Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday September 30 Ag News


For the week ending September 29, 2019, there were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 13 short, 79 adequate, and 7 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 9 short, 83 adequate, and 7 surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 56 good, and 17 excellent. Corn dented was 95 percent, near 99 last year and 98 for the five-year average. Mature was 52 percent, well behind 82 last year and 72 average. Harvested was 8 percent, behind 16 last year, and near 11 average.

Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 20 fair, 62 good, and 13 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 75 percent, behind 91 last year and 84 average. Harvested was 6 percent, behind 25 last year and 17 average.

Winter wheat planted was 71 percent, near 69 last year and 73 average. Emerged was 23 percent, behind 28 last year and 38 average.

Sorghum condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 14 fair, 70 good, and 13 excellent. Sorghum coloring was 98 percent, near 97 last year, and equal to average. Mature was 38 percent, well behind 68 last year and 66 average. Harvested was 2 percent, behind 15 last year and 11 average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 8 poor, 27 fair, 57 good, and 7 excellent. Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 95 percent. Harvested was 71 percent.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 14 fair, 62 good, and 20 excellent.


Iowa farmers experienced wet field conditions as rain continued to fall throughout the State, limiting farmers to 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending September 29, 2019 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field work activities included seeding cover crops; chopping silage; and harvesting hay, seed corn, soybeans and corn for grain.

Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

Ninety percent of the corn crop has reached the dented stage or beyond, 17 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind the 5-year average. Thirty-six percent of the crop reached maturity, 18 days behind last year and 2 weeks behind average. Two percent of corn has been harvested for grain, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.

Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop has begun coloring or beyond, nearly 2 weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Forty-nine percent of the crop has begun dropping leaves, 2 weeks behind last year and 9 days behind average. Three percent of soybeans have been harvested, 8 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 63 percent good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 89 percent, nearly 2 weeks behind average. Pasture condition rated 45 percent good to excellent. Feedlots remain muddy.

Less Than Half of US Corn Crop Mature at End of September

With average freeze dates for much of the U.S. just weeks away, less than half of the corn crop and just over half of soybeans had reached maturity as of Sunday, Sept. 29, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.

As of Sunday, corn dented was estimated at 88%, 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 98%. Forty-three percent of corn was estimated as mature, still far behind 84% at the same time last year and 30 percentage points behind the five-year average of 73%. The percentage of the crop that has reached maturity slipped further behind average than the previous week, when maturity was running 28 percentage points behind average.

Nationwide, corn harvest progressed 4 percentage points to reach 11% as of Sunday, behind last year's 25% and 8 percentage points behind the five-year average of 19%.

The condition of corn still in fields was estimated at 57% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week, and still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for the crop at this time of year since 2013. The poor-to-very-poor category moved up 1 percentage point to 14%.

Soybeans dropping leaves reached 55% as of Sunday, 21 percentage points behind the five-year average of 76% -- a slight improvement from the previous week when the percent of soybeans dropping leaves was running 25 percentage points behind average.

In its first soybean harvest report of the season, NASS estimated that 7% of the crop was harvested, 13 percentage points behind the five-year average of 20%.

Soybean condition improved 1 percentage point from the previous week to reach 55% good to excellent as of Sunday. As with corn, that remains the lowest good-to-excellent rating in six years.

Spring wheat harvest inched ahead another 3 percentage points to reach 90% as of Sunday, 9 percentage points behind the five-year average of 99%.

Winter wheat planting progress pulled slightly ahead of the average pace, reaching 39% as of Sunday compared to 38% for the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 11%, also near last year's 12% and the five-year average of 13%.

Sorghum coloring was estimated at 95%, equal to the five-year average. Sorghum mature was estimated at 54%, behind the average of 63%. Sorghum harvested reached 30%, behind the five-year average of 35%. Barley harvested reached 96%, behind the average of 100%.

Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 77%, ahead of the average of 67%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 16%, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 16%. Rice harvested was 68%, slightly behind the average of 71%.


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2019 totaled 233 million bushels, up 11 percent from 2018, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the total, 79.0 million bushels are stored on farms, up 30 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 154 million bushels, are up 3 percent from last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 64.1 million bushels, up 57 percent from last year. On-farm stocks of 10.5 million bushels are up 91 percent from a year ago, and off-farm stocks, at 53.6 million bushels, are up 51 percent from 2018.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 71.5 million bushels, down 1 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 8.60 million bushels are up 48 percent from 2018 but off-farm stocks of 62.9 million bushels are down 5 percent from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 2.92 million bushels, up 66 percent from 2018. On-farm stocks of 170,000 bushels are up 17 percent from a year ago, and off-farm holdings, at 2.75 million bushels, are up 70 percent from last year.

On-farm oat stocks totaled 1.00 million bushels, up 67 percent from 2018.


Corn stored in all positions in Iowa on September 1, 2019, totaled 396 million bushels, down 17 percent from September 1, 2018, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Grain Stocks report. Of the total stocks, 33 percent were stored on-farm. The June-August 2019 indicated disappearance totaled 598 million bushels, 4 percent below the 623 million bushels from the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions in Iowa on September 1, 2019, totaled 159 million bushels, 81 percent above the 87.9 million bushels on hand September 1, 2018. This is the highest September 1 total stocks on record, 856 thousand above the previous record of 158 million bushels set in 1986. Of the total stocks, 28 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for June-August 2019 is 142 million bushels, 8 percent above the 132 million bushels from the same quarter last year.

Oats stored on-farm in Iowa on September 1, 2019, totaled 2.80 million bushels, up 33 percent from September 1, 2018.

Corn Stocks Down 1 Percent from September 2018

Soybean Stocks Up 108 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Down Slightly

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2019 totaled 2.11 billion bushels, down 1 percent from September 1, 2018. Of the total stocks, 753 million bushels are stored on farms, up 22 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 1.36 billion bushels, are down 10 percent from a year ago. The June - August 2019 indicated disappearance is 3.09 billion bushels, compared with 3.16 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2019 totaled 913 million bushels, up 108 percent from September 1, 2018. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 265 million bushels, up 162 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 648 million bushels, are up 92 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June - August 2019 totaled 870 million bushels, up 11 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Based on an analysis of end-of-marketing year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushings, and farm program administrative data, the 2018 soybean production is revised down 116 million bushels from the previous estimate. Planted area is revised to 89.2 million acres, and harvested area is revised to 87.6 million acres. The 2018 yield, at 50.6 bushels per acre, is down 1.0 bushel from the previous estimate. A table with 2018 acreage, yield, and production estimates by States is included on page 17 of this report.

All wheat stored in all positions on September 1, 2019 totaled 2.38 billion bushels, down slightly from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 776 million bushels, up 23 percent from last September. Off-farm stocks, at 1.61 billion bushels, are down 8 percent from a year ago. The June - August 2019 indicated disappearance is 657 million bushels, up 11 percent from the same period a year earlier.


Winter wheat production is estimated at 55.3 million bushels, up 12 percent from last year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The area harvested for grain totaled 970,000 acres, down 4 percent from 2018. Planted acreage totaled a record low 1.07 million, down 3 percent from a year earlier. The yield is a record high 57.0 bushels per acre, up 8 bushels from last year.

Oat production is estimated at 1.13 million bushels, down 25 percent from 2018. Area harvested for grain, at 18,000 acres, is down 18 percent from last year. Planted acreage totaled 120,000, down 4 percent from a year earlier. Average yield is 63.0 bushels per acre, down 6 bushels from 2018.


Oat production is estimated at 4.00 million bushels, up 92 percent from last year, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Small Grains 2019 Summary. Oats planted, at 215,000 acres, is up 59 percent from last year. Harvested area for grain is 69,000 acres, more than double the number of harvested acres in 2018. Oat yield, at 58.0 bushels per acre, is down 5.0 bushels from last year.

U.S. Small Grains 2019 Summary

All wheat production totaled 1.96 billion bushels in 2019, up 4 percent from the revised 2018 total of 1.89 billion bushels. Area harvested for grain totaled 38.1 million acres, down 4 percent from the previous year. The United States yield was estimated at 51.6 bushels per acre, up 4.0 bushels from the previous year. The levels of production and changes from 2018 by type were: winter wheat, 1.30 billion bushels, up 10 percent; other spring wheat, 600 million bushels, down 4 percent; and Durum wheat, 57.7 million bushels, down 26 percent.

Oat production was estimated at 54.2 million bushels, up 1 percent from 2018 for comparable States. Yield was estimated at 64.4 bushels per acre, down 0.9 bushel from the previous year for comparable States. Harvested area, at 842,000 acres, was 2 percent above last year for comparable States.

Barley production was estimated at 171 million bushels, up 12 percent from the revised 2018 total of 154 million bushels. The average yield per acre, at 77.4 bushels, was down 0.1 bushel from the previous year. Producers seeded 2.72 million acres in 2019, up 7 percent from last year. Harvested area, at 2.21 million acres, was up 12 percent from 2018.


Stalk Quality Concerns Widespread in Areas of Nebraska

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, NE Extension Plant Pathologist

Extremely stressful growing conditions occurred during much of 2019 in Nebraska, including wet conditions early that delayed planting, record rainfall during July and August, and continued wet conditions into September. Stressful growing conditions anytime during the season can lead to poor plant health and subsequent impacts on late season stalk quality. Corn plants in many areas are showing poor stalk quality that may indicate a need to scout fields to determine which may need to be harvested first or earlier than planned to avoid losses due to lodged corn.

Stalk rot and lodging was evident as early as August in some York, Seward, Clay, and Nuckolls county cornfields, particularly in those along waterways that experienced flooding earlier in the season. In Boone, Nance, and Platte counties, weak stalks and stalk rot was confirmed to some extent in 90% of cornfields surveyed recently. This number indicates the presence of weak stalks/stalk rot, but does not indicate the severity within the field. This would need to be categorized by completing the push test.

Flooding and wet conditions in the spring delayed planting for many producers across the state. Late planting generally reduces corn yield, but, it can also impact plant height, leaf number, ear height, stem diameter, and other plant characteristics.

The effects of late planting potentially causing thinner stalks with ears set higher on plants puts them at greater risk for lodging. In addition, corn diseases, such as those in recent samples submitted to the UNL Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic from across Nebraska, will contribute to stalk problems. Many of the diseases developing in Nebraska cornfields are stalk rot diseases, caused by common fungal pathogens decaying the internal pith tissue inside the stalks.

Stalk rot diseases occur every year in cornfields. Stalk rot disease can prematurely kill plants causing direct impacts to yield. Greater incidence and severity of stalk rot diseases can also have a serious impact at harvest as plants may lodge, falling to the ground out of reach of combine heads during harvest.

The risk of stalk rot diseases is increased in some fields, especially when:
    Leaf diseases, such as gray leaf spot, southern rust, Physoderma brown spot, and others, are severe. Loss of leaf area can lead to stalk cannibalization as the plant fills grain.
    Plants were in standing water.
    Stalks were wounded due to hail and/or insect damage, allowing for infection by some pathogens.
    Susceptible hybrids were planted.
    Soil fertility challenges – too much or (especially) too little nitrogen that may have leached away during  wet conditions.
    Higher than recommended plant populations.
    Fields have a history of stalk diseases, especially in continuous corn with carryover fungal inoculum from the previous season(s).


Today, Senator Bruce Bostelman of Brainard announced he will seek reelection to the Nebraska Legislature in District 23. District 23 includes Butler and Saunders Counties as well as most of Colfax County.

“Over the past three years, I have been fighting for you in the Legislature,” said Sen. Bostelman. “From Second Amendment issues to helping protect unborn life, I have been putting my conservative principles to work. It would be an honor to continue to serve District 23. In my second term, I will continue to fight for meaningful property tax relief and to bring consistent conservative leadership to the Nebraska Unicameral.”

During his first term in office, Sen. Bostelman has built a conservative voting record:
    Property Tax Relief: Successfully worked to increase the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund by 23% for $275 million in relief annually, and voted to deliver meaningful property tax relief for ag producers.
    Pro-Life: Championed efforts to end taxpayer funding of abortion in Nebraska, and voted to help pass three other pro-life bills, including the Compassion and Care for Medically Challenging Pregnancies Act.
    Second Amendment: Successfully led efforts to pass the only pro-Second Amendment bill in the Legislature in the last three years with LB 902, a bill to protect the private information of gun owners when it is held by a public agency.
    Veterans: Worked with the American Legion and VFW to pass multiple pro-veteran and pro-military bills, including legislation that cut red tape and unified two state agencies under the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
    Death Penalty: Voted to stop a new attempt to repeal the death penalty this year, which would have effectively overturned the will of the people of Nebraska, who voted to keep the death penalty in 2016.
    Human Trafficking: Supported measures to strengthen state laws against human trafficking, including LB 519, which eliminated the statute of limitations for sex trafficking of a minor and labor trafficking of a minor.

The Bostelmans live on their family farm near Brainard. Sen. Bostelman has been active in serving his country and community. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after high school in 1980 and retired from the USAF in 2000. In 2002, Bostelman received his bachelor's degree in Business Management from Bellevue University. He has since partnered in research with the University of Nebraska in several areas of agriculture.

Growing up in rural Nebraska, Bostelman has deep roots in agriculture and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska's LEAD XXVII class. He has been active in helping others in their small business ventures as an Advisory Board Member to the UNL Nebraska Cooperative Development Center, Board Member Nebraska Woody Florals Nonstock Cooperative and Heartland Nuts’N More as well as a member of the Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association. Bostelman is a member of Rejda Post 273 of the American Legion and has served one year as the Post Adjutant. He also served as a youth coach for the Oak Creek 4H Trap team and youth baseball.

Sen. Bostelman has the endorsement of Governor Pete Ricketts and Lt. Governor Mike Foley as well as former Governors Dave Heineman and Kay Orr. He also has the endorsement of many State Senators including Senator Joni Albrecht, Senator John Arch, Senator Tom Brewer, Senator Tom Briese, Senator Rob Clements, Senator Steve Erdman, Senator Curt Friesen, Senator Suzanne Geist, Senator Tim Gragert, Senator Mike Groene, Senator Steve Halloran, Senator Ben Hansen, Senator Mike Hilgers, Senator Dan Hughes, Senator Mark Kolterman, Senator Andrew La Grone, Senator Lou Ann Linehan, Senator John Lowe, Senator Mike Moser, Senator Dave Murman, Speaker Jim Scheer, Senator Julie Slama, and Senator John Stinner. Sen. Bostelman has received the sole endorsement of the Nebraska Republican Party.

In the Legislature, Senator Bostelman serves as Vice Chairman on the Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. He is also a member of State of Nebraska Broadband Task Force that is working to connect schools, libraries, and communities.

Bruce has been married to his wife, Jan, for 27 years. They are the proud parents of a son, daughter, and three grandchildren.

Choose American Ethanol to Fuel the Cure for Breast Cancer

Throughout October, drivers can help Fuel the Cure for breast cancer by choosing American Ethanol at the pump. More than 30 Nebraska gas stations will donate 3 cents for every gallon of higher ethanol blends – E15 to flex fuel E85 – sold between October 1­‑­October 31. All donations will support cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha.

Why support this important cause?

Chemicals in gasoline are known to cause cancer. Higher blends of biofuels dilute the toxicity and helps reduce cancer-causing emissions. Last year’s campaign raised more than $6,000.

”Cancer touches the lives of nearly everyone in some way,” said Ashley Christensen, Director of Development, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer. “We appreciate that Nebraska fuel retailers are joining forces to empower drivers to support cancer research at the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, which provides life-saving care to people throughout our state. With donors like yourself, we are able to fund researchers working on new treatments each and every day.”

For a complete list of participating fuel retailers, please visit Drivers will be able to identify which retailers are supporting this important cause by looking for pink signage at the pump, on the windows, and at the counter.

E15 (15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline), also called Unleaded 88, is approved for use in all passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. Ethanol blends higher than 15 percent are approved for use in flex fuel vehicles. One in seven Nebraskans are driving a flex fuel vehicle, which can run on any blend of American Ethanol up to E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline). Drivers can check their owner’s manual to see if they’re driving a flex fuel vehicle. The vehicle might also have a flex fuel badge on the trunk or tailgate — or a yellow gas cap.

“The Fuel the Cure program has been a tremendous partnership between Nebraska’s ethanol industry and the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Ethanol blends already help clean up our air from toxic, cancer-causing chemicals emitted from burning traditional gasoline, but throughout the month, you can make an even bigger impact by using higher ethanol blends to support breast cancer research. Ethanol benefits our health, our environment, our engines and our wallets.”

The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board, along with Renewable Fuels Nebraska, sponsor Fuel the Cure in conjunction with retail stations.

Preparing Grain Bins and Equipment for Harvest

Amy Timmerman – NE Extension Educator

With harvest approaching, it’s time to prepare grain bins and harvesting equipment to help ensure that grain going into storage will remain in good condition. Don't wait until the middle of harvest to discover that a bin foundation is severely cracked, or find even later that insects from grain that was left in the combine last fall have severely infested a bin of new grain. Proper bin and equipment preparation is a key to preserving stored grain quality.

Cleaning and treating grain bins, as well as the surrounding area, can reduce pest and rodent problems in stored grain.

The key to good grain storage is to put the highest quality grain into the bin, or bring it to the proper moisture condition as quickly as possible. Overall quality of stored grain always deteriorates, it is just a matter of how fast. Having a good marketing plan and selling as much as possible before the grain heats up next spring is the best way to have quality stored grain. It is never as good as the day it is put into the bin. Storing the grain longer than next spring requires much more vigilance in management.

Harvesting Equipment

Remove all traces of old grain from combines, truck beds, grain carts, augers, and any other equipment used for harvesting, transporting, and handling grain. Even small amounts of moldy or insect-infested grain left in equipment can contaminate a bin of new grain.

Adjust combines according to the manufacturer's specifications to minimize grain damage and to maximize removal of fines and other foreign material.

Proper cleaning and bin preparation will help assure that grain going into storage will remain in good condition.

Bins and Other System Components

Check the bin site, and remove any items or debris that would interfere with safe, unobstructed movement around the bin. Remove any spilled grain and mow the site to reduce the chances of insect or rodent infestation. If necessary, re-grade the site so that water readily drains away from bin foundations.

Inspect bins and foundations for structural problems. Uneven settlement of foundations can cause gaps between the foundation and bottom edge of the bin. This can result in grain spills and provide entry points for water, insects, and rodents. If perforated floors are used, a gap between the foundation and bin will allow air that would normally be forced through the grain to escape from the bin. Small gaps can usually be filled with a high quality caulking compound. If deterioration is extensive, the mastic seal may need to be replaced. Be sure all anchor bolts are tight and not damaged.

Inspect the bin roof and sides, inside and out, for leaks, loose or sheared bolts, rust or other corrosion, etc. Check the roof vents and access hatch, and caulk any cracks at the roofline. Be sure the access ladder is complete and securely fastened to the bin. Repair or replace any deteriorated components.

Wiring for fans and other electrical components should be inspected for corrosion and cracked, frayed, or broken insulation. Exposed wiring should be run through waterproof, dust-tight conduit. Avoid kinking the conduit, and make sure all connections are secure.

Check fans, heaters, transitions, and ducts for corrosion and damage. Remove any accumulated dust and dirt that will reduce the operating efficiency. Be sure that all connections are tight.

Ensure Bins Are Clean

Remove any old grain with brooms and vacuum cleaners. Never put new grain on top of old. Also, clean bins not being used for storage this year to keep insects from migrating to other bins.

Apply Insecticides

If you think there is any chance you might hold grain in the bin into May or later, it would be prudent to apply residual insecticides to the empty bin after thoroughly cleaning it. You may also apply certain insecticides onto the grain as it is being augered into the bin. A surface application is often recommended to prevent Indian meal moths from infesting the top surface of the grain.

If the bin has a raised drying floor and was known to be infested with grain storage insects last season, consider hiring a professional pest control operator to fumigate the empty bin prior to filling with new grain.


National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Deb Gangwish, who farms in Shelton, Nebraska, brought her experiences and insights as a farmer to a group of 850 industry professionals during the Women in Agribusiness Summit this morning. During a panel discussion, Gangwish, CommonGround Minnesota volunteer Katie Brenny and poultry producer Amy Syester shared their ideas, concerns and perspectives with the rest of the supply chain.

Moderated by Successful Farming Agronomy and Technology Editor Megan Vollstedt, the farmers delved into topics such as the adoption of technology, sustainability and the importance of markets. The discussion emphasized the importance of working as a team to make change possible and farming profitable.

Gangwish highlighted the need to focus on the many goals shared by all in the industry.

“I respect every farmer every acre no matter their production method,” she said. “There aren’t enough of us to focus on our differences or work against one another.”

The perspectives shared played a unique role in the Summit, which focuses largely on the issues facing the industry from a corporate point of view. Strong attendance and engaged participation from the audience demonstrated a strong desire to find new or improved ways to work with farmers for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Midwest Dairy Names Molly Pelzer as Next CEO

Midwest Dairy, the organization representing 7,000 dairy families across the Midwest, announced that the Corporate Board of Directors has chosen Molly Pelzer as the organization’s next chief executive officer. Pelzer, who currently serves as Midwest Dairy’s chief experience officer, succeeds outgoing CEO Lucas Lentsch and will assume the role October 1.

“Given her leadership experience and longstanding commitment to dairy farmers and the dairy checkoff program, Molly embodies everything we want in Midwest Dairy’s next leader,” said Allen Merrill, chairman of Midwest Dairy’s board of directors. “We’re excited to see how she leads our organization as we fulfill our vision and mission to bring dairy to life and give consumers an excellent dairy experience.”

Pelzer joined Midwest Dairy in 1984 and has held various executive leadership roles. In her most recent position as chief experience officer, Pelzer led the development of the organization’s strategic priorities. Prior to Midwest Dairy, she worked with the Midland Dairy Association, as well as Dairy Council, Inc., both former checkoff organizations that are now part of the Midwest Dairy region. A registered dietitian, Pelzer graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Pelzer is the organization’s third CEO in its 19 years of dairy history. Her proven experience in developing programs and resources comes at an exciting time as the organization continues its focus on consumer-centric goals to drive sales and enhance consumer trust for dairy.

“I am proud and humbled to represent dairy farmers and Midwest Dairy staff as we continue to work with our partners to increase sales and trust in dairy and reinforce the importance of dairy foods and dairy farming to our communities” said Pelzer. “I am eager to continue to build strong relationships with dairy farmers, industry leaders and partners as we continue to maximize the investment dairy farmers make in their checkoff organization.”

Pelzer succeeds Lucas Lentsch, who is leaving Midwest Dairy for a leadership role with Dairy Management, Inc.

ICGA Announces 60-Day Harvest Weight Proclamation Starting Tomorrow, October 1

During harvest to support the haul of this year’s crop, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed today a proclamation granting a temporary 60-day weight limit exemption for trucks operating on Iowa roads. The proclamation will be effective as of Tuesday, October 1. The 2019 Harvest Weight Proclamation specifically increases the weight allowable for shipment of corn, soybeans, hay, straw, and stover, by 12.5 percent per axle (up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds) without the need for an oversize/overweight permit.

The 2019 proclamation again applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the federal interstate system. Trucks cannot exceed the truck’s regular maximum by more than 12.5 percent per axle and must obey the posted limits on all roads and bridges.

“On behalf of Iowa’s farmers, we extend a big thanks to Governor Reynolds for approval of this proclamation as it provides tremendous help to us as we work to efficiently transport this year’s crop,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Jim Greif, a farmer from Monticello. “Governor Reynolds made the decision to grant the petition as requested by Iowa Corn, it is not a right by law.”

ICGA made the request to Governor Reynolds in August and worked with the Governor’s office to ensure the proclamation moved forward to benefit Iowa’s farmers in time for harvest. The proclamation directs the Iowa Department of Transportation to monitor the operation of the proclamation and assure the public’s safety by facilitating the movement of the trucks involved. Farmers who are transporting grain are also required to follow their vehicle safety standards on axle weights.

The exemption will be granted for 60 days beginning October 1, 2019.

Crop Insurance Discounts Available for Farmers Who Plant Cover Crops

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that farmers who plant cover crops this fall may be eligible for a $5 per acre reduction on their spring 2020 cash crop insurance premiums. To qualify, the cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cover crop cost share programs. Farmers who received prevent plant payments in 2019 are still eligible for the discounted insurance premiums. 

“All Iowans have a role to play in improving water quality in our state and downstream,” said Secretary Naig. “Cover crops are proven to reduce nutrient loads and improve soil health. As part of the Nutrient Reduction Strategy, our goal is to have at least 14 million acres of cover crops planted in the state of Iowa. This program represents just one of many funding sources available to help farmers add conservation practices to their fields.”

Planting rye or oat cover crops helps improve the health of the soil and prevents erosion, especially during high-intensity rainfalls. Cover crops are also proven to reduce nitrogen loads by 28-31 percent and phosphorous loads by 29 percent, which helps improve water quality.
Program Details

This is a joint, three-year demonstration project administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA). It is intended to increase the use of cover crops in Iowa. More than 1,200 farmers have applied for this program and planted 300,000 acres of cover crops in the past two years.

Farmers can sign up for the cover crop – crop insurance premium reduction program at beginning on Oct. 1, 2019. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2020.

Some insurance policies may be excluded, like Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, or those covered through written agreements. Participants must follow all existing farming practices required by their policy and work with their insurance agency to maintain eligibility.

Farmers are encouraged to visit their local USDA service center offices to learn more about other cost share funding available to support the implementation of conservation practices.

Crawford Livestock Market LLC to host World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifier October 11

Crawford Livestock Market, LLC, 100 W Beech St., will host the first of three regional qualifying events for the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC). The western regional qualifying event will be October 11. Opening ceremonies will commence at 10:00 a.m. (MDT) with the awards ceremony to follow. A total of 36 contestants will compete for a top 10 placing, granting them a spot in the semi-finals for the 2020 WLAC at Dickson Regional Livestock Center, LLC, in Dickson, Tenn.

Each qualifying event is a live sale where each contestant auctions 8 drafts of livestock (traditionally cattle) to actual bidders. Contestants are judged on the clarity of their auction chant, professionalism and their ability to conduct the sale while catching bids.

Contestants competing are Jared Anstine, Holden, Mo.; Zach Ballard, Mitchell, S.D.; Ted Baum, Elgin, Neb.; Andy Baumeister, Mullin, Texas; Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan.; Chuck Bradley, Rockford, Ala.; Spencer Cline, Kingston, Ark.; Eric Drees, Caldwell, Idaho; Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alb.; Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa; Brandon Frey, Ft. Collins, Colo.; Collin Gibbs, Miles City, Mont.; Steven Goedert, Dillon, Mont.; Brandon Hamel, Damar, Kan.; Jacob Hills, Ridgeway, Wis.; Travis Holck, Ruthton, Minn.; Jake Hopwood, Valentine, Neb.; Jase Hubert, Olpe, Kan.; Lynn Langvardt, Chapman, Kan.; Josh Larson, Haxtun, Colo.; Kyle Layman, North Platte, Neb.; Curt Littau, Carter, S.D.; Jalen Mathis, Hutton, Texas; Gregg Matney, Lusk, Wyo.; Justin Mebane, Bakersfield, Calif.; Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Okla.; Terry Moe, Watford City, N.D; Drake Morrow, Opp, Ala.; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Larry Nisly, Quaker City, Ohio; Mark Oberholtzer, Loyal, Wis.; Kirk Otte, Rushville, Neb.; Sixto Paiz, Portales, N.M.; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; Dustin Smith, Jay, Okla.; and Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Neb.

The public may attend the livestock auction and competition free of charge. It will also be streamed live on

The remaining qualifying events are balanced regionally across the LMA Membership. The eastern regional will be held at Farmers Livestock Exchange, Inc. Winchester, Va. on November 18. The midwestern regional will be held at Stockmen’s Livestock, Inc. Yankton, S.D. on January 8, 2020.

NBB, ASA Ask Commerce Secretary Ross for Meeting Before Final Decision on Argentine Biodiesel Duty Rates

Today, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and American Soybean Association (ASA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, requesting he meet with the groups before the U.S. Department of Commerce finalizes its review of countervailing duties on biodiesel imports from Argentina. The letter notes that Ross met with the Government of Argentina after issuing a preliminary decision in the review but has not yet met directly with U.S. biodiesel producers.

"Since Commerce issued the preliminary results in the review on July 9, our multiple requests to schedule a meeting with you have gone unanswered," the groups write. "We still hope that you can provide us the same courtesy that you provided to representatives of the government of Argentina and meet with us."

Commerce finalized countervailing duty rates on Argentine biodiesel imports in January 2018, following a lengthy investigation that found U.S. biodiesel producers were harmed by Argentina's unfair trade practices. Then in November 2018, Commerce granted Argentina's unprecedented request for a "changed circumstances" review, based on the Argentine government's claims that it had changed its tax structure. In July 2019, Commerce issued a preliminary decision that would virtually eliminate countervailing duties for Argentina's biodiesel producers.

"It remains unclear why Commerce is rushing to issue final results when recent developments in Argentina suggest a likely change in leadership and tax policy," the letter continues. "It seems clear that Argentina's tax policies are likely to continue to change, as they have on numerous occasions in recent years. It is far more important for Commerce to make the right decision in this review, rather than a quick decision."

Argentina is holding the first round of a presidential election on October 27. A runoff, if necessary, would occur on November 24.

Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs with NBB, added, "The administration's rush to provide a boost to Argentina's farmers and biodiesel producers is difficult to understand. This year, U.S. farmers are earning half what they did five years ago because of trade disputes. And nine U.S. biodiesel producers have been forced to cut production, close facilities, and lay off workers because of the administration's favors to the oil industry. Opening the door to a resumption of unfairly priced biodiesel imports will only do more harm to the U.S. biodiesel industry and U.S. farmers."

NIHC & Farm Bureau Submit Comment to EPA

Last week, the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) was joined by the American Farm Bureau Federation, in submitting a comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding adding hemp to the labeling of currently registered pesticide products. EPA requested comments regarding the ten applications that it received seeking to add hemp to the labels of products registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). We thank EPA for providing an opportunity to submit comments on this important first set of applications following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The letter calls for EPA to approve these and additional applications in order to expand the range of approved pesticides and provide our members with lawful options for pest control. It goes on to state that "in order for hemp to reach its full potential, it is essential that EPA take a leadership role in consistent review of applications for use on hemp, to facilitate a consistent and equal playing field to the degree possible across state jurisdictions."

The NIHC and Farm Bureau joint letter urges the EPA to promptly approve these ten applications to provide for use during the 2020 growing season and beyond.

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