Saturday, November 21, 2020

Friday November 20 Cattle on Feed + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.50 million cattle on feed on November 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was up 2% from last year.  Placements during October totaled 560,000 head, down 16% from 2019.  Fed cattle marketings for the month of October totaled 460,000 head, down 4% from last year.  Other disappearance during October totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year.

Iowa Cattle on Feed Report

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 620,000 head on November 1, 2020, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 2% from October, but down 6% from November 1, 2019. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 500,000 head on feed, up 2% from last month but down 6% from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,120,000 head, up 2% from last month but down 6% from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during October totaled 105,000 head, up 46% from September but down 8% from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 68,000 head, up 11% from September but down 44% from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 173,000 head, up 30% from September but down 27% from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during October totaled 92,000 head, up 31% from September but unchanged from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 54,000 head, unchanged from September but down 19% from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 146,000 head, up18% from September but down 8% from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 7,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 1 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on November 1, 2020. The inventory was 1 percent above November 1, 2019. This is the highest November 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

On-Feed by State
                          (1,000 hd   -   % Nov 1 '19)
Colorado .......:         1,120          105           
Iowa .............:           620             94           
Kansas ..........:         2,520          104               
Nebraska ......:         2,500          102               
Texas ............:         2,910          101               

Placements in feedlots during October totaled 2.19 million head, 11 percent below 2019. Net placements were 2.13 million head. During October, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 570,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 495,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 465,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 387,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 185,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 90,000 head.

Placements by State  
                          (1,000 hd   -   % Oct '19)  
Colorado .......:          175            73             
Iowa .............:          105            92              
Kansas ..........:          430            96              
Nebraska ......:          560            84              
Texas ............:          480            91               

Marketings of fed cattle during October totaled 1.87 million head, slightly below 2019.  Other disappearance totaled 63,000 head during October, 7 percent above 2019.

Marketings by State
                             (1,000 hd  -  % Oct '19)
Colorado .......:          160           103          
Iowa .............:            92            100           
Kansas ..........:           440           110          
Nebraska ......:           460            96            
Texas ............:           420            97            

"Good Life. Great Steaks" Online Apparel Store Now Open

The Nebraska Beef Council is once again offering “Good Life. Great Steaks” apparel to promote the beef industry in Nebraska.
Now until November 30th, visitors to the online apparel store will have an opportunity to purchase “Good Life. Great Steaks” clothing including short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and performance wear.
“We saw a tremendous response when we originally launched this promotion back in July,” said Adam Wegner, director of marketing for the Nebraska Beef Council. “Because of the popularity of these shirts we decided to re-launch the campaign this fall. It will be a great opportunity for people to purchase these items just in time for the holidays.”
The online store will be open until November 30th with all items schedule to be delivered by December 16th. For more information visit or follow the Nebraska Beef Council on Facebook.


One highlight for farmers in a year full of challenges, is having a successful harvest to share, and this year’s harvest has success written all over it, said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasted a record crop for Nebraska corn and increases over last year in sorghum, soybean, dry edible bean and sugar beet production.

“Agriculture is the heart and soul of Nebraska, and once again Nebraska agriculture has delivered an abundant supply of food, feed and fuel,” said Director Wellman. “This year’s bountiful harvest is the direct result of hard work and perseverance by our farmers. This Thanksgiving, I’d like to give special thanks to the farmers for strengthening the nation’s food supply and congratulate them on completing a successful harvest.”

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), based on Nov. 1 conditions:
-    Nebraska's 2020 corn crop is forecast at a record 1.82 billion bushels, up 2% from last year's production;
-    Sorghum production is forecast at 12.4 million bushels, up 3% from last year;
-    Soybean production is forecast at 299 million bushels, up 5% from last year;
-    Dry edible bean production is forecast at 3,487,000 cwt., up 85% from last year (based on Oct. 5 conditions); and
-    Sugar beet production is forecast at 1.48 million tons, up 38% from last year.

NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture. Find agricultural statistics for different counties, states and the U.S. at

Nebraska Soybean Board to meet

The Nebraska Soybean Board will hold its next meeting on November 24, 2020 at the Holthus Convention Center located at 3130 Holen Ave., York, Nebraska.

The Board will conduct regular board business and hold an election of officers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person meeting is not open to the public. Registration for attending through Zoom and the complete agenda for the meeting is available for inspection on the Nebraska Soybean Board website at

Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a Nebraska rancher, farmer or forester who goes above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2021 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 21 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Nebraska, the $10,000 award is presented with Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Cargill and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at

The application deadline is March 1, 2021. Applications can be emailed to or postmarked by March 1, and mailed to:
Leopold Conservation Award
c/o AFAN
5225 S. 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68512

Selected recipients must be available for an Earth Day press conference, summer video production, and fall award ceremony.

The first Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Wilson Ranch of Lakeside in 2006. The 2020 recipients of the award were Ed and Leta Olson of Craig.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Nebraska is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Cargill, AFAN, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, Audubon Nebraska, Lyle Sittler Memorial Fund, McDonald’s, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska Land Trust, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Sandhills Task Force, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, World Wildlife Fund-Northern Great Plains, and Green Cover Seed.

Avoca’s Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm & Pumpkin Patch to be featured on Women in Ag webcast series

“Open for Business: A Nebraska Women in Agripreneurship Series,” will feature Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm & Pumpkin Patch, a family farm near the village of Avoca during its next live webcast on Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Central time.

Produced by Nebraska Women in Agriculture, the monthly webcast series highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of women in agribusiness from across the state, offering creative insights and the stories behind what it takes to build a business.

The conversations focus on surviving business shocks such as disasters, regulatory changes and shifting family dynamics. Featured business leaders are interviewed by Brittany Fulton, Extension Assistant with the Nebraska Women in Agriculture program.

Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm & Pumpkin Patch is owned and operated by Teresa Lorensen and her husband Terry, who purchased and moved onto the property in 2003. Having worked in the hotel industry, at State Farm Insurance, and most recently as executive director of the Bess Streeter Aldrich House & Museum in Elmwood, Teresa brings a customer service and tourism background to her current agritourism adventure.

In the years when Teresa was dissatisfied with her career and looking for something more fulfilling, her mom would tell her to “bloom where you’re planted,” or in other words, make the most of the place you’re at in life. Those words helped inspire the Lorensens to take the leap, and in 2005 they opened a new business which they named for her mom’s advice.

Over the past 16 seasons, Bloom Where You’re Planted Farm & Pumpkin Patch has grown to offer a full slate of pumpkin patch activities, all based around agriculture and nature. Outside of the fall season, the farm is home to monthly Rural Route Rust vintage markets from May through September, featuring antiques, home décor and occasional guest vendors.

The webcast is free to attend but registration is required. Visit the Nebraska Women in Agriculture program website,, to register.

Nebraska Women in Agriculture is a program of Nebraska Extension in the Department of Agricultural Economics. For 35 years, it has been dedicated to providing unbiased, research-based risk management education to female agriculture professionals in Nebraska.

‘Let’s get growing.’ Scoular launches new brand and web site

The 128-year-old Scoular on Friday debuted a new corporate brand identity, including a bold blue and gold logo and a redesigned web site. Scoular customers can easily explore the web site to discover global supply chain solutions across six key industries: grains, food ingredients, animal feed ingredients, pet food ingredients, international trade, and transportation.

Scoular’s new brand and tag line “Let’s get growing” reflect the Nebraska-headquartered company’s past and continued path of growth, as well as employees’ ability to define what’s possible for their customers and themselves.

“Our employees possess the confidence, curiosity and creativity to anticipate and solve problems for our customers in a quickly evolving agricultural industry,” said Scoular CEO Paul Maass. “Our new brand identity reflects those strengths and communicates our powerful story and the many advantages of partnering with Scoular.”

The new logo reimagines the company’s former gold rosette emblem and consists of four rounded shapes inspired by the natural ingredients Scoular sources. “It pays homage to our deep history of success, while signifying the modern and innovative direction for Scoular’s future,” Maass said. Maass said the company developed its refreshed brand by leveraging what differentiates Scoular from its competitors: dynamic networks built through ownership and partnership; empowered employee decision-making enabling speed and responsiveness; customized solutions for customers; and employee ownership and integrity that drive engagement and performance.

Scoular employs more than 1,000 people who operate from more than 100 offices, grain elevators and processing facilities in North America and Asia. The company, with $4.6 billion in sales, recently announced a new global headquarters site in Omaha to accommodate its strategic growth plans and to create the foundation for an inclusive, innovative and energizing workplace.

“We are a company of employee-owners, problem-solvers and decision-makers,” Maass said. “The possibilities for Scoular’s future are limitless.”

Iowa Farm Families Receive Environmental Leader Award

Forty-two Iowa farmers have been selected to receive the 2020 Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon recognize these Iowa farm families for taking an active role in the state’s ongoing conservation efforts, which rely on farmers, landowners and businesses working together to make a difference. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Naig and Director Lyon will present the awards to the farm families during the 2021 Iowa State Fair.

The award recognizes farmers who take voluntary actions to improve or protect the environment and our state’s natural resources. These practices enable farmers to maintain their operational productivity while being good stewards of the land, and assisting the state in making progress towards the goals outlined in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Additionally, these farmers are leaders in their local communities, encouraging others to adopt more conservation practices.

“Conservation and agriculture go hand-in-hand, and Iowa farmers play a vital role in protecting our environment and preserving our state’s natural resources,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The 2020 Environmental Leader Award recognizes these family farmers for their outstanding stewardship and dedication to improving the land for future generations of Iowans. Congratulations and thank you for leading by example for your community and our entire state.”

“I want to thank these farmers for their commitment to improving soil health and water quality,” said Secretary Naig. “The state of Iowa continues to be a conservation leader and it’s because of farmers, like these award recipients, who are implementing practices on their land and encouraging their friends and neighbors to do the same.”

“Every year we look forward to recognizing these leaders in agriculture that have implemented innovative conservation measures,” said Director Lyon. “Their steadfast leadership is pushing the envelope and showcasing their care for our natural resources through conservation practices and paves the way for other farmers.”

The award winners are chosen by a committee representing both agricultural and conservation groups. Since this program was launched in 2012, more than 650 Iowa farm families have been recognized with an Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award.

2020 Award Recipients: (Listed alphabetically by last name)
    Loutsch Brothers, Inc., Plymouth County
    Steve and Tracy Pickhinke, Sac County
    Kirk and Lynell Vorthmann, Kelby and Jennifer Vorthmann, Pottawattamie County
    Darin Goodman, Pottawattamie County
    Sam and Danielle Bennett, Ida County
    Thomas and Linda Bindner, Cherokee County
    Kirk and Diane Den Herder, Sioux County
    Eric Andersen, Grundy County
    Trent Dight, Floyd County
    Ra Ra Farms: Becky Dorale, Crawford County
    Rodger Fullenkamp, Lee County
    Jacob and Dellisa Geisler, Webster County
    Chris Henning, Greene County
    Jamie Hostetler, Jackson County
    Ben and Amy Johnson, Andy and Abbie Johnson, Floyd County
    Brent and LuAnn Johnson, Calhoun County
    Jim Kadner, Grundy County
    John Kerkove, Buchanan County
    Jim and Jody Kerns, Delaware County
    Glenn and Michelle Kreuder, Decatur County
    Rodger and Karen Krogmeier, Jefferson County
    Daryl Landsgard, Clayton County
    Lance Lillibridge, Benton County
    Jeff and Shielly Monck and Family, Jones County
    Scott and Mary Beth Neff, Stan and Marianne Neff, Marshall County
    Brad Ohrt, Grundy County
    John and Jill O’Neal, Montgomery County
    Craig D. Pfantz, Marshall County
    David and Julie Rice, Jerry and Georgia Rice, Keokuk County
    Dan and Darlene Roth, Black Hawk County
    Greg and Aimee Shepherd, Henry County
    Charles (Phil) Short, Buchanan County
    Jeremy Sills, Tama County
    Adam and Lindsay Smith, Davis County
    Dennis and Patty Staudt, Floyd County
    Dennis Strother, Franklin County
    Stanley Eric Price, Pocahontas County
    Austin Schulte, Benton County
    Stuart Swanson, Wright County
    Arvin and Carolyn Vander Wilt, Mahaska County
    Roger and Louise Van Ersvelde, Poweshiek County
    Steve Wright, Taylor County

Submissions for the 2021 Farm Environmental Leader Awards are now open. Nominate a deserving farmer at before June 2021.


On Sunday, China and 14 countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement. The deal, which doesn’t include the United States, covers trade in goods, services, investment, and economic and technical cooperation, among other issues, and represents nearly 30 percent of the world’s population.

RCEP negotiations were launched in November 2012 and the deal includes Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, among others. It will enter into force 60 days after six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and three other countries have ratified the agreement.

The National Pork Producers Council sees tremendous market opportunity in Southeast Asia, and among top near-term priorities is U.S. participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). As NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth recently stated, “CPTPP countries are among the largest pork-consuming nations in the world. The United States produces the highest quality and most affordable pork in the world, and we are eager to compete on a level playing field in these high-growth markets.”

Illinois Waterway System Reopens to Traffic

A major rehabilitation project on the Illinois River has been completed, allowing for the 12 million tons of food and ag commodities that leave the state to resume. This past summer, the Illinois River was shut down to go through necessary infrastructure upgrades with all of the newly completed work accompanied by a price tag totaling roughly $200 million.

This Week in Agribusiness recently featured the ongoing work from the Illinois Lock and Dam Project. Back in September, corn growers and NCGA staff toured four active construction sites along the Rock Island District including LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, and Marseilles. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to the export market, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.

Illinois corn grower Terry Smith told This Week in Agribusiness that waterways transportation isn’t just more efficient, it also makes the roads safer. “If you know some of the numbers from just Illinois, Illinois in 2018 had a little over 83 million ton of product move up and down the river. That took roughly 2.1 million semis off the highways of Illinois.” Smith is a member of the Market Development Action Team who jointly funded a video project with the Risk Management and Transportation Action Team to highlight the rehabilitation work that took place on the Illinois River.

“I think it’s fantastic that some of the video content we produced while in Illinois was picked up and featured in This Week in Agribusiness. The purpose behind our involvement in the project was to help showcase all of the tremendous work underway by the Army Corps of Engineers so, to have our message amplified and to put extra wind in the sails, really helps our mission,” says Michael Granché, NCGA Market Development Manager.

Last week, November 12th was the 17th annual Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) Symposium. The symposium took a virtual platform for the first time, where Army Corp of Engineers Chief of Engineers, LTG Scott Spellmon spoke to guests and highlighted the work that’s been completed on the inland waterway system this summer. Spellmon emphasized the importance of this work while addressing the need to further improve the infrastructure.

ACGF Calls on Policymakers to Ratchet Up Ethanol RFS to 30%, Citing Rabobank Report in World Grain

“An article in the November 17, 2020 edition of World Grain, titled COVID-19’s lasting impact, cites a Rabobank report, ‘The Grain and Oilseed Sector in a Post-COVID-19 World’ authored by Stephen Nicholson, a grain and oilseed analyst for Rabobank, should serve as a warning to corn growers, farm organizations and policymakers in Congress that it’s time to ratchet up ethanol blending under the RFS to 30 percent nationwide as soon as possible,” says Gale Lush, ACGF Chairman and corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Wilcox, Nebraska. “According to Nicholson, ‘working from home, less business travel, less vacation travel and more virtual events and meetings make for a grim long-term picture for the biofuels industry.’ Nicholson’s report states, ‘in recent years we’ve been seeing a slow decrease in corn demand for ethanol in the US. That’s been fueled by a couple things, including more fuel-efficient cars, more electric cars and an overall decrease in demand for gas and oil products. That trend was already in place and it’s not going away. If anything, it might accelerate.’ America needs a 30 percent ethanol blend to offset that trend,” said Lush.

Lush said, “ethanol is an environmentally friendly, octane enhancing, job creating economic superstar that offers massive benefits for the rural sector and the American economy overall. According to a May 2020 fact sheet from Growth Energy:
-    Thanks to ethanol, there are fewer toxic, dirty chemicals in our fuel supply, water and air.
-    Biofuels, like ethanol, play a major role in cleaning up our transportation sector and displacing harmful fuel additives, like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) that can be found in petroleum-based fuels.
-    USDA data shows that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 39 percent or more compared to traditional gasoline, with corn ethanol’s relative carbon benefits reaching as high as 70 percent.
-    Research conducted in five global cities by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that E10 ethanol blends cut toxic emissions by 15.2 percent, while E20 blends reduce toxins by 31.7 percent.
-    A study done by researchers at the Ford Motor Company found that ethanol blends above 30 percent cut particle emissions by as much as 45 percent.

“An 11/18/20 article from World Grain cites the South China Morning Post as reporting a notice by China’s State Council encouraging all farmers to increase grain production with the planting of wheat, corn and rice. So, the large U.S. corn exports to China that have been in the news lately may not be ongoing, as some grain analysts might hope. With history as a teacher, we better not count on exports to China to save our farm sector.

Recent trade wars prove that reality. The new Biden Administration is going to push for more renewable energy. Ethanol is a perfect fit to help rebuild and modernize the U.S. motor fuel infrastructure,” said Lush.

Dan McGuire, ACGF policy director, points out that USDA’s November 2020 World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimate (WASDE) report projects that marketing year 2020/2021 corn use for ethanol is only at 5.050 billion bushels, a major drop from 5.5 billion bushels used per marketing year in recent years. That same report projects MY 2020/21 corn year ending stocks at 1.702 billion bushels and average farm prices of only $4.00.

“China is a major importer of U.S. corn in the near term due to a tremendous reduction in their domestic grain production and supply,” said McGuire. “According to an 11/12/20 Reuters article, ‘China’s grain buying has accelerated since May as Beijing burned through once-huge stockpiles and as extreme weather damaged this year’s corn crop’, which explains why China is importing so much U.S. corn and U.S. prices have risen a little.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports that China’s corn imports are estimated to hit 22 million metric tons (867 million bushels), demand met by the U.S., Ukraine and other suppliers. Even if China buys 500 million bushels of US corn it will only temporarily offset one year’s lost domestic U.S. ethanol demand. The Biden Administration must reverse EPA’s RFS ethanol blending waivers for oil companies and push for a 30% ethanol blend in gasoline nationwide. No-till/low-till practices and cover crops makes corn ethanol a value- added product of modern, regenerative farming. Ethanol is a pro-environment, renewable energy strategy.”

COVID-19 Affects American Lamb Exports

The American Lamb Board works with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to monitor and build export markets for American lamb. USMEF carries out market access and development activities in more than 90 countries in an effort to increase the value and profitability of American lamb, beef and pork.
In 2019, the American lamb industry exported 15,732 metric tonnes of products, including variety meats – a 22-percent volume increase from 2018. The key export markets for American lamb in 2019 included Mexico, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Canada. Although exports to Asia in 2019 remained slow, recent access to Taiwan and Japan has created opportunities in high-end foodservice.
In 2020, COVID–19 has impacted American lamb exports due to the pandemic’s effect on tourism and fine dining in worldwide markets. Foodservice and tourism-dependent markets such as the Caribbean, Middle East, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Taiwan were heavily impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns.
Domestically, supply of American lamb has been disrupted not only by pandemic issues, but by the closure of Mountain States Rosen earlier this year.
“We can’t sell into the export market what we are unable to produce and process. This year has brought challenges to all sectors of the American lamb industry never seen before,” said ALB Chairman Gwen Kitzan of Nisland, S.D.
A bright spot in the export picture rests on opportunities in Japan and Taiwan. Similar to the United States market, Japan experienced a retail surge as a result of COVID-19 because foodservice options were limited and consumers opted to eat at home. As a result, USMEF shifted ALB 2020 promotional funds in Japan from fine dining and chef education to retail. USMEF partnered with a Japanese retailer to launch new American lamb products, including boneless shoulders and steaks in the retailer’s 10 stores.
In Taiwan, restaurants adapted to the pandemic by adding additional delivery services to their regular menus. Many households in Taiwan prefer to dine-out instead of cook at home, so dine-in services are still expected to rebound because of this strong preference. In 2020, USMEF devoted part of its ALB funding to reach consumers directly via social media. The purpose is to build interest in American lamb as a top-tier product that deserves high regard at retail and on restaurant menus. USMEF hosts a Facebook page dedicated to educating Taiwan consumers about American lamb cuts and cooking techniques, and collaborates with restaurant partners to feature lamb recipes.

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