Thursday, October 24, 2019

Wednesday October 23 Ag News

Madison cattle feeder co-chairs Nexus capital campaign at Northeast Community College

A cattle feeder from Madison is helping lead the capital campaign to fund new agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College.

Jeanne Reigle, who co-owns Reigle Cattle Company with her husband, John, and son and daughter-in-law, is a co-chair of the campaign, along with Russ Vering of Central Plains Milling in Howells and Columbus.

“My husband, John, and I asked Northeast for help in meeting our workforce needs,” Reigle explained. “Their answer was this plan to create a premiere location to attract traditional and non-traditional students from all over the country, whether they are interested in livestock agriculture, precision farming or another aspect of production.”

Providing trained employees for area farms, ranches and agri-businesses is one of the main goals of the Nexus project at Northeast Community College.

According to Dr. Tracy Kruse, vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation, “As we talk with area business people, one topic that comes up again and again is the critical shortage of trained workers. Since nine out of 10 Northeast students stay in Nebraska after graduation, we believe that increasing enrollments in our ag program would help farmers, ranchers and agri-businessmen meet that challenge.”

Kruse said that one of the factors limiting student growth in the Northeast ag department is the lack of modern facilities.

“Veterinary technology and animal science students learn in a 100-year-old repurposed dairy barn,” Kruse said. “The Nexus campaign will provide the funds needed to replace that building, as well as provide a farm site that more closely resembles a modern Nebraska farm.”

Reigle has past experience in fundraising, having chaired several local efforts as well as being a co-chair of the 2008 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball. She encourages everyone to make an investment in agriculture in northeast Nebraska by contributing to the Nexus campaign.

“I tell ag producers that each dollar contributed to new ag facilities at Northeast is an investment in their own ag business, not just in the college. This state of the art campus will give close proximity access to some of the best qualified ag workforce, technology advancements, and crop management and development.”

“There are several ways to be a part of the Nexus campaign,” Reigle continued. “Cash donations can be made over a five-year pledge period; gifts of grain and livestock are being accepted by the campaign; and some retirees are designating the required disbursements from their IRA’s to the project.”

“Northeast wants to make it possible for everyone to be a part of this project,” Kruse said. “If writing a large check is not something you can do, please contact the Foundation office for more information on alternative ways to support agriculture at Northeast in a significant and tax deductible way.”

Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, and a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on E. Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.

In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.

For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.

Beef Nutrition Research Showcase Set for Dec. 4 in Ames

The 2019 Beef Nutrition Research Showcase Dec. 4, features a variety of topics presented by eight Iowa State University speakers, all with an eye on practical research and market information. The showcase is presented by Iowa Beef Center and the ruminant nutrition group in the animal science department at Iowa State University.

Allison VanDerWal, research coordinator with the ruminant nutrition group, is one of the organizers of the event. She said that while the focus is on nutrition, all presenters will offer insight and information relevant to beef cattle production.

"Our specific topics include growth promoting technologies and their effect on cattle mineral health, precision livestock farming tools for the feedlot, and transit stress in receiving calves," she said. "We'll also get a beef cattle market situation and outlook, and learn about finishing high quality beef."

The program flyer has all the details, including speaker names and affiliations, event times and location addresses.

The showcase itself will be held at the Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Road in Ames, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Following the presentations, dinner will be provided at 5:30 p.m. There is an optional tour at the Iowa State Beef Nutrition Farm, and those wanting to attend should meet at the farm, at 3405 North Dakota Ave, at noon.

Thanks to sponsor Merck Animal Health, the tour, program and meal are free. However, RSVPs should be made by Wednesday, Nov. 27, by contacting VanDerWal either by email at or by phone at 507-822-5921.

VanDerWal also encourages showcase attendees to consider registering for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association 2019 Iowa Cattle Leadership Summit, set for Dec. 5-6 at Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. Registration for all meals and trade show access is $75 for members and $90 for nonmembers through November 20.

RFID Mandate Removed from USDA Website

In April 2019 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publicly issued its guidance document titled, "Factsheet Advancing Animal Disease Traceability: A Plan to Achieve Electronic Identification in Cattle and Bison," which was prominently displayed on the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS's) website under the heading "Animal Disease Traceability."

That guidance document stated that USDA would require the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) eartags on adult cattle and bison moved in interstate commerce beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

Representing the ranching group R-CALF USA and several of its members, Harriet Hageman of the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed a lawsuit on Oct. 4, 2019 in the federal district court in Casper, Wyo. alleging that the USDA's RFID mandate was unlawful and seeking to declare the mandate null and void.

When the ranching group's lawsuit was filed, the USDA's guidance document remained prominently displayed on APHIS' website at

Today, just days after the lawsuit was filed, the guidance document is gone.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard conducted a search for the infamous guidance document and could not find it anywhere on USDA's website.  However, he did locate the document that had apparently been archived by the Government Printing Office. Although the guidance document cannot be accessed in its prior location on USDA's website, it can still be accessed here:

After the ranching group filed their lawsuit, and before it was removed from the USDA's website, on Oct. 8, 2019, President Donald J. Trump issued two Executive Orders that, among other things, attempted to stop federal agencies like the USDA from attempting to impose legally binding obligations on U.S. citizens through unlawful means, such as the use of guidance documents that were not created through a lawful rulemaking procedure.

The President's Executive Orders gave federal agencies 120 days to compile a publicly available inventory of all the guidance documents that the respective agencies intended to keep and defend, regardless of whether those guidance documents were created pursuant to a lawful rulemaking procedure.

Hageman stated, "We hope that USDA's removal of the 'Factsheet' from its website demonstrates that the agency acknowledges the strength of our lawsuit challenging its illegal effort at mandating RFID for livestock producers who seek to sell their livestock across state lines. Such a move would be a victory for the rule of law, confirm that "guidance" cannot be used to nullify a properly adopted regulation, and provide much needed certainty for the industry."

Bullard stated, "When we filed our lawsuit we said we were drawing a line in the sand telling the USDA that our industry will no longer stand for the USDA's blatant overreach and we are pleased that the President of the United States recognizes this as a serious violation of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, particularly American cattle ranchers."

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Fall

The prices for most fertilizers tracked by DTN continued to drop in the third week of October, following nine weeks of price drops in all eight major fertilizers.

In this latest update, six of the eight fertilizers showed price declines, led by DAP with a $15-per-ton decrease compared to last month. DAP came in at $465 per ton, compared to $480 one month ago.

MAP was priced at $472/ton for this update, falling from $478 last month.

Three fertilizer prices fell by $2 in one month, including potash at $382, urea at $402 and anhydrous at $507.

UAN28 experienced a small price decline of $1 to $253/ton. The prices of 10-34-0 and UAN32 remained steady at $471 and $289, respectively.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

With prices significantly lower in recent months, two fertilizers' prices are lower in price than a year ago. MAP is now 9% less expensive and DAP is 7% lower from last year at this time.

Of the remaining six major fertilizers, five continue to be slightly higher compared to last year. Urea is 1% less expensive than last year, while potash is 5% more expensive and UAN28 is up 4%. 10-34-0 and anhydrous are both 3% higher. UAN32 is priced at 2% higher than one year ago.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/18/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 18, ethanol production shifted higher to 996,000 barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 41.83 million gallons daily, an increase of 25,000 b/d or 2.6% from the prior week. However, production was 2.7% below the same week a year ago and 4.1% below the level two years ago.The four-week average ethanol production rate increased for the first time since mid-August, rising 1.4% to 972,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.90 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks dropped 3.2% to 21.4 million barrels for the second-smallest level in over a year. Inventories were 10.6% lower than the same week last year. Stocks fell across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2).

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 28,000 b/d, or 8.23 million gallons for the week. This is the first time in four weeks that imports were logged. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market scaled up 2.5% to a 6-week high of 9.590 million b/d (402.8 million gallons per day, or 147.01 bg annualized). Conversely, refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol narrowed by 1.5% to 928,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.23 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production ticked up to 10.39%.

Coalition Challenges EPA on 2018 Refinery Waivers

A coalition of renewable fuel and agricultural trade organizations filed a petition Tuesday afternoon with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted certain unknown small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard obligations for 2018. The coalition includes the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association.

Unlike previous years, EPA’s entire decision document was only two pages long, the coalition noted in their petition. In these short two pages, EPA purported to resolve 36 pending petitions for disproportionate economic hardship exemptions—a decision that exempted small refineries from having to blend almost one and a half billion gallons of renewable fuel.

The brief document does not reveal any details and contains only the most bare-bones reasoning for EPA’s decision. Further, the decision did not transparently address whether any of the small refineries were eligible to receive extensions of their exemptions and did not include an analysis of ‘disproportionate economic hardship’, as the statute envisions.

“Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA’s abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act,” the coalition stated. “From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision.”

Joint Statement From Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association on Brazil’s Ethanol Tariff Rate Quota

Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association expressed their disappointment with the news that the Brazilian government amended the recent August 31st rule that raised the quota on U.S. ethanol imports under the tariff rate quote (TRQ) from 600 million liters per year to nearly 750 million liters per year. The TRQ regulates the threshold of ethanol that can be imported into Brazil without triggering a 20 percent tariff.

This is a step backwards in Brazilian government claims that it is an advocate of free markets. Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association released the following statement:

“The decision by Brazil to place seasonal restrictions on its tariff rate quota for U.S. ethanol is disappointing and puts up additional roadblocks to free trade, hurting consumers and our respective ethanol industries.

“For more than 15 years, Brazilian ethanol industry leaders lobbied the U.S. government to drop the tax on imported ethanol, saying:
-    ‘[We] believe that free trade is a two-way street and Brazil…will lead by example and eliminate barriers to renewable, clean fuels.’
-    ‘[We’re] asking the Brazilian government to make the tariff elimination permanent if the U.S. Congress will do the same and drop the tax on imported ethanol.’
-    'It’s time for these two countries to show leadership and work together to develop a truly global free market for ethanol, without trade barriers, as is the case for oil.'
-    ‘Consumers win when industries compete. Brazilian ethanol producers are willing to compete for consumers. What about American producers?’

“The U.S. took the high road and eliminated its ethanol tariff.

“The action by Brazil this week to impose seasonal restrictions on the sale of ethanol does not create a case study in leading by example, but rather the opposite - it is up-ending real opportunities for free trade.”

Dairy Sectors of the United States and Mexico conduct Fourth Annual Meeting

The representatives of the organizations of milk producers and the dairy processors of Mexico:
• Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Lecheros (ANGLAC)
• Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG)
• Gremio de Productores Lecheros de la Republica Mexicana
• Cámara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche (CANILEC)

And the representatives of the organizations of milk producers of the Unites States:
• National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)
• U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)

The dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States are proud to be among the world’s leading providers of wholesome and nutritious dairy products. We help feed communities around the globe while driving economic growth and bringing myriad positive benefits to each of our respective nations.

We salute the hard work of the dairy farmers and processors in both Mexico and the United States who produce superior dairy products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Dairy consumption continues to grow, and our industries are continually modernizing in order to more efficiently meet the growing consumer demand for the high-quality products we produce. We also recognize the importance of ensuring that our industries continue to support small and medium size dairy operations as they work to sustain their livelihood and increase productivity.

Mexico and the United States produce a wide range of healthy, safe and delicious dairy products for the enjoyment of consumers. However, negative marketing activities and the proliferation of false, unscientific information regarding the properties of milk and milk products are impacting some consumer preferences.

We express concern over the new proposal mandating front-of-packaging nutrition labeling in Mexico, and urge the Mexican government to ensure that it NOT affect the positive image of milk and dairy products.

Also, the ratification of the USMCA – TMEC by the United States Congress is vital to strengthen the promising future of the milk and dairy sectors of Mexico and the United States, by bringing certainty to our trade relationships and creating new opportunities to increase dairy trade in the region.

Finally, the industries support a strong strategic collaboration to work on a number of issues of interest to both the Mexican dairy sector as well the U.S. dairy sector.

On this fourth annual meeting within the framework of the partnership to strengthen the productive sector for milk in North America, held in Torreón, Mexico, the dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States hereby agree to:

    Preserve, facilitate and enhance trade between the two nations, as well as promote the elimination of trade barriers of any kind in the dairy sector.
    Have as a key objective the expansion of dairy consumption in both countries to the benefit of producers, manufacturers and primarily consumers in the United States and Mexico, by promoting joint activities that help increase the consumption of our dairy products within our region.
    Identify and promote actions that improve the productivity of dairy farms in Mexico and the United States, understanding the additional needs of small producers in Mexico in particular, while strengthening cooperation in the area of technological exchange and training, to drive improvements in milk production and nutrition.
    Defend the reputation and image of milk and dairy products in both countries by strongly rejecting the improper usage of milk and milk product names by products of nondairy origin, such as plant-based products.
    Creation of a Binational Commission to defend the image of dairy as well as to work on issues of sustainability, animal care and food safety, and find avenues to promote and increase consumption of dairy products.
    Urge the Mexican authorities to consider in the public consultation the arguments of the national and international dairy sector, so that milk and dairy products that contain milk as their main ingredient are not affected by the establishment of warning seals on their labels, in recognition of the enormous nutritional benefits of dairy products, the important role they play in a healthy and balanced diet and the consideration of vulnerable groups in society.
    Express the need for stabilization in our markets in recognition of the economic, social and political importance and certainty that this agreement offers to our industries.
    Continue activities in defense of common food names, in particular cheese names, allowing their free use in our North American market respecting the USMCA agreement on intellectual property.
    Urge the governments involved in the negotiation of USMCA – TMEC to expeditiously implement this modernized trade agreement in order to secure its framework for a strong and united dairy industry for the benefit of our geographical zone and its consumers.
    Understand the importance of sustainability as an integral part of the growth in dairy demand and pledge to continue working on common efforts to improve dairy farm productivity while continuing to protect our natural resources.
    Recognize that Animal Welfare has become a critical part of supply demand to consumers in both countries. The U.S. dairy industry will share developments related to the National Dairy FARM Program to the benefit of dairy farmers in Mexico with the objective of achieving continuous improvement in the health and welfare of their livestock.
    Ratify the cooperation between our industries in the participation of dairy sector events held in our countries, and specifically in those events aimed to enhance the health benefits that our products offer to consumers.

Cargill and FFA Partner to Inspire and Educate Future Leaders

Cargill and the National FFA Organization share the belief that agriculture can solve some of the world’s toughest sustainability challenges. Cargill is investing $2.1 million over three years to help the FFA organization develop future leaders who are prepared to continue advancing sustainable agriculture. The funds will enable the FFA Organization’s efforts to bridge the needs of the agriculture, food and natural resources industries.

 “We need the best and brightest young minds to help create solutions that balance feeding a growing population with protecting our planet," said Ruth Kimmelshue, business operations & supply chain lead and Chief Sustainability Officer for Cargill, and former member of the National FFA Organization Board of Directors. “Through agriculture, young people have the opportunity to develop and use new technology and implement solutions to regenerate soils, build the economic success of farming communities, innovate supply chains, address the global issues facing our industry—such as climate change, deforestation and water conservation—and so much more.”

 The National FFA Organization’s sustainability leader development program will receive $300,000 of the investment, supporting the organization’s efforts to re-evaluate programs and events to include educational resources, experiential learning and leadership development opportunities for future sustainability-driven influencers. The multi-year commitment also elevates support of:
-    The state officer leadership continuum—impacting FFA members by developing leadership skills and personal growth for 375 state officers
-    Living to serve platform—supporting 57,000 hours of service to make a difference in local communities across the country through chapter service projects
-    The agriscience fair—developing students interested in and excelling in science and research, with more than 415 projects approved for competition at the national level. 89% of students report having a better understanding of science’s role in agriculture after competing in the fair
-    Recruitment and retention of quality agriculture educators

For nearly 60 years, Cargill has partnered with the FFA Organization to create innovative ways to inspire youth in agriculture, investing more than $16 million to foster innovative career education and support career development events, leadership development conferences, agriscience fairs and areas of service. Cargill and FFA have brought together corporate leaders, academics, FFA state officers and students around a shared vision for the future of agriculture.

“Cargill is proud to support the work FFA is doing to cultivate a better future for all, by empowering young people to be leaders in agriculture, food and nutrition,” said John Niemann, president, protein ingredients & international channel, Cargill Protein - North America, and current Chair of the National FFA Sponsors Board. “Working together, we can ensure American agriculture continues to build vibrant communities, supports prosperous families and rewarding careers, and produces the food we need to feed a growing population.”

“National FFA values Cargill’s longtime support through their sponsorship and partnership based on shared values,” said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation. “The nearly 60-year relationship has helped cultivate the talent pipeline for agriculture, and continues to develop future leaders that positively impact the industry and the world.”

Final Rule Amends the National List for Organic Crops and Handling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today published a final rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) based on public input and the April 2018 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board.

This final rule:
-    Allows elemental sulfur to be used as a slug or snail bait to reduce crop losses.
-    Allows polyoxin D zinc salt for plant disease control.
-    Reclassifies magnesium chloride from a synthetic to a non-synthetic substance.

The final rule is effective November 22, 2019.

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