Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday July 15 Ag News

Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshop To Be Held in West Point

The Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease workshop offered at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska on Tuesday, August 19 will help landlords and tenants put together a lease that is right for both parties, and help maintain positive farm leasing relations.  The registration for the workshop will be held at 8:45 a.m. and the meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. – Noon.  Topics for discussion include:
- Latest information about land values and cash rental rates for the area and state;
-  Expectations from the lease, including goal setting for the rental property;
-  Lease termination, including terminating handshake or verbal leases;
- Lease communication, determining appropriate information sharing for both the tenant and landlord;
- Alternative cash lease arrangements, flexible provision considerations for your situation; and
- Other topics, like irrigation systems, hay rent, pasture rental agreements, and grain bin rental will be covered as time allows.

The UNL Extension Educator team of, Allan Vyhnalek and Tim Lemmons, will present on these topics and provide common sense tips during the presentation. It is very helpful if both the tenant and landlord attend together.  It is also helpful if the spouse attends.   Everyone is welcome to the workshop.

This free workshop is sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board.  Refreshments and handouts are provided. Registration is requested by calling the host county of the workshop.  Register by Friday, August 15, to ensure that there are enough handouts and refreshments.  Register by calling the UNL Extension in Cuming County at 402/372-6006. 

This workshop has been held extensively across Nebraska for the past two years with over 2,200 attending.  The vast majority of both landlords and tenants find the workshop to be very helpful in improving communications, setting rental terms, and learning about the use of flex lease provisions.  As crop budgets are tighten, it is even more important to attend and listen to the latest discussion about leasing issues.

For more information or assistance, please contact Allan Vyhnalek, Extension Educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Extension in Platte County.  Phone: 402-563-4901 or e-mail avyhnalek2@unl.edu

Handling Cattle Through High Heat Humidity Indexes

Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator, Cuming County

As cattlemen enter the summer months, they need to understand and deal with heat and humidity. We need to consider some guidelines to help reduce additional stress on cattle during these events and incorporate some of the following practices into our management practices.

It is important to understand the relationship between temperature and humidity in respects to the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) or Heat Index. The chart can be found at http://go.unl.edu/4ewp and will help to determine the risk level in planning cattle handling during the summer months. Cattlemen need to be aware of the risk based on weather forecast of the heat stress.

Handling cattle early in the mornings before temperatures get too high is always recommended. Plan to handle cattle before 8:00 a.m. and never after 10:00 a.m. during summer months. Remember that the animal’s core temperature peaks approximately two hours after the environmental temperature peaks and takes four to six hours to lower back to normal temperature. With this in mind you shouldn’t believe that handling cattle in the evening will reduce the risk of heat stress.

When processing cattle during high heat seasons, work cattle in smaller groups, so cattle are not standing in the holding area much longer than 30 minutes. Cattlemen should consider facilities that are shaded with good air flow to help reduce the heat. A sprinkler system may assist in cooling the area, if the water droplet size is large. Never over-crowd working facilities, work cattle slowly, and use low-stress handling techniques. Remember that processing cattle in any temperature elevates the animal’s core temperature.

Cattle movements should be short distances during hot seasons. Strategic planning on pen movements can assist in reducing unnecessary movements and potential heat stress. Moving heavier cattle closer to loading facilities throughout the feeding period can benefit in managing heat effects.

When planning or improving cattle handling and feeding facilities, cattlemen need to take into consideration air flow, shade, and sprinkler systems for cooling livestock. These considerations can help the danger of heat stress on livestock and improve feeding efficiencies during hot temperature periods.

Another important thing to remember is that compromised animals are at higher risk for heat stress. Those animals that are sick or lame are usually running higher temperatures than normal (average temperature for a beef animal is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit), combined with hot temperature and high humidity raises their risk of heat stress. Producers will need to take extra precautions with these animals to provide additional resources like shade and cooling.

Summer can be challenging for many cattle producers. By implementing some handling guidelines, cattlemen can reduce the risk level of heat stress and improve cattle performance.

The Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance website, bqa.unl.edu, has additional resources and links available for more information on cattle handling, processing, and facility design.  For more information about Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance or to get BQA certification, contact Rob Eirich, UNL Extension Educator and Nebraska Director of BQA at 308.632.1230 or reirich2@unl.edu

Cuming County's Erica Lewis Crowned Fremont 4-H Fair Queen

Click here and listen to an interview with Erica shortly after she was crowned last Friday...

Eric Lewis was crowned queen of the 2014 Fremont 4-H Fair on Friday July 11, during the community awards luncheon. Erica was selected from a field of 11 candidates.  She submitted a written application that included a record of all of her 4-H accomplishments and interviewed with a selection committee from the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce. Erica is an 11 year member of the Go-Getters 4-H Club and the daughter of Jerry and JoAnn Lewis of West Point. She has been a competitive force in Cuming County as well at the Fremont Fair and State Fair in the areas of sheep, Swine, foods, clothing, home environment and safety projects.  She has also served on the Cuming County 4-H Council for three years.  Erica was a member of the 2012 4-H Meats Identification Team that won the State Meats Contest and represented Nebraska in the National Meats Identification Contest that fall.  A month later she was one of Nebraska’s delegates to National 4-H Club Congress. Erica will be a freshman at the University of Nebraska majoring in Food Science and Technology and participating in the UNL Honors program.

Darby Doerneman was introduced during the coronation ceremonies a Cuming County Queen candidate.  Darby is the daughter of Brian and Brenda Doerneman of Fremont and has been a competitive Cuming County 4-H member excelling in swine, rabbit, foods and home environment projects. Her Grandmother and Mother are members of the Fremont 4-H Fair Board.  Darby will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln majoring in Agricultural Economics. Resumes of each of the candidates and their extensive 4-H activities were reviewed for the audience.

Lucas Cox of Butler County was crowned King.  He will be a Senior at Columbus Scotus and his strong project interests are in forestry and weed identification.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Asks USDA to Act on Key Crop Insurance Provision

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation (NFBF) is urging USDA to move swiftly in the implementation of a new crop insurance provision included in the 2014 Farm Bill. The provision would help Nebraska farmers who’ve lost crops to widespread hail and tornados this spring and summer, while also aiding Nebraska farmers in future drought situations.

“It’s been a difficult year for many farmers in Nebraska and across the country. Prompt action by USDA to implement this new provision could be of tremendous benefit to those who’ve suffered crop losses inflicted by Mother Nature,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

In a July 15 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, NFBF asked USDA to move promptly in implementing 2014 Farm Bill provisions that allow farmers to exclude any year from their Actual Production History (APH) if their yield in that year was less than 50 percent of the 10-year county average.

APH reflects the 10-year rolling average of on-farm commodity yields and serves as the foundation for several crop insurance program provisions, including the determination of a farmer’s crop insurance premium and limitations on their level of crop coverage.

“This measure will help ease the pressure of climbing crop insurance premiums for farmers who’ve suffered catastrophic losses, and in some cases, experienced those losses in multiple years. It also gives them much needed flexibility in determining their level of crop insurance coverage for future years despite these catastrophic events,” said Nelson.

In the letter, NFBF acknowledged the challenge USDA faces in implementing the farm bill, but noted the need for farmers to be able to take advantage of this key farm bill provision.

“These measures will be very valuable to farmers hit hard by Mother Nature, many of which who have taken risk management steps to try and soften the blow of destructive weather conditions,” said Nelson.

NE Ethanol Board Meets July 21

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet on Monday, July 21st at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Place in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The meeting will mainly focus on fiscal year projects and budget items. Some agenda highlights include:
-    Budget Status Report
-    Marketing Programs Update
-    Corn Hybrids Discussion
-    State and Federal Legislation Update
-    Ethanol Plant Reports

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Most areas have been blessed with more rain this year.  While rotational grazing helps most when grass is short, it also helps when moisture is good.

               When you are short on grass, rotational grazing improves harvest efficiency of your pasture.  By concentrating animals onto smaller pastures, grazing uniformity improves.  This means your animals do less picking-and-choosing-and-trampling as they graze.  They eat more of what is available to them and they waste less feed.  This helps current pasture growth feed your animals longer.

               This year, however, most Nebraska pastures have plenty of grass. You don’t need to stretch your pasture supply so why think about rotational grazing now?

               Let’s think ahead.  By mid-July most years, we start to notice our grasslands suffering from a lack of water.  But pastures that had been rotationally grazed in previous years aren't hurt quite as bad.  Why do rotationally grazed pastures do better in summer?  Mostly it's because their root systems are healthier and deeper than continuously grazed pastures due to the periodic rest they receive.  As a result, they can gather more soil moisture from deeper soil depths.

               By starting rotational grazing when you have plenty of grass, plants will rest and begin to improve their root system immediately.  This makes them better able to gather moisture during the next dry spell.  That means that if you aren't already grazing rotationally, start now, regardless of whether you have abundant rain and grass or you are in a drought.

               So do some extra cross-fencing.  You will stretch your feed supply as well as improve plant roots and production for next year.

USDA Announces Results of Soy Checkoff Request for Referendum Vote

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the results of the request for referendum on the Soybean Research and Promotion Program (soy checkoff). USDA received 355 request-for-referendum forms, of which only 324 were valid, from Farm Service Agency offices. The 355 forms represent 0.06 percent of all eligible U.S. soybean farmers. That result falls short of the 10 percent needed to prompt a referendum.

“These results show that U.S. soybean farmers overwhelmingly see the value in our soy checkoff,” says Jim Call, soybean farmer from Madison, Minnesota, and United Soybean Board (USB) chairman. “It’s more important than ever that the volunteer farmer-leaders of USB continue to invest soy checkoff funds to maximize the profit potential for all U.S. soybean farmers.”

If 10 percent of the 569,998 U.S. soybean farmers had requested a referendum, with no more than one-fifth of the 10 percent coming from one state, USDA would have conducted the referendum on the soy checkoff within 12 months. USDA conducts the request-for-referendum vote every five years, as required by the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act. The most recent period took place from May 5 through May 30.

Farmers certifying that they or the entity they represent paid into the checkoff at any time between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013, were eligible to participate in the petition for referendum. Eligible farmers who did not want a referendum did not need to take any action.

USDA requested and approved a notification by USB to inform U.S. soybean farmers about the request–for-referendum period. USB placed paid notifications on the request for referendum in national, regional and state agricultural publications and also distributed the notification to all Qualified State Soybean Boards and the news media. In addition, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Farm Service Agency distributed the information about the request-for-referendum period.

“As industry leaders, USB will keep moving U.S. soybeans forward to be the top global oilseed,” adds Call. “It’s a great vote of confidence knowing U.S. soybean farmers support this work as well.”

Beef, Saturated Fats and Heart Health

A new research study, funded by the beef checkoff and the National Institutes of Health-supported Penn State General Clinical Research Center, published in the June 19, 2014 issue of Journal of Human Hypertension, shows that a heart-healthy diet that includes lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Myth:  Saturated fat is bad for you.

Conventional Wisdom:  Many researchers have now begun to reevaluate the role of saturated fats in heart disease. A review of more than 70 clinical studies raised questions about current guidelines related to fat intake, which generally restrict the consumption of saturated fats and encourage consumption of polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease.

Furthermore, many people may be surprised to know that beef contributes 10 percent or less of saturated fat and total fat to the American diet. And, about half the fatty acids found in beef are monounsaturated fatty acids, the same kind found in olive oil and avocados. The recently published study in the Journal of Human Hypertension conducted at Penn State also shows that a dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, that includes lean beef, even daily, can reduce risk factors for heart disease, including elevated cholesterol and blood pressure.

In a press release issued by Penn State, lead researcher Penny M. Kris-Etherton noted that “this research adds to the significant evidence, including work previously done in our lab, that supports lean beef's role in a heart-healthy diet. This study shows that nutrient-rich lean beef can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet that reduces blood pressure, which can help lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.”

The DASH eating plan -- Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension -- is currently recommended by the American Heart Association to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease. People following the DASH diet are encouraged to eat fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and protein predominantly from plant sources.

Lean beef can be enjoyed as the predominant protein source in a DASH-like diet, along with fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy, to effectively help lower blood pressure in healthy individuals, the researchers report in the Journal of Human Hypertension. This DASH-like diet is also called the BOLD+ diet -- Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet plus additional protein.

“This evidence suggests that it is the total protein intake -- not the type of protein -- that is instrumental in reducing blood pressure, as part of a DASH-like dietary pattern,” the researchers stated.

Federal Spending Bill Includes Important Provisions for Producers

The House Interior appropriations bill passed through committee today 29 to 19. The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association strongly support the bill, which allocates how federal dollars are spent for the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies during fiscal year 2015. The bill included language that would help provide relief from the regulatory burdens that continue to hamper the productivity and profitability of farmers and ranchers across the country.

From language that blocks the listing of the Sage Grouse, to requiring alternative allotments where ranchers are impacted by drought or wildfire without the need to complete extensive environmental analyses and many others, Dustin Van Liew, PLC and NCBA federal lands executive director, said the provisions are important to keeping livestock producers in business.

Included in the bill is a permanent extension of grazing rider, which will allow livestock grazing to continue while the renewal process is held up through the National Environmental Policy Act analysis backlog. Often requiring multiple environmental analyses and time for public comments to be submitted when no changes are being made on the ground, the NEPA process can disrupt ranching operations indefinitely with little, if any, environmental benefit. The bill also includes a provision to extend grazing permit terms to 20 years, as opposed to the current 10-year term. 

“These two provisions are vital to the agencies, allowing them the flexibility they need to continue managing the resource and processing permits,” Van Liew said. “Additionally, extending grazing permits from 10 to 20 years adds significantly to the certainty ranchers need to run successful businesses. We applaud the appropriations committee for supporting the primary language from the Grazing Improvement Act and urge the full House and Senate to pass this bill without delay.”

Van Liew added that due to a closed-door settlement between United States Fish and Wildlife Service and radical environmental groups, arbitrary deadlines have been set for making hundreds of decisions on species in all fifty states to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

“Rather than embracing the research-backed benefits of grazing and giving time for state Sage Grouse management plans to take effect, the FWS has begun to make arbitrary decisions to cut and reduce livestock grazing on public lands,” said Van Liew. “One of those species is the Sage Grouse, whose habitat covers 11 western states, an area where ranchers are currently providing open space and improving the bird’s habitat and reducing the number-one threat to the bird – wildfire.”

Ashley McDonald, NCBA environmental counsel, commended lawmakers for including language that would help reign in the EPA’s attempt to control even more land and water on private property.

“Cattle producers have grave concerns over EPA and Corps of Engineers’ proposed expansion of the Clean Water Act,” said McDonald. “We applaud the members of the committee for sending the Interior appropriations bill forward with language that would prevent the agencies from finalizing this regulation, which we see as the largest federal land grab in history.”

Additionally, she said, the bill will prevent the EPA from requiring livestock operations to report their greenhouse gas emissions, and also prevent the agency from requiring livestock operations to get GHG permits. Furthermore, it prevents the EPA from disclosing the private and confidential information of livestock producers to the public.

“This bill provides needed safeguards for the privacy and property rights of America’s cattle producers that the federal agencies refuse to recognize and respect,” McDonald summarized.

Fertilizer Prices Steady For Now

Average retail fertilizer prices were fairly steady the second week of July 2014, as has been the case in recent weeks, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. However, retailers report this steadiness in the fertilizer market could be changing with commodity prices shifting lower.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were lower compared to last month, though none were down significantly.  DAP had an average price of $591 per ton, MAP $621/ton, urea $531/ton, 10-34-0 $561/ton, anhydrous $686/ton, UAN28 $348/ton and UAN32 $399/ton.  UAN32 prices fell through the $400-per-ton level for the first time since the first week of April 2014. That week, the average price for UAN32 was $398 per ton.

The remaining fertilizer, potash, was higher compared to the previous month, but again the move higher was fairly muted. Potash's average price was $483/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.58/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.62/lb.N and UAN32 $0.62/lb.N.

Although fertilizers have been moving higher in recent months, half of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits lower in price compared to July 2013.  DAP is now down 1%, urea is 2% less expensive and MAP is 4% less expensive. 10-34-0 is down 6% while both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 10% lower. Anhydrous is now 14% less expensive while potash is down 16% compared to a year earlier.

Illinois Yorkshire Boar Sells for World-Record $270K

A Yorkshire boar raised by Western Illinois University School of Agriculture Associate Professor Mark Hoge and his family sold for a world-record price of $270,000 at a National Swine Registry conference and show in Louisville. The Class 1 Yorkshire boar, according to a YouTube video posted by the National Swine Registry, was sold to Genetic Edge & Reynolds Farms (Ohio).

According to the National Swine Registry's website, the next highest-selling boars in the Class 1, Yorkshire category, sold for $3,000 each.

"It was a humbling experience for our family," Hoge said. "The boar was a result of years of mating decisions and selection experience. We were very surprised he sold for that price, but I knew people really liked him. We are very fortunate and very thankful for the showpig industry. It is a great way to raise a family."

To view the YouTube video of Hoge showing the boar in early July, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrEgshWDly4. The National Swine Registry's show and sale results (from the Summer Type Conference in Louisville) are available at nationalswine.com/shows/open_shows/stc/stc_results.php.

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