Saturday, December 2, 2017

Friday December 1 Ag News


The power of knowledge will be in full force at the 11th Annual Nebraska Power Farming Show,
presented by Farm Credit Services of America and AgDirect, with 15 educational seminars
scheduled throughout the show.

It all starts Tuesday, December 5th, with the seminars “Agronomy presentation by Ag PhD,” “Ag PhD Radio Show [LIVE recording],” “Saving the Family Farm: Farm Succession Planning, Estate Planning, Investments & Insurance,” “Lessons Learned from Producers: Habits of Confident, Effective Farm Marketers,” “Agronomy presentation by Ag PhD,” and “Ag PhD Radio Show [LIVE broadcast].”

Sessions scheduled for Wednesday, December 6th, include “La Nina on the Doorstep: Implications for the 2018 Crop Production Season,” “Unique Challenges Facing Farmers When it Comes to Estate Planning and Business Succession,” “BuildingOn: Learn about Home Construction and Financing on an Acreage,” “3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Workman’s Comp,” and “Lessons Learned from Producers: Habits of Confident, Effective Farm Marketers.”

Sessions conclude Thursday, December 7th, with “La Nina on the Doorstep: Implications for the 2018 Crop Production Season,” “Unique Challenges Facing Farmers When it Comes to Estate Planning and Business Succession,” “Lessons Learned from Producers: Habits of Confident, Effective Farm Marketers,” and “BuildingOn: Learn about Home Construction and Financing on an Acreage.”

The second largest indoor U.S. farm show, the Nebraska Power Farming Show will be held
December 5-7 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Show hours are 9 am to 5 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 am to 3 pm Thursday. Admission and parking at the Lancaster
Event Center are FREE! For additional show information, visit

The Nebraska Power Farming Show is produced by the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers
Association in conjunction with local Nebraska and Iowa farm equipment dealerships. The show
is sponsored by: Diamond Sponsor – Farm Credit Services of America and AgDirect; Platinum
Sponsors – Bayer CropScience and Nebraska Farm Bureau; Gold Sponsors – Mitas and Stine
Seed Company; and Media Sponsors – Midwest Messenger and Rural Radio Network.

USDA Announces Sorghum Board Appointments

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of five members to serve on the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board. The producers appointed to serve three year terms are:
-    Klint G. Stewart Columbus, Neb.
-    Carlton Bridgeforth, Decatur, Ala.
-    Verity Ulibarri, Melrose, N.M.
-    Shayne C. Suppes, Scott City, Kan. 
-    Charles Ray Huddleston, Celina, Texas

“The United Sorghum Checkoff Program helps sorghum producers maintain and expand sorghum markets through their efforts with research, promotion, and information sharing,” said Perdue. “Their work is important as sorghum production is critical to the U.S. farm sector and the American economy as a whole."

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is comprised of 13 U.S. sorghum farmers.  Membership includes five seats for the largest production state (Kansas), three seats for the second largest production state (Texas) and one seat for the third largest production state (Oklahoma).

The board is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards.  They empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity for participating stakeholders.

High Plains Regional Climate Center Turns 30

The High Plains Regional Climate Center quietly turned 30 this year, while it continued to collect and make available a host of climate data, organized and taught numerous climate training workshops and answered hundreds of consumer calls.

The center didn't pause to celebrate.

Instead, it continued to crank out the products it has become best-known for -- climate maps, with a rainbow-colored scale, that stand as a record of climate conditions of the recent past -- all while continuing to have an eye on its future.

"The nature of climate services has really changed since we were established in 1987," said Natalie Umphlett, HPRCC interim director. "We had a larger research mission when we started. Now we focus more on engagement and product development with our partners and for our stakeholders."

"Our stakeholders are making decisions using climate data, so a major focus for us is to figure out how to best help them do that," added Crystal Stiles, applied climatologist with the center.

The High Plains Regional Climate Center was one of three pilot centers created in response to the National Climate Program Act, passed by Congress in 1978. The act recognized a need for accurate, localized climate information to support government decision makers, but also stakeholders, such as Natural Resource Districts, watershed managers and even producers. The decision was partially driven by this one fact: Climate recognizes no political boundary.

And so, the High Plains Regional Climate Center was born. It covers a six-state region: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, and works in conjunction with the five other regional climate centers that serve the nation. All are supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In addition to its climate services, which make available climate data and information to the public, the center also develops and delivers products that turn raw climate data into usable information on local, regional and national scales. Familiar products include their precipitation and temperature maps, but also growing degree day maps that highlight when certain pests may be an issue for producers.

The center also hosts five agro-climate decision-support tools that were produced as part of the U2U project, a collaborative research effort funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it conducts research of its own as part of its role with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research topics include, resilient cropping systems, drought planning, municipal climate adaptation and tribal climate resilience.

"Our customer base is large," Umphlett said. It includes researchers, educators, nonprofit organizations, utility companies, insurance companies, media, engineers, and state, federal and tribal governments. In the past five years, the center has served applied climate data needs in every state in the nation and more than 20 countries and U.S. territories.

All with six employees, two of which have been with the center since the 1990s.

Despite its reach, the center is often overlooked as its primary function is to store and make climate data available to users. Yet its data helps inform the US Drought Monitor map and Nebraska Extension weather, climate and crop decisions.

But they aren't in it for the glory. They're in it to help fill a gap in stakeholder need, which is why they'll continue interacting and engaging with stakeholders and continue developing new climate data products.

Hopefully for at least another 30 years.


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that he will complete his annual visits to each of Iowa’s 99 counties with stops in Pocahontas, Ida and Monona Counties on Monday, December 4.

Northey will meet with community leaders in Pocahontas, tour GOMACO Corporation in Ida Grove and visit Lewis and Clark State Park in Onawa.

The details of the visits follow here: Monday, December 4, 2017
Pocahontas County – 12:00 p.m., have lunch with Pocahontas community leaders, Family Table Restaurant, 11 SW 7th St., Pocahontas
Ida County – 2:30 p.m., tour GOMACO Corporation, 121 E. Hwy 175, Ida Grove
Monona County – 4:30 p.m., visit Lewis and Clark State Park, 21914 Park Loop, Onawa

Northey, a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, is serving his third term as Secretary of Agriculture. His priorities as Secretary of Agriculture are promoting the use of science and new technologies to better care for our air, soil and water, and reaching out to tell the story of Iowa agriculture. Follow along with the Secretary’s travels on Twitter by using the hashtag #northey99.  Also, a map highlighting the counties he has visited so far this year can be found at

RMA Announces Changes to its Crop Insurance Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced changes to its crop insurance policies. Major changes for 2018 focus on conservation compliance certification and choice of unit structure based on the risk management needs of producers.

“Every producer’s situation is unique. At RMA we want to ensure the policies we provide are flexible enough so that producers are getting the most effective and efficient coverage. Ensuring producers have the right coverage helps to strengthen the farm safety net,” said RMA Acting Administrator Heather Manzano.

To offer producers increased flexibility, RMA has removed the June 1 certification deadline date from the conservation compliance provisions and will instead refer to the premium billing date. This will allow the conservation compliance certification process for crop insurance to be administered more consistently with the way it is administered for other USDA programs. RMA is also streamlining its services by now allowing a policyholder to select an enterprise unit for either irrigated or non-irrigated practice. Policyholders may also choose the most appropriate unit structure on the other practice, be it a separate enterprise unit or optional or basic units.  These changes reduce the burden placed on producers and makes crop insurance more accessible.

RMA worked closely with its stakeholders to identify the changes, which were published Nov. 24 in the Federal Register.

Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for December 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for December 2017. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for December is 1.500 percent, up from 1.375 percent in November.

The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during December is 2.500 percent, up from 2.375 percent in November.

Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for December are as follows, 1.750 percent with three-year loan terms, up from 1.625 percent in November; 2.000 percent with five-year loan terms, up from 1.875 percent in November; 2.250 percent with seven-year loan terms, up from 2.125 percent in November; 2.375 percent with 10-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.375 percent in November and; 2.375 percent with 12-year loan terms, unchanged from 2.375 percent in November.

Packers Increase Livestock Slaughter for Holidays

Meat production is accelerating as packers prepare for a holiday demand boost. The USDA estimates that packers will slaughter a total 2.535M hogs this week, up from 2.46M in the last full week ahead of the Thanksgiving break. The higher demand has required packers to pay more for slaughter-ready hogs this week, with cash prices rising after trending lower through much of November. Packers also increased the rate of cattle slaughter to an estimated 649,000 head.

Brazil Soybean Planting Approaching Its End

Brazilian soybean farmers are almost done with their planting tasks for the 2017-2018 season, having finished 92% of the work as of Nov 30, according to agricultural consultancy AgRural. That's ahead of the 90% finished on the same date a year ago and the 87% average for the past five years, the group said. Farmers were able to make up for early delays in planting related to a lack of precipitation during October thanks to steady rain in November, said AgRural, which has estimated a crop of 110.2 million metric sons for the season. The consultancy will update its forecast for the crop next week.


The fifth session of the Ad Hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, part of the Codex Alimentarius Commission – the U.N.’s food-safety standards-setting body – was held this week in Jeju, South Korea.  National Pork Producers Council chief veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom and NPPC’s director of international trade policy, sanitary & technical issues, Courtney Knupp, attended. Both were at the meeting to provide technical expertise on the foodborne spread of antimicrobial resistance. Wagstrom is a member of the U.S. delegation to the Codex commission; Knupp is a delegate to the non-profit International Meat Secretariat.

The focus of the meeting was revising the Codex Code of Practice to Minimize and Contain Antimicrobial Resistance and drafting new guidelines on integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance. Those items will be addressed over the next two years as the task force formulates recommendations it will present to the Codex commission.

NPPC will be an active contributor as it remains focused on animal and consumer health as well as international trade facilitation.

National Pork Industry Foundation to Award $2,500 Scholarships

The National Pork Producers Council is pleased to announce the 2018 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which is which is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation.

The program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CME hog futures and was renamed in 2006 to honor late-NPPC board member Lois Britt. A lifetime supporter of agriculture, Britt spent 34 years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, finishing out her career for 15 years with Smithfield Hog Production, doing public and government relations work. Among her many honors, she was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Pork Council Hall of Fame and awarded the North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.

The scholarship program annually awards $2,500 scholarships to 10 students who intend to pursue a career in the pork industry, with hopes that they may emerge as pork industry leaders. Eligible applicants must be an undergraduate student in a two-year swine program or four-year college of agriculture, and a U.S. citizen. For more information on the program, visit Winners will be announced at the National Pork Industry Forum in Kansas City, MO, February 28-March 2, 2018.

If you would like more information, please contact Cally Fix at (515) 278-8012 or  All entries must be postmarked by JANUARY 5, 2018 to be accepted.

USDA:  Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production, Oct '17

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 523 million bushels in October 2017. Total corn consumption was up 5 percent from September 2017 and up 3 percent from October 2016. October 2017 usage included 91.5 percent for alcohol and 8.5 percent for other purposes. Corn total corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 2.97 million bushels, down 16 percent from September 2017 and down 7 percent from October 2016. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 470 million bushels, was up 6 percent from September 2017 and up 3 percent from October 2016. Corn consumed in October 2017 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 89.1 percent and 10.9 percent respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.96 million tons during October 2017, up 6 percent from September 2017 and up 2 percent from October 2016. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.34 million tons in October 2017, up 4 percent from September 2017 and up 4 percent from October 2016.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 353 thousand tons during October 2017, up 10 percent from September 2017 and up 3 percent from October 2016. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 303 thousand tons in October 2017, up 8 percent from September 2017 and up 1 percent from October 2016.

USDA:  Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks, Oct '17

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.28 million tons (176 million bushels) in October 2017, compared to 4.36 million tons (145 million bushels) in September 2017 and 5.28 million tons (176 million bushels) in October 2016. Crude oil produced was 2.02 billion pounds up 19 percent from September 2017 but down 1 percent from October 2016. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.60 billion pounds during October 2017 increased 15 percent from September 2017 and increased 4 percent from October 2016.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 184 thousand tons in October 2017, compared to 194 thousand tons in September 2017 and 213 thousand tons in October 2016. Canola crude oil produced was 156 million pounds down 6 percent from September 2017 and down 12 percent from October 2016. Canola once refined oil production at 146 million pounds during October 2017 was down 3 percent from September 2017 and down 12 percent from October 2016. Cottonseed once refined oil production at 53.3 million pounds during October 2017 was up 39 percent from September 2017 and up 7 percent from October 2016.

Edible tallow production was 73.1 million pounds during October 2017, down 6 percent from September 2017 but up 9 percent from October 2016. Inedible tallow production was 274 million pounds during October 2017, down 8 percent from September 2017 and down 4 percent from October 2016. Technical tallow production was 104 million pounds during October 2017, up 21 percent from September 2017 but down 6 percent from October 2016. Choice white grease production at 109 million pounds during October 2017 increased 5 percent from September 2017 but decreased 6 percent from October 2016.

Sorghum Exports Hit New Marketing Year High

Sorghum sales reached a new marketing year high at 12.9 million bushels. This is up 2 percent from the week before and 26 percent higher than the four-week average. China bought 262,000 metric tons, bring its total commitments to 77.4 million bushels, and unknown destinations picked up 66,000 metric tons. This brings total sales to 112.6 million bushels, compared to 104.9 million a year ago. Exports of 217,100 metric tons or 8.5 million bushels, a marketing-year high, were up noticeably from the previous week and from the prior four-week average.

Syngenta expands grain marketing options for corn hybrids with the Agrisure Duracade® trait in 2018

Syngenta announced today a simplified process with a variety of grain marketing options for grain containing the Agrisure Duracade® trait for 2018 planting. Working with Gavilon Grain, LLC, Syngenta will provide services to help growers identify accepting locations in their local geography, via an expanded list of elevators, ethanol plants, feedlots, feed mills and livestock feeders.

“Hybrids with the Agrisure Duracade trait offer growers the latest genetics and trait technology with a simple in-bag E-Z Refuge® seed blend,” said David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC. “We are invested in enabling access to these technologies because we believe growers will benefit from their performance and convenience.”

Growers planting hybrids with Agrisure Duracade in 2018 must sign a simple grain use marketing agreement indicating they will either deliver the grain to an approved accepting location or utilize it as feed. They will have access to a call center facilitated by Gavilon that will be devoted to connecting growers with accepting locations at harvest.

“We are pleased to continue our work with Syngenta to offer this opportunity to U.S. corn growers,” said Jim Spiehs, Regional Manager at Gavilon. “We are invested in the success of U.S. agriculture and are happy to assist growers with their grain containing Agrisure Duracade.”

The Agrisure Duracade trait is available in four trait stacks:
•       Agrisure Duracade 5222A E-Z Refuge (includes Agrisure Viptera® and Agrisure Artesian® traits)
•       Agrisure Duracade 5222 E-Z Refuge (includes Agrisure Viptera trait)
•       Agrisure Duracade 5122A E-Z Refuge (includes Agrisure Artesian trait)
•       Agrisure Duracade 5122 E-Z Refuge

Agrisure Duracade 5222 E-Z Refuge represents the most advanced trait stack on the market, offering premium, broad-spectrum insect control to protect genetic yield potential. Featuring the Agrisure Duracade and Agrisure Viptera® traits, it offers a unique protein and multiple modes of action against corn rootworm and aboveground insects to control 16 yield-limiting pests ― all while providing the convenience and simplicity of E-Z Refuge, a 5% in-bag refuge.

Additionally, Agrisure Duracade 5122 E-Z Refuge is available with multiple modes of action against corn rootworm and corn borer. Both Agrisure Duracade trait stacks are also available in water-optimizing Agrisure Artesian® hybrids, helping growers make the most of their available water.


Monsanto today celebrated the agricultural innovation the company is delivering from its global research and development headquarters in Chesterfield, Mo. As part of the event, Monsanto leaders and employees, joined by state and local officials, cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of Monsanto’s newest technology building, part of the company’s $400 million expansion at its Chesterfield Research Center.

“With this investment, we are underscoring our commitment to advancing St. Louis as the epicenter for global agricultural innovation,” said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive officer of Monsanto. “Today is an important celebration of the possibilities that can be unlocked here. This facility will be tackling some of the world’s most critical needs, as we look to identify ways to help growers around the world grow crops in more sustainable ways.”

Monsanto’s expansion in Chesterfield began with groundbreaking in the fall of 2013. The expansion project has supported growth in the St. Louis region through the addition of 675 job opportunities, inclusive of opportunities directly with Monsanto or through third-party contracts.

The Chesterfield Research Center focuses on such key areas as plant breeding, biotechnology, agriculture productivity, data science, crop protection and biologicals. Monsanto’s research and development platforms support sustainable agriculture practices with innovation that reduces the footprint of global agriculture production through better harvests and, at the same time, protects harvests from increasing threats from insects, weeds, diseases and environmental variables. In addition, the innovation seeks to deliver continuous improvement to modern agriculture through improved on-farm solutions and practices.

To support these research disciplines, the expansion project includes a new 400,000-square-foot research building that now houses 13 Controlled Environment Agriculture rooms and 250 additional research laboratories. The research building is flanked by a new parking garage topped with 36 additional high-tech greenhouses that began operating in the fall of 2016. 

The new building achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. The building achieved this by demonstrating an energy use savings of 21 percent,  utilization of recycled content materials and regionally manufactured and extracted materials and construction waste management. It also was recognized for water use reduction and water reuse by reusing approximately 1 million gallons per year through a 15,000-gallon rainwater collection tank and reuse distribution system.

“For nearly two decades, Monsanto has been delivering agricultural innovation around the world from St. Louis,” said Grant. “This facility ensures that this legacy of innovation will continue for many years to come. Once the company’s pending acquisition by Bayer is completed, the global seeds and traits research and development organization for the combined company will be headquartered in St. Louis, along with the agriculture commercial headquarters for North America. The acquisition is an investment in innovation and people that is expected to create several thousand new high-tech, well-paying jobs after integration is complete.”

Joining Monsanto executives at today’s celebration were other leaders in the plant sciences, Jim Carrington, president of Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and John Becherer, the former CEO of the United Soybean Board.

Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Dr. Robb Fraley, also echoed the innovation theme and the explosion of innovation in the industry saying, “Just like technology has transformed every aspect of our daily lives, it is also transforming modern agriculture.”

 Andrew Myburgh Selected as 12th Annual Operator of the Year

Andrew Myburgh was announced as the 2017 Operator of the Year at the Agriculture Retailers Association (ARA) annual meeting in Phoenix Arizona. The award, sponsored by AGCO Corporation (NYSE: AGCO) recognizes the skills, dedication, customer service and community involvement of hard-working custom application professionals across the nation.

Myburgh, a Certified Applicator at the Wheat Growers in Aberdeen, South Dakota, is known for being a conscientious worker who knows the 40,000 acres of fields he treats like the back of his hand and is often requested by name.

“Recipients of the AGCO Operator of the Year award are some of the most driven professionals in the industry, with relentless dedication to improving soils and crops,” said Mark Mohr, tactical marketing manager at AGCO Corporation. “We salute their skills and techniques, and eagerness to learn and apply that knowledge for the benefit of their growers.”

Originally from South Africa, Myburgh is a permanent resident of the U.S. and lives on a small farm where his two sons help care for a variety of animals including sheep and calves. He also coaches the local soccer team, and often mentors and trains other applicators who want to learn the trade.

Myburgh was delighted to win a Harley-Davidson, and plans to join some of his colleagues on rides. One co-worker, Tod Borge, rides a Harley that he won when he was selected as the AGCO Operator of the Year award in 2009.

“Quite a few people I work with have motorcycles and they get together on the weekends, so I’ll join them for rides,” Myburgh said.

More than 40 applicators were nominated for this year’s award, and each received a certificate of recognition. A panel of judges at AGCO evaluated the applicants and selected the winner. AGCO began the Operator of the Year program to recognize custom applicators in North America who spend hundreds of hours in the field using application equipment to safely and effectively apply fertilizer and crop protection products to millions of acres each year.

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