Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Tuesday June 7 Ag News

 Meeting Water Needs of Cattle in the Feedlot
Alfredo DiCostanzo, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Educator, Cuming County

Various factors affect water intake; but temperature, humidity and feed intake are the main drivers. Additionally, the first heat events of the season (late May and early June) are the most stressful on cattle: cattle are generally reaching finishing weight and condition, they are not acclimated to heat, and they have not shed their winter coat. This transition also catches managers and staff off guard as they are focused on late-winter yard management.

A quick reference to keep in mind as heat and humidity approach heat stress levels is the requirement of 1 gallon of water per pound of dry matter consumed. When weather transitions from cool nights and warm days to warm nights and hot days, cattle consuming 25 to 30 lb of dry matter will need to have access to 25 to 30 gallons of water daily. Later in the summer, intake moderation brought on by continued heat exposure might reduce this need to between 20 and 25 gallons.

It is also important to keep in mind that cattle under heat stress do not have 24 hours to consume their daily water requirement. Because of the intensity of heat stress, feedlot managers should plan on delivering the daily water requirement to all cattle in a pen within 4 to 6 hours. This means that for every 100 head, pipes delivering water to pen water troughs should reach minimum water flows of 8 to 10 gallons per minute. Older systems may never have had this water flow capacity, or the capacity may have declined over time.

Ensuring that 100% of the cattle in the pen reach a spot at the water trough within a 4- to 6-hour window is the next level of concern. Water trough size and, in some cases, distribution should be considered.

At an expected water drinking rate of 1.1 to 3.7 gallons per minute, each animal must spend from 7 to 22 minutes daily at the trough to satisfy their water requirement. This means that, providing one-time linear access of 48 inches/head to 10 cattle (40 linear feet) out of a 100-head pen, any individual spot at a drinking trough will be occupied for from 68 to 220 minutes to satisfy water requirements. This time allotment does not consider inherent behavioral expressions such as loafing at the trough, lapping up water, agonistic or playful behaviors disrupting access to the trough.

Final considerations for meeting water needs of the feedlot involve focusing on troubleshooting "problem" pens: pens where water access or heat stress abatement is a problem. Adding extra water tanks to increase water access will reduce heat loads caused by crowded water tanks, poor air movement, or lack of shade.

Platte Valley Cattlemen to host Summer Tour

It's time once again for the Platte Valley Cattlemen annual tour!  The tour will be held on Monday, June 20th, 2022.  Everyone will drive themselves and meet at the destinations.

The tour will start at Pieper Cattle facility, located at 185 Road I, Richland, NE.  Folks will tour their automatic indoor feeding facility from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  

The second stop is Holsteins Unlimited, located at 37245 100th Ave., Leigh, NE.  Tour of the dairy farm runs from 4:15pm to 5:30pm.

The final stop for the evening is the Kit Held Seed and Chemical facility located just northeast of Leigh (2302 Rd 2, Leigh, NE).  There attendees will enjoy a steak supper and beverages.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP so they can have a head count.  Contact PVC President Brian Steffensmeier at 402-750-9985.  Thanks to Kit Held for his tremendous help in organizing this year's tour.  See you on June 20th!  

AFAN/NSDA Golf Tournament

Indian Trails Country Club - Beemer, NE
Thursday, June 23, 2022 (rain date is July 7)
9am Registration - 10am Shotgun Start
4-person best ball - food provided

Options to become involved:
- Tournament Sponsor - $1000 - Sign or banner display - 1 team registration
- Hole Sponsor - $600 - Hole of your choosing & choice of hole game - 1 team registration
- Play in Tournament - $400 - Enjoy a day with your friends, colleagues, or business partners.  Good for one 4-person team.

Hosted by the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska and the Nebraska State Dairy Association.  For questions and to register, contact Mindy Rix at mindyr@a-fan.org.  Please register by June 10th.  


Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
South Central Ag Lab
  - located 4.5 miles west of Hwy 14 south (to Clay Center) & Hwy 6 Intersection,
  - or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Hwy 6.
Free to Attend. Pre-Registration Required.
Register Now at https://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday.  

8:30 a.m. – Registration (no cost) Enjoy rolls & coffee!
All tours depart from the shop building area.
9 – 10 a.m. Demonstration of projects for weed control in soybean
10 – 10:15 a.m. Break (Refreshments provided)
10:15 a.m. – Noon Demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and sorghum
Noon – 1 p.m. Lunch (Free)
1 p.m. End of field day. Thank you for coming. Have a good trip home!

Tour 1: On-Site Demonstration of New Technology/Herbicides for Weed Control in Soybean and Sorghum
    Planting Green and Residual Herbicide Interaction in soybean: Planting green refers to no-till planting of the primary crop into actively growing cover crop. Cereal rye is the most planted cover crop in corn/soybean cropping systems in Nebraska. The objectives of this project are (1) To evaluate effect of planting green on performance of residual herbicides applied pre-emergence for weed control in soybean, and (2) Effect of early termination of cereal rye versus planting green on soil health, weed control, and soybean yield.
    Comparison of Herbicide Programs for Weed Control in Soybean: Unbiased compare of several herbicide programs of different companies for weed control in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and Enlist soybean. New herbicides and multiple herbicide-resistant soybean will be discussed for management of herbicide-resistant weeds.
    Inter-seeding wheat in soybean for weed suppression: Evaluate the effect of inter-seeding winter wheat into soybean on small-seeded broadleaf weed suppression and soybean yield and grain quality.
    Weed Control and Crop Safety in XtendFlex Soybean: Understand soybean resistant to dicamba, glyphosate, and glufosinate and herbicide programs and their crop safety.

Tour 2: On-Site Demonstration of New Technology/Herbicides for Weed Control in Corn and Sorghum
    Comparison of Herbicide Programs for Weed Control in Corn: Unbiased comparison of herbicide programs by different companies for weed control in Roundup Ready/LibertyLink corn. New herbicides in corn will be discussed.
    Control of Volunteer Corn in Enlist Corn: Volunteer corn is a major weed in corn-soybean cropping systems. Project will demonstrate how to control volunteer corn in Enlist corn using Assure II and if is there any interaction of Assure II and Enlist ONE when applied in a mixture.
    Comparison of herbicide programs for weed control in herbicide-resistant sorghum: The objective of this study is to compare weed control in iGrowth, Double Tree, and Inzen sorghum.
    Planting Green and Residual Herbicide Interaction in Corn: The objective of this project is to evaluate effect of planting green on performance of residual herbicides applied pre-emergence for weed control and growth and yield of corn.

2022 Guide to Weed Management book

Purchase the 2022 Guide to Weed Management book at https://go.unl.edu/2022weedmanagementbook.  This 300-page guide is a comprehensive resource for current research-based information and UNL recommendations on weed management in Nebraska crop production, with special sections on fungicides, insecticides, and pesticide application equipment and safety. It includes detailed drawings and photos to aid in weed identification, as well as photos to aid in insect and disease identification.


– Melissa Bartels, NE Extension Educator

Have you noticed tall weeds with umbrella-like white flowers in pastures, ditchbanks and along the roadsides?  It may be poison hemlock and be careful as it is poisonous to livestock and people.

Poison hemlock is on the list of top ten poisonous plants here in Nebraska. This weed can be found throughout the state, especially in wet or moist soils along streams, roadsides, and pastures. Hemlock has fern-like leaves, with purple spots on the stems. Poison hemlock is a biennial broadleaf plant, meaning it will grow as a rosette its first year and produce a stalk with white flowers in its second year of growth. They have taken off growing around the state with the recent much needed rain.

So how can you manage this weed?  It’s critical that you avoid overgrazing pastures that contain hemlock. When adequate forage is available to graze, animals select healthy, palatable plants to eat and avoid the hemlock. But if grass gets short, even unpalatable poisonous plants might be eaten. This includes turning hungry animals out into fresh pastures containing hemlock, some hungry animals will eat the first green plant they come too, palatable, or not. Be sure plenty of water, salt, and mineral are always available, as animals deprived of water or mineral may eat abnormally, increasing the risk of consuming some hemlock. Consuming just five pounds of foliage can be potentially lethal for cows, while just two pounds can be deadly for horses.

Fortunately, hemlock usually is not palatable to most livestock. Animals won’t eat much of it unless it is the only green plant around or if the plant has been altered in some way. Do not and I repeat do not try to control hemlock during the grazing season by mowing or spraying with 2,4-D + Dicamba. This alters the plant and can actually increase its palatability, making it more likely animals will eat enough of it to cause poisoning. Instead, control poison hemlock in the early spring or fall when animals are not in the pasture or fence off large patches from livestock if control is necessary.


The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an Order (GDC-448/GD-3021) temporarily suspending the grain dealer license of Mercaris Corporation, Silver Spring, Maryland, and scheduled a show cause hearing (GDC-448/GD-3031) for Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

The PSC grain department complaint alleges Mercaris Corporation is in violation of title 291 Neb. Admin. Code, Chapter 8 § 003.03 for failing to meet, maintain a minimum allowable net worth of $10,000.

“We’ve given this grain dealer ample opportunity to bring itself into compliance,” said Commission Chair Dan Watermeier. “Despite our efforts they have failed to take the necessary action needed to do so.”

A hearing scheduled for August 3, will provide the Silver Spring, Maryland company the opportunity to show cause as to why it should not lose its grain dealer license and be assessed civil penalties for violation of Nebraska law.

Commissioner Watermeier said, “At this time, we don’t believe the company has any outstanding contracts with Nebraska producers. Temporarily suspending their license until the hearing will help to ensure they won’t be doing business in our state.”

Update for Veterinarians Program Planned for Beef Producers

The 2022 Update for Veterinarians program, set for July 7, offers current information and education focused on beef production. Practitioners who work with cattle will hear from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach experts on nutrition and diet formulation, troubleshooting common health problems related to nutrition and more.

“In addition to sessions focused on nutrition and related topics, presenters will provide updates from the Iowa State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory,” said Chris Clark, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “I think the program will include useful information that veterinarians can take home and use right away in their practices.”

The morning session features Garland Dahlke, nutritionist and research scientist with the Iowa Beef Center and the Iowa State University Department of Animal Science. He’ll speak on these topics: fractions of formulation – applied nutrition with focus on protein, nitrogen and the formation of metabolizable protein, and troubleshooting common health problems as they relate to nutrition.

“In the afternoon, Scott Radke and Drew Magstadt will provide toxicology and veterinary diagnostic lab updates respectively,” Clark said. “As usual, we’ll be at the McNay Memorial Research Farm and attendees can talk with farm staff about projects.”

Those who preregister by July 6 will pay $50 per person, which includes lunch catered by Cater 2U, and a morning break. Those who register onsite will pay $70. Registration is handled by the ISU Extension and Outreach Lucas County office in Chariton. Five hours of continuing education credits have been requested.

View and download the vet update brochure with complete agenda, speaker biographies and registration information https://www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/2022VetUpdateBrochure.pdf.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the farm headquarters with the first speaker starting at 9 a.m. Note that the start time is slightly earlier than in some previous years. A catered meal will be served at 12:15 p.m. and the program is expected to end around 3:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Clark by phone at 712-250-0070 or by email at caclark@iastate.edu.

NPB Pork Board Elects 2022-2023 Officers

Indiana pork producer Heather Hill was elected to serve as president of the National Pork Board (NPB) for the 2022-2023 term.

“Real Pork is about real farmers, leading efforts to ensure the public understands our product is real nutritious and real sustainable,” explains Hill, who co-owns a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation in Indiana with her husband and his parents. Hill’s family also grows corn, soybeans and wheat. “Along with my fellow volunteer leaders on the Board of Directors, we will deliver real results to help protect producer freedom to operate and promote continuity of business should a foreign animal disease, like African swine fever, challenge the US herd.”

In addition to Hill, other members of the 2022-2023 officer team include, Vice President Bob Ruth, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
“I just believe we have a lot of great momentum in the organization right now and so much potential for the future,” says Ruth. “The best of our work as board is just beginning and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”  

And, Al Wulfekuhle from Quasqueton, Iowa will serve as treasurer.  
“I really like the direction this board is headed in. We have a good group of talented, passionate people who want to make a difference,” Wulfekuhle explains. “I’m looking forward to being in leadership and working more closely with staff to use Pork Checkoff dollars for the maximum effect for the industry.”  

Gene Noem from Ames, Iowa, will serve as past president in an ex-officio status.
“Give back to the industry; we need to be relevant now, but with the long view in mind,” advises Noem. “I have come to realize it is not just an honor, it’s also the enormity of the responsibility we have to make sure funding is spent in a way that the majority of investors would say ‘that was a good move.’”

NPB’s 15 producer directors represent the 60,000 U.S. pig farmers who pay into the Pork Checkoff – a program funding research, promotion and education efforts for the benefit of the whole industry.

Barchart Cuts Production and Yield Forecasts for Corn and Soybeans in Initial 2022 Estimates

Barchart, a leading provider of data services, software and technology to global commodity buyers, agriculture, and the food supply chain, announces their initial 2022 Yield and Production forecasts for U.S. corn and soybeans - which indicates a decrease to USDA’s projected figures from the May WASDE report.

Highlights of the report:
    Barchart’s initial forecasts see end-of-season U.S. corn production at 14.2B bu with a yield of 174 bu/ac.  This compares to the USDA’s 14.5B bu of production and 177 bu/ac yield.
    End-of-season U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.4B bu with a yield of 49.5 bu/ac.  This compares to the USDA’s 4.6B bu of production and 51.5 bu/ac yield.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the 2022 growing season by offering commodity professionals access to our estimates for U.S. corn and soybeans,” said Barchart CEO Mark Haraburda. “This has been somewhat of an unprecedented year for the commodity markets so we’re proud to be able to provide users with as much information as possible for their crop marketing decisions.”


Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC ("Navigator") announced today that they have signed a Letter of Intent to provide carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) services to POET, the world's largest producer of biofuel and a global leader in sustainable bioproducts, on Navigator's Heartland Greenway system.

The agreement outlines Navigator's integrated CCUS services for approximately five (5) million metric tons of POET's biogenic CO2 annually and establishes a collaborative path for the development of a central carbon offset marketplace and carbon use logistics platform. The system will phase in 18 of POET's bioprocessing facilities across Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, and is on schedule for operational in-service in 2025.

"We recognize that now is the time to take bold action to preserve our planet for future generations," said Jeff Broin, POET Founder and CEO. "POET has been a leader in low-carbon biofuels and CO2 capture for commercial use for decades, and this project is another significant step in utilizing bioprocessing to accelerate our path to net-zero. We choose our partners carefully, and we believe Navigator has the expertise to deliver long-term value to rural America by further positioning agricultural commodities as a viable source of low-carbon liquid fuels to power our future."

Both parties will leverage their respective expertise – relying on the unique breadth and scale of Navigator's infrastructure development, construction, and operations and POET's market-leading position in CO2 distribution, marketing, and logistics management. The joint efforts will create the largest combined distribution network for high-quality, biogenic CO2.

"This agreement is a testament to two industries coming together and using their resources to pave innovative pathways toward carbon neutrality and a more sustainable future. The breadth, scale, and technical acumen of each party's platform is unmatched," said Matt Vining, Chief Executive Officer of Navigator. "POET is an industry pioneer that has built a company on the pillars of safety, integrity, innovation, and being a good neighbor in the communities they call home, all of which align entirely with the culture and track record of Navigator. We look forward to this partnership with POET as we continue to fulfill our mission to provide sustainable carbon solutions to our communities, consumers, and customers."

With the addition of POET to the platform, Navigator's Heartland Greenway system will provide CCUS services for more than 30 industrial processors across the agriculture and food production value chains, representing over ten (10) million tons of annual CO2 emissions, including the two (2) largest bioethanol producers in the United States, in addition to highly efficient single-site production facilities. Navigator's unique platform will now mobilize efforts to deliver up to 15 million tons annually of CCUS services through new pipeline laterals and parallel development of multiple storage sites.

Navigator in March added Siouxland Ethanol LLC as another customer, agreeing to capture, transport and sequester each year up to 235,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from the company’s 90-million-gallon ethanol facility in Jackson, Nebraska.

U.S. Exports of Ethanol Balloon in April, while Shipments of DDGS Scale Back

Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst, Renewable Fuels Assoc.
April U.S. ethanol exports rocketed to a four-year high of 185.2 million gallons (mg). Shipments were up 48% from March and represented the third-largest monthly export volume on record. Canada logged a 17% increase in imports (40.1 mg, its second-largest volume on record) and maintained its status as our top customer for the thirteenth consecutive month (capturing 22% of April exports). U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil leapt to 30.0 mg (up from zero), the largest volume in two years. South Korea saw weaker sales in April, importing 23.5 mg (-7%). Other substantial markets included Singapore (tripled to a record high of 19.0 mg), the Netherlands (13.8 mg, +79%), the United Kingdom (12.8 mg, up from essentially zero), India (11.9 mg, -13%), and Peru (9.0 mg, +99%). Notably, China again was absent from our export market. Total U.S. ethanol exports for the first four months of 2022 were 577.2 mg, up 15% from the same period in 2021.

The U.S. did not log any meaningful imports of foreign ethanol in April (South Africa shipped 10,411 gallons of denatured fuel ethanol). Total year-to-date imports stand at 10.7 mg.

U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, scaled back in April by 12% to 813,749 (mt), a 14-month low. While Mexico cut its imports of U.S. DDGS by a third to the lowest volume since Feb. 2021 (125,025 mt), it remained our top customer for the nineteenth consecutive month. Shipments also thinned to Vietnam (105,135 mt, -6%), South Korea (97,654 mt, -24%), and Canada (80,121 mt, -24%). Shipments to these four markets represented half of U.S. DDGS exports in April. Other larger customers included Indonesia (66,701 mt, -5%), Bangladesh (41,853 mt, +671% to a record high), Morocco (39,113 mt, a six-fold increase), Japan (35,907 mt, -46%), Colombia (doubled to 34,057 mt), and Spain (33,882 mt, up from zero). Year-to-date DDGS shipments totaled 3.7 million mt, up 8% from 2021.

USDA Seeks Data Sharing Partnerships with Ag Service Providers to Improve Acreage Reporting

To improve the acreage reporting process for agricultural producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking partnerships with agricultural service providers that can transmit acreage reporting data directly to USDA.

USDA allows external third parties to submit acreage data using the Common Acreage Reporting Transmission (CART) standard, which uses USDA’s common land unit and the associated farms, tract and fields for land identification.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is currently working with external parties to accept CART files and transmit them to the producer’s Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) and local USDA Service Center. For example, if a producer organizes their crop data with an online service provider, USDA can enable that service provider to transmit information directly to USDA. However, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) does not currently have a geospatial interface and must record on a hard copy map.

Providers should have the ability to transmit .json files through a data service endpoint while maintaining Federal security standards.

RMA will select providers based on their ability to help USDA improve acreage reporting. This is not a competitive process and providers and their participating producers will not receive compensation. RMA reserves the right to limit participation among viable providers on a first-come, first-served basis. All providers will be required to certify to appropriate terms of service to submit data on behalf of producers.

To learn more, service providers should contact RMA at ACRSI@usda.gov.

More Information

RMA and FSA started the Acreage Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative in 2010 that focused on streamlining and automating crop reporting to reduce the burden on producers. One of the changes included the capability for data sharing technology. ACRSI established a framework for agricultural producers to report their common crop acreage information just once, either to their FSA county office or to their participating crop insurance agent on behalf of RMA.

General Mills Invests $3 Million to Scale Eco-Harvest by Ecosystem Services Market Consortium  

Today, General Mills and Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) announced a multi-year roadmap to scale Eco-Harvest, ESMC’s market program that recognizes and rewards farmers for beneficial environmental outcomes from regenerative agriculture. The roadmap focuses on priority regions in the U.S. and Canada where General Mills sources its key ingredients, like wheat, oat, corn, and dairy. The initial $3 million investment from General Mills includes an ESMC grant to support the launch and development of Eco-Harvest and funds to scale regional programs.

“As a founding member of ESMC, General Mills is proud to expand its partnership and reward farmers for the quantifiable impact they’re having on the environment by advancing regenerative agriculture,” said Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and global impact officer, General Mills. “As a non-profit, ESMC gives us confidence that the greatest possible value will go to the farmers. Also, no other market program offers the same scientific rigor and outcomes-based protocols that ESMC delivers, ensuring the credibility of soil carbon removals or reduced greenhouse gas emissions for reporting. General Mills is inviting supply chain partners and other companies that source from these same regions to collaborate on this effort to have the greatest impact.”

Eco-Harvest is a voluntary market program that generates and sells credits for increased soil carbon, reduced greenhouse gases, and improved water quality. These credits represent verified environmental benefits created within agricultural value chains resulting from approved farm practice changes. Eco-Harvest supports General Mills’ commitments to advance regenerative agriculture on one million acres by 2030, reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain (scopes 1, 2 and 3) by 30 percent by 2030, and ultimately achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“With our Eco-Harvest market launched, we are excited to partner with General Mills on our joint vision to scale regenerative agriculture outcomes from U.S. and Canadian producers using our science-based, standards-based approach,” said Debbie Reed, executive director, Ecosystem Services Market Consortium. “We have spent more than three years building, testing, and refining our program. Now, we can scale impacts to not only pay farmers but also tap the interest from companies like General Mills, along with investors and consumers who are seeking transparent and meaningful actions.”

In 2020, General Mills and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment piloted a project with ESMC to reward farmers for improving soil health on their land, through techniques like using cover crops and reducing tillage. The pilot project was made available to Kansas wheat farmers participating in General Mills’ regenerative agriculture program and tested ESMC’s protocols and processes. Twenty-one farmers participated, opting into data tracking and field measurements. In October 2021, these farmers were paid for their improved ecosystem services, and the collaborative plans to continue the program in 2022. The pilot informed enhancements to improve farmer enrollment, data collection, soil sampling, impact verification processes and technology.

“We see the efforts from General Mills over the past handful of years, including the curiosity and ambition to move the whole system forward,” said Alex Boersch, farmer, Elie, Manitoba and owner of Re-Gen Ag Solutions Inc. “While General Mills is buying oats from the region, they’ve shown interest in everything that’s happening on the land. I appreciate that General Mills is stepping up and trying to do this to be a leader.”

ESMC and General Mills seek collaboration across the value chain to combine regional demand and drive momentum in these key sourcing regions. In July, ESMC will share regional Request for Proposals (RFPs) to identify organizations who can provide technical assistance, farmer enrollment support and soil carbon sampling. Implementing organizations will be selected in August and soil sampling will occur in spring of 2023 to set an important baseline for eventual credit generation.

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