Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Tuesday September 24 Ag News

Cuming County Youth Compete at 70th Annual Norfolk Beef Expo

The Agri-Business Council of the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Norfolk Beef Expo, a live market calf show and auction, every September, at the Northeast Community College Ag Complex.

This event is open to youth throughout Nebraska between the ages of 8 & 19 as of January 1. The Beef Expo is a tradition for many families and celebrated its 70th year this year.

Cuming County 4-H members Evie Schlickbernd, Jaleigh Hallsted, Trevor Steffen, and Josie Ritter competed at this year’s Expo.

Results from Norfolk Beef Expo …

In the Class 1 Division 1 Market Heifer class, Evie Schlickbernd received a blue ribbon.
In the Class 2 Division 2 Market Heifer class, Jaleigh Hallsted received a purple ribbon.
In the Class 3 Division 1 Market Steer class, Trevor Steffen received a blue ribbon.
In the Class 2 Division 2 Market Steer class, Josie Ritter received first and second purple ribbons.
In the Class 3 Division 2 Market Steer class, Jaleigh Hallsted received a purple ribbon.
In the Class 1 Division 3 Market Steer class, Evie Schlickbernd received a blue ribbon.
Josie Ritter was Division 2 Market Steer GRAND CHAMPION and she also was the Division 2 Market Steer RESERVE CHAMPION.


Trevor Steffen competed in Junior Showmanship and Jaleigh Hallsted and Josie Ritter competed in Intermediate Showmanship.

Hundreds of Tailgaters Enjoy Free Breakfast, Conversation with Nebraska Farmers at the “Game Day Approved Tailgate Party” September 21

Pleasant late summer weather, the feel of college football in the air, and the promise of a free breakfast drew over 300 hungry people to the official “Game Day Approved Tailgate Party with Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers” Saturday, September 21. Russ’s Market at 33rd and Highway 2 hosted the event.

The tailgate breakfast, organized by the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), provided an opportunity for consumers to visit with the state’s farmers and ranchers about how they produce our food and care for their animals and land in a safe, sustainable way.

Tailgaters were invited to visit information booths staffed by farm organizations to learn more about Nebraska agriculture. Each attendee received a “Farm Land” card they were to get stamped at each booth they visited. Those who got their cards stamped at every booth could return their cards to the AFAN booth to receive a Russ’s Market $5 OFF $50 coupon for use at the store, and were entered in the drawing for the grand prize. Heather Osnes of Lincoln was the grand prize winner, a Nebraska Agriculture gift basket filled with products provided by agriculture commodity organizations and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, and a $50 Russ’s Market gift card.

“The event combined fun, a good breakfast and a chance for consumers to talk to farmers and ranchers about how their food is produced,” said Steve Martin, executive director of AFAN, “and to clarify such hot button topics as the use of GMOs, herbicides and antibiotics in row crop and livestock production. Thanks to our producers and tailgaters who made this a great event.”

Tailgaters took advantage of the opportunity to talk directly to food producers about the importance of agriculture to the state.

“It was a fun, interactive and I learned a lot about Nebraska agriculture,” said Caren Hansen of Lincoln. “I learned that we are responsible for a lot more ethanol that I realized, and about the global role that Nebraska has in our world.”

“Game Day Approved Tailgate Party” sponsors included the Nebraska Pork Producers Association; Nebraska Poultry Industries; AFAN; Nebraska Corn Board; Nebraska Soybean Board; Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation; Nebraska Wheat Growers Association; CommonGround Nebraska; Nebraska Cattlemen; Midwest Dairy; Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board; the Nebraska Hop Growers Association; and Russ’s Market.

ICON urges cattle producers to rally in Omaha

Cattlemen are invited to attend a rally in Omaha on Wednesday, Oct. 2, to protest the relatively low prices of cattle, compared to the high prices of retail beef.

During the week of Sept. 23-27, cattle producers were losing more than $200 per head while meatpackers were making more than $400 per head, based on USDA price information.

The cattle producers’ share of the retail price of beef has been as high as 70% in the past, but based on USDA price reports of live cattle and retail beef, today the cattle producer’s share is just 38.5%.

Farmers and ranchers own and care for cattle 365 days a year and are going broke, while the “Big Four” packers/processors own the cattle for about a week and get rich.

The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska and the Organization for Competitive Markets call on President Donald Trump and USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue to take charge and take action. They recommend six points of action, emphasizing the importance of “Buying American” and shielding U.S. farmers and ranchers from what has become a global meatpacking monopoly.

The goal of the rally is to pressure Perdue and Trump to redress some of the wrongs. A large turnout in Omaha will help apply that pressure.

"Packer concentration and price manipulation are gutting rural Nebraska's farm and ranch families,” ICON President Jim Dinklage said. “Farm foreclosures are at their highest in decades and calls to the Farm Crisis Hotline are higher than they have been since the 1980s. We're hoping a large crowd in Omaha will send the message to D.C. that rural America is in crisis and intervention is urgently needed.”

OCM is hosting a rally and meeting called Stop the Stealin’ in Omaha from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Ramada Inn at 3321 South 72nd.

Among the slated speakers are OCM vice-president Vaughn Meyer, former Nebraska state senator Al Davis of Hyannis, cattle market analyst Corbitt Wall and Bill Bullard of R-CALF.

For more information, see the OCM website,

$65,000 Awarded Through Local Chapter Grant Program

Thirteen Nebraska FFA chapters or FFA members were awarded funds through the Nebraska FFA Foundation local chapter grant program.

This program, in its third year, supports Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund donors.

The grant recipients for 2019 are:
    Bayard: Greenhouse
    Franklin: Plasma Table
    Bishop Neumann: SawStop Table Saw
    Sutton: Greenhouse Repairs
    Minatare: Plasma Cutter and TIG Welder
    Wood River: Greenhouse
    Axtell: Greenhouse
    Norris: Welder Replacement
    Chase County: Welding Updates
    McCool Junction: Animal Learning Barn Supplies- Camera and Generator
    Waverly FFA Member: Audrey Sorensen: Pond Improvement SAE Project
    Rock County: Welding Updates
    Sutherland: Greenhouse

“Our board worked many years to develop sustainable funding to provide this program. The board knew that there were many programs in need of more financial support to develop career-ready students in agriculture, and awarding $65,000 will give students in these schools some of the resources necessary to reach their full potential,” said Stacey Agnew, Nebraska FFA Foundation Executive Director.

Many of these grant recipients will be showcased on the Nebraska FFA Foundation website and social media throughout the next couple years. Applications for the 2020 Local Chapter Grant Program will open in April.

Nebraska Beef Council September zoom meeting

The Nebraska Beef Council Board of Directors will have a conference call at the NBC office in Kearney located at 1319 Central Ave. on Monday, September 30th,  2019 beginning at 11:00 a.m. CDT. The NBC Board of Directors will review a draft of the FY 2019-2020 Marketing Plan.  For more information, please contact Pam Esslinger at 

Determine Cow Herd Productivity with New Weaning Weight Adjustment Tool

As beef cattle producers turn their attention to weaning, the Iowa Beef Center encourages producers to consider using its 205-day weight calculator. This free spreadsheet is a tool beef producers can use in calculating Standardized 205-day weaning weights. Producers enter calf identification, birth date, weaning date, weaning weight and cow age, and the Excel-based tool will calculate weaning weights to an adjusted 205-day weight.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist Denise Schwab said adjusting weaning weights to a common calf age is important for comparing cows based on the performance of the calves they produce. Weaning weights are used to evaluate differences in growth potential of calves and the milking ability of dams.

"In order to evaluate differences in weaning weights, individual calf records must be adjusted to a standard basis. The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) recommends that weaning weights be standardized to 205 days-of-age and a mature age-of-dam basis," she said. "These adjusted weights can then be used to rank the cow herd based on their productivity and sell low producing cows."

This tool is available on the calculators page of the IBC website, For more information on the calculator or how to use it in your operation, contact an extension beef specialist or the Iowa Beef Center at

Fertilizer Prices Drop for Sixth Week in a Row

Average retail fertilizer prices were lower the third week of September 2019, marking the sixth consecutive week prices have declined, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Prices for all eight of the major fertilizers were lower compared to the previous month, but unlike in recent weeks, none were down a significant amount, which DTN considers 5% or more.

DAP had an average price of $480 per ton, down $11 from last month; MAP $478/ton, down $17; potash $384/ton, down $3; urea $404/ton, down $9; 10-34-0 $471/ton, down $4; anhydrous $509/ton, down $21; UAN28 $254/ton, down $3; and UAN32 $289/ton, down $2.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.43/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

As prices have moved lower in recent weeks, two fertilizers are now cheaper than they were a year ago. MAP is now 8% less expensive, and DAP is 3% lower from last year at this time.

The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be higher compared to last year. Anhydrous is 3% more expensive, UAN32 is 4% higher, both urea and 10-34-0 are 5% more expensive, while both potash and UAN28 are 6% higher compared to last year.

Soy-Based Products Are on the Leading Edge of Sustainable Housing

Higher performance, increased sustainability and lower cost — these are just a few of the demands that today’s modern customers expect from the home improvement industry. For companies relying on petroleum or formaldehyde in their products, this can seem like a challenging ask. But many find their sustainable solution in soy.

“Choosing soy is a win-win,” said Lee Walko, biobased business developer and technical advisor to the United Soybean Board. “Corporate sustainability initiatives and consumer demand for safe products drive soy technology development to replace petrochemicals and other additives.”

Although several biobased ingredients can appear as suitable replacements for petrochemicals, manufacturers need the most cost-effective and highest-performing ingredients — which in many cases presents an opportunity for soy. Not only is soybean oil traditionally more affordable than canola or sunflower oil, its abundance of C-18 links (linolenic acid, etc.) and its fatty-acid profile make soybean oil very versatile. These qualities have allowed countless leading industrial product makers to successfully introduce soy, replacing chemicals based in petroleum while reducing volatile organic compounds.

Soy has already proven successful in this segment, and many of the success stories can be found in and around the home. A growing list of large and small companies already implement soy in their products and reap the benefits of how effective it can be. In fact, there are more than 1,000 soy-based products currently on the market, from flooring and roofing products to candles and carpets. 

Several leading biobased home products using soybeans include:

Plywood: PureBond®

A decade ago, the International Agency for Cancer Research reclassified formaldehyde from a suspect carcinogen to a known carcinogen. Plywood producers who used formaldehyde to bond wood needed an alternative. With the support of USB, researchers developed a soy-based, formaldehyde-free resin that bonds wood naturally and tightly. Since 2005, the technology has spurred production of more than 100 million formaldehyde-free plywood panels at a price comparable to urea-formaldehyde panels.

“Our customers want to know what they’re buying, how it was made, what it was made with and where it’s from,” said Todd Vogelsinger, with Columbia Forest Products, which is a business utilizing soy in their PureBond plywood products. “We’re proud to say we shrank our environmental footprint with U.S. soy.”

Roofing Products: Roof Maxx®

Roof Maxx is the first soy-based, roof-rejuvenating spray treatment, developed by Battelle Labs, that is formulated with natural soybean oil to penetrate roof materials. This application restores a roof’s flexibility and waterproofing protection, extending the life of a roof by up to 15 years and reducing both the waste created from disposing of an old roof and the waste generated by manufacturing new roof shingles. Due to its incorporation of soy, Roof Maxx provides a safe option for people, pets, property and the environment.

“Today, with all the environmental concerns, it only makes sense to look at renewable resources [like soy] to extend the life of anything,” said Roof Maxx Technologies CEO Mike Feazel.

Wood Stains: Rust-Oleum®

Long used by the coating industry, soybean oil is now a hit in wood stains and finishes, including those produced by Rust-Oleum. Rust-Oleum’s Varathane® wood stains deliver in both sustainability and performance. The soy-based stain line has seen their products penetrate wood twice as deep as other products on the market due to the properties soybean oil brings to the stain. Soy’s hydrophobic nature also increases the water resistance of wood stains, making it a great option for outdoor applications.

“From a marketing standpoint, our products give a beautiful finish, which is a byproduct of the soybean oil,” says Jessica Bahn, brand manager at Rust-Oleum. “The soybean oil is like the secret sauce. It gives a beautiful end result, and it’s easy to apply due to the viscosity.”

Sealers: Acri-Soy™

Soy-based sealers have a superior ability to penetrate and protect a variety of porous substrate surfaces such as concrete, wood and grout. Biobased sealers create an integral bond and seal that allow the substrate to breathe while providing outstanding repellency. Because these sealers are nontoxic and high performing, they meet both consumer and producer needs.

Insulation: Demilec Heatlok Soy 200 Plus®

Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient insulation is possible with the introduction of soy. Demilec Inc.’s closed-cell spray foam polyurethane insulation contains 14% renewable and recycled materials, which is appealing to homeowners. The insulation also provides multiple control layers into a single application, saving both time and money in construction costs.

“Environmental regulations and consumer demands are only going to grow stronger in the coming years,” Walko said. “So, it’s worthwhile for companies to get ahead of the curve now and invest in biobased solutions for their products.”

U.S. Biofuels Help Drive Environmental Progress

Growth Energy, the nation’s largest association of biofuel producers, released a new report examining the potential impact of a growing role for U.S. biofuels in America’s clean energy future. The report was authored by Ramboll, a global research and management firm specializing in sustainable development, at the request of Growth Energy. It presents the latest data on U.S. agricultural innovation, provides a detailed review of recent studies and illuminates gaps in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) understanding of U.S. biofuel production.

“The tremendous success of the Renewable Fuel Standard fueled America’s rise as the world’s top producer of affordable, low-carbon biofuels,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “From the lab to the farm, new innovations have allowed us to ramp up production year after year, without expanding our environmental footprint. That track record of environmental progress is supported by a wide body of research from public, private, and academic sources. Today’s report will help regulators in Washington wade through misinformation and make decisions about the future growth of biofuels based on sound science.”

The report has been submitted to the EPA as the agency crafts regulations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Among other issues, it examines factors raised in the agency’s 2018 Second Triennial Report to Congress, underlying literature relied upon by EPA, and an updated review of scientific literature. The report identifies fundamental flaws in studies purporting to show a causal link between the RFS and land use conversion, and debunks the narrative that increased ethanol production cannot be accomplished without environmental impacts.

“The key conclusion of this report is that there are no proven adverse impacts to land and water associated with increased corn ethanol production under the RFS,” note the Ramboll authors. “Accordingly, EPA could decide to reset renewable volumes in a manner that would incentivize greater production and consumption of conventional corn ethanol in U.S. transportation fuel without discernible adverse environmental impacts to land and water, to the extent any exist. The major factors supporting this conclusion are that continued improvements in agricultural practices and technology indicate that increased demand for corn grown for ethanol in the United States can be met without the need for additional acres of corn planted, while at the same time, reducing potential impacts to water quality or water supplies.”

Other notable excerpts:

-    Increases in corn yield and decreases in land use: “Acres planted in corn across the United States has remained close to or below the total acres planted in the early 1930s, despite increases in demand for corn as human food, animal feed, and biofuels over this nearly 90-year period. The increase in demand has largely been met by an approximately 7-fold increase in yield (bushels per acre) … Efforts in better crop management, improved fertilizer use, and precision agriculture are all likely contributors to improved yields.” (pages 1-3)
-    Improvements in agricultural practices: “The timing for increasing corn production and reduced potential environmental impacts due to precision agriculture coincides with increased biofuel demand, and the coincidence of these trends will benefit both producers and the environment into the future.” (page 3)
-    Water resource availability: “Advancements in technology and water management techniques have continued to increase the efficiency in water resource management by stabilizing, and potentially reducing, the overall volume of water necessary for corn growth … Additionally, the USDA has shown that irrigation for all crops, including corn, has decreased even as the farming acreage has essentially been stable over the past 35 years.” (page 6)
-    Water quality: “Advances in sustainable farm management, including substantial improvements in nutrient formulation and use, and technological improvements in pesticide and fertilizer application, will continue to reduce the potential for impacts to water quality in regional watersheds near corn growing areas regardless of the cause of historical water quality impacts.” (page 7)

Ramboll authors also note the impacts of biofuel production should not be examined in a vacuum.,. They write, “Spills of petroleum, gasoline, and a wide range of other fluids used in the exploration, production, and refining processes as well as land use change to support those activities all have adverse effect on water quality, ecosystems (including wetlands), and wildlife. Additionally, both conventional and unconventional oil and gas extraction place demands on water supply. Failure to address impacts associated with gasoline production relative to impacts from ethanol production does not present a balanced view of alternative energy sources and casts a negative bias on ethanol production.”

Consumer Group: Fake Meat is Factory Food

Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is running a full-page ad in USA Today exposing the highly processed nature of fake, “plant-based” bacon. Roughly one-third of consumers believe “plant-based” is equivalent to “minimally processed.” The ingredient list of “plant-based” bacon, which can include tertiary butylhydroquinone and disodium inosinate, reveals this is far from true. 

According to the NOVA classification system, ultra-processed foods are “formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes.” A recent National Institutes of Health study found that ultra-processed foods cause weight gain.

This ad is the latest in an educational campaign to demystify the “plant-based” craze. CCF has previously placed ads on fake meat in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. In addition to the ads, provides consumers with a transparent look at fake meat as well as informational blog posts and other helpful tools. 

CCF managing director Will Coggin commented: “Consumers should be aware that ‘plant-based’ is a euphemism for ‘ultra-processed.’ Fake meat doesn’t grow on vines—it’s made in factories.”

Anuvia Plant Nutrients to Reopen Mosaic Plant City Facility as Second Florida Location

Anuvia Plant Nutrients has entered into a long-term strategic relationship with The Mosaic Company to help meet the increased demand for its biobased sustainable and environmentally friendly plant nutrients.

The companies have signed a long-term lease arrangement which provides significant benefits to both parties and the surrounding community. Anuvia will utilize a portion of Mosaic’s shuttered Plant City phosphate production facility and repurpose existing infrastructure to increase its production capacity to up to 1.2 million tons.  Currently, Anuvia’s Zellwood facility produces 80,000 tons annually.

In addition, as production increases, the company plans to add approximately 135 new employees with an average salary of $70,000. It will be the Zellwood-based company’s second Florida location and is expected to be operational by second quarter 2020.

This expansion is in response to increased demand for Anuvia’s biobased sustainable and environmentally friendly plant nutrients. “In the three years since the Zellwood plant went online, the market has been receptive to our products and its unique benefits,” says Anuvia Plant Nutrients CEO Amy Yoder.  “And now in response to the increased demand, we are increasing our production capacity. It is gratifying that farmers are realizing the performance and environmental benefits Anuvia products bring to crop production.”

“Mosaic has been looking to partner with successful, innovative companies and this arrangement which includes an equity position is an excellent fit for us,” says Walt Precourt, Mosaic Senior Vice President, Strategy and Growth. “Both companies are committed to operating safely and sustainably while providing customers with high quality crop nutrient solutions.  We look forward to exploring opportunities to further expand our relationship.”

In agriculture, Anuvia products stand out because of their ability to help farmers increase productivity as well as the far-reaching environmental benefits which include improving soil quality, reducing nutrient loss and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Research and extensive use indicates a positive yield increase which allows farmers to produce more food in a less intensive manner. Anuvia’s innovative products address a key issue of our time—how to meet future food demand in a sustainable way.

Their products offer benefits for both end-users and the planet with little to no barriers to implementation. Anuvia’s plant nutrients products are a plug-and-play technology primed for fast adoption. Their products work within current user practices and technologies, making their use a turnkey part of achieving sustainable goals.

Anuvia's products include SymTRX™ for the agricultural sector, GreenTRX™ for the turf industry and ANUGREEN for the consumer residential lawn market.

BASF launches Operation Weed Eradication to help growers eradicate weeds

BASF launched a new industry-wide initiative to eliminate on-farm weeds. Operation Weed Eradication calls on growers and partners to take action against troublesome weeds in their fields, through cultural practices, chemical control and enhanced diligence.

Research by Stratus Ag shows that nearly 75 percent of growers nationwide are dealing with glyphosate-resistant weeds in their fields and today’s management practices are not sustainable for long-term control of problem weeds such as pigweed.

“Our approach to on-farm eradication will uproot problem weeds and help secure a sustainable farming future that builds a successful legacy for seasons and generations to come,” said Scott Kay, Vice President U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “Weed eradication will be a personalized, tailored journey for each grower with different start and end points. BASF will support growers with expertise and continuous innovation to support this journey.”

Operation Weed Eradication takes a balanced approach of utilizing cultural practices such as conventional tillage, chemical control such as rotating chemistries, and eradication diligence such as hand weeding to help growers eradicating troublesome on-farm weeds.

In the coming months, BASF will assemble a coalition of industry leaders, develop a specific eradication customer offering and launch an educational initiative to support its efforts with Operation Weed Eradication.

No comments:

Post a Comment