Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Tuesday August 2 Ag News

Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund is Now Accepting Applications for Aid

As wildfires spread across south-central Nebraska earlier this year, the leadership of the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund stepped up to help our cattle community.

The Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund announced they are now accepting applications for aid until September 30, 2022, from beef cattle producers who were affected by all fires reported through the Nebraska Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Watch Center.

An eligible recipient is a livestock operator located in a county or tribal area where state assistance was deployed by NEMA. The map of qualifying locations can be found here

Applicants may submit documentation for agriculture-related expenses not paid for by insurance or other governmental sources related to fencing, pens, agricultural structure repair, feed, livestock removal, or additional necessary agricultural-related costs directly associated with rebuilding from the natural disaster.

Applicants must demonstrate that expenses/losses incurred were related to agriculture production and directly caused by recent wildfires in the state of Nebraska.

Submitted applications will be reviewed individually by a committee convened by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund, and eligibility of expenses will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please check with a tax professional if you have concerns regarding tax liability resulting from the payments from the fund.

Applications must be completed and have all required documentation to be considered. Documentation can include copies of receipts for purchases of supplies, invoices for repairs, photos of the damage, etc.

Membership with Nebraska Cattlemen is NOT required for an applicant to receive relief. To learn more about how to apply, visit

A special thank you to the individuals and organizations who generously donated to the Disaster Relief Fund to make this possible. It’s always humbling to watch the agriculture community come together in the midst of challenges to help one another.

For any questions, please contact the Nebraska Cattlemen office at (402) 475-2333 or email


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

With dry conditions statewide, natural grasshopper population controls that thrive in warm, humid weather are not as effective and the resulting large population starts to eat any remaining forage they can find.  While dry themselves, pastures offer hungry insects food that they readily consume.

Economic thresholds for grasshopper densities in pastures or rangeland vary from 8 to 40 grasshoppers per square yard. The thresholds are influenced by several factors, including the cost of insecticide treatment and projected forage yield and the value of forage in the pasture.  Grasshoppers do compete for forage with animals in the pasture and can reduce grazing days so control may be of higher importance when grazing resources are tight.

If control is needed, insecticide sprays or baits can be effective.  Some options labeled for use on rangeland are Baythroid®; Lamba-cyhalothrin (Warrior®, Beseige®, Silencer®); dimilin; malathion; dimethoate (Cygon®); Mustang Maxx®; Prevathon®; Cyfluthrin (Renounce®, Tombstone®;,  Proaxis®; Respect®; Steward®; and carbaryl (Sevin). Instead of treating the entire area, the Reduced Agent/Area Treatment method, pioneered by the University of Wyoming has been proven an effective control technique while reducing herbicide applied.

To use this approach, apply 8 oz. of carbaryl per acre in 100 ft. swaths alternating with 100 ft. untreated swaths in between, dimilin at a rate of 0.75 oz. per acre with 8 oz. of water and 4 oz. of oil in 100 ft. swaths with alternating 100 ft. untreated swaths in between, or 4 oz. per acre of malathion in 100 ft. swaths alternating with 25 ft. untreated swaths in between.  Corn or canola oil used as a carrier in grasshopper treatments can increase effectiveness as these are grasshopper feeding attractants.

Baits are best used on rangeland with short, dry vegetation. Some grasshopper species will not feed on baits, so knowing what species you are trying to control is important.  Uniform distribution of bait and re-application if the bait no longer is attractive to the grasshoppers is important. Attractiveness of the bait will be substantially reduced by rain or heavy dew.

BigIron Auctions to acquire Sullivan Auctioneers LLC

BigIron Auctions announced today their agreement to acquire Sullivan Auctioneers LLC — headquartered in Hamilton, Illinois. The agreement, finalized on July 19, will bring more than 300 employees together to serve the needs of the online auction industry across the US.

“Our shared philosophies of transparency, trust and hard work solidified our decision to combine organizations,” said BigIron CEO Mark Stock. “Together we are better.”

With almost 80 years of combined expertise, BigIron Auctions and Sullivan Auctioneers will continue as a BigIron Company with locations in Omaha, Columbus and St. Edwards, Nebraska; Hamilton, Illinois; Huntington, Indiana; and Bird Island, Minnesota. Ron and Mark Stock will continue to head the Nebraska locations, while Dan, Joe, Matt, Luke and Michael Sullivan will continue to lead the Hamilton, Huntington, and Bird Island locations.

“We’ve always had great respect for the Stock brothers. They are visionaries and true leaders,” said Dan Sullivan. “We believe the future of our companies will allow us to provide bidders, buyers, and sellers the best possible auction experience, while securing top dollar for their land and equipment.”

BigIron and Sullivan Auctioneers have always believed customer experience is of utmost importance, and the new BigIron Company will preserve the family owned feel and personal touch provided by both organizations to date.

“As we move into the second half of 2022, we are now focused on discovering where our combined knowledge, tools and passion can be leveraged for a better customer experience,” Mark said. “This marriage of organizations is another exciting chapter for all of us: one we couldn’t be happier to be part of. Our strategy is to continue to deliver best-in-class auction experiences and create a one-stop auction marketplace for all.”

USDA Announces Plant Variety Protection Board Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 14 members to serve on the Plant Variety Protection Board. The newly appointed members will serve two-year terms. Terms run from September 24, 2022, to September 24, 2024.

Newly appointed members are:

Farmer Representation
    Brent Robertson, Elsie, Nebraska

Private or Industry Representation
    Audrey Charles, Naperville, Illinois
    Barry Nelson, Cambridge, Iowa
    Heidi Nebel, Johnston, Iowa

    Paul Nelson, St. Charles, Missouri
    Eloy Corona, Apex, North Carolina
    Patricia Olosky, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Michelle Bos, Granger, Washington

Public or Government Representation
    Jenny Koebernick, Auburn, Alabama
    Andrae McMillian, Highland Home, Alabama
    Felicia Jefferson, McDonough, Georgia
    Peggy Ozias-Akins, Tifton, Georgia
    Shubo Zhou, Gaithersburg, Maryland
    Albert Tsui, Ithaca, New York

The Plant Variety Protection Act provides legal protection in the form of intellectual property rights to developers of new varieties of plants and calls for a Plant Variety Protection Board. The board consists of 14 members representing farmers, the seed industry, trade and professional associations, and public and private institutions involved with developing new plant varieties. Members of the board provide oversight and guidance to the program on plant variety protection issues.

The Plant Variety Protection Office examines new applications and grants certificates that protect varieties for 20 years or 25 years for vines and trees. Certificate owners have rights to exclude others from marketing and selling their varieties, manage the use of their varieties by other breeders, and enjoy the legal protection of their work.

Researchers Find Way to Improve Nitrogen Uptake in Field Corn

Researchers at Kansas State University and scientists at one of the United States' largest agriscience companies say they have found a way to improve the uptake of nitrogen in field-grown maize -- likely reducing the environmental impact of applying nitrogen fertilizer to farm fields.

K-State Research and Extension agronomist Ignacio Ciampitti called the discovery "a breakthrough for providing more stable and high yields under challenging environments, (while) reducing dependency on nitrogen fertilization and growing more environmentally sustainable corn."

Farmers often use nitrogen fertilizer to improve yields in their crops. A challenge, however, is to keep nitrogen in the field where crops can use it for growth, rather than nitrogen escaping to nearby waterways.

Scientists from Corteva Agriscience have developed hybrids in which they are able to regulate when, where and the degree to which the zmm28 gene (known in molecular biology as a transcription factor) is able to express itself.

"The positive effect of increased and extended expression of zmm28 on grain yield has been observed across a wide range of field conditions and a large set of hybrids," Ciampitti said. "The same event evaluated here has been previously reported to increase yield by as much as 7% under different environments affected by drought and nitrogen deficiency."

Simply, the hybrids tested recover more nitrogen from soils and use it much better in the plant -- especially during the late vegetative stages -- to increase yields.

Javier Fernandez -- who conducted much of the field work as a K-State doctoral student -- and Ciampitti said the new hybrids seem to be inducing nitrogen storage in the lower leaves of the canopy.

Corteva, established by a merger of Dow and DuPont, funded the research, which has been reported in the scholarly journal, Nature Communications Biology. Ciampitti said his lab also received significant support from Kansas Corn.

The findings of this project, Ciampitti said, provides an "opportunity to not only increase productivity of corn, but also to enhance the efficiency of nitrogen fertilization," factors especially important in light of rising costs for fertilizer and other nitrogen sources.

"This is important not only from the standpoint of productivity and the environment, but also in light of fragile food systems currently," Ciampitti said.

Corteva has not yet released a timeline on when the new hybrids will be available to farmers.

Farm Lending and Interest Rates Tick Up

Ty Kreitman and Cortney Cowley, Kansas City Federal Reserve

Larger sized loans continued to boost lending activity in the second quarter while farm loan interest rates edged higher. The volume of non-real estate agricultural loans grew at a steady pace alongside an increase in the number and average size of loans. Interest rates remained historically low but continued to increase from recent quarters on nearly all types of farm loans, as benchmark rates rose further. The average maturity of some types of loans, particularly real estate loans, also increased during the quarter and were above recent historic averages.

Farm lending activity showed signs of rebounding from the pullback in recent years and could grow further in the coming months as the higher costs of many major inputs become more fully realized. Despite recent declines, agricultural commodity prices remained elevated through the first half of 2022 and continued to support revenue and income prospects across the farm sector. However, persistent pressure from higher production expenses could squeeze profit margins going forward and drive higher demand for credit.

Second Quarter National Survey of Terms of Lending to Farmers

Farm lending activity at commercial banks continued to expand in the second quarter. Data from the second quarter National Survey of Terms of Lending to Farmers show that total non-real estate farm loan volumes increased by about 17% for the second consecutive quarter. The increase in lending was driven by growth in both average loan size and the number of new loans. According to the survey, the average size of non-real estate farm loans at commercial banks has increased nearly 50% over the past 10 years alongside significant increases in costs and, in some cases, an increase in the size and scale of farm operations.

Lending activity rose despite modest increases in interest rates on farm loans. The average rate on nearly all types of loans grew during the survey period in early May, prior to an increase in benchmark rates in June 2022. Despite the recent increase, interest rates on farm loans remained historically low and were still, on average, about 75 basis points less than the 5 years preceding the pandemic.

The range of rates charged to borrowers also shifted upward as benchmark rates increased. The share of operating loans with a rate above 5% nearly doubled from the same time a year ago and was higher than the same time in 2015. Similarly, only 20% of new operating loans were originated with an interest rate of less than 4%, in contrast to about 30% a year ago. The share of farm real estate loans carrying a higher interest rate also grew considerably from a year ago, but remained less than 2015.

The maturity of most types of loans, particularly those for farm real estate, increased alongside higher interest rates and larger-sized loans. The average duration of farm real estate loans was nearly two years longer than in 2021 and was well above the average from 2015-2019. Average maturities on livestock and farm equipment loans also increased notably from last year and were above the recent historical average, while maturities on operating loans remained steady.

Summer Slump in Retail Fertilizer Prices Continues

Retail fertilizer prices continue to drift lower like they have much of the summer, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of July 2022. But with anhydrous still costing more than $1,400 per ton, the lower prices are unlikely to offer farmers much peace of mind.

While prices for seven of the eight major fertilizers are lower, none dropped by a significant amount, which DTN considers a price change of 5% or more in a month.

The only fertilizer with a slightly higher price was potash at $887/ton.

For phosphates, the average price of DAP was $1,005 per ton, while MAP cost $1,041/ton. Nitrogen fertilizers prices declined by 1% to 3% compared to last month. Urea had an average price of 836/ton; anhydrous, $1,431/ton; UAN28, $596/ton; and UAN32, $693/ton. The average price of starter 10-34-0 fertilizer was $894/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was $0.91/lb.N, anhydrous $0.87/lb.N, UAN28 $1.06/lb.N and UAN32 $1.08/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in prices than one year earlier. MAP is 38% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 42% higher, DAP is 45% more expensive, urea is 51% higher, potash is 62% more expensive, UAN28 is 63% higher, UAN32 is 66% more expensive and anhydrous is 94% higher compared to last year.

Registration Open for Industry-Wide Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum

Prompted by a call from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to get as many people involved in dairy as possible in one room to discuss solutions to Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) shortfalls, the American Farm Bureau Federation is hosting a forum Oct. 14-16 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum will include panels on various aspects of Federal Milk Marketing Orders followed by roundtable discussions structured to spur conversation among all parts of the dairy sector, but with a clear focus on farmers.

The panel sessions will cover the origins and purposes of FMMOs, Class I, Class III and Class IV pricing issues, and simplifying FMMOs.

“Meaningful changes to the FMMO system are long overdue,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.  “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how volatile milk prices and outdated milk pricing and pooling provisions were harming dairy farmers, it was clear the FMMO system needs modernizing to address consolidation in the processing business, shifting consumer preferences and fluctuating trade demands.”

He continued, “We take very seriously Sec. Vilsack’s call to ‘do the hard job of listening to one another’ on Federal Milk Marketing Order reforms and intend to provide a space to do just that. We hope dairy farmers and other leaders will join us in Kansas City this fall for a productive industry-wide discussion on dairy pricing and much-needed changes to the FMMO system.”

Registration is open through Sept. 22. on the Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum website From the website participants can also view the agenda and secure lodging.

Milk Price and DMC Margin Outlooks Pull Back from Recent Records

The average milk price in the United States dropped by $0.40/cwt in June from May’s all-time record level to $26.90/cwt. The Dairy Margin Coverage margin also fell by $0. 59/cwt from May to June, driven by a June feed cost that rose $0.19/cwt from the month before.

The milk price outlook for the remainder of 2022 has weakened in recent weeks, as dairy product price inflation has taken a toll on both retail and food service consumption. Since June 1, the futures-based average milk price forecast for the months of June through December has dropped by more than $2/cwt. Despite this, the futures do not currently indicate the DMC margins will drop below $11/cwt anytime during the remaining months of 2022. The DMC Decision Tool on the USDA/FSA website, on the other hand, is currently showing a much lower price forecast and a higher feed cost outlook, with margins falling slightly below $9.50/cwt during most of the months of July through November.

July CWT-Assisted Export Sales Total 4.7 Million Pounds

CWT member cooperatives secured 27 contracts in August, adding 3.7 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 110,000 pounds of butter, 44,000 pounds of whole milk powder and 866,000 pounds of cream cheese to CWT-assisted sales in 2022. In milk equivalent, this is equal to 44 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis. These products will go customers in Asia, Central America, Middle East-North Africa, Oceania and South America, and will be shipped from July through January 2023.

CWT-assisted 2022 dairy product sales contracts year-to-date total 57.2 million pounds of American-type cheese, 459,000 pounds of butter, 6.5 million pounds of cream cheese and 28.6 million pounds of whole milk powder. This brings the total milk equivalent for the year to 797 million pounds on a milkfat basis.

CARB Shares Additional Data on Evaluation of E15

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) posted Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuel Association’s joint multimedia evaluation of E15 blends Tier 1 report. The Tier 1 report is a comprehensive review of E15, a 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel, and the first step in a three-tiered evaluation process of the fuel blend.

“CARB’s posting of the Tier 1 report, which includes a wealth of data on the environmental benefits of E15, is an encouraging sign of progress,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “As California works to address climate change and air quality challenges and meet its ambitious carbon reduction goals, E15 can help to reduce emissions from cars on the road today and lower prices at the pump. CARB’s posting of the Tier 1 report, paired with its recently released study from University of California-Riverside on the benefits of shifting from E10 to E15, continues the progress toward E15 approval in the state.”

“RFA is pleased to see that CARB has accepted and posted the comprehensive Tier I report on E15’s environmental and public health impacts,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This is an important milestone in the process to approve the use of E15 in California, meaning the state’s consumers are one step closer to finally accessing lower-cost, lower-carbon liquid fuels. Similar to the recent University of California emissions testing results, the Tier I report demonstrates that E15 reduces emissions and is better for the environment than today’s regular gasoline.”

CARB Acceptance of RFA, Growth Energy Report Moves California One Step Closer to E15

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) posted the Renewable Fuels Association’s (RFA) and Growth Energy’s joint multimedia evaluation of E15 blends Tier 1 report. The Tier 1 report is a comprehensive review of E15, a 15 percent ethanol blended fuel, and the first step in a three-tiered evaluation process of the fuel blend.
“RFA is pleased to see that CARB has accepted and posted the comprehensive Tier I report on E15’s environmental and public health impacts,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “This is an important milestone in the process to approve the use of E15 in California, meaning the state’s consumers are one step closer to finally accessing lower-cost, lower-carbon liquid fuels. Similar to the recent University of California emissions testing results, the Tier I report demonstrates that E15 reduces emissions and is better for the environment than today’s regular gasoline.”
“CARB’s posting of the Tier 1 report, which includes a wealth of data on the environmental benefits of E15, is an encouraging sign of progress,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “As California works to address climate change and air quality challenges and meet its ambitious carbon reduction goals, E15 can help to reduce emissions from cars on the road today and lower prices at the pump. CARB’s posting of the Tier 1 report, paired with its recently released study from University of California-Riverside on the benefits of shifting from E10 to E15, continues the progress toward E15 approval in the state.”

NGFA supports Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act introduced in the House

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) commended House Transportation and Infrastructure Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J., today for introducing a bill to reauthorize the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) and help address insufficient, unreliable freight rail service for the U.S. agricultural value chain.

NGFA also thanked House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., House Agriculture Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa, D-Calif., for co-sponsoring the bill.

The most recent STB Reauthorization expired almost two years ago. The Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act, introduced in the House today, includes several updates that would provide fairer treatment for agricultural shippers.

“NGFA members appreciate Chairman Payne, Chairman DeFazio, Chairman Scott and Chairman Costa for their leadership in responding to severe rail service issues that have caused supply chain disruptions, endangered the delivery of feed to livestock, led to grain processing facilities slowing and shutting down, and negatively impacted U.S. grain exports,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said. “The Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act would bolster the STB’s existing authority to regulate railcar use by authorizing shippers to charge railroads demurrage to incentivize them to perform in the same way railroads incentivize their customers. The bill also would establish specific criteria for the STB to consider when determining whether a railroad is meeting its common carrier obligation to provide rail service. If the STB determined a carrier was not meeting its common carrier obligation, the bill would empower the STB to prescribe reasonable transit or cycle times or other service standards consistent with the needs and requirements of the shipper making the request. These policy measures, and several others included in this bill, are necessary to improve rail service for agricultural shippers.”

NGFA is working with other members of the Agricultural Transportation Working Group (ATWG) to promote approval of the bill. In a letter to Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Sam Graves, R-Mo., in support of the legislation, NGFA and 88 other ATWG members outlined sections of the bill that would foster more competition in the freight rail system.

“With fall harvest approaching, agricultural stakeholders need our partners in freight rail to be successful in delivering adequate and resilient service,” the letter states. “We endorse the prompt consideration and approval of the [bill] which includes several sensible and necessary policy measures to improve rail service and level the playing field for agricultural shippers.”            

AgriGold Reports Strong Pipeline of Products for Premium Markets

At its annual Specialty Products Conference, AgriGold revealed significant new offerings in seed products that give farmers opportunities to generate greater net income through premium programs.

A brand of AgReliant Genetics, AgriGold dedicates significant resources to developing product lines that meet market demand for premium products. That includes conventional corn and soybeans, yellow and white hard endosperm corn (HEC), and waxy corn, according to Chuck Hill, AgReliant Genetics’ specialty products manager.

“Our research team actively evaluates hybrid characteristics that are important to buyers in niche markets,” Hill says. “We look first at high yield and agronomics and then find products with the test weights and other specific grain qualities that meet specialty buyers’ needs.”

Non-GMO corn and soybean offerings

By launching new hybrids into conventional markets first, then adding traits, the company brings new genetic choices into the non-GMO marketplace more quickly, Hill says. AgriGold offered 26 conventional corn hybrids for 2022 planting. Its robust future product lineup includes:

    Twenty-nine conventional corn hybrids available for 2023 planting, ranging from 85- to 117-day relative maturity (RM).
    Eight new conventional soybean varieties will be offered in 2023, including one clear hilum variety for tofu production. This will be the first year that AgriGold will provide a non-GMO soybean offering to farmers.
    A total of 66 elite hybrids are being tested for potential advancement into the conventional corn market.

Hybrids tailored for food markets

AgriGold offers both yellow and white HEC hybrids, also referred to as “hard endo” or food-grade corn. These hybrids deliver grain qualities needed for processing corn flakes, tortillas, snacks, grits and other corn-based foods.  

AgriGold’s HEC pipeline includes the following:
    Thirty yellow HEC hybrids expected for planting in 2023, with 85- to 120-day RM. Additional yellow HEC hybrids are currently in pre-commercial research trials and are expected to be available for planting in 2024.
    New A643-17W, a white HEC corn, was introduced in limited quantities during 2022. Planted in seven states in 2022, this 113-day hybrid delivers high yield and great agronomics. The company is currently ramping up production of A643-17W. A full-scale launch is planned for 2023.
    White HEC field trials expanded in 2022, with several hybrids in the first and second years of testing for potential future introductions.

Waxy corn for wet milling

AgriGold waxy corn hybrids meet the specific needs of cornstarch manufacturing. Normal dent corn contains 75% amylopectin and 25% amylose, while waxy varieties contain at least 97% amylopectin, making them more suitable for wet milling into corn starch.

AgriGold’s waxy corn pipeline includes the following, in addition to the seven waxy hybrids available in 2022:
    A643-01WX, a new 113-day product for planting in 2023.
    Twenty-two experimental hybrids being tested this year at 15 research sites. These range in RM from 107 to 114 days.

Outlook bright for specialty grain markets

U.S. farmers have great opportunities in these specialty markets, says David Ksiazkiewicz, identity preserved grain origination manager for Consolidated Grain & Barge (CGB), headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana. CGB deals in both domestic and export markets, handling conventional, HEC, waxy and organic grains.  

“In today’s global environment, there are a lot of unstable situations. The one thing U.S. ag offers today is reliable, consistent supply. That is a huge advantage over many other countries that export grain,” Ksiazkiewicz says.

Overall demand for specialty grains remains strong, but buyers in these markets are always exacting in their standards to meet consumer demands.

“Export markets must meet each customer’s need. It’s no longer one hybrid fits all. As consumer needs evolve, our agriculture industry must work together to respond to these changes. Grain quality is the key to success as we supply tailor-made shipments,” Ksiazkiewicz says.  

Screening for specialty markets

Farmers looking for premium programs don’t need to give up yield and agronomics, Hill says. To help farmers meet specialty buyer demands, AgReliant Genetics’ research program starts with the best performing corn hybrids and screens them for qualities that meet specialty buyer needs.  

Test weight and cap score are two of those measurements.  

“Cap score is a quick, visual way for us to categorize corn hybrids for use in food products,” he explains. “The cap is the crown or dent at the top of the kernel.” Scores range from 1, the softest cap, to 9, which is a no dent and the hardest kernel.

Patience is also needed, Hill says. Buyers often request samples of a specific hybrid before putting it into a premium program – sometimes as much as a 750-bushel container load.

“Customers want to test the grain themselves to ensure it qualifies for their programs,” Hill says. “Some food companies take it all the way to a cook test – using the grain to produce an end-user product. All in all, the process of approving a hybrid for a premium program could take two to three years.

“Although specialty grains aren’t a big market, it is an important one. AgReliant Genetics is dedicated to serving those growers who are willing to manage their crops differently and preserve their identity to be paid a premium price.”

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