Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday May 30 Ag News

USDA Reminds Producers to Report Prevented Planting and Failed Acres

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Sarah Beck in Cuming County reminds producers to report prevented planting and failed acres in order to establish or retain FSA program eligibility. Producers should report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to natural disaster, were prevented from planting.

Prevented planting acreage must be reported on form FSA-576 (notice of loss), no later than 15 calendar days after the final planting date as established by FSA and the Risk Management Agency.
According to Beck, the final planting date for Corn is May 25, 2019; and Soybeans is June 10, 2019.
Producers with failed acres should also use form FSA-576 to report failed acres.

For losses on crops covered by the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program and crop insurance, producers must file a notice of loss within 15 days of the occurrence of the disaster or when losses become apparent. Producers must file a timely notice of loss form for failed acres on all crops including grasses.

Please contact the Cuming County FSA office at (402)372-2451 to schedule an appointment to file a notice of loss. To find your local FSA office, visit


 Growers, crop consultants, ag professionals and extension educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension's weed management field day from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center.

The field day will include on-site demonstrations of herbicides for weed control in corn, popcorn and soybean. An early morning demonstration will focus on weed control in soybeans followed by a demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and popcorn.

“A number of projects will be demonstrated during the field day, including weed control in XtendFlex soybean, Enlist Corn, and Alite 27 Soybean,” said Extension Weed Management Specialist Amit Jhala.

New this year for participants to learn about research project aimed at terminating cereal rye before and after planting soybean and control of volunteer corn in Enlist Corn.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units are available.

There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to register at

The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is 4.5 miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6. GPS coordinates of the field day site is 40.57539, -98.13776.


Growers, crop consultants and extension educators interested in management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension's field day, supported by the Nebraska Soybean Board, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 10 near Carleton.

Palmer amaranth is a member of the pigweed family and is one of the most troublesome weeds in soybean fields because of its resistance to glyphosate and some other herbicide groups. Greenhouse dose-response studies have confirmed resistance when glyphosate was applied even at higher rates.

At the field day, experiments will demonstrate how to control glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, Enlist and Alite 27 soybeans in Nebraska. Keynote speaker, Jason Norsworthy will share his experiences for management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Norsworthy is a professor of weed science at the University of Arkansas

Three certified crop adviser credits will be available.

 There is no cost to attend the field day. However, pre-registration is required before 3 p.m. on July 9. To register, visit

Directions to the field day: From Geneva, go south on Hwy 81 for 14.6 miles, turn west onto Hwy 4 for 5.3 miles. Site is located on the south side of Hwy 4 between C St. and Renwick St. in Carleton. GPS coordinates: 40°18’24.7”N 97°40’29.0”W.

For more information, contact Amit Jhala at 402-472-1534 or

Southeast Nebraska High Risk for Wheat Head Scab

Randy Pryor, NE Extension Educator

Dr. Stephen Wegulo, UNL Plant Pathologist, and I checked wheat fields in the area yesterday (Wednesday, May 29th) and he declared Southeast and South Central Nebraska as a high risk area for a wheat scab outbreak or fusarium head blight, the same fungus organism as fusarium corn stalk rot.  You may recall 2015 was one of the worst outbreak of head scab in wheat in Nebraska which was also a wet year during wheat heading stage.

Most of the fields we checked are in the wheat flowering stage which is the time to act with a fungicide application.  Now is the time to consider a fungicide application with 3 products to choose from.  The following are the highest rated products for scab protection:  Prosaro at 6.5 oz; Caramba at 14 oz; or Mivavis Ace SE at 13.7 oz.

Dr. Wegulo rates these products the same for head scab control, therefore, price accordingly to save money.  Due to the wet weather preceding flowering and continuing into the flowering period, fusarium head blight (scab) is likely to occur. Now is the time to make a decision to spray for scab; once symptoms appear, it is too late to spray.

The key is this, the field needs to be headed out and at beginning flower stage, not boot stage.  Once headed and at beginning flower stage you typically have about 6 days to act with a fungicide application, so it’s a very tight window of time to act. After 6 days from beginning flower stage, research indicates head scab control diminishes significantly.  Once scab symptoms appear on the wheat heads, it’s too late to do anything.  An added bonus is there is added protection from late season foliar diseases that are expected to increase in severity with all the moisture and humidity even though the crop is not showing any symptoms of foliar diseases at this time.

For more information, go to CropWatch or call the Saline County Extension Office at 402-821-2151.


In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) there were 30,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of April 7-13, 2019, down 6 percent from the April 2018 reference week, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 25,000 during the week of January 6-12, 2019, unchanged from the January 2018 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $15.58 per hour during the April 2019 reference week, up 6 percent from the April 2018 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.13 per hour, up $1.61. Livestock workers earned $13.42 per hour compared with $13.47 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $14.60, was up 60 cents from the April 2018 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 42.9 hours during the April 2019 reference week, compared with 41.0 hours worked during the April 2018 reference week.

Farm operators in the Northern Plains Region paid their hired workers an average wage of $15.79 per hour during the January 2019 reference week, up 7 percent from the January 2018 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.64 per hour, up $1.88. Livestock workers earned $13.42 per hour, compared with $13.47 a year ago. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $14.70, was up 65 cents from the January 2018 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 42.9 hours during the January 2019 reference week, compared with 41.4 hours worked during the January 2018 reference week.


There were 20,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Cornbelt II Region (Iowa and Missouri) during the reference week of January 6-12, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Labor report. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $15.55 per hour, up $1.70 from January 2018. The number of hours worked averaged 34.9 for hired workers during the reference week, compared with 32.8 hours in January 2018.

During the reference week of April 7-13, 2019, there were 24,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Cornbelt II Region (Iowa and Missouri). Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $15.39 per hour during the April 2019 reference week, up $1.75 from April 2018. The number of hours worked averaged 37.1 for hired workers during the reference week, up from 31.7 hours in April 2018.

April Hired Workers Down 3 Percent; Wage Rate Increased 7 Percent from Previous Year

There were 629,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of April 7-13, 2019, down 3 percent from the April 2018 reference week. Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 499,000 during the week of January 6-12, 2019, down 7 percent from the January 2018 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $14.71 per hour during the April 2019 reference week, up 7 percent from the April 2018 reference week. Field workers received an average of $13.80 per hour, up 8 percent. Livestock workers earned $13.61 per hour, up 6 percent. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $13.73 per hour, was up 8 percent from the 2018 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 40.7 hours during the April 2019 reference week, up 1 percent from the hours worked during the April 2018 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $14.96 per hour during the January 2019 reference week, up 6 percent from the January 2018 reference week. Field workers received an average of $13.77 per hour, up 7 percent, while livestock workers earned $13.80 per hour, up 7 percent from a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $13.78 per hour, was up 7 percent from the January 2018 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 39.3 hours during the January 2019 reference week, up 3 percent from the hours worked during the January 2018 reference week.

Meat Animals Production, Disposition, and Income 2018 Summary

Total 2018 production of cattle and calves and hogs and pigs for the United States totaled 85.1 billion pounds, up 5 percent from 2017. Production increased 5 percent for cattle and calves and 5 percent for hogs and pigs.

Total 2018 cash receipts from marketings of meat animals increased slightly to $88.2 billion. Cattle and calves accounted for 76 percent of this total and hogs and pigs accounted for 24 percent.

The 2018 gross income from cattle and calves and hogs and pigs for the United States totaled $88.7 billion, up slightly from 2017. Gross income increased slightly for cattle and calves and increased slightly for hogs and pigs from previous year's gross income.

Cattle and Calves: Cash receipts from marketings of cattle and calves increased slightly from $66.9 billion in 2017 to $67.1 billion in 2018. All cattle and calf marketings totaled 58.9 billion pounds in 2018, up 4 percent from 2017.

Hogs and Pigs: Cash receipts from hogs and pigs totaled $21.1 billion during 2018, up slightly from 2017. Marketings totaled 40.1 billion pounds in 2018, up 5 percent from 2017.

Milk Production, Disposition, and Income 2018 Summary

Milk production increased 1.0 percent in 2018 to 218 billion pounds. The rate per cow, at 23,149 pounds, was 235 pounds above 2017. The annual average number of milk cows on farms was 9.40 million head, down 7,000 head from 2017.

Cash receipts from marketings of milk during 2018 totaled $35.2 billion, 7.1 percent lower than 2017. Producer returns averaged $16.28 per hundredweight, 8.0 percent below 2017. Marketings totaled 216.6 billion pounds, 0.9 percent above 2017. Marketings include whole milk sold to plants and dealers and milk sold directly to consumers.

An estimated 1.02 billion pounds of milk were used on farms where produced, 2.6 percent more than 2017. Calves were fed 91 percent of this milk, with the remainder consumed in producer households.

RMA Announces Special Provisions for Cover Crop Terminations

The Risk Management Agency announced changes to cover crop termination rules in eight states.

According to the May 28 Manager’s Bulletin, “Producers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have been severely affected by wet weather and muddy field conditions. Additionally, many acres of failed fall-seeded crops, like winter wheat and barley, have been appraised and released for termination. However, the excess moisture has delayed the normal and customary timeframe for mechanical or chemical termination of the crops. In some situations, producers are unable to fully terminate the fall-seeded crops prior to the onset of some of the plants reaching the headed or budded stage. If not for the wet weather, producers would have been able to terminate the crops timely in the normal and customary timeframes.”

RMA announced that for the 2019 crop year, insurance may attach to spring-planted crops following a crop even though some plants may have reached the headed or budded stage, provided producers take adequate and appropriate measures to terminate the crops no later than June 5, 2019. Farmers should contact their crop insurance agents for further information.

Court Strikes 2015 Water Rule

A federal court on Tuesday invalidated the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ 2015 expansion of federal jurisdiction over small and isolated waters. After years of litigation in suits filed by dozens of state governments and trade groups, this is the first court to reach a final decision on the lawfulness of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule. Several court decisions have preliminarily blocked the rule in many states while the litigation progressed. 

The U.S. Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the agencies violated basic requirements of fair process when they concluded the 2015 rulemaking without first releasing for comment a key report that was the basis for many of their most controversial decisions.

The order came in response to suits by a group of 17 private-sector plaintiffs that included the American Farm Bureau Federation and a broad coalition of business and industry organizations as well as the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The groups challenged the 2015 WOTUS rule as unlawfully expanding federal jurisdiction at the expense of state and municipal authority and offending basic rules of fair process. Having found the rule unlawful for procedural violations, the court did not consider the various other statutory and constitutional challenges.

AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen praised the court’s decision. “This decision provides strong vindication for what many of us have said for years — the waters of the U.S. rule was invalid. It is time for the agencies to move on to a legally sound basis for determining federal jurisdiction over waters.”

Several other legal challenges to the 2015 rule remain pending in federal courts across the country. Under the Trump administration, EPA and the Corps of Engineers have proposed to repeal the rule and issue a new regulation that appropriately defines federal waters.

Romania and Greece Look to U.S. Soy for Vegetal Protein Ingredients, Superior Amino Acid Composition for Animal Feed

A new export batch of U.S. Soy is set to arrive in mid-May in Constanta Port, Romania and will immediately be discharged and distributed to Romanian and Bulgarian end users. The shipment consists of 50,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. soybean meal. Prior to this shipment, all deliveries of U.S. Soy to Romania this year have been beans that were crushed locally. Greece also imported another large vessel containing U.S. soybeans in mid-May, increasing market share in that country as well. The growth of U.S. soy imports into Romania, Bulgaria and Greece represents opportunities offered by the region’s growing feed industries and sustained marketing efforts, combined with technical programs implemented by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) in the sub region over the past year.

Romania has taken advantage of an excellent window of opportunity for their feed and livestock industries to get access and use soy originating from the U.S. The local industries have fully benefited from U.S. Soy’s quality for the past seven months and this has generated excellent feedback from customers, saying that U.S. Soy has proven to be the ‘gold standard’ for them in terms of all vegetal protein ingredients used in animal feeding.

This is supported by an analysis performed by several European feed mills and commercial labs over the past six months to establish the amino acids profile of U.S. soy products sampled at the import destination. All of the numbers received from the lab analysis have proven that U.S. Soy has a superior amino acid profile versus other origins of soybean meal. Additionally, animals fed with U.S. Soy have performed better. This is in line with the findings of USSEC’s studies conducted in Europe by a research group from Madrid University, strengthening customer confidence in the U.S. soy products they purchase. Romanian nutritionists also take into consideration what they consider to be superior physical characteristics of U.S. soybean meal.

Europe is a key market for U.S. Soy and the growing feed and livestock industries in Eastern European countries and Greece’s aqua sector offer promising opportunities. USSEC will continue to pursue efforts in promoting U.S. Soy and supporting end users by offering technical assistance programs.

The U.S. and EU Animal Pharmaceutical Industries in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance

A New Report from the Economic Research Service

U.S. consumer demand for products raised without any antibiotics has risen, particularly for poultry. In 2017, approximately 44 percent of U.S. broilers were raised without antibiotics, up from 2.7 percent in 2012, according to a new USDA report, The U.S. and EU Animal Pharmaceutical Industries in the Age of Antibiotic Resistance.

Between 2015 and 2017, total U.S. sales of antibiotics for food-animal production declined 30 percent (by weight), after annual increases in each year between 2009 and 2015. From 2010 to 2015, in 17 EU countries, antibiotics sales for production dropped 31 percent.

U.S. restrictions on use of growth-promoting antibiotics enacted in 2017 appear to have contributed to declines in antibiotics sales, and similar European regulations are generally correlated with declines in overall antibiotics sales.

Approvals of food-animal antibiotics have declined both in number and as a share of approvals of all food-animal pharmaceuticals. Since 1992, most new antibiotic approvals for use in food animals have been generic drugs that are also used in human medicine.

This report compiles and analyzes data from a variety of sources, including meat production and export data from multiple countries, antibiotics sales data from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the European Medicines Agency, animal pharmaceutical industry data from firm annual reports and industry trade groups, and license data for U.S. veterinary biologics from USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics.

For additional information, please view the report.

Mexico Gets Ball Rolling on USMCA

The Mexican government has launched the process of securing legislative approval for the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, the trade deal negotiated last year to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said officials would deliver the text and related documents to the Senate on Thursday afternoon, adding he was optimistic the deal will be ratified.

"We consider it's in our interest, that it's beneficial for there to be more foreign investment, with companies participating to create well-paid jobs in the country," he said at his daily press conference.

The trade agreement, which requires congressional ratification in all three countries, is expected to get broad support from Mexico's main political parties.

Two obstacles to starting the ratification process were cleared in the past month when the Mexican Congress changed labor laws to bring them in line with the new trade deal, and the U.S. lifted tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel-and-aluminum imports. Mexico and Canada in turn eliminated tariffs imposed in retaliation.

Mr. Lopez Obrador said resolving the steel issue was a condition for Mexico to move forward in the ratification process.

"We've said it before: free trade yes, trade war no," he said. The Canadian government introduced legislation Wednesday seeking to ratify the new pact, known as USMCA. The deal could face the stiffest opposition in the U.S.

Beef Checkoff Refuses to Spend Producer Dollars on Beef Promotion

USDA recently admitted it is keeping Montana producers’ beef checkoff money —a federal tax on cattle producers that must be used to promote beef —from being put to use. For years the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has claimed the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America’s (R-CALF USA’s) constitutional challenge to the checkoff would reduce funding for beef promotion. As part of this publicity campaign, on April 25, 2019, the editor of the Western Ag Reporter, Kayla Sargent, started her checkoff story, “Making Money Count in Montana” by stating R-CALF USA’s checkoff lawsuit “has a large portion of Montana’s contributions tied up in a frozen account until the case is settled.”

USDA has now admitted it is the one draining the checkoff of money, in the hopes of protecting the private Montana Beef Council. In 2016, in response to R-CALF USA’s suit, a federal district court held the Montana Beef Council could only use checkoff payments if payers consented to it doing so, because the council is a private entity and uses the money to fund its private speech. If payers don’t consent, the First Amendment requires all of the money to go to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), because it uses the government-mandated tax to fund government speech.

USDA has now informed R-CALF USA that while the Montana Beef Council is technically sending more money to the CBB, USDA is allowing CBB to keep the money in a special account so it will not be used at all, in hopes they will eventually be able to overturn the court’s ruling and put the money back under the private council’s control.

In response to these revelations, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard stated:
What is clear here is that the beef checkoff program is defying the choices made by Montana producers to stop funding the Montana Beef Council and its abuse of the checkoff funds. It is solely the decision of the CBB and the government to refuse to use that money as it was intended, that NCBA would attempt to distract from this reality by pointing the finger at R-CALF USA is no surprise.

In the past, the private Montana Beef Council has used the money to support the NCBA-controlled Federation of State Beef Councils and the meatpacker-led U.S. Meat Export Federation. The U.S. Meat Export Federation lobbied for the repeal of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and for trade agreements that harm the economic interests of independent cattle producers, while benefiting NCBA’s corporate donors.

Throughout this case, NCBA has put out misinformation that we are trying to keep the checkoff from succeeding. Now the truth has come out: NCBA and its allies on the Montana Beef Council are so desperate to protect their slush fund they’ll actually reduce the entire checkoff budget for years on the off chance that someday they’ll be able to regain access to that money.

“While the Government and Montana Beef Council are not violating the specific words in the court’s order —as it only required that the money go to the CBB unless producers consent to the money staying with the Montana Beef Council —they are clearly ignoring its spirit. The point of requiring checkoff money to go to the CBB is that is the only way it could be constitutionally expended, so there is no basis to keep the money locked away; everyone thought USDA and the CBB would use the money as required under the Beef Act,” said David Muraskin, a Public Justice Food Project attorney and lead counsel in R-CALF USA’s beef checkoff litigation from which the ruling stems.

“The council and government’s conduct highlights why the suit is so important. By allowing the private councils to have so much control over the checkoff, their concerns, not those of producers determine how the money is spent (or here stashed away). This is why the First Amendment prohibits them from taking money without the payers’ consent,” continued Muraskin.

Attorneys for R-CALF USA include lead counsel David Muraskin, a Food Project Attorney at Public Justice, J. Dudley Butler of Butler Farm and Ranch Law Group, PLLC, and Bill Rossbach of Rossbach Law, P.C. in Missoula, Montana.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/24/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 24, ethanol production retreated 13,000 barrels per day (b/d), a 1.3% decrease, at an average of 1.057 million barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 44.39 million gallons daily. However, it remains 16,000 b/d (1.5%) above year ago levels. The four-week average ethanol production rate moved 0.8% higher to 1.054 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.16 billion gallons (bg)—the second time this year to breach 16 bg.

Ethanol stocks shrank by 3.3% to 22.6 million barrels. However, this remains 6.4% higher than year-ago reserves. Stocks declined in all regions (PADDs) except the West Coast, which have been building for three straight weeks (up 2.3% since the start of May).

There were no imports reported by EIA for the 28th week in a row. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied declined 0.4% to 9.394 million b/d (394.5 million gallons per day, or 144.01 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol were trimmed 0.3% to 948,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.53 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 11.25%.

Session recordings now available from 2019 Stakeholders Summit

The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced today that materials from the 2019 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, themed “A Seat At The Table,” are now accessible online. The Summit was held May 8-9 in Kansas City, Missouri and attracted 335 attendees, making it the largest Summit to date.

Recorded presentations from the Summit’s 26 expert speakers are available to view at: Presentations from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Summits are also available at the same link. Highlights and quotes from the sessions can be accessed at:

"If you weren’t able to take your seat at the table this year, or if you just want to watch your favorite session again, I highly encourage you to watch the presentations from this year’s Summit,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “Attendees heard from a wide variety of expert speakers on topics including consumer preferences, product marketing and labeling, influencer engagement, sustainability, animal welfare, alternative proteins, blockchain technology, farm security and many, many more.”

The conference agenda and speaker biographies can be viewed at: This year’s successful event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, who are also listed on the Summit website.

The 2020 Summit is set for May 7-8 at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Stay tuned to and #AAA20 for event updates.

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