Monday, August 1, 2022

Weekend Ag News Roundup - July 31


Farm and ranch production expenditures for Nebraska totaled $24.5 billion in 2021, up 21% from a year earlier, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Livestock expenses, the largest expenditure category, at $6.52 billion, increased 30% from 2020. Rent, the next largest expense category, at $2.97 billion, increased 22% from 2020. Feed, the third largest total expense category at $2.96 billion, increased 36% from 2020.

Livestock expenses accounted for 27% of Nebraska's total production expenditures. Rent accounted for 12%, feed 12%, and farm services 8%.

The total expenditures per farm or ranch in Nebraska averaged $547,321 in 2021, up 23% from 2020. The Livestock expense category was the leading expenditure, at $145,536 per operation, 588% above the national average. Rent expenditures, at $66,295 per operation, were 315% above the national average. The average feed expenditure, at $66,071, was 103% above the national average. Farm services expenditures per operation, at $45,536, were 103% above the national average.

These results are based on data from Nebraska farmers and ranchers who participated in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey conducted by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Producers were contacted in January through April to collect 2021 farm and ranch expenses.

IOWA: Iowa farm production expenditures totaled $34.0 billion in 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Production Expenditures 2021 Summary report. This was $5.46 billion above the 2020 total expenditures.

Feed expense, up 34 percent to $7.88 billion, represented the largest single production expense in Iowa in 2021, accounting for 23 percent of the total. Livestock, Poultry, and Related Purchases, up 17 percent to $5.29 billion, was the second largest expense and accounted for 16 percent of total expenditures. Rent expense was up 4 percent to $3.74 billion and accounted for 11 percent of the total.

The largest percentage increases from last year were for Miscellaneous Capital Expenses (up 125 percent), Tractors and Self-Propelled Farm Machinery (up 74 percent), and Trucks and Autos (up 65 percent). There were no decreases in any production expenditure in Iowa in 2021.

2021 United States Total Farm Production Expenditure Highlights

Farm production expenditures in the United States are estimated at $392.9 billion for 2021, up from $366.2 billion in 2020. The 2021 total farm production expenditures are up 7.3 percent compared with 2020 total farm production expenditures. For the 17-line items, fifteen showed an increase from previous year, while two showed a decrease.

The four largest expenditures at the United States level total $189.4 billion and account for 48.3 percent of total expenditures in 2021. These include feed, 16.6 percent, farm services, 11.5 percent, livestock, poultry, and related expenses, 10.8 percent, and labor, 9.4 percent.

In 2021, the United States total farm expenditure average per farm is $196,087, up 7.7 percent from $182,130 in 2020. On average, United States farm operations spent $32,540 on feed, $21,161 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, $22,458 on farm services, and $18,366 on labor. For 2020, United States farms spent an average of $28,250 on feed, $22,232 on farm services, $19,695 on livestock, poultry, and related expenses, and $18,253 on labor.

Total fuel expense is $12.9 billion. Diesel, the largest sub-component, is $8.4 billion, accounting for 65.3 percent. Diesel expenditures are up 18.6 percent from the previous year. Gasoline is $2.4 billion, up 22.7 percent. LP gas is $1.4 billion, up 11.6 percent. Other fuel is $610 million, down 16.4 percent.

The United States economic sales class contributing most to the 2021 United States total expenditures is the $1,000,000 - $4,999,999 class, with expenses of $122.1 billion, 31.1 percent of the United States total, up 4.9 percent from the 2020 level of $116.4 billion. The next highest is the $5,000,000 and over class with $116.9 billion, up 19.4 percent from $97.9 billion in 2020.

In 2021, crop farms expenditures increased to $207.6 billion, up 6.2 percent, while livestock farms expenditures increased to $185.3 billion, up 8.5 percent. The largest expenditures for crop farms are labor at $25.4 billon (12.2 percent), farm services at $27.0 billion (13.0 percent), and rent at $27.3 billion (13.2 percent). Combined crop inputs (chemicals, fertilizers, and seeds) are $61.3 billion, accounting for 29.6 percent of crop farms total expenses. The largest expenditures for livestock farms are feed at $63.3 billion (34.2 percent of total), livestock, poultry, and related expenses at $40.1 billion (21.6 percent), and farm services at $18.0 billion (9.7 percent). Together, these line items account for 65.5 percent of livestock farms total expenses. The average total expenditure for a crop farm is $219,593 compared to $175,092 per livestock farm.

The Midwest region contributed the most to United States total expenditures with expenses of $124.9 billion (31.8 percent), up from $112.8 billion in 2020. Other regions, ranked by total expenditures, are the Plains at $99.2 billion (25.2 percent), West at $86.7 billion (22.1 percent), Atlantic at $42.9 billion (10.9 percent), and South at $39.2 billion (10.0 percent).

Combined total expenditures for the 15 estimate states is $266.4 billion in 2021 (67.8 percent of the United States total expenditures) and $242.3 billion in 2020 (66.2 percent). California contributed most to the 2021 United States total expenditures, with expenses of $42.2 billion, (10.7 percent). California expenditures are up 0.6 percent from the 2020 estimate of $41.9 billion. Iowa, the next leading state, has $34.0 billion in expenses, (8.7 percent). Other states with more than $24 billion in total expenditures are Texas with $26.0 billion and Nebraska with $24.5 billion.

Identifying Spider Mite Damage

Robert Wright - Extension Entomologist
Tom Hunt - Extension Entomologist

We are starting to get more reports of spider mites damaging corn and soybeans in Nebraska.

Two species of spider mites, the Banks grass mite and the twospotted spider mite, commonly feed on Nebraska corn. Banks grass mites (BGM) feed almost exclusively on grasses, including corn, small grains and sorghum. Twospotted spider mites (TSM) not only feed on many species of grasses, but also on soybeans, fruit trees and a variety of vegetables and ornamental plants. The carmine mite is now considered the same species as the twospotted spider mite. This spider mite species is a distinctive dark red color, but otherwise identical to the TSM (Figure 2).

Damage Indicators

Mites damage crops by piercing plant cells with their mouthparts and sucking the plant juices. The first evidence of mite feeding — which usually can be seen on the top of the leaf — is a yellow or whitish spotting of the leaf tissues in areas where the mites are feeding on the lower leaf surface. Because many other things can cause similar discoloration, it is important to check leaves closely to make sure mites are actually causing the damage. Leaf discoloration caused by mite feeding can be easily identified by checking the undersurface of leaves for the presence of mites, eggs and webbing. Both BGM and TSM produce webbing, and a fine network of silken webs likely will be associated with mite colonies.

A magnifying glass or 10X hand lens is helpful in examining plants for the presence of mites. Spider mites are very small in size (adult females are 0.016 inch in length and other life stages are even smaller) and can be difficult to see without a magnifying glass or 10X hand lens.

As mite infestations develop, leaves may be severely damaged and the food manufacturing ability of the plant may be progressively reduced. If an infestation is severe, leaves may be killed. In corn, effects on yield are most severe when mites start damaging leaves at or above the ear level. Infestations may reduce corn grain yields due to poor seed fill and have been associated with accelerated plant dry down in the fall. The quality and yield of silage corn also may decline due to mite feeding.

Damage is similar on soybeans and includes leaf spotting, leaf droppage, accelerated senescence and pod shattering, as well as yield loss. Early and severe mite injury left untreated can completely eliminate yields. More commonly, mite injury occurring during the late vegetative and early reproductive growth stages will reduce soybean yields 40%-60%. Spider mites can cause yield reductions as long as green pods are present.

Mites do not cause major economic damage every year in Nebraska. Several factors, which fluctuate from year to year, strongly influence spider mite numbers. Probably the most important of these factors are weather, natural enemies and pesticide use. Overwintering sites that are close to corn and soybean fields, especially grasses, wheat, and perhaps alfalfa, also may increase the possibility of mite invasion.

Dry, hot weather favors mite reproduction and survival, especially if accompanied by drought stress in the crop. When the weather in June, July and August is especially hot and dry, mites can reach damaging numbers in most corn and soybean growing areas of Nebraska. Major mite infestations are more likely to occur in central and western counties that normally experience less rainfall. Sandy soil types also may contribute to spider mite problems in these areas because crops grown on these soils are more likely to experience drought stress even when irrigated.

Read up more on the different species of spider mites and methods to control them with 2 articles up on

Beef for Troops: Now Accepting Cash Donations!

As Americans, we are forever indebted to our veterans and military service members who make the freedoms we relish every day possible. While we can never repay them for their service and sacrifice, Nebraska Cattlemen is proud to support our troops through our annual Beef for Troops event.

Since 2009 the Farmer Stockmen Council has sponsored beef drafts for military members on Veterans’ Appreciation Day at the Nebraska State Fair. The Nebraska Cattlemen Farmer Stockman Council will once again be honoring veterans and active-duty service members at the 2022 Nebraska State Fair in the Beef Pit during Labor Day weekend.

As we come together to honor our military veterans and service members, we need your help! Therefore, we will be accepting cash donations through August 18, 2022. The cash donations will be used to purchase beef drafts, which will be given randomly to our veterans and active-duty service members who support the Nebraska Beef Pit at the Nebraska State Fair.

Please mail your donations to:
Nebraska Cattlemen
4611 Cattle Drive
Lincoln, NE 68521
*Please note your donation is for Beef for Troops

We appreciate your support of Nebraska Cattlemen, but more importantly, we appreciate your support of our military personnel.

Questions can be directed to Bonita Lederer at (402) 450-0223 or

NE Corn Board to Meet in August

The Nebraska Corn Board will hold its next meeting Tuesday, August 9 at Younes Conference Center located at 416 W Talmadge Rd., Kearney, NE. The Board will conduct regular board business. The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for public discussion. A copy of the agenda is available by writing to the Nebraska Corn Board, 245 Fallbrook Blvd. Suite 204, Lincoln,

Center for Rural Affairs to host a variety of upcoming events

    Albion, Neb. - Explore Farming: Agritourism (Bilingual), Sunday, Aug. 14, from 1 to 2 p.m., Valley View Flowers (U-Pick Flowers), 2671 Nebraska Highway 91. Have you ever asked the following questions about agritourism: What is it? How can it be promoted? What are the pros and cons? Learn the answers to these questions and more during this workshop.
    Tilden, Neb. - Explore Farming Tour and Business Planning Discussion (Bilingual), Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 to 11:30 a.m, O'Brien Angus Farms, 83340 Nebraska Highway 45. During this event, participants will tour the farm and then discuss the value of having, creating, and following a business plan.
    Malcolm, Neb. - Sustainable Farming: Conservation & Business Planning (Bilingual), Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, DS Family Farm, 13550 W. U.S. Highway 34. Participants will be given a tour by members of the DS Family Farm. They’ll also hear about conservation practices as well as the value of having a business plan.

Registration at is required in advance. For more information, contact Lucia Schulz at

ACE 2022 Conference to Feature Targeted Tracks on Leadership & Management, Technology and Carbon

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 35th annual conference coming up August 10-12 in Omaha offers a variety of breakout sessions covering the latest in technology updates, strategic planning advice, and ways to make ethanol plants more profitable. The breakout sessions will be held concurrently in three rounds on the afternoon of Thursday, August 11, following the morning general session panels.

This year’s breakouts are split into three tracks: Leadership & Management, Technology, and Carbon. Breakout sessions include:

Leadership & Management Track – Optimization Tactics for Company Processes  
All Things HR: Ethanol Plant Labor Challenges & Ways to Overcome Them — Christianson Benchmarking LLC, Pinion (formerly KCoe Isom), Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy

    This timely panel will provide insights into today’s hiring practices — what it takes to attract and retain solid team members — and an assessment of data gathered from ethanol plants across the country, as part of Christianson’s annual labor survey, to understand standard practices and discover how labor can impact financial opportunities.

Board Training & Planning: What Has Changed and What Needs To – Pinion (formerly KCoe Isom)
    Learn how the process, timing and content should change as the industry evolves, companies mature, and boards potentially face significant turnover.

Incorporate IT Security into Every Aspect of Your Business – GBQ Partners, LLC
    Understand how to assess your IT security and gain ideas on how to set a path forward toward a safer tomorrow.

Technology Track – Advances to Improve Producer Operations

Corn Oil: Getting All the Liquid Gold from Your Plant – Fluid Quip Technologies
    Getting as much oil from your corn as possible favors your bottom line, especially with rising corn oil prices. The FQT team will walk through its newest DCO+ proprietary separation technology.

Driving Value to Agriculture Through Low Carbon Biorefinery Solutions – ICM, Inc.
    Learn about beneficial products from low-carbon technologies including diversified feed options, which can be tailored to specific markets, and biochar, which can bring soil benefits to farmers through better nitrogen efficiency.

Producer/Vendor Collaboration Leads to Evaporator System Optimization – Husker Ag LLC,  SUEZ
    This interactive session will provide key learnings from a case study of a successful producer/vendor collaboration and a conversation around best practices from partnerships that have improved producer operations.

Carbon Track – It’s all about Carbon: Capturing it, Reducing it, Scoring it

Carbon Capture and R&D Tax Credits: Worth the Investment? – Eide Bailly LLP
    Developers, investors and lenders stand to gain significant federal tax credits with the 45Q Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and R&D tax credits. Gain clarity around these topics to provide the foundation for identifying and claiming the R&D credits and lowering your company’s tax burden.

Cogeneration to Complement Your Carbon Reduction Strategy – P&E Solutions LLC, RENTECH Boiler Systems Inc., Solar Turbines
    Utilizing ethanol plant data and modeling, this session will cover how a properly designed CHP system can work in concert with CCS to further carbon benefits and lower the operating expenses associated with it.

Carbon Scoring: The Benefits Outweigh the Costs – ACE, Dakota Ethanol, Christianson PLLP
    Combined with an overview of ACE’s carbon calculator tool to demystify CI, Christianson experts will help attendees understand California’s LCFS and CCS certification and verification process, including reporting requirements, updating your CI scores, and farm GHG emission reporting and challenges.

To register for the event and learn more about these sessions and others, visit

Livestock Legislation Introduced in House

Below is a statement from House Ag Committee Chairman David Scott following the introduction of H.R 8590 the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act, his legislation to help small farmers and ranchers in the cattle industry.

“As I have said time and again, it is a crisis in this nation that we have lost an average of 17,000 cattle ranchers per year. The drivers of this loss are complex and multi-faceted, and I applaud many of the efforts my colleagues have taken to try and improve the cattle industry.

While their legislative proposals tackle issues like consolidation and transparency, I have not seen enough emphasis on direct help for our small farmers and ranchers. The Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act that I introduced today does just that.

I have tremendous respect for our small farmers and ranchers. It is a shame that we have lost so many of them because they have been unable to capture their fair share of the food dollar. This must stop – I believe my Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act is a crucial first step in that direction and a critical piece in helping us stem the tide.

The first pillar of my bill provides small cattle operations with financial assistance by strengthening the safety net. The legislation achieves this by:

    Offering an increased premium subsidy for small ranchers (including beginning and veteran ranchers) insuring a herd of 100 cattle or less under Livestock Risk Protection insurance policies. Similar to how the Micro Farm Program provides a targeted insurance policy to small producers, this additional premium assistance will make a key risk management tool more affordable for our small producers.  

    Offering incentives for insurance agents to better market Livestock Risk Protection policies to small producers.

    Creating a USDA indemnity program that provides relief to small producers when the price spread dramatically exceeds a historical average. This program provides small producers with a safety net to protect against volatility and unfairness in the marketplace.  

    Providing resources to USDA to educate producers and insurance agents on the utility of the livestock insurance programs and the safety net program. This makes existing insurance products more accessible and facilitates enrollment in the new program.

The second pillar of my bill creates opportunities to increase competition and help small ranchers access new marketing opportunities. The legislation achieves this by:

    Establishing a grant program that helps small producers, cooperatives of small producers, or other eligible organizations aggregate, add value, and market meat and meat products to local and regional markets with a focus on direct-to-consumer and direct-to-institution sales. By connecting small ranchers with new and diversified marketing options, this bill will help increase profitability and inject more competition into the supply chain.

    Eligible entities include individual ranchers, cooperatives of small cattle producers with a majority of members under a certain size (100 head or fewer), non-profits or Land-Grant Universities with experience working with small cattle farmers and ranchers, Tribal governments, food hubs, or those in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Program eligibility prioritizes underserved and limited resource farmers and ranchers.

    Providing resources to USDA to educate farmers on how to best apply for and leverage these new programs.

The Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act delivers much-needed support to our small farmers and ranchers in the cattle industry. I urge my colleagues, and all those who care about the future of agriculture in this country, to support it.”

NCBA Statement on Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) responded to the release of House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott’s (D-GA) Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act.

“NCBA is committed to working with the House Agriculture Committee to protect our most vulnerable producers, and we appreciate the Chairman's attention on this important issue,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “Unfortunately, H.R. 8590, the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act, as introduced prompts more questions than it provides answers. While collectively we would have preferred to provide input into the drafting of this legislation, we look forward to working with our partners in the livestock community to address the blind spots in this proposal.”

NCBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national trade association representing cattle producers.

NFU Statement on Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

National Farmers Union (NFU) strongly supports the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 as currently presented by the Senate. Overall, this bill invests $40 billion in agricultural and rural communities.  

“NFU welcomes the major investments in voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs for agriculture included in the Inflation Reduction Act. These provisions will support farmers and ranchers in continuing to expand their role in fighting climate change while also supporting the resilience of their operations. The addition of biofuels infrastructure funding is also a welcome addition and one that will support farmers and consumers across the country. We strongly support this package and urge Congress to move swiftly and pass it,” said NFU President Rob Larew.

Multiple NFU priorities are included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, including:
·     Substantial investment in infrastructure for biofuels which will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and lower the cost for consumers at the pump.  

·     Sorely needed investments in voluntary conservation programs that have been underfunded for years. These additional tools will allow farmers and ranchers to sequester greenhouse gases and give farmers more flexibility.

·     Expansion of public-private partnerships to support locally led conservation efforts.


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