Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Tuesday August 30 Ag News

 NeCGA, Ag Leaders File Brief

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA), as part of the Ag Leaders Working Group, filed an amicus brief on the court case that was filed to challenge Nebraska’s signature gathering process for ballot initiatives. The brief was filed to support Nebraska’s constitutional article requiring those petitioning for a vote during an upcoming election must obtains signatures from 38 counties and 5% of registered voters within those counties. NeCGA believe this requirement is necessary to continue to protect the rural voice.


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Were you expecting more from your alfalfa yields this year or had a disappointing spring seeding? Is it time to renovate or move on?

Before we make any decisions, measuring our stand to accurately determine health is our first step. We can either measure plants or stems per square foot, but stem count will more accurately predict yield. To assess, take a 17 x 17-inch square or a 19-inch diameter circle and set it down in a field. Count the plants or stems that would be harvested, then divide those by two to get stems or plants per square foot. Do this in several spots around the field for accurate assessment.

For established stands having 4 to 5 healthy plants per square foot or 55 stems per square foot warrants a productive and healthy stand. Stem counts below 55 see a significant decrease in dry matter production. For spring established stands, 10-15 plants per square foot is a perfectly healthy stand as the alfalfa begins to age.  Plants will continue to branch out, so 35-55 stems per square foot is the goal at this point.

If our stand does appear to be lacking, we have a few options.  In fields established this spring, alfalfa autotoxicity has not yet set in, so interseeding thin patches is an option.  For older fields, interseeding with a high-quality forage grass may be a way to maintain productivity for a few more years.  Orchard grass is a tried-and-true option to consider but remember grass/alfalfa mixtures are very limited for weed control options. For either alfalfa or a grass, plan on drilling seeds rather than broadcasting for proper establishment.

Highboy Cover Crop Interseeding Demonstration on Wednesday, September 7th at 11:00 a.m.

Aaron Nygren, NE Extension Educator, Saunders County

We would like to invite you attend a cover crop interseeding demonstration on Wednesday, September 7th from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. The field day will be at Larry Chapek’s field, located at the southeast corner of the Highway 109 and S road intersection, 1 ½ miles north of Colon, NE.

This demonstration is part of a project between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Lower Platte North, Lower Platte South, and Upper Big Blue Natural Resources Districts (NRDs), the Nebraska Department of Environment & Energy (NDEE), and several participating growers.

This cover crop insterseeder demonstration will allow you to learn more about cover crops, ask questions, and watch the machine run in the field. Cover crops are an increasingly important practice to improve soil health and manage weeds, but one of the key challenges is establishing a cover crop between the short window of harvest and winter temperatures. Interseeding cover crops into corn several weeks before harvest may be one method to increase cover crop success.

For additional information, please see the below graphic or go to Additionally, you can email me at or Nate Dorsey, Dodge County Extension Educator at with questions.

Make It with Wool Contest

Melissa Nordboe, NE Extension, Cuming County

Enter the Make It with Wool Contest! The object of the contest is to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics and yarns; to encourage personal creations in sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving of wool fabrics and yarns; and to recognize creative skills.

The 2022 State Make It with Wool Contest will be November 19 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lexington, NE beginning at 9:00 a.m. Everyone is invited to the public fashion show at 1:00 p.m.
The divisions determined by age as of January 1, 2021 (national rule), are as follows: Preteen – age 12 and under, Junior – age 13 to 16, Senior – age 17 to 24, Adult – age 25 and over, and Made for Others.

The entry form, state brochure and national wool contest guidelines are posted on the website:

Entry forms, fees, wool samples, and wool testing fees are due  October 15, 2022,  to Andrea Nisley. The fabrics/yarns used for the wool contest must be 100% wool or wool blend (minimum 60% wool or specialty wool fiber) for each fashion fabric or yarn used. Specialty wool fibers include alpaca, angora, camel, cashmere, llama, mohair, and vicuna.

Contact the Extension Office for more information.

Soybean oil paves the way for dust control and road stabilization at Husker Harvest Days

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) sponsored an application of DustLock™ surrounding the Husker Harvest Days site. The soy-based product works to improve dust control and assist with road stabilization on heavily trafficked gravel or recycled asphalt roads. The product was applied on August 17 to nearly three miles of gravel roads surrounding Husker Harvest Days.

The world's largest totally irrigated farm show paved the interior streets in 2018 but is still surrounded by gravel roads that need to be watered to control dust. Formulated by Environmental Dust Control of the Midwest, DustLock™ works to not only keep dust down, but also eliminate mud and erosion of gravel. The product is a naturally occurring by-product of the soybean oil refining process. Chemists combined ingredients in DustLock™ to make it non-corrosive and friendly to equipment and environment alike.

“We are excited to showcase DustLock™ that uses soybean oil at a marque farmer event,” said Scott Ritzman, NSB executive director. “This product is environmentally friendly and provides economic savings to rural areas. The soybean checkoff is always looking at ways to utilize the entire soybean composition and this product is another way of replacing petroleum oil with soybean oil, adding value to farmers’ bottom line.”

DustLock™ penetrates into the bed of the material and 'bonds' to make a barrier that is naturally biodegradable. This means that DustLock™ stays where it is applied, ensuring that the surrounding ground and water are not contaminated. It works to keep the road in place and helps solve the problem of washboards, washouts and potholes. Only one application is needed and can last multiple years based on the amount of traffic, winter blading and frost conditions.

“It’s definitely going to control dust, it will hold and it will work well,” said Dan Feige of Environmental Dust Control of the Midwest.

Farmers and Nebraska’s economy depend on gravel roads and DustLock™ serves as an economical alternative to asphalt or concrete pavement.

“Producers and researchers are continually advancing commodities around the world, and soybeans are no exception, said Wesley Wach, NSB demand and utilization coordinator. “Soybean oil is extremely versatile and it is incredible to see a product grown by Nebraska’s farmers play such an integral role in improving our quality of life through a sustainable solution.”

DustLock™ has been applied in other parts of the state and across the Midwest and farmers say it has improved safety through better visibility, caused roads to lose less gravel and has kept dust from blowing onto crops and into homes. Application locations include heavily-trafficked gravel roads near elevators, hog barns, feedlots and new community developments.

The Nebraska Soybean Board sponsored this application, something Husker Harvest Days attendees can check out when visiting Husker Harvest Days September 13-15 and in the coming years. Signage will mark the roads where the product was applied and DustLock™ will have a booth at Lot 507 right behind the Commodities Building on Main Steet.


Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Welcomes Nieland

The new small business education specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach brings years of experience working with the university and the business world.

Dan Nieland, who began his role Aug. 15, joins ISU Extension and Outreach’s Farm, Food and Enterprise Development team, where he will help advise Iowans looking to start a business or expand on a current venture.

Nieland previously worked for extension and outreach in a three-county area -- Jasper, Mahaska and Marion counties -- where he helped clients with community and economic development activities, including grants and educational resources.

“I am a firm supporter of extension’s mission, especially as it relates to serving smaller communities where resources may not be as available,” said Nieland. “As an organization, we are in all 99 counties so we are able to meet people where they are at.”

Nieland grew up in Carroll County, Iowa, and spent most of his career in the grocery management business. He earned his master’s of business administration from Lindenwood University in 2005.

Along the way, Nieland has operated a number of small businesses with his wife, with an agritourism and alternative agriculture focus. In the past, that included a horse boarding business, and for the past couple years, the duo have operated Angry Chicken Farms, which includes an Airbnb (air bed and breakfast), and animals such as meat chickens and meat goats.

Nieland said he enjoys the agricultural lifestyle and knows first-hand the opportunities and challenges that small-scale producers face.

Duane Johnson, program manager with the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program, said Nieland’s experience will be beneficial to Iowans and extension and outreach.

“We are excited to have Dan join the Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development team,” said Johnson. “He has extensive experience working with small businesses and with small business finance, and will be a valuable addition to our staff.”

Nieland can be reached at  

U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2023 Forecast at $193.5 Billion, Imports at $197.0 Billion

USDA Economic Research Service

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2023 are projected at $193.5 billion, down $2.5 billion from the revised forecast for FY 2022. This decrease is primarily driven by lower exports of cotton, beef, and sorghum that are partially offset by higher exports of soybeans and horticultural products. Cotton exports are forecast down $1.8 billion due to drought-slashed exportable volumes. Beef exports are forecast down $1.1 billion due to tight U.S. supplies. Overall livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are projected at $41.1 billion, down $1.5 billion. Sorghum exports are forecast at $2.0 billion, down $700 million, on sharply lower exportable supplies. Total grain and feed exports are forecast down $1.3 billion to $46.5 billion; in addition to sorghum, wheat exports are forecast down $300 million on lower unit values. Soybean exports are forecast up $2.2 billion to a record $35.2 billion on higher prices. Horticulture exports are raised $400 million to $39.5 billion as higher exports of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables more than offset a decline in tree nut exports. Ethanol exports are unchanged at $4.2 billion. Agricultural exports to China are forecast at $36.0 billion, unchanged from FY 2022, as higher soybean exports offset lower cotton and sorghum prospects. Agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico are forecast at $28.5 billion each, also unchanged from FY 2022.

For FY 2022, the export estimate of a record $196.0 billion represents an increase of $5.0 billion from May’s projection, mainly due to increases in livestock, poultry, and dairy exports. In FY 2023, total agricultural imports are expected to increase $5.0 billion above the FY 2022 forecast—to $197.0 billion—due to higher imports of grains and feed products, horticultural products, and sugar and tropical products. Total imports in FY 2022 are expected to be $11.5 billion more than the May forecast and $28.7 billion more than FY 2021. If realized, the 18-percent jump in import values in FY 2022 would be the largest year-over-year percentage increase since FY 2011. The historically large increase from FY 2021 to FY 2022 is a product of the unwavering upward trend of import volumes in the face of increasing unit values for nearly every agricultural import product group.

The forecasts in this report are based on policies in effect at the time of the August 12, 2022, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release, and the U.S. production forecasts thereof.

USDA Awards More Than $11.2 Million in Funding to Strengthen Markets for U.S. Agricultural Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service today awarded more than $11.2 million to 22 grant projects to strengthen and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The funding is made possible through three grant programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer), the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and the  Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP).

“USDA is excited about funding projects that improve access to fresh, locally sourced food and strengthen market opportunities for local and regional producers through the Acer Program, the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program, and the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “USDA is committed to supporting states and territories as they administer these programs across the nation.”

Through the Acer program, USDA (or AMS) is awarding $5.9 million to fund 12 projects. Acer projects aim to improve consumer knowledge, awareness and understanding of the maple syrup industry and its products. This year’s funds are being distributed to four Market Development and Promotion projects and eight Producer and Landowner Education projects to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry. The program also supports projects that advance producer knowledge, awareness and understanding of research, educational resources, or natural resource sustainability practices affecting the maple syrup industry and its products. Acer funding is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Through FSMIP, USDA is awarding more than $1 million to five projects to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving marketing system efficiency and performance. The program supports state departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate state agencies. FSMIP is authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946,

Through MGFSP, USDA is awarding $4.4 million to agricultural agencies in Alaska, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food through small-scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations. The goal of the program is to support communities across the U.S. that have significant levels of food insecurity and import significant quantities of food. MGFSP is authorized through the 2018 Farm Bill.

AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural product market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and congressionally funded grants.  To learn more about AMS’s investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit

Ready to Roll for Harvest? NCYC Yield Results Open for Submission

As farmers ready their combines to roll, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reminds them of one important step  – submitting yield results of your contest entries in the 2022 National Corn Yield Contest. While harvest may seem a ways off for some, we ask that harvest results be submitted no later than two weeks after harvest or by the contest deadline of November 30 to be included in the 2022 rankings.

The contest winners will be announced on December 14.

Enter your harvest results online, click here

NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production technologies while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential. Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies.  winners will be honored at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida in March of 2023.

U.S. Wheat Associates Names Peter Laudeman Director of Trade Policy

Peter Laudeman has joined U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) as Director of Trade Policy. He is a government affairs professional with more than four years of experience in trade association and corporate policy advocacy. He joined USW August 20, 2022.

“I am excited to welcome Peter Laudeman to the USW team. He brings a diverse set of experiences working for both growers and the crop protection industry which will serve him well in the trade policy role,” said Dalton Henry, USW Vice President of Policy. “In addition to traditional trade policy, we look forward to Peter’s leadership on Food Assistance and Development as well as the use and adoption of technology by U.S. wheat farmers.”

Laudeman most recently served as Political Affairs Manager with Corteva Agriscience in Washington, D.C., where he led the biotechnology issues portfolio and the company’s carbon and ecosystem services advocacy.

Before joining Corteva, Laudeman was a Legislative Assistant with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). There he supported NCGA’s advocacy work on the 2018 Farm Bill and led policy research and economic analysis related to farm programs.

His first position in Washington, D.C., was as a Legislative Intern in the office of Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood.

Laudeman grew up in Sherman, Ill., and earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2018.

Ralph Loos Joins U.S. Wheat Associates as Director of Communications

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), Arlington, Va., has hired Ralph Loos as Director of Communications. He comes to the organization with nearly 14 years of experience in agriculture communications, serving both the grain and livestock industries. He replaces Amanda Spoo who left USW for another position in July.

“Ralph’s experience working with USDA Foreign Agricultural Service cooperator organizations and his enthusiasm for the marketing communications profession is a great fit for U.S. Wheat Associates,” said USW Vice President of Communications Steve Mercer. “I think the wheat farmers we represent in overseas markets, our state wheat commission members and his colleagues are going to be very pleased with his work.”

Raised on his family's farm in southern Illinois, Loos paid his way through college as a newspaper reporter and editor. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Southern Illinois University in 2008.

Loos began his ag career as Communications Specialist for the U.S. Soybean Export Council. He then worked as Editor and Communications Manager for the American Sheep Industry Association, where he produced a monthly magazine for sheep producers and helped launch the association's social media platforms.

In 2015, Loos joined the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) as its Communications Director. Along with creating written content, Ralph worked closely with USMEF staff around the world to produce video segments for the organization's internal and external audiences.

In August 2021, Loos took a year-long leave from ag communications to work as Communications Manager for a Denver-based healthcare startup that specializes in staffing public health departments and setting up emergency COVID testing and vaccination clinics.

“While I valued the healthcare communications experience, I am happy to return to my roots and look forward to doing what I can to help support the U.S. wheat industry,” Loos said.

Pivot Bio Launches the First-Ever On-Seed Nitrogen

Pivot Bio launched today an entirely new class of products that integrates nitrogen seamlessly with the seed during planting. The first-ever product to deliver nitrogen-producing microbes on the seed for crops like corn, sorghum, and spring wheat, PROVEN® 40 On-Seed (OS) and RETURN® On-Seed provide growers with nitrogen that is better for their farms and the environment. The company also announced its 2022 year-end results today. Pivot Bio exceeded $50 million in revenue and sold more than 3 million crop acres, growing three-fold year-over-year.

“Pivot Bio PROVEN® 40 On-Seed and RETURN® On-Seed support growers to be more resilient and offer them more control while expanding agriculture’s positive impact on the world with better nitrogen,” said Karsten Temme, Ph.D., Pivot Bio co-founder and CEO. “This class of products makes our nitrogen-producing microbes available to every grower across the United States. There’s no special equipment required, and growers no longer must rely solely on a third-party to apply the nitrogen their crops need.”

The only on-seed application of microbial nitrogen on the market, PROVEN® 40 OS and RETURN® OS enhances the crops’ potential all season long by providing an efficient and dependable 24/7 nitrogen source with no loss to leaching, denitrification, or volatilization. Unlike synthetic nitrogen, Pivot Bio’s microbes give growers confidence that this source of nitrogen reaches the crop. When growers use synthetic nitrogen, they must overapply to compensate for the 40-60% that never reaches the crop. Pivot Bio’s microbes adhere to the root of the plant without any waste, providing nitrogen throughout the critical growing cycle.

Pivot Bio recently completed the broadest U.S. in-plant nitrogen study conducted in a single growing season, measuring and verifying product performance across more than 2,100 on-farm fields, encompassing 1.3 million acres. To date, side-by-side comparisons show that the plants where Pivot Bio microbes were used have 14% more nitrogen in the plant and 12% more plant biomass compared to untreated plants, demonstrating the nitrogen efficacy of Pivot Bio’s products. More nitrogen in the plant leads to healthier and more resilient crops.

“Based on the demand we’ve experienced in prior years and the intense interest in our product as we open 2023 sales, it is clear to us that growers are looking for a dependable source of nitrogen,” said Temme. “We have provided a microbe-based nitrogen that is produced in the U.S. This nitrogen empowers growers to apply it at the time of planting, so they are in control in a profession where so many variables are beyond their control.”

Shoring up the supply chain and offering a sustainable source of nitrogen are key priorities at Pivot Bio. From global fertilizer shortages to a delayed planting season impacting this year’s crop performance, growers can look to Pivot Bio for something more reliable. Being 100% made in America gives growers more stability and is less vulnerable to global supply chain disruptions and volatile markets. About one gallon of PROVEN® 40 OS or RETURN® OS can replace the equivalent of a train car full of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer, in contrast to the high-energy, fuel intensive roduction and supply chains required for synthetic nitrogen.

Annually, 140 million tons of synthetic nitrogen is manufactured using about 2% of the world’s energy. Synthetic nitrogen is credited for feeding about 3.5 billion people, yet it’s an inefficient delivery of nutrition to the crop. About half of what’s produced is lost to the environment, emitting about one trillion pounds of CO2 each year, impacting air quality.

“Synthetic nitrogen has supported life for one hundred years, and now is the time to evolve into the next generation of crop nutrition. Farmers need better nitrogen to help restore the planet and one that is more efficient,” said Temme. “Pivot Bio’s nitrogen has the potential to power the next century of agriculture and support generations to come.”

Land O’Lakes, Inc. Positioned to Support Carbon-curious Farmers

Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, is encouraging more farmers to adopt regenerative farming practices by working to remove one of the biggest barriers – fear of lost profitability and productivity of their acres.
This effort is made possible because of the synergies of its businesses and the strength of its ag retail network. With Truterra’s work in supporting farmers with sustainable practices, WinField United’s scientific approach to crop management and the expertise of local ag retailers, the Land O’Lakes cooperative system is ready to help mitigate the risk associated with converting to more climate smart practices.

How it works for interested farmers
    Farmers can start by inquiring about the Truterra™ market access program at their local ag retailer to understand options for their fields.
    For those interested in exploring first-time practice change such as cover crops or reducing tillage to position fields for future carbon market eligibility, qualified growers may be eligible to receive $2/acre to set this baseline.
    This $2/acre incentive is to support farmers interested in participating in ecosystem markets and learn more about potential carbon market opportunities in the future.
    In addition, farmers have the opportunity to participate in the WinField United Advanced Acre® Rx prescription plan[1] a component of which provides a warranty to offset part of the risk of this practice change implementation.
    For farmers more advanced in their sustainability journey, eligibility for the Truterra™ carbon program, could pay up to $25/tonne of sequestered CO2.
“When it comes to sustainable farming, we know that one of the biggest barriers to entry for farmers considering carbon or other ecosystem services markets is the risk of lost income associated with converting to climate-smart production practices,” said Jason Weller, Vice President, Truterra. “We are thrilled to be working in collaboration with our retail-owners to bring this innovative program to farmers to help them manage risk and maximize natural resources to generate a potential return on investment. Not only that, but by working through our farmer cooperative system, participants can have peace-of-mind that they are getting holistic agronomic, conservation, and carbon market support.”
The goal of the program is to create a pathway for farmers to improve their soil health and potentially become eligible for future market opportunities through Truterra and WinField United as a result of continuous cover and/or tillage changes. For example, through Truterra’s most recent carbon offer, participating farmers can earn up to $25 per tonne of sequestered CO2 upfront for new carbon stored in soils, with a contract designed to help maximize farmers’ earning potential and flexibility.
While Truterra has proven to be a leader in providing farmer-driven carbon programs, this marks the first time its offerings are marketed together with the WinField United Advanced Acre® Rx prescription plan to further demonstrate that sustainability and profitability can go hand-in-hand for farmers. The agronomic prescription service, Advanced Acre Rx, uses data and insights specific to how and where farmers are operating with the goal to increase profit potential per acre and lower per-bushel costs for corn and soybeans. All options in the Advanced Acre Rx program include an agronomic plan; including products and ag technology recommendations, with a service warranty for performance.
“Together with our owners, Land O’Lakes and its businesses are committed to supporting farmer productivity and profitability by helping reduce risk while simultaneously creating new markets that value how farmers manage their fields as much as final yields,” said Brett Bruggeman, President, WinField United. “We are marching ahead together with a go-to-market approach aimed at enhancing the relevance of our locally owned retail network and securing a bright future for the farmers of tomorrow.”
Land O’Lakes is committed to investing in programs, tools and support that drive voluntary practice changes that not only contribute to the health of the planet, but also position farmers and the agriculture sector for success in a challenging operating environment.
To learn more and to get started, growers can visit their local Truterra retailer.

Solinftec continues to revolutionize sustainable farm practices

Solinftec, a global leader in agricultural digitalization, has today announced that it is expanding its Solix Ag Robotics offerings. In addition to its Solix Scouting robot, the company has unveiled its Solix Sprayer robot designed to detect and spray weeds. In partnership with the award-winning manufacturing, research, and development company, McKinney Corporation, who will produce and manufacture the Solix spray robot, this new cutting-edge technology is slated to become commercially available in 2023 to the entire agricultural market including farmers, cooperatives, and ag-retailers.
“Solinftec’s partnership with McKinney Corporation will positively impact our ability to market and deliver Solix Ag Robotics by consolidating Solix's scalability and accelerating service to the -North American markets,” shared Leonardo Carvalho, Solinftec’s director of operations. “It also supports Solinftec's goal of making this technology available globally.”
A leading innovator and pioneer in the AgTech space, and champion for sustainable farm practices, Solinftec has designed its scouting and sprayer robots to help producers reduce their chemical inputs and deliver a lower carbon footprint and environmental impact.
The new Solix Sprayer robot will provide autonomous and sustainable spot-spray applications on grower’s fields. Similar to the Solix Scouting robot, the spray robot is powered by four solar panels that control the drive system and the spray system while providing reports on crop populations, weed identification and densities, disease identification and thresholds, insect identification and thresholds, nutrient deficiency identification and densities, NDVI among other layers of maps for data analysis, and much more useful data to the grower virtually 24/7.
The Solix spray robot will provide weed spot-spray maps with analysis on inputs saved and can services up to 96 acres per day depending on the field shape and terrain.
With a goal to change agriculture in order to transform the world, the need and priority to feed the world on a larger scale with a smaller impact has made Solinftec seek out new ways to reimagine agriculture. A Brazil-founded company with its U.S. offices in Indiana, Solinftec is revolutionizing how farmers run their business with end-to-end mission critical solutions, generating up to 70% efficiency improvements by turning data into action. With more than 15 years of experience developing digital ag solutions throughout various geographies and crops around the world, the Solix Ag Robotics, connected and integrated with Solinftec’s innovative ALICE AI platform, works together to orchestrate machine operations and calculates producers’ ultimate needs and objectives and delivers real-time actionable recommendations and actions in a more eco-friendly way.
“Solinftec focuses on really solving structural problems in agricultural management and offers solutions that truly promote low-impact agriculture and not only measure or certify the footprint but offers a real solution to reduce your impact,” shared Carvalho. “Weed detection is a leading issue in fields across the North America and the Solix Sprayer is designed to not only monitor and scan fields like the original scouting version, but detect and manage weeds with technology which allows the device to spot-spray into the plant instead of from above, eliminating drift and soil compaction caused by larger machines and help lower environmental impact.”
Pilots for the Solix models are currently running in North America in partnership with the ag cooperative GROWMARK, Purdue University in the U.S., and Stone Farms and University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
In Brazil, the Solix Scouting robot has been manufactured and produced by cutting-edge electronics manufacturing service company, Hi-Mix EletrĂ´nicos and has been commercially available since last April.
"Since the beginning, we have identified a strong culture in Solinftec to the agriculture market, investing heavily in R&D, plus a determination for quality, flexibility and agility for the best time to market,” shared Daniel Carvalho, co-founder Hi-Mix EletrĂ´nicos S/A. "Hi-Mix is proud to work with Solinftec, a company always looking for state-of-the-art in its products and solutions."

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Monday August 29 Crop Progress & Ag News


For the week ending August 28, 2022, there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 46% very short, 35% short, 19% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 42% very short, 37% short, 21% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 17% very poor, 17% poor, 27% fair, 29% good, and 10% excellent. Corn dough was 89%, near 92% last year and 93% for the five-year average. Dented was 59%, near 61% last year and 58% average. Mature was 8%, near 7% last year and 5% average.

Soybean condition rated 12% very poor, 16% poor, 29% fair, 34% good, and 9% excellent. Soybeans setting pods was 98%, near 96% last year and 95% average. Dropping leaves was 10%, near 11% last year and 8% average.

Sorghum condition rated 35% very poor, 25% poor, 20% fair, 15% good, and 5% excellent. Sorghum headed was 85%, behind 99% last year and 98% average. Coloring was 33%, well behind 57% last year, and behind 49% average. Mature was 1%, near 2% both last year and average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 2% very poor, 4% poor, 34% fair, 55% good, and 5% excellent. Dry edible beans setting pods was 86%, behind 94% last year. Dropping leaves was 5%, behind 20% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 52% very poor, 26% poor, 15% fair, 6% good, and 1% excellent.


Rain across most of the State resulted in 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 28, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork included harvesting corn for silage and cutting hay.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 16 percent very short, 29 percent short, 53 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Despite recent rains, over half of topsoil was considered short to very short on moisture in the Northwest, West Central, Southwest, South Central and Southeast Districts. Subsoil moisture condition rated 20 percent very short, 33 percent short, 45 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Corn in the dough stage or beyond was 92 percent, 3 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Fifty-two percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, 4 days behind last year. Three percent of the State’s corn crop was mature, 1 week behind last year and 4 days behind the 5-year average. Corn condition remained 66 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-five percent of soybeans were setting pods, 6 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the average. Soybeans were coloring at 7 percent, 5 days behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Soybean condition rated 63 percent good to excellent.

Oats harvested for grain reached 93 percent, almost 2 weeks behind last year and 15 days behind the average.

Sixty-five percent of the State’s third cutting of alfalfa hay was complete.

Pasture condition rated 31 percent good to excellent. Some pastures were still stressed from lack of precipitation.

USDA Crop Progress Report: Corn Condition Down Slightly, Soybean Condition Unchanged

Corn condition fell slightly again last week, while soybean condition held steady, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress report released Monday, Aug. 29.  The percentage of corn reaching maturity was near the five-year average, while the percentage of soybeans dropping leaves was behind the average pace, NASS said.


-- Crop development: Corn in the dough stage was estimated at 86%, 2 percentage points behind the five-year average of 88%. Corn dented was estimated at 46%, 6 percentage points behind the average of 52%. Corn mature was estimated at 8%, near the five-year average of 9%.
-- Crop condition: 54% of corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 percentage point from 55% the previous week and 5 percentage points below last year's rating of 60%. The current rating is the fourth lowest going back to 2000.


-- Crop development: 91% of soybeans were setting pods, 1 percentage point behind the five-year average of 92%. Four percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, 4 percentage points behind last year's 8% and 3 percentage points behind the five-year average of 7%.
-- Crop condition: 57% of soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week and still 1 percentage point above last year's rating of 56%. The current rating is tied for the seventh lowest since 2000.


-- Harvest progress: Spring wheat harvest moved ahead 17 percentage points last week to reach 50% complete as of Sunday. That is 36 percentage points behind last year's 86% and 21 percentage points behind the five-year average of 71%.
-- Crop condition: 68% of the crop remaining in fields was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from 64% previous week and far above last year's rating of 11%.


2022 Youth Crop Scouting Competition Winners Announced

Brandy VanDeWalle - Extension Educator

Nebraska Extension strives to recruit the next generation of agronomy professionals by annually conducting the Nebraska Youth Crop Scouting Competition. On Aug. 3, 2022 at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center, teams were able to talk with extension staff and scout actual plots at the center. This competition is a great experience for those wanting to work in many different fields of agriculture. It provides a fun competitive environment where teams can receive hands-on learning about all aspects of crop scouting.

Receiving first place and a cash prize of $500 was Kornhusker Kids team, coached by Chris Schiller. Team members were James Rolf, Logan Consbruck, Isaac Wooldrik, Levi Schiller and Ian Schiller.

Second place and $250 went to Colfax County 4-H Team #1, coached by Steve Nelson. Team members were Josh Eisennman, Mic Sayers, Rylan Nelson, and Hayden Bailey.

Third place with a $100 cash award was Colfax County 4-H #2 team, also coached by Steve Nelson. Team members were Callen Jedlicka, Cody Jedlicka, Daphne Jedlicka and Justin Eisennman.

Also participating were two teams from Johnson County 4-H, coached by Jon Schmid. Team members from Johnson County #1 included Wesley Schmid, Sophia Schmid, Bo McCoy and Elliot Werner. Johnson Co. #2 team consisted of Levi Othmer and Cameron Werner. Arlington FFA members Aaron Fuchs, Braden Monke and Ethan Hilgenkamp also participated, coached by Kali Agler.

An in-person regional competition will be held among Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Missouri teams at the Beck Agricultural Center near West Lafayette, Indiana on Thursday, Sept. 15, hosted by Purdue Extension. Participants from Kornhusker Kids 4-H and Colfax County #1 are eligible to compete, representing the state of Nebraska.

For more information on the Youth Crop Scouting Competition, contact Brandy VanDeWalle or go to the CropWatch Youth hub

Cuming County Cow/Calf Association Cover Crop Field Day

The Cuming County Cow/Calf Association is hosting a field day at Tom and Garrett Ruskamp's farm. Will visit 3 sites; livestock grazing, relay crop, and cover crop. Burgers and beverages at the conclusion. Please RSVP to Garrett Ruskamp at 402-380-2236 by Monday, September 12th. Tour site is located at 582 B Rd, Dodge, NE.  

Nebraska Ethanol Board Sept. 12 Board Meeting to Host Bluestem Biosciences, Inc.

Bluestem Biosciences, Inc. will be the featured speaker for the upcoming Nebraska Ethanol Board meeting, Monday, Sept. 12 in Grand Island. Bluestem Biosciences, a renewable chemicals company headquartered in Omaha, is focused on the sustainable bio-production of chemicals through anaerobic fermentation with an identified path toward industrial scale. Its overall mission is to diversify and decarbonize the chemical industry. Bluestem recently completed its $5,000,000 pre-seed financing and the formation of its Strategic Advisory Board.

“At Bluestem we are designing novel biology to transform agriculture and ethanol infrastructure,” said Billy Hagstrom, CEO and co-founder. “We believe anaerobic fermentation has numerous advantages, and the emergent tools of synthetic biology will allow us to execute on our vision to create chemical from organisms, not oil.”

The Nebraska Ethanol Board will meet in Grand Island at 10 a.m. at Bosselman Enterprises’ conference room at 1607 S. Locust Street. Other agenda highlights include:
    Public Opportunity for Questions, Comments or Concerns
    Husker Motorsports presentation
    Fuel Retailer Update
    Nebraska Corn Board Update
    Renewable Fuels Nebraska Update
    Technical & Research Updates
    Marketing Programs
    Funding Requests
    State and Federal Legislation
    Ethanol Plant Reports

This agenda contains all items to come before the Board except those items of an emergency nature.  Nebraska Ethanol Board meetings are open to the public and also published on the public calendar.

New Directors Elect for the Nebraska Pork Producers

Jared Lierman, President of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NePPA) is pleased to announce the addition of five new directors. Directors can serve up to three two-year terms. “I am excited to add these diverse individuals to the Board of Directors. Gaining from their knowledge and experiences, will ensure continued opportunities and success for Nebraska’s pork farmers”, said Lierman.

Newly elected Directors Include: Aaron Holliday, Columbus: Aaron is currently a nursey and finishing manager for JaMor Pork. He has been in the Swine industry for over 15 years and has been directly involved in all aspects of the swine industry. From Sow Farms and Boar Studs to Harvest Plants and everything in between. Aaron was a member of the NePPA Leadership Group of 2019, and a member of the 2021 Pork Leadership Institute sponsored by National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the National Pork Board (NPB). He is currently working toward earning a master’s degree in Animal Physiology, with plans to graduate at the end of the year. Arron said, “he is excited to join the Nebraska Pork Producers Association Board and looks forward to becoming more involved at the local, state, and regional levels”.

Justin Hankins, Omaha: Justin is a credit analyst at Farm Credit Services of America, specializing in the Agribusiness Capital Swine & Beef division of the company, with over 15 years in the banking, finance world. His education at the University of Nebraska--Kearney includes a BS in Business Administration with emphasis in management and a minor in economics. He attended the Iowa State University School of Ag Banking. Justin was a member of the 2017 NePPA Pork Leadership Program.
Cody Lambrecht, Blair: Cody is a recent graduate of South Dakota State where he did his undergrad in Ag Science and Swine Production before returning home. He is currently working with the family operation, Lambrecht Farms, as a herdsman within the farrow to finish and cow calf operations.  Branching out on his own as Lambrecht Livestock, he built a finishing unit and is currently custom feeding for the family operation. 

Katie Stack, Fremont: Katie became the Carcass Evaluation and Animal Welfare Manager for Hormel Foods, (now WholeStone Farms) plant in 2017, she moved into a Hog Procurement role in 2019, and the Manager of Hog Procurement in 2021. She grew up on a small cow/crop operation in Northeast Illinois, worked on a farrow to finish operation throughout college, and started with Hormel Foods as a Production Supervisor at a facility in Southern Wisconsin. Additional Involvement in the Industry: I am a TQA and PQA Advisor, I participate on the Animal Welfare Committee with NAMI, I am PAACO Certified for meat plant auditing, and I am currently participating in the SHIP Traceability working group. She has an Agriculture Business and Animal Industry Management bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.
David May, Henderson: David grew up in Hampton NE on 40-50 sow farrow to finish family operation. After leaving the pork industry for a few years, David bought an acreage in 2017 and had a feeling his two daughters at home would “LOVE” pigs. He purchased four gilts in the fall of 2017, planning to breed them for January litters for fair season. The Family operation currently has 18 sows about half purebred of multiple breeds (Berkshire, Duroc, Spot, Poland China, Tamworth) and others crossbred. Our farm name Maykin’ Bacon Show Pigs and Butchers is a direct reflection of our operation. We breed for show pigs and quality pork that is sold to local butcher shops. We sell both show pigs and feeder pigs in state and out of state.

Retiring from the Board of Directors is Mike Wisnieski. Mike is with Standard Nutrition located in Omaha and joined the Board in 2016. Wisnieski has served as both a National Pork Producer Council (NPPC) and National Pork Board (NPB) Pork Forum delegate. He participated in the national Pork Leadership Institute, and has made several trips to Washington, D.C. representing Nebraska’s pork farmers on Capitol Hill during NPPC’s Legislative Action Conferences. “Mike was a very active Director. His knowledge, leadership, and enthusiasm for the pork industry was always appreciated and we thank him for his service,” said Lierman.


– Brad Schick, NE Extension Educator

With drought plaguing Nebraska and surrounding states this year, producers may want to salvage soybeans as forage instead of for grain. Many can remember when soybeans were only used for forage many decades ago, so it can definitely be done.

Grazing, haying, or ensiling can all be done with soybean plants. Grazing is very simple and has a relatively low risk of bloat, however, if there are many bean seeds themselves, high oil consumption can cause issues in cattle, especially calves.  Young calves should not be allowed access to beans. For mature cattle, providing some grass hay can help reduce this risk. Use strip grazing to force the use of the entire plant.

Hay from soybeans will have a similar quality to that of alfalfa. However, drying and rolling up hay is difficult with soybeans. The leaves become very fragile while the stems can take a long time to dry. Crimp the stem heavily and resist the urge to rake the windrow unless done only one day after cutting to limit leaf shatter.

Soybean silage is easier than haying. The moisture content needs to be between 60 and 70%. In the past, soybean silage has been packing while corn silage is being packed at a ratio of one ton soybean silage to 3 or 4 tons corn silage. This improves fermentation and will make the overall silage pile have higher crude protein. If doing only soybean silage in a pile, wait until the leaves begin to turn yellow and be sure to use an inoculant. Adding a bushel of rolled corn per ton of silage can help fermentation and as always, be sure to get a very good pack.

Using soybeans other than for grain can be done. Be sure to make a plan and stick to it for the best results.

USDA Report Looks at 12 Months of Food Price Inflation

Retail food prices increased 8.9 percent in the first seven months of 2022, higher than the rate over the same period in 2021 (1.9 percent) and 2020 (3.1 percent). The 20-year historical average for the same months from 2001 to 2020 was 1.7 percent.

All 13 food categories depicted in the chart experienced faster price increases so far in 2022 compared with both the same period in 2021 and historical average price increases through July. All food categories saw price increases of at least 4 percent in the first seven months of 2022. Prices for three food categories increased by more than 10 percent: eggs (20.9 percent), fats and oils (13.4 percent), and poultry (11.8 percent).

Inflationary pressures differ by food category. For example, eggs and poultry prices are currently much higher than their historical average in part because of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Fresh vegetables historically experienced higher midyear average price increases compared to most categories, but prices for fresh vegetables increased the least of all categories over the first seven months of both 2022 (4.9 percent) and 2021 (0.4 percent).

Prices will continue to change during the remainder of 2022 and may significantly affect the annual inflation rate. For example, prices increased for all food categories in the second half of 2021, and some increased more rapidly than the first half of 2021.

USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) researchers project food-at-home prices will increase between 10 and 11 percent in 2022.

Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300 Returns to Daytona International Speedway

For the third year in a row Daytona International Speedway announced its partnership with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner to sponsor the 42nd season-opening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series – The Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300. The race is scheduled to kick off the season on Saturday, February 18 at Daytona International Speedway, the day before the 65th annual DAYTONA 500.

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. is an iconic brand funded through national and state support of beef farmers and ranchers as part of the Beef Checkoff program and managed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“The partnership we have with the Beef Checkoff and NCBA is unique to our sport and our fans love it,” said Daytona International Speedway President, Frank Kelleher of the Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300. The race has given beef farmers and ranchers the perfect platform to reach consumers and tell the tasty story of beef. We have had two incredible Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300 events and again can't wait to smell beef on the grills of our campers in February."

The fan-favorite DAYTONA Speedweeks, presented by AdventHealth, kicks off with the Bluegreen Vacations Duel followed by the Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300 and the iconic DAYTONA 500. Fans of all ages from across the country will gather to tailgate and fire up their grills as the drivers start their engines. From the love for race day tailgating to a shared sense of legacy, NASCAR and beef have always gone hand in hand.

“We’re honored to be back for a third year and once again sponsor the Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300 on behalf of beef farmers and ranchers,” said Clark Price, Federation Division Vice Chair for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “What better way to celebrate beef as a race-day food favorite than at one of the most famous racetracks in the country.” In addition to the race name, the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand and logo will appear throughout Daytona International Speedway as well as on the winner’s trophy and in victory lane. For race fans and beef fans not attending the race, beef will be promoted on national radio ads and through additional promotional support provided through NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded work.  

During the 2022 Beef. It's What's For Dinner.® 300, Austin Hill took the checkered flag. Join us in February to see who takes home the trophy and the beef in 2023.

Registration Open for NFU Fly-In Webinars

Looking ahead to the National Farmers Union Fall Legislative Fly-in, we are hosting several webinars to help members and fly-in participants prepare for meetings and discussions on legislation.

NFU is partnering with Wisconsin Farmers Union to co-host a workshop on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. Eastern on how best to share our stories about the issues affecting family farms and rural communities. The event will help participants to connect personal stories with collective interest and to build practical skills for elevating rural issues through storytelling.

The other webinar that is open for registration is the Policy Issues Briefing that will be held on Sept. 7 from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern Join this interactive webinar to learn more about the policy topics that will be raised with lawmakers during the fly-in. NFU staff will also share tips and tricks for being an advocate for family farmers and ranchers during fly-in meetings.

These events are free and open to fly-in participants.

Register at

Reintroducing bison to grasslands increases plant diversity, drought resilience, K-State study finds

A Kansas State University-led study has found that reintroducing bison — a formerly dominant grazer — doubles plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collected at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, or PNAS.

The study found that plant communities also were resilient to the most extreme drought in four decades. These gains are now among the largest recorded increases in species richness because of grazing in grasslands globally, researchers said.

"Bison were an integral part of North American grasslands before they were abruptly removed from over 99% of the Great Plains," said Zak Ratajczak, assistant professor of biology and lead researcher. "This removal of bison occurred before quantitative records and therefore, the effects of their removal are largely unknown."

The study took place in the Flint Hills ecoregion, which is the largest remaining landscape of tallgrass prairie. Researchers examined plant community composition and diversity in three treatments that were designed to capture characteristic management regimes: no mega-grazers were present; bison were reintroduced and allowed to graze year-round; or domestic cattle were introduced and allowed to graze during the growing season.

"Our results suggest that many grasslands in the central Great Plains have substantially lower plant biodiversity than would have occurred before bison were widely wiped out," Ratajczak said. "Returning or 'rewilding' native megafauna could help to restore grassland biodiversity."

The study also found that cattle had a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to having no large grazers present, although increases in plant species richness were significantly smaller than those caused by bison.

"I think this study also shows that cattle can have a largely positive impact on biodiversity conservation in our region, especially considering that many in cattle production conduct the prescribed fires that have kept these grasslands from becoming woodlands," Ratajczak said. "What this study really suggests is that when it's economically and ecologically feasible, reintroducing bison might have an even more positive effect on biodiversity conservation."

Along with addressing land use, researchers also set out to learn how bison affect plant community resilience to climate extremes. Because of the long duration of the study, researchers were able to capture one of the most extreme drought events that has occurred in the Great Plains since the 1930s' Dust Bowl.

Researchers found that after the climate extreme, native plant species in the bison-grazed area were resilient to drought.

"The resilience we found in the bison grasslands is also consistent with the idea that diversity promotes ecological resilience," Ratajczak said. "And this resilience will only become more important if our climate becomes more extreme."

Other K-State researchers on the study include Jesse Nippert, professor; John Blair, university distinguished professor; Allison Louthan, assistant professor; and Jeffrey Taylor, research assistant, all from the Division of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional collaborators include Scott Collins, University of New Mexico; Sally Koerner, University of North Carolina; and Melinda Smith, Colorado State University.

"Some of the most meaningful ecological trends take decades to unfold, and we can only identify them using long-term records like those supported by the NSF LTER program," Nippert said. "Without this type of data, fundamental properties of ecosystems may go unnoticed using only short-term experiments."

A series of six grants totaling more than $31.6 million since 1980 from the National Science Foundation funded the study and was conducted as part of the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research, or LTER, program.

"The research done at the Konza Prairie is truly unique and impressive, " said David Rosowsky, K-State vice president for research. "There are very few locations in the world that can provide this type of long-term data that can have such a strong impact on how we interact with our natural resources."

The Konza Prairie Biological Station is jointly owned by Kansas State University and The Nature Conservancy.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Friday August 26 Pro Farmer Crop Estimates + Ag News

Pro Farmer Releases 2022 National Corn and Soybean Crop Estimates

Pro Farmer shared its much-anticipated production estimates Friday for the 2022 U.S. corn and soybean crops after analyzing information from the 30th annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour and other sources. The estimates are informed by Crop Tour data and observations collected this past week by more than 100 crop scouts who sampled nearly 3,400 fields across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

Pro Farmer is predicting a U.S. corn crop of 13.759 billion bushels and an average national yield of 168.1 bu/acre.  Pro Farmer's margin of error is +/- 1%, so that could put production between 13.62 billion bu. to 13.89 billion bu, and yield anywhere from 166.4 bu/acre up to 169.8 bu/acre.  On the soybean production estimates, Pro Farmer pegs this year's production at 4.535 billion bushels, with a national yield at 51.7 bu/acre.  Margin of error on the soybean estimate is +/-2%, which puts the production range from 4.444bbu to 4.625bbu, and the yield range from 50.7 bu/acre to 52.7 bu/acre.  

The national estimates above reflect Pro Farmer’s view on production and yields. They take into account data gathered during Crop Tour and other factors like crop maturity, historical differences in Tour data versus USDA’s final yields, areas outside those sampled on Tour, etc. That’s why the state yield numbers below differ from the Crop Tour figures. Based on August FSA certified acreage data, we increased soybean acreage by 500,000 acres. We made no adjustment to corn acreage.
Following are Pro Farmer’s state by state corn yield estimates:

Nebraska: 164 bu. per acre. Dryland corn in the state is baked. Even the irrigated corn was hurt by the heat and dryness. Plus, the state had damage from hail and wind. There was just too much stress on the crop.

Iowa: 198 bu. per acre. Of all the states we sampled on Crop Tour, Iowa had the most variability. The state has plenty of exceptional corn and some areas will produce the best yields ever. But there are also a fair amount of average and sub-par areas in the state.

South Dakota: 122 bu. per acre. We sample from the southeastern portion of the state, which is normally the sweet spot. That isn’t the case this year. Areas north of where we sample will be better, but the state as a whole has issues.

Minnesota: 191 bu. per acre. Central and southeastern areas of the state will carry the load this year. Other areas of the state have some issues.

Illinois: 198 bu. per acre. Corn in Illinois was relatively consistent, but it lacked the “wow” factor required to produce a superior yield. In the really big yield years, the southern third of Illinois where we don’t sample doesn’t pull the average down. The crop in southern Illinois isn’t poor, but it won’t pull up the state average.

Indiana: 177 bu. per acre. The Indiana corn crop had plenty of ears, but grain length was an issue. Many of the ears we pulled during Crop Tour had notable kernel abortion at the tip of ears.

Ohio: 175 bu. per acre. Ohio has a very good corn crop, but it won’t rival last year’s record yield. There’s far more variability in the state this year, especially on grain length, which will hold the crop back.

Following are Pro Farmer’s state by state soybean yield estimates:

Nebraska: 53 bu. per acre. Dryland soybeans are hanging on and a late-season rain could allow plants to maintain their pods. Nebraska farmers haven’t given up on irrigated soybeans and are actively pumping water.

Iowa: 60 bu. per acre. Iowa’s soybean crop is disease and weed-free. Recent rains came in time to help much of the western Iowa crop, though this area will need September rainfall to finish strong. Some eastern areas of the state have enough moisture to finish.

South Dakota: 41 bu. per acre. There’s not much to say other than the crop has been severely damaged by heat and dryness. The worst areas have already given up and others aren’t far from that level. Even a late-season rain wouldn’t do much to benefit some of the crop at this point.

Minnesota: 52 bu. per acre. Sudden Death Syndrome has reared its ugly head in some areas. The next one to two weeks will determine if disease pressure hurts yield potential. Moisture supplies are strong enough to finish the crop

Illinois: 64 bu. per acre. There is loads of potential with the Illinois soybean crop. And there is plenty of soil moisture to fill pods. Another rain would push much of the state’s soybean crop to the finish line.

Indiana: 59 bu. per acre. It rained ahead of and right after Crop Tour. The state has plentiful soybean moisture to finish strong. We found some fields that were still flowering, but there should be enough moisture to set and fill pods.

Ohio: 57 bu. per acre. Ohio has a slightly less mature crop than Indiana, but there’s plenty of moisture to get it to the finish line. Maturity of the crop is far enough along to finish given the typical extended season in the far eastern Belt.

Nebraska’s Agricultural Innovation

Governor Pete Ricketts

Nebraska is a land of pioneers.  Our state was settled by hardy homesteaders who ventured across windswept prairies in search of opportunity.  While we often celebrate the grit and determination of these early Nebraskans, they deserve equal credit for their ingenuity.  Their inventiveness helped transform the Great Plains into some of the most productive agricultural land in the world.

This spirit of innovation remains a driving force behind our state’s global leadership in agriculture.  Nebraskans are continuously coming up with new and improved ways of caring for their land and animals.  They’re designing machines, creating software, and applying technology to optimize the use of natural resources.  They’re pioneering new techniques to address labor shortages and safety issues.

State agencies are working to encourage this innovation in agriculture.  The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), in partnership with Invest Nebraska, launched the Combine incubator at Innovation Campus in October 2019.  The Combine supports high-growth entrepreneurs in food and agriculture.  The Combine received a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce in September 2020 to help businesses test out and commercialize their ideas.  In May 2021, the Combine won a competitive $50,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy for its demonstrated impact as an innovation center.

Startups at the Combine incubator have earned national recognition.  In January, the American Farm Bureau Federation announced the winners of its Ag Innovation Challenge, a competition open to entrepreneurs across the country.  Nebraska startups in the Combine incubator program took home three of the top four spots.

    Grain Weevil won the top prize.  The Aurora-based company is tackling the problem of grain bin safety.  It has developed an agile robot—resembling a weevil—that can walk across the surface of a grain bin to perform tasks that would otherwise require a farmer to physically crawl inside the bin.  This makes grain bin management more efficient and keeps farmers out of harm’s way.
    Birds Eye Robotics in Waterloo was named the runner-up.  The company has engineered a robotics system to provide upkeep and maintenance in chicken barns, performing time-consuming tasks that would otherwise require a farmer to walk through a broiler house.
    Marble Technologies also received recognition as a finalist of the Ag Innovation Challenge.  It has designed technologies to automate many of the labor-intensive, repetitive tasks in beef and pork processing facilities.  Its products are helping to address the labor shortages that sometimes serve as a bottleneck in meat processing.

Investors are looking to support more entrepreneurs in agriculture.  Last year, Nebraska attracted an all-time high of $317.6 million in venture capital.  That more than doubled the previous high of $153 million in 2018.  For example, Burlington Capital and Invest Nebraska announced a partnership in September 2021 to raise $11 million in seed funds for ag tech innovators.  This July, they helped Sentinel Fertigation raise $1.2 in seed funds for software development.  The company, founded by UNL graduate student Jackson Stansell, uses satellite imagery to assess the nitrogen needs of crops.  It then uses innovative software to analyze the imagery and provide farmers with data-driven recommendations on when to apply fertilizer and how much to use.  Given record-high nitrogen fertilizer costs, Sentinel Fertigation is saving growers money by helping them to avoid over-applying fertilizer, while still making sure crops get the nitrogen they need to grow.

The ongoing creation of new technologies in agriculture has helped our state wisely manage its natural resources.  For example, Nebraska has responsibly maintained its portion of the Ogallala Aquifer.  Water levels today remain within a foot of 1950s levels (in contrast, neighboring states like Colorado have depleted theirs).  The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute estimates that crop water productivity for corn and soybeans in Nebraska increased 75% from 1990 to 2014.  In other words, our farmers are continuously growing more crops with less water.  Since the 1960s, our ranchers have contributed to a 66% increase in national beef production, while helping the U.S. beef industry reduce its carbon footprint by 40%.

Advancements in agriculture have also made it possible for farmers and ranchers to increase productivity.  Nebraska set records for both corn and soybean production in Nebraska for 2021 with 1.85 billion bushels of corn and 351 million bushels of soybeans.  Each crop had record-high yields in 2021 as well, with corn at 194 bushels/acre and soybeans at 63 bushels/acre.  Our ranchers, feeders, and processers have likewise harnessed new technologies to boost productivity.  Even with nearly 30% fewer cattle now than in 1975, the United States is producing more beef.

We’re committed to keeping Nebraska at the forefront of ag tech innovation.  In April, I signed legislation to invest $25 million into a $50 million public-private partnership to build an ag innovation facility at Nebraska Innovation Campus.  It will be located alongside a $140 million research center the United States Department of Agriculture is planning to construct.  The facilities will bring together researchers, engineers, and ag entrepreneurs to turn scientific discoveries into products our farmers and ranchers can use to enhance their operations.

While there are exciting technologies on the horizon, many recent innovations have already made their way into fields and pastures.  Next month, leaders in agriculture from around the world will gather in Wood River to see the latest technological advances in agriculture at Husker Harvest Days.  Visitors will be able to watch live field demonstrations, see autonomous farm machines in action, and take part in educational sessions to expand their knowledge.  To see what’s in store at our state’s biggest farm show, visit the Husker Harvest Days website at

You can explore the creative ag entrepreneurship happening at the Combine incubator on Nebraska Innovation Campus by going to   

USDA Allows More Packing Plants to Run Faster Line Speeds

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approved two more pork packing plants to run faster line speeds under a trial program. The Swift Pork plant in Beardstown, Illinois, and the Tyson plant in Madison, Nebraska, have been allowed to operate with increased harvesting line speeds.

The agency now has let six plants operate with faster lines, which could increase packing capacity and alleviate supply issues in the face of strong pork demand. FSIS established the line speeds program last November, after a provision in USDA’s 2019 New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) regulation was struck down by a U.S. District Court in March 2021. NPPC urged USDA to reinstate the faster line speeds.

Nine pork packing plants that had adopted the NSIS — six of which were operating with faster line speeds — were allowed to apply for the program, under which they need to collect data on the effects of the faster speeds on workers and share it with USDA and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The information could be used to formulate a new regulation for allowing plants to run faster line speeds.

Scheduling the Last Few Irrigations of the Season

Bruno Lena - NE Extension Educator, Platte County

With pumping costs ranging from $6-15/acre-inch this year, any opportunity to save money by cutting back irrigation as early as possible sounds like a good strategy. Correctly timing the last few irrigations of the season offers an excellent opportunity to save some water and money.

Factors such as the amount of water a soil can hold, the amount of water a crop will use until it reaches maturity, and the maximum allowable soil water depletion should be considered when deciding the last few irrigations of the season. In addition to water and dollar savings, another benefit of leaving the fields as dry as possible without lowering yields is the potential to reduce issues with nutrient leaching and increase the amount of precipitation stored during the offseason.

The amount of water used by the plants during the tail end of the growing season changes from crop to crop. With different crops, it is important to know how weather conditions affect crop water use. For instance, weather conditions will affect the water use of the beans because they tend to mature based on daylength, as opposed to corn and sorghum that mature based on growing degree days. Thus, for corn and sorghum, hotter conditions will result in more water use per day but will also mature the crop sooner. On the other hand, beans may use more water during hotter weather conditions but won’t mature quicker, resulting in greater total water use.

We should always keep adequate soil moisture levels to maximize yield on irrigated fields if we have the water. During peak water use, UNL recommends maintaining soil water storage levels above 50% of plant available water in the top three feet of soil. As plants approach the end of the cropping season, the days are getting shorter and cooler and their leaves begin to lose the ability to transpire water, which opens an opportunity to let the soil dry to a lower water content without affecting yield. The UNL recommendation is to lower the soil water content to 40% of plant available water to a four-foot depth after the dough stage in corn and R4-end of pod elongation in soybean.

Another factor besides knowing how much water the crops will use between now and maturity is determining the amount of water stored in the soil. A fine sand soil, for example, holds about one inch per foot of soil or four inches on the top four feet of soil. A silt loam soil, on the other hand, holds two inches per foot of soil or eight inches on the top four feet of soil. Assuming both soils are at field capacity, the maximum amount of water that can be used is 2.4 inches (60% of four inches) for the fine sand soil and 4.8 inches (60% of eight inches) for the silt loam soil.

The last piece of information needed is the expected rainfall amounts between today and the date the crop matures.

The main objective with these calculations is to approach the end of the growing season using the stored soil water without affecting crop yields, while also creating room to store the offseason precipitation by lowering the soil water to 40% plant available water. These calculations will be improved if refigured weekly with updated irrigation and rainfall data.

For more information on this topic, see NebGuide G1871, “Predicting the Last Irrigation of the Season”.

New Leadership for the Nebraska Corn Board

Gov. Pete Ricketts recently appointed Dan Nerud as the District 1 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB), which represents Butler, Cass, Douglas, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, and Seward counties. Nerud, from Dorchester is replacing David Bruntz, from Friend, who served on the board since 2013 and chose not to seek reappointment.

“The Nebraska Corn Board has a reputation of excellence, but that’s not the only reason I desired to become involved,” said Nerud. “I’m 64; I’m not serving for me – it is for the next generations to come including my sons and grandchildren. Just an importantly, it’s our job to support and promote agriculture as no one knows what we do better than us.”

A fourth-generation farmer, Nerud farms with his two sons. The Nerud family grows irrigated and dryland corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and have a cow-calf herd in the Dorchester, Crete, and Wilbur area.

In addition to his involvement with the Nebraska Corn Board, Nerud has served with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) for over 10 years, on National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Action Teams, and is currently serving as the vice-chair of the Membership and Engagement Action Team and on the Resolutions Committee. He is also a member of his local Southeast Corn Growers chapter.

“We look forward to welcoming Dan to the Nebraska Corn Board,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of NCB. “With his passion and leadership in agriculture and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, he has a well-rounded understanding, benefiting our board with his knowledge. Dan will be a great addition, but I would also be remiss not to mention David Bruntz and thank him for his service to the industry.”

Nerud’s position is effective immediately following his appointment by Gov. Ricketts. Additionally, Debbie Borg of Allen, Nebraska, was reappointed to serve as the District 4 Director.
The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) also elected three farmers to serve leadership roles at its recent board meeting on August 9. The leadership roles are effective immediately and are yearlong in duration, with the possibility to be reelected.

Jay Reiners, At Large Director, was reelected as chairman of the board. Reiners farms near Juniata, where he grows field corn, seed corn and soybeans. He has been farming for over 30 years and is the fourth generation managing the family farm. He graduated with an associate’s degree in general agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Reiners has been with NCB since 2017.

Brandon Hunnicutt, District 3 director, was reelected as vice chair of NCB. Hunnicutt farms near Giltner with his father and brother. On his farm, Hunnicutt grows corn, popcorn, seed corn and soybeans. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from UNL and has served on the board since 2014.

Andy Groskopf, District 8 Director, was reelected secretary/treasurer of the board. Groskopf farms near Scottsbluff, where he farms irrigated corn and dry edible beans. He has been farming for over 20 years and is the fourth generation managing the family farm. He attended Western Nebraska Community College for automotive technologies. Groskopf has been with NCB since 2018.

“I congratulate our elected leadership team as they begin the work of the new year,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of NCB. “With the goal of advancing our state’s commodity, we’re well positioned to aggressively tackle our mission of promoting the value of corn by creating opportunities.”

Armstrong Research Farm Will Host Beef Field Day

Field peas and forages will headline a beef field day at Iowa State University's Armstrong Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm on Friday, Sept. 16. Erika Lundy-Woolfolk, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said the program is geared toward local beef producers with information on exploring alternative cropping systems, tips for managing calves, and insight into the 2023 beef market.

“This field day is an opportunity to learn about research happening right here in southwest Iowa,” she said. “Some of projects we’ll talk about are incorporating field peas into the cropping system, feeding field peas to feedlot cattle and utilizing annual forages to expand grazing rotations.”

Additional topics on the agenda are preparing calves for the feedyard and a beef cattle market outlook. Field day speakers are Lundy-Woolfolk; Dan Loy, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach and director of the Iowa Beef Center; Dan Thomson, professor of animal science at Iowa State; Lee Schulz, associate professor in economics and livestock economist with ISU Extension and Outreach; and Sara Lira, research scientist with Corteva Agriscience.

Thanks to sponsor Corteva, the field day and noon meal are free. Serving begins at noon with the program from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Following the program, an optional farm tour to view the research feedyard and individual intake feeding system will be offered. The event flyer offers a quick look at the topics, speakers and schedule.

The event will take place in the Wallace Foundation Learning Center on the Armstrong Research Farm located at 53020 Hitchcock Ave, Lewis. Preregistration is requested by Wed., Sept. 14, to allow for adequate meal planning. To RSVP, contact Lundy-Woolfolk at or 641-745-5902.

Iowa Cash Rent - County Data Released

Non-irrigated cropland cash rent averaged $256.00 per acre in Iowa during 2022, $23.00 higher than 2021 according to the latest report released by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Pasture rented for cash averaged $59.50 per acre, $1.50 above 2021.

Western Iowa Counties

2022 Cash Rental Rates ($$/acre)

Woodbury - 261
Manona - 258
Harrison - 245
Pottawattamie - 255
Crawford - 275
Shelby - 262

Grundy County had the highest cash rent for non-irrigated cropland at $304.00 per acre, followed by Sioux County at $295.00 per acre. Ida, Black Hawk, and Bremer rounded out the top five. Davis County, at $154.00 per acre, had the lowest average cash rent for non-irrigated cropland.

Sioux had the highest published pasture cash rent at $83.00 per acre, followed by Page and Shelby at $81.00 per acre. Louisa County had the lowest pasture cash rent at $28.00 per acre.

Dr. Carolyn Lawrence-Dill Joins FFAR’s Board of Directors

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) is thrilled to announce that Dr. Carolyn Lawrence-Dill, associate dean of research and discovery for the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS) at Iowa State University, is joining FFAR’s Board of Directors.

“Dr. Lawrence-Dill is a pioneering leader in the food and agriculture industry,” said FFAR Board Chairman Dr. Mark Keenum. “Her expertise in plant biology and research administration will be an essential addition to the board. We look forward to incorporating Dr. Lawrence-Dill’s unique insights on plant phenotyping into FFAR’s research goals.”

In her research role, Lawrence-Dill creates tools to automate data analysis and provide unique data storage solutions. These tools help other researchers to accomplish their research goals more efficiently. Lawrence-Dill and her team apply these computational tools to improve crop science. Specifically, the tools leverage plant genetics and genomics information to better understand basic biology and improve crops. These skills are the basis for her administrative efforts to transition the CALS research enterprise into a more data-driven paradigm.

Prior to her time at Iowa State University, Lawrence-Dill worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, where she directed the maize model organism database MaizeGDB. She also led the North American Plant Phenotyping Network, which coordinates the plant phenotyping community across North America. During her time as chair, Lawrence-Dill formally founded the organization as a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity as a signature activity.

Dr. Lawrence-Dill is enthusiastic to get started. “I’m excited to help to shape FFAR’s ongoing efforts to get research outcomes into the hands of producers and consumers. I’ve always said I want to help researchers go farther faster. For me, working with FFAR will be a new way to do just that.”

Lawrence-Dill holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Hendrix College. She earned a master's degree in biology from Texas Tech University and a doctorate degree in botany from the University of Georgia.

“Dr. Lawrence-Dill’s impressive research background, data expertise and her contributions to advancing agriculture will be an asset to FFAR,” said Interim Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer Julie Reynes. “We are excited to have Dr. Lawrence-Dill join FFAR’s prestigious Board of Directors.”

NGFA issues statement in response to final report on breaching the Lower Snake River Dams

A report commissioned by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., recommends replacing the benefits of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) before breaching them to save endangered salmon runs. In the final report published Aug. 25, they acknowledged that some industries relying on the dams would no longer be viable if the dams are breached in the current environment. While they stated that “the replacement and mitigation of their benefits must be pursued before decommissioning and breaching,” NGFA maintains that any action to breach the dams is not a viable option.    

“Barge transportation moves about half of all grain exports to export elevators and is critical to NGFA members in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia-Snake River System is the third-largest grain export corridor in the world, transporting nearly 30 percent of U.S. grain and oilseed exports,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said. “Breaching the lower Snake River dams in the Pacific Northwest would create severe economic harm to the entire U.S. agricultural value chain. Removing the LSRD will hurt producers and negatively impact the operations and livelihoods of NGFA members who have made investment decisions based on the ability to utilize barge transportation. While we appreciate Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray recognizing the crucial role the LSRD play in the agricultural value chain, we must remain opposed to any actions by federal or state governments that could result in breaching these dams. The benefits of barge transportation to the agricultural value chain and the overall U.S. supply chain cannot be replaced by rail or truck transportation. Importantly, barges are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation for grains and oilseeds with one four-barge tow moving as much grain as 144 rail cars or 538 semi-trucks.”                

KC Fed: Ag Credit Conditions Remain Strong as Risks Grow

Agricultural credit conditions remained strong in the second quarter, but slower improvement was expected in the coming months.

Farm income increased further according to respondents of the Federal Reserve Surveys of Agricultural Credit Conditions, but the pace of increase slowed from recent quarters and further softening was expected going forward. Farm loan repayment rates continued to strengthen, but the pace of improvement also slowed. Following nearly two years of acceleration, farmland values also showed signs of moderating as interest rates increased more notably.

Strength in farm finances continued to support a positive outlook for agricultural credit conditions through the remainder of 2022, but risks to the farm economy have become more notable. Crop and livestock prices remained elevated, but have been volatile in recent months alongside ongoing uncertainty about the outlook for supply and demand of some major commodities.

With substantial increases in production costs over the past two years, profit margins for many producers could be pressured with a sizable decline in commodity prices. Despite growing risks, balance sheets for most producers remained strong and profit opportunities during 2022 remained well in reach.

Smithfield and Almirola Return to Stewart-Haas Racing with Multiyear Agreement Beginning in 2023

Smithfield Foods and NASCAR Cup Series driver Aric Almirola will continue their longstanding partnership as both return to Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with a multiyear agreement that begins in 2023.

The 2023 season will be the 12th consecutive year that Smithfield has partnered with Almirola and its sixth together at SHR. The renewed pact comes with a significantly heightened presence as Smithfield will be the anchor partner of Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Mustang for the largest allotment of races since joining SHR in 2018.

The extension also marks a turnabout for Almirola. The 38-year-old from Tampa, Florida, came into 2022 ready to relish every moment, for his original plan was to retire at season’s end. In the course of this year, Almirola has discovered a new balance between his passion for racing and dedication to his family. His wife, Janice, and kids, Alex and Abby, join him on most race weekends, oftentimes enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences together as they travel the country. His rapport with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has flourished, and the intense pressure he had put on himself was replaced with the joy of simply being present. Almirola was reinvigorated, and when Smithfield broached the subject of continuing together beyond 2022, Almirola accepted.

“I’ve learned a lot this year and perhaps the biggest learning was to never say never,” Almirola said. “I came into this year ready to soak everything up, and I have. I already knew I had the coolest job in the world, but being with my family and being there for Janice and Alex and Abby was really important. My desire to compete and win never wavered, but I didn’t want it to come at the expense of family. We found a way to accommodate both and I’ve never been happier.

“Smithfield is a big part of that. They’ve been a part of my life for 11 years and, really, my entire NASCAR Cup Series career. They’re family to me. And, of course, it’s always nice to be wanted. Smithfield wanted me to continue representing them. Stewart-Haas Racing wanted me to continue driving their racecars. Everything just aligned and it’s something we all embraced.

“The original decision to step away from fulltime racing at the end of the season was a family one, and so is this decision. Janice, Alex and Abby are just as excited as I am to continue racing the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang.”

The Smithfield/Almirola pairing is one of the most tenured in NASCAR. Almirola teamed up with Smithfield in 2012 while at Richard Petty Motorsports for his first full year in the NASCAR Cup Series. Almirola and Smithfield moved to SHR in 2018 where the two immediately found success, making the NASCAR Playoffs, winning in October at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and finishing a career-high fifth in points. Almirola went on to score a career-best 18 top-10 finishes in 2020 before earning another victory in 2021 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon to put him into the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season.

“Aric has been a part of the Smithfield family for more than a decade and we’re very happy to have him back in the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang,” said Shane Smith, president and CEO, Smithfield Foods. “Just as Aric discovered new ways to enjoy this sport, Smithfield did too. I was at this year’s Daytona 500 with him and it was electric. NASCAR is exactly where we need to be. It’s where our customers are, and no one reaches them better than Aric Almirola. He’s an incredibly talented racer and devoted family man who embodies Smithfield’s values. From day one, Aric has embraced our commitment to do good for our customers, employees and communities. This is a reinvestment in Aric, in Stewart-Haas Racing and in NASCAR.”

Tony Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, was a driving force behind Almirola joining SHR in 2018. Stewart first met Almirola in 2004 when they were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart was already a NASCAR Cup Series champion with the first of his three titles in hand (2002, 2005 and 2011) while Almirola was just beginning his NASCAR career after being selected as one of the first two drivers for Gibbs’ diversity program.

“All of us at SHR are very happy to have Aric back in our Smithfield Ford Mustang,” Stewart said. “I’ve always admired Aric because he’s always working to better himself, to find a better way. This year is proof of that.

“We’re in a tough sport, in terms of the competition and in terms of the commitment it takes to compete at this level. Even with all that, Aric has found a way to compete and enjoy life. That sounds simple, but achieving it is hard, yet Aric makes it look simple. It’s one of his many attributes, and it’s one of the many reasons why he’s such a good fit for Smithfield and for us. I’m proud of him and proud to extend our partnership with Smithfield.”

AGCO’s Fendt Launches the New 700 Vario Series to North America to Provide Customers with Even More Capability

AGCO Corporation (NYSE: AGCO), a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and precision ag technology, is bringing the seventh generation of Fendt® 700 Vario® series tractors to North America. This version introduces a new design, engine, and technical innovations to its best-selling range, which will debut at the 2022 Farm Progress Show and be available for order through Fendt dealerships for delivery in 2023.

The Fendt 700 Vario tractors are available in five models ranging from 203 to 283 rated engine horsepower, all featuring the quality, comfort, and versatility that Fendt customers expect. For farmers needing more horsepower, the Fendt DynamicPerformance (DP) extra power concept releases up to 20 extra horsepower in the Fendt 728 Vario DP via a demand-dependent control system precisely when needed. The extra power concept is not tied to driving speed or special auxiliary functions such as hydraulic, PTO, or three-point applications and functions purely dynamically.

“AGCO has always focused on providing customer-first solutions, and the Fendt 700 Vario series delivers on that promise. With a combination of key upgrades and new features, these tractors are the perfect combination of strength, agility, functionality, and comfort, making them ideal for everything from haying and livestock work to heavy-duty field or fleet operations,” says David Soliday, senior tactical marketing manager for Fendt tractors.

Greater power with leading efficiency
With a new AGCO Power™ 7.5-liter engine that uses the Fendt iD™ concept, the Fendt 700 Vario tractors deliver a high-performance range without compromising on the efficiency for which the series is well-known. All components, such as the engine, transmission, hydraulics, and cooling system, are designed to achieve impressive torque even at low engine speeds to ensure high tractive power and acceleration strength with lower fuel consumption and extended service life.

The single-range Fendt VarioDrive™ transmission provides an entirely seamless operating experience from 65 feet per hour to 33 miles per hour. VarioDrive is Fendt’s latest evolution of the Vario CVT and provides intelligently controlled all-wheel drive management. The drive train eliminates the need for manual switching when changing between field and road operations, and it drives the front and rear axles as needed and distributes the power dynamically. In the field, full tractive force is available, and stresses are avoided when driving on roads or curves. The “pull-in-turn” effect pulls the machine into the curve during turns, resulting in a particularly small turning radius with full tractive power and less soil compaction.

The exclusive Concentric Air System (CAS) cooling concept has been purposefully designed for low engine speeds, compact construction, and fuel efficiency. Less drive power is needed compared to conventional fan and cooling systems, and this power is then available for traction in the field or on the road. The CAS concept is driven by its own hydraulic motor and is decoupled from the engine speed. The system is automated according to demand and is extremely quiet and smooth.

“Delivering impressive power through innovative engineering was a focal point when designing and developing the new Fendt 700 Vario series,” Soliday says. “By combining a new engine with innovative technology such as the Fendt iD and VarioDrive, operators can enjoy even greater versatility with this new generation.”

Customer-focused control and comfort
Delivering operator comfort, control, and convenience are foundational to Fendt cabs and workstations, and the Fendt 700 Vario series is no different. The new generation is operated simply and individually via the multifunction joystick and the 3L joystick in FendtONE™. The Fendt 700 Vario is equipped with a 10-inch digital dashboard and a 12-inch terminal on the armrest as standard. An additional retractable 12-inch terminal in the headliner is available as an option.

Smart functions such as the Fendt Guide™ guidance system, the automatic Fendt Section Control (SC), or Fendt Variable Rate Control (VRC) are displayed as required on the individually assignable tiles in the terminals.

Six different seat configurations are available, as well as a new optional premium leather seat that features massage, heating, and cooling with intuitive operation via the FendtONE terminal. The driver adjusts the seat height, position, and backrest angle electrically via a lever on the side of the seat. Operators can create personalized seat profiles and activate them with one click when changing drivers.

“Intuitive and innovative workstations have always been a part of the Fendt design and engineering language,” Soliday says. “By introducing FendtONE and the diverse seat configurations, operators can customize their Fendt 700 Series tractor to individual preferences for each task.”

Powerful hydraulics unlock efficiency
With an optional increased hydraulic pump capacity of up to 58 gpm, the Fendt 700 series allows you to accomplish tasks more efficiently. As with all other Fendt series, the hydraulic system is completely independent and self-contained from other tractor functions such as the transmission, steering valves, and cooling fan. These hydraulic capabilities improve efficiency and accuracy and eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. In addition, the series now allows for full use of up to five rear and two front hydraulic remotes even when equipped with a Cargo or CargoProfi loader.

Tire features add flexibility and convenience
The popular VarioGrip™ tire pressure regulation system already offered on larger Fendt series is now an optional feature on the new Fendt 700 series. VarioGrip allows operators to increase the contact area with the ground and boost tractive power by up to 8%. When driving on the road, the air pressure can be raised, providing a better ride and improving tire longevity. The driver can easily set and control the system’s tire pressure in the tractor display.

Numerous factory-installed tire options are available for the Fendt 700 tractors. All models in the range can be equipped with a vast array of commonly used row crop, single metric, or dual tire configurations. In addition to its tire offerings, the new series is entirely row crop capable at 60-inch gauge settings. The new 700 series now also features the ability to factory install certain front and rear dual tires.

Trusted customer care and warranty
The Fendt Gold Star Customer Care program comes standard with each Fendt tractor. This 36-month/3,000-hour warranty features no deductible, covers all scheduled maintenance, and includes the cost of oil, filters, belts, and maintenance items during the coverage period. Each new tractor also receives five years of Fendt Connect™ telematics that allows an operator or their dealer to monitor important machine data remotely. In the rare case of a breakdown, Fendt dealers will take care of the parts support while quickly diagnosing and repairing the problem to get the tractor back in the field, or they will provide a loaner guarantee if it takes more than 48 hours to complete a repair.