Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Tuesday November 29 Ag News


For the week ending November 27, 2022, there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 48% very short, 41% short, 11% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 54% very short, 34% short, 12% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:
Winter wheat condition rated 16% very poor, 23% poor, 41% fair, 19% good, and 1% excellent.

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


Farmers closed the season with 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 27, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Warmer weather allowed tillage and fertilizer applications. There were reports of a few scattered corn fields remaining to be harvested.

Topsoil moisture condition rated 23 percent very short, 33 percent short, 43 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. The 56 percent short to very short topsoil moisture rating is the highest percentage of short to very short to close out the season since 2012 when 72 percent fell into the short to very short categories. Subsoil moisture condition rated 30 percent very short, 35 percent short, 34 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Livestock were doing well with reports of calves being weaned and cattle grazing on corn stalks.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report

Winter wheat conditions improved slightly last week but remained at a two-decade low, USDA NASS reported in its final weekly national Crop Progress report of 2022 released Tuesday. The weekly reports, which run from the beginning of April to the end of November each year, will resume on Monday, April 3, 2023.

-- Crop development: 91% of winter wheat was emerged as of Sunday, Nov. 27, equal to last year and 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average of 90%.
-- Crop condition: 34% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from the previous week's 32% but 10 percentage points below last year's rating of 44% good to excellent and the lowest reading in 20 years.

Topsoil moisture: In the lower 48 states, topsoil moisture was rated 50% very short to short and 50% adequate to surplus. That compares to last year's ratings of 34% very short to short and 66% adequate to surplus.
Subsoil moisture: 56% very short to short and 44% adequate to surplus. That compares to last year's ratings of 38% very short to short and 62% adequate to surplus.

Multi-state land management and leasing workshop planned for Midwestern women in ag

The Nebraska Women in Agriculture program, in conjunction with women in agriculture programs at Purdue University and Kansas State University, will host a four-part extension workshop on the basics of land management, leasing and conservation for landlords and tenants.  

“The Power of Negotiation and Communication: Land Leasing Strategies for Midwestern Ag Women” will begin Jan. 18 at numerous sites in Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska. The series will focus on writing agricultural lease agreements, landlord-tenant relationships, negotiations and conservation practices.   

Workshops will be held on Jan. 18, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, and Feb. 8.  

According to Department of Agriculture census data from 2017, there are over 90,000 women producers and over 51,000 female landlords in the three states.  

“Women represent an important and growing demographic in agricultural land management and this workshop series will teach essential management information while providing women the chance to ask questions, connect with each other and share their experiences,” said Jessica Groskopf, director of the Nebraska Women in Agriculture program.  

Each state will host multiple satellite workshop sites with local extension personnel. Keynote speakers will be simulcast to each location and each site will provide additional speakers and hands-on activities. Dinner will be included.  

Groskopf said the program’s structure is intended to strengthen networks of women in rural areas, which can provide opportunities for building trust and sharing information. “Connections are so important to women farmers,” she said. “We have seen the benefits that come from knowing your peers, having a place to share difficulties and mitigate the isolation that so many of us in agriculture often feel.”

These workshops seek to help participants increase their awareness of local land values and cash rental rates and the factors that influence them. They will also cover the importance of having a written lease and the items that should be included in it to ensure an equitable agreement for all parties. Participants will learn negotiation strategies as well as best practices to improve relationships between landlords and tenants.  

Conservation programs will also be covered, so that participants will have a greater understanding of compliance requirements and increase their awareness of voluntary conservation programs that are available to them.  

The workshop costs $50 per person and participants should plan to attend each session. A virtual option is available for those unable to attend a workshop site, for $75 per person. In-person attendance is highly encouraged to better network with other attendees and interact with speakers. A list of locations in Nebraska is available on the Nebraska Women in Agriculture website, Register there by Jan. 13.  In-person sites include:
Concord - Haskell Ag Lab
Lincoln - Lancaster County Extension Office
Omaha - Nebraska Extension in Douglas- Sarpy County

This material is based upon work supported by USDA NIFA under Award Number 2021-70027-34694.


Lincoln Premium Poultry Announces Grower Recognitions

Lincoln Premium Poultry announced this week that three families will be honored in 2022 as top producers in Nebraska/Iowa, and one family will be recognized with an award for environmental stewardship.

“This is the first year we are giving out awards,” said Jessica Kolterman, Director of Administration for Lincoln Premium Poultry. “With the pandemic behind us and with most of our grower partners having several years of experience, we thought this was the opportune time to recognize their work,” said Kolterman.  “We hope to give these awards each year going forward.”   

The families receiving recognition for 2022 are the Oster Family – County Line Growers LLC in Pottawattamie County Iowa for Top Pullet Producer, the Fehlhafer Family – 2JF Poultry LLC in Seward County for Top Breeder Producer, and the Borchers Family – Borchers Farm LLC in Seward County for Top Broiler Producer.  The Environmental Award is given to the Schmid Family – RC Chicken Ranch of Nebraska in Butler County.

“We are proud of the work our grower families have done the past few years,” said Mike Ellington, Complex Manager for Lincoln Premium Poultry. “They have shown great resilience with a steep learning curve, supply chain issues, and weather challenges, all while continuing to produce food to feed American families during an unprecedented time in our world with a global pandemic disrupting the food supply,” said Ellington.

Farm families were selected using varying criteria.  Pullet producers were evaluated on the average uniformity of the birds and their farm audits, breeder producers were evaluated on the number of chicks produced per hen and their farm audits, and broiler producers were evaluated on cost per pound of produced product and their farm audits.  The environmental award was determined using the best average on farm audits over the course of a year.  All farm audits score on measures relating to animal welfare, facility management with an environmental emphasis, biosecurity, and overall best practice use on the farm.  Lincoln Premium Poultry’s grower network has farms in Butler, Cass, Colfax, Cuming, Dixon, Dodge, Lancaster, Madison, Merrick, Nance, Platte, Polk, Saunders, Seward, Stanton, Washington, and York counties in Nebraska and in Crawford, Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Shelby counties in Iowa.  The approximate 100 farm families involved with Lincoln Premium Poultry primarily began operation over the course of 2018 and 2019, with the last grower being added to the grower network in 2022.  

2022 Census of Agriculture now underway in Nebraska, Iowa

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed survey codes to all known agriculture producers in Iowa with an invitation to respond online to the 2022 Census of Agriculture at The ag census is the nation’s only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county, and territory. By completing the survey, producers across the nation can tell their story and help generate impactful opportunities that better serve them and future generations of producers.

The 2022 Census of Agriculture will be mailed in phases, with paper questionnaires following in mid-December. Producers need only respond once, whether securely online or by mail. The online option offers timesaving features ideal for busy producers. All responses are due Feb. 6, 2023. Farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products in 2022, are included in the ag census.

"The 2022 Census of Agriculture is a powerful voice for American agriculture. The information gathered through the ag census influences policy decisions that will have a tremendous impact on ag producers and their communities for years to come," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "I strongly encourage all farmers, no matter how large or small their operation, to promptly complete and return their ag census. This is your opportunity to share your voice, uplift the value and showcase the uniqueness of American agriculture."

Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840 and now conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Census of Agriculture is a complete picture of American agriculture today. It highlights land use and ownership, producer characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, among other topics.

“Our farmers and ranchers have an incredible impact on our nation and the world. I want to thank them in advance for responding to the ag census,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “We recognize how valuable their time is, so we have made responding more convenient and modern than ever before.”

Between ag census years, NASS considers revisions to the questionnaire to document changes and emerging trends in the industry. Changes to the 2022 questionnaire include new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep and updates to internet access questions.

Responding to the Census of Agriculture is required by law under Title 7 USC 2204(g) Public Law 105- 113. The same law requires NASS to keep all information confidential, to use the data only for statistical purposes, and only publish in aggregate form to prevent disclosing the identity of any individual producer or farm operation. NASS will release the results of the ag census in early 2024.

To learn more about the Census of Agriculture, visit On the website, producers and other data users can access frequently asked questions, past ag census data, special study information, and more. For highlights of these and the latest information, follow USDA NASS on twitter @usda_nass.

One Million Servings of Pork Donated to Food Banks

The National Pork Board and several state pork associations partnered with Farmland, a brand of Smithfield Foods, and country music superstar Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour concert series to donate 210,000 #poundsofpork this fall to food banks.  

That’s an estimated total of 1 million servings of pork divided among the following food banks:
    Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana
    Greater Lansing Food Bank (Michigan)
    Second Harvest Ohio
    Second Harvest Heartland (Minnesota)
    Food Bank of Iowa
    Food Bank for the Heartland (Nebraska)

Food and nutrition insecurity is at an all-time high, and pork is a nutrient-dense protein that satisfies many tastes and cultural preferences.  
As the gap continues to widen between the farm and the fork, there is an opportunity to help share the story of people and practices involved in pig farming today.

“I have so much respect for pig farmers,” said Bryan. “I know how hard they work – from sun-up to sundown to raise our food, and it’s exciting to be a part of a project helping show consumers the real care that happens on pig farms around the country.”

Farm Transitions Conference to Be Held in Ames Feb. 9-10

The two-day Farm Transitions Conference will return to the Gateway Hotel in Ames Feb. 9-10, 2023. Whether you want to begin farming, are looking to transition your farm business to the next generation or simply want to know more about farm estate planning, this conference will provide expert answers and insight.

Hosted by the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, participants will hear from more than a dozen professionals including attorneys, farmland owners and managers, financial experts and mediators.

This two-day conference is full of practical resources to help farmers make educated farm transition and succession planning decisions. Students, individuals and families will all learn how to identify next steps in the planning process and how to work more effectively with their professional advisors. The opening day includes an overview of the current farm economy with Chad Hart and Alejandro Plastina, economists with ISU Extension and Outreach, and a presentation by Chris Cornelius, a native Iowan and co-owner of Cornelius Seed.

In her presentation called “Succession Tips from the Field,” Cornelius will share practical experiences and lessons learned from her family’s fifth-generation seed business, which started in 1935. She co-owns and manages Cornelius Seed, alongside her husband, Chuck, and their two sons, Will and James, and daughter-in-law, Janie. She also just completed her term as president of the Independent Professional Seed Association and is an active partner in their farming entity, Cornelius Land & Cattle.

In-person attendees will have networking opportunities, including an optional tour of Jack Trice Stadium (limited to 50). Both in-person and online attendees can interact with speakers and ask questions. All attendees will receive a free Farm Transitions workbook.

In-person registration is $175 per person and webinar-only registration is $150. Participants can register online.

Groups of two or more can use code GROUP50 to receive $50 off each in-person registration (does not apply to student registration).

University or college students can register in-person or online for $100. To apply for student scholarships, contact Tovar Jensen at

The Gateway Hotel & Conference Center is located at 2100 Green Hills Drive, Ames, Iowa. A room rate of $114 has been reserved. Reserve your room online or call 515-292-8600.

Fischer Introduces Year-Round E15 Legislation with Landmark Support

Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022. The legislation would allow the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10%. Increasing the availability of biofuels like E15 would benefit the economy and the environment. This federal legislation would also end years of regulatory uncertainty and prevent a patchwork of uneven state regulations.

Importantly, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 has support from an unprecedented mix of stakeholders, including the National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels of America, Growth Energy, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Additional cosponsors of the bill include U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

“We’ve long known that unleashing the full power of ethanol saves consumers money at the pump, supports family farmers, and boosts U.S. energy security. Now, however, we’ve been able to bring critical oil/gas, biofuel, ag, and transportation stakeholders to the table around a common-sense solution. With this strong coalition of support, it’s time Congress act to make year-round E15 a reality,” said Senator Fischer.

Other bill endorsements include:
Agriculture: National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, the America Farm Bureau Federation, National Sorghum Producers, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Biofuels: Renewable Fuels of America, Growth Energy, American Coalition for Ethanol
Oil/Natural Gas Sector: American Petroleum Institute
Transportation: SIGMA, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, National Association of Convenience Stores

State Stakeholder Support
“Renewable Fuels Nebraska is thrilled beyond measure to have Senator Fischer introduce this important legislation. With its passage, we will not only eliminate burdensome summer regulations for fuel retailer and distributors; we will create consistency of fuel choice for consumers and reliability of market for Nebraska’s corn farmers, as well as continued access to distillers grains for beef and dairy producers. Nebraska’s ethanol plants are a critical sector of our state’s economy with an annual economic impact of over $4.5 billion,” said Nebraska Renewable Fuels Executive Director Dawn Caldwell.

“Nebraska’s ethanol industry is a key component of our state’s agricultural and overall economies. Allowing for the nationwide sale of E-15 year-round is long overdue. The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act forces common sense regulatory changes that will allow American consumers the opportunity to purchase higher blends of ethanol at any time during the year. Sen. Fischer’s steadfast leadership on this issue, one which is so vital to the future growth of the ethanol industry, brought both the ethanol and petroleum industries together in support of this legislation. It is because of her long-time support and determination we are hopeful the Consumer Fuel and Retailer Choice Act finally becomes law,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation President Mark McHargue.

“Nebraska Corn Growers Association thanks Senator Fischer for leading the efforts to allow year-round sales of E15. Allowing year-round access to E-15 reduces the cost for consumers, leads to cleaner air and paves the way for longer term opportunities for the Next Generation Fuels Act,” said Nebraska Corn Growers Association President Andy Jobman.

“Nebraska Farmers Union applauds Senator Fischer’s efforts to resolve a longstanding technical issue of conflict between ethanol supporters and the petroleum industry with the introduction of her amendment to the Clean Air Act. Sen. Fischer’s compromise enjoys support from both the ethanol and petroleum sectors and will produce a national solution that will allow E-15 and higher blend ethanol products to be sold year around. The result of this long overdue compromise will lower fuel prices, carbon dioxide and cancer-causing tailpipe emissions, support family farmers, corn producers, and rural communities while dramatically improving air quality. House and Senate passage of Sen. Fischer’s legislation would be welcome economic shot in the arm for rural America and all fuel users,” said Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen.

NCGA Applauds New Legislation Resolving E15 Uncertainty

Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and 13 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act today, which would ensure permanent, full-market access to E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauded the new legislation, which has drawn support from a wide range of agriculture, fuel and retail stakeholders as a new opportunity to address a persistent issue.

“Ethanol saves Americans millions of dollars a year at the pump and is a critical part of our nation’s energy security,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We thank Sens. Fischer and Klobuchar and their cosponsors for introducing legislation today that will ensure drivers across the country continue to have year-round access to safe, low-cost, low-emission E15 and provides a commonsense resolution to a long-standing outdated barrier to consumer choice.”

Despite EPA approving E15 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles and a 2019 update to regulations, a 2021 court decision would have ended year-round market access to E15 last summer without the Biden administration using emergency authority to keep E15 in the market. The administration’s temporary action increased the fuel supply and reduced fuel prices, but fuel choice is again in question for 2023.

This legislation would provide a permanent remedy to the problem on a national basis, even as several Midwest governors have also initiated a state-by-state solution.

“Following roadblocks and uncertainty on federal actions, governors took matters into their hands this year, and their initiative spurred renewed interest in a nationwide solution,” said Haag. “Corn growers support EPA moving forward to implement the governors’ notices for 2023 until a national solution, like the one senators introduced today, becomes law and resolves this issue once and for all.”

Ensuring continued E15 sales year-round keeps a lower-emission fuel choice in the marketplace that costs less. E15 cuts evaporative, carbon and tailpipe emissions compared to standard 10 percent ethanol blended fuels. Blending more ethanol to make E15 displaces more toxic components in gasoline, reducing exhaust emissions for cleaner air.

Growth Energy: Year-Round E15 Would Save Americans Money, Lower Carbon Emissions

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement today regarding the introduction of a bill to allow the year-round sale of E15 by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and 13 other senators:

“This summer, in the face of record-high gas prices, drivers across the country found savings at the pump of nearly a dollar per gallon thanks to E15 availability. In addition to putting money back in the pockets of American families and enhancing U.S. energy security and independence, E15 offers a lower-carbon fuel choice. In fact, a nationwide move to E15 would reduce carbon emissions by more than 17.62 million tons, the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year. While last summer’s temporary E15 waiver from the Biden Administration helped show the consumer benefits of E15, a permanent fix is vital to delivering and growing lower-cost, lower-carbon options at the pump and providing certainty to the fuel market. We’re grateful to Senators Fischer, Klobuchar, and other biofuel champions across the country for working with all involved stakeholders to finalize a solution for year-round E15 ahead of the 2023 driving season.”  

RFA Welcomes Legislation Providing Year-Round E15 Availability

New bipartisan legislation introduced today by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and 13 other senators will help lower fuel prices for hard-hit American families by making E15 ethanol blends available year-round, the Renewable Fuels Association said.

“For the first time in history, ethanol producers, oil refiners, fuel retailers, equipment manufacturers, and farmers have all come together to support legislation that ensures American families can choose lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump every single day of the year without interruption,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We thank Sens. Fischer, Klobuchar, and other renewable fuel supporters in the Senate for introducing this legislation, which brings much-needed consistency and stability to the marketplace. It provides a simple, straightforward solution that will finally remove a burdensome and nonsensical barrier to broader deployment of cleaner, more affordable fuels. We are highly encouraged by the broad and diverse support that this effort is receiving, and we urge Congress to move quickly to adopt this commonsense legislation.”

Specifically, the legislation would harmonize fuel volatility regulations for ethanol-blended fuels across the country, allowing for the year-round sale of E15 in conventional gasoline markets. The legislation would supersede an effort by eight Midwest state governors to make regulatory changes that would assure the availability of E15 sales year-round in their states.

Additional bill co-sponsors, listed alphabetically, include Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tina Smith (D-MN), and John Thune (R-SD).

Last week, RFA and the American Petroleum Institute led a broad coalition of energy and agriculture organizations that called on Congress to quickly adopt legislation, like the bill introduced today, that would permanently resolve inconsistent fuel volatility regulations.

“Due to the current policy, it is extremely difficult for many fuel marketers and retailers that may desire to offer E15 to their customers in the summer months to source that product,” the letter stated. “Our groups have come together—for the first time ever—to support legislation that would resolve this issue once and for all. … We urge Congress to act quickly to adopt legislation that will bring certainty and consistency to the fuel market, while also finally resolving long-standing differences among many stakeholders about fuel volatility regulations.”

In addition to RFA and API, the letter was signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Growth Energy, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Corn Growers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, NATSO, representing truck stops and travel plazas, and SIGMA: America's Leading Fuel Marketers.

RFA estimates that nearly 97 percent of registered vehicles on the road today are legally approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use E15, and the vast majority also carry the manufacturer’s endorsement to use E15. Recent analyses by RFA and the U.S. Energy Information Administration confirm that expanded use of E15 provided meaningful consumer savings at the pump last summer, as war in Ukraine pushed crude oil and gasoline prices to historic highs. A new survey released by CSP found that one out of every five fuel retailers plan to add the E15 blend at their locations in the coming year; more than 2,800 fuel stations currently carry the blend.

America’s Leading Ag Organizations Call for McKalip and Taylor Nominations to be Taken Up in Lame Duck

A broad and diverse group of America’s leading food and agriculture organizations today sent a letter to Senate Leaders Schumer and McConnell asking them to secure the Senate confirmation of Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Alexis Taylor to serve as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA before the end of the year.

“Despite unanimous support by the committees and widespread and bipartisan support the Senate has yet to confirm these highly skilled candidates. Time is of the essence to confirm these nominees.” the letter points out. “American agriculture needs experienced leaders representing us in international negotiations. We urge the U.S. Senate to confirm Doug McKalip and Alexis Taylor by the end of this year and appreciate your assistance with this critical matter.”
The letter also highlights the important role that exports, and U.S. agriculture plays on the entire economy.

“Twenty percent of American farm revenue comes from exports and America’s farmers, ranchers, food processors, and manufacturers rely on complex and highly integrated supply chains that stretch across international borders. The food and agriculture products we export support over 1,000,000 U.S. jobs.”

Dover Fueling Solutions Announces E40 Upgrades to Wayne Ovation Fuel Dispensers

Dover Fueling Solutions becomes the first manufacturer to offer optional UL-certified E40 fuel dispensers as standard

Today, Dover Fueling Solutions (DFS), part of Dover Corporation and a leading global provider of advanced customer-focused technologies, services and solutions in the fuel and convenience retail industry, announced all North American Wayne Ovation Fuel Dispensers will be supplied as compatible and UL-listed to E40/B20 as a standard feature. The announcement extends DFS’ UL compliance from E25 to E40, with the continued option of up to E85 available across all models and configurations, and cements DFS as the first manufacturer of fuel dispensers to offer an E40 UL listing.

“In response to consumer demands for greater fuel efficiency and a desire to lower greenhouse gasses, DFS and Wayne’s Ovation Fuel Dispensers are proud to provide E40 UL listings,” said Scott Negley, Senior Director, Product Management at Dover Fueling Solutions. “This reflects DFS’ commitment to supplying retailers with the most flexible, reliable and future-proofed equipment options. Regardless of the direction policy and next-generation vehicle technologies take, retailers can rest assured that their investments in our fuel dispensers will be viable for years to come.”

DFS works in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) to prepare for fueling advancements, enhance dispenser offerings and meet infrastructure needs for future mid-level ethanol blends. Over the past six years, DFS, with the support of NCGA, have produced and sold fuel dispensers certified to deliver fuel with up to 25 percent, and now, 40 percent ethanol.

“DFS continues to innovate by producing and selling dispensers certified to deliver fuel containing up to 40 percent ethanol,” said NCGA Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman. “This initiative complements our policy priorities like the Next Generation Fuels Act and supports future demand for ethanol and corn farmers.”

“We want to congratulate DFS for being the first manufacturer to offer UL-certified E40 fuel dispensers,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “This is an important step toward offering consumers additional choices at the pump supplied by ethanol, an affordable, domestically-produced source of octane that helps to reduce the environmental footprint of liquid fuels.”

Growth Energy Urges USDA to Prioritize Bioethanol in IRA Implementation

Growth Energy yesterday submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), making recommendations to the agency's Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) on how to make the most of certain provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

"Our industry is poised to work with you and the administration to help achieve the ambitious climate goals sought by the enactment of the IRA," said Growth Energy in its comment. "To that end, we look forward to working with you on the implementation of the new law including section 22003 that provides $500M in funding for biofuels infrastructure."

Specifically, Growth Energy recommended that USDA administer the aforementioned $500 million in a way that maximizes the use of higher ethanol-blended fuels like E15, a blend of gasoline and 15% ethanol that can be used in more than 96% of the vehicles currently on the road today.

Among its recommendations, Growth Energy urged USDA to
    Release the full $500 million in funding as soon as possible;
    Prioritize projects that replace gasoline with higher bioethanol blends;
    Remove the $5 million cap on projects funded under section 22003;
    Streamline its environmental review process; and
    Work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clarify lingering regulatory uncertainties on the year-round sale of E15.

ACE Provides Feedback on Implementation of IRA Biofuel Infrastructure Funds to Improve Higher Blend Availability

In written comments submitted yesterday, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Chief Marketing Officer Ron Lamberty utilized his fuel retailing expertise and input from retailers to share feedback with the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) on implementation of funds for biofuel infrastructure under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Section 22003 of the IRA provides $500 million in grants for infrastructure for blending, storing, supplying, or distributing biofuels and may provide a federal share at up to 75% of the total project cost. This funding builds on previous rounds of funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), which closed its application window for the latest round of funds last week.

Lamberty’s comments centered around 1) how to ensure funds are more accessible to small retail marketers and incentivize conversions beyond those directly funded, and 2) how progress can be measured to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals when expanding infrastructure for renewable, clean biofuels.

Previous HBIIP grants have been awarded mainly to large retailers and Lamberty points out while those chains have added hundreds of E15 locations, they own and operate nearly 10,000 stations, and appear to be converting only locations for which they’ve received grants. Lamberty says small retailers are not following the big chains’ example because they are used to seeing large retailers offering products they don’t offer and often assume competitors have those products because they’re better funded. “To the contrary, when small retailers get funds and build or convert sites to become the first in their market to offer higher blends, the new fuels become part of the station’s identity, and historically, the larger chains add the same fuels to regain market share, using their own money,” Lamberty said.

To incentivize greater E15 and flex fuel availability, Lamberty advises the following:
    Application assistance and grant writing funds be reimbursable for small retailers, or funds be provided to nonprofits and other groups who assist these retailers in the application process.
    A change in “ownership” definitions to apply to the owners of the actual equipment for which the grant was awarded, rather than the property the equipment sits on. This would allow suppliers or others with financial interest in small retail locations and stations in disadvantaged areas to add renewable fuel infrastructure in those locations where it may be difficult to borrow money to upgrade or replace equipment.
    USDA-RD should recognize that conversion of existing assets does have a value and allowing a station owner to claim a depreciated value of existing infrastructure as a reimbursable cost of adding higher blends would allow many retailers to participate in the program without having to buy all new equipment and prematurely retire existing compatible equipment and/or find financing for whatever new conversion expenses they incur.
    Utilize reimbursement percentages to incentivize conversion of a majority of the owner’s locations and/or rewards retailers who already offer higher blends. The reimbursement schedule could provide retailers offering E15 or flex fuels in less than half of their locations a maximum 50% cost share, while those offering higher blends in more than 50%, or whose project(s) puts the share of stations offering higher ethanol blends over 50% of the chain, could receive 75% reimbursement. Lamberty suggests the higher percentage, perhaps coupled with a higher maximum grant amount could motivate larger retailers to offer E15 in stations that have compatible equipment and could offer the higher blend with little conversion expense.

AFBF Urges Congress to Prevent Rail Strike

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented today on President Biden’s request to Congress to prevent a rail worker strike.

“America’s economy is driven, in large part, on its rail system, which makes the smooth operation of the railroads crucial. Farmers not only rely on trains to transport food and feed, they also rely on rails to bring important supplies like fertilizer to the farm. A shutdown or slowdown would have devastating consequences to our national and global food security.

“We appreciate President Biden for recognizing the damaging impact a strike would have, and we urge Congress to act now, well in advance of the December 9 deadline, to prevent damage to the economy and the food supply chain.”

RFA Thanks President Biden for Urging Resolution to Rail Dispute

The Renewable Fuels Association thanked President Biden for calling on Congress late Monday to pass legislation that would end the ongoing U.S. rail labor dispute. Earlier that day, RFA had joined more than 400 other organizations in a letter to Congress urging swift resolution to the dispute, the latest in a series of actions by the trade association.

“We are pleased to see President Biden calling for a speedy resolution to avert this potential disaster,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Our country’s ethanol producers rely greatly on the railroads to move their products to market, and if the nation’s trains stop running, the nation’s ethanol biorefineries stop running too. We need a resolution quickly so the 400,000-plus jobs supported by our nation’s ethanol industry, and the rural economy itself, will not suffer the dire consequences of an interruption in rail service.”

The majority of the ethanol produced in the United States—more than 70 percent—is transported via railway across the lower 48 states as well as into Canada and Mexico. In fact, over the last five years, U.S. railroads have transported an average of nearly 395,000 carloads of ethanol per year. In addition, roughly 25 percent of grain comes into ethanol plants by train, and an estimated 30 percent of outbound distillers grains, an important livestock feed produced at biorefineries, departs via rail.

U.S. Wheat 2022 Crop Quality Videos Available

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has posted video presentations at a dedicated website,, to support the organization’s report on 2022 U.S. wheat crop quality. The video content includes eight presentations by wheat class and export location, a global wheat supply and demand summary and five special topic presentations.

The annual effort to report on comprehensive milling, flour and baking data for all six U.S. wheat classes is an essential part of USW’s trade service to the world’s wheat buyers and wheat food processors. It provides objective information buyers need to get the wheat they need at the best value possible.

In-season, USW and its state wheat commission members share early crop conditions through webinars. Sample testing and analysis is conducted during and after harvest by partner laboratories. The results are shared with customers in several ways including a summary report, by-class reports, in-person Crop Quality Seminars, and video summaries.

USW Crop Quality reporting is funded by the Market Development Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program administered by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

Verdant Robotics Raises $46.5 Million to Reduce Ag Chemicals, Improve Farm Profits

Verdant Robotics announced the close of a $46.5 million Series A funding to scale its advanced robotic technology and accelerate broad adoption of its regenerative and precision ag solutions. Lead investor Cleveland Avenue was joined by DCVC Bio, Future Ventures, SeaX Ventures and all existing investors, including Autotech Ventures, Cavallo Ventures, and AgFunder, making the series one of the largest investments in ag robotics to date.

Verdant’s commercial Robotics-As-A-Service (RaaS) is in high demand, actively servicing a wide variety of specialty crops on thousands of acres with orders pending for tens of thousands of additional acres. This investment enables Verdant to rapidly scale its fleet while developing next generation products that massively increase RaaS efficiency. Verdant’s multi-action, autonomous platform is the only ag robot in the U.S. market that can simultaneously weed, fertilize, and treat plants for pests and diseases – all while collecting data on each plant allowing farmers to make key decisions in real time.

“Increasingly, consumers are demanding food that meets the trifecta of good for me, for my community and for the planet,” said Don Thompson, Founder and CEO of Cleveland Avenue, LLC. “Verdant offers next-level precision that growers – and our global food supply – need to meet these demands, not only in the next 20 years but in the next five.”
Robot-As-A-Service expands access, reduces technology burden on growers
From its inception, Verdant’s mission has been to work side-by-side with farmers to solve their biggest future challenge – a shortage of farm labor – all while ensuring its robotic solution enables more growers to access regenerative and precision practices supporting soil health, water conservation, carbon sequestration and nutrient-dense crops. Verdant’s combination of automation, deep-learning, machine vision and sub-millimeter accuracy designed by a world-class team of roboticists has garnered industry-wide attention for its ability to solve multiple problems facing agriculture.

“Verdant’s ultra-precision spraying platform is here today — adding new value while doing more with less. Thanks to the ongoing support from our investors, growers can thrive as we deploy this transformative technology together,” said Gabe Sibley, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Verdant Robotics. “At Verdant, we believe that an outsized opportunity requires an oversized effort that only robotics can deliver for agriculture.”

The global agriculture autonomous robots market is projected to reach $10.5 billion in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 19 percent during the forecast period 2022-2027; driven by the growing need for precision, digital, and smart agriculture practices to meet food and sustainability demands.

“Autonomous vehicles and dancing robots may get headlines, but there really is no more impactful area for robotics, automation, and machine learning to be applied than agriculture. Growing abundant foods in sustainable ways is our generation’s biggest challenge and the founding principle behind Verdant Robotics,” said Sibley.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday November 28 Ag News

 USDA-NASS Crop Progress report delayed until November 29

Issued by the Agricultural Statistics Board of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service... Due to system outages, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service delayed the release of Monday’s scheduled Crop Progress report until Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 4 p.m. EST.

Ricketts Begins Japan Trade Mission, Promotes Nebraska in Tokyo

This week, Governor Pete Ricketts is leading a trade mission to Japan to promote Nebraska’s quality ag products and to pitch Nebraska as a top destination for international investment.

The Governor and trade delegation will meet with government officials, promote Nebraska beef, pork, ethanol, and other ag products, and encourage Japanese businesses to invest in Nebraska.  Delegates on the mission include representatives from ag businesses, state commodity organizations, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, the Department of Agriculture (NDA), and the Department of Economic Development (DED).

This week’s agenda includes meetings with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, where the Governor will discuss the revised beef safeguard mechanism and the benefits of Nebraska ethanol.

Nebraska is the first state to visit Japan after their legislature approved new beef tariff trigger levels.  The new safeguard mechanism will make it less likely that U.S. beef exports will reach levels that trigger higher tariffs, and it provides the State with increased opportunity to meet Japan’s growing demand for quality beef.

Nebraska ag producers and the NDA will also participate in the U.S. Food Product Showcase, where a variety of Nebraska value-added ag products will be marketed to buyers in the Japanese food industry.

Additionally, the Governor and delegation will meet with representatives from several Japanese companies throughout the week. At the events, Governor Ricketts will highlight Nebraska’s hardworking people, longstanding practices in sustainability, pro-growth climate, and central location.

This is the Governor’s second trip to Japan in November. Earlier this month, he went on a personal visit to receive the Order of the Rising Sun Award, Gold and Silver Star for his work to strengthen the Nebraska-Japan relationship.  

This is Governor Ricketts’ fourth trade mission to Japan (2015, 2017, 2019, and 2022).  Cultivating and maintaining a relationship with Japanese government and businesses has helped grow Nebraska’s ag footprint.  Japan is Nebraska’s largest market for pork and 2nd largest for beef, the latter of which has seen annual sales to Japan rise by $215 million, an 88% increase since 2015.  Additionally, Japan is the 3rd largest export market for U.S. corn, and exports in 2021 were up 57.7% versus 2015.  Japan is also an emerging market for ethanol, with the Japanese government committing this year to double the blend rate of ethanol in their gasoline.


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Making, transporting, and feeding hay is a large investment in time, equipment and money. At current prices, even reducing wase a small amount can mean big savings.  Can you be doing more to save hay?

While there will always be some loss during storage, keeping hay out of the elements and packed tightly is critical.  Hay stored in a barn can expect 6-9% losses, while hay outside, directly on the ground, and loosely wrapped can have up to 40% loss.  Visually, loss is easy to underestimate. In a 5.5 ft. round bale, 1/3 of the bale’s mass is found in the outer 6 in.

When it comes time to feed, losses can add up as well.  If hay is fed unrestricted, cattle can waste 45% of the hay they are provided. While this “waste” can be beneficial as bedding or a soil amendment, it’s an awful expensive way to put cover on the ground. Limit feeding hay so only daily requirements are provided will significantly reduce waste right away. Studies show that cattle fed daily versus fed every four days needed 25% less hay. This can be as labor intensive as a daily feeding, or something as simple as limiting access to hay in a feeder for a few hours each day.

Limiting access by physical barriers is another way to decrease hay loss. Bale rings, racks, fences, or another form of limited access can all decrease waste. The most effective physical barriers have solid side bottoms. This prevents the hay being pulled out onto the ground. Studies by the University of Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State on feed loss from bale feeders all found open bottom ring feeders resulting in 20% losses, closed bottom ring feeders had 13% loss, and cone feeders with only 5% loss. While these methods are effective, they require the purchase of additional equipment that can add significant time and money for large herds or changing feeding location.

Between storage and feed losses, it’s easy to lose half of every bale purchased or produced.  To give value to even a 25% improvement, take your current hay bill and subtract 25%. At the current $180/ton, that’s $45/ton. Reducing hay losses means better returns on your hay investment.

Nebraska Corn Internship Application Deadline Extended

Nebraska Corn has extended the deadline for the Communications and Outreach Internship hosted at the Nebraska Corn office in Lincoln. Nebraska Corn is seeking applicants to fill the role by Friday, December 9, 2022, with the internship experience beginning in May 2023. The internship is designed to provide students with an overview of Nebraska’s corn industry through real-world professional examples and experiences.

The position is a yearlong internship where students will enhance their communication and event planning knowledge and experience.
    Communications and Outreach Internship
    Host: Nebraska Corn
    Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
    Duration: May 2023 – May 2024

“The Communications and Outreach Internship is designed with students who are looking to grow both professional and personally,” states NCB Director of Communications, Jill Parrent. “The selected student will assist in planning trade show events, manage social media, and design work. They will also work with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association on projects throughout the year. This is a unique position allowing students to learn and grow from both farmers and Nebraska Corn staff.”

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, December 9, 2022.  

Nebraska Beef Council December Board Meeting

The Nebraska Beef Council Board of Directors will meet at the NBC office in Kearney, NE located at 1319 Central Ave. on Friday, December 9, 2022  beginning at 10:30 a.m. CST. The NBC Board of Directors will review evaluations for FY-2021-2022. For more information, please contact Pam Esslinger at    


The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing another confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This brings the total number of cases of HPAI in Nebraska this year to 13. The 13th farm is a commercial flock of laying birds in Dixon County.

According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley, the affected flock will be depopulated and will be disposed of in an approved manner. NDA will establish a 6.2-mile control zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. Poultry producers should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying birds.

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Wild birds can carry the virus without becoming sick, while domesticated birds can become very sick.

Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

NDA is encouraging bird owners to prevent contact between their birds and wildlife and to practice strict biosecurity measures. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flock, they should report it to NDA immediately at 402-471-2351. More information for producers can be found at or

Enhanced biosecurity helps prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases including HPAI. NDA and USDA have resources available to help poultry owners step up their biosecurity efforts.
• Know the warning signs of infectious bird diseases like HPAI. Be on the lookout for unusual signs of behavior, severe illness and/or sudden deaths.
• Restrict access to your property and poultry.
• Keep it clean. Wear clean clothes, scrub boots/shoes with disinfectant and wash hands thoroughly before and after contact with your flock.
• If you, your employees, or family have been on other farms, or other places where there is livestock and/or poultry, clean and disinfect your vehicle tires and equipment before returning home.
• Don’t share equipment, tools, or other supplies with other livestock or poultry owners.
• In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, making sure wild birds cannot access domestic poultry’s feed and water sources.
• Report sick birds immediately to: NDA at 402-471-2351; the USDA at 866-536-7593; or your veterinarian.

Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk to people getting HPAI infections from birds is low.

All poultry entering Nebraska must be accompanied by a VS form 9-3 or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, or health certificate). If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please call 402- 471-2351 to learn more. Nebraska poultry owners wanting to ship poultry out of state should consult the state veterinarians of the destination states for import requirements.

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

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.

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.

Impacted Area: Nebraska
Triggering Disaster: Drought
Application Deadline: June 15, 2023
Primary Counties Eligible: Polk
Contiguous Counties Also Eligible:
     Nebraska: Butler, Hamilton, Merrick, Platte, Seward and York

ISU Dairy Days to Feature Profitable Dairy Practices

Iowa dairy producers have the opportunity to learn about emerging dairy industry issues during the 2023 Dairy Days events hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The program will be held at four eastern Iowa locations and one northwest Iowa location in January.

Dairy Days will be offered Jan. 17 in Elma at Innovative Ag Service, Jan. 19 in Elkader at Johnson’s Restaurant, Jan. 24 in Kalona at the Kalona Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 26 in New Vienna at the New Vienna Community Center, and Jan. 31 in Sioux Center at the Dordt College-Stewardship Center.

Topics and presenters (named presenters are dairy specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach):
    Raising Your Dairy Best Heifer, Larry Tranel.
    Weaning: The Other Transition, Jennifer Bentley.
    Using Records to Meet Your Heifer Goals, Gail Carpenter.
    Dairy Heifer Market Outlook, Fred Hall.
    Research Spotlight, Iowa State grad students.

The day-long event has been developed to help dairy producers learn about current practices and hear the latest research — all topics to help producers make sound herd management decisions.

“With nearly 25% of a dairy’s production costs associated with raising heifer replacements, optimizing growth and health is important to every dairy operation,” said Jenn Bentley, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach in northeast Iowa. “We anticipate great discussion and learning during this year’s Dairy Days with a focus on heifer management.”
Registration details

Check-in for all events starts at 9:45 a.m. and the program will conclude by 2:30 p.m. A $15 registration fee covers the noon meal and proceedings costs. Vouchers for the event may be available through your local agri-service providers or veterinarians. Students may attend at no cost.

Pre-registration is requested by the Friday before each event to reserve a meal. Register online at

Jennifer Bentley can be reached at or 563-382-2949; Larry Tranel is available at or 563-583-6496; and Fred Hall is available at or 712-737-4230.

SCN Expert Answers Farmer's Questions About Costly Pathogen

Southwest Iowa farmer Dan Ory suspected the hot, dry growing season of 2022 could result in elevated soybean cyst nematode (SCN) population densities. That was confirmed when Iowa State University (ISU) Nematologist Greg Tylka visited his farm to answer his questions about SCN management.

The two met through a partnership between The SCN Coalition and BASF Agricultural Solutions to spread awareness about the yield-robbing pest. In a new video series, Tylka, who has spent decades studying SCN and working toward management solutions, answers Ory’s questions about managing SCN.

Why is SCN an issue again?

The Ory family has battled SCN in the past, but that was well before Dan joined the family farm. For years, his father controlled SCN with resistant varieties. He asked Tylka why SCN is prevalent once again.

Tylka says farmers have been using the same source of SCN resistance, PI 88788, for a quarter of the century, but over time SCN has developed resistance to the resistance. “If you use a single active ingredient for 25 years, Mother Nature finds a way,” explains Tylka, adding there is another source of resistance called Peking, but because it initially yielded less than PI 88788, it’s only used in a minor percentage of soybean varieties.

“Because the nematode has built up the ability to feed on PI 88788, it’s dragging down yields and we’re now seeing varieties with Peking outyield them,” Tylka explains. He says the fact that PI 88788 has lost at least half its effectiveness is something farmers and seed companies need to come to grips with.

When should SCN soil sampling occur?

Even though Ory was keeping the soybean plant healthy, he was frustrated by yield variability within fields. A soil test determined SCN was present. Tylka is glad he took that step, adding, “Soil testing is something we need every single farmer to do.”

Tylka is a proponent of fall soil sampling. “Testing soybean fields in the fall shows what went on with the crop you just harvested,” he says. “Testing corn fields, assuming soybeans will be planted next year, gives you the most accurate number of what’s there for next year’s soybean crop.”

Tylka recommends dividing fields into 20-acre sampling areas based on topography and other agronomic features then pulling 6- to 8-inch-deep soil cores from each sampling area using a zig-zag pattern. “Use agronomic common sense; you know your fields.”

What level of SCN pressure is serious?

When receiving SCN soil test results, Ory asked if there is an egg count that should alarm him. “If a farmer tells me they have a little bit of SCN, that’s like telling someone you’re a little bit pregnant,” Tylka says. “While there’s no such thing as ‘a little SCN,’ the level of concern rises alongside the population density.”

At ISU, Tylka says egg counts of 2,000 or less per half a cup of soil (100 cubic centimeters) are considered low, counts between 2,000 and 12,000 are moderate and counts above 12,000 are high if soybeans are the next crop to be grown.

“If you have a high count, you need to seriously think about not growing soybeans for another year to get those counts down,” Tylka says. In a single year of corn or another non-host crop, Tylka says egg counts may drop anywhere from 5% to 50%. The numbers will drop to a lesser extent in a second year of corn. By the time you’re into a third year of corn, Tylka says you’re not doing much to lower your numbers.

For more information about managing SCN, visit

Strong Counter Seasonal Finish to the Year in Process

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

Thanksgiving week is a very slow week for cattle markets. But there are a few much talked about market events that are worth repeating and emphasizing. The feeder cattle and calf movements were light the holiday week. But prices were strong and buyer interest was moderate to good. The summary for Colorado revealed trade of 22 hundred head down from the 26 hundred for the same week last year. Prices for Medium and Large #1 under 400 pounds were greater than $2 per pound while animals between 5-7 hundredweight were $1.65-$1.90 per pound. The heaviest animals were about $1.65. Trading in western Nebraska and Wyoming was similar – volumes even to down about 10% while buyer interest and prices were strong especially for lighter animals.

Hay and forage markets were somewhat similar. Modest volumes with strong interest. Much of the hay trade in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming – that is not horse hay – is headed out of state and mainly south. Weather from the prior two weeks is resulting in the need to increase hay feeding in both the northern and southern plains. Fair quality hay in Colorado is firmly $300 per ton. And there is some price reporting of trade in corn stalks, mainly in Nebraska, that is $100 per ton or greater. Cheaper cow-hay is being sought and simply not found. The price received for all-hay in the entire US as reported by USDA NASS weakened some in September as compared to August – $242 as compared to $246 – but not much.

And the cash fed cattle market continues its march higher. Much of 2022 was spent between $135-$142 per hundredweight and since August cash prices have pushed to $150 and higher. The board for all of 2023 is solidly above $150 and approaches $160 at the seasonal peaks. The market is pushing past the supply and demand situation that has been the issue since 2017. Fed cattle numbers have been in excess of packing capacity for the past six years. Substantial Saturday operations has been a necessity. And of course, the situation has been made worse by COVID. But this looks to change in 2023 and firmly change in 2024. The dynamics are made more complicated by the extent and persistence of the dry weather. And the emerging prospects of a slower world and domestic economy.

Statement from President Joe Biden on Averting a Rail Shutdown

I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators – without any modifications or delay – to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.
This agreement was approved by labor and management negotiators in September. On the day that it was announced, labor leaders, business leaders, and elected officials all hailed it as a fair resolution of the dispute between the hard-working men and women of the rail freight unions and the companies in that industry.
The deal provides a historic 24% pay raise for rail workers. It provides improved health care benefits. And it provides the ability of operating craft workers to take unscheduled leave for medical needs.
Since that time, the majority of the unions in the industry have voted to approve the deal.
During the ratification votes, the Secretaries of Labor, Agriculture, and Transportation have been in regular touch with labor leaders and management. They believe that there is no path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table and have recommended that we seek Congressional action.
Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy. Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down. My economic advisors report that as many as 765,000 Americans – many union workers themselves – could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock.
As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.
Some in Congress want to modify the deal to either improve it for labor or for management. However well-intentioned, any changes would risk delay and a debilitating shutdown. The agreement was reached in good faith by both sides.
I share workers’ concern about the inability to take leave to recover from illness or care for a sick family member. No one should have to choose between their job and their health – or the health of their children. I have pressed legislation and proposals to advance the cause of paid leave in my two years in office, and will continue to do so. Every other developed country in the world has such protections for its workers.

But at this critical moment for our economy, in the holiday season, we cannot let our strongly held conviction for better outcomes for workers deny workers the benefits of the bargain they reached, and hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.
Congress has the power to adopt the agreement and prevent a shutdown. It should set aside politics and partisan division and deliver for the American people. Congress should get this bill to my desk well in advance of December 9th so we can avoid disruption.

Reaction to President's rail message from Soy Transportation Coalition

Mike Steenhoek, STC Executive Director

We applaud President Biden and his administration for recognizing the severe consequences a railroad shutdown would impose on agriculture and the broader economy and calling for an immediate resolution.  As mentioned below, an actual rail strike would halt economic activity, but even the threat of a strike will halt economic activity.  Agriculture cannot thrive without a predictable and reliable supply chain, of which our rail industry is an integral part.  Obviously, an actual rail shutdown is the least desirable option, but even a scenario in which negotiation deadlines and potential strike dates continue to be temporarily extended into the future would increase uncertainty and impose hardship.  Agriculture will struggle to succeed in such an environment.  A train transporting soybeans or other agricultural products is a sophisticated transaction involving significant volume, distance, and expense.  Those transactions are less likely to occur if our rail system does not provide the certainty that it will connect agricultural shippers with domestic and international customers.      

We affirm the President’s preference that the contract negotiations be fully conducted and resolved between the two parties.  As mentioned below, our desire has been for both railroads and rail unions to arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to both sides.  However, with the current impasse and the increased potential for a shutdown to occur, the likely consequences to agriculture and the entire economy have resulted in the increased urging of our national leadership to intervene.  We concur with President Biden’s recommendation that Congress should act in a bipartisan manner to provide resolution to this dispute without further delay.     

President Biden urges Congress to prevent a rail shutdown

President Joe Biden issued a statement tonight calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad unions and management to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement tonight announcing that the House will proceed with legislation this week to adopt the agreement reached by negotiators in September with no changes to the negotiated terms.

National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) President and CEO Mike Seyfert issued the following statement in response:

“We commend President Biden for calling on Congress to act immediately to prevent a rail shutdown that would hurt the U.S. agricultural and broader economy. And we thank Speaker Pelosi for responding with urgency to this critical supply chain threat. The NGFA represents more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that rely on rail transportation to move U.S. grain and grain products. A rail strike or lockout would lead to shutdowns or slowdowns of rail-dependent facilities resulting in harmful consequences to our national and global food security. NGFA urges Congress to deliver a bipartisan bill to the president’s desk well in advance of the Dec. 9 deadline.”

Statement from Secretary Vilsack on President Biden's Call for Congress to Adopt Agreement to Avert Rail Stoppage

"I take seriously overriding the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt American agriculture and millions of other working people and families –Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal. There is no time to waste on political gamesmanship or the search for a more perfect resolution.

"I join the President in calling on Congress to quickly pass legislation adopting the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators – without any modifications or delay – to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.

"The U.S. food and agricultural industry relies heavily on rail networks for the transport of inputs and raw materials and for taking products to market. A rail shutdown would have significant and long-lasting effects on some sectors of American food and agriculture and could be devastating to parts of our economy."

Vilsack on Trip to Mexico, Meetings with President, Cabinet Officials  

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement after his meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on the U.S.- Mexico bilateral trade relationship and its importance for U.S. farmers, ranchers and producers:

“We appreciate the President welcoming us to Mexico and engaging in a productive dialogue. The meetings provided a venue to raise the United States Government’s and our producers’ deep concerns around President López Obrador’s 2020 decree to phase out the use and importation of biotech corn and other biotechnology products by January 2024. The President’s phase-out decree has the potential to substantially disrupt trade, harm farmers on both sides of the border and significantly increase costs for Mexican consumers.  

“We must find a way forward soon and I emphasized in no uncertain terms that - absent acceptable resolution of the issue - the U.S. Government would be forced to consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our legal rights under the USMCA.

“We made it abundantly clear that Mexico’s import ban would cause both massive economic losses for Mexico’s agricultural industries and citizens, as well as place an unjustified burden on U.S. farmers. This is a critically important issue for U.S. farmers, who are rightfully and deeply concerned about the decree. The decree would also have significant impact on the U.S.-Mexico trade relationship, which hit a record value of more than $63 billion in two-way trade in 2021 and is expected to be even higher in 2022. The phase-out of biotechnology products, as outlined in the decree, could also stifle the important innovations we need to help our farmers adapt to a changing climate.  

“The United States Department of Agriculture and the wider U.S. Government have consistently and proactively pursued cooperation and consultation with Mexico to resolve this issue and time is now running short. Some progress was made today. For example, President López Obrador reaffirmed the importance of yellow corn imports for Mexico’s food security. He also discussed a potential process in which we can exchange information and engage in dialogue assuring the safety of biotechnology products. We expect to have a proposal from the President’s team soon and we will evaluate closely. While we do not have a solution in hand, we will continue to engage with Mexico on this important issue.”

NCGA Applauds USDA Secretary for Outreach Efforts with Mexican President Over Corn Imports

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador today to discuss a looming decree proposed by the Mexican president that would ban imports of biotech corn into the country. The talks come on the heels of an aggressive campaign by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) encouraging the Biden administration to intervene in the dispute.

“We are very appreciative of Secretary Vilsack for taking the lead on this issue that is so important to American corn growers,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “Today’s meeting shows that the Biden administration is listening to NCGA and American corn grower leaders and that Secretary Vilsack is willing to go to the mat for America’s farmers. This is an extremely important development.”

A statement released tonight by USDA showed how strongly Secretary Vilsack feels about this issue.

“We must find a way forward soon and I emphasized in no uncertain terms that – absent an acceptable resolution of the issue – the U.S. Government would be forced to consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our legal rights under the USMCA,” Vilsack said in a statement.

Pres. López Obrador has promised 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.

NCGA has been at the forefront of this issue. In a Reuters article published in September, NCGA called on USTR to intervene in the dispute and then followed up with an op-ed that reached across Washington. NCGA has also worked closely with Congress on the issue.

“We will continue to press this issue with the Biden administration and other policymakers,” said Doggett. “But having the secretary of USDA in our corner comes as a great relief, as you can’t ask for a tougher or better advocate than Secretary Vilsack.”

Find Education, Entertainment and Inspiration in the Big Easy

The Big Easy is ready to host the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, Feb. 1-3. New Orleans, famous for its world class cuisine, jazz music and lively nightlife, is a perfect venue to bring the cattle industry together for education, entertainment and engagement.

The annual convention will kick off on Feb. 1, with Buzz Brainard, host of Music Row Happy Hour, returning as emcee. The Opening General Session will include a casual conversation between “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan and NCBA President and Minnesota cattle producer, Don Schiefelbein. The two will discuss ranch life, today’s challenges and sharing the industry’s story in an authentic way. Sheridan is an Academy Award-nominated writer, actor, rancher as well as a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

CattleFax’s outlook session will highlight demand and supplies for beef, cattle and competing proteins. Analysts will present a price and profitability outlook for 2023 and beyond for all classes of cattle and beef, explore export and import markets, and provide a grain outlook. Meteorologist Matt Makens will also give a 2023 weather forecast highlighting weather pattern changes for the United States and around the world.

Plan to attend the high-profile session on Friday morning and hear from government dignitaries as they provide an update on the beef business climate in the United States and around the globe, moderated by NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane.

The Closing General Session will celebrate the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program and BQA award winners and will feature keynote speaker Chris Koch, who doesn’t let limitations or obstacles stand in his way. Despite being born without arms and legs, Koch grew up like any other small-town kid — playing road hockey, causing mischief at school, and helping on his family farm. Today, Koch is a motivational speaker who inspires his audiences to continually challenge themselves and build the life they always wanted.

While the general sessions are packed with engaging speakers and information every producer can use, entertainment will also be around every corner. Franki Moscato, winner of the 10th annual National Anthem Contest, will perform at the Opening General Session and during the Friday night event. The country trio Chapel Hart will combine their Mississippi roots and Louisiana spice in a special performance during Closing General Session. Convention will wrap up Friday evening with “Party Gras” featuring the country music group Midland and special guest Neal McCoy.

If that isn’t enough, the 30th annual Cattlemen’s College, will feature live animal handling demonstrations and 18 educational sessions with industry leaders tackling innovative topics. The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame banquet and Environmental Stewardship Award Program reception will recognize leaders for their achievements, and there will be more than eight acres of trade show exhibits to explore.

In addition, producers will be hard at work guiding both NCBA policy and Beef Checkoff programs. Annual meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and National Cattlemen’s Foundation will also take place.

“Get Jazzed” for convention by registering today at A variety of registration and housing options are available.

Dairy Market Report: Cheese Sales Drive U.S. Dairy Consumption Growth

Total domestic consumption of milk in all products returned to positive annual growth during the third quarter, for the first time since early this year. Strengthened use of all cheese was a key driver of this positive development. Meanwhile, U.S. dairy export volumes backed off a bit during the third quarter from their record pace during the prior quarter but kept the U.S. dairy industry on an almost certain path to set yet another calendar year record. Year-to-date performance through the third quarter was 18 percent of total U.S. milk solids production, up significantly from the current 17.3 percent calendar year record set in 2021.

The U.S. dairy industry has now clearly resumed increasing milk production after many months of below year-ago levels. Despite this greater supply, dairy product prices, which had been falling in recent months, found a floor and rebounded in some cases during October. Retail price inflation for all items, the categories of food and beverages, dairy products and for most individual dairy products moderated in October from a month earlier. The Dairy Margin Coverage program generated a second payment for 2022, of $0.88/cwt for Tier 1 coverage at the $9.50/cwt level, in September. The CME Group dairy futures and USDA’s dairy outlook are currently indicating that milk prices will be about $2.50 to $3.00 per hundredweight lower in 2023 than this year.


USDA Seeks Nominees for National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking nominations from fluid milk processors and other interested parties for candidates to serve on the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 6, 2023.

From the nominees, the Secretary of Agriculture will appoint six individuals to succeed members whose terms expire on June 30, 2023. Newly appointed members will serve three-year terms from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2026.

USDA will accept nominations for board representation in five geographic regions and one at-large position. Nominees for the regional positions must be active owners or employees of a fluid milk processor. The at-large position may be an active owner or employee of a fluid milk processor or a member of the general public.

The geographic regions with vacancies are Region 2 (New Jersey and New York); Region 5 (Florida); Region 11 (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma); Region 13 (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming); and Region 14 (Northern California).

Fluid milk processors and interested parties may submit nominations for regions in which they are located or regions in which they market fluid milk. They may also submit nominations for the at-large member.

To nominate individuals, a copy of the nomination form and a signed background form must be submitted for each nominee by Jan. 6, 2023. Nomination forms and information are available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board webpage. You may also call (202) 658-9369 to request the forms.

Nominations must be submitted by email to or mailed to Emily DeBord, Promotion, Research and Planning Division, Dairy Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 0233, Room 2968-S, Washington, DC 20250-0233.

RFA’s Davis Appointed Again to Department of Commerce Advisory Committee

Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis has been appointed for the fifth time to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC), which advises the agency on issues related to the exportation of U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. She will serve through May 2024.

“Since 2014, I have been proud to serve on this valuable committee to expand the competitiveness of U.S. exports of renewable energy, specifically ethanol for fuel use,” Davis said. “I am looking forward to the next Charter with a renewed enthusiasm towards our exportable climate friendly solutions.”

Established in 2010, the REEEAC is composed of senior private sector representatives that provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.

Deere Reports Net Income of $2.246 Billion for Fourth Quarter, $7.131 Billion for Fiscal Year

Deere & Company reported net income of $2.246 billion for the fourth quarter ended October 30, 2022, or $7.44 per share, compared with net income of $1.283 billion, or $4.12 per share, for the quarter ended October 31, 2021. For fiscal-year 2022, net income attributable to Deere & Company was $7.131 billion, or $23.28 per share, compared with $5.963 billion, or $18.99 per share, in fiscal 2021.

Worldwide net sales and revenues increased 37 percent, to $15.536 billion, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 and rose 19 percent, to $52.577 billion, for the full year. Equipment operations net sales were $14.351 billion for the quarter and $47.917 billion for the year, compared with corresponding totals of $10.276 billion and $39.737 billion in 2021.

“Deere’s strong performance for both the fourth quarter and full year is a tribute to our dedicated team of employees, dealers, and suppliers throughout the world,” said John C. May, chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re proud of their extraordinary efforts to overcome supply-chain constraints, increase factory production, and deliver products to our customers.”

Company Outlook & Summary

Net income attributable to Deere & Company for fiscal 2023 is forecast to be in a range of $8.0 billion to $8.5 billion.

“Deere is looking forward to another strong year in 2023 based on positive farm fundamentals and fleet dynamics as well as an increased investment in infrastructure,” May said. “These factors are expected to support healthy demand for our equipment. At the same time, we have confidence in the smart industrial operating model and our ability to deliver solutions that help our customers be more profitable, productive, and sustainable.”

Test Plots Help Ensure Better Planting and Seed Decisions

While corn and soybean test plots don’t show the whole picture, LG Seeds agronomist Jim Rowley says they offer key insights.  

“Local strip plots are important to give a farmer the opportunity to observe and to evaluate which corn hybrids and soybean varieties work in that local environment or in that specific soil type,” Rowley says.  
Broad spectrum and replicated companywide research from LG Seeds are reinforced with local plot testing, giving dealers confidence in product placement.

Evaluating plot results

When analyzing the results of plot tests and field trials, Rowley encourages farmers to look at some specific details to see the bigger picture.  
    Is it a no-till or conventional tillage system? That can have an impact on disease tolerance, which could be reflected in standability and lodging scores.
    Consider the populations of the strip trials relative to your own farming practices, as population can impact standability.
    What about the time of planting? One farmer may plant that plot early in the season and another may have time at the end of the planting season. There will be obvious differences in plant development throughout the growing season and harvest dates, resulting in different moisture and test weights at season’s end.

What plot tests revealed in 2022

Rowley says in 2022, strip trials showed that full-season hybrids significantly outperformed short- and mid-season hybrids. That’s different from last year in regional performance, where mid-seasons performed relatively better.

“The thing about the differing maturities is that it falls back on the development of that individual hybrid or that maturity and what critical growth stages it’s going through during the different stresses of an individual season,” he explains.  

According to Rowley, full-season hybrids missed the extreme heat when pollinating, whereas the short- and mid-season plants may have been going through pollination with a lot of heat stress.  

“It’s all about timing and how that can impact crop development,” he adds.  

In terms of specific hybrid and variety performance, Rowley offers this insight:
    Full season LG66C44 corn has been dominant through the majority of the Corn Belt.
    Mid-season LG59C72 corn has been stable, offering above-average yield potential for that maturity, along with tar spot tolerance.
    LGS3216E3 and LGS3784XF soybeans have been top performers.  

You can find out more about how LG Seeds performed this year in the Corn Harvest Update and 2022 Soybean Harvest articles.

Making 2023 seed selection decisions

To use plot results to make future decisions, Rowley says farmers should plan to diversify maturity and vary their planting dates. “That way the nick of the critical pollination phase doesn’t always occur at the exact same time,” he says. “And it’s not just about the reproductive stage and pollination, but also about other developing things with kernel fill, trying to beat the first frost and a whole array of other environmental factors brought on by the weather.”

Rowley encourages farmers to reflect on strip-trial differences to provide affirmation for the things that you suspect, “but don’t consider them the end-all when it comes to interpreting yield results,” he adds.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Friday November 25 Ag News

 USDA Announces Appointments to the United Soybean Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 40 members and five alternates to serve on the United Soybean Board. Forty-four members and alternate members will serve three-year terms and one member will serve a one-year term. The terms of board members appointed to three-year terms start December 2022 and end December 2025.

Newly appointed members are:
    Arkansas – Dustin Henson, Paragould
    Delaware – Cory Atkins, Seaford
    Illinois – David Wessel, Chandlerville; Dwayne R. Anderson, Lynn Center
    Indiana – Donald Andrew Wyss II, Fort Wayne; Matthew Chapman, Springport
    Iowa – Robb Ewoldt, Davenport; Brent Renner, Klemme (1-year term)

    Kansas – Kurt Maurath, Oakley; Lance Rezac, Onaga
    Kentucky – Barry Lee Alexander, Cadiz
    Louisiana – Joseph Boudreaux, Port Barre
    Maryland – R. Travis Hutchison, Cordova
    Michigan – Dennis J. Gardner, Croswell; Carla Schultz, Mayville
    Minnesota – Gene Stoel, Lake Wilson; Thomas F. Frisch, Dumont
    Mississippi – Matthew Guedon, Natchez; Jerry Slocum, Coldwater
    Missouri – Neal W. Bredehoeft, Alma; Meagan Kaiser, Bowling Green
    Nebraska – Edward Lammers, Hartington; Victor Bohuslavsky, Seward

    New Jersey – Patrick Giberson, Pemberton
    New York – Jason E. Swede, Piffard
    North Carolina – Reginald H. Strickland, Mount Olive
    North Dakota – Matthew Gast, Valley City; Ryan Richard, Horace; Darren Kadlec, Pisek
    Ohio – Steve Reinhard, Bucyrus; Charles W. Bayliss, West Mansfield
    Oklahoma – Brent A. Rendel, Miami
    Pennsylvania – John Harrell, Lebanon
    South Dakota – Michael McCranie, Claremont; Dawn Scheier, Salem
    Tennessee – Don Willis, Hillsboro; Steve May, Hurricane Mills
    Virginia – Susan A. Watkins, Sutherland
    Wisconsin – Nancy Kavazanjian, Beaver Dam; Tony Mellenthin, Eau Galle; Sara R. Stelter, Wautoma
    Eastern Region – J. Nicholas Kercheval, Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
    Western Region – Rod Hahn, Yuma, Colo.

Newly appointed alternates are:
    Delaware – Robert L. Emerson III, Middletown
    New York – Seth Pritchard, Canandaigua
    Eastern Region – Mark H. Kable, Charles Town, W.VA.
    Western Region – Ross Watermann, Vona, Colo.

The board is authorized by the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Information Act and is composed of 78 members representing 29 states and Eastern and Western regions. Members must be soybean producers nominated by a qualified state soybean board. More information about the board is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) United Soybean Board webpage.


In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) there were 38,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of July 10-16, 2022, down 7% from the July 2021 reference week, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 45,000 during the week of October 9-15, 2022, unchanged from the October 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $17.69 per hour during the July 2022 reference week, up 4% from the July 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $17.57 per hour, up $0.56. Livestock workers earned $16.85 per hour, up $0.49 from a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $17.25, was up $0.54 from the 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 44.4 hours during the July 2022 reference week, compared with 47.1 hours worked during the July 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $18.22 per hour during the October 2022 reference week, up 6% from the October 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $18.46 per hour, up $1.25. Livestock workers earned $16.88 per hour, up $0.43 from a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $17.88, was up $0.97 from the October 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 45.9 hours during the October 2022 reference week, compared with 48.8 hours worked during the October 2021 reference week.

Labor Report: Cornbelt II

There were 22,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Cornbelt II Region (Iowa and Missouri) during the reference week of July 10-16, 2022, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Farm Labor report. Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $18.10 per hour, $1.21 above July 2021. The number of hours worked averaged 39.3 for hired workers during the reference week, compared with 35.5 hours in July 2021.

During the reference week of October 9-15, 2022, there were 29,000 workers hired directly by farms in the Cornbelt II Region (Iowa and Missouri). Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage rate of $18.19 per hour during the October 2022 reference week, 93 cents above October 2021. The number of hours worked averaged 40.6 for hired workers during the reference week, compared with 41.0 hours in October 2021.

USDA: October Hired Workers Up 2 Percent; Gross Wage Rate Increased 7 Percent from Previous Year

There were 785,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of October 9-15, 2022, up 2 percent from the October 2021 reference week. Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 797,000 during the week of July 10-16, 2022, unchanged from the July 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average gross wage of $17.72 per hour during the October 2022 reference week, up 7 percent from the October 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $17.04 per hour, up 6 percent. Livestock workers earned $16.52 per hour, up 7 percent. The field and livestock worker combined gross wage rate, at $16.90 per hour, was up 6 percent from the 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 41.8 hours during the October 2022 reference week, down slightly from the hours worked during the October 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average gross wage of $17.63 per hour during the July 2022 reference week, up 6 percent from the July 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.80 per hour, up 4 percent, while livestock workers earned $16.65 per hour, up 10 percent from a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined gross wage rate, at $16.76 per hour, was up 6 percent from the July 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 41.1 hours during the July 2022 reference week, up slightly from the hours worked during the July 2021 reference week.

The 2022 all hired worker annual average gross wage rate was $17.56 per hour, up 7 percent from the 2021 annual average gross wage rate. The 2022 field worker annual average gross wage rate was $16.77 per hour, up 6 percent from the 2021 annual average. The 2022 livestock worker annual average gross wage rate was $16.29 per hour. The 2022 annual average combined gross wage for field and livestock workers was $16.62, up 7 percent from the 2021 annual average of $15.56 per hour.

Optimistic Keynote Slated for 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention

Bert Jacobs, co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist of the $150 million lifestyle brand Life is Good®, will address attendees as general session keynote speaker during the 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention. When Jacobs and his brother John started the company in 1994, they had $78 in their pockets, lived out of their van and sold T-shirts on the streets of Boston. Jacobs will speak during the closing general session at the convention on Monday, Jan. 9, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His powerful message will include why he has championed the same mission for more than 25 years: to spread the power of optimism.

“We’re looking forward to hearing Bert Jacobs’ message because farmers and ranchers are eternal optimists, rising each day to grow a safe and sustainable food supply, but we all need a boost once in a while and Bert’s message is powerful,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We have a great line-up in January, including great speakers, big competitions and critical conversations about the farm bill and other top priorities for agriculture.”

While Bert and John believe life is good, they also know life isn’t perfect, which is why Life is Good donates 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Playmaker Project, which helps over 1 million kids overcome the impact of poverty, violence and illness each year. In making their company a fully integrated for-profit/nonprofit model, the brothers hope to use their business as a vehicle to do good in the world.

Virtual and In-person Convention Registration

The convention will be held Jan. 6-11, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Duvall giving his annual address to Farm Bureau members during the opening general session on Sunday morning, Jan. 8.

In-person and virtual registration options are available. Virtual-only registrants have access to convention keynote speeches including those from Jacobs and Duvall, select workshops and Cultivation Center Stage presentations (town hall-style workshops covering a variety of topics). View the high-level convention agenda here. Learn more and register here.

The official event hashtag is #AFBF23 and the event website is

Nearly $11,000 Raised for Ranch Group at Platte Livestock Market

Platte Livestock Market recently hosted a successful fundraiser that raised nearly $11,000 for R-CALF USA, the largest national producer only organization, whose mission is to ensure the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry.

"It was noticed that we had more rancher involvement supporting R-CALF,” said Brad Veurink, auctioneer at Platte Livestock Market. “Businesses stuck with us supporting the fundraiser. It was a good day."

According to Veurink, cattle producers understand what R-CALF USA is doing and are tuned into the hot button issues like mandatory country of origin labeling (MCOOL) for beef and how much beef the U.S. imports.

Thousands of cattle ranchers across the U.S. support the organization for its ongoing work to restore MCOOL for beef and to stop anticompetitive practices by the four largest meatpackers that control 85% of the fed cattle market, two of the four meatpackers are foreign-owned.

For the second year in a row, James Fulwider and Kevin Talsma, both of Iona, donated a steer for the fundraiser.

"It’s a no brainer for me to donate to R-CALF, as a cattle producer, because they don't take money from the beef checkoff, they can truly represent the independent cattle producer without having to satisfy outside forces," Fulwider explained.

"I continue to support R-CALF because I can't stand the thought of the American consumers being deceived at the meat counter,” he commented. “Find me a consumer that tells me that they do not want their beef labeled. I have never found one yet.”

Fulwider said there was tremendous business support at the rollover fundraiser.

“When I was in high school Gregory, South Dakota, had three grocery stores. Now we have one,” he noted. “Our area businesses know that they can only survive with cattle producers supporting them.

“If we don't save this cattle industry there is no future in it for young families to come back and that will continue to affect every main street in every small town,” Fulwider said adding, “Even if we win today, we have to keep fighting because there will always be another fight at our front door."