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: https://enrec.unl.edu/2021covercropgrazingconference/. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 https://nebraskacattlemen.org/event/nbis-beef-summit/.
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.
FALL GRAZING SMALL GRAINS
– 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 cfra.org/publications. 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 email@example.com, 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: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172.
Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join 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 https://www.benton.org/publications/future-american-farming.
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: https://www.nmpf.org/dairy-market-report-october-2021/.
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 https://www.usda.gov/oce/ag-outlook-forum.
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 https://conference.farmvetco.org 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.
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