Friday, July 1, 2022

Friday July 01 Ag News

NDEE reissues AltEn NPDES permit  

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) has reissued AltEn’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit can be viewed in the public records portal in a document titled “NPDES Industrial,” filed June 29, 2022.

Two supplementary documents in the public records portal provide additional details about the permit. The permit’s fact sheet, titled “Basis of Permit” and a cover letter, titled “Issued Permit” were both uploaded to the public records portal on June 29, 2022.

This permit provides a method to remove treated wastewater from the AltEn site by allowing the continued land application of treated wastewater. The permit does not allow the discharge of non-process and process wastewater from AltEn to waters of the state.

The renewed permit features more stringent requirements for land application and requires monitoring groundwater for 13 pesticides in all monitoring wells; the previous permit monitored for five pesticides in monitoring wells. Outfall 001, a direct discharge of cooling tower wastewater to a tributary of Clear Creek, was removed from the reissued permit.

The permit also reiterates requirements NDEE previously established, such as requiring AltEn to provide quarterly groundwater monitoring reports and to obtain NDEE’s approval before discharging to the facility’s original wastewater lagoon system, among other requirements.

NDEE conducted a public hearing on the permit on April 27, 2022. A transcript of that hearing can be viewed through a series of documents on the public records portal titled “Public Hearing Part 1,” "Public Hearing Part 2," and "Public Hearing Part 3," filed June 14, 2022.

NDEE reviewed all public comments made in reference to the reissued permit. NDEE’s response to those comments can be viewed in the public records portal in a document titled “Public Comment Response Summary,” filed June 29, 2022.

More information can be found here....  


The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District is hosting an Open House on Wednesday, July 13th at their office in Norfolk to celebrate their 50th Anniversary!  The day will begin with coffee at 10:00 a.m. with the Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce.  The public is invited to stop by anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for refreshments, giveaways, groundwater demonstrations, and more!  At 7:30 p.m. we will host our final “Stars, Strolls, & S’mores” event of the season at the Elkhorn Valley Museum and Verges Park.  Join us!

IFU: Supreme Court Decision Takes Property Rights from Neighbors of Factory Farms

Aaron Lehman, president of the Iowa Farmers Union, warned that Thursday's Iowa Supreme Court decision takes away the property rights of family farms and rural residents who are neighbors of factory farms. While Lehman did not comment on the specifics of the particular farms and neighbors involved, he noted that the impact of the case gives even more power to factory farms and the massively consolidated livestock packer industry.

"The vast majority of Iowa farmers raise livestock responsibly. But this decision gives advantages to corporate entities that don't respect their neighbors or their communities. It hurts rural residents and family farmers because it will give special rights to factory farm interests controlled by some of the largest monopolies in our country.

We ought to have checks and balances in our society. Property rights shouldn't be taken away by legislators and given to someone else. The courts should stop it when they do.

The legislature has failed to enact reasonable protections for our water, our land, and our communities. State-wide regulations have been weak and poorly enforced. Local communities have been removed from any decision-making process to protect their interests. And family-size livestock operations have had their markets choked closed.

It is more important than ever that the legislature take action to encourage responsible livestock producers and protect our rural communities and landscape."

Young farmers encouraged to apply for Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Grow Your Future” Award

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is seeking applications for the next “Grow Your Future” Award winner. This competition, reserved for IFBF members ages 18-35, is for entrepreneurs with a farming-related niche or specialty business.

First, second and third place finalists will receive $7,500, $5000 and $2,500, respectively, to expand their businesses. To apply, submit an application and short video to

“To make the family farm work, a majority of today’s young farmers have off-farm income,” says IFBF President Brent Johnson. “We have seen ingenious ideas result from that situation. Iowa agriculture is incredibly diverse, and past Grow Your Future Award participants exemplify that. Farmers in this contest have raised crickets for human consumption, developed successful direct-to-consumer markets and helped further Iowa’s water quality goals through custom cover crop services. Our goal is to help the next generation of farmers excel in whatever method of farming they choose.”

Up to ten entrepreneurs will be selected from the applicant pool and then narrowed down by public vote. Those who emerge from the vote will compete in a pitch-off during the 2023 Young Farmer Conference on Jan. 28, 2023, where top three placings will be announced.

The winners of the 2022 Grow Your Future Award, in order, were Lillie Beringer of Beringer Family Farms, Jade Moret of Holland Flower Farm and Melissa Nelson of Hungry Canyon.

“The Grow Your Future Award allowed me to share my story and financially take my beef sales to the next level with increased freezer space,” says 2022 first-place winner, Lillie Beringer. “I enjoyed networking with like-minded, young farmer entrepreneurs and was truly humbled by the opportunity and constant support.”      

New Report on Antibiotics Use in Food Animal Production Released

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Thursday issued a report on “Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Animal Agriculture in the United States.” It includes data on medically important antimicrobial sales, use, and resistance for cattle, chickens, swine, and turkeys for 2016-2019. The report found that food-animal producers reduced their purchases of such antibiotics by 26% over the four-year period. Sales of non-medically important antimicrobials dropped by 7%.

See the full report here:  

Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 503 million bushels in May 2022. Total corn consumption was up 7 percent from April 2022 and up slightly from May 2021. May 2022 usage included 91.1 percent for alcohol and 8.9 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 4.65 million bushels, up 17 percent from April 2022 and up 21 percent from May 2021. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 446 million bushels, was up 7 percent from April 2022 but down less than 1 percent from May 2021. Corn consumed in May 2022 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 92.4 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.90 million tons during May 2022, up 11 percent from April 2022 but down 2 percent from May 2021. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.33 million tons in May 2022, up 1 percent from April 2022 and up 23 percent from May 2021.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 294,367 tons during May 2022, up 13 percent from April 2022 but down 2 percent from May 2021. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 205,508 tons in May 2022, down 7 percent from April 2022 and down 1 percent from May 2021.

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

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.43 million tons (181 million bushels) in May 2022, compared with 5.43 million tons (181 million bushels) in April 2022 and 5.21 million tons (174 million bushels) in May 2021. Crude oil produced was 2.16 billion pounds up 1 percent from April 2022 and up 6 percent from May 2021. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.76 billion pounds during May 2022 increased 3 percent from April 2022 and increased 3 percent from May 2021.

Higher Blends of Biofuels Offer American Drivers Savings at the Pump Throughout Holiday Weekend

Ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend, Growth Energy Senior Vice President of Market Development Mike Lorenz released the following statement highlighting the price savings at the pump that higher blends of biofuels like E15, a fifteen percent ethanol blended fuel, offer American drivers:

“Skyrocketing fuel prices shouldn’t take the joy out of Fourth of July travel plans,” said Lorenz, former head of petroleum supply and trading at Sheetz, a major E15 retailer currently offering the blend at a flat $3.99 per gallon through the holiday. “Across the country, American families have found savings ranging from 10 cents to nearly a dollar per gallon by filling up with E15 at more than 2,600 retail locations. America’s biofuel workers understand the value of energy security – the industry employs a greater share of U.S. veterans than any other energy sector – and we’re proud to do our part this Independence Day.”

USDA Announces July 2022 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for July 2022, which are effective July 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 July 2022 are as follows:
    Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 3.875%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 4.125%
    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.

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): 3.375%
    Farm Storage Facility Loans:
        o Three-year loan terms: 3.000%
        o Five-year loan terms: 3.000%
        o Seven-year loan terms: 3.125%
        o Ten-year loan terms: 3.000%
        o Twelve-year loan terms: 3.125%
    Sugar Storage Facility Loans (15 years): 3.250%

Analysts Expect Record U.S. Soy Crop Despite USDA’s Drop in Planted Acres

While the market expected a decrease in planted acres across the United States due to a wet planting season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture surprised the market, slashing soybean acres by 2.7 million acres. Regardless, farmers are still pegged to produce a record U.S. Soy crop, weather permitting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its June 30 Grain Stocks and Planted Acreage reports that put U.S. Soy acres at 88.3 million acres (35.7 million hectares) and showing record export demand for U.S. Soy during March through May.

“As global supplies of soy are tight, the world is watching U.S. Soy production,” said Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). “Now is the time to look carefully and critically at the global environment, what your customers expect and what you expect.

“Russia’s war on Ukraine, the aftermath of COVID, spiking inflation, and supply chain disruptions all remind us of our shared responsibility to work together. U.S. Soy farmers are maximizing production of nutritious, sustainable U.S. Soy so that our customers and their customers’ families around the world can reliably and readily access nutritious, safe, and affordable food every day.”

Mac Marshall, who joined Sutter on screen for the U.S. Soy Stocks and Planted Acreage Report webinar, noted that traders were looking for a reduction from the March plantings report, but not of this magnitude.

While many states saw increases in planted soybean acres, North Dakota saw the biggest change with the March figure revised down by 1.1 million acres (0.4 million hectares), bringing it to 5.9 million acres (2.4 million hectares). Wet conditions in North Dakota have made it very difficult to get acres planted, explained Marty Ruikka, President of The ProExporter Network.

Even though USDA slashed soybean acres from 91 million acres (36.8 million hectares) in its March report to 88.3 million acres (35.7 million hectares), it’s still the highest soybean area planted since 2018, said Marshall, who serves as Vice President of Market Intelligence for USSEC and the United Soybean Board.
“If we assume a trend yield of 51.5 bushels per acre (3.46 MT per hectare), the reduction in planted area implies a drop in production of about 130 million bushels (3.5 MMT),” he said. “However, the crop size would still be a record at 4.5 billion bushels (122.5 MMT).”

USDA Dairy Products May 2022 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.19 billion pounds, 2.1 percent above May 2021 and 2.5 percent above April 2022. Italian type cheese production totaled 486 million pounds, 2.9 percent above May 2021 but 0.6 percent below April 2022. American type cheese production totaled 483 million pounds, 0.3 percent above May 2021 and 3.3 percent above April 2022. Butter production was 182 million pounds, 0.7 percent below May 2021 but 0.3 percent above April 2022.

Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with May 2021)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 193 million pounds, down 6.2 percent.
Skim milk powder - 38.7 million pounds, down 20.3 percent.

Whey products (comparisons in percentage with May 2021)
Dry whey, total - 84.6 million pounds, up 9.5 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 105 million pounds, up 10.8 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 43.7 million pounds, up 8.1 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with May 2021)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 62.6 million gallons, up 2.3 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 40.5 million gallons, down 7.6 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 2.24 million gallons, down 5.2 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 4.31 million gallons, up 1.4 percent.

Apply Now for the 2022-23 ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program

If you’re passionate about agriculture and ready to hone your skills and network to become a leader in the industry, the American Soybean Association and Corteva Agriscience are looking for you to apply for the next class of ASA Corteva Young Leaders!

The Young Leader program, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and ASA, is a two-phase educational program for actively farming individuals and couples who are passionate about agriculture. The men and women who participate in this program will be the leaders that shape the future of the industry.

Phase I of the 2022-23 Young Leader program will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2022, at Corteva’s Global Business Center in Johnston, Iowa. The program continues March 7-11, 2023, in Orlando, Florida in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show.

“As a member of the Class of ‘09, I can tell you that this program is important and has had a real impact on not only the soybean industry, but all of agriculture,” said ASA President Brad Doyle, an Arkansas soybean grower and graduate of the program. “By identifying growers who are interested in stepping into leadership roles and then providing them with top-notch training, the Young Leader program has enabled industry success by providing us with strong, informed and connected leaders. The program also gave my wife, Joyce, and me the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with other soybean growers from across the country. We still chat with some of our classmates regularly. We are grateful to Corteva for their long-term support of this program.”

Soybean growers, both individuals and couples, are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, agriculture trends and information, and the development of a strong and connected network. Interested partners, even if not employed full time on the farm, are encouraged to attend and will be active participants in all aspects of the program.

ASA and Corteva Agriscience will work with the 26 state affiliates and the Grain Farmers of Ontario to identify the top producers to represent their states as part of this program.

“America’s farmers are working hard every day to provide food and agricultural products that meet the growing needs of people everywhere. It’s critical for governments, society and other stakeholders to hear farmers’ voices as they shape policies and programs that support agriculture and rural communities,” said Matt Rekeweg, U.S. Industry Affairs Leader, Corteva Agriscience. “We are proud to continue our support for the ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program, which is developing the next generation of grower leaders and advocates for agriculture.”

Applications are being accepted online now. Interested applicants should click here for additional information and to apply.

Historic Organic Soybean Option Contract Executed via the Stable-Mercaris Partnership

Stable announces the execution of the first ever over-the-counter option contract to protect against volatile organic soybean prices. According to price reporting from Mercaris, organic soybeans have increased 62% compared to just one year ago. This historic volatility has heightened the need to protect against downside and upside price changes.

 The first organic soybean transaction contract will be settled using the Mercaris Midwest Organic Soybean Price Index, which reflects organic soybean cash market prices across a six state region of the U.S. where the majority of organic soybeans are grown.

“Stable is excited to see the early results of our partnership with Mercaris during these unprecedented times in agriculture markets,” says Jim Sullivan, VP Partnerships at Stable. “This marks the first time in history that price protection was made possible in organic soybeans, an unlisted agricultural commodity for which there was previously no way to effectively manage price risk. The mix of growing demand and heightened volatility in soybean markets underscores the need for the type of risk management that Stable is delivering to our agricultural and food business customers across the supply chain.”

Because organic grains are not traded on any public exchange, the price risk management methods available to everyone from farmers to feed mills have been limited. That has changed with Stable’s simple and targeted options-based risk management solutions that settle directly against reference prices published by entities such as Mercaris.

“Robust, reliable price data for organic grains is the foundation for innovative tools that enable better price risk management,” says Kellee James, Founder and CEO of Mercaris. “The impacts of climate change and other social, political and environmental challenges amplify the usual fluctuations of supply and demand.  Our mission is to support better decision-making to help our partners meet those challenges”.

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