Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Tuesday October 1 Ag News

In Tough Year for Agriculture, Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Builds Awareness, Support

Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), a program of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, headed back to school this fall with new, grade-specific lessons and activities for Nebraska teachers. AITC has a long history of creating resources tied to state education standards to assist teachers in connecting students to their source of food, fiber, and fuel – agriculture!

“The Foundation has taken big steps forward this year and looks forward to continued  positive momentum. There has been growth in the number of participating schools, students, and lessons offered,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director.

Classroom Visits provide students with opportunities to develop an awareness that agriculture is their source of food, clothing, and shelter. Since the beginning of the school year, Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation staff has taught in 21 classrooms, reaching 453 students. Over the summer, staff developed Classroom Visit lessons that complement core subject area learning and focus on a unique commodity related to the grade level.

“For the 2019-2020 school year, the classroom visit program was updated to offer two unique agricultural lessons for each elementary grade level that aligns to science, social studies, and language arts learning targets. Each lesson builds year-to-year for sustained impact in the classroom. Programming continues to build and link experiences together for a lasting effect,” said Schafer.

The third year of the Connecting Chapters program kicked off this fall with 72 FFA chapter participants. The Connecting Chapters program equips high school FFA members to connect with elementary students and peers to introduce agricultural literacy – awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of agriculture – in their communities.

“Through Connecting Chapters, FFA members gain practice with listening, understanding, and sharing agriculture in a meaningful way. This program builds confident agricultural advocates and community leaders,” said Courtney Schaardt, director of outreach education and program leader.

Newly created interactive displays rolled out this fall for engagement outside of classroom walls. These displays share with students and consumers about careers in agriculture, food labeling, and biotechnology. The volunteers of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Committee have led these activities and conversations at the state fair and other public events across the state. Through these events, the committee and staff have reached approximately 2,650 Nebraskans.

“The number of students and families reached through volunteers nearly doubled this past year. Volunteers enrich programs, bring together a community of leaders, and share a passion for helping Nebraskans understand the importance of Nebraska agriculture,” said Schafer.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is grateful for the support of numerous volunteers and partners. “We are proud to partner with all the major commodity groups and the University of Nebraska to provide comprehensive agricultural literacy programming statewide. In a year where devastating storms and floods have impacted much of rural Nebraska, we know it is more important than ever for all Nebraskans to understand and support the work of farm and ranch families and their contributions to our great state,” said Schafer.

Agriculture in the Classroom® is a program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture through the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization. In Nebraska, the Agriculture in the Classroom program is managed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

October is National Pork Month

Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

October is a month where we celebrate many things.  It is a time that our trees begin to turn colors as a sign that fall is arriving. Our farmers are moving forward with the harvest of our crops. Families are spending time with their children at the Pumpkin Patches and Halloween is celebrated at the end of the month. But most importantly, October is National Pork Month. This is a time to celebrate our nation’s thriving swine industry and learn as much as we can about swine production and thank the pork producers for everything they do for the agriculture industry.

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture (most recent data), the United States had 64,871 farms selling nearly 235.3 million hogs and pigs that were valued at almost $26.3 billion.  The U.S. is the world’s third largest producer and consumer, as well as largest exporter of pork and pork products. The Census also shows that Nebraska has 1,346 farms selling over 14.3 million head that were valued at almost $1.5 billion. Locally, Cuming County had pork sales of over $66.5 million which ranks sixth in Nebraska and is the 92nd ranking county in the U.S.

Pork is the world’s most widely eaten meat, representing 36 percent of all meat consumed, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. So pork producers play a major role in helping us feed the world. Each market hog represents about 371 servings of pork. That makes for hundreds of meals that feed families from the US and around the world.  Pork provides an abundance of nutritional qualities, including amino acids, vitamins and protein.

Through changes in feeding and breeding techniques, pork producers have responded to consumer demand for leaner pork. Today’s pork is lean with 16 percent less fat and 27 percent less saturated fat as compared to pork in 1991. In fact, many cuts of pork are now as lean as skinless chicken.  Pork tenderloin is certified as heart-healthy by the American Heart Association with its heart-check mark, indicating that it contains less than 6.5 grams of fat, 1 gram or less of saturated fat.

Along with offering many great products for consumers, the nation’s pork industry plays a significant role in job creation. The U.S. pork industry supports about 550,000 jobs ranging from pork producers and meat processors, to transport and Main Street businesses.

As our global population continues to grow, be assured that our pork producers will play an even more important role in the future. As the demand increases, our pork producers, with the assistance of the supporting industries, will continue to grow and enhance their production methods to meet the needs.

So this month, make sure that you take time to thank our friends and neighbors that raise and produce pork for all of their hard work.  We can all celebrate by eating extra pork this month to show our support of local swine producers.

Porktober19 Tells the Pork Story to Iowans

Iowa's pig farmers do their work every day of the year, so it's only fitting that one month be dedicated to the delicious and nutritious product they produce.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association has dubbed the tenth month of the year Porktober - An Iowa Pork Celebration. "We encourage you to follow great nutrition and cooking information about pork by following #Porktober19 on all your social media channels," says IPPA President Trent Thiele.

"While we encourage consumers to include pork in their meals all year long, this time set aside for the traditional October Pork Month recognition is an opportunity to remind you about a great product and the men and women who produce it," says the Elma pig farmer. "Nearly one of 12 Iowans has a job connected to the pork industry," says Thiele.

Pork is the leading animal protein for consumers across the globe. "But our most important consumers will always be those here at home," Theile said. "#Porktober19 let's us reinforce our producer-to-consumer relationship so we can tell our story about producing safe, nutritious food right here in Iowa."

To learn more about pork and Iowa's pig farmers, go to There, you'll see recipe videos and a video featuring three Iowa pig farmers. You'll find preparation information for preparing pork and serving this quintessential Iowa food in your home. And, there's a simple infographic to tell you about the sustainability results from the work pork producers do.

Finalists Named for Iowa's 2019 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin

The top five finalists have been announced for the 17th annual Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest in Iowa, sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA).

They include: Big Al's BBQ in Des Moines; Night Hawk Bar & Grill in Slater; The Pub at the Pinicon in New Hampton; Stumble Inn in Bradford; and West Side Family Restaurant in Grinnell.

The first- and second-place winners will be named later this month as part of #Porktober19, or October Pork Month.

"All of the top five finalists scored highly in our first round of judging this summer, which included 40 restaurants from around the state," said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA marketing and programs director. "And we're excited to announce Iowa's Best for 2019."

IPPA received 5,390 nominations for 470 different establishments during the spring nomination period. Those numbers are up significantly from nearly 1,600 nominations for 380 establishments in 2018.

"We made some improvements to simplify the nomination process, and we're thrilled to see that it resulted in more tenderloin enthusiasm from loyal fans across the state nominating their favorites," Sutter said.

Any Iowa restaurant, café or tavern that has hand-breaded or battered pork tenderloins on its menu is eligible to be nominated. In order to win, the nominated business must be open year-round; however, seasonal restaurants can be in the final top five.

The winning restaurant will receive $500, a plaque, a banner to display and statewide publicity that will bring in new business.

Winners from the past five years (past winners are not eligible for the competition): 2018 - Three C's Diner, Corning; 2017 - Grid Iron Grill, Webster City; 2016 - Nick's, Des Moines; 2015 - The Belmond Drive-In, Belmond; 2014 - The Lucky Pig Pub & Grill, Ogden.


The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year today and seated the 2020 Corn Board with Kevin Ross of Minden, Iowa assuming the presidency.  Looking at the year ahead, Ross is grateful for the chance to serve and to create opportunities to fully utilize the talents of his fellow grower leaders.

“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to facilitate the growth amongst our board and to lead the organization in which I have spent so much time,” said Ross. “It is such a privilege to be able to step into this role. In doing so, I hope to represent fellow neighbors and farmers across the country well.”

Over the year ahead, he sees many opportunities to build markets and impact change for farmers. A true believer in the power of grassroots action, he sees the power of NCGA coming directly from the farmers who join, act and lead.

“When it comes to taking action, I cannot stress enough that sometimes one person’s voice can make the difference on if a piece of legislation goes through. It is their story that makes the difference.”

Noting that growers can make an impact in Washington, in their district or at the local level, Ross urges all farmers to play an active role in creating the change they wish to see for the industry.

“When you have an opportunity, you need to take action. That one voice, that one story, can make a real difference in decisions that are made in agriculture.”


The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve their industry as members of the action teams and committees beginning on January 1, 2020. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive NCGA.

Current FY 2019 teams, committees and members will remain in place until the beginning of the new calendar year.

Leadership for NCGA’s seven major teams in 2020 will be:
    Ethanol Action Team: Mark Recker, chair; Kelly Nieuwenhuis, vice chair; Gary Porter, board liaison.
    Market Development Action Team: Dan Wesely, chair; Jed Bower, vice chair; Tom Haag, board liaison.
    Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team: Debbie Borg, chair; Lindsay Bowers, vice chair; Dennis Maple, board liaison.
    Production Technology Access Action Team: Chad Wetzel, chair; Kate Danner, vice chair; Brandon Hunnicutt, board liaison.
    Risk Management Action Team: Doug Noem, chair; Bill Leigh, vice chair; Harold Wolle, board liaison.
    Stewardship Action Team: Carl Sousek, chair; Andy Jobman, vice chair; Ken Hartman, board liaison.
     Sustainable Ag Research Action Team: Randy DeSutter, chair; Bob Hemesath, vice chair; Deb Gangwish, board liaison.

Pennsylvania Farmer Named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year

Chris Hoffman, a pig farmer from McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, is America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM for 2019-2020 after netting the highest combined score in third-party judging and online voting. The award recognizes the pig farmers in the U.S. that exemplify industry leadership, a demonstrated focus in raising pigs following the We CareSM ethical principles and a commitment to connecting consumers with the farmers who raise the pork they consume.

“Chris is both a strong advocate for our industry as well as the embodiment of a responsible, progressive producer,” said National Pork Board President David Newman. “He will do a great job in leading pig farmers as we all work to demonstrate to our consumers that we aspire to ethically raise the safest, most wholesome protein supply in the world.”

Though he originally aspired to work in law enforcement, Hoffman found himself in the business of raising pigs and discovered it to be his ideal career. He’s faced challenges unique to being a first-generation pig farmer, but with a progressive yet realistic philosophy, he’s been able to gradually grow and evolve his Lazy Hog Farm to integrate the next generation and secure a bright future.

“For me, it’s been slow and steady, and we’ve evolved over a period of time,” Hoffman said. “When my son comes in a few years from now, he will hopefully have a lot of opportunities to think outside the box and try new things.”

Hoffman was named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year after an on-farm audit of animal health, safety and management practices, a series of personal interviews and an online vote. Since being named to the position, Hoffman said he’s excited to lead discussions with consumers and food retailers in order to help promote pig farming and demonstrate farmers’ commitment to always doing the right thing for their animals, the environment and the families who consume their product.

“While I’ll begin the year by discussing our business with consumers and food retailers, my ultimate goal is to appear on regional and national television and radio programs to talk about how we raise pigs in this country. I want to meet with our nation’s leaders, including the president, and show them that we are an integral part of our food supply and the nation’s workforce,” Hoffman said. “Farmers do a great job at raising pigs the right way, and now it’s my turn to help show the rest of the country how passionate we are about what we do and whom we do it for.”

The panel of expert judges who met with finalists in August, were Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane; Jayson Lusk, department head and distinguished professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher, author and principal of Range®, Inc., a meat marketing and education firm; Jessie Kreke, senior marketing manager, Culver’s Franchising System; and Patrick Bane, the 2018 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.

Learn more about Hoffman and the America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Award at

Dairy Field Days to Spotlight Forage Management and Crossbreeding

The I-29 Moo University will host two on-farm dairy field days in November. Topics will include managing forages and silage, crossbreeding, housing and parlor setup.

The field days are free to attend. Each will start at 12:30 p.m. and conclude around 3:30 p.m.

Summit Dairy, Nov. 13. Location: 5564 390th St., Primghar, Iowa.

Dairyman John Westra will lead participants through his Summit Dairy milking parlor, cattle housing, the commodity and mixing building, and also discuss the farm’s breeding program.

Westra and his family purchased Summit Dairy in 2012. They moved from California and immediately began caring for the 400 cows. Over the years, the Westras expanded the dairy to over 800 cows. The cows are housed in free-stalls and milked three times a day. As part of the expansion, Westra built a commodity and feed mixing building, which allows feed to be loaded and mixed indoors, which reduces waste and decreases moisture variability in the feedstuffs.

Hugo Ramirez, assistant professor and extension dairy specialist at Iowa State University, will discuss feeding this year’s silage, feeding issues he is seeing, and pile management.

Tri Cross Dairy, Nov. 20. Location: 45144 289th St., Viborg, S.D.

Owners Tom Koolhaas and Wes Bylsma, and farm manager Kris Vander Kooy will lead a tour of this 4,000-cow operation that includes a 1,200-foot cross-ventilated free-stall barn, and a 100-head rotary milking parlor.

The tour guides will share their experiences using crossbreeding within dairy to create a durable and productive cow herd. Amy Hazel, researcher with the University of Minnesota, will discuss reasons that interest in crossbreeding in dairy cattle is growing globally, explain the basics of rotational crossbreeding for dairy cattle, and present the detailed results of a 10-year study in high-performance Minnesota dairy herds where ProCROSS cows were found to be more profitable than their Holstein herd mates.

Brother-in-laws Wes Blysma and Tom Koolhaas founded Tri Cross Dairy in 2017. They both grew up on California dairies and wanted to expand their farms and landed in the I-29 Dairy Corridor, near Viborg, South Dakota. The dairy is named for its Tri-crossed, or Pro Cross breed of cattle, which are a combination of Holstein, Montbeliarde, and Swedish or Viking Red.

Registration details

Register for one or both field days at Light refreshments and South Dakota State University ice cream will be served.

For more information, contact Jim Salfer at, 612-360-4506, Fred Hall, 712-737-4230, or Tracey Erickson at, 605-882-5140.

The field days are hosted by I-29 Moo University, a collaboration of South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, North Dakota State, and University of Nebraska Extension Services; Iowa State Dairy Association; South Dakota Dairy Producers Association; Nebraska State Dairy Association and the MN Milk Producers Association.

USDA Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.33 million tons (178 million bushels) in August 2019, compared with 5.38 million tons (179 million bushels) in July 2019 and 5.09 million tons (170 million bushels) in August 2018. Crude oil produced was 2.05 billion pounds down 2 percent from July 2019 but up 5 percent from August 2018. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.52 billion pounds during August 2019 increased slightly from July 2019 and increased 5 percent from August 2018.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 156,132 tons in August 2019, compared with 145,547 tons in July 2019 and 170,472 tons in August 2018. Canola crude oil produced was 126 million pounds, up 4 percent from July 2019 but down 9 percent from August 2018. Canola once refined oil production, at 72.8 million pounds during August 2019, was down 29 percent from July 2019 and down 34 percent from August 2018.

Cottonseed once refined oil production, at 39.6 million pounds during August 2019, was up 16 percent from July 2019 but down 13 percent from August 2018.

Edible tallow production was 87.2 million pounds during August 2019, up 8 percent from July 2019 but down 5 percent from August 2018. Inedible tallow production was 315 million pounds during August 2019, up 1 percent from July 2019 but down 5 percent from August 2018. Technical tallow production was 118.6 million pounds during August 2019, up 33 percent from July 2019 but down 1 percent from August 2018. Choice white grease production, at 107 million pounds during August 2019, increased 15 percent from July 2019 but decreased 5 percent from August 2018.

Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 508 million bushels in August 2019. Total corn consumption was up slightly from July 2019 but down 6 percent from August 2018. August 2019 usage included 91.4 percent for alcohol and 8.6 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.34 million bushels, down 35 percent from July 2019 and down 6 percent from August 2018. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 455 million bushels, was up 1 percent from July 2019 but down 6 percent from August 2018. Corn consumed in August 2019 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90.3 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 2.01 million tons during August 2019, up 1 percent from July 2019 but down 8 percent from August 2018. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.28 million tons in August 2019, up 7 percent from July 2019 but down 2 percent from August 2018.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 306,375 tons during August 2019, up 2 percent from July 2019 but down 6 percent from August 2018. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 261,243 tons in August 2019, up 4 percent from July 2019 and up 2 percent from August 2018.

Agriculture Groups Urge USDA to Quickly Establish Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank

Representatives of the National Pork Producers Council, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Corn Growers Association and Iowa State University today called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to move as quickly as possible to establish a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank.

At a press conference today, these groups recognized the steps USDA has taken to establish the bank, but called for expedient use of mandatory funding included in the 2018 Farm Bill to purchase the volume of vaccines required to effectively contain and eradicate an FMD outbreak. Currently, the USDA, which has prescribed vaccination for dealing with an FMD outbreak, does not have access to enough vaccine to avoid devastating economic consequences to the U.S. economy, should an outbreak occur.

FMD is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. The disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would have widespread, long-term fallout for livestock and crop agriculture, including the immediate loss of export markets. According to Iowa State University research, an outbreak would result in $128 billion in losses for the beef and pork sectors, $44 billion and $25 billion, respectively, to the corn and soybean farmers, and job losses of more than 1.5 million across U.S. agriculture over 10 years.

"If the U.S. had a large outbreak of FMD, it may be impossible to control without the rapid availability of adequate supplies of vaccine," said Dr. James Roth, a professor in the department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, during today's press conference.  "The U.S. vaccine bank is our best insurance policy to respond to an FMD outbreak in the United States. As with most insurance policies, we hope to never use it, but it's paramount that we have fast access to enough vaccine if we ever need it. The funding provided in the 2018 Farm Bill provides a good start toward building up a more robust FMD vaccine stockpile to help protect American agriculture," he added.

"U.S. pork producers and other farmers are currently faced with a wide range of challenges, including export market uncertainties, flooding and other weather events," said NPPC Chief Veterinarian Liz Wagstrom. "Unlike challenges beyond our control, a solution for FMD preparedness is in our grasp. We urge USDA to move as quickly as possible to establish the bank."

"Livestock is a very important customer for U.S. corn farmers and each is crucial to the success of the other," said Sarah McKay, director of Market Development at the National Corn Growers Association. "A foreign animal disease outbreak would have an estimated $4 billion a year impact on corn farmers, which would be disastrous on top of current market conditions. In addition, an outbreak may also impact exports of animal ag products. On average, pork exports contribute 28 cents a bushel to the price of corn, so the control of infectious diseases via a vaccine bank is important not only to livestock producers but corn growers as well."

"The time to build a best-in-class FMD Vaccine Bank is now," said Jamie Jonker, Ph.D., vice president for Sustainability & Scientific Affairs at the National Milk Producers Federation. "NMPF has been active in informing our members and the dairy community of the importance of preparation, and a vaccine bank is a crucial element of protection for the entire livestock industry. We are excited to work with other stakeholders and with USDA to reach this goal."

Origin of Livestock Proposed Rule Comment Period — Open Now

On October 1, 2019, the National Organic Program (NOP) reopened the public comment period for the Origin of Livestock proposed rule originally published in 2015. The comment period is open for 60 days: October 1 - December 2, 2019.

The proposed rule would change the requirements related to origin of livestock under the USDA organic regulations. NOP received 1,580 public comments during the original comment period in 2015. USDA will consider all public comments in developing a final rule. This includes public comments from 2015 and from this new comment period.

You do not need to resubmit public comments provided on the 2015 proposed rule. However, they will welcome new or updated comments.

Reopening the public comment period gives people a chance to submit comments who did not do so in 2015. It also allows people to submit updated information, if needed, to inform USDA's development of a final rule.

Organic Farm Commodity Sales Doubled Between 2012 & 2017

Although the total value of U.S. agricultural sales remained relatively flat between 2012 and 2017, U.S. organic sales more than doubled to $7.3 billion. Growth in the U.S. organic sector has accelerated since the early 2010s as retailers, food manufacturers, and livestock producers have increased demand for organic food and inputs.

Agricultural sales averaged $400,603 for organic operations in 2017, more than double the average agricultural sales for all farms ($190,245).

The organic share of U.S. agricultural sales doubled to 2 percent between 2012 and 2017, and was over 6 percent in some States.

California was the top State in both organic and overall agricultural sales. Most other top organic States were in the Pacific Northwest (a major grower of organic produce), Upper Midwest (a major producer of organic milk), and Northeast (which has many small-scale organic farms).

Pennsylvania and North Carolina were among the States with the fastest growth between 2012 and 2017, with organic sales up ten- and eight-fold, respectively.

In contrast, Iowa ranked second in overall agricultural sales and twelfth in organic sales, reflecting the low adoption of organic systems for U.S. grain production.

NCFC To Celebrate Co-op Month Throughout October

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives joins cooperatives across the nation to recognize October as National Co-op Month and honor the important role farmer-owned cooperatives play in strengthening the economy, providing jobs and improving life in local communities.

“Co-op Month is a great time to share the farmer co-op story and discuss how America’s farmer-owned businesses allow individual farmers across the country the opportunity to truly participate in the food and agriculture system,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner.  “I’m excited to dedicate this month to co-ops, and showcase how farmer co-ops directly support rural America and help provide consumers with a safe, affordable and abundant food, fiber and fuel supply.”

For more than 100 years, farmer-owned co-ops have given individual farmers a fair chance to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 2.2 million farmers own the nearly 2,000 farmer cooperatives in the nation. The farmer-owned cooperatives generate around $200 billion annually in economic activity and generate about 300,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs.

Throughout the month, NCFC plans to highlight the role that farmer-owned co-ops play in improving economic opportunity and the quality of life in rural America.

Doug Keesling Joins NSP Board of Directors, Three Re-Appointed and Officers Elected

The National Sorghum Producers board of directors recently elected Doug Keesling of Chase, Kansas, and re-elected three board members who will serve a three-year term respectively beginning Oct.1. Officers were also elected.

Keesling is a fifth-generation farmer from central Kansas where he grows sorghum, wheat, corn, soybeans and livestock. He also owns Keesling Seed Farms, a comprehensive farm input supplier. Keesling has previous experience with state and national wheat grower organizations, the Trump Agriculture Advisory Committee, International Grains Program and many others.

“Doug Keesling brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the NSP board of directors,” said Dan Atkisson, NSP chairman and sorghum farmer from Stockton, Kansas. “We look forward to the insight he will bring as we tackle ongoing issues like trade and other policy initiatives that are important to U.S. sorghum farmers.”

Kody Carson of Olton, Texas, was re-elected to the board along with Bobby Nedbalek of Sinton, Texas, and Larry Richardson of Vega, Texas. The NSP board also recognized outgoing director Larry Earnest, a sorghum farmer from Star City, Arkansas, for his leadership and dedication to the sorghum industry.

"We are incredibly grateful for the contributions Larry has made to the NSP board," Atkisson said. "Larry has been composed and stable voice for the industry as we have worked toward valuable improvements for sorghum producers."

NSP Chairman Dan Atkisson and Vice Chairman Kody Carson were re-elected to their respective officer positions. Don Bloss of Pawnee City, Nebraska, remains as past chairman.

USDA Appoints Members to New and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 20 members to serve on the Advisory Committee for New and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers (ACBFR). The newly appointed members serve terms of up to two years through 2021.

Members newly appointed to serve two-year terms are:
    Davon L. Goodwin, Raeford, N.C.
    Katie R. Carpenter, Attica, N.Y.
    Casey Spradley, Cuba, N.M.
    Jacob W. Handsaker, Radcliffe, Iowa

    Adam M. Brown, Decatur, Ill.
    Amanda Jo Carey, Morley, Mich.
    Paul Bickford, Ridgeway, Wisc.
    Jason Brand, Honolulu, Hawaii
    Jeffry R. Gittins, Smithfield, Utah
    Denis Ebodaghe (USDA NIFA)
    Latrice Hill (USDA FSA)
    R. Alan Hoskins, Evansville, Ind.
    Tony Gudajtes, Minto, N.D.
    Juli Obudzinski, Washington, D.C.
    John Bailey, Ukiah, Calif.
    Elicia L. Chaverest, Madison, Ala.
    Shelby Swain Myers, Crawfordsville, Ind.
    Liya Schwartzman, Sacramento, Calif.
    Anusuya Rangarajan, Freeville, N.Y.
    James Carl Hafer, Colstrip, Mont. is re-appointed to serve a one-year term.

“USDA welcomes the voices of this new advisory team,” said Secretary Perdue. “The Committee’s recommendations have been, and will continue to be, thoughtful and representative of feedback from America’s farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders served by the Department. New and beginning farmers are the future of American agriculture, and we must ensure they are successful.”

The Committee is made up of 20 members, including representatives for: state beginning farming programs; commercial lenders; private nonprofit organizations with active beginning farmer or rancher programs, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture; the Farm Service Agency; community colleges or other educational institutions with demonstrated experience in training beginning farmers and ranchers, and other entities or persons providing lending or technical assistance for qualified beginning farmers and ranchers. Congress authorized the Committee in 1992 and since its inception, the ACBFR has been an important part of the USDA strategy to engage, support and service new and beginning farmers. The Committee is funded by the Farm Service Agency. USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE) provides oversight which ensures fiscal accountability and program integrity.

Bayer committed to shaping a more sustainable food system

Bayer welcomed farmers, academics, leading global industry experts, journalists and other stakeholders for its 2019 Future of Farming Dialogue, to engage in a collaborative discussion on the future of agriculture.

“Agriculture needs to feed a growing world without starving the planet”, said Liam Condon, member of the Bayer Board of Management and president of the Crop Science Division. “Breakthrough innovations are needed so that farmers can grow enough food for a growing world population while preserving natural resources.”

Under the theme “Tomorrow belongs to all of us” the event gathers speakers and participants from around 40 countries for two days of robust panel discussions, talks and interviews on issues and opportunitites facing the industry. Topics discussed include the need to find a balance between production of food and preservation of our planet; consumer demands to have a healthy diet with no negative impact on the environment; and the importance of crop protection tools for sustainable agriculture.

“As an agriculture leader, we have the opportunity and responsibility to address the global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and food security to help create a better tomorrow for our planet,” Condon said.

During today’s event, Condon shared that Bayer is introducing three ambitious commitments to address some of the most pressing challenges our world is currently facing by 2030:

1. Reduce the environmental impact of crop protection by 30 percent by developing new technologies that help farmers to scale down crop protection product volumes and enable a more precise application.
2. Reduce field greenhouse gases emissions from the most emitting crops systems in the regions Bayer serves by 30 percent.
3. Empower 100 million smallholder farmers in developing countries around the world by providing more access to sustainable agricultural solutions.

“By combining agricultural innovation with a business model that has sustainability at its core, we can in line with our purpose contribute to a truly better life”, Condon summarized in his keynote presentation, pointing out that investment in tomorrow’s breakthroughs will require collaboration and engagement with scientists, innovators, regulators, farmers and consumers to build trust and gain societal acceptance. Condon explained that the long-term success of Crop Science lies not in selling more products, but in providing farmers with personalized solutions, enabling them to achieve better harvests more sustainably using less resources such as water, land, inputs and energy.

Today’s progress, tomorrow’s possibilities

Last year Bayer invested 2.3 billion euros in Crop Science R&D on a pro forma basis – more than any other competitor in the industry and this figure is expected to rise to over 25 billion euros accumulated over the next 10 years. Some 7,300 scientists are working in over 35 R&D sites and more than 175 breeding stations to deliver innovation. The division’s combined breeding, biotech, crop protection and environmental science pipelines have the potential to deliver up to 30 billion euros in peak sales, with 17 billion euros expected to come from recent and near-term launches alone.

“Many of today’s innovations are the result of both continous improvement and disruptive innovation, as we use the power of human ingenuity to drive scientific advances in health and nutrition to improve our world”, said Bob Reiter, Head of Research and Development for the Crop Science Division.

Last month, Bayer further demonstrated its research capabilities with the launch of an innovative fungicide, marketed under the iblon™ technology brand. Based on the active ingredient isoflucypram, the new wheat fungicide provides excellent disease control across cereal crops to deliver healthier crops and consistently higher yields compared to currently available market standards.

Continued investments in data science and new technologies

Data science and innovative digital tools also enable Bayer to sustainably improve the efficiency of its business operations while, at the same time, empowering farmers to make better decisions about how to grow crops. Combining Bayer’s leading germplasm libraries in corn, soybean, cotton and vegetables, next-generation traits, its strong discovery platform for small molecules and thousands of microbes with the largest seeds performance database, means that Bayer has beyond the current pipeline also the highest innovation potential in agriculture as well.

Last year, Bayer signed more than 60 new collaborations or extensions to existing collaborations. Most recently, the company finalized an agreement with biopharmaceutical research company Arvinas to create a joint venture – newly named Oerth Bio (pronounced “Earth”) – and explore how molecular-degrading proteins found in plants and animals can protect crops against threatening pests and diseases. The outcomes of this partnership not only have significant implications for agriculture but could potentially provide significant benefits to human health through Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Division. As of today, John Dombrosky is named the chief executive officer of Oerth Bio. He previously served as CEO of the AgTech Accelerator, which sourced, formed, and developed emerging big-vision agtech startups.

“We are very proud of our leading R&D pipeline with 75 projects in seed & traits, crop protection and Digital Ag pipelines”, added Reiter. “With hundreds of new hybrids and varieties commercialized annually, we are best-positioned to discover, combine and tailor solutions for growers around the world.”

Increasing productivity with digital farming tools

Today, Bayer provides farmers across millions of acres globally the leading platform in the digital ag space. “Through the combination of Bayer’s world-class product and technology portfolio, R&D pipeline, and the integration of robust data insights delivered through our FieldView™ platform, the future of agriculture has never been more exciting”, said Sam Eathington, Chief Science Officer at The Climate Corporation. FieldView is available in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina and 15 countries in Europe, including key markets such as Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Ukraine. In 2018, Climate also launched a digital solution for smallholder farmers called FarmRise™, providing key agronomic information to farmers through their mobile devices to help improve their operations.

“Digital farming is enabling individual, personalized solutions, tailored to each farm’s needs: Eathington added. In 2018, FieldView was on more than 60 million paid acres globally. This year, the company is currently on track to achieve its target of 90 million paid acres. The platform enables farmers to easily collect and visualize field data, analyze and evaluate crop performance and manage their field variability through customized fertility and seeding plans, to optimize crop productivity. “We see a one-billion-acre opportunity where our digital technologies can be used to positively and sustainably improve the world’s food system”, said Eathington. “Our over-arching goal is to lead in innovation and pioneer the digital transformation to help implement new standards of sustainable agriculture.”

To learn more about Bayer’s vision of modern agriculture visit here:

More about Bayer’s sustainability initiatives online at:

No comments:

Post a Comment