Friday, July 1, 2022

Thursday June 30 Acreage and Stocks reports + Ag News


Nebraska producers planted 9.70 million acres of corn for all purposes, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is down 2% from last year. Of the total acres, 95% were planted with biotechnology varieties, down 2% from 2021. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 9.40 million acres, down 2% from a year ago.

Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 5.60 million acres, unchanged from last year. Of these, 96% were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, unchanged from 2021. Producers expect to harvest 5.55 million acres, down slightly from a year ago.

Winter wheat planted in the fall of 2021 is estimated at 980,000 acres, up 7% from last year. Harvested area is expected to total 860,000 acres, up 2% from a year ago.

Alfalfa acreage to be harvested for dry hay is estimated at 810,000 acres, down 11% from last year. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is estimated at 1.50 million acres, down 9% from a year ago.

Sorghum planted for all purposes is estimated at 340,000 acres, up 6% from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 280,000 acres, up 22% from last year.

Oats planted for all purposes is estimated at 110,000 acres, down 8% from last year. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 23,000 acres down 12% from last year.

Dry edible bean planted acreage is estimated at 140,000 acres, up 17% from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 130,000 acres, up 14% from the previous year.

Proso millet planted, at 170,000 acres is up 3% from a year ago.

Sugarbeet planted acres, at 46,000 acres, are up 4% from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 44,400 acres, up 1% from a year ago.

Oil sunflower planted area is estimated at 33,000 acres, down 6% from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 31,000 acres, down 6% from a year ago. Non-oil sunflower planted area is estimated at 5,000 acres, down 23% from the previous year. Harvested area is estimated at 4,500 acres, down 31% from the previous year.

Dry edible pea planted acres are estimated at 41,000 acres, up 41% from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 38,000 acres, up 41% from the previous year.

Potato planted acreage is estimated at 20,000 acres, up 5% from last year. Harvested acreage is forecasted at 19,800 acres, up 5% from a year ago. Percent planted by type of potato is: 43% white, 55% russet, 1% red and 1% yellow.

The estimates of planted and harvested acreages in this news release are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June.

IOWA: Corn planted in 2022 for all purposes by Iowa producers is estimated at 12.7 million acres according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Acreage report. This is down 200,000 acres from 2021 but 100,000 acres above the March intentions. Harvested acres for grain is forecast at 12.3 million acres. Producers reported planting biotechnology varieties on 93 percent of their 2022 corn acres. The percent of corn acreage planted to insect resistant (Bt) varieties is estimated at 3 percent, herbicide resistant only varieties were planted on 8 percent of the acres, and stacked gene varieties were planted on 82 percent of the acres.

Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 10.3 million acres, up 200,000 acres from the acres planted in 2021 but down 100,000 acres from the March intentions. An expected 10.2 million acres of soybeans will be harvested. Producers reported using herbicide resistant varieties to plant 97 percent of their 2022 soybean acres.

Oats planted acreage is estimated at 120,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year and down 30,000 acres from the March intentions. Harvested acres for grain is forecast at 35,000 acres.

Total dry hay expected to be harvested for 2022 is estimated at 1.03 million acres, down 230,000 acres from last year and down 230,000 acres from the March intentions. Alfalfa harvested acreage is estimated at 620,000 acres and other hay harvested acreage is estimated at 410,000 acres.

Corn Planted Acreage Down 4 Percent from 2021

Soybean Acreage Up 1 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Up 1 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Up 11 Percent

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2022 is estimated at 89.9 million acres, down 4 percent or 3.44 million acres from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged in 35 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 81.9 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year.

Soybean planted area for 2022 is estimated at 88.3 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage is up or unchanged in 24 of the 29 estimating States.

All wheat planted area for 2022 is estimated at 47.1 million acres, up 1 percent from 2021. If realized, this represents the fifth lowest all wheat planted area since records began in 1919. The 2022 winter wheat planted area, at 34.0 million acres, is up 1 percent from last year, but down 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 23.5 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 6.86 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.61 million acres are White Winter. Area expected to be planted to other spring wheat for 2022 is estimated at 11.1 million acres, down 3 percent from 2021. Of this total, about 10.4 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2022 is expected to total 1.98 million acres, up 21 percent from the previous year.

All cotton planted area for 2022 is estimated at 12.5 million acres, up 11 percent from last year. Upland area is estimated at 12.3 million acres, up 11 percent from 2021. American Pima area is estimated at 156,000 acres, up 23 percent from 2021.


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2022 totaled 519 million bushels, up 3% from 2021, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the total, 245 million bushels are stored on farms, up 17% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 274 million bushels, are down 7% from last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 88.5 million bushels, up 53% from last year. On-farm stocks of 22.0 million bushels are up 69% from a year ago, and off-farm stocks, at 66.5 million bushels, are up 49% from 2021.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 21.4 million bushels, down 30% from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 800,000 bushels are unchanged from 2021, but off-farm stocks of 20.6 million bushels are down 30% from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 2.93 million bushels, up 83% from 2021. On-farm stocks of 110 thousand bushels are down 69% from a year ago but off-farm holdings of 2.82 million bushels are up 125% from last year.

On-farm oat stocks totaled 110,000 bushels, down 58% from 2021.

Off-farm barley stocks totaled 102,000 bushels, down 28% from last year.

IOWA:  Corn stored in all positions in Iowa on June 1, 2022, totaled 812 million bushels, down 1 percent from June 1, 2021, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Grain Stocks report. Of the total stocks, 46 percent were stored on-farm. The March-May 2022 indicated disappearance totaled 632 million bushels, 10 percent above the 573 million bushels from the same quarter the previous year.

Soybeans stored in all positions in Iowa on June 1, 2022, totaled 207 million bushels, up 52 percent from June 1, 2021. Of the total stocks, 34 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for March-May 2022 was 170 million bushels, 44 percent above the 118 million bushels from the same quarter the previous year.

Corn Stocks Up 6 Percent from June 2021

Soybean Stocks Up 26 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Down 22 Percent

Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2022 totaled 4.35 billion bushels, up 6 percent from June 1, 2021. Of the total stocks, 2.12 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 22 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.23 billion bushels, are down 6 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2022 indicated disappearance is 3.41 billion bushels, compared with 3.58 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2022 totaled 971 million bushels, up 26 percent from June 1, 2021. On-farm stocks totaled 331 million bushels, up 51 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 640 million bushels, are up 17 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March - May 2022 quarter totaled 960 million bushels, up 21 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop all wheat stored in all positions on June 1, 2022 totaled 660 million bushels, down 22 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 93.0 million bushels, down 34 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 567 million bushels, are down 19 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2022 indicated disappearance is 364 million bushels, down 22 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Grain sorghum stored in all positions on June 1, 2022 totaled 121 million bushels, up 195 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 3.53 million bushels, are up 72 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 117 million bushels, are up 202 percent from June 1, 2021. The March - May 2022 indicated disappearance from all positions is 86.2 million bushels, down 10 percent from the same period last year.

Flame Weeding Workshop to be held Aug. 17 at ENREEC

Propane-fueled flame weeding is used in organic farming and interest in it is increasing among conventional producers due to increased weed resistance to herbicides and the costs of GMO crop seed.

A full-day Flame Weeding Workshop will be held Aug. 17 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Ithaca, Nebraska. University teams led by Stevan Knezevic, professor of agronomy and horticulture and extension weed management specialist, and George Gogos, professor of mechanical and material engineering, will present data from 10 years of research that resulted in 20 scientific publications, 100 abstracts and the development of new flaming equipment.

Attendees will learn how to do proper flaming to control over 10 major Midwestern weeds in seven agronomic crops — field corn, sweet corn, popcorn, soybean, sorghum, sunflower and wheat.

The workshop includes presentations and/or demonstrations on:
-    propane doses for weed control and crop tolerance data,
-    research on winter annual weed control with flaming,
-    four-row commercial type flamers with hoods for broadcast and banded flaming (demonstrations), and
-    inter-row cultivation and intra-row flaming combined in a single operation.

In addition, several local organic farmers will share about their experiences with flame weeding.

The cost is $150 per registration (includes lunch and one Flame Weeding Manual) and $10 for a spouse/guest’s meal. Please register online by July 30. Directions to the site, accommodation information, and a video about the university’s flame-weeding research is available at

Partial scholarships may be available to certified organic farmers from Nebraska. For more information, contact Stevan Knezevic at 402-584-3808 or


Todd Whitney, NE Extension Pasture & Range Specialist

Bluegrass can be a common weed in irrigated alfalfa lowering forage quality and shortening stand longevity. Fortunately, there are several ways to control these pesky plants such as maintaining thick alfalfa stands; properly managing irrigation; and using herbicides (as a last resort).

High-density alfalfa stands can be effective toward competing with bluegrass for sunlight,

moisture and nutrients. However, it is important to time irrigation so the upper several inches of fields are dry at harvest. Then, delay irrigation until significant alfalfa regrowth is initiated. Unlike alfalfa that has a deep root system, bluegrass is shallow rooted and will not compete well with the alfalfa if the topsoil is dry. Conversely, early irrigation, following harvest, may allow bluegrass to out compete the alfalfa for available surface moisture; since bluegrass basal leaves help it grow more rapidly after alfalfa is cut. Once alfalfa gets some regrowth, it will compete well with the bluegrass.

If stands are thick, and water management is adequate, then herbicides like Butyrac 200® + Raptor®; Warrant®; Select Max®; Arrow®; Prowl H2O®; Chateau® or Roundup WeatherMax® might be cost effective to weaken or kill bluegrass. Apply any one of these immediately after harvest. RoundUp® herbicides can be used on Round-up Ready® alfalfa fields. Select Max® herbicide may work the best for non-Roundup Ready alfalfa varieties and is safe for all alfalfa fields.

Bluegrass is a problem in many irrigated alfalfa fields, but it doesn’t need to be. Using proper management, you can control it.



Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Warm temperatures have pushed many cool season grasses to maturity quickly, ahead of our grazing rotations.  Can changing your grazing strategy help use this mature forage more efficiently?

A big pasture management challenge is keeping grass from heading out, becoming less palatable and low quality.  If we rotate animals the same as earlier in the year with all the headed out grass, animals will strip some leaves, trample a lot of forage, and leave most of the stems standing.  They will probably end up eating less than one-fourth of the potential forage available.

With forage looking like a valuable commodity this year, getting animals to eat a bit more now by limiting how much choice they have, could be beneficial.  Instead of giving them the entire paddock to graze, use electric fence to limit them to very tiny areas at a time.

How tiny you ask?  Well, one possible initial goal would be to put the equivalent of about 250,000 pounds of cattle on just one acre, about 150 to 200 cow-calf pairs per acre.  Obviously, it won’t take them long to finish off that small area, so expect to give them a fresh strip as many as three times a day.  With the high density of animals, grazing distribution will be more uniform and you could see an improvement in grazing efficiency.

Keep an eye on animal condition and adjust the paddock as necessary to find a good balance between grazing efficiency and meeting nutritional demands, especially with growing animals and those with high nutrient demands from lactation.

Getting water to the animals can also be a challenge so I suggest letting them walk back to water over previously grazed strips for a couple days before changing water locations.  It will take a little adjustment to get just the right size and water placement but after a couple days it should go smoothly.

If all goes well, you’ll get more cow-days of grazing with less waste.

 To Date, USDA Has Issued $123.1 Million in Emergency Relief Program Payments to Nebraska Agricultural Producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that agricultural producers nationwide have already received more than $4 billion through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), representing nearly 67% of the more than $6 billion projected to be paid through this phase of the program. Eligible producers in Nebraska have received $123.1 million in funding to date. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed out pre-filled applications in late May to producers with crop insurance who suffered losses due to natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Commodity and specialty crop producers have until July 22 to complete those applications.

“Over the course of the past two years, natural disaster events in Nebraska have resulted in catastrophic production and property losses for our agricultural producers,” said John Berge, State Executive Director for FSA in Nebraska. “Although these payments will not make these producers whole, they will help alleviate some of the financial stressors brought on by these severe and devastating weather events.”

USDA is implementing ERP as a two-phased program, with the first phase utilizing existing claim data to provide relief expediently and the second phase focusing on ensuring producers not covered by other programs receive assistance. For phase one, USDA used crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) claim data.

Both ERP and the previously announced Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) are funded by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which President Biden signed into law in 2021. The law provided $10 billion to help agricultural producers impacted by wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disasters experienced during calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible livestock producers received ELRP payments totaling more than $590 million nationwide since the program was rolled out in late March. Livestock producers in Nebraska have received $14.9 million in ELRP payments.

ERP Pre-Filled Applications

Eligible producers with eligible crop insurance claims already should have received pre-filled applications, which included eligibility requirements and payment calculations. Producers received a separate application form for each program year in which they experienced an eligible loss.

Producers should check with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at their local USDA Service Center to confirm eligibility and to ensure that all required farm program participation, adjusted gross income and conservation compliance forms are on file. Producers who have previously participated in FSA programs likely have these required forms already on file.

ERP provisions allow for a higher payment percentage for historically underserved producers, including beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and military veteran producers. To qualify for the higher payment rate, individuals must have a Form CCC-860, Socially Disadvantaged, Limited Resource, Beginning and Veteran Farmer or Rancher Certification on file.

To receive an ERP payment, producers must complete and submit their forms by the July 22 deadline. Once the completed ERP application for payment is submitted to and signed by the FSA, producers enrolled in direct deposit should look for their payment within three business days.

Additional Assistance through Phase One

FSA will be sending pre-filled applications for about 9,000 producers nationwide with NAP coverage in mid-July.

The federal crop insurance data used to populate ERP phase one pre-filled applications included claim data on file with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) as of May 2, 2022. At that time, claim data for the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX), Margin Protection Plan (MP) or Area Risk Protection Insurance (ARPI) were not complete, so crop/units including these coverage options were not included in the pre-filled ERP application form. In late summer 2022, updated claim information will be used to generate a second pre-filled application for those crop/units on file with RMA not included in the first mailing.

ERP covers losses to crops, trees, bushes and vines due to a qualifying natural disaster event in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Eligible crops include all crops for which crop insurance or NAP coverage was available, except for crops intended for grazing. Qualifying natural disaster events include wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze (including a polar vortex), smoke exposure, excessive moisture, qualifying drought and related conditions.  

All producers who receive ERP phase one payments are statutorily required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage where crop insurance is not available for the next two available crop years.

Producers should contact their local Service Center if they have questions.

Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company Announces Shackle Space Opportunity For Region’s Cattle Producers

In a move to provide pricing stability for independent cattle producers in western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, southeast South Dakota, northwest Missouri, northeast Kansas and southwest Minnesota, the Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company announced a program to sell guaranteed shackle space for 10 years at its planned 1,500-head-per day beef-processing facility in Mills County.

“A daunting problem for beef producers, even after they’ve sold their livestock to a processor, has been the inability to know definitively what day their cattle will be accepted for harvest. All too often, that problem leads to added costs and reduced profits or even a loss for producers,” said Chad Tentinger, the project’s lead developer and a fourth-generation cattle producer. “Because a true producer-processor partnership and a mutually beneficial relationship are the cornerstone and foundation of the Cattlemen’s Heritage business model, we know that our Shackle Space Program is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Producers will be able to place a deposit of $50 per shackle. Within 30 days of the company’s construction loan closing, a final payment of $200 per shackle would be required. Following the plant opening, which is tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, producers would receive a $50 payout per delivery on each shackle that they have reserved. The $50 annual payout would be in effect for 10 years, generating $500 in revenue over the life of the agreement.

“Obviously, that’s a two-to-one return on each shackle, which will help family farmers earn a better return on every head of livestock that they process through the Cattlemen’s Heritage facility,” Tentinger said.

A recent news report noted that 98% of marketable meat processed in the U.S. comes from “a mere 50 facilities.” When pandemic-related plant closings were exacerbated by other crises, including fires and cyberattacks, states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a range of efforts to encourage additional shackle space. Trade organizations, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, have promoted a number of incentives to increase the amount and diversity of shackle space as well as competition within the processing industry.

New Pig Vaccine Being Developed to be Fed Through Corn

Dr. Rick Sibbel, with Mazen Animal Health, announced his company is getting closer to completing development of a novel vaccine that would be produced in corn and administered through animal feed.

"My company is doing something that has never been done," said Sibbel during the Bacon & Innovation panel discussion at the recent World Pork Expo. "We've talked about it for 20 years, but it's never been done," he said. "We figured out through plant biology and immunology how to put protective antigens in the germ cell of corn, grow the corn, grind the corn and feed it to the pigs."

Vaccination of livestock prevents disease and decreases losses. Injectable vaccination, however, can be costly and difficult to administer, said Mazen.  This is why it is now developing a product that offers transformative vaccine technology where the animals don't even know they are being vaccinated.

By administering the vaccine with feed, challenges associated with finding labor to administer injectable vaccines and other issues such as broken needles in the animal or accidental vaccination of the worker are eliminated. Oral vaccines allow for cost-effective disease prevention with improved animal welfare.

Mazen's oral vaccines are produced via recombinant protein production in corn. The technology platform leverages many years of breakthrough R&D led by John Howard, Mazen co-founder and an expert in recombinant protein production in plants.

Sibbel noted during the panel discussion that Mazen's s lead oral vaccine in development is for the prevention of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Additional Ecological Mitigation Measures for Atrazine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing proposed revisions to the Agency’s September 2020 atrazine interim decision (ID) for public comment. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. The ID in the registration review process allows EPA to begin implementing measures to mitigate risks of concern before a final decision is issued.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It is used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds in a variety of agriculture crops, such as field corn, sweet corn, sorghum, and sugarcane. Atrazine is also used in non-agriculture settings, including nurseries, ornamentals, and turf. The herbicide is an important tool in agricultural production because it is economical, has a flexible use pattern, has long residual herbicidal activity, and is effective against a broad spectrum of weeds. Atrazine is also an important tool in herbicide resistance management, both in controlling weeds resistant to other herbicides and maintaining the effectiveness of other herbicides to control weeds.

In its 2016 atrazine ecological risk assessment, EPA determined that the scientifically derived concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) for atrazine, measured as a 60-day average, was 3.4 micrograms per liter (µg/L). This is the concentration of atrazine that, when exceeded, presents a greater than 50 percent chance of negatively affecting an aquatic environment. The CE-LOC is based on effects to aquatic plant communities; however, by ensuring protection of primary producers, the CE-LOC is intended to also provide protection for the entire aquatic ecosystem, including fish, invertebrates and amphibians.  

In October 2019, EPA released a memo entitled Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine, later cited in the September 2020 ID, that announced a policy decision that an atrazine concentration of 15 μg/L as a 60-day average triggers required monitoring and/or mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities from atrazine runoff. This policy decision did not supplant the scientifically derived CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The currently proposed mitigations, if finalized, would supersede the October 2019 memo.

In October 2020, EPA received a petition alleging that the Agency violated its duties under FIFRA by issuing the atrazine ID without substantial evidence supporting the decision. In August 2021,  EPA sought a voluntary partial remand in light of President Biden’s executive order on protecting public health and the environment and restoring a commitment to science and scientific integrity. On December 14, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA a voluntary partial remand, which provided the Agency the opportunity to reevaluate the policy decision to use 15 μg/L as the level of regulation for aquatic plant communities.  

Based on its review of the substantial evidence associated with the atrazine ecological risk assessment and a consideration of growers’ need for flexible and manageable mitigation measures, EPA is now proposing, for public comment, additional mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities. EPA is proposing the following measures for all atrazine labels in order to decrease atrazine runoff from treated fields:
    Prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity (i.e., the soil’s ability to retain water);
    Prohibit application during rain or when a storm event, likely to produce runoff from the treated area, is forecasted to occur within 48 hours following application;  

    Prohibit aerial applications of all formulations; and  
    Restrict annual application rates to 2 pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn.

In addition, EPA is proposing to add a “picklist” to labels that would require growers to select a combination of application rate reductions and/or runoff control measures when using atrazine in watersheds with atrazine concentrations that exceed the CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The number of runoff control practices from the picklist that a grower would be required to implement depends on the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed where the field is located and that watershed’s vulnerability to atrazine runoff, as well as the grower’s selected application rate. The higher the application rate and the higher the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed, the greater the number of mitigation practices that may be necessary.   

    There are no picklist requirements for fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations below 3.4 μg/L (approximately 82 percent of the total number of watersheds nationwide).
    Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations between 3.4-9.8 µg/L (approximately 8 percent of watersheds) would generally be required to choose 1-4 picklist requirements, depending on application rate, crop, region, and soil erodibility.
    Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations of above 9.8 µg/L (approximately 10 percent of watersheds) would have the highest level of required picklist mitigations to select.

The picklist approach provides growers with the flexibility to select the runoff control practices that would be least burdensome to adopt. The practices a grower selects may depend on a variety of factors including crop, geographic region, and field topography. The picklist mitigation requirements are tailored geographically, down to the watershed level, in order to focus the mitigation on the areas with the greatest risk and vulnerability.  

The public comment period is now open for the Proposed Revisions to the Atrazine Interim Registration Review Decision in the atrazine registration review docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 at Public comments will be accepted for 60 days upon publication of the Federal Register notice.  

After considering comments on the proposed revisions to the atrazine ID, EPA will determine if any changes are warranted to the proposed revisions and then release its decision on this re-evaluation. The Agency also intends to seek external peer review of the risks to the aquatic plant community that underlies this proposed risk management strategy. This is in line with the Agency’s commitment to science and scientific integrity, and will incorporate the feedback it receives into its final revisions to the ID.

NCGA Expresses Disappointment in EPA’s Revision to Atrazine’s Registration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is revising its registration for atrazine, a well-studied herbicide essential to farming.

“We are disappointed by EPA’s decision,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “We can feed and fuel the world and fight climate change, but we can’t do these things without modern farming tools, and atrazine is a tool that is critical to our work.”

The new labeling requirements will impose arduous new restrictions and mitigation measures on the herbicide, limiting how much of the product farmers use.

The latest development marks a step backward in EPA’s commitment to transparency and the use of the best available science, Edgington said. However, he noted that EPA listened to growers’ requests and agreed to additional scientific review. Edgington said NCGA is committed to working with EPA in that process.  

The proposal will now enter a 60-day public comment period.

Sorghum Growers: EPA Proposed Level of Concern for Atrazine Hinders Climate-Smart Agriculture Goals, Departs from Science

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reopened today the finalized re-registration of atrazine, a widely utilized herbicide in sorghum production, and is proposing to replace the approved 15 parts per billion (ppb) concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) in the aquatic assessment with the ultra-low 3.4 ppb CE-LOC proposed in 2016—a severely restricted level not supported by credible scientific evidence that would have a devastating impact on farmers.

“National Sorghum Producers strongly disagrees with the EPA’s proposed level of concern for atrazine,” NSP Chairman Kody Carson, a sorghum farmer from Olton, Texas, said. “Farmers cannot meet the climate goals set forth by the Administration if we do not have tools like atrazine that allow us to farm effectively and more efficiently. Despite thousands of comments from growers and the agriculture community containing years of usage and monitoring data that contradict EPA’s ill-founded 2016 proposal, the agency went ahead with a CE-LOC that is not supported by the evidence. We are, however, encouraged the EPA has committed to an ‘external peer review’ and are hopeful the EPA will use a Scientific Advisory Panel to use the best quality research to get the CE-LOC right. Atrazine is the most studied agricultural chemical in the U.S. and has been a proven and dependable herbicide for close to 60 years.”

National Sorghum Producers is actively seeking input from its grower community alongside its partners at the Triazine Network, a coalition of agriculture groups that have been involved in regulatory issues related to triazine herbicides since 1995. The proposal (EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266) is published in the Federal Register, and EPA will accept public comments for 60 days.

“This is a tool our farmers cannot stand to lose,” NSP CEO Tim Lust said. “Climate-smart agriculture relies on tools like atrazine particularly for sustainable farming practices like conservation tillage and no-till. Some estimations show greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming rise by almost 40 percent without it. This underscores the importance of having a united and vocal showing this summer from our farm community about the importance of this important crop-protection tool.”

Lust said NSP will continue to work with the EPA, Congress and the White House to help bring logic and science to the assessment process.

The 2020 atrazine re-registration, which began in 2013, concluded the review process that is conducted every 15 years. The 15 ppb CE-LOC was approved in September 2020. EPA used an activist court case against the agency to revisit the level of concern, which led to today’s proposed, ultra-low 3.4 ppb CE-LOC.

The draft proposal is available at, and NSP is encouraging its members to comment on the issue by visiting

National Association of Wheat Growers’ 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) shares their 2023 Farm Bill priorities as Congress prepares for the next Farm bill. As lawmakers continue to review the 2018 Farm Bill and start crafting the next Farm Bill, wheat growers will be advocating for these priorities with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to develop programs that will help wheat growers manage risk, ensure conservation programs work on the farm and enhance U.S. trade that supports rural America.

 The priorities include:
    Protecting crop insurance, to ensure growers have a strong and reliable safety net that provides assistance to wheat growers when needed in times of disaster
    Supporting the financial and technical assistance provided through voluntary conservation programs
    Increasing the reference price for wheat in Title I to cover the cost of production more accurately
    Enhancing USDA’s market access and development programs to enhance trade

“The Farm Bill addresses many programs that are critical for wheat growers, and we look forward to actively engaging in the Farm Bill reauthorization process. Sharing NAWG’s priorities today is one step in this process. NAWG has been actively seeking Farm Bill feedback through our grassroots network and various outreach tools, and we will continue to refine these priorities in the coming months,” said NAWG President and Washington state wheat grower, Nicole Berg. “The Farm Bill not only benefits wheat growers but all aspects of American agriculture. It is very important wheat growers’ voices are heard on Capitol Hill and that Members of Congress understand what worked and what can be improved upon as the committees work towards reauthorizing the Farm Bill in 2023. I am very appreciative of all the wheat growers who participated in the Farm Bill survey and committee work session that helped us determine our priorities. NAWG looks forward to working with Congress and other agricultural organizations to pass a Farm Bill that benefits the industry.”

As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees continue to review the 2018 Farm Bill programs, NAWG will work with Capitol Hill to advance these goals as the committee debates and considers the next Farm Bill.

Biden Administration Takes Additional Steps to Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs

The Biden Administration announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide nearly $1 billion in additional funding to schools to support the purchase of American-grown foods for their meal programs. The department also applauds the President’s recent signing of the Keep Kids Fed Act, which equips schools, summer meal sites, and child care food programs with extra resources so they can continue serving children through school year 2022-2023. Both actions are a response to the significant challenges child nutrition program operators continue to face, such as high food costs and supply chain disruptions.

“The Biden Administration knows that ongoing impacts of supply chain issues and rising food costs continue to be a challenge for many schools and child nutrition operators, and we are thankful for Congress stepping up to ease some of their burdens,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “On our end, this funding boost is yet another step the Administration is taking to ensure every child who needs a meal, gets one. No matter the circumstances, USDA and all our partners must continue collaborating to provide our young ones with the healthy meals they count on.”

The $943 million boost from the department is provided through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. Funds will be distributed by state agencies to schools across the country, so they can purchase domestically-grown foods for their meal programs. This assistance builds on the $1 billion in Supply Chain Assistance funds USDA previously allocated in December 2021, which states can use this school year as well as next to provide schools with funding for commodity purchases.  

The Keep Kids Fed Act will also provide assistance to program operators across the country by:
    Extending nationwide flexibilities to summer meal programs through September 2022, including allowing sites to continue serving meals in all areas, at no cost to families;
    Providing schools with an additional temporary reimbursement of 40 cents per lunch and 15 cents per breakfast, and child care centers with an extra 10 cents reimbursement per meal;
    Providing all family day care homes with the higher temporary reimbursement rate for school year 2022-23;
    Equipping USDA with additional flexibilities to support schools, as needed, based on their local conditions.

This new authority does not allow all students to eat school meals free of charge in school year 2022-2023. Nonetheless, the department will continue providing other program flexibilities within its existing authority, such as:
    Equipping schools and program operators to quickly respond to health-related safety issues by offering grab-and-go and/or parent-pickup of meals; and
    Extending deadlines for districts to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision, which allows schools serving many high-need students to provide all meals for free without collecting applications from families.                               

For next school year, in most school districts, families will need to complete an application through their school to determine if their household is eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, as was done before the pandemic. USDA is also supporting the expansion of direct certification, which uses existing data to certify children for free or reduced-price meals without an additional application. All states are required to directly certify students for free meals if their household receives SNAP benefits, and some states also directly certify for free and reduced-price meals based on participation in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or Medicaid. States that are interested in participating in the Direct Certification for Medicaid demonstration project are invited to respond to the current request for applications, which closes on September 30, 2022. In school year 2019-2020, 1.4 million students received free and reduced-price meals thanks to direct certification through Medicaid.

“USDA is working alongside our child nutrition partners to support them in delivering vital, nutritious meals to tens of millions of children every school day,” said Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary of food, nutrition, and consumer services. “There’s a long road ahead, but the extra support and funding for our operators will help them continue to serve our children well. We can – and will – overcome these challenges, together.”

Nominations Open Through July 15 for Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Contest

Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, supported by Purina. This is the fifth year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

The contest opened in January and the nomination deadline has been extended to July 15. The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money. The winner will be recognized at a Farm Dog of the Year award ceremony at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January 2023. Up to four regional runners-up* will each win $1,000 in prize money.

The 2023 Farm Dog of the Year will also be featured in a professionally produced video. The profile of 2022 Farm Dog of the Year Fit can be viewed at

Scientific research insights from a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Purina reveal that interacting with pets can provide health benefits. For example, after spending just 20 minutes with a dog, people experienced a significant increase in levels of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a role in moderating stress. This was also associated with a decrease in heart rate and an increase in self-reported sense of well-being. Following the interaction with the dog, people were in a more positive emotional state.

Desired attributes for the Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and obedience.

Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter their dogs in the competition. Prospective applicants who are not Farm Bureau members can visit to learn about becoming a member.

Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available at Farm Dog of the Year nominations, which include written responses to questions, at least one still photo and a video clip (optional).

The Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest is sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The third annual social media contest, People’s Choice Pup, was a popular element of the Farm Dog of the Year competition in 2022 – reaching 133,000 people – and will return for 2023.

Profiles of several dogs nominated for the contest will be shared beginning in October, with the public invited to vote. Bragging rights and a year’s worth of dog food from Purina will be awarded to the People’s Choice Pup.

*For the purposes of this contest, the regions are as follows: Midwest Region—Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin; Northeast Region—Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia; Southern Region—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia; and Western Region—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

 Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations Are A Victory For Canadian Consumers, Low-Carbon Biofuels

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) welcome Canada’s finalized Clean Fuel Regulations, an initiative to reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuel and energy used in Canada and achieve more than 20 million tons of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations will rely heavily on the use of low-carbon biofuels like ethanol. For example, the program has modeled compliance to include an average of 15 percent ethanol (E15) in gasoline by 2030.

“We applaud Canada for finalizing its Clean Fuel Regulations and leading the globe in putting a plan in place to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector through higher blends of biofuels,” the organizations said. “The Clean Fuel Regulations set Canada on a path toward better air quality, energy security, and carbon mitigation, all supported by rural communities, by setting the achievable goals of reducing more than 20 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions through a move to 15 percent ethanol in all gasoline by 2030. The Clean Fuel Regulations stand as testimony to the powerful impact biofuels can and will have for Canada’s transportation future.”

In March 2021, the Council, Growth Energy and RFA submitted comments to Environment and Climate Change Canada regarding its proposed regulation.

New partnership to study innovative sex sorting technology for the egg laying industry

Hendrix Genetics is partnering with Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to test the viability of innovative point of lay sex sorting technology for the egg laying industry.

The poultry industry is committed to finding a sustainable solution for the practice of euthanizing male layer chicks. The chickens that lay eggs (layers) and the chickens that produce meat (broilers) are different breeds of chickens with each type being best suited to their purpose. Broiler chickens are very effective at producing meat in a sustainable way; laying chickens are excellent at laying eggs and produce an egg a day. Both male and female broiler chickens produce meat with a low carbon footprint. Layer breed males can't produce eggs, and due to being a layer-breed they are very poor at producing meat in sustainable way.

Solving this ethical dilemma would improve both animal welfare and food system sustainability. Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has developed sex sorting technology which can identify eggs containing male embryos at point of lay before they are incubated and hatched. To support this initiative, Hendrix Genetics has partnered with CSIRO to conduct exploratory research to assess the viability of this solution. A major objective of the project is to explore how this technology can best be integrated with current industry practice.

The project will study technology developed by CSIRO that uses a biomarker protein that is only found in male embryos and not in female embryos. This allows us to identify male embryos during the very early stages of development that occur prior to egg incubation. Therefore, the hens hatched and the eggs they lay remain the same as they are today.

This exploratory research is an important first step that could lead to a solution for a major animal ethics and welfare challenge as well as improving the carbon footprint and sustainability of the egg industry.

Johan van Arendonk, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer at Hendrix Genetics, said: “This new technology has the potential to address ethical animal welfare concerns and to contribute to a more sustainable egg industry. We are proud of our involvement in studying this potentially ground-breaking innovation while still keeping the health of our animals as top-priority.”

CSIRO scientist, Dr Mark Tizard, said the technology behind this body of research solves an ethical problem for the egg industry.

“Sex sorting technology is unique as this sustainable solution means the food product, the eggs, and the hens that lay them, will remain exactly the same as they are today,” Dr Tizard said.

No comments:

Post a Comment