Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday June 30 USDA Acreage & Stocks Reports + Ag News


Nebraska corn growers planted 9.3 million acres, unchanged from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Biotechnology varieties were used on 96 percent of the area planted, unchanged from a year ago. Growers expect to harvest 8.90 million acres for grain, down 1 percent from last year.

Soybean planted area is estimated at 5.2 million acres, down 4 percent from last year’s total. Of the acres planted, 95 percent were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, unchanged from a year ago. Acres expected to be harvested are 5.15 million, down 4 percent from a year earlier.

Winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2014 totaled 1.5 million acres, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested acreage is forecasted at 1.3 million acres, down 10 percent from a year ago. 

Alfalfa hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 800,000 acres, down 4 percent from 2014. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 1.80 million acres, up 3 percent from last year.

Sorghum acreage planted and to be planted, at 250,000 acres, is up 19 percent from a year ago. The area to be harvested for grain, at 220,000 acres, is up 38 percent from last year.

Oats planted acres increased to 110,000 acres, up 22 percent from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain, at 30,000 acres, is up 10,000 acres from a year ago.

Dry edible bean planted acres increased to 170,000 acres, up 3 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 157,000 acres, also up 3 percent from previous year.

Proso millet plantings of 80,000 acres are down 33 percent from a year ago.

Sugarbeet planted acres, at 48,000, are down 1,000 acres from last year.

Oil sunflower acres planted decreased to 19,000, down 6,000 acres from last year. Non-oil sunflower
planted acreage is estimated at 10,000 acres, down from 1,000 acres a year ago.

Fall potato acres planted declined to 14,000 acres, down 1,000 acres from previous year. Harvested
acreage is forecasted at 13,800 acres, also down 1,000 acres from the year earlier.

Iowa Acreage Report

Corn planted for all purposes in Iowa is estimated at 13.7 million acres, up 100,000 acres from the March intentions and equal to the 2014 planted acreage according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Acreage report. Corn to be harvested for grain is forecasted at 13.3 million acres. Producers also reported the percent of genetically modified (GM) seed varieties used to plant the 2015 corn acres. The percent of corn acreage planted to insect resistant (Bt) varieties is esitmated at 5 percent, herbicide resistant only varieties were planted on 8 percent of the acres, and stacked gene varieties were planted on 80 percent of the acres. Overall, 93 percent of the corn was planted to GM seed.

Soybean acreage planted is estimated at 10.0 million acres, down 100,000 from the March intentions, but 100,000 more than the 2014 planted acreage. Soybean acreage to be harvested is forecasted at 9.92 million acres. Based on reports from producers, 96 percent of the soybean acres were planted with herbicide resistant GM seed.

Acres to be harvested for hay is estimated at 1.17 million acres, up 15,000 from the March estimate and 10,000 acres above 2014. Of the total, 820,000 acres of Alfalfa will be harvested and 345,000 acres of other hay will be cut for dry hay.

Acreage seeded to oats is estimated at 125,000 acres, down 15,000 from the March intentions and 20,000 acres below 2014. If realized, this would be the second lowest planted acreage on record for Iowa, exceeding only the 2011 record low of 120,000. Oat acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 55,000 acres, matching 2014 for the second lowest harvested acreage and just 5,000 more than the record low set in 2011.

Acres seeded to winter wheat last Fall is estimated at 24,000 acres, 2,000 acres below 2014. Acres to be harvested for grain is forecasted at 18,000 acres, up 3,000 from 2014.

USDA:  Corn Planted Acreage Down 2 Percent from 2014

Soybean Acreage Up 2 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Down 1 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Down 18 Percent

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 88.9 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. This represents the lowest planted acreage in the in the United States since 2010.

Soybean planted area for 2015 is estimated at a record high 85.1 million acres, up 2 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 84.4 million acres, is also up 2 percent from 2014 and will be record high, if realized. Record high planted acreage is estimated in Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin.

All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 56.1 million acres, down 1 percent from 2014. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at 40.6 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year and down less than 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.6 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 7.61 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.44 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2015 is estimated at 13.5 million acres, up 4 percent from 2014. Of this total, about 12.6 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2015 is estimated at 1.95 million acres, up 40 percent from the previous year.

All cotton planted area for 2015 is estimated at 9.0 million acres, 18 percent below last year. Upland area is estimated at 8.85 million acres, down 18 percent from 2014. American Pima area is estimated at 148,000 acres, down 23 percent from 2014.


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled457 million bushels, up 3 percent from 2014, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the total, 220 million bushels are stored on farms, up 16 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 237 million bushels, are down 7 percent from last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 53.9 million bushels, up 46 percent from last year. On farm stocks of 15.0 million bushels are near three times more than that of a year ago, and off-farm stocks, at 38.9 million bushels, are up 18 percent from 2014.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 17.3 million bushels, up 25 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 1.1 million bushels are over three times more than that of 2014 and off-farm stocks of16.2 million bushels are up 20 percent from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 1.58 million bushels, down 54 percent from 2014. On farm stocks of 260,000 are up 30 percent while off farm holdings of 1.32 million are down59 percent from last year.On-farm oats totaled 420,000, up 40 percent from 2014.

Iowa Grain Stocks Report

Iowa corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2015, totaled 877 million bushels, up 20 percent from June 1, 2014,according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Grain Stocks report. Of the total stocks,55 percent were stored on-farm. The March 2015 - May 2015 indicated disappearance totaled 597 million bushels, 22 percent above the 489 million bushels used during the same period last year.

Iowa soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2015, totaled 126 million bushels, up 33 percent from the94.2 million bushels on hand June 1, 2014. Of the total stocks, 40 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for March 2015 - May 2015 is 140 million bushels, 23 percent more than the 114 million bushels used during the same quarter last year.

Iowa oats stocks stored on-farm on June 1, 2015, totaled 700 thousand bushels, up 27 percent from June 1, 2014.

USDA:  Corn Stocks Up 15 Percent from June 2014

Soybean Stocks Up 54 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Up 28 Percent

Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 4.45 billion bushels, up 15 percent from June 1, 2014. Of the total stocks, 2.28 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 22 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.17 billion bushels, are up 9 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2015 indicated disappearance is 3.30 billion bushels, compared with 3.16 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 625 million bushels, up 54 percent from June 1, 2014. On-farm stocks totaled 246 million bushels, up 126 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 379 million bushels, are up 28 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March - May 2015 quarter totaled 701 million bushels, up 19 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop all wheat stored in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 753 million bushels, up 28 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 155 million bushels, up 60 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 597 million bushels, are up 21 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2015 indicated disappearance is 388 million bushels, down 17 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop Durum wheat stocks in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 25.9 million bushels, up 20 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 10.3 million bushels, are down 20 percent from June 1, 2014. Off-farm stocks totaled 15.6 million bushels, up 79 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2015 indicated disappearance of 11.8 million bushels is down 29 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop barley stocks in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 78.7 million bushels, down 4 percent from June 1, 2014. On-farm stocks are estimated at 20.9 million bushels, 10 percent above a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 57.7 million bushels, are 9 percent below June 1, 2014. The March - May 2015 indicated disappearance is 39.6 million bushels, 1 percent above the same period a year earlier.

Old crop oats stored in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 53.7 million bushels, 117 percent above the stocks on June 1, 2014. Of the total stocks on hand, 15.1 million bushels are stored on farms, 56 percent higher than a year ago. Off-farm stocks totaled 38.6 million bushels, 157 percent above the previous year. Indicated disappearance during March - May 2015 totaled  5.71 million bushels, compared with 10.4 million bushels during the same period a year ago.

Grain sorghum stored in all positions on June 1, 2015 totaled 33.2 million bushels, down 64 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 2.92 million bushels, are down 35 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 30.3 million bushels, are down 66 percent from June 1, 2014. The March - May 2015 indicated disappearance from all positions is 86.7 million bushels, up 4 percent from the same period last year.

Blu-Jet Announces New Distributor Addition - Riggins Ag

BLU-JET is proud to announce the addition of Riggins Ag Solutions as a new Fertilizer Application Equipment distributor. Riggins will cover Nebraska and Kansas, with storefronts in Mead, NE and Hastings, NE.

Riggins Ag Equipment was founded in 1988 in Missouri and has recently merged with Brokaw Supply to create Ag Solutions Group. In the new venture, John Flaugh (former President of Riggins Ag) will serve as President, and Dave Nelson (former President of Brokaw Supply) will serve as Vice President.

“By combining our more than 110 team members, it will allow us to continue to strengthen and enhance the customer experience by bringing the added value of expanded scope and reach to every sales, service, and parts interaction,” stated Nelson.

“The valued customers and partners of each dealership should see very little change in those who call on them or in processes that they are accustomed to,” affirmed Flaugh, “and if they do see changes over time, it will be with improvements that benefit them and make their experience with use even better.”

Corn Disease Update — Scouting Recommended

Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator, Cuming County

Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) has been confirmed in several fields in Iowa and in eastern Nebraska.   Cool to moderate temperatures and moisture favor infection by Exserohilum turcicum, the fungus causing this disease. Weather conditions, including cloudy days, moderate temperatures (64-81°F), high humidity, and frequent rainfall will favor further infection and spread of this and other fungal pathogens that survived in infected corn residue.   Like most other diseases caused by pathogens in residue, lesions may develop on the lower leaves first and continue to develop on leaves higher up the plant as long as conditions are favorable.   NCLB lesions can grow to be larger, cigar-shaped lesions with rounded ends. These can be confused with Goss's bacterial blight lesions; however, NCLB lesions can develop fungal spores that make them appear darker and/or dusty. 

Development and spread of NCLB prior to tasseling could substantially reduce corn yield, particularly as lesions develop and expand, killing leaf area that's necessary for grain fill later. It is most important to protect leaves at the ear leaf and above that contribute the most to grain fill. In some fields, the disease has already reached leaves 8-9. With the early development of NCLB now, it might be necessary to make a foliar fungicide application to slow disease spread in susceptible hybrids and protect uninfected leaf tissue.

Lesions develop several days after infection occurs.   Thus, it is possible that one to two leaves are already infected above the highest leaf on the plant that has recognizable lesions. To determine if a fungicide application is economical for you, consider:
·    corn price,
·    yield potential,
·    cost of treatment, and
·    disease severity.

Corn disease control ratings for a number of commercial fungicides were made by the multi-state Corn Disease Working Group.  These are included in the “Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska with Insecticide and Fungicide Information” EC 130 that is available at local Nebraska Extension offices.

No treatment thresholds have been established for NCLB. However, you can assess your risk for developing yield-limiting disease severity by considering the high-risk factors listed below. Having more of these high risk factors will increase the likelihood of increasing severity of NCLB and getting a return on the cost of a fungicide application:
·    Poor hybrid disease rating(s) for NCLB (consult seed catalog or company representatives for ratings)
·    Early disease development, especially during pre-tassel growth stages
·    Continuous corn
·    History of severe NCLB
·    Substantial corn residue
·    Weather forecast for humid/wet weather and moderate temperatures

Scout fields now and frequently to monitor for development of NCLB and other diseases. The NCLB rating provided by your seed company for your hybrid(s) will help you anticipate whether the disease may become severe. In fields currently affected by NCLB, it will be important to consider this disease in the future when making hybrid selections and other management decisions. Crop rotation, tillage, and other practices may be particularly helpful in these fields to break the disease cycle. For more information see Northern Corn Leaf Blight https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-84-W.pdf, a publication from Purdue University.

Nebraska Counties Designated as Presidential Disaster Due to May and June Storms

Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Dan Steinkruger, announced 12 Nebraska counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding.  Those counties are Cass, Dundy, Gage, Jefferson, Lancaster, Lincoln, Morrill, Nuckolls, Otoe, Saline, Saunders, and Thayer.

These counties were declared a Presidential Major Disaster on June 25, 2015, based on storms occurring from May 6, 2015 to June 17, 2015.  This designation authorizes Emergency (EM) Loans for eligible producers.  Steinkruger stated, “Producers in these twelve counties are encouraged to contact their local FSA Service Center for detailed information about available programs and updated disaster designations.”

In addition to the Emergency (EM) Loan Program, the FSA has other loan programs and disaster assistance programs which can be considered in assisting farmers to recover from their losses.

Contact your local FSA Service Center or access additional information about FSA Disaster Assistance and Farm Loan programs at www.fsa.usda.gov.

While this release pertains to the availability of FSA programs, other federal agencies such as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and SBA (Small Business Administration) may also offer assistance to the public.  Information is available from these two agencies at the following websites: www.fema.gov and www.sba.gov.


Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Potato leafhoppers are starting to injure alfalfa in many areas.  Scouting for these insects and protecting your alfalfa from injury may be needed in your fields.

               Potato leafhoppers are tiny, yellowish-green, wedge-shaped insects.  They blow into our region from the southeast from late spring through mid-summer.  Leafhoppers turn alfalfa yellow and stunt growth, and they especially hurt new seedlings.

               An early symptom of leafhopper damage is a triangular or V-shaped yellow or purple area at the tip of alfalfa leaves.  This discoloration is caused by a toxin the leafhopper injects into the alfalfa plant as it sucks out plant juices.  As feeding continues, the entire plant can turn yellow and growth may stop.

               Check fields at least weekly for leafhoppers before symptoms appear.  Don’t wait!  If you detect leafhoppers early and they are still present, insecticides can kill them easily.  You may need to spray a couple times, though, since leafhoppers can migrate from other fields and reinfect your sprayed field.

               However, if your alfalfa already is yellow and stunted, do not spray. Instead, first mow your alfalfa to remove affected plant tissue and to stimulate new growth.  Unmown plants might not grow much more all year, lowering yield and potentially leading to stand loss over winter.  After mowing newly seeded fields, spray insecticide when regrowth begins to protect that growth.  But don’t automatically spray established stands.  Instead, scout new regrowth at least weekly for leafhoppers.  If they reappear, then use insecticides before much damage occurs.

               More information, especially about threshold levels and insecticides to help you protect your alfalfa from potato leafhoppers is available on-line and at local extension offices.


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa hay and straw producers to register or update their listing on the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory.  The directory lists Iowa producers with hay and straw for sale, as well as organizations and businesses associated with promoting and marketing quality hay and straw.

“The directory has been a great tool for both buyers and sellers and we hope farmers will take the time to review and update their information so that it remains a valuable resource,” Northey said.  “This directory can serve as a critical link for those producing hay and those looking to buy, so we encourage Iowans to take advantage of this free directory.”

The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation, however only sellers from within Iowa can be included on the list.

Names are gathered throughout the year with added emphasis now that hay harvest has started. Sections within the Hay and Straw Directory include “Forage for Sale,” “Forage Auctions,” “Hay Associations,” “Forage Dealers,” “Hay Grinders” and “Custom Balers.”

Farmers interested in listing should visit the Department’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov.  An application form can be found by going to the “Bureaus” link and then selecting “Agricultural Diversification and Market Development.”  Then click on “Hay & Straw Directory” on the right side of the page under “Directories.”

For those without internet access, please call the Hay/Straw Hotline at 800-383-5079.  The Department will fax or send a printed copy of the application to be filled out.

The Department is also supporting the Iowa Crop Improvement Association’s “Iowa Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage and Mulch Certification Program.”  Through this program Iowa forage and mulch producers can take advantage of many emerging market opportunities for “Certified Weed Free” products.  For more specific information on this program producers should contact the Iowa Crop Improvement Association at 515-294-6921.  More information can also be found by visiting http://www.iowacrop.org/Weed_Free.htm.

Iowa Extends Disaster Proclamation for Bird Flu

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad Monday announced that he is extending the State of Disaster Emergency in response to the avian flu outbreak through July 31. This is the second extension the governor has made to the original disaster proclamation. The governor's original disaster declaration was set to expire May 31, but he extended it until July 1. The latest disaster proclamation can be read here.

The extension comes less than two weeks after Branstad requested a Presidential Disaster Designation for four Iowa counties hit by the virus. In bipartisan fashion, members of Iowa's Congressional Delegation wrote a letter to President Obama encouraging him to grant the governor's request on June 19.

The proclamation of disaster emergency does the following:

1. Activates the disaster response and recovery aspect of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department's (HSEMD) Iowa Emergency Response Plan.

2. Authorizes the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are deemed reasonably necessary by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa HSEMD in order to do the following:

A. Track and monitor instances of confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza throughout the state of Iowa and the country,

B. Establish importation restrictions and prohibitions in respect to animals suspected of suffering from this disease,

C. Rapidly detect any presumptive or confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza within Iowa's borders,

D. Contain the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state through depopulation, disinfections, and disposal of livestock carcasses,

E. Engage in detection activities, contact tracking, and other investigatory work to stop the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state, and

F. Eliminate the disease in those disaster counties where it has been found and lessen the risk of this disease spreading to our state as a whole.

3. Temporarily authorizes the Iowa HSEMD, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies and private contractors employed by the same to remove and/or dispose of live animals and animal carcasses on publicly or privately owned land when those live animals and/or carcasses threaten public health or safety.

4. Authorizes the Iowa HSEMD, the Iowa DOT, the Iowa DPS, the Iowa DNR, IDPH, other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies to implement stop movement and stop loading restrictions and other control zone measures as are reasonably deemed necessary, including establishing buffer zones, checkpoints, and cleaning and disinfecting operations at checkpoints and borders surrounding any quarantine areas established by the IDALS or at any other location in the state of Iowa, in order to stop the spread of this contagious disease.

5. Authorizes state agencies to assist the IDALS in disinfection, depopulation, and livestock carcass disposal efforts.

6. Temporarily waives restrictions to allow for the timely and efficient disposal of poultry carcasses.

7. Temporarily suspends the regulatory provisions pertaining to hours of service for commercial vehicle drivers hauling poultry carcasses infected with or exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza or while hauling loads otherwise related to the response to this disaster during its duration, subject to certain conditions outlined in the disaster proclamation.

Tell Us Your Conservation Story and You Could Be a Winner

Have you moved beyond basic conservation tillage toward more sustainable practices like strip-till or no-till? Do you grow cover crops? Have you taken steps to reduce soil loss or improve water quality? Tell us about your accomplishments, and you may win a Conservation Legacy Award.

All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to enter to win a Conservation Legacy Award. The award recognizes U.S. soybean farmers who distinguish themselves through outstanding environmental and conservation practices, while remaining profitable. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management. Three regional winners and one national winner are selected.

Award Winners Receive:
• An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans, La.
• Recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic.
• A feature on your farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video.
• New – Potential opportunity to join other farmer-leaders on a trip to visit international customers of U.S. soybeans.

The Conservation Legacy Awards are sponsored by the American Soybean Association, BASF, Corn & Soybean Digest, Monsanto and the United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff.  More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application is available here... https://soygrowers.com/award-programs/conservation-legacy/.   All applications must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2015.

Members Named to Seven Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the appointment of 129 private-sector members to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs).

"USDA and USTR rely on the individuals who serve on these committees to provide their expert advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities," said Vilsack. "They are an invaluable asset as we work to enact trade agreements and trade policies that deliver the greatest economic benefit for U.S. agriculture and for our nation as a whole," Vilsack said. "The last six years have been the strongest in history for U.S. agricultural exports, with international sales of American farm and food exports totaling $771.7 billion. Those exports now support more than a million quality American jobs. As we negotiate new trade agreements in Asia and Europe we will rely on APAC and ATAC members' expertise and knowledge to bring home the best possible deals."

"The strength of our trade agenda is dependent on the advice and counsel we receive from our trade advisors," said Froman. "And, now is more important than ever as we pursue the most ambitious trade agenda ever for America's farmers, ranchers and businesses of all sizes. The individuals we are appointing today represent one of the most important sectors to America's export economy and will provide critical advice as we negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and work to expand export opportunities for American agriculture."

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.

The APAC provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements. The ATACs offer technical advice and information about specific commodities and products.

This group of committee members will serve until June 15, 2019. They will be supplemented by additional appointments over the next four years. Applications are encouraged at any time and will be reviewed periodically for additional appointments. A complete list of committee members and information about applying is available at www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-advisory-committees.

Handle Vaccines Properly

Maintaining herd health is of utmost importance to any successful swine operation. An infectious disease outbreak can cause economic devastation, and full recovery of a herd can take months.

“Vaccines are vital to disease prevention,” said Lucina Galina, DVM, managing veterinarian, Pork Technical Services, Zoetis. “But simply adhering to a stringent vaccination program does not ensure animals will be fully protected. Other factors contribute to a successful disease prevention program, including storing, handling and administering the product.”

Vaccine storage

Vaccines can lose their effectiveness if not stored at proper temperatures. Always store vaccines in a refrigerator with an airtight door and thermometer so the temperature can be checked regularly. For most products, the temperature should be between 35°F and 45°F.

Store vaccines in the center of the refrigerator, not in the door or at the bottom. The temperature in these areas is unstable and can affect the temperature of the vials. Place vials in order of their expiration date. Do not store other food or beverages in the refrigerator, and ensure it is cleaned monthly. Keep a record of this cleaning.

Before you vaccinate

Prior to administering vaccinations, calculate the amount of doses you will need. Inspect each vial to ensure it has not been tampered with or broken or has changed colors. Verify that it is the recommended temperature, and gently shake the vial to mix.

“The most important thing to do before you vaccinate any pigs is to assess their current health status,” Dr. Galina said. “Sick pigs might not get the full protection the vaccine offers if they already are fighting a disease or bacteria. If you have pigs that are sick, discuss the vaccination protocol with the herd veterinarian.”

In the pen

Gently shake the vial between administrations, and be careful not to contaminate the remaining doses. Use sterile or thoroughly cleaned needles to avoid transmitting the disease among animals or pens.

Use the appropriate needle based on the size of the pig. Change needles often to reduce the risk of injuries. Review the recommended pigs-per-needle guidelines with the herd veterinarian.

Safety first for you and the pigs

“Stress can reduce the immune system’s response and could result in loss of vaccine effectiveness,” said Dr. Galina. “Keep pigs calm and reduce other stress factors on the day of vaccination, such as multiple pen movements, excessive handling or transportation.”

Use proper technique to administer the vaccine in the correct area of the pig’s neck. Position the needle and syringe perpendicular to the neck.

If you accidentally inject yourself or another caregiver, thoroughly wash the wound with water, contact your doctor and report the incident to your manager and Zoetis representative.

Following protocol

Zoetis provides a full line of vaccines that help prevent disease. There also are helpful on-farm resources, such as posters that display proper handling, storing and administration techniques. Ask your local Zoetis representative how you can obtain these helpful visuals to ensure you’re providing the best disease prevention program for your pigs.

Major U.S. Livestock Producers Join Bion to Support Market-Driven Chesapeake Bay Strategy

Major producers and trade organizations in the nation’s dairy, beef, swine and poultry industries have joined together in support for Pennsylvania Senate Bill 724, Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. (OTC QB: BNET), a provider of advanced livestock waste treatment technology, announced this week.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has also voiced its support of the legislation, which, when enacted, would establish a competitive bidding program to harness low-cost nutrient reductions that are projected to save Pennsylvania taxpayers $1.5 billion in annual Chesapeake Bay compliance costs.

The National Milk Producers Federation, whose cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, stated in a letter to Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s administration and the Assembly leadership:

“The U.S. dairy producer community is increasingly focused on the challenge of developing cost-effective approaches to better manage nutrients, and we believe market-based programs such as this would help address these challenges. Through the concepts embodied in SB 724, Pennsylvania has the opportunity to adopt a unique approach that could serve as a model for other states.”

Mike McCloskey, a Vice Chairman of National Milk, recently testified in support of SB 724 at a PA Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing, where he stated, “This bill is extremely important to us, as a dairy industry. We have supported it as an entire U.S. dairy industry from the beginning…I assure you that your leadership will be followed by many, many states quickly, after you pass this bill. This is really the solution for farmers around the country to be innovative and become part of a solution we are not part of.” 

National Milk is joined in its support of SB 724 by other national dairy groups, including Dairy Farmers of America, Newtrient, LLC, and Land O’Lakes, who collectively represent the vast majority of the nation’s milk production and processing. Major regional dairy producers Fair Oaks Dairy and Kreider Farms, also one of the east coast’s largest egg producers, support the legislation and the market-driven voluntary strategy it represents.

JBS, the world’s largest animal protein company and second largest beef packager in the U.S., has expressed support for SB 724. Elliot Keller, General Manager of the JBS-Souderton facility, also testified at the Majority Policy Committee hearing, emphasizing that the bill would help farmers increase their herd size while meeting the ever-increasing environmental mandates from the federal government.

Pennsylvania missed its EPA-mandated 2013 targets and is projected to default on its 2017 nitrogen targets by 14.6 million pounds. A default by Pennsylvania will cascade, impacting Maryland and Virginia that are spending billions on compliance. A delegation of MD legislators recently petitioned EPA to take enforcement action against Pennsylvania for failure to comply with the mandates.  It is critical to Pennsylvania’s taxpayers that the state change its approach and get projects underway. Large scale solutions are needed to avoid the potentially severe economic sanctions for failure to meet the 2017 targets, which was described in a recent state Auditor General’s report.

Manure treatment technologies like Bion’s can produce verifiable nitrogen reductions that can be used to offset EPA mandates at approximately $8 per pound annually. The bipartisan 2013 Pennsylvania legislative study and the 2015 Maryland restoration financing strategy report estimated the average cost of alternatives at $43 to over $600 per pound annually.

Ed Schafer, Bion’s Vice Chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, “Much of the livestock industry and the low-cost, large-scale solutions it represents, is ready to make investments in nutrient reductions from waters flowing into the Bay. Their willing involvement will speed cleanup of these watersheds and provide dramatic savings for the taxpayer which will benefit both the industry and the consumer.

Adoption of the SB 724 strategy will create public policy that can help Pennsylvania meet Federal compliance mandates while reducing costs to the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.  Economic studies show a savings of up to $1.5B annually and also, by offsetting nutrient reduction costs, more than $100 million will flow into the agriculture and rural communities.  It is imperative for Pennsylvanians’ economy and quality of life that the Wolf administration and the legislature implement SB 724 or similar options that enable this approach to be implemented on a fast track.”

June 29 Crop Progress & Condition Reports - NE - IA - US


For the week ending June 28, 2015, rainfall of one inch or more was recorded in portions of north central Nebraska as well as southeastern areas, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures averaged near normal. Storms brought hail to parts of the Panhandle. Irrigation activities were underway with pipe being laid in southern counties and pivots running in others. Late planting of low lying areas was near completion. Overall, it was a productive week of spraying, hilling and hay harvest. There were 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 10 short, 75 adequate, and 12 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 12 short, 74 adequate, and 10 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 24 fair, 58 good, and 12 excellent. Corn silking was at 1 percent, equal to last year, and near the five-year average of 4.

Sorghum condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 32 fair, 62 good, and 5 excellent. Sorghum emerged wasat 94 percent, near 90 last year and 95 average.

Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 7 poor, 24 fair, 57 good, and 11 excellent. Soybeans emerged was at 92 percent, behind 100 last year and 99 average. Blooming was at 10 percent, behind 20 last year, but near 9 average.

Winter wheat condition rated 15 percent very poor, 19 poor, 30 fair, 34 good, and 2 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was at 85 percent, ahead of 76 last year and 75 average. Mature was at 41 percent, well ahead of 17 last year and 24 average. Harvested was at 1 percent, ahead of 0 last year, but behind 11 average.

Oats condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 25 fair, 61 good, and 6 excellent. Oats headed was at 93 percent, ahead of 74 last year and 87 average. Coloring was at 29 percent, near 28 last year.

Alfalfa condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 24 fair, 59 good, and 13 excellent. Alfalfa hay first cutting was at 86 percent, behind 94 for both last year and average. Second cutting was at 15 percent, behind 23 last year and 25 average.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 18 fair, 63 good, and 14 excellent.  Stock water supplies rated 2 percent very short, 5 short, 87 adequate, and 6 surplus.

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:

Iowa Crop Progress & Condition Report

Severe weather conditions rolled through Iowa this week as high winds, isolated hail, and plenty of rain occurred during the week ending June 28, 2015, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included cutting hay, herbicide and fungicide applications, and some nitrogen side dressing. Excessive moisture is stressing some crops, causing small drowned-out areas, and preventing farmers from controlling weeds.

Topsoil moisture levels rated to 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

In southwest and south central Iowa farmers have begun to file prevented plantings for any remaining corn and soybean acreage. Eighty-three percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent.

Soybean emergence reached 96 percent, 11 days behind 2014. Soybean condition rated 78 percent good to excellent this week.

With 90 percent of the oat crop headed or beyond, conditions declined slightly to 81 percent good to excellent. 

Hay condition fell to 70 percent good to excellent this week due to wet conditions. The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 83 percent complete. The second cutting reached 9 percent, one week behind average.

Pasture condition rated 81 percent good to excellent. Muddy feedlots and increased insect pressure elevated livestock stress levels.


Provided by Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land StewardshipIowa endured a very wet and stormy week. Thunderstorms were widespread on Monday (22nd), Wednesday(24th) into Thursday (25th) morning, Friday (26th) and over eastern Iowa on Sunday (28th). High winds rakedmuch of northern Iowa on Monday (22nd) morning, with additional severe storms over south central Iowa onMonday afternoon. Hail and high winds were also reported over parts of southwest, south central and eastcentral Iowa on Wednesday (24th). Torrential rains fell over portions of central and south central Iowa onWednesday night with widespread flooding. However, parts of northwest and southwest Iowa saw only lightamounts of rain with Sidney and Shenandoah recording only sprinkles. On the other end of the spectrumWaukee reported 7.98 inches of rain. The statewide average precipitation total was 2.13 inches, or nearlydouble the weekly normal of 1.17 inches. Meanwhile temperatures averaged from one degree above normalover southwestern Iowa to three degrees above normal over the northeast with a statewide average of 2.0degrees subnormal. Temperature extremes varied from a Wednesday afternoon high of 94 degrees at Clarindato a Tuesday morning low of 51 degrees at Elkader.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress

As expected, U.S. corn and soybean conditions declined in the week ended June 29, according to Monday's USDA Crop Progress and Condition report, probably thanks to flooded fields and storm damage.

Corn condition fell to 8% poor to very poor, compared to 6% last week. Four percent of the crop was silking, compared to a five-year average of 8%.

Soybean condition declined to 9% poor to very poor, compared to 8% last week. Soybean planting was 94% complete, compared to 90% last week and a 97% five-year average. Emergence lagged at 89% compared to 93% last year and a 94% average. Eight percent of the crop was blooming, compared to 9% last year and a 9% average.

Winter wheat harvest reached 38% complete, compared to 19% last week and a 46% average. Spring wheat is 49% headed, compared to 23% last week and a 29% average. Both wheats' condition ratings fell slightly, with one more percentage point in the poor to very poor categories.

Cotton nationwide is 98% planted and 35% squaring, compared to 94% and 22% last week and 100% and 40% on average. Five percent of the crop is setting bolls, compared to 6% at this time last year and an 8% five-year average. Cotton condition improved slightly.

Rice is 16% headed compared to 6% last week and a 9% five-year average.

Sorghum is 93% planted and 21% headed, compared to 85% and 18% last week and 95% and 23% on average. Sorghum condition held steady.

Oats are 83% headed, compared to 67% last week and a 71% five-year average. Oat condition improved slightly.

Barley is 62% headed compared to 38% last week and a 26% average. Barley conditions worsened modestly.

Monday June 29 Ag News

Bruce Anderson, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

               Bluegrass is a common weed in irrigated alfalfa.  Fortunately, there are several ways to control this pesky plant.

               Irrigation can really boast alfalfa yields.  But weeds like bluegrass often invade, which lowers quality and shortens stand life.  Bluegrass competes so well because it likes moisture and it has many basal leaves that help it grow rapidly after alfalfa is cut.

               Effective control requires thick alfalfa stands, good water management, and sometimes, herbicides.  It is essential to start with thick stands, both to compete with the bluegrass and to have good yield potential after control is achieved.

               The key to slowing down bluegrass invasion is irrigation water management.  Irrigation must be timed so the top several inches of soil are dry at harvest — and they need to remain dry until alfalfa regrowth is several inches tall.  Bluegrass grows slowly in dry soil, but alfalfa roots will use subsoil moisture for regrowth if your previous irrigation stored a supply down below.  Once your alfalfa gets a little bit of growth, it will compete well with the bluegrass.

               If thick stands and water management are adequate, then herbicides like Select, Poast Plus, or Roundup might be cost effective to weaken or kill bluegrass.  Apply any one of these immediately after harvest.  Be especially careful using Roundup, though, if your alfalfa isn’t RoundupReady.  It should be used only if no new growth has developed from your alfalfa.  Otherwise, plants could be killed.  Of these herbicides, Select may work the best and is safe for your alfalfa.

               Bluegrass is a problem in many irrigated alfalfa fields, but it does not need to be.  You can control it.

 Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshops This August Across Nebraska

UNL will be offering Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease workshops this August to help landlords and tenants develop a lease that works for both parties while still maintaining positive farm leasing relations.

Ad for landlord-tenant workshopsTopics for discussion will include:

    Latest information about land values and cash rental rates for the area and state;
    Expectations from the lease, including typical lease arrangements;
    Lease termination, including terminating handshake or verbal leases where the deadline is August 31, 2015;
    Lease communication, determining appropriate information sharing for both the tenant and landlord;
    Alternative cash lease arrangements, flexible provision considerations for your situation
    Other topics, like irrigation systems, hay rent, pasture rental agreements, and grain bin rental will be covered as time allows.

A UNL Extension Educator team of Allan Vyhnalek, Robert Tigner, Jim Jansen, Jessica Groskopf, and Tim Lemmons will present information on these topics as well as common sense tips for landlords and tenants. It is helpful if both the tenant and landlord can attend together.  It is also helpful if the spouse attends.

These free workshops are sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board.  Refreshments and handouts are provided. Registration is requested by calling the host county of the workshop.  Register at least three days before the workshop you would like to attend to ensure there are enough handouts and refreshments.

This workshop has been held extensively across Nebraska for the past four years with over 2,800 people attending.  Both landlords and tenants have said they found the workshop to be very helpful in improving communications, setting rental terms, and learning about the use of flex lease provisions.  As crop budgets tighten, it is even more important to attend and listen to the latest discussion about leasing issues.  Dates and locations include

Date          City                 Location                                     Start Time     Registration Phone #

Aug. 10     Dakota City     Extension Office meeting room     1 p.m.     308-324-5501
Aug. 10     Ogallala     Fairgrounds     1 p.m.     308-284-6051
Aug. 11     Norfolk     Life Long Learning Center     1 p.m.     402-370-4000
Aug. 12     Fairbury     Jefferson County Fairgrounds     1 p.m.     402-729-3487
Aug. 12     North Platte     West Central REC     6 p.m.     308-532-2683
Aug. 17     Weeping Water     Cass County Fairgrounds     1:30 p.m.     402-267-2205
Aug. 17     Kimball     4-H Building, Fairgrounds     7 p.m.     308-235-3122
Aug. 18     Grand Island     Hall County Fairgrounds     9:30 a.m.     308-385-5088
Aug. 19     Leigh     Colfax County Fairgrounds     9:30 a.m.     402-352-3821
Aug. 19     Thedford     Thomas County Courtroom     1 p.m.     308-645-2267
Aug. 19     Valentine     Cherry County Extension Office     6 p.m.     402-376-1850
Aug. 19     McCook     Fairgrounds Community Building     1 p.m.     402-345-3390
Aug. 20     Chadron     4-H Building, Fairgrounds     9 a.m.     308-327-2312
Aug. 21     Plainview     Community Center     9 a.m.     402-329-4821
Aug. 24     Wayne     Wayne Fire Hall     9 a.m.     402-375-3310
Aug. 27     Columbus     Pinnacle Bank (east)     1 p.m.     402-563-4901
Aug. 27     Alliance     Library, Alliance     1 p.m.     308-762-5616
Aug. 28     Near Mead     UNL ARDC     9:30 a.m.     402-624-8030

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

Farm Finance and Legal Aid Clinics in July

One-on-one, confidential Farm Finance Clinics are held across the state each month. An experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor will be available to address farm and ranch issues related to financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.

July Clinic Sites and Dates
    Fairbury — Wednesday, July 1
    Grand Island — Thursday, July 2
    North Platte — Thursday, July 9
    Norfolk — Friday, July 10
    Lexington —Thursday, July 16
    Valentine — Friday, July 17
    Norfolk — Wednesday, July 22

To sign up for a clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor these clinics.

Kinze Manufacturing to Lay Off 200 Workers

Farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing says it must lay off 215 workers as business has slowed because of the impact of low grain prices on farmer purchases.

The privately held company based in the eastern Iowa near Williamsburg makes planters and grain carts.

The company released a statement that says it had earlier this year implemented a 30-hour work week in an effort to avoid permanent cuts, but current demand for its products does not support full staffing.

Office and factory workers are affected. Remaining workers will return to a 40-hour work week.

President Obama Signs Trade Promotion Authority into Law

Trade promotion authority (TPA) will soon help create and strengthen international trade agreements, opening valuable markets and providing an advantage for U.S. farmers.

President Barack Obama signed TPA into law on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Soybeans represent the nation’s most important agricultural export and international trade plays a crucial role in the industry, as well as the many benefits trade yields for the country.

TPA was a key priority for the American Soybean Association (ASA) in the 114th Congress. The bill gives the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) the ability to get the best deal possible, and it provides Congress the oversight it needs to ensure every agreement will work for American farmers.

TPA is critical for soybean farmers because new trade agreements expand market access as we look to maintain our position at the vanguard of world agricultural trade.

In addition, new trade agreements will expand livestock product exports, which are also important for U.S. soybean farmers.

The passage of TPA is also vital to moving toward finalizing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which includes important export markets for U.S. soybeans and meats, as well as the developing markets that grow in their demand for American soy every day.

ASA thanks the hundreds of farmers who contacted their lawmakers and worked to make soy growers’ voices heard on TPA for the past several months.

Regarding the Signing of Trade Promotion Authority Legislation

Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation

“President Obama’s signature today opens the door to creating new trade partnerships around the world that will drive American business forward in the international marketplace.

“The American economy stands stronger when we work together – and that’s just what Trade Promotion Authority enables us to do at the bargaining table. U.S. agriculture is ready for ambitious trade agreements that break down barriers to products grown and made in America, so our trading partners know we mean business.”

U.S. Wheat Growers See TPA as First Step to Increased Export Opportunity

Monday, June 29, 2015 - Today marks the end of a successful bipartisan effort and the beginning of better prospects for agricultural trade as President Obama signs Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) into law.

“With reauthorization of TPA, the President has a prime opportunity to help level the playing field for wheat growers and American agriculture,” said Brett Blankenship, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Washtucna, Wash. "It is now up to the Administration to use that authority to negotiate new wheat market access commitments in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and future trade agreements."

“Putting TPA in place is a step forward for American wheat growers,” said Roy Motter, USW Chairman and a Desert Durum® grower from Brawley, Calif. “Now we need a TPP agreement that will help growers overcome the tariff advantages a lot of our competitors get through free trade agreements with importing countries. That is important because wheat demand in many of those countries is growing rapidly and we can’t afford to lose out.”

NAWG and USW applaud the tireless work of Congress and the President to get to this point, and look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to finalize strong trade deals for America’s wheat farmers.

NCBA CEO Forrest Roberts Announces Resignation

Forrest Roberts has announced his resignation as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), effective July 31. Roberts has been the CEO of NCBA since 2009.

Roberts is leaving NCBA to pursue other opportunities in the cattle industry and agribusiness. He will remain with NCBA until the end of July to help NCBA with transition of staff leadership, including his roles in several industry related organizations.

“For the past 6 years it has been a privilege to serve as CEO of NCBA,” Roberts said. “While I have decided to turn a new chapter in my career, I leave NCBA with many great memories of the time I spent working with the NCBA staff, state partners, members, producer leadership and stakeholders across the global beef industry.”

According to NCBA President Phillip Ellis, Roberts contributed significantly to the organization and the industry. “Under Forrest Roberts’ leadership NCBA membership has increased significantly, NCBA is in a solid financial position, convention attendance is at record levels and the NCBA-managed programs to build consumer demand for beef as a contractor to the beef checkoff are achieving significant results. In addition, Roberts has strengthened industry partnerships domestically and internationally,” he said. “We wish him well as he pursues other interests in the cattle industry and agribusiness.”

NCBA Chief Operating Officer Kendal Frazier has been named interim CEO to manage the day-to-day operations, including NCBA staff, until a new CEO is identified. “Frazier has more than 30 years of experience working in the different areas of NCBA,” Ellis said. “I know he will do a good job of guiding the organization during the transition period.”

Ellis said the NCBA officers will work with the NCBA Executive Committee to develop a process to search for and identify a new CEO.

“Even as our leadership changes, our commitment does not,” said Ellis. “At this critical time in the beef business, the NCBA directors and staff will move forward aggressively to protect the interests of our members and the industry.”

Administration Places Politics Over Producers

Today, USDA APHIS released their final rules for the Importation of Fresh Beef from Northern Argentina and a Region in Brazil. With this step by the Administration, these areas with a known history of Foot-and-Mouth disease would be allowed to begin the inspection process to import fresh and frozen beef products into the United States. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stands firmly opposed to this regulation, not on the basis of trade but on the basis of animal health concerns; no trade is worth jeopardizing our herd health.

“The arrogance of this administration in continuing to press forward with rules that have a profound impact on industry, without consulting those affected, is appalling,” said NCBA President and Chugwater, Wyoming, cattleman, Philip Ellis. “FMD is a highly contagious and devastating disease, not just for the cattle industry, but for all cloven-hoofed animals and it can be introduced and spread through the importation of both fresh and frozen products. In 1929, our industry took profound and personally devastating steps to eradicate this disease and the United States has been FMD free ever since. But the actions of this administration for purely political gain threaten the very viability of our entire industry and threaten hundreds of thousands of American cattle-producing families.”

NCBA has demonstrated through numerous public comments and in person through meetings with staff and members, our concerns regarding the importation of fresh and frozen product from Northern Argentina and these 14 states in Brazil. There is a long history of repeated outbreaks in many of the neighboring South American countries, as well as a history of problems in both Argentina and Brazil with compliance to animal health and food safety regulations. Despite this long history of such an economically devastating animal disease, the Administration did not conduct an objective quantitative risk analysis for this rule, as was performed in 2002 for Uruguay.

“The haste and sloppy nature of this rulemaking points clearly to the Administration’s political agenda in forcing this rule forward, literally in spite of the science,” said Ellis. “This rule violated the federal rulemaking process, violated Executive Orders mandating scientific integrity in rulemaking, circumvented the ongoing Government Accountability Office’s review of the risk analysis process, and withheld critical information from stakeholders. Our office actually received over 600 pages of documents relevant to Brazil in Portuguese and over 25 percent of the documents for Argentina were posted to the Federal Register in Spanish, neither with any translation available. No one should have to learn a second language to review a proposed U.S. government regulation.”

The effect of an FMD outbreak in the United States would be devastating to animal agriculture and our entire economy with estimates for total economic losses ranging from $37 billion to $228 billion, depending on the size of an outbreak. Moreover, innumerable losses would occur through the closure of export markets, lost domestic sales, lost opportunities, and a loss of consumer confidence in beef.

USDA APHIS has worked for over 80 years to keep our country free of FMD, now is not the time to give up on that commitment simply to fulfill a political legacy.

Enrollment for 2016 Dairy Margin Protection Program to Begin July 1

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that starting July 1, 2015, dairy farmers can enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Margin Protection Program for coverage in 2016. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating dairy operations when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. Harden made the announcement while visiting Wolfe’s Neck Farm and dairy school in Freeport, Maine.

"More than half of our nation’s dairy producers enrolled in the 2015 program, which exceeded our expectations for the first year of the program," said Harden. "We are confident that dairy farmers across the country will again take advantage of this safety net program for 2016. USDA will continue outreach efforts, including partnering with cooperative extension services, to ensure dairy producers are fully informed about the protections that this safety net program can provide during periods of market downturns.”

The Margin Protection Program gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment begins July 1 and ends on Sept. 30, 2015, for coverage in 2016. Participating farmers will remain in the program through 2018 and pay a $100 administrative fee each year. Producers also have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year. Margin Protection Program payments are based on an operation’s historical production. An operation’s historical production will increase by 2.61 percent in 2016 if the operation participated in 2015, providing a stronger safety net.

USDA also has an online resource available to help dairy producers decide which level of coverage will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The enhanced Web tool, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine their unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, mobile phone, or tablet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dairy operations enrolling in the program must meet conservation compliance provisions. Producers participating in the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program may register for the Margin Protection Program, but this new margin program will only begin once their Livestock dairy insurance coverage has ended. Producers must also submit form CCC-782 for 2016, confirming their Margin Protection Program coverage level selection, to the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. If electing higher coverage for 2016, dairy producers can either pay the premium in full at the time of enrollment or pay a minimum of 25 percent of the premium by Feb. 1, 2016.

The Margin Protection Program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

For more information, visit FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/dairy for more information, or stop by a local FSA office to learn more about the Margin Protection Program.

CWT Assists with 2.4 Million Pounds of Cheese and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 17 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, and Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) who have contracts to sell 354,944 pounds (161 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda, and Monterey Jack cheese, and 2.028 million pounds (920 metric tons) of whole milk powder to customers in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from June through November 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 38.402 million pounds of cheese, 30.395 million pounds of butter and 22.099 million pounds of whole milk powder to twenty eight countries on five continents. The amounts of cheese, butter and whole milk powder in these sales contracts represent the equivalent of 1.200 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively impacts all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

July 4th Cookout Costs Less This Year, Still Under $6 Per Person

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

Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost for a summer cookout for 10 is $55.84, or $5.58 per person. That’s about a 3-percent decrease compared to a year ago.

“Based on our survey, food prices overall appear to be fairly stable. Prices for beef have continued to increase this year, but prices for other meats are generally declining. Dairy product prices are also quite a bit lower,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at AFBF.

“Meat production is starting to increase substantially. Beef prices have started to stabilize but have not declined yet. On the other hand, retail pork prices have been declining all year,” Anderson said.

“Fuel and other energy prices have also generally been lower so far this year compared to last year,” Anderson said. “This helps keep prices down on the more processed items in the basket. Energy is an important component of the final price for these products.

“As a nation, we continue to enjoy a consistent, high-quality supply of meats and poultry at prices that are remarkably affordable for most consumers,” he said.

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

A total of 88 Farm Bureau members (volunteer shoppers) in 30 states checked retail prices for summer cookout foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers Announce Plans to Merge Crop Inputs Businesses

Land O’Lakes, Inc. and United Suppliers, Inc. of Ames, Iowa today announced their intent to merge their crop inputs businesses. Together, the two organizations will provide owner customers’ expanded product offerings, enhanced precision agriculture services, tools and technologies, improved product insights, consulting services and more.

“This move comes at a time when scale is increasingly important in addressing changing industry dynamics, including rapid consolidation on the supplier, retailer and grower levels, fast-paced technological innovation and the need for increasing and expanded service offerings for customers,” said Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc. “We are excited to come together with United Suppliers and expect our members, owners and customers will benefit greatly from this merger.”

Under this agreement, the intention is to merge United Suppliers, Inc. and Land O’Lakes, Inc. The first step of the merger will be to combine the two companies’ seed and crop protection businesses, and a second step to follow will bring in the crop nutrient business. This merger builds on the recent successes of the two companies and aims to create a single, strong, relevant and competitive entity. In 2014, WinField had $4.9B in seed and crop protection product sales and United Suppliers had $2.6B in crop protection, seed and crop nutrient sales.

“United Suppliers is excited to join with Land O’Lakes, Inc.,” said Brad Oelmann, President and CEO of United Suppliers. “We are both experiencing great growth in this industry and together we view this merger as a continuation of that journey.”

Going forward, both organizations will continue with their existing go-to-market strategies and will draw upon each other’s expertise to better meet customer needs. Before the deal is final, both United Suppliers’ owners and Land O’Lakes, Inc. members will need to vote on the details surrounding the merger. Those votes are slated for August 2015, with the closing anticipated in October 2015.

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 26 Hogs & Pigs Report + Ag News


Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2015, was 3.20 million head, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was up 7 percent from June 1, 2014, and up 3 percent from March 1, 2015.

Breeding hog inventory, at 410,000 head, was up 5 percent from June 1, 2014, but down 2 percent from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 2.79 million head, was up 7 percent from last year, and up 4 percent from last quarter.

The March May 2015 Nebraska pig crop, at 1.90 million head, was up 7 percent from 2014.  Sows farrowed during the period totaled 170,000 head, unchanged from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 11.20 for the March - May period, compared to 10.50 last year.

Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 175,000 sows during the June – August 2015 quarter, unchanged from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago. Intended farrowings for September – November 2015 are 175,000 sows, down 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period the previous year.

Iowa Hogs & Pigs 2nd Highest on Record

On June 1, 2015, there were 21.0 million hogs and pigs on Iowa farms, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Hogs and Pigs report. This is the second highest inventory since records began in 1870, behind only December 2014’s inventory of 21.3 million. The June 1 inventory was up 2 percent from March and up 10 percent from last June’s 19.1 million head.

The March-May quarterly pig crop was 5.25 million head, down 2 percent from the previous quarter, but 5 percent above last year. A total of 495,000 sows farrowed during this quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.60 for the March-May quarter.

As of June 1, producers planned to farrow 490,000 head of sows and gilts in the June-August quarter and 490,000 head during the September-November quarter.

United States Hog Inventory Up 9 Percent

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2015 was 66.9 million head. This was up 9 percent from June 1, 2014, and up slightly from March 1, 2015.

Breeding inventory, at 5.93 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, but down 1 percent from the previous quarter.  Market hog inventory, at 61.0 million head, was up 9 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from last quarter.

Total Inventory - (1,000 hd - % June '14)

Illinois ............:        4,600         107 
Indiana ...........:        3,600         103 
Minnesota ......:        8,050         105 
Missouri .........:        2,900         118
North Carolina :        8,000         105 

The March-May 2015 pig crop, at 29.6 million head, was up 8 percent from 2014. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 2.85 million head, up 1 percent from 2014. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 48 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 10.37 for the March-May period, compared to 9.78 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 8.00 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.40 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

United States hog producers intend to have 2.91 million sows farrow during the June-August 2015 quarter, down 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2014, but up 1 percent from 2013. Intended farrowings for September-November 2015, at 2.87 million sows, are down
4 percent from 2014, but up 3 percent from 2013.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 46 percent of the total United States hog inventory, down from 48 percent last year.


The 2015 state average for Nebraska agricultural land values declined 2 percent from 2014, according to the final results of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Farm Real Estate Market Survey.

The statewide all-land average value for the year ending Feb. 1 averaged $3,250 per acre, down $65 per acre from 2014.

Land used for irrigated and dryland crop production showed the greatest percentage decline. This change was driven by a decrease in crop prices.

Hayland and grassland values, meanwhile, were up significantly from 2014. Record cattle prices fueled the increase.

The changes in land values were also reflected in cash rental rates. Cropland rental rates declined in all areas, while pasture rates were up across the state.

The 2015 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey covers Feb. 1, 2014, to Feb.1 1, 2015. Over 100 agricultural land market experts provided their insights. The full report is available at http://agecon.unl.edu/realestate.


Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach today announced that the depopulation of birds with, or exposed to, highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in Dixon County is now complete.

According to Ibach, a total of 4.9 million laying hens and pullets were humanely depopulated and composted at five farms owned and operated by the same producer in Dixon County.  Four of those farms had confirmed cases of HPAI, while the producer voluntarily depopulated the birds at the fifth farm in an effort to contain the spread of the virus within their operation.  A backyard flock with epidemiological connections to the five farms, and located within the 6.2 mile quarantine zone established by NDA, also tested positive for the virus.  Fewer than 100 mixed fowl were depopulated and buried on that property. 

“I feel the depopulation process ran as smoothly as it did because of the working relationship and cooperation we received from local, state and federal agencies,” Ibach said. “I personally want to thank our staff for their hard work, dedication and long hours they put in to help prevent further spread of the virus. I also want to thank those within several key organizations who played a critical part in the response.”

Ibach said Governor Pete Ricketts signed an emergency declaration, and that gave the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska State Patrol, Nebraska Department of Roads and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services additional flexibility to play vital roles in assisting NDA. He also said county emergency management teams were instrumental in daily operations in both Dixon and Knox counties.

“Our federal partners at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) were also a critical component to the success of the depopulation and now the cleaning and disinfection efforts,” Ibach said. “I’d like to thank each of these partners for their support and contributions to addressing this disease.”

With the depopulation process completed, the work of cleaning and disinfecting each building and the equipment found in those buildings can begin in earnest.  According to Ibach, USDA contracted crews have arrived in Dixon County to facilitate and oversee those cleanup efforts.  Upon successful completion of the cleaning and disinfection process, environmental tests will be conducted to ensure the presence of the virus has been eliminated.  Once that testing is successfully complete, the producer will be able to repopulate its operation.

NDA staff will be returning to regular duties, while an individual specializing in composting protocol will remain on site in Dixon County to monitor the compost piles daily to ensure proper temperature levels are being maintained to effectively eliminate the virus.  The compost piles will remain in place at the affected properties until regulatory officials confirm the process has eliminated the virus from the compost material.  Once the virus has been successfully eliminated the compost can be utilized for its nutrient value.  

As part of NDA’s ongoing surveillance work, a total of 48 farms with poultry that are located within a 6.2 mile radius of the affected farms remain under quarantine.  Those flocks have all undergone one round of avian influenza testing with no further cases of the virus detected.  Those flocks will undergo another round of testing in July, and if the virus is not detected at that time, NDA will begin the quarantine release process for those farms.

“While we are cautiously optimistic that the virus has been contained at this time, I continue to urge all poultry operations – big and small – to continue to exercise the strictest of biosecurity measures on their farms,” Ibach said.  “We must all work together to prevent the spread of the HPAI virus in Nebraska.”


The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said there have been no new probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the state this week and the last positive flock was detected on June 16.

Infected turkey flocks have been depopulated and are currently being composted.  Clean and disinfection is taking place.  Environmental samplings of all sites will take place to confirm successful cleaning and disinfecting before restocking.  IDALS and USDA officials have been meeting with affected farmers regularly to share information and answer questions.

All the commercial laying and pullet facilities have been depopulated and cleaning and disinfection of facilities is ongoing.  Disposal of affected birds has been completed except for the layer site announced last week.  That site had been doing on-site burial of affected birds, but due to the recent wet weather, burial has been stopped.  The birds are now being placed in bio-secure boxes and will be disposed of via incineration or at the landfill in Southwest Iowa.  Disposal of other materials from affected sites is ongoing.

To-date, over 1000 bio-secure boxes have been disposed of via incineration or at one of the two currently approved landfills.  Approximately 250 are still in need of disposal.  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) contractor Clean Harbors is moving the materials.  All trucks are cleaned and disinfected before the leave an infected premise and before leaving a disposal site.

USDA has more than 2300 staff and contractors helping respond to the avian influenza situation in Iowa.  A USDA Incident Management Team (IMT) has been operating out of Ames and overseeing USDA’s activities.

More than 300 state employees have also participated in the disaster response at some point. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Public Health (in conjunction with local public health officials), Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and Iowa National Guard have all supported the response effort to this disease. 

USDA Seeks Partner Proposals to Protect and Restore Critical Wetlands in Nebraska

Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Craig Derickson announced today the availability of $17.5 million in financial and technical assistance nationwide to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private and tribal agricultural lands.

“USDA has leveraged partnerships to accomplish a great deal on America’s wetlands over the past two decades,” Derickson said. “This year’s funding will help strengthen these partnerships and achieve greater wetland acreage in Nebraska and throughout the nation.”

Proposal funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), a special enrollment option under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program’s Wetland Reserve Easement component. It is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by July 31, 2015.

Under WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with USDA through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with willing tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their property. WREP was created through the 2014 Farm Bill and was formerly known as the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program.

According to Derickson, Nebraska has had success with restoring wetlands in partnership agreements through WREP.

“NRCS has worked with several partners, including the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts and Nebraska Game and Parks, to develop WREP projects in Nebraska.

“For example, from 2010 to 2013 NRCS had a WREP project in the rainwater basin wetland area in central Nebraska where 840 acres were enrolled in long-term conservation easements. This project helped restore habitat for thousands of ducks and geese that will use the restored wetlands each year during their annual migration. These sites also protect habitat for the threatened and endangered whooping crane,” Derickson said.

Wetland reserve easements allow landowners to successfully enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce impacts from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. The voluntary nature of NRCS' easement programs allows effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.

Projects can range from individual to watershed-wide to ecosystem-wide.  Under a similar program in the 2008 Farm Bill, NRCS and its partners entered into 272 easements that enrolled more than 44,020 acres of wetlands from 2009 through 2013. The new collaborative WREP will build on those successes by providing the financial and technical assistance necessary for states, non-governmental organizations and tribes to leverage resources to restore and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat.

Through WREP, NRCS will sign multi-year agreements with partners to leverage resources, including funding, to achieve maximum wetland restoration, protection and enhancement and to create optimum wildlife habitat on enrolled acres. WREP partners are required to contribute a funding match for financial or technical assistance. These partners work directly with eligible landowners interested in enrolling their agricultural land into conservation wetland easements.

Today’s announcement builds on the roughly $332 million USDA has announced this year to protect and restore agricultural working lands, grasslands and wetlands.  Collectively, NRCS’ easement programs help productive farm, ranch and tribal lands remain in agriculture and protect the nation's critical wetlands and grasslands, home to diverse wildlife and plant species. Under the former Wetlands Reserve Program, private landowners, tribes and entities such as land trusts and conservation organizations enrolled 2.7 million acres through 14,500 agreements for a total NRCS and partner investment of $4.3 billion in financial and technical assistance.


(from National Pork Producers Council newsletter)

Amendments in House bills to fund the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services would prevent language on sustainability from being included in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In February, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released a report claiming that a plant-based diet is better for the environment than an animal-based one. (The committee also recommended less consumption of red and processed meat.) NPPC supports the riders, pointing out that the advisory committee had no mandate and no expertise to address sustainability. The amendments would limit the dietary guidelines, which are being written by USDA and HHS, to “matters of diet and nutrient intake.”


Officials from the United States and South Africa met again this week to discuss opening the South African market to U.S. pork exports. NPPC has been working closely with U.S. and South African government officials to gain market access.  The United States is at a significant disadvantage in exporting pork to South Africa’s large and growing market because that nation accepts pork from key competitors Brazil, Canada and the European Union. While the Sub-Saharan country prohibits U.S. pork, it is a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides beneficiary countries with duty-free access for certain products going to the U.S. market. Legislation to reauthorize these preference programs, passed in both the House and Senate, and await approval from President Obama.


The “Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors” (AWARE) Act, H.R. 746, which would bring farm animals used in agricultural research at federal research facilities under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), could be tacked on to the fiscal 2016 agricultural funding bill now moving through the House Appropriations Committee. NPPC is urging panel members to oppose the measure, which could significantly limit valuable food-animal research.

Fuel Retailers counter EPA’s blend wall assumptions in RFS proposal

Station owners who offer ethanol blends above ten percent are gaining increased sales and higher customer counts, contrary to assumptions made by the EPA in its recent proposal that would reduce the amount of renewables required to be blended with gasoline in the United States. Retailers also point out that the addition of the products was simple and that none of the engine issues ethanol opponents had predicted have occurred.

Those were points frequently cited by the many retailers who gave testimony at an EPA Field Hearing yesterday in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We have seen our ethanol sales numbers increase as we educate the public on the higher ethanol blends,” said Scott Zaremba, Owner of Zarco USA, and the first retailer to offer E15 in the United States.  “Renewable blends make up 98% of my gasoline sales mix, Almost 30% of the fuel I sell is in renewable blends above 10%” noted Charlie Good, Owner of Good and Quick convenience store in Nevada, Iowa.

“The oil industry has spent a lot of time and money insisting to EPA that there is a “blend wall” that makes it impossible to sell more than ten percent ethanol,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty. “Yesterday, EPA heard from real marketers with real fuel stations whose renewable sales are well above ten percent. Hopefully their input will help EPA see that the rumors of E15’s impossibly have been greatly exaggerated,” said Lamberty.  Other stories of marketers who had success with higher blends can be found on www.Flexfuelforward.com, a website ACE designed for retailers, according to Lamberty.

Dave Sovereign, owner and operator of the Cresco Fast Stop, summarized the thoughts of many retailers, telling EPA, “When consumers have a choice, there is no blend wall.”

The public can also submit comments on the EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard by clicking on http://cqrcengage.com/ethanol/renewable_fuel_standard.

U.S. Refinery Capacity Reaches 18 Million b/d

U.S. operable atmospheric crude distillation (CDU) capacity increased by 0.2% in 2014, reaching 18.0 million barrels per calendar day (b/d) according to EIA's recently released annual Refinery Capacity Report.

This was the second consecutive year of modest capacity growth following the 2.9% increase in 2012 that resulted from the restart of East Coast refineries that had closed in 2011.

The capacities of secondary units that support heavy crude processing and production of ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline, including thermal cracking (coking), catalytic hydrocracking, and hydrotreating/desulfurization, also increased.

The refinery capacity reported for the start of 2015 includes expansions that were operable on January 1, but not necessarily operating. Capacity for those projects is listed as idle. Dakota Prairie Refining recently completed construction of one of the few new refineries built in the U.S. over the last 30 years.

Day 5, Kansas Wheat Harvest Report - June 25

Praise for the late season rains keeps pouring in from around the state. Industry experts had pegged them the “million bushel rains,” but it looks like they have added even more to this year’s crop.

Steve Thummel from the Plains Equity Exchange & Coop Union said that the harvest near Plains, in Meade County, is around 45% complete. Area farmers are seeing 20-30 bushels an acre for dryland wheat while irrigated wheat is yielding around 65 bushels an acre. Thummel reported variable test weights that are averaging around 58-59 pounds per bushel. He estimates that this is going to be a close to average year, something that coop employees weren’t confident in until after the late season rains.

Ron Suppes, a western Kansas wheat farmer, reported starting his harvest in northeast Finney County on Wednesday. Yields are better than expected, with Danby, a hard white wheat, yielding about 50 bushels per acre. His average test weight is 65.4 with a moisture range between 9 and 10 percent.

Blake Connely from the Southern Plains Coop in Lewis, Edwards County, is reporting an area average between 40-50 bushels an acre. He estimates the area’s harvest is around 60-65 percent complete. Connely also said that test weights in the area are variable, with fields that weren’t sprayed for disease weighing 55-58 pounds per bushel, while other fields are weighing in at 60-64 pounds per bushel.

Connely also reports that protein across the coop’s locations varies. The Greensburg location is seeing a 12 percent average protein content, while the areas around Lewis and Belpre are testing at 12.5-13 percent.

The 2015 Harvest Report is brought to you by Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Grain and Feed Association.