Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tuesday July 1 Ag News

CVA and UFC Member-Owners Approve Merger

The  Board of Directors of Central Valley Ag Cooperative (CVA) and United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) met July 1 to ratify the votes cast by their respective member-owners approving the merger of the two companies effective September 1, 2014.  Each cooperative’s membership voted on the merger proposal, with Nebraska law requiring 2/3 of the votes cast to favor the proposal in order to be ratified.  Accounting firm Gardiner Thomsen certified that the owners of both cooperatives overwhelmingly approved the merger proposal.  The unified cooperative will retain the Central Valley Ag name and be headquartered in York, NE with Carl B. Dickinson serving as CEO.

“I am very pleased that the patrons of both cooperatives entrusted the vision and due diligence of their board members and leadership teams to approve their recommendation to merge two strong cooperatives focused on creating value for our customers” says Dickinson.  “The new CVA  will provide the opportunity for expanded services and facilities, increased savings, and accelerated equity redemptions for the benefit of our member-owners.  We also expect to be able to attract and retain the best employees to provide world-class service for every customer.”

Initial merger discussions between the companies began in early 2013, with the respective boards meeting in March 2014 to unanimously approve an Agreement and Plan of Merger.  Ballots were distributed to the owners of the cooperatives in May with the final tally of votes completed June 30th.

Doug Derscheid, current CEO of CVA, stated “It's very gratifying to receive such an overwhelming approval from our membership. They have truly set the stage and positioned their Cooperative to serve their needs and the needs of generations to come.  In my 44 years of cooperative employment and 38 in CEO positions, with many mergers and acquisitions during that time, this one is undoubtedly the very best in every measurement. Very exciting times are in our future.”

About Central Valley Ag Cooperative

Central Valley Ag Cooperative was formed in 2003 by the combination of Agland Coop of Oakland, Central Farmers Cooperative of O’Neill, and Tri Valley Cooperative of St. Edward. CVA merged with Northeast Cooperative in 2005, adding nine locations, and later that year purchased the assets of Precision Agronomy LLC and continued business through their seven locations. In 2011, CVA completed the purchase of an existing feed mill in Duncan, NE and later that year purchased Ortmeier’s Seed & Feed in West Point to enhance their ability to service livestock customer’s needs. CVA had sales of $687 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $13.5 Million.

About United Farmers Cooperative

United Farmers Cooperative was created in 2001 from the merger of United Co-op Inc. of Hampton, Farmers Cooperative Association of York, and Farmers Co-op Business Association of Shelby. In 2005, UFC acquired the Greenleaf, Haddam, Linn, and Washington locations in Kansas; followed in 2006 by merging with additional Kansas locations in Agenda, Barnes, Clifton, Clyde and Narka. Cuba, Kansas was added as a basic agronomy location in 2007 and UFC purchased H&H Grain Company in Norway, KS in 2008. Midwest Ag Partners, LLC in Marquette, NE was acquired in 2012 and, most recently, Jensen Fertilizer in Aurora, NE was purchased in 2013. UFC had sales of $709 Million in fiscal year 2013 with a Local Net Profit of $9.8 Million.

The new Central Valley Ag Cooperative will consist of 66 locations across eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas with over 800 employees dedicated to “Growing Agriculture Together” with their patrons.  The cooperative offers a wide range of products, services, information, and innovation through its Agronomy, Energy, Feed and Grain divisions to meet the needs of agricultural producers across the region.  Central Valley Ag Cooperative has a proud history on which the foundation has been laid for building a promising future in agriculture. 

‘Common Sense Nebraska’ Challenges EPA Water Rule

Nebraska agriculture organizations have joined forces under the umbrella of ‘Common Sense Nebraska’, a new coalition formed to push back on EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” Rule. The EPA proposal would vastly expand the federal agency’s authorities over farms and ranches. The coalition is working to bring attention and awareness about the proposal through its “#DitchTheRule” campaign.

‘Common Sense Nebraska’ members include Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, Nebraska Poultry Industries, Nebraska Soybean Association and the Nebraska State Dairy Association.

“As farmers and ranchers we strive every day to protect our land and water for the future generations of beef producers. And this proposed rule will greatly hinder our ability to care for our diverse landscape here in Nebraska as well as manage our land and water resources in harmony with wildlife, habitat, and the needs of our cattle,” said Barb Cooksley, Nebraska Cattlemen vice president.

EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” Rule would seek to bring water features like ponds, ditches and other areas where water flows or pools during or after rainfall events, under federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction, even if such areas aren’t wet most of the time. EPA’s action to regulate these features would subject farmers and ranchers to EPA’s CWA programs, regulations and permitting requirements.

“This proposal has little to do with improving the quality of water and a lot to do with EPA having more control over land use. They’ve tried to spin this rule as simply clarifying confusion on the limits of their powers under the CWA. Their version of clarification is to regulate all water, everywhere. We’re working to help farmers and ranchers tell EPA it’s time to ditch the rule,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation president.

The power to regulate ponds, ditches and the other water features in question was specifically given to the states and local jurisdictions when Congress adopted the CWA, while EPA was charged with regulating “navigable waters” like rivers and other large bodies of water which constantly flows. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled against EPA for similar efforts to expand the agency’s reach.

Under the proposed EPA Rule, basic farming and ranching activities like tilling the soil, fertilizing crops, changing land use and even building a fence would require permits when these features are present. Permitting requirements can be costly and time consuming, which is not helpful as many farming practices are time sensitive.

“So much of what we do in agriculture is dependent upon nature and the weather. When weeds and insects start destroying crops we need to act. If we have to wait on a Washington, D.C. agency’s approval to put on crop protection products, we’ll lose our crops. If they really understand this rule, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a farmer or rancher who wouldn’t be negatively impacted by this proposal,” said Joel Grams, Nebraska Corn Growers Association president.

Also of concern to farmers and ranchers is the fact the even if they are required to obtain a CWA permit, EPA is under no legal obligation to give it to them. Subjecting farmers to EPA permitting also opens the door for lawsuits against farm families by activist groups.

“Common Sense Nebraska will be working across the state to bring awareness to farmers and ranchers and the general public about how harmful this rule would be. We’re also going to work to build our coalition outside of agriculture as virtually anyone who puts a spade in the ground and turns the soil would be affected by this proposal,” said Larry Sitzman, Nebraska Pork Producers Association executive director.

Changing Landscape of Beef Industry

Bethany Johnston, UNL Extension Educator

Ranchers and beef producers listened to the report and changed how they were doing business. Back in 1991, the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA), injection site lesions were a major concern for the beef industry.

The beef industry should “pat itself” on the back for what was NOT said in the 2011 NBQA.

When participants responded to “visual characteristics” on the audit, problems that showed up 20 years ago were not mentioned. Injection site lesions did not appear to be evident problems in the 2011 Beef Quality Audit.

Back in 1991, injection site lesions occurred in 22.3% of carcasses. In 2011, injection sites lesions in fed cattle are less than 0.00001%, which is pretty darn close to zero.

However, improvement and education is still needed, especially in the dairy industry, where 41% of dairy producers still give injections in the animal’s rump. Beef cull cows and bulls also have higher rates of injection site lesions.

Subcutaneous (Sub-Q) injections, giving less than 10 cc’s per injection, and giving injections in the “triangle” on the neck helps minimize injection sites in the carcass.

For more information, visit bqa.unl.edu. If you would like to become BQA certified, contact Rob Eirich at 308.632.1230.

Entry Deadline for County & State Fair, Ak-Sar-Ben and Norfolk Livestock Expo

Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator, Cuming County

All members are reminded that the entry deadline for all livestock (this includes large animals as well as dogs, cats, small animals and rabbits) for Cuming County Fair as well as Ak-Sar-Ben livestock entries are due at 4 p.m., Friday, August 1 to the Cuming County Extension Office.

State Fair Livestock entries are required to be done on-line at the Nebraska State Fair site this year by Sunday, August 10 and is the responsibility of the 4-H member.  Cuming County 4-H members are encouraged to complete the process prior to the Cuming County Fair so they know it is completed. Printed instructions are available to assist you. Exhibitors will need a credit card to complete the process.

The Norfolk Meat Expo entries are due, Wednesday, August 13.

Cuming County Fair, Ak-Sar-Ben and Norfolk entries are due to the Cuming County Extension office.  Please make note as all entry deadlines will be enforced.

Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Rally Concludes With Ethanol Front and Center

The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign concluded two weeks of crisscrossing the state to promote alternative fuels as part of the Georgia Alternative Fuel Road Rally and reports that ethanol use in FFVs could increase significantly as a result of the program.

Todd Sneller, Administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and a Board Member of the FlexFuel Awareness Campaign, spoke with government officials and fleet managers throughout the state and visited four cities last week.    “Over the course of two weeks our team met with nearly 300 fleet management personnel and local municipalities to provide them with information on the ethanol option,” said Sneller.  “ I am pleased to report that the Georgia state Government  is preparing to energize the E85 initiative at the state level. The state has nearly 5000 FFVs in service but they need to facilitate more efficient fuel supply logistics.  Several large county fleets are also moving toward E85 since we explained the potential cost savings”, he said.

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition and the Clean Fuels Foundation, Growth Energy, the Kansas and Nebraska Corn Growers, and a number of agriculture and ethanol supporters are among the sponsors of the tour which is designed to increase consumer and fleet operator awareness for alternative fuels.  The FlexFuel Awareness Campaign is focusing on the message that high level ethanol blends and FFVs are an option for private and government fleets and that they can be very competitive among the family of legally defined alternative fuels.

Sneller noted that fleet managers are looking to use cleaner fuels within the tight budgets they are facing.   Ethanol continues to offer attractive pricing but an inefficient fuel delivery system is subverting the potential price advantage to fleet managers and consumers. In addition, there is a great need for consumer awareness and to work with retail outlets that serve both fleets and individual consumers.

“As part of an ‘all of the above’ approach, this Road Show showcases all the alternative fuels, and they all have their strengths and advantages in a given situation.  We are pleased to be part of this successful effort and make sure biofuels like ethanol are in the mix”,  said Sneller.

Following the Georgia road show the program will move to other Southeast Regions including Florida.  Later  the program will focus on Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC Metropolitan area with numerous events planned throughout the mid Atlantic region.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Summer annual grasses planted this spring soon could be ready to graze.  Let’s review some grazing guidelines to help you avoid any potential hazards or problems.

               It’s been said that rules are meant to be broken.  One rule, though, that I suggest you never break is this one: never turn hungry animals into sudangrass or sorghum-sudan pastures.  Why?  Because they may eat so rapidly that they could get a quick overdose of prussic acid and die.

               All sudangrass and sorghum-sudan hybrids can produce a compound called prussic acid that is potentially poisonous.  Prussic acid, which also is called cyanide, is nothing to fear, though, as long as you use a few precautions to avoid problems.

               The highest concentration of prussic acid is in new shoots, so let your grass get a little growth on it before grazing to help dilute out the prussic acid.  Let sudangrass get at least 18 inches in height before grazing.  Since sorghum-sudan hybrids usually have a little more prussic acid risk, wait until they are 20 to 24 inches tall.

               Pearl millet does not contain prussic acid so if you planted millet these grazing precautions aren’t needed.  Let your animals graze pearl millet when it reaches 12 to 15 inches tall.

               Summer annual grasses respond best to a simple, rotational grazing system.  Divide fields into three or more smaller paddocks of a size that your animals can graze down to about eight or so inches of leafy stubble within 7 to 10 days.  Repeat this procedure with all paddocks.  If some grass gets too tall, either cut it for hay or rotate animals more quickly so grass doesn't head out.

               A well-planned start, a good rotation, and a little rain can give you good pasture from these grasses all the rest of the summer.

Taiwan Millers Team to Get Seed-to-Ship Look at U.S. Wheat Industry

Flour millers in Taiwan have relied for many years on U.S. farmers to supply most of the wheat they import. Competition exists, however, and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) knows that it is important to keep the Taiwan milling industry informed about the quality and value of U.S. wheat. That is why USW is bringing four milling executives to the United States July 6 to 15, 2014, with assistance from the North Dakota Wheat Commission, Nebraska Wheat Board, Oregon Wheat Commission and California Wheat Commission. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service also provided funding for this trade team event.

“This visit will help us demonstrate the quality of the U.S. hard red spring (HRS), hard red winter (HRW) and soft white wheat these millers want to produce flour for healthy wheat foods,” said USW Country Director Ronald Lu, who will accompany the team. “The millers are also looking forward to learning more about U.S. hard white (HW) wheat. They currently can only import Australian white wheat that is specifically positioned for use in noodle flour and they hope to encourage farmers and grain handlers in the United States to produce more HW.”

This team will see a wide range of the U.S. wheat industry on this visit. In Fargo, ND, the focus is on HRS. Over three days in Nebraska, the team will see how farmers, breeders and seed producers are working to improve HRW and HW yield and quality. The millers will be able to see wheat move by rail and barge to export elevators in Portland, OR, where the Federal Grain Inspection Service independently inspects and certifies that the wheat being shipped meets purchase contract specifications. Finally in Woodland, CA, the California Wheat Commission will demonstrate the unique characteristics of the HRW and HW wheat grown in the state.

RFA Congratulates Quad County Corn Processors on Iowa’s First Gallon of Cellulosic Ethanol

Today, the Renewable Fuels Association praised Quad County Corn Processors on the production of the first gallon of ethanol from their new cellulosic “bolt-on” ethanol plant in Galva, Iowa. The Adding Cellulosic Ethanol (ACE) project is turning corn kernel fiber, a cellulosic feedstock, into high-octane, clean-burning ethanol. The facility is expected to produce 2 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol from a feedstock already onsite.

RFA’s President and CEO, Bob Dinneen, said, “Quad County is to be congratulated. This first gallon of cellulosic ethanol represents just the beginning of a long, promising future. Delayne Johnson and his team are to be congratulated for their vision, determination, and innovation.”

Dinneen continued, “It is worth noting that Quad County is the perfect demonstration of first and second generation ethanol being produced side-by-side to bring more choice to America in the form of low-cost, high-octane, renewable fuel.”

Delayne Johnson, Quad County Corn Processors CEO, explained, “First is always exciting and being the first cellulosic ethanol producer in Iowa is a very proud moment for us. We have always taken pride in the fact that we are producing a fuel that is making America economically stronger, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and giving American drivers a cost-saving, octane-boosting, environmentally-friendly fuel choice. Now, thanks to the ACE project, we are able to get six percent more ethanol out of the same kernel of corn that we already process for conventional fuel.”

Since 2000, Quad County has operated a 35-million gallon a year corn ethanol biorefinery with 35 full-time employees. The ACE project added five additional full-time jobs, which will bring Quad County’s total employment to 40 full-time employees.

The technology that helped make today’s announcement a reality is a direct result of Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative receiving a $4.25 million investment from USDA and the Department of Energy as part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative. Iowa Power Fund also provided a $1.45 million grant. The R&D process spanned four years.

Reminder to all cattle farmers, ranchers and importers: 

All beef checkoff meetings are open to every person who pays the checkoff. During the upcoming 2014 Cattle Industry Summer Conference, July 30-Aug. 2 in Denver, Colo., these meetings include meetings of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB); Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation) and joint committee meetings that include checkoff representation. Registration information can be found here.

Kaiser Presents ROI Report at Summer Meetings

Do you have an interest in your checkoff’s return on investment? If you answered ‘yes’, don’t miss Cornell University Researcher Harry Kaiser’s report about the economic analysis of demand-enhancing programs funded through the CBB budget. Dr. Kaiser will present a detailed report in the Joint Evaluation Advisory Committee meeting, which begins at 3 p.m. on July 30. Then, he will present a more general presentation of results at a larger session for Board members and other interested parties at 1:30 p.m. on July 31.

Hog, Beef Margins Increase Prior to July 4th Holiday

In the hog markets, farrow-to-finish margins increased last week to $101.44 from $91.24 the previous week, according to the Sterling Pork Profit Tracker. At this time last year, the farrow-to-finish margin was $21.26 per head. Lean hogs climbed more than $6 last week to $127.22, compared to $121.30. Lean hogs are up nearly $30 from this time last year when they were at $101.49.

Packer margins declined last week to negative 18 cents compared to $3.87 the previous week. Last month, pork packers were making $3.22 per head and $9.70 per head at this time last year. The pork cutout value increased to $129.72 last week, compared to $125.81 the previous week.

Cattle feeding margins exploded the week before the Fourth of July holiday. Feedlot margins hit $280.08 to finish the week ending June 28, compared to $194.24 the previous week, $164.85 last month and negative $162.65 at this time last year, according to the latest data from the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Beef packer margins were also up the week ending June 28, hitting $49.12 per head, compared to $23.60 the previous week.

July 4th Picnic Still Costs Less Than $6 per Person, Says FB

An all-American Fourth of July picnic of the nation’s favorite foods including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk will cost slightly more this year but still comes in at less than $6 per person, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer picnic for 10 is $58.72, or $5.87 per person. That’s about a 5-percent increase compared to a year ago.

“Despite some modest price increases over the past year or so – meats, especially – most Americans should be able to find summer picnic foods at prices close to the averages found by our volunteer shoppers,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF.

“Retail meat prices are higher compared to a year ago because the nation’s cattle herd is now at a historically small level,” Anderson said. “The total number of hogs farmers across the nation are raising is also down, which has contributed to higher retail prices for pork products.”

Although consumers will pay a bit more for their Independence Day picnics, finding delectable meat cuts and ingredients for side dishes will not be a problem.

“As a nation, we continue to enjoy a consistent, high-quality supply of meats and poultry that can be grilled or prepared any number of different ways. The whole array of home-grown foods Americans typically enjoy in the summer also is in plentiful supply,” he said.

AFBF’s summer picnic menu for 10 consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, watermelon for dessert, and ketchup and mustard.

July 4th Picnic for 10 Costs 3 More Clams

Items                                             2013 price     2014 price     % Change
American cheese slices 1lb.              2.73              3.12               +14.3
Ground round - 2lbs. pre-cooked     7.86               8.91               +13.4
Pork spare ribs, 4 pounds                 12.29            13.91               +13.2
Chocolate milk, 2 quarts                   2.62               2.82                +7.6
Mustard, 16-ounce bottle                 1.23               1.25                +1.6
Watermelon, 4 pounds                      5.61               5.68                +1.2
Package of hamburger buns             1.67                 1.68              +0.60
Ketchup, 20-ounce bottle                1.55               1.36               -12.3
Lemonade (pre-mixed), 2 quarts      2.07               2.00                -3.4
Package of hot dog                         2.29               2.23                -2.6
Baked beans, 28-ounce can            1.99              1.96                 -1.5
Package of hot dog buns                 1.64                1.63               -.60
Deli potato salad, 3 pounds              8.77              8.80                -.30
Corn chips, 15-ounce bag                3.37              3.37          No change
TOTAL                                          55.69            58.72                +5.4

A total of 84 Farm Bureau members (volunteer shoppers) in 25 states checked retail prices for summer picnic foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.

The July Fourth Picnic Survey is part of the Farm Bureau marketbasket series which also includes the popular annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey and two “everyday” marketbasket surveys on common food staples Americans use to prepare meals at home. A squad of Farm Bureau members across the nation checks retail prices at local grocery stores for the marketbasket surveys. AFBF published its first marketbasket survey in 1986.

AFBF is the nation’s largest general farm organization with member families in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Learn more at http://facebook.com/AmericanFarmBureau or follow @FarmBureau on Twitter.

Senate Resolution Honors American Cowboys

Senator John Hoeven cosponsored a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., to declare July 26 the Day of the American Cowboy. This is the ninth year the resolution has been introduced and serves to honor the accomplishments and contributions of cowboys from around the nation.

"The cowboy is a fixture in American history, culture and lore, and also a big part of North Dakota's heritage," Hoeven said. "Even President Teddy Roosevelt tried his hand at it more than 100 years ago and declared, 'I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota,' and 'It was here that the romance of my life began.' The National Day of the American Cowboy is a way to acknowledge the contributions cowboys have made throughout our history and their importance to our nation to this day."

In addition to Hoeven, Senators Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Jon Tester, D-Mont., and John Walsh, D-Mont. are also cosponsors of the resolution.

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for July 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for July 2014. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for July is 0.125 percent, unchanged from 0.125 percent in June.

The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during July is 1.125 percent, unchanged from 1.125 percent in June.

Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for July are as follows, 2.125 percent with seven-year loan terms, down from 2.250 percent in June; 2.625 percent with 10-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.625 percent in June and; 2.750 percent with 12-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.750 percent in June. The interest rate for 15-year Sugar Storage Facility Loans for July is 2.875 percent, down from 3.000 percent in June.

Freedom from High Gas Prices

Sadly, drivers are expected to see skyrocketing gas prices this Independence Day as analysts at GasBuddy predict that Fourth of July prices will reach their highest level in six years. Tom Kloza, GasBuddy’s chief oil analyst, remarked, “Fear about what could happen if Iraqi exports fall prey to violence has altered the calculus for summer oil prices.”

“Ethanol is the lowest transportation fuel in the world. It saves Americans money at the pump and stretches the fuel supply. It is the perfect remedy for skyrocketing gas prices. Now is not the time for the Environmental Protection Agency to be scaling back our nation’s renewable energy policy. Now is the time to be expanding the use of biofuels and striking a blow for American energy independence,” noted Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was established to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. America’s petroleum import dependence reached a high of 60 percent in 2005. That number has fallen to 35 percent in 2013, compared to the 41 percent without the 13.3 billion gallons of ethanol in America’s fuel supply. In 2013, ethanol production displaced the amount of oil America imports from Iraq and Venezuela — 462 million barrels of crude oil.

Ethanol is currently blended in more than 96 percent of America’s fuel supply, saving consumers money because wholesale ethanol is cheaper than wholesale gasoline by an average of $1.00/gallon. On a consumer level, energy economist Philip Verleger found that ethanol saved American consumers on average $1.00/gallon in 2012 and 2013. This translates to an average family savings of $1,200/year in fuel costs.

“Many Americans are keeping a close eye on the news as political instability continues in Iraq and gas prices continue to tick up here at home. The need for American energy independence has never been so important and the solution has never been so clear — renewable fuels,” Dinneen explained.

NCGA Climbs to New Membership Heights

National Corn Growers Association membership set yet another membership record at the end of June, with 41,185 active members. This membership record replaces the former record of 40,797, set in April. Notably, the April record concluded a three-month run of consistent record membership.

"The membership records just keep coming in 2014, and we couldn't be more excited," said NCGA President Martin Barbre. "With major issues surrounding the RFS, farm bill implementation and pending regulations on the horizon, our members recognize the importance of NCGA's work. Our members, the true grassroots, give us the strength and motivate our mission, pushing us to greater heights year after year."

NCGA has members across the contiguous United States and works in cooperation with grower associations and state corn checkoff boards from 28 states, representing the interests of its members and the more than 300,000 growers who contribute corn checkoff funds in their states.

Fertilizer Prices Remain Mostly Unchanged

Retail fertilizer prices continue to fluctuate, with some slightly lower and other a bit higher, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of June 2014. Price movement in either direction was not significant.

Six fertilizers were slightly lower in price compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $595/ton, MAP $629/ton, urea $535/ton, anhydrous $700/ton, UAN28 $355/ton and UAN32 $403/ton.

Potash was up slightly for the month, with an average of reported prices at $483/ton; 10-34-0 was at $562/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.58/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.63/lb.N and UAN32 $0.63/lb.N.

With fertilizers moving higher in recent months, only three of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits lower in price compared to June of 2013.  DAP is now down 1%, MAP is 2% less expensive and urea is 3% less expensive. 10-34-0 is down 7% while UAN32 is 9% less expensive and UAN28 is now 10% lower. Anhydrous is now 14% less expensive while potash is down 17% compared to a year earlier.

CWT Assists with 8.9 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 20 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 7.839 million pounds (3,556 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese, 110,231 pounds (50 metric tons) of butter (82% butterfat) and 972,239 pounds (441 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, South America and Oceania. The product will be delivered July through December 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 58.762 million pounds of cheese, 47.521 million pounds of butter and 14.568 million pounds of whole milk powder to 41 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.753 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Totals have been adjusted for cancellations.

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.

Registration for Export Exchange 2014 Set for July 1

Registration is now open for Export Exchange 2014™, the premier international trade conference focused on the export of U.S. coarse grains and ethanol co-products.

Approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives as well as more than 180 international buyers are expected to attend Export Exchange 2014. The conference is being held Oct. 20-22 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and is co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association.

“Export Exchange brings together a group of U.S. suppliers and international buyers in a unique event focused on the expansion of established export markets and the development of new markets for U.S. coarse grains, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and other ethanol co-products,” said USGC Chairman Julius Schaaf.

Export Exchange is held every two years. The 2012 event broke records in attendance and attracted buying teams from 33 countries, including all of the top U.S. international coarse grains and ethanol co-products markets. Attendance at this year’s event is expected to set a new record, creating more opportunities for U.S. merchandisers to connect with buyers and build business.

“Over the past decade, the U.S. ethanol industry has emerged as a major producer of high quality animal feeds like DDGS and corn gluten feed,” said Bob Dinneen, RFA president and CEO. “Export Exchange is the premier forum for connecting the producers and marketers of those co-products with customers around the world.”

Early registration discounts end July 31. Please visit www.ExportExchange.org to register today and find more information. USGC and RFA members are eligible for discounted pricing and should identify themselves as such at the time of registration.

AgriBank Pays Quarterly Preferred Stock Dividend

Today St. Paul-based AgriBank paid a quarterly cash dividend of $1.7188 per share on its 6.875 percent non-cumulative perpetual class A preferred stock to holders of record as of June 1, 2014.

AgriBank issued $250 million of preferred stock on Oct. 29, 2013 to provide the Bank and the 15-state Farm Credit District it serves with long-term access to high-quality capital, helping ensure the District is well-positioned to meet the long-term growth and credit needs of farmer and rancher customers.

AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with more than $85 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System's cooperative structure, AgriBank is owned by 17 affiliated Farm Credit Associations. The AgriBank District covers America's Midwest, a 15-state area stretching from Wyoming to Ohio and Minnesota to Arkansas. More than half of the nation's cropland is located within the AgriBank District, providing the Bank and its Association owners with exceptional expertise in production agriculture. For more information, visit www.AgriBank.com.

Time Nitrogen Delivery to Key Plant Growth Stages

Nitrogen (N) is essential to plant growth and grain fill, making it critical for growers to monitor soil N levels at key points during the growing season. Wet conditions in May and June have raised concerns that Rescue applications of N may be needed as this essential nutrient can easily be lost from the soil by leaching or denitrification with excess rainfall.

Growers should be evaluating how much N remains in the soil and if it will be enough to meet crop needs. A quick response to N-deficiency stress is often required to minimize yield loss.

Soil tests are one way to gauge nitrogen levels prior to an in-season application. Optical sensors can also be mounted on fertilizer application equipment, enabling on-the-go N sensing, rate calculation and application all at once. Aerial imagery and chlorophyll meters are also good tools to evaluate crop N needs. Several research studies show that rescue N applications are effective at recovering yield — as late as three weeks after pollination.

If N is found to be lacking in the plants and soil, growers have several decisions to make, including:
-    the type of N to apply
-    application method
-    timing
-    volume of N needed
-    need for a nitrification inhibitor

Pioneer agronomists estimate that farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt currently lose $50 to $60/acre as a result of nitrogen management inefficiencies — with much greater loses occurring in extreme climatic years. DuPont Pioneer will soon offer a Nitrogen Management Service in targeted corn production geographies. This advanced management solution will significantly narrow the nitrogen profit loss gap by giving farmers a new ability to plan, monitor and adapt nitrogen management practices to maximize profitability and improve environmental quality in the face of climatic uncertainty.

Verdesian Life Sciences Acquires SFP

Verdesian Life Sciences announced that it has acquired Specialty Fertilizer Products (SFP), a Leawood, Kansas-based company focused on fertilizer efficiency products. The transaction promises to benefit customers by building on Verdesian’s history of bringing new, intellectually protected and patented products to market.

By joining forces with SFP, Verdesian will gain more than 270 patent properties and be able to offer:
·         A broader portfolio for customers;
·         More solutions to meet growers’ needs;
·         A greater focus on key customers with the largest plant nutritional sales force in the United States; and
·         A robust pipeline in plant nutrition.

“SFP’s innovative fertilizer solutions are a natural fit with Verdesian’s expansive product offerings that increase grower yields and return on investment,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer for Verdesian Life Sciences. “Bringing SFP into the Verdesian family represents another step in our long-term strategy to build a leading portfolio of plant health and nutrition products.”

Verdesian will further enhance its position in the crop markets with the addition of AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer, NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager and More Than Manure® Nutrient Manager. These products complement the current portfolio that includes Nutri-Phite® and Nutri-Phite® Plus, Sterics®, Take Off®, PolyAmines™, and the INTX® line of inoculants and seed treatments.

“We are confident that the addition of SFP’s outstanding team, impressive product lineup and excellent reputation for service will be a great combination with Verdesian Life Sciences,” Grow added. “This move strengthens our ability to bring a new level of plant health technology to customers as the demand and expectations for these valuable products continue to grow. We also remain committed to the research and development of products that are environmentally sustainable.”

"We are excited to join Verdesian, which will enable us to take our business to the next level,” said SFP founder J. Larry Sanders, who has served as president and chief executive officer. “As part of Verdesian, we will be able to offer our revolutionary and environmentally beneficial fertilizer efficiency technology to more growers in more markets, and to bring the exciting products we have in our pipeline to market.  Verdesian shares our commitment to helping growers optimize their resources, and we look forward to working with J.J. Grow and the team to continue providing our customers the latest solutions in fertilizer efficiency technology that they expect from us.”

According to Grow, there will be no immediate staffing changes except in the reporting structure at the senior management level. For example, Sanders has been named executive vice president of Polymer Technology and will report to Verdesian’s J.J. Grow. The sales forces of both organizations will continue to service their clients through 2014. In early 2015, SFP will become Verdesian and a combined sales force will be formed.

Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. The current U.S. and international pricing, product distribution, programs and policies for all products offered by Verdesian Life Sciences, including the acquired SFP products, will remain in place through 2014.

Verdesian Life Sciences is a plant health and nutrition company with patented biological, nutritional, seed treatment and inoculant technologies that help specialty and row crop growers and turf management professionals maximize their nitrogen and phosphorus investments. Founded in 2012 to acquire and grow plant health product companies, Verdesian is based in Cary, N.C., with production and manufacturing facilities in Visalia, Calif., Pasco, Wash., and Kentland, Ind.

United States and Korea Streamline Organic Trade

Organic processed products certified in the United States or Korea can now be labeled as organic in either country. This will allow American organic farmers, processors, and businesses greater access to Korea's growing market for organic products. The arrangement between the two nations will take effect on July 1, 2014.

"Korea is a growing, lucrative market for U.S. organic products, and this arrangement increases demand for American organic products," said Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture. "This is another chapter in the success story of organic agriculture, which provides more economic opportunities for American producers, more choices for consumers, and more jobs in rural communities across the country."

"America's organic farmers and businesses have a reason to celebrate," said Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative. "We are committed to unlocking new opportunities for Americans and through this work we are delivering for the communities that depend on agricultural products. This deal serves as another foundation for future organic trade arrangements between the United States and other partners."

Without this equivalency arrangement in place, organic farmers and businesses wanting to sell organic processed products in either country would have to obtain separate certifications to meet each country's organic standards. This typically has meant two sets of fees, inspections, and paperwork, and delays for U.S. farmers and businesses trying to export. Similar to previous U.S. equivalency arrangements with Canada, the European Union, and Japan, this arrangement with Korea eliminates significant barriers, especially for small and medium-sized organic businesses. This is Korea's first organic equivalency arrangement with any trading partner and serves as an example of how closely the United States is working with Korea to address emerging issues and strengthen the trade relationship.

Leading up to today's announcement, U.S. and Korean technical experts conducted thorough on-site audits to ensure that their programs' regulations, quality control measures, certification requirements, and labeling practices were compatible.

The arrangement covers organic condiments, cereal, baby food, frozen meals, milk, and other processed products. According to U.S. industry estimates, exports of organic processed products from the United States are valued at approximately $35 million annually.

The United States and Korea are committed to ensuring that all traded organic processed products meet the terms of the arrangement, retaining their organic integrity from farm to market. Korea's National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service and the National Organic Program, part of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service—which oversee organic products in their respective countries—will both take on key oversight roles.

The United States and Korea will continue to have regular discussions and will review each other's programs periodically to ensure that the terms of the arrangement are being met.

For additional details on this agreement, please visit: www.ams.usda.gov/NOPTradeKorea.

No comments:

Post a Comment