Thursday, January 4, 2018

Thursday January 4 Ag News


Online training for Nebraska applicators who plan to use new restricted use pesticide (RUP) dicamba products now is available through Nebraska Extension.

Nebraska applicators completing the new training may apply Monsanto’s XtendiMax, DuPont’s FeXapan and BASF’s Engenia on genetically modified Xtend soybeans. These herbicides kill broadleaf weeds but not Xtend soybeans. Since soybeans also are broadleaf plants, problems arise when traditional, or non-Xtend soybeans, have dicamba-related injuries.

“All state-licensed applicators, either private or commercial and who plan to use the new products in 2018, must undergo new, label-required training before applying them,” said Clyde Ogg, pesticide extension educator and coordinator of Nebraska Extension’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). PSEP, along with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), spearheaded the new video training.

Unlicensed individuals who plan to apply the new products must have both the traditional NDA-issued license to apply RUPs, AND have proof they have taken the new NDA-approved RUP dicamba training, Ogg said.

Ogg said the dicamba training is designed to help applicators better protect traditional soybeans and other sensitive crops from damage caused by particle drift, tank contamination, temperature inversions and volatility. Also, the training will help applicators better understand the extensive new dicamba requirements for timing and recordkeeping.

“The three new RUP dicamba labels have mandatory recordkeeping components that far exceed anything previously seen,” Ogg said.

The no-cost dicamba training is comprised of four video modules that should take less than two hours to complete. Topics include off-target herbicide movement and how to prevent it; equipment settings and weather restrictions; and information required specifically for Nebraska. Proof-of-training documentation will be issued to applicators who complete the online training.

“This proof is necessary to show that both private and commercial RUP applicators have taken the new required training before using any of the three new RUP dicamba products,” Ogg said.

Details for the online training can be found at Look for “*NEW* Dicamba Label-Required Training.”

A comprehensive listing of dicamba topics from NDA is found at

Individuals wanting training for both traditional RUP pesticides and the new RUP dicamba products have two other options for Extension training. One is through its Crop Production Clinics or the Nebraska Crop Management Conference, where commercial applicators may be recertified for traditional RUP licensing. The other is through county Extension offices providing private RUP applicator training; Check with an individual Extension office to see if the dicamba training is being offered.

Manufacturers of the new dicamba products also offer the required training.

The new training requirement comes after the federal Environmental Protection Agency in October classified the three newer dicamba products as RUPs, and added new application, timing and recordkeeping requirements to the labels. Nationally in 2017 more than 2,200 complaints about dicamba were said to have injured more than 3 million US soybean acres.

Young Farmers and Ranchers to Meet in Omaha

Registration is open for the 2018 Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Conference, Jan. 19-20 at the CoCo Key Water Resort in Omaha. The conference theme is “Waves of Opportunity” and is presented by Nebraska Farm Bureau, Douglas County Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Services of America, and the Aurora Cooperative.

“More than 200 young farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals will benefit from relevant information to help them with their careers in the agriculture industry. The event features interesting tours of local agribusinesses, a dynamic keynote speaker, breakout sessions on leading issues facing agriculture in Nebraska, and a lot of fun and fellowship, including a casino night and the CoCo Key Water Resort,” Phil Erdman, NEFB vice president of membership said Jan. 4. 

The conference begins Jan. 19 with tours of local agribusinesses, including stops at: Claas, Valmont, Metropolitan Utilities District, Patriarch Distillers, and the Omaha Children’s Museum.

New to this year’s conference is a program called “Career Conversations,” a one-on-one visit with representatives from leading ag companies in Nebraska about potential career opportunities. It is also the start of the YF&R Discussion Meet that qualifies a young farmer or rancher to represent Nebraska at the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet.

The keynote speaker is Tim Hodges. Tim is a proud product of a one-room public school near his family’s farm in Southeast Nebraska. Hodges currently works as director of research for Gallup’s Education Division. He will share his background of growing up on a farm and his experience with Gallup to help attendees discover their strengths and ensure they are equipped to be strong, engaged leaders within the agriculture industry.

Break-out sessions on Saturday, Jan 20 will cover topics including healthcare solutions, entrepreneurship, federal policy, family finances, and direct marketing.

For more information and to register visit  Registration includes a t-shirt, all meals, entertainment, tours, and breakout sessions. Registrants will be responsible for making their own hotel reservation and you don’t have to be a Farm Bureau member to attend.

Nebraska Soybean Board to Hold January Meeting

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) will hold its quarterly board of directors meeting Jan. 10–11 at the Ramada Columbus Hotel and Conference Center. Much of the Jan. 10 session will be devoted to updates on research projects funded by NSB. Roger Elmore and Katja Koehler-Cole from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will report on their study of cover crop practices in soybean and corn cropping systems. Other UNL faculty will discuss aquaculture feed, fungicide resistance and on-farm research initiatives.

Day 2 includes committee reports from board members and representatives from the United Soybean Board, the American Soybean Association and the Nebraska Soybean Association.

National Drought Summary for January 2, 2018

During the 7-day period (ending Tuesday morning), bitterly cold, mostly dry weather prevailed across the nation. However, light to moderate showers were observed along the central Gulf Coast, while moderate to heavy rain and mountain snow were reported in the nation’s northwestern quadrant. At the end of the period, a moderate to deep snowpack extended from the interior Northwest across the northern Plains into New England. The overall trend toward drought intensification persisted from the Four Corners to the southern Plains and south-central U.S., while modest reductions in drought intensity and coverage were made in northern Montana.

High Plains

Extreme cold gripped the region, accompanied by much-needed moderate to heavy snowfall. Temperatures for the period averaged 25 to 35°F below normal from eastern Montana into the Dakotas and northern Nebraska. There were no changes made to the drought depiction in central and eastern portions of the region, while reductions in Abnormal Dryness, Moderate Drought, and Severe Drought (D0-D2) were made in northwestern Montana to account for the favorable start to the Water Year and the easing of long-term moisture deficits; 12-month precipitation climbed to near-normal levels in western Montana, but was still less than 50 percent of normal in the lingering Extreme Drought (D3) areas.


Bitter cold weather prevailed with a moderate to deep snowpack covering all but southern portions of the region. Changes were limited to a small increase of Moderate Drought (D1) in parts of Missouri, where 90-day precipitation was locally less than half of normal. Impacts are minor and generally confined to low groundwater levels (locally below the 10th percentile).

Looking Ahead

A rapidly-intensifying storm system near the Atlantic Seaboard will produce wind-driven snow from parts of the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast. Substantial snow- and wind-related impacts are expected in New England, as well as coastal cities such as Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. In the storm’s wake, late-week temperatures will again plunge across the Midwest and Northwest. However, temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels by Sunday in all areas west of the Mississippi River. In the middle and lower Mississippi Valley and environs, some rain or freezing rain could precede the warmer weather. Elsewhere, periods of rain and snow will affect northern California and the Northwest, while dry weather prevails across the central and southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for January 9 – 13 calls for above-normal precipitation across much of the nation, with drier-than-normal weather confined to the nation’s southern tier save for the Southwest. Colder-than-conditions will linger in the upper Midwest, while near- to-above-normal temperatures prevail elsewhere, with the greatest likelihood of abnormal warmth from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast.


Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman today announced that the epidemiological investigation into a bovine tuberculosis (TB) positive cow in a beef cattle herd in Wheeler County continues to progress.  The infected cow was discovered as part of an epidemiological investigation from an infected herd in South Dakota.

“Cooperation between state and federal agencies along with the cooperation of the owner allowed us to quickly quarantine the herd and begin the epidemiological investigation to trace the movement of cattle into and out of the herd,” said Wellman.  “Fortunately, our investigation found no cattle had fence line contact with the infected herd.  At this time no testing of neighboring herds will be necessary.”

The infected herd will remain under quarantine until the entire herd has had multiple tests to verify no additional infection is present.

“We continue to trace and quarantine cattle that were dispersed from the herd earlier this year,” said Wellman.  “It appears that the dispersed cattle are all currently in feedlot settings, where they will remain until harvest.”

NDA will continue epidemiological investigations of any animals that entered Nebraska from the infected South Dakota herd.

TB is a slow, progressive disease and is difficult to diagnose in the early stages; however, as the disease progresses, animals can exhibit emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever, and a pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough.  If a producer sees any of these symptoms in their herd, they should contact their local veterinarian.  

Further information, including FAQ sheets on TB can be found on the NDA website at

Perdue Announces Farm Service Agency State Committee Appointees

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Committee Appointees. State committees are selected by the Secretary, serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, and are responsible for carrying out FSA’s farm programs within delegated authorities.

“The State Committees will help to ensure USDA is providing our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers with the best customer service,” Secretary Perdue said. “They serve as a liaison between USDA and the producers in each state across the nation by keeping them informed and hearing their appeals and complaints. The committees are made up mostly of active farmers and ranchers, representing their peers and ensuring USDA’s programs are supporting the American harvest.”

The following is a list of State Committees released today:
        Committee Chair Scott Spilker - Beatrice
        Cindi Allen - Ogallala
        Mark Jagels - Davenport
        Hilary Maricle - Boone County
        Geoff Ruth - Rising City
        Committee Chair Ray Gaesser – Corning
        Nathan Anderson – Cherokee
        Laura Cunningham – Nora Springs
        Jim Stillman – Palo Alto
        Pat Swanson – Ottumwa

State committees are appointed for a one year term which began on January 1, 2018. Each state committee has five members, one chairperson and four members. States that are not listed here or that have incomplete lists will be announced at a later date.

Iowa State Develops New Crush Margin App for Hog and Cattle Producers

Livestock producers who purchase feeder cattle or weaned pigs plus the feed, and then sell finished animals at a specific point in time, take on a significant amount of both input and output price risk. Feeder cattle, weaned pig and feed prices account for a significant share of the total input cost and along with market livestock prices are volatile, adding to a producer’s risk.

The crush margin, a term borrowed from the soybean processing industry, describes the margin that can be hedged using futures contract prices for soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil. A crush margin also can be calculated for cattle and hogs and can be used as a risk management tool. For fed cattle, the margin is live cattle value minus feeder cattle value and estimated corn fed value. For market hogs, the margin is lean hog value minus weaned pig value and estimated corn and soybean meal fed value.

Lee Schulz, ISU Extension and Outreach livestock economist, has been tracking the crush margins for cattle and hogs and posting them online for several years. The margin is calculated every Wednesday using the futures close on that date. The web page will continue and have historical margins in addition to comparing placement month margins.

This new ISU Livestock Crush Margin App is in addition to the ISU Livestock Crush Margin website and allows users to select cattle or hogs and pick their placement date for feeder cattle or weaned pigs. It will use the appropriate futures contract close price from the previous day to calculate the margin without any additional inputs. Historical basis information Schulz has compiled is programmed to be used in the app. Users also can enter their own prices or basis for the inputs if they wish to override the defaults.

Russ Euken, ISU Extension and Outreach livestock specialist, said the app was designed to minimize inputs, yet still provide some flexibility for users.

“The app is a web-based app and internet access is needed to use the app to access CME futures price," Euken said. "The app will run in a browser on your computer or the app can be saved on a smart phone for access by selecting the icon from the screen.”

The app was developed as part of a North Central Region Risk Management Education grant for livestock price risk management education. Schulz said evaluating margins and taking advantages of profitable opportunities can be a valuable asset to producers in managing risk.

“Using futures prices to evaluate and manage the crush margin between revenue and the major input costs, which change with market conditions, is a good price risk management strategy," Schulz said.

The assumptions used in calculating the margins and basis information are available as links on the crush margin app web page. The new app is listed on the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa Pork Industry Center, and ISU Economic crush margin websites. Look under Current Markets on the Iowa Beef Center and Iowa Pork Industry Center websites, or the  ISU Livestock Crush Margin App website.

For additional information on the livestock crush margin app contact Schulz, or 515-294-3356, or Euken, 641-923-2856.

Wendy Wintersteen to keynote Farmer Research Conference next month

Iowa State University (ISU) President Wendy Wintersteen, Ph.D., will keynote a luncheon at the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) annual Farmer Research Conference, Feb. 6 – 7 at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.

As former endowed Dean of ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), Wintersteen has worked hand-in-hand with ISA on a host of agricultural issues for more than a decade, and looks to continue that partnership as university president. In her lunch address on Feb. 7, Wintersteen will provide an update on ISU happenings, following a brief presentation from Joe Colletti, Ph.D., Wintersteen’s successor as interim dean of CALS.

The ISU representatives round out a diversified lineup of keynote speakers and conference presenters sharing insights on weather, economics and weeds, as well as the latest advancements in crop management, agronomic research and conservation practices. In addition, Certified Crop Advisers can obtain continuing education credits in the areas of nutrient management (4), soil and water management (5.5), integrated pest management (3.5), crop management (13) and personal development (2).

For full conference details, including schedules and registration information, visit

SowBridge Educational Series Begins Tenth Year in February

The successful distance education program, SowBridge, begins its tenth year in February. This low-tech distance education opportunity combines electronic materials with live presentations via teleconference, and focuses on topics most relevant to those working with sows, boars, piglets, and genetic and reproductive issues. Ken Stalder, Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist, said suggestions from subscribers help maintain the program’s value.

“Each year we ask participants for suggestions on topics and speakers, and follow through as much as possible to provide current content that people are interested in,” Stalder said. “SowBridge provides all participants with the opportunity to hear directly from experts, and to contact those experts following the individual sessions.”

SowBridge is designed to improve the understanding and application of various tools and techniques involved in daily care of the breeding herd and piglets. Operation owners, employees, technicians, managers and technical service providers are encouraged to consider registering.

“People from the United States, Canada and Ireland took part in the 2017 program, and told us they appreciated having the opportunity to participate in these learning opportunities, without having to worry about travel or other expenses,” Stalder said. “With the live phone presentation and slideshow available on a computer, participants do not need internet access and can take part from anywhere.”

Before each session, subscribers receive information on that session and a link to download the speaker’s presentation. Those who request it, also receive a CD with each session’s material. For the session itself, most participants will call a toll-free conference line to listen to and interact with presenters. Each session begins at 11:30 a.m. Central Time and lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Cost is $250 ($U.S.) for the first registration from an entity, and each subsequent registration is half that amount. Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration, including audio recordings of the live session.

“Materials, delivery process and program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses,” Stalder said. “Anyone with questions, regardless of location should contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State for more information.”

Hoyer can be reached by phone at 515-294-4496 or email

To provide a look at the content of SowBridge sessions, an example video was created using the presentation material and audio recording from a 2017 session where speaker Corinne Bromfield presents “Identifying Scours.”

The yearlong program is offered by registration only with a Jan. 16 deadline to ensure participants will receive materials for the first session on Feb. 7. The program brochure has details and the registration form. Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.
2018 Sessions

Listed below are the dates, speakers and their industry affiliations, and topics covered for the upcoming session.

    Feb. 7–Jamee Eggers, National Pork Board, “Common Swine Industry Audit: Updates and Opportunities for Improvement
    March 7–Jeff Bender, University of Minnesota, UMASH, “Needlestick Prevention”
    April 4–Thomas Parsons, University of Pennsylvania, “Managing Group Sow Gestation”
    May 2–Lee Johnston, University of Minnesota, and Brian Richert, Purdue, “Heat Mitigation for Sows”
    May 30–Robert Knox, University of Illinois, “On-Farm Semen Evaluation and Storage” (June session)
    July 5–Kara Stewart, Purdue University, “Intrauterine Insemination”
    Aug. 1–Ron Ketchem, Swine Management Services, “Batch Farrowing: Do You Need to Consider?”
    Sept. 5–Roy Kirkwood, University of Adelaide, Australia, “Reducing Stillbirths and Early Neonatal Mortality”
    Oct. 3–Dale Hentges, The Maschhoffs, "Day 1 Piglet Care”
    Nov. 7–Madonna Benjamin, Michigan State University, “Euthanasia on Farms: A Practical Approach”
    Dec. 5–Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University, “Biosecurity Practices: Before and After PEDv”

    Jan. 9–Maria Pieters, University of Minnesota, “Controlling the Spread of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae”

SowBridge is sponsored by a group of 11 state universities – including Iowa State University – from the major swine producing states.

PorkBridge Educational Series Begins Thirteenth Year

PorkBridge, a distance education series for those who work with grow-finish operations, begins Feb. 1. This low-tech program features topics presented by recognized industry experts and is provided through the collaboration of swine faculty and staff from 11 land-grant universities. PorkBridge reaches producers and industry professionals across the country and around the world through an every-other-month series of six sessions.

Iowa State University animal science professor and extension swine specialist Ken Stalder is the Iowa contact for PorkBridge. He describes the program as a source of relevant and accurate information for those who own, manage or work in swine grow-finish facilities.

“Producers and others in the industry can get the information they need without the hassle of traveling or giving up an entire day to attend a meeting,” Stalder said. “PorkBridge participants can take part where it works best for them whether at home, in an office or in the swine unit. And all can listen later to the audio we record of each live session.”

PorkBridge combines electronic materials with teleconferenced presentations by topic speakers. About a week before each session, subscribers receive a web link to download the session’s presentation and any additional information provided by the presenter. Those who request it also receive the same materials via mailed CD. Participants call in for the audio portion of each session and follow along with their own copy of the presentation on their computer or other device.

Based on participant suggestions and personal experience, organizers decided to move up the time of these sessions to 11:30 a.m. Central Time. Stalder said they hope the slightly earlier timeframe will allow more people to participate in the live sessions. Sessions are generally scheduled for the first Thursday of each designated month, starting at 11:30 a.m. Central Time, but occasionally are moved up a week to avoid interference with national industry events. Each session lasts about 45 minutes.

“The registration amount has not changed since the program began in 2005. This remains a tremendous deal at only $125 for the entire year,” Stalder said. “Each subsequent registration from the same entity is half that amount. Each registration provides access to one phone line per session and all program materials for each registration, including audio recordings of the live session.”

Program costs are slightly different for those with non-U.S. mailing addresses. To have questions about the program answered, contact Sherry Hoyer at Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University. Hoyer can be reached by phone at 515-294-4496 or email

A video of a sample PorkBridge session,, was created using the 2017 Dale Ricker presentation material and audio recording “Sights, Sounds and Smells of a Normal Finisher Barn.”

The subscription and payment form is available online for download; payment must be received by Jan. 16 to assure receipt of program materials in time for the first session on Feb. 1. Iowa residents who want more information can call Stalder at 800-808-7675.

PorkBridge 2018 Sessions

The dates, speakers and their industry affiliations, and topics to be covered during the 2018 PorkBridge educational series are:
    Feb. 1 – Jamie Eggers, National Pork Board, “Common Swine Industry Audit—Updates and Opportunities for Improvements
    April 5 – Kyle Coble, New Fashion Pork, “How Non-Antibiotic Farms are Successful”
    May 31 – Dave Thompson, Michigan State University “Effective Disinfectant Rotations”
    Aug. 2 – Pete Raynor, University of Minnesota, UMASH, “Factors Influencing Air Pollutant Levels in Swine Barns”
    Oct. 4 – Maria Pieters, University of Minnesota, “Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Diagnostics”
    Dec. 6 – Mike Ellis, University of Illinois, “Sorting Pigs in Wean-to-Finish Facilities to Maximize Output”

EIA: Ethanol Stocks Climb

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday, Jan. 4, a big build for U.S. fuel ethanol inventories while domestic plant production and blending demand declined during the week-ended Dec. 29.

The EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed fuel ethanol stockpiles jumped 600,000 barrels (bbl), or 2.7%, to a 22.6 million bbl six-month high, up 3.9 million bbl, or 20.9%, versus a year ago. 

Domestic plant production declined 58,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 5.3%, to 1.032 million bpd last week, down 11,000 bpd, or 1.1%, year over year. For the four weeks ended Dec. 29, fuel ethanol production averaged 1.072 million bpd, 35,000 bpd, or 3.3%, higher than a year ago.

Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, tumbled 91,000 bpd, or 9.6%, to 855,000 bpd last week while up 10,000 bpd, or 1.2%, year over year. For the four-week period ended Dec. 29, blending demand averaged 907,000 bpd, up 9,000 bpd, or 1.0%, versus a year ago.

Wheat Farmers Experience Extreme Winter Conditions Calling for Swift Reauthorization of the Farm Bill

Recent extreme winter conditions in major wheat-producing states re-affirm the need for a 2018 Farm Bill and strong federal crop insurance program. According to Radiant Solutions, a data collection and analysis company based in Herndon, Virginia, “solid snow cover in the northern Plains and Midwest gave wheat fields enough protection from the bitter cold conditions, but temperatures that dipped as low as 40 degrees below zero did plenty of damage this past week in the central and southern Plains and southern Midwest.”

“To the best of our ability, wheat growers do what we can to mitigate risks on our farms,” said Gordon Stoner, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers and Outlook, Montana farmer. “However, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature and strong Farm Bill safety net programs, like crop insurance, can help enable us to farm another year if hit by a devastating weather disaster.”  

Radiant Solutions also reported that as a result of the unusually cold temperatures and snowy conditions, “damage occurred in about a quarter of the hard red wheat belt in the central Plains, with about 5 percent of the soft red wheat belt in the Midwest seeing impacts.” The company also predicts “additional winter kill in southern Indiana, southern Ohio, and northern Kentucky on Friday.”

“As we continue negotiations on the 2018 Farm Bill, it is important for Congress to remember agriculture faces systemic risks,” continued Stoner. “There are many factors that are out of farmer’s control, especially weather. It’s vital that federal crop insurance remains widely available and affordable for all farmers across the country.”

NAWG continues to advocate for no cuts to the federal crop insurance program and is looking forward to working with Congress to pass a strong Farm Bill this year that provides effective support for wheat growers. NAWG has advocated for maintaining a producer choice in Title 1 programs, increasing the wheat reference price in the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program, doubling funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, and other key priorities for improving the safety net.

Most Retail Fertilizer Prices Higher in Last Week of 2017

Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to move higher as 2017 drew to a close, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were higher the fourth week of December compared to a month earlier. Anhydrous was 12% more expensive compared to last month and had an average price of $468 per ton. MAP was 6% higher, as well, with an average price of $488/ton.

The remaining five fertilizers were higher compared to the prior month, though none were up by a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $448/ton, potash $344/ton, urea $348/ton, 10-34-0 $407/ton and UAN28 $216/ton.

Just one fertilizer was lower from the previous month. UAN32 was 6% lower compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $254/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

Five fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Anhydrous is 1% more expensive, both DAP and urea are 4% higher, potash is 7% more expensive and MAP is now 10% higher.

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

USDA Dairy Products November 2017 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.05 billion pounds, 2.8 percent above November 2016 but 2.0 percent below October 2017.  Italian type cheese production totaled 455 million pounds, 3.6 percent above November 2016 but 0.6 percent below October 2017.  American type cheese production totaled 401 million pounds, 0.6 percent above November 2016 but 4.0 percent below October 2017.  Butter production was 146 million pounds, 1.8 percent above November 2016 and 1.6 percent above October 2017.

Dry milk products (comparisons with November 2016)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 140 million pounds, up 9.7 percent.
Skim milk powder - 41.8 million pounds, down 11.9 percent.

Whey products (comparisons with November 2016)
Dry whey, total - 81.8 million pounds, up 11.6 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 88.1 million pounds, up 1.4 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 40.7 million pounds, up 3.6 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons with November 2016)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 49.5 million gallons, down 4.6 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 26.2 million gallons, down 7.3 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 2.41 million gallons, up 24.0 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 3.78 million gallons, down 10.7 percent.

Looking Forward: KORUS Benefits U.S. Feed Grain Exports

A long tradition of partnership and dedicated interaction by organizations like the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has established South Korea as one of the largest and most loyal trading partners for the United States. 

The United States and South Korea will begin to formally examine the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) during talks in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5. Emphasizing the benefits of KORUS to further solidifying and expanding exports is an important part of that discussion.

“Korean consumers and traders recognize the United States as a leading origin for imported agricultural goods of good quality and value,” stated a November 2017 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). “[KORUS], implemented in March 2012, coupled with ongoing recovery of the Korean economy should generate greater export opportunities for American products in Korea in the coming years.”

The KORUS agreement offered key market access provisions for U.S. feed grains and co-products, including immediate duty-free access for U.S. corn and sorghum exports. The agreement also includes a 2,500 ton (nearly 115,000 bushels) duty-free quota for U.S. barley, which increases 2 percent each year while full tariffs are phased out, as well as important provisions offering increasing market access for beef, pork and poultry products.

As a result, U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms to South Korea have steadily increased, reaching 8.32 million metric tons in 2016/2017, a 57 percent increase year-over-year. The 2016/2017 sales numbers include a six year-high for U.S. corn at 5.6 million tons (220 million bushels), placing South Korea as the third largest world buyer.

In addition, 96 percent of feed millers in South Korea now include U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in their rations for the country’s livestock and poultry industries, thanks in part to work started by the Council in 2004 to introduce this feed ingredient. As the third largest buyer of U.S. DDGS in 2016/2017 at 980,000 tons, South Korea set a new record for imports, which the country has done every year since 2010/2011. Now the Council is working to increase inclusion rates for U.S. DDGS, which would provide additional opportunities for increased exports.

“South Korea is already U.S. agriculture’s fifth largest export market,” stated another FAS GAIN report, issued in December of last year. “Still, the unique market dynamics between South Korean consumption and economic expansion, U.S. production cycles, and the history of our bilateral relationship, demonstrate the special value of the [Republic of Korea] market for American agriculture.”

“Given the increasing number of Korea’s FTAs with other trading partners, even marginal real or future assumed tariff advantages can have an important impact on Korean buyers, especially those processing inputs into finished products for local consumption.”

South Korea has existing free trade agreements with 52 countries. The Korean government is also actively looking at trade agreements with both MERCOSUR (South America’s trading bloc) and Russia, meaning the United States needs the market access provided by KORUS in order to remain competitive in this market.

The Council celebrated 45 years of working in South Korea in 2017 during a joint officers mission with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) in November 2017. During the mission, leaders from both organizations recognized how the KORUS agreement shifted decades of market development into record exports to the East Asian nation.

“Our customers told us they have options too,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman from Iowa. “The Council will maintain a strong presence in the South Korean market and work to keep communication lines open across feed, food and energy sectors.”

Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl Schedule, Roster Takes Shape

Land O'Lakes, Inc. today announced Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis as the latest roster addition to the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl™. Bettis will compete against other current and former players on the field in a test of farm-inspired skill and agility. ESPN reporter Marty Smith will host the event, with multi-platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks providing sideline commentary.

[The Land O’Lakes Farm Bowl trophy will be awarded to winners of the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl, which will happen Thursday, Feb. 1 in Minneapolis. The event challenges teams of current and former professional football players and farmers to a series of farm-themed events, designed to inspire young people to consider careers in agriculture.]

"The Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl is a unique event bringing together two seemingly unlike fields – football and farming – to celebrate the important work of farmers and inspire the next generation of leaders in the agriculture industry," said Jerome Bettis, former running back and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I look forward to competing and testing my skills alongside some great athletes and outstanding farmers."

The Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl will be held on Thursday, February 1 from 1-3 p.m. CST at 3M Arena at Mariucci, the home arena for the University of Minnesota's men's hockey team, which will be transformed into a farm-themed competition course. Admission to attend is free. During the live event, six teams – each with one athlete and one Land O'Lakes member farmer – will compete in a series of five challenges.

The six teams are:
-    Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis and Katie Dotterer-Pyle of Cow Comfort Inn of Union Bridge, MD
-    Minnesota Vikings' tight end Kyle Rudolph* and Darin Johnson of Johnson Farms in Wells, MN (*pending availability)
-    Former wide receiver Greg Jennings and Amber Horn-Leiterman of Hornstead Dairy in Brillion, WI
-    Former center, current farmer Jason Brown and Dave Ribeiro of Rib Arrow Dairy in Tulare, CA
-    Player to be named later and JJ Nunes of Nunes and Sons Dairy in Tulare, CA
-    Player to be named later and Craig Roerick of Roerview Dairy in Swanville, MN

While perhaps best known for its LAND O LAKES® butter, the company is a Fortune 209, farmer-owned food and agriculture company offering products and services from farm to fork, including the WinField United, Purina Animal Nutrition and Vermont Creamery brands. The Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl, as part of Land O'Lakes' Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee programming, aims to inspire the next generation of young leaders to consider careers in food and agriculture. By testing the skills of professional athletes on the farm, the event will showcase the intricacies and challenges of modern agriculture.

Final rosters and a complete schedule and event information will be announced soon. Fans can follow all the Land O'Lakes Farm Bowl action at

AgriBank Pays Quarterly Preferred Stock Dividend

St. Paul-based AgriBank paid a quarterly cash dividend of $1.7188 per share on its 6.875 percent non-cumulative perpetual class A preferred stock to holders of record as of December 1, 2017.

AgriBank issued $250 million of preferred stock on Oct. 29, 2013 to provide the Bank and the 15-state Farm Credit District it serves with long-term access to high-quality capital, helping ensure the District is well-positioned to meet the long-term growth and credit needs of farmer and rancher customers.

AgriBank is one of the largest banks within the national Farm Credit System, with over $100 billion in total assets. Under the Farm Credit System's cooperative structure, AgriBank is primarily owned by 14 Farm Credit Associations.

Studies Find First-line Use of Draxxin® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution for BRD Treatment and Control Could Reduce up to 1.8 Million Courses of Antibiotics Annually

A meta-analysis of dozens of studies published in a recent issue of Bovine Practitioner assures beef cattle producers and veterinarians that they could potentially have significantly fewer repeat treatment courses for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) if they select Draxxin® (tulathromycin) Injectable Solution as the first-line choice for control or treatment of BRD.1 According to this meta-analysis conducted by Zoetis, efficacy of the first-choice antibiotic for treatment and control of BRD can make a difference in helping reduce the necessity for subsequent antibiotic treatment courses and could potentially eliminate the need for up to 1.8 million antibiotic therapy courses annually for BRD treatment and control in the U.S.1

Fewer subsequent treatment courses

This comprehensive review of 31 studies evaluated the effectiveness of eight injectable antibiotics commonly used for control (metaphylaxis) or treatment (therapy) of BRD in U.S. feedlots by assessing the number of antibiotic treatment courses required for BRD control and treatment. Data included peer-reviewed articles and unbiased technical bulletins reporting efficacy of tulathromycin compared with at least one additional antimicrobial for treatment and/or control of BRD in feedlot cattle published within the past 26 years. A statistical analysis of the data presented in the reviewed articles showed that Draxxin resulted in statistically fewer treatment courses compared with an aggregated response of all other injectable antibiotics. Two other recent meta-analysis studies conducted at Kansas State University and Iowa State University shared similar results — Draxxin is the most effective first-choice for control and treatment of BRD.2,3

“The most responsible use of an antibiotic is to never need to use an antibiotic, but when a person or an animal is sick, using the most effective antibiotic first can help treat disease with one course of therapy and reduce the likelihood of needing to use another antibiotic or another class of antibiotic,” said consulting author Barbara Poulsen Nautrup,* DVM, PhD, EAH Consulting for Economics in Animal Health in Aachen, Germany. “Overuse may jeopardize the ability to treat disease in both animal and human medicine in the future, so efforts to help ensure antibiotics aren’t overused are crucial.”

Reduced number of overall treatment courses

This analysis went one step further to test if Draxxin could help reduce the number of antimicrobial treatment courses in the U.S. if used as a first choice for treatment or control of BRD.

“We applied the results from the meta-analysis to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to test this,” said Ralph Cleale, PhD, research director, Outcomes Research at Zoetis and a contributing author of this meta-analysis. “Our purpose was to estimate magnitude of the difference in the number of antimicrobial treatment courses required with different antibiotics used as the first-line choice for control or treatment of BRD in U.S. feedlot cattle compared to Draxxin.”

The differences translated to estimated reductions in the number of antibiotic treatment courses for control and treatment of BRD per year in U.S. feedlots. Compared with an aggregated response of seven other commonly used injectable antibiotics, authors found using Draxxin as first-line therapy for control or treatment of BRD could potentially help reduce the number of antibiotic treatment courses by 800,000 to 1.8 million for feedlot cattle compared with using alternative antibiotic treatment choices.

Draxxin reduces the necessity for subsequent antimicrobial treatments and thereby helps contribute to more prudent use of antibiotics in livestock, the authors concluded in this analysis.

“There is a lot of discussion about responsible use of antibiotics,” Dr. Poulsen Nautrup said. “The goals are simple: maximize therapeutic efficacy and minimize development of resistant microorganisms.”

For more information or to help find the right and most responsible solutions for managing BRD, talk to a veterinarian or visit

DRAXXIN has a pre-slaughter withdrawal time of 18 days in cattle. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Do not use in animals known to be hypersensitive to the product.

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