Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday April 14 Ag News

Farm Bill - Livestock Disaster Program Meetings

A producer informational meeting will be held for the Livestock Disaster Programs that are being implemented as a result of the Agricultural Act of 2014.  The Thurston County meeting will be held:
     - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:00 am, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office, 106 South Costello Street, Walthill, Nebraska

Topics to be discussed include the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP).

If you are unable to attend the Thurston County meeting, neighboring counties are hosting the following meetings.
•         Dixon County – Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm in Martinsburg (new Fire Hall)
•         Dakota County – Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm in Dakota City (NRD Building, 1505 Broadway Street)
•         Burt County – Monday, April 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm in Tekamah (First National Bank Northeast, 448 South 13th Street)

If you are unable to attend any of the above-stated meetings, we encourage you to contact the county office to discuss the types of documentation required and address any questions you may have.  Producers should also contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment to apply.

Pre-plant and Pre-emergence Weed Control in Corn and Soybeans

Lowell Sandell, Weed Science Extension Educator

Several summer annual weed species in Nebraska emerge early in the season, prior to planting corn and soybean, and need to be controlled before they grow too large. Of particular concern are giant ragweed, kochia, and marestail; we believe there are numerous populations of these species in Nebraska that cannot be controlled by glyphosate.

We are now observing kochia, giant ragweed, and marestail emergence in some of our research plots. If you have had difficulty controlling these weeds in the last few years, make every effort to control these populations with an effective burndown application or tillage prior to planting. Based on observations in our giant ragweed research studies the previous two years, we have not had success controlling glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed with any herbicide program NOT containing 2,4-D as a component of a burndown application. If you apply 2,4-D prior to planting, be sure to adhere to the planting interval specified on the label.

Some other common weed species that emerge early in the season in Nebraska fields are common chickweed, dandelion, field pennycress, henbit, tansy mustard, and Virginia pepperweed.

Developing a Successful Early Season Weed Management Program

Profitable crop production starts with a weed control program that includes pre-plant and/or pre-emergence herbicides to deliver long-lasting, residual weed control. A spring burndown program in corn and soybean provides effective weed control to prepare for planting and helps to decrease the seedbank during the season. Early season weed competition can greatly reduce yields and profits.


Several studies have shown that if weeds grow to 9 inches, soybean yield can be reduced by as much as 6%; 12-inch weeds can result in up to a 10% yield loss. In corn, 12-inch weeds could cause 22% yield loss when left uncontrolled.  Among the herbicides registered for spring burndown weed control are:
-    Corn: 2,4-D*, Aim, atrazine, Balance Flexx, Corvus, dicamba, glyphosate, Landmaster II, Lexar EZ, and Sharpen
-    Soybean: 2,4-D* (use esters only), Authority First, glyphosate, Gramoxone, Pursuit, and Sharpen
*If 2,4-D is applied at 16 fl oz/acre in a burndown program, the preplanting interval is seven days for corn and soybean; if 2,4-D is applied at a rate above 16 fl oz/acre in a burndown program, the planting interval should be 14 days for corn and 30 days for soybean.


The pre-emergence (residual) herbicide protects the crop with early, effective, and lasting weed control to help maximize yields, regardless of the production system. In addition, including pre-emergence herbicides can minimize the post-emergence herbicide applications and protect against early-season weed competition when weather or busy schedules prohibit a timely post-emergence application. Among the herbicides registered for pre-emergence weed control are:
-    Corn: Aatrex, Balance Flexx, Corvus, Degree Extra, Fierce, Lumax EZ, Outlook, Surestart, Tripleflex, and Zemax
-    Soybeans: Authority MTZ, Boundry, Command, Dual II Magnum, Envive, Optill, Pursuit, Prowl H2O, Valor XLT, and Warrant

For a list of all registered burndown and residual herbicides see the 2014 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska (EC130) published by University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

40th Annual Cuming County 4-H Beef Preview Results

The 40th Annual Cuming County 4-H Beef Preview Show was held on Saturday, April 12 at the Cuming County Fairgrounds in West Point.  According to UNL Extension Educator in Cuming County, Larry Howard, the show is sponsored by the Cuming County Feeders Association and UNL Extension in Cuming County.  The judge for the show was Katie Ochsner of Torrington, Wyoming.

The Champion Market Steer was shown by Sydney Williams of Wisner while Chase Albers of Wisner showed the Reserve Champion Steer.  The Champion Market Heifer was exhibited by Kali Stratman of West Point and Dax Behmer of Hoskins showed the Reserve Champion Market Heifer.  The Supreme Breeding Heifer was shown by Regan Bellar of Wisner and Dawson French of Wayne exhibited the Reserve Champion Breeding Heifer.

In the Showmanship divisions the winners were: Junior Division-Champion, Dylan Russman, Pender; Reserve Logan Buhrman, Wisner.  Intermediate Division-Champion, Chase Albers, Wisner; Reserve, Megan Schroeder, Wisner.  Senior Division-Champion, Keeley Russman, Wisner; Reserve, Sydney Williams, Wisner.


UNL Extension Forage Specialist Bruce Anderson

Despite receiving some rain or snow recently, most areas still are very dry below the surface.  Today I’ll suggest some ways you can limit the forage problems drought can cause.

Drought is likely to be a problem again this summer, at least somewhere.  Because hay is expensive and pastures short, we need to consider ways to minimize damages if we receive less than average rainfall.  Fortunately, early spring is a time you can take action that can minimize some of drought’s problems.

For starters, prepare a strategy for using any remaining hay.  One of the better options is to feed hay 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.  Leftover hay also can be used later during the summer to give pastures more time to recover between grazings.

Another strategy is planting annual forages for pasture or hay.  Oats planted now or summer annual grasses like sudangrass, sorghum-sudan hybrids, and pearl millet are excellent choices.  Wait until soils are good and warm before planting these summer grasses, though.  Late May or early June usually is best.  So 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 or even some fall cover crop forages into wheat stubble as a double crop after harvest.

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

CFDC Calls For Ethanol to Stand Up As Alternative Fuel

In a presentation at the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Omaha last week, Clean Fuels Development Coalition Executive Director Douglas Durante called on ethanol supporters to not only defend the federal Renewable Fuel Standard but to move beyond it by capitalizing on the economic, energy supply, environmental and health benefits of ethanol in mid and high level blends including E85.  
Durante told attendees at the 9th Annual Ethanol Forum that the obsession with RFS volumes has distracted the industry from pursuing other, often higher values that are not bound by the RFS. The key to capturing that value he said is using ethanol in flex fuel vehicles.
"Ethanol is treated like a second class citizen in the alternative fuels community, and we have had enough," said Durante. " E85 is defined in law as an alternative fuel and is no different from electricity, propane, natural gas, methanol and other non petroleum fuels. Ethanol is denied access to programs, funding and incentives these other alternatives receive. Yet ethanol is clearly the most readily available and efficient of any of them."
He cited the phase out of incentives for the manufacture of flex fuel vehicles as a prime example of this disparity.  Electric and natural gas vehicles receive an “artificial value” in the credit they get for reducing carbon and future mileage calculations. "High levels of ethanol can do more, immediately, to reduce carbon, lower petroleum consumption and improve emissions than any other fuel, period. If we are serious about reducing petroleum use with low carbon fuels how is this possible?  Twenty million flex fuel vehicles are on the road today. These vehicles were produced without a penny of taxpayer cost nor at any additional cost to consumers.  All automakers asked was the ability to capture appropriate credits in the new regulatory structure for the carbon and petroleum savings these vehicles provide."
Durante also cited numerous federal programs such as the $16 Billion loan fund for advanced vehicles at the Department of Energy. "The sole mission of this program is to produce vehicles that can reduce petroleum use and carbon emissions. Why not redirect just one or two billion dollars of that to a loan fund for flex fuel pumps to fuel  the FFVs that are on the road today? That, along with reinstating FFV credits, will make more of an impact in the next year than any other program currently in place. And, we will meet and blow right past the RFS biofuel requirements", said Durante. 
Finally, Durante noted the significant potential for mid and high level ethanol blends to provide reductions in particulates and the potential for substituting clean octane for toxic aromatics. Through CFDC's partnership in the Urban Air Initiative they are raising awareness of the increasing pollution coming from consumer gasoline.
"Just give us a chance to get into the market and compete," said Durante, "and just watch what happens."

Trichomoniasis Standards Forum Results in Significant Inroads

Interstate movement. Best management practices. Testing. Collection and shipment of samples. Neighbor notification. These were just a few of the topics discussed April 3 in Omaha, Neb., at a nation-wide Trichomoniasis Standards Forum conducted by the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the U.S. Animal Health Association. More than 140 state veterinarians, animal health officials, diagnostic laboratory personnel, beef industry leaders and others gathered at the one-day Forum, learned from each other and identified areas where harmonization among states can lead to more effective management and control of this highly susceptible venereal cattle disease.

“Trichomoniasis is a nation-wide problem and has the attention of state personnel and practicing beef  veterinarians from across the country,” states Dr. Carl Heckendorf, Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, and co-chair of the Forum on Trichomoniasis Standards. “Most states either have a trich control program in place, are formulating a program as I speak or are interested in developing a program that can help stop the spread of trich. 

“While we realize a one-size-fits-all program won’t work, the consensus is that standardization—or at least harmonization—of state regulations, collection of samples prior to shipping, shipping and handling of samples and laboratory procedures can help eliminate confusion and benefit all involved.”

In addition to agreeing that elements of a trich control program must be based on science coupled with practical application, Forum attendees pinpointed several areas where harmonization among states could have significant value:
•  Test results being valid for 60 days as long as a bull has not been exposed to breeding-age females.
•  Using PCR as the defining test, knowing new test methods may broaden accepted test method.
•  Approving the pooling of samples in the laboratory.
•  Defining “virgin status/age,” with 24-month-old virgin bulls as a starting point for further discussions.
•  Developing standards for the shipping of samples, including acceptable temperature range and maximum time frame parameters from collection to in the hands of the laboratory.
•  Veterinarian certification regarding the collection of samples.
•  Management of infected cows—from movement to communication with markets.
•  Follow-up with infected herds.
•  Increased collaboration among diagnostic laboratories.

Forum co-chair Dr. Bud Dinges, clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine, stressed that nothing was written in stone at the Forum. Each topic was identified as a starting point for further discussion—and new topics could enter down-the-road discussions.

“That said, areas that have been confusing to individuals were identified, and states showed an overwhelming desire to keep dialogues going,” Dinges stated. “And we all recognize that, for any trichomoniasis control program to be successful, it must be stakeholder friendly and stakeholder driven and the state must have the infrastructure to carry it out.”

Presentations delivered at the NIAA/USAHA Joint Forum on Trichomoniasis Standards should be available online at by April 15.

Iowa Swine Day June 26 to Tackle Topics of Interest to Pork Industry

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity will be some of the pressing topics covered June 26 at the third annual Iowa Swine Day at Iowa State University.

Regional, national and international leaders in swine research, economics, veterinary medicine, production, animal welfare and the marketplace will address challenges facing the pork industry, animal science and the consuming public. The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building on the Iowa State campus.

Speakers include Dr. Richard Raymond, former U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for food safety, and Justin Ransom, national director of supply chain management for McDonald’s.

Iowa Swine Day is open to the public, and especially targets pork producers, pork industry suppliers, extension personnel, consultants, researchers, veterinarians and students, who are eligible for a discount on registration if they are currently enrolled in school.

The cost of the meeting is $60, if registered by June 13. The fee includes coffee, snacks, a pork lunch and a copy of the proceedings. Advanced registration is available at

Lilienthal named Iowa Soybean Association’s producer services director

The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) has named Heather Lilienthal director of producer services, effective April 21. Current Director Rex Hoppes is resigning from ISA to farm full-time near Van Meter. Lilienthal joined ISA in December 2012 as communications manager and has worked in agriculture for more than 10 years, telling the stories of Iowa’s farmers.

In her new role, Lilienthal will develop programs in coordination with ISA staff and District Advisory Councils to help grow the association's membership. In addition, Lilienthal will assist in implementing programs and services that expand opportunities and deliver results for Iowa's soybean growers and their customers.

“Rex has developed a strong producer services team for Iowa’s soybean farmers and we’ll work to take that to the next level by identifying and empowering our association’s new leaders,” said Lilienthal. “Our District Advisory Council structure has been revamped to allow farmers to work in areas that fit their skills and interests and to make the most of their most valuable commodity: time. Exciting things are happening at ISA and I am pleased to be a part of the momentum.”

ILUC Unverifiable and Biofuels Economically Beneficial, Says IPCC

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released their “Bioenergy and Climate Change Mitigation: An Assessment” report in Berlin on Sunday that confirmed that biofuels production is economically beneficial and that Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) modelling is unverifiable.

“Sunday’s report from the IPCC is further proof that biofuels contribute to local economies and that Indirect Land Use Change modelling is nothing more than a flawed theory,” stated Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA.

The UN IPCC report found that “Bioenergy projects can be economically beneficial, by raising and diversifying farm incomes and increasing rural employment through the production of biofuels for domestic or export markets.”

The IPCC report went on further to say that “Brazilian sugar cane ethanol production provides six times more jobs than the Brazilian petroleum sector and spreads income benefits across numerous municipalities…Worker income is higher than in nearly all other agricultural sectors and several sustainability standards have been adopted.”

The IPCC report’s findings are consistent with a 2012 GRFA report which found that global ethanol production in 2010 supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors worldwide and contributed over $273 million to the global economy. In the European Union alone the ethanol industry created 70,000 direct and indirect jobs. The IPCC report also reinforces a recent study conducted by ABF Economics, which found that the U.S ethanol industry in 2013 created 86,503 jobs, sustained an additional 300,277 indirect and induced jobs while contributing $44 billion to the United States’ Gross Domestic Product and added $30.7 billion to household incomes.

“Not only do biofuels, particularly ethanol, have the lowest CO2 abatements compared to any other renewable energy but the latest IPCC climate change mitigation report confirmed that they make significant contributions to economies around the world and in some cases like Brazil, biofuels employment is eclipsing crude oil,” stated Baker.

The IPCC report contained another significant finding regarding Indirect Land Use Change, an attempt to predict future land use patterns globally. The report stated that “These estimates of global LUC (Land Use Change) are highly uncertain, unobservable, unverifiable, and dependent on assumed policy, economic contexts, and inputs used in the modelling.”

These significant findings mean that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has joined the overwhelming number of scientists and academics that have found the ILUC theory to be faulty because modeling relies on hundreds of assumptions, not facts, to predict future land use patterns around the world.

“The GRFA applauds the UN for recognizing that the ILUC theory has no ability to accurately predict future land use patterns and hopefully it can now focus on the real challenges to food security like rising crude oil prices and food waste,” concluded Baker.

Ukraine Grain Exports Up on Year Despite Political Unrest

Ukraine's grain harvest this year is greater than last year, and the pace of grain exports exceeds last year's despite the political unrest, the agriculture ministry said Monday.

The ministry said Ukraine exported 28.338 million metric tons of grain between the beginning of the current marketing year July 1, 2013 and April 11.

The ministry did not give last year's figures for comparison but, according to the ministry's past reports, Ukraine had exported just over 20 million tons of grain by the same date in 2013.

The total amount of grain exported to date included 7.932 million tons of wheat. Corn exports to date totaled nearly 17.972 million tons and barley exports 2.154 million tons.

The agriculture ministry said earlier Ukraine's grain exports in the 2013-2014 marketing year, July 2013 to June 2014, were likely to rise to 33 million tons from about 23 million tons in the previous marketing year as this year's harvest was greater than last year.

The agriculture ministry said earlier Ukraine's 2013 grain harvest was over 63 million tons in bunker weight, up from 46.2 million tons n 2012, when crops were damaged by drought.

Five Nominated for Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

Five distinguished cattle veterinarians have been nominated and voting is underway for the 2014 Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame, which was created in 2011 to honor exceptional individuals who have made lasting contributions to the veterinary profession. This year's outstanding nominees have played leading roles throughout their careers in preventive health medicine, agricultural policy, rotational grazing, bovine reproduction and milk quality.

"The dedication and contributions of this year's class of nominees are truly impressive, consistent with the standard of excellence that the Hall of Fame represents each year," says Mark Spire, D.V.M., technical services manager for Merck Animal Health, who coordinates the nomination process. "In addition to practicing veterinary medicine, they've managed livestock operations, founded research facilities, served on board of directors and mentored students."

Five organizations founded and sponsor the Hall of Fame – Merck Animal Health, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC), the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), Bovine Veterinarian and Osborn Barr.

Voting is currently underway and will remain open until Aug. 5. Members of the AVC and the AABP may vote for one beef and one dairy nominee. AVC members may vote during the organization's spring and summer conferences or online at AABP members may vote online at

The fourth annual Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at this year's AABP Annual Conference in Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 18-20, 2014.

Beef Nominees

     - David Bechtol, D.V.M., from Canyon, Texas, has operated Palo Duro Consulting, a consulting business and feedyard research facility, for more than 30 years, where he has pioneered computerized record systems and diagnostics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. His leadership roles include president of AVC, AABP, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
     - Dallas Horton, D.V.M., of Eaton, Colo., is president of Horton Feedlots, a cattle feeding operation started more than 35 years ago. He is a past president of AVC and the Colorado Livestock Association. He is considered a pioneer in promoting the concept of preventive health medicine and is an advocate for progressive agricultural policy.
     - Ed Johnson, D.V.M., and his family own and operate two commercial feedyards and also manage a herd of 1,500 cows in Parma, Idaho. He was a pioneer in rotational grazing in the Pacific Northwest and served as president of the Idaho Cattlemen's Association. Forty years ago, he founded Johnson Research to conduct clinical research specific to beef health and nutritional performance.

Dairy Nominees

     - John Dahl, D.V.M., of Waunakee, Wis., served in private practice for more than 20 years and worked for BouMatic for more than 10 years, advancing to serve as president. He then served as director of the teaching hospital at the newly established University of Wisconsin College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a past president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medicine Association.
     - Maarten Drost, D.V.M., is a world-renowned expert in bovine reproduction known for his ground-breaking work in embryo transfer technology, pregnancy recognition and fertility management. He's worked in private practice and served as captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and on the faculty of both the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

Titan Machinery Reports Lower Earnings

Titan Machinery Inc. reported financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended January 31, 2014.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, revenue was $708.6 million, compared to $784.5 million in the fourth quarter last year. Equipment sales were $587.9 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $679.0 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Parts sales were $61.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $53.5 million in the fourth quarter last year. Revenue generated from service was $36.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to $34.2 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Revenue from rental and other increased to $22.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 from $17.8 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was $97.0 million, compared to $104.5 million in the fourth quarter last year. The Company's gross profit margin was 13.7% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to 13.3% in the fourth quarter last year.

USDA approves new combination vaccine to fight BRD viruses and bacteria

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a Veterinary Biologics License for Titanium® 5 + PH-M, a new vaccine that protects cattle against the viruses and bacteria most associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD).

Marketed by Elanco, Titanium 5 + PH-M provides modified-live virus (MLV) protection against bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), types 1 and 2, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and parainfluenza3 (PI3).1-9 Each dose also protects against Mannheimia haemolytica10 and Pasteurella multocida bacteria, and is safe for cattle at all stages of production.3,5-7,11-16

“This means veterinarians and producers can protect cattle against the important BRD-causing viruses and bacteria with just one vaccine,” says Brett Terhaar, D.V.M., Elanco beef technical services. “Titanium 5 + PH-M is well-suited for branding and weaning/preconditioning vaccination protocols in cow/calf operations, as well as arrival programs in stocker operations and feedyards. Producers should partner with their veterinarians to determine the best way to incorporate this new vaccine into herd-health protocols designed to fight BRD.”

Viruses and bacteria: a powerful one-two punch on the immune system

Respiratory viruses can cause BRD on their own, but they also can compromise the immune system that normally protects cattle against bacteria. This allows bacteria to attack their host and cause severe cases of BRD.

“When cattle are exposed to respiratory viruses, their immune system can be weakened,” says Terhaar. “Once that happens, M. haemolytica and P. multocida bacteria can more easily go deep into the respiratory tract. When they reach the lungs, bacterial pathogens are a major cause of serious BRD, leading to increased illness and death.”

BRD still is the No. 1 profit-robber, accounting for 75 percent of feedlot morbidity, and 50 percent to 75 percent of mortality, costing an estimated $800 million to $900 million annually.17-20 Beyond that, one study showed 68 percent of untreated calves had pulmonary lesions at slaughter — demonstrating that a significant number of animals never diagnosed with BRD do, in fact, suffer from some form of respiratory disease.21

A combination vaccine for convenience, effectiveness and safety

Titanium 5 + PH-M is a combination of two trusted vaccines. Its viral component, Titanium 5, delivers modified-live protection against five important viruses that cause BRD. Its PH-M component provides coverage against two bacteria that are well-known for causing pasteurellosis (part of the BRD complex).

The new vaccine is formulated with a low-reactive, water-soluble adjuvant. The result is a low-volume (2 mL), subcutaneous dose that is consistent with Beef Quality AssuranceSM (BQA) guidelines.

Approved for use in cattle 60 days of age and older, Titanium 5 + PH-M is backed by noninterference, efficacy and safety research. It can be given to pregnant cows and heifers,* as well as calves nursing pregnant cows.

“This means added flexibility as veterinarians and producers develop vaccine protocols to protect cattle at all stages of production against BRD,” says Terhaar. “Adding Titanium 5 + PH-M to the portfolio of ViralignTM 6, Master Guard® and other Titanium brand vaccines gives a variety of choices for delivering protection against challenging diseases.”

Titanium 5 + PH-M is available in convenient 10-dose and 50-dose packages through veterinarians and animal-health distributors. For more information, see the product label, contact your Elanco sales representative or technical consultant, or visit

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