Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tuesday November 5 Ag News

Undeniably Dairy Experience
Hannah Guenther, NE Extension Educator, Cuming County

Did you know that the only age group to get the recommended servings of dairy each day is 1-3 year olds? A study done in 2010 found that only 32% of adults get enough calcium. I bet if I were to go around town and ask adults how many servings of dairy they needed each day, most of them would be able to give the correct response of 3 cups. We have been constantly reminded that we need to get our 3 cups of dairy each day, but why aren’t we getting them? The dairy industry has been hit hard recently with the rise of milk alternatives and poor publicity. I partnered with Midwest Dairy to hopefully shed light on the positives of dairy including nutrition, sustainability, and debunking some circulating myths. I toured 3 dairies around Nebraska, purchased their dairy products, and then made recipes which were then shared on my Instagram page (@feedlotsofpeople). My grant came to a close last week and today I am going to share with you what I learned from my Undeniably Dairy Experience.


My first stop on my Dairy Grant was to Clear Creek Organics in Spalding, Nebraska. This family operated, diversified farm produces dairy products like cultured butter, cheeses, and ice cream. They also specialize in pork and vegetables. It was fascinating being at an organic farm and one thing I learned there was how dairies are so sustainable. Bob shared with me that when they make the cheese all the whey is served to their swine and he told me that “the best pork is fed whey”. He also uses raw milk to fertilize their vegetables and it must be working because they’ve grown multiple 3lb carrots! Dairies also maintain sustainability in their feed. A dairy in Lincoln collects byproducts from Lazlo’s brewery to feed their cows and many dairies with a nearby cereal producer will collect imperfect cereal flakes to feed their cows. They even eat the byproducts that are used to make almond milk. Dairy cows are one of the best examples of recycling!


My next stop on the grant was to Hartington, Nebraska to tour Burbach’s dairy. You may know this name because there are known for serving up their milk in glass bottles and their specialty flavors like caramel latte, candy corn, root beer and banana. As I toured their dairy, we stopped at the milk separator which is how they make the varying percentages of milk. The difference between 1%, fat free, 2%, and whole milk all comes down to the fat percentage. I learned that the nutrients of protein and vitamins stay the same within the varying percentages, the only thing that changes is the fat content of the milk! One cup of 1% milk has 110 calories, 9 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 25% of your daily calcium, and 15% of your daily vitamin D. Talk about a nutritious beverage!

How Do You Milk An Almond?

My final stop on my undeniably dairy grant was to the R&D Dairy right outside of West Point! Andy and Cassie took me around the dairy and as we walked we talked about the rise in plant based milk alternatives. Cassie said that she believes a lot of it comes down to marketing. Almond and soymilks have contemporary labels and containers while milk has always stayed the same. They also tote the term “Plant based” in the name, but it is important to look beyond the label. There are only 3 ingredients in milk: milk, vitamin A and vitamin D. Soymilk has 10 total ingredients with the second being sugar! If you are looking for the most natural, affordable, nutritious beverage for you and your family it’s REAL MILK!

Whether its cheese, milk, or yogurt, make sure you are getting your 3 servings of dairy each day.

Farm Service Agency Announces Disaster Relief Payments for Loss of On-Farm Stored Commodities in Nebraska

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska announced payments now are available to eligible producers who lost stored commodities due to natural disaster in 2018 or 2019. The On-Farm Storage Loss Program (OFSLP) was authorized by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.

Administered by FSA, OFSLP provides payments to eligible producers in impacted counties who suffered uncompensated losses of harvested commodities including grains, oilseeds and hay stored in on-farm structures. For producers to receive payment, the losses must be directly related to an eligible disaster event such as floods, tornadoes, snowstorms and wildfires that occurred during 2018 and/or 2019.

“There are producers throughout the country who had their on-farm storage structures damaged or destroyed by natural disasters during 2018 and 2019,” said FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner. “This disaster recovery program pays eligible producers who lost their on-farm stored commodities. We encourage producers who suffered a loss to contact their county FSA office for program information and application.”

To be eligible for OFSLP, the farm storage structure must be located on the farm, not used for commercial storage and would have, under normal circumstances, maintained the quality of the commodity. Commodities stored in warehouses are not eligible for OFSLP. Program payments are made for the loss of the stored commodity and not for the loss of the structure itself.

Commodities eligible for OFSLP include: barley, canola, chickpeas (large and small), corn, cotton, crambe, dry peas, flaxseed, grain sorghum, hay (alfalfa and all-hay), lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rice, safflower seed, sesame seed, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

FSA uses a national payment rate per commodity, which is based on market or harvest prices. Payments will be calculated using a 75 percent factored FSA payment rate multiplied by the quantity lost while stored.

OFSLP has a payment limitation of $125,000 per entity. Adjusted Gross Income does not apply to OFSLP and an acreage report is not required for this program.

For specific commodity payment rates, to submit an application, or for additional program information, contact your local USDA Service Center.

 Nebraska Ethanol Board offers fuel retailer training to install E15 blends and higher

The Nebraska Ethanol Board is urging Nebraska fuel retailers to join fellow Midwest states like Iowa and Minnesota in making E15 fuel more widely available to motorists. A move by the Trump Administration in May promised a surge in year-round sales, but consumers are asking for more availability in Nebraska.

To help fuel retailers learn more about the ease of selling E15, the Board is hosting a free E15 Workshop, including a keynote from Growth Energy’s Sara Brenden. The workshop will take place on Nov. 13 at the Divots Conference Center in Norfolk, Nebraska, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Some retailers have been reluctant to retrofit their pumps for E15 due to misconceptions about cost and installation.

 “Many gas stations can begin to sell E15 with very little investment in their current infrastructure,” said Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “That’s why we are holding this complimentary workshop to debunk the myths and allow retailers to hear firsthand from others who’ve gone through the process.”

Berry explains that the process depends on everyone’s unique circumstances, but it can be as simple as a quick switch.

“If a pre-blended E15 is available at the rack where the fuel retailer sources their fuel, they can often times replace one of their current choices, such as an 89-octane mid-grade that they generally sell very little of, with very little to no investment. The retailer does not have to install the more expensive blender pumps in order to sell E15.”

Additionally, some of cost burdens can be relieved through a grant program from the Nebraska Corn Board, who will award qualifying retailers money for equipment and infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol fuel. Jeff Wilkerson, director of market development for the Nebraska Corn Board, is one of several presenters who will highlight ways to make the process simple and affordable.

Brenden, manager of market development at Growth Energy, will begin the workshop with a keynote on Why E15. According to Growth Energy’s website, E15 offers retailers a competitive advantage and can generate more than 40 percent of total gasoline sales at retail. Growth says consumers have driven more than 10 billion miles on E15 and retailers have conducted millions of transactions.

To see the full agenda and to register, please visit the workshop informational page or www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.

This the second in a series of E15 workshops hosted by the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Previous participants have said:

       “I found the Fuel Retailer’s E15 Workshop to be fascinating. It was very informative and I learned a lot about the ethanol industry. We already sell some E15, but this inspired me to work towards making the switch to E15 at more locations. I also learned some good ideas to better promote the product and grow our sales.”

       “We have been pondering whether to take on E15. With what I learned and will be sharing with my team, I feel pretty strongly that we will be making the move. The E15 workshop was very educational and helpful.”

The workshop is free thanks to the event sponsors: Stanley Petroleum Maintenance, Inc., Nebraska Corn Board, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Nebraska Fuel Retailers Association, and the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Light snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the day.

The increase in E15 sales will provide an additional value-added market for Nebraska farmers and ethanol plants who are experiencing many challenges this year. Weather, the strain of tariffs that have cut U.S. exports drastically, and the EPA’s indiscriminate approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs) are weighing heavily on the industry. Fuel retailers who offer E15 will not only be driving customers seeking lower costs and environmental change to their stores, they will have a real impact on Nebraska’s farmers and economy, Berry said.

2019 AFAN/WSA Annual Stakeholders Meeting Slated for Monday, Nov. 25

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) and We Support Agriculture (WSA) will hold their joint 2019 annual stakeholders meeting Monday, November 25 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.

The meeting will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and conversation time, followed at 9:00 a.m. by the formal meeting. All AFAN and WSA partners and stakeholders are invited. A luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board is scheduled for noon.

Keynote speaker at the 9:45 a.m. session will be Jana McGuire from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) whose topic is entitled “Gene Editing: Current Science and Public Viewpoint.” At the close of the luncheon meeting at 1:00 p.m., McGuire will present a bonus session entitled; “Gene Editing/Engage Training.”

The AFAN/WSA meeting will include year-end reports by Steve Martin, executive director of AFAN and WSA and Will Keech, livestock development director with AFAN. The reports will present the year’s accomplishments and provide a look into future opportunities for both organizations.

Also included in the meeting will be the presentation of the Sand County Foundation’s 2019 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award to Ryan, Angela and Cheyenne Sundstrom, owners of the Broken Box Ranch in Merrifield.

Anyone interested in attending the annual meeting to learn more about AFAN and WSA and the future of animal agriculture in Nebraska must RSVP to Judy Stauffer by November 18 by calling (402)421.4472 or by emailing judys@a-fan.org.

ICON supports Senators efforts for honest beef labels

The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska applaud Sen. Jon Tester’s Senate resolution, introduced on Oct. 30, calling on the rest of Congress to “reinstate County-of-Origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes from.”

Also, South Dakota Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune recently introduced the U.S. Beef Integrity Act, which would ensure that no beef that was born, raised or slaughtered in foreign countries could be labeled as a product of the U.S.A.

Currently, country of origin label regulations are required for perishable fruits and vegetables, chicken, lamb, goat, fish and most nuts, but not beef or pork.

Country of origin labels require retailers to let customers know where the commodities originated, giving shoppers more information and allowing producers to compete in a transparent marketplace.

ICON thanks Sens. Tester, Thune and Rounds for their efforts, and urges Nebraska Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse to insist on honest, country-of-origin labels on beef and pork. Ideally, country of origin labels should be part of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Beef and pork from other countries do not need to be labeled by origin and if they are processed or re-packaged in the U.S., the packages are stamped with a USDA symbol, falsely indicating it is a product of the United States.

Meat processors then offer cheaper-sourced beef to consumers as though it were produced by U.S. farmers and ranchers.

It’s a profitable deal for processors and retailers, but a sour deal for Nebraska cattle producers.

Tester is right in saying, "Our farmers and ranchers produce the best agricultural products in the world. Consumers want to buy those American-made products, and country-of-origin-labeling lets producers show their product was raised right here in the U.S., and ensures folks can make informed choices about the food they buy."

Perdue Leads USDA Trade Mission to Mexico

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will lead a trade mission to Mexico November 6-8 to forge new opportunities with U.S. agriculture’s largest bilateral trading partner and second-largest export market. The Secretary will be joined by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and more than 100 industry and government representatives. 

Accompanying Secretary Perdue are the heads of six state departments of agriculture: Bryan Hurlburt of Connecticut, Celia Gould of Idaho, Joseph Bartenfelder of Maryland, Chris Chinn of Missouri, Doug Goehring of North Dakota, and Derek Sandison of Washington. Other participants include officials from the California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia departments of agriculture and representatives from the following companies and organizations:
    Advanced Food Products, LLC, New Holland, PA
    Agropur US, Appleton, WI
    Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Juneau, AK
    Alltech, Nicholasville, KY
    Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA
    Alvarado Commodities, Inc., San Antonio, TX
    Bard Valley Date Growers, Yuma, AZ
    Biotwo Corp, Chicago, IL
    Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, CA
    Bridgepathway, Jericho, NY
    California Prune Growers Marketing Association, Yuba City, CA
    Citation Wine, Issaquah, WA
    Dairy Products Inc., Eden Prairie, MN
    Food Export USA – Northeast, Philadelphia, PA
    Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces, St. Louis, MO
    Health Garden USA, Spring Valley, NY
    Idaho – Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, Parma, ID
    Ikrumah Inc., Jonesboro, GA
    Kronos, Glendale Heights, IL
    Leprino Foods, Denver, CO
    North American Bison, LLC, New Rockford, ND
    Northwest Hazelnut Company, Hubbard, OR
    Oregon Wine Board, Portland, OR
    Panhandle Milling, Denver, CO
    Pocas International Corp., Hackensack, NJ
    Royal Ridge Fruits, Royal City, WA
    Sagamore Spirit Distillery, Baltimore, MD
    Southern Cross Growers, Ellijay, GA
    Southwest Bison, Amarillo, TX
    TAMA Corporation, Doral, FL
    TRC Group, Inc, Roseville, CA
    U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.
    US Rice Producers Association, Katy, TX
    U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, MO
    US Wine Exports Company, Ltd., Ravenna, OH
    USA Rice, Arlington, VA
    Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, Vancouver, WA
    Zafi Beverages & Technologies, Bensenville, IL
    ZFS Creston, LLC, Creston, IA

Learn more about USDA trade missions by visiting https://www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-missions and following FAS on Twitter at @USDAForeignAg.

Cattlemen Applaud Congressional Request for Avian Predator Management Flexibility

Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of government affairs, today released the following statement in response to a congressional request for increased regulatory flexibility under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA):

“Whether it is black vultures, ravens, or cormorants, MBTA-protected avian predators pose a significant risk to newborn calves and livestock operations across the country. Despite populations of each species numbered in the millions, current regulations place arbitrary caps on permitted take and incur heavy restrictions on preventative measures necessary to protect farming and ranching operations. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Boozman and Rep. Bishop and look forward to engaging with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement commonsense solutions to this problem.”


Yesterday, a letter signed by 15 U.S. Senators and 23 Members of Congress, was sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Margaret Everson. The letter requested that the Service promulgate new rules to increase flexibility in the MBTA permitting process to empower livestock producers to protect their livelihoods. The bipartisan, bicameral letter was led by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2).

Dairy Checkoff Helps McDonald's Launch New Chocolate Milk

Support from dairy checkoff food scientists has helped McDonald's USA produce a reduced-sugar, low-fat chocolate milk that will be unveiled nationwide in January. The new formulation has 25 percent less sugar than McDonald's previous chocolate milk and is no longer a fat-free product.

Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff, has had a partnership with McDonald's since 2009.  DMI provided on-site support from food scientists and other resources and worked closely with the McDonald's team to create the final product.

USDA Dairy Products September 2019 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.08 billion pounds, 2.1 percent above September 2018 but 3.7 percent below August 2019.  Italian type cheese production totaled 469 million pounds, 4.0 percent above September 2018 and 0.4 percent above August 2019.  American type cheese production totaled 418 million pounds, 1.4 percent below September 2018 and 9.0 percent below August 2019.  Butter production was 137 million pounds, 1.2 percent above September 2018 but 0.5 percent below August 2019.

Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 123 million pounds, up 7.9 percent.
Skim milk powder - 48.8 million pounds, up 4.6 percent.

Whey products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)
Dry whey, total - 92.0 million pounds, up 31.5 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 96.2 million pounds, up 5.3 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 38.9 million pounds, down 7.3 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 59.3 million gallons, up 4.8 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 33.9 million gallons, down 2.8 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 2.60 million gallons, down 15.6 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 3.78 million gallons, up 4.4 percent.

Rural Leaders Petition President Trump to Uphold Biofuel Promise

A broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates have sent a letter to the White House this week calling on President Trump to fix a flawed proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which “fails in its mission to reinvigorate farm economies and reopen biofuel plants across America’s heartland.” The letter was signed by 60 organizations, including the American Soybean Association (ASA) and 17 state soybean affiliates. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).

“The flawed proposal swaps out a critical component of the SRE remedy sought by farmers and the biofuels industry,” wrote farm and biofuel leaders. “Instead of recovering the gallons exempted by EPA, it proposes to recover only those gallons previously recommended for exemption by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This one EPA modification converts a commitment to fully account for SREs into a bureaucratically uncertain path that recovers only one fraction of those gallons lost to SREs and could result in RFS backsliding in 2020. This lack of certainty sabotages efforts toward market recovery and will stop biorefineries from reopening.”

September Sales of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Decline Yet Remain Robust

Ann Lewis, RFA Research Analyst
November 5, 2019 – U.S. ethanol exports relaxed in September, decreasing 18% to 100.3 million gallons (mg), according to data issued late today by the government and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Sales were mixed with exports pressing higher among most major markets.

Canada was the top destination for the fifth consecutive month, scaling 4% higher to 32.4 mg. Exports to Brazil climbed 3% to a three-month high of 17.6 mg. In a departure from recent norms, sales to these two markets alone accounted for half of U.S. ethanol exports in September. U.S. sales were also strong in South Korea (8.9 mg, +55%), Peru (8.1 mg, +37%), the Philippines (6.9 mg, +224%), the United Arab Emirates (6.7 mg, +165%), the Netherlands (6.1 mg, +65%), and Norway (3.2 mg, a 70-month high). Total year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol stand at 1.10 billion gallons. This implies an annualized export volume of 1.47 billion gallons which, if realized, would be the second-largest volume on record.

September sales of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol rebounded from a drop in August, rising 17% to 58.3 mg. Canada remained the top customer, increasing its denatured imports by 4% to 30.8 mg (representing over half of September shipments). Other top importers included Peru (8.0 mg, +36% and the largest volume since Feb. 2012), the Philippines (6.9 mg, +224%), the United Arab Emirates (6.7 mg, +165%), and South Korea (4.1 mg, +3%).

Shipments of U.S. undenatured fuel ethanol tapered off in September, decreasing 35% to 40.0 mg. However, top customer Brazil expanded its imports by 3% to 17.6 mg (representing 44% of the global market). Other key destinations included the Netherlands (6.1 mg, +65%), South Korea (4.8 mg, +181%), Norway (3.2 mg), and Colombia (2.1 mg). Notably, Cyprus was a first-time buyer of American undenatured fuel ethanol, with 2.0 mg in sales.

Exports of U.S. ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes scaled back to 2.1 mg, the lowest volume since Dec. 2017. U.S. shippers exported 1.8 mg of undenatured product (down 3.1 mg from August, or -63%), with the bulk distributed between Canada (0.8 mg) and Saudi Arabia (0.6 mg). Most of the denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes landed in Canada.

The U.S. imported ethanol from Brazil for the fourth consecutive month, with purchases of 58.3 mg. This marks the largest monthly volume of foreign ethanol to enter our borders in over six years (since Aug. 2013). Total year-to-date imports stand at 142.1 mg—quadruple the volume imported last year during the same period. Consequently, the U.S. is on pace to let in more foreign ethanol in 2019 than the last three years combined.

U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—moderated from August’s rally, decreasing 6% to 1.05 million metric tons (mt). Shipments to Mexico fell 24% to a six-month low of 136,886 mt, yet the country remained the top destination for U.S. DDGS in September. Vietnam (125,257 mt, +12%), Turkey (94,981 mt, +546%), South Korea (93,283 mt, -17%), and Japan (89,264 mt, +249% and a new record high) round out the top five markets. Year-to-date exports of U.S. DDGS stand at 8.35 million mt. This implies an annualized export volume of 11.13 million mt.

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