Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Tuesday October 11 Ag News


For the week ending October 9, 2022, there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 44% very short, 38% short, 18% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 46% very short, 34% short, 20% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 18% very poor, 20% poor, 23% fair, 31% good, and 8% excellent. Corn mature was 91%, near 92% last year and 88% for the five-year average. Harvested was 34%, ahead of 28% last year and 22% average.

Soybean condition rated 13% very poor, 20% poor, 27% fair, 32% good, and 8% excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 96%, near 97% last year and 95% average. Harvested was 54%, near 56% last year, but ahead of 42% average.

Winter wheat planted was 86%, near 87% last year, and equal to average. Emerged was 52%, behind 58% last year and 57% average.

Sorghum condition rated 38% very poor, 24% poor, 18% fair, 15% good, and 5% excellent. Sorghum mature was 75%, behind 89% last year and 87% average. Harvested was 16%, well behind 36% last year, and behind 23% average.

Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 96%, near 97% last year. Harvested was 73%, behind 80% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 45% very poor, 37% poor, 15% fair, 3% good, and 0% excellent.

Iowa Crop Progress Report

Harvest progressed quickly with farmers taking advantage of 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 9, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork included harvesting row crops, drilling cover crops, tillage, and applying fall fertilizer and manure.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 19 percent very short, 39 percent short, 41 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 22 percent very short, 38 percent short, 39 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

in the mature stage or beyond was 92 percent, 2 days behind last year but 5 days ahead of the 5-year average. Harvest of the State’s corn crop reached 23 percent complete, 3 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of the average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was 20 percent. Corn condition rose slightly to 63 percent good to excellent.

Soybeans dropping leaves or beyond were at 93 percent, 5 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Iowa farmers were able to harvest 29 percent of the soybean crop during the week ending October 9 to reach 55 percent complete, 9 days ahead of the average. Soybean condition rated 62 percent good to excellent.

Pasture condition rated 27 percent good to excellent. Livestock were faring well.

USDA Crop Progress Report: Corn, Soybean Harvest Move Ahead of Average Pace

The nation's row-crop harvest -- particularly the soybean harvest -- picked up speed last week, pushing progress ahead of five-year averages, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress report on Tuesday. The report is normally released on Mondays but was delayed this week due to the holiday.


-- Harvest progress: 31% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, Oct. 9, up 11 percentage points from the previous week. This year's harvest progress is still 8 percentage points behind last year's 39% but moved to 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 30%.
-- Crop development: Corn mature was estimated at 87%, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 85%.
-- Crop condition: 54% of corn remaining in fields was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from 52% the previous week but 6 percentage points below last year's rating of 60%.


-- Harvest progress: 44% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, up 22 percentage points from the previous week. That is 3 percentage points behind last year's 47% but is now 6 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 38%.
-- Crop development: 91% of soybeans were dropping leaves, 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average.
-- Crop condition: 57% of soybeans remaining in fields were rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from 55% previous week but 2 percentage points below last year's rating of 59%.


-- Planting progress: 55% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, 3 percentage points behind the average pace of 58%.
-- Crop development: 26% of winter wheat was emerged as of Sunday, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 32%.


Nebraska Cattlemen State Political Action Committee Announces Support for Nineteen Nebraska Legislature Candidates

Today, the Nebraska Cattlemen State Political Action Committee (PAC) announced their support for nineteen candidates running to serve in the 108th legislative session of the Nebraska Unicameral.

The Nebraska Cattlemen PAC stated, “Nebraska beef cattle producers need state legislators who will represent the values of hard work and dedication we share throughout the agriculture community. We are pleased to announce our support for these nineteen legislative candidates who will give our members a voice in the Nebraska Capitol and help solve the crucial issues facing producers.”

Nebraska Cattlemen PAC supported Candidates for the Nebraska Legislature:
LD 02 - Senator Robert Clements
LD 04 - Brad Von Gillern
LD 12 - Merv Riepe
LD 14 - Senator John Arch
LD 16 - Senator Ben Hansen

LD 20 - Stu Dornan
LD 22 - Senator Mike Moser

LD 26 - Russ Barger
LD 28 - Jane Raybould
LD 30 - Senator Myron Dorn
LD 31 - Kathleen Kauth
LD 32 - Senator Tom Brandt
LD 34 - Loren Lippincott
LD 36 - Rick Holdcroft
LD 38 - Senator Dave Murman
LD 40 - Barry DeKay

LD 44 - Teresa Ibach
LD 46 - Danielle Conrad
LD 48 - Brian Hardin

The Nebraska Cattlemen PAC also supports the following candidates:


Nebraska’s First Congressional District – Mike Flood
Nebraska’s Second Congressional District – Don Bacon
Nebraska’s Third Congressional District – Adrian Smith

Nebraska Executive Branch

Governor – Jim Pillen
Secretary of State – Bob Evnen
Attorney General – Mike Hilgers

To learn more about the Nebraska Cattlemen PAC, please visit our website at nebraskacattlemen.org/policy/political-action-committee.

The Nebraska Cattlemen State PAC aims to support candidates who champion the beef industry by making decisions about laws and regulations that enhance the business climate for profitable beef production in Nebraska and foster opportunities for expansion.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Educator

While droughty areas or corners in cornfields can raise concern about potential nitrates when grazing residue, one might also be aware of any black nightshade in your corn residue that you are grazing or plan to graze? If these fields have too much black nightshade, be careful, it might be toxic.
Black nightshade is common in many corn fields in the fall, especially those that had hail damage in the summer or any situation where the corn canopy became thin or open.  It usually isn’t a problem, but if the density of nightshade is very high, there is the potential that it could poison livestock.
Black nightshade plants average about 2 feet in height and have simple alternating leaves.  In the fall, berries are green and become black as the plant matures.  All plant parts contain some of the toxin and the concentration increases as plants mature, except in the berries. Freezing temperatures will not reduce the toxicity.
It is very difficult to determine exactly how much black nightshade is risky.  Guidelines say that a cow would need to consume 3 to 4 pounds of fresh black nightshade to be at risk of being poisoned.  These guidelines, though, are considered conservative since there is little data on the actual toxicity of nightshade plants.  Also encouraging is that reports of nightshade poisoning have been very scarce in the past.
Fortunately, even though nightshade plants remain green fairly late into the fall, cattle usually don’t appear to seek out nightshade plants to graze.  However, green plants of nightshade might become tempting toward the end of a field’s grazing period, when there is less grain, husks, or leaves to consume.
Scouting fields to estimate the general density of nightshade plants will help you determine any potential risk.  Secondly, and particularly near the end of a field’s grazing period, closely observe what the cattle are eating to see if animals might be selecting nightshade plants.

Fellows selected for beginning farmer conservation program

Participants for the 2022 Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship Program have been announced by the Center for Rural Affairs, in partnership with Big Muddy Urban Farm, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, and Metropolitan Community College Culinary, Hospitality, and Horticulture.

Conservation fellows include Kelsey Jones, of Winside/Norfolk, Mariel Barreras, of Blair, and Peter David, Tricey Sullivan, Kelly Alsup, Jazz Marr, Katie Bettin, and Claudia Patricia Pinto, all of Omaha.

The fellowship is a new program at the Center for Rural Affairs funded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The fellows will complete coursework in conservation programs and practices, climate change adaptation and impacts, racial equity, and leadership.

“Across Nebraska, farmers and ranchers are working to put in place working lands conservation practices, such as cover crops, rotational grazing, and pollinator habitats,” said Justin Carter, senior project associate with the Center. “These practices are vital to the health of our soil and environment while producing the food we need. We have recruited these beginning farmer fellows to learn a range of conservation practices through a curriculum we’ve developed with organizational partners and experts on climate change mitigation and resource management.”

Fellows will design and implement a conservation project on their own farm or land they are farming, and present at the annual Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Conference on their findings in February. The program ends in February 2023.


The Nebraska Poultry and Egg Development, Utilization, and Marketing Committee has planned a meeting for Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 10:00 a.m at the NPI/PED Office in Milford, NE.

The current agenda of subjects to be discussed at this meeting is available for public inspection at the offices of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Poultry and Egg Division, 521 First Street, Milford, Nebraska.

Please send any funding requests or additions to the PED agenda to Alyssa no later than October 12, 2022.

Please contact the PED office at 402-761-2216 or alyssa@nepoultry.org if you have any questions.

NPPC Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments on California Proposition 12

from the National Pork Producers Council
“This is a historic day for American farmers. National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and American Farm Bureau Federation presented oral arguments on NPPC v. Ross before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California Proposition 12. As we’ve contended since 2018, one state should not be able to regulate commerce in another state and set arbitrary standards that lack any scientific, technical, or agricultural basis. NPPC presented a strong case and is confident in its arguments presented to the Supreme Court Justices. We appreciate the support of the Biden Administration and look forward to the Court’s decision.”

NCBA Joins NPPC in Defending Interstate Commerce for Livestock Producers

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reaffirmed support for the National Pork Producer’s Council (NPPC) following Supreme Court oral arguments in the case NPPC v. Ross.

“While this case is not focused on cattle producers, the precedent set by the court will determine all producers’ ability to engage in interstate commerce,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “NCBA strongly supports economic freedom for all livestock producers to sell their high-quality protein from coast to coast and we join NPPC in urging the Supreme Court to reject unconstitutional mandates on agricultural production.”
Earlier this year, NCBA filed an amicus brief before the court arguing that California’s mandates on livestock production methods violated the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution. Opening the door to state-level mandates creates a patchwork of rules that unreasonably restricts cattle producers’ ability to conduct business across state lines.

AFBF Presents Interstate Commerce Issue Before Supreme Court

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council presented oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court today, challenging the ability of one state to set agricultural production standards for the entire country.  The case involves California’s Proposition 12 law that bans the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the hogs were raised outside of California.

“Today’s arguments have implications not just for farmers and ranchers, but for businesses and consumers across the country,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “At the heart of this argument is whether one state can set the rules for the entire country. Proposition 12 has the potential to put small hog farmers out of business by requiring costly renovations and forces them to adopt practices that farmers and their veterinarians may find harmful to their animals.

“Farmers share California’s goal of ensuring animals are well cared for and raised in a safe environment. Unfortunately, Proposition 12’s misguided approach will ultimately cost every family through higher food prices.”

Soy Checkoff Supports Research to Expand Key Soybean Meal Export Infrastructure

To provide efficient access and bolster international trade markets for U.S. soybean meal, the United Soybean Board (USB) will invest $400,000 in the research, analysis and design costs of the Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project. The terminal, located in Aberdeen, Washington, plays an important role in international exports.

“The Port of Grays Harbor is critical in expanding high-value soybean meal exports. Farmers recognize this through their checkoff to fund significant work informing these upgrades that bring value to all U.S. soybean farmers,” said Tony Johanson, USB director and Soy Transportation Coalition board member from Nebraska. “I’m proud of our farmers’ commitment to enhance and maintain U.S. infrastructure. Doing so helps sustain our competitive advantage over global competitors.”

USB joins the Soy Transportation Coalition, Iowa Soybean Association, Kansas Soybean Commission, Nebraska Soybean Board, North Dakota Soybean Council and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, bringing the total farmer research investment to $1.3 million.

Earlier this year, AG Processing Inc. (AGP), an Omaha-based cooperative that owns and operates 10 soybean processing facilities in the Midwest, announced it would expand its export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor.

Scheduled to be operational in 2025, the upgrades will allow the AGP terminal to increase soybean meal exports from three to six million metric tons. To accommodate the growth, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand the rail infrastructure, allowing the terminal to handle the volume and mitigate traffic congestion in the community.

“It is well established how investments in the Pacific Northwest will result in greater farmer profitability in the Midwest,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director, Soy Transportation Coalition. “In turn, profitable farmers in the Midwest result in increased investments in the Pacific Northwest. AGP’s expansion project at the Port of Grays Harbor is arguably the most immediate opportunity for soybean farmers to assist with the need for increased soybean meal export capacity. The Soy Transportation Coalition and other farmer organizations are pleased to partner in this important project.”

The Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal 4 research project is the latest infrastructure initiative from the soy checkoff. In 2019, the checkoff funded research, education and promotion costs related to dredging the Mississippi River. And in 2021, the checkoff funded pre-engineering and design work to maintain Lock and Dam #25 on the Upper Mississippi River.

National Soybean Nematode Conference a Watershed Moment in the Fight Against Parasitic Nematodes

Parasitic nematodes cost U.S. soybean farmers more than $1.5 billion in losses each year because nematodes are evolving, rendering some of the main tools for fighting them less effective. The National Soybean Nematode Conference (NSNC) slated for December brings together a diverse audience to examine this challenge, discuss new tools needed, share advances to date, forge partnerships and develop the next five-year strategic plan for maximizing farmer profitability in the face of increasing nematode threats.

Major players in the soybean arena – academia and industry scientists, students, crop advisers, farmers, grower organizations, crop protection specialists and more – will unite for NSNC: Advancing Nematode Management for the Future, hosted by The SCN Coalition and the American Phytopathological Society. The watershed event takes place Dec. 14-16 in Georgia’s enchanting city of Savannah, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to share their diverse perspectives for a well-rounded strategy to defeat parasitic nematodes.

Networking opportunities abound at this formative event

“Attendees have a chance to shape the strategic direction, share their most pressing challenges and forge the connections needed to address them at this conference,” says Melissa Mitchum, professor of plant nematology at the University of Georgia’s Department of Plant Pathology and Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics, who’s chairing the event. “We’re bringing together research, technology and practical application to drive agricultural advancements toward a more prescriptive approach for nematode management.”

Mitchum adds the event holds value for anyone connected to the soybean industry:
    Crop consultants and farmers will learn about the latest advances in conventional and transgenic resistance, nematode diagnostics, and seed treatments.
    Certified Crop Advisers can earn continuing education credit.
    Farmers will share their challenges with those working to put their checkoff dollars to work, providing a practical feedback loop.
    Scientists will discuss their latest research findings and brainstorm with colleagues old and new.
    Industry representatives and funding decision makers will engage in discussions that expand their understanding of nematodes, helping to shape and realign corporate strategy to outpace competitors in the fight against nematodes.
    Students will have the opportunity to share research with leading scientists and build their professional network.

A fast-paced event featuring the best and brightest

Experts will cover topics ranging from the economic impact of soybean nematodes to nematode genetics and resistance, to advances in nematode management.

Attendees will hear from speakers like:
    Bruno Basso, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University, on “Digital Agriculture to Design Sustainable and Resilient Agricultural Systems.”
    Sam Markell, professor and extension plant pathologist at North Dakota State University, on “The SCN Coalition: Advancing Nematode Management with a Public/Private Partnership.”
    Julia Daum, nematologist and senior program leader in trait research at BASF Corp, on “A Transgenic Approach for the Enhancement of Nematode Resistance in Soybeans.”
    Tom Eickhoff, chief science officer, climate LLC and digital farming at Bayer Crop Science, on “Digital Tools for Prescriptive Agriculture.”
    Greg Tylka, Morrill professor, department of plant pathology and microbiology at ​Iowa State University, on “Challenges in Advancing Soybean Nematode Management: Opportunities to Grow.”

Travis Faske, professor and extension plant pathologist at the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, will speak on the management challenges of the southern root-knot nematode. “Similar to SCN, southern soybean nematodes are not a stagnant problem,” he says. “This conference is a great opportunity to discuss nematode management strategies and potential research projects.”

Discussion panels led by ag media will delve into hot-button topics impacting the future of nematode management, such as:
    The future of molecular-based nematode diagnostics for prescriptive management.
    The future of the diversity, certification, labeling and deployment of genetic resistance.
    Envisioning the next 10 years of soybean nematode management.

The conference also includes traditional and speed poster sessions to keep things lively. For the full agenda and to register, visit apsnet.org/NSNC.

Biden-Harris Administration Invests $80 Million to Improve Nutrition in School Meals

The Biden-Harris Administration today provided $50 million in grants for schools to invest in new food service equipment that will allow them to continue serving nutritious meals. Today’s funding adds to the $30 million in equipment grants that the administration gave schools earlier this year. This announcement comes as USDA stands with partners and advocates in the child nutrition community to celebrate National School Lunch Week (October 10-14), a time to recognize the critical nutrition that school meals provide to tens of millions of children every school day.

The added support for school meals and child nutrition builds on the momentum from last month’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, where the administration unveiled a National Strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030.

“Ensuring access to nutritious school meals is one of the best investments we can make in our fight to end child hunger and improve health,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As we celebrate the valiant efforts of school nutrition professionals across the country this National School Lunch Week, USDA is doubling down on our commitment to helping schools overcome challenges including higher food prices and continued supply chain disruptions. These additional resources will allow schools to provide healthy, appealing meals by meeting vital food service equipment needs.”

USDA provides grant funds to states (see: state-by-state breakdown), which use a competitive application process to award them to school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program. School districts can use the funds to purchase upgraded equipment that will support:
    Serving healthier meals, including those sourced from local foods;
    Implementing scratch cooking;
    Establishing or expanding school breakfast;
    Storing fresh food;
    Improving food safety.

Here are a few testimonials about how the equipment grants have improved food service for school districts around the country:
    Better Food Preparation and Visually Appealing Meals (Hoke County Schools, Raeford, North Carolina) – “The grant has afforded us the opportunity to purchase new and updated equipment for our school kitchens. Students eat with their eyes and when the food looks good, they eat more. We purchased warming cabinets and reach-in refrigerators for our middle and high schools to put behind our serving lines, which has helped with serving our complex menu items. We have increased our participation at these schools because students do not have to wait long for their meals. The equipment that has really assisted our program the past two years have been Blast Chillers, which allow us to quickly cool down our foods. The ultimate goal for Hoke County Schools is to provide the highest quality menu food items to all students and with this equipment, we are able to accomplish this goal.” – Deborah Carpenter, child nutrition executive director, Hoke County Schools

    More Scratch Cooking Thanks to New Dishwasher (Iowa-Grant School District, Livingston, Wisconsin) – “We replaced a 63-year-old dishwasher with a new, more efficient dishwasher that allows more time for food preparation. We have increased scratch cooking in our kitchen, which in turn increases the number of dishes we wash. Now, we can prepare foods like homemade granola for breakfast and cheesy broccoli soup for lunch – we would never have done that in the past. The new dishwasher is crucial to allowing the time and dishwashing capacity we need to continue increasing the amount of fresh meals we cook in our kitchen.” – Barbara Hugill, Food Service Supervisor, Iowa-Grant High School

    Prepare Local Produce with Steamers (Boyne Falls Public School, Boyne Falls, Michigan) – “We were able to use our funds to purchase a new steamer for our kitchen. Since the installation, we have been able to provide a variety of locally sourced vegetables in the most appealing and healthy way possible, including beets, string beans, brussels sprouts! The kids have been happy to see these types of veggies because of how fresh and vibrant the veggies look. Additionally, it is a much easier and efficient process because we do not have to blanch the vegetables in large, heavy pots of boiling water and transfer around the kitchen. That was a process that could take up to an hour; now, we are getting better results in ten minutes! At the end of the day, we need to prepare in large batches with little labor. This equipment has fit the bill perfectly and we are grateful for it.” – Nathan Bates, Chef, Boyne Falls Public School

These grants are only the latest in a series of efforts the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to financially support school meals and ensure our nation’s children are nutritionally secure. Last month, USDA launched the first phase of a $100 million Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative, which will award grants for small and rural schools to improve their meal quality. The request for applications is open to all nongovernmental organizations through Nov. 28, 2022. Later this year, FNS will announce the second and final phase of the initiative that will expand nutritious food options for school meals through collaboration with food industry partners.

Here’s a snapshot of the investments USDA had made in school meals for the 2022-2023 school year.

The administration is also investing in child nutrition more broadly. Last month, USDA issued a final rule that improves children’s access to USDA’s Summer Food Service Program through streamlining and strengthening program operations. USDA also approved families of nearly 33 million children to receive summertime child food benefits of $391 per child for summer 2022, with higher amounts in Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories. These benefits through the Summer P-EBT program are helping families cover food costs from the summer months when schools was out of session.

This announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The National Strategy provides a roadmap of actions the federal government will take to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030 – all while reducing disparities. The National Strategy was released in conjunction with the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in over 50 years, hosted by President Biden on September 28, 2022.

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