Saturday, September 21, 2019

Friday September 20 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.16 million cattle on feed on September 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 7 percent from last year. Placements during August totaled 445,000 head, down 7 percent from 2018. Fed cattle marketings for the month of August totaled 460,000 head, down 2 percent from last year. Other disappearance during August totaled 15,000 head, up 5,000 head from last year.

Iowa Cattle on Feed Report

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 630,000 head on September 1, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was unchanged from August 1, 2019, but down 7 percent from September 1, 2018. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 480,000 head on feed, down 6 percent from last month and down 8 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,110,000 head, down 3 percent from last month and down 7 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during August totaled 71,000 head, up 16 percent from July but down 13 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 51,000 head, up 21 percent from July but down 7 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 122,000 head, up 18 percent from July but down 11 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during August totaled 69,000 head, down 10 percent from July and down 31 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 77,000 head, down 17 percent from July but up 5 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 146,000 head, down 14 percent from July and down 16 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 6,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.0 million head on September 1, 2019. The inventory was 1 percent below September 1, 2018.

On Feed by State   (1,000 hd   -   % Sept 1 '18)

Colorado .......:                  930             103               
Iowa .............:                   630              93              
Kansas ..........:                 2,340           101               
Nebraska ......:                 2,160            93              
Texas ............:                 2,730           102               

Placements in feedlots during August totaled 1.88 million head, 9 percent below 2018. Net placements were 1.82 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 385,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 300,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 424,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 440,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 230,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 105,000 head.

Placements by State   (1,000 hd   -   % Aug '18)

Colorado .......:                         170            83           
Iowa .............:                           71            87          
Kansas ..........:                          440            85            
Nebraska ......:                          445            93           
Texas ............:                          435           105          

Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 1.95 million head, 2 percent below 2018.  Other disappearance totaled 61,000 head during August, 11 percent above 2018.

Marketings by State   (1,000 hd   -   % Aug '18)

Colorado .......:                         205           108            
Iowa .............:                          69            69               
Kansas ..........:                         430           100                
Nebraska ......:                         460            98                
Texas ............:                         450           102             

Crop Residue Exchange Updated and Available for Listings

Mary Drewnoski - NE Extension Beef Systems Specialist

New updates make the Crop Residue Exchange even easier to use to link cattle producers and available grazing resources. Crop producers who have listed residue available for grazing in the past are encouraged to log in and update their listings on the Exchange for the fall and winter grazing season.

Recent updates to the Exchange have expanded its geographical reach to include large portions of the states that surround Nebraska. Crop producers in much of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota can now list fields they have available for grazing.

Another update allows livestock producers to save their searches and receive an email notification when a crop producer lists something matching their criteria. There is a lot more searching going on than we have listings. If a crop producr creates a new listing, odds are pretty good that in the near future several livestock producers will be receiving an email letting them know about it.

In addition to providing a winter feed resource, grazing corn residue can increase the amount and rate of corn residue breakdown. When grazed at proper stocking rates, small but positive impacts on subsequent crop production after grazing have been observed. University of Nebraska-Lincoln recommendations for establishing corn residue stocking rates are based on 50% utilization of leaves and husks (8 pounds per bushel or 20% of the total corn residue). Some additional corn residue disappears through trampling and wind loss, but there has been no increased erosion risks when only 40% to 50% of the corn residue was removed through grazing.

Getting Started with the Crop Residue Exchange

After establishing a log-in account on the Crop Residue Exchange, producers can draw out the plot of land available for grazing by using an interactive map and entering basic information about the type of residue, fencing situation, water availability, and dates available. They also need to provide their preferred contact information. The land available for grazing can be described as a “Residue Type” (corn, wheat, sorghum, other) or pasture. Pricing can be listed as a cost per acre or a cost per head per day. Livestock producers can search the Crop Residue Exchange database for grazing available within a radius for the location of interest. Livestock producers must be logged in to view the contact information attached to each listing.

The Crop Residue Exchange came online in August 2017. To date 281 registered users have posted 45 listings for grazing. Over 6,000 searches for grazing resources have been conducted on the Exchange and almost 600 views of contact information for available listings have occurred. The Exchange continues to expand in usage as well as features available to better connect livestock producers with forage resources.

Thistle Control in October

Bruce Anderson - NE Extension Forage Specialist

As October starts to arrive, our thoughts naturally turn toward crop harvest, but don't forget this is the optimal timeto control thistles. They can be hard to see at this time, but that means they're small enough to provide for more successful control.

Timing is everything. That's particularly true with thistle control and the time from October to early November is one of the best times to use herbicides.

Walk out into areas where you know you had thistles this year. Look close and you're likely to find many thistle seedlings. Most thistle seedlings this fall will be small, in a flat rosette growth form. At this growth stage they are very sensitive to certain herbicides.

Several herbicides are effective and recommended for thistle control.  Several newer herbicides like ForeFront, Milestone, and Chaparral work very well.  Two other very effective herbicides are Tordon 22K and Grazon.  Be careful with all these herbicides, but especially Tordon and Grazon, since they also can kill woody plants, including trees you might want to keep.  Applications of 2,4-D work well while it’s warm, but you will get better thistle control by using a little less 2,4-D and adding a small amount of dicamba to the mix.

Other herbicides such as Redeem, Cimarron, and Curtail also can control thistles in pastures. No matter which weed killer you use, though, be sure to read and follow label instructions and spray on time.  

Next year, avoid overgrazing your pastures so your grass stands get thicker and compete with any new weeds or thistle seedlings.

Controlling thistle this fall can help provide a clearner pasture next spring.

Nebraska State Grange Annual Session 2019

The Nebraska State Grange held their 131st Annual Session at the Ramada Inn in Grand Island, NE September 13-15.  Roger Steele, Mayor of Grand Island, welcomed our group on Saturday morning. State Grange President Kevin Cooksley read the letter of greeting that National Grange President, Betsy Huber sent to the Nebraska State Grange.

Shannon Cooksley, Weissert Ne., presented the Grange Deaf Awareness Scholarship to Mira Liebig from Columbus, NE. Mira is presently attending UNL and pursuing a degree in Deaf Education.

Walt Dietz, from Broken Bow, NE was reelected to the Nebraska State Grange Executive Committee.

State Grange President, Kevin Cooksley Weissert NE, in his report, mentioned that the Grange again participated in the efforts to bring about much needed property tax relief through the actions of the coalition we belong to (Nebraskans United). In last year's legislative session our group's efforts fell short, due mostly to the opposition by the Governor, of our revenue-production plan.  The politicians say they want property tax relief, but most will not consent to increasing state revenue in order to offset property tax cuts. The Nebraskans United coalition has been making adjustments to their plan, and will be making another effort at property tax relief in the upcoming legislative session.

Resolutions adopted included:

1. Pressuring the USDA to become more proactive in assuming its role in the current agricultural environment. This pertains particularly to the CFTC and its role in Futures Trading, and the UDSA Monthly Reports.

2. Forcing the EPA to follow the federal law so as to ensure that the full amount of ethanol mandated by law to be blended with gasoline be met.

3. Requiring that all Halal products having the Halal logo be labeled in such a way that is truthful and easily recognizable, so that customers can make an informed purchasing decision and know that some proceeds from certification is being used to fund various Muslim groups.

Vernon Waldren, of Omaha was named the recipient of the 2019 Nebraska State Grange Distinguished Service Award.  “For his service to Nebraska farm and ranch families and 4-H youth through his leadership in the Extension Service, for bridging the divide and uniting the efforts between rural and urban patrons”. Vernon was also inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2018.

The 2020 State Session will return to Grand Island.

Free Ag Law and Farm Finance Clinics this October

Free legal and financial clinics are being offered for farmers and ranchers at seven sites across the state in October. The clinics are one-on-one meetings with an agricultural law attorney and an agricultural financial counselor. These are not group sessions, and they are confidential.

The attorney and financial advisor specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and other relevant matters. Here is an opportunity to obtain an independent, outside perspective on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.

Clinic Sites and Dates
    Norfolk — Wednesday, October 2
    Grand Island — Thursday, October 3
    North Platte — Thursday, October 10
    Lexington — Thursday, October 17
    Fairbury — Wednesday, October 23
    Valentine — Tuesday, October 29
    Norfolk — Wednesday, October 30

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Funding for this work is provided by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Legal Aid of Nebraska, North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Siouxland Agricultural Lenders Seminar Nov. 7 near Orange City

Agricultural lenders will receive useful, research-based information during the Siouxland Agricultural Lender’s Seminar Nov. 7 at The Triple Box, near Orange City.

The seminar will present current information to assist lenders and farm financial advisers in their portfolio management, which is especially important in this era of continued market variability.

Lenders who serve agricultural clients – especially those who work with dairy producers – in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota are encouraged to attend, as the seminar will focus on market outlooks for livestock, grains and dairy, along with the issues of farm technology, new record data and reporting, plus tax laws affecting agriculture.

“Ag lenders know that price risk management continues to be a major variable for profitability in ag enterprises,” said Fred Hall, northwest Iowa dairy specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “For that reason, understanding the current market trends and risks is a necessary part of farm management assistance. Lenders and consultants working with dairymen have the additional necessity of understanding a complex system of milk marketing, labor inputs and federal policy implications.”

Seminar presentations and registration
On-site registration begins at 8:45 a.m. and the forum runs from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The list of nationally recognized presenters includes:
-    Doug Johnson, Moody’s Analytics: “Convergence of the Big Three in Agriculture: Ag Economy, Ag Technology and Ag Experience.”
-    Nathan Hulinksy, University of Minnesota: “Combining FINBIN and DHIA Data to Predict Expansion Success.”
-    Mark Stephenson, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “Dairy Market Outlook.”
-    Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist with Iowa State University: “Agriculture Market Outlook.”
-    Tom Thaden, Iowa Farm Business Association: “Agriculture Tax Law Changes.”
-    Gary Vande Vegte, CPA, CMA, Van Bruggen & Vande Vegte CPAs and Financial Advisors: “How Dairies are Ramping Up Their Financial Reporting.”

The Siouxland Ag Lenders Seminar is hosted through a partnership between the ISU Extension and Outreach Dairy Team, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota Bankers Associations.

“This local seminar has proven itself in assisting Siouxland lenders and financial advisors with current information, which they can use as they help producers manage risk,” Hall said.

Registration is $85 for the first person from a business, and $60 for each additional person who has registered by Oct. 25. To register, use the online registration form  or download the flyer with mail-in form. After Oct. 25, all registrations, including at the door, will be $100 and will not guarantee lunch. For more information, contact Fred Hall at 712-737-4230 or 

The Triple Box is located at 4758 Ironwood Ave., Orange City, Iowa.  Here is the link for more information...


On Thursday, the House approved a stopgap funding bill to keep the government funded through Nov. 21. Contained in that bill is flexibility on the $30 billion Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), which funds the Market Facilitation Program, or trade aid, for farmers in response to trade retaliation.

Some lawmakers, including House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), sought to not include extension of the CCC funds in the short-term funding, calling for increased transparency on the program. As a compromise, language was included directing USDA to send information to Congress on CCC expenditures, including calculations for estimating trade dispute-related damage to farmers.

The Senate is expected to approve the overall funding measure next week.

US Ethanol Plant Run Rate at 93.8% YTD

The utilization rate of U.S. ethanol plants averaged 93.8% in 2019 through mid-September, with the June-to-August run rate at 95.6% of capacity.

The run rate is based off 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in installed capacity as of Jan. 1 reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, reflecting a 2%, or 300 million gallon, year-on-year increase in 2018 to 16.9 billion gallons. In 2018, ethanol production capacity expanded by more than 700 million gallons.

In its Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report, EIA data showed nameplate capacity in the Midwest PADD 2 jumped almost 3%, or more than 400 gallons a year in 2018 to 15.5 billion gallons.


On Monday, President Trump sent a letter to Congress, saying his administration "has reached an initial trade agreement regarding tariff barriers with Japan" and intends to enter into the agreement in the coming weeks. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe may sign a trade agreement at next week's United Nations meeting in New York. An agreement in principle was announced on Aug. 25 at the G7 summit in France.

The National Pork Proudcers Council, a leading advocate for the agreement, celebrated the deal that, once implemented, will place it back on a level playing field with international competitors in a critical export market. U.S. pork producers had been losing market share in Japan because international competitors entered into trade agreements with the country, including the EU and the CPTPP. Japan is the largest value market and the second volume market for U.S. pork exports.

Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the United States pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors.


In a letter sent Friday, NPPC urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to work with Jamaica for greater U.S. pork market access. "U.S. pork is exported to over 100 nations in any given year and the U.S. typically is the world's largest exporter of pork, but the barriers in Jamaica prohibit virtually all U.S. pork," the letter explained, noting that Jamaica imposes restrictions based on unwarranted claims about the pseudorabies virus (PRV).

The U.S. hog herd has been free of PRV since 2003, and there is no scientific evidence to support Jamaica's claim that the disease can be transmitted to hogs through raw pork. No other country imposes PRV-related import restrictions on U.S. pork, the letter noted.

"President Trump has called for reciprocity in our trading relationships. We strongly agree. We find it infuriating that Jamaica, the second-largest recipient of benefits from the Caribbean Basin Initiative program, continues to stonewall the United States on this matter. We urge you to break the logjam and open the Jamaican market to U.S. pork," the letter added.


U.S. and Indian officials continue discussions on a possible trade deal. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's team is aiming to conclude negotiations about a preliminary agreement by the end of this week. On Sunday, Sept. 22, President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a public event in Houston, aimed at discussing ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship. Meantime, the two world leaders will be together at next week's United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Earlier this week, 44 members of Congress urged Lighthizer to restore trade concessions to India. In June, President Trump terminated India's participation in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which provides developing countries beneficial access to the U.S. market. India has a population of 1.26 billion and the potential market opportunity of a trade agreement with India would be significant for U.S. agriculture.

Secretary Perdue Statement on Administrative Actions to Streamline H-2A Process

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement highlighting actions announced by the Department of Labor (DOL) which will modernize the burdensome H2A visa process. First, DOL published a common-sense rule that eliminates the requirement to advertise a job opening in print newspapers instead shifting to advertising on the DOL and State Workforce Agency websites, which are further reaching and more cost effective. Also, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced updates to the pertinent H-2A forms and online filing process for the H-2A temporary agricultural program. These two actions will ease regulatory burdens on our farmers and ranchers, making it easier for them to follow the law and hire farm workers through the H-2A program.

“Both of these actions by DOL are critical changes the Administration is making to improve the H-2A application process,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump is committed to ensuring our farmers and producers have access to a stable, legal agricultural workforce. By streamlining these processes, DOL is bringing the H-2A process into the 21st Century allowing farmers to be able to better and cost-effectively advertise for workers they need and fill out the required forms faster and more efficiently, because no one should have to hire a lawyer to hire a farm worker. I commend President Trump for his continued support of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers.”

In addition to making it easier for Americans to find and fill open jobs, the Final Rule will reduce regulatory burdens like the requirement that all employers advertise in a print newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment as the method of recruitment. Department of Labor’s system updates increase ease of use for farmers and producers who apply for H-2A employees. As any employer knows, hiring forms, applications and rules are cumbersome, time intensive, and duplicative that lack flexibility and common sense. These changes demonstrate the Trump Administration’s commitment to releasing the regulatory burden from our agricultural producers, making it easier for them to hire a stable and legal workforce. The more time a farmer spends on paperwork, the less productive they are, hurting their business and way of life.

DOL’s new labor application process modernizes two forms by making them electronic forms, removing time intensive paper applications that require delivery via mailing. The Department of Labor will continue to accept online submissions of the current Form ETA-9142A (and job orders uploaded using the current Form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order) through the iCERT System until October 16, 2019. Beginning October 1, an employer seeking to employ emergency, H-2A workers or those starting on or after December 15, 2019 must submit a job order using the new form ETA-790/790A (and corresponding addendums) and an H-2A application using the new form ETA-9142A (and corresponding appendices) in the FLAG System.For more information, visit DOL’sForeign Labor Application Gateway(FLAG) page.

DOL’s Electronic Recruitment Rule rescinds the requirements to advertise a job opening in the newspaper, expands and enhances electronic job register, and utilizes State Workforce Agencies to promote job openings.

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