Thursday, April 26, 2018

Thursday April 26 Ag News

Weed Management Free Workshop in Neligh

The Northeast Nebraska Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council in partnership with the Northeast Nebraska Weed Management Area (NNWMA) is hosting an educational workshop and tour on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.   This free event will be held at the Antelope County Courthouse basement meeting room, 501 Main St., from 9 a.m. until noon.  No registration is required.  Questions can be addressed to Bruce Ofe, Antelope County Weed Superintendent at 402-887-4659.

Landowners, County Board members, Natural Resource District Board members, and interested citizens are encouraged to attend this Weed Workshop.  Topics will include the invasive Yellow Flag Iris, efforts with biocontrol agents in controlling noxious weeds, mechanical and chemical control of Salt Cedar, and accomplishments of the NNWMA.  A tour to a site containing Yellow Flag Iris will complete the morning’s event which will then be followed by lunch.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.  The NNWMA covers an eight-county area and 4,610,212 acres of private, public, and tribal land.  NNWMA has technical support from the Northeast Nebraska RC&D, a local non-profit.

 LENRD promotes tree sales on Arbor Day

This Friday is the 146th Anniversary of Arbor Day.  The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) will have tree seedlings available for purchase this Friday in celebration of Arbor Day, at the Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area, north of Stanton.  From Norfolk, the lake is located 10 miles east on highway 275 and then 2 miles south on Ridge Road.  Signs will direct you to the LENRD Tree Distribution Center (approximately 2 miles north of Stanton).  The Center will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Arbor Day.  Seedlings can be purchased in bundles of 25 for $22.

LENRD Forester, Pam Bergstrom, said, “Plant a tree to protect your property and the future.  Our parents did it for us, and we should return the favor for future generations.”

Contact Bergstrom at the LENRD office, 402-371-7313, if you have questions about your trees or if you need further assistance.

Five Iowa State University Projects Funded by Iowa Beef Industry Council

In response to its first call for proposals on beef research projects, Iowa Beef Industry Council this week announced the approval of eight of those proposals, five of which are from campus and field-based faculty and staff associated with Iowa State University and Iowa Beef Center. All proposals were vetted through a diverse research committee and funding for the eight selected was approved by the IBIC Board of Directors.

Here are the five Iowa State projects and researchers associated with each.
-    Evaluating the performance and economics of fall grazing cover crops compared to a traditional drylot system of fall-calving cow-calf pairs.  - Erika Lundy and Dan Loy
-    Investigating injectable Vitamin C before or after transit on feedlot performance, inflammation and oxidative stress in beef steers. - Stephanie Hansen and Erin Deters
-    Evaluate feeding high quality beef in feeding strategies related to cattle productions systems and marketing trends. Marbling and genetics will be included in this trial as outcome measures. - Erika Lundy, Dan Loy and Patrick Wall
-    Evaluate precision ag tools as a health prediction of individual animals in confined beef cattle operations through visual sensing and automated behavioral recognition. This evaluates technology and labor discussions related to animal health. - Joshua Peschel, Stephanie Hansen, Anna Johnson and Grant Dewell
-    Study and identify metabolic biomarkers indicative of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) to determine specific individual pathogens.  - Grant Dewell, Terry Engelken, Jacek Koziel, Amanda Kreuder, Vickie Cooper and Annette O’Connor

The remaining three funded projects and researchers are as follows:
-    Evaluating the ability of fixed time resynchronization in beef cattle to decrease costs and increase production efficiency. - South Dakota State University
-    Consider the impact of backgrounding cattle nutrition on feedlot and carcass performance, beef quality, and sensory traits. - University of Minnesota
-    Work to understand improving profitability for integrated farming and feeding operations by using more silage and prevention of liver abscesses. - University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Total approved amount is $342,332 to be expensed over two fiscal years and is funded by the $0.50 per head Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program.

USDA 2017 Dairy Product Production Totals

Total cheese production, excluding cottage cheeses, was 12.7 billion pounds, 3.9 percent above 2016 production. Wisconsin was the leading State with 26.6 percent of the production.

Italian varieties, with 5.38 billion pounds was 1.5 percent above 2016 production and accounted for 42.5 percent of total cheese in 2017. Mozzarella accounted for 77.3 percent of the Italian production followed by Parmesan with 8.4 percent and Provolone with 7.4 percent. Wisconsin was the leading State in Italian cheese production with 31.6 percent of the production.

American type cheese production was 5.07 billion pounds, 6.4 percent above 2016 and accounted for 40.1 percent of total cheese in 2017. Wisconsin was the leading State in American type cheese production with 20.0 percent of the production.

Butter production in the United States during 2017 totaled 1.85 billion pounds, 0.4 percent above 2016. California was the leading state in Butter production with 28.9 percent of the production.

Dry milk powders (2017 United States production, comparisons in percentage with 2016)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 1.84 billion pounds, up 4.7 percent.
Skim milk powders - 530 million pounds, down 5.3 percent.

Whey products (2017 United States production, comparisons in percentage with 2016)
Dry whey, total - 1,037 million pounds, up 8.6 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 1.12 billion pounds, up 2.3 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 484 million pounds, up 3.4 percent.

Frozen products (2017 United States production, comparisons in percentage with 2016)
Ice cream, Regular (total) - 902 million gallons, down 0.5 percent.
Ice cream, Lowfat (total) - 460 million gallons, up 5.5 percent.
Sherbet (total) - 43.6 million gallons, down 1.5 percent.
Frozen Yogurt (total) - 62.5 million gallons, down 6.4 percent.

Modified FMD Virus Allowed for Study

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has authorized the movement of a modified, non-infectious version of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to the U.S. mainland for continued vaccine development and study, according to a news release issued by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Thursday.

While the modified FMD virus is unable to cause disease and presents no risk of transmitting the disease, federal law still requires the secretary of agriculture to approval the virus' movement.

Identifying a vaccine that uses the modified virus will enable USDA to more quickly source and acquire FMD vaccine in the event of an outbreak of the disease, APHIS said in its news release. With this announcement, vaccine companies may now apply for USDA permits to continue their work with this specific modified, non-infectious FMD virus in the U.S. All permits granted would include appropriate biocontainment and use restrictions, and may be revoked if warranted.

The live FMD virus was previously not allowed anywhere in the country except at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which is located near the northeast coast of Long Island in New York state, where it was held and worked with under strict biocontainment procedures in order to protect the nation's livestock, according to the news release.

With advances in technology, it is now possible to genetically modify the virus so that it is non-infectious. With this added protection, it is now possible to allow vaccine development within the U.S., rather than relying upon overseas sources.

FMD is a highly contagious viral foreign animal disease that affects domestic livestock, including cattle, swine, sheep, goat and domestic cervids (hoofed mammals such as deer and elk). It can cause reduced milk and meat productivity, illness and death.

Jury Hits Pork Giant for $50m

(AP) -- A federal jury in North Carolina is awarding more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of an industrial hog operation responsible for smells, noise and other disturbances so bad they couldn't enjoy their rural homes.

Jurors on Thursday awarded 10 neighbors of a 15,000-head swine operation a total of $750,000 in compensation plus $50 million in damages designed to punish the hog-production division of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods.

Lawyers didn't sue the farm's owner, instead targeting the Chinese-owned corporation. Smithfield uses strict contracts to dictate how farm operators raise livestock the company owns.

The decision is the first in dozens of nuisance lawsuits filed by more than 500 neighbors against hog operations.

Smithfield says the lawsuits are a serious threat to a major agricultural industry and employer in North Carolina.

Help Reduce Calf Pneumonia Risks and The Hidden Costs

The most common cause of death in calves before weaning is respiratory disease.1 Are your calves protected against respiratory disease challenges?

Once a calf becomes infected with respiratory disease, the damage is done, and the impact from disease will follow the animal into the next stage of production. For producers, it is important to understand the financial impact of young calf respiratory disease.

“When we think about respiratory disease in calves, we often forget about the [financial] impact other than just the antibiotic treatment,” said Mark Alley, DVM, veterinarian with Beef Technical Services at Zoetis.

3 hidden costs of calf respiratory disease:
Ø  Reduced calf weaning weights by up to 35 pounds2
Ø  Lost feed efficiency while nursing, as well as in the next production stage
Ø  Incurred labor costs to treat and re-treat calves

Used concurrently, Inforce 3® and One Shot ® BVD work quickly to combat harmful bovine respiratory disease (BRD) pathogens and give calves a healthy start by providing a rapid and complete immune response.

For Laurie Johnson, a cow/calf producer in northeastern South Dakota, getting ahead of the problem with a successful vaccination program is their key to success.

“We don’t really have a lot of health challenges because we’re upfront and we’re preventing them,” Johnson said. “We’re pretty particular about our vaccine program and we work really hard to make sure we don’t have any health issues we have to treat.”

Work with your veterinarian to develop the best program to help reduce respiratory challenges.

Kansas State University and Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition sign research agreement

Kansas State University and Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition are joining forces to explore innovative plant nutrient products, technologies and opportunities to influence and advance grower practices and grower efficiency.

Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition develops and manufactures a diverse and global portfolio of innovative plant nutrition solutions. The company recently signed a master research agreement with Kansas State University. This agreement lays the groundwork for future collaborations by providing standard contract terms for research projects.

"We are excited to partner with Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition in the development and support of innovative nutrient products that will benefit Kansas agriculture," said Gary Pierzynski, department head and university distinguished professor of agronomy at Kansas State University.

Pierzynski said agronomy researchers are interested in working with the company in two ways. One is to pursue basic research that will lead to the development of new products comprising the next generation of more efficient nutrient products, and the other is to evaluate existing and new products under Kansas conditions and with crops grown in Kansas.

"Our partnership with Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition is another example of K-State working with the industry to help farmers be more efficient, sustainable and profitable," Pierzynski said.

Compass Minerals Plant Nutrition, a division of Compass Minerals, headquartered in Overland Park, finds value in partnering with the university to further its ongoing research and development efforts. The company recently opened a North American Innovation Center in the Midwest Bioscience Research Park in Stilwell, which is dedicated to the development of plant nutrition technologies. The company also has a center in Iracemopolis, Brazil, which opened in 2017.

"Our goal is to directly influence farmer growing practices through science," said Ryan Bartlett, vice president of innovation and product development at Compass Minerals. "In the world of agriculture R&D, the lion's share of funding has consistently gone toward advanced breeding techniques, developing transgenics and crop protection products. With the help of K-State, we're working to compound the gains realized with those innovations by developing similar advances in plant nutrition."

Kansas State University emphasizes industry collaboration and has seen an 80 percent increase in the number of industry-funded projects in the last five years. According to Peter Dorhout, vice president for research, the university strives for a nimble approach to project engagement by creating enduring, strategic alliances through master agreements.

"Our record of negotiating master agreements with industry demonstrates our commitment to making it easier to do research with direct applications to promote economic growth in Kansas and the surrounding region," Dorhout said.

Farmers CARE Act Aims to Upgrade Farm Bill Conservation Program

Today Friends of the Earth endorsed the Farmers CARE (Conserve Agricultural Resources and the Environment) Act introduced by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.).

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer financial cost-share and technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices to protect soil, water and other natural resources.

The Farmers CARE Act would improve EQIP by:
-    Prioritizing spending on farm practices that demonstrably improve the quality of the environment;
-    Eliminating payments to Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) for animal waste facilities;
-    Setting aside funding for habitat improvements and higher welfare, pasture-based farming systems;
-    Easing access to the program for organic producers; and
-    Enabling farmers to receive payments for reducing use of antibiotics, adapting to and mitigating climate change and implementing pasture-based livestock production systems to improve soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat and carbon sequestration.

Planting Intentions Set Up Volatility and Higher Corn Prices

As 2018 corn planting is underway in the Northern Hemisphere, key risks are developing that can drive price volatility and potentially sustain elevated grain prices through the 2018/19 season, according to the RaboResearch report, “Don’t Fall Asleep Behind the Risk Management Wheel: Modelling the Price Risk for Corn.”

While demand is staying firm, the projected corn acres and current global corn stocks are declining compared to the past few years. The report notes that this environment provides little room for production deterioration in the 2018 growing season. Any additional loss of production through acreage or yield loss will put pressure on corn prices.

The Rabobank Pricing Probability model forecasts that there is now over a 50 percent probability that CBOT prices will remain near to or exceed $4 per bushel through December, and 2018/19 corn has a 24 percent chance of sustaining greater than $4.70 per bushel.

“The CBOT corn price has not reached $4 since May 2016,” says Sterling Liddell, vice president and senior global analytics specialist for RaboResearch. “For the past two years, the market has not moved significantly to provide corn growers many good selling opportunities. There’s a good chance that we will see more movement this year.”

In the report, corn growers are advised to stay alert for marketing opportunities at key events, such as planting progress, pollination and yield estimates. If the projected U.S. corn acres remain at current levels, there is high risk for market volatility. Should any weather events or conditions occur that could impact yield, markets are expected to substantially react.

Beef and swine producers, Liddell suggests, should take advantage of good opportunities to lock in prices, since the risk has gone up for feed prices to become higher.

Senators introduce bipartisan bill to recruit and train next generation of farmers

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) applauded today’s introduction of the ‘Next Generation in Agriculture Act’ by Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Susan Collins (R-ME). The bill would address key barriers to entry for young producers, including access to farmland, training, and federal programs.

"As the majority of our nation’s farmers approach retirement age, we need bold action to ensure that their legacy continues,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. “Young people across the country are stepping up and looking to be the next generation of growers, but they need our help. We applaud Senators Heitkamp and Collins for recognizing the urgency of this moment and leading the way on behalf of young farmers. The future of farming and the success of our rural communities depend on it."

Senators Heitkamp and Collins introduce the Next Generation in Agriculture Act at a critical time, as Congress writes the next farm bill amidst troubling demographic and economic trends. Farmers in the U.S. over the age of 65 now outnumber farmers under 35 by a margin of six to one, and U.S. farmland is overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of older farmers. Nearly two-thirds of farmland is currently managed by someone over 55, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates that over the next five years—the lifespan of the next farm bill—nearly 100 million acres of U.S. farmland are expected to change ownership and will need a new farmer.

The Next Generation in Agriculture Act would address some of the top barriers identified by the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey conducted by NYFC, including challenges accessing farmland, a lack of business training, and difficulty finding and affording skilled labor. Young farmers also cited burdensome paperwork and a lack of familiarity as their top barriers to accessing USDA programs. The bill would make significant progress minimizing those barriers by supporting key portions of NYFC’s Young Farmer Agenda, including:

    Reauthorizing and increasing mandatory funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), the only federal program exclusively dedicated to training the next generation of farmers and ranchers. BFRDP provides competitive grants to nonprofits and universities to develop new farmer education, extension, outreach, and training initiatives, including incubator farm programs, business planning resources, and innovative farm and ranch transfer strategies.

    Adding new flexibility for and emphasis on BFRDP projects that address urgent needs, including farmland transition and succession planning for new and retiring farmers and food safety. The bill would also eliminate BFRDP’s matching funds requirement, expanding access for lower-resource organizations that serve high-need populations of farmers.

    Creating new positions at USDA to assist young and beginning farmers with technical assistance, help identify resources and opportunities for training, and help coordinate outreach efforts with local stakeholders and service providers.

As they thanked Senators Heitkamp and Collins for introducing the bill, NYFC called on every Senator to endorse the bill and advocate for its inclusion into the next farm bill.

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