Thursday, January 6, 2022

Wednesday January 5 Ag News

 UMN Professor is the New Beef Educator in Cuming County

The Beef Extension Educator position has been filled in Cuming County! Alfredo DiCostanzo has accepted the position and will begin his duties in Cuming County on March 1, 2022. He is currently a professor of animal science within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

According to his page on the University of Minnesota website, DiCostanzo teaches several courses surrounding ruminant nutrition, animal bioenergetics, and beef production systems. His past research has examined how nutrition and management affect efficiency, economics, and environmental sustainability. DiCostanzo has done outreach across Minnesota since the mid-1990’s, and has been recognized for his work by those within Extension and the beef industry.

DiCostanzo earned his B.S. from ITESM Campus Queretaro, Mexico in 1981, his M.S.(1985) and Ph.D.(1989) from University of Minnesota, and did postdoctorate work at the University of Missouri in 1990.

Grossenburg Implement Recognized by Reinke with Dealer Award

Reinke Manufacturing, a global leader in irrigation systems and technology, has recognized Grossenburg Implement in Wayne with a Diamond award in recognition of their success in the past year.

“We are proud to honor the team at Grossenburg Implement with this award,” said Chris Roth, Reinke president. “They’ve dedicated themselves to supporting the growers in their area. We appreciate those efforts as Reinke continues to develop and implement irrigation equipment and technology designed to increase agriculture production.”

Reinke dealerships from across the United States and Canada come together annually for the company’s sales convention to recognize select Reinke dealers for their hard work and commitment to serve growers. The Reinke Pride awards are determined as part of an incentive program that distinguishes superior achievement levels according to an evaluation based on a dealership’s exterior and interior housekeeping and maintenance, indoor and outdoor displays, safety, retail environment, merchandising, professionalism, promotions, event participation and market share.

With hundreds of dealers in more than 40 countries, Reinke Manufacturing is the world's largest privately held manufacturer of center pivot and lateral move irrigation systems. Family owned since 1954 and headquartered in Deshler, Neb., Reinke develops products and technology designed to increase agriculture production while providing labor savings and environmental efficiencies. Reinke is a continued leader in industry advancements as the first to incorporate GPS, satellite-based communications, and touchscreen panel capabilities into mechanized irrigation system management. For more information on Reinke or to locate a dealership, visit

Nebraska’s new herd share program outlined in guide from Center for Rural Affairs

As consumer preference continues to shift toward local food, producers are working hard to meet this demand. However, supply chain challenges remain. That is especially true for the farmers and ranchers who raise livestock. Locker appointments can be hard to come by, and the wait time at U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected facilities can stretch beyond one year.

Nebraska lawmakers will consider much-needed legislation to fund the Independent Processor Assistance Program during the upcoming legislative session. In the meantime, producers may be able to overcome this supply chain bottleneck by utilizing a herd share program. This is the topic of a new guide recently released by the Center for Rural Affairs.  

“Until the Independent Processor Assistance Program is fully funded, direct purchase from local producers is available only to those who can afford and store large quantities of meat or live near one of the several U.S. Department of Agriculture facilities licensed in the state,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center. “A herd share agreement provides an alternative where multiple individuals can establish an ownership interest in the same animal, which entitles the consumer to meat processed in one of the numerous custom exempt locker plants across the state.”

Hladik said use of herd share programs in Nebraska and Wyoming have already made it easier for consumers to purchase meat from a local producer,

“This guide gives producers the information and resources they need to establish agreements with customers,” he said. “Herd share is a chance for the processor to grow their business, creating jobs and activity on Main Street.”

To view and download a copy of the guide, visit

USDA Announces Details for Pace Coverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released the details and coverage of the new crop insurance Post Application Coverage Endorsement, or PACE, for non-irrigated corn.

Farmers in select counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible for the endorsement.

PACE, available to farmers who split-apply nitrogen, provides coverage for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post nitrogen application during the V3-V10 corn growth stages due to field conditions created by weather. It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP), and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies.

“PACE is an important addition to the risk management toolbox for corn growers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We are appreciative of our industry partners and the Risk Management Agency for working to develop and deliver this new crop insurance product. ”

Growers who split-apply nitrogen apply fertilizer multiple times throughout the year, rather than providing just one treatment at the beginning of the growing season. The practice helps prevent runoff and leaching of nutrients in the waterways and the groundwater.

PACE was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company, LLC, Meridian Institute and others submitted to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation under provisions in the law allowing for private development of new crop products.

The first sales closing date to purchase insurance is March 15, 2022.

ISA Innovation to Profit Conference to Jumpstart 2022 Growing Season

Innovation to Profit, a highly interactive and farmer-centric conference powered by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), will be held Thursday, Feb. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.

Programming will reveal keen agronomic and soil and water management insights from ISA's nationally renowned Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI). Industry experts will also pencil out the ROI of cropping options and peer into their crystal ball on how supply chain issues might impact net returns for the 2022 growing season.

“The new year brings a host of new opportunities for soybean farmers, but many challenges continue to affect farmer profitability,” said Robb Ewoldt, ISA president and soybean farmer near Davenport. “From research opportunities and results, to supply chain discussions, producers will walk away from the conference with the knowledge and resources they need to make the best decisions for their operations.”

Producers will unlock profit opportunities through interactive sessions including:
-    Soybean market analysis for 2022 and beyond
-    Research results and integrated in-field and edge-of-field strategies
-    Supply chain panel discussion on emerging markets, soy transportation and production
-    Interactive tools for profitable decision making
-    Management options to improve yields and address water quality challenges

Confirmed speakers include Matt Erickson, Ag Economic & Policy Advisor for Farm Credit Services of America, Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, and Mike Ralston, President of the Iowa Association of Business & Industry. Also, Steve Sukup, President and CEO of Sukup Manufacturing and John Latham, President of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds.  

Registration is courtesy of checkoff investments. Continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) are available through session participation.

To register or for complete agenda details, visit   

CHS Reports Record First Quarter Earnings

CHS Inc., the nation's leading agribusiness cooperative, today released results for its first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2021. The company reported record quarterly net income of $452.0 million compared to $69.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021. The significant improvement in earnings was largely driven by strong global demand across key businesses compared with lower demand during the same period a year ago as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiscal 2022 first quarter highlights include:

-    The Ag segment experienced robust global demand that drove commodity prices higher leading to a significant improvement in earnings compared to the same period during the prior year.
-    Strong demand and global market forces in the agronomy business resulted in improved earnings compared to the first quarter of 2021.
-    Refining margins were higher in our Energy segment and we also experienced more favorable pricing for Canadian crude oil which is processed by our refineries.
-    Equity earnings from the company's CF Nitrogen investment improved as a result of increased urea and urea ammonium nitrate pricing due to favorable market conditions.

"Our exceptionally strong financial performance in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 reflects the support of local cooperatives and producers, as well as the hard work and dedication of our employees around the world, who remain focused on delivering superior value for our owners. That support and hard work, along with the investments we continue to make in critical assets and technology advancements are leading to operational improvements and stronger customer engagement, which are driving earnings momentum," said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc.

"Our Energy segment continues to see both margin and volume expansion driven by increased global demand. I remain positive for the year ahead as we continue to improve the customer experience and create efficiency gains throughout our expansive network, all of which is leading to increased market access, added value and sustainable growth for our local cooperative and farmer owners."


Pretax earnings of $69.2 million represent a $136.4 million increase versus the same period a year ago and reflect:
-    Improved market conditions in our refined fuels business led to increased earnings, driven by higher refining margins and more favorable pricing of heavy Canadian crude oil processed by our two CHS refineries.
-    Higher refining margins were partially offset by the higher cost of renewable energy credits compared to a year ago. Additionally, lower propane margins due to the reversal of unrealized hedging gains also impacted the first quarter of fiscal 2022.


Pretax earnings of $286.4 million represent a $203.4 million increase versus the same period a year ago and reflect:
-    Higher margins across all our Ag segment businesses resulted from strong global market conditions and robust demand for agronomy products, grains and oilseeds, soyoil and soymeal.
-    Lower volumes in the quarter were attributable to a smaller overall wheat crop due to drought conditions in some parts of the United States and the impact from Hurricane Ida on the Gulf Coast.

Nitrogen Production

Pretax earnings of $96.6 million represents a $92.1 million increase versus the same period a year ago and reflect:
-    Higher equity method income attributed to strong demand and increased prices of urea and urea ammonium nitrate which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen.

Corporate and Other

Pretax earnings of $14.5 million represent a $10.3 million decrease versus the same period a year ago and reflect:
-    Lower equity income from our investment in Ventura Foods, which experienced less favorable market conditions for edible oils.

CHS Inc. ( is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

Soy Checkoff's New Strategic Plan Brings Value to Soybean Farmers

Farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board (USB) announced a new strategic plan that prioritizes sustainable soy solutions for global and domestic customers while ensuring value and profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. The seating of the new Chair and Executive Committee at its December meeting included appointments of the Supply and Demand Action Team leads, Priority Area coordinators and Communication & Education Committee chair, among other key roles within the organization.

“Farmer investments this past year have fueled groundbreaking progress promoting U.S. soybeans. It’s crucial we build on that success and set a strong course for our future,” said Ralph Lott, USB Chair and farmer from Seneca Falls, New York. “We also know that, in the coming years, the soy industry will be faced with compelling opportunities and tough decisions. The new strategic plan sets a clear path to navigate what’s ahead, capturing value and increasing profits for farmers.”

The USB Strategic Plan will guide checkoff investments in research, education and promotion across three priority areas of Infrastructure & Connectivity, Health & Nutrition, and Innovation & Technology. Each area is further divided into two additional areas of focus, supply and demand, and measured by resilience, differentiation and reputation.

“These priority areas drive our strategic decisions and will focus our efforts to create the most value and positive impact for every soybean farmer,” said Lott. “For example, when it comes to infrastructure and connectivity, the checkoff will invest in projects that strengthen the road, rail, river and broadband systems that bring U.S. soybeans to market. We’ve seen this in action with the recent checkoff investment in the research, analysis and design informing the dredging of the lower Mississippi River to enhance our nation’s inland waterways. The new strategic plan will carry this work forward.”

Similarly, work in the health and nutrition priority area will improve both plant and soil health, preserving the environment, and animal and human health, delivering a more nutritious soybean to U.S. Soy customers. Investment in the innovation and technology priority area will help the checkoff discover new ways to farm while also producing and expanding market opportunities for U.S. soybeans.

To achieve results, the strategic plan includes market-focused strategies with clear plans of action. These overarching strategies include:
-    Strategy 1: Enable farmer-led pathways to tighten the U.S. soybean value chain, bridging innovations across supply and demand.
-    Strategy 2: Create and promote the unique identity, value and versatility of U.S. soybeans and soybean products through traditional and new opportunities.
-    Strategy 3: Position and empower farmers to capture value potential.
-    Strategy 4: Grow the soy checkoff as a primary industry resource and voice which is trusted, strategic and effective.  

“The checkoff is committed to working on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers, and the new strategic plan demonstrates that,” said Lott. “Launching our path into the future is powered by meaningful planning and goal setting. Our farmer-leaders did the work, and we now have a clear plan in place that shows us the best path forward. I look forward to providing sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day; it’s the reason why many of us farm and that’s to nourish our neighbors, community and the world.”

Approved at the 2021 summer meeting with unanimous support from USB’s board of directors, the Strategic Plan Task Force served a critical role in creating the plan, engaging farmer-leaders and value chain partners and ensuring it reflected the future state of the industry. Task Force members represented USB, International Flavors & Fragrances, Cargill, Hanor Company, American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 12/31/2021

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending December 31, ethanol production eased by 11,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1.0%, to 1.048 million b/d, equivalent to 44.02 million gallons daily. Production was 12.1% above the same week last year, which was affected by the pandemic, but 1.3% less than the same week two years ago. The four-week average ethanol production volume decreased 1.0% to 1.061 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 16.27 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks jumped 3.3% to a twenty-week high of 21.4 million barrels. Stocks were 8.3% below the year-ago level and 4.9% less than the same week two years ago. Inventories built across the Midwest (PADD 2)—up 8.5% to the highest volume since Mar. 2019—and Gulf Coast (PADD 3) but thinned across other regions.
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, slumped 16.0% during the holiday week to 8.17 million b/d (125.28 bg annualized). Gasoline demand was the lowest volume since February but registered 9.8% more than a year ago and 0.5% above the same week two years ago.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol dropped 14.1% to 782,000 b/d, equivalent to 11.99 bg annualized and a 45-week low. Net inputs were 8.8% more than a year ago but 2.4% less than the same week two years ago.

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

November DMC Margin Rises, Generates Smallest Payment Since 2020

The November margin under the Dairy Margin Coverage program was $9.14/cwt, up $0.60/cwt. from October, as higher milk prices more than offset gains in feed costs. The new calculation will generate a payment of $0.36/cwt. for $9.50/cwt. coverage, which will be the smallest since September 2020.

The all-milk price component of the November margin was $20.80/cwt., $1.10/cwt. higher than a month earlier. The November DMC feed cost was also higher for the month, by $0.50/cwt., with nearly equal contributions from higher corn and soybean meal prices. The November premium alfalfa hay price was down slightly from a month earlier after rising steadily almost every month since September 2020.

The end-of-year dairy futures indicate a possible small payment to $9.50/cwt. coverage for December, but the current strong milk price outlook makes this questionable for future months, given the current market outlook.

Signup for the 2022 DMC program is underway and will close on Feb. 18. This year’s program has paid out $1.2 billion as of January 3, and NMPF is urging dairy farmers who haven’t yet joined the program to do so. NMPF has a page of resources for members who may have questions here

CWT-Assisted Dairy Export Sales for 2021 Reach Nearly 1.5 Billion Pounds

Despite not taking bids for two weeks during December breaks, CWT member cooperatives secured 41 contracts in December adding 3.5 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 105,000 pounds of butter, 44,000 pounds of whole milk powder, 767,000 pounds of cream cheese and 300,000 pounds of anhydrous milkfat to CWT-assisted sales in 2021. These products will go customers in the Caribbean, Asia, Middle East-North Africa and South America, and will be shipped from December 2021 through June 2022.

CWT-assisted dairy product sales contracts for 2021 total 53.1 million pounds of American-type cheese, 16 million pounds of butter, 6.4 million pounds of anhydrous milkfat, 12.2 million pounds of cream cheese and 45.1 million pounds of whole milk powder. This brings the total milk equivalent for the year to 1.447 billion pounds on a milkfat basis.

Exporting dairy products is critical to the viability of dairy farmers and their cooperatives across the country. Whether or not a cooperative is actively engaged in exporting cheese, butter, anhydrous milkfat, cream cheese, or whole milk powder, moving products into world markets is essential. CWT provides a means to move domestic dairy products to overseas markets by helping to overcome U.S. dairy’s trade disadvantages.

Changes to Clean Water Rule Will Hurt Family Farms

Member farmers from the American Farm Bureau Federation will participate in a roundtable on Thursday, Jan. 6, about the impact of the proposal to repeal and replace the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR). The event is hosted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy. Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse and Colorado Farm Bureau Vice President James Henderson will join several other farmers attending the roundtable to explain why this rule is so consequential for agriculture.

The Biden administration recently proposed a “step 1” Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. Despite claims to the opposite from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers, a new WOTUS rule will have a large impact on small businesses and family farms. The significant nexus test, particularly, will greatly expand federal jurisdiction onto private lands and make it difficult for farmers and ranchers to decipher where their property is impacted.

“Farmers are dedicated to protecting the resources they’re entrusted with while raising the food our country relies on,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We support responsible rules that protect the environment, but we shouldn’t need a team of lawyers to interpret those rules just to farm our land. The NWPR brought clarity to water regulations, yet farmers and ranchers are again caught in the middle of changing regulations. We urge EPA to return to commonsense protections for the nation’s waterways. Our goal is simple – clean water and clear rules.”

Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse said, “There are three basic elements everyone in agriculture needs to feed and clothe our nation: healthy soils, ample sunshine and clean water. We take the stewardship of our land and water very seriously. The rules that enforce the Clean Water Act must be clear, concise and honor the law’s intent. Congress charged the federal government with protecting interstate navigable waters and the states to protect all others. The resources and landscapes across this country are incredibly diverse and it’s imperative that the states maintain their role in working at the ground level with farmers and ranchers to ensure clean water.”

Colorado Farm Bureau Vice President James Henderson said, “EPA’s proposal would again extend federal rules to the driest parts of the West. The rules would force ranchers like me to hire lawyers to seek approval for everyday tasks in areas where water runs only a handful of times every decade.”

AFBF applauds SBA for scheduling roundtables to hear from families who will be directly affected by a change in water regulations. The SBA virtual roundtable examining impacts on agriculture takes place on Jan. 6 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

New National Poll Shows Encouraging Signs of Reduced Stigma Around Farmer Mental Health

Farmers and people in rural areas are more comfortable talking about stress and mental health challenges with others, and stigma around seeking help or treatment has decreased in rural and farm communities but is still a factor, according to a new research poll from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

AFBF conducted the survey of rural adults and farmers/farmworkers to measure changes and trends in stigma, personal experiences with mental health, awareness of information about mental health resources and comfort in talking about mental health with others. The poll results were compared with previous surveys AFBF conducted in 2019 and 2020 focusing on farmer mental health, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmer mental health, respectively.

“Farm Bureau has been encouraging conversations to help reduce stigma around farmer stress and mental health through our Farm State of Mind campaign,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This poll shows that we are making a difference, but we all still have work to do. It’s up to each of us to keep looking out for our family, friends and neighbors and let them know they’re not alone when they feel the increasing stress that comes with the daily business of farming and ranching.”

Morning Consult conducted the poll on behalf of AFBF in December 2021 among a national sample of 2,000 rural adults. Key findings include:
-    Stigma around seeking help or treatment for mental health has decreased but is still a factor, particularly in agriculture. Over the past year, there has been a decrease in rural adults saying their friends/acquaintances (-4%) and people in their local community (-9%) attach stigma to seeking help or treatment for mental health. But a majority of rural adults (59%) say there is at least some stigma around stress and mental health in the agriculture community, including 63% of farmers/farm workers.
-    Farmers/farm workers are more comfortable talking to friends, family and their doctors about stress and mental health than they were in 2019. Four in five rural adults (83%) and 92% of farmers/farm workers say they would be comfortable talking about solutions with a friend or family member dealing with stress or a mental health condition, and the percentage of farmers/farm workers who say they would be comfortable talking to friends and family members has increased 22% since April 2019.
-    A majority of rural adults (52%) and farmers/farm workers (61%) are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges compared to a year ago, and they are seeking care because of increased stress. Younger rural adults are more likely than older rural adults to say they are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges compared to a year ago, and they are more likely than older rural adults to say they have personally sought care from a mental health professional.

AFBF will be featuring two events focused on farmer mental health at the 103rd AFBF Convention in Atlanta, Georgia: a panel discussion with Farm Bureau representatives on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 10:45 a.m. EST, and a QPR mental health training workshop conducted by AgriSafe that offers farmers and farm families skills to recognize and respond to mental health crises using the Question, Persuade and Refer approach, on Monday, Jan. 10, at 2:00 p.m. EST.

If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, visit the Farm State of Mind website at for information on crisis hotlines, treatment locators, tips for helping someone in emotional pain, ways to start a conversation and  resources for managing stress, anxiety or depression.

No comments:

Post a Comment