Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday August 29 Ag News

Northeast Nebraska Students Get an Up-Close Look at Agriculture at Ag Festival
More than 200 fifth graders from eight classrooms in Northeast Nebraska gained firsthand experience on where their food, fiber, and fuel come from by attending the third annual Growing Potential Agriculture Festival that was held in Wayne, Neb. on Aug. 29.

The annual festival is put together by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and the Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers Association, with 15 sponsors and volunteers coming together to help put on the successful event. The Wayne FFA Chapter also volunteered at the festival.

“Through this event, our organizations connect their common interest of agricultural literacy to offer a hands-on learning experience for Northeast Nebraska students. The aim is to create an understanding and knowledge of agriculture to prepare students to be informed citizens,” said Courtney Schaardt, director of outreach education at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

Students made their way around learning stations that covered different facets of agriculture. At one station, the students discovered how livestock, such as beef cattle and chickens, rely on corn to produce the products they enjoy. Other activities included exploring the machinery farmers use to plant and harvest corn, how farmers care for the land, and the importance of ethanol to Nebraska’s economy.

“This is our third year coming to this festival and each year it gets better and better,” said Nicholas Kleve, fifth grade teacher at Louis and Clark Elementary in South Sioux City, “The kids are exposed to so many different agricultural career opportunities they have here in Nebraska from business to science. There’s something for everyone.”

Schools participated from towns across Northeast Nebraska including Wayne, Wisner-Pilger, Hartington, and South Sioux City.

“Every year the festival continues to grow in importance as students no longer live on farms,” said Mitch Schweers, president of the Northeast Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “We are excited to provide an opportunity to showcase how students can connect with agriculture in our communities. We thank the agriculture groups who joined together to sponsor and volunteer at this event.”

Sponsors and volunteers include Channel, F&M Bank - Wayne, Farm Credit Services of America, Grossenberg Implement, Hefty Seed in Laurel, Hoegemeyer Hybrid, Michael Foods, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Pioneer, Sietec, Siouxland Ethanol, Wayne State Bank, Wayne FFA Chapter, and Wayne County Farm Bureau.


With recent announcements from North Dakota and Texas of cattle testing positive for anthrax, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is encouraging livestock owners to protect their animals by watching for this disease and by consulting with veterinarians about the use of vaccines.

Anthrax is a deadly disease caused by a spore-forming bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) that can remain alive, but dormant in the soil for years. The anthrax bacteria can contaminate soil and grass after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry conditions. Animals can ingest the bacteria by consuming contaminated grass and hay, or by inhaling spores.

“Although anthrax is rare, it is not uncommon,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes. “A few cases are reported in the United States almost every year. Fortunately, there’s an effective vaccine available. Producers are encouraged to discuss preventative vaccinations with their veterinarians. If anthrax is suspected and confirmed by your veterinarian in your livestock, you need to vaccinate as quickly as possible.”

Acute fever, staggering, difficulty breathing and seizures, followed by rapid death (usually within 48 hours), are all common signs of anthrax in livestock. After exposure to the anthrax bacteria, it usually takes three to seven days for animals to show symptoms of the disease. Anthrax can affect cattle, deer, other livestock, dogs and even people.

“Farmers and ranchers make it a priority to protect the health and safety of their animals,” said Dr. Hughes. “If a laboratory confirms the presence of anthrax, NDA will work closely with the affected livestock owner to stop movement of animals and implement control measures on the property. Control measures include removing animals from the pasture where anthrax deaths are suspected so spores can’t infect the remaining animals, vaccinations, and properly disposing of dead animals and infected materials.”

Since anthrax also carries a risk to people, those handling the anthrax vaccine, infected animals and/or contaminated animal products should do so with care. Wash hands thoroughly, wear long sleeves and gloves, do not move carcasses as that could release bacteria into the air, and do not salvage hides, horns, antlers, skulls or any other tissue from dead animals.

If you suspect anthrax in your livestock, immediately notify your local veterinarian or NDA at 402-471-2351.

For more information about anthrax, visit: and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

Northeast faculty, staff support Nexus project

The faculty and staff of Northeast Community College are stepping up in a big way to support the Nexus campaign for new agriculture facilities on the Norfolk campus.

Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Community College Foundation, announced this week that the staff and faculty have pledged $132,000 to the campaign. This follows last week’s announcement that the Acklie Charitable Foundation would provide a lead gift of $5 million for the $23 million project.

“Northeast employees have always been generous with their time, talent and treasure in support of the College,” Kruse said. “This financial investment in the Nexus campaign demonstrates both their commitment to the College, and the need they see for new facilities for the ag department.”

A kickoff event for faculty and staff was held earlier in the campaign, with food, games and information provided by the Nebraska Pork Producers, the Nebraska Cattlemen, the Cuming County Cattlemen, the Nebraska Corn Growers, the Nebraska Dairy Association, and Nebraska Farm Bureau. Several area businesses also supported the event, held in the Chuck M. Pohlman Ag Complex.

Long time ag faculty member Michael Lechner is one of those who has pledged his financial support for the Nexus project.

“The veterinary technology program is always at maximum enrollment,” Lechner said. “In my opinion the veterinary technology building located on the College farm is the least adequate building for teaching and learning at Northeast Community College. In general, the College farm has changed very little for decades.”

Mike Roeber, an animal science instructor at Northeast for the past 22 years, has also contributed to the Nexus campaign.

“This project will allow our faculty and staff to better prepare students for their post educational careers,” Roeber said.

Roeber was recently recognized as the top faculty member in the western region of the Association of Community College Trustees.

Nexus campaign co-chair Russ Vering said he was impressed by the support of the faculty and staff for the project. He said he once heard a speaker say that when the rate of change inside an organization is slower than the change outside, the end is near.

“Northeast staff and faculty have shown by their donations to Nexus that they are ready and preparing for rapid change,” Vering said.

Funding for the $23 million project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.

For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse,, 402-844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.


As the University of Nebraska–Lincoln reflects on its 150-year legacy of improving the quality of life for Nebraska and beyond, it’s also celebrating its longstanding connections to the people of the land. For some, those connections predate the establishment of Nebraska’s land-grant university.

The term “land-grant university” dates back to 1857, when Rep. Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont proposed a bill to expand access to higher education beyond the elite to the working class. The idea was to allow states to sell or lease unclaimed U.S. land, using the earnings to start a university. Through the Morrill Act of 1862 and the Nebraska Enabling Act of 1864, nearly 135,000 acres of land in 13 counties helped establish the University of Nebraska. Through a new project called Land-Grant Connects, the university is honoring those who now own or live on that land, much of which is in northeast Nebraska.

“The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s roots run deep across this state,” said Chuck Hibberd, dean and director of Nebraska Extension. “Through Land-Grant Connects, we’re exploring that history and celebrating those who live on the land that played such a key role in the beginning of our story, whom we continue to serve today.”

Today the land-grant mission is delivered through education, research and outreach through Nebraska Extension. On the Land-Grant Connects website,, a history of Nebraska’s land-grant process has been outlined. The site also features an interactive map of the 400 original land-grant parcels and stories highlighting the landowners. The university has also been publicly recognizing the landowners at county fairs throughout the summer.

Neva Winter’s family was recognized at the Madison County Fair in July. The family has lived on and worked the same land for the past 153 years — or six generations. Neva and her husband, Jim, bought the land — a few miles north of Norfolk, east of the North Fork Elkhorn River — from another family member in 1955 and farmed on it until Jim died in 2003. Their four daughters were raised in the farmhouse.

“The house was built in 1896, and then we added onto it about 42 years ago,” Winter said. “There’s over 40 (members) in my immediate family, so when we get together for family Christmas, it's too small now.”

The farm location was chosen after Godfried Winter and his sons Carl and Wilhelm traveled from Ixonia, Wisconsin. They were a part of a caravan of 53 wagons with 125 people that trekked to Madison County. When the settlers reached the North Fork Elkhorn River, they blindfolded the men and asked them to draw numbers from a hat to determine who would farm which lot. They each picked their number and went to work farming.

The farm ground is currently being rented, but Neva and her husband grew corn, soybeans and alfalfa on it. Corn and alfalfa were always grown on the land, Winter said, along with oats and wheat grown at various times.

Winter’s connection to the university runs deeper than the land. She was a 4-H leader for 15 years in sewing, helping her daughters and others make projects to bring to the Madison County Fair. Winter has also had multiple granddaughters attend the university and a grandson-in-law, Jim Brungardt, who was a member of the Husker football team.

Additional landowners will be recognized at the Nebraska State Fair on Sept. 1. An N150 pep rally at 2:30 p.m. will feature the Cornhusker Marching Band, Husker Spirit Squad, Herbie Husker and Lil’ Red, in addition to honoring those who live on the land originally granted to help establish the university.

To learn more about Land-Grant Connects, or if you are an owner of one of the land-grant parcels and want to share your story, visit

Public invited to fall listening sessions on university president search

Members of the NU community and public are encouraged to attend a series of listening sessions in early September to share their input on the search for the next president of the University of Nebraska.

The listening sessions, which will take place Sept. 3 through Sept. 9 across the four NU campuses, will be hosted by the Board of Regents together with the executive firm AGB Search. Feedback provided by faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the public at the sessions will help refine the criteria by which the Presidential Search Advisory Committee screens and evaluates candidates.

The fall sessions follow an initial series of listening sessions in June intended to gather input on the qualities and characteristics that NU stakeholders hope to see in the next president. Feedback from the June sessions, together with input from the 23-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, helped inform the development of a leadership profile now being used to attract candidates.

In a joint statement, Board of Regents Chairman Tim Clare of Lincoln and Vice Chairman Jim Pillen of Columbus said: “We hope Nebraskans will take advantage of this opportunity to help guide what we believe is a critical leadership search for our university and state.

“The feedback we’ve received so far has had a significant impact. We’re grateful to the many stakeholders who have engaged up to this point, and we look forward to hearing from many more throughout the process.”

Details on the listening sessions follow. While sessions are generally targeted to specific stakeholder groups, all sessions are open to all members of the University of Nebraska community and public.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tuesday, Sept. 3, Nebraska Union Auditorium, 1400 R St.
    8 to 9 a.m.: Open session
    9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Student session with UNL Regent Emily Johnson
    11 a.m. to Noon: Staff/administrator session
    12:30 to 1:30 p.m.: Alumni/community session
    2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Faculty session in conjunction with UNL Faculty Senate meeting

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Tuesday, Sept. 3, Truhlsen Campus Events Center, 619 S. 42nd St.
    9 to 10 a.m.: Alumni/community session
    10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Staff/administrator session
    Noon to 1 p.m.: Student session with UNMC Regent Keith Ozanne
    1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Open session
Monday, Sept. 9, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Conference Room, ground level
    5 to 6 p.m.: Faculty session in conjunction with UNMC Faculty Senate meeting

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Wednesday, Sept. 4, College of Public Affairs and Community Service Collaboration Space, Rooms 132 and 132D, 6320 Maverick Plaza
    9 to 10 a.m.: Open session
    10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Staff/administrator session
    Noon to 1 p.m.: Student session with UNO Regent Aya Yousuf
    2 to 3 p.m.: Faculty session in conjunction with UNO Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting
    3:30 to 4:30 p.m.: Alumni/community session

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Thursday, Sept. 5, Nebraskan Student Union, Antelope Room, 1013 W. 27th St.
    7 to 8 p.m.: Faculty session in conjunction with UNK Faculty Senate meeting
Friday, Sept. 6, Nebraskan Student Union, Room Ponderosa A, 1013 W. 27th St.
    9 to 10 a.m.: Open session
    10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Staff/administrator session
    Noon to 1 p.m.: Student session
    1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Alumni/community session

Individuals who are unable to attend any of the listening sessions are invited to submit feedback to

The next president will succeed Interim President Susan Fritz, who was formally installed on Friday following the departure of President Emeritus Hank Bounds.

2019 NeFU Fall District Meetings Schedule

District 6 Fall Meeting:  Native Winery 32, 789 7th Road, West Point, NE 68788
9 miles west of West Point, 1 mile north on 7th Road
Monday, September 16, 2019.
6:00-7:00 pm wine tasting with cheese & meat plates with meeting to follow.
·         Graham Christensen: District 6 Director’s Report including Costco latest bad news financing efforts, Regenerative Ag, & Citizen Scientist Water Quality Testing
·         Julie Hindmarsh & Laura Thomas: NFU Fly-In Report
·         NeFU President John Hansen:  Report on state and national issues, & Lancaster County CAFO Task Force
 NeFU District 6 Business:
·         Election of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more information, call Paul Poppe (402) 380-4508.

District 7 Fall Meeting: Perkins Restaurant, 1229 West Omaha Avenue, Norfolk
Thursday, September 19, 2019. 6:00 pm Supper on your own with meeting to follow.
(Please attend this meeting so you can help with ideas to host the state convention.)
·         Martin Kleinschmit: District 7 Director’s Last Report (Martin is retiring)
·         Art & Helen Tanderup:  NFU Fly-in report
·         NeFU President John Hansen:  Report on state and national issues.
NeFU District 7 Business:
·         Nominations for Dist. 7 Director (3 year term elected by #7 delegates at state convention)
·         Election of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more info, call Art Tanderup (402) 278-0942 or (402) 887-1396.

District 5 Fall Meeting:  The Eatery, 2548 S 48th St, Lincoln, NE 68506
Monday, September 23, 2019.  6:00 pm supper on your own with meeting to follow
·          Ben Gotschall: District 5 Director’s Report
·         Camdyn Kavan: NFU Fly-In Report
·         NeFU President John Hansen: Report on state and national issues and Lancaster County CAFO Task Force.
NeFU District 5 Business:
·         Election of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer
·         Select 2 delegate candidates to NFU Convention—elected by NeFU convention delegates
Bring a friend, neighbor or family member that needs to get active in NeFU.
For more information, call Ben Gotschall (402) 705-8679.

Nebraska Farmers Union State Convention - Dec '19
·         NeFU Policy Development Day, Thursday, December 5, 2019
·         NeFU State Convention:  Friday-Saturday, December 6-7, 2019  
·         Divots Conference Center, 4200 West Norfolk Avenue, Norfolk, NE 68701
·         (402) 379-3833 Reservations for Norfolk Lodge & Suites (connected to Divots)

National Farmers Union Convention - March '20
·         NFU Convention, March 1-3, 2020   The Hyatt Regency, Savanah, GA
·         (912) 238-1234 for Reservations, 2 W. Bay Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401

Fischer on USDA Investigation into Market Manipulation Following Tyson Holcomb Plant Fire

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the USDA’s antitrust enforcement division would examine whether market manipulation occurred following a fire earlier this month at a Tyson beef processing plant in Holcomb, Kansas:

“After this devastating fire occurred, I called for commodity market oversight to help ensure market participants are not taking advantage of our ag producers. I am pleased to see that Secretary Perdue will be taking a thorough look at potential anti-competitive behavior to protect Nebraskans. It’s the right thing to do.”

Secretary Perdue directed USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division to investigate collusion or other unfair practices pertaining to beef pricing margins following the fire. In recent weeks, profit margins for producers have shrunk as prices paid for live cattle have fallen while beef prices have remained high.

The fire occurred on August 9 at a Tyson Foods plant, which operated at approximately 6,000 head/day or 375 head/hour. Following the fire, Senator Fischer wrote letters to Chairman Heath Tarbert of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Administrator Raymond P. Martinez of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, calling for commodity market oversight and flexibility for livestock haulers.

R-CALF USA Statement Regarding USDA Investigation of Tyson Fire Aftermath

Today, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement regarding Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it would investigate beef pricing margins in the aftermath of the August 9 fire that shut down the Tyson beef packing plant in Holcomb, Kansas.

"Like others in the industry, R-CALF USA has been very concerned by the packers' market activity following the fire at Tyson's Holcomb, Kan. plant, and the impact that activity has had on cattle producers across the country. It therefore welcomes the USDA's announcement that it is investigating the packers' conduct in the aftermath of the fire. While the industry awaits the outcome of that investigation, R-CALF USA will continue to fight alongside producers to ensure a competitive American cattle market.

"In April, R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers from Iowa, Neb., Kan., and Wyo. filed a historic lawsuit alleging the four largest beef packers, Tyson, JBS, Cargill and National Beef/Marfrig violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, and the Commodity Exchange Act to unlawfully depress prices paid to American cattle producers since January 2015.

"That case is pending before the federal district court in Minnesota."

U.S. Pork Industry Receives USDA Grant to Open ASF Dialogue in Asia

The global outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), a disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks, is growing, with new cases appearing throughout Southeast Asia and China. While there are no reported cases of ASF in the U.S., a grant recently awarded to the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), with active support from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), aims to start a dialogue between the two regions, sharing veterinary knowledge and ways to prevent the disease from further spreading.

The approximately $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Animal Service division will fund the multi-phase project, helping to build strategic partnerships, while increasing trade of U.S. pork to the region. The work will include swine health field projects, including collection and analysis of disease samples, which are valuable data for all participants and U.S. pork producers.

"Pork production is a global business and working with industry representatives from Vietnam on these projects will be mutually beneficial for all," said SHIC Executive Director Paul Sundberg, DVM, PhD, DACVPM. "The Swine Health Information Center looks forward to fulfilling the responsibilities of this grant from USDA and in the process deliver value to U.S. producers for the benefit of national herd health."

"NPPC, in partnership with SHIC, National Pork Board (NPB), American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), and USDA, is committed to reducing the risk of the U.S. swine herd contracting foreign animal diseases, including ASF. With ASF spreading throughout Asia, this project will represent an important tool to further open both communication and markets between our regions," said NPPC President David Herring, a pork producer in Lillington, N.C.

Under the first phase of the project, the groups will identify and meet with key stakeholders in Vietnam. In phase two, the groups will train the Vietnamese veterinary workforce on ASF prevention and control, helping to build local veterinary capacity. Concurrently in the final phase, ASF-related field projects will be implemented, including those helping to inform the U.S. pork industry about effective ASF preparedness and response.

Information the projects will gain include:
    Identifying pathways for viral entry on farms
    Validating use of swine oral fluids to confirm farm or region positive or negative status
    Exploring the potential to isolate the virus on one area of a farm to enable other areas to provide pigs free of ASF contamination
    Validating cleaning and disinfecting procedures so farms may be repopulated as soon as it is safe
    Assessing cross-border risks and risk management of transboundary swine diseases

NPPC and SHIC are working closely with the USDA and the other industry organizations to first prevent ASF from entering the U.S. swine herd and to be prepared to respond should an outbreak occur. The industry is actively identifying and prioritizing critical research needs and working in collaboration with state and federal animal health officials to make sure that, at a national level, all appropriate biosecurity measures are being implemented.

Study: No One Cares About Restaurants' Stances on Animal Welfare

Businesses are increasingly embracing social causes as a way to promote brand trust among consumers while also attempting to better society. Chipotle, for example, made headlines when it released "Back to the Start," an advertisement promoting more humane food production. Yet the restaurant industry, which is often criticized due to concerns about animal welfare and employee wages, has otherwise been slow to capitalize on this marketing trend.

Now, a new study from the University of Missouri suggests this type of marketing is ineffective for restaurants using animal welfare as a marketing tool.

"Restaurants have faced a lot of criticism for how they source their food, and it is logical to think that social cause marketing could mitigate that criticism the way it has for issues in other industries," said Dae-Young Kim, lead author on the study and an associate professor of hospitality management in MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "We found that this kind of marketing does improve trust in restaurants on a variety of issues when the ads include engaging visuals, but when it comes to animal welfare, it doesn't matter how the message is delivered. Customers don't care."

Along with Sung-Bum Kim, an assistant professor at Inha University in South Korea who worked on the study while earning a doctorate at MU, his research team created marketing messages from fictional restaurants to investigate how such messages can impact levels of consumer trust and corporate reputation. Each message had two versions -- text only and text with visual elements such as illustrations and certification seals -- and each embraced one of four social causes: health, human services, environmental concern and animal welfare. Researchers then surveyed 433 participants about their reactions to the ads.

Unsurprisingly for the researchers, the majority of causes elicited improved trust and reputation for the restaurant when presented in a visually engaging message, as opposed to a generic message with plain text. But for the cause of animal welfare, consumer trust remained unchanged regardless of the type of message, indicating apathy on the part of customers.

"We have seen that visually appealing cause marketing works in a variety of contexts across many different industries," Dae-Young Kim said. "So when we see this marketing fall flat for restaurants addressing animal welfare, it tells us that the style of message isn't the problem. People are simply ignoring restaurants when they discuss that particular cause."

Kim said the problem is probably not that people don't care about animal welfare. One possible explanation is that not enough restaurants have taken a stand regarding animal welfare for customers to pay attention. Conversely, people might be more receptive to an animal welfare message in a pet food advertisement because pet food companies have been incorporating that message into their marketing for several years. In that case, more marketing from restaurants addressing animal welfare could prompt more customers to start listening, Kim said.

The study, "Building corporate reputation, overcoming consumer skepticism, and establishing trust: choosing the right message types and social causes in the restaurant industry," was published in Service Business. Kathleen Jeehyae Kim also contributed to the study while earning her doctorate at MU.

Japanese Regulators Make Informed Decisions About U.S. Corn

Face-to-face conversations and seeing U.S. corn farms, elevators and export facilities firsthand will help a team of Japanese government regulators make more informed decisions and facilitate an uninhibited flow of U.S. corn and co-products from the United States to one of its largest and most loyal customers.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) annually schedules teams of Japanese regulators involved in the food, feed and environmental approvals of biotech corn events to travel to the United States for just this purpose. While these regulators may have limited knowledge of the U.S. corn value chain, their recommendations or decisions could potentially slow down entire approval or regulatory processes.

“These meetings provided Japanese regulators with information on the biotech corn traits and products in the pipeline for entry into the Japanese regulatory system in the near future,” said Tommy Hamamoto, USGC director in Japan, who accompanied the team. “Discussions with the U.S. grain value chain also demonstrate how Japanese regulatory approvals and regulations need to be able to work with the real world of how U.S. corn is produced, transported and exported.”

This year’s team traveled to Washington, DC, Missouri and Louisiana in August to meet with U.S. government regulators, biotech seed companies and biotech industry organizations as well as U.S. corn farmers and agribusinesses involved in the production, distribution and exports of U.S. corn to Japan.

“For most of the participants, this was their first time to see a corn field or a grain elevator, even though they work on biotech corn safety dossiers on a daily basis,” Hamamoto said. “These in-person visits will help these team members make better decisions based on what they heard about grain production and how U.S. farmers and grain handlers work to maintain and improve grain quality.”

The Japanese regulators also learned what U.S. regulators and industry representatives are doing to address unintentional low level presence of unapproved events in commercial corn supply. While major issues in this area are uncommon, these discussions help keep corn trade between the United States and Japan open and functioning.

Both the United States and Japan have science-based and well-functioning regulating systems related to biotech corn, and both countries are also in the process of evaluating how to regulate plant breeding innovations, including gene-edited products. Ministries within the Japanese government signaled earlier this year that they will not consider organisms produced using gene editing as genetic modification, providing reassurance for continued market access for U.S. farmers to one of their largest international markets.

Japan currently ranks as the second largest market for U.S. corn, purchasing more than 12 million metric tons (472 million bushels) thus far in 2018/2019 (September 2018-June 2019) - a 21 percent jump year-over-year. Japan has also increased purchases of U.S. DDGS by 11 percent this marketing year, ranking as the ninth largest buyer at 418,000 tons. Imports of 6.46 million gallons of U.S. ethanol have also risen by 38 percent year-over-year and the first shipment of ETBE produced with U.S. corn-based ethanol arrived in Japan in July. These strong export sales further underpin the importance of continued conversations between the Japanese government and end-users and the U.S. government, farmers and agribusinesses.

Cutting-edge trait technology platform launching with 2020 Golden Harvest soybean lineup

Golden Harvest is further expanding its trait technology platform offerings with the addition of LibertyLink® GT27™ available for 2020 planting. The LibertyLink GT27 soybean technology, which offers glyphosate and Liberty® herbicide tolerance, will be offered in 20 of the 66 new Golden Harvest® soybean varieties.

Golden Harvest also offers farmers access to Enlist E3™ soybeans and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® in the 2020 lineup. The Enlist E3™ soybean trait was approved earlier this year for broad 2020 commercial planting, and the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® trait remains at the forefront of weed control technology.

"Golden Harvest is committed to providing farmers the highest-yielding genetics along with their choice of the industry's leading trait technologies," said Travis Kriegshauser, strategic marketing manager, Golden Harvest soybeans. "We realize farmers require products tailored for their unique field challenges, so we equip them with defensive and offensive trait options to maximize stable yield performance."

The 66 new Golden Harvest varieties range in relative maturity from 0.06 to 5.1 and provide advanced trait technology for maximum soybean yield potential.
    31 varieties include the new Enlist E3 trait technology with 3 modes of action, offering tolerance to 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate.
        4 offer Sulfonyl-Urea Tolerant Soybeans (STS®) herbicide tolerance and may increase tolerance to ALS-inhibitors, allowing higher application rates on select herbicides.
    20 varieties include the new LibertyLink GT27 trait technology.
        2 offer STS herbicide tolerance.
    15 varieties include Roundup Ready 2 Xtend trait technology.
        4 offer STS herbicide tolerance.

The growing breadth and quality of the Golden Harvest seed portfolio is a direct result of the incremental $400 million investment announced in 2018.

"Since our proprietary soybean breeding program is the longest-running in the U.S. with 50 years of extensive soybean breeding, field testing and disease screening, it's no surprise our soybeans are the best in the business," said Kriegshauser. "Golden Harvest not only offers farmers the highest-yielding genetics on the market today, but we are also the industry's leading provider of herbicide trait choice."

This unmatched combination of genetics and traits enabled Golden Harvest varieties to again capture the spotlight in 2018 Farmers' Independent Research of Seed Technologies (FIRST) trials. Third-party data, including FIRST trials, validates seed company trials and reveals the top performers across seed brands. Golden Harvest soybeans had 17 first place results, 41 Top 3 finishes and 131 Top 10 varieties in the 2018 FIRST trials.

Largest Operating Hemp Processing Facility in the US... Now Open for Business

Paragon Processing ― a state-of-the-art facility offering total seed-to-shelf solutions for industrial-scale hemp processing, manufacturing and storage, as well as private- and white-label goods ― is pleased to announce it is now open for business. The high-security facility, stationed on a 38-acre property, is located 140 miles south of Denver.


At a staggering 250,000 square feet, it is the largest hemp processing facility currently operating in the U.S. It can store up to 50 million pounds of hemp biomass, and hosts 13 dock-high loading positions, along with housing Superior Flow-branded proprietary processing equipment.

Paragon Processing offers full-scale processing for up to 1 million pounds of hemp biomass per month, with a target to expand to 2 million pounds with the arrival of the upcoming 2019 fall harvest season, which runs from September through November.

"We're pleased to offer an array of turnkey services, including extraction, distillation, isolation, THC-free processing, sales, storage and third-party laboratory testing," says Paragon Processing Co-President Matt Evans. "It is important to our mission to provide a one-stop-shop partnership for clients, whether they are farmers seeking assistance, new companies testing an idea or an established business seeking to strengthen its production practices and/or product lines."

Paragon Processing's climate-controlled facility minimizes the risks associated with external weather conditions and temperature shifts, providing solutions for all farmers' needs. Additionally, by offering the proper storage conditions and ideal cooler temperatures, the threat of mold is entirely eliminated. Historically, the property was both a former Columbia House Records space and a Kroger distribution center, which provided secure, safe storage with fully certified fire sprinkler systems already in place.


Understanding the goals of companies to build out their brands and add value to existing products, Paragon Processing acts as the purveyor of industrial hemp solutions and seamless integration to relieve supply chain disruption, allowing companies to benefit from this one-stop operation.

"Paragon Processing is a comprehensive facility for industrial-scale hemp," says Evans. "With the legalization of the 2018 Farm Bill, the production and interstate transfer of hemp has increased the demand for both hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products, and we aim to propel the industrial hemp manufacturing efforts in order to confidently answer this call."

Paragon Processing's practices are centric to establishing trust and transparency in the hemp processing industry, while assisting farmers with developing the best practices, recording accurate genetics-related data and mapping full traceability of hemp biomass. On the business spectrum, future and current company owners alike, can take advantage of additional services. For the clients' convenience, a third-party accredited laboratory is on site, complete with Certificate of Analysis (COA) assignments.

Post-harvest farm support is also a core value of Paragon Processing, where the team provides assistance surrounding the manufacturing of hemp-derived products, with no upfront or monthly costs required. From industrialized harvests, Paragon Processing can process hemp biomass into winterized crude and produce CBD distillate, THC-free distillate, CBD isolate, CBG, CBN and CBD-infused products. Paragon Processing prides itself on utilizing the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art techniques, including cryo-ethanol extraction and three-stage molecular distillation, where 300 liters per hour of winterized crude can be successfully processed, into full spectrum distillate oil.

After it leaves Paragon Processing, product then makes its way to a white-label distribution center, located in Colorado Springs. The 45,000-square-foot partner facility churns out voluminous hemp-derived products per day, from 1 million gummies to 10,000 tinctures, along with wellness products, like lip balm and sunscreen.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, Paragon Processing aims to extend its tried-and-true approach to both farmers and business owners nationwide, along with expanding to fill 250 internal job positions by the end of 2019. Paragon Processing will be available nationwide to provide its services from the farm to end users, as the surge of industrialized hemp farming continues.

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