Monday, November 2, 2020

Monday November 2 Ag News


For the week ending November 1, 2020, there were 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 27% very short, 41% short, 31% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 29% very short, 37% short, 33% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn harvested was 86%, well ahead of 55% last year and 63% for the five-year average.

Winter wheat condition rated 5% very poor, 17% poor, 37% fair, 37% good, and 4% excellent. Winter wheat emerged was 89%, behind 96% last year and 94% average.

Sorghum harvested was 92%, well ahead of 50% last year and 65% average.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 18% very poor, 22% poor, 26% fair, 33% good, and 1% excellent.


Rain and snow early in the week along with cooler temperatures limited Iowa farmers to 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 1, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities reported included harvesting corn and soybeans, baling corn stalks, applying fertilizer and manure, moving grain to town and tillage.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 13% very short, 28% short, 58% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 19% very short, 34% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus.

Only 13% of Iowa’s corn for grain crop remains to be harvested, over 3 weeks ahead of last year and 13 days ahead of the 5-year average. Statewide, the moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain fell 1 percentage point to 15%. Farmers in northwest, north central and west central Iowa have less than 10% of their corn for grain remaining to be harvested while farmers in south central Iowa still have over 30% to be harvested.

Only 3% of Iowa’s soybean crop remains to be harvested, just over 3 weeks ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of average. Farmers in northwest, north central and west central Iowa have few fields left to harvest with 1% or less of their soybeans remaining. In contrast, farmers in the southern one-third of the state have 9-10% of their soybeans left to be harvested.

Livestock producers continue to allow cattle to graze on corn stalks.

USDA reports soybeans 87% harvested; corn 82% harvested this week

The pace of harvest slowed again nationwide last week, but progress for both the corn and soybean harvest remained ahead of normal, according to the USDA NASS weekly Crop Progress report released on Monday.

Corn harvest moved ahead 10 percentage points last week to reach 82% complete as of Sunday, Nov. 1, still 13 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 69%.

Meanwhile, soybean harvest slowed to a crawl last week, moving ahead just 4 percentage points to reach 87% complete as of Sunday. That puts this year's current harvest progress at just 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 83%.

Winter wheat planting also slowed again last week, moving ahead just 4 percentage points to reach 89% as of Sunday. That is 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 86%. An estimated 71% of winter wheat had emerged, 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 70%.  The condition of the winter wheat crop was estimated at 43% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points from 41% the previous week but down from 57% a year ago.


Extension landlord-tenant cash rent workshops scheduled statewide

Nebraska Extension’s Farm and Ranch Management team has scheduled a series of landlord-tenant cash rent workshops across the state during the fall and winter months. The series, geared toward current and future landlords and tenants, will cover current trends in cash rental rates and land values, lease provisions, crop and grazing land considerations and current university crop budget information.

The workshops, “Ag Land Leasing, Budgeting and Management for 2021”, will be led by extension land specialists Allan Vyhnalek, Austin Duerfeldt, Glennis McClure and Jim Jansen, who conduct research and outreach in land management, crop budgets, farm and ranch succession, communication and negotiations. They will address common agricultural landlord and tenant topics, including equitable rental rates, managing and adjusting farmland leases, landlord-tenant communication, pasture leasing and other land management considerations.  

“Landlords and tenants often face land management questions and decisions,” Vyhnalek said.

“Both are concerned with equitable treatment of the other party and it can be difficult to keep up with the current trends. These workshops will provide participants with up-to-date information and discuss current issues to assist with decision-making.”

The workshops are free to attend. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, pre-registration is required with the local county extension office by one day prior to each meeting. Many locations will have attendance limits to ensure social distancing requirements are met and meetings are subject to change or cancellation if local guidelines change.  

Information on the landlord-tenant workshops and registration details will be available at

Additional workshop on UNL crop budgets and new ag budget calculator to be held at five locations

Following the morning landlord-tenant cash rent workshops at select locations, landlords and producers are invited to attend a 90-minute workshop, starting at 1:30 p.m. at the same meeting site, to learn more about calculating the cost of production for crop enterprises. The additional workshop session will introduce participants to the new web-based Ag Budget Calculator (ABC) program, developed in the university’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

This workshop will be held at meeting locations in Saunders County (Nov. 24), Lincoln (Dec. 14), Grand Island (Jan. 12), Beatrice (Jan. 15) and Wilber (Jan. 18).

This session will demonstrate to attendees the new online cost-of-production calculator. Participants can follow along with examples of financial entries necessary to determine production costs per acre or unit, total expenses and projected net returns on a per-acre and unit basis. Attendees may bring their laptop computer to the session and utilize the program to gain hands-on experience. The ABC program will be available for attendees to continue using after the session and provide feedback on the tool.

This workshop is free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Please register when signing up for the landlord-tenant cash rent workshop through the local county extension office hosting the meeting.  

Full schedule:
    Nov. 23, 9 a.m. — Auburn (Nemaha County Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 816 I St.) Registration: 402-274-4755
    Nov. 24, 9 a.m. — Saunders County (Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center, 1071 County Road G, Ithaca) (Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 402-624-8030

    Dec. 3, 1 p.m. — O’Neill (Holt County Extension Office, 128 N. 6th St., Suite 100) Registration: 402-336-2760
    Dec. 4, 9 a.m. — Ainsworth (Zion Lutheran Church, 318 E. 4th St.) Registration: 402-387-2213
    Dec. 7, 1 p.m. — St. Paul (Community Library, 1301 Howard Ave.) Registration: 308-754-5423
    Dec. 14, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. — Lincoln (Lancaster County Extension Office, 444 Cherrycreek Road) (Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 402-441-7180
    Dec. 16, 9 a.m. — North Platte (West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Road) Registration: 308-532-2683
    Dec. 17, 9 a.m. — Bridgeport (Prairie Winds Community Center, 428 N. Main St.) Registration: 308-632-1230
    Dec. 17, 1:30 p.m. — Chadron (Chadron State College Student Center, 400 E. 12th St.) Registration: 308-632-1230

    Jan. 7,  1 p.m. — Wayne (Fire Hall, 510 Tomar Drive) Registration: 402-375-3310
    Jan. 8, 9 a.m. — Norfolk (Madison County Extension Office, 1305 S. 13th St.) Registration: 402-370-4040
    Jan. 11, 1 p.m. — Ord (Valley County Extension Office, 801 S St.) Registration: 308-728-5071
    Jan. 12, 9 a.m. — Grand Island (Hall County Extension Office, 3180 W. Highway 34)(Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 308-385-5088.
    Jan. 13, 9 a.m. — Lexington (Dawson County Extension Office, 1002 Plum Creek Parkway) Registration: 308-324-5501
    Jan. 15, 9 a.m. — Beatrice (Gage County Extension Office, 1115 W. Scott St.) (Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 402-223-1384
    Jan. 19, 9 a.m. — Wilber (Saline County Extension Office, 306 W. Third St.) (Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 402-821-2151
    Jan. 20, 9 a.m. — Wilber (Saline County Extension Office, 306 W. Third St.) Registration: 402-821-2151

    Feb. 17, 9 a.m. — Hastings (Adams County Fairgrounds, 947 S. Baltimore Ave.) Registration: 402-461-7209

Information on the budgeting workshop is available at Questions may be directed to Glennis McClure, extension educator, at 402-472-0661 or  

2020 Nebraska Farm Bureau Silver Eagle Award Honors Stan Garbacz a Strong Supporter of International Trade

Nebraska Farm Bureau has selected Stan Garbacz as the 2020 recipient of its highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. He served 40 years in the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as Nebraska’s Agricultural Trade Representative — a position that emphasizes international market development for agricultural products grown in Nebraska.

“Stan Garbacz’s life work has been to promote Nebraska agricultural products on an international stage,” said Steve Nelson, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau. “He has promoted Nebraska agricultural products to international markets resulting in billions of dollars in state revenue and improved nutrition for thousands of people. Stan has built relationships with hundreds of Nebraska farmers, ranchers, businesses, and government officials, traveling more than 100,000 air miles annually to more than 40 countries to help expand and sustain Nebraska’s agricultural markets.”  

Garbacz graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and marketing. He is a 1971 graduate of Lincoln’s Pius X High School. In 1989, he was a member of the Nebraska Leadership, Education, Action Development Program (LEAD), a two-year program involving both national and international travel studies. LEAD has helped develop future agricultural leaders, such as Garbacz. He was drawn to international events because his parents emigrated from Poland in 1949.

“His relationships all over the world have benefited Nebraskans for many years. I know of no one more dedicated to increasing the sale of Nebraska products internationally, and he has been very effective at it. Even after his retirement from the Department of Agriculture, he continues to support Nebraska farmers and ranchers in the international trade arena working as the past Interim Director for Global Engagement of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UNL/IANR), and currently as the Special Assistant to Michael Boehm, vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the International Trade Consultant with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s international trade team,” Nelson said.

Garbacz has received multiple honors like the James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in 2014; the Lifetime Service Award from the Nebraska Cattlemen in 2018; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Pius X High School in 2019.

“Stan has been passionate, dedicated, determined, and devoted to promoting Nebraska’s agricultural products on the international market. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service to Nebraska agriculture; his years of accomplishments makes him more than qualified to receive Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. We thank him for his service to Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers of our state,” Nelson said.

Stan and his wife, Mary, live in Lincoln and have three children, Andy, Betsy, and Angela, and two grandchildren and expect their third grandchild in December.

WashCo Feed & Supply Celebrates 2020 Purina® Check-R-Board® Days

WashCo Feed & Supply, a Purina® Certified Expert Dealer, is announcing their 2020 Purina® Check-R-Board® Days, a customer appreciation event. Stop by WashCo Feed & Supply located at 217 North 10th Street in Blair, NE from November 1st through November 30th for lots of great specials and giveaways throughout the month.
Customers will also have the opportunity to enter the national 2020 Purina® Check-R-Board® Days. Sweepstakes for their chance to win a 2020 Polaris® Ranger 500 Utility Vehicle, a Trip-for-Two to the Purina® Animal Nutrition Center for a VIP Customer Experience, or a Feed Greatness® Orion® 65 Cooler. *See store for official rules.
“We are proud to serve the residents of our community and thank them for their continued loyalty,” Steve Probst, Owner. “We invite everyone to come and celebrate our 2020 Purina® Check-R-Board® Days with us!”

Clean Diesel Rebate Applications Accepted Through January 22, 2021

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s 2020 Clean Diesel Rebate Program is now accepting applications for two types of rebate – local diesel truck replacements and agricultural irrigation pump diesel engine replacements. Applications must be submitted to NDEE by January 22, 2021 to be considered.

NDEE established the Nebraska Clean Diesel Program in 2008 to distribute funding received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of reducing diesel emissions and improving air quality in the state.

The number of rebates offered in each category listed below may be subject to change, depending on the number of applications received in each category. Rebates will be offered for:

Local Diesel Truck Replacements – Funding will assist with the early replacement of diesel trucks with new, cleaner trucks.  Trucks eligible for replacement are heavy-duty diesel refuse trucks and medium to heavy-duty diesel trucks used in local construction, delivery, or maintenance operations. The new trucks may be powered by diesel engines or by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) engines that comply with stricter nitrogen oxide emission standards. NDEE will reimburse 35% of the cost of a new CNG-fueled truck up to a maximum of $120,000, or 25% of the cost of a new diesel truck up to a maximum of $70,000. NDEE anticipates funding replacement of five.  Individual applicants may apply for a rebate for up to two trucks.

Agricultural Irrigation Pump Diesel Engine Replacement - Funding will assist farmers with the replacement of irrigation pump diesel engines with electric equipment. Diesel engines may be replaced with an electric motor to power a surface pump or by connecting an existing submersible pump directly to the electric grid. NDEE will reimburse 60% of the cost of the electrical equipment, installation, and required electric line extension up to a maximum of $20,000. NDEE anticipates funding 20 irrigation engine rebates.

·         To be eligible, the existing diesel irrigation engine must have engine horsepower and model year within the ranges specified below:
0-50 HP - 2006 and Newer, Unregulated – Tier 2
51-300 HP - 1996 and Newer, Tier 0 – Tier 3
301+ HP - 1986 and Newer, Tier 0 – Tier 3

·         The diesel engine must be in operating condition and have historical operations of at least 250 hours per year over the past three years.  A pre-replacement inspection may be made to verify the engine condition.

·         The diesel engine must have a legible serial number stamped into the block or listed on an engine data tag affixed to the engine.

More information about the Nebraska Clean Diesel Rebate Program, including rebate applications, can be found at NDEE’s Clean Diesel Program webpage:

ICA to Host Cattle Marketing Meetings Across the State

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been keenly focused on price discovery, market transparency, and producer leverage for nearly a decade, but even more so within the last year due to extreme market disruptions. As the definitive voice of Iowa’s beef business, ICA has prominently led the development of solutions to address cattle marketing concerns. “Producers from each sector in the beef cattle industry rely on price discovery and transparency. We need more information to help us better negotiate marketing agreements with buyers,” said Matt Deppe, CEO of ICA.

In November, ICA will host 10 cattle marketing meetings across the state to provide important updates to producers and solicit grassroots input to help shape the discussion in the coming months. Join ICA’s herd to build better opportunities for Iowa’s cattle producers. Cattle marketing meetings will be held at the following locations:
    November 10, 7 p.m. at Tama Livestock Market, Tama, IA
    November 11, 10 a.m. at Plymouth County ISU Extension & Outreach, LeMars, IA
    November 11, 7 p.m. at Spencer Livestock Sales, Spencer, IA
    November 11, 7 p.m. at Decorah Sales Commission, Decorah, IA
    November 12, 10 a.m. at Brickyard Bistro, Sheffield, IA
    November 12, 10 a.m. at Humeston Livestock Exchange, Humeston, IA
    November 12, 7 p.m. at Keosauqua Sales Company, Keosauqua, IA
    November 19, 10 a.m. at Dunlap Livestock Market, Dunlap, IA
    November 19, 7 p.m. at Creston Livestock Auction, Creston, IA

    November 19, 7 p.m. at R Land & Cattle, LLC, Cascade, IA

Members of the ICA staff and board of directors will lead discussions centered on cattle market reform, to include: the Grassley-Tester 50/14 bill, the Cattle Marketing Transparency Act of 2020, and NCBA’s voluntary proposal.

“ICA is the voice of the independent cattle producer, not just in Iowa, but nationally. Your membership will make our voice louder. Join us and help be part of change,” said Brad Kooima, ICA Feedlot Council member.

For more information, contact the ICA Membership Staff, Tanner Lawton at; Lane Eads at; or Jennifer Carrico at

Insuring Pastures

Matthew Diersen, Risk & Business Management Specialist, South Dakota State University

The deadline to purchase or change Pasture, Rangeland, Forage – Rainfall Index (PRF-RI) insurance is quickly approaching. The deadline is November 15, 2020 to purchase PRF-RI for calendar year 2021. A producer selects the grid they want to insure. Indemnity payments are computed if the rainfall falls short of the insured level. The indemnity payments can be used to offset the related loss of forage production. At times the product may not work perfectly, but the goal for the insured is long-run viability.

In the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there were 400.8 million acres in permanent pasture, 13.8 million acres of pastured cropland, and 56.9 million acres of forage in the U.S. Most of those acres would be eligible to be insured using PRF-RI. Covered acres have increased from 54.7 million acres in 2015 to 159.9 million acres in 2020. The product is popular on rangeland in the Southwest U.S. Arizona led the nation with 30.0 million covered acres, followed by Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Different metrics are also instructive. Texas lead with policies sold and total liabilities (dollars of coverage bought). Cow-calf states, such as Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma round out the top-five states based on policies sold. Florida enters the top five if ranking states by liabilities. Regardless of the ranking criteria, these states share exposure to forage production risk.

PRF-RI can cover grazing or haying with county base levels that make up the price election level. Grazing tends to be more common. If a county base is higher or lower than a producer's expected forage costs, the insurance can be adjusted using a productivity index. The insurance premium is subsidized, similar to other crops. The subsidy ranges from 51 percent of the premium for the highest coverage level of 90 percent down to 59 percent for the lowest coverage level of 70 percent. That means the producer's actual cost declines as they go with lower election levels – giving an incentive to purchase something versus nothing.

The on-going wicked aspect of the coverage is the need to select among two-month intervals to insure. Approaches vary when faced with the decision: some producers spread coverage across months to match when they use the forage, others load the coverage when moisture is most important for forage growth, and some spread out the coverage to increase the frequency of collecting. The subsidy, while attractive, can distract from solid choices. For example, the indemnity level (what is paid out) has exceeded the producers' portion of the premium for every year PRF-RI has been offered at the national level. In aggregate, the coverage pays off. However, that is not the case at the state or local levels. Staying with the coverage over time increases the chance of collecting. It may be challenging to rationalize some intervals, such as the latter months of the calendar year in the northern plains. These months also tend to have higher premium levels and lower frequencies of paying out indemnities than other intervals.

Industry Feedyard Audit Tool Now Available

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is announcing the release of a comprehensive industry feedyard audit tool. The Cattle Industry Feedyard Audit will serve as a standardized audit tool based on the sound science and common sense established in the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. Though the audit tool is owned by NCBA, auditing of feedyards will only be conducted through business-to-business activity within the cattle industry. NCBA will be maintaining the tool with updates as science dictates.

To ensure consistency and integrity in auditing the Cattle Industry Feedyard Audit tool has been certified through the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO). PAACO provides training and screens all potential auditors for qualifications including education and industry knowledge. NCBA will assist with the PAACO training process to ensure all auditors are adequately trained. NCBA will not be conducting any audits. More information about PAACO can be found on their website

The Cattle Industry Feedyard Audit was built based on BQA principles and includes key standards of animal care that are directly related to animal health and welfare that contribute to a safe beef supply. There are two major components of this complete audit tool: review of documents and feedyard observations. Auditors will review documented protocols, records, and potentially conduct employee interviews to verify protocols are being followed. Auditors will also conduct observations of pens, handling facilities, and animal observations both in pens and during processing.

Results from the audit can provide information back to the feedyard to drive improvement and measure the effectiveness of the operation’s implementation of BQA standards. Upon completion, it will also certify that participating feedlots adhere to industry best practices and provide an increased level of transparency for beef customers and consumers.

The audit tool is a product of a multiyear process that began in 2017 with NCBA’s Cattle Health and Well-being (CHWB) committee appointing a taskforce to investigate the feasibility of developing such an audit. Finding the need for a uniform industrywide audit tool, the CHWB committee assigned a task force of beef industry stakeholders to develop a workable and credible industry feedyard audit tool that would level the playing field and serve as a foundation for the industry’s feedyard operators. This group of diverse industry stakeholders, including feedyard owners and managers, veterinarians, animal scientists, packers, extension agents, BQA educators and trade association representatives, worked to develop the end product released today.

“I want to thank the many volunteer leaders who worked for several years with NCBA staff to develop this valuable tool for the industry,” said Dr. Dale Grotelueschen, co-chair of the working group. “This is an important step for continuing the momentum of added transparency in the supply chain.” For more information and to view the audit tool, visit

NPPC Petition Leads to U.S. Trade Sanctions Against Thailand

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today announced it is suspending $817 million in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program because the country hasn’t made sufficient progress providing the United States with “equitable and reasonable market access” for pork products. The decision follows a 2018 petition by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) asking the USTR to review Thailand’s eligibility for the GSP program, one that offers duty-free treatment to certain goods entering the United States.

“For years, Thailand has taken full advantage of special U.S. trade benefits, while imposing a completely unjustified de facto ban on U.S. pork. This is hardly a reciprocal trading relationship,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “We thank the administration for taking this action and hope it results in fair access to the Thai market for U.S. hog farmers.”

The United States is Thailand’s number one export market, with almost $4 billion of products annually sent to America under the GSP. Yet Thailand maintains a de facto ban on U.S. pork imports through high tariffs and several non-tariffs barriers. Thailand does not accept uncooked pork and pork offal from the United States, and it rarely, if ever, grants import licenses for U.S. pork. Even if such permits are granted, Thailand imposes a fee for imported pork equal to about $220 per metric ton compared with $7.50 per metric ton for domestically produced pork.
While the United States ships high-quality, safe and affordable pork to more than 100 countries annually, unjustified restrictions have kept U.S. pork locked out of Thailand’s large market.

USDA Sept '20 Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production Highlights

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 450 million bushels in September 2020. Total corn consumption was down 3 percent from August 2020 and down 1 percent from September 2019. September 2020 usage included 91.4 percent for alcohol and 8.6 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.86 million bushels, up 21 percent from August 2020 and up 17 percent from September 2019. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 401 million bushels, was down 2 percent from August 2020 and down 1 percent from September 2019. Corn consumed in September 2020 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90.0 percent and 10.0 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.73 million tons during September 2020, down 4 percent from August 2020 and down 3 percent from September 2019. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 961,695 tons in September 2020, up 4 percent from August 2020 but down 21 percent from September 2019.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 284,409 tons during September 2020, up 9 percent from August 2020 but down 2 percent from September 2019. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 251,199 tons in September 2020, down less than 1 percent from August 2020 but up 20 percent from September 2019.

SOYBEANS: Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.13 million tons (171 million bushels) in September 2020, compared with 5.24 million tons (175 million bushels) in August 2020 and 4.87 million tons (162 million bushels) in September 2019. Crude oil produced was 1.97 billion pounds down 2 percent from August 2020 but up 4 percent from September 2019. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.50 billion pounds during September 2020 decreased 4 percent from August 2020 but increased 6 percent from September 2019.

USDA Sept '20 Flour Milling Highlights

All wheat ground for flour during the third quarter 2020 was 234 million bushels, up 7 percent from the second quarter 2020 grind of 219 million bushels and up 1 percent from the third quarter 2019 grind of 232 million bushels. Third quarter 2020 total flour production was 109 million hundredweight, up 6 percent from the second quarter 2020 and up 2 percent from the third quarter 2019. Whole wheat flour production at 4.91 million hundredweight during the third quarter 2020 accounted for 5 percent of the total flour production. Millfeed production from wheat in the third quarter 2020 was 1.68 million tons. The daily 24-hour milling capacity of wheat flour during the third quarter 2020 was 1.60 million hundredweight.

DMC Yields Payment for September


The monthly Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program milk price-feed cost margin for September was $9.40/cwt, which will result in payments of ten cents per hundredweight to producers who have DMC coverage at the $9.50/cwt level this year.

The September margin was $1.43/cwt lower than the August margin, resulting from a $0.90/cwt lower milk price and a $0.53/cwt higher feed cost. The September feed-cost increase, which followed mostly small but steady declines every month since March, was the largest one-month increase in the DMC feed cost since May 2016.

Higher corn and soybean meal costs helped drive the lower margins; meanwhile, a premium for high-quality alfalfa used in dairy, which NMPF in 2019 successfully advocated for inclusion in the DMC formula, contributed 14 cents more to the feed-cost calculation than would have been included under the previous Margin Protection Program, which didn’t account for high-quality alfalfa. That amount covers the entirety of the actual assistance producers will receive for September, making the advocacy win on alfalfa feed a key reason behind the payment.

The USDA-sponsored DMC Decision Tool is currently anticipating the DMC margin will rebound above the $9.50/cwt level during the remaining months of 2020 and through January next year, but then fall back below this level through at least next August.

Signup for the DMC program for 2021 coverage began October 12 and will run through December 11, 2020. Enrolling in the program for next year at the $9.50/cwt level for the first 5 million pounds of production history is strongly recommended for those operations not already signed up under the previous multi-year enrollment option.

CWT-Assisted Sales Move the Equivalent of 788.6 Million Pounds of Milk Overseas

Through August 2020, CWT member cooperatives have shipped dairy products equivalent to 788.6 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. This includes 28.5 million pounds of American-type cheese accounting for 55% of U.S. exports; 9.3 million pounds of butter, 59% of U.S. exports; 35.9 million pounds of whole milk powder, 74% of U.S. exports; 5.7 million pounds of cream cheese; and 340,597 pounds of anhydrous milkfat, 12% of U.S. exports.

Adding to the product volumes already shipped will be the 20 sales contracts CWT assisted member cooperatives in securing in October. These include 456,357 pounds of American-type cheese, 1.5 million pounds of butter, 7.9 million pounds of whole milk powder, and 37,479 pounds of cream cheese. The products will be going to customers in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, Oceania and South America and will be shipped to 18 customers in 9 countries during the months of October 2020 through March 2021.

The October contracts bring the year-to-date export sales CWT is helping members move overseas to 86.6 million pounds, including 26.5 million pounds of America-type cheeses, 9.4 million pounds of butter, 2 pounds of anhydrous milkfat (AMF), 42.8 million pounds of whole milk powder and 5.9 million pounds of cream cheese. The milk equivalent of these sales is 868.7 million pounds on a milkfat basis.

Land O'Lakes, Inc. reports $54 million year-over-year quarterly earnings increase

Land O’Lakes, Inc. today reported net sales of $2.9 billion and net earnings of $66 million for the third quarter ending September 30, 2020, compared with net sales of $3.0 billion and net earnings of $12 million during the third quarter of 2019.  Every business unit performed better this quarter than in the previous year.  Year-to-date net sales totaled $10.3 billion with net earnings of $184 million compared to net sales of $10.3 billion and net earnings of $151 million during the same period in the prior year.

“I am grateful for the engagement, agility and commitment of the Land O’Lakes team that delivered remarkable performance in the face of the most rapidly changing market dynamics in recent memory,” said Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “While the health and safety of our employees and members remains our first priority, strong performance like this enables us to innovate and expand beyond the traditional boundaries of food and ag.”

Earnings improved by $54 million in the third quarter due to strong performance across the portfolio.  Dairy Foods earnings were higher due to continued strength in Retail, which more than offset lower volumes in Foodservice and commodity market volatility due to impacts of COVID-19.  Animal Nutrition earnings improved due to higher sales and favorable product mix in our Lifestyle segment. Crop Inputs earnings were also higher for the quarter due to improved Seed performance, lower working capital resulting in lower debt financing costs and other targeted cost reductions. Ending liquidity was $847 million, up 70% from prior year levels.

RFA Urges Low-Carbon/Clean Fuel Standard for Colorado Emissions Reduction

The internal combustion engine is “far from dead—the fuel just needs to be changed” with a low-carbon or clean fuel standard that can help Colorado slash greenhouse gas pollution, the Renewable Fuels Association told the Colorado Energy Office after it released a draft roadmap toward GHG pollution reduction.

“A properly designed, fuel neutral, LCFS or Clean Fuel Standard encourages GHG reductions via market forces,” RFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis wrote in comments submitted Friday. “LCFS/CFS programs are already in effect in California, Oregon and British Columbia, and have been discussed in other parts of the U.S., including Washington, New York and the upper Midwest. A science-based standard can drive technological innovation, stimulate investment in clean energy, reduce climate change emissions from the transportation sector, and decrease fossil fuel consumption.”

Davis also noted these programs “enable an increasingly diverse fuel supply, thus creating competition, encouraging innovation and developing greater market opportunities while improving air quality.”

Updated Buyer’s Guides Provides Poultry Customers Around the World Information on the Value of American Poultry Products

The poultry industry alone consumes over 1,200 million bushels of corn, making our feathered friends the largest consumer of corn grain within the animal agriculture sector. As the top export product by volume for the U.S. meat market, it’s no surprise that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per corn bushel, equating to $4.1 billion in revenue.

“The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) is excited to announce that our new and improved buyer’s guides have officially launched,” says Shelby Watson, USAPEEC Manager of Allied Industry Relations. “NCGA’s initiative to update our buyer’s guides came just in time as the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world and highlighted the need for updated digital resources. The existing guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were PDF resources, originally designed in 1996, detailing U.S. poultry product offerings and have been used at almost all of our trade and marketing activities to ease the buying process for our foreign buyers around the world. With products as diverse as their buyers, an effort was made to facilitate the buying process by describing the products, safety, and sustainability behind uncooked and prepared poultry products through the series of USAPEEC Buyer Guides.”

The Market Development Action Team approved funding to collaborate with USAPEEC to update the previously existing buyer guides. The funding updated the chicken, turkey, and egg buyer guides and is available on both computer and mobile-enabled browsers. Best of all, through the power of Google Translate, the webpages will be automatically translated into native languages around the world, helping to better serve our industry’s diverse customers.  

“This ongoing project has been a great testimonial to the power of relationships across the industry,” says corn grower Mike Beard, President of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Vice President of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. “We know that our product is a great feedstuff for poultry diets because it’s low in fiber, making it the easiest grain product for poultry to digest. With so much of our product going to the poultry houses across the country, it’s important that we support that customer and demand segment while continuing to build upon our relationship with USAPEEC.”

Beard also serves as the USAPEEC Executive Committee Commodity Member-at-Large as well as a member of the Market Development Action Team within NCGA.

“With the support of NCGA and USB, the new and much-improved buyer’s guides are chocked full of information that can be accessed by importers around the world, 24/7,” Watson added. “We specifically placed a call to action in the design, encouraging importers to submit a trade lead right from the guide. These will be crucial resources for the U.S. poultry industry as this pandemic shapes the global economy and international business. We are grateful for this collaboration with our partners at NCGA and are proud to highlight the sustainability of U.S. corn. We are confident that these guides will be used as a platform not only to boast the high-quality of U.S. poultry and eggs but U.S. corn and soybean meal as well.”

Bipartisan Congressional Letter Calls for Stronger U.S. Approach to Preserving Common Food and Wine Terms

A coalition of leading farm and agricultural groups are applauding a bipartisan letter sent today by 111 members of Congress urging stronger protections for American-made food and wine exports using common terms. This is an important message regarding the need for enhanced U.S. efforts to combat the European Union’s (EU) attempts to ban U.S. exports of cheese, meat and wine products that are labeled with common terms – such as parmesan, bologna or chateau.

“Congress has spoken loudly; it is time for stronger action by the U.S. government. For far too long, Europe has used unjustified trade barriers to block competition from high-quality American-made cheese, meat and wine exports. Europe is undermining global trade rules and weakening intellectual property system protections internationally. Today’s letter is an important reminder that we must raise the bar in our efforts in order to prevail in creating agricultural trade policy that works for the world, not just the European Union,” said Jaime Castaneda, Executive Director of Consortium for Common Food Names.

The letter asks the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make safeguarding common food and wine terms a core policy objective in all current and future trade negotiations. The effort was led by Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).

“The EU’s ban on common cheese terms has already impeded U.S. dairy exports but even more severe consequences for our industry lie ahead if the EU is allowed to continue these unfair trade practices. Preserving export opportunities for American-made cheeses and other products labeled with common terms must take priority in all future trade negotiations. I applaud Congress and the leaders of this effort for setting this important precedent in defense of American-made exports,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of U.S. Dairy Export Council.

“Creating false barriers to block exports denies families around the world the high-quality food America’s farmers and ranchers produce. It’s trade manipulation. We applaud the U.S. government for its efforts to remove unfair trade practices that keep our nation from competing in the global marketplace,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.  

“The European Union has for too long unjustifiably and erroneously attempted to restrict trade in common food name products, including meat exports from the U.S. The policy advocated in the bipartisan letter sent today to USDA and USTR will advance critical safeguards for common food name products in international trade and will enable America’s meat and poultry packers and processors, agricultural producers and food manufacturers to compete on a level playing field with their counterparts in the EU. We thank members of Congress for their leadership, and we stand ready to work with the Administration to defend against anti-competitive and protectionist policies pursued by trading partners that serve only to impede U.S. meat and poultry exports,” said Julie Anna Potts, CEO of the North American Meat Institute.  

"NASDA Members work tirelessly with the federal government to open new doors for agricultural producers around the world. We encourage the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to amplify the importance of common food and wine terms as a core policy objective to successful free trade negotiations in the future. Doing so will ensure consumers are able to access the full bounties of our farmers and ranchers around the world,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barb Glenn.

“America’s dairy farmers have been unduly harmed by the EU’s efforts to limit market opportunities for U.S. dairy products. For years, the EU has sought to ban high-quality American-made cheeses, putting U.S. dairy jobs at risk and limiting economic growth in the rural communities that rely on a healthy dairy industry. I appreciate the important work being done by Congress to ensure that U.S. trade negotiators must have all necessary tools at their disposal to fight back against the EU’s destructive agenda,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation.   

“We have watched time and again as the EU has gone well beyond protecting legitimate GIs to erect trade barriers that benefit their own producers at our expense. The recent EU-China agreement on GIs is a perfect example of how the EU abuses GIs for their own gain. The U.S. must do more to ensure a level playing field for common food names, grape varietal names and traditional terms and we are grateful to these Representatives for supporting this effort,” said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.  

In July, 61 Senators sent a similar letter requesting that the U.S. government enhance protections for common food and wine terms.

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