Thursday, May 2, 2019

Wednesday May 1 Ag News

Ricketts Proclaims May as Beef Month in Nebraska

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts was joined at the State Capitol by representatives from Nebraska’s beef industry to proclaim May as Beef Month.  Nebraskans celebrate Beef Month every May to highlight the importance of the cattle industry to the state.  The Governor hosted a press conference to sign an official proclamation and to provide an update on Nebraska’s growing beef industry.

“Nebraska’s beef producers are the best in the business.  Thanks to their excellent work, Nebraska tops all states in commercial red meat production and cattle on feed,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Nebraska beef has earned a worldwide reputation for its premium quality, and we’re now exporting more of it than ever before.” 

Governor Ricketts has been an active proponent of Nebraska’s beef industry.  He has led trade missions to Japan, China, and Mexico to encourage the growth of Nebraska’s beef exports.  He has also promoted Nebraska beef domestically in places such as New York City.

In 2018, Nebraska led the nation in beef exports with a total export value of $1.44 billion.  Nebraska’s beef exports increased by 14 percent from 2017 to 2018.  Total beef exports have exceeded $1 billion each year since 2014.  In 2018, Nebraska’s top beef export markets were:
·       Japan - $412.1 million
·       South Korea - $309.3 million
·       Hong Kong - $139.5 million
·       Mexico - $138 million
·       European Union - $124.3 million

Nebraska is first in the nation in rankings for beef exports, commercial cattle slaughter, and cattle on feed.

Governor Ricketts was joined at the press conference by Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman, Nebraska Cattlemen President Mike Drinnin, and Nebraska Beef Council Chairman Buck Wehrbein.

“Nebraska is a national leader in all aspects of the beef industry including production, exports, and cattle on feed, so we’re pleased that Governor Ricketts proclaimed May as Beef Month,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman.  “The continued growth of the beef industry in Nebraska and the top rankings we’ve achieved show our support of agriculture as a whole and confirms what we already know: that delicious Nebraska beef is being enjoyed by consumers here at home and around the world.”

“There are a lot of unsung heroes who put their heart and soul into producing the best beef in the world raised right here in Nebraska,” said Mike Drinnin, President of the Nebraska Cattlemen.  “Whether you’re fixing fence on a ranch, delivering feed to the cattle, or hauling the beef to restaurants, everyone’s important to showcasing Nebraska beef!”

“Exports are a tremendous value to beef producers and we are proud to work with NDA to promote beef from Nebraska in places like Hong Kong, the European Union, and other parts of the globe,” said Buck Wehrbein, Chairman of the Nebraska Beef Council.  “International trade missions are a strategic way of investing the beef checkoff to support our beef community.”

Sasse Reintroduces Livestock Haulers Legislation

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reintroduced the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act. Sasse led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing the legislation.

“Agriculture drives Nebraska, and nobody works harder to ensure the safety and well-being of livestock than the Nebraskans who hustle day in and day out,” said Senator Ben Sasse. “Overly strict regulations are hurting our ranchers and our haulers. My legislation pushes back against those dumb regulations and works to promote safe transportation. This is good, reasonable, common-sense, bipartisan legislation — and it should pass so we can give Nebraskans the flexibility they need to keep livestock safe and to keep our state running and feeding the world.”

“Nebraska plays an integral role in the beef production chain, with a vast amount of livestock shipped in and out of our state daily,” said Nebraska Cattlemen President Mike Drinnin. “One size fits all federal regulations endanger the health and welfare of livestock by failing to account for the intricacies involved with hauling live animals. This legislation provides needed flexibility for livestock haulers while continuing to maintain the safety of our roads.”

“On behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau I want to thank Sen. Ben Sasse for his work in introducing the ‘Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act,’” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson. “Livestock production is a major contributor to Nebraska’s local and state economies. The ability to transport livestock in timely and safe manners plays a major role in the success of Nebraska’s livestock sector. Sen. Sasse’s bill is a step in the right direction to fixing regulations that fail to provide the flexibility needed to address the unique needs that exist in the transport of livestock.”

Senators Fischer (R-NE), Cramer (R-ND), Risch (R-ID), Daines (R-MT), Rubio (R-FL), Tester (D-MT), Smith (D-MN), Crapo (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Moran (R-KS), Jones (D-AL), Hoeven (R-ND), Rounds (R-SD), Braun (R-IN), Enzi (R-WY), Ernst (R-IA), and Lankford (R-OK).

The legislation is supported by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Cattlemen, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Livestock Marketing Association.

Starting December 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required commercial vehicle drivers to install an electronic logging device (ELD) in their truck.  The ELD will track driver compliance with the Hours of Service (HOS) rules by connecting to the engine to log vehicle motion. The FMCSA exempted livestock haulers from this requirement until further review of a petition filed by the livestock industry.  Delay language was also included through the appropriations process.

For livestock, live fish, and insects, HOS rules require that haulers turn on their ELD after they cross a 150-air mile radius of the origin of their load (such as cattle).  After crossing a 150-air mile radius, haulers must start tracking their on-duty time and can only drive 11 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour rest time.  While the FMCSA is evaluating the impact of the HOS requirements for livestock, they are not expected to make any substantial changes through the issued guidance.

The inflexibility of these regulations will be costly for haulers (who have a proven safety record) and place the well-being and welfare of cattle, hogs, and other livestock at risk. Current law does not allow flexibility for livestock and insects to reach their destination given the vast geography of production and processing facilities, most often spanning from coastal states to the Midwest.  Extended stops for a hauler, which would be necessitated by these HOS regulations, are especially dangerous for livestock during summer or winter months; high humidity and winter temperatures with below-freezing wind chills cause significant stress on livestock.

The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act addresses these problems and eases the burden of these far-reaching HOS and ELD regulations for haulers of livestock or insects.

Specifically, the Sasse legislation:

Provides that HOS and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for HOS purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold. 

Exempts loading and unloading times from the HOS calculation of driving time.

Extends the HOS on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.

Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against HOS time.

Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of HOS requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.

Ensures that, after the driver completes their delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).

Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Sen. Sasse Livestock Transport Legislation

“On behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau I want to thank Sen. Sasse for his work in introducing the ‘Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act.’ Livestock production is a major contributor to Nebraska’s local and state economies. The ability to transport livestock in timely and safe manners plays a major role in the success of Nebraska’s livestock sector.”

“Today, livestock haulers are forced to operate under strict regulations that fail to recognize the unique needs that exist in the transport of live animals. In many instances, these regulations force drivers to have animals on trucks longer than necessary, needlessly exposing them to the elements in winter and summer months. Sen. Sasse’s legislation will drive needed changes to ensure our transportation regulations reflect the ideals of modern livestock transport that are founded in the principals of reducing animal stress, while maintain safety on our roadways.”

NC Midyear Meeting Early registration ends May 30th!

The 2019 Nebraska Cattlemen Midyear Meeting will be held in Columbus June 4-5. A great line-up of activities with an exciting slate of speakers is scheduled for the two-day event, including remarks by National Cattlemen's Beef Association President, Jennifer Houston.

Nebraska Cattlemen members are encouraged to make plans to attend the 2019 Midyear Meeting and take part in industry discussions during the six NC policy committee meetings addressing animal health and nutrition; brand and property rights; education and research; marketing and commerce; natural resources; and environment and taxation issues. Many issues affect Nebraska cattle producers, and this is your opportunity to shape policy and provide direction for leadership and staff.

The event's activities will start the morning of Tuesday, June 4, with the annual Midyear golf tournament at Quail Run Golf Course. For those of you not golfing, a tour of some local businesses and attractions is being planned. Following the golf tournament and tours, all members are invited to attend the Welcome Reception at Quail Run Golf Course, enjoy an evening of food and drink and socialize with many NC members from across the state.

Wednesday, June 5, the NC Meetings will be held at the River's Edge Convention Center. The first round of committee meetings will begin at 8 a.m., followed by a second round at 10:15 a.m. The annual Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Lunch will be Thursday at 12:30 p.m., when winners of the Retail Value Steer Challenge will be announced and Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation youth scholarships will be presented. After lunch, the third round of committee meetings will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the General Session at 4 p.m. NC hopes you will make plans to attend the Midyear Meeting.  The link to register is here....

Watch for Invasive Plants After the Flood

Gary Stone - NE Extension Educator

This is one in a series of articles on current or potential invasive species in Nebraska. Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is a concept to identify potentially invasive species prior to or just as the establishment of the invasive is taking place. An Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM) can be developed to manage, contain and eradicate the invasive species before it can spread further. This will avoid costly, long-term control efforts.

The devastation Nebraska has experienced these past few months is unimaginable. Communities and people’s lives have changed forever. Though not the highest priority, one item that should be addressed in the near future is the chance that invasive plants may show up in areas that have never had them before.

Landowners should be aware of this potential problem and be ready to act should the situation arise. Invasive plants move in the environment by several ways, including wind, water and forage stocks. With the extensive flooding that has taken place, it is very possible that seed and plant parts from these plants have moved considerable distances to new areas in the pastures, farm ground and riparian sites. The forages generously shared by producers from other states could also contain other invasive plants not seen in these areas.

Invasive Weeds to Watch For

Following are some of the more invasive weed species that landowners should be looking for on their property, and a short description given for each.....

Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense L., perennial, reproduces by seed and rhizomes, non-native

Musk thistle, Carduus nutans L., biennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare, biennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Scotch thistle, Onopordum acanthium L., biennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Plumeless thistle, Carduus acanthoides L., biennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens, perennial, reproduces by seed and rhizomes, non-native

Spotted knapweed, Centaurea maculosa auct., biennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Diffuse knapweed, Centaurea diffusa, annual or biennial or short-lived perennial, reproduces by seed, non-native

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L., perennial, reproduces by seed and rhizomes, non-native

Phragmites, Phragmites australis, perennial, reproduces by seed, rhizomes and stolons, non-native

Absinth wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, perennial, reproduces by seed and short roots, non-native

Sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneata, perennial, reproduces by seed, non-native


Prevention is the best and cheapest management option. Scout and monitor your land for any new plants. If you cannot identify the plants, contact your local Nebraska Extension Educator or local Nebraska Weed Control Authority for assistance.

It is best to control these plants during the early stages of growth. Do not let them become established, as control and maintenance of these plants will become more costly and time-consuming. Managing seed production is the key to keeping these plants from spreading. Several management options may be needed.

Perennial plants are best managed early in their growth stage before they become established. Some perennial plants and most biennial plants are managed during the rosette stage in the fall, after a frost.

Mowing can be done but will have to be repeated for the regrowth as it does not kill the plants. Mowing plants with visible seed heads will not prevent seed production.

Chemical treatment should follow mowing to prevent seed formation. Numerous chemical treatment options are available to manage these weeds. Products containing aminopyralid, clopyralid, chlorsulfuron, dicamba, metsulfuron, picloram (Restricted Use), triclopyr, glyphosate (non-selective), and 2,4-D have been shown to work. Tank mixes of several of these compounds may provide better control. Adding a non-ionic surfactant to the herbicide mix will aid in control; however retreatment may be necessary.

Be sure to select a product labeled for the site and the weed. Read, understand and follow all label instructions when using any pesticide.


As the global population continues to boom, demanding increased food production, it’s crucial for society to implement effective and efficient water-management practices. Mark Rosegrant, research fellow emeritus at the International Food Policy Research Institute, spoke on this topic during the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s final Heuermann Lecture of the 2018-19 season April 30 at Nebraska Innovation Campus.

“The power of water in addressing food security and nutrition is that it contributes through many pathways,” Rosegrant said.

One of the pathways he examined was irrigation and how it can contribute to increased food production and farm income, while reducing risk through improved resilience against weather variability. Another pathway critical to achieving food security and nutrition goals is a high-performing water, sanitation and hygiene sector. Water pollution and water quality are currently the largest inhibitors of this sector. Water pollution affects human nutrition, health, economic development and the environment, whereas poor water quality leads to increased competition among water users for shrinking supplies of unpolluted water.

“There are billions still without access to safe drinking water, adequate hygiene and sanitation,” Rosegrant said.

With a doctorate in public policy from the University of Michigan, Rosegrant has extensive experience researching and analyzing policy related to agriculture, economic development and the world's future food security. He focuses on water resources and other issues that influence rural livelihoods and environmental sustainability. Rosegrant is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 100 refereed papers in agricultural economics, water resources and food-policy analysis. He has won numerous awards and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Rosegrant’s key strategies to address water and food security included new technologies; water governance; trade policy; movement toward more balanced diets; and water rights.

“Water rights are a cornerstone of efficient and equitable water management, empowering users by requiring consent and awarding compensation for reallocation,” Rosegrant said.

He said water rights are best defined as the perpetual right to share all allocations made in a river basin or system.

Also included in Rosegrant’s strategies is the need for increased support of agricultural research and development. He specifically called for interdisciplinary research at the nexus of water, food and nutrition, referencing the promising work occurring at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

“We should use the great expertise here at land-grant institutions and other educational opportunities to enhance research and development of solutions,” he said.

The lecture was held in conjunction with the Water for Food Global Conference, which explored the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in water and food security. The two-day conference brought together 350 participants from 15 countries. It was hosted by the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. 

Heuermann Lectures are funded by a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips. The Heuermanns are longtime university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.

Lectures are streamed live at and air live on campus channel 4. They are archived after the event and later air on NET2 World.

Beekeeping program launches in Nebraska

Those interested in beekeeping have a new learning opportunity.  The Center for Rural Affairs and University of Nebraska-Lincoln are partnering to offer Great Plains Master Beekeeping, a regional beekeeper training and certification program.

The program’s purpose is to increase the amount of well-educated beekeepers, to provide new and experienced beekeepers with resources to continue their education, and to help others become advocates for bees.

"We have received a lot of feedback on creating a program to expand beekeeper knowledge, because there is such an influx of interest in bees and beekeeping,” said Sheldon Brummel, Master Beekeeping Project coordinator.

Great Plains Master Beekeeping is set up in four tiers—Exploratory, Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master. Participants may advanced to higher levels at their own pace to refine their knowledge and management skills.

The Center for Rural Affairs is leading Exploratory Beekeeping classes, with four set for this summer: on May 29 in Macy, June 15 in Schuyler, June 22 in Grand Island, and Aug. 28 in Crete. Sessions in Schuyler, Grand Island, and Crete will be in English and translated into Spanish.

“These classes are a chance for people to see what is needed for beekeeping, with hands-on opportunities,” said Kirstin Bailey, Center for Rural Affairs project associate. “There will also be information on what you can do to help bees and other pollinators if you do not want to become a beekeeper.”

To participate in the program, contact or 402.472.8378, or visit For more information or to RSVP to Exploratory Beekeeping classes, visit or contact Bailey at 402.367.8989 or

Iowa Farm Bureau applauds Iowa Legislature's actions on several key issues 

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization, saw the passage of several bills addressing important issues for Iowa’s farm families with the conclusion of the 2019 legislative session.

Creating a bright future for agriculture and strong rural communities has long been the mission of the IFBF.  The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit is an important tool to support the next generation and help beginning farmers access farmland. Iowa Farm Bureau members appreciate the legislature improving the program and increasing the tax credit to previous funding levels.

One of the biggest challenges beginning farmers face is accessing farmland to start or grow their farms, so the passage of House File 778 protects and enhances capital gains deductions for the sale of farmland into the future – removing disincentives to sell farmland.  The legislature also took steps to create a level playing field for farmers looking to purchase land, helping to ensure that private entities don’t utilize taxpayer dollars for a competitive advantage over farmers.  

“Transitioning the family farm to the next generation is a challenge, but it’s a common goal of Iowa’s farm families,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.  “Easing the burden on farm succession and transitioning to the next generation ensures opportunities critical to the sustainability of Iowa agriculture and rural communities. We are grateful the legislature recognized and took important steps this session for our beginning farmers to remove some hurdles to farm transition, while protecting taxpayers.”   

With a strong track record protecting property taxpayers, Farm Bureau applauds the legislature’s actions this session, including the extension of the SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure, and passage of a property tax bill that will create accountability and transparency when local governments increase property taxes. 

“With on-farm income down more than 50 percent over the past five years, keeping the family farm sustainable is a top priority for Iowa farm families,” says Hill.  “We are thankful the legislature recognizes the importance of agriculture to the state and the value of strong rural communities. Farm Bureau appreciates their efforts this year to support Iowa’s most important economic driver, responsible for one in five Iowa jobs.”

Wood Iron Grille - Iowa’s Best Burger

It has been an exciting seven months for Michael Glesener and Matthew Gunn, owners of the Wood Iron Grille in Oskaloosa. Last fall, they opened their new restaurant with the goal of making it into the Top 10 in Iowa’s Best Burger Contest. This spring, they did that and more, not only reaching the Top 10, but ultimately winning the competition.

Inspired to enter the competition by a past winner, the Wood Iron Grille staff has been working hard to make their restaurant great since opening. After studying pastry arts in Chicago, Glesener, the head chef, temporarily worked in banking while his business partner, Gunn, worked in various restaurant roles along with turf and greenhouse management. Luckily, they joined forces to make the Wood Iron Grille what it is now.

Glesener and Gunn take pride in the panoramic views of emerald fairways and rolling greenery along the Oskaloosa Public Golf Course that visitors get to enjoy while eating their food. Aspiring to “raise the bar” for hospitality in Oskaloosa, they have been working to provide an extraordinary place for their community members to eat, instead of traveling to Des Moines for dinner. With their exceptional menu and impeccable service, they are certainly reaching their goals.

The menu contains three exemplary versions of the 6 oz, hand-pattied burger. The Wood Iron Original Burger features applewood smoked bacon, a sweet and tangy onion jalapeno jam and smoked cheddar cheese. The Cajun Black and Blue Burger is topped with applewood smoked blue cheese and Cajun seasoning. The ‘Merica Burger is a classic with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. All the burgers consist of a mixture of ground chuck and beef short ribs.

The Wood Iron Grille also features beef in the form of Poutine, a combination of slow-braised beef, served over fries, with local Frisian Farms Gouda Cheese Curds; a classic 12-oz ribeye, which is hand cut by the chef and sourced from Upper Iowa Beef and a Philly Beef flatbread.

This is the 10th year for the annual Best Burger contest sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council, through the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The Wood Iron Grille joins a great group of past best burger winners from around the state. Along with last year’s winner, CafĂ© Beaudelaire of Ames, previous winners include: 2017- The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ of Storm Lake; 2016 - The Chuckwagon Restaurant in Adair; 2015 - The Cider House of Fairfield; 2014 - Brick City Grill in Ames; 2013 - 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis; 2012 - Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids; 2011 - Rusty Duck in Dexter; and 2010 - Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.

The designation as Iowa’s Best Burger comes after a two-phase competition. The first phase is all based on votes from the public. For a month, burger lovers went online and voted for their favorite Iowa burger, submitting nearly 6,000 votes representing around 500 restaurants. At the end of the month, the ten restaurants with the most votes are declared the “Top 10.”

From there, three anonymous judges visit each of the restaurants, focusing on the burger patties and scoring them based on taste, doneness and presentation.

If the eye-catching scenery and environment of the Wood Iron Grille does not draw Oskaloosans and out-of-towners into the restaurant, their delectable burger will surely do the trick. Trust in the judges’ taste buds and make a trip to the Wood Iron Grille in the near future.

Beef Contribution in 2018 from Dairy Cattle 

Jared Geiser, Research Assistant
Brenda Boetel, Professor and Extension Economist
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Dairy cattle continue to be a significant contributor to the commercial U.S. beef supply.  Despite growing beef cattle inventories since 2014, dairy animals have been a stable source of beef and continue to play a key role in filling U.S. beef demand. In 2018 the dairy sector contributed 5.6 billion pounds (21.0 %) of beef to the U.S. commercial beef supply from finished steers, finished heifers and cull cows. Although down from the peak of 24% in 2015, the dairy cattle contribution is still significant.

In 2018 total U.S. commercial beef production was 26.9 billion pounds, the highest production since 2002. Between 2002 and 2018 U.S. commercial beef production has ranged from a low of 23.7 billion in 2014 to a high of 27.0 billion in 2002, with dairy animals contributing 22% in 2014 and 18% in 2002. The contribution from dairy cattle varies based on the size of the native cattle herd and its contribution to the beef supply, as well as the number of cull dairy cows. The percentage of dairy beef contribution has ranged from 18% to 24%, while the actual pounds of dairy beef contribution have ranged from 4.7 to 5.7 billion pounds.

Finished dairy steers are the largest beef contributor from the dairy industry followed by cull cows and finished heifers.  In 2018 finished dairy steers contributed 3.37 billion pounds (12.6%) to the total pounds of beef harvested. Since 2002 dairy steers have made up between 10.8% and 14.7% annually.  Cull dairy cows contributed 1.8 billion pounds (7.0%) in 2018, and historically have made up from 5.8% and 8.0% of beef production since 2002. Finished dairy heifers contributed 419 million pounds (1.53%) in 2018, historically ranging from 0.6% to 1.7% of total beef production.

Additionally, dairy animals contribute to the amount of prime beef supply. With 85-90% of dairy animals being Holstein, Holstein steers contribute the largest portion of dairy beef. Between 2002 and 2018, Holstein steers have contributed between 32 and 60% of prime beef harvested in the U.S. In 2018 we saw the lowest percentage of prime beef (21.3%) contributed by Holstein steers since our data set began in 2002. Note though that the overall percentage of beef that graded prime increased to its highest level ever in 2018, at 8.3% of total U.S. beef production.

Dairy animals had a significant impact on U.S. beef production in 2018. With inventories of native cattle increasing the percentage of beef from dairy animals has reduced incrementally from the highs of 2015, but still remain a major part of U.S. beef production.

Most Fertilizer Prices Move Lower

Average retail prices for most fertilizers were lower the fourth week of April 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marks the first time in this most recent trend that the majority of fertilizer prices were lower compared to the previous month.

Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $497 per ton, MAP $530/ton, anhydrous $594/ton, UAN28 $268/ton and UAN32 $315/ton.  One interesting point to note is DAP broke below the $500-per-ton level for the first time since the fourth week of October 2018. That week, the average price was $499 per ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to the prior month. Potash had an average price of $388/ton, urea $408/ton and 10-34-0 $483/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.49/lb.N.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. MAP is 3% more expensive, DAP is 5% higher, potash is 10% more expensive, urea is 11% higher, both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 12% higher, UAN32 is 14% more expensive and anhydrous is 17% higher compared to last year.

Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 495 million bushels in March 2019. Total corn consumption was up 10 percent from February 2019 but down 6 percent from March 2018. March 2019 usage included 91.4 percent for alcohol and 8.6 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.46 million bushels, up 26 percent from February 2019 and up 27 percent from March 2018. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 442 million bushels, was up 10 percent from February 2019 but down 7 percent from March 2018. Corn consumed in March 2019 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 91.1 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.86 million tons during March 2019, up 10 percent from February 2019 but down 4 percent from March 2018. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.34 million tons in March 2019, up 10 percent from February 2019 but down 5 percent from March 2018.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 304,047 tons during March 2019, up 21 percent from February 2019 but down 5 percent from March 2018. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 224,850 tons in March 2019, up slightly from February 2019 but down 19 percent from March 2018.

Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.38 million tons (179 million bushels) in March 2019, compared with 4.88 million tons (163 million bushels) in February 2019 and 5.47 million tons (182 million bushels) in March 2018. Crude oil produced was 2.09 billion pounds up 10 percent from February 2019 and up 1 percent from March 2018. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.41 billion pounds during March 2019 increased 10 percent from February 2019 but decreased 3 percent from March 2018.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 142,921 tons in March 2019, compared with 136,421 tons in February 2019 and 164,100 tons in March 2018. Canola crude oil produced was 123 million pounds, up 6 percent from February 2019 but down 12 percent from March 2018. Canola once refined oil production, at 123 million pounds during March 2019, was up 20 percent from February 2019 and up 1 percent from March 2018.

Cottonseed once refined oil production, at 45.7 million pounds during March 2019, was up 24 percent from February 2019 but down 6 percent from March 2018.

Edible tallow production was 86.0 million pounds during March 2019, down 6 percent from February 2019 and down 1 percent from March 2018. Inedible tallow production was 336 million pounds during March 2019, up 1 percent from February 2019 but down 2 percent from March 2018. Technical tallow production was 96 million pounds during March 2019, down 20 percent from February 2019 and down 4 percent from March 2018. Choice white grease production, at 121 million pounds during March 2019, decreased 6 percent from February 2019 but increased 10 percent from March 2018.

Flour Milling Products

All wheat ground for flour during the first quarter 2019 was 223 million bushels, down 4 percent from the fourth quarter 2018 grind of 232 million bushels and down 2 percent from the first quarter 2018 grind of 227 million bushels. First quarter 2019 total flour production was 104 million hundredweight, down 4 percent from the fourth quarter 2018 and down 2 percent from the first quarter 2018. Whole wheat flour production, at 4.81 million hundredweight during the first quarter 2019, accounted for 5 percent of the total flour production. Millfeed production from wheat in the first quarter 2019 was 1.58 million tons. The daily 24-hour milling capacity of wheat flour during the first quarter 2019 was 1.65 million hundredweight.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 4/26/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending April 26, ethanol production scaled back 24,000 barrels per day (b/d), a 2.3% decrease, at an average of 1.024 million barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 43.01 million gallons daily. However, the four-week average ethanol production rate moved 0.6% higher to 1.022 million b/d—equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.67 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks were trimmed 0.2% to 22.7 million barrels. Stocks built in the East Coast (PADD 1) and West Coast (PADD 5) but were steady to fractionally lower in other regions.

There were no imports reported by EIA for the 24th week in a row. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of February 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied to the market shrank 1.9% to 9.228 million b/d (387.6 million gallons per day, or 141.47 billion gallons annualized). Refiner/ blender net inputs of ethanol remained steady at 928,000 b/d—equivalent to 14.23 billion gallons annualized and the highest utilization rate of 2019.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 11.10%.

New Mexico Becomes 31st State to Add E15 Choice at the Pump

Today, Growth Energy announced that New Mexico is the newest state to offer consumers greater choice at the fuel pump with the availability of E15 – a fuel blended with 15 percent renewable ethanol.

The latest in this market expansion is a Murphy USA station in Albuquerque – now one of nearly 1,800 locations nationwide to offer Americans this more affordable, cleaner biofuel blend. E15 — known to consumers as Unleaded 88 — is giving drivers an option at the pump that saves them up to 10 cents per gallon each trip to the fuel station, while being a smart choice for their engines and a friendlier choice for the Earth.

“With Murphy USA’s addition of E15 at their Albuquerque, New Mexico station, more Americans than ever can now choose Unleaded 88,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We know that when it’s available at the pump, Unleaded 88 is taking off with consumers and becoming their go-to fuel. We applaud Murphy USA for expanding this choice for the people of New Mexico and look forward to celebrating more states doing the same.”

NCBA Welcomes Legislation Aimed to Help Livestock Haulers

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today welcomed the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate aimed at reforming federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules in a way that ensures animal welfare, highway safety, and the well-being of livestock haulers. S. 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, was introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) with a bipartisan group of original cosponsors, including Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Risch (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Doug Jones (D-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and James Lankford (R-OK).

“The current Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers present major challenges for our industry and can often jeopardize the health and well-being of livestock,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Hauling livestock is inherently different than hauling typical consumer goods, like paper towels or bottles of water. Live cattle cannot simply be left unattended in a trailer – especially in very hot or cold weather – for extended periods of time. This bill recognizes the unique needs of livestock haulers, and we are grateful for the continued support of Senator Sasse and the other co-sponsors.”

NCBA helped secure a delay from the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. However, the need for a long-term fix and increased flexibility for livestock haulers remains. In addition to working with allies on Capitol Hill, NCBA submitted a petition to the Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting changes to the HOS rules for livestock haulers.

The summary of S. 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, is as follows:
-    Provides that HOS and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for HOS purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold.
-    Exempts loading and unloading times from the HOS calculation of driving time.
-    Extends the HOS on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.
-    Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against HOS time.
-    Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of HOS requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.
-    Ensures that, after the driver completes their delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).

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