Saturday, September 30, 2017

Friday September 29 Ag News


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 258 million bushels, up 19 percent from 2016, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the total, 91.0 million bushels are stored on farms, up 8 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 167 million bushels, are up 26 percent from last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 23.0 million bushels, up 42 percent from last year. On-farm stocks of 5.00 million bushels are up 133 percent from a year ago, and off-farm stocks, at 18.0 million bushels, are up 28 percent from 2016.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 92.8 million bushels, down 2 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 8.10 million bushels are down 48 percent from 2016 but off-farm stocks of 84.7 million bushels are up 7 percent from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 1.46 million bushels, down 11 percent from 2016. On-farm stocks of 60,000 bushels are down 29 percent from a year ago, and off-farm holdings, at 1.40 million bushels, are down 10 percent from last year.

On-farm oat stocks totaled 1.30 million bushels, up 30 percent from 2016.


Iowa corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017, totaled 504 million bushels, up 20 percent from September 1, 2016, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Grain Stocks report. This is the highest Iowa corn stocks have been on September 1 since 1993. Of the total stocks, 32 percent were stored on-farm. The indicated quarterly disappearance from June - August 2017 totaled 642 million bushels, 7 percent above the 599 million bushels used during the same period last year.

Iowa soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2017, totaled 53.2 million bushels, up 46 percent from the 36.5 million bushels on hand September 1, 2016. Of the total stocks, 28 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for June - August 2017 is 124 million bushels, 16 percent less than the 147 million bushels used during the same period last year.

Iowa oats stored on-farm on September 1, 2017, totaled 2.25 million bushels, up 18 percent from September 1, 2016.

USDA:  Corn Stocks Up 32 Percent from September 2016

Soybean Stocks Up 53 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Down 11 Percent

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 2.29 billion bushels, up 32 percent from September 1, 2016. Of the total stocks, 787 million bushels are stored on farms, up 25 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 1.51 billion bushels, are up 36 percent from a
year ago. The June - August 2017 indicated disappearance is 2.93 billion bushels, compared with 2.97 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 301 million bushels, up 53 percent from September 1, 2016. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 87.9 million bushels, up 112 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 213 million bushels, are up 38 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June - August 2017 totaled 665 million bushels, down 2 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2016 soybean production is revised down 10.6 million bushels from the previous estimate. Planted area is unchanged at 83.4 million acres, and harvested area is revised down 40,000 acres to 82.7 million acres. The 2016 yield, at 52.0 bushels per acre, is down 0.1 bushel from the previous estimate. A table with 2016 acreage, yield, and production estimates by States is included on page 17 of this report.

All wheat stored in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 2.25 billion bushels, down 11 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 489 million bushels, down 33 percent from last September. Off-farm stocks, at 1.76 billion bushels, are down 3 percent from a year ago. The
June - August 2017 indicated disappearance is 668 million bushels, down 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Durum wheat stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 63.9 million bushels, down 30 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 31.1 million bushels, are down 53 percent from September 1, 2016. Off-farm stocks totaled 32.8 million bushels, up 24 percent from a year ago. The June - August 2017 indicated disappearance of 27.3 million bushels is down 31 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Barley stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 180 million bushels, down 22 percent from September 1, 2016. On-farm stocks are estimated at 89.4 million bushels, 32 percent below a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 90.2 million bushels, are 10 percent below September 2016. The June - August 2017 indicated disappearance is 68.7 million bushels, 4 percent below the same period a year earlier.

Oats stored in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 71.8 million bushels, 9 percent below the stocks on September 1, 2016. Of the total stocks on hand, 33.7 million bushels are stored on farms, 10 percent lower than a year ago. Off-farm stocks totaled 38.1 million bushels, 7 percent below the previous year. Indicated disappearance during June - August 2017 totaled 27.9 million bushels, compared with 43.0 million bushels during the same period a year ago.

Old crop grain sorghum stored in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 33.5 million bushels, down 8 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 4.28 million bushels, are up 14 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 29.3 million bushels, are down 11 percent from September 1, 2016. The June - August 2017 indicated disappearance from all positions is 51.2 million bushels, down 5 percent from the same period a year ago.

Old crop sunflower stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017 totaled 649 million pounds, up 57 percent from a year ago. All stocks stored on farms totaled 134 million pounds and off-farm stocks totaled 515 million pounds. Stocks of oil type sunflower seed are 495 million pounds; of this total, 115 million pounds are on-farm stocks and 379 million pounds are off-farm stocks. Non-oil sunflower stocks totaled 154 million pounds, with 18.9 million pounds stored on the farm and 135 million pounds stored off the farm.


Winter wheat production is estimated at 46.9 million bushels, down 34 percent from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The area harvested for grain totaled 1.02 million acres, down 22 percent from 2016. Planted acreage totaled a record low 1.12 million, down 18 percent from a year earlier.  The yield is 46.0 bushels per acre, down 8 bushels from last year.

Oat production is estimated at 1.72 million bushels, up 14 percent from 2016. Area harvested for grain, at 35,000 acres, is up 40 percent from last year. Planted acreage totaled 110,000, down 19 percent from a year earlier. Average yield is 49.0 bushels per acre, down 11 bushels from 2016.


Oat production is estimated at 3.23 million bushels, down 1 percent from last year, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Small Grains 2017 Summary. Oats planted, at 115,000 acres, is down 4 percent from last year. Harvested area for grain is 42,000 acres, down 2 percent from 2016. Oat yield, at 77.0 bushels per acre, is up 1.0 bushels from last year.

Winter Wheat production, at 544,000 bushels, is down 49 percent from last year. Planted acreage, at 16,000, is down 36 percent from 2016. Winter wheat harvested area for grain is 8,000 acres, down 53 percent from last year. Winter wheat yield, at 68.0 bushels per acre, is up 5.0 bushels from 2016.

USDA Small Grains Summary - September 2017

All wheat production totaled 1.74 billion bushels in 2017, down 25 percent from the revised 2016 total of 2.31 billion bushels. Area harvested for grain totaled 37.6 million acres, down 14 percent from the previous year. The United States yield is estimated at 46.3 bushels per acre, down 6.4 bushels from the previous year. The levels of production and changes from 2016 by type are winter wheat, 1.27 billion bushels, down 24 percent; other spring wheat, 416 million bushels, down 22 percent; and Durum wheat, 54.9 million bushels, down 47 percent.

Oat production is estimated at 49.4 million bushels, down 24 percent from 2016. Yield is estimated at 61.7 bushels per acre, down 4.3 bushels from the previous year. Harvested area, at 801,000 acres, is 18 percent below last year.

Barley production is estimated at 142 million bushels, down 29 percent from the revised 2016 total of 200 million bushels. Average yield per acre, at 72.6 bushels, is down 5.3 bushels from the previous year. Producers seeded 2.48 million acres in 2017, down 19 percent from last year. Harvested area, at 1.95 million acres, is down 24 percent from 2016.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               How will you know how much protein and energy your cows will get when you start feeding your hay and silage?  Or how much supplement to feed?  Find out by following instructions for sampling and testing.

               Correct sampling techniques, followed by lab tests of forage quality, are necessary for cattle producers who want to get the most value from their forages and profit from their animals.

               Maybe the most important step in sampling hay, and sometimes the most difficult step, is deciding which bales and stacks should be included in each sample.  Ideally, each sample should include only bales that were produced under nearly identical conditions.

               Obviously, the place to start grouping is to separate different types of hay, like alfalfa or CRP or corn stalk or meadow hay.  But each cutting of hay probably is different from the other cuttings also, so there is another separation.  And no two fields or meadows are ever exactly the same, especially if they were cut more than two days apart, so that makes another grouping.  And what if part of the field was rained on before it was baled?  The hay made without rain damage probably will be different from hay with rain damage.

               After you’ve made all these separations, which could result in quite a few groups of similar bales, then and only then are you ready to sample.  From each group gather a dozen or more cores from different bales or stacks and combine them into one sample.  Be sure to use a good hay probe that can core into at least one foot of the bale.

               Finally, send these samples to a certified lab for tests of energy content and protein, maybe nitrates, and any other nutrients of interest to you.

               Then use this information to feed your cattle as profitably as possible.

NC seeks YCC nominees

The goal of the Nebraska Cattlemen Young Cattlemen's Conference is to deliver a strong foundation of industry knowledge to young and emerging leaders.  YCC is a two year program that provides the leadership tools these producers need to build a successful future.

Affiliates and board members are encouraged to nominate one individual they would like to encourage to get more involved in the beef industry. Current class members believe that if you're looking to get involved in the cattle industry you have passion in, the YCC program is the first step in making a great difference for you and your peers.

Nomination deadline is October 30!

More Information Here...

Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship To Be Awarded

College students enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate students at a fully accredited Nebraska college, university or technical college in an agriculture related degree program are encouraged to apply for the Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship.

The deadline to apply is October 25. Applications will be reviewed, and selection notifications will be sent by November 1. Students may apply for the scholarship online by visiting the youth tab on

The Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship that will be awarded to one deserving applicant each year.

The scholarship is named for Larry E. Sitzman, who retired in 2016 as Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association. Sitzman learned  patriotism, service to our country, and respect for our leaders  from his parents. While  in  high school, he heard John F. Kennedy’s inaugural  address, in which he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you,  ask what you can do for your country.” This address increased his desire to serve.

Agriculture has always been his passion. Throughout his life he has provided service in various forms and from different positions of leadership. Sitzman is known for sharing his voice defending perspectives and asking challenging questions. He served on many state and national agricultural boards before being named the Director of Agriculture for Nebraska in 1991. He ended his working role as Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association in 2016.  Today, Sitzman serves as an active volunteer leader  at the Veterans Administration in Lincoln.

Academics, agriculture, military, and other forms of public service  have all improved in some measure due to the leadership, service, and voice of Larry E. Sitzman. Upon his retirement, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association established this scholarship in his honor.

Eligibility Requirements:
·    Must be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at a fully accredited Nebraska college, university or technical college in an agriculture related degree program
·    Must have at least one full year of study remaining toward a degree
·    Must have plans to work in the agriculture industry upon graduation

Selection will be based on qualities of leadership and participation in collegiate or extracurricular activities related to the agriculture industry.

Remember, the deadline for applications is October 25. Go to to apply online.
For more information, contact Kyla Habrock:

Nebraska Corn 2018-2019 Internship Opportunities Announced

Nebraska Corn is excited to announce its annual internship program for the 2018-2019 season. Through the last several years, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association have provided real-world experiences and opportunities for college interns. These students work directly with Nebraska Corn’s partners the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the National Corn Growers Association.

Each year, Nebraska Corn offers seven internship opportunities. Five of those seven are summer internships located outside of the state. The other two experiences are year-long internships located in the offices of the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Applications are due Friday, November 3, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. CT. For more information on individual internships or for application details, see the program descriptions below.

2018-2019 Internship Opportunities
Communications Internship
Host: Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Location: Lincoln, NE
Duration: May 2018-May 2019

Communications & Market Development Internship
Host: Nebraska Corn Board
Location: Lincoln, NE
Duration: May 2018-May 2019

Marketing & Communications Internship
Host: National Corn Growers Association
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Duration: Summer 2018

Public Policy Internship
Host: National Corn Growers Association
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: Summer 2018

Promotion & International Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Meat Export Federation
Location: Denver, Colorado
Duration: Summer 2018

International Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Grains Council
Location: Washington, D.C.
Duration: Summer 2018

International Agricultural Relations Internship
Host: U.S. Grains Council
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: Summer 2018

To learn about the past internship experiences, read their blogs on the Nebraska Corn Kernels blog...

Iowa Hosts Korean Bioethanol Advisory Team to Learn about the U.S. Ethanol Industry

A U.S. Grains Council (USGC) trade team of Korean grain buyers, researchers, scientists, end-users and government officials visited Iowa last week as part of a learning journey to get in-depth information about the U.S. ethanol industry. This team’s visit included stops at the Iowa Corn office, Jolene Riessen’s family cattle and row crop farm, Quad County Corn Processors ethanol plant in Galva, Golden Grain Energy ethanol plant in Mason City, and Denny Friest’s row crop and hog farm in Radcliffe. They also met with representatives from Kum & Go and the American Lung Association to learn more about ethanol.

“Most of the delegation had never visited a farm before,” stated Riessen, a farmer from Ida Grove. “They seemed amazed by our large farm equipment and the fact that it takes so few people to farm a lot of acres. . Farms in their country consist of one-acre plots and farming remains very labor intensive. The country doesn’t grow its own corn, relying on U.S. imports for their needs. We showed them samples of shelled and cracked corn, silage, and distillers grains. Some had concerns about feed and fuel, but we explained how distiller’s grains are a by-product of the ethanol process and how they are tremendous feedstuff for our cattle operation.”

South Korea is the third largest importer of U.S. corn and U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) thus far in the 2016/2017 marketing year (Sept.-July). And South Korea has purchased 42 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in 2016/2017 with one month remaining in the marketing year. Current U.S. ethanol exports are for industrial use in South Korea, making wider use in the transport fuel sector another area of potential growth.

“We fed them ribeye sandwiches for lunch,” said Riessen. They were impressed by the flavor of the Iowa corn fed beef. “They told us how ribeyes are a popular cut of meat in Korea. We explained how we feed our cattle corn which gives the meat that tremendous flavor.”

The U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) which provides duty-free access for U.S. corn, sorghum, DDGS and ethanol exports has been an important part of the trade relationship between the two countries. The combination of market access, attractive prices and USGC market development work ensures the continued partnership between the United States and South Korea.

Secretary Perdue to Host Regulatory Reform Listening Session

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will host a regulatory reform listening session on Monday, October 2nd to receive input on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) regulatory reform efforts following President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. Secretary Perdue will participate in a discussion with stakeholders and members of the public regarding the ways effective regulatory reform can be accelerated within USDA.  The listening session will take place at the USDA Whitten Building, Williamsburg Room, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

This event will be held in conjunction with similar events held at all other agencies to showcase the Administration’s strategy for regulatory reform and significantly increase the pace of reform across the federal government.

Brazil Raises Tariffs on U.S. Ethanol Exports

According to recent reports, Brazil has imposed a 20 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports. The tariff is a 2-year tariff rate quota (TRQ) and will take place when imports from the United States surpass 158 million gallons.

The action has caused agricultural trade organizations representing biofuels and grain interests to urge lawmakers to take immediate action against this decision.

The TRQ could ultimately affect the two countries' agreement to expand worldwide ethanol demand and trade, and cause Brazilian consumers to pay more for ethanol.

Brazil, one of the leading importers of U.S. ethanol, imported 279 million gallons of ethanol from the United States last year, up over 140 percent from 2015, and representing 25 percent of total U.S. ethanol exports.

Year-to-date imports of ethanol to Brazil from the United States are currently at 310 million gallons, three times more than this time last year.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday September 28 Ag News


Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2017, was 3.45 million head, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was down 4 percent from September 1, 2016, but up 1 percent from June 1, 2017.

Breeding hog inventory, at 410,000 head, was down 2 percent from September 1, 2016, and down 2 percent from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 3.04 million head, was down 4 percent from last year, but up 2 percent from last quarter.

The June – August 2017 Nebraska pig crop, at 2.21 million head, was up 5 percent from 2016. Sows farrowed during the period totaled 190,000 head, up 3 percent from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 11.65 for the June – August period, compared to 11.35 last year.

Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 185,000 sows during the September – November 2017 quarter, up 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago. Intended farrowings for December 2017 – February 2018 quarter are 180,000 sows, unchanged from the actual farrowings during the same period the previous year.


On September 1, 2017, there were 22.9 million hogs and pigs on Iowa farms, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Hogs and Pigs report. The September 1 inventory was up 3 percent from both the previous quarter and the previous year.

The June-August 2017 quarterly pig crop was 5.94 million head, up 23,000 head from the previous quarter and 6 percent above last year. A total of 530,000 sows farrowed during this quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.20 for the quarter, which was the highest pigs saved per litter on record.

As of September 1, producers planned to farrow 520,000 sows and gilts in the September-November quarter and 500,000 head during the December 2017-February 2018 quarter.

United States Hog Inventory Up 2 Percent

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2017 was 73.5 million head. This was up 2 percent from September 1, 2016, and up 3 percent from June 1, 2017.  Breeding inventory, at 6.09 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, and up slightly from the previous quarter.  Market hog inventory, at 67.5 million head, was up 3 percent from last year, and up 3 percent from last quarter.

The June-August 2017 pig crop, at 33.0 million head, was up 2 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.10 million head, up 2 percent from 2016. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 51 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record
high of 10.65 for the June-August period, compared to 10.58 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.80 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.70 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

United States hog producers intend to have 3.07 million sows farrow during the September-November 2017 quarter, up 1 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2016, and up 5 percent from 2015. Intended farrowings for December-February 2018, at 3.02 million sows, are up 1 percent from 2017, and up 3 percent from 2016.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 47 percent of the total United States hog inventory, unchanged from  the previous year.

Thurston County to become next Livestock Friendly County

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Governor Pete Ricketts invite area farmers and residents to attend a presentation honoring the designation of Thurston County as a Livestock Friendly county.  The ceremony is scheduled for Monday October 2nd, 2017 at 11am in the Thurston County Courthouse, 106 S. 5th St., Pender, Nebraska.  If you'd like to get more information, contact Steve Martin at the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture or call 402-471-4876. 

Senate Ag Committee Hearing on USDA Nominees Ibach, Northey

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today announced the Committee will hold a hearing to consider two nominations within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Who:    Gregory Ibach, of Nebraska, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs -and- William Northey, of Iowa, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services

Date:   Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017
Time:  9:30 a.m.
Place:  328A Russell Senate Office Building

“Common Sense” Coalition Applauds EPA Action to Rescind “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposal to withdraw the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” Rule (WOTUS) has drawn praise from the Common Sense Nebraska coalition. The diverse coalition made up of Nebraska agriculture, business, and local government interests, submitted formal comments on the agencies’ plan to withdraw the WOTUS regulation, Wed., Sept. 27, according to Steve Nelson, Common Sense Nebraska coalition member and Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

“We applaud the agencies for acting to withdraw the WOTUS rule. This is exactly what our coalition has been calling for since this far-reaching, regulation was first proposed. Our message has been clear and consistent; the WOTUS rule would harm rural and urban Nebraskans and it would have caused cost increases, confusion, and uncertainty to farmers, ranchers, county governments, homebuilders, and virtually anyone who turns the earth with a shovel. The demise of this rule is long overdue,” said Nelson.

The WOTUS rule was a point of concern because of its regulatory implications, but also because of the expansion of federal authority it represented. When the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, Congress established a system which maintained state authority over land and water uses, but prohibited certain “discharges” into “navigable waters” unless authorized by a federal permit. Over the years, the EPA and the Corps have worked to slowly increase the scope of their jurisdiction by pushing a broader interpretation of what bodies of water the Clean Water Act gives them control over.

“Two important U.S. Supreme Court cases, one in 2001 and the other in 2006, reaffirmed the original limits of the Clean Water Act, reminding the agencies that Congress limited their authority only to ‘navigable waters’. Despite these court cases and legislative failures to broaden these powers, the agencies introduced the WOTUS rule vastly expanding the regulatory reach of the federal government to control all waters and waterways, and more importantly expand their powers over dryland, like farm fields, golf courses, and construction sites, where water can pool after rainfall events,” said Nelson.

The WOTUS rule was stayed by both a federal district court and a federal court of appeals due to its obvious legal flaws and the harm it would cause, particularly to the state agencies forced to implement it.

“The agencies’ failure to consider the input from state and local interests during development of the WOTUS rule ultimately contributed to its flaws, legal and otherwise. Now is the time to simply start over and develop a rule that clearly recognizes the limits of the Clean Water Act and the needs of those impacted by it,” said Nelson.

Common Sense Nebraska is a diverse, Nebraska-based coalition consisting of organizations and entities that have united in response to the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” Rule; a regulatory proposal that would harm both rural and urban Nebraskans through expansion of the EPA’s powers and authorities under the federal Clean Water Act. The coalition’s purpose is to build awareness and understanding of the EPA proposal and the impacts it would have on Nebraskans. For more information visit Common Sense Nebraska on Facebook.

Common Sense Nebraska Coalition members include:
AKSARBEN Club Managers Association
Association of General Contractors - NE Chapter
Farm Credit Services of America
Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association
National Federation of Independent Businesses/Nebraska
Nebraska Agribusiness Association
Nebraska Association of County Officials
Nebraska Association of Resource Districts
Nebraska Bankers Association
Nebraska Cattlemen
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Nebraska Cooperative Council
Nebraska Corn Board
Nebraska Corn Growers Association
Nebraska Farm Bureau
Nebraska Golf Course Superintendents Association
Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
Nebraska Grain Sorghum Association
Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board
Nebraska Pork Producers Association
Nebraska Poultry Industries
Nebraska Rural Electric Association
Nebraska Soybean Association
Nebraska State Dairy Association
Nebraska State Home Builders Association
Nebraska State Irrigation Association
Nebraska Water Resources Association
Nebraska Wheat Board
Nebraska Wheat Growers Association
Nemaha Natural Resources District
Pawnee County Rural Water District #1

Iowa State Launches Searches for Extension and Outreach VP, Vet Med Dean

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert has launched searches for the next dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach.

Both units have interim leaders, Pat Halbur in Veterinary Medicine and John Lawrence in extension and outreach, who will serve until the permanent leaders are on the job, likely in summer 2018.

The startup of the searches has been timed so that Iowa State University's next president, once named, will participate in the interviews and hiring decisions.

Extension and Outreach VP

Laura Jolly, dean of the College of Human Sciences, and Sarah Nusser, vice president for research, will co-chair the search for the next vice president of extension and outreach. Greenwood/Asher and Associates will assist the committee. Joining Jolly and Nusser on the search committee are:
University members
    Lisa Bates, extension community and economic development, Ames
    Jennifer Bentley, extension agriculture and natural resources, Winneshiek county
    Matt Helmers, agricultural and biosystems engineering
    Himar Hernandez, extension community and economic development, Wapello county
    Chad Higgins, extension central administration
    Andrea Nelson, extension Region 13
    Kevin Schalinske, food science and human nutrition
    Angela Shaw, food science and human nutrition
    Cayla Taylor, extension 4-H youth development, Ames
    Barbara Woods, extension human sciences, Ames
External members
    Mary Greiman, Iowa Beef Foundation and Region 2 County Extension Council
    John Harms, Iowa State Fair Board
    Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
    Bob Petrzelka, Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching

Veterinary Medicine dean

Beate Schmittmann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Ann Marie VanDerZanden, associate provost for academic programs, will co-chair the search for the next dean of Veterinary Medicine. Parker Executive Search will assist the committee. Joining Schmittmann and VanDerZanden on the search committee are:
University members
    Karin Allenspach-Jorn, veterinary clinical services
    Amanda Fales-Williams, veterinary pathology
    Deanna Gerber, Vet Med student recruitment office
    Tom Johnson, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center
    Anumantha Kanthasamy, biomedical sciences
    Michael Kimber, biomedical sciences
    Alejandro Ramirez, interim assistant dean
    Jim Roth, veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine
    Holly Salzbrenner, student chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association
    Jennifer Schleining, veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine
External members
    Randy Ackman, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association
    Marv Johnson, Dean’s advisory council
    Marcus Kehrli, USDA/ARS National Animal Disease Center (pending USDA approval)
    Clayton Kelling, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    Greg Lear, Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council
    Sue Robinson, Iowa Veterinary Specialties
    Kylee Thomas, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association

The searches will begin with the nomination of candidates and development of diverse candidate pools. Off-campus interviews are scheduled for January-February 2018, with on-campus interviews in February-March.

Growth Energy Statement on Reported Attempt to Assign RINs to Exported Biofuels

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement in response to emerging media reports of an effort by oil refiner Valero to encourage the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to attach Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to exported biofuel, primarily corn-based ethanol. This action would run counter to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) statute and comes on the heels of a misguided attempt by Valero, Carl Icahn, and other merchant refiners to shift the obligated party under the RFS.

“While we cannot speculate on whether this rumor is being given any sort of official consideration, what is absolutely clear is that the idea runs contrary to the intent and plain language of the statute, which is specifically constructed to blend more renewable fuel into the U.S. transportation fuel supply in order to give consumers cleaner, more affordable fuel choices at the pump. Between these media reports and yesterday’s proposed cuts to the 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs), we are concerned about the EPA’s and the Administration’s commitment to supporting biofuels.”

The Federal Register clearly noted that the EPA has ruled previously that, “if a gallon of ethanol is produced in the U.S. but consumed outside of the U.S., the RIN associated with that gallon is not valid for RFS compliance purposes since the RFS program is intended to require a specific volume of renewable fuel to be consumed in the U.S.”

USGC Works To Expand Ethanol Use In Africa As Part Of Global Demand Strategy

Individual markets in Africa vary greatly, but the continent as a whole offers significant potential demand for U.S. ethanol exports.

Brian Healy, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) manager of ethanol export market development, recently traveled to Kenya to evaluate and develop opportunities for U.S. ethanol in the continent and speak at a regional ethanol and sugar conference. There, he was able to engage with senior agricultural, energy and environmental ministry officials to learn more about ethanol production, use and trade across the region.

Healy explained that Kenya is a significant importer of finished gasoline, driven by an expanding middle class, high levels of development and access to capital. In addition, the country already has pro-ethanol policies in place, providing the foundation for ethanol use.

“Kenya, which has had an ethanol mandate since 2010, is currently not blending ethanol into their fuel due to infrastructure constraints related to refining and blending as well as limited expansion in feedstock production,” Healy said. “However, opportunities for U.S. ethanol do exist in this and other African markets.”

The Council is working to identify new market opportunities for U.S. ethanol in Africa, including promoting the development of pro-ethanol policies throughout the region and providing production and market information on the value of U.S. ethanol.

While many African countries have opportunities to expand their own domestic feedstock production, U.S. ethanol is already making its way to these markets via the Persian Gulf, where greater refining capacity exists. According to a Council-commissioned study, U.S. ethanol exports to the United Arab Emirates are being blended into gasoline and shipped to East African markets.

The use of ethanol supports these countries in achieving goals related to reducing environmental pollution and improving air quality for human health in addition to providing economic value as an octane enhancer. These important components form the foundation of the Council’s global ethanol market development engagements and programs.

To communicate these benefits, the Council focuses on building relationships in the fuel and ethanol sectors by working with local industry to share with regulators lessons learned from the U.S. adoption of ethanol, particularly related to reducing air pollution and diversifying fuel supplies. These efforts also help establish the United States as a reliable and affordable source of ethanol.

“We are broadening our outreach by identifying and analyzing potential new markets and developing strategies tailored to the culture and conditions of each market,” Healy said. “At the same time, we are committed to our established markets in this truly global engagement.”

Buyers From Japan Tour The U.S. Corn Industry

Building on decades of successful market development work in Japan, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) hosted this month a team of newer customers from the Japanese corn processing and feed milling industries to learn firsthand about the U.S. corn industry.

The Japanese corn trade team explores an interactive corn exhibit for children at the farm of USGC Past Chairman Chip Councell.

“The Japanese corn industry team had a great experience in the United States, learning as much as possible about corn in the one-week stay,” said Tommy Hammoto, USGC director in Japan. “The team covered all the aspects of corn production and use and obtained a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. corn industry.”

Trade teams like this one increase participants' familiarity with U.S. marketing and export logistics as well as connect up-and-coming customers with U.S. suppliers. To achieve these goals, the Japan team toured a farm, grain elevator facilities and agricultural technology providers in Missouri and conducted meetings with the Council and the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) in Washington, D.C. The team also visited the farm of USGC Past Chairman Chip Councell on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

“Chip’s farm is an excellent example of following modern conservation practices with explanations of practical uses of big data to conserve soil carbon and other nutrients,” Hammoto said.

The Council has worked with Japanese grain buyers and end-users to establish and maintain one of the largest and most loyal markets for U.S. feed grains, first opening an office in the country in 1961, a year after the organization was founded.

Japan is the top customer for U.S. corn this marketing year, purchasing 12.7 million metric tons (almost 500 million bushels) thus far (Sept. 2016-July 2017), an increase of 38 percent year-over-year and the most imports since 2010/2011. Overall, Japan’s imports of corn in all forms, including value added products made with corn, increased 32 percent compared to the same period thie year prior with a value of $5.48 billion.

While the Japanese feed and corn processing industries are committed to buying from the United States due to reliability and origination investments, competition is increasing from other countries. As a result, the Council must continually defend and work to expand market share through high-level engagement with industry, trade and government as well as educating the next generation of customers through efforts like September’s trade team.

“The purpose of the team was to educate, receive updates and discuss the advantages of U.S. corn from the United States,” Hamamoto said. “The team visit is an important part of customer servicing to have the Japanese industry gain knowledge and keep confidence in the stable supply of quality corn from the United States."

Cargill reports fiscal 2018 first-quarter results

Cargill today reported financial results for the fiscal 2018 first quarter ended Aug. 31, 2017. Key results include:
-    Adjusted operating earnings totaled $888 million, exceeding by 7 percent the $827 million earned in last year’s strong comparative period.
-    Net earnings on a U.S. GAAP basis were $973 million, up 14 percent from $852 million a year ago.
-    Revenues totaled $27.3 billion, edging ahead of last year’s $27.1 billion.

“We’re off to a good start in our new fiscal year, powered by the significant work we’ve done over the last few years and continuing to accelerate our performance,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Even as market conditions vary across our sectors, our teams are delivering for our customers and achieving results to fuel future growth.”
Segment results

Animal Nutrition & Protein carried its momentum from fiscal 2017 into the new quarter, with adjusted operating earnings up significantly from last year. Protein results in North America were lifted by brisk consumer demand for beef, strong exports and more abundant cattle supplies, resulting in better utilization of processing capacity. Global poultry slightly lagged the year-ago period, as somewhat weaker results in Central America trimmed strong domestic sales and exports out of Southeast Asia. Global animal nutrition nearly reached last year’s quarterly results. Gains attributable to sales of value-added feed additives and premixes were offset by market pressures in aqua feeds in Europe and swine in Vietnam.

At the start of the quarter, Cargill acquired Pollos El Bucanero, a leading producer of chicken and processed meats in Colombia. Also in the protein space, Cargill invested in San Leandro, California-based Memphis Meats. The young company is developing methods to cultivate meat directly from animal cells. Over time, cultured proteins could potentially complement conventionally produced meats as part of the equation to sustainably nourish the future. In animal nutrition, Cargill completed the purchase of Southern States Cooperative’s feed business, which serves customers in the southeastern and eastern U.S. It also formed a partnership with Austria’s Delacon, a leading maker of phytogenic feed additives for the animal nutrition market. Both Cargill and Delacon seek to accelerate the growth of these natural, plant-based feed additives that support animal health.

Food Ingredients & Applications was the second-largest contributor to company earnings, as continued attention to raising commercial capabilities and operating efficiencies yielded improved earnings. Cocoa and chocolate products, along with sweeteners and starches for food and other applications led results in most regions. The segment’s Asia-based businesses also realized improved volumes.

Adding to its portfolio of specialty ingredients, Cargill introduced canola lecithin to the market late last year. This versatile, label-friendly emulsifier can be used by food manufacturers in a wide variety of foods and beverages. In September, the ingredient received GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Origination & Processing was down from last year’s strong quarter, as positive trading results helped buffer against a challenging environment. Soybean processing in Brazil and China, and exports from Brazil also added to earnings. Although global demand for grain and oilseeds continues to grow, rising production and building global stocks during the last four crop cycles has depressed market volatility and commodity prices. The segment is working to increase productivity in its supply chain while continuing to leverage its trading and risk management capabilities to bring additional value to customers. The startup of efficient new production lines in the segment’s oilseed processing plants in Wichita, Kansas, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, furthered this objective.

The Industrial & Financial Services segment was down slightly from last year. Earnings from iron ore and steel trading in Asia, and from trade and structured finance services in emerging and developed markets offset weaker performance elsewhere in the segment. Cargill sold its petroleum business to Australia’s Macquarie Group in June. In a separate transaction, its North American power and gas business was sold to Macquarie in mid-September. Also in September, Cargill agreed to sell its U.S. metals business to Japanese steel trader and distributor Metal One. Pending regulatory clearance, the transaction is expected to close by calendar year-end. Cargill remains active in energy and ferrous markets through its financial risk management and Asia-based metals businesses. The company also is involved in biofuels, bio-industrials and tankers shipping.

Syngenta receives EPA registration for new premix: Clariva® Elite Beans seed treatment

Syngenta announced Clariva® Elite Beans seed treatment has received registration approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use in soybeans. Clariva Elite Beans combines the active ingredients of Clariva pn and CruiserMaxx® Vibrance®  seed treatment into a convenient premix formulation. Some state registrations may be pending.

Clariva pn is the only seed-applied nematicide on the market that offers season-long protection from the No. 1 soybean pest, soybean cyst nematode (SCN), by reducing its feeding and reproduction. It reduces the impact from sudden death syndrome and other SCN-related diseases and provides an average yield increase of 2.7 bushels per acre compared to an insecticide/fungicide seed treatment alone.

Greg Tylka, Ph.D., nematologist at Iowa State University, believes that nematicides may provide some added protection in fields where the performance of SCN-resistant soybean varieties is declining. “Almost all resistant soybean varieties on the market contain the same set of resistance genes [PI88788],” he said. ”By overusing those genes, we’re seeing the nematode become resistant to the resistance.”

In addition to Clariva pn, Clariva Elite Beans contains an insecticide and three fungicides, which improve root health and vigor, protect against a wide range of early-season insects and diseases, and provide an industry-leading return on investment. The RootingPower of Vibrance fungicide protects the entire root system through soil mobility and long-lasting systemic activity for an added level of Rhizoctonia protection. The Cruiser® Vigor Effect is scientifically proven to help produce more robust, vigorous plants, even in the absence of insects.

“With this formulated low-use rate premix, treaters know and trust that the active ingredients will treat easily and uniformly, won’t separate from the seed or build up on the planter, or end up wasted as dust on the ground,” said Dale Ireland, Ph.D., Seedcare technical product lead at Syngenta.

Unlike many generic seed treatments on the market, every engineered premix from Syngenta is thoroughly field-evaluated for unique high performance field protection characteristics, overall quality and application performance through a series of tests that simulate a wide range of application and storage conditions. Clariva Elite Beans contains uniquely chosen crop-specific polymers that bind the active ingredients to the seed coat. As a result, growers can maximize plant stands because of improved seed flow, reduced dust off and better seed singulation at planting.

While the active ingredients of the product will continue to provide proven SCN protection, the ease and flexibility of handling Clariva Elite Beans as a premix will make treating seed more efficient.   

NMPF Asks Federal, State Regulators to Take Action Against Misleading Labeling of “Blue Magic” Milk

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is calling on federal and state food regulators to take enforcement action against imitation dairy product “Blue Magic Cashew Milk” for continuing to ignore federal standards of identity for dairy products.

In a letter sent today to the federal Food and Drug Administration, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, NMPF said that the continued use of a standardized dairy term, “milk,” on a plant-based imitation made mostly from nuts and water, is a violation of standards defining milk as the product of a dairy animal.

“Beyond ignoring clearly-defined regulations specifying what milk is, this ‘Blue Magic’ product is an affront to consumers seeking appropriate levels of nutrition for their families,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF.  “It’s obvious that this beverage is not a nutritional substitute for real milk, regardless of its desire to co-opt dairy terms.”

NMPF first evaluated Blue Magic Milk, manufactured by California company Urban Remedy, in June 2017 as part of a marketplace survey examining the nutrients in imitation dairy foods. NMPF found that of the 244 beverages it reviewed, Blue Magic’s two-cup serving contained the highest sodium content, grams of fat and calories. Even a half-serving (1 cup) featured the highest calories and fat of all products surveyed, and was second highest in its sodium level.

By contrast, real low-fat milk, per cup, has more than four times the amount of Vitamin A, 3 grams more protein and 285 mg more calcium as Urban Remedy’s imitation version. Additionally, a serving of Blue Magic has 78 more calories, 10 grams more fat and 130 milligrams more sodium. An entire 16-ounce bottle of Blue Magic contains 470 mg of sodium — the equivalent of a fast-food hamburger.

Today’s action is the second time this year that NMPF has raised objections about Blue Magic Milk.

Following its review of imitation products, National Milk brought its concerns to the attention of FDA and the California Department of Food and Agriculture in letters sent in June to both agencies. Shortly thereafter, Urban Remedy made minor alterations to the beverage’s label, renaming the product as “Blue Magic Cashew Milk.” However, given that the beverage still uses a standardized dairy term, without offering the same nutrition as real milk, NMPF has sent a second letter to the agencies pointing out the continued problem with the labeling of the product.

This action against Blue Magic Cashew Milk is part of a new, recurring campaign created by NMPF that will call attention to other food brands that inappropriately label their products using dairy terminology. The series, titled “Dairy Imitators: Exposed,” will draw attention to these products’ lack of compliance with federal standards, and their nutritional deficiencies when compared to real milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy foods. Each month, a new graphic will feature an imitator’s labels and nutritional information next to those of various cow’s milk products. NMPF also will be writing to federal and state agencies about the imitation products, pointing out their violations of standards of identity.

“This campaign will further demonstrate to consumers, FDA and makers of these plant-based alternatives that National Milk will remain focused on the issue of deceptive labeling tactics,” Mulhern said. “Despite their desire to mimic real dairy foods, none fully matches milk’s nine essential nutrients.”

Each new graphic will be added to NMPF’s gallery of imitation dairy products on its website, in addition to being shared on social media and in NMPF’s quarterly Regulatory Register, which is also available online.

U.S. Dairy Industry Cautions Japan to Respect Current Trade Relationships During Review of EU’s List of Geographical Indications for Foods

Japan’s agriculture officials must respect current market access between Japan and its trading partners, including the United States, when reviewing a list of geographical indications (GIs) proposed by the European Union (EU), or else risk disrupting one of the world’s largest consumer marketplaces, the U.S. dairy industry urged today.

In a letter to the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, leaders from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said it is imperative that Japan “not overlook the enormous significance of the EU food name list for Japanese consumers and producers, and for your lasting relationships with key international trading partners.”

The European Union is in the final stages of negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan, establishing the rules of commerce for hundreds of food products produced in each region. In doing so, the EU is seeking to monopolize a long list of common names under the guise of geographical indications in trade deals with Japan and other nations, including China and Mexico. This campaign attempts to restrict generic product names such as parmesan, feta and asiago to products made only by EU producers, and runs counter to international trade commitments.

The Consortium for Common Food Names and U.S. dairy groups have argued that this strategy is intended to deprive U.S. manufacturers of markets that local industries have developed. The EU’s goal of co-opting these terms would limit sales from non-EU companies to benefit European marketers, thereby stifling healthy competition among food producers all over the world.

“This is a critical moment for Japan as your nation prepares to review hundreds of food and beverage terms; the decisions Japan makes will have lasting impact for years to come,” the letter said. “We urge you to make sure that the steps you take do not unnecessarily limit healthy trade and competition within your market.”

The letter cited Canada’s decision to acquiesce to EU pressure, which has negatively affected its producers, consumers and trade partners The U.S. dairy leaders insisted that Japan can avoid this fate by helping to finalize a list of GIs that does not “encroach on generic names and terms.” For example, “Parmigiano Reggiano” is an acceptable geographical term, but the common name “parmesan” is already used by non-EU producers and widely used in Japan.

“For the good of our trade relationship, it is imperative that Japan’s efficient and transparent GI review process ensures that generic names and terms remain accessible to all,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “We encourage Japanese government officials to continue on this course, and to respect their own laws and international agreements with the United States.”

“Wholesale acceptance of the EU’s proposed GI list would not only unfairly limit the ability of U.S. and other nations’ cheesemakers to do business in Japan, it would negatively impact Japanese consumers and cheese producers,” said USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack. “We urge Japan to consider the confusion, marketplace disruptions and inflated prices that would ensue by restricting common cheese names as the EU desires.”

IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes, D.V.M., said, “American dairy companies shipped $117 million of cheese products last year to Japan, which is the third-largest market for U.S. cheeses. We believe that trade agreements should break down barriers, not erect new ones, and we urge Japanese government officials to reject the EU’s attempts to block common food names and fair market access for U.S. companies.”

The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), of which all three dairy groups are a part, has been instrumental in opposing any attempt to monopolize common food names that have become part of the public domain. It has been coordinating U.S. industry submissions to the Japanese government to defend common food terms that appear on the EU’s GI list. CCFN seeks an appropriate model for protecting both legitimate geographical indications and generic food names.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday September 27 Ag News

ACE member Siouxland Ethanol speaks at governors’ conference

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) member plant Siouxland Ethanol LLC brought biofuels to the forefront at this week’s 15th annual Tri-State Governors’ Conference in Sioux City, Iowa. The governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota get together for this biannual event to discuss the issues impacting their respective states and the Siouxland region.

“These governors play a critically important role as persuasive spokespeople for biofuels and rural America,” said Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President. “We commend the governors for leveraging their position to work on addressing our priorities with this administration’s White House and EPA.”

Each of the governors shared initiatives their states are implementing to support the use of ethanol-blended fuels during the conference. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds mentioned a test program for E30 in the Iowa Energy Plan. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who recently keynoted ACE’s 30th annual conference in Omaha, expressed his optimism in working with the administration and the opportunity the biofuels industry possesses to further grow rural economies. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard mentioned a state bid to bring E30 into the main state fleet fuel locations in Pierre, Brookings and Sioux Falls. He also mentioned that a greenfield ethanol plant, Ringneck Energy, is being constructed in Onida, South Dakota.

“It’s still a growth industry,” Gov. Daugaard said. “The ethanol plants’ balance sheets are strong, ready to grow, if we can just let the nation unleash them.”

The direct economic impact of the ethanol industry is calculated to be a combined total of more than $12 billion annually for Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, with more than 80 plants in the tristate region producing more than 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol each year—almost half of the total annual production of ethanol nationwide.

Pam Miller, Siouxland Ethanol’s Board Chair and Director of Industry and Investor Relations, thanked the governors for their ethanol industry advocacy through their involvement on the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition and asked for their consideration of a plan to lead a Midwestern-focused E30 demonstration program in which states would receive a waiver from the EPA, which has already been requested, to allow E30 use in legacy (non-flex fuel) vehicles.

“We believe we can show positive results that will give consumers the confidence to benefit from using E30 in their cars today and look forward to cars that are optimized for E30 in the future,” Miller said. “Years ago, it took the leadership of our Midwestern governors to show that E10 was safe for our vehicles through similar demonstration projects.”


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will.  And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages.

               When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison livestock.  But you can prevent problems.

               Sorghum-related plants, like cane, sudangrass, shattercane, and milo can be highly toxic for a few days after frost.  Freezing breaks plant cell membranes.  This breakage allows the chemicals that form prussic acid, which is also called cyanide, to mix together and release this poisonous compound rapidly.  Livestock eating recently frozen sorghums can get a sudden, high dose of prussic acid and potentially die.  Fortunately, prussic acid soon turns into a gas and disappears into the air.  So wait 3 to 5 days after a freeze before grazing sorghums; the chance of poisoning then becomes much lower.

               Freezing also slows down metabolism in all plants.  This stress sometimes permits nitrates to accumulate in plants that are still growing, especially grasses like oats, millet, and sudangrass.  This build-up usually isn't hazardous to grazing animals, but green chop or hay cut right after a freeze can be more dangerous.

               Alfalfa reacts two ways to a hard freeze, down close to twenty degrees, cold enough to cause plants to wilt.  Nitrate levels can increase, but rarely to hazardous levels.  Freezing also makes alfalfa  more likely to cause bloat for a few days after the frost.  Then, several days later, after plants begin to wilt or grow again, alfalfa becomes less likely to cause bloat.  So waiting to graze alfalfa until well after a hard freeze is a good, safer management practice.

               Frost causes important changes in forages so manage them carefully for safe feed.

NRD Annual Conference Educates Attendees to Protect Nebraska’s Future

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Annual Conference was held at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, September 25th – 26th and focused on protecting lives, property and the future of Nebraska’s natural resources.  This year more than 400 Natural Resources Districts (NRD) managers, staff, board members, conservation partners and the public received new information on many natural resources and agriculture developments and projects going on now.

“This conference continues to exceed expectations,” said Jim Bendfeldt, president of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts.  “The Natural Resources Districts’ (NRD) Annual Conference educates hundreds of people every year on the newest technology, NRD conservation programs and latest data used to help conserve our water, soil and other vital natural resources.”

Participants had a variety of educational break-out sessions to choose from.  Sessions focused on NCORPE (Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project), joint water management plans, E. Coli, pasture and grassland burnings, Great Plains Windbreak Initiative and how water affects our national security. Other events included recognition of Hall of Fame inductees, conservation award winners, Master Conservationist awards and a speech by Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley.

The NARD Foundation which provides financial assistance to youth programs in natural resources and agriculture, raised more than $21,000 this year during its live and silent auctions, golf and shootout fundraisers! These funds will assist in supporting more than 11 different educational programs in Nebraska to encourage kids to learn more about our natural resources and consider a career in natural resources.

During the Hall of Fame ceremony, three individuals were inducted into the Natural Resources Hall of Fame. They include Dean Rasmussen from North Loup who’s a longtime board member of the Lower Loup NRD. Ron Fleecs from Beatrice is a retired general manager of the Lower Big Blue NRD in Beatrice. The third is Gayle Starr who’s originally from Clay County. He currently lives in Lincoln. He is a retired division head of the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission after assisting in creating the Natural Resources Districts in 1972. This is the NRDs’ 45th Anniversary.

“The inductees of the Natural Resources Districts Hall of Fame have spent their lifetimes working to make sure future generations will be able to enjoy the beauty and resources of this state just as we are today,” said Bendfeldt.

Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Conservation award winners include:
•          Director of the Year Award – Jim Johnson from Dix, NE – Nominated by South Platte NRD
•          Educator of the Year Award – Dennis Mottl from Palmer, NE, An Ag. Education Teacher – Nominated by Lower Loup NRD
•          Outstanding Grassland Conservation Award – Waits Ranch from Tryon, NE – Nominated by Twin Platte NRD
•          Outstanding Tree Planter Award – Scott Trost from Sidney, NE – Nominated by South Platte NRD
•          Outstanding Community Conservation Award -Western Nebraska Community College – Sidney Campus, Sidney, NE – Nominated by South Platte NRD
•          Outstanding Soil Stewardship Conservation Award – Ben and Paula Sue Steffen from Humboldt, NE – nominated by Nemaha NRD

Omaha World-Herald and IANR Master Conservationist Award Winners include:
-    Agriculture – Dennis and Imogene Wacker – nominated by Lower Elkhorn NRD

-    Education – Grand Island Senior High Success Academy – nominated by Central Platte NRD

New paper explores options for farm risk management

The Center for Rural Affairs today released “New option for farm risk management: Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) usage in Nebraska,” a report by Anna Johnson and Glen Ready, with support from Cora Fox, all Center for Rural Affairs Policy Program staff.

The authors take a look at WFRP, a crop insurance product designed to expand coverage for farmers and ranchers.

“Crop insurance has stepped into the spotlight as the highest costing federal farm program, at about $8 billion a year,” Johnson said. “Despite the size of the program, crop insurance has not been available for many types of crops. And, often, coverage is available only on a regional basis.”

Crop insurance options insure either the expected yield or expected revenue of a particular crop. WFRP insures the revenue of the entire operation, based on revenue history.

“This insurance option would provide farmers and ranchers with coverage for not only corn and soybeans, but also less common crops such as pumpkins, berries, and even some livestock,” Johnson said. “Because WFRP is a revenue product, farmers can file a claim only if their overall revenue for the year is lower than expected.”

Participation levels are low throughout the United States, so Center for Rural Affairs staff focused on Nebraska to investigate why farmers are not using this product. They conducted workshops and surveys with both farmers and insurance agents.

“Findings from the report show that while some farmers, ranchers, and crop insurance agents are aware of the opportunities offered through WFRP, many more are unfamiliar with the policy and its potential benefits,” Johnson said. “There is a need for outreach and education to answer basic questions about how WFRP works.”

To view a copy of the report,

Clarinda Livestock Auction Covered by IDALS Market Reporters

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Tuesday announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's livestock market reporters have recently begun coverage of feeder cattle sales at the Clarinda Livestock Auction in Clarinda, Iowa.

"Adding this livestock market allows the Department to capture a more complete picture of feeder cattle inventory and sales figures for both southwestern Iowa and for Iowa as a whole. We recognize that it is extremely important to livestock farmers to have timely and accurate information on livestock prices in their area, so we're pleased that this can add coverage of this market," Northey said.

The Livestock Market Reporting Program in Iowa has been collecting and recording data for over 60 years. In 2016, IDALS six livestock reporters collected sales figures on over 350,000 head of feeder cattle at 14 locations, more than 50,000 head of fed/slaughter cattle at three livestock auctions, and sales data on 30,000 head of goats and sheep.

The livestock markets covered by the Department are located in Bloomfield, Centerville, Creston, Denison, Dunlap, Humeston, Kalona, Knoxville, Lamoni, Russell, Sheldon, Sigourney, Tama, Sioux Center and Clarinda.

The program is done in cooperation with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Information collected from each sale report is available on the Department's website at In addition to these reports, the USDA uses collected information to compile numerous summary reports found on its website.

Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to Fall

The majority of average retail fertilizer prices continued to fall the third week of September 2017, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. However, for the time in several months, multiple fertilizers were slightly higher in price.

Six of the eight major fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $429 per ton, MAP $452/ton, 10-34-0 $416/ton, anhydrous $402/ton, UAN28 $211/ton and UAN32 $248/ton.

Two fertilizers were slightly higher compared to the previous month. Potash had an average price of $345 per ton and urea $312/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.34/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.38/lb.N and UAN32 $0.39/lb.N.

Prices for all but one retail fertilizer are lower compared to a year earlier. Two of the eight major fertilizers are double digits lower.

Anhydrous is now 19% lower from a year ago while 10-34-0 is 12% less expensive and UAN32 is 9% lower. UAN28 is 6% less expensive, urea is 3% lower, DAP is 3% less expensive and MAP is 1% lower. The one fertilizer higher compared to last year is potash which is now 8% more expensive.

U.S. Pork’s Commitment to Responsible Antibiotic Use

Nine months after the full implementation of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidance 209 and 213, America’s pig farmers continue to demonstrate their awareness and commitment to doing what’s right on the farm. Since the rules went into effect on Jan. 1, the National Pork Board has received only two calls into its farmer call center requesting clarification or information on the rule change.

“America’s 60,000 pig farmers are keenly aware of the change occurring on farms, and they were clearly ready, willing and able to meet the requirements of these new rules,” said Terry O’Neel, board president and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “To have just two calls into our call center tells me that the requirements are being met and our two-year proactive education plan has paid off.”

FDA guidance 209 and 213 ends the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and increases veterinarian oversight for on-farm antibiotic use through the Veterinary Feed Directive and prescriptions. All human medically important antibiotics administered to pigs in feed and water must have direct veterinarian oversight. This strengthens an already strong veterinary-client-patient relationship between pig farmers and their veterinarians. Both also take proactive pig management and biosecurity steps to increase the health of pigs and reduce the need for antibiotics.

Close to home, O’Neel recently completed the USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) survey on his pig farm. The survey reviewed written antibiotic-use records from July through December 2016. During the survey with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture veterinarian, it was revealed that O’Neel had reduced his antimicrobial use.

“We've improved our herd health practices on our farm and are already seeing a reduced need for antibiotics, all while improving our pigs’ health,” O’Neel said. “Third parties who try to evaluate antibiotic-use policies do not account for or understand the real change underway on today’s farms.”

O’Neel added that, “Veterinarians and farmers work every day to protect the health and welfare of their pigs, reduce antibiotic use and lower the carbon footprint of pork production to raise the safest food possible. It is truly a delicate balance for America's pig farmers and it is perplexing when others try to set arbitrary limits on antibiotic use that are actually detrimental to animal health, the environment and food safety.”

Among the highlights of the Pork Checkoff’s 2017 work includes building new collaborative relationships with third parties focused on understanding antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic stewardship initiatives. In 2017, the National Pork Board took part in workshops with other agriculture industry stakeholders and a multitude of agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGO) representing environmental, consumer, retail, foodservice and allied industries.

“We are working to develop universal standards on antimicrobial stewardship,” said Dr. Heather Fowler, director of producer and public health at the National Pork Board. “It begins with succinctly defining ‘stewardship’ so all of the players can build programs that are consistent across the board and where success is measurable.”

Part of the effort will also focus on antibiotic resistance – a complex issue that affects both veterinary and human medicine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 47 million human prescriptions are not medically necessary, at least 30 percent of all prescriptions written. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that antibiotic resistance is a pressing health problem and is why pig farmers are committed to doing their part in defining antibiotic stewardship.

The National Pork Board is also continuing its work with Dr. Peter Davies, University of Minnesota, to develop a models and metrics platform to demonstrate overall reduction in on-farm antibiotic use.

“We’re in the process of finalizing the 2016 antibiotic usage benchmark data for the U.S. pork industry right now,” said Peter Davies, professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Minnesota. “This will be an essential tool to improve understanding of antibiotic prescription practices and will better educate pig farmers on using antibiotics correctly to keep animals healthy.”

Other 2017 projects include:
-    Hosting a live webcast which brought together experts in farming, veterinarian medicine and the retail and foodservice industries. More than 60,000 viewers attended the event online and 400 pork producers were in the live studio audience. A replay of the broadcast can be viewed online at:
-    Participating in a panel discussion at the annual Global Ag Investing conference in New York City to address the shared responsibility of antibiotic use in both animal and human health.
-    Hosting an Iowa farm tour with 20 journalist fellows of the National Press Foundation.

“Farmers understand their commitment to antibiotic stewardship and are making changes to their practices based on sound research and a commitment to animal welfare,” O’Neel said. “Consumers can rest assured that medically important antibiotics are no longer used for growth promotion.”

For more information on the National Pork Board’s efforts to assist farmers and others who want to learn more about responsible on-farm antibiotic use, visit

 Smith on Introduction of Tax Reform Framework

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today on the introduction of the tax reform framework by the Trump administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance.

“Today, we are joining with President Trump to outline our unified path forward on the first comprehensive, permanent tax reform in more than 30 years,” Smith said.  “Many principles I have advocated for during my years on the Ways and Means Committee, including lowering rates, simplifying compliance, and eliminating the double-taxation death tax, are included in the framework.

“Crucial reforms, such as reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three and doubling the standard deduction to allow most Americans to file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard, will help taxpayers save time and more of their own money – which they can then invest back into our economy rather than handing it over to the IRS.  We are already working on turning the framework into a bill this fall to deliver a simpler, fairer tax code which will benefit all Americans, and I look forward to continuing to move this process forward.”

Cattlemen “Very Pleased” That Tax-Reform Blueprint Includes Death Tax Repeal, Will Fight to Maintain Existing Positive Provisions in Tax Code

Craig Uden, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today released the following statement in response to the “Unified Framework” for comprehensive tax reform legislation:

“Our Nation’s cattle producers are very pleased that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have maintained their long-standing commitment to American agriculture by including a full repeal of the onerous death tax in the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code. We look forward to working with the Administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill as pen meets paper on tax legislation, and will continue to demonstrate how the death tax and its associated costs adversely affect family-owned operations and the rural communities they support.

“Also, current provisions in the tax code that help livestock producers maintain economically viable businesses and support the success of future generations of farmers and ranchers must be preserved. Stepped-up basis, cash accounting, like-kind exchanges, cost recovery, and the deductibility of interest payments are just a handful of the provisions that allow agricultural producers to survive despite the many challenges we face, from market volatility and fluctuating input prices, to droughts, wildfires, and floods, to the challenge of generational transfers. We’ll closely monitor these provisions as more details on legislative language become available, and intend to fight tooth and nail for a tax code that supports America’s beef producers.”

Throughout September, NCBA has executed an extensive online media campaign to promote comprehensive tax reform. The group yesterday released the campaign's fourth video, which has collected more than 57,000 views in less than 24 hours. As the end of the campaign draws to a close, the videos featuring beef producers have already been viewed a combined 317,000 times and have reached more than 590,000 people on Facebook.

Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Tax Reform Agenda

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Donald J. Trump’s vision of a broad reform of the American tax code, which will result in dramatic tax cuts for millions of American individuals, families, businesses, and family farmers, ranchers, and foresters. Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“The people of American agriculture work hard every day to provide food, fiber, and fuel for their fellow citizens, so they shouldn’t be overburdened by the tax collector as well. Most family farms operate as small businesses, with the line between success and failure frequently being razor thin. Add to that the complexity and costs of merely complying with the tax code, and their budgets are stretched even tighter. On top of it all, the unfair ‘Death Tax’ can cause too many family farms to be broken up and sold off to pay the tax bill, undoing lifetimes of toil and preventing further generations from carrying on. President Trump is right to push for reform and reductions in the tax code—an overhaul that is long overdue.”

AFBF Encouraged by Tax Framework, but Refinement Needed

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall

“Comprehensive tax reform is essential to addressing the financial challenges faced by America’s farmers and ranchers. The tax-reform framework announced today is an important step toward a fair and equitable tax system that encourages success, savings, investment and entrepreneurship.

“Farm Bureau is encouraged to see that this framework includes important principles such as lower tax rates for individuals who own businesses, elimination of the death tax and some business interest deductibility. Farm Bureau looks forward to working with tax writers to refine the proposal to ensure that tax reform lowers effective tax rates for farm and ranch businesses.

“Farmers and ranchers need permanent tax provisions like the continuation of cash accounting and like-kind exchanges, unlimited stepped-up basis and lower capital gains taxes. Agriculture is a high-risk, high-input, capital-intensive business and these provisions are essential to success. We look forward to working with Congress to assure that these meaningful reforms are included in any comprehensive tax package.”

NCGA Calls on EPA to Rescind 2015 WOTUS Rule

The National Corn Growers Association today asked the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to rescind the 2015 “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule and write a new rule that provides farmers with clarity and certainty, reduces red tape, and does not discourage farming practices that improve water quality.

“Corn farmers take very seriously the important role we play in helping the country meet its water quality goals, as laid out in state and federal statutes, including the Clean Water Act. We depend on clean water for our livelihood, and we are committed to conservation practices that protect our nation’s streams and rivers,” NCGA President Wesley Spurlock wrote in comments submitted today to the Agencies.

Spurlock called the 2015 rule inconsistent with the aims of the Clean Water Act, and noted that the rule also “has the perverse effect of making it harder for farmers to practice good soil and water conservation, nutrient management, and water quality protection practices.”

Farming practices such as grass waterways and buffer strips reduce sediment and nutrient runoff. Instead of encouraging these types of farming practices, the 2015 rule effectively discouraged them, due to both the bureaucratic red tape, and fear of legal action.

“We support the Administration’s effort to create a new WOTUS rule, and we stand ready to work with them to ensure farmers have the clarity and certainty they need,” said Spurlock.

AFBF to EPA: Time to Rescind WOTUS Rule

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall

“As today’s deadline for comments on rescinding the fatally flawed Waters of the U.S. rule is upon us, Farm Bureau applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s formal proposal to ditch the rule. We do not stand alone in our assessment that the WOTUS rule was much more about seizing land control than about protecting water, and in official comments today we joined several broad-based coalitions expressing those sentiments. It is clear that this WOTUS rule violated the law while creating legal risk and enormous uncertainty for farmers, ranchers and others who work with the land.

“It is time for EPA to take the final step of repealing the WOTUS rule. The agency should then move forward with a new rule that provides farmers, ranchers, towns, states and small businesses with clarity and certainty they need. The new rule should rely on common-sense directives that don’t require teams of consultants and lawyers to navigate a maze of federal regulations. We will follow this process closely over the coming months to ensure that the new rule is based on law, that waters are protected and that farmland can be farmed.”

Agricultural Export Coalition Calls for Increased Federal Funding for Export Programs

More than 120 members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports are urging leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture to increase funding for USDA export programs in the new farm bill to generate additional demand for U.S. farm products in an increasingly competitive global market.

In a Sept. 19, 2017 letter to Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Ranking Minority Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), coalition members urged that funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) be increased to $400 million annually and funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program be increased to $69 million annually. The coalition called for phasing in the additional funding over the life of the next farm bill.

"We are requesting increased MAP and FMD funding because the programs have proven their value, with impressive return on investment, and because producers and the rural economy are struggling in part because of international competition," said Mark Powers, president of Northwest Horticultural Council and chairman of the coalition.

MAP and FMD are cost-share programs. Overall, producers and other participants contributed matching funds representing 70 percent of total program funds in 2016. Federal MAP funding has been apportioned at an annual level of $200 million since 2006 and FMD at its annual level of $34.5 million since 2002. Since then, inflation and a depreciated U.S. dollar have reduced the promotional power of that funding almost 30 percent. Sequestration and USDA administrative expenses have also significantly reduced annual program funding.

"There is opportunity for growth in those overseas markets and industry members have increased their export promotion investment. Yet the real, effective value of funding from our federal partner has steadily eroded even as competitors greatly outspend us," Powers said.

The letter offered strong data comparing the funding level of the U.S. to some of its competitors, citing a major study completed in 2013 on behalf of several U.S. agri-food export market development organizations. It found that in 2011, 12 countries and the European Union (EU) central government spent an estimated $1.8 billion, including $700 million in public funds and $1.1 billion in private funds, on export promotion for agri-food products.* Compared to agricultural production value, the U.S. public spending on export market development is among the lowest relative to these twelve nations.

Results from a 2016 econometric study give quantifiable rationale for increased funding, Powers said. Commissioned by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) as required by Congress and conducted by Informa Economics IEG, working with Texas A&M University and Oregon State University economists, the study showed MAP and FMD boosted U.S. agricultural export volume and revenue, protected and created American jobs, and increased farm income.

Specifically, the study concluded that return on investment of MAP and FMD between 2002 and 2014 was $24 in export gains for every additional $1 spent on foreign market development, consistent with results from several previous studies. Plus, an average annual increase in farm income of $2.1 billion and creation of 239,000 new full and part-time jobs was attributed to MAP and FMD activities during this time frame.**

"Every analysis of these programs shows that increased federal funding for MAP and FMD will generate a profitable return to the agricultural and rural economies," Powers said. "There is no doubt that these programs are highly successful public-private partnerships worth the increased investment. We look forward to working with the House Agriculture Committee and its leaders to increase export opportunities for hard-working American farmers, producers and small businesses."

The coalition letter along with in-depth information about the programs and their outcomes is available at

 ARA Urges Delay in ELD Requirement

The Agricultural Retailers Association today asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to delay implementation of Electronic Logging Device rules.

"ARA is concerned that many agribusinesses are not, and will not be fully prepared to meet the December 18, 2017, compliance deadline," said Richard Gupton, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel for ARA. "Moreover, ELD manufacturers may not be able to accommodate existing Hours of Service exemptions currently being utilized by agricultural retailers and distributors."

ARA requested the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration delay ELD enforcement for one year. The request was made in conjunction with a coalition of transportation stakeholders, including the National Corn Growers Association, National Grain and Feed Association, U.S. Cattleman's Association and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, during a meeting earlier today at the National Press Club.

Agricultural retailers play an important role in feeding the world. ARA members provide farmers with essential crop input materials such as seed, fertilizer, crop protection products and equipment. Our industry has a strong commitment to vehicle safety and supports FMCSA's mission to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks.

The current process allows for self-certification by ELD manufacturers without a robust third-party screening process. Even though FMCSA is unwilling to certify ELD devices, there are manufacturers in the marketplace claiming their ELD product is "FMCSA Certified."

To become a Certified Medical Examiner, which performs driver medical exams, FMCSA requires medical examiners to enroll, complete necessary training, and pass a certification test. A Medical Examiner must receive notification of certification from FMCSA before authorized to perform driver exams. A similarly stringent process needs to be established by FMCSA for ELD manufacturers so the industry has full confidence that the systems they purchase will be compliant with new regulations.

ARA is also concerned with the unnecessary costs ELD systems impose on our industry without any proven safety benefits. ELDs can cost from $200 to $1,000 each for the device, as well as the costs related to maintenance, service contracts with manufacturers or vendors, and driver training to use this new equipment. This requirement adds unnecessary financial burden to an agricultural industry already struggling with in a soft economy, lagging commodity prices and the massive economic losses following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as other weather-related disasters.

Ag retailers urge Secretary Chao and the Trump Administration to delay the pending December 18, 2017, compliance deadline given the many implementation issues facing our industry and other impacted stakeholders.

ARA supports efforts by livestock producers seeking a delay and additional clarifications regarding ELD exemptions and waivers. Stakeholders within and outside the agricultural industry are also negatively impacted by the ELD mandate, which only highlights shortcomings in the HOS regulations.

A delay to resolve these important issues would fully align with President Trump's regulatory reform initiatives while not impacting transportation safety of our nation's roads and highways.

The Nation’s Wheat Growers Take on Capitol Hill to Talk Farm Bill

 Visiting almost all House and Senate Agriculture Committee Members and their offices, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) concluded its annual policy Fly-in today. From September 26-27, 2017, NAWG hosted around thirty growers from twelve top wheat producing states who spoke on the importance of the Farm Bill. 

"We are nearing the end of 2017 and with the Ag Committee working on drafting their versions of the Farm Bill, it was critical for NAWG’s grower leaders to meet and discuss our priorities with key agriculture members and their staff," stated NAWG's President and Sharon Springs, KS farmer David Schemm. "During these past two days, NAWG's growers were able to visit with just about every Member of Congress that sits on both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees."

In discussions, NAWG stressed that crop insurance is the most important risk management tool for growers and that it is vital to have a strong safety net program in the Farm Bill. Growers also urged members to maintain producer choice between revenue-based (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and price-based (Price Loss Coverage) programs and to make adjustments to enable them to function more effectively for wheat farmers. Other issues brought up during meetings included the need to double funding for MAP and FMD trade programs and to prioritize working lands conservation programs in the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill. 

"It's important that Members hear from growers firsthand on the how the Farm Bill is working for them," stated Schemm. “This is the best way to get the legislation passed quickly and working for all farmers.” 

Wheat Organizations Applaud Trump Administration’s Aggressive Trade Enforcement at the WTO

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome the decision by the Trump Administration to make sure China is living up to its commitments on wheat trade. In response to action by the Administration, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body has established a panel to rule on a complaint filed in December 2016 by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) regarding China’s administration of its tariff rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat and other agricultural products. USW and NAWG are very pleased with the Trump Administration’s aggressive use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism on behalf of wheat farmers.

This is the second panel established at the WTO under the Trump Administration to defend the interests of wheat farmers. The first will examine whether China’s market price support programs for wheat, corn, and rice violate its trade commitments. According to a 2016 Iowa State University study sponsored by USW, China’s market price support programs cost U.S. wheat farmers between $650 and $700 million annually in lost revenue by pre-empting export opportunities and suppressing global prices.

China also has a WTO commitment for an annual TRQ of 9.64 million metric tons (MMT) of imported wheat. The panel established Sept. 22, 2017, in the TRQ case will review evidence that China has not administered this TRQ in a transparent, predictable and fair manner as required by its WTO obligations. The result is that China’s TRQ administration unfairly impedes wheat export opportunities for U.S. wheat farmers, as well as farmers from Canada, Australia and other wheat exporting countries, to the detriment of Chinese consumers.

“It is very encouraging to see the Trump Administration defend farmers against governments that say to the world they will live up to their commitments, but then scheme to disregard the rules we all need to ensure global trade is conducted freely and fairly,” said NAWG President David Schemm, a wheat grower from Sharon Springs, Kan. “Wheat growers will always stand up and applaud when the Administration expands, improves and enforces trade agreements on behalf of farmers.”

“Trade enforcement is crucial for building confidence in existing and new trade agreements,” said USW Chairman Mike Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash. “The Trump Administration’s actions should send a signal that strong and enforceable trade rules are vital to the United States and to U.S. farmers, specifically.”

New Incubator for Ag Innovation Opens in River Falls

The WinField® United Innovation Center — a new epicenter of research that will help give farmers more and better tools to grow crops more sustainably — opened today in River Falls, Wisconsin. The 55,000-square-foot facility replaces the 6,000 square-foot WinField Product Development Center and Spray Analysis System.

The new facility will enhance WinField United's $50 million annual research commitment to helping farmers grow food more sustainably and productively as they work to feed a growing world population. This research will help farmers precisely and responsibly apply crop protection and nutrient products exactly where they're needed in the field.

"The WinField® United Innovation Center further strengthens our research and development capabilities and our reputation as a leader in 21st-century agribusiness and innovation," said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O'Lakes, Inc., WinField United's parent company. "The research and testing performed here will enable more targeted applications of crop protection products, which benefits both applicators and farmers. It also helps move the industry forward to achieve greater sustainability in land, water and air quality."

The increased space brings greater capacity to conduct product research on a variety of agricultural products including adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant nutrition and performance solutions, and seed treatments.

A key piece of the Innovation Center is the Infinity Group, a spray application laboratory with some of the most advanced capabilities in the world. The Infinity Group uses state-of-the art technology, including a wind tunnel, to evaluate the entire application process, including crop protection and adjuvant formulations, tank mixes, nozzle performance, spray characterization, drift and droplet deposition, and plant uptake. Testing is performed in the laboratory, and in both controlled and in-field environments. In the wind tunnel, spray application variables are tested using non-invasive diagnostic approaches to precisely measure droplet size and velocity.

"Before we bring products to a farmer's fields, we make sure they work in our fields first," said Mike Vande Logt, executive vice president and chief operating officer, WinField United. "All of our products are developed with farmers top-of-mind. We apply the latest best practices in our research approach and have backed our commitment with a significant monetary investment in our new center. Our product development process is a stamp of approval that represents the comprehensive, rigorous, proven method we use to bring products and technologies to market."

WinField United is thrilled to continue creating innovative, quality products that deliver value to farmers through our commitment to excellence in data, science and technology, and to be doing so in the River Falls community.

The center has a significant history in River Falls, enjoying a 27-year partnership with the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. It has hired interns and full-time employees from the university over the years and conducted a variety of research and field trials on university land. Land O'Lakes, Inc., also has a significant presence in Wisconsin, employing 812 people at 14 locations throughout the state.

Using Antibiotics Responsibly, Part 2

The Relationship Between Treatment Success and Responsible Use

For the health and well-being of cattle and the associated high costs of treatment and additional labor, we can all agree: If we need to use an antibiotic to help treat disease, we want it to work and work as quickly and as efficaciously as possible.

By using antibiotics responsibly, we can help ensure they continue to be as effective in the future as they are now. This means a veterinarian should be involved (read more about working with a veterinarian in Part 1) to help producers keep cattle from getting sick and also in prescribing an appropriate antibiotic for treatment if cattle do get sick.

Shawn Blood, DVM, Beef Strategic Technical Services at Zoetis breaks down a few reasons why first-treatment success of an antibiotic is a critical part of the beef industry’s important efforts to use these valuable resources responsibly.

Improving Cattle Health and Well-being
“If cattle are treated more than once, their chances of getting back to peak performance are drastically decreased,” Dr. Blood said. “The weight loss that occurs from the animal being sick and having a decreased appetite can compromise him for the rest of his life.”

Using Fewer Antibiotics
A study found that using an antibiotic with demonstrated efficacy, specifically Draxxin® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution, for initial bovine respiratory disease (BRD) treatment could help avoid 0.8 million to 1.8 million treatments each year in the U.S.*,1

“Efficacy is an important part of defining the correct product,” Dr. Blood said. “If you’re using the correct product at the correct time, you’re actually using fewer doses of antibiotics and, in most cases, fewer classes of antibiotics.”

Helping Reduce the Need for Re-treatments
With the right antibiotic, not only are you helping reduce overall antibiotic use, you’re also helping reduce the number of re-treatments.

“When we do get a sick animal, if we are using the broadest-spectrum, longest-acting antibiotic, we can to help get that animal back into its environment, on pasture or into a pen, and never have to pull or treat him again,” Dr. Blood said.

Using an Antibiotic Only When It’s Needed
When disease is treated earlier and you’re targeting the bacterial pathogen you’re trying to treat, you can have more success.

“When we talk about antibiotics, we talk about mode of action, or how the product works directly on the type of bacteria causing the disease to kill the bacteria or at least inhibit its growth,” Dr. Blood said. “We have different classes of antibiotics at Zoetis that represent a lot of different modes of action to help treat the bacterial infection you’re facing, including a macrolide [Draxxin], cephalosporin [Excede® (ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Suspension] and fluoroquinolone [Advocin® (danofloxacin injection) Sterile Antimicrobial Injectable Solution].”

Intervening Early for Improved Success
“Antibiotics are an important tool when we need them, but aren’t the only tool we have to help maintain cattle health and well-being,” Dr. Blood said. “The earlier you intervene in a disease process, whether that’s a vaccine, a change in management practices, an antibiotic or other innovations, the better chance you have to impact the disease process in the first place.”