Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wednesday September 21 Ag News

NE Farm Bureau Leader Selected to Advise CFTC

The American Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau members across the country will have a seat at the table advising the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with the appointment of Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) President Mark McHargue to serve on the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC).

In this role, McHargue will help facilitate communication between the CFTC and the agricultural community, including Farm Bureau members and leaders. He will also provide insight and recommendations to the CFTC.

“Mark McHargue will join the CFTC Agricultural Advisory Committee at an important time,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “His experience with both farming and financial services makes him well suited to advise on issues facing agriculture including climate, sustainability and crypto currency. He will be a strong representative for AFBF and America’s farmers.”

McHargue said, “The job of U.S. farmers and ranchers is more complex than ever. Aside from producing the food, fiber and fuel for our nation and world, they must be conservationists, accountants, geneticists, agronomists and even marketing specialists, to name a few. I am proud to take my years of marketing experience and represent the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the nearly 6 million members we represent, on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Agricultural Advisory Committee. I look forward to helping the commission work through the many issues and challenges facing our farm and ranch families.”

Once confirmed, McHargue will represent AFBF and NEFB on the AAC for a two-year term.

Nebraska Corn is seeking six college students for annual internship program

The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) is seeking applicants to take part in six internship experiences beginning in May 2023. The internships vary in location and scope but are designed to provide students with an overview of Nebraska’s corn industry through real-world professional examples and experiences.

Four of the six internships are summer-long experiences that are based outside of Nebraska. These four experiences are with cooperating partners of NCB. The remaining two positions are yearlong internships where students work in a Nebraska Corn office in Lincoln.

Internship opportunities for 2023 – 2024:
Market Development and Innovation & Stewardship Internship
    Host: Nebraska Corn Board
    Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
    Duration: August 2023 – May 2024, with potential summer hours

Communications and Outreach Internship
    Host: National Corn Growers Association
    Location: St. Louis, Missouri
    Duration: Summer 2023

Public Policy Internship
    Host: National Corn Growers Association
    Location: Washington, D.C.
    Duration: Summer 2023

Promotion and International Relations Internship
    Host: U.S. Meat Export Federation
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Duration: Summer 2023

Event Management Internship on the Ethanol Team
    Host: U.S. Grains Council
    Location: Washington, D.C.
    Duration: Summer 2023

Communications and Outreach Internship
    Host: Nebraska Corn Board
    Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
    Duration: May 2023 – May 2024

“Our mission at the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities, and this is a key way we can achieve the goal,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of NCB and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “These internships develop young leaders into professionals. By providing young people with the experiences and tools needed to succeed, we can ensure our industry is well served now and into the future.”

Nebraska Corn internships are open to all college students, with a preference given to students enrolled in colleges or universities located in Nebraska. The application process can be found online at The submission deadline is Friday, November 4, 2022.

Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health announces renewed funding through 2027

A new award will allow the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health to continue existing agricultural safety research and training efforts while exploring new initiatives to improve the lives of ag workers.

CS-CASH, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, is one of 11 regional Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health to receive funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This competitive award will provide the center $9 million to conduct research, prevention measures and outreach over the next five years.

Award funds will support continuation of existing initiatives and new projects related to:
    Outreach to agricultural workers with a focus on mental health, safe grain handling, tractor and equipment safety and animal handling safety. Special populations served by CS-CASH include young and aging workers, women in agriculture and immigrant and migrant workers.
    Surveys of agricultural injuries, illnesses and preventive practices in a seven-state region.
    Improving safety culture on feed yards in the Midwest.
    Investigating stress among Latino immigrant farm workers.
    Safety training of tribal bison herd workers.
    Investigating the exposome and organic dust-induced lung injury.
    Small grants to pilot and feasibility projects.
    Evaluation of all center projects

“NIOSH ag centers work collaboratively on national efforts and events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and projects such as the ag centers’ YouTube channel ,” said Jennifer Lincoln, NIOSH associate director for the Office of Agriculture Safety and Health. “At the same time, each center specializes in the distinct agricultural, forestry and fishing industries and worker safety and health needs of their region.”

“With investigators within the center who have expertise in agriculture, respiratory disease, injury surveillance and prevention, ag engineering, hearing conservation, livestock handling and vulnerable populations, as well as in training and education of farmers and health professionals, the center can use these funds to  continue to serve the agricultural community by discovering causes of injury and illness and communicating information about prevention in ways that reach as many farmers and agricultural workers as possible,” said Risto Rautiainen, PhD, director of the center.

The NIOSH ag centers represent the institute’s largest extramural investment in agriculture, forestry, and fishing research and outreach to further its mission of protecting and advancing the safety, health and well-being of the workers who produce food, fuel and fiber for our nation.

“For decades, the ag centers have been integral to our efforts to reduce injury and illness in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD.

The award is the third consecutive round of funding for CS-CASH since 2011.

CS-CASH serves a highly productive agricultural region: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. The Center, with a strong network of collaborators, provides regional leadership in research and outreach. In collaboration with advisors and partners, CS-CASH will continue to leverage the resources to address local, regional, and national issues.

Scoular launches new producer team to support farmers

A new Scoular team will help producers capitalize on opportunities and navigate challenges as the demands of production agriculture evolve and technology increasingly influences the industry.

Led by Enterprise Director of Origination Melissa Norem, Scoular’s new producer origination team is building on the company’s long-standing farmer relationships and industry expertise. The 130-year-old Scoular has more than 100 locations across the globe and operates a Midwestern grain handling network that includes more than 50 facilities in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. The company continually has invested in technology and facilities to create efficiencies for farmers.

"Technology and innovation are changing the world, as well as agriculture. As part of this change, Scoular has continually improved the customer experience as we work with farmers and farming communities,” Norem said.

“This new team is the tip of that spear. We all win when farmers and their communities grow and thrive.”

The new producer origination team will:
• Mobilize a team of origination personnel across Scoular to work with the company’s facility originators to create a consistent experience for all Scoular producers.
• Create a new grower roundtable to explore how Scoular can enhance farmer relationships.
• Define innovative solutions to emerging farm management challenges such as risk management and technology initiatives.
• Build and promote Scoular’s marketing tools and other farmer services.

The team consists of:
Jordan Flynn manages design and build of Scoular’s producer risk management program. He will work with Scoular’s facility network to bring farmers marketing ideas. Prior to joining Scoular, Flynn worked in various areas of ag including producer risk management, carbon program development and alternative fertilizer markets.

Tara Olson leads producer outreach. Olson is supporting farmer appreciation meetings, connecting with farmers on social media and advancing Scoular’s reputation within Scoular’s communities. Prior to joining the team, Olson worked for Scoular’s brand marketing and corporate communications team and led the launch of Scoular’s brand refresh.

Jack Vincent leads origination technology development and enablement, working closely with the origination teams and farmers. Vincent’s prior roles in the ag industry include cross-country trading, facility management and risk analysis.

“This team is passionate about agriculture and will help to solve the challenges and define the opportunities that our farmers face,” Norem said. “Scoular is proud of our 130-year history of serving our farmers and promoting the communities we work and live in, and this new team will build upon that legacy.”

Taiwan to Purchase $600 Million Worth of Corn Products from Iowa

Larry Buss, President of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board® (ICPB) met with representatives of the Taiwan Feed Industry Association, Governor Kim Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig to sign a letter of intent to purchase $600 million worth of corn products between 2023 and 2024. This agreement includes 1.5 million metric tons (MT) (59 million bushels) of corn and 250 thousand MT (9.8 million bushels) of corn products (DDGS or distillers dried grains and solubles).

Taiwan and Iowa have a longstanding relationship and this letter of intent is a testament to their friendship and mutually beneficial trade commitments. Because of our high-quality produce, the U.S. remains one of Taiwan’s largest sources of agricultural products, supplying more than one-fifth of the country’s major agricultural imports including $72.1 million worth of corn in 2021.  We expect Taiwan to remain a consistent partner of Iowa corn farmers.

“As a part of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board’s mission we strive to develop opportunities to help open markets for Iowa corn farmers,” stated ICPB President Larry Buss, a farmer from Logan, Iowa. “Letters of intent allow us to share our bounty with great corn customers, like Taiwan, and mean a great deal for Iowa corn farmers in terms of market opportunity and development.”

The terms, quantities, prices and conditions for the purchase and sale of corn and corn coproducts will be negotiated privately between the individual importers and suppliers. Future purchases of corn may differ from those set out in the letter of intent.

Retail Fertilizer Prices Mixed in Mid-September 2022

Fertilizer prices are varied, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of September 2022. Five of the eight major fertilizers are lower in price compared to a month ago while the remaining three are higher. No fertilizers were appreciably lower or higher.  

Five of the eight major fertilizers were just slightly lower. DAP had an average price of $952/ton, MAP $1,009/ton, potash $877/ton, 10-34-0 $861/ton, and UAN32 $665/ton. Three fertilizers were slightly more expensive compared to last month. Urea had an average price of $808/ton, anhydrous $1,369/ton and UAN28 $578/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 $1.04/lb.N.

Despite lower prices in recent months, all fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier. MAP is 30% more expensive, both DAP and 10-34-0 are 36% higher, urea is 41% more expensive, potash is 47% higher, UAN28 is 52% more expensive, UAN32 is 55% higher and anhydrous is 80% more expensive compared to last year.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 9/16/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending September 16, ethanol production dropped 6.4% to 901,000 b/d, equivalent to 37.84 million gallons daily and the smallest volume since February 2021. Production was 2.7% less than the same week last year and 6.3% below the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume shrank 2.1% to 956,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.66 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks declined for the fourth straight week, down 1.5% to 22.5 million barrels for the lowest volume this year. However, stocks were 11.9% higher than a year ago and 6.2% above the five-year average. Inventories thinned across all regions except the East Coast (PADD 1) and Gulf Coast (PADD 3).

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, decreased 2.0% to 8.32 million b/d (127.58 bg annualized). Demand was 6.5% less than a year ago and 8.1% below the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol slid 1.7% to a 24-week low of 879,000 b/d, equivalent to 13.48 bg annualized. Net inputs were 2.2% less than a year ago and 2.1% below the five-year average.

There were no imports of ethanol for the third consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of July 2022.)

Dairy Market Report: Uncertainty Clouds Milk Price Outlook

U.S. dairy exports are on track to achieve another calendar year record in terms of percent of U.S. milk solids production exported. Indications earlier this summer that U.S. milk production would resume growing following an extended period of below year-ago levels have recently been tempered and now suggest that any resumption of production growth will likely be modest. Milk and dairy product prices have resumed strengthening in response, as export demand continues to help firm domestic markets encountering double-digit retail dairy product price inflation. Still, with higher input costs are falling margins, factors that would normally signal boom times are being tempered by uncertainties that may not be resolved in the near term.

Read the full report here:  

NCGA Hosts the Next Generation of Ag Leaders for Policy Institute

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted a group of Agriculture Future of America (AFA) student delegates in the Washington D.C. office as part of AFA’s Policy Institute. NCGA staff provided a tour and overview of the work the organization does and led discussions around how the national and state associations work collaboratively across the country to increase opportunities for America’s corn farmers.

NCGA staff were able to engage with the student delegates through different workshop and roundtable opportunities including an office tour followed by an “NCGA 101” to help provide students with some visibility of all of the different opportunities and skillsets needed within a trade association. Brooke Appleton, NCGA Vice President of Public Policy, participated in AFA’s ‘Careers in Policy’ roundtable, Angus Kelly, Director of Public Policy, Trade and Biotechnology, was a panelist for the ‘Foreign & Domestic Affairs’ discussion, and Michael Granché, Market Development Manager, facilitated the ‘Leadership Competency Connection’ session on Tuesday.

“AFA does incredible work, helping equip the next generation of agriculturalists with the tools and networking experience they’ll need to have successful careers and impact positive change,” said Granché. “I was fortunate enough to be one of the first Hokies from Virginia Tech to get involved with AFA during my time on campus and it strongly impacted my career trajectory! I went from wanting to be a livestock veterinarian to knowing I belonged working for farmers and helping advance the industry through association work. AFA gives students not just refinement for their soft skills but also the confidence to walk up to a stranger and tell their ag story.”

Through the Membership and Consumer Engagement Action Team (MCEAT), NCGA will also be a sponsor of AFA’s Leaders Conference in November held in Kansas City, Missouri where students across the country will have a chance to network with experts from the agriculture and food industry.

ClearFlame Engine Technologies Hits Multiple Manufacturing, Customer Pilot, and Fueling Milestones

ClearFlame Engine Technologies, a company that takes the diesel fuel out of diesel engines, empowering rapid decarbonization for hard-to-electrify heavy-duty industries, announced it has hit a number of key milestones through multiple partnerships with customers, manufacturers, and fuel providers. These achievements highlight the company’s ability to leverage existing infrastructure within the transportation sector, giving it a clear advantage to scale quickly and move to commercialization.

These announcements include:
    Signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with Reviva and Vander Haag’s, Inc. and their successful integration of ClearFlame’s technology into a Class-8 truck, validating the ability to seamlessly bring ClearFlame’s technology to scale using existing transportation solution providers and supply chains.
    The commencement of ClearFlame’s first pilot fleet trial with Beck’s, highlighting strong interest from commercial fleets.
    The first-ever retail sale of E98 ethanol fuel, with CIE (Central Indiana Ethanol), CountryMark, and Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc. acting as fueling partners for Beck’s, capitalizing on an existing network for the national distribution of ethanol.

BJ Johnson, ClearFlame co-founder and CEO, noted, “As these cross-industry partnerships indicate, our innovative technology for the decarbonization of heavy-duty engines can be effectively integrated and quickly scaled across the United States in the short term – not years from now. This is critical, particularly in industries like heavy-duty transportation. By leveraging an already existing eco-system and infrastructure, ClearFlame’s solution not only gets us to our climate goals faster, but can do so less expensively – saving fleets money, without any green premium.”

Johnson continued, “The speed and agility with which the Indiana ethanol fuel coalition was able to come together to provide E98 fuel to our truck with Beck’s goes even further to underscore how easy it will be for ClearFlame’s technology to rapidly scale for fleets across the country. Ethanol is already distributed through fuel terminals nationwide. In addition to being widely available, it’s proven to be a much greener fuel, with substantially lower carbon emissions than diesel, and significant cost savings.”

Julie Blumreiter, ClearFlame co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, added, “These critical milestones for ClearFlame are further proof of the flexibility and agility of our technology, which continues to hit every technological milestone at incredible speed. Our partnerships with Reviva and Vander Haag’s, Inc. demonstrate that we can move extremely quickly to seamlessly capitalize upon the existing ecosystem of engine remanufacturers and more than 250,000 mechanics who already service diesel engines today in the U.S. with no need for additional infrastructure investment, special tools, or complicated training. And through our work with fleet partners like Beck’s, we’ll continue with extensive durability testing and validation of our technology, keeping our lower-cost solution on track for successful commercialization in late 2023.”

Engine Re-Integration

As part of ClearFlame’s agreements for engine modification, Minneapolis-based Reviva has been named ClearFlame’s initial engine remanufacturing partner, responsible for integrating ClearFlame’s kit into existing Cummins X15 engines; engines will carry a two-year warranty. Reviva partnered with ClearFlame to bring cleaner fuel options to customers. For over 70 years, Reviva has been providing quality remanufactured engines and engine components. Reviva is the largest privately held diesel engine remanufacturer in North America and its engines are available at most aftermarket truck component suppliers and large truck dealers in the USA and Canada. Vander Haag’s, Inc., with nine locations throughout the Midwest, will serve as the vehicle integrator, reinstalling the ClearFlame engines into Class-8 trucks. In addition to being the vehicle integrator, Vander Haag’s, Inc. will also leverage their parts distribution network to provide components for the initial integration as well as ongoing parts support. Both companies, seasoned veterans in the heavy-duty engine modification industry, are building on their long histories of providing excellent services and support to customers with new services to demonstrate a renewed focus on present-day demand and client needs.

Beck’s, the largest family-owned retail seed company in the United States and third-largest seed brand, represents ClearFlame’s first official pilot. During the pilot, the truck is accumulating miles and driving long distances in a range of operating conditions, as well as short haul routes between the company’s Indiana locations, with a variety of different load types. Several other pilots with other companies are also planned through the end of the year.

ClearFlame expects to achieve commercialization of its engine modification technology by the end of 2023. The company is currently working with the EPA to achieve all environmental approvals; trucks are currently running under EPA exemption.

Ethanol Fuel Coalition

While ClearFlame’s technology is fuel agnostic and can run on any clean fuel, its current engines run on ethanol, which is widely available across the United States as a blend component, but is not currently for sale. In order to provide E98 to the ClearFlame-modified truck with Beck’s, a group of Indiana fuel providers came together, creating the first coalition enabling the use of ethanol as a truck fuel. These included Central Indiana Ethanol (as manufacturer), CountryMark (as distributor), and Co-Alliance Cooperative Inc. (as fuel retailer).

Cost savings

As previously announced, an independent study conducted by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates (GNA), demonstrated that ClearFlame’s technology lowers total costs while meeting sustainability goals sooner than currently available alternatives.
    ClearFlame-enabled trucks are expected to have the lowest TCO when compared with diesel, natural gas, electric, and hydrogen platforms.
    ClearFlame’s cost per mile is expected to be substantially lower than electric and hydrogen platforms—40% less than electric and 30% less than hydrogen.
    ClearFlame can provide a quick and cost-effective path to substantial reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and tailpipe emissions compared to other sustainable fuels and technologies, whose practical challenges, such as cost, range, infrastructure, and fuel availability, have slowed adoption.
    ClearFlame is estimated to provide a 42% lifecycle carbon reduction compared with diesel, as well as approximately 22% lower GHG than battery electric vehicles based on the national average grid mix.

About ClearFlame Engine Technologies
At ClearFlame Engine Technologies, we’re breaking the bond between the diesel engine and diesel fuel, accelerating the path to true emissions reduction for the heavy-duty and off-highway markets. ClearFlame unlocks diesel engine platforms to use a wider range of clean, lower-cost fuels instead of expensive, dirty fossil fuels—lowering costs without compromising the practicality or performance of traditional diesel engines. Our technology meets global sustainability goals faster than alternatives by using the decarbonized liquid fuels available throughout the world.

Specialty Crop Participation in Federal Risk Management Programs

A report issued today by USDA’s Economic Research Service, Specialty Crop Participation in Federal Risk Management Programs, characterizes recent changes in Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) and Noninsured Crop Disaster Program (NAP) use by specialty crop farmers, compares differences among conventional and organic farms, and investigates the reasons some farmers choose whether to participate in these programs.

Here are a few key findings from the report:
    Specialty crop growers increased the value of their crops insured by FCIP products from about $12 billion in 2011 to about $21 billion in 2020 (not adjusted for inflation). A case study of nine specialty crop growers in New York State explores reasons they choose whether to participate in these Federal programs.

    The value of specialty crops insured by FCIP (i.e., liabilities) increased from about $12 billion in 2011 to about $21 billion in 2020 (not adjusted for inflation). The States with the most policies are top producers of fruits and vegetables—California, Florida, and Washington—and specialty field crops such as dry beans or dry peas—Montana and North Dakota.

    In general, States that have fewer FCIP policies have a higher number of NAP applications. In 2020, the States or U.S. territories with the highest number of conventional specialty crop NAP applications were North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and New York.

August Egg Production Down 2 Percent

United States egg production totaled 9.10 billion during August 2022, down 2 percent from last year. Production included 7.78 billion table eggs, and 1.32 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.23 billion were broiler-type and 91.0 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during August 2022 totaled 371 million, down 3 percent from last year. August egg production per 100 layers was 2,450 eggs, up 2 percent from August 2021.
Total layers in the United States on September 1, 2022 totaled 372 million, down 3 percent from last year. The 372 million layers consisted of 305 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 63.0 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.55 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on September 1, 2022, averaged 79.1 eggs per 100 layers, up 2 percent from September 1, 2021.

Egg-Type Chicks Hatched Up 13 Percent

Egg-type chicks hatched during August 2022 totaled 56.0 million, up 13 percent from August 2021. Eggs in incubators totaled 49.2 million on September 1, 2022, up 9 percent from a year ago. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 249 thousand during August 2022, down 25 percent from August 2021.

Broiler-Type Chicks Hatched Up 3 Percent

Broiler-type chicks hatched during August 2022 totaled 865 million, up 3 percent from August 2021. Eggs in incubators totaled 734 million on September 1, 2022, up 3 percent from a year ago. Leading breeders placed 7.68 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during August 2022, down 12 percent from August 2021.

IOWA: Iowa egg production during August 2022 was 1.00 billion eggs, up 5 percent from last month but down 22 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA's
National Agricultural Statistics Service.  The average number of all layers on hand during August 2022 was 38.9 million, up 4 percent from last month but down 21 percent from the same month last year. Eggs per 100 layers for July were 2,572, up 1 percent from last month but down 1 percent from last August.

Brazil to Export Record Volume of Ethanol to Europe

Brazil's ethanol exports to Europe are set to reach a record high this year, as foreign markets look more appealing than domestic, according to an analysis by S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Through August, Brazil shipped about 427 million liters of ethanol to Europe, 435% above the figures from the same period in 2021. By the end of 2022, the South American country is expected to export 600 million liters of the biofuel to Europe, said S&P.

Brazil's previous record was set in 2010, when it exported 477 million liters to the continent.

The surge in exports comes as the biofuel sector responds to lower prices in Brazil and increased demand in Europe, making shipping abroad more appealing to producers.

As gasoline prices rise, demand for the cheaper E10 fuel (gasoline with 10% ethanol) is growing this year in major consuming countries such as Germany, the UK and Sweden, according to S&P.

Shell Rotella® Celebrates National Farmer’s Day with Second Annual SuperTractors Competition

Shell Rotella is hosting the second annual SuperTractors virtual tractor beauty contest to celebrate National Farmer’s Day. SuperTractors began in 2021 in order to recognize and honor hardworking farmers and allow them to showcase their great looking tractors. SuperTractors has its roots in Shell Rotella SuperRigs®, which recently celebrated 40 years of honoring the best-looking trucks in North America.

Farmers throughout North America will have the opportunity to register their unique farm equipment starting on September 19 for a chance to win $250 dollars and 10,000 MyMilesMatter points as part of the SuperTractors competition. Fans can vote for their favorite tractor beginning October 1 and concluding October 11 once a day at The contestant who receives the most fan votes, will be contacted directly by an authorized representative and the news will be announced by Farmer Grayce via Shell Rotella social media channels on National Farmer’s Day – October 12.

“Hard work is in the DNA of farmers, logging countless hours to produce the crops and food that helps feed people across North America,” said Annie Peter, North American Brand Manager, Shell Rotella. “It’s important for us to celebrate farmers, and we want to put a spotlight on the pride they have in their work and equipment by hosting SuperTractors in the weeks leading up to National Farmer’s Day.”

Key Dates:
     •   Participants can enter the competition during the following time frame:
o   Start date: September 19 - 12:00 p.m. CT
o   End date: September 30 - 5:00 p.m. CT
         •   Consumer voting will last for ten days:
o   Start date: October 1 - 10:00 a.m. CT
o   End Date: October 11 - 5:00 p.m. CT

The winner will be contacted directly by an authorized representative and the news will be announced on National Farmers Day – October 12 – by Farmer Grayce on the Shell Rotella social media channels.

Shell Rotella is committed to supporting the dedication of farmers. Shell Rotella SuperTractors seeks to recognize the importance of hardworking people that help keep North America moving forward. Farmers in North America who wish to participate can submit a picture explaining why their tractor should be selected as the winner at

For the full Shell Rotella SuperTractors terms and conditions, visit For more information about Shell Rotella products, visit Be sure to follow Shell Rotella on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional updates and photos from the competition. Join the conversation using the hashtag #SuperTractors.

Emerging Corn Can Overcome Adverse Conditions With Ascend2

Getting high-yielding corn off to a strong start has been challenging the past few years. Wet, cold weather has delayed planting, followed by drought conditions, which further stress young corn plants. Although growers can’t control Mother Nature, they can control the investments made in products used to help corn achieve optimal yield potential, such as plant growth regulators (PGRs).

“PGRs act like a steroid for corn plants, helping increase yield and optimize ROI for growers by combatting the impact of adverse growing conditions,” said Jon Zuk, crop protection product manager, WinField United. “There are a lot of PGR and biological products out on the market today that aren’t backed by testing or education, so their performance is unreliable. Ascend2 TM is backed by nearly a decade of field research in 67 Answer Plot® trials in 15 states that evaluated optimal PGR ratios for consistent performance.”

Data has shown that Ascend2 had a positive yield impact of 7.5 bushels/acre and an overall average yield response of 3 bushels/acre. This information was gathered in fields with varying environmental conditions, applied both pre- and post-planting, to provide insights on how it can fit specifically into field-level agronomic planning.

Give Corn Seeds a Boost

PGRs contain growth-supporting hormones that can have many positive impacts on crops, such as improving plant health, stimulating more efficient growth and development, and helping plants thrive in unexpected conditions. Using a PGR prior to emergence can give seeds an extra boost and a strong start at times when soil and environmental conditions may not be favorable.

Not all PGRs are created equally, and plants respond differently to various amounts of growth regulators. PGRs can even have detrimental effects when used at levels that are too high and no effect when levels are too low.

Alleviate Early-Season Crop Stress

“Ascend2 has auxin, gibberellins and cytokinins as its three primary active ingredients with three times the amount of auxins compared to previous formulas,” said Zuk. “Ascend2 is more efficient and powerful in helping your corn grow, develop and withstand unexpected conditions.”

Auxins are crucial for early-season growth and help alleviate early-season crop stress. Auxins initiate root growth and are a key regulator of plant growth and development, causing biological responses in stem growth and cell division.

Compared to previous Ascend formulations, Ascend2 has two times the amount of gibberellic acid, which regulates key processes that stimulate cell division and elongation, break dormancy and speed up seed germination. Cytokinins also stimulate cell division and plant growth.

Ascend2: Unique in the Market

“Ascend2 is an auxin-dominant, three-way PGR that creates the foundation for increased corn yields,” said Zuk. “This PGR is specifically designed for in-furrow corn, more so than other PGRs, using WinField United’s innovation capabilities.”

Ascend2 is designed to deliver the right amount of PGRs at the right time for in-furrow corn, although it can also be used in a foliar application. The PGR can be added to the tank with a balancer starter fertilizer to provide corn a strong start to the growing season, making it ideal for growers who are already using zinc and a starter fertilizer on in-furrow corn acres.

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