Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thursday August 30 Ag News

EPA Reaches Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations with Two Animal Feeding Operations in West Point area of Nebraska

EPA Region 7 has reached an administrative settlement with two concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) facilities in the West Point area to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The agreement is expected to help safeguard Nebraska waterways from pollutants and bring both facilities within federal regulatory compliance.

During inspections at these CAFOs, EPA inspectors observed that both facilities lacked adequate, engineered livestock waste controls to prevent discharges of manure and process wastewater. Analysis of sampling conducted by EPA documented that feedlot-related pollutants discharge into an unnamed tributary of Plum Creek. The creek discharges into the Elkhorn River, which is listed as “impaired” by the state of Nebraska for Escherichia coli (E. coli), a disease-causing type of fecal coliform bacteria passed through the fecal excrement of livestock.

Both facilities have agreed to provide EPA a plan describing how they will either: 1) cease all discharges from their facilities, 2) reduce the number of cattle at their facilities below regulatory thresholds, or 3) obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that would require measures to minimize pollutant impacts. An NPDES permit is required for the discharge of pollutants from any “point source” into waters of the U.S.

In addition, each facility has agreed to pay a civil penalty. Bar MK, L.L.C., has agreed to pay a penalty of $29,000. Cindy Stratman, doing business as Cindy Stratman Livestock, has agreed to pay a penalty of $22,000.

The Consent Agreement and Final Orders for both sites are available for public notice and comment through Sept. 18, 2018.

Turbocharge Your Soybean-Corn Rotation With Cover Crops and Grazing Workshop & Field Lab

September 12
Heinemann Farm, 57116 849 Rd., Winside, NE 68790

Featured Presenters:
  - Jimmy Emmons, a farmer and soil health expert from Oklahoma
  - Paul Jasa, NE Extension Engineer
  - Candy Thomas, Kansas NRCS Soil Health Specialist

12:30 - 1:00 PM Registration and Check-in

1:00 - 2:15 PM -Field Lab, Soil Pit and Grazing Demo
Station 1: Underground Rhizosphere: Lets Look at the Roots, Nutrients, and Carbon in the Soil Pit
Station 2: Let’s Investigate the Above Ground Biomass and Nutrient Enhancement to Increase Returns
Station 3: Land, Livestock and Plant Interactions: Soil and Economic Benefits of Mob Grazing

2:30 - 4:30 PM Workshop in the shop
- The System to Build Carbon & Revenue
- NRCS - Soils Labs
- Walk-n-Talk of Multi-Species Garden and Cover Crop plots.

4:30 Wrap-up and door prize drawings

Early registration until Sept. 6. Late or walk-in registration $60.  Register now for only $50 at to secure your free magnifier!

Sponsored in part by SARE, No-till On The Plains, UNL Ext. and NE NRCS Demonstration Farm Project

Nebraska USDA FSA, NRCS Team Up for HHD Information Center

Leadership of the Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Nebraska USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) invite farmers, ranchers and rural residents who are planning to attend Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island to visit the OneUSDA Information Center with questions on available federal farm programs.

Husker Harvest Days (HHD) runs Sept. 11-13 on the HHD grounds near Wood River, Nebraska.

“Stop in and see us for information on farm loan opportunities for the upcoming production season and to learn more about our full portfolio of commodity, conservation, credit and disaster assistance programs,” said Nebraska FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner.

“This is a great event where our employees visit with producers about natural resource issues on their farming operations and share information about the funding and planning assistance available through our conservation programs,” said Nebraska NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson.

Johner said FSA and NRCS staff are excited to partner on the HHD grounds to answer producers’ questions and provide program information and updates.

“We recognize the important roles FSA and NRCS have in your agricultural operations,” Johner said. “Secretary Perdue has made customer service a priority within his administration at USDA, and that is the goal for our OneUSDA information center.”

Nebraska FSA and NRCS booth space is in the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts building located in the southeast quadrant of the grounds at lot 39E. Look for the blue building. For more information about FSA and NRCS programs, please visit

Annual Nebraska FFA Foundation Auction to be Held on September 12 at HHD and Online

Titan Tire Corporation, a subsidiary of Titan International, Inc., will be hosting a tire auction for the Nebraska FFA Foundation at Husker Harvest Days on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. In its sixth year, the 2018 auction will include a variety of tires on-site and online only bidding for a John Deere Gator and LSW Extreme Floatation Tires.

“We are so grateful for the support of Titan Tire, Graham Tire and the several John Deere dealers in the state for supporting the Nebraska FFA Foundation in this way. They, along with the bidders understand the value that this contribution makes for Nebraska FFA members, says Stacey Agnew. “These funds mean sustainability for the growing number of FFA chapters, members and advisors across the state.”

To participate in the live auction on Wednesday, September 12 at 11:00 am:
·      Sign in at the Nebraska FFA Foundation registration desk for a bid number to participate in person located at lot 628.
·      Log on to to watch and bid as the auction is streamed live.

To participate in the online auction for the John Deere Gator and LSW Extreme Floats:
·      Create an account and log on to anytime until Wednesday, September 12.

The list of tires, gator information and details about the live auction and online only auction are available at

U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement Announced; Work Continues On New Trilateral NAFTA

The United States and Mexico announced on Monday a preliminary U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement that modernizes provisions of the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), clearing a major hurdle toward a new, trilateral trade agreement with two of the largest buyers of U.S. coarse grains and co-products.

The new agreement came after five weeks of intensive negotiations in Washington between U.S. and Mexican officials. While Canadian officials have not been involved in the recent talks, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington, D.C., at press time, working with her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to hammer out an agreement that would allow the northern neighbor to join the new pact.

“We are grateful for news today that the United States and Mexico have reached an agreement that will keep NAFTA modernization efforts moving," said U.S. Grains Council President (USGC) and CEO Tom Sleight in a statement about the announcement on Monday. "This agreement is a major step forward for our relationship with Mexico and is a result of hard work over the last year to closely examine our vital partnership."

The U.S.-Mexico agreement would benefit American farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses by maintaining key provisions of the existing NAFTA and expanding access, notably through technical exchanges.

The agreement would:
-    keep existing tariffs at zero on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico, critical for the U.S. grains industry that counts Mexico as the top international customer for U.S. corn and distiller's dried grains with soluble (DDGS) and a key buyer of U.S. sorghum and barley.
-    enhance rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures beyond even what was included in the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which itself further enhanced commitments at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Most importantly, the agreement would establish a new mechanism for technical consultations to resolve issues between the parties.
-    include foundational language that specifically addresses innovations in agricultural breeding technology, again going farther than the TPP text.
-    include measures aimed at reducing the use of trade-distorting policies and ensuring fair treatment in grading and standards for agricultural products.

Negotiators managed to avoid several so-called "poison pills," including a seasonality produce proposal that could have impeded trade and created a risk of retaliatory action. The agreement also discarded the idea of a sunset clause in favor of authoring a 16-year agreement that will be subject to a review in six years.

Some provisions are still unclear as text is not yet fully released, including the outcome of investor-state dispute resolution provisions that protect U.S. investors from mistreatment; Chapter 19 provisions for reviewing anti-dumping (AD) or countervailing duties (CVD) cases; and harmonization of renewable fuel standards.

The Trump Administration has indicated its intention to notify the U.S. Congress of a new agreement on Friday, Aug. 31, with or without Canada, which will largely determine the next steps in the political and legal processes toward a fully revised NAFTA.

One potential complication is President Trump's continual threats to withdraw from the existing agreement, including during the press conference announcing the new U.S.-Mexico agreement. Another is that there is no final agreement on Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, which must be resolved before either will sign on to a new deal.

“Mexico is extremely important to every sector we represent. Yet, so too is Canada, our second largest ethanol market and a top ten corn market," Sleight said. "We hope the agreement today opens the door for Canada’s re-engagement, and we continue to oppose withdrawal from the existing NAFTA under any circumstances except the adoption of a new, beneficial and trilateral pact."

The Council has been involved in the NAFTA modernization negotiations since they began last year, with the priority of achieving an agreement that ensures market access to both major markets for U.S. coarse grains and ethanol.

Kansas State University-led team awarded $4 million NSF grant to accelerate crop breeding

Boosting crop yields to feed a growing world population expected to double by 2050 is the aim of newly funded multidisciplinary research led by Kansas State University.

Stephen Welch, professor of agronomy at Kansas State University, along with co-investigators Phillip Alderman, assistant professor of agronomy at Oklahoma State University, and Franklin Fondjo Fotou, assistant professor and chair of the department of technology at Langston University, have been awarded a four-year, $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Their goal is to develop ways to improve crop yields, crop breeding programs and in-field management. They will lead a team that draws on expertise from many disciplines.

"We have to accelerate our rate of breeding improvement," Welch said. "There are many lines of attack on this problem, and what we are looking at is how to fit those approaches together so they can be used in concert with each other."

The grant comes from the NSF Focused EPSCoR Collaborations program and is designed to promote nationwide scientific progress and build capacity. The program requires projects to include researchers from at least two eligible jurisdictions with an integrated vision.

The project, "Building Field-based Ecophysiological Genome-to-Phenome Prediction," will use wheat as an example crop. Wheat accounts for 20 percent of the world's calories and nourishment. The team will build a new computer model for wheat that combines crop physiology and genetics plus state-of-the-art field monitoring technologies. Instead of inferring soil profile data, canopy temperatures, development phases and so on, the model will use actual measurements enabled by new technology to predict how different wheat varieties will perform in different environments.

Integrating knowledge is the team's priority goal. By synergizing the best current features from multiple approaches, Welch and his team are looking to build a new model and supporting data system from scratch.

"We want to redesign the way we are approaching modeling and analysis," Alderman said. "The goal isn't to cobble together things off the shelf, but to take a step back and say, 'If we know we are going to have these data coming from the field from robots and unmanned aerial vehicles, let's build models that take that in as part of driving the model.'"

Training students is another crucial aspect of building capacity to ensure future food security.

"We are learning about plant growth and how we can control it and predict production, but we are also bringing in students who can gain experience and learn from that opportunity," Fondjo Fotou said. "It may give them a job tomorrow."

Students will learn how to work across disciplines and institutions as well as with the private sector. Alderman said he is excited to learn more about high-performance computing from Fondjo Fotou, who will also team with Kansas State University on robotics.

Technology and changing attitudes are making projects like this one possible, Welch said, citing advances in genetics, such as understanding how genes control when a plant flowers in different environments. Fondjo Fotou noted that machine learning and artificial intelligence offer tools that push researchers in new directions. Alderman said on a human level, the scientific community recognizes that reaching outside single disciplines is necessary to solve complex problems.

Industry partners cooperating in the project include IBM Research, DuPont Pioneer, Topcon Agriculture, DJI and Veris Technologies.

Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research at Kansas State University, said Welch's efforts to bring soil chemists, geneticists, statisticians, engineers, breeders, computer scientists, crop management and other experts together is an impressive undertaking.

"This project is an exemplar of the sort of multidisciplinary research efforts that funding agencies such as the NSF are really fostering," Montelone said.

The researchers said their project will result in better real-world recommendations for producers and a multiplier effect for future research efforts.

"What excites me is the opportunity to do something about the critical food security problem, and more than that, to bring along students and improve research capacity so as we move through the next 30 years, our ability to progress increases and increases," Welch said. "That's the positive multiplier that is giving us a unique opportunity to punch out a big one."

Soy Natural: Genetic Resistance Against Aphids

A tiny pest can cause huge losses to soybean farmers.

Several top soybean producing states in the U.S. are in the Upper Midwest. In these states, an insect--the soybean aphid--is a damaging pest. Each year, soybean aphids cause billions of dollars in crop losses. In a recent study, researchers have taken a big step toward identifying new soybean genes associated with aphid resistance.

"Discovering new resistance genes will help develop soybean varieties with more robust aphid resistance," says lead author Aaron Lorenz. "There are very few commercially-available varieties of soybean with aphid resistance genes. Newly-identified genes can serve as backup sources of resistance if the ones currently used are no longer useful." Lorenz is an agronomist and plant geneticist at the University of Minnesota.

Currently, insecticides are used to control aphid populations to reduce damage. But aphid populations that are resistant to widely-used insecticides have been found. Environmental issues with insecticide use can also be a concern. These issues may limit insecticide use in the future.

Using soybean varieties that are naturally resistant to aphids is an alternative to using insecticides.

"But the soybean aphid is a genetically diverse species. It is capable of quickly overcoming plant resistance," says Lorenz. "So we need to identify new sources of soybean aphid resistance."

To find previously unknown aphid resistance genes, researchers used already-published research. Thousands of varieties of soybean have been tested for aphid resistance. Genetic information also exists for many of these soybean varieties.

Lorenz and colleagues combined data on existing aphid resistance and genetics. "Our goal was to find which parts of the soybean genome contain genes related to aphid resistance," says Lorenz.

To do so, the researchers scanned the soybean genome for small genetic landmarks, called SNPs (pronounced "snips"). Then they tested if any of these landmarks were present more often in soybean varieties that are resistant to aphids. If so, "we can infer that a gene associated with aphid resistance may be near that landmark," says Lorenz.

Researchers have to be careful, though. "There are many reasons--beyond physical proximity--that could cause these associations," says Lorenz. "We build statistical models to account for the other reasons."

Lorenz and colleagues found several genetic landmarks that were more common in aphid-resistant soybean varieties. Some of these landmarks were in genetic regions near aphid resistance genes. But many others were in genetic regions not previously associated with aphid resistance.

That's exciting, says Lorenz. "These results can help guide researchers toward discovering new aphid resistance genes. That could be key for developing new aphid-resistant varieties of soybean."

Also encouraging is that the researchers found genetic landmarks associated with aphid resistance in several different soybean varieties. "That means a broad range of genetic backgrounds can be used for breeding purposes," says Lorenz.

Tofurky Sues to Stop Missouri Law Over Meat Terminology

(AP) -- Vegetarian food-maker Tofurky filed a lawsuit in Missouri on Monday seeking to defend its right to describe its products with meat terminology such as "sausage" and "hot dogs," as long as the packaging makes clear what the ingredients are.

The Hood River, Oregon-based company and The Good Food Institute, which advocates for plant-based diets, say a Missouri law set to take effect Tuesday that bars companies from "misrepresenting" products as meat if they're not from "harvested livestock or poultry" is too vague and could be used to go after a range of vegetarian products that use such terminology. Tofurky says if the law is allowed to stand, it would have to change its packaging.

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association, which supported the statute, said its concern isn't with products like Tofurky that make clear they're from plants. Mike Deering, the group's executive vice president, said the worry is the emerging science of meat grown by culturing animal cells in a lab, and whether they'll disclose how they were made once they're on the market.

As companies push newer meat substitutes, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has also said protecting "beef nomenclature" is a priority. The U.S. Cattlemen's Association, a smaller group, petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture in February to enforce that "beef" and "meat" only be used for animals "born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner."

Mary Compton, a spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, said her office will defend the law against Tofurky's challenge.

Growth Energy, RFA Demand Transparency for Small Refinery Exemptions in New Lawsuit

Growth Energy and The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) today filed a lawsuit in federal district court, alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) have improperly denied agency records requested by Growth Energy, RFA, and others under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The requested documents relate to exemptions from Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance obligations granted by EPA.

“EPA should come clean and provide the public with what it deserves – a full accounting of the stark increase in the number of small refinery exemptions it has granted in recent years,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We deserve to know why EPA has supercharged its approvals of these exemptions without reallocating lost gallons and making sure that RFS volumes are met each year.”

“As recently as November of 2016, EPA itself has proposed a rule that would make basic information regarding small refiner exemptions available to the public, including the name of the refinery requesting the exemption, its location, and the nature of the relief requested. EPA has admitted that such information should not be treated as confidential,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “So, why is EPA continuing to hide this information from public scrutiny and protect both the previous EPA administrator and highly profitable refiners who probably exploited and abused the exemption provision? Because EPA and DOE both ignored our repeated requests for basic information on the exemptions, we had no choice but to take this legal action. America’s ethanol producers, who are experiencing economic hardship because of EPA’s mishandling of the small refiner exemptions, deserve to know what was happening behind the curtain at EPA. We will continue to fight and take every action necessary to ensure the RFS is implemented and enforced as intended by Congress.”

Growth Energy and RFA are the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Both Growth Energy and RFA have submitted several records requests dating back to April 2018 seeking information related to exemptions from the RFS that EPA has granted to small refineries in complete secrecy. EPA and DOE have failed to act within the timeframes required by FOIA and have improperly withheld the requested documents.

By filing this lawsuit now, Growth Energy, RFA, and their allies in the renewable fuel industry aim to increase transparency and foster better oversight of EPA’s use of small refinery exemptions.


Under the RFS, refineries producing transportation fuel must demonstrate each year that they have blended certain volumes of renewable fuel into gasoline or diesel fuel or acquired credits from others called “RINs” representing all or part of those volume obligations. The RFS allows certain “small” refineries – those with a throughput of less than 75,000 barrels per day – to petition EPA for a temporary extension of an exemption from the renewable fuel volume requirements for a given year if they can show that compliance would impose a “disproportionate economic hardship” on them. EPA is required to consult with the Department of Energy to determine whether to grant an exemption.

To date, EPA has yet to provide the public with any information regarding how it assesses small refinery exemption petitions and it has resisted release of almost all information regarding recent exemptions that have been granted, including: (1) the fact that it has granted an exemption; (2) the name of the exempted refinery; (3) the volume of renewable fuel exempted; (4) the years covered by the exemptions; (5) EPA’s analysis of whether the small refinery would be subject to disproportionate economic harm if it had to comply with the RFS.

Earlier this year, Growth Energy, RFA, and allied organizations also filed a lawsuit in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and a related administrative petition with EPA on the misuse of small refiner exemptions. In addition, RFA, the National Corn Growers Association, and other partners filed a lawsuit in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on specific exemptions improperly granted by EPA.

Groups Support Moratorium on Ag Mergers Bill

R-CALF USA and 80 other organizations have endorsed S.3404, The Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2018 (the Act), introduced Wednesday in Congress by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). The Act would place a moratorium on certain mergers and acquisition of large agribusinesses, including meatpackers, and establish a commission to strengthen antitrust enforcement in farm and food sectors and make recommendations on ways to improve merger enforcement.

Over the weekend, R-CALF USA members attending the group's 19th annual convention passed a proposed resolution addressing the ongoing trend marked by fewer but increasingly larger meatpackers in the already highly concentrated U.S. cattle market. The resolution calls on Congress to enact an immediate moratorium on mergers and acquisitions of dominant market participants in agricultural markets until the U.S. Department of Justice becomes more proactive in enforcing U.S. antitrust laws.

Another proposed resolution addresses the trend toward more foreign ownership of critical U.S. meatpacking and processing facilities. It likewise calls for a moratorium on calling on any future foreign acquisitions of food production or processing facilities in the United States. Both proposed resolutions will be voted on by the group's entire voting membership through a mail-out ballot.

R-CALF USA has long opposed the ongoing consolidation, concentration and foreign ownership of marketing channels in the U.S. cattle industry. In 2008, the group successfully encouraged 17 state attorneys general and the Justice Department to block the merger between Brazilian-owned JBS and the nation's fourth largest meatpacker, National Beef Packing Company (National Beef). More recently, a controlling interest in National Beef was sold to another Brazilian firm, Marfrig and neither the Justice Department nor the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) would interfere with the acquisition.

"Our members have long believed that the ongoing trend of mega-mergers and acquisitions by foreign entities is severely reducing competition and jeopardizing our nation's food security and food safety," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

The Act's preamble contains findings in support of the moratorium including that the "high concentration and consolidation of buyers in agricultural markets has resulted in the thinning of both cash and futures markets, thereby allowing dominant buyers to leverage their market shares to move those markets to the detriment of family farmers and ranchers."

It also states, "Past congressional action to remediate market failure, such as enacting country-of-origin labeling to provide transparency for domestic farmers, ranchers, and consumers regarding agricultural commodity origins, have been overturned for key commodities by oligopolistic conglomerates that use undifferentiated imports to reduce domestic farm prices."

"These are just a sample of the 23 findings contained in the Act that demonstrate that fundamental reforms must be made to protect U.S. cattle producers and U.S. consumers from being exploited by firms that are eliminating competition in our markets," concluded Bullard.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wednesday August 29 Ag News

Nebraska Soybean Board to Hold September Meeting

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) will hold its final board meeting of the 2018 fiscal year on September 5 at Country Inn & Suites in Lincoln.

The majority of the meeting will be spent finalizing the budget for the 2019 fiscal year and reviewing project reports. The winners of the NSB July election will be introduced to the board, and the members will review expectations for their term beginning October 1, 2018.

Committee meetings will be held and all attendees will be given updates on the NSB’s strategic business plan.

A full agenda can be found at

Nebraska State Grange Annual Convention

The annual meeting of the Nebraska State Grange will be held at the Ramada Rivers Edge Inn, Columbus, Nebraska, September 7-8-9.

The Executive Committee will meet at 9 AM on Friday morning.

At 12 PM attending Grange members will leave the motel for lunch and a tour of the Genoa Indian School and the Mormon and Pawnee Museum. The group will meet for supper at Dusters.

After supper the attendees will gather at the motel to register and practice for the opening ceremony on Saturday morning, followed by looking over resolutions and an Ice Cream Social.

Saturday morning the group will be welcomed by a representative of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, followed by the opening of the Grange annual session and guests will be introduced.

The National Grange Report from Betsy Huber, will be read, followed by the annual report of the State President, Kevin Cooksley, from Weissert, NE. Election of officers will follow the reports.

The MC for the noon luncheon will be Joe Fryman, from Blair. Scholarships and community Service awards will be presented. The afternoon speaker will be Christine Hamp, from Washington State, representing the National Grange. Christine holds the office of National Grange Lecturer. She will be accompanied by her husband Duane.

The Saturday evening banquet will be at 6 PM. The MC will be Kevin Cooksley, State Grange President. The Lecturers Awards and Distinguished Service Awards will be presented. The entertainment will be a talent show. The evening will end with an auction of the winning baked goods.

Sunday morning Ricki Wulf, Chaplain, will lead a memorial service for members who have passed on in the last year.

Darlene Janing, Lecturer, has arranged for Elizabeth “Liz” Blaser, from the Duncan area, and a current senior at the Columbus High School, to speak about balancing her many activities, band, National Honor Society, dance, 4-H, and her favorite, riding and showing horses. She got her first horse when she was seven years old. She has served as an elected youth delegate holding membership with the National Reining Horse Association. She plans to attend college, major in Pre-med and hopes to ride for a division one equestrian team.

The elected officers will be installed, followed by committee reports.

Lunch will be on your own. The MC will be Russell Tooker, State Grange Overser.

Committee Reports will be given and the session will close at the end of business. 


Husker Harvest Days exhibits from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will help show farm and ranch families how to manage change and challenges in their operations.

“Managing Change and Challenge: Strengthening Nebraska’s Agricultural Economy” is the theme for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources exhibits at the Sept. 11-13 show near Grand Island.

Exhibits will outline a wide range of decision points, strategies and tools for farmers, livestock producers and farm families that can have a direct impact on their economic well-being.

Exhibits inside IANR’s trademark Husker Red steel building at Lot 827 on the southeast side of the exhibit grounds will provide information on:
> the relationship between cost, nutritional value and impact of various feed sources for cow/calf operations;
> how farmers can better utilize federal farm policies such as the Farm Bill safety net during a time of transition into new realities in the agricultural marketplace;
> using crop budgets to analyze the true operating costs for a farm;
> agricultural land value and rental rates in Nebraska;
> succession and transitions for farms and ranches;
> the nutrient value of baled cornstalks for cattle feed and exploration of the implications of the practice on soil quality;
> how families, farms and communities deal with stress.

In addition, a bank of video screens will provide a big-picture experience of “Hot Topics in Nebraska Agriculture.” Nebraska Extension specialists will be on hand to providing additional information on each of the showcased topics, which include crop response to hail, cover crop planting, grazing cover crops, and effects of weather and climate on agricultural systems. The screens will also be used to demonstrate a grain marketing program that can simulate real-time commodity marketing decision-making.

Outdoor exhibits adjacent to the building will feature demonstrations related to pest management and commodity marketing. The weed science team will demonstrate how best to apply pesticides with minimal drift using a sprayer technology trailer. They will also help attendees learn how to identify field and pasture weeds and herbicide injury on both crops and weeds.

For youth attendees, the outdoor area will also feature the Commodity Carnival, where participants can learn about livestock and grain marketing.

IANR faculty and staff will be available to answer questions on a variety of extension and research-related topics, provide copies of NebGuides and direct those needing further information to extension experts in their area.

Showgoers can also learn about the latest opportunities for students at the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis. College representatives will be available throughout the show to answer questions from potential students. Those interested in the Nebraska Leadership Education Action Development program can also visit with a representative.

Regional Water Symposium to be held October 24-26 in Lincoln

Registration for the 2018 National Institutes for Water Resources Regional Symposium "Water Resources of the U.S. Great Plains Region: Status and Future" is now open, with early bird rates valid through September 17.

Organized by the Nebraska Water Center (NWC), the nine-state regional event will be held October 24-26, at Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. The symposium will bring together water leaders, scientists, managers, students and stakeholders within the Missouri and Arkansas River Basins. Federal representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Geological Survey will discuss basin-wide challenges and share research and funding opportunities.

Unlike previous NWC symposiums focused on Nebraska, this one will bring together Water Resources Research Institute directors from the nine state region - Montana, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Key topics include nutrient loading and harmful algal blooms, agricultural water use, surface and groundwater contamination and depletion, industrial and municipal water use, impacts of climate change on water resources, coordinated aquifer management and maintaining healthy ecosystems for fish and wildlife within the basins, among others. 

Registration fees through September 17:
    Regular Registration: $250
    Student Poster Presenter Registration: Free with student ID and poster verification
    General Student: $150

The symposium features more than 30 speakers. In addition to presentations, there will be a juried poster session showcasing student research in water and agricultural sciences. Graduates and undergraduates are encouraged to share a poster, but only graduates are eligible for the competition. The symposium will include updates on the Platte Basin Timelapse project, tours of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Greenhouse and Food Innovation Center, as well as two dinners and two lunches.

For more information, including event registration, visit
Support for the 2018 symposium is provided by the Nebraska Water Center, Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, USDA NIFA, USGS Nebraska Water Science Center, National Institute for Water Resources, EPSCOR Nebraska, and UNL IANR.

ICGA Delegates Move on Issues Impacting Iowa Corn Farmers at Annual Grassroots Summit

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) held its Annual Grassroots Summit in Des Moines on Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 where ICGA delegates set the direction for the policies and priorities in the coming year.

“I am humbled and honored to be stepping into the role of President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association,” stated Curt Mether, a farmer from Logan. “In a time of great uncertainty in Washington, I want to personally thank you for your dedication as we work together to share your voice along with nearly 7,500 members. We are committed to finding agreement on the key issues that we as corn farmers are facing.”

During the two-day Grassroots Summit, the 100 delegates in attendance had the opportunity to review expiring policies and debate new resolutions. The Grassroots Summit is the year-end event in the policy development process. The policy process includes a member-wide survey in the spring, roundtable discussions held across the state in the summer and the Grassroots Summit in late August. Policies that relate to national issues can be brought forth at the Commodity Classic meetings in March with National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) farmer delegates.

The delegates deliberated on many important state issues impacting Iowa corn farmers, including these priority issues:  (Listed in alphabetical order, not by priority ranking)
Conservation/Water Quality – Maintain legislative funding stream for Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Ethanol – Obtain funding for the renewable infrastructure cost-share program (RFIP)
Livestock – Support existing regulatory framework for the livestock industry
Research – Ag Extension and Diagnostic Lab funding
Taxes – Protect critical tax credits (Section 179 and biofuels)

“This meeting reaffirmed our top federal priorities of expanding consumer access to higher blends of ethanol year-round including E15, calling for the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as intended, supporting international marketing of agricultural commodities by expanding trade agreements, and the continued funding of USDA commodity export programs,” Met her confirmed. “We are focused on supporting legislation that will build markets and create demand for corn and corn products.”

Delegates weighed several key federal issues: (Listed in alphabetical order, not by priority ranking)
Ethanol – Retain the RFS and reduce regulatory barriers for higher blends
Risk Management - Protect crop insurance funding as part of the Farm Bill
Trade – Expand new and protect existing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements
Trade – Protect/expand the Market Access Program & Foreign Market Development funding as part of the Farm Bill
Transportation – Infrastructure maintenance and upgrade to our inland waterways system

On Friday, TED talk speaker and author, Adam Carroll kicked off the summit inspiring ICGA’s members to take an active role in their organization and their community. In the afternoon, attendees participated in several small group roundtables with topics ranging from social media, Farm Bill, soil health, research, ethanol to trade promotion. Members enjoyed that evening the I-LEAD graduation ceremony of 22 agriculture industry rising stars. Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, an I-LEAD Class 6 graduate, gave the keynote congratulating Class 8 and reassuring them the impact the leadership program will have on their future.

The Local Leaders Awards Breakfast kicked off Saturday morning with an update from Iowa Corn Grassroots Network & Checkoff Committee Chair, Larry Buss, explaining the plan to increase ICGA’s membership. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig welcomed and thanked members for participating in the policy development of their organization. Wrapping up the program, Buss handed out awards recognizing the efforts of many outstanding local corn farmer-leaders and their programming at the county and district level.

During the final part of the Summit, Incoming President Curt Mether and Incoming President Wayne Humphreys gave their presidential updates outlining their key goals for the upcoming year. ICGA members also heard from National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Skunes.

The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Luncheon concluded the event which included the presentation of the Walter Goeppinger Lifetime Achievement Award, given to an Iowa Corn member who has showcased exemplary leadership skills and service throughout their time with Iowa Corn. This year, Iowa Corn honored Gordon Wassenaar of Prairie City who has shown exceptional dedication and leadership to the agriculture industry. The summit wrapped up with an update from Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series partners University of Iowa Athletic Director, Gary Bara and Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.

ICGA will release its finalized top 2019 state and federal policy priorities in December based on grassroots input provided during the Summit. The complete 2018-2019 policy resolution book is available upon request by emailing or calling 515-225-9242.

USDA Announces Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Detection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a neurologic disease of cattle, in a six year old mixed-breed beef cow in Florida.  This animal never entered slaughter channels and at no time presented a risk to the food supply, or to human health in the United States.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed that this cow was positive for atypical H-type BSE.  The animal was initially tested at the Colorado State University (CSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (a National Animal Health Laboratory Network laboratory) as part of routine surveillance of cattle that are deemed unsuitable for slaughter.  APHIS and Florida veterinary officials are gathering more information on the case.

BSE is not contagious and exists in two types - classical and atypical.  Classical BSE is the form that occurred primarily in the United Kingdom, beginning in the late 1980’s, and it has been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people. The primary source of infection for classical BSE is feed contaminated with the infectious prion agent, such as meat-and-bone meal containing protein derived from rendered infected cattle.  Regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have prohibited the inclusion of mammalian protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants since 1997 and have also prohibited high risk tissue materials in all animal feed since 2009.

Atypical BSE is different, and it generally occurs in older cattle, usually 8 years of age or greater. It seems to arise rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations.

This is the nation’s 6th detection of BSE.  Of the five previous U.S. cases, the first, in 2003, was a case of classical BSE in a cow imported from Canada; the rest have been atypical (H- or L-type) BSE.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognizes the United States as negligible risk for BSE.  As noted in the OIE guidelines for determining this status, atypical BSE cases do not impact official BSE risk status recognition as this form of the disease is believed to occur spontaneously in all cattle populations at a very low rate. Therefore, this finding of an atypical case will not change the negligible risk status of the United States, and should not lead to any trade issues.

The United States has a longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE that protects public and animal health in the United States, the most important of which is the removal of specified risk materials - or the parts of an animal that would contain BSE should an animal have the disease - from all animals presented for slaughter. The second safeguard is a strong feed ban that protects cattle from the disease. Another important component of our system - which led to this detection - is our ongoing BSE surveillance program that allows USDA to detect the disease if it exists at very low levels in the U.S. cattle population.

More information about this disease is available in the BSE factsheet...

Consumer Reports Article About Food Safety Illustrates Magazine’s Bias

Today’s Consumer Reports article “What’s Really in Your Meat?” is nothing more than sensationalist journalism. The article, which bases its findings on unconfirmed residue screening tests of meat, draws false and misleading conclusions meant to deceive consumers and reduce the consumption of meat.

The unconfirmed results utilized by the author were erroneously released by USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) in March of this year following receipt of a Freedom of Information Act request. After realizing the mistake, FSIS worked to correct the error and provide accurate data from confirmed tests. However, even after accurate information was provided by FSIS, Consumer Reports continued to utilize the inaccurate information on which the article is based.

In a response issued today by FSIS, the agency calls the story “sensational and fear-based infotainment aimed at confusing shoppers with pseudoscience and scare tactics.” The path chosen by Consumer Reports does nothing to protect or inform and will only serve to create doubts about safety in the minds of consumers.

Articles such as this only serve to create an inaccurate atmosphere of mistrust about the safety of the U.S. meat supply and cast doubt on the U.S. National Residue Program at FSIS. Knowingly printing inaccurate and misleading articles, which rely on information that is known to be false, misleads consumers about the competency of the current food safety programs in place at USDA. Those programs have long been the global gold standard for food safety and today they continue to provide overlapping safeguards to ensure consumers are receiving wholesome and safe products.

FSIS, in the statement issued today reiterated these points, saying:

“If violative drug residues are found in any meat or poultry product, FSIS does not allow that product to be sold for human food. In fact, all meat and poultry products that are being tested for drug residues are not allowed to leave the company’s control until FSIS labs determine that the product is safe and wholesome. If samples are violative, the company is not permitted to ship any of these meat and poultry products to the grocery store.”

The author of “What’s Really in Your Meat?” admits that the article’s findings are uncertain and any potential risks are unknown. The reality is that America’s beef producers take food safety seriously, as do the government agencies that regulate and monitor production in the United States. To suggest otherwise is false and irresponsible.

In the past, shoppers in the United States relied upon Consumer Reports for accurate information about the products they purchased. However, the bias on display in this article and others like it demonstrates that fair and accurate reporting is no longer a priority for the magazine. If Consumer Reports can’t do better than this when reporting on topics of critical importance, the American public would be better served if the magazine returned its focus to the testing of lightbulb lifespans and other matters of less gravity.

Fertilizer Prices Remain Mixed

According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of August 2018, prices continue to be evenly mixed. Price for half of the eight fertilizers tracked by DTN were slightly higher while the other half were lower for the second consecutive week.

The move in either direction was fairly muted, as has been the case for several months. Urea moved lower with an average price of $364/ton, anhydrous was $481/ton, UAN28 was $233/ton and UAN32 was $271/ton.

The remaining half were slightly higher compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $487/ton, MAP $514/ton, potash $356/ton and 10-34-0 $446/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 6% higher, 10-34-0 is 7% more expensive, UAN28 is 8% higher, UAN32 is 9% more expensive, both MAP and DAP are 12% higher, anhydrous is 15% higher and urea is 20% more expensive compared to last year.

Perdue Statement on Senate Confirmation of James Hubbard

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement regarding Senate Confirmation of James Hubbard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment:

“I’m very excited for Jim to finally join our team here at USDA. His decades of experience, both in Colorado and across the federal government, make him uniquely qualified for this role and I’m confident that he will hit the ground running. I commend the Senate for its approval of Jim and urge Senators to take up other USDA nominees as quickly as possible.”

Golden Harvest® helps farmers select the right product for their farm with E-Luminate®

Golden Harvest® announced today the rollout of E-Luminate®, an exclusive digital offering that draws upon extensive agronomic data to help farmers make more informed seed selection decisions. This unique seed placement tool is available to Golden Harvest Seed Advisors for use with their customers to have field-level discussion around selecting the right hybrid.

E-Luminate enables Golden Harvest Seed Advisors to quickly assess field characteristics and choose the best products and management practices on a field-by-field basis.
·         It uses GIS-based mapping for immediate assessment of soil characteristics.
·         Additionally, details specific to weed, disease and insect pressures can be considered to generate recommendations for Golden Harvest seed that performs consistently for each field condition.
·         With E-Luminate, seed recommendations reflect actual performance comparisons across varieties, by year and region, powered by the precision of statistical analysis.
·         The results appear in a visual dashboard that compares and contrasts seed varieties.

“Golden Harvest offers a diverse portfolio of corn hybrids and soybean varieties to maximize yield in a wide variety of environments,” said Bruce Battles, head of seeds agronomy. “But high-quality seed is only part of the equation; product placement is crucial for realizing optimal yield. A number of factors can make seed selection a real challenge, but E-Luminate simplifies the equation.”

The introduction of E-Luminate builds upon and leverages the extensive data that fuels the Golden Harvest plant breeding program.

“In addition to aggressively using data and analytics to make better decisions throughout the plant breeding process, we looked at how we could translate that data science into an improved farmer experience,” said Paul Bonnett, portfolio delivery manager, digital agriculture, for Golden Harvest. “In doing so, we were able to use modeling to determine how products are likely to perform in local environments, leading to the eventual development of E-Luminate.”

When combined with the local agronomic knowledge of a Golden Harvest Seed Advisor, the applied data and modeling for seed selection in E-Luminate helps farmers create comprehensive field solutions to maximize their genetic and profit potential.


CLAAS of America announced at the 2018 Farm Progress Show the launch of FIRST CLAAS USED, the next generation of used equipment certification, offering a new level of uniformity and accountability for reconditioned CLAAS equipment. From the company that introduced the industry’s first “certified” used equipment program in 2011, the FIRST CLAAS USED program sets new standards for marketing used farm equipment and offers growers greater peace of mind.

“You wouldn’t buy a house without first having it inspected, so why should a grower settle for anything less with their pre-owned machines?” explained CLAAS Remarketing Manager Allen Miller. “The FIRST CLAAS USED Program adds transparency to the used equipment transaction and helps ensure that growers are set up for success when they make that investment in pre-owned equipment.”

CLAAS introduced the industry’s first certified used equipment program in 2011 with the launch of and its LEXION Field Ready Reconditioned Program. The new program focuses on enhancing the value of used CLAAS equipment beginning with three different levels of reconditioning.

Gold Level

This classification is reserved for select CLAAS combines that are five years old or newer with fewer than 2,500 engine hours. The combines are cleaned, detailed and meticulously inspected by a FIRST CLAAS USED certified technician. The combine is then professionally reconditioned by a trained technician. This program level also comes with a one-year MAXI CARE 500 Protection Plan.

Silver Level

Select CLAAS combines and foragers that are five years old or newer with fewer than 2,500 engine hours are eligible for silver level status. The machines are cleaned, detailed and meticulously inspected by a FIRST CLAAS USED certified technician. During inspection, a recommended parts list is produced to give the farmer a good idea of the repairs he may need to make. On silver-level combines, if the critical repairs are completed by an authorized CLAAS trained technician, the machine may be brought up to gold-level status.

Bronze Level

This classification is open to all CLAAS equipment and contains no hours minimum. Bronze-level machines are clean and operational.

“This FIRST CLAAS USED program allows growers to find not only what CLAAS machinery best fits their needs, but also what falls within their budget,” Miller said. “The program offers growers transparency and peace of mind. CLAAS takes a lot of pride in knowing that after purchasing their CLAAS equipment, growers know exactly what they’re getting — no matter the originating dealer.”

By formalizing the process and simplifying the methodology, CLAAS has created a common standard throughout the dealer network. This ensures that a gold-level reconditioning at one dealership will mean the same at a dealership 30 miles down the road. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tuesday August 28 Ag News

Rainout Grazing Options
Ben Beckman, Beef Systems Extension Educator, Cedar County

Summer in Nebraska is usually characterized by warm sunny days that fuel thunderstorms popping up in the afternoon and evening hours.  Heavy rain, hail, and damaging winds are no stranger to us.  This year in the northern part of the state however it seems like the heavy rain has gotten a bit carried away.  While a bit of excess moisture is always welcome, the continual deluge this summer has left low lying hay ground flooded, fields hailed out, and producers scrambling to put up they hay they can get to in the narrow window between storms. 

What this means is we are left with lesser amounts of lower quality hay being produced this fall.  Hay meadows that are normally grazed as regrowth were harvested later or not at all, reducing our grazing options.  This fall and winter will require a bit of extra planning with these challenges ahead to make sure we are meeting the nutrient requirements of our animals, especially lactating animals in spring calving herds.

The first step is to understand what resources are currently available. The hay that was harvested might be a bit farther along than normal, what did that do to the quality?  If you haven’t already been testing your hay, this would be a good year to start.  Depending on the lab you use, a basic nutrient test on hay samples will run $15-$20.  Near Infrared Reflectance (NIR) technology has helped provide more information at lower prices than ever before.  If you need some assistance on the “how” to sample part, your local extension office would be happy to connect you with a beef educator who can help out or you can look up NebGuide G331 “Sampling Feeds for Analyses” that will walk you through the process.

If you usually graze hay meadow regrowth and were only able to put up half this year, what will that look like?  Will you only graze the hayed portions or can you push animals to graze the standing forage too? Now is the time to start penciling out a plan for how to use that resource.  Regrowth on grass hay can easily be above 15% crude protein.  Mature grasses on the other hand are well below 10%.  Both are great forage resources, we just have to manage them different.  If the ground isn’t too wet, maybe limiting access to regrowth while animals are primarily utilizing the more mature forage is an option to be explored.  Additionally, supplementation with high quality hay or another economic protein source may be an option.  Just make sure that you’re running the numbers for both meeting animal needs and cost.  Overfeeding a high priced protein source isn’t doing anyone favors except the person who made the sale.

One final option that might be considered is using annual forages to fill the gap.  The window to get seed in the ground for a viable fall grazing resource is rabidly closing, so you’ll need to act quickly.  Work done at UNL by Dr. Mary Drewnoski and Dr. Daren Redfern have shown that even a simple rye/brassica mixture planted in the late summer/early fall can produce large amounts of high quality forage.  The best part about this is that the oats and brassicas will hold their quality into the winter, well after the first freeze, so a producer can let the crop grow, gaining yield.  After that first frost when the plants quit actively growing, start grazing.  Pairing this with crop residues can provide plenty of quality forage well into the winter to meet your animal’s needs without having to feed anything.

Nebraska Ethanol Board to Meet Sept. 14, 2018

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet Friday, Sept. 14, at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel (333 S. 13th Street) in downtown Lincoln.

The board welcomes soon-to-be Administrator Sarah Thornton Caswell to the meeting. Caswell has extensive experience in the bio-industry sector and recently served as vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Edeniq, a technology firm serving the biofuels industry. Caswell earned her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Illinois Bar. She will assume the role of board administrator Sept. 17.

This will be the last board meeting for long-time Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator Todd Sneller, who retires Sept. 14.

The meeting highlights include:
-    Presentation: Mark Wilkins, UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources
-    American Coalition for Ethanol – Ron Lamberty & Liz Bunkers
-    E30 Road Test in Legacy Vehicles update
-    Husker Motorsports Team
-    Marketing & Education updates
-    State and Federal Legislation update

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.

2018 NeFU Fall District Meetings Schedule

District 2 Fall Meeting: Loup River Inn, Fullerton, NE 68638
Wednesday, September 5, 2018:  4:00 pm meeting with Supper to follow.
·         District 2 Director’s Report:  Jim Knopik
·         Status of Costco Project-Graham Christensen
·         Status of Keystone XL Pipeline project-Art Tanderup
·         Sen. Tom Briese:  Nebraska Legislature Preview (Property tax reform)
·         NFU Fly-in Preview –NeFU Programs Director, Camdyn Kavan
NeFU District 2 Business:
·         Election of officers
·         Nominations for NeFU Board of Director—elected by District convention delegates
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
·         NeFU Policy Day:  December 6, 2018
·         NeFU State Convention:  December 7-8, 2018   (888) 236-2427 Reservations
·         Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
·         NFU Convention, March 3-5, 2019   The Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more information, call Lynn Belitz (308) 550-0859 or Jim Knopik (308) 550-0288 cell.

District 5 Fall Meeting:  Lee’s Chicken Restaurant, 1940 W Van Dorn St, Lincoln, NE 68522
Monday, September 17, 2018:  6:00 pm supper on your own with meeting to follow.
·         District 5 Director’s Report:  Ben Gotschall
·         NFU Fly-in report:  Camdyn Kavan: Farm Bill trade & renewable energy
·         State issues:  Report on legislative and initiative property tax relief efforts.
NeFU District 5 Business:
·         Election of officers
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
·         NeFU Policy Day:  December 6, 2018
·         NeFU State Convention:  December 7-8, 2018   (888) 236-2427 Reservations
·         Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
·         NFU Convention, March 3-5, 2019   The Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more info, call Ben Gotschall (402) 705-8679 Cell or Jeremiah Picard (402) 570-3746.

District 6 Fall Meeting: Lions Club Open Air Building, Tekamah Park, Tekamah
Tuesday, September 18, 2018:  6:30 pm Potluck - Bring a dish to share.  Let Graham Christensen ( know if you can bring meat to grill (402) 217-5217. 
Guest Speaker:  LD16 State Senate Candidate Chuck Hassebrook on Real Property Tax Reform
Agenda Items: 
·         District 6 Director’s Report:  Graham Christensen
·         Regenerative Farming Update - Including two new Tree-Range Poultry Units going up in Dist. 6!
·         Citizen Scientist Program Update - Last chance to test your water. 
·         State issues:  Report on legislative and initiative property tax relief efforts.
·         NFU Fly-in report:  Farm Bill/Farm Crisis, trade and renewable energy issues
NeFU District 6 Business:
·         Election of officers
·         Nominations for NeFU Board of Director—elected by District delegates at convention
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
·         NeFU Policy Day:  December 6, 2018
·         NeFU State Convention:  December 7-8, 2018   (888) 236-2427 Reservations
·         Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
·         NFU Convention, March 3-5, 2019   The Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more information, call Paul Poppe (402) 380-4508.

District 7 Fall Meeting: Barnstormers Family Restaurant, 4100 S 13th St, Norfolk, NE 68701
Thursday, September 20, 2018. 6:00 pm supper on own with meeting to follow.
·         District 7 Director’s Report:  Martin Kleinschmit
·         Paul Theobold, Candidate for 3rd Congressional District
·         Timothy Gragert, Candidate for Nebraska Legislature District 40
·         National Issues:  NFU Fly-in report, Farm Bill status, & other national issues
·         State issues:  Report on property tax relief efforts and upcoming issues in the Legislature.
NeFU District 7 Business:
·         Election of officers
·         Nominations for NeFU Board of Director—elected by District delegates at convention
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
·         NeFU Policy Day:  December 6, 2018
·         NeFU State Convention:  December 7-8, 2018   (888) 236-2427 Reservations
·         Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, 333 S. 13th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
·         NFU Convention, March 3-5, 2019   The Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more info, call Art Tanderup (402) 278-0942 Cell or (402) 887-1396 Home.

2019 Planting Intentions Outlook: Best of a bad lot?

Farmers starting to pencil out options for 2019 crops don’t have many obvious choices in a year dominated by trade disputes, good yields and low prices. But like it or not, growers are starting to place their bets for the coming year, according to Farm Futures first survey of 2019 planting intentions. Results of the survey were released Tuesday morning on the opening day of the Farm Progress Show, the nation's largest outdoor farm show, held in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 28-30.

Some of the choices appear easy to anyone following the headlines. China’s 25% tariff on imports of U.S. soybeans helped pummel prices headed into harvest, and a record crop didn’t help the market either. So, growers said they plan to trim seedings by 2 million acres next spring. That would take soybean acreage to 87.5 million, compared to the 89.6 million put in the ground this year, a decrease of 2.3%.

Many of those acres would shift to corn, helping realign rotations after soybean plantings topped corn for the first time in a generation in 2018. Corn could face brighter price prospects headed into 2019, too, giving growers faith to raise corn seedings by 1.7 million to 90.8 million acres. That would be increase of just under 2% compared to this spring.

Global corn stocks are tightening due to weather problems overseas that also hurt wheat production in other exporting countries. Winter wheat futures led a brief price rebound this summer, which appears to be bringing more land into production as growers seed fields this fall.

The survey found farmers ready to put in 33.6 million acres of winter wheat, up nearly 850,000 from a year ago, an increase of 2.6%. Farmers indicated they would seed around 4% more hard red and soft red winter wheat, while reducing white wheat acreage.

“Dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest caused by this summer’s extreme heat may be causing that reduction, despite better prospects for exports due to the drought in Australia,” said Farm Futures Sr. Market Analyst Bryce Knorr. “Moisture looks better for the other winter wheats, and farmers are also rewarding strong basis in the cash market for both those classes.”

Spring wheat prices lagged this year as production rebounded following the 2017 drought on the northern Plains. The survey found a drop in planting intentions for both spring wheat and durum of 2.5%.

Cotton growers have enjoyed a strong market this year due to high abandonment of fields on the Southwest Plains that cut production. Improved moisture could lead more fields into production in 2019, with the survey putting seedings at 13.8 million acres, nearly a 2% increase for 2018.

Sorghum is another crop ensnarled in trade friction between the U.S. and China. Nonetheless, growers reported plans to boost seedings of the feed grain by nearly 8%, to 6.5 million.

“Obviously, it’s still very early in the process for fixing acreage, so a lot could change,” said Knorr. “But the initial readings from our August surveys historically held up well through the fall and winter.”

Over the past 11 years the average difference between Farm Futures August intentions and USDA’s Prospective Plantings the following March is 1.5% for corn and 2.5% for soybeans.

Farm Futures surveyed 924 growers July 20 to August 2. Farmers were invited by email to complete an on-line questionnaire.

United States and Canadian Cattle Inventory Up 1 Percent

All cattle and calves in the United States and Canada combined totaled 116 million head on July 1, 2018, up 1 percent from the 115 million head on July 1, 2017. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 46.6 million head, were up 1 percent from a year ago.
All cattle and calves in the United States as of July 1, 2018, totaled 103 million head, 1 percent above the 102 million head on July 1, 2017. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 41.9 million head, were up 1 percent from a year ago.

All cattle and calves in Canada as of July 1, 2018, totaled 12.4 million head, down 1 percent from the 12.5 million head on July 1, 2017. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 4.70 million head, were down 1 percent from a year ago.

This publication is a result of a joint effort by Statistics Canada and NASS to release the number of cattle and calves by class and calf crop for both countries within one publication. This information was requested by the United States cattle industry to provide producers additional information about potential beef supplies. United States inventory numbers were previously released on July 20, 2018. Canadian inventory numbers were previously released on August 23, 2018.

United States and Canadian Hog Inventory up 3 Percent

United States and Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs for June 2018 was 87.6 million head. This was up 3 percent from June 2017, and up 5 percent from June 2016. The breeding inventory, at 7.58 million head, was up 3 percent from a year ago and up 5 percent from 2016. Market hog inventory, at
80.1 million head, was up 3 percent from last year and up 5 percent from 2016. The semi-annual pig crop, at 79.6 million head, was up 2 percent from 2017 and up 5 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 7.42 million head, up 2 percent from last year and up 3 percent from 2016.

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2018 was 73.5 million head. This was up 3 percent from June 1, 2017 and up 1 percent from March 1, 2018. The breeding inventory, at 6.32 million head, was up 3 percent from last year, and up 2 percent from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 67.1 million head, was up 3 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from last quarter. The pig crop, at 33.2 million head, was up 4 percent from 2017 and up 7 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.12 million head, up 4 percent from 2017 and up 5 percent from 2016. 

Canadian inventory of all hogs and pigs on July 1, 2018 was 14.2 million head. This was down slightly from June 1, 2017 but up 1 percent from June 1, 2016. The breeding inventory, at 1.26 million head, was up slightly from last year and up 2 percent from 2016. Market hog inventory, at 12.9 million head, was down slightly from last year but up slightly from 2016. The semi-annual pig crop, at 14.1 million head, was down 4 percent from 2017 and down 4 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 1.24 million head, down slightly from last year and down 3 percent from 2016.

This publication is a result of a joint effort by Statistics Canada and NASS to release the total hogs, breeding, market hogs, sows farrowed, and pig crop for both countries within one publication. This information was requested by the United States hog industry to provide producers additional information about potential hog supplies. United States inventory numbers were previously released on June 28, 2018. Canadian inventory numbers were released on August 23, 2018.

Growth Energy, Prime the Pump Convene Top Retailers for Annual Retreat

Last week, Growth Energy welcomed the fuel industry’s leading independent E15 retailers at their fourth annual Prime the Pump retreat in Brainerd, MN. The three-day Prime the Pump retreat allowed attendees to share best practices for tackling industry challenges.

The 24 attendees included Nathaniel Dodridge from Casey’s, Matt Spackman and Sam Herro from Kum & Go, Joel Hirschboeck from Kwik Trip, Lance Klatt, Steve Anderson, and Joel Hennen from Minnoco, Steve Walk from Protec Fuels, AJ Siccardi and Sean MacLaurin from RaceTrac, Mike Lorenz from Sheetz, and Sarah Prorok and Chris O’Bryan from Thorntons, as well as industry representatives from ADM, Applied Predictive Technologies, Big River Resources, Growth Energy, and POET. The discussion focused largely on enabling consumer choice at the pump and why E15 is growing in sale volume when offered.

“Our Prime the Pump retreat provides a unique opportunity for retailers connect and for Growth Energy to ensure that our market development strategy reflects the most pressing needs for our retail partners,” said Growth Energy Vice President of Market Development Mike O’Brien.

“This ongoing collaboration with retailers ensures that we’re not only continuing to expand the E15 footprint to give more Americans access to a cleaner burning fuel, but that we’re also delivering the best marketing tools and practices for our partners to be successful,” continued O’Brien.

Growth Energy’s retail partners are the leading independent convenience stores in the country with the average station selling nearly one in every seven gallons of fuel sold in the United States.

“The Prime the Pump annual retreat is an excellent opportunity to compare notes with leading c-store operators, as well as, influence the development and strategy behind the E15 market,” said Kwik Trip’s General Manager of Fuel Marketing and Procurement Joel Hirschboeck.

Action on Ag Labor Bill Possible This Fall

When House lawmakers return to Capitol Hill after their August recess, the legislative clock will be counting quickly down to the scheduled mid-October break ahead of the elections in November. This leaves only 19 in-session days to address one of agriculture’s major worries: the labor shortage.

With this tight timeline looming, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is hoping to soon move the American Farm Bureau-supported Ag and Legal Workforce Act of 2018 (H.R. 6417). The measure would replace the H-2A agricultural guest worker program with a new H-2C program that would be available to both seasonal and year-round agricultural employers. The new program aligns closely with many AFBF policy provisions, making it less bureaucratic and less expensive for growers.

While AFBF does not support the cap on the number of visas included in the bill, sponsors of the measure have sought to address these concerns by lengthening the visa term to three years, not counting returning H-2A workers or current undocumented workers who come forward against the cap limit and also by granting emergency authority to the USDA secretary to grant more visas if the cap is reached during the first two years of the program.

“We continue to work to improve the legislation, but the AFBF board of directors unanimously came to the conclusion that the Ag and Legal Workforce Act of 2018 addresses many of agriculture’s labor concerns,” said Paul Schlegel, managing director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The legislation is likely the only ag labor reform bill with any traction, meaning it’s farmers and ranchers’ best hope this year for much-need changes to ensure a reliable workforce.”

The bill has not yet been scheduled for a floor vote but AFBF is pressing leadership to schedule the bill for debate and a vote in September.

Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to ask their representatives to demonstrate support for the bill by signing on as cosponsors.

IPPA: USDA Action Helpful, but Stay Focused on Trade 

The Iowa Pork Producers Association says details announced Aug. 27 by USDA on assistance for pork producers harmed by trade disruptions is a small positive step. Iowa's pig farmers are more interested in having the Trump Administration continue its efforts to solve various trade disputes that are creating economic losses for them and their rural Iowa communities.

"The USDA announcement that outlines the details for increasing purchases of pork for federal nutrition programs and some direct payments to pig farmers is only short-term relief. It will not make producers whole for the dollars they've already lost in the marketplace," says Ft. Dodge pig farmer Gregg Hora, who is IPPA President. "We're more interested in a long-term solution that will return normal trading to China, Mexico and Canada," he said.

The Trump Administration's announcement earlier that day about its Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Mexico to remove retaliatory tariffs on pork is an example of a long-term solution that is underway that can really help pork producers.

"While we're grateful and commend the administration for its action to help us," Hora said, "what pork producers really want is to export more pork, and that means ending all these trade disputes soon."

Producers Welcome Help But Want End To Trade Disputes

The National Pork Producers Council commended the Trump administration for providing assistance to America’s farmers suffering from the ongoing trade disputes with China, Mexico and other nations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced details of a $12 billion aid package for U.S. agriculture, including a nearly $559 million purchase of pork for federal nutrition assistance and child nutrition programs, $200 million for developing foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products and some direct payments to farmers, including pork producers. They would receive $8 per hog based on 50 percent of the number of animals they owned on Aug. 1.

“True to his word that he would have our backs, President Trump today demonstrated his commitment to America’s farmers, including pork producers, by giving us some relief from the financial hit we’ve taken from retaliatory tariffs from some of our biggest trading partners,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio.

U.S. pork exports to China are down significantly for the year, with the value falling by 9 percent through June. The drop has come mostly because of the 50 percent additional tariff that country imposed in response to U.S. duties on Chinese steel and aluminum imports and on other goods over China’s theft of intellectual property and its forced transfers of U.S. technology. Exports to Mexico are down slightly. In June, it put a 10 percent tariff on U.S. pork in response to U.S. tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum imports; the duty increased to 20 percent on July 5.

“While we’re grateful and commend the administration for its action to help us,” Heimerl said, “what pork producers really want is to export more pork, and that means ending these trade disputes soon.”

In addition to continuing to press for a swift resolution to the trade wars, NPPC is asking the White House and congressional lawmakers to approve public-policy initiatives that would buoy pork producers, including ones that would:
•           Establish and fully fund a Foot-and-Mouth Disease vaccine bank.
•           Prohibit states from regulating agricultural production practices outside their borders.
•           Reform the visa system to address an agricultural labor shortage.
•           Give USDA oversight of lab-produced cultured protein and gene editing in livestock.

NPPC also is urging the administration to quickly conclude talks on a new trade agreement with Mexico, reiterating its priorities of maintaining the zero-tariff rate on pork traded with that country and of lifting the tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico so it will drop its retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork and other products. (The United States and Mexico today announced agreement on a framework for a new trade deal.)

“Pork producers and others in agriculture have been patriots and very patient as the administration rightfully realigns trade policy to make sure our trading partners play by the rules, to ensure that there’s free, fair and reciprocal trade,” said Heimerl.

ADC Applauds Administration on Efforts to Reach Trade Agreement with Mexico

The American Dairy Coalition and the 30,000 dairy producers across the nation they represent applaud President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Ambassador Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, for their efforts to reach a trade agreement between Mexico and the United States.

According to a statement from the office of Secretary Perdue, the new agreement will “reduce trade distorting policies, increase transparency and ensure non-discriminatory treatment in grading of agricultural products.”  According to data distributed by U.S. Dairy Export Council, Mexico is the No. 1 U.S. cheese export market and the volume and value of these exports to Mexico has nearly tripled in the last decade. Trade relations with Mexico are crucial to the future growth and sustainability of the U.S. dairy industry.  

“This is nothing short of a great victory for farmers and ranchers, because locking in our access to Mexican markets is critical to supporting farm income and strengthening rural communities. Mexico has historically been a great customer and partner and we are happy to have this resolved for our agricultural producers,” Perdue wrote in a statement today.

The American Dairy Coalition looks forward to reaching an agreement with Canada in the near future and achieving an updated and fair North American Free Trade Agreement that will provide our nation’s dairy farmers the confidence and access to pivotal markets to grow their businesses.

Farmers Union Appreciates Step Forward, Urges Work Towards Fair Trade NAFTA Framework

President Donald Trump today announced that the U.S. and Mexico have reached a deal on terms to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), putting pressure on Canada to reach agreement with the two nations jointly or through separate bilateral agreements.

National Farmers Union (NFU), an advocacy organization representing nearly 200,000 farm families, supports the administration’s stated intent to renegotiate NAFTA and fix the systemic issues that disadvantage family farmers and rural communities. NFU believes the nation’s trade deficit and lost sovereignty are a result of a “free trade” agreement framework that began with NAFTA in 1994 and has replicated in U.S. trade deals over the past 25 years.

Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, issued the following statement in response to the president’s announcement:

“Today’s movement on NAFTA renegotiations is a positive step towards putting in place a trade deal that rewrites the current rules of international trade to put family farmers and ranchers on an even playing field with multinational corporations. While this is an important step, there is still much work to be done on the part of U.S. negotiators to secure balanced trade and renewed sovereignty for American agriculture. Farmers Union urges the administration to work tactfully with our Mexican and Canadian trading partners to institute a new, fair trade NAFTA.”

NGFA and NAEGA on preliminary trade agreement between United States and Mexico

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) released the following joint statement after the announcement of a preliminary trade agreement between the United States and Mexico:

"The announcement of a preliminary trade agreement between the United States and Mexico represents a significant, positive step in modernizing and further enhancing North American food and agricultural commerce that benefits the economic growth and consumers in the hemisphere. We hope this agreement contributes to broader discussions on ways to further integrate food and agricultural markets between the United States, Mexico, and Canada to provide for increased investment, food security and consumer preference.

We are particularly pleased by what we understand to be a number of efforts to preserve and enhance current trade terms in North America. These include: the retention of zero tariffs on agricultural products traded between the United States and Mexico; the addition of 21st century language to enhance information exchange and cooperation on agricultural biotechnology trade-related matters; an agreement to strengthen disciplines for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures to facilitate trade; and an agreement that grading standards and services on agricultural products, including grains and oilseeds, will operate independently from domestic registration systems for grain and oilseed varieties. We are hopeful that these benefits will be realized in a final agreement that includes Canada.

Addressing non-tariff trade barriers, as the preliminary agreement reportedly does, is particularly important to facilitating the grain and oilseed trade. We will be reviewing closely the reported inclusion in the preliminary agreement of SPS provisions that would: 1) increase transparency in the development and implementation of SPS measures; 2) advance science-based decision making; 3) improve processes for certification, regionalization and equivalency determinations; 4) conduct systems-based audits; 5) improve transparency for import checks; and 6) enhance the compatibility of SPS measures between the two countries. The new agreement reportedly also would establish a new mechanism for technical consultations to resolve SPS issues between the two countries, which also would be a welcome development.

Despite these clear improvements, we are disappointed by reports that the preliminary agreement removes or weakens key dispute-resolution procedures that currently benefit investors under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These include provisions embodied in Chapters 19 and 20 of the NAFTA. These protections have been utilized successfully by U.S. agriculture to protect long-term investments in Mexico and defend against unjustified legal actions. These protections provide confidence to investors throughout the supply chain and protect industry efforts to create jobs and develop markets throughout North America.

The announcement of a preliminary agreement is an important step toward eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers in North America. In the coming days we urge U.S. and Mexican negotiators to work with Canada and build on the progress already made by this preliminary agreement. We hope these efforts will tackle existing trade-distortive food and agricultural policies so that an integrated North American marketplace can flourish under a modernized and more open trading system that is a template for future trade agreements.

NGFA and NAEGA look forward to providing further analysis and input once the full details of the preliminary agreement are released."

R-CALF: Trump Hasn't Said if New U.S.-Mexico Deal Requires COOL

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement regarding President Trump's announcement that he has renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in part by negotiating a new trade agreement between the United States and Mexico.

"We have fully supported the Trump Administration's plan to renegotiate NAFTA and while some of the details released today indicate the new U.S.-Mexico trade agreement will benefit some U.S. economic sectors, such as the auto industry and its workers by requiring a higher percentage of supply-chain parts to be sourced in the U.S. and Mexico, we don't yet know if the new agreement contains the critical requirement for country of origin labeling (COOL) on Mexican beef and beef from Mexican cattle.

"For decades the U.S. cattle industry has been unable to produce enough beef to meet domestic demand. This is because prior free trade agreements, particularly NAFTA, allow unlimited numbers of tariff-free cattle from countries like Mexico, where cattle are overproduced at a significantly lower cost. These lower-cost imported cattle displace opportunities for current and aspiring U.S. cattle producers to expand or start their herd.

"Because beef from these imported cattle can be sold as a "Product of U.S.A." in our domestic market, the multinational beef packers wallow in higher profits because their ability to source lower-cost cattle that produce lower-cost, undifferentiated beef that inflates their profit margins.

"Every time our industry's price-point signals an opportunity to strengthen our domestic industry, unlimited imports of cheaper cattle and undifferentiated beef enter the U.S. and drive that price-point downward, thus eliminating opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

"Since NAFTA, the U.S. imports on average 1.1 million Mexican cattle each year. This represents a lost opportunity for over 3,500 U.S. ranches with a herd size of 300 head each.

"Our domestic live cattle supply chain shrank by 6.5 million domestic cattle since NAFTA and this U.S.-Mexico trade agreement should contain provisions to help our industry reverse this downward trend.

"We hope that a further release of details will show that COOL will be required for Mexican beef and beef from Mexican cattle."

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry.

Case IH Adds to Farmall Tractor Lineup

A new level of cab comfort is now available in a smaller size with the release of Case IH Farmall® utility A series — models 55A, 65A and 75A. These new models help fill out the Case IH entry-level Farmall lineup with cab and non-cab options, delivering the strength and productivity needed for any job in any weather.

“Case IH is building on the Farmall legacy with a lineup that meets demands for chores around the farm,” said Denny Stroo, Case IH Farmall tractor marketing manager. “Farmall utility tractors are dependable workhorses suitable for a multitude of uses, proven by the fact that more than 2 million Farmall tractors have been sold around the world.”

Smart and rugged utility tractors

Engineered with evenly distributed weight in all the right places — from heavy-duty powertrain components to the axle and transmission design to engine displacement.

The electronically controlled 2.9-L engines feature 3 cylinders and a tunnel block design that ensures ruggedness and easy maintenance. With Case IH FPT engines, Farmall utility A series tractors feature a simple, straightforward 8F x 8R easy-to-operate mechanical transmission. Also available is an optional 12F x 12R power shuttle, delivering simplicity and efficiency to loader work.

Comfort and versatility unite

With the expanded lineup of Farmall utility 55A, 65A and 75A tractors, producers can now choose between cab and non-cab models. The enhanced cab comfort means long days pass more quickly and are often more productive. Plus, producers can enjoy a spacious, climate-controlled cab with a mechanical contoured seat and tilt steering wheel that adjusts to create a personalized fit for each operator. An optional air ride feature elevates riding comfort.

Operation of the Farmall utility A tractors is further upgraded with new wrap-around lighting and movable dynamic fenders, improving turning radius for greater tractor maneuverability. Plus, telescopic stabilizers and optional flex-end lower links keep implements steady and provide ease of implement installation.

A family of Farmall tractor options

The release of the new Farmall utility A tractors builds on the full lineup of Case IH tractors. Whether rolling up round bales, keeping the yard manicured or powering a grain auger, Case IH Farmall tractors — ranging from 35 engine horsepower to 140 engine horsepower* — give you a hardworking, reliable option that’s right for your operation.

New Disc Mower Conditioner Features From Case IH Maximize Haying Window

The latest updates to Case IH Model Year 2019 disc mower conditioners provide efficiencies producers need in the hayfield. New 9- and 10-foot side-pull models combine fast cutting with high-quality conditioning and are perfect for lower acreages and narrow gates. Additionally, a new quick-change knife system allows for fast blade replacement to decrease maintenance time and increase time spent in the field.

“When producers encounter different conditions going from field to field, they’ll be able to easily make adjustments so that every field can be optimized for productivity,” said Brian Spencer, Case IH hay and forage marketing manager. “Simple machine adjustments and design provide producers the flexibility to meet individual crop preparation while retaining high-quality feed.”

With the latest updates to the 9- and 10-foot Model Year 2019 disc mower conditioners, producers can achieve:
-    Increased work time with easy maintenance. An updated quick-change knife system featured on other Case IH machines allows producers to change knives on the headers in one-third the time of a standard knife system.
-    Optimal cut and crimp for highest-quality hay. Narrow cutterbar design and improved flotation deliver a high-quality cut and more even windrows for consistent and faster drydown.
-    Flexibility for cutting height. A new four-pin hydraulic cylinder tilt provides more cutting height flexibility for improved cut quality — and no tools are required to adjust the tilt, for easy in-field adjustments. New adjustable skid shoes are also available for additional cutting height flexibility.
-    Productivity even in the roughest or rockiest hayfields. The fully modular cutterbar system provides superior lubrication compared with competitive systems and eliminates cross-contamination if an internal failure were to occur. And a shock protection system protects the cutterbar from expensive field failures if an obstacle is encountered. A new heavy-duty curtain also adds operator protection.
-    High-quality hay production. A nearly one-to-one cut width to conditioning roll width ratio provides even and thorough conditioning for faster drydown. With no tools needed to adjust windrow formation, cutting height and conditioning roll pressure, operators can quickly make changes to adjust to changing crop conditions.

“Windrow formation adjustments have never been easier to make,” Spencer said. “And the conditioner systems allow for wider, thinner swaths so more crop is exposed to the sun for faster drydown.”

Roll widths on the 9- and 10-foot Model Year 2019 disc mower conditioners are extremely wide for consistent crop conditioning —  with almost a 1:1 cut ratio in some cases, or 40 percent wider than competitive machines with the same cut. And like the tilt cylinder, no tools are required to adjust the conditioning roll pressure, swath doors or the swath board.

“The result is a thinner crop mat passing through the system,” Spencer said. “This means thorough and even crop conditioning and a crop that will maintain more sugar and carbs for higher-quality hay and feed value.”

CLAAS Launches New CONVIO Header Series for LEXION Combine

CLAAS of America announced today at the 2018 Farm Progress Show the launch of the CLAAS CONVIO line of headers, with first-in-the-industry features that help improve harvest efficiency while minimizing operator downtime. The CONVIO rigid platform draper for small grains and CONVIO FLEX draper for small grains, soybeans and lentils set new standards in the category for cutting and feeding performance.

When paired with the CLAAS flagship LEXION combine, the CONVIO headers provide better visibility from the cab, more automatic features, and an advanced design that leads to superior feeding efficiency and higher performance.

“Increased visibility, more simplicity and of course greater efficiency — these are three factors growers are looking for in their machinery,” said Jeff Gray, Product Manager – Field Support.  “The new CONVIO series is a first in the industry with advanced features on the draper head — such as AUTO CONTOUR FLEX and AUTO BELT SPEED — that can be automatically set or adjusted on the fly. CONVIO FLEX is the only flex draper in the industry with a 9-inch range of vertical flex. This enables the cutterbar to adapt to changing terrain more efficiently.”

Developed by CLAAS, a global leader in harvesting technology, the new CONVIO series is designed to provide superior performance in a variety of crops and field conditions, optimizing grain retention while minimizing downtime.
-    More visibility. When paired with the LEXION combine, the CONVIO and CONVIO FLEX headers maximize visibility into the header, allowing growers to make more accurate adjustments on the fly.
-    More simplicity. All CONVIO settings can be adjusted from the cab. Additionally, the CONVIO header can also adjust automatically for faster, more accurate adaptability to changing conditions — resulting in greater uptime and more productivity.
-    More efficiency. The parallel design of the transition floor to the ground combined with the shortest distance from the cutterbar onto the belt results in superior feeding efficiency and higher performance.

The CONVIO FLEX draper is available in widths from 35 to 45 feet and features up to 9 inches of cutterbar flex. The header offers the highest level of operator comfort through a wide range of automatic functions, which are fully integrated in the CEBIS terminal in the cab of the LEXION.

The CONVIO FLEX includes four operational modes that are selectable on the fly:
-    Rigid — The cutterbar table and knife bar are rigid, ideal for small grain straight cuts.
-    Rigid/flex — When isolated areas of laid crop are encountered, the operator can switch from rigid to flexible mode at the touch of a button while on the move. Ideal for small grain straight cut with lodged crop.
-    Flex — In flex mode, the knife bar follows the ground contours on the skids so the CONVIO FLEX is able to adjust many ground conditions. It is great for soybeans, beans, lentils, etc.
-    Flex with automatic flex adjustments (AUTO CONTOUR FLEX) — The cutterbar uses sensor data to continuously determine the best position for an optimal crop flow and ground contour following, as well as the lowest cutting height. This results in extremely low front attachment losses in low-growing crops. This mode isideal for soybeans, beans and lentils.

“The combination of out-of- and in-cab convenience features ensures our growers have everything they need from a draper header,” Gray said. “The flex draper rounds out our LEXION header options, to ensure that all of our growers have just the right tools for the job.”

BASF launches Credenz with LibertyLink GT27

BASF launched Credenz® soybean with LibertyLink® GT27™, the first soybean seed technology with herbicide-tolerant stacked traits. It allows growers to apply both Liberty® herbicide and glyphosate over the top of soybeans for post-emergence control of broadleaf and grass weeds.

“The Credenz LibertyLink GT27 system combines the maximum yield potential from the elite genetics of Credenz, with the most effective weed control solutions from LibertyLink, giving farmers greater flexibility in weed management,” said Jody Wynia, BASF Product Manager, Traits.

The Credenz seed comes from germplasm with proven yield performance in the most challenging growing environments. Recent BASF field trials have demonstrated that Credenz LibertyLink GT27 varieties have about two to four bushels per acre average yield advantage over leading commercial soybean trait systems. Results may vary.

“With the flexibility to use Liberty and glyphosate, growers can choose the right post-emergence weed control program to match their in-season needs,” said Wynia.

LibertyLink GT27 is not tolerant to all HPPD herbicides. Use of HPPD herbicides currently on the market are prohibited for use with LibertyLink GT27 soybeans. Growers are encouraged to talk to their local BASF representative for more information.