Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday January 20 Ag News

Rural Mainstreet Starts Year Off Strong - Soaring Farm Input Prices Greatest Threat for 2022
The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) declined in January, though it remained above growth neutral the for14th straight month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.         

Overall: The region’s overall reading for January fell to 61.1 from December’s 66.7. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral.

“Solid grain prices, the Federal Reserve’s record-low short-term interest rates, and growing agricultural exports have underpinned the Rural Mainstreet Economy,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.  

This month, bankers were asked to identify the greatest 2022 risk for farmers in their area.   Bankers overwhelmingly named rising farm input prices, such as fertilizer, as the top farm threat.  Bankers ranked disruptions of the delivery of farm inputs and rising interest rates as the second and third greatest 2022 threats to farm operations.

Farming and ranching: The region’s farmland price index decreased to a very strong 88.5 from December’s record high of 90.0. January’s reading represented the 16th straight month the index has moved above growth neutral.   

The January farm equipment-sales index slipped to a very healthy 72.4 from 74.1 in December. This is the 14th straight month that the index has advanced above growth neutral. Readings over the past several months are the strongest string of monthly readings recorded since Spring 2011.

Confidence:  After declining for five consecutive months, the confidence index, which reflects bank CEO expectations for the economy six months out, rose for a second straight month to 61.1 from 55.2 in December.

Below are the state reports:

Nebraska: The Nebraska RMI for January dropped to 64.6 from December’s 71.9. The state’s farmland-price index slumped to 89.8 from last month’s 92.3. Nebraska’s new-hiring index improved to 72.3 from 71.8 in December. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet economy has experienced a healthy 3.7% gain in its nonfarm employment (non-seasonally adjusted

Iowa: The January RMI for Iowa improved to 71.8 from 71.4 in December. Iowa’s farmland-price index declined to 89.4 from December’s 91.4. Iowa’s new-hiring index for January fell to 62.8 from 70.7 in December. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that over the past 12 months, Iowa’s Rural Mainstreet has experienced a healthy 2.4% gain in nonfarm employment (non-seasonally adjusted). Jim Brown, CEO of Hardin County Savings Bank in Eldora, Iowa, said, “All in all, a great year for agriculture!”

The survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey in 2005 and launched in January 2006.


Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022
Registration at 8:30 a.m. - Programs runs 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. CST
Event Center - Butler County Fairgrounds, David City, Nebraska

The conference features innovative speakers who have worked with cover crops extensively and
will share what they have learned. This is your opportunity to get your questions answered.
How can you get started with cover crops in your corn/soybean rotation? Already using cover
crops - could you be doing it better? There are many benefits to utilizing cover crops, such as
improved soil heath and reduced erosion. It’s the details of how and what to do that can present
challenges. The focus of the conference is to provide information to growers who are in a corn/
soybean rotation and to assist them in understanding the value of cover crops.


There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required. Day-of, walk-in registration will not be permitted.  Local Covid-19 guidance at the time of the conference will be followed. The conference will only be held if local and UNL directed health measures allow and if road conditions are suitable for travel. If cancelled, registrants will be notified via email, phone, or text message. CCA credits are applied for and pending. For more information contact Nebraska Extension Educators:
Gary Lesoing, 402-274-4755,
Melissa Bartels, 402-367-7410,
Michael Sindelar, 402-762-3644,
Todd Whitney, 308-995-4222,
Nathan Mueller, 402-821-2151,

Platte Valley Cattlemen Banquet is Feb 12

The Platte Valley Cattlemen Annual Banquet will be held Saturday, February 12th, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. at Humphrey Community Center in Humphrey, Nebraska. It will feature a social hour, prime rib dinner, and guest speaker Corbitt Wall, host of “Feeder Flash”.  Following the banquet, folks can listen to VoiceHouse DJ as the entertainment.

The annual Banquet is the major fundraiser for the year.  Thanks to continued sponsor support, the organization has been able to promote the beef industry and inform our members of current issues and policies. In the past, dollars have enabled them to promote “Beef Month” in May, ensure quality speakers for our monthly meetings, offer an educational tour, promote 4-H and FFA programs at the county fairs and assist in awarding scholarships. In 2021, they were able to award three $1,000.00 college scholarships and with continued support, and they hope to do the same again this year.

Businesses are invited to help sponsor the night, and individuals are urged to get their ticket requests in ASAP..... by January 28th if at all possible.  If you have any questions, please contact Tyler Engstrom at 402-276-6347 or Brian Steffensmeier at 402-750-9985.

UNL Agricultural Research Division dean announces retirement

After more than a decade leading the University of Nebraska Lincoln's Agricultural Research Division, Archie Clutter will retire at the end of 2022.

Clutter has served as dean of the Agricultural Research Division (ARD) and director of the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska since 2011. Under Clutter’s leadership, both research awards and expenditures have grown steadily, culminating in fiscal year 2021, when ARD received $64 million in externally sponsored awards – a record for the division. All in all, the ARD awards have grown by an average 4.8% each year since 2012.

At the same time, the division has seen the construction of state-of-the-art research facilities and the development of interdisciplinary research teams created to more holistically address complex issues related to food, water, climate and the environment.

“Dr. Clutter has provided incredible leadership for the Agricultural Research Division, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the university as a whole,” said Mike Boehm, NU vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor for IANR. “He’s also a respected scientist whose deep curiosity and infectious excitement is evident with every ARD project and discovery. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with him.”

Clutter earned a bachelor's in agricultural business from Iowa State University and masters and doctorate in animal science from the University of Nebraska. His research has focused on the elucidation of genomic variation underlying quantitative traits in livestock species and application of molecular breeding to improve food animal efficiency and disease tolerance.

Prior to his present position in IANR, Clutter was vice president for research and development at Newsham Choice Genetics in St. Louis. He also held research and development leadership positions at Monsanto from 2000-2007 and was professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University from 1987-2000. In his current role, Clutter supports a state-wide research and development infrastructure and more than 400 faculty and their transdisciplinary teams providing the science for resilient food systems and the connection of food to human health.

“This leadership role in the Agricultural Research Division continues to be the most rewarding of my career, only possible through the collaborative relationships I’ve been able to achieve with our amazing faculty and their teams of staff and students, and the leadership teams with which I’ve been associated,” Clutter said. “There truly is no place like IANR and the University of Nebraska and the contributions of our people to food security and a healthy global future.”

Clutter’s successor will be selected via a nationwide search. More details will be released when the search is launched. For more information on the Agricultural Research Division, visit

Record High Beef Production in December

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.78 billion pounds in December, down 1 percent from the 4.86 billion pounds produced in December 2020.

Beef production, at 2.36 billion pounds, was 1 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.82 million head, up 1 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was up 3 pounds from the previous year, at 1,392 pounds.

Veal production totaled 5.3 million pounds, 7 percent below December a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 38,700 head, down 5 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was down 5 pounds from last year, at 237 pounds.

Pork production totaled 2.40 billion pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 11.1 million head, down 4 percent from December 2020. The average live weight was down 2 pounds from the previous year, at 292 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 11.6 million pounds, was down 4 percent from December 2020. Sheep slaughter totaled 187,100 head, 5 percent below last year. The average live weight was 123 pounds, up 1 pound from December a year ago.

Commercial Red Meat Production, by State

Dec '21                        million lbs.  -  % Dec '20

Nebraska ........:               680.5            100       
Iowa ...............:               776.4            100       
Kansas ............:               526.9            103       

January to December 2021 commercial red meat production was 55.8 billion pounds, up slightly from 2020. Accumulated beef production was up 3 percent from last year, veal was down 17 percent, pork was down 2 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 1 percent.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 1/14/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending January 14, ethanol production rebounded by 46,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 4.7%, to 1.053 million b/d, equivalent to 44.23 million gallons daily. Production was 11.4% above the same week last year, which was affected by the pandemic, and 0.4% more than the same week two years ago. The four-week average ethanol production volume ticked up 0.1% to 1.042 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.97 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks climbed 3.0% to a 48-week high of 23.6 million barrels. However, stocks were 0.2% below the year-ago level and 1.8% less than the same week two years ago. Inventories built across all regions except the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), including record-high reserves in the Midwest (PADD 2).
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, increased 4.0% to 8.22 million b/d (126.07 bg annualized). Gasoline demand registered 1.4% higher than a year ago but 5.1% lower than the same week two years ago.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol expanded 6.8% to a three-week high of 806,000 b/d, equivalent to 12.36 bg annualized. Net inputs were 3.6% more than a year ago but 6.7% less than the same week two years ago.

There were zero imports of ethanol recorded for the twelfth consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of November 2021.)

 MAIZALL President Visits Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted International Maize Alliance (MAIZALL) President Paulo Bertolini in Washington, D.C., this week. Bertolini was joined by MAIZALL coordinator Benno van der Laan and John Linder, NCGA chairman.

MAIZALL is a coalition of maize farmer associations from Argentina, Brazil and the United States that are working together to share expertise and information and to address trade barriers to agricultural innovation. MAIZALL’s farmers grow 50 percent of all maize in the world, and its member organizations represent farming operations of all sizes, with many of those being family farms. The Council, along with NCGA, the Argentine Corn and Sorghum Association (MAIZAR) and the Brazilian Association of Corn Producers (ABRAMILHO) comprise the alliance.

“The Council appreciates MAIZALL’s efforts to address trade barriers and advance sound trade policy,” LeGrand said. “It’s important to have the Council, NCGA and our counterparts in Argentina and Brazil working together so we make every effort to bring about a rational and efficient global trading system that works for all of us and for our respective customers as well.”

The group met with several seed technology companies while in the D.C. area and discussed MAIZALL’s past and ongoing engagements in the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU). In addition, the group examined the possibility of future biotechnology and crop protection engagements around the world, along with information on biotechnology trends and issues.

While in town, the group met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Technologies office, the House Agriculture Committee Minority and Majority staffs and the office of the United States Trade Representative.

Council staff met with the group as well, discussing the Council’s role as a member of the alliance and the importance of working together to address trade barriers. Bertolini, van der Laan and Linder met with Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand and Vice President and COO Kimberly Atkins before talking with Kurt Shultz, USGC senior director of global strategies, on the importance of continued engagement and outreach.

NMPF January 2022 Dairy Market Report Now Available

Dairy markets are in a very different situation than almost any experienced since 2014.

The dominant features of the basic U.S. dairy situation continue to be tighter milk production, record export volumes, higher prices, sluggish domestic consumption, and dropping inventories. Total dairy cows and total milk production in the United States were both lower than a year earlier during the September–November rolling quarter. December prices for nonfat dry milk and dry whey were the highest monthly prices since 2014; they, as well as December butter and cheese prices, were all among the highest observed during all months since the beginning of the year 2000. The long period of tough market conditions from 2014 until recently constitutes a major reason for the production contraction that’s driving the current situation.

View the report here:  

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