Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday January 25 Ag News

2018 Beef Feedlot Roundtables in Bridgeport, Lexington, West Point

Beef feedlot managers, owners, employees and supporting industry personnel will learn new information related to feedlot nutrition and health at Nebraska Extension’s 2018 Beef Feedlot Roundtables Feb. 6-8 in Bridgeport, Lexington and West Point.

University and industry representatives will speak about new disease emergence, euthanization protocols for cattle, impact of calf nutrition on the cow, BQA transportation issues, and other timely nutrition topics for feedlot operators.

Preregistration is available by phone, fax, e-mail or mail, and requested by Feb. 2. Cost is $20 for those who preregister, and will be accepted at the door. Cost for those who have not preregistered will be $40.

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. at each location with welcome and introduction at 1 p.m. Roundtables will conclude at 4:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served at the meeting.

Exact dates and locations are as follows:
-    BRIDGEPORT: Feb. 6, Prairie Winds Community Center, 428 N Main St.
-    LEXINGTON: Feb. 7, Dawson County Extension Office, 1002 Plum Creek Parkway
-    WEST POINT: Feb. 8, Nielsen Community Center, 200 Anna Stalp Ave.

For more information or to request a registration form contact Galen Erickson at 402-472-6402 or

2018 Beef Feedlot Roundtables are sponsored by Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Beef Council.

UNL Grain Marketing Plan app is now available for Android devices

The Grain Marketing Plan mobile application from Nebraska Extension aims to help farmers manage their operations in a rapidly changing price environment. The free Grain Marketing Plan app is now available for Android devices for users marketing corn, soybeans or winter wheat.

The app can help farmers develop customizable grain marketing plans pre- or post-harvest. It has a built-in reminder system so that once a farmer has entered decisions into their plan, he or she will receive alerts once a decision trigger has been hit. The decision triggers can be set up based on a target time or futures price. It is one of the first apps of its kind to allow users to not only view futures price information, but interact with them.

You can download the app from the Google Play store. 

New Site Gives Midwest Farmers Easy Access to Crop Management Resources

Farmers and agribusiness have a new tool to help them tackle crop management challenges. The Crop Protection Network, a multi-state and international collaboration of university and provincial extension specialists, has redesigned its website at

In addition to the corn and soybean publications it is known for, the site now offers videos, newsletter and blog articles, featured articles, and Twitter updates from CPN partners on important crop management issues. The website also features an encyclopedia of field crop diseases designed to help farmers identify diseases using extensive image galleries and keywords to filter results.

“The new website still has all of the great CPN content that users are familiar with, but also adds new resources, and will be updated frequently,” said Kiersten Wise, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist, and co-director of CPN. "Our goal is to help farmers make crop management decisions with relevant and timely information.”

Over 45 extension specialists from land-grant universities and CPN partner institutions help develop content, which means that stakeholders can trust that the information they see on the website and in the publications is research-based.

“Farmers and agricultural personnel will be provided with information to help with decisions to protect field crops," said Daren Mueller, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach plant pathologist and co-director of CPN. "Information on wheat management and other crops will be added in 2018, expanding resources for farmers.”

Visit the new Crop Protection Network website at .

USDA Livestock Slaughter - Record High Pork Production for December

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.40 billion pounds in December, up slightly from the 4.40 billion pounds produced in December 2016.

Beef production, at 2.15 billion pounds, was 1 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.58 million head, down 1 percent from December 2016. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 1,379 pounds.

Veal production totaled 6.6 million pounds, 4 percent below December a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 46,400 head, down 5 percent from December 2016. The average live weight was up 5 pounds from last year, at 245 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.23 billion pounds, up 1 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 10.5 million head, down slightly from December 2016. The average live weight was up 3 pounds from the previous year, at 286 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 12.8 million pounds, was down 2 percent from December 2016. Sheep slaughter totaled 188,100 head, 5 percent below last year. The average live weight was 136 pounds, up 3 pounds from December a year ago.

By State          (1,000 lbs   -    % Dec '16)

Nebraska ......:     675.8             99      
Iowa .............:     642.0            103      
Kansas ..........:     482.4            103      

January to December 2017 commercial red meat production was 52.0 billion pounds, up 3 percent from 2016. Accumulated beef production was up 4 percent from last year, veal was down 1 percent, pork was up 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 3 percent.

Beef Board’s 2017 Annual Report Released

The 2017 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) Annual Report is now available to provide results of Beef Checkoff programs to the beef producers and importers who invest in this national self-help program. A summarized version of the report is available here, with links to download the full report available within..... 

Included in the annual report is a letter from CBB Chairman Brett Morris and an overview of revenues and expenditures for fiscal 2017. In addition, you’ll find summaries of results from each Beef Board budget category; these include promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications.

The goal of the publication is to provide financial transparency to beef producers and importers who invest into the checkoff and disclosure about all that was accomplished with the funds received.

“As a producer, I couldn’t have understood all the thought and process that goes into the consideration of every single dollar invested if not for this honor of being your chairman.,” said chairman Morris.   “From the long hours invested into the Long Range Plan to the time our checkoff program committees spend scoring and analyzing every authorization request before it is brought before the Operating Committee for funding consideration.

“With every hurdle the checkoff meets, I am reminded of the importance of communication and transparency.  I hope this annual report helps any producer who has ever wondered where their checkoff investment is used.  We’ve revamped the layout, making the information easier to find and more interesting to read.  Please click through and take in all the hard work of everyone who works to make your checkoff a success.”

Syngenta herbicides cleared for tank mixes on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton

Syngenta has received confirmation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that several Syngenta herbicide tank-mix options have been cleared for inclusion with both XtendiMax® with VaporGrip® Technology and Engenia® herbicides. These herbicides will be available for use on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and Bollgard II® XtendFlex® cotton traits, providing growers with additional weed management options in 2018.

Syngenta herbicide tank-mix options* now include the following products:
    BroadAxe® XC
    Dual Magnum®
    Flexstar® (currently for XtendiMax only)

“The Syngenta soybean and cotton portfolios provide the most effective dicamba spray programs through overlapping residual applications and multiple effective modes of action,” said John Appel, herbicide product lead, Syngenta. “For example, a soybean program of Boundary followed by dicamba plus Sequence provides residual control and includes four different modes of action – offering growers peace of mind against even the toughest weeds.”

University researchers stress the importance of diversifying modes of action within a weed management system. In continuous crop systems with early and late post-emergence applications with one mode of action, resistance can lead to weed control failure in as little as two years. By comparison, the addition of a pre-emergence herbicide with two effective modes of action can delay resistance for 18 to 20 years in most cases.

Using residual herbicide tank mixes with dicamba is also necessary to help delay the onset of resistance to the technology. “Unless dicamba is used responsibly in combination with other pre- and post-emergence herbicides, the technology will be over-extended and eventually fail,” said Appel. “We can’t afford to put the kind of selection pressure on dicamba as was done to glyphosate.”

All of the recently cleared Syngenta herbicide tank mixes have been tested according to EPA approved protocol, and the results are certified in accordance to the terms and conditions of registration for XtendiMax and Engenia.

Syngenta herbicides cleared for tank mixing with XtendiMax and Engenia may be used only once listed on the following websites, which will happen within 90 days of EPA clearance: and Syngenta does not recommend using any dicamba herbicide tank mixes until they are posted on these websites.

Grain Export Mission Shows Members Market Development Process In Morocco

Corn, barley and sorghum farmers from across the United States traveled to Morocco as part of the U.S. Grains Council's (USGC's) annual Grain Export Mission (GEM) to learn about how the Council’s programs have contributed to the development of the livestock industry in Morocco.

The USGC Grain Export Mission visited the first large commercial dairy in Morocco, established with the help of the Council.

“The GEM is designed to show its members how the Council carries out its mission,” said Martin Kerschen, leader of the USGC Middle East/Africa Advisory Team and farmer from Kansas. “We visited feed mills, dairies, fruit farms, poultry operations and, most importantly, the importers of our grains to learn their needs and wants and how we might facilitate any contributions through the Council.”

Morocco is home to 40 million people and a rapidly expanding commercial feed sector, driven primarily by growth in poultry and dairy production over the past 15 years. Morocco has more than doubled corn imports from one million metric tons (40 million bushels) in 2003 to 2.5 million tons (98 million bushels) in 2017. The country is now also a strong importer of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), at 230,000 tons in 2017.

Eleven producers from Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia spent a week with their customers in Morocco, where the Council has worked for 23 years. Their primary goal was to learn about growth in demand for meat, milk and eggs by Moroccan consumers as well as how Moroccan buyers access the U.S. feed grains market. Participants also heard firsthand about the realities of the competition they, U.S. farmers, face from other grain exporters in this market.

“Until you get to see it firsthand, you do not really get the full vision of what the Council is doing on the ground,” said Chad Willis, member of the USGC Board of Directors and a farmer from Minnesota. “I think the mission just opened everyone’s eyes.”

The Grain Export Mission aims to show members how the Council achieves all three components of the Council’s mission - developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives. Willis said Morocco is an excellent example of this totality since the Council has worked there to both build the market and a model for market development in other countries like Tanzania. The Council is also partnering with the Moroccan Poultry Association (known as FISA) to sponsor train-the-trainers programs for poultry producers in West Africa at a training facility in Casablanca.

The work to expand the market also continues within Morocco, notably with local dairy cooperatives.

"Seeing how they are working to uplift the whole area through a value-added cooperative, much like we have in the states, was very impressive to the group," Willis said. "Seeing it in action was pretty interesting - they know the more income the farmers receive, they can spend and uplift the entire community."

“This effort is a win-win for U.S. producers," Kerschen said, "helping increase U.S. feed grains exports to Morocco while improving the lives of Moroccan farmers and consumers through trade.”

CattleFax Cow-Calf Survey Released

CattleFax has introduced its Cow-Calf Survey, sponsored by Ritchie Waterers. Information requested in the survey provides participants and the rest of the industry with valuable information regarding industry benchmarks and trends.

Survey participants will receive a results summary packet, with useful information that will allow managers and owners to evaluate their own operations. Items such as cow-calf profitability, tendencies of high and low return producers, regional data and other valuable information are included.

By completing the survey and submitting a valid email address, participants will also be entered into a drawing to win a FREE CattleFax Membership*. (To be entered to win a free membership and receive the full results, a valid email address must be submitted. However, all individual results will be confidential and remain anonymous.)

The survey can be accessed by going to and selecting the About tab at the top of the page, which contains a link for the survey!/about. The deadline is Feb. 23, 2018.

For questions or concerns please contact Ethan Oberst, Market Analyst, at 800-825-7525, or

*Five one year Select level memberships or the equivalent value to be credited to a current account ($200) will be given away. To be considered in the drawing a participant must complete the entire survey and submit a valid email address. Winners will be selected by a random number generator, and will be contacted via email after the survey closes.

NCGA Task Force Tackles Complex but Critical Climate Issue

Family farmers face daily challenges from low prices to battling insect and weed pests but today they are digging deeper to find a new resiliency in their management tactics as they face weather extremes.  Heavier rainfall, more total rain, changing growing seasons, warmer night-time temperatures, shifting frost dates, and higher total CO2 levels frame the climate puzzle.

The National Corn Growers Association's Climate Task Force is working to better understand these developments and conducted its third meeting this week in Chicago. However, the meetings follow months of study and engagement to have a clearer picture of emerging agronomic challenges.

"Attaining profitability and sustainability in tandem are key goals for corn farmers. Changes in climate patterns have short- and long-term implications for farmers who provide feed, food and fuel for the world," said Keith Alverson, chairman of the Climate Task Force. "This producer-led, multi-disciplinary team is charged with examining climate implications and opportunities for the corn industry. It's really about being a resilient farmer and being prepared for what Mother Nature presents."

Although farmers dominate the Task Force, Alverson, a farmer from Chester, South Dakota, notes it also includes outside members representing allied industry, food companies, university scientists, environmental interests and economists.

The key charge of the Task Force is to identify threats and opportunities for corn farmers arising from possible policy or market changes related to climate and greenhouse gas reductions both domestically and internationally.

"The U.S. may have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, but interest remains alive in other quarters as witnessed by the recently surfaced carbon tax in Washington state. We also see a stream of announcements from business and industry related to CO2 reduction goals," Alverson said. "NCGA has a responsibility to our members to conduct economic analysis to determine financial threats or opportunities stemming from climate market or policy changes."

NCGA's work is also focused on identifying educational tools or opportunities that could be used to encourage U.S. corn farmers to access carbon markets and/or adopt carbon-neutral farm practices.

"We have a lot of positive and progressive change underway and it is already reflected through NCGA's programming related to the Soil Health Partnership, Field to Market,  our carbon life cycle assessment, nutrient management planning, production improvements and our work with the North American Climate Smart Agricultural Alliance," Alverson said.

Senate Hearing to Explore Opportunities to Support Domestic Seafood Through Aquaculture

Next week, a Senate hearing will explore future possibilities of domestic aquaculture.  Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will convene the hearing titled, “Growing the Future: Opportunities to Support Domestic Seafood Through Aquaculture,” at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

-    Dr. Kelly Lucas, director of the Marine Aquaculture Center, University of Southern Mississippi
-    Mark Luecke, managing director and CEO, Prairie AquaTech
-    Donald Kent, president and CEO, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
-    Barton Seaver, chef and author

Prairie Aquatech is a Soy Aquaculture Alliance (SAA) member, along with the American Soybean Association (ASA). The SAA works to fund programs and research that increases the utilization of U.S. soybeans in the diets of fish and shrimp.

Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on

2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey estimates world feed production in excess of 1 billion metric tons for second consecutive year

The 2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey, released today, estimates that international feed tonnage has exceeded 1 billion metric tons for the second consecutive year, with a total of 1.07 billion metric tons of feed produced in 2017. The growth seen in 2017 was strong at 2.57 percent over last year. The feed industry, valued at $430 billion, has seen 13 percent growth over the past five years, equating to an average of 2.49 percent per annum. This substantial growth is supported by the higher reported consumption of meat, milk and eggs.

The seventh edition of the annual survey is the most comprehensive ever, now covering 144 countries and more than 30,000 feed mills. The results show that China and the U.S. remain the top two countries, producing one-third of all animal feed, and that predominant growth came from the pig, broiler and dairy feed sectors as well as the European and Asia-Pacific regions.

“Now in its seventh year of analysis, the Alltech Global Feed Survey continues to serve as a valuable report on the state of the global feed industry,” said Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. “In addition to its insights into the feed industry, it serves as a barometer for agriculture as a whole and oftentimes demonstrates the economic strength of the countries included in the survey.”

The Alltech Global Feed Survey assesses compound feed production and prices through information collected by Alltech’s global sales team and in partnership with local feed associations in the last quarter of 2017. It is intended to serve as an information resource for policymakers, decision-makers and industry stakeholders.

The top seven feed-producing countries in 2017, in order of production output importance, were China, the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Mexico, India and Spain. These countries contain approximately 54 percent of the world’s feed mills and account for 53 percent of total production. These countries can be viewed as an indicator of the trends in agriculture.

Regional results from the 2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey

·        North America: The U.S. remains the second-largest feed-producing country globally, behind China. North America produces a third of the beef feed, five times that of the next-largest producer. The U.S. and Canada are two of the top horse feed producing countries. Feed prices in North America are lower than when compared to other regions.
·        Latin America: Brazil remained the leader in feed production for the region and third overall globally. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina account for almost 75 percent of regional feed production. Mexico leads the region in beef and layer feed production. Latin America as a region has had the third-highest growth rate over five years, seen primarily in aqua, horses and pets.
·        Europe: Tied with Asia-Pacific for the fastest-growing regions, Europe saw a 3 percent feed tonnage growth, resulting from increases in pig, boiler and aqua feed production. The region was led by Russia with 37.6 million tons produced in 2017, moving up in the country rankings from number seven to number four. Russia increased its estimated pig feed, including more private production. Russian broiler feed production also increased by 3 percent, while Ukraine, Romania, the U.K. and Belgium also reported higher numbers, supporting growth in the European region. Europe is the top pet food producing region.
·        Asia-Pacific: The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than 35 percent of the world’s feed tonnage. China remained the top feed-producing country in the world with 186.86 million metric tons, a slight decline in overall feed production compared to last year. Asia-Pacific increased by 3 percent over the 2017 survey results, primarily due to increases in pig and pet food production. Increased production for Asia-Pacific also came from India with 7 percent and Thailand with 8 percent growth. Vietnam grew 4 percent over the past year and is the second-highest producer of pig and aqua feed in the Asia-Pacific region. Seventy percent of all aqua feed and 44 percent of all layer feed is produced in Asia-Pacific countries.
·        Africa: Africa remains the fastest growing region in the world for dairy and broiler feeds.  With a regional average growth rate of nearly 30 percent over the last five years, it did not show growth in 2017. Pig, dairy, layer and boiler feed production increased, while decreases occurred in beef and aquaculture. Also, on average, Africa is the most expensive region for feeding pigs, layers and broilers. Smaller countries such as Botswana and Mozambique led the growth for pig, dairy, layer and broiler feeds. Beef feed production decreases were reflected in countries such as Zambia and Morocco. While many African nations showed a small increase in aquaculture feed production, the region as a whole was down primarily because of lower reported feed production in Egypt, which has now been surpassed by Nigeria.

Notable species results from the 2018 Alltech Global Feed Survey

·        In the poultry industry, broiler feed production increased across all regions, with the largest growth found in Africa with 10 percent and Europe with 7 percent. Romania, Russia and Ukraine all reported steady growth, contributing to Europe’s overall production, while Africa’s growth came primarily from Egypt, Uganda and Mozambique.
·        Global leaders in pork production, China and Russia, led the way in pig feed production in 2017. Many smaller African countries, particularly Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda and Namibia, also showed increases. 
·        Global dairy feed production saw growth across all regions. Europe, a global leader in dairy production, grew on average by approximately 2 percent. Africa as a region saw the largest dairy feed production increase by 10 percent, with countries such as South Africa, Morocco and Zimbabwe showing significant increases from their reported 2017 dairy feed production.
·        Beef feed production reported an overall global decline of approximately 1 percent, primarily in regions such as Latin America, Africa and Europe. This global downward trend has generally been felt by the industry for some time as more consumers turn to “white” meats such as chicken, pork and fish.
·        Overall aquaculture feeds showed a slight increase, particularly in the European and Asia-Pacific regions. China reported a decline of 5 percent this year and in 2016, which could be linked to government controls on feeding practices and food safety, such as the administration of antibiotics. Brazil, Chile and Peru led the increase in production in Latin America, as did Iran in the Middle East. Carp leads the production of aquaculture feed, followed by shrimp/prawn and tilapia. Catfish, salmon and trout also ranked on the species feed indicator, though to lesser degrees.
·        The pet food sector had a strong year across all regions. Asia-Pacific’s pet food production increased by 13 percent, with China, Thailand and Taiwan as the primary contributors to the increase. Europe increased by 17 percent with Russia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Hungary producing over 580,000 metric tons of additional pet food. Uruguay, Ecuador, El Salvador, Chile and Argentina represent almost all of the pet food production growth in Latin America, combining for 725,000 more tons.

“The Alltech Global Feed Survey provides valuable data and insights on the health of the feed industry and agriculture as a whole,” said Connolly. “As such, we will continue to offer the findings of the feed survey freely in an effort to demonstrate the significance of the animal feed industry in feeding a growing global population, sustainably and affordably.”

Soy Growers Urge Congress to Pass Tax Extenders

Soy growers are urging Congress to pass a seamless multi-year extension of the “tax extenders” as soon as possible.  The American Soybean Association (ASA) joined a range of several business, transportation, energy and ag stakeholders in a letter this week to both House and Senate leaders, stating the extension of these tax provisions is vital to the economy and jobs.

“The expiration of these tax provisions in 2016, and the failure to extend them before the end of 2017, has negatively impacted businesses and individuals that make important planning decisions based on tax policy,” the groups state in the letter. “Every day that these provisions remain lapsed creates further confusion and uncertainty for taxpayers, while needlessly undermining economic growth and job creation in the private sector.”

Wheat Organizations from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Call for Successful NAFTA Agreement

Today, organizations along the North American wheat value chain sent a letter to President Trump, President Peña Nieto, Prime Minister Trudeau, as well as with lead negotiators from each country, Ambassador Lighthizer, Minister Freeland, and Minister Guajardo, stressing the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the wheat industry. Ranging from seed to bread and baked goods, key groups from the wheat value chain signed onto the letter.

“As we enter the sixth round of negotiations, it’s important to remember that NAFTA created the world's largest free trade area between the United States, Mexico, and Canada,” said Gordon Stoner, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and a wheat farmer from Outlook, Mont. “NAFTA has benefited not only wheat growers but all our partners along the entire value chain from farmers to consumers and everyone in between. The fact that wheat producers and end users from all three countries would speak with one voice about the importance of NAFTA should speak volumes to our leaders.”

“The relationship between U.S. wheat farmers and Mexican flour millers and wheat food companies took off with NAFTA,” said Mike Miller, Chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash. “It is a highly successful partnership, with tariff-free access, that helped make Mexico our largest customer the past two years and supports revenue for wheat farmers from dozens of states.”

In the letter, the groups emphasized that an updated trade deal is critical to ensure that all of us can work together to provide the highest quality products at the greatest value for both the supply chain and consumers. Further, the letter states that an integrated supply chain between the three countries is only effective with NAFTA in place.

“The industry understands the need to modernize the 23-year-old agreement, but it must be done in a way that benefits the food and agriculture sectors in all three countries,” continued Stoner. “It’s critical that all parties remember during the negotiations that when one link breaks, the entire chain is weakened.”

The following organizations signed the letter: American Bakers Association; Cámara Nacional de la Industria Molinera de Trigo (National Chamber of Industrial Wheat Millers, Mexico); Cereals Canada; NAWG; North American Millers’ Association; USW; Western Canadian Wheat Growers.

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