Thursday, August 8, 2019

Wednesday August 7 Ag News

Governors Call on EPA to Remove Regulatory Burden

Recently, Governor Pete Ricketts requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remove unnecessary rules that regulate CO2 emissions from the processing and use of agricultural feedstocks.  Gov. Ricketts joined with the Governors of Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota to co-author a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, asking for an end to the burdensome regulations.

“We respectfully request that you prioritize regulatory reform clarifying that biogenic CO2 emissions from processing and use of agricultural feedstocks...are not pollutants subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act,” wrote the Governors.  “Removal of this regulatory barrier is key to unlocking investment in the 21st century bioeconomy in rural areas across America.”

In the wake of a 2009 Endangerment Finding on the environmental impact of greenhouse gases, the EPA claimed jurisdiction to regulate CO2 emissions from agricultural crops.  Subsequent EPA rules imposed a burden on ag producers to go through a permitting process.  The regulations also placed them at risk of being sued for processing or using feedstocks.  The net result has been to delay some bio-economic development projects, and to prevent others from ever happening at all.

The EPA persisted in the regulations despite being cautioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that biogenic CO2 is carbon neutral and therefore not liable to governmental oversight.

Husker Harvest Days 2019

Husker Harvest Days is a place to find useful tips, strategies and tools to take home to your operation — things that you can control, and hopefully improve in a profitable way. 

This year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is emphasizing strategies for staying strong in the wake of extremes — including extreme weather and stress — at the Husker Red Building on Lot 827 on Eighth Street in the southeast quadrant of the exhibit field.

Nebraska Extension faculty will discuss weather readiness, stress management, ag economics, ag leadership, beef and crop production, irrigation efficiency, horticulture, and careers in agriculture. So, if you've got a question on any of these topics, bring it with you — there's likely an expert who can provide some insight.

Field Demonstrations

Field demonstrations are an integral part of Husker Harvest Days. NEW THIS YEAR! The time for corn harvest has changed to 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day, giving visitors a great opportunity to see the machines in action. Each company will comment on their combine, grain cart or other piece of machinery before they demonstrate in the field. Tillage tools and other special machines will operate each day at 11:30 a.m. Haying demonstration will begin at 2:00 p.m. with mowing, raking and baling. Also new this year, Haying Demonstrations will be located north of the exhibit field in Field 2.

New this year - Beef Production Seminars

Our expanded cattle production area includes the introduction of seminars from high-profile industry members.
10 a.m.- Cattle Handling Demo. (All show days)
11 a.m.- Fake Meat: The Real Story and What Beef Producers Need to Know, speaker Amanda Radke, author and long-time freelance contributor to BEEF Magazine. Amanda will have her new ranch-inspired book for kids, Can-Do Cowkids. (Tues. and Wed.)
Noon- The Beef Business in an Era of Uncertainty, speaker Burt Rutherford, senior editor, BEEF Magazine. (All show days)
1 p.m.- Great Grazing is for Profit, speaker Alan Newport, editor, Beef Producer. (All show days)
2 p.m.- Cattle Handling Demo. (All show days)

Plus, there are live-action equine and stock dog training demos, and many cattle handling and production equipment suppliers exhibiting at the show … feed, fencing, feeding equipment, waterers, animal health supplies, security/monitoring equipment, haying equipment, buildings, wagons, trailers, welders, breed associations, purebred cattle breeders, and more!

Cattle Handling, Horse Training Demos and more for the Livestock Producer

Husker Harvest Days offers working cattle demonstrations, horse training demos, herding dog demonstrations and livestock equipment displays for livestock producers. Cattle handling demonstrations are located at the Livestock Industries Building between Second and Third Streets and are sponsored by Enogen Feed. Demos run twice daily at 10 am and 2 pm. Ron Knodel will be demonstrating his horse training techniques using wild horses at the BLM display #50E. He will have programs daily at 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Herding dog demonstrations will take place on the north side of Chief Flag Road and run throughout the day.

Husker Harvest Days App

The Husker Harvest Days App is now available for free download to your Android or iPhone. Put the 2019 Husker Harvest Days in the palm of your hand with our new app. You will have instant access to key show information including an exhibitor search and show map. For access to the Husker Harvest Days app go to your phone's app store and search for "Husker Harvest Days 2019". The app is free, your usual phone charges apply. The Husker Harvest Days app is sponsored by and Reinke Irrigation.

Hope to see you there! 

It's been a rough year for agriculture — there's no way around it. If you're feeling the crunch this season, whether because of economics, weather extremes or stress, we hope there's something at HHD you can bring home to help improve your ranch or farming operation.


Nebraska's farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, increased from 2018, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farm real estate value for 2019 averaged $2,850 per acre, up $100 per acre (4 percent) from last year.

Cropland value increased slightly from last year to $4,390 per acre. Dryland cropland value averaged $3,490 per acre, $60 higher than last year. Irrigated cropland value averaged $5,850 per acre, $80 below a year ago. Pastureland, at $1,050 per acre, was $75 higher than the previous year.

Cash rents paid to landlords in 2019 for cropland decreased from last year. Irrigated cropland rent averaged $237 per acre, $1 below last year. Dryland cropland rent averaged $144 per acre, $6 lower than a year earlier. Pasture rented for cash averaged $24.50 per acre, $2 above the previous year.


Iowa’s farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $7,190 per acre in 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Land Values 2019 Summary. This is down $80 per acre or 1 percent from last year’s level.
Cropland, at $7,260 per acre, was down $30 from last year. Pasture, at $2,720 per acre, was down $70 from last year.

Cropland cash rent paid to Iowa landlords in 2019 averaged $230.00 per acre according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Non-irrigated cropland rent averaged $230.00 per acre, down $1.00 from last year. Irrigated cropland rent averaged $235.00 per acre. Pasture rented for cash averaged $59.00 per acre, up $5.00 from the previous year.

U.S. Agricultural Land Values Highlights

The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,160 per acre for 2019, up $60 per acre (1.9 percent) from 2018. The United States cropland value averaged $4,100 per acre, an increase of $50 per acre (1.2 percent) from the previous year. The United States pasture value averaged $1,400 per acre, up $30 (2.2 percent) from 2018.

County level averages of 2019 cash rents paid to landlords will be released on September 10, 2019 and will be available through NASS Quick Stats, located at

Iowa Department of Agriculture Revamps the Choose Iowa Brand at the 2019 Iowa State Fair

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will re-launch the Choose Iowa initiative at the 2019 Iowa State Fair. The Choose Iowa program creates support for farmers, drives demand for the products they produce, and generates excitement about agricultural innovation happening around the state.

“Iowa farmers work hard to produce healthy, affordable food using sustainable practices. Thanks to their efforts, Iowa produces more corn, pork, eggs and renewable fuels than any other state,” said Secretary Naig. “Whether you live in the city or the country, you can support our farmers by choosing Iowa-grown meat, eggs, dairy and produce at grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants around the state.”

The Choose Iowa brand first launched in 2007 as a labeling program for locally-grown products. Now the program has evolved into a platform to share stories about Iowa agriculture, including farm families, innovations, agribusinesses and the products they produce.

Agriculture is an important part of our state’s history and agricultural innovations will lead our state into the future. Iowa has created an environment for ag entrepreneurs and start-up companies to be successful. All Iowans can be proud of the established industry leaders, promising new start-ups and technology-savvy farmers that call Iowa home. These agricultural leaders create new opportunities for Iowa’s communities, economy and workforce.

Iowa State Fair attendees can visit the Choose Iowa booth in the Ag Building to learn more about Iowa’s agricultural products and some of the decisions producers make every day on the farm. Additional information is available at

Corteva Agriscience and 4-H Showcase the Future of Farming at Iowa State Fair

This year, the Iowa State Fair will welcome more than one million guests to one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the United States. Corteva Agriscience, an official partner of this year's Fair, is proud to showcase its partnership with 4-H during the opening weekend to highlight its commitment to encouraging youth to become engaged in the development of ideas and solutions that grow progress and the future of agriculture.

On Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 – 4-H Alumni Day at the Iowa State Fair – Corteva and 4-H will co-host the Farmfluencer Award Show at 1:30 p.m. CT in the 4-H Exhibits Building. All are encouraged to attend as the event is open to media and the public.

The inaugural "Farmfluencer," program was a global initiative launched earlier this year, aimed at inspiring the next generation, helping them understand the role of innovation and the technologies designed to improve the world through agriculture. More than 130 entries were received over the course of the submission period, demonstrating wide array of topics from precision agriculture to the mental health of farmers.

"4-H has a long history of developing experiential learning programs that a positively affect agriculture for future generations," said Artis Stevens, National 4-H Council Chief Marketing Officer. "Farmfluencer has been an incredibly successful program, as we received many smart, well-thought out and impactful entries; therefore, we will celebrate not only the winners, but all of the submissions at this celebration."

Winners of this year's Farmfluencer contest will join Stevens and Corteva's Dana Bolden, vice president of external affairs, on-stage to discuss the agriculture industry and their winning submissions impact the future of farming. In addition to honoring the winners with an award, they will share the thinking behind their submissions and their perspective on what is important to the future of farming.

"Now, more than ever before, it's imperative that younger generations team up with farmers, industry leaders and companies like Corteva to advance and sustain agricultural practices across the globe," said Bolden. "The Farmfluencer was filled with inspiring ideas that we're thrilled to celebrate this week at the Iowa State Fair."

Corteva will be on-site at the Fair throughout the 11-day event, which begins on Thursday, Aug. 8 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. 

Weekly Ethanol Production for 8/2/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Aug. 2, ethanol production averaged 1.040 million barrels per day (b/d)— equivalent to 43.68 million gallons daily. Output expanded by 10,000 b/d (0.9%) over the previous week yet was 59,000 b/d (-5.5%) below the year-ago volume. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined for the fifth consecutive week, down 0.2% to 1.044 million b/d and equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.00 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks dropped 5.5% from the prior week’s record high to 23.1 million barrels. Stocks declined sharply in the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), the primary region from which ethanol is exported, but built in the East Coast (PADD 1) and Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) regions.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 36,000 b/d, or 10.58 million gallons for the week. This is the third time in five weeks that imports were logged. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of June 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied to the market increased 1.0% to 9.651 million b/d (405.3 million gallons per day, or 147.95 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol lessened by 1.5% to 945,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.49 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production ticked down to 10.78%.

Livestock Groups Launch Month-long Campaign Highlighting the Benefits of Grazing

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council today launched a digital campaign focused on the value of grazing. The digital campaign was created to explore key elements of grazing that benefit the environment, rural communities, and local economies across the United States.

The four-week campaign launched with a video and blog post featuring Rich Atmore, a California rancher that lived through the destructive 2017 Thomas Fire. With the use of livestock grazing, Atmore mitigated the intensity and damage of  wildfires around his home and surrounding urban landscapes.

“Wildfire mitigation is just one of the many benefits of livestock grazing," said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “Cattle positively contribute to the environment and our food production system, and it’s a story many need to hear. We need to arm the public with facts; it’s livestock who provide natural nutrients to the soil, ensure our native grasslands remain intact, and ensure rural America remains economically supported.”

Research finds that managed livestock grazing prevents catastrophic wildfire, cycles nutrients through the soil, fosters healthy habitats for wildlife, and supports rural economic development.  In fact, ranchers maintained and preserved seven million acres of habitat for the Greater Sage-grouse, a bird that does not need federal protections thanks largely to the benefits of livestock grazing.

“Whether someone enjoys fishing, biking, or camping on public lands, its livestock grazing that preserves this open space for others to enjoy,” said PLC President Bob Skinner. “Without ranching partners, the federal government would face difficulty maintaining such large landscapes. My hope is our campaign highlights the value added by grazing and expands the positive perceptions surrounding ranching.”

The campaign will continue to share impactful stories about the importance of livestock grazing this August through social media content, online blog posts, and videos. To learn more about the value of livestock grazing in the United States, visit or

Alliance releases report from 2019 Animal Rights National Conference

The Animal Agriculture Alliance released a report today detailing observations from the Animal Rights National Conference, held July 25 through July 28 in Alexandria, Virginia. The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups.

“Animal rights extremists are becoming increasingly aggressive in their efforts to end animal agriculture,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “Releasing reports from major activist conferences enables everyone in animal agriculture to prepare for strategies and tactics targeting their livelihood.”

Similar to last year’s conference, speakers made it clear their vision is animal liberation, not promoting animal welfare. “There is no such thing as humane slaughter and anyone who tells you differently is simply lying,” said Michael Budkie of Stop Animal Exploitation Now. “We need to say that all animal agriculture is cruel and wrong,” said Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns. Demetria Atkinson of Redefine Your Mind argued “Animals are people too.”

A key theme of the conference was the desire to create a vegan world by 2026 to save the environment, but many activists had doubts. “Activism is so sad right now; when I look at our movement, I am incredibly disappointed,” said Lauren Ornelas of The Food Empowerment Project. “We vegans carry a heavy burden. No matter how hard we work, we will likely never see the end of it,” said Melanie Joy of Beyond Carnism. “We are not even close to being on the cusp of global veganism,” said Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute.

Attendees at the conference were encouraged to pressure restaurants and retailers and make it seem like a lot of people are asking for vegan meals by blitzing companies on social media, by mail and in-person. “Make sure you tag [brands] in the photo so that all they see is consumer demand for vegan [products],” said Laura Cascada of Compassion Over Killing. Cascada also urged conference attendees to write post cards so they could have “several hundred post cards to dump on the front step of [one restaurant chain] at some point.” In a workshop at the conference, The Humane League asked attendees to write birthday cards to the CEO of a major restaurant chain saying, “This will be the meanest card you’ll ever write.” While talking about corporate campaigns, Kelly Myer of The Humane League said, “We surround buildings so that employees have to see and feel guilt anytime they leave” and “An incremental approach is used to gradually switch companies over to veganism.”

Speakers also focused on the use of “undercover” videos and the media to damage the reputation of animal agriculture and reach their goals. “Investigations are the single most powerful tool to expose the inherent cruelties in large-scale animal agriculture,” said William Rivas-Rivas of Animal Equality. “Make sure you start with something dramatic...That’s much more likely to go viral,” said Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane UnChained News Network.

Also speaking at the conference were: Erica Meier and Mike Wolf, Compassion Over Killing; Sean Thomas, Animal Equality; Jennifer Barkley, The Humane League; and Chris Berry and Daniel Waltz, Animal Legal Defense Fund.

The 2019 Animal Rights National Conference Report, which includes personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members in the Resource Library on the Alliance website. The Alliance also has reports from previous animal rights conferences accessible to members on its website.

California Approves B20 Biodiesel in Underground Storage Tanks

California has cleared the way for storing biodiesel blends of up to 20 percent (B20) in underground storage tanks, removing the last major barrier to satisfying the state’s thirst for biodiesel.

Through an effort lasting more than 10 years, the National Biodiesel Board, several member companies, and the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance provided the State Water Board with data necessary to demonstrate B20 compatibility in underground storage tanks. NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen said the amended regulation fulfills a high priority industry objective to allow double-walled UST owners and operators that wish to store B20 to comply with regulations.

“This is a major victory towards biodiesel’s mainstream integration into the California fuel supply,” Rehagen said. “We recognize the huge potential for biodiesel to supply California with a better and cleaner fuel and applaud state regulators for working closely with us to clear this final hurdle that will allow for more low-carbon biodiesel to make its way to the consumers and fleets all across the state.”

Biodiesel, a renewable fuel for diesel engines, significantly reduces greenhouse gases compared to fossil fuels. This makes biodiesel use an important strategy in meeting the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The California Air Resources Board affirms biodiesel reduces greenhouse gases by at least 50 percent, and often by as much as 81 percent compared to petroleum. This gives biodiesel some of the best carbon scores among all liquid fuels.

The vast majority of diesel fuel is stored in underground storage tanks, particularly at retail fueling locations. Although biodiesel biodegrades in water as fast as sugar, regulators had concerns that any degradation of UST materials could allow diesel fuel to compromise the water supply.

The California State Water Resources Control Board amended California Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations on August 6. The regulations now say that diesel containing up to B20, meeting the ASTM standard for B20 (D7467), “shall be recognized as equivalent to diesel for the purpose of complying with existing approval requirements for double-walled USTs, unless any material or component of the UST system has been determined to not be compatible with B20.”

The language reverses the previous wording of the regulation, which in effect required tank owners to prove that every component of the tank was compatible.

“This change in regulations represents a huge milestone for consumers in California, who will now have increased access to B20 in a state where protecting the environment is greatly valued,” said Tyson Keever of biodiesel producer SeQuential and Crimson Renewable Energy who chairs the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance. “Our company is driven to make a positive impact on reducing carbon emissions, to stimulate local economies, and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and this new regulation will amplify our ability to do all three.”

California was the last state to accept storages of B20 in underground fuel systems. The regulation will go into effect October 1.

The Andersons Reports Net Income for 2Q

The Andersons, Inc. announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30. The company reports net income of $29.9 million, or $0.91 per diluted share, and adjusted net income of $32.3 million, or $0.98 per diluted share.

Ethanol Group records pretax income of $2.6 million in a challenging margin environment.

"Extremely wet weather in many of our core grain origination markets benefited our Trade Group but hurt both our Ethanol and Plant Nutrient Groups during the quarter. The resulting market conditions illustrated perfectly the value of the more diversified, newly integrated portfolio we now operate in our Trade Group," said President and CEO Pat Bowe. "We were able to capitalize on merchandising opportunities caused by grain and feed ingredient price volatility. However, we're concerned about the implications of a smaller corn crop on the utilization of our eastern grain assets for the remainder of this year and into 2020."

As it did in the first quarter, the company has recast second quarter 2018 pretax income for the former Grain Group and the Ethanol Group to conform to segment reporting changes made in conjunction with the acquisition of Lansing Trade Group.

AgroLiquid Introduces Micro 1000

Growers asked for a comprehensive micronutrient package. AgroLiquid delivers with 10 nutrients in one manufactured product.

AgroLiquid is excited to introduce the newest product in its microLink line-up. Micro 1000™ is a combination of eight essential micronutrients: zinc, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, and boron; and two secondary nutrients: calcium and magnesium.

Soil tests do not analyze the availability of all micronutrients we know plants utilize during the growing season (albeit in very small amounts). Regardless of the quantity of a nutrient needed, if a plant does not have access to those micronutrients, it can lead to susceptibility to disease, stunting, reduced root structure and ultimately, reduced yields.

At the recent Ag PhD Field Day, TV show host, Darren Hefty, commented, “I talk with many farmers who say ‘well, we haven’t really focused on micros on our farm, which ones are most important?’ Obviously all of them.” Micro 1000 was developed to provide secondary and micronutrients to the crop during key growth stages. Zn, Mn, Fe, and Cu are components of chlorophyll production and are critical for photosynthesis. Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Ca, and Mg help improve nitrogen utilization by the crop. All of them are needed during the early development of the crop, with boron being needed most during pollination. The Flavonol Polymer Technology contained in Micro 1000 allows for improved uptake and assimilation by the crop.

The availability of secondary and micronutrients to the crop can be affected by a number of soil and environmental factors. While a thorough soil test analysis is critical to making an informed crop nutrition recommendation, a soil test may not measure, or fails to provide, sufficient information about certain factors. Some of these factors include soil nutrient interactions, temperature, water content and light. Find out if Micro 1000 is right for your operation at

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