Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Monday February 27 Ag News


For the month of February 2017, temperatures averaged six to eight degrees above normal across Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Heavy snow occurred over northern portions of the State during the month. Temperatures peaked in 70’s during the third week, resulting in producers beginning preparations for spring planting. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 8 percent very short, 17 short, 68 adequate, and 7 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 9 percent very short, 21 short, 66 adequate, and 4 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 poor, 46 fair, 40 good, and 4 excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report:

Cattle and calf conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 13 fair, 74 good, and 12 excellent. Calving progress was 19 percent complete. Cattle and calf death loss rated 0 percent heavy, 66 average, and 34 light.

Sheep and lamb conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 1 poor, 17 fair, 77 good, and 4 excellent. Sheep and lamb death loss rated 1 percent heavy, 65 average, and 34 light.

Hay and roughage supplies rated 1 percent very short, 3 short, 89 adequate, and 7 surplus.

Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 92 adequate, and 1 surplus.

NePPA Announces Webinar Focused on Benefits of Expanding Pork Production

The Nebraska Pork Producers Association is hosting a one-hour online webinar on March 7, 2017, beginning at noon, focused on the benefits of expanding pork production in Nebraska with emphasis on resources available to support producers and county officials during discussions about proposed expansion activities. Current row crop farmers who are interested in diversifying or adding potential income, as well as current pork producers interested in expanding, are encouraged to participate. There is no fee to participate in the webinar.

Research and extension experts from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present information regarding:
 ·    Benefits of expanding pork production in relation to community development benefits and value of manure to crop production and soil fertility
 ·    Overview of the Livestock Siting Assessment Matrix and recommendations for engaging with county officials about the matrix
 ·    Presenting a plan for expansion to the community and county officials using positive language

Each segment is scheduled to last 15 minutes, with the final 15 minutes dedicated to questions and discussion, to accommodate participants joining individual segments of the webinar if unable to participate in the entire program.

Participants on the webinar will have the opportunity to pose questions and engage in discussions with UNL experts, including:

Dr. Rick Koelsch,  professor in the Departments of Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science, with extension and teaching responsibilities for agricultural environmental related issues.
Dr. Rick Stowell, associate professor in the Departments of Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science, with extension and teaching responsibilities focused on animal housing systems and environmental control.

Dr. Amy Schmidt, assistant professor in the Departments of Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science, with research and extension responsibilities related to livestock manure management and environmental and social risk management relative to livestock production.

The webinar can be accessed by visiting the producer tab on www.nepork.org. Participants are encouraged to join the webinar a few minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure that they are connected when discussion begins.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been working with Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers to protect natural resources for over 80 years. During that time, one thing has remained the Agency’s main goal – help prevent soil erosion.

Since the passage of the 1985 Farm Bill, farmers have been required to control erosion on fields that are classified as highly erodible in order to be eligible for some USDA programs.  Each spring, NRCS conducts compliance reviews on a random selection of highly erodible fields to determine if erosion has been controlled as outlined in Farm Bill requirements.

            Recently, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reviewed compliance review procedures in several states, including Nebraska.  In their report, OIG recommended some modifications to NRCS’ compliance review procedures to provide more consistency across the nation.  Nebraska NRCS will be making some adjustments during this year’s compliance reviews that may impact several producers in Nebraska.

            So, what does this mean for Nebraska farmers and ranchers?

            “The main impact will be on farmers whose cropland has been determined by NRCS to be highly erodible,” Nebraska State Conservationist Craig Derickson said, “They will need to consider installing additional conservation practices to better control ephemeral gully erosion.”

Ephemeral gully erosion is characterized by small ditches in fields that farmers often smooth over with disks. Previously, ephemeral gully erosion was only cited as a compliance problem if sediment was leaving the field and causing off-site damages.  Now, all ephemeral gullies on fields determined to be highly erodible will need to be controlled to meet the national standard.

“NRCS employees will be working closely with farmers to help them meet the erosion control requirements,” Derickson said.  “Farmers will not be expected to make these changes overnight. If erosion control issues are identified during this spring’s compliance reviews, producers will be given time to make adjustments and install needed conservation practices.”

Derickson said practices used to control ephemeral gullies include no-till farming, cover crops, grassed waterways, and terraces.  NRCS has conservation programs available to provide financial assistance for producers to install additional conservation practices, and Derickson said Nebraska NRCS has set aside additional funding this year to help meet this need.

Derickson stressed the importance for farmers to meet these erosion control requirements so they will remain eligible for Farm Bill program benefits – which include things like farm loans, conservation program benefits and Federal crop insurance premium subsidies.

“We want to help Nebraska’s farmers be successful in meeting the conservation compliance requirements on highly erodible land. The bottom line is NRCS staff will be available to help farmers identify where ephemeral erosion is or may occur, and then assist them with a conservation plan to identify conservation practices that best fit their farming operation,” Derickson said.

For more information, visit your local NRCS office located within the USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.

Chemigation Certification Classes for Eastern Nebraska

University of Nebraska Extension will be hosting twenty-four chemigation certification classes across Nebraska in February and March for applicators applying fertilizer or any pesticide product through an irrigation system. See dates and locations at:  http://water.unl.edu/2017%20CHEMIGATION%20TRAINING%20DATES%20jan%2026.pdf.   

The Nebraska Chemical Act requires anyone that applies chemicals through an irrigation system, to attend a meeting and become certified. Certifications are good for four years.  Applicators have an option to complete an online course and take the exam at a testing location or simply attend a training, and pass the written exam.

The training is for initial or recertification and there is no charge.  Especially for new applicants, it is recommended to contact the host Extension Office to receive chemigation materials prior to coming to the class. You can also find these materials online at the bottom of this website link at: http://go.unl.edu/chemigation. 

If you need certification for the 2017 crop year, pre-register with the extension educator hosting the session you plan to attend by phone.

For more information contact your local Extension Office or host educator in charge of the trainings. 


Michael Boehm, vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Program recognition banquet March 10.

Boehm will discuss leadership development, specifically the need for quality leadership at all levels, during the banquet in the Nebraska East Union's Great Plains Room, 1705 Arbor Drive.

At 4:30 p.m., the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council will conduct its annual meeting and elect new officers.

Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 6:30 p.m. banquet. Reservations are $25 and can be made by calling the Nebraska LEAD office at 402-472-6810 no later than March 1.

The Nebraska LEAD Program aims to prepare and motivate men and women in agriculture for more effective leadership. The program is under the direction of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and is supported by Nebraska colleges, universities, businesses, industries and individuals throughout the state.

New Corn Herbicides for 2017

Amit Jhala - NE Extension Weed Management Specialist

The following herbicides are now available in Nebraska for weed management in corn. When selecting herbicides, note the sites of action and rotate them to help reduce the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds in your fields. For more information see the newly revised industry Herbicide Classification chart.

Acuron® Flexi

[bicyclopyrone (0.87%) + mesotrione (3.47%) + S-metolachlor (31.24%)]
Acuron Flexi is Acuron without atrazine. Acuron Flexi may be used pre-emergence or post-emergence (up to 30 inches tall or 8-leaf stage) in field corn, seed corn, silage corn. It can be used in sweet corn and yellow popcorn, but only pre-plant or pre-emergence. Acuron Flexi contains the safener benoxacor. If organic matter content of the field is less than 3%, apply Acuron Flexi at 2.0 qt/acre; if organic matter is ≥ 3% apply at 2.25 qt/acre. Do not exceed 2.25 qt/acre of this product per year. Do not make more than one post-emergence application and not more than two total applications of Acuron Flexi per year. EPA Reg. No. 100-1568. Modes of Action: 27 + 27 + 15.

Armezon PRO

[topramezone (1.12%) + dimethenamid-P (56.25%)]
Armezon PRO is a premix of Armezon (topramezone) and Outlook (dimethenamid-P). It is an emulsifiable concentrate (EC) that provides systemic post-emergence control of emerged broadleaf and grass weeds followed by residual control in all corn types. Application rates depend on soil texture and organic matter content. It may be applied from corn emergence to V8 stage or 30-inch tall field corn and popcorn. For corn that is more than 12 inches tall but less than 30 inches, applications should be directed beneath the crop canopy using drop nozzles and appropriate nozzle spacing for best performance. EPA Reg. No. 7969-372. Modes of Action:  15 + 27.

DiFlexx® DUO

[dicamba (19.73%) + tembotrione (2.83%)]
DiFlexx DUO is a premix of DiFlexx (dicamba) and Laudis (tembotrione). DiFlexx DUO can be used for post-emergence selective control of broadleaf and grass weeds in corn and postharvest burndown weed control. DiFlexx DUO includes exclusive CSI™ safener technology which enables corn plants to better withstand herbicidal activity and provides better crop safety. It can be applied from emergence up to, but not including the V7 stage of growth, 36-inch tall corn, or 15 days prior to tassel, whichever occurs first. The application rates of DiFlexx DUO vary from 24 to 40 fl oz/acre depending on weed type and growth stage. Apply a maximum of two applications per growing season, separated by two weeks or more. EPA Reg. No. 264-1184. Modes of Action: 4 + 27.

Enlist™ DUO

[2,4-D choline (24.4%) + glyphosate (22.1%)]
For control of annual and perennial weeds in Enlist corn only. Do NOT use this product on Roundup Ready, Liberty Link, or any other type of corn. This herbicide is based on Colex-D technology. 2,4-D products that do not contain Colex-D technology are not authorized for use in Enlist corn and soybeans. It is a systemic herbicide intended for control of annual and perennial weeds.

Apply 3.5 to 4.75 pints of Enlist Duo per acre. Apply when weeds are small and corn is no larger than V8 growth stage or 30 inches tall (free standing), whichever occurs first. For corn heights 30 to 48 inches (free standing), apply using only ground application equipment using drop nozzles aligned to avoid spraying into the whorl of corn plants. Make one to two applications with a minimum of 12 days between applications. Do not apply more than 4.75 pints of Enlist Duo per acre per application. Do not apply more than 14.25 pints/acre of Enlist Duo per use season. EPA Reg. No. 62719-649. Modes of Action: 4 + 9.


[mesotrione (40%)]
Incinerate is for control of annual broadleaf weeds in field corn, seed corn, yellow popcorn, and sweet corn. This product has an active ingredient similar to Dual II Magnum. EPA Reg. No. 100-1131-1381. Mode of Acton: 27.


acetochlor (31%) + mesotrione (3.3%) + clopyralid (2.7%)]
Resicore is for control of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in field corn, seed corn, and silage corn with preplant, pre-emergence, and post-emergence application. Resicore can only be applied preplant or pre-emergence in yellow popcorn. Resicore is a premix of three herbicides with different modes of action. The application rate of Resicore is in the range of 2.25 to 3.0 qts/acre based on soil texture and organic matter content. EPA Reg. No. 62719-693. Modes of Action: 15 + 27 + 4.


Early registration ends soon for the 29th Annual Governor’s Ag Conference, March 14-15, 2017, at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney. After Feb. 28, the conference registration fee increases from $100 to $125. 

“The Governor’s Ag Conference is an important event for farmers, ranchers, ag leaders and agri-business managers in Nebraska,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach. “Along with a line-up of great speakers, the conference provides participants a chance to network, share ideas and concerns, and learn more about the future of agriculture.”

The conference starts Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 3:30 p.m., with welcomes and remarks from Governor Pete Ricketts and NDA Director Ibach.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a panel discussion on “Growing Nebraska in Broken Bow.” The panel features Broken Bow’s community leaders from city government, the Chamber of Commerce, and agriculture, including specialists in purchasing, production and finance.

The annual “Celebrate Nebraska Agriculture” reception begins at 6:00 p.m. on March 14 and features a mix of Nebraska food products and entertainment by leadership expert and author Rhett Laubach.

The conference resumes on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, with the following speakers:

·         Doug Carr, senior account executive at Firespring, who will discuss domestic trade and the value of a brand;

·         Bobby Richey, Jr., deputy administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, who will discuss working with USDA/Foreign Ag Service and Nebraska’s international branding efforts;

·         Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, speaking on the “Outlook for the Farm Bill and Other Farmer Priorities in the Trump Administration;” and

·         Dr. Michael Boehm, vice chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and vice president for NU’s Agriculture and Natural Resources who will discuss people, places, partnerships and possibilities.

“We’re fortunate to be able to bring such knowledgeable and experienced speakers to this conference to share information about marketing, economic development and farm policies and what it all means to Nebraska agriculture,” said Ibach.

The Governor's Ag Conference is coordinated by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and is co-sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America. Registration and additional information is available online at nda.nebraska.gov or by calling 800-831-0550.

CattleFax elects Officers for 2017

Todd Allen, a cattle feeder from Newton, Kan., has been elected 2017 President of CattleFax, one of several new officers elected at the 49th annual business meeting of the organization on Feb. 2, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.

Allen has been involved in cattle feeding throughout the Central Plains for over 35 years. He has served on several committees and in leadership positions for Kansas Livestock Association, including President. At the national level Allen has served on the Executive Committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and has served on various NCBA committees, including Beef Safety, Live Cattle Marketing and Product Science and Technology. 

President Elect is Dale Smith, a stocker Operator from Amarillo, Texas.  Nick Hunt of Atlantic, Iowa was elected to replace Jamie Willrett of Malta, Ill., representing the Midwest region. Don Quincey of Chiefland, Fla., was re-elected to a four-year term representing the Southeast region.

Other directors currently serving terms for CattleFax are: Pono Von Holt of Kamuela, Hawaii; Mark Frasier of Fort Morgan, Colo.; Jerry Adams of Broken Bow, Neb.; and Jeff Sparrowk of Clements, Calif.  Tom Jensen of Omaha, Neb., will continue as Finance Director.

New Research Examines Beef Demand Indices

Beef demand is critical to understand and monitor as it directly influences overall beef industry prosperity. When beef demand strengthens, beef and cattle prices for the entire industry are higher than they otherwise would be, says Kansas State University Economist Glynn Tonsor. This highlights the clear economic value in accurately measuring beef demand. One way to do this is through construction of an index that provides an easy to understand, single-measure indicator of beef demand over time. A beef checkoff-funded study by Glynn T. Tonsor, and Ted. C. Schroeder, both of Kansas State University, recently examined the feasibility of developing new foodservice and grocery store beef demand indices.

“Despite the usefulness of existing demand indices for monitoring demand strength, all have a number of important limitations,” says Tonsor. “Indices that are updated more frequently, and that can be dissected by product or market region, can be especially informative about where demand is changing most. Armed with such information, the beef industry could better adjust, target and monitor product marketing strategies.”

As beef demand changes over time, insights from regularly updated demand indices would provide the entire industry a barometer of demand strength. Operators throughout the nation’s retail sector could use this information to benchmark their own situation within the broader beef demand position. If demand is improving in a retailer’s region but not in their operation, that information might lead to more timely solutions to their marketing challenges. Conversely, if a retailer’s operation is experiencing stronger beef demand than their broader region, that could provide valuable lessons about the elements of “winning strategies.”

“Ultimately a deeper understanding of any situation requires ongoing effort and appreciation for details that previously may have been ignored. Beef demand is no different,” says Tonsor. “Previously available insights regarding beef demand were limited to summarizing the situation in a highly aggregated, national manner. Going forward, refined insights specific to geographic regions or product type could be used to refine understanding of current beef demand.”

It is the researchers’ hope that this improved understanding will assist all beef industry stakeholders, including retailers who act as the face of the industry for consumers.

 NPPC Applauds White House Appointment; Champion of Agriculture to Advise President Trump

 Filling a position left vacant for most of the Obama administration, the National Pork Producers Council applauds today’s White House appointment of Ray Starling to the position of Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Aid. Starling currently serves as chief of staff for Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C. The following statement can be attributed to John Weber, president of the National Pork Producers Council.

“By picking a true champion of American agriculture to serve in this key advisory role, President Trump is sending a clear signal of his commitment to reverse unnecessary regulations inhibiting pork producers and all U.S. farmers from doing what they do best: supplying the world with the most nutritious, affordable and abundant food available.

“Growing up raising hogs on a farm in North Carolina that his family continues to operate today, Ray’s long, distinguished career in agriculture policy has always been informed by a deep understanding of pork producers and a sector so vital to our economy and national security. We look forward to working with Ray and the Trump administration to address the needs of rural America.”

Cattlemen Applaud Appointment of Starling to Council of Economic Advisors

Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA’s) senior vice president of government affairs, today released the following statement in response to Ray Starling’s appointment to President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors:

“This is great news not just for America’s cattle producers, but for America’s entire economy. In short, Ray Starling gets it. He has a sharp understanding of how the economy works, and especially how the agricultural sector operates and benefits the citizens of every state in the nation, while also providing the world’s safest and most prosperous food supply. This is an A+ appointment, and we look forward to working with Ray and the rest of the president’s team on behalf of the American beef industry.”

NCGA Welcomes Exploration of the World of Corn

U.S. corn farmers reached new heights in 2016, growing the largest crop on record at 15.1 billion bushels, with a record national average yield of 174.6 bushels per acre.

To highlight this achievement, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage. In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year's distribution includes a poster highlighting the ways corn farmers increase sustainability while also growing demand for their crop.

"America's corn farmers demonstrated their ability to sustainably produce an abundant crop in 2016," NCGA President Wesley Spurlock and Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak note in the introduction. "This record-setting crop offers infinite possibilities for feeding and fueling a growing world. From renewable fuels to high-quality feed to food ingredients, corn improves our lives today and offers a future limited only by our imaginations."

World of Corn is a respected collection of the most important statistics about corn production, exports and consumption, providing key information in a readable format, comparing numbers and trends across the years.

Again this year, NCGA proudly offers an interactive online presentation of the World of Corn that allows users to easily locate information or to explore the limitless possibilities the crop offers at their leisure. The format offers improved navigability with an elegant user interface.

To explore the World of Corn online, click here... http://worldofcorn.com

This year's publication, which was generously co-sponsored by Monsanto, is distributed through The Progressive Farmer and at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio.  A special edition of the World of Corn featuring statistics in metric measurements will soon follow.

Growth Energy Denounces Illegitimate Efforts to Rewrite RFS

Growth Energy today condemned efforts by Carl Icahn, owner of CVR Refining, to strike a backroom deal with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) that would irreparably change the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by shifting the point of obligation from oil refiners to fuel retailers and violating the Trump Administration’s commitment to the RFS.

“If true, this proposal would eviscerate America’s progress under the RFS and impose indefensible costs on consumers,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Neither RFA nor Carl Icahn have the authority to strike a ‘deal.’ Mr. Icahn does not work for the U.S. government; he owns CVR Refining, which would profit directly from this change.  RFA does not represent a majority of the biofuels industry; RFA’s largest member is an oil refiner, which would also profit directly from such a change. They’re negotiating for the same side – and that is not the side of the ethanol industry or the American farmer.

“This move would be a slap in the face of rural America, its representatives in Congress, and the president. This is precisely the sort of self-serving insider deal the American consumer rejects. The administration must reject any such proposed deal and protect the program that has been working for 11 years to deliver better, cleaner, and more affordable choices at the pump.

“In exchange for getting his company an exemption for its responsibility under current law, Mr. Icahn has allegedly promised support for a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver from the EPA, a change that already has strong bipartisan support because it is a common sense solution that would increase summer sales of higher ethanol blends.

“Any assertion that this tradeoff would ‘greatly expand the market opportunities for ethanol’ is simply untrue. An RVP waiver means little if retailers no longer have an incentive to sell higher ethanol blends. This would halt and likely reverse all the progress we’ve made with hundreds of gasoline retailers who now offer consumers higher blends of ethanol. Changing the point of obligation impacts hundreds, if not thousands of new parties, demanding new rules, new staff, and new infrastructure. Moreover, the EPA is ill-equipped to manage such a large-scale restructuring of fuel markets, which could mean turmoil for retailers, higher costs for consumers, and years of uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of workers in the biofuel industry.”

CWT Assists with 2.6 Million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 19 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold) and Tillamook County Creamery Association. These member cooperatives have contracts to sell 2.588 million pounds (1,174 metric tons) of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, and 52,360 pounds (23.75 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from February through May 2017.

So far this year, CWT has assisted member cooperatives that have contracts to sell 10.962 million pounds of American-type cheeses and 1.375 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 11 countries on four continents. The sales are the equivalent of 132.124 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

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

Zoetis Introduces Veterinary Feed Directive Mobile Application

To benefit veterinarians and their busy schedules amid the implementation of the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) regulation, Zoetis has introduced a mobile application for use on smartphones, helping simplify the process of writing a VFD for AUREOMYCIN® (chlortetracycline) or AUREO S 700® (chlortetracycline/sulfamethazine) for their cattle clients.

“Veterinarians now have the important responsibility of providing oversight and issuing VFDs for the use of medicated feeds, including AUREOMYCIN and AUREO S 700,” said Lynn Godbersen, senior marketing manager, feed additives with Zoetis. “Our goal is to provide a convenient and mobile tool for veterinarians to help facilitate the process of successful VFD implementation.”

The free VFD mobile app from Zoetis allows veterinarians to:
-    Easily download and register for the app at no charge.
-    Enter client information.
-    Ensure appropriate product indications based on animal health need, for seamless VFD development.
-    Access product information and combination clearances.
-    Quickly calculate drug levels per ton for the ration with a feed additive calculator.
-    Easily access previously issued VFDs.

The mobile application generates a PDF that can be emailed to clients and feed distributors. Further enhancing convenience and reducing unnecessary time and paperwork, the app saves the VFD in the veterinarian’s account, should it need to be reissued for the same client in the future.

“In an effort to demonstrate our continued commitment to veterinarians, we’re excited to offer this unique tool that will simplify the process of creating a VFD and assist veterinarians with providing the appropriate oversight to their clients when they utilize AUREOMYCIN and AUREO S 700 in the feed,” said Dr. Mitch Blanding, associate director, Beef Technical Services at Zoetis.

The app is available now for iOS (iPhone®) or Android™ phone operating systems. The links, when opened on a mobile device, will take you directly to the app store for your device. Or you can also search for My VFD app in iTunes® or Zoetis VFD Management in Google Play™. For more information, please visit with your Zoetis representative.

Mississippi River Sees Grain Barge Glut

A glut of idled river barges is clogging Mississippi River shorelines from St. Louis to New Orleans, leaving U.S. barge companies that haul grain, coal and other bulk goods counting their losses. Even with record-large exports of corn and soybeans, typically a boon for shippers that haul grain to Gulf Coast export terminals, the collapse of coal shipments to the lowest levels in decades has left the dry bulk barge fleet chasing too little cargo.

In pursuit of rising grain volumes since 2014, many shippers expanded their fleets too quickly.

Barge lease rates paid to companies like Archer Daniels Midland Co's American River Transportation Company, privately held Ingram Barge and a handful of smaller operators are at 1-1/2-month lows and more than 30 percent below the five-year average for February. Rates from St. Louis to the Gulf Coast of $8.40 per ton are down from a pre-harvest high of $18.00 - not enough for many barge companies to turn a profit.

A rise in grain shipments has not been enough to offset the steeper decline in coal shipments. Grain barge shipments rose 21 percent from 2012 to 2015 to a near-record 89.7 million tons, but coal shipments dropped by nearly 47 million tons in that period, to 126.2 million tons. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which tracks barge traffic, has not yet released data for 2016.

Demand for barges is at "historically weak levels," barge maker Trinity Industries Inc told analysts on a conference call last week. Orders for new barges in the fourth quarter totaled just $18 million, compared with $190 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Some barge lines are paying companies to lash their mothballed vessels along river banks rather than lose money keeping them active, according to barge brokers. At least 11 percent of the fleet was idled this winter, a number that could double by spring as South America's harvest competes with the United States for exports, according to industry estimates.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Friday February 24 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.45 million cattle on feed on February 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down slightly from last year. Placements during January totaled 540,000 head, up 10 percent from 2016. Fed cattle marketings for the month of January totaled 450,000 head, up 3 percent from last year. Other disappearance during January totaled 10,000 head, down 5,000 head from last year.


Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 640,000 head on February 1, 2017, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 7 percent from January 1, 2017, and up 3 percent from February 1, 2016. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 585,000 head on feed, up 4 percent from last month but down 6 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,225,000 head, up 6 percent from last month but down 1 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during January totaled 128,000 head, an increase of 23 percent from last month and up 44 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 81,000 head, up 37 percent from last month but down 10 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 209,000 head, up 28 percent from last month and up 17 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during January totaled 86,000 head, down 16 percent from last month but unchanged from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 52,000 head, up 11 percent from last month but down 31 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 138,000 head, down 7 percent from last month and down 14 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 6,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 1 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.8 million head on February 1, 2017. The inventory was 1 percent above February 1, 2016.

By State:  (1,000 hd - % of Feb 1 '16)

Colorado .......:        900          102              
Iowa .............:         640          103              
Kansas ..........:      2,210          103            
Nebraska ......:      2,450          100              
Texas ............:      2,450          101        

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 1.98 million head, 11 percent above 2016. Net placements were 1.93 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 380,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 445,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 585,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 410,000, 900-999 pounds were 116,000, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 45,000 head.

New placement weight categories are available this month. The new categories are 800-899 pounds, 900-999 pounds, and 1,000 pounds and greater. Information for January 2017 and January a year ago can be found on page 5 of this publication. This additional information will be published monthly in the Cattle on Feed report.

By State:  (1,000 hd - % of Jan '16)

Colorado .......:      180           124             
Iowa .............:       128           144             
Kansas ..........:       480           116              
Nebraska ......:       540           110              
Texas ............:       360           107         

Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.75 million head, 10 percent above 2016.  Other disappearance totaled 53,000 head during January, 5 percent below 2016.

By State:  (1,000 hd - % of Jan '16)

Colorado .......:      175          135             
Iowa .............:        86           100             
Kansas ..........:      430           121              
Nebraska ......:      450           103             
Texas ............:      320            98         

2016 Cattle on Feed and Annual Size Group Estimates

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head represented 81.2 percent of all cattle and calves on feed in the United States on January 1, 2017. This is comparable to the 80.4 percent on January 1, 2016.

Marketings of fed cattle for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head during 2016 represented 87.1 percent of total cattle marketed from all feedlots in the United States, down slightly from 87.2 percent during 2015.

Nebraska Pork Producers Elect New Directors and Officers

Nebraska’s Pork industry gathered at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center in Lincoln for their Annual Meeting to address industry issues, recognize the Outstanding Pork Service Award winners, Allied Members and elect new directors and officers.

Russ Vering with Central Plains Milling in Howells was re-elected President for the Association. Darin Uhlir of St. Paul will serve as 1st Vice President, Tim Chancellor of Broken Bow assumed the position of 2nd Vice President, and Kevin Peterson of Osceola was elected to fill the 3rd Vice President position. Elected to his first two-year term as Director is Paul Segner of Friend. Alan Stephens of Elkhorn and Alesha Meyer of Diller were elected as alternate directors. 

John Csukker and Michael Luckey of Columbus, Stuart Spader of Waco, Darin Uhlir of St. Paul and Aaron Reichmuth of Humphrey were elected to serve another two-year term on the Board of Directors. Retiring from the Board of Directors was Aaron Kavan of York. 

The Annual Meeting began with Progress and Promise in the Pork Industry, a panel discussion     
on expanding the pork industry in Nebraska. Mike Brumm of Brumm Swine Consultancy located
in Mankato, Minnesota enlightened the audience with past, present and future trends in our
industry with a list of Brummism’s. Bill Davis, Senior Director for Congressional Relations with
the National Pork Producers Council shared issues, atmosphere, and developments from our
Nation’s Capital. A panel of Human Resource and Recruitment professionals reflected on
employee hiring and retention practices.

NPPA President Russ Vering recognized more than sixty industry Allied Members. He thanked
them for their financial support that allows NPPA to do continuing education, provide leadership
opportunities, assist with special projects and also for sharing their time and expertise.

2016 Outstanding Pork Service Award Winners and Hall of Fame Inductees Honored

Russ Vering, President of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association recognized the 2016 Outstanding Pork Service Award winners at a ceremony held in conjunction with NePPA’s Annual Meeting. The Outstanding Pork Service Awards are given annually to recognize exceptional work by an individual, company, or organization that has advocated the fundamental efforts of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association.

Plaques were presented to each of the 2016 winners by NePPA President Vering. Acknowledging the National Pork Trailer and the exceptional individuals who travel with it, the Pork Service Award for Promotions was presented to Glen Roest and Jayne McCowell. Former Executive Director of AFAN, Willow Holoubek was recognized as the Producer Outreach award winner for her numerous speaking engagements on behalf of the pork industry. His positive voice and promotion of the Industry made Dave Harrington of St. Paul the obvious choice for Industry Outreach. Accepting the award for Outstanding Allied Member for Parks of Nebraska located in Humphrey was manager, Kevin Nolan.

Hall of Fame Inductees Terry O’Neel of Friend and Bruce Livingston of Fairbury were honored at the annual Ribs and Bibs, Salute to State Senators banquet. The guest speaker at the event was Governor Pete Ricketts.

Terry O’Neel of Friend was inducted into the Check-off Hall of Fame. For twenty-seven years Terry has been an active member of county, state and national committees and boards. Back in 1985 he joined the Saline County Pork Producers by, 1987 he was an officer, and by 1988 President. He went on to be a State Director from 2001 to 2009 and served as State President in 2007. He will begin term as National President in March of this year. “He takes great pride in his farrow to finish pork operation and shares his years of experience in the industry. Terry has earned and held the respect of fellow pork producers through his leadership and enthusiasm for the pork industry,” stated President Vering. 

Inducted into the Voluntary Check-Off Hall of Fame was Bruce Livingston of Fairbury. By the time Bruce has graduated from high school he owned a 150 sow farrow to finish operation. He turned it into a nationally recognized operation. With his early commitment to the hog business, a strong work ethic learned from his parents, and expansion always on the horizon, his sow number is 25,000 and growing. At the induction President Vering read, “In a recent article Bruce was quoted as saying, I could not wait for the weekends and summer breaks to arrive so I could work with pigs”, the scenario maybe a little different now days, but I’ll bet the sentiment is the same and the future of Livingston Enterprises is secure.”

NePPA Announces Participants in 2017 Pork Mentorship Program

The Nebraska Pork Producers Association is proud to welcome participants of the 2017 Pork Mentorship Program. This year, six students will participate in the program, which has worked to further develop youth leaders through individual and group based learning experiences since 1999.

Participants in the 2017 Pork Mentorship Program are:

Catherine Jones of Omaha, is a junior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication;

Cheyenne Gerlach of DeWitt, is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agricultural Economics;

Fina Choat of Saint Edward, is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Pre-Veterinary Medicine;

Marissa Kegley of Kearney, is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science;

Thomas Waldo of DeWitt, is a junior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agricultural Economics;

Vanessa Knutson of Palmyra, is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agricultural Education with an option in teaching;

The 2017 Pork Mentorship Program is comprised of six members attending college at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, with academic majors that represent a cross section of interests and disciplines within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Each year, participants in the Pork Mentorship Program participate in activities that encourage personal growth, career readiness, and develop leadership skills, while expanding their knowledge of the pork industry. Participants are also active in projects that encourage giving back to their community. Each of the participants will receive a $500 scholarship upon the successful completion of requirements throughout the year-long program.


The production of Iowa’s field and miscellaneous crops was valued at $14.9 billion in 2016, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Crop Values summary. This was a 5 percent increase from 2015.

The value of corn for grain production totaled $9.18 billion, up 4 percent from the previous year, and production was up 9 percent. Iowa’s corn price averaged $3.35 per bushel, a decrease of $0.17 from the last marketing year.

Up 9 percent from 2015, the value of soybean production was $5.34 billion, even though production was only up 3 percent. Average prices increased $0.49 from the previous year to $9.40 per bushel.

Value of production decreased in 2016 from 2015 for oats, alfalfa hay, other hay, and all forage. Value of production increased from the previous year for winter wheat.

'Working Together: Farmer and Lender Webinar’ provides tips to navigate 2017 and beyond

Good communication between farmers and their lenders has always been important, but the current agricultural economy makes the strength of that relationship critical to sustainability.  To help foster and grow farmer-banker relationships, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) have partnered to present ‘Working Together: Farmer and Lender Webinar’ on Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 p.m., as part of the IFBF Margin Management Webinar Series.  

The future outlook for the ag economy is foggy, and high production costs coupled with commodity volatility makes this a very challenging time for both farmers and lenders.  This collaborative IFBF webinar is designed to give tips to help navigate 2017 and plan for the future.

“Ultimately, lenders should be considered a strategic advisor for farmers, as they work to help the operation survive and thrive,” says Ed Kordick, IFBF commodity services manager. “We hope participants take the opportunity to pick up some tips on growing the relationship with their banker to truly maximize the resources and opportunities available.”

Kim Greenland, senior vice president of City State Bank and Mount Ayr branch manager, will speak about the communication between lender and farmer and the expectations lenders have.  Robert Hartwig, legal counsel and ag committee staff liaison with the Iowa Bankers Association, will also share his insights to help farmers understand challenges that lenders face.

“We are excited to partner with Farm Bureau to help assist Iowa farm producers with understanding lender expectations during this economic cycle.  IBA members are always focused on their customers’ success and the overall goal of building wealth in their farm operations, no matter what economic conditions persist,” said Bob Hartwig, IBA Legal Counsel.         

Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.  Participants can register in advance or join the live webinar as a guest a few minutes prior to the 1:00 p.m. start time.

Dairy Beef Short Course Coupled with Dairy Expo

The third annual Dairy Beef Short Course will be offered March 28 at the Denny Sanford Premier and Convention Center, Sioux Falls.  This is a Pre-Welcome Reception Educational Events at the Central Plains Dairy Expo and is being hosted by the I-29 Moo University Collaboration.  Topics covered will include:

- Vaccination and Implant Protocols: Workshop will cover selecting the right vaccines and implants for your operation to improve herd health, optimize performance, and exceed customer expectations. Presented by Russ Daly, SDSU Extension Veterinarian.

- Managing Liver Abscesses in the VFD Age: Participants will learn about management strategies to minimize acidosis and liver abscess issues and comply with the VFD regulations. Presented by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Specialist.

- Marketing Dairy Beef in 2017: This workshop will focus on issues surrounding marketing dairy beef, including market access, price discovery, increased red meat supply, and end product specifications. Presented by Brad Kooima, President Kooima & Kaemingk Commodities, Inc.

- Financial Management and Working with Lenders: This workshop will provide attendees with insight into what bankers are looking for as they work with cattle feeders. Presented by Dave Karnopp, Retail Commercial Lender/Beef Specialist - Farm Credit Services.

The Dairy Beef Short Course begins 10 a.m. with registration; program starts at 10:30 a.m. and will end at 3 p.m.  The agenda will allow for attendees to take in the evening entertainment at the Welcome Reception for the Central Plains Dairy Expo.

To cover costs, there will be a $25 registration fee which will include lunch. We would appreciate registrations by March 27th to insure a spot at the meeting, since attendance is limited to 80 people. Please contact the Watertown Regional Extension Office at 605-882-5140 or email to register. On-line registration will be available on the iGrow events page after Feb. 25.

In its 12th year of collaboration, I-29 Moo University has established a learning community which is a cooperative effort of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, and Nebraska University Extension personnel along with the SW Minnesota Dairy Profit Initiative, Iowa State Dairy Association, Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Nebraska State Dairy Association, and the South Dakota Dairy Producers. The objective of various educational venues offered is to bring research-based information to stakeholders while helping to grow a sustainable agricultural industry.

Corn, Soybean, Wheat Crops Projected to Come Down, But Supplies Still High in 2017

In its early forecast for crop production, USDA's Outlook for crops lowers corn, soybean and wheat production for the 2017-18 crop year.

USDA pegs corn production at 14.065 billion bushels, 7% below a year ago with an average yield of 170.7 bushels per acre, down from last year's record yield of 174.6 bpa. USDA projects corn acreage at 90 million planted acres, down 4 million from 2016.

Despite USDA boosting soybean planted acres for this spring by 4.6 million acres to a record 88 million acres, USDA still lowers projected soybean production to 4.18 billion bushels, 3% lower than 2016 with an average yield of 48 bpa, down 4.1 bushels from 2016.

Wheat production is projected at 1.837 billion bushels, down 20% from last year with a yield expected at 47.1 bpa, down 10% from last year. Planted wheat acres are projected at 46 million, down 4.6 million from last year.

The USDA Outlook is the department's first major forecast of the 2017-18 marketing year, which will be updated in the March 31 prospective plantings report.

Expect Growth in Beef, Hog and Poultry Production

Is there such a thing as too much meat? Maybe, according to the USDA World Agricultural Board.

In an initial 2017 outlook comments for the beef, pork, and poultry industry, USDA cited 2016 as a record year for meat production in the U.S., which could weigh down markets as production continues to climb in 2017 and the U.S. beef herd enters its fourth year of expansion.

No single sector of the meat production industry set records, but together, beef, pork, broilers and turkey all increased production 3.1% from 2015 to a record 97.6 billion pounds in 2016. And 2017 may set more records, namely for red meat and poultry production, which are expected to increase more than 3% and surpass 100 billion pounds for the first time ever.

These soaring production levels will have the expected depressing effect on prices, USDA added. The board predicted lower prices for cattle, hogs and turkeys in 2017. Broiler prices are expected to make only "fractional" gains in the coming year.

As a result of lower prices, exports are expected to improve slightly, but the strong U.S. dollar and continued modest economic global growth will likely hamper any significant export gains.


Michael Springer, a third-generation crop and hog farmer from southeastern Kansas, Thursday testified on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council on the 2018 Farm Bill at a field hearing held by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Among other provisions, NPPC wants lawmakers to include in the next Farm Bill:
-    Authorization and funding for an FMD vaccine bank.
-    Funding for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which conducts diagnostics on animal diseases, and for grants to states for disease surveillance.
-    An increase in funding for agricultural research to ensure that the U.S. livestock industry maintains its competitiveness in the global marketplace.
-    Funding levels that sustain the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program, which support U.S. exports.
-    Funding levels maintained for conservation programs.

In written testimony presented to the committee, which held its first in a series of field hearings at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., NPPC urged Congress and the Trump administration to pursue in the 2018 Farm Bill “policies and regulations that support the U.S. pork industry rather than hinder its ability to continue producing safe, lean and nutritious pork and pork products for the global marketplace.”


More than 500 agricultural, conservation, food and nutrition-assistance organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council and 13 state pork producer associations, urged Senate and House lawmakers on the budget and on the appropriations committees to reject cuts to farm and feeding programs included in the next Farm Bill. The groups pointed out in a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the committees that the 2014 Farm Bill included significant cuts, which were estimated to contribute $23 billion to deficit reduction over 10 years. The cuts, they said, resulted from “hard choices” made to reform and reduce the farm safety net, conservation initiatives and nutrition assistance.

“With the agriculture and rural economy struggling, households across the country struggling to meet their basic needs for nutrition, and farm income down 46 percent from only three years ago, it would be perilous to hinder development and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill with further cuts,” said the organizations.

NGFA supports STB proposal requiring railroads to make information available online

The NGFA supported the Surface Transportation Board's (STB) proposal to require Class I railroads to post and make available common carrier tariff rates and service terms for agricultural products and fertilizer on their respective websites in a statement submitted to the agency on Feb. 21.

The STB proposed the rule to update its 20-year-old regulations to reflect the fact that Class I railroads have begun making common carrier tariff rates and service terms available on their websites, rather than in paper form. Such information is required to be made available under the Interstate Commerce Termination Act of 1995. Agricultural transportation represents the largest users of common-carrier (non-contract) rail service, with grain representing approximately one-third of all common-carrier movements.

The NGFA strongly supported the STB's proposal that such information needs to be made available to all persons, not just the customers or prospective customers of the given railroad, and urged the agency to refine its proposal to prohibit current impediments to accessing such information that exist on some carriers' websites. The NGFA's statement noted that some carriers currently erect barriers to accessing tariff rates and service terms through cumbersome and time-consuming registration requirements or password-protection requirements that preclude the public from accessing such information.

"The STB should make it abundantly clear in its final regulations that such registration features must provide for immediate and unrestricted access to any person - not just current or potential customers - of all tariff rates, pricing information and all applicable service terms and conditions for agricultural commodities and fertilizer," as required under federal law.

In addition, the NGFA statement urged the STB to require that Class II and III railroads, if they voluntarily decide to provide tariff and service terms on their websites, do so under the same rules for transparency, accessibility and format usability as required of Class I railroads.

The NGFA statement also commended the STB for issuing a clarifying policy statement contained in the same proposed rulemaking document that would allow farmers, agricultural producers and state attorneys general (on behalf of farmers or shippers) to be potentially eligible to be granted standing to bring a rate challenge - and to aggregate their rate claims - at the STB, even though they have not been directly harmed and/or are not direct payers of rail freight. The NGFA concurred with the STB that current law expressly allows grain producers and other indirectly harmed parties to challenge unreasonable freight rates by filing complaints before the agency.

Case IH Celebrates 175 Years

Case IH is beginning a year of celebrations to commemorate its 175th anniversary at its global headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin. It was there, on the shores of the Root River, that founder Jerome Increase Case established Racine Threshing Machine Works to produce a revolutionary machine to speed up the separation of grain after harvest.

"I find it amazing to see just how far the farming industry and our company have come during the last 175 years, especially given the fact that we are stronger today than ever before," Case IH President Andreas Klauser said.

He added that the common theme that has always guided by innovative approach to provide customers with ever-improving technologies that enable them to farm more efficiently and profitably.

The company's beginnings are closely linked with those of the American economy, as pioneers moved West and new farms were established to feed the growing population centers in the East. In 1869, Case went on to manufacture the first steam engine tractor, which, although wheel-mounted, was drawn by horses and used only to power other machines.

In 1876, Case built the first self-propelled traction steam engine. As steam engines quickly replaced horses for threshing, the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company became the world's largest producer of steam engines by 1886.

In 1902, five companies merged to form the International Harvester Company in Chicago, the deal being brokered, personally, by J.P. Morgan, the American banker who dominated corporate finance and industrial consolidation at the time. The company produced its first combine harvester in 1915 and, in 1923, introduced the Farmall®, the world's first row crop tractor.

Providing greater productivity, reliability and safety, it was a revolutionary unified system of tractors and implements for plowing, cultivating and harvesting. International Harvester sold more than 5 million Farmall tractors and, in 1977, launched the unique single-rotor Axial-Flow® rotary combine, which revolutionized the farming industry with its simplicity, grain quality, grain savings, crop adaptability, matched capacity and high resale value. Axial-Flow combines still set the standard for harvesting performance today.

Case IH was formed in 1985 when J.I. Case acquired the agricultural division of International Harvester, uniting the legacies of Case and IH in a single brand. Its first product, the Magnum™ tractor with horsepower ranging from 160 to 240 horsepower, was introduced in 1987 and became the first tractor to win the Industrial Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America. Now producing up to 380 horsepower, the Magnum tractor continues to be one of the most recognizable Case IH products, and more than 150,000 have been sold.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thursday February 23 Ag News

Nebraska Farmers Union Strongly Opposes Efforts to Dismantle Nebraska’s Unique Public Power System

Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) testified in strong opposition to LB547 brought by Senator Dan Watermeier before the Natural Resources Committee today.  NeFU also strongly opposed LB657 and LB660 brought by Senator Justin Wayne heard by the Natural Resources Committee February 16th.

NeFU President John Hansen described the three bills as a package of bills brought to Senators Wayne and Watermeier by private sector special interests designed to unbundle and deconstruct Nebraska’s reliable, efficient, low cost, public power system.  “While describing their private approach as consumer choice, they are in reality undermining our public owned and controlled system of electrical utilities.  As owners and voters, we vote for the boards that control our public utilities. Replacing a phony choice for real control is a very bad horse trade.  The benefits of ownership and control far outweigh and offset any claimed benefits by out of state business interests,” said NeFU President John Hansen.

Hansen noted that the data clearly shows that all classes of Nebraska electric power users are not only getting reliable energy and first class service, they are paying less for their energy than most states, and less than states served by privately owned utilities with so-called consumer choice.  “The reason NeFU was such a strong advocate in the formation of our public power system was because rural Nebraska was literally left in the dark by the private sector.  Electrical services came to many rural communities in the late 1940’s, long after Omaha and Lincoln had electrical services.  While our public power system is an enormous asset to all Nebraskans, it is an even larger asset for rural Nebraska,” Hansen said.

“Our unique public power system is a kind of publicly owned cooperative.  Public power operates so well because our comprehensive system shares resources in times of need and works together to serve the overall interests of everyone in our state, both urban and rural users and owners.  When ice storms or tornadoes strike, our public power system helps their neighboring systems recover and restore services.  The good neighbor system we now have works very well, Hansen said.

“Our state’s unique public power system has operated so well for so long it is easy for us as owners of our own system to take its many benefits for granted.  We encourage all Nebraskans to contact members of the Natural Resources Committee to let them know that we still appreciate the advantages of our unique public power system, and urge them to oppose and indefinitely postpone (kill) LB657, LB660, and LB547,” Hansen said. 

Deere Opens Strategic Technology Office at ISU

Deere & Company has opened a strategic technology office in the Iowa State University Research Park, growing its on-campus presence in recognition of the world-class research, education, and talent development capabilities at Iowa State.

"We are delighted that John Deere is establishing a physical presence at the ISU Research Park," said Dr. Steven Leath, president, Iowa State University. "This is a significant step forward in creating a world-class research park and fortifying our university-industry partnership model to promote top talent and innovation."

Teams working at the Deere ISU location will focus on developing integrated solutions for John Deere's Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry Divisions. One key area of concentration will be in precision agriculture technology.

The office will allow John Deere to leverage the work of ISU students and its research and to develop a talent pipeline in support of the company's business objectives.

"Working with Iowa State University helps John Deere continue its leadership in precision agriculture and many other areas of technology that are important to our customers," said John May, Deere's president of agricultural solutions and its chief information officer. "This new office at ISU will conduct groundbreaking research, engage future leaders of our industry, and will add to the extensive innovation and research capabilities that John Deere has invested in around the world," May added.

Deere's strategic technology office at ISU will collaborate with the company's business units to complement John Deere's global network of technology and innovation centers. This effort expands Deere's recent work with ISU that has included funding some activities at the university's research farm.

The Iowa State University Research Park offers corporate partners a unique model for leveraging the strong capabilities of the university and its students.

West Central Iowa Leads in Corn Production

The West Central District was Iowa's largest corn producing district in 2016 with 419 million bushels according to estimates released by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The Central District was 3.75 million bushels behind the West Central District.

Kossuth County was the largest corn producing county with 68.4 million bushels produced. Pottawattamie, Crawford, Webster and Sioux rounded out the top five. Other counties producing more than 40 million bushels were Hamilton, Franklin, Woodbury, Plymouth, Hardin, Benton and Clinton.

Cherokee led all counties with an average of 219.7 bushels per acre. Ida, Scott, Shelby, and Cedar counties rounded out the top five with yields over 215 bushels. Sixty of the 99 counties surpassed the 200 bushel mark in 2016.

Plymouth Leads Soybean Output at 13 Million Bushels

In 2016, four Iowa counties produced over 10 million bushels of soybeans, led by Plymouth County, with 13.0 million bushels according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Kossuth (12.8 million), Pottawattamie (11.1 million), and Sioux (10.1 million) also topped the 10 million bushel threshold. Woodbury (9.9 million) rounded out the top 5.

Soybean yields were highest in the northern two-thirds of the state, where all the districts averaged over 60 bushels per acre. The Northwest District produced the highest district average yield at 63.2 bushels per acre.

Statewide, one county (Cherokee) broke the 70 bushel per acre barrier with an average of 70.1 bushels per acre. Forty-eight other counties averaged over 60 bushels per acre. Ida (68.1), Plymouth and Lyon (66.7), and Sioux (66.4) counties rounded out the top 5. No county recorded an average yield less than 50 bushels per acre. Clarke County, at 50.3 bushels per acre, had the lowest yield in the State.

USDA Livestock Slaughter Report:  Record Low Veal Production for January

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.29 billion pounds in January, up 6 percent from the 4.06 billion pounds produced in January 2016.

By State:   (million lbs - % of Jan 2016)

Nebraska .......:     660.1            103      
Iowa ..............:     591.4            101      
Kansas ...........:     453.2            108      

Beef production, at 2.12 billion pounds, was 8 percent above the previous year.  Cattle slaughter totaled 2.58 million head, up 9 percent from January 2016.  The average live weight was down 11 pounds from the previous year, at 1,370 pounds.

Veal production totaled 6.3 million pounds, 5 percent below January a year ago.  Calf slaughter totaled 46,600 head, 12 percent above January 2016.  The average live weight was down 39 pounds from last year, at 235 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.15 billion pounds, 3 percent above the previous year.  Hog slaughter totaled 10.1 million head, 4 percent above January 2016.  The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 284 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 12.3 million pounds, was 9 percent above January 2016.  Sheep slaughter totaled 177,000 head, 10 percent above last year.  The average live weight was 138 pounds, down 1 pound from January a year ago.

USDA Cold Storage January 2017 Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers on January 31, 2017 were up 2 percent from the previous month but down 9 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 5 percent from the previous month but up 1 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were up 11 percent from the previous month but down 16 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 22 percent from last month and down 77 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on January 31, 2017 were up 3 percent from the previous month and up slightly from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 4 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 22 percent from last month and up 17 percent from January 31, 2016.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on January 31, 2017 were up 3 percent from the previous month and up 5 percent from January 31, 2016.  Butter stocks were up 34 percent from last month and up 16 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks were down 6 percent from last month but up 24 percent from a year ago.  Total frozen vegetable stocks were down 7 percent from last month but up 4 percent from a year ago.

USDA Forecasts Higher Soy, Lower Corn Acres

USDA projects soybean acres will grow to 88 million acres planted this spring, up 4.6 million acres from last year, while corn planting will be 90 million acres, down 4 million from last year.

In a broader perspective, USDA projects farmers will have high overall production, slightly lower overall acres and higher exports. Still, USDA forecasts lower overall income for farmers in 2017. That was the first major forecast from the USDA Outlook Forum on Thursday by USDA Chief Economist Bob Johansson.

Corn acreage will decline by 4 million acres even though corn prices will increase slightly to an average of $3.50 per bushel, up about 3% from the 2016-17 marketing year.

Soybeans will see an average price of $9.60 per bushel for the 2017-18 marketing year, up roughly 1.1% from the current marketing year. Still, soybean acres will gain on corn because the price ratio for soybeans is projected at 2.6 times that of corn, based on the February futures prices. If the numbers hold through the rest of the month, they will be the most favorable price spread between soybeans and corn since 1997, Johansson said.

At 88 million acres, soybean planting will be 5.5% higher than 2016 and will ensure another record acreage for the soybean crop this year.

Wheat acres are projected to fall to 46 million acres, down 8.3% from last year. All-wheat acres are continuing to decline, which will help boost the average wheat price, projected at $4.30 per bushel, up 12% from the current marketing year.

Overall total acres for the eight major commodity crops are projected at 249.8 million acres, down 1.4% from the 2016-17 marketing year.

IGC Sees 2016-17 Global Grain Output at Over 2.1B Tons

The International Grains Council said Thursday it expects global grain production to top 2.1 billion metric tons for the first time as it raised its production forecast amid favorable weather.

The IGC increased its monthly output forecast for 2016-17 to 2.102 million tons from 2.094 million tons, which would be a 5% increase year-over-year.

Forecasts of giant harvests in many grain-growing regions have led the IGC to raise its production forecast in nine of its last 10 reports.

"Australia accounts for much of this month's adjustment, including record harvests of wheat and barley, while prospects for maize (corn) improved in South America," the IGC said.

The IGC upgraded its corn production forecast to 1.049 billion tons from 1.045 billion tons and its soybean forecast by 2 million tons to 336 million tons. It left its wheat production forecast of 752 million tons and its rice forecast of 482 million tons unchanged.

It said the upward revision in expected production will be nearly matched by a corresponding hike in its consumption forecast. As a result, its forecast for year-end global grain inventories was raised by just 1 million tons to 508 million tons.

Looking further ahead, the IGC said growing conditions for 2017-18 winter crops that have already been planted in the northern hemisphere "remained mostly favorable."

Farm Credit Reports Year-End Financials

The Farm Credit System reported combined net income of $4.8 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared with $4.7 billion for the prior year. The system also reported combined net income of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016, as compared with $1.2 billion for the fourth quarter of 2015.

"The System continues to execute its mission of lending to rural America despite headwinds arising from low prices for certain commodities," remarked Tracey McCabe, President and CEO of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. "Credit quality remains solid and System institutions remain well capitalized."

Combined net income increased $160 million or 3.4% for the year ended December 31, 2016, as compared with the prior year. The increase resulted primarily from an increase in net interest income of $432 million and a decrease in the provision for income taxes of $22 million, partially offset by increases in the provision for loan losses of $160 million and noninterest expense of $99 million and a decrease in noninterest income of $35 million. Net interest income increased 6.2% to $7.4 billion for 2016, as compared with $7.0 billion for the prior year.

The increase in net interest income resulted from a higher level of average earning assets, partially offset by a lower net interest spread. Average earning assets grew $24.7 billion or 9.0% to $299.6 billion for 2016, as compared with the prior year. Net interest margin decreased six basis points to 2.49% for 2016, as compared with 2.55% for 2015. The decline in the net interest margin was due to a decrease in the net interest spread of nine basis points to 2.31% for 2016, as compared with 2.40% for 2015.

Heinen Puts Soybean Farm Bill Roadmap on Record at Senate Ag Field Hearing

The American Soybean Association (ASA) laid out its initial approach to the upcoming farm bill negotiations in a hearing today before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry in Manhattan, Kan.

Testifying on behalf of ASA, Lucas Heinen, who farms in Everest, Kan., and serves as the president of the Kansas Soybean Association, pointed to the state of the farm economy as the most compelling signal of the need for a robust risk management framework in the farm bill. Citing falling prices for soybeans and the reduced cost of the 2014 Farm Bill as compared to original estimates, Heinen noted that ASA will push to fund farm bill programs to the level needed to adequately address each program’s needs, even if that means increasing funding.

“I understand that the conventional view in Washington is that the cost of farm programs and other parts of the farm bill will need to be reduced again, just as they were in the 2014 farm bill. This is not acceptable to producers,” said Heinen.

Heinen continued by detailing four key areas in which soybean growers will seek to make headway in the farm bill negotiations, including a strengthening of crop insurance and a continuation of the Agriculture Revenue Coverage option decoupled from planted acreage and with a shift to the use of yield data from USDA’s Risk Management Agency, as well as support for current conservation programs, including EQIP and the Conservation Stewardship Program, agricultural research, and Energy Title programs focused on biodiesel and biobased products.

Heinen also underscored ASA’s commitment to increased funding for the development of export markets in the bill. “We strongly support doubling mandatory funding for the Foreign Market Development program and the Market Access Program to spur promotion of U.S. agricultural exports,” he said. “Funding for these programs has been frozen for over ten years while our foreign competitors are massively outspending us on market promotion.”

Closing his testimony, Heinen repeated ASA’s call to maintain the traditional relationship between producer- and consumer-focused programs in the next bill. “There is a relationship between the need to provide assistance to those who produce food and those who consume it, when either needs that assistance,” he said. “This bond explains how Congress has been able to come together and enact farm bills for over 40 years.”

Kansas Dairy Farmer Lynda Foster Tells Senate Action is Needed to Address Dairy Safety Net, Other Important Ag Issues

Dairy farmers need Congress to make improvements in the dairy title of the farm bill this year, and not wait until 2018 when the current bill expires, according to testimony delivered here today by Kansas dairy farmer Lynda Foster.

In a field hearing Thursday on the campus of Kansas State University, Foster told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee that “dairy farmers deserve better” than the current Margin Protection Program (MPP), created in 2014 by Congress. “We need Congress to act swiftly this year and make the necessary changes in order for our industry to be able to protect ourselves from the bad year that could arrive at any time, even in years where experts are predicting higher margins.”

Foster is a third-generation dairy farmer and owner of Foster Dairy in Ft. Scott, Kansas. She testified on behalf of her cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, as well as the National Milk Producers Federation, of which DFA is a member. Her full testimony can be found here.

The MPP, designed to assist farmers during periods of distressed milk prices or high feed costs, has failed to provide the level of protection envisioned in its original form. This has resulted in decreased participation in the program and dissatisfaction among dairy farmers across the country, Foster said.

“All we are seeking is a program that provides a safety net for dairy farmers when they need it most – something that delivers on the risk management promises dairy leaders and Congress committed to,” said Foster. “In order to do that, we must make adjustments to the program.”

In her remarks, Foster highlighted NMPF’s current effort to change the MPP. One of these changes includes restoring the formula for calculating feed costs to the one developed by National Milk in 2014. After NMPF worked to develop a model to reflect average feed costs for dairy cows, Congress subsequently cut that formula by 10 percent because of what turned out to be inaccurate projections by the Congressional Budget Office on program costs. This error resulted in a flawed calculation of dairy margins, and a much less useful program, Foster said.

Foster also discussed the critical need for proactive policies to help address farm labor demands. Citing a 2015 report prepared by NMPF and Texas A&M University, Foster said 51 percent of all dairy farm workers are foreign-born, and losing that labor would be devastating to the entire dairy industry, from farm to grocery store shelf. It’s why, Foster said, DFA and National Milk are urging Congress to address immigration reform “in a way that addresses agriculture’s needs for a legal and stable workforce.”

What has also changed considerably over the last decade is trade’s impact on dairy, said Foster. The industry went from $1 billion in exports in 2000 to $7.1 billion in 2014. Knowing the impact future trade policies could have on the health of the dairy industry, she said, it’s imperative that the United States protects the progress it has made when negotiating future agreements, or reassessing existing ones like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Foster also thanked the committee for their work on child nutrition programs. Milk has been a key component in school meals for decades, Foster said, but consumption has decreased because children are limited in their drink options. Foster encouraged the Senate to pursue policies that would expand milk offerings in the school lunch program.

Commodity Classic Education Showcases Mississippi Watershed Collaboration

Sharing knowledge is key to the Commodity Classic experience, and this year's attendees will have an opportunity to discover what efforts are being undertaken to address water management challenges within the Mississippi River Watershed. Harald (Jordy) Jordahl, Director of America's Watershed Initiative (AWI) will lead a discussion of private sector partners who are working together to craft meaningful improvements that look at the social, economic and environmental stability of the Mississippi River and its major tributaries.

"The demands on the Mississippi River watershed are growing due to increasing demands for water and productivity, crumbling infrastructure, habitat loss and the expansion of the hypoxic 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico," said Jordahl. "But finding solutions to these challenges is even tougher because the watershed includes parts of 31 states and thousands of local governments and agencies. Any improvements to America's watershed will require different groups and users - both private and public - to work together." The discussion will focus on the collaboration to promote innovation and best practices, direct investments aimed at developing a 'New Watershed Economy,' and efforts to raise the grade of the Mississippi River Watershed Report Card by 2020. Jordahl will be joined by Max Starbuck from the NCGA and Larry Clemens, Agriculture Program Director for The Nature Conservancy.

This Learning Center Session takes place March 3 from 1:45 - 2:45 p.m. room 214 AB at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Soy Growers Urge President Trump to Require Establishment of Under Secretary of Trade, Foreign Ag Affairs

Soy growers are urging President Donald Trump to support the provision contained in the 2014 Farm Bill requiring the U.S. Trade Secretary to establish an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

The American Soybean Association (ASA), along with other agriculture groups sent a letter to Trump this week, emphasizing the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy and highlighting how the Under Secretary would help bring unified high level representation to key trade negotiations with senior, foreign officials and within the Executive Branch.

“Trade currently accounts for more than 25 percent of U.S. farm receipts, and the production from one out of every three acres planted is exported. Our vast and efficient export system, including handling, processing and distribution of our food and agriculture products, creates millions of U.S. jobs and helps feed hundreds of millions all over the globe,” the groups state in the letter. “Our $17 billion net trade balance in agriculture and food products in 2016 represented the single largest contribution to our balance of payments.”

But the groups said despite the success, the trade structure has remained the same since its last reorganization in the ‘70s at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“The U.S. agriculture and food industry is ideally positioned to experience significant growth in the decades ahead given projected population growth of an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050. Yet with these opportunities will also come significant changes to keep existing foreign markets open and gain access to new emerging markets for U.S. farm and food products,” the groups state.

The ag groups added the creation of this Under Secretary position would help modernize USDA’s trade structure and streamline management.

“We believe it is vitally important for U.S. agriculture to fully capitalize on the long-term, increased global demand for farm and food products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Overseas markets represent 73 percent of the world’s purchasing power, 87 percent of the economic growth, and 95 percent of the world’s customers,” they said. “We can take a major step towards that goal by ensuring that the trade structure at USDA is effectively positioned to address the trade challenges and enormous opportunities that await us in the decades ahead.”

Sorghum Becoming Smart Choice for Peruvian Importers

Peruvian livestock may soon feast on U.S. sorghum, thanks to work last week by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) to detail the economic and nutrition advantages of the crop during a conference in Lima.

From a trade perspective, Peruvian importers can purchase U.S. sorghum without an import tariff, per the existing free trade agreement between the United States and Peru, an immediate advantage against corn of any origin.

In addition, U.S. sorghum has little or no tannins, a purposeful plant breeding shift that maximizes the nutrient digestibility of sorghum in livestock and provides a considerable advantage over sorghum from competitors like Argentina and Brazil.

U.S. sorghum also is less susceptible to breakage, contains fewer mycotoxins and has a longer shelf life in hot and humid conditions. As a result, sorghum is a cost effective addition to rations for broiler chickens and laying hens, requiring only slight dietary adjustments that do not increase cost.

During a recent conference, a similar event last year and visits to key decision makers during the summer, Dr. Carlos López, nutritionist and professor at the Autonomous University of Mexico, explained how to adjust the formulation of poultry diets to take full advantage of the nutritional qualities of sorghum.

For example, high tannins reduce the nutritional advantages of sorghum for livestock, so López scientifically demonstrated decades of performance feeding animals tannin-free sorghum varieties planted in the United States, breaking down a strong misconception based on unfavorable results decades ago.

With all these factors combined, USGC staff and consultants estimate the Peruvian poultry industry would reduce input costs by an estimated $10 million if buyers there shifted 30 percent of feed consumption to U.S. sorghum.

“In Peru, previous experiences with high-tannin varieties created a huge barrier,” said Luis Bustamante, USGC marketing specialist for the Western Hemisphere. “Attendees realized Peru has great opportunities to use sorghum and that it is a smart supply decision for the poultry companies of Peru that aspire to form a world-class industry.”

Meeting attendees represented 95 percent of the Peruvian poultry industry as well as representatives from universities, trade, dairy and swine industries. This wide participation showed the strong interest in the grain among local buyers and end-users.

“We received very positive feedback from potential importers on their intention to buy sorghum,” said Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade. “Local traders informed us that they are receiving requests for quotes for the product in a regular basis.”

New study of antibiotic use on farms and antibiotic resistant Salmonella pathogens shows the need for more robust farm to fork research

A team of interdisciplinary scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VA Medical Center Research Service recently reviewed published literature for evidence of a relationship between antibiotic use in agricultural animals and drug-resistant foodborne Salmonella infections in humans, commonly known as salmonellosis. According to the 2013 CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats Report, two of the eighteen pathogens that are of concern in the United States may have a direct link to agriculture — one of them being Salmonella.

Foodborne illness from both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant non-typhoidal Salmonella is estimated to sicken 1.2 million Americans annually (CDC, 2013). The study — conducted by veterinary and nutrition scientists and an infectious disease physician — reviewed 104 articles in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Scotland and Ireland over the past five years and has been published in [volume 57, issue 3] of Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Animals included in the reviewed studies were chicken, turkeys, pigs, beef cattle, and dairy cows.

The overall prevalence of Salmonella and drug-resistance found in the systematic review aligns with recent National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) reports. The 2013 NARMS report showed that 81% of the Salmonella from human infections carried no resistance to any antibiotic, while Salmonella resistance rates in animals vary by the antibiotic tested. The findings of this systematic review did lead the team to important concerns about Salmonella and demonstrated that more research in this area is needed. For example, six articles showed increased antibiotic resistance in organisms derived from animals, not retail meats, used in conventional farming, versus those from antibiotic-free operations. No studies were found that followed animal-associated antibiotic resistant isolates from farm to retail products.

Lead scientist Kristi Helke, D.V.M., Ph.D. remarked, "While there were some studies worth noting in our review, it is most apparent that there is a greater need for a more robust data collection system and heightened publication expectations in the U.S. for transparency in antibiotic usage in both animals and humans. There is still much more research to be done. The agriculture and health care industries must work hand-in-hand with the scientific community, government regulatory agencies and human health community in order to ensure safe, humane, and affordable food sources to the public."

Richard A. Carnevale, V.M.D., Vice President for Regulatory, Scientific and International Affairs at the Animal Health Institute (AHI), who funded the study said, "On January 1, the agriculture community took an important step in promoting the effectiveness of antibiotics by being in full compliance with new FDA mandates—Guidance 209 and 213—which eliminates the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion purposes and requires approval by a licensed veterinarian for all remaining uses in feed through the veterinary feed directive. The proper public health focus—in both humans and animals—should be on using antibiotics only when necessary to fight disease. We support this research and more research like it to promote a positive impact on public health."

Principal investigator on the study, Bernadette Marriott, Ph.D., stated, "Our research results underscore the need for both veterinarians and physicians to work together as we advance toward solutions to concerns about antibiotic resistance."

Syngenta identifies key strategies to fight weed resistance  

As corn and soybean growers deal with an expanding and intensifying threat of resistant weeds, Syngenta is recommending strategies for managing weeds that begin early in the season. 

“Pigweeds have greatly affected our herbicide choices,” said Philip Nelson, a corn grower in Windom, Kansas. “In fact, we now apply herbicides ahead of time to keep the weeds from growing. It’s getting really hard to kill a pigweed at any stage of growth, but you can still kill the sprout and keep it from becoming a problem.”

As growers adopt more sustainable tillage programs and weed resistance to different modes of action expands, the importance of applying the right herbicide at the right time can't be overstated. Overusing the same herbicides without a programmed approach can lead to resistance. 

“It’s important for growers to always monitor their weed-management practices, because subtle weed escapes in a field can be a signal that there may be resistant weeds emerging,” said Dane Bowers, Syngenta herbicide technical product lead.

According to Bowers, if growers notice weeds surviving in fields, even in small numbers, they should consider changes in their management plan to help stop resistance in its tracks. 

“We have been on a herbicide resistance merry-go-round,” Bowers said. “We hop on one horse, or chemistry, and ride it until we wear it out, then we select another horse for the next ride. It is time to step off the merry-go-round and develop resistance-management strategies.”

To avoid getting caught in a cycle of resistance, growers can turn to pre-emergence applications of powerhouse combination technologies, like Acuron® and Acuron® Flexi herbicides for corn and BroadAxe® XC and Boundary® 6.5 EC herbicides for soybeans. These herbicides contain multiple effective modes of action and active ingredients that work together to control tough weeds before they emerge. 

“Using tank-mix partners or premixes with multiple effective modes of action in each application during the growing season can help reduce the selection pressure caused by using a single mode,” said Bowers, who also encourages growers to use residual herbicides whenever possible to help keep their fields clean all season long. 

Syngenta has developed Resistance Fighter® to help growers effectively manage resistant weeds through education, local recommendations and a strong portfolio of herbicides. Syngenta also recommends the following strategies to fight weed resistance: 

•        Start with clean fields. Help control emerged weeds before planting by applying a burndown herbicide plus a pre-emergence residual herbicide.

•        Employ crop rotation. This practice will extend the range of available herbicides and agronomic practices.

•        Rotate herbicide-tolerant traits. Alternate herbicide-tolerant traits or use herbicidetolerant trait stacks for more efficient rotation. This approach enables growers to rotate their herbicide applications and reduce selection pressure on resistant biotypes.

•        Always apply herbicides at the full, labeled rate and correct growth stage.  This ensures the most effective control of weeds in fields.

•        Prevent weed escapes from producing seed. Consider spot herbicide applications, hand removal of weeds or other techniques to stop weed-seed production.  

•        Do not tolerate any weeds in the soil bank. Not allowing surviving weeds to set seed will help decrease annual weed populations and prevent major weed shifts. 

•        Clean equipment. Always clean tillage, seeding and harvest equipment when leaving fields that are infested with herbicide-resistant weeds.

•        Utilize good agronomic practices. Consider narrow rows, increased plant populations and other practices that promote crop growth and competitive ability.