Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wednesday August 31 Ag News

Nebraska State Fair Features Beef Masters Culinary Challenge

Beef will be taking center stage at the Nebraska State Fair on Friday, September 2nd during the “Beef Masters Culinary Challenge” presented by the Nebraska Beef Council and Central Community College in Hastings. The contest will take place in the Raising Nebraska Building, north of the main entrance, from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Admission is free with paid entry to the State Fair.

The contest is modeled after the popular television series “Chopped” where chef contestants compete to create the best dish using ingredients from a mystery basket. The contest at the State Fair will feature four teams of culinary students from Central Community College in Hastings.

“We had a lot of fun with the Nebraska’s Best Burger contest at the fair last year and so we wanted to keep that excitement going,” said Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “The contestants will be preparing various beef dishes for a panel of judges. It will be exciting because the contestants won’t know what the beef cuts are or what the other ingredients will be until moments before the contest begins.”

The student chefs will be working in teams of two and will have 30 minutes to prepare, plate and serve their dish to the judges. Each round, one team will be eliminated until a winner is determined.

“This is such a great opportunity for our students to use their creativity and to show off the culinary skills they’ve learned through our program,” said Lindsay Higel, hospitality management and culinary arts program director at Central Community College in Hastings. “You have to be able to think on your feet when you’re a chef. Sometimes you have to improvise and make adjustments along the way.”

The contestants will be competing for prizes and the coveted title of “Beef Master.” Audience members will also have the opportunity to win door prizes and other give-a-ways.

“We want this event to be both entertaining and educational,” said Wegner. “The audience will walk away with creative ideas for putting beef on the table and confidence that they too can create some delicious beef meals right at home.”

For more information about the Beef Masters Culinary Challenge, visit the Nebraska Beef Council Facebook page.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               Many of us have had plenty of moisture to support pasture growth this year. Don’t take too much advantage of the extra growth, however.

               Extra rain this year compared to the past few years is making pastures greener and more productive.  This extra growth is more than welcome.  But as we approach the end of the growing season, don’t get too greedy and try to completely graze off every green blade.

               Do you have pastures dominated by cool-season grasses?  Like bromegrass, bluegrass, or wheatgrasses or maybe needlegrasses?  Late summer rain and cooler temperatures could give these grasses some good growth in September.

               It’s tempting to keep cattle on these nice green pastures as long as possible to use all this growth.  But grazing pastures short just before winter begins limits the plant’s ability to develop the roots and tiller buds needed to fulfill their growth potential next spring.  Those extra mouthfuls of grass harvested now could cost you many more mouthfuls next spring.

               To help pastures recover from past stress and set the stage for abundant growth next spring, be sure to keep several inches of green leaves on your grasses all the rest of this growing season.  At least do this with the pastures you intend to graze first next spring.  These green leaves will convert fall sunlight into tiller buds, root growth, and root nutrient reserves.  Next spring, these plants will green up early, be ready to grow rapidly, and yield much more than if grazed short this fall.

               Don’t be greedy.  Protecting some of your grass from grazing this fall could pay big dividends next spring.

'Faces of Farming & Ranching' Finalists Named

With enthusiastic farmers across the country, spanning beef, corn, cotton, dairy, pork, poultry and soybeans, excited to share the truth behind today's agriculture to consumers, U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance announces the finalists of its third class of Faces of Farming and Ranching, a nationwide search to help put real faces on agriculture.

The following farmers and ranchers were named finalists: Lauren Arbogast, Va.; Emily Buck, Ohio; Katie Roth, Wis.; Lauren Schwab, Ohio; Jeremy Brown, Texas; Paul Lanoue, Minn.; Geoff Ruth, Neb.; and Joy Widerman, Pa.

Applications were received from dedicated farmers and ranchers from across the nation. Winners will share their stories and experiences about how food is grown and raised in the U.S. on a national stage through media interviews, consumer-facing public appearances, blog posts and more.

Through October 10-16, people can visit USFRA's Facebook Page to learn more about each of the finalists and the work they do, including short videos highlighting their operation. From there, the public can vote for the farmers and ranchers whom they believe best represents the passion and innovation behind today's agriculture. These votes will be factored into the final decision to determine the next Faces of Farming and Ranching.  The winners will be announced November 9th.

This is the third class of Faces of Farming & Ranching that USFRA has sought to speak on behalf of the industry in this capacity.

NCTA fall enrollment grows

Fulltime student enrollment at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis has increased this fall semester for a third consecutive year.

NCTA Aggies who completed their first week of college after starting classes on August 22 tally 245 fulltime students, a slight increase from 239 who enrolled last fall.

“We are pleased to see a solid 2.5 percent growth in full-time, on-campus student enrollment,” said Ron Rosati, NCTA dean.

Additionally, NCTA has 77 high school students enrolled in dual credit courses and 20 part time registrants to boost the total enrollment to 342.

Quality learning outcomes are a campus-wide objective in academics as well as competitive teams, Rosati said.

“When students go to the NCTA dining hall for supper, they can look back over their day and clearly articulate the skills and competencies they have developed,” Rosati said. “Students appreciate our high quality academic programs, our focus on hands-on learning, our friendly faculty and staff, and the ability to document measurable skill and technical competence gained on a daily basis.”

As part of the University of Nebraska system, NCTA’s mission is statewide and counts many public-private partnerships in its curriculum.

The two-year institution provides associate of science or associate of applied science degrees, in addition to certificates and dual credit courses taught by 13 fulltime faculty and three adjunct instructors.

“Our industry partners who employ NCTA graduates express appreciation for students’ technical competence, work ethic and dedication to their industry,” Rosati noted. “The college is focusing its initiatives toward serving the needs of these students.”

In a strategic path beginning this fall, NCTA’s dual credit offerings are now focused on NCTA’s specialty – preparing students who are pursuing agricultural careers.

Some high schools, such as York High, offer NCTA’s certificate programs emphasizing career and workforce development in irrigation technology, agronomy and agricultural chemical applications.

Additionally, another highlight came on opening day. NCTA was notified that a national firm ranked NCTA in the top 2 percent nationally for schools offering two-year degree programs.  NCTA rated 9th overall among 821 colleges evaluated by the personal-finance firm,

ICA seeking young cattle producers for leadership class

In an on-going effort to build future leadership for both the Iowa cattle industry and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, ICA is taking applications for the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program through October 1, 2016. The application can be downloaded from the ICA website,

Those selected for the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program (YCLP) will meet five times in the coming year. They will tour beef production facilities, learn about trending cattle production issues, governance of ICA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, communication skills, and legislative processes.

The first meeting of the group is scheduled for January 11-12, 2017. Other meetings are scheduled for February, June, August and December.

The application for YCLP asks potential participants to explain why they are interested in participating in the program, as well as explaining their goals and giving their vision for the future of the cattle industry. Preference will be given to current ICA members. If you have questions about the program, or would like an application mailed to you, contact Adair Lents at, or call 515-296-2266.

YCLP is sponsored by ICA with funding provided by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation and members of the ICA President’s Council.

Farmer-led Movement for Soil Health Receives $4 Million Boost

A revolutionary effort to support on-farm conservation has added a new partner representing major agricultural companies, food companies and environmental groups. The new collaboration will accelerate the Soil Health Partnership's leadership in helping farmers adopt practices that protect natural resources while potentially increasing profits.

At the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, the industry-leading companies and environmental organizations today announced the launch of the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative. Its goal is to support, enhance and accelerate the use of environmentally preferable agricultural practices.

The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative's founding members include Cargill, the Environmental Defense Fund, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Walmart and the World Wildlife Fund.  The overall shared goal is to help achieve a 45 percent nutrient loss reduction by 2035 across the Upper Mississippi River Basin - chiefly nitrogen and phosphorus.

As part of this effort, the Collaborative has committed to raise $4 million over five years to augment the Soil Health Partnership, a farmer-led initiative of the National Corn Growers Association established in 2014.

With more than 65 farm sites already enrolled in nine Midwestern states, the new funding commitment recognizes SHP as the leader in field-scale testing and measuring of management practices that improve soil health. These practices include:
-    Growing cover crops to prevent erosion and nutrient losses, 
-    Implementing conservation tillage like no-till or strip-till, and
-    Using advanced, science-based nutrient management techniques to reduce nutrient loss.

"Through healthy soil, farmers can play a major role protecting water quality and the environment-while also optimizing their crop yields and economic returns," said Nick Goeser, director of the SHP. "We're honored to welcome the Midwest Row Crop Collaborative to our program. Their support will amplify our research and communications efforts in helping farmers find practices that work best for them."

The new alliance will help SHP achieve the goal of enrolling 100 farms a full two years earlier than planned. It also underscores SHP's key milestones and early vision, a vision advanced by initial and continuing funding from Monsanto, Walton Family Foundation, NCGA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These early supporters helped form SHP's operating and data collection structure, while recognizing common goals.

"As a farmer, I am committed to soil health because I know we have to constantly improve how we care for our land and how we farm it," said Roger Zylstra, a farmer in Lynnville, Iowa enrolled in the SHP. "This funding commitment is significant to me because now we have more support from the large food and ag companies as well as environmental groups pushing for change. They're showing us we don't have to do it alone."

Soil Health Open House in Southwestern Iowa to Feature Soil and Water Experts

As more Iowa farmers seek innovative farming practices to change the way they care for their land, the Soil Health Partnership helps lead the charge. Soil Health Partnership demo farmer Karen Seipold and the Women, Land & Legacy of Southwest Iowa organization will host a soil health farmer discussion at the Classic Café in Malvern, Iowa. 

The RSVP-only event takes place:
 ·     September 13 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
 ·    317 Main St., Malvern, Iowa 51551

Topics covered will include an introduction to soil health as well as a practical discussion from local farmers on the soil health building practices they are implementing on their farms. There will also be staff from  local organizations on hand to answer questions about resources available in the area. Dinner will be provided.

An initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, the Soil Health Partnership works closely with diverse organizations including commodity groups, industry, foundations, federal agencies, universities and well-known environmental groups toward common goals. The partnership has begun its third year with 65 test sites across eight Midwestern states.

“The agricultural community is awakening to the positive impact soil health can have on the environment, crop yields and farm economics,” said Nick Goeser, SHP director. “Our farmer-partners are innovators and pioneers—and are our best ambassadors for sharing these soil health practices with their peers.”

Please register for the event at


Senator Joni Ernst and Governor Terry Branstad today met with staff and board members from Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) and representatives from Syngenta, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the Iowa Corn Growers Association to discuss opportunities to grow demand for Earth-friendly American ethanol. QCCP is the site of the world’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol facility (using corn kernel fiber as feedstock).

Items on the agenda included the need for high compression engines to be manufactured by auto companies and a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for E15. Both are seen as critical to making the benefits of renewable fuels more broadly available.

According to Gov. Branstad, renewable fuels are key to the state’s economic development, as well as the country’s energy independence.

“Renewable fuel is something I’m very passionate about,” Branstad said. “Renewable fuels are important for Iowa and they are important for America. A robust Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) will continue to diversify our nation’s transportation fuels, add value to commodities grown in rural America, reduce emissions, and provide consumers low-cost choices at the pump.”

Sen. Ernst added that Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production, producing enough E-85 each year to drive a pickup truck around the Earth’s equator 2.4 million times.

“The RFS ensures our national fuel supply provides increased consumer choice, decreases dependence on foreign oil, improves the environment, and creates jobs for those in Iowa – and across the country,” Ernst said.

Making Ethanol Even More Sustainable

According to the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to gasoline. Moreover, advanced biofuels have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 percent.

Today, advances in cellulosic technology are helping to make ethanol even more sustainable and produce more ethanol from the same kernel of corn.

“Adding corn fiber-to-cellulosic ethanol technology at every existing dry mill ethanol plant across the U.S. would have a significant effect on greenhouse gas reductions,” said QCCP CEO Delayne Johnson. “The potential reduction would be equivalent to removing as many as 2.98 million passenger cars from the road, or 4.1 average coal-fired plants, or the amount of carbon sequestered by as many as 13.3 million acres of forest.”

To date, QCCP has produced 5 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, which represents 90 percent of total U.S. cellulosic ethanol production (D3 RINs) in the last three years. Cellerate is marketed to ethanol plants in North America exclusively by Syngenta along with Enogen® corn enzyme technology, an in-seed innovation that features the first biotech corn output trait designed specifically to enhance ethanol production.

“Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, improve the environment, lower prices at the pump and grow the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Jack Bernens, head of Enogen at Syngenta.  “QCCP helped kick off a new era for the biofuels industry when it opened its commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility. By helping to squeeze more ethanol from the same kernel of corn, Cellerate technology enhanced by Enogen corn can help make ethanol even more sustainable.”

Chinese Buyers Commit to Buy Nearly 1.8 Billion Dollars of U.S. Soy at 2016 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange

As U.S. farmers prepare to harvest their 2016 soybean crops, customers in China are committing to purchase them. Buyers from China have committed to buy nearly $1.8 billion worth of U.S. soy, totaling 146 million bushels of U.S. soybeans. Several of these commitments were made official at a signing ceremony held at the Global Trade Exchange in Indianapolis, hosted by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

“China continues to be the No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans,” says Xiaoping Zhang, USSEC country manager – China. “International buyers have many options, so the fact that Chinese buyers purchase such a magnitude from the U.S. is testament to the U.S. Soy Advantage and the quality and sustainability that it provides.”

Last year, U.S. soybean farmers exported a record 62.88 million metric tons of soy and soy products, valued at $27.7 billion – a record high. Economists are predicting even more in 2016.

More than a dozen Chinese representatives are in attendance this week at the Global Trade Exchange to network with U.S. farmers and learn more about the sustainability of U.S. soybeans. In addition to signing commitments for U.S. soy, they will network with buyers from other countries around the world, learn from industry experts and get a firsthand glimpse of U.S. farmers’ sustainable practices.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council connects U.S. soybean farmers with opportunities to improve human nutrition, livestock production and aquaculture. This mission is accomplished with a science-based technical foundation and a global network of partnerships including soybean farmers, exporters, agribusiness and agricultural organizations, researchers and government agencies.

All Fertilizers Lower for Third Straight Week

For the third week in a row, retail fertilizer prices showed considerable price declines the fourth week of August 2016, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. Like last week, all eight major fertilizers were lower compared to a month earlier, and all but one fertilizer has seen significant price drops.

UAN28 is now 10% lower compared to the previous month. Liquid nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $234 per ton. Urea, 10-34-0 and UAN32 were all down 8%, with urea having an average price of $330/ton, 10-34-0 $502/ton and UAN32 $280/ton.

Potash is 7% less expensive compared to last month, while anhydrous was down 6% and MAP was 5% less expensive. Potash had an average price of $330/ton, anhydrous was at $515/ton and MAP was at $468/ton.

The remaining fertilizer without a significant move lower was DAP. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $451/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.36/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double digits lower.

10-34-0 is now down 18%, both MAP and UAN32 are 20% less expensive and DAP is 21% lower. Anhydrous is now 23% lower, UAN28 is 24% less expensive, urea is down 26% and potash is 31% lower compared to a year prior.

EIA: Ethanol Stocks Edge Up - Production, Blender Inputs Down

The Energy Information Administration issued a mixed ethanol report Wednesday, showing total stockpiles edged up again last week while domestic production and blender inputs fell during the week-ended Aug. 26.

The data showed U.S. ethanol inventories increased 100,000 bbl to 20.9 million bbl for the week reviewed while up 1.9 million bbl or 10.1% year-over-year.

Plant production eased 5,000 bpd to 1.023 million bpd last week, the second straight weekly decline, while up 75,000 bpd or 7.9% year-over-year. For the four weeks ended Aug. 26, domestic ethanol production averaged 1.025 million bpd, 67,000 bpd or 7.0% above the comparable year-ago period.

Net refiner and blender inputs of ethanol, a proxy for demand, fell for the fourth straight week, down 2,000 bpd to 929,000 bpd during the week-ended Aug. 26, while up 8,000 bpd or 0.9% year-over-year. The four-week average blender input rate through Aug. 26 is up 31,000 bpd or 3.4% year-over-year at 907,000 bpd.

EIA also implied motor gasoline demand declined, dropping 148,000 bpd last week to 9.511 million bpd, which was 0.8% higher than the same week in 2015.

Advancing Zero Deforestation Beef Production to be part of Global Beef Sustainability Conference

The Global Conference on Sustainable Beef, to be held October 4-7 at the Fairmont Hotel in Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada, is featuring a dedicated breakout session focusing on work being done in South America to support forest conservation and sustainable beef production.

Simon Hall, a member of the International Wildlife Conservation team at the National Wildlife Federation and co-chair of the Joint Working Group on Forests, explains, “very positive work is being done in South American countries to reduce deforestation driven by the production and expansion of cattle ranching”. The advancement of zero deforestation beef production is having substantial social, economic and environmental benefits in these regions”.

The session at the Global Conference will include representatives from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who will report on national-level efforts to address deforestation and promote zero-deforestation cattle production.

In addition, representatives from meatpacking companies, retailers, and non-governmental organizations will present examples of coordinated supply chain support for zero-deforestation beef, including successful examples of commitments and sourcing in action.

The Joint Working Group on Forests (JWG), facilitator of the session, is a technical working group of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS), focused on engagement and collaboration to address forest-related issues in cattle supply chains. Led by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the JWG serves in an advisory role to the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on efforts to mobilize resources to achieve zero-net deforestation by 2020.

“This featured session during the Global Conference will provide an international forum at which progress on this important issue may be shared as well as discussed during the interactive session,” said Hall.

The Global Conference, hosted by the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, will also feature several sessions created to be highly engaging and focused on work being done in various regions of the world in myriad areas of beef sustainability. In 2014, GRSB adopted a set of five core principles to define global sustainable beef including natural resources; people & the community; animal health & welfare; food; and efficiency & innovation. These principles will be at the center of discussions of future efforts to advance sustainable practices globally in the production, processing, and merchandising of beef.

“The Global Conference, held every two years, brings together a wide array of stakeholders in the beef value chain in order to share research and progress on the effort to make beef production even more sustainable,” said Dennis Laycraft, GRSB president and executive director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.  “This is a unique group that includes producers, processors, retailers, suppliers, and environmentally-focused organizations that leads to vital dialogue and interaction.”

Export Exchange 2016 Hosts Grain Buyers from Taiwan

Representatives from six feed grain importers and end-users will participate in U.S. Grains Council (USGC) trade teams as part of Export Exchange 2016.

Export Exchange is an educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host nearly 200 international buyers and end-users from more than 33 countries organized into 19 USGC trade teams. The biennial conference, scheduled for Oct 24 to 26 in Detroit, Michigan, is sponsored by USGC and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

With a population more than 23.5 million, Taiwan is the seventh largest U.S. agricultural export market. It is the sixth largest for U.S. corn and the 11th largest for distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). In the 2014/2015 marketing year, Taiwan imported 1.84 million metric tons of U.S. corn with 95 percent of the total used for animal feed, mainly in the swine and poultry sectors.

“Buyers have been increasingly interested in DDGS and remain impressed by U.S. corn,” said Clover Chang, Taiwan office director for USGC. “It’s a great opportunity for these feed grain importers and end-users to engage with sellers directly.”

Representatives from the following companies in Taiwan are scheduled to be in attendance:
• Great Wall Enterprise Co., Ltd.
• Charoen Pokphand Enterprise (Taiwan) Co., Ltd.
• Taiwan Sugar Corporation
• Fwu Sow Industry Co., Ltd.
• Grobest Group - Trifull Industrial Co., Ltd.
• FoodChina Company
• Nation Taiwan University

The Council works to increase demand for feed grains and related products among livestock and poultry producers, feed millers and other customers in Taiwan and conducts programming that focuses on technical proficiency and customer knowledge of U.S. marketing systems as well as overall quality.

Export Exchange allows attendees to do business and form relationships with buyers in person and in one location. These two factors make the event a highly successful contributor to feed grain sales, with 2014 Export Exchange participants reporting sales of more than $900 million during the conference.

Deere, The Climate Corporation to contest DOJ effort to block Precision Planting acquisition

Deere & Company and The Climate Corporation said they plan to contest legal action announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that seeks to block Deere’s acquisition of Precision Planting.

In November, Deere and The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Company, announced they had signed a definitive agreement for Deere to acquire the Precision Planting LLC equipment business, and the companies cooperated fully with DOJ’s antitrust review.

DOJ’s allegations about the competitive impacts of the transaction are misguided and the companies intend to defend the transaction vigorously against those allegations. Deere has long been focused on helping American farmers become more efficient and productive so that they can remain globally competitive. The proposed acquisition benefits farmers by accelerating the development and delivery of new precision equipment solutions that help farmers increase yield and productivity.

Competition in precision agriculture is strong and growing in all of these channels as companies around the world continue developing new technologies. The acquisition will enable broader access to these advancements by ensuring farmers the choice to either buy new machinery or retrofit older planting equipment with the latest new innovations. When the transaction is finalized, Deere will preserve Precision Planting’s independence in order to ensure innovation and speed-to-market and will invest in additional innovation efforts at Precision Planting to benefit customers.

DuPont Pioneer Takes Nitrogen Management Service Options and Mobile Tools to the Next Level

DuPont Pioneer is unveiling a new self-service option to help growers manage nitrogen on their farms. The Pro level of Encirca℠ Nitrogen service provides a field-by-field, real-time look at an operation’s nitrogen levels using a smartphone.
Growers can preview the Pro level of service, driven by an all new, mobile nitrogen app, at Pioneer’s tent (#634) during the Farm Progress Show, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, in Boone, Iowa. Growers also can learn about new data transfer tools, such as Sync Mobile from Encirca℠ Sync service.

“We recognize that every field is different, every operation is different and every grower is different,” said Eric Boeck, DuPont Pioneer marketing director, Encirca℠ services. “Some prefer to have an advisor to talk things over with and some prefer the self-serve model. We are listening to our customers and catering to their varying needs with the addition of our new Pro level of Encirca℠ services.”

The Pro level service is fueled by Encirca℠ services’ latest technology and analytics, soil science, agronomy expertise and local weather. It empowers growers to independently monitor nitrogen levels and simulate different nitrogen plans and field details, as well as to understand the impact changes will have on crop growth and the probability of achieving desired outcomes. The service includes the ability to set automated alerts for changing field conditions.

The Pro level service is delivered through the new Encirca℠ Nitrogen app, which will be available for download from the App store by mid-September. Growers are encouraged to try the Pro level service for free through Oct. 31, 2016.

“Customers who prefer more hands-on support may still use an Encirca℠ certified services agent through the Premium level of Encirca℠ Nitrogen service,” said Boeck. “And as important as nitrogen is to increasing yields, data is what drives those decisions. DuPont Pioneer is striving to make individual operation data accessible and actionable for all growers regardless of management style.”

This latest addition to the Encirca℠ services line-up joins new data transfer tools, such as Sync Mobile, and collaboration with manufacturers, such as John Deere through the Connected Growers program to encourage use of in-cab equipment.

With a simple adaptor that plugs into field equipment and a complementary app, Encirca℠ Sync Mobile streamlines the process for capturing and transferring data using a phone or mobile device, instead of data cards or storage devices.

“Using Sync Mobile, growers can save time and receive revisions to their prescriptions from Encirca℠ certified services agents remotely and immediately,” said Harley Janssen, DuPont Pioneer service manager, Field Technology. “Growers can also upload yield data right from their combine and quickly receive variable prescriptions in their spreader for potassium, phosphorous and lime.”


Growers attending Farm Progress Show 2016 will be among the first to experience 360-degree video technology that is an entirely new way to see underground crop development and the protection needed from harmful pests and disease pressures. As the viewer tilts the camera-based technology up, down, left and right, they will see how technology based on naturally-occurring microbials works seamlessly with conventional seed-applied products in an innovative new way to combat pests and increase plant health.

“This type of 360-degree video technology not only explains, but actually shows farmers how the Seed Applied Solutions offering contributes to our systems approach as one of our most advanced way to increase yield,”” said Brent Craig, North America Seed Applied Solutions Lead. “This user-driven, immersive video allows us to demonstrate a complex approach in a simple, easy-to-understand way – a demonstration that shows natural microbes working with chemistry above and below ground to support healthier plants. Initial feedback from engagement with our 360-degree video technology has been extremely positive and we can’t wait to hear more from our growers during the Farm Progress Show.

Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions and Monsanto BioAg™ have partnered to form the Seed Applied Solutions division of Monsanto, which is part of the company’s systems approach to farming. This approach, while complex, is easy to understand as the viewer moves the 360-degree video to look at above and below ground challenges facing each seed during planting and throughout the growing season.

“In order to better understand and explain how this approach functions, we needed a visual medium with a 360-degree view of the products interacting with the seed both above and below ground. By allowing natural microbials products to work with proven seed-applied products, growers are able to fully support the potential of each seed they plant,” Craig said. “Modern farming technologies are constantly evolving and new approaches, like Seed Applied Solutions, have allowed growers to maximize their operation’s yield potential year after year.”

Tuesday August 30 Ag News


    More than a decade after Nebraska created its "livestock friendly" designation, participating counties have gained more cattle farms and lost fewer hog farms than those that lack the designation, a new study by agricultural economists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows.

    Regression analysis showed the livestock friendly designation had a stronger positive correlation to livestock expansion than almost all other factors measured, including the nearby presence of meatpacking plants.

    The article, authored by Brian Mills, Azzeddine Azzam, Kate Brooks and David Aiken, is forthcoming in the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy.

    The Livestock Friendly County Program was adopted in 2003, in the wake of controversy over large hog confinement operations being established in central Nebraska in the late 1990s. Some opponents of the hog facilities unsuccessfully sought to give counties emergency powers to block the development of large livestock facilities.

    By contrast, the livestock friendly program enables counties, on a voluntary basis, to seek a designation from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, declaring them receptive to new livestock developments within their counties. The program appears to be unique in the nation, although agriculture department officials say they have received inquiries from at least one other state considering a similar strategy.

    Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, said they're pleased the study confirms that the program works. The designation is used to market Nebraska sites to the livestock industry nationally and internationally.

    "It signifies at the county level they're more open to projects and more open to growing their industry," Ibach said. "Livestock Friendly Counties have made a commitment to transparency and consistence to their producers."

    Morrill County, in the Nebraska Panhandle, was the first county to obtain the designation, in 2005. Presently, 37 of Nebraska's 93 counties have achieved the designation, with several more under review.

    The agricultural economists studied 21 counties that achieved the designation between 2002 and 2012, comparing the numbers of farms reported in 2002, 2007 and 2012 censuses.

    In raw numbers, counties with the livestock friendly designation saw larger growth in cattle operations – a 12 percent increase in livestock friendly counties between 2007 and 2012, compared to an 8 percent increase in counties without the designation. More than three fourths of counties (16 of 21) with the livestock friendly designation saw a net increase in their cattle farm numbers.

    Although most Nebraska counties saw a decline in the number of hog farms during the study period, the decline was significantly slower in counties designated as livestock friendly. From 2007 to 2012, there was a 15.6 percent decline in the number of hog farms in participating counties. For counties without the livestock friendly designation, the decline was 62 percent.

    "It does seem to attract more farms," said Brian Mills, who studied the livestock friendly designation as his master's degree thesis. "For that, I think it's good. Where I'm from, the population's been going down and it's nice to have people come back and farm."

    Mills grew up on a diversified farm near Ansley. He now is studying for a doctorate in agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University.

    Co-author and thesis co-adviser Azzeddine Azzam, an agricultural economics professor, said the study's conclusions are more nuanced than the raw numbers show.

    "It's not easy to tell what's going on just by the numbers," he said.

    Other factors included population density; per capita income levels; cattle and hog prices; corn prices; the presence of a meatpacking plant in the county or a neighboring county; the presence of an ethanol plant in the county or a neighboring county; the concentration of livestock in the county, as measured by cattle per square mile and by percentage of the state's total cattle inventory; the county's geographic region of the state; and the number of years a county has been in the livestock friendly program.

    The study did not review farm sizes or zoning regulations.

    "After controlling for other factors, on average, farm numbers in counties with livestock friendly designation are higher than those counties without the designation," the study concludes.

Nebraska State Grange Convention 2016 in Columbus

 The annual meeting of the Nebraska State Grange will be held at the Ramada Rivers Edge Inn on the South side of Columbus, Nebraska, just north of the bridge, September 9-10-11, 2016.

On Friday, Grangers will meet for lunch and then take a tour of the headquarters of the Behlen Manufacturing company or make something fun at Craft Village, followed by a stop at the Higgins Memorial. Convention registration will begin at 7:30 PM, followed by a preliminary look at incoming resolutions to be considered for National or State Grange policy, and ending the day with an evening Ice Cream Social.

The convention will begin Saturday, at 8:30 AM with a welcome from the city of Columbus. followed by the formal opening of the Grange meeting. The National Grange President, Betsy Huber will be introduced and will deliver her Annual Report, which will be followed by the State President's report from Kevin Cooklsey, of Weissert, Ne. Resolutions for changes-additions in Grange Policy, will be introduced.

The emcee for the noon luncheon will be State Steward, Joe Fryman of Blair, NE.

Betsy Huber, National Grange President, will be the speaker. She was the first women president of the Pennsylvania State Grange, and is the first woman to serve as president of the National Grange. Women have held offices in the Grange since it's beginning and four of the offices must be held by women. Women had the right to vote in the Grange long before they could vote anywhere else. Mrs. Huber has an impressive history of service to rural America. She served on boards including Department of Environmental Protection, Ag Advisory committee, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Livestock Care and Well-being, and the Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations where she served as President for two years. She will also do a workshop in the afternoon.

Scholarships to students and Community Service Awards will be presented to local Granges for their projects to improve the area where they are.

The annual banquet will be at 6:30 PM. Kevin Cooksley, President, from Weissert, NE, will be the emcee. The speaker will be Johnnt Johnson, a local musician who grew up in the back of a music store and started playing stringed instruments at the age of five. He plays country music and popular numbers from the 50's and 60's.

The program will be followed by an auction of the baked goods chosen as winners by the judges of the Baking Contest. Other miscellaneous items will be auctioned also.

On Sunday morning there will be a memorial service for Grange members who have passed on this year and a brief worship service, planned by State Grange Chaplin, Ricki Wulf, of Blair. State Grange Lecturer, Darlene Janing of Geneva Ne, will have some entertainment following the service.

Emcee for the Sunday Brunch will be State Grange Overseer, Russell Tooker of David City.

Following the Sunday brunch, Phyllis Tooker, from Ralston, Family Activities Committee Chairman, will present awards for the Baking, and Needlework Contests and give her report on other projects, stuffed “Toys for Loving”, and lbs. of pop tabs collected for Ronald McDonald House etc, for the year.

The afternoon will be spent finishing up Resolution Committee Reports. The State Grange Session will adjourn when resolutions are finished. Following adjournment, the Executive Committee will meet to make plans for the next convention.

2016 NeFU Fall District Meeting Schedule

NeFU District 4 Fall Meeting
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Valentino’s Restaurant
701 Court St, Beatrice, NE 68310
6:00 pm Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 2 Fall Meeting
Monday, September 19, 2016
Wolbach Community Center
Main Street, Wolbach NE 68882
6:30 pm Potluck Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 7 Fall Meeting
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Valentino’s Restaurant
1025 South 13th Street, Norfolk, NE 68701
6:00 Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 3 Fall Meeting
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Bernardo's Steak House
1109 S Baltimore Avenue, Hastings, NE 68901
6:30 pm Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 5 Fall Meeting
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Lee’s Chicken Restaurant
1940 W Van Dorn St
Lincoln, NE 68522
6:00 pm Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 6 Fall Meeting
Monday, September 26, 2016
Wooden Windmill Restaurant
1155 S Broad St
Fremont, NE 68025
6:00 pm Supper with Meeting to follow

NeFU District 1 Fall Meeting
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Bluffs Business Center
1517 Broadway, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
6:30 pm Light Supper provided with Meeting to follow


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               As we start September, it's time to decide when to take your last cutting of alfalfa.

               The date you take your last harvest of alfalfa affects its winter survival and next spring's vigor.  Alfalfa needs about six weeks of uninterrupted growth in the fall to become fully winterized.  This winterterizing generally begins about three weeks before the average date of first frost.  Your last harvest can occur anytime before winterizing begins or after the winterizing period is over with little worry about affecting stand life.  But, harvest during winterizing can be risky.

               How risky is it to harvest alfalfa during winterizing?  Well, that depends on how much total stress your alfalfa experienced this year.  The most important factor is the number of cuts you took this year.  Fields cut 4 or 5 times are more susceptible to winter injury than fields cut 3 times or less.  Also, young stands of winterhardy, disease resistant varieties are less stressed and can be harvested during winterizing with less risk than older stands of varieties that may be only moderately winter hardy.

               Also consider your need for extra alfalfa or its cash crop value.  Dairy hay still is priced high, so cutting dairy hay from this final harvest may be worth the risk of lowering next year’s yield.  Stock cow and grinding hay, though, is quite plentiful and is dropping in value this year.  When this hay is plentiful and reasonably priced, it may be better to purchase extra hay rather than risk another cutting.  Remember, you can cut or graze after winterizing with less risk.

               Harvesting alfalfa during its winterizing period is risky, but by reducing total stress, you control how risky it is.

Personal Experiences Showcase Beef Industry to Key Audiences

Our communications world today is dominated by computers, i-phones, tablets and other forms of impersonal contact. Checkoff-funded farm-to-fork tours conducted by state beef councils, however, have shown that more face-to-face forms of interaction are a valuable tool in shifting perceptions about the beef industry.

State beef council managers who have been active in farm-to-fork tours over the past decade are unanimously enthusiastic about the ability of the tours to improve knowledge of and move attitudes about the industry. Ashley Hughes, executive director of the Florida Beef Council, says direct engagement through person-to-person contact is a great way to shift perceptions.

“It’s the chance to give influencers first-hand experience in beef production, and allow them to network with producers themselves,” she says. “They’ve never seen this science-based information in person, or experienced the process. They have no idea, for example, that there is so much involved with the care of animals, or in the production of beef.”

“Tour participants get to shake the hand of a producer, to talk to their family, to walk through their fields and their ranch,” says Jackie Madill, director of consumer information for the Washington State Beef Commission. “By conducting these tours, we’re helping to put a face on the industry itself. That experience is invaluable.”

“It’s a lot easier to change someone’s mind when they’re right there on the farm,” according to Angie Horkan, director of marketing for the Wisconsin Beef Council. “It’s just a more effective way of sharing information.

“Tour participants realize that producers are just like them,” adds Horkan. “They have families, concerns and are committed to what they do.”

The producer’s operation is often multi-generational, and this too connotes a positive message. “We can talk about stewardship and taking care of the land and animals, and making maximum utilization of the feed,” Horkan says. “They understand the very human, common sense, practical approaches taken by these producers.”

“This is one of the best returns on investment in the checkoff,” according to FBC’s Hughes. “We’re shifting opinions about our industry, and producing incredible results. Attitudes have significantly changed.”

Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council, agrees. “The time commitment is priceless, because when attendees go on these tours they become advocates for the industry. They can help tell the positive story for us,” he says. “It pays off for years and years down the road.”
Not for Everyone

Because they’re so effective, any consumer would benefit from these checkoff-funded farm-to-fork tours. But most of the time, they aren’t for everyone.

“We often say we would love to take every single beef-eating Washington consumer on one of these tours, but that’s obviously impossible,” says WSBC’s Madill. “Because we don’t have an unlimited budget, we have very targeted audiences.”

Wegner says from the beginning the NBC has focused on influencer targets as participants in Nebraska tour events. “They have the best opportunities to share their experiences with other people,” he says. For most state councils these individuals include chefs, bloggers, retail meat managers, dietitians, culinary instructors and students.

Each tour group in Nebraska involves about 20-25 people, Wegner says. “We figure that’s the most efficient size of group,” he says, factoring in budgets and tour logistics. In the state of Washington they have found that 30-35 people is “the optimum number to take to have quality, one-on-one conversations,” says Madill.

According to Nikki Richardson, who helps coordinate national farm-to-fork tours on behalf of the Beef Checkoff Program, the number on a tour is not nearly as important as the content. “We stress quality over quantity,” she says. “If you don’t have the time to follow up and foster a relationship, then you’re taking too many people.

“We try to take the right people on these events – ones who will influence their followers,” says Richardson, who is director of reputation management at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a beef checkoff contractor. She says tours coordinated nationally are referred to as “production immersion experiences,” because they give participants full exposure to the working of the beef cycle.

“These on-the-ground events are the most effective way to show how beef is raised,” she says. “It’s much more impactful than a fact sheet, for example, a person may or may not read.”
Significant Perception Changes

Surveys conducted both pre- and post-tours support that view. For instance, a survey of participants in a beef checkoff-funded tour coordinated at the national level showed that 92 percent of participants before the tour were somewhat or very concerned about humane treatment of cattle, and 8 percent were somewhat or very concerned afterward. Eighty two percent were somewhat or very concerned about environmental impact pre-tour, and 25 percent afterward.

States, too, conduct these kinds of surveys to assess their impact, and have demonstrated similar results. In one tour in Wisconsin last May, two of 19 tour participants thought themselves knowledgeable or somewhat knowledgeable about cattle raising. After the tour, 14 of the participants knew cattle raising well or somewhat well.

Many people have gone on these kinds of tours in states over the past decade. But tour participation isn’t measured in attendance, and the program doesn’t stop when the tour bus finishes its route. 
Maximizing Reach

According to Richardson, getting the right influencers to attend the tours is just the first step. “It’s not a one-and done,” she says. “If we do a good job, these people continue to use the beef industry as a resource. And they carry the impact much further than we could as third party advocates.”

Reach is extended through social media. “Participants share their own experiences, pictures and quotes, and these spread all over the country very quickly,” says Hughes of the Florida Beef Council.
WSBC’s Madill says the Washington program is starting to focus more on lifestyle, food and “mommy” bloggers. “Those on the tours can connect the dots, and share their story for us,” she says. “In one way, it’s creating an army of beef soldiers for us.

“Our goal isn’t just to change opinion,” she adds. “It’s to give these influencers an experience that would influence how they share their stories with those they reach. These tours provide an extremely effective method of doing that.”
Benefits to producer participants

Angie Horkan of the WBC says they choose a variety of operations and beef producers from all over the state to share the beef industry’s message. “It’s been very valuable to show producers that this is what their checkoff dollars are doing,” she says. “And the producers that get involved want to do it again. They’re proud of their operations.”

As NBC’s Wegner puts it, “They see it as a great way to tell their story.”

That isn’t always easy, says NCBA’s Richardson. “The tours often open up our industry to some tough conversations,” she says. “But (the questions) represent the reality we’re in. That’s beneficial. We need to hear what’s on their minds.”

According to FBC’s Hughes, producers chosen to participate are carefully selected in a range of specialties. They also reach out to the University of Florida to provide educators who are familiar with the industry. “We want to give (tour participants) not just one experience, but experiences in a wide range of industry segments,” she says.

Wegner says his organization looks for “ag leaders who are willing to spend the time with the groups and whose operations are easily accessible.” According to Wegner, it’s important that the visits not be too disruptive to regular ranch operations.
A Partnership

Farm-to-fork tours help build consumer trust in beef and beef production, which is one of four Core Strategies of the Beef Industry 2016-2020 Long Range Plan. Coordination between state beef council and the national beef checkoff teams provide cooperative momentum toward that goal.

For instance, checkoff-funded experts at the national level often assist state tour efforts in a number of ways. Beef checkoff-funded chef Dave Zino often will attend tours to deliver culinary instruction and insights, and Bridget Wasser, NCBA executive director of meat science and technology, sometimes shares information on meat cutting and cuts, for example.

State beef councils also get assistance from the national checkoff team in other ways, getting help in identifying appropriate tour participants, or providing spokesperson training for producers, developing materials and securing correct checkoff-funded information for delivery to appropriate audiences.

“We are really plugged into what’s going on nationally, and try to work together to make it all work,” says WSBC’s Madill. For tours conducted by the national checkoff-funded team, beef councils in states where the tours will be held give critical assistance and guidance. The Federation of State Beef Councils has also supported several state beef council-conducted tours financially.
Future of Program

“There will always be a place for in-person production experiences,” says NCBA’s Richardson. Nevertheless, the industry is building on these kinds of events to produce other types of communications programs, such as virtual experiences via video. “It can help us reach people who aren’t able to go on a tour,” Richardson says, “or who are in a geographical area of the country where one or another segment of the beef industry isn’t represented.

“There are only a couple of places we can go where we’re able to show the entire beef lifecycle,” she says. “And we always try to emphasize there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to raising cattle.”

Richardson says the checkoff is always trying to improve on ways of getting the right production images to the right people at the right time. Video shot in Nebraska and Texas in 2014 and 2015 is helping provide images that share a view of cattle production with consumers. Some of these images and additional information can be found on

Because of the value of face-to-face communications, however, the production immersion experiences will be at the very core of the program. “It’s an exercise in transparency,” says Richardson. “Those of us who work for state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff Program can do a lot to help gather the information, coordinate the events and manage the follow-up. But these first-hand visits and non-scripted conversations allow the producers themselves to be the story-tellers about how beef is raised.”

Dips in Farm Sector Profitability Expected Into 2016

USDA Economic Research Service

Farm sector profitability is forecast to decline for the third straight year. Net cash farm income for 2016 is forecast at $94.1 billion, down 13.3 percent from the 2015 estimate. Net farm income is forecast to be $71.5 billion in 2016, down 11.5 percent. If realized, 2016 net farm income would be the lowest since 2009.

Cash receipts are forecast to fall $25.7 billion (6.8 percent) in 2016, led by an $18.7-billion (9.8 percent) drop in animal/animal product receipts and a $7.1-billion (3.7 percent) decline in crop receipts. Nearly all major animal specialties—including dairy, meat animals, and poultry/eggs— are forecast to have lower receipts, as are feed crops and vegetables/melons, down $3.2 billion (5.5 percent) and $1.5 billion (7.5 percent), respectively. While overall cash receipts are declining, receipts for several commodities are expected to increase by at least 1 percent above 2015 estimates, including cotton, up $0.6 billion (12.5 percent). Direct government farm program payments are projected to rise $2.7 billion (24.8 percent) to $13.5 billion in 2016, in part due to the expected price environment.

For the second year in a row production expenses are down. Total production expenses are forecast down $10.1 billion (2.8 percent) over 2015, led by declines in farm-origin inputs (feed, livestock/poultry, seed) and fuel/oils.

Farm asset values are forecast to decline by 2.2 percent in 2016, and farm debt is forecast to decrease by 0.8 percent. Farm sector equity, the net measure of assets and debt, is forecast down by $61.2 billion (2.4 percent) in 2016. The decline in assets reflects a 1.5-percent drop in the value of farm real estate, as well as declines in animal/animal product inventories, financial assets, and machinery/vehicles. The decline in farm debt is driven by lower nonreal estate debt (down 4.6 percent), reflecting a change in farmers’ management decisions (such as reducing input expenditures) but also an increase in short-term commercial bank loan rates, which make debt more expensive.
Median Income of Farm Operator Households Expected Down Slightly in 2016

The median income of farm households increased steadily over 2010-14, reaching an estimated $81,637 in 2014. After dipping in 2015 to $76,538, median household income is forecast to fall slightly in 2016 to an expected $76,282. Median farm income earned by farm households is estimated to be -$765 in 2015 and forecast to be -$1,353 in 2016. Most farm households earn all of their income from off-farm sources—median off-farm income is forecast to increase 2.5 percent, from $67,500 in 2015 to $69,159 in 2016. (Because farm and off-farm income are not distributed identically for every farm, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.)

Vilsack on Farm Income Forecasts for 2015 and 2016

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement today on the Farm Income and Financial Forecasts for 2015 and 2016, released by USDA's Economic Research Service.

"Today's farm income forecast underscores the unique ability of American farmers and ranchers to plan ahead and make sharp business decisions in a challenging market, as net farm income for 2015 was revised up significantly to $80.7 billion-an increase of 43 percent since the February forecast. Falling production expenses, including the price of fuel and inputs, was the largest contributor to this latest rally by farmers. Just last week, farm exports for 2016 were revised up to one of the highest levels on record, demonstrating that U.S. farmers and ranchers continue to beat expectations. Overall, farm income over the last five-year period reflects the highest average five-year period on record. Although net farm income for 2016 is forecast to decline relative to 2015, the 2014 Farm Bill has provided for a comprehensive farm safety net that will ensure financial stability for America's farming families. Farm Bill program payments-including Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), and the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP)-are forecast to increase nearly 25 percent to $13.5 billion in 2016. For producers challenged by weather, disease and falling prices, we will continue to ensure the availability of a strong safety net to keep them farming or ranching.

"The estimates today also showed that debt to asset and debt to equity ratios-two key indicators of the farm economy's health-continue to be near all-time lows. In addition to strong balance sheets, median household income for farming families remains near historic highs. In 2016, higher off-farm earnings are expected to help stabilize losses due to low commodity prices.

"The trend in strong household income reflects work of the Obama Administration since 2009 to make significant and targeted investments across the United States toward building a more robust system of production agriculture, expanding foreign markets for U.S. farm goods, bolstering local and regional food systems across the country, and creating a new bio-based economy in rural communities that today supports more than 4 million American jobs. At the same time, rural communities have been infused with billions of dollars to build schools, hospitals, and public safety headquarters, and businesses of all sizes have availed themselves of USDA's business loans and grants to spur growth that complements the agricultural economy. Other key investments made by USDA since 2009 include new or improved high-speed internet service to 6 million Americans in rural areas, along with investments in electricity, water and wastewater, and clean power, that will continue to strengthen rural communities for generations to come.

"Outside the United States, demand for American-grown food and agricultural products remains strong. Agricultural exports have surpassed $1 trillion since 2009, besting all previous records in terms of value and volume and acting as an engine for America's farm economy. USDA will continue to ensure American farming families have open markets and a level playing field by working to remove unfair barriers to trade and negotiating trade agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership, that benefit all of agriculture."

Zoetis to Sponsor Postgraduate Research Fellowship at Iowa State University

A study at Iowa State University may give pork producers new insights on how to manage the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS). A postgraduate fellow, sponsored by Zoetis, will work with other university scholars to identify herd-specific best practices to prevent, control and/or eliminate PRRS virus (PRRSv).

Although pork researchers have learned much over the years about how this virus spreads and infects pigs, PRRS remains a troublesome disease. A 2013 study showed reproductive losses and decreased pig performance cost the industry $664 million per year.1

“We as an industry have a great opportunity to improve PRRS management,” said Jose Angulo, DVM, Managing Veterinarian and PRRS Specialist, U.S. Pork Technical Services, Zoetis. “This study will examine risk factors such as herd size, biosecurity, whole herd immunity and gilt flow to analyze current control and elimination PRRSv strategies and develop a more tailored approach to address PRRSv in breeding herds and reduce production impacts."

The student sponsored by Zoetis will work alongside Daniel Linhares, DVM, MBA, PhD, assistant professor, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, and Derald Holtkamp, DVM, MS, associate professor, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine. Both Iowa State University professors have been actively involved in recent field-applied PRRSv research projects. The total value of the fellowship is $105,263.

“There is still great variability on the efficacy of PRRS control programs to reduce herd impact; part of that variability is due to variation of pig flow and system layout,” Dr. Linhares said. “We’re eager to partner with Zoetis so that we can help producers understand interactions between breeding herd characteristics and PRRSv management strategies.”

During the upcoming project, the researchers are targeting at least 135 breeding herds over a two-year period. Herds will be studied in groups based on similar herd characteristics and PRRSv management goals. Researchers hope to identify best PRRSv management practices to reduce economic and production impact.

The approach, also known as precision medicine, is common in human health studies that examine diseases from an epidemiological standpoint. Precision medicine considers the interaction between the host, environment, pathogen and other associated risk factors.

“It is difficult to have a one-size-fits-all management strategy for PRRSv because of the complexity in the virus as well as differences in herds,” Dr. Angulo said. “Each herd has its own unique set of challenges. Identifying successful virus control strategies for comparable herds puts the industry one step closer to eliminating PRRSv nationwide. Zoetis is proud to support young veterinary professionals as they help our industry achieve this goal.”

Beef and Pork's Role in Filling Supply Gap

Chris Hurt, Purdue University

Producers of beef and pork have generally been discouraged about recent low prices as cash prices have dropped sharply this year. Spring finished cattle price highs were near $138 per live hundredweight, but last week had fallen to $115, a $23 plunge.

The story is similar for hogs. After seeing yearly highs at $81 for a national lean price in the third week of June, prices have dropped $20, or 25 percent, in the past two months. Stepping back to take a longer view, finished cattle prices have been dropping since late 2014 when they reached record highs around $173. From $173 to $115 means, finished cattle prices have now dropped 34 percent. It is the same story for hogs, but with even bigger declines. The drop from the $130 record in 2014 to $61 today is a 53 percent reduction.

It is not hard to identify reasons for wild swings in prices over the past 10 years as these industries have been forced to adjust to large economic shocks. The severe multi-year drought in the Southern Plains was one of those shocks for the beef sector. The other was the period of surging feed prices starting in the fall of 2006 and continuing to mid-year 2013.

What is the supply gap? Drought in cattle country and high feed prices caused economic losses that forced supplies downward. As a result, the supply of meats (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey) dropped from 220 pounds per person in 2007 to just 201 pounds by 2014, creating a 19 pound supply gap. Low available supplies in 2014 brought record high prices for cattle, hogs, and chickens. Turkey prices moved even higher in 2015 because of additional lost production due to avian influenza.

The highest animal prices were in 2014 and 2015, at the same time feed prices began to moderate with the large 2013 and 2014 crops. High animal prices and lower feed prices meant record profitability. Record profitability was the signal producers needed to start expansion, and they will likely continue on that path for several more years. Thus, the meat industries are now in the process of filling the supply gap.

In fact, current USDA forecasts for 2017 are that U.S. per capita meat supplies will be back up to 216 pounds. That is a burst of 15 added pounds since the 2014 low of just 201 pounds and just four pounds short of the record consumption in 2007, which was based on the era of $2.00 per bushel corn.

Supply adjustments have been different for the pork and the beef sectors. Reduction in pork consumption per person was four pounds from 2007 to 2014. By 2017, pork will have recovered all of that reduction and be back up to 2007 per capita supplies. Pork will fill its supply gap. The pattern is much different for the beef sector that experienced more trauma and cannot increase production as quickly as poultry and pork. From 2007 to 2014 beef availability dropped by 11 pounds per capita and in 2017 is expected to still be about 10 pounds below 2007 levels. This means beef has only made a small step toward filling the supply gap.

There are some more important implications. First, the beef sector has been retaining females and this means that the size of the calf crops will be increasing over the next two years and per capita beef supplies will likely increase for two to three years. Second, the chicken industry has already filled its supply gap and more as 2017 per capita chicken supplies are expected to be six pounds more than supplies in 2007. Third, it is looking increasingly like the meat and poultry industries will totally fill the supply gap in the next three years with per capita meat and poultry supplies returning near the 2007 record of 220 pounds. However, beef is not likely to reach its 2007 levels, with chicken taking most of that market share.

A critical factor in a continued increase in per capita meat supplies will be moderate feed prices. The potential record 2016 corn and soybean crops suggest that corn, soybean meal, and forage prices over the next 12 months will be some of the lowest of the past decade. This is likely to stimulate somewhat more meat production for 2017 than the USDA forecasts used here.

Why are animal prices moving lower? The big picture answer is that the animal industries are rebuilding per capita supplies because of lower feed prices and restocking brood cows in the Southern Plains. It seems increasingly likely that the meat industry will totally fill the supply gap that was created from 2007 to 2014.

The meat industries are expected to continue to increase supplies until animal product prices drop to levels that approach breakeven levels.

Researchers taking mobile applications to the field to improve food security and economic welfare

Global populations are booming, food demand is skyrocketing and climate change is threatening food security — meanwhile, access to mobile technology is becoming commonplace. The ground is fertile to harness the power of this global mobile network to create and implement tools to accelerate the development of food crops that can withstand the coming challenges of the 21st century.

Researchers with expertise in breeding, genetics and computer science at Kansas State University, Cornell University, Texas A&M University, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the International Institute for Maize and Wheat Improvement have partnered to meet that challenge head on.

With $1.5 million in funding from the National Science Foundation Basic Research to Enable Agriculture Development, or BREAD, Program, the team will work to develop mobile phone and tablet applications that enable breeders and scientists around the world to accelerate development of improved plant varieties. The BREAD Program is a partnership between the NSF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation designed to take ideas that are at the forefront of research and put them into a context that can help smallholder farmers in the developing world.

Through this BREAD project, the team plans to develop new mobile apps to collect phenotypic plant data, such as disease resistance, plant height or seed size in the field, much more efficiently and at a much lower cost than is currently possible.

"This is the next step for us. After seeing the rapid uptake of Field Book, an app for collecting field research notes, it confirmed for us the incredible potential mobile applications have in the world of agriculture, and in particular for plant breeding," said Jesse Poland, assistant professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University and principle investigator on the project. "For plant breeders and scientists, the collection of phenotypic data is a huge bottleneck because the usual approach of pencil and paper is laborious and time prohibitive; this part of research has basically been the same for the last 100 years. New tools that can assist breeders to rapidly measure these plant traits would help lead to better varieties for farmers."

Poland said that we take a lot of things for granted in the U.S. — things like the availability of internet and electricity.

"Currently, 2 billion people live in poverty worldwide, most in developing countries, relying on subsistence agriculture. Interestingly, this population is also the fastest-growing market for smart device adoption," Poland said.

The team is focusing on developing mobile technology, applications and systems that would work under this paradigm: where a group needs to be functioning every day during the field season, the budget is very limited, and power and internet access might not be available.

"The value of developing apps for consumer smartphones and tablets is that the cost to implement them into breeding programs is so low, making them accessible to researchers and scientists in the developing world," said Trevor Rife, graduate research assistant in plant pathology at Kansas State University who has led development of Field Book.

According to Rife, breeders are accustomed to spending thousands of dollars on software and hardware, whereas the research team will be making its tools freely available. Once the global network of breeders and farmers is established and due to the nature of mobile applications, the apps can be re-released over time with new features, and completely new apps can be designed and deployed to the entire breeding community with ease.

"Rapidly producing new climate-resilient, high-yielding and nutritious plant varieties is critical to improving food security, income and economic welfare," Poland said. "To do this, we need to equip breeders with the tools to tackle this big task on a global scale. It is exciting to have this BREAD project to focus on that objective."

Agrium, Potash in Merger Talks

Canadian fertilizer giants Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. said they were in preliminary talks about a possible merger of equals as the industry contends with slumping earnings amid persistently low prices for crop nutrients.

However, the companies also said no decision had been made, and there is no assurance the discussions would result in any potential deal, which would create a company with a total market value of more than $28 billion.

Bloomberg News earlier on Tuesday reported that the fertilizer makers were in advanced merger talks, with a deal announcement possible as soon as next week.

A merger would help Saskatchewan-based Potash, the world's largest fertilizer producer by capacity, insulate its earnings against volatile moves in crop nutrient prices by giving it access to Agrium's steadier retail business that sells fertilizer, seeds and other products to farmers.

For the first six months of this year, Agrium's retail business generated sales of $8.1 billion, down 3.6% from the year-ago period. By comparison, the sales at its smaller wholesale fertilizer operation fell 25% to $1.5 billion over the same period.

For Calgary-based Agrium, a deal would greatly expand its product of potash and other fertilizer ingredients, representing a bet that demand and prices for these products have bottomed and are poised for a rebound.

Potash "deliveries in the second half of 2016 are expected to be supported by...the normal seasonal upturn in demand and the recent supply agreements with China and India," two of the world's biggest markets for the crop nutrient, Agrium said earlier this month in its earnings release.

In New York, Potash stock rose 11% to $17.84, giving it a market capitalization of about $15 billion, according to FactSet. Agrium has gained 6% to $94.84 for a total value of about $13 billion.

Talk of a potential deal lifted the stocks of other fertilizer producers. Mosaic Co. shares jumped 8% to $30.19, while CF Industries Holdings Inc. added 4% to $25.99.

Potash was subject to a hostile takeover bid from BHP Billiton Ltd. in 2010, but the Anglo-Australian mining giant abandoned the offer that same year amid Canadian government opposition over the possible loss of what it deemed to be a strategically important company.

The latest merger talks come after an earlier failed attempt by Potash to diversify its operations into salt production. The company tried to acquire K+S AG, a move that would have helped to consolidate the fertilizer sector but dropped its hostile $8.8 billion bid in October 2015 after the German-based rival balked at the offer as too low.

The talks between Potash and Agrium differ because they are friendly. It also is unlikely Canadian regulators would oppose such a tie-up because both companies are Canadian-based, posing no risk to the loss of jobs and tax revenue to a foreign jurisdiction.

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. and CNH Industrial unveil concept autonomous tractors

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) and CNH Industrial have announced the unveiling of concept autonomous tractors. ASI is CNH Industrial’s technology provider responsible for developing autonomous vehicle technology for a concept cabless Case IH Magnum and a concept New Holland T8, based on a current production tractor. 

The tractors, unveiled today at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, include the ability for autonomous seeding, planting and tillage , for broad acre and row crop farming. Advanced path planning technology will allow farmers to manage their fields efficiently and oversee the overall operation of several vehicles at once. The vehicles are also capable of obstacle detection which will enhance safety in the agriculture industry.

“ASI is the industry-leading developer of autonomous solutions in the off-road vehicle segment and the natural choice to be one of CNH Industrial’s key technology providers. CNH Industrial has had a long and successful relationship with ASI and we will continue to work together in developing advanced autonomous solutions for the future benefit of our global customers” stated Richard Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial.

ASI has nearly two decades of autonomous technology development experience. As a smaller and more agile technology developer, ASI is able to partner with large global companies to help them disrupt their market with multi-vehicle autonomy faster and more economically than they could in any other way.

“Our relationship with CNH Industrial is vital in facilitating the near term disruption of how farming is done.  We’re thrilled to be working with the leaders in Ag innovation to make this exciting future of driverless tractors a reality,” says Mel Torrie, ASI founder and CEO. “CNH Industrial’s selection of ASI as a long term, strategic robotic development provider validates the capability and flexibility of our robotics platform in reducing the risk and costs for equipment manufacturers to bring advanced capabilities to their respective industries.”

ASI and CNH Industrial have joined forces to create a development model and architecture framework that is flexible and dynamic, able to quickly adapt and adopt new technologies and standards as fast as they become available. This concept tractor results from the integration of ASI’s autonomous hardware and software with CNH Industrial’s advanced platform.

ASI also leverages this autonomous technology with other large global companies such as FCA US, Ford, Toyota, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dematic, and a large global security company and others to be announced in coming weeks.


Agriculture can play a significant role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to a recent scientific report. As part of Monsanto Company’s commitment to make its own operations carbon neutral by 2021, the company commissioned third-party expert ICF International to examine the potential for reducing GHG emissions through agriculture in the United States. The resulting report titled, “Charting a Path to Carbon Neutral Agriculture: Mitigation Potential for Crop Based Strategies,” shows that widespread adoption of recommended practices could potentially result in more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions reductions in the United States alone. That’s equal to the carbon absorption potential of more than 2.5 billion tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

“This report shows promising results and helps confirm the significant impact farmers can make when they adopt and maintain the practices noted in the report,” said Michael Lohuis, Ph.D., Lead Scientist for Environmental Strategy for Agriculture, Monsanto. “The carbon-smart practices mentioned, coupled with innovations like biotechnology and advanced breeding, are vital tools that can help farmers adapt to and mitigate climate change. At Monsanto, we are committed to encouraging the use of innovative farming techniques and carbon smart practices that will help reduce emissions.”

This report comes after Monsanto made its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2021. That commitment included the sharing of data and modeling results with the broader agriculture community in hopes of encouraging the adoption of best practices and reinforcing the role carbon neutral cropping systems can play in reducing GHG emissions.

The report focused on near-term strategies, including:

    Cover crops. The report found that the greatest near-term potential for reducing GHG emissions through agriculture comes from the planting of cover crops, grown between primary crop seasons. Cover crops, which are currently grown on only about 3-5 percent of U.S. crop acreage, can prevent soil erosion and help to absorb and keep carbon stored in the soil.

    Conservation tillage. The second largest potential comes from reducing or eliminating soil tillage, which enables farmers to save money and resources while limiting the amount of carbon released from the soil into the atmosphere. This practice also helps preserve soil structure and soil organisms, which improves soil health.

     Precision nutrient management. Precision agriculture and nitrification inhibitors can be effective in reducing GHG emissions. Precision agriculture helps determine the appropriate amount of fertilizer and pesticide to use on the field, and where they need to be applied. By using GPS guidance and variable rate technology when applying the inputs, farmers optimize nutrient and fuel use while improving profitability. By adding inhibitors, farmers utilize fertilizer more efficiently, reducing emissions and achieving the same yield.

Long-term strategies also can help reduce carbon emissions, but will require more research and time to scale-up. These strategies include:

    Ethanol production from corn stover. Corn stover (the stalks, leaves and cobs left in the field after corn harvest) represents a sizeable renewable source of biomass to augment ethanol production. This material could help reduce emissions from fossil fuels while sustainably managing excess crop residues in the field.

    Utilize crop material left in the field after harvest. There also is a possibility that available excess corn stover could be burned alongside coal in coal-fired power plants, which would reduce the amount of fossil fuel used through the use of this renewable source of energy. Available corn stover also could be processed into plant-based charcoal (biochar) that could be incorporated into the soil to increase soil health and store carbon in the soil not in the atmosphere.

“Agriculture has the potential to play a critical role in addressing climate change,” said Debbie Reed, Executive Director with the Coalition for Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. “This report adds another critical set of data points to help quantify and demonstrate how the agriculture community can take actionable steps, both in the near-term and long-term that will have a substantial and positive impact on our planet.”


Farmers face the risk of major yield loss from corn diseases in any given season, but they will have a new defense in 2017 with the debut of DEKALB® Disease Shield™ corn products. Six new DEKALB Disease Shield products are being introduced that provide industry-leading protection against today’s top corn diseases, along with exclusive genetics to maximize yield opportunity.

Developed through the brand’s advanced breeding program, DEKALB Disease Shield corn provides a broad spectrum of enhanced protection against today’s most common, yield-robbing corn diseases, including anthracnose stalk rot, gray leaf spot, Goss’s wilt, northern corn leaf blight and, in limited geographies, southern rust.

DEKALB Disease Shield products span the 109 to 120 relative maturities for 2017 and will continue to expand in the coming years. “They not only offer great, season long disease tolerance, but also strong agronomics and elite genetics to help deliver the consistent yield performance farmers expect from the DEKALB brand,” said Jared Webb, DEKALB product manager.

The 2017 DEKALB Disease shield products available in the Corn Growing Area include:
    DKC59-50RIB brand blend – a 109 RM product with VT Double PRO® RIB Complete® Corn Blend
    DKC64-34RIB brand blend – a 114 RM product with SmartStax® RIB Complete® Corn Blend
    DKC64-35RIB brand blend – a 114 RM product with VT Double PRO RIB Complete Corn Blend
    DKC66-74RIB brand blend – a 116 RM product with SmartStax RIB Complete Corn Blend
    DKC66-75RIB brand blend –  a 116 RM product with VT Double PRO RIB Complete Corn Blend
    DKC70-27RIB brand blend – a 120 RM product with VT Double PRO RIB Complete Corn Blend

The same corresponding genetics, except for DKC59-50RIB, will be available in the Cotton-Growing Area without RIB Complete® corn blend.

Trial plots show effective protection

            Webb saidDEKALB Disease Shield showed very effective disease protection in on-farm and university trial plots during 2016 in areas that experienced significant disease pressure. “Overall,  DEKALB Disease Shield plants were healthier and had excellent staygreen characteristics compared to competitor products, which had less green tissue due to disease lesions on the plants,” he said. “Farmers we have heard from are looking forward to planting this new corn technology because it helps reduce their risk. From season to season, they never know when a major disease will occur, and with DEKALB Disease Shield they know they are protected.”

            Josh Young, of Carlinville, Illinois, said his trial plot of DEKALB Disease Shield corn stood up well to this season’s disease pressure. “When we look at DEKALB Disease Shield, the performance, the disease resistance, we expect high yields,” he said. “They look like they’ve protected their ultimate potential without reduction from foliar disease pressure.”

            Even in times of lighter disease pressure, farmers say the new corn technology can mean they can plant with more confidence. “Protecting my top end yield potential is important to our operation,” said Jeff Steinhoff, who planted a DEKALB Disease Shield trial plot on his farm in St. Charles, Missouri. “The concept of DEKALB Disease Shield offering broad spectrum disease protection through the season gives me peace of mind that my crop can reach its fullest potential and maximize my return on investment.”        

            Other benefits of this new corn line-up include better standability and improved harvestability. All six DEKALB Disease Shield products are available with Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions with Enhanced Disease Control.

Syngenta introduces two new interactive tools featuring Vibrance® brand seed treatment fungicide

As part of the ongoing commitment to provide growers and retailers with the most current crop protection products and agronomic resources, Syngenta Seedcare recently launched two new online tools. The Vibrance® seed treatment fungicide Learning Module and the Vibrance Interactive Infographic were both developed to help educate and build awareness about the impact of soilborne pathogens on root health and crop productivity in corn, soybeans and wheat.

“As a leader in the seed treatment industry, we believe it’s important to provide growers and retailers with visually stimulating educational tools that explain the concept of root health and the products Syngenta offers to help maximize RootingPower from the very beginning of the season,” said David Piñon, communications lead, Syngenta. “Vibrance affords seed protection that stimulates quality root systems to deliver better emergence, stand establishment, nutrient uptake and stress tolerance, and we believe these two new tools convey this in compelling ways.”

The learning module walks participants through a series of sections, including an in-depth look at the importance of root health, disease protection and the benefits of Vibrance. Participants are eligible to receive one Integrated Pest Management CEU credit for completion.

The interactive infographic visually leads users through young corn, soybean and wheat crops to demonstrate the impact of Rhizoctonia, as well as the RootingPower benefits of Vibrance.

Syngenta offers Vibrance across multiple crops, and in combination with other leading seed treatments, to help ensure growers achieve maximum return on investment. In addition to corn, soybeans and wheat, Vibrance is also registered for use on canola, cotton, potatoes, pulse crops and sugarbeets.

Mycogen Seeds Launches New Farmer-focused Pricing

Mycogen Seeds is changing how it prices seed. Starting in the 2016-17 season, Mycogen Seeds will price seed based on the value it delivers. Value has many components: relative yield, traits, competitive prices, commodity prices and specific needs by geography.

“As growers increasingly look for efficiencies, we are dedicated to delivering value and helping customers capture profit,” says Damon Palmer, general manager of Mycogen Seeds. “Ultimately, it comes down to enabling our customers to meet their operational goals.”

To develop the new value-based approach, Mycogen Seeds worked with third-party and university experts to review millions of data points across multiple years, distilling it down to a granular level. The team reviewed field trials and yield results hybrid by hybrid, zone by zone, to determine the relative value between Mycogen® brand hybrids and the price of competitors.

“Hybrids often perform well in one zone but not in another due to different soils, weather and pest pressures,” Palmer adds. “Now, with our data-driven, value-based pricing approach, growers pay for the relative value they can expect from that specific seed, taking into account the unique variability of their area.”

Right seed — for the acre and grower 

Mycogen Seeds agronomists, sales representatives and dealers work closely with Mycogen Seeds customers to build planting plans based on management zones and operational goals on their farms. The new pricing approach aligns to the philosophy of making seed purchase decisions for the best return and input efficiency.

“We work with our growers to help them push inputs, including seed and nutrients on top-end acres, and be more efficient with resources on mid- to low-end acres,” says Brook Mitchell, commercial agronomist for Mycogen Seeds. “Now, our seed prices align with the value our growers can expect so they can choose seed with their profit goals in mind. Some growers like to spend more to make more; we help our growers invest in the right places to drive higher margins. Essentially, invest where they get the best value.”

Palmer agrees. “We’re committed to helping our customers do better acre after acre — that means finding the best seed for each acre and providing solutions that meet growers’ operational goals. While every grower is looking to maximize yield it’s just as important to maximize profits.”

Mycogen Seeds is dedicated to helping each grower reach those profit goals. Growers are increasingly looking for ways to manage and be more efficient down to the individual acre in order to optimize ROI. The new price approach allows growers to choose their seed based on what works best for their farm and goals — what is of most value to them.

“Now, when we sit down with our growers, we can have a conversation about his business goals and what seed options work for his acres as well as his profit potential,” Mitchell adds. “It’s like when you go to buy a truck — if you just want something to get around, you might go with the standard package, but you like the option to add extra features. Growers now can make their purchase according to the value they put on those extras.” 

To learn more, talk to your Mycogen Seeds dealer, sales representative or commercial agronomist. Visit to see plot results and head-to-head comparisons of Mycogen brand hybrids, and see new products available for 2016-17.

On-target Herbicide Application Helps Make a Grower a Good Neighbor

They say good fences make good neighbors, but these days on-target herbicide applications also can help make growers good neighbors. When planting Enlist™ corn or Enlist soybeans, growers can use Enlist Duo® herbicide with confidence because it stays where it’s applied.

Many farmers growing Enlist corn and soybeans – and their neighbors – are getting an up-close look this year at how Enlist Duo herbicide limits drift and features near-zero volatility. They’re growing Enlist corn through a stewarded launch and Enlist soybeans through the Field Forward™ program in their own fields. They’re seeing no negative effects on nearby fields.

“I think it’s great that we’re getting more herbicide options,” says David Cox, who farms near Josh Turner in north-central Missouri. Turner is growing Enlist soybeans this year and has used Enlist Duo herbicide postemergence on the crop. “I’ve seen no ill effects on our fields from Josh’s application. We need this new technology that doesn’t drift and is effective on tough weeds.”

Turner says on-target application with Enlist Duo is a key benefit.

“With the volatility of Enlist Duo being so minimal, I’ll be able to spray near neighbors’ crops,” he says. “Nobody wants to damage their neighbor’s crops or affect the relationship. It’s a valuable asset to be able to control weeds throughout the field and not worry about drift issues.”

Impressed by crop tolerance

Cox has visited Turner’s field of Enlist soybeans and has seen the tolerance of Enlist™ soybeans to Enlist Duo® herbicide. “Growers around here are trying lots of herbicides to control resistant weeds, and I’ve seen some stuff that burned crops,” Cox says. “They were set back by the herbicide, although they eventually recovered. I didn’t see any herbicide damage whatsoever to Josh’s Enlist soybeans.”

Greg Landes, another neighbor of Turner’s, says the use of Enlist Duo nearby never really concerned him. “I’ve listened to the presentations, and I understand the drift risk with Enlist Duo is not a big deal,” Landes says. “It’s caused no damage in my fields to my knowledge.”

“Reduced off-target movement means less liability, less issues with your neighbors,” Turner says. “If you sprayed pesticides in the past, you’ve probably had an issue with drift or with odor. This product could really help you maintain your relationships with your neighbors.”

Steve Kliewer of Cimarron, Kansas, is growing Enlist corn for a second year. He reports neighbors have been supportive of his use of the Enlist weed control system.

“There were no problems,” Kliewer says. “I think everyone in the industry is wide open to new technology. We’re all in this together. If we can help gather information on something that will help all of us, that’s awesome.”

Kliewer’s neighbor, Kent Kopper, saw no problems in his field, which was next to the Enlist field. “I haven’t heard of any damage to nearby crops from Enlist Duo,” Kopper says.

How it stays on target

Enlist Duo® herbicide combines glyphosate with new 2,4-D choline. Enlist Duo features Colex-D® technology, which provides several important benefits:
-    Near-zero volatility
-    Minimized potential for physical drift
-    Low odor
-    Improved handling characteristics

An important factor in grower acceptance of this landmark formulation is the fact that it stays on target.

“Growers are carefully considering their herbicide choices,” says John Chase, Enlist™ commercial leader for Dow AgroSciences. “They need a registered herbicide that provides a viable, real-world solution to meet their weed control needs. Enlist corn and soybean growers are seeing that Enlist Duo offers improved weed control while significantly limiting the risk of off-target movement.”

The federal label for Enlist Duo herbicide includes no buffer zone requirement for neighboring soybean fields without the Enlist trait and only a 30-foot downwind buffer for sensitive areas. Because of the performance they’re seeing, many growers who are experiencing the Enlist system this year are hoping to expand acres soon.

In fact, some of their neighbors also are interested in trying the Enlist weed control system in their fields. Cox and Landes are anticipating planting Enlist™ soybeans when commercially available.

“We’ll try it,” Cox says. “I always try to stay on top of new technology. We need different modes of action to continue controlling problem weeds.”

Need for herbicide stability

With dicamba drift issues causing substantial concern this year, weed management technologies are under increased scrutiny. Growers need to use practices and products that mitigate drift potential. Enlist Duo minimizes physical drift and offers near-zero volatility to limit worries about off-target movement. A herbicide that stays where it’s sprayed helps growers maintain good relationships with their neighbors.

DuPont Pioneer Kicks Off “Unlock Your Yield” Tour Powered by Pioneer® Brand Qrome™ Products

DuPont Pioneer began its “Unlock Your Yield Tour” today to showcase the technology of Pioneer® brand Qrome™ products. The tour vehicle – a stainless steel Timpte® Super Hopper grain trailer – will travel to more than 100 industry and field demonstration events.

Growers and customers can visit a tour stop to see first-hand how the proprietary technology of Qrome products unlocks corn yield potential across a broad range of industry-leading genetic platforms. Qrome products also offer an innovative stack of multiple insect protection traits, including two modes of action to control corn rootworm.

At the end of the Unlock Your Yield Tour, Pioneer will donate the custom built Qrome products trailer to the National FFA Organization for auction, with all proceeds supporting its mission to make a positive difference in the lives of students.

“Qrome products represent the next generation of Pioneer’s industry-leading corn lineup,” said Steve Reno, DuPont Pioneer vice president, business director — U.S. & Canada. “By donating the trailer to FFA to auction, Pioneer also supports an organization focused on developing the next generation of talented, innovative leaders in and beyond the agriculture industry.”

“Just as DuPont Pioneer unlocks yield potential in crops, we unlock leadership potential in youth,” said Maggie Stith, senior regional director, National FFA Foundation. “DuPont is a long-term supporter of FFA, and we are very pleased with the additional resources to fund programs that will help build our bright young leaders.”

A highlight of the tour circuit will include a stop at the National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct. 19-22, in Indianapolis. There, FFA members will learn about Qrome products and see the trailer that will be auctioned off live by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers during the 2017 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.

Pending completion of field testing and applicable regulatory reviews, Pioneer anticipates launching Qrome products in 2017.

Impressive Performance Documented in First Season for Corn Herbicide

New Resicore® corn herbicide is showing growers and ag retailers across the Midwest long-awaited results for weed control.

The 2016 season marks the first time Resicore has been available for corn growers to use in their fields. The herbicide provides extended residual control and multiple modes of action. Growers and retailers using Resicore are reporting contained weed pressure several weeks after application.

Northern Illinois ag retailer Randy Pauli recommended Resicore, and the results, he says, were impressive chiefly on waterhemp. Waterhemp has a history of breaking through herbicide applications early in the season. Resicore prevented waterhemp from creeping back into the fields with residual control lasting for six weeks.

“I wanted a product that would be very strong to keep our populations low — knowing that we have heavy weed infestations on these farms,” says Pauli, referring specifically to a recent rise of herbicide-resistant waterhemp. “[Resicore] is a state-of-the-art chemistry that actually gives us the longest residual against waterhemp, and that’s a prime example in this field.”

Pauli tank-mixed Resicore with atrazine to boost the treatment to four modes of action, which controlled waterhemp, as well as species such as giant ragweed and marestail.

“The products that we have mainly been using the last couple of years were not doing a good job of holding down waterhemp,” Pauli says. “Waterhemp is resistant to so many chemistry modes that we need a new product such as Resicore that will work on waterhemp preemergence before the weed ever gets started.”

Clean rows at canopy closure key to crop success

The residual control Resicore provides kept fields clean through the crop’s canopy closure, Pauli says. Once the crop reaches canopy, sunlight is prevented from reaching the soil, which subsequently reduces the chance for weeds to emerge the rest of the season.

Corn and soybean grower Steve Plambeck from Kenesaw, Nebraska, custom-applied Resicore at the end of April. Due to resistance issues and tough weeds like waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, Plambeck said, he was in need of a product with multiple modes of action that is effective on these broadleaf species. Resicore not only worked but also kept his fields clean until the corn reached canopy.

“I kept watching the fields, and you always expect a few escapes, and this was really staying clean,” Plambeck says. “It’s really impressive and it’s great to not have to go back and rescue anything.”

Resicore is a novel, easy to use formulation of three leading active ingredients with three non-glyphosate and non-atrazine modes of action to control more than 70 broadleaf weeds and grasses, says Lyndsie Kaehler, corn herbicides product manager, Dow AgroSciences.

“Resicore was designed to give growers the power over weeds they need for resounding yield potential at harvest,” Kaehler says. “Resicore has performed very well in the first season by providing extended residual control of many troublesome weed species.”