Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tuesday December 5 Ag News

Revised Groundwater Management Plan for PMR-NRD
The Papio-Missouri River NRD has revised its Groundwater Management Plan that will impact farmers, communities, homeowners and well-drillers. The proposed plan is intended to help protect the drinking water supplies of more than 750,000 people in our District who receive their water from a community or rural water system. (The District includes six counties along the river: Washington, Dakota, Douglas and Sarpy counties and the eastern half of Burt and Thurston counties.)

Papio NRD wants the community’s input! There will be a public hearing in Tekamah on December 7th at 6:30 pm at the First Northeast Bank of Nebraska, 2nd Floor Conference Room, located at 448 South 13th Street. The Papio NRD Board of Directors is expected to vote on the plan in February 2018.

You can view the proposed new plan (why it’s changing, the benefits, who it will impact, etc.) on our website at:

Confronting Cropping Challenges

Aaron Nygren, NE Extension Educator, Colfax County

Getting the latest information on issues facing crop farmers AND an opportunity to renew your private pesticide applicator license will all take place at a series of meetings in December. This is the second year for Confronting Cropping Challenges and responses from last year’s programs were very positive. This year the program will be offered at four locations in the area from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
 *    Thursday, December 14 - Fire Hall, Pender
 *    Monday, December 18 - Community Building, Fairgrounds, Stanton
 *    Tuesday, December 19 - First Northeast Bank of Nebraska meeting room, Tekamah
 *    Thursday, December 21 - Nebraska Extension Office meeting room, Fremont

Topics that will be covered this year include:
•    Crop Insect Update
•    Crop Disease Update
•    On-Farm Research Opportunities
•    Selecting Hybrids/Varieties & Lodging Concerns
•    Using Dicamba and Controlling Palmer Amaranth, Waterhemp & Marestail
•    Private Pesticide Applicator Certification Update

Anyone that just wants the crops information can attend the first five sessions and leave. If you need to have your private applicator license renewed (renewal only, not initial certification) in 2018, you can stick around for the final session to be recertified. Even though this training is being offered in 2017, you will not lose a year of certification on your license.

The cost for the program is $10 if you are only attending the first five sessions. If you are being recertified, the cost will be $50. The additional $40 is the same as you would pay to be recertified at a traditional private pesticide applicator training.

The real advantage to this program is private applicators can receive a lot of cropping information and a limited amount of the pesticide certification materials that you would receive at a traditional private applicator meeting. Those being recertified last year thought this was a great alternative to the pesticide training programs they had attended to get recertified in the past. Many said they would attend future programs, just for the crops information even if they didn’t need to be recertified.

Stay tuned for additional private pesticide training dates that will be held in the area during the first part of 2018.  For more information, contact your local Nebraska Extension office.

Douglas County Farm Bureau Couple Take Home Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award

Ryan and Lindsey Ueberrhein of Elkhorn were honored as Nebraska Farm Bureau's 2017 Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement in Agriculture award winners at the Nebraska Farm Bureau 100th Annual Convention Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the Younes Convention Center in Kearney.

Farm Bureau members 18 to 35 years of age apply for the award. The Ueberrhein’s were selected on the basis of performance in farm or ranch management, setting and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles, and service to the community and Farm Bureau.

Ryan and Lindsey farm near Valley, Nebraska in Douglas County, where Ryan grew up. They grow corn and soybeans on approximately 1,800 acres. Ryan also helps his Dad John with his greenhouse business, State Street Greenhouse, where Ryan helps when needed with selling flowers that are grown out of the greenhouse and sold at a farmer’s market in the metropolitan city of Omaha. Ryan is a 2010 graduate of Southeast Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Fire Protection Technology. Lindsey earned her cosmetology license from Capitol School of Hairstyling in 2005. Lindsey works full time as a self-employed hairstylist in Omaha.

The Ueberrhein’s balance busy schedules with farm life, volunteer activities and with Nebraska Farm Bureau. Ryan started farming part-time in 2009, renting his first 30 acres and using his Dad’s machinery in exchange for labor on the family farm. In 2012, he formed a partnership with a friend who couldn’t farm anymore due to a traffic accident.

“This allowed us to grow our farm to more than 1,000 acres. Since 2013, I have been able to add newer equipment with the latest technology available.  I was also more involved with my parent’s farm, converting 208 acres of dryland to irrigated and putting up two center pivots. I built a shop with my dad, so now, I could do most of the equipment repairs myself,” Ryan Ueberrhein said.

In 2017, things changed dramatically for the Ueberrhein’s, Ryan’s Mom, Karen passed away and his Dad turned a majority of the day-to-day farming operation over to Ryan and his younger brother Jason.  A neighboring farmer decided to retire, allowing Ryan to add approximately 500 acres to the current operation.

“For us to obtain optimum profitability, we use special software to manage input and operational costs, allowing us to develop specific cost per acre to obtain the highest efficiency for each acre, I do most of the grain marketing myself, but I do rely on guidance from a marketing firm to help with the fast changing domestic and global markets,” Ueberrhein said.

The Ueberrhein’s currently are serving their second term on the state YF&R committee, representing the Southeast district. Ryan also serves as vice president of the Douglas County Farm Bureau board. He was appointed to the State of Nebraska Beginning Farmer Board in 2015, serves as an EMT/Firefighter for the Valley Fire and Rescue department and is vice president of the department. As winners of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award, the Ueberrhein’s will receive a $500 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to the 2018 American Farm Bureau convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in January, where they will compete in the national contest.

Jason and Karah Perdue Take Home Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture Award

Jason and Karah Perdue of York were named the recipient of the 2017 Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award. The award was given Dec. 5, at the Membership Recognition luncheon during the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention held Dec. 3-5 in Kearney, Neb.

Jason and Karah Perdue, of York County Farm Bureau, were recognized for their ongoing involvement and commitment to agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers and ranchers for their contribution and involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Candidates for the award are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, and involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic, service, and community organizations.

Jason and Karah Perdue attended the Northwest Missouri State University and Jason received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Business and then a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance - Financial Services. Karah received a Bachelor of Science Degree with a double major in Agriculture Business and Animal Science. They married after college and have four children, Annah 8, Lane 7, Bennett 4 and Jase who is 2.

Jason works for a family owned Ag Retail company that distributes crop protection products. He serves as a Branded Products Territory Manager, and essentially helps salesmen across four states work with their customers to find products that will bring individual growers the best solutions for their farms. These products include adjuvants, starter fertilizers, foliar fertilizers, biologicals and actives.

“I am lucky that I get to engage with the individual growers to help them understand ways to increase yields and their overall returns. I get to see many different cropping practices from no till to conventional till, irrigated to dry land, seasoned veterans to new and beginning farmers. I also get to take ideas from all the salesmen and growers and work with our development team to build new products from the ground up. I love being involved in an agriculture related business,” Jason Perdue said.

While Karah is technically a stay-at-home Mom, she is responsible for taking care of the day-to-day activities for the Perdue’s contract poultry operation. She is also an instructor for water aerobics and various other fitness classes where she has a dedicated following of attendees. Teaching swim lessons and "water babies", an infant/toddler swim program, are just a couple more things she does throughout the year.

“I try very hard to give of my time when it comes to volunteering whenever needed. This ranges from helping in the classroom of the school to working with the local extension office to bring agriculture awareness to local children. I also find time to take care of the guys on the farm by running to get parts or making sure they don't go without at least one good meal during planting and harvesting,” Karah Perdue said.

Nebraska Farm Bureau has been a big part of their lives in rural Nebraska serving as at-large members of the State Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. They also have served in various positions on their local York County Farm Bureau board, most recently Jason as President and Karah as secretary treasurer. Karah has served on Nebraska Farm Bureau’s State Legislative Policy Committee, participated in the Leadership Academy and are Ag Pen Pals. Jason is on the York County Extension Board, the York County Board of Equalization, the York County Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Poultry Industries Board and are active in St. Joseph’s church in York.

Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 can apply for the Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture award. As Nebraska winners the Perdue’s will receive $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in January 2018 to compete in the contest at the national level.

Lindsey Stern, Takes Home Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Discussion Meet Competition

Lindsey Stern of Broken Bow, a Custer County Farm Bureau member, was named the winner of the 2017 Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet competition. The award was given Dec. 5, at the Membership Recognition luncheon during the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 100th Annual Convention held Dec. 3-5 in Kearney, Neb.

Stern, received the top score of the contestants who advanced to the final round of the Discussion Meet contest. Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other’s contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics; the selected question is announced a short time prior to the contest round. She works in Compliance at the Nebraska State Bank. Her husband Jacob, owns and operates Broken Bow Dairy in Custer County where they are Farm Bureau members. They also own two small businesses, Stern Housing LLC and Open Gates Trucking LLC, to aid with their growing dairy operation.

Stern competed with three other contestants, Robert Stuart, of Lexington, farms with his family in Dawson County, Kyle Lechtenberg of Spencer, serves on the State YF&R Committee and raises beef cattle and alfalfa in Boyd County, and Chris Niemann of David City is a fourth-generation farmer who grows corn, soybeans, and raises beef cattle on his family farm in Butler County where he serves on his county Farm Bureau board.

Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 can participate in the Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet competition. As a Nebraska winner Stern will receive $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in January 2018 to compete in the contest at the national level.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               Hay is expensive and many long hours go into harvesting, storing, and feeding it.  Don’t waste up to a third of it by using poor feeding practices.

               Believe it or not, cattle trample, over consume, manure on, and use for bedding 25 to 45 percent of your hay when it is fed with no restrictions.  No matter how inexpensive or cheap your hay might be, extra control in feeding can pay off big time.

               For starters, don’t provide more than one day’s supply at a time.  Research has shown that when cows are fed a four-day supply, they will overeat and waste 20 to 30 percent more hay than when they are fed one day at a time.  This adds up to $25 to $50 more per cow over a four month feeding period.  Best of all is to feed only what the livestock will clean up in one meal so nothing is left over to be wasted.  Be sure to provide sufficient space, though, for all animals to eat at once so boss cows don’t stop timid cows from getting their fair share.

               Another thing you can do is restrict access to the hay.  Use bale racks or rings to keep animals off the hay.  Especially useful are racks with barriers around the bottom that prevent livestock from pulling hay loose with their feet and dragging it out to be stepped on. If you unroll bales or grind and feed on the ground, position an electric fence alongside or above the hay to keep cows from trampling or bedding down on the hay.

               As always, feed a balanced ration that provides sufficient energy and protein, but not too much.  Animals that eat more protein than they need will simply excrete it as extra nitrogen in their urine.  This is just as wasteful as directly trampling it into the ground.

               Hay is expensive.  Save money by feeding it wisely.

Colfax County Farm Service Agency Reminds Producers of Grain Loan Requirements, Urges Timely Visit to Office for 2017 Assistance

Farmers who may be considering a Marketing Assistance Loan to assist with farm financing for 2017 should stop into the Colfax County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office as soon as possible to begin the application process.

Colfax County FSA Executive Director Bruce Coffey said Marketing Assistance Loans (MALs) provide producers with interim financing after harvest to help them meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows.

“With Nebraska’s large corn and soybean harvests this year, we know a great deal of grain went into storage,” Coffey said. “Marketing Assistance Loans offer short-term financing at a reasonable interest rate. It can be a useful tool to meet immediate financing needs and income balancing goals.”

MALs are available for feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, wheat, pulse crops, wool, honey and other commodities. The loan rates for key commodities in Colfax County are $1.93/bushel for corn, and $4.86/bushel for soybeans. The December MAL interest rate is 2.5 percent.

“For Colfax County FSA to best serve those interested in marketing assistance loans for the current calendar year, producers should schedule a loan appointment prior to December 18, 2017,” Coffey said. “That should allow us appropriate time to process the loan by December 31, 2017.”

To be eligible for a MAL, producers must have a beneficial interest in the commodity. They also must comply with conservation and wetland protection requirements, submit an acreage report to account for all cropland on the farm and meet adjusted gross income limitations. There are additional requirements and actions that need to be taken before a loan can be processed. Coffey encouraged producers to call (402) 352-5200 to schedule an appointment and to learn what information they should bring to the appointment.

Iowa Corn “Future of Agriculture” Scholarships Available

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) will again offer the Iowa Corn Future of Agriculture scholarships to aid in the development of future talent for the Iowa agriculture industry.  This year, Iowa Corn will award sixteen (16) $1,000 one-year scholarships to deserving, qualified students enrolled at an accredited U.S. 2-year or 4-year junior college, college or university, or graduate school, in a program of study to equip them in contributing to Iowa’s agriculture industry.

“One perk of my position as an Iowa Corn Promotion Board Director is being able to help identify and mentor young scholars and leaders,” explained Larry Buss, an ICPB director and farmer from Logan who chairs the Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff (GNMC) Committee. “This scholarship program is an important initiative to develop and encourage the future leaders of the agriculture industry in Iowa. We have seen our investment in this scholarship program returned in full as many past recipients have gone on to pursue exciting careers within our industry.”

Iowa Corn Future of Agriculture Scholarship Description:
 ·    Eight (8) $1,000 “First-year Scholarships” are reserved for high school seniors entering their first year of college, one from each Iowa Corn District Field Manager territory.
 ·    Eight (8) $1,000 “Upperclassmen Scholarships” are reserved for students entering their second, third, or fourth year of college, or who are enrolled in a graduate program -one from each Iowa Corn District Field Manager territory.
 ·    Scholarships are for one year, and previous winners may reapply.
 ·    Scholarships may be used to offset tuition, school supplies, or student housing.
 ·    Funds will be issued on behalf of each student to his or her college financial aid department in August 2018, but entering freshman must successfully complete the first college term and those funds will be applied to second term expenses.
 ·    Scholarships are awarded for the 2017-2018 school year.

Go to to download an application. All materials must be completed and postmarked by Friday, February 02, 2018. Questions can be directed to Don Mason, Iowa Corn Director of Grower Services at (515) 225-9242 or

ISU Feedlot Forum 2018 Features Industry Hot Topics

Nothing is static, and beef production is no exception. To help producers and agri-business professionals adapt, Feedlot Forum 2018 will focus on changes that are rapidly occurring in the beef industry. The forum is set for Jan. 16, 2018, at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center.

Industry hot topics to be addressed include domestic and international markets for beef, how to respond to a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, and the 2016 National Beef Quality Audits. Dan Halstrom, senior vice president of global marketing with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, will discuss international opportunities and expectations for marketing beef internationally. Mike Pearson, host for Market to Market, will talk about what will drive agriculture in 2018 and share his market outlook.

Danelle Bickett-Weddle, associate director for the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, will explain what feedlot producers can do to keep operating during an FMD outbreak. Doug Bear, director of Beef Quality Assurance for the Iowa Beef Industry Council, will highlight results from the recently released National Beef Quality Audits.

Updates on the Iowa Beef Checkoff and reports from the Iowa Cattlemen’s and District One Cattlemen’s Associations also will be presented, and the event trade show features 25 sponsors displaying new products and services to enhance beef feedlot production.

Feedlot Forum 2018 is a cooperative effort of the Iowa Beef Center, ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and the Sioux, Lyon and Plymouth County Cattlemen’s Associations. Special highlights include a steak dinner and a $10 beef certificate for each attendee.

Registration is $25 per person, with a special reduced rate of $10 for students, due Jan. 11 to the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office, 400 Central Ave. NW, Suite 700, Orange City, IA 51041. The event brochure has the complete agenda, list of sponsors and registration form. Call the Sioux County Extension Office at 712-737-4230 for additional information or contact Beth Doran, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist, at

CHS Closes Plants in Kansas, Iowa & Minnesota

A soy processing plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, has closed, costing 77 people their jobs.  CHS Inc. announced Friday that the facility was one of three it was closing as it moves out of soybean protein production, the Associated Press reports.

The others were in Creston, Iowa, and its Innovation and Technology Center at Eagan, Minnesota. Spokeswoman Annette Degnan says a total of 144 employees at the three locations will be affected.

Meatless Meat Unlikely to Have Significant Impact on Protein Market in the Near Term

Protein products derived from plant sources, insects and cultured meats will be among the top food trends to watch in the coming years. The effect of these efforts on livestock and poultry demand is not expected to be significant in the foreseeable future, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

Cultured meat developers are in a race to match price and quality to traditional meat offerings. Products currently in development are prohibitively expensive and years away from widespread commercial viability.

“The future success of alternative meat lies squarely with rising global demand for protein rather than a battle for the existing market share of animal protein food products,” said Trevor Amen, an economist with CoBank. “The road to commercial viability and consumer acceptance of cultured meat is long and this type of product is unlikely to have a marked effect on traditional animal protein demand through at least the next decade.”

The alternative protein category is certain to grow in the coming years, allowing pathways for more diversified protein products. However, the alternative protein market will be overshadowed by the current retail market size of $49 billion in sales for the entire meat and poultry category.
Commercial Viability and Consumer Acceptance

Rising global incomes will continue to drive consumers to a higher protein diet. Global gross domestic product is projected to grow by $38 trillion from 2016 to 2030, generating a 46 percent increase in meat and poultry consumption. Technology companies and alternative protein providers are exploring new protein products.

“The timeline for commercial viability of cultured meat products remains the greatest unknown,” said Amen. “The consensus projection points to an initial market introduction in the next 3 to 5 years, most likely in restaurants and specialty stores and offered at a premium price to traditional meat offerings.”

Supermarket adoption of these products is projected to take another 2 to 3 years as the technology becomes more affordable and acceptable to consumers.
Technological and Regulatory Hurdles

The timing and degree of market penetration for meat alternatives will largely depend on advancements in technology that reduce price and improve quality attributes.

“In addition to start-up companies, we’re seeing agribusiness leaders investing in research and development projects surrounding meat alternatives,” said Amen. “Similar projects are also underway in China, Israel, Japan and France.”

Newly created cultured meat products will also need a regulatory framework before entering the market. Both the FDA and the USDA are closely monitoring developments in the cultured meat industry. It is unlikely that the agencies will rule on terminology that can be used to describe and market cultured meat until the technology is more developed.

A brief video synopsis of the report “Lab-grown Cultured Meat - A Long Road to Market Acceptance” is available on the CoBank YouTube channel.

U.S. Ethanol and Distillers Grains Exports Up in October; Shipments to Brazil Down Sharply

U.S. ethanol exports totaled 93.6 million gallons (mg) in October, up 8% from September shipments, according to government data released this morning and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Canada was again the top destination for U.S. exports at 33.9 mg (more than one-third of total exports)—an 18% increase over September. Spain was the second-leading market for U.S. ethanol in October, making its first meaningful purchase of American ethanol in 37 months and taking in 13.4 mg. India’s imports of U.S. ethanol fell 35% from September to 13.2 mg, but that was good enough to rank third in October. U.S. ethanol exports to all destinations for the first ten months of 2017 stood at 1.09 billion gallons, indicating an annualized export volume of 1.30 billion gallons.

Exports to Brazil in October ticked downward for the third straight month, likely a result of the nation’s implementation of a tariff rate quota and 20% tariff in September. U.S. shippers sent 12.9 mg of ethanol to Brazil, which was a 32% decrease from September. Still, four countries (Canada, Spain, India, and Brazil) accounted for 78% of all shipments in October, while another 20% was parsed out amongst seven other markets.

 October exports of undenatured fuel ethanol decreased by 12% to 43.0 mg—the lowest volume in 13 months as the two largest undenatured markets significantly decreased their imports. The U.S. shipped 13.2 mg to India (down 35%) and 12.9 mg to Brazil (down 32%). The Philippines (4.6 mg), Mexico (3.0 mg), and Spain (2.9 mg) rounded out the top five largest markets for undenatured product.

 U.S. exports of denatured fuel ethanol recovered in October with a 47% increase to 46.6 mg. Canada (32.9mg, or 71% of the market) and Spain (10.5 mg) represented the lion’s share of the denatured fuel ethanol export total.

 Overseas sales of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes decreased by a third to 2.2 mg. Saudi Arabia purchased 1.7 mg (76% of exports), with the remaining volumes distributed to multiple countries. Exports of denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes decreased 34% to 1.8 mg, with Canada (0.9 mg), Nigeria (0.4 mg), and Mexico (0.4 mg) as the primary customers.

 For the sixth straight month this year, the United States recorded meaningful fuel ethanol import volumes with 2.9 mg of Brazilian undenatured ethanol on the books in October. Year-to-date fuel ethanol imports total 55.8 mg, a 66% increase over the same period last year. Still, annualized import volumes are estimated at just 66.9 mg.

 Exports of dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry mill ethanol plants—expanded 14% in October to 903,290 metric tons (mt), the largest volume in seven months. The top three customers increased purchases over September levels, with Mexico remaining the top destination at 205,899 mt (up 15% from September). Other leading destinations included Turkey (115,559 mt, up 35%), Vietnam (102,004 mt), South Korea (84,642 mt), and Indonesia (84,448 mt). Notably, Vietnam’s imports of U.S. DDGS in October were the first significant volume to enter in ten months and signify a return to healthy trading volumes after resolving phytosanitary sanctions against American product. Total year-to-date DDGS exports to all countries stood at 9.2 mmt through October, indicating an annualized total of 11.08 mmt.

World Soil Day Brightened with Announcement of $20 Million Investment in Soil Health

A new grant will support research and education that accelerate adoption of soil health practices on farms nationwide, benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment alike. The Soil Health Partnership, an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, is one of three recipients of the grant and matching funds, which total nearly $20 million - one of the largest ever public/private investments in soil health.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established through bipartisan support in the 2014 Farm Bill, announced a $9.4 million grant on Dec. 5 - World Soil Day. The recipients are the Soil Health Institute, the Soil Health Partnership and The Nature Conservancy. It will be matched by General Mills, Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust, Midwest Row Crop Collaborative, Monsanto, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Walmart Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and individual donors for the total investment of nearly $20 million.

Soil health is a critical component of a productive and sustainable agricultural system. Farming practices that improve soil health can increase profitability while protecting natural resources like air and water for communities.

"We're pleased to harness the power of collaboration by supporting three leading organizations in this space for the long-term benefit of our nation's farmers and food system," said Sally Rockey, executive director of FFAR.

Collaborators will take an integrated, three-pronged approach. The Soil Health Institute will develop and test soil health measurements; the Soil Health Partnership will implement and evaluate soil health promoting practices on working farms; and The Nature Conservancy will work with non-operator landowners to encourage use of science-based soil health practices. The partners believe significant engagement with farmers and landowners will catalyze greater adoption of soil health-promoting practices that benefit productivity, farmer livelihoods, and the environment.

"American agriculture has made extraordinary strides in technology and productivity in this century, but the next frontier is in soil health," said Nick Goeser, director of the SHP and director of soil health and sustainability for NCGA. "Soil health is one of the best tools we have to optimize productivity while minimizing environmental impact. This grant will allow us to expand our program to include more farmers who want to benefit from our body of work analyzing how practices like growing cover crops, reducing tillage and using advanced nutrient management can help family farms survive and thrive."

FFAR is supporting this collaborative project through its Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area, which aims to increase soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or novel practices that improve soil health.

International Trade Commission Votes 4-0 In Support of the Biodiesel Industry

Today the International Trade Commission (ITC) voted 4-0 in favor of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition’s position that the industry has suffered because of unfairly subsidized imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia. This affirmative vote on injury, coupled with last month’s final countervailing duties determination by the Commerce Department, paves the way for final countervailing duty orders by the end of December.

“This unanimous vote is important progress to addressing the harm by this unfair trade on biodiesel. U.S. energy policy sought to create a level playing field for domestic and imported biodiesel, but foreign government subsidies have made it nearly impossible for U.S. producers to compete. We are gratified that countervailing duty orders will contribute to leveling the playing field such that the domestic industry has the opportunity to produce at the levels it knows it can,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer of the National Biodiesel Board. The biodiesel industry supports roughly 64,000 jobs nationwide.

Last month, a mix of large and small producers testified on the volume and price effects of biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, and the related impacts to the industry at a hearing before the ITC commissioners. If the Commerce Department makes an affirmative final determination on dumping, then the ITC will still need to vote early next year on the question of dumping.

The NBB Fair Trade Coalition filed petitions with the Commerce Department and the ITC in March to address a flood of subsidized and dumped imports from Argentina and Indonesia that has resulted in market share losses and depressed prices for domestic producers. Biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia surged by 464 percent from 2014 to 2016, taking 18.3 percentage points of market share from U.S. manufacturers. Imports of biodiesel from Argentina again jumped 144.5 percent following the filing of the petitions. These surging, low-priced imports prevented producers from earning adequate returns on their substantial investments and caused U.S. producers to pull back on further investments to serve a growing market.

The National Biodiesel Board is one of the members of the NBB Fair Trade Coalition. In November, the coalition won a preliminary antidumping determination from the Commerce Department; the department found that biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia are sold into the United States below fair value. The Commerce Department also affirmed its earlier decision that these countries unfairly subsidize biodiesel last month. As a result of these decisions, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay two sets of cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries.

Golden Harvest® corn and soybeans proving performance in Nebraska despite early weather woes

Planting may have been delayed in much of Nebraska, but harvest reports indicate that Golden Harvest® corn and soybeans didn’t miss a beat and are ending the 2017 growing season strong. Powered by broad genetic diversity and high-performing traits and technologies, Golden Harvest hybrids and varieties that offer farmers agronomic options for various field types, soil characteristics and weather conditions.

“The start of planting was less than ideal, with cool, wet weather interfering with farmers across the state,” said Blake Mumm, a Golden Harvest agronomist based in Nebraska. “But when the combines rolled, Golden Harvest hybrids and varieties showed yet again the difference that proven genetics paired with powerful traits can make.”

Golden Harvest corn is bred to perform well in a range of environments, with Agrisure® traits and technologies – including Agrisure Duracade®, Agrisure Viptera® and Agrisure Artesian® – protecting yield potential through proven insect control and water optimization. E-Z Refuge® options provide convenient, integrated single-bag refuge offerings. Top 2017 performers in Nebraska so far include:
·         G09Y24-3220A brand, a new Artesian™ hybrid that maximizes yield when it rains and increases yield when it doesn’t. In comparisons across southeast Nebraska, it outyielded all DeKalb® and Channel® hybrids by an average of 6 bushels per acre (bu/A) and 4.7 bu/A, respectively.1
·         G14V04-3000GT brand, which offers superb seedling vigor for a strong start. Compared to all DeKalb hybrids in southeast Nebraska trials, it yielded an average of 5.5 bu/A more.2

Golden Harvest also offers soybean producers many proven performance-class varieties across a wide range of relative maturities. These varieties protect against many of today’s toughest challenges, including soybean cyst nematodes, sudden death syndrome, brown stem rot and Phytophthora root rot. Top varieties in Nebraska this season include:
·         GH2788X brand, which features strong standability that helps farmers glide through harvest. In head-to-head trials in Nebraska, the new variety outyielded Asgrow® AG27X7 brand by an average of 6.2 bu/A.3
·         GH3195X brand, a new variety with proven flexibility across row spacing and versatility across varying soils. It outyielded all Pioneer® varieties by an average of 2.6 bu/A in area trials.4

All Golden Harvest hybrids and varieties are sold exclusively by independent Golden Harvest Seed Advisors, whose local expertise helps identify the best seed-to-field fit to maximize performance. In select geographies, these Seed Advisors also provide access to Enogen® hybrids, featuring an in-seed innovation that benefits farmers marketing grain to ethanol plants and those producing grain or silage for livestock feed. In the ethanol market, Enogen grain enhances the ethanol production process by improving process efficiency, while the same technology increases the value of feed for dairy or beef cattle due to improved fiber and starch digestibility.

BASF submits Trunemco Nematode Management Seed Treatment for North American registration

BASF submitted its new Trunemco™ Nematode Management seed treatment to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for registration. Trunemco Nematode Management is a seed-applied solution that will provide growers with a patented combination of a microorganism and a biochemical. This combination provides enhanced protection against a broad spectrum of damaging nematode species in key row crops.

“We continuously search for novel technologies that complement traditional agricultural practices,” said Mark Howieson, Ph.D., BASF Global Biological Research and Development Team Leader. “Our latest research led to our first nematode management tool that provides growers with reliable season-long nematode protection to help increase yield potential.”

Trunemco Nematode Management helps plants start strong during early development stages. Its low-toxicity profile reduces environmental risk while increasing product handling safety to applicators and crops. Trunemco Nematode Management contains a microorganism that produces healthier root systems which can lead to added vigor and improved canopy closure. Overall, Trunemco Nematode Management works differently than conventional chemistry by priming the plant physiology and simulating defense systems to manage yield-destroying nematodes.

“Growers are seeking new technologies that address the challenges of nematode damage while also responding to their agronomic needs,” said Howieson. “These types of seed solutions will give growers additional nematode protection options to help ensure future successful yields.”

Monsanto Asks Judge to Prevent Arkansas Lawmakers From Banning Dicamba

(AP) -- Monsanto asked a judge Tuesday to prevent Arkansas lawmakers from banning the use of a weed killer that farmers in several states have said drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.

The agribusiness asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the state from banning dicamba's use while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month. The board's proposal, which would ban dicamba's use from April 16 through Oct. 31, is scheduled to go before a legislative committee next week. The company also wants the judge to block enforcement of a previous rule restricting its dicamba weed killer's use.

"Monsanto is presently losing sales every day the ban on in-crop use of dicamba herbicides remains in effect," the Missouri-based company said in its filing. "The losses cannot be recovered in an action against the state."

A spokeswoman for the state Agriculture Department declined to comment on Monsanto's request.

Dicamba has been around for decades, but problems arose over the past couple of years as farmers began to use it on soybean and cotton fields where they planted new seeds engineered to be resistant to the herbicide. Because it can easily evaporate after being applied, the chemical sometimes settles on neighboring fields. The state earlier this year approved a temporary ban on the herbicide's sale and use, and has received nearly 1,000 complaints about dicamba this year.

The company has said the ban will deprive farmers of a needed tool and that an injunction is needed to avoid confusion while the judge considers its claims that the regulatory panel exceeded its authority.

"Growers need clarity," Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto, said. "They need to understand what tools they have."

Farmers have also complained about dicamba causing damage to their crops in other states, including Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee. The Environmental Protection Agency in October announced a deal with Monsanto and two other makers of dicamba herbicides, BASF and DuPont, for new voluntary restrictions on the weed killer's use.

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