Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday February 20 Ag News


Preliminary data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture shows the average number of farms in Nebraska during 2012 was 49,969, up 5 percent from the 2007 Census of Agriculture, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Land in farms, at 45.3 million acres, remained about the same as that reported five years prior.  The average size of farm was 907 acres, down 5 percent or 46 acres from 2007.  

During 2012, the average age of the principal operator remained unchanged from 2007’s average age of 56 years.   The number of operators under the age of 34 was 4,747, up 42 percent from 2007 while the number of operators over the age of 65 totaled 13,177, up 1 percent from 2007.

These data, along with other state- and national-level data can be found at:

2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Results Show Growing Farm Economy

USDA today released the preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results.  Key findings include an increase in the value of agricultural products sold in the United States totaling $394.6 billion in 2012, up 33 percent ($97.4 billion) from 2007.  The number of farms and land in farms were down slightly, but held steady. Additionally, agriculture is becoming more diverse.

The 2012 Census reported several historic changes in value of sales for agriculture producers in the United States:
-    In 2012, crop sales of $212.4 billion exceeded livestock sales of $182.2 billion. This occurred for only the second time in Census history; the other time was 1974.
-    Between 2007 and 2012, per farm average value of sales increased from $137,807 to $187,093, continuing a steady 30-year upward trend. The increase of $52,285 was the largest rise in Census history.

Preliminary data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture also highlights national and state farm numbers, land in farms and farmer demographics.

    The 2012 Census showed principal farm operators are becoming older and more diverse; following the trend of previous censuses. In 2012, the average age of a principal farm operator was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007, and continuing a 30-year trend of steady increase. The Census also accounted for more minority-operated farms in 2012 than in 2007.

    In 2012, the United States had 2.1 million farms – down 4.3 percent from the previous Census in 2007. In terms of farm size by acres, this continues an overall downward trend in mid-sized farms, while the smallest and largest-size farms held steady.

    Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in farms in the United States continued a slow downward trend declining from 922 million acres to 915 million. This is only a decline of less than one percent and is the third smallest decline between censuses since 1950.

Conducted since 1840, the Census of Agriculture accounts for all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The Census tells a story of how American agriculture is changing and lays the groundwork for new programs and policies that will invest in rural America; promote innovation and productivity; build the rural economy; and support our next generation of farmers and ranchers.

“The release of the preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture results is only a first look at the data and we are eager to publish the final report this May,” said NASS Administrator Cynthia Clark. “The 2012 Census was not conducted in a typical crop year, and drought had a major impact on U.S. agriculture, affecting crop yields, production and prices. NASS is still reviewing all 2012 Census items to the county level and therefore data are preliminary until published in the final report.”

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the 2012 Census of Agriculture Preliminary Results

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary results:

"The preliminary data released today provide a snapshot of a strong rural America that has remained stable during difficult economic times.

We have slowed significantly the loss of farmland, which has totaled 72 million acres since 1982. New tools provided in the 2014 Farm Bill will help to further slow and reverse this trend.

The data confirm that farm income is at a record high. However, the prolonged drought and lack of disaster assistance have made it more difficult for livestock producers and mid-sized farms to survive. The 2014 Farm Bill guarantees disaster assistance and provides additional stability for farmers and ranchers.

A bright spot in the data is the slight increase in young farmers and the stable number of small farms and large-scale farms. This reflects our work to grow both local and regional food systems and exports, but we must do more for mid-sized operations. The 2014 Farm Bill will expand support for beginning farmers and new market opportunities for all producers.

Finally, the data illustrate the strength of diversity in crop production, markets, people and land use across the agricultural sector. While the aging nature of the farming population is a concern, we are hopeful that as we attract and retain the next generation of talent into rural America, this trend can also be reversed.”

 2012 Ag Census Figures Show Women Principal Operators Holding Steady at 14% of Total

Women continue as principal operators of 14% of the nation's farms, even though the total number of farms declined between 2007 and 2012, according to preliminary figures released today by the US Department of Agriculture.

Women were listed as principal operators of 288,269 farms nationwide in 2012, compared to 306,209 in 2007. The overall number of farm operators declined from 2.2 million to 2.11 million during that five-year span. Men and women appear to have left farming at an equivalent rate.

Women continue to operate smaller farms than men, earn less income on average, and own a greater percentage of their farmland. This corresponds to the type of farms a majority of women operate: small-scale, diversified farms producing goods for direct sale, rather than the large commodity farms that tend to be operated by men.

"Our network continues to receive calls from aspiring and beginning women farmers all over the US, looking for technical and financial support, and for community," said Adcock. "The network has grown from 300 in 2008 to more than 4,000 today. Women in sustainable agriculture are here to stay."

The 2007 ag census showed a 30% increase in the number of female principal operators since 2002.
"Some of the jump we saw in women operators between 2002 and 2007 may have been due to improved sampling techniques," said Leigh Adcock, executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network. "In past years, the census questionnaire had only one space for the primary operator, and in a farm partnership the man typically filled out that form."

Beginning in 2002, the census form included space for two primary operators, allowing women to be more accurately counted.

Adcock added that the preliminary census publication does not yet provide information on women as a percentage of all farm operators (as opposed to principal operators).

Agricultural Outlook Forum Kicks Off

The annual Agricultural Outlook Forum is being held today just outside of the district in Arlington, Va. Chief Economist at USDA, Joe Glauber, opened up the forum announcing adjustments to the short-term forecasts for corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton. They are as follows: $3.90 a bushel for corn (from an estimated $4.50 for the 2013 crop); $9.65 a bushel for soybeans (down from $12.70); $5.30 a bushel for wheat (down from $6.80); $15.90 per hundredweight for rice (down from $16); and 68 cents per pound for cotton (down from 76 cents). Dr. Glauber also stated that U.S. agriculture exports are estimated at $142.6 billion for fiscal year 2014. The forum will continue tomorrow and will include remarks from both Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.


County-level estimates for 2013 row crops are now available, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  The estimates, based primarily on surveys conducted with farmers and ranchers last November, December, and January, can be accessed using the QuickStats online database, found here:

The commodity estimates released today include corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sunflowers. County-level estimates for hay and dry edible beans will be published in April 2014.  

A complete schedule of release dates can be found on the following website:

An overview of NASS’s county estimates program can be found on the following website:

Rural Mainstreet Economy Weakens for February - Farmland Prices Expected to Decline for 2014

The Rural Mainstreet economy moved into negative growth territory according to the February survey of bank CEOs in a 10-state area.   

Overall:  The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI), which ranges between 0 and 100, with 50.0 representing growth neutral, fell to 48.4 from 50.8 in January and December’s much healthier to 56.1.

“The overall index for the Rural Mainstreet Economy indicates that areas of the nation highly dependent on agriculture and energy are losing economic steam. Despite year-over-year declines in agriculture commodity prices, bankers expect even more weakness for 2014. Almost nine of 10, or 89.5 percent, of the bank CEOs consider lower agriculture commodity prices as the biggest threat to the 2014 economy. These softer prices have had, and will likely continue to have, negative impacts on the Rural Mainstreet economy,” said Ernie Goss, the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University Heider College of Business.

At least a portion of the weaker numbers for February can be attributed to unusually harsh weather. Pete Haddeland, CEO of the First National Bank in Mahnomen, Minn., said, “We have seen a slowdown due to the cold winter and high heating costs.”

Nebraska: After 12 straight months of readings above growth neutral 50.0, Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet Index sank to 48.8 from January’s 51.2. The farmland-price index for February dipped to 42.6 from 44.4 in January. Nebraska’s new-hiring index declined to 52.2 from January’s 54.1.

Iowa: The February RMI for Iowa declined to 48.4 from January’s 50.8. The farmland-price index for February dipped to 36.3 from January’s 38.1. Iowa’s new-hiring index for February rose to 49.6 from February’s 49.1.

Farming and ranching: The farmland and ranchland-price index for February decreased to 41.7, its lowest level since September 2009, and down from last month’s 43.8. “This is the third straight month that the farmland and ranchland-price index has moved below growth neutral,” said Goss.

Farm equipment sales remained below growth neutral for the eighth straight month. The February index sank to a weak 30.9, the lowest reading since May 2009, and down from January’s 41.0. “Agriculture equipment manufacturers continue to experience strong sales abroad. However, equipment dealers and farm equipment manufacturers selling domestically are experiencing pullbacks in sales and production,” said Goss.

This month bankers were asked how much they expected farmland prices to change in the next year.  On average bankers predicted a decline of 3.2 percent for farmland prices for 2014. “Bankers remain pessimistic in terms of farmland price growth.  With the Federal Reserve continuing to withdraw their economic stimulus, rising interest rates are expected to put downward pressures on agriculture commodity prices and farmland prices,” reported Goss.

Larry Winum, CEO of Glenwood State Bank in Glenwood, Iowa, said, “Not surprisingly, the Federal Reserve of Chicago reports that Iowa farmland values declined 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. With commodity prices down, this trend most likely will continue.”

Winum also indicated that with farm income down for 2013, “Some farmers may come up a little short of covering their operating debt, and that will require more scrutiny by farmers and bankers as they plan for operational needs in 2014.”

Banking: The loan-volume index declined to 50.0 from 57.8 in January. The checking-deposit index sank to a still solid 61.7 from January’s 68.2, while the index for certificates of deposit and other savings instruments increased to 42.5 from January’s 41.6. 

Hiring: Rural Mainstreet businesses continue to hire. The February hiring index advanced to 54.3 from 53.8 in January. “While the farm economy has clearly slowed, businesses on Rural Mainstreet continue to expand their payrolls,” said Goss.

Confidence: The confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, fell to 47.4 from 49.2 in January. “The negatives of soft agriculture commodity prices more than offset the positives from passage of the 2014 Farm Bill on the economic outlook,” said Goss

Home and retail sales: The February home-sales index climbed to 53.4 from January’s weaker 49.3. The February retail-sales index plunged to 40.1 from January’s fragile 46.2. “Bad weather across the region restrained retail sales significantly for the month.” said Goss. 

Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in nonurban, agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area are surveyed regarding current economic conditions in their communities and their projected economic outlooks six months down the road. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are included. The survey is supported by a grant from Security State Bank in Ansley, Neb.

This survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural, agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey in 2005.

Farm Credit Services of America Announces 2013 Year-End Results

Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America, a farmer-owned financial cooperative, today announced annual net income of $514.6 million for the 2013 calendar year. This compares to net income of $481.1 million in 2012.

The increase primarily was due to greater net interest income from loan growth and a reduction in the provision for credit losses due to an increase in credit quality, partially offset by a decrease in noninterest income and an increase in noninterest expense.

Loan volume increased to $20.2 billion from $18.5 billion in 2012. Most of this increase was in the long-term agriculture real estate portfolio.

FCSAmerica will distribute $145 million of the net income earned in 2013 to eligible customer-owners. This brings the amount of net income distributed to eligible customer-owners since 2004 to $830 million.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, our earnings either contribute to our balance sheet, where they support our customers’ financial needs, or they are returned to producers in the form of cash-back dividends,” said Doug Stark, president and CEO of FCSAmerica. “Our customers use those dividends to invest in their operations and to support the schools, businesses and organizations in their local communities.”

In 2013, members’ equity in FCSAmerica increased to $3.6 billion from $3.2 billion at the end of 2012. The cooperative’s financial strength enabled the FCSAmerica Board of Directors to approve a cash-back dividend for the 10th consecutive year.

New Launches Tools, Information for Rural America visitors now have access to new interactive tools and information to help understand and access resources available through AgriBank and the AgriBank District affiliated Farm Credit Associations.

“We’re pleased to introduce the new to make AgriBank more accessible to those we serve,” says Bill York, AgriBank CEO. “The website will help farmers, ranchers and other eligible borrowers understand and access the financial resources available to them through the Farm Credit System. It will help talented employees find a great place to work. And it will be a place where rural America can go to find the support it needs to continue to be successful.”

The redesigned website features a fresh design and user-friendly navigation that helps visitors easily find detailed information about the Bank and resources it provides throughout its 15-state District in America’s Midwest. includes the following new features:

AgriThought—showcases research and analysis to help inform the financial decisions of farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and others AgriBank serves

Find A Lender—provides an interactive tool to help those in need of a loan, crop insurance or other financial products and services find their local Farm Credit Association

Job Openings—links to the Farm Credit System careers website, where prospective employees can find job openings at AgriBank and other Farm Credit entities nationwide

The new also features updated pages such as:

About AgriBank—provides a capabilities overview, detailed history, and biographies of AgriBank Board members and executive leaders

Community Involvement—highlights programs AgriBank supports in the communities it serves and provides an online grant application for the Rural Community Grand Fund, which assists communities impacted by oil and gas exploration in western North Dakota

News—provides a tool to subscribe to the latest AgriBank news releases and archives past news

Investor Relations—features AgriBank and AgriBank District financial releases and reports since 2005, and provides links to other helpful information for investors

Culture War Over Food and Farming Topic of Feb. 27 Heuermann Lecture

            "Our Culture War Over Food and Farming" is the topic for the 3:30 p.m. Heuermann Lecture Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Hardin Hall auditorium on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's East Campus, 33rd and Holdrege.

            Robert Paarlberg, the Betty Freyhof Johnson '44 Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wellesley College, is the Heuermann Lecturer.  He'll discuss how modern food and farming systems dominate the U.S. commercial marketplace but are under heavy attack in the cultural marketplace, and how this attack could affect food and farming's future not just in the U.S., but in the developing world.

            A 3 p.m. reception in the Hardin Hall lobby precedes the lecture.

            Paarlberg is an adjunct professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and an associate in the Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.  Much of his research and consulting focuses on international food and agricultural policy, especially in Africa and the developing world. He is the author of eight books, including "Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know," and co-author of one.

            Heuermann Lectures in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL are made possible through a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips, and 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.

            Lectures stream live at, and are archived at that site soon after the lecture.  Lectures also are seen on NET2 World at a date following the lecture.

2014 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Horned and Polled Hereford and Red Angus

Wednesday of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic featured the “red” cattle for the week and the cattle breeders certainly turned out to watch the first day of cattle shows for the 23rd  Anniversary of the NE Cattlemen’s Classic. The day started off with the Horned Hereford, Polled Hereford and Red Angus Shows followed up by the breed sales.  Attendance was very good for the first day of the cattle shows and sales.

Horned Hereford Sale

The 2014 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Horned Hereford Show and Sale were held Wednesday, February 19th in Kearney, NE.  28 bulls and 5 females participated in this year’s sale.  Judge was Les Jones of Wills Point, TX. Auctioneer was Jim Birdwell of Fletcher, OK.

Taking home Grand Champion Horned Hereford Bull was Lot 33, WCC LSW W14 TG Sundance 3113, consigned by White Cattle Co., Buffalo, WY.  This bull is a 5/25/2013 son of LSW WCC About Time X06 and he sold to Mike Dyer, Dyer Ranch, Crawford, NE, & Keith Lapp, Lapp Ranch of Hays Center, NE, for $4,500.
Reserve Champion Horned Hereford Bull was Lot 23, WS Cruise 306, consigned by Diamond Ring Ranch, Taylor, NE.  This bull is a 2/13/2013 son of UPS Domino 3027 and he sold to Mike Anderson, Gothenburg, NE, for $4,500.
High-Selling Horned Hereford Bull was Lot 22, HH Time Domino 1317, consigned by Hula Herefords, Creston, NE.  This bull is a 2/11/2013 son of UPS About Time 0138 and he sold to Gerald Kealiher, Polk, NE, for $7,500.

Grand Champion Horned Hereford Heifer was Lot 37, Hutch Lady Sentry 1303, consigned by Hutchinson Farms, Chapman, KS.  This heifer is a 4/5/2013 daughter of JC YCC American Sentry 1156 and she sold to Eric Gabel, Brush, CO, for $3,250. 

The Reserve Champion Horned and High-Selling Horned Hereford Heifer was Lot 38, WCC 141W Georgia 318 ET, consigned by White Cattle Co., Buffalo, WY.  This heifer is a 4/27/2013 daughter of Golden Oak Outcross 18U and she sold to Eric Gabel of Brush, CO, for $5,000.

The 2014 sale featured 28 bulls averaging $3,525.  5 heifers sold for an average of $3,110 in 2014.  Overall, in 2014, there were 33 cattle that grossed $114,250 and averaged $3,462.

Polled Hereford Sale

The 2014 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Polled Hereford Show and Sale were held Wednesday, February 19th in Kearney, NE.  25 bulls and 9 females participated in this year’s sale. Judge was Les Jones of Wills Point, TX. Auctioneer was Jim Birdwell of Fletcher, OK.

Taking home Champion Polled Hereford Bull honors and high-selling was Lot 29, WCC LSW 9101 TG Cheyenne 305, consigned by White Cattle Company of Buffalo, WY.  This bull is a 4/3/2013 son of LSW WCC About Time X06 and sold to Dyer Ranch, of Crawford, NE, for $11,000. 
Reserve Champion Polled Hereford Bull went to Lot 41X, PRCC DPM Wisdom 2A, consigned by Prairie Rose Cattle Company of the Prairie Cross of Sherman, IL.  This bull is a 2/24/2013 son of NJW 73SM326 Trust 100W ET and he sold to Doug Rumsey of Madison, NE for $3,100.

Champion Polled Hereford Heifer and high-selling heifer was Lot 36, MCM Lady Trust B322A consigned by MCM Polled Herefords of Ayr, NE.  This heifer is a 3/25/2013 daughter of NJW 73S M326 Trust 100W ET, and she sold to Jefferson Keller of St. Paul, NE, for $8,500. 

The Reserve Champion Polled Hereford Heifer was Lot 33, Frenzen Princess Z81 consigned by Eric Frenzen of Fullerton, NE.  This heifer is a 5/13/2012 daughter of Frenzen MC Redstone U5 and she sold to Eric Gabel of Brush, CO for $6,500.

The 2014 sale featured 25 bulls average $4,256. 9 heifers sold for an average of $4,883 in 2014.  Overall, in 2014, there were 34 cattle that grossed $150,350 and averaged $4,422.

Red Angus Sale

The 2014 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic Red Angus Show and Sale were held Wednesday, February 19th in Kearney, NE. The sale featured 8 bulls and 10 females participated in this year’s sale.  Judge was Don Moser of Manhattan, KS. Auctioneer was Tracy Harl, of Kearney, NE.

Taking home Champion Red Angus Bull went to Lot 2, EDRD Lightning 202 consigned by J-6 Farms of Gibbon, NE.  This bull is a 2/22/2012 son of Majestic Lightning 717 SGMR and sold to Kelly Jasnoch of Kearney, NE, for $5,250.
Reserve Champion Red Angus Bull went to Lot 9, IKE Mission 3099 consigned by Sonderup Charolais Ranch of Fullerton, NE.  This bull is a 3/6/2013 son of LJC Mission Statement P27 and sold to Steven Diebel of Victoria, TX, for $5,000.

High-Selling Red Angus Bull went to Lot 3, HCC Artemus 235Z consigned by Hein Cattle Co. of Osage, IA.  This bull is a 7/24/2012 son of Six Mile Wild West 0913W and sold to Vern Griess of Grafton, NE, for $5,500.
Champion Red Angus Heifer went to Lot 18, HCGN Miss Emma consigned by High Caliber Genetics of Edgar, NE.  This heifer is a 3/14/2013 daughter of JSG Uno 101W and she sold to Arrowsmith Red Angus, Brad Arrowsmith of Bassett, NE, for $5,250.

The Reserve Champion Red Angus Heifer and high-selling honors went to Lot 12, PZC Cherry Wine 2371 consigned by STC Cattle of Smith Center, KS.  This heifer is a 4/5/2012 daughter of Red Northern Fat Tony 605U and she sold to Loren Broberg of Tilden, NE, for $5,750.

The 2014 sale featured 8 bulls averaging $3,700. 10 heifers sold for an average of $3,470  in 2014. Overall, in 2014, there were 18 cattle that grossed $64,300 and averaged $3,572.

EPA Proposes New Safety Measures to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard in order to protect the nation’s two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure.

“Today marks an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator.  “EPA’s revised Worker Protection Standard will afford farm workers similar health protections to those already enjoyed by workers in other jobs. Protecting our nation’s farm workers from pesticide exposures is at the core of EPA’s work to ensure environmental justice.”

EPA is proposing significant improvements to worker training regarding the safe usage of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposures. Increased training and signage will inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law and will help them protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.

Workers and others near treated fields will now be protected from pesticide overspray and fumes. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms. These revisions protect workers while ensuring agricultural productivity and preserving the traditions of family farms.

This proposal represents more than a decade of extensive stakeholder input by federal and state partners and from across the agricultural community including farm workers, farmers, and industry on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Pesticides first established in 1992.

For more information on the EPA’s Proposed Worker Protection Standard:

Commercial Red Meat Production Down From Last Year

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.25 billion pounds in January, down 2 percent from the 4.35 billion pounds produced in January 2013.

Beef production, at 2.14 billion pounds, was 5 percent below the previous year.  Cattle slaughter totaled 2.68 million head, down 5 percent from January 2013.  The average live weight was up 7 pounds from the previous year, at 1,334 pounds.

Veal production totaled 9.3 million pounds, 11 percent below January a year ago.  Calf slaughter totaled 62,800 head, 11 percent below January 2013.  The average live weight was unchanged from last year, at 253 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.09 billion pounds, 1 percent above the previous year.  Hog slaughter totaled 9.79 million head, 2 percent below January 2013.  The average live weight was up 7 pounds from the previous year, at 284 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 12.4 million pounds, was slightly above January 2013.  Sheep slaughter totaled 180,700 head, 2 percent above last year.  The average live weight was 137 pounds, down 3 pounds from January a year ago.

State   -    Jan '14 Prod (million pounds)  -  % of Jan '13

Nebraska .......:          639.5                          101      
Iowa ..............:          600.8                          100      
Kansas .........:           443.0                           97      

January Milk Production up 1.0 percent

Milk production in the 23 major States during January totaled 16.1 billion pounds, up 1.0 percent from January 2013. December revised production at 15.7 billion pounds, was down 0.3 percent from December 2012.  The December revision represented a decrease of 19 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate.

Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,891 pounds for January, 17 pounds above January 2013.   

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.51 million head, 7,000 head more than January 2013, and 6,000 head more than December 2013.

2013 Annual Milk Production up 0.3 Percent from 2012

The annual production of milk for the United States during 2013 was 201 billion pounds, 0.3 percent above 2012. Revisions to 2012 production increased the annual total 213 million pounds.  Revised 2013 production was up 32 million pounds from last month's publication.

Production per cow in the United States averaged 21,822 pounds for 2013, 102 pounds above 2012. The average annual rate of milk production per cow has increased 15.1 percent from 2004.

The average number of milk cows on farms in the United States during 2013 was 9.22 million head, down 0.1 percent from 2012. The average number of milk cows was revised down 5,000 head for 2013.


     54,000 cows - down 2000 cows
     21,574 pounds per cow, vs. 21,179 in 2012
     1,165,000,000 pounds total production, -1.8% from 2012


     208,00 cows - up 3000
     22,144 pounds per cow, vs. 22,144 in 2012
     4,606,000,000 pounds total production, +2.1% from 2012

(NE and IA stats as of the end of 2013, compared to the end of 2012)

Weekly Ethanol Production for 2/14/2014

According to EIA data, ethanol production averaged 903,000 barrels per day (b/d)—or 37.93 (column E) million gallons daily. That is up 1,000 b/d from the week before. The four-week average for ethanol production stood at 900,000 b/d for an annualized rate of 13.80 billion gallons.

Stocks of ethanol stood at 17.2 million barrels. That is a 0.8% increase from last week.

Imports of ethanol remain unchanged at zero b/d.

Gasoline demand for the week averaged 337.3 million gallons daily.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production was 11.25%.

On the co-products side, ethanol producers were using 13.692 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 100,777 metric tons of livestock feed, 89,844 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 4.70 million pounds of corn oil daily.

American Ethanol Enhances Partnership with Richard Childress Racing and Driver Austin Dillon in 2014

American Ethanol is enhancing its partnership with Richard Childress Racing and driver Austin Dillon for the 2014 NASCAR season. Beginning with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, Dillon will race the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS in select races during the 2014 season.

"We want to show consumers coast-to-coast there is a great alternative to imported oil and our association with NASCAR and RCR is doing that extremely well," said Jon Holzfaster, a Paxton, NE farmer and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association's NASCAR Advisory Committee. "Ethanol is also responsible for bringing a rural renaissance from Main Street to the family farm."

American Ethanol, launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association along with the support of other partners, is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15.  Since the program launch for the 2011 season, NASCAR drivers have run more than 5 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15.

"American Ethanol is extremely pleased to once again partner with Austin Dillon, Richard Childress and the entire RCR team to help promote a sustainable homegrown American fuel that is better for our environment, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates jobs right here in the U.S., while revitalizing rural economies across America and save consumers at the pump," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

American Ethanol will also serve as a major associate sponsor for Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet for the full 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season joining Dow, Cheerios, Realtree Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops and the University of Northwestern Ohio.

"Homegrown biofuels like American Ethanol have stepped up to help our nation's economy, and are proving to be a better fuel," said Dillon. "NASCAR drivers have run more than 5 million competitive miles on Sunoco Green E15 and I know we will reach even more milestones together. I am proud to wear the American Ethanol colors in NASCAR and I hope I can bring them to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2014."

Dillon is an official spokesperson for American Ethanol, the most commercially-viable alternative that America currently has to offset the economic impact of foreign petroleum. Corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent. And by strengthening America's energy independence, ethanol helps create American jobs - studies have shown that for every $1 sent overseas for oil, $1.55 leaves the U.S. economy.

For additional information on today's announcement, and all that's happening at RCR, please visit

NAWG Officers, Staff Attend Ag Rail Business Council Meeting in Fort Worth

The Ag Rail Business Council met this week in Fort Worth, Texas to continue dialogue between growers and rail executives and promote mutual education of both groups. Topics of discussion included perennial rail-related issues like service and rail-rates and interactions with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the railroads’ regulator. The coalition was established by agriculture groups and BNSF Railway several years ago to promote dialogue between rail companies and shippers. It includes representatives from the major commodity organizations for growers of wheat, corn, soybeans and more. National Association of Wheat Growers President Bing Von Bergen, a farmer from Montana, who attended the meeting with second vice president Brett Blankenship and NAWG staff, said “NAWG appreciates the opportunity to continue to take part in the Ag Rail Business Council. This open dialogue between farmers and their business partners in the rail industry helps both parties find common ground, as well as solutions, to problems facing agricultural shippers.”

Japan Lifts Enhanced Monitoring of U.S. Soybean Imports

The U.S. Soybean Export Council is pleased to announce that Japan lifted its enhanced monitoring of U.S. soybean imports on February 13.

USSEC has been working diligently to lift Japan’s heightened monitoring of U.S. soybeans, which was in response to a one-time detection in late 2013 of pesticide active ingredient flauzifop that was in violation of Japan’s maximum residue limits (MRL).

USSEC immediately treated this situation with the utmost seriousness, giving it the highest priority of attention on behalf of the soybean producers and exporters represented by USSEC.  USSEC participated in a meeting convened by the Japan Oil & Fat Importers & Exporters Association (JOFIEA) on December 10 to review the situation, discuss possible causes and discuss potential U.S. industry and government responses.

USSEC has participated in numerous conference calls and has exchanged large volumes of information with associated U.S. agencies, associations and firms including the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA), Crop Life and flauzifop manufacturer Syngenta.  The purpose of these communications was to assess the current situation and determine what could be done to address JOFIEA’s current concerns as well as mitigate future incidents.

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