Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday April 25 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.50 million cattle on feed on April 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  This inventory was up 3 percent from last year.  Placements during March totaled 410,000 head, up 3 percent from 2013.  Fed cattle marketings for the month of March totaled 395,000 head, up 1 percent from last year.   Other disappearance during March totaled 15,000 head, up 5,000 head from a year ago.


Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in Iowa for all feedlots totaled 1,265,000 on April 1, 2014 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Iowa Field Office.  The inventory is down 2 percent from March 1, 2014 and down 5,000 head from April 1, 2013.  Feedlots with a capacity greater than 1,000 head had 670,000 head on feed, unchanged from  last month but up 6 percent from  last year.   Feedlots with a capacity  less  than 1,000 head had 595,000 head on feed, down 4 percent from last month and down 7 percent from last year.

Placements during March  totaled 121,000 head, a decrease of 8 percent  from  last month but up 2 percent  from  last year.   Feedlots with a capacity greater  than 1,000 head placed 71,000 head, down 17 percent  from  last month and down  1 percent  from  last  year.    Feedlots  with  a  capacity  less  than  1,000  head  placed  50,000  head.  This  is  up 11 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year.

Marketings  for March were 141,000 head, up 32 percent  from  last month and up 6 percent from  last year. Feedlots with a capacity greater than 1,000 head marketed 69,000 head, down 7 percent from last month but up 1 percent from last year.   Feedlots with a capacity less than 1,000 head marketed 72,000 head, up 39,000 head from last month and up 11 percent from last year. Other disappearance totaled 5,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.9 million head on April 1, 2014. The inventory was 1 percent below April 1, 2013. The inventory included 7.07 million steers and steer calves, up 2 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 65 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.71 million head, down 6 percent from 2013.

Placements in feedlots during March totaled 1.80 million, 5 percent below 2013. Net placements were 1.73 million head. During March, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 425,000, 600-699 pounds were 290,000, 700-799 pounds were 465,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 615,000.

Marketings of fed cattle during March totaled 1.66 million, 4 percent below 2013. Marketings for March are the lowest since the series began in 1996. Other disappearance totaled 65,000 during March, 20 percent below 2013.

Number of Cattle on Feed on 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States and US: 2013 and 2014

                      :                      :                         :               April 1, 2014               
                      :                      :                         :--------------------------------------------
       State       :  April 1, 2013  :  March 1, 2014  :                     :  %     :   & 
                      :                      :                         :    Number     :   LY   :   LM
                      :     --------------- 1,000 head --------------          ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:        278               272                       277         100       102     
California .......:        485               500                        475          98        95     
Colorado ........:        980               940                        970          99       103     
Idaho .............:        215               210                        205          95        98     
Iowa ..............:        630               670                        670         106       100     
Kansas ..........:      2,100             2,060                    2,090        100       101     
Minnesota ......:        133               135                      136          102       101     
Nebraska .......:      2,430             2,500                    2,500        103       100     
Oklahoma ......:        305               270                      275            90       102     
South Dakota .:        230               240                      240          104       100     
Texas ............:      2,580             2,470                   2,500          97        101     
Washington ....:        233               198                     202           87        102     
Other States ...:        325               325                     320           98         98     
United States ..:     10,924            10,790              10,860          99         101     

No. of Cattle Placed on Feed - 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States & US: 2013 and 2014

                      :                      :                         :               April 1, 2014               
                      :                      :                         :--------------------------------------------
       State       :  April 1, 2013  :  March 1, 2014  :                     :  %     :   & 
                      :                      :                         :    Number     :   LY   :   LM
                      :     --------------- 1,000 head --------------          ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:       32             28             30            94            107     
California .......:       58             38             53             91            139     
Colorado ........:      160            135           165          103            122     
Idaho .............:       26             37             29           112             78     
Iowa ..............:       72             86             71            99             83     
Kansas ..........:      425           335           390            92            116     
Minnesota ......:       17             11            18           106            164     
Nebraska .......:      400           430            410         103             95     
Oklahoma ......:       55             43             52            95            121     
South Dakota .:       32             39             37           116             95     
Texas ............:      530           410          470             89            115     
Washington ...:       35             30             35           100            117     
Other States ..:       42             28             35            83            125     
United States .:    1,884        1,650        1,795            95            109     

Number of Cattle Marketed - 1,000+ Capacity Feedlots by Month - States and US: 2013 and 2014

                      :                      :                         :               April 1, 2014               
                      :                      :                         :--------------------------------------------
       State       :  April 1, 2013  :  March 1, 2014  :                     :  %     :   & 
                      :                      :                         :    Number     :   LY   :   LM
                      :     --------------- 1,000 head --------------          ----- percent ----     
Arizona ..........:       23             27             24           104             89     
California .......:       50             55             70           140            127     
Colorado ........:      160           155           130            81             84     
Idaho .............:       35             41             33            94             80     
Iowa ..............:       68             74             69           101             93     
Kansas ..........:      350           315           345            99            110     
Minnesota ......:       15             12             16           107           133     
Nebraska .......:      390           375           395           101           105     
Oklahoma ......:       53             36             46            87            128     
South Dakota .:       31             36             35           113            97     
Texas ............:      480           360           430            90           119     
Washington ...:       34             36             29            85             81     
Other States ..:       35             27             38           109           141     
United States .:    1,724        1,549         1,660           96           107     


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Scattered reports are beginning to come in from throughout Nebraska regarding the condition of alfalfa stands.  And the results have been highly variable.  Fields side by side with supposedly similar varieties, cultural practices, and harvest management have had greatly different outcomes.  There also has been more within field variation then usual.

               As you remember, winter was cold, dry, and windy with very little snow protection.  These are dangerous conditions for alfalfa and some places had severe losses.  For example, many of my alfalfa variety test plots near Lincoln died over winter.  Interestingly, there was little or no injury to plots planted last year but alfalfa planted in 2011 or earlier was nearly wiped out.  It is important to note that our last harvest was in mid-October.  Many of the fields with stand loss reported to me also were harvested late, but not all of them.

               I have been taking last alfalfa harvests in mid- to late October for over thirty years.  This is after what is believed to be the prime winterizing period of mid-September to mid-October.  We have never suffered much stand loss before.  But under the right, or maybe I should say wrong, weather conditions almost any management can fail.

               In a week or two I will evaluate stands more closely to see if any varietal differences exist, but don’t you wait that long.  Check your alfalfa today if you haven’t already done so.  I don’t want you to complain later that if you had known your alfalfa stand was so bad you would have planted it to corn and started a new alfalfa field.

               It was a tough winter for many alfalfa fields.  Check today to see how well your fields survived.

Madison Livestock Disaster Program Info Meeting April 30

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will hold a livestock disaster program information meeting April 30 at Lindsay Town Hall beginning at 1 p.m. All farmers and ranchers interested in learning more about the new livestock disaster program are encouraged to attend. Applications for these programs began on April 15.

There are three programs producers can learn about. One compensates eligible livestock owners and producers for grazing losses due to drought in 2012 and continuing in 2013. A second compensates eligible livestock producers experiencing losses exceeding normal mortality due to short duration extreme or abnormal weather events occurring in 2012 and 2013. The third program compensates livestock, honey bees, and fish producers for losses occurring in 2012 and 2013 not covered by other assistance programs.

Information will include eligibility and applying for these programs. Please call any office for more meeting information

The meeting is sponsored and presented by the Boone (402-395-2622), Madison (402-675-2745), and Platte (402-564-0506) County FSA offices.

Japanese Milling Executives Take Coast to Coast Look at U.S. Wheat Crop

Five flour milling executives from Japan’s leading milling companies will travel coast to coast April 27 to May 5 for a firsthand look at this year’s wheat crop. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) regularly brings trade teams from Japan to the United States as part of long-term market development activities.

“USW maintains a constant effort to keep Japanese millers and end-uses aware of the merits of U.S. wheat,” said USW Country Director Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya, based in Tokyo. “Teams like these allow USW to develop close working relations and mutual reliance between U.S. wheat growers and Japanese millers on a steady supply of high quality wheat.”

The team will make stops in Washington, DC, Fargo, ND, Omaha, NE and Portland, OR. During meetings with wheat farmers, grain industry representatives and university researchers, the team will discuss the U.S. wheat supply and demand picture, including anticipated quality, availability and price.

In addition to discussing the crop outlook, the team will discuss new innovations in wheat research, including biotech wheat and its role in growing more and better wheat with less impact on the environment. Meetings will also focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations that are underway between Japan, the United States and 10 other countries. Market access on agricultural goods, including wheat, has been a difficult area and is a focus area of the current U.S. and Japanese talks. 

USW collaborated with the North American Export Grain Association, the North American Millers’ Association, USDA, the Nebraska Wheat Board, the North Dakota Wheat Commission, the Oregon Wheat Commission and the Northern Crops Institute to organize this trade team.

UNL Extension Pesticide Container Recycling Program Begins 23rd Year

            More than 1,000 tons of plastic pesticide containers have been recycled as part of a more than 20-year University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension program aimed at turning these potential threats to Nebraska's environment and landscape into useful products.

            "In 2013, the program recycled about 35 tons of containers, adding to a running 22-year total of about 2.2 million pounds of plastic pesticide containers in Nebraska...which is well over 1,000 tons," said UNL Extension pesticide safety educator Clyde Ogg.

            "We're going to keep adding on to that total as this very successful and collaborative program starts year 23," said Ogg.

            The Pesticide Container Recycling Program recycles 1- and 2.5-gallon plastic pesticide containers and 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic crop protection chemical drums.

            Ogg, who coordinates UNL Extension's Pesticide Safety Education Program, said, "These are farm and ranch pesticide containers that could otherwise end up stored and forgotten in barns or sheds or be improperly disposed of by casting them aside on creek banks or by burning them.

            "The program's ethos has always been to provide a cost-effective, cooperative, and environmentally responsible way to properly dispose of and reuse these containers."

            Plastic from the collected containers is turned into industrial and consumer products like shipping pallets, drain tile, dimension lumber and parking lot tire bumpers.

            Details of recycling sites and program guidelines are online at

            "Teamwork and cooperation has kept this program viable and successful over many, many years," Ogg said, citing cooperation from UNL Extension educators and collection site managers statewide.

            "The commitment of the people that increasingly understand that this program is a simple and effective way to care for our environment is incredibly valuable. Most of the container collection sites are at agricultural chemical dealerships or community recycling centers, which volunteer to take on this additional responsibility," he said.

            The program accepts pressure-rinsed or triple-rinsed 1- and 2.5-gallon plastic pesticide containers. They must be clean and drained, inside and out. Caps, labels, booklets and slipcover plastic labels, which can't be recycled as part of the program, must be removed. Those items should be disposed of as normal, solid waste. Glued-on paper labels can be left on the container. Rinsate should be returned to spray tanks.

            Of the 32 sites involved in the program, 18 accept 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic crop protection chemical, crop oil and adjuvant drums.

            Drums must be thoroughly rinsed before delivery to collection sites and should not be cut or opened in any way. Mini-bulk, saddle tanks and nurse tanks, which can be made of fiberglass or plastics not compatible with the recycling program, are not accepted.

            Eight sites collect year-around, 12 collect May through August, eight collect on specific dates, and four are by appointment only.

            Program funding is by a national coalition of agri-chemical manufacturers through the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Lexington, Va. 

            County collection sites, by category, are listed below. Sites accepting 15-, 30- and 55-gallon plastic drums are noted.

Year-round collection sites:      

            Buffalo: Kearney Recycling Center, Kearney, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
            Cuming: West Point Transfer Station, West Point, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
            Dawes: Solid Waste Association of Northwest Nebraska, Chadron, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
            Knox: Central Valley Ag, Bloomfield, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
            Lincoln: City of North Platte Transfer Station, North Platte, Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
            Scottsbluff: Gering Landfill, Gering, Normal Business Hours; accepts drums
            Washington: Washington County Recycling Center, Blair, Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon, accepts drums.

May-August collection sites:            
            Antelope: Central Valley Ag, Neligh (no drums) and Royal (accepts drums)
            Burt: Helena Chemical Company, Oakland; Cass: Midwest Coop-Greenwood, Greenwood, accepts drums
            Dakota: Central Valley Ag, South Sioux City, accepts drums
            Dawson, All Points Cooperative, Lexington, accepts drums
            Gage: Southeast Nebraska Cooperative Agronomy Plant, Beatrice
            Hamilton: Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), Giltner
            Holt: Central Valley Ag, O'Neill; accepts drums
            Kearney: Cooperative Producers Inc., Wilcox
            Lancaster: Midwest Farmers Coop, Bennet and Waverly, accepts drums
            Madison: Central Valley Ag, Tilden, accepts drums
            Otoe: Midwest Farmers Cooperative, Nebraska City and Syracuse, accepts drums
            Saunders: Frontier Cooperative, Mead, accepts drums, Reid's Farmacy, Ashland.

Sites collecting pesticide containers on specific days:

            Cass: Midwest Farmers Coop, Greenwood, July 1-31, 8-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, accepts drums.
            Clay: Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), Sutton, August 14-15, accepts drums.
            Dakota: Central Valley Ag, South Sioux City, June and July, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon, accept drums.
            Dixon: Central Valley Ag, Newcastle, May 9 & 23, June 6 & 13, July 3 & 17, August 8 & 22, 8 a.m. to noon.
            Hamilton: Aurora Corp, Aurora, July 21-25, 8-5 p.m.; Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI), Giltner, July 31 and Aug. 1, 8-5 p.m.
            Lancaster: Midwest Farmers Cooperative Co., Bennet, July 25, 9 a.m. to noon and Midwest Farmers Cooperative, Waverly, June 27, 9 a.m. to noon; both sites accept drums.
            Otoe: Midwest Farmers Coop, Nebraska City, July 28 thru 31, 8-5 p.m., accepts drums.

Sites collecting pesticide containers by appointment only:

            Burt: Tekamah Transfer Station, Tekamah, 402-374-2929, accepts drums
            Cass: Wiles Bros. Fertilizer, Inc, Plattsmouth, 402-298-8550, accepts drums
            Custer: Custer County Recycling Center, Broken Bow, 308-870-0313; accepts drums
            Gage: Crop Production Services, Beatrice, 402-223-5102, accepts drums.

Conservation Compliance Still Required for USDA Farm Program Benefits

As the days become longer and warmer, Nebraska producers begin spring planting. The USDA wants to remind farmers to keep conservation compliance in mind before making any major land use changes on their farming or ranching operations.

Conservation compliance refers to the USDA requirement that highly erodible land be farmed in a manner that maintains a certain level of residue and minimizes soil erosion. This may include practicing no-till or planting cover crops.

Conservation compliance also prohibits the conversion of wetlands, or planting agricultural commodities on a converted wetland.  Converting a wetland may include removal of trees, installing new drainage, or modifying existing drainage areas.

According to Craig Derickson, state conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, there has been some confusion on what is required of farmers regarding conservation compliance with the passage of the new Farm Bill.

“We want producers to be sure to visit their local USDA Service Center before making any major land use changes on their farm or ranch. Although rules have changed due to the new Farm Bill, there are still requirements producers need to follow to remain eligible for USDA farm benefits,” Derickson said.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 – the new Farm Bill - continues the requirement that producers adhere to conservation compliance guidelines in order to be eligible for most programs administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This includes the new price and revenue protection programs, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Livestock Disaster Assistance Programs and Marketing Assistance Loans implemented by FSA. It also includes conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) administered by NRCS.

The 2014 Farm Bill now also extends conservation compliance as an eligibility requirement for federal crop insurance premium subsidies. When a producer is determined to be in violation of conservation compliance rules, it not only causes ineligibility for USDA program benefits on the farm in violation, but also on all other farms in which that producer has an interest. The result can have a significant monetary impact on that producer and his or her farming operation.

Derickson said, “Producers should keep in mind that if they alter a wetland or break out grassland for new cropland, they risk losing their crop insurance premium subsidy. This affects eligibility not only for crop insurance premium subsidies but also USDA commodity, conservation, and disaster program benefits, as well.”

Derickson went on to say to ensure conservation compliance requirements are met, it’s important for producers to work closely with their local NRCS and FSA offices.

“Staff at the USDA Service Center will work one-on-one with producers to ensure that any new farming operations will protect natural resources and the sustainability of their farm, and don’t put their USDA farm program benefits at risk. Now more than ever, it’s critical for conservation compliance to be a strategic part of each producer’s operation,” Derickson said.

For more information about the 2014 Farm Bill, and how it may impact your farm or ranch, visit your local USDA Service Center. To locate a USDA Service Center visit

Iowa Lawmakers approve Biodiesel bill

Extends tax credit of 2 cents per gallon on the first 25 million gallons of biodiesel produced in any single plant

A bill that will benefit the state’s biodiesel industry, farmers and economy is on its way to the governor.

The Iowa Legislature overwhelmingly passed the Biodiesel Production Credit Bill. Gov. Terry Branstad, a strong supporter of renewable fuels, is expected to sign it.

The Senate unanimously approved the bill, 48-0, on Thursday. The House passed it by a 95-2 vote a day earlier. The session is expected to end Saturday.

Lawmakers extended the state’s biodiesel tax credit of 2 cents per gallon on the first 25 million gallons of biodiesel produced in any single plant. The incentive was set to expire at the end of the year, but now goes through 2017.

Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) Executive Director Grant Kimberley said the strong support shows how important biofuels are to the state and the economy. A recent study shows biodiesel production supported more than 7,000 full-time jobs in the state last year and contributed $520 million to Iowa’s gross domestic product.

“Legislators have demonstrated foresight in supporting one of the most powerful economic drivers Iowa has --- biofuels,” Kimberley said. “Not only does this biodiesel policy benefit Iowa’s economy and a rural renaissance, it also props up our nation’s energy security.”

Iowa leads the nation in biodiesel production. The state’s 12 plants are capable of producing 315 million gallons. The most widely used feedstock is soybean oil.

IBB Board member Ron Heck, who farms near Perry and is also on the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Board, said passage was crucial given uncertainty over the national Renewable Fuel Standard and other federal policies. And, competition from neighboring states.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. Minnesota has a B5 requirement, Illinois exempts sales tax on biodiesel and Missouri has a lucrative biodiesel production incentive.

“I want to thank Gov. Branstad and legislators for recognizing the importance of biodiesel,” Heck said. “Our state has to be competitive with incentives. We want to keep the benefits: jobs, income, lower feed costs, soybean oil demand, (etc.).”

A strong biodiesel industry is good for crop and livestock farmers. Kimberley, who also farms in central Iowa and serves as ISA’s director of market development, said if Iowa’s ag economy is healthy, so is the state.

A soybean checkoff-funded study by the United Soybean Board shows biodiesel added 74 cents per bushel to soybean prices and reduced soybean meal costs by $25 per ton from 2006-2012.

“Even with grain prices down a bit now, this will help prices rebound again,” said John Heisdorffer, a board member of the Iowa Renewable Energy biodiesel plant in Washington. The Keota farmer is also an ISA Board member.

Ethanol also received support in the bill. State retailer ethanol tax credits were extended through 2017. The E15-plus retailer tax credit was increased to 10 cents per gallon from June 1 to Sept. 15, which is designed to offset the increased cost required to blend and sell E15 as a registered fuel during the summer.

Soil and Water Conservation Week April 27 to May 4

Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Week is an opportunity to recognize the important conservation practices placed on Iowa's landscape and bring attention to the ongoing work by farmers, landowners and urban residents to protect the state's soil and water resources.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will sign a proclamation recognizing April 27 -- May 4 as Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Week and activities and events are held across the state throughout the week. To see details of all events being held in Iowa, visit

Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will participate in a cover crop event in Page County on May 2. Jim O'Hara, who used cover crops for the first time this year, and long-time cover crop user Kelly Tobin will discuss their experiences with this conservation practice that is rapidly growing in popularity. The event will be at O'Hara's farm, 1526 190th St., Shenandoah, from 8 to 10 a.m. with the Gov. and Lt. Gov. in attendance from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. "Soil and Water Conservation Week is a great opportunity to highlight the important work being done to prevent soil erosion and protect water quality in Iowa," Northey said. "It is vital that we preserve these resources that help make Iowa agriculture so productive and such a key driver of our state's economy."

Iowa Soil and Water Conservation Week is in coordination with the national Stewardship Week, sponsored by the National Association of Conservation Districts. This year's Stewardship Week theme is "Dig Deeper: Mysteries in the Soil."

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Division of Soil Conservation provides leadership in the protection and management of soil, water and mineral resources. The Division also works with Soil and Water Conservation Districts and private farmers and landowners to meet their agricultural and environmental protection needs, in both rural and urban landscapes. Conservation partners include USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa State University, and many others.

The Department has worked with farmers for decades to help them install practices designed to prevent erosion and keep soils in place and in recent years there has been an increased focused on water quality. Efforts have included statewide cost share assistance and more focused efforts in targeted watersheds.

Last fall, in just two weeks, over 1,000 farmers signed up for cost share funding to help implement new nutrient reduction practices on their farm. Available was $2.8 million to help farmers try a water quality practice for the first time with Iowa farmers providing at least another $2.8 million in matching funds.

Also, eight watershed demonstration projects were selected and are starting to work within the large priority watersheds identified by the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council. These projects will receive $4.1 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years. In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will provide over $8 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts. More information about the Department's efforts focused on water quality can be found at

"We still have more work to do on conservation, but working together, in partnership, I'm confident we can build on the conservation ethic of Iowans and continue our efforts to improve the quality of the air, soil and water in our state," Northey said.

China Releases its First Agricultural Outlook Report

The 2014 China Agriculture Outlook Conference was held in Beijing this week. The conference was hosted by the Agricultural Information Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, where Xu Shiwei, AII Director General, released the China Agriculture Outlook Report--the first of its kind in China, along with sub-reports covering major agricultural products including grain, cotton, oil seeds, sugar, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, vegetables and fruits. The report reflects achievements made by China's agriculture monitoring and early-warning system, and opens a new chapter in China's efforts to forecast market trends to provide guidance to markets and take the initiative to react to changes in international markets.

According to the report, in the next decade, new-type operation system will instill more vitality to agricultural production, and agricultural development patterns will continue to transform mainly driven by and science and technology advancement. It points out that agriculture in China will continue to enjoy a favorable policy environment, and the application of IT technology will bring new opportunities for agriculture.

The report also states that, meanwhile, China will face rising production constraints due to scarcity of land and water resource and increasing risks in production caused by climate change. Despite that the demand growth for agricultural products will be slightly higher than production growth, the bowls of the Chinese people will continue to be firmly set in their own hands.

The report has made predictions and forecasts about the production, demand and trade of major agricultural products in China for the next decade.

CUTC Highlights America’s Only Native Spirit

Kristin Meadors with the Kentucky Distillers Association will deliver the keynote address  at the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference, June 2 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The bourbon industry’s iconic utilization of corn makes it a perfect platform in which to kick-off three days of lively discussions among the corn industry’s leading researchers, processors and business representatives,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Tom Mueller. “We are excited to have Kristin Meadors discuss her industry’s impact on our economy and why this corn- based spirit continues its popularity at home and abroad.”

Meadors is the Kentucky Distillers Association’s first-ever Director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs. She is responsible for coordinating the association's governmental and regulatory affairs initiatives at all levels of government, working with federal officials on trade issues and expanding global opportunities for Kentucky's signature bourbon industry.

In 1964, Congress declared bourbon America's only native spirit. It must be made with a minimum of 51 percent corn, aged in charred new oak barrels and stored at no more than 125 proof.  This year, CUTC will be held June 2 – 6 at the Marriott Louisville Downtown Hotel. The conference’s agenda focuses on wet and dry milling technologies and new uses. Visit for more information and to register online.


Monsanto and the American Agri-Women today are pleased to announce the regional winners in the 2014 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest. These amazing farm moms have significantly and positively impacted their communities. Now they need America’s support through online voting to determine who will be named “National Farm Mom of the Year.”

“There are so many tremendous stories of strength, perseverance, dedication and leadership that it makes it difficult to narrow it down to just a few winners,” says Jessica Simmons, Corporate Marketing for Monsanto. “Every farm mom deserves to be recognized for the work she does. But with the help of the American Agri-Women, we are proud to present this year’s five regional winners.”

The 2014 regional winners of the America’s Farmers Mom of the Year contest, include:
-    Northwest Region: Jennifer Holle (Mandan, N.D.)
-    Southwest Region: Heather Dineen (Waxahachie, Texas)
-    Midwest Region: Stephanie Essick (Dickens, Iowa)
-    Northeast Region: Kristen Nickerson (Worton, Md.)
-    Southeast Region: Bethany Pugh (Engelhard, N.C.)

Each regional winner will receive a $5,000 award. Their biographical information and original nomination is currently posted online at, where visitors can click to vote for their favorite farm mom. The woman who receives the most votes between April 25 and May 6, will be named the “National Farm Mom of the Year” -- just in time for Mother’s Day. As a bonus, she will also receive an additional $5,000 prize.

“Although these women come from vastly different parts of the country and specialize in varied types of farming, it’s clear they have many more common interests that bind them together -- their love of family, community and agriculture,” says Kris Zilliox, of American Agri-Women. “Each one of them represent today’s women in agriculture so well, we have no doubt that we’ll have a fantastic 2014 national farm mom, no matter who America chooses.”

For a list of winners, past or present winner profiles or official contest rules, visit Interested parties may also send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to America's Farmers Mom of the Year, Attn: Sue Dillon, 349 Marshall Ave., Ste. 200, St. Louis, MO 63119.

Supporting Families Facing Adversity: USDA Achieves Results for Producers after Week One of Disaster Assistance Sign up
Ag Sec Tom Vilsack

Last week, farmers and ranchers began signing up for disaster assistance programs that were restored by the 2014 Farm Bill. While it took a year to implement disaster relief programs after the last farm bill was passed in 2008, disaster programs were up and running in just 60 days this time around, thanks to hardworking Farm Service Agency (FSA) employees in more than 2,000 offices across the country. These disaster programs will not replace all of the losses farmers and ranchers faced, but it will provide some relief and help ensure that extreme weather won’t cause families to lose the farm.

After just one week, I am pleased to say that we’ve received more than 10,000 applications for these programs. Approximately 95 percent of the applications were for the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), which provides payments to eligible producers for grazing losses. The high number of applicants is no surprise considering the widespread, ongoing drought that has plagued livestock producers in the West Coast and Midwestern portions of the United States for nearly three consecutive years.

Our livestock producers have waited long enough and we understand the urgent need to provide payments in a timely manner. While the time for application processing and review will vary depending on the complexity and type of loss, the electronic payment and application systems are up and running. Since sign up began last week, we have processed nearly 60 percent of incoming applications and approved payments to help nearly 6,000 producers begin the recovery process.

The program is off to an excellent start, but it doesn’t stop here. We will continue to work through the spring and summer months to assist those who have experienced disaster losses.  FSA will provide monthly updates at, including data by state, number of applications, and payments issued.

In the coming weeks and months, I encourage farmers and ranchers impacted by drought, snowstorms and other unforeseen weather events to contact their FSA county office to make an appointment and learn if they are eligible for disaster assistance. Depending on the program and year of the loss, you have three to nine months to apply, and FSA staff can tell you what documents and records you will need to apply.

As we move into spring, drought and severe weather events continue to impact farmers and ranchers across the country. Thanks to resources provided in the new Farm Bill and our strong network of partners, I am confident that USDA will be able to offer producers the surety they need to invest confidently in the future and ensure a safe, affordable food supply to millions of Americans for generations to come.

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