Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday April 13 Ag News


The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing a sixth confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The sixth farm, a flock of over 1.7 million laying hens, is in Dixon County.

According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley, the farm has been quarantined and the birds will be humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner. Additionally, NDA will be establishing a 6.2-mile control zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. These producers should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying poultry.

Dr. Dudley also announced the completion and release of the surveillance zones in Merrick and Holt counties and the completion and release of both the control and surveillance zones in Butler County.

Avian Influenza Cases Outpacing 2014/2015 Outbreak

The number of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases in the United States are outpacing the 2014/2015 outbreak, but the higher numbers might be attributed to improvements in detection and reporting protocols. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s latest Market Intel examines the impact of HPAI region by region.

Farm Bureau economists found as of April 7, there have been more than 600 detections of HPAI in wild birds across 31 states, and 158 detections in commercial and backyard flocks across 25 states.

The 2014/2015 outbreak prompted revisions to the National HPAI Surveillance Plan, which has led to heightened annual surveillance plans, providing poultry producers earlier notice to increase their biosecurity measures.

“The HPAI outbreak is an urgent reminder to all poultry farmers to ensure their biosecurity measures are in place,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Every effort must be made to protect the health of the animals in our care in order to keep America’s food supply strong.”

AFBF economists analyzed HPAI detections in commercial flocks and found the Mississippi flyway is the most impacted, with 49% of detections, followed by the Central flyway at 36% and the Atlantic with 15% of cases. The Pacific flyway has not had a reported case.

While HPAI has affected the laying hen population, inventory of eggs is actually 38% higher in 2022 than during the same time in 2015. Eggs will easily be found in the grocery store for Easter and Passover celebrations, but prices will be higher.

Biden Issues Emergency Waiver in Effort to Reduce Fuel Prices for Consumers

On April 12, 2022, President Biden, in response to record high gas prices, issued an emergency waiver to allow a higher blend of ethanol to be sold during the summer months. E15, a blend of gasoline and 15% ethanol, is safe and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use in vehicles 2001 or newer and can save consumers about $.10 per gallon.

In Nebraska, E85 is available at 125 fueling stations and E15 is available at around 110 fueling stations. Locations can be found at If our nation moved to a fuel standard of E15, consumers would save $12.2 billion in fuel costs every single year, according to industry expert Growth Energy.

“Of course, we are celebrating this victory, but it’s not enough,” said Reid Wagner, administrator of the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB). “Ethanol is a non-toxic octane booster produced right here in America that saves drivers money, provides substantial positive impact to environmental pollution, and brings us closer to energy independence. With these benefits, there’s really no reason we should continue to rely on foreign adversaries for petroleum products. This is a step in the right direction, and we urge the EPA to admonish outdated modeling that doesn’t truly capture ethanol’s superiority to gasoline regarding emissions.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board is urging drivers who’ve experienced the benefits of ethanol to let others know.

“Using ethanol is one of the easiest ways people can save money and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Jan tenBensel, chairman of the NEB and a farmer in Cambridge, Nebraska. “Most people are using ethanol already because E10 is usually the cheapest option. If you can find E15, the price is even lower. And right now, that means something. With higher costs on nearly everything, every cent counts.”

In addition to telling friends, family, and coworkers how to save money with ethanol, requesting higher blends at your favorite fuel stations will help you get more affordable choices closer to home. Also, reach out to local and federal policymakers, including the EPA.

“I’m confident in this product and have used it for years, as do thousands of people around the world. Study after study proves ethanol is safe and efficient,” tenBensel added. “If Russia’s war on Ukraine has taught us anything, it’s that we need to work hard toward energy independence. By increasing our use of ethanol in just 33% of the country’s fuel supply, we could replace the amount of oil we are no longer trading with Russia. Instead, we’ve been increasing our dependence on petroleum.”

Without federal legislation, E15 would require another waiver next year to be sold during the 2023 summer months. The Nebraska Ethanol Board and various state agencies have been in direct discussion with the EPA to explore ways to provide higher blends of ethanol long-term.

The Next Generation Fuels Act (NGFA) has been introduced in the House and has bi-partisan support including all of Nebraska’s House delegation. The NGFA would provide immediate access to E15 across the country and provide the framework for adoption of using even higher ethanol fuels in conventional vehicles.

The White House noted in a press release it would also consider modifications to E15 fuel pump labeling, currently an orange and black sticker, that denotes a higher ethanol content.

Biofuels, including ethanol, are underutilized in today’s fuel market but don’t need to be. Nebraska ethanol plants have the capacity to produce 2.6 billion gallons each year but only produce about 2.2 billion gallons. By allowing broader use of lower-cost ethanol blends permanently, Nebraskans could better protect the Earth from the impending climate crisis, enhance our nation’s energy security, and increase ethanol’s economic benefits.

The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which pose severe environmental and health issues. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, biofuels reduce GHG emissions by 46% compared to gasoline. Additionally, when blended in gasoline, ethanol displaces toxic aromatics, reducing particulate matter, carbon monoxide, BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), and other pollutants that lead to respiratory issues, heart disease, and even death.

Ricketts: President Biden Should Permanently Approve Year-Round Use of E15

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s announcement of extended sales of E15 for 2022:

“Thank you to President Biden for allowing E15 to be sold through the summer.  This will provide needed relief to Nebraskans in the face of rising fuel prices.  In the coming months, I encourage the Biden Administration to make the year-round use of E15 permanent.  Biofuels save people money at pump, help clean up the environment, and are great for our farmers and ranchers.”

“Nebraska is the #2 ethanol producer in the U.S., with a capacity to produce 2.6 billion gallons a year.  If President Biden steps up to make year-round E15 use permanent, Nebraska will be ready to help fill that need.”           

Soybean Farmers, Biodiesel Producers Back President's Call for Infrastructure Investments

Improving the structural integrity of America’s ports, roads, rails and inland waterways and boosting biofuels infrastructure have long been priorities for soybean farmers. They were also touted by President Joe Biden during a stop in Guthrie County this week.

Delivering his remarks from a renewable fuels facility near Menlo, Biden highlighted a series of priority areas for the administration. Enhancing the quality of farm-to-market infrastructure and increasing the production and use of home-grown energy are at the top of the list.

“Meaningful investments to both biofuel and transportation infrastructure are essential to ensuring the vitality and safety of Iowa’s 40,000 soybean growers,” said Robb Ewoldt, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) president and soybean farmer from Davenport. “Securing these investments will keep soy farmers across the state in an ideal position to continue meeting the demand for quality protein and oil used around the world.”

In 2021, Iowa farmers harvested a record 622 million bushels of soybeans, accounting for 13% of the nation’s total soybean production.

As the primary link between soy supply and demand, enhancements to the state’s transportation network bodes well for Iowa soybean farmers. Following passage of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, the State of Iowa is set to receive roughly $5 billion in new federal funds over five years to enhance roads, bridges and lock and dam systems. Maintaining a safe, reliable and efficient transportation network gives Iowa soybean farmers a competitive advantage on the global marketplace.

Similarly, Iowa soybean farmers and biodiesel producers recognize the importance of biofuel infrastructure in growing soybean demand and ensuring the nation’s energy security. By increasing soybean oil value, biodiesel production added $1.78 to the per-bushel price of soybeans in 2021. It also lowers the price of soybean meal, a key ingredient for livestock producers and the food supply.

“Investments in biofuels offer huge wins for farmers, biofuel producers, consumers and the environment,” said Iowa Biodiesel Board Chair Brad Wilson, who attended the event. “It was gratifying to hear the president acknowledge support for biofuels, saying they are an important option to help solve our energy supply issues today. He noted biofuels support good paying jobs and the farm economy, while lowering greenhouse gases and helping achieve zero-carbon goals in the transportation sector. The president said this industry has a tremendous future, and we couldn’t agree more.”

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $100 million in federal funding for biofuel infrastructure enhancements. Grants to improve biofuel infrastructure, including blender pumps compatible with higher blends, would increase low-carbon fuel options for consumers. In addition, improved terminal infrastructure will help move higher blends of biodiesel and more overall volumes.

“The Iowa Soybean Association supports investing resources in specific and proven initiatives resulting in tangible and meaningful outcomes for all Iowans,” said Ewoldt. “Investments in the state’s biofuel and transportation infrastructure meet this requirement.”

Nominations Open for 2022 Iowa's Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin

In its 20th year, the 2022 Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin Contest is kicking off the same way that it always has—by asking dedicated fans to nominate their favorite sandwich.  

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) will accept online votes from now until June 6, and the winning restaurant will be crowned during National Pork Month in October.

“Watching this competition grow from just 90 nominees in 2003, to nearly 6,000 last year, has been incredible,” said Kelsey Sutter, IPPA’s marketing and programs director. “Over the past two decades, we’ve seen every winner put a unique spin on this classic Midwest staple, but each sandwich starts the same—with high-quality, delicious pork.”

Often referred to as a “tenderloin tsunami” by IPPA, people are known to come from near and far to get a taste of the state’s best tenderloins. After securing the title last October, Victoria Station in Harlan has seen a tenfold increase in tenderloin sales, jumping from about 20 sandwiches served each week to more than 200.

To qualify, Iowa dining establishments must offer hand-breaded or battered pork tenderloins as a regular menu item, and be open year-round with regular hours. Food trucks, concession stands, seasonal eateries, and catering businesses are not eligible.

This first round of the contest lets the public put their No. 1 choices on IPPA’s radar. Those who nominate the winning restaurant will be entered for a chance to win a $100 prize. Nominations are limited to one per person.

Following the nomination round, IPPA’s restaurant and foodservice committee will review 40 restaurants, pulling the five restaurants with the most nominations from each of IPPA’s eight districts. Top contenders will be turned over to a panel of undercover judges, who visit the locations and decide which tenderloins meet their criteria for pork quality, taste, physical characteristics, and eating experience.

Five finalists, including the winner, will be named in October, with the winning restaurant receiving $500, a plaque to display in their business, and statewide publicity that will bring in new business. The runner-up is awarded $250 and a plaque from IPPA.

Winners from the past five years: 2021 — Victoria Station, Harlan; 2020 — PrairieMoon On Main, Prairieburg; 2019 — The Pub at the Pinicon, New Hampton; 2018 — Three C’s Diner, Corning; and 2017 — Grid Iron Grill, Webster City. See the full list of past winners, dating back to 2003.

First-place winners cannot compete for five years following the award.

Nominations in 2021: IPPA received 5,928 nominations for 526 different establishments.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 4/8/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending April 8, ethanol production declined by 8,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 0.8%, to 995,000 b/d, equivalent to 41.79 million gallons daily. Production was 5.7% more than the same week last year and 9.8% above the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume decreased 0.8% to 1.019 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.62 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks tightened by 4.2% to a nine-week low of 24.8 million barrels. However, stocks were 20.9% higher than a year ago and 7.8% above the five-year average. Inventories declined across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2).

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, rose 2.0% to 8.74 million b/d (133.92 bg annualized). Demand was 2.3% less than a year ago but 2.7% above the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol climbed 3.4% to 887,000 b/d, equivalent to 13.60 bg annualized. Net inputs were 0.3% less than a year ago but 6.9% above the five-year average.

There were no imports of ethanol for the eleventh consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of February 2022.)

More Fertilizers Look to Set Price Records as 2022 Planting Season Begins

Retail fertilizer prices continue to march higher and higher, according to locations tracked by DTN for the first week of April 2022. All fertilizers were higher once again compared to last month.

Leading the way higher was urea. The nitrogen fertilizer was 14% more expensive compared to last month and had an average price of $1,031/ton, which is an all-time high price in the DTN data set.

DAP was 13% higher compared the prior month with an average price of $1,040/ton, an all-time high price. MAP was 11% more expensive looking back a month with an average price of $1,056/ton.

Potash was also up a considerable amount. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more. Potash was 6% more expensive compared to last month and had an average price of $875/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were slightly higher compared to the previous month. 10-34-0 had an average price of $901/ton, anhydrous $1,534/ton (all-time high), UAN28 $629/ton (all-time high) and UAN32 $729/ton (all-time high).

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $1.12/lb.N, anhydrous $0.94/lb.N, UAN28 $1.12/lb.N and UAN32 $1.14/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in prices than one year earlier. 10-34-0 is 49% more expensive, MAP is 51% higher, DAP is 68% more expensive, UAN28 is 85% higher, UAN32 is 93% more expensive, potash is 103% is higher, urea is 105% higher and anhydrous is 122% more expensive compared to last year.

House Ag Chair Announces Participation from Beef CEOs for Upcoming Hearing

House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott released the following statement announcing the participation of the CEOs of Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS, and National Beef Packing for the House Agriculture Committee’s upcoming hearing on cattle markets:

“I am pleased to announce that the Chief Executive Officers of each of the four largest meatpackers in the United States have agreed to testify at our upcoming Congressional hearing discussing cattle markets and price increases for consumers,” said Chairman David Scott. “It is very important, very vital, and very urgent that we hear the perspectives from the CEOs at these companies and get the full picture of why prices have gone up for consumers and down for ranchers.”

Chairman David Scott continued, “In addition to this panel of CEOs, we will be convening a panel of ranchers to hear what consolidation in the beef industry has done to their bottom lines and viability. We look forward to the variety of perspectives we will receive at this hearing and the clarity it will provide to our ranchers, our consumers, and to our nation’s food security.”

National Sorghum Producers Calls on USAID to Consider Grain Sorghum Offers

National Sorghum Producers sent a letter to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Tuesday to encourage the department to proactively tender grain offers to provide crucial aid to the world’s hungry. This action is in response to a worsening situation from the war in Ukraine and its impact on global food prices.

“In Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, where sorghum is a staple food in many countries, the situation is exacerbated by severe drought and conflict,” wrote NSP CEO Tim Lust.

The NSP letter goes on to encourage USAID, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to urgently consider grain sorghum offers for food aid as action plans are formulated to address the worsening situation.

“In preparation for the harvesting of this year’s sorghum crop, which begins in July, grain traders are emptying stocks from the 2021 crop year,” Lust added. “With the large premium in old crop grain prices, we do not expect old crop grain to be held past May 1.”

Sorghum is the fifth most important cereal crop in the world and ranks second, closely behind wheat, in total food aid purchases. Read the full letter at

ADM to Meet Fast-Growing Demand For Alternative Proteins with Significant Capacity Expansion, New Innovation Center

ADM, a global leader in nutrition, announced today that it will invest approximately $300 million to significantly expand its Decatur, Illinois, alternative protein production, as the company continues to add capacity to meet strong demand growth. ADM will further enhance its alternative protein capabilities by opening a new, state-of-the-art Protein Innovation Center, also in Decatur.

“The global trends of food security and sustainability are driving structural changes in the food industry, including strong growth in alternative proteins, and we’re investing to ensure ADM remains a leader in this vast and exciting space,” said Leticia Gonçalves, ADM’s president of Global Foods. “The array of opportunity areas for alternative proteins in foods and nutrition solutions is continuing to grow at 10% CAGR, with alternative meat and dairy sales alone expected to grow by 14% a year and reach $125 billion in 2030. Our sales in this space have been growing at rates much faster than the industry’s, and our work to expand our leadership position with new innovation and capacity is an important driver of future growth for our Nutrition business. We’re proud to continue to invest and innovate, delivering on our strategy, supporting global food security and advancing sustainability for our customers and our future.”

The production increase represents a significant expansion of ADM’s alternative protein capabilities. The project – which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025, subject to all applicable approvals and permits – will significantly strengthen ADM’s ability to meet growing global demand by increasing soy protein concentrate capacity and nearly doubling extrusion capacity at ADM’s Decatur complex. The enhancements will improve production capabilities by utilizing the latest cutting-edge technologies and processes, including best-available control technology in line with ADM’s commitments to environmentally sustainable operations.

The project is only the latest to expand ADM’s global alternative protein production capacity. Last year, the company acquired Sojaprotein, a leading European provider of non-GMO human nutrition protein solutions. Between the two investments, ADM will increase its global alternative protein production capacity by more than 30%.

The Protein Innovation Center will further expand ADM’s cutting edge Decatur-based innovation complex, joining the company’s Food Application Center and Animal Nutrition Technology Center and enhancing the company’s ability to work closely with customers to develop custom solutions to meet their needs. The new Decatur Innovation Center will bring together labs, test kitchens, and pilot-scale production capabilities to power new innovation, from novel and diversified ingredients, to more sustainable and efficient processing, to unique and differentiated texture, taste, appearance and nutrition solutions.

“Our customers choose ADM because we can innovate across the entire value chain, from seed to fork and around the globe, to arrive at the perfect solutions to meet growing consumer demand,” Gonçalves continued. “We’re proud to be the alternative protein partner of choice for global CPGs, food service companies and startups alike, with the highest-quality ingredients, unparalleled global scale, unmatched speed to market, and a value chain that no other company can offer. The investments we’re announcing today showcase our commitment to supporting their success and growing with them as more and more consumers choose alternative proteins.”

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