Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday April 14 Ag News

 LEAD Fellowship applications available for group 41

Fellowship applications for Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Group 41 are now available for men and women involved in production agriculture or agribusiness.

“Up to 30 motivated men and women with demonstrated leadership potential will be selected from five geographic districts across our state,” said Terry Hejny, Nebraska LEAD Program director.  

“In order to uphold the integrity and the mission of LEAD, our board of directors has adopted policy that will help ensure the safety of our LEAD participants and all of those associated with the program during this global pandemic."  

In addition to monthly three-day seminars throughout Nebraska from mid-September through early April each year, Nebraska LEAD Fellows also participate in a 10-day national study/travel seminar and a two-week international study/travel seminar.

Seminar themes include leadership assessment and potential, natural resources and energy, agricultural policy, leadership through communication, Nebraska’s political process, global perspectives, nuclear energy, social issues, understanding and developing leadership skills, agribusiness and marketing, advances in health care and the resources and people of Nebraska’s Panhandle, says Hejny.

The Nebraska LEAD Program is designed to prepare the spokespersons, problem-solvers and decision makers for Nebraska and its agricultural industry.  

Applications are due no later than June 15 and are available via e-mail from the Nebraska LEAD Program. Please contact the Nebraska LEAD Program office at  You may also request an application by writing to 104 ACB, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 68583-0940 or by calling (402) 472-6810. You can visit for information about the selection process.

In its 41st year, the program is operated by the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, a nonprofit organization, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and in cooperation with Nebraska colleges and universities, business and industry, and individuals throughout the state.


Nebraska Extension offers Introductory Level Crop Scout Training May 17

A May 17 Nebraska Extension training course is scheduled for industry representatives and corn and soybean growers wanting to learn how to better manage corn and soybean pests.

The introductory level crop scout training is designed for entry-level scouts who are working for crop consultants, industry agronomists or farm service centers in Nebraska and neighboring states.  The training is also ideal for growers who scout their own fields or are interested in improving productivity, as well as for students being employed by agribusinesses.

The course, which will be held in-person, is from 8:55 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Nebraska’s Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead. Nebraska Extension Educator Aaron Nygren says, “After providing virtual training the last 2 years, we look forward to providing participants a hands-on, in-person experience focusing on important crop scouting skills.”

Topics covered during the day include:  Understanding Corn and Soybean Growth and Development; Crop Diseases and Quiz; Identifying Weeds - Plant Morphology, Using a Key to Identify Weed Seedlings; Corn and Soybean Insect Scouting, Identification, Management; and Nutrient Deficiencies in Corn and Soybeans. Training will be provided by Nebraska Extension specialists and educators.  

Some of the benefits past registrants stated the training provided included practical/working knowledge and better accuracy in field scouting.  Other participants appreciated the hands-on, practical format.  Past participants have consistently given the training high marks and state that the knowledge gained from attending improved their scouting skills.

Cost for the program is $100, which includes lunch, refreshment breaks, workshop materials and a 3 ring binder instruction manual. The take-home instruction manual includes a variety of reference materials that provide resources for crop scouting.  For those attending the daylong training that don’t want a copy of the instruction manual, the fee is $60. Attendees should preregister to reserve their seat and to ensure workshop materials are available the day of the training session.  

Certified Crop Advisor continuing education credits are being applied for with 6 credits in pest management, 1 in crop management and .5 in fertility/nutrient management.

Information and registration available at  For questions, contact Nebraska Extension at (402) 624-8030 or e-mail

Extension is in the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Pasture & Forage Specialist

Have you noticed any winter injury to your alfalfa fields or maybe you have some older stands that are thin?
Maximizing tonnage from every inch of rain your alfalfa hay fields receive this year may be necessary.  Unfortunately, alfalfa uses quite a bit of water for each ton of hay, especially as temperatures rise.  So, it is critical to get as much tonnage out of the first cutting as possible, before summer heat sets in.  One way to boost first cutting hay yield from thin, or winter damaged alfalfa stands is to drill cereals like oats, spring triticale, or spring barley into those stands.  Depending on the thickness of the alfalfa stand, drill 30 to 60 pounds per acre directly into your existing stand as soon as possible.   These cereals will use spring moisture very efficiently to add tonnage to your first cutting.
Where the alfalfa is thick, you may not get much, but in thin spots these cereals should fill in rapidly.  These spring cereals will have rapid growth in late May and early June, so cutting your hay a little later than usual will help you get the most yield benefit from this addition.
Besides the small grains, annual or Italian ryegrass is another option to increase hay yield.  For these, a seeding rate of 5 to 12 pounds per acre is adequate.
Getting the most out of each inch of moisture could be especially important this year.


– Todd Whitney, NE Extension Educator

Drought conditions have caused significant delays in pasture green-up and dormancy break. As a result, livestock producers may be seeking alternative forages and adjusting stocking rates to compensate for decreased forage production. The Drought Mitigation Center provides free drought management educational resources at:
For example, when forage plants are under drought stress, managers may extend the rest period between grazing cycles. Using rotational grazing along with longer rest periods will allow more plant growth readiness when rains finally come. Overgrazed pastures will also recovery slower during drought if animals continually graze off regrowth.
So, if pasture forage production is limited, what are alternative forage options? In general, annual forages are more water use efficient than perennial grasses. Thus, wheat and rye fields may be greening while grass pastures are still looking brown. With lower soil temperatures, seeded cool-season annuals like oats will provide quicker forage growth. However, drought water use efficiency favors warm-season annual forage grass such as foxtail millet, sudangrass and sorghum-sedan grasses as soils warm.
If alfalfa fields are lacking height for haying; then grazing the alfalfa may be a way to extend pasture rest. Note that drought impacted alfalfa is less likely to cause bloat problems with grazing cattle.
Grazing wheat or rye may also extend pasture rest. If grain harvest is still a goal, then cattle should be removed from grazing the wheat prior to the hollow stem growth stage, since immature wheat heads may be eaten off. However, this forage option may be gone within the next two weeks. Grazing rainfed or dryland corn could be an option later if our dry conditions continue into the summer months.

Stand Up 4 Grain Safety

Farmers in Nebraska continue to produce more bushels with less resources. The result of this increased efficiency is more on-farm grain storage. In turn, this leaves a bigger risk of fatal accidents associated with grain handling and storage. Nebraska’s checkoff organizations of corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum (as well as their respective associations), encourage farmers to focus on hazards found in grain handling and storage environments.

“Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” was last week, and it was organized through an alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Grain and Feed Association, the Grain Elevator and Processing Society and the Grain Handling Safety Council.

Every year hundreds of employees are injured or die from preventable hazards while working in grain handling and storage. “Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” encourages facilities and individuals to commit to safety in the workplace or how tasks are performed to create positive safety impacts.

There are many hazards that workers are exposed to when working in the grain handling industry. One of the biggest hazards includes suffocation from engulfment. However, with proper safety procedures, grain bin accidents are preventable. Here are a few grain bin safety tips to keep in mind when you are working with stored grain:
-    Turn off and disconnect, lock out, or block-off all powered equipment, especially grain-moving equipment (like augers).
-    Use a body harness with an anchored lifeline or boatswain chair when entering from a level at or above stored grain.
-    Test the bin’s air to ensure there is enough oxygen and no toxic and/or flammable gas.
-    Do not walk on or “down” the grain to make it flow.
-    Do not enter onto or below bridged grain or when grain is built up on sides.
-    Do not enter without having rescue equipment and a rescue-trained observer stationed outside who is in constant contact with you.
-    Confirm from your employer’s issued entry permit that all safety precautions are in place and it is safe to enter.

Nebraska’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum checkoffs and their respective associations have a wide variety of grain bin safety tips on their social media channels. More information can also be found at

USGC Extends Corn Co-Products Educational Program In Algeria

The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) Middle East/Africa (MEA) office hosted an in-person distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) seminar in Oran, Algeria, this March. The Council worked with one of its Algerian partners, Nutrimag, to host the event.

Today, U.S. corn co-products can provide a good alternative to reduce feed diet cost of production and improve overall quality. Through programs like this one, the Council aims to expand DDGS use in the Algerian dairy industry by addressing market constraints that limit expansion in the industry.

Leading the Council’s engagement there, Mohamed Salah Bouthour, USGC assistant regional director-Africa for the MEA region, and three instructors from the Regional Feed Training Center in Tunisia highlighted the financial and nutritional benefits of corn co-products in feed diets.

More than 70 livestock farmers from the country attended the workshop over two and a half days to discuss U.S. corn co-products supply and demand fundamentals, followed by a presentation by Dr. Taha Najjar, a professor of feed nutrition at the National Institute of Agronomy in Tunisia, on the benefits of using DDGS in ruminant diets and how to maximize DDGS inclusion rates and profitability.

To curb the decline of the Algerian economy, the government increased duties in 2016 to make up for a shortfall in the budget. The Algerian government assigned import duties and value-added taxes (VAT) on all feed ingredients. The duties on DDGS and corn gluten feed (CGF) are set at 30 percent and 19 percent respectively with no VAT, while the duties on corn and soybean meal are only five percent, making corn co-products less competitive with soybean meal and other feed ingredients.

The feed market in Algeria accounts for roughly six million metric tons (MMT), or 232 million bushels, of compound feed. However, the ruminant feed industry accounts for 25 percent of the total feed production and is growing quickly due to government policy to improve and enhance local dairy and red meat production.

“The U.S. Grains Council is promoting the benefits of DDGS use, a more cost-effective solution. This approach demonstrates to Algerian farmers that they can increase performance while decreasing cost,” Bouthour said. “The Council will continue working with its private and public industry partners in Algeria to align the import duty on DDGS and CGF with import duties of corn, soybean meal and other similar feed ingredients.”

CNH Industrial Reman Celebrates Global Remanufacturing Day 2022

CNH Industrial Reman is excited to join the celebration for Global Remanufacturing Day today, April 14, 2022. Globally, Reman Day is hosted by the Remanufacturing Industries Council and celebrates and advances the remanufacturing industry through manufacturer-hosted events and workforce development initiatives.  

“We celebrate Reman Day each year to help educate and raise awareness of remanufacturing industry,” said Jamie Collins, director of sales and marketing at CNH Industrial Reman. “At CNH Reman, we are hosting an on-site celebration that includes refreshments and t-shirts for team members. We are also coordinating group photos of CNH employees representing Reman as they celebrate across the globe.”  

The annual multi-industry holiday celebrates remanufacturing as a rigorous industrial process held to the highest standards.  

“There’s a misconception that remanufactured parts are just repaired parts, which they are not,” said Collins. “In reality, remanufactured parts are virtually indistinguishable from new parts. We’re able to take advantage of the hindsight view of understanding the failure modes of parts and we can correct them. This gives end-customers the opportunity to upgrade parts at a lower cost while reducing their liability with an increased warranty.”  

In addition, Reman Day seeks to increase public awareness of remanufacturing, emphasize the importance of remanufacturing to the circular economy and empower remanufacturers around the world.

“The remanufacturing process allows us to drive longevity into a part by remanufacturing it back to current OEM specifications or greater,” said Collins. “By reutilizing the raw materials from the original parts, we are able to lower the cost of ownership of a machine to the end-customer while also contributing to the circular economy. In fact, CNH Reman was able to keep 8.4 million pounds of raw materials out of landfills by remanufacturing parts and components back to OEM specifications in 2021.”   

Overall, by adhering to the remanufacturing process, CNH Reman can offer cost-effective parts and components that are environmentally sustainable. To learn more about CNH Industrial Reman, visit  

USDA Releases Equity Action Plan

Today, in support of Executive Order 13985 Advancing Racial Equity and Support to Underserved Communities, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) made its Equity Action Plan (PDF, 500 KB) publicly available. The plan outlines actions USDA will take to advance programmatic equity to improve access to programs and services for underserved stakeholders and communities.

All too often in the past, USDA programs and services were designed to benefit those with land, experience, money, and education while leaving behind those without means, resources or privilege of one kind or another. Over the course of decades, congressional reports, internal data, civil rights investigations, court actions, and stakeholder testimony have documented this long history of inequity and discrimination.

At the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA took swift actions to analyze data, consider a wide range of diverse stakeholder input, and prioritize activities that are immediately responsive to the urgent needs of those who have historically had difficulty understanding or accessing USDA’s programs and services.

“We are acknowledging USDA’s storied history and charting a new path forward,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s USDA is committed to rooting out systemic racism and advancing justice, equity, and opportunity for all. USDA’s Equity Action Plan serves as an initial roadmap for making sure our programs and services are accessible, especially to historically underserved communities and to those who need them most.”

“To maintain public trust, USDA and its staff must be keenly aware and responsive to the unique needs of historically underserved communities. USDA is a customer-centric organization with a mission-oriented workforce. USDA’s Equity Action Plan and our consistent emphasis on data-informed policy and north star of advancing equity is indicative of a renewed commitment to meaningfully addressing barriers that prevent access to USDA programs and services. Our vision is to live up to the promise of being the People’s Department,” said Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh.

To craft this Equity Action Plan, USDA first assessed and identified key challenges and opportunities through analysis of data and robust stakeholder engagement. Concurrently, USDA convened staff and leaders across USDA components to learn together and evaluate systems, practices, and policies that hinder progress. USDA Mission Areas and staff offices have identified challenges and opportunities of particular focus. The USDA Equity Action Plan highlights a set of actions USDA will take to advance equity; these particular actions are highlighted in the plan because of their potential high impact for underserved farmers and ranchers, families and children, and rural communities. Below is a summary:
    Partner with trusted technical assistance providers
    Reduce barriers to USDA programs and improve support to underserved farmers, ranchers, landowners, and farmworkers
    Expand equitable access to USDA nutrition assistance programs
    Increase USDA infrastructure investments that benefit underserved communities
    Advance equity in federal procurement
    Uphold Federal trust and treaty Responsibilities to Indian Tribes
    Institutionalize an unwavering commitment to and actions towards ensuring civil rights

As USDA makes progress on the goals and actions articulated above, the Department will simultaneously partner with the Equity Commission on their future recommendations. In line with the best practices in the private and nonprofit sectors, USDA is also focused on creating an organization that systematically places diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) (PDF, 452 KB) at the center of how we support USDA’s workforce and performance. Foundational to these efforts is USDA’s commitment to upholding and advancing civil rights and tribal sovereignty. These priorities are reflected in USDA’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan (PDF, 9.6 MB).

For more information, visit

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