Friday, August 26, 2022

Thursday August 25 Ag News

 PF Crop Tour West: Some Good, Some Not So Good in Iowa, Minnesota

The 30th annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour finished the fourth and final day with crop numbers in Iowa and Minnesota. The combined Iowa corn prediction is 183.8 bushels an acre, down 3.6 percent from 190 bushels in 2021. The Iowa soybean results were 1,174.4 pods in a three-foot by three-foot square, down 3.6 percent from 1,217 last year.

Pro Farmer's Chip Flory on Iowa corn crop... he says, “That's where the drag is. It's down more than 10 percent in Southwest Iowa, and a lot of people in the state of Iowa, a lot of producers, like to think about Southwest Iowa being that fringe area for the state. And the last few years, it's been a yield builder and pulling to the upside. And this year, maybe not so much. It's a little bit of a drag down there.”

Turning to the Minnesota results, the state’s corn crop is predicted at 190.3 bushels an acre, 7.3 percent above the 2021 total of 177.4 bushels. The Minnesota soybean number is 1,100.7 pods in a three-foot by three-foot square, 7.1 percent higher than the 1,027.3 from last year. While the Minnesota soybean numbers look good, Flory says there is concern about rising disease pressure.

The final numbers for the Pro Farmer Crop Tour will be released at 1:30pm Central Time on Friday.

Researchers gauging farmer attitudes about targeted conservation

A University of Nebraska–Lincoln project to gauge farmers’ attitudes about targeted conservation received a $42,448 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Agricultural production in Nebraska has trended toward increased field sizes, removal of non-crop habitat and a reduction in crop diversity, with the goal of increasing yield and associated farm revenue. Despite increased farm productivity, rural and urban residents are increasingly affected by multiple emerging challenges including environmental concerns and economic uncertainties, said Andrew Little, assistant professor of natural resources and project lead.

“New precision technologies and conservation planning frameworks offer potential solutions to optimize agricultural production and natural resource conservation by strategically targeting low-yielding acres for conservation program enrollment while farming highly profitable acres,” Little said. This approach helps farmers and farmland owners increase whole-field profitability while reducing environmental impacts.

To understand Nebraska farmers and farmland owners’ willingness to participate in such targeting schemes, researchers identified the key factors that facilitate or constrain their participation through socioeconomic and behavioral surveys and focus groups. They also conducted phone interviews with farmland owners (or absentee landowners), which is a critical demographic in Nebraska that may affect adoption of conservation programs.

One student on the project, Morgan Register, used the project’s platform to discuss conservation specialists’ perspectives and communication in adopting precision agriculture practices. Through surveying conservation specialists, Register is gaining an understanding of how professionals can collaborate to better use these emerging technologies. Results and findings from this research will be shared soon.

Corrin Winter, another student on the project, has been working to understand farmers’ and landowners’ constraints in adopting precision technology. Results from this portion of the project can help inform ways to make adoption easier for farmers and landowners.

The project surveyed 7,500 farmers and landowners across Nebraska. The survey concluded in April and is in the process of being analyzed, with final results to come.

“With this information, Nebraska conservation agencies and/or organizations can develop a coordinated effort to work with farmers and farmland owners to reduce environmental impacts while increasing whole-field profitability,” Little said.

This is the third year the project has received funding from NET.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee Endorses 12 Additional Candidates for Election to the Nebraska Legislature

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (NEFB-PAC) has announced additional endorsements for candidates seeking election to the Nebraska Legislature. The NEFB-PAC endorsements are based on the candidate’s positions on agriculture and rural issues and recommendations from district evaluation committees made up of farmer and rancher members.

“We are pleased to announce our support for several candidates seeking election to serve in the Nebraska Legislature. Given the important role farmers and ranchers play in helping produce our food and the prominent role agriculture plays in supporting our state’s broader economy, it’s important we elect leaders who have an appreciation for and understanding of both,” said Sherry Vinton of Whitman, chair of NEFB-PAC and first vice president of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

NEFB-PAC endorsed candidates seeking election to the Legislature:
District 6 -- Christian Mirch of Omaha
District 8 – Marilyn Arant Asher of Omaha
District 10 – Lou Ann Goding of Omaha
District 14 – John Arch of LaVista
District 18 – Christy Armendariz of Omaha
District 20 – Stu Dornan of Omaha
District 24 – Dr. Patrick Hotovy of York and Jana Hughes of Seward
District 26 – Russ Barger of Lincoln
District 31 – Kathleen Kauth of Omaha
District 40 – Barry DeKay of Niobrara
District 46 – James Michael Bowers of Lincoln

NEFB-PAC earlier endorsed candidates seeking election to the Legislature:
District 2 – Robert Clements of Elmwood
District 4 – Brad von Gillern of Omaha
District 12 – Merv Riepe of Omaha
District 16 – Ben Hansen of Blair
District 22 – Mike Moser of Columbus

District 30 – Myron Dorn of Adams
District 32 – Tom Brandt of Plymouth
District 34 – Loren Lippincott of Central City
District 36 – Rick Holdcroft of Bellevue
District 38 – Dave Murman of Glenvil
District 48 – Brian Hardin of Gering and Don Lease II of Bridgeport

“We look forward to supporting this slate of candidates in their election efforts. It is critical rural and urban interests work together for the betterment of Nebraska. Having people who understand that connection and are willing to work together is important to all of us,” said Vinton.

This Week's Drought Summary

Record-breaking rainfall led to aggressive improvements in drought conditions across parts of the South. The heavy rainfall and flooding led to communications outages at the National Weather Service office leaving climatologists without access to important data and tools needed to fully analyze the effect of this event. The magnitude of this event meant prioritizing improvements on this week’s map in these areas and in the Southwest, where the Monsoon season remains active. Drought expanded in the Northwest was warm, dry conditions continued across the region. The Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast saw a mix of improvements and degradations.


Spotty, heavy rain fell across the Midwest this week leading to a mix of drought improvement and deterioration. Moderate drought (D1) improved in western Kentucky in response to above normal rainfall over the past 30 days. Meanwhile, nearby counties that missed these recent heavy rains saw an expansion of D1. In Missouri, rainfall of 150 to 300 percent of normal for the week led to broad 1-category improvements to areas of moderate (D1), severe (D2), and extreme (D3) drought. Totals of 1 to 4 inches erased short term moisture deficits, replenished soils, and restored streamflows. Central Minnesota also saw improvements to D1 in response to recent rainfall and seasonable temperature. Illinois saw conditions improve in the east and central part of the state and expand in the west. Moderate drought increased near the Iowa border where deficits of over 5 inches over the last 90 days dried out soils and lowered streamflows. Additional analysis across the Midwest next week is likely to result in increasing drought severity across Iowa due to persistent dry weather.

High Plains

Warm, dry conditions continued across the region. Moderate drought (D1) expanded in western South Dakota and northeast Wyoming where rainfall deficits of near 3 inches over the last 90 days dried out soils, lowered streamflow, and stressed vegetation. Additional analysis across the High Plains next week is likely to result in increasing drought severity across parts of the region due to persistent dry weather.

Looking Ahead

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (valid August 25 – August 28) calls for rainfall over parts of the South, the Southwest, the Northern Rockies, Upper Midwest, and Northeast. Meanwhile, dry weather is expected to continue across the drought-stricken areas of the Pacific Northwest, California, the Central Great Basin, and Central Plains. Moving into next week (valid August 30 – September 1), the forecast calls for more rain across Texas, Oklahoma, and much of the eastern half of the CONUS. At 8 – 14 days, the Climate Prediction Center Outlook (valid September 1 – September 7) calls for above normal temperatures across the West, High Plains, Upper Midwest, East Coast, and interior Alaska. Below normal temperatures are predicted across southeast New Mexico, Texas, and Southern Oklahoma. Below normal precipitation is favored across much of the northern tier of CONUS. Above normal precipitation is favored for the southern tier, from New Mexico eastward.

“Protecting Agriculture’s Future” theme for 2022 National Farm Safety and Health Week

Agriculture is known as one of the most dangerous industries in America. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost-work-time injury every day, and in 2019 the agriculture industry had a fatality rate of 19.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. National Farm Safety and Health Week has been recognized during the third week of September since it was established by President Roosevelt in 1944, to help bring attention to the risks of working agriculture.

This year, AgriSafe has daily webinars for agricultural health and safety professionals, healthcare providers, extension agents, producers, farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers. Our partners at the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) coined this year’s theme “Protecting Agriculture’s Future,” reminding all of us that the cornerstone of sustainable agriculture is healthy and safe workers. Each day will have its own theme: Monday is Tractor Safety and Rural Roadway Safety; Tuesday is Overall Farmer Health; Wednesday is Safety and Health for Youth in Agriculture; Thursday is Confined Spaces; and Friday is Safety and Health for Women in Agriculture.

From September 19-23, 2021, AgriSafe’s free webinars will cover a breadth of topics, including tractor and roadway safety, grain bin safety, wildfire and heat safety, workplace sexual harassment prevention, injury prevention, and mental health help for youth and adults. For more information on National Farm Safety and Health week, visit:

AgriSafe is grateful to our sponsors for helping to support the wide distribution of this week’s events: CHS, Agri-Services Agency (ASA), UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and the following NIOSH Agricultural Centers- Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS), Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education (SW Ag Center), and Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH).

USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Funding Awarded to Nebraska, Iowa

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $831,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Nebraska. This USDA grant will help the Nebraska Department of Agriculture fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.

“USDA applauds Nebraska’s continued commitment to supporting our nation’s producers of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded will foster innovative research and new market opportunities within the specialty crop sector, while furthering USDA’s goals of creating a more fair and equitable food system and supporting local and regional producers.”

Through the SCBGP, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is funding 13 projects. Among the projects, is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln project to develop a novel technology that uses a flavor-detection method with machine learning algorithms to enhance the flavor and use of Nebraska grown hops. The goal of this project is to improve the sustainability of the Nebraska hop industry. Additional funded projects focus in areas such as urban farming, disease management, and herbicide efficacy.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today awarded over $334,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) funding to Iowa. This USDA grant will help the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state and support specialty crop growers through marketing, education, and research.

This year’s SCBGP funded projects highlight the lessons learned from disruptions to Iowa’s local food supply chain. These projects will aid Iowa specialty crop producers through focused projects targeting cut flowers and horticulture, studies of irrigation methods for vegetables, the impact of soil pH on blueberry production, the use of sulfur dioxide in enhancing the aging process of Iowa’s wines, and the educational information for students about grape production. Other, more general projects include food safety, financial and marketing bootcamp for specialty crop producers, educational conferences, the study of no-till systems, marketing projects, and the creation of a shared kitchen. These projects have the potential to add great value to the Iowa specialty crop industry.

“Iowa has many specialty crop farmers, producers, and retailers and they do a wonderful job showcasing the diversity of Iowa agriculture,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “As locally produced foods remain in great demand and as we work to shorten our supply chains, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is pleased to partner with USDA to offer grants that help farmers diversify their offerings, expand their distribution channels, and improve marketing methods in ways that encourage consumers to choose Iowa grown products.”

The funding to Nebraska and Iowa is part of a total of $72.9 million in non-competitive FY 2022 SCBGP funding awarded to 55 states, territories and the District of Columbia. The SCBGP funding supports farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. USDA’s support will strengthen U.S. specialty crop production and markets, ensuring an abundant, affordable supply of highly nutritious fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops, which are vital to the health and well-being of all Americans.

The funding for the SCBGP grants is authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and FY2022 funding is awarded for a three-year period beginning September 30, 2022. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $953 million through the SCBGP to fund 11,331 projects that have increased the long-term successes of producers and broadened the market for specialty crops in the U.S. and abroad.

Siouxland Agricultural Lenders Seminar Scheduled for Oct. 20

Technology is moving at warp speed in agriculture. It is vital that lenders and producers understand how technology fits in their operation. The economics of autonomous field equipment, automatic feeders, manure handlers and milking systems are changing as the systems change, and lenders need to be able to help producers understand how those costs fit into their financial statements.

Agricultural lenders will receive current useful, research-based information during the Siouxland Agricultural Lender’s Seminar on Thursday, Oct. 20, with registration at 8:30 a.m. and programming from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Triple Box located at 4758 Ironwood Ave., Orange City.

The seminar will present current information to assist lenders, consultants, and farm financial advisors in their portfolio management, which is especially important in this era of continued market variability. Lenders who serve agricultural clients - especially those who work with dairy producers - in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota are encouraged to attend as the seminar will feature insights on technology, the risk in agricultural land values, and market outlooks for livestock, grains and dairy production.

“Ag lenders know that price risk management continues to be a major variable for profitability in ag enterprises,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in northwest Iowa. “For that reason, understanding the current market trends and risks is a necessary part of farm management assistance. Lenders and consultants working with dairymen have the additional necessity of understanding a complex system of milk marketing, labor inputs and federal policy implications.”

Seminar presenters

The list of nationally recognized presenters for the seminar includes:
    Early Bird Session -- How On-Farm Cyber Security Can Affect You and Your Clients (Doug Jacobson, director, Center for Cybersecurity Innovation and Outreach at Iowa State University).
    Economics of Autonomous Field Equipment (Craig Rupp, founder and CEO, Sabanto).
    Economics of Livestock Automation - Automatic Feeders, Manure Handlers and Milking Systems (Chad Huyser, president, Lely North America).
    The Strength and Risk in Ag Land Values (Chad Hart, agricultural economist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach).
    Milk Market Update (Mike North, principal,
    Commodity Market Outlook (Chad Hart, agricultural economist with ISU Extension and Outreach).

“This seminar has proven itself in assisting Siouxland lenders and financial advisors as a local source for current information which they can use as they help producers manage risk,” Hall said.

Preregistration cost for the Siouxland Ag Lenders Seminar is $100 for the first person and $75 for each additional person from the business. Student registration fee is $30. The preregistration deadline is Oct. 17.

Registrations at the door the day of the seminar will be $125 and will not guarantee lunch. Register for the Siouxland Ag Lenders seminar online at or preregister by mail and make checks payable to Sioux County Extension; mail to ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County, 400 Central Ave. NW, Suite 700, Orange City, IA 51041.

Red Meat Production Down 3 Percent from Last Year

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.23 billion pounds in July, down 3 percent from the 4.38 billion pounds produced in July 2021.

Beef production, at 2.25 billion pounds, was 3 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.78 million head, down 2 percent from July 2021. The average live weight was down 8 pounds from the previous year, at 1,341 pounds.

Veal production totaled 4.1 million pounds, 5 percent above July a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 29,500 head, down 12 percent from July 2021. The average live weight was up 38 pounds from last year, at 243 pounds.

Pork production totaled 1.97 billion pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.31 million head, down 5 percent from July 2021. The average live weight was up 3 pounds from the previous year, at 284 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 10.3 million pounds, was down 5 percent from July 2021. Sheep slaughter totaled 163,300 head, 14 percent below last year. The average live weight was 126 pounds, up 11 pounds from July a year ago.

By State   (million lbs.  -  % July '21)

Nebraska ........:     627.3             98       
Iowa ...............:     611.5             94       
Kansas ............:     485.2             93       

January to July 2022 commercial red meat production was 32.0 billion pounds, down 1 percent from 2021. Accumulated beef production was up 1 percent from last year, veal was up 4 percent, pork was down 3 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 7 percent.

NPPC Hires Dr. Ashley Johnson as Director of Food Policy

Dr. Ashley Johnson has joined the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) as director of food policy. In her role, she will focus on developing and implementing post-harvest food safety and human nutrition programs and addressing animal care issues in market channels.
“We are excited to have someone like Dr. Johnson join the NPPC team,” said NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. “Her wealth of knowledge is a tremendous asset as we help set the direction of the country’s food policies and weigh in on issues that could affect producers’ ability to produce safe, nutritious pork for consumers worldwide.”
Johnson comes to NPPC from Zoetis, where she was a technical service veterinarian for more than five years. Among many duties, she worked with the animal health company’s public affairs department to disseminate information to its pork team and customers on legislation and regulatory actions that could affect the pork industry.
Prior to that, Johnson was a staff veterinarian for Pigs for Farmer John (PFFJ), where she was responsible for supporting herd health programs for the farrow-to-finish system, which had 60,000 sows in four different states. Additionally, Johnson had externships with Murphy-Brown, the swine production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Johnson earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinarian science from Clemson University. She did postdoctoral work with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where she served as regional control coordinator for Johnston and Moore counties in North Carolina, addressing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome.

Suicide Prevention Program Available to Farmers, Agribusiness This Fall

Although Iowa farmers can get ready for fall harvest, the stress they may face this time of year can be harder to prepare for. Weather extremes, labor challenges and time pressures can compound financial concerns like lower crop prices, higher input costs and larger debt burdens. The stress can be overwhelming. In response, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is continuing to offer virtual and in-person “Question. Persuade. Refer.” trainings, also known as QPR.

“QPR is a suicide prevention program that teaches participants how to recognize the warning signs of suicidal thoughts, and how to ask someone whether they are thinking about suicide,” stated Demi Johnson, behavioral health program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Participants also learn how to persuade someone to get help and how to refer them to appropriate help.”

ISU Extension and Outreach is offering QPR during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the fall. ISU Extension and Outreach will offer virtual QPR classes from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 7, 14, 19, 21 and 28; Oct. 3 and 19; Nov. 2 and 16; and Dec. 14. Private classes for groups of 15-30 participants are also available upon request. Pre-registration is required for all programs. To register, go to The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, award #2020-70028-32728, funds this program.

“We encourage farmers, agribusiness professionals and others to participate in the training. Those who have already taken QPR might chose to take the class again as a refresher. This offers previous participants an opportunity to improve their knowledge, skill and effectiveness if they need to respond to someone they may be concerned about,” Johnson said.

For more information, contact Demi Johnson at

Other resources

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or visit the website,, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.

Project Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by recent local disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual counselors and consultants provide counseling, family finance consultation, farm financial consultation, referral information and help finding resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. To request support, go to

Bipartisan Senate Letter Urges FCC to Overturn Ligado Order, Protect GPS

ASA Newsletter

Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) led a bipartisan letter last week urging the FCC to stay and reconsider the Ligado Order, echoing concerns of 14 federal agencies and other end users, including U.S. farmers who rely on GPS to operate safely and efficiently.

The FCC order went into effect April 2020 and allows Ligado Networks to establish a wireless network that will threaten the reception capability of hundreds of millions of GPS devices and growers’ abilities to use GPS technology in their operations. Because growers heavily rely upon navigation systems and precision technology, the prospect of GPS units not working is alarming to soybean farmers.

FCC’s order acknowledges the likelihood of interference to GPS signals and requires Ligado to pay the federal government the costs for repairs but does not specify what those costs are and, importantly, does not currently include the private sector. According to a news release from Inhofe’s office, 99% of the more than 900 million GPS devices across the country are used by the private sector and consumers, as well as state and local governments. Under the current order, private sector businesses like agriculture, or their consumers, are on the hook for repair costs.

In the letter, the Senators urged the FCC to set aside the Ligado Order and consider the concerns of the Executive Branch, within Congress, and from the private sector regarding the imminent risks for national security and other systems.

“We remain gravely concerned that the Ligado Order fails to adequately protect adjacent band operations—including those related to GPS and satellite communications—from harmful interference impacting countless military and commercial activities,” the Senators write in the letter.

A reliable network is imperative for U.S. soybean farmers who use GPS-enabled precision ag technologies to efficiently and responsibly grow and harvest crops and irrigate their land. ASA has continued pushing for changes to FCC’s Ligado decision and urging the administration and Congress to step in to protect GPS reliability.

NCGA Sees Missed Opportunities in California’s New Vehicle Requirements

The California Air Resources Board today approved standards for model year 2026 and later vehicles. In response to this development, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released the following statement:

“California regulators missed an opportunity to allow for more innovation and broaden low- and zero-emission solutions, additive to electric vehicles, to maximize emissions reductions while improving equity for consumers. As NCGA told regulators during the rulemaking process, constraining the vision of a zero-emission future prevents the state from tapping into the immediate and affordable environmental solutions that come from replacing more gasoline with low-carbon and low-cost ethanol, in both current and new vehicles, including new plug-in hybrids. Ethanol is on a path to net zero emissions, and NCGA will continue to work with and urge California to use all the tools in its toolbox as it addresses climate change and cuts harmful tailpipe emissions. As recent University of California, Riverside, vehicle testing for CARB found, higher ethanol blends, like E15, significantly reduced most criteria air pollutants compared to standard 10% ethanol blends.”

Inflation Taking a Toll on Domestic Dairy Consumption

Overseas demand for U.S. dairy products continues at a blistering pace this year, even as higher prices domestically are taking a toll on consumption closer to home. The U.S. dairy industry achieved another record export volume in June, shipping 19.6 percent, or almost one-fifth, of its total milk solids production to foreign countries. It also set a new record for the dairy trade balance (exports minus imports) of 16.2 percent in terms of milk solids production.

Meanwhile, domestic dairy product prices have softened in the past few months, but remain at historically high levels. High dairy product wholesale prices continue to drive rapid retail price inflation, which is taking a toll on domestic consumption at both retail and food service. The retail price index for all dairy products was almost 15 percent higher in July than a year earler, while total food and beverage price inflation was up by 10.5 percent and overall inflation by 8.5 percent, its lowest annual increase in three months. U.S. milk production is showing signs of resuming growth following months of decline.

Read the full report here:  

MAIZALL Mission To Mexico Focuses Efforts On Trade, Food Security Issues

A MAIZALL delegation visited Mexico last week, where they met with government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss the country’s 2020 presidential decree that intends to ban the use of genetically modified (GM) corn for human consumption by 2024. The delegation also raised concerns about the likely impact of the lack of authorizations by Mexico of new GM corn events for import since May 2018.

MAIZALL, the international alliance of maize growers, includes members from Abramilho in Brazil, MAIZAR in Argentina and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in the United States. Farmers from these countries, which produce 50 percent of the world’s corn and are responsible for 81 percent of corn exports, compete in the global marketplace but work together to address common international market access issues.

“MAIZALL recognizes the cultural and historical importance of maize in Mexico,” said MAIZALL President Federico Zerboni. “It may indeed want to maintain its decision to only grow non-GM maize for its own reasons, but it was important for our growers to outline the GM adoption rates (more than 95 percent) in our countries and the many economic, social and environmental benefits of GMO cultivation.”

Mexico’s annual import of 17 million metric tons (669,256,000 bushels) of GM corn could be jeopardized by the combination of the presidential decree and the lack of authorizations of new GM events for import. Since it is very unlikely that such volumes of non-GM corn will be available in international markets in 2024, Mexico’s current policy will lead to food insecurity and affordability of many of its staple foods, such as corn tortillas.

“The trading relationship between our countries and Mexico continues to be positive for grains and grain products, and MAIZALL works closely with the grain, feed and livestock industries in Mexico that value the commodities we provide,” Zerboni said. "But implementing the ban and withholding the authorization of new GM events for imports would be detrimental to Mexico’s food security – making more non-GM supplies harder to find - and counterproductive to food prices for Mexican consumers and the competitiveness of Mexico’s livestock industry. The pandemic and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine have demonstrated that feed security and affordable food cannot be taken for granted.”

MAIZALL and its members will continue to work closely with the Mexican grain, feed and livestock industries, and with the Mexican authorities to work toward solutions to avoid the negative impact of its current policy.

"The U.S. Grains Council through MAIZALL and our office in Mexico City continue to engage with industry and government officials regarding the potential consequences of their biotech decree," said Andrew Brandt, USGC director of trade policy. "We remain hopeful that as we provide further information we can prevent massive disruptions to the corn trade."

GHX by Golden Harvest Launches the Future of Seed Sales with GHX Mobile

Today, GHX by Golden Harvest® announced the launch of GHX™ Mobile, an online and app experience that puts the future of seed sales in the farmer's hands. GHX Mobile contains everything farmers need to manage their operations throughout the year, including field scouting recommendations, yield tracking and predictions, weather and markets, all in one user-friendly place.

"GHX Mobile is built to support an end-to-end approach to farming that focuses on minimizing risk and maximizing potential revenue opportunities for farmers," says Justin Welch, head of digital ag for Syngenta Seeds, U.S. "The digital experience meets farmers' daily needs, from crop-specific weather and markets to in-season replants and pest issues."

GHX Mobile was built with farmers in mind and can be used to manage all fields in an operation, regardless of what seed brand was planted in each field.

"Our ultimate goal with this digital platform is to help farmers use data to save time and increase revenue potential. The app gives farmers insights on key crop activities, including when to plant or spray and what fields to scout," says Welch. "In-season yield monitoring tied with current market prices will also give farmers real-time revenue estimates."

The new GHX by Golden Harvest, powered by GHX Mobile, is changing how seed is bought and serviced by creating a simple, seamless and transparent experience with MaxScript™, per acre pricing, ServiceSquad! and risk assurance benefits through the AgriClime™ weather protection offer.

"MaxScript allows growers to push plant populations to the max because there is no additional cost for the additional seed," says Brandon Leander, Syngenta Seeds North America business head of sales enablement software. "Recommendations are based on data-driven analytics and grower inputs, allowing farmers to select the best products at the right population in the right field."

GHX with ServiceSquad includes comprehensive customer service, in-person, on the phone and via collaborative tools on GHX Mobile. From product selection and purchasing to in-season progress and harvest analysis, GHX Mobile provides convenient tools and insights that allow for seamless seed management and decision-making throughout the season.

"The final key component of the new GHX by Golden Harvest is Risk Assurance," says Leander. "Risk Assurance is offered without premiums and helps offset the impact of adverse weather conditions during the growing season. The AgriClime program guarantees cash returns even in adverse weather."

GHX Mobile is currently available for farmers using iOS (Apple) devices and is being piloted in Iowa and Illinois.

Barchart Wins AgTech Solution of the Year at 2022 AgTech Breakthrough Awards with Marketplace Apps

Barchart is proud to announce their Marketplace Apps, a cutting-edge solution within its AgTech platform that digitizes the workflows of agribusinesses like grain elevators and co-ops across North America, have been named the Overall AgTech Solution of the Year at the 2022 AgTech Breakthrough Awards.

Barchart recently announced a significant 2.0 update to their Marketplace Apps, which connects producers directly into grain merchandiser workflows by linking producer-facing apps to cmdtyView, which sits on merchandiser desktops.  This latest release gives Barchart’s Ag platform a major upgrade, allowing agribusinesses to easily originate, contract, sign, and hedge grain in a completely digital environment.

“Marketplace Apps are a cutting-edge solution for producers and merchandisers to move grain faster, establish stronger producer affinity, and grow their businesses with a digitized workflow,” said Barchart CEO Mark Haraburda.  “As the leading provider of data and workflow solutions to the agribusiness community, we have built the best Ag platform in the business and we are thrilled to be recognized by our clients and the AgTech Breakthrough Awards through this prestigious award.”

Using Barchart’s best-in-class connectivity network, these digital workflows seamlessly sync to and from each agribusiness ERP system - allowing producers to see their contracts and scale tickets in Marketplace, and new grain contracts and hedges to flow directly into the ERP system.  And through Barchart’s cmdtyView platform, merchandisers and other grain traders are connected to futures exchanges for price discovery and hedging.  These solutions pave the way for producers and merchandisers to digitize their workflow as efficiently as possible.

“Barchart is committed to building innovative digital workflows for ag professionals and providing tools that make grain buying and selling more informed and accessible than ever before.  When we implement these solutions for our clients, like our mobile apps, it is exciting to see the benefits they gain.  Such as being more informed with information right in their pocket, having a digital record and being able to instantly connect whether you are a producer or grain merchandiser,” added Haraburda.

“Grain elevators and producers have consistently needed easier ways to communicate and negotiate with each other over their mobile devices.  New technologies that simplify the workflows of grain merchandisers, brokers, traders and producers can move the Agricultural industry forward during the digital transformation,” said Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director, AgTech Breakthrough Awards.  “Barchart’s best-in-class connectivity for farm-level data such as contracts and scale tickets, allows for digital transformation at any agribusiness.  We are so pleased to recognize them with ‘Overall AgTech Solution of the Year.”

With grain bid management solutions, connected Marketplace Apps, extensive market data, and a best-in-class commodity trading and analytics platform - cmdtyView Pro - Barchart’s Ag platform provides grain elevators with the most comprehensive suite of agribusiness solutions to grow their business.

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