Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday May 15 Ag News

May is Beef Month:  Will Beef Make You a Better Athlete?
Establishing the Value of Beef in Sports Nutrition for High School Athletes

Through Checkoff funding, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln partnered with the Nebraska Beef Council to examine the relationship between beef’s nutritional value, current dietary intake among youth populations, and the impact on athletic performance.  According to the CDC, approximately 63% of Nebraska high school students participated in at least one team sport in 2017, indicating that athletics are a pivotal part of the Nebraskan community. “Young athletes have increased nutritional requirements to support training demands, so strategies to teach these athletes about macronutrient and micronutrient intake may proactively improve athletic performance,” said registered dietitian Marni Shoemaker.  Dietary intake surveys found female athletes typically have low intake of protein and iron, two vital nutrients for normal health and performance. According to Mitch Rippe, Director of Nutrition and Education at the Nebraska Beef Council, beef is an excellent source of protein and a good source bioavailable iron, making it a sound food choice to promote recovery from exercise and improve iron status. Therefore, an online sports nutrition education curriculum emphasizing nutrients abundant in beef was developed with collaboration from the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UNL Extension. The curriculum, entitled Husker Performance, consisted of seven lessons focused on meeting the nutritional demands of exercise and sport.

The research study evaluated if nutrition education alone could improve athletic performance and iron status. Athletes participated in athletic testing drills before and after participating in the curriculum. Iron status was also assessed at the pre- and post-testing sessions, while dietary intakes of key foods and nutrients were evaluated prior to starting the curriculum.             

Three Nebraska schools piloted the sports nutrition curriculum, reaching a total of 184 students. Iron and protein intakes were lower in females than males, with iron intake lower than the recommended daily allowance (RDA).  Beef intake was also found to be low for both males and females, with the athletes consuming about 7 ounces of beef per week – or the equivalent of about two servings per week.

Results showed that in a sub-sample of athletes who completed all assessments, there were no improvements in athletic performance. There were also no group improvements in iron status from pre-to post-testing. This indicates that education alone may not be sufficient to improve athletic performance or iron status but may be a useful tool in conjunction with individualized nutrition counseling, strength training and food interventions focusing on improving beef intake.  Rippe added, “a great takeaway from this research shows the importance of coordinated nutrition education, regular physical activity, and a balanced dietary pattern with lean beef to help offset potential nutrient deficiencies in youth.”


The second edition of Agricultural Land Management Quarterly will cover 2019 cash rental rates and land values in Nebraska and critical communication issues between landlords and tenants. The segment will also include a special segment addressing flood related damages on rented properties. The webinar is May 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT and can be viewed online at

Jim Jansen and Allan Vyhnalek of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Agricultural Economics lead the webinars. Jansen’s work focuses on agricultural finance and land economics. He directs the annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey and Report. Vyhnalek is a farm succession and transition extension educator.

There will also be time for webinar participants to get questions answered during the program. Participants are encouraged to sign up in advance and submit questions before the event at

The webinars are free and open to the public. Recorded webinars are available online.

Future webinars will be held on Aug. 19 and Nov. 18.

For more information, contact Jim Jansen at 402-261-7572 or

MITA’s 2019 World Trade Conference

On Wednesday, May 22, the Midwest International Trade Association (MITA) will be hosting the World Trade Conference. Conference attendees will hear from several speakers on a variety of topics including trade updates and current international hot topics from industry experts on USMCA, how to implement a Blockchain, E-Commerce, local export success stories, amongst others. In addition, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts will address the attendees and present MITA's Excellence in Leadership and Development Achievement Award. Join MITA as we celebrate the importance of international trade on the region's economy as well as to gain collective expertise to help your business grow.

Pete Ricketts
Governor of Nebraska
Topic: Growing Nebraska through International Trade
· Presentation of MITA's Excellence in Leadership and Development Achievement Award

Jeffrey Kessler
Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance
U.S. Department of Commerce
USMCA -- Modernizing NAFTA into a 21st Century Trade Agreement
· The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is the most comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement ever negotiated.
· It fully updates, modernizes, and rebalances the NAFTA to meet the challenges of the 21st century economy and to ensure that American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, share in the benefits of the agreement.
· It will help drive economic prosperity, promote fairer and more balanced trade, and help ensure that North America remains the world's most competitive region.

Ernie Goss, Ph.D. MacAllister Chair in Economics Department of Economics and Finance Creighton University
Topic: The Regional Economy-Black Swans & Golden Geese: The Outlook from Bankers and Manufacturers
· Trajectory of regional growth based on monthly surveys of bankers and manufacturers.
· Exports and imports: looking back and forward.
· Federal Reserve interest rate policies and the impact on trade.
· Economic risks and economic indicators to watch.
· What are the big economic risks, Black Swans?

Pete Mentos, Vice President of Global Trade and Managed Services Crane Worldwide Logistics
Topic: Trade and Geo-Politics: How our New Paradigm of Weaponized Tariffs is Effecting the Economy
· Now that we seem to have a new threat popping up every month concerning tariffs or sanctions, how will the changes to our Nation's attitude toward an innovation economy effect future decisions?
· How can companies prepare for what comes next and avoid the perils of trade wars?

Paul DeLaria, Partner Solution Architect Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Topic: How to Implement a Blockchain: A Look at Applications Using Blockchain on AWS
· AWS Overview: What is AWS?
· Blockchain:
Ø What is blockchain?
Ø Introduction to Amazon Managed Blockchain.
Ø How it Works.
Ø Getting Started on Amazon Managed Blockchain.

Dave Rippe, Director
Nebraska Department of Economic Development
Topic: An Update on Nebraska's Economic Developments
· Opportunities for international business in Nebraska.
· Future trade missions.

Successful Exporters: Leveraging Strategies and Resources to Grow Your International Business (Panel Discussion):
· Strategic Advantages: How do global exporters leverage strategic advantages to grow beyond North America?
· Success Models: What do successful exporters do differently than other firms?
· Successful small businesses leverage the STEP Grant to help grow their international business!
· How to bring it all together.

Raquel Kangas, Customer Success Manager, RD Industries
Bob Stoupa, Vice President of Business Development, KZCO
Adam Kosmicki, Vice President of Technical Services & Sales, American Beer Equipment/Norland International
Susan Rouch, Export Development Manager, STEP Grant Administrator, Nebraska Department of Economic Development

“For those involved with international trade, the World Trade Conference is our region’s premier event of the year.” said Zach Severin, President of the Midwest International Trade Association (MITA). “As the industry landscape continues to evolve, our mission is to ensure we bring in top leading industry leaders to learn more about regulatory issues and global trade policies. Attendees will gain insight in which to navigate what the possible future holds for the many aspects of international business. We are incredibly excited to have Governor Ricketts speak again this year and share his thoughts regarding important international trade issues impacting Nebraska.”

In addition to the below sponsors, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, and U.S. Department of Commerce all played a vital and important role in planning and supporting this conference.

Sponsors of this year’s event are: AIT Worldwide Logistics/Cargo Zone LLC, Ascent Global Logistics, Behlen Mfg. Co., Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis, Commerce Bank, Crane Worldwide Logistics, DB Schenker, FedEx, First National Bank, International Logistics, JZW International, Laufer Group International, Leo A. Daly, LI-COR Biosciences, Lyncstream, MarksNelson LLC, McGrath North, Metropolitan Community College, Scarbrough International, Ltd., Executive MBA Program at University of Nebraska at Omaha/Nebraska Business Development Center, UPS and U.S. Bank.

The World Trade Conference will be held at Embassy Suites Omaha-LaVista, Hotel and Conference Center, 12520 Westport Parkway, LaVista. For registration information, contact Gloria Penas at 402.596.1210 or

Bazile Groundwater Management Area Receives Grant from Nebraska Environmental Trust

The Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) will receive $228,500 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for the “Development of Research and Demonstration Sites in the BGMA for Groundwater Nitrate Reduction” project. The Trust Board announced funding for the project at its meeting on April 4, 2019 in Lincoln. This is the first year of award with a potential for 2nd and 3rd year funding totaling $209,500 and $209,500 respectively. The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year. Of these, 85 were new applications and 32 are carry-over projects.

Located in northeastern Nebraska, the BGMA was formed collaboratively between the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (NRD), Upper Elkhorn NRD, Lower Niobrara NRD, Lewis and Clark NRD, and Department of Environmental Quality to address high nitrate levels in the area. Since its formation in 2013, the BGMA has been dedicated to increasing education of agricultural producers and increasing the implementation of best management practices. To further this effort, the BGMA has partnered with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension and the Nebraska Water Center, part of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska to design the proposed project. This project will develop three advanced nitrogen and water management research and demonstration sites, conduct annual field days and educational meetings, and provide an analysis of the success of various water and nitrogen application methods utilized. Through innovative education and demonstration, this project will encourage widespread adoption of improved practices, positively impacting ground and surface water quality and soil management. This project is a vital step forward in stabilizing, and eventually reducing, nitrate levels within the BGMA as experts in natural resource management, with the help of NET, target this serious issue.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

NBA Bank On Nebraska Strong Accepting Grant Applications

The Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA) board of directors recently approved the application process for Bank On Nebraska Strong funds to assist with disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts. Since the March floods, the NBA has worked closely with the Nebraska Community Foundation and Nebraska United Ways to establish the Bank On Nebraska Strong fund which has raised more than $145,000 to date.

Funds raised through the Nebraska Community Foundation's (NCF) Bank On Nebraska Strong fund will be granted at the direction of the NBA in cooperation with the NCF, with a focus on community-wide needs and long-term recovery. A grant application form and guidelines are available on the NBA's Disaster Relief webpage

"Throughout the devastation from the floods, we have been consistently humbled by the generosity and support of our Nebraska bankers, fellow banking organizations, individuals and many others," said NBA President & CEO Richard Baier. "With initial triage efforts beginning to decline, the NBA is eager to put the funds that have been so generously given, to work to rebuild our Nebraska communities," Baier added.

The NBA will accept requests for grant support beginning May 15, 2019. Approved grants will be awarded until all available funds are expended. All grant recipients should plan to expend grant funds no later than July 1, 2020, when possible.

Syngenta Seeds site in Waterloo, Nebraska, recognized for safety

Syngenta’s seed corn facility in Waterloo, Nebraska, has been recognized as a “Nebraska’s Safest Company with Distinction” for 2019, the fifth consecutive year the site has been honored. The award was presented today at a celebration luncheon in La Vista.

The Nebraska’s Safest Companies Award, administered by the National Safety Council, Nebraska (NSCN), was established to recognize and celebrate companies that make safety a priority, have a commendable safety program, and maintain impeccable safety records based on their industry and size.

The Syngenta Seeds site in Waterloo has remained accident-free for more than two years, representative of more than 250,000 hours safely worked. Additionally, the site has not reported a lost-time injury for more than eight years, translating to more than 1 million hours worked without a lost-time injury.

“Seeing our employees embrace safety for themselves and those around them has been rewarding,” said Kiel Larson, Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) lead at the Syngenta Seeds Waterloo site. “They have really taken ownership and are continuously seeking to improve HSE performance.”

The NSCN evaluates all companies that apply for its Safest Companies Award. The council reviews a number of factors, including injury rate, hours worked, safety procedures and management commitment. The Waterloo site ranked the highest in these categories, when compared with other companies within the industry.

“The Waterloo management team’s dedication to safety has fostered a culture that has enabled the site to become one of Nebraska’s Safest Companies,” said Larson. “Our Goal Zero safety initiative drives the performance of the site to continually strive for total compliance on HSE.”

As one of the largest commercial seed corn production facilities Syngenta operates in North America, the Waterloo site is a critical link to delivering corn seed to farmers throughout the Midwest.

The NSCN serves organizations across the state that focus on keeping their employees safe.  Council members regularly visit companies and learn about their programs. More than 1,000 companies in Nebraska are NSCN members.

Fertilizer Prices Mixed

Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of May 2019 continue to be varied. Half of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price compared to last month while the other half were slightly higher.

The move lower has been fairly small, which has been the case in recent weeks. DAP had an average price of $501/ton, down $4; MAP $527/ton, down $5; UAN28 $267/ton, down $4; and UAN32 $310/ton, down $7.

The remaining four fertilizers were higher compared to the prior month, but the move to the high side was fairly trivial. Potash had an average price of $391/ton, up $4; urea $418/ton, up $14; 10-34-0 $487/ton, up $6; and anhydrous $595/ton, up $3.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.45/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. Both MAP and DAP are now 4% higher, both potash and UAN28 are 11% more expensive, UAN32 is 12% higher, 10-34-0 is 13% more expensive, urea is 14% higher and anhydrous is 17% more expensive compared to last year.

New Study: Renewable Fuel Standard Saves Consumers 22 Cents on Every Gallon of Gas

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has lowered gas prices by an average of 22 cents per gallon in recent years and saved the typical American household $250 annually, according to a study published today by economist and energy policy expert Dr. Philip K. Verleger, Jr.

The study used an econometric model to estimate the impacts of the RFS, which requires refiners to blend increasing amounts of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, on crude oil and gasoline prices over the last four years (2015-2018). Findings reveal that the RFS has provided substantial economic benefits to consumers in the United States and worldwide.

The Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Measuring the Impact on Crude Oil and Gasoline Prices concludes that by expanding fuel supplies by approximately 1 million barrels per day, the RFS reduced the price of crude oil by an average of $6 per barrel from 2015-2018. In turn, gas prices were reduced by an average of 22 cents per gallon, which amounts to a savings of nearly $5 every time consumers fill up. According to the study, the RFS is responsible for putting roughly $90 billion back into the pockets of U.S. consumers over the past four years, increasing discretionary income and raising the nation’s gross domestic product.

The report also found that if ethanol was entirely eliminated from the fuel supply, as some opponents of renewable fuels have advocated, gasoline prices would surge by more than $1 per gallon. According to the study, “Retail prices would today be above $4 per gallon, not $2.90, were renewable supplies removed from the supply mix.”

“If you’ve never heard of the Renewable Fuel Standard before today, this study tells you all you need to know: blending renewable fuels like ethanol into our gasoline supply saves American consumers money every time they fill up their tank,” said Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “As we head into the summer driving season, it’s important for American consumers to recognize that the RFS is keeping prices down at the pump, while at the same time reducing harmful tailpipe pollutants, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and moving us closer to energy independence.”

Dr. Verleger’s analysis corroborates the findings of earlier studies by economists at Iowa State University, the University of Wisconsin, Louisiana State University, U.S. Department of Energy, Merrill Lynch, and other institutions.

With over forty years’ experience studying and writing about energy markets, Dr. Philip K. Verleger holds a PhD from MIT and has consulted multiple administrations-- as Senior Staff Economist on President Ford’s Council of Economic Advisers and, later, as the Director of the Office of Energy Policy at the US Treasury during the Carter administration. Since then, his career in academia and energy consulting has continued to make him a trusted subject expert on the function and structure of energy commodity markets.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/10/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 10, ethanol production expanded 15,000 barrels per day (b/d), a 1.4% increase, at an average of 1.051 million barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 44.14 million gallons daily. That is the largest volume in 17 weeks, yet 7,000 b/d under year ago levels. The four-week average ethanol production rate moved 0.9% higher to 1.040 million b/d—equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.94 billion gallons and the highest rate in 20 weeks.

Ethanol stocks narrowed 1.0% to 22.3 million barrels. This is the smallest volume in 41 weeks (since Aug. 2018), although stocks remain 3.5% greater than year ago reserves.

There were no imports reported by EIA for the 26th 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 retreated 7.3% to 9.148 million b/d (384.2 million gallons per day, or 140.24 billion gallons annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol increased 3.7%, rocketing to an 89-week high of 953,000 b/d—equivalent to 14.61 billion gallons annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.49%.

USGC, Growth Energy, RFA Welcome European Commission Decision To Remove Anti-Dumping Duties On Ethanol Imports From The United States

Representatives of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) welcomed today’s decision by the European Commission to not renew anti-dumping duties on European Union (EU) imports of U.S. ethanol. The decision stems from the European Commission’s expiry review of the anti-dumping action the Commission took in 2013, which have been in place since then. In announcing its decision, the Commission found no evidence that warranted continuation of those duties and that their removal of duties would not encourage dumping in the EU.

“The decision today in the EU to allow more open access for U.S. ethanol is very welcome by our industry and the members of the U.S. Grains Council,” said Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to working with our customers and counterparts in the EU to fulfill the ethanol demanded by their biofuels policy and environment- and price-conscious consumers.”

"We welcome the European Commission’s decision to open the market to free and fair competition," said Craig Willis, Senior Vice President of Global Markets for Growth Energy. "By removing unjustified duties on U.S. ethanol, the Commission is opening critical new opportunities for member states to take full advantage of affordable, low-carbon biofuels. It’s a win-win for our EU trading partners, who will be better positioned to meet their environmental goals while holding down prices for European drivers."

“We are pleased with the Commission’s decision to terminate these penalties immediately. RFA has always maintained these penalties were unjustified and unwarranted,” according to RFA CEO Geoff Cooper. “The U.S. ethanol industry is looking forward to resuming more open trade relations with the European Union. With today’s removal of these duties, consumers in the EU will once again have unfettered access to clean, affordable, renewable fuels.”

NMPF Supports USTR Proposal to Target EU Dairy in Airbus Retaliation

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) should slap tariffs on dairy shipments from Europe in response to the $11 billion in damage EU Airbus subsidies caused the United States, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said today in testimony before a USTR panel.

The World Trade Organization recently found that Europe’s large civil aircraft subsidies were against international trade rules and permitted the United States to levy duties on EU products until Europe comes into compliance.

“We have a unique opportunity to make a big dent in the dairy market access gap we face with Europe. Including EU cheeses, yogurt, and butter on this list, as USTR has proposed, is entirely warranted, and we would encourage you to add additional EU dairy-related tariff lines,” Mulhern said. Doing so “would bring increased attention to the gross inequities that currently define our dairy trading relationship,” he said.

The United States is currently running a $1.6 billion dairy trade deficit with Europe. A complex web of EU tariffs and nontariff obstacles are to blame, Mulhern said.

“Simply put, we are largely being blocked from the EU market despite being a trusted and proven dairy supplier to the rest of the world,” he said, singling out Europe’s use of Geographic Indication requirements that target common products carrying geographic names like parmesan, feta, and muenster cheeses. Europe blocks sales of these everyday products from the United States and is aggressively pressuring other countries to do the same.

“It is essential that America deliver a clear and powerful message across the pond,” Mulhern said. “Subsidies and barriers that handicap U.S. businesses in the global marketplace will not be tolerated. And the days of trade deficits induced by unfair trade practices are coming to an end.”

Another Penny for Corn Farmers Won’t Cut It

National Corn Growers Association

Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration is increasing the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China’s retaliatory tariffs, could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers, bringing more uncertainty to markets and impacting commodity prices.

In an effort to ease this impact, the Administration is now pursuing a second round of trade assistance for agriculture with the intent of making an announcement in the next few days. As you’ll recall, the previous Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payment rate for corn farmers was just one cent per bushel.

Please tell the President that a penny didn’t cut it then and won’t cut it now.

On top of trade disputes and tariffs, EPA granting RFS waivers to oil refiners, devastating weather conditions, farm incomes on a downward trend, and crumbling infrastructure have all created a perfect storm for agriculture.

Tell the President that one penny won’t provide the market certainty that farmers need to stay afloat during these challenging times.

The White House must hear from you today! Please email or call the White House at 202-456-1414.

Mnuchin Sees Progress on Steel Tariffs With Mexico, Canada

(AP) -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the U.S. is making progress in talks with Canada and Mexico over steel tariffs, potentially overcoming a key hurdle toward approval of a trade agreement between the three countries.

Appearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday, Mnuchin also said he expects to soon travel to Beijing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to resume negotiations on the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The positive comments on trade from Mnuchin helped turn losses on Wall Street into gains by midday. Investors were also buoyed by reports that President Donald Trump plans to delay a decision about imposing tariffs on autos from Europe by up to six months. A decision was due by this Saturday.

The multipronged battle over trade being waged by the Trump administration has some stock market analysts and economists worried that extra costs and disruptions to supply chains could slow consumer spending, hurt corporate profits and slow down the U.S. economy, which grew at a 3.2% pace in the first quarter. Trump says past trade deals were tilted against the U.S. and that competitors such as China and even allies in Europe have taken advantage of the U.S. when it comes to trade.

The U.S. has negotiated a trade deal with Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA. But some U.S. lawmakers say they won't vote to approve the accord unless the U.S. lifts tariffs on steel from the two countries put in place last year.

"I think we are close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada," Mnuchin said.

On China, Mnuchin reiterated the administration's stance that the two countries were recently close to a deal but things went "in a different direction," resulting in the two countries increasing tariffs on each other's goods and wrapping up talks in Washington without an agreement.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and EU have been running high since Trump slapped tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports last year.

USDA Reopens Continuous CRP Signup

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.

“USDA offers a variety of conservation programs to farmers and ranchers, and the Conservation Reserve Program is an important tool for private lands management,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”

FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the continuous CRP signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, Fordyce said FSA has carefully analyzed the language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.

Continuous CRP Signup

This year’s signup will include such practices as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others.

Continuous signup enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. Soil rental rates will be set at 90 percent of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for these contracts.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Signup

FSA will also reopen signup for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements. Fact sheets on current CREP agreements are available on this webpage.

Other CRP Signup Options

Fordyce said FSA plans to open a CRP general signup in December 2019 and a CRP Grasslands signup later.

CRP Contract Extensions

A one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter describing their options.

Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

More Information

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.

Producers interested in applying for continuous CRP practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who need an extension, should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3. To locate your local FSA office, visit More information on CRP can be found at

NAWG Applauds FSA’s Announcement to Extend CRP Contracts

Today, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that it will hold a continuous signup period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) beginning June 3, 2019 and offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. NAWG commends the Agency for recognizing the need to provide producers an option to extend contracts by allowing for one-year extensions to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less.

 “CRP is an important conservation program option for many of our members and we appreciate that FSA is proactively taking steps to allow for contract extensions. This action is especially important if FSA will not hold a general sign-up before contracts expire this year,” stated NAWG President and Lavon, TX farmer Ben Scholz. “We encourage USDA to move quickly implement the 2018 Farm Bill and to allow enrollment options for producers in all the conservation programs.”

Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

 “Growers are on their land everyday and know more than anyone else what it takes to be a good steward of their land,” continued Scholz. “Farm Bill conservation programs help farmers ensure that their land will be productive today, tomorrow and years to come.”  

LaMalfa, Conaway: Voluntary Conservation Programs Work

Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing to review USDA farm bill conservation programs. After the hearing, subcommittee Ranking Member Doug LaMalfa (CA-1) and committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) made the following remarks:

“This hearing provided an opportunity to highlight the farm bill’s significant investments in conservation initiatives. Voluntary conservation has been shown to work better than mandatory and our farmers, ranchers and foresters, through assistance and incentives provided by farm bill conservation programs, have implemented new practices to reduce soil erosion, increase wetlands, improve water quantity and quality, and preserve farmland and wildlife habitat. I appreciated hearing from our witnesses today. We need to be diligent about overseeing the successful and timely implementation of the 2018 farm bill policies that protect our farmland and forests. I look forward to continuing to work with this committee to do that,” said subcommittee Ranking Member LaMalfa.

“Out of touch Democrats continue to propose policies that would have significant implications for the ability of U.S. agriculture to continue to meet the demand for fresh, safe and affordable food, both in the U.S. and around the world. Congress chose a better solution by passing the 2018 Farm Bill, which is arguably the greenest farm bill ever. The farm bill provides voluntary, incentive-based programs that help farmers implement new practices that sequester carbon, reduce emissions and adopt more energy-efficient farming practices,” said Ranking Member Conaway.

Corteva Agriscience Donates Grain Rescue Tubes to Rural Communities

Having the proper rescue tools and training can be the difference between life and death for rural first responders rushing to save someone trapped in a grain bin. Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, is equipping communities with lifesaving equipment by donating 21 grain rescue tubes to fire departments nationwide.

The grain rescue tube is made up of six panels that are slid into place around the victim. Once inserted, the tube halts the flow of grain and relieves the pressure on the trapped individual. One cubic foot for grain weighs 50 pounds, and, without the tube, grain can continue to collapse on the victim as fast as rescuers remove it. Pulling out a 165-pound person buried neck-deep in grain requires 625 pounds of force.

“Grain bin accidents happen quickly and are often life-threatening,” said Wilmot Fire Department Chief Jake Huff, a recent recipient of a grain rescue tube. “Being able to get to the scene quickly and having the proper rescue equipment and training can be the difference between someone making it home or not. We hope we never have to use it, but if we do, we’ll be ready.”

The danger of grain entrapment and the need for adequate training and equipment for first responders is clear. According to Purdue University, an average of 30.7 people per year die in grain bin asphyxiation and entrapment accidents nationwide, based on 10-year averages. In 2017, 52% of entrapments were fatal.

The danger of grain bins cannot be discounted. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) is dedicated to preventing farming and ranching injuries. For NECAS-approved steps to help reduce grain bin accidents, visit

Accidents can happen, even when safety protocols are followed. Be sure to have an emergency plan in place.

If you find yourself trapped, stay calm and contact help. If you are going to be engulfed, take off your hat and cover your mouth and nose to avoid inhaling grain.

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