Monday, October 10, 2022

Weeknd Ag News Round-up - October 09

 USDA Designates Dodge County, Nebraska, as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Exceptional.

This Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

Impacted Area: Nebraska
Triggering Disaster: Drought
Primary Counties Eligible: Dodge
Contiguous Counties Also Eligible: Burt, Butler, Colfax, Cuming, Douglas, Saunders and Washington
Application Deadline: April 26, 2023

On, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.


NextGen, a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), provides tax credits to the owner of agricultural assets who rents to an eligible beginning farmer or rancher for a minimum of three years. Effective Oct. 1, the net worth requirement for beginning farmer applicants was raised from not more than $200,000 to not more than $250,000. The Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act, administered as NextGen, was created to encourage the pursuit of farming, or ranching as a career and to aid the beginner in acquiring access to agricultural assets.

“It is important to encourage and help our next generation of farmers and ranchers, sustaining Nebraska’s number one industry, agriculture,” said Program Administrator Karla Bahm. “NextGen is a great tool for beginners to use when vying for agricultural assets for rent.” Beginning farmers may also apply for a personal property tax exemption on farm equipment and machinery used in production agriculture or horticulture, valued up to $100,000.

Those interested in applying for the 2022 income tax credit or the personal property tax exemption must have their applications postmarked by Nov. 1, 2022. For more information on NextGen visit or contact Karla Bahm at 402-471-4876.

Hordville Couple to Represent Nebraska at YLP

The Nebraska Soybean Association has announced their 2023 American Soybean Association/Corteva Agriscience Young Leaders, Aaron and Chandra Blase of Hordville, Nebraska. Aaron and Chandra will be representing the Nebraska Soybean Association in the 2023 program.
Their family raises 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans near Hordville. Aaron is a fourth generation farmer and attended UNL earning a degree in mechanized systems management with a minor in agronomy. Aaron is also a member of Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Farm Bureau and volunteers with their local church and fire department. Chandra grew up on a dairy farm and has a bachelors degree from UNL in hospitality management with an emphasis on ag tourism and a minor in agricultural leadership, education and communication. Chandra plays an integral part of the family farm operation and handles the daily bookkeeping and logistics as well as other duties as needed. They love raising their three young daughters on the family farm.

ASA’s longest-running leadership program, Young Leaders was founded in 1984 and continues to set the bar for leadership training in agriculture, identifying and training new, innovative and engaged growers to serve as the voice of the American farmer. Participants commit to attend two training sessions, the second of which is held in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic trade show and conference.

2023 Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Retail Value Steer Challenge

The Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation (NCF) is seeking donations of steers for its Annual Retail Value Steer Challenge (RVSC) feeding competition. This is the primary fundraiser for the Foundation, and by participating in the RVSC, you join other Nebraska cattle producers to support NCF projects. Funds from this event support:
    Youth and Adult Leadership Programs
    NCF Education Programs - Scholarships
    NCF Research Programs and Infrastructure Projects
    History Preservation
    Judging Teams at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Northeast Community College, Norfolk and Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Curtis

Your involvement ensures these programs succeed. You also receive complete carcass data on your steer or steers and the chance to win prize money. And you are helping the state’s leading industry sponsor programs that benefit our industry. Contributors should contact their tax professionals as to the tax-deductible status of this contribution. NCF is a 501 (3) C entity.

NCF welcomes steer donations by individuals, businesses, groups of individuals or businesses, and NC affiliates. Donors can donate their own steer or purchase one from the Foundation. Donors do not have to own the whole steer if they would prefer to only own 1/4 , 1/3 or 1/2.

Winners will be announced at the Nebraska Cattlemen Midyear Conference in June 2023.

For more information or to enter a steer contact Lee Weide at 402.475.2333, or Jana Jensen, NC Foundation Fundraising Coordinator, at 308.588.6299,

IDALS Suspends Warehouse and Grain Dealer Licenses of Global Processing Inc. of Kanawha, Iowa

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has immediately suspended the warehouse and grain dealer licenses for Global Processing Inc. of Kanawha, Iowa. As a result of this action, Global Processing Inc. shall not operate as a warehouse operator or grain dealer within Iowa until further order of the Department and must surrender any warehouse and grain dealer certificates to the Department.

Global Processing Inc.’s licenses were suspended in accordance with Iowa Code Chapter 203 and 203C. The suspension is based upon the company’s failure to have sufficient funds to cover producer grain checks and failure to file monthly financial statements in accordance with Iowa Code 203 and 203C. The Department has requested that a hearing on the Department’s action be held in the immediate future.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Grain Warehouse Bureau regulates and examines the financial solvency of grain dealers and grain warehouse operators. The functions of the Bureau include warehouse licensing, warehouse examination, grain dealer licensing, and grain dealer examinations.

New Competitor Joins Semi-Finalist Teams in Ag Innovation Challenge

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in partnership with Farm Credit, announces a change in the 10 semi-finalist teams in the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. California-based Vence was acquired by another company and no longer qualifies for the competition.

Iowa-based ChopLocal is now one of the 10 semi-finalist teams.

“We congratulate the owners of Vence and wish them all the best as they move forward with this exciting opportunity,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Recognizing entrepreneurs who are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel and fiber we all rely on remains a cornerstone of the Ag Innovation Challenge.”

The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. This is the ninth year of the Challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses.

The updated list of 10 semi-finalist teams each awarded $10,000 is below.
Atlantic Aquaculture Technologies, Massachusetts. Team lead: Daniel Ward
ChopLocal, Iowa. Team lead: Katie Olthoff
EmGenisys Inc., Texas. Team lead: Cara Wells
Hennen Pig Chute, Minnesota. Team lead: Brad Hennen
MycoLogic LLC, Georgia. Team lead: Chris Cornelison
NORDEF, Kansas. Team lead: William Walls
ReEnvision Ag, Iowa. Team lead: Jayson Ryner
Symbrosia, Hawaii. Team lead: Alexia Akbay
TrackerSled, Illinois. Team lead: Lawrence Kearns
TreadSure, Nebraska. Team lead: Preston Parmley

The 10 semi-finalist teams will compete at the AFBF Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Jan. 6, to advance to the final round where the four finalist teams will receive an additional $5,000 for a total of $15,000 each. The final four teams will compete live in front of Farm Bureau members, investors and industry representatives on Sunday, Jan. 8, to win three top titles and prizes:
    Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Winner, for a total of $50,000
    Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up, for a total of $20,000
    People’s Choice Team selected by public vote, for an additional $5,000 (all 10 semi-finalist teams compete for this honor)

The top 10 semi-finalist teams will participate in pitch training and mentorship from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business faculty prior to competing at AFBF’s Convention. In addition, the top 10 semi-finalist teams will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and venture capital representatives from the Agriculture Department’s Rural Business Investment Program.

Farm Bureau would not be able to recognize and support these rural businesses without generous funding provided by sponsors Farm Credit, Bayer Crop Science, John Deere, Farm Bureau Bank and Microsoft.

To learn more about the Challenge visit

U.S. Grains Council Applauds Kenya’s Leadership on GMO Crops

After a recent Kenyan governmental task force recommendation regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and food safety, this week, Kenya’s president, William Ruto, lifted the ban on GM crops, opening the market to both the production and import of GMO derived crops.

The president’s statement read:
“In accordance with the recommendation of the Task Force to Review Matters Relating to Genetically Modified Foods and Food Safety, and in fidelity with the guidelines of the National Biosafety Authority on all applicable international treaties, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB), Cabinet vacated its earlier decision of November 8, 2012, prohibiting the open cultivation of genetically modified crops and the importation of food crops and animal feeds produced through biotechnology innovations; effectively lifting the ban on genetically modified crops. By dint of the executive action open cultivation and importation of white (GMO) maize is now authorized.”

“This is an encouraging development,” said Kurt Shultz, senior director of global strategies, “the Kenyan government is responding to the reality that its farmers and livestock industry need new tools to increase their agricultural productivity. Lifting this ban will enhance domestic production in Kenya and allow Kenya to participate in the global corn trade market where 90 percent of the corn and soybeans are GM making it easier for imports to backfill their needs in times of crop shortfalls, such as increasingly recurring droughts.”

President Ruto’s statement also mentioned the decision was two-fold – allowing the government to respond to an ongoing drought, but also building upon Kenya’s redefinition of acceptable agricultural commodities that began in 2019 with acceptance of a particular strain of pest-resistant cotton.

“Today’s Cabinet decision builds on [that decision] and also extends its benefits to other agricultural and manufacturing sectors,” the Kenyan president’s statement read.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has been working closely with the Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA) for several years focused on the long-term strategic plan for the sector’s development and to address shortfalls in domestic feed production which has limited long-term growth for the sector.

Last year, the Council partnered with the poultry and feed industries in Kenya to address an annual deficit in corn and increasing demand for milk, meat and eggs in Kenya. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service-Nairobi and AKEFEMA, the Council organized multiple round table seminars in Nairobi to provide key Kenyan stakeholders information about the feed grain demand situation, compound feed nutritional composition and the economic benefits of using U.S. sorghum and DDGS in poultry and dairy feeds.

“This announcement is a key turning point in the development of Kenya’s food and feed markets,” said Shultz. “It will allow Kenya to meet the challenges of growing demand as consumption increases and as it faces the challenges associated with climate change. Kenya has taken a leadership role in the region by providing the framework to increase its overall agricultural productivity.”

U.S. Grains Council Welcomes 11 Pre-Event Trade Teams to 12 States Ahead of Export Exchange 2022

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is sponsoring 21 trade teams made up of agricultural product importers, government officials and agribusiness leaders from more than 50 countries in support of the Council’s headline event, Export Exchange. Eleven of these teams will arrive in the United States this weekend to visit farm operations and export facilities, as well as conduct meetings with partners along the value chain.

Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains that will host nearly 500 international buyers, importers and domestic suppliers. This year’s edition will be held in Minneapolis from Oct. 12-14.

“Hosting trade teams prior to Export Exchange is a great opportunity for these stakeholders to meet the people that produce the materials they need,” said Emily Byron, USGC director of global programs. “There is nothing like conducting business face-to-face and that’s what makes this entire event so impactful for U.S. agricultural exports.”

The trade teams represent a diverse group of industry leaders who contribute to strong U.S. export numbers year after year in commodities including corn, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), ethanol, sorghum and barley.

A description of the teams and the dates of their travel are listed below:
• Korean DDGS team to Washington, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, Oct. 3-12
• South Asian export logistics team to Louisiana, Oct. 8-12
• Middle Eastern, European and African (MEA) corn and DDGS team to Wisconsin and Illinois, Oct. 8-12
• MEA DDGS team to Louisiana and Minnesota, Oct. 8-12
• MEA bulk logistics team to Missouri and Louisiana, Oct. 8-12
• MEA sorghum team to Kansas, Oct. 8-12
• Southeast Asian (SEA) DDGS team to Kentucky, Oct. 9-12
• SEA corn team to South Dakota, Oct. 9-12
• Latin American (LTA) feed grain team to Kansas, Oct. 9-12
• LTA poultry team to Arkansas, Oct. 9-12
• Mexican DDGS team to Iowa, Oct. 9-12

More information will be made available online at and on social media using the hashtag #ExEx22.

Virtual Workshops Highlight Improvements to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering virtual workshops – on Oct. 11, Oct. 13, Nov. 15, and Dec. 13 – for agricultural producers and stakeholders to learn about the latest updates and improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and the Micro Farm insurance options, two of the most comprehensive risk management options available. These insurance options are especially important to specialty crop, organic, urban, and direct market producers, and this is part of the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) efforts to increase participation in these options and crop insurance overall.

RMA will host these workshops for agricultural producers via Microsoft Teams events:
    Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. ET
    Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. ET
    Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. PT
    Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 11 a.m. ET

RSVP is not required. Attendees will have a chance to submit written questions during the event.

Labor Dept. Issues Final Rule to Improve H-2A Visa Program

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to amend H-2A temporary labor certification regulations to protect agricultural workers better, and to update the H-2A application and temporary labor certification process. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Oct. 12, 2022.

The H-2A program allows employers to address temporary labor needs by employing foreign agricultural workers when there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available, and when doing so will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers similarly employed in the U.S.

After the department proposed changes to the H-2A program's regulations in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in July 2019, employers, employer associations, agents, business advocacy groups, state agencies, federal and state elected officials, worker advocates, labor unions, public policy and academic organizations, farmworkers and others submitted tens of thousands of comments. After considering them, the department will publish the final rule, which becomes effective on Nov. 14, 2022.

"By improving H-2A program regulations, we are strengthening worker protections, meeting our core mission," said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. "Today's new rule makes several improvements to enhance the integrity of the H-2A program and provide employers and other stakeholders greater clarity."

The new rule includes the following important elements:
** Improves safety and health protections for workers housed in rental or public accommodations.
** Streamlines and updates bond requirements for labor contractors to better hold them accountable and clarifies joint-employer status for employers and associations.
** Clarifies the housing certification process to allow state and local authorities to conduct housing inspections.
** Establishes explicit authority to debar attorneys and agents for their misconduct, independent of an employer's violations.
** Makes electronic filing mandatory for most applications to improve employers' processing efficiency.
** Modernizes the methodology and procedures for determining the prevailing wage to allow state workforce agencies to produce more prevailing wage findings.

The changes in the final rule will also support the enforcement capabilities of the department's Wage and Hour Division to address H-2A program fraud and abuse that undermines workers' rights and hurts law-abiding employers.

Throughout the U.S., Wage and Hour Division violations of H-2A regulations and recovery of back wages have increased significantly over the past five years. In 2021, the Wage and Hour Division found H-2A violations in 358 cases and collected more than $5.8 million in back wages for more than 7,000 workers.

LMA recognizes Roberts, Marshall, and Costa as “Friends of the Livestock Marketing Industry”   

During the Livestock Marketing Association’s (LMA) annual D.C. Fly In, Retired Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), and House Livestock Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa (D-CA) received the Friend of the Livestock Marketing Industry award for going above and beyond in their legislative service on behalf of the livestock marketing industry. This is the first time in more than 20 years that LMA has given the award. It is the first time legislators have been award recipients.

“It takes true leadership and quite a bit of grit to be a leader in livestock policy,” said Chelsea Good, LMA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs and Legal. “LMA has been blessed by the leadership of Senators Roberts and Marshall and Representative Costa. They roll their sleeves up, dig into the details, and are willing to stand up for what is right.”

Sen. Roberts is the only individual to chair both the House and Senate agriculture committees. He remained true to his Kansas roots throughout his forty years of serving in Washington D.C., prioritizing the interests of the livestock sector. In fact, he was known to some simply as the “Farm Guy.”
In the 115th and 116th Congresses, Sen. Marshall, who was serving in the U.S. House of Representatives at the time, partnered with Rep. Costa to lead the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act. The SALE Act, which passed into law, created a Dealer Statutory Trust. The Dealer Statutory Trust helps to provide sellers of livestock with payment protection during dealer payment defaults. Modeled after the Packer Statutory Trust, the Dealer Statutory Trust gives unpaid sellers of livestock (producers, livestock auction markets, and other dealers) first priority in unpaid-for livestock or, if the livestock have already been resold, the proceeds and receivables from those livestock. Dealer Trust was a top priority for LMA.

Both Marshall and Costa continue their service to Congress and the livestock industry. Rep. Costa is Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Sen. Marshall, who has served in the Senate since 2021, is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  
“The state of Kansas, and livestock industry as a whole, greatly appreciate the tremendous service of Chairman Pat Roberts,” said Dan Harris, owner of Holton Livestock Exchange in Holton, Kan. and LMA Board Member. “Chairman Roberts served well and was always a champion for competitive livestock marketing businesses like mine. I’m particularly proud of the Holton High School graduate and the impact he has made.”    

“Congressmen Costa has long been a friend of and advocate for the Livestock Marketing Association,” said Jake Parnell, manager of Cattlemen's Livestock Market in Galt, Calif. and LMA Board Member. “His commitment to passing the Dealer Statutory Trust and helping Agriculture navigate the recent supply chain issue are just two examples of the congressman's leadership within our industry. He has made the agriculture community a priority in his more than four decades of service and is beyond deserving of this award. We look forward to continuing our positive relationship and working with Congressmen Costa as he chairs the House Livestock Subcommittee.”

“It’s pretty cool to have a Senator whose first job was working out back at his local Kansas sale barn,” said Brody Peak, owner of Emporia Livestock Sales in Emporia, Kan. and LMA Board Member. “Senator Marshall really stuck to his guns in making sure Dealer Statutory Trust became law. Thanks to this, cattle producers and sellers now have payment priority in the event of a livestock dealer default, as they should.”  

Approximately 50 LMA members and staff traveled to Washington D.C. for the 2022 LMA D.C. Fly In to meet with leaders on issues that matter to the livestock marketing industry. Priority topics included needed changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act to allow livestock auction owners to invest in small packers and to incentivize electronic payment for livestock. In addition to meetings on Capitol Hill, attendees also met with USDA officials and hosted briefings on Capitol Hill about the livestock marketing industry.

Registration Open for ASI Annual Convention

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the American Sheep Industry Association’s Annual Convention returns to North Texas as the Omni Fort Worth Hotel will play host to the yearly event on Jan. 18-21, 2023.

Registration is now open and early bird rates apply through Dec. 16. All online registrations must be completed by Dec. 30. Any registrations after that date will have to be done onsite in Fort Worth. The Omni Fort Worth Hotel is offering a discounted rate for convention attendees, but reservations must be made by Dec. 30 to assure attendees receive that rate.

The ASI Annual Convention is the one time each year when all facets of the American sheep industry come together to discuss topics that are timely and important to sheep and wool producers, as well as those working in the meat, wool and sheepskin sides of the industry.

“Our industry has key market and supply topics for both lamb and wool that will be addressed at the 2023 Annual Convention, and we encourage you to be there and participate in those discussions,” said ASI Executive Director Peter Orwick.

ASI is excited to hear from convention keynote speaker Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson on Jan. 19. She is director of Colorado State University’s AgNext program – a research collaborative designed to work with members of the entire livestock value chain to produce solutions to move the industry toward a sustainable future. With the support of its partner Industry Innovation Group, AgNext works to address the urgent needs of producers and food systems through the lens of animal agriculture to ensure a safe and nutritious food supply.

Also on the schedule is magician and mentalist Grant Price, who will entertain and enthrall the audience during lunch on Jan. 21. Much like the interactive hypnotist show that left attendees laughing all afternoon at the 2022 convention, Price performs in a way that makes the audience feel known and cared about. As a result, his shows always bear a unique signature – which he calls responsive entertainment – giving the audience a show they will love by making them part of the action.

Three tours will be offered during the convention:
    The annual industry tour on Jan. 18 will take participants to the cutting horse training barn of J.D. Garrett – the 1999 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s bareback riding rookie of the year and a former National Finals Rodeo qualifier in the event – in Weatherford, Texas. Afterward, participants will stop for lunch at Joe T. Garcia’s – a legendary Fort Worth restaurant that has been serving the area since 1935.  

    A city tour is on the schedule for Jan. 19. Tour participants will see the sights of Fort Worth with a local expert before stopping at the National Cowgirl Museum to celebrate the lives of women who exemplified the courage, resilience and independence that helped shape the American West.

    The final tour includes a look at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, as well as stops at the John Wayne Museum and Leddy’s Boots. The Wild West will come alive at the stockyards as a tour guide walks participants through an exciting history and the role Fort Worth played in it. Tip your hat to “The Duke” at the John Wayne Museum and then check out the handcrafted boots and saddles at Leddy’s.

Convention attendees are encouraged to register for tours early as participation is limited and spots will fill up quickly. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo will also be going on during ASI’s time in the city.

Meetings of ASI’s councils and committees are open to all convention attendees. And once again in 2023, the Genetic Stakeholders Committee is joining with the National Sheep Improvement Program and Sheep Genetics USA to host a genetics forum that promises to be educational regardless of your role in the industry. A full schedule of events is available on the registration website.

Meeting alongside ASI at the convention are the American Lamb Board, American Goat Federation, ASI Women, American Shearers Council, Food and Fiber Risk Managers, Make It With Wool, National Lamb Feeders Association, National Livestock Producers Association, National Sheep Improvement Program, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, Sheep Genetics USA, Sheep Heritage Foundation, Sheep Venture Company and Western Range Association.

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