also will find the complete schedule, previews of upcoming episodes, cast biographies, more information about the farmer story contest, and all previously released episodes. You can also share your thoughts on TheEdgeofFarming.com and at facebook.com/TheEdgeofFarming.

BASF to expand its plant biotechnology research into fungal resistance in corn

BASF Plant Science is continuing to strengthen its focus on plant biotechnology solutions to achieve higher yield in plants. BASF will expand its fungal resistance research platform by adding corn as a target crop. At the same time, research activities in Nutritionally Enhanced Corn will be stopped and the European approval processes for potato products will be discontinued.

Main focus on yield and stress
BASF will continue to focus on the development of crops that deliver higher yields and improved resistance to stress conditions. A key component of these activities in plant biotechnology is an industry leading collaboration with Monsanto for key row crops such as soybeans and corn. Both companies have jointly developed the first genetically modified drought tolerant corn, Genuity® DroughtGard™ Hybrids, which received approval for cultivation in the U.S. at the end of 2011 and was in Monsanto’s Ground BreakersSM trials in 2012. The full commercialization is expected in 2013/14.

“BASF Plant Science is where innovation yields results. Our ‘Trait Technology Partner’ strategy has proven to be successful. We continue to expand into fields where we can leverage our understanding of a plant’s behavior to achieve more yield through plant biotechnology approaches,” said Peter Eckes, President of BASF Plant Science. The company has partnerships with leading agricultural companies such as Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, Cargill, and KWS, Germany.

Expansion of fungal resistance platform into corn

The new research and development activities for fungal resistant corn will be located at BASF Plant Science’s global headquarters in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina. Field testing sites will be located in North Carolina and in the Midwest region of the United States.

“We will expand our fungal resistance platform into corn because of the attractive long-term market potential as well as the fit to our strategy to deliver more yield. Corn production suffers from severe yield losses triggered by fungal diseases, which have not been successfully addressed by conventional breeding approaches. Both modern chemical crop protection and plant biotechnology can offer solutions to secure yields. In our expanded program, we can build upon our top-quality technology platform for fungal resistance in soybeans in Limburgerhof, Germany,” said Eckes.

Nutritionally Enhanced Corn and potato projects discontinued

As part of a continuous review of the project portfolio for strategic fit and attainment of project milestones, BASF Plant Science will no longer pursue research and development activities into Nutritionally Enhanced Corn in the United States. The company will also discontinue the pursuit of regulatory approvals for the Fortuna, Amadea, and Modena potato projects in Europe because continued investment cannot be justified due to uncertainty in the regulatory environment and threats of field destructions.

The discontinuation of the Nutritionally Enhanced Corn activities will result in the closure of six BASF field sites in Olivia, Minnesota, Henderson, Nebraska, Weldon and Sycamore, Illinois, Estherville, Iowa, and one of two sites in Ames, Iowa. In total, around 40 positions will be eliminated.

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