Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday July 31 Ag News

Interest and inflation rates, trade tensions could indicate coming economic downturn

Creighton University Professor Ernie Goss, PhD, said rising interest rates, trade tensions and rising inflation are warning signs of a possible economic downturn. While Goss emphasizes that the U.S. economy is strong, he expects the economy may be headed toward a downturn as early as the latter part of 2019 or in 2020. “As the last recession showed us, it’s very hard to predict the timing, but the U.S. economy is definitely headed toward higher risk,” Goss said.

Goss, director of Creighton University's Economic Forecasting Group and the Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics in the Heider College of Business, said there are signs of trouble as the gap, or yield curve, between short-term and long-term interest rate decreases. The yield curve is currently at 0.30 percent, the lowest it’s been since the last U.S. recession, which was from 2007 to 2009.

“Since 1980, every U.S. recession has been preceded by a period in which short term rates climbed above long-term rates, or the gap between the two rates approached zero,” Goss said.

Another sign of a coming slowdown or recession concerns trade tensions between the U.S. and other global economies as well as current global trade restrictions. “The current trade tensions are a clear and present danger to the overall U.S. economy, particularly for those areas in the nation that spend heavily on exports and depend heavily on trade,” Goss said.  “The Chinese are raising tariffs on soy beans and pork. Those are two agriculture commodities where we’ve seen some significant declines in prices tied to trade tensions or tariffs.”

Goss also identified a rising inflation rate as a signifier of higher interest rates which lead to slower growth. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) set 2 percent as an inflation target. However, recent inflation rates have exceeded that target. If the inflation rate continues on this upward, Goss expects short-term interest rates will begin to rise more aggressively, leading to a negative yield, or short-term rates exceeding long-term rates. 

Debt also will play a major role in an upcoming recession or economic slowdown, Goss said, both at the consumer level and federal level.

On the consumer level, Goss said housing prices have continued to increase. “The housing price increases are different this time versus last time in 2006 and 2007. It’s supply-driven now rather than demand-driven,” Goss said. “The cost of materials is increasing. Individuals are seeing prices increase because of limited supply.”

Goss said he expects home price growth to come down, or “some of the air to come out of the bubble” as the U.S. economy slows down in the latter part of 2019 or 2020. 

Another sign of a downturn could be the federal deficit, which is approximately 16 percent higher currently than last year at this time, according to Goss, resulting in higher interest rates as the government continues to ratchet up borrowing to support rapidly expanding spending.

Goss said the economy often moves through periods of economic expansion and recession. He recommends taking action to prepare for the periods of recession by bracing for higher interest rates and inflation by investing in notes and bonds that are inflation-proof, such as Treasury and Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS).  Also, individuals should reduce their exposure to stock holdings of industrial stocks that are much more recession sensitive.

Communities Against Costco Are Calling on Local Officials To Stop Approving Poultry Barns Until Measures Are Taken To Protect The Public

Prior to the Lancaster Planning Department meeting tomorrow (August 1st) members of the public will be assembling at the east side of the Lancaster County/City of Lincoln Building (555 S. 10th Street, Lincoln, NE) calling on the Lancaster County Planning Department and Lancaster County Commissioners to deny the permit for 4 proposed poultry barns south of Lincoln near Denton until measures are taken to protect the public.  The Press Conference will start promptly at 12:30pm.  Members of the public, as well as speakers, will start to assemble shortly after noon in order to do interviews with the media prior to the press conference, and Planning Department Meeting which starts at 1:00pm.

Primary concerns include currently degrading area water quality, area water quantity issues to provide for over 18 million new birds in eastern Nebraska, air quality issues for surrounding residents, inadequate grower contracts that put Nebraska farmers at risk, the development of lower class systems in our rural communities with low wage jobs, the decrease of property valuations for land near the proposed location, and the blatant attempt by Costco to halt public input regarding concerns since the inception of the proposed project nearly two years ago.

Randy Ruppert of Nebraska Communities United, who will also be moderating the event said, “There has been little independent scientific evaluation on this project despite it being the largest proposed project in the U.S.  We are asking this project be halted until we have addressed public concerns, including updating our county and state regulations to deal with projects of this size and scale.”

Speakers will include:

Craig Watts - A former poultry contract-grower from North Carolina for agribusiness giant Perdue who stood up to the industry and the contractual shortcomings that put poultry growers at risk, and also Independent Consultant for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project.

Mary Pipher – A community leader and nationally-renowned author from Lincoln that has published nine books including best seller “Reviving Ophelia”, as well as leader of the local group Guardians of the Aquifer.

Ken Tesar – A farmer from southern Lancaster County that farms directly across from the site of the proposed Lancaster County barns.

Jonathan Sebastian Leo – A Lincoln resident, a 38-year environmental and land use lawyer and consultant, who is also on the Board of Interfaith Power and Light.

“Strong communities are educated communities.  Due to the magnitude of this project it is important that our counties and state do their due diligence to thoroughly research all of the issues that have historically degraded communities in other parts of the country where industrial poultry development has occurred.  We simply ask our elected officials to raise their standards to meet the principles of Nebraska standards, instead of blindly following industry experts’ advice when they are more concerned about profit than the long-term viability of OUR Nebraska Communities,” stated Randy Ruppert.

NCGA Seeking a Few Good Leaders for Action Teams, Committees

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team in the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.

“NCGA’s action teams and committees offer unique, specific opportunities to participate in all of the areas the organization touches. As a grassroots organization, we rely on members to take an active role in shaping the course of our activities, programs and policies to unify and lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Lynn Chrisp. “I encourage all interested members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most.”

The teams, which will be entering their third fiscal year in this format include: Corn Productivity and Quality; Consumer Engagement; Ethanol; Feed, Food and Industrial; Freedom to Operate; Market Access; Risk Management and Stewardship. Positions are also available on Organizational Teams and Standing Committees, which include CornPAC and the Engaging Members Committee.

Qualified applicants must be an NCGA member or prospective member and/or contribute to their state checkoff program, if applicable. Ideal candidates should have interest or expertise in a particular area relevant to the team focus.

Action Teams represent a cross-section of corn production. The teams may utilize staff, growers and industry members to serve as resources, as determined by the action team chair.
For the Action Team Application, click here... http://www.ncga.com/upload/files/documents/pdf/Applications/Request%20for%20Application%20Action%20Teams-Committees%20FY%202019.pdf.  Deadline for receipt of applications in the state corn association offices, where applicable, is August 10. State offices will then coordinate applications and submit directly to NCGA by August 17. Interested parties can contact Kathy Baker at the NCGA office with questions, at (636) 733-9004.


A statewide effort in Iowa to identify and map six types of conservation practices (terraces, ponds, grassed waterways, water and sediment control basins, contour strip cropping and contour buffer strips/prairie strips) has been completed and provides the most comprehensive inventory of conservation practices in the nation.

An analysis of the results shows the value of this public and private investment in conservation would be $6.2 billion in today’s dollars. Additional analysis work is underway to utilize the science of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to quantify the water quality impact these practices are having in terms of reduced sediment and phosphorus loads to Iowa streams.

“This mapping effort shows the scale and investment made by farmers, landowners, state and federal agencies, conservation partners and many others over several decades to reduce erosion and protect our natural resources. While the practices identified are focused on reducing soil erosion and phosphorus loss, seeing the progress that has been made illustrates how we can make similar progress with a long-term focus and investment in proven conservation practices targeted at reducing nitrogen loss,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

Iowa is the first state to analyze every watershed within its borders using LiDAR and aerial imagery to create a detailed assessment of conservation practice implementation. This data allows for a much more detailed and accurate analysis of soil conservation efforts focused on phosphorus reduction because it includes all practices implemented by farmers, including those done without government cost share.

Iowa DNR and researchers at Iowa State University lead the 3-year effort to use LiDAR derived elevation data and aerial imagery to identify and inventory the conservation practices present on the landscape. The analysis is based on LiDAR data and imagery that was taken from 2007 to 2010.

With this inventory completed, it provides a benchmark for measuring progress. Additional efforts are already underway to assess the status of these practices going back to the 1980’s and also to assess the recent status of practices from 2016-2018. Once completed, Iowa will have a robust timeline to show the progress that has been made over time.

Maps and additional information about the project can be found at  https://www.gis.iastate.edu/gisf/projects/conservation-practices. Not all of the information is available online yet as the Iowa DNR is still finalizing the process of quality assurance/quality control. That process is scheduled to be completed by next spring.

“This demonstrates that the consistent and persistent effort, year after year, of all the Iowans needed to educate, inform, fund, design, build, and maintain these practices can, practice by practice, change the landscape for the better. I’m excited and encouraged to see what we can do as we continue to scale up our collective efforts in support of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy”, said DNR Director Bruce Trautman.

Potential benefits of the project and uses of the information include:
·         Targeting resources where they are needed most by comparing conservation potential with actual implementation
·         Accurately benchmarking efforts to quantify nutrient reductions and compare with past and future progress
·         Creating a consistent, scientifically sound dataset vetted by both Iowa State University and the Department of Natural Resources
·         Detailed picture of all conservation structures regardless of whether or not cost share was utilized

“The ability to provide an accurate accounting of the progress being made under the Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a key mission of the Iowa Nutrient Research & Education Council (INREC). Coupling thorough assessments like this mapping project with the known science of conservation practices allows us to clearly show the impact of farmer efforts on a statewide scale,” said Shawn Richmond, INREC Director of Environmental Technology.

Practices mapped as part of the project include grassed waterways, contour strip cropping, contour buffer strips/prairie strips, terraces, ponds, and water and sediment control basins in 1,711 watersheds.

The initial number of practices identified by the mapping project include:
·         114,400 pond dams
·         327,900 acres of grassed waterways
·         506,100 terraces stretching 88,874 miles
·         246,100 water and sediment control basins stretching 12,555 miles
·         557,700 acres of contour buffer strips
·         109,800 acres of strip cropping

The project has garnered significant interest outside of Iowa as well. ISU was recently awarded a grant from a national remote sensing consortium to develop a handbook of the processes used for the project so other states can conduct a similar inventory of conservation practices. “Other states continue to look to Iowa as we set the standard for implementation of conservation practices and science-based progress measurement,” Naig added.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University GIS Facility, Iowa Nutrient Research & Education Council, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment provided the resources to complete the project.

Farm Sector Bankruptcy Rates Decline


Based on caseload statistics from the United States Courts database, Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings decreased in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017. From January to June 2018, family farmer and family fisherman Chapter 12 filings totaled 251 cases, down 26 cases or 9 percent from 277 filings during the first half of 2017.

The decline in farm bankruptcies comes despite expectations for acceleration in 2018. This aligns with USDA projections for farm sector equity and debt to remain flat in 2018 after adjusting for inflation.  Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings by state were the highest in Wisconsin, at 26, followed by Georgia, Kansas and Nebraska at 16 each.  Iowa had 9 bankruptcies in the first six months of 2018. 

Navigating Trade Challenges Focus As Grains Council Meeting Kicks Off In Denver

Navigating the new global trade landscape while maintaining and strengthening relationships with key partners, including Mexico and China, was front and center as the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting began Monday in Denver.

The meeting kicked off with keynote speaker Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle.

“Global trade is the most effective development tool we have,” Hills said. “It enlarges economic opportunities for poor countries. It is not just a humanitarian effort; it creates tomorrow’s trade partners. One might call it an act of enlightened self interest.

“But these are turbulent times. The U.S. government has always used diplomacy to advance the well-being of our own nation, but it worries me...that we are turning inward.”
Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle at the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting.

Hills, now chair and chief executive officer of Hills and Company International Consultants, served as USTR as a member of President George H.W. Bush’s Cabinet. In that role, she negotiated and concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“Knowing what NAFTA accomplished is critical to making sound decisions about the agreement. Today, 14 million jobs depend on trade with Mexico and Canada. Today, one-third of our total global trade is with our northern and southern neighbors. Our agricultural exports to Canada are up 300 percent and Mexico is up 500 percent. Last year, we sold 14 million tons of corn to Mexico," Hills told the audience of farmers and agribusiness delegates.

"Hopefully, we can find a way to resolve this tariff battle before it grows into a full-fledged tariff war and complete the NAFTA renegotiation that means so much to our economy," she said. "Once those customers are lost, they will be difficult to recover. We have no time to waste.”

Before Hills spoke, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, an active member of the Colorado Corn Growers Association and the National Corn Growers Association, welcomed USGC members and delegates to Denver.

Zhenglin Wei, counsellor for Agricultural, Economic and Commercial Affairs for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, spoke during the same session about the status and future of the U.S.-China agricultural and trade relationship. He said the current tensions are worrisome because trade between the two countries is beneficial for the well-being of the two countries and the prosperity and stability of the world economy.

Dan Pearson, principal at Pearson International Trade Services and former chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), addressed the current political environment regarding global trade, especially regarding NAFTA and China trade relations and the economics of better trade policies.

Erich Kuss, director of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City, offered an update on the current agricultural trade environment and political situation in Mexico after the recent election of Mexican President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Attendees also heard a lunchtime update from Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, who discussed the importance of rebuilding U.S. consensus among farmers and ranchers for trade and activities of that coalition.

More from the meeting is available on social media, using the hashtag #grains18.

Gulf Dead Zone Surprisingly Small

(AP) -- Scientists say this year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" is surprisingly small but the oxygen-depleted water rose higher toward the surface than usual.

Tuesday's report describes the fourth-smallest area ever measured where water at and above the sea floor off Louisiana holds too little oxygen to support marine life.

Nancy Rabalais (RAB-uh-lay), with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, began annual measurements in 1985. She says it's the world's second-largest human-caused dead zone, behind only the Baltic Sea.

Scientists had predicted an average-sized area this year.

Rabalais says winds over shallow areas probably mixed oxygen into water, while other winds squeezed oxygen-poor water into narrower confines. The dead zone covers about 2,720 square miles (7,040 square kilometers), rising in some areas about two-thirds of the way to the surface.

Cattle vs. Beef Cycles

Josh Maples, Extension Economist, Dept of Ag Econ, Mississippi State University

The latest USDA Cattle report provided the most recent pieces of information to the ever-evolving cattle inventory picture. The big news was the number of heifers held for replacement declined year-over-year and the 2018 calf crop is estimated to be about two percent larger than 2017. The calf crop number tells a story of continued larger beef production for 2019 while the lower heifer retention rate suggests herd growth is slowing. Combine the retention rate with cow and heifer slaughter data and they collectively points to a significantly slowing herd growth rate.

Taken at face value, these two pieces of information can seem a little contradictory. One suggests larger supplies while the other suggests lower supplies. Of course, timing is key. The calf crop number is a pretty definitive indicator of larger beef supplies in 2019 because those calves will be going through the beef production system next year. The heifer retention number is an indication that we are probably approaching the next cattle inventory peak over the next few years. Which is more important? The easy answer is both. But the dynamics of the two have changed over time as cycles move from lows (troughs) to peaks and back.

Cattle inventory cycles are getting flatter. By flatter, I mean the difference between the low point and high point has shrunk. The average trough to peak growth for the four cycles that occurred between 1938 and 1979 was about 20.3 million head. The same average for the three cycles that occurred between 1979 and 2014 was just 4.8 million head. For 2018, we are about 5.9 million head above the starting low point in 2014 for the current cycle.

The largest total cattle inventory on record was in 1975 at 132 million head of cattle - nearly 38 million more than the January 2018 report showed. The resulting beef production in 1976 was 25.7 billion pounds. In 2018 - with 38 million fewer total cattle than 1975 - beef production forecasts are around 27.3 billion pounds. Cattle inventory cycles are getting flatter because we are getting more beef from fewer cattle. It doesn't take a 20 million head increase to trigger enough beef supply pressure on prices to signal producers to retain fewer heifers.

Beef production and demand are drivers for cattle prices. The lower heifer retention rate is certainly welcome news for those looking for an end to the pressure of larger supplies on cattle prices. But a better measure will be the estimated beef production over the next few years.

Alliance releases report from 2018 Taking Action for Animals Conference

The Animal Agriculture Alliance released a report today detailing observations from the Taking Action for Animals Conference, held July 20 – 23 in Arlington, Va. The event was organized by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“Farmers, ranchers and food companies are under constant pressure from animal rights activist groups who want to eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from everyone’s plate,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “HSUS may not seem as extreme as many activist groups, but they share the same vegan agenda. We hope this report along with our report from the 2018 National Animal Rights Conference will help farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and all those dedicated to providing a safe food supply prepare for activist tactics and threats. Likewise, we hope they shed light on groups that fundraise on pets to help consumers better understand their true agenda.”

Speakers at the conference focused on how to work with legislators on passing bills that make raising livestock and poultry more difficult for farmers and ranchers. “We are reaching in our toolbox and using everything we can,” said Kitty Block, HSUS acting president and CEO. “The single most important thing you can do is build a relationship with your legislator,” added Kristen Tullo, HSUS Pennsylvania state director. “We all want more laws for animals,” said Carol Misseldine, HSUS senior director of grassroots and engagement.

Local county and city officials should be prepared for increased efforts by activists as attendees at the conference were urged to take legislative action at the local level to build momentum for their state. “You can change the world with local ordinance," Misseldine said. Attendees were advised to stay focused on a single issue when meeting with their representative, yet were also encouraged to join forces with environmental activists.

Attendees were also urged to reach across party lines on animal-related issues with speakers saying, “The term Democrat or Republican doesn't really mean anything” (Joe Trippi, TNR Campaigns). “Over time, we will win, and the animals will win,” Trippi added. “You're not going to agree with someone one hundred percent of the time,” said Stephen Borg, a former congressional staffer now with The Keelan Group. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” added Borg.

Another topic discussed at this year’s conference was enacting change through corporate engagement. “We can do far more by engaging institutions,” said Kristie Middleton, HSUS managing director for farm animal protection and formerly with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Middleton discussed how it's easier to persuade a food director to change a menu for what thousands of people eat than trying to persuade individuals on the street to go vegan. "Be relentless and try to get these institutions to a 'yes'," Middleton added.

The 2018 Taking Action for Animals Conference Report, which includes personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members in the Resource Library on the Alliance website. The Alliance also has reports from previous animal rights conferences accessible to members on its website.

OSHA Cites Grain Company After Workers Die in Storage Bin

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Gavilon Grain LLC -- operator of a grain bin based in Wichita, Kansas -- after two workers were fatally engulfed in a soybean storage bin.

The company faces proposed penalties of $507,374, and OSHA has placed Gavilon Grain LLC in the Agency's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited Gavilon Grain LLC for failing to provide employees with lifelines and fall protection; lockout equipment; provide rescue equipment; and allowing employees to enter a bin in which bridged and/or hung-up grain was present.

"Moving grain acts like quick sand, and can bury a worker in seconds," said OSHA Regional Administrator Kimberly Stille.

"This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had provided workers with proper safety equipment, and followed required safety procedures to protect workers from grain bin hazards."

The company has contested the citations and will appear before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

AGCO Reports Improved Second Quarter Results

AGCO reported net sales of approximately $2.5 billion for the second quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 17.2% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Reported net income was $1.14 per share for the second quarter of 2018, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and costs associated with an early retirement of debt, was $1.32 per share. These results compare to a reported net income of $1.14 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, of $1.15 per share for the second quarter of 2017. Excluding favorable currency translation impacts of approximately 3.3%, net sales in the second quarter of 2018 increased approximately 13.9% compared to the second quarter of 2017.

Net sales for the first six months of 2018 were approximately $4.5 billion, an increase of approximately 19.8% compared to the same period in 2017. Excluding favorable currency translation impacts of approximately 5.9%, net sales for the first six months of 2018 increased approximately 13.9% compared to the same period in 2017. For the first six months of 2018, reported net income was $1.44 per share, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and costs associated with an early retirement of debt, was $1.68 per share. These results compare to reported net income of $1.02 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and a non-cash expense related to waived stock compensation, of $1.13 per share for the first six months of 2017.

Caterpillar Reports Strong Quarter Earnings

Caterpillar Inc. announced second-quarter 2018 sales and revenues of $14.0 billion, compared with $11.3 billion in the second quarter of 2017, a 24 percent increase. Second-quarter 2018 profit per share of $2.82 was a second-quarter record. Profit per share was $1.35 in the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted profit per share in the second quarter of 2018 was $2.97, compared with second-quarter 2017 adjusted profit per share of $1.49.

"Caterpillar delivered record second-quarter profit per share," said Caterpillar CEO Jim Umpleby. "Our team is doing a great job executing our strategy for profitable growth, focusing on operational excellence, expanded offerings and services."

During the second quarter of 2018, Machinery, Energy & Transportation (ME&T) operating cash flow was $2.1 billion, and the company repurchased $750 million of Caterpillar common stock.

In June, the board of directors approved an increase to the quarterly dividend of 10 percent to $0.86 per share. The second quarter of 2018 ended with an enterprise cash balance of $8.7 billion.

Arysta LifeScience Launches BATALIUM Herbicide for Wheat

A unique high-performance herbicide with three modes of action that provides all-in-one weed control is now available to wheat growers. Arysta LifeScience announces the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted registration for BATALIUM™ Herbicide for use in spring, durum and winter wheat.

BATALIUM is a cross-spectrum herbicide that provides rapid and long-lasting control of tough grasses in wheat while also eliminating a wide spectrum of broadleaf weeds, all in one application. Its three distinct modes of action, in Groups 2, 4 and 6, also make the herbicide a valuable resistance management tool.

“BATALIUM offers unmatched weed control and flexibility that meets the growing demands of wheat growers, today and in the future,” said Kathy Seitzinger, Marketing Manager – Herbicides, Arysta LifeScience. “By simplifying grass and broadleaf weed control with one application, BATALIUM is a better way to control weeds, helping wheat growers achieve more efficient weed control and simply get more done.”

Featuring best-in-class crop safety, BATALIUM can be used in a variety of crop rotation programs for control of a vast array of broadleaf weeds such as common lambsquarters, wild buckwheat, wild mustard, pigweed, Russian thistle and shepherd's-purse. BATALIUM also provides quick knockdown and residual control of tough grasses, such as green and yellow foxtail, wild oats and others. BATALIUM is also tank-mixable for even broader-spectrum control of weeds.

“For growers looking for a better way to control weeds, BATALIUM is a welcomed addition in their crop protection toolbox,” Seitzinger says. “Our extensive testing of the product has shown consistent performance in controlling competitive weeds in wheat while offering significant time-savings advantages of a one-pass application.”

Application should be made to the crop from 2-leaf stage up to 60 days prior to harvest. Winter wheat applications can be made in the fall or spring. As for weeds, make application to control grass weeds from 1-4 leaf stage. Application should be made to control broadleaf weeds up to 4 inches tall.

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30 Crop Progress & Condition Report - NE - IA - US


For the week ending July 29, 2018, there were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 15 short, 79 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 18 short, 78 adequate, and 1 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 11 fair, 56 good, and 30 excellent. Corn silking was 91 percent, near 89 last year and 88 for the five-year average. Dough was 38 percent, well ahead of 16 last year and 17 average. Dented was 2 percent.

Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 11 fair, 58 good, and 27 excellent. Soybeans blooming was 87 percent, near 86 last year and 84 average. Setting pods was 50 percent, ahead of 44 last year and 41 average.

Winter wheat harvested was 89 percent, behind 98 last year, but near 88 average.

Sorghum condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 15 fair, 61 good, and 23 excellent. Sorghum headed was 53 percent, well ahead of 24 last year, and ahead of 36 average. Coloring was 4 percent, near 2 last year and 3 average.

Oats harvested was 93 percent, ahead of 87 last year and 75 average.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 5 poor, 21 fair, 58 good, and 13 excellent.


Iowa farmers had 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 29, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Activities for the week included harvesting hay and oats for grain, applying chemicals and moving grain.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 5 percent very short, 20 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 17 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Floodwaters continued to recede in northwest and north central Iowa while subsoil moisture levels rated short to very short remain above 70 percent in south central and southeastern Iowa.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop has silked, 10 days ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Thirty-one percent of the corn crop has reached the dough stage or beyond, 5 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. Corn condition rated 78 percent good to excellent.

Ninety percent of the soybean crop was blooming with 63 percent setting pods, 6 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-seven percent of the oat crop was turning color or beyond, with 61 percent of the crop harvested for grain. Oat condition was rated 75 percent good to excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa hay reached 93 percent complete, 11 days ahead of average. The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 13 percent complete, 1 day ahead of the average. Hay condition rated 68 percent good to excellent.

Pasture conditions declined to 54 percent rated good to excellent. Cooler temperatures improved livestock conditions; however, drought conditions in the southern one-third of the State caused some cattle producers to rotate pasture and haul water.

USDA:  Corn, Soybean Conditions Steady

Good-to-excellent condition ratings for the nation's corn and soybeans were both unchanged last week, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

NASS estimated that 72% of the nation's corn was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, July 29, the same as the previous week. Soybean condition was rated 70% good to excellent, also the same as the previous week.

Nationwide, both corn and soybeans continued to progress at a faster-than-normal pace. Corn silking was estimated at 91%, 9 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 82%. Thirty-eight percent of corn was in the dough stage, 18 percentage points ahead of the average of 20%.

Meanwhile, soybeans were 86% blooming as of Sunday, 9 percentage points ahead of the average of 77%, and 60% of soybeans were setting pods, 19 percentage points ahead of the average of 41%.

NASS estimated that 85% of winter wheat was harvested as of Sunday, behind last year's pace of 87%, but near the five-year average of 86%.

Spring wheat harvest also began last week, mostly in South Dakota, with USDA estimating that 4% of the crop was harvested nationwide as of Sunday, behind last year's 8% but equal to the five-year average.

Sorghum was 54% headed as of Sunday, ahead of 47% last year and also ahead of the five-year average of 50%. Sorghum coloring was 26%, ahead of 23% last year but near the five-year average of 27%. Sorghum condition was rated 52% good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from 49% the previous week.

Barley was 97% headed as of Sunday, slightly behind 99% last year and near the average pace of 98%. Two percent of barley was harvested as of Sunday, behind 5% last year and also behind the average of 6%. Barley condition was down 1 percentage point to 80% good to excellent last week. Oats were 38% harvested as of Sunday, ahead of 33% for last year and also ahead of the five-year average of 35%. Oat's good-to-excellent condition rating declined by 1 percentage point.

Rice was 64% headed as of Sunday, ahead of 62% last year and well ahead of the average of 54%. Cotton was 88% squaring, near the average of 89%. Forty-nine percent of cotton was setting bolls, near the average pace of 48%. Cotton's good-to-excellent condition rating was up 4 percentage points while rice's good-to-excellent rating was down 2 percentage points.

Monday July 30 Ag News

Youth Learn, Compete in Crop Scouting Contest 

Four teams honed their crop scouting skills while vying for top honors in the fifth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska Youth Thursday at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. Teams of students who had completed 5-12th grades completed a written knowledge test and seven crop scouting exercises in field plots.

The contest is to help students learn crop scouting and principles of integrated pest management (IPM) for corn and soybeans in Nebraska, to obtain knowledge and skills that will be helpful in future careers, and to demonstrate newer crop scouting technologies.

Winners were:
First place – Colfax County 4-H (Logan Nelson, Brad Kratochvil, Austin Steffensmeier and Korbin Kudera)

Second place – Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club of Cuming County (Payton and Levi Schiller, Matthew and James Rolf and Kaleb Hasenkamp)

Third place – Humphrey FFA Team No. 2 (Mikayla Martensen, Bryce Classen, Jacob Brandl, and Wyatt Wegener)

The top-scoring teams won prizes of $500 for first, $250 for second, $100 for third place. The top two teams will represent Nebraska at the regional competition held in Nebraska in late August.

Also participating was the Fillmore Central FFA with Carson and Brock Tatro, KayLynn Sieber, Kaylea Geiser and Gunner Gewecke.

Teams were expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields, including crop staging; patterns of crop injury; and disease, insect and weed seedling identification.

More information about the crop scouting competition is available online at cropwatch.unl.edu/youth under the link for "Crop Scouting Competition.”

This program was sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, the Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association, and Farm Credit Services of America in collaboration with Nebraska Extension. If you or a company you know would be interested in sponsoring the 2019 program, please contact brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

Ricketts Announces Rural Broadband Task Force Members

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced representatives to serve on the Rural Broadband Task Force.  The task force will review issues related to availability, adoption, and affordability of broadband services in rural areas of Nebraska and make recommendations to the Legislature. 

“While Nebraska has rightly earned a reputation as the Silicon Prairie, we have more work to do to ensure that every part of the state has access to broadband to grow businesses, support smart farming, and to improve access to health care and educational opportunities,” said Governor Ricketts.

Governor Ricketts has appointed the following members to the task force:
·     Andrew Buker, Omaha, Executive Director of Infrastructure Services, Information Technology Services, University of Nebraska (representing Nebraska postsecondary educational institutions)
·     Ron Cone, Kearney, Director of Network Information Services, ESU 10 (representing rural schools offering kindergarten through grade twelve)
·     Isaiah Graham, St. Paul, Vice President, Homestead Bank (representing the Nebraska business community)
·     Zachary Hunnicutt, Giltner, corn, popcorn, and soybean farmer, Hunnicutt Farms (representing agribusiness)
·     Timothy Lindahl, Sidney, CEO/General Manager, Wheat Belt Public Power District (representing the public power industry)
·     Tom Shoemaker, Cambridge, President, Pinpoint Communications, Inc. (representing the regulated wireline telecommunications industry)
·     Daniel Spray, Norfolk, Owner, Precision Technology, Inc. (representing the wireless telecommunications industry)
·     Anna Turman, Hay Springs, CEO, Chadron Community Hospital and Health Services (representing health care providers)

Other members of the 14-member task force include Ed Toner, Chief Information Officer for the State of Nebraska and Chair of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, who will act as Chair of the Rural Broadband Task Force; Mary Ridder, Chair, Nebraska Public Service Commission; Dave Rippe, Director, Nebraska Department of Economic Development; Steve Wellman, Director, Nebraska Department of Agriculture; Senator Curt Friesen, District 34, Chair, Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, Nebraska Legislature; and Senator Bruce Bostelman, District 23, Nebraska Legislature.

“With broadband available to 89 percent of Nebraskans, but only 66 percent of rural Nebraskans, Nebraska is facing a rural-urban digital divide,” said Toner.  “I welcome the opportunity to work with key stakeholders on the Rural Broadband Task Force to improve broadband availability in Nebraska.”

The task force was created by LB 994, which was passed 48-0-1 by the Legislature and signed by Governor Ricketts on April 17.  The bill was introduced by Senator Curt Friesen, chair of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.  The task force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by Nov. 1, 2019.

Christensen Joins ISU Extension and Outreach as Farm Management Specialist

Tim Christensen has joined Iowa State University Extension and Outreach as a farm management specialist.

Christensen, who has worked at Iowa State as an agricultural specialist since 2015, will cover the counties of Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Greene, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon and Guthrie for ISU Extension and Outreach.

“I am very excited to be working with a talented team of farm management specialists,” Christensen said. “I am looking forward to getting out and meeting and working with people in the ag industry in west central Iowa.”

Christensen joins a team of eight farm management specialists located throughout Iowa who deliver the latest in research-based information on farm financial and risk management, instructions on government programs such as the farm bill and crop insurance, guidance on strategic and business planning and information on agricultural marketing tools and supply chains to farm owners and operators.

“Tim is perfectly suited for this job because he has a background that has touched on all the major agricultural markets within Iowa,” said Chad Hart, associate professor and extension economist at Iowa State. “He has worked within the co-op system, helping corn and soybean producers market their crops. He also has extensive experience in the livestock community, which is a major part of the ag industry in west central Iowa where he will be based. He has a great background of knowledge and skills to bring to the table and can help address a wide variety of producer needs.”

Prior to joining ISU Extension and Outreach Christensen was as an agriculture specialist for Iowa State University, working to monitor the health and wellbeing of Iowa State’s animals, maintaining detailed herd health records and training students and staff on animal welfare protocols.

Christensen also has experience as a location manager for Farmers Cooperative and as a group leader of vet services at Boehringer Ingelheim in Fort Dodge.

He holds a degree in animal science with a minor in commercial agriculture from Northwest Missouri State University.

Registration Open for Borlaug Dialogue Conference

Registration for the 2018 Borlaug Dialogue is open! Register now for the event in Des Moines, Iowa on October 17-19 as they convene a diverse array of scientific experts, policy leaders, business executives, development researchers and farmers to address the most critical issues in global food security.

This year's Borlaug Dialogue theme, "Rise to the Challenge," refers to the challenge of sustainably and nutritiously feeding the more than nine billion people who will be on our planet by 2050. The 2018 Laureates, Drs. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro, have risen to the challenge by championing maternal and child nutrition.

Registration for our 2018 events includes access to engaging Symposium plenary sessions, two Symposium luncheons and a breakfast, the Borlaug Field Award Presentation and Reception at the spectacular Hall of Laureates, informative exhibits, networking opportunities and more. The Symposium culminates with the 2018 World Food Prize Laureate Luncheon honoring Drs. Lawrence Haddad and David Nabarro as the 2018 Laureates.

U.S. Grains Council Hosts 58th Annual Board Of Delegates Meeting In Denver

Members, delegates and global staff from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) have gathered in Denver for the organization's 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, starting Monday and running through Wednesday.

“We gather at this meeting to discuss the dynamic and developing environment for global grains trade as well as demand opportunities for feed grains and their co-products around the world,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and farmer from Iowa. “Our goal is always to better understand agriculture’s role in world trade and how to maintain good working relationships with our international trading partners while we explore new export frontiers.”

Ambassador Carla Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and now head of a trade-focused consulting firm, will address the group during the first general session on Monday. She will be joined by Zhenglin Wei, counselor for Agricultural, Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China; Dan Pearson, former chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission; and Erich Kuss, director of USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City. Farmers for Free Trade Executive Director Brian Kuehl will also speak Monday on building the American consensus for trade.

USGC Advisory Teams will also meet on Monday, and commodity sectors will meet on Tuesday, to discuss issues of importance in their areas of focus. Tuesday's general sessions will highlight the organization’s work in Middle East markets and the growing world market for ethanol. The Council will hold its business meeting on Wednesday.

“Our theme – Friends and Frontiers – is timely, as we discuss how to strengthen relationships with key international trading partners while addressing challenges that have come before agriculture markets in recent months,” Keller said.

“This meeting highlights the critical trade efforts the Council is engaging in around the world as we better understand what must be done to continue building global demand for our products.”

More from the meeting will be available on social media, using the hashtag #grains18.

In Argentina, Perdue Welcomes U.S. Pork Back to Market

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today celebrated the reintroduction of American pork products to the Argentine market after more than 20 years by slicing a ten pound honey baked ham.

“The U.S. is the world’s third largest pork producer and a top exporter,” Secretary Perdue said. “This new market is a big victory for American farmers and ranchers. I am confident that once the people of Argentina get a taste of American pork products, they will only want more. This is a great day for our agriculture community and an example of how the Trump Administration is committed to supporting our producers by opening new markets for their products.”

The return of U.S. pork products to Argentina was sealed during Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Buenos Aires. Technical staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have been working with Argentina’s Ministry  on the terms of the agreement that are practical, science-based and consistent with relevant international animal health standards.

As President Trump and President Macri agreed in a Joint Statement in April 2017 in Washington, both countries are committed to further expansion of agricultural trade between the United States and Argentina.

CWT Assists with 15.4 Million Pounds of Cheese and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperatives accepted offers of export assistance from CWT that helped them capture contracts to sell 908,305 pounds (412 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese and 14.495 million pounds (6,575 metric tons) of whole milk powder going to customers in Asia and Oceania. The product has been contracted for delivery in the period from August through December 2018.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 45.446 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 12.085 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) and 27.106 million pounds of whole milk powder to 29 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 889.245 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. Totals have been adjusted due to cancellations.

This activity reflects CWT management beginning the process of implementing the strategic plan approved by the CWT Committee in March. The changes will enhance the effectiveness of the program and facilitate member export opportunities.

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.

U.S. Grain Exports Up at St. Lawrence Seaway

United States grain exports via the St. Lawrence Seaway are up 32.1 percent this season compared to 2017.

Construction materials were also heavily influential in the latest results with a nearly 38 percent increase in asphalt from the same time last year, as well as increases in cement and stone.

"Summer is the season for construction projects and ships have been delivering materials for major building projects across the region," says Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. "U.S. grain exports are also up this season and illustrate the importance of marine transportation to so many of America's economic sectors.

"This was underlined by a new study released last week showing Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping supports 147,500 jobs and $25.6 billion in economic activity in United States."

Overall cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway between March 29 and June 30 totaled 12.1 million metric tons, down by 2 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

The slight decrease is due to the later and slower start of the season and a decline in salt shipments.

Year-to-date U.S. grain shipments via the Seaway (between March 29 and June 30) totaled 681,000 metric tons, up 32.1 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Liquid bulk shipments, which include petroleum and asphalt products among others, totaled 1.8 million metric tons.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Friday July 27 Ag News

Hansen Named “Friend of Agriculture” by Nebraska Farm Bureau PAC

Ben Hansen of Blair has been designated a “Friend of Agriculture” by Nebraska Farm Bureau – PAC (NEFB-PAC), Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. Hansen is seeking to represent District 16 in the Nebraska Legislature.

“Ben Hansen is a small business owner and a community leader. During his service on the Blair City Council he has worked to control city spending and hold the line on taxes. He’s made it clear that he will bring the same conservative, common sense approach to the Nebraska Legislature,” said Mark McHargue of Central City, chairman of NEFB-PAC and first vice president of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

According to McHargue, Hansen not only understands the connection between agriculture and rural communities, but the importance of both to Nebraska’s broader economy.

“As a small business owner in a rural community, he knows how important agriculture is locally and to the state’s economy. As a member of the board of directors for the Blair Area Chamber of Commerce, the Blair Community School Foundation board of directors, and Blair Lions Club, he’s worked with a variety of interests. We need people who can bring that experience to the Legislature and we are proud to offer our support for Ben as he seeks the District 16 legislative seat,” said McHargue.

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Agriculture” designation is given to selected candidates for public office based on their commitment to and positions on agricultural issues, qualifications, previous experience, communication abilities, and their ability to represent their district. 

Now's an Opportune Time to Scout for SCN

John Wilson - NE Extension Educator, Burt County

July through August is a good time to check soybean fields for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN), the most devastating pest for soybean growers in Nebraska and across the United States.

Yield losses of 25-30% have been documented in fields with no visible injury on the soybean plants. That is why detection of SCN is so important. You need to know if it is present in your field so you can start managing it if it is there.

SCN cysts develop on soybean roots about a month after soybeans emerge and by now may have been on roots in infested fields for a month or more.

Later in the season you may become aware of more subtle signs of an SCN problem. A field with SCN may have dark green, healthy-looking plants, but there can be a slight variation in height. The areas with SCN may be slightly shorter than surrounding soybeans. If conditions become dry, these pockets may wilt while the rest of the field may not. Often wilting may not occur even if SCN is present.

Detecting SCN

There are two ways to detect SCN in fields: a close visual observation of the root system and a soil sample analyzed for the presence of SCN.

For a visual inspection, dig up plants and examine the root system for cysts. Cysts are the only stage in this nematode’s life cycle that can be seen without a microscope. Look for a small, lemon-shaped, white to cream colored "bump" on the outside of the root.

These may be confused with nodules that contain the nitrogen-fixing bacteria normally found on a soybean root. The cyst is much smaller, oblong, and lighter in color than nodules. When scouting fields, if you don't find cysts, you cannot be sure that your field is SCN-free. However, if you DO find cysts, you know you have the pest and need to take action to reduce its buildup in the soil and the resulting yield losses.

A visual examination can confirm its presence, but it does not give you a measure of the level of SCN in the soil. For a more definitive determination you’ll need to take a soil sample, much as you would sample for fertilizer recommendations. Take 15-25 cores from a field, mix them together, and then take a small sample from this mixture.

The cyst is the female nematode that lived inside the soybean root. As it develops eggs, it swells up and ruptures through the root wall. Each cyst can contain up to 400 eggs. Some eggs are released in the soil and the life cycle repeats every 25-28 days.

Because SCN has several generations each growing season and because it is a prolific egg producer, the population of SCN can build up dramatically in a field in one season. Even though the SCN population may not be high enough to cause yield damage this year, it can build up to levels where it will cause problems the next time soybeans are planted, even if there is a year or two of corn between the two soybean crops.

Yield as an Indicator of SCN

The University of Nebraska has had 29 research sites comparing SCN-resistant and SCN-susceptible soybean varieties in fields infested with SCN and 11 sites where the same varieties were planted in fields with no SCN. In infested fields, resistant varieties out-yielded susceptible varieties by an average of about six bushels per acre for about a 10% yield increase. In fields where SCN was not present, susceptible varieties out-yielded resistant varieties by an average of two bushels per acre.

Unlike with other pests, SCN damage to a plant often isn’t obvious. Frequently, lower yields are the first indication that something is wrong. Soybean yields in a given field may hit a plateau or even drop for no apparent reason such as weather or herbicide damage, while corn yields in the same field continue to improve.

Another sign is when low-yielding areas on a yield map can’t be attributed to soil type, weed or insect infestations, compaction, or other yield-limiting factors.

Neither of these indicators is a guarantee there is SCN in the field, but it would be one of the first things to check.

More Information and Free Analysis

For more information about scouting for SCN, what to do if you have it in your fields, or for bags to submit soil samples for a free SCN analysis (worth $20 per sample), contact your local Nebraska Extension Office. Also see the Soybean Cyst Nematode section in the Plant Disease Management section of CropWatch.

Crop Diseases Confirmed in Corn and Soybean July 16-26 

Kyle Broderick - Coordinator of the UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic

Next week while I am attending the American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting and International Congress of Plant Pathology, the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic will be operating at partial capacity until Monday, Aug 6.  Samples may still be submitted, but turnaround time will be delayed.  All samples submitted to the clinic during this time will be stored under refrigerated conditions to maintain quality until the samples can be read.

The following diseases were reported in samples submitted to the UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab from July 16 – July 26.


East District – Anthracnose, brown stem rot, Phytophthora root and stem rot, stem canker, charcoal rot
Northeast District – Frogeye leaf spot, Phyllosticta leaf spot


East District – Common rust, southern rust, gray leaf spot, eyespot, gray leaf spot (GLS), Physoderma brown spot, holcus spot, northern corn leaf blight, northern corn leaf spot, southern corn leaf blight, Goss’s wilt
Northeast District – Gray leaf spot, southern rust


Find more information and photos about these diseases in the Crop Disease Management section of CropWatch for Soybean and Corn.

Visit the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic page in CropWatch for
-    information on how to submit crop and pest samples,
-    a sample submission form, and
-    a fee schedule for diagnostic services.

Recap of 2017-18 Eastern Nebraska Winter Wheat Crop 

Nathan Mueller - NE Extension Educator, Dodge County

The winter wheat yield across Nebraska is projected by USDA-NASS to be 48 bushels per acre, which is up 2 bushels from 2017, but down 6 bushels from 2016. However, 2018 wheat yields in eastern Nebraska were significantly lower compared to the past two years.  Let’s break down this past growing season by crop reporting districts.

Northeast and East Central Nebraska

Wheat grown in these two districts only makes up about 20% of the eastern Nebraska wheat acres. Overall, abnormally dry conditions were limited to the southern portion of the east central district during the growing season. Growers found wheat yields this July ranging from 40 to 80 bushels per acre for field averages with test weights of 56 to 62 pounds and protein from 12% to 14%. University of Nebraska Winter Wheat Variety Test results in Lancaster, Saunders, and Washington counties averaged 90 bushels per acre.

Looking back to the start of the season, above-average rainfall in early October delayed planting until the third and fourth week of October. An extremely dry November along with a colder than average first half of November combined with late planting led to reduced fall tillering. Soil moisture conditions were abnormally dry by December. Record cold temperatures in April significantly delayed development by two weeks, but a record hot May and hot June moved harvest back close to normal the second week of July. Daytime highs of over 100°F for several days at the end of May likely affected pollination and kernel abortion in the area.

Wheat was significantly shorter than in past growing seasons. Soil moisture was only a minor factor limiting growth in east central and northeast Nebraska. We know from past experience that late-planted wheat is likely going to be shorter. However, a combination of late planting, a very cold April followed by a hot May during vegetative growth/elongation likely led to the short-statured wheat crop. Unfortunately, heat stress, excessive rainfall, and too many cloudy days in June further reduced wheat yields. Though not common across the area, there was head shattering near Lincoln prior to harvest that impacted some varieties.

There was very little spring disease pressure and an absence of stripe rust unlike in the past several growing seasons. However, late season (after flowering) disease pressure from bacterial leaf streak, leaf rust, and Fusarium head blight was noticeable in June.

Young leaders learn about U.S. agriculture and corn policy during annual D.C. leadership mission

Nine young leaders visited Washington, D.C. July 15-19, 2018 to learn about corn policy development, explore American agriculture outside of the Midwest, and visit with congressional leaders and agribusinesses. The trip was sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board and is designed to encourage young leaders to take an active role in the agricultural industry.

“Through the Nebraska Corn leadership program, I was able to compare farming in the eastern portion of the country to what we do back home in Nebraska,” said Cody Mallette, a junior agricultural business student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “I also have a better understanding of policy development related to corn production. It was great to see corn farmers come together from several different states to work on common goals and strategize for the future.”

The nine-member leadership team consisted of:
    Heidi Borg, Wakefield, Nebraska
    Evan Janzen, Aurora, Nebraska
    Bryce Lammers, Fordyce, Nebraska
    Cody Mallette, Oakland, Nebraska
    Matt Morton, Nehawka, Nebraska
    Courtney Nelson, Monroe, Nebraska
    Ted Retzlaff, Eagle, Nebraska
    Shelby Riggs, Mitchell, South Dakota
    Jacob Rix, Omaha, Nebraska

Early in the week, the group visited a variety of farms specializing in poultry, organic grain and produce, trees and shrubs. The leadership team then spent time in Washington, D.C. and toured U.S. national monuments and visited with USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach. As the week progressed, the group participated in Corn Congress, a multi-day policy development event organized by the National Corn Growers Association. During Corn Congress, participants had time to meet with Nebraska’s congressional leaders and national agribusinesses, such as the U.S. Grains Council, the American Farm Bureau and Growth Energy.

“Nebraska agriculture has always been a part of my life, but I never fully understood how national issues and policy development can impact local farmers,” said Courtney Nelson, a sophomore agricultural engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “By attending Nebraska Corn’s leadership program, I have a greater knowledge of the magnitude of how policy impacts farming in the Midwest and across the country.”

Participants of Nebraska Corn’s leadership group were selected after completing an application process. This is the sixth year the Nebraska Corn Board has sponsored the leadership group.

NE Corn Board to Meet

The Nebraska Corn Board will hold its next meeting Wednesday, August 15 and Thursday, August 16, 2018 at Bayside located at 865 Lakeview West Rd, Brule, Nebraska.

The Board will conduct regular board business and hold election of officers during the morning of August 15th.  The remainder of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, the Board will hold a joint Nebraska Corn Growers Association and Nebraska Corn Board meeting.  The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for public discussion.  A copy of the agenda is available by writing to the Nebraska Corn Board, PO Box 95107, Lincoln, NE  68509, sending an email to susan.zabel@nebraska.gov or by calling 402/471-2676.

Iowa Soybean Association to Engage Fairgoers on Food, Farming

With more than one million fairgoers expected to attend the 2018 Iowa State Fair, the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) takes to the ground to engage Iowans about the many ways soybean production and agriculture positively impacts their lives, whether at work or play.

“Follow A Farmer!” with the Iowa Food & Family Project

The Iowa Food & Family Project (www.iowafoodandfamily.com) exhibit in the South Atrium of the Varied Industries Building will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and offers fairgoers a unique perspective about agriculture, farm families, food and food retailers.

More than 250,000 fairgoers are expected to “follow a farmer” through a one-of-a-kind, home-in-barn where they will learn about the process of bringing food from the field to the table. Visitors can then complete a short quiz and enter to win a $500 meat & dairy bundle, $500 Hy-Vee Gift Card, $500 Earl May Dream Garden or Casey’s Pizza for a Year.

Visitors of all ages can also take their turn at the Food and Farm Trivia Wheel and meet celebrity artists such as Governor Kim Reynolds, mascots Cy and Herky, and former Hawkeye quarterback Chuck Long as they paint a larger-than-life mural celebrating Iowa and the families and food that grow here.  “The iconic Iowa State Fair is the perfect opportunity to unite Iowans and celebrate our state’s rural and urban communities,” says Kelly Visser, Iowa Soybean Association Communications Program Coordinator. “The lineup of fun, hands-on activities ISA is involved in gives fairgoers the opportunity to learn where their food comes from and connect with the farmers who grow it.”

Ag Building and Animal Learning Center

ISA will also sponsor activities at the Ag Building and Animal Learning Center – two popular State Fair destinations. Soybean farmers will be in the Ag Building Aug. 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to share insights about the soybean industry and answer questions about production, environmental stewardship and trade. Visitors can test their agricultural knowledge and win a special prize.

Activities at the Animal Learning Center will reinforce the important partnership between soybean farmers and the livestock they feed. A display with lift tabs will offer unique insights about the many foods and household products made with soy.

Little Hands on the Farm

The ISA is proud to sponsor the Little Hands on the Farm Kids Zone on the fairground’s north side. Little Hands on the Farm teaches children the importance of agriculture and how it affects their daily lives in a fun and interactive way.

Children ages two to ten become farmers at this free, hands-on exhibit. Children obtain a gathering basket and proceed along a path that includes a garden, grain bin, soybeans, apple orchard, chicken coop, tractor shed, sheep barn and dairy barn.

After gathering items along the way, children will get the chance to sell these items at the Little Hands on the Farm Farmers’ Market for a Little Hands dollar to spend at the Grocery Store for such items as a piece of fruit, a granola bar or an ice cream sandwich.

Biodiesel Powering the Fair

ISA and home-grown biodiesel will also power the State Fair trams, raising awareness on the importance of this biofuel. Biodiesel is America’s first Advanced Biofuel, it’s renewable, clean-burning and reduces America’s dependence on imported diesel.

Farm to Fair

On Sunday, Aug. 12 nearly 100 farmers will welcome 400 guests as they gather around the largest dinner table ever set at the Iowa State Fair. The table will be set in the middle of the Grand Concourse and encourage farm and city fellowship. The ISA is proud to help sponsor this unique event where farmers will share how food is grown and makes its way from the farm to the fair.

Cattlemen Urge Trump to Support Oversight of Lab-Grown Fake Meat

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and other leading organizations in the animal agriculture industry have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to ensure the USDA acts as the primary regulatory authority over lab-grown fake meat products. The Federal Meat Inspection Act designates USDA as the main oversight body for emerging lab-grown products. However, in recent weeks the Food and Drug Administration has moved aggressively to assert regulatory jurisdiction over lab-grown fake meat.

"The American people elected President Trump because they trusted him to promote a level playing field for American products around the world," said NCBA President Kevin Kester. "Now, the President has the chance to demonstrate his support for free and fair markets right here at home. By supporting USDA oversight of lab-grown fake meat, the President will protect American consumers and ensure that America's farmers and ranchers are not disadvantaged in the marketplace."

In the letter, the Barnyard groups highlight the critical role USDA plays in enforcing the same rigorous food safety and labeling standards for all meat and poultry products.

"Undoubtedly, USDA's exacting standards impose regulatory burdens on meat and poultry producers - as they should," the groups wrote. "However, if cell-cultured protein companies want the privilege of marketing their products as meat and poultry products to the American public, in order to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace, they should be happy to follow the same rules as everyone else. Consumers expect and deserve nothing less."


The National Pork Producers Council and other meat and livestock organizations sent a letter to President Trump this week urging him to take a stand on the regulatory dispute over lab-produced cultured protein. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are seeking regulatory authority.  In the letter to the president, NPPC and other livestock groups said, “Protecting the health and welfare of consumers is our top priority and this goal is achieved under a comprehensive regulatory system administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). That system ensures all meat and poultry products are held to the same rigorous food safety and labeling standards. Anything less is a grave disservice to consumers and producers.” More detail on NPPC’s position on alternative protein regulation can be found in this “Meat of the Matter” white paper.... http://nppc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Meat-of-the-Matter-Alternative-Protein.pdf.

In a related matter, the European Court of Justice this week ruled that gene-edited plants and animals will be regulated under the European Union’s Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Directive, a move likely to disrupt U.S. exports of gene-edited products to the EU. The GMO Directive regulates all forms of genetic engineering in the EU.


The House Appropriations Committee this week adopted an amendment allowing farmers to use the H-2A visa program for year-round workers as opposed to strictly seasonal labor. The provision, which needs to be included in the final fiscal 2019 spending bill before it becomes law, increases the potential labor supply for U.S. pork and other livestock farmers currently facing a worker shortage. Earlier in the week, the House said it will not hold a vote any earlier than after the summer congressional recess on the “Ag and Legal Workforce Act.”

Similar to the “Agricultural Guestworker Act” bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee last fall, the new bill would establish a year-round visa program – H-2C – for foreign agricultural workers and require employers to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the eligibility of employees to work in the United States. The H-2C visa program would significantly expanding the pool of potential farm workers and processing plant workers. NPPC continues to support visa reform efforts that will provide a strong, viable workforce for America’s pork producers.

House Approves Two-Year HIT Delay

The House on Wednesday passed a bill (H.R. 6311) that contains a Farm Bureau-supported two-year delay of the Health Insurance Tax. The HIT has increased health insurance costs by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies, which is passed on to consumers.

The vote “to suspend the HIT for two years is a tremendous step forward for millions of small businesses and their employees who face undue costs from the tax,” the Stop the HIT Coalition, of which the American Farm Bureau Federation is a member, said in a recent statement after the House voted to pass the Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Accounts Act. “We now urge the Senate to take up this two-year delay as soon as possible and provide small business owners and their employees with immediate and necessary cost savings of as much as $570 on average in the small group market.”

During 2014, $8 billion in excise taxes were levied, and $11 billion was collected in 2015 and 2016 each. The tax is on hold through 2019 but since the cost of the HIT increases each year, Americans will face an even higher HIT impact in 2020.

In addition to delaying the HIT for two years, the measure would expand access to lower-cost health care options and encourage health care savings.

National Chicken Council Forges New Food Transparency

As per capita chicken consumption breaks a new record in 2018 and consumers express a growing interest in where their food comes from, the National Chicken Council (NCC)--the United States' oldest and largest national association representing the U.S. broiler chicken industry (chickens raised for meat)--has developed a series of 360° virtual reality videos showing the various stages of chicken's life during modern, commercial production. The new experience is part of NCC's Chicken Check In program, which serves as a resource for consumers to get the information they seek about how most meat chickens are raised.

The virtual reality experience is launched on the heels of a new national survey revealing that nearly 90 percent* of consumers are interested in deeper information about the chicken they buy and eat. Additionally, nearly 40 percent* of consumers indicate information about "how chickens are cared for" as one of the top topics they care about most.

"We know that people want more information about chicken production and that most have not visited a chicken farm, so we are bringing the farm to them," said Tom Super, spokesperson for the National Chicken Council. "Through our virtual reality tours, viewers are able to see the way most chickens are hatched, raised and processed in the U.S. - it's a fully immersive experience."

The virtual reality videos of the chickens' life stages, can be viewed on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop, with or without a headset. Viewers are able to watch the video in a traditional manner from a two-dimensional perspective, but unlike passively watching, the video can now rotate to see up, down, front, back, and side- to-side from the original starting point.

In the virtual reality series, consumers can experience the three 360° video segments.
- The Hatchery: Chickens begin their life in hatcheries, where fertilized eggs (not table eggs) are incubated and hatched into chickens that are raised for meat.
- The Broiler Chicken Farm: Once the chicks are hatched, they are transported that day to local farms where chickens are raised by farmers with oversight from licensed veterinarians.
- The Processing Plant: When chickens reach the proper market weight, they leave the farm and are transported to the processing plant where they are humanely slaughtered and processed under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The chicken ultimately goes to grocery stores, restaurants, cafeterias, etc.

"The virtual reality experience is a natural extension of the Chicken Check In program, which invites consumers to see how chickens are raised and produced in the U.S.," said Super. "We're proud to give a close look at our birds, their lives and how they get to our tables. We plan to bring the experience to consumers not only online, but to trade shows, schools, and various other events."

View the videos on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop, with or without a headset at https://www.chickencheck.in/.

Retailers to share E15, flex fuel experience at ACE conference

A flex fuel retailer panel will be part of the general session lineup again this year at the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 31st annual conference, August 15-17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty will moderate a discussion between returning panelist Bob O’Connor, owner of Wisconsin-based JETZ Convenience Centers, and first-time panelist Glenn Badenhop, owner of Ohio-based American Freedom Energy, both who have made the switch to higher ethanol blends.

With the prospect for year-round access to E15 as ripe as ever, the ACE conference provides these retailers with a timely platform — in the middle of the summertime ban on E15 — to share successes and challenges in E15 and flex fuel retailing, what they’ve seen so far, and how they view the future of biofuels.  The panel is entitled “E15 and Flex Fuel: How’s that working out for you?” and will take place at 8:30 a.m. Central on Friday, August 17.

“These discussions are an opportunity for ethanol producers and others to hear firsthand from retailers how we can help them sell more of the product we produce,” Lamberty said. “With BIP [Blender Infrastructure Program] in the rearview mirror, I’ll also ask these retailers what they think needs to be done to expand future ethanol sales.”

“Jetz changed their E15 to Unleaded-88 since last year, so we’ll get an update from Bob on how that affected sales,” Lamberty added. “Glenn’s retailing of higher ethanol blends has run the gamut of experiences we’ve seen among a variety of marketers, and he’ll be able to offer some fresh perspective from the fringe of the Midwest, where ethanol production doesn’t dominate the discussion.”

“I am looking forward to telling people what we’ve done with E15 and flex fuels since attending the ACE conference last year,” O’Connor said. “Jetz was the first Milwaukee retailer to offer E15 two years ago and we added a location in Muskego last year. Our stations are located in a low-RVP [Reid vapor pressure] market, so we can promote and sell E15 year-round, and the higher octane and lower price of E15 continues to bring in new business. There are challenges, but I look forward to discussing what I’ve learned about marketing higher blends over the past year.”

“As a third-generation farmer, I understand what ethanol does for rural economies and what it did for my bottom line when it first came out,” Badenhop said. “I believe the education process is huge when it comes to selling higher ethanol blends, and I look forward to sharing my experience with helping customers make good fuel choices at my station with the ACE conference audience.”

Visit ethanol.org/events/conference to view the full agenda and register.

Secretary Perdue Statement on EJC Ruling on Genome Editing

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement regarding this week’s European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on newer mutagenesis methods, otherwise known as genome editing.

“Government policies should encourage scientific innovation without creating unnecessary barriers or unjustifiably stigmatizing new technologies. Unfortunately, this week’s ECJ ruling is a setback in this regard in that it narrowly considers newer genome editing methods to be within the scope of the European Union’s regressive and outdated regulations governing genetically modified organisms.

"We encourage the European Union to seek input from the scientific and agricultural communities, as well as its trading partners, in determining the appropriate implementation of the ruling.

Innovations in precision biotechnology, such as genome editing, hold great promise. For consumers, potential benefits include healthier, higher-quality foods at affordable prices. For farmers, they include improvements in productivity, plant and animal health, and environmental sustainability.

"The global regulatory treatment of genome-edited agricultural products has strategic innovation and trade implications for U.S. agriculture. For this reason, USDA has clear science- and risk-based policies that enable needed innovation while continuing to ensure these products are safe. In light of the ECJ ruling, USDA will re-double its efforts to work with partners globally towards science- and risk-based regulatory approaches.”

NGFA submits statement on FSMA guidance document

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) submitted a statement to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding an agency guidance document pertaining to animal food rules issued mandated under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

FDA issued a notice of availability of a draft guidance entitled "Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals," published on Jan. 23 in the Federal Register. The draft guidance is intended to assist animal food facilities comply with the requirements for hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls under the agency's regulations for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (Animal Food Rule).

NGFA's statement, submitted July 23, addresses a variety of issues, including:
    The vast majority of hazards that are known or reasonably foreseeable for animal food facilities can be controlled adequately through prerequisite programs and do not require the use of preventive controls. The NGFA urged FDA to more clearly indicate this fact when issuing its final guidance.

    FDA's final guidance should draw greater distinctions between direct human contact animal food and livestock and poultry feed related to the need for control of pathogens. More specifically, the NGFA strongly recommended that FDA clearly state in its final guidance that pathogens typically are not of regulatory concern for facilities involved in manufacturing and distributing livestock and poultry feed.

    The draft guidance's Appendix E, which lists potential hazards associated with various animal food ingredients, should not, by default, become known or reasonably foreseeable hazards that FDA expects to be addressed by animal food facilities during their hazard analysis. The NGFA urged FDA to characterize such hazards within its final guidance as being potential hazards and clarify that each facility is responsible for determining those hazards that are known or reasonably foreseeable for its own operation.

In its statement, the NGFA commended FDA for "the open and collaborative" process used to solicit input from stakeholders during the rulemaking process. "We also appreciate the agency's on-going commitment to providing a variety of resources - including guidance documents - to assist the industry in understanding and meeting regulatory expectations," the NGFA stated. "We believe that, once finalized, FDA's Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals (PC) guidance will be extremely valuable to facilities when developing compliance strategies and assuring animal food safety."

CNH Industrial Reports Higher Quarterly Earnings

CNH Industrial N.V., which is the parent company of the Racine-based Case IH, announced consolidated revenues of $8.04 billion for the second quarter of 2018, up 15-percent compared to the same three month period a year earlier. Net sales of industrial activities were $7.5 billion in the second quarter, up 16-percent from 2017.

The company says net income of $408 million for the quarter included a pre-tax gain of $20 million as a result of the amortization over approximately 4.5 years of the $527 million positive impact from the modification of a healthcare plan following the favorable judgment issued by the United States Supreme Court.

Despite a tough farm economy, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times in the past 12 months.

Case IH Steps Up High-Efficiency Harvesting With New Axial-Flow 50 Series Combines, AFS Harvest Command Combine Automation System

Building on its legacy of high-capacity, high-efficiency combines, Case IH is expanding its combine lineup with new 50 series Axial-Flow® combines, which includes new Axial-Flow 250 series combines equipped with optional AFS Harvest Command™ combine automation system. Designed to optimize grain quality and grain savings, the 250 series combines feature 2-speed electric shift ground drive, adjustable rotor cage vanes and an improved feeder house design. Plus, AFS Harvest Command automation simplifies harvesting by sensing and optimizing machine settings — regardless of operator skill level.

“We’re excited to roll out the next generation of high-efficiency harvesting with the Axial-Flow 250 series combines,” said Ryan Blasiak, Case IH harvesting marketing manager. “The new series, coupled with the new innovative combine automation system, will help producers simply harvest more of what they grow.”

Automatically optimizes settings

Achieving optimal combine performance requires perfectly balancing ever-changing ground speeds with numerous settings and adjustments throughout a long day of harvesting. Until now, that meant carefully monitoring and tweaking those settings for varying crop conditions and terrain across the field throughout the day. New from Case IH Advanced Farming Systems (AFS), AFS Harvest Command combine automation system — available only on the new 250 series Axial-Flow combines — utilizes 16 sensors to automatically adjust seven combine settings. It reduces the need for operator monitoring and adjustment from 12 down to just three, depending on the level of automation selected.

“AFS Harvest Command automation offers producers the advantage of automatically adjusting itself based on feedback from sensors to target the maximum ground speed and engine load set by the combine operator,” Blasiak said. “This is the distinguishing factor between AFS Harvest Command automation and competitive units. No extra time or margin for operator error is required to establish a baseline, maximizing quality and throughput.”

Initially available for corn, soybeans, wheat and canola crops, AFS Harvest Command automation proactively adjusts the combine as crop conditions change, based on patent-pending technology. It’s simple. Operators just choose the mode of automation to match their harvesting goals. From there, AFS Harvest Command automation takes over.

Each automation mode prioritizes different harvesting outcomes selected by the operator — from grain quality to grain savings to throughput — and continually optimizes machine performance based on the limits set by the operator. The four modes of automation include:
    Performance — Maximize grain savings and grain quality while optimizing throughput.
    Grain Quality — Maximize grain quality while also saving grain and optimizing throughput.
    Fixed Throughput — Operator can fix the machine throughput and the machine will adjust to save grain and maintain a quality sample.
    Maximum Throughput — Operator can maximize the throughput while automation adjusts combine settings to save grain.

“Labor is important. Whether you’ve ran a combine for 50 years or 50 minutes, this machine is super user-friendly,” said Case IH customer Mark Bartlett, who operated an Axial-Flow 8250 combine with 3162 draper head. “The fact that you can grab someone off the street and get the same results as someone who has run one forever is extremely appealing to us.” Bartlett is from Colby, Kansas, and farms 5,000 acres of mixed crops, including corn, wheat and milo.

Simplified harvesting for more quality grain

Building off of the simplicity of the Axial-Flow family combines, the new 250 series features advancements for even more simple harvesting and operation, allowing producers to maximize throughput and grain quality. Three new Axial-Flow combines — models 7250, 8250 and 9250 — feature a streamlined design with easier settings and operation. Even new operators will achieve higher productivity without sacrificing grain quality.

A new 2-speed electric shift ground-drive transmission increases efficiency in all terrain and ground conditions. With increased tractive effort and a wider speed range, much like cruise control in a car or pickup truck, the transmission maintains precise ground speed up or down hills for more consistent harvesting. It also reduces the frequency to shift in the field or on the road by having one gear for harvesting and another gear for roading. Within each transmission gear there is a Hi/Lo propulsion system to toggle between Hi and Lo ranges during harvest. This provides additional operator control when extra traction or change in speed is required.

From the factory, this combine is available with three levels of technology to fit varying operation needs. Standard on every combine is the Automatic Crop Setting, which allows producers to customize and save preferred combine settings by crop on the AFS Pro 700 display. Or choose optional Feedrate Control to more accurately control ground speed based on crop load, engine power and ground speed limits set by the operator. Full automation is also available through the optional AFS Harvest Command combine automation system.

Additional features for simplified high-efficiency harvesting include:

-    Adjustable rotor cage vanes: 250 series combines come with optional in-cab adjustable rotor cage vanes. The rugged new design eliminates the need to manually remove bolts and pivot the cage vanes. This both saves time and allows the rotor to be fine-tuned to optimize threshing and separating in varying crop conditions and efficiently change from one crop to another. The standard feature includes a gang of cage vanes that are manually adjustable with an easy turnbuckle.
-    Redesigned feeder house: 250 series combines have a redesigned feeder house for improved durability and reliability in demanding crop conditions. An optional feeder fore/aft face plate control enables adjustments to be made from the cab. A redesigned feeder top shaft drive coupler features a crown spline design for greatly improved durability. A simple, two-piece feeder floor design increases durability and improves crop feeding. Plus, up to 13,500 pounds in lift capacity helps handle even the largest chopping corn head on the market.
-    Self-leveling cleaning system: Allows the 250 series combines to clean the grain and move it efficiently — even as the combine undulates across hills — to help save more grain and maintain harvesting ground speeds. The system now includes an in-cab adjustable pre-sieve that allows the operator to make adjustments on-the-go to maximize grain quality.

This new Axial-Flow series matches the efficient harvesting of the AFX rotor with efficient power with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology that meets Tier 4 Final engine emissions standards. The patented SCR technology allows for maximum horsepower (up to 625 peak horsepower for 9250 with 15.9 L), to power through demanding field conditions and high-yielding crops, resulting in better performance, increased fuel efficiency, lower operating temperatures, and greater reliability and durability.

In addition, the high-capacity grain tanks of the 7250, 8250 and 9250 combines feature one of the largest grain tank capacities (410 bushels) currently available on the market. The larger grain tanks together with unload rates of up to 4.5 bushels per second allow operators to open up fields easily and unload quickly.

New, limited-edition 50 series Axial-Flow combines

Designed to commemorate the rich, 40-plus-year legacy of Axial-Flow combines, the new 150 series combine joins the 50 series combine lineup. The 150 series combines feature heritage styling, color schemes and decals of the original Axial-Flow combines. The memorable white cab tops and tire rims give way to the latest harvest advancements, including the Cross-Flow™ cleaning system, 2-speed electric shift transmission and a host of productivity enhancements.

With the industry-leading single rotor design, Case IH continues to provide innovations suited to your individual farming operation. Each advancement is designed to deliver peak harvesting efficiency, grain quality and grain savings to help you simply harvest more of what you grow.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday July 26 Ag News

United Soybean Board Approves Funding for Projects at July Meeting

The United Soybean Board approved $65 million in funding for more than 85 projects during its meeting in Omaha, Neb. July 17–19.

Gregg Fujan, United Soybean Board member and Nebraska Soybean Board ex officio, said the three target areas for project funding were oil, meal and sustainability.

“In my particular area, we focused on high oleic soybean promotion and education, whether it be in the food sector or industrial uses sector,” Fujan said.

Projects to promote and support biodiesel and improve the oil quality and fatty acid profile were also approved. In the soybean meal target area, projects targeting increased meal quality were prioritized to address the gradual decline of protein levels in soybeans, as well as genetic improvements and industrial uses.

Fujan said sustainability continued to be a focus for the United Soybean Board.

“Our customers are demanding a sustainable product because their customers are demanding a sustainable product,” Fujan said. “Those processors are looking to us to provide them with a sustainably grown product with the smallest environmental footprint.”

The amount of leveraged funding available helped subsidize the various projects. In the oil target area alone, Fujan said that for every checkoff dollar invested, there are partners investing 76 cents. The total leveraged funding for next year’s projects is $136 million.

“I think that’s a great part of what’s happening with the checkoff investment,” Fujan said. “When making project funding decisions, we always ask if it’s an effective and efficient use of farmer checkoff dollars. We’re trying to create the best return on investment.”

Giesler named head of Plant Pathology Department

Loren Giesler has been named head of the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, effective Sept. 1, 2018. Giesler is currently a professor and extension plant pathologist within the department.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Giesler to the leadership ranks at IANR,” said Ron Yoder, senior associate vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “His expertise and experience will be valuable in leading the Plant Pathology Department in their continued efforts to sustain plant health in Nebraska and around the globe.”

The Plant Pathology Department performs an essential role in improving and monitoring the health of plants grown for economic, environmental and amenity purposes. It does so by innovative leadership in outreach, education, research and fostering economic development and market competitiveness. Partnerships with educational, state, federal, public and private sectors enable plant pathologists to provide dynamic programs that are ecologically sound, economically and environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and scientifically appropriate.

“I am excited to join the leadership team of IANR and look forward to working together with them to build upon and create new successes for the Plant Pathology Department,” Giesler said. “Our current faculty, staff and students in the department have outstanding expertise and potential to solve global challenges associated with microbial interactions affecting plant productivity that is impacting the security of food supplies, bioenergy and the aesthetic qualities of our landscapes. I thank the current leadership team for the opportunity to lead this great department.”

Giesler has spent his career at Nebraska, beginning as a graduate research assistant, serving as a research technologist, and Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic coordinator before advancing in the faculty from assistant professor to professor. In his current role Giesler provides statewide leadership for Nebraska Extension’s plant pathology programs in soybeans and turfgrass.

Giesler earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Chadron State College in 1992. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees from Nebraska in plant pathology.

To learn more about the Plant Pathology Department, visit https://plantpathology.unl.edu/.


Those who have in inherited or received farmland and want to learn more about the best strategies for managing the asset are encouraged to attend one of several Nebraska Extension programs being offered across the state in August and September.

“I am contacted monthly from citizens who have had their parents pass away, and now they are managing a farm for the first time in their lives,” said Allan Vyhnalek, Nebraska Extension educator and event speaker. “They may have even grown up there, but haven’t been around for 30 or 40 years and need to understand that farming practices and management concepts have changed.”

Questions to be addressed in the three hour workshop include:
-    Am I keeping the farm or selling it?
-    How do I manage a farm?
-    If leasing, what are key lease provisions?
-    What legal considerations do I have with this decision?
-    How do we manage family communications and expectations when other family is involved?

The program is being presented by Vyhnalek and Extension Educator Jim Jansen. The two presenters provide farm land management education for eastern Nebraska.

The workshop series begins Aug. 15 in McCook and will make stops in Central City, Beatrice, Valentine and West Point. For a complete listing of dates, locations and registration information, visit https://agecon.unl.edu/farm-succession

Pre-registration is requested by two days prior to the event.  Advance registration is requested to ensure enough handouts for the program. This program is free because of funding from the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under award number 2015-49200-24226.

For more information or assistance, contact Vyhnalek at 402-472-1771 or avyhnalek2@unl.edu; or Jim Jansen, at 402-261-7572 or jjansen4@unl.edu.

NE Dairy Store churns out an ice cream feeding frenzy

A new ice cream flavor at the Nebraska Dairy Store is offering Huskers a chance to take a bite out of Shark Week.

Churned custom for Nebraska Shark Week, the piña colada-flavored ice cream includes a swarm of gummy sharks in every scoop. Every three-gallon bucket of the ice cream includes 2.5 pounds of the gummy sharks. The store started serving Shark Week July 22 and will continue until the final scoop is devoured. Learn more about the new ice cream.

The Dairy Store opened in 1917 serving all-you-can-drink milk for a nickel — but only for customers who brought their own glass. Now, more than 100 years later, the Dairy Store is a Nebraska tradition, serving a lineup of sweet ice cream treats, handmade cheeses and meats — all produced on Nebraska's East Campus. Click the 360 degree video below to see how ice cream is created in the Dairy Store plant.

New Extension Specialist Excited to Work with Pork Producers

The opportunity to serve Iowa’s pork industry by working with Iowa Pork Industry Center was one Kristin Olsen just couldn’t pass up. The new extension program specialist at the Iowa Pork Industry Center said she’s passionate about pork production in general, and her recent experiences as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Iowa State University provided great background for her new role that began earlier this month.

“I have been a student in the animal science department since fall 2013 and have worked in labs and offices for the past two years,” Olsen said. “I’ve gotten to know many of the professors and students in the department and am looking forward to seeing many familiar faces as I begin my new role at Iowa State.”

She recently finished her master’s degree in swine nutrition under John Patience at Iowa State and said that experience provided a wealth of learning about the U.S. swine industry.

“I was able to work with people from many different areas of the industry, including visiting several commercial farms and feed mills,” she said. “I also was able to conduct a research project off-campus with an industry collaborator and had a short internship with Hanor.”

The exposure to the swine industry during her academic career provided unique opportunities for better understanding practical implications of implementing new concepts and ideas in pork production practices. Olsen said those experiences also taught her the importance of being able to convey complex information in ways that are understandable to a wide array of audiences.

“I also have experience writing and speaking for both industry and academic audiences, which I really enjoy and look forward to using in my role with IPIC,” she said. “I think my experiences have given me a unique set of skills that will serve IPIC and the pork industry well.”

Part of her role will include coordinating the annual Iowa Swine Day event. She’ll also have the opportunity to work on a variety of informational materials and collaborate on specific research projects to help answer important questions facing pork producers.

“I look forward to making Iowa Swine Day even more impactful not only for Iowa’s producers, but for producers across the U.S.,” she said. “I am excited to work with faculty and staff in many different areas of production in addition to nutrition. I also love learning and want to continue developing my skills and my knowledge of the swine industry as I work in this role.”

Olsen can be contacted by email at kmolsen@iastate.edu or phone at 712-249-5731.

SHIC-Funded Feed Risk Studies Lead to Stakeholder Meeting

In May 2017, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) released information from a study it funded showing the potential for viruses to contaminate and survive in feed ingredients. These surprising findings led to on-going research on transmission potential and mitigation. A meeting of stakeholders, including representatives of USDA, FDA, universities, industry organizations, producers, the feed processing industry, and SHIC, was held in June 2018. The objective of the meeting, hosted by SHIC and the National Pork Board, was to review current government policies and regulations and to make recommendations about research to help reduce the risk for pathogen transmission via feed and feed ingredients. 

In addition to the prioritization of next steps, the stakeholder representatives heard updates from companies and federal agencies engaged in parallel work. FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and USDA’s Animal Health and Plant Inspection Service both have regulatory authority related to feed safety.  And USDA’s Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health will help with a review of the scientific literature and will bring experts together to discuss risk. SHIC is funding university and production company-related research to help define feed risk. And feed processing companies are also contributing to the body of work to help identify feed transmission risk and investigate mitigation. Programs were described and outcomes discussed during the meeting. 

At the conclusion of the stakeholder meeting, a prioritized set of next steps for research or investigation was developed:

1.    Mitigation via verifiable controls
The action with the highest priority, mitigation, could include programs for verification of feed component safety prior to shipment from a foreign country. Possible methods discussed and recommended were block chain testing and traceability as well as preventative controls for animal food.

2.    Active foreign animal disease monitoring at ports or importing countries
Active monitoring of imported feed components was ranked second by the stakeholders group. Monitoring for foreign animal disease and other transboundary pathogens at ports of entry, or before shipment from source countries, was discussed. Participants agreed this monitoring should be done at a foreign facility prior to shipment to the US.

 3.    Minimum and median infective dose of classical swine fever (CSF), pseudorabies virus (PRV), Senecavirus A(SVA)/foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) during normal feeding behaviors

Determining the minimum and median infective dose of key swine diseases CSF, PRV, and FMD during normal feeding behaviors was named an essential need. Using a National Pork Board grant, this is being done for African swine fever (ASF) at Kansas State University where similar tests for CSF and PRV can take place. Work with FMD must occur at Plum Island Animal Disease Center where SHIC, NPB and USDA-APHIS are co-funding the project. In addition to infective dose, mitigant effectiveness and survivability tests would be completed.

 4.    Active domestic monitoring
This monitoring would involve surveys of feed processing mills to measure the incidence of different domestic production pathogens found in these facilities. 

 5.    Validation of environmental swab tools
Validation for dust sampling sensitivity using different materials, from commercially-available sheets to sponges, swabs, paint rollers, to other tools, would be conducted.

 6.    Detectability of other viruses via environmental monitoring
Research is needed to demonstrate the ability to detect viruses using environmental samples at various points in feed processing mills. Previously environmental sampling has been shown to be useful for detection of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus and SVA and that work would be expanded.

 7.    Tote contamination proof-of-concept
Testing for valid ways to sample totes as they carry feed into the country could be to sample the dust of a tote before, during loading, after loading, and after emptying to compare sensitivity of dust sampling to taking feed samples at the same times.

 8.    Rotavirus vs. Enterobacteriaceae as an indicator of possible contamination
Enterobacteriaceae are used as an indicator organism for fecal contamination of feed components. This experiment would compare rotavirus, or some other enteric virus, to these bacteria to investigate if it would be a better indicator of viral contamination.

Stakeholders agreed the goal should always be to prevent introduction of a FAD or transboundary pathogen from entering the US. Participating representatives of the groups agreed about the urgency to investigate, define and mitigate the risk because of its potential as a pathway and the threat it poses to the US swine herd.

Case IH Launches Limited-edition 50 Series Axial-Flow Combine

To commemorate the rich legacy of Axial-Flow® combines, Case IH is excited to launch the 50 series Axial-Flow combine lineup with a special-edition 150 series combine. The 150 series combine features International Harvester heritage styling, color schemes and decals reminiscent of the first Axial-Flow combine in 1977. The memorable white cab top and tire rims give way to the latest harvest advancements to help producers put more grain in the tank.

The productivity enhancements of the legendary single rotor technology, Cross-Flow™ cleaning system and 2-speed electric shift transmission enable the 150 series combine to handle varying harvest conditions and crop types.

“We’re excited to bring back the retro stylings of the 1977 International Harvester Axial-Flow combines, now paired with productivity enhancements desired to help today’s producers harvest more of what they grow,” said Kelly Kravig, Case IH harvesting marketing manager. “For older generation farmers, this combine is a throwback to their earlier farming days. For younger generations, this is the combine they grew up in.”

Soy Growers Thank Administration for Highlighting Soybeans in Talks with EU

The American Soybean Association (ASA) today thanked President Trump for highlighting U.S. soybeans in his talks with European Union President Juncker this week. Focusing on the opportunities for increased trade with European partners, Iowa soybean farmer and ASA President John Heisdorffer issued the following statement:

“ASA thanks President Trump for this effort to increase U.S. soybean exports to the EU, as it will help soybean farmers market what is expected to be a bumper crop this fall. We look forward to learning the details of the agreement and working with USTR, and welcome the opportunity to deepen our relationship with our trading partners in Europe.”

Growth Energy Statement on President's Reaffirmation of Support for E15 Year-Round

Today in Iowa, President Trump announced he was "very close" on delivering E15 year-round. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement in response to the President's comments:

"We are pleased to hear President Trump say he is 'very close' to making E15 available year round, fulfilling his promise to America’s farmers. Increased access to US markets will provide America’s farmers with some financial confidence, and we hope that President Trump will direct the EPA to act quickly to provide year-round RVP relief."

Growth Energy, the nation's top ethanol advocate, is running a television ad asking President Trump to uphold his promise to farmers by allowing the sale of E15 year-round.

ACE addressing ethanol questions from service station owners in fourth Mexican city this year

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty traveled to Chihuahua this week for the fourth of six technical ethanol workshops the U.S. Grains Council is holding for Mexican petroleum equipment installers and retailers.  The workshops address questions and concerns of local station owners about sourcing, marketing, and profiting from ethanol-blended gasoline, as Mexico’s transportation fuel sector continues to evolve.

 “Chihuahua is one of a few larger Mexican cities that may be close enough to buy E10 blended at a U.S terminal and ship it back to Mexico economically,” Lamberty said. “Chihuahua is about 250 miles from El Paso, Texas, which is closer than the Mexican refineries and prices favor U.S. ethanol.”

“My presentations to these groups are primarily math and history,” Lamberty added. “We “do the math” of splash-blending less expensive ethanol with gasoline, and I explain the history of getting ethanol from the middle of the U.S. to the rest of the country, via rail and splash blenders. We expect a few of the people at these events will get the idea they could be one of the wholesalers who takes ethanol all over Mexico.”

Last month, Lamberty was in León speaking at the first workshop held since a Mexican tribunal overturned an injunction which applied to state-owned oil company Pemex blocking ethanol blending from climbing to 10 percent from 5.8 percent. Earlier this spring, Lamberty spoke at two other workshops in Monterrey and Tijuana, and last year, he traveled to Guadalajara, Mexico, to meet with members of Association Mexicana De Empresarios Gasolineros (AMEGAS), Mexico’s largest group of gasoline station owners.

Lamberty will participate in two more USGC technical workshops in Mexico yet this year, with a trip to Xalapa planned to take place next month and a meeting in Mexico City in September. Interest and attendance increase at each event, and ACE will continue to work with the USGC to provide information to retailers and others who want to sell more ethanol.

NMPF Statement on FDA Announcement to Prioritize Review of Standards of Identity for Dairy Products

President and CEO Jim Mulhern

“We are pleased to see that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally recognized the need to increase its scrutiny of plant-based products imitating standardized dairy foods.

“The statement released earlier today by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb echoes our long-standing public health concerns regarding nutritional deficiencies in plant-based foods bearing the term ‘milk.’

“We are further encouraged by FDA’s recognition that standards of identity also verify that a food must possess a ‘basic nature’ and measure of expectation to earn the use of the standardized name.

“We applaud Commissioner Gottlieb’s assertion that FDA will take regulatory action against products bearing misleading labels. Our hope is that such regulatory actions will begin promptly and not be further delayed by the announced dairy standards review process.”

NMPF Tells FDA: Review of Food Standards Should Start with Enforcement

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must enforce standards of identity for dairy products because these federal definitions are critical to safeguarding consumers from making purchases of products whose labels are false and misleading, the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said today.

At an FDA hearing Thursday focused on modernizing food standards of identity, NMPF argued that the agency should first start enforcing the existing standards for dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt. Consumers use these standards to make informed purchasing decisions and expect a certain level of product performance in return, said Tom Balmer, NMPF’s executive vice president.

“It seems inconsistent to talk about modernizing standards to improve nutrition and assure accurate information to consumers when FDA has been allowing nutritionally inferior products to use standardized terms like ‘milk’ for so long,” Balmer testified. “Instead of continuing to look the other way, let’s start by enforcing current standards of identity and then talk about potential improvements.”

Food standards help guarantee that consumer expectations are met both in terms of levels of key ingredients and consistency sensory attributes like taste and mouthfeel, said Balmer. While standards weren’t initially developed for nutritional reasons, there is a direct link between the ingredients found in a standardized food and the nutrient package that results from their consumption.

Such is the case with dairy imitation foods like “almond milk,” “soy cheese” and “rice yogurt.” For too long, these products have used dairy terms to associate themselves with the positive traits of milk-based foods, including the significant levels of nine essentials nutrients found in real milk. Because of this marketing tactic, consumers don’t realize they’re being tricked into thinking these products are suitable replacements for the real thing.

“This is a marketing gimmick, and a clever one,” Balmer said. “Such products not only lack ingredients specified by the standards, they frequently fall short in expected characteristics like mouthfeel, taste and texture, and are nearly always less nutritious.”

FDA acknowledged the public health consequences when it released a statement before the hearing announcing it would prioritize taking a closer look at the standards of identity for dairy products (NMPF published its response to this earlier today).

Over the last 20 years, NMPF and its members have made repeated requests for FDA to take enforcement action on misbranded imitation dairy products, with FDA continually claiming the issue is not an agency priority. The public, however, feels differently. A recent independent poll found that American consumers, by a 2-to-1 margin, oppose the use of “milk” as a designation for non-dairy beverages.

Balmer insisted that FDA start enforcing the labeling laws already on the books and rein in the “marketplace chaos,” adding that that the process “doesn’t need to take a year or more.” NMPF also plans to file written comments as part of the FDA’s review of this issue.

Cattlemen Urge President Trump to Support USDA Oversight of Lab-Grown Fake Meat

Today the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and other leading organizations in the animal agriculture industry (“the Barnyard”) sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him to ensure the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) acts as the primary regulatory authority over lab-grown fake meat products. The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) designates USDA as the main oversight body for emerging lab-grown products. However, in recent weeks the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved aggressively to assert regulatory jurisdiction over lab-grown fake meat.

“The American people elected President Trump because they trusted him to promote a level playing field for American products around the world,” said Kevin Kester, President of NCBA. “Now, the President has the chance to demonstrate his support for free and fair markets right here at home. By supporting USDA oversight of lab-grown fake meat, the President will protect American consumers and ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers are not disadvantaged in the marketplace.”

In the letter, the Barnyard groups highlight the critical role USDA plays in enforcing the same rigorous food safety and labeling standards for all meat and poultry products.

“Undoubtedly, USDA’s exacting standards impose regulatory burdens on meat and poultry producers – as they should,” the groups wrote. “However, if cell-cultured protein companies want the privilege of marketing their products as meat and poultry products to the American public, in order to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace, they should be happy to follow the same rules as everyone else. Consumers expect and deserve nothing less.”

The groups also questioned the FDA’s “regulatory power grab” and noted that the agency’s actions are inconsistent with a recently-released White House government reorganization plan.

USGC Meeting To Tackle Trade Outlook During Denver Meeting

Delegates gathering for the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) 58th Annual Board of Delegates meeting, scheduled to begin Monday in Denver, will attempt to unravel the opportunities and challenges for U.S. coarse grains and co-products in today’s complex and dynamic global trade environment.

The meetings will kick off with a general session at which members and state staff will hear from leading trade and market-specific experts on the status and future of U.S. agricultural trade relationships with countries including China and Mexico. Attendees will also discuss the outlook for exports of grains in all forms, including increased demand from the Middle East and potential growth areas for ethanol and meat and poultry exports.

“This meeting will be an excellent opportunity for our members to engage directly with fellow delegates and Council staff on opportunities and challenges facing U.S. agriculture,” Keller said. “True to this year’s theme, Friends and Frontiers, we will dive into discussions on our global efforts to strengthen relationships with key partners and build new demand for coarse grains and co-products, including ethanol.”

The Council’s Advisory Teams (A-Teams) will meet to receive updates on specific commodities and markets and provide direction for USGC staff in the coming critical months. USGC delegates also will adopt next year’s budget and elect new officers and board members.

“The sun never sets on our efforts to develop critical markets, dismantle trade barriers and serve our customers overseas,” Keller said. “We rely on your engagement as we peruse the important trade policy and market development work happening around the world.”

Find out more about the meeting www.grains.org/event/denver and follow along on social media using the hashtag #grains18.

Perdue to Travel to Argentina

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will travel to Buenos Aires from July 27th to July 29th to participate in the G20 Meetings of Agriculture Ministers. While at the G20, Secretary Perdue will discuss important issues facing agriculture around the world and engage in policy dialogues with his counterparts. The Secretary will also participate in events at La Rural, Argentina’s premier agriculture exposition.

“We greatly value our close relationships with our international agricultural partners,” Secretary Perdue said. “The opportunity to discuss today’s most pressing challenges facing agriculture is invaluable, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish.”

Secretary Perdue will begin his trip in Buenos Aires on July 27th by taking part in the G-20 Summit, which will focus on a variety of issues including the future of the agricultural workforce, infrastructure and ensuring a sustainable food future.  Following the summit, Secretary Perdue will travel to Dona Sofia Polo Ranch in San Antonio de Areco on July 29th where he will meet with the owner, as well as veterinarian and breeding staff to discuss new breeding and genetics technologies for horses and cattle.

Land O'Lakes, Inc. Names Beth Ford President and CEO

The Land O'Lakes, Inc. Board of Directors announced today its selection of Beth Ford as President and CEO of one of the nation's largest food and agricultural cooperatives and #216 on the Fortune 500. Ford assumes leadership of the company following the retirement of Chris Policinski. Ford will assume the role of President and CEO effective Aug. 1.

Ford comes to the CEO role after a series of successful executive postings within the company. In December 2017, Ford was named Chief Operating Officer of Land O'Lakes Businesses, in which role she oversaw Land O'Lakes' WinField United, Purina Animal Nutrition and Dairy Foods business units. Prior to that, Ford was head of Land O'Lakes' Dairy Foods and Purina Animal Nutrition businesses, where she led record performance and growth, leveraging innovation through R&D to strengthen both brands. She also was instrumental in the acquisition of Vermont Creamery in early 2017.

Prior to joining Land O'Lakes in 2011, Ford had excelled in executive operations management and supply chain roles at International Flavors and Fragrances, Mobil Corporation, PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Company and Scholastic. Ford has more than 20 years' experience specifically in the areas of technology and R&D, as well, across these four companies.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Beth earned an MBA at Columbia University Business School and a BBA at Iowa State University. She remains involved in both universities, sitting on the Deming Center Board of Advisors for Columbia Business School and the Dean's Advisory Committee for the College of Business at Iowa State.

Ford also sits on the Board of Directors for the National Milk Producers Federation and non-profit boards, including Greater Twin Cities United Way in Minneapolis. She sits on the Boards of Directors of two publicly traded companies, including PACCAR, Inc.

Announcing her appointment, Board Chairman Pete Kappelman said, "At a time of unprecedented change in the agriculture and food industries, no person is better suited to lead us into the future than Beth Ford. Since joining our company in 2011, Beth has proven she's not afraid of hard work, and she sees every challenge as an opportunity to deliver more value for our cooperative. She's built a track record of success in a wide array of leadership roles across a decades-long career, and in her seven years at Land O'Lakes, she has earned the trust and respect of our members, employees and customers. We are thrilled to have someone of such strong qualifications and character to build on the legacy of growth that Land O'Lakes has established."

Commenting on her appointment, Ford said, "I'm humbled and honored to have the chance to serve this great organization. I am grateful to the Board of Directors for their trust in me and for the management team that built the strong foundation we currently enjoy. I look forward to continuing to work with the talented and dedicated leadership team, as well as our outstanding employees to deliver for our member-owners, customers and communities. There has never been a more exciting time to be in the agriculture and food industry. Together, our team will work to continue our growth trajectory, as we lead the way forward into the company's next 100 years."

Ford becomes the ninth CEO of Land O'Lakes, one of the nation's largest agricultural cooperatives, which was founded in 1921. Ford and her spouse, Jill Schurtz, have three teenage children and live in Minneapolis. 


In an effort to drive demand for dairy and support industry growth, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national cooperative owned by dairy farm families, is helping bring innovative products to the dairy case. This week, the Cooperative announced an investment in MOPRO Nutrition (MOPRO), an all-natural, high protein, low sugar, whole milk Greek yogurt infused with whey protein combined with probiotics. MOPRO positions itself as a smarter replacement for protein bars, protein shakes and regular Greek yogurt.

MOPRO recently completed the 2018 Sprint Accelerator program, which is also sponsored by DFA. The Accelerator is a 90-day, immersive program that helps accelerate and grow startup businesses.

“As a farmer-owned Cooperative, DFA is continuously looking for innovative ways to bring dairy to consumers, and this investment in MOPRO reflects that commitment,” says Monica Massey, senior vice president and chief of staff at DFA. “We think there’s a lot of growth potential with more natural, high-protein products and look forward to working with MOPRO to help make them a household brand.”

Through this relationship, DFA and MOPRO will work together to increase product distribution and build brand awareness.

“I am excited to work with DFA on a permanent basis. We developed a nice relationship during the Accelerator program, and they share my vision for evolving the yogurt category and bringing the highest-quality and innovative, fresh nutrition products to the marketplace,” says Michael Moran, founder, MOPRO.