Saturday, October 7, 2017

Friday October 6 Ag News

Students: Apply by Oct. 25 for Pork Mentorship Program

Choosing a career path can be difficult. In a world full of occupational options, it is helpful to receive a little guidance along the way. That’s why the Nebraska Pork Producers Association is extending help to college-age students who apply to participate in the Pork Mentorship Program.

The deadline for submitting student applications is October 25, with selection notifications to be sent to applicants by November 1.

The Pork Mentorship Program is a career development program that provides a variety of hands-on experiences to promote leadership and communication skills, ultimately fostering career development.  The NPPA Pork Mentorship Program is more than just a scholarship. It’s a way for students to build their capacity as a leader and professional in the swine and agriculture industries in Nebraska. The program provides students with an opportunity to identify future career goals and to evolve into strong agricultural advocates.

The Nebraska Pork Producers Association wants college-age students to be a part of the Pork Mentorship Program. If students are connected to agriculture and believe in the future of the pork industry, they are encouraged to apply. $500 scholarships are available for college-age students who have an interest in the pork industry – they don’t have to be a pork producer! 

Eligible applicants must
·  Be enrolled full-time in a Nebraska post-secondary school, and be between 18-24 years of age
·  Be able to attend all quarterly meetings and complete all requirements before receiving his/her scholarship
·  Have access to and communicate effectively via email

Who Should Apply?
College-age men and women who have an interest in agriculture and the pork industry. You don’t have to be a pork producer.

What  Will I Do?
Job-shadow pork industry professionals, promote agriculture and the pork industry, and improve your leadership, team building and communications skills. You’ll also travel to the World Pork Expo and attend other exciting industry tours and group events.  

Apply Now!
Interested students should complete the application and submit an up-to-date resume by 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

2018 Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Retail Value Steer Challenge

The Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation (NCF) is seeking donations of steers for its 19th Annual Retail Value Steer Challenge (RVSC) feeding competition. This is the primary fund raiser for the Foundation and by participating in the RVSC you join other Nebraska cattle producers to support NCF projects. Funds from this event support:
-    Youth and Adult Leadership Programs
-    NCF Education Programs - Scholarships
-    NCF Research Programs and Infrastructure Projects
-    History Preservation
-    Judging Teams at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Northeast Community College, Norfolk and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Curtis

Your involvement ensures these programs succeed. You also receive complete carcass data on your steer or steers and the chance to win prize money. And, you are helping the state's leading industry sponsor programs that benefit our industry. Contributors should contact their tax professional as to the tax deductible status of this contribution. NCF is a 501 (3) C entity.

NCF welcomes steer donations by individuals, businesses, groups of individuals or businesses and NC affiliates. Participants can donate their own steer or purchase a steer from the Foundation for $1,100.   Steers need to be delivered to Darr Feedlot at Cozad prior to November 1.

Winners will be announced at the Nebraska Cattlemen Midyear Conference in June, 2018.

For more information or to enter a steer contact Lee Weide at 402.475.2333, or Jana Jensen, NC Foundation Fundraising Coordinator, at 308.588.6299,

IFBF partners with John Deere on new member savings program

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is pleased to partner with John Deere to offer members exclusive savings on select John Deere products at a savings between $100 to $3,700.  The savings apply for IFBF members who purchase John Deere Gator utility vehicles, commercial and residential mowers, Series 1-5 tractors, golf and turf equipment and other products which are now being offered through John Deere’s GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program.  IFBF members are instantly eligible for Platinum 2 status and discounts.

“We are excited to offer members this exclusive benefit. John Deere is a customer-focused company; they know what their customers need and they work hard to make sure those needs become a reality. With Iowa entering the fourth year of a downturned ag economy, John Deere knows our members appreciate a good deal and they want to make it as accessible as possible, so this program is fully digital,” says IFBF Marketing Coordinator Evelyn George. “Members can also combine the benefit with other national offers.”

To participate, Farm Bureau members need a valid email address and can sign up at to automatically qualify for:
-    Equipment savings – savings from mowers to tractors to Gator Utility Vehicles purchased at your authorized John Deere dealer.
-    Special Parts savings – money-saving parts coupons and offers to help keep your equipment at its best.
-    Home & Workshop Product savings – A 10 percent discount off MSRP on eligible John Deere tools and workshop equipment including air compressors, generators, pressure washers and more.
-    Exclusive Member Promotions – new exclusive offers and promotions delivered to your Inbox along with insider tips and ideas to enhance your equipment experience.

“John Deere is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land.  Together with Farm Bureau, we are strengthening our agricultural communities and building for the future,” says Steve Geick, John Deere director of ag industry relations.

New members are eligible within a week of joining Iowa Farm Bureau. For more information on the GreenFleet Terms and Conditions, visit  To learn about all IFBF membership discounts, visit or call 866-598-3693.       

NOTE:  This member benefit is also available to Nebraska Farm Bureau members.... go to to see the details! 

Perdue to Swear-In Steve Censky and Ted McKinney TUESDAY

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will swear-in Steve Censky as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Ted McKinney as the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs TUESDAY, October 10th at 11:00 a.m. ET at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Censky and McKinney were unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate Tuesday, October 3rd.

Another Strong Month for U.S. Beef Exports; Pork Exports Slightly Lower Year-over-Year

U.S. beef exports posted another outstanding performance in August, remaining well above last year’s pace, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). August pork exports increased from the previous month but were down slightly year-over-year.

August beef exports totaled 112,069 metric tons (mt), up 5 percent from a year ago and the largest of 2017. Export value was the second-highest on record at $679.1 million – up 20 percent from a year ago and trailing only the record-high value ($688.8 million) reached in October 2014. For January through August, beef exports increased 10 percent in volume (823,433 mt) and 16 percent in value ($4.65 billion) compared to the first eight months of 2016.

Exports accounted for 12.5 percent of total U.S. beef production in August and 10.4 percent for muscle cuts only, compared to 13.7 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, last year. For January through August, beef exports accounted for 12.8 percent of total production (down from 13.2 percent) and 10.1 percent (steady with last year) for muscle cuts. Export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $290.05 in August, up 13 percent from a year ago. Through August, per-head export value was up 9 percent to $275.81.

Pork exports totaled 183,658 mt in August, down 2 percent year-over-year, valued at $511.4 million, down 0.3 percent. January-August volume remained 9 percent above last year’s record pace at 1.61 million mt, while export value increased 11 percent to $4.21 billion.

Exports accounted for 23.1 percent of total pork production in August (down from 24.1 percent a year ago) and 19.2 percent for muscle cuts only (down from 20 percent). For the first eight months of the year, the percentage of total production exported was 26.9 percent (up from 25.4 percent last year). For pork muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 22.4 percent (up from 21.3 percent). Export value per head slaughtered trended lower in August at $47.98, down 3 percent from a year ago, but the January-August average was still up 8 percent to $53.28.

“As we head into the final quarter, 2017 is shaping up as a very solid year for red meat exports but one in which the U.S. industry still faces significant challenges,” said USMEF CEO Philip Seng. “We have new pork plants coming on line and strong cattle-on-feed numbers, which sends a positive signal to our international customers about product availability. But the international markets are increasingly competitive, so we must continue to aggressively pursue new opportunities for U.S. red meat products in both our traditional mainstay destinations and in emerging markets.”

Beef exports to Japan largest of post-BSE era; strong rebound continues in Hong Kong

August beef exports to leading market Japan totaled 31,001 mt, up 22 percent from a year ago and the largest of the post-BSE era. Export value to Japan increased 35 percent and broke the $200 million mark ($200.05 million) for the first time since May 1996. For January through August, exports to Japan were up 23 percent in volume (209,502 mt) and 30 percent in value ($1.28 billion). Japan’s frozen beef safeguard was triggered in late July, increasing the duty on frozen beef imports from suppliers without a trade agreement with Japan, including the U.S., from 38.5 percent to 50 percent. The true impact of the higher duty rate will be revealed over the next few months, but August demand was not significantly affected. Frozen exports were 9,991 mt, up 15 percent from a year ago and just 2 percent below July. Chilled shipments accelerated at a faster rate (16,732 mt, up 62 percent year-over-year and up 27 percent from July), but this was already the trend prior to the duty rate increase on frozen beef.

Similar to July, beef exports to South Korea dipped slightly from a year ago in volume (17,188 mt, down 2 percent) but were still the largest of 2017, while August value increased 19 percent to $116.9 million. Through August, exports to Korea increased 8 percent in volume (116,132 mt) and 19 percent in value ($746.3 million) These totals included an impressive 88 percent increase in chilled beef exports (to 27,378 mt) valued at $243.8 million (up 94 percent).

After a slow start to the year, exports to Hong Kong continued to climb in August, with volume up 26 percent year-over-year to 9,250 mt and value increasing 41 percent to $67.7 million. January-August exports increased 14 percent in volume (74,629 mt) and were 24 percent higher in value ($485.5 million). Since the mid-June market opening, beef exports to China totaled 473 mt valued at just under $6 million.

Other January-August highlights for U.S. beef exports included:

-    Despite trending lower in August, beef exports to Taiwan increased 10 percent from a year ago in volume (28,524 mt) and 20 percent in value ($256.4 million). This included chilled beef exports of 11,854 mt (up 17 percent) valued at $140 million (up 22 percent). U.S. beef holds more than 70 percent of Taiwan’s chilled beef market, the highest of any Asian destination.
-    Led by Chile, Peru and Colombia, beef exports to South America increased 21 percent year-over-year in volume (18,799 mt) and 22 percent in value ($74.5 million).
-    Growing demand for U.S. beef in the ASEAN region’s foodservice and retail sectors helped push exports up 74 percent year-over-year in volume (26,359 mt), with value up 55 percent to $130.1 million. Exports to Indonesia and Vietnam were double last year’s level, while strong growth was also achieved in the Philippines, the region’s largest market for U.S. beef.
-    Exports to Canada saw a strong increase in August, pushing January-August volume up 3 percent in volume (77,727 mt) and value up 6 percent to $543.7 million.
-    South Africa continued to gain momentum as a strong market for U.S. beef variety meat, maintaining its position as the fourth-largest volume destination for these items. January-August variety meat exports totaled 9,910 mt, up 249 percent from a year ago.

Steady pork exports to Mexico in August; China/Hong Kong rebounds

Pork exports to Mexico remained on pace for a sixth consecutive volume record in August, with volume up slightly from a year ago to 65,037 mt. Export value also increased slightly to $129.6 million. Through August, exports increased 18 percent in volume (522,227 mt) and 22 percent in value ($984.1 million).

Exports to Japan, the leading value market for U.S. pork, declined in August as volume dipped 9 percent to 31,863 mt and value was down 7 percent to $140 million. Through August, exports to Japan remained modestly higher year-over-year in both volume (260,352 mt, up 1 percent) and value ($1.07 billion, up 4 percent). August chilled pork exports to Japan were the largest since March, though January-August volume (142,927 mt) was still down 3 percent from last year’s record pace. Chilled export value through August was $674.2 million, up 3 percent from a year ago. The U.S. competes primarily with Canadian pork in Japan’s high-value chilled pork market.

Other January-August highlights for U.S. pork exports included:

-    While August exports slowed year-over-year, U.S. pork continues to capitalize on strong red meat consumption growth in South Korea. January-August pork exports to Korea climbed 27 percent in volume (111,271 mt) and 32 percent in value ($305 million). Korea is an especially strong destination for pork used in further processing, but the market is highly competitive with the U.S., Chile and the European Union shipping pork to Korea duty-free under their respective free trade agreements. Canadian pork also enjoys reduced duties under an FTA with Korea.
-    In the China/Hong Kong region, August export volume was lower than a year ago but rebounded compared to the previous month. August exports were 34,616 mt (down 8 percent year-over-year but up 8 percent from July). Export value was $78.3 million, up 1 percent year-over-year and 14 percent above July). January-August exports to the region were 8 percent below last year’s pace in volume (341,080 mt) but down only 1 percent in value ($705.5 million).
-    Led by strong growth in Colombia, Chile and Peru, pork exports to South America remain a record pace with a near-doubling of export volume (63,922 mt, up 96 percent) and value doubling to $164.8 million.
-    Despite slowing modestly year-over-year in August, pork exports to Central America are also on a record pace. Led by mainstay market Honduras, export volume reached 43,917 mt, up 5 percent from a year ago, valued at $105.7 million (up 7 percent).
-    Strong growth in the Philippines and Singapore fueled a 22 percent increase (to 30,284 mt) in pork exports to the ASEAN region, valued at $78.4 million (up 33 percent).

August lamb exports second-largest of 2017

U.S. lamb export volume in August was below last year’s level at 659 mt (down 14 percent), but this was largest total since March and the second-largest of the year. Export value was up 20 percent to $1.72 million. Through August, lamb exports were down 13 percent from a year ago in volume (5,007 mt) but increased 10 percent in value to $12.8 million. For lamb muscle cuts only, January-August exports were up 14 percent in volume (1,474 mt) and 21 percent in value to just under $9 million. This included year-over-year growth to Mexico and Canada, along with promising increases to the Netherlands Antilles, the Bahamas, Honduras, Guatemala and Taiwan.

 Helping Consumers Rethink the Ranch

Promoting beef has become more complicated than it was in 1992 when your beef checkoff kicked off the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” brand.

That’s why “Rethink the Ranch” was born.

As your checkoff is re-introducing consumers to beef during this 25th anniversary of our iconic brand, we’re also introducing them to the real ranchers and farmers and their real stories about how they produce beef.

You see, sometimes people assume that their beef comes from a nameless, faceless entity. But we – and you – know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rethink the Ranch is a campaign to highlight the humanity behind beef production; to connect consumers to the process AND the people!

We want consumers to rethink everything that goes into beef production. So, this summer, a camera crew travelled 3,800 miles across the U.S., visiting six different cattle operations in four states. They captured more than 100 hours of video, along with images and stories about people like you. Take a look at how producers are showcased in the Rethink the Ranch video....

Be sure to follow these producers' stories from Iowa, Washington, Florida and California as your checkoff helps consumers #RethinkTheRanch. (Notice that hashtag? Yep, that’s something that has changed in beef promotion since 1992!) Share their stories with consumers so they can meet some of today’s farmers and ranchers who bring beef from pasture to plate. They’ll also learn about the advanced tools and techniques that are used in beef production. These are practices and innovations that will come as a surprise to many consumers!

This will be the first time that will promote both the product and the people who produce that product. The site tells a brand story that is focused on promoting beef’s greatest strengths: the unbeatable taste of beef, the people and production process behind beef, the variety and ease of cooking beef, and the nutritional strength that beef provides.

Learn more about your beef checkoff investment at And, don’t forget to check out the NEW!

ACE submits comments on how high-octane ethanol blends can help meet fuel economy, emissions standards

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) set forth recommendations to accelerate the transition of transportation fuels to low-cost, high-octane biofuels such as ethanol in its comments submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the final determination of fuel economy and emissions standards for model year 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles.

ACE has been in dialogue with automakers, agricultural organizations, government researchers and many others to develop strategies and action plans to accelerate the use of high-octane fuel, and the CAFE-GHG standards present a natural and timely opportunity for this transition to occur. 

“While the CAFE-GHG program has resulted in meaningful progress with respect to fuel efficiency and GHG emissions, this progress will plateau unless EPA increases the octane rating of fuel used in future engines,” said Brian Jennings, ACE Executive Vice President.  “With a blending-octane rating of 113, American-made ethanol is the lowest-cost, low-carbon source of octane on the planet.”

Below are ACE’s summarized recommendations for the “Reconsideration of the Final Determination of the Midterm Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Model Year 2022-2025 Light-duty Vehicles.”......
 ·    Enable automakers to test future vehicles on a high-octane blend by approving an alternative certification fuel with 25 to 30 percent ethanol and a minimum octane of 98-100 RON.
 ·    Establish a performance standard for gasoline with a minimum octane level of 98-100 RON.  This will help foster a marketplace in which the private sector competes and innovates to produce low-cost high-octane fuels.
 ·    Make changes so ethanol is no longer penalized with respect to fuel economy or emissions including correcting the fuel economy equation, crediting ethanol’s upstream GHG reductions or its displacement of petroleum, and correcting the outdated MOVES model used in calculating the GHG emissions of ethanol. 
 ·    Restore credits to automakers for the manufacture of flexible fuel vehicles and consider a new incentive for future engines designed to achieve maximum fuel efficiency on high-octane fuels.
 ·    Ensure that EPA’s GHG standards are harmonized with the Department of Transportation’s fuel economy requirements and efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions by the California Air Resources Board.  Automakers need “one stop” compliance procedures.
 ·    Provide Reid vapor pressure (RVP) relief to E15 and higher ethanol blends.
 ·    Update the lifecycle analysis of corn ethanol.

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