Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday October 30 Ag News + Crop Progress & Condition


For the week ending October 29, 2017, temperatures averaged near normal across western Nebraska, but two to five degrees below normal in the east, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation was limited across the State. Dry weather allowed farmers to make good progress on corn and soybean harvests. Some producers experienced cornstalk breakage and ear loss due to high winds. There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 13 short, 84 adequate, and 2 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 15 short, 80 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 24 fair, 43 good, and 21 excellent. Corn harvested was 45 percent, well behind 66 last year and 67 for the five-year average.

Soybeans harvested was 89 percent, equal to last year, and near 93 average.

Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 33 fair, 45 good, and 10 excellent. Winter wheat planted was 98 percent, near 100 last year and 99 average. Emerged was 88 percent, behind 95 last year, and near 91 average.

Sorghum condition rated 3 percent very poor, 2 poor, 17 fair, 51 good, and 27 excellent. Sorghum harvested was 47 percent, well behind 79 last year and 71 average.

Alfalfa fourth cutting was 96 percent complete, ahead of 91 last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 11 poor, 43 fair, 38 good, and 5 excellent. Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 95 adequate, and 0 surplus.


A mostly dry week allowed Iowa farmers to progress their harvest with 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 29, 2017, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain and soybeans, spreading manure, applying fertilizers, hauling grain, and starting fall tillage.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 16 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Nearly a quarter of the corn for grain crop has been harvested this past week reaching 44 percent complete, but it still remains nearly two weeks behind the 5-year average. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 19 percent. East central and south east Iowa are the only districts to have over 50 percent of their corn for grain crop harvested. There were several reports of corn yields being better than expected; however, excessive winds this past week has caused lodging in the fields. Corn condition rated 66 percent good to excellent.

Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop was harvested, six days behind average. Southwest, south central, and south east Iowa still has a third or more of their soybean crop to harvest.

Pasture condition remained unchanged from last week at 35 percent good to excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as normal, with few reports of cattle in fields feeding on stover.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress

The U.S. corn harvest made up some ground last week, but continued to trail the five-year average pace for the week ended Sunday, Oct. 29, according to USDA's latest Crop Progress report released on Monday.

USDA estimated that 54% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, down from 73% a year ago and 18 percentage points behind the five-year average of 72% harvested. That represented a slight improvement from last Monday's report when the corn harvest trailed the average pace by 21 percentage points.

USDA estimated that 83% of the soybean crop was harvested as of Sunday, down slightly from 85% a year ago and near the five-year average of 84% harvested.

Meanwhile, USDA said 84% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, down from 85% a year ago and below the five-year average of 87% planted. Sixty-five percent of winter wheat was emerged, down from 69% a year ago and down from a five-year average of 68%.

USDA also reported crop conditions for the 2018 winter wheat crop for the first time. Fifty-two percent of winter wheat was rated in good-to-excellent condition.

Sorghum was 59% harvested, behind the five-year average of 69%.

Cotton was 93% in the bolls opening stage and the crop was 46% harvested nationwide, slightly ahead of the average pace of 45% harvested.

Ricketts Seeks Applicants for Agriculture, Economic Development Directors to Grow Nebraska

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced plans to seek applicants to serve as the next Director for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).

“These positions are a key part of realizing my administration’s vision to grow Nebraska,” said Governor Ricketts.  “As we look for directors to lead these agencies, I’ll be seeking trusted advocates who can market our state around the world, successfully recruit businesses and investment in targeted industries, and continue to make Nebraska an event better place to do business.”

Interested applicants can apply here or by emailing the Governor’s office at

Former NDA Director Greg Ibach was sworn in as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at a ceremony earlier today.  DED Director Courtney Dentlinger recently announced plans to leave the agency to serve as the Government Affairs Manager for the Nebraska Public Power District.

NDA Deputy Director Mat Habrock will serve as interim director.

DED Director Dentlinger will serve until December 1, 2017. An interim DED director will be named at that time.

Ricketts Congratulates Ibach at USDA Under Secretary Swearing-In Ceremony
Today, Governor Pete Ricketts attended the swearing-in ceremony of former Director of the Department of Agriculture Greg Ibach.  Ibach was sworn-in as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

“Greg has been a tremendous contributor to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts during his remarks.  “We’re very excited that he is going to be able to make a contribution to the USDA and help out the Trump Administration.”

Combine Adjustments for Downed Corn

As if rain delays weren’t frustrating enough this harvest, a broad swath of southern Nebraska experienced high winds Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, downing corn and leaving 20-70 bu/ac grain on the ground in some areas.

In some fields it may be beneficial to harvest the field in one direction so the snouts can get under the flattened corn, dead heading from the field end to the beginning to continue harvesting in the same direction.

Checking the fields will also help growers to priorize those areas that are weakened and most likely to go down with snow or more high winds. 

In 2015 Nebraska faced similar challenges and Marion Calmer, farmer and president of Calmer Agronomic Research Center, Lynn Center, Illinois shared his recommendations for harvesting downed corn.

Each tip is listed below, but it’s worth the time to view the presentation where Calmer discusses each recommendation more fully and shows photos of how and where to make the combine adjustments.

Each harvest situation, manager, and combine differs. Making just two or three of these adjustments may be all that's needed, Calmer says, to improve your harvest....
-    Install auto header height on your corn head.
-    Flatten the corn head angle to 20°F for downed corn so gravity is less of an energy. Corn tends to slide up and over the hoods a lot easier when the head is set at a flatter angle.
-    If the corn is lodged “with the row,” steepen the corn angle.
-    Synchronize gathering chain speed to ground speed. (If you’re running in standing corn at 2 mph, the gathering chain should be making 27 revolutions per minute.)
-    Set the clearance between the tray and cross auger flighting at 2 inches for downed corn. (Opening up the gap allows more of the dislodged material to move over the poly hood.)
-    Open stripper plates
-    Use more taper from bottom to top on stripper plates.
-    Center the stripping tunnel above the stalk roll tunnel.
-    Synchronize gathering chain lugs to be opposed from one another.
-    Attach metal paddles onto every other gathering chain lug to increase the conveying capacity of chain.
-    Install a corn reel.
-    Take off any end risers or tall corn extensions.
-    Remove rubber ear savers.
-    Add weight to poly divider snouts to help them stay under the canopy.
-    Grind the wear shoe tips of the dividers or shim to give more pitch to help them stay under the canopy.
-    Use stalk rolls with revolving windows,
-    Start harvesting on the downwind side of the field.
-    Consider turning the gathering chains around to increase aggressiveness.

Stay Safe!

Slogging through harvest with downed corn is slow, frustrating, and can fray one's nerves. Take time to rest so when you're working, you can stay alert.

4 Ag Land Lease Workshops Scheduled

Allan Vyhnalek - NE Extension Educator

Four ag land lease workshops will be held in conjunction with the "So You've Inherited a Farm, Now What?” workshops this fall. Land lease workshops, designed to help landlords and tenants develop a lease that is a good fit for both parties, will be held at:
Hall County: November 6, 1:30 p.m. (Grand Island – Hall County Ext Office)
Phelps County: November 8, 4 p.m. (Phelps County office in Holdrege)
Holt County: November 9, 6:30 p.m. (O’Neill at the Holt County Extension office)
Cass County: December 4, 1:30 p.m. (Weeping Water – Cass County Extension office)

Topics will include the latest land values and cash rental rates for the area and state, communication and information sharing between a tenant and landlord, common lease provisions, and lease termination, among other topics.

If you have questions about the workshops, please contact Nebraska Extension Educator Allan Vyhnalek... 

November Ag Law and Ag Finance Clinics

Openings are available for one-on-one, confidential farm finance and ag law consultations being conducted across the state each month. An experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor will be available to address farm and ranch issues related to financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters. The clinics offer an opportunity to seek an experienced outside opinion on issues affecting your farm or ranch.

Clinic Sites and Dates
    Grand Island — Thursday, November 2
    Norfolk — Thursday, November 9
    North Platte — Thursday, November 9
    Valentine— Friday, November 10
    Fairbury — Friday, November 17
    Norfolk — Thursday, November 30

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor these clinics.

Ag Land Management, Tenant/Landowner Workshop

Anyone who owns farmland may want to participate in this workshop providing information and education about leasing farmland.   Learn lease strategies for this asset by attending this seminar at the  Holt County Annex, 128th N. 6th St, O’Neill.  The event will be held November 9th, 2017 at 6:30 PM.

What are key lease provisions?   How do we manage leasing with proper landlord/tenant communications and expectations?   What are the current land values?   What are the current cash rental rates?   These are some of the topics which will be covered.  “Unfortunately, there are folks that manage their lease from information received from the coffee shop, or other place of socialization,” says Allan Vyhnalek, one of the presenters.   We hope participants learn about other ways to research information which can be used to set leases.

To attend please call 402-336-2760 to register.   The cost is: $5.00.

The workshop is designed for both the landlord and tenant, so both are receiving the same message.   It is also designed to be a refresher course for those that would like to have the latest information on land management and rental.   The program is being provided by Allan Vyhnalek, and Jim Jansen, Extension Educators from Nebraska Extension.   They provide the farm land management education in eastern Nebraska.

For more information or assistance, please contact Allan Vyhnalek, Extension Educator, Farm Succession, Phone: 402-472-1771, or e-mail

Workshops aim to give ranchers the tools to know their costs, operate their ranch as a business

Having information to make effective business decisions is important for ranch success.

Enterprise analysis and unit cost of production (UCOP) are tools that can help ranchers identify where value is being created on the ranch, where costs are occurring, and what changes could be made to improve profit.

For cow-calf producers, UCOP is figured as cost per pound of weaned calf.   Knowing what it costs to develop a bred heifer, harvest a ton of hay or put a pound of gain on a stocker or a yearling are valuable information as well for the ranch business manager.
A series of two-day workshops in November and December at several Nebraska communities will provide a hands-on learning experience for producers to learn how to calculate a unit cost of production for a cow-calf operation.   Workshops will be held in Chadron, O’Neill, North Platte, and Kimball.
Workshop participants will work through a sample ranch to determine the profitability of four common types of ranch enterprises: cow-calf, stockers/breeding heifers, hay, and land.   Participants will go through the steps of analyzing costs and calculating what it costs to produce a unit of product for each enterprise. They will also learn how to identify how changes that could improve ranch profitability.

It takes time to set up and calculate a UCOP, but the benefits are:
·    Knowing what present costs are;
·    Projecting what unit cost of production will be in 2018;
·    Identifying opportunities to improve profitability;
·    Using information to make management and marketing decisions.

Sounds difficult?   Hands-on, group activities, and examples of how to calculate key numbers will help participants through the process. They will receive access to Excel® spreadsheet templates that can help analyze cost of production for their own operation.   Extension Educators Aaron Berger, Jay Jenkins, and Bethany Johnston will be available for follow-up after the workshops.
Below is the date, location and contact information for pre-registration with the local host.

Nov. 13 and 14 at O’Neill: O’Neill Community Center Room C, 8:30 am-4 pm CST; contact Amy Timmerman 402-336-2760 or;

Cost is $50 per person and covers meals for both days. Please pre-register one week prior for a meal count.  Payment is due the day of the workshop. Workshops are limited to 30 people per location. Contact Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122 with questions about the workshops.

USDA Providing Funds to Protect and Restore Agricultural Land, Grasslands and Wetlands Across Nebraska

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). This program, created under the 2014 Farm Bill, provides funding for the purchase of conservation easements to help productive farm and ranch lands remain in agriculture and to restore and protect critical wetlands and grasslands.

Acting State Conservationist Myron Taylor said, “Conservation easements are a good tool to ensure natural resources are conserved and protected for all Nebraskans. We encourage Indian tribes, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and private landowners to contact their local NRCS office to find out how to apply.”

The main goal of ACEP is to prevent productive agriculture land from being converted to non-agricultural uses and to restore and protect wetlands and wildlife habitat. Cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland are eligible.

Applications can be submitted at any time, but to be considered for 2018 funding opportunities, applications in Nebraska must be received by December 1. Applications are currently being accepted for both agricultural land and wetland reserve easements.

NRCS provides technical and financial assistance directly to private and tribal landowners to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands through the purchase of conservation easements. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.

A key option under the agricultural land easement component is the "grasslands of special environmental significance" that will protect high-quality grasslands that are under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development and other non-grazing uses.

All applications will be rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. Eligible applicants will be compensated with a payment rate comparable to the local land use value.

Applicants will need to provide accurate records of ownership and ensure they have established current year ownership eligibility with USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Application information is available at your local USDA Service Center and at

“NRCS staff will work with all interested applicants to help them through the application process and provide one-on-one assistance to create the conservation easement option that works best for their farming or ranching operation,” Taylor said.

For more information about the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the programs and services it provides, visit your local USDA Service Center or

Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference Feb. 22-23

Risk management will be the focus of the 2018 Women in Agriculture (WIA) Conference February 22-23 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney.

The conference is an annual two-day event designed to educate and uplift women producers involved in any aspect of Nebraska's agricultural industry. Through workshops and presentations, attendees will learn how to better manage risk, improve their farms and ranches, and become more successful operators and business partners.

This conference focuses on the five areas of agricultural risk management with more than 30 concurrent workshops on:
    Production Risk
    Market Risk
    Financial Risk
    Human Risk
    Legal Risk

Keynote speaker Ruth Hambleton, founder of Annie’s Project, will empower and educate women producers. Hambleton counseled hundreds of farm families through the 1980s farm crisis and brings fresh hope for the current financial crunch.

Ann Finkner, Farm Credit Services of America Senior Vice President Chief Administrative Officer, will be the capstone speaker. Finkner understands the complexity, stress, and multiple roles women in agriculture face and will share resources to help women recharge.
Women in Ag promo
Information and Registration

Early bird registration is $125; registrations after February 5 are $150. For more information about the conference, visit the Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference website....

IFBF to Conduct Annual Farm Income Tax Webinar

With new changes to the tax code and revised regulations, farmers know that staying up to date on the latest tax changes and preparing farm income taxes can be a real challenge. To aid in the process, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) will present its annual Iowa Farm Income Tax webinar on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.

A host of experts will cover the key information farmers need to know as they look towards this year's tax preparation. The speakers will draw on their expertise to provide the latest information and tax tips to help farmers navigate the challenges of tax preparation. Webinar participants will also have the opportunity ask questions of the presenters.

Webinar presenters include Kristine Tidgren, extension staff attorney with the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation (CALT) at Iowa State University (ISU), and Charles Brown, ISU extension farm management specialist.

The live webinar will be available online to anyone wishing to attend, and a recording of the session will be available exclusively to Farm Bureau members online, along with webinar materials, following the webinar.

Farmers can pre-register and receive reminder e-mails at the Iowa Farm Bureau website. Pre-registration is not required, so farmers can also join the webinar from their home of farm office the day of the event.

"Today's farmers face countless challenges, and we know that yearly farm income tax preparation is one of the biggest challenges faced," says Ed Kordick, IFBF commodity services manager. "Each year there are valuable updates and tips shared, and this year will include 2017 tax strategies, health insurance information, proposed tax law changes and more. We look forward to providing our members a timely and valuable farm income tax update as they prepare for this year's tax filing."

For more information, contact Kordick at

ISU Extension and Outreach Offers Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has scheduled a series of Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars to be held across the state in November and December.

The program is designed to provide agribusiness leaders a concise evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock income potential and management implications. Participants also will receive an overview of the agricultural industry and learn how changes may affect Iowa producers.

Speakers will vary by location but will include ISU Extension and Outreach state specialists Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist; Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist; Lee Schulz, assistant professor and livestock economist; and Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist. ISU Extension and Outreach field specialists will also be present at the meetings.

This program takes a deep look into the outlook for agriculture in 2018 and provides an opportunity to discuss the current Iowa economic situation with university experts.

Seminars locations and dates
    Waterloo – Friday, Nov. 10 at 9:30 a.m. Hawkeye Community College, Tama Hall
    Altoona – Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. Polk County Extension Office
    Fort Dodge – Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. Webster County Extension Office
    Mason City – Friday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. Hardin County Extension Office
    Carroll – Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 9:30 a.m. Carroll County Extension Office
    Spencer – Friday, Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. Spencer School Administrative Building
    Greenfield – Monday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. Warren Cultural Center
    Iowa City – Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m. Johnson County Extension Office

Registration can be done on-site 30 minutes prior to the start of each program. There is a registration fee for the program. Additional registration information can be found at

America’s Pig Farmers Demonstrate Principles of One Health Day

The National Pork Board, representing America’s 60,000 pig farmers, is pleased to celebrate global One Health Day on Nov. 3 by reaffirming its ongoing commitment to the core value of doing what’s right for the overall health of people, pigs and the planet. 

“As pig farmers, we believe in raising pigs in ways that go beyond animal health and that are mutually beneficial to human and environmental health,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “One Health Day is a good time to reflect on our ongoing responsible antibiotic use, but also to focus on how we can continue to improve our on-farm antibiotic stewardship and reduce the risk of increased antimicrobial resistance.”

While the official observance of One Health Day is only in its second year, America’s pig farmers have long held and practiced the approach that the One Health community espouses toward responsible antibiotic use. On Nov. 3 at Iowa State University, the National Pork Board’s Heather Fowler, Checkoff’s director of producer and public health, will present an overview of the pork industry’s part in responsible antibiotic use. She will address veterinary, medical and public health students.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a public health issue with numerous contributors across human, animal and environmental health,” Fowler said. “Because of this, we must take the One Health, multi-disciplinary approach to identify feasible solutions that can be implemented across these three sectors.”

Fowler sees collaboration as the only way forward in identifying real-world solutions for the complex global issue. As proof of the industry’s seriousness about the responsible use of antimicrobials, she points to long-time programs such as Pork Quality Assurance® Plus certification, as well as the Pork Board approving a Checkoff investment of more than $6 million for antibiotic-related studies since 2000.

“We have held true to our vision of doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet on our farms every day and by fulfilling our mission through research, education and outreach efforts,” O’Neel said. “Now, it’s our job to share this with the public and to collaborate with others to help ensure the best possible outcome for humans, animals and the environment.”

2017-18 National FFA Officer Team Elected at 90th National FFA Convention & Expo

Students from Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Oklahoma have been elected by delegates throughout the United States to serve on the 2017-18 National FFA Officer team.

Breanna Holbert, an agricultural education major at California State University of Chico, was elected national president. Holbert is the first female African American elected to the office of president. Erica Baier, an agricultural education major at Iowa State University, was elected national secretary.

Piper Merritt, an agricultural economics major at Oklahoma State University, was elected central region vice president. Bryce Cluff, an agricultural technology and management: education major at the University of Arizona, will serve as western region vice president.

Ian Bennett, majoring in agriscience and environmental systems - plant breeding and genetics at the University of Georgia, was elected southern region vice president. Gracie Furnish, a career and technical education major at the University of Kentucky, will serve as eastern region vice president.

Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each officer travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public, and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

Growth Energy: 2 Billion Miles Surpassed on E15

Today, Growth Energy announced that in just five months, American drivers have surpassed another billion miles on E15, bringing the total miles driven across the U.S. to 2 billion. This comes  on the heels of Growth Energy’s recent announcement that more than 1,000 stations across the country are currently offering E15 to consumers.

“This latest milestone cements the fact that drivers have embraced the tremendous benefits E15 offers and highlights just how rapidly consumer demand is growing,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “E15 is a smart choice for consumers who care about their car’s engines, want a healthy environment, and seek better value at the pump. We’re thrilled to lead the charge with Prime the Pump to bring more and more drivers this option every day.”

More than 1,000 fuel stations around the country are offering E15—nearly triple the number of stations from the same time last year, and almost 16 million American adults have access to the fuel with more choosing it every day. Growth Energy is proud to partner with leading retailers including Casey’s, Cenex, Family Express, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Sheetz, and Thorntons to offer E15 to their customers.

“E15 is experiencing incredible growth both in terms of retailers offering it at their convenience stores and consumers reaching for it at the pump. This momentum is another clear reminder for lawmakers that we must make this choice available year-round,” Skor added.

E15 is approved for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer, as well as, all flex fuel vehicles, which combined represent more than 87 percent of the vehicles on the road.

Soy Growers Respond to FDA Action on Heart Health Claim

The American Soybean Association (ASA) issued a statement Monday in response to indications from the Food and Drug Administration that the agency will revoke the unqualified health claim regarding soy protein and coronary heart disease (CHD). ASA President and Illinois farmer Ron Moore reiterated the ability of soy protein to contribute to heart health:

“In a time when heart disease is the number one cause of death both in the United States and the world, we can’t afford to discourage people from taking steps to improve their diets with heart-healthy ingredients. There is still evidence that shows eating soy protein can help reduce the risk of heart disease, and while we are of course disappointed that FDA is looking at moving the health claim for these products from ‘unqualified’ to ‘qualified,’ it’s important for consumers to remember that soy protein can be an important part of a heart-healthy diet. Even in today’s announcement, FDA still refers customers to the agency’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, which state that healthy eating patterns include soy beverages and a variety of protein foods, including soy products. Moving forward, we hope that in its upcoming reevaluation of the available data, FDA will focus on the many studies that show the heart-healthy benefits of a diet that includes soy protein.”

Dairy Cattle Impact on Beef Supplies

Jared Geiser, Research Assistant  &  Brenda Boetel, Professor and Extension Economist
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

The dairy cattle sector is a vital contributor to U.S. beef supplies. With fluctuating beef cow inventories over the past decade, the U.S. dairy herd has offered a stable source of both feeder cattle and cull cows to fill beef demand. In 2016 the dairy sector contributed 5.7 billion pounds (22.7%) of beef through cull cows and finished dairy steers and heifers to the U.S. beef supply chain.

The percent contributed by the dairy industry has grown since 2002 when beef from dairy cattle contributed 17.9% of the U.S. beef supplies to 22.7% in 2016. While growth in the amount of beef produced from dairy steers and cull cows has not been steady, it is has less variability than beef from native cattle. Over the period of 2002 to 2016, U.S. commercial beef production peaked in 2002 at 27 billion pound, of which 4.8 billion pounds was from dairy cattle. Beef production in 2016 was 25.2 billion, of which 5.7 billion of those pounds was from dairy cattle.

Finished dairy steers contribute more to U.S. beef supplies than culled dairy cows. Finished dairy steers contributed 2.9 billion pounds (10.8%) of total pounds harvested in 2002 and 3.5 billion pounds (13.8%) in 2016. Continued contributions from dairy steers can be expected with the dairy cowherd surpassing 2015 levels and reaching a new high since 2002. Increased cow numbers lead to more calves and in turn more steers reaching harvest. Cull dairy cows contributed 1.6 billion pounds (5.8%) in 2002 and 1.9 billion pounds (7.5%) in 2016. Dairy heifers provided 349 million pounds (1.3%) of beef in 2002 and 356 million pounds (1.41%) of beef in 2016.

Often overlooked is the amount of prime beef contributed by dairy animals, particularly dairy steers. With 85-90% of dairy animals being Holstein, Holstein steers contribute the largest portion of dairy beef. While traditionally discounted, Holsteins, particularly when managed as calf feds, have the potential for quality and yield premiums. Due to more predictability in feeding and genetics, finished Holsteins, when compared to beef breeds, will produce a larger percentage grading prime or choice. Between 2002 and 2016, Holstein steers have contributed between 32 and 60% (depending on the year) of prime beef harvested in the U.S.

Since 2002 the dairy industry has continued to be vital to beef supply and therefore prices. Dairy steers, heifers, and cull cows provide a significant percentage of the U.S. commercial beef production, and as such have an impact on market prices.

BASF launches Zidua SC herbicide as new tool for growers against resistant weeds

Corn, soybean and wheat growers in the U.S. have a new solution against resistant weeds — BASF’s Zidua® SC (Suspension Concentrate) herbicide.

Zidua SC herbicide offers the same long-lasting weed control as Zidua herbicide, but in an improved SC liquid formulation. Labeled for corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat, Zidua SC helps growers improve handling and tank mixability for a better application experience.

In addition, Zidua SC herbicide provides effective control on weeds resistant to not only glyphosate (group 9), but to also triazines (group 5) and ACCase (group 1), ALS (group 2) and PPO (group 14) inhibitors.

“Resistant weeds continue to challenge growers who are requesting new tools to help manage their fields,” said Daniel Waldstein, BASF Technical Marketing Manager. “Waterhemp and Palmer pigweed are especially difficult to control because they continue to emerge throughout the season. Our research trials have shown that Zidua SC herbicide provides up to two weeks longer residual control of these challenging weeds.”

Zidua SC herbicide offers the lowest use rate of any group 15 herbicide, allowing growers to select the best rate for their fields. Increased application flexibility from fall to early pre-plant to early post-emergence in corn and soybeans, gives growers more options throughout the season.

“As weed management becomes increasingly complex, Zidua SC herbicide gives growers a simple solution to combat resistant weeds and help boost yields on their farms,” said Waldstein.

For more information, visit

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