Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wednesday August 17 Ag News

 Dairy Industry Veteran Tim Brown Joins Grain States Soya/SoyBest

Grain States Soya, Inc. would like to introduce Tim Brown as the new Nutrition Technical Service Manager. In this role, Tim will work with current and future customers on their dairy cattle nutrition needs. Tim brings vast knowledge and experience, working in the dairy industry for over 37 years.

Tim received his Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition from Kansas State University in 1984 and was a university research and teaching professor from 1985 through 2001, focusing primarily on dairy cattle nutrition and management. Since 2002, he has worked in the dairy feed industry, with primary roles emphasizing ration balancing, nutrition and management consultation, and dairy feed products technical support.  

Tim looks forward to meeting and serving the customers of Grain States Soya, Inc. Please feel free to reach out to Tim Brown and welcome him to the Grain States Soya/SoyBest Team! Tim can be reached at or Corporate Headquarters at 402-372-2429.

Carbon Opportunities and Resources to be Featured at Show

Emerging opportunities for carbon markets and carbon sequestration have caught the attention of a wide range of specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Everyone from agronomists to economists, livestock specialists and bioproduct researchers are on board with the effort to identify new opportunities and define the science of carbon as it pertains to agriculture.

“Carbon” is becoming a useful shorthand to capture many related topics, including soil organic matter, energy efficiency, capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reductions in the releases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

At this year’s Farm Progress Show, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, a team of specialists will be on hand to help explain the latest in carbon science and answer questions from the public.

“This truly is an interdisciplinary topic and the solutions and opportunities are interdisciplinary,” said Jim Jordahl, a project analyst with the Biorenewables Research Laboratory at Iowa State. “We think there’s going to be emerging opportunities in livestock manure management, agronomics and biomass-based fuels.”

Digital displays

The carbon display will feature large computer monitors that explain agricultural carbon markets, how carbon can be managed on the farm, and the kinds of products that can be made from it.

Jordahl said many Iowans already have some awareness of carbon, but he’s hoping the display will help broaden the public’s understanding as to the possibilities and the work being done at Iowa State.

“Our intent is to convey information that we now have about carbon markets and relevant practices for Iowa, and summarize them in a way that people will understand and appreciate,” he said.

One new product includes a 281-page report summoned by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Carbon Sequestration Task Force. Released in February, the Carbon Science for Carbon Markets: Emerging Opportunities in Iowa,” gives a detailed look at the progress, opportunities and challenges of establishing carbon markets in Iowa.

Simple terms

For those who want something shorter to read, they can check out a short, graphical summary, which gives a synopsis of carbon sequestration, how agriculture can participate and benefit.

It is estimated that much of the state has lost 50% of its original soil carbon, but through practices such as no-till, extended crop rotations, cover crops, prairie strips and nitrogen management, Iowa is well situated to store carbon and increase its soil organic matter along the way.

“Iowa is uniquely well-positioned to create carbon value,” according to the summary report. “We have the advantage of excellent soils and generally have adequate rainfall to produce crops without irrigation.”

Carbon credit payments to farmers are only one piece to the puzzle. Good carbon management also often leads to increased nitrogen use efficiency, improved water quality and wildlife habitat.

Carbon can also be captured and turned into useful products such as biochar – an organic product produced by heating biomass from crop residues, wood and perennial grasses. Known as pyrolysis, this heating process results in a product that can be added to fields, gardens or yards as a versatile, long-lasting (centuries or more) soil amendment.

Pyrolysis also produces a thick, viscous liquid known as bio-oil, which can be refined into renewable diesel fuel or bio-asphalt, substituting the need for petroleum-based asphalt. Jordahl said the team will have samples of both products at the show, so visitors can see two practical examples of what can be made from carbon.

The heating is done inside of a machine called a pyrolyzer. The Bioeconomy Institute at Iowa State developed its own demonstration-scale pyrolyzer, which was recognized in April with a $1 million award from XPRIZE Carbon Removal.

Making an impact

Extension agronomists will also be on hand to talk about how agronomic practices can increase the amount of carbon being sequestered. Field agricultural engineer Brian Dougherty will discuss the agronomic and livestock potential for carbon sequestration.

There will also be copies of a recent report by extension economist Alejandro Plastina, that compares and contrasts existing carbon credit companies. Titled “How to Grow and Sell Carbon Credits in U.S. Agriculture,” this 11-page report provides a simple overview of existing carbon credit companies and markets.

“The menu of carbon programs is growing daily, and there are multiple pathways to participate in carbon markets,” said Plastina. “We want to showcase alternatives, and their implications for farmers’ operations.”

Staff and faculty from Iowa State will be at the carbon display each day of the show, to help answer questions and explain the latest trends in carbon science.

“We want to get the public to see that carbon science is a moving picture, with a lot of financial support and interest,” said Jordahl. “There are next-generation farming practices and products to be aware of and this is an exciting time for agriculture.”

Weekly Ethanol Production for 8/12/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending August 12, ethanol production dropped 3.8% to 983,000 b/d, equivalent to 41.29 million gallons daily and the lowest volume since April. Production was 1.0% more than the same week last year but 2.6% below the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume decreased 1.3% to 1.017 million b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.59 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks grew 0.8% to 23.4 million barrels. Stocks were 8.8% higher than a year ago and 6.6% above the five-year average. Inventories built in the Gulf Coast (PADD 3) and West Coast (PADD 5) but thinned across the other regions.

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, climbed 2.5% to a six-week high of 9.35 million b/d (143.30 bg annualized). Demand was 0.2% more than a year ago and 0.1% above the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol expanded by 2.2% to 929,000 b/d, the largest volume in more than a year and equivalent to 14.24 bg annualized. Net inputs were 0.9% more than a year ago and 0.3% above the five-year average.

There were zero imports of ethanol recorded after 36,000 b/d hit the books the prior week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of June 2022.)

Fertilizer Prices Moving Down

Average retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continued to move lower in the second week of August 2022. All eight of the major fertilizers are now lower compared to a month ago. In addition, half of the fertilizers are now down a considerable amount, which DTN designates as anything 5% or more.

Urea was 6% lower compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $812 per ton. Anhydrous was also down 6% from last month and had an average price of $1,365/ton. Both DAP and UAN28 were 5% less expensive compared to a month ago. DAP had an average price of $982/ton, while UAN28 is at $578/ton. DAP dropped below the $1,000-per-ton level for the first time since the second week of March 2022. That week, the price was $970/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were just slightly lower. MAP had an average price of $1,032/ton, potash $881/ton, 10-34-0 $8881/ton and UAN32 $678/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.88/lb.N, anhydrous $0.83/lb.N, UAN28 $1.03/lb.N and UAN32 $1.06/lb.N.

Despite lower prices in recent months, all fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier. MAP is 37% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 40% higher, DAP is 41% more expensive, urea is 46% higher, potash is 56% more expensive, UAN28 is 58% higher, UAN32 is 62% more expensive and anhydrous is 85% higher compared to last year.

Scholarships Help Producers Attend Cattle Industry Convention

The 2023 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show is headed to the Big Easy, and funding is available to offset some costs for producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is offering a variety of scholarships and grants to help producers attend CattleCon23, which will be held Feb. 1-3, 2023, in New Orleans.

“We want everyone to have the opportunity to attend the 2023 Convention,” said NCBA President Don Schiefelbein. “These scholarships are perfect for youth, first-timers and others looking to expand their network at the largest event in the beef cattle business.”

Scholarship recipients receive a complimentary Education Package registration and discounted housing accommodations for three nights, Feb. 1-3, 2023. Scholarships will be awarded to up to five beef cattle industry members, up to three young beef producers, and up to three students (currently enrolled in classes) in the industry. Applications for all scholarship categories are due by Sept. 23, 2022, and will be evaluated based on eligibility and answers to application questions.

In addition to the scholarship program, NCBA also offers the Rancher Resilience Grant, which is designed to support cattle producer attendance at impactful education events, such as Cattlemen’s College held prior to convention. Administered by NCBA, the grant is made possible by a partnership between the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and Cargill Protein. To apply for a grant to cover registration costs and two nights hotel, visit Cattlemen’s College will be an event option once convention registration opens in October.

For more information on these programs and to apply, visit Convention registration and housing open Oct. 3, 2022.

National FFA Members Hits New All-Time High

As the importance of agriculture continues to be a focus throughout the world, students around the country understand the vital role it plays in everyday life. No more is this more evident than in the growth of membership in the National FFA Organization.

Today, the National FFA Organization announced a record-high student membership number of 850,823, an increase of 15% from last year. In addition, chapter numbers increased by 178, resulting in 8,995 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow as membership and the number of chapters increase. The top five student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. This year, the organization has more than 132,700 Latino members, more than 47,000 Black members and more than 13,000 American Indian and Alaska Native members. Forty-three percent of the membership is female, and 50% is male, with .5% reporting as nonbinary, 4.7% undisclosed, and 1.2% unreported.

“Our FFA members are the future generation of leaders who make a difference in their communities as well as agriculture and other industries,” said National FFA CEO Scott Stump. “As we continue to grow, we see the enthusiasm for agricultural education and FFA reflected in our membership.”

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 850,000 student members as part of 8,995 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Milk and Dairy Are Critical to Child Nutrition as Children Return to School  

As nearly 50 million children return to public school, a group of dairy and nutrition advocates is encouraging parents and policymakers to prioritize the health of students by making milk and dairy options more accessible in the coming school year.

A fact sheet released today by the group highlights that milk is the top source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin D in kids ages 2-18. However, according to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, American children over four years old and adolescents are not consuming enough dairy to meet the recommendations in the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), thereby under consuming a variety of nutrients they need to grow.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the School Nutrition Association (SNA) look forward to working with parents and school nutritionists to increase consumption of dairy in keeping with recommendations from the 2020-2025 DGA report and leading health organizations. Moreover, because of falling participation rates in school breakfast and lunch programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and removal of universal free meals in the upcoming school year, there are growing concerns for nutrition security among students.

“Dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own have for generations taken pride in the fact that the milk they produce is critical in meeting the nutritional needs of schoolchildren,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Milk makes school meals more healthful and offering many varieties of milk encourages children to consume these products vital for their own development. From low-fat flavored to lactose-free options, parents, educators, and policy leaders overwhelmingly agree that milk on the menu encourages healthy kids and ensures that everyone has equitable access to the 13 essential nutrients milk provides through school meals.”

“The most recent DGA report is clear: children are not receiving enough essential nutrients for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “School meals offer the most important opportunity of the day for children to get the essential nutrients they need in an 8-ounce serving of milk. Now is the time of year when our parents, educators, school meals professionals, and policymakers need to work together to encourage school meal participation and nutritious milk consumption each day. Survey data shows the best way to do that is by offering many varieties of milk, including different fat varieties, flavors, and lactose-free options. There is nothing more important than the health of our children.”

"Research shows children eat their healthiest meals at schools, which provide balanced nutrition including milk, whole grains and a variety of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. School nutrition professionals are committed to ensuring access to and promoting consumption of healthy school meals to support student success," said SNA President Lori Adkins, MS, SNS, CHE.

An overall decline in school milk consumption has been identified in recent years, particularly after whole milk and low-fat flavored milk options were removed from school meals more than a decade ago. The fact sheet released by the group today underscores how all milk is a source for 13 essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium—nutrients of public health concern for children. In addition to being nutritious offerings for children, flavored milk has been shown to decrease food waste from school meals and increase overall meal participation.

USDA Seeks Further Public Engagement on Competition and Intellectual Property in Seed and Agricultural Input Markets, Will Host Public Listening Session

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a public listening session to gather additional information about farmers’ concerns regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer, and retail markets. As part of its efforts to enhance fair and competitive markets, and in response to the July 9, 2021, Executive Order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” USDA continues to seek input from the public about the impacts of concentration, intellectual property, and market power in seeds and other agricultural inputs on competition and market access for farmers, seed businesses, and other new and growing market competitors, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. The listening session will be held virtually, August 24, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET.

Earlier this year, USDA opened a public comment period to gather information from farmers, breeders, and businesses. This listening forum provides another venue for the public to share their views, concerns, and ideas on how to enhance competition, sustain innovation, and delivery greater access to affordable seeds and other agricultural inputs. These steps are part of a whole-of-government effort under President Biden’s historic Competition Executive Order to level the playing field for America’s farmers and ranchers, small businesses, workers, and consumers.

Advance registration is required. If you are interested in attending, register in advance using the following link:

USDA will use the comments received to inform reports mandated under the Competition E.O., as well as subsequent policy development relating to fair and competitive markets, supply chain resiliency, pandemic response, local and regional food systems, and other areas. For individuals who prefer to provide comments through a different method, USDA will provide additional instructions on how to participate.

More information is available on the AMS Fair and Competitive Markets webpage

Rail Dispute Plan Calls for 24% Raises, Bonuses

(AP) -- The special board appointed by President Joe Biden to intervene in stalled railroad contract talks suggested Tuesday that 115,000 rail workers should get 24% raises and thousands of dollars in bonuses as part of a new agreement to avert a strike.

Railroads and unions will use those recommendations as the basis for a new round of negotiations over the next month. It remains to be seen, however, whether railroads will agree to the higher wages or find ways to address union concerns about working conditions.

If the two sides can't agree on a new deal by mid-September, federal law would allow a strike or lockout. But Congress is likely to intervene before then to keep the supply chain moving.

A railroad strike could devastate businesses that rely on Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX and other major freight railroads to deliver raw materials and ship their products. In past national rail labor disputes, lawmakers have voted to impose terms on the railroads before workers could strike.

A White House official said Biden is optimistic the report will provide a good framework for successful negotiations because avoiding a rail shutdown is in the nation's interests.

The report was distributed to the parties Tuesday, and The Associated Press obtained a copy of it, but the railroads and the unions didn't immediately comment on any details.

The railroads entered the Presidential Emergency Board process a month ago far apart from the 12 unions taking part. The unions have been seeking a 31% raise over the five years of the deal while the railroads were offering only 17% in compounded raises. The unions also don't want to see the cost of their health care coverage go up much in a new contract.

According to the report, the board is recommending 24% wage increases and $5,000 in bonus payments over the life of the contract while adding one additional paid day off each year. The report also recommends keeping the same basic health insurance plan but having employees take on a larger share of the costs through higher monthly premiums.

The board says it believes workers are entitled to higher wages than the railroads have proposed because of current high inflation, tight labor markets and railroads' strong profitability. The report also says that railroad work has become more demanding in recent years because of the pandemic and cost-cutting at the railroads.

Railroad workers have gone without a raise since 2019 while the contract talks drug on. The workers expect to be compensated after staying on the job throughout the pandemic and enduring extensive job cuts in recent years. And strikes have become more common over the last two years in a variety of industries because unions generally feel empowered to ask for more.

The major freight railroads have eliminated nearly one-third of their jobs over the past six years as they overhauled their operations to run fewer, longer trains that need fewer locomotives and employees. Unions say the railroads expect more from the workers who remain, and that some railroads' tightened attendance policies make it hard to take time off because of all the job cuts.

In addition to disagreements over wages and benefits, unions have staunchly opposed a proposal from the railroads to cut the number of workers in a locomotive from two to one. A new proposed federal rule that would require two-person crews in most instances should make it harder for railroads to reduce crew sizes, but the railroads have been pressing for the change for several years. The unions argue that keeping two people on the crews isn't just about preserving jobs, but also ensuring safety.

Reaching a new agreement would likely make it easier for railroads to hire new employees, which they acknowledge they need to do to improve service and cut down on the delays that have plagued freight shipments this year. The major freight railroads have all said they want to hire hundreds more workers, but worker shortages are making that difficult.

AGCO to Exhibit Farming Solutions and Celebrate Heritage at 2022 Farm Progress Show

AGCO Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, infrastructure, and precision ag technology, will exhibit equipment from across its brand lines, including a special celebration of Massey Ferguson’s® 175th anniversary with a unique showcase of tractors from across the brand’s storied history at the Farm Progress Show (FPS) in Boone, Iowa, on August 30 – September 1, 2022.

Massey Ferguson Celebrates 175th Anniversary

2022 is Massey Ferguson’s 175th anniversary and the brand will celebrate this milestone achievement with a special vintage showcase featuring museum-quality tractors from across the area. Balancing the impressive heritage display will be many of today’s most popular Massey Ferguson machines and implements, including a full display of the brand’s new S Series tractors, a first-time opportunity for FPS attendees. This dependable tractor lineup – the 8S, 7S, 6S, and 5S series – combines innovative features with Massey Ferguson’s proven reliability for a cost-effective, farmer-driven solution.

“We’re excited to celebrate Massey Ferguson’s 175 years with the farmers – as well as many of the tractors – that made them possible,” said Darren Parker, vice president of Massey Ferguson, North America. “This heritage display alongside our newest solutions shows Massey Ferguson’s constant evolution over the decades to provide the straightforward and dependable machines our farmers have needed.”

Cutting-Edge Products from Fendt®

AGCO’s Fendt brand will exhibit an array of its innovative and farmer-focused equipment at this year’s Farm Progress Show and unveil an updated version of one of its most popular tractors. Many of Fendt’s latest revolutionary and award-winning products will be featured in the AGCO booth, including the Fendt Rogator® 900 Series applicator, the Fendt Momentum® planter, the Fendt IDEAL® 10T combine, and FendtONE™ equipped tractors. Attendees will enjoy a hands-on opportunity with a Fendt Rogator 900 Series applicator in the Ride ‘n’ Drive area.

Hesston by Massey Ferguson® Marks 75th Anniversary with New Windrower, Large Square Baler, and Tedder

Hesston by Massey Ferguson continues to celebrate its 75th anniversary with displays of new equipment for hay producers. The new WR Series Windrower provides closed-center hydraulics for greater power or fuel economy, updated electronics with single or dual Datatronic™ 5 monitors, and new shielding for better airflow. The 2200 Series Large Square Baler also includes updated electronics with Massey Ferguson Connect telemetry, along with a five-bar pickup for higher capacity and poly wrappers for longer life. The TD X Series Tedder is new to North America and offers heavy-duty frames, tines, and drivelines to handle the toughest of silage crops.

2023 Model Year Marks Gleaner® 100th Anniversary

AGCO’s Gleaner brand is preparing for its own milestone anniversary, as the 2023 model year marks 100 years of farmer-focused innovation and a simple and highly efficient harvest experience. Gleaner will have a commemorative display in the booth along with its lineup of innovative harvesting equipment for 2023 in anticipation of next year’s anniversary.

GSI® to Showcase GrainVue™ Grain Management System

GSI’s large exhibit in the AGCO booth will highlight its innovative GrainVue grain management system. GrainVue leverages digital cable technology to monitor stored grain temperature and moisture to provide alerts and automatic activation of fans to help prevent out-of-condition issues. The system uses cloud-based connectivity to enable remote management via mobile or desktop devices. With automatic updates and alerts, one person can manage multiple bins. “Keeping a close eye on grain conditions and inventory lets growers pursue higher premiums and get the most out of every bushel they harvest,” explains Greg Trame, director of technology sales for GSI.

Precision Ag Solutions from Fuse®

Precision ag drives efficiencies across entire farming operations and AGCO’s Fuse technology will be on display throughout the booth and in the Fuse tent, which will be available between the Fendt and Massey Ferguson exhibits. Of particular interest will be Geo-Bird, a new and free operation planning tool for creating and optimizing waylines. Fuse’s precision ag experts will be on hand to help farmers manage their data across brands and accomplish more with less – a critical advantage to mixed-fleet operations as input costs increase.

For more information, visit AGCO’s exhibit at booth 1002 at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, from August 30 – September 1, 2022.

Dr. Denise Heard Joins FFAR’s Board of Directors

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) is thrilled to announce that Dr. Denise Heard, vice president of research programs at the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), is joining FFAR’s Board of Directors.

“Dr. Denise Heard is a trailblazing leader in poultry research in the agriculture industry,” said FFAR Board Chairman Dr. Mark Keenum. “Her animal welfare expertise, knowledge of food and agriculture research and support for FFAR make her a superb addition to our board of directors.”

At USPOULTRY, Heard directs the association’s comprehensive research program and Board Research initiative program, which cover all components of poultry and egg production and processing. Specifically, she oversees $1 million in research and evaluates between 100 to 200 proposals annually. Heard also manages the activities of the Foundation Research Advisory Committee, where she makes recommendations on research proposals to the board of directors for funding approval.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on this board of thought leaders and look forward to collaborating across sectors to address the biggest food and agriculture challenges,” said Heard.

Prior to joining USPOULTRY, Heard served as the senior coordinator at U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), where she led the administration of the NPIP program in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. In this capacity, she authorized more than 100 NPIP laboratories across the country, which incorporated rulemaking into federal regulation for the U.S. poultry industry.

Heard holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine and a master’s degree in avian medicine from the University of Georgia. She also earned a certificate in executive public leadership from Washington University and Harvard University.

“We are honored to have Dr. Heard join FFAR’s board,” said Interim Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer Julie Reynes. “It’s exciting to extend Dr. Heard’s involvement with FFAR from advisory council membership and reviewer support to a seat on the board. We have faith Dr. Heard will apply her distinguished perspective to FFAR’s audacious research.”

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