Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Monday July 11 Crop Progress + Ag News


For the week ending July 10, 2022, there were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 20% very short, 28% short, 49% adequate, and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 21% very short, 31% short, 47% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 4% very poor, 9% poor, 24% fair, 50% good, and 13% excellent. Corn silking was 8%, behind 17% last year and 19% for the five-year average.

Soybean condition rated 4% very poor, 7% poor, 21% fair, 55% good, and 13% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 40%, behind 57% last year and 47% average. Setting pods was 2%, behind 14% last year, and near 6% average.

Winter wheat condition rated 20% very poor, 24% poor, 39% fair, 16% good, and 1% excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 36%, ahead of 21% last year, and near 32% average.

Sorghum condition rated 2% very poor, 16% poor, 27% fair, 48% good, and 7% excellent. Sorghum headed was 6%, near 3% last year and 9% average.

Oats condition rated 14% very poor, 20% poor, 24% fair, 40% good, and 2% excellent.

Dry edible bean condition rated 0% very poor, 4% poor, 35% fair, 61% good, and 0% excellent. Dry edible beans emerged was 97%.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 24% very poor, 25% poor, 32% fair, 18% good, and 1% excellent.


Most of the State received rain along with warmer temperatures, resulting in 4.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 10, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. A derecho blew through northern Iowa on Tuesday, causing some crop damage. Fieldwork included wrapping up the first cutting of alfalfa and working on the second.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 3 percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 7 percent very short, 22 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

Corn silking was at 7 percent, 4 days behind last year and 5 days behind average. Corn condition rated 81 percent good to excellent.

Thirty-four percent of soybeans were blooming or beyond, 1 week behind last year and 2 days behind average. Three percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 10 days behind last year and 5 days behind the 5-year average. Iowa’s soybean condition rating was 79 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-five percent of the oat crop was headed or beyond, 4 days behind last year. Forty-eight percent of oats were turning color, 6 days behind last year. Oat harvest for grain has begun at 2 percent, 1 week behind last year. Iowa’s oat condition was 80 percent good to excellent.

Thirty-five percent of the State’s second cutting of alfalfa hay was complete. All Hay condition rated 70 percent good to excellent.

Pasture condition rated 59 percent good to excellent. Pasture and hay improved with widespread rain. Livestock were stressed due to above average heat and humidity with reports of pinkeye in cattle.

USDA: Corn Condition Holds Steady, Soy Condition Down Slightly

U.S. corn conditions held steady and soybean conditions fell just 1 percentage point last week thanks to timely rains across much of the Corn Belt, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress on Monday. However, a return of hotter, drier weather across the western, central and northern U.S. later this week is likely to stress developing crops, according to DTN forecasters.


-- Crop development: 15% of corn was silking as of Sunday, July 10, according to NASS. That is 9 percentage points behind last year's 24% and 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 25%. Corn in the dough stage was estimated at 2%, 1 percentage point behind both last year and five-year average of 3%.
-- Crop condition: 64% of corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. The current rating is 1 percentage point below last year's rating at this time.


-- Crop development: 32% of soybeans were blooming, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 38%. Six percent of soybeans were setting pods, 3 percentage points behind the five-year average of 9%.
-- Crop condition: 62% of soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 percentage points from 63% the previous week but still above last year's rating of 59% good to excellent at this time.


-- Harvest progress: 63% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, 6 percentage points ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 61%.


-- Crop development: 44% of the crop was headed, 37 percentage points behind last year's 81% and 33 percentage points behind the five-year average of 77%.
-- Crop condition: 70% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from 66% the previous week and well above last year's rating of 16%.



– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Summer heat brings insect pressure in alfalfa stands.  One pest that you may see in increasing numbers are grasshoppers.
With dry conditions statewide, natural grasshopper population controls that thrive in warm, humid weather are not as effective and the growing nymphs are seeking out high energy food as they mature.  If conditions stay dry, they will only get worse as the year continues and control may be needed.
Control begins with scouting to determine if insecticides are economically useful. I can’t give you an exact economic threshold because of variables like the value of the alfalfa and the growth stage of both alfalfa and grasshopper are factors that need consideration. Still, if the grasshopper population in an established field is higher than 5 hoppers per square yard throughout the field or 15 hoppers per square yard in field margins, insecticides should be considered. Newly planted fields may need treatment if the grasshopper population is even lower.
Around many alfalfa fields, grasshoppers have just started moving in from the field margins. Treating just the outside 150 feet or so may be sufficient in these situations. However, if the entire field already is infested, it usually is best to first harvest the alfalfa and then apply insecticide to protect the regrowth.
With second cutting occurring or happening shortly, we can reduce the cost and amount of insecticide used when treating an entire field.  Harvest alfalfa but leave several small, uncut strips across the field. The remaining grasshoppers will quickly congregate in these strips, enabling you to just treat these smaller areas.
Remember to carefully read and follow all label directions and be especially careful to avoid injuring bee and other important pollinating insects.
If you have many grasshoppers in your alfalfa, control them soon. As they grow larger, they’ll only get worse and control may be less effective.

Empire State of Agriculture: Nebraska Teachers Attend National Conference

With support from Lancaster County Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation hosted five Nebraska teachers and volunteers at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference “Empire State of Agriculture,” June 29 – July 1 in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Educators from across the country attended to explore how to use agriculture to enhance classroom learning. The conference included keynotes, workshops, and tours of agricultural operations and businesses.

Diane Starns, a kindergarten teacher at Ashland-Greenwood Elementary in Saunders County, received an all-expense paid trip to the conference as the recipient of the 2022 Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year award.

“The conference was a great opportunity for me to learn even more about the different ways I can incorporate agriculture into my classroom and the school,” said Starns. “I am currently working on a school-wide project, and I gained ideas for the event such as propagating a plant, a pollination activity, and extracting DNA from a strawberry to name a few.”

The four-day conference allowed teachers from around the nation to collaborate and share the ways that they incorporate agriculture into core subject learning.

“I loved seeing the different activities teachers are using in their classrooms around the country and I can’t wait to share these activities related to cooking, planting, science, literacy, and math with my students,” said Starns.

Two Nebraska teachers received $1,800 conference scholarships from Lancaster County Farm Bureau.

“We are excited to support teachers who show an interest in bringing agriculture into the classroom and wish to be more involved with the Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom program. Our board believes this is a smart investment in the future of Nebraska and agriculture as we know these teachers will impact hundreds of students throughout their careers,” said Bruce Tiedeman, Lancaster County Farm Bureau president.

The Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom program is a statewide program that helps Pre-K-12 grade students and teachers develop an awareness and understanding of agriculture. The program is managed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and is its flagship program.

“Teachers who recognize the benefits of incorporating agriculture are such important partners in the Foundation’s mission,” said Courtney Shreve, director of outreach education. “It was fun to see the ‘A-ha!’ moments throughout the conference as teachers realized how agriculture concepts can fit into their current lessons and provide a meaningful connection to our state.”

The National Agriculture in the Classroom annual conference is held in a new location each year, giving attendees an opportunity to see and experience agriculture all over the country. Participants also get to experience the food, geography, and culture of different regions. The 2023 conference will take place in Orlando, FL.

Valley, Farmers National Company Announce Completion of Ag Solar Installation

Valley® Irrigation, a leader in advancing agricultural productivity, allowing growers to produce more with less through engineered irrigation equipment and connected crop management applications, has partnered with Farmers National Company, the nation’s leading land and mineral management firm, to complete the company's first ag solar installation within North America. The installation, which is located in south-central Nebraska on a farm managed by Farmers National Company, will provide sustainable power to the landowner by efficiently converting the sun’s rays to clean energy.  

Solar energy offers numerous benefits for agricultural irrigation, including energy savings, efficiency, reduced environmental impact and potential tax savings through incentive programs. The Ag Solar group within Valley has a large international footprint with more than 700 solar installations worldwide. Valley has now leveraged the expertise of the company’s 75 years of experience in providing growers with center pivot irrigation systems and pumping solutions to deliver clean and efficient solar energy to agriculture.  

“Valley offers the most durable irrigation structures in the field and our solar experts have implemented hundreds of successful projects globally,” says Darin Sothers, Director of Key Accounts, Valley Irrigation. “We’re proud to be able to provide growers in North America with engineered solar solutions, particularly by collaborating with our valued and long-term partner Farmers National Company – a company that shares our same sustainability and environmental goals.”   

"Farmers National Company has always valued conservation efforts as part of our sustainable farm management practices for landowners since our founding in 1929,” says Matt Gunderson, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Farmers National Company. “We are proud to partner with Valley Irrigation and the landowner to have the first Valley solar-powered pivot in North America and specifically on one of the farms we manage for a landowner. The opportunity to invest into the farm while the landowner receives additional income from the excess power sold back to the power district makes it a win-win."    

The installation is located near Davenport, Nebraska, and will provide solar power to a Valley center pivot by offsetting energy consumption used to irrigate the field. Farmers National Company’s landowner client invested in Tier 1 solar panels, which are the highest-quality panels and are also used on major utility-sized installations. They are built to withstand the often-harsh conditions of Nebraska weather, including strong winds and hail. The components/inverters will provide greater than 94% efficiency in converting DC (direct current) energy into AC (alternating current) energy. The pivot size and configuration will produce green renewable energy for the next 25 to 35 years, equaling the lifespan of the pivot. It will also produce recurring revenue for the landowner through a buy/sell agreement with the local utility group.   

Gov. Ricketts Proclaims July 11-15 as NRD Week

With the swoosh of a pen and eager applause, Gov. Pete Ricketts proclaims July 11-15, 2022, as NRD Week in Nebraska to celebrate Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) 50th anniversary.

“We are proud to celebrate five decades of protecting, conserving and improving Nebraska’s nature resources,” said Dr. Orval Gigstad, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts president. “It’s amazing to see the conservation progress that has been made these last 50 years and NRD directors and staff know the work we do today – planting trees, water management, soil health – will directly impact our future.”

After the devastation of the Dust Bowl, special purpose districts were developed to solve local soil and water-related problems. But the puzzle of overlapping authorities and responsibilities provided confusion at best.

In 1969, Senator Maurice Kremer introduced legislative bill 1357 to combine Nebraska’s 154 special purpose entities into 24 Natural Resources Districts by July 1972. In 1989, The Middle Missouri Tributaries NRD and the Papio NRD merged to become the Papio-Missouri River NRD resulting in today’s 23 Natural Resources Districts.

Today, Nebraska’s unique system of locally controlled, watershed-based conservation is widely admired throughout the nation.

NRDs deliver several state and federal programs including many projects with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) and the University of Nebraska. These partnerships equate into real dollars for Nebraska agriculture and communities.

“Nebraska policymakers had incredible foresight when creating the NRDs realizing that our strength lies in collaboration with partners to champion conservation,” Dr. Gigstad said. “Our partnerships with local, state and federal agencies have helped deliver conservation to millions of acres reducing soil loss and improving water quality and quantity.”

Across the state, Natural Resources Districts construct projects, implement programs and aid landowners in conservation and natural resources management. When necessary, they enact regulations to protect our resources. While all NRDs share the 12 main responsibilities, each district sets its own priorities and develops its own programs to best serve and protect Nebraska’s natural resources. Often the most recognizable NRD responsibilities include groundwater management, flood protection and conservation trees.

Groundwater Management

Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts are responsible for protecting one of our most precious resources – groundwater. This mean ensuring there is enough for all users and protecting it from pollution.

As the No. 1 irrigated state in the nation, managing Nebraska’s water to ensure there is enough for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes is essential. NRDs work with irrigators to monitor water use, establish groundwater recharge projects, and implement water-wise programs. This is especially important during times of drought.

NRDs have been developing groundwater quality plans since the 1980s, which are an essential part of protecting our water. Addressing groundwater quality issues requires regular data collection and recognizing and planning for changing conditions. Regulatory and taxing authorities allow NRDs to develop locally based incentive and educational programming and to enforce regulations when needed to protect Nebraska’s groundwater today and into the future.

Flood Protection

From Gering Valley in the Nebraska Panhandle to Papillion Creek in the Omaha metro, NRDs across the state employ a watershed protection approach. Utilizing floodplain management measures, NRDs design and build dams, levees, dikes, drainage ditches and other structures to keep flood waters from taking lives or damaging crops, buildings and roads.

Flood control projects are developed for multiple purposes and often provide the additional benefit of recreation including activities such as boating, fishing, camping, wildlife viewing and pedestrian trails. Trails are built atop levees and flood-control reservoirs often develop into recreation areas. Habitat areas and wetlands are available for hunters and often preserved for interpretative nature study.

Conservation Tree Program

This spring, the NRD Conservation Tree Program planted its 100 millionth tree – that’s approximately 50 trees for each Nebraskan. Annually, the NRD Conservation Tree Program provides hundreds of thousands of low-cost, bulk trees and shrubs for windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife habitat and other conservation purposes. Districts collect orders for trees between November and March, then trees are distributed in April for spring planting.

Natural Resources Districts’ staff and directors will plant the ceremonious 100 millionth tree on the Nebraska Capitol grounds in a public ceremony this fall.

Dr. Gigstad noted that Nebraska’s NRDs will continue to adapt to meet future conservation needs.

“Protecting our precious resources like soil and water is something we can all agree on,” he said. “NRDs are uniquely positioned to help manage our natural resources to protect lives, property and the future of Nebraska’s communities.”

To join in the 50th anniversary celebration and follow the Natural Resources Districts’ special activities throughout 2022, visit www.nrdnet.org and follow #Since1972 on social media.

ACE Welcomes Governor Ricketts to 35th Annual Conference

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) announces it will host Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts as a keynote speaker during its 35th annual conference. Governor Ricketts will kick off the general session on Thursday, August 11, welcoming attendees and providing an update on how Nebraska is advancing ethanol in the marketplace. The organization’s upcoming event takes place August 10-12 at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.

“For decades, ethanol has helped grow Nebraska and communities across the Heartland,” said Gov. Ricketts. “Ethanol saves drivers money at the pump, reduces toxic emissions, and creates opportunities for American farm families.  We look forward to hosting the 35th annual conference of the American Coalition for Ethanol in Omaha this year.”

“We’re thrilled Governor Ricketts can join us again as we gather together to discuss pressing industry issues,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO. “Nebraska’s biofuel industry has been strengthened under the Governor’s leadership, and we look forward to hearing an update on Nebraska legislation and programs to advance ethanol in the marketplace, as well as his perspective on a number of trade and policy issues impacting the industry.”

The 2022 ACE conference general session will follow Governor Ricketts’ welcome with an update from ACE leadership. Jennings will be joined by Ron Lamberty, ACE Chief Marketing Officer, and Dave Sovereign, ACE Board President representing Golden Grain Energy’s plant in Mason City, Iowa, in discussing ACE’s strategy for accelerating ethanol demand and positioning members for future success around carbon.

Visit ethanol.org/events/conference for a full agenda and registration.

Iowa Supreme Court Reinstates Pork Producers’ Right to Farm

In a major victory for Hawkeye pork producers, the Iowa Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision said the state may provide livestock producers immunity from nuisance lawsuits such as ones complaining about odor. The court reversed a precedent that had struck down an Iowa law granting immunity to livestock farmers and allowed neighboring landowners to sue for damages when farm operations affected their “quality of life.”

Under last Thursday’s ruling in a case brought by activists against New Fashion Pork, landowners still may sue if their property is “damaged” because of a farmer’s failure to comply with a federal or state law or regulation or to use prudent and generally accepted management practices.

In the majority opinion, Judge Thomas Waterman wrote that “protecting and promoting livestock production is a legitimate state interest, and granting partial immunity from nuisance suits is a proper means to that end.”  

New Report Highlights U.S. Pork Industry Contributions to American Jobs and the Economy

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) released a new economic report highlighting how America’s pig farmers are significant contributors to the United States’ agricultural and overall economy. The report highlights pork industry value chain contributions and growth over the past five years.
“This report underscores how the pork industry is an important pillar to the U.S. economy and the positive ripple effect it has on many other important sectors in the American supply chain,” said Holly Cook, NPPC staff economist. “From farm to fork, the combined economic contribution from hog production and pork processing supports more than 600,000 American jobs and generates $178 billion of direct, indirect and induced sales that equate to $57 billion in value-added GDP.”
Key takeaways in the report include:
-    The pork industry supports 613,823 direct and indirect jobs in the United States.
-    In 2021, more than 66,000 pig farms sold more than 140 million hogs worth over $28 billion in gross cash receipts. And the number of U.S. pig farms has grown since 2012.
-    Farming and processing sectors are responsible for supporting more than $35 billion in personal income and boosts economic activity in related services such as trucking, grain elevators, insurance and other rural-based businesses.
-    In 2021, approximately 25% of U.S. pork was exported abroad, which equates to 7 billion pounds of pork valued at $8 billion. In addition, exports added more than $62 per head in value to each pig marketed in 2021.
-    The pork industry generates significant economic activity through its purchase of inputs. Feed inputs, such as corn and soybean meal, account for an estimated 56% of total U.S. production costs.

“It’s vital to share this economic snapshot as America’s pork producers continue to engage with regulators and policymakers, food companies and others to convey how our businesses directly and indirectly impact the larger economy,” said Terry Wolters, NPPC president and owner of Stoney Creek Farms in Pipestone, Minnesota. “As a producer, this analysis makes me proud to see the impact I have being part of the thriving U.S. pork industry.”

In addition to the national report, NPPC released 22 state-level economic reports. These reports highlight how the pork industry contributes at a grassroots level and shows the breadth of the industry producing affordable, safe and nutritious pork for consumers here and abroad.
View more pork industry economic data at NPPC.org/The-Pork-Industry.

Bang and Ruen Join SHIC Board of Directors

Olsen, Hill, and Bang elected officers

The Swine Health Information Center welcomed two new board members during their meeting held on June 29, 2022. Kent Bang, Bang Ag Consulting, LLC, Omaha, Nebraska, and Paul Ruen, DVM, partner in Fairmont (MN) Veterinary Clinic, began their terms. Founding board members Matt Anderson, DVM, an owner of Suidae Health and Production, Algona, Iowa, and Mark Greenwood, formerly with Compeer Financial, Mankato, Minnesota, concluded their service.

The new SHIC Board of Directors held election of officers as well. Daryl Olsen, DVM, AMVC, was chosen to continue leading the SHIC Board as its chair. Howard Hill, DVM, Ames, Iowa, will again be the vice chair for the organization and Bang will serve as secretary/treasurer. Other board members are Russ Nugent, PhD, Gene Noem, Jeremy Pittman, DVM, Mark Schwartz, and Matthew Turner, DVM. Paul Sundberg, DVM, PhD, DACVPM is SHIC’s executive director. Megan Niederwerder, DVM, PhD, is associate director.

New Board Members

Bang retired from Compeer Financial in April 2022 after a distinguished career in banking with an emphasis on swine industry lending and soon established his consulting company to serve large clients in the United States.

After earning a degree in Ag Business from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Bang worked for Purina and Consolidated Nutrition feed companies. In his role with Consolidated Nutrition, owned by ADM, he worked with swine business clients domestically as well as internationally. He moved from the feed business to work in banking, the majority with the Farm Credit system, including serving as a national lender in the swine industry for Compeer Financial, leading their swine team.

While devoting his career to work in the swine industry, Bang gave of his time as a member of Pork Alliance, served two terms on the National Pork Producers Council Board of Directors, and two terms on the US Meat Export Federation Board of Directors. In addition, he has been a long-time member of the Pork PAC Board of Directors as well.

“I’ve long been involved in this industry and having been on the NPPC board when SHIC was put together, I’ve been very, very supportive of their efforts,” Bang stated. “What SHIC does is very important realizing one of the industry’s biggest risks is emerging disease, trade interrupting disease. I know what kind of challenge it is for us to get the right kind of monitoring in place, pig movement tracking, and just how monumental a task that is.”

Bang looks forward to serving on the SHIC Board, offering his personal experience and expertise. “SHIC has done a great job with such a big task and there’s still work to do,” he remarked. “I hope to contribute to SHIC’s mission. There are a lot of people with a lot of veterinary talent on the Board. I have strong contacts in the industry across the country and good working relationships with players in the business, understanding its structure I can offer.”

Ruen intentionally sought out work in a veterinary practice with a focus on swine involvement following graduation from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. “Being in an industry that’s constantly evolving, with great people across the industry, has been a fun and rewarding career,” Ruen said. While his practice is focused on swine production, Ruen has also given his time to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians as a volunteer leader, serving on their Board for four years, one of those as president of the organization. “It’s important to me to be involved and give back,” he explained.

As the AASV appointed member of the SHIC Board of Directors, Ruen anticipates growing his service to the industry. “It’s interesting how that board is set up,” he observed. “It promotes good dialogue with representatives from across the industry. I’m excited to be part of that, have some part of the exchange, as SHIC continues to monitor what’s going on in the world, being prepared and forward-thinking for protecting the US swine herd.”

While serving as president of the AASV Board of Directors, Ruen had the opportunity to visit the Miami Port of Entry, seeing first-hand how that process works to screen passengers and container ships as they come in. “I am keen to figure out how we can promote and do a better job for the industry to be collaborative with our government, and other governments, to have integrity in that process and continue to be as thorough as we can protecting our food supply and livestock in the US,” Ruen stated.  “I’m also interested in understanding at a deeper level the highest priorities for SHIC, how we balance funds we have and types of resources we can leverage with where the greatest needs are.”

Retiring Board Members

Anderson is also a past president of AASV and held that office when PEDV hit the US herd. This experience shaped his understanding of the gaps in what the US swine industry was able to do, how to prepare, and how to respond. He was part of the formation of SHIC, among several other influential industry leaders, and admires the vision held for identifying the need and the role the resulting organization has played. “The work SHIC has done filling gaps that existed in preparing the US industry and helping us respond in real-time has been extremely important,” he explained. “SHIC is doing work that isn’t necessarily incentivized by economic return.”

As a director, Anderson participated in decisions regarding how money is allocated. “Our focus has been on filling an important need as economically efficiently as possible, as prudently as possible,” he said. “Most research is incentivized by potential return for someone selling a product and that left gaps in our ability to prepare for and respond to disease challenges. SHIC’s work to fill those gaps has been quintessentially important.”

Anderson believes SHIC’s effort to rank diseases relative to their perceived importance to the US industry then preparing for those diseases with the tools necessary to run potential assays has been extremely important. “The work done on the pathways has identified vulnerabilities to the US swine herd which is really, really important information,” he commented.

“It’s extremely rewarding working with people I’ve had the honor of serving with,” Anderson remarked. “Change is constant in the US swine industry. Vulnerability is constant as well. There’s always going to be the next challenge. My challenge to the future SHIC Board is to remain diligent and focused on what the next challenge will be to protect against it and respond to it.”

Anderson continues his work at Suidae, a 10 veterinarian swine-specific practice. A graduate of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he has donated time and effort for endeavors to protect customers’ herds from challenges and respond to them as well.

Like Anderson, Greenwood has served on the SHIC Board of Directors since it was formed. “When I look at SHIC, the mission is to be responsive for the US pork industry to any emerging animal disease issues,” he commented. The Board has been collaborative and nimble, in Greenwood’s view, working for the best interest of the swine industry addressing animal health concerns with economic consequences.

Greenwood appreciates the investment made in SHIC by the National Pork Board as well as the vision of those recognizing the need for separation of duties with SHIC focused on emerging disease issues.

Greenwood retired from a career in ag lending with Compeer Financial in January 2022. As secretary/treasurer of the SHIC Board of Directors, he brings an economic view point, sharing his expertise on how emerging diseases would affect the industry. Prior to being a lender, Greenwood worked in the feed industry, giving him experience working with producers and a broader perspective.

“I would always do my best as secretary/treasurer to make sure the overall board was very prudent with dollars spent,” Greenwood stated. “We invest dollars wisely, recognizing these are pork producers’ dollars, cognizant of spending where we can get a good return on our investment.” He appreciated the debate between Board members to make sure money was spent wisely for the industry, being strategic in their decisions.

Before beginning his career in the swine industry, Greenwood earned a degree in business administration and economics from Mankato State University. “I grew up on a hog farm in southern Minnesota and have seen a lot of changes in the pork industry since then,” he observed. While retired from Compeer, Greenwood is now working part-time for Schwartz Farms of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve on this board, helping serve the pork industry with a great group of people,” Greenwood said. He has been a long-time member of Pork Alliance and worked with the Strategic Investment Program for NPPC while at Compeer. Greenwood also offered his expertise to NPPC and NPB during the difficult times of 2008-2009 as well as the COVID pandemic of 2020. “Those were extraordinary times I never thought I’d have to address,” he remarked. “I worked hand-in-hand with others in the industry during times of uncertainty and challenge.”

NPPC Urges USTR to Address Taiwan’s Restrictions on U.S. Pork

In comments submitted Thursday to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the National Pork Producers Council is asking the Biden administration to address and eliminate Taiwan’s unjustified restrictions on U.S. pork. In early June, the United States and Taiwan announced they would begin negotiations on improving their economic and trade relationship, and representatives of the two countries met in late June for initial discussions on the “U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.” The initiative will focus on facilitating more agricultural trade and trade by small and medium enterprises; advocating for sound, transparent trade regulations; establishing anti-corruption standards; supporting the environment and climate action; and addressing “non-market” policies and practices that could be hindering trade. NPPC pointed out in its comments that Taiwan has several non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork, including a ban on the use of the feed additive ractopamine and a country-of-origin labeling scheme.

American Dairy Coalition announces federal milk pricing policy priorities

American Dairy Coalition, a grassroots dairy farmer-led organization, has been engaging farmers and industry in discussion of the future of milk pricing since 2020. That's when the unintended consequences of the Class I price formula change, which passed in the last farm bill, became apparent in Federal Milk Marketing Order dysfunction, de-pooling, loss of Class I value and resulted in negative PPDs. All of this negatively impacted the performance of producer price risk management tools. Dairy farmers found they were not able to protect their cost of production expenses when in fact, protecting these expenses is the whole point of utilizing the current risk management tools.
After gleaning feedback and information from dairy farmers and industry experts during interactive webinars, conference calls, emails, surveys and other engagements, ADC’s dairy farmer board recently approved these federal milk pricing priorities as 2023 farm bill discussions proceed.
1. EXAMINE CLASS I MOVER VIA HEARING -- Federal Milk Marketing Order changes should go through the FMMO hearing process where all parties can be heard. Proposals to improve the Class I mover should include comparison to the previous Class I mover’s ‘higher of’ formula, which was the last milk pricing formula vetted through this process. Even in the absence of “industry consensus” about the mover, an FMMO hearing should still be conducted as soon as possible to thoroughly examine by comparison the current ‘average of’ formula vs. the previous ‘higher of’ formula since this was not done in 2018.
2. ADDRESS RISK MANAGEMENT CONCERNS -- All FMMO milk pricing proposals should be stress-tested to gauge impact on performance of the tools dairy farmers purchase to manage price risk, such as DRP, LGM and hedging. It is essential that these risk management tools perform as designed and are not rendered void because of price inversions and FMMO dysfunction.
3. RESTORE DEMOCRACY -- The producer referendum (vote) which follows all FMMO hearings should allow all individual dairy farmers to cast a secure, confidential and trustworthy ballot instead of cooperatives bloc voting on behalf of their dairy farmer patrons.
4. TIE MAKE ALLOWANCE AMENDMENT TO CLASS I MOVER AMENDMENT -- If FMMOs are amended or an FMMO hearing process is opened to raise processor ‘make allowances’ (processors cost to convert milk into a finished dairy product), a hearing returning to the previous 'higher of' Class I mover formula should occur at the same time.
5. TIE MAKE ALLOWANCE RAISES TO FARMERS RECEIVING ADEQUATE AND TRANSPARENT MAILBOX MILK PRICES -- ‘Make allowances’ derive directly from dairy farmers’ milk payments as they are embedded into the classified end-product pricing formulas.
6. EXPAND PRICING SURVEY AND INCLUDE FARM COST OF PRODUCTION -- Proposals for mandatory and frequent cost of processing studies and make allowance adjustments should be accompanied by a mandatory and frequent reporting of farm-level milk cost of production. Additionally, a more comprehensive 'market basket' survey of dairy product prices should be reported -- beyond the four base commodities used in end-product pricing.
7. EXAMINE DAIRY FORWARD PRICING PROGRAM IMPACTS AND STRUCTURE -- - Proposals to make the Dairy Forward Pricing Program permanent must be structured so farmers have the ability to protect their actual mailbox milk price in a longer-term forward pricing agreement. If this program is made permanent, there must be an examination of the impact on price discovery and the ability of farmers to flexibly navigate the future of their farm businesses.
8. CLIMATE / CARBON TRACKING CLARITY AND CARBON ASSET OWNERSHIP -- No matter where a dairy farm’s milk is processed, that farm should be able to retain 100% ownership at all times of its earned and achieved carbon assets, even if this information is shared with milk buyers to describe the resulting products that are made from the milk.
Dairy farmers must be able to control their own destinies and navigate their futures as essential food producers that are closest to nature and are at the genesis point of food production. Those milk buyers asking for and acquiring proprietary on-farm carbon-tracking data should have to disclose how it will be used and valued, and farmers should have a mode of recourse if this proprietary information is used against them in milk contract renewal processes.

Industry Leaders Strengthen Collaboration on Food Security

The North American Meat Institute’s (NAMI or the Meat Institute) Executive Board voted unanimously late Friday to designate food security a non-competitive issue, strengthening industry-wide efforts to end hunger and ensure families in need have access to nutrient-dense meat.

“Meat is one of the most needed products for families in need, and the Meat Institute’s members give generously nationally and locally to meet this need,” commented Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute. “Ending hunger requires even greater collaboration. Declaring food security a non-competitive issue will allow the Meat Institute and its members to freely share best practices, an especially important step as the industry prepares to support the September 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.”

Through the Protein PACT for the People, Animals and Climate of tomorrow, the Meat Institute has committed to fill the protein gap by 2025, ensuring families in need have enough high-quality protein to meet U.S. dietary guidelines. The Protein PACT encompasses the Meat Institute’s sustainability framework and aligns the entire animal protein supply chain to accelerate achievement of global goals for healthy people, healthy animals, healthy communities and a healthy planet.

The Meat Institute has also established a Food Security Committee, co-chaired by Tim Grailer of Tyson Foods and Pete Stoddart of Cargill. The committee will bring Meat Institute members together to facilitate discussion, information-sharing, and problem-solving related to charitable giving, hunger relief and food security, for example related to cold storage and distribution infrastructure.

The Protein PACT will convene a stakeholder session this week, bringing together Protein PACT partner organizations, Meat Institute members, and experts in animal protein and food security to discuss animal protein’s role in ending hunger. Stakeholder session key outcomes will be submitted to the White House organizers for the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Sharing best practices on non-competitive issues has paved the way for substantial achievements in worker safety, food safety, environmental impact and animal care. Successes include:
-    Developing voluntary ergonomic guidelines and over 80 percent reduction in worker injuries and illnesses, regularly reaching all-time industry lows;
-    Drastic reductions in pathogenic bacteria on meat products including E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes contributing to 99.999 percent of meals with meat and poultry being enjoyed safely in the U.S. daily; and
-    Over 95 percent of the beef, pork and lamb produced in plants that voluntarily follow the animal welfare guidelines and audit program by Dr. Temple Grandin.

The SCN Coalition and Valent Join Forces to Encourage Farmers to Check Roots for Soybean Cyst Nematode

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the leading yield-robber of the soybean crop in North America, causing more than $1.5 billion in losses annually. The good news is soybean farmers can actively manage SCN to protect yield potential. To bring attention to the importance of active SCN management, The SCN Coalition and Valent have joined forces to encourage soybean farmers to check for SCN females attached to roots during the growing season.

Soybean fields infested with SCN may look healthy above ground, but adult SCN females can be detected on the roots of infested plants as soon as six weeks after soybeans have emerged. The adult SCN females fill with eggs and eventually die, changing into hardened cysts that protect the eggs in the soil. Watch this video to learn how to check roots.

Detecting SCN females on roots provides an indication if current tools used to manage SCN are effective. “Farmers can use a shovel to dig up soybean plants and then gently remove the soil around the roots,” says North Dakota State University Plant Pathologist Sam Markell. “Females on roots are much smaller than nitrogen-fixing nodules and can be difficult to see. A hand lens and a flashlight can make it easier to detect females.”

If you planted an SCN-resistant soybean variety but you still discover females on the roots, Coalition leaders encourage farmers to plan on testing soil for SCN after harvest and talk to their trusted crop adviser or university extension expert to evaluate SCN management strategies. SCN egg counts may be higher in the fall since a new generation of SCN is born every 24 days during the summer.

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