Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tuesday August 13 Ag News

Platte Valley Cattlemen Outlook Meeting is Aug 19thBoyd Hellbusch, PVC President

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who golfed, sponsored and/or donated prizes for our golf outing in Humphrey and Leigh.  Without you this event would not be possible and we wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.  Also, we would like to thank all those that came to the Platte and Colfax County Fairs and grabbed a burger and helped support the 4-H kids.   

With that said we are having our annual outlook meeting on Monday, August 19th at Jarad and Kathy Doernaman’s barn venue in Clarkson with social hour at 6:00 p.m. and our meal to begin at 7:00 p.m.  The featured guest will be John Nelson.  John is employed at Producers Livestock and will be talking to us about what the future markets are looking like.  We will also have a representative from the Nebraska Cattleman’s here to discuss new updates. 

We would like to thank Pinnacle Bank for sponsoring our social hour.  We look forward to seeing you all in Clarkson at Doernaman’s Barn on August 19th.  Off of Highway 91, turn North and take the main entrance into Clarkson, the street sign should read Bryant Street or Road 8. Go North through town past the park until you get to Road X then go East a quarter mile and turn north on 570th Ave. The barn will be on the East Side of the road

Healthy Soils Task Force Sets Initial Meeting

Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, has scheduled a meeting of the Healthy Soils Task Force for Aug. 14. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the Nebraska State Office Building, 4th Floor, 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln.

This is the initial meeting of the Healthy Soils Task Force created by LB243 which passed in the Nebraska Legislature this past session.

For more details, call the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at (402) 471-2341.


A 65-year comparative analysis between U.S. yields of irrigated and rain-fed crops has sounded a message to farmers, land managers and policymakers: Mind the gap.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Suat Irmak and Meetpal Kukal analyzed the annual yields of nine crops — corn, soybean, spring wheat, winter wheat, sorghum, cotton, barley, oats and alfalfa — on a county-by-county basis from 1950 to 2015.

Irmak and Kukal found that the yield gaps — differences in food produced with irrigation vs. rainfall alone — generally widened over that span, a trend they suspect stems partly from climate change and technological advances in irrigation management.

But the rates at which those gaps widened, and how consistently they did so over time, differed substantially among the crops and the regions that grew them.

“You get more yield from irrigated than rain-fed (agriculture), but the magnitude of yield increase is a function of several variables,” said Irmak, Eberhard Distinguished Professor of Biological Systems Engineering. “It’s not surprising that as precipitation increases, the yield gap decreases. But that also has spatial and temporal attributes, so it’s not really constant in all regions or for all crops.”

Irrigation most benefited corn yields, according to the study, boosting them 270% nationally over the 65-year span. The unique growing season of winter wheat meant that its yields rose only 25% with irrigation, the smallest gain among the nine crops. Yet even crop-specific yield gaps varied noticeably by location. Two corn-growing areas separated by about 700 miles, for instance, saw a seven-fold difference in irrigation-related yield gains.

Having mapped such differences across roughly 80% of the United States’ cultivated land, the researchers said they hope the findings can help guide future crop production while calibrating water management and irrigation use nationwide.

Regions or states with historically wider gaps, especially those growing the most irrigation-thirsty crops, might consider irrigating more or investing in soil management practices that help conserve moisture, Irmak said. Those that have historically seen little difference — or, in a few areas, seen the gaps between irrigated and rain-fed yields narrow — might decide to allocate their resources in other ways.

The county-level precision of the study’s data might also help individual farmers better estimate the potential return on investing in irrigation.

“We have those answers for different crops in each county, so they can go back and do some analysis,” Irmak said. “If they want to buy a center-pivot for approximately $150,000 and convert their land to irrigation, they can quantify the (return on investment). Of course, these are ranges (of values), but they can say, for instance, ‘I can increase my yield by about four to six tonnes per hectare. Depending on grain prices, over the course of five to eight years, I can pay for my pivot.’”

Irmak and Kukal likewise quantified the number of years that given counties failed to generate any meaningful yields of a crop when relying only on rainfall, which some farmers might factor into long-term risk assessments, the researchers said.

“There’s a bigger risk with rain-fed (agriculture),” Irmak said. “There’s an overall, long-term average value for rain-fed yields, but that doesn’t mean you are going to get that yield every year. That’s why we consider irrigation an insurance policy that normalizes things and provides stable productivity under varying climatic conditions.”

The researchers, who in 2018 published studies that quantified the lengthening of growing seasons and the agricultural effects of climate trends across the United States, said they expect farmers and other ag professionals to welcome the depth and complexity of the new analysis.

“Farmers are very smart people,” Irmak said. “In extension, there is a general concept that you need to provide simple information and (focus on making it) understandable. And that’s great. But that was probably (truer) a long time ago. Things are changing as farmers and their operations are getting more complex and sophisticated, especially in changing climatic conditions.

“I interact with a lot of farmers, almost on a daily basis. They want more information. They really appreciate more and more scientifically based data.”

By contrast, Irmak conceded that he regularly encounters irrigation-related pushback from colleagues who study environmental issues, including irrigation’s role in ferrying nitrogen and other fertilizer components into groundwater. A desire to balance that perspective with the upsides of irrigation motivated Irmak and Kukal to publish the new study in Environmental Research Communications.

“Irrigation on 24% of the cultivated land produces 40% of the total global food supply,” Irmak said. “If we stopped irrigating today, more people would suffer or worse due to substantially reduced food, fiber and feed production, especially in areas that are already experiencing a significant shortage of supplies. In my program, we look at reducing the negative environmental impact of irrigation. And I do acknowledge that irrigation may have some negative environmental effects when management is not practiced properly; there’s no question about that.

“But overall, irrigation contributes substantially (to food production), and I want to get this message to platforms where the most environmental colleagues are. I thought this could contribute to getting environmentally and agriculturally focused people thinking about irrigation’s positive impacts rather than focusing on just their own ideas.”

ICA encourages beef processors to expand slaughter following Tyson fire

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been in contact with Tyson leadership following the fire on Friday at the Holcomb, Kansas plant.

The plant had a capacity of about 6,000 head per day, or approximately 6% of the U.S. total fed cattle slaughter capacity. Tyson is working to absorb the displaced cattle by increasing slaughter at its other facilities to keep the markets current. ICA encourages Tyson and other beef processors to explore all options possible to keep cattle processing current.

Unfortunately, the Denison plant no longer contains the equipment needed for slaughter.

Cattle markets have already responded to the news of the fire, but the long-term impact on the cattle industry remains to be seen.

NIAA Hosts Newest Antibiotic Symposium with NIAMRRE

The 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotic Symposium will be in Ames, Iowa at Iowa State University, October 15–17, 2019. The theme of the Symposium will be Communicating the Science of Responsible Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture.

This year's Symposium will be hosted by NIAA in collaboration with the prestigious National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE), which was competitively selected lead the collective efforts related to Antibiotics in animal, human and environmental health of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.

As misreported or inaccurate statistics continue to be repeated in negative media coverage of animal agriculture, and the public makes purchasing and family nutrition decisions based on distorted information, the Symposium will study how the industry can better communicate to the public in an effective and positive manner.

"We are especially excited to provide the participants with an opportunity to start to explore the "science of science communication" related to antibiotic use, stewardship and resistance, a field that NIAMRRE focuses on as a priority initiative," says NIAMRRE's Executive Director Dr. Paul Plummer.

Presentations and a hands–on workshop developed in partnership with the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication will help attendees understand how to take science updates and new advances in research, technology and innovation and convey useful information to meet the needs of consumers, which may help shift the attitudes of the public and media in the future.

In addition to the communication segment, the Symposium will unpack science updates from across the industry and interact with industry representatives of new and evolving technologies to help meet the demands of responsible use of antibiotics.

The Symposium's attendees and presenters will include beef, dairy, pork and poultry producers, processors, and retailers, private practice and state agency veterinarians, researchers and scientists from the FDA, USDA and CDC as well as University animal agriculture and veterinary program academia.

For more information or to register for the 9th Annual NIAA Antibiotics Symposium go to

Wind powers opportunity: American Wind Week 2019 kicks off August 11

This August 11-17 marks the third annual American Wind Week, a national celebration of U.S. leadership in wind energy production that started in 2017 when wind became the country’s largest source of renewable electricity generating capacity. During Wind Week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and supporters of wind energy highlight the many ways that wind powers opportunity at dozens of events across the country and online with #AmericanWindWeek.

“Wind Powers Opportunity” is the theme of this year’s American Wind Week, in recognition of the many economic and environmental benefits that come along with expanded U.S. wind energy production. Today, a record 114,000 Americans work in wind, including many careers at the more than 500 U.S. factories that supply wind farms. America’s veterans find wind jobs at a rate 67% higher than the average industry because they have the skills and dedication to keep wind farms running rain or shine.  Rural communities and family farms that host wind energy projects benefit from well-paying local careers and over $1 billion a year paid toward state and local taxes and annual landowner lease payments. 

“For this year’s American Wind Week, there’s a record amount of U.S. wind energy under construction and the 114,000 Americans in our industry are working hard to make the energy you use cheaper and cleaner,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan. “As an all-American energy source, wind is a leading contributor to domestic energy production, economic opportunity, and the fight to minimize climate change.”

Major businesses like Amazon, General Motors, Google, Home Depot, Walmart, and many others are buying rural America’s valuable wind energy cash-crop to power their operations because wind is low-cost, reliable and clean. It’s increasingly likely that a product you use or a store you visit, whether it’s your Starbucks coffee run, supplies at Target, or a cold Budweiser, is powered at least in part by wind. In addition to providing cheap electricity, wind power is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to cut carbon emissions as well as air pollution that triggers asthma attacks and creates smog, avoiding $9.4 billion in public health costs in 2018 alone.

Wind power’s contributions to clean air and stronger economy are on track to grow substantially with a record amount of wind power under construction and development in the U.S. At the same time, communities on the East Coast, West Coast, and around the Great Lakes are preparing to harness world-class U.S. offshore wind resources at scale. Building a U.S. offshore wind industry will reliably deliver large amounts of clean energy to America’s biggest population centers, grow tens of thousands of well-paying American jobs, revitalize ports and coastal infrastructure, and create a nearly $70 billion U.S. supply chain.

“Wind power is leading the transformation to a cleaner, stronger U.S. economy,” said Rob Caldwell, AWEA Board Chair and President of Duke Energy Renewables. “Businesses in the wind industry power opportunity for workers, rural communities, and factory towns across America. This American Wind Week, we encourage clean energy supporters in all 50 states to speak with one voice and tell your friends, family and neighbors why you’re proud of U.S. leadership in wind energy production.”

Anyone can participate in American Wind Week by posting on social media in support of wind energy from August 11 to 17 using #AmericanWindWeek. Each weekday from August 12th through the 16th, AWEA will blog and share highlights from events happening around the country themed after five unique ways that wind powers opportunity for Americans. To kick off American Wind Week, a full-sized wind turbine blade will take center stage at the Iowa State Fair where the 2020 presidential candidates and Iowa’s elected leaders will be stumping. Anyone can stop by to sign the blade and speak with wind industry workers.

USDA to Conduct Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Survey

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is contacting producers for the September Hogs and Pigs Survey. This survey is a comprehensive gathering of quarterly data on market hog and breeding stock inventories as well as pig crop and farrowing intentions in every state.

NASS will mail the questionnaires to all producers selected for the survey in mid-August. To ensure all survey participants have an opportunity to respond, NASS interviewers will contact producers who do not respond by mail or online to conduct telephone and personal interviews.

The data gathered in this survey allows NASS to accurately measure and report conditions and trends in the U.S. pork industry. The information is used by all sectors of the industry, including producers themselves, to help make sound and timely business decisions. NASS will publish the survey results in the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report.

Growth Energy and GasBuddy Partner to Launch Unleaded 88 on GasBuddy App

Today, Growth Energy and GasBuddy announced that drivers across the nation can now take advantage of Unleaded 88’s affordable prices through GasBuddy’s database and app. Unleaded 88 is a fuel with 15 percent renewable biofuel approved for cars 2001 and newer, and thanks to the recent lifting of outdated government regulations, is now available for sale at the pump all year-round. 

GasBuddy is a smartphone app and website used by millions of drivers every month to avoid paying full price for fuel. It is the world’s largest database of real-time, crowdsourced gas price data covering more than 150,000 North American gas stations. 

This new partnership allows GasBuddy’s app users access to a comprehensive database of Unleaded 88 fuel at more than 1,800 retail locations around the country. Additionally, Growth Energy and GasBuddy have launched an advertising campaign within the app to promote the benefits of the renewable fuel to consumers.

“With fuel prices constantly changing and varying between stations, GasBuddy’s goal is to be the most comprehensive platform for drivers to make fuel-purchasing decisions and save money on every fill-up,” said Patrick DeHaan, head petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “By including the availability of Unleaded 88, we’re continuing our commitment to our users.”  

Emily Skor, CEO of the world’s largest ethanol trade association, Growth Energy, celebrated this new partnership and the opportunity for millions of drivers to find the more affordable choice at the pump with Unleaded 88 through GasBuddy’s popular price-tracking app:

“We are thrilled to partner with the nation’s leading and most respected fuel app to help more Americans access the engine smart and earth kind benefits of Unleaded 88,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Drivers all over the U.S. rely on GasBuddy to fuel their lives and we are looking forward to giving them another option at the pump that is cleaner-burning and provides a savings of up to 10 cents per gallon.”
Today, Kwik Trip, Sheetz, Casey’s General Store, Cumberland Farms, Thorntons, Kum & Go, RaceTrac, QuikTrip, Rutter’s, Minnoco, Protec Fuel, Murphy USA, Family Express, Royal Farms, Pump & Pantry, and Bosselmans offer Unleaded 88 at more than 1,800 locations across 31 states. For more information on Unleaded 88, head to 

Statement on Administration's Plans for Imposing New 10 Percent Tariffs

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the national campaign supported by over 150 of America’s largest trade organizations representing retail, tech, manufacturing and agriculture, today released the following statement after the administration announced additional information on how they will impose 10 percent tariffs on goods Americans buy.

“While we appreciate the delay of some of the tariffs, this clearly shows that the administration recognizes that tariffs are taxes paid by Americans. It appears the administration understands that taxes on everyday products such as toys, clothes and electronics would be politically unpopular and hurt those who can least afford it.

"Unfortunately, today’s announcement doesn’t address the vast majority of tariffs that are driving uncertainty, putting farmers out of business and causing small businesses to slow hiring. Instead of picking temporary winners and losers and holding the U.S. economy hostage, it is time to reach an agreement that finally puts an end to the trade war.”

Launch of Land O’Lakes Venture37 amplifies world-class expertise of Land O’Lakes International Development

Land O’Lakes International Development announced today a new brand and a new name – Land O’Lakes Venture37 – to further bolster its strong reputation for global leadership in helping businesses grow, linking farmers to markets and empowering communities to thrive. The new brand builds on the achievements of Land O’Lakes International Development in nearly 80 countries since 1981.

“You may ask why we chose Land O’Lakes Venture37? It’s simple. Farmers are working with approximately 37% of the earth’s land to grow the crops and raise the livestock that nourish our growing global population,” said John Ellenberger, executive director of Land O’Lakes Venture37 and senior vice president of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “Working together across continents, cultures and markets is critical to make abundant, nutritious food available so everyone can realize their full potential. It’s a challenge Land O’Lakes International Development has helped meet for nearly 40 years through more than 300 unique projects. The launch of Land O’Lakes Venture37 is an exciting new chapter that builds on our long history of results.”

A revamped website, was launched today in concert with the announcement.

Ellenberger noted the new name and branding maintain a clear link between the organization’s nonprofit international development mission and the unique value of technical expertise offered by its affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives.

“One of the elements that truly sets Land O’Lakes Venture37 apart, and has set us apart for almost 40 years, is our close bond with a leading farmer-owned cooperative that brings nearly a century of experience unlocking the potential of dairy, livestock and crop farms in fulfillment of our purpose of Feeding Human Progress,” Ellenberger said. “Farmers help one another, no matter where they live, and the new Land O’Lakes Venture37 brand shines a spotlight on our shared work to bring agricultural solutions to countries across the globe.”

Current activities will continue uninterrupted across 16 projects spanning 10 countries. These include several projects in their early stages, with five capacity-building projects announced last fall spanning Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and three additional projects launched this year in Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.

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