Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday November 30 Ag News

Save the Date for the Nebraska On-Farm Research Annual Results Meetings

The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network's Annual Results Updates are scheduled for February 2019 at 5 locations across the state!

Why Should You Attend?

1.     Hear from growers who conducted on-farm research on their own farms in 2018.
2.     Get a complimentary copy of the 2018 Nebraska On-Farm Research Results book.
3.     Network with innovate growers in your area.
4.     Get access to unbiased research on a variety of products and practices.
5.     Learn how you can participate in future on-farm research projects.

Approval has been sought for Certified Crop Adviser CEU credits and is pending approval.

Meeting Locations - Lunch will be served at all locations.

Grand Island — Feb. 18 at the Hall County Extension Office on College Park Campus; check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program is from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m. CST.

Norfolk — Feb. 19 at the Lifelong Learning Center located on the Northeast Community College Campus; check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program running from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST

Beatrice — Feb. 20 at Valentino's Restaurant, 701 E. Court St.; check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program is from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m. CST.

North Platte — Feb. 26 at the West Central Research and Extension Center; check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program is from 9:00 to 2 p.m. CST.

Alliance — Feb. 27 at the Knight Museum & Sandhills Center, 908 Yellowstone Ave.; check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program running from 9 a.m. to 12 noon MST.


There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is requested for meal planning. To register for any of the sites call (402) 624-8030 or email and indicate which site you plan to attend.

For more information visit:  

NeCGA Washington DC Leadership Mission

Each year the Nebraska Corn Growers Association takes a group of members to Washington D.C. to participate in the Washington D.C. Leadership Mission. This mission is a way for members who are looking to get more involved, or are just starting out, to get an in depth look at the work the association does.

In 2019 the mission trip will take place March 11th through the 15th. Attendees can expect to visit with their elected officials, the National Corn Growers Association, the US Grains Council, and other cooperators. The mission trip is also a great chance for attendees to visit with members from across the state and form lifelong friendships.

Applications are due by January 11th to Spouses who are interested in learning more about the association are also encouraged to attend. Questions? Please call the office at (402) 438-6459, email Morgan Wrich, Director of Grower Services, at, or click here...

Farm Finance and Ag Law Clinics this December

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, December 6
    Norfolk — Tuesday, December 7
    North Platte— Thursday, December 13
    Lexington — Thursday, December 20

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.

FY 2019 Export Forecast Reduced by $3.0 Billion to $141.5 Billion; Imports Forecast at $127.0 Billion

USDA Economic Research Service

Fiscal year (October/September) 2019 agricultural exports are projected at $141.5 billion, down $1.9 billion from fiscal year 2018 and $3.0 billion from the August 2018 forecast, largely due to decreases in soybeans and cotton. Soybean export volumes are down because of declining Chinese purchases from the United States as a result of trade tensions, and as a record U.S. crop continues to pressure soybean prices lower. Cotton exports are down $1.0 billion from the August forecast to $5.9 billion, primarily due to slowing growth in global demand. Grain and feed exports are forecast up $700 million to $33.8 billion, driven by higher corn and wheat volumes. Livestock, dairy, and poultry exports are down $200 million to $30.1 billion. Declines in poultry and dairy products offset increases in beef and pork products. Horticultural products are unchanged at $35.3 billion. The forecast for exports to China is reduced by $3.0 billion to $9.0 billion, the lowest since fiscal 2007.

U.S. agricultural imports in fiscal year 2019 are forecast at $127.0 billion, up $500 million from the August forecast, primarily due to expected increases in horticultural, sugar, and tropical products. The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is expected to decline by $3.5 billion to $14.5 billion in fiscal 2019.

Farm Sector Profits Expected To Decline in 2018

USDA Economic Research Service

Net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to decrease $9.1 billion (12.1 percent) from 2017 to $66.3 billion in 2018, after increasing $13.8 billion (22.5 percent) in 2017. Net cash farm income is forecast to decrease $8.5 billion (8.4 percent) to $93.4 billion. In inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, net farm income is forecast to decline $10.8 billion (14.1 percent) from 2017 after increasing $13.0 billion (20.2 percent) in 2017. If realized, inflation-adjusted net farm income would be 3.3 percent above its level in 2016, which was its lowest level since 2002.

Inflation-adjusted net cash farm income is forecast to decline $10.9 billion (10.5 percent) from 2017 to $93.4 billion, which would be the lowest real-dollar level since 2009. Net cash farm income encompasses cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments, minus cash expenses. Net farm income is a more comprehensive measure that incorporates noncash items, including changes in inventories, economic depreciation, and gross imputed rental income of operator dwellings.

Cash receipts for all commodities are forecast to increase $2.5 billion (0.7 percent) to $374.9 billion in 2018 in nominal terms. Total crop receipts are expected to increase $3.0 billion (1.5 percent) from 2017 levels following expected increases in corn and soybean cash receipts. Total animal/animal product receipts are expected to decrease $0.4 billion (0.2 percent) as lower receipts for milk and meat animals are expected to more than offset higher receipts for poultry/eggs. However, when adjusted for inflation, cash receipts for all commodities are forecast to decline $6.1 billion (1.6 percent), with crop cash receipts forecast to decline $1.6 billion (0.8 percent) and livestock cash receipts to decline $4.5 billion (2.5 percent). Direct government farm payments are forecast to increase $2.1 billion (17.9 percent) to $13.6 billion in 2018, with most of the increase due to higher anticipated payments for supplemental and ad hoc assistance and miscellaneous programs, including Market Facilitation Program payments to assist farmers in response to trade disruptions.

Total production expenses (including operator dwelling expenses) are forecast up $14.8 billion (4.2 percent) in nominal terms to $369.1 billion in 2018, led by increases in spending on fuels/oil, interest, feed, and hired labor.

Farm business average net cash farm income is forecast to decline $13,500 (16.2 percent) to $69,800 in 2018. This would be the 4th consecutive decline since 2014 and the lowest average income recorded since the series began in 2010. Every resource region of the country is forecast to see farm business average net cash farm income decline. Most categories of farm businesses are expected to see declines, with dairy farm businesses expected to see the largest.

Farm sector equity is forecast up by $26.4 billion (1.0 percent) to $2.63 trillion in 2018 in nominal terms. Farm assets are forecast to increase by $42.9 billion (1.4 percent) to $3.0 trillion in 2018, reflecting an anticipated 2.1-percent rise in farm sector real estate value. When adjusted for inflation, farm sector equity and assets are forecast to decline $27.0 billion (0.9 percent) and $34.3 billion (1.3 percent), respectively. Farm debt is forecast to increase by $16.4 billion (4.2 percent) to $409.5 billion, led by an expected 5.4-percent rise in real estate debt. The farm sector debt-to-asset ratio is expected to rise from 13.13 percent in 2017 to 13.49 percent in 2018. Working capital is forecast to decline 31 percent from 2017.

Median Income of Farm Operator Households Expected To Remain Unchanged in 2018

Median farm household income is forecast to reach $76,594 in 2018. In nominal terms, that income level represents an increase of 0.8 percent from its 2017 level; in inflation-adjusted terms, it is a 1.5-percent decrease. The total median income of U.S. farm households increased steadily over 2010-14, reaching an estimated $81,637 in 2014 in nominal terms. Median farm household income then fell 6 percent in 2015 and has remained relatively flat since.

Farm households typically receive income from both farm and off-farm sources. Median farm income earned by farm households is estimated at -$800 in 2017 in nominal terms and is forecast to decline to -$1,548 in 2018. In recent years, slightly more than half of farm households have had negative farm income each year. Many of these households rely on off-farm income—and median off-farm income is forecast to increase 2.8 percent from $67,500 in 2017 to $69,418 in 2018. (Because farm and off-farm income are not distributed identically for every farm, median total income will generally not equal the sum of median off-farm and median farm income.)

Fischer Statement on Signing of USMCA

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, a member of Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after President Donald J. Trump signed the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“I’m grateful to President Trump for his hard work to negotiate this modernized trade deal. Nebraska agriculture producers and their families depend on access to international markets, especially during these difficult times for the farm economy. I look forward to reviewing the agreement soon.” 

Mexico and Canada are Nebraska’s two largest trading partners.

Smith Statement on Signing of USMCA Trade Agreement

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after representatives of the United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the USMCA trade agreement in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Months of negotiations culminated this morning in the signing of USMCA, a three-party trade agreement to replace NAFTA. I commend President Trump and his team for securing an agreement which holds great promise for Nebraska’s agricultural producers through expanded trade with America’s neighbors. I look forward to reviewing the agreement in detail once submitted to Congress for ratification.”

Smith is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee which has jurisdiction over trade.

Ricketts Praises Signing of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news from the White House on the signing of a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“President Trump has delivered on his promise to finalize a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The importance of this new deal to Nebraska cannot be overstated.  These two countries are top customers for Nebraska, and are critical markets for growing trade opportunities.  This new deal makes progress in the three areas Nebraska’s leaders outlined for trade negotiations with these countries over a year ago.  Most importantly, it helps give Nebraska’s farmers and businesses much-needed certainty, and will help us grow these important trade relationships for years to come.”


Mexico is Nebraska’s second largest export market and Canada is the state’s third largest market.  Combined, the countries purchased over $2.4 billion worth of Nebraska’s exports in 2016.  Canada and Mexico are also substantial direct international investors in Nebraska, employing about 6,400 people in the state.  Mexico is the state’s largest export market for corn, dairy products, and sugar/sweeteners.  Canada is Nebraska’s largest export market for ethanol and dog and cat food.

Here is a breakdown of Nebraska’s top six agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico (combined):
    Corn: $315 million
    Beef: $246.6 million
    Soybeans and Soybean Products: $217.6 million
    Sugars and Sweeteners: $124.2 million
    Ethanol: $88.5 million
    Pork: $78.3 million

Statement by Steve Nelson, NE Farm Bureau President, Regarding Signing of United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA)

“Today’s signing of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a step in the right direction toward normalizing our trading relationship with two of our largest trading partners and closest allies. We thank President Trump as well his administration for all of their hard work in getting this new agreement, which does contain many positive wins for farmers and ranchers, this far. We now call upon Congress to take up and pass this new agreement quickly in order to provide a level of certainty for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.” 

“However, it is also important to note the cloud of continued U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum continue to hang over this new agreement. As long as these tariffs remain, Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and consumers won’t be able to fully take advantage of the new opportunities that exist under this new agreement.” 


Today’s presidential signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is an important step toward the final approval and modernization of the most important trade agreement to Iowa and U.S. corn farmers.

 Mexico and Canada are top markets for Iowa corn and value-added corn products. Mexico is the top market for corn, distillers dried grains, pork, and beef. Canada is among the top for ethanol, pork, and beef.  While both countries have traditionally been top buyers of corn in all forms, there is still opportunity for continued market expansion.

 Trade policy is important for Iowa farmers to gain market access, which includes removal of tariffs and other trade barriers. Iowa Corn Growers Association members will continue to work with our Congressional delegation on the final passage of this agreement, working towards our top goal of defending and expanding markets for corn products around the world. 

Statement of Secretary Perdue on Signing of USMCA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement regarding the signing of the new trade pact, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the outdated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“I have often said that we live in the best neighborhood on Earth – North America – and the signing of a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada helps cement our highly integrated relationship as nations.  President Trump has fulfilled a promise, which many said couldn’t be done, to renegotiate NAFTA and improve the standing of the entire American economy, including the agriculture sector.

“The new USMCA makes important specific changes that are beneficial to our agricultural producers.  We have secured greater access to the Mexican and Canadian markets and lowered barriers for many of our products.  The deal eliminates Canada’s unfair Class 6 and Class 7 milk pricing schemes, opens additional access to U.S. dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada’s supply management system. The agreement also preserves and expands critical access for U.S. poultry and egg producers and addresses Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading process to help U.S. wheat growers along the border become more competitive.

“This is good news for American farmers and we now need Congress to follow suit and enact the necessary implementing legislation.  I commend President Trump and our U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer, for their perseverance, leadership, and hard work.”

NCGA: USMCA Signing an Important Step Forward

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement applauding the important step taken by U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials today in signing the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“U.S. corn farmers are proud of the strong trading relationships NAFTA has enabled us to build with our North American trading partners, exporting more than $3 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada last year. Today’s signing is an important step toward cementing a modernized relationship with these important partners. NCGA commends leaders from all three nations and looks forward to engaging on next steps as the USMCA moves to Congress for consideration.”

NCBA Welcomes USMCA Signing, Will Work with Congress to Secure Passage

Today President Kevin Kester issued the following statement in response to the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“With the signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), U.S. beef producers are one step closer to knowing that unrestricted, science-based trade will continue in North America. The agreement brings the trading relationship with our neighbors into the 21st century – and clearly rejects the failed beef and cattle trade policies of the past. Open markets have helped U.S. producers flourish and created billion dollar markets for U.S. beef.  We look forward to working with Congress to get USMCA passed into law as quickly as possible.”

Today the leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the USMCA on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Argentina. The USMCA maintains unrestricted, duty-free trade for beef and cattle in North America. It also maintains science-based trade standards.

All three countries must complete their own domestic processes before the USMCA comes into force. In the U.S., Congress will need to pass legislation to implement the deal. The U.S. International Trade Commission is currently conducting an investigation into the likely impacts of USMCA. Texas rancher and NCBA member Kelley Sullivan participated in the public hearing to explain how the agreement will benefit U.S. producers.  

U.S. Pork Losses from Trade Dispute with Mexico: $1.5 Billion
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) today called for an end to a trade dispute that has cost U.S. pork producers an estimated $1.5 billion this year, according to Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes.

“We are very pleased with the new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, one that preserves zero-tariff pork trade in North America for the long term,” said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “But, it’s imperative that we remove U.S. tariffs on Mexican metal imports so that retaliatory tariffs of 20 percent against U.S. pork are lifted.”

Dr. Hayes estimates that live hog values this year have been reduced by $12 per animal due to retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico against U.S. pork in June. The loss estimate of $1.5 billion is based on an expected total harvest of 125 million hogs in 2018. These tariffs, along with China’s retaliatory tariffs, have turned what promised to be a profitable year into a year of losses for export-dependent U.S. pork producers. Dr. Hayes estimates U.S. pork producer losses of $ 1 billion, or $8 per animal, from the ongoing trade dispute with China.

Mexico and China represent approximately 40 percent of total U.S. pork exports. 

USMCA Agreement Important Relief for Agriculture
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall

“Today’s signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement continues the progress American farmers and ranchers have made since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994.

“Agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico increased from $8.9 billion to $39 billion under NAFTA. That boost provided important markets for farmers and ranchers whose productivity has only grown since the agreement was signed. USMCA keeps all those gains and adds improvements in poultry, eggs, dairy and wine. In every way, this new agreement is just as good, if not better than, the one that came before. We thank the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for all the hard work that went into this accord.

“As good as all this news is, farmers and ranchers still face retaliatory tariffs over steel and aluminum disputes with our North American neighbors and other trading partners. We urge the administration to redouble its efforts to come to an agreement on those outstanding issues so we can regain the markets we had not long ago.”

U.S. Grains Council Statement On USMCA Signing

President and CEO Tom Sleight:

"The ceremony Friday to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is an important next step in the new pact's final approval and the process of modernizing the most important trade agreement to U.S. grain farmers and exporters.

"In the latest marketing year, Mexico and Canada again proved to be top buyers of U.S. feed grains in all forms, and both countries still hold significant potential for market expansion given the right trade policy frameworks and the robust market development we intend to undertake there with our partners.

"We applaud the many members of the Trump Administration, as well as their Mexican and Canadian colleagues, who worked diligently to negotiate this agreement. We see its forward movement as a sign our countries will continue our robust relationship, as business partners and friends."

NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates Welcome Official Signing of USCMA, Encourage Repeat with Japan

Today, leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico officially signed the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the three countries for working together to finalize USMCA.

This agreement includes important provisions for wheat farmers. Most notably, USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for our long-time flour milling customers in Mexico. That is a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in U.S. wheat as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market.

In addition, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the border with Canada. Currently under Canadian law, wheat grown in the United States delivered to Canadian grain elevators is automatically designated as the lowest grade wheat. Canadian wheat delivered to U.S. elevators however may enter the system without penalty. This disincentive for U.S. farmers when they would otherwise see higher cash bids across the border is unfair. The updated USMCA agreement would enable U.S. varieties registered in Canada to be afforded reciprocal treatment. While there are remaining challenges, we applaud the Administration for negotiating this critical provision in the USMCA and taking a big step towards reciprocal trade along the U.S.-Canadian border.

NAWG and USW look forward to Congress moving forward in reviewing the agreement through Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) requirements.

In the meantime, U.S. wheat farmers are excited to see the Administration build on the momentum of USMCA by initiating negotiations with Japan ( That is needed to end the threat of major wheat export losses without a new trade agreement. USW and NAWG are anxious for a quick deal and policies that would provide long-term stability in the critical Japanese market.

USMCA Deal Falls Short of Fair Trade Framework for Family Farmers, NFU Says

Officials from the United States and Mexico today signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the renegotiated trade deal formerly known as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement will not have binding force in the United States until it is signed by Canada and approved by the U.S. Congress.

National Farmers Union (NFU) said that while USMCA makes important improvements over NAFTA, the deal currently does not go far enough to institute a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers and ranchers and restores sovereignty to the U.S. In response to the signing, NFU President Roger Johnson urged Congress to demand the administration make changes to the deal before ratifying it:

“For decades, family farmers and ranchers have taken a backseat to corporate interests in international trade negotiations. If allowed to take effect without changes, USMCA will continue this trend.

“President Trump campaigned against the major flaws in international trade agreements that the original NAFTA created the framework for, and rightly so. It is this framework that has led to our annual $500 billion trade deficit, exported jobs, lowered wages, and lost sovereignty. NAFTA renegotiation is a key opportunity to create a trade framework for our future.

“The reworked agreement makes improvements to eradicate ISDS—the dispute settlement system that gives corporations an unwarranted advantage over citizens—yet the agreement maintains ISDS provisions for some oil and gas companies. And while this is the first U.S. trade pact to include rules on currency manipulation, these rules lack the teeth they need to be effective. As of right now, only the transparency requirements are binding.

“Finally, the USMCA ignores the sovereignty Americans have lost as part of NAFTA, particularly with respect to food labeling. Canada, Mexico, and multinational meatpackers pressured Congress—using NAFTA provisions—to scrap the commonsense Country-of-Origin Labeling for beef and pork that American consumers and producers benefitted from. These labels should be allowed under a new USMCA.

“It is Congress’s constitutional duty to regulate international trade, including implementation of trade agreements that benefit U.S. citizens. NFU urges Congress to ensure the administration negotiates improvements to USMCA to create a fair trade framework that benefits family farmers, ranchers and rural communities.”

Dairy Groups Applaud Final Signing of Modernized NAFTA Pact; Urges Congress to Approve Swiftly

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commended the Trump Administration today for signing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which had been agreed to in principle on Sept. 30.

The USMCA will benefit America's dairy sector by maintaining the overall U.S.-Mexico trading structure of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while incorporating new commitments to strengthen U.S. dairy export prospects throughout the North American region. Thanks to NAFTA, Mexico is currently the largest export destination for U.S. dairy products, accounting for $1.2 billion in sales last year. The United States commands a dominant market share in Mexico, with sales that amount to three quarters of its imported dairy products.

Although the U.S. dairy industry had sought deeper market expansion and stronger disciplines from Canada on dairy, NMPF and USDEC praised U.S. negotiators for their ardent efforts to address Canada’s pervasive trade-distorting practices. The trade deal includes reforms to Canada’s controversial dairy pricing system and some additional market access – key objectives of the U.S. dairy sector.

In addition to Canada-specific dairy provisions, the USCMA broke new ground by establishing a strong sanitary and phytosanitary chapter, as well as numerous provisions aimed at tackling the misuse of geographical indications that erect barriers to U.S. exports of products that rely on common food names.

Industry leaders said the ultimate impact of the agreement, which must be approved by Congress, will depend on how it’s implemented by the three countries. The U.S. dairy industry will engage with both parties in Congress to seek their support for the agreement’s passage while at the same time seeking assurances that Canada will comply with their commitments in a fair and transparent manner.

“The signing of the USMCA gives America’s dairy industry greater confidence as we head into 2019,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. “We trust that the administration will aggressively enforce both the letter and the spirit of the agreed upon text. Thus, it is imperative that the United States ensures that Canada implements its commitments in a manner consistent with the hard-fought transparency and market-reforming disciplines secured in this agreement.”

The dairy organizations urged the governments of the three nations to take the next step toward better trade relations by removing currently imposed tariffs on agricultural exports – as well as steel and aluminum – that have been sticking points in relations between the countries.

“We appreciate the Trump Administration for continually raising our issues of concern and fighting for a better agreement with Canada,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “This year has been a challenging one for dairy producers, who are dealing with continuing low prices and the damaging effects of retaliatory tariffs that have already cost them about $1.5 billion. With today’s signing, we encourage the administration to take a fresh look at other tariffs that are hampering North American trade, including the steel and aluminum tariffs still imposed on Mexico, and to continue making progress in striking new free trade agreements and resolving ongoing trade conflicts.”

EPA Finalizes RFS Volumes for 2019 and Biomass Based Diesel Volumes for 2020

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for 2019, and biomass-based diesel for 2020.

“Issuing the annual renewable volume obligations rule on time is extremely important to all stakeholders impacted by the Renewable Fuel Standard program,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Unlike the previous administration, the Trump Administration has consistently met the deadline on time and fulfilled our commitment to provide stability to the program and greater certainty to farming and refining communities across the country.”

The key elements of today’s action are as follows:
-    “Conventional” renewable fuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, will be maintained at the implied 15-billion gallon target set by Congress for 2019.
-    Advanced biofuel volumes for 2019 will increase by 630 million gallons over the 2018 standard.
-    Cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2019 will increase by almost 130 million gallons over the 2018 standard.
-    Biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 will increase by 330 million gallons over the standard for 2019. 

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set annual RFS volumes of biofuels that must be used for transportation fuel for four categories of biofuels: total, advanced, cellulosic, and biomass-based diesel. EPA is using the tools provided by Congress to adjust the standards below the statutory targets based on current market realities. EPA implements the RFS program in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ricketts Applauds EPA’s 2019 RFS Blending Levels

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) release of the final rule setting the 2019 renewable fuel blending levels under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“I commend Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the U.S. EPA for the agency’s timely release of the final 2019 biofuel blending levels under the RFS,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The RFS continues to be a crucial driver of biofuel investment and demand in Nebraska—the nation’s second largest ethanol producer.  Biofuels create significant value-added agriculture market opportunities and benefits for our farmers, producers, and rural communities.  The increase in the cellulosic and advanced volumes requirements for 2019 sends an important market signal that will help Nebraska producers meet the original goals of the RFS, so that increasing volumes of those fuels—in addition to conventional ethanol—will become a part of the nation’s fuel supply.  I am encouraged by the robust 2019 blending levels and look forward to working with the agency to ensure that small refinery waivers do not inadvertently reduce the volumes.”

EPA Fails to Account for Future Refinery Waivers in Final 2019 RVO Rule

The National Corn Growers Association today said the EPA’s final 2019 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) moves renewable fuels and energy security forward in 2019, but the growth will only be realized if EPA does not grant refiners further RFS exemptions.

“We are pleased the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintained the implied conventional ethanol volume of 15 billion gallons and increased the total 2019 renewable fuel volume as intended by the RFS. However, EPA granted refineries 2.25 billion gallons in RFS waivers over the past year but did nothing to account for those lost volumes. If EPA continues to grant large amounts of waivers in this manner, the volumes set in this final rule cannot be met,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.

In comments on the rule, NCGA and its grower members urged EPA to take steps to maintain the integrity of the RFS, including projecting 2019 waivers and accounting for those gallons to keep the RFS volumes whole. By failing to account for waivers in this final rule, EPA ensures that any 2019 exemptions will reduce the volumes the agency sets today.

“Ethanol has been and continues to be a strong market for U.S. corn farmers, especially during these tough times in the farm economy. When the EPA continues to grant waivers and does not account for those volumes in this rule, domestic demand for our crop is lost, impacting farmers’ livelihood and the economy of rural America,” Chrisp said.

NCGA will continue to work with EPA to ensure the full energy and environmental benefits of the RFS are achieved. As EPA implements this volume rule, as well as considers pending petitions for RFS exemptions, NCGA urges the agency to prevent further demand destruction and support a strong RFS that will benefit America’s farmers and rural communities, provide cleaner air and boost our nation’s energy security.

Iowa Corn Farmers Search for Certainty in 2019 RFS Numbers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for the 2019 conventional biofuels requirement at 15 billion gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“While we’re pleased to see the EPA finalize numbers at the statutory target for corn-based ethanol, Iowa’s corn farmers want the EPA to stop granting unnecessary waivers to obligated parties and not to include those waivers in its formula for determining annual volumes as required under the RFS,” stated Iowa Corn Growers Association President Curt Mether. “This intentional omission effectively cuts ethanol demand and works against the goals of the RFS program to the detriment of motorists, our environment, and Iowa’s corn farmers.”

The RFS is a federal law that requires domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning ethanol to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. Congress adopted the RFS in 2005 and expanded it in 2007. Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) are set annually by EPA to determine the amount of renewable fuel blended into our fuel system each year.

“As corn farmers, we want to ensure the RFS continues to provide affordable fueling options for consumers, advancing America forward in its goals to be a leader in clean, renewable energy, and we have the ability to do that in America’s heartland,” said Mether, a farmer from Logan, Iowa. “Yet, while the farm economy is truly struggling, the EPA continues to hand out RFS waivers to oil companies making billions in profits in the name of economic hardship. If the EPA would simply follow the law and implement the RFS as Congress intended, farmers, consumers and our environment would all benefit.”

The RFS has been one of America’s most successful energy policies. It has spurred investment in rural communities and created high-tech jobs. It has given consumers more choices at the fuel pump. It has reduced our dependency on foreign oil. And it moves America forward as a leader in clean energy with ethanol reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline.

“Iowa’s corn farmers look forward to working with our Congressional leaders, the Trump Administration, and the EPA to return certainty to the RFS program and ensure it keeps America moving forward,” added Mether.

EPA Announces Biodiesel and Advanced Biofuels Volumes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels volumes will be increased above previous year levels, which is good news for the soybean industry. The increase, however, is mitigated by the absence of reallocation of the significant gallons that were waived under exemptions issued previously by EPA to refineries.

The final rule sets the 2020 requirement for biomass-based biodiesel (BBD) volumes at 2.43 billion gallons, a 330-million-gallon increase over the 2018 and 2019 levels. Total advanced biofuel volumes, which are largely filled by biodiesel, are increased to 4.92 billion gallons.

American Soybean Association (ASA) President John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Keota, Iowa, acknowledged the progress, saying, “We welcome this increase, as it helps a growing market for soybean oil. We are glad to see EPA acknowledge that biodiesel can play a larger role in our nation’s fuel supply.”

While ASA appreciates the increased biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020, Heisdorffer reiterated the ability and capacity for additional growth. “As ASA communicated to EPA during the rulemaking process, soybean farmers and our biodiesel industry partners can meet these targets, and we have the production capacity and feedstock to reasonably achieve even further growth.”

ASA and its biodiesel industry partners also remain concerned that EPA has not reallocated the previous year volumes that have been waived through exemptions granted to refineries by EPA. The agency’s data shows that the retroactive small refinery exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons in 2018.

“The biodiesel industry supports agriculture by creating jobs, diversifying fuel sources, and reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. EPA is moving in a better direction, but we urge the Administration to address the waived volumes and support the full potential of U.S. soybean farmers and biodiesel producers.”

Growth Energy on 2019 Renewable Volume Obligation Targets

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) released the renewable volume obligation (RVO) targets for 2019 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement, underscoring that while the numbers are a positive step forward, the billions of lost gallons due to excessive small refinery exemptions need to be accounted for:

"We are pleased to see the 2019 RVO numbers released on time and that they hold strong promise, with a 15 billion gallon commitment to starch ethanol and 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels," said Skor. "But the latest EPA rule is also a missed opportunity to correctly account for billions of gallons of ethanol lost to refinery exemptions. Until these are addressed properly, we’re still taking two steps back for every step forward."

Skor continued, "The current Acting EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, has a valuable opportunity to chart a new course for biofuels and rural America. To reverse the damage done by his predecessor, the EPA must follow the law and reallocate lost gallons, ensuring the ethanol targets set by Congress are actually met. This would plug the leak in America's biofuels targets and give farmers the boost they need to keep the rural economy moving."

RFA Urges EPA 'to Faithfully and Strictly Enforce' Final 2019 Conventional Biofuel Requirement Without Erosion from Small Refiner Waivers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released today its final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2019. The agency finalized a total renewable fuel volume of 19.92 billion gallons (BG), of which 4.92 BG is advanced biofuel, including 418 million gallons (MG) of cellulosic biofuel. That leaves a 15 BG requirement for conventional renewable fuels like corn ethanol, consistent with the levels envisioned by Congress in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper had the following statement:

“While we are pleased that EPA finalized the statutory 15-billion-gallon requirement for conventional renewable fuels and modest increases to the cellulosic and advanced biofuel categories, we note that EPA did not prospectively account for any small refiner exemptions that it expects to issue in 2019. Hopefully, that means EPA is not intending to issue any small refiner waivers at all in 2019 because it knows there is no rationale or basis for doing so.

“We urge Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to faithfully and strictly enforce the 15-billion-gallon conventional renewable fuel requirement in 2019, rather than allowing the standard to be eroded through the use of clandestine small refiner waivers as former Administrator Pruitt did. Mr. Pruitt issued nearly 50 refinery waivers from 2016 and 2017 RFS requirements, including bailouts to companies like Chevron and Andeavor that recorded billions of dollars in net profits in those years. As a direct result of the exemptions, America’s ethanol producers and farm families have experienced demand destruction and are now facing the most challenging economics in years. In examining small refiner exemption petitions for 2018, 2019, and beyond, we implore Acting Administrator Wheeler to exercise the restraint and thoughtfulness that clearly eluded his predecessor.”

Final RFS Rule Provides Only Minimal Growth for Biodiesel, NBB Says

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) today criticized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Renewable Fuel Standards for 2019 and biomass-based diesel volume for 2020. EPA sets the advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volumes lower than what the agency acknowledges will be produced. Moreover, the rule leaves open a backdoor to retroactively reduce required volumes through hardship exemptions.

EPA made very few changes from its June proposal, setting the 2020 biomass-based diesel volume at 2.43 billion gallons and the 2019 advanced biofuel renewable volume obligation (RVO) at 4.92 billion gallons. The biomass-based diesel RVO for 2019 was set at 2.1 billion gallons in last year’s rule. EPA used its cellulosic waiver authority to make the maximum possible reductions to the advanced biofuel and overall renewable fuel categories.

NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, “EPA recognizes that the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry is producing fuel well above the annual volumes. The industry regularly fills 90 percent of the annual advanced biofuel requirement. Nevertheless, the agency continues to use its maximum waiver authority to set advanced biofuel requirements below attainable levels. The method is inconsistent with the RFS program’s purpose, which is to drive growth in production and use of advanced biofuels such as biodiesel.”

In the final rule, EPA states that it has not received small refinery exemption petitions for 2019 and therefore estimates zero gallons of exempted fuel in its RVO formula. The agency has estimated zero gallons every year since 2015, even though it retroactively exempted more than 24.5 billion gallons of fuel between 2015 and 2017. The agency’s own data shows that the retroactive small refinery exemptions reduced demand for biodiesel by more than 300 million gallons in 2018.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, “EPA’s RFS rule fails to address the uncertainty associated with the unprecedented flood of small refiner hardship exemptions. Moreover, the agency still has not addressed the Court order in the ACE case, which remanded the agency’s improper waiver of the 2016 volumes. The rule that EPA has finalized for 2019 and 2020 is meaningless without solutions to these issues.”

NFU Deeply Disappointed in EPA Decision to Ignore Waivers, Intent of Law in New RFS Obligations

The Trump Administration today finalized 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), setting the amount of renewable fuels that need to be blended in the transportation fuel supply at 19.92 billion gallons. The rule maintains the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol and increases cellulosic and advanced biofuel requirements by 130 million gallons and 630 million gallons, respectively.

The 2019 mandate tracked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) July proposal, which ignored the billions of gallons of lost biofuel demand that resulted from EPA handing out hardship waivers to oil refiners. National Farmers Union (NFU), a staunch proponent of biofuels and higher blends of ethanol, was deeply disappointed by the news. NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the rule:

"President Trump's numerous assurances to American family farmers to support the biofuels industry and increase demand for farm products continue to fall short at the hands of EPA.

"Today, EPA set biofuels requirements that completely ignore the 2.25 billion gallons of lost demand for U.S. farm products that resulted from their own handouts to oil refiners. The decision to exempt refiners from complying with the RFS, coupled with today's decision not to make up for the lost demand, leaves farmers at a significant net loss under the current administration.

"This rule is not keeping with Congress' intent with the RFS, which is to drive investment in American grown biofuels. In addition to ignoring lost demand for ethanol, the EPA has provided far too low obligations for advanced biofuels. These businesses need to believe they have the opportunity to create a profitable company in order for them to expand production and utilize more American grown fuels.

"So long as EPA continues to ignore its own mishandling of the RFS waivers, it will continue to undermine the will of Congress, directly contradict President Trump's promises, and destroy American family farmers' ability to expand demand for their products."

ACE statement on final RFS volumes for 2019

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued the statement below in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The Agency set a total renewable fuel blending obligation of 19.92 billion gallons next year of which 4.92 billion gallons shall be advanced biofuel, including 418 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, resulting in 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel such as corn ethanol.

“On paper, EPA appears to be resisting refiner demands to reduce conventional biofuel blending in 2019 below the statutory 15-billion-gallon level. However, in reality, as long as EPA fails to reallocate the over 2 billion gallons worth of blending obligations waived for ‘Small Refineries,’ renewable fuel demand will remain flat causing farmers and rural biofuel producers to continue suffering the consequences.

“While we are fighting this injustice with a challenge of three specific Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and a petition asking EPA to account for the lost volumes resulting from retroactive SREs, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler should be fixing this problem.

“Economic hardship is real, but not for oil refiners. The truth is farmers and ethanol producers are struggling to make ends meet because of depressed prices caused by man-made limits or waivers on demand.

“Assuming the President formally nominates Acting Administrator Wheeler to lead EPA, we call on U.S. Senators to insist he provides them with tangible evidence EPA will reallocate the blending obligations waived for Small Refiners before voting to confirm him.”

GIPSA Agency Elimination a Blow to Competitive Markets, NFU Says

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will be eliminating the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as a standalone agency and consolidate its functions into the work of the Agricultural Marketing Service.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

“At a time when just a handful of companies control all of the markets that supply and buy from family farmers and ranchers, the elimination GIPSA is a big step in the wrong direction. The agency’s statutory duty is to ensure fair and competitive markets for family farmers. This decision comes on top of USDA’s decision to withdraw the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which would have given American family farmers the most basic of protections against abusive and undue practices levied against them by companies that hold substantial market power. Farmers Union strongly urges USDA to reconsider both of these decisions that undermine competition and place family farmers and ranchers at a significant disadvantage in the marketplace.”

Sanderson Changes Course on Chicken Antibiotics

One of the biggest defenders of antibiotic use in farming is changing its tune--somewhat. Sanderson Farms, one of the top US chicken processors, says by March 1, 2019 antibiotics used in human medicine will no longer be used to prevent disease among the company's chickens.

Sanderson for years has resisted as competing meatmakers, like Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson Foods, have scaled back antibiotics use, responding to criticism that widespread antibiotic use in livestock and poultry contribute to development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sanderson questioned the link and still does, but says it can use other antibiotics to prevent disease.

Sanderson still intends to use medically important antibiotics, like gentamicin and virginiamycin, to treat and control diseases when they're found in poultry barns.

Thursday November 29 Ag News


New research by agricultural economists at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln challenges traditional thinking on federal crop insurance.

Since the inception of the federal crop insurance program, researchers have questioned whether the program causes moral hazard in input usage, meaning that if producers are shielded from yield risk via crop insurance, they respond by increasing low-yield risk exposure by applying fewer inputs. Opponents of the federal crop insurance program claim moral hazard leads farmers to use crop insurance to transfer costs from themselves to taxpayers, who help fund the program.

Previous research found evidence of moral hazard in input usage, suggesting crop insurance gives producers an incentive to reduce the economic-maximizing input amount, particularly nitrogen, to reduce yields and receive crop insurance payments.

Unlike previous research, the new project includes Actual Production History when examining producer input use behavior related to crop insurance. The addition of APH is important as it is used to calculate liability when producers file crop insurance claims and directly influences indemnity payments. For example, when APH decreases, the size of indemnity amounts decreases as does the likelihood of a payment.

When the role of APH is considered, the amount of moral hazard declines to miniscule amounts. When producers are thinking ahead to future growing seasons, their current year input use is not heavily influenced by the presence of crop insurance.

“Our research is based on the assumption that farmers want to farm next year with a strong crop insurance policy,” said Cory Walters, assistant professor of agricultural economics and study co-author. “Results from the study indicate that the presence of APH in the liability calculation can do a lot in limiting the amount of moral hazard in input usage in crop insurance.”

Walters is active in his family’s farming operation. His experience with production agriculture inspired the new research.

“It did not make sense to me that crop insurance research would not take into account the role of APH and the fact that farmers are forward-thinking,” he said.

Other study co-authors are Lilyan Fulginiti, professor of agricultural economics, and Taro Mieno, assistant professor of agricultural economics.

The results were recently published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

State Beef Councils Join R-CALF USA’s Beef Checkoff Lawsuit: An Action that Will Reveal How Producers’ Money is Spent

The District Court for the District of Montana has allowed the Montana Beef Council, Nebraska Beef Council, Pennsylvania Beef Council, Texas Beef Council, and three individuals to join in R-CALF USA’s beef checkoff lawsuit, a request made with R-CALF USA’s consent. The lawsuit was recently expanded to include 15 state beef councils, including those now joined as parties.

R-CALF USA explained in its response to the intervention request that the intervening state councils’ statement to the court confirm the beef checkoff program is being administrated in an unconstitutional manner, violating producers’ First Amendment rights. However, R-CALF USA stated it agreed to them entering the case so the court can have a full record of how the checkoff money is spent by these private entities.

In their request to join the case, the beef councils argued they are entitled to join because their interests in accessing and using beef checkoff money are different from those of the government. They explained they are entitled to retain “state-specific control” over the checkoff money, where the state activities are directed by a non-governmental board, without committing to input from all producers. R-CALF USA stated this is in direct contradiction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) statements that it remedies the earlier constitutional problems with the beef checkoff program by requiring all councils to subject themselves to USDA review. 

R-CALF USA also explained that for the beef checkoff program to be constitutional it must only produce government speech, which is speech controlled by the federal government, not subject to local or state control by nongovernmental entities. Therefore, R-CALF USA stated it would agree to the councils entering the case because their statements are proof that the councils are using producers’ checkoff tax dollars to fund private speech. As one example, R-CALF USA pointed out that the government did not agree to the councils’ request to join the case as parties. Yet, the councils have expended checkoff taxes to do just that.

The case will now go forward with the councils as intervening-Defendants. “This will allow R-CALF USA to uncover how the councils decide to expend checkoff dollars, helping producers be better informed about how their money is used or misused by the state beef councils,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

On-Farm Research helps growers generate results

Laura Thompson, NE Extension Educator - Ag Technology

While fall harvest wraps up the final phase of the production season, now is also when growers are making plans for the 2019 growing season. If growers are looking for confirmation the production practices they used this year were profitable, they can turn to the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network.

The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network (NOFRN) provides a way for growers to validate their production practices and make decisions for future years based on what they have learned in their own fields. Research typically is conducted with the producer’s equipment, on the producer’s land and using the producer’s management practices. The on-farm research team works with growers to develop custom plans for research experiments.

“A number of projects can be planned and evaluated in the 2019 growing season, such as soil fertility, cover crop management, starter fertilizer, row spacing, seed treatments, plant populations, variable rate planting prescriptions and in-season fertilizer applications,” says Laura Thompson, extension educator. “Now is the time to start planning these studies. I would encourage people who are interested in doing a study to visit with a Nebraska Extension educator.”

According to Thompson, extension educators can help producers plan a study so they will have confidence in the results. They can also help provide opportunities for additional data to be collected, such as aerial imagery, photographs and other measurements.

Don Batie, a corn-soybean farmer near Lexington, conducted two on-farm research studies in 2017.

“I’m a firm believer of testing it out before we implement a change. We try things all the time, but by doing the on-farm research with the university, we used a statistical approach that brought a lot more confidence to the findings,” said Batie.

South-central Nebraska farmer Ken Herz raises corn, wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa and has a cow-calf operation on a dryland farm. Herz researched the effects of grazing cover crops after wheat in a three-year corn-soybean-wheat rotation. 

“This experience has been extremely rewarding. I would encourage anyone who has questions about agronomic practices that have not been researched to consider doing some on-farm research,” Herz said.

NOFRN is a collaborative partnership of Nebraska Extension, the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Soybean Checkoff and the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission. The goal of the network is to put to use a statewide on-farm research program addressing critical farmer production, profitability and natural resources questions.

For more information on the project or how to participate, call 402-624-8030, email, contact a local Nebraska Extension office or visit

Dairy Webinar Asks If It’s Time to Visit Your Lender

The I-29 Moo University is hosting a webinar Thursday, Dec. 20 focused on preparing the information that lenders request. The “Improving Conversations with Your Lender” webinar will outline and explain the banking benchmarks and financial documents that lenders need to evaluate loans. The hour-long webinar is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will include time at the end for questions.

In addition, the program will focus on improving enterprise expense breakdowns and identify available follow-up information.

Heather Gessner, extension livestock business management field specialist at South Dakota State University, will present the information. Gessner grew up on a diversified operation raising cattle and hogs, as well as corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa. Since joining SDSU Extension in 2001, she has earned a national reputation providing farmers and ranchers with enterprise analysis, budget spreadsheets, marketing education and estate and transition planning, education and assistance.

There is no fee for the webinar, but an online registration is required at: Upon registration, a confirmation email containing information to join the meeting will be sent.

The I-29 Moo University is a consortium of extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Now in its thirteenth year, the consortium provides resources and education to enhance a sustainable dairy community along the I-29 corridor by focusing on best management practices, utilization of research-based expertise and resources, and ag-vocating the benefits of a vibrant dairy community. For more information about this webinar or other I-29 Moo University programs contact Fred M. Hall at 712-737-4230 or

Crop Advantage Series Helps Producers Make Decisions for 2019

Crop Advantage meetings provide a solid foundation of current, research-based crop production information to help producers make informed decisions for the farming operation. The 2019 meetings are an opportunity for farmers and crop advisers to hear current research and crop production information from Iowa State University.

Extension specialists will travel to 14 Iowa locations from Jan. 3-30, providing updated management options and recommendations on current and future crop production issues. Meetings offer continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers and pesticide safety recertification.

“There is no other program in our crop production education year that brings this many extension specialists together at individual sites across the state,” said Joel De Jong, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

In 2018 nearly 2,000 individuals attended one of the meetings, representing all 99 Iowa counties and surrounding states. Eighty four percent of attendees responding to follow-up surveys said information from Crop Advantage would likely save them between $5 and $20 per acre.

“Our goal is to prepare producers to manage potential issues when they arise, or even before they arise, by sharing the most up-to-date scientific knowledge from Iowa State University,” said De Jong. “Content at the meetings is driven by county needs and local production issues.”

Program topics vary by location and are selected for regional concerns and issues. Topics on the agenda this year include: market outlook for 2019 and strategies for dealing with stress, weed management and herbicide resistance, soybean gall midge as a new Iowa pest, nitrogen management in variable environments, and soil pH and liming strategies with low crop prices.

2019 CAS Meeting Dates and Locations
Jan. 3 – Sheldon
Jan. 4 – Burlington
Jan. 8 – Storm Lake
Jan. 9 – Ames
Jan. 10 – Moravia
Jan. 11 – Mason City
Jan. 15 – Okoboji
Jan. 16 – Fort Dodge
Jan. 17 – Waterloo
Jan. 18 – Davenport
Jan. 22 – Le Mars
Jan. 24 – Atlantic
Jan. 29 – Iowa City
Jan. 30 – Denison
For locations, times and program details visit

Early registration for each location is $50; late registration made less than seven days prior to the meeting or on-site is $60. Registration includes lunch, printed proceedings booklet, private pesticide applicator recertification and CCA credits. Online registration and additional information is available at Contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429 or, or contact your regional Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomist with questions.

House and Senate Ag Leaders: We've Reached Agreement in Principle on 2018 Farm Bill

House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairmen Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Pat Roberts (R- Kan.) and Ranking Members Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) made the following announcement today on the state of 2018 Farm Bill negotiations:

“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”

NCGA Welcomes News of Farm Bill Agreement

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement after an announcement that farm bill negotiators – Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., have reached an agreement in principle on a new farm bill.

“It’s imperative that farmers and rural communities have a new farm bill this year. NCGA is grateful for today’s announcement that sets the steps in motion to ensure that happens. Our grower members have been making phone calls and sending emails to Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to reach a deal before year’s end. We thank them for heeding this call and look forward to fully reviewing the conference agreement.”

NAWG Applauds Farm Bill Negotiators for Moving Process Forward

The leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have announced that they’ve reached a tentative agreement on a conference report for the 2018 Farm Bill, pending final scores from the Congressional Budget Office. While the bill still needs to be reported out of the conference committee, voted on by both Chambers and signed into law, NAWG is pleased the process is moving forward. NAWG President Jimmie Musick made the following statement in response:

“NAWG appreciates conferees diligently working together to reach an agreement to strengthen the agriculture industry. This past year our growers have dealt with the impact of the trade war between U.S. and China, extreme weather conditions, and a struggling rural economy and more. Farm Bill support programs provide them with some certainty during these volatile times.

“NAWG looks forward to reviewing the language within the bill.”

NFU Encouraged by Farm Bill Deal, Urges Swift Passage

Agriculture committee leadership today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on the farm bill. While the final details of the bill have yet to be released and negotiators wait on cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, National Farmers Union (NFU) today expressed optimism that relief from the lapsed 2014 Farm Bill might soon arrive for family farmers and ranchers. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the news:

“Getting a farm bill through the finish line before the end of the year is critical for the long-term viability and sustainability of family farmers and ranchers across the country. Farmers are enduring a growing financial crisis in the farm economy, and programs that support farm sustainability and diverse markets for family farmers have expired. Senate and House agriculture leaders and their staff have worked tirelessly to resolve differences in the chambers’ respective farm bills, and we’re optimistic they’ve come to terms on a farm bill that begins to provide the relief and certainty farmers need amidst struggling markets due to oversupply and trade volatility. We urge Congress to approve a farm bill before the end of the year.”

Farm Bureau Calls for Final Farm Bill Approval

President Zippy Duvall

"The 2018 farm bill emerging from the conference committee is good news for farmers amid a prolonged downturn in the agricultural economy. Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson made the bill a priority for this Congress, and all Americans—farmers and consumers—are better off for it.

“Continued access to risk management tools, assistance in foreign market development, and conservation and environmental stewardship programs within the legislation are especially important for farmers and ranchers. These programs will help provide certainty to rural America at a time when it is much needed given the financial headwinds so many family farms now face. Additionally, the bill continues to help low-income children, families, seniors and military veterans access the high-quality foods produced by farm families.

“Farmers and ranchers continue to face challenges outside of the farm bill. Every day we struggle to find the workers we need. Exports were once a backbone of U.S. agriculture, but we now face an uphill battle reclaiming our once robust market share. While the Administration is reviewing the cost and effectiveness of federal regulations, overregulation remains a burden that farmers and ranchers cannot afford, especially now. We urge Congress to continue working on these issues to maintain our nation’s food security and continue agriculture’s significant contributions to U.S. job creation and economic growth.

“The farm bill and ag policy broadly remain bipartisan matters and we encourage both houses of Congress to approve this bill once it is finalized by House and Senate Ag Leaders. We are thankful the Agriculture committees have stayed true to their mission to serve the American farmer and rancher and our nation's consumers, and we look forward to working with the next Congress on all the issues facing agriculture.”

EIA Study: Refiners Could Meet 95 RON Standard Without More Ethanol

A new Energy Information Administration (EIA) study concludes that U.S. petroleum refineries would have “no problem” meeting a requirement to produce gasoline with a higher minimum octane rating (95 Research Octane Number, or “RON”) beginning in 2022, and assumes that refiners would not use more ethanol beyond current levels to meet such an octane standard.

Automakers have called for the broad introduction of higher octane fuels to facilitate fuel economy improvements and reduce tailpipe emissions.

The EIA-commissioned study, conducted by oil industry consulting firm Baker & O’Brien, Inc., examines a scenario in which all new vehicles beginning with model year 2023 require the use of 95 RON gasoline, which is equivalent to today’s premium grade gasoline. According to the study, refiners would simply increase reformer severity to produce higher octane gasoline blendstock, which would then be blended with 10% ethanol to produce a 95 RON finished fuel. The authors found that “…no significant changes in refinery configuration or throughput would be required to meet the minimum 95 RON gasoline requirement.”

Increasing the reformer severity to make higher octane gasoline at the refinery “is well within the range of normal operations,” the report says, noting that “...existing domestic refineries should have no problem meeting the (95 RON) requirements...” Even as the demand for 95 RON gasoline grows as more 95 RON-required vehicles enter the fleet in the study’s 2027 scenario, refiners “…appear to be able to meet the increased 2027 octane requirements with minor operational adjustments. No industry-wide capital intensive projects would be needed to meet the 2027 requirements.”

Reacting to the EIA report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “This study confirms that a 95 RON requirement by itself would do nothing to expand the market for ethanol, even though ethanol will continue to reign as the cheapest and cleanest source of octane available on the market. Rather than using ethanol to boost octane, refiners would choose to run their reformers more intensively to increase production of higher octane hydrocarbons, many of which are highly toxic and would worsen air quality. However, if implemented alongside of—not in lieu of—the Renewable Fuel Standard, a 95 RON requirement could provide new market opportunities for America’s ethanol producers and farmers, as refiners would be compelled to do the right thing and choose ethanol as the primary means of raising octane levels. Still, to truly deliver the efficiency gains and emissions reductions needed in the future, a high octane, low carbon fuel with 98-100 RON would be a much better option.”

Cuba Offers Potential For Grains, But Poses Unique Trade Barriers

Huge potential remains for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba, including corn, sorghum, barley and their co-products, but so do steep trade challenges, U.S. Grains Council staff learned on a recent industry mission to the country.

Council staff from the Western Hemisphere office participated this month in the Cuba and U.S. Agriculture Business Conference in Havana to learn more about current U.S. export and import policies regarding Cuba, investing in Cuban agricultural production and creating a viable and long-term trade relationship between the two countries. The three-day conference endeavored to increase sales of U.S. agricultural commodities and boost cooperation.

The Council has been involved with Cuba many times over the years, sending a delegation to the island nation as recently as 2015 to examine the market potential for the U.S. grain trade and the financing possibilities the U.S. could offer the country.

The recent mission continued this outreach focused on ag trade. Taking a page from U.S. companies already successfully doing business in Cuba, including Marriott and Jet Blue, meeting attendees pooled their knowledge and know-how to better understand the political and commercial situation to find ways to facilitate U.S trade to Cuba. Comprised of Cuban agribusiness leaders and farmer cooperatives and members of the U.S. ag sector - including corn, soybean, wheat, rice, poultry and potato industries – the mission participants had high hopes to begin to hash out the barriers between the two countries.

“There are no easy answers in Cuba,” said Catalina Correa, U.S. Grains Council regional marketing specialist, Western Hemisphere, who attended the conference, "yet the soil is prepared for greater discussion in how to make the way to higher economic development despite the political realities of both countries.

"There is momentum. Particularly with trade disputes in other regions of the world, U.S. ag producers are searching for other markets, and ones that once seemed too challenging to surpass, like Cuba, now have greater promise.”

According to the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, the United States has sold $5.7 billion in food and feed to Cuba since 2000, when an amendment to the trade embargo allowed agricultural sales for cash. U.S. farmers and agribusinesses would like to expand the market, but because the Cuban government is not allowed to make purchases on credit, there are still barriers to getting food and feed grains to the country of 11.4 million people.

Despite this hurdle, the market is expected to offer significant opportunities for U.S. farmers with marketing year 2018/2019 import estimates of a million metric ton (39.3 million bushels) of corn annually, mainly from Argentina. If U.S. farmers could capture that market share, Cuba would be the 12th largest importer of U.S. corn and would also have the potential to increase its usage of U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and other grains.

It’s not just the credit issue that’s causing issues in Cuba, and it’s not just sales that are the main driver of U.S. interest. The humanitarian consideration of malnutrition is a reality for the population of the island nation.

There is an established need for animal ag industries including broilers, eggs and beef, and this trip offered the opportunity for discussion about these needs between U.S. and Cuban farmers.

“Today, Cubans aren’t getting enough protein,” Correa said. “The average Cuban eats only four eggs per month. Milk is only accessible to infants until they reach the age of two. Malnutrition is their daily concern. The embargo touches the lives of every Cuban; it affects all aspects of their lives.”

Maintaining a consistent dialogue with Cuba is an important part of the Council's programs with the country's ag sector.

USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight also recently met with the new president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, in New York City in conjunction with the U.S. General Assembly meeting.

“In many ways, meeting President Diaz-Canel reminded me of the early days of the reopening of the Cuban market back in the late 1990s,” Sleight said. “President Diaz-Canel was open and affable. The barriers to expanded U.S. trade are considerable, yet the desire on both sides to keep talking was sincere.”

NCGA Welcomes Sarah Doese Back to DC Team

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes back Sarah Doese, who rejoins the organization as the manager of regulatory affairs and public policy in the Washington office. Doese previously served at NCGA as the legislative assistant. In her new position, she will manage a diverse issue portfolio with an emphasis on regulatory affairs and emerging issues, including precision agriculture and technology, labor and immigration, and rural broadband.

“Sarah is a talented, knowledgeable and passionate advocate for agriculture. We are excited to welcome her back to NCGA,” said CEO Jon Doggett. “With her new experience on Capitol Hill and a long family history in production agriculture, she will be a strong advocate for corn farmers on policy and regulatory matters affecting their operations. I am confident that she will help us expand our relationships on the Hill and find common ground on our most important policy priorities for agriculture.”

Doese comes to NCGA from the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee where she served as majority staff. Prior to that, she worked for Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) as a legislative correspondent.

Doese graduated from Iowa State University in December 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. She has completed internships with CropLife America, Iowa FFA Association, and the National Association of Agriculture Educators. Sarah is a former Iowa FFA state officer and was a member of the Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority at Iowa State.

She is a native of Fairbank, Iowa.

Avoid Yield Losses From Volunteer Corn With Herbicide Control

Farmers in the Corn Belt have an option for controlling yield-robbing volunteer corn next season. Many farmers are considering the use of corn with the Enlist™ trait to control volunteer corn by applying a FOP herbicide in 2019.

“Outside of cultivation, controlling volunteer corn can be a challenge for farmers due to herbicide resistance traits,” says Jason Welker, Mycogen Commercial Agronomist in Nebraska. “However, if the traits differ between last year’s and this year’s corn, then control through the use of a herbicide is possible.”

Mycogen® brand corn hybrids with the Enlist trait were first commercially available in the 2018 growing season. Farmers experienced success controlling grasses and volunteer corn last year. For farmers planting corn after corn, Mycogen brand hybrids with the Enlist trait provide an option for farmers in 2019. Corn with the Enlist trait includes tolerance for FOPs and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase) enzyme inhibitor, making it an option to spray FOP herbicide. DuPont™ Assure® II is the only grass herbicide labeled to control volunteer corn in corn hybrids with the Enlist trait.

“In areas where there were stalk integrity issues, especially in the western Corn Belt, farmers might be challenged with volunteer corn this next year,” Welker says. “Today’s equipment does a pretty good job of picking up down corn, but those in corn-after-corn situations who are concerned with the potential of volunteer corn should consider this new option for control.”

Threats to next year’s yield
Research shows significant yield loss results from delayed control of volunteer corn, regardless of the control method.

In an article authored by Kansas State University Cropping Systems Specialist Ignacio Ciampitti and Kansas Corn, the authors note the following statistics:
-    A study from South Dakota State University reported yield losses of up to 13 percent in corn from volunteer corn.
-    Research from the University of Minnesota showed volunteer corn plants lagged from one- to six-leaf stages behind the crop and few plants produced an ear by harvest.
-    Iowa State University reported one volunteer corn plant per 10 feet of row reduced corn yield 1.3 percent.
-    The University of Nebraska-Lincoln found volunteer corn population of 3,500 plants per acre resulted in a 2 percent yield reduction in corn and doubling the density to 7,000 plants per acre caused a 5 percent yield reduction.

“Corn with the Enlist trait is a great option to protect yield from volunteer corn and other yield-robbing weeds and grasses,” Welker says. “Grasses like Johnsongrass, which are hard to control with glyphosate, can be managed using a grass herbicide such as DuPont Assure II labeled for use in hybrids with the Enlist trait. We’ve seen some strong yield advantages this year with Mycogen brand hybrids with the Enlist trait.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday November 28 Ag News

AFAN Awards First Livestock Friendly County Grant to Red Willow County

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) awarded its first $5,000 Livestock Friendly County Grant November 26 in McCook to Red Willow County, in care of the McCook Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

AFAN provides an award of up to $5,000 per application from previously designated Livestock Friendly Counties to support a multitude of projects and campaigns developed by local stakeholders to encourage and support agriculture, livestock and related food processing in their counties. Red Willow County was designated a Livestock Friendly County in January 2018 by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Brief presentations from Will Keech, AFAN’s director of livestock development and Andy Long, executive director of MEDC, preceded the grant presentation.

“AFAN is committed to helping Nebraska counties attract ag industries to their communities by providing the Livestock Friendly County Grant,” Keech said. “We are happy to present our first grant award to Red Willow County. The MEDC put together a compelling application outlining their needs and marketing plans.”

The MEDC’s Long stressed that agriculture is the foundation of Red Willow County’s economy. “A large percentage of McCook’s economy is directly related to our agriculture industry,” he said. “Our cattle producers and complementary businesses are vital to our economic success.” He said the grant “will provide the catalyst for our efforts to improve value-added recruitment efforts. Anything we can do to help our producers increase their revenue is a bonus to the entire region.” According to Long, the grant will allow the MEDC “to start our own digital marketing efforts to value-added agriculture operations and gives us focus on our recruitment efforts. The grant has already resulted in some strong conversations about opportunities we have locally to play to our strengths.”

“Project GROW” Field Day will Feature National Keynote Speaker Ray Archuleta

Nationally acclaimed soil scientist and farmer, Ray Archuleta, “The Soils Guy,” will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural “Project GROW” Field Day in York on December 12, 2018, at the Holthus Convention Center. This event is hosted by the Upper Big Blue NRD.

Mr. Archuleta is a farmer from Seymour, MO. He teaches Biomimicry Strategies and Agroecology principles on a national scale for improving soil function. He has over 30 years of work experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, Soil Health Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He has worked in the following states: New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina.

Mr. Archuleta is also a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with Soil Science Society of America, and also served for two years in Guatemala as a Livestock Specialist in the Peace Corps. He received an A.S. in Livestock Science from Northern New Mexico College and a B.S. in Agricultural Biology, as well as amassing 30 hours of graduate school work in soil related classes from New Mexico State University. Ray is a nationally known speaker on the importance of soil health and Agroecology. His mission is to teach and apply time-tested, ecological principles, and bio-mimicry to help others regenerate this living and life-giving ecosystem.

Other featured speakers are Al Dutcher who will provide an update on the latest Nebraska weather trends and what to expect as winter gives way to spring, as well as Steve Melvin, Hamilton & Merrick Extension Educator, who will discuss Irrigated Cropping Systems.

The NRD is providing a free meal, so please RSVP by December 7th by calling Patty at the Upper Big Blue NRD at (402) 362-6601.


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today announced that applications are now being accepted for water quality planning and development projects. Selected projects will help inform, prioritize and coordinate implementation of conservation practices focused on improving water quality.

“This is an opportunity to bring in new partners to work with farmers and landowners to scale up construction of infrastructure based conservation practices. With long-term water quality funding now joining existing conservation programs, we are able to look several years ahead and make sure we are able to use the additional funding in a targeted, cost-efficient manner to improve water quality” Naig said.

Projects should focus on planning and design efforts that will directly lead to the adoption of water quality focused conservation practices. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate a proven track record of delivering planning, development, and design of projects and practices. Strong partnerships with stakeholders that have or will be contributing significant resources to the project are also critically important.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), counties, county conservation boards, other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public water supply utilities or watershed management organizations are eligible to submit applications. Applicants are also encouraged to partner with additional stakeholders that will be able to assist with education and outreach.

The applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. Projects selected to receive funding will be announced in early March and are projected to start on April 1, 2019.

Project application guidance can be requested by contacting the Department’s Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at 515-281-5851.

Trump Asked to Review of Argentine Biodiesel Import Duties

Three trade groups today wrote President Donald Trump to express concern that the U.S. Department of Commerce has initiated “changed circumstances” reviews of U.S. trade duties on Argentine biodiesel companies. The National Biodiesel Board, the American Soybean Association, and the National Renderers Association urged the president to ensure that Commerce undertake a rigorous, comprehensive and transparent review before considering any adjustment to the duty rates it established just this year.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed antidumping and countervailing duty orders in January and April 2018, following investigations in which the government found that biodiesel imports from Argentina were massively subsidized and dumped, injuring U.S. biodiesel producers.

“Given the importance of this new remedy for American energy and agriculture against unfair imports, it is a mystery that Commerce would open an expedited path for Argentina to reduce or remove the tariffs and resume their illegal imports. This political concession to the government of Argentina would once again distort U.S. markets and undercut crop prices that are only now regaining stability, following other trade disruptions,” the groups, which represent stakeholders in U.S. biodiesel production, state in the letter.

The groups opposed Commerce’s initiation of the changed circumstances review, arguing that Commerce has well-established administrative review procedures for revisiting antidumping and countervailing duty rates. The agency has not used “changed circumstances” reviews for these purposes. Commerce’s initiation of these reviews just months after finding that Argentina engaged in unfair trade practices creates a great deal of uncertainty for the biodiesel industry and other stakeholders.

Now that Commerce has initiated the changed circumstances review, the groups are urging President Trump “to ensure that Commerce’s review of these orders is no less rigorous and transparent than the “administrative reviews” that Commerce typically conducts in other cases. To do anything less would strike a devastating blow to U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers.”

Weekly Ethanol Production for 11/23/2018

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association, ethanol production averaged 1.048 million barrels per day (b/d)—or 44.02 million gallons daily. That is up 7,000 b/d from the week before. The four-week average for ethanol production retreated to 1.056 million b/d for an annualized rate of 16.19 billion gallons, reversing its four-week upward climb. The four-week average of ethanol production was 0.6% lower than last year—which was the case for three out of the four weeks in November, marking the first time the average dropped below year-ago levels since March.

Stocks of ethanol were 22.9 million barrels. That is 0.4% greater than last week.

There were zero imports recorded for the second week in a row. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of September 2018.)

Average weekly gasoline demand remained fairly constant from last week at 9.188 million barrels (385.9 million gallons) daily. This is equivalent to 140.85 billion gallons annualized. Refiner/blender input of ethanol decreased 0.4% to 924,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.16 billion gallons annualized. Ethanol use is roughly on par with the volume input this week one year ago, while gasoline demand is a full 5% higher than last year at this time.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.41%.

Anhydrous Continues to Lead Fertilizer Price Hike

Anhydrous and MAP have continued to lead fertilizer prices higher month-over-month, according to retail prices tracked by DTN for the third week of November 2018.

The price of anhydrous came in at $520/ton, up from $494/ton one month ago and $410/ton one year ago. MAP recorded the second-highest price spike from $518/ton one month ago to $530/ton.

None of the remaining six fertilizers show significant price increases.

UAN32 prices increased $4/ton to $287/ton, UAN28 by $3/ton to $246/ton, potash by $3/ton to $368/ton, DAP by $3/ton to $501/ton, urea by $2/ton to $407/ton, while 10-34-0 had no change at $457/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N, and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

Steer Too Beefy to Become Burgers Reprieved to Life on Farm

(AP) -- Knickers the steer is huge on the internet -- for being huge. The black-and-white Holstein Friesian won social media fame and many proclamations of "Holy Cow!" after photos surfaced of the 194-centimeter (6-foot-4-inch) steer standing head and shoulders above a herd of brown cattle in Western Australia state.

Owner Geoff Pearson said Knickers was too heavy to go to the slaughterhouse. "We have a high turnover of cattle, and he was lucky enough to stay behind," Pearson said.

Australian media say Knickers is believed to be the tallest steer in the country and weighs about 1.4 tons. Instead of becoming steaks and burgers, 7-year-old Knickers will get to live out his life in Pearson's fields in Lake Preston, southwest of Perth.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Tuesday November 27 Ag News

Confronting Cropping Challenges
Getting the latest information on issues facing crop farmers AND an opportunity to renew your private pesticide applicator license will all take place at a series of meetings in December. This is the third year for Confronting Cropping Challenges and responses from last year’s programs were very positive. This year the program will be offered at five locations in the area.
*  Monday, December 17 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon – Nielsen Community Center - West Point
*  Monday, December 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Pender Community Center - Pender
*  Tuesday, December 18 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Club Room, Ag Park - Columbus
*  Wednesday, December 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Madison Extension Office - Norfolk
*  Thursday, December 20 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Blair Public Library - Blair

Topics that will be covered this year include:
•    Crop Insect Update on Soybean Gall Midge, Western Bean Cutworm, and others
•    Crop Disease Update on Gray Leaf Spot and Frogeye and others
•    Hail Know Resources
•    Cover Crops 101
•    Resistant Weed Update and Herbicide Carryover
•    Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification

Anyone that just wants the crops information can attend the first five sessions and leave. If you need to have your private applicator license renewed (renewal only, not initial certification) in 2019, you can stick around for the final session to be recertified. Even though this training is being offered in 2018, you will not lose a year of certification on your license.

The cost for the program is $10 if you are only attending the first five sessions. If you are being recertified, the cost will be $50. The additional $40 is the same as you would pay to be recertified at a traditional private pesticide applicator training.

Pre-registration is appreciated but not required by calling Nebraska Extension at 402-374-2929.

Stay tuned for additional private pesticide training dates that will be held in the area during the first part of 2019.

For more information, contact your local Nebraska Extension office.

Reduce Hay Feeding Losses

Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

Hay is expensive and many long hours go into harvesting, storing, and feeding it.   Don’t waste up to a third of it by using poor feeding practices. Cattle trample, over consume, manure on, and use for bedding 25 to 45 percent of your hay when it is fed with no restrictions.   No matter how inexpensive or cheap your hay might be, extra control in feeding can pay off big time.

First, don’t provide more than one day’s supply at a time.   Research has shown that when cows are fed a four-day supply, they will overeat and waste 20 to 30 percent more hay than when they are fed one day at a time.   This can add up to $25 to $50 more per cow over a four month feeding period.   The best is to feed only what the livestock will clean up in one meal so nothing is left over to be wasted.   Be sure to provide sufficient space, though, for all animals to eat at once so boss cows don’t stop timid cows from getting their fair share.

Another thing you can do is restrict access to the hay.   Use bale racks or rings to keep animals off the hay.   Especially useful are racks with barriers around the bottom that prevent livestock from pulling hay loose with their feet and dragging it out to be stepped on. If you unroll bales or grind and feed on the ground, position an electric fence alongside or above the hay to keep cows from trampling or bedding down on the hay.

As always, feed a balanced ration that provides sufficient energy and protein, but not too much.   Animals that eat more protein than they need will simply excrete it as extra nitrogen in their urine.   This is just as wasteful as directly trampling it into the ground.

Paying it Forward Ham by Ham this Holiday Season

Pig farmers across the U.S. understand the important role that they play in contributing to a better way of life in their communities, and this Giving Tuesday is no different. Today, U.S. pig farmers, the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and State Pork associations kicked off the third annual Hams Across America campaign. The program’s goal is to highlight the many diverse product donations the pork industry makes throughout the year.

“As pig farmers, our We Care ethical principles are the core of who we are as farmers, and it is important for us not only to talk about them but to live them out every day,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “Hams Across America allows me and other farmers to live the We Care ethical principles and share our love of the product that we produce.”

“All of us in our connected food system understand the importance of supporting our communities whether that’s someone next door or a world apart,” said National Pork Producers Council President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “With Hams Across America, we’re honored to share our products so others might enjoy delicious, wholesome meals this holiday season.”

Today, the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and the Iowa Pork Producers Association held a kickoff event where they served breakfast to clients of the Central Iowa Shelter and Services in Des Moines.

Several other events will be held in partnership with many state pork associations across the United States, including:
    Dec. 3 – Illinois Pork will make a large donation of pork products to the Greater Chicago Food Depository;
    Dec. 7 – Oklahoma Pork will pack and distribute backpacks for students in need as part of their Pork for Packs program;
    Dec. 10 – North Carolina Pork will make a large donation of pork products to the Central and Eastern North Carolina Food Bank;
    Dec. 12 – Pennsylvania Pork will partner with the Harrisburg Police Department to distribute holiday food boxes to individuals in the city;
    Dec. 14 – Nebraska Pork will donate hams to homeless shelters in the Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, area.

Also, on, the campaign will highlight Minnesota Pork Producers Association’s Oink Outings food bank donations, Ohio Pork Council’s social challenge to producers to pay-it-forward during the campaign, as well as many other stories from across the industry.

Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to extend Giving Tuesday through Dec. 23 with Hams Across America. Individuals can participate by purchasing a gift of ham and paying it forward to loved ones and those in need. Participants are encouraged to share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #RealPigFarming and #HamsAcrossAmerica.

Each year the Hams Across America campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday – the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This nationally recognized day promotes charitable giving and pay-it-forward programs.

Annual #HamsAcrossAmerica Campaign Kicks Off in Iowa

The first of many giving events that are part of the Hams Across America campaign is taking place in Des Moines on Nov 27. A breakfast that includes sausage and bacon is being served to clients of Central Iowa Shelter and Services. Members and staff of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), along with Fareway Stores, Inc., are sponsoring and serving the breakfast. They are being joined in that work by staff of the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council.

Central Iowa Shelter & Services provides meals and support services at no cost to adults experiencing homelessness.

Each year the Hams Across America campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday - the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This nationally recognized day promotes charitable giving and pay-it-forward actions. Hams Across America extends through December 23, and many county pork producer groups in Iowa will take part in local giving programs during the next four weeks. These events are just part of the diverse ways Iowa pig farmers support their communities throughout the year.

"Iowa pig farmers understand the important role they play in contributing to a better way of life in their communities," says Trent Thiele, a pig farmer from Elma who is president-elect of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. "As pig farmers, our We CareSM ethical principles are the core of who we are as farmers, and it is important for us not only to talk about them, but to live them out every day," he says.

Jeff Cook, Fareway Vice President of Market Operations, says "At Fareway, we understand the importance of supporting our connected food system, our farmers, and our communities; and this campaign does this. Therefore, we are honored to work with Iowa's pig farmers in their Hams Across America effort."

Pig farmers and those involved in the pork industry are encouraged to extend the Hams Across America campaign in their local communities. Participants can then share their pay-it-forward stories on social media using #HamsAcrossAmerica in their posts.

USDA/FDA reach "Fake Meat" regulation agreement

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been working to support United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight of food safety and labeling regulations of lab-produced "fake meat". These efforts were rewarded with a November 16 announcement from the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A joint press release from the two agencies outlined how they plan to work together with each overseeing different aspects of production.

USDA will essentially have primary jurisdiction over the most important facets of lab-produced fake meat.The FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. After cells are harvested, oversight will be transferred to the USDA. The USDA will then regulate production and labeling of fake meat products.

Prior to the November 16 announcement, ICA brought this issue to the national forefront by introducing policy at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s convention. In October ICA board member, Bob Noble, and staff member, JanLee Rowlett, gave comments in Washington, D.C. at a joint USDA/FDA public meeting regarding fake meat. ICA is also working at the state level to reinforce the federal level work on the issue.

While shared jurisdiction over fake meat is an important step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to do on this issue to ensure that real beef producers and consumers are protected and treated fairly. ICA will continue to stay engaged on this issue. USDA and FDA are accepting public comment until December 26. ICA will submit comments, continue to keep lawmakers informed, and work with the NCBA, the Administration and Congress at every opportunity to represent Iowa’s cattlemen.

Land Value Survey Results to be Presented at Dec. 12 News Conference

 Results of the 2018 ISU Land Value Survey will be announced at a news conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12 on the Iowa State University Campus in Ames.

The annual survey is conducted by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State and ISU Extension and Outreach. The news conference will take place in the Horton Room of the ISU Alumni Center.

Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State, will lead the news conference and announce the 2018 findings. Printed material will be provided at the news conference, including Iowa land value data from 1950 to present, current land value data for all 99 counties and a summary of the 2018 results. Zhang will be available to reporters for follow-up questions or one-on-one interviews immediately following the presentation of results.

The ISU Land Value Survey is currently ongoing. Agricultural professionals knowledgeable about the farmland market who haven’t participated in this year’s survey, may participate in the survey online by Dec. 1 at Responses are especially needed from ag professionals for land values in Crawford, Ida, Sac, Monona, Shelby, Buena Vista, Mills, Appanoose and Clarke counties.

Questions regarding the survey can be directed to Zhang at or 515-294-2536. Land value trends at the county, district and state level since 1950 can be viewed at the interactive Iowa Farmland Value Portal at

Webinar Explains #NoTillb4Beans and #CoverYourBeans Campaigns

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 12 p.m. about #NoTillb4Beans and #CoverYourBeans. The campaigns were launched by the Conservation Learning Group to highlight the potential for time and money savings with no-tillage and cover crops ahead of soybean.

Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist, helped create the yearlong social media campaign to spread the word about cover crop and no-till benefits for soybean growers. The goal of the campaign is to initiate the conversation among farmers and landowners about the benefits, concerns and results of using cover crops and no-till for soybean.

Licht’s extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals. No-tillage and cover crop adoption are two practices that provide large environmental benefits for reducing phosphorus and nitrogen losses. The #NoTillb4Beans and #CoverYourBeans campaigns focus on these practices ahead of soybean as an easy entry point with no adverse effects on productivity.

“If Iowa’s nearly 10 million acres of soybean were no-till planted into a cover crop we would nearly reach the 10.5 million no-tillage and 12.5 million cover crop acres called for in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy,” stated Licht. “Cover crops ahead of soybean can lead to an average 8 bushel/ac yield advantage and no-till planting lowers input costs and saves time.”

To watch, go to and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Dec. 12 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

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319).

NCGA Submits U.S.-Japan Objectives to USTR

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp yesterday submitted NCGA’s negotiating objectives for a United States-Japan Trade Agreement to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Japan is the second largest market for U.S. corn exports and U.S. corn farmers have been a reliable supplier to this market for more than 50 years.

“Corn farmers have long counted on Japan as a leading export market and have spent decades developing this important partnership,” Chrisp wrote. “NCGA has been advocating for a formal trade agreement with Japan for years and we are pleased to see the Trump administration take this important step, one that we hope will be followed up with other trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.”

NCGA’s top priorities for this negotiation are to secure this market access for corn amid intensifying competition from other corn suppliers, to improve market access for other corn co-products, and to address technical, sanitary and phytosanitary, and other non-tariff barriers to trade between the parties, allowing for more efficient trade flows.

Farm Bureau Calls for Extension of Renewable Fuel, Short Line Railroad Tax Incentives

Farmers and ranchers are urging congressional lawmakers—recently returned to Capitol Hill for their lame duck session—to tackle several outstanding issues, including the extension of lapsed biodiesel and short line railroad tax incentives.

Tax credits for biodiesel, renewable biodiesel and second-generation biofuel, along with the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property tax credit, expired on Dec. 31, 2017. These cleaner-burning renewable fuels provide expanded markets for farm commodities.

Similarly, the tax credit for short line railroads, which farmers and ranchers depend on to deliver their products to market and to supply them with the inputs they need to run their businesses, also expired at the end of last year. The tax incentive for track maintenance helps to upgrade and continue local rail service that connects over 10,000 rail customers to the national mainline rail network.

The lapse of these tax credits, along with many others, has created confusion for the numerous industry sectors that use them and support thousands of jobs in the U.S. economy, the American Farm Bureau Federation and a diverse coalition of more than 55 other organizations said in a letter to House and Senate leaders.

“The continued uncertainty with regard to eventual congressional action on tax extenders is undermining the effectiveness of these incentives and stands as a needless barrier to additional job creation and economic growth in the private sector,” the groups wrote. They urged lawmakers to, at a minimum, retroactively extend the provisions through the end of 2019 before the 115th Congress adjourns.

Weekly Outlook: Tracking the Pace of Corn Consumption

The December corn futures contract closed lower for the third straight week on Friday. Weakness in soybean and oil markets continues to place bearish pressure on corn prices. Despite the price weakness, University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs says the pace of corn consumption remains relatively robust thus far in the marketing year.

"Analysis of corn consumption for the marketing year that began in September indicates the pace is still on track to match current USDA forecasts for consumption," he says.

The USDA projects marketing-year corn exports at 2.45 billion bushels, 12 million bushels more than exported last year. With one reporting week left in the first quarter of the marketing year, cumulative export inspections exceed those of a year ago by 80 percent. Last year, however, weekly export inspections were relatively small early in the year with the first half of the marketing year averaging 28.2 million bushels per week.

The strength in exports during the last half of the marketing year, with a weekly average of approximately 58 million bushels, continued into the early part of this year. To date this marketing year, export inspections averaged 42.8 million bushels per week. Census Bureau export estimates for September came in at 207 million bushels and exceeded export inspection estimates by 23.5 million bushels.

"If that margin stayed constant through Nov. 22, exports sit at 539 million bushels and need to average nearly 47.4 million bushels per week during the final three quarters of the year to reach the USDA projection," Hubbs explains.

Unshipped export sales as of Nov. 15 came in at 463 million bushels, 111 million less than outstanding sales a year earlier. Export commitments (shipments plus outstanding sales) are 1.5 percent higher than those of the previous year. "The current pace of corn exports is encouraging, but sales and shipments need to continue the strength seen early in the marketing year," Hubbs adds.

The USDA projects feed and residual use of corn during the current marketing year at 5.5 billion bushels, 202 million bushels (3.8 percent) more than used last year. The pace of use can only be measured based on the USDA's quarterly estimate of corn stocks. The estimate of stocks at the end of the first quarter of the marketing year, Dec. 1, will be released on Jan. 11, 2019. Until then, the pace of feed use of corn is derived mainly from estimates of livestock slaughter and inventories. Weekly broiler chick placements continue to run about 1 percent below placements of a year earlier.

As of Nov. 1, the number of cattle in feedlots with capacity of at least 1,000 head was up 3.2 percent, but placements came in at 93.9 percent of last year and eased concerns about cumbersome supplies in the first quarter of 2019. Similarly, Hubbs says the number of hogs slaughtered in October was up 6 percent from that of last year, but frozen pork in storage came in 5 percent lower than last year. "While large livestock inventories point to increased feed use of corn, the magnitude of residual use is difficult to anticipate," he says.

Weekly EIA estimates indicate that ethanol production in September and October of this year exceeded that of last year by approximately 1 percent. Ethanol production from the beginning of the marketing year through Nov. 16 was 0.7 percent larger than during the same period last year. Ethanol production during the first quarter of the 2018-19 marketing year is likely about 0.7 percent larger than during the same quarter last year. Corn used for ethanol production may have been up slightly more than 0.6 percent for the quarter, which places corn use in ethanol at approximately 1.4 billion bushels for the quarter.

For the marketing year, the USDA has projected corn used for ethanol production at 5.65 billion bushels, only 0.8 percent more than used last year. Hubbs says corn use over the next three quarters of the year would have to be 0.9 percent more than the use of a year ago to meet that projection.

"Domestic ethanol consumption may plateau during the current marketing year following an increase last year. A continuation of lower crude oil and gasoline prices places pressure on ethanol profitability margins. At this juncture, it appears likely that corn used for ethanol production requires another strong year of ethanol exports," he says. Total ethanol exports during the 2017-18 marketing year reached a record 1.635 billion gallons, up 18 percent over the previous marketing year. Ethanol export data is currently available for September and shows an increase of 6.7 percent over last year.

The USDA will update the projections of marketing-year corn consumption on Dec. 11. "The current pace of use suggests that the forecast of total consumption will be little changed from the November projection. Corn prices will continue to struggle without a resolution of trade issues with China or price recovery in energy markets," Hubbs says.

New Joint Venture Formed to Convert Pig Poop to Power

(AP) -- The world's largest pork company is teaming up with a major energy company to turn pig manure into renewable natural gas.

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy announced a joint venture partnership Tuesday to trap methane from hog waste and convert it into power for heating homes and generating electricity.

Smithfield previously announced that its company-owned and contract farms over the next decade will cover waste-treatment pits to capture the gas and keep out rainwater. The gas will be channeled to processing centers and converted into natural gas.

Nearly 150 Business Groups Ask White House to Capitalize on G20 Meeting and End Trade War Ahead of Looming New Year's Day Tariff Increase

Americans for Free Trade today sent a letter to President Trump urging the White House to resolve the ongoing trade war with China during the President's meeting with Chinese President Xi at the G20 meeting this week.

"Mr. President, we urge you to capitalize on your upcoming meeting with President Xi to reach an agreement that addresses China’s unfair trade practices and policies in order to remove the 2018 tariff increases, forgo the January 2019 tariff increase and avoid an additional round of tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of everyday consumer products and manufacturing inputs. Millions of American farmers, business owners, companies, workers, and families are counting on you to make a deal," the coalition said.

Today's letter follows months of negative nationwide economic consequences caused by the impact of tariffs on American businesses, workers and families. Americans for Free Trade is holding townhall events across the country as part of the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. The town halls bring local businesses and farmers together to tell their stories of how tariffs are hurting them.

"Tariffs are leading to fewer opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers to compete in overseas markets and less income to provide for their families," the coalition added in today's letter. "For U.S. companies importing manufacturing inputs or finished products, these significant costs will result in higher prices, fewer jobs, slower wage growth and reduced investment. We will continue to see the cost of the trade war ripple through the U.S. economy and reverse this year’s economic progress."

Americans for Free Trade and the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign have also been releasing monthly data on the impact of tariffs on imports and the damage retaliatory tariffs have had on American exports.

Americans for Free Trade will continue to use its diverse coalition of employers in communities across the country to press for resolution of ongoing trade disputes with China. Americans for Free Trade is also working with Farmers for Free Trade on a grassroots nationwide campaign to illustrate the impacts of tariffs on American businesses, families, farmers and manufacturers.


Twenty-one leaders from the US agricultural community, including two former US Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists and undersecretaries of agriculture for Research, Education and Economics (REE) today sent a letter to Congress expressing concern about the decision to relocate two USDA research agencies outside Washington, DC.

The Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) would be affected by the move, and ERS—a statistical agency—would be realigned outside the REE mission area to a policy-supporting office, threatening its role as a policy-neutral agency. These two agencies are indispensable sources of agricultural and food research as well as objective national data and analysis for the $1 trillion food, agriculture and rural economies.

“The proposed restructuring is a major disruption in the USDA research arm that provides invaluable support for American food and agriculture,” said Gale Buchanan, former USDA chief scientist and undersecretary for REE. “The decades of planning and adjustments that have optimized the work of REE will be dismantled in a matter of months if this proposal is carried out as planned. Congress should block such an upheaval of our nation’s food and agriculture enterprise support system.”

The letter outlines numerous risks associated with relocating NIFA and ERS outside the Washington, DC, area. Among them are the following:
-    The loss of direct engagement with the broader scientific funding research community, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH)
-    The undermining of USDA funding of research, which has stagnated for the last 40 years
-    The weakening of the coordination of NIFA and ERS with their sister REE agencies, the ARS and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

The full impact has not been thoroughly examined, according to the signers of the letter who are urging Congress to intervene.

“The USDA did not consult stakeholders, Congress or the scientific community prior to this decision, and it is unclear what problems the USDA seeks to address with the relocation of these agencies,” said Catherine Woteki, also a former USDA chief scientist and undersecretary for REE. “The high quality of work that these agencies produce will be jeopardized by the substantial staff loss that will occur as a result of the relocation. In addition, moving ERS out of REE to a policy-supporting office is likely to jeopardize the policy-neutral work of the agency.”

The group, along with the American Statistical Association (ASA) and others, is calling on Congress to protect ERS and NIFA as independent statistical agencies so they maintain the quality, credibility and integrity of their research and statistical programs.

“The ASA is supporting the efforts of these agriculture experts and leaders in the broader food, agriculture and rural community who whole-heartedly oppose these ill-conceived changes to the USDA’s research structure and function,” said Ron Wasserstein, the ASA’s executive director. “The integrity of the work being done by these highly specialized and experienced professionals is at risk, and the community as a whole is standing up in their defense.”

Milo Shult—vice president for agriculture emeritus, University of Arkansas, and a signer of the letter—added, “Since the birth of our nation, there have been certain things that our central government must provide. In addition to a strong military, it is critical that we have a system that provides the food security necessary for the health and quality of life for the nation’s citizens. The system has grown, of necessity, to a multidisciplinary nationwide effort cutting across agricultural science, food science, medical science, social science, environmental science, and further. We are the envy of the world in those programs. We are highly concerned that the removal of NIFA and ERS from the location in our nation’s capital could be the beginning of a dismantling of our agricultural progress.”

Signers of the letter to Congress include the following:
Gale Buchanan, Former USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics; Dean and Director Emeritus, University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Catherine E. Woteki, Former USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics
Daniel Arp, Dean Emeritus, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University
Kathryn J. Boor, Robert P. Lynch Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
Daniel Bush, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Colorado State University
Neville Clarke, Director Emeritus, Texas Agricultural Experiment Director; Former Executive Director, Southern Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors; Chair, Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP)
Helene Dillard, Dean and Professor, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis
Dan Dooley, Former Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
Robert Easter, President Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois
John D. Floros, President, New Mexico State University
Alan L. Grant, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech
Bret W. Hess, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Director, Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Wyoming
Cathann A. Kress, Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University
Michael D. Lairmore, Dean and Distinguished Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
Daryl Lund, Former Dean of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Rutgers University and Cornell University; Former Executive Director of the North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Stations
Bobby Moser, Former Vice President, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University
Jack Payne, Senior Vice President, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Thomas L. Payne, Vice Chancellor and Dean Emeritus, College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, University of Missouri
Gene Sander, President Emeritus, Former Vice President, and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona
Milo Shult, Vice President for Agriculture Emeritus, University of Arkansas
Lynn Wooten, Dean, The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University