Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday February 11 Ag News

Time of Feeding Influences When Cows Calve
Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator, Cuming County

As calving season approaches, think about how to make your job easier and potentially save more calves at calving. Calving season can be challenging for producers. Long hours, not enough labor, and Mother Nature are only a few items that come to mind. A simple management strategy can increase the number of cows calving during the day time when a cow that is calving can be quickly seen and, if needed, tended to.

The easiest and most practical method of inhibiting nighttime calving at present is by feeding cows at night; the physiological mechanism is unknown, but some hormonal effect may be involved. Rumen motility studies indicate the frequency of rumen contractions falls a few hours before parturition. Intraruminal pressure begins to fall in the last two weeks of gestation, with a more rapid decline during calving. It has been suggested that night feeding causes intraruminal pressures to rise at night and decline in the daytime.

Rick Rasby, UNL Beef Specialist has shared that there are some nice data sets that support feeding pregnant cows at dusk will increase the number of cows calving during the day time. In a Canadian study of 104 Hereford cows, 38.4% of a group fed at 8:00 am and again at 3:00 pm delivered calves during the day as compared to 79.6% of a group fed at 11:00 am and 9:00 pm. A British study utilizing 162 cattle on 4 farms compared the percentages of calves born from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm to cows fed at different times. When cattle were fed at 9:00 am, 57% of the calves were born during the day compared to 79% when feeding occurred at 10:00 pm. In field trials by cattlemen utilizing night feeding when 35 cows and heifers were fed once daily between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, 74.5% of the calves were born between 5:00 am and 5:00 pm. In the most convincing study to date, 1331 cows on 15 farms in Iowa were fed once daily at dusk, 85% of the calves were born between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. Whether cows were started on the night feeding the week before calving started in the herd or 2 to 3 weeks earlier made no apparent difference in calving time. 

Farmers Tax Guide Now Available

Farmers can better understand their 2013 tax returns with help from a guide available through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.  The 2013 Farmers Tax Guide has illustrated examples, a sample return and describes available deductions.  Howard says the tax guides are in and are free to local producers.  They can be picked up at the UNL Extension office in Cuming County, area tax preparers or any Cuming County bank.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

Is drought a possibility this year?  Just in case, let’s look at some ways to limit the forage problems drought can cause.

Will your pastures receive enough rain this spring and summer to meet the needs of your cattle?  If the past few years are any indication, at least some of us will face significant shortages this year.  Fortunately, if you take action early you can minimize some of drought’s problems if your pastures turn dry.

For starters, prepare a strategy for using leftover hay.  Continue to feed corn stalk bales, prairie hay, or other forages a bit longer this spring before turning cows out to permanent pasture.  I know this action is exactly opposite of my usual recommendation to graze more and feed less hay. But allowing pastures to accumulate a bit more growth before grazing begins will provide more total grazable forage if drought prevents much regrowth later on.  It also will let pastures stressed from previous overuse to rebuild root systems and vigor.  Leftover hay also can be used later during the grazing season to give pastures more time to recover between grazings.

Another strategy is planting drought-tolerant forages for pasture or hay.  Summer annual grasses like sudangrass, sorghum-sudan hybrids, and pearl millet are excellent choices.  Wait until soils are good and warm before planting these grasses, though.  Late May or early June usually is best.  So line up some seed and reserve some ground now for these drought-insurance grasses, before you plant everything to corn, beans, and other crops.  And don’t forget about possibly planting these grasses as a double crop into the stubble after wheat harvest.

If the rains don’t come, planning and acting now to reduce potential forage losses from drought will pay big dividends.


One of the Midwest's premier indoor farm events, the TRIUMPH OF AGRICULTURE EXPOSITION will be held March 12-13, 2014 at  the CenturyLink Center-Omaha, 10th and Capitol Avenue,  just off I-480.   The 48th Annual  Farm  and  Ranch Machinery  Show  will  once  again  be  filled  with  the  latest  agricultural innovations, equipment and supplies with more  than 900 exhibits  for  farmers, ranchers, and  their wives  to visit all on one level of over 200,000 square feet in the state-of-the-art  CenturyLink Center-Omaha.

"It's an excellent opportunity  to see all  types of Short-Line  farm equipment, new products,  labor and  time saving  ideas all under one roof," says Bob Mancuso, Sr.,  the Show's Producer.   "The Triumph of Ag Expo  is the  best  place  for  farmers  to  find  answers  for  what  they  do  control  while  taking  advantage  of  the  new technologies at the Expo - ranging from machinery to new plant varieties that are available."  The Farm Show is open 9 AM to 4 PM on Wed and 9 AM to 3 PM on Thurs.  Advance free admission tickets can be obtained from  Exhibitors,  County  Extension  agents,  farm  machinery  and  equipment  dealers  or  at  the  CenturyLink Center-Omaha door.   This  is an  ideal  time  for area Farm Operators  to  find ways  to  improve productivity and increase profits, before spring field work begins.

Brien McCready  from John Deere and A & M Green Power and Show Councilman says he's  looking for a great Show  at the CenturyLink Center Omaha and says, "The Triumph of Ag Expo is always packed with lots of new improvements and helpful information." At no other time this spring will area Farm Operators be able to see this much farm equipment and technology on display.  The Triumph of Ag Expo offers visitors a hands-on experience with continuous demonstrations so  those attending will be able  to compare and evaluate quickly and conveniently, all under one roof, in one location and on one level with over 4,500 on-site parking available.

Regarded as one of  the  largest  indoor diversified  short-line  farm machinery  shows, Ben Hellbusch,  from Busch  Equipment  of Columbus, Nebraska  and  Council  Board Member  said,  "The  Expo  has  something  for every kind of  farm operation,"  including  tillage equipment, planters, monitor and control systems, soil  testing equipment, mowers,  cattle  chutes,  augers,  fertilizers,  various  seed  hybrids,  feeders,  tanks  and  pumps,  hay moving  and  handling  equipment,  plows,  combines,  computers  and  software,  tractors,  and  many  more agricultural products and services for today's farmers and ranchers.
Bob Mancuso, Jr., Show Director, said if you are  interested in agriculture and farming, this year’s Expo  is the place to be on March 12-13, 2014 .  In addition to all of the latest equipment, products, and services - there will  be  seminars  throughout  the  Show,  craft  items  and  displays,  antique  farm  tractors  and  equipment,  and special programs.  The Triumph of Ag Expo is a charter member of the North American Farm Show Council –  the Top 25 shows in North America!

THE TRIUMPH OF AGRICULTURE EXPOSITION FARM & RANCH MACHINERY SHOW is produced by Mid-America Expositions, Inc. and is sponsored by the Mid-America Farm & Ranch Machinery Council.

Cattlemen's Beef Board Elects 2014 Leadership

During its final meeting at the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 7, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) unanimously elected Kim Brackett of Buhl, Idaho, to serve as CBB chairman for the coming year; Jimmy Maxey of Fresno, Calif., to serve as vice chairman; and Anne Anderson of Austin, Texas, to fill the position of Beef Board secretary/treasurer for 2014.

The Beef Board also elected members to serve on the CBB Executive Committee and others to fill the CBB seats on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee.


Newly elected Beef Board Chairman Kim Brackett is a cow-calf/stocker from Buhl, Idaho. She served as vice chairman of the Beef Board in 2013; secretary/treasurer of the Board in 2012 and previously was an active member with the Idaho Beef Council, having served as chair, vice chair and treasurer. Kim has served on the Idaho Cattle Association, as committee and subcommittee chair; and on the 71 Livestock Association. Kim was an active member of the Beef Board and the Joint Producer Education Committee during her first term on the Board, and was reappointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in December 2011 to serve a second consecutive three-year term.

This year’s Beef Board Vice Chairman Jimmy Maxey has been highly active in beef industry organizations, including service as president and chairman of the former National Meat Association and chairman of the California Beef Council. Jimmy grew up on his family's small cattle ranch and was also very involved in its meat processing plant. After attending Fresno State University, he returned to the family business, including the beef packing and processing plant and the cattle feeding business. Since selling Beef Packers, Inc./Fresno Meat Co. in 2006, he has remained active in cattle feeding and meat processing by working for his sons at Certified Meat Products.

Newly appointed CBB Secretary/Treasurer Anne Anderson is a cow-calf and stocker operator from Austin, Texas and a former executive vice president of the Texas Beef Council. She and her husband, Jim, own a small cattle ranch in Colorado County and a larger one, which Anne manages, in Menard and McCulloch counties. In addition to ranching, she has spent more than 15 years providing assistance to individuals and groups trying to build new companies -- mostly in the beef industry, and all in the food industry. Anne also is a co-founder and former CEO of AgInfoLink Global, one of the largest food-tracking companies in the U.S., with additional international offices in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Argentina.


The 11-member CBB Executive Committee includes the Board’s three officers and eight members elected at large. The CBB elected the following members to its 2014 Executive committee: Vice Chairman Jimmy Maxey, who will serve as chairman of the Executive Committee; and members Kim Brackett (CBB chairman); Anne Anderson (CBB secretary/ treasurer); Dean Black of Iowa; Laurie Bryant, an importer; Barbara Jackson of Arizona; Mike McCormick of Mississippi; Brett Morris of Oklahoma; Laurie Munns of Utah; Kent Pruismann of Iowa; and Gary Sharp of South Dakota.

The Executive Committee operates under the direction of and within the policies established by the full Board and is responsible for carrying out Beef Board policies and conducting business and making decisions necessary to administer the terms and provisions of the Act and Order between meetings of the full Board.


The Beef Promotion Operating Committee was created by the Beef Promotion Research Act to help coordinate state and national Beef Checkoff Programs. The 20-person committee includes 10 members of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, among them the Board’s three officers and seven others elected directly by Beef Board members. The other 10 members are appointed from the Federation of State Beef Councils.

CBB members elected to the 2014 Beef Promotion Operating Committee during the annual meeting in Nashville include: Chairman Kim Brackett; Vice Chairman Jimmy Maxey; Secretary/Treasurer Anne Anderson; Marty Andersen, Wisconsin; Sarah Childs, Florida; Dave Edmiston, Texas; Linda Gilbert, South Dakota; Ted Greidanus, California; Brittany Howell, Kansas; and Hank Maxey, Virginia.

Nebraska Dairy Princess Candidates Sought

Young women interested in advocating for Nebraska’s dairy community are encouraged to run for the next Nebraska Dairy Princess title.  The contest, sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association’s Nebraska Division, is planned for Tuesday, March 11, in conjunction with the Nebraska Dairy Convention in Norfolk. The coronation takes place during a 6:30 p.m. banquet at Divots Conference Center.

The Nebraska Dairy Princess is charged with helping consumers understand the important role dairy products play in a healthful diet, and shares how dairy farmers care for their cows and the resources used to produce milk.  Her appearances include promotions, presentations, media interviews, school visits and parades.

Candidates must be at least a high school junior and not yet 26 years old, be personally active or have a parent, guardian or grandparent active within the Nebraska dairy cattle industry, and have never been married.  A $750 scholarship is provided to the winner and a $250 scholarship is awarded to the runner-up.

Judging for the title is based on personal interviews, presentations and application materials. Complete information and the application, which is due by Saturday, March 1, are available at midwestdairycheckoff.com.

Additional information may be obtained from Julie Meier, contest director, at 308-390-9338.

Midwest Dairy Offers Iowa Scholarships, Internship

Applications for Midwest Dairy Association scholarships and a summer internship with the organization are due March 1.

The Iowa Division of Midwest Dairy awards scholarships to family members of dairy farmers in Iowa whose checkoff is directed to Midwest Dairy Association, which delivers dairy promotion programs across 10 states including Iowa. The family must reside in Iowa and have an active dairy during 2014. The dairy producer, his/her spouse, children or grandchildren are eligible, but awards are limited to one per family. A winner may apply in subsequent years.

The scholarships apply to any college major or degree and the student must be full-time at an accredited institution.

Midwest Dairy’s Iowa internship is awarded to a college student interested in communications, public relations, marketing, food science or agribusiness. During the summer, the student must locate near Ankeny and be available to assist with duties that include Midwest Dairy’s operations at the Iowa State Fair. The intern must be a student or a permanent resident in Midwest Dairy’s 10-state area.

The Iowa scholarship and internship details can be downloaded at midwestdairycheckoff.com in the About Us section.

CWT Assists with 5.8 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 26 requests for export assistance from Bongards Creameries, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’Lakes, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 4.006 million pounds (1,817 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, 1.645 million pounds (746 metric tons) of 82% butter and 180,779 pounds (82 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered in February through June 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 16.389 million pounds of cheese, 5.396 million pounds of butter and 698,865 pounds of whole milk powder to 18 countries on four continents. These sales are the equivalent of 272.9 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

In the long-term, assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

IFBF Conferences to Help Livestock Farmers with Risk, Opportunities

To aid livestock farmers with challenging management decisions, IFBF will conduct informational conferences specifically designed to help Iowa farmers manage risk and capture opportunity in livestock today. The information conference, "Iowa Livestock: Managing Risk, Capturing Opportunities," will be presented Feb. 26-28, at three locations across the state.

-- Feb. 26 -- Osceola, Lakeside Hotel Casino, 777 Casino Drive
-- Feb. 27- Independence, Heartland Acres Agribition Center, 2600 Swan Lake Blvd.
-- Feb. 28 -- Cherokee, Western Iowa Tech Community College, 200 Victory Drive

The doors will open at 9 a.m. and the conference will begin at 10 a.m. in each location. Lunch is included and the conference will adjourn at 3 p.m. Pre-registration is free for Farm Bureau members, $10 for non-members, and $20 for all at the door. Pre-registration is open through Feb. 25; however early registration is encouraged to help with meal planning.

General session information will examine livestock market situations and outlook, meat export update, and an environmental compliance presentation. Afternoon breakout sessions include livestock marketing arrangements, and production and animal health seminars for both cattle and pork.

"The risks and opportunities for Iowa livestock are many. We will have experts to provide information on everything from the new DNR/ EPA workplan, to market outlook to the latest animal health advice," said Ed Kordick, IFBF commodity services manager. "The agenda is packed with information deliberately chosen for Iowa's livestock farmers today," said Kordick.

To pre-register for the event or to get an agenda with speaker and topic details, visit www.iowafarmbureau.com, click on the webinar banner and click the link for the location you will attend. For more information, contact Kordick at ekordick@ifbf.org.

Net Farm Income Forecast To Fall in 2014

(USDA Economic Research Service)

Net farm income is forecast to be $95.8 billion in 2014, down 26.6 percent from 2013’s forecast of $130.5 billion. The 2014 forecast would be the lowest since 2010, but would remain $8 billion above the previous 10-year average. Lower crop cash receipts, and, to a lesser degree, a change in the value of crop inventories and reduced government farm payments, drive the expected drop in net farm income. Net cash income is forecast at $101.9 billion, down almost 22 percent from the 2013 forecast. Net cash income is projected to decline less than net farm income primarily because it reflects the sale of more than $6 billion in carryover stocks from 2013.

Crop receipts are expected to decrease more than 12 percent in 2014, led by a projected $11-billion decline in corn receipts and a $6-billion decline in soybean receipts. Livestock receipts are forecast to increase in 2014 largely due to higher milk prices. The elimination of direct payments under the Agricultural Act of 2014 and uncertainty regarding enrollment and payments during 2014 result in a projected 45-percent decline in government payments. On the other hand, total production expenses are forecast to decline $3.9 billion in 2014, which would be only the second time expenses declined in the last 10 years.

The rate of growth in farm assets, debt and equity is forecast to slow in 2014 compared to recent years. The slowdown in growth is a result of expected lower net income, higher borrowing costs, and moderation in the growth of farmland values. As a result, the value of farm assets is expected to rise 2.4 percent in 2014, while farm sector debt is expected to increase 2.3 percent. This represents a noticeable reduction in the average annual growth in each of these measures compared with the last 10 years. Nonetheless, the historically low levels of debt relative to assets and equity reaffirm the sector’s strong financial position.

More here:  http://ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/2014-farm-sector-income-forecast.aspx

Median Farm Household Income Expected To Be Largely Unchanged in 2014
Projected median total farm household income is expected to remain essentially unchanged in 2013 and 2014, with a slight increase between 2012 and 2013, followed by a slight decrease to $68,132 in 2014. Given the broad USDA definition of a farm, many farms are not profitable even in the best farm income years. With sectorwide net cash farm income forecast to decline in 2013 and 2014, median farm income is expected to decline to -$2,534 in 2014 (down from -$1,453 in 2012). Most farm households earn all of their income from off-farm sources—median off-farm income is projected to increase by 2.9 percent in 2013 and 3.5 percent in 2014, to $62,585. (Note: Because they are based on unique distributions, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.)

More here:  http://ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-household-well-being/2014-farm-household-income-forecast.aspx

N, P Fertilizer Prices Higher Again

Prices for the majority of fertilizers are increasing, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the first week of February 2014. Five of the eight major fertilizers had higher retail prices compared to the first week of January.

Leading the price escalation again is urea. The nitrogen fertilizer was 12% higher compared to a month earlier and now has an average price of $503/ton. This marks the first time urea edged back above $500/ton since the last week of July 2013. Urea that week had an average price of $506/ton.

The other fertilizers with noteworthy price changes to the high side were DAP, MAP, UAN28 and UAN32. These fertilizers were all up 6% from last month. DAP had an average price of $521/ton, MAP $550/ton, UAN28 $334/ton and UAN32 $382/ton.

The three remaining fertilizers were lower compared to a month prior, but these moves were fairly minor. Potash had average price of $470/ton, 10-34-0 $498/ton and anhydrous $617/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.55/lb.N, anhydrous $0.38/lb.N, UAN28 $0.60/lb.N and UAN32 $0.60/lb.N.

While spring prices appear to be recovering, all eight of the major fertilizers remain double digits lower in price compared to Feb. of 2013.  UAN28, UAN32 and urea are all now down 12% while DAP is 17% less expensive. Both MAP and 10-34-0 are 18% lower, potash is 21% less expensive 23% lower and anhydrous is 28% lower than a year earlier.

Cooperative CHS returns $433 million to owners

Farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States will share in an estimated $433 million cash distribution from CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP), an energy, grains and foods company and the nation's leading agricultural co-op. The distribution is the second largest in CHS history.

"The ability of our owners, who are also our customers, to directly share in the financial success of CHS is a distinct advantage of being part of a cooperative business," said David Bielenberg, CHS Board chairman and a Silverton, Ore., farmer. "And, this is cash that returns to local communities, enabling farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to invest in their own futures."

Bielenberg added that the CHS Board, which consists of 17 producers, strives to "take the long view" in regard to the company's future.

"Our objective is to make sure we're not only providing the products, services and marketing opportunities they need today, but also investing in what they'll need tomorrow, all while maintaining a financially strong company," he said.

The 2014 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $992.4 million, the company's second highest on record, for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2013.

The distribution beginning this month to about 1,100 member cooperatives and more than 50,000 individual members and others includes cash patronage paid based on their fiscal 2013 business with CHS. CHS is also distributing cash to member cooperatives that redeems equity in the company they earned in prior years. In addition, CHS will redeem equities of eligible individual members throughout 2014 and also will pay quarterly dividends to owners of the two classes of CHS preferred stock.

Since its creation in 1998, CHS has returned more than $3.5 billion in cash to its agricultural producer and member cooperative owners, more than $1 billion of that in its 2013 and 2014 fiscal years.

Patronage is based on business done with CHS by member-owner cooperatives and individual farmers and ranchers during fiscal 2013, while equity redemptions and preferred stock distributions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years. Distributions were made to 49 states, including:

Nebraska       - 3,066  -  $28 million
Iowa              - 1,196  -  $27.6 million
South Dakota - 7,155  -  $27 million
Kansas          - 1,449  -  $29.5 million
(State - number of checks to members and coops - dollars)

Ethanol Fuel's High Octane and Clean Characteristics Key to Future Use

The National Corn Growers Association's Ethanol Committee met last week in Detroit, Michigan to discuss everything from the latest research on ethanol use in small engines to growing opportunities for distiller's grains. While there, the group also met with representatives of Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Meeting in Detroit provided us with a great opportunity to talk with the Big Three auto manufacturers," said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Jeff Sandborn. "They confirmed ethanol has a lot to offer because it provides non-toxic, economical octane, but we face significant challenges particularly in the policy arena."

Sandborn, a grower from Portland, Mich., noted ethanol provides the performance characteristics auto-makers want and does so more economically than any other source. However, they are also looking for direction from the Environmental Protection Agency on specific future standards so they know what engines to design and what ethanol blends might work best.

"We also met with EPA officials while in Detroit. It is clear that NCGA can and probably should step up communications and education with EPA and other governmental agencies to assure they have the best technical information available related to ethanol's potential," Sandborn said.

Participants included Jeff Sandborn, of Michigan; Mike Nichols, of Indiana; Lynn Crisp of Nebraska; Aron Carlson of Illinois; Jerry Demmer of Minnesota; Dennis Gengenbach of Nebraska; Paul Jeschke of Illinois; Dennis McNinch of Kansas; Jerry Mohr of Iowa; Mark Recker of Iowa; Jay Schutte of Missouri; Kim Swenson of North Dakota and state staff Bradley Schad of Missouri and Dave Loos of Illinois.  NCGA staff on hand to serve the committee Dr. Pam Keck,  director of biofuels; Beth Elliott, director of public policy Melanie Gibson, administrative assistant; and Mark Lambert, senior communications manager.

EIA: 908,000 Bpd Ethanol Production Predicted for 2014

The Energy Information Administration on Tuesday in its most recent Short-term Energy Outlook released midday forecasts ethanol production would average 908,000 barrels per day (bpd) this year, slightly below month-ago estimates at 913,000 bpd.

The agency said ethanol production averaged 925,000 bpd in December 2013, up from 825,000 bpd in December 2012.

Biodiesel production averaged about 87,000 bpd in 2013 and is forecast to average 84,000 bpd in both 2014 and 2015.

Biodiesel production reached a record high level of 101,000 bpd or 132 million gallons in October 2013 before declining slightly to average 128 million gallons in November 2013.

EIA estimates carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels increased 1.9% in 2013 from the previous year and would rise 1.2% this year followed possibly by a small decline in 2015. The increase in emissions in 2013 and 2014 primarily reflected growth in coal use for electricity in response to higher natural gas prices relative to coal. Coal emissions are projected to decline by 2.1% in 2015 as the power sector responds to increasing coal plant retirements.

EU Poised to OK 2nd GM Crop

The European Union is poised to approve the bloc's second genetically modified crop for cultivation in 15 years, handing a victory to DuPont over objections from most of the EU's member states.

At a meeting of ministers here on Tuesday, 19 out of the bloc's 28 nations opposed approving the crop, a corn with the name 1507 that was developed by DuPont. But under the EU's Byzantine biotech rules, that isn't a big enough majority to prevent the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, from approving the corn.

The EU has the world's toughest rules on growing or importing genetically modified crops, fueled by strong public opposition to the technology in many European nations. The rules have prompted a long history of complaints from biotech companies that the bloc is ignoring scientific evidence in refusing to allow the cultivation of other crops. Some companies have given up: Monsanto said last year that it was withdrawing all its applications to grow its biotech crops in the EU.

Only one other genetically modified crop is allowed to be grown in the EU, a corn developed by Monsanto that is resistant to corn borer, a worm, and was approved by the bloc in 1998. DuPont first sought approval for 1507 in 2001; after 12 years, multiple positive scientific safety reviews, and several decisions by the European Court of Justice criticizing the commission for delaying its decision on the crop, the commission is now close to approving it.

The crop "meets all EU regulatory requirements and should be approved for cultivation without further delay," DuPont said in a statement.

Judge OKs MF Global Class-Action Suit

A federal judge on Tuesday allowed MF Global Holdings Ltd.'s commodity customers to move forward with a class-action lawsuit against former Chief Executive Jon Corzine and other officials, although the judge narrowed the scope of the suit.

While U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero declined the request of Mr. Corzine and others to completely dismiss a lawsuit over MF Global's 2011 collapse, he did dismiss some claims against Mr. Corzine and others and also dismissed all of the customers' claims against PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, MF Global's former auditor.

Judge Marrero, who has previously compared MF Global's collapse and the wave of litigation it spawned to a "massive train wreck," wrote in his ruling that he had hoped those involved in litigation could resolve the matter "in a just and efficient way."

Instead, the judge wrote, "wasteful and rancorous litigation" will continue to unfold as customers await compensation.

Last month, Judge Marrero denied Mr. Corzine's request to dismiss a similar lawsuit against him brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

CruiserMaxx Beans honored as a No-Till Product of the Year

CruiserMaxx® Beans insecticide/fungicide seed treatment, an application of one or more separately registered products, from Syngenta was recognized as the No-Till Product of the Year for 2013 in the seed treatments/inoculants category. Syngenta received the award during the 22nd annual National No-Tillage Conference, held January 17, 2014.

“We are honored to have CruiserMaxx Beans recognized as the seed treatment No-Till Product of the Year,” said Wouter Berkhout, Seedcare product lead at Syngenta. “Recognition from these farmers speaks volumes about the early-season pest protection and results that CruiserMaxx Beans consistently provides to soybeans.”

Paid subscribers and readers of No-Till Farmer’s Conservation Tillage Guide selected CruiserMaxx Beans for this award. Many of these voters are farmers who have firsthand experience with the nominated products. Matt Rausch from Winamac, Indiana is one such farmer.

“We do a lot of no-till soybeans following corn, and I think we get a lot of early-season protection from pests with CruiserMaxx Beans,” said Rausch. “We also see a lot better stands. There are definitely a lot more soybeans, and they are better-looking compared to areas that are untreated.”

This recognition is a testament to the Syngenta commitment to provide seed treatments that will enable soybeans to start strong and ultimately allow farmers to grow more soybeans.

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