Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday April 15 Ag News

NE Real Property Value Percentage Change 2013-2014

The Nebraska Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division, has processed  the 2014 Real Property Abstracts of Assessment  filed by the 93 Nebraska county assessors.  Preliminary analysis indicates that real property valuations have increased  12.45%  from  2013  to  2014, resulting in an increase in valuation of approximately $20.93 billion.

•  $1.99 billion (  9.5%) is attributable to newly-constructed real property.  
•  $18.94 billion (90.5%) is attributable to existing property valuation increases.
•  Total Agricultural Land Value Change was up 29.12% from 2013 to 2014

The real property value percentage change  by property type  is  based on the total property reported in each county. The real property value of individual property in each county may not be affected by the same percentage change. 

Agricultural Land Value Change by County (% change 2013-2014)

Antelope  47.50%
Boone  30.64%
Burt  16.79%
Butler  13.35%
Cass  17.38%
Cedar  25.46%
Colfax  38.88%
Cuming  27.12%
Dakota  23.71%
Dixon  35.84%
Dodge  20.76%
Douglas  20.30%
Knox  13.24%
Lancaster  0.01%
Madison  37.15%
Nance  36.18%
Otoe  16.18%
Pierce  40.99%
Platte  31.30%
Sarpy  14.42%
Saunders  14.75%
Stanton  41.54%
Thurston  37.01%
Washington  10.12%
Wayne  45.59%

Cuming County Ag Land Value Compared to other types of property 

(% change from 2013 to 2014, excluding growth)
Residential and Recreational -1.33%;  Commercial and Industrial +13.42%;  Total Real Property +19.92%

Click here for the county by county numbers across all real estate types...  http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/news_rel/apr_14/Charts_RealProp_ValueChg2013-2014.pdf

Real property  valuations  are  set by the county assessors  and  are subject to  review during the statewide equalization proceedings before  the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.  Real property  valuation  change  notices will be mailed  on or before  June 1,  2014  to  real  property owners who had real property values that increased or decreased from 2013 to 2014.  

Increases to  real property  valuations  may  result in an increase  of tax revenue  for local governmental subdivisions.  If the tax rates from the previous year remain unchanged, additional property taxes  would be generated.   Local  property taxes are the product of spending and budgeting decisions made by local governments, based on their  fiscal needs. The  final budgets must be approved by September 20 of each year. Tax rates must be determined by October 15 of each year.  

Statewide Agricultural Land Valuations Double Since 2009

Steve Nelson, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

“Yesterday the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s Property Assessment Division released the real property value percentage change by property type from 2013 to 2014. As expected, agricultural land valuations again increased, this time by 29.12 percent over the previous year.”

“This increase ensures the statewide valuation of agricultural land for tax purposes will have doubled since 2009 as our estimates suggest nearly a 120 percent increase in valuation since that time. Our estimates also suggest that due to the increase, the statewide property taxes paid by farm and ranch families on agricultural land will near $1 billion in 2015.”

“As we have pointed out on many occasions the unprecedented growth in valuation on agricultural land and the associated increases in property taxes are carried by farm and ranch families who make up less than three percent of our population, but pay more than 25 percent of the property taxes collected statewide.”

“While the Legislature placing more monies into the property tax credit program in the vein of property tax relief is appreciated, the fact remains that Nebraska farmers and ranchers pay the third highest property taxes in the U.S. and will continue to do so until something is done to address this issue.”

“Nebraska Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for change to a tax system which fails to recognize that property is not the sole means of measuring wealth and unfairly relies on farmer’s and rancher’s primary production tool (land) as the basis for funding schools and local government.”

"I Believe in the Future of Ag" Campaign Another Success

With the conclusion of the 2013-14 I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign, I'm excited to announce great growth! In total, almost $428,000 was raised; almost $200,000 of that was at the local level! All $200,000 will be returned to the respective local FFA chapters this spring, along with their portion of the $24,000 matching pot.

34 chapters were recognized at the 86th Nebraska FFA Convention for raising over $1,000 in the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign.

In addition, Stuart, Bridgeport and Bloomfield were each recognized as the top three chapters raising the most money per FFA member. Congratulations to all of our participating chapters and thank you for your support of this program.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

Prescribed burning CRP or pasture can improve stands, prepare them for interseeding, control weeds and trees, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve forage quality.  But it must be done safely.

Fire improves many grasslands, but it can be dangerous.  Wildfires occur easily when it is hot, dry, and windy like this spring, especially if you are careless.  So if you decide to burn, do it safely.

Fire is useful on CRP or other fields that are overgrown with much dead mulch from previous years.  This mulch can smother plants and new seedlings, causing stands to get thinner.  Fire removes this mulch, enabling stands to thicken, and it improves wildlife habitat.  Fire also can reduce the invasion of woody plants like cedar trees, weeds, or cool-season grasses into warm-season grasslands.  These less desirable plants are injured or killed by a well-timed burn.  This can be especially useful in summer pastures.

Timing is important, though.  Right now is a bit too early to burn warm-season grasses.  Burning now will open up the ground for weeds to invade, soil to erode, and moisture to evaporate.  The best time to burn warm-season grasses is when they just start to grow, usually late April to early May.  Burning then will result in rapid greenup and thickening of desirable warm-season plants.

Be careful, though.  Never burn unless weather conditions, topography, and other factors enable you to control the fire.  Plus, make sure your burn is legal.  You must obtain a burn permit from your local fire chief.  And finally, never burn unless someone experienced in prescribed burning is part of your burning crew.

Fire is a valuable tool.  But like any other tool, in the wrong hands it can be dangerous.

Johanns Writes FDA on Proposed Livestock Feed Rule

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today wrote Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg urging FDA to exempt raw agricultural commodities, distillers grain and other byproducts from a promised revision of a proposed rule dealing with livestock feed.  As first proposed, the rule would add new requirements to producers of distillers grains – including brewers and ethanol plants – and increase the cost for livestock producers who use these byproducts.

“As currently drafted, these new requirements would be illogical and could bring a safe, mutually-beneficial system to a screeching halt,” Johanns said. “The proposal would increase costs and create massive amounts of landfill waste – without any improvements to food safety. I’m glad FDA has agreed to revisit this rule and I will continue to advocate for food safety regulations based on sound science and common sense.”

NeFU Board To NE Congressmen: Support Wind Energy Production Tax Credit and the Ethanol RFS

At their recent spring meeting, the Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution calling on all members of Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation to actively support and advocate for inclusion and passage of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that were included April 3 with bipartisan support as part of the tax extenders package as reported out by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

“We applaud the work of the Senate Finance Committee and urge Nebraska’s U.S. Senate and House of Representative members to actively push for swift passage of this critically important policy driver for continued growth of the Nebraska and U.S. wind energy industry,” said Dan McGuire NeFU District 5 Director from Lincoln. “It’s one thing to talk about supporting renewable energy, but voting for the PTC and ITC is the real test. We need Nebraska’s entire delegation to weigh in quickly and announce their support so that the PTC and ITC extension will send the right message to investors so wind energy development can expand on the estimated 85,000 jobs it has already created. These incentives have facilitated investments of $15 billion a year into new U.S. wind farms and created orders for over 550 American factories in the supply chain according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“Extension of the PTC and ITC is a big economic deal for Nebraska’s future wind energy development. Nebraskans need the U.S. House of Representatives to act in a positive way as soon as possible just as the Senate Finance Committee did,” said John Hansen, NeFU President. “Nebraska is estimated to have an installed capacity of just over 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind energy by the end of 2015 based on the prior PTC that expired 12/31/2013. Nebraska has the opportunity to do so much more as a state to capture the rural economic development benefits that go hand-in-hand with the wind energy PTC and ITC. These are critical public policy tools that are essential for Nebraska to catch up to our bordering states that are outdistancing Nebraska in terms of wind energy development. Iowa and South Dakota are getting over 20% of their electric generation from wind energy because they know how to use the wind PTC and ITC. The Congressional delegations in those states weigh in and support the PTC and ITC as does the Governor’s Wind Coalition.”

“The time is now and it is critical that Nebraska’s entire Congressional delegation publicly state their support for and commitment to defend the ethanol Renewable Fuels Standards against attacks from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and anti-renewable energy activists,” said Gale Lush, NeFU District 3 Director from Wilcox. “I want to remind everyone that ethanol is an economic superstar for Nebraska’s economy. There are currently 24 active ethanol production plants in Nebraska, with a combined production capacity of over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, and requiring more than 700 million bushels of grain in the process. These ethanol plants represent more than $5 billion in capital investment in the state and provide direct employment for some 1,200 Nebraskans.  Nebraska ranks second in the nation in ethanol production, and is the largest ethanol producer west of the Missouri River. Geographic position, abundant ethanol supply and reliable, competitive rail transportation give Nebraska a strategic advantage in serving ethanol markets in the western U.S. And Distillers Dried Grains (DDGS) is helping Nebraska’s livestock feeding industry become the national leader.”

“It’s no wonder that over 5,000 Nebraska farmers sent comments to EPA opposing their plan to reduce the RFS target,” Vern Jantzen, NeFU Vice President from Plymouth added. “Nebraska’s ag economics professor Bruce Johnson’s analysis showed that ethanol is a key component of Nebraska’s “Golden Triangle” of corn, cattle and ethanol. Johnson reports that ethanol’s 2010 economic contribution in Nebraska included: Direct receipts of $3.4 billion with indirect (multiplier) impacts on other businesses results totaling $4.5 billion in business receipts; total direct and multiplier impacts of $928,000,000 in gross state product; direct labor income of $223 million and a total of $585 million with the multiplier; and 3,000 direct jobs and nearly 8,000 more when indirect jobs are considered. Ethanol does all of this while reducing gasoline prices at the pump for consumers by over $1.00 per gallon. We need all hands on deck to protect the ethanol RFS.  It is critical to the ongoing economic success of our state.” 

NRCS Accepts Grant Applications for Conservation Innovation Efforts

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Craig Derickson announced today the availability of $150,000 in program funding through Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to help improve soil health in Nebraska.  Applications must be received by NRCS before the close of business on May 16, 2014.

The grant program enables NRCS to work with public and private partners to accelerate technology development and adopt promising approaches to address natural resource concerns. The natural resource concern Nebraska has chosen to place its focus on is soil health.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Nebraska. While Conservation Innovation Grants aren’t intended to fund research projects, they instead link Federal and local resources to develop and adopt innovative conservation approaches and technologies for agriculture. With soil health being critical to the health and sustainability of agriculture, NRCS is looking forward to helping advance technology and innovation in this area," said Derickson.

Nebraska CIG project proposals will need to address at least one of several soil health topics, such as the effect cover crops have on erosion, soil moisture, grazing management and the impacts of no-till vs. conventional tillage systems.

Funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the grants are awarded through a competitive process. At least 50 percent of the total cost of grant projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient. CIG will fund single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years (anticipated project start date of September 1, 2014). The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in Fiscal Year 2014.

For more on this grant opportunity, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/index.html. To apply electronically, visit www.grants.gov.

World Pork Expo June 4-6 - Des Moines, IA

Mark your calendar for the 2014 World Pork Expo, June 4-6, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Brought to you by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), World Pork Expo features the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, educational seminars, swine shows and sales, and so much more. 

Online registration is already open; simply go to www.worldpork.org. Register early to secure the discounted admission fee of $5 for an adult (ages 12 and up), which provides entry for the entire Expo — a $10-per-person savings over the on-site fee. 

The world’s largest pork-specific trade show featuring more than 400 exhibitors from around the globe is always a highlight of Expo. You can stroll through more than 310,000 square feet of exhibit space to view the newest products, services and technologies available to pork production businesses today. The trade show is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5. On Friday, June 6, trade show hours run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Free educational seminars on Wednesday and Thursday present updates on current management issues and research. Experts discuss topics from animal health and well-being to production management to legislative updates to feeding strategies and more — all designed to provide practical information to take back home. Business seminars, also scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, address a range of marketing and business strategies and present an opportunity for questions and dialogue. 

Live hogs will be on display in the swine barn from June 3-7.  

To learn more about the 2014 World Pork Expo, check out www.worldpork.org. It has schedules and event details, with updates to come in the months ahead. You also will find the latest information on room availability at the official Expo hotels.

PEDv: 5,500 Cases Confirmed Across 30 States

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is continuing to spread. Citing figures from the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, there were 257 more cases of PEDv confirmed last week. This brings the number of confirmed cases to more than 5,500 since PEDv was identified in U.S. swine herds since April 2013. However, the latest weekly increase is the second lowest reported since mid-January, according to Ron Plain and Scott Brown with the University of Missouri.

NAHLN reports 28 states have confirmed cases of PEDv but suggests this count is actually slightly higher.  The number of states reported to the NAHLN as having at least one confirmed case of PED now stands at 28.  Plain and Brown, like other swine veterinarians across the country, are hopeful new outbreaks will continue to decline as the weather warms.

Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt explained recently that the losses attributed to PEDv was expected to be greatest in the winter, and as the weather turns warmer, these losses will decrease.  "The large losses experienced in February probably mean that losses will continue to be large into March but may lighten as the weather warms into April and the rest of spring," he said.

Early estimates put the nation's losses of piglets over the last several months to top 5 million, but this figure has since been revised downward with the USDA's March Hogs and Pigs report.

Sign-Up Begins Today for USDA Disaster Assistance Programs Restored by Farm Bill

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting today, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.

"We implemented these programs in record time and kept our commitment to begin sign-up today," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "To ensure enrollment goes as smoothly as possible, dedicated staff in over 2,000 Farm Service Agency offices across the country are doing everything necessary to help producers that have suffered through two and a half difficult years with no assistance because these programs were awaiting Congressional action."

Depending on the size and type of farm or ranch operation, eligible producers can enroll in one of four programs administered by the Farm Service Agency. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have suffered losses because of disease, severe weather, blizzards and wildfires.

Enrollment also begins today for the Tree Assistance Program (TAP), which provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

Producers signing up for these programs are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for information on the types of records needed and to schedule an appointment. Taking these steps in advance will help producers ensure their application moves through the process as quickly as possible.

Supporting documents may include livestock birth records, purchase and transportation receipts, photos and ownership records showing the number and type of livestock lost, documents listing the gallons of water transported to livestock during drought, and more. Crop records may include purchase receipts for eligible trees, bushes, or vines, seed and fertilizer purchases, planting and production records, and documentation of labor and equipment used to plant or remove eligible trees, bushes, or vines.

Producers have three to nine months to apply depending on the program and year of the loss. Details are available from any local FSA office.  For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, and the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.

Anhydrous, P Fertilizers Still Up

Retail fertilizer prices are continuing to rise, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of April 2014. This marks the eighth consecutive week all retail fertilizer prices edged higher. Besid the normal seasonal demand prior to planting, some regions of the country also are blaming rail delays for price increases.  Anhydrous jumped 8% compared to a month earlier. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $675 a ton. In January, it averaged about $615 per ton.

The phosphorus fertilizers were also higher in price once again, up 5% compared to a month earlier. DAP averaged $585 a ton and MAP was at $606 a ton. This is the first time MAP has been above $600 a ton since the second week of August 2013 when it was $607 per ton.

The remaining five fertilizer prices were higher but the shift to the high side was fairly minor. Potash had an average price of $475/ton, urea $548/ton, 10-34-0 $516/ton, UAN28 $352/ton and UAN32 $398/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.41/lb.N, UAN28 $0.63/lb.N and UAN32 $0.62/lb.N.

Although fertilizer prices have rebounded in recent months, five of the eight major fertilizers remain double digits lower in price compared to April 2013.  Urea is down 4%, DAP is 5% less expensive and MAP is 8% lower. UAN32 is now 11% lower while UAN28 is 13% less expensive and 10-34-0 is down 16%. Potash is 19% less expensive and anhydrous is 21% lower than a year earlier.

NCBA Awards State Partners for Outstanding Recruiting Efforts

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) awarded two state affiliates for their outstanding recruitment efforts at the 2014 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., last week. In all, 21 states met the criteria to qualify for the award; the choice of a one-year lease for either a New Holland Roll-Belt™ 560 Specialty Crop round baler or a New Holland T6.175 tractor.

NCBA recognizes the importance of a strong partnership with its state affiliate organizations and has joined forces with New Holland Ag to recognize and reward recruiters for their outstanding efforts. Mark Lowery, Dairy and Livestock Marketing Specialist for New Holland Ag emphasized the importance of working together on behalf of the beef industry and the company’s commitment to helping strengthen all of agriculture.

“This conference highlights the strength of our state/national partnerships and showcases the importance of your NCBA membership,” said Lowery. “We are proud of the opportunity to recognize state affiliates for their continued support of NCBA membership programs, which ultimately give the cattle industry a louder voice here on Capitol Hill.”

The 21 state affiliates which reached NCBA’s recruitment goals and qualified for the drawing for a one-year lease for a New Holland tractor or baler were: Alabama Cattlemen's Association, Arizona Cattle Feeders, California Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Livestock Association, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, Louisiana Cattlemen's Association, Michigan Cattlemen's Association, Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, New York Beef Producers' Association, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Pennsylvania Cattlemen's Association, Tennessee Cattlemen's Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Virginia Cattlemen's Association, Washington Cattle Feeders and Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association.

A random drawing of qualifying states was held during the Legislative Conference and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association will choose a one-year lease for either a New Holland Roll-Belt™ 560 Specialty Crop round baler or a New Holland T6.175 tractor to be used to support their efforts on behalf of their membership.

The top five states in NCBA membership recruitment from Jan. 1, 2014 through Mar. 31, 2014 were as follows: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Kansas Livestock Association and Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association. Texas and Missouri were winners of these leases during the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in February and therefore Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association was awarded the equipment lease.

Angus Association dismisses 12 staff members

(from Leslie Smith, KNEB Farm Director)

A shakeup at the American Angus Association has resulted in staff turnover.  On Friday, American  Angus  Association Chief  Executive  Officer Bryce Schumann addressed members in a letter that is posted on the association's website.  Schumann addressed the events that resulted from a letter from staff members over the management of the association and asked for Schumann's removal.  This letter prompted a six member task force made of officers and board members to conduct staff interviews.  After a lengthy deliberation the American Angus Association sided with Schuman and six  regional  managers  and  six staff  members  were dismissed.

In the letter, Schuman says "We  are  working  with  the  remaining  staff  members  to  provide  the  Association with  assistance  through  this  transitional  period".

25x'25 Welcomes IPCC Recognition of Renewables in Mitigating Climate Change

The 25x'25 Alliance welcomes the recognition by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change work group report released this weekend that renewable energy is a critical element necessary to curb rising global temperatures and the changes in climate that come with them.

While the full report, "Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change," will not be released until tomorrow, a summary of the report for policy makers says that global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have risen to unprecedented levels, despite a growing number of policies to reduce climate change, and that emissions grew more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades.

The summary shows that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78 percent of the total GHG emission increase from 1970 to 2010, with a similar percentage contribution for the period 2000-2010. But since the IPCC issued its last global assessment of climate change in 2007, the report notes - and 25x'25 has long advocated - that many renewable energy technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions, and that a growing number of renewable energy technologies have achieved level of maturity to enable deployment at significant scale.

The report shows that renewed investment in the kinds of renewable energy advocated by 25x'25 can bring about the desired outcome of limiting the global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Bioenergy is cited in the summary among the technologies to be pursued, noting that combining it with carbon capture technology "offers the prospect of energy supply with large-scale net negative emissions which plays an important role in many low-stabilization scenarios."

And while the report states that the sustainability of production practices and the efficiency of are issues to be considered, "bioenergy can play a critical role for mitigation."

The report is unequivocal in its assertion that reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere requires cutting back emissions from energy production and use. The 25x'25 Goal, in which America's farms, ranches and forestlands can meet 25 percent of our nation's energy needs with cleaner low- and no-carbon renewable sources - biomass, biofuels, wind energy, solar power, geothermal energy and hydropower - by 2025, will offer a major mitigation strategy to achieve the reductions in emissions called for by the IPCC.

CWT Assists with 8.4 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 28 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Foremost Farms, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 5.340 million pounds (2,422 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheeses, 2.260 million pounds (1,025 metric tons) of 82% butter and 837,757 pounds (380 Metric tons of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the South Pacific. The product will be delivered April through October 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 46.132 million pounds of cheese, 34.163 million pounds of butter and 4.204 million pounds of whole milk powder to 29 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.195 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, 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 in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

Futures Traders Sue CME  Over Real-Time Data Distribution

Three futures traders have filed a lawsuit against CME Group Inc. alleging the exchange operator sold data to high-frequency traders ahead of other participants that also paid to see the data first.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in an Illinois District Court, is seeking class-action status on behalf of users that have traded futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from 2007 until April of this year.

The plaintiffs allege CME charged exchange and data fees for real-time price data, and purported that the data was sold to the users in real time. The suit further states that CME allegedly also charged high-frequency traders for the ability to see the data before others, including people who paid and continue to pay CME for seeing the same data first.

CME said the lawsuit was "devoid of any facts supporting the allegations and, even worse, demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how our markets operate."

"The case is without merit, and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously," CME said.

High-frequency traders have been in the spotlight in recent weeks after the release of Michael Lewis's "Flash Boys," a book that focuses on traders that use dedicated data cables and specialized algorithms to trade milliseconds ahead of the rest of the market.

Cheminova Launches CERCOBIN™ Fungicide

Cheminova, Inc. today announced the introduction of CERCOBIN™ Fungicide, a broad spectrum curative and preventative systemic fungicide with both soil and foliar activity.  The active ingredient in CERCOBIN is thiophanate-methyl. As a FRAC Group 1 fungicide growers may use it alone, or as a tank mix or rotational partner, as part of a fungicide resistance management program in conjunction with strobilurin and azole fungicides.

CERCOBIN is labeled for use on dry beans, edible beans, soybeans, sugar beets, peanuts, tree nuts, pome and stone fruit, cucurbits, onions, potatoes, strawberries, fall wheat and more. Included among some of the key diseases it controls are white mold, Cercospora blight, frogeye leaf spot, Cercospora leaf spot and powdery mildew.  CERCOBIN is packaged in 2 x 2.5 gallon containers and is on sale now.

“Adding CERCOBIN to the broadening fungicide portfolio of Cheminova gives growers another option to help manage diseases.  It supports our existing fungicide portfolio of TOPGUARD®, FORTIX® and KOVERALL® as an efficacious product with another mode of action,” said Deneen Sebastian, Director of Marketing, Cheminova, Inc. “CERCOBIN is the first of three new fungicide offerings planned from Cheminova this year.”

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