Friday, October 29, 2021

Thursday October 28 Ag News

 Ag land management webinar to focus on cash rents, farm programs, leasing

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s next Agricultural Land Management Quarterly webinar will offer updates on county-level cash rental rates, ARC and PLC coverage options and leasing considerations. It will be held at noon on Nov. 15.

Offered since 2019, the quarterly webinars address common management issues for Nebraska landowners, agricultural operators and related stakeholders interested in the latest insight on trends in real estate, managing agricultural land and solutions for addressing challenges in the upcoming growing season.

The webinar series is presented by the Center for Agricultural Profitability, housed in the Department of Agricultural Economics.

The November webinar will cover recent findings from the 2021 USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service county-level cash rent survey and trends in farm programs influencing operations across the state. The presentation will also include a segment on landlord-tenant communication issues related to closing out 2021 leases and review leasing considerations for 2022. The webinar will conclude with an “Ask the Experts” session, offering participants the chance to get live answers to their land or leasing questions.

The webinar will be led by Jim Jansen and Allan Vyhnalek, who are both in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Jansen focuses on agricultural finance and land economics and directs the annual Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey and Report. Vyhnalek is a farm succession and farmland management extension educator.

The webinar is free and will be recorded. Past recordings can be viewed the day after each session, along with recordings from the entire series.

Registration is free at

The National Center for Appropriate Technology Leads Partnership to Train Beginning Farmers Across Northern Great Plains

The National Center for Appropriate Technology will lead a regional partnership to help more than 300 beginning farmers and ranchers across the Northern Great Plains explore the value, viability, and resilience of raising organic field crops.

NCAT will lead this $600,000 three-year Preparing a Resilient Future project alongside the Montana Organic Association, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, Center for Rural Affairs, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, International Organic Inspectors Association, North Dakota State, and University of Wyoming

“The Preparing a Resilient Future project is unique in that it will help beginning farmers and ranchers fully explore the economic and productive viability of organic systems in the Northern Great Plains,” said NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist and Project Director Jeff Schahczenski. “NCAT has long-recognized that farmers and ranchers learn best from other farmers and ranchers.”

Unlike most programs focused on beginning farmers and ranchers, the new project targets medium to large-scale field crop and livestock operations. This project was selected in a national competition under the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program funded through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Researchers often assume that beginning organic farmers are smaller-scale operations because of the challenge of finding and acquiring affordable land and high cost of larger-scale machinery. Programs that help beginning farmers tend to focus on organic specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and flowers. Research has shown that only about 25 percent of Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development programs train and educate beginning farmers to focus on commodity field crops such as, wheat, barley, lentils, chickpeas, dry peas and beans and oilseeds as well as beef livestock production.

Why Field Crops?

Interest in growing organic field crops is on the rise in the Northern Great Plains, and there appears to be good reason to think there would be markets for them.

Research shows that organic vegetable and specialty crop growers are meeting the national demand in the U.S. because there’s a net export of their products. At the same time, organically grown field crops are being imported into the U.S. at stable and sometimes increasing rates.

“Organic farming is not prescriptive,” said Jamie Ryan Lockman, Executive Director of the Montana Organic Association and Co-Project Director. “It is a system that requires diverse crops and diverse approaches subject to constant change. Montana is the number one organic wheat- and pulse-producing state in the country; it is uniquely positioned to provide education as well as opportunities to meet, learn, collaborate, mentor, do business, and more.”

Bringing in the Community

NCAT and the project collaborators will host intensive training sessions, one-on-one technical assistance, and on-farm workshops and tours. The training will be conducted in two-day “Organic Academy Road Show” sessions. Importantly, experienced organic farmers and ranchers are some of the lead trainers in this project.  

In addition to the farmers and ranchers taking part, the sessions will include other members of their agricultural communities, including civic leaders, county Extension agents and officials from USDA agencies such as the Farm Service Administration and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

That outreach is vital as support for the beginning farmers and to introduce organic farming and ranching to the agricultural community in their area.

Opportunities for Diversity

Over the past seven years, NCAT has helped nearly 900 military veteran farmers through its Armed to Farm training projects around the country.

In addition, NCAT and MOA have undertaken many training workshops that have included tribal members, who make up about 2 percent of all new beginning farmers in the Northern Great Plains.

That emphasis on diversity will be reflected in the Preparing a Resilient Future project, which will include at least 50 veteran, limited-resource, tribal, and socially disadvantaged participants.

“NCAT is a longtime, trusted resource for providing accessible training to farmers and ranchers,” said NCAT Executive Director Steve Thompson. “Now we have the opportunity to formally partner with several leading organic and sustainable agriculture organizations and tribal nations to deliver high-quality training to beginning farmers, ranchers, and their community support systems across the Northern Great Plains, creating a recipe for success.”

The Preparing a Resilient Future project will serve farmers and ranchers in Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit Returns December 15 & 16

Iowa cattle producers have an opportunity to weigh in on cattle industry topics of concern at the Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting. This year’s event will be held December 15 through 16 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.  

Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Peter Shinn will kick off the event on December 15. His presentation, “Agriculture & National Defense: Funding & Conflict Management,” stems from an extensive career in the U.S. Air Force and agriculture industry. Attendees will also have an opportunity to sit in on educational sessions, covering time sensitive topics such as carbon and tax reform. A full trade show and opportunities for networking will feature new products and solutions for cow-calf and feedlot producers. The program will conclude on December 16 with a closing session, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council annual meetings.

Leadership Summit is the culmination of our formal policy development process. Members are encouraged to participate in policy committee meetings, which provide the opportunity to review expiring resolutions and introduce new policy priorities for the Association. Decisions made by members in the policy committee meetings will be presented to the board for ratification at the annual meeting. Based on feedback we’ve received over the past year, we expect policy discussions to center on price discovery and transparency, beef labeling regulations, and tax reform.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021
9:00 a.m. - Registration & Trade Show Opens  
10:00 a.m. - "Agriculture & National Defense: Funding & Conflict Management" - Lt. Col. Peter Shinn, USAF, Ret.  
11:00 a.m. - Special Recognitions  
11:30 a.m. - Lunch/ Awards & Trade Show Break  
12:30 p.m. - Trade Show Break  
12:45 p.m. - Education Breakout Sessions:
Profiting from Soil Health - There is so much to uncover related to carbon sequestration and markets, cover crops and soil fertility. This session will educate producers on what's surfacing and how to best utilize your resources from leading experts on carbon.  
Navigating the Tax Code - With potential tax changes on the horizon, this educational session will focus on how to best prepare and understand the tax code. Experts will identify useful tools for cattle producers looking to minimize tax impact or make steps toward passing the farm to the next generation.
1:45 p.m. - Business Issues Committee Meeting  
2:45 p.m. - Cattle Production Committee Meeting
3:45 p.m. - Beef Products Committee Meeting  
5:00 p.m. - Trade Show Break & Social Hour  
6:00 p.m. - Iowa Cattlemen's Banquet Dinner  
6:15 p.m. - Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation Introduction & Scholarship Awards - Youth Beef Team & Maynard Jayne Scholarships
6:45 p.m. - Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation Silent Auction Results
7:00 p.m. - Outstanding Cattlemen Recognition - Commercial Producer & Hall of Fame
7:30 p.m. - Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program Round Up Reception - Invitation Only
- Sponsored by Kent Nutrition Group

Thursday, December 16, 2021
7:30 a.m. - Closing Session & Breakfast  
8:30 a.m. - Iowa Cattlemen's Annual Meeting  
9:30 a.m. - Iowa Beef Industry Council Annual Meeting

To register for the Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit, visit Registration is highly encouraged, and early bird rates will be offered through Friday, December 3. Hotel accommodations can be made online by following the link and entering the delegate code and password listed below. To receive the group rate, you will need to make reservations prior to Sunday, November 14.

Meristem and Western Iowa Agronomy Announce Agreement

Meristem Crop Performance Group, LLC ( and Jennifer Uphoff of Western Iowa Agronomy today announced a new strategic supply agreement to serve farmers in Western Iowa.

Under the new relationship, Jennifer Uphoff and her business, Western Iowa Agronomy, will carry the Meristem Crop Performance product line and become Meristem’s ally in helping Iowa farmers make the most of every dollar they spend on crop inputs.

“Jennifer Uphoff is known in Western Iowa for her thoughtful approach to providing practical, profitable solutions to the unique agronomic challenges in that area,” says Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO, in announcing the agreement.  “We’re excited to be able to come alongside to help her serve her farmer-customers and also gain from her field experience and input as we add new products.”

Uphoff says she is building Western Iowa Agronomy to meet the specific needs of her farmer neighbors and she views adding the Meristem portfolio as an opportunity to help improve return on investment (ROI) for every farmer she serves.

“Meristem Crop Performance is specifically geared to helping growers gain a better ROI,” she says. “They are cutting out waste in the distribution system. Our alliance with them will enable us to help our growers make the most of every pass they make through the field – with high quality inputs at prices that help farmers make more money and keep more of what they earn.”

Western Iowa Agronomy will now offer Meristem’s product portfolio, including seed treatments under the brand RACEREADY™ and HOPPER THROTTLE, REVLINE™ plant growth regulators, TRUTRACK™ drift control, AQUADRAFT™ water conditioners and surfactants, UPSHIFT starter fertilizers and HOMESTRETCH™ nitrogen stabilizers, micronutrients, and foliar nutritionals. Of special interest is a line of biologicals Meristem is bringing to market, including EXCAVATOR, a new biological designed to break down tough crop residue.

Uphoff says her focus on helping her clients make the most of every acre they have, given the specific characteristics of their land and their goals, remains her key objective every day, and Meristem can be part of that solution.

“I’ve worked through the math and studied the product quality,” says says. “I’m very confident that Meristem’s product line will bring more opportunities for my farmer-customers.”

“We’ve set up Meristem to cut waste from the distribution channel while providing high-quality crop input additives to help American farmers reduce costs and increase yield, so they are more competitive in a global market,” says Eviston. “Now, with the help of Jennifer and Western Iowa Agronomy, we’ll be able to connect with more of the farmers who can benefit.”

2021 Ag Chemical Dealer Meetings to Provide Timely Updates

Updates on the latest crop production products and recommendations are the featured topics at two meetings sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Nevada on Dec. 8 and in Coralville on Dec. 15.

These meetings are an opportunity for ag input providers to meet with extension specialists to review current research, discuss new products and learn of new recommendations.

Topics for 2021 include a review of the growing season, corn rootworm management updates and three hands-on sessions that participants will rotate through. The hands-on sessions will feature a discussion on sprayer calibration, pesticide mixing order and pesticide incompatibility, and dry fertilizer applications.  

Early registration is $70 if received by midnight, Nov. 30 (Nevada) or Dec. 8 (Coralville). Late or on-site registration is $85. Visit for program details or to register online. For additional information contact an ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist hosting the meeting.

Nevada – Dec. 8
    Meaghan Anderson,, 319-331-0058.
    Angie Rieck-Hinz,, 515-231-2830.
    Mike Witt,, 641-747-2276.

Coralville – Dec. 15
    Rebecca Vittetoe,, 319-653-4811.
    Virgil Schmitt,, 563-263-5701.
    Clarabell Probasco,, 641-664-2730.

Meetings are approved for Certified Crop Adviser credits (0.5 crop management, 1.0 nutrient management, and 4.0 pest management, which include the optional applicator training session). In addition, the meetings offer Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator recertification in categories 1A, 1B, 1C for calendar year 2021. Recertification is included in meeting registration. Attendance at the entire meeting is required for recertification.

Educational Webinar Series for Pork Industry on Livestock Mandatory Reporting - Materials Available Now

This week, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) concluded it's three-part webinar series on Livestock Mandatory Reporting and other valuable USDA data and resources available to the Pork Industry.

During the three webinars, USDA and industry representatives provided an overview of LMR live hog and wholesale pork reporting, introduced other USDA resources applicable to the hog and pork industries, and explored how this information can inform real-world marketing decisions at the farm and other points in the supply chain.

If you are interested in these topics but were unable to join these events live--or if you would like to revisit the information provided--the webinar recordings and presentation materials are now available on the AMS website:

You will also find the webinar recordings on the AMS YouTube channel:

Pork LMR Webinar Part I
This webinar--the first in a three part series hosted by the Agricultural Marketing Service in October 2021--provides a history of USDA Livestock Mandatory Reporting, or LMR, for the pork industry and introduces you to additional data/reports available through USDA, including the Swine Contract Library and the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s hogs and pigs reports. Presenters: Neil Dierks - National Pork Producers Council; Lakisha Aller - USDA Market News; Travis Averill - USDA National Agricultural Statistics Agency; and Jennifer Hopes - USDA Packers and Stockyards.

Pork LMR Webinar Part II
This webinar--the second in a three part series hosted by the Agricultural Marketing Service in October 2021. USDA Market News will introduce you to LMR swine reports and address how data is reviewed and aggregated. CME Group will explain how LMR information is used in the CME Lean Hog Index. Representatives from NPPC and Iowa State University will explore how to use LMR swine reports as a risk management tool. Presenters: Kirk Hatfield - USDA Market News; Anne Krema - CME Group; Dr. Lee Schulz - Iowa State University; and Scott Hays - National Pork Producer Council.

Pork LMR Webinar Part III
The final webinar in a three part series hosted by the Agricultural Marketing Service in October 2021, this webinar covers USDA Livestock Mandatory Reporting Wholesale Pork Reports, and the methodology of the USDA Pork Carcass Cutout. CME Group explains how LMR data is utilized in the Pork Cutout futures contract, and industry representatives share how wholesale pork reports are used for economic analysis and forecasting. Presenters: Dillan Hull - USDA Market News; Anne Krema - CME Group; Dr. Steve Meyer - Partners for Production Agriculture; and John Nalivka - Sterling Marketing, Inc.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies Secures $17 Million to Decarbonize Long-Haul Trucking and Other Diesel-Driven Industries

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a startup dedicated to the development of net-zero engine technology, announced today that it has secured $17 million in Series A financing, which will enable commercialization of the company’s innovative engine technology for the long-haul trucking, agriculture and power generation sectors. The financing was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures with participation from Mercuria, John Deere and Clean Energy Ventures.

The company’s unique engine technology enables low-carbon, renewable fuels such as ethanol to be easily integrated into existing diesel engine platforms, offering a lower-emission, lower-cost solution than diesel fuel. A ClearFlame-enabled engine meets the performance and efficiency requirements for diesel engines while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter, helping to improve air quality and mitigate climate change.

“Our technology will enable the rapid decarbonization of diesel-dominated sectors, and this funding advances our path to commercialization with demonstration trucks on the road by the end of this year, in parallel with agricultural equipment and generator set deployments in 2022,” said BJ Johnson, ClearFlame CEO and cofounder. “Our investors share a common mission to support solutions that drive rapid carbon mitigation and ClearFlame’s technology is achieving that through a platform that can be deployed globally this decade.”

“While we’re excited about greater adoption of EVs and hydrogen-fueled mobility, we need different types of innovation to address hard to decarbonize industries,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “ClearFlame’s engine modification technology makes it easy and economical to move away from fossil fuels, while keeping the efficiency and durability of the diesel engine – it’s a win-win.”

“As one of the world’s largest commodities traders, Mercuria was an early adopter of bringing environmental products, including ethanol, into its trading portfolio. Biofuel refining enables Mercuria to directly manage quality, supply and price risk. Mercuria’s strategic investment in ClearFlame’s technology complements its continued commitment to biofuels as part of the energy transition,” said Boris Bystrov, Mercuria. “We strongly believe ClearFlame is positioned to make decarbonization in heavy-duty industry cost-effective by using existing liquid fueling infrastructure as the catalyst, which can drive more rapid market adoption.”

Previously, ClearFlame has received $4 million in non-dilutive and grant funding from the Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and Illinois Corn Growers Associations, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and others. The company completed its $3 million Series Seed financing in early 2020, led by Clean Energy Ventures.

RFA to COP26: Ethanol a Smart Choice Right Now for Decarbonization Goals

As leaders from around the world descend on Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP26, the Renewable Fuels Association reminds them that ethanol and other renewable fuels are available—today—to jumpstart global decarbonization efforts. A new one-page fact sheet released by RFA today spotlights recent research and data proving that ethanol is an immediate solution for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

“Ethanol already cuts carbon emissions in half compared to gasoline; with smart policy measures, ethanol can do even more,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Ethanol can serve as a zero-emissions fuel for cars and trucks while also helping to decarbonize the aviation, marine, and stationary power generation sectors. That’s why our members have unanimously committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 or sooner. We urge world leaders gathering for COP26 to take a closer look at ethanol and encourage them to include a prominent role for renewable liquid fuels in their national decarbonization plans.”

In a July letter to President Biden, RFA’s members pledged that ethanol will achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by mid-century, if not well before, as the supply chain adopts CCUS technologies; uses more renewable energy to power biorefineries; and expands carbon-efficient feedstock production practices.

At the same time, they noted it also requires simple action from Washington. To support the achievement of its goals, RFA encouraged the administration to move forward with several key policy initiatives: development of a national Clean Fuel Standard; deployment of more flex-fuel vehicles; and support for broad adoption of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies.

Ethanol producers from across the country, from California to New York, have signed onto this pledge, Cooper noted, and it is featured in an ad campaign currently running in select Morning Consult email newsletters.

Recent Research on Ethanol and Carbon Emissions:
-     In January, scientists affiliated with Harvard, MIT, and Tufts University published an analysis finding that corn starch ethanol produced in the United States reduces GHG emissions by 32 to 62 percent compared to gasoline, with a central best estimate of 46 percent.
-    In February, Life Cycle Associates released a report showing that the use of ethanol and other biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard has reduced GHG emissions by 980 million metric tons since 2008.
-    And in May, experts at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory published a study demonstrating that average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 44 to 52 percent compared to gasoline, right in line with the findings from the January study.

For more information, visit

Growth Energy Welcomes Inclusion of $1 Billion for Biofuels Infrastructure

Today, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor thanked President Biden and Congressional leaders for including $1 billion in biofuels infrastructure investments in his proposed Build Back Better budget reconciliation framework.

“President Biden’s proposal to invest $1 billion in biofuels infrastructure is a welcome acknowledgment from this administration that access to higher blends of biofuels at the pump makes a real difference in decarbonizing transportation,” said Skor. “Recent research shows that a nationwide E15 standard would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 17.62 million tons – the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year. Investing in fuel infrastructure that allows more American drivers to fill up on low-carbon biofuel blends, like E15, is crucial to helping our nation achieve our clean energy goals today.”

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on President Biden’s Framework for the Build Back Better Act

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the below statement following President Biden’s announcement of the framework for Build Back Better.

“To create millions of good-paying jobs, grow our economy, build American competitiveness, and secure our children’s future, we must invest in the human infrastructure of our nation: America’s working families. President Biden’s Build Back Better framework makes a remarkable and transformational investment in America’s working families by lowering costs and strengthening the middle-class.

“The Build Back Better framework is the largest effort in American history to combat the climate crisis, while spurring economic opportunity with innovation and good jobs here at home, better positioning us to compete globally. Agriculture can lead the way in the fight on climate with climate smart agriculture and forestry practices that sequester carbon, reduce emissions and create new and better market opportunities for producers. With significant investments in resources for farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners, this bill provides a host of new tools to deploy important conservation practices and the research essential to inform them. The Forest Service will gain long overdue and significant resources to aggressively manage our forests, reduce fire risks, and keep impacted communities safe.

“Rural America will benefit from meaningful investments to help pave the way in clean and renewable energy infrastructure and production and energy efficiency improvements that will foster new job and market opportunities. The new Rural Partnership Program will provide catalytic investments and much-needed technical assistance to rural and tribal communities and rural-serving organizations that are too often unable to access and leverage the federal resources they need to create opportunity and compete in a globalized world. These investments will put new tools in the toolbox for leveraging the additional funding toward water, housing, and clean energy essential to 21st century infrastructure, diversified rural economies, and prosperous communities. Investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-serving institutions will support underserved communities in modernizing research infrastructure.

“This framework is also transformative for working parents and kids. It will help children reach their full potential by investing in nutrition security year-round, during the school year and the summer months. It also includes funding to further improve the nutritional quality of meals served in school through grants and incentives. With the largest investment in childcare in the nation’s history, universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, and an extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, families can worry less about the costs of raising a child. With the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing – including rural housing – in history, and the biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade, families can focus on improving their health and economic well-being rather than struggling to get by.

“There is no question that President Biden’s Build Back Better framework is for the American people above all else. This is an extraordinary and historic moment for our nation that will transform the lives of millions and millions of Americans and touch every area of our country for decades to come.”

National Corn Growers Association Announces Winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III Contest

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the Consider Corn Challenge III winners at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in San Francisco, California. The six winners were chosen because their technologies can improve a product or process, scale-up and produce biobased materials from field corn.

“We know we produce an affordable, abundant and sustainable crop that can be used for a variety of uses and applications, which is why we held the contest,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “The value of corn as an industrial feedstock continues to improve thanks to advancements in technology, production and logistics efficiency. Corn is the perfect solution for biobased products, especially as society becomes increasingly interested in more sustainable products.”

The six winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, BioAstra Technologies from Quebec, Canada, Catalyxx of Chesterfield, Missouri, Danimer Scientific based in Bainbridge, Georgia, Låkril Technologies out of the University of Minnesota, and Sylvatex from San Francisco, California.

More about the winners’ submissions:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):
    What: Acrylonitrile to Carbon Fiber
    Uses: Lightweight replacement for steel and aluminum in products like vehicles

BioAstra Technologies:
    What: Smart and recyclable formulations based on cellulose and PLA.
    Uses: Plastic bags, surgical masks, and Phase-Change Materials.

    What: Bio n-butanol and other longer chain linear alcohols from ethanol
    Uses: n-Butanol is used to make other chemicals (butyl acetate and butyl acrylates), valuable as a solvent or as an ingredient in formulated products such as cosmetics. The C4+ alcohol mix can be used for diesel and marine fuels.

Danimer Scientific:
    What: PHA from corn oil
    Uses: Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable, biobased polymers that can be used for plastics

Låkril Technologies:
    What: Bio-acrylic acid made from lactic acid
    Uses: Bio-acrylic acid can be used for bio-polyacrylic acid (PAA) as super absorbers in hygiene products & diapers and for bio-acrylate polymers in paints and industrial coatings systems.

Sylvatex (SVX):
    What: Sustainable solutions made from biomass-derived oxygenates and free fatty acids useful as alternative diesel fuel or specialty chemicals for the production of cathodes used in lithium-ion batteries.    
    Uses: Off-road diesel, cathodes for battery production

Previous winners of the Consider Corn Challenge contests have scaled up to the next phase of development, received additional grant funding, entered into joint agreements and obtained registration for state biobased production incentives.

If all 15 winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I, II & III reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand could be approximately 3.4 billion bushels.

“This contest allows us to be more innovative in meeting the needs of our customers, who want more sustainable, biobased products,” Hemesath added. “Farmers have made great strides over the years to utilize the technology that allows them to grow more on less land using fewer resources per bushel. There is enough corn grown to be able to meet the needs for food, feed, fuel and new uses.”

The total prize pool was U.S. $150,000, split equally between winners.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Wednesday October 27 Ag News

Nebraska Extension provides new cover crop grazing conference Nov. 16

Nebraska beef producers and corn growers can enhance their operations by attending the inaugural Cover Crop Grazing Conference Nov. 16 at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead.

The conference kicks off with registration, refreshments and a trade show at the August N. Christenson Building. Educational programs are from 10 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. and include a producer panel session, small group discussion, and a live field demonstration.   

Nebraska Extension is sponsoring the event and is uniquely suited to bring farmers unbiased and research-based information that will be shared at this conference. Featured presentations include "Early and Late Season Grazing of Cover Crops" with Mary Drewnoski and "2022 Cash Rent and Flex Lease Arrangements" presented by Jim Jansen.  

This new expo will help first time or experienced farmers looking to fine-tune their cover crop grazing management utilizing cover crops as an alternative forage source. Speakers and panelists will address important issues for Nebraska farmers and ranchers and provides one-on-one discussion with local, private industry exhibitors and sponsors.  

Preregister by Nov. 12 at:  Agenda, details and map/directions are also at this website.

A $10 registration fee is payable via cash or check at the conference. Checks can be mailed in advance to 2021 Cover Crop Grazing Conference, Nebraska Extension, 1071 County Road G, Ithaca, Neb. 68033. The fee covers lunch and refreshments throughout the day.  When paying by check, make payable to University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Agribusiness stakeholders are being sought as sponsors and trade show exhibitors.  Please contact Connor Biehler at or 402-624-8007 for more details.


Nebraska Beef Summit set for Nov. 18 in Kearney

At the epicenter of beef production, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s animal science department is set to host the Nebraska Beef Summit Nov. 18, featuring  speakers from across the United States covering topics crucial to the state’s #1 industry.  

In partnership with Nebraska Cattlemen, senior students in the Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars minor continue the tradition of planning the program’s speakers and topics – a great learning opportunity for future beef industry leaders.  

"The Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars program is the most unique educational experience that exists in our university landscape for those students that are passionate about the beef industry,” said Kacie McCarthy, beef cow-calf specialist with Nebraska’s animal science department.  

“Program graduates are well equipped with critical thinking and communication skills as well as in-depth subject matter knowledge that will make them leaders within their chosen field of endeavor. This program is critical to the future of the beef industry."

The seminar will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. A variety of topics will be discussed at this year's event including:
-    Maximizing Traceability Programs: Jill Ginn, 44 Farms of Cameron, Texas
-    International Markets and Trade: Jessica Spreitzer, U.S. Meat Export Federation
-    Adding Value to Nebraska Beef: Greg Ibach, Under Secretary in Residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Trey Wasserburger, rancher and owner of TD Angus of North Platte
-    Regenerative Ranching: Dale Strickler, agronomist and author
-    Foreign Labor Programs: Jose Valles, Production Animal Consultation

Register online by Nov. 11 at

The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, 110 2nd Ave, Kearney, Neb. 68847. Lunch will be catered on-site and is included in the $50 registration fee.


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

If you were able to get a small grain cover crop in early, chances are you’re seeing a fair amount of fall growth now.  With forage tight this year, this new forage may be attractive, but do you know the cost of grazing now?

Small grains can be split into two groups, spring and winter species.  Winter small grains can withstand cold temperatures after growing this fall, and then will initiate growth next spring.  Species like rye, wheat, barley and triticale all have winter varieties.  Spring grains on the other hand, are not winter hardy and will not survive the cold.  Along with spring varieties of the previous species, we can add oats to the list of spring grains.

Why does this matter?  When it comes to fall grazing, spring grains are the big producers.  If maintained in a vegetative state, these plants are not trying to translocate energy to the roots to make it through winter, they just grow as much as possible and die.  Because of this, quality is maintained and our best option is to get as much growth as possible before beginning grazing.  Studies at UNL have shown oat/brassica mixtures maintaining high protein and energy quality well into January.

For winter small grains, the story is different.  These plants are growing now and storing reserves in their roots to survive the winter and initiate growth again next spring.  While grazing potential exists, two things need to be considered. 1st, fall grazing will stop carbohydrate storage and may actually deplete reserves somewhat.  This can slow spring green up and reduce overall production next spring. 2nd, these plants will drop in quality somewhat as temperatures get colder.  As energy is moved to the roots, the quality of aboveground growth will decrease.  So grazing quality will not be as high mid-winter as earlier in the year.

Small grains make a great fall forage options.  Spring grains like oats maintain quality, so shoot for maximum growth before grazing. Winter grains on the other hand need to be grazed with care.  Don’t over stress plants and risk yield loss next spring and be ready for a bit lower quality.  

New guide outlines options for crop insurance for small grains

As farmers start to wrap up harvest and think about next year’s crop, the Center for Rural Affairs has released a new resource guide to inform producers who grow small grains about crop insurance options.

“Many farmers are familiar with their options for crops such as corn and soybeans, but less are familiar with their options for crops such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye. This resource attempts to address that uncertainty,” said Kate Hansen, a Center policy associate and author of the guide “From Seed to Secured: Crop Insurance for Small Grains.”

The reasons some Midwest and Great Plains farmers opt to grow small grains range from conservation benefits to the requirements of organic certification to local markets they have identified. However, while small grains do have benefits on the landscape, they come with associated risks.

“All producers have one thing in common—the need to manage risk,” Hansen said. “For some, crop insurance is a big part of that equation. For others, it is simply one of many tools in the toolbox. Whatever the situation, it is important to be informed to make the best decision for your operation.”

The guide includes information about:
    The availability of established Multi-Peril policies for small grains.
    What to do if there is not an available Multi-Peril policy in your county.
    Interviews with a farmer and crop insurance agent.
    A special option, or “endorsement,” available for malting barley.  
    Whole Farm Revenue Protection.
    A brief overview of the landscape of private policies offered by crop insurance agents.

Information included will be helpful for both organic and conventional producers, Hansen said.

To view “From Seed to Secured: Crop Insurance for Small Grains,” visit Farmers with questions ahead of the sales closing date to buy crop insurance for next year, which for many crops is March 15, can reach out to Hansen via email at, or by calling 515.215.1294.  

Lindsay Corporation Reports Fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results

Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN), a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year, which ended on August 31, 2021.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Summary

Revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $153.6 million, an increase of $25.2 million, or 20 percent, compared to revenues of $128.4 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Net earnings for the quarter were $5.8 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $14.7 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, for the prior year fourth quarter. Net earnings for the quarter were reduced by an after-tax LIFO impact of approximately $4.5 million, or $0.41 per diluted share.

Revenues for the year ended August 31, 2021, were $567.6 million, an increase of $93.0 million, or 20 percent, compared to revenues of $474.7 million in the prior year. Net earnings for the year were $42.6 million, or $3.88 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $38.6 million, or $3.56 per diluted share, in the prior year.

"Fiscal 2021 was an extraordinary year in which our team demonstrated agility and resiliency in the face of the ongoing global pandemic," said Randy Wood, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We were able to capitalize on market tailwinds in irrigation while navigating persistent headwinds created by pandemic-related project delays in our infrastructure business, significant raw material inflation, logistics challenges, and a tight labor market. We also remained highly focused on innovation, maintaining strong organizational health and safety, and increasing our commitment to sustainability initiatives."

Fourth Quarter Segment Results

Irrigation segment revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $125.3 million, an increase of $48.2 million, or 63 percent, compared to $77.0 million in the prior year fourth quarter. North America irrigation revenues of $53.5 million increased $12.3 million, or 30 percent, compared to the prior year fourth quarter. The increase in North America irrigation revenues resulted from a combination of higher irrigation equipment unit sales volume and higher average selling prices. International irrigation revenues of $71.7 million increased $35.9 million, or 100 percent, compared to the prior year fourth quarter. The increase in international irrigation revenues resulted primarily from higher unit sales volumes, along with higher selling prices and a favorable foreign currency translation impact of $2.8 million. The largest sales volume increases were in the Brazil and Middle East markets.

Irrigation segment operating income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 was $10.6 million, an increase of $4.6 million, or 78 percent, compared to the prior year fourth quarter. Operating margin was 8.4 percent of sales, compared to 7.8 percent of sales in the prior year fourth quarter. The impact of higher irrigation system unit volume was partially offset by the impact of higher raw material and other costs. Fourth quarter operating results were also reduced by approximately $5.0 million resulting from the impact of the LIFO method of accounting for inventory, under which higher raw material costs are recognized in cost of goods sold rather than in ending inventory values.

Infrastructure segment revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 were $28.4 million, a decrease of $23.0 million, or 45 percent, compared to $51.4 million in the prior year fourth quarter. The decrease resulted primarily from lower Road Zipper System® sales compared to the prior year. Road Zipper System® sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 included a large project in the United Kingdom that did not repeat in fiscal 2021. In addition, during fiscal 2021 the timing of certain projects has been impacted by coronavirus-related delays.

Infrastructure segment operating income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 was $5.8 million, a decrease of $14.1 million, or 71 percent, compared to the prior year fourth quarter. Operating margin was 20.5 percent of sales, compared to 38.8 percent of sales in the prior year fourth quarter. Current year results reflect lower revenues and a less favorable margin mix of revenues compared to the prior year fourth quarter and were also reduced by approximately $1.0 million resulting from the impact of the LIFO method of accounting for inventory.

The backlog of unfilled orders at August 31, 2021 was $149.1 million compared with $58.7 million at August 31, 2020. A higher backlog of orders in irrigation was partially offset by a lower backlog in infrastructure.


"Although agricultural commodity prices have come down from their peak earlier in the year, they remain at multi-year highs," said Mr. Wood. "This supports a solid outlook for North America irrigation equipment demand for the fall selling season. We expect growth in international irrigation to be led by continued momentum in Brazil and other markets and from new agricultural development being driven by increased concerns regarding food security."

Mr. Wood continued, "In our infrastructure business, we expect a slower start to fiscal 2022 due to specific project delays. However, prospects for year-over-year growth are supported by the quality of our project sales funnel."

Lindsay Corporation Announces Quarterly Dividend

Lindsay Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.33 per share, payable November 30, 2021, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 16, 2021. At October 19, 2021, Lindsay Corporation had approximately 10.9 million shares outstanding, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNN.

Beck's Expands West, Nebraska Marks 15 States

Beck's, the largest family-owned, retail seed company and the third-largest seed brand in the United States, announces a territory expansion into the state of Nebraska. This expansion adds more than 15 million acres of corn and soybeans to Beck's marketing area, bringing their total reach to 75 percent of the corn and soybean farmers in the U.S. The continued growth will provide Nebraska farmers access to the world's most diverse genetics and traits and a culture founded in faith and dedication to helping farmers succeed.

"We're so excited to plant roots in the Cornhusker state," said Scott Beck, president of Beck's. "When we move into new territories, we want to have the right people in place, quality products, and innovative technologies to serve farmers at a local level. Since our beginning, we've put a strong emphasis on doing the right thing for farmers. It's a one-on-one, personal relationship that still stands at the center of everything we do."

Founded in 1937, Beck's is in its fifth generation of family members who work in the business. Beck's has experienced significant growth with new sales territories, new facility locations, and new employees. Beck's recently purchased a seed distribution and processing facility in Coon Rapids, Iowa to support Nebraska farmers. In addition, Beck's will utilize facilities in Beaman, Colfax, and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to support seed distribution and customer service.

Jon Abrahamson, a fifth-generation farmer of Axtell, Neb., said "Beck's has maintained their independence as a family-owned seed company, and their motto, Farmer's At Heart, holds true in their commitment to helping farmers succeed. Beck's will give Nebraska farmers the diversity in products that no other company can provide."

Beck's stands equipped with the necessary infrastructure and welcomes three industry veterans from Nebraska to support this measure. Mark Pieper of Lincoln joins Beck's as a regional business manager, while Mark Dickey of Grand Island, and Tony Babe, of Gretna will serve as area team leaders for the new territory. As Beck's grows, they are committed to adding more employees and farmer-dealers to provide Nebraska farmers with exceptional localized service.

Beck's plans to introduce Practical Farm Research (PFR)® to Nebraska farmers through its extensive network of PFR sites. PFR helps farmers find new ways to manage their farms better and increase their return on investment. Along with current testing, Beck's proprietary Genetic Choice Trials program is product-focused research that provides farmers with a peek behind the genetic germplasm curtain. Nebraska farmers will be able to see how Beck's products are tailored to perform in local growing conditions.

Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Environmental Impacts of Poorly Drained Agricultural Soil

The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place Nov. 3 at noon will feature Steven J. Hall, associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University.

Hall’s team takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding soil organic matter dynamics, production of greenhouse gases, and nutrient cycling and water pollution in agricultural and natural ecosystems in Iowa and across North America.

In the webinar, “Environmental Impacts of Poorly Drained Agricultural Soil,” Hall will discuss the role soil drainage characteristics play in nutrient loss to water systems and greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems. Focusing on poorly drained soils that do not support robust – or sometimes any – crop growth, Hall will highlight ways that land use and nutrient management decisions could reduce the disproportionate share of landscape-scale losses attributable to these underproducing areas.

“Low-lying areas, such as the prairie potholes that are common in Iowa, occasionally flood or simply do not drain well, inhibiting crop growth and therefore reducing the utilization of fertilizer applied to them,” said Hall. “This sets the stage for higher rates of leaching of nutrients into drainage water and emission of nitrous oxide gas into the atmosphere. Such poorly drained soil areas should be targeted for alternative management to improve environmental outcomes.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.
Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT Nov. 3:
    Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser:
    Or, go to and enter meeting ID 364 284 172.
    Or, join from a dial-in phone line. Dial +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 with meeting ID 364 284 172.
    The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time.

The Future of American Farming Demands High-Speed Internet Solutions

A new report, funded by the United Soybean Board (USB) and conducted by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, revealed that providing U.S. farmers and ranchers access to fast, affordable and reliable broadband will increase sustainability. It will also allow more reliable and efficient food production for a growing population and strengthen America’s rural communities.

“Data is the most valuable tool in our farm’s toolbox. Without a reliable connection to the internet, data collection and its subsequent use is severely limited,” said Meagan Kaiser, USB treasurer, soil scientist and Missouri farmer. “Data gives us the ability to identify plant nutrient requirements and target those nutrients only where they are needed, which leads to increased yields without expanding acreage. It all begins with connectivity."

Interviews with farmers, rural internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, and agricultural leaders and experts revealed consensus around several key outcomes for rural broadband, such as the need for robust upload speeds, accurate network deployment data and scalable technologies.

The report, The Future of American Farming: Broadband Solutions for the Farm Office, Field, and Community, lays out 15 actionable recommendations for delivering the high-speed internet that farmers and rural communities need. Categorized by the farm operations center, wireless needs in the field, and how reliable broadband can support the interdependent relationship between farmers and their rural communities, some of the actionable recommendations include:
-    Establish future-proof performance standards: To meet the growing demand among farmers for both upstream and downstream speeds, networks must be capable of 100/100 Mbps service.
-    Adopt high-performance standards: Performance standards for upload speeds and latency should reflect the changing needs of the farmers for precision agriculture.
-    Encourage deep fiber build-out: Fiber build-out in rural America, even if not directly to the farm, will be needed to support capable wireless connections for higher-bandwidth applications in the field.
-    Address gaps in mapping on farmland: Broadband maps should include mobile coverage on agricultural lands. The underlying data that informs these maps must be available to the public.
-    Support equity digital programs at the state and local levels: Digital equity programs can work with communities to help people make full use of broadband connections.

“To many farmers, sustainability incorporates the economic, environmental and social impacts of agriculture — a triple bottom line,” said Jordan Arnold, research associate for the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society and the report’s author. “Now it’s time to deploy the broadband networks and adoption strategies they need.”

The recommendations are a direct response to the problems revealed in a 2019 rural broadband study from USB. This initial study showed 60% of U.S. farmers and ranchers do not believe they have adequate internet connectivity to run their businesses, and that plans to incorporate data into day-to-day decisions are often thwarted by slow internet speeds, high costs and unreliable service. The study also noted that many farmers do not have another viable option to change internet service providers.

Even hampered by these issues, farmers know that broadband is a necessary tool to implement innovative agricultural practices and allow for more targeted and efficient resource use. Broadband access lets farmers measure their inputs and outputs more efficiently, which creates smarter, more sustainable resource management.

"Connectivity of land, equipment and infrastructure drives the ability to proactively manage digital data at the farm and ranch level. Managing digital data drives precision agriculture, and precision agriculture drives many foundational aspects of measurable sustainability,” said Mace Thornton, vice president of communications and marketing strategy for USB. “That is why this issue is so vital to soy.”

To read the full report, visit

October 2021 Dairy Market Report Now Available

Milk prices are rising again after bottoming out for the second time this year, basically in sync with surges in the pandemic. Daily cash market prices for barrel cheddar cheese have risen by almost 50 cents a pound since the beginning of August and have converged with also-rising block cheddar cheese prices. Dropping production and strong exports of dry skim milk and whey products have strengthened prices of nonfat dry milk and dry whey in recent weeks, while milk production growth has been moderating and coming more into line with growth in demand for milk and dairy products. Inventory levels of most key dairy products are slowly dropping, and U.S. dairy exports remain on track to set a new volume record during 2021.  See more here:  

Nitrogen Fertilizer Prices Lead Surge as Anhydrous Hits $940 Per Ton

Retail fertilizer prices continue to skyrocket into historical price ranges the third week of October 2021, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. All but one of the eight major fertilizers had price increases of 10% or more compared to last month.

Leading the way higher is urea, which was up 26% compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $735 per ton.

Anhydrous was up 22% compared to the prior month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $940/ton. It's the first time anhydrous crossed the $900/ton level since the fourth week of November 2008. That week, the price was $946/ton.

UAN28 is 18% more expensive looking back to last month. The fertilizer has an average price of $451/ton. UAN32 wasn't up quite as much at $492/ton, 13% more than a month ago.

Potash is up 15% compared to last month and has an average price of $716/ton.

DAP was 14% more expensive than last month with an average price of $810/ton. DAP crossed the $800/ton level for the first time since the first week of December 2008. That week, the price was $813/ton.

MAP was 10% higher and had an average price of $863/ton.

The remaining fertilizer, 10-34-0, was 4% higher compared to last month. DTN designates a move of 5% or higher as a significant increase or decrease. The starter fertilizer had an average price of $659/ton. That's still $200/ton more than what farmers paid at this time last year.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.80/lb.N, anhydrous $0.57/lb.N, UAN28 $0.81/lb.N and UAN32 $0.77/lb.N.

Retail fertilizer prices compared to a year ago show prices for all fertilizers have increased significantly.

10-34-0 is now 45% more expensive, MAP is 81% higher, DAP is 82% more expensive, UAN32 is 97% higher, urea is 105% more expensive, UAN28 is 115% higher, potash 116% is more expensive and anhydrous is 122% higher compared to last year.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/22/2021

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending October 22, ethanol production scaled up by 9,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 0.9%, to 1.106 million b/d, equivalent to 46.45 million gallons daily. This is the second-highest volume on record and just 2,000 b/d below the all-time record. Production was 17.5% above the same week last year, which was affected by the pandemic, and 10.2% above the same week in 2019. The four-week average ethanol production volume increased 4.8% to 1.053 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.14 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks dipped 0.8% to 19.9 million barrels. Stocks were 1.7% above the year-ago level but 5.6% lower than the same week in 2019. Inventories decreased across all regions except the West Coast (PADD 5).

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, declined 3.2% to 9.32 million b/d (142.92 bg annualized). Gasoline demand was 9.1% above a year ago but 4.7% below the same week in 2019.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol improved by 1.3% to 913,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.00 bg annualized. Net inputs were 7.0% above a year ago but 2.5% less than the same week in 2019.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 36,000 b/d, or 10.58 million gallons for the week. This marks the first imports in five weeks. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2021.)

North American Meat Institute: COVID protections kept case rates 98% lower than in general population

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today released updated analysis of publicly available data on COVID-19 transmission, showing that comprehensive protections instituted since the spring of 2020 successfully lowered transmission among meatpacking workers and held case rates today to more than 98% lower than case rates in the general U.S. population. Responding to a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts commented:

    “Frontline meat and poultry workers were among the first impacted by the pandemic, but publicly available data confirm that comprehensive measures implemented in the sector since spring 2020, including extensive infection prevention and vaccination efforts, have successfully protected the sector’s dedicated and diverse workforce as they have continued feeding Americans and keeping our economy working.”

According to publicly-available data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) and the New York Times, average new case rates in the sector have been similar to or lower than case rates in the general population since the fall of 2020. Case rates in the sector are currently 98 percent lower than the general U.S. population.

Independent scientific research proves the effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention measures like those implemented in meatpacking facilities since spring 2020. The University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the combination of universal masking and physical barriers reduced cases significantly in 62% of meat facilities studied. An analysis published in the Lancet in June 2020 found that distancing of 3 feet and use of facemasks each reduce transmission by about 80%, and use of eye protection reduces transmission by about 65%.

Meat Institute surveys, shared in February 2021, of more than 250 facilities employing more than 150,000 workers have found broad implementation of multilayered COVID-19 protections including:
    COVID-19 hazard assessments; designated COVID-19 coordinators
    Entry screening measures and controls
    Increased sanitation and disinfection practices
    Training and education materials on COVID-19 symptoms and prevention, in multiple languages
    Mandatory face coverings
    Increased flexibility in leave policies
    Physical barriers in food production and other areas (e.g., break rooms, cafeterias)

Meat Institute members remain fully committed to continuing these proven measures and further supporting efforts to vaccinate all frontline meat and poultry workers quickly and safely.

The meat and poultry industry was among the first to urge the Biden Administration to prioritize vaccines for essential workers. The Meat Institute partnered with the United Food Workers Union (UFCW) to urge all 50 state governors to prioritize meat and poultry workers for the vaccine.

Meat Institute members provided significant support for vaccination efforts, holding onsite clinics for vaccination, providing paid leave for workers to obtain the vaccine, offering vaccine bonuses, holding vaccine lotteries with monetary prizes, providing information sessions, vaccinating family members of workers and other members of the community and much more.

One Meat Institute member, Tyson Foods, announced recently that 96 percent of its employees are fully vaccinated, well above the U.S. vaccination rate.

USDA Opens Registration for the 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Registration is now open for the 98th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), the largest annual meeting and premiere event of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The two-day event will be held virtually on Feb. 24-25, 2022.

The 2022 Forum will feature a keynote address by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a presentation on the 2022 agricultural economy by USDA’s Chief Economist Seth Meyer, a panel of distinguished guest speakers, and 30 breakout sessions organized by agencies across USDA and covering a range of timely issues impacting the sector. More than one hundred government, industry, and academic leaders will share their perspectives and insights on a wide array of topics including commodity and food price outlooks, U.S. and global agricultural trade developments, climate change, and innovations in agricultural production and sustainability. The 2022 Forum theme and full program will be announced soon.

About USDA’s Outlook Forum

USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum began in 1923 to distribute and interpret information developed through economic forecasting to farmers so they had the tools to read market signals and avoid producing beyond demand. Since then, the event has evolved into a unique platform where key stakeholders from the agricultural sector in the United States and around the world come together every year to discuss current and emerging topics and trends in the sector. More than 4,500 people attended the 2021 virtual Forum.

The Agricultural Outlook Forum, which is organized by USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist together with other USDA agencies, is independent of commercial interests and aims to facilitate information sharing among stakeholders and generate the transparency that supports more, better, and fairer markets for producers and consumers alike.

Register for the 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum

Registration for the virtual USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum is free but required to attend. Register online and learn more about this year’s program at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum website

Leading Ag Associations Launch Non-Profit to Educate Ag Leaders and Workers on Agriculture Trade

Agriculture leaders from across major food and ag associations today announced the formation of the Agriculture Trade Education Council (ATEC), a 501 c (3) non-profit that will be a resource for education on the value of agricultural trade policies, practices, and structures. The ATEC is chaired by ag leaders with decades of experience educating farmers, policymakers and businesses about how the international trading system works. The ATEC will facilitate education on trade policy on a variety of topics in an effort to grow support for and engagement in a rules-based trading system.

“As U.S. agricultural stakeholders continue to rely increasingly on trade, it is important to understand how trade works, how the policies established impact U.S. agriculture, and how to engage in trade,” said Becky Rasdall, an ATEC Board Member and a Vice President of the International Dairy Foods Association. “ATEC is here to meet that need and support our agricultural community in better engaging the global market.”

“This effort is long overdue,” said Brian Kuehl, who will serve as Executive Director of the ATEC. “20% of farm revenues in the United States derive from exports and farmers also rely on imports of ag inputs, tractor parts and other essential equipment. All of us in U.S. food and agriculture need to understand and be prepared to navigate complex trade rules and dispute resolution structures and participate in trade negotiations. It’s time to get back to the basics of understanding trade and how trade agreements operate. These tools can allow us to expand farm revenues and support the whole food and ag supply chain.”

In a speech yesterday to the international Tri-National Agriculture Accord, Michael Anderson, an ATEC Board Member and a Vice President of the National Corn Refiners explained:

“A more robust understanding of the  benefits of trade, market structures, and trade rules empowers agriculture producers to compete and adapt to an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”ATEC was established expressly for the purpose of deepening the understanding of trade’s benefits and international trade’s vital role in the agriculture community. ATEC is uniquely positioned to foster deeper trade education to realize the benefits of trade for our agriculture stakeholders.
The full Board of the ATEC includes:
Michael Anderson, Corn Refiners Association - Michael Anderson serves as CRA’s Vice President of Trade and Industry Affairs.  In this role, he provides strategic and tactical leadership to CRA and its members regarding trade policy, statistical and co-products reporting programs, and industry affairs. He leads the Trade, Transportation and Statistical Reporting Committees, coordinating policy priorities and objectives regarding trade and industry affairs, as well as ensuring timely and robust statistical data and industry reporting for CRA members.

Melissa Kessler, U.S. Grains Council - Melissa George Kessler serves as the director of strategic initiatives and engagement for the U.S. Grains Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the global use of U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including ethanol and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS). In this capacity, she works to support the executive team and the organization as a whole to develop, implement and evaluate strategy and processes to achieve Council goals.

Lance Jungmeyer, Fresh Produce Association of America - Lance Jungmeyer is President of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA), an industry association representing importers of Mexican produce, based in Nogales, Ariz. In addition to his role at FPAA, Jungmeyer is on the Board of Directors of the Border Trade Alliance, and he is active on the United Fresh Produce Association’s Government Relations Council, as well as the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s North America Trade Task Force

Becky Rasdall, International Dairy Foods Association -- Becky Rasdall joined the International Dairy Foods Association in July 2020 as Vice President, Trade Policy and International Affairs where she is responsible for developing and advocating industry positions on international trade issues, including U.S. and international trade policy; and monitoring and addressing international regulatory issues impacting trade in dairy products. Before she joined IDFA, Becky served in the Foreign Agricultural Service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 2011, where she focused on a variety of trade policy issues related to technical and sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to U.S. exports of food and agricultural products, including dairy.

Derek Sandison, Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture - Derek Sandison has served as the Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture since 2015.  Prior to that time, Derek was the first director of the Office of Columbia River, the state’s water supply development entity.  Derek is serving in his sixth year as Chair of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s (NASDA’s) Marketing and International Trade Committee.  He is currently a board member of the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) and of the NASDA Foundation.  Derek is also serving as President of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture (WASDA).

Michael Schumpp, North American Meat Institute - Michael Schumpp serves as NAMI's international trade policy specialist and associate director of international programs for the Leather and Hide Council of America. He most recently served as director of public affairs and member communications for NAMI. Schumpp is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products, serves on the Steering Committee for Farmers for Free Trade, and is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Agriculture Trade Education Council.

Brian Kuehl, Executive Director, Agriculture Trade Education Council - Brian Kuehl is a partner and Director of Government and Public Affairs at KCoe Isom, a leading American food and agriculture accounting and business advisory firm. Kuehl helps manage a national non-profit agricultural organizations such as the Agriculture Trade Education Council.

American Soybean Association Seeks Candidates for Annual Soy Scholarship

Do you know an outstanding high school senior interested in pursuing a career in agriculture? Future ag leaders are vital to the sustainability and growth of our industry, and the American Soybean Association (ASA) wants to provide one of these students a college scholarship as they begin their agriculture education.

The ASA Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 one-time award presented to a high school senior who plans to pursue agriculture as an area of study at any accredited college or university in the 2022-23 academic year. The scholarship is made possible through a grant by BASF Corporation. High school seniors may apply online Oct. 27-Dec. 31, 2021. Click here to apply.

“As agriculture faces new challenges and obstacles—from a global pandemic and climate challenges to livestock disease and various other concerns—preparing future industry leaders by providing them the tools needed to tackle these issues and achieve their goals is imperative,” said ASA President Kevin Scott (SD). “We are grateful to our partner, BASF, for its ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of farmers, scientists, teachers and other areas of ag because those young persons will play a vital role in future industry solutions and innovation."

ASA and BASF have recognized and rewarded students for their hard work and interest in agriculture through the Soy Scholarship since 2008.

“BASF is excited to continue our longstanding partnership with ASA to award scholarships to deserving students who show a real passion for agriculture and share our commitment to meeting the challenge of feeding a growing population,” said Scott Kay, vice president, U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America. “Our industry’s future depends on the talented and enthusiastic students of today, who will apply their learning and lead agriculture forward.”

The scholarship is awarded in $2,500 increments (one per semester) for the 2022-23-school year. The student must maintain successful academic progress and be in good standing with the college or university to receive the full amount of the scholarship.

Final selection will be made in January by a select committee of soybean grower-leaders. The student will be notified once the selection is made, with an official announcement to follow and a presentation scheduled in the spring. 


Farmer Veteran Coalition Stakeholder Conference Registration is Live

‘Farm to Market: Opportunity Knocks’ is the seventh Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference hosted by Farmer Veteran Coalition. It’s the leading gathering for the military-to-agriculture movement sweeping the country.

This year the event takes place in two regional locations rather than one national gathering - Knoxville, Tenn. on Nov. 18th and Tacoma, Wash. on Dec. 10th. The Tennessee and Washington state chapters of Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) will serve as hosts.

A national non-profit that helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture, FVC mentors members of our Armed Forces who seek new ways to support and nourish the communities they left in order to serve and who seek a new mission in farming and ranching.

The events feature one day of education, workshops, distinguished speakers, guest panels, networking and more. "These conferences are designed to offer veterans tools to take their agribusiness to the next level," shares Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo. "They will meet every farmer, rancher and grower where they are and show them a path forward to scale their operations." Also offered is an optional pre-conference social gathering and post-conference farm tours.

FVC welcomes veterans - including those still serving - who are currently farming, interested in farming, or just want to learn more about the movement. They also welcome non-veterans who would like to show their support of these brave men and women and tune in for the agricultural education.

For more information on the events visit to browse sessions, see the schedule, and reserve your spot at this gathering of the farmer veteran community.

Conference sponsors include: Farm Credit Council, Kubota Tractor Company, and Wounded Warrior Project at the platinum sponsorship level as well as generous support from American Farm Bureau Federation, Tennessee State University, National Farmers Union, Goodway Cares, Alpha Omega Veterans Services, National Veterans Business Development Council, Tennessee Department of Agriculture/Pick Tennessee and Vital Farms.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tuesday October 26 Ag News


On Oct. 25, Frank Mitloehner, a leading researcher in the realm of livestock sustainability, asked a packed auditorium on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s East Campus to picture three coffee cups — a ceramic cup, a Styrofoam cup and an insulated reusable mug.

Coffee will stay warm in any of those cups, but to widely varying degrees. And just as different mugs trap heat differently, so do different greenhouse gasses, Mitloehner said. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere trapping heat from the sun for about 1,000 years from emission. Nitrous oxide lasts about 110 years. Methane, which cattle produce as they digest grasses and then emit through belching and manure, remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years.

“I call it ‘the fast and the furious,’” Mitloehner said. “Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas we want to reduce. But it is different. It has a different and much shorter shelf life.”

Mitloehner, a professor of animal science and air quality extension specialist at the University of California, Davis, addressed the crowd as part of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Heuermann Lecture series — the first in-person lecture in the series since January 2020. During his talk, Mitloehner argued the environmental impact of livestock production has been overstated. For example, livestock emissions account for just 4% of greenhouse gasses, while fossil fuels contribute up to 80%, he said. It’s still important for the livestock industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Mitloehner said, but his research, which is gaining acceptance among climate and environmental experts, shows that livestock production is not the environmental culprit it has been made out to be.

In California, for example, dairy farmers have begun storing animal waste in covered lagoons rather than open ones. The covered lagoons keep methane out of the air and trap the gas so it can be converted into renewable fuel, Mitloehner said. Since 2015, when California began providing dairy farmers with financial incentives to adopt covered lagoons and other methane-reducing practices, California has reduced its methane emissions by about 25%.

“I believe there is way more of an opportunity than a challenge,” he said.

After his talk, Mitloehner was joined by a panel of beef industry experts, who discussed some of the opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Panelist included Colin Woodall, CEO at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Larry Quint, research fellow at Conagra Foods; and Galen Erickson, Cattle Industry Professor of Animal Science at Nebraska. Barb Cooksley, a prominent rancher from Anselmo, moderated the discussion.

The panelists discussed measures the beef industry is taking to be more sustainable, how they’re educating consumers about the actual environmental impact of animal agriculture, and Husker research that could help Nebraska livestock producers achieve carbon neutrality, among other topics.

Conagra, for example is working to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030, Quint said. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is surveying consumers to better understand how issues such as sustainability and animal welfare inform their purchasing decisions, Woodall said. And the university is engaged in research to better understand how changes in diet could impact cattle methane emissions, as well as the variance in emissions among different ways of producing beef, Erickson said.

“We have to understand emissions from diverse production systems,” he said.

All of these efforts together can help reduce methane emissions and better position the beef industry for a sustainable future, Mitloehner said.

“Sustainability is not a goal,” he said. “It’s a path. You never really get there, but you make constant progress.”

Fischer Renews Request to Meet with White House to Discuss Biofuels Agenda

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today joined a group of her Republican colleagues in requesting a meeting with President Biden and his cabinet to discuss the Renewable Fuel Standard and the essential role biofuels play in America’s energy economy.

In July, the group led a similar effort to discuss this important issue with the administration, but President Biden ignored it.

“Mr. President, biofuels are a readily available energy solution that deserve full consideration—not only for helping to stem the recent increase in fuel prices, which has subsequently accelerated inflation—but to serve as a foundational source of transportation emission reductions as part of your energy and environmental agenda,” wrote the senators. “We call on your administration to utilize the full capacity of American agriculture to deliver on both fronts, and we reiterate our request to discuss these matters with you in greater detail.”

Senator Fischer’s actions to support biofuel producers:
·       Joined letter urging the Biden administration to stop delaying critical biofuels assistance

·       Introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act to ensure blends higher than E10 can be sold year-round

·       Introduced the RFS Integrity Act to create transparency and predictability in EPA’s small refinery exemption process and require any exempted gallons to be accounted for in annual RVOs

·       Joined letter to USDA urging them to use the Commodity Credit Corporation/December 2020 COVID relief bill to provide assistance to the biofuels industry

·       Led bipartisan letter to EPA urging them to reject requests to waive RFS requirements and support robust RVO

·       Joined letter to President Biden urging him to reject calls to undercut RFS by reducing blending requirements and uphold his campaign promises

·       Joined letter requesting meeting with President Biden about the lack of prioritization of biofuels in the administration’s policies

The letter was also signed by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

Now is the Time to Use the Nutrients You are Banking in Your Soils

Aaron Nygren - NE Extension Educator

With the recent increase in fertilizer prices, it is more important than ever to use the right amount of fertilizer to maximize the economic returns. Applying too little or too much fertilizer can result in substantial economic loss.

Nutrients Carry Over

Unused fertilizer typically carries over from the previous year, depending upon the previous year’s weather patterns, soil texture, rate of organic matter mineralization, crop nitrogen uptake and crop yield. Most of Nebraska was drier than normal during the 2021 growing season (Figure 1). This may have limited downward movement of nitrate nitrogen (nitrate-N) in the soil profile, resulting in less nitrate leaching loss while also potentially reducing crop nitrogen uptake and crop yield, particularly for rainfed crops.

If you were in an area of the state with drier conditions, the residual soil N may be higher than normal for rainfed crops. Therefore, it is a profitable and environmentally sound practice to credit this residual soil nitrate-N in determining fertilizer-N rates for 2022. To credit residual nitrate-N, soil sampling to a two- or three-foot depth during fall or spring will help determine the amount of residual nitrate-N.

The timing of soil sampling for making N recommendations could be important as snowmelt and precipitation during early spring may affect N losses (especially for coarse-textured soils), resulting in under application of pre-plant or in-season N. Collecting pre-plant soil nitrate-N soil samples is a good practice for determining residual soil nitrate-N to be credited in N rate decisions. For more information on soil sampling, see Guidelines for Soil Sampling, NebGuide 1740.

High Fertilizer Cost and Potential Cost Reductions

Recently, due to various global factors, fertilizer prices have rapidly increased and almost doubled compared to last year. Currently, N costs $0.58/lb to $0.95/lb compared to last year’s price of $0.30/lb to $0.38/lb (Figure 2). Corn prices have increased too, but not as much as fertilizer prices. Currently, corn is selling around $5/bushel for harvest 2022 deliver, while a year ago, harvest 2021 corn was trading around $3.8/bushel.

Commodity prices will continue to fluctuate between now and 2022 harvest. The worst place to end up is with buying high-priced fertilizer while receiving a low price for your crop — i.e., the price/cost squeeze. We strongly recommend forward contracting a portion of your crop when purchasing fertilizer. Having some expected production contracted at current price levels ties you into a stronger farm average price if prices begin to decline.

With the high fertilizer cost compared to last year, the relative cost of accurate fertilizer recommendations based on soil tests is less than the previous years. Assuming the same soil test costs and expected yield for 2021 vs. 2022 crop, UNL recommends a lower N application rate for the 2022 growing season due to the change in the fertilizer price ratio (see Table 1). With a lower fertilizer price ratio of 8:1 for 2022 corn compared to the fertilizer price ratio of 12:1 for last year, the recommended application rate is 26 lbs/acre lower, resulting in a fertilizer savings of $15-25/acre, depending on fertilizer source.

Additionally, by incorporating residual nitrate-nitrogen into the nitrogen fertilizer prescription, there is potential to substantially reduce fertilizer cost per acre. By accounting for residual nitrate-nitrogen in the N fertilizer prescription, growers can save $19-30/acre by crediting 32 lbs N/acre. Note that the UNL calculator factors in a default soil nitrate credit even if no soil test is included. Nevertheless, we recommend using soil nitrate test values for an accurate nitrogen fertilizer prescription.

Another important factor to consider when determining optimal fertilizer rates is proper crediting for other nutrient sources, such as legumes, manure and irrigation water. If fertilizer prices have doubled compared to last year, so has the value of credits from these sources. In the example above, the previous crop was corn. If the previous crop had been soybean, the standard N credit for corn following soybean on a heavy textured soil would be 45 lb/acre with potential savings of $26-43/acre, depending on fertilizer source. The cost to collect and analyze water samples for nitrate content — or manure samples for a range of nutrients — has not changed much, while the value of the nutrients these resources contain has gone up substantially.

Timing of N fertilizer application can also have a high economic impact under high fertilizer prices. Compared to fall fertilizer application, in-season fertilizer management with variable rate technology is expected to have higher economic returns. For more information about N technologies, see Precision Nitrogen Management On-farm Research Project.


With high fertilizer prices, the fertilizer investment for the 2022 crop can be intimidating. However, with current crop prices, such investments can be profitable. It is critical, though, that investments be made with the best information possible, based on careful soil testing, and after accounting for all sources of nutrients.


Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Allowing for alfalfa to winterize before dormancy is a key factor preventing winter kill across a stand.  Traditionally, my recommendation has been to time the last cutting for roughly 6 weeks before the first frost. At a minimum, plants need 3 uninterrupted weeks to complete the transfer of carbohydrates to the crown and roots that is the winterization process.  The additional 3 weeks gives us a cushion in case of an early frost.

While this general guideline has proven its worth over the years, many producers would love to have a bit more accurate method to time last cuttings.  One way to narrow the no-harvest window down is by utilizing growing degree days (GDD).  Work from the University of Wisconsin calculated winterkill risk looking at GDD at a base 41°F accumulating until a killing frost of 25°F.  The two GDD levels of importance for alfalfa stands were 500 and 200.

By providing at least 500 base 41°F GDD after harvest, research trials showed that there was sufficient time for alfalfa to winterize.  If harvest occurred with under 200 GDD left, alfalfa plants did now have sufficient time to regrow and deplete carbohydrate reserves to a level that would negatively impact winterization.

While other factors like ground cover and stress of the stand over the course of the year need to factor into the decision for a late cutting, this gives us a more accurate calendar point to shoot for if forage is needed.

As we’ve passed the 500 GDD threshold for most of the state, a tool like the High Plains RCC CLIMOD can be used to look at past years GDD and decide what the risk of getting more than 200 GDD going forward.  If chances are low and extra hay is needed, it’s probably safe to take that final cutting.

Extension workshops to cover crop inputs, cost of production

Nebraska Extension will present a series of workshops covering 2022 inputs and cost of production for crop producers Nov. 9-11 in Hastings, Beatrice and the Mead area, which includes a virtual option for producers from across the state to join.

Crops and agricultural economics extension educators will cover the forces that are driving input costs and commodity prices, discuss fertilizer recommendations based on soil test results and provide information on utilizing cost of production budgets in decision-making. Attendees are welcome to bring their latest soil tests.

The workshops will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the following locations:
    Nov. 9 in Hastings at the Community Services Building on the Adams County Fairgrounds, 947 S. Baltimore Ave.
    Nov. 10 in Beatrice at the Gage County Extension Office, 1115 W. Scott St.
    Nov. 11 near Mead at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center, 1071 County Road G., Ithaca, Nebraska (livestream option available).

The workshops are free, but space is limited at each location. Registration is required by the day prior to each workshop at or 402-472-1742.


Nov. 8 symposium to focus on resources for young, beginning and small farmers

An event for young, beginning and small farmers – as well as anyone interested in learning more about getting into farming -- is scheduled to take place on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

The Young, Beginning and Small Farmer Symposium will take place in the Great Plains Room of the Nebraska East Union. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by Nov. 1. Lunch and parking will be provided.

“Farming has never been an easy industry to break into, and there are still many barriers, from the cost of land and equipment, to the huge economic risk of trying new crops or management practices that aren’t guaranteed to work,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Ultimately, we want to grow Nebraska’s already robust ecosystem of successful, innovative farmers and give the next generation of farmers the tools they need to continue our state’s agricultural legacy.”  

The event will be structured as a series of panel discussions. Audience members will hear from farmers who are getting started in both traditional and non-traditional operations. They’ll also hear about financial and risk management resources available to farmers as they grow their operations.  

Panel topics and participants are:  
    Young, Beginning and Small Farmers in Traditional Operations: Aspirations vs. Realities.  Panelists include farmers Zemua Baptisa, Beatrice; Joe Knobbe, Wisner; Lance Atwater, Adams County; Haley Miles, Ainsworth
    Young, Beginning and Small Farmers in Non-Traditional Operations: Aspirations vs. Realities. Panelists include farmers Becky Schwarz, Bertrand; Grant Jones, Imperial; Greg Fripp, Omaha
    Stretching Resources for the Farm of the Future: Existing Programs. Panelists are Brandy Balzer, Farm Credit Services of American/Frontier Farm Credit; Tom Kelly, Western Bank, Sutherland; Steve Cleveland, Homestead Bank, Chadron; Ben Herink, USDA Farm Service Agency
    Stretching Resources for the Farm of the Future: Innovative Approaches. Panelists are Gary Matteson, Farm Credit Council; Ted Hibbeler, Nebraska Extension; Larry Van Tassell, UNL Center for Agricultural Profitability/Department of Agricultural Economics; Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Department of Agricultural Economics.  

All panels will be moderated by Glen Smith, chairman of the Farm Credit Administration, and Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  

The event is sponsored by The Farm Credit Administration, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information or to register, visit  

Funding Available from USDA to Protect Groundwater

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has funding available to assist landowners in source water protection priority areas to install conservation practices. Interested landowners have until Nov. 19, 2021, to apply.

John Wilson, acting state conservationist for NRCS in Nebraska said, “Since nearly all Nebraskans get their drinking water from groundwater, it’s important we work together to help protect this resource from contamination.”

Agricultural land located in the source water protection priority areas may be eligible to receive financial assistance.

Nebraska NRCS is now accepting applications for source water protection funding. Approved applicants can receive funding to install conservation practices used to address water quality that include:
    Nutrient management
    Irrigation water management
    Cover crops
    Conversion of flood to pivot or subsurface drip irrigation systems.

NRCS field office staff can determine if applicants are eligible for source water protection priority area financial assistance.

Applications are accepted anytime, but to be considered for funding in 2022, applications must be received by Nov. 19, 2021. Visit your local NRCS field office to learn more.

Scientists Identify Proteins in Bacteria Associated with Bovine Respiratory Disease: As Possible Intervention Against the Disease

Poor health, viruses, and environmental stress can leave young calves susceptible to secondary bacterial infections that cause bovine respiratory disease (BRD). These severe infections commonly result in pneumonia, and treatments can be costly.

To identify unique proteins that can be used for future interventions against this disease in cattle, scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), took a closer look at the genetic material of multiple subtypes (strains) of three groups of bacterial species commonly implicated with BRD.

In a study recently published in Genome, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center microbiologist Emily Wynn and molecular biologist Mike Clawson examined DNA sequences from bacteria commonly found in cattle exhibiting signs of BRD. These bacteria are known as H. somni and P. multocida and M. haemolytica, which has a variable genotype (strain types). The scientists have sorted the variable genotpyes of M. haemolytica into two strain types (type 1 and 2).

It is not uncommon to find all three groups of bacteria living in the upper respiratory tract of cattle with no signs of BRD, along with communities of "good" bacteria.  When calves' immune system becomes weakened by viruses or due to stress caused by environmental factors (such as weaning, transportation, poor ventilation, etc.), these three bacteria (H. somni, P. multocida, and type 2 M. haemolytica) multiply in the upper respiratory tract and invade the lungs where they cause disease.

But this multiplication in calves with weakened immune systems does not happen as frequently with type 1 M. haemolytica. Therefore, it was important for the scientists to compare gene content across the three groups of disease-causing bacteria and identify differences between the groups and the more benign strain type 1 M. haemolytica.

Scientists focused on the differences in the proteins existing in the outer membrane of each of the bacterial groups, as these outer membrane proteins can be very important for either bacterial survival or its recognition and targeting by the host's (calf's) immune system.

"Part of our research aims to use very high precision in targeting unique proteins, or antigens, in the outer membrane of the BRD-causing bacteria. These antigens induce an immune response and can protect the animal. We anticipate these proteins can be used in future preventative measures without disrupting other 'good' microorganisms coexisting within the same environment or host." said Wynn. "One of the most exciting discoveries in this study was to find the outer membrane protein W, or OmpW, in all three harmful bacteria but not in the type 1 M. haemolytica. We look forward to investigating that further."

Wynn and Clawson found other proteins present in the outer membrane of all these groups of bacteria, giving them additional preventative targets, too.

Insights from this study open doors for the use of antibody recognition of outer membrane proteins to develop preventive strategies against bacteria that cause BRD. The scientists plan to expand their study with larger populations of BRD-associated bacteria and to use the same approach to specifically target additional disease-causing bacteria.

Sonny Perdue and Terry Gilbert Receive Top Farm Bureau Honors

The American Farm Bureau Federation will present its highest honors, the Distinguished Service Award and the Farm Bureau Founders Award, to former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Terry Gilbert, former chair of AFBF’s Women’s Leadership Committee, respectively, during the 2022 American Farm Bureau Convention, Jan. 7-12 in Atlanta, Georgia.

AFBF established the Distinguished Service Award in 1928 to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving the national interest of American agriculture. Established in January 2017, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Founders Award for exemplary leadership, service or contributions to Farm Bureau is presented in recognition of outstanding achievements and work in the interest of Farm Bureau.

Sonny Perdue’s seven decades of service to agriculture includes serving as secretary of agriculture from 2017-2021, where he led USDA’s implementation of the 2018 farm bill. Under his leadership, the department’s notable accomplishments included launching the Market Facilitation Program to provide financial assistance to farmers during trade disputes, development of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the Farmers to Families Food Box Program during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creation of ReConnect, a rural broadband initiative.

Perdue’s collaboration with leaders at other federal agencies included working to improve the H-2A program and secure farm labor during the pandemic. Additional accomplishments during his USDA career included representing U.S. agriculture during negotiation of the World Trade Organization Phase I trade agreement with China and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as well as numerous other trade pacts.

Gilbert began her Farm Bureau leadership in 1980, as a member of the Boyle County (Kentucky) Women’s Committee, later serving as secretary of her county Farm Bureau board of directors for 16 years starting in 2004. She went on to serve as a member of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Women’s Advisory Committee from 1985-2015 and chaired the KFB Women’s Committee from 1993-1995. She served on the KFB board of directors from 1993-2015 and on the KFB Insurance board from 2001-2015. On the national level, she was a member of AFBF’s Rural Health & Safety Committee from 1990-1992 and chaired AFBF’s Women’s Leadership Committee from 2001-2015, representing the WLC on the AFBF board of directors during that time.

Gilbert represented AFBF for three terms on the board of the Agriculture Council of America, the organization that plans National Agriculture Day activities in Washington, D.C.  She also served on the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture board from 2006-2012.

Perdue was nominated by the Georgia Farm Bureau for the DSA. Gilbert was nominated by AFBF’s Women’s Leadership Committee for the Founders Award. A national Farm Bureau committee selected each of the winners.

Scoular releases first annual sustainability report

Progress against reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the total marine products sourced from sustainable processors are among the items and goals highlighted in Scoular’s first annual sustainability report.

The report, released Tuesday, outlines Scoular’s 2025 goals and commitments for addressing its most material issues and spotlights the progress from June 2020 to May 2021 on each of the company’s five sustainability pillars.   

“Scoular has a long history of creating safe, reliable and responsible supply chain solutions, and this inaugural report formalizes and communicates to our stakeholders these longtime beliefs,” said Scoular CEO Paul Maass.

“As we look to our future, we are committed to working toward our sustainability goals and building prosperous partnerships and communities well-equipped to protect our planet,” added Chief Legal and External Affairs Officer Megan Belcher.

The company in December announced its five-year sustainability strategy and its five sustainability pillars. The five pillars are:
    Reducing Scoular’s carbon footprint.
    Fostering responsible product sourcing.
    Engaging in Scoular’s communities.
    Promoting diversity and inclusion.
    Upholding workplace health and safety.

Future reports will include additional details on targets, new initiatives, and detailed progress tracking.

“While we are still quantifying many of our goals, we realize the solutions required to solve the world’s most challenging issues will evolve,” said Josh Mellinger, who Scoular hired in July as its first Director of Sustainability. “Rather than waiting for certainty, we choose to act now and lead through uncertainty. More importantly, we want to reemphasize our commitment to delivering responsible supply chain solutions for all our partners.”

ADM Reports Third Quarter Earnings per Share of $0.93, $0.97 on an Adjusted Basis

    Q3 net earnings of $526 million; adjusted net earnings of $548 million
    Segment operating profit of $1.0B
    Adjusted EPS up 9% despite higher effective tax rate
    Continued momentum, on track for strong Q4

ADM (NYSE: ADM) today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2021.

“Agile execution across our tightly integrated supply chain amid an environment of strong demand and robust crush margins, and continued impressive growth in Nutrition, drove our eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year adjusted operating profit growth,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano.

“Our team’s great ability to leverage the favorable operating environment, and the consistent implementation of our strategic plan, have put ADM on track for a strong fourth quarter culminating in a second consecutive year of record earnings per share. And as we look ahead, we remain optimistic in sustainable earnings growth in the medium term as we continue to execute our strategy, including the dynamic positioning of our business portfolio.”

ADM has made a series of strategic growth and portfolio announcements in recent months, including significantly enhancing its growing pet business with a 75% ownership stake in PetDine, and continuing to advance its evolution to higher-value sustainable solutions in Carbohydrate Solutions with the sale of the Peoria ethanol complex; an MoU with Gevo, Inc. for the production of sustainable aviation fuel; and an agreement with LG Chem to explore U.S.-based production of plant-based biosolutions.

Quarterly Results of Operations

Ag Services & Oilseeds delivered substantially higher results versus the third quarter of 2020.

    Ag Services executed well in a challenging environment, including a rapid return to operation after Hurricane Ida. Overall results were significantly lower versus the prior-year quarter, driven by approximately $50 million in net negative timing effects that should reverse in coming quarters; a $54 million insurance settlement recorded in the prior-year period; and lower export volumes caused by Hurricane Ida. Global Trade continued its strong performance.

    Crushing had substantially higher year-over-year results. The team executed well, delivering stronger margins in a dynamic environment that included strong demand for vegetable oil to support our existing food customers as well as increasing production of renewable diesel. Results were also driven by approximately $70 million in net positive timing effects in the quarter.

    Refined Products and Other results were significantly higher than the prior-year period, driven by positive timing effects of approximately $80 million that are expected to reverse in future quarters, along with strong execution in EMEA and NA biodiesel and strong refining premiums due to demand for renewable diesel and foodservice recovery in North America.

    Equity earnings from Wilmar were lower versus the third quarter of 2020.

Carbohydrate Solutions results were lower year over year.

    Starches and Sweeteners, including ethanol production from our wet mills, managed through dynamic market conditions, optimizing mix between sweeteners and ethanol production through the quarter. Year-over-year results were significantly lower primarily due to higher input costs.

    Vantage Corn Processors results were much higher versus the third quarter of 2020, supported by the resumption of production at our two dry mills and improved fuel ethanol margins, particularly late in the quarter.

Nutrition delivered another strong performance, with revenue growth of 17% helping drive 20% higher year-over-year operating profits.

    Human Nutrition delivered 9% higher profits. Higher volume and improved product mix, with particular strength in beverage, drove strong Flavors results in EMEA and North America, partially offset by lower results in APAC. Specialty Ingredients continued to benefit from strong demand for alternative proteins, offset by some higher costs. Health & Wellness results were higher on robust sales growth in bioactives and fiber.

    Animal Nutrition profits were nearly double the year-ago period, driven primarily by strength in amino acids as well as feed additives and ingredients, partially offset by higher costs in LATAM and slower demand recovery in APAC.

Other Business results were substantially lower than the prior-year period, driven primarily by captive insurance underwriting losses, most of which were offset by corresponding recoveries in other business segments.

Intelligent Ag Launches Recon Spraysense Vital Technology for Sprayers

Intelligent Agricultural Solutions, LLC (Intelligent Ag) announced the release of Recon SpraySense™, an innovative solution that monitors real-time flow and pressure of all nozzles on sprayers.

This innovative technology upgrades existing sprayers by monitoring nozzle performance. The typical agricultural spray system (sprayer) has 72 nozzles or more. Even though nozzles are small, they are vital to accomplishing the desired results with a given chemical or fertilizer. Flow problems are extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. If nozzles are plugged even partially, the operator will likely not know until it's too late and the damage has been done.  

Sprayers are one of the most utilized pieces of equipment on the farm today. The cost of chemical pumped through a single sprayer can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars per season. When the application of herbicide on weeds is not 100% accurate, some weeds may survive, robbing nutrients from crops and contributing to herbicide resistant weeds.

Intelligent Ag shows how it's almost impossible to see faulty nozzles at Their studies reveal the results of undetected flow problems with sprayers.

With this new technology, operators can monitor the spray quality from inside the cab with an intuitive iPad application. Once product is flowing, the app shows real-time flow rate, pressure, and droplet size. If any nozzles are not spraying on target, the operator will know instantly.

Benefits include:
    Detect and alert the operator of any spray problems with nozzle performance
    Pre-loaded specifications for over 1,100 nozzle tips
    Compatible with common check valves and electronic on/off valves
    Manage droplet size and overall coverage accuracy
    Improve the value of your existing equipment
    Maximize farm profits

Recon SpraySense technology is designed to ultimately work with nearly every brand of sprayer on the market. Sprayers are used on almost every single farm. This new innovative system will change how sprayer operators perform and help them to more accurately "Spray on Target".

At Intelligent Ag, we develop technologies to help you get the most out of your equipment. Smarter farming doesn't have to be complicated and we're dedicated to producing innovative products that make it simple to maximize your profit margin.

We have developed the industry's best blockage and flow monitoring systems for air seeders, fertilizer spreaders, and sprayers. Additionally, we have developed an impressive line of retrofittable section control upgrade systems for air seeders and fertilizer spreaders.

Founded in 2011, Intelligent Ag does extensive research and development to advance precision agriculture and machine management technology, apply this technology to products that support a variety of crops, and deliver our products to farmers around the world.

Dryland Genetics names Chief Operating Officer to Scale Proso Seed Production and Sales

Dryland Genetics, a plant breeding company ensuring a resilient food supply by developing and commercializing crops that make more grain from less water, announced today that it has named an industry veteran to the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Craig Anderson who previously served as the brand manager at LG Seeds and the COO of AgReliant Genetics will oversee production, sales, and supply chain management at Dryland Genetics. As a member of the company’s leadership team, Craig will report to Dryland Genetics Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Patrick Schnable.

“Craig brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience managing production and supply chain for one of the fastest growing seed companies in North America,” said Schnable. “He brings a valuable perspective and the expertise to rapidly grow our capacity to produce proso millet seed and get that seed into the hands of our customers.”

“I am excited for the opportunity to bring new high yielding millet varieties to the farmers in the high plains,” said Anderson. “These are farmers and areas that have dealt with water availability issues for decades, and the significantly higher yield that growers can expect from Dryland Genetics proso millet is arriving at the perfect time.”

The appointment Craig Anderson comes at an opportune time as Dryland Genetics continues to build out the supply chain for its higher yielding proso millet varieties that can produce more grain from less water, and without supplemental nitrogen fertilizer. This is particularly critical in the western Great Plains where agriculture depends on increasingly limited supplies of water for irrigation.

Anderson brings more than 30 years of commercial seed operations experience in sales, marketing, and operations to Dryland Genetics. As VP of Operations at AgReliant Genetics, Craig was responsible for managing the production and supply chain of one of the fastest growing seed corn companies in North America. Most recently Craig served as COO for AgReliant Genetics, responsible for the commercial performance of the company.

Dryland Genetics is building a more resilient, more efficient food supply by applying cutting edge breeding and genomics technologies to crops, like proso millet, which thrive where others fail. The company recently raised $3.8M in an investment round lead by Stine Seed Farms and Next Level Ventures.