Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday October 31 COF + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.21 million cattle on feed on October 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 5 percent from last year.  Placements during September totaled 520,000 head, up 11 percent from 2012.   Fed cattle marketings for  the month of September  totaled 390,000 head, up 5 percent  from  last year.   Other disappearance during September totaled 10,000 head, same as last year.

Iowa Cattle on Feed

Cattle and calves on  feed  for  slaughter market  in  Iowa  for all  feedlots  totaled 1,160,000 on October 1, 2013 according  to  the  USDA,  National  Agricultural  Statistics  Service,  Iowa  Field  Office.    The  inventory  is  up 3 percent from September 1, 2013 and up 1 percent from October 1, 2012.  Feedlots with a capacity greater than 1,000 head had 560,000 head on feed, up 2 percent from last month but down 5 percent from last year.  Feedlots with a capacity less than 1,000 head had 600,000 head on feed, up 3 percent from last month and up 7 percent from last year.

Placements  during  September  totaled  226,000  head,  an  increase  of  59 percent  from  last  month  and  up 26 percent from last year.  Feedlots with a capacity greater than 1,000 head placed 101,000 head, up 53 percent from  last  month  and  up  13 percent  from  last  year.    Feedlots  with  a  capacity  less  than  1,000  head  placed 125,000 head. This is up 64 percent from last month and up 39 percent from last year.

Marketings for September were 190,000 head, up 36 percent from last month and up 16 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity greater than 1,000 head marketed 89,000 head, up 22 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year.   Feedlots with a capacity less than 1,000 head marketed 101,000 head, up 51 percent from last month and up 31 percent from last year. Other disappearance totaled 6,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Down 8 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.1 million head on October 1, 2013. The inventory was 8 percent below October 1, 2012. The inventory included 6.44 million steers and steer calves, down 7 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 64 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.66 million head, down 8 percent from 2012.

Placements in feedlots during September totaled 2.03 million, 1 percent above 2012. Net placements were 1.96 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 475,000, 600-699 pounds were 335,000, 700-799 pounds were 480,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 735,000.

Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.70 million, 6 percent above 2012. Other disappearance totaled 62,000 during September, 3 percent below 2012.

Number of Cattle on Feed on 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States and United States: 2012 and 2013
                  :                 :                 :              October 1, 2013              
                  :                 :                 :--------------------------------------------
       State      : October 1, 2012 :September 1, 2013:              :  Percent of  :  Percent of 
                  :                 :                 :    Number    :previous year :previous month
                  :     --------------- 1,000 head --------------          ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:        272               266              268           99            101     
California ........:        475               505              500          105             99     
Colorado ........:      1,000               830              870           87            105     
Idaho .............:        230               190              210           91            111     
Iowa ..............:        590               550              560           95            102     
Kansas ..........:      2,230             1,980            2,000        90            101     
Nebraska .......:      2,330             2,090            2,210         95            106     
Oklahoma ......:        335               280              285           85            102     
South Dakota .:        195               170              180           92            106     
Texas ............:      2,680             2,430            2,460         92            101     
Washington ....:        213               184              184           86            100     
Other States ...:        439               401              417           95            104     
United States ..:     10,989           9,876           10,144         92            103     

Number of Cattle Placed on Feed on 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States and United States: 2012 and 2013
                  :              :              :           During September 2013           
                  :    During    :    During    :--------------------------------------------
       State      :September 2012: August 2013  :              :  Percent of  :  Percent of 
                  :              :              :    Number    :previous year :previous month
                  :    ------------ 1,000 head -----------           ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:       20             23             23           115            100     
California .......:       50             55             50           100             91     
Colorado ........:      225            145          190            84            131     
Idaho .............:       61             52             62           102            119     
Iowa ..............:       89             66            101          113            153     
Kansas ..........:      375            385          390          104            101     
Nebraska .......:      470            440          520           111            118     
Oklahoma ......:       57             47             67           118            143     
South Dakota .:       50             29             43            86            148     
Texas ............:      480            450            480         100            107     
Washington ...:       46             43             37            80             86     
Other States ..:       81             53             62            77            117     
United States .:    2,004        1,788          2,025         101            113     

Number of Cattle Marketed on 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States and United States:
2012 and 2013
                  :              :              :           During September 2013           
                  :    During    :    During    :--------------------------------------------
       State      :September 2012: August 2013  :              :  Percent of  :  Percent of 
                  :              :              :    Number    :previous year :previous month
                  :    ------------ 1,000 head -----------           ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:       18             18             20           111            111     
California .......:       52             60             53            102             88     
Colorado ........:      150           180           145            97             81     
Idaho .............:       35             46             41           117             89     
Iowa ..............:       87             73             89           102            122     
Kansas ..........:      310           395           355           115             90     
Nebraska .......:      370           420           390           105             93     
Oklahoma ......:       45             51             60           133            118     
South Dakota .:       39             38             32            82             84     
Texas ............:      400           495           430           108            87     
Washington ...:       40             47             36            90             77     
Other States ..:       52             60             44            85             73     
United States .:    1,598        1,883        1,695          106             90     

NePPA Schedules PEDV Meeting in Columbus

There are still no reported cases to date of the PED virus in Nebraska. However, to try and avoid the problem and keep producers informed, the Nebraska Pork Producers will be hosting a PED Virus workshop on December 16, 2013, in Columbus, Nebraska. Some of the topics that will be covered will be: What is known about the disease, bio security issues, proper manure application, and financial impact to industry. Watch for further details and registration information.

Additional Information: Implementing Biosecurity Practices to Protect Herd Health
As you are aware, a farmer’s duty to protect his pigs is an ongoing responsibility. Two specific diseases plaguing the pork industry are making it increasingly important to do a self-check of biosecurity practices, to ensure you are doing everything possible to protect the health of your herd.


We are entering peak shedding season for the PRRS virus. This is an RNA viral disease effecting swine of all ages. PRRS is the most economically significant disease to affect US swine production since the eradication of classical swine fever (CSF). It is estimated to cost the swine industry in excess of $660 million annually.


The presence of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus was confirmed in the United States during the week of May 13, 2013. It is an RNA coronavirus, which is related to transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEv).  However, there is no cross protection afforded by immunity developed to one against the other.  PEDv was first diagnosed in 1971 in Great Britain, since that time there has been sporadic outbreaks in Europe and has become an endemic pig disease in Asia since 1982.

Please be aware of these diseases’ symptoms and report any suspicion of infection to your veterinarian.  These are highly contagious viruses, making it extremely important to identify and implement appropriate biosecurity practices. Pay particular attention to anything or anyone sourced internationally. Be especially diligent about personnel and visitors but also consider supplies, feed ingredients, food items, etc. that might be of international origin. If you are unsure about the origin of a particular product, or the components of a product, contact the supplier and request information on the origin of their ingredients or components.
Additional biosecurity recommendations should include:

- limiting traffic (people and equipment) onto the farm,
- thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting anything coming onto the farm, including truck cabs and trailers.
- enforcing downtime requirements and maintaining a log of visitors,
- taking care when disposing of dead stock.
- isolating newly arriving animals and be aware of current source herd health status
- showering into the facility where practical and changing into clean boots and coveralls

Crop Insurance Harvest Price Update

Today was the final day of the harvest price discovery period for 2013 spring crop insurance.  Jeff Dominisse with Summit Ag says there were 23 trading days this month that set the Fall price for this years crop insurance revenue protection.  The un-official prices ended up at $4.39 for corn and $12.87 for soybeans.  He says The soybean price came in exactly the same as the spring price, so it will take a bushel guarantee loss in order to have a claim on soybeans, we are not expecting many losses on soybeans this year.  However, corn had approximately 22% decline in price from the spring, therefore putting the farmer in a potential revenue loss situation.   Dominisse says there will be a few isolated areas where there are revenue losses on a farm by farm basis.

You can go to their web site and see the final corn and soybean prices, click on that link and they have an example of where the prices come from and an example of a revenue loss calculation.  The corn and soybean numbers are estimates and the Risk Management Agency will release the official numbers soon, so be listening to KTIC 840 AM in the days to come for the official prices, and it will be posted on our website and also at

Vilsack to Present Next Heuermann Lecture at Rural Futures Conference Nov. 5

           Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture, will lay out his vision to create new opportunity for rural America and grow the rural economy as a Heuermann Lecturer Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the Grand Ballroom of The Cornhusker, 333 S. 13th in Lincoln.

            Topic for the 2:30 p.m. Heuermann Lecture is “Rural America:  New Markets, New Understanding, Unlimited Opportunity.”

            The lecture is jointly sponsored with the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute, and also is a keynote address for the national Rural Futures Conference.

            Vilsack will discuss USDA’s and the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand markets for American agriculture products at home and abroad; new income opportunities and stronger climate solutions through natural resources conservation; the potential to expand advanced renewable energy and bio-based product creation in rural America, and more.

            Vilsack, chair of the first-ever White House Rural Council, was appointed secretary of agriculture in 2009.   He served as Iowa’s governor from 1999-2007; before that he served in the Iowa State Senate and as mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, his wife’s hometown, where he practiced law.

            Heuermann Lectures in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are free and open to the public.  They focus on providing and sustaining enough food, natural resources and renewable energy for the world’s people, and on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs.

            The lectures are made possible by a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, long-time university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska’s production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.

            Lectures stream live at and are broadcast on NET2 World at a date following the lecture.

Keynote Speakers for Sixth Annual Wind Conference Announced

The Nebraska Wind Conference Committee announced the selection Keynote Speakers for the Sixth Annual Wind Conference, November 13-15, 2013 at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln.

Steve Gaw, the Director of Southwest Power Pool Regulatory Policy for the Wind Coalition, is the former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and former Chair of the Missouri Public Service Commission. He currently consults with the Wind Coalition and the American Wind Energy Association focusing on policy issues regarding electricity within the Southwest Power Pool region. He will speak on Wednesday, November 13.

Jeff Clark, Executive Director for the Wind Coalition and Bob Gibson, Vice President of Market Intelligence for Solar Electric Power Association will address conference attendees during lunch on Thursday, November 14.

Clark brings nearly two decades of political experience to his work at The Wind Coalition.  Prior to assuming leadership of the Coalition in July of 2012, he was Vice President of Governmental Affairs at The Technology Association of America. He also directed the organization’s grid modernization and alternative energy efforts, including its successful efforts to promote the deployment of smart meters throughout the nation.

Gibson joined SEPA as Vice President of Market Intelligence in September 2010. He came to SEPA from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, where he was a senior manager in the Cooperative Research Network. He also worked at an alternative energy services company, marketing fuel cells, micro turbines, photovoltaics and other technologies to electric utilities.

Dallas Tonsager, former Under Secretary for Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will also speak on Thursday. During his term, almost every single rural American received a new or increased service. Tonsager has been a leading voice for expansion of bio fuels production, expansion of food and fiber systems and bringing capital to rural America to support and grow local economies. He continues his work through his consulting business “Tonsager Consulting.”

“The knowledge these four experts will share with attendees is priceless,” said Conference Co-Chair John Hansen. “These men will be able to share their national expertise and insight as to how they think Nebraska can best harvest its wind and solar power potential and strengthen and grow the state’s economy and tax base.”

Registration for the conference is $125 through November 8, 2013. For participant registration, and to view the program, go to

For hotel reservations, contact the Cornhusker Marriott  866-706-7706. To view last year’s presentations, go to

ISU Integrated Crop Management Conference set for Dec. 4 and 5

The Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management Conference will be Dec. 4 and 5 on the Ames campus. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., Dec. 4 in the Scheman Continuing Education Building and the program concludes at 4 p.m., Dec. 5.

The latest information on crop production and protection technology in Iowa and surrounding states will be covered during 30 conference workshops. Workshop presenters are Iowa State faculty and staff, and invited speakers from around the Midwest. A popular feature of the conference is the variety of guest speakers on the program.

“Each year Iowa State specialists invite colleagues to share their research activities at the conference. This gives those attending an opportunity to hear expertise and opinions from across the region and country at one location,” said Alison Robertson, extension plant pathologist and planning committee chairperson.

Current topics of interest added to traditional conference topics include presentations on pest resistance to herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, and sustainable biofuel production using perennial plants.

The conference is limited to 1,000 attendees and has filled to capacity the last several years. Early registration is encouraged to guarantee enrollment. Certified Crop Adviser credits as well as recertification for Commercial Pesticide Applicators in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, 4 and 10 are available.

Online registration can be made on the conference website at Registration is $185. After Nov. 22, registration increases to $235. No registrations will be accepted at the door.

The conference is hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the departments of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Agronomy, Economics, Entomology and Plant Pathology & Microbiology.

ICA - Grab Reality by the Horns promises a full ride!

The 2013 Iowa Cattle Industry Convention, Grab Reality by the Horns, is a mix of education, social activities and, for those who are members of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, policy work on key issues. The convention will be held Dec. 9-11 at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona.

“Although we topped 10,000 in our membership drive this past year, we know there are cattle producers in the state who are not ICA members,” said ICA CEO Matt Deppe. “Nonetheless, we’re reaching out with an invitation to all Iowa cattle producers to come for a few days of education, inspiration and networking.”

“Our theme is a nod to the challenging weather and pricing issues for all cattle producers this past year. While cattle producers acknowledge regular challenges in their business, the convention in December will encourage them to grab those issues and bring them under control,” he said. Early registration for the event ends Dec. 2.

One of the keynote speakers, CattleFax market analyst Lance Zimmerman, will talk about cattle and corn market outlooks and strategies, and how developments with both through the fall months will drive profit opportunities through next year. Zimmerman will speak at Cattlemen’s College on Dec. 9.

A second keynote speaker, Bob Fields, the senior director of meat and gourmet foods at Sam’s Club, will outline for the consumer view for producers. With more than 600 store locations world-wide, Sam’s Club stores are well-tuned to the interests of their customers, who also happen to be customers of Iowa’s beef cattle producers. Fields will speak on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Other speakers at Cattlemen’s College on Dec. 9, will talk about cattle handling facilities and fencing, new feeding rules and pre-harvest technology; heifer development strategies, the use of high density profile DNA for seedstock, Tyson Foods’ FarmCheck Program, the breeding herd health issue Trichomoniasis, and hedging and other market tools.

The first day wraps up with a President’s Reception, and entertainment by Iowa’s own Jason Brown Band.  Brown is a Pella native who began to discover his voice at age four while sitting with his grandmother at the piano after farm chores. Now, Brown is one of country music's up and coming innovative artists. He has charted five songs on the Billboard and MediaBase Country Charts. They include "Momma Was A Rebel," "Touchdown,"" I'd Love You To Hate Me," "You Don't Play Fair," and "We're All In The Same Boat."

On Dec. 10, educational sessions will again cover all aspects of cattle production in Iowa. A panel of cow-calf producers will talk about their pasture management, feeders can learn about a feedyard benchmark study and what information they can apply to their facility, and seedstock producers can learn about many different ways to market their genetics. Additionally, Stephen Koontz from Colorado State University will talk about alternative marketing methods and how they impact cash prices for cattle producers. And for those county cattlemen active in grilling activities, an educational session on SafeBeef© will earn them a wallet card certificate.

That day, the evening wraps up first with a Trade Show Social with the more than 50 vendors registered for the event. Inspirational speaker Mike Schlappi will motivate convention-goers to take on and overcome their limitations. Following a tragic accident as a teenager, Schlappi has proven that just because “you can’t stand up, doesn’t mean you can’t stand out!”

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the consumer advocate from Iowa’s Insurance Division will speak at the convention about the new health insurance marketplace and what individuals and small businesses need to know about the laws regarding health care.

ICA members will also hold their annual meeting, which will include policy discussion of ideas put forth by its three policy committees, and then adoption of policies.

ICIC attendees have some registration options. Early registration ends at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Those who register before that time can enjoy all convention events and meals during the three days for just $75. Full registrations after that time will be $125.

For those who want to attend the meeting at a lower cost, a registration level that doesn’t include any meals is available. The cost is $25, and allows attendance to educational sessions only.

Two hotels have special pricing for the convention. The Prairie Meadows Hotel has room rates of $89/night. That rate is available for those making reservations by Dec. 2. Reservations for hotel rooms can be booked online at using group code 12082013ICA, or call 515-957-3000 and mention Iowa Cattlemen. Adventureland Inn (515-265-7321) is also offering room rates of $89 through Nov. 10, but call and ask if they have extended the offer for the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention.

Registration forms are on the ICA website,, or check the Iowa Cattleman November magazine, or call the ICA offices for registration or other questions, 515-296-2266.

ISU a Partner for Cleaner Waters

The harvested Iowa landscape “sea of brown” increasingly is interrupted by fields of green this fall. What may appear from the road to be a field of very late planted and still growing soybeans is instead a field planted in cover crop. More Iowa farmers are planting cover crops late in the growing season, a practice the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy identified as one way to help protect Iowa’s water quality.

“Cover crops reduce soil and nutrient runoff and build soil organic matter,” said Paul Kassel, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Extension and Outreach through Iowa Learning Farms is hosting multiple cover crop field days this fall to increase farmers’ understanding of the costs and benefits of growing cover crops.”

Kassel said extension specialists planned a Nov. 1 field day at test plots in Buena Vista County where a mixture of cereal rye, tillage radishes and turnips demonstrated several cover crop options. The plots were aerially seeded into standing corn and soybeans. The plots are part of the North Raccoon River Watershed project to improve water quality within the watershed.

Additional Iowa Learning Farms cover crop field days are scheduled for
-    Nov. 7 in Amana
-    Nov. 12 in Plainfield
-    Nov. 13 in Postville
-    Nov. 14 in Stanton
-    Nov. 19 in Holland
Learn more about these events at

Kassel said planting cover crops is only one effective nutrient reduction practice that was identified by the science assessments done in conjunction with the development of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Iowa is one of 12 Mississippi River Basin states called upon to develop a state plan to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus in surface water leaving the state. The goal is to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to the northern Gulf of Mexico by 45 percent. Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Department of Natural Resources worked in partnership to create Iowa’s plan. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was released in Nov. 2012, opened to public comment and finalized in May 2013.

“Iowa’s plan is a practice-based approach to reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus impact on water,” said John Lawrence, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean, and Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension and Outreach.  “The plan is voluntary, which means it is not regulated. However – it is not optional. All Iowans can make a difference when it comes to leaving our land and water in better shape for future generations.”

Iowa State University hosts the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy website,, where the plan details are made available. The Iowa strategy is a coordinated approach for reducing nutrient loads discharged from the state’s largest wastewater treatment plants, in combination with targeted practices designed to reduce loads from nonpoint sources such as agriculture.

Lawrence said Iowans are showing great interest and support in the plan. “Success can be achieved using tools known to work, such as targeted, voluntary conservation measures, in conjunction with research, development and demonstration of new approaches. The goal is application of proven practices in fields and cities across Iowa,” he said. “While the focus is on the Gulf, we should keep in mind that there are benefits in Iowa – and they are very real.”
Making a positive impact on water quality
Agricultural practices with the largest potential impact on nitrate-N concentration and phosphorus load reduction are outlined in a publication, Reducing Nutrient Loss: Science Shows What Works, available from Iowa State. It is available for free download at; search for "SP 435." Those practices also are outlined on the website, launched Oct. 28. contains resources to help Iowans protect and improve water quality. The site has “Farm,” “Residential & Urban,” and “City & Industry” sections that provide information about science-based practices that can be implemented to improve water quality. It includes descriptions of water quality practices that can be applied, benefits of the practices and links to additional information.

USDA Cold Storage Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers were up 3 percent from the previous month but down 4 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 3 percent from the previous month and up 5 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were up 3 percent from the previous month but down 10 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 18 percent from last month and up 45 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on September 30, 2013 were down 5 percent from the previous month but up 2 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 4 percent from the previous month but up 1 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down 7 percent from last month but up 4 percent from September 30, 2012.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on September 30, 2013 were down 3 percent from the previous month but up 3 percent from September 30, 2012.  Butter stocks were down 12 percent from last month but up 19 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks were down 5 percent from last month but up 8 percent from a year ago.  Total frozen vegetable stocks were up 17 percent from last month and up 1 percent from a year ago.

Commercial Red Meat Production Down Slightly From Last Year

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 3.94 billion pounds in September, down slightly from the 3.95 billion pounds produced in September 2012.

Beef production, at 2.07 billion pounds, was 3 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.61 million head, up 3 percent from September 2012. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 1,313 pounds.

Veal production totaled 8.6 million pounds, 3 percent below September a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 62,900 head, down 2 percent from September 2012. The average live weight was down 1 pound from last year, at 234 pounds.

Pork production totaled 1.84 billion pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.03 million head, down 4 percent from September 2012. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 273 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 11.6 million pounds, was down 7 percent from September 2012. Sheep slaughter totaled 184,900 head, 6 percent above last year. The average live weight was 126 pounds, down 19 pounds from September a year ago.

January to September 2013 commercial red meat production was 36.4 billion pounds, down slightly from 2012. Accumulated beef production was down slightly from last year, veal was down 6 percent, pork was down 1 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was up 1 percent.

By State  (million pounds, % of Sept 2012)

Nebraska ......:     604.4            103      
Iowa .............:     511.4             92      
Kansas ........:     420.0            104      

September Temps Hit 8-Year High in 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the United States had an exceptionally wet and warm September this year.  The agency says the month was the 6th warmest September on record and the warmest reported since 2005. Last month ranked in the top 15 warmest in 13 states.  Nationally, the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 67.3 degrees F, 2.5 degrees above the 20th century average.  As a country, September was the 12th wettest, marking the wettest September since 2004.

More than 70 Percent of Top Selling Cars Approved for E15 in 2014

More than 70 percent of the Top 20 best-selling cars as identified by Edmunds / AOL Auto have been explicitly approved by automakers to use E15 in 2014 models. This includes all Ford, GM and Volkswagen 2014 models and certain models of Honda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Land Rover. A complete list of makes and models 2012, 2013, 2014 approved for E15 use can be found at or

“Day by day, it seems that Big Oil’s excuses for refusing to offer consumers choice at the pump are falling by the curbside. The fact that more than 70 percent of the best-selling cars are approved in 2014 for E15 tells us that there is a fuel market thirsty for a less expensive, higher octane, more environmentally friendly alternative. In addition to the growing collection of owner’s manuals recommending E15, add the recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory report that reviewed 43 auto engine studies and found no data to support Big Oil’s scary fictional tales of engine failure on E15,” Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, commented.

Dinneen continued, “The Environmental Protection Agency and White House Office of Management and Budget ought to seriously consider these statistics when considering the veracity of blend wall claims. Increased 2014 targets can easily be met via E85, E15 and reserved RINs. If anything, the increasing inclusion of E15 in owner’s manuals shines a bright light on Big Oil’s long-sustained, detrimental resistance to infrastructure build out.”


Preliminary prices received by farmers for winter wheat for October 2013 averaged $7.20 per bushel, a increase of 53 cents from the September price according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The preliminary October oat price averaged $3.75 per bushel, a decrease of 29 cents from September.  

The preliminary October corn price, at $4.55 per bushel, decreased $1.09 from the previous month.

The preliminary October sorghum price averaged $7.60 per cwt, a decrease of 85 cents from September.

The preliminary October soybean price, at $12.40 per bushel, decreased 60 cents from last month.

The October alfalfa hay price, at $166.00 per ton, is down $15.00 from last month. The other hay price, at $126.00 per ton, is down $10.00 from last month.

Iowa Monthly Prices

The preliminary October 2013 average price received by farmers for corn in Iowa is $4.50 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This is $2.32 lower than the October 2012  final average price.   The preliminary October  Iowa average soybean price, at $12.60 per bushel  is $1.50  lower than  the October 2012  final average price.   The preliminary October oat price  is $4.10 per bushel, $0.10 above  the October 2012 final average price. 

All hay prices in Iowa averaged $176.00 per ton in October, $11.00 per ton less than October 2012.  Alfalfa hay prices fell $16.00 per  ton  from one year  ago,  to $195.00  and other hay prices were $3.00 per  ton  lower  than  last year,  at $130.00.  Iowa dairy farmers received an average of $20.50 per cwt for milk sold in October, $2.00 per cwt less than one year ago.

October Farm Prices Received Index Up 1 Point

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in October, at 187 percent, based on 1990-1992=100, increased 1 point (0.5 percent) from September. The Crop Index is down 3 points (1.5 percent) but the Livestock Index is unchanged. Producers received higher prices for wheat and lower prices for corn, soybeans, and potatoes. 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 soybeans, corn, cottonseed, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of wheat, milk, hogs, and hay.

The preliminary All Farm Products Index is down 23 points (11 percent) from October 2012. The Food Commodities Index, at 189, increased 8 points (4.4 percent) from last month but decreased 7 points (3.6 percent) from October 2012.

All crops:

The October index, at 203, decreased 1.5 percent from September and is 15 percent below October 2012. Index decreases for feed grains & hay, oilseeds, and potatoes & dry beans more than offset the index increases for commercial vegetables, food grains, fruits & nuts, and upland cotton.

Food grains: The October index, at 237, is 3.9 percent above the previous month but 11 percent below a year ago. The October price for all wheat, at $7.09 per bushel, is up 29 cents from September but $1.29 below October 2012.

Feed grains & hay: The October index, at 199, is down 15 percent from last month and 32 percent below a year ago. The corn price, at $4.49 per bushel, is down 91 cents from last month and $2.29 below October 2012. The all hay price, at $177 per ton, is up $1.00 from September but down $14.00 from last October. Sorghum grain, at $7.34 per cwt, is 76 cents below September and $5.06 below October last year.

Cotton, Upland: The October index, at 129, is up 4.9 percent from September and 12 percent above last year. The October price, at 77.9 cents per pound, is up 3.3 cents from the previous month and 8.1 cents above last October.

Oilseeds: The October index, at 225, is down 3.0 percent from September and 8.5 percent lower than October 2012. The soybean price, at $12.60 per bushel, decreased 70 cents from September and is $1.60 below October 2012.

Livestock and products:

The October index, at 163, is unchanged from last month but up 0.6 percent from October 2012.  Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for broilers, hogs, and calves. Prices for milk, turkeys, cattle, and market eggs are down from last year.

Meat animals: The October index, at 164, is down 0.6 percent from last month but 1.9 percent higher than last year. The October hog price, at $69.70 per cwt, is down $1.00 from September but $7.70 higher than a year ago. The October beef cattle price of $122 per cwt is down $1.00 from last month and October 2012.

Dairy products: The October index, at 155, is up 0.6 percent from a month ago but 6.1 percent lower than October last year. The October all milk price of $20.30 per cwt is up 20 cents from last month but down $1.30 from October 2012.

Prices Paid Index up 1 Point

The October Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 218 percent of the 1990-1992 average. The index is up 1 point (0.5 percent) from September but unchanged from October 2012. Higher prices in October for concentrates, feeder cattle, feeder pigs, and nitrogen offset lower prices for feed grains, complete feeds, diesel, and gasoline.

More than 56,000 students in Louisville for 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo through Saturday

Rick Pitino told thousands of FFA members from across the country packed into Freedom Hall Wednesday that pressure and problems are good things.

“We’re all under pressure every day,” said Pitino, whose University of Louisville men’s basketball team won the national championship in 2013. “It’s why we wake up early in the morning, work hard throughout the day and stay up later at night. Pressure brings out enormous potential and when problems present themselves, we need to look adversity straight in the eye and deal with it.”

Pitino opened the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo, an event that in its 86th year has drawn more than 56,000 FFA members from all 50 U.S. states to Louisville for four days. His motivational address focused on the importance of interpersonal communication in achieving career and life success.

“I believe in being upbeat and positive every day,” he said. “The more you listen, the more you learn. Successful people master the art of communications by having a razor-sharp focus, listening four times the amount they speak and facing adversity straight in the eye to shrink it down to the size of a pea.

“You all have unbelievable passion – a fiery enthusiasm – that must drive you every day. Say, ‘Bring it on.’ Listen and learn. Be totally focused. Be humble. You’re going to cross a bridge at some point and you’ll realize that you’ve achieved success because the bridge will be a crowded one.”

During convention, nine general sessions will gather FFA members together at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Students will have countless opportunities to engage exhibitors from more than 450 corporations, organizations and colleges through Friday at the Expo inside the center. Other events will be held at venues downtown, in suburbs and beyond.

Throughout the week, students will attend leadership and personal growth workshops. FFA members will tour industry, including Papa John’s international headquarters, Ford’s Louisville assembly plant and University of Kentucky, and educational venues, including Fort Knox, the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the Muhammad Ali Center. FFA members will also participate in community-service initiatives and help beautify the city, volunteer at food banks, harvest and distribute locally grown produce, package meals for families in need, clean up parks and more.

Country star Dierks Bentley performed exclusively for FFA Wednesday night at KFC Yum! Center while the World's Toughest Rodeo is tonight and Friday night at Broadbent Arena inside the Kentucky Exposition Center.

News, features and more from the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo will be published on and on Twitter at #igniteFFA. Portions of the event are being streamed live on The convention ends Saturday after national delegates representing FFA in all 50 states elect a new, six-member National FFA Officer team for 2013-14.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Ram Truck Brand Celebrates 'Year of the Farmer' with $1 Million Donation to National FFA Organization (FFA)
The Ram Truck brand celebrated the passion ignited around its "Year of the Farmer" initiative by presenting Clay Sapp, 2012-2013 National FFA President, with a $1 million donation at the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 30.

Ram Truck brand declared 2013 the "Year of the Farmer" during the Super Bowl last February, when its much-talked-about television spot, "Farmer," kicked off a yearlong initiative to bring national attention to the significance of the American farmer. Ram pledged to donate up to $1 million to FFA for views of the "Farmer" video on the Ram Truck brand website. The brand reached the 10-million-view milestone, equating to the $1 million donation, in less than a week.

"To date, 'Farmer' has been viewed online more than 22 million times, underscoring America's interest in and support for the important role farmers play in our country," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "It is a pleasure to present the check to FFA and to be among thousands of dedicated FFA members who convey the spirit of what we at Ram Trucks value most of all – courage, dignity, integrity and example-setting through hard work."

Bigland presented the donation to Sapp alongside country music artist and former FFA member Easton Corbin, who has worked with the Ram Truck brand throughout 2013 to promote the "Year of the Farmer." Corbin is visiting FFA members in 12 cities across the United States from October to February, providing private concerts and furthering the notion that FFA plays an important role in reducing hunger issues in America.

"It is so wonderful to see our country rise up and show support for those who work hard every day to provide vital resources to the nation," said Sapp. "The response we've received from Ram's 'Year of the Farmer' has been overwhelming, reinforcing the pride we have in our work and what it means to be a farmer."

The "Farmer" video was inspired by the stirring "So God Made a Farmer" oration delivered by legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey in 1978, and since used as a national anthem in grassroots videos created by farm families. To honor American farmers, the Ram Truck brand aspired to create greater awareness, support and appreciation for farming families, communities and providers. The Ram Truck brand commissioned 10 noted photographers to document American farm life, yielding a beautiful and comprehensive catalog of farming images. Many of these artful and compelling stills provide the visual mosaic for "Farmer," while Harvey's passionate oration provides the narration.

Ram Truck brand also presented a first copy of its "The Farmer in All of Us," a coffee table book to be published by National Geographic. It is a beautiful and comprehensive collection of original agriculture, farming and family farm photography, including many of the images commissioned for the "Farmer" video. Proceeds from the book will go toward the FFA's "Give the Gift of Blue" program, which donates traditional FFA blue corduroy jackets to members who would not otherwise be able to own one. The jackets are an important symbol of the hard work and dedication to farming by these young people.

An exclusive, limited number of "The Farmer in All of Us" books will be available for order in the coming weeks.

Acclaimed Documentarian James Moll Releases Trailer and Website for New Film Farmland

Oscar®-winning documentary filmmaker, James Moll, has unveiled an advance trailer and website for his latest film, Farmland, which is now in post-production. The feature length documentary follows the next generation of American farmers and ranchers, examining the lives of farmers and ranchers in their 20s, in various regions across the US.  The advance trailer and information about the film is now available at

“I make documentaries because it’s a thrill to explore new topics and meet people that I might not otherwise cross paths with,” said Moll. “While making Farmland, I found myself immersed in a community of some of the most hard working, passionate people I’ve ever met.  This film isn’t just about what it’s like to be a farmer, it’s about a way of life. It’s also about a subject that affects our lives daily.”

The film website offers some general background information about the film, full color photographs from the making of the documentary and the theatrical trailer.

The film, made with generous support from the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®), gives viewers a firsthand glimpse into the lives of these young farmers and ranchers, their high-risk/high-reward jobs and their passion for a way of life that, more often than not, is passed down from generation to generation.

Moll received a Grammy® for directing and producing Foo Fighters: Back and Forth and an Academy Award® for his film The Last Days. During his filmmaking career, Moll has directed and produced numerous documentaries covering topics from the Holocaust to an epic trek across the Sahara Desert, teaming up with heavy-weights such as Matt Damon and Steven Spielberg along the way.

Farmland will premiere nationwide in spring 2014.

IGC Sees 13-14 Global Wheat and Corn Output Higher

Global wheat output for the 2013-14 crop year is forecast to reach 696 million tons, up from the prior forecast of 693 million tons, the London-based International Grains Council said Thursday.

"Gains in wheat prices over the past month stemmed from crop concerns in Argentina and the Black Sea region. Overall, however, wheat output is expected to rise by 6% on year in 2013-14 and closing stocks are seen up by 7 million tons, at 182 million tons, although this would still be below the level seen in 2011-12," the grains body said.

World corn production for the same period is forecast to hit 948 million tons, up from the prior forecast of 943 million tons, the International Grains Council said.

"Price activity has been mixed in a relatively tight range, with U.S. prices declining on the good supply outlook and better than expected yields, while Black Sea export prices gained on harvest delays and tight logistics," the body said.

Dairy industry joins forces to fight prostate cancer

Several dairy industry companies and groups are excited to launch the Movember Dairy initiative. This inaugural campaign was started through a coalition within the dairy industry that has committed itself to raising awareness of men’s health issues amongst dairy farmers.

Traditionally, November has been globally recognized as Men’s Health Awareness Month, bringing light to health challenges facing a high proportion of males – including cancer, and specifically prostate cancer.  Statistically, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.

With the high potential of all men being challenged with prostate cancer, the U.S. dairy farmer is not spared from these statistics.

“Adding to the concern, dairy farmers have less awareness as to signs and symptoms, likely have less frequent medical examinations and simply are often more focused on the care of their cows and crops than they are of their own health,” says Amy Throndsen, director of international sales for DCC Waterbeds and founding member of Movember Dairy.

To help dairy producers become more aware of their health, a small-but-dedicated coalition within the dairy industry developed the Movember Dairy initiative; a subset of the national organization called Movember USA.

“The goal of this growing coalition is to increase awareness of prostate cancer and build support throughout the dairy industry to help dairy farmers protect themselves with greater education, understanding and action to help keep their health in check,” says Ed Peck, president of Filament Marketing and member of Movember Dairy.

Awareness for prostate cancer and men’s health will be raised by Movember Dairy through a campaign centered around the mustache. The mustache is the universal symbol for Movember USA; bringing a comical and conversation-worthy element to this worthwhile cause. Combining humor and health, Movember Dairy is driving change by growing mustaches, sharing key statistics and encouraging dairy producers to contact their doctors for health screenings.

Producers, companies and industry partners can learn more about men’s health and spread the word about Movember Dairy in several ways, including:

·         Throw a Movember Dairy party - A party pack with party favors, information and campaign pieces can be downloaded from
·         Join the Movember initiative by growing a mustache to help generate attention and educational opportunities with others. A new mustache is a talking point that can get the conversation on men’s health started. If you currently have facial hair, consider a clean shave and regrowing a mustache.
·         Spread the word through social media: post photos of your Movember party and mustache growing contests on the Movember Dairy Facebook page and like the page at to stay connected.
·         Donate to the Movember USA campaign which funds prostate cancer research by visiting
·         Contact your local doctor for an annual health screening.

For more information on Movember Dairy, contact (608) 819-3628 and/or follow us at

American Ethanol to take the Lone Star State by Storm

American Ethanol will be front-and-center at the Texas NASCAR race this weekend as spokesman Austin Dillon closes in on a championship and ethanol supporters from three states journey to the Lone Star State to educate and interact with fans about ethanol.

Dillon is known for his signature cowboy hat, but he wouldn't mind trading in his hat for a new one at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. Because what else would they give you as a trophy in Texas except a cowboy hat and a boot trophy?  Dillon, who has never finished outside the Top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway in NASCAR Nationwide Series  competition, currently leads the series standings by eight points over Sam Hornish Jr. As always, he will proudly display the American Ethanol logo on the side of his car.

Corn farmers from Texas, Minnesota and North Dakota are funding the weekend-long event in part with their investment of checkoff dollars. They will also be on hand to distribute American Ethanol green starter flags throughout the campgrounds. More than 2,500 flags will be distributed over the course of the weekend and will be seen flying high over camp sites in the track infield and surrounding the track.

This weekend marks the largest activation for the American Ethanol brand in 2013, and the final one for the season. More than 20 volunteers and staff from Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association will be attendance to help with the promotion, interact with fans and to host a VIP group of Texas thought leaders.

A fan exhibit is also planned on the midway. The centerpiece for the exhibit will be a mobile biofuels education unit that will allow fans to learn more about how ethanol is made to provide consumer fuel and Sunoco Green E15 for NASCAR.

Building general awareness of E15's introduction into the sport and its success on track amongst the NASCAR fan base is a high priority of the American Ethanol program. However, we are now well into the next phase which includes more detailed education of all the economic, environmental and energy security benefits of ethanol.

This weekend the American Ethanol exhibit will be adding a new educational piece, a graphic that shows all of the toxic and in some cases carcinogenic, substances in modern gasoline. The visual carries a clear message that consumers need to know; "Some Fuels are Greener Than Others."

When and where to watch the races:
-    The NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN2.
-    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway starts at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday on ESPN.

Coalition Asks Court to Protect Consumers, Uphold Meat Labeling Rule

(from HSUS)
A coalition of advocates for family farmers, farm workers and animal welfare has joined with independent producers to defend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s country-of-origin labeling regulations by filing an amicus curiae brief in support of the law. The regulations tell consumers the national origin of meat, seafood and other agricultural products for sale.

The Humane Society of the United States, along with Organization for Competitive Markets, United Farm Workers of America, American Grassfed Association and three independent, family-owned livestock farms filed a brief supporting the law in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

A group of agribusiness industry trade associations representing large industrial meat producers and processors is challenging the recently-enacted regulations. Some of these associations, including American Meat Institute and North American Meat Association, have previously argued against basic protections for animals too sick and injured to walk on their own at the slaughter plant.

The agribusiness industry plaintiffs filed a motion to temporarily prohibit the country-of-origin labeling regulations. The court denied that motion in September, and the case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The country-of-origin labeling regulations require that meat products contain labels specifying where the livestock was born, raised and slaughtered. The regulations also prohibit the commingling of meat with different country-of-origin combinations in the same package at retail. Labeling provides consumers with important information in the marketplace, and helps consumers who want to buy from U.S. family farmers and ranchers who often use more humane and sustainable practices, rather than industrial corporations that may commingle meat products from several foreign countries.

Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “Consumers deserve to know where their food comes from. And factory farming organizations that seek to have it otherwise are out of step with their customers.” 

Mike Callicrate, president of the Organization for Competitive Markets, said: “Big agribusiness has something to hide when they work this hard to keep consumers in the dark about where food comes from.”

Dr. Patricia Whisnant, DVM, president of American Grassfed Association, said: “The meat business needs more transparency, not less, and COOL is one way of giving consumers knowledge about where their meat comes from. People should be able to make educated decisions about their purchases, and whether they do or don't want to buy product that comes from another country, they should have a choice.”

Erik Nicholson, national vice president of the United Farm Workers said: "Country-of-origin labeling plays an important role in ensuring consumer confidence in agricultural products, which in turn benefits farm workers in the United States."

Kevin Fulton, co-owner of Fulton Farms, said: “Country-of-origin labeling allows consumers to make an educated choice, which ultimately helps the American family farmer.”

The groups and farmers are represented by lawyers with The HSUS’ Animal Protection Litigation section.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday October 30 Ag News

Fortenberry and Grassley Urge Conference to Keep Payment Limits Reform in Farm Bill

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry and Senator Chuck Grassley today encouraged House and Senate farm bill conferees to retain key farm policy reforms regarding payment limitations as they begin work this week on a reconciled farm bill.  New farm payment limit requirements were approved earlier this year in both the House and Senate farm bills.

“After many years of discussion, farm payment limitations reform finally has a chance to become law,” said Fortenberry, the House sponsor of a payment limits amendment approved with strong bipartisan support. “More robust payment limits help farm supports reach intended recipients and close loopholes. In this time of tight budgets, the need for this type of fair reform is even greater. With the opportunity for new farm policy under negotiation between the House and Senate, payment limits should remain a key piece of the overall package. It is my hope that this important provision will carry forward into the final Farm Bill.”

Grassley and Fortenberry authored provisions in the Senate and House bills to establish a farm payment cap of $250,000.  The Senate and House bills also tighten loopholes that have allowed some non-farmers to game the system.  Grassley and Fortenberry maintain that the farm payment provisions are nearly identical in the two bills, and should not be up for negotiation.

“Our reform is common-sense,” Grassley said.  “Not only does it end some of the most egregious abuses of the farm program and make sure that the farm program payments are going to those who need them most, but it saves money.  It’s a win-win for everybody.   When 22 people are getting farm payments for the same farm, and 70 percent of the farm payments go to 10 percent of the biggest farms, we’ve got a problem.”

Specifics of the payment limits provisions:

·         The bills establish a per farm cap of $50,000 on all commodity program benefits, except those associated with the marketing loan program (loan deficiency payments and marketing loan gains), which would be capped at $75,000.  Thus the combined limit would be $125,000, or, for married couples, $250,000.  The $50,000 cap would apply to whatever type of program is developed as part of the new farm and food bill.
·         The bills would define clearly the scope of people who are able to qualify as actively engaged by only providing management for the farming operation.  The bill will allow one off-farm manager, but only one.  Landowners who share rent land to an actively-engaged producer remain exempt from the “actively engaged” rules provided their payments are commensurate to their risk in the crop produced.

Nebraska CommonGround Volunteer To Be on Lifetime's 'The Balancing Act' Morning Show

CommonGround volunteers hit the studios of Lifetime TV's popular morning show The Balancing Act  this week, to tape a four-segment miniseries discussing food topics most important to today's farmer. The segments, which will air throughout the next three months on Lifetime, will acquaint women across the country with the farm women who grow and raise the food for all of America's families.

Iowa Farmer Sara Ross' interview focused on the truth about biotechnology, and Ohio farmer Kristin Reese, Kentucky farmer Mary Courtney and Nebraska rancher Dawn Caldwell also taped segments for the show. These interviews focused on bringing American farmers into your kitchen, the real story on food prices and how farmers raise and grow safe, healthy food for our families.

"We are thrilled to work with The Balancing Act to create television that will really dig deeper into some of the hottest food topics," said Ross. "All of us have so many common bonds; we all have a particular interest in food, in sharing our story, and in doing what is best for our families. There is such a strong desire here to really delve into every aspect of American food and, as farmers, we bring a unique perspective on issues like GMOs, organics and the local food movement to an audience that is hungry to hear from women who share their experience and concerns with first-hand knowledge on these subjects."

This special opportunity to reach millions of the women who make a vast majority of America's grocery purchasing decisions came to fruition through the special support of the National Corn Growers Association and was spearheaded by the association's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. The Balancing Act empowers women in all aspects of their lives, striving to help today's modern women balance it all by bringing them exceptional solutions to everyday problems. Working together, CommonGround and The Balancing Act will provide both immediate information and an ongoing resource for women with questions about the food they feed their families.

CommonGround was founded by the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates to start a conversation about food between the women who grow it and the women who buy it. Now in its fourth year, CommonGround brings more than 100 of America's farm women to the table for food discussions and helps consumers eat fearlessly.

AgriBank Issues $250 Million in Preferred Stock

St. Paul-based AgriBank Tuesday announced it has issued $250 million in preferred stock. The Series A noncumulative perpetual preferred stock has a dividend rate fixed for 10 years at 6.875 percent and then resets to three-month LIBOR plus 4.225 percent and is callable after 10 years.

This stock offering will provide AgriBank and the 15-state Farm Credit District it serves with long-term access to capital, bolstering the Bank’s already strong reserves with high-quality, tier-one capital.

This strong capital position will enable AgriBank, which is a cooperative owned by 17 Farm Credit Associations in its District, to support future growth and ensure the District is well-positioned to meet the long-term credit needs of farmer and rancher customers.

“Farm Credit’s mission is to ensure that American farmers and ranchers have reliable access to funding through agriculture’s economic cycles,” said AgriBank Chief Executive Officer Bill York. “Times have been good.  We are well-capitalized, which affords us the opportunity to access high-quality capital. Offering preferred stock now will position the AgriBank District to meet the future needs of our customers and any challenges that lie ahead.”

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley served as joint bookrunners on the Series A preferred stock transaction.

AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $80 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System’s cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America’s Midwest, a fifteen state area from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation’s cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information visit

Branstad, Reynolds Renew Encouragement for Farm Bill

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds Tuesday released a letter to farm bill conference committee leaders renewing their call for the U.S. Congress to enact a farm bill reauthorization. The letter applauded the recent appointment of farm bill conferees, including Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Steve King. This letter reiterates the message in a previous letter from Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp earlier this year that a farm bill is important to rural America.

In the letter the Governor and Lt. Governor state: "We applaud both chambers for moving forward significant programmatic reforms that improve risk management and focus and improve the sustainability of relevant farm programs. Given the current fiscal environment, we appreciate the hard decisions before you, but believe you will meet the challenge of forging a bipartisan compromise that respects each side's principles. Your work can help improve the efficacy and efficiency of various farm bill programs. In addition, you have an opportunity to shepherd through a significant piece of legislation which would demonstrate Congress's commitment to rural America."

The letter continues: "As leaders of a key agricultural state where the fall harvest is currently underway, we urge you to pass a bipartisan, long-term farm bill out of conference that meets the needs of our agricultural producers and American consumers."

Certification for Sustainably Grown U.S. Soy for Exporters

The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) launched an official sustainability certification for U.S. soy. It provides exporters with verification that the soy products they sell on the world market are raised in a sustainable manner.

The certification is verified by the U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). This protocol was developed by the United Soybean Board (USB), USSEC and the American Soybean Association (ASA) through a multi-stakeholder process to ensure the methodologies for measuring sustainable performance are thorough, transparent and credible. Creation of the SSAP and its official sustainability certification for exported soy products is a strategic move by these farmer-led national soybean organizations to assure international customers that U.S. farmers raise soybeans with high sustainability performance.

"It is essential that we show the rest of the world what we are doing with regard to best management practices on the farm and best social practices in the community," says Laura Foell, Schaller, Iowa, farmer and USB farmer-leader. "Farmers are doing the right thing and striving for continuous improvement. We need to make sure our customers know that."

The sustainability certification is based on farmer participation in U.S. farm programs. Currently 95 percent of U.S. farms participate, according to USSEC. Thus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates of total soybean supply are multiplied by 0.95 to determine U.S. sustainable soy supply. The SSAP provides proof of reductions in carbon emissions, energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil erosion per acre of soybeans grown and per bushel of soybeans produced in the United States.

Certification is done at shipment point by Soy Export Sustainability, LLC,, based on an aggregate system representing nationwide soybean production.

This fall, the farmer-led organizations that constitute the U.S. soy family -- USSEC, USB and ASA -- are introducing their sustainability assurance protocol and sustainability certification system through a series of meetings around the world. Meetings with soy customers are being held in the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and also U.S. soy farmers' largest market -- China.

U.S. Cattle Placements in September Seen Up 0.7% From 2012

The number of young cattle entering U.S. feedyards in September was predicted to be up 0.7% from this time last year, when placements were the lowest on record for that month owing to a spike in grain prices, according to a Wall Street Journal survey for a federal cattle-on-feed report.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release the report at 2p.m. CDT Thursday, two weeks later than normal owing to the lapse in government spending earlier this month.

After the 2012 drought pushed prices for feed grains up to highs last year, costs for cattle feeders have cooled considerably, resulting in expectations for a larger number of animals to enter the nation's feedyards in the months to come. However, livestock market-watchers said favorable pasture conditions across most of the Farm Belt due to cool, dry weather over the summer and fall likely encouraged more producers than usual to keep young cattle on the range for longer, rather than sending them straight to commercial feedlots.

The decision to hold on to cattle, feeding them hay and cheaper grains, is highly dependent on individual producer resources and business models, which analysts said contributed to the wide disagreement in national placement figures.

The estimates for placements in September ranged from 2.5% below to 7.0% above a year earlier, across 11 analysts' estimates, with the trade divided on whether or not the number of placed cattle would be higher or lower than year-ago levels. The number of cattle placed, according to the average of the projections, would be 2.02 million head.

The number of cattle on feed as of Oct. 1 was projected to be 7.4% below a year ago, or 10.173 million head, according to the average of the estimates. The estimates ranged from 8.4% to 6.3% below last year's number.

The average of the estimates for marketings was about 1.666 million head, or 4.3% above the same period a year ago. September had one more weekday this year compared with 2012, but one fewer Saturday, resulting in slightly more available time for processing cattle.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/25/2013

According to EIA data, ethanol production averaged 911,000 barrels per day (b/d) — or 38.26 million gallons daily. That is up 14,000 b/d from the week before and a 17-month high. Production topped 900,000 b/d for the first time since mid-June 2012. The four-week average for ethanol production stood at 886,000 b/d for an annualized rate of 13.58 billion gallons.

Stocks of ethanol stood at 15.0 million barrels. That is a 3.5% decrease from last week and the lowest since EIA began reporting weekly data in June 2010.

Imports of ethanol were zero b/d for the fourth straight week.

Gasoline demand for the week averaged a robust 380.3 million gallons daily. At 870,000 b/d, refiner and blender input of ethanol hit a 16-week high.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production was 10.06%.

On the co-products side, ethanol producers were using 13.813 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 101,670 metric tons of livestock feed, 90,640 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 4.74 million pounds of corn oil daily.

Don't Remove Corn Ethanol from the Renewable Fuel Standard

Possible federal legislation that dismantles the Renewable Fuel Standard is the wrong policy at the wrong time, the National Corn Growers Association said today. According to news reports, the bill drafted by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would remove corn ethanol from the RFS and adjust the RFS for advanced biofuel at 16 billion gallons.

"Just in time for Halloween, Sen. Feinstein is proposing a bill designed to play on the worst fears of Big Oil by gutting the RFS," said NCGA President Martin Barbre. "Removing corn ethanol from the Standard makes no sense whatsoever at a time when growers are harvesting what may be a record corn crop. The fact is, we are on track to meet all demand for food and fuel, with a surplus at the end of this marketing year of nearly 2 billion bushels."

Further, Barbre noted, it is bad policy for lawmakers to promote "next generation" biofuels over corn ethanol, because those newer fuels are dependent on the success of the entire ethanol industry to build the market, infrastructure and other support needed to get the newer fuels into the marketplace.

"Without the great and continued success of corn ethanol in building the market, the industry will not be able to move much further in research and investment," Barbre said. "The two go hand-in-hand, and that's why it's critical to preserve the RFS as a complete standard covering all biofuels. Without it, you won't see 16 billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2022."

You also will see a lot of jobs lost and damage to rural economies, Barbre added, because the ethanol industry supports about 400,000 jobs and, in 2012, added $30.2 billion to household income.

"Is this the right time to destabilize rural America? Our families need more jobs and more opportunity at a time when our nation's economy is still recovering and we face new challenges each day."

Feinstein/Coburn Legislation Would Halt Advancement of Next Generation Biofuels

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, fired back against legislation drafted by Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) that would eliminate the conventional ethanol portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“This legislation is monumentally stupid. Eliminating the conventional ethanol portion of the Renewable Fuel Standard would eliminate the opportunity to further evolve the biofuels industry and commercialize new technologies and feedstocks. We all understand that Senator Coburn just wants a world free of competition for his oil industry. But, Senator Feinstein professes to support second generation biofuels. What she is failing to understand, however, is that we will never see those technologies develop if the policy is gutted and the investment community is given the unambiguous signal that Congress is not serious about reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

ADM Reports Adjusted Third Quarter 2013 Earnings of $0.46 per Share, Net income of $476 million

Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) today reported financial results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013. The company reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.46, down from $0.53 in the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter were $476 million, or $0.72 per share, up from $0.28 per share in the same period one year earlier. Segment operating profit was $606 million, down six percent when excluding an impairment charge from the year-ago quarter.

“The team delivered solid operating results overall, despite the lingering effects of the 2012 U.S. drought,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “Oilseeds performed well, particularly in North and South America; Corn benefitted from improved ethanol margins; and Ag Services managed effectively through the transition to new crop.

“Looking forward, as record global crop supplies refill the pipeline, we will employ our efficient network to meet strong demand from customers around the world.”

Oilseeds Earnings Strong on North and South American Performance

Oilseeds operating profit in the third quarter was $361 million, up $25 million from the same period one year earlier. 

Crushing and origination operating profit was $242 million, down $14 million from the year-ago quarter. Despite tight crop supplies, ADM’s North America oilseed crushing operations had good capacity utilization amid good foreign and domestic protein meal demand. In South America, ADM exported large volumes at the peak of the inverse market, capturing strong margins. European crushing results declined due to limited soybean availability.

Refining, packaging, biodiesel and other generated a profit of $85 million for the quarter, up $57 million on improved biodiesel results and record profits from protein specialties.

Cocoa and other results continued to improve sequentially, though they decreased $24 million compared to the year-ago quarter.
Oilseeds results in Asia for the quarter were up $6 million from the same period last year, principally reflecting ADM’s share of the improved results from Wilmar International Limited.
Corn Processing Results Improved on Ethanol Margin Recovery

Corn processing operating profit of $159 million represented an increase of $91 million from the same period one year earlier. Corn hedge effects in the third quarter were a charge of $11 million, versus a charge of $31 million in the year-ago period.

Excluding the impact of corn hedge ineffectiveness, sweeteners and starches results declined by $26 million, with overall demand and margins remaining solid.  

Excluding the impact of corn hedge ineffectiveness, bioproducts results increased $97 million to $71 million. Overall ethanol margins remained profitable though volatile.

Agricultural Services Impacted by Lower U.S. Volumes and Weaker International Merchandising Results

Agricultural Services operating profit was $102 million, up $24 million from the same period one year earlier. When adjusting for year-ago charges related to Gruma and intercompany insurance settlements in the current period of approximately $30 million, results for the segment declined $152 million from last year.

Merchandising and handling earnings declined $104 million to $4 million, as low U.S. crop supplies reduced export volumes and as results from international merchandising were weak.

Transportation results increased $2 million to $21 million on good northbound barge freight business.

Milling and other results remained solid as the milling business continued to perform well.

DuPont Aproach Prima Fungicide Available for 2014 Season

Corn, soybean and wheat growers have a new fungicide with two modes of action to protect yield potential and address resistant fungal diseases. DuPont™ Aproach® Prima fungicide has been granted registration approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Aproach® Prima ( includes the same unique strobilurin active ingredient as DuPont™ Aproach® fungicide plus triazole to deliver a second critical mode of action that helps manage fungicide-resistant diseases and helps growers protect their genetic investment.

The dual protection offered by Aproach® Prima provides preventive and curative control of difficult and yield-robbing diseases in corn, soybeans and wheat, including frogeye leaf spot, a major soybean disease in the South and mid-South that has recently spread into northern growing areas. Aproach® Prima also protects crops from damage due to Septoria brown spot, downy mildew, soybean rust, gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, common rust and Southern rust.

“As the threat of resistant fungal diseases continues to grow, Aproach® Prima offers growers a new tool for protecting their genetic investments, especially on intensively managed, high-yielding acres,” said James Hay, regional director, North America, DuPont Crop Protection. “We continue to introduce new crop protection products from the DuPont pipeline as part of our commitment to help growers maximize production. Working together, we can meet the food needs of our growing world population.”

Systemic movement within the plant allows the unique strobilurin in Aproach® Prima to prevent and control disease on all plant surfaces, even on stems and leaves deep under the canopy. The combination of two premier fungicides in Aproach® Prima controls strobilurin-resistant fungal pathogens, as well as maintains plant health under stressful conditions and protects acres exposed to significant disease pressure.

In field trials throughout the country, Aproach® Prima reduced the incidence of disease and severity levels, leading to healthier plants and increased yield.
·      In soybeans, Aproach® Prima decreased severity of resistant frogeye leafspot by more than 67 percent and increased yield by 6 bushels per acre over untreated soybeans not treated with fungicide.1
·      Aproach® Prima decreased the incidence of soybean rust by 92 percent compared with untreated control plots, while Quilt Xcel only reduced rust incidence by 42 percent. That improved disease control delivered increased soybean yield by 16 bushels per acre over Quilt Xcel plots.2
·      In seed corn, when compared to two leading fungicides, Aproach® Prima maintained green leaf area more effectively and increased yield by more than 11 bushels per acre versus untreated acres, significantly more than the other fungicides.3
·      In a winter wheat trial, Aproach® Prima reduced severity of powdery mildew by nearly 99 percent and Septoria tritici (the cause of Septoria leaf blotch) by nearly 85 percent, compared with disease reductions of 89 percent and 65 percent, respectively, by Quilt Xcel.4

DuPont Crop Protection is one of several companies collaborating through the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) to monitor plant disease and identify best practices to reduce development of fungicide-resistant diseases. Other resistance management strategies recommended by FRAC include avoiding repeated use of a single fungicide mode of action, maintaining recommended dose rates, mixing or alternating with an appropriate partner fungicide, limiting the number and timing of treatments, avoiding eradicant use, and integrating fungicide use with non-chemical methods.

USAID Launches New University Partnerships to End Global Hunger and Poverty

Today, during a speech at The George Washington University’s Feeding the Planet Summit, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced 10 new Feed the Future Innovation Labs to increase global food security and help smallholder farmers boost incomes and improve nutrition. These Innovation Labs draw on the expertise of top U.S. universities and developing country research institutions, and will tackle some of the world’s most challenging agricultural research problems. The U.S. university-led Innovation Labs are central to advancing novel solutions in support of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“Throughout history, our greatest development advances have come from introducing safe, proven and appropriate technologies to the world's most vulnerable people,” said Dr. Shah. “Building upon a strong history of research collaboration, these new Feed the Future Innovation Labs will draw on the very best research, extension and education strengths of the U.S. and global university community to improve nutrition, end hunger, and help eradicate extreme poverty around the world.”

The new labs are part of the Feed the Future Food Security Innovation Center, launched in 2012 to support innovative research aimed at transforming agricultural production systems through “sustainable intensification” – or producing more food in an environmentally sensitive manner –  ensuring access to nutritious and safe foods, creating enabling and supportive policies, and addressing the emerging challenges of climate change and natural resource scarcity. The newest additions include:
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Beans, led by Pennsylvania State University
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Cowpea, led by the University of California at Riverside
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Sorghum, led by the University of Georgia
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for  Applied Wheat Genomics, led by Kansas State University
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Rift Valley Fever Control in Agriculture, led by the University of Texas at El Paso
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry, led by the University of California at Davis
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-scale Irrigation, led by Texas A&M University
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Chickpea (lead university to be awarded)
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soy Value Chain Research (lead university to be awarded)
·         The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Reduced Post-harvest Losses (lead university to be awarded)

These new research labs join the recently announced Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum & Millet led by Kansas State University and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy led by Michigan State University, as well as a number of other Innovation Labs representing the breadth and diversity of U.S. university agricultural research programs.