Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday October 31 Ag News

Midwest Dairy Seeking Applicants for Ambassador Program

College students with an interest in dairy can now apply to be a dairy ambassador in one of eight states across the Midwest. The Dairy Ambassador program provides students with leadership opportunities to connect with consumers and share their dairy story while networking with their peers and industry professionals. Programs are available in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

To be considered, applicants must be enrolled in a post-secondary school, communicate effectively through writing and speaking and possess a passion for dairy. Applicants do not have to be majoring in agriculture. 

Ambassadors are expected to serve a one-year term, starting January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2019. Ambassadors participate in a variety of activities which may include interaction with consumers at county and state fairs, school presentations and attendance at dairy industry meetings. Each ambassador will receive a $1,000 scholarship at the end of their term.

The Dairy Ambassador program is a coordinated effort between Midwest Dairy and various colleges and state extension programs within the eight states where programs are available. The program began in Nebraska five years ago and has since grown to include multiple states. It is effective in shaping future dairy champions to promote the dairy community and supports Midwest Dairy’s mission to give consumers an excellent dairy experience.

Students can apply at, in the For Farmers section, under Ambassadors. Applications are due December 1, 2018. Selected ambassadors will be notified before January 1, 2019.

USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities--Nebraska Receives $1.8 Million for Five Projects

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is awarding grants for 128 projects to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas.

“Empowering rural Americans with access to services for quality of life and economic development is critical to rural prosperity,” Secretary Perdue said. “Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap that often exists between rural communities and essential education, workforce training and health care resources.”

USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million residents in 40 states and three territories will benefit from the funding.

Below are summaries of USDA’s investments in rural Nebraska communities:

-    Educational Service Unit #16 (ESU #16) in Nebraska received a $500,000 Distance Learning grant to assist with implementing its Health Initiative for Living and Learning STEM (HILLS) program through the purchase and installation of video-conferencing equipment. This project implements mobile distance learning carts at thirty (30) public schools providing access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for students in eighteen (18) counties within South-Central Nebraska. The project connects students to colleges and educational centers providing courses in agriculture, education, information technology, business, health science, and STEM education. The project will increase the number of graduating career and college ready students from among the 93,000 residents served.

-    Mid-Plains Community College in Nebraska received a $101,133 Distance Learning Grant to replace outdated distance learning carts with more inclusive, updated distance learning technology. Distance learning carts will be installed at six campus sites in Lincoln, Custer, Keith, Chase and Red Willow counties to accommodate the growing demand for distance education courses. Distance learning technology will be installed in laboratories and classrooms affiliated with Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics instruction, where the technology currently does not exist.  This project will benefit 41,496 rural residents.

-    Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network in Nebraska received a $265,159 Distance Telemedicine grant to help Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network replace obsolete telemedicine technology at nine sites in far western Nebraska to continue modernization of the existing tele-health system. This project will install a core all-fiber backbone and paired electronics on the new network. innovative technology, computers, and software to enable all sites to deliver medical care predominantly aimed at opioid misuse, but also to provide primary, emergency, and specialty care using collaborative resources from all network clinics and hospitals.  Sites from this project will impact Arthur, Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Duel, Garden, Grant, Keith, Kimball, Morrill, Perkins, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, and Sioux Counties. The project has potential to serve 43,840 residents.

-    Rural Health Partners Inc. in Nebraska received a $499,800 Distance Telemedicine grant to help Heartland Health Alliance to use telemedicine technology to provide essential opioid misuse and treatment services, mental health and other medical specialty care throughout Nebraska, Western Iowa, and Northern Kansas. These services will allow 14 rural hospitals located in these states to increase access to services routinely available in more urban and populated areas. Innovative telemedicine equipment will enable healthcare professionals to remotely diagnose patients, impacting approximately 37,000 residents surrounding these facilities. The use of high definition remotely operated pan, tilt and zoom cameras and digitally connected medical devices such as otoscopes, stethoscopes and other primary medical indicating devices will allow a patient doctor virtual reality type interaction. The project hardware will also allow physicians to consult collaboratively and in real time with patients even if all parties are in different physical locations.

-    Southeast Community College in Nebraska received a $495,631 Distance Learning grant to create a multi-campus simulation center connecting Southeast Community College's Lincoln and Beatrice campuses as well as the six learning centers. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, particularly related to health care and bioscience education, will be delivered to a 15-county service area. The College's instructors will provide STEM education courses to rural areas in Southeast Nebraska at the learning center locations benefiting 44,428 people.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

Iowa Learning Farms November webinar features Matt Helmers, director of Iowa Nutrient Research Center

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar discussing the innovative Conservation Learning Lab project that is key to understanding impacts of in-field conservation practices beyond the research plot scale on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 12 p.m.

The webinar is a remote training opportunity for all stakeholders, including watershed coordinators, who are working on watershed improvement projects and implementation of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Matt Helmers, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, will describe the need for research at the scale at which water and nutrients are delivered to the stream, as is being done with the Conservation Learning Lab project. This project is providing the opportunity to examine how in-field conservation practices impact nutrient loss with water. Through one-on-one conservation planning meetings with farmers, the project team has helped the farmers implement cover crops, strip-tillage and CRP on their land. Pre-implementation and preliminary post-implementation water quality data will be shared from ongoing monitoring within the project areas.

“This research is critical to understanding impacts of in-field management beyond the plot scale,” said Helmers. “Examining the results of large-scale adoption of practices at delivery-scale is critical to meeting the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals. It is also important to note the high amount of time and human capital needed to get farmer and landowner adoption of conservation practices at the level of implementation we need.”

The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of the month. To watch, go to and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m., Nov. 14 to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today highlighted how the long-term water quality funding passed and signed into law earlier this year is being used to scale up water quality efforts in Iowa.

“Having dedicated, long-term water quality funding in place is critically important as we continue to expand our focus on edge of field conservation practices that have been proven to significantly reduce nitrate levels. We are excited to highlight the first examples of how Iowans will benefit from this legislation that provides more than $280 million for water quality efforts over the next 11 years,” Naig said.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received an additional $2 million this fiscal year. This new funding will focus on edge of field conservation practices that benefit water quality. Work is being concentrated on implementation of wetlands, saturated buffers and bioreactors that reduce nitrogen loss to streams in priority watersheds.

The Department is dedicating additional resources and restructuring responsibilities within the Water Quality Initiative program to support the growing demand from farmers and increased funding availability for these practices. New roles are being added within the Department to support one-on-one outreach efforts to prospective landowners on a number of conservation practices, with an emphasis on infrastructure-based practices that address nitrogen loss.

“We are putting additional ‘boots on the ground’ to provide technical capability and help effectively deliver these key nutrient reduction practices at an increased pace and scale. We are moving from demonstration to broader implementation of these practices as water quality funding ramps up over the next few years,” Naig said

Edge of Field Coordinator

Shane Wulf has been hired for a new role as an edge-of-field coordinator and will focus on scaling up implementation of these practices within priority watersheds. In this role, Shane will provide technical assistance to local Soil and Water Conservation District offices, farmers and landowners to increase the capacity to deliver nutrient reduction practices.

Shane previously worked as a water quality project coordinator in Miller Creek Water Quality Initiative Demonstration Project in Black Hawk County where he gained firsthand experience implementing edge-of-field conservation practices.

Watershed Implementation Coordinators

In addition, three new watershed implementation coordinators will focus on scaling up nutrient reduction conservation practice delivery in the North Raccoon, Middle Cedar and South Skunk priority watersheds. They will continue to support successful water quality initiative demonstration projects and serve as regional technical resources to expand water quality efforts within larger, targeted priority watersheds.

Lee Gravel is the new North Raccoon watershed implementation coordinator and will work locally to increase the adoption of proven conservation practices within the watershed. He previously was a water quality project coordinator with the Buena Vista Soil and Water Conservation District.

Clark Porter will focus on the Middle Cedar watershed, including building on the success of the Miller Creek project.

Doug Gass has been hired as the watershed implementation coordinator for the South Skunk watershed, including a focus on the Squaw Creek watershed northwest of Ames. He has been hired by Iowa State University in partnership with the Department.

Water Quality Funding

Earlier this year the Iowa Legislature passed and Gov. Reynolds signed legislation providing a growing source of funding to support water quality efforts in Iowa over the next 11 years. The legislation will provide $3.9 million this fiscal year and increase to more than $27 million annually in 2021.

The Department will receive approximately $2 million of the funding this year, $4 million next year and then more than $15 million annually from FY2021 to FY2029. The remaining funds will go to the Iowa Finance Authority to support communities upgrading wastewater treatment facilities to better protect water quality.

“We have made great progress and are building a culture of conservation across the state. With this long-term dedicated water quality funding, we will build on that success and accelerate the adoption of water quality practices that benefit all Iowans,” Naig said.

This new funding will complement the efforts of the more than 250 organizations that are providing $42.2 million to support water quality efforts across the state.  Examples include
-    $18.2 million from six USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program grants.
-    $1 million grant from EPA focused in the Des Moines River Basin and will be used to support the construction and demonstration of edge of field practices.
-    $110,000 from Ducks Unlimited for several water quality wetlands..
-    $50,000 from the Iowa Pork Producers Association to help offset the costs for pig farmers to install saturated buffers or bioreactors on their farm land.
-    $2 million from the USDA’s Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) that will support eight of the Water Quality Initiative watershed projects.

EPA Announces Changes To Dicamba Registration

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the registration of dicamba for two years for “over-the-top” use (application to growing plants) to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba. This action was informed by input from and extensive collaboration between EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

“EPA understands that dicamba is a valuable pest control tool for America’s farmers,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By extending the registration for another two years with important new label updates that place additional restrictions on the product, we are providing certainty to all stakeholders for the upcoming growing season.”

The following label changes were made to ensure that these products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:

Dicamba registration decisions for 2019-2020 growing season
-    Two-year registration (until December 20, 2020)
-    Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications)
-    Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting
-    For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from 4 to 2 (soybeans remain at 2 OTT applications)
-    Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset
-    In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
-    Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
-    Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system
-    Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba
-    Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability

The registration for all dicamba products will automatically expire on December 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends it.

EPA has reviewed substantial amounts of new information and concluded that the continued registration of these dicamba products meets FIFRA’s registration standards. The Agency has also determined that extending these registrations with the new safety measures will not affect endangered species.

Learn more:

EPA Rule Exempts Farms From Emissions Reporting

The National Pork Producers Council today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its proposed rule exempting livestock farmers from reporting to state and local authorities the routine emissions from their farms.

“The rule announced today is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress earlier this year and which eliminated the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report to the federal government emissions from the natural breakdown of manure,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “That bipartisan measure was approved because it was unnecessary and impractical for farmers to waste their time and resources alerting government agencies that there are livestock on farms.”

The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM, Act fixed a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). Commonly known as the “Superfund Law,” CERCLA is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.

The appeals court ruling would have forced tens of thousands of livestock farmers to “guesstimate” and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center and subjected them to citizen lawsuits from activist groups.

EPA’s latest proposed rule would exempt farmers from reporting to state and local first responders under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) – an adjunct to CERCLA – that they have “hazardous” emissions on their farms.

“The pork industry wants regulations that are practical and effective, but applying CERCLA and EPCRA to livestock farms would be neither,” Heimerl said. “Pork producers are very strong stewards of the environment and have taken many actions over the years to protect it.”

As evidence: The pork industry and other livestock sectors are working closely with state and local emergency response agencies to ensure they receive information about farms that is useful, and last week Smithfield Foods announced new projects to help the company reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2025.

The world’s largest pork producer and hog processor is expanding its “Smithfield Renewables” platform – its industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts – to help meet that goal. It will implement over the next 10 years, for example, manure-to-energy projects at 90 percent of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina and Utah and at nearly all finishing spaces in Missouri and convert existing anaerobic lagoons to covered digesters, or construct new covered digesters, to capture biogas.

Urea Leads Prices Higher, MAP Falls Slightly

Nearly all retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continue to rise, with seven of eight fertilizers showing month-over-month increases in the fourth week of October 2018.

Urea led the way with a $21-per-ton increase, spiking from $385 last month to $406 in this latest update.  That was followed by an $8/ton increase in 10-34-0 to $457/ton. UAN28 came in at $243/ton, jumping $7 since last month. Anhydrous and UAN32 both recorded $6 increases this month. Anhydrous came in at $499/ton and UAN32 at $284/ton. Potash came in at $366/ton, a $5 increase month over month.

MAP recorded the only fertilizer price drop this week, falling from $520/ton to $518/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Structural Shifts in the Dairy Industry Lead to a New Era of Price Cycles

Dairy farms with more than 1,000 cows now comprise nearly 50 percent of the dairy industry, up from only 29 percent the decade prior, showing consolidation of dairy operations has increased significantly. These larger dairy operations have taken advantage of economies of scale to survive the price cycles the dairy industry has come to know. Now, the dominance of these larger dairies has led to a structural shift, which may mute the price cycles in the years ahead and lead to longer periods of lower prices, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

Since the mid-1990s, the dairy industry has operated in fairly predictable three-year price cycles. Dairy producers generally expanded their operations after a profitable year during this cycle, while some struggling operations were sold or merged during the low points in the cycle. Beginning in 2015, a prolonged period of low milk prices has strained most small-scale dairy farms without the relief of the expected peak year of price recovery.

“The new reality is a milk supply that is less responsive to short-term price shocks since that supply is coming mostly from large operations that can withstand lower prices,” said Ben Laine, senior dairy economist with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “Smaller dairy operations are finding it nearly impossible to compete in the commodity milk market against their larger counterparts, so they are forced to either leave the business or find a higher value niche market for their milk.”

The consolidation effect is self-perpetuating, according to Laine. As consolidation happens, larger dairies are best positioned to keep producing milk, despite lower prices, which keeps prices low and puts pressure on the smaller dairies.

This new reality in the industry comes with some new risks, according to Laine. “The largest risk with a densely concentrated milk supply is disease or natural disaster,” said Laine. “A disease outbreak or natural disaster could quickly impact a much larger share of dairy production when it is concentrated in fewer farms.”

Likewise, the new structure of the dairy industry is not completely negative for smaller dairies. While large operations can produce a lot of milk for lower costs, smaller dairies can adapt much more quickly, said Laine.

“Smaller dairies can position themselves to adapt to new market realities,” said Laine. “They tend to be much closer to consumers and can more quickly respond to market opportunities like organic, grass-fed, local and other options marketed as premium dairy products.”

Retaliatory tariffs will negate USMCA export gains

Market access improvements included in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will lead to an expansion of U.S. agricultural exports by $450 million, mostly in the dairy and poultry sectors, according to a new analysis released today. However, those gains will be more than negated by retaliatory measures taken by Canada and Mexico in reaction to the United States' decision to raise import tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The analysis, How U.S. Agriculture Will Fare Under the USMCA and Retaliatory Tariffs, was commissioned by Farm Foundation and completed by Purdue University agricultural economists Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Ph.D., Wallace Tyner, Ph.D., and Maksym Chepeliev, Ph.D.

The analysis estimates the retaliatory measures from Canada and Mexico "will cause U.S. agricultural exports to decline by $1.8 billion," the Purdue economists report. With continued retaliatory tariffs from China and other trading partners, "the United States would see a decline in agricultural exports of $7.9 billion, thus overwhelming the small positive gains from USMCA."

The USMCA was reached Oct. 1, 2018 but must still be ratified by all three nations. The economists cite two other studies which looked at what would happen to U.S. agricultural exports if the USMCA is not ratified and the United States were to withdraw from NAFTA. If that happened, one scenario for the three countries would be to revert to so-called most favored nation (MFN) status under which it is estimated that U.S. agriculture exports "would decline by more than $9 billion, and lead to higher consumer prices for food."

One of the first in-depth analysis completed since an agreement on USMCA was reached, the Purdue analysis had three components: the impact of USMCA on U.S. agriculture; the impacts of the retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico and Canada, as well as the rest of the world, in response to import tariffs imposed by the United States; and estimations if the United States were to completely withdraw from NAFTA.

"Farm Foundation saw a need for public and private leaders to understand the potential consequences of USMCA, as well as the retaliatory tariffs," says Farm Foundation President Constance Cullman. "With this analysis, Farm Foundation is continuing its 85-year tradition of informing discussions with unbiased, nonpartisan information."

Here are key findings of the analysis:
-    The USMCA maintains relatively free market access across the United States, Mexico and Canada, particularly in agriculture. It improves market access for U.S. dairy and poultry exports to Canada, providing a positive export bump in those sectors of $450 million. Dairy exports are expected to increase by 5% and exports of other meat products by 1.6%.
-    USMCA has measurable impacts on exports of dairy and poultry to Canada, and "modest" impacts on farm income and labor demand.
-    The USMCA was reached in a "volatile trade policy environment" that will create headwinds for U.S. farmers due to retaliatory measures by not only Canada and Mexico, but other nations such as China. Specifically, retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico could cause U.S. agricultural exports to decline by $1.8 billion, and by $1.9 billion to these two key trading partners, and the broader trade retaliation could cause U.S. agricultural exports to decline by $7.9 billion, thus overwhelming the small positive gains from USMCA.
-    In the 25 years since NAFTA was formed, the share of U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico has increased to almost 30%, from 14.2 %. The analysis cites a study which indicates "a withdrawal from NAFTA, with tariffs reverting to MFN levels, would create a decline in U.S. agricultural exports of more than $9 billion and a loss of export revenue of $12 billion with the two NAFTA partners."

 The full analysis, How U.S. Agriculture Will Fare Under the USMCA and Retaliatory Tariffs, is available on the Farm Foundation website: "This analysis is one element in a trade resource center Farm Foundation is building to help public and private leaders in the food and agriculture sector gain perspectives on trade, the tools used to support trade, and the potential consequences when those tools are implemented," Cullman says.

Dairy Farmers Ask Trump Administration to Provide Needed Compensation for Lost Trade

U.S. dairy farmers at their annual meeting here this week asked President Donald Trump to recognize the significant economic losses milk producers are suffering because of the administration’s implementation of Section 232 and 301 tariffs.

The duties have resulted in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. dairy exports, particularly in Mexico and China. They continue to cause severe economic harm to U.S. dairy farmers, according to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), as its board of directors adopted a resolution calling for aid commensurate to that damage.

“In light of the administration’s decision to establish a program to compensate farmers for the damage caused by these retaliatory tariffs, we call on the president to direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide assistance to dairy producers at a level that reflects the damage they have caused,” milk producers resolved at their meeting, held Oct. 28-31 in Phoenix. Farmer losses will exceed $1 billion this year, according to four separate estimates cited by NMPF. An initial USDA mitigation package announced in August allocated $127 million to dairy.

“Dairy farmers spoke strongly and clearly that the government needs to act to alleviate the hardship America’s milk producers face as a result of the trade disputes,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We look forward to working with USDA and White House on solutions that address the cost of the trade war that has exacerbated the economic struggle facing dairy producers and the cooperatives they own.”

Farmers attending the conference also discussed the state of dairy profitability and the future of dairy cooperatives in a time of consolidation. Guest speakers included American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, and David Wasserman, House Editor for The Cook Political Report. Mulhern also detailed NMPF’s efforts to fight misleading labeling of plant-food-based beverages as milk, and moderated a panel of dairy executives including Mike Doyle, president and CEO of Foremost Farms; Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Ed Mullins, CEO of Prairie Farms; and Ed Townley, president and CEO of Agri-Mark.

Commodity Classic Announces Main Stage Line-Up for 2019

Some of the nation’s leading agriculture experts and well-known personalities will be featured on the Main Stage during the 2019 Commodity Classic held Thursday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, Mar. 2 in Orlando, Fla.

Once again, Commodity Classic and Successful Farming® are partnering to bring Commodity Classic attendees a dynamic list of educational and entertaining Main Stage presentations. The Commodity Classic Main Stage is located right on the trade show floor. Presentations are scheduled during trade show hours.

The Main Stage line-up for 2019 includes:
 • Brian and Darren Hefty of Ag PhD presenting on weed control and micronutrients
 • Nationally-renowned speaker Jolene Brown talking about farm transition and succession planning
 • Marji Guyler-Alanz, president and founder of FarmHer
 • Rob Sharkey, known for his podcast The Shark Farmer
 • Al Kluis, marketing columnist for Successful Farming®
 • A cooking demonstration by Chef Denise Flores OrdoƱez
 • Plus, panel discussions and presentations featuring top ag experts and industry leaders

Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.  Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.

Registration and housing for the 2019 Commodity Classic opens Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 10:00 a.m. Central.  For more information and to sign up for email updates, visit

African Swine Fever

Brenda Boetel, Extension Economist, Dept of Ag Econ, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Why would In the Cattle Markets write an entire article on African Swine Fever? The answer lies in trade and competitive meat prices. African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease with no known vaccine. Incidences of the fever have been reported in China, Belgium, Poland, Japan and other countries. Backyard operations are not the only enterprises vulnerable to this disease as a couple weeks ago it was found in a commercial operation of 20,000 pigs. Although wild hogs have facilitated some of the disease spread, the most likely cause of the transcontinental jump to Belgium is attributed to human actions and the transportation of meat products between countries.

The very real concern is what will happen if/when it comes to the US. Until recently Poland was able to export pork from certain regions. Belgium is still able to export pork from certain regions. This concept of regionalization is important as it would allow trade from non-infected regions of a country to continue. Given that the US will produce over 26 billion pounds of pork in 2018 and over 22% will be exported, an incident of ASF in the US would be challenging with regionalization and devastating without regionalization. Should the US become infected with ASF, the impact on pork prices would be severe even if we can keep some of our export trade with regionalization. The lower pork prices would also negatively impact other animal protein products.

Regionalization can work well, provided the transportation of swine between the infected and non-infected regions can be stopped. Unfortunately, as is the case in China, this transportation wasn't stopped. China, the world's largest producer of pork products, had eight provinces reporting ASF cases at the end of September. China has approximately 433 million pigs, about 5.9 times that of the US. Approximately 80% of their pigs face movement restrictions. The supply/demand structure in the different regions of China has created large price spreads between the different regions of China. These price spreads will likely continue to promote the illegal trade between these different regions and propagate the spread of the disease in China.

The US produces approximately 32% of the world pork exports. US pork export quantities have increased in 2018, although prices have not held up as well. One country where US export quantities have decreased steadily since April 2018 is China. China imports approximately 26% of the world trade, and in September 2018 China increased pork imports by 8.4% over September 2017. Yet volume of US pork exports to China and Hong Kong are down 9% from 2017. Given the African Swine Fever issues in China and the increasing Chinese demand for pork, one can assume the decrease in US exports to China is related to tariff issues. All the pork exports on the international market would not be able to meet the entire pork demands of China. Yet, even with the lower Chinese production because of ASF, US exports to China have decreased in 2018. Trade negotiations may play a bigger role soon.

ASF is an animal disease that is specific to pork producers, yet US cattle producers need to be aware of any new developments. The incidence of ASF in China has both the potential to increase US pork exports, if we can work out a trade agreement with China to lower tariffs on US pork while also providing huge risk should ASF make the jump to the US. Cattle producers need to pay attention as significant changes in pork prices will impact beef prices and eventually cattle prices.

Saputo to Acquire F&A Dairy Products

The Canadian-based Saputo Inc. is in the process of purchasing two U.S. cheese plants. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to buy F&A Dairy Products in Dresser, Wisconsin, with the other being in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

F&A produces specialty blends of cheese, as well as mozzarella, provolone, Hispanic cheeses and others. The two facilities collectively employs nearly 200 workers.

Saputo's Cheese Division says the move aims to increase the company's U.S. portfolio.

The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. The purchase price is reported to be around $85 million.

Tuesday October 30 Ag News

Grazing Corn Residue
Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

With corn harvest moving rapidly in many areas and calf weaning time for many producers happening soon, farmers and ranchers are likely to be negotiating the terms of agreements with landowners to graze their corn stalk residues.

How much rent should a corn producer get for allowing animals to graze the crop residue? There is no single number that works in all situations. The amount will vary according to the level of service being provided by each party, such as fencing, watering, and care of the cattle. 

The Cornstalk Grazing Cow-Q-Lator may provide some help in answering this question. It is an Excel spreadsheet available online. Download it at

This tool is designed for cattle producers to evaluate costs of cornstalk grazing and to determine if the corn stalk acres leased are adequate to support the number and size of cattle for the planned grazing season.  However, it could be used by a corn producer to calculate how much a prospective lessee can pay.  The critical calculation for the lessee is the total cost per head per day. The cattle producer will be comparing that number against the cost per head per day of other options. The corn producer can adjust the cost per acre for cornstalks until the total cost per head per day is competitive compared to the lessees other options.

While the Cornstalk Grazing Cow-Q-Lator may provide a way for corn producers to estimate the value of their crop residue, there are many issues that must be addressed between the lessee and lessor. An important one is who builds the fence around the corn fields if one is needed.

Many crop producers have concerns that cattle trampling could negatively affect soil physical properties and subsequent crop yields. However, research conducted at UNL has shown that grazing corn residue at the recommended stocking rate does not reduce corn or soybean yields in irrigated fields the following growing season.   In fact, a long-term study at Mead showed slight improvements (2 to 3 bu/ac) in soybean production following grazed corn residue when managed in a corn-soybean rotation.   This result was the same regardless of whether cattle were grazed in the fall (November through January) or the spring (February through April).

In a five-year study at Brule corn yields were measured after cattle had been grazed in the fall in a continuous corn field: No effect on subsequent corn yields has been observed.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln recommendations for determining stocking are based on 50% utilization of the leaf and husk (8 lb/bu) or about 20% of the residue. Some additional residue would disappear by trampling and other factors such as wind loss. For most corn fields in Nebraska, there would be no increased risk of erosion if 40% to 50% of the corn residue was removed.  The UNL recommended stocking rates are listed in a table in this article: .  Grazing at these recommended stocking densities would leave plenty of soil cover.

Grazing corn residues can benefit both crop and cattle producers.   Corn residue should be viewed as an economical source of winter roughage for cattle that can provide additional income for corn producers while not affecting next year's crop production.

UNMC Offers Anhydrous ammonia safety training to the Public

Anhydrous ammonia has been used since the 1940s to efficiently deliver nitrogen to growing plants. While it can dramatically increase crop growth, anhydrous ammonia also can quickly lead to death if it’s mishandled.

In an effort to improve safe handling of anhydrous ammonia, the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is working with Dan Neenan, paramedic and director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), to bring safety training to farmers, cooperative employees and the public.

A hands-on safety training, using an anhydrous tank simulator, will be held at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Thursday Nov. 29, from 1-2:30 p.m. The cost is $10 and includes a lunch that starts at noon. Information and registration can be found at or by calling 800-551-9029.

Neenan discussed why understanding the hazards associated with anhydrous ammonia is important.

“This chemical is desperately seeking water,” he said. “Our bodies are 70 percent water, so anhydrous ammonia is naturally attracted to our eyes, nose, mouth, sweat glands and genitalia. Because anhydrous is normally at a temperature of -44 degrees Fahrenheit, it freezes tissue on contact. It pulls moisture out of tissue and inflicts an incredibly painful alkali burn.”

Unlike many burns, anhydrous ammonia burn is treated by flushing with water to wash the chemical off the skin. If creams or ointments are used without flushing, the chemical is trapped in the tissue and continues to burn.

“Our lungs are wet so if you inhale anhydrous ammonia, your lung tissue is burned,” Neenan said. “Any time tissue is burned, it swells. Because our airway has a limited space to take air in, inhaling anhydrous ammonia can quickly result in our airway being closed off.”

Donning appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is key to safely handling anhydrous ammonia. Among necessary gear is a full-face respirator. The respirator needs to be a high-efficiency P100 particulate filter with a minimum 99.97 percent filtration efficiency for solid and liquid aerosols. A respirator’s face seal design also provides a high degree of protection for eyes and airways.

Gloves must be impervious, chemical-resistant, and in compliance with approved standards for handling chemical products. Check gloves regularly to ensure they retain intended protective properties.

“I also recommend wearing a chemical resistant rain suit or rain wear rated to protect against anhydrous ammonia,” Neenan said. “Cotton lined gloves must have a fold-over cuff so any anhydrous ammonia that might get on the glove doesn’t run down your sleeve and burn your arm or get into your sweat glands.”

Footwear should include chemical resistant “boots” that slip over standard boots and protect feet from accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals.

A main precaution for anhydrous ammonia use includes approaching tanks with caution in case someone has tampered with a shutoff or compromised the tank in some way.

“When people steal anhydrous ammonia to make methamphetamine, they’re not concerned about getting it properly shut off,” Neenan said. “That means the next person approaching the tank is at risk for injury. Never approach a tank without appropriate PPE and always inspect it carefully before hooking it to any equipment. Ensure no one has tampered with it.”

It’s also key to note wind direction before approaching a tank. The reason: if a leak has occurred, it will be swept along on the wind. Anyone in its path is at high risk for injury.

“Our instinct when approaching something is to go back the way we came if there’s danger,” Neenan said. “With anhydrous ammonia, if there’s a leak, you want to stay upwind. Always check the wind direction before going near the tank.”

To learn more, plan on joining the training at the Mid-America Center on Nov. 29.

Pro-Ag Seminars to Examine Market Outlook and Farmland Operating Margins

As harvest comes to a close, producers, ag lenders and suppliers are planning ahead for next year. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach economists will offer valuable insight on key factors impacting 2019 operating decisions at 12 Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars to be held across the state in November and December.

Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, and farmland operating margins, outlook and trends.

The focus of the program is to provide agribusiness leaders a concise evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock income potential and management implications. Participants also will gain insight on implications trade agreements have on Iowa producers and the critical role of land values and interest rates in the stabilization of the agricultural sector.

Speakers line-up will vary by location but will include ISU Extension and Outreach state specialists Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist; Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist; Lee Schulz, assistant professor and livestock economist; Keri Jacobs, assistant professor and co-operatives economist; and Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist. ISU Extension and Outreach field specialists will also be present at the meetings.

This program takes an in-depth look into the outlook for agriculture in 2019 and provides an opportunity to discuss the current Iowa economic situation with university experts.

Seminar locations and dates:
    Altoona – Friday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Polk County office, 515-957-5760
    Carroll – Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Carroll County office, 712-792-2364
    Fort Dodge – Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Webster County office, 515-576-2119
    Waterloo – Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m., Hawkeye Community College, Tama Hall, 319-234-6811
    Mason City – Friday, Nov. 16 at 12:30 p.m., Muse-Norris Conference Center, North Iowa Area Community College, 641-423-0844
    Cresco – Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 9 a.m., Howard County Fairgrounds, Featherlite Center, 563-547-3001
    Greenfield – Monday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m., Warren Cultural Center Auditorium, 641-743-8412
    Iowa City – Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 12:30 p.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Johnson County office, 319-337-2145
    Mt. Pleasant – Thursday, Dec. 6 at 8 a.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Henry County office, 319-385-8126
    Bloomfield – Thursday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m., Pioneer Ridge Nature Center, 641-673-5841
    Sheldon – Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m., Northwest Iowa Community College, Building A, Room 117, 712-957-5045
    Storm Lake – Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m., Prairie Lakes AEA, 712-732-5056

The sessions are open to the public, however pre-registration is requested two days prior to the date of the event. Speakers, registration fees and provided meals vary by location. For locations, times and program information, contact the farm management field specialist in your area or visit


The Bt corn rootworm trait has been extremely valuable to corn growers as it provides safe and effective control of corn rootworm insects and has allowed farmers to reduce insecticide use. These Bt traits allow the corn plants to produce a protein which prevents this pest from damaging the roots. Previously, corn rootworm resistance has been confirmed with some of the existing commercial Bt events.

Just this week, Corteva has reported that the first case of corn rootworm resistance to their Herculex® trait has been confirmed in an individual field in Delaware County, Iowa. (See story here) The Herculex trait contains a different protein than the other companies’ rootworm events and offers another line of defense against the rootworm.

Corteva has reported this to the EPA, which regulates these Bt traits, and Corteva is working with farmers in Delaware County to limit the spread of this resistance. These corn rootworm traits are very valuable for corn growers and every effort is being made to ensure these traits remain an effective tool for as long as possible.

“Farmers want to use best tools and technology available, including these Bt traits. However, to maintain their effectiveness, good stewardship of these technologies is important”, according to Mark Mueller, ICGA Director from District 3. “It is also important to use appropriate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches when dealing with crop pests, including weeds, insects and diseases.  These approaches allow for better control and will help maintain effectiveness of our biotech and chemical technologies to delay or avoid resistance developing.”

Iowa is the first state to develop a pest resistance management plan. The Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program (IPRMP) was initiated in 2015 to be proactive in helping growers avoid weed, insect and disease resistance issues and to deal with them when they arise.  The IPRMP outlines approaches for effective, integrated management solutions that will sustainably control weeds, insects and disease pests. Iowa Corn has been involved with IPRMP from the beginning and supports a staff member at Iowa State University to establish pilot projects to address various on-farm pests. The IPRMP is currently seeking volunteers to address corn rootworm resistance issues.

For more information on the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program, go to

Consider Corn Challenge Brings Attention to the Untapped Potential of Corn

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the launch of the second Consider Corn Challenge contest. The goal of this global competition is to find new and innovative uses of field corn. NineSigma is serving as the facilitator of the competition.

In 2017, America’s corn farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn and are on pace to produce the second largest crop ever. One of NCGA’s strategic plan goals is to partner with industry to establish three new uses, for a minimum of 75 million incremental bushels by 2020.

“There are many unexpected uses of corn, and there’s a lot of untapped potential,” said NCGA Feed Food and Industrial Action Team Chair and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “Corn is an economical, abundant and environmentally friendly source which can be converted into a range of high-value uses including plastics, solvents and fibers. Right now, consumers are asking for products that are more environmentally friendly and corn has a role to play in that space.”

Between three to six winners will be selected for a total prize pool of U.S. $150,000. An informational webinar will be held in January and submissions are due March 20th. This year’s winners will be announced in July.

“Finding new uses and increasing corn grind outside of our normal customer base is the primary driver for holding another contest,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “With another large corn crop being produced by America’s corn farmers, we need to find additional uses for corn, and we know there’s a lot of great work already happening in this space. We want to capitalize on that and help companies get their products to commercialization.”

In 2018, the contest garnered 33 submissions from eight countries. The Consider Corn Challenge winners were: Annikki – Illinois; The Iowa Corn Promotion Board; Lygos – California; Sasya – Minnesota; South Dakota State University – South Dakota; and Vertimass – California.

For more information on the contest go to:

NMPF Calls Out Plant-Based Beverage Industry Misinformation, Citing New Consumer Data

Citing data that shows consumers are being misled about the nutritional merits of cow’s milk versus plant-based imitators, NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end deceptive labeling of fake-dairy products.

“The plant-based food and beverage industry has used FDA inaction as a cover to sell consumers a product that is heavily processed to look like real milk, but doesn’t deliver what matters most: a consistent, high-quality package of nutrients,” Mulhern said in remarks at NMPF’s annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. “This is contrary to the national goal of a healthy population and FDA’s mission to promote transparency and fairness,” he said. The consumer research will be shared with FDA as the agency solicits information on the public health implications of mislabeled, imitation dairy products.

In a survey by IPSOS, commissioned by Dairy Management Inc.:
-    73 percent of consumers believed that almond-based drinks had as much or more protein per serving than milk. Milk has eight times as much protein.
-    53 percent said they believed that plant-based food manufacturers labeled their products “milk” because their nutritional value is similar. That is not the case.
-    Misinformation was more prevalent among those who only bought plant-based drinks. Of those buyers, 68 percent strongly or somewhat agreed those drinks have the same nutritional content as dairy milk. In reality, those beverages do not.

With media reports suggesting an increase in the number of U.S. children suffering from nutritionally inadequate diets, milk labeling “is much more than a sideshow over whether consumers can tell the difference between an almond or a cow,” Mulhern said. Consumers deserve more respect than that – but FDA needs to help them out by clearly distinguishing between true milk and water-heavy, nutrition-poor imitators, he said.

“FDA needs to immediately end the application of the term ‘milk’ to non-dairy products,” he said.

Ag Groups Emphasize Dire Need for Farm Bill Completion

Warning that the financial security of America’s farmers and ranchers is in jeopardy, 16 agriculture organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, are urging House and Senate agriculture leaders to complete the farm bill by the end of this year.

The 2014 farm bill expired on Sept. 30. Both the House and Senate have passed separate versions of the legislation. Lawmakers are now working to draft a single bill for Congress to approve and send to President Donald Trump for his signature.

“As you well know, conditions for producers across the country are daunting.  Low prices, uncertain market opportunities, and the current weather challenges are all weighing heavily on the minds of our respective members,” the groups said in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

The farm bill provides policies that support food safety, production agriculture, environmental quality, crop insurance, animal disease prevention, conservation, research, renewable energy, and new foreign market access. In addition, without a farm bill in place, it’s very difficult for farmers to secure the credit they need to plant crops, buy fuel, and repair and invest in equipment in 2019. 

“We appreciate each of your efforts to move this bill forward.  It is our sincere hope, however, that you will be able to resolve any remaining differences so that this bill can be finalized and sent to the president for his signature before the close of the year,” the groups wrote.

New National FFA Officer Team Elected in Indy

Students from California, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon have been elected by delegates throughout the United States to serve on the 2018-19 National FFA Officer team.

Luke O'Leary, an agricultural leadership and development major at Texas A&M University, was elected national president.

Layni LeBlanc, an animal science - science and technology major at Louisiana State University, was elected national secretary.

Adrian Schunk, a communications major at Michigan State University, was elected eastern region vice president.

Ridge Hughbanks, an agribusiness major at Oklahoma State University, was elected central region vice president.

Jordan Stowe, an agriscience education major at Auburn University, was elected southern region vice president.

Shea Booster, an agricultural business management major at Oregon State University, was elected western region vice president.

Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each officer travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public, and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

Conference on Connections between Soil Health and Human Health Results in 10 Research Priorities

Almost 200 scientists and organization leaders engaged with 41 researchers and subject matter experts during a two-day Conference on Connections Between Soil Health and Human Health, October 16 – 17, 2018.  Topic-rich briefings were led by experts in soil health, microbiome research, nutrition, and public health, where participants discussed the state of the science, identified gaps, proposed research priorities, and discussed policy and funding related opportunities, which will be provided in a future report.

The Conference Resulted in 10 Recommended Research Priorities:
-    Understand the fundamental microbiome structures and functions related to land management, soil health and human health. Connect existing research on the human microbiome to the soil microbiome.
-    Integrate the vast amount of existing data into a summary review of soil health and human health that links gaps, knowns, unknowns and immediate actions. Integrate stakeholders, facilitate transdisciplinary knowledge, and compile short bullets and references to communicate those results to many diverse stakeholders, including students and Extension personnel.
-    Understand soil health and regenerative systems around the world and their impacts on the environment and the global food system. Validate methods for soil health measurement across soils and regions. Involve farmers in research efforts. Use Extension and Farm Bill programs to take action.
-    Frame future research questions with the following thought in mind: If farmers and health care providers are hired to deliver soil health and/or human health outcomes associated with a research question, how might that affect the implementation and adoption of the research findings?
-    Capitalize on long-term experiment stations by using them to engage the medical community and industry in tracking bioavailability of nutrients and toxins from soil to plants to humans and microbes. This includes studying farm laborers and consumers relative to food consumed and chemical exposures.
-    Determine how the known suite of soil health practices can impact human wellness, economics and the environment. Determine the mechanism linking soil management with nutritional content of the food produced.
-    Develop a network of permanent research sites in different regions (at least three: East, Midwest, and West) that allows comparison of conventional, organic, and regenerative agricultural production systems, along with urban areas and native habitats (e.g., forests) for their nutrient uptake and other properties. Such a network would attract other researchers bringing additional tools, analyses, and expertise to the effort, such as food companies, the Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
-    Create a center to quantify the positive and negative impacts of increasing soil organic matter and associated management systems across the entire agricultural value chain. With a community of diverse researchers contributing quantitative data to value chain analysis, determine how to maximize benefits and minimize adverse impacts on human health through agricultural management practices.
-    Characterize human-soil interactions for exposure analyses, health impacts, and identify avenues for intervention. Communicate results with scientific, grower and technical stakeholders at various scales and locations.
-    Identify specific partners to increase and optimize bioavailability in soil health agricultural management systems to decrease contamination and promote community well-being.

For further information, visit

AGCO Reports Third Quarter Results

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, reported net sales of approximately $2.2 billion for the third quarter of 2018, an increase of approximately 11.5% compared to the third quarter of 2017. Reported net income was $0.89 per share for the third quarter of 2018, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, was $0.91 per share. These results compare to a reported net income of $0.76 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, of $0.79 per share for the third quarter of 2017. Excluding unfavorable currency translation impacts of approximately 5.9%, net sales in the third quarter of 2018 increased approximately 17.4% compared to the third quarter of 2017.

Net sales for the first nine months of 2018 were approximately $6.8 billion, an increase of approximately 17.0% compared to the same period in 2017. Excluding favorable currency translation impacts of approximately 1.8%, net sales for the first nine months of 2018 increased approximately 15.1% compared to the same period in 2017. For the first nine months of 2018, reported net income was $2.33 per share, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and costs associated with an early retirement of debt, was $2.58 per share. These results compare to reported net income of $1.77 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and a non-cash expense related to waived stock compensation, of $1.91 per share for the first nine months of 2017.

North America

AGCO’s North American net sales increased 22.2% in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017, excluding the positive impact of currency translation. Precision Planting, which was acquired in the fourth quarter of 2017, contributed sales of approximately $97.2 million in the first nine months of 2018. Excluding the impact of acquisitions and currency translation, sales grew approximately 14.2% compared to the first nine months of 2017. The largest increases were in sprayers, high horsepower tractors and hay tools. Income from operations for the first nine months of 2018 improved approximately $42.5 million compared to the same period in 2017. The benefit of the Precision Planting acquisition and higher sales and production volumes contributed to the increase.


AGCO’s net sales for 2018 are expected to reach $9.3 billion, reflecting improved sales volumes, positive pricing as well as acquisition and foreign exchange impacts. Gross and operating margins are expected to improve from 2017 levels due to higher net sales as well as the benefits resulting from the Company’s cost reduction initiatives, partially offset by increased engineering expenses and higher material costs. Based on these assumptions, 2018 earnings per share are targeted at approximately $3.35 on a reported basis, or approximately $3.75 on an adjusted basis, which excludes restructuring expenses and costs associated with debt retirement.

Arysta LifeScience Launches RAZE™ 0-3-2

Arysta LifeScience announces the launch of RAZE™ 0-3-2, an advanced foliar nutrition product that promotes more balanced uptake of essential plant nutrients necessary for optimum crop growth and higher yields. Available for corn and wheat crops, the foliar nutrition product is designed to be applied at key physiological stages of plant development for increased root, stalk and vegetative development.

“Innovative nutrition solutions are an increasingly important component for growers looking to unlock more of the genetic potential of their crops,” says Royce Schulte, Arysta LifeScience BioSolutions Business Manager. “Arysta LifeScience is bringing its global strength in biostimulants and plant nutrition technology to the North American market with the introduction of RAZE 0-3-2 to help growers further maximize their crops’ potential."

RAZE 0-3-2 is powered by RAZE Nutrient Technology, which features a proprietary Ascophyllum nodosum (kelp extract) extraction process that produces a high-quality foliar nutritional product with higher levels of product uniformity. The result is an efficient, concentrated and quality formulation that is also easy to apply at low use rates.

High-performance nutrition solution
In on-farm trials in the United States, RAZE 0-3-2 has demonstrated consistently strong efficacy at different physiological stages of the crop’s development and under varying field conditions. In three years of replicated research trials in multiple regions, RAZE 0-3-2 provided a consistent 6.5 bushel-per-acre yield increase in corn at V5 stage. In wheat, the product has demonstrated a 5 bu/A increase at Feekes 3–5 application timing.

“Every crop year, growers face environmental factors ranging from weather challenges to pest and disease infestations that limit the genetic potential of the seed,” Schulte says. “RAZE 0-3-2 helps bring balance to the changing environment at important stages of the crop life cycle by improving the crop’s ability to respond to adverse environmental stresses and reach more of its genetic potential.”

By creating bigger, stronger plants and root systems, RAZE 0-3-2 helps improve the overall nutrient absorption, photosynthesis capability and carbohydrate storage needed to fuel plant growth and development. In field testing, corn treated with RAZE 0-3-2 featured a 21.6 percent increase in root length and a 16.7 percent increase in total root area, compared to untreated corn plants.

Delivered in a concentrated formulation, RAZE 0-3-2 can be tank-mixed with commonly used herbicides, fungicides and other foliar nutrients. In corn, the optimal timing is between the V3 and V7 growth stage at herbicide application timing, and from the VT to R2 growth stage. In spring and winter wheat, a single application can be made from the 3-leaf stage (herbicide application timing) through flag leaf.

RAZE 0-3-2 is available now through growers’ preferred retailer channels.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October 29 Crop Progress & Harvest Report - NE - IA - US


For the week ending October 28, 2018, there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 3 short, 84 adequate, and 11 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 6 short, 84 adequate, and 8 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 14 fair, 46 good, and 33 excellent. Corn harvested was 47 percent, ahead of 42 last year, but behind 55 for the five-year average.

Soybeans harvested was 74 percent, behind 86 last year and 90 average.

Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 21 fair, 50 good, and 21 excellent. Winter wheat planted was 96 percent, near 97 last year and 99 average. Emerged was 89 percent, near 86 last year and 93 average.

Sorghum condition rated 1 percent very poor, 1 poor, 12 fair, 56 good, and 30 excellent. Sorghum harvested was 59 percent, ahead of 45 last year, but near 61 average.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 18 fair, 61 good, and 17 excellent.


Iowa farmers had a good week for harvesting with 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 28, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Taking advantage of the dry conditions, activities for the week included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling stalks, anhydrous and manure application, fall tillage, and planting cover crops.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

Forty-nine percent of the State’s corn for grain crop has been harvested, 3 days ahead of last year but 3 days behind the five-year average. Farmers in southeast Iowa have harvested 65 percent of their corn for grain while farmers in the northeast and southwest are yet to cross the 40 percent mark on their corn for grain harvest. Moisture content of field corn being harvested averaged 18 percent. Corn condition rated 69 percent good to excellent.

Soybean harvest was 71 percent complete, a week behind the average. This is the smallest percentage of the soybean crop harvested by October 28 since 2009.

Pasture conditions rated 52 percent good to excellent. Feedlots are drying to more favorable condition.

U.S. Soybean Harvest Speeds Up, But Still Behind Average

The nation's soybean harvest picked up speed last week, while the percentage of corn harvested ended the week equal to the five-year average, USDA's National Ag Statistics Service said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, Oct. 28, 72% of the nation's soybeans were harvested, up 19 percentage points from the previous week but still 9 percentage points behind the five-year average of 81%. That was an improvement from the previous week when harvest lagged the average pace by 16 points.

Corn harvest ended the week at 63% complete, up 14 percentage points from the previous week but equal to the five-year average of 63%. That compares to the previous week when harvest was 2 percentage points ahead of normal.

Fifty-three percent of the sorghum crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind 57% last year and 13 percentage points behind the five-year average of 66%.

Meanwhile, winter wheat planting was 78% complete as of Sunday, behind 83% last year at the same time and also behind the five-year average of 85%. Winter wheat emerged, at 63%, was equal to last year's pace but behind the average pace of 67%.

NASS reported winter wheat condition for the 2019 crop for the first time on Monday, estimating 53% of wheat nationwide in good-to-excellent condition. That's 1 percentage point above last year's rating at the same time of 52% good to excellent.

Monday October 29 Ag News

It’s Not Too Late to Plant Cereal Rye as a Nitrogen Catch Crop Before Soybean
Katja Koehler-Cole - Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Agronomy
Between spring thaw and soybean planting, the risk of soil nitrogen (N) loss is great. As soil temperatures warm, soil microbes become active and start decomposing organic matter. Nitrogen released during decomposition is vulnerable to leaching as nitrate. Having a crop in the ground that can take up nitrate in early spring reduces the risk of significant leaching. Cereal rye is well suited as an N scavenger. The most winterhardy small grain, it starts growing at temperatures as low as 32°F and can be a prolific biomass producer with an extensive, fibrous root system.

In trials conducted at three research stations in eastern, northeastern and south-central Nebraska, we investigated rye productivity and its ability to scavenge N when grown as a cover crop between full-season corn and soybeans. Rye cover crops planted after corn in late October to late November and terminated in late April to early May produced at least 1,000 lb/ac of dry matter in half of the site years. Rye contained about 3% N in its aboveground dry matter. We did not measure root dry matter, but assume that root dry matter is similar to aboveground dry matter and contains 1% N. Thus, for a rye cover crop with 1,000 lb of aboveground dry matter, total N content (aboveground and belowground) can be estimated at about 40 lb/ac.

Even with this moderate rye N uptake, we were able to detect differences in spring soil nitrate in the upper 8 inches of the soil. Under rye, soil nitrate was significantly lower than under the control (no rye) in most site years. Where soil temperatures are warmer, such as in our south-central location, rye plots had 20 ppm less soil nitrate than control plots.

While the ideal planting time for rye is coming to an end, growers interested in using rye as an N scavenger can still plant it. Even with modest growth, rye N uptake can be expected to reduce soil N leaching losses. 

Grass Tetany Concerns

Steve Neimeyer – NE Extension Educator

While the quick green-up on spring pastures is the first risk factor that comes to mind for grass tetany, regrowth during warm fall weather can be a culprit, too. Grass tetany is a metabolic disorder that is associated with lush pastures due to low levels of blood magnesium concentration, which results in nerve impulse failure and death, if not treated very quickly.
Multiple factors play a role in causing grass tetany, including:
·    Low magnesium (Mg) content of rapidly growing grasses and pastures
·    High potassium (K) content of rapidly growing grasses and pastures
·    High crude protein content of grasses and pastures
·    Bad weather, storms, stress, etc., that cause cattle to be “off feed” for 24-48 hours
·    Lactation: losses of Mg and calcium (Ca) in the milk
·    Various combinations of the above factors resulting in low blood Mg or Ca

The key to prevention of grass tetany is being proactive. Provide a high Mg supplemental mineral or mineral mix containing at least 8-12% Mg. Palatability and consumption can be challenges, resulting in some of the animals consuming an inadequate amount of the mineral on a daily basis. If possible, providing dry forages while cattle are on lush pastures also helps decrease the risk. Dry forages can act as carriers to provide additional Mg and Ca to the animals at a critical time. If the drinking water source can be controlled (i.e., water tanks), soluble Mg salt may be added to the water. Some examples of soluble Mg salts are magnesium acetate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts). The most common form of Mg, Magnesium oxide, is not soluble in water and therefore cannot be used for this purpose. If available, graze pastures with legumes mixed with grasses, as legumes have higher levels of Mg and Ca than do immature grasses.

Older, lactating cows which are still nursing calves will be more susceptible to tetany than steers, heifers, or dry cows. Mature cows are less able to mobilize Mg from bones to maintain the necessary level of Mg in their system. Also, cows that are still nursing and producing milk require additional Ca and Mg.

Cattle will exhibit symptoms of grass tetany, but death can happen quickly – often within 4 to 8 hours. Progressive signs the animal will exhibit include grazing away from the herd, irritability, muscle twitching in the flank, wide-eyed and staring, muscular incoordination, staggering, collapse, thrashing, head thrown back, coma, and death. Affected animals should be handled in a quiet manner, since sudden death can occur if animals incur more stress.

Normal treatment for grass tetany is intravenous injection of a commercial preparation of magnesium and calcium in a dextrose base from a veterinarian. Effectiveness depends on the clinical stage when treatment is administered. If treatment is started one or two hours after clinical signs develop, the results are usually a quick recovery. If the animal isn’t treated until the coma stage, it is too late for the treatment to be effective.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               What happens to your hay if you have a snowy or muddy winter?  Will you be able to get to it?  Prepare now for winter barriers with proper placement.

               When I think back about some of the long, cold, and snowy periods we all have experienced in years past, I begin to realize how lucky we have been the past few winters.  Sure, we've had some cold and snowy weather.  But it rarely lasted terribly long.

               But what if it does last a long time this winter?  Will you be ready?  Will you have adequate feed supplies for your livestock on hand?  Will you have easy access to all your hay supplies during a blizzard?  And will you be able to get it to your animals?

               As I drive across the state, I see many hay stacks and round bales stored next to trees or in low spots or along fence lines that might get drifted in during a blizzard.  In some cases, the access road to this hay might get drifted in.  And in a lot of sites, when the snow eventually melts during winter or next spring, it might be too muddy to get to the hay.

               I also wonder how well the hay is organized.  Is good hay separated from poor hay?  Has it even been tested so you know what hay should be fed to cows needing only a maintenance diet and what hay should be saved for animals needing extra protein and energy.  And then, can you get to either one whenever you want?  Also, has the hay been tested for nitrates?  Nitrate poisoning occurs most frequently when high nitrate hay is fed to hungry animals right after a snow storm.

               Don't neglect planning for bad weather in placement of your hay yards.  Then if storms do occur, you'll be ready.


New research from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln shows that agricultural biotechnology companies can do well by doing good.

Agricultural economists Konstantinos Giannakas and Amalia Yiannaka found that companies can profit by lowering the price of genetic-modification technology in hunger-stricken areas when consumers associate this technology with reducing malnutrition and hunger.

“When a company develops a new innovation, such as a new seed trait, a common assumption is that the company should exercise market power in order to maximize profits,” said Giannakas, Harold W. Eberhard Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics. “However, our research shows that the company can actually profit by giving away its technology to hunger-stricken areas.”

The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that more than 820 million people around the world face malnutrition and hunger. Agricultural biotechnology has the potential to address food-insecurity challenges by enhancing both the resistance of plants to environmental stresses, such as drought, and the quality and nutritional value of food.

The research shows that when the association of genetic-modification technology with reduced malnutrition and hunger in food-insecure areas lessens consumer aversion to such technology, innovative companies will find it optimal to reduce their prices and increase consumer access to nutritious food in these areas. The reason is that their losses in these areas are more than compensated by their gains in the rest of the world.

“For these benefits to be maximized, it is important that the impact of genetic-modification technology in hunger-stricken areas of the world is significant and is broadly and effectively communicated,” Giannakas said.

The results of the study were recently published in Agricultural Economics, the journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Farm Finance and Ag Law Clinics this November

Openings are available for one-on-one, confidential farm finance and ag law consultations being conducted across the state each month. An experienced ag law attorney and ag financial counselor will be available to address farm and ranch issues related to financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters. The clinics offer an opportunity to seek an experienced outside opinion on issues affecting your farm or ranch.

Clinic Sites and Dates
    Grand Island — Thursday, November 1
    North Platte — Thursday, November 15
    Lexington — Thursday, November 15
    Norfolk — Tuesday, November 20
    Fairbury — Thursday, November 29

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.  The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor these clinics.

Excitement Grows for Facility That Increases Bio- and Agro-Defense

After years of planning, funding requests, and resources, the facility that will serve as the primary defense against accidental or intentional introduction of transboundary animal diseases is being built in Manhattan, Kansas. The Plum Island Animal Disease Center of New York had protected America’s livestock from animal disease since 1954, but after the National Bio- and Agro defense facility (NBAF) opens in 2023, the antiquated Plum Island buildings will be closed.

Although NBAF’s opening is still several years away, the state-of-the-art facility will serve agriculture well, said speakers at the U.S. Animal Health Association annual meeting last week. While Plum Island is located near the northeast coast of Long Island in New York, the new, $1.25 billion facility is in the heart of livestock production and agri-business. Like Plum Island, NBAF will provide a host of high-impact, indispensable preparedness and response capabilities, including vaccine R&D, diagnostics, training, and bio-forensics, among others.

“The facility is a biosafety level-4 laboratory and is expected to be operational by 2022-2023,” Dr. Marty Vanier told USAHA members. She is Director of Partnership Development, NBAF Program Executive Office at Homeland Security, Science and Technology (DHS).

After a three-year site selection process, Manhattan, Kansas, was chosen as the location for NBAF, she said. The facility is under construction on Kansas State University's Manhattan campus and is adjacent to the university's Biosecurity Research Institute. This strategic location places NBAF near important veterinary, agricultural and biosecurity research and expertise.

She said $852 million of the $1.25 billion budget has been spent to date on planning, risk assessments, design and construction.

“The mission is greatly expanded from what we have at Plum Island,” Vanier said. “The new facility has three categories: agro-terrorism, foreign animal diseases (unintentional), and emerging animal disease and zoonosis.

Unique Arrangement

The project is a unique collaborative effort. Forty-eight acres were gifted from the state of Kansas to the Department of Homeland Security, and the City of Manhattan also contributed to the effort to host the facility. DHS will maintain responsibility for construction and commissioning of the building.

“Construction is expected to be completed by Dec. 2020, and in May of 2021, NBAF will transfer from DHS to USDA,”” said Dr. Beth Lautner, who also spoke at the USAHA meeting. She is Director of USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

The President’s budget proposes the transfer of responsibility from DHS to USDA, stating: “…given that USDA is already responsible for the research programs that would be at this facility once construction is completed, it makes sense for USDA to manage the facility itself.”

“Coming Home”

Lautner and Vanier feel having USDA operate NBAF is “coming home,” since USDA operated the Plum Island Center for nearly 50 years.

These “Enduring Commitments” for NBAF set the plate for the future:
·        Fulfill the vision of NBAF as the premier center of scientific excellence in research, countermeasure development, diagnostics and training for foreign, emerging and zoonotic diseases of livestock
·        Leverage fully the first large animal BSL-4 facility in the U.S.
·        Maximize the use of public/private partnerships
·        Maintain a collaborative relationship between USDA and DHS
·        Enhance partnerships with academia stakeholders, other Federal laboratories, and the private sector to carry NBAF’s reach beyond its walls
·        Inspire scientific innovation and creativity which will lead to critical breakthroughs for disease detection, prevention and response

A thorough transition plan is in place with no detail left out. Transition working groups will tackle more than 20 essential planning areas; contingency planning for different scenarios will be based on the timing of Congressional approval and appropriations; and the development of a Memorandum of Agreement outlines agency responsibilities that speak to the transition planning.

“NBAF will be a cornerstone,” Lautner said. “The new facility is on time and on budget, and the plan is to be moved off Plum Island by 2023.”


National Pork Producers Council Chief Veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom last week attended the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA) annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. USAHA is an association of state and federal regulatory officials, laboratories and livestock industry representatives.

Because of industry efforts, including support from 26 state pork organizations, important resolutions were approved by the association’s committees and the board of directors. The resolutions urged the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) veterinary diagnostic laboratories to immediately begin a formal African Swine Fever (ASF) surveillance program in the United States, to enhance ASF and Classical Swine Fever surveillance by expanding tissues inspected to include tonsils, spleens and lymph nodes, and to provide access to reagents that will, using swine oral fluids, detect viral Psuedorabies DNA.

Appeals Judges: Gag Order in Hog Smells Cases Went Too Far

(AP) -- A federal appeals court panel says a trial judge went too far with a gag order that forbid lawyers or virtually anyone with knowledge of conditions at North Carolina hog operations from sharing information with reporters or on social media.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, ruled Monday that judges overseeing lawsuits in the Carolinas, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia can issue gag orders only as a last resort. The ruling was sought by farm and journalism groups, including The Associated Press.

Pork giant Smithfield Foods challenged a North Carolina federal judge barring involved parties and "all potential witnesses" from discussing dozens of lawsuits claiming industrial-scale hog farms create unreasonable nuisances.

CWT Assists with 2 Million Pounds of Cheese, Butter and Whole Milk Powder Export Sales

Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) member cooperatives accepted 11 offers of export assistance from CWT that helped them capture contracts to sell 604,067 pounds (274 metric tons) of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, 275,578 pounds of butter and 1.166 million pounds (529 metric tons) of whole milk powder. The product is contracted for delivery in Asia, North Africa and South America for the period from October 2018 through April 2019.

CWT-assisted member cooperative 2018 export sales total 51.729 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 13.238 million pounds of butter (82% milkfat) and 53.619 million pounds of whole milk powder to 36 countries on five continents. These sales are the equivalent of 1.167 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program in the long term helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This positively affects all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

NFU Urges Administration to Honor Commitment to Biofuels

Throughout his campaign for and tenure as president, Donald Trump has consistently pledged to support American-grown biofuels. However, his administration has too often failed to follow through on those promises in a timely fashion.

In the most recent of such instances, President Trump announced his intentions to allow the use of E15 gasoline in summer months. Though National Farmers Union (NFU), a grassroots policy organization that has long advocated the expanded use of biofuels as a means to promote the economic viability of family farmers and the vibrancy of rural communities, was initially encouraged by the news, little has been done to enact the proposal.

Making matters worse, while promising to authorize E15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been covertly granting so-called “hardship waivers” to oil refineries owned by large corporations with multi-billion dollar revenues. These waivers exempted the refiners from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), ultimately saved those corporations tens of millions of dollars while reducing the volume of renewable fuels in the transportation sector.

In response to the administration’s ongoing inaction, the organization today launched a radio ad buy urging President Donald Trump to keep his promises to family farmers by immediately implementing year-round E-15 and reversing the losses caused by the misappropriation of small refinery exemptions.

“Farmers are still at a net loss from Trump’s actions on biofuels,” the ad says, due to the EPA’s allocation of waivers exempting large oil refiners from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This decision has “destroyed 2 billion gallons of ethanol demand,” a volume that far exceeds any increased use of E15 expected over the next five years.

To make amends for the profound damage done to the biofuel industry, NFU is calling on President Trump to “do right by his promise to support American farmers” and “move quickly on E15 and support net increases in biofuels use – not cuts.”

Sunflower Launches New Till Control System

Sunflower®, the leading seeding equipment and tillage implement brand from AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), is introducing Sunflower Till ControlTM. The company’s latest precision farming product, Till Control allows operators to precisely monitor and control tillage depth and other tillage implement functions from inside the tractor cab. This technology ensures consistent tillage throughout the field for a more uniform seedbed, maximizing crop performance.

“Soil conditions, soil type and residue levels can vary significantly within a field, affecting the tillage process and ultimately seedbed quality,” says Larry Kuster, AGCO senior product marketing specialist. “An uneven seedbed can negatively impact seed singulation, spacing, planting depth, emergence and as a consequence, impact crop yield.

“The Sunflower Till Control system allows operators to monitor different tillage equipment functions and make any necessary adjustments. Conveniently touching a screen to make equipment adjustments to match changing field conditions goes a long way in achieving a consistent, uniform seedbed. And, it saves growers time and the hassle of making mechanical adjustments,” Kuster explains.

Till Control Available on Three Sunflower Products

The Till Control system is available on three Sunflower products – the SF6830 high-speed rotary finisher, the SF1436 Series disc harrows and the SF6631 Series vertical tillage tools.

The SF6830 rotary finisher delivers high-speed, high-residue flow capabilities unattainable with traditional shank-equipped finishers and cultivators. On the SF6830, the Till Control system allows operators to monitor the hydraulic level gang on-the-go, ensuring a consistent, level soil output even when ground speed varies. Equipped with two intermeshed gangs of Sunflower’s exclusive Rotary Spider tines ensures the soil is leveled and that crop residue is equally mixed across the entire width of the machine. Till Control helps the operator set the spider tines at the optimum working depth by limiting the pressure the cylinders can apply to the spider tines after the machine is at working depth.  Once the spider tine gangs are set they are then hydraulically locked into position.  They only need to be reset if the operator wants to change the target working depth of the rest of the machine.

For both the SF1436 Series disc harrows and SF6631 Series vertical tillage tools, the Till Control system enables operators to monitor and adjust the fore and aft-frame, as well as the hydraulic lift system. Besides just monitoring the tillage depth it ensures the slave cylinders on the wings stay in phase with the center master lift cylinders. Restoring the level or re-phasing the cylinders can quickly and easily be completed by fully raising the implement out of the ground. 

ISO-compatibility captures field and life-time implement data for better service planning

On all three Sunflower tillage implements, the Till Control will allow equipment to communicate with ISO-compliant terminals in tractors. Sunflower Till Control has an implement recognition feature which automatically displays the tillage tool name, type and working width on the terminal. Not only can service intervals be viewed from the cab, but operators receive notifications when maintenance is due, saving time and money. Additionally, the Till Control system tracks field and lifetime total acres and hours worked for better service planning. The system also displays active errors such as depth not calibrated.

Controlled through the cab terminal, Till Control equips implements with a lighting package which includes two LED work lights with 1800 lumens, providing operators greater visibility in dark and dusty conditions.

“Growers who have tested the Sunflower Till Control system have consistently given it high marks for ease of use, convenience of in-cab adjustment capabilities and the benefits of setting the equipment at a specific tillage depth and knowing that’s the exact depth it’s running,” says Kuster. “This latest precision farming tool is impressive and establishes the next generation of products in Sunflower’s tillage lineup.”