Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday December 4 Ag News

Ricketts Names Family Farmer as Director of Agriculture for NE

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts introduced Steve Wellman as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA).  Steve operates a fourth-generation family farm near Syracuse, Nebraska, and brings broad experience from leadership roles in both state and local ag associations.

“My administration’s vision is to grow Nebraska, and our state’s number one industry is absolutely critical to realizing this goal,” said Governor Ricketts.  “As a family farmer and respected leader in Nebraska agriculture, Steve brings broad experience to the position having served in leadership in ag organizations at the state and local level.  He will be a voice for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, and will work to expand market access, add value to our quality commodities, and advocate for property tax relief.”

Steve, 56, owns and operates a family farm producing soybeans, corn, wheat, alfalfa, and cattle.  Steve’s wife Susan works as a public school teacher.  They have two grown children.  In addition to the family farm, Steve has experience as a tax consultant, and has served on the advisory board of American National Bank and Community Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.

“As a family farmer, I understand the importance of a successful ag sector to our communities and the entire state,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.  “I will put my background to work to raise Nebraska’s profile both nationally and internationally as well as fight for property tax relief.  Working together, we can grow opportunities for Nebraska’s next generation of ag producers.”

Steve has served on several industry committees, most notably on the Agricultural Advisory Committees for both Governor Ricketts and President Trump.  He also brings experience representing Nebraska’s soybean farmers with the Nebraska Soybean Association and the American Soybean Association (ASA).  He has served as President and Chairman of the ASA.  Through these organizations he has worked on both international trade and government policy.  Steve helped to lead and participated in several international trade missions as a member of these groups.  During these trade missions, he focused on reducing and eliminating trade barriers, advocated for Nebraska’s high-quality agricultural products, and built relationships with international partners.

Steve holds an Associate Degree in Production Agriculture from the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.  He is a member of the American Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Ag Builders of Nebraska, and Outstanding Farmers of America.  He was named as the Nebraska Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer in 1989.  He is a member of Luther Memorial Church.

Steve’s first day as Director will be Tuesday, December 5, 2017.  His salary will be $115,000.

This appointment follows Director Greg Ibach, who was named Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture by President Trump.

Wellman Selected as Nebraska Director of Agriculture

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has selected Steve Wellman of Syracuse as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.     Wellman has served in leadership positions for the Nebraska Soybean Association as well as the American Soybean Association.

In 1985 Steve joined the Nebraska Soybean Association (NSA) and has held leadership positions at the state level.   Upon completing his term on the state board he was elected in 2006 to serve as a director on the American Soybean Association (ASA).  He has held leadership positions within the national organization and was elected to President of ASA in 2012.

“We are proud to congratulate Steve Wellman on his appointment as the Nebraska Director of Agriculture. Steve has represented the soybean industry in numerous leadership roles at the local, state and national levels.  His international trade experience will be a tremendous benefit for developing future  markets for our agriculture products,”  says Dennis Fujan, President of the Nebraska Soybean Association.

Wellman succeeds Greg Ibach who left the position to serve as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nebraska’s Ag Leaders Congratulate Nebraska’s 27th Ag Director

Today, leaders from Nebraska’s top agriculture and commodity organizations issued statements congratulating Governor Pete Ricketts on his selection of Steve Wellman as the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s 27th Director.

“On behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau I want to offer our congratulations to Steve Wellman on his appointment as the new Nebraska Director of Agriculture.  Steve is a Farm Bureau member from Otoe County and has served agriculture through his involvement in numerous agriculture organizations.  We look forward to working with Steve in the coming days and weeks to continue our organization’s partnership with the leadership and staff of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture in our collective efforts to serve Nebraska’s farm and ranch families,” said Steve Nelson, President of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

“Steve's combined experience as a rancher, farmer and groups leader, provides a unique perspective as Department of Agriculture Director.  He has been able to speak with public officials and regulators with authority from all these perspectives," said Troy Stowater, President of Nebraska Cattlemen.

“Nebraska Corn congratulates Steve Wellman and looks forward to working with him in the years ahead.  Steve’s proven leadership in agriculture will ensure Nebraska’s agriculture will be well represented locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, Executive Director of the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

“On behalf of Nebraska’s pig farmers, we welcome Steve Wellman as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  We look forward to working with Steve to grow Nebraska agriculture and continue the momentum of our pork industry,” said Al Juhnke, Executive Director of Nebraska Pork Producers.

“Sorghum growers across the state are proud to offer congratulations and best wishes to Steve Wellman as he assumes the role of Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  Steve brings a tremendous amount of experience, understanding and vision to the position.  We welcome him as an ex-officio director to the Sorghum Board,” said Mike Baker, President of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board. 

Farm Bureau President Highlights 100 Years of Serving Members, Points to the Future

In celebrating 100 years of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s service to farm and ranch families, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson highlighted past achievements, current challenges, and pointed to the future in delivering his annual address to more than 350 farmers and ranchers from across the state at the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Annual Meeting and Convention, Dec. 3-5 in Kearney.

Formed in 1917, Nelson pointed to Nebraska Farm Bureau’s first major advocacy win in 1919; the passage of state legislation to help farmers and ranchers deal with grasshopper infestations that were destroying farmer’s and rancher’s crops.

“Those who founded our organization wanted an association that brought farmers and ranchers together to make life better for themselves, their families, and their communities. Most importantly, they knew that by working together, they could get more done than they could by working alone,” said Nelson. “That common belief united the founders of our organization in 1917 and it’s that same belief that’s brings us together still today.”

In sharing organizational successes, Nelson pointed to the organizations efforts to push back on animal rights extremists seeking to harm animal agriculture, preventing regulatory initiatives to stop children from working on farms, helping defeat legislation to expand tax burdens on farm and ranch families, as well as stopping implementation of EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule to expand federal regulatory authority over private land.

“Everyday, for the last 100 years, the Nebraska Farm Bureau has been here to fight the good fight for the collective good of its members and agriculture. Today we celebrate this major milestone,” said Nelson.

In addressing current challenges, Nelson pointed to the organization’s ongoing efforts to address high property taxes in Nebraska and the need to continue to push for expanding markets for Nebraska agricultural commodities through international trade.

“We continue to work to find a legislative solution to the property tax problem and I still believe there’s an opportunity to work with Governor Ricketts and the Nebraska legislature to deliver tax relief and get us on the right track on property taxes into the future. We also continue to engage with interests focused on taking this issue directly to Nebraska voters through a ballot measure. There’ll be no stone left unturned. We remain committed to bringing home property tax relief,” said Nelson.

Nelson pointed out the importance of international markets in regard to the organization’s continued focus on expanding trade opportunities.

“Today nearly one-third of gross net farm income comes from trade and one out of every three U.S. acres is planted for export. With 96 percent of the world’s population living outside U.S. borders and three-fourths of the worlds purchasing power outside of the U.S., exports are where the future lies for our Nebraska agriculture commodities,” said Nelson. “It’s why we participate in trade missions to build relations with trade partners and advocate for trade agreements. We need this Administration to make smart trade policy decisions. It’s critical to our farms and ranches, but also our state’s agriculture-based economy.”

In looking to the future, Nelson pointed to the need for the organization and its members to adapt to an ever-changing environment where fewer people have a direct connection to production agriculture.

“Those of us in agriculture need to engage at a higher level to build relationships so that we can continue to shape our future. Just as building relations with our international partners is critical to trade, building relations that fill information gaps and tear down barriers is just as important with our elected leaders and others who impact our well-being,” said Nelson. “We must lead. That’s how Nebraska Farm Bureau will continue to serve our members and keep agriculture strong for the next 100 years.”

Report Shows NAFTA Withdrawal Could Cost Nebraska Farms, Ranches Up to $55,000 Annually

U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would not only undercut Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, but harm the underlying foundation of Nebraska’s agriculture based economy, according to a new report released by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Dec. 4. The report, “North American Free Trade Agreement and Nebraska Agriculture”, provides a dollars and cents breakdown of the value of NAFTA to farmers, ranchers, Nebraska counties, and the implications to Nebraska’s broader economy.

“Today, nearly half of Nebraska’s total agriculture exports are bound for Canada and Mexico, our NAFTA partners. While we’ve known for years that NAFTA plays a critical role in providing underlying price support for Nebraska agriculture commodities, this economic analysis quantifies what this agreement means at the farmer, rancher, and county levels,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “What it clearly shows is that withdrawing from NAFTA, or renegotiating in a way that harms agriculture trade, would be damaging.”

The report identifies the 2016 export value of individual Nebraska agriculture commodities to both Canada and Mexico. Analysis in the report also assigns a dollar value of NAFTA on a unit basis for individual agriculture commodities, demonstrating how NAFTA supports commodity prices, but also what the loss of NAFTA could mean.

“We were able to breakdown NAFTA into a way farmers, ranchers, and others could instantly see its value. For example, the analysis shows that NAFTA exports of soybeans and soybean meal in 2016 were worth $1.28 per bushel of soybeans produced in Nebraska. That means for every bushel of soybeans produced in Nebraska, NAFTA exports of soybean products contributes $1.28 in value to Nebraska soybean producers. It also points out that if NAFTA goes away, Nebraska soybean products would be at a competitive disadvantage in these markets, and the $1.28 per bushel value is at risk,” said Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist and author of the report. “There’s no denying NAFTA is vital to providing price support for our agriculture products. Ultimately, that support has a positive ripple effect in supporting farm income, which works its way through in positively supporting our state’s overall economy.”

In that same vein, the analysis shows that NAFTA exports are worth $38.22 per head of beef, $22.16 per head of pork, $0.21 per bushel of corn, and $0.75 per bushel of wheat, using 2016 NAFTA figures.

The report also examines the per farm/ranch, and per county implications of NAFTA, as well as examining the value of NAFTA on a commodity-by-commodity basis for each Nebraska county.

“We’ve examined NAFTA’s importance for every county in the state of Nebraska and there’s some interesting findings. We estimate the value of agriculture exports under NAFTA from Platte County tops $34.5 million, making it the highest dollar export value county in the state. On a related front, the report shows that Phelps County has the most at stake in NAFTA on a per farm/ranch basis as the trade agreement is estimated to be worth $55,468 to the average agriculture operation in that county,” said Rempe. “These are just a few of the highlights. The full report provides a very complete overview of what NAFTA means for Nebraska Agriculture at an individual and county basis.”

According to Nelson, the report’s finding paints a very clear picture of where the Trump Administration needs to be on NAFTA.

“While we understand the President wants to get the best trade deal possible, the idea of withdrawing from NAFTA is unfathomable. That would be a disaster for Nebraska and American agriculture. The same could be said of any renegotiations that would weaken agriculture’s trade position in the agreement. Farm and ranch families are already working through a struggling agriculture economy and the loss of NAFTA would undercut recovery and more importantly cause long-term damage well into the future,” said Nelson.

The “North American Free Trade Agreement and Nebraska Agriculture” report containing the full economic analysis is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at

Ricketts Campaign Names Debbie Borg Agriculture Field Director

Today, the Pete Ricketts for Governor Campaign announced the hiring of Debbie Borg as the campaign's Agriculture Field Director. Borg will add to a Ricketts Farm-Ranch Team and conduct outreach in rural communities across Nebraska. "Debbie is a highly respected leader in Nebraska agriculture, and we're fortunate to be able to call upon her experience and knowledge," said Ricketts campaign manager Jessica Flanagain. "Governor Ricketts is getting the job done for Nebraska farmers and ranchers, and no one is better suited to communicate that message than Debbie Borg."

"Pete Ricketts understands the challenges faced by Nebraska ag producers, and his continued leadership is critical to the strength of agriculture in our state," said Borg. "It's an honor to join the Governor's re-election campaign and help share his vision for Nebraska's number-one industry."

Borg will join Governor Ricketts this week as he attends the 2017 Nebraska Cattlemen Annual Convention and Trade Show and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Convention.

Debbie Borg and her husband, Terry, operate Borg Farms, a fifth-generation family farm. Borg is a dedicated leader in Nebraska's agriculture industry, serving on the Nebraska Corn Board, the National Corn Growers Consumer Engagement Action Team, and the Nebraska Rural Radio Association Board of Directors. She is a past President and Treasurer of the Nebraska Soybean Association, and is also involved with her local farm bureau. She and her husband live outside Allen, and are the proud parents of three children, Hannah, Heidi, and Hunter.

12 States Launch New Legal Challenge to California Egg Law

(AP) -- A dozen states are banding together to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Monday that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the states alleging California's law has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually because of higher egg prices since it took effect in 2015. The lawsuit, provided to The Associated Press, argues California's requirements violate the U.S. Constitution's interstate commerce clause and are pre-empted by federal law.

A federal appeals court panel rejected similar claims last year in a separate case brought by six states, ruling that they failed to show California's law would affect more than just individual farmers. The latest lawsuit seeks to address that by citing an economic analysis of the California law. It also asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly instead of requiring that it first move through the lower courts.

Hawley, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in 2018, is leading the lawsuit. Other plaintiff states are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin. All have Republican attorneys general except Iowa, which has a Democrat.

The California attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

California produced about 5 billion eggs and imported an additional 4 billion from other states in 2012, according to the lawsuit. Thirty percent of those out-of-state eggs came from Iowa, the nation's top egg producer. About 13 percent of California's egg imports came from Missouri, the second highest percentage cited in the lawsuit.

The number of eggs produced in California dropped to 3.5 billion last year despite rising nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Missouri's egg production was up 60 percent since 2012 to 3.2 billion last year.

Hawley asserted in statement that California's egg law is "a clear attempt by big-government proponents to impose job-killing regulations" on other states.

California voters approved a ballot initiative in 2008 that requires that hens in cages spend most of their day in spaces large enough that they can lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs. The measure gave farmers until 2015 to comply.

After California egg farmers raised concerns that they would be put a competitive disadvantage with those elsewhere, state legislators in 2010 expanded the law to bar the sale of eggs from any hens that weren't raised in compliance with California's standards.

The California law cites concerns about protecting people from salmonella and other illnesses. But the suing states say such health concerns are unmerited and merely a pretext for protecting California's agriculture industry.

The lawsuit cites a study from a University of Missouri economist who concluded that the national price of a dozen eggs has increased between 1.8 percent and 5.1 percent since January 2015 because of the California cage requirements. The study said the price increase has added thousands of dollars annually to states' costs for supplying eggs to prisoners.

The study also estimated that California's egg regulations have cost U.S. households up to $350 million annually, including about $97 million for those whose incomes are in the lowest one-fifth nationally.

Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Senate Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

“Early this morning, the Senate took another major step forward to provide Nebraska’s farm and ranch families with meaningful federal tax relief. From possible lower income taxes, expanded Section 179 small businesses expensing, to the doubling of estate tax exemptions, this bill warrants our support. We want to sincerely think Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse for their work in helping to move this important legislation forward.”

“As the House and Senate now work to iron out their legislative differences, it is our hope that the momentum continues behind this effort and that Congress along with the President can offer farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and individuals, well deserved tax code reform.”

Statement of NCFC President Chuck Conner on Senate Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

“It is deeply unfortunate that the Senate failed to include continuation of the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD), also known as the Section 199 deduction, for agriculture in their tax reform bill. This action creates tremendous uncertainty as farmers plan for the coming year and they will need to quickly assess the impact of this legislation with their accountants and lenders.

“We would like to recognize the leadership of Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, who throughout the Senate debate worked tirelessly to see Section 199 for agriculture retained. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas was also instrumental in ensuring that farmer co-ops and their members are treated equitably in provisions dealing with the deductibility of business interest.

“We also commend Senator John Thune of South Dakota for his success in ensuring that farmer cooperative members are able to take of advantage of the deduction for flow-through income and that farmer cooperatives also receive a tax benefit.

 “As the House and Senate work to reconcile their tax bills in the coming days, we look forward to working with Senators Roberts and Thune, as well as other supporters on the conference committee, to improve on the Senate provisions to ensure to ensure that the final bill does not raises taxes on farmers and their co-ops.”

Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts Announce State Poster Contest Winners

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) is excited to announce the state winners of the Natural Resources Districts 2017 Poster Contest. The poster contest is connected to the National Association of Conservation Districts yearly poster contest. It is a fun way for students, K – 12 to use their imagination to design and draw a poster related to conserving our natural resources. This year, the poster contest theme was “Healthy Soils Are Full of Life.”

State winners include:
K-1: Brynn Marie Throener, Dodge, NE – Nominated by Lower Elkhorn NRD
2-3: Peyten Rose Becker, Dodge, NE – Nominated by Lower Elkhorn NRD
4-6: Ryan J. Karsky, Wayne, NE – Nominated by Lower Elkhorn NRD
7-9: Lucas Riley Ambrose, Chadron, NE – Nominated by Upper Niobrara White NRD
10-12: Kayce Marie Kallnoff, Elgin, NE – Nominated by Upper Elkhorn NRD

“The Natural Resources Districts are impressed with the continued creativity of Nebraska’s students as students work to learn more about ways to conserve our soil and natural resources,” Erika Hill, public relations director of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts said. “We are excited to see more students participate in the fun and educational competition.”

Different grade levels are grouped together from Kindergarten through 12th grade. One local district winner is selected in every division. Each division includes K-1; 2-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10-12. Those winners are sent to the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts state competition. The state winners are then selected to compete at the national competition in Washington D.C. The 2018 poster contest theme is “Watersheds – Our Water, Our Home.”

Typically, teachers introduce the poster contest to their classrooms and encourage their students to compete. But if individual students want to participate outside of the classroom, contact your local Natural Resources District for information. All students, K – 12 are welcome to compete.

CWT Assists with 3.4 million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 20 requests for export assistance from members that have contracts to sell 3.351 million pounds (1,520 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese, and 55,116 pounds (25 metric tons) of butter to customers in the Asia. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from December 2017 through February 2018.

Through November, CWT has assisted member cooperatives who have contracts to sell 67.317 million pounds of American-type cheeses, and 4.805 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 21 countries on five continents. The sales are the equivalent of 729.448 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

Cattlemen Respond to National Monument Reductions: "Egregious Example of Federal Overreach Corrected in Win for Rural Communities"

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council applauded the White House’s plan to reduce the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The decision – which follows an extensive review of monument designations by the Department of Interior – is a clear win for rural communities who have suffered the consequences of egregious federal overreach.

“Previous administrations abused the power of the Antiquities Act, designating huge swaths of land as national monuments without any public input or review,” said Dave Eliason, president of the Public Lands Council. “Rural communities in Utah and across the West have paid the price. Sweeping designations locked up millions of acres of land with the stroke of a pen, undermining local knowledge and decimating rural economies.”

The President’s decision means that traditional uses of the land, including livestock grazing, will be restored on public land in Utah.

“We are grateful that today’s action will allow ranchers to resume their role as responsible stewards of the land and drivers of rural economies,” said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Going forward, it is critical that we reform the Antiquities Act to ensure that those whose livelihoods and communities depend on the land have a voice in federal land management decisions.”

Ranchers who hold grazing permits on public land do vital work that benefits public land including the improvement of water sources, conservation of wildlife habitat, and maintenance of the open space that Americans enjoy. Limitless power to make massive designations under the Antiquities Act poses a serious threat to that noble mission and rich heritage.

FFAR Awards Grant to Food Marketing Institute Foundation and Animal Agriculture Alliance to Study Consumer Understanding and Willingness-to-Pay for Production Practices in Animal Agriculture

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), a nonprofit established in the 2014 Farm Bill with bipartisan congressional support, has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation and Animal Agriculture Alliance to study consumer understanding and willingness-to-pay for alternative production practices in animal agriculture. The FFAR grant has been matched with funding from the FMI Foundation and the Alliance for a total investment of $100,000.

Farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses are seeking to respond to consumer demand for cage-free egg production and slow-growth broiler chickens, and there is a need by food retailers to better understand consumer knowledge, beliefs and willingness-to-pay for these attributes. Agricultural producers, businesses and retailers turned to cage-free eggs and slow-growth broilers for this consumer research because fresh eggs and chicken are some of the best sources of protein in the American diet. In addition, increasing transition to cage-free production practices by farmers and commitments by businesses to adopt alternative production practices for broilers have begun to impact the supply-demand paradigm. Gaining knowledge of consumers’ preferences and beliefs will help to guide choices in research, production, and retail sales.  

“The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is pleased to partner with food retailers, farmers and agricultural business to better understand how animal production practices influence consumer decision-making in the retail setting,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., FFAR executive director.

While several studies have estimated consumer willingness-to-pay for fresh agricultural products, few have linked these estimates to consumer knowledge, beliefs and to information treatments that will help determine future demand for attributes. This research employs state-of-the-art choice modeling techniques, including choice experiments and latent class modeling, to estimate diversity in consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay for cage-free eggs and slow-growth broilers now and in the future.

Led by Jayson Lusk, Ph.D., who is a food and agricultural economist at Purdue University, the research team will custom build consumer surveys distributed to at least 3,000 respondents that mimic decision-making in the retail environment. Respondents will make a series of choices between products that vary in price and other attributes, such as production practices (cage-free, pasture-raised, slow growth, conventionally raised), labeling claims, packaging, product color and appearance.

“Shoppers suffering from data fatigue are turning to their food retailers for trusted and curated information about their food purchases,” said Susan Borra, RD, executive director of the FMI Foundation. “The FMI Foundation believes that funding research on emerging health and social concerns affecting consumer confidence in the food and consumer goods industry will impact the public conversation and build consumer trust.”

“Consumers are key stakeholders in the food system,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “It is critical to develop a firmer understanding of shoppers’ values and priorities when making choices about the food they purchase and feed their families. Our mission at the Alliance is to bridge the communication gap between farm and fork, and this research will help us do just that more effectively.”

This grant is funded through the FFAR Protein Challenge, a suite of research programs that support producers’ efforts to improve plant and animal production efficiency to meet the growing global protein demand while conserving natural resources. With various parts of the food industry working to meet cage-free pledges, and some beginning to commit to alternative production practices for broiler hens, using a consumer research base approach to help inform plans is increasingly relevant to the entire food sector.

Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients Partners with GFG Ag Services to Distribute SymTRX™ in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa

Anuvia™ Plant Nutrients announces an agreement with GFG Ag Services to market Anuvia’s SymTRX™ to crop producers. SymTRX is an enhanced-efficiency, multi-nutrient, slow-release specialty fertilizer made to fit the needs of crop production while also adhering to the highest standards of environmental stewardship.

GFG Ag Services, with locations in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, has built its reputation on individualized service always putting the customer first.  Founded 30 years ago, they offer a range of services including farm inputs, crop insurance, financing and grain handling services.

“GFG understands that fertilization is not a blanket prescription that fits all farms,” says Hugh MacGillivray, Anuvia Plant Nutrients executive vice president Commercial.  “Each farm is different with different fertilization needs. While improving yields is an essential part of the plant nutrient equation, improving soil health by restoring nutrient levels and using environmentally-sound sustainable practices are also critical considerations. SymTRX will provide all these important benefits to GFG customers.”

SymTRX is made by Anuvia’s proprietary processing system using multiple sources of organic waste materials.  Its cutting-edge nutrient delivery technology slowly releases nutrients such as ammonium N and sulfur sulfate when growing plants need them most––releasing 65% of its nutrients within the first two to three weeks and the balance providing feeding for up to eight weeks.  It also contains 16% organic matter which contributes to soil health.

“GFG is very excited to partner with Anuvia Plant Nutrients as we continue to bring innovative products to our customers,” says Derek Stanley, GFG Ag Services Wholesale Fertilizer manager. “Our customers are under real pressure to be stewards to the environment while increasing their productivity on every acre.  This partnership will allow us to bring them products to accomplish both goals.”

“We have a unique product that improves the economics of farming. It improves crop performance and soil health. And it’s a great example of sound environmental stewardship by maximizing nutrient use and minimizing nutrients loss,” says MacGillivray. “We look forward to working with GFG and helping them introduce their growers to SymTRX.”

DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical Company Announce Global Seed-Applied Technology Agreement

DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical Company, Limited announced today a global agreement to collaborate on the development, registration and commercialization of seed-applied technologies for use in key crops around the world.

DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical formed this collaboration out of a shared objective to accelerate development and commercialization of novel seed-applied technologies to improve early plant growth and yields. The global agreement leverages the strengths of both companies, combining the conventional chemical and biological pipeline from Sumitomo Chemical, with the advanced seed technology and development and commercialization capability of DuPont Crop Protection, a business unit of DowDuPont Agriculture Division.

By combining the pipeline from Sumitomo Chemical with DuPont’s technology and capability, there is an opportunity to evaluate these technologies together, at much earlier stages, to understand the complementary characteristics of various product combinations. This early-stage collaboration will enhance current and future commercial products for seed-applied technologies.

“Sumitomo Chemical has made significant investments in rhizosphere technology research to enhance seed protection and maximize early plant development through chemical and biological agrosolutions,” said Kimitoshi Umeda, associate officer and general manager, AgroSolutions Division-International at Sumitomo Chemical Company. “Partnering with DuPont affords the access to their advanced seed technology, and when evaluated in combination with our seed protection and enhancement solutions, will generate new opportunities to develop complementary and novel seed-applied technologies for growers around the world.”

“We are excited about this collaboration with Sumitomo Chemical. The Sumitomo Chemical portfolio and pipeline will complement the investments DuPont has made in discovery, development and commercialization of seed-applied products. Partnering with Sumitomo Chemical early in the development process enables us to create higher performing seed-applied products for our customers,” said Mick Messman, director, DuPont Seed Applied Technologies.

Collaborations between DuPont and Sumitomo Chemical’s regional affiliate, Valent U.S.A. LLC., will focus on the North American region with potential expansion opportunities to multiple crop markets globally.

“This agreement exemplifies the power of collaboration by companies in the agriculture industry to bring growers the latest technology to improve their productivity,” added Umeda. “We look forward to future collaborations with DuPont, and pursue them in the spirit of creativity and innovation on behalf of our customers.”

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