Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday November 28 Ag News

Reinke Recognizes Grossenburg Implement with Gold Pride Award at Annual Convention

Reinke is excited to announce that Grossenburg Implement, Inc., with locations in Wayne and Bloomfield, Neb., has received a Gold Reinke Pride award in recognition of the company’s 2013-2014 marketing year success. The Reinke dealership was honored during Reinke’s recent annual convention held October 23-25, 2014, in Palm Springs, Calif.

“Congratulations to Grossenburg Implement on this well-deserved recognition,” said Reinke Director of Marketing Tom Palmertree. “We are proud to have them as a dealer and appreciate their ongoing commitment to Reinke and to their community.”

Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada gather each year to attend the company’s sales convention. The convention awards ceremony recognizes select Reinke dealerships for their hard work and dedication to sales and marketing throughout the past year.

Gold, silver and bronze Reinke Pride awards were given to a total of 118 dealerships this year. The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions and event participation, and market share.

“We really look forward to coming together each year to recognize the efforts of our dealers and applaud them among their peers,” said Palmertree. “Our annual convention is also an opportunity for us to share ideas, learn from one another and get set for another successful year serving the agriculture industry.” 

Field Assessments to Improve Efficiency Workshops

A new educational effort by Nebraska Extension seeks to enhance the knowledge of Nebraska corn, soybean and wheat producers on their sustainability and operational efficiency measures.  Workshop participants will use a web-based tool called Fieldprint® Calculator.

Growers in Nebraska should be better able to understand and communicate how management choices affect overall sustainability performance and operational efficiency of their farm operations, said Extension Educator Randy Pryor.

Pryor said the inspiration of the new workshops came from a similar effort in Crete in 2011 led by Bunge and Kellogg with assistance from UNL Extension and other partners. The project included 23 corn producers who delivered grain to the Crete Mill. They compared efficiency measures and were able to assess their farm's efficiency and sustainability. Lessons learned led to an updated version of the Fieldprint® Calculator.

Calculating "Fieldprints" can help growers establish benchmark data on a field and track improvements over time, set energy-saving and efficiency goals and compare performance against local, state and national benchmarks.

The new Field Assessment workshops in Nebraska are hands-on and will show growers how to document eight sustainability and efficiency indicators:
-    Land use
-    Conservation
-    Soil carbon
-    Irrigation water use
-    Water quality
-    Energy use
-    Greenhouse gas emissions
-    Water quality

Participants will select a representative crop field for 2014 and complete a data input sheet in advance of the Fieldprint® Calculator workshops. Meals and workshop materials are sponsored through a Nebraska Extension Innovation grant.  Computer laptops will be provided or you can bring your own.  Pre-registration is required. Pre-register by Friday, Dec. 5, by contacting a host Extension office.

Workshop Schedule
Monday, Dec. 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., UNL Extension in Clay County, 111 West Fairfield, Clay Center
Monday, Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Geneva Public Library, 1043 G Street, Geneva
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Nemaha County Hospital Meeting Room, 2022 13th Street, Auburn
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., UNL Extension in Jefferson County, 517 F Street, Fairbury
Wed., Dec. 10, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., UNL Extension in Merrick County, 1510 18th Street, Central City
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Leadership Center, 2211 Q Street, Aurora
Thursday, Dec. 11, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., UNL Extension in Dodge County, 1206 West 23rd, Fremont
Thursday, Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., UNL Extension in Colfax County, 466 Road 10, Schuyler

Nebraska Corn Board welcomes Thornburg to Staff

The Nebraska Corn Board is pleased to announce its newest team member, Emily Thornburg, who was hired as the Director of Communications on November 10.

In this role, Thornburg will work on behalf of Nebraska corn farmers to expand marketing opportunities through communications, industry partnerships, program coordination, education and promotion. She will coordinate numerous corn promotion and education activities throughout the year. Thornburg will also manage Nebraska Corn Board’s social media along with various other communication outlets.

“We are excited to welcome Emily to the Corn Board team,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Emily has proven to be a committed leader and advocate for Nebraska corn farmers, and is well qualified to lead Nebraska Corns’ communication and outreach efforts. With prior experience at Nebraska Corn Growers Association, in addition to a strong background in Nebraska agriculture, Emily has a thorough understanding of the industry and will be a great addition to our staff.”

Thornburg grew up on her family farm near Geneva, Nebraska. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and marketing. Upon graduation, she worked in marketing at ConAgra Mills. In the fall of 2013, Emily joined the Nebraska Corn team as the Program Director for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. During her time there, Emily was responsible for the program coordination and membership servicing for the 2,600 member organization.

“I am very excited to be joining the Nebraska Corn Board staff,” said Thornburg. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to work on behalf of Nebraska’s 23,000 corn farmers. I look forward to working closely with the wonderful board and staff as well as the industry partners to communicate the important story of Nebraska’s corn industry.”


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

Think back over the past couple of years.  Did you have ample pasture all season long, or were there times when more forage growth would have helped?

If you have cows, horses, ewes, or other livestock that can graze year-around, one of your goals should be to graze for as many days during the year as possible.  But no matter where you are, no single pasture can meet that objective.

Warm-season range grasses provide good summer grazing in many areas, but more green grass would be nice in early spring and for late fall grazing.  For livestock producers in many other places, though, smooth bromegrass, wheatgrass, needlegrass, orchardgrass, fescue, and other cool-season grasses grow well in spring and fall but mid-summer pasture often is limiting.

To overcome these pasture shortages, you need to have several different types of pasture available.  For example, warm-season grasses like the bluestems, indiangrass, blue grama, and switchgrass provide excellent summer pasture.  Match them up with other, but separate, pastures or meadows that contain cool-season grasses for spring and fall grazing and you will have a good, long grazing season.

To extend grazing even further, plant winter wheat, rye, or triticale during fall to get pasture as early as late March.  And oats planted in late July or August can be grazed through November, while turnips often provide pasture into December or even January.  Don’t forget that alfalfa and corn also can be grazed effectively throughout much of the year, giving you even more options for timely pasture.

Start looking at your pasture gaps.  Maybe next year you can extend your grazing season with new and varied pastures.

Adding Value to Calves by Grazing Corn Residue

Mary Drewnoski, UNL Beef Systems Specialist
Daren Redfearn, UNL Forage and Crop Residue Systems Specialist
Jay Parsons, UNL Biosystems Economist

Given current calf prices, it is tempting to sell immediately after weaning. However, grazing calves on corn residue and providing supplemental distillers grains is a cost effective way to add value to weaned calves. The two most important considerations to successfully and economically increase calf value are stocking rate and supplementation level.

Grazing corn residue is unique from all other forages in that the total amount of forage available is present at turn out. Because the quality and availability of forage decreases over time, following the recommended stocking rate is essential to achieving targeted gains.

It is important to remember that for every bushel of corn produced, there are approximately 16 pounds of leaf and husk. However, some leaf and husk will be lost to wind and trampling. Based on this, the recommend stocking rates are based on the availability of 8 pounds of leaf and husk per bushel of corn. This means that fields with greater grain production can have greater stocking rates than fields with lower grain yields (Table 1 However, it should be noted that the leaf and husk of irrigated fields (3.7% CP and 52% digestible) are lower quality than dryland fields (6.4% CP and 50% digestible). When stocked appropriately, ADG (Average Daily Gain) from dryland corn production may be greater than ADG of calves from stover produced under irrigated corn production.

Data from UNL suggests that supplemented calves grazing irrigated corn fields with 3 lbs/d of dry distillers grains (DDGS) will gain 1.3 lbs/d. When the supplementation level is increased to 6 lbs/d of DDGS gains increase to 1.8 lbs/d (Figure 1 Using a price of $150/ton for DDGS, it will cost $0.23 per day to supplement at 3 lbs/d and $0.45 per day to supplement at 6 lbs/d.

With current calf and feed prices, supplementing for increased ADG will be more profitable. If you are close to an ethanol plant, modified distillers grains are usually a less expensive source of protein and energy than dried distillers grains. Plus, modified distillers grains has the added benefit of being able to be fed on the ground. It is important to remember that modified distillers are about 50% DM, so twice the amount is required to achieve the same gain as supplementing dried distillers grains.

Nebraska farmers return from trade missions in Asia

Two members of the Nebraska Corn Board recently returned from trade missions in Asia promoting U.S. corn and red meat. Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer from Giltner, Neb. and district 3 director on the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) participated in the U.S. producer’s mission to Japan and Korea with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). David Bruntz, farmer from Friend, Neb. and district 1 director on NCB participated in a trade mission with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Japan and China.

While in Japan and Korea, Hunnicutt traveled with farmers and USGC staff to engage key buyers and end-users, providing insights on the current U.S. corn crop condition as well as the global supply and demand outlook. Japan and Korea are two key markets for U.S. corn, yet, a high level of engagement with the industry, trade and government is still needed to defend U.S. market share.

Hunnicutt observed that the Japanese and Korean buyers and end-users were very pleased to hear about this year’s abundant, high-quality U.S. corn crop that will be available for export in the coming year.

“One of the most important things we, as the American farmer, need to remember is how important it is to raise a high quality crop that the world wants,” said Hunnicutt. “Many times we tend to worry about yield. After spending some time with our ag friends in Japan, I have come to appreciate the need to make sure that the quality of crop I am producing is the highest quality corn crop I can produce.”

Hunnicutt was one of the farmer-spokesmen on the mission who presented on technology in farming to a seminar in Japan that was attended by more than 160 end-users and importers. This delegation helped build on the established relationships between the United States and two of its key international markets, stressing the importance of trade and promoting the United States as the preferred, reliable, long-term supplier of quality corn and related products.

Dave Bruntz returned from Japan and China with a similar message on the importance of establishing relationships with key end-users of U.S. agricultural products. The trade mission objectives with USMEF were to allow U.S. producers to personally communicate their farming practices and commitment to production of safe, high-quality food to international buyers, interacting with livestock producers in Asia, and observing the manner in which U.S. pork and beef are merchandised overseas.

While in Japan, Bruntz’s team gave presentations on U.S. farming practices at a USMEF seminar in Tokyo, which was attended by more than 600 meat buyers from across all sectors of the Japanese food industry. The seminar focused on soil sustainability, the seed used to produce feedgrains, and the specific feeding formulations and processes that allow the U.S. industry to produce such high-quality meat.

“Our Japanese customers and across the world want to know the details of how U.S. meat is produced,” said Bruntz. “They were glad to have U.S. farmers there to ask us questions, but they also wanted us to know to ‘keep the meat coming’!”

The reliable, high-quality supply of U.S. meat was prevalent at a blogging event held with young, Japanese food bloggers, predominantly women.

“They were interested in our production systems of both beef and pork, but love the U.S. products,” said Bruntz.

In China, the delegation gathered in Beijing for the 2014 U.S.-China Swine Industry Symposium. This was the third year for the symposium, with this edition focusing on livestock nutrient management with more than 200 attendees, including industry representatives, agricultural policy makers, animal health experts and university researchers.

They also met with government and industry officials in China and continued on-going discussions about corn, distillers grains and biotechnology. Bruntz reported that there was plenty of dialogue on resolving trade barriers to export beef into the country.

“The U.S. has been free of any BSE cases for 10 years,” said Bruntz. “As producers of crops and livestock, we want to gain relationships with end users in China to build trust and gain respect to open up markets for U.S. ag products.”

NFU Thanks USTR for Supporting Family Farmers, Ranchers, Consumers;  Urges Congress to Keep Its COOL and Let Process Play Out
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson applauded today’s decision by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to appeal the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) for family farmers, ranchers, and consumers. Johnson also urged Congress to leave the popular labeling law alone and allow the WTO process to run its course.

“The decision today by the USTR to appeal the WTO ruling on COOL is the right thing to do for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers,” said Johnson. “The October WTO ruling found once again that the COOL law is WTO-compliant and acknowledged that the May 2013 USDA regulations were a significant improvement in terms of providing more accurate information to consumers. Nonetheless, the WTO incorrectly found the rules were noncompliant and an appeal is the obvious course of action.”

Johnson noted that the popular sentiment towards the labeling law shared by family farmers and consumers is not echoed by large international meatpackers, who continually try to pressure Congress to repeal the law.

“The multinational meatpacking industry continues to urge Congress to repeal COOL laws before the WTO process runs its course,” said Johnson. “These are inappropriate attempts to prevent consumers from having access to basic information about their food. Congress should ignore these scare tactics and allow the WTO process to play out before acting prematurely.”

“American consumers have been crystal clear that they want to know where their food comes from and family farmers and ranchers are proud to provide it,” said Johnson. “The decision by the USTR to appeal the WTO’s erroneous finding demonstrates full support for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers.”

Argentine Soy Planting Advances Quickly

Favorable weather conditions have allowed Argentine farmers to make quick progress with soybean planting over the last week, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.

Fieldwork moved forward 14.4 percentage points to cover 44.8% of the projected area of 50.9 million acres, it said in a weekly report.

However, planting remains 4.1 points behind last year, a delay caused by heavy rains that fell in October and early November and also by the fact that a larger proportion of the crop is being planted after wheat this season.

As for corn, the exchange reported farmers had started planting lots of second crop this week, while first crop corn was developing well amid elevated soil moisture levels.  Farmers had planted 41.4% of the corn crop as of Thursday, up 1.2 points on the week before but 1.1% behind last year.

Wheat harvesting was 31% complete as of Thursday, said the exchange, with yields in some regions coming in below expectations. The exchange forecasts Argentina will produce 11.5 million metric tons of wheat in 2014-15 but warned that it may have to lower its forecast

Ukraine Harvest Ahead of Last Year

Ukraine's grain harvest to date is greater than last year, despite inclement weather conditions and the current economic instability in the country, the agriculture ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said Ukraine harvested 62.713 million metric tons of grain on 14.484 million hectares by Nov. 27, 98% of the total area to be harvested, with an average yield of 4.33 tons a hectare.

On the same date last year Ukraine's grain harvest was 60.698 million tons on 14.966 million hectares with an average yield of 4.06 tons/ha.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Aug. 19 that Ukraine's grain harvest this year was likely to fall to 55 million tons from 63 million tons in 2013 because of the loss of the Crimean Peninsula and the current military fighting in the Southeast of the country. The economic development ministry expects this year's harvest at 60.8 million tons.

Ukraine exported 14.855 million metric tons of grain between the start of the current marketing year July 1 and Nov. 27, outstripping last year's pace, despite predictions that the country's grain harvest and export will fall because of the current political instability, the agriculture ministry said Friday.

The ministry said the total amount of export to date included 7.349 million tons of wheat, 3.316 million tons of barley and 4.015 million tons of corn.

The ministry did not give last year's figures for comparison but, according to the ministry's past reports, Ukraine exported 13.96 million tons of grain from July 1, 2012 and Nov. 29, 2013.

W.Aussie Forecast Cut 5%

CBH Group, which dominates grain storage and handling in Western Australia, has downgraded its estimate of the state's 2014-15 harvest by about 5% due to wet weather.

CBH said its forecast for 2014-15 receivals has been cut to 12.8 million metric tons, from 13.45 million tons previously, due to crop yields being about 15% less than growers originally expected.

Total receivals have now reached 8.79 million tons, meaning that Western Australia is at least two thirds of the way through the harvest program, CBH said, adding that quality hasn't been affected so far by the late spring rains.

Schmidt Named Louis Dreyfus CEO

Louis Dreyfus Commodities on Friday said it has appointed Mayo Schmidt as chief executive, ending a transition process that began nearly 18 months ago.

Mr. Schmidt, who will start work on Jan. 5, is taking over from interim CEO Claude Ehlinger, said the company in a statement. A former president and CEO of Viterra Inc., a Canadian-based global food ingredients company, Mr. Schmidt has also worked for major U.S. food company ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG).

Mr. Ehlinger will remain as chief financial officer, the company said.

Rotterdam-based Louis Dreyfus Commodities is a global merchandiser of commodities and processor of agricultural goods and is about 85% owned by Louis Dreyfus Group, according to the company website.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday November 26 Ag News

Training offered for Producers, Agricultural Stakeholders on Dec. 8 in Fremont

An accidental radiological release training is being offered for grain and livestock producers and agricultural stakeholders in Dodge County. The free training is Dec. 8 at the Dodge County Extension Office. It will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

An accidental radiological release from Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun Station is unlikely. In the event a radiological release occurred, the agriculture sector in Dodge County would be greatly affected. State and Federal governments may take actions such as stop orders against feed and water or require quarantine of livestock and agricultural products.

Dodge County is within the ingestion exposure pathway Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ), which has a radius of about 50 miles from the Fort Calhoun reactor site. Released radiation can travel 50 miles or more. Predetermined protective action plans are in place for Dodge County that are designed to avoid or reduce potential ingestion of radioactive materials.

The curriculum for the training will be presented by Bill Pook, Region 5/6 Director for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Topics covered will include nuclear power plants and radiological basics, ingestion pathways, protective actions, federal capabilities, and state assistance.

It is the first time this training is being offered in Dodge County. In recent years, trainings have been held in the 10-mile radius from the power station. “Understanding how Dodge County, especially the agriculture sector, can be affected by an accidental radiological release is important,” said Ashley Mueller, Disaster Education Coordinator for Nebraska Extension. “The training will provide participants with information that can be applied to any disastrous event. It’s necessary to be informed and know the actions that will be taken by local, state, and even federal officials in times of crisis.”

Added Pook, “Events from Fukishima [Japan] to the Missouri River flooding have shown us the potential risk factors surrounding nuclear power plants. This awareness training program is worthwhile.”

The training will also be held in Burt and Washington counties in December.

Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are encouraged; contact Bill at 727-2785. The Dodge County Extension Office is located at 1206 W. 23rd Street in Fremont.


Preliminary prices received by farmers for winter wheatfor November 2014 averaged $5.30 per bushel, an increase of 12 cents from the October priceaccording to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The preliminary November corn price, at $3.50 per bushel, decreased 12 cents from the previous month.

The preliminary November sorghum price averaged $6.70 per cwt, an increase of 63 cents from October.

The preliminary November soybean price, at $9.90 per bushel, was up 36 cents from last month.

The November alfalfa hay price, at $96.00 per ton, was down $1.00 from October. The other hay price, at $79.00 per ton, was down $4.00 from October.

Oat and dry edible bean prices were withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.


The preliminary November 2014 average price received by farmers for corn in Iowa was $3.50 per bushel according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Agricultural Prices report. This is down $0.12 from the October full month price, and $0.93 lower than November 2013.

The preliminary November 2014 average price received by farmers for soybeans, at $10.00 per bushel, was equal to the October full month price, and $2.70 lower than the November 2013 price.

The preliminary November oat price was $3.20 per bushel, down $0.19 from October, and $0.98 below November 2013. This is the lowest oat price since August 2011.

All hay prices in Iowa averaged $144.00 per ton in November, up $13.00 from the October price, but $38.00 per ton less than November 2013. Alfalfa hay prices fell $40.00 per ton from one year ago, to $153.00 and other hay prices were $26.00 per ton lower than last year, at $104.00. All three categories of hay prices increased from last month by a combined average of $6.33 per ton.

The preliminary November average price was $24.50 per cwt for milk, down $1.20 from October, but $2.50 per cwt above one year ago.

USDA:  Prices Received Index Increased 2 Points 

The preliminary November Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 101 percent, based on 2011=100, increased 2 points (2.0 percent) from October. The Prices Received Index includes crop and livestock production. At 80, the November Crop Production Index is unchanged. At 134, the Livestock Production Index decreased 2 points (1.5 percent). Producers received higher prices for eggs, cattle, lettuce, and soybeans and lower prices for hogs, milk, apples, and broilers. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of corn, cattle, milk, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, grapes, potatoes, and wheat.

The preliminary Prices Received Index is up 2 points (2.0 percent) from November 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 119, increased 7 points (6.3 percent) from last month and 10 points (9.2 percent) from November 2013.

All crops: The November 2014 index, at 80, is unchanged from October but is 11 percent lower than November 2013. The index increase for vegetable & melon production more than offset the index decrease for oilseeds & grains.

Food grains: The November 2014 index, at 88, is 4.8 percent higher than the previous month but 12 percent below a year ago. The November price for all wheat, at $5.96 per bushel, is up 25 cents from October but down 89 cents from November 2013.

Feed grains: The index for November 2014, at 60, is unchanged from last month but 18 percent below a year ago. The corn price, at $3.57 per bushel, is up 1 cent from last month but 80 cents less than November 2013. Sorghum grain, at $6.60 per cwt, is 35 cents above October but 78 cents below November last year.

Oilseeds: The November 2014 index, at 80, is unchanged from October but 20 percent lower than November 2013. The soybean price, at $10.10 per bushel, increased 13 cents from October but is $2.60 less than November 2013.

Other crops: The index for November 2014, at 86, is down 7.5 percent from last month and 6.5 percent below November 2013. The all hay price, at $164 per ton, is down $9.00 from October and $4.00 from last November. The price for upland cotton, at 65.2 cents per pound, is up 1.2 cents from October but down 10.7 cents from last November.

Livestock & products.: The November 2014 index, at 134, is 1.5 percent below last month but up 20 percent from November 2013. Compared with a year ago, prices are higher for cattle, calves, broilers, milk, market eggs, hogs, and turkeys.

Meat animals: The index for November 2014, at 139, is down 1.4 percent from last month but 26 percent higher than last year. The November hog price, at $66.70 per cwt, is down $10.30 from October but $3.10 higher than a year ago. The November beef cattle price of $166 per cwt is up $5.00 from last month and $36.00 higher than November 2013.

Dairy: The November 2014 index, at 116, is down 6.5 percent from October but 8.4 percent higher than November last year. The November all milk price of $23.40 per cwt is down $1.50 from last month but up $1.80 from November 2013.

Poultry & eggs: The index for November 2014, at 140, is up 3.7 percent from October and 15 percent above a year ago. The November market egg price, at $1.37 per dozen, increased 43.6 cents from October and is 21.0 cents above November 2013. The November broiler price, at 64.0 cents per pound, is down 2.0 cents from October but is 8.0 cents above a year ago. The November turkey price, at 77.8 cents per pound, is down 4.4 cents from last month but up 12.2 cents from a year earlier.

Prices Paid Index Down 1 Point

The preliminary November Prices Paid Index for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 110 percent (2011=100), is down 1 point (-0.9 percent) from October, but 4 points (3.8 percent) above November 2013. Lower prices in November for complete feeds, concentrates, other services, and hay & forages more than offset higher prices for mixed fertilizer, nitrogen, trucks, and feed grains.

PEDv Likely to Flare Up Again

A Swine Team expert with the University of Wisconsin-Extension says Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus infections may have slackened over the summer, but that doesn't mean producers should loosen their biosecurity efforts. Lyssa Seefeldt notes that as cooler temperatures set in, conditions become more favorable for the survival of PEDv.

"As we saw in the fall of 2013 through early spring of 2014, we will likely see PEDv cases rising again," Seefeldt notes. "Not all PEDv news is bad, though. Considerable research has be conducted in regards to PEDv since its detection in the U.S. in April of 2013."

Preliminary research from two universities have shown some important data in how PEDv survives in the environment. Iowa State University has shown that the PED virus can potentially be inactivated in trailers scraped of manure by heating to 160 degrees for 10 minutes or leaving the trailer unused at room temperature for seven days.

Another manure study came out of the University of Minnesota, which tracked PEDv survivability in manure pits and found that the virus is capable of surviving at least 14 days at 77 degrees and more than 28 days at around 40 degrees.

Signs of PEDv include vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration, loss of appetite. The virus appears to be more severe in young pigs.

Meanwhile, animal health officials say the best way to prevent the virus from spreading is to follow proper biosecurity practices on your farm and know the feed ingredients and their origin when feeding pigs.

NCF Accepting Applications for Beef Industry Scholarship

Applications for 2015-16 beef industry scholarships sponsored by the CME Group are now being accepted. Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry.

Students studying education, communication, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry should consider applying for the scholarship. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior or full-time undergraduate student enrolled at a two or four year college.

The National Cattlemen’s Foundation administers the program. Applicants for the 2015-16 scholarship will be required to write a one page letter expressing future career goals related to the beef industry. They also must write a 750 word essay describing an issue in the beef industry and offering solutions to this problem.

Applications should be submitted by Dec. 19, 2014 and sent to National Cattlemen’s Foundation, 9110 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 300, Centennial, CO 80112. The winning recipients will be announced on Jan. 15, 2015.

For more information visit

Ethanol Stocks Fall; Demand Up

The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported that ethanol supply in the United States were drawn down again last week despite rising domestic production and demand.

Total ethanol stocks declined 200,000 barrels (bbl) to 17.1 million bbl during the week-ended Nov. 21, a four-week low, but remains 2.1 million bbl, or 13.6%, above the inventory level seen a year earlier.

Plant production jumped 12,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 1.2%, last week to 982,000 bpd, the highest since EIA started keeping records in the summer of 2010, while up 5.6% year-over-year. Four-week average output was up 4.6% against year prior.

Blender inputs, a proxy for ethanol demand, rose 20,000 bbl or 2.3% to 874,000 bpd, the highest input rate since the week-ended Oct. 24, while up 37,000 bbl, or 4.4%, on year-over-year basis. During the four weeks ended Nov. 21, ethanol inputs by refiners and blenders averaged 0.7% more than during the comparable year-ago period.

ASA/WISHH Open Office in Ghana to Support Region Activities

The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (ASA/WISHH) program opened a field office in Accra, Ghana to support WISHH’s activities in sub-Saharan Africa on Nov. 14, 2014. The office will serve as a regional hub for current and future programming.

WISHH’s Regional Manager for Africa Josh Neiderman relocated to Accra during the first week of November. The office hosted representatives from USAPEEC’s International Poultry Development Program (UIPDP) and USDA’s Regional Agricultural Counselor Kurt Seifarth for meetings concerning the development of the poultry and feed sectors in Ghana shortly after opening.

Support for the regional office comes from various stakeholders, including USDA and several Qualified State Soybean Boards.

Cheaper Not To Plant Second-Crop Corn In Brazil?

Planting a second crop of corn after the current soybean crop is not economically viable in many parts of Brazil this season based on current prices, according to a report released by the Brazilian Agriculture Confederation (CNA).

Farmers in areas further away from ports and the meat industry in the south may be better off not double cropping soybeans this year, according to CNA analysis.

Across nearly all of Brazil, planting a single crop of soybeans was the best option last year, according to data compiled by the Center for Advanced Studies into Applied Economics (Cepea).

In Sorriso, a top-producing district in center-north Mato Grosso, total average costs for double cropping were R$3,986.71 per hectare ($640.50 per acre), while average gross revenue was R$3,737.46 per hectare. In contrast, soybean planting alone cost an average of R$2,591.33 per hectare and resulted in average revenues of R$2,729.41.

And with corn prices still depressed, the outlook is little better next year.

However, analysts don't believe second-crop corn planting will fall dramatically in 2015.

The main reason is agronomic. It is now generally accepted that farmers should plant cover crops after soybeans. That being the case, farmers might as well plant corn as it is about the only second crop they stand a chance of making some money from.

However, farmers will likely reduce fertilizer applications and opt for less expensive seeds, which will make production much more reliant on good rainfall

Hormel Foods Achieves Record Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results

Hormel Foods Corporation this week reported record performance for the fiscal year 2014 fourth quarter and full year.  All comparisons are to the fourth quarter or full year of fiscal 2013.

Fourth Quarter

- Record diluted EPS of $0.63, up 9 percent from $0.58 per share
- Segment operating profit increased 9 percent
- Record dollar sales of $2.5 billion, increased 9 percent; volume up 3 percent
- Grocery Products operating profit down 21 percent; volume down 5 percent; dollar sales down 3 percent
- Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 10 percent; volume up 1 percent; dollar sales up 9 percent
- Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 45 percent; volume up 7 percent; dollar sales up 11 percent
- Specialty Foods operating profit down 14 percent; volume up 15 percent (volume down 7 percent excluding sales of CytoSport Holdings, Inc. (“CytoSport”) products); dollar sales up 31 percent (dollar sales down 4 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products); CytoSport acquisition-related charges, including transaction costs and inventory adjustment to fair market value, were approximately $9.3 million
- International & Other operating profit up 3 percent; volume up 6 percent; dollar sales up 13 percent

The company reported fiscal 2014 fourth quarter net earnings of $171.3 million, up 9 percent from net earnings of $157.3 million a year earlier. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.63, up 9 percent compared to $0.58 last year.  Sales for the quarter were $2.5 billion, up 9 percent from the same period in fiscal 2013.

Fiscal Year

- Record diluted EPS of $2.23, up 14 percent from diluted EPS of $1.95
- Segment operating profit up 16 percent
- Record dollar sales of $9.3 billion, up 6 percent; volume up 1 percent
- Grocery Products operating profit down 9 percent; volume up 3 percent (volume down 3 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY® products); dollar sales up 3 percent (dollar sales down 2 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY® products)
- Refrigerated Foods operating profit up 45 percent; volume flat; dollar sales up 9 percent
- Jennie-O Turkey Store operating profit up 23 percent; volume flat; dollar sales up 4 percent
- Specialty Foods operating profit down 20 percent; volume down 5 percent (volume down 10 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products); dollar sales down 3 percent (dollar sales down 11 percent excluding sales of CytoSport products)
- International & Other operating profit up 19 percent; volume up 15 percent (volume up 5 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY® products); dollar sales up 19 percent (dollar sales up 10 percent excluding incremental sales of SKIPPY® products)

For the year ended October 26, 2014, net earnings were a record $602.7 million, up 15 percent from net earnings of $526.2 million last year.  Diluted net earnings per share were $2.23, up 14 percent from diluted net earnings per share of $1.95 last year.  Sales for the year ended October 26, 2014, totaled a record $9.3 billion, up 6 percent from last year.

Hormel Foods Announces 49th Consecutive Increase to Annual Dividend

The Board of Directors of Hormel Foods Corporation, a multinational marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, today announced a 25 percent increase to the annual dividend to shareholders, marking the 49th consecutive annual dividend increase.

The annual dividend on the common stock of the corporation was raised to $1.00 per share from $.80 per share.

The Board of Directors authorized the first quarterly dividend of twenty-five cents (25¢) a share to be paid on Feb. 17, 2015, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 20, 2015.

The Feb. 17 payment will be the 346th consecutive quarterly dividend paid by the company. Since becoming a public company in 1928, Hormel Foods Corporation has paid a regular quarterly dividend without interruption.

Sharing Success: Hormel Foods Distributes Annual Profit Sharing

A record amount of nearly $17.4 million distributed in the 76th consecutive year of the program

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) today distributed its annual profit sharing of nearly $17.4 million to eligible hourly and salaried employees during this 76th annual Thanksgiving Eve Day tradition.

“Six consecutive years of attaining record earnings is due to our hard-working employees and their commitment to delivering trusted, high-quality products to our consumers,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “We are proud to share the success of our company with our team.”

Hormel Foods, a multinational marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, continues to be among an elite group in the industry for retaining its profit sharing plan. The program was started by Jay C. Hormel in 1938 and is voluntarily paid at the discretion of the company’s Board of Directors.

John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum Opens Doors December 2nd

The John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum in Waterloo, Iowa opens its doors to the public December 2nd with a focus on engaging visitors in the history of tractor and engine design and manufacturing at John Deere, especially in Iowa's Cedar Valley.

Deere said the December launch will be followed by a grand opening celebration to be held in spring 2015.

"Tractors and engines have been and continue to be important to John Deere's success," said Dawn Hendershot, Project Manager. "We are pleased to share the history of these products as part of our overall story as a technology leader and quality manufacturer."

Located on the original site of the Waterloo Tractor Works, museum exhibits highlight the rich history and dynamic growth of the tractor business at John Deere, the world's largest provider of agricultural equipment.

"Throughout its history, John Deere has remained focused on the success of customers whose work is linked to the land," Hendershot said. "For 177 years, Deere has endured various economic cycles and this museum is a tribute to the resilience of John Deere employees and customers to weather both the good times and the bad."

Nearly four years in the making, the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum joins various other company attractions in the Midwest, including the John Deere Historic Site in Grand Detour, Illinois and the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois.

The John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum is open to visitors Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults ages 13-61 and $4 for seniors, active duty military, John Deere employees and retirees. Children ages 12 and under accompanied by an adult can enjoy the museum for free. For more information about tours and the museum email WaterlooTractor& or call 319-292-6126.

Deere Announces Fourth-Quarter Earnings of $649 Million

Net income attributable to Deere & Company was $649.2 million, or $1.83 per share, for the fourth quarter ended October 31, compared with $806.8 million, or $2.11 per share, for the same period of 2013. For fiscal 2014, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $3.162 billion, or $8.63 per share, compared with $3.537 billion, or $9.09 per share, in 2013.

Worldwide net sales and revenues decreased 5 percent, to $8.965 billion, for the fourth quarter and were down 5 percent, to $36.067 billion, for the full year. Net sales of the equipment operations were $8.043 billion for the quarter and $32.961 billion for the year, compared with $8.624 billion and $34.998 billion for the same periods in 2013.

"John Deere has completed another year of solid performance in spite of weaker conditions in the global farm sector, which caused sales and earnings to decline from the record totals of 2013," said Samuel R. Allen, chairman and chief executive officer. "The slowdown has been most pronounced in the sale of large farm machinery, including many of our most profitable models. Nevertheless, our success managing costs and assets and establishing a broad-based business lineup has allowed us to deliver strong results and remain in a sound financial condition."

Further, Allen noted that the company produced healthy levels of cash flow for the year, much of which was returned to investors in the form of dividends and share repurchases. Dividends and buybacks in 2014 totaled a record $3.5 billion.

Summary of Operations

Net sales of the worldwide equipment operations declined 7 percent for the quarter and decreased 6 percent for the year compared with the same periods in 2013. Sales included price realization of 1 percent for the quarter and 2 percent for the full year. Additionally, sales included an unfavorable currency-translation effect of 1 percent for the quarter and for the year. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada decreased 10 percent for the quarter and 8 percent for the year. Outside the U.S. and Canada, net sales were down 2 percent for the quarter and down 3 percent for the year, with unfavorable currency-translation effects of 2 percent and 1 percent for these periods.

Deere's equipment operations reported operating profit of $910 million for the quarter and $4.297 billion for the full year, compared with $1.114 billion and $5.058 billion in 2013. The decline for the quarter was due primarily to the impact of a less favorable product mix, lower shipment and production volumes, higher production costs primarily related to engine emission programs, increased warranty costs and an impairment charge for the China operations. The year's decline was due primarily to the impact of lower shipment and production volumes, a less favorable product mix, the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange and higher production costs primarily related to engine emission programs. Declines for both periods were partially offset by price realization. Last year's results also were affected by impairment charges for the John Deere Landscapes and John Deere Water operations.

Net income of the company's equipment operations was $488 million for the fourth quarter and $2.548 billion for the year, compared with $650 million and $2.974 billion in 2013.

Financial services reported net income attributable to Deere & Company of $172.2 million for the quarter and $624.5 million for the year compared with $157.1 million and $565.0 million in 2013. The improvement for both periods was due to growth in the credit portfolio, partially offset by lower crop insurance margins, higher selling, administrative and general expenses and a higher provision for credit losses. Additionally, yearly results benefited from a more favorable effective tax rate.

Company Outlook & Summary

Company equipment sales are projected to decrease about 15 percent for fiscal 2015 and to be down about 21 percent for the first quarter compared with year-ago periods. For fiscal 2015, net income attributable to Deere & Company is anticipated to be about $1.9 billion.

"Even with a significant decline in sales and a continued pullback in the global agricultural sector, John Deere expects to remain solidly profitable in 2015," Allen said. "The company's earnings forecast reflects the impact of our efforts to establish a more resilient business model and it represents a level of performance much better than we've seen in prior downturns."

Longer term, the company's future continues to hold great promise, Allen said. "Global trends based on population growth and rising living standards remain intact and are largely unaffected by periodic swings in the farm economy. At the same time, Deere's plans for serving a larger global customer base are making good progress. As a result, we are confident the company is positioned to earn solid returns throughout the business cycle and to realize substantial benefits from the world’s growing need for food, shelter and infrastructure in the years ahead."

Equipment Division Performance

    Agriculture & Turf. Sales fell 13 percent for the quarter and 9 percent for the full year due largely to lower shipment volumes, the previously announced sales of the company's landscapes and water operations, and the unfavorable effects of currency translation. Partially offsetting these factors was price realization for both the quarter and year.

    Operating profit was $682 million for the quarter and $3.649 billion for the year, compared with $996 million and $4.680 billion in 2013. Lower results for the quarter were driven primarily by lower shipment and production volumes, a less favorable product mix, higher production costs primarily related to engine emission programs, increased warranty costs and an impairment charge for China operations. The full-year decrease was driven mainly by lower shipment and production volumes, a less favorable product mix, the unfavorable effects of foreign-currency exchange and higher production costs primarily related to engine emission programs. Declines for both periods were partially offset by price realization. As noted, last year also was affected by impairment charges for the landscapes and water operations.

Market Conditions & Outlook

    Agriculture & Turf. Deere's worldwide sales of agriculture and turf equipment are forecast to decrease by about 20 percent for fiscal-year 2015 as a result of weaker conditions in the global farm economy. Lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes are putting pressure on demand for agricultural machinery, especially for larger models. Conditions are more positive in the U.S. livestock sector, providing support to the sale of smaller sizes of equipment. Based on these factors, industry sales for agricultural machinery in the U.S. and Canada are forecast to be down 25 to 30 percent for 2015.

Pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey

On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey in a ceremony at the White House.  The President will celebrate the 67th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, reflect upon the time-honored traditions of Thanksgiving, and wish American families a warm, safe, and healthy holiday.

The President will pardon Cheese and his alternate Mac, both 20-week old, approximately 48-pound Turkeys. The names of turkeys were chosen from submissions by Ohio students and Morven Park visitors.  This year, the American public once again decided which of the two turkeys – Mac or Cheese – would become the 2014 National Thanksgiving Turkey by casting a vote for #TeamMac or #TeamCheese on Twitter.

National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper of Ft. Recovery, Ohio, his wife Cheryl, and seven members of the Cooper family will be in attendance at today’s ceremony. Cooper’s son, Cole, raised and selected the turkeys that will be presented to President Obama. Both of the birds were raised antibiotic-free.

After the pardoning, the turkeys will travel to their permanent home at Morven Park’s “Turkey Hill,” the historic turkey farm located at the home of former Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis (1918-1922) in Leesburg, Virginia.  The National Thanksgiving Turkey and its alternate will be on display for visitors at Morven Park’s Turkey Hill.

Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, presented the First Family with two dressed turkeys that will be donated to a local area food bank.

Tuesday November 25 Ag News

Animal Scientist Funston Gets Regional Extension Award

            Nebraska Extension beef cattle reproduction specialist Rick Funston has been honored for his beef and heifer management work.

            Funston won the 2014 Regional Excellence in Extension award for the North Central Region from Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

            Funston, also a professor in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Animal Science, is based at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte.

            Funston's research and extension work have helped provide ranchers new market options and reduced feed costs. He has been a leader in the concept of fetal programming, a concept in the livestock industry based on the notion that the nutrient status of gestating cows has various long-term implications on their offspring.

            UNL studies by Funston and colleagues reported on cows that were either supplemented or not supplemented during the last third of gestation. He found that heifer calves born to a herd fed 28 percent protein distillers-based supplement had a heavier adjusted 205-day weight, pre-breeding weight, weight at pregnancy diagnosis and higher pregnancy rate.

            Funston also reported an increase in calf weaning weights from supplemented cows. Heifer progeny from supplemented cows reached puberty earlier and tended to have a higher pregnancy rate compared to heifer progeny from non-supplemented cows. Results from these studies suggest the idea that cow nutrition during late gestation does affect the overall performance of heifer progeny.

            Funston joins five other Nebraska Extension professionals in winning this prestigious award (two more than any other state). "We are extremely proud of the excellence and value that people like Rick Funston bring to our Extension clientele," said Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension.

            Extension and the USDA's NIFA present annual Excellence in Extension Awards to honor visionary leadership and diversity in educational programming. Robert Kallenbach from the University of Missouri received the National Excellence in Extension Award and Cesar Asuaje from the University of Florida received the National Extension Diversity Award.

            Regional Excellence in Extension recipients are presented in five regions, including the North Central Region that includes Nebraska.

Nebraska Has the Resources in Place for Solid Livestock Expansion, A-FAN Shareholders Told

There has never been a better time for animal agriculture in Nebraska, according to featured speakers at the annual stakeholders meeting of the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (A-FAN) on November 24th. 
Nebraska Corn Board Director Kelly Brunkhorst opened up the meeting discussing the importance of Nebraska’s Golden Triangle, which is the combination of resources: corn, soybeans and bio-fuels, that can be used to open the gate of opportunity for expansion of livestock production. 

Willow Holoubek, Executive Director of A-FAN, presented an overview of the work that the organization has accomplished during the past year.  The organization has focused on livestock development issues  and helping rural communities become more economically viable through growing animal agriculture in their areas.

“Unlocking the Gate of Opportunity with Livestock” was the theme of the keynote address by Dr. Kate Brooks, an extension livestock economist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Dr. Brooks, an expert in the economics of meat and livestock production, began her presentation explaining that the tools like the “Golden Triangle” are in place for expansion of animal agriculture in Nebraska. “We have water, land, corn, soybeans, and distiller grains, available,” she said.  She shared statistics about beef, pork and dairy production over the last 20 years.  Looking at where we have been, and being able to look at current global trends about the consumption of protein, Dr. Brooks predicts that Nebraska will see growth in livestock production.   

Dr. Brooks also explained that it is important on a personal level for producers to ask themselves if they have the knowledge, the management, the land and the money to expand their operations.  She reminded the audience that “Nebraska has the tools in place for expansion, but it is a personal decision.”

Ben Rice, of Prairieland Dairy, said he “was interested in the statistics shared by Dr. Brooks, showing how we have increased the amount of milk produced by each cow, despite the fact that Nebraska has fewer dairy cows than in the past.  These are numbers that I will take back and share with others in the industry,” he added.

Lisa Lunz, soybean farmer from Wakefield, said the meeting “was a good reminder that livestock expansion is important for the economy of our state.  We need to expand in order to keep our communities viable.”   

Prairieland’s Rice agreed, saying that “opening the gates of opportunities is possible if we work together as an industry. As we learned today, Nebraska has the resources to thrive.”

Following the presentations, attendee’s enjoyed a buffet lunch sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board.  The left-over food from the buffet was donated to Matt Talbot’s Kitchen & Outreach.  

Farmland from Academy Award-Winning Director James Moll Now Available via On-Demand Digital Platforms

Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Moll's feature length documentary, Farmland, is now available for rent and purchase via On Demand platforms - providing more people with the opportunity to view the film from their own homes and digital devices. The film's move to digital platforms takes place this month, following a successful four-week run on and Hulu Plus. 

Farmland is available for digital download via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Blockbuster On Demand, Sony PlayStation,, Xbox and YouTube. The cost to download and own the film ranges from $14.99 to $19.99 for high definition and $12.99 to $14.99 for standard definition format. Online rental will cost approximately $4.99 to $7.99 for high definition and $3.99 to $6.99 for standard definition format.

Farmland will also be available to traditional satellite and cable television subscribers via their respective Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View platforms in December 2014. DirecTV and DISH subscribers will have access to Farmland through their Video-on-Demand or Pay-per-View channels beginning on December 2. The film is also being made available to companies that deliver Video-on-Demand (VOD) or Pay-per-View (PPV) content to ATT U-Verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. Viewers are encouraged to check their local VOD/PPV channels on their respective cable and satellite television providers for details.

During its theatrical debut this year, Farmland was shown in more than 170 theaters across the country including Regal Cinemas, Marcus Theatres, Carmike Cinemas, Landmark Theatres, and many key independent theaters.

Net Irrigate Combats Copper Theft and Unveils WireRat® 4.0 Technology

The leader in copper theft alarm solutions updates its latest technology

Net Irrigate, a manufacturer of Wireless Agricultural Irrigation Monitoring (WAIM) technology, is excited to announce WireRat® 4.0, an update to its WireRat technology that offers pivot owners new benefits like the ability to self-test the system and increased battery performance. Since its release in 2011, WireRat technology has become the agriculture industry’s best selling alarm solution for copper theft on center pivot irrigation systems and additional agriculture equipment.

WireRat technology offers farmers the ability to better protect the valuable copper wire on their pivot irrigation systems and other equipment by immediately sending alerts to your phone when a span cable is cut. The technology works seamlessly with all brands of center pivots and requires no external power. New for the WireRat 4.0 is the ability to self-test by simulating span cable cuts without causing any damage to your equipment. Every month the system will auto-test the copper wire, ensuring the alarm is not compromised during the off season.

“In the past, the only absolute way to test the alarm would be by actually disconnecting conductors or cutting wire,” says Edward DeSalle, CEO of Net Irrigate. “The new WireRat technology reduces the risk of the alarm becoming inadvertently disarmed due to pivot maintenance and eliminates the need for physical testing, saving farmers valuable time.”

WireRat 4.0 also includes increased battery performance, with a battery pack design that can last up to seven years with average pivot usage, representing a 40 percent increase over the previous version.

"Farmers are extraordinarily busy people with plenty to worry about,” says Scott Young, service technician at Chester Inc. Ag Systems in North Judson, Ind. “A copper theft alarm system that auto tests itself and lasts for multiple years undoubtedly will create peace of mind for farmers, especially in the off season. The WireRat 4.0 technology definitely helps combat the copper theft problem that continues to plague agriculture."

In addition to the ability to self-test and increased battery performance, the new technology now also operates globally, with the ability to deliver voice, email and text notifications to recipients in more than 170 countries.

Net Irrigate is currently accepting orders for WireRat 4.0 enabled devices. For more information on WireRat 4.0, visit  Net Irrigate will also be at the Nebraska Power Farming Show in booth #1011 on Dec 9-11 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln. 

Farm Sector Profitability Expected To Weaken in 2014

Net farm income is forecast to be $96.9 billion in 2014, down over 21 percent from 2013’s estimate of $122.8 billion. The 2014 forecast would be the lowest since 2010, but would remain $16 billion above the previous 10-year average. Offsetting changes in crop and livestock receipts leaves higher expenses as the main driver of changes in 2014 net farm income from 2013. Net cash income is forecast at $108.2 billion, down over 19 percent from the 2013 estimate. Net cash income is projected to decline less than net farm income primarily because it reflects the sale of carryover stocks from 2013.

Crop receipts are expected to decrease by $27.2 billion (12.3 percent) in 2014, led by a projected $10.5-billion decline in corn receipts and a $7.9-billion decline in soybean receipts. Livestock receipts are forecast to increase by $25.7 billion (14 percent) in 2014 largely due to anticipated record prices for beef cattle and milk. The elimination of direct payments under the Agricultural Act of 2014 results in only a projected 4-percent decline in government payments due to offsetting supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance payments related to drought.  Total production expenses are forecast to increase $19.8 billion in 2014 extending the upward movement in expenses that has occurred over the past 5 years.

The rate of growth in farm assets is forecast to diminish in 2014 (2.4 percent) compared to recent years. The slowdown in growth is a result of lower net income leading to less capital investment, and moderation in the growth of farmland values. Farm sector debt is expected to increase 3.1 percent increasing more than assets for the first time since 2009. Most of the anticipated increase in debt is for nonreal estate loans with lower income spurring demand for operating funds. Despite the anticipated higher debt, the historically low levels of debt relative to assets and equity reaffirm the sector’s strong financial position.

Slight Decline Is Forecast for Median Farm Household Income in 2014

Median total farm household income is forecast to decrease slightly in 2014, to $70,564, down from $71,697 in 2013. Given the broad USDA definition of a farm, many farms are not profitable even in the best farm income years. The median farm income forecast for 2014, at -$1,682, is down slightly from the 2013 estimate of -$1,141. Most farm households earn all of their income from off-farm sources—median off-farm income is projected to increase 3.7 percent in 2014 to $64,825. (Note: Because they are based on unique distributions, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.) See more financial statistics for farm operator households.

NCBA's Cattlemen's College Lineup Set for Feb. 3-4 in San Antonio

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Cattlemen’s College, now celebrating its 22nd year, has established a reputation as one of the most thorough cattle producer education programs in the nation. Sponsored by Zoetis, the 2015 edition of Cattlemen’s College offers a wide range of informative, hands-on educational workshops designed for cattle operations of every size and sector.

The program will be held Feb. 3-4, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas, headlining the first day of activities at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Early registration for Cattlemen’s College and the convention ends Jan. 9, 2015.

Cattlemen’s College workshops include an outstanding lineup of industry experts during the course of two jam-packed days. On Tuesday, Feb. 3, participants will first hear from Gary Smith, Keith Belk, Daryl Tatum and Dale Woerner on “Feeding to Increase the Quality, Consistency, and Competitiveness from Market Cows.” This first hands-on class will help attendees improve the beef from market cows, identify production practices and learn value concepts from feedlot to retail.

On Tuesday evening, Cattlemen’s College participants will be treated to a Texas BBQ Welcome Reception sponsored by Zoetis. The reception will be an opportunity to visit with fellow cattlemen as well as the afternoon’s speakers.

Starting Wednesday morning at 7:00 am, Cattlemen’s College classes begin with a keynote address by Scott Neal, Senior VP, Produce, Meat and Seafood for Walmart. Neal will address how Walmart perceives increasing beef prices, expanding exports, increased focus on sustainability, world-wide growth and how today’s Walmart customers view beef.

Following Neal’s address, classes focusing on rebuilding the herd, the future of beef production, and many other valuable topics will be held, concluding with lunch session, with legendary farm broadcaster Max Armstrong. Armstrong will talk about how in his view from nearly forty years as a broadcaster, it’s a great time to be in the beef business.

“Cattlemen’s College gives producers an opportunity to hear from some of the leading experts in topics that impact their cattle operations every day, as well as the chance to interact with those experts and ask questions,” said NCBA President and Texas cattleman Bob McCan. “Many of the presenters are legends in the beef industry, and the wide variety of classes offers something for every producer. We highly encourage cattlemen and women to take advantage of this informative and educational program."

Cattlemen’s College registration information, as well as a complete schedule for the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show are available online at

NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award Calls for Entries

Celebrating its 25th year, the Environmental Stewardship Award Program has opened its nomination season for 2015 award. Established in 1991 by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the program has recognized the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers for more than two decades. Regional and national award winners are honored for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitat while operating profitable cattle businesses.

Seven regional winners and one national winner are selected annually by a committee of representatives from universities, conservation organizations, federal and state agencies, and cattle producers. The nominees compete for regional awards based on their state of residency, and these seven regional winners then compete for the national award. Candidates are judged on management of water, wildlife, vegetation, soil, as well as the nominee’s leadership and the sustainability of his or her business as a whole.

“Environmental stewardship and conservation have long been the focus of America’s foremost land stewards: farmers and ranchers,” said Texas cattleman and NCBA President Bob McCan. “Now in its 25th year, the ESAP program has recognized the outstanding accomplishments of cattle producers across the country and has encouraged producers to try new techniques.”

Any individual, group or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business who raises or feeds cattle. Past nominees are eligible and encouraged to resubmit their application; previous winners may not reapply. Along with a completed application, the applicant must submit one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominee’s leadership in conservation.

The program is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Cattlemen’s Foundation; and NCBA.

Applications for the 2015 ESAP award are due Mar. 6, 2015. For more information and a complete application packet, visit

Farmers Still Judging Fertilizer Plans

Retail fertilizer prices continue to move very little, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the third week of November. Fairly steady fertilizer prices have been a feature of the market for several months now and farmers are still assessing how to handle their 2015 growing season fertilizer needs.

Five of the eight major fertilizers had slightly lower prices compared to a month earlier, while the remaining three were up a bit. No fertilizer price moved any significant amount.

DAP, MAP, urea, UAN28 and UAN32 were all just slightly lower in price compared to the previous month. DAP had an average price of $576/ton, MAP $595/ton, urea $493/ton, UAN28 $322/ton and UAN32 $366/ton.

Potash, 10-34-0, and anhydrous were higher in price compared to a month earlier, but again these moves were fairly small. Potash had an average price of $479/ton, 10-34-0 $560/ton and anhydrous $709/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.54/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.58/lb.N and UAN32 $0.57/lb.N.

Three of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits higher in price compared to November of 2014, all while commodity prices are significantly lower from a year ago. Urea is up 13% compared to a year earlier, followed by DAP which is 12% more expensive and anhydrous is up 10%.

In addition, 10-34-0 is up 8%, while MAP is 7% more expensive, and both UAN28 and UAN32 are 1% higher from last year.

Potash remains the only nutrient which is still lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. Potash is 1% less expensive compared to 2013.

Remember: Scholarships for College Ag Students Available

This holiday weekend, invest time applying for the opportunity to save money on next year's college tuition. The National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation are accepting applications for five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2015-16 school year.

"NCGA understands that to remain successful as an industry we must focus on education and keeping our best and brightest interested in ag," said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA's Grower Services Action Team. "This program is an important component of NCGA's commitment to fostering youth in agriculture and to the future of our rural communities.  It is an investment in not only their future but also our own."

Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate study, and they or a parent or legal guardian must be an NCGA member. Scholarship applications must be postmarked on or before December 12, 2014.

Scholarship recipients will be selected in early 2015. Recipients and a parent or guardian will enjoy travel and lodging to attend the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. to be recognized at the NCGA Banquet and have the opportunity to learn more about modern agriculture.

New Studies Reveal Best Disinfectants and Methods for Inactivating PEDV in Hog Trailers

A new paper from Iowa State University offers pork producers first-time insights on how various disinfectants and disinfection techniques work while also verifying existing knowledge about ways to battle Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV).

The four-study summary provides details of how individual aspects of trailer sanitation programs were evaluated, including thermo-assisted drying and decontamination (TADD) systems, along with multiple disinfectants. The research, led by Drs. Derald Holtkamp and Paul Thomas, identified disinfectants that may work well against PEDV even when feces is present.

The study also verified previous methods of combatting the virus. Specifically, PEDV in the presence of feces was inactivated by heating to 160°F (71°C) for 10 minutes or by maintaining room temperature at 68°F (20°C) for at least 7 days. No other combinations of time and temperature evaluated were shown to be effective at inactivating PEDV.

To learn more about these studies, including the disinfectant information, click to view the practical summary or the full study online at

Pig Barns Prep for More than Frigid Temperatures This Winter

Last year as Jack Frost nipped across the United States, the swine industry saw an immense spike in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) cases. With the absence of summer heat and dry conditions to keep the virus at bay, the disease spread through barns across 31 states. Now with a renewed focus on biosecurity measures and nutritional management, the industry hopes to reverse this costly trend and avoid another surge in PEDv infections.

“As an industry, our focus needs to be on making sure our animals are prepared for anything that may come their way this season,” said Russell Gilliam, U.S. swine business manager for Alltech. “However, the winter does bring some additional challenges that producers need to be aware of in order to protect their pigs.”

While there are many facets of pig production that need to be set up and continually monitored to properly shield pigs from exposure to viruses and diseases this winter, Gilliam recommends swine producers concentrate on these five production areas:

    Herd flow – With potential risks for re-infection or spreading of the virus, it is essential to make sure there are proper check points for identifying infected animals and separating them from the rest of the herd. For example, conduct proper observance of the quarantine of replacement breeding stock with test and release procedures.

    Cleanliness – Severe cold temperatures make it extremely difficult to wash, clean and disinfect. Ensure all areas are completely clean and dry before exposing them to new pigs.

    Transportation – Animals coming in and going out are at risk for exposure by the transportation vehicles the operation is using. Guarantee their rides are completely clean and are from trusted sources that understand your biosecurity protocols.

    Employees – Examine foot traffic and implement proper bioesecurity measures for employees to reduce risk as employees can often work in different barns and, in some cases, for different producers. Reduce/restrict points of entry to breeding facilities.

    Nutrition – Animal performance is often dependent on feed quality and the performance of the feed itself. Include technologies in the feed that reduce the risk of pathogens and build immunity.

“Understanding the risk posed this winter is only part of the battle. The industry is more prepared than we were, but we can’t get complacent,” Gilliam said. “We need to keep improving methods for protecting our animals.

For more information on how to prepare barns this winter, contact your local Alltech representative or visit

CWT Assists with 47,179 Pounds of Cheese Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 2 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 47,179 pounds (21 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese in Asia and the Middle East. The product will be delivered December 2014.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 99.150 million pounds of cheese, 53.591 million pounds of butter and 56.729 million pounds of whole milk powder to 45 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.535 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Numbers are 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.

USDA Food Safety Tips for Cooking Thanksgiving Turkeys

Thanksgiving is the largest meal many cooks prepare each year. Getting it just right, especially the turkey, brings a fair amount of pressure whether or not a host is experienced with roasting one. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations on how to properly prepare a turkey to make sure yours is both delicious and safe to serve.

“Unsafe handling and undercooking of your turkey can lead to serious foodborne illness, explains Maria Malagon, Director of Food Safety Education with USDA FSIS. “Turkeys may contain Salmonella and Campylobacter, harmful pathogens that are only destroyed by properly preparing and cooking a turkey.”

Consumers should follow certain steps to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. According to Ms. Malagon, “those handling and cooking Thanksgiving meals should be aware of the resources available to them and the measures they can take to keep food safe.”

Steps to follow before cooking a turkey:

    Read labels carefully. Temperature labels show if the bird is fresh or frozen. If you plan to serve a fresh turkey, purchase it no more than two days before Thanksgiving.
    Purchase two thermometers: a refrigerator thermometer to ensure the turkey is stored at 40 °F or slightly below and a food thermometer to make sure the cooked turkey reaches a safe 165 °F.
    Thaw the turkey by using the microwave, the cold water method, or the refrigerator. The refrigerator method is USDA recommended.

Steps to follow when cooking a turkey:

    Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before touching any food to prevent the spread of many types of infection and illness.
    Do not wash the turkey. This only spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey.
    Keep raw turkey separated from all other foods at all times.
    Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils when handling raw turkey to avoid cross-contamination. Wash items that have touched raw meat with warm soap and water, or place them in a dishwasher.
    Cook the turkey until it reaches 165 °F, as measured by a food thermometer. Check the turkey’s temperature by inserting the thermometer in three places: the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the thigh, and the innermost part of the wing.

Steps to follow when consuming leftover Thanksgiving food:

    Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the food.
    Store leftovers in shallow pans or containers to decrease cooling time. This prevents the food from spending too much time at unsafe temperatures (between 40 °F to 140 °F).
    Do not store stuffing inside a leftover turkey. Remove the stuffing from the turkey, and refrigerate the stuffing and the meat separately.
    Avoid consuming leftovers that have been left in the refrigerator for longer than 3 or 4 days (next Tuesday to be exact). Use the freezer to store leftovers for longer periods of time.
    Keep leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs if the food is traveling home with a guest who lives more than two hours away.

Consumers with more food safety questions can visit to learn more about how to safely select, thaw and prepare a turkey. They may also call the USDA Food Safety Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or chat live with a food safety specialist at, available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English or Spanish.

FSIS will provide Thanksgiving food safety information during November on Twitter, @USDAFoodSafety, and on Facebook, at

Consumers needing help on Thanksgiving Day may contact the USDA Food Safety Hotline from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24 Crop and Harvest Progress Report - NE - IA - US


For  the week  ending November  23,  2014,  cold,  but  dry  conditions allowed  final  harvest  activities  to  move  ahead,  according  to  the  USDA’s  National  Agricultural  Statistics Service.  Temperatures averaged 8  to 12 degrees below normal across eastern areas.  Snow was beginning  to melt as temperatures warmed toward the weekend.  Producers continued to move livestock onto stalk fields for grazing.  There were 5.6 days  suitable  for  fieldwork. Topsoil moisture  supplies  rated 8 percent very  short, 31 short,  60  adequate,  and  1  surplus.  Subsoil  moisture  supplies  rated  9  percent  very  short,  28  short, 62 adequate, and 1 surplus.
Field Crops Report:

Winter wheat conditions rated 0 very poor, 2 poor, 29 fair, 60 good, and 9 excellent. 

Corn harvested was 96 percent, near 95 last year and 92 for the five-year average.

Sorghum harvested was 97 percent, near 99 last year and 93 average.
Livestock,  Pasture  and  Range  Report: 

Pasture  and  range  conditions  rated  4  percent  very  poor,  5  poor,  32 fair, 55 good, and 4 excellent.  Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 7 short, 91 adequate, and 1 surplus. 

This  is  the  last weekly Crop Progress  and Condition  report  for  the  2014  growing  season. We would  like  to extend  our  appreciation  to  the  dedicated  county  FSA  and  extension  staff  who  supplied  the  necessary information for  these reports. For December  through March, we will  issue monthly reports. The first monthly report (December) will be issued January 5, 2015. Weekly reports will begin April 6th for the 2015 season.

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables at:

Access  the  High  Plains  Region  Climate  Center  for  Temperature  and  Precipitation  Maps  at:

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor at:


Cold  temperatures and snow halted most activities early  in  the week, but  rising  temperatures  as  the weekend neared allowed  Iowa  farmers 3.7  days  suitable  for  fieldwork  during  the week  ending November 23,  2014,  according  to  the  USDA,  National  Agricultural  Statistics Service.    Some  tile  and  terrace  work  continued  despite  the  colder temperatures,  while  warmer  weather  over  the  weekend  allowed  for  corn harvest, fall tillage, and fertilizer applications.

Topsoil moisture  levels  rated  0 percent  very  short,  5 percent  short, 90 percent  adequate,  and 5 percent  surplus.   Subsoil moisture  levels rated  1 percent  very  short,  7 percent  short,  85 percent  adequate,  and 7 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent  of  Iowa’s  corn  acreage  was  harvested,  equal  to 2013 but 2 days ahead of the five-year average.  Corn harvest in south central  Iowa  continued  to  trail  behind  the  rest of  the State with only 85 percent  complete.  Isolated  corn  fields  still  remain  to be harvested throughout the rest of the State. 

Soybean harvest was nearly complete with 99 percent of the acreage harvested.  

Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 37 percent moderate to heavy, dropping 11 percentage points from the previous week.  Off-farm  grain  storage  availability  was  rated  at  93 percent  adequate  to surplus.  On-farm grain storage availability was 97 percent adequate to surplus.

Hay  and  roughage  supplies were  estimated  at 97 percent  adequate  to surplus.    Cold  and  snowy  conditions  tested  livestock,  and  some farmers have started to feed hay.


Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Very  cold  and  mostly  dry  weather  prevailed  through  Friday  (21st) across  Iowa.     Much warmer weather, with  some  light  rain,  arrived Friday night.         Temperatures  remained below  freezing across all of Iowa  until  early  on  Wednesday  (19th)  when  temperatures  briefly climbed above 32 degrees over extreme western Iowa.   Temperatures on Friday (21st) climbed above freezing over the southwest one-half of the state and climbed well above freezing statewide on Saturday (22nd) and  through most of Sunday  (23rd).     At Des Moines a  streak of 252 consecutive  hours  with  temperatures  below  freezing  ended  at  noon Friday  (21st).      This  streak  was  48  hours  longer  than  previously experienced  during  137  years  of  November  weather  records  at  Des Moines (old record was recorded for  the  last 204 hours of November 1985).     Temperature extremes varied  from a Friday morning  low of minus 6 degrees at Stanley  (Buchanan County)  to Saturday afternoon highs  of  57 degrees  at  numerous  southeastern  Iowa  locations.  Temperatures  for  the week  as  a whole  averaged  14.6 degrees  below normal.     Soils were  frozen  to  a depth of 5  to 9  inches  as of Friday (21st)  but were  completely  thawed  in many  areas  by  Sunday  (23rd).   Snow  flurries  were  common  each  day  from  Sunday  (16th)  through Thursday  (20th).      Dry  weather  prevailed  on  Friday  with  light  rain falling across the southeast one-half of Iowa Friday night into Saturday morning.   Donnellson reported the most precipitation with 0.37 inches of rain while much of the northwest one-half of the state recorded only trace  amounts.      The  statewide  average  precipitation  was  only  0.03 inches  while  normal  for  the  week  is  0.45  inches.      Heavier precipitation  fell  after  the  cut-off  for  this  week’s  report  on  Sunday (23rd) with rain amounts over an inch across east central and southeast Iowa while  snow accumulated  late Sunday night  across  the northeast one-half of the state.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Last Report of Season

With the nation's corn crop 94% harvested and the soybean crop 97% harvested, USDA issued its last weekly Crop Progress report for 2014.  Corn was 94% harvested as of Nov. 23, USDA reported, compared to 89% last week and a 92% five-year average. Soybeans were 97% harvested, compared to 94% and a 98% five-year average.

The winter wheat crop is planted and 92% emerged. That compares to 87% last week and an 89% five-year average. Winter wheat condition worsened slightly in the last week, falling to 58% good to excellent compared to 60% last week.

Dryness Still a Concern for Brazil Soy

Brazilian farmers had planted 76% of their 2014-15 soybean crop as of Friday, representing progress of some 13 percentage points compared with a week before and only slightly behind progress seen last year when 79% was harvested at the same time, AgRural, a local farm consultancy, reported Monday.

But while sufficient rain has fallen over the last four weeks for farmers to plant quickly in the Center-West and Southeast and make up for the month-long delays caused by a dry October, precipitation remains irregular across most of the soybean belt.

The lack of blanket rains, combined with high temperatures, has not only hindered the development of some crops, it has fostered caterpillar populations. The situation is not yet critical but must be watched, said AgRural in its weekly crop report.

Soybean planting is almost complete in Mato Grosso, the No. 1 producing state, at 93%. Planting is now only three percentage points behind that registered at the same point last year. In the south of the state, it hasn't rained for a few days but soil moisture remains good. In the top-producing mid-north, crops are looking healthy.

Mato Grosso do Sul had planted 95% of its crop. Soybeans in the north of the state are developing well, but the lack of rain in the south could become an issue if precipitation forecast for this week doesn't fall.

In Goias, the crop was 81% planted, up 14 percentage points on last week but still behind the 93% registered at the same point last year. The lack of rain is worrying farmers there, although losses have yet to be registered. The presence of Helicoverpa caterpillars has been noted in several areas.

Hot dry weather and caterpillars are also stressing farmers in Parana, where planting moved forward a relatively slow eight points last week to reach 84% complete.

UNL 2015 Crop Production Clinics in January
High Impact Training for Ag Professionals

University of Nebraska-Lincoln crop production and pest management specialists will be crossing the state in January to provide the latest research-based information and recommendations for the 2015 crop season. Topics will cover soil fertility; soil water and irrigation; insect, disease and weed management; cropping systems; and agribusiness management and marketing. The agenda for each program will be posted to the CPC website in December. While specific topics may vary from eastern to western Nebraska sites, the following topics are a sample:
-    Corn Yield Forecasts for Nebraska and the Corn Belt
-    Herbicide-Resistant Weed Update and Management
-    Managing Goss's Wilt
-    Pest-Resistant Crops: A Perspective from Game Theory
-    Dry Bean Production Practices and New Varieties (Gering)
-    Nutrient Management Update; Solvita/Haney Soil Tests
-    Effects of Baling and Grazing on Soil Properties
-    Checkup for Pivot Efficiency
-    Use of Climate Information for Agricultural Decisions
-    Cover Crops: What we Know and Don't Know
-    On-Farm Research: Reliable Data to Drive Decisions
-    How to Control Crop Input Costs and Land Lease Update

Registration and Credit

Online registration is required for these clinics to provide for meals and materials. Register at Cost for pre-registrations by 3 p.m. the day before the clinic is $65. Online preregistration includes the 2015 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska, the 2015 Crop Production Clinic proceedings with further information on the topics being discussed, a meal, and refreshments. On-site registration is $80.   Check-in is from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. followed by sessions from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CCA credits will be available (maximum of six per day) in these areas:
-    Crop production (2)
-    Nutrient management (1)
-    Integrated Pest Management (6)
-    Water Management (1)
-    Professional Development (2)

Pesticide applicator recertification training will be available in these categories:
-    Commercial/noncommercial in ag plant, demonstration/research, and regulatory
-    Private applicator


Tuesday, Jan. 6 — Gering, Gering Civic Center, 1050 M St.
Wednesday, Jan. 7 — North Platte, Sandhills Convention Center, 2102 S. Jeffers
Thursday, Jan. 8 — Hastings, Adams County Fairgrounds, 947 S. Baltimore
Tuesday, Jan. 13 — Kearney, Younes Conference Center, 416 W. Talmadge Road
Wednesday, Jan. 14 — York, Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 15 — Beatrice, Beatrice Country Club, 1301 Oak St.
Tuesday, Jan. 20 — Atkinson, Atkinson Community Center, 206 W. 5th St.
Wednesday, Jan. 21 — Norfolk, Lifelong Learning Center, NECC 601 E. Benjamin Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 22 — UNL ARDC, Ithaca, Saunders County Extension Office, 1071 County Road G,


According to State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has confirmed a diagnosis of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in cattle on two farms in Wheeler County.  Livestock on both farms have been placed under quarantine.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and NDA veterinarians submitted samples from the infected cattle to a USDA laboratory on Friday with final test results confirmed late yesterday.  The positive diagnosis makes Nebraska the third state to have VS this year following Texas and Colorado. 

“Vesicular Stomatitis is typically transmitted via biting insects and midges.  With our recent hard freezes in Nebraska, we are cautiously optimistic we won’t see the disease spreading as rapidly as we would expect in warmer weather,” said Dr. Hughes.  “Our team is working to determine the source of the disease, and because the disease also can be transmitted by nose to nose contact, we are taking all appropriate measures to protect surrounding livestock herds from the disease.”

VS can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats and a number of other animals.  Adult cattle will typically recover in 10-15 days after the onset of symptoms.

NDA urges producers with animals that might be experiencing these symptoms to contact their veterinarian immediately. 

According to Hughes, the positive diagnosis might trigger animal import regulations in other states so producers moving livestock from Nebraska into another state are encouraged to contact the destination state’s State Veterinarian’s office to learn about specific import requirements.

The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has information about VS available online at:

ASA Announces 2015 Class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders

The 31st class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders began their leadership journey at DuPont Pioneer headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, last week.

The Johnston training session was the first phase of a program designed to identify new and aspiring leaders and provide them with opportunities to enhance their skills and network with other growers. Representatives from 23 states and Canada participated in training that included educational and skill-building components.

“The ASA DuPont Young Leader Program has had a tremendous impact on not only ASA but the entire agricultural industry,” said Ray Gaesser (Iowa), ASA President. “By identifying new and aspiring agricultural leaders and then providing them with training that enhances their leadership skills and grows their peer network, the Young Leader program strengthens our industry and allows us to work more collaboratively in our local, state and national organizations. The participants in this year’s class are impressive; they are extremely knowledgeable, talented and passionate about agriculture.”

The 2015 class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders are: Kyle Bridgeforth, Ala.; James Bisswanger, Ark.; Dave McEachren, Canada; Nick Wurl, Ill. Adam & Hannah Steen, Ind.; Morey & Rhonda Hill, Iowa; Andrew & LaVell Winsor, Kan.; Andrew & Jenny Alford, Ky.; Brennan & Serena Gilkison, Ky.; Odis Hill, La.; Matthew Doss & Stephanie Francis, Mich.; Aaron Yaggie, Minn.; Ryan and Wendy Wondercheck, Minn.; John Mark Looney, Miss.; Bill Hayen, Mo.; Amanda Fairley, (Fairbury) Neb.; Brent & Brenda Svoboda; (Pender) Neb.; Brad Macauley, N.Y.; Christopher & Cherish Naylor, N.C.; Jarred Billadeau N.D.; Dan & Cindy Sturgill, Ohio; Cliff & Hailey Barron, S.C.; Antron Williams, S.C.; Brandon Wipf, S.D., John Dodson & Kristi Kosman, Tenn.; Chase & Jessica Ann Hickman; Tex.; Glenn Dye, Va.; and Brad & Nicole Kremer, Wis. Also pictured, ASA President Ray Gaesser, Iowa and First Vice President Wade Cowan, Tex.

“Agriculture faces many challenges and opportunities as American farmers work to help meet the growing global demand for food,” said Randy Wanke, senior manager of Industry Relations, DuPont Pioneer. “We are proud to support the young leader program, which is developing the future growers needed to capture those opportunities and meet those challenges.”

Iowa Leaders Call for More Clarity After EPA's RFS Delay

The Iowa Corn Growers Association said Friday's announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amounts to another non-decision on a high-priority issue that impacts Iowa farmers and America's economy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday announced that it will not be finalizing the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes before the end of the year. The Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted by Congress in 2005 and updated in 2007, requires oil companies to provide consumers access to renewable fuels, like ethanol, on a volume-based percentage, compared to petroleum-based products.

"Last year, EPA proposed changing the methodology for calculating the RFS, even though Congress had put very clear instructions into the law," said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Jerry Mohr, of Eldridge. Mohr said the positive part about EPA's latest announcement is that it leaves the 2013 methodology for calculating the RFS in place.

The Iowa and National Corn Growers Associations had opposed EPA's efforts to the proposed 2014 changes in methodology, because the changes would have restricted consumers' access to choosing ethanol at the pump.

"EPA's latest announcement shows that even they knew their 2014 proposal was unworkable. But it also creates more uncertainty for Iowa corn farmers and those who produce essential renewable fuels like ethanol from corn," Mohr said. "At a time when Iowa farmers are producing back-to-back record corn crops, we need EPA to uphold the law passed by Congress, to increase access to clean, renewable fuels like ethanol and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil," he said.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) said of the decision, "The Environmental Protection Agency threw the biofuels industry into chaos and confusion when it proposed lowering 2014 renewable fuel requirements from what we enacted into law. Now, the EPA will allow the uncertainty it created to linger on, saying 2015 is the soonest it will announce the amount of renewable fuel that is required to be blended and used in 2014. The EPA went astray when it gave credence to the notion there is some arbitrary limit to biofuels' potential in our fuel supply. That is a wrong interpretation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the EPA must now issue renewable fuel requirements that meet the purpose and intent of the RFS to boost energy security and jobs while reducing fossil fuel use."

Members of the Iowa Corn Growers Association have championed grassroots support for the RFS, communicating with elected officials, regulators, and policy makers across the country, and rallying thousands of letters of support to the Administration and members of Congress from Iowa corn farmers.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said, "It is good news that the EPA has withdrawn the misguided rule they proposed last year and responded to the thousands of public comments opposing their efforts to undermine the RFS. Unfortunately, the ongoing uncertainty continues to hurt the entire renewable fuels industry.

"The past year has been an exciting time in the renewable fuels industry with the first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants coming online," added Northey. "However, we have missed opportunities for even more growth in the industry due to the uncertainty created by EPA's initial RFS proposal. Hopefully the withdrawal of this rule signals a larger change in course within EPA where they will be less adversarial and more responsive to the concerns of rural America."

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a joint statement after receiving the news from EPA.

"We're pleased the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama Administration halted their ill-advised proposed rule for the time being, but unfortunately, this decision only creates more uncertainty," said Branstad. "Across the nation, renewable fuels have helped spark economic development, create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase consumer choice. While we would have liked to see the Environmental Protection Agency commit to a robust Renewable Fuel Standard for the long-term, we received a clear signal through this process that America supports renewable fuels and our state's work to produce high-quality biofuels."

"Though we were hoping for the certainty of a robust Renewable Fuel Standard, we're pleased the Environmental Protection Agency backed away from their initial proposal," said Reynolds. "We'll continue fighting for Iowa farmers and consumers who value a choice at the pump and Americans who seek energy independence through safe, reliable and renewable energy."

USDA Disaster Assistance to Help Thousands of Honeybee, Livestock and Farm-Raised Fish Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA today announced that nearly 2,500 applicants will receive disaster assistance through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2013.

The program, re-authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides disaster relief to livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs. Eligible losses may include excessive heat or winds, flooding, blizzards, hail, wildfires, lightning strikes, volcanic eruptions, and diseases, or in the case of honeybees, losses due to colony collapse disorder. Beekeepers, most of whom suffered honeybee colony losses, represent more than half of ELAP recipients.

"As promised, we're making sure that thousands of producers who suffered through two and a half difficult years without Farm Bill assistance, are getting some relief," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Once the Farm Bill was restored, not only did we implement the disaster assistance programs in record time, we're issuing payments less than three months after the enrollment deadline. The funds will hopefully help producers with some of the financial losses they sustained during that time."

The Farm Bill caps ELAP disaster funding at $20 million per federal fiscal year. To accommodate the number of requests, which exceeded funds available for each of the affected years, payments will be reduced to ensure that all eligible applicants receive a prorated share of assistance.

Booklet from NMPF Covers Your Dairy Data Needs

What has 53 tables, 20 graphs and tells you almost anything you need to know about milk production, dairy product production and sales and dairy exports and imports?

The answer is the 2014 edition of Dairy Data Highlights, the National Milk Producers Federation’s handy, pocket-sized booklet including national and state milk and dairy production data from the 1970s through 2012 or 2013.

Dairy Data Highlights has been published annually by NMPF for more than 60 years. A must for anyone involved in milk production, it is available to NMPF member cooperatives and associate members for $7.50 a copy, or $5 for orders of more than 10 copies. For nonmembers, the cost is $10 for single copies or $7.50 for bulk orders. An order form is available on the NMPF website.

All aspects of milk and dairy products production are covered, as well as producer, wholesale and retail milk and dairy product prices; federal milk marketing orders; sales and consumption data for milk and dairy products, and comparative information for U.S. dairy imports and exports.

New this year is a table showing historical monthly income-over-feed cost margins, as defined by the 2014 farm bill for the new Margin Protection Program. The table goes back to January 2000. With two accompanying line graphs, it is a timely addition for producers now making participation decisions on the new federal dairy safety net program.

Also in the booklet:

·         National milk production data going back to 1925
·         Cow numbers, farms and herd size data going back to 1950
·         Milk production and prices, production-per-cow, cow numbers and dairy herd by state, with comparative data from earlier years
·         Class III, manufacturing grade and all-milk wholesale prices by year from 1965
·         Annual wholesale prices for butter, cheddar cheese, and nonfat dry milk from 1975
·         The share of commercial sales by product, including milk, butter, cheese, frozen products and nonfat dry milk from 1970
·         Annual production and per-capital consumption of key cheese, butter and frozen products from 1970
·         Annual exports of milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and nonfat dry milk by region and country
·         A short glossary of dairy industry terms and useful conversion factors for milk and dairy products

For more information, or to order the 2014 edition of Dairy Data Highlights, visit the web site. 

Switching to soybeans?  Make sure fields are ready after continuous corn

Thinking about putting soybeans back into your rotation next season? If you’ve been following a corn-on-corn cropping strategy in recent years, plan ahead to make sure your fields are ready for the switch to soybeans.

Andrew Ferrel, Mycogen Seeds agronomist, recommends four steps for successfully rotating to soybeans.

    Start with a clean field. Corn crop residue can take a significant amount of time to break down, creating a barrier for young soybean seedlings, especially in reduced-till or no-till situations. These conditions tend to keep springtime soils cool and wet longer, creating a favorable environment for early season fungal pathogens.

“Soybean yields can be highly affected by poor emergence and early vigor,” Ferrel says. “It is important to get soybeans off to a good start with an even and well-established stand. In some cases, light tillage of heavy corn residue may be needed to create a clean seedbed for good seed-to-soil contact.”

    Head off emergence issues. Many factors can compromise seedling emergence, including insect pressure and seedling diseases. Under these conditions, Ferrel recommends a seed treatment to help promote a strong stand, and thus, earlier canopy closure and improved yield potential.

There are several seed treatments in the marketplace, many containing fungicides and insecticides in one product, Ferrel notes. “The combination products are often worth the minimal added expense to provide extra protection for soybean seedlings, especially when planting in less-than-ideal conditions,” he says. Consult with your local agronomist or seed supplier for seed treatments appropriate for your area.

    Consider soil inoculants. Years of corn-after-corn production can reduce populations of Bradyrhizobium japonicum, the soil bacteria that fix nitrogen (N) for soybeans. Fields that have been out of soybean rotation four or more years could benefit from an inoculant to ensure proper nodulation and prevent the need for supplemental N applications.

“Inoculants generally are very inexpensive relative to other crop inputs, and they are worth the investment in such cases,” Ferrel says.

    Watch nutrient levels. Corn is responsible for significant removal of key soil nutrients, particularly N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Corn’s high affinity for N means that growers must apply high rates of fertilizer each year to achieve desired yield. These N applications can result in rapid changes in soil pH. Before planting soybeans into these fields, take soil tests, paying special attention to P and K and soil pH levels, and adjust for soybean needs.

“As you plan for 2015, assess your fields and determine which are best-suited for soybean production,” Ferrel says. “Your trusted agronomic adviser can help you select varieties with the greatest yield potential after continuous corn. Additional agronomic resources are available on”

AGCO Reduces Work Force at Minnesota Plant

On the heels of some shift realignments and a reduction in its temporary workforce earlier this year, AGCO Jackson, Minnesota, Operations last week cut 43 employees from its workforce campus-wide. The cuts represent less than 4% of AGCO Jackson's workforce, according to Eric Fisher, director of operations for the southwest Minnesota facility. Still, Fisher said they have more employees today than they did in 2011,when major expansions were under way on the Jackson campus.

"Our employment is at 1,100 right now on the Jackson campus," Fisher said. "If you go back to the summer of 2011, we were at 856 employees. "We've still seen tremendous growth from 2011 to this point in time."

Fisher attributed the staffing reductions to the agriculture economy, which has seen commodity prices - particularly in corn and soybeans - drop dramatically in 2014, reports Prairie Business.

The AGCO Jackson campus manufactures Terragator and Rogator application equipment, as well as Challenger and Massey Ferguson track and high-horsepower wheeled tractors.

The Jackson campus underwent a $17 million expansion, completed in June 2012, to include manufacturing space onsite for the production of Massey Ferguson tractors and the addition of an Intivity Center to welcome visitors to the plant.