Thursday, June 2, 2022

Wednesday June 1 Ag News

 Tracking Cost of Production During the Growing Season Using the Ag Budget Calculator (ABC) Program

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability has scheduled a series of virtual training workshops for its online Agricultural Budget Calculator tool, to be held through September. In-person workshops are also being planned and will be announced soon.

The Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) is a free enterprise-budgeting and decision-making tool that is designed to assist agricultural producers in determining their cost of production and projected cash and economic returns for various farm or ranch enterprises.

Glennis McClure, an extension educator and farm and ranch management analyst with the Center for Agricultural Profitability, said that knowing cost of production is even more critical now, with larger investments being made due to higher input and operation costs. “Estimating your cost of production can assist in making important management decisions now and throughout the production and marketing year,” she said.

McClure, who works closely with the ABC tool and university commodity budgets, will facilitate the workshops. She will demonstrate the program’s features and teach participants how to get started and use the program.

Workshop topics will include downloading and using university crop budgets as a guide; how to create customized crop budgets for owned and rented farms; entering field operations and material inputs to determine costs on a per-farm or field basis; reconciling operation expenses to account for farm totals; creating a cash flow from combined enterprise budgets; and more.

Additional question-and-answer sessions are also being offered. During these scheduled times, McClure will be available on Zoom to answer questions and further assist users with the program.

“Overview of ABC and Whole Farm Features” User Workshop schedule:
    June 22 at 1 p.m. CDT
    June 28 at 5 p.m. CDT
    July 6 at noon CDT
    Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. CDT
    Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. CDT

ABC Q&A sessions schedule:
    June 29 at noon CDT
    July 13 at 1 p.m. CDT
    Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. CDT
    Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. CDT

The workshops are free to attend however registration is required. For more about the Agricultural Budget Calculator, and to register for a virtual workshop, visit  As more workshop dates are set, the schedule will be updated.  

Nebraska Farm Bureau Announces 2022-2023 Class of The Crew

Seven young, social media savvy Nebraskans have been selected by Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) to join The Crew. The Crew participants share their love of agriculture through social media and are selected from NEFB student members, who range in age from 16 to 23. Each member is selected in the spring and participates for one year.

“The Crew is an incredible opportunity for student members to leverage their voice and directly contribute to promoting agriculture in a positive light. Throughout the year, Crew members will meet up with other energetic and creative students, receive hands on training on all aspects of agriculture communications, and earn recognition for all their hard work,” Audrey Schipporeit, Nebraska Farm Bureau director of generational engagement, said.

The 2022-2023 class of The Crew represents county Farm Bureaus from across the state. They are Kendall Prior of Chase County, Emma Labenz and MaKenna Lutjelushce of Colfax County, Alexa Tollman of Dawes County, Whitley Rut of Arthur County, Sydney Linse of Key Paha County and Emily Samuelson of Merrick County.

“Nebraska Farm Bureau places a high priority in training the next generation of agricultural leaders as part of our strategic plan. In coordination with NEFB student membership, The Crew provides an added benefit of being a student member and an opportunity to gain hands-on agriculture communication experiences,” Schipporeit said.

During this year long experience, Crew members will:
    work towards a series of milestones centered around social media sharing,
    attend Zoom calls with leaders in agriculture communications and influencing,
    write blogs for Nebraska Farm Bureau,
    takeover Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Instagram, and
    attend in person trainings to learn real-world applications of communication practices.

“We hope people follow along this year as these students bring to life rural America through their work on social media,” Schipporeit said. Learn more about The Crew at and check out #neagcrew on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout the year.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Pasture & Forage Specialist

Smooth bromegrass and other cool-season grass hay fields are growing rapidly with seedheads appearing.  When do you typically cut your grass hay?

Ideally, cutting your grass hay so the grass nutrient content matches with the nutritional needs of your livestock is best.  Now that's a different way to look at it, isn't it?  But doesn't it make sense to harvest hay that will meet the specific needs of your livestock and minimize your supplement costs?

Crude protein and energy concentration declines in grass hay as plants become stemmy and mature.  As this happens, the types of livestock that can be fed that hay with little or no supplements become more limited.

For Sandhills subirrigated meadows, haying typically starts in early July.  However, if harvest occurs around the third week of June, then that hay will have significantly higher crude protein content.  Earlier meadow harvest will have lower initial hay yield, but it will also provide a longer regrowth period and extra growth for fall grazing.

So, a good approach is to plan what type of livestock will receive the grass hay from each field.  Young livestock need high nutrient concentrations so cut that hay before or just when heads begin to emerge.  If the hay will go to mature dry cows instead, let the grass produce a bit more tonnage and cut it after it is well headed out, but before seeds develop.

Matching your hay harvest with your plan of use can pay handsome dividends in lower costs and less supplementing.  

Farmers, Apiarists Reminded to Update Information on Iowa Sensitive Crop Directory

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today encouraged producers of pesticide sensitive crops to renew their field and beehive entries on the Iowa Sensitive Crops Registry.  “The Iowa Sensitive Crop Registry is an effective tool to support communication between producers of specialty crops, beekeepers and pesticide applicators – all important aspects of Iowa agriculture,” said Secretary Naig. “Now is a good time for farmers, beekeepers and pesticide applicators to reference and update their information using this user-friendly online platform.”

Since 2017, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has partnered with the non-profit company FieldWatch, Inc., to provide online registry tools for ehanced communication between producers of pesticide-sensitive (i.e. specialty) crops, beekeepers and pesticide applicators. The online FieldWatch™ registries provide mapping features that identify production sites and one mile radius boundaries around apiaries. Producers that have not yet used the registry are encouraged to set up accounts and identify where their fields and hives are located.

Two of the online registry tools developed and provided by FieldWatch include driftwatch, a registry site for use by producers of commercial crops sensitive to pesticides, and beecheck, a registry site for beekeepers and apiarists.  Specialty crop producers with apiaries may enter hive locations using either the driftwatch or beecheck registries. Producer site entries are overseen by state-appointed stewards prior to their inclusion in the online registries.

Specialty Crops

The intended crops for inclusion on the registries are beehives/apiaries; commercial fruit and vegetable plots (berries, fruits, pumpkins or melons, and vegetables); commercial nursery crops; commercial vineyards (grapes); commercial orchards; commercial evergreen/Christmas tree plantings; and certified organic row crops, small grains, and pastures.  In addition, all specialty crops grown certified organic may be designated as such on the driftwatch registry.  The minimum field size for all specialty crop sites is 0.5 acre.  More information and a link to the registry can be found here: Sensitive Crop Registry | Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (

IFBF, Fareway launch 'Sizzlin' Summer Giveaway'

Iowa Farm Bureau’s Sizzlin’ Summer Giveaway kicked off Wednesday in partnership with Fareway, giving Iowans a chance to win a $200 Fareway meat gift card from each of the grocery stores’ 109 locations in Iowa. Additionally, one grand prize winner will receive a Traeger Pro 22 Smoker Grill, a $500 Wagyu beef bundle, a Grizzly soft-sided cooler and other backyard barbeque gear.

Iowans can enter for a chance to win by visiting and answering five, multiple choice questions about how farmers provide nutrient-dense meat, dairy and eggs, while also caring for their animals and the environment. One entry per email address is allowed; contest ends June 30.

“This contest is part of our ongoing Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat. initiative to celebrate the value of animal protein and the farmers who provide it,” says IFBF President Brent Johnson. “Summer is the perfect time of year to be outside with family, grilling or smoking the real meats Iowa farmers are proud to raise. That’s why livestock farmers continue to find ways to better preserve the land and promote animal health. Iowans expect the best, and farmers want to provide nothing less.”

Animal-based proteins are high-quality, complete proteins, according to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University. Meat, eggs and dairy are the only natural source of Vitamin B12 which promotes brain development in children and proper nervous system function. Red meat and poultry also provide the majority of zinc in American diets to support immune health.

“Fareway has long recognized nutritious meat comes from dedicated, responsible farmers,” says Fareway Vice President of Market Operations Jeff Cook. “This contest not only celebrates the hard-working men and women in our state who bring food from gate to plate, but it also celebrates food as an experience. Good memories are made around the grill, and Fareway is humbled to be a part of that.”

 9th Annual National Strip-Tillage Conference Returns to Iowa

For the first time in 4 years, the annual National Strip-Tillage Conference is returning to Iowa, where the conference debuted 9 years ago. The event is hosted by Strip-Till Farmer, one of several properties operated by Wisconsin-based agricultural publisher Lessiter Media, which has helped farmers successfully transition to Conservation Ag practices for 50-plus  years.

The event will be held July 28-29 at the Hyatt Regency Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa. The content covers myriad topics for profitable results in strip-till farming, including equipment set-ups, cover crops, intercropping, economic analyses, soil testing/analysis, fertilizing methods and more.

Unique from other ag conferences is the mix of general sessions, classrooms and farmer-to farmer roundtables and facetime with suppliers — all designed for maximum networking and the practical transfer of experience and knowledge. The lineup includes:
    General Sessions — covering an abundance of proven strip-tilling ideas and strategies. Among the national experts this year are Mike Petersen of Colorado, Jodi DeJong Hughes of Minnesota, John Kempf of Ohio, Chris Perkins of Indiana and David Bullock of Illinois.
    Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtables — informal, moderated peer-to-peer discussions on specific strip-till topics. Attendees should come with 5 questions to get answered in this proven format for sharing what works and doesn't.
    Classrooms — in-depth presentation-style sessions convey practical, actionable ideas from experienced strip-tillers on the most pressing needs.
    Strip-Till Innovator of the Year — the 2022 recipient of the best-in-class program is announced and keys to their success as a benchmark-worthy strip-till operation.
    Bonus Workshop at Kinze Manufacturing & Tour — in this first-ever offsite workshop, Kinze welcomes farmers for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the largest, privately held ag equipment manufacturers in North America. Following the plant tour and museum experience, a dynamic and intimate (48 attendees) luncheon workshop features renowned soil health specialist Jim Hoorman of Ohio.

Sponsors making the unique learning experience possible include: AgroLiquid, Martin-Till, Dawn Equipment Co., Environmental Tillage Systems, Kuhn Krause, Montag Mfg., Orthman, Schlagel Mfg., Vulcan Equipment, Yetter Mfg., ESN by Nutrien and Agrisolutions. The North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and multi-store Case IH dealership J.J. Nichting are also providing support.

Attendees will earn Continuing Education Credits at the event. For more information, visit

Feeding Quality Forum Registration Open

As cattlemen continue to experience black swan events and rising input costs, so does their need for information on the latest production trends that pay.

The 17th annual Feeding Quality Forum (FQF), hosted by Certified Angus Beef (CAB), brings together people, insights and solutions to generate greater revenue for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers. The event will be at the Hilton Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 23 and 24, 2022.

"Feeding Quality Forum creates an environment of like-minded cattlemen and industry partners who want to be on the forefront of high-quality beef production," says Kara Lee, CAB director of producer engagement. "If you’re interested in raising, managing and marketing the best finished cattle, this event brings together the people and information to do so."

FQF attendees learn more about practical, profitable and progressive ideas for raising cattle in high demand.

To stay on the cutting edge of premium beef production, register at Early registration is $100 for those who sign up before June 30. Late registration is $200 from July 1 to 31. Student registration is $50.

Tuesday’s afternoon sessions will kick off with Dan Basse, president of AgResource Company, sharing a global market update. Other sessions include risk-management strategies, how to earn premiums for high-quality carcasses and an overview of shoppers’ meat purchasing habits.

"We’re in a fast-paced, ever-changing business," Lee says. "To stay ahead of the curve and be profitable, you have to be in the room for tough conversations and be willing to work together to find answers."

The evening program will recognize the 2022 Industry Achievement Award recipient, Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO. Blach has dedicated his career to analyzing cattle, grain and protein markets around the world to provide timely insight to cattlemen to make risk-management decisions. He joins the ranks of such industry legends as Paul Engler, Topper Thorpe, Lee Borck, Larry Corah, John Matsushima and Bob Smith, who have also been recognized for their contributions to the feeding industry.

"This conference is all about cultivating success and innovations in the fed cattle industry," Lee says. "Honoring an influential leader who helped pioneer those successes has become a signature part of the program. It’s always a treat to showcase their contributions and celebrate among their peers."

Wednesday morning will start with a look into CAB’s sustainability efforts to maintain its premium beef market share. Other topics will highlight cattle health at the feedyard, the beef-on-dairy landscape and best practices for getting the most for your feeder calves.

For those interested in learning more about how beef gets to restaurants, sign up for the exclusive, pre-event Beef Blitz the morning of Aug. 23. The special tour is limited to the first 45 attendees who claim a spot. The visit will include a tour of CAB-licensed distributor Sysco Kansas City, followed by lunch before the opening FQF program. Beef Blitz is a free addition to registration, space permitting.

Find more information on the event and register today at


Milk is the ultimate heat cutter for spicy foods. This June Dairy Month, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is turning up the heat with a new ad campaign featuring the “DFA Nerd Herd” that will show milk doesn’t just cut the heat in spicy foods, but it also can help protect the environment by cutting the heat that methane emissions trap in the planet.

Launched in 2021, the DFA Nerd Herd is led by farmers along with a team of engineers, nutritionists, veterinarians, technology experts, scientists and more to help educate consumers about how DFA farm families are using renewable energy methods, like wind and solar, creating healthy soil and turning waste into power sources through anaerobic digesters to help protect the earth and reduce our carbon footprint.

“Our farm families are the original stewards of the land as their farms are their livelihood, so they’re all about protecting the land and their cows for future generations,” says Kristen Coady, senior vice president of corporate affairs at DFA. “We hope these new ads featuring the DFA Nerd Herd will help build more awareness with consumers about DFA’s sustainability efforts and help them feel confident about eating their favorite dairy products.”

The integrated campaign will reach consumers through videos on YouTube, streaming platforms and digital publications, along with a robust social campaign and digital advertising campaign. To further bring to life milk’s heat-cutting abilities, DFA sponsored a signature interview on World Milk Day with First We Feast’s Emmy-nominated Hot Ones host Sean Evans and Complex’s Speedy Mormon, where Evans, the Spiciest Man Alive, answered the questions.  

After June Dairy Month and through the end of 2022, DFA will release additional videos in various social platforms and digital spaces showcasing how dairy is sustainably made and can help protect the planet tied to additional products like ice cream, butter and cheese.

The Nerd Herd campaign supports DFA’s overall sustainability strategy and commitment to the planet, it’s people and communities, as outlined in its 2022 Social Responsibility Report. In 2020, DFA was the first U.S. dairy cooperative to establish a science-based target (SBT) and work to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the supply chain by 30% by 2030. Additionally, the Cooperative is part of an industry-wide collaboration on environmental sustainability through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

 As part of this collaboration, the dairy industry has committed to be carbon neutral or better by 2050, and DFA is a key contributor to meeting this goal.

To check out the videos and get more information about the DFA Nerd Herd, including where to buy your favorite sustainably made dairy products, go to

U.S. Consumers are Eating More Cheese

While overall U.S. dairy consumption remained flat from 1979 to 2019, daily cheese consumption more than doubled, according to loss-adjusted food availability data from the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS), which adjusts the amount of basic commodities available in the food supply for food spoilage, plate waste, and other losses to more closely approximate actual consumption.

Overall U.S. dairy consumption remained roughly the same over this 40-year period, at just under 1.5 cup-equivalents of dairy products per person per day. However, daily cheese consumption grew to 0.72 cup-equivalents per person in 2019 from 0.34 cup-equivalents per person in 1979. Yogurt consumption grew almost fivefold to 0.05 cup-equivalents per person.

Fluid milk consumption stood at 0.5 cup-equivalents per person in 2019, down from 0.9 cup-equivalents per person in 1979. Several factors contributed to this decline, including competition from alternative beverages, an aging population with differing preferences across generations, and changing consumer attitudes regarding milk fats.

Female farmers demonstrate leadership through Adopt-A-Cow

There are many facets to being a dairy farmer – from running the day-to-day operations to community outreach and connecting with consumers Through Discover Dairy’s Adopt-A-Cow program, dairy farmers throughout Midwest Dairy’s 10-state region have seen the tremendous benefits Adopt-A-Cow has in connecting with a younger generation, showcasing life on a dairy farm. Over the last four years of the program, women have accounted for 77% of the dairy farmers in the Midwest region involved in Adopt-A-Cow, allowing them to demonstrate the important role females play in agriculture and dairy farming.

Now gearing up for its fifth year, Adopt-A-Cow is a free, nationwide program that connects local dairy farmers with K-12 classrooms, allowing them to “adopt” one of the calves on the farmer’s dairy farm. Throughout the school year, the dairy farmers send updates about the adopted calves and the happenings on their farms. During the 2021-2022 school year, seven dairy farmers from the Midwest Dairy region connected with over 3,500 classrooms and 74,000 students.

“Telling the story of agriculture is something I take to heart,” said Paige Roberts, a dairy farmer at Jer-Lindy Farms and Redhead Creamery in Brooten, Minnesota. “I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm, so I understand where people are coming from when they don’t know what goes into the gallon of milk at the store.”

The Adopt-A-Cow program has helped Roberts share her dairy story and the workings of her farm with others. During the school year, Roberts shared updates about three calves – Alexa, Alljoy and Caroline – with 415 classes and over 11,000 students in Minnesota.

Plus, she is widening the view of who a farmer is and how females play a larger role on dairy farms.

“It’s a good way to show kids that farmers are not just the old man in the overalls,” Roberts said. “Women can be in charge of the farm if they want to be. Anyone can. If someone wants to farm, they should.”

Dairy farmer Jodi Cast has been allowing classrooms to adopt calves from her dairy farm, JJC Jerseys, in Beaver Crossing, Nebraska, for the past two years. The information Cast shares about her calves includes their name, birthday, height, weight, what they eat, their housing and all other basics of caring for a young dairy animal.

“These kids form an attachment to their calves,” Cast said. “They just really want to know their calf is being taken care of and that you love that calf as much as they do.”

Cast has been able to share her love for her calves and dairy farming through this checkoff-funded program. This past school year, Cast and her calves, Abby, Pepper, Kady and Queenie, connected with 269 classrooms and over 6,200 students in Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“I’m reaching a lot of kids and students I wouldn’t normally reach,” she said. “It’s important to teach kids where their food comes from. It’s a lot of fun to make that connection and show kids what’s involved in getting that product to your table.”

Like Roberts, Cast is proud to be a part of the dairy farming community. Most of all, Roberts, Cast and the other farmers involved in the Adopt-A-Cow program are happy to open their farms to give students a real-life experience of how dairy farmers care for their animals, the environment and their communities - resulting in a positive experience at the dairy case in grocery stores.

“It goes back to telling your story,” Cast said. “Farmers are trusted by the consumer. They want to hear it from us.”

They encourage other dairy farmers to sign up for the program to connect with local kids in their surrounding communities.

Farmers who are interested in participating in the in the Adopt-A-Cow program can sign up at

Stagnant Retail Fertilizer Prices Hover Near Record Highs

Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of May 2022 show mostly slight increases, but some slightly lower prices as well. This is the second week in a row that three fertilizers' prices have declined.

Five fertilizers' prices were higher compared to last month, but none were up a considerable amount. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or greater. DAP had an average price of $1,056/ton, MAP $1,082/ton, 10-34-0 $906/ton, UAN28 $634/ton and UAN32 $731/ton (all-time high).

Three fertilizers were slightly less expensive compared to last month, but again, the price changes amounted to less than 5%. Potash had an average price of $879/ton, urea $989/ton and anhydrous $1,531/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $1.08/lb.N, anhydrous $0.93/lb.N, UAN28 $1.13/lb.N and UAN32 $1.14/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier. 10-34-0 is 46% more expensive, MAP is 53% higher, DAP is 62% more expensive, UAN28 is 75% higher, UAN32 is 80% more expensive, urea is 89% is higher, potash is 98% higher and anhydrous is 113% more expensive compared to last year.

Growth Energy: American Drivers Reach 30 Billion Miles on E15

Today, coinciding with the start of the summer driving season, Growth Energy announced that drivers across the United States have logged 30 billion miles on the road using E15, a fifteen percent ethanol blend, commonly known as Unleaded 88. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released a statement celebrating the milestone:

“Today, as we kick off the summer driving season, this is a testament to the rising popularity of E15,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “E15 has always been a lower-cost option, but with gas prices setting new records, more drivers are discovering that E15 can deliver better performance, lower emissions, and bigger savings every time they fill up the tank.  

“In just the last few months, E15 has been a shield against skyrocketing fuel prices, saving drivers almost $0.60 per gallon in some areas. Homegrown ethanol is not only more affordable than imported oil, but it cuts climate emissions by 46 percent. In fact, nationwide E15 would slash carbon emissions by more than 17.62 million tons – the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year.  

“The Biden Administration’s decision to protect access to E15 this summer delivers welcome relief to consumers at more than 2,600 filling stations nationwide. We urge elected leaders to move swiftly on a permanent fix to outdated restrictions on higher biofuel blends. It’s past time to make earth-friendly, engine-smart E15 a standard option for all drivers year-round.”

Available at more than 2,600 gas stations across 31 states, E15 is approved for more than 96 percent of light duty vehicles, which account for 98 percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States. Even before the recent run-up in oil prices, it was estimated that nationwide access to E15 could save drivers $12.2 billion annually in fuel costs.

E15 also offers a lower fuel volatility and smog-forming potential than standard blends. However, due to laws written more than 30 years ago, before blending beyond ten percent had been envisioned, E15 has been locked out of the summer market in many regions. In fact, fuel volatility and evaporative emissions continue to decrease when ethanol fuel blends increase beyond E10. President Biden recently enacted an emergency waiver to allow E15 to be sold this summer. Legislation in Congress is pending to make that fix permanent.   

Extended Access to Higher Ethanol Blends Will Save Consumers Money at the Gas Pump

A recent decision by the Biden administration to extend access to higher blends of ethanol through the summer month will begin today, resulting in cost savings for Americans at the gas pump.

“Gas prices are crippling American consumers,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. "Having access to higher levels of ethanol will save drivers money this summer.”

Biden’s action came after a 2021 court decision – resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends – was set to end full-market access fuel with a 15% ethanol blend this summer.

Ethanol has been priced at least 80 cents less per gallon than unblended gasoline at wholesale throughout the spring, and drivers currently save up to 20 cents or more per gallon where E15 is available. E15 is lower in carbon, tailpipe and evaporative emissions.

Drivers can find retail fuel locations that offer E15, often marketed at Unleaded 88, and compare prices using

USDA: Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.43 million tons (181 million bushels) in April 2022, compared with 5.79 million tons (193 million bushels) in March 2022 and 5.10 million tons (170 million bushels) in April 2021. Crude oil produced was 2.14 billion pounds down 6 percent from March 2022 but up 8 percent from April 2021. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.70 billion pounds during April 2022 decreased 5 percent from March 2022 but increased 4 percent from April 2021.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 145,508 tons in April 2022, compared with 163,923 tons in March 2022 and 193,146 tons in April 2021. Canola crude oil produced was 114 million pounds, down 9 percent from March 2022 and down 29 percent from April 2021. Canola once refined oil production, at 128 million pounds during April 2022, was down 15 percent from March 2022 and down 11 percent from April 2021.

Cottonseed once refined oil production, at 42.0 million pounds during April 2022, was down 11 percent from March 2022 but up 28 percent from April 2021.

Edible tallow production was 77.2 million pounds during April 2022, down 1 percent from March 2022 and down 15 percent from April 2021. Inedible tallow production was 273 million pounds during April 2022, down 7 percent from March 2022 and down 26 percent from April 2021. Technical tallow production was 92.9 million pounds during April 2022, up 2 percent from March 2022 but down 17 percent from April 2021. Choice white grease production, at 116 million pounds during April 2022, decreased 5 percent from March 2022 but increased 19 percent from April 2021.

Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 471 million bushels in April 2022. Total corn consumption was down 7 percent from March 2022 but up 2 percent from April 2021. April 2022 usage included 90.6 percent for alcohol and 9.4 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.97 million bushels, down 8 percent from March 2022 but up 9 percent from April 2021. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 415 million bushels, was down 9 percent from March 2022 but up 2 percent from April 2021. Corn consumed in April 2022 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 93.0 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.70 million tons during April 2022, down 9 percent from March 2022 and down 4 percent from April 2021. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.32 million tons in April 2022, down 4 percent from March 2022 but up 22 percent from April 2021.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 260,710 tons during April 2022, up 4 percent from March 2022 but down 11 percent from April 2021. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 221,071 tons in April 2022, down 3 percent from March 2022 but up 9 percent from April 2021.

USDA Announces June 2022 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for June 2022, which are effective June 1, 2022. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

Operating, Ownership and Emergency Loans

FSA offers farm ownership and operating loans with favorable interest rates and terms to help eligible agricultural producers, whether multi-generational, long-time, or new to the industry, obtain financing needed to start, expand or maintain a family agricultural operation. FSA also offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine.  For many loan options, FSA sets aside funding for historically underserved producers, including veterans, beginning, women, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic farmers and ranchers

Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for June 2022 are as follows:
    Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 3.625%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 3.750%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct, Joint Financing): 2.500%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Down Payment): 1.500%
    Emergency Loan (Amount of Actual Loss): 3.750 %

FSA also offers guaranteed loans through commercial lenders at rates set by those lenders.
You can find out which of these loans may be right for you by using our Farm Loan Discovery Tool (also available in Spanish).

Commodity and Storage Facility Loans

Additionally, FSA provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade on-farm storage facilities and purchase handling equipment and loans that provide interim financing to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are low.  Funds for these loans are provided through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and are administered by FSA.
    Commodity Loans (less than one year disbursed): 3.000%
    Farm Storage Facility Loans:
        Three-year loan terms: 2.875%
        Five-year loan terms: 2.875%
        Seven-year loan terms: 3.000%
        Ten-year loan terms: 2.875%
        Twelve-year loan terms: 3.000%
    Sugar Storage Facility Loans (15 years): 3.125%

Pandemic and Disaster Support

FSA broadened the use of the Disaster Set Aside (DSA), normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. Because of the pandemic’s continued impacts, producers can apply for a second DSA for COVID-19 or a second DSA for a natural disaster for producers with an initial DSA for COVID-19. The COVID-DSA is available for borrowers with installments due before Dec. 31, 2022, and whose installment is not more than 90 days past due when the DSA request is made. The set-aside payment’s due date is moved to the final maturity date of the loan or extended up to 12 months in the case of an annual operating loan. Any principal set-aside will continue to accrue interest until it is repaid. Use of the expanded DSA program can help to improve a borrower’s cashflow in the current production cycle.

FSA also reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the year’s winter storms, drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters that USDA has programs that provide assistance. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared to deliver a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to agricultural producers and impacted communities. Many programs are available without an official disaster designation, including several risk management and disaster recovery options.

Registration Now Open for Export Exchange 2022

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) encourage U.S. suppliers of coarse grains and co-products, industry representatives and members of the grain trade to register now for Export Exchange 2022, scheduled for October 12-14, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Registration is available online via

The biennial event, co-sponsored by the three organizations, is expected to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives.

Council, Growth Energy and RFA members are eligible for discounted pricing and should identify themselves as such at the time of registration.

“Export Exchange is uniquely focused on connecting international grain buyers with U.S. suppliers,” said Chad Willis, USGC chairman and farmer from Minnesota. “We are excited to have members of the export industry join us and so many of our customers in Minneapolis this fall to learn the latest about U.S. exports and how to purchase.”

In addition to networking opportunities, the event will focus on timely topics related to exports of U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, DDGS and related products.

“After two years of cancelled Export Exchanges due to the pandemic, we’re excited to welcome U.S. producers and international grain buyers to Minneapolis for the 2022 Export Exchange and offer face-to-face business and relationship-building opportunities," said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Today, our industry produces nearly 40 million tons of DDGS and exports more than 11 million tons to nearly 70 countries around the world. The Export Exchange is a chance to promote these products and take them to new markets across the globe.”

While the 2020 event was interrupted by COVID-19, reported sales associated with Export Exchange 2018 included approximately 1.3 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $403 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after.

“Over the past few decades, DDGS has evolved into an invaluable component of the global animal feed market. Today, one out of every three tons of DDGS produced in the United States is exported to customers around the world,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Export Exchange offers unparalleled opportunities for face-to-face engagement between U.S. producers and existing and potential DDGS customers.”

Related to the event, the Council sponsors trade teams from more than 30 countries to participate in tours before and after the main conference.

More information will be distributed in the coming months to members of the grains industries and will be made available online at or on social media using the hashtag #ExEx22.

USDA Announces Framework for Shoring Up the Food Supply Chain and Transforming the Food System to Be Fairer, More Competitive, More Resilient

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing details of a framework to transform the food system to benefit consumers, producers and rural communities by providing more options, increasing access, and creating new, more, and better markets for small and mid-size producers. Today’s announcement builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. This announcement also provides additional details on the June 2021 announcement to strengthen critical supply chains and address longstanding structural challenges that were revealed and intensified by the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, USDA made significant investments through its Pandemic Assistance Program, providing immediate relief to producers, businesses, food workers and others. As the pandemic has evolved and Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions, it has become clear we cannot go back to the food system we had before: the Biden-Harris Administration and USDA recognize we must build back better and strengthen the food system across the supply chain, from how our food is produced to how it is purchased, and all the steps in between.

The goals of USDA’s Food System Transformation framework include:
    Building a more resilient food supply chain that provides more and better market options for consumers and producers while reducing carbon pollution: The pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions have revealed the perils of a national food system that depends on capacity concentrated in a few geographic areas and requires many steps to get from farm to fork. In order to be more resilient, the food system of the future needs to be more distributed and local. Having more capacity to gather, process, move and store food in different geographic areas of the country will provide more options for producers to create value-added products and sell locally, which will support new economic opportunities and job creation in rural communities. Additional regional capacity will also give consumers more options to buy locally produced products—helping ensure food is available to consumers—and reduce the climate impact of our food supply chain.
    Creating a fairer food system that combats market dominance and helps producers and consumers gain more power in the marketplace by creating new, more and better local market options: Just 14 cents of the food dollar go to producers on average – in large part because producers’ power in the marketplace has declined over the past 50 years with increased consolidation in the food system. Today, just a handful of companies dominate meat and poultry processing and just a few multi-national companies produce most brands and products on supermarket shelves. Right now, input prices and food prices are up—but so are the profits of major food companies and national supermarket chains. Covid has revealed the perils of a food system dominated by a few corporate players. USDA’s investments will deliver a better deal for farmers, ranchers, growers and consumers.
    Making nutritious food more accessible and affordable for consumers: The pandemic exposed and exacerbated the challenges of food and nutrition insecurity in this country. A family in the United States not having access to affordable, nutritious foods is unacceptable. Hard-pressed families—including those who depend on school meals, SNAP, and seniors on fixed incomes—may have limited food options and some communities have been underserved by grocery stores and food retailers, making it difficult to access healthy food. USDA is committed to ensuring every American family has access to affordable, nutritious foods. That is why USDA’s Food System Transformation framework includes programs to ensure all consumers are able to access fresh, healthy, nutritious food.
    Emphasizing equity: For too long, rural communities, underserved communities, communities that experience persistent poverty, and the people who live there have been left behind. Where you live should not determine a fair shot to economic opportunity. It is in these communities where most of our food comes from; where most of the water that we drink comes from; and where most of the energy we consume comes from. USDA’s Food System Transformation investments will create more economic opportunities for these communities and allow them to retain more of the food system dollar. This will speed the transition to more equitable growth, with the wealth created from these communities remaining in small towns and underserved communities, helping to lift them out of poverty.

USDA investments through the programs included in this framework will help make this vision a reality.

Today’s announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader work to strengthen critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains. Funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act and other relief legislation.

Japan Expected to Double Ethanol Imports

Japan has committed to reducing its dependence on imported petroleum by 2030. That means they’re doubling their demand for ethanol, including sustainable aviation fuel and on-road fuel, possibly representing more export opportunities for the U.S.

The U.S. Grains Council says America’s Ambassador Rahm Emanuel continually supported expanding ethanol use in Japan.

“Expanding bioethanol use in Japan is a strategic goal of the Council,” says USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath. “Ambassador Emanuel and his team have been an essential partner for USGC to discuss the benefits of increased biofuels use to the Japanese consumer and a way for Japan to meet its carbon emissions goals.”

USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand and Sifferath recently traveled to Tokyo, where ethanol was a major topic of discussion.

Japan currently ranks as the fourth-largest market for U.S. ethanol during the 2021-2022 marketing year.

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