Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tuesday July 2 Ag News

Nebraska Land Values Drop 3% from 2018
Jim Jansen - Agricultural Systems Economics Extension Educator

The all-land average value in Nebraska for the year ending February 1, 2019 averaged about 3% lower than the year before, according to the Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Highlights report released this week by the Department of Agricultural Economics. This marks five consecutive years of declining land values, accounting for a total decline of 20%. The annual survey and resulting reports are by Jim Jansen, Nebraska Extension Economist and Educator, and Jeff Stokes, Hanson-Clegg-Allen Chair in Ag Banking and Finance.

The state average was $2,645 per acre or about a $75 per acre decline from the 2018 value of $2,720 per acre.

"Based on 2019 market values, the estimated total value of agricultural land and buildings in Nebraska fell to approximately $125.3 billion," notes the report. "Between 2018 and 2019, the market value decline in agricultural land and buildings totaled about $3.6 billion."

Some have compared the decline to that seen in Nebraska in the 1980s, but Jansen notes that conditions are much different now.

"This has been much more of a gradual decline," he said. "Farmers today are facing similar challenges as we did in the 1980s with low farm income," Jansen said, but how they've financed debt for land purchases and operating land credit has changed.

"As we see gradual change, it's important to understand what's happening across the state," Jansen said. The northwest (-5%), north (-4%), southwest (-5%), and south (-6%) districts saw the biggest declines in land value while northeastern (-3%, $5230), southeast (-2%), central (-2%), and east (-1%, $6185) districts saw more modest declines.  The higher rates in decline ranging from 4% to 7% came from the northwest, southwest, and south districts where panel members noted restrictions in irrigation appropriations and new developments.

Panel members responding to the survey reported current crop prices, property taxes, and farm input costs as the most negative forces leading to the lower market value of land across the state. Additional economic forces placing strong negative pressure on the real estate markets included future property tax policies and the financial health of current owners.

Handling Cattle Through High Heat Humidity Indexes 

Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

During the summer months, livestock producers need to understand and deal with heat and humidity. They need to consider some guidelines to help them reduce additional stress on cattle during these events and incorporate some of the following practices into our management practices.

The most important is to understand the relationship between temperature and humidity in respects to the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) or Heat Index.  The Cattle THI Chart (, will help to determine the risk level in planning cattle handling during the summer months. Producers need to be aware of the risk based on weather forecast of the heat stress.

Handling cattle early in the mornings before temperatures get too high is always recommended. Plan to handle cattle before 8:00 a.m. and never after 10:00 a.m. during summer months. Remember that the animal’s core temperature peaks approximately two hours after the environmental temperature peaks and takes four to six hours to lower back to normal temperature. With this in mind you should not think that handling cattle in the evening will reduce the risk of heat stress.

When processing cattle during high heat seasons, work cattle in smaller groups, so cattle are not standing in the holding area much longer than 30 minutes. Cattlemen should consider facilities that are shaded with good air flow to help reduce the heat. A sprinkler system may assist in cooling the area, if the water droplet size is large. Never over-crowd working facilities, work cattle slowly, and use low-stress handling techniques. Remember that processing cattle in any temperature elevates the animal’s core temperature.

Cattle movements should be short distances during hot seasons. Strategic planning on pen movements can assist in reducing unnecessary movements and potential heat stress. Moving heavier cattle closer to loading facilities throughout the feeding period can benefit in managing heat effects.

When planning or improving cattle handling and feeding facilities, cattlemen need to take into consideration air flow, shade, and sprinkler systems for cooling livestock. These considerations can help the danger of heat stress on livestock and improve feeding efficiencies during hot temperature periods.

Another important thing to remember is that compromised animals are at higher risk for heat stress. Those animals that are sick or lame are usually running higher temperatures than normal (average temperature for a beef animal is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit), combined with hot temperature and high humidity raises their risk of heat stress. Producers will need to take extra precautions with these animals to provide additional shade and cooling.

Summer can be challenging for many cattle producers. By implementing some handling guidelines, cattlemen can reduce the risk level of heat stress and improve cattle performance.  Nebraska Extension has a publication “Feedlot Heat Stress Information and Management Guide” ( that is a good resource on dealing with heat stress.

Auction markets raise over $230,000 for Nebraska flood relief

Thirteen auction market members of the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) hosted the sale of a roll-over auction animal earlier this spring to support Nebraska flood relief efforts. The livestock sales, which took place across Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming raised more than $230,000 worth of proceeds.

Member markets who hosted roll-over sales included Alma Livestock Auction, Alma, Neb.; Atkinson Livestock, Atkinson, Neb.; Basset Livestock, Bassett, Neb.; Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales, Beatrice, Neb.; Columbus Sales Pavilion, Columbus, Neb.; Elgin Livestock, Elgin, Neb.; Fullerton Livestock Market, Fullerton, Neb.; Huss Livestock Market LLC, Kearney, Neb.; Sheridan Livestock, Rushville, Neb.; St. Onge Livestock, St. Onge, S.D.; Torrington Livestock Market, Torrington, Wyo.; Verdigre Stockyards; Verdigre, Neb.; Wahoo Livestock Sales, Wahoo, Neb.; and West Point Stockyards, West Point, Neb.

One LMA member who hosted a roll-over benefit auction was directly affected by the floods. Lu Rieken, owner of Fullerton Livestock Market, says there was less than an hour warning before flood waters hit their business. With 4.5 feet of standing water inside the market, damage from water and debris to the market was extensive.

Despite facing damage themselves, Fullerton Livestock Market chose to participate in a roll-over auction to assist relief efforts across the state.

“Our philosophy is that it’s not how far or how hard you fall, it’s how fast you get back up,” Lu Rieken says. “We weren’t the only ones suffering. Everyone was and we wanted them to know we put them first.”

A majority of the funds raised by participating member markets were contributed to the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund or directly to feed, fencing and hauling needs of individuals. Some markets chose to serve as pick-up sites for producers to access feed, hay and other supplies.

Pete McClymont, Executive Vice President of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association, says the contributions given to the relief fund by LMA member markets were overwhelming.

“When I see Dennis Henrichs, with Beatrice 77 Livestock Sales, enter our office with an envelope full of donations, it just about makes you cry,” McClymont says. “It makes you feel good about mankind to know people are sitting in the seats of these markets bidding, saying ‘Yes, I want to help.’”

According to McClymont, all proceeds received by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund will be distributed back to those who completed an application for need. The LMA also contributed $3,000 to each participating member market’s total donations raised. 

Bacterial Leaf Streak of Corn in Nebraska

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Extension Plant Pathologist

Over the past couple of weeks, bacterial leaf streak of corn has been on the rise as large portions of Nebraska experienced several days of cool, wet weather. Bacterial leaf streak (BLS) is caused by Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum. This bacterial disease has been confirmed in 74 Nebraska counties and in nine other states since 2016. BLS has been confirmed in field corn, sweet corn, seed corn, and popcorn.

Symptoms and Signs

Early diagnosis of BLS is important as symptoms can easily be confused with other diseases. This time of year, lesions are typically found on the lower leaves of the plant. Lesions may be brown, tan, or yellow in color and range in size from small flecks to streaks that can be several inches long. Margins are often jagged, wavy, and have a yellowish hue that is more pronounced when backlit by the sun. As plants mature, symptoms may develop in the mid-to-upper canopy along the midrib following a severe storm or heavy rain event. Symptoms can develop as early as in V4 corn, but have been confirmed in the seedling stage in greenhouse studies.

Scouting is important as BLS can easily be confused with gray leaf spot, a common fungal disease in corn. Compared to BLS, gray leaf spot lesions are gray and rectangular in shape with smooth, linear margins. Early symptoms can make it difficult to differentiate these two diseases. Bacterial leaf streak cannot be controlled with the fungicides used to manage fungal diseases like gray leaf spot. Accurate identification is crucial for disease management. Submit samples to a diagnostic clinic for accurate diagnosis if necessary. (The university’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic conducts these tests.)

Disease Cycle

Three things are required for any disease to develop:
-    a virulent pathogen,
-    a susceptible host, and
-    the right environmental conditions.

Infested crop residue from a previous year’s crop is an excellent source of inoculum for BLS development. Residue can be moved into fields that do not have a history of this disease via equipment, floods, or wind. As corn grows, heavy rain or irrigation can splash bacteria onto the leaf surface. Bacteria may spread throughout the field via leaf rubbing, splashing, etc. Wounds are not required for disease development as bacteria likely enter through natural openings in leaves, like stomata. Favorable environmental conditions for disease development include high relative humidity, leaf wetness, severe storms, minimum tillage, or growing continuous corn.


Management options for BLS in corn include rotation to a non-host crop like soybean or wheat. While crop rotation can be quite effective in managing BLS, it is important to also manage volunteer corn that can harbor the bacteria from year-to-year. Recent research has shown that certain species of weeds, native grasses, and crops also can be alternative hosts for the bacterium. In field studies, big bluestem and bristly foxtail showed symptoms of BLS at low levels. Numerous other weed, crop, and grass species were susceptible to the bacteria in greenhouse experiments and may become infected in the field under favorable conditions.  Some of these alternative host species were infected without development of disease symptoms. Therefore, weed management may also be important to consider with crop rotation strategies, although the impact of these alternative host species on disease development in corn has not been determined.

Since BLS is caused by a bacterial pathogen, fungicides are not effective in managing this disease. Research on BLS management using copper-based bactericide products has been conducted, but results are inconclusive at this point. Copper-based bactericides are generally contact products that are not absorbed and moved systemically by the plant like some of the common fungicides currently in use.  These bactericides do not provide residual protection and may be washed off by rain or overhead irrigation requiring reapplication that may not be economical for corn producers. In addition, these products function by preventing new infections and don’t impact bacteria already inside the plant after infection occurs.

Tillage can help break down infested crop residue and reduce inoculum levels. However, tillage may not be a viable option for every operation and it won’t completely prevent future disease development. Sanitation is another option. Cleaning off equipment between fields will help slow pathogen spread to new areas. Hybrids vary in their reaction to the disease, although disease ratings are difficult to generate and not widely available. Consult seed company representatives to help identify the hybrids best suited for your area.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

     Wet soils in alfalfa fields right after cutting will certainly do one thing.  It helps weeds and grasses grow.  Let's talk today about what you can do about these weeds.

     How do you reduce the amount of foxtail, crabgrass, pigweed and other weeds in your hay?  The best way to start is to keep alfalfa thick and thrifty so it will compete aggressively with invading weeds.  Thick initial stands and good soil fertility are needed.  In addition, harvest alfalfa only after it begins to bloom or when new shoots appear at the base of the plants.  Then alfalfa should regrow rapidly so weeds don’t get much time to become a problem.

     Unfortunately, this method is easier said than done, and forage quality will be lower since harvest occurs after bloom begins.

     Herbicides are another option.  Roundup works great for Roundup Ready varieties.  For conventional alfalfa varieties, two chemicals that control annual grasses are Select Max and Poast Plus.  These herbicides work well on seedling grasses that are less than 4 inches tall, and alfalfa tolerates both herbicides very well.  Neither of these herbicides has any soil residual activity, so good plant coverage is necessary and you may need to repeat the spraying if new grasses emerge.  For broadleaf weeds, Raptor and Pursuit are your best choices.  They, too, need to be applied before weeds are 4 inches tall.  Fortunately, both Raptor and Pursuit have some residual activity so you can apply them a little early and still get control of many later emerging weeds.  They will, however, also set back your alfalfa just a little bit.

     If weedy grasses or broadleaves are a problem in your hay, thick and vigorous alfalfa stands and some well-chosen herbicides can help you get it under control.


     Crop disasters like hail, flash floods, and tornadoes can happen any time.  When it strikes, replanting options may be needed.

     After weather disasters strike, replanting a grain crop may be nearly impossible due to herbicide carryover or the late planting date.  As a result, annual emergency forage crops might be your only choice.

     Unfortunately, previous herbicide use may cause even more problems with forages.  Many pre-emerge herbicides for corn and milo will injure teff, pearl millet and foxtail millet.  But, sudangrass, forage sorghum, and sorghum-sudan hybrids will tolerate moderate levels of atrazine; and safened seed can be used if several other herbicides have been applied.  These sorghums also tolerate most herbicides labeled for use with grain sorghum.  Another possible emergency forage crop is short-season corn as silage or as late season pasture, especially if corn herbicides eliminate other possibilities.

     Soybean herbicides that have residual soil activity can cause even bigger problems for replanting to forages.  All summer grasses are sensitive to most soybean herbicides.  Sunflowers for silage and replanted soybeans for hay or silage are among the few alternatives compatible with soybean herbicide carryover.

     Even when you find out that an annual forage will grow, sometimes you may not be allowed to feed it legally.  Many row crop herbicides have specific restrictions or at least lack approval for use with forages.  So check out your options closely and carefully before making your selection.

     Nobody likes to replant, but if you must, select a forage that is compatible with your herbicides and livestock.

Lindsay Corporation Announces Quarterly Dividend

Omaha-based Lindsay Corporation announced Monday that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.31 per share, payable August 30, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 16, 2019.

At April 5, 2019, Lindsay Corporation had approximately 10.8 million shares outstanding, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNN.

Lindsay Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology. Established in 1955, the Company has been at the forefront of research and development of innovative solutions to meet the food, fuel, fiber and transportation needs of the world's rapidly growing population. The Lindsay family of irrigation brands includes Zimmatic center pivot and lateral move agricultural irrigation systems and FieldNET remote irrigation management and scheduling technology, as well as irrigation consulting and design and industrial IoT solutions. Also a global leader in the transportation industry, Lindsay Transportation Solutions manufactures equipment to improve road safety and keep traffic moving on the world's roads, bridges and tunnels, through the Barrier Systems, Road Zipper and Snoline brands.

Following remarks at Trump E15 RVP event in Iowa, Bosselman Enterprises COO to share E15 retail experience at ACE conference

Randy Gard, Chief Operating Officer of Bosselman Enterprises, owner of the Nebraska-based Pump & Pantry convenience store chain, will take part in a fuel retailer panel during the August 16 general session of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference. Following his remarks about the company’s E15 growth on stage with President Trump at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy hosted event in Council Bluffs, Gard will share Bosselman’s next steps with year-round E15 finalized in front of the ACE conference audience in Omaha.

Gard is one of the retailers ACE features on its website to connect fuel retailers with other marketers who have increased their volumes and profits by adding higher ethanol blends to their fuel slate. “In 2017, our sales of E15 increased over 300 percent. In 2018, they went up another 225 percent. And with the help of President Trump opening the door for year-round E15, our newest projections for this year show an increase of another 400 percent,” Gard shared in his remarks during President Trump’s visit to Iowa. “I want to encourage retailers to not be afraid of it. Our customers love it — and the numbers don’t lie, right?”

“Retailers have a rare opportunity to make the move to E15 and take market share,” Gard said. “We want to win based on our own strategies, not by someone else’s decisions.”

During the first summer of nation-wide approved E15 use, the 2019 ACE conference retailer panel entitled “RINs, Carbon Credits, and other E15 and Flex Fuel Marketer Math” will cover not only the long-term market growth opportunity EPA’s new E15 rule presents, but also the history and math associated with selling E15 and higher blends, like E85, including low carbon fuel credits and Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Mike Lewis, Co-Founder of California-based Pearson Fuels, will also join the panel moderated by ACE Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty.

“As one of the first marketers to sell E15 and E85 in Nebraska, once Bosselman realized different ways to monetize RINs, they gained a huge advantage over their competitors, and sales took off,” Lamberty said. “I’ll ask Gard about how the company has used their knowledge of RINs to gain new market share, buying directly from ethanol producers, and the roll out of their new “Boss Fuel” brand.”

“Bosselman’s ethanol use rose by almost 5 million gallons per year over the last few years,” Lamberty added. “By helping just one marketer understand the math of E85 and E15, a significant amount of new ethanol demand has been created, and that doesn’t include competitors who had to adjust to try and keep up with Pump & Pantry. Even better, ACE can continue to educate other marketers when retailers like Gard share their success stories with their peers at trade shows, workshops, and the website.”

These discussions are an opportunity for ethanol producers and others to hear firsthand from retailers how the industry can help them sell more ethanol. Visit for more event details.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture named President of MASDA

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has been selected to serve as the 2019-2020 President of the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA). Naig accepted this position during the association’s annual meeting in Oklahoma City last week.

MASDA is comprised of the Departments of Agriculture from 13 Midwestern states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Naig will work alongside other states’ agricultural leaders to promote and advance the industry, and support farmers and ranchers throughout the Midwest.

“MASDA is a great organization that unites leaders who represent all aspects of Midwestern agriculture,” said Naig. “I look forward to collaborating with my fellow directors, secretaries and commissioners. Our states have some unique specialties and challenges but this group provides a unified voice for farmers and ranchers. We all share common goals, like creating new markets for our producers’ products.”

Naig will host the annual MASDA meeting in Des Moines next June.

Naig was elected as Iowa’s 15th Secretary of Agriculture in November 2019. He previously served as the Deputy Secretary for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

About the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)

MASDA is the Midwest Regional Association of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit association that represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors in the United States.

Iowa Cattlemen Advocate for USMCA

Cattle production provides considerable contributions to Iowa’s economy, generating $3.86 billion. However, there are many challenges in the agricultural economy at this time. In order to keep farmers and young people in rural Iowa, we must have strong export markets for our products.

That is why international trade is a top priority for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. As a whole, export markets add over $300 to the value of each head of cattle in Iowa, and Canada and Mexico are responsible for about $70 of that total.

Iowa’s 27,000 beef producers have enjoyed the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement over the past 25 years. NAFTA has provided duty-free trade with Canada and Mexico which adds gross value to the cattle that producers raise, feed and market in Iowa.

Mexico is especially important because of the demand for variety meats like tongue, tripe and heart. In the U.S., these cuts are nearly worthless. By exporting them, we are able to capture much greater value.

USMCA preserves the duty-free trade we have benefited from through NAFTA, and supports other agricultural commodities, as well. At a recent roundtable discussion, former Iowa Governor and Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, stated the importance of ratifying USMCA this year. “If we extend into 2020, (the agreement) gets mixed up in presidential and Congressional politics and makes it much, much less likely to get a vote in Congress.”

If the agreement is not approved, U.S. farmers risk losing $9.4 billion in total agricultural exports annually. Of that total, $1.8 billion comes from the cattle industry and $3.2 billion is from corn and corn co-products.

“We need to get USMCA to a vote and finalized as soon as possible. ICA members have been contacting their congressional delegates and asking for positive public support,” says Matt Deppe. “Any opportunity and certainty is important in today’s ag economy. Passing USMCA very soon and moving on to a bilateral agreement with Japan is vital to our industry.”

ICA will continue to advocate for full ratification of USMCA as soon as possible, in order to benefit Iowa’s cattle industry and the agriculture sector as a whole.

Ninth Latin American Product Showcase ‘Gets Business Done’ in Puerto Rico

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) held its ninth annual Latin American Product Showcase June 26-27 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The event attracted more than 400 people, including 190 buyers from 23 countries across the Caribbean, Central America and South America. A total of 64 USMEF exporting member companies participated, displaying and promoting U.S. beef, pork and lamb products.

The showcase was conducted with funding support from the National Pork Board (NPB), the Beef Checkoff Program, the Nebraska Beef Council, the Texas Beef Council, the United Soybean Board and Indiana Corn.

“As we close in on a full decade of organizing this event, a really significant thing to note is that not only have we been successful in bringing together exporters and importers from all over Latin America, but we’ve also created an environment that gets business done – and that makes the Latin American Product Showcase one of the most impactful things we do at USMEF to help advance trade in this region,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “You have multiple markets across Latin America that are growing quickly, and you also have markets that are fairly new. That’s another great thing you notice in two days at the showcase. You see the established customers in established markets, but you also see several emerging markets where USMEF is just starting to help grow demand for U.S. beef, pork and lamb. We were able to see both ends of the spectrum again this year, and that’s exciting.”

Puerto Rico, which hosted the Latin American Product Showcase for the first time, was a popular site, drawing a number of first-time attendees, as well as seasoned participants who have seen the event expand over the past nine years.

Veronica Leon, of Texas-based Northern Beef Industries, a regular exhibitor at the showcase, emphasized that the quality of the business contacts sets it apart from similar events.

“We have been at all nine Latin American Product Showcases and we’ve appreciated the fact that each year we see a mix of old customers, new customers and potential customers come on the show floor to meet with us,” said Leon. “At this year’s showcase, we again were able to answer questions from importers face-to-face. The quality of buyers keeps improving each year, just as the products we have to offer keep improving. This annual interaction with more and more importers allows us to update them on our company and lets us learn what meat cuts and products are in demand in each Latin American country.”

Jennifer Eck of Tyson Foods, another longtime exhibitor at the showcase, said it has been a rewarding experience to watch the event mature over the years.

“It’s become a great opportunity to see all of our existing customers over two days and meet a lot of new importers who could become our customers,” said Eck. “The great thing is that the Latin American Product Showcase continues to grow, just as the region’s interest in U.S. red meat continues to grow and the individual markets continue to grow. Again this year, it was a couple of well-spent days sharing and learning in Latin America, which has become an important strategic growth market for our company.”

First-time attendees also found the showcase to be extremely productive.

Laila Johana Pettinati from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was a first-time participant as a buyer. As buyer manager for Axionlog, an importer and wholesaler with foodservice clients in several South American countries, she found the showcase to be an excellent venue for establishing direct business relationships.

“We work in eight different countries, and our purpose for being here was to get to know red meat suppliers for our various operations,” said Pettinati. “We are dedicated to foodservice, so we have a lot of diverse needs. This venue, the way USMEF has set it up, gives us a great opportunity to make contact with a variety of U.S. beef and pork traders and manufacturers to help us with those needs.”

Representatives of producer organizations that help fund the Latin American Product Showcase were able to explore many different markets for their products and help enhance the image of U.S. agriculture.

Brady Reicks, a pork producer from New Hampton, Iowa, attending his first Latin American Product Showcase, said his goal was to learn more about the region where much of the pork he produces ends up.

“I also spent a lot of time sharing the good news about U.S. pork with the buyers and companies here from South America, Central America and the Caribbean – letting them know how we raise our hogs and how we produce a safe and quality product,” said Reicks, who was with a team from the National Pork Board. “At the same time, it’s been really interesting to see how they view pork and how they prepare and eat pork. The most interesting thing I’ve seen is a cut that keeps the pork loin and belly together. Apparently, that is a popular thing in Puerto Rico, but also in many Latin American countries that buy our product. The loin is something we struggle to move in some markets, so that was an interesting idea I saw at the showcase. That may not work on a large scale, but it shows that there are different ideas out there and foodservice operators aren’t afraid to try new things. That’s what we like to see.”

U.S. pork’s status among Latin American consumers and foodservice professionals was striking, Reicks noted.

“I had some very positive experiences talking about our products and one of the takeaways from my experience at the showcase is that it is good to know how positive the image of U.S. pork is in many of these countries,” he said.

While Halstrom and other USMEF staff in Latin America are veterans of the event, one new staff member working in an important Latin American market left his first showcase with a very positive impression.

“I’ve been to events like this in the past on behalf of other organizations, but this one really rates as something that tops all of those, mainly because of its efficiency,” said Don Mason, who has been USMEF’s representative in Colombia since September. “The idea is pretty simple: USMEF just puts buyer and seller together and lets them have conversations, share product ideas and work on getting deals done. And deals are getting done just because of this show, that’s the great thing about it. There’s a lot of value to it, not matter what side of the export-import business you are on.”

Along with two days of introductions and discussions on the showcase floor, attendees learned about global meat trade and the marketing of red meat in keynote presentations held on both days of the event.

The opening day program featured Josue Merced-Reyes, president of Inter E Marketing, who presented on reaching the millennial generation, a group that will “live, work and, most importantly, eat in a digital world.” Merced-Reyes shared advice on how food companies can convert traditional product marketing strategies to consumer-centric digital strategies. He also discussed new technologies that are affecting food business supply, distribution and retail decision-making.

On the second day, Maggie O’Quinn of Midan Marketing presented “The Nutritional, Environmental and Emotional Case for U.S. Meat: Why Our Newest Competitors Represent Our Future Opportunities.” O’Quinn encouraged the industry to anticipate the ways that tomorrow’s consumers are already redefining the meat industry. She reminded the audience that many consumers who are trying “replacement” meat are still meat eaters and the industry should not make the mistake of dismissing these consumers as a lost opportunity.

On new “fake” meats that she labels as meat industry “disruptors,” O’Quinn suggested the U.S. meat industry promote what meat has that lab-created plant-and cell-based alternatives don’t: no artificial ingredients, all natural, juicy texture and unbeatable flavor.”

“We are in the flavor business,” she pointed out. “Eating is a sensory experience designed not only to fuel our bodies but bring humans pleasure. When we focus on creating an emotional connection with consumers, we win.”

Even before this edition of the Latin American Product Showcase ended, exhibitors and attendees were already asking about the 2020 show.

“It’s gotten so popular that companies want to start planning for it and they are counting on it as part of their business strategy for the year,” said Gerardo Rodriquez, USMEF marketing director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “That says a lot about where we started with this showcase and what we have built it up to be, where exporters and importers from two dozen countries are excited about these two days and look forward to it.”

Elizabeth Wunderlich, USMEF Caribbean representative, reminded participants that next year’s showcase will represent the magical one-decade mark.

“In almost 10 years, we have seen it become what we had hoped it would become,” said Wunderlich. “Now we are going to do what we have done each of the previous years of the show’s existence – work to make it even better next year.”

ASA, Corteva Agriscience Seek Young Leader Applicants

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Corteva Agriscience are seeking applicants for the 2019-20 Young Leader Program.

The Young Leader Program, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and ASA, is a two-phase educational program for actively farming individuals and couples who are passionate about the future possibilities of agriculture. The women and men who participate in this program are the leaders who shape the future of agriculture.

“The training and interaction with fellow growers and ASA leaders this past year has been an invaluable asset to me personally, and a source of new ideas and avenues for my family farm,” Stuart Sanderson (AL), Class of ‘19 said.

Phase I of the 2019-20 Young Leader program takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana Dec. 3-6, 2019. The program continues Feb. 25–29, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

“The Young Leader program has had a tremendous impact on agriculture and we are grateful to Corteva Agriscience for continuing to invest in our future leaders,” ASA President Davie Stephens said. “The program encouraged and trained many soybean farmers guiding the industry today. The Young Leader program is special because it focuses on building the grower’s potential, while helping create meaningful and lifelong relationships with growers from across the U.S. and Canada.”

Soybean grower couples and individuals are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, the latest agricultural information and the development of a strong peer network. Spouses, even those not employed full-time on farm, are encouraged to attend and will be active participants in all elements of the program.

ASA, its 26 state affiliates, the Grain Farmers of Ontario and Corteva Agriscience will work together to identify the top producers to represent their state as part of this program.

“The young leader program cultivates agriculture advocates and has played a pivotal role in developing the next generation of engaged grower leaders for over three decades. Corteva Agriscience is proud of our longstanding collaboration with the American Soybean Association and is proud to support the young leader program,” said Matt Rekeweg, U.S. Industry Affairs Leader.

Applications are being accepted online now. Interested applicants should click here for additional program information and to apply.

NBB Strongly Disagrees with Commerce's Preliminary Decision to Change Argentine Biodiesel Duty Rates

The National Biodiesel Board's (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition today criticized the U.S. Department of Commerce's preliminary decision in a "changed circumstances" review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. Commerce preliminarily found that Argentina's recent changes to its export tax regime eliminated certain government subsidies provided to Argentina's biodiesel producers. If these results are made final, Commerce would reduce the existing countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel from their current average of 72% to 10%.

In a companion review of the antidumping duty order, Commerce did not propose to change the antidumping duty rates that are currently in effect, which average 75%. The reduced countervailing duty rates would be applied in addition to the existing antidumping rates, resulting in a total average rate of 85%.

Kurt Kovarik, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, stated, "NBB and the Fair Trade Coalition strongly disagree with Commerce's proposal to virtually eliminate countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel. This appears to be an unprecedented and unjustified accommodation to Argentinian producers that threatens to harm U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers. Throughout this review, NBB has made the case that Argentina continues to massively subsidize its domestic biodiesel producers. Commerce's proposal to eliminate trade protections for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers is difficult to understand at a time when the Trump administration is asking them to bear huge economic costs from trade disruptions."

Kovarik added: "The trade enforcement and protection had been a bright spot this year for U.S. biodiesel producers and soybean farmers who were negatively impacted by other trade disruptions. Despite the uncertainty created when Commerce launched this review last November, U.S. producers have stepped up to the plate and increased production nearly every month since mid-2017. We are struggling to understand why Commerce is reopening the door for subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina."

The countervailing duty cash deposit rates will not change as a result of the preliminary decision; any rate changes would become effective with a final determination, currently due in September.

Ethanol Outlook Weak Amid Sluggish Demand

Operating margins for ethanol producers will likely remain weak for the remainder of 2019 under the weight of abundant production. Declining corn production this year will also squeeze margins and some ethanol plants will be forced to shut down or idle their production due to high corn prices or insufficient supplies.

According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, exports remain one area of optimism for ethanol producers, but that optimism is based on China’s plans to convert to E10 blend gasoline nationally by the end of 2020. In the meantime, domestic U.S. ethanol demand will likely be flat over the next two years.

“For margins to go up, supply will need to go down,” said Will Secor, economist, grain and farm supply, for CoBank. “This will be a painful process for some higher-cost producers as they look to reduce production or exit the industry. Consolidation and a slow grind to higher margins will be themes in the coming years as the industry works through changes to absorb excess production capacity.”

Ethanol plants had expanded capacity after several years of positive margins. However, margins began sliding in the summer of 2018 and plants have struggled to remain profitable since then. With stocks expected to remain above 900 million gallons through the remainder of 2019, margins are expected remain low.

One potential growth area is E15, as this fuel blend containing 15% ethanol can now be sold year-round. Some retailers will need to invest in additional infrastructure to support E15 sales and will have to weigh the costs of new pumps, tanks or other equipment against the potential profits from offering E15.

Increased demand for ethanol due to E15 will be limited in the next three years as retailers make these investments and consumer acceptance builds. Longer-term, the E15 fuel market will be able to provide stronger support to ethanol plant margins.

Persistent, low margins will also drive ethanol plants to diversify their revenue streams. “The ethanol plant of today could turn into the corn bio-refinery of tomorrow,” said Secor. “One could expect co-product offerings to expand and investments in these co-product lines to increase. These co-product investments may include equipment to produce high-protein dried distiller grain with solubles, corn oil optimization, and new buyers for carbon dioxide.”

No comments:

Post a Comment