Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wednesday December 20 Ag News

USDA Announces Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Appointments

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 27 members to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Twenty-five of the appointees will serve three-year terms. Two appointees will serve the remaining one-year portion of vacant positions.

    Bill Baldwin, Mitchell, Neb.
    Jim Eschliman, Ericson, Neb.

    Bill Slovek, Philip, S.D.
    Phil Perry, Oskaloosa, Kan.
    Trista Brown Priest, Satanta, Kan.
    Bruce T. Jackson, Lockesburg, Ark.
    J. Kent Bamford, Haxton, Colo.
    Cliff W. Coddington, Bradenton, Fla.
    Jared Brackett, Filer, Idaho
    Ryan Miller, Bardstown, Ky.
    Leon James, Hurdland, Mo.
    Turk Stovall, Billings, Mont.
    Katie Cooper, Willow Creek, Mont.
    Raymond Erbele, Streeter, N.D.
    Blayne Arthur, Stillwater, Okla.
    Jimmy Taylor, Cheyenne, Okla.
    Dick McElhaney, Hookstown, Pa.
    Jackie White Means, Van Horn, Texas
    Jason Peeler, Floresville, Texas
    Michael Wayne White, Vernon, Texas
    Sean P. Jones, Massey, Md., Mid-Atlantic Unit
    Rob Von Der Lieth, Copperopolis, Calif., Southwest Unit
    Laurie Bryant, Burke, Va., Importer
    Rob Williams, Chase, Md., Importer
    Jeffrey Isenmann, Rochester Hills, Mich., Importer
    Nicholas Brander, Wilmette, Ill., Importer (1-year term)
    Steven Hobbs, Larkspur, Colo., Importer (1-year term)

“The Cattlemen's Beef Board works to build demand for beef by helping to maintain and expand markets through their research, promotion, and information sharing efforts,” said Perdue. “Their work represents all segments of the beef industry and I know that the agricultural sector will be well served by them."

The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board is composed of 99 members, all of whom are beef producers or importers of cattle, beef or beef products. The board is authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985.

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.

 CBB Names Scott Stuart to CEO Position

After an extensive search, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB) has named Scott Stuart of Colorado as the new chief executive officer, effective February 1, 2018. 

“The beef industry is very complex,” notes Brett Morris, CBB chairman from Ninnekah, Oklahoma. “Scott has the background and understanding to bring all those pieces together to help producers meet their goal of promoting beef and getting the most value from their checkoff dollar”.

“The outstanding work he has done with National Livestock Producers Association (NLPA) illustrates the type of CEO we were looking for to fulfill the expectations we had.

“Scott is a visionary with a strong ability to be very productive. He is thorough and productive, with an immense amount of enthusiasm for this industry. I am most excited about his cowboy background. He will resonate with farmers and ranchers from all over the country, helping them to better understand the benefits of their beef checkoff investments,” Morris added.

Stuart has an extensive background in the livestock industry, including board management and as a contractor to the beef board.  He currently serves as the President and CEO of the National Livestock Producers Association (NLPA), which comprises several regional livestock marketing cooperatives marketing over 2.5 million cattle annually.  He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Agriculture Business and completed a law degree at the University of Wyoming.

In accepting the position, Stuart said, “My goal is ensuring the administration of the beef checkoff continues to be above reproach, as the producer’s dollar must be invested within all guidelines and to the greatest benefit to the industry. In addition, it is my goal to work hard to assist leadership and contractors in achieving the goals of the beef industry’s Long Range Plan.”

“Scott has taken our organization to places it would never have gone without his leadership,” says Gary Smith, current chairman of NLPA. “I am sure he can, and will, do the same for Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The thing that comforts me is knowing Scott will still be working on the side of livestock producers, helping to promote the industry and making it better. We look forward to working with him in his new capacity,” Smith added.

CBB’s former CEO, Polly Ruhland, served as CEO for six years before accepting a similar position at the United Soybean Board in November. CBB’s Chief Financial Officer, Katherine Ayers, has been acting CEO during this transition.

Secretary Perdue Statement on Congressional Passage of Tax Cuts & Reforms

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement regarding the Congressional passage of a conference report on tax cuts and reform legislation:

“This is a once-in-a-generation reform of the federal tax code and it comes just in time to be an eagerly awaited Christmas present for taxpayers. Having traveled through our nation’s heartland for most of this year, I know that the hard-working, tax-paying people of American agriculture need relief. Most family farms are run as small businesses, and they should be able to keep more of what they earn to reinvest in their operations and take care of their families. Simplifying the tax code and easing the burden on citizens will free them up to make choices for themselves, create jobs, and boost the overall American economy. I thank President Trump for his leadership, and commend Congress for being responsive to the people.”

NeFB Statement Regarding Congressional Action on Tax Reform

Steve Nelson, President

“The actions of both the House and Senate to approve the conference report on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) pushes us near the finish line in delivering tax reform that encourages economic growth, while lowering the tax burden for most Americans, including farmers and ranchers.”

“This legislation addresses numerous tax related issues of interest to Nebraska farm and ranch families. Lower rates for pass-through businesses, the ability to continue to deduct normal and customary business expenses, expansion of Sect. 179 business expensing, as well as unlimited immediate expensing, were needed. Equally important is that fact that farmers and ranchers will continue to be able to fully deduct property taxes on agricultural land as a business expense.”

“Furthermore, we appreciate the inclusion of provisions that help farmers and ranchers manage their cash flow and tax liabilities, such as the continuation of cash accounting and like-kind exchanges for buildings and land.”

“While we would prefer immediate repeal of the estate tax, the legislation doubles the estate tax exemption indexed for inflation, and continues the allowance for spousal transfer. These measures are a positive and immediate step that will ease the estate tax burden on farm and ranch families.”

“We thank Sen. Deb Fischer, Sen. Ben Sasse, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, Congressman Don Bacon, and Congressman Adrian Smith for their support of this major tax reform effort.”

“We look forward to President Trump signing these much needed reforms into law.” 

Tax Reform Must Not Jeopardize Farm Program Funding, NFU Says

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to approve the conference Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a sweeping tax system overhaul that will now go to the President’s desk for signing into law.

National Farmers Union (NFU) staunchly opposed the Act because of its regressive taxation structure and devastating implications health care affordability and the nation’s financial standing. The bill’s massive $1.5 trillion increase to the deficit now places farm program and entitlement funding on the chopping block, says the family farm organization. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the vote:

“Farmers Union is deeply disappointed in Congress’ decision to approve the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, not only because it is flawed fiscal policy, but also because we must now fight to protect every penny that is spent securing our nation’s food supply and natural resources, supporting our rural communities, and feeding our hungry.

“This tax bill leaves a $1.5 trillion hole in the budget – a hole that some members of Congress will want to fill with farm program and entitlement spending cuts. At a time when rural America is experiencing the most severe economic downturn in a couple generations, we cannot afford to take away their safety net. Moving forward, we urge Congress to avoid any funding cuts to programs that support our nation’s family farmers and ranchers.”

CHS Closes South Sioux City Soy Plant

CHS Inc. closed its soy protein plant in South Sioux City this week, eliminating 63 jobs. The Minnesota-based farmers cooperative hinted the plant could reopen under new a owner early next year.

In a news release, CHS said the closure was part of its strategic plan to help restore financial flexibility by "reviewing all company assets to determine which are a strategic fit for CHS now and into the future."

"CHS continues to negotiate the sale of the South Sioux City, Nebraska, facility to a Fortune 500 food company," the news release said. "If the parties can reach a deal, we anticipate that CHS will finalize the potential facility sale in January 2018."

CHS employees displaced by the closing will be eligible for undisclosed severance pay and separation benefits.

The company acquired the the South Sioux City plant for $133 million in 2012 from Israeli-based Solbar Industries.

Iowa Corn Growers Association Releases Top State and Federal Policy Priorities for 2018

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), one of the most effective, longest-standing agricultural associations in the country, released today its final list of state and federal policy priorities for the upcoming year.

“The single most important thing we can do for our members is to support sound policy development,” said ICGA President Mark Recker, a farmer from Arlington. “Our dedicated members engage in policy development through member surveys, roundtable meetings, and our annual Grassroots Summit in establishing goals and guiding our priorities each year to aid in the success of the corn industry. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the coming year.”

2018 ICGA state priorities
, listed in alphabetical order:
 ·    Conservation/Water Quality: Long term, increased funding for Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
 ·    Ethanol: Obtain funding for Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP)
 ·    Reducing Regulation: Reduce regulatory barriers where possible
 ·    Taxes: Full state coupling of the federal Section 179 small business expensing provision
 ·    Taxes: Protect agriculture in comprehensive tax reform

2018 ICGA federal priorities, listed in alphabetical order:
 ·    Ethanol: Retain the Renewable Fuel Standard
 ·    Safety Net: Protect crop insurance funding as part of the 2018 Farm Bill
 ·    Taxes: Protect agriculture in comprehensive tax reform
 ·    Trade: Protect/expand funding for Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) as part of the 2018 Farm Bill
 ·    Trade:  Expand bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements

“I encourage all members to join us at a ICGA Day on the Hill on January 16, March 21, or visit with your local legislators to have your voice heard and to share your priorities with state policy makers,” stated Recker. “Finally, if you are not a member of ICGA, I encourage you to join us today and get engaged on issues impacting your farm.”

The complete 2018 policy resolution book is available at or in hard copy for free upon request by emailing or calling 515-225-9242.

Iowa Pork Industry Center Welcomes New Extension Swine Specialist

Amanda Chipman believes her academic and industry experiences have prepared her well for the position of extension swine program specialist with the Iowa Pork Industry Center. At Iowa State University and on her home farm, she’s worked with a variety of people, taken on a multitude of responsibilities, and developed strengths and skills along the way.

“In this position, I hope to play a role in identifying current needs of hog farmers and developing strategies to address them,” Chipman said. “I will be collecting data for specific projects as well as creating material to disseminate the information we have found.”

Chipman said she was interested in this position because it will tap into her motivations and use her experiences and skills well.

“I loved the idea of being connected to both the academic research and the commercial industry,” she said. “I really enjoy learning and working to solve problems which can be translated into a format relevant for others.”

Chipman earned her undergraduate degree in animal science at ISU, then worked in the animal science department for more than four years as research program coordinator for John Patience, professor department of animal science. She then returned to her family’s operation near Harlan to work with her dad and older brother. She managed the farm feed mill, monitored their contract nurseries and finishers and helped with general overall management responsibilities.

“I see this extension position as offering a place where I can serve the industry I have grown to love,” she said. “I understand the challenge farmers face to find information needed to address the day-to-day issues that arise in this fast-paced industry, and I would love to spend time they can not, gathering information and putting it in a form that is easily accessible.”

Her first priority is with a National Pork Board-funded project on pelvic organ prolapse, a current issue facing operations of all sizes.

“I’m excited to connect with more producers, and industry stakeholders especially, as I begin working on the sow pelvic organ prolapse project,” Chipman said. “So many sow farms have seen an increase in prolapse incidence, but no one has a good answer regarding the root cause. With this project, I hope to give some clarity to the industry regarding this problem that impacts animal welfare, worker morale and the economic bottom line. Farms of all sizes are seeing an increased prolapse incidence so the work could easily benefit small farms just as much as larger production companies.”

As research program coordinator for John Patience, Chipman learned and appreciated the importance of maintaining high data quality and interacting with industry stakeholders. Now, as IPIC extension swine specialist, she’ll be able to build on existing relationships and develop new cooperative connections with faculty, staff, students and others in the industry.

New Iowa Watershed Award Launched

Across Iowa, watershed communities are working together to improve water quality, build soil health, and reduce flood risk. Watershed coordinators, project staff who provide partnership-based management and stewardship in a watershed, are a key ingredient to the success of these locally driven water quality efforts.

To honor watershed coordinators for their contributions and dedication to improving water quality, the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA) — in partnership with Iowa State University (ISU), the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI) — is launching the new Iowa Watershed Award.

Sponsored by IAWA, the Iowa Watershed Award will recognize up to five honorees, with each receiving funding for their local watershed program and for their own professional development.

“Iowa’s watershed coordinators are critical to the future success of improving water quality and meeting the goals of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy,” says Sean McMahon, Executive Director of IAWA.

The watershed approach is helping all stakeholders work together toward a future that strengthens local communities and agriculture. “Critical to this success is engaging farmer leaders at the watershed level to improve water quality while also helping improve farmer profitability,” says McMahon. “We want to help maintain the great momentum that the watershed approach is building.” 

Recipients of the Iowa Watershed Award will be announced at the Iowa Water Conference held March 21-22 at ISU. Applications are being accepted until January 31, 2018, and will be evaluated by a panel of judges from IAWA, ISU, IDALS, Iowa DNR, and CDI.

“We are delighted to work with our partners to recognize Iowa’s watershed coordinators for the important work they do every day across Iowa to improve our water quality,” says McMahon.

Iowa State Dairy Association to Hold Annual Meeting Jan. 4-5

The Iowa State Dairy Association (ISDA) will hold its Annual Meeting Jan. 4-5, 2018 at the Quality Inn & Suites, 2601 E. 13th Street, in Ames, Iowa.

All ISDA members are invited to attend, along with anyone interested in dairy who wishes to explore opportunities for becoming a member.

This year’s meeting includes educational sessions as well as networking time for sponsors and members on Jan. 4. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg are the featured keynote speakers.

The business meeting on Jan. 5 includes ISDA’s officer reports and activity updates. Changes to ISDA policy will also be discussed and voted on by the 2018 ISDA voting delegates.

Breakfast and lunch are included, and there is no cost to attend. A detailed agenda, registration details, current ISDA policy and weather-related meeting notifications can be viewed at

US energy market strong, domestic and international demand grows

The use of fuel and energy products powers much of the American economy. But, energy markets are notoriously volatile, reacting quickly to everything from statements by global organizations (think OPEC) and international policy shifts to hurricanes and consumer purchasing trends.  

To understand the state of the global energy market, energy market expert Angie Olsonawski, CHS vice president of refined fuel operations and supply, spoke to more than 350 attendees at the CHS Annual Meeting, held Dec. 7-8 in Minneapolis, Minn.

“US oil production recently reached 9.7 million barrels per day. We haven’t seen those levels since 1971 and are on pace to set a record for production in 2018,” says Olsonawski.

This increase in production offset some of the cuts from OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting), which controls about 40 percent of the world’s crude oil production. “As OPEC producers have cut back from the market, the U.S. has stepped up,” says Olsonawski.

Optimistic projections for long-term growth in demand

Olsonawski also stressed many demand trends that will continue to fuel growth in the energy market. “U.S. consumers continue to buy big vehicles. Americans are buying more SUVs, trucks and crossovers compared to smaller vehicles and sedans. This is a lift for demand fuel markets,” she says. “However, an increase in fuel efficiency for all vehicles will continue to hamper some of this growth.”

The largest demand for petroleum comes from developing countries, most notably China and India. “We’re seeing this growth for demand along with population growth,” Olsonawski says.

The impact of electric vehicles

When it comes to energy use, vehicles powered by alternative energy sources are top-of-mind, including electric vehicles. “Despite increases in electric vehicle sales globally, these vehicles still account for less than 1 percent of the global passenger fleet.”

But, Olsonawski says, electricity can be a complicated energy source. “In the U.S., about 34 percent of electricity comes from natural gas; 30 percent is derived from coal; 20 percent of electricity comes from nuclear power. It’s a more complex debate than just plugging in your car instead of going to the fuel pump.”

As the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, CHS provides energy products for its member-owners through local co-ops and consumers through its 1,500 Cenex® retail locations. “Through our two refineries in McPherson, Kansas and Laurel, Montana, CHS produces 160,000 barrels per day and is a key player in the domestic fuel supply chain,” says Olsonawski. “At CHS, we’re constantly monitoring the market and economics to see how we can work smarter for our owners.”

Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to Move Higher

Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be mostly higher the second week of December 2017, with one exception, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers are now higher priced compared to a month ago. However, only one of the seven was up a significant amount. Anhydrous was up 6% compared to the previous month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $434 per ton.

The remaining seven were up just slightly. DAP had an average price of $439/ton, MAP $479/ton, potash $343/ton, urea $340/ton, 10-34-0 $403/ton and UAN28 $218/ton.

One fertilizer was lower compared to the previous month. UAN32 was 6% lower compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $256/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.26/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 1% higher, urea is 2% more expensive, potash is 7% higher and MAP is now 8% more expensive.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower compared to a year prior. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are 1% lower while anhydrous is 6% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 9% lower.

Killefer Named Dean of SDSU Ag and Biological Sciences College

John Killefer, professor and department head of animal and rangeland sciences at Oregon State University, has been named the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University. Killefer was selected following a national search.

"Dr. Killefer's leadership style and professional experiences separated him during this process as attributes that will have a tremendous impact on the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences," said Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He articulated the type of vision that will allow the college to continue to excel and move into the future in a way that will allow students, faculty and staff to have a greater impact on the state, the region and the world. We are excited to have John become our next dean."

Killefer has served in his current role since 2012. During that time, he successfully merged the departments of animal sciences and rangeland, ecology and management to form the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences. Killefer also completed construction on three facilities and numerous renovations to other facilities. He established approximately $3.5 million in endowments to support teaching and research, in addition to support for livestock farms and educational opportunities in cattle production.

"I am honored to join such an incredible community of students, faculty, staff, alumni and stakeholders that make up the South Dakota State University family. The College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences embodies the land-grant mission dedicated to exceptional education, research and outreach efforts that are accessible to all. Strong support from alumni, commodity organizations, members of the South Dakota Legislature and stakeholders from across the entire state and region is evident. I am excited to build upon the outstanding foundation that has been established and I am eager to develop relationships with our alumni, state and industry organizations, stakeholders, colleagues, students and other supporters as we move the college forward."

An accomplished researcher, Killefer's programs have secured more than $6.3 million from both federal and industry sources where his research focused on high-quality production animals and meat products. Killefer was inducted into the Oregon Beef Council Hall of Fame in 2014 and served as a fellow from 2013-15 for the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a national organization dedicated to developing individual and institutional leadership for a 21st century food system.

Killefer went to OSU in 2011 after nearly 10 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was an associate professor and later professor. He was an assistant professor and associate professor at West Virginia from 1994-2002. Killefer earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences at Hastings College in Nebraska. He earned his Ph.D. in animal science with an emphasis in growth and development at Oregon State.

Killefer will begin his duties in late March.

Six questions to ask when developing a weed control program

Fall and winter are the perfect times to evaluate weed management programs in corn. During harvest, the elevation of the cab provides a better vantage point to see between rows to areas growers couldn’t scout earlier in the year. Dirt between the rows or remnants of dead weeds are telltale signs of how a herbicide program worked.

After harvest, growers can overlay those observations with yield monitor results to further hone next year’s herbicide program. After all, uncontrolled weeds can have a staggering effect on corn yields. You can compound the loss when you factor in the fact that driver weeds, such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp, can develop resistance to some herbicides.

Mark Waddington, selective corn herbicides product development manager for Bayer, explained that a long-term weed management program should focus on controlling the seed bank.

“Controlling the seed bank is a numbers game,” said Waddington. “The fewer weed seeds, the less chance of emergence and competition, and the lower the risk of resistance development. A long-term weed management program manages the things that affect yield and, at the end of the day, production. It all comes down to how much competition exists in a field.”

As the challenge of resistant weeds continues, many growers have begun to take a closer look at their weed control approach.

“Growers have always known weed control is critical. However, they are now realizing that some of their practices need to evolve to stay ahead of the weed threat,” added Frank Rittemann, selective corn herbicides product manager for Bayer.

Rittemann and Waddington recommend that while planning for 2018 growers ask themselves six questions to determine the best weed control program for their operation.

1)    What is the history of the field?  Understand the current and past weed pressure in a field, including the specific weed species and resistance issues. It’s also important to understand the herbicide history of the field.

2)    What is the weed pressure in the region? Consider not just weed pressure in the surrounding fields, but also throughout the local geography.

3)    What type of weather does the field typically experience? Mother Nature plays a significant role in herbicide program effectiveness. Waddington says that environmental factors, such as rain and temperature may affect how herbicides work.

4)    How does the soil hold the herbicide?  Heartier soils can absorb and hold on to a herbicide for longer periods of time, whereas sandy soils and lighter soils are at risk of having the herbicide flushed away with rain.

5)    What is the economic approach on my operation? In planning a weed control program, growers should consider yield goals, the type of crop they plan to grow and the current market conditions, among other crop-management decisions.

6)    How do weed escapes affect my season-long plan through harvest? Weed escapes compete with nutrients. If left in fields, they can chip away at crop potential.

Once growers have answered these six questions, Rittemann and Waddington recommend determining if a one-pass or two-pass approach works best for their operation, and then choose products that work with their selected approach. Recommended products include:
     o    Corvus® herbicide, tankmixed with atrazine, for burndown, residual and reactivation. Corvus is the most reputable pre-emergence herbicide of the last decade amongst growers.
     o    Balance® Flexx works well on all soil types and offers a flexible application window and tankmix partners.
Early post-emergence
     o    Capreno® features a wide application window and powerful post-emergence control of grass, broadleaf and resistant weeds.

Mid-to-late post-emergence
     o    DiFlexx® DUO is tough on problem weeds, including glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, ragweed and marestail. It also has built-in resistance management with two effective sites of action.

Rittemann recommends partnering Capreno and DiFlexx DUO with a non-selective herbicide like Liberty®, the only working non-selective herbicide that is effective on tough-to-control grasses and broadleaf weeds.

Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at

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