Saturday, August 17, 2019

Friday August 16 Ag News

USDA Reports 400,000 Acres of Prevented Plant Cropland in Nebraska
Jim Jansen - NE Agricultural Systems Economics Extension Educator

Crop producers across Nebraska reported more than 400,000 acres of prevented plant land in 2019, according to data published this week by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In total, the USDA reported more than 19.3 million acres of prevented plant cropland across the United States for the current growing season. Nationally, Nebraska ranked 16th among states with prevented plant acres.

South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Arkansas accounted for about half of the prevented plant land in the United States with approximately 9.5 million acres. South Dakota led the United States with about 3.8 million acres, more than twice that of any other state. Corn, soybeans, and wheat were the top three prevented plant crops accounting for 17.7 million acres. Traditional grain belt regions reported the largest share of prevented plant acres in the United States.

Prevented Plant Acres in Nebraska

As of August 1, the USDA Farm Service Agency reported 417,125 acres of prevented plant land in Nebraska, 407,522 of which would have been planted to the state’s major row crops. Eleven of Nebraska’s 93 counties reported more than 11,000 acres each of prevented plant.

Holt County accounted for 47,292 acres or over 10% of the state’s total. Areas of northeast Nebraska, including Holt County, had an unusually wet fall followed by a series of heavy spring rains that didn’t allow for fieldwork. From October 1 to August 15, O'Neill has had 33.35 inches of precipitation, according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. This compares to a 30-year normal (1981-2010) of 21.40 inches. Atkinson has had 29.42 inches, compared to a normal of 20.82 inches.

The top five Nebraska counties with prevented plant acres are: Holt - 47,292 acres, Merrick - 27,011 acres, Pierce - 17,207 acres, Burt - 14,759 acres, and Richardson - 14,487 acres.   Other area county acreage toals include:
Dodge - 13,156
Washington - 11,790
Madison - 7,881
Platte - 7,798
Butler - 7,106
Saunders - 6,265
Colfax - 5,404
Douglas - 4,135    
Cuming - 3,845    
Cedar - 3,699
Stanton - 1,819
Wayne - 1,185
Dixon - 995
Thurston - 859
Dakota - 720

The number of prevented planted acres across the state varied, depending on a county’s location. A considerable amount of prevent planted acres occurred in counties that bordered or incorporated streams, rivers, or other bodies of water. These areas included counties along the northern and eastern tier of the state bordering the Niobrara and Missouri rivers between Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Roads, bridges, and municipalities also suffered excessive damages in these counties as well as across Nebraska.

Considerations for Producers

Producers facing prevented plant or failed cropland acreages need to maintain good communication on disaster-related issues with their crop insurance agent and local USDA FSA service center. Also, other federal, state or local authorities may need to be informed. Maintaining direct lines of communication with the appropriate government entity or insurance company ensures producers understand their rights and responsibilities on properties impacted by a natural disaster.

Ricketts to Meet with Nebraska’s Vietnamese Community Ahead of Trade Mission

On Monday, Governor Pete Ricketts will meet with members of Nebraska’s Vietnamese community ahead of his upcoming trade mission to Vietnam and Japan. 

With the economy in Vietnam growing at a rapid rate, agricultural export totals have increased dramatically in the past two years.  Between 2017 and 2018, Nebraska saw a growth of 127% in beef exports alone, proving there is tremendous opportunity for growth in Nebraska ag exports to Vietnam.  What’s more, Nebraska’s own Vietnamese community has continued to grow and flourish, which supports Nebraska’s economy through job growth, entrepreneurship, homeownership, and tax contributions.

Governor Ricketts, along with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, will be visiting Vietnam to continue promoting Nebraska’s agricultural exports to Vietnam.  

Terminating a Verbal Farm Land Lease

Allan Vyhnalek - Extension Educator, Farm/Ranch Succession and Transition

Some farm leases are not written, but are verbal or "handshake" agreements. Because nothing is in writing, the parties may have different recollections of their agreement, making lease disputes more difficult to resolve.

The most common legal issue associated with verbal farm leases is how a lease may legally be terminated. For both year-to-year leases and holdover leases, six months advance notice must be given to legally terminate the lease. However, the lease date (the date from which the six months is counted) is different. In contrast, the termination of a written lease is determined by the terms of the written lease.

Terminating Verbal Leases
For year-to-year verbal leases, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that the lease year begins March 1. Notice to a tenant to vacate under a verbal or handshake year-to-year lease (legally referred to as a "notice to quit") must be given six months in advance of the end of the lease, or no later than Sept 1. This rule applies regardless of the crop planted. Those with winter wheat should consider providing notice before it is time to prepare wheat ground for planting.

For example, for the lease year beginning March 1, 2019, and ending Feb. 28, 2020, notice from the landlord that the lease will be terminated would have to be given to (and received by) the tenant no later than Sept. 1, 2019. The lease would then expire Feb. 28, 2020, with the new tenant (or new buyer) able to take over the lease March 1, 2020. If, however, the notice to quit were given (or received) after Sept. 1, 2019, the existing tenant would have the lease until February 28, 2021.

It is recommended that the farmland lease be terminated by Registered Mail™. This means that the person receiving the letter signs for it, providing evidence that the termination notice was received.

Pasture Lease Terminations

Handshake or verbal leases are different for pastures. The typical pasture lease is for the five-month grazing season. The lease is only in effect for that time, so the lease is terminated at the end of the grazing season; however, different lease length arrangements can be made in a written lease, and that would be followed if in effect.

Regardless of the type of lease — written, verbal, or even multiple year — the landlord should have clear communication with the tenant. By sending a termination notice before Sept. 1, even for written leases, you can avoid any miscommunication or pitfalls.

Written Leases

In all instances, written leases would be preferred over oral or “handshake” leases. Sample leases are available in the Document Library at and can help both parties start thinking about the appropriate lease conditions for their situation. The site was developed by university extension specialists in the North Central Region.

Three Board Members Elected to Nebraska Soybean Board After July Vote

The Nebraska Soybean Board held an election in July for board members in District 4. Nebraska soybean farmers in those districts voted with the following results:

District 2 (Counties of Burt, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Stanton, Thurston, Wayne)
Candidates:  Jason Penke, Craig, NE – Burt County Elected

District 4 (Counties of Boone, Hamilton, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, York)
Candidates:  Eugene Goering, Columbus, NE – Platte County Re-elected
Mark Stock, St. Edward, NE – Platte County

District 8 (Counties of Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Box Butte, Brown, Chase, Cherry, Cheyenne, Custer, Dawson, Dawes, Deuel, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Greeley, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Howard, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Morrill, Perkins, Phelps, Red Willow, Rock, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Thomas, Valley, Wheeler)
Candidates:  Clay Govier, Broken Bow, NE – Custer County Elected

Elected board members Jason Penke and Clay Govier will begin their first term on the board while reelected board member Eugene Goering will begin his third.

“I am glad to see 12% of the soybean farmers in District 4 exercised their right to vote for their next representing board member,” said Victor Bohuslavsky, executive director of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “A good voter turnout translates to positive support for your soybean checkoff. It is also exciting to have soybean farmers interested in serving on the Nebraska Soybean Board.”

The elected board members will serve a three-year term beginning Oct. 1, 2019 and ending Sept. 30, 2022.

Ricketts appoints Adam Grabenstein to the Nebraska Corn Board

Gov. Pete Ricketts recently appointed Adam Grabenstein, from Farnam, to the District 5 region of the Nebraska Corn Board, which consists of Buffalo, Dawson, Hall, Howard and Sherman counties. Grabenstein replaced Tim Scheer, from St. Paul, who served on the board since 2007 and chose not to seek reappointment. Additionally, Debbie Borg, from Allen, was reappointed to serve as the District 4 director and David Bruntz, from Friend, was reappointed to serve as the District 1 director.

“It’s so encouraging to have a dynamic and passionate board that works hard to enhance our state’s corn industry,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “We will definitely miss Tim, as he has contributed a lot to our state’s corn checkoff. However, we look forward to the new perspective Adam will bring to the group.”

Grabenstein is the fifth generation operating his family farm, which is located in Frontier and Dawson counties. On his farm, he grows corn and cover crops, and manages a cow/calf operation and a cattle feedlot near Farnam. In 2005, the Grabenstein family was recognized with the ASKARBEN Foundation’s Pioneer Farm Award, which recognizes Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for 100 years.

He earned degrees in diversified agriculture and agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2005. Grabenstein is also a graduate of the Nebraska Lead Program class 37. Adam and his wife, Kelsey, are the parents of three children: Fletcher, Rowdy and Stella.

“I chose to apply for the open director position because I wanted to be a better advocate for Nebraska’s ag industry,” said Grabenstein. “As a farmer and cattle producer, I know firsthand we need to do a better job of sharing our story of production agriculture. I look forward to serving Nebraska’s corn producers in a progressive way but in a manner that preserves the family farm legacy.”

Nebraska Corn Board directors serve three-year terms with opportunities to be reappointed. In addition to the new director appointments, the Nebraska Corn Board held officer elections at its August board meeting.

David Bruntz, District 1 director, was reelected as chairman of the board. Bruntz has been farming for more than 30 years near Friend, Nebraska. He grows irrigated and non-irrigated corn and soybeans, and he also feeds cattle. Bruntz received his education from UNL’s Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. He has been with the Board since 2013.

Brandon Hunnicutt, District 3 director, was reelected as vice chair of the Nebraska Corn Board. Hunnicutt farms near Giltner with his father and brother. Hunnicutt is a fourth-generation farmer and the operation has been in the family for over 100 years. On his farm, Hunnicutt grows corn, popcorn, seed corn and soybeans. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UNL and has served on the Nebraska Corn Board since 2014.

Jay Reiners, at large director, was elected secretary/treasurer of the board. Reiners farms near Juniata, where he grows field corn, seed corn and soybeans. He has been farming for over 30 years and is the fourth generation managing the family farm. He graduated with an associate’s degree in general agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The officer positions are effective immediately and will last one year. The Nebraska Corn Board is made up of nine farmer directors. Eight members represent specific Nebraska districts and are appointed by the Governor of Nebraska. The Board elects a ninth at large member.

This Week's Drought Summary

Aug 15, 2019 -

Rainfall this week was highly variable across the eastern two-thirds of the country, which is not unusual during summer. Heavy rain was common in the High Plains, and from the Texas Panhandle and central Oklahoma northward in the Great Plains. Generally 2 to locally 5 inches of rain soaked the Plains from northern and eastern Kansas northward into the central Dakotas, and similar totals were spottier in central Montana, in the middle Mississippi Valley, across northern Minnesota, from the central Ohio Valley through the central Appalachians, over northern New England, and from the Florida Peninsula into southeastern Georgia. Scattered to isolated amounts of 2 to 3 inches were observed from the western half of Tennessee southward to the central Gulf Coast. Farther east, despite isolated moderate rains, only a few tenths of an inch fell on most of the upper Southeast, southern Appalachians, Carolinas, and middle Atlantic region. Several patches from northern California through the Pacific Northwest and northern Idaho recorded 0.5 to locally 2 inches, but most sites received light rain at best. The central and southern Sections of the Rockies and Intermountain West also observed generally light precipitation while no measurable rainfall was almost universal from the Red River to the Rio Grande in Texas, and in central and southern sections of California. The total area enduring abnormal dryness and drought increased, most noticeably in the Ohio Valley, the Midwest, and Texas. Widespread improvement was limited to a broad swath of Alaska from interior northeastern sections to near the Aleutians.


Abnormal dryness continued the recent trend of expansion, and a few areas of moderate drought were introduced. Several patches were brought in to central and eastern Iowa, and adjacent Illinois, along with smaller, more-isolated regions in eastern Illinois and northern Indiana. Meanwhile, abnormal dryness stretched to cover most areas from central Iowa eastward to central Indiana and southwestern Michigan, plus portions of southwestern Ohio, southern Indiana and adjacent Kentucky, sections of northern and eastern Michigan, and northeastern Minnesota. The last 30 days brought only 0.5 to 2.0 inches of rain to the broad strip from central Iowa through western Indiana, in addition to east-central Michigan and the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula.

High Plains

Several inches of rain doused a broad area from eastern Kansas northwestward through South Dakota, western North Dakota, and the northern High Plains. Dryness and drought were confined to central and southern Kansas, east-central Nebraska, and northern North Dakota, where a small area of severe drought was introduced. In contrast to areas farther north, central and south-central Kansas recorded only 0.5 to locally 2.0 inches of rain since mid-July.

Looking Ahead

During the next 5 days (August 15 - 20, 2019) should bring heavy rains of at least 1.5 inches across the central Great Plains and much of the Midwest, with 3 to 5 inches forecast from northwestern Missouri and adjacent areas northward through central and eastern Iowa. Amounts exceeding 1.5 inches are also forecast for the Mississippi Delta and along the immediate Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts. A few patches along the Atlantic Coast from southeastern Georgia through North Carolina should receive 3 to 4 inches. Moderate rains of 0.5 inch or more are anticipated in parts of upstate New York, northern New England, and inland areas near the central Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts. Similar amounts are expected in most of the western Great Lakes, Midwest, Great Plains from Kansas into the central Dakotas, and upper Mississippi Valley. A few tenths of an inch should fall on the middle Atlantic region, the rest of the central and northern Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, and parts of central and northern Texas and adjacent Oklahoma. Little or no rain is expected in the rest of the 48 contiguous states, including the interior Southeast, the Ohio Valley, southern Texas, and most areas from the Rockies westward. Daytime high temperatures should average 3°F to 6°F below normal in the northern one-third of the Plains, and near 3°F below normal in north-central Florida. In contrast, daily highs are forecast to average around 3°F above normal in the middle Atlantic region, and 3°F to locally 9°F above normal from the southern half of the Great Plains westward through most of the Rockies, the Intermountain West, the Great Basin, and California away from the immediate coast.

The CPC 6-10 day outlook (August 21 -25, 2019) favors above-normal precipitation in the Alaskan Panhandle, parts of the Pacific Northwest, the northern Great Plains, the Mississippi Valley, southeast Texas, the Ohio Valley, the Southeast, and the middle Atlantic region. Meanwhile, enhanced chances for subnormal precipitation cover most of Alaska, although no tilt of the odds in either direction is indicated from the Kenai Peninsula westward through the Borough of Dillingham. Below normal precipitation chances are also elevated in upstate New York, most of New England, the central and southern Great Plains from central Texas through southwestern South Dakota, most of the High Plains, and the central Rockies. Neither precipitation extreme is favored elsewhere. Above-normal temperatures are favored across most of the country, with elevated chances for subnormal temperatures restricted to northwestern Montana, most of central and eastern Alaska, and the northern Alaska Peninsula. Neither positive nor negative temperature anomalies are favored in parts of the northern Rockies and in the lower Mississippi Valley.

Late August Heat Is Reminder to Keep Livestock Cool

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

The summer heat will return to most of Iowa over the coming weekend and into next week, according to the National Weather Service.

Highs are expected to approach 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and even though that’s cooler than the stretch of hot days the state saw back in July, producers should still prepare.

Each species of livestock reacts to heat differently. However, the common principle is to maintain good ventilation, provide shade and access to clean, cool water, and limit moving animals during the hottest hours of the day.

Swine care

Pigs do not have sweat glands, making them especially susceptible to heat stress, according to Jason Ross, director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University. Swine producers commonly rely on cooling fans and evaporative cooling systems that help the animal to increase evaporative heat loss and stay cool, and keeping the system running at optimal levels is critical during periods of extreme heat.

Ross suggests producers make sure all controllers and fans are functioning properly, including any misters or cooling cells, and be sure that the backup generators are ready to operate, in the event of a power outage.

Beef cattle

Compared to swine, cattle can tolerate higher temperature at lower relative humidity, because cattle can dissipate their body heat more effectively by sweating. However, cattle are more prone to stress when the humidity rises, and need the same level of care as other livestock.

Common solutions for cattle include access to clean, cool water, shade and good ventilation. Avoid moving cattle during the daytime and afternoon, when temperatures are at the highest, because the energy cattle expend while moving will cause even more stress.

This may be a good time to install some additional fans or water misting systems, or to make sure the systems you have are fully functioning.

Evaluate your cattle in the morning and again in the afternoon to make sure they are coping with the heat. Pay close attention, as the rapid change in temperature may catch some at-risk cattle (cattle at end of feeding period or cattle with previous respiratory disease) dealing with excessive heat stress.

Dairy cattle

Access to cool, clean water is vital for dairy cows during periods of high heat. A dairy cow consumes up to 50% of her daily water intake within an hour after milking, so providing fresh, clean water at the parlor exit is an excellent way to encourage water consumption.

Fans and sprinkler systems are commonly used on dairy farms, but must be properly installed and functional to provide the necessary air and water movement.

The idea is to soak the cow to her skin and turn the water off for a long enough period to allow the moving air to dry her. While drying, heat is removed from the skin during the evaporation process, cooling the cow. When people climb out of a swimming pool and experience a chill until their skin dries, they are experiencing the same process.

More information is available through the ISU Extension and Outreach dairy team website, and the article called “Heat Stress Is a Profit Robber for Dairymen.”


Like swine, poultry do not have sweat glands and therefore cannot rid their body of heat by sweating. Birds are subject to heat stress when the humidity and air temperature rise uncontrollably. They often respond by panting, which may help, but also expends energy and requires the bird to consume more water, to account for moisture lost through panting.

High humidity decreases poultry heat loss from the lungs, which makes the birds more prone to heat stress. For older turkeys, temperatures at 85 F with humidity above 50% is considered the danger zone. At 90 F and 50% humidity, the risk increases to extreme.

Airflow and ventilation are key to managing poultry during hot weather. Producers also may want to feed at night, or after temperatures begin to fall.

Feed and water supplements may also be necessary. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, electrolytes can be added to a flock’s drinking water for up to three days. Potassium chloride electrolytes appear to increase water intake when provided in drinking water at 0.6% concentration. You should start providing electrolytes prior to the heat stress period.

Sodium bicarbonate in the feed, or use of carbonated water, is especially useful for hens in egg production. Panting and carbon dioxide release can change the acid-base balance in poultry, and also the bicarbonate available for egg shell formation. Providing sodium bicarbonate can help lessen these changes.

Statement from Under Secretary Greg Ibach Regarding Kansas Beef Facility Fire

USDA is closely monitoring the effects of a fire at a large beef packing facility in Holcomb, Kansas. USDA has been in contact with plant management and other stakeholders since the fire, and we understand production will shift to other plants to accommodate cattle that were committed to the Holcomb facility. USDA is prepared to provide additional staffing necessary to support grading and auditing services at the alternate locations.

USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division (PSD) will continue to monitor cattle prices and procurement activities and will remain vigilant for any livestock marketing entities seeking to unfairly take advantage of the situation. If USDA detects any unfair practices, we will quickly investigate and take appropriate enforcement action. Producers or sellers can contact the PSD Western Regional Office at (303) 375-4240 at any time regarding payment or contract concerns.

As the cattle industry adjusts, USDA stands ready to assist our customers however we can.

Pro Farmer Tours to Assess Impact of Severe Planting Delays

Pro Farmer scouts will blanket the countryside to measure this year's corn and soybean yield potential during the 27th annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, Aug. 19-22. The tour is conducted each year by Pro Farmer, a Farm Journal company, and is a closely watched late-summer ritual covering seven Midwestern states and the most thorough in-field inspection of yield potential during a critical time in the growing season. Planting delays throughout the Midwest have heightened attention on this year's tour nationally and beyond. After adjusting sharply to USDA's Aug. 12 reports, the attention of market watchers and the commodity trade will now focus on data coming out of Crop Tour.

"We go into this year's Crop Tour knowing the crop is significantly delayed in maturity in many areas," said Brian Grete, Pro Farmer editor. "Typically, the less mature the crop is when we pull samples, the more difficult it is to gauge final yield potential. In some cases this year, corn will have just pollinated as we work our way across the Corn Belt."

Jeff Wilson, Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst, added, "We pull enough samples to provide representative data for a large geographic area. With USDA not conducting objective yield sampling in August this year, Crop Tour will provide the first large-scale field-level yield data for the 2019 crop. That's important to all of agriculture."

More than 100 scouts, industry experts and media reporters will cover approximately 2,000 fields across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. A summary of Pro Farmer's Midwest Crop Tour findings will be presented at Rochester International Events Center Aug. 22 in Rochester, Minn. 

Pro Farmer's national crop production estimates will be released Aug. 23 on and published in the Aug. 24 issue of the Pro Farmer newsletter. A summary of the Crop Tour findings also will appear in the September issue of Top Producer magazine.

Pioneer has been Crop Tour's premier sponsor since 2008. Other sponsors include IBM, RCIS, Farm Credit Services of America, RAM, AeroVironment, Farmobile and Titan Tires.


On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its long-awaited proposal to increase flexibility for truckers by revising the rules around the amount of time they can drive their loads and when they are required to rest between drives. Among the changes sought by livestock groups, including the National Pork Producers Council,  is additional flexibility for livestock haulers who encounter unexpected, adverse driving conditions and the ability to divide the mandatory, 10 hours of rest into separate segments.

The FMCSA proposal does both: It addresses the challenge of adverse weather by expanding not just the driving time, but also the overall on-duty time for drivers to finish their delivery. The proposed rule also allows truckers to split up their 10-hour mandatory rest period into two periods (one being at least 7 hours long), and creates an option for drivers to take an extended break between 30 minutes and 3 hours, which pauses their on-duty clock. This will allow drivers the option of resting when tired while providing greater flexibility for completing deliveries and maintaining high animal welfare standards. It will also help drivers better manage their schedules when waiting, either to unload a delivery or at a truck wash station.

NPPC says the Trump administration's proposal is a smart, common-sense approach to maintain highway safety and provides much-needed options for drivers to comply with Hours of Service rules in a variety of situations that allow them to safely and humanely transport the animals in their care. NPPC thanks the Trump administration for their continued efforts to balance safety and the need for flexibility, and we look forward to continuing to work them to finalize these important changes.

Comments will be due within 45 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register, expected on Aug. 20.


Earlier this week, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton was in London, helping to lay the groundwork as the U.S. and U.K are working on trade negotiations. He met with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Trade Secretary Liz Truss, among other officials. During his visit, Bolton said the U.K. would be "first in line" for a trade deal with the U.S. once it has left the EU. Bolton said the purpose of the visit was to "convey President Trump's desire to see a successful exit from the European Union for the United Kingdom on October 31."

In October 2018, the White House announced plans to negotiate a trade agreement with the U.K. NPPC is supportive of negotiations, provided the agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff trade barriers on pork and embraces Codex and other international production standards. Additionally, NPPC seeks full recognition by the U.K. of the equivalence of U.K. and U.S. production practices for pork and acceptance of pork from all USDA-approved facilities.

USSEC Receives Agricultural Trade Promotion Funds

The U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) announced the allocation of $12,750,000 Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program funds. The newly released funds are in addition to the $21,882,165 million USSEC received in January 2019 and will be used by U.S. Soy to build new markets for U.S. soybean producers who have been impacted by tariffs and other trade barriers.

“U.S. soybean farmers have been disproportionately impacted by export uncertainty for the past year,” said Jim Sutter, CEO, USSEC. “This funding provides additional resources so we can continue to implement our short- and long-term strategies to help our farmers and industry members compete globally.”

This spring, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would begin accepting proposals for additional ATP program funds, which would help U.S. Soy access new markets for their products and mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ tariff and non-tariff barriers. Following the announcement, USSEC submitted a request for additional ATP funds which included detailed plans to increase U.S. soy market share and build demand for U.S. soy.

“Receiving additional ATP funds is a positive step forward for the present and future of U.S. Soy,” said Derek Haigwood, USSEC chairman and a farmer from Newport, Ark. “U.S. soybean farmers and exporters should know that USSEC is working hard on their behalf to build global demand and expand market access for U.S. soy products.”

“As we move forward, USSEC can now enhance our focus on expanding in global markets where we can have an impact and investing in markets that represent future growth opportunities,” Sutter said.

Trump Gave Green Light for Hardship Waivers: Reuters

President Donald Trump directly authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of 31 small refinery exemptions (SREs) last Friday, per a Reuters report. The action will eliminate demand for biofuels by an estimated 1.43 billion gallons, bringing the total losses due to the misallocation of waivers to over 4 billion gallons.

EPA has offered SREs to relieve small refineries of “economic hardship” caused by compliance with Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) since 2013. However, the number of approved exemptions has nearly quadrupled in the past six years, and many of the recent recipients are owned by multi-billion-dollar oil corporations.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson voiced opposition to the EPA’s announcement last week, saying that the misappropriation of waivers is “destroying our domestic market for renewable fuels” and “creating enormous stress in the countryside.” In response to today’s news, he reiterated his frustration with the administration’s actions to undermine RFS and American-grown biofuels.

”The Renewable Fuel Standard has been under attack for some time, but this most recent news is particularly egregious. The farm economy has been floundering for many years. Farmers are making half of what they were in 2013, and farm debt is the highest it has been since the 1980s farm crisis. Policies like RFS that expand markets for American agricultural products are meant to help farmers during difficult times such as these. For the EPA to undermine this program just when farmers need it most is rubbing salt in the wound.

“For the duration of his campaign and presidency, Donald Trump has declared his support and appreciation for American farmers and ranchers, frequently calling them ‘great patriots.’ But it has become abundantly clear that he is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He may say he loves farmers, but his actions say otherwise – in the past two and half years, his administration has destroyed our reputation as a reliable trading partner, and his EPA has sabotaged the American biofuels industry in order to line the pockets of oil executives. Together, these efforts have destroyed our markets and threatened our very livelihoods.”

Bakery Technician Joins U.S. Wheat Associates Team in South Asia

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), which represents the interests of U.S. wheat farmers in export markets, is pleased to announce that Mr. Adrian “Ady” Redondo recently joined the organization as a Bakery Technician in its Manila, Philippines, office.

USW Regional Vice President Joe Sowers said there is a strong connection between increased imports of U.S. wheat and the organization’s investment in technical milling and food production support, which is the role Redondo will play in the Philippines and across growing Southeast Asian markets.

“Our long-term effort to help customers improve their products and processes through technical support has helped established strong and consistent export markets for U.S. wheat farmers,” Sowers said. “We are expanding our technical support team in South Asia to provide similar returns. Ady will spend a lot of time working closely with our experienced technicians in the region, but his professional experience in food technology and interpersonal skills will serve   him — and the wheat farmers we represent — very well in what we hope will be a long career with U.S. Wheat Associates.”

Born in the Philippines, Redondo earned a bachelor’s of science degree in food technology from the University of the Philippines in 2001. He went on to amass experience in quality assurance, research and development, production and sales in the thriving Philippines food and bakery industries. Most recently, Redondo was a key accounts manager with Ingredion Philippines, Inc., a global ingredient solutions company manufacturing starches, sweeteners, nutrition and biomaterial ingredients for food, pharmaceuticals and industrial applications.

Ram Truck Kicks Off Second 'Ram Ag Season' with New Video

As the truck that is "Built to Serve," Ram's dedication to help serve and support farm families across the nation continues to grow. Ram kicks off the second annual "Ram Ag Season" with a new spot "Done Right," which celebrates the selfless commitment to hard work that our nation's farmers make each and every single day.

Featuring three real-life family-owned-and-operated Michigan farms and ranches, the video takes viewers through the farmers' daily lives and, while there may not be a supervisor telling them what to do as the sun rises each day, there is work telling them what needs to be done. From the weather to the topsoil, to the markets and the machinery, no matter what it may be, Ram trucks are there to help support and get the job done right.

"To the farming community, what they do every day is more than just a job, it is a way of life that requires hard work, perseverance and determination," said Marissa Hunter, Head of Marketing, FCA -- North America. "The Ram Truck brand knows and respects this. We work hard to provide the right trucks and proper support to these very people who have dedicated their lives to agriculture, and we are proud to celebrate these shared values in our dedicated Ag Season marketing campaign."

"Done Right" will air via broadcast as a 30-second commercial with an extended 60-second version to come, which can be viewed on Ram's official YouTube channel.

Ram's commitment to farming communities grows even stronger with a host of Ram-sponsored events and opportunities aimed squarely at lending support to the efforts of the nation's farmers, including the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., Aug. 27-29; Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 10-12; the Farm Science Review in London, Ohio, Sept. 17-19; and the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga., Oct. 15-17. Ram will also have a strong presence at the annual Future Farmers of America (FFA) convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 30-Nov. 2. The brand has been an active supporter of FFA for more than 60 years.

Information on the many Ram agricultural activities and programs can be found at the Ram Life website at

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