Thursday, August 15, 2019

Wednesday August 14 Ag News


While rural Nebraskans have mixed opinions about the impact of immigration on rural Nebraska, those more likely to have lived alongside recent immigrants have more positive views, according to the 2019 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Overall, 38% of respondents to the Rural Poll — the largest annual poll of rural Nebraskans' perceptions on quality of life and policy issues — agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska, while 30% disagree. One-third agree that on balance immigration has been good for rural Nebraska, while 27% disagree. At least one-third of rural Nebraskans neither agreed nor disagreed with both statements.

Experience with immigrants appears to be related to perceptions of immigration, a survey official said. Persons living in or near larger communities, who are more likely to be aware of recent immigrants in their community, are more likely than those living in or near smaller communities to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska. Similarly, the poll found that persons living in both the south-central and northeast regions, which are more likely to be aware of recent immigrants in their community, are more likely than those living in other regions to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska.

Younger persons are more likely than older persons to agree that immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska. Just over half of persons 19 to 29 agree with the statement, compared to 31% of those 65 and older. Looking at immigration trends, Nebraskans 29 and younger are likely to have grown up with more foreign-born immigrants.

“Overall, there is a consistent theme from the data,” said L.J. McElravy, associate professor of youth civic leadership at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “Respondents believe immigrants strengthen rural Nebraska when they are more likely to interact with immigrants, whether that exposure is a result of where they live or their age.”

The poll also found that rural Nebraskans have concerns about language issues and the effect illegal immigration may have on wages. Eighty-four percent of rural Nebraskans surveyed agree that immigrants should learn to speak English within a reasonable amount of time. In addition, half of respondents disagree that communities should communicate important information in other languages as well as English. And 44% agree that undocumented immigrants drive down wages in rural Nebraska, while just under one-quarter disagree.

When asked about immigration policies, most rural Nebraskans surveyed agree with policies that try to prevent illegal immigration. Almost three-quarters agree that government should tighten borders to prevent illegal immigration, and about the same proportion agrees that businesses employing undocumented workers should be penalized. Almost two-thirds agree that undocumented immigrants should be deported. A similar percentage disagree that the government is too aggressive in deporting those who are in the United States illegally.

However, many respondents also support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. Sixty-two percent agree that an undocumented immigrant who has been working and paying taxes for five years or more should be allowed to apply for citizenship, and slightly less agree that there should be a way for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements to stay in the country legally. Seventy percent agree that immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children should be allowed the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time.

Many opinions about immigration policies remain about the same as they were in 2006, the last time immigration questions were asked in the Rural Poll. However, fewer rural Nebraskans today support the government tightening borders to prevent illegal immigration than did in 2006. Then, 83% of respondents agreed that the government should tighten borders. In 2019, this fell to 74%. And, the proportion who agree that an undocumented immigrant who has been working and paying taxes for five years or more should be allowed to apply for citizenship increased slightly, from 58% in 2006 to 62% this year.

“The poll results mirror the tensions we see across the country in terms of immigrants and immigration — respondents tended to be evenly split across a variety of the questions,” said Jason Weigle, associate extension educator with Nebraska Extension. “On the balance, though, respondents wished to see a pathway for undocumented migrants who have been trying to be productive members of American society to become residents. Focusing on opportunities for integration across the state can help Nebraska move forward positively.”

This year’s Rural Poll was mailed to 6,260 randomly selected households in nonmetropolitan counties in March and April. One-thousand-seven-hundred-seventy-six households responded, a rate of 28%. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2%. Complete results are available at

The university's Department of Agricultural Economics conducts the poll with funding from Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.

EPA announces $3.15 million in water quality funding in Iowa

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced three EPA Farmer to Farmer Cooperative Agreements totaling more than $3.15 million to fund Iowa-based projects that improve water quality, habitat, and environmental education.

The three Iowa-based recipients for the 2019 Farmer to Farmer Cooperative Agreements are:
-    Practical Farmers of Iowa ($935,788) for Roots for Water Quality: A Farmer-to-Farmer Model for a Sustainable Mississippi Basin.
-    University of Iowa ($1,064,926) for Connecting Rural and Peri-urban Farmers to Demonstrate and Disseminate Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Practices.
-    Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship ($1,150,000) for Effective, Targeted Wetland Installations to Maximize Nutrient Removal, Wetland Habitat Function, and Ultimately Expand Delivery.

“These Farmer to Farmer grants will promote innovative, market-based solutions for monitoring and improving water quality throughout the Gulf of Mexico watershed,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These grants are an important part of our efforts to support America’s farmers in a manner that strengthens both American agriculture and the protection of our nation’s vital water resources.”

“Farmer to Farmer Cooperative Agreements directly support science and technology-based water quality initiatives needed to protect our watersheds while also maintaining a vital agricultural economy,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “Here in Region 7, a combined $3.15 million in funding will support Iowa in the restoration and installation of wetlands as well as the use of cover crops to help provide measurable water quality improvement to waterways across Iowa and further downstream in the Gulf of Mexico.”

“Practical Farmers of Iowa is ready to increase the use of cover crops in Iowa to tackle our water quality issues,” said Practical Farmers of Iowa Strategic Initiatives Director Sarah Carlson. “Through farmer-to-farmer learning, PFI has proven that cover crops are an essential tool of the agronomic toolbox to manage weeds and reduce soil erosion while improving water quality in a corn and soybean rotation. This EPA funding will allow PFI to create new tools, like a ‘ride-sharing’ app for farmers. Instead of looking for a ride, farmers will be able to use the app to find qualified cover crop applicators during the busy harvest season.”

“The College of Engineering, Iowa Flood Center, and IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa are excited to partner with rural farmers and urban consumers in Johnson and Iowa counties to demonstrate innovative nutrient and sediment reduction practices in Iowa,” said University of Iowa Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz. “This grant recognizes the university’s national leadership in water research. The $1.07 million from EPA will leverage watershed restoration funds from the $97 million Iowa Watershed Approach project to create measurable water quality improvements in stream segments within the Lower Iowa River watershed.”

“Working with the EPA and local communities, we are taking on the challenge of improving Iowa’s water quality by implementing conservation practices in priority watersheds,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Whether you live in the city or the country, we all have a role to play. These types of public-private partnerships and rural-urban projects are perfect examples of what we can accomplish when we all work together to achieve our common goal — preserving Iowa’s natural resources for the next generation.”

A ceremony honoring the Iowa recipients took place today at the Iowa State Fair and was led by Jim Gulliford, regional administrator for EPA Region 7. EPA anticipates awarding seven Gulf of Mexico Division cooperative agreements totaling more than $7.5 million to fund projects that improve water quality, habitat, and environmental education in the Gulf of Mexico watershed.


Since 2018, approximately $9.5 million has been awarded to support novel or innovative agricultural techniques, methods or approaches through EPA’s Farmer to Farmer Cooperative Agreements. These projects support farmer led and/or farmer focused organizations with experience implementing programs and demonstration projects through collaboration with farmers. The projects will center around innovative monitoring systems that will measure and report field scale water and nutrient dynamics to farmers in support of informed crop management decisions. The program supports science and technology-based water quality initiatives needed to protect watersheds while also maintaining a vital agricultural economy.

Corn Grows Iowa at the Iowa State Fair

Iowa Corn is proud to sponsor Iowa Corn Day at the Iowa State Fair on Friday, August 16.  As fairgoers, you will have the opportunity to learn how corn helps feed and fuel Iowa and the world by participating in the scavenger hunt where you can locate five stations scattered throughout the fairgrounds, take a selfie and post all five photos to a form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat Story). By completing all five stations and showing your posts at the Iowa Corn booth, you will receive an Iowa Corn t-shirt while supplies last! Scavenger hunt cards will be handed out at the main entrances or they will be available at the Iowa Corn booth on the Grand Concourse.

The highly interactive Iowa Corn Mobile Education trailer will be there as well. The 40-foot state-of-the-art mobile takes visitors on a multi-media journey showing how Iowa Corn farmers conserve their land while growing corn that’s used for food, feed, fuel and the 4,000 other products made from you guessed it, corn. This represents the 97 percent of Iowa farms that are family-owned.

America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Final Four Announced

The National Pork Board recently announced the four finalists vying to be named America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM. The program honors a U.S. pig farmer each year who excels at raising pigs following the We CareSM ethical principles and who is committed to sharing their farming story with the American public.

“The finalists do what’s best on their farms every day for people, pigs and the planet,” said National Pork Board President David Newman, a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “The finalists also showcase how diverse family farming is today throughout the United States.”

The National Pork Board congratulates the finalists:
    Josh Linde – Manilla, Iowa
    Thomas Titus – Elkhart, Illinois
    Doug Dawson – Delaware, Ohio
    Chris Hoffman – McAlisterville, Pennsylvania 

To help select the winner, the four finalists will meet with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago later this month. The judges will view videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will interview each of them.

Through Aug. 27, the public can vote once a day per email address for their favorite finalist at The winner will be announced the week of Oct. 1 based on the judges’ scores and the online voting results.

About the Finalists

Josh Linde – Manilla, Iowa 
Food safety and raising animals in a stress-free environment allows Josh Linde to provide a safe product for his family and consumers. Linde owns and operates his own farm, which markets 9,600 pigs annually, and works full-time for The Maschhoffs.

Thomas Titus – Elkhart, Illinois 
On Thomas Titus’ farrow-to-finish farm, animal care is his No. 1 priority. Their multi-generation farm is run by immediate family and a few employees who are like family. They also raise kids, cattle, goats and hens, corn, soybeans and hay on their farm.

Doug Dawson – Delaware, Ohio 
With a passion that was sparked at the age of five, Doug Dawson has been a full-time pig farmer since 1980. Dawson Farms, Inc., established in 1939, focuses on corn, soybeans, wheat and hay beyond the pig farm. Dawson’s farrow-to-finish operation markets 44,000 pigs per year.

Chris Hoffman – McAlisterville, Pennsylvania
Growing up with a love of animals, Chris Hoffman has worked his way up to owning a pig farm now that sells 34,000 pig annually. Hoffman focuses on animal well-being on his farrow-to-finish farm. Additionally, he raises more than 235,000 broilers a year.

About the Expert Judging Panel: Members of the five-member panel include Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Jayson Lusk, department head and distinguished professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range®, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; Jessie Kreke, senior marketing manager, Culver’s Franchising System; and Patrick Bane, the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.

Corteva Agriscience Announces Three Power to Do More Contest Winners

After receiving thousands of online votes, Scott Slepikas of Huron, South Dakota, is the grand-prize winner in the Power to Do More contest sponsored by the corn herbicides of Corteva Agriscience. Chris Staudt of Kanawha, Iowa, and Marsha Strom of Dahinda, Illinois, win second-place prizes.

Overall, Corteva is donating $27,000 to local nonprofit organizations, giving a total of $20,000 to the three winners’ local nonprofit organizations of choice plus $1,000 to each chosen nonprofit of the remaining seven finalists.

"The 10 finalists received more than 60,000 votes this year, which really shows the passion rural communities have for their local organizations,” said Lyndsie Kaehler, U.S. Corn Herbicides Product Manager, Corteva Agriscience. “It’s been great to see communities rally around their local farmer and nonprofit organization through contest support. We are so proud to help tell their stories.”

The Power to Do More contest invited farmers to submit a unique photo and story about the power on their farm. Ten finalists, selected from hundreds of entries, showed exceptional creativity and commitment to growing a stronger community in their photo and story.During online voting June 10 to July 8, the public rallied behind their favorite farmer and community.

Slepikas submitted a photo showing the finish of a “great crop harvest” on his family farm. He nominated the Center for Independence of Huron for the $10,000 donation. Slepikas said the nonprofit serves people with special needs, including his son, and relies on “many donations to provide these special people with many extras to make their lives easier and better.” Staudt submitted a photo of himself, his girlfriend and his dog. Staudt explained that the photo shows he is blessed to farm alongside his brother and father while being “able to enjoy the simple things in life.” Staudt nominated the Kanawha Fire Department for the $5,000 donation. He said this donation will enable the department to “upgrade equipment needed to help our dedicated volunteers keep the community safe.”

Strom submitted a photo showing barn-themed playground equipment being installed in her local town park. She said the photo represents “the power of what people can do when they collectively give their funds, time, talents and hearts to attain a common goal.” Strom nominated the Williamsfield FFA Alumni & Friends for the $5,000 donation. She explained the money will allow the organization to purchase tools, machines and educational materials for the local school’s agriculture department.

In appreciation of the remaining finalists’ efforts in the Power to Do More contest, Corteva Agriscience is donating $1,000 to each local nonprofit organization nominated by the remaining seven finalists:
     ─ Darrel Springer of Oak, Nebraska — Sandy Creek High School FFA
     ─ Rhonda Leonard of Logan, Iowa — Kellen Morrison Memorial Scholarship Fund
     ─ Misty DeDonder of Admire, Kansas — North Lyon County FFA – High School    Greenhouse Project
     ─ Kara Boughton of Marshall, Michigan — East Jackson Elementary School
     ─ Lynn Heins of Rockwood, Illinois — Annie’s Project – Education for Farm Women
     ─ Dave LaCrosse of Kewaunee, Wisconsin — Peninsula Pride Farms
     ─ Susan Zody of Kokomo, Indiana — Narrow Gate Horse Ranch

The Power to Do More contest is in its third year of helping farming communities across the country. Corteva is proud to support farmers with a lineup of corn herbicides dedicated to delivering the power to do more every season. With Resicore®, SureStart® II, DuPont™ Realm® Q, DuPont™ Cinch® ATZ and Keystone® NXT herbicides, farmers can effectively control and not worry about yield-robbing weeds.

Read more about the contest winners and sign up to be among the first to see a video about the grand-prize winner at

ACE elects board of directors at annual meeting

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) announced the re-election of several board members and the election of two new representatives to the organization’s board of directors during its annual meeting prior to ACE’s 32nd annual conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

Six incumbents were re-elected to the board of directors for three-year terms:
    Duane Kristensen, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels
    Scott McPheeters, representing KAAPA Ethanol
    Dan Root, representing Minnesota Corn Growers Association
    Rick Schwarck, representing Absolute Energy
    Dave Sovereign, representing Golden Grain Energy
    Chris Studer, representing East River Electric Cooperative

Two new members were elected to serve on the board of directors for a three-year term:
    Troy Knecht, representing Redfield Energy
    Owen Jones, At-large Member

“As I got involved with ACE through the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, I realized the value ACE brings to its members and the value it brings to corn farmers in general,” Knecht said. “Now, by representing Redfield Energy, I can continue the good work ACE is doing and I look forward to helping with the challenges we have ahead of us like addressing small refinery waivers and exploring ways to get higher blends into the market.”

“I have always enjoyed working with this association, both the people on staff and the rest of the leaders on the ACE board,” Jones said. “I always have been interested in promoting ethanol and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do this by serving on the ACE board. We have made some great strides, but there is a lot of work to be done yet and if I can remain on the board to continue ACE’s good work, I’m grateful to do that.”

“Troy and Owen are exceptional advocates for our industry, and we’re happy they’re able to continue to serve with the other dedicated active volunteers who make up our board of directors and represent the grassroots diversity of our entire membership,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “ACE members can be rest assured they’re well-represented by the resolve, expertise and experience the board members bring to the table and ACE is grateful for their leadership.”

Weekly Ethanol Production for 8/9/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Aug. 9, ethanol production averaged 1.045 million barrels per day (b/d)— equivalent to 43.89 million gallons daily. Output expanded by 5,000 b/d (0.5%) over the previous week. However, the four-week average ethanol production rate declined for the sixth consecutive week, down 0.5% to 1.039 million b/d and equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.93 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks increased 3.3% to 23.9 million barrels. Stocks built across all PADDs.

There were zero imports recorded after 36,000 b/d hit the books last week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of June 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied jumped 2.9% to a record 9.932 million b/d (417.1 million gallons per day, or 152.26 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol grew by 2.3% to a record 967,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.82 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 10.52%.


The Waterways Council, Inc. recently produced a series of videos, aimed at educating various audiences on inland waterways. The five videos focus on agriculture, labor, shippers, communities and the Army Corps of Engineers.

In the agriculture video, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue kicks it off by saying “I don’t think anything is more important to agriculture than logistics and transportation. That’s ultimately how we get that product to the ultimate end customer and our waterways have been absolutely critical in that effort.”

In September, NCGA staff will be participating in a Mississippi Riverboat trip with the Army Corps of Engineers from Hannibal to St. Louis, to learn more about river transportation, lock and dam infrastructure and various projects the Corps is working on.

Fast Facts on River Transportation:
-    Corn, soybeans and wheat account for nearly 83 percent of farm and food barge volume and ton-miles.
-    Barge transportation is used to haul more than 95 percent of the corn exported through the Center Gulf from originations upriver on the Mississippi River.
-    In 2017, 14 percent of all intercity freight was transported via the Nation’s waterways, valued at nearly $232 billion.
-    In 2015, farm products accounted for 14 percent of waterborne commerce volume and 24 percent waterborne commerce ton-miles. A ton-mile is the number of tons multiplied by distance. When barge traffic is measured in ton-miles, food and farm products jump from the third-largest commodity to first.

ARA Supports USDOT Hours of Service (HOS) Proposal for Improved Driver Safety and Flexibility

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) supports the proposed reform to hours of service (HOS) published today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (USDOT FMCSA), which will improve safety and flexibility for commercial drivers.

"These reforms, including the short haul exemption expansion for CDL drivers to 150 air miles and the expansion of duty hours from 12 to 14 hours, will provide necessary flexibility for ARA members to meet the needs of their customers without adversely impacting transportation safety," ARA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Counsel Richard Gupton said.

FMCSA's proposed rule offers five key revisions to existing HOS rules such as requiring a minimum of a 30-minute break for each eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing drivers to use the "on duty, not driving" status rather than the "off duty" status during breaks. It is estimated that this proposal will save American consumers and the U.S. economy an estimated $274 million and improve safety for all drivers on the Nation's roadways, according to a FMCSA news release.

The FMCSA is encouraging everyone to review and comment on this proposal within the 45-day public comment period.

Perdue Statement on Meeting with Guatemalan Ministers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today met with a host of Ministers from Guatemala to discuss implementation of the recently signed agreement between the United States and Guatemala to improve H-2A visa program operations. Following the meeting, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“America’s farmers and ranchers need a legal and reliable agricultural work force, and we are eager to help our producers take advantage of this great opportunity to add a qualified pool of workers to the H-2A visa program. This critical partnership with Guatemala will benefit both our nations and will improve the H-2A visa program in the future.”

Officials from Guatemala that were present for the meeting included Guatemalan Minister of Governance Enrique Antonio Degenhart Asturias, Guatemalan Minister of Labor Gabriel Vladimir Aguilera Bolaños, Guatemalan Minister of Economy Acisclo Valladares Urruela, Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture Mario Méndez Cobar and Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of America Manuel Alfredo Espina Pinto.

Trade Aid Appreciated as Farmers Seek Trade Truce

As China continues to raise barriers blocking the import of American farm products, the USDA recently announced registration for the second round of Market Facilitation Payments (MFP).

President Trump has authorized up to $14.5 billion in MFP payments, meant to help mitigate the negative effects of retaliatory tariffs stemming from ongoing trade disputes.

The program is open to a selection of non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers. For non-specialty crops – such as cotton, wheat, soybeans, rice and corn – payments will depend on the calculated impact of trade retaliation in each county. 

As Farm Policy Facts has previously reported, a healthy farm economy depends on the export of high-quality American products abroad. For perspective, the agriculture sector produces around $400 billion worth of crops and livestock per year, and exports near $150 billion worth of agricultural goods.

As the “tip of the spear” in this trade war, and already reeling from a prolonged rural recession, America’s farmers and ranchers have been deeply injured, and are therefore thankful that the Administration has taken action to help our rural communities during a particularly hard time.

“Farmers and ranchers are going through our 6th straight year of severe recession and unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs are making already tough times even tougher,” said Matt Huie, President of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness. “Thankfully, the MFP-II announced by Secretary Perdue throws us a vital life-line to help ensure that we can make it through this year and hopefully secure the credit we need to return to the fields for the next growing season.”

Joe Mencer, chair of the USA Rice Farmers and an Arkansas rice farmer, noted that MFP payments will help rice farmers as they deal with the fallout from not only trade wars, but low commodity prices and extreme weather. “While these payments won’t make us whole, they will provide some much needed relief financially for rice producers across the country,” he said.

America’s cotton farmers pointed to China’s tariffs as a key reason for the declining health of the cotton industry as cotton exports lag and U.S. cotton loses market share to competitors in China.  NCC Chairman Mike Tate, an Alabama cotton producer himself, expressed gratitude to the USDA for recognizing the trade pressures faced by farmers and taking action to provide assistance through MFP payments.

Brian Thalmann, President of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, said that Minnesota’s “corn farmers appreciate the quick rollout of the MFP program and USDA’s efforts to better reflect the impact of ongoing trade disputes,” but also emphasized that corn growers are focused on developing long-term solutions to support farmers.

This sentiment was echoed by the National Association of Wheat Growers.  “NAWG appreciates the Administration recognizing the impact the current trade war with China is having on farmers,” stated National Association of Wheat Growers President and Lavon, Texas, farmer Ben Scholz. “However, this is a band-aid when we really need a long-term fix. NAWG understands holding China accountable for its WTO violations and unfair trade practices but a trade war is not the solution especially when farmers are the casualties. We continue to urge the Administration to quickly resolve the ongoing trade dispute with China and to negotiate new trade agreements, and Congress to act quickly on USMCA.”

This reality that the greater hope lies not in the trade aid – though that is important – but in the prospect of achieving a freer and more accountable international marketplace for the future is captured well in the conclusion of SWCA President Huie’s statement:

“The MFP-II also buys some time for Congress to pass USMCA this year and for the U.S. and China to successfully conclude trade negotiations to end the current dispute so we can achieve a truly free and fair global market where foreign countries are expected to play by the same set of rules that we do.  On behalf of the SWCA, I commend the President and Secretary Perdue and his team at USDA for their hard work in developing an MFP-II package that provides real help to farmers and ranchers when we need it most.”

Pioneer Launches Corn Yield Estimator as Part of New Mobile App and Website

Estimating corn yield is now easier than ever thanks to the new Pioneer Corn Yield Estimator. Now available to farmers as part of the Pioneer mobile app, the Corn Yield Estimator takes yield estimation to the next level. This tool uses a machine learning model, which allows farmers to quickly and accurately count the kernels on an ear while in the field. The yield estimate is based on kernel count, stand count and kernels per bushel.

The yield estimator walks the user through the process of lining up the ear of corn to be sampled, taking the necessary number of images and entering the remaining information before providing a yield estimate. The tool requires that husks and silks be removed before taking the picture, but the ear does not need to be pulled from the stalk.

“The creation of this tool is part of Pioneer’s larger efforts to advance customers’ ability to improve management,” said Jeremy Groeteke, U.S. Digital Agriculture Lead, Corteva Agriscience. “The goal of this app is to standardize the process for estimating yield from a single ear of corn and is part of our predictive agriculture effort.”

The introduction of the Yield Estimator kicks off a more connected Pioneer digital ecosystem, including the Pioneer Seeds mobile app and the revamped The new login interface, along with a user-friendly online payment experience and mobile responsiveness, is designed to make a more cohesive online environment for all users.

The new website is designed to be a one-stop-shop, providing premium resources to farmers, such as a personalized seed guide, local yield data, updated and improved agronomy filtering, and seasonal tools and calculators that users have come to expect from Pioneer.

“Farmers today are more mobile than ever,” said Julie Podey, Digital Communications Manager, Corteva Agriscience. “Our focus on mobile responsiveness, ease-of-use and timely agronomic information is what sets and the new Pioneer app apart. We want farmers to have a connected experience, no matter how they are interacting with our brand, and we think these digital tools will provide that online experience.”

Bunge Moving Global Headquarters to St. Louis

Bunge Limited, a leader in agriculture, food and ingredients, announced it is relocating its global headquarters from White Plains, NY, to the St. Louis, MO metropolitan area. This move allows the Company to leverage shared capabilities and enhance collaboration.

"While St. Louis is already an important hub for Bunge and our current North American operations, the city is also home to a number of food, agriculture, animal health and plant science organizations and customers," said Gregory A. Heckman, Bunge's CEO.

"Moving the global headquarters to a location where Bunge has a major business presence is a big step forward in shifting the Company's operating model to align around a more efficient, streamlined global business structure. We are grateful to have called White Plains home for many years, and now look forward to the new growth and development opportunities which our expanded St. Louis presence will provide," said Heckman.

The company is in the early planning stages of the transition to the new global headquarters, which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter 2020.

The Fight Against BRD Starts in the Cow Herd

Che Trejo, DVM, MS, Beef Technical Services, Zoetis

It’s estimated that nearly 9% of beef cattle operations have a calf persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). This might seem like a small percentage, but presence of BVDV can mean a risk for something more. Producers are 43% more likely to need to treat bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in feedlot calves exposed to a BVD-PI animal, a study found.

Reducing exposure to BVDV is an important place to start in the battle against BRD:

·        Step 1: Vaccinate the cow herd before breeding. Only 28% of operations report vaccinating cows for BVDV.1 Yet, a nonvaccinated cow herd is like an uninsured driver out on the road. No contact, and you likely won’t have any issues. But any contact, and you could have a costly disaster.

o   Modified-live virus (MLV) vaccination program: BVDV is most commonly spread by a PI animal acting as a carrier for the virus, so using MLV vaccines that offer protection against BVD-PI calves is the most effective way to protect the cow and unborn calf.3,4 Look for a specific statement on the vaccine label that the vaccine prevents calves from being persistently infected with BVD Types 1 and 2 viruses.

o   Alternative vaccination program: If you can’t implement or maintain a pregnant cow MLV vaccination program, research demonstrates there's an effective alternative. Heifers can be given two prebreeding doses of Bovi-Shield Gold FP® 5. This can be followed by either annual revaccination with the same MLV vaccine or CattleMaster Gold FP® 5, a combination inactivated BVD vaccine containing a temperature-sensitive infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) component. The study demonstrated effective protection against BVD or IBR exposure with both cow herd vaccination program options.5

·        Step 2: Test and remove PI calves. While producers are generally aware of BVDV, a study shared only 4.2% of operations reported testing calves for persistent infection with the virus.1 However, 70% to 90% of BVD infections are subclinical — so most PI calves appear normal — but these animals continually shed the virus and pose a constant risk of exposure to nonprotected cattle.3

o   Test all calves before bull turnout and any incoming cattle, including heifers, cows, bulls and calves born from purchased pregnant cows or heifers. Dams of any positive calves also need to be tested.

·        Step 3: Protect young calves from BVDV. Protecting the unborn calf with a cow herd vaccination program is step one. Another important step is implementing an effective young calf respiratory program that protects against bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), IBR, parainfluenza 3 (PI3), BVD Types 1 and 2 viruses and Mannheimia haemolytica. BRD has many causes and complexities, but BVDV Types 1 and 2 are two of the major viral causes of BRD. BVDV also suppresses the immune system, which can lead to secondary infections from BRD pathogens.

o   BRSV vaccination at birth with an intranasal vaccination followed by a booster vaccination at branding may have some disease-sparing effects during summer exposure to BRSV, according to a study in Montana.6

o   Vaccination on arrival at the feedlot alone with Inforce 3® and One Shot® BVD (no antibiotic on arrival) has been shown to significantly reduce (p = 0.01) second and third treatments for BRD when compared with another vaccination protocol.7

These steps to help control BVDV in the cow/calf operation can reduce the potential of a BVD-PI animal, improve overall cattle health in your herd and help reduce the risk for BRD in the calves you sell.

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