Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Monday October 25 Ag News


For the week ending October 23, 2022, there were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 47% very short, 37% short, 16% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 46% very short, 38% short, 16% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:
Corn mature was 97%, near 99% last year and 98% for the five-year average. Harvested was 65%, ahead of 57% last year and 46% average.

Soybeans harvested was 93%, ahead of 86% last year and 76% average.

Winter wheat condition rated 15% very poor, 20% poor, 34% fair, 30% good, and 1% excellent. Winter wheat planted was 96%, equal to both last year and average. Emerged was 86%, near 83% both last year and average.

Sorghum condition rated 40% very poor, 27% poor, 14% fair, 14% good, and 5% excellent. Sorghum mature was 93%, near 96% last year and 97% average. Harvested was 55%, behind 70% last year, but near 52% average.

Dry edible beans harvested was 95%, near 92% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:
Pasture and range conditions rated 50% very poor, 32% poor, 17% fair, 1% good, and 0% excellent.


Row crop harvest remained ahead of average as Iowa’s farmers had 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 23, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork included harvesting row crops, fall tillage, and applying fall fertilizer. Dry conditions resulted in some field fires being reported during harvest.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 28 percent very short, 43 percent short, 29 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 28 percent very short, 44 percent short, 28 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Nearly all of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the mature stage or beyond. Harvest of the corn for grain crop reached 59 percent complete, 1 day ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the average. The percent of corn harvested varied by area of the State with just 38 and 39 percent harvested in northeast and south central Iowa, respectively, and 82 percent harvested in northwest Iowa. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was 18 percent. Corn condition rated 65 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans harvested reached 88 percent complete, 11 days ahead of the average.

Pasture condition rated 26 percent good to excellent. Dry conditions were an issue for cattle.

USDA Crop Progress Report: Corn 61% Harvested, Soybeans 80% Harvested Week Ended Oct. 23

Chilly but mostly dry weather allowed corn and soybean farmers to pull further ahead of the average pace in harvesting their crops last week, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday. However, widespread precipitation forecast this week could slow some of that progress.

-- Harvest progress: 61% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, Oct. 23, up 16 percentage points from the previous week. This year's harvest progress is now 3 percentage points behind last year's 64% but 9 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 52%.
-- Crop development: Corn mature was estimated at 97%, even with the five-year average.

-- Harvest progress: 80% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, up 17 percentage points from the previous week. That is now 9 percentage points ahead of last year's 71% and 13 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 67%.

-- Planting progress: 79% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, even with last year and 1 percentage point ahead of the average pace of 78%.
-- Crop development: 49% of winter wheat was emerged as of Sunday, 7 percentage points behind the five-year average of 56%.


– Todd Whitney, NE Extension Educator

Fall frosts have ended the life cycle of many annual plants. In some cases, below freezing temperatures have reduced insect numbers and finally ended the harvest challenges of extended green soybean stems and corn plants. Despite the cold nighttime temperatures, many crops are still growing. So, the question arises: “How much irrigation should be applied in late fall for perennial and winter-annual crops like alfalfa, wheat, rye and triticale?”
Generally, the fall goal is to have adequate stored moist in the upper 2 feet of soil profile; while leaving enough storage room to take full advantage of off-season precipitation. For sandy soils, it may require 2 inches of water to fill the top two feet of soil; while clay soils may need 4 inches of water to fill the 2-feet profile.
When extreme dry conditions occur in the fall, irrigators will usually water after the winter-annual seeds have been sown. Ideally, fall drilled wheat and rye should have available soil water below the planted seeds. When extreme dry conditions occur in the fall, irrigators will usually apply 1.0 to 2.0 inches of water following drilling season.
For alfalfa, daily water use drops significantly in the fall to less than one-fourth-inch per day due to cooler days. Overall, alfalfa requires six to seven inches per cutting for optimum production.
More Nebraska Extension fall crop irrigation publications are available on our cropwatch.unl.edu website: NebGuide G1778 “Irrigation Management and Crop Characteristics of Alfalfa” and EC731 “Producing Irrigated Winter Wheat.”

Iowa Pork Leadership Applications Due Nov. 30

The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is looking for the next class of Iowans to join the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy (IPLA). Develop your leadership skills, increase your understanding of state and national policy making, and travel the country to meet farmers from other states.

IPLA aims to equip you with the abilities to help lead the pork industry today and tomorrow. Applications for the 2023 IPLA class are due Nov. 30, 2022.

Online applications and details about the program can be found at http://www.iowapork.org/iowa-pork-leadership-academy/.

The tools IPLA participants will gain in the 2023 program are:
·        a working knowledge of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and other key organizations that work with IPPA to broaden perspectives and build coalitions;
·        understanding and defining leadership styles and how they impact people working together in a group;
·        a deeper understanding of the pork industry and its economic contributions to Iowa, and how that impacts Iowa’s place in the world; and
·        sharpening written and verbal communications and messaging about pig farming and pork.

The academy will meet four times in 2023, starting with an introductory session in February 2023. The program culminates with the group’s graduation at the January 2024 Iowa Pork Congress.

The current IPLA class will graduate at the 2023 IPPA annual meeting awards lunch on Jan. 24, 2023.

Those members are: (listed alphabetically by county): Audubon County – Yury Alexandra Espinosa, Audubon; Des Moines County – Haley Kerr, Oakville; Howard County – Hailey Waddell, Protivin; Johnson County – Matthew Rooda, Iowa City; Linn County – Matthew Ditch, Center Point.

Also, Plymouth County – Trevor Harson, Hinton, and Colin Schroeder, Le Mars; Polk County – Eleanor Korum, Des Moines, and Katie Tapper, Urbandale; and Story County – Jeb Gent, Ames, and Stacie Matchan, Gilbert.

USDA Cold Storage September 2022 Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers on September 30, 2022 were up 1 percent from the previous month and up 17 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 2 percent from the previous month and up 19 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down slightly from the previous month but up 14 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 3 percent from last month and up 183 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on September 30, 2022 were up slightly from the previous month and up 10 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were up 5 percent from the previous month and up 18 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down 9 percent from last month and down 5 percent from September 30, 2021.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on September 30, 2022 were down 1 percent from the previous month but up 1 percent from September 30, 2021. Butter stocks were down 4 percent from last month and down 18 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks on September 30, 2022 were up 6 percent from last month and up 8 percent from a year ago. Total frozen vegetable stocks were up 21 percent from last month and up 1 percent from a year ago.

October Cattle on Feed Report Assessment

Stephen R. Koontz, Dept of Ag and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

The USDA Cattle on Feed Report released on October 21 appears to be neutral with evidence of the smaller numbers ahead. Placements were softer and were exactly as anticipated. Pre-report expectations anticipated that placements would be 96.2 percent of last year with a range of 91.8 to 99.0 percent. Actual placements during the month of September were 96.2 percent of the prior year at 2.080 million head. The futures market reacted sharply higher on Monday but the main strength in the up move was in the nearby as opposed to the deferred contracts. Dry weather, poor pasture in the southern plains, and specifically poor wheat pasture have led to larger feeder cattle movements into feedyards earlier in the late summer and fall. It is also somewhat anticipated that placements through October and November will be more modest that typical. Thus, both the intermediate and long-term – or outlook into next year is very optimistic.
Fed cattle marketings were strong and were understood to be so. Pre-report expectations anticipated that marketings would be 103.9 percent of last year with a range of 103.8 to 104.2 percent. Actual marketings during the month of February were inline and 104.0 percent of the prior year at 1.860 million head. The cattle feeding and meatpacking industries continue to move forward with substantial weekly and monthly marketings and slaughter. There has been a modest tightening of Saturday kills with working-day slaughter better than weekly averages of the past two years. The functioning of the beef supply chain continues improve. The inventory of cattle on feed over 150 are down modestly with the normal seasonal decline, on feed over 120 days are down slightly more, and over 90 days are down the most. The inventory of animals appears heaviest for long-fed animals and animals just placed on feed. Further, the backlog that was created and persisted since the pandemic shutdowns looks to finally totally clear during the fourth quarter.  This is bullish news for market outlook.

Cattle on feed inventories are tightening. The beginning of October saw an inventory of 11.282 million and even with the beginning of September inventory of 11.234 million head. But for the first time this year the cattle on feed are below the prior year. And there will likely be more of this to come with calculated days on feed inventories, the level of heifer slaughter, and beef cow liquidation. Pre-report expectations anticipated that on-feed inventory would be 99.1 percent of last year with a range of 98.2 to 99.6 percent. Actual inventories were 99.1 percent of the prior year – as expected.

Cattle Recordkeeping Made Easy with NCBA Redbook 2023 Edition Now Available

For more than three decades cattle producers have simplified their recordkeeping with a handy pocket-sized booklet from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The 2023 version of the Redbook is now available to help cattle producers effectively and efficiently record their daily production efforts, which can help enhance profitability and reduce stress levels.

In addition to Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) practices and proper injection technique information, the 2023 Redbook has more than 100 pages to record calving activity, herd health, pasture use, cattle inventory, body condition, cattle treatment, AI breeding records and more. It also contains a calendar and notes section.

Redbooks can be purchased online at https://store.ncba.org/ for $7.50 each, plus shipping. Customization, including adding a company logo on the cover, is available in quantities of 100 books or more. For more information on custom orders, contact Grace Webb at gwebb@beef.org or (303) 850-3443.

Calls Increase for U.S. Trade Representative to Act on Mexico’s Pending Decree on Corn Imports

Calls from corn grower leaders are growing louder for the United States Trade Representative to intervene in a trade dispute with Mexico over corn imports.

The response from corn growers comes as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promises to enact a decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up over 90% of U.S. corn crops.

An opinion piece by NCGA President Tom Haag was published over the weekend in The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congress and other Washington decision-makers, calling on USTR to file a settlement dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the matter.

“If the decree is enacted, the negative impact will be felt by farmers in the U.S. and by the people of Mexico,” Haag noted. “We’re now looking to the Biden administration to intervene to ensure that corn exports to Mexico don’t come to a sudden stop.”

NCGA has been at the forefront of this issue. In a major Reuters article published in September, NCGA also called on USTR to intervene in the dispute.

A USMCA dispute settlement would allow for extensive debate and mediation and would head off a calamitous outcome.

Noting bags of seed purchased this fall will be in grain channels as late as 2025, Haag says that Mexico’s demands are not only a non-starter, but that they would also have to be made years in advance.

“We need USTR to act soon and the problem to be resolved quickly, because while some might think the clock is ticking, in reality, we’re already out of time,” he says.

Growth Energy Outlines Opportunity to Reduce Emissions Before Washington and Oregon Lawmakers

Growth Energy recently submitted comments to the Washington Department of Ecology and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in response to the states’ proposals to follow California’s Advanced Clean Cars II regulation requiring 100% sales of zero emission vehicles by 2035. In its comments, Growth Energy highlighted the immediate greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction benefits of higher blends of biofuels for cars on the road today.

“We appreciate Ecology’s work to make Washington’s transportation mix more sustainable. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a goal of our industry as well,” wrote Growth Energy in response to Washington’s state proposal. “Specifically, liquid fuels will continue to play an important role in the transportation sector for decades to come, even as alternative technologies flourish. As such, it is imperative to consider the vital role that environmentally sustainable fuel options such as bioethanol will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting consumer costs from the current and future Washington vehicle fleet.”

“A recent study by Air Improvement Resources found that using E15 across the nation would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 million tons per year, the equivalent of taking nearly 4 million cars off the road,” wrote Growth Energy in response to Oregon’s state proposal. “Specific to Oregon, the study found that if Oregon moved to E15 statewide, it could reduce GHG emissions by 191,000 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 41,000 cars off of Oregon roadways. In addition to GHG benefits, E15 has a proven track record of saving consumers money at the pump, with an average savings of 16 cents per gallon this past summer and the potential to save American drivers more than $20 billion in annual fuel costs if adopted nationwide.”  

USMEF to Honor Lighthizer, Saunders at Upcoming Conference

Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, who headed the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under the Trump administration, has been selected to receive the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) Michael J. Mansfield Award. USMEF established the award in recognition of the U.S. Senate majority leader and ambassador to Japan whose five decades of government service advanced U.S. trade relations throughout the world.

Leann Saunders, co-founder of Where Food Comes From, will receive the USMEF Distinguished Service Award. This award honors outstanding figures in the red meat industry who exemplify the exceptional, individual dedication responsible for the federation’s success. Both awards will be presented Nov. 10 at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Oklahoma City.

“I’m truly honored to receive the Michael J. Mansfield Award,” Lighthizer said. “I’ve known some of the other recipients and they all did a great job for this country. We worked closely with USMEF through several negotiations and hopefully did a good job for the people USMEF represents. I’m grateful for the 20-hour days we get from our farmers and ranchers, and the reality is, when they are successful America is more successful.”

During his time at USTR, Lighthizer spearheaded key trade agreements that expanded opportunities for U.S. red meat. This included the Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement with China, which achieved meaningful access for U.S. beef for the first time in the post-BSE era and lowered trade barriers for U.S. pork.

“In the case of China, President Trump took very strong actions to try to begin to rebalance that relationship,” Lighthizer said. “In the final analysis, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness hung in there with the president and we ended up with a really good deal. I think Phase One was a historic agreement for a lot of reasons, but certainly one of them was what it accomplished for the meat industry.”

Lighthizer also led negotiation of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which lowered tariffs for U.S. pork and beef and leveled the playing field in the highly competitive Japanese market – the highest value destination for U.S. red meat exports.

“When I spoke to people about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), they told me it basically came down to increasing agricultural sales to Japan,” Lighthizer explained. “And that's really what we did in the Japan agreement. We got almost all the benefits of TPP, but without having to pay the price in other sectors.”

Ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was also a major achievement. While USMCA did not make major changes in North American meat trade, its passage calmed trade tensions with Mexico and Canada and preserved duty-free access for U.S. red meat in these critical export markets. Lighthizer also oversaw the effort to establish a U.S.-specific allocation of the European Union’s duty-free beef quota, securing more reliable, year-round access for U.S. beef in the high-value EU market.

USMEF Distinguished Service Award recipient Leann Saunders is co-founder of Where Food Comes From Inc., a leader in food verification and certification and livestock identification and traceability systems. IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, was instrumental in developing identification, traceability and verification systems that assisted the U.S. beef industry in meeting specific export requirements following the first U.S. case of BSE in 2003. Today the company’s programs enable ranchers, growers, feeders, packers and processors to meet specific export or private brand label requirements related to production practices.

Saunders previously worked for PM Beef Holdings, where she developed the first-ever USDA Process Verified Program for U.S. beef, and for McDonald’s Corporation and Hudson Foods Corporation. Her involvement with USMEF dates back to her time as a student at Colorado State University, where Saunders earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and developed a powerful interest in the global growth potential for U.S. agricultural exports.

“USMEF holds a dear place in my heart, and has for a very long time,” she said. “As a student, I had some really great mentors in my undergraduate and graduate programs – people like Dr. Gary Smith and Dr. Tom Field who exposed me to the great work USMEF was doing and the support it provides to the beef, pork, lamb and grain industries.”

Appreciative of the guidance that helped her achieve a successful career in agriculture, Saunders makes it a priority to mentor young people and help foster the next generation of U.S. agricultural leaders. She currently serves on the board of directors for the University of Nebraska’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

“I feel very strongly about giving back, the same way people gave up their time to help put me in a position to succeed,” Saunders said. “There is a lot of excitement about agriculture among young people today, and the international markets are especially intriguing for them. They can learn about what's happening around the world in a way that supports U.S. agriculture and that supports those who work every day to feed the world in a sustainable manner.”

USDA Announces Regional Networks for New Transition to Organic Partnership Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is establishing cooperative agreements in six regions across the United States for the Organic Transition Initiative, Transition to Organic Partnership Program (TOPP). Organizations participating in the partnership network will work together to establish and administer a farmer-to-farmer mentorship program providing direct farmer training, education, and outreach activities. These activities will help transitioning and recently transitioned producers who face technical, cultural, and market shifts during the transition period and the first few years of organic certification.

The Organic Transition Initiative (OTI) was launched in August 2022 as part of USDA’s food system transformation effort to support local and regional food systems, expand access to markets to more producers and increase the affordable food supply for more Americans, while promoting climate-smart agriculture and ensuring equity for all producers.  OTI provides comprehensive support for farmers transitioning to organic production and will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring; provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance; and support market development projects in targeted markets.

“The organic community is known for strong local collaboration and providing farmer-to-farmer support,” USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said. “TOPP will build on this spirit, while bringing organic to new communities of farmers and consumers.”

The TOPP partnership network covers six regions: the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Plains, Northwest, and West/Southwest. Organizations in these regions are actively forming partnerships to serve transitioning and existing organic farmers. Partnerships will provide mentoring services, technical assistance, community building, and organic workforce development.

TOPP regions are set geographically and form a mix of states that are well-represented in organic and states that are currently underserved. The program is designed to maximize the availability of expert mentors in each region. TOPP is a collaborative effort involving many partners, with cross-functional teams and representatives from different regions working together to achieve a common goal.

The Transition to Organic Partnership Program now includes information about TOPP, a map with the organizations establishing the partnership network, and a form that interested farmer mentors, mentees and other farm service organizations can use to express their interest in this initiative.

USDA is also announcing an upcoming listening session on November 15, which will gather stakeholder input about another OTI program, Organic Pinpointed Market Development Program. The event will seek feedback about the pinpointed market development investments needed to expand the organic agricultural supply chain. This initiative will develop new and expanded organic markets by providing more resources and certainty in the organic market for producers and processors transitioning to organic or initiating new organic production and processing capacity. Event information is available from the Organic Transition Initiative webpage.

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