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.

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