Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wednesday November 20 Ag News

Announce 2020 Class of Young Cattlemen’s Conference

Nebraska Cattlemen announced the 2020 class of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC). YCC nominees were accepted from throughout the state and selected by a committee to participate in the two-year leadership program.

The Class of 2020 includes:
    Allissa Troyer, West Point
    Justin Sindelar, Wisner
    Tony Thelen, Randolph
    Mallorie Wilken, Wahoo
    Thad Robertson, Omaha
    Hannah Greenwell, Bassett
    Natalie C. Kovarik, Ord
    Amanda Becker, Beaver City
    Erica Schluntz, Naponee
    Brandon Sorensen, Lexington

“We had another year of a truly outstanding group of applicants for the NE Cattlemen YCC class of 2020. Nebraska Cattlemen leadership and staff is looking forward to meeting and interacting with the class, hopefully providing them with extensive industry knowledge and many networking opportunities. Our goal is to spark interest within the participants, giving them the desire to come back and serve as Board Members to our state and national organization.” – Ken Herz, NC President Elect.

The goal of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference is to expose young and emerging leaders to a variety of areas of the beef industry and provide them with necessary leadership tools. During the two-year program, YCC members are provided training on professional communication, given the opportunity to tour multiple Nebraska-based agriculture production facilities and learn to navigate state agencies and legislative processes.

All of this could not happen without generous sponsorship from Farm Credit Services of America and Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation.


The Nebraska Power Farming Show, presented by Farm Credit Services of America and AgDirect, is hosting an Ag Tech Innovation Competition LIVE at the show on Wednesday, December 11.

The competition will feature five ag tech start-ups pitching their latest ideas to help farmers and ranchers manage their operations more effectively. The competition, emceed by Chad Moyer (KTIC Radio Farm Director), will culminate with one company earning the $5,000 People’s Choice award and the winning company receiving a $20,000 grand prize.

Show attendees can watch these ag tech start-ups compete at 2:00 pm in Pavilion 2 East:

AgHelp solves labor scarcity in the agriculture industry by connecting producers with the
immigrant workforce. AgHelp connects the workers to resources in the community to help
them with their transition to a new area.

Agrellus is an online marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of agricultural inputs
and commodities.

Dynamic Motion provides a robotic power washer designed to help sanitize finishing units in
hog operations.

GroGuru is focused on helping farmers implement strategic irrigation management. They
deploy soil sensors that measure things like soil moisture, temperature and salinity at various
root depth of crops and wirelessly transmit this data to the Cloud where they add additional
information to make AI-based recommendations to farmers about when and how much to
irrigate their crops.

Nexyst 360 solves the issues with traceability back to a crops field of origin. They are a mobile
solution for crop storage and transportation that eliminates the need for grain bins and keeps
the crop data with it from field to final customer.

The Ag Tech Innovation Competition is presented by Farm Credit Services in collaboration with the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association, Lindsay Corporation, Nationwide Insurance, Nebraska Corn Board, Invest Nebraska and The Combine.

The second largest indoor U.S. farm show will be held December 10-12 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Show hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 am to 3 pm Thursday. Admission and parking at the Lancaster Event Center are FREE!

Nebraska Beef Council Invests in Beef. It’s What's For Dinner. Gather 'Round the Drool Log Video

The Nebraska Beef Council is providing support to a delicious national beef video campaign this holiday season. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is releasing a new Beef Drool Log video that will add holiday flavor to workplaces, dinner parties, or nights at home with the family. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is managed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

The Beef Drool Log is a two-and-a-half-hour video featuring a Prime Rib Roast cooking on a rotisserie over an open flame. The video puts a tasty spin on the iconic Yule Log like only beef can. A full-length version is live on YouTube, and shorter versions will be promoted in holiday digital marketing efforts on Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Holiday moviegoers will also have the opportunity to enjoy the Beef Drool Log in select movie theaters during the pre-show advertising in 10 states between November 22 and December 5. Nebraska Beef Council and eight other state beef councils are supporting the in-state theater promotions with funds from the fifty cents of the $1-per-head national Beef Checkoff collected in their states that they control. Throughout the country, 212 theaters with almost 2,700 screens will be participating in this test project.

The Drool Log will appear on over 60 screens in select theaters across Nebraska Nov. 22 to Dec. 5. Theater locations include Omaha, Council Bluffs, Nebraska City and Grand Island.

“This is a tremendous way for cattlemen and women in Nebraska to support a campaign that will have an impact on consumer demand for beef during the holidays,” said Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “Our partnership on this effort will be another step in showing that beef’s great taste and the eating experience it delivers are definitely ‘drool-worthy’ and can’t be copied or replaced. Consumers love the unique, delicious taste of beef, and seeing it on the big screen will be a reminder of that. The Drool Log will become an instant holiday favorite.”

The Beef Drool Log encourages consumers to gather around a beef roast for the holidays. It’s the latest video in the “Keep Sizzlin’” advertisement collection from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. The original sizzle video, featuring a strip streak crackling and popping as it cooks in a cast-iron skillet, has been viewed more than 33 million times. Additional sizzle videos showcasing the popular beef preparation methods of smoking, stir-fry, sous vide, and grilling have more than 81 million views.

NMPF Thanks Sen. Baldwin for Advocacy; Encouraged by Dr. Hahn’s Dairy Response at FDA Hearing

The National Milk Producers Federation thanked Senator Tammy Baldwin for her advocacy for public health and labeling transparency in her questions for Dr. Stephen Hahn during today’s hearing on his nomination to be commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“As the nation’s top health official, Dr. Hahn would face many challenging issues, labeling integrity high among them. It’s heartening to hear the nominee pledge that an FDA under his leadership will immediately examine this crucial unfinished business,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.  “Given his stated commitment to science- and data-based decision-making and his concern for public nutrition, we expect FDA will soon begin enforcing its own standards – which clearly reserve dairy terms for real dairy products, not plant-based imposters who mislead consumers by mislabeling nutritionally inferior products. We thank Senator Baldwin for pressing for urgent action today as part of her ongoing efforts to resolve this health and nutrition issue.”

In response to a question from Sen. Baldwin asking him whether and when the FDA will begin enforcing its own labeling standards, Dr. Hahn voiced his support for “clear, transparent, and understandable labeling for the American people.

“The American people need this so that they can make the appropriate decisions for their health and for their nutrition. I very much will look into this issue,” Dr. Hahn said, later adding he would “look at this as soon as I am confirmed.”

NMPF-Endorsed Bipartisan Ag-Labor Bill Expected to Advance in House

The National Milk Producers Federation today called for the House Judiciary Committee to advance a bipartisan agricultural labor bill that would be a significant step in addressing America’s agriculture labor crisis, especially given the full House has not voted on such legislation in decades.

The committee today is considering H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan agriculture labor bill introduced late last month by Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA). NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern urged members of Congress to move the bill forward so work can continue on the measure.

“Our dairy farmers face unique workforce challenges that require a solution from Congress,” Mulhern said. “Advancing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act is essential for us to have the opportunity to continue bipartisan efforts to address the labor crisis hurting dairy farms across the U.S. NMPF thanks Chairwoman Lofgren and Congressman Newhouse for their bipartisan leadership in drafting a bill that’s capable of moving ag labor reform through Congress.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act advancement enjoys wide support from the agriculture and business community. Nearly 300 organizations on Monday called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to move the bill through the chamber.

“While the bill does include a few provisions that raise significant concerns for the agricultural community, we are committed to working together throughout the legislative process to fully address these issues,” the groups said in their message. “It is vital to move the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the House as a significant step in working to meet the labor needs of agriculture, both now and in the future.”

Nitrogen Fertilizers Lead Prices on Slow Grind Lower

Retail fertilizer prices continued to grind lower the second week of November 2019, following four months of similar price moves, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price compared to the previous month. While none were down a significant amount, which DTN considers a price change of 5% or more, anhydrous prices dropped below $500 per ton for the first time in more than a year.

DAP had an average price of $457 per ton, down $8; MAP $465/ton, down $7; potash $382/ton, down less than $1; urea $388/ton, down $14; anhydrous $496/ton, down $11; UAN28 $246/ton, down $7; and UAN32 $284/ton, down $5.

The remaining fertilizer, 10-34-0, had an average price of $473/ton, a $2/ton increase from last month.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Retail fertilizers are mixed in price from a year ago. MAP is now 12% less expensive, DAP is 9% lower, urea is 5% less expensive, anhydrous is 4% lower and UAN32 is 1% less expensive from last year at this time. UAN28 is 1% higher, 10-34-0 is 3% more expensive and potash is 4% higher compared to last year.

NBB Elects New Governing Board and Chair to Lead Biodiesel Association

As a member-driven and member-focused trade association, the National Biodiesel Board welcomed their membership for their annual fall meeting, November 18-20 in Washington D.C. to focus on critical policy initiatives and move the biodiesel industry forward.

During the meeting, the membership elected representatives from the industry to serve on the Governing Board to help the development and success of biodiesel.

“As the national trade association representing America’s Advanced Biofuel it is critical that we are led by a strong team of advocates from all sectors of the industry,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “The NBB Governing Board continues to strive to move America-made fuel forward and expand our nearly 3-billion-gallon market.”

NBB members voted to fill seven board member spots for two-year terms:
    Kent Engelbrecht, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
    Chad Stone, Renewable Energy Group (REG)
    Ryan Pederson, North Dakota Soybean Council
    Harry Simpson, Crimson Renewable Energy
    Paul Soanes, RBF Port Neches, LLC
    Dave Walton, Iowa Soybean Association
    Tim Ostrem, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council

Troy Alberts, Rob Shaffer, Jeff Lynn, Tim Keaveney, Greg Anderson (NE), Mike Rath, Robert Morton, and Tom Brooks continue to serve on the board. The board also elected Chad Stone as Chairman, Mike Rath as Vice Chairman, Rob Shaffer as 2nd Vice Chairman, Ryan Pederson as Treasurer and Troy Alberts as Secretary.

“We are excited for and support our membership’s choice of new Governing Board Chairman, Chad Stone,” says Rehagen. “Our association is sure that Stone will serve our industry to his fullest capacity and help us reach our lofty goals.”

NBB also recognized retiring Chairman, Kent Engelbrecht, for his three years of dedication and service to the national trade association. This three-year term is the maximum allowed by the association’s bylaws.

“On behalf of NBB, we extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to our retiring Chairman Engelbrecht,” said Rehagen. “Under his leadership, the biodiesel industry has achieved a great deal of growth and development. We can’t thank Kent enough for his time, commitment, and advocacy for America’s Advanced Biofuel and I’m excited he will remain on the board where we can continue to benefit from his expertise and passion.”

In addition, NBB would like to extend thanks to retiring Governing Board member Ron Heck. “Ron has been a tireless advocate for agriculture and biodiesel,” says Rehagen. “I have always admired his ability to understand the market dynamics from the farm field all the way through biodiesel production and distribution. This knowledge has allowed him to represent our members’ interests exceptionally well in some critical moments of our industry. We will miss his strong and consistent leadership.”

The NBB Governing Board reflects the wide range of member companies in the biodiesel industry from feedstock operations to producers.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 11/15/2019

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Nov. 15, ethanol production scaled 3,000 barrels per day (b/d) higher or 0.3% to 1.033 million b/d—equivalent to 43.39 million gallons daily and 0.9% below the same week a year ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate lifted 0.9% to 1.020 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.64 billion gallons.

Conversely, ethanol stocks shrank 2.2% to 20.5 million barrels, the lowest volume since the start of 2017. Inventories were 10.0% lower than the same week last year and 6.3% below the level two years ago. Stocks declined across the East Coast (PADD 1), Midwest (PADD 2), and Gulf Coast (PADD3) but increased in other regions.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 4,000 b/d, or 1.18 million gallons for the week. This is the first time this month that imports were logged. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of September 2019.)

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market shifted 1.4% lower to 9.192 million b/d (386.1 million gallons per day, or 140.91 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol decreased 1.2% to 929,000 b/d—equivalent to 14.24 bg annualized.

Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.24%.

Growth Energy Celebrates New York’s Move to E15

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor today celebrated a major regulatory victory that will open the nation’s fourth largest fuel market to E15 – fuel mixed with 15 percent ethanol. Under a rule finalized today by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York will become the newest state to allow the sale of E15, which is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for all vehicles model year 2001 and newer.

“It’s exciting to see New York regulators finalize this vital update, and we thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of Agriculture and Markets for giving Empire State motorists access to cleaner, more affordable choices at the pump,” said Skor. “Over the last five years, Growth Energy has worked continuously with state policymakers to bring higher-octane, lower-emissions biofuel blends to the nation’s fourth largest fuel market. New York has been a pioneer in the climate movement, and their adoption of E15 is consistent with their commitment to a low-carbon transportation future. If New York transitioned from E10 to E15, it would lower carbon emissions by 748,000 tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 129,400 vehicles from New York’s roads. We look forward to working with retailers across the state to quickly get E15 into the market and establish New York’s continued leadership in low-carbon fuels.”

Over the last five years, Growth Energy has worked hand-in-hand with community leaders, retailers, farm advocates, and biofuel supporters across New York to push for a long-overdue update to the state’s fuel regulations. Among those champions is Growth Energy member Western New York Energy, led by President and CEO Timothy Winters.

“This important update will allow more New York motorists to make their own decisions about purchasing renewable fuel blends, saving money and protecting the air,” said Winters. “It also will support economic development and farmers in communities like Orleans County, where Western New York Energy is proud to produce more than 60 million gallons of ethanol annually.”

Last month, American drivers topped 11 billion miles on E15, and adoption rates continue to rise following recent regulatory changes by the EPA to permit year-round sales of the fuel. To accelerate that progress, Growth Energy continues to tear down commercial barriers through the Prime the Pump (PTP) program, which has helped expand E15 to nearly 2,000 locations across the country. Growth Energy also recently launched a new partnership with GasBuddy to help consumers find the nearest E15 location and hosted a retailer workshop last month in Syracuse, New York for area retailers interested in offering higher octane fuels options like E15 and E85.

New York Approves E15, Giving Drivers a Lower-Carbon, Lower-Cost Fuel Choice

The Renewable Fuels Association today praised the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets for its decision to allow E15 sales in the state as a win for the state’s drivers, overall economy, and environmental health.

“This was a culmination of a long process over several years, and we’re thrilled to see it finally move forward,” said RFA Board Member Tim Winters, President and CEO of Western New York Energy in Medina, one of the leaders of the effort. “E15 is a higher-octane, lower-cost fuel that is not only better for the American consumer’s pocketbook, but also better for our environment. We are thrilled that New York drivers will soon be able to share in these benefits.”

New York ranks fourth in gasoline consumption, and with the country coming off the highest monthly sales ever for gasoline, there is a lot of room for volume growth for E15 and other ethanol blends.  E15 will be a lower cost option for the state’s drivers than traditional regular unleaded. Today, E15 is on average five to ten cents per gallon less expensive, and approved by the EPA for nine out of every ten cars on the road today, including all those built in 2001 or later.

For years, RFA has worked with state officials to support the expansion of E15 into New York, taking part in workshops, meetings and official correspondence to state leadership.

“Today’s announcement is great news for New York drivers and great news for America’s ethanol producers,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Consumers in the Empire State can now enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of E15, and the opening of the state’s fuel market represents a growth opportunity for our industry at a time when new demand opportunities are sorely needed.”

RFA has significant resources in place to assist retailers who wish to make E15 available, Cooper added. RFA’s Model Misfuelling Mitigation Plan has become the de-facto gold standard, not only approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but promoted by it. Prior to selling E15, retailers must have plans in place outlining the measures they will take to reduce the potential of misfuelling vehicles that cannot use E15, and RFA’s plan provides an easy template to follow as entities prepare to sell E15.

In addition, RFA’s comprehensive E15 Retailer Handbook is designed to provide fuel retailers with regulatory and technical guidance in order to legally store and sell E15 ethanol blends. The handbook provides sample checklists and questions that all potential E15 retailers should contemplate before moving forward with offerings of E15. Click here for RFA’s full collection of E15 resources for retailers.

 ACE pleased NY approves E15 but still work to do to allow access to mid-level ethanol blends

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) supports part of a rule finalized today by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets to allow the sale of E15, opening the fourth-largest fuel market in the U.S. to a cleaner burning, higher octane fuel. However, ACE is disappointed the rule also explicitly aims to prohibit market access to mid-level ethanol blends. In September, ACE CEO Brian Jennings submitted comments to the Department in support of its proposal to conform New York with federal regulations to allow year-round access to E15 but opposed the proposal to prohibit the retail sale of mid-level blends of ethanol and gasoline greater than 15 percent and less than 51 percent by volume. Jennings issued the following statement in response to today’s action:

“ACE applauds the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets for a rule recognizing E15 is a clean, safe and low-cost fuel which will give the state’s consumers the option to buy a higher quality product and save money at the pump. As one of the largest gasoline markets in the U.S., New York’s action to allow E15 sales is a very encouraging step. Nonetheless, we are disappointed New York appears to be following the footsteps of the Environmental Protection Agency in trying to restrict consumer access to mid-level ethanol blends. With nearly one million flexible fuel vehicles on New York roads and approximately 100 stations equipped to offer mid-level blends along with E85, we are concerned the prohibition on blends between 16 and 50 percent ethanol by volume will take options away from retailers and consumers who could benefit from mid-level blends. We appreciate that the Department intends ‘to closely monitor the marketplace and will consider, at some future point, allowing additional blends if the marketplace adapts well to the introduction of E15’ and we look forward to assisting in the development of this market opportunity in the future.”

USDA 2019 Organic Survey to Get Underway

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail letters with survey codes this December to more than 22,000 U.S. producers involved in certified or transitioning to certified organic farming for the 2019 Organic Survey. Each producer who self-reported organic farming in the 2017 Census of Agriculture will receive a unique survey code to respond conveniently online and to be represented in this very important, once-every-five-year data.

"The latest Census of Agriculture results show continued interest in organic agriculture among consumers, producers, and businesses," said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. "NASS produces the most comprehensive source of data on organic farming in the United States. Good data and informed decisions about organic programs and services start with having a robust survey response. We thank the producers in advance for their participation."

The 2019 Organic Survey results will expand on the 2017 Census of Agriculture data by looking at several aspects of organic agriculture during the 2019 calendar year, including production, marketing practices, income, expenses and more.

Producers who receive the 2019 Organic Survey are required to respond by federal law, as this survey is part of the Census of Agriculture Program. The same federal law that requires response also requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

Farmers and ranchers are asked to complete their surveys online via NASS' secure website. The online questionnaire is user friendly, accessible on most electronic devices, and saves producers valuable time by calculating totals and automatically skipping questions not applicable to their operations. Additionally, responding online improves data quality and saves resources.

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