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.

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