Ricketts Hosts Ag and Economic Development Summit
Today, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed over 400 leaders to Kearney’s Younes Conference Center for the “Governor’s Summit on Ag and Economic Development,” co-hosted by the Nebraska Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development.
“Nebraska has emerged from the pandemic with the nation’s lowest unemployment, higher-than-expected revenues, and strong overall growth,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Today’s Summit convened leaders from across Nebraska committed to building on this momentum. I look forward to seeing how the collaboration at this year’s Summit turns into action to further prosper and grow our state.”
The annual Summit—a premier forum for discussing issues related to the growth of the state—recommenced this year following 2020’s postponement, with a new format and a dual focus on agriculture and economic development.
“Focusing on agriculture and economic development in the same summit meeting makes sense as great production from Nebraska agriculture means great growth for our state,” said Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman. “Today, we were able to bring together many influential leaders in agriculture to identify and discuss topics, trends, and action items needed to move forward to strengthen and grow Nebraska agriculture.”
“We’re proud to be here today with Governor Ricketts, our teammates from the Department of Agriculture, and leaders from around our state to discuss ways we can work together to grow Nebraska,” said Department of Economic Development Director Anthony L. Goins. “We all wear the same jersey, and we all have something to contribute to Nebraska being the best state in the country, and a place where any individual, family, or business owner can come to experience economic opportunities and a high quality of life.”
The Summit kicked off yesterday evening with a reception and banquet hosted by the Nebraska Diplomats, where a number of local, business, and agricultural leaders were recognized for their contributions to the state economy. Honorees included Diplomats Past-President Dan Duncan, who was recognized for his organizational leadership.
Today’s all-day event commenced with welcome remarks from Gov. Ricketts, followed by a full slate of discussion tracks featuring issues central to the state’s growth. Session topics included growing opportunities for Nebraska’s exports, developing value-added agriculture, and expanding broadband connectivity across the state.
Over the lunch hour, Gov. Ricketts interviewed Terry Branstad, the 12th U.S. Ambassador to China and former Governor of Iowa, for the Summit’s keynote. Their wide-ranging conversation covered former Ambassador Branstad’s experience in China during the coronavirus outbreak, U.S.-China trade relations, and the ongoing need to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable to respect human rights and honor international trade agreements.
Smith to Host Agriculture Summit
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will host an Agriculture Summit on Wednesday, August 11, in Kearney, Nebraska. The summit will begin at 8:00 a.m. CT.
The summit provides Third District constituents an opportunity to visit with Smith, ask questions, and share their thoughts on the future of agriculture policy. Joining Congressman Smith to discuss disaster relief and the direction of federal agriculture policy will be Mark Slupek, USDA Foreign Ag Service Deputy Administrator for Global Programs, Jordan Schlake, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Trade Representative, John McCoy, Orthman Manufacturing CEO, and Norm Krug, Preferred Popcorn CEO.
“Sound agriculture and trade policies are a crucial part of ensuring Nebraska’s agricultural industry can compete in a global economy,” said Smith. “I look forward to direct engagement from Third District producers on the challenges they face. Getting these policies right will better position our producers to remain amongst the top-producing in the country.”
2021 Agriculture Summit
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Younes Conference Center South - Ruby Room 6
416 West Talmadge Street
Kearney, NE 68845
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CT
Pre-registration for in person attendance is encouraged. Please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900 to pre-register.
If you cannot attend the summit in person, you are welcome to attend virtually. Please use this registration link to do so: https://bit.ly/3xkAnOc.
For questions about these events, please contact Smith’s Grand Island office at (308) 384-3900.
MANAGING SUMMER ANNUAL REGROWTH
– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator
Summer annual crops like forage sorghum, sudangrass, and sorghum/sudan hybrids may have been grazed or harvested once already this year. With adequate moisture, these crops have the potential to grow back and produce another harvest opportunity, but need to be managed correctly to avoid potential hazards.
Sorghum and sudangrass species have the potential to build toxic levels of prussic acid in new shoots. This goes for regrowth as well, so proper management when grazing is essential. New growth needs to be 15-18 inches high in sudangrass and 18-24 inches high in sorghum/sudan hybrids before grazing can safely occur. In regrowth, new shoots can come out at different points from the remaining stalk, so make sure to measure the new growth’s actual height, not just from the ground up.
One nice thing about prussic acid is it converts to a gas in the leaf soon after harvest. While this doesn’t do grazing animals any good, sorghum species cut for hay can dissipate a majority of prussic acid before baling. Similarly, between harvest and the ensiling process, most sorghum/sudan hybrids harvested for silage have lowered prussic acid to safe levels by feed out.
With heat and dry conditions creeping back across the state, all stressed summer annual grasses, including our millet species, have the potential to accumulate nitrates, especially when drought stressed. Unlike prussic acid which dissipates when cut for hay, nitrates stick around, so whether grazing or haying, cut high to avoid portions of the plant where concentrations are highest. Harvesting plants that are at high nitrate risk for silage may be the safest option, as the ensiling process naturally reduces nitrate levels. However, a forage nitrate test should be taken before feeding to ensure levels are safe.
Summer annuals are great forage opportunities, especially when multiple harvests are available. With proper management the risk of prussic acid and nitrates can be mitigated, so you can get the most out of these summer forage kings.
Biden Administration to Invest $67 Million to Help Heirs Resolve Land Ownership, Succession Issues
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program (HPRP), which aims to help agricultural producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues. Intermediary lenders - cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations – can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1 percent interest once the Farm Service Agency (FSA) opens the two-month signup window in late August.
After FSA selects lenders, heirs can apply directly to those lenders for loans and assistance. Heirs’ property issues have long been a barrier for many producers and landowners to access USDA programs and services, and this relending program provides access to capital to help producers find a resolution to these issues.
“While those affected are in all geographic and cultural areas, many Black farmers and other groups who have experienced historic discrimination have inherited heirs’ property,” said Tim Divis, Acting State Executive Director for FSA in Nebraska. “USDA is committed to revising policies to be more equitable, and examining barriers faced by heirs’ property owners is part of that effort. This helps ensure we protect the legacy of these family farms for generations to come.”
The Heirs’ Property Relending Program is another example of how USDA is working to rebuild trust with America’s farmers and ranchers. HPRP is a loan and will need to be repaid as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill.
The program’s benefits go far beyond its participants. It will also keep farmland in farming, protect family farm legacies and support economic viability.
To be eligible, intermediary lenders must be certified as a community development financial institution and have experience and capability in making and servicing agricultural and commercial loans that are similar in nature.
If applications exceed the amount of available funds, those applicants with at least 10 years or more of experience with socially disadvantaged farmers that are located in states that have adopted a statute consisting of enactment or adoption of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) will receive first preference. A list of these states is available at farmers.gov/heirs/relending. A secondary preference tier is established for those that have applications from ultimate recipients already in process, or that have a history of successfully relending previous HPRP funds. When multiple applicants are in the same tier, or there are no applicants in tier 1 or 2, applications will be funded in order of the date the application was received.
Selected intermediary lenders will determine the rates, terms, and payment structure for loans to heirs. Interest rates will be the lowest rate sufficient for intermediaries to cover cost of operating and sustaining the loan.
Relending to Heirs
Heirs may use the loans to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of property interests and financing costs associated with a succession plan. This may also include costs and fees associated with buying out fractional interests of other heirs in jointly-owned property to clear the title, as well as closing costs, appraisals, title searches, surveys, preparing documents, mediation, and legal services.
Heirs may not use loans for any land improvement, development purpose, acquisition or repair of buildings, acquisition of personal property, payment of operating costs, payment of finders’ fees, or similar costs.
Intermediary lenders will make loans to heirs who:
Are individuals or legal entities with authority to incur the debt and to resolve ownership and succession of a farm owned by multiple owners;
Are a family member or heir-at-law related by blood or marriage to the previous owner of the property;
Agree to complete a succession plan.
More information on how heirs can borrow from lenders under HPRP will be available in the coming months.
Heirs’ property is a legal term that refers to family land inherited without a will or legal documentation of ownership. It has historically been challenging for heirs to benefit from USDA programs because of the belief that they cannot get a farm number without proof of ownership or control of land. However, FSA provides alternative options that allow an heir to obtain a farm number. In states that have adopted the UPHPA, producers may provide specific documents to receive a farm number. To learn more about heirs property, HPRP, or UPHPA, visit farmers.gov/heirs/relending.
National Beef Checkoff Petition Drive Extended Through October 3
In a letter sent today, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack granted the organizers of the National Beef Checkoff Petition Drive until October 3, 2021 to collect the necessary signatures on the petition calling for a producer vote of the National Beef Checkoff Program.
The South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association and Steve Stratford of Kansas-based Stratford Angus organized and initiated the National Beef Checkoff Petition Drive that began July 2, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) originally established a 12-month period for the collection of the required 88,269 signatures.
R-CALF USA and other groups have helped to collect signatures but due to COVID-19-related restrictions, were unable to even meet with cattle producers for several months in locations such as livestock auction yards and public meeting places. As a result, the organizers and assisting groups were principally relegated to relying upon an online petition site to collect signatures. That site, located at www.checkoffvote.com, currently has 18,790 signed petitions.
On May 20, 2021, the organizers made a formal, written request to Secretary Vilsack for a one-year extension for which to collect signatures given the extenuating, COVID-related circumstances.
Receiving no reply from Vilsack after the original 12-month period had expired on July 2, 2021, the organizers decided to keep the online petition site operational until a formal response was received.
Today’s response from Vilsack was a denial of the organizers’ one-year extension request and, instead, a granting of a 60-day extension beyond the date of Vilsack’s letter. Vilsack wrote that this 60-day extension “reflects the prevailing will of producers.”
Along with the petition organizers’ request for a one-year extension, in May over 130 state legislators representing 11 states wrote Vilsack asking him to call for a producer referendum on his own.
In today’s letter, Vilsack indicates that he does not have the statutory authority to call for such a referendum unless it is requested by producers through the petition process.
“We don’t have much time, but R-CALF USA will do everything it can to help the organizers achieve the required signatures by the new deadline,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.
DMC Margin Drops Again in June
The June margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program dropped 65 cents from May’s margin to $6.24/cwt, which will generate a June payment of $3.26/cwt for $9.50/cwt coverage. The DMC feed cost calculation for June was lower by $0.16/cwt of milk from May, mostly on lower soybean meal prices, while the June U.S. average all-milk price took a larger than expected drop of $0.80/cwt from May, a return to April levels. The blended alfalfa hay price increased in June, for the ninth straight month.
The current futures-based price outlook indicates that the DMC margin will not rise much above $7.00/cwt through the summer and remain below $9.50/cwt through the end of 2021. USDA reported that estimated DMC payments for the 2021 program exceed $543 million as of July 26.
USDA Dairy Products June 2021 Production Highlights
Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.12 billion pounds, 0.2 percent above June 2020 but 2.9 percent below May 2021. Italian type cheese production totaled 473 million pounds, 2.6 percent below June 2020 and 1.7 percent below May 2021. American type cheese production totaled 454 million pounds, 5.1 percent above June 2020 but 5.1 percent below May 2021. Butter production was 161 million pounds, 7.8 percent above June 2020 but 13.1 percent below May 2021.
Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with June 2020)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 185 million pounds, up 19.8 percent.
Skim milk powder - 32.6 million pounds, down 46.1 percent.
Whey products (comparisons in percentage with June 2020)
Dry whey, total - 80.6 million pounds, down 1.3 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 94.7 million pounds, down 7.9 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 40.3 million pounds, up 0.2 percent.
Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with June 2020)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 66.5 million gallons, down 8.6 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 43.9 million gallons, down 7.1 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 2.68 million gallons, down 17.5 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 3.39 million gallons, down 1.3 percent.
ABI Sends Complaint Letter to FDA Calling out Crisco No-Stick “Butter” Spray
The American Butter Institute (ABI) sent a letter to FDA on June 30 calling FDA’s attention to the mislabeling of Crisco’s No-Stick “Butter” Spray, which contains no butter at all. The no-stick spray both calls itself butter and features a pancake with a pat of butter on the label, even though canola oil is its top listed ingredient, with no dairy listed. This is in direct violation of the butter standard of identity — the only standard of identity to be defined by an act of Congress.
In addition to using the term butter on the package in violation of federal law, the product also doesn’t follow the basic rules for nomenclature on the label. As stated in the letter, “the product somewhat confusingly offers two possible alternatives as its ‘statement of identity,’ but neither, no matter the interpretation, provides proper labeling to prospective purchasers. One possible interpretation of the name of the food is that the name of the food is meant to be “Butter”, but in a spray form. Alternatively, the name of the food could also be ‘No-Stick Spray,’ but one that tastes and performs like butter. It is unclear which noun (butter or spray) represents the actual name of the food.”
ABI is urging FDA to take swift enforcement action against this product, which is clearly attempting to fool consumers into believing it’s a butter product. FDA acknowledged receipt of the letter.
CWT-Assisted Export Dairy Sales Through July Reach Nearly 900 Million Pounds
CWT member cooperatives secured 58 contracts in June adding 5.8 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 906,000 pounds of butter, 1.3 million pounds of whole milk powder and 833,000 pounds of cream cheese to CWT-assisted sales in 2021. These products will go customers in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, Central America and South America, and will be shipped June through November.
CWT-assisted 2021 dairy product sales contracts year-to-date total 31.1 million pounds of cheese, 11.8 million pounds of butter, 5.1 million pounds of anhydrous milkfat (AMF), 8.7 million pounds of cream cheese and 18.3 million pounds of whole milk powder. This brings the total milk equivalent for the year to roughly 894 million pounds on a milkfat basis. All these products are scheduled to ship in the 2021 calendar year.
Exporting dairy products is critical to the viability of dairy farmers and their cooperatives across the country. Whether or not a cooperative is actively engaged in exporting cheese, butter, anhydrous milkfat, cream cheese, or whole milk powder, moving products into world markets is essential. CWT provides a means to move domestic dairy products to overseas markets by helping to overcome U.S. dairy’s trade disadvantages.
Study Shows How Corn and Soybean Producers Benefit from U.S. Red Meat Exports
U.S. beef and pork exports brought critical returns to the corn and soybean industries in 2020, according to an independent study conducted by World Perspectives, Inc. and released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). According to the study, U.S. beef and pork exports added 41 cents per bushel to the value of corn and $1.06 per bushel to soybeans in 2020.
“As the study indicates, my farm gains from red meat exports in the price of every acre of crops that we grow,” says Dean Meyer, who produces corn, soybeans, cattle and hogs near Rock Rapids, Iowa. “Red meat exports are vital to my family’s operation.”
Corn and soybean producers support the international promotion of U.S. pork, beef and lamb by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by USMEF. This funding is leveraged with support from pork and beef checkoff programs and USDA.
Meyer also highlights the industry-wide collaboration behind the promotion of value-added U.S. red meat in international markets. “Something else this study points to is how different sectors of U.S. agriculture can work together to benefit the industry as a whole.” With such collaboration, Meyer adds, “there is great potential for U.S. agriculture on the world stage.”
Key findings from the study, which utilizes 2020 export data, include:
Value of Red Meat Exports’ Feed Use of Soybeans and Corn in 2020
U.S. pork exports used 2.45 million tons of soybean meal, which is the equivalent of 103.2 million bushels of soybeans. At an average annual price of $8.98/bushel, pork exports accounted for $927 million in market value to the soybean industry.
Beef and pork exports used 530.5 million bushels of corn. At an average annual price of $3.52/bushel, beef and pork exports accounted for $1.87 billion in market value to the corn industry.
Beef and pork exports also used 3.03 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) at an annual average price of $154.59/ton, generating $468 million in market value for ethanol mills’ co-products.
Value to U.S. Corn and Soybean Crop from Red Meat Exports
In 2020, beef and pork exports contributed 41 cents per bushel, or 11.5% of the average annual price of $3.52/bushel. With total production of 14.18 billion bushels, the value of red meat exports to the U.S. corn crop was $5.8 billion, meaning corn growers would have lost $5.8 billion in value if there were no beef and pork exports.
In 2020, pork exports contributed $1.06 per bushel, or 12% of the average annual price of $8.98/bushel. With total production of 4.14 billion bushels, the value of pork exports was $4.4 billion to the U.S. soybean crop, meaning soybean producers would have lost $4.4 billion in value if there were no pork exports.
“USMEF’s efforts to promote U.S. red meat in international markets have paid off for producers, whether they raise livestock or grow corn and soybeans – or, like me, they do both,” says Mark Legan, a hog farmer from Coatesville, Ind. “The study adds numbers to the story – a story those of us in this business have been telling for a long time – that global trade is vital to all of us involved in U.S. agriculture.”
DTN Retail Fertilizer - Potash Price Up More Than $100 Per Ton in 2 Months
Farmers could purchase a ton of potash for $353 last July. That same ton of fertilizer costs $549 today, according to DTN's weekly survey of fertilizer retailers for the last week of July 2021.
While the average retail cost of potash is up 15% from the same time last month, none of the seven other fertilizers tracked by DTN saw a significant increase, which DTN designates as a price change of 5% or more. The price of two other fertilizers actually fell for the second week in a row.
After potash, MAP prices increased the most, about 4% higher than last month, to $753/ton.
DAP prices climbed 3% to $695/ton. The average price of urea was about 2% higher than last month at $554/ton.10-34-0 and anhydrous prices each inched about 1% higher at $631/ton and $737/ton, respectively. UAN prices showed very minor declines, with the average price of UAN28 dropping $1 from last month to $365/ton. At $419/ton, UAN32 was $2/ton lower than last month.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.45/lb.N, UAN28 $0.65/lb.N and UAN32 $0.65/lb.N.
Fertilizer prices at the retail level have all increased significantly from a year ago. 10-34-0 is now 36% more expensive, potash is 54% higher, urea is 56% more expensive, UAN32 is 60% higher, anhydrous is 62% more expensive, UAN28 64% higher, DAP is 69% more expensive and MAP is 75% higher compared to last year.
Study: U.S. Pork Industry Needs More Access to Foreign-Born Workforce to Address Labor Shortage
Despite competitive wages and an expanding workforce, the U.S. pork industry continues to struggle with a labor shortage that will require access to more foreign-born workers to remain sustainable, according to a study by Iowa State University economists that was recently updated to reflect the current state of the labor market. The study underscores the urgent need for agriculture labor reform, a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
The economists describe the current state of the agriculture labor market as follows:
“Conditions in the agricultural labor market have been challenging for decades. The agricultural industry in the U.S. has progressed from a fairly large labor-intensive sector where family members supplied the majority of the farm labor, to one of much larger, more capital-intensive farms requiring a larger workforce comprised of skilled farm operators supplemented by a pool of unskilled labor, which is often seasonal and migrant. As a result of this evolution in both the number and the skill level required of employees in agriculture, many farmers have struggled with labor hiring and retention challenges.”
According to the study, from 2001-2020, employment in the U.S. pork industry grew by an annual rate of 1.5 percent, four times faster than employment growth in all U.S. industries. Despite expanded wages and jobs, the U.S. pork industry is facing a significant domestic labor shortage due to a dwindling and aging rural labor population where hog farms and harvest facilities are located, the study noted. From 2014-2019, the rural labor force shrank in five of the eight top pork-producing states, it found.
Foreign-born workers have been critical to the U.S. pork industry’s economic growth, the study found. “In many rural labor markets, immigrant workers have lessened the negative effect of net out-migration, helping to keep rural communities in these markets economically viable.” However, pork producers continue to struggle with ongoing labor shortages, and native-born workers and permanent residents cannot offset the need for foreign-born employees, the study concluded.
Current visa programs designed for seasonal agriculture—such as the H-2A visa—fail to meet the workforce needs of U.S. pork producers and other year-round livestock farmers. To address the labor shortage, NPPC is advocating for year-round access to the H-2A visa program without a cap.
“The U.S. pork industry has a critical labor shortage that needs to be urgently addressed,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, who testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need for labor reform. “Pork production is year-round, and visa reform should reflect that reality."
Last month, NPPC launched its “Year-Round Pork Needs Year-Round Workers” campaign to profile the stories of four foreign-born workers who make vital contributions to the U.S. pork industry and their communities. Learn more here: https://nppc.org/issues/issue/year-round-pork-needs-year-round-workers/.
Weekly Ethanol Production for 7/30/2021
According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending July 30, ethanol production declined by 1,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 0.1%, to 1.013 million b/d, equivalent to 42.55 million gallons daily. Production was 8.8% above the same week last year but was 2.6% below the 2019 level. The four-week average ethanol production volume decreased by 1.3% to 1.024 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.70 billion gallons (bg).
Ethanol stocks thinned by 0.4% to 22.6 million barrels. Stocks were 11.3% above the year-ago level but 2.0% below the same week in 2019. Inventories tightened in the East Coast (PADD 1) and West Coast (PADD 5) but grew across the other regions.
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, jumped 4.8% to a four-week high of 9.775 million b/d (149.85 bg annualized). Gasoline demand was 13.4% above a year ago and 1.3% higher than the same week in 2019.
Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol ticked up 0.2% to 932,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.29 bg annualized. Net inputs were 10.4% above a year ago but 1.4% less than the same week in 2019.
There were zero imports of ethanol recorded after 36,000 b/d hit the books the prior week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of May 2021.)
Farmers, Ethanol Producers Would Lose Billions if Summertime E15 Ban Returns
The recent D.C. Circuit Court decision overturning EPA’s approval of year-round E15 sales could have a strongly negative impact on the rural economy and environment in the coming years unless action is taken to allow unimpeded sales of E15 all year long, the Renewable Fuels Association reported in a new analysis released today.
According to the white paper, if the court decision is allowed to stand and no other action is taken to facilitate continued year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline areas, the ruling could have considerable long-term impacts on the ethanol market. E15 sales volumes in 2022-2024 would remain essentially flat with 2021 levels, rather than growing rapidly as expected prior to the court decision.
“Some major fuel retailers and marketers who have expressed interest in offering E15 have indicated to RFA that they are much less likely to invest in E15 if they aren’t able to sell the fuel year-round,” wrote RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman. “In addition, if the court ruling stands, E15 sales volumes per station would likely return to pre-2019 levels, as retailers would again be forced to forgo E15 sales during the busy summer driving season and consumers may be confused about fuel offerings.”
As a result of the court decision, RFA particularly noted:
Cumulative E15 sales between 2021 and 2024 would be nearly 12.6 billion gallons lower than would have been the case if E15 can be sold year-round.
This leads to a net loss of ethanol sales of 630 million gallons valued at $1.3 billion between 2021 and 2024.
In addition, the ethanol industry would reduce purchases of corn by approximately 221 million bushels between 2021 and 2024, leading to more than $1 billion in lost sales revenues for farmers.
A return to the summertime prohibition on E15 sales also would cause greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline consumption to increase by 2.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent between 2021 and 2024. That is an amount equal to the annual GHG emissions from nearly 500,000 cars.
Potential economic losses over the longer term (2025-2030) would be substantially larger, as it was generally expected that E15 expansion would continue to accelerate and E15 could fully, or mostly, replace E10 as “standard gasoline” by the end of the decade.
“RFA fought tooth-and-nail for nearly a decade to secure the approval for year-round E15 sales in conventional gasoline markets,” RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said. “When EPA finally changed its regulations in 2019 to allow uninterrupted sales of E15, the marketplace immediately reacted and retailers across the country started taking steps to offer this lower-cost, lower-carbon fuel to consumers. Now, one misguided court decision threatens to strand billions of dollars in public and private investment, reverse the progress we’ve made on E15, and foreclose on one of our industry’s largest future growth opportunities. As this new report demonstrates, the potential cost of losing that growth opportunity is enormous—and that’s why we can’t let it happen. RFA will continue to pursue all options to ensure retailers have the ability to sell E15 year-round to customers who are demanding cleaner, greener, and more affordable fuel options.”
New USDA Report Recognizes USB as Forward-Looking Leader in Bioproducts
In a lively schoolyard that is home to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, urban and rural America came together. Students who’ve only read about farmers in children’s books or sang “Old MacDonald” met actual farmers for the first time. They asked how soybeans are grown, played on newly installed soy-based synthetic grass and competed in bingo about environmental science. The event wasn’t all just fun and games, however, as youngsters also learned about a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report showing that plant-based products, such as soy, and the biobased industry generate economic growth and jobs across America.
The USDA Rural Development report — An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry — included several recommendations developed in collaboration with the soy checkoff that provided key learnings on the sustainability and performance of soy-based products.
During the Farmers on the Green event on July 29, held at the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem, soy-biobased grass distributor SYNLawn® of New York donated a new biobased play area and partnered with the United Soybean Board (USB), New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance for the celebration. As a result of SYNLawn’s long-term collaboration with USB, children learned about science, soil, biodiesel and soybeans at six learning stations, and participated in games to gain real-world agricultural knowledge through interactive demonstrations and STEM activities.
“SYNLawn New York was so proud to partner with USB, the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem and the John Bowne FFA Chapter,” said owner Anastasia Phillips. “We are a long-standing participant in the USDA BioPreferred program, and are excited that this event created an opportunity to educate children and adults as USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson released USDA’s new report with us at the Boys and Girls Club.”
According to the report, the biobased products industry:
Supports 4.6 million American jobs through direct, indirect and induced contributions.
Contributes $470 billion to the U.S. economy.
Generates 2.79 jobs in other sectors of the economy for every biobased job.
Displaces about 9.4 million barrels of oil a year.
Potentially reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 12.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year.
During the New York City event, USB Vice Chair Ralph Lott II — who farms in Seneca Falls, New York — talked to the students about how soybeans are used to make 1,000 different products, such as a pair of sandals he showed them. In the USDA Biobased Products report, one of the case studies highlights the soy-based Okabashi® brand, stating: “These shoes are molded from a proprietary, recyclable material that is 45% soy by weight. All of the company’s shoes now use the soy-based material as a replacement for the petroleum-based component of the materials — a fact that shows that the company is living up to its environmental values.”
“As a farmer, I am continually amazed by the versatility of our soybeans and how they help hundreds of companies, like SYNLawn, with their sustainability, performance and health attributes,” said Lott. “USDA’s new economic analysis shows that plant-based products help farmers grow demand for soy and create a platform for innovation and agriculture to grow together, while creating jobs in rural communities.”
While in New York for Farmers on the Green, checkoff leaders also met with biodiesel and biobased products users. This included the fleet leadership team for New York City, which is a long-term biodiesel user and has switched to hundreds of Goodyear’s soy-based tires and other soy-biobased products for its fleet. In addition, the New York Fire and Parks Departments collaborated with USB and the Indiana Soybean Alliance on New York’s first demonstration of PoreShield™, a concrete durability enhancer made with soy, at the historic Fort Totten Park to offer sustainable protection from salt, ice and water damage.
Outstanding Woman in Business Joins NCBA Team
Jennifer Nealson of Denver has been hired as the new Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Nealson is responsible for directing program strategy, development and integration through marketing, research and science disciplines in an effort to increase the demand of beef.
“We are happy to have Jennifer join our team in this key role,” said NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “She is a proven leader with a passion for building teams, inspiring people and growing market share. I look forward to her using her talents at NCBA to promote beef.”
One of Nealson’s primary duties is to direct the development and execution of NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded promotion and research programs, including managing the iconic Beef. It's What's for Dinner. campaign. She is also tasked with developing partnerships with beef industry stakeholders to leverage beef producers' Checkoff dollars for maximum impact in the marketplace.
“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at NCBA and work with cattle producers around the nation. I am excited to work together to develop compelling programs that shine a bright light on beef and all of its benefits,” said Nealson. “We will continue the good work of NCBA, while also finding ways to innovate and engage to make an even greater impact in driving beef demand.”
Nealson has 25 years of experience uncovering new ways to market and sell that result in increased revenue. Before serving as CEO at EMERGE Strategy, a consulting practice focused on growth strategy for middle-market companies, Nealson enjoyed a successful career with fast-growing firms, many of which experienced transformative growth. She has been the Chief Marketing Officer with a broad range of companies - from fintech start-ups to non-profits to private equity. Most recently she was the Chief Marketing Officer at SALT Blockchain Asset Management, where she oversaw the company’s expansion into nine global markets.
Nealson is deeply involved in the Denver community and currently serves, or has served, on numerous boards including Vectra Bank, VISIT Denver, Economic Development Corporation, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Foundation and was the president of the Business Marketing Association.
Nealson was recently named a 2021 Outstanding Woman in Business by the Denver Business Journal and was honored as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Nealson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska in Organizational Communications and a Certificate in Finance from the University of Colorado.
North American Meat Institute Urges Massachusetts to Delay Enforcement of Animal Confinement Law
With less than five months before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts intends to enforce its proposed Regulations Implementing the Act to Prevent Cruelty to Farm Animals (the Act), the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute), the largest and oldest trade association for packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey, has urged the Commonwealth to delay enforcement and allow time for the proposed rule to be made final so livestock producers and packer processors can understand the final rule and make any required changes to their operations.
In comments submitted to The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General on the proposed act, Mark Dopp, Chief Operating Officer of the North American Meat Institute said:
“Before addressing the problems attendant with the proposed rules, the ‘elephant in the room’ needs addressing. The Act provides that the ‘The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of this Act on or before January 1, 2020.’ The Attorney General is 19 months late and counting in meeting that deadline. Simple equity demands that the agency delay enforcement of the Act so veal calf producers, hog farmers, packer/processors and the rest of the supply chain have time to understand and comply with yet to be published final regulations.
“Regulatory compliance will require the veal and pork industry to divert resources from maintaining a critical food supply and reallocate personnel to prepare for the compliance deadline. For example, packer/processors will need to examine their operations and supply chains to ensure only compliant pork and veal is sold in to Massachusetts – should they decide to continue supplying that market. To implement those changes in the absence of final rules is impracticable, if not impossible. For these reasons, NAMI respectfully requests that, at a minimum, the agency delay for two years after publication of final rules enforcement of the Act and regulations.”
In addition, the Meat Institute also addressed the problems with the proposed Act noting that, while Massachusetts did not conduct an economic impact study, the State of California’s economic analysis for its similar proposed law, called Proposition 12, found that the California law and proposed rules will cause consumers to pay more for pork and veal, with no identified benefit to California citizens.
Also of particular note is the burdensome and costly certification and record keeping requirements of the Massachusetts proposed rule.
“The proposal would require a packer that harvests hogs, processes those hogs and produces bacon and pork tenderloins, and sells those products to customers in Massachusetts to create and keep for three years a “certification” for every single transaction,” said the Meat Institute’s Mark Dopp.
“Large packer processors could have thousands of transactions a year in Massachusetts. Plus, they undoubtedly sell covered pork or veal products to third parties who, in turn, sell the covered products in Massachusetts but the packer often will not know when it sells the product whether that product will be sold in Massachusetts. Indeed, the distributor may not know when it purchases from the packer to whom the product will be sold.”
The Meat Institute suggests that instead of mandating individual certifications for every transaction, the agency should implement a simple outcome-based requirement. The seller would supply the purchaser with a guarantee, certification, or other information to demonstrate the animals or products are compliant.
The Andersons, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Results; Best Q2 since 2014
The Andersons, Inc. announces financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021.
Second Quarter Highlights:
Company reported net income attributable to The Andersons of $43.5 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, and adjusted net income of $43.7 million, or $1.31 per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, this was our best second quarter since 2014.
Adjusted EBITDA was $118.1 million for the quarter, up $48.1 million year over year and represents the highest ever quarterly EBITDA. Trailing twelve month adjusted EBITDA exceeds $342 million.
Trade reported pretax income of $13.8 million and adjusted pretax income of $14.1 million on strong elevation margins and merchandising results.
Ethanol reported pretax income attributable to The Andersons of $23.5 million on improved co-product margins and strong trading results.
Plant Nutrient reported pretax income of $24.0 million on stronger margins in their key application season.
Rail reported pretax income of $3.1 million on end-of-life railcar sales.
"I'm very pleased that each of our four businesses delivered outstanding, year-over-year improvement with good execution in volatile markets. I'm proud of our team; they anticipated market opportunities and executed well. These market conditions play into our strengths of commodity trading, logistics, and position management. We expect that North American demand will remain strong and currently anticipate large harvests in our key draw areas this fall which should drive strong performance into 2022," said President and CEO Pat Bowe.
"While ethanol margins have been volatile, risk management and effective hedging coupled with strong returns from co-products are evident in the segment's results," added Bowe. "Plant Nutrient followed up a very strong first quarter with a great second quarter driven by strong margins in supply-constrained markets. And while Rail continues its slow recovery, it has capitalized on record high scrap steel prices to extract value on end-of-life railcars. Lastly, I'm pleased to announce that our twelve trailing months adjusted EBITDA was greater than $342 million, well in excess of the $300 million run rate goal we established for 2021."
Case IH and Country Music Star Lee Brice Celebrate Farmers
Case IH is partnering with Lee Brice, American country music singer and songwriter, as its newest brand ambassador. In celebration on Sept. 1, Case IH will present Lee Brice in concert, co-sponsored by Farm Progress Show, where Brice will debut his brand-new song “Farmer” in support of Case IH’s Built by Farmers campaign.
“‘Farmer’ is all about elevating the farming profession by painting a picture of the hardworking individuals and whole families — even generations of families — who dedicate so much of their time, resources, energy and lives providing for us all,” Brice said. “The song is a celebration of the tireless and often unacknowledged work that goes into keeping families across America fed.”
Lee Brice, country music singer and songwriter, is the newest brand ambassador for Case IH. Brice’s just-released song “Farmer” recognizes those who dedicate their lives to fueling the world.
“Farmer” celebrates producers as one of the noblest professions in the world. Brice’s song looks to elevate the farming profession by recognizing the hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to producing energy, fibers and food for the world’s population.
The new song reinforces the mission of Case IH’s Built by Farmers brand campaign, which highlights the deep ties between Case IH employees and their collective farming backgrounds. Case IH’s employees and their families farm nearly 1 million acres of land across North America. It is this passion for the industry that drives the company to design, engineer, build and support equipment and system solutions that meet producers’ needs.
“Case IH is passionate about helping producers make the most out of every season, because we are in fact farmers ourselves,” says Scott Harris, Case IH vice president of North America. “We’re thrilled to partner with Lee Brice, who, as a farmer and singer/songwriter, shares the same commitment and devotion to our nation’s producers. Our ongoing partnership will continue to give farmers the recognition they deserve as our nation’s top essential industry.”
The partnership with Brice features a variety of elements, including “Farmer;” a Farm Progress Show concert; merchandise branded with Case IH and Lee Brice logos; social media sweepstakes and giveaways; branded content; a private performance; and ongoing support of our nation’s farmers.
The Farm Progress Show will be held Tuesday, August 31, through Thursday, September 2, in Decatur, Illinois. General admission tickets to the Farm Progress Show on Wednesday, September 1, will include entry to the Brice concert presented by Case IH. The opening act starts at 5:30 p.m. CT.
University Products LLC Offers The Only Vaccine to Help Mitigate Annual Anaplasmosis Outbreaks in Cattle Herds
University Products, LLC recently spoke about the importance of using a vaccine in the battle against bovine anaplasmosis, offering a firsthand account by Dr. Larry D. Thompson, D.V.M. to illustrate the swift progression of the disease – which can sweep through an entire herd in just two seasons. Anaplasmosis is a blood disease carried by parasites that infects red blood cells and causes severe anemia and death, representing a major annual financial loss to ranchers and the global beef industry of over $1 Billion annually. Developed by Gene Luther, D.V.M., Ph.D., the University Products vaccine has been widely deployed since 2000 in multiple U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
"In Southeastern Oklahoma [for example], deer and cows may be non-clinical carriers of infected blood that serve as an infectious source of contaminated blood to be passed to naïve cows via arthropod vectors during the summer and fall months," said Dr. Thompson. "In the summer and fall seasons, horse flies and ticks are the most common source of Anaplasmosis outbreaks … Anything that transmits inflected blood is a potential carrier: ticks, flies, vaccination needles, processing tools, all can transfer enough inflected blood to establish an active infection."
According to Healthy Farms/Health Agriculture, not all cattle infected with anaplasmosis die, but diagnosing them is important to prevent a full outbreak. Fighting the disease is especially difficult and complicated due to multiple transmission modes. Fully eliminating the specific vector population of ticks and biting flies is neither practical nor possible, and once infected, Anaplasmosis can quickly taint entire herds. It is further spread to new cattle in ways most ranchers may not consider: blood-contaminated dehorners, needles, ear taggers, and a wide variety of other livestock instruments.
Treatment usually involves repeated rounds of antibiotics along with supportive care to help increase the survival rate of infected cattle. Cattle that recover become lifelong carriers of the disease however, and constant antibiotic use is problematic for a variety for reasons: not the least of which is the creation of antibiotic resistant superbugs.
"There is currently only one vaccine available for use in the United States [which I have used] for over 28 years with no side effects … produced in Louisiana at LSU by Dr. Gene Luther," Dr. Thompson said.
"Our vaccine packet gives detailed instructions to ranchers and producers on how to help prevent a full outbreak," said vaccine creator, Dr. Luther. "In the cases where Anaplasmosis is already suspected to be in incubation, ranchers can still use antibiotics if they need, simply injecting in a different location from the vaccine-injection site. No vaccine of any kind is 100% effective, but ours absolutely provides better coverage than insect-mitigation programs, and vaccinating is far less problematic than traditional antibiotic regimens."
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Wednesday August 4 Ag News
Ricketts Hosts Ag and Economic Development Summit
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