Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday February 28 Ag News


Nebraska Extension will host farm and ranch estate planning workshops at four locations across Nebraska in March. The workshops will offer information concerning how farm and ranch estates can be passed to ensure the financial stability of families.

Workshops will be held in Lexington, Mead, Neligh and Wilber. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. at each location.

“The consequences of not having an appropriate plan in place can jeopardize the financial stability and future for families,” said Extension Educator Allan Vyhnalek. “More importantly, it’s important for one’s wishes to be known so the legacy of farms and ranches can be passed to the individuals or entities intended.”

Vyhnalek works out of the university’s agricultural economics department and focuses on farm and ranch succession and transition.

Workshop presentations are designed to provide basic information to individuals who haven’t yet started to think about succession or transition plans for their assets. Workshop topics will include: proper family communications; decision-making; concept of fair versus equal; preparing to meet with an attorney; and more. In addition, an agriculture attorney will offer information on planning for wills, trusts and other end of life documents.

Registration fees vary by each location. Fees include handouts, lunch, refreshments and presentations. To register, contact the location of interest.

Workshop dates and locations:
-    LEXINGTON: March 14, Dawson County Extension Office, 1002 Plum Creek Pkwy. - Call 308-324-5501
-    NEAR MEAD: March 15, Eastern NE Research and Ext. Cntr, 1071 Co. Rd. G. - Call 402-624-8030
-    NELIGH: March 20, Antelope County Courthouse, 501 M. St. - Call 402-887-5414
-    WILBER: March 23, Saline County Extension Office, 306 W. 3rd St. - Call 402-821-2151

For more information, contact Vyhnalek at 402-471-1771 or

Patented vaccine technology offers options for cattle care

A new divisional patent issued to researchers at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine could help lead cattle producers to a path of least resistance by providing a nonantibiotic treatment option for beef cattle liver infections.

The latest work by the university'sT.G. Nagaraja and M.M. Chengappa, and former College of Veterinary Medicine researchers Sanjeev Narayanan and Amit Kumar, "Composition and Methods for Detecting, Treating and Protecting Against Fusobacterium Infection," uses vaccine-based technology that circumvents antibiotic use and the potential public health concerns associated with antibiotic resistance when treating cattle and sheep for liver abscesses caused by Fusobacterium. The liver infections are a significant economic concern to the feedlot industry.

The researchers' work improves a previous patent they earned for their novel approach to preventing fusobacterial infections, said Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of microbiology in the diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"We have identified a protein and learned the mechanisms of how the protein attaches to cells, so we created compositions and methods to use the protein to prevent the attachment of Fusobacterium to the cells in the rumen — the first compartment of a cow stomach — and liver," Nagaraja said. "If bacteria do not attach to cells, they are highly unlikely to cause infection."

Chengappa, also a university distinguished professor of microbiology in the diagnostic medicine and pathobiology department, said the original patent covers the use of the researchers' invention within expression systems, adjuvants, injectable solutions, oral compounds and vaccines.

"The new patent broadens the scope of how the invention can be utilized," Chengappa said.

A recent study by West Texas A&M University for a major animal health company found that liver abscesses cost the beef industry $56 million annually. Options for treating cattle with such infections and other diseases have been affected by new regulations regarding antibiotic use in livestock, called the Veterinary Feed Directive, enacted by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2017.

"Alternative methods to antibiotics for prevention, control and treatment of disease in animals are of great value as we move into a time of increased focus on antibiotic stewardship," said Mike Apley, Frick professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University. "This focus is apparent in regulatory, legislative and consumer attention given to antibiotic use in food animals. Effective vaccines for common diseases are especially valuable in our prevention and control protocols."

While the timing of the newly patented methods is convenient for producers, the research evolved over a much longer period of time.

"Understanding the pathogenesis and factors contributing to the liver abscessation in feedlot cattle was a novel scientific field discovery 30 years ago," said Kelly Lechtenberg, a former doctoral student under Nagaraja. Lechtenberg earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1987 and a doctorate in 1988, both from Kansas State University. He currently leads Midwest Veterinary Services in Oakland, Nebraska, and the Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center in Manhattan.

"The work of Drs. Nagaraja and Chengappa is instrumental in understanding the liver abscess disease process, identifying optimal points of intervention and providing the insight necessary to develop effective vaccines," Lechtenberg said.

The new Fusobacterium patent is effective for 20 years and is administered through the Kansas State University Research Foundation.

The Science of Gene Editing Takes Center Stage at Pork Industry Forum

Science, technology and global health author and journalist Michael Specter opened the annual pork industry forum today, offering his insights on gene editing to the more than 350 pig farmers and pork industry professionals on site in Kansas City.

Specter, who writes for The New Yorker and is currently working on a book about the breakthrough technology of gene editing, served as keynote speaker. He then led a conversation with a renowned panel of pork industry experts who each shared their perspective on the role of this emerging technology.

“Gene editing is a potentially revolutionary tool that will improve the lives of humans in clear and tangible ways,” Specter said. “And we may well see the first widely accepted benefits in animals and plants. There is a clear opportunity for the agriculture industry to lead the way.”

In its simplest definition, gene editing technology allows for precise changes to be made to the DNA of living cells, which holds the potential to eradicate diseases, transform agriculture and enable massive leaps forward in environmental and life science. Specter and the panel’s presentation in Kansas City offered a single forum for those with a stake in pork production to share ideas on its application to the global pork industry. The panel of experts, facilitated by Specter, included:
-    Charlie Arnot, CEO of Look East and an industry leader on food and agriculture issues, offered insight into consumer social acceptance of gene editing.
-    Dan Kovich, a veterinarian and director of science and technology with the National Pork Producers Council, discussed the current regulatory environment for this emerging technology.
-    Kevin Wells is on the animal science faculty at the University of Missouri’s college of agriculture, food and natural resources. With a Ph.D. in genetics, Wells highlighted the scientific benefits associated with gene editing.
-    Bradley Wolter, is president of The Maschhoffs LLC, and a pork producer in Illinois. Wolter, who has a doctorate in swine growth and development, reviewed gene editing’s potential on-farm application.

 “We have to start now by generating social acceptance of gene editing,” Arnot said. “That means overcoming the public’s scientific illiteracy by opening a dialogue to build both acceptance and support. This will allow us to move forward as a society.”

“Acceptance of gene editing faces its distinct challenges – and largest among them is public perception,” Wells said. “What is so unique to gene editing is that there is no biological reason to regulate the technology. However, that could well be the first step in growing consumer acceptance.”

Wolter, of The Maschhoffs, sees concrete on-farm application of gene editing despite being so early in its development and acceptance.

“It will have a positive impact on livestock production, making pigs resistant to diseases and improving food safety, animal welfare and environmental impact,” Wolter said. “However, you cannot invest in a technology without clearly understanding the regulatory environment.”

“A one-size-fits all regulatory approach will not work for many emerging technologies, but especially for gene editing,” the National Pork Producers Council’s Kovich said. “A path forward exists, allowing for regulatory scrutiny, but trade-offs may be required. We need to establish a risk-based regulatory framework.”

Toward that end, gene editing technology will move forward in an environment that acknowledges public interest while simultaneously encouraging investment for its expansion. Wells noted that China already is looking to the future of gene editing by investing approximately $15 billion in animal sciences.

The National Pork Industry Forum continues through Friday, March 2.  

Prices of Three Fertilizers Reach Highest Level in Almost Two Years

Average retail fertilizer prices were slightly higher again the third week of February 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

All eight of the major fertilizer prices were up slightly compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $460 per ton, MAP $496/ton, potash $345/ton, urea $357/ton, 10-34-0 $416/ton, anhydrous $495/ton, UAN28 $231/ton and UAN32 $265/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.41/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.

Following increases in recent months, the prices of four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Anhydrous is now 1% more expensive, potash is 4% higher, DAP is 6% more expensive and MAP is 10% higher than last year.

The remaining four fertilizers are still lower in price compared to a year prior. Urea is 1% less expensive while both UAN28 and UAN32 is 4% lower and 10-34-0 is 6% less expensive than a year ago.

Consider Corn Challenge Shines a Light on Corn’s Growing Potential in Bio-Economy

Six new technologies, that are poised to change the way the public perceives our country’s most abundant crop, were highlighted today in Anaheim, Calif. as winners of the inaugural Consider Corn Challenge, an open innovation contest hosted by the National Corn Growers Association. The diverse range of science unveiled shows that corn is squarely situated on the cutting-edge of technology, ready to support a wave of growth sweeping through the renewable products industry.

More than thirty, scientists and start-up companies answered the global call to bring forth their best ideas focused on the conversion of corn into bio-renewable chemicals. Contest entries reinforced that corn can improve the environmental footprint of many products used by consumers, including plastic bottles, acrylics, solvents, fibers, packaging, and coolants.  Many of the submissions included bio-advantaged molecules, with the ability to deliver performance and value that exceeds petrochemicals.

The six winners of the competition are: 
-    Lygos – The Berkley, CA company is producing Bio-Malonic™ acid (Bio-MA) from renewable sugars using cutting edge biotechnology. It is used today in diverse markets, including high-tech composites and coatings, electronics, flavors & fragrances, and pharmaceuticals. Traditionally Malonic Acid is currently made in China from petroleum, through an expensive process that employs hazardous chemicals.  Lygos’ system uses non-toxic chemicals and mild conditions resulting in an environmentally friendly process with superior economics that can be deployed in the U.S.
-     Annikki - Technology to produce FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), a replacement for petroleum derived terephthalic acid for plastic bottles, fibers, and nylons was the winning entry from the Chicago, Ill. company. FDCA is a versatile bio-advantaged molecule with the potential to replace 100 million tons of petrochemicals. FDCA is not only 100 percent renewable, it also provides superior performance properties.  This allows plastic soda bottles to be lighter, use less energy in manufacturing and extend the shelf life for carbonated products.
-    Iowa Corn Promotion Board – This technology developed by Iowa corn farmers, is for the production of MEG (monoethylene glycol). MEG has a range of diverse applications from coolants and heat transfer fluid to packaging material. Today, many major consumer products groups are searching for ways to reduce their packaging’s environmental footprint and Iowa Corn’s bio-renewable MEG may be the answer. Millions of tons are produced annually with a value estimated to be more than $25 billion.
-    Vertimass – Vertimass of Irvine, CA, is seeking to produce aromatic chemicals using renewable corn ethanol to replace petrochemicals. The markets they are targeting are very large: 10’s of millions of tons, and a value in excess of $100 billion annually. This process represents a potentially very large new market, diversifying opportunities for ethanol plants and increasing corn utilization.
-    Sasya – Sasya, of Maple Grove, Minn, is producing methylmalonic acid which can compete in methyl methacrylate markets for making acrylic glass, and adhesives. The methyl methacrylate market is estimated to be 5 million metric tons and is worth more than $7 billion.
-    South Dakotas State University – SDSU’s efforts are focused using renewable precursors such as glycerol and lactic acid to make unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs).  Today, UPRs are used to make large plastic tanks, as a binder in fiber glass sheets and other reinforced plastics. 

“The renewables industry is already an important driver for the U.S. economy generating billions of dollars in revenue but the additional potential in the emerging bio-economy remains largely untapped,” said Bruce Peterson, chairman of NCGA’s Feed Food and Industrial Action Team. “NCGA is proud to showcase these great technologies. Continued improvements in sustainable corn production underscore corn’s ability to significantly improve the environmental footprint of many common household products.”

This year’s six winning projects were previewed at the 2018 Commodity Classic at the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday. Each winner will receive a U.S.$25,000 cash prize.  NCGA will also explore additional opportunities to support contest entries throughout their development and/or commercialization. The contest generated 33 submissions from eight countries along with nearly 4,500 website visits from 82 countries.   

“According to a USDA study from 2016, the U.S. bio-based products industry currently creates 4.2 million jobs and generates $393 billion in value added contributions to our economy, but there are many exciting market segments yet to be explored,” NCGA Director of Market Development Jim Bauman said.

“Today’s winners exemplify the potential for corn to play an ever-expanding role within the bio-economy.  The ability to produce economically competitive, bio-advantaged molecules, compared to traditional petrochemicals, is driving many companies to review how corn can play a larger role in their future procurement strategy.”

Being immersed in the latest ideas and technology related to machinery, crop inputs and agronomic practices is expected at the annual Commodity Classic, Peterson noted, but it is especially meaningful to make this announcement of new, high potential corn uses at a time when farmers are facing another year of low prices.

“This challenge is geared to inspire new concepts, approaches and technologies that will help drive innovation and corn’s value. The growing productive capacity of corn farmers makes it essential that we continue to find innovative new ways to use this versatile crop,” said Peterson. “The Consider Corn Challenge will bring positive attention to our winners and help them move closer to commercialization. Likewise, our expectation is this Open Innovation competition will raise awareness of the capabilities and benefits of corn throughout the scientific community.”

NCGA and state corn associations actively support innovation in research, development and commercialization.

EIA: Ethanol Stocks Surge

Ethanol supply in the United States rose 200,000 barrels (bbl), or 0.9%, to 23.0 million bbl during the week-ended Feb. 23 while plant production plunged 24,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 2.2%, to 1.044 million bpd, according to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration report.

Compared with data reported a year ago, total supply was down 100,000 bbl, or 0.4%, while plant production was up 10,000 bpd, or 1.0%.

Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, tumbled 9,000 bpd, or 1.0%, last week to 876,000 bpd, down 6,000, or 0.7%, versus a year ago.

Dairy Beef Short Course Tour March 27

Dairy beef producers, dairy producers, industry, academia and students along the I-29 region are invited to attend the I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course Tour held March 27.

Please arrive by 8 a.m. to ensure prompt departure and at 8:15 a.m. and will return at 4:30 p.m.

The tour will include two dairy beef feedlots and a livestock auction barn focused on the sale of dairy beef. The tour will cover Southwest Minnesota and Northwest Iowa.

The tour is sponsored by the I-29 Moo University. The bus will leave the Denny Sanford Premier Center complex (1201 N. West Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104) at 8:15 a.m. and arrive back at 4:30 p.m.

The tour schedule includes:

- Opening Discussion on State of the Industry for Dairy Beef (on the bus), led by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate & Beth Doran, ISU Extension Beef Specialist

- Binford Farms - Luverne, Minn.: Binford Farms is a family operation owned by Grant & Rebecca and Eric and Shari Binford. They have seven children between the two families ranging in ages from 15 to 4 years of age that they hope will become the next generation in agriculture.

Binford Farms is a farmer feeder operation with management divided between Grant managing the cattle feeding and Eric managing the farming and trucking aspects of the business. The operation has primarily fed Holsteins since 2002 from 350 pounds to finish with some Holstein calves in the mix.

- Lunch at Tri-State Livestock Auction in Sioux Center, Iowa

- Tri-State Livestock - Sioux Center, Iowa: Mike Koedam, co-owner and cattle buyer will provide us with his insights regarding the buying and selling of dairy beef.

Tri-State Livestock auction market sells all classes of livestock specializing in dairy cattle. They believe that true market value of your livestock can only be achieved through competitive bidding which only an auction can provide.

- Rock River Feeders - Rock Valley, Iowa: Rock River Feeders is a family owned and operated feedlot in Sioux County, Iowa.

Kent and Sylvia Pruismann, along with other family members, have taken great care to develop the feedlot with special attention to animal well-being, environmental sustainability and the incorporation of new technologies.

The feedlot currently houses 3500 head of cattle in outside yards meeting all federal and state manure management regulations.

Kent is a member of the National Cattlemen's Beef Board, so it is no surprise that Beef Quality Assurance is the normal mode of daily operation. All cattle are tagged upon arrival with an electronic identification tag, which is used to track animal origin, health and movement. Placement weight of incoming calves averages 270 pounds.

The feedlot rations are a TMR consisting of earlage, corn, wet distillers grains and mineral supplementation. They market their dairy steers on a high energy grid to JBS in Wisconsin.

Registration for this event is due by March 23 and is $30 per person to cover transportation, snacks and lunch.

If you have questions, contact Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist, by email or call 605-882-5140; or Fred Hall, ISU NW Iowa Dairy Specialist by email or call 712-737-4230.

ACE thanks Perdue for pledging President’s RFS support 

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue reiterated the President’s support of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and biofuels during his keynote address at the 2018 Commodity Classic this morning in Anaheim, California. In response to Secretary Perdue’s remarks, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement:

“ACE members thank USDA Secretary Perdue for reiterating today that the President supports the Renewable Fuel Standard.  As Senator Cruz and others continue their attacks on rural America and the RFS, we expect the Trump administration to uphold the Secretary’s pledge not to do anything to hurt ethanol demand or the RFS.”

Syngenta reports Enogen® premiums-to-date paid to corn growers will top $100 million in 2018

Since its introduction, Enogen® corn enzyme technology has provided corn growers the opportunity to be enzyme suppliers for participating ethanol plants and earn a per-bushel premium. Syngenta today announced that premiums-to-date paid to Enogen corn growers are expected to surpass $100 million during 2018.

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. corn goes toward ethanol production.1 According to Chris Tingle, head of commercial operations for Enogen at Syngenta, providing alpha amylase enzyme to ethanol plants as Enogen grain is helping corn growers maximize return on investment for their ethanol acres. He added that this unique business model supports rural America by keeping enzyme dollars local and helping ethanol plants be more successful.

“With Enogen, ethanol producers can redirect the money they previously used to buy liquid alpha amylase to local farmers instead, in the form of an up to 40-cent-per-bushel premium,” Tingle said. “This is especially significant given current commodity prices and, as these premium dollars are circulated locally, promotes the growth and stability of rural communities through a homegrown fuel that is helping to make America more energy independent.”

Syngenta is currently contracting with more than 1,700 corn growers and has marketing agreements with 31 ethanol plants across 12 states. 2018 ethanol production with Enogen corn is expected to be over 2.5 billion gallons.

“Ethanol has become an important success story,” Tingle added, “and is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lowering prices at the pump, improving the environment with lower emissions, and growing the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced. Syngenta is proud to partner with corn growers and the ethanol industry to help provide consumers with the choice to purchase a superior, higher octane fuel and pay less.”

Tuesday February 28 Ag News


The value of Nebraska’s 2017 field and miscellaneous crops is forecast at $9.52 billion, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is up 1 percent from 2016.

The value of corn production is expected to total $5.55 billion, down 2 percent from the previous marketing year. Nebraska’s corn price is projected to average $3.30 per bushel, down $0.02 from the last marketing year.

The value of soybean production is expected to total $2.95 billion, up 2 percent from the previous marketing year. Nebraska’s soybean price is projected to average $9.05 per bushel, down $0.13 from the last marketing year.

 Nebraska Farmers Union Sponsors College Students Attendance to College Conference on Cooperatives

19 agricultural students and their professors from 3 different Nebraska Colleges traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota February 15-18th to learn about cooperatives under the guidance of Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU).  The participating colleges included Northeast Community College at Norfolk, Southeast Community College at Beatrice, and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis.  The College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC) was attended by more than 100 students from across the country.

The CCOC participants learned about different types of cooperatives from consumer and producer driven co-ops to senior living co-ops. “Cooperatives in Nebraska create nearly 14,000 jobs while contributing $2.2 billion in annual economic impact through sales and investments. The CCOC engages tomorrow’s leaders through a unique platform that teaches them about cooperative business principles and the opportunities available through the cooperative model,” said NeFU President John Hansen.

Students heard from cooperative leaders, farmers and government experts who explained current challenges they face. Presenters ranged from members, directors, employees and managers of traditional and value-added agricultural cooperatives to representatives of housing and worker-owned co-ops. “As a prospective Ag Communications and Ag Education major, I learned about numerous internship opportunities within cooperatives, and how those opportunities can be utilized to both promote cooperatives and advocate the importance of agriculture to urban communities,” said Alex Voichoskie, a Southeast Community College student from Wilcox, NE.

All of the attendees from Nebraska were from rural areas and towns. “I never expected co-ops to be so diverse,” Said Molly Glodowski, a student attending Northeast Community college. “The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. From the tour of the Mill City Museum to the general surprise that co-ops are more than just places to buy feed and fertilizer or sell grain. These students learn things they would otherwise never know, ultimately strengthening the ag industry in Nebraska”, said NeFU Program Director Camdyn Kavan.

The annual College Cooperative Conference is co-sponsored by the CHS Foundation in cooperation with the National Farmers Union Foundation.  Nebraska Farmers Union was awarded a grant from the National Farmers Union Foundation to help defray the attendance costs for the Nebraska participants.


Nebraska's layer numbers during 2017 averaged 8.17 million, down 8 percent from the year earlier, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The annual average production per layer on hand in 2017 was 305 eggs, up 5 percent from 2016.

Nebraska egg production during the year ending November 30, 2017 totaled 2.49 billion eggs, down 3 percent from 2016.

Chicken inventory on hand on December 1, 2017 (excluding commercial broilers) was 9.55 million birds, down 10 percent from last year.

The total value of all chickens in Nebraska on December 1, 2017 was $35.3 million, down 15 percent from December 1, 2016. The average value decreased from $3.90 per bird on December 1, 2016, to $3.70 per bird on December 1, 2017.

U.S. Summary

United States Average Number of Layers Up 3 Percent: Layer numbers during 2017 averaged 376 million, up 3 percent from the year earlier. The annual average production per layer on hand in 2017 was 281 eggs, up 1 percent from 2016.

United States Egg Production up 4 percent: Egg production during the year ending November 30, 2017 totaled 106 billion eggs, up 4 percent from 2016. Table egg production, at 92.1 billion eggs, was up 4 percent from the previous year. Hatching egg production, at 13.6 billion eggs, was down 1 percent from 2016.

United States December 1 Chicken Inventory Numbers: The total number of chickens on hand on December 1, 2017 (excluding commercial broilers) was 505 million birds, up 2 percent from last year.

United States Total Value: The total value of all chickens on December 1, 2017 was $2.13 billion, up 2 percent from December 1, 2016. The average value decreased from $4.22 per bird on December 1, 2016, to $4.21 per bird on December 1, 2017.


All layers in Nebraska during January 2018 totaled 7.56 million, down from 8.81 million the previous year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Nebraska egg production during January totaled 199 million eggs, down from 230 million in 2017. January egg production per 100 layers was 2,633 eggs, compared to 2,606 eggs in 2017.

Iowa egg production during January 2018 was 1.30 billion eggs, down 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The average number of all layers on hand during January 2018 was 55.6 million, down slightly from last month but up slightly from last year. Eggs per 100 layers for January were 2,331, down 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year.

U.S. January Egg Production Down 1 Percent

United States egg production totaled 8.98 billion during January 2018, down 1 percent from last year. Production included 7.84 billion table eggs, and 1.14 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.06 billion were broiler-type and 79.9 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during January 2018 averaged 382 million, up 1 percent from last year. January egg production per 100 layers was 2,351 eggs, down 2 percent from January 2017.
All layers in the United States on February 1, 2018 totaled 382 million, up 1 percent from last year. The 382 million layers consisted of 320 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 57.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.42 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on February 1, 2018, averaged 75.5 eggs per 100 layers, down 2 percent from February 1, 2017.

Egg-Type Chicks Hatched Up 16 Percent

Egg-type chicks hatched during January 2018 totaled 52.2 million, up 16 percent from January 2017. Eggs in incubators totaled 51.4 million on February 1, 2018, up 7 percent from a year ago.

Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 231 thousand during January 2018, up 4 percent from January 2017.

Broiler-Type Chicks Hatched Up 2 Percent

Broiler-type chicks hatched during January 2018 totaled 823 million, up 2 percent from January 2017. Eggs in incubators totaled 674 million on February 1, 2018, up 2 percent from a year ago.

Leading breeders placed 7.07 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during January 2018, down 1 percent from January 2017.

Iowa Cover Crop Acres Grow, but Rate Declines in 2017

According to the Iowa Learning Farms 2017 Field Day Evaluation Report, Iowa cover crop acres grew last year by approximately 22 percent to 760,000 total acres. While the positive growth during a time of shrinking profit margins is notable, the rate of growth is 10 percent less than the growth measured in 2016, and still well below the goal of 12.5 million acres of cover crops called for in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Many of the new acres were planted by experienced cover crop farmers. The majority (69 percent) of respondents to Iowa Learning Farms’ year-end evaluation questionnaire started seeding cover crops at least three years ago. Only 11 percent of respondents reported implementing cover crops for the first time on their land last year. Those respondents with cover crops reported an average of 46 percent of their total row crop acres in cover crops — 6 percent more than in 2016.

“It is encouraging to see growth in cover crop use among experienced cover crop farmers, even with low crop prices,” said Jamie Benning, water quality program manager for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “This growth indicates that farmers are finding value in planting cover crops and want to see those benefits on additional acres.”

The overall percentage of farmers who are using cost share to seed cover crop acres has increased by 7 percent over four years of Iowa Learning Farms evaluation data. Of the respondents seeding cover crops in 2017, 65 percent of them did so with the assistance of cost share.

Iowa Learning Farms sponsored 29 conservation field days and workshops in 2017 on cover crops, strip-tillage, saturated buffers and prairie strips. These events drew an attendance of 1,280 people, primarily farmers and landowners. Twenty-seven percent of Iowa Learning Farms field day attendees were female.

In January 2018, 580 farmers and landowners who attended Iowa Learning Farms field days were mailed an evaluation questionnaire to investigate whether they made changes to their farming practices. In a one-month period, 251 evaluation questionnaires were returned for a 42 percent response rate.

Senate Confirms Northey For Key USDA Job

The National Pork Producers Council applauded today’s Senate confirmation of Bill Northey for key a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The upper house approved the nominee by voice vote.

Northey, who is serving his third term as Iowa’s agriculture secretary, will be USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation.

“Secretary Northey will be great asset at USDA for U.S. agriculture,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “Farmers and ranchers couldn’t ask for a better person to lead this important USDA department.”

Before heading the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Northey served as president of the National Corn Growers Association and on Iowa’s USDA Farm Service Agency state committee. He also was a Dickinson County (Iowa) Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.

In his job at USDA, Northey will oversee the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. Programs within those departments include crop insurance, conservation, disaster assistance and producer lending services.

“The secretary is a farmer and has been a great leader for Iowa agriculture over the past 11 years,” Maschhoff said. “He’s coming to USDA at a critical time, with Congress getting down to work on the next Farm Bill, which the livestock industry wants to include a vaccine bank to address a Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak.”

Northey statement on Senate confirmation

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement following the U.S. Senate confirming him to serve as the Under Secretary of Agriculture.  The timing for Northey’s resignation and swearing-in is still being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to be confirmed to serve as an Under Secretary of Agriculture.  I want to thank President Trump for nominating me and Secretary Perdue for his support and encouragement throughout the confirmation process. I also want to thank Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst for their strong support and their tireless work on behalf of my nomination. I greatly appreciate Chairman Roberts, Ranking Member Stabenow and the entire Senate Ag Committee for their bipartisan support of my nomination. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them in this new role.

“While this process has taken longer than expected, I remain as excited as ever to work with Secretary Perdue and the staff at USDA to support of our nation’s farmers and ranchers.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to the people of Iowa for affording me the opportunity to serve in this role for the past eleven years. Working with and learning from the men and women who make Iowa agriculture the dynamic and productive industry that feeds the world has been honor of a lifetime.”

Secretary Perdue Statement on Confirmation of Bill Northey for Key USDA Post

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the Senate’s long-awaited confirmation of Bill Northey to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Northey will serve as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS)*.

Perdue issued the following statement:

“I applaud Bill Northey’s patience over these many months, which demonstrates what a strong leader he will be at USDA.  We thank everyone who worked on his confirmation.  Bill will come aboard at a crucial time, as his knowledge and expertise will be immediately put to use as the new Farm Bill is formulated to address the needs of American farmers.  In addition, his leadership will be key in the newly-constituted mission area, where the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency will be providing an even better customer experience.  I am excited to finally have Bill on board.”

*NOTE: As part of a reorganization of USDA, Secretary Perdue has created, the President appointed, and the Senate confirmed a new Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, as directed by the 2014 Farm Bill.  The creation of the new mission area prompted the realignment of several agencies under a newly-named Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), the position for which Northey is intended. FPAC will encompass the USDA’s domestic-facing agencies: the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.



On behalf of Iowa corn farmers, we congratulate Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on his appointment by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC). Throughout his distinguished tenure as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, he has been a tireless advocate for Iowa’s corn farmers, and we are thankful to have someone with such a deep agricultural leadership background in this vital position.

It is good to see one of our own rise through the ranks to this well-deserved appointment. Throughout his career in agriculture, Northey has been a leader in a variety of farm groups including serving as Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President from 1991-92 and as National Corn Growers Association President and Chairman in 1995-97.

Northey is a fourth-generation Iowa farmer that grows corn and soybeans on his farm near Spirit Lake. In his three-terms as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, he has promoted science and technology-based solutions to better conserve our soil, water and air, helped to expand ethanol infrastructure in our state and helped tell the story of Iowa agriculture including through his avid use of social media.

In his new role as USDA's Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation, he will oversee the Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

We look forward to working with him on several important issues including pushing for new markets for agricultural exports, expanding the role of higher blends of ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply, preserving funding for risk management and conservation programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and the roll out of the GMO labeling standard.

Iowa Soybean Association commends confirmation of Sec. Northey to USDA post

Iowa Soybean Association President Bill Shipley

“While it took longer than expected, Bill Northey’s confirmation as Under Secretary of Agriculture is appropriately timed given the important decisions occurring in Washington.

"Issues impacting the profitability of the state’s farmers continue to grow, including the writing of a new farm bill, maintaining and opening new trade markets for Iowa-grown soybeans, and keeping policies and regulations in place that favor a strong ag economy. Farmers are best-served when leaders are able to make decisions, meaning this is not only a win for Iowa producers but for all of U.S. agriculture.

“Bill has worked tirelessly for Iowa farmers and we look forward to him bringing his extensive experience to the national level. We’re confident he will be a great asset to the experienced and talented team in place at the USDA and continue to represent agriculture and the state of Iowa with the utmost passion and integrity.”

IPPA congratulates Sec. Northey on Senate Confirmation

Gregg Hora, President, Iowa Pork Producers Association

"Iowa's pork producers congratulate Sec. Northey on his confirmation and applaud him for enduring this longer than anticipated process. He has been a true friend to the industry and a great advocate for Iowa agriculture. We wish him well in his new position representing agriculture and farmers' interest across the United States and look forward to his service with USDA."

ASA Welcomes Northey's Senate Confirmation

The American Soybean Association (ASA) congratulates Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey following his confirmation by the Senate earlier today as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Northey now awaits the formal swearing-in process. ASA President John Heisdorffer, a farmer from Keota, Iowa, issued the organization's congratulations via statement from the 2018 Commodity Classic in California.

"All of us at ASA are very happy for Bill. As an Iowa farmer, I've been fortunate to work collaboratively with him to move Iowa agriculture forward, and I'm excited to see him take his skills to USDA so that farmers can benefit nationwide.

"We'd like to thank the Senate for moving Bill's nomination forward. Specifically, Senators Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Debbie Stabenow and Amy Klobuchar have been instrumental in not only gathering support for the nomination, but also working to move past those issues that have delayed his confirmation to date.

"USDA impacts not just farmers but all Americans on so many different levels, but we can't realize those impacts without good people like Bill in the right spots. As Under Secretary, Bill will be a great advocate for U.S. Soybean farmers and we look forward to working with him in this capacity."


“After a long four months wait, Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers finally have Bill Northey in place at the Department of Agriculture.”

“While it is unfortunate this overtly qualified nominee was placed in the middle of a needless political battle over the Renewable Fuel Standard, he now joins the long slate of solid leaders working with Secretary Perdue at the United States Department of Agriculture.”

“We look forward to working with Mr. Northey in his new role especially as we look to draft and implement the next farm bill.”

NCGA Statement on Bill Northey’s Confirmation as Undersecretary at USDA

Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association

“After a needless four-month delay, farmers across the country will be well-served with Bill Northey finally on the job at USDA,” Skunes said.

Skunes also addressed the Tuesday morning meeting at the White House in his remarks.

“Farmers are so grateful to Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for representing farmers at the White House with integrity and steadfast support,” Skunes added. “We could not ask for better representatives.

“Today in Washington President Trump, officials from USDA and EPA, and Senators met to discuss issues affecting the RFS. There was no deal cut at this meeting. While no deal was made at this meeting, some participants tried to sell a deal.

“Our farmers cannot afford any deal that undermines demand for ethanol.  We continue to believe the elusive win-win solution involves regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol, essentially allowing year-round sales of E15, and improved transparency in the RIN marketplace. Parity for higher blends would increase the supply of RINs and lower RIN values, allowing the RFS to work as it is intended. Farmers understand how supply affects price.

“A cap on RIN values hurts farmers because it reduces ethanol consumption below current levels. This reduction in corn use will push already low corn prices even lower.

“Just last November, the EPA concluded RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. The failings of one company should not be used to destroy a successful energy policy that serves not only millions of farmers who rely on strong market demand created by the RFS, but also the hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants and tens of thousands of plant workers.”

Sasse Talks NAFTA With Canadian Ambassador

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse met with David MacNaughton, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, to talk about the importance and benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"Trade is a win-win for Nebraskans and Canadians. Canada and Mexico are Nebraska’s largest trading partners, and that means NAFTA is a good deal for our state. We need to make sure we have markets that let Nebraskans keep feeding the world. I'm committed to trade, the Ambassador is committed to trade, and Nebraska thrives with trade.”

"I told Ambassador MacNaughton that maple syrup may be good for breakfast but Nebraska beef is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Joking or not, these are just undeniable facts."

 Smith Meets with President Trump on Trade

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after meeting with President Donald Trump and a small group of fellow House members at the White House to discuss trade.

“I appreciate President Trump’s invitation to join today’s discussion on the importance of strong trade policy to our economy – and especially to U.S. agriculture,” Smith said.  “As the representative of the top-producing ag district in the country, I see it as a great responsibility to share the story of NAFTA’s successes for Nebraska ag.  Our producers depend on these billion-dollar export markets, as 45 percent of our state’s ag exports go to Canada and Mexico.

“In our meeting, I stressed the necessity of a strong NAFTA for agriculture as well as reducing other trade barriers such as Japan’s tariff on U.S. beef.  I will keep sharing the importance of trade with the Trump administration, fellow Members of Congress, and our trade partners to strengthen market access for producers.”

Smith continues to advocate for the importance of trade to Nebraska agriculture.  In January, he served on the congressional delegation to NAFTA negotiations in Montreal.  Later this week, he will travel to Mexico City for the next round of NAFTA talks.

Smith has also introduced a resolution in the House to urge the establishment of a trade agreement with Japan.

U.S.-Mexico Dairy Trade Generates Billions in Economic Activity, According to New Analysis

The current free trade agreement with Mexico is the driving force behind $1.2 billion in U.S. dairy exports to our southern neighbor, as well as billions more in economic contributions, according to an analysis released today by Informa Economics.

Mexico is the No. 1 market for U.S. dairy product exports, accounting for roughly one-fourth of total U.S. exports. In 2016, the most recent year examined by Informa, the United States shipped $1.2 billion worth of dairy products to Mexico, up from $201 million in 2002. In 2016, Mexico accounted for 45 percent of total U.S. skim milk powder exports to all destinations, as well as 30 percent of cheese exports, 10 percent of butter exports and 8 percent of whey exports.

According to the analysis, total economic contributions (direct, indirect and induced) created by dairy sales to Mexico show the true importance of these exports to the overall U.S. economy. Including impacts to industries that are linked to U.S. dairy exports to Mexico, the aggregate 2012-2016 output value of $6.7 billion is magnified to $23.3 billion in economic output.

Informa’s analysis found that for every $1 of sales associated with dairy exports to Mexico, an additional $2.50 in output (industry sales) is supported elsewhere in the U.S. economy. U.S. dairy exports to Mexico also created 16,492 full-time equivalent jobs while directly generating an aggregate GDP of $8.4 billion over that five-year period.

“This analysis not only illustrates the importance of preserving existing market access to Mexico under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but also demonstrates why we are urgently pursuing new opportunities via U.S. free trade agreements around the globe,” said U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) President and CEO Tom Vilsack. “Virtually every U.S. free trade agreement to date has yielded positive results for dairy, and current negotiations hold great potential for the industry.”

The authors of the analysis note that under NAFTA, U.S. exports of dairy products to Mexico are duty free. This provides a significant advantage to the United States because export competitors shipping to Mexico are subject to MFN tariff rates of 20-45 percent on cheese, 45 percent on skim milk powder and 10 percent on whey products.

“Without NAFTA, the United States would be paying higher tariffs in terms of MFN tariff rates of 20 to 45 percent, or the same levels as its competitors,” the authors wrote.

Some competitors, including the European Union (EU), are already negotiating trade agreements with Mexico that could make their exports more competitive in the Mexican market.

“As this analysis shows, the relationship between the U.S. and Mexican dairy sectors is of great importance, not just to our producers, but to our economy as a whole,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “We are committed to working toward a modernized NAFTA agreement that preserves this open and dependable trade relationship with Mexico, while removing massive barriers to dairy trade with Canada that were not adequately addressed in the original agreement.”

The analysis notes that while transportation advantages will continue with or without NAFTA, these logistical advantages would, at best, only partially offset economic losses in terms of business sales, GDP and jobs.

The study also reviews the potential increase in competition through the renegotiation of the EU-Mexico free trade agreement and the implementation of the newly established Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) negotiations. Both negotiations could improve market access for competitor dairy product exports to Mexico.

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Agriculture Coalition’s Request to Halt California’s ‘False and Misleading’ Prop 65 Labeling of Glyphosate

Citing harm to the nation's agriculture economy, Judge William Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting California from implementing its “false and misleading” Prop 65 labeling requirement for the herbicide glyphosate. The injunction was sought by more than a dozen leading agriculture groups and supported by eleven attorneys general across the U.S. The preliminary injunction will halt California’s labeling requirement until a final ruling on the matter is issued by the court. 

“Farmers work tirelessly to put food on America’s tables, and Glyphosate is a vital tool that growers have trusted to provide safe, affordable food,” said Chandler Goule, Chief Executive Officer for the National Wheat Growers Association, the lead plaintiff in the case.  “Every regulatory body in the world that has reviewed glyphosate has found it safe for use and no available product matches glyphosate with a comparable health and environmental safety profile. We are pleased Judge Stubb granted our request, which is the first step in our efforts to prevent California from forcing farmers, growers and manufacturers to place false and misleading labels on agricultural products. California’s erroneous Prop 65 listing of glyphosate is not based on data, facts or science and we look forward to continuing to make our case to the court.”

Judge Shubb made the following statements when issuing his ruling granting the agriculture coalition’s request for a preliminary junction:

“As applied to glyphosate, the required warnings are false and misleading. Plaintiffs have thus established a likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the warning requirement violates their First Amendment rights.” (p. 17)

“[Given] the heavy weight of evidence in the record that glyphosate is not in fact known to cause cancer, the required warning is factually inaccurate and controversial.” (p. 16)

“However, a reasonable consumer would not understand that a substance is ‘known to cause cancer’ where only one health organization had found that the substance in question causes cancer and virtually all other government agencies and health organizations that have reviewed studies on the chemical had found there was no evidence that it caused cancer. Under these facts, the message that glyphosate is known to cause cancer is misleading at best.” (p. 14)

“It is inherently misleading for a warning to state that a chemical is known to the state of California to cause cancer based on the finding of one organization (which as noted above, only found that substance is probably carcinogenic), when apparently all other regulatory and governmental bodies have found the opposite, including the EPA, which is one of the bodies California law expressly relies on in determining whether a chemical causes cancer.” (pp. 15-16)

Glyphosate is approved for application in over 250 agricultural crops throughout the United States.  Despite scientific findings from hundreds of studies and conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and regulatory agencies around the world that glyphosate is safe for use, California ignored facts, data and science, when it added glyphosate to the state’s Prop 65 list.

The National Association of Wheat Growers are the lead plaintiff in the case against California filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The plaintiffs include the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, the Agricultural Retailers Association, Associated Industries of Missouri, Iowa Soybean Association, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CropLife America, Missouri Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, North Dakota Grain Growers Association, South Dakota Agri-Business Association and United States Durum Growers Association.


Monsanto Company is launching a free mobile app to help growers and applicators successfully apply XtendiMax® Herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology, the Company announced today. The RRXtend Spray App is a grower- and applicator-focused digital tool that provides location-specific weather forecasts, digital record keeping capabilities and educational resources related to the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System. Growers can download the app for free on the Apple App Store® and on Google Play®.

“Providing relevant weather information and forecasting through the RRXtend Spray App is another way we are working to ensure that growers and applicators have the training, education and resources to have a successful 2018 season,” said Ryan Rubischko, Monsanto’s North America dicamba portfolio lead. “We believe this app will help applicators conveniently see forecasts for their fields for important weather-related label requirements as they apply XtendiMax herbicide. Combined with outstanding yields, excellent weed control and seamless customer support, this app is just one more tool for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.”

The app includes three main features, all to help users achieve successful, on-target applications of XtendiMax herbicide:
· The weather forecast tool helps growers and applicators plan their applications by predicting weather conditions and inversion risk for their fields. It provides field-level location specific hourly forecasts of temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and inversion risk. The inversion-risk forecast shows the probability (in percent) of an inversion occurring at a specific location. The weather forecasts leverage both publicly available weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and unique models by Climate Corporation weather scientists. Growers must confirm compliant conditions according to the label before spraying.

· The record-keeping feature gives applicators an easy way to comply with mandatory dicamba record keeping requirements when applying XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology. App users can save and export multiple field records and store them on a mobile device.

· The educational resource section connects growers to key resources including training information, materials on approved tank mixes and nozzles, and educational videos featuring insights on methods used in the forecast tool.

The app is one additional element of Monsanto’s commitments to provide our customers with the training, resources and tools to have a successful season with the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. In addition to the mobile tool, Monsanto is providing hundreds of free, in-person training sessions to help reinforce proper use of low-volatility dicamba formulations to control weeds. Under the new federal Restricted Use Pesticide label, training is mandatory for all applicators prior to using low-volatility dicamba formulations, including XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology.

Growers are encouraged to visit to review training dates and locations and to register to attend. New training dates are being added to the site regularly.

For more information on the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, visit

BASF launches digital tools to promote stewardship best practices for Engenia herbicide applications

BASF debuted new stewardship resources today during the Commodity Classic tradeshow in Anaheim, California. The resources will aid growers planning to use Engenia® herbicide by providing easy-to-access information on application best practices.

The new digital resources, available at, include an updated online training module and a mobile-friendly resource center. The mobile resource center contains a breakdown of the Engenia herbicide label, tools to help recognize a temperature inversion, a checklist of application requirements, video demonstrations and a record keeping form. With training materials now available instantly, growers will have access to these important resources in the field, at home or on the go.

“We spoke with growers about their experiences with Engenia herbicide and incorporated their feedback into our new stewardship resources and our updated spray application training materials for 2018,” said Chad Asmus, BASF Technical Marketing Manager. “We will continue providing ongoing in-person training sessions, and with these digital tools, growers and applicators will have access to the valuable stewardship resources wherever and whenever they need it.”

BASF worked closely with state agencies to develop required training materials for those planning to apply Engenia herbicide this upcoming season. Before applying Engenia herbicide, applicators must receive dicamba or auxin-specific training.* By attending in-person or completing online training, applicators and growers can learn application best practices for applying Engenia herbicide, such as selecting the correct nozzle type, boom height, wind speed requirements and more. Since December, more than 10,000 people have received in-person training from BASF.

Also during Commodity Classic, BASF is showcasing a virtual reality experience to illustrate how the unique chemistry of Engenia herbicide works. This immersive digital experience provides a deep dive into the molecular makeup of the herbicide, explaining how Engenia’s BAPMA salt helps lower the volatility potential by up to 90 percent compared to dicamba herbicides with diglycolamine (DGA) salt.

To learn more about Engenia herbicide and application requirements, visit

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday February 26 Ag News

Frogeye Leaf Spot Resistance Increasing in Soybean
Loren Giesler - NE Extension Plant Pathologist

Recently Iowa State University confirmed Cercospora sojina, the pathogen that causes frogeye leaf spot of soybean, having resistance to quinone outside inhibitor (QoI, strobilurin) fungicides in Iowa.

This report is a reminder to all of us of how important resistance management is for pathogens as well as weed and insect pests. While we have not identified C. sojina to have fungicide resistance in Nebraska, due diligence is needed by all farmers to ensure practices are not encouraging resistance development. A map of the current distribution of strobilurin-resistant frogeye at Integrated Pest Management – Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (ipmPIPE) shows  there is good distance between Nebraska and any confirmed fields at this time.

A plan for resistance management includes
-    the use of genetics to reduce disease potential,
-    residue management and rotation to break down inoculum of the pathogen, and
-    the treatment of fields before significant levels of disease are present using fungicides with multiple modes of action. 

Additional resources on Resistance Management are available on the CropWatch Resistance Management page and the Crop Protection Network. See Fungicide Resistance in Field Crops FAQs (CPN-4001).

Growers Share about Their On-Farm Research

Are you thinking about adopting a new farming practice or buying a new product, but unsure whether it’s likely to be cost-effective for your operation? Would you like to test it before investing, but not sure how to set up a trial?

Conducting your own on-farm research using well-tested, scientific research methods can help provide the reliable answers you need to make decisions. In addition, on-farm research can be rewarding and even fun at times, say three farmers who participated in the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network (NOFRN) in 2017.

For almost three decades Nebraska growers have been working with university specialists and educators and experts from the ag industry to design research projects to test products and practices on farm, sharing the results with other growers who might be considering similar questions. In 2017 more than 80 NORFN projects were conducted to study products, practices, and new technologies that impact farm productivity and profitability, said Laura Thompson, extension educator and NOFRN co-coordinator with Keith Glewen, extension educator.

This month growers are sharing about their studies at the On-Farm Research Update meetings, where there has been a lot of interaction and dialogue, Thompson said. “These meetings are a great opportunity for growers interested in conducting on-farm research to learn about the process and individual studies and talk with other growers as they begin to plan their own research.”  

Previous studies can be found in the On-Farm Research Network Database....  (To view studies, search by keyword or view reports categorized by research topic, county, year, crop or irrigation type.)

Nitrogen Inhibitor

Derek Dam of Hooper is at the start of his farming career and looked to the university program to help design a replicated, randomized trial. He tested a nitrogen inhibitor in a liquid nitrogen preplant application on some often-wet bottomland where he was concerned about the potential for nitrogen loss.

“You can get in a routine of doing the same thing, but there’s always new stuff coming out and it’s worth it to give it a shot, at least on a small scale, to see if it will work in our system.”

Dam, the youngest of three generations in a family farm operation growing corn, soybeans and alfalfa and raising a cow-calf herd, had tried his own research trials but wanted to do a little more and joined the university project. He worked with Extension Educator Nathan Mueller in Dodge County to design and evaluate the randomized, replicated research.

“Nathan did a really good job of helping us get set up. We shot him the idea and he worked out how best to conduct the research. We said we wanted to do a nitrification inhibitor study on this piece of farmland and he took it from there.”

Nitrification inhibitors reduce the rate at which ammonium is converted to nitrate. This can help reduce N losses through denitrification and leaching, keeping more of the nitrogen where it was intended. The study compared areas with and without Instinct® II nitrogen stabilizer, using ear leaf N concentrations and aerial imagery during the evaluation process. Dam found that grain yield was 4 bu/ac higher for the Instinct treatment; however, there was no difference in the marginal net return between treated and untreated areas.

Dam is considering continuing the trial in another field in 2018.

Is On-Farm Research for You?

“A number of projects can still be planned and evaluated in the 2018 growing season, such as starter fertilizer, row spacing, seed treatments, plant populations, variable rate planting prescriptions, and in-season fertilizer applications,” Thompson said. “Now is the time to start planning these studies. I would encourage people who are interested in doing a study to visit with an Extension Educator working with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. These individuals can help you plan your study so you will have confidence in your results. They can also help provide opportunities for additional data to be collected on your study, such as aerial imagery, photographs, and other measurements.”

Farmers participating in the On-Farm Research Network generally report having a positive experience and that conducting a study had a positive economic impact on their farm operation.

To learn more about the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network and how to participate, visit

Value of a Beef Cow and Risk Management Webinar

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 7:30 pm Central

No pre-registration needed - hosted by Nebraska Cattlemen
Join the webinar here....

Ranchers face many challenges each day that require their attention. These challenges include things like dealing with and preventing disease, getting cows fed or moved to the right pasture, getting cows bred, getting calves on the ground and started out right, and many others. These daily challenges require a lot of time and effort to get them done right. Because of this time commitment on these essential tasks often things like marketing, economic analysis and risk management get put on the back burner.

Example questions that ranches are faced with:
-    Should I use a cross breeding program that would increase production, but reduce efficiency?
-    Should I consider marketing my calves early or later to take advantage of market trends?
-    Does it make economic sense to market yearlings instead of calves?
-    What can I afford to pay for replacement cows or heifers?
-    Is it better to market my calves direct, at an auction barn, or should I use a video auction?
-    Is the price slide in my calf contract fair?

This webinar will introduce producers to online calculators that can help make those decisions. It will specifically focus on the Beef Cow Value calculator and using it to make cow herd expansion decisions. In addition to the economic tools the webinar will also look at utilizing risk management options such as Pasture Rangeland and Forage (PRF), Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) and Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance.

Animal Care Webinar is March 7

The next Animal Care Wednesday Webinar will be on Wednesday, March 7th, 11:00 am CST / 10:00 am MT. Ben Weinheimer, Vice President - Texas Cattle Feeders Association, will be discussing Sustainability’s role in animal care and health – where are we at?.

Sustainability has been a buzz word throughout animal agriculture in recent years. Tune in for an update on how the beef industry has been working to address this challenging topic.

Join the webinar:

Contact Kim Clark, Extension Educator, Dairy at or 402-472-6065 for more information or questions.


For the month of February 2018, topsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 22 short, 72 adequate, and 2 surplus, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 28 short, 68 adequate, and 1 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Winter wheat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 5 poor, 52 fair, 38 good, and 5 excellent.

The next monthly report (for March) will be issued March 26, 2018. Weekly reports will begin April 2nd for the 2018 season.

Capturing Value in Cropping Systems using Cattle, April 4

A conference on how to “Capture Value in Cropping Systems using Cattle,” will be held Wednesday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at ENREC (formerly ARDC) near Mead.

Nebraska Extension has developed a unique learning and networking opportunity for cattle operators and cropping individuals.  The day will feature UNL graduate students, research and extension personnel working on the projects, as well as, first-hand insight from producers utilizing cover crops as forages in their cropping rotation in eastern Nebraska.

Program topics will include:
* The UNL Beef Systems Initiative: can we sustainably produce more with the same resources?
* Nitrate toxicity: what is the potential when grazing cover crops?
* Oats planted after high moisture corn or silage: how much grazing can we get?
* Using triticale for spring grazing in soybean systems? 
* Grazing rye planted in corn and soybean systems: how do the cattle and crops perform?

Pre-register online by March 30 at: For questions, contact Nebraska Extension in Saunders County at (402) 624-8030 or

 Farm Finance and Ag Law Clinics this March

Openings are available for one-on-one, confidential farm finance and ag law consultations being conducted across the state each month. An experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor will be available to address farm and ranch issues related to financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters. The clinics offer an opportunity to seek an experienced outside opinion on issues affecting your farm or ranch.

Clinic Sites and Dates
    Grand Island — Thursday, March 1
    Fairbury — Wednesday, March 7
    North Platte — Thursday, March 8
    Lexington — Thursday, March 15
    Norfolk — Wednesday, March 21

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor these clinics.

NCGA to President Trump: We Cannot Accept Changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard

The National Corn Growers Association, along with other agricultural organizations, sent a letter to President Trump on Monday, calling on the President to maintain the integrity of the RFS.

“We appreciate the President’s support of the RFS since the early days of his campaign,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “Rural America supported President Trump last year, now we need the President to support rural America.  Supporting policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers, renewable fuel plant workers, and rural America.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects 2018 net farm income will decline an additional $4.3 billion this year, a 6.7 percent reduction from 2017 levels. This represents the lowest net farm income, in nominal dollars, since 2006 and is a 50-percent decline in net farm income since 2013.

The letter to the President disputes the recent claims made by an East Coast refinery that the RFS is to blame for their recent bankruptcy.  “Mismanagement of a single refinery should not be used as an excuse for undoing ten-years of sound policy,” Skunes added.  “Last November, the EPA concluded RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. The failings of one company should not be used to destroy a successful energy policy that serves not only millions of farmers who rely on strong market demand created by the RFS, but the hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants and tens of thousands of plant workers. The reality is, most refiners are reporting double-digit profit increases.”

“Mr. President, now is not the time to turn your back on rural America. Do not undermine the RFS and risk putting farmers in an even harder economic situation than they are already in,” Skunes added. “There is a win-win here, but it means following the intent of the RFS and increasing the supply of RINs through regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol to lower values, as well as bringing more transparency to the trading system.”

Rumors of Renewed Attacks on RFS Worry Soybean Growers

In response to reports of a potential meeting this week on renewable fuels at the White House, the American Soybean Association (ASA) reiterates its strong support for the Renewable Fuel Standard and its concerns about proposals that may undermine the program. ASA President John Heisdorffer issued the following statement today:

"The RFS helps to maintain demand for soybeans in biodiesel in a time when farm income and crop prices are down significantly. It is functioning as intended and serves as a strong engine driving the rural economy. The RFS has been successful in expanding new markets for our farmers, creating new jobs in rural America, giving consumers more fuel choices, and improving our nation’s air quality.

"Despite the claims of adverse impacts from Renewable Identification Number (RIN) costs, last November, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. A true win-win for everyone would be a long-term, multi-year extension of the the biodiesel tax credit. It helps biodiesel grow and lowers the cost of compliance for obligated parties.

"President Trump has exhibited and reiterated strong support for the RFS, and we look to him to continue his support. We strongly urge President Trump to reject any proposals that would undermine the purpose and intent of the RFS, and instead pursue options to address refiners’ concerns that do not undercut the RFS or harm a program that provides important benefits for farmers and rural communities."

Farm Groups Caution President Against Weakening RFS

Ahead of a Tuesday White House meeting on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), National Farmers Union (NFU) and five other prominent farm organizations are urging President Trump to avoid seeking changes that would weaken the nation’s premier biofuel policy. The meeting will bring together key lawmakers and Cabinet members to discuss escalating tensions over the RFS between oil industry and ethanol industry interests.

The farm groups sent the President a letter today, underscoring the importance of a strong RFS for farming and rural communities that are currently coping with a severely depressed farm economy.

“The President and his administration have expressed strong support for the RFS since the early days of President Trump’s campaign,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We want to be sure he remembers these promises he made to farmers and rural communities as he meets with senior administration officials and lawmakers. Rural communities are under a lot of economic stress, so there is much to gain from a strong RFS, and a lot to lose by weakening it.”

The farm groups’ letter drew attention to the dire state of the farm economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects 2018 net farm income will decline $4.3 billion, a 6.7 percent reduction from 2017 levels.  This represents a 50-percent decline in net farm income since 2013. “The heart of America is being left behind when it comes to economic growth and opportunity,” said the groups.

The groups also noted that for the past ten years, the RFS has been a strong engine driving the rural economy.

“The RFS, which sets targets for blending ethanol and biodiesel into our nation’s fuel supply, created new markets for our farmers, created new jobs in rural America, gave consumers more fuel choices, and improved our nation’s air quality,” said the groups. “By any measure, the RFS has been successful not only for agriculture, but for our nation.”

Yet as economic conditions in rural America continue to decline, most oil refiners are experiencing a boom and significant gains from recent tax reforms. And it is their opposition that is fueling the depressed growth of homegrown biofuel industry, according to the farm groups.

Recent claims from an East Coast refiner that the RFS caused it to file for bankruptcy initiated the most recent round of tensions and therefore the Tuesday meeting at the White House. The letter noted that these claims “are not reflective of the state of the refining industry, but rather the hallmark of poor business decisions and a willingness to put investor returns before refinery jobs.”

“Despite the claims of adverse impacts from Renewable Identification Number (RIN) costs, last November, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners,” said the letter. “The failings of one company should not be used as an excuse for undermining a law that serves hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants, tens of thousands of renewable fuel plant workers, and millions of farmers who rely upon the strong market demand created by the RFS.”

“There are options to address refiners’ concerns that do not undercut the RFS.  Any action that seeks to weaken the RFS for the benefit of a handful of refiners will, by extension, be borne on the backs of our farmers,” the groups concluded.


The Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™ (NYSE: DWDP) today announced the name of the intended company once it is spun-off, which is expected to happen by June 1, 2019. The intended Agriculture company will become Corteva Agriscience™ (kohr-'teh-vah), which is derived from a combination of words meaning “heart” and “nature”.

“This is the start of an exciting journey,” said James C. Collins, Jr., chief operating officer, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. “Corteva Agriscience™ is bringing together three businesses with deep connections and dedication to generations of farmers. Our new name acknowledges our history while looking forward to our commitment to enhancing farmer productivity as well as the health and well-being of the consumers they serve. With the most balanced portfolio of products in the industry, nearly a century of agronomic expertise and an unparalleled innovation engine, Corteva Agriscience™ will become a leading Agriculture company, focused on working together with the entire food system to produce a secure supply of healthy food.”

Corteva Agriscience™ brings together DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences to create a market-shaping, standalone agriculture company with leading positions in Seed Technologies, Crop Protection and Digital Agriculture.

The intended company has developed some of the best talent, technology, innovation and R&D capabilities that will uniquely position it to transform our food system by helping farmers grow better, abundant and healthier crops while using fewer natural resources.

“We will continue to invest in some of the most recognized and premium brands in agriculture: Pioneer®, Mycogen®, and the newly launched Brevant™ seed brands, as well as our award-winning Crop Protection products, such as Aproach® Prima fungicide and Quelex™ herbicide with Arylex™ active, while bringing new products to market through our solid pipeline of active chemistry and technologies,” said Collins.

In addition to announcing the corporate name, the intended Agriculture company unveiled the Corteva Agriscience™ brand identity and logo today ( at Commodity Classic, the largest farmer-led convention and trade show in the United States.

The corporate headquarters for the intended company will be located in Wilmington, Delaware, and will include key corporate support functions. Sites in Johnston, Iowa, and Indianapolis, Indiana, will serve as Global Business Centers, with leadership of business lines, business support functions, R&D, global supply chain, and sales and marketing capabilities concentrated in the two Midwest locations.

DowDuPont will support the new brand name through a series of recognition events between now and the time the division becomes an independent company.

ASA Looks Forward to Working with New Dow DuPont Spinoff Corteva Agriscience

Dow and DuPont announced this morning that the agriculture division of the company will become Corteva Agriscience once it is spun-off this summer.

According to a news release from the company, Corteva is derived from a combination of words meaning “heart” and “nature” and brings together DuPont Crop Protection, DuPont Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences to create a standalone agriculture company with leading positions in seed technologies, crop protection and digital agriculture.

Since the merger was announced, the American Soybean Association (ASA) studied the overall impacts on the agricultural industry and soybean farmers, and is looking forward to see what they’ll now accomplish for soy growers.

“As always, we welcome competition and innovation to the industry, while keeping the best interests of soybean growers at the forefront,” said ASA President John Heisdorffer, a farmer from Keota, Iowa. “ASA is excited to see what leading edge ideas and technology Corteva Agriscience will bring to the table for soybean farmers and looks forward continuing our partnership with them.”

USDA and HHS Invite Public Comments on Topics and Scientific Questions for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new step in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) development process. For the first time, the departments will seek public comments on the proposed priority topics and supporting scientific questions that will guide the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the DGA. The public may submit comments through the Federal Register; the comment period will be open from Feb. 28, 2018 to March 30, 2018. The topics, supporting scientific questions, and link to submit public comments will be available at

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans serves as the cornerstone of federal nutrition programs and policies. This new public comment stage at the beginning of the DGA development process helps maintain the integrity of the process and ensure transparency in communicating the topics that meet the priorities of federal nutrition programs. This new approach allows for more public participation over this multiyear development process. It also improves customer service by being more responsive to stakeholder recommendations and feedback.

“The American taxpayer is an essential customer – indeed, a shareholder,” said Brandon Lipps, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at USDA, the administrative lead for the 2020-2025 DGA. “We’re proud to be taking this important step forward towards greater transparency, and ensuring that the American public’s voice is heard throughout this process.”

USDA and HHS are proposing a life stage approach for this edition of the DGA, focusing on priority scientific questions from birth through older adulthood. The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that, starting with the 2020-2025 edition, the DGA provides guidance for women who are pregnant, as well as infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months. In addition to a focus on life stages, the topics and supporting questions for public comment reflect a continued focus on patterns of what we eat and drink as a whole, on average and over time, not on individual foods or food groups.

“We know that good nutrition together with physical activity can help decrease Americans’ risk of developing serious health conditions across the life span,” said Don Wright, MD, MPH, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS. “The Dietary Guidelines for Americans help support healthy choices at home, school, work, and in the community. That’s why we are encouraging the public and stakeholders in nutrition to submit comments up front to help inform the next edition of the guidelines.”

The 2020-2025 DGA topics which USDA and HHS propose are based on four criteria:
-    Relevance – the topic is within the scope of the DGA and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment;
-    Importance – the topic has new, relevant data and represents an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap;
-    Potential federal impact – there is a probability that guidance on the topic would inform federal food and nutrition policies and programs; and
-    Avoiding duplication – the topic is not currently addressed through existing evidence-based federal guidance (other than the Dietary Guidelines).

USDA and HHS will consider all public comments submitted in finalizing the list of topics and supporting questions to be examined in the development of the 2020-2025 DGA.

After finalizing the topics and supporting questions, USDA and HHS will post a public call for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee nominations. The areas of expertise needed will be based on the final topics and supporting scientific questions, resulting in a coordinated and efficient scientific review.

For information and links, go to

CWT Assists with 3.5 million Pounds of Cheese and Butter Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 15 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Northwest Dairy Association (Darigold), Tillamook County Creamery Association and United Dairymen of Arizona. These cooperatives have contracts to sell 1.728 million pounds (784 metric tons) of Cheddar, Gouda and Monterey Jack cheese and 1.764 million pounds (800 metric tons) of butter to customers in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from February through May 2018.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 18.523 million pounds of American-type cheeses and 3.353 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) to 15 countries on four continents. These sales are the equivalent of 246.417 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

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

Registered dietitians dissect the plant-based plate at 2018 Summit

Leah McGrath and Amy Myrdal Miller, two dietitians, will share what "plant-based" means, how and when the term become popular and how the agricultural community can come together to promote a balanced plate at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2018 Stakeholders Summit. The event, themed “Protect Your Roots” will be held May 3-4 at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Va.

McGrath is a retail dietitian with over 17 years of experience interacting with consumers as well as grocery buyers. She is also a former Army and public health dietitian and founder of the Facebook and Twitter group, "Build Up Dietitians,” which emphasizes evidenced-based information using the hashtag #stand4science. For the past five years, McGrath has worked to increase her knowledge about agriculture and farming by visiting farms and writing blogs and articles about her experiences to educate consumers and peers.

Myrdal Miller is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, farmer’s daughter, highly regarded public speaker and published author. She is also founder and president of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, Inc., a privately-held agriculture, food and culinary communications firm.

“There is increasing animal rights activist pressure for individuals and restaurants and retailers to adopt ‘Meatless Mondays’ and vegan menus,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “We are eager to hear the dietitians’ perspectives on what constitutes a nutritionally-balanced plate.”

Tomorrow is the last day to cast your vote to help five farmers win a free registration to the event. Farmers and ranchers entered the Alliance’s “#ProtectYourRoots” photo contest to share why they believe it is important to protect agriculture’s roots. Visit the Alliance’s Facebook page and ‘like’ your favorite photo. The five photos with the most ‘likes’ by February 28 will be announced as the winners.

Discounted early registration fees and a special hotel rate are available through April 1 (pending availability). To register, visit  

Be sure to check the Summit website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtags #AAA18 and #ProtectYourRoots for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact or call (703) 562-5160.

Get involved:

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today! For a complete listing of the 2017 Summit sponsors or to see the 2018 sponsorship opportunities, please visit For more information, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at

Thank you to our 2018 Summit sponsors: Watt Global Media, Farm Journal Media, Meatingplace, American Feed Industry Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board, United Soybean Board, Council for Biotechnology Information, DairyMAX/Western Dairy Association, Farm Credit Council, United Egg Producers, Cobb-Vantress Inc., National Biodiesel Board, Protect the Harvest, Agri Beef, American Veal Association, BPI Technology, Inc., Fur Commission USA, Kemin, National Chicken Council, Food Industry Environmental Network and North Carolina Farm Bureau.

The Alliance also thanks the following members for their continued support of Summit and other Alliance programs: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Merck Animal Health, Charleston|Orwig, Diamond V, Zoetis, Alltech, Inc., Aviagen Group, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, Cargill, Cattle Empire, LLC, Genus PLC - PIC/ABS, Hendrix Genetics, Hy-Line North America LLC, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, Potash Corp., Provimi North America, Inc., Seaboard Foods LLC, Smithfield Hog Production and Iowa Soybean Board.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday February 23 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.67 million cattle on feed on February 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was up 9 percent from last year. Placements during January totaled 540,000 head, unchanged from 2017. Fed cattle marketings for the month of January totaled 465,000 head, up 3 percent from last year. Other disappearance during January totaled 15,000 head, up 5,000 head from last year.


Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 720,000 head on February 1, 2018, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 3 percent from January 1, 2018 and up 13 percent from February 1, 2017. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 580,000 head on feed, up 4 percent from last month but down 1 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,300,000 head, up 3 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during January totaled 130,000 head, an increase of 30 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 73,000 head, down 19 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 203,000 head, up 7 percent from last month but down 3 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during January totaled 107,000 head, up 9 percent from last month and up 24 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 50,000 head, up 9 percent from last month but down 4 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 157,000 head, up 9 percent from last month and up 14 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 6,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 8 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.6 million head on February 1, 2018. The inventory was 8 percent above February 1, 2017.

Placements in feedlots during January totaled 2.07 million head, 4 percent above 2017. Net placements were 2.00 million head. During January, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 375,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 450,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 625,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 418,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 115,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 85,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during January totaled 1.86 million head, 6 percent above 2017.  Other disappearance totaled 69,000 head during January, 30 percent above 2017.

2017 Cattle on Feed and Annual Size Group Estimates

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head represented 82.0 percent of all cattle and calves on feed in the United States on January 1, 2018. This is comparable to the 81.2 percent on January 1, 2017.

Marketings of fed cattle for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head during 2017 represented 87.2 percent of total cattle marketed from all feedlots in the United States, up slightly from 87.1 percent during 2016.

U.S. – South Korea Trade Deal Yields “Gold” for Nebraska Beef, Pork, Sectors

The Winter Olympics aren’t the only reason for Nebraskans to focus on South Korea, according to a report released by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Friday, Feb. 23. The report, “U.S.- Korea Trade Agreement and Nebraska Agriculture”, shows Nebraska’s beef and pork sectors are the biggest winners of the U.S.- Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). The report provides a dollars and cents breakdown of the value of KORUS to farmers, ranchers, Nebraska counties, and the implications to Nebraska’s broader economy. It also highlights the potential risk for Nebraska should the Trump administration renegotiate KORUS in a way that would negatively impact agriculture.

“South Korea is the second-largest importer of U.S. beef and beef products, importing 17 percent of total U.S. beef exports in 2016. It’s also the second-largest importer of U.S. hides and skins, our third-largest importer of corn, and fifth-largest importer of pork and pork products. South Korea is also a growing importer of distillers dried grains associated with ethanol production,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “We must be careful that any renegotiation of KORUS does not disrupt the flow of U.S. agricultural exports to South Korea.”

Nebraska’s average agricultural exports to South Korea increased from $210 million in the three-year period before KORUS implementation in 2012 (2009-11) to $321 million in the three years following (2014-16), an increase of 52 percent. The report shows beef and beef products and pork and pork products were Nebraska’s two largest agricultural exports to South Korea in 2016, with total Nebraska beef exports totaling $221 million and Nebraska pork exports totaling $39 million.

“We’ve broken down the KORUS agreement in a way that we can instantly see its value to Nebraska. For example, the analysis shows that Nebraska’s exports of beef to South Korea in 2016 were worth $34.35 per-head. That means for every head of cattle produced in Nebraska, KORUS beef exports contributed $34.35 per-head in value to Nebraska beef producers,” said Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist and author of the report. “Our analysis clearly shows that Nebraska’s beef and pork sectors are the biggest winners in the KORUS agreement, with pork producers seeing an $11.52 per-head benefit from the KORUS trade deal.”

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

“We’ve examined the importance of KORUS for every county in the state of Nebraska as it relates to corn, beef, pork, and distillers grains. We weren’t able to examine soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, and other commodities due to a lack of specific data on exports to South Korea,” said Rempe.

When it comes to counties, the report shows Cuming County having a total export value of $12,521, 811, making it the highest dollar export value county in the state, based on the strength of its beef production. Similarly, the report shows Wheeler County has the most at stake in KORUS on a per farm/ranch basis as the trade agreement is estimated to be worth $19,949 to the average agriculture operation in that county,” said Rempe. “These are just a few of the highlights. The full report provides a very complete overview of what KORUS means for Nebraska agriculture at an individual and county basis.”

According to Nelson, the report’s finding paints a very clear picture of the need to ensure KORUS remains intact.

“KORUS is a critical agreement for our Nebraska beef and pork producers and the related sectors that support them. Clearly KORUS is providing price support for those commodities and the agreement as a whole has a positive ripple effect in supporting those sectors that ultimately provide support to the state’s overall economy. It’s vital we continue to help demonstrate the importance of these trade agreements to the President and others as we work to renegotiate America’s trade agreements,” said Nelson.

The “U.S. – Korea Trade Agreement and Nebraska Agriculture” report containing the full economic analysis is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at

LENRD Board votes to continue airborne surveys of our groundwater

Learning more about our groundwater and the aquifer formations across the district is one of the major projects on deck for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) this year.

At their February board meeting, the board voted to approve the agreement with Aqua Geo Frameworks, not to exceed $220,000 to complete additional Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) surveys, in conjunction with the 2018 Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA) AEM flights that are already scheduled with 6 other NRDs.

LENRD Assistant General Manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “We received funding from the Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund to complete the ENWRA project.  By continuing these flights within our district, we’ll be able to fill in some of the missing areas where we need more data.  This project will be a great asset and the information will be used in managing this precious resource in the future.”

The AEM survey is a very rapid and efficient way of remotely sensing geology across an entire site without engaging in extensive drilling.  To obtain the information, a geophysical device (typically hoop-shaped) containing sensors is suspended beneath a helicopter.

A report was given to the board by Dave Rus, Hydrologist with the USGS Nebraska Water Science Center, on the toxic algae blooms that occur seasonally at the Willow Creek State Recreation Area, near Pierce.  The study of the area is complete and they are working on the final report.

In other business, an inter-local agreement was signed with the City of Randolph for the Flood Risk Management Study for the Middle Logan Creek.  The study will propose channel improvements for their flood control plan.

A public hearing was also held at the February board meeting to certify irrigated acres.  Landowners within the LENRD boundaries, have been working with the district to get their irrigated acres certified over the past several years.  There are only about 50 tracts of land left to certify at the next hearing.

The next LENRD board meeting will be Thursday, March 22nd at 7:30 p.m. in the Lifelong Learning Center on the campus of Northeast Community College in Norfolk.


Specialty crops add diversity and value to Nebraska’s agricultural industry, which is why the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) encourages growers and outdoor pesticide applicators to work together to protect sensitive commercial specialty crops and pollinators from pesticide use. Pesticides include all categories of pest control products such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

“Many non-traditional crops, like grapes and hops, are especially sensitive to pesticides that are critical for producing traditional crops like corn and soybeans,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “In order to protect sensitive crops, commercial growers and pesticide applicators need to communicate with one another throughout the planting and growing season to raise awareness of specialty crops and beehives in the area.”

DriftWatch™ and BeeCheck™ are online mapping services from FieldWatch that allow those with commercial specialty crops, organic crops and beehives to report their field locations. Farmers and other pesticide applicators can review the website to see where specialty crops are located. Included in the registry are commercial apiary sites, vineyards, orchards, fruit and vegetable grow sites, nursery and Christmas tree production sites and certified organic crops.

These online mapping services are especially helpful in satisfying new requirements concerning restricted use pesticide (RUP) dicamba products, Wellman said. It’s important for pesticide applicators to learn about the specific products they are using and read and follow product labels.

Pesticide applicators planning to use RUP dicamba products are required to complete online training and locate specialty crops in the area before using RUP dicamba products. Online pesticide applicator training is available through Nebraska Extension.

In Nebraska, 673 growers have registered a total of 1,400 specialty crop and apiary sites on DriftWatch™. Those sites are currently found in 82 of Nebraska’s 93 counties.

DriftWatch™ and BeeCheck™ can be found online at Registration is voluntary, free, easy to use and secure.  Applicators can frequently view the map, sign up for email alerts for their area, or receive direct data feeds or downloads.  NDA monitors the DriftWatch™ website for the state. For more information contact Craig Romary, NDA Program Specialist, at (402) 471-2351.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               Drought, declining water tables, and legal issues are limiting the amount of irrigation water available.  If you don't have enough for a good grain crop, maybe forages will work.

               Many irrigated acres may not receive enough water this summer to grow a good grain or root crop.  Sometimes you can combine water allocated for several fields onto one field to get a crop, but that still leaves the other acres with little or no water at all.

               Forage crops also need water for highest production, but at least some useful yield can be gathered when total water available is very low.  So what are your best options?

               If you expect water limits will continue for several more years a perennial forage would eliminate the cost and time of establishing a new crop each year.  Switchgrass is one good choice.  It’s less expensive to plant, its primary water needs occur in early summer when water usually is available, and it can be managed for hay or pasture.  Other warm-season grass options include big or sand bluestem and indiangrass, especially for grazing.  Some wheatgrasses and bromegrasses as well as alfalfa can work with limited irrigation, but these cool-season plants respond best to water applied during spring.  For some irrigators, water isn't available until after this most efficient time has passed.

               Of course, annual forages like pearl and foxtail millet, cane,  teff, and sorghum-sudangrass are relatively water efficient and will yield proportionately to the amount of water they receive.  And this spring especially, don't forget small grains like oats and spring-type varieties of rye, barley, and triticale for spring forage if you have moisture at those times.

               It may not be what you hoped for, but growing forages under limited irrigation may help you make the best out of a bad situation.


John Antle, professor in the department of applied economics at Oregon State University and a university fellow at Resources for the Future, will present this year’s Filley-Garey lecture, “Data, Economics and Computational Agricultural Science,” on March 2.

The presentation will be at 3 p.m. in the Arbor Suite of the Nebraska East Union at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

During the lecture, Antle will discuss the role of economics in computational agricultural research and development. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and private firms are working on these technologies, including new sensors, big data and artificial intelligence. He will explore how advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning are similar to recent developments in microeconometrics. These advances have significant implications for the future of “smart farming” systems

Antle, is a fellow and past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He has served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and the National Research Council’s Board on Agriculture.

A reception will follow the lecture. The Filley-Garey lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Wei Wei Heselton at 402-472-1913 or

The Filley-Garey Lecture is an annual event, funded by the family of H. Clyde Filley and Bud Garey.

USDA Announces National Pork Producers Delegate Body Appointments

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 157 producers and 6 importers to the 2018 National Pork Producers Delegate Body. The members appointed to serve a one-year terms are: 
    Alabama:  Tim Donaldson, Cullman, Ala.; Daniel Tubbs, Oakman, Ala.
    Alaska:  Pattie Worrell, Wasilla, Alaska; Rich Worrell, Wasilla, Alaska
    Arizona:  Bruce Lawler, Lakeside, Ariz.; Shannon Schulz, Tonopah, Ariz.
    Arkansas:  Clay Antley, Fulton, Ark.; Charles Metz, London, Ark.
    California:  Ken Dyer, Hanford, Calif.; Chance Reeder, Ripon, Calif.
    Colorado:  JB Chapman, Craig, Colo.; Tyler Hodgson, Greeley, Colo.
    Connecticut:  Hazel T. Secchiaroli, Waterford, Conn.; Jonathan G. Secchiaroli, Waterford, Conn.
    Delaware:  John B. Tigner Jr., Hartly, Del.; Henry Clay Johnson IV, Selbyville, Del.
    Florida:  James W. Wood, Avon Park, Fla.; Tommy Crawford, Lake Butler, Fla.
    Georgia:  Mark Clemmer, Broxton, Ga.; Dania DeVane, Cuthbert, Ga.
    Hawaii:  Ronald B. McKeehan Sr., Honokaa, Hawaii; Evelyn A. Telles, Pearl City, Hawaii
    Idaho:  Dave Roper, Kimberly, Idaho; Tommy Goodwin, Nampa, Idaho
    Illinois:  Dave Conrady, Elkhart, Ill; Michael Haag, Emington, Ill.; Pamela S. Janssen, Minonk, Ill.; Dale L. Weitekamp, Raymond, Ill.; Jason Propst, Toledo, Ill.; Curt Zehr, Washington, Ill.
    Indiana:  Nick Maple, Amboy, Ind.; Beth Tharp, Coatesville, Ind.; Valerie Duttlinger, Gentryville, Ind.; Dallas Foster, Greenfield, Ind.; Brian Martin, Kokomo, Ind.; Jeb Stevens, Osgood, Ind.
    Iowa:  Ryan Pudenz, Ames, Iowa; Dwight D. Mogler, Alvord, Iowa; Marv Van Den Top, Boyden, Iowa; Howard Hill, Cambridge, Iowa; Aaron Juergens, Carroll, Iowa; Curtis Meier, Clarinda, Iowa; Steven Kerns, Clearfield, Iowa; Dave Struthers, Collins, Iowa; Trent Thiele, Elma, Iowa; Dennis C. Liljedahl, Essex, Iowa; Gregg K. Hora, Fort Dodge, Iowa; Jamie Schmidt, Garner, Iowa; Timothy Schmidt, Hawarden, Iowa; Edward E. Juhl, Hudson, Iowa; Mike Ver Steeg, Inwood, Iowa; Leon Sheets, Ionia, Iowa; Tim Bierman, Larrabee, Iowa; Stephen Burgmeier, Lockridge, Iowa; James Hogan, Monticello, Iowa; Dave Moody, Nevada, Iowa; Dale Reicks, New Hampton, Iowa; Art Halstead, Pella, Iowa; Mark Meirick, Protivin, Iowa; Al Wulfekuhle, Quasqueton, Iowa; Kenneth E. Ries, Ryan, Iowa; Marv Rietema, Sioux Center, Iowa; Greg Lear, Spencer, Iowa; Michael Paustian, Walcott, Iowa; Scott W. Tapper, Webster City, Iowa; Erin Brenneman, Wellman, Iowa
    Kansas:  Alan Haverkamp, Bern, Kan.;  Roy J. Henry, Longford, Kan.; Scott J. Pfortmiller, Saint John, Kan.; Doug Claassen, Whitewater, Kan.
    Kentucky:  Eric Heard, Auburn, Ky.; Maurice Heard, Rockfield, Ky.
    Maine:  Brittany K. Hemond, Minot, Maine; Michael G. Hemond, Minot, Maine
    Maryland:  Andy Bauer, Dayton, Md.; Michael Stoner, Taneytown, Md.
    Massachusetts:  Lisa D. Colby, Newbury, Mass.
    Michigan:  Fred Walcott, Allendale, Mich.; Robert Dykhuis, Holland, Mich.; Brian Pridgeon, Montgomery, Mich.
    Minnesota:  Meg Freking, Alpha, Minn.; Reuben Bode, Courtland, Minn.; Pat FitzSimmons, Dassel, Minn.; Brad Hennen, Ghent, Minn.; Samuel Kofi Baidoo, Maplewood, Minn.; Kevin W. Estrem, Nerstrand, Minn.; JoDee Haala, New Ulm, Minn.; Chris Compart, Nicollet, Minn.; Brian Schwartz, Sleepy Eye, Minn.; Myrna Jean Welter, Stewartville, Minn.; Dan Helvig, Truman, Minn.; Brian Johnson, Walnut Grove, Minn.; Wanda Patsche, Welcome, Minn.;
    Mississippi:  Denise Taylor, Laurel, Miss.; Ronnie Fagan, Quitman, Miss.
    Missouri:  Donald L. Laut, Jr., Fredericktown, Mo.; Francis Forst, Lamar, Mo.; David Fisher, Middletown, Mo.; Adam Dohrman, Sweet Springs, Mo.
    Montana:  Peter J. Wipf, Carter, Mont.; Jacob A. Waldner, Havre, Mont.
    Nebraska:  Michael Luckey, Columbus, Neb.; Duane Miller, Davenport, Neb.; Aaron Reichmuth, Humphrey, Neb.;  Karen Grant, Meadow Grove, Neb.; Darin Uhlir, Saint Paul, Neb.   
    Nevada:  Katherine Combs, Las Vegas, Nev.; Sarah Stallard, Las Vegas, Nev.
    New Hampshire:  Alicia Pedemonti, Hopkinton, N.H.
    New Jersey: Kirk Stephens, Sussex, N.J.
    New York:  James Luckman, Gasport, N.Y.; Matthew Harper, Jamestown, N.Y.
    North Carolina:  Mark Wilson Daughtry, Clinton, N.C.; James L. Lamb, Clinton, N.C.; Brandon Warren, Clinton, N.C.; Jim Lynch, Goldsboro, N.C.; Santiago Vazquez, Hampstead, N.C.; Brian Joseph Kennedy, Pink Hill, N.C.; Everett H. Johnson, Siloam, N.C.; Gaye D. Crowther, Tabor City, N.C.; Michael E. Inman, Tar Heel, N.C.; Christina Phillips, Wallace, N.C.
    North Dakota:  Kevin Blake, Devils Lake, N.D.; Seth Bacon, Larimore, N.D.
    Ohio:  David Deao, Arcanum, Ohio; Jim Newton, Eaton, Ohio; William Knapke, Fort Recovery, Ohio; Rich Deaton, New Madison, Ohio
    Oklahoma:  Dottie King, Calvin, Okla.; Robbie Woods, Enid, Okla.; Paris Robinson, Holdenville, Okla.
    Oregon:  Greg Gonzalez, Central Point, Ore.; Susan Gonzalez, Central Point, Ore.
    Pennsylvania:  Jason Manbeck, Bethel, Pa.; Scott Augsburger, Lancaster, Pa.; Kelsey Baublitz, Lewistown, Pa.
    South Carolina:  Mark A. McLeod, Pinewood, S.C.; Larry B. DeHart, Pomaria, S.C.
    South Dakota:  Ferlyn Hofer, Canistota, S.D.; Ray Epp, Mission Hill, S.D.; Ryan Storm, Mount Vernon, S.D.
    Tennessee: James Mathis, Duck River, Tenn.; Jamey Tosh, Henry, Tenn.
    Texas:  Peter C. Baumert, Dalhart, Texas; Greg Stephens, Texhoma, Texas
    Utah:  Matthew N. Robinson, Beaver, Utah; Bryce Sansing, Greenville, Utah
    Vermont:  Peter W. Burrows, Wells, Vt.
    Virginia:  Keith D. Allen, Disputanta, Va.; Robert O. Britt, Williamsburg, Va.
    Washington:  Amber L. Holland, Richland, Wash.; Melanie J. Seidel, Richland, Wash.
    West Virginia:  Chuck Talbott, Fraziers Bottom, W.Va.
    Wisconsin:  Raymond Ibeling, Clinton, Wis.; Allen Ries, Lomira, Wis.
    Wyoming:  Ana Shmidl, Pine Bluffs, Wyo.; Shawn Shmidl, Pine Bluffs, Wyo.
    Importers:  Frank Jensen, Hoboken, N.J.; Scott M. Fegler, Jersey City, N.J.; Emil Rufolo, Jersey City, N.J.; Ole Nielsen, Madison, N.J.; Stig Kjaeroe, Mendham, N.J.; Roland Schinbeckler, Warren, N.J.

“These appointees represent a cross section of great experience in the pork industry and I know they will help us better meet the needs of our American pork producers,” said Perdue.


The National Pork Producers Council, along with other livestock groups, urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue clarifying guidance on the DOT’s Hours of Service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers. In a letter submitted to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao and FMSCA Administrator Raymond Martinez, the organizations urged the DOT to grant livestock haulers a waiver and limited exemption from a mandate that they install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on their trucks until HOS rules are aligned with the animal welfare requirements of the livestock industry.

Under the current provisions of the HOS rules, commercial motor vehicles transporting livestock are exempt from logging requirements if they’re driving within a 150 air-mile radius of the location at which the animals were loaded. However, the exemption is not uniformly recognized and its implementation varies by state.

The DOT granted a 90-day waiver – until March 18, 2018 -- to livestock haulers from complying with the ELD mandate following the receipt of a letter signed by NPPC and other livestock groups late last year.

Farm Bureau Calls for Clarity on Exemptions for Agricultural Haulers

While again urging the Department of Transportation to grant agricultural haulers a waiver and limited exemption from the electronic logging device mandate, Farm Bureau in recent comments responded to the department’s efforts to provide clarity to the 150-air mile agricultural commodity exemption and the hours of service regulations.

Until recently, very few Farm Bureau members or agricultural haulers were aware of their ability to use the newly interpreted 150-air mile agricultural commodity exemption, which provides exceptions from the HOS rules for the transportation of agricultural commodities within a 150-air mile radius from the source of the commodities. Enforcement officials, too, likely have very little knowledge about this exemption. This lack of awareness, combined with the unforgiving realities of ELD technology, makes the need for clarity all the more pressing, Farm Bureau emphasized.

In terms of what products are categorized as agriculture commodities, all nonprocessed food, feed, fiber, livestock and nursery and greenhouse crops qualify, according to Farm Bureau. Agricultural commodity “sources” are farms, ranches and other locations where agricultural commodities are loaded for transport, including livestock markets and grain elevators.

“Animals are unpredictable at livestock markets. Just like at a ranch, they can balk at the loading chute, be uncooperative, and need to be loaded carefully in accordance with appropriate animal husbandry techniques. All of this coupled with oftentimes long post-sale or load-out lines makes applying the flexibility afforded to a ‘source’ of livestock to livestock markets or agricultural commodity at a grain elevator a logical conclusion,” Farm Bureau said.

Had congressional lawmakers wanted to exclude grain elevators or livestock markets from the definition of an agricultural commodity source, they could have easily done so, the group noted.

Farm Bureau is also urging the department to expand its interpretation of the 150-air mile exemption. Current informal Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidance limits a driver’s use of the exemption to once per trip. However, the concept of such a “trip” is not defined in either the statute or the related regulation, so limiting the exemption only to the first “source” of any given “trip” is a narrower interpretation than the statute calls for.

“Such an interpretation also opens the use of the exemption to additional confusion in situations where some agricultural commodities or livestock are unloaded and others are picked up and calls for further subjective interpretation as to when a ‘trip’ is started and concluded,” according to Farm Bureau.

In a similar vein, the organization challenged proposed guidance that indicates once the hours of service rules have begun to apply on a given trip, they continue to apply until the driver crosses back into the area within 150 air-miles of the original source of the commodities and is returning to that source.

According to Farm Bureau, the law clearly indicates that each farm, ranch, grain elevator, livestock market or other location where an agricultural commodity is loaded for shipment is a “source” of an agricultural commodity and, as such, each act of “transporting agricultural commodities from the source” is entitled to the 150-air mile radius exemption described in the applicable regulation.

In addition, time spent operating unladen vehicles traveling to or from the source of an agricultural commodity should be considered exempt time, as the proposed guidance states.

As Farm Bureau continues to encourage the administration to give agricultural haulers relief from the ELD mandate, the organization is also working with Capitol Hill lawmakers on a legislative solution to the ELD mandate and HOS challenges.

Ag Secretary Perdue Adds Presentation on Commodity Classic Main Stage Thursday Morning

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has added a second appearance at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.  The 2018 Commodity Classic kicks off Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. and runs through Thursday, March 1.

In addition to his keynote address during the General Session on Wednesday morning, Secretary Perdue will also speak at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, March 1 from the Commodity Classic Main Stage presented by Commodity Classic and Successful Farming®.  The Commodity Classic Main Stage is located on the trade show floor.

During his time in Anaheim, Secretary Perdue will also meet with leaders of the event’s sponsoring commodity associations and spend some time touring the large trade show.

Walk-in registrations for all three days or for a single day will be available on-site beginning Monday, Feb. 26.  Detailed information on all educational sessions, trade show exhibitors and hours, and the entire 2018 Commodity Classic schedule are available at as well as on the 2018 Commodity Classic mobile app, which can be downloaded at iTunes or Google Play.