Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday October 18 Ag News

Agricultural youth receive scholarships and awards at 92nd Aksarben Stock Show
Cuming County, Nebraska wins Champion and Reserve Champion Calf Challenge

The Aksarben Stock Show managed and produced by the Nebraska State Fair welcomed with over 900 youth and 2,700 animals entered along with their families, and supporters to Fonner Park, September 26-29, 2019. Youth exhibited beef, sheep, goats, swine, and broilers along with an additional 545 young professionals participating in the Aksarben Livestock Judging and Quiz Bowl competitions.

Thirty-six youth qualified for the auction allowing them to sell their championship livestock for scholarships and cash awards.  Youth from nine of the 14 states eligible made the scholarship auction ranging in ages from 9 to 19-years-old.  The largest contingency being Nebraska with 10 exhibitors followed by six from Colorado; five from both Iowa and Missouri; four from South Dakota; three from Minnesota; one each from Arkansas, Kansas, and Wisconsin.  In 2019, four states were added in expansion to being eligible to exhibit, included were Arkansas, Indiana, Montana and Wisconsin.

Aksarben Stock Show Director Greg Harder, explains how the show has grown, “2019 was a tremendous success story for an outstanding Aksarben team that worked tirelessly. We brought in people from four additional states, added breeding gilts, returned broilers to the schedule, expanded the trade show, and had judging and quiz bowl teams from 23 states. With new sponsors and support staff, the barns were filled with fun, smiles, and excitement.”

The Aksarben Stock Show is indeed a family tradition with a rich history dating back to 1928.  The Aksarben Purple Ribbon Scholarship Auction is the pinnacle event and open to the public to attend. The Aksarben Purple Ribbon Reception presented by Five Points Bank was held before the auction for buyers to mingle with the youth exhibitors.

The 2019 auction moved to Saturday night for the first time in history. Siblings Cash and Sage Voegele from Lennox, South Dakota qualified for the second year in a row. Cash exhibited the Third Place Calf Challenge, and his younger sister Sage exhibited Reserve Champion Lamb Challenge. Also returning was the Sidwell family from Colorado for the third straight year.  Cal Sidwell exhibited the 6th Overall Lamb and in 2017, the Division Champion Market Ewe Lamb.  His brother Jed exhibited the 2018 8th Overall Market Lamb.

The Grand Champion Market Beef was shown by Kylie Beare, the 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Tianna from Estelline, South Dakota.  She is currently a junior at Estelline High School. “I love showing livestock and love everything about this industry. I have grown up doing this and couldn’t imagine life without it,” she stated.  Beare plans to attend college and major in animal science.  Her sister, Kelsey, exhibited the 2019 Reserve Supreme Breeding Heifer the following day.

Madison Rule from Hawarden, Iowa qualified twice by exhibiting both the Grand Champion Lamb and 5th Overall Lamb.  The complete Aksarben Purple Ribbon Scholarship Auction results are as follows:

Champion Beef

Grand Champion Market Beef - Kylie Beare from Estilline, SD purchased by Wells Fargo, $15,000.
Reserve Champion Beef - Makenzie Smith from Charter Oak, IA purchased by Walter Scott Jr., $10,000
Champion Calf Challenge - Ross Klitz from West Point, NE purchased by First National Bank/T & E Cattle Company, $10,500
Reserve Champion Calf Challenge - Cassidee Stratman from West Point, NE purchased by Kiewit, $8,500
3rd Overall Beef - Branden Benes from Albion, NE purchased by T-Bone Buying Group/Valmont, $5,800
4th Overall Beef - Brett Heinrich from Hickman, NE purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $6,000
5th Overall Beef - Chase Simmons from Unionville, MO purchased by Nova-Tech, Pathway Bank and HLG Inc., $5,400
6th Overall Beef - Brent Nelson from Volga, SD purchased by Wolbach Foundation, $5,000
3rd Place Calf Challenge – Cash Voegele from Lennox, SD purchased by Behlen/Mattress Firm/Union Bank and Trust, $4,200.

Champion Goat

Grand Champion Goat - Jack Falkenstien from Oswego, KS purchased by Nova-Tech, Pathway Bank and HLG Inc., $4,250
Reserve Champion Goat - Vada Vickland from Longmont, CO purchased by Union Pacific/Valmont, $2,500
3rd Overall Goat - Riley Hoyle from Taylor, AR purchased by Kiewit/Valmont, $3,000
4th Overall Goat - Atleigh Hirschfeld from Benedict, NE purchased by Tom Dinsdale/Valmont, $2,200
5th Overall Goat - Jared DeHann from Taylor, MO purchased by Industrial Irrigation Services, $2,000
6th Overall Goat - Soren Freund  from Elizabeth, CO purchased by Western Nebraska and Colorado Buying Group (Auction Miller and Associates, Chuck and Bricen Miller - Brush, CO; Colorado Animal Health - Jim and Shawn Martin - Longmont, CO; Doug, Sandy and Ryan Lukassen - Kimball, NE.), $3,000

Champion Hog

Champion Hog - Alli Stromberger from Illf, CO purchased by Wells Fargo, $5,000
Reserve Champion Hog - Braden Bowers from Belmont, WI purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $4,000
Champion Purebred Hog - Kaleigh Byram from Sheldon, MO purchased by Cash-Wa Distributing, $5,000
3rd Overall Hog - Wyatt Collard from Orongo, MO purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation/Fred and Amanda Glade Foundation, $3,000
4th Overall Hog - Brooke Stromberger from Illf, CO purchased by Behlen/CHI, $2,000
5th Overall Hog - Lauren Kaliff from York, NE purchased by HDR, $2,000
7th Overall Hog - Tyler Kurt from Fairmont, MN purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $2,000
8th Overall Hog - Jami Hoblyn from York, NE purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $2,000

Champion Lamb

Grand Champion Lamb - Madison Rule from Hawarden, IA purchased Great Western Bank and Kopke Cattle Company, $6,250
Reserve Champion Lamb - Colby Williams from Mabel, MN purchased Grand Island Hospitality Group, $5,000
Champion Lamb Challenge - Gentry Duncan from Centertown, MO purchased by Walter Scott Jr., $4,000
Reserve Champion Lamb Challenge - Sage Voegele from Lennox, SD purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $3,400
3rd Overall Lamb - Sam Schmillen from Marcus, IA purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation, $2,100
3rd Place Lamb Challenge - Layne Miller from Oakland, NE purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation, $2,000
4th Overall Lamb - Colby Williams from Mabel, MN purchased by Behlen/Industrial Irrigation Services/HDR/Jerry's Sheet Metal, $2,100
5th Overall Lamb - Madison Rule from Hawarden, IA purchased by Valmont/Equitable Bank, $2,000
6th Overall Lamb - Cal Sidwell from Gill, CO purchased by First National Bank /Kopeke Cattle Company, $2,500
7th Overall Lamb - Carter Kosman from Albiam, IA purchased by Valmont/Purple Ribbon Auction, $1,400
8th Overall Lamb - Kaleb McLain from Gill, CO purchased by Valmont/Bosselman Enterprises, $2,000

Champion Broiler

Champion Broiler - Ben Kubicek  from Elkhorn, NE purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $1,400
Reserve Champion Broiler - Mason Janda from Ravenna, NE purchased by CPI, Sunrise Express, Lovander Auto and Equitable Bank, $1,700

The beef, sheep and goat shows were held at the Five Points Bank Arena in the Nebraska Farm Bureau Show Ring.  The swine show was held in the Aurora Cooperative Pavilion.  Youth from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming showed.  The 2020 Aksarben Stock Show will be held Sept 24-27, 2020 in Grand Island, NE.  For complete details visit

Nebraska Cattlemen Welcomes Ashley Kohls & Patty Goes as New Staff

The Nebraska Cattlemen association is pleased to announce the selection of Ashley Kohls as the association's Director of Government Affairs. Previously, Ashley served for five years as the Executive Director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and Microbiology.

"I am thrilled to share the policy and regulatory experience I gained in Minnesota with the members of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association." said Kohls "I look forward to working with members to accomplish the goals of the association on a local, state and national level."
"Ashley was selected from a very talented pool of applicants. With Ashley having excelled in her previous tenure serving Minnesota beef producers as their executive director, she brings her talent and experience to the Nebraska Cattlemen membership. She is well respected within regional and national policy circles and is an outstanding addition to the Nebraska Cattlemen family," confirms Executive Vice President, Pete McClymont

Kohls has many years of experience in sectors relevant to the Nebraska beef industry including nutrition, reproduction and animal health; as well as an extensive food safety and quality assurance background.

Kohls will begin her duties on Monday, November 18 and can be reached at 402-475-2333 or via email at

Additionally, Nebraska Cattlemen is equally pleased to announce the selection of Patty Goes as an administrative assistant to work with the executive vice president and other staff colleagues in supporting the mission of the members of Nebraska Cattlemen.

"I am excited to be given the opportunity to be a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen staff." said Goes. "I have spent the first part of my career being a steward of people and I look forward to assisting those that are stewards of the beef industry. There are not many better places to do this than the Nebraska Cattlemen Association."

"Patty was selected from nearly one hundred applicants. Her professional background and personal experiences coupled with her passion make Patty an outstanding addition to the Nebraska Cattlemen family. I am confident the members will enjoy working with Patty."

Goes will begin her duties on Monday, October 21 and can be reached at 402-475-2333 or via email at

Ethanol Trade Team from Mexico visits Nebraska to Understand U.S. Ethanol Industry

A delegation of 19 industry leaders from Mexico were in Nebraska this week to gain a better understanding of the U.S. ethanol sector. From Oct. 16-18, the delegation toured all facets of Nebraska’s ethanol industry, from cornfield to fuel retailer.

On the first day of their trip, the group was provided with an overview of Nebraska’s agricultural and ethanol industries before they traveled to Giltner and visited Hunnicutt Farms. At the farm, the team learned about corn, seed corn, popcorn and soybean production. Through the discussions, the delegation was introduced to cutting-edge technologies in American agriculture and were able to better understand how some farmers utilize irrigation equipment.

“By bringing this group onto our farm, we’re able to really lay the foundation and show how renewable ethanol is and how easy it is to incorporate into a nation’s fuel supply,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, vice-chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and co-owner of Hunnicutt Farms. “Also, by bringing trade teams to farms and to ethanol plants, we’re able to build relationships with our customers that hopefully develop into long-term partnerships. I like to think the U.S. is the best in the world when it comes to corn and ethanol production. We’re open for business and want to share our products with the world.”

During the remainder of the group’s visit to Nebraska, they toured Chief Ethanol, an ethanol processing plant in Hastings, Magellan Midstream Partners, a fuel pipeline, storage and transportation company in Doniphan, and Bosselman’s Travel Center, a fuel retailer in Grand Island. They departed the state Friday morning after meeting with Gov. Pete Ricketts, Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.

“In times when there’s so much uncertainty in regards to trade, it’s great to have our top customers visit to remind them how much we value their business,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Mexico is our No. 1 customer when it comes to corn and distillers grains, and there is so much potential for increased ethanol exports. We are glad to have had time with this delegation to show appreciation for their past business, answer questions about our corn and ethanol industries and to let them know we’re working hard to ensure the passage of USMCA.”

The visit from the Mexican delegation was an offshoot of an even larger event held earlier in the week. The first-ever Global Ethanol Summit occurred Oct. 13-15 in Washington, D.C. Government officials and industry leaders from 60 countries attended this event to learn about the benefits of expanding global ethanol use. The event was organized and hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.

Ricketts Meets with Ethanol Delegation from Mexico

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman met with leaders involved in Mexico’s ethanol industry.  The Mexican delegation is studying Nebraska’s ethanol production and infrastructure.  Earlier this week, the group visited an ethanol plant in Hastings, a blended ethanol fuels distributor in Grand Island, and a blending terminal in Doniphan.

During his remarks to the Mexican delegation, Governor Ricketts highlighted the agricultural, financial, and environmental benefits of ethanol.  Nebraska produces over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, which ranks second among all U.S. states.


Bruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist

               Corn harvest is ongoing and cows are starting to graze the stalks.  How should this grazing be managed to get the most out of them?

               One of the most important decisions in all grazing situations is stocking rate, including corn stalks.  Fortunately, you can get a good estimate for corn stalks by dividing the corn grain yield by 3.5 to estimate grazing days per acre for a 1,200-pound cow.

               So, for a field that yielded 210 bushels per acre, dividing 210 by 3.5 gives 60 grazing days per acre.  Thus, a 160-acre field could provide 9,600 cow grazing days.  That means you could graze 9,600 cows for one day or 1 cow for 9,600 days.  Not very practical, so some other combinations need to be explored.

               One possibility is to graze 60 cows for 160 days.  Starting here at the end of October, that could take you all the way through March.  Sounds pretty good but how will this work nutritionally?  Cows will eat the best feed first, any downed grain and the husks.  After a couple months, all that will be left are stalks and leaves that have been walked over, rained or snowed upon.  Without a lot of supplements, these cows will be in very poor shape by the end of March.

               Clearly, shorter grazing periods are needed.  Maybe, instead of 60 cows for 160 days you graze 160 cows for 60 days.  Better, but you still may need supplements near the end of the 60 days.  Better still would be to give those 160 cows just one week’s worth of the stalks to start, a little over 18 acres.  By day 6 and 7 those 160 cows will have cleaned up just about everything, but on day 8 you give them a fresh 18 acres, returning them to high quality feed without so much supplement.

               Both stocking rate and changes in the quality of grazing with time need consideration as you plan and manage stalk grazing.  Do it right and corn stalks become a great winter feed resource.

Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Marestail in Fall

Amit Jhala - NE Extension Weed Management Specialist

Abundant rain the last couple of months in much of eastern Nebraska has promoted the relatively early emergence of winter annual weeds, particularly marestail. Marestail, also known as horseweed in the eastern Corn Belt and as Canada fleabane in eastern Canada, is a winter or summer annual weed in Nebraska.

Historically, marestail was found in waste areas and field edges and along roadsides and railway tracks; however, no-till crop production systems over the last 20 years have favored marestail germination and establishment in agronomic crops in Nebraska.

A single marestail plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds, about 80% of which can germinate immediately after falling from a mature plant. Marestail’s small seeds are wind-dispersed and can germinate on the soil surface. Studies show that most marestail plants emerge during fall and survive the winter as basal rosettes. However, significant spring and early summer emergence also have been observed in Nebraska. Therefore, scouting should be done in the fall as well as in early spring to make an effective management plan.

Marestail is the first glyphosate-resistant weed reported in the United States; glyphosate-resistant marestail has now been reported in several states, including Nebraska. Marestail resistant to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors such as Classic®, Permit®, Pursuit®, and Raptor® is becoming more common in south-central and eastern Nebraska; therefore, proper management strategies should be implemented to control this problem weed.

As marestail does not mature until late summer, it competes with corn or soybean throughout the growing season, causing significant yield reduction (Figure 3). Several reports have noted that marestail is sensitive to most herbicides labeled for its control early in its growth, i.e. the rosette stage.

Fall Herbicide Options

Preliminary data for eastern Nebraska suggests that a fall burndown applied with a residual herbicide may eliminate the need for an early spring burndown for marestail control; however, this would not replace an at-planting residual application for management of additional troublesome weed species such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. For successful marestail management in the fall, apply herbicides following harvest while weather conditions remain favorable (air temperature above 50°F).

Fall herbicide application is a more consistent strategy because weather conditions frequently interfere with early spring applications.
-    Glyphosate-resistant marestail is widespread across eastern Nebraska, thus 1 lb a.e. 2,4-D per acre is recommended as the base treatment for marestail burndown.
-    Glyphosate or other products such as Sharpen® or Gramoxone® may be tank-mixed with 2,4-D to provide broader spectrum control of winter annuals and certain perennial weeds.
-    We generally do not recommend including residual herbicides in fall applications since they provide little benefit in managing weeds that emerge the following spring; however, if infestation of marestail is high in the field and the field has a history of marestail seed bank, it would be advantageous to add a residual herbicide such as Authority® or Valor® or Autumn™ Super, or other metribuzin products.
-    Refer to the most recent Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska for more herbicide options.

Fall herbicide application is unlikely to eliminate the need for a burndown application at planting. Weeds adapted to cool temperatures, such as marestail, are likely to emerge before planting, making it necessary to control them.

Fall Tillage

Tillage is an integral part of the integrated management of marestail. Tillage in the fall or early spring after most marestail plants have emerged can provide effective control.

Cover Crops

A good stand of cover crops such as cereal rye planted before or after crop harvest in the fall can suppress marestail and other winter annual weeds. Early planting of cover crops is the key to effective suppression of marestail; cover crops should have emerged by the time marestail emerges. Inter-seeding cover crops while corn is at the reproductive stage is a good practice for the early establishment of cover crops. A recent study at the university’s Agronomy Research Farm (Havelock) reported excellent suppression of marestail in soybean when cereal rye had been interseeded in the previous corn crop at the R6 growth stage.

Buffer Strips are a common sense approach to land conservation

The Nebraska Buffer Strip Program is administered from fees  assessed on registered pesticides. Cropland adjacent to perennial and seasonal  streams, ponds, and wetlands can be enrolled in buffer strips, which are  designed to filter agrichemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Two kinds  of buffer strips are eligible - filter strips, which are narrow strips of  grass; and riparian forest buffer strips containing trees and grass. The  minimum widths are 20 and 55 feet, respectively; the maximum widths are 120 and  180 feet, respectively.

 The program is designed to be used in conjunction with the  USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Conservation Reserve Enhancement  Program (CREP), or other programs, however it can be used by itself, as well.  Rental rates are calculated as follows:
-    For irrigated cropland where CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs are also used, rental rates are $250 per acre minus payments from the other programs.
-    For irrigated cropland where CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs are not used, the rental rate is $225 per acre minus any other program payments.
-    For non-irrigated cropland enrolled in CRP, CREP or other governmentally-funded programs, the rental rate is equal to 20% of the average CRP soil rental rate.
-    For non-irrigated cropland without CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs, the rental rate per acre is equal to 120% of the average CRP soil rental rate plus $5 per acre, minus the payment rate from any other programs.
-    In no case may payments from all programs exceed $250 per acre.

Interested landowners should contact their local Natural Resources District or USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office to begin the application process.

Integrated Crop Management Conference Set for December

Faced with challenging weather, tight profit margins and low commodity prices, today’s farmers must do everything in their power to reduce risk and manage returns.

That’s the goal of this year’s Integrated Crop Management Conference, to be held Dec. 4-5 in Ames, as farmers and agribusinesses prepare for 2020 and beyond. Now in its 31st year, the annual event is hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This year’s conference will feature 39 workshops to choose from, along with presentations on new planter technology, cover crop interseeding, glyphosate and cancer findings, nitrogen recommendations and global changes in the fertilizer industry.

“With nearly 1,000 attendees each year, the ICM conference is a great opportunity for farmers, industry, ag retailers, agronomists and educators to network with each other and interact with their university specialists,” said Mark Licht, conference chair and assistant professor in agronomy and extension specialist at Iowa State University.

    Peter Kovács, South Dakota State University, will discuss agronomic implications of new planter technologies.
    Scott Wells, University of Minnesota, will present on the evolving use of cover crop interseeding.
    Charles Lynch of the University of Iowa will share information on glyphosate and cancer and the findings of the Agricultural Health Study.
    Anita Dille, Kansas State University, will review integrating cover crops for weed suppression in corn-soybean systems.
    Justin McMechan, University of Nebraska, will discuss the ecology and management of soybean gall midge.
    Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin, will share information on smartphone-based apps used to predict and manage plant diseases.
    Newell Kitchen, from the USDA-ARS, will take a look at the history, and future, of corn nitrogen recommendations.
    Robert Mullen, with Nutrien, will discuss the global nature of the fertilizer industry and how the changing landscape is affecting US farmers.

Additional highlights will include weather and crop market outlooks, hemp as a cash crop, fertilizer application technology, harvest crop quality, budgeting for pest resistance, and weed and crop disease management updates.

The conference is approved for up to 14 continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisors. Iowa commercial pesticide applicator recertification for 2019 is also available in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, 4 and 10.

To register, visit the ICM Conference website Space is limited for the event and requires pre-registration. Early registration is $225 and ends midnight, Nov. 22. After Nov. 22, the fee increases to $275, and registrations will be accepted, as space allows, until noon, Dec. 2. No registrations will be accepted at the door. For registration questions, contact ANR Program Services at or 515-294-6429.

NBB Announces New West Coast Office, Bolstered State Regulatory Presence

The National Biodiesel Board announced the opening of its new west coast office to be led by long-time California Air Resources Board (CARB) Division Chief Floyd Vergara. The expansion will bolster NBB’s presence on the west coast where climate programs are a substantial market driver for low carbon fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel and will also bring critical regulatory expertise to the association as similar programs take flight across the country.

Vergara brings more than 32 years of experience at CARB to the NBB team. Most recently, he served as Chief of the Industrial Strategies Division and Assistant Chief of the Research Division. Over the years, Vergara has overseen a number of CARB’s key climate and air quality programs, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade program, among others.

“NBB has always had a significant presence in California, but the time was right to take our efforts to the next level with a full-time staff member in Sacramento,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Our new west coast office will be a substantial boost for NBB members as we work to grow some of biodiesel’s most significant markets.”

“I am absolutely thrilled that we are able to bring Floyd to the NBB to lead our west coast office,” said NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs Shelby Neal. “In addition to overseeing some of California’s most important initiatives, Floyd has helped regulators implement climate and air quality programs in other states and several foreign countries.  We are very fortunate to have Floyd on our team.”

NBB’s new office will be in Sacramento, co-located with the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance office. Vergara will serve as Director of State Regulatory Affairs for NBB.

“I’m extremely excited to take my expertise and the experience learned from my time at CARB beyond the west coast as other regions of the country look to implement similar climate programs,” Vergara said. “The environmental benefits of biodiesel and renewable diesel are compelling, and I can’t wait to represent these industries as we get in on the ground floor of this national movement toward greater use of clean fuels. NBB’s reputation as a leader in the space makes this transition even more exciting for me personally.”

Vergara received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He is licensed to practice in California as a professional engineer and lawyer. He will begin with NBB on November 18.

KC Fed Bank Reports Slowdown in Farm Lending

Growth in farm lending activity slowed in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve's Agricultural Finance Databook.

Following nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth and a particularly notable increase a year ago, the volume of total non-real estate farm debt declined nearer to the historical third-quarter average.

The primary contributor to the slowdown from sharp increases a year ago was a decline in the average size of farm operating loans.

Despite a slowdown in the pace of debt accumulation, weaknesses in the sector persisted, continuing to pressure farm cash flows and agricultural credit conditions.

Whether Plant or Animal, Protein Plays an Essential Role in Global Nutrition

Polly Ruhland, CEO, United Soybean Board

When it comes to protein choices, I’ve observed the conversation subtly erode from speaking to the benefits of all protein to focus on an alleged competition between plant and animal proteins. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a contest at all. When all proteins are part of a balanced diet and work collaboratively to nourish the world, everyone wins.

U.S. farmers collectively produce protein as a nutrient-dense foundation for growth and health to better our global society. Soybean famers believe a critical key to the nutritional health and well-being of an exploding global population can be summed up in two words … Protein First.

Consumer interest in plant-based meat alternatives and protein-rich diets continues to strengthen, as restaurant chains scramble to add plant-based options to their choices for customers. Growth of plant-based protein and meat alternatives is anticipated to increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $85 billion in 2030, according to Swiss investment firm UBS.

Yet there is another, critical, element to the global protein story: meat consumption continues to increase briskly. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans will eat 221.4 pounds of meat this year, on average per capita, the most since 2007.

Meat consumption globally continues to rise and will continue that upward trajectory at least through 2030, and global meat production has grown from about 70 million metric tons in 1961 to more than 335 million metric tons in 2018, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This is driven by two primary factors: 1) A population that increased from about 3 billion people to more than 7.7 billion over the same time frame, 2) Rising incomes and standards of living around the globe, with per-capita income skyrocketing more than 12 times over from 1970 to 2015, according to the World Bank.

The fact remains; however, that in some areas of the world, populations facing economic challenge do not have a choice. And with those people in mind, organizations such as the United Soybean Board and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health team up to help ensure that affordable high-quality protein, such as soy, has a place in their daily diets.

All of this leaves us with a clear message, and a clear directive moving forward. Protein is essential to life. Protein demand continues to skyrocket as our planet’s population burgeons. U.S. farmers produce high-quality, nutrient-dense protein more efficiently, and more sustainably, than anyone else in the world. And collaboration among all farmers in the protein space remains critical to feeding the global population. U.S. animal and plant protein producers must work collaboratively, not competitively, with one another for the well-being of both the world’s population and our shared planet.

Our primary focus needs to be on meeting the demand for protein and doing so in ways that help us preserve a planet on which we want our children’s children to live. In nourishing the UN-projected 9.7 billion people on this planet by 2050, we need every form of U.S. protein that’s out there, including animal protein, soy and other plant proteins.

U.S. Soy will be pivotal to these efforts. Soy is a complete plant protein that is a primary source of nutrition in high-quality feed for animal nutrition. Soy is also the ideal direct source of protein for people – notably as a readily available and sustainably produced protein. This versatile crop contributes to protein provided in many commonly consumed foods found in our local grocery stores and can be found in many of the new protein choices gaining popularity.

U.S. Soy farmers will continue to lead the way for global protein production through our innovative production methods and active collaboration with the rest of U.S. agriculture, maintaining a consistent focus on:
-    Quality. U.S. Soy farmers rely on a wide array of advanced technologies and tools to help ensure the consistent high-quality product, as measured by protein concentration and amino acid levels, in addition to a broader nutritional bundle that U.S. Soy provides. It offers customers a superior protein as they develop products for human consumption or animal feed.
-    Innovation. We’re constantly driving innovation to develop new ways that U.S. Soy can benefit both people and animals, such as high-oleic soybeans, which provide a nutritious and more sustainable alternative to many other cooking oils.
-    Sustainability. U.S. Soy farmers continually advance global sustainability, funding environmental improvements to grow more while using fewer resources. Sustainable research includes the biotic and abiotic research needed to select and breed soybeans that are resilient and can face weather extremes and stresses caused by various pests.
-    Transparency. As soy becomes a bigger part of diets around the world, we strive to share information on farming practices to feed consumers’ growing hunger for knowledge about the food they eat and how it’s grown.

As economic conditions improve in both developed and emerging markets, protein demands continue to grow, according to the FAO. Some even estimate that an additional one-third or up to 50% more protein will be needed by 2050. Collaboration between animal- and plant-based proteins bolsters our ability to serve our shared global protein market. Together we can answer the many critical challenges facing our world: nourished versus malnourished, environmental improvement versus degradation, confident customers versus doubtful ones.

Rather than standing in the past, we must forge together toward the future. If we add Protein First and subtract unnecessary rivalry, the globe will benefit as we set an example for generations to come.

BASF launches 2020 Agronomic Advantage program

BASF has launched 2020 Agronomic Advantage, a new grower-focused program that offers both flexibility and rewards. Through 2020 Agronomic Advantage, growers have the freedom to choose products and practices that help mitigate yield-impacting challenges like weed resistance. BASF is committed to helping growers find customized solutions by developing a plan with their local agronomists, BASF authorized retailers or other local BASF representatives.

“Growers are increasingly dealing with challenges that are out of their control, such as flooding and drought,” said Scott Kay, Vice President of U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “To help them face these challenges, BASF now offers growers a program with the ability to choose what works best for them on their fields. With 2020 Agronomic Advantage, growers can decide which solution makes sense for the long-term success of their operation.”

Running through September 30, 2020, the program offers products across many different sites of action. Layering sites of action is critical to preventing weed resistance. Products supported through the program include:

Across trait platforms and seed brands, the program incentivizes growers for making the right agronomic choice for the overall profitability of their acre. When it comes to product selection, BASF makes herbicide and seed decisions simple by offering a range of options within the program. Growers can invest in their fields how they want, and can participate in the program by:
-    Purchasing two participating BASF herbicides and matching acres, which will earn them 50 cents per acre. Additional herbicide purchases and matched acres will also earn 50 cents per acre. Nearly all BASF-branded herbicides are included in the program.
-    Purchasing Credenz® seed and two BASF qualifying soybean herbicides, which may earn growers $2 per acre.
-        Participating brands include: Credenz seed, Engenia herbicide, Liberty herbicide*, Outlook herbicide, Prowl herbicide, Verdict herbicide, Zidua SC herbicide, Zidua PRO herbicide and Zidua WG herbicide.
-    Purchasing InVigor® canola seed and Liberty herbicide, which may earn growers $50 per seed unit.
-    Purchasing FiberMax® and/or Stoneville® cotton seed and Engenia and/or Liberty herbicide, which may earn growers $6.40 per acre with the opportunity to earn an additional $.50 per acre with each added BASF herbicide.

“As opposed to outcome-based grower programs that have recently hit the market, BASF’s 2020 Agronomic Advantage offers flexibility and the ability to earn rewards based on agronomic needs,” Kay said. “When growers continue to work with their BASF-authorized retailers and other representatives, they’ll see their hard work rewarded in a completely new way.”

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