Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Tuesday November 01 Ag News

 Cuming County Board of Supervisors Seeking Extension Board Nominations

The Cuming County Board of Supervisors are seeking nominations for individuals interested in serving a three-year term on the Cuming County Extension Board. Due to changes in the laws, Extension Board Members are appointed by the Board of Supervisors rather than being elected.

Two positions on the Cuming County Extension Board are up for appointment. The district lines are defined according to the Cuming County Board of Supervisors districts.  Nominees are needed for the District II and IV. Marty Smith, Extension Board Representative, has agreed to a second 3-year term in District II (Supervisor Maynard Munderloh). Kristie Borgelt, Extension Board Representative, has agreed to a second 3-year term in District IV. Potential candidates are encouraged to contact the Extension Office, if you have questions on which supervisor district you reside in.

A nominating committee is seeking nominations or calls from interested individuals.  This nomination committee will be responsible for preparing a slate of potential candidates that will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration. If you are interested in being a candidate, please feel free to contact the Cuming County Extension office at 402-372-6006 on or before November 21st.  

According to Extension Educator Hannah Guenther, the operation of Nebraska Extension should be given serious consideration by all county residents. It operates the tax funds under the guidance of the Cuming County Extension Board. Extension programs focus on priority needs and issues facing people of the county.

Cuming County Feeders Meet Wednesday in West Point

The Nebraska Cattlemen Market Reporting Service would like to extend you an invitation to a Market Outlook meeting on Wednesday, November 2, at 6:30 p.m.

Please join other area cattle feeders and us for a night of food, fellowship, and information. Jeff Stolle, Nebraska Cattlemen Vice President of Marketing will present a market outlook as well provide information on our Market Reporting Service. This meeting will also include a Nebraska Cattlemen update.

When: Wednesday, November 2
        Social at 6:30 p.m. - Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Nielsen Community Center (200 Anna Stalp Ave, West Point)
Why: Market Update by Jeff Stolle, Nebraska Cattlemen VP of Marketing

RSVP to Bonita (402) 450-0223 (voice or text)


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Range & Forage Specialist

With pastures running short this year because of drought, there has been interest grazing alfalfa in the fall.  In some cases, the alfalfa may not have been big enough to warrant haying or maybe you have an alfalfa field that is adjacent to some cornstalks.  A side benefit is that grazing alfalfa in late fall or winter can reduce alfalfa weevil infestations by removing stems and plant parts that serve as a wintering site or a spring laying site for weevil eggs.
Even though it is early-November, alfalfa is still quite green, despite several nights with low temperatures in the twenties.  There may be some wilting and yellowing, especially on the top, but most leaves still are attached to the plant stems.
The real question often being asked is “Can I be sure my cows won’t bloat if they graze my alfalfa?”.  To be quite honest, you never can be 100 percent certain that alfalfa won’t cause bloat.  Bloat occurs in ruminant livestock when gas produced during fermentation becomes trapped inside the rumen.
Bloat risk is much lower a week after a hard freeze that causes wilting.  But always use good management methods to reduce the risk further.  Have cows full before turning out to alfalfa.  Wait until mid-day, after frost or dew is gone, before turning out.  Provide other dry, palatable feeds or even bloat retardants.  And keep a close eye on them for the first couple days.
Alfalfa can be grazed safely.  Just be careful and realistic.

Midwest Dairy Seeks Applicants for Nebraska Dairy Ambassador Program

The Dairy Ambassador Program is an educational and leadership opportunity for young people who are passionate about dairy. Dairy Ambassadors have the opportunity to connect with consumers and share dairy’s story while networking with their peers and industry professionals. The program is designed for college students (enrolled full-time in a Nebraska post-secondary school) and high school junior (11th grade) and senior (12th grade) students. Applications need not be from a dairy farm or have past dairy experiences, just an interest in promoting dairy and gaining leadership opportunities.
Dairy Ambassadors will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including connecting with consumers at regional events, state fair, youth educational presentations, and attend dairy industry meetings as well as participating in leadership opportunities. The program is designed to shape future dairy champions who will promote the dairy community and support Midwest Dairy’s mission to give consumers an excellent dairy experience.
“Education is a cornerstone of our industry and is an important piece of mission to enrich the education of our future leaders and ultimately, our entire dairy industry,” says Tracy J. Behnken, Farmer Relations and Communications Manager. “Our Dairy Ambassador program has been very effective in encouraging growth, innovation and excellence in our industry and we’re looking forward to reviewing the applications of the many bright, young college and high school students across our state.”
To be considered for the Dairy Ambassador Program, applicants must be enrolled as a Nebraska High School Junior (11th Grade) or Senior (12th Grade) during the current year of application, or enrolled full-time in a Nebraska post-secondary school for the duration of the appointment. All applicants must be able to communicate effectively through writing and speaking and possess a passion for dairy. Dairy Ambassadors are expected to serve starting January 10, 2023 and ending November 30, 2023. During their service, ambassadors will receive stipends and have approved expenses covered upon participation. After successful completion of the one-year program, Dairy Ambassadors are eligible to apply for a $1,000 educational scholarship.
Students can apply at, in the For Young Dairy Leaders tab/section, under Ambassador Programs then select Nebraska. More details can be found on the webpage plus the online application (APPLY NOW) is at the bottom of the program page. Online applications are due DECEMBER 15, 2022. Selected ambassadors will be notified by JANUARY 10, 2022.
If you have questions, please contact Dawn Eckel, Nebraska Dairy Ambassador Coordinator, at OR Tracy J. Behnken, Farmer Relations and Communications Manager at or 531-207-4291.

Central Valley Ag Delivers Value to Member-Owners in the Form of $15.5 Million of Equity Payments

Central Valley Ag (CVA) continues to give back to member-owners, demonstrating the cooperative spirit. As a farmer-owned cooperative, CVA is truly for the farmers – by the farmers.

The equity of the farmers/members can eventually be returned to them in cash payouts throughout their membership. Earlier this year, CVA’s Board of Directors approved the distribution of year-earned and age-based equity payments to its member-owners totaling almost 15.5 million dollars.

A payment of 13.15 million dollars is being made to member-owners based on their business with the cooperative in 2008. Additionally, approximately 2.2 million dollars of age-based equity and retirements was distributed to members that were age 65 or older as of December 31, 2021.

“I am proud of CVA’s performance and our ability to return equity to our member-owners,” said Carl Dickinson, CEO of Central Valley Ag. “It is compelling to have the cooperative in a position to give back to the membership. Not only are we able to provide them products and services, but because of CVA’s performance, we are able to return cash.”

When a co-op is profitable, dollars are returned back to owners in two ways, the first is through cash patronage. This is a direct return back to producers based on the amount of business they have done with the co-op.

In addition to cash patronage, the co-op has earnings that are reserved for later distributions. In the short-term, these equity dollars are an investment by members in their co-op and can be used by the co-op to make capital improvements, which further grow the business or make the co-op more efficient

“The cooperative would not be where it is without the loyalty of our member-owners. This business is for the farmers. It is always an honor to share with them the success of the cooperative,” said Dickinson

IANR class pioneers Midwest’s Spanish instruction for agricultural needs  

Effective communication is vital for agricultural operations. To help meet that need, a class in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Animal Science Department is offering specialized instruction in Spanish, focusing on practical use in modern agriculture and the food processing industry.  

Taught by Leila Venzor, a doctoral student in Animal Science, the class is pioneering such specialized language study in the Midwest.  

ASCI 42, Section 950 is offered one day a week in the spring semester and is open to any IANR student, although the focus is practical Spanish use for Animal Science majors. The course is non-credit, but the department is developing a digital badge to certify students’ language competence.  

Latinos are the largest minority in Nebraska, accounting for about 11% of the state’s population. Over the last two decades, the number of Latinos employed in Nebraska businesses has almost tripled.   

The UNL class isn’t instruction in the kind of broad conversational Spanish one would encounter in a beginning Spanish class in high school, said Venzor, a Fort Worth, Texas, native who grew up speaking Spanish at home with her parents. Instead, the class focuses on specific Spanish terms in agriculture, horsemanship and food processing, and phrases associated with basic communication involving those fields.  

“It’s really more practicing those terms so that you can directly apply them,” said Venzor, whose graduate work includes scientific study of novel ingredients in processed meats. Venzor has worked part-time on such science for Archer Daniels Midland Company. Her work there also involved visits to food processing facilities in Mexico and Central America, and the experience honed her skill in understanding the practical application of Spanish in real-world workplace situations.  

UNL students in her Spanish in Agriculture class say the instruction has had value for them.  

“I wanted to take the class originally because I’ve worked with ethically diverse people before on a hog operation,” said Kylie Dierks, a junior Animal Science major from Hastings. “The course did a great job of laying down basic agriculture terms so people could communicate even if there was a language barrier. Leila does a great job of explaining the differences between Hispanic cultures as well as professional and slang words for the same term.”

“Even if you don’t have any Spanish experience,” Dierks said, “it’s a good way to get exposed to the terminology,” since the class offers “invaluable knowledge to anyone looking to learn agriculture Spanish terms.”

Benjamin Niyodusenga, an international student from Rwanda, also praised the class. “Considering that it was only an hour per week, we did a lot more than I expected to cover in such a short period of time,” said Niyodusenga, a senior with an interest in community and regional planning.  

Students “went through the daily phrases used in Spanish conversations and had a chance to talk to the native Spanish speakers from one of the high schools here in Lincoln,” he said. “It was a challenge to talk to the native Spanish speakers because it required getting out of your comfort zone and being confident during the interviews.”

Effective ag-related communication with Spanish speakers not only facilitates production efficiency. It also enhances workplace safety — a central focus for the class. “Production comes second to safety. We heavily emphasize that,” Venzor said. “That’s kind of the capstone of the course.”  

Venzor gives credit both to those UNL figures who originated and supported the Spanish in Agriculture class and to others in the university community nationwide — Cindy Barnett, a professor at Murray State University in Kentucky, as well as Penn State University — whose work has helped her develop her approach to instruction.  

David Velasco, a graduate student in Animal Science, created the UNL class several years ago with support from Chris Calkins, a professor in the department. When Velasco was set to graduate (he’s now a doctoral student at Colorado State University), the Dean’s Office for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) said it was important to continue the class and offered the assistantship opportunity to Venzor.  

“I've put in a lot of work to focus this class on Nebraska,” Venzor said. “Other people have developed resources that have made things easier for me.”  

The forward momentum for the class is continuing. For next year, Venzor plans to extend the weekly instruction to 90 minutes.  

Women in Ag program to host ‘Fighting Winter Blues’ course

Nebraska Extension’s Women in Agriculture program will host “Fighting Winter Blues,” a virtual course offering strategies to work through symptoms of seasonal depression and anxiety, at 7:30 p.m. Central time on Nov. 30.

It will be facilitated by Ashley Machado, a mental health consultant who works primarily with agricultural professionals and their families.

“With the shorter days, colder weather, and gray skies, the lack of sunshine and outdoor time in the winter can leave some feeling down,” Machado said.

The course will discuss why the winter blues come around and how to work through them. It will offer actionable tools for participants to bring home over the winter months.

Machado is an advocate for rethinking the ways that we support mental health in the agriculture industry and specializes in breaking down big ideas and deep feelings into simple, actionable strategies. She applies 15 years of experience to helping individuals and organizations in agriculture to develop the tools they need to maintain good mental health and operate and live fully.

Machado holds a bachelor’s degree in human development and a master’s in social work with an emphasis in clinical mental health. She grew up in the dairy industry and now lives in California with her husband, a rancher and almond farmer.

The free workshop will be held via Zoom. Registration can be completed on the Nebraska Women in Agriculture website,

Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award Seeks Nominees

Know a Nebraska rancher, farmer or forestland owner who goes above and beyond in the stewardship of natural resources? Nominate them for the 2023 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award®.

Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 24 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. In Nebraska, the $10,000 award is presented with Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Cargill and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the award recognizes landowners who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. In his influential 1949 book, “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold called for an ethical relationship between people and the land they own and manage.

Nominations may be submitted on behalf of a landowner, or landowners may nominate themselves. The application can be found at

The application deadline is March 1, 2023. Applications can be emailed to or postmarked by March 1, and mailed to:

Leopold Conservation Award
c/o AFAN
5225 S. 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68512

Selected recipients must be available for an Earth Day press conference, summer video production, and fall award ceremony.

“These award recipients are examples of how Aldo Leopold’s land ethic is alive and well today. Their dedication to conservation shows how individuals can improve the health of the land while producing food and fiber,” said Kevin McAleese, Sand County Foundation President and CEO.

The first Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award was presented to Wilson Ranch of Lakeside in 2006. The 2022 recipient of the award was Wine Glass Ranch of Imperial. To see a full list of award recipients visit

The Leopold Conservation Award Program in Nebraska is made possible thanks to the generous support of American Farmland Trust, Cargill, Nebraska Environmental Trust, AFAN, Sand County Foundation, Farm Credit Services of America, Audubon Nebraska, Lyle Sittler Memorial Fund, McDonald’s, Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Nebraska Game and Parks, Nebraska Land Trust, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Sandhills Task Force, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, World Wildlife Fund-Northern Great Plains, and Green Cover Seed.

Value of Gain on Winter Backgrounded Cattle

Elliott Dennis, NE Extension Livestock Economist

Cumulative national feeder and stocker cattle receipts are slightly lagging both 2021 and the 5-year average (2017-2021) at 12,098,700 head through Oct 21. In 2022, more of the receipts are coming from cattle weighing less than 600 lbs. and heifers – both signals that the drought in various parts of the United States is affecting feeder and stocker cattle being sold.
Cow-calf producers who still have calves are in the process of deciding whether to sell or retain weaned calves. This decision must consider both the cost to put on the additional weight (total amount, quality, cost of feed resources, etc.) and the expected price received when cattle are sold at higher weights (at current and future basis-adjusted prices). The difference between these two is profit but only on the additional weight gained. Positive values indicate that profits could be made by retaining feeder cattle this fall.
Survey work from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln shows that producers can use a combination of price risk management and different lengths in their production system as a hedge against adverse price movements. Putting on weight during the winter and selling in March-April or selling in the late summer are the two common backgrounding production systems in Nebraska. Within these two systems, total weight gain can be influenced by the type of feed given. Gain can either be fast or slow in either the winter stocking 2022-23 and summer grazing 2023 seasons. These decisions impact the total weight gained at each phase and thus the time and weight feeder cattle enter feedlots.
The value-of-gain for the two wintering scenarios (slow vs. fast) is calculated using 66 head of 525 lb. weaned steers bought on Nov 2, 2022, and sold in Lexington, NE on March 9, 2023, using Beef Basis. The value of gain for the slow winter performance using an ADG of 0.80 lb/d is $198.96/cwt. The value of gain for the fast winter performance using an ADG of 2.05 lb/d is $137.45/cwt. Within each of these production systems, there is little advantage of speeding up or slowing down the cattle since the value-of-gain does not vary substantially between the two weeks before or after the proposed sell date.
These calculations are specific to cattle sold in Lexington, NE, and producers making decisions about whether to retain cattle should re-calculate the value of gain for their location using tools such as those available at Beef Basis. Similarly, these values are for current prices and historical basis. Under no price risk management, the actual price received will differ. If price risk management tools are used such as CME futures or options or RMA Livestock Risk Protection, producers some of this risk by “locking in” an output price but are still subject to basis risk.

Producers who retain cattle over the winter should re-calculate the value of gain for cattle in the Spring as they come off cornstalks or winter grazing to determine if the market is still willing to pay them to put on yet additional weight.

USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 435 million bushels in September 2022. Total corn consumption was down 10 percent from August 2022 and down 5 percent from September 2021. September 2022 usage included 90.6 percent for alcohol and 9.4 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 4.47 million bushels, up 12 percent from August 2022 and up 31 percent from September 2021. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 383 million bushels, was down 11 percent from August 2022 and down 6 percent from September 2021. Corn consumed in September 2022 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 92.7 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively.

Dry mill co-product production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.61 million tons during September 2022, down 14 percent from August 2022 and down 8 percent from September 2021. Distillers wet grains (DWG) 65 percent or more moisture was 1.25 million tons in September 2022, down 5 percent from August 2022 but up 5 percent from September 2021.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 238,468 tons during September 2022, down 4 percent from August 2022 and down 15 percent from September 2021. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 192,999 tons in September 2022, up 2 percent from August 2022 but down 7 percent from September 2021.

Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks

Soybeans crushed for crude oil was 5.03 million tons (168 million bushels) in September 2022, compared with 5.25 million tons (175 million bushels) in August 2022 and 4.92 million tons (164 million bushels) in September 2021. Crude oil produced was 1.99 billion pounds down 5 percent from August 2022 but up 3 percent from September 2021. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.66 billion pounds during September 2022 decreased 5 percent from August 2022 but increased 3 percent from September 2021.

Canola seeds crushed for crude oil was 197,508 tons in September 2022, compared with 171,334 tons in August 2022 and 168,464 tons in September 2021. Canola crude oil produced was 155 million pounds, up 14 percent from August 2022 and up 14 percent from September 2021. Canola once refined oil production, at 163 million pounds during September 2022, was up 21 percent from August 2022 and up 17 percent from September 2021.

USDA Flour Milling Products

All wheat ground for flour during the third quarter 2022 was 237 million bushels, up 2 percent from the second quarter 2022 grind of 232 million bushels and up 3 percent from the third quarter 2021 grind of 231 million bushels. Third quarter 2022 total flour production was 110 million hundredweight, up 2 percent from the second quarter 2022 and up 3 percent from the third quarter 2021. Whole wheat flour production at 4.63 million hundredweight during the third quarter 2022 accounted for 4 percent of the total flour production. Millfeed production from wheat in the third quarter 2022 was 1.72 million tons. The daily 24-hour milling capacity of wheat flour during the third quarter 2022 was 1.60 million hundredweight.

Durum wheat ground for flour and semolina production during the third quarter of 2022 totaled 15.7 million bushels, up 2 percent from the second quarter 2022 and up less than 1 percent from the third quarter 2021. Third quarter 2022 durum flour and semolina production was 7.51 million hundredweight, up less than 1 percent from the second quarter 2022 and up 3 percent from the third quarter 2021. Whole wheat durum flour and semolina production was 123,000 hundredweight, up 46 percent from 84,000 hundredweight in the second quarter 2022 but down 48 percent from 238,000 hundredweight in the third quarter 2021. Third quarter durum wheat millfeed production was 103,877 tons and the daily 24-hour milling capacity for durum and semolina production was 134,730 hundredweight.

Rye ground for flour during the third quarter of 2022 was 411,000 bushels, up 5 percent from the second quarter 2022 but down 5 percent from the third quarter 2021. Rye flour production during the third quarter of 2022 was 186,000 hundredweight, compared to 174,000 hundredweight in the previous quarter and 193,000 hundredweight in the same quarter for the previous year. The daily 24-hour milling capacity for rye milling was 9,655 hundredweight for the third quarter 2022.

USDA Announces November 2022 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced loan interest rates for November 2022, which are effective Nov. 1, 2022. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans provide important access to capital to help agricultural producers start or expand their farming operation, purchase equipment and storage structures or meet cash flow needs.

Operating, Ownership and Emergency Loans

FSA offers farm ownership and operating loans with favorable interest rates and terms to help eligible agricultural producers, whether multi-generational, long-time, or new to the industry, obtain financing needed to start, expand or maintain a family agricultural operation. FSA also offers emergency loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding, other natural disasters or quarantine.  For many loan options, FSA sets aside funding for historically underserved producers, including veterans, beginning, women, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Hispanic farmers and ranchers

Interest rates for Operating and Ownership loans for November 2022 are as follows:
    Farm Operating Loans (Direct): 4.375%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct): 4.500%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Direct, Joint Financing): 2.500%
    Farm Ownership Loans (Down Payment): 1.500%
    Emergency Loan (Amount of Actual Loss): 3.750%

FSA also offers guaranteed loans through commercial lenders at rates set by those lenders.

Commodity and Storage Facility Loans

Additionally, FSA provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade on-farm storage facilities and purchase handling equipment and loans that provide interim financing to help producers meet cash flow needs without having to sell their commodities when market prices are low.  Funds for these loans are provided through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and are administered by FSA.
    Commodity Loans (less than one year disbursed): 5.250%
    Farm Storage Facility Loans:
        Three-year loan terms: 4.250%
        Five-year loan terms: 4.125%
        Seven-year loan terms: 4.000%
        Ten-year loan terms: 3.875%
        Twelve-year loan terms: 3.875%
    Sugar Storage Facility Loans (15 years): 4.000%

Pandemic and Disaster Support

FSA broadened the use of the Disaster Set Aside (DSA), normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. Because of the pandemic’s continued impacts, producers can apply for a second DSA for COVID-19 or a second DSA for a natural disaster for producers with an initial DSA for COVID-19. It’s available until Dec. 31, 2022.

FSA also reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the year’s winter storms, drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters that USDA has programs that provide assistance. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared to deliver a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to agricultural producers and impacted communities. Many programs are available without an official disaster designation, including several risk management and disaster recovery options.

Distressed Borrowers

The Inflation Reduction Act provided $3.1 billion for USDA to provide relief for distressed borrowers with certain Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct and guaranteed loans and to expedite assistance for those whose agricultural operations are at financial risk. In October 2022, USDA has started to provide automatic and case-by-case assistance to distressed borrowers.

U.S. Meat Sector Releases First-Ever Data Report on Environment, Other Key Indicators

A major new report released in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit next week in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, reveals that about 81% of facilities reporting data are covered by Meat Institute members’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

With 100% of the Meat Institute’s large U.S. members (more than 2000 employees) submitting data, the report covers an estimated 90% of meat sold in the United States (by volume) and sets the first ever baselines for measuring progress toward ambitious targets for environmental sustainability, animal care, food safety, worker safety, and food security.

Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts commented:
“98% of American households purchase meat, putting our sector undoubtedly at the center of solutions for healthy diets, healthy communities, and a healthy planet for generations to come.

The Meat Institute’s first-ever continuous improvement report is a game changer for transparency in the sector - setting transparent baselines that will allow us to  measure progress and verify our sector’s contributions to global goals.”

Further key findings include:
    Supporting NAMI’s commitment to measure and fill the “protein gap” for needy families by 2025, 78% of reporting companies donate money or products to food banks and charities, including more than $9 million announced this year to combat hunger by building or expanding food banks’ capacity to safely receive, store, package, and distribute fresh meat hungry families need.
    82% of reporting facilities are covered by a company commitment to minimize packaging waste, and 71% are covered by a company commitment to reduce food waste.
    96% of reporting facilities that conduct meat processing require suppliers to maintain a written animal welfare program based on NAMI Animal Handling Guidelines.
    98% of reporting facilities have a multidisciplinary team that periodically reviews food safety programs and takes improvement actions.

Higher-Priced Turkeys on the Holiday Menu

U.S. consumers can expect to pay more for their Thanksgiving turkeys this year as supplies have dwindled following the widespread outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Since the outbreak began this spring, more than 7.5 million turkeys have been removed from production in an effort to mitigate the disease. The losses were the latest blow to the national turkey flock which, was already shrinking due to a series of production challenges and industry contraction in recent years.

The combination of tight supplies and strong holiday demand will send retail turkey prices to record highs this year, according to a new research brief from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange. Seasonal cold storage inventories of whole birds are at their lowest level since 2006 and wholesale prices for frozen turkeys are currently running about 30% higher than last year.

“The good news is that we do not anticipate a shortage of turkeys for the holidays this year,” said Brian Earnest, lead animal protein economist with CoBank. “But they will definitely be more expensive and probably a bit smaller than what consumers are used to seeing in their grocers’ meat case.”

Over the last decade, the retail price for whole turkeys has historically hovered between $0.90 - $1.00/lb. ahead of Thanksgiving. In its Oct. 21 National Retail Report, USDA put the price of frozen turkeys at $1.58/lb. That’s up 47% compared to the same time last year and would drive the average price of a 20-lb bird $10 higher to $31.50.

Smaller turkeys are also a result of HPAI. Since the outbreaks began, the average slaughter weight has dropped by about 1 pound. And HPAI has hit larger, heavier toms harder than hens. Compared to the three-year average, cumulative tom slaughter is down 9.8% in 2022, while hens are down only 2.3%. In total, year-to-date turkey production in pounds is down 5% versus last year. If this trend holds, 2022 U.S. turkey production will drop 9.6%, the largest annual reduction since 2009.

Declining turkey production amid unrelenting consumer demand for meat and poultry has taken a significant bite of whole bird inventory volumes. As of Sept. 30, frozen whole turkey inventory stocks stood at 239 million lbs. That’s an 8% drop from 2021 and 19% below the 2018-2021 average. But the effect on prices seems far more dramatic than the supply shrinkage. All cuts of turkey have surged higher since spring. Fresh, boneless breast meat is trading at $6.50/lb. – an astonishing 350% increase versus last fall.

Earnest said the one wildcard for retail prices of whole turkeys this holiday season is grocer price promotions. Historically, retailers have used frozen turkeys as a “loss leader” around the holidays, selling them at minimal or no profit to lure customers into the store. However, grocers are facing their own inflationary pressures and it remains to be seen how grocers will manage higher wholesale costs, he added.

AGCO Reports Record Third Quarter Results

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE: AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, reported its results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022. Net sales for the third quarter were approximately $3.1 billion, an increase of approximately 14.5% compared to the third quarter of 2021. Excluding unfavorable foreign currency translation of approximately 11.8%, net sales in the quarter increased approximately 26.3% compared to the third quarter of 2021. Reported net income was $3.18 per share for the third quarter of 2022, and adjusted net income (3) , which excludes restructuring expenses, was also $3.18 per share. These results compare to reported net income of $2.40 per share and adjusted net income, which excludes restructuring expenses, of $2.41 per share for the third quarter of 2021.

“We delivered record third quarter sales and earnings driven through the consistent execution of our farmer-first strategy, coupled with continued robust market conditions in many of our regions,” stated Eric Hansotia, AGCO’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our solid operational performance and continued strong pricing overcame ongoing supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures and significant currency headwinds. Healthy farm fundamentals are supporting order boards that now stretch well into 2023 in some regions. The success of our farmer-first strategy, focused on growing our precision ag business, globalizing a full-line of our Fendt branded products and expanding our parts and service business, is generating strong growth in these margin-rich businesses.”

Mr. Hansotia continued, “Global market conditions remain positive as favorable farm economics are allowing farmers to upgrade and replace their aging fleets. At the same time, our smart technology product lines are in strong demand and are helping to drive meaningful productivity improvements for our customers through both retrofitting their current equipment and in our new product offerings. We will continue to accelerate investments in premium technology, smart farming solutions and enhanced digital capabilities to support our farmer-first strategy while helping to sustainably feed the world.”

Net sales for the first nine months of 2022 were approximately $8.8 billion, an increase of approximately 9.6% compared to the same period in 2021. Excluding unfavorable foreign currency translation of approximately 8.2%, net sales for the first nine months of 2022 increased approximately 17.9% compared to the same period in 2021. For the first nine months of 2022, reported net income was $7.58 per share, and adjusted net income (3) , excluding impairment charges, restructuring expenses and other related items, was $7.95 per share. These results compare to reported net income of $8.11 per share, and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and the reversal of a valuation allowance previously established against the Company’s deferred tax assets in the United States, of $7.30 per share for the first nine months of 2021.

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