Thursday, November 12, 2020

Wednesday November 11 Ag News

Nebraska farmer wins the 2020 Syngenta #RootedinAg Contest

Hannah Borg, 22, of Wakefield, Nebraska, is the 2020 Syngenta #RootedinAg Contest grand prizewinner.

Borg is the seventh #RootedinAg Contest winner. She was chosen from a hearty pool of applicants and two other strong finalists with her testimony that moved both online voters and a panel of judges.

The number of submissions this year was one of the largest – and one of the most difficult to rank, said Pam Caraway, Syngenta marketing communications lead.

"Thank you to everybody who took the time to share their story. Each submission was a delight to read or watch. Each story gives us confidence in the future of agriculture, thanks to those who take the time to teach us," Caraway said.

This annual competition from Syngenta invites growers and other ag industry professionals across the nation to describe the person who most nourished their agricultural roots for their submission entry.

In a heartwarming video entry, Borg pays tribute to the matriarch of their sixth-generation family farm — her 86-year-old grandmother, Lois Borg. "Grandma is the perfect mix of grace and grit," Borg said. "I've always admired how she lives her life and her role in our family. She always knows what's happening on the farm and never turns down the opportunity to ride along on any kind of trip. She has passed down many stories to me and inspires me every day."

As the grand prizewinner, she receives $500, a professional photoshoot with her mentor and a $1,000 donation to her favorite local civic organization: the Wakefield Heritage Organization, a group in her community dedicated to preserving and maintaining the local history of her hometown.

"I chose this organization because preserving our community's heritage is important to me as the next generation to carry it on," Borg said.

In addition to being part of her family farm, Borg has worked for the Rural Radio Network/ 880 KRVN as a part-time farm broadcaster; a communications intern for FarmHer in Des Moines, Iowa; and an intern for the National FFA Organization.

"Every year, we have the privilege of hearing the stories of people in the ag community whose peers, mentors and family members have inspired them," Caraway said. "And every year, we learn something new about this community, which has engrained itself within all of us – and become a part of our DNA. Hannah's video about her grandma resonates with everyone who hears her story."

To learn more of Borg's story and the #RootedinAg Contest or to read other ag news stories, go to

 Jesse Fulton selected as new Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator

Jesse Fulton, who most recently worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, will serve as the new Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator.  

The position is a partnership among UNL, Nebraska Cattlemen, and the Nebraska Beef Council. The Beef Quality Assurance Program provides information and resources to beef producers and consumers related to practices throughout the production process, related to animal health and welfare, food safety and product quality.  

“I am extremely excited to be here in Nebraska working to help cattle producers,” Fulton said. “I want cattle producers and haulers to see the program as a badge of honor and to know that we recognize that they are doing their part to ensure a safe, wholesome product for beef consumers everywhere.”

Fulton has spent the past five years as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Producer Education. In the role, he assisted in the development of National Beef Quality Assurance educational materials and training programs and managed the National Cattlemen’s College, Cattlemen’s Webinar Series, and the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit. He also conducted both in-person and virtual workshops for producers on a wide range of topics including business best practices, improving herd health and more.  

“Jesse brings extremely relevant experience to this position, and he has demonstrated he is willing to work hard and think outside the box to help producers succeed,” said Clinton Krehbiel, head of UNL’s department of animal science. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Fulton has a master’s degree in animal science from South Dakota State University. He received his undergraduate degree, in animal and agricultural science, from Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.  

Fulton replaces UNL associate professor Dr. Rebecca Funk, who has served as interim Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator since June.  

Fulton’s appointment took effect on Nov. 2. He is based at the Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center in Scottsbluff.  For more information on the Beef Quality Assurance program, visit  

Finding Value in Grazing Corn Stalks (Part 2)

Connor Biehler, Beef Systems Asst. Extension Educator, ENREC

 With feed costs often comprising greater than half of a beef operation’s annual expenses. Providing cattle with feed sources to get the most “bang for your buck” should be deemed with the utmost importance when searching for feed sources. Grazing cattle on corn residue can provide one of the most cost-effective sources of fall and winter roughage as well as providing other benefits for corn growers.  

Grazing corn residue can provide cattle with 6% crude protein and 53% TDN. (on a dry matter basis) Depending on the condition and stage of production of the cattle, intake of the stalks alone could be sufficient. If they are lactating or growing cattle, they will likely need additional supplementation to make up for net energy for maintenance or gain. Another instance where cattle will need an additional supplement is when freezing rain occurs and the residue freezes to the ground. Cattle can root for crop residue under the snow but cannot access the residue if it is frozen to the ground.

Thanks to advances in modern technology, only 1-2% of the ears will be left behind in the residue in most fields. However, there may be instances where ear loss is higher as the result of storm related damage. If there is a greater amount than this the cattle should be limited to what they can graze. Since cattle select the highest quality feedstuffs first, high levels of grain left behind could lead to digestive issues, causing bloat. Grazing of small strips, referred to as strip grazing, is an alternative form of grazing that requires some input but will not allow cattle to be as selective. Once the cattle have had appropriate time to consume the available residue, make the strip wider (using temporary fence) to allow them a greater area to graze. This will allow for a more effective removal of the residue by forcing them to eat greater quantities of the lower quality husk.

For more questions on grazing corn stalks you can reach me at my office (402)624-8007 or my cell (402)413-8557 or follow my twitter page @BigRedBeefTalk for more information on Nebraska Beef Extension.

Koch Fertilizer is investing an estimated $90 million at its Beatrice, Nebraska nitrogen plant.

Koch Fertilizer is investing an estimated $90 million at its Beatrice, Nebraska nitrogen plant to further improve reliability and environmental and safety performance, and to increase UAN production by 75,000 tons per year.  

This investment builds on recent enhancements, which improved the plant’s ammonia loadout capabilities and its environmental performance — resulting in being awarded the EPA’s 2019 ENERGY STAR® for superior energy performance.

The Beatrice team is working on the latest improvements with startup expected in fall 2021. While substantially increasing UAN production, the Beatrice facility will continue to supply ammonia for local demand.

“We are committed to serving our customers, and we continue to see greater UAN demand locally,” said Scott McGinn, Koch Fertilizer executive vice president. “This investment will improve the efficiency and reliability of our operations and add greater production flexibility at Beatrice to meet the demand of both our ammonia and UAN customers.”

In the past few years, Koch Fertilizer invested more than $7 million to substantially increase ammonia loading capacity at the site and reduce customer wait time. The company added new loading racks, which more than doubled the plant’s peak loading capacity.

“Our goal is to be the supplier of choice for our customers’ UAN and ammonia needs long-term,” said Phil Tasset, Beatrice plant manager. “We realized our loading system had become a constraint for our customers. Prior to this investment, customers would wait several hours to load on our busiest days. Now, they rarely have to wait.”

In addition to improving the loading capabilities, Koch Fertilizer developed a transportation management app, called LoadView™, to further enhance the customer experience. LoadView was introduced to the Beatrice plant in 2019.  

The app allows truck drivers to pre-check into Koch Fertilizer facilities and track their training and inspection requirements, so they can load faster. With LoadView, Koch Fertilizer has reduced loading time by approximately six minutes per truck during the peak fertilizer season.
LoadView has proven especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows drivers to check in without exiting their vehicle and the quicker load time enhances social distancing.

Additionally, customers can use the Track My Shipment tool, enabled by LoadView, to track the status and location of their shipments with real-time GPS readings and estimated time of arrival.

Lindsay Corporation Announces CEO Succession

Lindsay Corporation, a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced the retirement of Tim Hassinger from his position as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective Dec. 31. The company further announced that its Board of Directors, pursuant to its succession plan, has appointed Randy Wood, who currently serves as chief operating officer, to succeed Hassinger as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective Jan. 1.

Hassinger joined Lindsay in October 2017 as president and CEO. During his leadership, the company achieved significant cost savings, process enhancements, and overall improvement in operating margin through the Foundation for Growth initiative.

"It has been a tremendous experience to have been part of Lindsay's transformational journey with such an exceptional team," said Hassinger. "Randy has been a partner in leading the Foundation for Growth initiative. He understands the business and company really well, and I am confident that he is going to be an excellent CEO."

Speaking about the succession, Lindsay Board Chairman Michael Nahl said, "On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are extremely thankful to Tim for leading the company through its pivotal transformation. We are a significantly stronger company today as a result of his strategic vision and focus on creating a company culture that empowers our employees to grow professionally within dynamic cooperative teams. In addition to enhancing the company's ability to deliver value to shareholders through improved financial performance, Tim has developed a remarkably talented Leadership Team and he supported our growth of environmental, social and charitable initiatives while strengthening our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout our company. Tim's remarkable accomplishments have positioned Lindsay for further growth and success under Randy Wood's leadership. Randy is well prepared to lead our organization to continuing success."

Since joining Lindsay in 2008, Wood, 48, has served in a variety of leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Wood currently serves as COO, a position in which he is responsible for the company's financial results and overall operations. Prior to this, Wood previously held key positions leading the company's irrigation business. He played a significant role in growing our international irrigation business, building capabilities through innovation and technology and creating key relationships across the globe.

"It's my honor and privilege to serve as Lindsay's next CEO, and I thank the Board for their confidence in me," said Wood. "I also want to thank Tim for his support and guidance, and for what he's done to prepare our company for this transition. I'm excited to work with the Leadership Team and our tremendous organization around the world to continue our momentum and fulfill our vision."

NEW Cooperative 2020 Annual Meeting Notification

Members will be allowed to drop off ballots and pick up their dividend checks from their cars on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from 9:00am – 3:00pm. at the Fort Dodge office. Ballots will be counted at 3:30pm. All mail in ballots must be received at the Fort Dodge office by 5:00pm on Monday, November 30, 2020 to be counted. No Replacement ballots will be issued.

Due to COVID -19 only limited staff and outside ballot counters will be allowed into the Fort Dodge office.

Members can pick up their Patronage Checks on Tuesday, December 1st from 9:00am – 3:00pm at the Fort Dodge office or Wednesday, December 2nd from 10:00am – 1:00pm at the Ute, IA location.

Checks not picked up, will be mail Wednesday afternoon.

2020 Iowa Forage and Grassland Council Winter Conference Goes Virtual

The Iowa Forage and Grassland Council board members will offer the state’s premier forage educational event online. The virtual 2020 conference will feature four presentations on timely topics regarding managing forages after a year of difficult weather patterns.

All presentations will be prerecorded and released on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. The session titles, presenters and their affiliations are:
    Grazing Down Corn Residue – Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
    Managing Drought Damaged Pastures – Joe Sellers, IFGC board member and retired ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist.
    Emergency Forage: Options Available for Quick Feed – Luke Wilson, Barenbrug USA.
    Knowing the True Value of Your Forest: A Forestry Primer for Agricultural Producers and Graziers – Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist at Iowa State University.

The educational videos will be available at no charge; however, registration is required for access. To offer flexibility for viewers, sessions can be viewed at any time following the Nov. 24 release. To register, visit

The Iowa Forage and Grassland Council is an organization dedicated to advancing forage-based agriculture in the state. To learn more about the organization, visit To become a member or to renew your membership, email


The National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) released the 2021 edition of its popular “Alfalfa Variety Ratings - Winter Survival, Fall Dormancy & Pest Resistant Ratings for Alfalfa Varieties” - a useful tool for hay and dairy farmers, extension specialists, agri-business personnel or anyone involved in the production of alfalfa.     

NAFA’s Alfalfa Variety Ratings is a publication unlike any other in providing an extensive listing of alfalfa varieties and their corresponding ratings for fall dormancy, winter survival, bacterial wilt, aphanomyces, leafhopper, and a host of other pests. The publication also includes other ratings such as grazing tolerance and standability to provide you the information you need to make educated decisions about the alfalfa varieties which will perform best in a given environment. All varieties listed in the Alfalfa Variety Ratings publication can be purchased in the United States for the 2021 production year.

     The 2021 edition of NAFA’s Alfalfa Variety Ratings features 178 alfalfa varieties from 16 marketers and has been verified with the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) and the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board (NAVRB).

     If you’d prefer an electronic option, try NAFA’s searchable, online Alfalfa Variety Ratings database where you can make the process of narrowing alfalfa varietal choices even easier. Available at, NAFA’s searchable database allows you to search for varieties using up to 23 different parameters like variety name, marketer, fall dormancy, winter survival, disease resistance, and insect resistance. NAFA has made finding the perfect variety as effortless as possible.

NAFA’s Alfalfa Variety Ratings publication is available in the November issue of Hay & Forage Grower magazine or by visiting NAFA’s website at

NAFA’s Alfalfa Variety Ratings is a must-have for anyone involved in the production of alfalfa – be sure to get yours today!

MAP, DAP Continue to Climb as Retail Fertilizer Prices Stagnate

Most retail fertilizer prices saw minor declines in the first week of November, ranging from $1 to $4 per ton, according to prices tracked by DTN. The exception remains, as it has been for the past few months, MAP and DAP, which saw prices continue to rise.

Six of the eight major fertilizers tracked by DTN were lower in price compared to the same time last month. Potash declined to $331/ton, down $4; urea $358/ton, down $3; 10-34-0 $455/ton, down $2; anhydrous $423/ton, down $1; UAN28 $208/ton, down $1; and UAN32 $248/ton, down $2.

MAP and DAP prices were 3% and 1%, respectively. DTN considers price moves of 5% or more to be significant. DAP had an average price of $447/ton, an increase of $6/ton from last month. The average MAP price, at $479/ton, was $13/ton higher than last month.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.26/lb.N, UAN28 $0.37/lb.N and UAN32 $0.39/lb.N.

MAP is the only fertilizer that's higher in price than it was a year ago, up 2% from last November.  The rest are lower in price than last year. DAP is down 3%, 10-34-0 is 4% less expensive, urea is 10% lower, potash and UAN32 are 14% cheaper, anhydrous is down 15% and UAN28 is 16% less expensive than in November last year.

Farm Bureau’s Patriot Project Helps Veterans Getting Started in Farming

Farmers’ and ranchers’ sons and daughters and many others from rural America have answered the call to military service throughout the 200-plus year history of this country. Now, farmers and ranchers are serving them. Through the Farm Bureau Patriot Project, Farm Bureau members are mentoring military veterans who are getting started in agriculture. The program was piloted in Arkansas and Texas in 2016 and is available as a program option to all state Farm Bureaus.

“Many people don’t realize that 44% of military personnel come from rural communities,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall recently noted.

Farming and ranching are a natural fit for those who have served in the military, according to veteran Damon Helton, an Arkansas Farm Bureau member and Patriot Project mentee.

“We’re predisposed, coming out of the military, for all the things that being a farmer requires: long hours, early mornings, very strenuous dirty work. We’re searching for service that we’ve lost when we get out, so agriculture is just an amazing fit for that, because that’s truly what it is, it’s service to our nation,” said Helton, who enlisted in the U.S. Army in February 2001 and completed five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Duvall, too, emphasized how military service prepares future farmers.

“The men and women who worked so hard to defend our national security are fully equipped to ensure our food security. Our military veterans come back home to their communities equipped with discipline, determination and the willpower to do very difficult things. And farming is a difficult occupation,” Duvall said.

The Patriot Project helps veterans make that transition from one very challenging profession to another. Helton found the business guidance his farmer mentor provided to be particularly helpful.

 “I was very serious about it being a business model. I wanted to succeed and grow and feed my community. But in order to do that you have to treat it like a business. You have to understand what your input costs are, and you have to understand your margins, and you grow and you’re going to need employees. And so, I really learned how to run my farm like a true business,” Helton said.

In addition to the Patriot Project, Farm Bureau supports veterans’ involvement in agriculture through its partnership with the Farmer Veteran Coalition. FVC is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization assisting veterans and active duty members of the U.S. armed forces embark on careers in agriculture.

“Farm Bureau is historically one of FVC’s strongest supporters,” said newly appointed FVC Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo. “We value this partnership that allows us to jointly help our veterans and their families transition into agriculture. We’re equally excited about the Farm Bureau Patriot Project and the future farmer veterans we will support.”

No comments:

Post a Comment