Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday October 13 Ag News

Air Emissions Reporting for Livestock
Jessica Herrmann, Nebraska Cattlemen

Beginning on November 14, 2017, any facility emitting over 100 pounds per day of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide (likely affecting all cattle producers with as few as 208 head) will be subject to federal air emissions reporting requirements.  The penalties for noncompliance are up to $53,907 per day. EPA is currently working on guidance to assist farmers and ranchers.  In the meantime, please visit to view the EPA's suggested continuous release reporting form (Sections I through III).
More Information

 Other Sample Form:
Sample form and checklist provided by EPA:

Nebraska Beef Industry Summit

The 11th Annual Nebraska Beef Industry Summit will take place on Thursday, November 16th at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Everyone is welcome to attend the seminar, which will begin with registration at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be catered and is included with the $50 registration fee. Space is limited, so please register and send form to the Nebraska Cattlemen by November 9th to secure your place. After receiving your completed registration, we will send you additional event information.

Keeping with the tradition of past annual summits, the senior Beef Scholars have developed a program of strong speakers addressing current industry issues. The following topics will be discussed at this year's event.
-    CattleFax Market Outlook
-    NCBA Policy Update
-    Panel Discussion: Employee Development and Labor Training
-    Trade with USMEF
-    Defending Modern Agriculture
-    State Tax Reform Panel

Sponsorships are welcome to help support the event. You can find information regarding the sponsorships levels, as well as Sponsorship Intent Form, here.... If you would like to support the Summit, please print out the form and mail it to the Nebraska Cattlemen Office. If you would like more information about sponsoring or would prefer to talk to a member of the senior Beef Scholars class, please email Kyle at or Jacy at

NE Corn Board to Meet

The Nebraska Corn Board will hold its next meeting, Monday, November 20, 2017 and Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at The Cornhusker Marriott, 333 South 13th Street in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Board will be hold a joint Nebraska Corn Growers Association and Nebraska Corn Board meeting the afternoon of November 20, 2017. The following day, November 21st the Nebraska Corn Board will meet to address regular board business. The meeting is open to the public. A copy of the agenda is available by calling either 402/471-2676 or by emailing

Agriculture Trade is Vital to Nebraska’s Economy

Congressman Don Bacon

Every other row of soybeans and every third row of corn in Nebraska is exported, and we are the largest exporter of beef in the country. Our ethanol exports are climbing.  Agricultural trade is vital to Nebraska!

Growing up and working on a farm, I know firsthand the work of farmers and the uncertainty they face every year when it comes to yields and prices. Thus, I fully appreciate the importance of having a strong market for our products. Now, as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I work with a variety of agricultural sectors in Omaha and throughout the state of Nebraska. At every meeting, I have heard about the importance of trade to the agricultural economy. Nebraska’s agriculture industry is responsible for one out of every four jobs in the state. The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the South Korea-United States Trade Agreement (KORUS) have allowed Nebraska’s agricultural economy to thrive.

According to the USDA, in 2015 Nebraska had nearly $23 billion in cash receipts from all farm and ranch commodities; $6.4 billion was from commodity exports. Nebraska leads the country in many sectors of production agriculture in 2016. It was the largest commercial producer of red meat and had the largest number of cattle on feed. In addition, Nebraska was the third largest producer of corn and the fourth largest producer of dry edible beans.

Trade exports is a large driver of Nebraska’s high level of production. The top five export markets for Nebraska are China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, and member countries of the European Union. Out of those markets, Mexico and Canada represented nearly $1.4 billion in export value in 2015, and NAFTA plays a critical role in facilitating this level of trade. In 2015, Mexico was Nebraska’s largest export market for corn, dairy, sugar and sweeteners as well as the second largest export market for soybeans, wheat, sorghum, and distillers grains. Canada was Nebraska’s largest export market for ethanol and second largest export market for pork. The KORUS agreement has facilitated a strong trade relationship with South Korea as a significant export market for Nebraska agricultural commodities representing $393 million in value for 2015.

According to studies conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, every dollar received from agricultural exports also generates an additional $1.22 in economic activity across the supply chain. This means that Nebraska’s $6.4 billion in agriculture exports in 2015 resulted in $7.8 billion in additional economic activity for the state. This is a significant contribution to Omaha’s economy where transportation, food processing, and financing industries employ large numbers of people and are historically significant to the metro area.

I support the President’s goal of updating and improving NAFTA and KORUS, but walking out of these treaties would be bad for America and Nebraska.  NAFTA and KORUS have directly enabled Nebraska’s export market to flourish, contributing to our economic and job growth. Establishment of new markets and expansion of current markets must remain a priority as agriculture and associated sectors depend on this foreign consumption. I urge President Trump and his administration to update NAFTA and KORUS, but not walk away from them, as these trade agreements are vital to our economy.

EPA and States' Collective Efforts Lead to Regulatory Action on Dicamba

EPA has reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to further minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of dicamba formulations used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans. New requirements for the use of dicamba "over the top" (application to growing plants) will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season.

"Today's actions are the result of intensive, collaborative efforts, working side by side with the states and university scientists from across the nation who have first-hand knowledge of the problem and workable solutions," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Our collective efforts with our state partners ensure we are relying on the best, on-the-ground, information."

In a series of discussions, EPA worked cooperatively with states, land-grant universities, and the pesticide manufacturers to examine the underlying causes of recent crop damage in the farm belt and southeast.  EPA carefully reviewed the available information and developed tangible changes to be implemented during the 2018 growing season. This is an example of cooperative federalism that leads to workable national-level solutions.

Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for "over the top" use of these products next year including:

-    Classifying products as "restricted use," permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;

-    Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;

-    Limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph (from 15 mph) to reduce potential spray drift;

-    Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur;

-     Including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination; and

-    Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.

Manufacturers have agreed to a process to get the revised labels into the hands of farmers in time for the 2018 use season. EPA will monitor the success of these changes to help inform our decision whether to allow the continued "over the top" use of dicamba beyond the 2018 growing season. When EPA registered these products, it set the registrations to expire in 2 years to allow EPA to change the registration, if necessary.

For more information:

 Statement by NDA Director Greg Ibach on EPA’s Regulatory Actions on Dicamba

“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) appreciates the recent agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and dicamba manufactures concerning the use of the herbicide dicamba,” said NDA Director Greg Ibach.  “The Department feels that the EPA announcement concerning labeling changes for dicamba products is appropriate.”

“I see this as an opportunity for our staff to inform farmers about drift, volatilization and inversion risks and how to minimize potential dicamba damage to sensitive crops.”

For more information about the NDA pesticide program please visit:

Statement by Steve Nelson, NE Farm Bureau President, Regarding Dicamba Agreement

“Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers compete in a global marketplace and the need for agricultural technology has never been greater. The announced agreement reached by the EPA and the registrants of the new formulations of the pesticide dicamba, will hopefully ensure farmers continue to have access to this necessary technology. While dicamba is not a new product, the use of new formulations on soybeans has generated considerable conversation across the country. Nebraska Farm Bureau members strongly support the utilization of the best science when it comes to these decisions and urge our federal and state regulatory agencies, land-grant universities, and private companies to continue to research the best use of this product so that farmers and ranchers can continue to utilize these necessary tools in a safe and effective manner.”

ASA Commends EPA Dicamba Ruling, Continues Search for Answers on Dicamba Damage

Following today’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency naming certain new formulations of dicamba herbicide products as restricted-use, ASA President and Roseville, Illinois farmer Ron Moore applauded EPA and urged the industry to continue to search for answers:

“Farmers look to new innovations like dicamba-tolerant soybeans to help grow healthy, affordable food while combating pests and diseases. We’re encouraged by EPA’s label changes which we trust will allow farmers to continue to utilize this important tool while also working to protect and prevent damage to non-dicamba tolerant crops.

“Moving forward, ASA looks forward to working with EPA, states, manufacturers and our farmers to implement these changes while also seeking the root cause of this issue so new technologies can be used in years to come.”


The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last week unanimously approved an ordinance that would require grocery chains of 25 or more stores – with at least one in the city – to provide the city with information on antibiotics use in animals whose meat and poultry they sell. The information would be made available to consumers through a city website. The board must take a second vote on the measure, but it is expected to again be approved.

The National Pork Producers Council has come out in opposition to the ordinance.  They say the likelihood is low that people will access the website to make buying decisions in the grocery. However, NPPC pointed out, the data collection mandate will add costs and complexities throughout the food supply chain, raising prices for consumers. Grocery companies must collect from their meat and poultry suppliers information on the purposes for which antibiotics were used, the number of animals raised, the total volume of antibiotics given and whether their use was “medically important.”

The annual reporting requirement is set to begin early next April. Groups that supported the ordinance, including the Environmental Working Group and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have indicated they will push other cities to adopt similar laws.


Following his recent visit to the U.S., Thailand’s prime minister this week asked the country’s agriculture ministry to study the impact of allowing U.S. pork imports, according to a story in the Bangkok Post. Despite an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety of ractopamine, Thailand since 2007 has denied market access for U.S. pork based on an unscientific, zero-tolerance policy for this feed additive.

Ractopamine has been determined to be safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is approved for use in pork production in 26 countries, with 75 additional countries allowing the import of pork from ractopamine-fed hogs even though it is not fed in their domestic herds.

In July 2012, the U.N.’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, which sets international standards for food safety, approved a maximum residue limit (MRL) for ractopamine, which U.S. pork meets. 

NFU Board Grants Hawaii Farmers Union a Charter

Hawaii Farmers Union United (HFUU) celebrated its seventh year at its annual convention in Wai'anae on Oahu and was granted a charter by the National Farmers Union.

The three-day event opened with a welcome from HFUU President Vincent Mina, which was followed by a talk on polyculture of cover crops by Gabe Brown, an expert in regenerative agriculture. The rest of the morning featured talks from Christopher Spezzano on technology in agricultural communities and Peter Salleras on v-trellis fruit production. Attendees had the option of several breakout sessions on agroecology, soil health, hemp production, agricultural policy, and aquaponics.

On the second day, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard gave the convention's keynote address. Registrants then perused Kahumana Farm Fest or attended two optional workshops. The first, led by Mike DuPont and Mariah Raftree, showed participants through the construction of a Korean natural farming chicken house. The other, led by Glenn Martinez, offered insight into airlift aquaponics.

That afternoon, NFU presented HFUU with its charter in a dedication ceremony. To become chartered, HFUU was directed by NFU to schedule a meeting to give members the opportunity to vote upon creation and establishment of the state division. With the vote of the majority of Hawaii members in favor of establishing a state division, a chartering convention was held and adoption of a constitution and bylaws, not inconsistent with NFU's bylaws and articles, and officers and directors were elected.

With its charter, HFUU's president now has a full voice and full vote during board meetings. Additionally, the organization can now seat two officer/board members as delegates at the national convention, in addition to the delegates they receive based on membership at year's end.

No comments:

Post a Comment