Friday, May 24, 2019

Friday May 24 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.56 million cattle on feed on May 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 4 percent from last year. Placements during April totaled 435,000 head, up 4 percent from 2018. Fed cattle marketings for the month of April totaled 440,000 head, up 2 percent from last year. Other disappearance during April totaled 15,000 head, down 5,000 head from last year.


Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 680,000 head on May 1, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was down 4 percent from April 1, 2019, and down 7 percent from May 1, 2018. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 625,000 head on feed, down 2 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,305,000 head, down 3 percent from last month and down 4 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during April totaled 85,000 head, down 18 percent from last month but up 6 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 66,000 head, up 20 percent from last month and up 27 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 151,000 head, down 5 percent from last month but up 14 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during April totaled 113,000 head, up 13 percent from last month and up 30 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 72,000 head, up 16 percent from last month and up 44 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 185,000 head, up 14 percent from last month and up 35 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 6,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 2 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.8 million head on May 1, 2019. The inventory was 2 percent above May 1, 2018. This is the highest May 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

On Feed - By State  (1,000 hd  -  % May 1 '18)

Colorado .......:            1,060              113    
Iowa .............:              680                   93       
Kansas ..........:            2,380                104   
Nebraska ......:            2,560                 96          
Texas ............:            2,790                106         

Placements in feedlots during April totaled 1.84 million head, 9 percent above 2018. Net placements were 1.78 million head. During April, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 355,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 250,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 447,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 495,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 210,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 85,000 head.

Placements By State  (1,000 hd  -  % April '18)

Colorado .......:                170                  117    
Iowa .............:                  85                  106    
Kansas ..........:                 435                  114      
Nebraska ......:                 435                  104   
Texas ............:                 415                  108        

Marketings of fed cattle during April totaled 1.93 million head, 7 percent above 2018.  Other disappearance totaled 60,000 head during April, 5 percent below 2018.

Marketings By State   (1,000 hd  -  % April '18)

Colorado ........:                165                  110                  
Iowa ..............:                 113                  130                 
Kansas ...........:                 420                  100                 
Nebraska .......:                 440                  102                 
Texas .............:                 465                  104                 

Lower Elkhorn NRD board discusses future flood-control projects

As the area continues to recover from the recent flood events, communities are looking for assistance in studying possible solutions for the future.

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) Board of Directors discussed possible options for these communities at their May board meeting.  One of the LENRD’s 12 responsibilities includes flood prevention and control as well as prevention of damages from flood water and sediment.

The City of Battle Creek has had a history of flood-related problems.  City officials recently approached the LENRD board, asking if the potential flood-control projects that were deemed feasible in 2014 could be revisited.  The LENRD board of directors instructed staff to work with the City of Battle Creek in developing a proposal for the board to consider, identifying the project the city would like to pursue as well as updated construction costs for the potential project.

Battle Creek’s City Council met on May 13th and voted to explore options for a 1,200-acre flood-control reservoir on the south side of Battle Creek.

Over 100 citizens of the Battle Creek area attended the May 23rd LENRD Board of Directors meeting.  After a lengthy discussion the board voted to move ahead with the process of securing funding for a flood-control project.  The board voted 11 to 2 to file a letter of intent with FEMA/NEMA for flood protection for Battle Creek.  The board also voted 12 to 1 to direct staff to contract with consulting firms to prepare all the necessary documentation and complete a grant application to the State of Nebraska Water Sustainability Fund in the amount of $36 million as well as a grant application to the USDA Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations program.

LENRD General Manager, Mike Sousek, said, “There are multiple benefits to think about when considering a project of this size.  First and foremost is the flood-control potential.  Along with that comes the benefits of recharge and retiming as well as recreation.”  Sousek continued, “The vote tonight has started the ball rolling to secure funding for a project.  This is just the first of many steps in this process.”

The 2 reservoirs that have been proposed for the area, south of Battle Creek, are a 160-acre pool for approximately $17 million and a 1,200-acre pool for $36 million.

The Village of Pender is requesting assistance to complete a drainage study of the area.  The LENRD board directed staff to develop an interlocal agreement to provide 50% of the cost of the study not to exceed $19,400 of district funds.

Some concerned citizens of Norfolk also requested assistance with a study.  The board instructed the LENRD staff to work with the City of Norfolk to address the request for a drainage study on the east side of Norfolk.

Sousek added, “Other towns or communities who need flood-control assistance should contact the LENRD as soon as possible so funding can be applied for before the deadlines.”

In other action, the board made a motion to schedule a Public Hearing to be held on Thursday, June 27th at 7:30 p.m. to receive public testimony on proposed changes to the LENRD’s Groundwater Management Area Rules and Regulations.

LENRD Assistant General Manager, Brian Bruckner, said, “The proposed changes include amendments to Rule 1, which would add language outlining additional penalties when enforcing the plan’s rules and regulations, inclusion of some definitions for terms that relate to current groundwater management strategies, and other changes to integrate management components that are included in the recently adopted Integrated Management Plan.”

A complete summary of the proposed changes is available at the LENRD office in Norfolk and on the district’s website.

The next LENRD board meeting will be Thursday, June 27th at 7:30 p.m. at the LENRD office at 1508 Square Turn Boulevard in Norfolk.  Stay connected with the LENRD by subscribing to their monthly emails at


During the next few weeks, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major inquiries, contacting nearly 5,700 producers across Nebraska to determine crop acreage and stock levels as of June 1, 2019.

“These are two of the most important surveys NASS conducts, due to the widespread and significant impact of their results,” explained Patrick Boyle, Deputy Director of the Northern Plains Regional Field Office. “When producers complete these surveys, they contribute essential information that determines the expected acreage and supply of major commodities for the 2019 crop year. The results are necessary for everyone who relies on agriculture for their livelihoods. This includes those providing farm and ranch supplies, those purchasing commodities directly from the producers, and everyone else involved in ensuring a safe and affordable food supply reaches the consumer in a timely manner.”

Data for the June Agricultural Survey are gathered via the Internet, mail, phone, or by in-person interview. For the June Area Survey, trained National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) enumerators representing NASS visit select tracts of land to interview the operators of any farm or ranch within that selected tract. Producers are asked to provide information on planted acres, acres expected to be harvested, and grain stocks. This survey also collects data on livestock inventory, cash rents, land values, and value of sales.

“NASS protects the privacy of all respondents and publishes only state- and national-level data in these reports, ensuring no operation or producer can be identified. I urge all producers to respond to these surveys when contacted, and thank them for their cooperation,” said Patrick Boyle.

NASS will publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the Acreage and Grain Stocks reports, on June 28, 2019. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s Crop Production reports, Small Grains Summary, Farms and Land in Farms, and Land Values reports, as well as various livestock reports, including Cattle, Sheep and Goats, and Quarterly Hogs and Pigs.

New Crops and Water Educator in Northeast Nebraska

Welcome to Mitiku Mamo, the new Nebraska Extension educator for water and cropping systems in northeast Nebraska. Officed in Dixon County, Mamo’s geographic area of responsibility extends to Cedar, Knox, and Wayne counties.

Northeast Nebraska is familiar terrain to Mamo, a native of Ethiopia who has worked as a research engineer at the Haskell Ag Lab near Concord for 20 years. His work has focused on irrigation water and nutrient management, water quality, and riparian buffer establishment and maintenance.

He received his B.S from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, his M.S. from the National University of Ireland, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in agricultural engineering. His Ph.D. research focused on how living plant roots affect the detachment rate, erodibility, and shear strength of soils.

Mamo plans to conduct educational programming and on-farm research related to soil health and nutrient management as well as buffer strips and surface water quality. He also will be working with the Bazile Groundwater Management Area as part of the management area is in Knox County.

Mamo can be reached at or (402) 584-3819. His office is at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Haskell Agricultural Lab, 57905 866th Road, Concord.

2019 Corn Grower Open

Come one, come all! It’s time to register for the 2019 Corn Grower Open. This year the Nebraska Corn Growers Association will be hosting the annual members golf tournament at Meadow Lark Hills Golf Course in Kearney on Wednesday, August 14. Shotgun start will be at 10 AM. All members are welcome to form a team and join us on the course for a fun day of fellowship and golf. The cost is $500 per team or $125 per player. The cost includes lunch, heavy hors d’oeuvres after golf, and prizes  If you do not have a full team but would still like to participate, submit your registration form and staff will fill your team with our generous sponsors.

A member team for can be found HERE...

Do you know a company who would be interested in sponsoring the Corn Grower Open? Send them this form... Sponsors are integral to the success of the golf tournament. There are a many options at a variety of sponsorship levels, to fit every companies budget. Questions about sponsorship or golf? Contact Morgan Wrich, Director of Grower Services, at or (402) 438-6459.

Farm Finance and Ag Law Clinics this June

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

    Fairbury — Wednesday, June 5
    Grand Island — Thursday, June 6
    Norfolk — Wednesday, June 12
    North Platte — Thursday, June 13
    Lexington — Thursday, June 20
    Norfolk — Thursday, June 27
    Valentine — Friday, June 28

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.

DATE CHANGE:  Veteran farmers invited to barbecue

Veteran farmers in Nebraska are invited to meet and discuss agricultural issues in a free gathering hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs.

The Nebraska Veteran Farmer Barbecue is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at the Barreras Family Farm, 11564 County Road P30, near Blair, Nebraska. This event is for current or former active duty, guard, or reserve military service members and their families.

“We’ve listened to veteran farmers across Nebraska and have heard a desire for networking and opportunities,” said Cora Fox, Center for Rural Affairs policy associate and veteran of the National Guard.

This is a potluck-style gathering with a main dish provided. Attendees are encouraged to bring a side dish.

“Veterans attending can see how others have translated the duty and drive of military life into rewarding second careers in farming,” Fox said. “It is often shared that the traits needed to excel in military service: initiative, organization, dedication, and creative problem solving, are also required to start and grow a farm.”

To RSVP, visit or contact Fox at 402.687.2100 ext. 1012 or

This event is funded in part by New Belgium Brewing Company.

Fischer Urges Speaker Pelosi to Reconvene House and Pass Disaster Relief Bill

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today called on House leadership to reconvene immediately and call up a vote on the disaster relief bill. Earlier today, a member of the House of Representatives objected to the bill, delaying help for Americans in need. Senator Fischer worked to include Nebraska in this critical bill, which passed the Senate yesterday with strong bipartisan support.

Senator Fischer’s full letter to Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer is below...

I write to respectfully request that you reconvene the House of Representatives to take up and pass H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019. As you know, this bipartisan bill would help Americans around the country who are still recovering from recent natural disasters. After months of negotiations, this bill passed the Senate by a vote of 85 to 8, with strong support from Republicans and Democrats and the administration.

The fact that this bill received such broad support is not surprising. Americans have a time-honored tradition of helping their neighbors when they are in need.

Many across this country, including Nebraskans, are hurting at the moment. By holding up a vote, Representative Chip Roy delayed relief for Americans. Families now have to continue to wait for the help they need. Moreover, our military installations are waiting for Congress to act so they can rebuild and repair. I am severely disappointed that so many Americans and the men and women of our military will be affected by this hold up.

I have no doubt that if H.R. 2157 were put for an up-or-down vote on the House floor today, it would pass with a significant bipartisan majority, just as it did in the Senate. Additionally, President Trump has indicated that he will sign this bill immediately once it reaches his desk; thus there is no reason to delay the House’s passage of this much-needed legislation.

As such, I ask that you use your authority to reconvene the House immediately and call a vote on this critical measure. We need to get this done so that Congress can provide relief to millions of suffering Americans.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I appreciate your consideration of my request. Please know I stand ready to work with you to bring relief to hurting Americans during this difficult time.

Joint Statement from the Chief Veterinary Officers of Canada and the United States

On Wednesday, United States Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), Dr. Jack Shere working in collaboration with the Canada’s CVO, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, issued the following statement:

We are pleased to announce that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have agreed to allow safe trade to continue in the event African swine fever (ASF) is reported in either country.

For business continuity, Canada and the United States have worked to modify their export certificates to allow trade of live swine, swine semen, pet food and animal by-products and meat to continue trade in approved disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak. This builds on Canada and U.S. zoning arrangements entered into by CFIA and USDA on August 15, 2018, which set out principles for zoning and trade.

Zoning is an internationally-recognized tool used to help manage diseases and facilitate international trade. If a case of ASF is identified, geographic boundaries are defined to contain the outbreak. These geographic boundaries are control zones established in accordance with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines. The areas outside of these control zones are disease-free zones.

This zoning arrangement has been established to safeguard the Canadian and American pork industries. In Canada, the pork industry contributes to more than 100,000 jobs and generates close to $24 billion when farms, inputs, processing and pork exports are included. Canada is the third-largest pork exporting country in both value and volume and represents about 20% of world pork trade. In 2017, 1.2 million tons of Canadian pork valued at $4 billion were exported to over 100 countries.

In the United States, pork producers marketed over 120 million hogs in 2017, which provided total cash receipts of more than $20 billion, and provided about 25 billion pounds of meat to consumers worldwide.  Additionally, the U.S. pork industry supports more than half a million jobs in the United States, the majority of those in rural areas. 

The importance of zoning and safe trade was echoed by all levels of governments and industry representatives at the ASF Forum, an international event hosted by Canada April 30-May 1, in collaboration with the United States and supported by leaders from Mexico, the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the OIE, provincial, territorial and state partners, as well as industry.

A global threat, ASF cannot be addressed in isolation. Only by working together with governments, industry and other stakeholders can we best address the threat of ASF while maintaining trade of pork and pork products which are important to the North American economies.

New Aquaculture Study Deepens Understanding How Soy Meets Nutritional Needs

US Soybean Export Council 

Soybean meal is the No. 1 protein source used in aquaculture worldwide, and U.S. soybean farmers have realized the market potential of the aquaculture industry. According to the U.S. Soybean Export Council, soy went from a possible fishmeal substitute to a critical ingredient in most aquafeeds. With its high protein density and desirable amino acid profile, U.S. Soy is well-suited for the aquaculture sector. As with any growing industry, there are opportunities for improving production and understanding nutritional needs.

The Soy Aquaculture Alliance released the results from a 2018 SAA-funded study looking deeper at those nutritional needs.

The study on using metabolites as a biological marker for nutritional stress in red drum, completed with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, opens the door to a better understanding of the impact soybean-formulated diets have on fish growth and feed conversion, SAA says.

The alliance says improving the metabolic fingerprint of red drum based on a closely studied comparison with the best two performing reference diets over a 12-week feed trial provided a number of insights.

For the study, researchers fed eight unique diets to red drum fish, and then tested liver, intestine, heart, muscle tissue and plasma samples. Results found a metabolic marker in all diets, and fish fed a 60% supplemented soybean meal diet had nearly the same growth, weight and feed conversion as fish fed natural reference diets that included squid, shrimp and fish, SAA says.

The alliance says this research provides a path for assessing this biological marker and allowing nutritionists to develop feed alternatives within acceptable limits for various fish species without causing nutritional stress.

Ultimately, the marker opens the door to further research for higher and better soybean meal inclusion rates to benefit both the U.S. aquaculture industry and the U.S. soybean farmer.

Pioneer Launches #ProudToBeAFarmer Campaign

American farmers are the backbone of this country. Since our nation’s founding, farmers have toiled and strived to feed both this nation and the world.

Since 1926, Pioneer has worked side by side with American farmers, providing the best seed genetics and agronomic insights. Pioneer is proud to be an American business and today announces its #ProudToBeAFarmer campaign to celebrate the nation’s farmers.

From Memorial Day through the Fourth of July, two holidays that honor and celebrate our country’s heritage, Pioneer invites American farmers to go to and submit photos or videos explaining why they are proud to be farmers. Participants will be featured on Pioneer social media channels and weekly winners will be chosen throughout the campaign, with an overall winner named at the conclusion. Weekly winners will be sent a Pioneer-branded prize. The grand prize winner will receive a Yeti® cooler stocked full of the weekly prizes.

As the flagship seed brand of Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Pioneer® is dedicated to helping farmers succeed, both in the field and in life. Farmers are proud, hard-working people who spend their days, and often nights, producing food for the world. Their stories are inspirational and humbling, and Pioneer is with them every step of the way, because we should all be #ProudToBeAFarmer — just as we are proud to be Americans.

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