Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday November 27 Ag News

Lt. Governor Heidemann to Announce Dodge County Designated Livestock Friendly

Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann today announced the official designation of Dodge County as Nebraska’s newest Livestock Friendly County. With the addition of Dodge County, there are now 23 counties designated as Livestock Friendly through the state program, including: Adams, Banner, Box Butte, Cuming, Dawes, Deuel, Gage, Garden, Grant, Hitchcock, Holt, Jefferson, Johnson, Kimball, Keith, Lincoln, Morrill, Saline, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Wayne, and Webster Counties.

“I’m pleased that Dodge County has worked hard to become a Livestock Friendly County,” said Lt. Gov. Heidemann. “This program is a way to recognize the impact the livestock industry has on the local economy. Agriculture is the number one industry in Nebraska and with the help of the Livestock Friendly program, it will continue to thrive.”

Lt. Gov. Heidemann presented the Livestock Friendly certificate to Dodge County Supervisors Rob George, Greg Beam, Lon Strand, Terry Synovec, Bob Missel, Dan Weddle, and Gary Osborn. The county will receive road signs bearing the program logo to display along highways. The program is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Department of Agriculture Asst. Director Bobbie Kriz-Wickham said the official designation makes a positive statement about Dodge County. Asst. Dir. Kriz-Wickham stated, “It is clear that leaders within Dodge County understand the important benefits of responsible livestock production. I applaud them for making the Livestock Friendly County designation a piece of their overall economic development efforts.”

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

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


Preliminary prices received by farmers for winter wheat for November 2013 averaged $6.80 per bushel, a decrease of 36 cents from the October price according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. 

The preliminary November oat price averaged $3.45 per bushel, a decrease of 59 cents from October.  

The preliminary November corn price, at $4.45 per bushel, decreased 26 cents from the previous month.

The preliminary November sorghum price averaged $7.25 per cwt, a decrease of 13 cents from October.

The preliminary November soybean price, at $12.30 per bushel, was unchanged from last month. 

The November alfalfa hay price, at $157.00 per ton, is down $9.00 from last month. The other hay price, at $113.00 per ton, is down $13.00 from last month.

Iowa Monthly Prices

The preliminary November 2013 average price received by farmers for corn in Iowa is $4.30 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This is down $0.30 from the October full month average price and $2.73 lower than November 2012.  

The preliminary November  Iowa average  soybean price, at $12.70 per bushel  is up $0.20  from  the October  full month price, but $1.60 lower than last year.  

The preliminary October oat price is $3.90 per bushel, down $0.31 from the October full month average and $0.30 below the November 2012 average price. 

All  hay  prices  in  Iowa  averaged  $184.00  per  ton  in November,  up  $8.00  from October,  but  $18.00  per  ton  less  than November  2012.   Alfalfa  hay  prices were  down  $2.00  from October  and  fell  $20.00  per  ton  from  one  year  ago,  to $193.00.  Other hay prices were unchanged from October but $7.00 per ton lower than last year, at $130.00.  

Iowa dairy farmers received an average of $21.90 per cwt for milk sold in November, $0.60 more than October, but $1.10 per cwt less than one year ago.

USDA: November Farm Prices Received Index Down 6 Points

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in November, at 183 percent, based on 1990-1992=100, decreased 6 points (3.2 percent) from October. The Crop Index is down 12 points (5.9 percent) but the Livestock Index increased 5 points (3.0 percent). Producers received lower prices for corn but higher prices for eggs, soybeans, and cattle. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of corn, milk, cattle, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, potatoes, and wheat.

The preliminary All Farm Products Index is down 24 points (12 percent) from November 2012. The Food Commodities Index, at 187, decreased 3 points (1.6 percent) from last month and decreased 4 points (2.1 percent) from November 2012.


The November index, at 191, decreased 5.9 percent from October and is 20 percent below November 2012. Index decreases for feed grains & hay and commercial vegetables more than offset price increases for oilseeds and potatoes & dry beans.

Food grains: The November index, at 227, is 2.2 percent below the previous month and 15 percent below a year ago. The November price for all wheat, at $6.80 per bushel, is down 20 cents from October and $1.67 below November 2012.

Feed grains & hay: The November index, at 191, is down 6.4 percent from last month and 37 percent below a year ago. The corn price, at $4.29 per bushel, is down 32 cents from last month and $2.72 below November 2012. The all hay price, at $171 per ton, is down $6.00 from October and $19.00 from last November. Sorghum grain, at $7.42 per cwt, is 27 cents below October and $4.98 below November last year.

Cotton, Upland: The November index, at 130, is up 0.8 percent from October and 14 percent above last year. The November price, at 78.6 cents per pound, is up 0.7 cents from the previous month and 9.4 cents above last November.

Oilseeds: The November index, at 226, is up 0.9 percent from October but 10 percent lower than November 2012. The soybean price, at $12.70 per bushel, increased 20 cents from October but is $1.60 below November 2012.


The November index, at 172, is 3.0 percent above last month and November 2012. Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for cattle, eggs, calves, and hogs. Prices for milk, broilers, and turkeys are down from last year.

Meat animals: The November index, at 171, is up 0.6 percent from last month and 6.9 percent higher than last year. The November hog price, at $64.70 per cwt, is down $3.80 from October but $3.60 higher than a year ago. The November beef cattle price of $131 per cwt is up $3.00 from last month and $8.00 higher than November 2012.

Dairy products: The November index, at 163, is up 3.2 percent from a month ago but 3.6 percent lower than November last year. The November all milk price of $21.30 per cwt is up 60 cents from last month but 80 cents lower than November 2012.

Prices Paid Index Down 2 Points

The November Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 213 percent of the 1990-1992 average. The index is down 2 points (0.9 percent) from October and 4 points (1.8 percent) below November 2012. Lower prices in November for concentrates, complete feeds, feed grains, and other services more than offset higher prices for feeder cattle, feeder pigs, mixed fertilizer, and LP gas.

Reinke Recognizes Grossenburg Implement with Gold Pride Award at Annual Convention

Reinke Manufacturing Company, Inc., a leading manufacturer of mechanized irrigation systems, is excited to announce that Grossenburg Implement, Inc. in Wayne, Neb., has received a Gold Reinke Pride award in recognition of the company’s 2012-2013 marketing year success. The Reinke dealership was honored during Reinke’s recent annual convention held October 20-22, 2013, in Omaha, Neb.

"Congratulations to Grossenburg Implement on this recognition of their ongoing hard work and success,” said Reinke Vice President of Marketing Tim Goldhammer. “We appreciate their ongoing commitment to Reinke and to their community. We are proud to have them as a dealer.”

Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada gather each year to attend the company’s convention. The convention awards ceremony recognizes select Reinke dealerships for their hard work and dedication to sales and marketing throughout the past year.

Reinke recognized record attendance during this year’s convention. Gold, silver and bronze Reinke Pride awards were given to a total of 118 dealerships. The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions and event participation, and market share.

“It’s great to be able to come together each year to applaud the efforts of our dealers and recognize them among their peers,” said Goldhammer. “Our annual convention is an opportunity for Reinke and our dealers to share ideas, have some fun and get set for another successful year in the agriculture industry.” 

Nebraska Farmers Union 100th Annual Convention Features National Experts

“Proudly Serving Family Farm & Ranch Agriculture Since 1913” is the theme for the 100th annual Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) state convention.  John Hansen, NeFU President said, “This year’s convention will feature four national experts who will help Farmers union members focus on some of the major challenges featuring agriculture.  

Dr. Daryll Ray, Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, at the University of Tennessee is a nationally recognized expert on agricultural policy, agricultural markets, trade policy, and renewable energy.  He will focus on the financial challenges facing production agriculture with all time high production costs, no price floor in domestic farm programs, huge commodity price volatility, and a weakened farm income safety net. 

Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President is intimately involved in the Farm Bill process, renewable energy issues, and Country of Origin Labeling.  NFU is the forefront of advocating on behalf of those issues with the most dysfunctional Congress in generations.  Johnson is a nationally respected and well known spokesman for family farm agriculture. 

Alan Guebert, award winning syndicated national agricultural journalist has been covering agricultural issues for decades.  His keen sense of history, in depth understanding of both the policies and the players that impact production agriculture, and his number crunching expertise as an agricultural economist make him one of the most respected agricultural journalists in the country. 

Michael Stumo, Executive Director for the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a broad based coalition of U.S. based manufacturers, agriculture, and labor interests is a national expert on trade policy, currency manipulation, and the inequities created when some countries have Value Added Taxes and some do not.  Stumo along with NFU President Roger Johnson will speak on those issues, the current WTO meltdown, and the pending Transpacific Trade Partnership. 

Registration costs are $35 and begin at 8:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday mornings.  Convention begins at 9:00 a.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday.  As always, all members and the public is always welcome.  More information is available at: or at 402-476-8815. 

Revisions in Corn Field Guide Reduce Uncertainty

Identifying pests, diseases, disorders and developmental stages in Midwestern corn crops just became easier. New and larger color photographs, updated information on plant diseases and crop production, and additional topics are included in the second edition of Iowa State University’s popular Corn Field Guide, now available for purchase online at

Growers and agronomists will appreciate new environmental criteria added to help identify diseases.

“If a farmer is field scouting for disease and discovers something abnormal, he can use the photo and description in the guide to begin to identify what might be happening,” said Daren Mueller, assistant professor of plant pathology and microbiology, who assisted with guide revisions. “Then, if he reads under the 'Environment' section that the disease exists in moist cool conditions, but it’s been hot and dry, he knows he needs to look further in the guide.” 

Mueller is a principal investigator on the Integrated Pest Management team of the Climate and Corn-based Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project, also known as the Sustainable Corn Project. It’s a 10-university research project in the Corn Belt, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and led by Iowa State University. Team members are gathering and analyzing field trial data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in eight Midwestern states in an effort to create a suite of practices that make corn-based cropping systems more resilient in response to climate change. Mueller’s team collects and analyzes IPM data to assess the impact of the field practices on pests, weeds and diseases, under specific environmental conditions.

“With the guide scheduled to be updated, it was an opportunity to incorporate what is known about how climate and extreme weather events affect corn production, insects and diseases. The new guide provides the farmer with more information for making decisions,” said Jamie Benning, a program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and principal investigator on the Sustainable Corn Project.

Updating the guide was a collaborative effort between ISU Extension and Outreach, Integrated Pest Management and the Sustainable Corn Project, said Mueller.

“Numerous extension specialists, engineers, agronomists, plant pathologists, entomologists, weed scientists and nematologists with Iowa State provided text and images. It was a team effort,” said Mueller.

More than 200 photos and illustrations are packed into this updated version of the pocket-sized Corn Field Guide, now available for purchase online at

New Pork Task Force to Develop 2020 Plan

The National Pork Board has named a new task force that will examine consumer needs, animal care, sustainable pork production and other current challenges facing the industry to define a future vision of the Pork Checkoff and, on a larger scale, the entire pork industry.

Beginning December 2013 the yearlong planning process will review research, market data and opinions of industry leaders to set a strategic vision that will carry the organization from 2015 through 2020. The primary goal is to assess the Pork Checkoff's role in an ever-changing world and set the priorities that can help pork producers better meet customer needs.

The current five-year strategic plan was unveiled in 2009 and will be complete next year. Through that process, the Pork Checkoff defined three critical issues, including: protecting a producer's freedom to operate, enhancing U.S. and international consumer demand for pork and making U.S. pork producers more competitive in the global marketplace.  

To Pork Checkoff Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak, it comes down to asking the industry's key players a simple question - what if? - and then charting a course that can help pork farmers achieve the opportunities that single question may identify.

"In the hands of pork producers who have a vision for how we can better serve consumers, 'what if?' is an incredibly powerful tool to explore what we can attain as an industry," Novak said. "The last time we asked that question, we articulated an industry vision to become more responsible, sustainable, professional and profitable. We've made great progress these past four years, but we know we can achieve more through a focused planning effort that unites producers, processors and customers.

"Today, the agricultural industry faces many challenges that will define our next five years - and that is especially true for the pork industry. So it is very fitting that we begin our journey now to chart our vision through 2020 - collecting new thoughts, while improving upon what we have accomplished in the last five years," Novak said.

For the first time, the planning process will bring together pork producers, animal health experts, packers, processors and food distributors, and foodservice and retail experts. By involving key leaders from both pork production and its allied industries, the National Pork Board expects diverse opinions to inform its deliberations.

"Only through sharing information with each other and truly looking at our industry through the eyes of its key partners can we fully assess the challenges and opportunities that are ahead," Novak said. "For me, strategic planning comes down to analyzing three fundamental questions - Where are we today? Where do we want to be? How do we get there together?

"For example, we need to further our commitment to transparency and make all  consumers aware of the ethical principles that guide our actions and business.  We are committed to responsible and ethical animal agriculture that extends from animal care to environmental stewardship to food and worker safety programs, But what if - and how can - we improve? Together we will take that input and turn it into a plan of action."

The process will use a variety of tools to engage stakeholders in the planning process, including providing an opportunity for each of the more than 60,000 U.S. pork producers to participate by answering surveys and submitting opinions. The task force will collect valuable information from farmers, customers and supply chain partners. To facilitate a dialogue on the future of the pork industry, pork producers can email comments to -WhatIf? - on how the Pork Checkoff can best strengthen tomorrow's industry.

The participants in the National Pork Board's strategic planning task force include:
• Board president Karen Richter and board vice president Dale Norton
• Board members Jan Archer and Glen Walters
• Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director, Oklahoma Pork Council
• Randy Spronk, president, National Pork Producers Council
• Dr. Jay Akridge, dean of agriculture, Purdue University
• Pork producers Robert Dykhuis, James Heimerl, and Dr. Craig Rowles, DVM
• Rich Gallant, vice president, Cargill Meat Solutions
• Joe Jordon, vice president, Domino's Pizza
• Joe Swedberg, vice president, Hormel Foods
• Leann Saunders, president, Where Food Comes From, Inc.
• Rick Parker, director, JBS USA
• Michael Skahill, vice president, Smithfield Foods

Farm Sector Bracing For Lower Prices in 2014

After more than six years of unprecedented boom in the U.S. farm economy driven by a government-backed drive for biofuels, record low interest rates and rising food exports, American grain farmers and their bankers are bracing for change.

According to Reuters, farmers have just finished harvesting their largest corn crop in history - taking the steam out of a long bull market. Earlier this month the Obama administration also signaled that renewable fuels were losing political favor as the Environmental Protection Agency proposed cutting the amount of corn-based ethanol oil refiners must blend into U.S. fuel supplies. The EPA news sent the corn market to its lowest in 3 years, with prices trading near $4 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, compared with record levels above $8 in the summer of 2012 in the midst of the historic Midwest drought. Soybeans, wheat and other crops have eased from a year ago, along with corn, the grain bellwether, with almost 100 million acres planted in the United States, the world's largest corn grower and exporter.

A growing number of farm bankers and economists interviewed at a Chicago Federal Reserve conference and the American Bankers ag meeting in Minneapolis this month warned farmers to brace for change in the coming year. Grain farmers will see their income shrink even as costs to produce crops stay high. Farm land rents and seed costs are among the biggest costs that may resist declines in the face of falling crop revenues, but fertilizer also remains pricey, they said.

Additionally, during the years-long grain boom many farmers paid cash for farm machinery and land at record high prices - which kept their debt low but cut the amount of cash on hand. So far, interest rates are staying low for refinancing or fresh debt, working in farmers' favor. But debt pressures remain intense in some pockets of the Corn Belt among many younger and more aggressive farmers who hopped on the boom. So distress sales of assets or even foreclosures and bankruptcies look inevitable as a "down" cycle returns to grain prices, Reuters report.

Farmer, Rancher and Consumer Groups Celebrate New “COOL” Thanksgiving as Improved Food Labels Take Effect this Week

Following the recent implementation of new country-of-origin labels (COOL) for meat and poultry products, 15 farmer, rancher and consumer groups issued the following statement:

"As families settle in to celebrate Thanksgiving, it will have a renewed all-American emphasis as a result of the new country-of-origin labels for meat and poultry products that went into effect this week. The commonsense labels provide clearer, more transparent and more accurate information to let consumers know where their food comes from for Thanksgiving.

“The new labels distinguish where livestock were born, raised and processed. Although the overwhelming majority of Americans support these new labels, the meat industry is secretly attacking the sensible COOL labels in the 2013 Farm Bill negotiations, contending that knowing where your food comes from is somehow a barrier to trade. The new labels address concerns at the World Trade Organization by ensuring that consumers have access to clear and accurate information that lets them know the source of their food.

“On this Thanksgiving, celebrate U.S. farmers and ranchers by eating a meal raised right here in America—brought to you by the farmer, rancher and consumer groups that advocated for country-of-origin labeling.”

The organizations represented above include Coalition for a Prosperous America, Consumer Federation of America, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Food & Water Watch, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Consumers League, National Family Farm Coalition, National Farmers Union, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Public Citizen, Oregon Rural Action, Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Western Colorado Congress, and Western Organization of Resource Councils.

US Ethanol Stocks Down to 15M Barrels

Domestic fuel ethanol inventories were drawn down last week, declining another 100,000 barrels (bbl) to 15.0 million bbl during the week-ended Nov. 22, according to data released Wednesday, Nov. 27, by U.S. Energy Information Administration.  That matches the late-October record-low inventory level, with EIA reporting weekly ethanol data since June 2010.

Total U.S. ethanol stocks are 3.3 million bbl, or 18.1%, lower than a year earlier.

The EIA data also showed ethanol production at U.S. plants rebounded last week, rising 23,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 2.5%, to 927,000 bpd, while up 124,000 bbl, or 15.4%, from a year ago. Four-week average production at 915,000 bpd was up 12.1% from a year earlier.

Refiner and blender net inputs of ethanol, a proxy for demand, fell 16,000 bpd, or 1.9%, to 837,000 bpd during the week-ended Nov. 22 while up 26,000 bpd or 3.2% from a year earlier. Four-week average was up 4.8% at 856,000 bpd.

The EIA data showed no ethanol imports came into the country for the eighth straight week during the week-ended Nov. 22.

EIA also reported motor gasoline product supplied, a proxy for demand, dropped 108,000 bpd to 8.924 million bpd last week, 0.3% higher than the corresponding week a year ago. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged 9.1 million bpd, up 3.8% from the same period last year.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production was 10.41%. That is the highest percentage since June 2012.

On the co-products side, ethanol producers were using 14.056 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 103,456 metric tons of livestock feed, 92,232 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 4.83 million pounds of corn oil daily.

Settlement in CA Slaughterhouse Probe

(AP) -- Several California slaughterhouses and meat-packing facilities have agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement after allegations of inhumane treatment at their facilities led to a massive beef recall that included meat sold to the National School Lunch Program.

The settlement is valued at $155 million, but the federal government and the Humane Society of the United States expect to collect only about $3 million under terms announced Wednesday.  Westland will pay $240,000.  Hallmark previously paid $304,130.  Others alleged to be investors will pay $2.45 million.

The Humane Society sued after recording undercover video of crippled and sick animals being kicked, shocked and shoved with forklifts at Chino-based Westland Meat Co. and Hallmark Meat Packing Co. The federal government joined the suit.

The 2008 allegations triggered a beef recall of 143 million pounds.

Secretary Vilsack Announces Sorghum Checkoff Board Appointments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed four members to serve on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board. Members will serve three-year terms.  Producers appointed to the board are Clayton J. Short of Assaria, Kan., Martin G. Kerschen of Garden Plain, Kan., Daniel L. Krienke of Perryton, Texas, and one at-large member, Kathy J. Brorman of Hereford, Texas.

The board is structured so that the state with the largest production is allocated five positions. The state with the second largest production is allocated three positions. The state with the third largest production is allocated one position. There are four at-large national positions for which at least two representatives must be appointed from states other than the top three sorghum producing states. The maximum number of producers from one state is limited to six.

Ukraine Ups Grain Export Forecast

Ukraine is likely to export 32.5 million metric tons of grain in this marketing year, a rise of 8.33% on a previous forecast, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said Ukraine's grain harvest this year was likely to be 63 million tons in bunker weight and 61.5 million tons in clean weight, and not 60 million tons in bunker weight as expected earlier; therefore the export forecast was being raised.

Last year, Ukraine harvested only 46.2 million tons of grain because crops were damaged by drought, and the country's grain export in the 2012-2013 marketing year was only 23 million tons.

The current marketing year lasts from July 2013 to June 2014.

Pork Checkoff Celebrates Hispanic Holiday Season with "21 Days of Christmas Traditions"

The Pork Checkoff will launch a social media promotion - "21 Dias de Tradiciones Navideñas" (21 Days of Christmas Traditions) - on its Spanish-language Facebook page as part of its efforts to engage with
Hispanic consumers during the holidays.

The promotion will run Dec. 1-21 and will celebrate 21 Latin American countries in 21 days and promote pork consumption to Spanish-speaking consumers. Pork, the most consumed protein in the world, is a staple in the Hispanic culture, especially during the holidays.

"This is a fun and engaging way for Hispanic consumers to learn more about other Latin American countries' pork dishes, customs and traditions," said Jose de Jesus, director of multicultural marketing at the Pork Checkoff. "By sharing typical pork dishes, like tamales and pernil with family and friends, it will inspire Hispanics to try something new and creative."

During the Facebook promotion, fans will have the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to purchase pork by commenting on the featured recipe each day. Fans who comment on posts will be entered into the grand prize drawing - a $550 gift card for a holiday meal with family and friends.

"Hispanics are very active on social media and like to share content, so engaging them on Facebook makes sense," de Jesus said.

The National Pork Board will award the grand prize on "El Día De Los Reyes Magos" (Three Kings Day) on January 6, 2014, celebrated by Latinos as the conclusion to the holiday season.

The National Pork Board's Hispanic online community encourages its online community to share recipes and exchange cooking tips with each other. Many traditional meals and new fusions of flavor will be featured daily on both its Facebook page, and Spanish-language website to inspire fans to cook with pork.

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