2019 NeFB Silver Eagle Award Honors Dr. Terry Klopfenstein, Pioneer in Beef NutritionNebraska Farm Bureau has selected Dr. Terry Klopfenstein, Emeritus Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), as the 2019 recipient of, its highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. The award will be presented to Klopfenstein on Dec. 10 at the 2019 Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Kearney.“Terry Klopfenstein, Ph.D., was a pioneer in using corn byproducts from the ethanol and sweetener industries to supplement cattle feeding,” said Steve Nelson president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. “Dr. Klopfenstein’s research laid the groundwork for distillers’ grains to become a key feedstock that has greatly lowered the cost of production for Nebraska's beef producers and is now labeled as a co-product of the ethanol industry.”Dr. Klopfenstein was raised on his family’s farm in Ohio and worked around animals and cattle throughout his childhood. He began his tenure at the University of Nebraska in 1965 after completing his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University. Dr. Klopfenstein held the University of Nebraska Wagner Professorship from 1989 to 2007. He mentored hundreds of graduate students in his 47-year career at the UNL, many of whom are recognized as excellent nutritionists. He takes pride in his work with students.“Klopfenstein’s mother was a teacher who began her career when she was 18 years old. Growing up, his father taught him the importance of higher education because he never had the chance to further his education during the Great Depression. Terry instilled the same motivation for knowledge in his students, making them a priority in his career. Because of the need for well-trained feedlot managers, the Feedlot Management Internship was initiated in 1988 and 174 students have completed the program. His love of teaching has extended well beyond the classroom. Widely known for his research, Klopfenstein has authored 247 referred articles, 484 abstracts, and 507 technical publications,” Nelson said.Klopfenstein has received multiple honors including the Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS), American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award, USDA Superior Service Award, and the Morrison Award from the American Society of Animal Science, American Society of Animal Science Distinguished Teacher Award. He also was inducted into the Ohio State Animal Science and College of Ag Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement. Klopfenstein has been active with many industry organizations, including serving as president for the Federation of Animal Science Societies and the American Society of Animal Science“Terry has been passionate, dedicated, determined, and devoted to improving beef nutrition in the agriculture industry. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service to Nebraska agriculture; his years of accomplishments makes him more than qualified to receive Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. We thank him for his service to agriculture students and the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska,” Nelson said.Terry and his wife Nancy live in Lincoln and have eight children, 25 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. He has been a Lancaster County Farm Bureau member for 31 years and for many years continues to assist Nancy with writing letters to elementary school students about what life is like on the farm and ranch as a part of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Ag Pen Pal Program. Norfolk firm commits to Northeast’s Nexus projectA Norfolk area firm with a strong commitment to service in the community has pledged $50,000 to the Nexus agriculture campaign at Northeast Community College.Jared Faltys of McMill CPAs & Advisors said the firm is pleased to strengthen the community through giving back.“Donating to the Nexus project is just one way that we do this. Giving back to clients and communities is firmly rooted in company culture,” Faltys said. “Every one of our employees receives encouragement and support to participate in professional, charitable, and nonprofit associations. Our professionals donate their time and expertise, too, often as advisory or board members.”McMill team members volunteer with more than 15 local organizations, and host a summer camp each year to help young students learn about business and finances.Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation, thanked McMill CPAs & Advisors for the generous gift.“This firm has a history of supporting the community,” Kruse said. “We are so pleased that they are including the Nexus project at Northeast in their philanthropy.”The Nexus project is a capital campaign to raise money to update aging agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College.“Agriculture is one of the industries that McMill CPAs & Advisors specializes in,” Faltys said, “and creating a new generation of students who are passionate in agriculture encourages growth in the industry and in northeast Nebraska. We know Northeast Community College produces quality graduates for our area as many of our team members are alums. We are excited to be a small part of creating the next generation of early adopters and leaders in agriculture.”Kruse said, “Agriculture is the bedrock of Nebraska’s economy. One out of every two jobs in this region is tied to agriculture. For businesses in this area to be successful, having a strong agricultural economy is vital.”Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, a new farm site with a large animal handling facility, other farm structures for livestock operations, and a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on E. Benjamin Ave. in Norfolk.In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at tracyk@northeast.edu, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.NA-BA 2019 Ag Update  You're invited to this year's annual Ag Update sponsored by the Nebraska Agri-Business Association. There are a total of 13 speakers with five on the first day and eight on the second day.Ag Update is at the Holiday Inn Southwest in Lincoln and will start with registration at 12:30 pm on Thursday, December 5, 2019, continuing all day Friday, December 6, 2019 with registration beginning at 8:00 am.The speakers and topics for Thursday are:    Conor Ward - 2018 Farm Bill and Program Update (PD .25)    Jeremiah Schultz - EQIP Source Water Protection Initiative (PD .25)    Nathan Mueller - Winter Wheat Works Initiative (CM 1)    Katja Koehler-Cole - Cover Crops and Soil Health (CM 1)    Keith Berns - Carbonomics (CM 1)The speakers and topics for Friday are:    Thomas Hunt - Our Newest Nebraska Insect Pest: The Soybean Gall Midge (PM 1)    Tim Pearson - Drone Technology and Imagery (CM 1)    Robert Wright - Crop Insect Pest Update (PM 1)    Mike Zwingman - Metrics of Nutrient Use Efficiency (NM 1)    Al Dutcher - Climate Update (SW 1)    Tamra Jackson Ziems - Headlines in Corn and Soybean Diseases (PM 1)    Rich Russel - Management of Soil Health for the Future (NM 1)    James MacDonald - Nebraska Integrated Beef Systems Initiative (SW 1)Your registration includes rolls & coffee and lunch on Friday.  Please contact Sarah Skirry at sskirry@na-ba.com or (402) 476-1528, if you have any questions, or check out their web site at www.na-ba.com.  They hope to see you in Lincoln at this year's Ag Update!National Pork Board Study Defines China’s Growing Need For ProteinA new report from the National Pork Board digs into the growing short- and long-term protein needs facing China and how U.S. pork can position itself to meet that demand. The new report, Pork 2040: China Market Assessment, also reveals the impact that African swine fever (ASF) is having on both China’s short- and long-term protein needs and how the Chinese pork industry and supply chain will change as a result. The research study was conducted by Gira, a global research firm, using Pork Checkoff dollars and funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Services Emerging Markets Program (EMP). It outlines critical insights that exporters of U.S. pork can use now to position themselves for long-term success in the Chinese market.“Pork is a critical part of the Chinese diet with per capita consumption nearing 88 pounds* per person per year,” said Norman Bessac, vice president of international marketing for the Checkoff. “This report will help exporters position U.S. pork as the supplier of choice, thereby building value for all U.S. pork producers.”According to the report, pork consumption in China peaked in 2014 and will continue to see a slow decline as the Chinese population grows to its highest level in 2030. As the availability of other proteins – specifically fish, chicken and beef – increases along with increased disposable income, consumers will look to diversify center-of-the-plate protein options.According to the research, U.S. pork is poised to help fill the urgent short-term protein needs that ASF is creating in China due to the decrease in China’s domestic pig population. However, by 2025 Chinese pork production will have rebounded, and farms will have had time to rebuild and become more modern. The report outlines key steps that pork exporters can take now to increase exports to China in the short-term and defines a strategy to meet long-term demands. A few highlights from the report include:    Short-term – With the current ASF outbreak, the U.S. export industry will need to work hard to capitalize on the potential market share it can garner. The demand in the short term will be for pork cuts, variety meats and carcasses. Exporters also should use the benefit of time to build loyalty with both Chinese processors and consumers.     Long-term – As 2025 approaches and Chinese domestic production rebounds, Chinese pork will replace most of the import growth seen during the ASF outbreak. However, U.S. exporters can use these next five years to build customer relationships, value around their products and to differentiate themselves as a preferred supplier in the long-term. “The Pork Checkoff is committed to adding value for pork producers,” said David Newman, a pig farmer representing Arkansas and president of the National Pork Board. “One of the ways to build value is to expand U.S. pork exports in developed and emerging markets. This market research and future studies will help key decision-makers to define and develop these markets.”The Pork Board has also created a free marketing toolkit, which includes ideas that U.S. pork exporters can use to build their business in China. The full report is available at pork.to/international. The Pork Checkoff collaborated with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the National Pork Producers Council on the Pork 2040 study.September Beef Export Volume Steady with 2018; Pork Exports Higher Year-over-Year September exports of U.S. beef were steady with last year in volume but export value trended lower, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Pork exports were above year-ago levels in September but pulled back from the large totals posted in June, July and August.September beef exports totaled 109,799 metric tons (mt), essentially even with last year, valued at $661.3 million (down 4%). Through the first three quarters of the year, beef exports were 2% below last year's record pace in both volume (991,325 mt) and value ($6.1 billion).Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $318.54 in September, up significantly from the previous month but still 5% below last year. The January-September average was down 3% to $310.77. September exports accounted for 14.6% of total U.S. beef production and 11.9% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.8% and 12.4%, respectively, last year. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports accounted for 14.3% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from 14.6% and 12.1%, respectively, in 2018.September pork exports increased 13% from a year ago in both volume (202,248 mt) and value ($532.2 million). These results pushed January-September export volume 5% ahead of last year's pace at 1.9 million mt, while value increased 2% to $4.89 billion.Pork export value averaged $49.98 per head slaughtered in September, up 3% from a year ago. For January through September, the per-head average was down 2% to $51.50. September exports accounted for 25.1% of total U.S. pork production, slightly higher than a year ago, and 21.7% for muscle cuts only (down slightly). January-September exports accounted for 26.3% of total pork production and 22.8% for muscle cuts, both up slightly from a year ago."While red meat exports face obstacles in some key markets, global demand dynamics are strong and we see opportunities for significant growth in the fourth quarter and into 2020," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "Progress is being made on market access improvements and this makes for a very positive outlook going forward."Beef export trend to Japan highlights need for tariff reliefBeef exports to leading market Japan continue to reflect the tariff rate gap between U.S. beef and its competitors. September exports were 14% below last year in both volume (24,041 mt) and value ($148.3 million). For the first three quarters of the year, exports to Japan were 4% below last year's pace in volume (241,739 mt) and 5% lower in value ($1.51 billion). The decline was steeper for beef muscle cuts, which were down 10% in volume to 192,676 mt, valued at $1.22 billion (down 9%). Beef variety meat exports to Japan (mainly tongues and skirts) have been a bright spot in 2019, increasing 26% in volume (49,063 mt) and 15% in value ($290.8 million). While these items also face higher tariffs compared to competitors' products, the rate is 12.8% versus 38.5% for U.S. muscle cuts."Japan is still delivering excellent value for U.S. beef producers, but tariff relief cannot come soon enough," Halstrom explained, referring to the recently signed U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which is being discussed and considered for approval by the Japanese Parliament. "With a level playing field, the U.S. beef industry will move a wider range of products to our loyal customers in Japan and will definitely capitalize on emerging growth opportunities."Beef exports to South Korea continue to build on last year's record performance, as September exports climbed 11% from a year ago in volume (21,267 mt) and 6% in value ($151.6 million). For January through September, exports reached 195,557 mt (up 8%) valued at $1.36 billion (up 10%). Korea surpassed Japan as the top value market for U.S. beef muscle cuts, reaching $1.36 billion through September (up 10% year-over-year). Muscle cut volume to Korea increased 9% to 185,288 mt. Korean customs data (January through October) indicate U.S. beef accounts for 56% of Korea's beef imports this year, up from 53% last year.Fueled by strong demand for variety meat, September beef exports to Mexico were slightly above last year in volume (19,464 mt) and 2% higher in value ($91.2 million). Through the first three quarters of the year, exports to Mexico reached 175,992 mt, down 1% from a year ago, while value increased 5% to $820.7 million. Mexico is the leading destination for beef variety meat, and September was an especially strong month, as variety meat exports climbed 26% from a year ago in volume (9,018 mt) and 51% in value ($26.4 million). While January-September variety meat exports were steady year-over-year in volume (71,522 mt), value jumped 16% to $192.5 million.January-September highlights for U.S. beef include:-    Beef exports to Taiwan remain well ahead of last year's record pace, climbing 10% in volume (47,868 mt) and 6% in value ($427.3 million). In just nine months, exports to Taiwan have already surpassed all full-year totals posted before 2018.-    Led by impressive growth in Indonesia, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 31% ahead of last year's pace in volume (44,481 mt) and 15% higher in value ($214.5 million). Exports to Indonesia soared 74% in volume (16,984 mt) and were 42% higher in value ($60.5 million). Demand for beef variety meat increased at an even more rapid pace in Indonesia, jumping 83% in volume (9,207 mt) and 78% in value ($18.4 million).-    Strong September results in Central America pushed beef exports 8% above last year's pace in volume (11,351 mt) and 13% higher in value ($64.6 million), led by strong growth in Guatemala and Panama.-    Although volume slowed in September, beef exports to the Dominican Republic remained on a record pace, increasing 39% from a year ago in volume (6,594 mt) and 32% in value ($53.2 million). Rebuilding effort continues for U.S. pork in Mexico; exports to China/Hong Kong moderateSince Mexico removed its 20% retaliatory duty on U.S. pork in late May, exports have rebounded significantly but not yet to the record-large, pre-tariff levels posted in 2017 and early 2018. September exports to Mexico were down 1% year-over-year in volume (56,467 mt), but value increased 7% to $97.6 million. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports were down 10% in volume (529,776 mt) and 9% in value ($919.4 million)."Although the U.S. industry has made rebuilding pork demand in Mexico a top priority, there is definitely a lingering effect from the retaliatory duties, which were in place for nearly a full year," Halstrom said. "While it is a great relief to once again move pork to Mexico duty-free, ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would certainly help the psychology of the market and bolster our major customers' confidence in the U.S. supply chain."Although dramatically higher than a year ago, September pork exports to China/Hong Kong pulled back from the large totals posted over the previous two months as China's domestic pork supplies felt increasing pressure from African swine fever (ASF). September volume was 51,192 mt, up 158% from a year ago, while value increased 123% to $115.6 million. For January through September, exports to China/Hong Kong were up 47% in volume (407,514 mt) and 25% in value ($833.5 million)."Obviously we are anxious to learn the details of the phase 1 agreement between the U.S. and China and hopeful that it removes obstacles for U.S. pork," Halstrom said. "Exports to China/Hong Kong are improving, but certainly not to the level that could be achieved if U.S. pork returned to normal tariff levels and if the U.S.-China agreement addresses non-tariff barriers as well."The U.S. pork industry stands to benefit significantly from the U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which will bring tariffs on U.S. pork in line with those imposed on major competitors such as Canada and the European Union. Japan remains the leading value destination for U.S. pork, but September volume was down 8% to 27,812 mt and value fell 5% to $116.2 million. Through September, exports to Japan trailed last year's pace by 6% in both volume (278,352 mt) and value ($1.14 billion).January-September highlights for U.S. pork include:-    While September exports slowed to mainstay market Colombia and to the region as a whole, pork exports to South America were still 24% above last year's record pace in volume (114,535 mt) and 26% higher in value ($287.9 million). Chile has been South America's growth pacesetter in 2019, with exports climbing 60% in volume (33,992 mt) and 53% in value ($97.6 million). The U.S. is now Chile's largest pork supplier and opportunities continue to expand as more Chilean pork is exported to China.-    A strong September performance pushed pork exports to Central America 16% above last year's record pace in volume (67,982 mt) and 19% higher in value ($165.1 million). Exports trended higher to Honduras, the largest Central American destination for U.S. pork, and Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua have achieved excellent growth in 2019.-    Exports to Oceania continue to reach new heights, climbing 37% from a year ago in volume (85,557 mt) and 33% in value ($243 million), with impressive growth in both Australia and New Zealand.-    While ASF has impacted pork production in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam but more recently spreading into the Philippines, lower domestic prices have affected the ASEAN region's demand for imports. U.S. shipments to the ASEAN dropped sharply in September and through the third quarter trailed last year's pace by 15% in volume (41,905 mt) and 23% in value ($95 million). However, pork and hog prices have started to trend higher in Vietnam, and the European Union's pork exports to Vietnam were record-large in August, suggesting potential for larger U.S. exports in coming months.September lamb exports trend higherExports of U.S. lamb increased 22% year-over-year in September to 1,435 mt, while value improved 9% to $1.77 million. Through the first three quarters of the year, exports were 31% above last year's pace at 12,061 mt, while value increased 13% to $19.3 million. Lamb muscle cut exports were 9% lower than a year ago in volume (1,652 mt) but increased 2% in value ($10.2 million). Markets showing promising muscle cut growth included the Dominican Republic, Panama and Guatemala.CHS Reports Fiscal Year 2019 Net Income of $829.9 MillionCHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, today reported net income of $829.9 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2019. The results reflect an increase of $54.0 million -- or 7 percent -- compared to fiscal year 2018.Key financial drivers for fiscal year 2019 include:•        Consolidated revenues of $31.9 billion for fiscal year 2019 compared to $32.7 billion for fiscal year 2018.•        Net income of $829.9 million for fiscal year 2019 compared to $775.9 million for fiscal year 2018.•        Improved market conditions in our refined fuels business, primarily driven by favorable purchasing of Canadian crude oil.•        Increased equity earnings from investments, including a $53.5 million increase related to CF Nitrogen. In addition, the CF Nitrogen investment distributed $186.5 million of cash to CHS Inc. in fiscal year 2019.•        Acquisition of the remaining 75 percent interest in West Central Distribution, LLC, that was not previously owned by CHS.•        Pressure on the volumes and margins of grain and agronomy products, including increased costs of operations due to ongoing weather- and trade-related issues. •        A combination of recoveries on previously recorded reserves, impairment charges and gain contingencies, which more than offset additional reserves and impairment charges taken during the year.“We are pleased with our results on behalf of our owners in fiscal year 2019. We focused on our priorities, built on our strategies, continued to improve our control environment and leveraged the strength of our supply chain to deliver value to the farmers and co-ops that own us,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Improving customer experience and innovations led to better results including increased diesel production at our refinery in McPherson, Kansas. Our acquisition of the remaining 75 percent interest in West Central Distribution that we previously didn’t own expanded our distribution channels and grew market access in agronomy.“When flooding made major riverways impassable, we leveraged our supply chain to reposition fertilizer to ensure our cooperatives and customers had the crop nutrients they needed for spring planting,” he said. “We identified new markets for our owners’ grain to help them navigate the difficult trade situation. And we began construction on a fertilizer storage facility in North Dakota and a grain shuttle loader in Minnesota. In each of these, the driving force was to be our customers’ first choice.“We know the headwinds agriculture faced in fiscal year 2019 have carried over to fiscal year 2020, and CHS feels those same challenges. No one, however, feels them more and understands the impact more than the farmers and cooperatives that own us,” Debertin continued. “We remain focused on delivering value to our owners and creating connections to empower agriculture. And we’re committed to continuing to raise our owners' voices to policymakers and elected officials and identifying opportunities to continue to build our business, leveraging our supply chain and helping our owners navigate fluctuating markets.”Fiscal Year 2019 Business Segment ResultsEnergyPretax earnings of $618.2 million represent a $166.1 million increase versus the prior year and reflect:•        Improved market conditions in our refined fuels business driven primarily by favorable pricing on heavy Canadian crude oil, which is processed by our refineries in Laurel, Montana, and McPherson, Kansas.•        Positive resolution of a gain contingency.•        The increase was partially offset by gains associated with the sale of the Council Bluffs pipeline and terminal and 34 Zip Trip stores located in the Pacific Northwest during fiscal year 2018 that did not recur during fiscal year 2019.AgPretax earnings of $43.0 million represent a $31.3 million decrease versus prior year and reflect:•        Poor weather conditions - including flooding during the spring of 2019 that prevented and delayed planting of crops - and ongoing global trade issues between the United States and foreign trading partners resulted in generally decreased margins and volumes across most of our Ag segment.•        The decrease was partially offset by gains associated with fiscal year 2019 acquisition of the remaining 75 percent interest in West Central Distribution that CHS previously did not own.•        The net positive impact of recoveries on previously recorded reserves and impairment charges more than offset additional impairment charges taken during fiscal year 2019.Nitrogen ProductionPretax earnings of $72.9 million represent a $34.1 million increase versus prior year and reflect:•        Improved market pricing of urea and UAN, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen, of which CHS has partial ownership.Corporate and OtherPretax earnings of $81.5 million represent a $24.5 million decrease versus prior year and reflect:•        A gain from the sale of CHS Insurance during fiscal year 2018 that did not recur in fiscal year 2019.•        The decrease was partially offset by higher earnings from our investment in Ventura Foods, LLC, and from our financing business.Weekly Ethanol Production for 11/1/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Nov. 1, ethanol production expanded for the sixth consecutive week, up 10,000 b/d or 1.0% to 1.014 million barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 42.59 million gallons daily. Conversely, production was 5.1% below the same week a year ago and 4.1% below the level two years ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate increased 1.2% to 996,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.27 billion gallons.Ethanol stocks popped up 3.7% to 21.9 million barrels following two weeks of declining volumes. However, inventories were 5.5% lower than the same week last year. Stocks built across all regions (PADDs).There were zero imports of ethanol recorded after 53,000 b/d hit the books the prior week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of September 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market dropped 6.5% to 9.145 million b/d (384.1 million gallons per day, or 140.19 bg annualized). Refiner/ blender net inputs of ethanol narrowed, down 2.0% to 917,000 b/d—equivalent to 14.06 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 11.09%.NBB Applauds House Democrat Letter Pleading for Action on Tax ExtendersToday, Reps. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA), Kendra Horn (D-OK), and 38 other Democratic members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), urging them to make extension of expired tax incentives an urgent legislative priority before the end of the year. On behalf of its member companies, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) thanked the Democratic Representatives, especially the freshman members, and emphasized that renewing the biodiesel tax credits before the end of the year is crucial to reviving production, reopening production facilities, and saving jobs."Extending the biodiesel, alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, and second-generation biofuel producer tax credits are especially important to the regions we represent," the Representatives write. "Participants up and down the supply chain are experiencing hardship as a result of this lengthy lapse in the credits."NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik added, "The biodiesel industry thanks Representatives Finkenauer and Horn for leading the effort and drawing attention to the economic situation facing advanced biofuel producers. We thank the many other Democrats who represent biodiesel producing states for insisting that their leaders make this a legislative priority before the end of the year."Nine biodiesel producers – in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Texas – have been forced to close, cut production, and lay off workers. That's because blenders count on Congress to renew the tax credit and demand a discount on the price of biodiesel. As a result, producers have taken a loss for nearly two years now. The entire industry needs Congress to act before the end of the year and renew expired tax extenders."In addition to Reps. Finkenauer and Horn, NBB thanked Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Sean Casten (D-IL), David Cicilline (D-RI), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), T.J. Cox (D-CT), Angie Craig (D-MN), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Bill Foster (D-IL), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), John Garamendi (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Jim Himes (D-CT), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ben McAdams (D-UT), Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Max Rose (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Bennie Thompson (D-MS-), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).Seven Fertilizers Report Price DropsPrices dropped for seven of eight fertilizers tracked by DTN in the first week of November, as prices continued their downward trend of the past few months.DAP continued to lead the way in price declines since last month, this time dropping $12 per ton to $464. DAP is now 8% less expensive than one year ago. Anhydrous showed an $8 per ton drop in price to $503, down only fractionally from one year ago.Four fertilizers tracked by DTN showed $2 drops in price including MAP at $472. MAP has seen the largest price drop during the past year, down 11% from one year ago.Urea fell from $404 to $402 per ton and is down 1% from a year ago. UAN28 dropped $2 to $251 and is 3% less expensive than one year ago. 10-34-0 recorded a $2 drop to $468, and is 2% less expensive than one year ago. Potash reported the smallest price drop of $1 to $383. Potash is down %5 from one year ago.The price of UAN32 reported the only increase in this update from $289 to $291 per ton. However, UAN32 is 2% less expensive than a year ago.Researchers address challenges in livestock pain mitigationA pig or a cow can’t tell someone when its injured or in pain, but researchers are identifying ways to measure not only when an animal is in pain, but also what measures can be taken to help alleviate that pain. Abbie Viscardi, a research assistant professor in the anatomy and physiology department at Kansas State University, focuses primarily on validating non-invasive tools for pain assessment and pain alleviation of food animals on-farm to improve animal welfare. She shared her work at the 2019 U.S. Animal Health Association annual meeting, held last week in Providence, R.I.Pain is defined as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” Viscardi’s emphasis is on the sensory experience of pain, which results in changes to an animal’s behavior and physiology. The emotional experience of pain is difficult to measure with present technology.Sources of pain for animals can include castration, tail docking, dehorning/disbudding or branding. Pain can also be associated with production or natural interaction between animals, including lameness, abrasion, the process of giving birth, or infectious diseases. Challenges in pain managementA number of factors create challenges in terms of pain management for farm animals:  - Pain is difficult to recognize and some animals have instinctive mechanisms that inhibit their ability to exhibit pain  - Time delay between drug administration and onset of activity would slow down processing procedures or lead to inadequate analgesia at the time of a painful procedure   - Drug administration (routes and frequency) can be difficult on-farm  - Cost of drugs can be prohibitive  - Meat and milk withholding periods are often necessary  - Only one analgesic is approved for use by FDA in the U.S. to alleviate painThe last factor is particularly important because at the present time, just one analgesic is approved for pain, and it is labeled to address pain associated with foot rot in cattle. The Food and Drug Administration states, “We [FDA] recommend that this indication be based on the control of clinical signs of pain associated with a disease. We encourage the use of validated methods of pain assessment in the target species.” In other words, the FDA wants researchers to determine effective ways to assess pain before it will recommend products to deal with it.“Obviously, animals can’t self-report so we look at assessment tools,” Viscardi said. These include behavior, facial grimace analysis, plasma cortisol, infrared thermography, algometery (pressure tolerance at the surgical site), and pressure-mat analysis, among others.Products are being tested for their efficacy and potential use for pain mitigation. In addition, there is the possibility that pain can be eliminated through immune-castration and genetic selection (sexed semen).“We can look at behaviors associated with a painful event,” Viscardi said. “We can measure activity levels and monitor how often they’re eating. It’s as simple as setting a camera up and observing behavior but it’s also labor intensive and can be subjective.”Some studies have shown pain management options in livestock are effective, but others have been inconclusive. Viscardi said it’s difficult to give a recommendation to producers or veterinarians when researchers aren’t in agreement on whether or not a drug is effective.Progress is being made, however. The Pain Mitigation Assessment Protocol Working Group is working to establish a research protocol to reliably evaluate efficacy of pain mitigation interventions in nursing male piglets during castration. This partnership with FDA, the National Pork Board and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians is a good first step to finding viable solutions for pain mitigation. The Trump Administration Continues To Streamline And Modernize EPAToday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to streamline and modernize the review of permits by the agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) while providing more flexibility to regulated parties, states and tribes, and the public. Under this proposal, interested parties would be empowered to choose the option for resolving a permit dispute that is best suited to their needs.The Agency’s proposal aims to facilitate speedy resolution of permit disputes—either through alternative dispute resolution, a hearing before the Board, or more timely judicial review. EPA proposes several additional reforms designed to streamline the current administrative appeal process and to provide appropriate checks and balances on how the EAB exercises its delegated authority. The Agency is seeking broad input through the public comment process on these proposed changes.“Under President Trump’s leadership, we have made the Agency more accountable to the public and with this proposal we are continuing to build on that success,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Agency now works more collaboratively with the states and tribes than it did 27 years ago and the EAB’s new role will reflect this reality.” The proposal’s key elements are designed to simplify the review process, expedite permitting, and allow parties who would like to challenge EPA’s permits in court to do so more quickly. The proposal builds on the Board’s successful voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program that, to date, has resolved over 90 percent of cases that have gone through the program without litigation. The EAB’s ADR program promotes faster resolution of issues and more creative, satisfying and enduring solutions. The proposal provides parties challenging EPA’s permits with options to resolve their disputes, including ADR or a traditional appeal before Board. All parties would have a voice, and if they do not unanimously agree on the path forward, the permit becomes final and can be challenged in federal court without going through additional administrative process within the EPA.The proposal also seeks to clarify the scope and standard of EAB review; remove a provision authorizing participation in appeals by amicus curiae; and eliminate the EAB’s authority to review Regional permit decisions on its own initiative in the absence of an appeal brought by an interested party. EPA also includes new deadlines for EAB action and other provisions to promote internal efficiency. Finally, EPA also proposes to set twelve-year terms for EAB Judges in lieu of the indefinite terms currently in place; a new process to identify which EAB opinions will be considered precedential; and a new mechanism by which the Administrator, through the General Counsel, can issue a dispositive legal interpretation in any matter pending before the EAB.These EAB reforms are in line with the Trump Administration’s efforts to reform and modernize EPA which include:-    A directive to end the controversial “sue and settle” practice which removes the ability of third party groups to circumvent the regulatory process and require the Agency to engage in actions without public comment.-    Reforming EPA’s science advisory committees, to ensure independence, geographic diversity, integrity.  -    Implementing EPA’s Lean Management Systems and creating the Office of Continuous Improvement which measures progress made on 400 metrics and provides accountability to the public.-        Realigning the Agency’s regional offices to ensure clarity and consistency in the Agency’s functions from Headquarters to the local level.-        EPA also took steps to modernize and clear out our FOIA backlog. The steps the Trump Administration has taken will bring EPA into compliance with federal law and continue to be responsive to the public despite a 400% increase in FOIA requests since January 2017.BACKGROUND:The EAB was created in 1992 to hear administrative appeals. At that time, the number of EPA-issued permits was increasing. Over the past 27 years, the Board’s role in permit appeals has changed as more states and tribes assumed permitting authority under EPA’s statutes. This has dramatically reduced the number of EPA-issued permits and, in turn, the number of permits appealed to the EAB.Nutritionists: Plant-Based Meat’s Health Halo a NothingburgerToday the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom placed a full-page ad in The New York Times showcasing quotes from nutrition and medical professionals on plant-based meat’s healthiness—or lack thereof. At a time when 76% of Americans think “plant-based” foods are healthy, CCF is pointing to experts who urge caution about fake meat.      Companies that manufacture meat analogues are trying to latch on to clean eating trends by calling their products “plant-based.” In reality, these ultra-processed products, which can have dozens of ingredients, don’t grown on vines—they’re made in factories. As one dietitian puts it, “It’s not like you’re eating vegetables.” The National Institutes of Health recently found ultra-processed foods cause weight gain.The ad, which can be found here, is the latest addition in CCF’s campaign to raise awareness of what’s in “plant-based meat.” Additional information, such as blogs and an ingredient comparison tool, can be found at CleanFoodFacts.com. Additional ads have run in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post. CCF managing director Will Coggin commented: “The fake meat industry has tried to play down the ultra-processing of these products by comparing them to yogurt or apple pie. But there’s a big difference between homemade baked goods and Frankenfoods created in labs.”Western Hemisphere Ag Leaders Support Science-Based StandardsU.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney issued the following statement Tuesday following the Inter-American Board of Agriculture's endorsement last week of a resolution emphasizing the need for science-based agricultural regulations to facilitate global agricultural trade."We have an opportunity to support the agricultural producers in the Western Hemisphere -- and across the world -- by committing to science-based standards and policies that ensure the quality and safety of our food while also facilitating international trade. I'm pleased that we've come together as neighbors across the hemisphere in support of this resolution, which lays a foundation for continued cooperation that will benefit agriculture in the Americas and beyond."This resolution addresses pesticide maximum residue levels, or MRLs, which are too often used as a barrier to trade. We heard firsthand this week how missing and misaligned pesticide MRLs can harm farmer livelihoods, contribute to food waste, and decrease food security. On the other hand, transparent and predictable establishment and adoption of MRLs helps farmers access the full range of tools and technologies they need to combat pests and allows them to engage in international trade."The United States is pleased to join with our IABA partners in endorsing this resolution supporting collaborative actions to reduce the impact of non-tariff barriers on trade, with particular emphasis on the agricultural exports of developing countries."The IABA is the governing board of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which is comprised of 34 Western Hemisphere countries committed to achieving agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation.NMPF Highlights Dairy’s Resilience, Honors Farmer Leaders at Annual MeetingNational Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern highlighted the resilience of U.S. dairy farmers in a challenging economic and policy environment, pledging that dairy would speak with one voice on crucial issues in remarks at NMPF’s joint annual meeting with the United Dairy Industry Association and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board.“Resilience against hardship has always been a fact of life in dairy,” Mulhern said. “We know that if we embrace change while holding true to our values, we will win.”NMPF’s portion of the conference was highlighted by bylaws changes that bolster its position as the premier organization for U.S. dairy farmers. The biggest U.S. dairy-farmer group also honored longtime leaders who have helped build today’s industry.At its annual meeting in New Orleans, the organization added the chairman of its Small Cooperative Caucus, Jimmy Kerr of Cooperative Milk Producers Association based in Blackstone, Virginia, to its now 15-member Executive Committee, ensuring that cooperatives of all sizes have a voice in the organization’s thought-leadership body. The Executive Committee, that was formed earlier this year, enhances the geographic and size diversity the organization needs in its governance structure.“NMPF represents a broader range of dairy farmers and interests than any other industry organization,” Mulhern said. “Committing to diverse leadership makes our united voice is the strongest it can be. Brighter times lie ahead for dairy, and we are ready to advance in a wide range of areas that serve all of our members.”The meeting, NMPF’s main policy conference of the year, featured discussions of the state of the dairy industry and economy, with remarks from the organization’s chairman, Missouri dairy farmer Randy Mooney, and presentations from NMPF staff on issues ranging from immigration to the fight against inappropriate labeling of plant-based products. It also named new members to its Board of Directors, including:    James Jacquier, Agri-Mark Inc.    Harold Howrigan, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.    David Kyle, Foremost Farms USA    Joey Fernandes, Land O’Lakes    Sonia Fabian, Lone Star Milk Producers.NMPF also recognized four dairy leaders with “Honorary Director for Life” designations for their service to NMPF and the broader dairy community:    Adrian Boer, Northwest Dairy Association    Cornell Kasbergen, Land O’Lakes    Neal Rea, Agri-Mark    George Rohrer, Dairy Farmers of America.Raven Industries Acquires Smart AgRaven Industries, Inc., Sioux Falls, S.D., announced that it has acquired Smart Ag Inc., a technology company that develops autonomous farming solutions for agriculture. This acquisition is part of Raven Autonomy, the company's strategic growth platform to become the industry leader in autonomous agriculture solutions, announced earlier this week. Complementing the company's Applied Technology division, a leading technology provider in the precision agriculture industry, this acquisition will be integrated into the division's business and technology portfolio with the intent to create autonomous solutions for the precision ag market."The acquisition of Smart Ag is part of a bold, company-wide strategy for Raven," commented Dan Rykhus, Raven Industries president and CEO. "It is a key investment in Raven Autonomy, one of our two strategic growth platforms. Autonomy in agriculture is the future of farming, and this acquisition, coupled with our existing precision agriculture solutions, solidifies our position as a technology leader within this market."As part of Raven Autonomy, the company plans to deliver autonomous solutions for agriculture that will enable both its OEM partners and ag retailers to be successful. Now more than ever, OEMs need to deliver premier precision ag solutions in order to compete. Raven Autonomy will deliver on this great challenge; its technology will enable large-scale ag retailers to augment their operations, allocate resources smartly and reduce labor dependency. Along with the company's recent agreement to acquire majority ownership in DOT Technology Corp., the acquisition of Smart Ag brings perception and path planning capabilities to the company's leading technologies in precision ag operations.Smart Ag, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, was founded in 2015 to solve the growing labor crisis in production agriculture. Today, Smart Ag is offering aftermarket retrofit kits to automate farm equipment as well as a platform to connect, manage and safely operate autonomous agricultural machinery. Smart Ag's technology stack is easy to use and modular for scalability. In addition to its proven, proprietary technology, Smart Ag brings an established dealer network and a skilled development team to Raven.Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition acquires assets of Rangen, Inc., significantly expanding in aquaculture, livestock nutrition sectorsWilbur-Ellis Nutrition, LLC, an industry leader in the delivery of nutrients to the livestock, pet food and aquaculture industries, today announced the acquisition of the assets of Rangen, Inc., a privately held, 90-plus year-old aquaculture and general feed production company with production facilities in Buhl, Idaho, and Angleton, Texas."We're excited to welcome another well-established business with a strong industry presence to Wilbur-Ellis Nutrition," said Andrew Loder, President of the Nutrition division of Wilbur-Ellis, a leading international marketer and distributor of agricultural products, animal nutrients, and specialty chemicals and ingredients."Rangen is a strategic fit for Nutrition. It significantly expands our aquaculture business, immediately giving Wilbur-Ellis a nationwide platform from which to expand in one of the fastest-growing markets in the global feed industry," Loder said. "The acquisition also benefits the Company's livestock, pet and companion animal offerings by expanding our branded and custom-formulated feed options. We have been very impressed by the focus of Rangen employees on innovation, and their laser focus on helping customers succeed."The aquaculture business includes the production of high-quality feed for fish – including trout, salmon and shrimp – which helps to meet growing consumer demand for healthy foods that are high in protein. Aquaculture also is environmentally sustainable, since feed is converted to fish production far more efficiently than other species, significantly reducing the resources required.Rangen employs approximately 80 full-time employees at its headquarters and plant operations. The acquisition includes two plants in Buhl, Idaho, which manufacture aquaculture and general feed products, as well as an aquaculture feed plant in Angleton, Texas.Rangen employees will join Wilbur-Ellis, continuing in their roles at their current locations. "Our Nutrition division has been an industry leader for nearly a century," said Wilbur-Ellis President and Chief Executive Officer John Buckley. "Through our diverse product lines, excellent service and innovation, we have positioned ourselves to be the provider of choice for customers and suppliers. As Rangen becomes a trusted brand of Wilbur-Ellis, we're taking the next step in growing the Nutrition business with value-added products and services in diversified end markets."Rangen was founded in 1925, with its aquaculture division established in 1950. Rangen President Chris Rangen noted: "Throughout our history, a major advantage has been the experience, knowledge and customer commitment of Rangen employees. As this business becomes part of Wilbur-Ellis, I know these same strengths will propel the business to even greater growth. That's good for employees and the customers they serve."Loder added: "We're extremely pleased to welcome Rangen employees to Wilbur-Ellis. We're a family-owned company that is about to celebrate our 100th anniversary. But as proud as we are of our history, we're focused on the future – and an organization like Rangen and its team will help us maintain our deep commitment to safety and deliver on our ambitious growth, value and innovation goals. With our combined strengths, we will achieve our vision of being the innovative leader in the marketing and distribution of animal nutrients."

Undeniably Dairy ExperienceHannah Guenther, NE Extension Educator, Cuming CountyDid you know that the only age group to get the recommended servings of dairy each day is 1-3 year olds? A study done in 2010 found that only 32% of adults get enough calcium. I bet if I were to go around town and ask adults how many servings of dairy they needed each day, most of them would be able to give the correct response of 3 cups. We have been constantly reminded that we need to get our 3 cups of dairy each day, but why aren’t we getting them? The dairy industry has been hit hard recently with the rise of milk alternatives and poor publicity. I partnered with Midwest Dairy to hopefully shed light on the positives of dairy including nutrition, sustainability, and debunking some circulating myths. I toured 3 dairies around Nebraska, purchased their dairy products, and then made recipes which were then shared on my Instagram page (@feedlotsofpeople). My grant came to a close last week and today I am going to share with you what I learned from my Undeniably Dairy Experience. SustainabilityMy first stop on my Dairy Grant was to Clear Creek Organics in Spalding, Nebraska. This family operated, diversified farm produces dairy products like cultured butter, cheeses, and ice cream. They also specialize in pork and vegetables. It was fascinating being at an organic farm and one thing I learned there was how dairies are so sustainable. Bob shared with me that when they make the cheese all the whey is served to their swine and he told me that “the best pork is fed whey”. He also uses raw milk to fertilize their vegetables and it must be working because they’ve grown multiple 3lb carrots! Dairies also maintain sustainability in their feed. A dairy in Lincoln collects byproducts from Lazlo’s brewery to feed their cows and many dairies with a nearby cereal producer will collect imperfect cereal flakes to feed their cows. They even eat the byproducts that are used to make almond milk. Dairy cows are one of the best examples of recycling! Nutrition My next stop on the grant was to Hartington, Nebraska to tour Burbach’s dairy. You may know this name because there are known for serving up their milk in glass bottles and their specialty flavors like caramel latte, candy corn, root beer and banana. As I toured their dairy, we stopped at the milk separator which is how they make the varying percentages of milk. The difference between 1%, fat free, 2%, and whole milk all comes down to the fat percentage. I learned that the nutrients of protein and vitamins stay the same within the varying percentages, the only thing that changes is the fat content of the milk! One cup of 1% milk has 110 calories, 9 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 25% of your daily calcium, and 15% of your daily vitamin D. Talk about a nutritious beverage! How Do You Milk An Almond?My final stop on my undeniably dairy grant was to the R&D Dairy right outside of West Point! Andy and Cassie took me around the dairy and as we walked we talked about the rise in plant based milk alternatives. Cassie said that she believes a lot of it comes down to marketing. Almond and soymilks have contemporary labels and containers while milk has always stayed the same. They also tote the term “Plant based” in the name, but it is important to look beyond the label. There are only 3 ingredients in milk: milk, vitamin A and vitamin D. Soymilk has 10 total ingredients with the second being sugar! If you are looking for the most natural, affordable, nutritious beverage for you and your family it’s REAL MILK! Whether its cheese, milk, or yogurt, make sure you are getting your 3 servings of dairy each day. Farm Service Agency Announces Disaster Relief Payments for Loss of On-Farm Stored Commodities in NebraskaThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska announced payments now are available to eligible producers who lost stored commodities due to natural disaster in 2018 or 2019. The On-Farm Storage Loss Program (OFSLP) was authorized by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.Administered by FSA, OFSLP provides payments to eligible producers in impacted counties who suffered uncompensated losses of harvested commodities including grains, oilseeds and hay stored in on-farm structures. For producers to receive payment, the losses must be directly related to an eligible disaster event such as floods, tornadoes, snowstorms and wildfires that occurred during 2018 and/or 2019.“There are producers throughout the country who had their on-farm storage structures damaged or destroyed by natural disasters during 2018 and 2019,” said FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner. “This disaster recovery program pays eligible producers who lost their on-farm stored commodities. We encourage producers who suffered a loss to contact their county FSA office for program information and application.”To be eligible for OFSLP, the farm storage structure must be located on the farm, not used for commercial storage and would have, under normal circumstances, maintained the quality of the commodity. Commodities stored in warehouses are not eligible for OFSLP. Program payments are made for the loss of the stored commodity and not for the loss of the structure itself.Commodities eligible for OFSLP include: barley, canola, chickpeas (large and small), corn, cotton, crambe, dry peas, flaxseed, grain sorghum, hay (alfalfa and all-hay), lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rice, safflower seed, sesame seed, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.FSA uses a national payment rate per commodity, which is based on market or harvest prices. Payments will be calculated using a 75 percent factored FSA payment rate multiplied by the quantity lost while stored.OFSLP has a payment limitation of $125,000 per entity. Adjusted Gross Income does not apply to OFSLP and an acreage report is not required for this program.For specific commodity payment rates, to submit an application, or for additional program information, contact your local USDA Service Center. Nebraska Ethanol Board offers fuel retailer training to install E15 blends and higherThe Nebraska Ethanol Board is urging Nebraska fuel retailers to join fellow Midwest states like Iowa and Minnesota in making E15 fuel more widely available to motorists. A move by the Trump Administration in May promised a surge in year-round sales, but consumers are asking for more availability in Nebraska.To help fuel retailers learn more about the ease of selling E15, the Board is hosting a free E15 Workshop, including a keynote from Growth Energy’s Sara Brenden. The workshop will take place on Nov. 13 at the Divots Conference Center in Norfolk, Nebraska, from 1:30 to 5 p.m.Some retailers have been reluctant to retrofit their pumps for E15 due to misconceptions about cost and installation. “Many gas stations can begin to sell E15 with very little investment in their current infrastructure,” said Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “That’s why we are holding this complimentary workshop to debunk the myths and allow retailers to hear firsthand from others who’ve gone through the process.”Berry explains that the process depends on everyone’s unique circumstances, but it can be as simple as a quick switch.“If a pre-blended E15 is available at the rack where the fuel retailer sources their fuel, they can often times replace one of their current choices, such as an 89-octane mid-grade that they generally sell very little of, with very little to no investment. The retailer does not have to install the more expensive blender pumps in order to sell E15.”Additionally, some of cost burdens can be relieved through a grant program from the Nebraska Corn Board, who will award qualifying retailers money for equipment and infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol fuel. Jeff Wilkerson, director of market development for the Nebraska Corn Board, is one of several presenters who will highlight ways to make the process simple and affordable.Brenden, manager of market development at Growth Energy, will begin the workshop with a keynote on Why E15. According to Growth Energy’s website, E15 offers retailers a competitive advantage and can generate more than 40 percent of total gasoline sales at retail. Growth says consumers have driven more than 10 billion miles on E15 and retailers have conducted millions of transactions.To see the full agenda and to register, please visit the workshop informational page or www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.This the second in a series of E15 workshops hosted by the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Previous participants have said:       “I found the Fuel Retailer’s E15 Workshop to be fascinating. It was very informative and I learned a lot about the ethanol industry. We already sell some E15, but this inspired me to work towards making the switch to E15 at more locations. I also learned some good ideas to better promote the product and grow our sales.”       “We have been pondering whether to take on E15. With what I learned and will be sharing with my team, I feel pretty strongly that we will be making the move. The E15 workshop was very educational and helpful.”The workshop is free thanks to the event sponsors: Stanley Petroleum Maintenance, Inc., Nebraska Corn Board, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, Nebraska Fuel Retailers Association, and the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Light snacks and beverages will be provided throughout the day.The increase in E15 sales will provide an additional value-added market for Nebraska farmers and ethanol plants who are experiencing many challenges this year. Weather, the strain of tariffs that have cut U.S. exports drastically, and the EPA’s indiscriminate approval of small refinery exemptions (SREs) are weighing heavily on the industry. Fuel retailers who offer E15 will not only be driving customers seeking lower costs and environmental change to their stores, they will have a real impact on Nebraska’s farmers and economy, Berry said.2019 AFAN/WSA Annual Stakeholders Meeting Slated for Monday, Nov. 25The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN) and We Support Agriculture (WSA) will hold their joint 2019 annual stakeholders meeting Monday, November 25 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.The meeting will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and conversation time, followed at 9:00 a.m. by the formal meeting. All AFAN and WSA partners and stakeholders are invited. A luncheon sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board is scheduled for noon.Keynote speaker at the 9:45 a.m. session will be Jana McGuire from The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) whose topic is entitled “Gene Editing: Current Science and Public Viewpoint.” At the close of the luncheon meeting at 1:00 p.m., McGuire will present a bonus session entitled; “Gene Editing/Engage Training.” The AFAN/WSA meeting will include year-end reports by Steve Martin, executive director of AFAN and WSA and Will Keech, livestock development director with AFAN. The reports will present the year’s accomplishments and provide a look into future opportunities for both organizations. Also included in the meeting will be the presentation of the Sand County Foundation’s 2019 Nebraska Leopold Conservation Award to Ryan, Angela and Cheyenne Sundstrom, owners of the Broken Box Ranch in Merrifield.Anyone interested in attending the annual meeting to learn more about AFAN and WSA and the future of animal agriculture in Nebraska must RSVP to Judy Stauffer by November 18 by calling (402)421.4472 or by emailing judys@a-fan.org.ICON supports Senators efforts for honest beef labelsThe Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska applaud Sen. Jon Tester’s Senate resolution, introduced on Oct. 30, calling on the rest of Congress to “reinstate County-of-Origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes from.”Also, South Dakota Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune recently introduced the U.S. Beef Integrity Act, which would ensure that no beef that was born, raised or slaughtered in foreign countries could be labeled as a product of the U.S.A.Currently, country of origin label regulations are required for perishable fruits and vegetables, chicken, lamb, goat, fish and most nuts, but not beef or pork.Country of origin labels require retailers to let customers know where the commodities originated, giving shoppers more information and allowing producers to compete in a transparent marketplace.ICON thanks Sens. Tester, Thune and Rounds for their efforts, and urges Nebraska Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse to insist on honest, country-of-origin labels on beef and pork. Ideally, country of origin labels should be part of the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.Beef and pork from other countries do not need to be labeled by origin and if they are processed or re-packaged in the U.S., the packages are stamped with a USDA symbol, falsely indicating it is a product of the United States.Meat processors then offer cheaper-sourced beef to consumers as though it were produced by U.S. farmers and ranchers.It’s a profitable deal for processors and retailers, but a sour deal for Nebraska cattle producers.Tester is right in saying, "Our farmers and ranchers produce the best agricultural products in the world. Consumers want to buy those American-made products, and country-of-origin-labeling lets producers show their product was raised right here in the U.S., and ensures folks can make informed choices about the food they buy."Perdue Leads USDA Trade Mission to MexicoU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will lead a trade mission to Mexico November 6-8 to forge new opportunities with U.S. agriculture’s largest bilateral trading partner and second-largest export market. The Secretary will be joined by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and more than 100 industry and government representatives.  Accompanying Secretary Perdue are the heads of six state departments of agriculture: Bryan Hurlburt of Connecticut, Celia Gould of Idaho, Joseph Bartenfelder of Maryland, Chris Chinn of Missouri, Doug Goehring of North Dakota, and Derek Sandison of Washington. Other participants include officials from the California, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Wisconsin and Virginia departments of agriculture and representatives from the following companies and organizations:    Advanced Food Products, LLC, New Holland, PA    Agropur US, Appleton, WI    Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Juneau, AK    Alltech, Nicholasville, KY    Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA    Alvarado Commodities, Inc., San Antonio, TX    Bard Valley Date Growers, Yuma, AZ    Biotwo Corp, Chicago, IL    Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, CA    Bridgepathway, Jericho, NY    California Prune Growers Marketing Association, Yuba City, CA    Citation Wine, Issaquah, WA    Dairy Products Inc., Eden Prairie, MN    Food Export USA – Northeast, Philadelphia, PA    Freddie Lee’s Gourmet Sauces, St. Louis, MO    Health Garden USA, Spring Valley, NY    Idaho – Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, Parma, ID    Ikrumah Inc., Jonesboro, GA    Kronos, Glendale Heights, IL    Leprino Foods, Denver, CO    North American Bison, LLC, New Rockford, ND    Northwest Hazelnut Company, Hubbard, OR    Oregon Wine Board, Portland, OR    Panhandle Milling, Denver, CO    Pocas International Corp., Hackensack, NJ    Royal Ridge Fruits, Royal City, WA    Sagamore Spirit Distillery, Baltimore, MD    Southern Cross Growers, Ellijay, GA    Southwest Bison, Amarillo, TX    TAMA Corporation, Doral, FL    TRC Group, Inc, Roseville, CA    U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.    US Rice Producers Association, Katy, TX    U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, MO    US Wine Exports Company, Ltd., Ravenna, OH    USA Rice, Arlington, VA    Western United States Agricultural Trade Association, Vancouver, WA    Zafi Beverages & Technologies, Bensenville, IL    ZFS Creston, LLC, Creston, IALearn more about USDA trade missions by visiting https://www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-missions and following FAS on Twitter at @USDAForeignAg. Cattlemen Applaud Congressional Request for Avian Predator Management FlexibilityEthan Lane, National Cattlemen's Beef Association vice president of government affairs, today released the following statement in response to a congressional request for increased regulatory flexibility under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA):“Whether it is black vultures, ravens, or cormorants, MBTA-protected avian predators pose a significant risk to newborn calves and livestock operations across the country. Despite populations of each species numbered in the millions, current regulations place arbitrary caps on permitted take and incur heavy restrictions on preventative measures necessary to protect farming and ranching operations. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Boozman and Rep. Bishop and look forward to engaging with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to implement commonsense solutions to this problem.”Background:Yesterday, a letter signed by 15 U.S. Senators and 23 Members of Congress, was sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Margaret Everson. The letter requested that the Service promulgate new rules to increase flexibility in the MBTA permitting process to empower livestock producers to protect their livelihoods. The bipartisan, bicameral letter was led by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2).Dairy Checkoff Helps McDonald's Launch New Chocolate MilkSupport from dairy checkoff food scientists has helped McDonald's USA produce a reduced-sugar, low-fat chocolate milk that will be unveiled nationwide in January. The new formulation has 25 percent less sugar than McDonald's previous chocolate milk and is no longer a fat-free product.Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff, has had a partnership with McDonald's since 2009.  DMI provided on-site support from food scientists and other resources and worked closely with the McDonald's team to create the final product.USDA Dairy Products September 2019 Production HighlightsTotal cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.08 billion pounds, 2.1 percent above September 2018 but 3.7 percent below August 2019.  Italian type cheese production totaled 469 million pounds, 4.0 percent above September 2018 and 0.4 percent above August 2019.  American type cheese production totaled 418 million pounds, 1.4 percent below September 2018 and 9.0 percent below August 2019.  Butter production was 137 million pounds, 1.2 percent above September 2018 but 0.5 percent below August 2019.Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)Nonfat dry milk, human - 123 million pounds, up 7.9 percent.Skim milk powder - 48.8 million pounds, up 4.6 percent.Whey products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)Dry whey, total - 92.0 million pounds, up 31.5 percent.Lactose, human and animal - 96.2 million pounds, up 5.3 percent.Whey protein concentrate, total - 38.9 million pounds, down 7.3 percent.Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with September 2018)Ice cream, regular (hard) - 59.3 million gallons, up 4.8 percent.Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 33.9 million gallons, down 2.8 percent.Sherbet (hard) - 2.60 million gallons, down 15.6 percent.Frozen yogurt (total) - 3.78 million gallons, up 4.4 percent.Rural Leaders Petition President Trump to Uphold Biofuel PromiseA broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates have sent a letter to the White House this week calling on President Trump to fix a flawed proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which “fails in its mission to reinvigorate farm economies and reopen biofuel plants across America’s heartland.” The letter was signed by 60 organizations, including the American Soybean Association (ASA) and 17 state soybean affiliates. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).“The flawed proposal swaps out a critical component of the SRE remedy sought by farmers and the biofuels industry,” wrote farm and biofuel leaders. “Instead of recovering the gallons exempted by EPA, it proposes to recover only those gallons previously recommended for exemption by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This one EPA modification converts a commitment to fully account for SREs into a bureaucratically uncertain path that recovers only one fraction of those gallons lost to SREs and could result in RFS backsliding in 2020. This lack of certainty sabotages efforts toward market recovery and will stop biorefineries from reopening.”September Sales of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Decline Yet Remain RobustAnn Lewis, RFA Research Analyst    November 5, 2019 – U.S. ethanol exports relaxed in September, decreasing 18% to 100.3 million gallons (mg), according to data issued late today by the government and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Sales were mixed with exports pressing higher among most major markets.Canada was the top destination for the fifth consecutive month, scaling 4% higher to 32.4 mg. Exports to Brazil climbed 3% to a three-month high of 17.6 mg. In a departure from recent norms, sales to these two markets alone accounted for half of U.S. ethanol exports in September. U.S. sales were also strong in South Korea (8.9 mg, +55%), Peru (8.1 mg, +37%), the Philippines (6.9 mg, +224%), the United Arab Emirates (6.7 mg, +165%), the Netherlands (6.1 mg, +65%), and Norway (3.2 mg, a 70-month high). Total year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol stand at 1.10 billion gallons. This implies an annualized export volume of 1.47 billion gallons which, if realized, would be the second-largest volume on record.September sales of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol rebounded from a drop in August, rising 17% to 58.3 mg. Canada remained the top customer, increasing its denatured imports by 4% to 30.8 mg (representing over half of September shipments). Other top importers included Peru (8.0 mg, +36% and the largest volume since Feb. 2012), the Philippines (6.9 mg, +224%), the United Arab Emirates (6.7 mg, +165%), and South Korea (4.1 mg, +3%).Shipments of U.S. undenatured fuel ethanol tapered off in September, decreasing 35% to 40.0 mg. However, top customer Brazil expanded its imports by 3% to 17.6 mg (representing 44% of the global market). Other key destinations included the Netherlands (6.1 mg, +65%), South Korea (4.8 mg, +181%), Norway (3.2 mg), and Colombia (2.1 mg). Notably, Cyprus was a first-time buyer of American undenatured fuel ethanol, with 2.0 mg in sales.Exports of U.S. ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes scaled back to 2.1 mg, the lowest volume since Dec. 2017. U.S. shippers exported 1.8 mg of undenatured product (down 3.1 mg from August, or -63%), with the bulk distributed between Canada (0.8 mg) and Saudi Arabia (0.6 mg). Most of the denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes landed in Canada.The U.S. imported ethanol from Brazil for the fourth consecutive month, with purchases of 58.3 mg. This marks the largest monthly volume of foreign ethanol to enter our borders in over six years (since Aug. 2013). Total year-to-date imports stand at 142.1 mg—quadruple the volume imported last year during the same period. Consequently, the U.S. is on pace to let in more foreign ethanol in 2019 than the last three years combined.U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—moderated from August’s rally, decreasing 6% to 1.05 million metric tons (mt). Shipments to Mexico fell 24% to a six-month low of 136,886 mt, yet the country remained the top destination for U.S. DDGS in September. Vietnam (125,257 mt, +12%), Turkey (94,981 mt, +546%), South Korea (93,283 mt, -17%), and Japan (89,264 mt, +249% and a new record high) round out the top five markets. Year-to-date exports of U.S. DDGS stand at 8.35 million mt. This implies an annualized export volume of 11.13 million mt.

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION For the week ending November 3, 2019, there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 11 short, 84 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 9 short, 86 adequate, and 4 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 19 fair, 56 good, and 17 excellent. Corn harvested was 60 percent, near 62 last year, and behind 69 for the five-year average. Soybeans harvested was 94 percent, ahead of 88 last year, and equal to average. Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 22 fair, 53 good, and 19 excellent. Winter wheat emerged was 97 percent, ahead of 92 last year, and near 95 average. Sorghum condition rated 2 percent very poor, 3 poor, 21 fair, 65 good, and 9 excellent. Sorghum harvested was 54 percent, behind 71 last year and 73 average. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 16 fair, 60 good, and 19 excellent. IOWA CROP PROGRESS & CONDITION REPORTIowa farmers continued to deal with challenging field conditions  as  the  first  accumulating  snowfall  of  the year  fell  across  parts  of  the  State  during  the  week ending  November  3,  2019,  according  to  the  USDA, National  Agricultural  Statistics  Service.  Statewide there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Fieldwork activities  included  harvesting  soybeans  and  corn  for grain,  spreading  manure,  applying  anhydrous,  baling corn stalks, and fall tillage. Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short,   1   percent   short,   81   percent   adequate   and 18percent  surplus. Subsoil  moisture condition  was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Forty-three   percent   of   the corn crop   has   been harvested  for  grain, 8  days  behind  last  year  and 11 days  behind  the  5-year  average.  Producers  in  the north  central  district  were  able  to  harvest  over  one-quarter of their expected crop this past week. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 21  percent.  Corn  condition  rated  67  percent  good  to excellent. Eighty percent of the soybean crop has been harvested, 3 days behind last year and 1 week behind average. Areas  in  Iowa  are  still  dealing  with  muddy  feedlots, while  others  reported  no  livestock  issues  this  past week. Corn Harvest Hits Halfway Point; Still Second-Slowest Pace in Past 20 YearsThe U.S. corn harvest finally hit the halfway point last week while the soybean harvest was about three-quarters complete as of Sunday, Nov. 3, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.Nationwide, corn harvest progressed another 11 percentage points last week to reach 52% as of Sunday, 23 percentage points behind the five-year average of 75%. That was further behind the average pace than the previous week when harvest was running 20 percentage points behind the five-year average.Meanwhile, soybean harvest moved ahead 13 percentage points last week to reach 75% as of Sunday. That was 12 percentage points behind the five-year average of 87%, an improvement from last Monday's report, when harvest was running 16 percentage points behind average.Winter wheat progress maintained a near-normal pace last week. As of Sunday, 89% of winter wheat was planted, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 88%. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 71%, just slightly behind the five-year average of 74%.  Winter wheat condition was estimated at 57% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 56% the previous week.Sorghum harvested reached 78%, ahead of the five-year average of 72%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 53%, also ahead of the average pace of 51%.Register today for the "Increasing Dairy Profitability" webinar seriesKim Clark, NE Dairy Extension EducatorWe are hosting an “Increasing Profitability Webinar Series” the first three Tuesday’s at 12:00 noon CDT in November.November 5: Lameness and Profitability by Dr. Jan ShearerNovember 12: Maximizing Income over Feed Costs by Dr. Victor CabreraNovember 19: Spores and Milk Quality by Dr. Andreia BianchiniRegister for the webinars at https://go.unl.edu/profitabiltywebinar.  After you register, you will receive an email to join the webinar.  The link to join the webinar is the same for each week.We will be recording and archiving each webinar on dairy.unl.edu.Iowa Beef Center Offers Baleage Information as Winter Forage OptionWet conditions have created significant challenges this year for cattle producers who want to put up hay for winter forage needs. Shorter days and cooler fall temperatures add to the challenge of putting up dry hay.According to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists, producers who still need to put up hay this fall may want to consider making baleage as an option for dealing with cold and wet weather conditions. Denise Schwab, extension beef specialist, Brian Dougherty, extension ag engineer, and Brian Lang, extension field agronomists, provide directions on making high quality baleage in an Iowa Beef Center article published Nov. 1.Making baleage is a method of preserving forage where bales are made at a higher moisture content than dry hay and then sealed in plastic wrap for storage. The high moisture level and airtight environment causes the forage to ferment.The time needed to cure forage for baleage is drastically reduced compared to production of dry hay, thus reducing the impacts of weather on harvest. This is a significant advantage when trying to harvest forages in conditions that are poor for making dry hay.The specialists say that producers may be able to use existing equipment for the production and feeding of baleage. One question that often comes up is whether or not a conventional baler can be used for making baleage. The answer is that it depends on the baler. Some newer balers can achieve sufficient bale density for making quality baleage. It is best to consult with the equipment manufacturer if you have specific questions about using your baler for making baleage.The next equipment decision a producer needs to make is how to wrap the bales in plastic. Bales can be wrapped individually on a bale wrapping table or they can be wrapped in-line with a ‘tube’ wrapper. A third option is to place the bales into individual bags that can be sealed by hand.The entire article, Baleage Is an Option for Dealing with Wet Fall Harvest Conditions, includes details on making baleage, equipment needs and tips from the specialists for making high quality baleage and feeding considerations. It is posted on the Iowa Beef Center website... http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/news/WetHarvestBaleageOption2019.html.  For additional information see the Iowa Beef Center publication "Making the Switch to Baleage."  Monthly Webinar Looks at Grazing Cover Crops Integrated into Row CropsIowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. about the research being done at Iowa State University on grazing cover crops.Cover crops provide many benefits ranging from reducing soil erosion and building soil organic matter to nutrient cycling and scavenging. Another additional benefit they offer is as an additional forage resource.During the webinar ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Erika Lundy, extension beef specialist, and Rebecca Vittetoe, extension field agronomist, will share what they’ve learned from the ongoing Iowa State research looking at integrating cattle, crops and cover crops. Lundy’s current extension and research programs are focused on beef cattle nutrition and forage management to improve profitability on the farm level. Vittetoe focuses on the agronomic side with field and forage crop production and integrated pest management with a special emphasis on plant pathology.Feed expenses continue to be half the cost of production of a beef cattle enterprise. With cover crops growing across the state to protect our soil and waters, then adding cattle to graze those green forage acres is another opportunity to capitalize on the benefits that cover crops can provide. Lundy said, “One of our primary goals with this research was to answer the question ‘if we graze cover crops, do we still have the soil health benefits that we know we get from incorporating cover crops into row crop acres?’ With the results we are generating from this research, we think the answer is, ‘Yes!’”A Certified Crop Adviser board approved continuing education unit (1 CEU: Crop Management) is available for those who are able to watch the live webinar. Information for submitting your CCA/CPAg/CPSS/CPSC number to earn the credit will be provided at the end of the presentation.To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Nov. 20, to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars. Rural Leaders Ask President Trump to Uphold Biofuel PromiseA broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates today sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a flawed proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency, which “fails in its mission to reinvigorate farm economies and reopen biofuel plants across America’s heartland.” The letter was signed by 60 organizations, including the Renewable Fuels Association. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by small refinery exemptions (SREs).“The flawed proposal swaps out a critical component of the SRE remedy sought by farmers and the biofuels industry,” wrote farm and biofuel leaders. “Instead of recovering the gallons exempted by EPA, it proposes to recover only those gallons previously recommended for exemption by the U.S. Department of Energy. This one EPA modification converts a commitment to fully account for SREs into a bureaucratically uncertain path that recovers only one fraction of those gallons lost to SREs and could result in RFS backsliding in 2020. This lack of certainty sabotages efforts toward market recovery and will stop biorefineries from reopening.”Better Than Expected FallStephen R. Koontz, Dept of Ag and Resource Economics, Colorado State UniversityFed cattle, feeder cattle, and calf cash prices have all been stronger than expected through this fall. Live cattle and feeder cattle futures contract prices have also shaken off the pessimism of abundant supplies compounded by the unexpected closure of the Tyson beef plant in southwest Kansas. How did the market turn this corner?There has been the standard discussion of timely marketing of fed cattle, slaughter weights being modestly behind last year's, packer's running substantial fed cattle slaughter on Saturdays, and other supply focused points. What is being discussed less in the strong retailer and, by definition, consumer effects? Packers margins have been very strong in August and September, and likely October, approaching $500 per head. These are the live-to-wholesale beef price spreads. This value is much higher than other months and much higher than prior year highs. This is, of course, due in part to the plant closure. But it is interesting that the Live-to-Retail price spread has moved little in these same two months. The live-to-retail spread is up only less than 2-3%. The retailer margin or the wholesale-to-retail spread has declined sharply. Again, the live-to-wholesale spread is up, the live-to-retail spread is even, so it is the retailer that has taken a chunk out of their margin.Where did this go or what is the retailer paying more for? The boxed beef compositive value increased almost $30/cwt in a three-week period prior to Labor Day. The cut that was the biggest mover was loin price: increasing $200/cwt. The ribeye increased about $150/cwt and remains strong into the rib roast holiday season. Other primal cuts are both positive and negative, so it is the middle-meats and steak cuts that the retailer is driving. Finally, an interesting thing that has yet to be explained is the strength of the Choice-Select spread - the USDA Choice grade premium or the Select grade discount. The Choice-Select spread has normal seasonal strength in spring months and then as Choice supplies increase over summer then the premium normally fades. The Choice-Select spread has yet to show anything other than modest and temporary weakness this year. The spread is currently better than +$25/cwt and has been that way since June. A typical Choice-Select spread for this time of year is much closer to $10/cwt. Thus, it is clearly the retailer that has helped the cattle market turn the corner on any pessimism from summer supplies and slaughter disruption. And there does not appear to be any push-back from the consumer.2019-20 National FFA Officer Team Elected at the 92nd National FFA Convention & ExpoStudents from Montana, Virginia, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Oregon and Ohio have been elected by delegates throughout the United States to serve on the 2019-20 National FFA Officer team.Kolesen McCoy, an agribusiness and applied economics major at Ohio State, was elected national president.Kourtney Lehman, an agricultural business management major at Oregon State University, was elected national secretary.Lyle Logemann, an agricultural education major at Eastern New Mexico University, was elected western region vice president.Tess Seibel, a nursing major at James Madison University, was elected eastern region vice president.Mamie Hertel, a financial engineering major at Montana State University, was elected central region vice president.Yomar Roman, an office administration major at Universidad de Puerto Rico, was elected southern region vice president.Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each officer travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders; thousands of FFA members and teachers; corporate sponsors; government and education officials; state FFA leaders; the general public; and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.BASF’s xarvio announces new digital farming collaboration with WinField UnitedBASF and WinField® United, the crop inputs and insights business of Land O’Lakes, Inc., announced a new collaboration that will make it easier for growers and retailers to access digital farming solutions across multiple platforms. The two companies will establish a single sign-on connection from WinField United’s ATLAS® platform to the BASF xarvio™ digital platforms, starting with xarvio SCOUTING, a mobile application that can quickly identify weeds and diseases with a click of a smartphone. Over time, growers and retailers will also have the ability to synchronize data between the xarvio and WinField United platforms, saving time with data entry while combining agronomic insights into one place.“Given the tremendous workloads retailers and growers carry out, both groups will be pleased with the ease of use made possible through this collaboration,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America. “WinField United customers will be able to utilize xarvio systems without having to create new credentials, enhancing their experience with both platforms.”  Leading in advanced analytics and agronomic artificial intelligence, xarvio products help growers optimize crop production efficiency and improve their bottom line, while providing growers with field-level and zone-based solutions. Farmers will be able to access this information through their retailer’s ATLAS portal. ATLAS, WinField United’s online retail portal, allows retailers to tailor data, insights and other pertinent information to their farmers through their branded website. Together, xarvio and ATLAS will enhance data standardization and synchronicity to increase the overall performance of the digital ag tools.“As a farmer-owned co-op, we are always pushing the envelope to bring new solutions that offer distinct value and benefits to our members,” said Teddy Bekele, Chief Technology Officer, Land O’Lakes. “Interaction between these platforms can augment field activities by helping retail agronomists advise the community of growers they work with to help address growers’ most urgent needs.”The two companies are planning to expand the agronomic data links between xarvio and WinField United platforms through application programming interface (API). This function would allow for the user’s xarvio SCOUTING data to consolidate into new insight offerings for ATLAS users, such as providing regional-level risk and heat maps to help growers stay on top of pest pressure in their area. The single sign-on connection will be available to ATLAS users in time for the 2020 growing season.

Helping Cows Cope with Cold StressMary Drewnoski, NE Nebraska Extension Beef Systems SpecialistCold stress increases a cow’s energy requirement and can pull down her body condition.  We think many cow/calf producers experienced this last year.  While we don’t know what mother nature has in store for us this year, it is good to think ahead and have a plan. A good start is to evaluate body condition score (BCS) now, and if cows are not at a 5 to 5.5 BCS, then taking steps to improve BCS before cold weather hits can help reduce the impacts of cold weather on the cows.The threshold at which cattle have to start using energy to maintain their body temperature is called the lower critical temperature (LCT). Cows in good condition (BCS 5.0) that have a heavy winter coat that is dry do not need to use energy to maintain body temperature until the wind chill index is below 19°F.Body condition is a risk management strategy and affects the LCT. A thin cow with a BCS 4 and a dry winter coat has a LCT of 27°F vs the 19°F of a cow in BCS 5.  Getting cows into good condition early in the winter can be useful for managing risk of bad weather in that they have condition they can lose but also because cows with higher BCS will lose less than those with lower body condition.  Additionally, a practical management strategy may be to consider putting thin cows in a group with your first calf heifers as both have higher energy requirement in the winter, which can allow for strategic supplementation.  It is also important to understand that a wet hair coat is a completely different ball game. A wet coat increases the LCT of a cow in good condition to 53°F. Thus, essentially anytime a cow’s coat is wet in the winter they will be using energy to maintain body temperature.  Therefore, in winters with more precipitation, especially freezing rain, we often see greater decreases in BCS.To figure out how much more energy a cow needs you would take the cow’s LCT minus the wind chill index and that would tell you the percent increase in energy requirement.  For instance, if ambient temperature is 20°F and wind speed is 10 miles per hour, the wind chill index is 10°F. For a BCS 5 cow with a dry winter coat and a LCT of 19°F, then 19 LCT- 10 WCI = 9% increase in energy needs.  A 1200 lb cow in late gestation has a 13 lb/d TDN requirement and the cold increased this an additional 1.2 lbs of TDN for a total of 14.2 lb/d.  Now, this brings up another point. By providing wind protection, you can decrease energy needs by removing wind as a factor. If cows have protection from wind, the ambient temperature can be used to determine energy needs.  Providing wind protection in the winter can be huge for reducing supplementation needs due to cold in the winter.It is not advisable to change rations daily, but for extended cold or wet periods, consider feeding more of the same ration, if cattle can eat more of the typical ration. If not, then providing a supplement is a good idea.  When feeding lower quality hay, dormant range grazing or corn stalk grazing, additional feed will be needed. One option is to change to feeding a higher quality hay source, if available.  Free choice high quality hay (58 to 60% TDN) can work down to temperatures of 34°F below the LCT of the cow ( -15°F for cows in good condition with dry hair or 19°F with wet hair). If cows are grazing, then supplementation with a high energy feed may be desirable. While corn can be used to provide more energy, it comes with risk. Feeding more than 2 to 3 lbs/hd/d can decrease forage digestion, especially if the forage is lower in protein.  This means that one could make up the difference of about 15°F between the LCT of the cow and the wind chill index temperature. For a cow in BCS of 5 with a dry coat, corn supplementation would cover the increased energy requirement down to 5°F, or for a cow with a wet hair coat only to about 38°F.Distillers grains are another option.  Distillers is a good source of energy, it has more energy than corn, and because it is high in protein, it does not cause as much of a substitution effect (will not decrease intake of the forage much).  In the example above where the cow needed an extra 1.2 lbs of TDN,  feeding 1.2 lbs (as-fed) of dry distillers would provide the extra energy needed. In the case of distillers and gestating cows, the pounds of energy needed to account for energy used due to cold stress would be equal to the pounds of dry distillers that would need to be fed. Limitations on the amount of distillers that could be fed would be more based on budgetary concerns than digestive effects.When wind chill temperatures are extremely cold or the cow has a wet hair coat, a lot of supplement would be needed to make up the greater energy needs and maintain body condition. For instance, if the wind chill was -10°F and the cows had a wet hair coat, 8.6 lbs of dry distillers would be needed to account for the increased energy requirement. However, feeding these levels is likely impractical.  A better approach would be to provide a smaller amount of supplemental feed and to continue to feed the extra feed after the weather has moderated to allow cows to regain energy lost during the storm.It is also important to remember that lactating cows have a much greater energy requirement than pregnant cows. Given this, the combination of cold stress and lactation can pull down BCS quickly. Thus, if lactating cows are also subjected to cold stress, increasing their energy intake prior to observing loss of condition is advisable.Fall Sampling for SCNJohn Wilson - NE Extension Educator, Burt CountyThe post-harvest period is an excellent time to sample for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN), the most yield-limiting pest in soybeans. Soybean cyst nematodes often go undetected but cause more yield loss in Nebraska and across the U.S. than all other soybean diseases combined.Yield losses of over 30% have been documented in healthy looking soybean fields. SCN often goes undetected because the microscopic roundworm attacks the roots of soybean. Because feeding is underground, unless the SCN population is extremely high, it usually does not cause any aboveground symptoms such as stunting or yellowing.The extent of yield reduction depends on the number of nematodes feeding on the root system. SCN remove nutrients as well as disrupting water and nutrient uptake in the roots, retarding root growth and reducing the number of nodules formed by the beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are necessary for optimum soybean growth.If you can’t see soybean cyst nematodes, how do you know if they’re there? While they may not be visible, signs of their activity are. The most common sign is a field of soybeans, or even areas within a field that don’t yield as much as they should. If you have low-yielding fields or areas on your yield maps that you can’t explain because of soil type, weed or insect pressure, herbicide injury, flooding, compaction, or other yield-limiting factors, there’s a good chance SCN could be the culprit.Another sign of SCN is when a field has patches of sudden death syndrome or brown stem rot. Both of these diseases live in the soil and enter soybean plants through the roots. Both of these can cause the disease on their own, but SCN hastens the development of symptoms and increases their severity, leading to greater yield losses.Sampling for SCNLate fall is a good time to sample for SCN. After harvest low-yielding field areas are fresh in your mind and hopefully things have slowed down a bit. The best way to know for sure if you have SCN in your field is by taking a soil sample. The really good news is the Nebraska Soybean Board continues to support a program that covers the cost of the SCN test, normally $20 per sample. To get sample bags to submit for a free SCN analysis, contact your nearest Nebraska Extension office.Each sample should include at least 15 to 25 soil cores, 6 to 8 inches deep, from the area you are testing. Thoroughly mix the cores and submit a composite sample. If you are also sampling for next year’s fertilizer recommendations, submit half of the sample for fertility recommendations and the other half for SCN analysis. If you have a co-op or crop consultant pulling soil samples, ask them to split the sample for both tests.If you had low-yielding areas in a field, pull one sample from a low-yielding area and another sample from a nearby area where yields were higher, then compare the SCN egg counts from both samples. It is not uncommon to have both samples test positive for SCN, but often the sample from the low-yielding area will have significantly higher egg counts.Managing SCNManagement of SCN includes using resistant soybean varieties and rotating soybeans with a non-host crop. Sample fields about every six years to measure the effectiveness of your management practices. It is important to test at the same time of year and following the same crop as your original sample. If you sampled in the fall following soybeans six years ago, your sample six years later should be taken in the fall following soybeans. If the field is in corn six years later, wait a year so you sample following the same crop.The SCN egg count should be lower after six years of rotation and resistant varieties. If egg counts are level or increasing, it could indicate the population of SCN in the field can reproduce on the most common source of resistance, PI 88788, which is found in over 98% of resistant soybean varieties.If SCN egg counts in your fields are increasing in spite of following best management practices for SCN, it may be necessary to plant a soybean variety with a different source of resistance such as Peking (PI 548402). However, be aware that your variety choices will be much more limited.For more information on identification and management of SCN, contact your local Nebraska Extension office.Market Facilitation Funds for Alfalfa GrowersBruce Anderson - NE Extension Forage SpecialistThanks to the trade war, alfalfa growers may qualify for market facilitation payments. When China imposed retaliatory tariffs and non-tariff barriers on exports of agricultural goods from the United States, the federal government developed the Market Facilitation Program. It provides financial assistance to farmers with commodities impacted by tariffs.Soybeans are the most well known and highest ranking among crops covered by the program; however, some other crops are also covered. Prior to the trade war, China was the number one importer of alfalfa hay from the United States. As a result, alfalfa hay also qualifies for Market Facilitation payments.You don’t need to have been selling your hay for export. All alfalfa growers are eligible for payments, including growers who feed all their alfalfa on-farm to their own livestock. Payments are based solely on planted acres as long as conservation compliance requirements are met.To receive payments, apply at your local Farm Service Agency office by December 6.  In order for a field to qualify, it must contain at least 60% alfalfa.  At this time it’s unclear how the amount of alfalfa in alfalfa-grass mixtures is going to be determined, but it probably will be done locally. If you do apply, make sure you report your acres as alfalfa. Do not report it as alfalfa-grass because mixtures are ineligible for payments.Take advantage of Market Facilitation payments for alfalfa. They may not be particularly high, but something is better than nothing.Farmers Encouraged to Keep the Stubble During No-Till NovemberThe USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is once again encouraging Nebraska farmers to “keep the stubble” on their harvested crop fields and improve soil health during No-Till November.First launched in 2017, the NRCS project is mirrored after the national cancer awareness No Shave November campaign that encourages people not to shave during the entire month. The NRCS campaign encourages farmers to keep crop stubble on their fields and keep tillage equipment in their machine sheds this fall. In the past two years, the campaign has reached more than 1 million people.“No-till farming is a cornerstone soil health conservation practice, which also promotes water quality while saving farmers time and money,” said Nebraska NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson. “One of the first soil health principles is ‘do not disturb’. This campaign is a fun way to remind farmers about the important relationship between no till and soil health.”Improving soil health increases soil biological activity, which provides erosion control, nutrient benefits, and can simulate tillage.The campaign grew from an idea shared by NRCS Area Soil Scientist Neil Sass. “The impact has been much wider-reaching than I’d expected. I’ve seen #StubbleSelfie cutouts in Co-ops and ag services offices, but also in labs, schools and lots of fun media,” he said. “I think that this promotion has been a fun way to draw awareness to soil health, just like the No Shave November promotion has done for cancer awareness.”For more information about soil health and the No-Till November campaign, please go to www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov. NDA ANNOUNCES NEBRASKA AG YOUTH COUNCIL MEMBERS The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) today announced its selection of the 2019-2020 Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council (NAYC). NAYC members are college students who promote Nebraska agriculture and teach young Nebraskans about agriculture and the many careers available in the ag industry. NDA sponsors NAYC and its activities throughout the year. “NAYC is a great opportunity for student leaders to share their passion for agriculture and make a difference in the lives of young Nebraskans,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “It’s quite an honor and a responsibility to serve on NAYC. I look forward to working with these talented students and supporting them as they promote Nebraska agriculture to those who will follow in their footsteps.” NAYC is entering its 49th year with the installation of this Council. Throughout the year, NAYC members coordinate and participate in a wide range of activities and events that focus on agriculture. Council members visit elementary schools to talk about where food comes from, take urban youth on farm tours to experience life on a farm, and visit with high school students about career opportunities in agriculture. The primary focus of NAYC is to coordinate the annual Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI), a five-day summer conference for high school juniors and seniors that is full of speakers, workshops and networking opportunities. The 2019-2020 NAYC leadership includes: Head Counselors: Felicia Knoerzer, Elwood, and Courtney Nelson, Monroe; President: Cooper Grabenstein, Smithfield; Secretary: Grant Dahlgren, Bertrand; Vice President of Social Media/Communications and Promotions: Kelli Mashino, Spencer; Vice President of Alumni Relationships: Colton Thompson, Eustis; Vice President of NAYI Improvement: Kelsey Loseke, Blair. Vice President of Youth Outreach: Wesley Wach, Hayes Center; and Vice President of Sponsorship: Isaac Stallbaumer, Oconto. Additional NAYC members include: Nick Birdsley, Omaha; Miles Eggleston, David City; Emily Hatterman, Wisner; Colin Ibach, Sumner; Cole Kalkowski, Omaha; Layne Miller, Oakland; Creighton Niemeyer, DeWitt; Tyler Perrin, Ogallala; Ralston Ripp, Kearney; Megan Schroeder, Wisner; Clayton Thomas, Bloomington, IL; and Josie Thompson, Wayne. To learn more, visit NAYC’s website at nda.nebraska.gov/nayi/nayc.html or search for Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute on Facebook. 12TH ANNUAL NEBRASKA WIND & SOLAR CONFERENCE:  A SUCCESS ONCE AGAINThe Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference & Exhibition recently concluded its 12th annual event on October 29-30, 2019 at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln, NE. This year’s conference attracted over 320 attendees, 28 exhibitors, and featured 60 speakers and moderators from the wind and solar industries. Individuals came from across the country to participate in 18 general sessions and workshop presentations that shared the latest information on wind and solar energy development. Those who attended represented a diverse set of stakeholders that included private sector developers, public officials, landowners, environmental interests, wildlife interests, public utilities, as well as the public at large attended.Conference attendees were welcomed on Tuesday by Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Director Jim Macy, who detailed the status and prospect of both wind and solar development in the state. Next, AWEA Senior Vice President of government and public affairs Amy Farrell provided the big-picture view of renewable energy development and Nebraska’s increasingly important role in both wind and solar development. She cited Facebook’s purchase of 200 megawatts of wind energy from the Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Dixon County, and Hormel Foods’ plan to buy power from a wind farm near Milligan that will be opening next year. The conference continued with discussions on the growing impact of electric vehicles on the grid, and four representatives from Holt county detailed the extremely positive economic benefits that wind energy development has had in their county, including the school funding and additional income for landowners.Noon luncheon speakers included executives from Nebraska’s three largest public utilities: Lincoln Electric System, Omaha Public Power District, and Nebraska Public Power District. Tuesday afternoon sessions featured planning and zoning for all sizes of solar development; renewable energy education and outreach; the growing role of renewables in the Southwest Power Pool; and how Nebraska renewable energy fits into the Southwest Power Pool. The first day concluded with a policy and legislative update from Nebraska State Senators Tom Brandt, Wendy DeBoer, Myron Dorn, Rick Kolowski, John McCollister, and Dan Quick.Wednesday morning was kicked off by a session on the state of the national solar industry with HDR Renewable Energy Practice Lead Gretchen Dolson and GenPro Energy Solutions Vice President of Energy Production Molly Brown. Sessions that followed included panels on community-scale renewable energy; the changing economics of battery storage; FERC regulations; and Nebraska stakeholder and community support for wind projects.The keynote luncheon featured Valmont Utility Group President Aaron Schapper, who discussed his Nebraska-based manufacturing company’s growing involvement in wind and solar energy and how it is an increasingly important component of the company’s revenue. The conference wrapped-up with discussions on repowering and decommissioning wind turbines and research regarding Nebraska’s renewable energy.Conference Chair John Hansen, commented “Thanks to our “Nebraska Nice” collaborative approach and our “Can Do” attitude, Nebraska continues to make good progress in momentum in renewable energy development.”Free Ag Law and Farm Finance Clinics this NovemberFree legal and financial clinics are being offered for farmers and ranchers at five sites across the state in October. The clinics are one-on-one meetings with an agricultural law attorney and an agricultural financial counselor. These are not group sessions, and they are confidential.The attorney and financial advisor specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and other relevant matters. Here is an opportunity to obtain an independent, outside perspective on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.Clinic Sites and Dates    Norfolk — Thursday, November 7    North Platte — Thursday, November 14    Fairbury — Thursday, November 14    Grand Island — Wednesday, November 20    Norfolk — Monday, November 25To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258. Funding for this work is provided by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Legal Aid of Nebraska, North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.RURAL POLL SHOWS MIXED OPINIONS ON HIGHER EDUCATIONRural Nebraskans are confident that higher education can lead to a good job, according to the 2019 Nebraska Rural Poll.While 70% of respondents to the Rural Poll — the largest annual poll of rural Nebraskans' perceptions on quality of life and policy issues — agree that a high school diploma can lead to gainful employment, more agree that an associate degree (82%) or bachelor’s degree (77%) can lead to a good job.In addition, most rural Nebraskans surveyed believe their education was worth the financial cost and that it taught them important skills. Sixty-two percent of respondents agree that their education was worth the cost and 74% agree that they learned skills that they use in their day-to-day life. In fact, those with the highest education levels were most likely to agree with those statements: 74% of persons with at least a four-year college degree agree that their education was worth the cost and 84% agree that they learned useful skills.However, this year’s poll shows mixed results in how rural Nebraskans regard higher education, mirroring national trends. Those surveyed are less likely to see the importance of a college education today than they did four years ago.Fifty-three percent of rural Nebraskans surveyed agreed in 2015 that increasing the number of people who get college degrees is necessary to build a strong economy. However, only 33% agree with that statement this year. The proportion agreeing that getting a college education today is more important than it was 10 years ago declined from 70% in 2015 to 44% this year. And those agreeing that to get ahead in life, it is necessary to get a college education decreased from 65% to 38%.Current economic conditions may account for some of these differences, according to Brad Lubben, extension associate professor and policy specialist at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.“In a tight job market like we now have, employers may be happy just to have a good candidate, so the extra value of having a degree with higher skills or qualifications may not be rewarded or immediately noticeable,” Lubben said.Rural Nebraskans also see value in apprenticeships. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed are confident that completing an apprenticeship program can lead to a good job and 84% agree that apprenticeships should be promoted as an alternative to higher education for getting a good job.Some of the declines in the importance of higher education may be attributed to perceptions of the affordability of higher education and the value of college degrees, according to Becky Vogt, survey research manager for the Rural Poll. Seventy percent of respondents disagree that getting an education after high school is affordable for most people. While 42% agree that most people who enroll in higher education see a return on their investment, 27% disagree. Forty-seven percent agree that college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be and 26% disagree.“We can’t say definitively what caused these shifts in opinions, especially since higher education leads to higher median incomes and most rural Nebraskans see the value of their own education,” said Jason Weigle, associate extension educator with Nebraska Extension. “Colleges and universities may need to engage with their alumni to learn more about the return on investment of their degrees, particularly their cost-benefit tipping point, and how this can be improved.”This year’s Rural Poll was sent to 6,260 households in 86 Nebraska counties in March and April. Responses were received through June 10. Results are based on 1,776 responses, a response rate of 28%. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2%. Complete results are available at http://ruralpoll.unl.edu.The university's Department of Agricultural Economics conducts the poll with funding from Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute.Cereal Rye Cover Crop Seeding Date Extended to Dec. 1 StatewideIowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Kurt Simon, State Conservationist with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), have extended cover crop seeding deadlines due to weather delays.Farmers participating in state cost-share and most federal financial assistance programs now have until Dec. 1 to plant their winter hardy cereal rye cover crop and still qualify for assistance.“Farmers have had an unusually tough year dealing with weather, which is creating significant harvest delays,” said Secretary Naig. “Even a later seeded cover crop can provide conservation benefits and this extension gives farmers the opportunity to seed cereal rye after harvest.”Cereal rye should be planted immediately following the harvest of the principal crop for best results. The cover crop will be no-till drilled into the crop residue and the recommended seeding rate of cereal rye should be increased to 75 pounds per acre to account for reduced tillering.Kevin McCall, State Resource Conservationist for NRCS in Iowa, says late seeded cereal rye can still be established this fall and provide key soil health and environmental benefits if allowed to grow to at least an 8-inch height in the spring.This seeding extension does not apply to all programs. Contact your local NRCS office for additional information about federal or state funded assistance programs.Cover crops play an important role in locking in nutrients and preventing soil erosion. It is one of many conservation practices that farmers can use to help the state advance towards the water quality goals outlined in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products ProductionTotal corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 455 million bushels in September 2019. Total corn consumption was down 10 percent from August 2019 and down 9 percent from September 2018. September 2019 usage included 91.3 percent for alcohol and 8.7 percent for other purposes. Corn consumed for beverage alcohol totaled 3.30 million bushels, down 1 percent from August 2019 but up 18 percent from September 2018. Corn for fuel alcohol, at 407 million bushels, was down 11 percent from August 2019 and down 10 percent from September 2018. Corn consumed in September 2019 for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 90.1 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and StocksSoybeans crushed for crude oil was 4.87 million tons (162 million bushels) in September 2019, compared with 5.32 million tons (177 million bushels) in August 2019 and 5.09 million tons (170 million bushels) in September 2018. Crude oil produced was 1.90 billion pounds down 7 percent from August 2019 and down 2 percent from September 2018. Soybean once refined oil production at 1.41 billion pounds during September 2019 decreased 7 percent from August 2019 and decreased 4 percent from September 2018.USDA Flour Milling Products HighlightsAll wheat ground for flour during the third quarter 2019 was 232 million bushels, up 3 percent from the second quarter 2019 grind of 225 million bushels but down slightly from the third quarter 2018 grind of 233 million bushels. Third quarter 2019 total flour production was 107 million hundredweight, up 3 percent from the second quarter 2019 but down 1 percent from the third quarter 2018. Whole wheat flour production at 4.92 million hundredweight during the third quarter 2019 accounted for 5 percent of the total flour production. Millfeed production from wheat in the third quarter 2019 was 1.66 million tons. The daily 24-hour milling capacity of wheat flour during the third quarter 2019 was 1.67 million hundredweight.USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for November 2019The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation today announced interest rates for November 2019, which are effective November 1-November 30, 2019. The Commodity Credit Corporation borrowing rate-based charge for November is 1.625 percent, down from 1.750 percent in October. The interest rate for crop year commodity loans less than one year disbursed during November is 2.625 percent, down from 2.750 percent in October.  Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans approved for November are as follows: 1.500 percent with three-year loan terms, same as in October;  1.500 percent with five-year loan terms, same as in October; 1.625 percent with seven-year loan terms, same as in October; 1.625 percent with 10-year loan terms, same as in October; and 1.750 percent with 12-year loan terms, same as in October. Industry Cannot Compromise on Restoring Mandatory COOLSpeaking yesterday to the 128th Annual Convention and Trade Show of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard told the crowd that restoring mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for beef was one of four core principles that independent cattle producers cannot compromise."Every industry has certain core principles that cannot be compromised under any circumstance, and for our industry, restoring mandatory COOL is among the most important," Bullard said adding, "Non-core issues may be compromised when the outcome does not harm your opportunity to remain profitable, but restoring mandatory COOL is not on that list."Bullard scorned a recent legislative proposal by South Dakota's U.S. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds known as the U.S. Beef Integrity Act that makes changes to voluntary labeling, saying the proposal only addresses one of the numerous problems that have surfaced after Congress repealed the mandatory COOL law for beef in 2015."When a South Dakota rancher delivers calves to the auction yard or loads them in a truck for shipment to a buyer, he or she must have the assurance that the beef from those animals will be labeled as born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States."Only the full restoration of mandatory COOL for beef will provide that assurance and we must not accept anything less," he said.Bullard said the Sens. Rounds and Thune proposal falls well short of this requirement and he urged the audience to instead support the resolution by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) that was filed in Washington, D.C. the morning of the convention.The Tester resolution calls on Congress to reinstate County-of-Origin labeling for pork and beef to allow consumers to make an informed and free choice about where their food comes from.Bullard said mandatory COOL is the only tool that producers have to compete against the growing tide of cheaper, undifferentiated beef and cattle that are imported into the U.S. market. This is what our industry needs, and our industry must direct all of its resources to accomplish the full reinstatement of mandatory COOL.He also said that opponents of mandatory COOL are experts at placating the industry with minimalist legislation that does not address the core problem and that the Sens. Rounds and Thune legislation was such an example because it only tweaks the current and ineffective voluntary COOL program.Bullard's message was somewhat ominous as he said if the cattle producers in the room did not dig their heals in the ground and fight until they win their core issues, then only a handful of the children of the ranchers in the room would have the opportunity to carry on the ranching legacy in South Dakota."This is serious, it can no longer be business as usual," Bullard concluded.U.S. Farm Bankruptcies Spike in SeptemberU.S. farm bankruptcies in September surged 24% to the highest since 2011 amid strains from President Donald Trump's trade war with China and a year of wild weather.According to Bloomberg, growers are also becoming increasingly dependent on trade aid and other federal programs for income, figures showed in a report by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation's largest general farm organization.The squeeze on farmers underscores the toll China's retaliatory tariffs have taken on a critical Trump constituency as the president enters a re-election campaign and a fight to stave off impeachment. The figures also highlight the importance of a "phase one" deal the administration is currently negotiating with Beijing to increase agriculture imports in return for a pause in escalating U.S. levies.Almost 40% of projected farm profit this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, federal subsidies and insurance payments, according to the report, based on Department of Agriculture forecasts. That's $33 billion of a projected $88 billion in income.The trade war and two straight years of adverse weather rattled farmers already facing commodity price slumps.Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in the 12 months ended September rose to 580 from a year earlier. That marked the highest since 676 cases in 2011 under the chapter of the bankruptcy code tailored for farms. The total "remains well below" historical highs in the 1980s, the federation said.Nebraska had three more Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 35. That's eight more than all of last year and more than in any full year since 2003, Bloomberg reports.Recent bankruptcies were concentrated in the 13-state Midwestern region, a key battleground in the presidential election where grain, soybean, hog and dairy farms have been hit by trade disputes. More than 40%, or 255 filings, were in the region.

Researchers to tackle irrigation decision-making with help of USDA grantA new grant that brings together researchers from Nebraska, Illinois and Princeton aims to bridge the gap between data-collection, modeling and decision-making so crop producers can more easily decide whether to irrigate. The project, funded by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture program, could potentially save both financial and water resources.The project includes three parts, the third in which Nebraska will serve as ground zero. Trenton Franz, Derek Heeren, and Daran Rudnick, all of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will work with partners and producers in the state to validate remotely-collected soil moisture and weather data and to inform the design of an end-product useful to producers’ decision-making.Kaiyu Guan, remote-sensing specialist with the University of Illinois, is leading the project, with Franz and Ming Pan, associate research hydrologist at Princeton University, acting as institutional leads.“We have remote-sensing, modeling, and in-field data, but we want to know how best to combine and use that data to make improved decisions about irrigation,” said Franz, an associate professor in the School of Natural Resources. “Right now the main problem is we don’t have great real-time irrigation data to help validate the remote sensing and modeling data to make it useful for decision making.”Weather, soil, and irrigation data collected via unmanned aerial vehicles, airplanes or satellites have certain problems: inopportune cloud cover, time between Earth passes, the scale — hundreds or meters across rather than at the 10s of meters needed, all which hinder the ability to make an informed decision.Farmers have their own set of barriers. As farms progressively get bigger — in some cases 50 to 60 miles across — it becomes impossible to check the entire farm for rainfall simultaneously. Factor in that it takes three to four days for a center pivot irrigation system to complete a cycle around the field, and the end result is farmers making decisions based on a five-day period of time with inaccurate or missing information.“We’ve all driven by someone’s lawn or farm field and it’s raining, and we ask, ‘Why not just turn off the sprinkler or center pivot when it’s raining?’” Franz said. “The actual decision (for a farmer) is not very simple. The bottom line is if you turn off your sprinkler, and it didn’t rain and it’s the wrong time of year — that’s going to cost you a lot of money.” The crop won’t get enough moisture and yield will drop, resulting in lower income.Farmers want to conserve water, he added, but unless a sound decision can be made quickly, they’ll make the safe decision and water the field.The researchers will spend the next three years working to refine satellite-collected data so it can be incorporated into mathematical modeling to accurately represent daily weather, crop and irrigation information; and then validate those components through field-level monitoring.The UNL team, members of SNR and the Biological Systems Engineering Department, will work with Nebraska stakeholders to install on-the-ground crop sensors measuring 40 variables, including rainfall, solar radiation and plant health. Those variables combined will provide a water and energy budget — the information the farmer needs to make a decision — and the researchers hope to develop that information into an app or other easily-accessible product.“Once we disseminate that out through our networks, we hope to make it better with feedback from users and with more localized data,” Franz said, “because the project leaders can look at the app, but if it’s just us, it’s not useful.”The Nature Conservancy, the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance, Nebraska Natural Resource Districts, and Nebraska Extension will partner on the project, with additional partners working with University of Illinois and Princeton University on data analysis and modeling methods.The National Science Foundation, together with USDA-NIFA, is funding the research through the cyber-physical systems program. Agricultural Land Management Quarterly Webinar SeriesThe Agricultural Land Management Quarterly webinar series will offer management advice and insight for Nebraska landowners, agricultural producers and others with an interest in agricultural land.The first episode will examine recent trends in Nebraska cash rental rates and considerations for updating agricultural leases for 2019. Future episodes will address landlord-tenant communication, lease decision-making issues and seasonal lease considerations. The webinars will conclude with an “Ask the Experts” session where participants can get answers to their land or lease questions.Fall SeminarMonday November 18, 6:30 p.m. CTTopics-    Closing out the lease and harvest season-    Fall and winter lease considerations-    Ask the experts-    Presenters: NE Extension Educators Jim Jansen and Allan Vyhnalek.  Sign up here:  https://agecon.unl.edu/landmanagement.Nebraska Cattlemen Traceability ForumNovember 14, 2019Holiday Inn, Kearney, NELoper Hall - 9am - 3pm*Onsite Registration begins at 8:45amWe would like to invite you to learn more about what is happening with traceability at the federal and state level. Hear from technology manufacturers, marketing programs and traceability pilot projects.Topics and Speakers include:-    The Federal Perspective, Dr. Sarah Tomlinson, Executive Director APHIS Veterinary Services, Technology and Analysis Services-    The Nebraska State Perspective, Ross Baker, Animal Disease Traceability Coordinator-    A State with Mandatory Identification Perspective, Dr. Dave Minier, Michigan State Veterinarian Department-    The Nebraska Brand Committee Perspective, Danna Schwenk, Nebraska Brand Committee Project Coordinator-    The Cattle Trace Pilot Project, Dr. Brandon Depenbusch-    Using Block Chain to Market Cattle, Rob Jennings Register here:  https://nebraskacattlemen.org/event/nebraska-cattlemen-traceability-forum/.  Iowa Farm Liquidity in Decline, Aside from Government PaymentsFarm liquidity across Iowa has been in decline over the past several years, despite a slight increase in 2018.A recent study of 214 mid-size Iowa farms, conducted by Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, found that 44% of the farms could be classified as having “vulnerable liquidity” in December 2018, while that percentage was just 31.3% in December 2014.These results and more analysis are featured in the October edition of the Ag Decision Newsletter, in an article called “Farm liquidity slightly up, but still subdued.”According to Plastina, farm liquidity improved slightly in 2018, mostly due to the $646 million Iowans received from Market Facilitation Program payments. However, he said the long-term trend, since 2014, has been one of significant decline.“While liquidity improved slightly in 2018 due mostly to the MFP payments, the cumulative loss in working capital since 2014 averaged $189 per acre across the farms in my study,” Plastina said.And, given the difficult growing season of this year, he expects 2019 financial numbers to be poor, as well.“A massive number of delayed and prevented planting acres, low crop prices, reduced demand from biofuel refineries, and trade uncertainties in 2019 present a challenging liquidity scenario for farmers in Iowa,” Plastina said. “A new round of MFP payments will certainly help mitigate liquidity gaps this year, but the question remains on the sustainability of these payments through time.”Farm profitability will be a priority issue at farm management meetings this fall and into the winter season.ISU Extension and Outreach has more than 50 farm bill meetings planned, and dates have also been set for the Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars, as well as the Ag Chemical Dealer meetings.Nelson Family from Woodbury County to receive the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor AwardIowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will present the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to cattle producer Eric Nelson and family. Naig will present the award on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. at the Moville Community Center at 815 Main Street Moville, IA 51039.“Leaders in agriculture are not only implementing best practices on their farms, they are active in their communities and serve many organizations,” said Secretary Naig. “The Nelsons are great examples of leaders who take pride in caring for their cattle, their land and their community. They are deserving recipients of the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award.”Eric Nelson farms with his wife Carol, and children Mark, Matt, John, Paul and Sarah. The family has a cow-calf operation and feeds out cattle. The Nelsons have practiced continuous no-till since 1993 and know the importance of implementing conservation practices, including grass waterways and grass field borders where appropriate.The Nelsons operate according to Beef Quality Assurance guidelines, knowing that a low-stress environment is best for raising cattle. They are also stewards of the land, using soil testing to determine nutrient needs and use this information to plan the timing and location of manure field applications.Each member of the Nelson family is active in community organizations. Eric has served as the Woodbury Co. Farm Bureau president for the last three years, is an 11-year member of the Woodbury Central School Board and is currently Vice President of Siouxland Ag in the Classroom. Carol is a member of the Woodbury County Extension Council and board member of Moville Area Community Development Inc. Their children are also involved in numerous organizations. Mark is President of the Woodbury County Cattlemen and Treasurer of Woodbury County Farm Bureau. Mark’s wife, Melissa, is the Woodbury County Beef Team leader and a Siouxland Ag in the Classroom board member. John is a volunteer firefighter with the Moville Volunteer Fire Department. The family is involved with Immaculate Conception Church in Moville.Seminars Educate Sonora Livestock Producers About Value Of U.S. DDGSThe U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is answering technical questions and sharing firsthand experience using U.S. dried distiller's grains with solubles (DDGS) with poultry, swine and beef producers in Sonora, Mexico. This work to encourage increased DDGS use is augmented by newly installed stingers that will make it easier for these producers to obtain DDGS from the United States.Located south of the Arizona border, Sonora is a significant livestock production zone. It is the second-largest pork producing state in Mexico, including large-scale programs like breeding, fattening and processing. Overall, the state produces 229,600 metric tons of pork per year with 2 percent growth year-over-year. To do so, the pork producers union makes consolidated grain purchases for its members, using about 50,000 metric tons of feed grains monthly – 40 percent from the United States.Sonora is also the third-largest egg-producing state in the country, with Sonora’s poultry association members using 20,000 metric tons of feed grains monthly to feed their 12 million layers. The region is also home to significant cattle production with 32,000 livestock producers grazing cattle and installed feedlot capacity for fattening 145,000 head per year.“Sonora has strong demand potential for bulk DDGS,” Chavez said. “The economic and nutritional advantages of U.S. DDGS have sparked increased interest from all three of the major livestock production industries in the state.”The combination of these industries and the state’s geographic proximity to the United States makes Sonora a prime destination for the Council’s market development work.In the last year, the Council, the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and the Regional Livestock Pork Producers Union of Sonora (Union) partnered to purchase hard car unloaders – known as “stingers” – for the Ciudad Obregon rail terminal in the state of Sonora, where U.S. DDGS will be stored and used. This new delivery option will also benefit the poultry and cattle industries in the region.The Council is working to match the interest and new logistical advantages of the stinger installations with information and testimonials on DDGS use. A triad of seminars conducted in September answered questions for producers and promoted the advantages of using DDGS. Dr. Kevin Herrick, nutritionist and technical service director for Poet Nutrition, provided technical expertise, while Iowa farmer and swine producer Bob Hemesath also provided his firsthand perspective on feeding DDGS to his hogs and updated the groups on the current year’s corn crop.The first seminar reinforced the benefits of DDGS to the poultry producers association. Approximately 70 percent of the association’s membership already uses DDGS, so this seminar answered more technical questions on usage and encouraged higher inclusion rates. The second seminar targeted swine producers, allowing Hemesath to make an even larger impact by discussing his use of DDGS at a 40 percent inclusion rate and feeding until slaughter.“Dr. Herrick’s presentation was geared toward giving more confidence in using DDGS for swine and backing up Hemesath’s personal good experience feeding DDGS to his hogs,” Chavez said. “This was exactly the information the audience was waiting to hear.”The third and final presentation was designed for members of the regional cattle feeders association. This seminar included robust discussion of costs, antibiotics use and how to push maximum inclusion levels.The Council will continue to work with the poultry, swine and cattle livestock associations to answer further questions, especially as the new rail options for DDGS delivery come into active operation.“It is imperative that these livestock associations have access to nutritional experts to help them in incorporating DDGS into their feed rations and troubleshoot any issues,” Chavez said. “The Council will remain active in this region as these three different industries all gain their own experience with the advantages of feeding DDGS to their animals.”Women in Ag Survey Reveals Business Acumen and LeadershipWomen are active advocates for agriculture and successful business owners interested in filling leadership roles, according to a new Farm Bureau survey. A majority of those surveyed, 91%, also believe there should be more women in leadership roles in the industry. More than 3,000 women completed the informal survey online, which was conducted to determine the goals and achievements of women in agriculture.“Women play a vital role in modern farming and ranching,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. “We hope to use the survey results to drive our program of work and also to give women their voice and help them make even more of an impact in their communities.”More than 50% of women surveyed have started their own business that’s still in operation; 25% have not started a business but indicated they would like to do so in the future. Respondents cited prioritizing and finding time to accomplish tasks, acquiring financial support and marketing plan development as their top business challenges. Respondents ranked communicating effectively, inspiring and motivating others, and managing conflict among the most important leadership skills for women in agriculture.Another topline finding of the survey was that 75% of respondents are leaders at the local level, 50% are leaders at the state level and 26% are leaders at the national level.All women who are farmers, ranchers, farm/ranch employees, employed in agricultural businesses, pursuing ag-related higher education or supportive of agriculture in other ways were invited to participate in the survey.Full survey results, including comparisons to the initial “Women in Ag” survey (conducted in 2015), are available online at fb.org/women.New Voluntary Performance Standards for Pork PlantsMeat processing has come a long way since the early 1900s, when packing plants were graphically depicted in Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle. Since that time, meat inspectors, safety precautions for workers, the use of better technology and higher food-safety standards have arguably made the U.S. food supply the safest in the world. However, there is always room for improvement, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) intends to propose new, voluntary performance standards for pork.The final rule for the Modernized Hog Slaughter Plan was published October 1, and one of its goals is to align hog slaughter inspection with hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) principles. It will also allow market hog slaughter establishments to operation under the New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). Under the plan, all swine slaughter establishments must develop written sanitary dressing plans and implement microbial sampling to monitor process control. Pork sampling will increase in FY2020 and inspectors will stop testing for STEC. However, FSIS will partner with Agricultural Research Service to study STEC in pork. “Modernization moves inspection away from the traditional control and command approach,” said Captain Kis Robertson Hale, DVM, with the U.S. Public Health Service post at FSIS, during the 2019 annual meeting of the U.S. Animal Health Association this week. Hale explained that under the new rule, plant employees will do two points of sampling, one at the beginning and one at the end, giving plants the options for indicator product sampling.The biggest thing that has been a source of question is the new swine inspection system. NSIS requirements for sorting state that establishment personnel are responsible for sorting and removing unfit animals before ante mortem inspection, as well as for identifying and trimming defects on carcasses and parts before postmortem inspection. FSIS will continue to do all the inspections it has done in the past, but sorting will be the responsibility of establishment personnel. “It shifts agency resources so we can do inspections more efficiently,” Hale said.Establishment personal will be responsible for: Identifying with a unique tag, tattoo, or similar device animals or carcasses that have been sorted or removed for disposal prior to inspection, and; developing, implementing and maintaining written procedures in its HACCP system to ensure unfit animals or carcasses are properly disposed.Plants will determine line speedThe new standard authorizes establishments to determine their own line speeds based on their ability to maintain process control. This area has received a lot of attention, Hale said, but the important point is the plant’s ability to maintain process control. “There is still 100% carcass-by-carcass inspection so it isn’t practical to have excessively high speeds. However, inspectors are empowered to slow the lines,” Hale said.“Back in the day, the speed was set on what food inspectors needed to conduct their tasks. Since then, advancements in science and technology have refined our understanding about line speed requirements. We are still very much focused on hazard reduction,” she added.Under NSIS, inspectors will be able to conduct more verification tasks that are associated with better food-safety outcomes.“Science has been the driving force of where we are with pork sampling and slaughter inspection. By increasing industry accountability for pathogen reduction, improvements to food safety are expected,” Hale said. “It’s amazing how many illnesses have been averted by going with a HAACP approach.”Swine Fever Could Kill Quarter of Pigs(AP) -- Around a quarter of the world's pigs are expected to die from African swine fever as authorities grapple with a complex disease spreading rapidly in the globalization era, the World Organization for Animal Health's president said Thursday.A sharp reduction in the world's pig population would lead to possible food shortages and high pork prices, and it might also cause shortfalls in the many products made from pigs, such as the blood-thinner heparin that's used in people, said Dr. Mark Schipp, the organization's president.The disease's spread in the past year to countries including China, which has half the world's pigs, had inflamed a worldwide crisis, Schipp told reporters at a briefing in Sydney."I don't think the species will be lost, but it's the biggest threat to the commercial raising of pigs we've ever seen," he said. "And it's the biggest threat to any commercial livestock of our generation."African swine fever, fatal to hogs but no threat to humans, has wiped out pig herds in many Asian countries. Chinese authorities have destroyed about 1.2 million pigs in an effort to contain the disease there since August 2018.The price of pork has nearly doubled from a year ago in China, which produces and consumes two-thirds of the world's pork. And China's efforts to buy pork abroad, as well as smaller outbreaks in other countries, are pushing up global prices."There are some shortages in some countries, and there's been some substitutions using other sources of protein, which is driving up the prices of other proteins," said Schipp.Progress had been made toward a vaccine, but Schipp, who is also Australia's chief veterinary officer, said the work was challenging because the virus itself is large and has a complex structure. He said a big step forward was the announcement last week that scientists had unraveled the 3D structure of the virus.African swine fever is spread by contact among pigs, through contaminated fodder and by ticks. It originated in South Africa and appeared in Europe in in the 1960s. A recent reappearance in western Europe came from wild pigs transferred into Belgian forests for hunting purposes.Its capacity to spread rapidly is shown by its spread from China in the past year, Schipp said. Mongolia, the Korean Peninsula, Southeast Asia and East Timor have had outbreaks as well.He said the spread reflects the global movement of pork and of people but also the effect of tariffs and trade barriers, which sends those obtaining pork to seek out riskier sources. And Schipp said quality control was difficult for products such as skins for sausages, salamis and similar foods."Those casing products move through multiple countries," he said. "They're cleaned in one, graded in another, sorted in another, partially treated in another, and finally treated in a fourth of fifth country. They've very hard to trace, through so many countries."An emerging issue in the crisis is a potential heparin shortage, Schipp said."Most of it is sourced from China, which has been badly hit. There are concerns that this will threaten the global supply of heparin," Schipp said.He praised China's efforts to battle the disease and said the outbreaks would change the way pigs are raised."In China, previously they had a lot of backyard piggeries. They're seeing this as an opportunity to take a big step forward and move to large scale commercial piggeries," Schipp said. "The challenge will be to other countries without the infrastructure or capital reserves to scale up in those ways."ADM Reports Third Quarter Earnings of $0.72 per Share, $0.77 per Share on an Adjusted BasisArcher Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2019.“We delivered solid third quarter results, consistent with the perspectives we provided last quarter, despite a difficult external environment,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. “We maintained our focus on serving our customers and advancing our strategic goals, and continued to realize the benefits of the actions that we took earlier this year.“We are excited about our strategic growth activities, and particularly our participation and leadership in major global trends such as flexitarian diets, nutrition for health, and sustainable materials. We have invested in assets, platforms and technological capabilities to serve and grow with our customers, who are embracing these market-changing trends.“While external conditions for certain businesses may remain fluid and potentially challenging in the near term, our growing leadership position in major global trends, and our strength in innovation, efficiency, and customer service, position us well for stronger results in 2020 and beyond.”Third Quarter 2019 Highlights•  Net earnings of $407 million •  Earnings per share:  $0.72  ($0.94 last year)Results of OperationsAg Services & Oilseeds results were lower than the third quarter of 2018, which benefited from very strong crush margins.-    Ag Services results were in line with the prior-year quarter. In South America, results were up on improved origination margins in Brazil and increased export volumes from Argentina. In North America, improved merchandising results from favorable ownership positions helped offset a continued challenging volume and margin environment for U.S. exports.-    In Crushing, results were lower year over year. Crush margins globally were substantially below the record high levels seen in 2018, though still solid in North America and EMEA. In South America, margins were pressured by continued strong exports of soybeans to China. Global crush margins benefited from positive net timing effects of approximately $50 million during the third quarter.-    Refined Products and Other results were significantly higher than the third quarter of 2018, largely driven by significant improvements in Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts.Carbohydrate Solutions results were substantially lower than the year-ago period.-    Starches and Sweeteners results were down versus the third quarter of 2018. Results in North America were affected by higher net corn costs partly offset by lower manufacturing costs, which included improvements at the Decatur corn complex. EMEA results were impacted by lower selling prices and continued pressure from Turkish sweetener quotas. In wheat milling, an increase in sales volumes was more than offset by lower margins due to limited opportunities in wheat procurement.-    Bioproducts results were significantly lower, driven by a continued unfavorable margin environment in the ethanol industry.Nutrition results were substantially higher.-    WFSI results were significantly higher than the prior-year quarter, with growth across the portfolio. Higher sales and margins globally led to record quarterly results for WILD. In Specialty Ingredients, the protein business continued to expand amid the growing consumer market for alternative proteins. Continued contributions from growth investments in bioactives and fibers benefited the Health & Wellness business.-    Animal Nutrition results were up year over year, driven largely by contributions from Neovia. Improvements in vitamin additives also helped contribute to positive results. Lysine production improved, though pricing was negatively impacted by lower global demand.NCBA Announces Finalists for National Anthem ContestFour finalists have been announced for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s seventh annual National Anthem Singing Contest. The winner will receive a trip to the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show Feb. 5-7 to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the event’s Opening General Session Feb. 5 as well as the Friday Night NCBA PBR Invitational Event Feb. 7. The contest is sponsored by Norbrook.The four finalists are:Courtney Stefan, Hallettsville, TexasAnna Kelsey, Tecumseh, OklahomaSara Schlickau, Manhattan, KansasLauren McCarthy, Reno, NevadaEveryone will be able to vote for their favorite singer Nov. 1-15. One vote per day will be offered to each IP address. The winner will be announced Nov. 18, 2019.The contest winner will receive a hotel room for four nights, free convention registration for two, a meet-and-greet hosted by Norbrook, plus a pair of boots, pair of jeans and a shirt from Roper or Stetson.The videos of the top four finalists are available for voting on the convention website at https://convention.ncba.org. Voting is being counted by an independent firm and will be open from Nov. 1, 2019 to Nov. 15, 2019 (one vote per IP address per day).Beef Quality Assurance Campaign Seeks Greater Understanding of Industry EffortsAbout 85 percent of U.S. beef today comes from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)-certified farmers or ranchers. But do American consumers know that? Just as important, do they know what BQA is – and what it stands for?Those are the kinds of questions a new Beef Checkoff-funded campaign from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a Beef Checkoff contractor, is addressing. Its goal is to bridge the gap between what the industry is doing to produce high-quality beef in a humane, environmentally friendly way, and what consumers know about those efforts.The new campaign, designed to meet the consumer’s desire to learn more about how beef is produced, kicked off in October with a series of videos from Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. that bring the BQA program to life by highlighting how cattle farmers and ranchers across the country raise cattle under BQA guidelines.The videos and corresponding audio clips will be used to advertise on platforms including YouTube, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify and will also be made available on a new BQA section of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Consumers will also learn more about BQA through interactive “BQ&A” Instagram stories that address common questions about how cattle are raised. The video, website and social activations provide consumers with an overview of the BQA program and the ongoing commitment of cattle farmers and ranchers to care for their animals and provide the safest and highest quality beef possible.In addition to the digital marketing and social activations, media sources, such as Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today and others will be introduced to BQA, and influencers and beef advocates will share BQA information with their audiences.“The campaign expands the reach of a traditionally producer-facing program,” says Josh White, executive director of producer education at NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. “Beef farmers and ranchers are committed to not only caring for their animals and the environment in which they do that, they are dedicated to delivering the safest and highest quality beef possible,” he says. “At the same time, research shows that consumers want to know more about how and where their food is raised. This new effort shares information about the program with consumers in a way that benefits both producers and those who enjoy their beef.” Producer SupportU.S. beef producers who have embraced BQA are encouraged by this step to get the message to those who buy beef.“I’m so excited about BQA becoming a consumer-facing program,” says Kim Brackett, a cow-calf producer whose operation sits on the Idaho/Oregon border. “The average consumer does not know what is happening in our industry. This is going to help reassure them as they’re making their purchasing decisions.”Brackett and her husband, Ira, have four children who will be the sixth generation involved in cattle production. She got involved in BQA about 15 years ago and helped get it going in her area. A former chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, she is currently the vice chairman of NCBA’s BQA advisory group. Brackett says being open with consumers is key to industry success.“We’re living in a transparent world,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard to make the connections we need with our customers and BQA helps bridge that gap.”Brandi Karisch, beef cattle extension specialist at Mississippi State University, says as a mother of two young children she sees the problem frequently.“In talking with other moms, it’s kind of shocking some of the things they believe,” she says. “There’s just a lot of bad information out there. Now is an important time to correct that,” she says.After completing her undergraduate work at LSU, Karisch went on to get her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is now the co-coordinator of the BQA program in Mississippi. Karisch grew up in Southern Louisiana on a small purebred cow-calf operation and says timing for the new campaign couldn’t be better.“BQA is one of our shining moments as a beef industry. It’s really important for consumers to hear about it,” she says.“The Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. brand provides a tremendous foundation for this effort,” says Alisa Harrison, NCBA senior vice president for global marketing. “For more than a quarter century, consumers have come to know and respect Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. and this is the next step in helping consumers understand how beef is produced.”Harrison says the primary audience for the new campaign will be older millennial parents. To all consumers, however, the messages will be transparent and open, featuring the point that cattle are safely, humanely and sustainably raised.  “There’s so much negative media and noise out there, any reassurance we can provide, that only helps,” says Brackett. The fact that information is continually updated and kept fresh is also a positive, she says. “Producers themselves are in charge. It’s very attainable,” she says.Karisch agrees. “Producers always have a voice in BQA, and that’s important,” she says. A Bigger and Better ProgramParticipation in BQA by farmers and ranchers continues to grow as certifications, including dairy and youth facing programs, recently surpassed the 350,000 mark. Throughout the country producers are becoming BQA-certified through in-person and online training. Certified farmers and ranchers must be re-certified every three years.Online BQA training provides 24/7 access to the program through a series of videos and animations in the areas of cow-calf, stocker/backgrounder and feedyard. In-person training is available through sessions conducted by hundreds of in-state BQA coordinators throughout the country. The certifications are also available in Spanish.Doing the Right ThingBottom line, BQA encourages proper animal care, and consumers should feel good knowing there’s a national program in place that sets consistent animal welfare and care standards across the beef industry.“BQA helps us be better stewards of animals and the land,” says Karisch. “That’s really the key.“But there’s a lot of noise out there about animal welfare. That creates a lot of bad vibes for the cattle industry.”Those are vibes the industry can’t afford, Karisch says. “I don’t want people thinking bad things about our industry,” she says. “Some of the finest people I know are in the cattle business. And we really are doing things right.”

COMPACT AIMS TO BOOST AG, NATURAL RESOURCE INDUSTRIES IN NORTHEAST NEBRASKAThe University of Nebraska–Lincoln has entered into an education compact with six other Nebraska institutions to meet the education needs of youth and lifelong learners in northeast Nebraska and contribute to workforce and talent development to support economic growth strategies in agriculture and natural resources.The Northeast Nebraska Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Compact was signed during a ceremony Oct. 29 at Wayne Junior/Senior High School in Wayne. In addition to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Nebraska, others signing the compact were Little Priest Tribal College, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Nebraska Indian Community College, Northeast Community College, Wayne Community Schools and Wayne State College.“This compact will leverage the combined strength of the involved institutions to improve college and career readiness, educational attainment, and community and economic vitality and growth in the region,” said CASNR Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss. “I look forward to working with our partners to co-create educational solutions for northeast Nebraska.”Mike Boehm, Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Nebraska, said: “Over the past few years, IANR has engaged in many great conversations with the 217,000 people that call northeast Nebraska home. These conversations were critical to shaping our collaborative efforts with compact partners on issues that matter to the success of our students and lifelong learners and the vitality of our communities.”The goals of the compact include providing education platforms for the continuum of learners in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems that align with career opportunities for an evolving workforce for communities. This will include developing an inventory of formal and nonformal agriculture and natural resources education programming, establishing an open-access database of curricula for K-12 and nonformal learners, and designing education platforms for the continuum of learners that align with labor market demand for agriculture and natural resources.In response to the increased need for highly qualified K-12 agricultural science and STEM educators, the compact will establish professional-development programs and workshops for nonformal educators, and align STEM teacher preparation programs and curricula with agriculture and natural resources systems. The institutions will establish a northeast Nebraska teacher network program for STEM and ag educators. There’s also an opportunity to leverage partnerships and programming offered by educational entities such as Nebraska Extension, the Nebraska Department of Education, Ag in the Classroom, educational service units and Nebraska’s agricultural commodity groups.The institutions will also explore strategies to remove barriers for learners to seamlessly transfer among post-secondary institutions. This will involve a review of curricula, enhanced collaboration among academic and career advisers, and the creation of pathways that are linked to agriculture and natural resource workforce needs in the area.Compact partners aim to boost workforce development solutions for agriculture and natural resources industries in the region through several strategies, which include an external labor market demand analysis for the agriculture and natural resources industries in northeast Nebraska. Skills, programming, competencies and credentials offered by the partners will be aligned with the demand in the labor market. Additionally, compact institutions will partner with ongoing workforce development efforts in the region. “This is about preparing the next generation of problem-solvers, innovators and leaders in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems,” Heng-Moss said.2019 Research Symposium Scott Merritt, Nebraska Agri-Business AssociationPlease join us for this year's annual Research Symposium, co-sponsored by the Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources and the Nebraska Agri-Business Association! There will be eight speakers presenting cutting edge research being performed in the agronomy and agriculture fields. Many of you will find this meeting to be very beneficial in your career.Research Symposium is on Friday, November 22, 2019, at the Holthus Convention Center in York, NE.  Registration will begin at 8:00 am, with speakers starting at 8:30 am. It will be 2 Crop Management, 2 Pest Management, 2 Nutrient Management and 2 Soil and Water CEU's.The speakers and topics are:    Tyler Williams - 2019 Weather Recap and the Impact on Nebraska Agriculture    Joe Luck - Crop Management     Amit Jhala - Challenges and Opportunities for Mgt of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in NE    Amy Schmidt - Benefits and Barriers to Manure Use in Cropping Systems    Jenny Rees - Cover Crops in Cropping Systems On-Farm Research Update    Daran Rudnick - Overview of Irrigation scheduling Technologies    Justin McMechan - Latest Updates on Pest Management    Michael Kaiser - Effects of Soil Management on Soil Organic CharacteristicsThe cost of registration covers rolls & coffee, lunch, and all speaker handouts. A registration form is included for you to register for Research Symposium or you can register online at http://bit.ly/ResSym2019. Please contact Sarah Skirry at sskirry@na-ba.com or (402) 476-1528 if you have any questions. We hope to see you in York at this year's Research Symposium!Lindsay Corporation Reports Fiscal 2019 Fourth Quarter and Full Year ResultsLindsay Corporation, a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended August 31, 2019.Fourth Quarter and Full Year SummaryRevenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 were $101.9 million, a decrease of $21.4 million, or 17 percent, compared to revenues of $123.3 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Approximately $18.7 million of the decrease in revenues was attributable to previously announced business divestitures in the irrigation segment that were part of the Company's Foundation for Growth initiative. Net earnings for the quarter were $1.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $5.0 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior year. Net earnings for the quarter adjusted to eliminate (i) costs associated with the Foundation for Growth initiative, and (ii) a valuation adjustment for indirect tax credits in a foreign jurisdiction were $5.8 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net earnings of $4.5 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior year.1Total revenues for the year ended August 31, 2019 were $444.1 million, a decrease of $103.6 million, or 19 percent, compared to revenues of $547.7 million in the prior year. Approximately $78.1 million of the decrease in revenues was attributable to business divestitures in the irrigation segment that were part of the Company's Foundation for Growth initiative. Net earnings for the year were $2.2 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $20.3 million, or $1.88 per diluted share, in the prior year. Net earnings for the year adjusted to eliminate (i) costs associated with the Foundation for Growth initiative, and (ii) a valuation adjustment for indirect tax credits in a foreign jurisdiction were $15.6 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net earnings of $31.6 million, or $2.94 per diluted share, in the prior year.1"The decrease in irrigation segment revenues for the year and quarter resulted primarily from the business divestitures that were part of our strategy to simplify the business and improve operating margin. In addition, challenging market conditions have persisted in our core irrigation equipment markets," said Tim Hassinger, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Solid fourth quarter results in our infrastructure segment reflect the progress we are making in our strategy to grow the Road Zipper® business." Lindsay Corporation Announces Quarterly DividendLindsay Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.31 per share, payable November 29, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 15, 2019.  At October 24, 2019, Lindsay Corporation had approximately 10.8 million shares outstanding, which are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNN. Controversy reigns over Animal RFID, ICON has many concernsIn the face of criticism about a plan to require electronic identification of cattle and bison, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has removed its description of the national livestock identification plan from its website.The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service removed the guidance document and factsheet from its website, saying “it is no longer representative of current policy.”It is not yet clear that the plan has been discontinued, however. Apparently, states can still require electronic, Radio Frequency ID tags. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture announced Oct. 10 that it will discontinue providing free metal tags to cattlemen as of Dec. 31. There is no record that plan has been rescinded.   The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska continue to have concerns about the program, which would gradually eliminate the existing ID system and mandate the use of RFID tags for cows and bulls in 2023. The program would have questionable effectiveness, impose substantial costs and burdens, and jeopardize the privacy of business records that are kept by the owners of cattle herds.ICON learned of the USDA plan in February. Alerted to the situation by veterinarian and ICON member Dr. Don Cain of Broken Bow, ICON notified other independent cattle producer groups, including the Rancher’s Cattlemen Action Legal Fund / United Stockgrowers of America, and initiated talks with the Nebraska legislature’s agriculture committee.The USDA guidance document stated that USDA would require the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags on all adult cattle and bison moved in interstate commerce, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, thereby affecting all cattle.In June, ICON resolved to support metal ear tags and/or hot-iron brands as official and primary forms of ID of cattle, and opposed the efforts to make RFID tagging of cattle mandatory. The full text of the ICON resolution is below.  In a related development, on Oct. 4 R-CALF USA filed a lawsuit against the USDA, claiming the RFID mandate is unlawful on Constitutional grounds. The lawsuit asserts that a “guidance” document cannot legally be used to nullify a 2013 animal identification agreement, because it was a properly adopted regulation authorized by Congress.On Oct. 8, President Donald J. Trump joined the outcry. He issued executive order 13892 for federal agencies such as the USDA to not use guidance documents to impose legally binding obligations on U.S. citizens.  Currently, the U.S. cattle industry has highly effective traceability systems that make the U.S. cattle industry’s disease resistance capabilities the envy of the world, say ICON President Jim Dinklage and R-CALF USA Executive Director Bill Bullard.The 2013 U.S. “Traceability of Livestock Moving Interstate” regulation allows producers to use effective animal identification techniques and devices that have been used for more than 100 years, including brands, tattoos, permanent metal ear tags, group/lot identification and backtags on animals destined for harvest.NCBA Applauds Introduction of Hours of Service LegislationThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation by U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D – 2nd Dist., Minn.) and Lloyd Smucker (R - 11th Dist., Penn.) that would provide flexible and common-sense relief from Hours of Service (HOS) rules for agricultural haulers.The Responsible & Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act would ensure that the current Hours of Service exemption that applies to the 150-air-mile radius from the source of an agricultural commodity adds the same 150 air mile radius flexibility to the back end of a trip, or the destination.  The bill also clarifies that this exemption would apply in every state year-round, as agriculture and specifically livestock move across this country every day.“Agricultural haulers – and especially livestock haulers – face very unique challenges that haulers in other industries don’t face, and this bill recognizes that need,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “On behalf of America’s cattle producers, I want to thank Representatives Craig, Smucker, and all the other original co-sponsors for their leadership on this issue and working towards needed flexibility within Hours of Service for our livestock haulers.” Voluntary Labeling Dilutes Efforts to Fully Restore Mandatory COOL for BeefIn their 2017 country-of-origin labeling (COOL) lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), R-CALF USA and the Cattle Producers of Washington alleged the agency's COOL regulations for imported beef were inconsistent with the long-standing Tariff Act of 1930. The Tariff Act requires imported beef sold in the United States to retain its foreign country-of-origin label to the consumer, such as "Product of Uruguay," unless the beef is substantially transformed in the United States after importation and before sale to consumers.According to R-CALF USA, however, when the USDA wrote its regulation known as the 1989 Foreign Products Rule, it conveniently omitted the substantial transformation standard. As a result, the USDA determined it has the authority to allow imported beef to be mislabeled as a USA product if it is subject to even minimal processing, such as unwrapping and rewrapping.Based on its interpretation of the 1989 Foreign Products Rule, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued its Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book that currently allows the mislabeling of foreign beef even when no substantial transformation occurs.According to R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard, "Merely correcting the USDA's inappropriate standard for determining what beef is eligible for a "Product of USA" label will not restore the level of product differentiation that United States cattle producers need to distinguish their superior beef product from foreign beef products in the marketplace."For that they need full restoration of mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (mCOOL), and nothing less," he said.The mCOOL law passed in 2002 sent the 1989 Foreign Products Rule into hibernation for over a decade. The mCOOL law superseded the old rule by requiring imported beef to retain its foreign label through retail sale, meaning all the way to the consumer. It also required all beef processed in the U.S. to be labeled as to where the cattle were born, raised, and slaughtered.The mCOOL law, therefore, prevented meat merely packaged in the U.S. from being labeled "Made in the USA" and "Product of the USA," and ensured that imported beef would be labeled "Product of Uruguay," "Product of Australia" or the like. Importantly, for beef slaughtered in the U.S., general origin labels were replaced with the more accurate labels denoting where the beef had been born, raised, and slaughtered.  For example: "Born, Raised, and Slaughtered in the United States," or "Born in Mexico, Raised and Slaughtered in the United States." Bullard said the mCOOL law provided the level of product differentiation that U.S. cattle producers need to effectively compete against cheaper foreign beef by:-    requiring all packers to inform retailers and consumers as to where beef from cattle slaughtered in the United States was born, raised, and slaughtered.-    requiring all imported beef to retain its foreign label through retail sale."Without these two important elements, U.S. producers will not be able to effectively compete against imported beef," he said.Bullard said efforts focused only on fixing the interpretation of the 1989 Foreign Products Rule by establishing a voluntary U.S. label for products born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States fall well short of what the U.S. cattle industry needs to effectively compete against imports of both beef and cattle."The first insurmountable problem with such an effort is that it establishes a voluntary labeling regime for big meatpackers who have clearly signaled they don't want to differentiate products based on origin."The second problem is that it does not require any of the three billion pounds of annually imported beef or the beef from the two million head of imported cattle each year to be labeled as to origin."The third problem, and perhaps the most important, is that it redirects the industry's limited resources away from efforts to fully restore mCOOL and may permanently prevent our industry from fully restoring mCOOL for beef."Bullard said the sudden push to address only the FSIS standard for authorizing voluntary labeling is a classic strategy of divide and conquer."R-CALF USA will not be distracted by such an effort and remains steadfast in its strategy to build support for legislation, either stand-alone or within the ongoing USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement), to fully restore mCOOL for beef, and we'll stop at nothing less," he concluded.Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to FallWhile the prices of most fertilizers tracked by DTN continued to fall in the fourth week of October, for the first time in more than two months, the price of one fertilizer increased.  Prior to last week, all eight fertilizer prices had fallen for nine consecutive weeks.In this latest update, five of the eight prices tracked by DTN continued to fall from the previous month. DAP led the way with a $14-per-ton decrease to $465/ton compared to $479/ton one month ago. Anhydrous saw its price fall from $511/ton to $507/ton in this update.UAN28's price fell from $254/ton last month to $251/ton, followed by MAP with a drop from $475/ton to $473/ton. The potash price fell by $1 to $383 per ton.UAN32 reported the only price increase from $289/ton to $291/ton for this update. UAN32's highest price so far this year was $320 at the end of July into early August.The prices of urea and 10-34-0 remain unchanged at $404/ton and $471/ton, respectively.On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.With prices significantly lower in recent months, three fertilizers' prices are lower than one year ago. MAP is now 9% less expensive, DAP is 7% lower and urea is a fraction of 1% lower from last year at this time.The remaining five major fertilizers are slightly higher compared to last year. Potash is 5% more expensive, UAN28, UAN32 and 10-34-0 are all 3% more expensive, while anhydrous is 2% more expensive than one year ago.Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/25/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 25, ethanol production expanded 8,000 b/d or 0.8% to 1.004 million barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 42.17 million gallons daily and the first time in six weeks that production has topped 1 million b/d. However, production was 5.2% below the same week a year ago and 4.9% below the level two years ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate increased 1.2% to 984,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.08 billion gallons.Ethanol stocks pared back 1.2% to 21.1 million barrels, the smallest volume in two years. Inventories were 7.2% lower than the same week last year. Stocks fell across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2).Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 53,000 b/d, or 15.58 million gallons for the week. This was the second consecutive week of imports, up from 28,000 b/d. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market rose 2.0% to a seven-week high of 9.784 million b/d (410.9 million gallons per day, or 149.99 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol increased 0.9% to 936,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.35 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 10.26%.ICGA: EPA’s Proposed Rule is a Trick, Not a TreatToday, Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) President Jim Greif testified at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hearing on the supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In this proposed rule, the EPA did not implement details that were discussed and outlined by President Trump only eleven days before the rule was released. Farmers and ethanol producers were promised the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) would be upheld by reallocating small refinery exemptions based on an average of actual waived gallons from the three previous compliance years. This proposed rule falls short of the RFS statute that provides for 15 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended. The EPA’s rule would use the Department of Energy (DOE) recommendations which the EPA has historically not followed.“The language in this proposal is a trick, not a treat,” said ICGA President and farmer from Monticello Jim Greif. “By following DOE suggestions, rather than actual numbers, farmers may only get back half of the demand destruction that EPA actually grants in future years. This means 580 million gallons of biofuel demand will be waived annually that is completely unaccounted for – roughly eliminating the ethanol production capacity of the entire state of Wisconsin. In corn numbers, this means 203 million bushels of corn demand will continue to be eliminated annually – that’s like eliminating all of the corn acres in the entire state of Colorado.”Quite simply, this proposal destroys corn demand and does not uphold the integrity of the RFS or follow the law. ICGA is urging members to submit a comment through their Call to Action on EPA’s proposed rule before the Nov. 29 comment period deadline.NCGA to EPA: Good Intentions Don’t Provide CertaintyMinnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Ethanol Action Team member Brian Thalmann today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the law and accurately account for expected refinery waivers in the 2020 RFS volume rule.Thalmann testified at an EPA hearing to review the agency’s supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking.“We’re in the thick of harvest and, quite frankly, I would rather be in the field. But the issue we’re discussing today is too important to corn farmers like me not to be here. I have a simple message - when it comes the Renewable Fuel Standard, we need EPA to follow the law. As farmers, we follow rules put in place by state and federal agencies, including the EPA. We are simply asking EPA to do the same for us,” Thalmann said. Today’s hearing follows an October 4 announcement from President Trump directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the RFS whole by using the three-year average of renewable fuel gallons actually waived by the EPA to account for waivers going forward. EPA, however, is now proposing to account for waivers based on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations, rather than the actual gallons waived by EPA. EPA has consistently waived nearly twice as much as DOE has recommended.“Good intentions don’t provide certainty. Without a binding commitment that the RFS will be kept whole, this rule gives EPA free rein to change direction any time,” Thalmann said.Corn farmers are encouraged to contact the EPA and tell the Agency to follow through on the President’s commitment to farmers and the RFS. The comment period closes November 29.Growth Energy Calls on EPA to Fix Flawed ProposalToday, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor testified before U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials at a hearing on the agency’s proposed supplemental rule on 2020 biofuel targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Skor, whose organization represents more than half of U.S. ethanol production, called on EPA to fix this flawed draft proposal and reverse the demand destruction that has shuttered biofuel plants across the heartland.“As drafted, EPA’s plan fails to accurately account for lost gallons and betrays President Trump’s promise to rural America,” testified Skor. “It cuts the fix we were promised in half, if not more, and destroys what may be our last chance to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down and help ease the burden facing American farmers.”To begin repairing the damage, Skor called on the EPA to uphold the president’s commitment to farmers and biofuel workers.“Midwestern lawmakers and governors have seen the damage firsthand and worked with the president to secure a deal that would start to undo the damage – a deal that would honor this administration’s commitments to farmers, biofuel producers, rural America, as well as small refineries. But instead, the EPA has undercut the president’s promise and has yet again tilted the table in favor of the nation’s largest oil companies – all at the expense of the American farmer.”Among other changes, she urged regulators to use the rolling average of actual exempted volumes from the three most recently completed compliance years in the final rule, as promised by the administration. She also called on the agency to formally bind itself to the revised methodology for future years and expedite work to remove additional barriers to the sale of E15.“EPA must fix this rule immediately by properly accounting for exempted gallons and restoring lost demand. American biofuel producers and farmers cannot afford anything less,” concluded Skor.Growth Energy member and Siouxland Energy Cooperative President Kelly Nieuwenhuis shared a similar message with lawmakers yesterday, during a House hearing entitled, "Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers." Nieuwenhuis, who also is farmer near Primghar, Iowa, discussed the devastating impact of the EPA’s actions, which forced dozens of plants like Siouxland Energy to idle production or close their doors over the last year.RFA to EPA: RFS Proposal Fails on Several LevelsRenewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper Wednesday morning told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that its weak proposal to counter the damaging effects of small refinery exemptions from the obligations of the Renewable Fuel Standard would simply not do the job it has been promised to do.“This proposal fails to reflect the letter and spirit of the president’s commitment to restore integrity to the RFS, fails to assure that the statutorily-required 15-billion-gallon level for conventional biofuels will be met, and fails to restore stability in the marketplace by definitively ending the practice of allowing small refinery exemptions from eroding RFS biofuel demand,” Cooper said in testimony at an EPA field hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan.In his testimony, Cooper recounted the impact of the waiver, with lost demand leading to the closure or idling of 19 ethanol plants and the decimation of RIN prices – blending credits that measure the success of the RFS program and the ethanol industry.“RFA does not oppose the granting of small refiner waivers to any company that can demonstrate it is being harmed by the RFS,” Cooper said. “We do believe this is a high bar, however, particularly as RIN prices have fallen precipitously and EPA itself has concluded the cost of RIN compliance is recovered in the market. Indeed, we believe it highly unlikely any company is being negatively impacted by the RFS today.”Cooper also explained why the new supplemental proposal won’t succeed. EPA bases on the average of what the Department of Energy has recommended for waivers, not the waivers actually granted—and the formers is significantly less than the latter.“The problem with this proposal is that EPA has seldom followed DOE’s recommendations in deciding SRE petitions,” he said. “For the 2016-2018 compliance years, DOE on average recommended that 7.3 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel be exempted from RFS obligations, but EPA actually exempted an average of 12.8 billion gallons–75% more.”EPA will be accepting public comment on the supplemental proposal until Nov. 29. ACE urges EPA to stop riding the brakes on the RFS and go back to original deal during public hearingThe American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings testified today during the public hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed supplemental rulemaking to its proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).The proposal seeks comment on “projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions (SREs) on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DoE), including where DoE had recommended partial exemptions.” Despite earlier promises EPA would reallocate SREs in 2020 based on the average of actual gallons waived from 2016 to 2018, the Agency proposed to take this bizarre and never-before mentioned approach which undercounts past SREs and falls short of ensuring 15 billion gallons of ethanol blending for 2020.Jennings’ testimony emphasized three areas in which the proposal fell short which will be detailed in ACE’s written comments, including that the proposed rule (1) does nothing to reallocate the 85 SREs from 2016 through 2018 which eroded more than 4 billion gallons from statutory levels; (2) represents a missed opportunity to restore 500 million gallons unlawfully waived from the 2016 compliance year; and (3) betrays the deal on how to ensure at least 15 billion gallons in the RFS for 2020 and beyond.“For far too long, farmers and renewable fuel producers who have been trying to help EPA successfully implement the RFS have instead encountered an Agency persistently riding the brakes on the program and constraining opportunities to blend more ethanol. To make matters worse, EPA’s recent abuse of SREs recklessly turns the keys to the RFS to refiners who have taken the program on a joy ride.“ACE members are furious with EPA’s double-standard: when it came to helping refineries escape RFS obligations from 2016 through 2018, EPA rejected DoE recommendations to exercise restraint, but now that EPA must restore volume to the RFS, the Agency is suddenly embracing DoE recommendations because the result will keep a lid on refinery obligations going forward.“While this proposal is not going to make renewable fuel producers whole for EPA’s prior abuse of SREs, we urge the Agency to take a small step in the right direction by issuing a final rule which reallocates the actual average volume waived from 2016 through 2018 and ensures at least 15 billion gallons for the 2020 compliance year.“Refineries should no longer be allowed to drive the RFS in the ditch, it’s time for EPA to finally take back the keys to the program.”NBB Asks EPA to Fully Account for Small Refinery WaiversToday, National Biodiesel Board (NBB) staff and members testified at the Environmental Protection Agency's public hearing on the Supplemental Notice for Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021. NBB made a case that in the final 2020 rule, EPA should account for the impacts of past small-refinery exemptions, properly address the D.C. Circuit's remand in Americans for Clean Energy, and increase advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel volume that drive growth in renewable fuel production.NBB expressed appreciation for the proposal to account for small refinery exemptions in the future but asked that EPA use the best estimate available."EPA should change how it accounts for small refinery exemptions in the final rule in order to ensure that the renewable volume obligations are achieved," said Kate Shenk, NBB Director of Regulatory Affairs. "EPA could do so by taking further steps to limit the number of exemptions it grants in the future. Or, it could base its estimate for the number of small refinery exemptions in 2020 on the number of exemptions it has actually granted in recent years."Kent Engelbrecht, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and Trade Manager, Biodiesel, at ADM, also stated, "Because this proposal provides no certainty that EPA will follow DOE's recommendations going forward, it leaves the industry skeptical that the rule will prevent the demand destruction that the industry has been experiencing since EPA increased the granting of SREs in 2016. If EPA proceeds with using an average of DOE's recommendations, rather than an average of actual waived gallons, the agency will continue to reduce the applicable volumes, creating an effective volume requirement well below what EPA is bound to ensure."NBB also highlighted parts of the overall 2020 RFS annual rule that need to be improved."The Supplemental Notice does not propose to do anything about small refinery exemptions before 2020. Yet, over 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels has been lost due to small refinery exemptions from 2016 through 2018," added David Cobb, NBB Federal Affairs Director. "This impact has been particularly significant for biomass-based diesel producers because biomass-based diesel can be used to satisfy multiple categories of fuel under the RFS."House Agriculture Committee Passes CFTC ReauthorizationThe House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 4895, legislation to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through 2025 by voice vote this morning.“The bill … helps strengthen our financial market infrastructure and makes it more resilient. It also combats fraud and promotes cooperation among regulators,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota. "But it’s even more important to me that we’ve done it in a bipartisan way that sends a strong message to the Senate. The people that look to our markets for integrity don’t care about political wins and losses. They expect us to conduct the business of this Committee.”The bipartisan legislation improves system safeguards requirements for clearinghouses, trading platforms and swap data repositories; clarifies provisions for relief in the event of a broker bankruptcy;  to strengthen the resiliency of financial market infrastructure; adds whistleblower protections for employees of organizations under CFTC jurisdiction; codifies no action letters that have been in the place making permanent relief for churches, university endowments, and other charitable organizations that use the markets to provide healthcare and retirement plans for their employees; enables further cooperation between the CFTC and international regulatory bodies; establishes an internship program to promote diversity in hiring; and authorizes the CFTC to make an honors program that will help them grow their own talent.NCBA Applauds Committee Approval of CFTC Reauthorization BillNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Manager of Legislative Affairs and Market Regulatory Policy Darryl Blakey today released the following statement in response to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee's approval of legislation reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) -- "We're pleased to see that the House Committee on Agriculture took the first step towards getting the U.S. CFTC reauthorized. The committee leadership has come together to move this legislation forward in a bipartisan fashion and having this approach has allowed all parties to be honest in their negotiations to build a constructive and sound legislative product that can equip the Commission for the markets our members face today."As a representative of true commercial end-users, NCBA has naturally been a part of this reauthorization process from the very beginning by being one of the first organizations knocking on the doors of Congress in the form of meeting with key offices and sending up a thorough letter of support and ideas for a potential CFTC reauthorization package. This included providing tools for reducing systemic risk, ensuring market integrity for end-users, and delivering regulatory consistency, while also considering the important role derivatives markets play in the ability of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to hedge their risks efficiently and effectively."Our members are pleased to see that some of our original ideas are in the product today in the form of continued protection for end-users from regulatory burdens, enhancement of the agency’s regulatory tools, and establishing coordination between the Office of the Chief Economist and the Commission to consider a cost-benefit analysis before it’s rulemakings."NCBA hopes to continue supporting this legislation as it moves forward in the House, and to working with Congress on getting the CFTC reauthorized because cattlemen and cattlewomen continue to rely on the derivatives markets to manage business risk." NCBA Statement on Beef Labeling PracticesNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President, Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, today released the following statement in response to a letter from U.S. Sens. John Thune (S.D.) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) regarding beef labeling practices:“NCBA understands that the practices alleged in the letter from Senator Rounds and Senator Thune are a concern to cattle producers and we share a commitment to clear and truthful labeling. In August, in response to a proposal brought forward by our grassroots members, NCBA formed a working group to examine the prevalence of the alleged mislabeling practices. We are in the process of gathering information related to current industry labeling practices so we can fully understand the scope of the issue as we identify solutions that work for the industry.“In general, NCBA members are opposed to requesting additional government regulation on our industry. Until we understand the scope of labeling practices currently being utilized, any rush to regulate is an irresponsible step that can create unnecessary and burdensome government mandates. NCBA is actively seeking information on beef labeling practices.“The creation of government policy or regulation is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the problem and the involvement of many stakeholders. As our industry is fully aware, any rush toward government regulation can create unintended consequences that take years to unwind.” NGFA commends House lawmakers for voting to support full use of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund  The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) this week commended House lawmakers for passing a bill that would allow for full utilization of fees collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) for maintaining U.S. harbors and ports at their authorized depths. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next decade, the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act of 2019” (H.R. 4220) would enable $34 billion deposited into the HMTF to be accessed and spent for its collected and intended purpose – namely, dredging U.S. harbors to their constructed specifications. “The fact that more than $9 billion has been collected and deposited in the HMTF, but gone unspent for its intended purpose, is a fiscal disservice to those that pay the 0.125 percent ad valorem tax on the value of cargo imports,” said the NGFA after the House vote. “H.R. 4220 will allow those dollars to be spent on much-needed dredging at the nation’s ports to help partially restore some of the United States’ comparative transportation advantage, which is essential to capturing export market opportunities that contribute to U.S. economic growth.”NGFA outlined its support of H.R. 2440, sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., in an Oct. 25 letter to the committee’s leadership. NGFA also encouraged its members to send letters to their members of Congress in support of the legislation. Chairman DeFazio referenced NGFA’s support for this legislation as it was debated on the House floor.Increased Demand for Dark Chicken Meat Creating New Opportunities Evolving U.S. demographics are shifting consumer preferences from white meat chicken to dark meat, presenting the chicken industry with an opportunity to diversify its profit centers. Advances in mechanical deboning technology have allowed U.S. chicken producers to capture the emerging demand for dark meat while addressing the ever-present labor shortage, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division. Two key and changing demographic drivers are behind the slow but steady shift in U.S. demand from white chicken meat to dark meat: age and ethnicity. Millennials are projected to surpass Baby Boomers in 2019 as the largest living adult generation in the U.S. As Baby Boomers age, their consumption of meat, including white chicken meat, is declining. Meanwhile, millennials are now hitting their stride in income, spending power and meat consumption. Their generation grew up with international dining options that often feature dark meat as the chicken ingredient of choice.Latino and Asian populations are growing in the U.S. and dark meat chicken, rather than white meat, is typically used in the cuisines of their cultures. As these populations continue to grow in the U.S., so will the demand for dark meat chicken.“The shifting consumer demand is driving a corresponding increase in the value of dark meat and the decline in white meat value,” said Will Sawyer, animal protein economist with CoBank. “Since 2000, chicken breast’s share of the value of the bird has dropped from 66% to just 45%, while the value of chicken legs has increased dark meat’s share from 12% to near 30%.”Advances in whole leg deboning technology have improved yields with half of the labor required of hand deboning. In the face of increasing labor costs and decreasing availability of labor, mechanical alternatives are now financially viable. Chicken processing costs grew approximately 15% in the last decade and continue to grow, largely driven by labor costs that typically account for half the total processing cost. As a result, Sawyer said adoption of this new technology is likely to expand further. “These trends are helping dark meat grow as an additional profit center for U.S. producers,” said Sawyer.  “A more diversified profit pool including both white and dark meat will help the U.S. chicken industry weather volatility in feed costs, consumer demand and trade.” The full report, “Evolving U.S. Demographics Give Chicken a New Leg to Stand On,” is available at cobank.com.NMPF Eager to Work With Congress as House Agriculture Guest Worker Bill IntroducedThe National Milk Producers Federation today announced its support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a bipartisan immigration bill that advances agriculture immigration reform sponsored by Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA).The legislation would provide legal status to current agricultural workers and their families and reform the H2A guest-worker visa program to permit year-round agriculture to participate, a crucial need for dairy. The efforts of Chairman Lofgren and Representative Newhouse, both longtime champions for agricultural labor reform, are greatly appreciated by dairy farmers, who cannot wait any longer for action.“America’s dairy farmers are eager to advance and improve this legislation as it moves through the Congress,” said Mike McCloskey, a dairy farmer and chairman of NMPF’s Immigration Taskforce. “As producers of a year-round product, dairy farmers face a unique labor crisis because our jobs are not seasonal or temporary. From our years of work on these issues, we know first-hand just how hard immigration reform is. But we simply cannot and will not stop working to find a solution. Dairy needs workers for our industry to sustain itself. It’s that simple, and it’s that dire.”Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), thanked the lawmakers for putting forward this essential step for agriculture labor reform, saying the bill is a critical first step in the legislative process.“We have supported numerous efforts to address dairy’s acute labor needs. Passing legislation in the House is a critical step in the process. We urge the Senate to work with us on this important issue so we can get an ag worker bill across the finish line in this Congress,” Mulhern said. “The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act provides an important starting point for badly needed improvements to agriculture immigration policy. NMPF would like to thank Chairwoman Lofgren and Congressman Newhouse for their bipartisan leadership, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as this important legislation moves forward.”As the voice of America’s dairy farmers in Washington and a member of the Agriculture Workforce Coalition’s Steering Committee, NMPF has been an active in agriculture labor reform for decades.Farm Worker Modernization Act an Important Step Towards a Stable and Fair Agricultural WorkforceU.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and several other House members today introduced a bipartisan bill to reform the agricultural labor system in the United States. The Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which is the product of negotiations between a diverse array of agricultural stakeholders and farmworker advocates, includes provisions to both ensure a legal and stable workforce for family farmers and ranchers as well as protect the health and safety of farmworkers.At National Farmers Union’s (NFU) 117th Anniversary Convention in March, delegates approved a special order of business calling on Congress to “stabilize the current agricultural workforce” through a “flexible, efficient, and compassionate agricultural worker visa program.” Because the proposed bill would achieve both goals, NFU Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew applauded its introduction and urged Congress to approve it.“Many family farmers and ranchers rely on hired farmworkers to help with planting, harvest, milking cows, and other essential tasks. But across the country, it has become exceedingly difficult to find legal, qualified workers. Without a workforce, farmers aren’t able to complete day-to-day work, forcing some to simply leave unharvested crops to rot in the field. This threatens both the viability of American farms as well as consumers’ access to affordable, domestically produced food.“But we don’t just need a legal and adequate workforce – we need one that is fair. A large number of farmworkers are immigrants, a population that has historically been underserved and overlooked. These hardworking individuals who help us put food on our tables deserve greater protections and a pathway to citizenship.“National Farmers Union supports this bipartisan effort to address the needs of both farmers and workers, and we urge its swift passage in the House of Representatives.”Commodity Classic Educational Sessions Focus on Clarity During Uncertain TimesAs farmers look to improve their profitability in an unpredictable agricultural environment, the educational sessions at the 2020 Commodity Classic are designed to provide farmers with the clarity and insight they need to make better-informed decisions that can have a powerful impact on their bottom line.The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s theme is “See Your Future Clearly.”More than 40 educational sessions are on the schedule in San Antonio. They will cover a wide range of important topics including soil health, grain marketing, farm policy, farm succession planning, nutrient stewardship, weather trends, mental health, fertility programs, rural broadband access, on-road ag equipment regulations, ag technology, international trade, African Swine Fever and more.“Every educational session is selected by the Commodity Classic Farmer Committee to ensure the content and the presenters provide high-quality, relevant content that matters to today’s growers,” said Bill Wykes, a farmer from Illinois and co-chair of the 2020 Commodity Classic. “Farmers have been dealing with a lack of clarity over recent months and they need resources to help them refocus their efforts and see beyond the end of the tractor. There is no better place to do that than Commodity Classic.”Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience. Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.Registration and housing for the 2020 Commodity Classic opens Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 10:00 a.m. Central at CommodityClassic.com. Early bird discounts on registration end January 9, 2020.A complete schedule of events is updated continually on the website as well.Commodity Classic is presented annually by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.  For information, visit CommodityClassic.com.NCBA Supports Effort to Combat Antimicrobial ResistanceThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) believes that responsible use of antimicrobial drugs will aid in preserving the future effectiveness of antimicrobial agents against common pathogens in both human and animal species.In 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) set forward a challenge to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR Challenge). Since its launch, the AMR Challenge has been one of the most ambitious global initiatives to combat antibiotic resistance, garnering broad support and engagement from across sectors, states and countries. In response to the CDC’s AMR Challenge, NCBA worked to increase participation in the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. By increasing BQA certification numbers, NCBA seeks to ensure beef producers are responsible and judicious in their use of antimicrobial products through every segment of the industry.Year-to-date, the number of beef producers who have completed certification exceeds 318,000 producers, an increase of more than 73 percent over last year’s number. Today, 85 percent of beef in the United States comes from cattle which have been produced by BQA-certified cattlemen and women. In all, a total of 318,415 producers have completed a BQA training program. NCBA is proud of the efforts of our beef producing community to take steps necessary to improve and protect our beef supply. The motto of BQA outreach is “The Right Way is the Only Way,” and we stand behind that principle and the industry’s work to supply consumers with the safest, highest quality beef possible.  USDA, EPA, and FDA Announce Partnership with the Food Waste Reduction AllianceToday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the latest effort in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative launched by the three federal agencies in 2018.Through this Memo of Understanding (PDF, 938 KB), USDA, EPA, and FDA will formalize industry education and outreach efforts with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the National Restaurant Association, the three founding partners of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA). The FWRA represents three major sectors of the supply chain: food manufacturing, retail, and restaurant and food service. The Alliance pursues three goals: reducing the amount of food waste generated; increasing the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need; and diverting food waste from landfills.“USDA shares many common goals with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, including our belief in the power of teamwork,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We are proud to join this public-private partnership to prompt action throughout the food system.”“EPA is proud to build upon the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative through this partnership with leaders of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Reducing food loss and waste has many environmental and social benefits. By collaborating with these major segments of the food supply chain, we are making progress toward the national goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.”“The FDA strongly supports our shared goal of reducing the amount of food that Americans waste through important efforts like today’s agreement,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “The issues of food waste and food safety go hand in hand and we will continue to work with our federal partners and other stakeholders on enhancing our efforts to reduce food waste and do it safely. We are committed to doing all that we can to support safe and sound food policy decisions that are good for our families, good for our communities, and good for our planet.”Federal officials shared the news today at the 2019 Food Waste Summit, hosted by ReFED, a nonprofit that uses a data-driven approach to combat food loss and waste. At the event, federal officials also recognized the growing cadre of U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions, a group of corporations and organizations that have made a public commitment to reduce food loss and waste in their U.S. operations by 50 percent by the year 2030.In the U.S., more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Food is the single largest type of waste in our daily trash. In recent years, great strides have been made to highlight and mitigate food loss and waste, but the work has just begun. When food is tossed aside, so too are opportunities for economic growth, healthier communities, and environmental protection – but that can change through partnership, leadership, and action.The Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative is a collaborative effort (PDF, 579 KB) among USDA, EPA, and FDA to reduce food loss and waste through combined and agency-specific action. Individually and collectively, these agencies contribute to the initiative, encourage long-term reductions, and work toward the goal of reducing food loss and waste in the United States. These actions include research, community investments, education and outreach, voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, tool development, technical assistance, event participation, and policy discussion. BASF and NRGene collaborate to accelerate crop breedingBASF and NRGene today announced a research collaboration that includes the adoption of NRGene’s cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology into BASF soybean research projects. The GenoMAGIC™ technology will allow for more comprehensive evaluations to accelerate trait discovery and breeding across diverse crops. “This collaboration will explore the power of digitalization to improve and accelerate agricultural research, and aligns with our soybean crop system strategy,” said Rick Turner, Senior Vice President Seeds & Traits in BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division. “BASF and NRGene are both focused on developing and delivering technologies to support farmers to grow better harvests, protect their crops and deliver more to society in the face of mounting environmental challenges.” NRGene’s advanced multi-purpose breeding platform is a cloud-based solution for managing the full genomic diversity of species. It can analyze unlimited volumes of genomic data, enabling scientists and breeders to easily relate genomic sequences with beneficial traits, making genomic selection and trait mapping much more productive. Data use is accelerated, making breeding both faster and more cost effective. “BASF remains committed to providing farmers with the most productive seeds and deploying best-in-class technologies to help unlock their genetic potential,” said Rene van Schaik, Head of Seeds Technologies & Analytics at BASF. “Our focus on data allows us to make better breeding decisions than ever before, and with GenoMAGIC, we expect to provide our research teams with a more comprehensive view to improve their analyses and decisions.”“We are excited to commence this journey with BASF in soybean,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, NRGene’s CEO. “Over the years, we have accumulated a vast amount of data as well as specific competences in soy, which will add value in the collaboration with BASF to make their breeding more productive and efficient.”



Good to be a Pig FarmeBy Al Juhnke, NPPA Executive DirectorAs another October “Pork Month” ends, some observations about Nebraska’s pig farmers are in order. We often get caught up in the challenges our state’s agriculture community faces and fail to look at the positives. Let’s take a moment to examine the plus side of the ledger.      The Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) has been around since 1961. The organization is alive and healthy. They have a great group of directors and officers leading the way. The board is diverse in production size representation, age of its members, and in gender. The guidance and vision they provide keeps our grower’s Pork Checkoff dollars working for the benefit of all. NPPA is fortunate to have such a good group in place for the benefit of its members.       The staff at the NPPA office in Lincoln are a truly dedicated group of people. They come to work every day focused on their mission of serving Nebraska’s pork industry. They take their roles in the organization seriously and understand they are making a difference. Also know that this team enjoys what they do. And if you like what you are doing, it isn’t really a job at all, is it?       Finally, let’s look at the most important group of people involved with the pork industry, the farmers and families that raise our animals. Because of their efforts, Nebraska has more pigs in our barns since the mid-1980’s. The diversification of our farms with the addition of livestock facilities is adding value to our locally grown crops and income to the farm family’s bottom line.       Our farmers are producing a sustainable, safe, and healthy food product to not only help supply our dinner tables here at home, but also ship over twenty-five percent of what they grow to other countries helping feed the world. They take great satisfaction in what they do and the role they play in the food chain.       These farmers are our neighbors, our friends, and an integral part of our rural communities. They are good stewards of the land and care deeply about what they do. The positive economic impact to our local areas and the state by our pork producers cannot be understated. The taxes they pay helps take care of our roads, fund our schools, and support law enforcement and fire departments. Our farmers and their workers are proud to be part of our communities and would choose to live no other place.      Overall, we would say it is a pretty good time to be a pig farmer in Nebraska. The positives far outweigh any negatives that may come along. Our farmers want everyone to know that like the generations that came before them, they love what they do and are going to be around doing it for a long time to come.Grazing Cornstalks- Do you have a rental agreement?Larry Howard, NE Extension Educator, Cuming CountyHaving a written agreement can help reduce miscommunication and frustration down the road.  This ensures a better understanding by both parties and serves as a reminder of the terms originally agreed upon.  It increases the likelihood that the relationship will continue in future years. When it comes to rental agreements for grazing corn residue, a number of questions need to be asked and answered up front to avoid disagreements later. UNL Dept. of Agricultural Economics staff have shared the following information.1. What is the latest start date that residue will be available for grazing? • Have a written start date with an agreed upon penalty if the corn is harvested late.• Having this agreement in writing can keep both parties feeling okay about the outcome if weather or equipment issues delay harvest and availability of the residue.2. What is the latest end date for removing cattle? • A common frustration that corn farmers voice when renting out corn residue for grazing is that the cattle are not removed in a timely fashion. • Have a written removal date with an agreed upon penalty if cattle remain longer can keep both parties feeling okay about the outcome even if an unexpected event (such as a snow storm) keeps cattle on the land longer than planned. • Who is responsible for gathering and removal of the cattle?3. How will the appropriate stocking rate be determined and how will grazing be priced? • Using the corn stalk grazing calculator (http://go.unl.edu/wgm9) to determine stocking rates is a good way to ensure proper stocking rates are utilized. It is important to utilize proper stocking rates to ensure cattle have access to adequate amounts of leaf and husk and that performance is maintained.• Get your pricing right- by the acre OR by the head.-Priced on a per acre basis. This type of arrangement is simple to administer but can have negative consequences if the start date, end date, stocking rate and adverse weather policy is not specifically spelled out. Without these items being outlined the crop producer can be exposed to the risk of over grazing and the cattle owner could be exposed to the risk of paying for something he/she can’t use if adverse weather prevents grazing.-Priced on a per head per day or AUM basis. With this method the cattle owner only pays for actual use. Again the start date, end date, and stocking rate need to be laid out. The duration of grazing is important for the cattle producer when calculating transportation costs into the cost of feeding the cow. The crop producer is accepting the financial risk that the grazing resource may not produce the income they anticipated if the cattle are removed early.-The plan for heavy snow or ice needs to be included in the pricing agreement, including the emergency feed source and who is responsible for providing it.-The payment schedule and method should also be agreed upon.4. Other things that should be outlined include: • Is there a fence present? If not who is responsible for building the fence? Who is responsible for maintaining fences? • Is there a reliable water source for the cattle? Who is responsible for providing water and maintaining water during grazing (including breaking ice)? • Who is responsible for the daily care of the cattle? Inventory counts? Providing minerals and salt? Monitoring animal health? How will treating sick cattle be handled? Will the cattle be commingled with other cattle?• Who is liable for the cattle getting out? Who is responsible for gathering the cattle if they get out?• Is the cattle owner required to carry liability insurance for potential damage caused by the cattle? What, if any, indemnification responsibilities does the cattle owner have to the crop farmer for damage caused by the cattle?This information is intended to provide a list of questions and issues to consider in drafting a lease agreement for grazing corn residue. Obtaining legal advice from a licensed attorney is encouraged in developing the actual agreement.Aggies earn American FFA DegreesThirteen freshmen and sophomore students attending the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis will receive the highest honor in FFA this week.American FFA Degrees will be awarded Saturday at 92nd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.The Aggie students who are studying agriculture education, animal science, diversified agriculture, agronomy, or veterinary technology at NCTA were active in their high school FFA chapters.“We are very proud of the leadership and career paths these students have continued into their college programs here at NCTA in Curtis,” said Douglas Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of animal science and agricultural education.The American Degree represents an FFA member’s commitment throughout their FFA career in their Supervised Agricultural Experiences, along with leadership and community involvement.The students, majors, FFA chapters are:·         Ethan Aschenbrenner, Scottsbluff FFA, agronomy·         Tyler Aschenbrenner, Scottsbluff FFA, diversified agriculture·         Colton Bell, York FFA, agronomy·         Camryn Evans of DeWitt, Wilber-Clatonia FFA, vet technology·         Audrey Heinz, Eaton, Colo., Eaton FFA, ag education·         Emily Kammerer, Sutherland FFA, animal science·         Jocelyn Kennicutt, Gothenburg FFA, animal science·         John Lauer, Gothenburg FFA, animal science·         Kayla Mues, Cambridge FFA, ag education·         Nina Parry of Genoa, Twin River FFA, vet technology·         Brittany Pellatz, Plainview FFA, vet technology·         Aurora Urwiler of Laurel, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge FFA, ag education·         Camden Wilke of Columbus, Lakeview FFA, animal scienceMost of these students will be attending with their FFA chapters or family members to accept their degree although a representative can accept it on their behalf, said Smith, who also serves at the faculty advisor for the NCTA Collegiate FFA Chapter.NCTA is one of few remaining colleges in the U.S. focusing solely on agriculture production, agribusiness, agricultural mechanics and veterinary technology programs. See ncta.unl.edu for details.Pro-Ag Seminars to Examine Market Outlook, Trade Impacts, Financial Status of Iowa AgricultureBefore harvest comes to a close, producers, ag lenders and suppliers are already planning ahead for next year. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach economists will offer valuable insight on key factors impacting 2020 operating decisions at 13 Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars to be held across the state in November and December.Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, as well as farmland operating margins, outlook and trends.The focus of the program is to provide agribusiness leaders a concise evaluation of current market conditions, expected trends in crop and livestock income potential and management implications. Participants also will gain insight on implications of trade agreements on Iowa producers, and the critical role of land values and interest rates in the stabilization of the agricultural sector.Speakers will vary by location but will include ISU Extension and Outreach state specialists Chad Hart, associate professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist; Alejandro Plastina, assistant professor and extension economist; Lee Schulz, assistant professor and livestock economist; and Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist. ISU Extension and Outreach field specialists will also be present at the meetings.The program takes an in-depth look into the outlook for agriculture in 2020 and provides an opportunity to discuss the current Iowa economic situation with university experts.Locations and dates    Waterloo - Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 9 a.m., Hawkeye College, Tama Hall, Room 201, 319-234-6811.    Sioux City - Monday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., Woodbury County Extension Office, 712-276-2157.    Spirit Lake - Monday, Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m., Dickinson County Extension Office, 712-336-3488.    Fort Dodge* - Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m., Webster County Extension Office, 515-576-2119.    Carroll* - Thursday, Nov. 14 at 9:30 a.m., Carroll County Extension Office, 712-792-2364.    Altoona* - Friday, Nov. 15 at 9 a.m., Polk County Extension Office, 515-957-5760.    Mason City - Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 1 p.m., Muse-Norris Conference Center, NIACC Campus, 641-423-0844.    Cresco - Friday, Nov. 22 at 9 a.m., Featherlite Center, Howard County Fairgrounds, 563-547-3001.    Greenfield - Monday, Nov. 25, 1 p.m., Warren Cultural Center Auditorium, 641-743-8412.    Shenandoah - Monday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m., Shenandoah Bricker Meeting Room, 712-542-5171.    Iowa City* - Friday, Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m., Johnson County Extension Office, 319-337-2145.    Mt. Pleasant* - Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 a.m., Henry County Extension Office, 319-385-8126.    Bloomfield* - Friday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m., Pioneer Ridge Nature Area, 641-673-5841.*Meal included; Altoona location includes lunch and Farm Income Tax webinar in the afternoon.The sessions are open to the public, however, pre-registration is requested two days prior to the date of the event. Speakers, registration fees and provided meals vary by location. For locations, times and program information, contact the farm management field specialist in your area or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/proag.html. Apply by Nov. 1 to Serve on the National Pork BoardThe Pork Checkoff's board of directors is accepting applications through Nov. 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an application."Serving on the National Pork Board is a great opportunity for producers to support the pork industry while helping to plan for a successful future," said Alcester, South Dakota, producer Steve Rommereim, who is the past National Pork Board president and chair of the Nominating Committee. "Not only have I been able to serve producers, I also have learned from so many in our pork industry."During the National Pork Industry Forum, Pork Act Delegates must rank a minimum of 10 candidates to send to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for approval. The board consists of 15 members, each serving a maximum of two three-year terms. The Pork Act requires that no fewer than 12 states be represented.The 15 positions on the Checkoff board are held by pork producers or importers who volunteer their time. Any pork producer or importer who has paid all Checkoff assessments due or is a representative of a producer or company that produces hogs and/or pigs is eligible to serve.The application deadline is Nov. 1, with interviews for each candidate held in Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 10 and 11.Siouxland Energy Testifies at House Hearing on EPA Demand DestructionGrowth Energy member and Siouxland Energy Cooperative President Kelly Nieuwenhuis testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change during a hearing entitled, "Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers." Nieuwenhuis, who also is farmer near Primghar, Iowa, discussed the devastating impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) demand destruction on his biofuel plant and the surrounding community.“Plain and simple: EPA’s abuse of small refinery exemptions under the RFS is crippling rural America,” said Nieuwenhuis in his testimony to lawmakers.“Because of EPA’s actions to help the oil industry’s bottom line at the expense of farmers and biofuel producers, we had to make a hard decision – to idle our plant and shut off a key market for hundreds of local farmers, including myself,” added Nieuwenhuis. “The morning we announced we were idling our plant, I was tasked with delivering the bad news to our 40 employees. The team sat quietly, wondering about their future in the event we would have to permanently close our facility. This was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do.”“The economic crisis created by the EPA’s abuse of SREs started 3 years ago. At first, we couldn’t put a finger on what it was, but the fundamentals in our market seemed off.  It was only after the press started reporting the rapid escalation of SREs being granted behind closed doors at the EPA that we began to understand what was happening to our business.”Nieuwenhuis also gave his support for the legislation being considered by the subcommittee, H.R. 3006, the RFS Integrity Act of 2019.“The regulatory attempts by the EPA give us little confidence that we will see the relief we need,” said Nieuwenhuis. “That’s why the agricultural and biofuels industries strongly support H.R. 3006, the RFS Integrity Act, sponsored by Representatives Collin Peterson and Dusty Johnson. This bill would address the EPA’s dismal record on SRE transparency. We have no idea of the specifics used by DOE or EPA in making SRE decisions, and this bill takes care of these basic transparency concerns by setting a reasonable deadline for SRE applications, and giving the public greater insight into this murky process.”Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, who will testify Wednesday at the EPA’s public hearing on the new proposal, applauded Nieuwenhuis for sharing his story with lawmakers.“Dozens of biofuel plants, just like Siouxland Energy, have been forced to idle production or close their doors in the past year due to the EPA’s abuse of refinery exemptions,” said Skor. “We need the real fix President Trump promised – not another round of regulatory games. The EPA plan must incorporate a projection of actual exempted gallons, not simply apply out-of-date recommendations. This may be our last chance to restore rural jobs and ease the burden facing American farmers.”RFA: Refinery Waivers Undermine Renewable Fuels, Rural Economy and Government TransparencyThe massive increase in small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard has eroded demand for ethanol and forced numerous plants to idle or shut down, according to testimony today by Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change. Cooper laid out numerous challenges facing the industry as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s abuse of the SRE program. “EPA’s secretive and underhanded approach to the SRE provision in recent years has destabilized the RFS, reduced the production and use of clean renewable biofuels, increased GHG emissions and tailpipe pollution, and led to lost jobs and economic opportunity in rural America,” Cooper stated in his testimony.Cooper also stressed the enormous value of ethanol plants to their local rural communities and detailed the harsh effects that closing a plant can have on small towns already facing other economic challenges.“Ethanol plants serve as vital economic engines for rural communities across the country, providing good jobs, creating value-added investment opportunities for farmers and other rural Americans, and developing new markets for crops produced by local growers,” Cooper said. “We estimate that the ethanol demand loss associated with SREs has led to the layoff or furlough of more than 700 workers in the ethanol industry since the spring of 2018. In addition, more than 2,800 full-time jobs in related industries and sectors have also been affected.”A recent supplemental proposal by EPA—meant to implement the relief package promised by President Trump in August—does little to allay concerns in farm country, Cooper said. EPA’s supplemental proposal has only led to more confusion and will not likely raise domestic conventional renewable fuels blending to the required volume of 15 billion gallons.“The EPA incomprehensibly proposed to base its estimates of the gasoline and diesel that would be exempted in 2020 on the historical recommendations for exempted volumes it received from the Department of Energy, rather than the actual exemptions it granted,” Cooper said. “The irony of this proposal is that EPA has never followed DOE’s recommendations in deciding SRE petitions.”For the 2016-2018 compliance years, he noted, DOE on average recommended that 7.3 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel be exempted from RFS obligations, but EPA actually exempted an average of 12.8 billion gallons–75% more. “In short, the supplemental proposal fails to provide the necessary assurances that the statutorily required volume of 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel will actually be enforced in full in 2020 and beyond.”Cooper ended his testimony stating RFA’s support for legislation introduced in the House of Representatives that would help reform the SRE program. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) together with Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and a bipartisan group of original co-sponsors have introduced H.R. 3006, the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019, which would bring badly needed transparency to the SRE process and provide renewable fuel producers and other stakeholders with greater certainty surrounding implementation of the RFS.Oil Refinery Exemptions Cause a Crisis for the Biodiesel IndustryToday, World Energy Founder and CEO Gene Gebolys testified on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) at a hearing on "Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration's Abuse of Secret Waivers" before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. Gebolys told lawmakers that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many options to make up for the demand destruction from past Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and prevent harm going forward. Small refinery exemptions have destroyed demand for hundreds of millions of gallons of biomass-based diesel. Nine biodiesel plants across the country have closed or cut production as a result, impacting hundreds of employees and thousands of jobs across the economy."When EPA finalizes its 2020 renewable fuel obligations rule by the end of this year, it must fully account for small refinery exemptions, or industry contraction and job losses will continue throughout the biofuels and broader agricultural economy," Gebolys wrote in submitted testimony. "Moreover, the agency must recognize and support the biodiesel industry's ability to grow under the RFS in 2020 and beyond, as Congress intended."Gebolys is the founder and CEO of World Energy, which owns and operates five biodiesel plants and a renewable diesel refinery -- with total production capacity of over 200 million gallons -- and distribution hubs throughout the United States and Canada.Gebolys testified that EPA could employ several different methods to properly account for small refinery exemptions in annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules."EPA should also move to prospectively grant or deny all small-refinery exemptions for a calendar year before issuing the final RVO rule for that year," he wrote in formal testimony. "This practice would allow all actual exemptions to be accounted for in EPA's existing formula for calculating percentage standards and would enhance transparency for all market participants. EPA can and should require refiners to apply for exemptions with sufficient time to allow EPA to reach a decision by the November 30 statutory deadline each year."NBB and its members support H.R. 3006, which would direct EPA to set an annual deadline for hardship petitions, as well as other legislative efforts to direct EPA to properly account for small refinery exemptions.ACE shares technical ethanol information with prospective retailers in developing ethanol market just south of the borderLast week, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President Ron Lamberty returned to Mexico to speak at the first technical ethanol information forum to be held in Juárez, Mexico, near El Paso, Texas. These forums are a joint effort of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Mexican Association of Service Station Suppliers (AMPES) to inform Mexican petroleum marketers about opportunities in sourcing, marketing, and retailing ethanol-blended gasoline. Lamberty attended four other workshops this year, including one in Tijuana, another border city minutes from San Diego’s fuel terminal. Juárez marks Lamberty’s twelfth USGC/AMPES workshop.“Like Tijuana, Juárez is one of the top destinations for U.S. ethanol in the short-run because El Paso and Juárez are basically one large metropolitan area, divided into two different countries by the Rio Grande,” Lamberty said. “El Paso has a two-billion-gallon refinery and Kinder-Morgan and Magellan fuel terminals already supply stations in Juárez and other cities in the state of Chihuahua. Ethanol is already in those terminals, and some E10 has already been purchased and delivered to stations in the area.”In August, Lamberty moderated a panel with USGC’s team in Mexico, and he joined a panel at the Argus Mexico Fuel Markets Summit in Mexico City to discuss the role the U.S. can play in Mexico’s fuel market. As the Mexican government deregulates the petroleum market, retailers are expressing interest in incorporating ethanol blends. Now even Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil company, has indicated it may be interested in blending ethanol with gasoline.“Last month, Pemex’s proposed budget for 2020 included $50 million toward reconfiguring terminals to handle ethanol,” Lamberty said. “The original project, which Pemex stopped in 2008, called for 5.8 percent ethanol in Magna (regular) gasoline, and if the same timeline is used, Pemex could be buying 50 million gallons of ethanol a month sometime late next year. Although nothing is certain, this is encouraging news and the USGC team in Mexico is doing a great job helping Mexican “gasolineros” understand adding ethanol is a way for them to make more money while offering customers a cleaner, higher octane fuel at a lower price.”Lamberty said it’s likely some of Pemex’s large customers are pressing them on ethanol. “When ACE, IRFA and USGC brought some key Mexican fuel marketers to Iowa to give them an up-close look at how easily ethanol can be incorporated into the fuel supply, they wanted to go back and find a way to add ethanol to their fuel slate,” Lamberty said. “Most of those companies buy their fuel from Pemex and Pemex still supplies probably 90 percent of the stations in the country. But, they’re not the only game in town anymore. If their customers ask for ethanol, Pemex will have to find a way to get it to them, and there are plenty of people who can help them add ethanol to Mexico’s gasoline.”  USDA Establishes Domestic Hemp Production ProgramU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. This program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States.“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”Background:Later this week, an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register that will allow hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs. The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements. It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Following publication, USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. A preview of the rule is posted on USDA’s website.USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.More information about the provisions of the interim final rule is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program web page on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website.Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit farmers.gov/hemp. Hemp Industry Progresses Thanks to USDA RuleThe Agriculture Department’s hemp program announced Tuesday allows the sector to move forward, according to the American Farm Bureau. Scott Bennett, congressional relations director at AFBF, explained in Newsline that the interim final rule creates much-needed standards for production, testing and licensing.“This is the long-awaited interpretation from USDA of what Congress passed in the 2018 farm bill as it relates to the legalization of hemp,” Bennett said. “This interim final rule provides clarity to producers on everything from crop insurance, THC testing methods, crop destruction protocols, to interstate commerce.”Hemp producers should review the rule and provide feedback to USDA. The public can provide comment through the Federal Register for a period of 60 days beginning Oct. 31.Iowa’s Hemp Program is Under DevelopmentIowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following response to the USDA’s proposed hemp program rules, which were released today.“We look forward to reviewing the proposed hemp program rules provided by the USDA,” said Secretary Naig. “We will use this information to refine Iowa’s draft hemp plan before we submit it to USDA for approval. USDA will have 60 days to review and respond to our plan. We are working hard to have Iowa’s hemp program implemented in time for the 2020 growing season.”The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is also drafting administrative rules that will be released for public comment in the coming weeks.“In the meantime, we want to caution people that it is not legal to cultivate, grow or distribute hemp in Iowa until the USDA approves our state plan,” said Naig. “We also encourage growers to make sure they have quality seed and a buyer identified before they invest in hemp production.”The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will continue to post updates about its hemp program to iowaagriculture.gov/hemp.  Bipartisan Lawmakers Agree It’s Time to Pass USMCACongressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) last weekend led a U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group Meeting in which bipartisan lawmakers discussed the importance of passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Reps. Cuellar and McCaul both emphasized how the American economy relies on trade with Mexico and highlighted the need to ensure our trade agreements reflect the modern 21st century economy. Rep. Cuellar: “Mexico is a critical partner to the United States and is crucial to our own prosperity. They are not only our economic partner, they are our neighbor and friend. It has been 25 years since we ratified NAFTA, and now it is our time to update this trade agreement to reflect our 21st-century economy… I will continue to work across the aisle to pass the USMCA to improve our relationship with Mexico and strengthen our economy for the American people…”Rep. McCaul: “…We had in-depth discussions on the mutual benefits of the USMCA including job growth and protections of intellectual property, and I am hopeful that the House will pass this critical agreement soon.”The bipartisan call for passage of the agreement follows a call by Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA-03), who publicized her support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) in a speech delivered on the House floor last week. Rep. Axne urged her colleagues to continue working with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to “find agreement on the USMCA soon.” She also emphasized the importance of agriculture to Iowa’s economy and the benefits of USMCA to Iowa farmers. Rep. Axne:“I visit each of the 16 counties in my district every month, whether its touring manufacturers, visiting with farmers, or stopping into small businesses. Everywhere I go the message is loud and clear: uncertainty is hurting our bottom line. Agriculture is the backbone of Iowa’s economy; 1 out of every 5 dollars in Iowa is produced from agriculture. Supporting our farmers is neither a partisan nor political issue – it’s simply the right thing to do.”…“Between devastating weather events, ongoing trade wars, and the EPA’s unprecedented abuse of biofuel waivers – our farmers have been put through enough.”… “They are asking for our help as elected representatives. We must answer their call and get this deal done right and without unnecessary delay. I thank my colleagues for the work that they have done and urge them to expedite negotiations and finalize this agreement soon to make sure we can make lives whole for the people suffering in the state of Iowa and across this country.” AGCO Reports Third Quarter ResultsAGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE: AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment and solutions, reported net sales of approximately $2.1 billion for the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of approximately 4.8% compared to the third quarter of 2018. Reported net income was $0.10 per share for the third quarter of 2019 and adjusted net income, excluding a non-cash deferred income tax adjustment and restructuring expenses, was $0.82 per share. These results compare to a reported net income of $0.89 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses, of $0.91 per share for the third quarter of 2018. Excluding unfavorable currency translation impacts of approximately 3.1%, net sales in the third quarter of 2019 decreased approximately 1.7% compared to the third quarter of 2018. During the third quarter of 2019, AGCO recorded a non-cash adjustment to establish a valuation allowance against its Brazilian net deferred income tax assets of approximately $53.7 million, or $0.70 per share. The adjustment does not affect the Company’s ability to utilize the deferred income tax assets with future taxable income in Brazil.Net sales for the first nine months of 2019 were approximately $6.5 billion, a decrease of approximately 3.4% compared to the same period in 2018. Excluding unfavorable currency translation impacts of approximately 4.8%, net sales during the first nine months of 2019 increased approximately 1.4% compared to the same period in 2018. For the first nine months of 2019, reported net income was $2.77 per share and adjusted net income, excluding a non-cash deferred income tax adjustment and restructuring expenses, was $3.50 per share. These results compare to reported net income of $2.33 per share and adjusted net income, excluding restructuring expenses and costs associated with an early retirement of debt, of $2.58 per share for the first nine months of 2018.Third Quarter Highlights    Reported regional sales results(1): North America (1.7)%, Europe/Middle East (“EME”) (1.6)%, South America (14.8)%, Asia/Pacific/Africa (“APA”) (15.9)%    Constant currency regional sales results(1)(2): North America (1.4)%, EME 3.2%, South America (14.4)%, APA (12.2)%    Regional operating margin performance: North America 6.1%, EME 10.6%, South America (2.3)%, APA 6.1%    Full-year outlook for net income per share maintained    Repurchases reduced outstanding shares by approximately 1.3 million in the first nine months of 2019“AGCO achieved solid third quarter results considering a challenging environment of weakening industry conditions and negative currency impacts,” stated Martin Richenhagen, AGCO’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our continued focus on margins supported our third quarter performance, where we experienced sales declines. Price increases as well as cost control initiatives and productivity improvement efforts allowed us to offset the impact of lower sales and production volumes in the third quarter. We are also making significant progress on our growth initiatives through the development and global expansion of our smart-farming and high technology product lineup. While the current market environment is uncertain, the long-term outlook for our industry and for AGCO remains positive with our focus on both operational efficiency and innovative solutions that support productivity on the farm.”Iowa Farm Bureau’s Health Benefit Cuts Costs Nearly in HalfSpurred by members’ deep concerns about rising health care prices, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation in 2018 launched the Farm Bureau Health Plan, helping farmers and others in the state cut their premium costs by as much as 50%.IFBF worked with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a longtime partner of the group’s, to create a health benefit “that would not be subject to Affordable Care Act requirements, would be less expensive than ACA plans and would not cost taxpayers a dime,” according to IFBF’s Executive Director Joe Johnson.“We wanted to provide our members with another option. We knew from the start the plan wouldn’t be for everyone, but we thought it would be an option for those Iowans who do not qualify for ACA subsidies,” Johnson explained.The Farm Bureau Health Plan is available to Iowa Farm Bureau members living in the state who are not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or an employer group health plan. Participants in the Farm Bureau Health Plan have three options: two traditional plans with copays, coinsurance and deductibles and a high-deductible plan that offers members the opportunity to fund a health savings account.All three plans provide free preventative care, affordable copays for primary care physicians and specialists, ER coverage, prescription drug coverage at 65,000 pharmacies and coverage for all Iowa hospitals and 97% of Iowa physicians.The plans are similar to ACA-compliant plans available in Iowa except that applicants must pass underwriting to qualify for enrollment and they have a $3 million lifetime benefit maximum per covered individual. Also, because the plans are underwritten, they are available for purchase throughout the year, rather than only during limited enrollment periods.IFB worked with the state Legislature to pass legislation allowing the organization to provide an underwritten health benefit plan to its members. The measure was signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in April 2018.“This was a very heavy lift. The plan was not considered to be ‘insurance,’ so it would not be subject to Affordable Care Act regulations,” Johnson explained, emphasizing that IFBF’s members were very active in calling on lawmakers to approve the bill, which they did by a considerable margin.

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION For the week ending October 27, 2019, there were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 14 short, 83 adequate, and 2 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 10 short, 86 adequate, and 4 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 20 fair, 56 good, and 16 excellent. Corn mature was 97 percent, near 100 last year and 99 for the five-year average. Harvested was 44 percent, near 45 last year, and behind 50 average. Soybeans harvested was 85 percent, ahead of 71 last year, and near 84 average. Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 8 poor, 28 fair, 48 good, and 13 excellent. Winter wheat emerged was 92 percent, near 88 last year and 91 average. Sorghum condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 62 good, and 11 excellent. Sorghum harvested was 41 percent, behind 57 both last year and average. Dry edible beans harvested was 93 percent. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 19 fair, 63 good, and 14 excellent. IOWA CROP PROGRESS & CONDITION REPORTHarvest progressed across Iowa as farmers had 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 27, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included harvesting soybeans and corn for grain, spreading manure, applying anhydrous and baling corn stalks. Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Ninety-five percent of the corn crop has reached maturity, nearly 2 weeks behind average. Twenty-six percent of the crop has been harvested for grain, 8 days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Moisture content of field corn being harvested for grain was at 21 percent. Corn condition rated 67 percent good to excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop has begun dropping leaves or beyond, 10 days behind average. Sixty-six percent of the crop has been harvested, equal to last year but 6 days behind average. Most of the State’s pasture regrowth has gone dormant with cooler temperatures this past week. Pasture condition rated 48 percent good to excellent. Mud continues to be an issue in feedlots and some livestock have struggled with temperature fluctuations. USDA Weekly Crop Progress ReportThe U.S. row-crop harvest remains the slowest it's been in a decade, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.Nationwide, corn harvest progressed 11 percentage points last week to reach 41% as of Sunday, 20 percentage points behind the five-year average of 61% and falling further behind the average pace than the previous week when harvest was 17 percentage points behind the five-year average. The pace of this year's corn harvest remains the slowest since 2009 when only 20% of corn was harvested as of Oct. 25.The condition of corn still in fields was rated 58% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points from 56% the previous week. The poor-to-very-poor category declined to just 12% from 14% the previous week.Soybean harvest moved ahead 16 percentage points last week to reach 62% as of Sunday. That was 16 percentage points behind the five-year average of 78%, a slight improvement from last Monday's report, when harvest was running 18 percentage points behind average. As with corn, the pace of this year's soybean harvest remains the slowest since 2009 when 44% of the crop was harvested as of Oct. 25.While row-crop harvest remained behind the average pace, winter wheat progress stayed near, to slightly ahead of, the average pace last week. As of Sunday, 85% of winter wheat was planted, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 82%. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 63%, near the five-year average of 64%.In its first condition rating for the 2020 winter wheat crop, NASS estimated 56% of winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, 3 percentage points better than last year's rating of 53% good to excellent at the same time of year.Sorghum mature was estimated at 96%, ahead of the average of 94%. Sorghum harvested reached 65%, also ahead of the five-year average of 62%. ------------Extension, FSA to Host Farm Bill Education Meetings Across Nebraska in November, DecemberNebraska Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska will host a series of Farm Bill education meetings over the next two months to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, a few program changes coupled with changes in market conditions and outlook could significantly impact producer decisions.“These meetings will help producers understand the programs and recent changes, as well as the decisions to be made at sign-up now and in the coming years,” said Nancy Johner, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. “There are some changes, such as an optional PLC program yield update, and other tweaks to the ARC and PLC programs that producers should consider as they make their selections.”“Producers face a familiar choice between ARC and PLC, but under very different circumstances now as compared to 2014,” said Brad Lubben, Policy Specialist with Nebraska Extension. “Understanding the program mechanics, analysis and available decision tools will help producers make sound enrollment decisions with FSA.”The joint Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Farm Service Agency producer education meetings are scheduled at 28 locations across the state from late November to mid-December in advance of the coming ARC/PLC enrollment deadlines in early 2020.The meetings are all free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged for planning purposes for materials and facilities. Attendees can register for any of the meetings conveniently on the web at farmbill.unl.edu or by calling or visiting their county FSA or Extension office. The educational programs are each set to run three hours in length, featuring information and insight from FSA specialists and Extension experts, as well as other relevant information from local agencies.The meetings are available statewide with several locations in each region of the state. The tentative schedule is as follows:NortheastBloomfield - Community Center - December 2, 1:30-4:30 PMColumbus - Ag Park - December 4, 9 AM-12 NOONO'Neill - Community Center - December 3, 9 AM-12 NOONNorfolk - Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center - December 18, 1-4 PMWayne - Wayne Fire Hall - December 16, (2 meetings) 1-4 PM or 6-9 PMWest Point - Nielsen Center - December 9, 9 AM-12 NOONEast CentralGrand Island - College Park Fonner Park Room - December 5, 1-4 PMMead – UNL Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center - December 3, 9 AM-12 NOONScribner - Dodge County Fairgrounds Mohr Auditorium - December 11, 9 AM-12 NOONYork - York County Fairgrounds Cornerstone Building - December 6, 9 AM-12 NOON SoutheastBeatrice - Gage County Fairgrounds 4-H Building – December 17, 9 AM-12 NOONBruning - Bruning Opera House - December 5, 1:30-4:30 PMHumboldt - Ag Building – December 12, 9 AM-12 NOON*Lincoln - Lancaster County Extension Center - December 16, 9 AM-12 NOONRed Cloud - Community Center - November 25, 1-4 PMWeeping Water - Cass County Fairgrounds - December 3, 9 AM-12 NOONSouthwest/CentralBroken Bow - Custer County Fairgrounds - December 16, 1-4 PMImperial - Chase County Fairgrounds 4-H Building - November 26, 1:30-4:30 PMKearney - Buffalo County Fairgrounds Antelope Meeting Room - December 17, 1-4 PMLexington - Dawson County Fairgrounds Extension Meeting Room - December 2, 1-4 PMMcCook - Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building - December 3, 1:30-4:30 PMNorth Platte - UNL West Central Research and Extension Center - December 18, 1:30-4:30 PMOrd - Valley County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall - December 4, 1-4 PMPanhandle/North CentralAinsworth – Ainsworth Lutheran Church - December 16, 2-5 PMBridgeport - Prairie Winds Community Center - November 22, 2-5 PMChadron - Chadron State College – December 17, 1:30-4:30 PMOgallala - Keith County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall - December 12, 1-4 PMValentine - Mid Plains Community College - December 16, 9 AM-12 NOONPlease check the website for updates on locations, dates and times. All times are local with registration beginning 30 minutes ahead of start. Several additional meetings also are being planned locally across the state in various locations. Keep alert to additional opportunities and details as they are developed by checking the website for information or by contacting your county Extension or FSA office. *Please note the date for the Lincoln meeting is Dec. 16, which is a correction from a previously published date for that meeting.There also are resources available online that can educate producers in their ARC/PLC decision-making process. Links to these resources are available from FSA at www.fsa.usda.gov/ne under the Spotlights section or from Extension at farmbill.unl.edu. THE FOOD PROCESSING CENTER CAN HELP FOOD MANUFACTURING ENTREPRENEURSThe Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers a program that can help aspiring food manufacturing entrepreneurs realize their dream. The program is ideal for individuals interested in starting a food business, someone wanting to bring a family recipe to the marketplace, a producer considering adding value to an agricultural product, or a restaurateur or chef exploring the marketing of a house specialty.The National Food Entrepreneur Program was designed specifically to assist food manufacturing entrepreneurs throughout the country. After coming up with their idea potential entrepreneurs start by attending the Recipe to Reality one-day seminar. Topics include market research, product development, packaging, labeling, pricing, product introduction, promotional materials, food safety, and business structure issues.“In one day entrepreneurs will gain valuable insight on the basics of starting a food business that could take them months or even years to research on their own. Following the seminar, participants may choose to enter the Product to Profit phase of the program which provides a more individualized and comprehensive level of assistance,” explained program manager, Jill Gifford.The first seminar in 2020 will be presented on January 25. Early registration for seminars is encouraged due to limited space. To receive a National Food Entrepreneur Program information packet and registration form please contact: Jill Gifford, Food Processing Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 228 Food Innovation Center, Lincoln, NE 68588-6206. Those interested may also call (402) 472-2819, e-mail jgifford1@unl.edu, or visit https://fpc.unl.edu/. 'Table of Experts' open to aspiring food business ownersAspiring food business owners are invited to a free panel discussion on Monday, Nov. 4, in Columbus. This event will be presented in both Spanish and English, and is sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs.“Table of Experts: Food Business Panel Discussion” will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska, 3020 18th St., Suite #7, in Columbus, Nebraska.“Explore turning your food business dream into your own catering business, restaurant, food truck, or bakery,” said Vicky Espinoza, Center for Rural Affairs project assistant. “During this discussion, you will hear from a food business owner, and about local resources to support those who would like to open their own business."Topics on the agenda include start-up planning, regulations, licensing and inspection, and funding and taxes.To register, contact Espinoza at 402.687.2100 ext. 1038 or vickye@cfra.org.Visit cfra.org/events for more information. This project is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant.Farm Bill Meetings Planned across IowaIn order to help Iowans understand their options under the 2018 Farm Bill, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is planning meetings across the state.More than 50 informational meetings will be held, beginning Nov. 12 in Grinnell, with a focus on explaining the different farm bill titles and programs that pertain to each part of the state. The meeting series stretches through the winter for landowners and producers to attend now, or following harvest, at a location that is convenient for them.The agenda is similar at all meetings, and will include ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialists and family life specialists, and local Farm Service Agency representatives.“Producers should attend to gain a better understanding of the changes to these programs and determine the path that best fits their farm operation under the 2018 Farm Bill,” said Ann Johanns, program specialist in economics with ISU Extension and Outreach. “This is a chance to hear the program specifics and get answers to any questions they may have from regional experts.”The 2018 Farm Bill allows producers to choose from the same crop price protection programs as found in the 2014 Farm Bill. However, unlike the previous bill, which limited their program selection for all five years, the new farm bill allows producers to make a two-year decision by March 15, 2020, and also to change this selection beginning in 2021.The basic choices are Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual and county levels). A producer’s choice will depend on their annual national cash price expectation, and the farm or county yields where the farm is located.“Our goal is to give an overview of the things that are included in the 2018 Farm Bill and which of the three roads a producer might wish to go down,” said Kelvin Leibold, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.According to Leibold and Johanns, farmers in general are entering this farm bill with more financial stress and less operating capital than in 2014, when commodity prices were still high.The financial stress has the potential to impact the future of the farm, and the health of the operator.The extension family life specialist at each meeting will present “Stress on the Farm: Strategies to Help Each Other,” a 40-minute scenario-based suicide prevention training that reviews the risk factors and warning signs of suicide.While the farm bill is only one layer of risk protection, its programs are especially important this year.“I think it’s more important now than ever that one tries to manage risk by understanding what these farm programs might do for them,” Leibold said.Meetings include:Thursday, December 5, 2019    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM,   Logan Community Center, Logan/Harrison CountyThursday, December 19, 2019    5:00 PM - 8:00 PM  ISU Extension and Outreach Plymouth County, Le Mars/Plymouth County         call Janelle Johnson, 712-546-7835 or email janelle@iastate.edu.  A complete listing of farm bill meetings is available on the Ag Decision Maker Farm Bill website as well as the ISU Extension and Outreach statewide calendar.Ag Chemical Dealer Meetings to Provide Timely UpdatesThis year’s Ag Chemical Dealer meetings will provide the latest information on crop production products and recommendations, at two meetings sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.Meetings Dec. 17 in Coralville and Dec. 18 in Ames are opportunities for ag input providers to meet with extension specialists to review current research, discuss new products and learn of new recommendations.Topics for 2019 include insect, crop disease and weed management updates, and managing consequences of unavoidable soil compaction.Meetings are approved for Certified Crop Adviser credits. In addition, the meetings offer Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicator recertification in categories 1A, 1B, 1C and 10 for calendar year 2019. Recertification is included in the meeting registration. Attendance at the entire meeting is required for recertification.Coralville – Dec. 17Rebecca Vittetoe, rka8@iastate.edu, 319-653-4811Virgil Schmitt, vschmitt@iastate.edu, 563-263-5701Joshua Michel, jjmichel@iastate.edu, 319-523-2371Ames – Dec. 18Meaghan Anderson, mjanders@iastate.edu, 319-331-0058Angie Rieck-Hinz, amrieck@iastate.edu, 515-532-3453Mike Witt, witt@iastate.edu, 641-747-2276Early registration is $70 if received by midnight, Dec. 10 (Coralville) or Dec 11. (Ames). Late or on-site registration is $85. Visit www.aep.iastate.edu/acu for program details or to register online. For additional information contact an ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist hosting the meeting.Cattlemen Applaud Introduction of Real MEAT Act of 2019The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today applauded the bipartisan introduction of the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019 by U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall (R - 1st Dist., Kansas) and Anthony Brindisi (D - 21st Dist., N.Y.)“A growing number of fake meat products are clearly trying to mislead consumers about what they’re trying to get them to buy,” said NCBA President and Tennessee cattlewoman Jennifer Houston. “Consumers need to be protected from deceptive marketing practices, and cattle producers need to be able to compete on a fair, level playing field. We want to thank Congressmen Brindisi and Marshall for leading the way on this very important issue.”Specifically, The Real Meat Act will:1) Codify the Definition of Beef for Labeling Purposes    Establish a federal definition of beef that applies to food labels;    Preserve the Congressional Intent of the Beef Promotion and Research Act;2) Reinforce Existing Misbranding Provisions to Eliminate Consumer Confusion     FDA has   misbranding provisions for false or misleading labels;     Prevent further consumer confusion with alternative protein products;     Clarify the imitation nature of these alternative protein products; 3) Enhance the Federal Government’s Ability to Enforce the Law    FDA will have to notify USDA if an imitation meat product is determined to be misbranded;     If FDA fails to undertake enforcement within 30 days of notifying USDA, the Secretary of Agriculture is granted authority to seek enforcement action. “Consumers should be able to rely on the information on food labels they see on the shelves to be truthful and not deceptive,” Rep. Marshall said. “For years now, alternative protein products have confused many consumers with misleading packaging and creative names for products. With this bill, consumers can be sure that the meat products they are buying are indeed real meat.”“American families have a right to know what’s in their food,” Rep. Brindisi said. “Accurate labeling helps consumers make informed decisions and helps ensure families have access to a safe, abundant, affordable food supply. This bill is about safety and transparency, and will make sure that meat-lovers and vegans alike have the transparency and honest labels that can allow customers to make their own decisions.”Voting Begins for 2019 Farm Service Agency County Committee ElectionsThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots on November 4 to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections.“Our county committee members play a key role in our efforts to provide assistance to producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “We value the local input of the over 7,000 members nationwide who provide their valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and emergency programs.”To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 2.Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2020. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Producers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.Producers can find out if their local administrative area is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can pick one up at their local FSA county office. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information.123rd U.S. Animal Health Association Meeting Kicks OffThe United States Animal Health Association (USAHA), the nation's animal health forum for over a century, is holding its 123rd annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, from Oct. 24-30. It is held in conjunction with the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).More than 1,200 people are registered for the joint meeting, and several keynote speakers are featured, including Dr. Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer or the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization, who will speak on African swine fever on Monday, Oct. 28. Dr. Scott Dee with Pipestone Veterinary Service, will discuss the risk of ASF in imported feed supplements on Tuesday, Oct 29. Other topics of interest include the delay on animal disease traceability, the number of vacancies in government positions, and the need to bring people into the veterinary profession.The USAHA has worked diligently to encourage students to attend its annual meeting. It offers travel scholarships and a poster session so students have ample opportunity to visit with professionals. Encouraging young people to enter the veterinarian profession is a high priority for USAHA.The program hosts at least 30 different committee and subcommittee meetings with hundreds of experts speaking throughout the seven-day annual event. USAHA's mission is implemented through these multiple science-based committees and the adoption of resolutions and recommendations aimed at solving animal health problems. The organization’s prime objective is to prevent, control and eliminate livestock diseases that cost ranchers, farmers and consumers approximately $1 billion per year.USAHA is a science-based, non-profit, voluntary organization. Its 1,100 members are state and federal animal health officials, national allied organizations, regional representatives, and individual members. USAHA works with state and federal governments, universities, veterinarians, livestock producers, national livestock and poultry organizations, research scientists, the extension service and several foreign countries to control livestock diseases in the United States. USAHA represents all 50 states, 4 foreign countries and 34 allied groups serving health, technical and consumer markets.USAHA is administered and its policy determined by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Formed in 1897 as the Interstate Association of Livestock Sanitary Boards, the organization had fewer than 100 members and was concerned with one disease affecting cattle--Texas cattle fever. State, federal and industry collaborators formed USAHA in 1897 to assure the interstate shipment of healthy animals and to develop plans to prevent and eradicate animal disease. Today the need remains the same with increased international animal health and world trade responsibilities.USAHA members have met annually since the association’s founding, and produces a published proceedings of each meeting. The proceedings represent the most complete history of the nation's animal health endeavors over the past century.Inventory InsightsMatthew Diersen, Risk & Business Mgt Specialist, South Dakota State UniversityThe October Cattle on Feed report was very close to trade expectations. Placements during September were 2.1 million head, slightly above expectations. Marketings during September were 1.7 million head, even with expectations. The 11.3 million head on feed is 99 percent of a year ago. The placements by weight categories reflected a slight decrease in the volume placed at the heaviest weight classes, which should be somewhat supportive of prices in the short run. There was also a slight decrease in placements in the lightest weight class, suggesting limited selling pressure from cow-calf producers.As it was the beginning of the quarter, there was also a breakdown of inventory levels by steers and heifers. The heifer mix, at 39.1 percent of cattle on feed, is larger than last quarter and a year ago. The continued high proportion of heifers confirms fewer held as replacements. It also suggests that lower production is expected as heifers are harvested at lighter weights than steers. The higher heifer mix should be supportive of live cattle prices for the next quarter.Using data from recent Livestock Slaughter reports, beef cattle slaughter volume for the third quarter was up from year ago. Calf slaughter and beef cow slaughter were up slightly. Steer and heifer slaughter was also higher. The quarterly totals can be used to estimate some related quantity indicators. Using the slaughter totals, the Economic Research Service estimates the October 1 level of feeder cattle outside of feedlots is up sharply compared to a year ago, and at its highest level since 2009. The larger supply of feedlot-ready cattle is weighing on calf prices in the short run. The smaller number of heifers held back is partly causing the increase. The slight increase in cow slaughter volume, coupled with fewer beef replacements, suggest that January 1, 2020 cow inventory levels will be even with or slightly lower than year earlier levels. The USDA baseline did not have a decline happening until 2022. A smaller 2020 calf crop would be supportive of prices next fall.The challenging weather conditions in South Dakota continue to delay harvesting of major crops. This in turn has delayed some calf sales. The average price for 5-600 pound steers was $158 per cwt in October across South Dakota, down sharply from $178 per cwt in 2018. The recent basis of $14 per cwt, relative to the October feeder cattle futures price, is also narrower than last year. Feed availability is quite variable, but there is usually some producers willing and able to background calves into the next year. The risk during the backgrounding phase, on average, is quite small. The average change in the March futures price between November and its eventual settlement in March was $0.08 per cwt when measured during the past decade. However, this masks the extreme price moves (up almost $15 per cwt heading into 2011 and down almost $19 per cwt heading into 2015) that are prevalent in feeder cattle futures.Corteva Agriscience Increases Support of the National FFA OrganizationCorteva Agriscience™ recently announced that they would be working hand in hand with the National FFA Organization when it comes to providing the next generation of leaders.For the past 60 years, the company has supported the FFA mission, and this year, the support continues to grow. This summer Corteva Agriscience donated a recurring gift of $20,000 for five years to help students in need receive the official FFA blue jacket. Through the Give the Gift of Blue program, students who may not otherwise be able to afford the iconic blue jacket can be nominated to receive their own jacket.“Supporting FFA as they develop the leaders of tomorrow allows us to invest in our communities,” said Tony Klemm, Corteva Agriscience Global Portfolio Leader – Corn, and National FFA Sponsors’ Board member. “Working with the organization allows us to enable FFA members to continue to give back to their own communities.”In addition to helping fund the Give the Gift of Blue program, Corteva Agriscience has also increased funding of the FFA mission, making the company a platinum sponsor of the student leader organization. They have supported the organization in many different ways – from state-specific grants to support for the National FFA Convention & Expo to supporting the New Century Farmer conference and much more.“We are so appreciative of the support that Corteva Agriscience continues to give us,” said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation. “Along with supporting our vision of providing a future generation of leaders, they are also supporting our advisors and agriculture educators.” NSP Welcomes Forage Genetics International as Industry PartnerNational Sorghum Producers is pleased to announce the addition of Forage Genetics International (FGI), a subsidiary of Land O’ Lakes, as a new Partner Level sponsor in the NSP Industry Partner program.FGI is a company driven to better the forage industry through improved genetics that advance forages and benefit FGI customers. FGI has expanded its forage sorghum research activities in the last two years in response to greater interest in forage sorghums from the beef and dairy industries."NSP believes in the work being done by FGI to provide our producers with improved forages and silages through innovative technologies that are necessary to positively impact the forage and feeding industries," NSP CEO Tim Lust said. “We look forward to partnering with them and welcome them to our industry partner program."“We are excited to partner with NSP to further our support of the sorghum industry,” said Matt Sowder, director of FGI Commercial Products. “Working closely with NSP provides multiple benefits in advancing technology for FGI.”For more than 25 years, FGI has led the forage industry with innovative genetic discoveries, variety developments and cutting-edge product introductions. FGI’s relentless drive for improved forage production is behind their unprecedented advancements. As the industry’s leading provider of forage solutions, FGI breeds, develops and produces premier alfalfa seed. FGI’s capabilities in forage technology and product development, coupled with their customer focused business, provide forage sorghum customers with the same level of high-quality product experience expected from FGI alfalfa.Support from industry partners like FGI helps NSP continue to advocate for, promote and defend the sorghum industry. More information about the program can be obtained by contacting NSP Industry Relations Director Jamaca Battin at jamaca@sorghumgrowers.com or by visiting SorghumGrowers.com.

NEBRASKA CATTLE ON FEED DOWN 7 PERCENT Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.27 million cattle on feed on October 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was down 7 percent from last year. Placements during September totaled 530,000 head, up 2 percent from 2018. Fed cattle marketings for the month of September totaled 410,000 head, unchanged from last year. Other disappearance during September totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year. IOWA CATTLE ON FEED REPORTCattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 640,000 head on October 1, 2019, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 2 percent from September 1, 2019, but down 7 percent from October 1, 2018. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 480,000 head on feed, unchanged from last month but down 8 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,120,000 head, up 1 percent from last month but down 7 percent from last year. Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during September totaled 82,000 head, up 15 percent from August but down 8 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 85,000 head, up 67 percent from August and up 63 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 167,000 head, up 37 percent from August and up 18 percent from last year. Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during September totaled 70,000 head, up 1 percent from August but down 7 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 80,000 head, up 4 percent from August and up 60 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 150,000 head, up 3 percent from August and up 20 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 7,000 head. United States Cattle on Feed Down 1 Percent    Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million head on October 1, 2019. The inventory was 1 percent below October 1, 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 1.3% decrease).  The inventory included 6.87 million steers and steer calves, down 3 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 61 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.41 million head, up 2 percent from 2018. By State:            1,000 hd  -  % Oct 1 '18)Colorado ......:         990          101               Iowa .............:        640           93                Kansas ..........:      2,380          100              Nebraska ......:      2,270           93               Texas ............:      2,780          105            Placements in feedlots during September totaled 2.09 million head, 2 percent above 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 0.8% increase). Net placements were 2.03 million head. During September, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 420,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 355,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 460,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 475,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 273,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 110,000 head.By State        (1,000 hd   -   % Sept '18)Colorado ......:      240           102            Iowa .............:       82             92              Kansas ..........:      435            98              Nebraska ......:      530           102             Texas ............:      455           115             Marketings of fed cattle during September totaled 1.74 million head, 1 percent above 2018 (the average trade estimate was a 1.2% increase). By State         (1,000 hd   -   % Sept '18)Colorado ......:      175           117           Iowa .............:       70            93               Kansas ..........:      385           103            Nebraska ......:      410           100             Texas ............:      390            96           Nebraska Corn Board Hosts Trade Team from TaiwanFrom Oct. 21-25, a delegation of seven Taiwanese customers was in the U.S. to better understand the American corn industry. As part of its visit, the team was in Nebraska from Oct. 23-24 and was able to see several different aspects of the state’s corn value chain.“We know that 95% of the world’s population lives outside of the U.S.,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “We also know that we grow a lot more corn than we can use. We need to ensure we have reliable trading partners to ensure markets for our corn and corn-related products.”The Taiwanese delegation represented a variety of customers and industry leaders, including livestock producers, feed millers, corn traders and government officials. The group began their visit in Illinois and toured a grain loading facility, corn farms and a local elevator. Once in Nebraska, the trade team visited Farmers Cooperative in Firth, Nerud Farms in Dorchester, Flint Hills Resources in Fairmont, and met with Gavilon in Lincoln. The team completed their week in Washington by visiting grain export terminals to see how corn and corn-related products are shipped outside of the U.S.“We know we produce quality ag products in Nebraska,” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “We can grow and produce all of the quality products in the world, but if we don’t have anyone to buy our commodities, it doesn’t matter. Therefore, trade matters. We always need to be working on enhancing relationships with our friends around the globe.”The Taiwanese visit was the third trade mission the Nebraska Corn Board has hosted since September. The state’s top two corn customers, Mexico and Japan, were in Nebraska earlier this fall. Each trade team was hosted through collaborations with the U.S. Grains Council.TESTING FOR HAY QUALITYBruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist               How much did the spring and summer's weather affect the feed value of your hay?  You don’t know?  Then forage test.               Nearly every bushel of corn has similar nutrient concentration, but with hay it varies considerably.  Why does this happen?  Well, there are many causes.  For example, leafiness of the hay, or maturity of the plant when your hay was cut, or even how you handled the hay during raking and baling all can affect its feed value.               This year, weather conditions have made things more complicated.  This spring's floods and cool, wet weather caused many folks to delay first cutting or got rain-damaged hay.  Leaf diseases, mature plants, and other factors made much alfalfa lower in quality.  During summer we had periods of hot and very humid weather that often caused plants to burn off their easily digested nutrients at night, leaving us with hay that looks really good but is high in fiber and low in energy.               Grass hay might be even more difficult to predict.  Some fields had fewer seedheads than normal.  This might give higher quality hay, but if harvest was delayed in hopes of increasing yield or if the heat affected grass quality like it affects alfalfa, grass hay quality might actually be lower.  And when growth is stimulated by extra rain, plants use many nutrients for increased tonnage instead of quality.               And I haven’t even mentioned all the different forages used on prevented planting acres.  Different species harvested late in the year; who knows what the protein and TDN levels are like.               So you see, this year, just like always, forage testing is important.  It is the only way that you can find out for sure ahead of time what the feed value is of your hay.               So gather samples now for testing, before feeding your animals and before it's too late.2019 Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership SummitMembers of the cattle industry are invited to attend the annual Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit on Dec. 5 and 6 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. The lineup will tackle diverse topics such as Fake Meat, foreign animal diseases, and how to protect our industry against legal attacks. In addition to a large tradeshow on Thursday, attendees will dive deep into issues affecting Iowa’s cattle industry.Thursday, Dec. 5Andy Curliss, CEO of North Carolina Pork Council will headline the event starting at 11:00.With his presentation titled “Up close and personal: How unfair attacks hurt us all” Andy will take attendees through his experience dealing with nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina and give input on how to protect your livelihood.More than two dozen nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina have been filed against Murphy Brown LLC, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Jurors have ruled against the pork company in all five cases that have made it through the court system. More than $550 million in penalties have been awarded to defendants.Although the individual farmers are not the ones being sued, they are being affected all the same. Curliss will share the story of Joey Carter, a hog farmer who not only met the requirements of the law in North Carolina, he exceeded them. But members of a nearby housing development, which was built after the hog barns, took part in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed by the same lawyers who are well-known for filling class-action lawsuits regarding asbestos, eventually led to the depopulation of Carter’s barns.Breakout Sessions:The afternoon session starting at 1:30 p.m. brings in the education component. This year we are offering two simultaneous sessions.Fake Meat: The Industry Responds - Danielle Beck, NCBA, will share the strategies used by the Check off and Policy teams at NCBA as they advocate for beef as the number one protein on consumers’ minds and plates.Danielle Beck joined the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in June of 2016. As Senior Director of Government Affairs, she is the lead lobbyist on all issues pertaining to tax, credit, appropriations, nutrition, food safety, labeling, and research. Halt! Impact an FMD Could Have on Your Cattle Business - With African Swine Fever (ASF) threatening the world’s hog operations, now is a good time to consider what would happen if a similar disease were to affect Iowa’s cattle industry.The session will be led by Dr. Andrew Hennefent, the Iowa Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Management Coordinator, and Dr. Danelle Bickett-Weddle from the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. Together, they will lead attendees through a mock “stand-still order.” In the case of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the state, movement (transportation) of all susceptible livestock would be halted for a minimum of 72 hours. When movement resumes, it would be on a permit-only basis for those in areas where the disease is present. Attendees will be asked to think through a variety of scenarios on their farm and learn what will be required in order to receive a movement permit.Policy Committee Meetings:Following the speakers, ICA’s policy committee meetings will be held. These meetings are open to all members. Attendees will review expiring policies, hear updates on hot topics in the industry, and debate new policies. Throughout the year, ICA staff and leaders compile input on a variety of topics affecting the cattle industry. From transportation to taxes and everything in between, the issues cattlemen are dealing with need constant attention. ICA’s Policy Committee meetings are the culmination of the policy development process, where our position on issues is solidified, guiding ICA staff and leaders’ advocacy work throughout the next year. Policies developed in these meetings are ratified during the ICA Annual Meeting the following day.In preparation for the policy committee meetings, ICA’s Feedlot Council, Cow-Calf Council, and various task forces will meet to gather information. Topics expected to be discussed this year include Iowa’s Green and Gold Tag Preconditioned programs, traceability, and cattle marketing. Attendees will hear a summary of ICA’s October Cattle Marketing Listening Sessions, and work on related policy to carry forward to the NCBA Convention in early 2020.Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Banquet and Fundraiser Auction:Thursday’s events will cap off with the traditional Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation Banquet. A fundraiser auction will accompany presentations honoring Iowa’s outstanding cattlemen and women, both young and old. Cattle industry supporters are encouraged to support the Foundation through the auction, in person or online. Again this year, auction items will be posted online at iowacattlemensfoundation.org.Friday, Dec. 6Friday morning will begin with a breakfast specifically for ICA board members and county board members. Following breakfast, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual meeting, followed by the Iowa Beef Industry Council.Registration Information:  Early Registration Ends Nov. 20 Three registrations are being offered this year:Member Full Registration- $75Non-Member Full Registration- $90 Foundation Banquet- $50 (banquet meal only) https://www.iacattlemen.org/leadershipsummitattendeeregistration.aspxHotel rooms can be reserved at www.prairiemeadows.com using group code 12042019IOW or by calling 515-957-3000. Rooms must be booked by November 20 to receive the discounted rate. Iowa continues to lead in agriculture,but still faces market challengesIowa continues to remain a powerhouse in United States agriculture according to the 2019 Iowa Agricultural Statistics, a 112-page comprehensive analysis by the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and released by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). Last year, Iowa farmers averaged 196 bushels per acre of corn compared to the U.S. average of 176 and raised 57 bushels of soybeans, compared to the U.S. average of 51.6.Iowa’s farmers continue to be the leaders of pork production, raising 31 percent of the nation’s hogs, and is also ranked fourth in cattle on feed (cattle expected to become select, choice or prime beef). Because of its strong livestock sector, Iowa continues to increase its processing of red meat products including beef, pork and mutton. Processing plants in Iowa produced 7.70 billion pounds of red meat in 2018, an increase of 471 million pounds from the previous year.“The 2019 Iowa Ag stats speak to how important agriculture is to the state,” says Director of the NASS Upper Midwest Regional Office Greg Thessen. “It’s one of our major industries, and it’s not just corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle. There are other niche farms and small farms that sell at farmers markets.”These stats can also give people an overall view of the “health” of the state’s farm economy, Thessen says. “It gives people an idea of the amount of money it takes to be a farmer. Farmers have a lot of money invested into their operations which in turn affects their local community.” Beyond that, agribusinesses and other expanding businesses in Iowa use county agricultural data to decide where their business can thrive based on the local farm economy, he says.However, Iowa grain farmers continue to work within narrow—and sometimes negative—margins as corn and soybeans cost more to produce than the price a farmer receives for them. Soybean “ending stocks”— or, soybeans that are leftover after being fed to livestock, used for seed, crushed for soybean oil and exported to other countries— continue to compound from year to year. The carryover of soybeans from the 2016-17 crop marketing year brought 2018 soybean ending stocks to 438 million bushels. This glut further depresses soybean prices and shows an urgent need for negotiations with China—the top recipient of U.S. soybeans."Iowa farmers are building from the conditions shaped by last year and some further market challenges they’ve faced this year,” says Dr. Sam Funk, IFBF director of agriculture analytics and research. “It is important to consider where we have been and market conditions. How relatively current markets handle the productive capacity of Iowa agriculture provides indicators of supply and demand conditions moving forward.” Pork Checkoff Video Series Provides High-Tech View of Today’s Pig FarmingA new cutting-edge video series from the National Pork Board  creates opportunities for farmers and others involved in pork production to share with consumers a firsthand view inside today’s modern farms. The virtual reality (VR) videos enable viewers to virtually tour gestation, farrowing, nursery and finishing barns. The video series show how pig farmers and their teams use the latest technology and tools to provide a safe, secure and healthy environment for pigs following the We Care ethical principles.  NPB YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUr79ny3EOHJzmvseKTbpbA“The new videos let viewers step into a barn, take a guided tour and look around through a virtual reality platform in much the same way as if they were actually inside a barn,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “We think this platform will go a long way toward sharing our We Care story with consumers and the lengths farmers go to in order to provide a safe, sustainable and nutritious product.” Pork Checkoff leaders will showcase the videos and highlight the nutritional benefits of pork at the 2019 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) held Oct. 26-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “The videos will help us share the story of today’s pig farming and demonstrate that what we do – day in and day out – is based on the utmost concern for human health, nutrition and sustainability,” said Adria Huseth, RDN, LD, CPT, and manager of nutrition communication and research for the Pork Checkoff. “The videos will showcase our industry to key audiences, including health and nutrition professionals from around the world.” The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of food and nutrition experts, with more than 10,000 registered dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health care providers and industry leaders in attendance. At FNCE, they will discuss and act on issues of high importance to the health and well-being of American food consumers.  “It’s the right platform for showcasing the efforts of everyone involved in pork production to ensure product quality, safety and sustainability,” Huseth said.  The videos use VR technology to offer a firsthand view inside different types of pig barns. The videos can be viewed on YouTube, Facebook or through a VR headset. “The high-tech platform is a fitting way to illustrate the cutting-edge tools and processes pig farmers use to provide a safe, secure environment for the well-being of every animal on farms across the United States,” said Newman.   The videos were filmed in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board and Christensen Farms located in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. HOURS OF SERVICE PROPOSAL 'PART OF A SERIES OF WELCOME STEPS,' NPPC SUBMITS IN COMMENTSThe National Pork Producers Association has come out in support of the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) proposal to increase flexibility for truckers, including livestock haulers, it wrote in comments submitted this week. The Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers proposal, issued in August, revised rules around the amount of time truckers can drive their loads and when they are required to rest between drives. "While not perfect, FMCSA's proposed rule is part of a series of welcome steps the agency has taken to adjust policies necessary to help address the challenges faced by livestock haulers," NPPC explained in its comments. FMCSA's proposal addresses the challenge of adverse weather by expanding not just the driving time, but also the overall on-duty time for drivers to finish their delivery. The proposed rule also allows truckers to split up their 10-hour mandatory rest period into two periods (one being at least 7 hours long) and creates an option for drivers to take an extended break between 30 minutes and 3 hours, which pauses their on-duty clock. This will allow drivers the option of resting when tired, while providing greater flexibility for completing deliveries and maintaining high animal welfare standards. In its comments, NPPC urged FMCSA to allow other time splits for livestock haulers and eliminate the distinction between on-duty and driving time, among other suggestions. Deputy Secretary Censky Leads Trade Mission to West AfricaU.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky will lead a trade mission to West Africa, October 28-31, to help United States exporters unlock new opportunities in a region where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products.“At USDA we are working to sell the bounty of American agriculture. West Africa is a bright spot with a growing middle class that are hungry for our delicious and wholesome agriculture products,” said Deputy Secretary Censky. “Through this trade mission and other efforts, USDA is proud to support President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative, which is seeking to boost two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Prosper Africa brings together the full range of U.S. government resources to connect U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities – a win for the United States and for countries across the African continent.”Deputy Secretary Censky will be joined by Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, officials from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and representatives from the following companies and organizations:    AFRO Plus Logistics, Bear, Delaware    American Premier Meat, Connersville, Indiana    American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, St. Louis, Missouri    Anna Carter’s The Seed Lady, Los Angeles, California    Archer Daniels Midland Company, Chicago, Illinois    Berkeley Capital Group, Inc, New York, New York    Crown Products, Inc, Metairie, Louisiana    CTB, Inc., Milford, Indiana    DAUUS Company, Bloomington, Minnesota    East West International Group, Inc, Moreland, Ohio    Fobrose Group, Houston, Texas    Geotan Enterprises, LLC, Humble, Texas    Ghantex Holdings Limited, Houston, Texas    Global Export Marketing Co. Ltd., New York, New York    Green Plains Inc., Omaha, Nebraska    Growth Energy, Washington, D.C.    Hills Harvest, College Park, Maryland    International Feed Corporation, Excelsior, Minnesota    I.P.P International, Cedar Rapids, Iowa    JBR International Trade Group, Inc., DuPont, Washington    Livestock Exporters Association of the USA, Chicago, Illinois    Marquis Energy, Hennepin, Illinois    Mariani Packing Company, Vacaville, California    National Swine Registry, West Lafayette, Indiana    Neil Jones Food Company, Vancouver, Washington    North Star Food Trading LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota    Now International, Bloomingdale, Illinois    Oakmont & Associates, Addison, Texas    Perdue Foods, Salisbury, Maryland    Steel City Global Trading, LLC, Enterprise, Alabama    St. Louis African Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis, Missouri    Tam Global Consultants, Portland, Oregon    Tomex Foods, Inc. Lombard, Illinois    Triad Fisheries Ltd, Portland, Oregon    U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., Mount Horeb, Wisconsin    U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.    U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, Missouri    U.S. Wheat Associates, Arlington, Virginia    United Source One, Belcamp, Maryland    Virginia Natural Beef Inc., Lexington, Virginia    Wakava Food and Beverage, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri    Wygold LLC, Woodland, CaliforniaThe mission will be based in Accra, Ghana, and will also include buyer delegations from Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Senegal. 

Leadership Transition within UNL Center for Grassland StudiesThe Center for Grassland Studies celebrated its 25th Anniversary this year. The founding Director of the Center, Dr. Martin Massengale, served in that role for the Center’s first 23 years. Seldom does an organization enjoy the benefits and prosper fromsuch remarkable commitment and passionate leadership represented by over two decades of servant leadership. The stability in leadership and vision coupled with the inherent passion for grasslands and grassland science positioned the Center well for service to the students, faculty stakeholders, state and beyond.  Dr. Steven Waller feels it has been an honor to have followed Dr. Massengale in the role of Interim Director of the Center for Grassland Studies. The opportunities for the Center that have occurred as a result of the foundation that Dr. Massengale and others created have been extremely rewarding, both personally and professionally for Waller. Steve said, “My experience in the Center has only reaffirmed how blessed we are to be grassland stewards in the state of Nebraska. My three years in the Centerhave felt like a rebirth of my lasting passion for our grasslands which has always been grounded in the people. I will retire at the end of this calendar year having thoroughly enjoyed a return to my range science roots.” Steve continued, “Whether it is the administrative team in the office or the faculty, students, stakeholders, farmers and ranchers; we all become one in service to our grassland heritage. It is the people that make a difference and it is time for a new leader of the Center for Grassland Studies to make their difference, and they will.”Dr. Walt Schacht has accepted the position of Interim Director beginning January 1, 2020. Dr. Schacht is a Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture specializing in Grassland Ecology. He is uniquely suited for the position as Interim Director. He has been a servant leader his entire career and his network of friends, colleagues, students, alumni, stakeholders, farmers and ranchers testify to the breadth and diversity of his knowledge in grasslands and the respect that he enjoys from all. Dr. Schacht has always been a difference-maker and now he will make a difference in the Center for Grassland Studies.    Ricketts: New Forecast Means Full Steam Ahead on Property Tax ReliefToday, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following a decision by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board, which raised the revenue forecast by $161 million for the current fiscal year FY2019-20 and $105 million for fiscal year FY2020-21.“This new forecast pegs revenues at $266 million higher over the next two years,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “This will allow property tax relief to move full steam ahead during the upcoming legislative session.”Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Revenue Projections, Opportunity for Property Tax Relief“Today’s state revenue projections adopted by the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Board only bolster the opportunity for the Legislature to provide property tax relief for Nebraskans. While some will want to use additional dollars for other purposes, it’s vital these dollars be dedicated to lowering property taxes for hard working Nebraskans.”IA Pork Leadership Applications due Nov. 30, 2019Travel the country. Meet farmers from other states. Develop your leadership skills. If those sound like goals you want to accomplish in 2020, then the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy (IPLA) may be for you.The Iowa Pork Producers Association is now accepting applications for its 2020 IPLA class. Applications are due Nov. 30, 2019. IPLA was created to support Iowa's pork producers who are committed to the pork industry. It provides them with the tools to succeed as leaders. These tools include:-    a working knowledge of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and other key organizations that work with IPPA to broaden perspectives and build coalitions;-    understanding and defining leadership styles and how they impact people working together in a group;-    a deeper understanding of the pork industry and its economic contributions to Iowa, and how that impacts Iowa's place in the world; and-    sharpening written and verbal communications and messaging about pig farming and pork.The academy will meet four times in 2020, starting with an introductory session in February 2020, which culminates with the group's graduation at the January 2021 Iowa Pork Congress.IPLA is for men and women who want to contribute to a better future for Iowa's pig farmers by connecting with their communities, and supporting the long-term profitability of the pork industry in Iowa.Online applications and details about the program can be found at http://www.iowapork.org/iowa-pork-leadership-academy/.The 2019 IPLA members will graduate at the 2020 IPPA Annual Meeting Awards Lunch on Jan. 21, 2020. Those members are: Kara Burch, Independence; Amanda Chipman, Ames; Jared Gent, Kalona; Mary Heiller, North Liberty; Ryan Holt, Des Moines; and Michael King, Urbandale.Also, Brian Lundell, Kiron; Craig Mostaert, Castalia; Nathan Nieuwendorp, Inwood; Scott Opperman, Manning; Ty Rosburg, Charter Oak; and Linda Schroeder, Remsen.Operation Main Street Shares Facts About Pig Farming With 10,000 GroupsAfter debuting nearly 15 years ago, the Pork Checkoff’s Operation Main Street (OMS) program has reached a major milestone – sharing facts about pigs and pork to 10,000 audiences. Wesley Lyons, a veterinarian from Sycamore, Illinois, made the historic presentation to nurses at the Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Fall Forum in Rockford, Illinois.“I was honored to present the 10,000th OMS speech, especially to a group of critical care nurses,” said Lyons, with Pipestone Veterinary Services. “Nurses often have more time to interact with patients than physicians, which makes them a critical group for us to share up-to-date information about how pigs are raised today.”The OMS program was created to help pig farmers interact with and connect to their communities about animal care, food safety and public health and other facets of how today’s pigs are raised. Since then, it has transitioned into a program that also reaches key influencers, expanding to include veterinarians such as Lyons and other industry representatives to serve as speakers. To date, the nearly 1,500 trained OMS speakers have collectively volunteered 17,604 hours to share pork’s story.“OMS provides the opportunity for audience members to ask questions about pigs and pork from the farmers and veterinarians who care for pigs daily,” said Ernie Barnes industry services director for the Pork Checkoff. “OMS speakers interact with chefs, nurses, veterinarian students, nutritionists, bloggers and other important groups who interact daily with audiences. OMS presentations help them confidently and accurately talk about the science and practice of raising pigs.”A new program update is an ability for audience members to virtually tour a pig farm. Through a collaboration with South Dakota State University (SDSU), OMS speakers can include live-streaming video tours of SDSU’s Swine Education and Research Center, in Brookings, South Dakota.“The live tours show how pig farmers follow the We CareSM ethical principles every day in their barns to raise healthy pigs,” said Lyons, who included a virtual tour in the 10,000th presentation. “Many people are surprised at the high level of care pigs receive in the climate-controlled barns and at how pig farmers safeguard natural resources.”OMS speakers and those who attend presentations are encouraged to use the hashtag –  #OurPorkStory – to increase the online presence of pig farming.  Record Red Meat and Pork Production in SeptemberCommercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.44 billion pounds in September, up 6 percent from the 4.19 billion pounds produced in September 2018.By State   (million pounds - % Sept '18)Nebraska ........:     698.6            106 Iowa ...............:     707.1            118       Kansas ............:     385.1             79       Beef production, at 2.19 billion pounds, was 1 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.68 million head, up 2 percent from September 2018. The average live weight was down 7 pounds from the previous year, at 1,352 pounds.Veal production totaled 6.1 million pounds, 1 percent above September a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 49,000 head, up 1 percent from September 2018. The average live weight was up 1 pound from last year, at 216 pounds.Pork production totaled 2.24 billion pounds, up 11 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 10.6 million head, up 10 percent from September 2018. The average live weight was up 2 pounds from the previous year, at 282 pounds.Lamb and mutton production, at 10.9 million pounds, was down 4 percent from September 2018. Sheep slaughter totaled 179,400 head, 4 percent above last year. The average live weight was 122 pounds, down 10 pounds from September a year ago.January to September 2019 commercial red meat production was 40.5 billion pounds, up 3 percent from 2018. Accumulated beef production was up 1 percent from last year, veal was down 1 percent, pork was up 5 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 2 percent. USDA Agricultural Trade Mission To Vietnam Reinforces Importance Of Trade RelationshipsRelationships are a primary driving force behind trade - a principle that was demonstrated during each meeting of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Mission (USDA’s ATM) to Vietnam in mid-October, led by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.Wayne Humphreys, corn farmer from Columbus Junction, Iowa, who represents the corn sector on the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Board of Directors, joined USGC staff for the mission, which included nearly 80 industry and government representatives. Humphreys’ participation as an engaged producer accentuated the importance of the interconnectedness between U.S. farmers and agribusiness, and other organizations like the Council in establishing, maintaining and expanding trade opportunities.“I particularly appreciated being a part of this mission and others because when you sit across the table from these people and say you are a family farmer or an American farmer, you get the distinct impression that is a good thing,” Humphreys said. “We are held in high regard for our productivity and for the amount of volume that we handle per person and per man-hour.”Vietnam is the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia, thanks to increasing population, urbanization and rapid economic growth. In less than a decade, Vietnam has grown from a top 10 to a top three corn importer in the world. The country is a significant importer of both U.S. corn and DDGS with additional future potential for U.S. sorghum. A rising middle class is also creating additional demand for ethanol, aided by a nationwide E5 policy that has ambitions to expand to E10. Vietnam imported 3.51 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in the 2018/2019 marketing year, more than tripling sales from the year prior.During the trade mission, Humphreys and Council staff participated in two different roundtable meetings with Undersecretary McKinney - one focused on ethanol and bioplastics and another with grain traders. Each meeting emphasized the Council’s well-known reputation as a partner in the trade and with Vietnamese producers working to expand their operations and address challenges like Asian Swine Fever (ASF).“They have great respect for the Council. They know we have been in business a long time and we have been working in that part of the world for a long time,” Humphreys said. “We are not just blowing in there because the market is a hot spot.”The USGC team traveled to Myanmar following the official USDA trade mission to meet with key stakeholders in the frontier Southeast Asian market. Myanmar is home to 54 million people with tremendous potential for U.S. grain and co-product exports. However, restrictions on foreign investment related to political turbulence within Myanmar limited market development activities until 2018. Since then, the Council has been engaging with key stakeholders in the market, targeting aquaculture, animal feed and potable ethanol industries.“Myanmar is a classic example of an emerging market,” Humphreys said. “The people are learning how to be part of the international community. We learned long ago to be patient with emerging markets and help them develop their policies.”In both markets, Humphreys observed the importance of the Council’s on-the-ground presence and emphasized the overarching need to continue to establish connections, not just promote sales.“The business of the Council and the business of the American farmer around the world should be focused on developing relationships,” Humphreys said. “That means consistency; that means trust; that means honesty; that means doing and delivering exactly what we said we will do.”National Biodiesel Foundation Receives DERA GrantThis week, the National Biodiesel Foundation was awarded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding for its 2020 National Clean Diesel Project. In partnership with Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT), Optimus Technologies (Optimus), and  Renewable Energy Group (REG), the project supports the purchase of three new replacement snowplows that will operate on B100 and retire older more polluting vehicles.These new B100-optimized vehicles provide communities of Des Moines and Ames, Iowa. with lower NOx and PM transportation. “We at Foundation are excited to partner with Iowa DOT for the first successful DERA grant to utilize the Optimus B100 technology," said Tom Verry, Executive Director. “It is projects like this that will showcase the benefits of higher biodiesel blends as the future of clean and sustainable diesel.”“The Iowa Department of Transportation is pleased to receive this award to help our fleet improve air quality in Iowa and maintains our status as an early adopter of biofuels and related technologies,” said David May, Fleet Manager for Iowa DOT.These new vehicles will facilitate goods-movement seasonally by providing snow removal service and have access to rail yards, terminals, and key distribution centers. All replacement vehicles will use Optimus Technologies’ Vector technology, allowing the vehicles to operate exclusively on 100% biodiesel—other than startup and shutdown—to optimize fuel savings and emissions performance.“Optimus’ patented technology is deployed with fleets across the country leading the efforts to reduce emissions and transition to low carbon fuels. Our technology is ideal for demanding applications like snow removal operations and refuse collection that aren’t suitable or practical for electrification,” said Colin Huwyler, CEO of Optimus. “We applaud Iowa Department of Transportation’s leadership in being the first DOT in the nation to deploy B100 within their fleet and are excited to emphasize that the thousands of gallons of diesel fuel being offset will be replaced with biodiesel that is produced right in Iowa.”REG will provide the B100 refueling infrastructure for the fleet. “As the demand for emissions reduction strategies continue to grow across fleets and municipalities, we are well-positioned to provide quality biodiesel (B100) and other biofuel blend options to our customers,” said Jon Scharingson, Executive Director, Sales & Marketing. “The Iowa Department of Transportation was an early adopter of biodiesel and continues to be an ambassador for cleaner fuels.”The Foundation will work with IDOT, Iowa Renewable Fuels, Iowa Clean Cities and the National Biodiesel Board to offer technician training to help them better understand the equipment as well as provide community educational events. In addition, partners will conduct outreach efforts to showcase biodiesel and educate fleets and the general public on biodiesel’s air quality and low carbon benefits to the community.RFA Receives Grants for Ethanol Safety EducationThe Renewable Fuels Association has recently been awarded grants to support its safety education program through on-site seminars and Internet webinars. Both grants were received via the association’s work with TRANSCAER, a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident.“One of the strengths that sets our association apart is our whole-industry focus that includes high-quality technical assistance such as our safety programs with TRANSCAER,” said RFA Technical Services Manager Missy Ruff. “As we seek to make ethanol more available to drivers nationwide, we want to ensure that ethanol producers, shippers, blenders, and emergency response personnel all have the opportunity to learn more about best practices for safe handling of ethanol and responding to incidents. We are very grateful for the continuing support from TRANSCAER and other partner organizations.”A $25,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration will support 10 ethanol safety seminars and four “train the trainer” webinars for first responders, and a $40,000 Assistance for Local Emergency Response Training grant from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration will fund another 10 ethanol safety seminars and an update of RFA’s Ethanol Safety Tour video.All work on both grants must be completed by Aug. 31, 2020. Last year, RFA’s safety work with TRANSCAER involved hosting ethanol safety seminars in New York, Vermont, Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Maine and Virginia reaching a total audience of 506 first responders and safety professionals, and four online “Train the Trainer” webinars, reaching 259 participants in January, March, July and August.For more information on RFA’s work in this area, visit the Ethanol Emergency Response website at www.EthanolResponse.com, where the training programs conducted in the seminars and webinars can be seen. IGC Cuts 2019-20 Grain Production, Consumption ForecastsThe International Grains Council cut its forecast for grain production on Thursday, as a third year of drought in Australia drags on global wheat output.The intergovernmental organization reduced its forecast for grain output in the 2019-20 season to 2.157 billion metric tons, down from 2.159 billion tons in its September report. Strong harvests in the European Union and Russia partly offset cuts to the outlook for wheat production in Australia and Argentina.Wheat prices have risen in recent weeks, driven by strong demand in Egypt, the world's top importer of the grain, and dry weather in Australia.However, the IGC forecasts are unlikely to lead to a further rally in prices since the organization also cut its forecast for global grain consumption by two million tons, to 2.184 billion tons. EPA Proposes Rule to Update Pesticide Application Exclusion Zone RequirementsToday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing narrow updates to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) pesticide regulation to improve the long-term success of the agency’s Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) requirements. The targeted updates would improve enforceability for state regulators and reduce regulatory burdens for farmers. It would also maintain public health protections for farm workers and other individuals near agricultural establishments that could be exposed to agricultural pesticide applications. The proposed updates are consistent with the newly enacted 2019 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA).“EPA’s proposal would enhance the agency’s Application Exclusion Zone provisions by making them more effective and easier to implement,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “In listening to input from stakeholders, our proposal will make targeted updates, maintaining safety requirements to protect the health of those in farm country, while providing greater flexibility for farmers.”“President Trump made a commitment to our farmers to reduce burdensome regulations, and this is another example of him making good on that promise. This action will make it easier for our farmers and growers to comply with the Application Exclusion Zone provisions, providing them with the flexibility to do what they do best - feed, fuel, and clothe the world,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.“I commend Administrator Wheeler for clarifying the Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) requirements," said Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11). "This is a positive development for our nation’s farmers, farm workers, and their State regulatory partners. Unlike the last administration’s misguided regulations, AEZ is now an enforceable rule that maintains worker protections without additional burden to farmers. While there is still more to do to improve the Worker Protection Standards, I appreciate EPA’s efforts and look forward to continuing this important work.”“NASDA appreciates the EPA’s continued steps to prioritize worker safety. Additional and improved guidelines for implementing pesticide safety standards are always welcomed, as NASDA members hold highly the responsibility of protecting our nation’s agricultural workforce,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) CEO Dr. Barb Glenn. “We thank EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for mapping out the new rules with NASDA, as each member implements the regulations and intricacies within them.”“I applaud EPA’s action to provide growers relief from a very cumbersome requirement by proposing changes to the Worker Protection Standard consistent with our remarks submitted during a 2017 comment period,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “Our growers go to great lengths to comply with the WPS only to be frustrated with its complexity. Updating and simplifying the Application Exclusion Zone provision within this rule will strengthen enforceability for state regulators and better support outreach and education efforts by research partners, all while reducing regulatory burdens for our farmers.”“The American Farm Bureau Federation welcomes EPA’s effort to refine and improve the application exclusion zone requirement. It’s part of the worker protection standards rule, which was recently revised in a way that has proved challenging for many farmers," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. "Every effort to make the rule more sensible and practical for farmers while safeguarding workers is important. EPA’s step today to assure that only those areas under a farmer’s control are enforceable is a common-sense clarification, among others designed to reflect on-the-ground farming practices. AFBF commends Administrator Wheeler and the agency for this common-sense and welcome revision.”EPA continues to support the AEZ requirement. The agency is holding a 90-day public comment period and is seeking input on select updates that were publicly suggested to EPA by both state pesticide agencies responsible for enforcing the provision and agricultural stakeholders since the AEZ requirement was adopted in 2015. The proposed updates are also consistent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s comments during a May 2017 meeting of EPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee.Specifically, EPA is proposing to:-    Modify the AEZ so it is applicable and enforceable only on a farm owner’s property, where a farm owner can lawfully exercise control over employees and bystanders who could fall within the AEZ. As currently written, the off-farm aspect of this provision has proven very difficult for state regulators to enforce. These proposed changes would enhance both enforcement and implementation of the AEZ for state regulators and farm owners respectively. Off-farm bystanders would still be protected from pesticide applications thanks to the existing “do not contact” requirement that prohibits use in a manner that would contact unprotected individuals.-    Exempt immediate family members of farm owners from all aspects of the AEZ requirement. This will allow farm owners and their immediate family members to decide whether to stay in their homes or other enclosed structures on their property during certain pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining.-    Add clarifying language that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.-    Simplify the criteria for deciding whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25- or 100-foot AEZ.EPA will be accepting public comments on the proposed updates for 90 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.Additional information: www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/agricultural-worker-protection-standard-wps.

Madison cattle feeder co-chairs Nexus capital campaign at Northeast Community CollegeA cattle feeder from Madison is helping lead the capital campaign to fund new agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College.Jeanne Reigle, who co-owns Reigle Cattle Company with her husband, John, and son and daughter-in-law, is a co-chair of the campaign, along with Russ Vering of Central Plains Milling in Howells and Columbus.“My husband, John, and I asked Northeast for help in meeting our workforce needs,” Reigle explained. “Their answer was this plan to create a premiere location to attract traditional and non-traditional students from all over the country, whether they are interested in livestock agriculture, precision farming or another aspect of production.”Providing trained employees for area farms, ranches and agri-businesses is one of the main goals of the Nexus project at Northeast Community College.According to Dr. Tracy Kruse, vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation, “As we talk with area business people, one topic that comes up again and again is the critical shortage of trained workers. Since nine out of 10 Northeast students stay in Nebraska after graduation, we believe that increasing enrollments in our ag program would help farmers, ranchers and agri-businessmen meet that challenge.”Kruse said that one of the factors limiting student growth in the Northeast ag department is the lack of modern facilities.“Veterinary technology and animal science students learn in a 100-year-old repurposed dairy barn,” Kruse said. “The Nexus campaign will provide the funds needed to replace that building, as well as provide a farm site that more closely resembles a modern Nebraska farm.”Reigle has past experience in fundraising, having chaired several local efforts as well as being a co-chair of the 2008 Nebraska Cattlemen’s Ball. She encourages everyone to make an investment in agriculture in northeast Nebraska by contributing to the Nexus campaign.“I tell ag producers that each dollar contributed to new ag facilities at Northeast is an investment in their own ag business, not just in the college. This state of the art campus will give close proximity access to some of the best qualified ag workforce, technology advancements, and crop management and development.”“There are several ways to be a part of the Nexus campaign,” Reigle continued. “Cash donations can be made over a five-year pledge period; gifts of grain and livestock are being accepted by the campaign; and some retirees are designating the required disbursements from their IRA’s to the project.”“Northeast wants to make it possible for everyone to be a part of this project,” Kruse said. “If writing a large check is not something you can do, please contact the Foundation office for more information on alternative ways to support agriculture at Northeast in a significant and tax deductible way.”Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, and a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on E. Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at tracyk@northeast.edu, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.Beef Nutrition Research Showcase Set for Dec. 4 in AmesThe 2019 Beef Nutrition Research Showcase Dec. 4, features a variety of topics presented by eight Iowa State University speakers, all with an eye on practical research and market information. The showcase is presented by Iowa Beef Center and the ruminant nutrition group in the animal science department at Iowa State University.Allison VanDerWal, research coordinator with the ruminant nutrition group, is one of the organizers of the event. She said that while the focus is on nutrition, all presenters will offer insight and information relevant to beef cattle production."Our specific topics include growth promoting technologies and their effect on cattle mineral health, precision livestock farming tools for the feedlot, and transit stress in receiving calves," she said. "We'll also get a beef cattle market situation and outlook, and learn about finishing high quality beef."The program flyer has all the details, including speaker names and affiliations, event times and location addresses.  http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/events/ResearchShowcaseFlyer2019.pdf The showcase itself will be held at the Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Road in Ames, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Following the presentations, dinner will be provided at 5:30 p.m. There is an optional tour at the Iowa State Beef Nutrition Farm, and those wanting to attend should meet at the farm, at 3405 North Dakota Ave, at noon.Thanks to sponsor Merck Animal Health, the tour, program and meal are free. However, RSVPs should be made by Wednesday, Nov. 27, by contacting VanDerWal either by email at avand@iastate.edu or by phone at 507-822-5921.VanDerWal also encourages showcase attendees to consider registering for the Iowa Cattlemen's Association 2019 Iowa Cattle Leadership Summit, set for Dec. 5-6 at Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. Registration for all meals and trade show access is $75 for members and $90 for nonmembers through November 20.RFID Mandate Removed from USDA WebsiteIn April 2019 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publicly issued its guidance document titled, "Factsheet Advancing Animal Disease Traceability: A Plan to Achieve Electronic Identification in Cattle and Bison," which was prominently displayed on the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS's) website under the heading "Animal Disease Traceability."That guidance document stated that USDA would require the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) eartags on adult cattle and bison moved in interstate commerce beginning Jan. 1, 2023.Representing the ranching group R-CALF USA and several of its members, Harriet Hageman of the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) filed a lawsuit on Oct. 4, 2019 in the federal district court in Casper, Wyo. alleging that the USDA's RFID mandate was unlawful and seeking to declare the mandate null and void.When the ranching group's lawsuit was filed, the USDA's guidance document remained prominently displayed on APHIS' website at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/SA_Traceability.Today, just days after the lawsuit was filed, the guidance document is gone.R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard conducted a search for the infamous guidance document and could not find it anywhere on USDA's website.  However, he did locate the document that had apparently been archived by the Government Printing Office. Although the guidance document cannot be accessed in its prior location on USDA's website, it can still be accessed here: https://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo120647/traceability.pdf.After the ranching group filed their lawsuit, and before it was removed from the USDA's website, on Oct. 8, 2019, President Donald J. Trump issued two Executive Orders that, among other things, attempted to stop federal agencies like the USDA from attempting to impose legally binding obligations on U.S. citizens through unlawful means, such as the use of guidance documents that were not created through a lawful rulemaking procedure.The President's Executive Orders gave federal agencies 120 days to compile a publicly available inventory of all the guidance documents that the respective agencies intended to keep and defend, regardless of whether those guidance documents were created pursuant to a lawful rulemaking procedure.Hageman stated, "We hope that USDA's removal of the 'Factsheet' from its website demonstrates that the agency acknowledges the strength of our lawsuit challenging its illegal effort at mandating RFID for livestock producers who seek to sell their livestock across state lines. Such a move would be a victory for the rule of law, confirm that "guidance" cannot be used to nullify a properly adopted regulation, and provide much needed certainty for the industry."Bullard stated, "When we filed our lawsuit we said we were drawing a line in the sand telling the USDA that our industry will no longer stand for the USDA's blatant overreach and we are pleased that the President of the United States recognizes this as a serious violation of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, particularly American cattle ranchers."Fertilizer Prices Continue to FallThe prices for most fertilizers tracked by DTN continued to drop in the third week of October, following nine weeks of price drops in all eight major fertilizers.In this latest update, six of the eight fertilizers showed price declines, led by DAP with a $15-per-ton decrease compared to last month. DAP came in at $465 per ton, compared to $480 one month ago.MAP was priced at $472/ton for this update, falling from $478 last month.Three fertilizer prices fell by $2 in one month, including potash at $382, urea at $402 and anhydrous at $507.UAN28 experienced a small price decline of $1 to $253/ton. The prices of 10-34-0 and UAN32 remained steady at $471 and $289, respectively.On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.With prices significantly lower in recent months, two fertilizers' prices are lower in price than a year ago. MAP is now 9% less expensive and DAP is 7% lower from last year at this time.Of the remaining six major fertilizers, five continue to be slightly higher compared to last year. Urea is 1% less expensive than last year, while potash is 5% more expensive and UAN28 is up 4%. 10-34-0 and anhydrous are both 3% higher. UAN32 is priced at 2% higher than one year ago.Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/18/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 18, ethanol production shifted higher to 996,000 barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 41.83 million gallons daily, an increase of 25,000 b/d or 2.6% from the prior week. However, production was 2.7% below the same week a year ago and 4.1% below the level two years ago.The four-week average ethanol production rate increased for the first time since mid-August, rising 1.4% to 972,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.90 billion gallons.Ethanol stocks dropped 3.2% to 21.4 million barrels for the second-smallest level in over a year. Inventories were 10.6% lower than the same week last year. Stocks fell across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2).Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 28,000 b/d, or 8.23 million gallons for the week. This is the first time in four weeks that imports were logged. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market scaled up 2.5% to a 6-week high of 9.590 million b/d (402.8 million gallons per day, or 147.01 bg annualized). Conversely, refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol narrowed by 1.5% to 928,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.23 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production ticked up to 10.39%.Coalition Challenges EPA on 2018 Refinery WaiversA coalition of renewable fuel and agricultural trade organizations filed a petition Tuesday afternoon with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, challenging the process by which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exempted certain unknown small refineries from their respective Renewable Fuel Standard obligations for 2018. The coalition includes the American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and Renewable Fuels Association.Unlike previous years, EPA’s entire decision document was only two pages long, the coalition noted in their petition. In these short two pages, EPA purported to resolve 36 pending petitions for disproportionate economic hardship exemptions—a decision that exempted small refineries from having to blend almost one and a half billion gallons of renewable fuel.The brief document does not reveal any details and contains only the most bare-bones reasoning for EPA’s decision. Further, the decision did not transparently address whether any of the small refineries were eligible to receive extensions of their exemptions and did not include an analysis of ‘disproportionate economic hardship’, as the statute envisions.“Even as the Trump Administration indicates it is taking steps to account for future small refinery exemptions, the coalition remains concerned that EPA’s abuse of the small refinery exemption program diverges from the spirit and letter of the Clean Air Act,” the coalition stated. “From a substantive and procedural perspective, this is not the way for a federal agency to make such a momentous decision.”Joint Statement From Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association on Brazil’s Ethanol Tariff Rate QuotaGrowth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association expressed their disappointment with the news that the Brazilian government amended the recent August 31st rule that raised the quota on U.S. ethanol imports under the tariff rate quote (TRQ) from 600 million liters per year to nearly 750 million liters per year. The TRQ regulates the threshold of ethanol that can be imported into Brazil without triggering a 20 percent tariff.This is a step backwards in Brazilian government claims that it is an advocate of free markets. Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association released the following statement:“The decision by Brazil to place seasonal restrictions on its tariff rate quota for U.S. ethanol is disappointing and puts up additional roadblocks to free trade, hurting consumers and our respective ethanol industries.“For more than 15 years, Brazilian ethanol industry leaders lobbied the U.S. government to drop the tax on imported ethanol, saying:-    ‘[We] believe that free trade is a two-way street and Brazil…will lead by example and eliminate barriers to renewable, clean fuels.’-    ‘[We’re] asking the Brazilian government to make the tariff elimination permanent if the U.S. Congress will do the same and drop the tax on imported ethanol.’-    'It’s time for these two countries to show leadership and work together to develop a truly global free market for ethanol, without trade barriers, as is the case for oil.'-    ‘Consumers win when industries compete. Brazilian ethanol producers are willing to compete for consumers. What about American producers?’“The U.S. took the high road and eliminated its ethanol tariff.“The action by Brazil this week to impose seasonal restrictions on the sale of ethanol does not create a case study in leading by example, but rather the opposite - it is up-ending real opportunities for free trade.”Dairy Sectors of the United States and Mexico conduct Fourth Annual MeetingThe representatives of the organizations of milk producers and the dairy processors of Mexico:• Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Lecheros (ANGLAC)• Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG)• Gremio de Productores Lecheros de la Republica Mexicana• Cámara Nacional de Industriales de la Leche (CANILEC)And the representatives of the organizations of milk producers of the Unites States:• National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF)• U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC)The dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States are proud to be among the world’s leading providers of wholesome and nutritious dairy products. We help feed communities around the globe while driving economic growth and bringing myriad positive benefits to each of our respective nations.We salute the hard work of the dairy farmers and processors in both Mexico and the United States who produce superior dairy products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Dairy consumption continues to grow, and our industries are continually modernizing in order to more efficiently meet the growing consumer demand for the high-quality products we produce. We also recognize the importance of ensuring that our industries continue to support small and medium size dairy operations as they work to sustain their livelihood and increase productivity.Mexico and the United States produce a wide range of healthy, safe and delicious dairy products for the enjoyment of consumers. However, negative marketing activities and the proliferation of false, unscientific information regarding the properties of milk and milk products are impacting some consumer preferences.We express concern over the new proposal mandating front-of-packaging nutrition labeling in Mexico, and urge the Mexican government to ensure that it NOT affect the positive image of milk and dairy products.Also, the ratification of the USMCA – TMEC by the United States Congress is vital to strengthen the promising future of the milk and dairy sectors of Mexico and the United States, by bringing certainty to our trade relationships and creating new opportunities to increase dairy trade in the region.Finally, the industries support a strong strategic collaboration to work on a number of issues of interest to both the Mexican dairy sector as well the U.S. dairy sector.On this fourth annual meeting within the framework of the partnership to strengthen the productive sector for milk in North America, held in Torreón, Mexico, the dairy industries of Mexico and the Unites States hereby agree to:    Preserve, facilitate and enhance trade between the two nations, as well as promote the elimination of trade barriers of any kind in the dairy sector.    Have as a key objective the expansion of dairy consumption in both countries to the benefit of producers, manufacturers and primarily consumers in the United States and Mexico, by promoting joint activities that help increase the consumption of our dairy products within our region.    Identify and promote actions that improve the productivity of dairy farms in Mexico and the United States, understanding the additional needs of small producers in Mexico in particular, while strengthening cooperation in the area of technological exchange and training, to drive improvements in milk production and nutrition.    Defend the reputation and image of milk and dairy products in both countries by strongly rejecting the improper usage of milk and milk product names by products of nondairy origin, such as plant-based products.    Creation of a Binational Commission to defend the image of dairy as well as to work on issues of sustainability, animal care and food safety, and find avenues to promote and increase consumption of dairy products.    Urge the Mexican authorities to consider in the public consultation the arguments of the national and international dairy sector, so that milk and dairy products that contain milk as their main ingredient are not affected by the establishment of warning seals on their labels, in recognition of the enormous nutritional benefits of dairy products, the important role they play in a healthy and balanced diet and the consideration of vulnerable groups in society.    Express the need for stabilization in our markets in recognition of the economic, social and political importance and certainty that this agreement offers to our industries.    Continue activities in defense of common food names, in particular cheese names, allowing their free use in our North American market respecting the USMCA agreement on intellectual property.    Urge the governments involved in the negotiation of USMCA – TMEC to expeditiously implement this modernized trade agreement in order to secure its framework for a strong and united dairy industry for the benefit of our geographical zone and its consumers.    Understand the importance of sustainability as an integral part of the growth in dairy demand and pledge to continue working on common efforts to improve dairy farm productivity while continuing to protect our natural resources.    Recognize that Animal Welfare has become a critical part of supply demand to consumers in both countries. The U.S. dairy industry will share developments related to the National Dairy FARM Program to the benefit of dairy farmers in Mexico with the objective of achieving continuous improvement in the health and welfare of their livestock.    Ratify the cooperation between our industries in the participation of dairy sector events held in our countries, and specifically in those events aimed to enhance the health benefits that our products offer to consumers.Cargill and FFA Partner to Inspire and Educate Future LeadersCargill and the National FFA Organization share the belief that agriculture can solve some of the world’s toughest sustainability challenges. Cargill is investing $2.1 million over three years to help the FFA organization develop future leaders who are prepared to continue advancing sustainable agriculture. The funds will enable the FFA Organization’s efforts to bridge the needs of the agriculture, food and natural resources industries. “We need the best and brightest young minds to help create solutions that balance feeding a growing population with protecting our planet," said Ruth Kimmelshue, business operations & supply chain lead and Chief Sustainability Officer for Cargill, and former member of the National FFA Organization Board of Directors. “Through agriculture, young people have the opportunity to develop and use new technology and implement solutions to regenerate soils, build the economic success of farming communities, innovate supply chains, address the global issues facing our industry—such as climate change, deforestation and water conservation—and so much more.” The National FFA Organization’s sustainability leader development program will receive $300,000 of the investment, supporting the organization’s efforts to re-evaluate programs and events to include educational resources, experiential learning and leadership development opportunities for future sustainability-driven influencers. The multi-year commitment also elevates support of:-    The state officer leadership continuum—impacting FFA members by developing leadership skills and personal growth for 375 state officers-    Living to serve platform—supporting 57,000 hours of service to make a difference in local communities across the country through chapter service projects-    The agriscience fair—developing students interested in and excelling in science and research, with more than 415 projects approved for competition at the national level. 89% of students report having a better understanding of science’s role in agriculture after competing in the fair-    Recruitment and retention of quality agriculture educatorsFor nearly 60 years, Cargill has partnered with the FFA Organization to create innovative ways to inspire youth in agriculture, investing more than $16 million to foster innovative career education and support career development events, leadership development conferences, agriscience fairs and areas of service. Cargill and FFA have brought together corporate leaders, academics, FFA state officers and students around a shared vision for the future of agriculture.“Cargill is proud to support the work FFA is doing to cultivate a better future for all, by empowering young people to be leaders in agriculture, food and nutrition,” said John Niemann, president, protein ingredients & international channel, Cargill Protein - North America, and current Chair of the National FFA Sponsors Board. “Working together, we can ensure American agriculture continues to build vibrant communities, supports prosperous families and rewarding careers, and produces the food we need to feed a growing population.”“National FFA values Cargill’s longtime support through their sponsorship and partnership based on shared values,” said Molly Ball, president of the National FFA Foundation. “The nearly 60-year relationship has helped cultivate the talent pipeline for agriculture, and continues to develop future leaders that positively impact the industry and the world.” Final Rule Amends the National List for Organic Crops and HandlingThe U.S. Department of Agriculture today published a final rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) based on public input and the April 2018 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board.This final rule:-    Allows elemental sulfur to be used as a slug or snail bait to reduce crop losses.-    Allows polyoxin D zinc salt for plant disease control.-    Reclassifies magnesium chloride from a synthetic to a non-synthetic substance.The final rule is effective November 22, 2019.

Rural Nebraska Communities have Access to $2.2 Million for Disaster Recovery Due to FEMA-Major Disaster DeclarationsU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development  Nebraska State Director Karl Elmshaeuser today announces that Nebraska has been allocated with nearly $2.2 million in grants available through the Community Facilities Program to help rural communities continue in their recovery from the devastating effects of FEMA declared disasters in Nebraska.   “Nebraska has been hit hard by the devastating weather, with 83 of our counties receiving Major Disaster Declarations,” Elmshaeuser said. “USDA works hard to help communities thrive and this funding supports in their long-term recovery.”   The $2.2 million is included in the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act that President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2019.   Nebraska declared counties are:  Adams, Antelope, Banner, Blaine, Boone, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cherry, Cheyenne, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Gage, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Holt, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lancaster, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, Madison, Merrick, Morrill, Nance, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Omaha Indian Reservation, Otoe, Pawnee, Phelps, Pierce, Platte, Polk, Ponca TDSA, Richardson, Rock, Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, Saline, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Thayer, Thomas, Thurston, Valley, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Winnebago Indian Reservation, and York.      Grant applications will be accepted at USDA Rural Development Attn: Community Programs; 100 Centennial Mall North; Federal Building Room 308; Lincoln, Neb.  68508.  Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Grant assistance will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.  In Nebraska, contact your local Rural Development Community Program Staff.   More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in eligible rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.   In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).   USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. Cuming County Board of Supervisors Seeking Extension Board NominationsThe 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 districts served by Supervisors John Ross, District 2 and Clarence Tichota, District 4. 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.  You may also contact nominating committee members Kay Raabe, Terry Jahnke or Justin Sindelar.According to Extension Educator Larry Howard, 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.Crop Residue Exchange Updated and Available for ListingsMary Drewnoski - NE Extension Beef Systems SpecialistNew updates make the Crop Residue Exchange http://cropresidueexchange.unl.edu/ even easier to use to link cattle producers and available grazing resources. Crop producers who have listed residue available for grazing in the past are encouraged to log in and update their listings on the Exchange for the fall and winter grazing season.Recent updates to the Exchange have expanded its geographical reach to include large portions of the states that surround Nebraska. Crop producers in much of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota can now list fields they have available for grazing.Another update allows livestock producers to save their searches and receive an email notification when a crop producer lists something matching their criteria. There is a lot more searching going on than we have listings. If a crop producr creates a new listing, odds are pretty good that in the near future several livestock producers will be receiving an email letting them know about it.In addition to providing a winter feed resource, grazing corn residue can increase the amount and rate of corn residue breakdown. When grazed at proper stocking rates, small but positive impacts on subsequent crop production after grazing have been observed. University of Nebraska-Lincoln recommendations for establishing corn residue stocking rates are based on 50% utilization of leaves and husks (8 pounds per bushel or 20% of the total corn residue). Some additional corn residue disappears through trampling and wind loss, but there has been no increased erosion risks when only 40% to 50% of the corn residue was removed through grazing.Getting Started with the Crop Residue ExchangeAfter establishing a log-in account on the Crop Residue Exchange, producers can draw out the plot of land available for grazing by using an interactive map and entering basic information about the type of residue, fencing situation, water availability, and dates available. They also need to provide their preferred contact information. The land available for grazing can be described as a “Residue Type” (corn, wheat, sorghum, other) or pasture. Pricing can be listed as a cost per acre or a cost per head per day. Livestock producers can search the Crop Residue Exchange database for grazing available within a radius for the location of interest. Livestock producers must be logged in to view the contact information attached to each listing.The Crop Residue Exchange came online in August 2017. To date 281 registered users have posted 45 listings for grazing. Over 6,000 searches for grazing resources have been conducted on the Exchange and almost 600 views of contact information for available listings have occurred. The Exchange continues to expand in usage as well as features available to better connect livestock producers with forage resources.Writing a Marketing Plan for Your Stored GrainJessica Groskopf - NE Extension Educator for Agricultural EconomicsThe goal for any farmer holding grain in storage should be to obtain a better price for that crop in the spring or summer than the price offered at harvest.Some farmers put grain in the bin looking to sell it by hitting a grain marketing “home run,” i.e., selling all of their grain in storage at the highest price possible. This one-shot marketing approach is rarely a successful strategy because farmers either sell grain before the market high hits or wait too long and end up with a lower price than what was offered at harvest. Savvy grain marketers tend not to use this one-shot approach. The most successful marketers write a grain-marketing plan that guides them to sell smaller quantities of grain throughout the year. This approach allows the farmer to be more in control of the final farm average price. The following five steps describe how to write a grain-marketing plan.1. Break the total amount of grain into smaller units.Instead of thinking of your marketing plan as selling all of your grain at once, sell your grain in smaller quantities. Most farmers think in 1,000- or 5,000-bushel quantities. This allows multiple sales to occur and therefore the opportunity to take part in unforeseen rallies (and further price declines).2. Set price targets.When determining price targets after harvest, you will want to set targets above the price you could have obtained at harvest, plus any additional expenses accrued by storage. The longer the grain remains in storage, the higher the price target will need to be. Expenses to consider are bin rental/maintenance/repairs, insurance on grain in storage, potential quality deterioration, and additional interest expense on operating notes.It is important that you set realistic price targets. Setting prices too high or too low may be detrimental to your plan. When your price targets aren’t realistic, you either sell too quickly at a low price or hold grain too long, waiting for a price the market never reaches. Price targets can always be adjusted if market fundamentals change.3. Set sales deadlines.If prices do not rise enough to meet your price target, you need to set sales deadlines to ensure you are proactive about selling. Sales deadlines ensure that you aren’t continuing to incur storage expenses while prices decline. Target prices and sales deadlines work together to help you achieve a farm price in a range that helps you survive.Commodity prices typically have a defined seasonal price pattern. Setting sales deadlines that correspond to periods when prices are traditionally highest will help make marketing easier. Price patterns vary by commodity. Corn prices are typically highest in the spring (March – June,) and soybean prices are traditionally highest in summer (June – July). Don’t forget to calculate storage costs when taking this approach.Another consideration when selecting sales deadlines is your cash flow needs. Are there certain times of the year when you need to make sales to make payments? Plan and have this cash ready by setting sales deadlines ahead of payment dates.4. Know your contractsThere are several types of contracts you can use to sell grain. You should work with your local elevator or broker to determine what marketing contracts are available to you and what contracts you should be using to achieve your price targets and sales deadlines. Typical marketing contracts offered by most local elevators are-    cash sales,-    forward cash contracts,-    basis contracts, and-    hedge to arrive (HTA) contracts.You can also work with a broker to establish hedges, and/or an options position.5. Share your plan with someone elseOnce you have written your plan, share it with someone else. Sharing your goals with your spouse, merchandiser, or banker will help keep you accountable to your marketing goals.Marketing plans can become more complex. However, this basic outline will help you get started. Remember, the goal of the marketing plan is not to get distracted from your goals determined at the beginning of the crop cycle.Iowa Corn and Peace Tree Brewing Co. Release Cornucopia BeerIowa Corn and Peace Tree Brewing Co. partnered to create a seasonal beer made from Iowa corn. The key ingredient to this Cornucopia beer is homegrown Iowa corn. The corn was grown by Iowa Corn Growers Association Director Steve Kuiper on his farm just five miles from Peace Tree’s Knoxville location. The limited-edition Cornucopia beer will be available through participating Hy-Vee, Fareway and other beer locations throughout Iowa. The draft will be available at participating craft beer bars and restaurants throughout Iowa.ICA Scholarship Deadlines ApproachingThe Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation offers a variety of scholarship opportunities throughout the year. Application deadlines are approaching for the:1. Beef Scholarship Extravaganza2. Maynard Jayne Scholars ProgramMaynard Jayne ScholarshipThe Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation is currently accepting scholarship applications in honor of the late Maynard Jayne. The Jayne Family has graciously donated memorial monies as well as their own funds to develop the Maynard Jayne Scholars program.Maynard Jayne was a long time Iowa Cattlemen’s Association employee. He began his career as a field representative and helped increase membership numbers across the state. His greatest contribution, though, was as a lobbyist for ICA at our State Capitol. Maynard’s industry knowledge and his ability to bring the right people together made him a highly respected key player at the state legislature.Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation will be awarding the Jayne Scholar at the Leadership Summit this coming December. The deadline for application submission is November 15th.Beef Scholarship ExtravaganzaThe Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation is proud to host the Beef Scholarship Extravaganza. It is one of the most challenging and rewarding youth cattle competitions in the nation. Young people who participate in this event reap the benefits of their preparation long after the competition is over. Registration is due Nov. 5.The contest is open to high school juniors and seniors who test their knowledge on beef industry and beef cattle management issues. Stations cover the following beef industry topics:     Credit and Finance     Seedstock Merchandising    Nutrition      Reproduction       Industry Issues and Advocacy       Marketing    Beef Management    Health    Job Interview        Keep-Cull Heifer Replacement Evaluation    Applications can be found at www.iowacattlemensfoundation.org. For more information, please contact Mary Greiman at mary@iacattlemen.org or 641-425-1533.FFAR and National Pork Board Develop Tools to Detect and Understand Spread of African Swine Fever VirusThe African Swine Fever virus (ASFV) is a highly contagious disease that spreads rapidly in pig populations. It has no impact on people, so pork remains safe to consume. To help keep the U.S. ASFV-free and protect the country’s pigs, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the National Pork Board (NPB) awarded $535,780 to research teams at Kansas State University and Iowa State University to study how ASFV survives and how to test pigs for the virus. ASFV has existed in Africa for decades. However, the virus is spreading due to changing production practices and increasing globalization. ASFV entered China in August 2018 and is now quickly infecting swine herds across the globe. The virus has also been reported in Europe. The current state of ASFV spread and concerns that it could enter North America increases risk for pig farming. The U.S., specifically, produces 125 million pigs annually. To date, a vaccine or treatment for the virus has yet to be developed although research is underway. Farmers are focused on ways to prevent the virus from entering the U.S. as losses would be staggering not only for the pork industry, but for other agriculture commodities as well.  “We remain committed to investing Pork Checkoff funds in strategic ways, such as this collaboration to find new ways to protect our domestic swine herd from foreign animal disease threats,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a producer representing Arkansas. “Understanding how African swine fever survives can help us create better techniques for controlling the spread of this costly virus and reduce the odds of a domestic outbreak.”Even though ASFV does not affect human health, it threatens the $20 billion-dollar U.S. swine industry and the 550,000 American jobs created by the industry. To date, only limited research funding is available, which is why FFAR and the National Pork Board are collaborating on funding research projects to diagnose and manage an ASFV outbreak in the U.S. The main focus for producers is preventing the virus from entering the U.S. and preparing the industry by understanding the survivability mechanisms of the virus. This knowledge will help to identify strategies to keep it out of the country and assist in creating rapid and accurate virus identification techniques in case the virus does reach the U.S. Research funded in this collaboration includes studies by Kansas State University and Iowa State University. Kansas State University researchers seek to understand how ASFV survives and continues to infect other animals in various environments. If scientists understand how the disease spreads, they will be better able to control, or even stop, the spread of this virus. Additional work at Kansas State University is developing tests to detect ASFV. A third project is creating diagnostic test to quickly test entire herds for ASF. Iowa State University researchers are focusing on how best to identify foreign animal diseases at low prevalence in large commercial pens using oral fluid samples. This test allows farmers to string a rope in the pen, the pigs will naturally chew on the rope and then the rope can be tested to detect for traces of targeted viruses. “There is no time to waste. We must work quickly, and through partnership with the National Pork Board, to drive solutions pork producers can use to detect and manage infected animals if the virus reaches the U.S. This research may be the key to dramatically reducing any potential spread of African Swine Fever,” said Sally Rockey, Ph.D., FFAR executive director. “U.S. Pork producers are already coping with uncertainty across the entire sector and an outbreak of African Swine Fever would devastate American farmers, who are already struggling.” FFAR’s grant is being matched by funding from the National Pork Board, Cargill, Kemin, Purina Animal Nutrition and Kansas State University for a total investment of $535,780. USDA Cold Storage September 2019 HighlightsTotal red meat supplies in freezers on September 30, 2019 were down 2 percent from the previous month and down 4 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 1 percent from the previous month and down 8 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 1 percent from the previous month but up 2 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 11 percent from last month but up 34 percent from last year.Total frozen poultry supplies on September 30, 2019 were down 1 percent from the previous month and down 5 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were up 2 percent from the previous month but down 4 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down 6 percent from last month and down 6 percent from September 30, 2018.Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on September 30, 2019 were up slightly from the previous month but down 1 percent from September 30, 2018.  Butter stocks were down 1 percent from last month but up 7 percent from a year ago.Total frozen fruit stocks on September 30, 2019 were up slightly from last month but down 11 percent from a year ago. Total frozen vegetable stocks were up 15 percent from last month but down 1 percent from a year ago.NEBRASKA CHICKEN AND EGGS All layers in Nebraska during September 2019 totaled 9.26 million, up from 7.97 million the previous year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nebraska egg production during September totaled 226 million eggs, up from 199 million in 2018. September egg production per 100 layers was 2,446 eggs, compared to 2,499 eggs in 2018. Iowa egg production during September 2019 was 1.40 billion eggs, down 2 percent from last month but up 3 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of all layers on hand during September 2019 was 57.7 million, up 1 percent from last month but down 1 percent from last year. Eggs per 100 layers for September were 2,433, down 3 percent from last month but up 4 percent from last year. September Egg Production Up 2 PercentUnited States egg production totaled 9.19 billion during September 2019, up 2 percent from last year. Production included 8.04 billion table eggs, and 1.15 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.07 billion were broiler-type and 81.7 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during September 2019 totaled 394 million, up 1 percent from last year. September egg production per 100 layers was 2,332 eggs, up 1 percent from September 2018.                                    Total layers in the United States on October 1, 2019 totaled 395 million, up 1 percent from last year. The 395 million layers consisted of 333 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 58.2 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.46 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on October 1, 2019, averaged 77.6 eggs per 100 layers, up 1 percent from October 1, 2018.NCBA Applauds Introduction of Livestock Risk Management and Education ActTodd Wilkinson, South Dakota cattle producer and NCBA Policy Division Vice Chair, today released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act by U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.): “NCBA applauds Representative Dusty Johnson's introduction of the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act yesterday on the House floor. This legislation will provide boots-on-the-ground cattle producers with critical resources and opportunities to increase their understanding and engagement with risk management tools. This bill speaks directly to our core values as an industry - arming producers with the latest farm management resources and tools in order to help them navigate ever-changing and dynamic market conditions."In a market environment that continues to challenge even the most experienced multi-generational operations, NCBA believes that it is critical for producers to understand their options for managing risk. The Livestock Risk Management and Education Act policy will provide the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture the authority and flexibility to collaborate with industry to ensure that cattle farmers and ranchers have access to those options and the knowledge base to determine which ones are right for their operations. As the oldest and largest national trade association representing the U.S. cattle industry, securing these kinds of educational resources for our members is critical to our vitality into the future."NCBA members passed policy that directs us to engage in developing comprehensive programs for NCBA members regarding the mechanics of the commodity futures and options markets and the application of risk management tools. The Livestock Risk Management and Education Act does just that, and NCBA is proud to support this legislation and we look forward to engaging with Congress to advance this bill.” Exports and the Impact of the U.S. Dollar Value on Beef TradeJosh Maples, Extension Economist, Dept of Ag Econ, Mississippi State UniversityThe latest Livestock and Meat Monthly Trade data from the Economic Research Service (ERS) was released on October 7th and included the month of August 2019 as the most recent data available. The purpose of this article is not just to discuss the export data from this report, but also to discuss an important but complex factor that impacts trade: the value of the U.S. dollar.To the ERS report first, beef exports were lower in August 2019 as compared to July 2019 and also to August 2018. For January-August, beef exports were 3.8 percent lower than in the same period of 2018. Exports to Japan, the top U.S. beef export destination, were down 8.6 percent during this time period. Exports to South Korea were up 8 percent. Together, these two countries accounted for 50.5 percent of U.S. beef exports during data available for 2019. The October USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report lowered the 2019 projection for beef exports to 3.126 billion pounds which would be about a 1 percent decline compared to 2018. Now let's shift focus to the value of the U.S. dollar. For many of us, we might first think about inflation or the thought that "a dollar isn't worth what it used to be." This is, of course, true but is not exactly the type of value to consider when viewing things in the context of trade with other countries. More specifically, we are considering exchange rates or the value of the U.S. dollar in another country. When customers in other countries want to purchase U.S. beef, an exchange of their currency with U.S. dollars must occur at some point. The value of the U.S. dollar vs. the foreign currency is the exchange rate and fluctuations in this rate can make beef more (or less) expensive to the importer. Exchange rates fluctuate frequently between foreign currencies and are actively traded in foreign exchange (or Forex) markets.Let's consider a simplified U.S. beef exported to Japan example for illustration. Let's assume the exchange rate for one U.S. dollar is 100 Japanese yen. Also, assume that a customer in Japan wants to import 1,000 pounds of U.S. beef and the price of that beef is 5 U.S. dollars (USD) per pound. At the current exchange rate, the customer in Japan would pay 500,000 yen for this transaction (1,000 lbs. x 5 USD x 100 yen). Now assume that a month later, the exchange rate for one U.S. dollar is 102 Japanese yen. This would be considered a stronger U.S. dollar relative to the yen because it costs more yen to buy the same dollar. Even if the price of beef in U.S. dollars is still 5 USD per pound, the customer in Japan would now pay 510,000 yen for this transaction (1,000 lbs. x 5 USD x 102 yen).Thus, the example of a 2 percent increase in the exchange rate (from 100 to 102) led to a 2 percent increase in the cost to the customer in Japan. This is why a strong U.S. dollar can sometimes be described as a headwind to U.S. beef exports. The flip side is that a stronger dollar makes goods imported into the U.S. relatively cheaper.Foreign exchange markets and their impact on trade are very complex, to say the least. The above example does not consider that the exchange rates between other beef exporting countries (e.g. Australia) and key beef importers (e.g. Japan) are also constantly changing. Fluctuating exchange rates could make it cheaper for the customer in Japan to import U.S. beef one month and Australian beef the next month even if the price of beef in those countries doesn't change. We know that prices change frequently within countries, countries face different tariff structures, and exchange rates are constantly changing - and this doesn't even consider the cost of transporting the beef. Put simply, there are a lot of moving parts.The U.S. dollar is relatively strong right now and this is likely one of the contributing factors to the slightly lower exports shown in the ERS report. Compared to the Australian dollar, the U.S. dollar averaged about 8% stronger during January-September 2019 than during the same period of 2018. It was also stronger than 2018 levels for comparisons against the Canadian dollar, the Euro, and the Mexican peso. Contrary to the example used above, the U.S. dollar has been about the same or slightly weaker relative to the Japanese yen compared to a year ago which would imply that U.S. beef is slightly cheaper to customers in Japan if everything else remained constant. But everything has not remained constant and the exchange rates between Japan and other beef exporting countries have also changed. While exchange rates are just one factor in the beef trade complex, they can have important implications on the flow of beef around the world.New Court Documents Detail Rampant EPA Abuse of Small Refinery Exemption ProgramNewly available court documents assert that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inappropriately granted Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance exemptions to certain small refineries that did not even qualify for the waivers, and that there was division within the Trump administration about its new approach to small refinery hardship exemption requests.Specifically, the briefs and supporting documents show EPA granted disproportionate economic hardship exemptions to small refineries whose previous exemptions had fully lapsed, meaning the Agency disregarded the requirement that refiners may only obtain an “extension” of an existing exemption.The redacted briefs and other documents filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals pertain to Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA, which addresses EPA’s decisions to retroactively grant hardship exemptions to two refineries owned by HollyFrontier and one refinery owned by CVR’s Wynnewood subsidiary. An audio file of the oral argument was also recently made available by the Court.The exemptions, which include two granted for RFS compliance year 2016 and one for compliance year 2017, were impermissible under the statute and based on analysis that rendered EPA’s actions arbitrary and capricious, according to the opening and reply briefs filed by RFA, along with the American Coalition for Ethanol, the National Corn Growers association, and National Farmers Union.The petitioners’ briefs argue that EPA, in addition to ignoring the commonsense meaning of “extension,” also misinterpreted the phrase “disproportionate economic hardship”—the statutory criteria required to extend an exemption. EPA’s interpretation is also undermined by the agency’s own published conclusions that RFS compliance costs are generally passed through to purchasers of fuel and are borne proportionately for small and large refineries alike.The parties’ filings also revealed what ethanol interests had suspected for quite some time – that EPA was granting full exemptions not only where the Department of Energy had recommended only a partial exemption, but even where DOE had recommended a denial of the small refinery exemption extension in its entirety. EPA’s supplemental proposed rulemaking for the 2020 RVO, while proposing an inadequate solution to the small refiner exemption problem, reveals the extent to which EPA departed from DOE’s recommendations. For the 2016-2018 compliance years, DOE on average recommended that 7.6 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel from small refineries be exempted from RFS obligations; however, EPA disregarded those recommendation and actually exempted an average of 12.8 billion gallons.Although EPA maintained that the statute gives it final say on whether to extend the exemptions, EPA’s decision to grant a full exemption where DOE recommended full denial is at odds with the recently released EPA decision document for 2018 small refinery exemptions, where EPA indicated that it denied all exemption requests where DOE had recommended denials.Although the issues have been fully briefed by the parties, on October 15, RFA and the other petitioners filed a request for the Court to consider three new documents that reveal disagreement within the administration regarding its approach to small refinery exemptions. The first document, a memo authored by Francis Brooke, Special Assistant on the President’s National Economic Council, describes a 2018 proposal to resolve the differences between ethanol and oil interests in part by a “restructuring” whereby “EPA will grant future small refinery exemptions based on only true disproportionate economic hardship,” implying the administration was knowingly issuing waivers to small refineries who were not truly experiencing disproportionate economic hardship. The second document details the reservations of David Schnare, one of the senior aides to Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, regarding the Agency’s granting of small refinery exemptions that Schnare maintained were unlawful. The third document is the EPA decision document for 2018 exemption extensions, showing inconsistencies in EPA’s adherence to DOE recommendations.A decision by the court, which could impact how EPA grants other retroactive small refinery exemptions in the future, may come by early 2020.  National Sorghum Producers Partners with USDA to Quantify Sorghum Sustainability in Key Ethanol Production RegionNational Sorghum Producers today announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in Kansas. The partnership will be executed through a conservation collaboration grant that will document sorghum farmer practices to promote positive conservation outcomes and quantify the environmental footprint of the crop."Sorghum farmers in Kansas and across the nation have long been good stewards of the environment around them," said NSP CEO Tim Lust. "Today, we will continue documenting this fact and work to understand how we can improve even more. With 74 percent of sorghum grown using conservation tillage and 91 percent receiving no supplemental irrigation water, improvement is a tall order, but we believe our farmers are up to the challenge.""One-third of the U.S. sorghum crop is used to produce fuel ethanol, which receives a premium for lower carbon intensity scores in certain markets," he said. "This makes demonstrating sustainability and continuous improvement at the farm level extremely important. Fortunately, sustainability goals in fuel markets and conservation goals here at home go hand-in-hand, and we look forward to working with NRCS to further these goals and create additional opportunities for sorghum farmers."Syngenta Commits $2 Billion and Sets New Targets for Innovation to Tackle Climate ChangeSyngenta today announced $2 billion will be spent over the next five years to help farmers prepare for and tackle the increasing threats posed by climate change.The investment supports a new Syngenta sustainability goal of delivering at least two technological breakthroughs to market each year, to reduce agriculture’s contribution to climate change, harness its mitigation capacity, and help the food system stay within planetary boundaries.Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer at Syngenta also announced that the investment in research and development for sustainable agriculture will be matched by a drive to reduce the carbon intensity of the company’s operations by at least 50% by 2030 to support the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Syngenta’s commitment has been validated and endorsed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).“Agriculture is now at the front line of global efforts to tackle climate change,” said Mr Fyrwald. “Syngenta is committed to accelerating our innovation to find better and ever safer solutions to address the shared challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss.”“These aren’t just words, this is real action that will drive focus in Syngenta to help farmers tackle climate change and reduce the sector’s contribution to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.”The $2 billion will be directed towards programs with clearly differentiated benefits or breakthrough technologies that will enable a step change in agricultural sustainability, such as land use, soil health and integrated pest management.Through a multi-year collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Syngenta is developing strategies to identify and test new innovations and technology that can benefit farmers and contribute to positive environmental outcomes. The collaboration is grounded in efforts to promote soil health, resource efficiency and habitat protection in major agricultural regions worldwide.Sally Jewell, CEO at The Nature Conservancy said: “Achieving conservation at scale will require bold action from the private sector. As businesses increasingly recognize the risks of climate change and the benefits of sustainability, we welcome the opportunity to contribute our science and expertise to help transform business practices. Syngenta’s investment in innovation is an important step toward a future where people and nature thrive.”Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation at World Resources Institute, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners said: "We congratulate Syngenta for having their emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Leadership from the agribusiness sector is vital in the fight against climate change, and by setting these targets, Syngenta is putting themselves on a pathway to future-proof growth.”The targets form part of Syngenta’s Accelerating Innovation commitment launched earlier this year to address the increased challenges faced by farmers because of climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. Progress against these targets will be reported annually and independently audited. The announcement was in large part informed by the completion of 150 listening sessions around the globe to help the company’s leaders identify priority areas for investment.

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION For the week ending October 20, 2019, there were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 10 short, 84 adequate, and 5 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 7 short, 85 adequate, and 7 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 18 fair, 56 good, and 19 excellent. Corn mature was 94 percent, near 98 last year and 97 for the five-year average. Harvested was 30 percent, near 33 last year, and behind 35 average. Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 20 fair, 62 good, and 13 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 97 percent, near 99 both last year and average. Harvested was 60 percent, ahead of 52 last year, but behind 67 average. Winter wheat emerged was 85 percent, near 82 last year, and equal to average. Sorghum condition rated 2 percent very poor, 2 poor, 13 fair, 67 good, and 16 excellent. Sorghum mature was 95 percent, near 98 last year and 97 average. Harvested was 22 percent, behind 41 both last year and average. Dry edible beans harvested was 90 percent. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 18 fair, 62 good, and 16 excellent. IOWA CROP PROGRESS & CONDITION REPORTField conditions throughout Iowa improved allowing farmers 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 20, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included chopping silage; applying fertilizer and manure; and harvesting hay, seed corn, soybeans, and corn for grain. Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 21 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. Eighty-seven percent of the corn crop has reached maturity, 3 weeks behind last year and over 2 weeks behind the 5-year average. Fifteen percent of the crop has been harvested for grain, 11 days behind average. Corn condition rated 66 percent good to excellent. Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop has begun dropping leaves or beyond, 9 days behind average. Over 30 percent of the State’s expected soybean crop was harvested during the week ending October 20, 2019. This brought the total harvested to 48 percent statewide, 4 days ahead of last year but 5 days behind average. This marks the first time the 2019 soybean crop has been ahead of the 2018 soybean crop; harvest of last year’s crop was also behind average due to wet field conditions. Soybean condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is nearly complete at 97 percent, almost 3 weeks behind average. Pasture condition improved from the previous week to 50 percent good to excellent which was the highest rating since the first week of August. Feedlots remain muddy. US Corn, Soybean Harvest Slowest Since 2009The U.S. corn and soybean harvest made some headway last week but is the slowest it's been since 2009, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.  As of Sunday, 86% of corn was estimated as mature, 11 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%. That was closer to the average pace than last week, when corn mature was running 19 percentage points behind average.  Nationwide, corn harvest progressed 8 percentage points to reach 30% as of Sunday, 17 percentage points behind the five-year average of 47% and further behind the average pace than the previous week when harvest was 14 percentage points behind the five-year average.   The condition of corn still in fields was rated 56% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 55% the previous week.The gap between the current percentage of soybeans dropping leaves and the five-year average continued to narrow last week, reaching 94% as of Sunday, just 3 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%.  Soybean harvest also picked up speed last week, moving ahead 20 percentage points last week to reach 46% as of Sunday. That was still 18 percentage points behind the five-year average of 64%, but was an improvement from last Monday's report, when harvest was running 23 percentage points behind average. As with corn, the pace of this year's soybean harvest is the slowest since 2009 when 30% of the crop was harvested as of Oct. 18.  Soybean condition held steady at 54%.Spring wheat harvest inched ahead another 2 percentage points to reach 96% as of Sunday, 4 percentage points behind the five-year average of 100% complete. The lack of progress was due to the northwestern U.S. Plains continuing to struggle with adverse weather.In contract, winter wheat progress remained in line with the average pace last week. As of Sunday, 77% of winter wheat was planted, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 75%. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 53%, equal to the five-year average.Sorghum mature was estimated at 92%, ahead of the average of 89%. Sorghum harvested reached 49%, behind the five-year average of 53%. Ricketts Cuts Ribbon at Costco Poultry PlantOn Saturday, Governor Pete Ricketts took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Costco’s new chicken plant in Fremont.  The poultry operation will turn Nebraska-grown broilers into Costco’s popular rotisserie chickens and other chicken products.  Costco sells 90 million rotisserie chickens at its stores annually, and the plant in Fremont will help meet this demand.  At full capacity, the facility will process over 2 million chickens each week.Costco plans to hire between 800 and 1,000 Nebraskans to work at the plant by the time it’s fully operational.  In addition to the jobs at the Fremont facility, Costco is partnering with more than 100 farm families to build new chicken barns in Nebraska.  Additionally, corn and soybean growers will supply the equivalent of 2,000 acres of corn and 2,000 acres of soybeans to Costco every week.  NEW BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLAN TASK FORCE BEGINS YEAR-LONG PROCESSThe long-range strategic planning process for the beef industry is underway, a process that takes months to coordinate and pulls together key leaders from all over the country representing different sectors of the beef business.THE BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLANUpdated every five years, the Beef Industry Long Range Plan is the standard by which the beef industry focuses on one strategic direction, identifying key areas to advance beef demand.Since 1995, industry leaders have gathered to develop an aligned, comprehensive plan with the goal of increasing consumer demand for beef. These leaders are brought together to study and compile major areas of opportunity facing beef for the next five years. The current plan, in place since 2016, focuses on increasing beef demand in four key areas:-    Driving growth in beef exports-    Protecting and enhancing the business and political climate for beef-    Growing consumer trust in beef and beef production-    Promoting and strengthening beef’s value propositionThe newly appointed committee will begin convening over the next several months and will consider all aspects of the industry from production trends, economic factors, foreign markets, consumer trends, and the competitive climate. The group will evaluate the current plan and determine, based on industry trends and insights, where the industry should maintain and/or shift focus over the next five years.THE 2020 BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLAN TASK FORCEThe new plan, which will be effective from 2021 through 2025, will be developed by a group of leaders representing key beef segments from across the industry. This Long Range Plan Task Force will be led by Kim Brackett, owner/operator of Brackett Ranches, a cow-calf and stocker operation in Idaho. “Having helped develop our current long-range plan, I was encouraged with how it has been embraced by the industry, especially by Checkoff committees,” said Brackett. “Our new plan will be researched and fashioned with as much care, and I’m sure be received with as much enthusiasm.”The balance of the task force includes individuals devoted to ensuring the long-term success of the beef industry.    Keith Belk, Department Head of Animal Science, Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)    Tim Brady, Director of Risk Management at Agri Beef packing (Boise, ID)    Donnell Brown, Owner/Manager of R.A. Brown Ranch (Throckmorton, TX)    John Butler, CEO the Beef Marketing Group, feeder (Manhattan, KS)    Paul Defoor, Co-CEO at Cactus Feeders, Inc. (Amarillo, TX)    Joe Goggins, Auction Market/Seedstock (Billings, MT)    Ken Griner, President of Usher Land & Timber, Inc., cow/calf and seedstock (Chiefland, FL)    Mary Kraft, Dairy Owner/Operator (Fort Morgan, CO)    Jon Lowe, Sr. VP, Cattle & Equine Business, Zoetis animal health (Parsippany, NJ)    Dean Meyer, Farmer/Feeder (Rock Rapids, IA)    William Rishel, Rishel Ranch, seedstock (Lincoln, NE)    Suzy Strassburger, President, Strassburger Steaks, LLC, a specialty meat purveyor (Carlstadt, NJ)    Jerry Wulf, Partner/Advisor Wulf Cattle, seedstock (Hancock, MN)HOW THE BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLAN IS USEDThe Beef Checkoff, its committees and contracting organizations, use the Long Range Plan as their guidebook. All funding decisions and focus areas of Checkoff projects and programs, by design, must follow the key areas outlined in the plan that align with Checkoff budget categories: promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, producer communication and foreign marketing. To ensure this focus, each year Checkoff committees continue to renew their alignment by identifying key plan initiatives as their priorities. Checkoff contractors take this direction and develop Checkoff-funded programs in support of those priorities.The coordination of these meetings and processes is handled operationally through a joint effort between the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  The task force will analyze its research and findings over the next months, with a goal of presenting the new plan to Cattlemen’s Beef Board members and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Board of Directors for approval at the industry’s annual business meeting in Denver the week of July 27, 2020.Visit DrivingDemandForBeef.com to read the current full and abbreviated versions of the Beef Industry Long Range Plan.NEBRASKA 3Q MILK PRODUCTION DOWN 2%Milk production in Nebraska during the July-September 2019 quarter totaled 345 million pounds, down 2 percent from the July-September quarter last year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 58,000 head, 1,000 head less than the same period last year. July-September Milk Production up 0.5 PercentMilk production in the United States during the July - September quarter totaled 54.3 billion pounds, up 0.5 percent from the July - September quarter last year.  The average number of milk cows in the United States during the quarter was 9.32 million head, 10,000 head less than the April - June quarter, and 66,000 head less than the same period last year.September Milk Production up 1.6 PercentMilk production in the 24 major States during September totaled 16.8 billion pounds, up 1.6 percent from September 2018. August revised production at 17.5 billion pounds, was up 0.5 percent from August 2018. The August revision represented an increase of 32 million pounds or 0.2 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate.  Production per cow in the 24 major States averaged 1,913 pounds for September, 33 pounds above September 2018.  The number of milk cows on farms in the 24 major States was 8.80 million head, 11,000 head less than September 2018, but 7,000 head more than August 2019.IOWA: Milk production in Iowa during September 2019 totaled 423 million pounds, up less than 1 percent from the previous September according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during September, at 217,000 head, was the same as last month but down 3,000 from last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 1,950 pounds, up 30 pounds from last September. Man Killed in Accident at Soybean Plant in St. Joseph(AP) — Federal authorities are investigating the death of a 56-year-old man at a soybean processing plant in St. Joseph.  The accident occurred Monday, October 14th at AG Processing in St. Joseph.Tony Wilson died as the result of a fall. His hometown was not released.  Police have determined there was no foul play involved in the death.AGP spokesman Matt Caswell said Wilson's death was an unfortunate incident. No other details were released.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating Wilson's death.Alabama auctioneer wins World Livestock Auctioneer Championship qualifierChuck Bradley, Rockford, Ala., was named Champion at the 2020 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship (WLAC) Western Regional Qualifying Event. Crawford Livestock Market, LLC in Crawford, Neb., hosted the first of three WLAC qualifying events on Friday, October 11. A total of 33 contestants competed for a top ten placing, granting them a spot in the 2020 WLAC Semi-Finals at Dickson Regional Livestock Center, Inc. in Dickson, Tenn.A relative newcomer to the championship, Bradley started competing in the WLAC in 2017.  Making the events  semi-finals in 2018, and in 2019 received the Reserve Champion title. When asked about winning the Western Regional Qualifying Event, Bradley said winning was reassurance he could compete in the WLAC and to win with so many talented auctioneers at the event was a feat in itself.Bradley didn’t grow up with an auctioneering background.  His father was a police officer, but he remembered listening to cattle auctioneers as a child, “they were always your hero, the guys that ran the sale.” Bradley also said, “You know that title of World Champion Livestock Auctioneer is not something that you will ever get to do again, you win it one time. What it means for me and why I want to do it is because of where I came from. I did not grow up in the auction industry. I’m a first-generation auctioneer and to be able to win that title would show that anybody can do it. No matter where you came from or what your background was that if you have a dream you can do it once you set your mind to it.”In 2014, Bradley attended auctioneer school at North Georgia School of Auctioneering and then took his first auctioneering job selling in Montgomery, Ala. for Montgomery Stock Yards, Montgomery, Ala his sponsor for the event.  A live cattle sale took place with actual bidders in the seats. Contestants were judged on the clarity and quality of their auction chant; auctioneer presentation; ability to catch bids and conduct the sale; and how likely the judge would be to hire the auctioneer. Judges for each qualifying event are livestock market owners, managers, dealers and/or allied industry members from across the United States.Also making a great showing were Reserve Champion Steve Goedert, Dillon, Mont.; Runner-Up Will Epperly, Dunlap, Iowa and Top Rookie Collin Gibbs, Miles City, Mont. The remaining contestants who earned a top ten finish are Zach Ballard, Mitchell, S.D.; Neil Bouray, Webber, Kan.; Eric Drees, Caldwell, Idaho; Kyle Layman, North Platte, Neb.; Lander Nicodemus, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Sixto Paiz, Portales, N.M.; and Dustin Smith, Jay, Okla.Other contestants who competed are Jared Anstine, Kingsville, Mo.; Ted Baum, Elgin, Neb.; Andy Baumeister, Mullin, Texas; Spencer Cline, Kingston, Ark.; Dean Edge, Rimbey, Alberta; Collin Gibbs, Miles City, Mont.; Jacob Hillis, Rideway, Wis.; Travis Holck, Ruthton, Minn.; Jake Hopwood, Valentine, Neb.; Jase Hubert, Olpe, Kan.; Lynn Langvardt, Chapman, Kan.; Josh Larson, Haxtun, Colo.; Curt Littau, Carter, S.D.; Jalen Mathis, Hutto, Texas; Gregg Matney, Lusk, Wyo; Jeremy Miller, Fairland, Okla.; Terry Moe, Watford City, N.D.; Drake Morrow, Opp, Ala.; Larry Nisly, Quaker City, Ohio; Mark Oberholtzer, Loyal, Wis., Kirk Otte, Rushville, Neb.; Ethan Schuette, Washington, Kan.; and Curtis Wetovick, Fullerton, Neb.

Agricultural youth receive scholarships and awards at 92nd Aksarben Stock ShowCuming County, Nebraska wins Champion and Reserve Champion Calf ChallengeThe Aksarben Stock Show managed and produced by the Nebraska State Fair welcomed with over 900 youth and 2,700 animals entered along with their families, and supporters to Fonner Park, September 26-29, 2019. Youth exhibited beef, sheep, goats, swine, and broilers along with an additional 545 young professionals participating in the Aksarben Livestock Judging and Quiz Bowl competitions. Thirty-six youth qualified for the auction allowing them to sell their championship livestock for scholarships and cash awards.  Youth from nine of the 14 states eligible made the scholarship auction ranging in ages from 9 to 19-years-old.  The largest contingency being Nebraska with 10 exhibitors followed by six from Colorado; five from both Iowa and Missouri; four from South Dakota; three from Minnesota; one each from Arkansas, Kansas, and Wisconsin.  In 2019, four states were added in expansion to being eligible to exhibit, included were Arkansas, Indiana, Montana and Wisconsin.Aksarben Stock Show Director Greg Harder, explains how the show has grown, “2019 was a tremendous success story for an outstanding Aksarben team that worked tirelessly. We brought in people from four additional states, added breeding gilts, returned broilers to the schedule, expanded the trade show, and had judging and quiz bowl teams from 23 states. With new sponsors and support staff, the barns were filled with fun, smiles, and excitement.”The Aksarben Stock Show is indeed a family tradition with a rich history dating back to 1928.  The Aksarben Purple Ribbon Scholarship Auction is the pinnacle event and open to the public to attend. The Aksarben Purple Ribbon Reception presented by Five Points Bank was held before the auction for buyers to mingle with the youth exhibitors.The 2019 auction moved to Saturday night for the first time in history. Siblings Cash and Sage Voegele from Lennox, South Dakota qualified for the second year in a row. Cash exhibited the Third Place Calf Challenge, and his younger sister Sage exhibited Reserve Champion Lamb Challenge. Also returning was the Sidwell family from Colorado for the third straight year.  Cal Sidwell exhibited the 6th Overall Lamb and in 2017, the Division Champion Market Ewe Lamb.  His brother Jed exhibited the 2018 8th Overall Market Lamb. The Grand Champion Market Beef was shown by Kylie Beare, the 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Tianna from Estelline, South Dakota.  She is currently a junior at Estelline High School. “I love showing livestock and love everything about this industry. I have grown up doing this and couldn’t imagine life without it,” she stated.  Beare plans to attend college and major in animal science.  Her sister, Kelsey, exhibited the 2019 Reserve Supreme Breeding Heifer the following day. Madison Rule from Hawarden, Iowa qualified twice by exhibiting both the Grand Champion Lamb and 5th Overall Lamb.  The complete Aksarben Purple Ribbon Scholarship Auction results are as follows:Champion BeefGrand Champion Market Beef - Kylie Beare from Estilline, SD purchased by Wells Fargo, $15,000.Reserve Champion Beef - Makenzie Smith from Charter Oak, IA purchased by Walter Scott Jr., $10,000Champion Calf Challenge - Ross Klitz from West Point, NE purchased by First National Bank/T & E Cattle Company, $10,500Reserve Champion Calf Challenge - Cassidee Stratman from West Point, NE purchased by Kiewit, $8,5003rd Overall Beef - Branden Benes from Albion, NE purchased by T-Bone Buying Group/Valmont, $5,8004th Overall Beef - Brett Heinrich from Hickman, NE purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $6,0005th Overall Beef - Chase Simmons from Unionville, MO purchased by Nova-Tech, Pathway Bank and HLG Inc., $5,4006th Overall Beef - Brent Nelson from Volga, SD purchased by Wolbach Foundation, $5,0003rd Place Calf Challenge – Cash Voegele from Lennox, SD purchased by Behlen/Mattress Firm/Union Bank and Trust, $4,200.Champion GoatGrand Champion Goat - Jack Falkenstien from Oswego, KS purchased by Nova-Tech, Pathway Bank and HLG Inc., $4,250Reserve Champion Goat - Vada Vickland from Longmont, CO purchased by Union Pacific/Valmont, $2,5003rd Overall Goat - Riley Hoyle from Taylor, AR purchased by Kiewit/Valmont, $3,0004th Overall Goat - Atleigh Hirschfeld from Benedict, NE purchased by Tom Dinsdale/Valmont, $2,2005th Overall Goat - Jared DeHann from Taylor, MO purchased by Industrial Irrigation Services, $2,0006th Overall Goat - Soren Freund  from Elizabeth, CO purchased by Western Nebraska and Colorado Buying Group (Auction Miller and Associates, Chuck and Bricen Miller - Brush, CO; Colorado Animal Health - Jim and Shawn Martin - Longmont, CO; Doug, Sandy and Ryan Lukassen - Kimball, NE.), $3,000Champion HogChampion Hog - Alli Stromberger from Illf, CO purchased by Wells Fargo, $5,000Reserve Champion Hog - Braden Bowers from Belmont, WI purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $4,000Champion Purebred Hog - Kaleigh Byram from Sheldon, MO purchased by Cash-Wa Distributing, $5,0003rd Overall Hog - Wyatt Collard from Orongo, MO purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation/Fred and Amanda Glade Foundation, $3,0004th Overall Hog - Brooke Stromberger from Illf, CO purchased by Behlen/CHI, $2,0005th Overall Hog - Lauren Kaliff from York, NE purchased by HDR, $2,0007th Overall Hog - Tyler Kurt from Fairmont, MN purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $2,0008th Overall Hog - Jami Hoblyn from York, NE purchased by Grand Island Hospitality Group, $2,000Champion LambGrand Champion Lamb - Madison Rule from Hawarden, IA purchased Great Western Bank and Kopke Cattle Company, $6,250Reserve Champion Lamb - Colby Williams from Mabel, MN purchased Grand Island Hospitality Group, $5,000Champion Lamb Challenge - Gentry Duncan from Centertown, MO purchased by Walter Scott Jr., $4,000Reserve Champion Lamb Challenge - Sage Voegele from Lennox, SD purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $3,4003rd Overall Lamb - Sam Schmillen from Marcus, IA purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation, $2,1003rd Place Lamb Challenge - Layne Miller from Oakland, NE purchased by Edgar Reynolds Foundation, $2,0004th Overall Lamb - Colby Williams from Mabel, MN purchased by Behlen/Industrial Irrigation Services/HDR/Jerry's Sheet Metal, $2,1005th Overall Lamb - Madison Rule from Hawarden, IA purchased by Valmont/Equitable Bank, $2,0006th Overall Lamb - Cal Sidwell from Gill, CO purchased by First National Bank /Kopeke Cattle Company, $2,5007th Overall Lamb - Carter Kosman from Albiam, IA purchased by Valmont/Purple Ribbon Auction, $1,4008th Overall Lamb - Kaleb McLain from Gill, CO purchased by Valmont/Bosselman Enterprises, $2,000Champion BroilerChampion Broiler - Ben Kubicek  from Elkhorn, NE purchased by Pinnacle Bank, $1,400Reserve Champion Broiler - Mason Janda from Ravenna, NE purchased by CPI, Sunrise Express, Lovander Auto and Equitable Bank, $1,700The beef, sheep and goat shows were held at the Five Points Bank Arena in the Nebraska Farm Bureau Show Ring.  The swine show was held in the Aurora Cooperative Pavilion.  Youth from Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming showed.  The 2020 Aksarben Stock Show will be held Sept 24-27, 2020 in Grand Island, NE.  For complete details visit www.showaksarben.com. Nebraska Cattlemen Welcomes Ashley Kohls & Patty Goes as New StaffThe Nebraska Cattlemen association is pleased to announce the selection of Ashley Kohls as the association's Director of Government Affairs. Previously, Ashley served for five years as the Executive Director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. She is a graduate of South Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor's degree in Animal Science and Microbiology."I am thrilled to share the policy and regulatory experience I gained in Minnesota with the members of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association." said Kohls "I look forward to working with members to accomplish the goals of the association on a local, state and national level."    "Ashley was selected from a very talented pool of applicants. With Ashley having excelled in her previous tenure serving Minnesota beef producers as their executive director, she brings her talent and experience to the Nebraska Cattlemen membership. She is well respected within regional and national policy circles and is an outstanding addition to the Nebraska Cattlemen family," confirms Executive Vice President, Pete McClymontKohls has many years of experience in sectors relevant to the Nebraska beef industry including nutrition, reproduction and animal health; as well as an extensive food safety and quality assurance background.Kohls will begin her duties on Monday, November 18 and can be reached at 402-475-2333 or via email at akohls@necattlemen.orgAdditionally, Nebraska Cattlemen is equally pleased to announce the selection of Patty Goes as an administrative assistant to work with the executive vice president and other staff colleagues in supporting the mission of the members of Nebraska Cattlemen."I am excited to be given the opportunity to be a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen staff." said Goes. "I have spent the first part of my career being a steward of people and I look forward to assisting those that are stewards of the beef industry. There are not many better places to do this than the Nebraska Cattlemen Association.""Patty was selected from nearly one hundred applicants. Her professional background and personal experiences coupled with her passion make Patty an outstanding addition to the Nebraska Cattlemen family. I am confident the members will enjoy working with Patty."Goes will begin her duties on Monday, October 21 and can be reached at 402-475-2333 or via email at pattygoes@necattlemen.orgEthanol Trade Team from Mexico visits Nebraska to Understand U.S. Ethanol IndustryA delegation of 19 industry leaders from Mexico were in Nebraska this week to gain a better understanding of the U.S. ethanol sector. From Oct. 16-18, the delegation toured all facets of Nebraska’s ethanol industry, from cornfield to fuel retailer.On the first day of their trip, the group was provided with an overview of Nebraska’s agricultural and ethanol industries before they traveled to Giltner and visited Hunnicutt Farms. At the farm, the team learned about corn, seed corn, popcorn and soybean production. Through the discussions, the delegation was introduced to cutting-edge technologies in American agriculture and were able to better understand how some farmers utilize irrigation equipment.“By bringing this group onto our farm, we’re able to really lay the foundation and show how renewable ethanol is and how easy it is to incorporate into a nation’s fuel supply,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, vice-chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and co-owner of Hunnicutt Farms. “Also, by bringing trade teams to farms and to ethanol plants, we’re able to build relationships with our customers that hopefully develop into long-term partnerships. I like to think the U.S. is the best in the world when it comes to corn and ethanol production. We’re open for business and want to share our products with the world.”During the remainder of the group’s visit to Nebraska, they toured Chief Ethanol, an ethanol processing plant in Hastings, Magellan Midstream Partners, a fuel pipeline, storage and transportation company in Doniphan, and Bosselman’s Travel Center, a fuel retailer in Grand Island. They departed the state Friday morning after meeting with Gov. Pete Ricketts, Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board.“In times when there’s so much uncertainty in regards to trade, it’s great to have our top customers visit to remind them how much we value their business,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Mexico is our No. 1 customer when it comes to corn and distillers grains, and there is so much potential for increased ethanol exports. We are glad to have had time with this delegation to show appreciation for their past business, answer questions about our corn and ethanol industries and to let them know we’re working hard to ensure the passage of USMCA.”The visit from the Mexican delegation was an offshoot of an even larger event held earlier in the week. The first-ever Global Ethanol Summit occurred Oct. 13-15 in Washington, D.C. Government officials and industry leaders from 60 countries attended this event to learn about the benefits of expanding global ethanol use. The event was organized and hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.Ricketts Meets with Ethanol Delegation from MexicoToday, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman met with leaders involved in Mexico’s ethanol industry.  The Mexican delegation is studying Nebraska’s ethanol production and infrastructure.  Earlier this week, the group visited an ethanol plant in Hastings, a blended ethanol fuels distributor in Grand Island, and a blending terminal in Doniphan.During his remarks to the Mexican delegation, Governor Ricketts highlighted the agricultural, financial, and environmental benefits of ethanol.  Nebraska produces over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, which ranks second among all U.S. states.GET THE MOST FROM GRAZING CORN STALKSBruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist               Corn harvest is ongoing and cows are starting to graze the stalks.  How should this grazing be managed to get the most out of them?               One of the most important decisions in all grazing situations is stocking rate, including corn stalks.  Fortunately, you can get a good estimate for corn stalks by dividing the corn grain yield by 3.5 to estimate grazing days per acre for a 1,200-pound cow.               So, for a field that yielded 210 bushels per acre, dividing 210 by 3.5 gives 60 grazing days per acre.  Thus, a 160-acre field could provide 9,600 cow grazing days.  That means you could graze 9,600 cows for one day or 1 cow for 9,600 days.  Not very practical, so some other combinations need to be explored.               One possibility is to graze 60 cows for 160 days.  Starting here at the end of October, that could take you all the way through March.  Sounds pretty good but how will this work nutritionally?  Cows will eat the best feed first, any downed grain and the husks.  After a couple months, all that will be left are stalks and leaves that have been walked over, rained or snowed upon.  Without a lot of supplements, these cows will be in very poor shape by the end of March.                Clearly, shorter grazing periods are needed.  Maybe, instead of 60 cows for 160 days you graze 160 cows for 60 days.  Better, but you still may need supplements near the end of the 60 days.  Better still would be to give those 160 cows just one week’s worth of the stalks to start, a little over 18 acres.  By day 6 and 7 those 160 cows will have cleaned up just about everything, but on day 8 you give them a fresh 18 acres, returning them to high quality feed without so much supplement.               Both stocking rate and changes in the quality of grazing with time need consideration as you plan and manage stalk grazing.  Do it right and corn stalks become a great winter feed resource.Management of Glyphosate-Resistant Marestail in FallAmit Jhala - NE Extension Weed Management SpecialistAbundant rain the last couple of months in much of eastern Nebraska has promoted the relatively early emergence of winter annual weeds, particularly marestail. Marestail, also known as horseweed in the eastern Corn Belt and as Canada fleabane in eastern Canada, is a winter or summer annual weed in Nebraska.Historically, marestail was found in waste areas and field edges and along roadsides and railway tracks; however, no-till crop production systems over the last 20 years have favored marestail germination and establishment in agronomic crops in Nebraska.A single marestail plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds, about 80% of which can germinate immediately after falling from a mature plant. Marestail’s small seeds are wind-dispersed and can germinate on the soil surface. Studies show that most marestail plants emerge during fall and survive the winter as basal rosettes. However, significant spring and early summer emergence also have been observed in Nebraska. Therefore, scouting should be done in the fall as well as in early spring to make an effective management plan.Marestail is the first glyphosate-resistant weed reported in the United States; glyphosate-resistant marestail has now been reported in several states, including Nebraska. Marestail resistant to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors such as Classic®, Permit®, Pursuit®, and Raptor® is becoming more common in south-central and eastern Nebraska; therefore, proper management strategies should be implemented to control this problem weed.As marestail does not mature until late summer, it competes with corn or soybean throughout the growing season, causing significant yield reduction (Figure 3). Several reports have noted that marestail is sensitive to most herbicides labeled for its control early in its growth, i.e. the rosette stage.Fall Herbicide OptionsPreliminary data for eastern Nebraska suggests that a fall burndown applied with a residual herbicide may eliminate the need for an early spring burndown for marestail control; however, this would not replace an at-planting residual application for management of additional troublesome weed species such as waterhemp and Palmer amaranth. For successful marestail management in the fall, apply herbicides following harvest while weather conditions remain favorable (air temperature above 50°F).Fall herbicide application is a more consistent strategy because weather conditions frequently interfere with early spring applications.-    Glyphosate-resistant marestail is widespread across eastern Nebraska, thus 1 lb a.e. 2,4-D per acre is recommended as the base treatment for marestail burndown.-    Glyphosate or other products such as Sharpen® or Gramoxone® may be tank-mixed with 2,4-D to provide broader spectrum control of winter annuals and certain perennial weeds.-    We generally do not recommend including residual herbicides in fall applications since they provide little benefit in managing weeds that emerge the following spring; however, if infestation of marestail is high in the field and the field has a history of marestail seed bank, it would be advantageous to add a residual herbicide such as Authority® or Valor® or Autumn™ Super, or other metribuzin products.-    Refer to the most recent Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska for more herbicide options.Fall herbicide application is unlikely to eliminate the need for a burndown application at planting. Weeds adapted to cool temperatures, such as marestail, are likely to emerge before planting, making it necessary to control them.Fall TillageTillage is an integral part of the integrated management of marestail. Tillage in the fall or early spring after most marestail plants have emerged can provide effective control.Cover CropsA good stand of cover crops such as cereal rye planted before or after crop harvest in the fall can suppress marestail and other winter annual weeds. Early planting of cover crops is the key to effective suppression of marestail; cover crops should have emerged by the time marestail emerges. Inter-seeding cover crops while corn is at the reproductive stage is a good practice for the early establishment of cover crops. A recent study at the university’s Agronomy Research Farm (Havelock) reported excellent suppression of marestail in soybean when cereal rye had been interseeded in the previous corn crop at the R6 growth stage.Buffer Strips are a common sense approach to land conservationThe Nebraska Buffer Strip Program is administered from fees  assessed on registered pesticides. Cropland adjacent to perennial and seasonal  streams, ponds, and wetlands can be enrolled in buffer strips, which are  designed to filter agrichemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Two kinds  of buffer strips are eligible - filter strips, which are narrow strips of  grass; and riparian forest buffer strips containing trees and grass. The  minimum widths are 20 and 55 feet, respectively; the maximum widths are 120 and  180 feet, respectively.  The program is designed to be used in conjunction with the  USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Conservation Reserve Enhancement  Program (CREP), or other programs, however it can be used by itself, as well.  Rental rates are calculated as follows: -    For irrigated cropland where CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs are also used, rental rates are $250 per acre minus payments from the other programs.-    For irrigated cropland where CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs are not used, the rental rate is $225 per acre minus any other program payments.-    For non-irrigated cropland enrolled in CRP, CREP or other governmentally-funded programs, the rental rate is equal to 20% of the average CRP soil rental rate.-    For non-irrigated cropland without CRP, CREP, or other governmentally-funded programs, the rental rate per acre is equal to 120% of the average CRP soil rental rate plus $5 per acre, minus the payment rate from any other programs.-    In no case may payments from all programs exceed $250 per acre.Interested landowners should contact their local Natural Resources District or USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office to begin the application process. Integrated Crop Management Conference Set for DecemberFaced with challenging weather, tight profit margins and low commodity prices, today’s farmers must do everything in their power to reduce risk and manage returns.That’s the goal of this year’s Integrated Crop Management Conference, to be held Dec. 4-5 in Ames, as farmers and agribusinesses prepare for 2020 and beyond. Now in its 31st year, the annual event is hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.This year’s conference will feature 39 workshops to choose from, along with presentations on new planter technology, cover crop interseeding, glyphosate and cancer findings, nitrogen recommendations and global changes in the fertilizer industry.“With nearly 1,000 attendees each year, the ICM conference is a great opportunity for farmers, industry, ag retailers, agronomists and educators to network with each other and interact with their university specialists,” said Mark Licht, conference chair and assistant professor in agronomy and extension specialist at Iowa State University.    Peter Kovács, South Dakota State University, will discuss agronomic implications of new planter technologies.    Scott Wells, University of Minnesota, will present on the evolving use of cover crop interseeding.    Charles Lynch of the University of Iowa will share information on glyphosate and cancer and the findings of the Agricultural Health Study.    Anita Dille, Kansas State University, will review integrating cover crops for weed suppression in corn-soybean systems.    Justin McMechan, University of Nebraska, will discuss the ecology and management of soybean gall midge.    Damon Smith, University of Wisconsin, will share information on smartphone-based apps used to predict and manage plant diseases.    Newell Kitchen, from the USDA-ARS, will take a look at the history, and future, of corn nitrogen recommendations.    Robert Mullen, with Nutrien, will discuss the global nature of the fertilizer industry and how the changing landscape is affecting US farmers.Additional highlights will include weather and crop market outlooks, hemp as a cash crop, fertilizer application technology, harvest crop quality, budgeting for pest resistance, and weed and crop disease management updates.The conference is approved for up to 14 continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisors. Iowa commercial pesticide applicator recertification for 2019 is also available in categories 1A, 1B, 1C, 4 and 10.To register, visit the ICM Conference website www.aep.iastate.edu/icm. Space is limited for the event and requires pre-registration. Early registration is $225 and ends midnight, Nov. 22. After Nov. 22, the fee increases to $275, and registrations will be accepted, as space allows, until noon, Dec. 2. No registrations will be accepted at the door. For registration questions, contact ANR Program Services at anr@iastate.edu or 515-294-6429.NBB Announces New West Coast Office, Bolstered State Regulatory PresenceThe National Biodiesel Board announced the opening of its new west coast office to be led by long-time California Air Resources Board (CARB) Division Chief Floyd Vergara. The expansion will bolster NBB’s presence on the west coast where climate programs are a substantial market driver for low carbon fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel and will also bring critical regulatory expertise to the association as similar programs take flight across the country. Vergara brings more than 32 years of experience at CARB to the NBB team. Most recently, he served as Chief of the Industrial Strategies Division and Assistant Chief of the Research Division. Over the years, Vergara has overseen a number of CARB’s key climate and air quality programs, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Cap-and-Trade program, among others.“NBB has always had a significant presence in California, but the time was right to take our efforts to the next level with a full-time staff member in Sacramento,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Our new west coast office will be a substantial boost for NBB members as we work to grow some of biodiesel’s most significant markets.”“I am absolutely thrilled that we are able to bring Floyd to the NBB to lead our west coast office,” said NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs Shelby Neal. “In addition to overseeing some of California’s most important initiatives, Floyd has helped regulators implement climate and air quality programs in other states and several foreign countries.  We are very fortunate to have Floyd on our team.”NBB’s new office will be in Sacramento, co-located with the California Advanced Biofuels Alliance office. Vergara will serve as Director of State Regulatory Affairs for NBB.“I’m extremely excited to take my expertise and the experience learned from my time at CARB beyond the west coast as other regions of the country look to implement similar climate programs,” Vergara said. “The environmental benefits of biodiesel and renewable diesel are compelling, and I can’t wait to represent these industries as we get in on the ground floor of this national movement toward greater use of clean fuels. NBB’s reputation as a leader in the space makes this transition even more exciting for me personally.”Vergara received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He is licensed to practice in California as a professional engineer and lawyer. He will begin with NBB on November 18.KC Fed Bank Reports Slowdown in Farm LendingGrowth in farm lending activity slowed in the third quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve's Agricultural Finance Databook.Following nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth and a particularly notable increase a year ago, the volume of total non-real estate farm debt declined nearer to the historical third-quarter average.The primary contributor to the slowdown from sharp increases a year ago was a decline in the average size of farm operating loans.Despite a slowdown in the pace of debt accumulation, weaknesses in the sector persisted, continuing to pressure farm cash flows and agricultural credit conditions.Whether Plant or Animal, Protein Plays an Essential Role in Global NutritionPolly Ruhland, CEO, United Soybean Board When it comes to protein choices, I’ve observed the conversation subtly erode from speaking to the benefits of all protein to focus on an alleged competition between plant and animal proteins. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a contest at all. When all proteins are part of a balanced diet and work collaboratively to nourish the world, everyone wins.U.S. farmers collectively produce protein as a nutrient-dense foundation for growth and health to better our global society. Soybean famers believe a critical key to the nutritional health and well-being of an exploding global population can be summed up in two words … Protein First.Consumer interest in plant-based meat alternatives and protein-rich diets continues to strengthen, as restaurant chains scramble to add plant-based options to their choices for customers. Growth of plant-based protein and meat alternatives is anticipated to increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to $85 billion in 2030, according to Swiss investment firm UBS.Yet there is another, critical, element to the global protein story: meat consumption continues to increase briskly. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans will eat 221.4 pounds of meat this year, on average per capita, the most since 2007.Meat consumption globally continues to rise and will continue that upward trajectory at least through 2030, and global meat production has grown from about 70 million metric tons in 1961 to more than 335 million metric tons in 2018, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This is driven by two primary factors: 1) A population that increased from about 3 billion people to more than 7.7 billion over the same time frame, 2) Rising incomes and standards of living around the globe, with per-capita income skyrocketing more than 12 times over from 1970 to 2015, according to the World Bank.The fact remains; however, that in some areas of the world, populations facing economic challenge do not have a choice. And with those people in mind, organizations such as the United Soybean Board and the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health team up to help ensure that affordable high-quality protein, such as soy, has a place in their daily diets.All of this leaves us with a clear message, and a clear directive moving forward. Protein is essential to life. Protein demand continues to skyrocket as our planet’s population burgeons. U.S. farmers produce high-quality, nutrient-dense protein more efficiently, and more sustainably, than anyone else in the world. And collaboration among all farmers in the protein space remains critical to feeding the global population. U.S. animal and plant protein producers must work collaboratively, not competitively, with one another for the well-being of both the world’s population and our shared planet.Our primary focus needs to be on meeting the demand for protein and doing so in ways that help us preserve a planet on which we want our children’s children to live. In nourishing the UN-projected 9.7 billion people on this planet by 2050, we need every form of U.S. protein that’s out there, including animal protein, soy and other plant proteins.U.S. Soy will be pivotal to these efforts. Soy is a complete plant protein that is a primary source of nutrition in high-quality feed for animal nutrition. Soy is also the ideal direct source of protein for people – notably as a readily available and sustainably produced protein. This versatile crop contributes to protein provided in many commonly consumed foods found in our local grocery stores and can be found in many of the new protein choices gaining popularity.U.S. Soy farmers will continue to lead the way for global protein production through our innovative production methods and active collaboration with the rest of U.S. agriculture, maintaining a consistent focus on:-    Quality. U.S. Soy farmers rely on a wide array of advanced technologies and tools to help ensure the consistent high-quality product, as measured by protein concentration and amino acid levels, in addition to a broader nutritional bundle that U.S. Soy provides. It offers customers a superior protein as they develop products for human consumption or animal feed.-    Innovation. We’re constantly driving innovation to develop new ways that U.S. Soy can benefit both people and animals, such as high-oleic soybeans, which provide a nutritious and more sustainable alternative to many other cooking oils.-    Sustainability. U.S. Soy farmers continually advance global sustainability, funding environmental improvements to grow more while using fewer resources. Sustainable research includes the biotic and abiotic research needed to select and breed soybeans that are resilient and can face weather extremes and stresses caused by various pests.-    Transparency. As soy becomes a bigger part of diets around the world, we strive to share information on farming practices to feed consumers’ growing hunger for knowledge about the food they eat and how it’s grown.As economic conditions improve in both developed and emerging markets, protein demands continue to grow, according to the FAO. Some even estimate that an additional one-third or up to 50% more protein will be needed by 2050. Collaboration between animal- and plant-based proteins bolsters our ability to serve our shared global protein market. Together we can answer the many critical challenges facing our world: nourished versus malnourished, environmental improvement versus degradation, confident customers versus doubtful ones.Rather than standing in the past, we must forge together toward the future. If we add Protein First and subtract unnecessary rivalry, the globe will benefit as we set an example for generations to come.BASF launches 2020 Agronomic Advantage programBASF has launched 2020 Agronomic Advantage, a new grower-focused program that offers both flexibility and rewards. Through 2020 Agronomic Advantage, growers have the freedom to choose products and practices that help mitigate yield-impacting challenges like weed resistance. BASF is committed to helping growers find customized solutions by developing a plan with their local agronomists, BASF authorized retailers or other local BASF representatives.“Growers are increasingly dealing with challenges that are out of their control, such as flooding and drought,” said Scott Kay, Vice President of U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “To help them face these challenges, BASF now offers growers a program with the ability to choose what works best for them on their fields. With 2020 Agronomic Advantage, growers can decide which solution makes sense for the long-term success of their operation.”Running through September 30, 2020, the program offers products across many different sites of action. Layering sites of action is critical to preventing weed resistance. Products supported through the program include:Across trait platforms and seed brands, the program incentivizes growers for making the right agronomic choice for the overall profitability of their acre. When it comes to product selection, BASF makes herbicide and seed decisions simple by offering a range of options within the program. Growers can invest in their fields how they want, and can participate in the program by:-    Purchasing two participating BASF herbicides and matching acres, which will earn them 50 cents per acre. Additional herbicide purchases and matched acres will also earn 50 cents per acre. Nearly all BASF-branded herbicides are included in the program.-    Purchasing Credenz® seed and two BASF qualifying soybean herbicides, which may earn growers $2 per acre.-        Participating brands include: Credenz seed, Engenia herbicide, Liberty herbicide*, Outlook herbicide, Prowl herbicide, Verdict herbicide, Zidua SC herbicide, Zidua PRO herbicide and Zidua WG herbicide.-    Purchasing InVigor® canola seed and Liberty herbicide, which may earn growers $50 per seed unit.-    Purchasing FiberMax® and/or Stoneville® cotton seed and Engenia and/or Liberty herbicide, which may earn growers $6.40 per acre with the opportunity to earn an additional $.50 per acre with each added BASF herbicide.“As opposed to outcome-based grower programs that have recently hit the market, BASF’s 2020 Agronomic Advantage offers flexibility and the ability to earn rewards based on agronomic needs,” Kay said. “When growers continue to work with their BASF-authorized retailers and other representatives, they’ll see their hard work rewarded in a completely new way.”

October Rural Mainstreet Index Climbs Again: Trade War and Stalled USMCA Batters Economic ConfidenceThe Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for October climbed above growth neutral, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.      Overall: The overall index rose to 51.4 from 50.1 in September. Although still weak, this is the highest reading since June of this year. It also marked the third time in the past four months that the overall index has risen above growth neutral.“Federal agriculture crop support payments and somewhat higher grain prices have boosted the Rural Mainstreet Index slightly above growth neutral for the month. Even so, almost three of four bank CEOs, or 73%, reported continuing negative impacts from the trade war,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.  Farming and ranching: The farmland and ranchland-price index for October slumped to a weak 40.3 from September’s 43.1. This is the lowest reading since March of this year and the 71st straight month that the index has remained below growth neutral 50.0.  The October farm equipment-sales index improved to 39.7 from September’s 35.9. This is the highest reading for the index since June of this year, but marks the 73rd month that the reading has remained below growth neutral 50.0.  Below are the state reports:Nebraska: The Nebraska RMI for October rose to 48.5 from September’s 47.6. The state’s farmland-price index increased to 44.6 from last month’s 42.3. Nebraska’s new-hiring index increased to 49.1 from September’s 45.2.  Over the past 12 months rural areas in Nebraska have lost jobs at a rate of minus 1.1% compared to a gain of 1.8% for urban areas of the state.   Iowa: The October RMI for Iowa increased to 49.6 from September’s 48.7. Iowa’s farmland-price index fell to 39.7 from September’s 47.4. Iowa’s new-hiring index for October declined to 52.1 from 55.5 in October. Over the past 12 months rural areas in Iowa have experienced job additions with a gain of 0.3% compared to a much stronger increase of 1.0% for urban areas of the state.Each month, community bank presidents and CEOs in nonurban agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of a 10-state area are surveyed regarding current economic conditions in their communities and their projected economic outlooks six months down the road. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are included.   This survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. It gives the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey in 2005.The Pub at the Pinicon has Iowa's 2019 Best Breaded Pork TenderloinA northeast Iowa mainstay is where you'll find the 2019 Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin sandwich in Iowa. The Pub at the Pinicon in New Hampton took home the top award in the 17th annual contest sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.    Simply abbreviated as "The P.T." (pork tenderloin), the sandwich starts with a center-cut, half-pound pork loin-the same piece of meat that's used for The Pub's top-selling Boneless Iowa Chop dinner entrée. These loins are injected with their own natural juices to enhance moisture, then hand cut, coated in seasoned flour, dipped in a milk and egg wash, breaded with seasoned panko crumbs and fried.Current owners Dale and Laura Reicks of New Hampton source all of the restaurant's pork from Reicks View Farms in Lawler, a family farm they founded in 1979. In addition to pork tenderloins and chops, Reicks View Farms supplies The Pub's bacon, ribs and sausage pizza topping."Knowing how important the pork industry is in Iowa and knowing how much Iowans love a good breaded pork tenderloin, this is a badge of honor for our restaurant," said Phil Zwanziger, manager at the more than 60-year-old dining and events center. "The best compliment we can receive in our business is that we serve a good, tasty product."Zwanziger, a native of Nashua, has been involved with the business for almost 30 years, and said the pork tenderloin has long been a popular menu item. Staff has modified the breading over the years, and about a year ago moved to a brioche bun instead of a hoagie.The breading recipe particularly helped win over chef Phil Carey, who serves on the IPPA Restaurant and Foodservice Committee and helped judge the finalists. "This year's winning tenderloin, by far, had an outstanding breading that was well-seasoned and added great texture to the overall sandwich," Carey said. "The pork itself was very tender and very juicy to the last bite. A great pork tenderloin."The Pub will receive a check for $500, a plaque and a large banner proclaiming it the winner of the contest.IPPA judges selected Stumble Inn in Bradford as the runner-up in this year's contest. IPPA will present that restaurant with $250 and a plaque. Rounding out the top five finalists (in no order) are Big Al's BBQ in Des Moines; Night Hawk Bar & Grill, Slater; and West Side Family Restaurant, Grinnell. These restaurants will each receive a Top Five Plaque to display.The tenderloin contest recognizes Iowa dining establishments that have pork as a regular menu feature in support of Iowa's nation-leading pork industry. The winner is announced as part of October Pork Month to celebrate the state's dedicated pig farmers, local restaurants and their hardworking teams and a famous Midwest favorite-the pork tenderloin sandwich.Apply by Nov. 1 to Serve on the National Pork Checkoff Board of DirectorsThe Pork Checkoff’s board of directors is accepting applications through Nov. 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an application.“Serving on the National Pork Board is a great opportunity for producers to support the pork industry while helping to plan for a successful future,” said Alcester, South Dakota, producer Steve Rommereim, who is the past National Pork Board president and chair of the Nominating Committee. “Not only have I been able to serve producers, I also have learned from so many in our pork industry.”During the National Pork Industry Forum, Pork Act Delegates must rank a minimum of 10 candidates to send to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for approval. The board consists of 15 members, each serving a maximum of two three-year terms. The Pork Act requires that no fewer than 12 states be represented.The 15 positions on the Checkoff board are held by pork producers or importers who volunteer their time. Any pork producer or importer who has paid all Checkoff assessments due or is a representative of a producer or company that produces hogs and/or pigs is eligible to serve.The application deadline is Nov. 1, with interviews for each candidate held in Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 10 and 11. Please direct questions to Denise Yaske at DYaske@pork.org or apply directly at https://www.pork.org/about/leadership-opportunities/. American Beef is Climate Change SolutionSouth Dakota cattle producer Todd Wilkinson today told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that contrary to the claims of some environmental and anti-animal-agriculture activists, "American beef production and consumption is a climate change solution.""Climate policies that unfairly target cattle producers fail to recognize the positive role of cattle and beef in a healthy, sustainable food system," Wilkinson told members of the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. "Rather than adopting misguided policies that threaten the viability of farmers and ranchers, we want to shift the conversation."The subcommittee held today's hearing on the issue of "Reducing Emissions While Driving Economic Growth: Industry-Led Initiatives." In his testimony, Wilkinson discussed the environmental benefits of grazing, and busted myths about the effect of methane on global climate."(Grazing) naturally sequesters carbon, a benefit compounded by ruminant grazing," Wilkinson explained. "Grazing builds deep root systems in prairie grasses, which improve soil health. Healthy soils retain more water, sequester more carbon, and increase the resiliency of our ranches.""Methane emissions from cattle are part of the natural methane cycle," Wilkinson continued. "Within 10 years, more than 90 percent of that methane combines with oxygen in the atmosphere and converts to CO2. Methane has no long-term impact on climate when emissions and oxidation are in balance. And this balance has been maintained for centuries."Wilkinson, who is co-owner and operator of a commercial cow-calf operation and feeing business in De Smet, S.D., also serves as NCBA's 2019 Policy Division Vice Chairman and as Vice President of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Foundation. He closed his testimony by reminding Senators of producers' long commitment to environmental stewardship."The U.S. cattle industry is proud of its history as stewards of our nation's natural resources," he said. "Cattle producers are America's original conservationists, and we work hard every day to ensure that we can pass our operations on to the next generation. My family, and the entire American cattle producing community, is committed to remaining environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable for generations to come."Alfalfa and Potassium: It's Complicated.Has anyone ever told you to eat a banana when you have a muscle cramp or eye twitch? That's because bananas have potassium. Potassium is an important nutrient for humans, and an even more important nutrient when it comes to alfalfa.With an economic value of $9 billion annually in the United States, alfalfa is the most valuable crop behind corn and soybeans. Because of its high nutritional content, alfalfa is a common feed source for farm animals like cattle, horses, sheep and goats. So, understanding this relationship between alfalfa and potassium is a worthwhile goal."Potassium plays a role in many processes within an alfalfa plant," says Jacob Jungers, a researcher at University of Minnesota. "For example, it's important for converting sunlight to energy, transporting molecules and growing new cells."However, too much potassium can be a problem. "When alfalfa plants are given more potassium than they need, the concentration of potassium in the tissues increases," says Jungers. "This is called luxury consumption." Our bodies do this too. We store certain vitamins in our fat cells when we consume more than we need.This increased concentration of potassium affects the nutritional balance of alfalfa as a feed source for livestock. High potassium concentrations are especially concerning if fed to lactating dairy cows. "In addition to being costly for growers, over-fertilization can put dairy cows at risk of milk fever," says Jungers. Milk fever is a metabolic disease cows can get around the time of calving that causes weakness, and sometimes even death. So, Jungers and his team wanted to identify potassium fertilization rates that increase yield and nutritive value, while reducing potassium concentration in the tissue.Researchers experimented with five different rates of potassium fertilizer on alfalfa fields. Throughout the four-year study, they took measurements of the yield, nutritive value, and potassium concentrations in the plant tissue. Soil samples were also taken to track the potassium levels in the soil."Potassium fertilization increased alfalfa yield, but decreased forage quality," says Jungers. "This tradeoff was consistent among all alfalfa cultivars in the study." Intensively harvested alfalfa did differ in overall yield, but it did not differ in its yield response to potassium fertilization.When applied at recommended levels, potassium fertilization is important for high alfalfa yields. However, potassium fertilization will not prolong alfalfa stand life or productivity beyond the third production year. "Many soil types are abundant in potassium, but relatively little is available to crops at any given time," he says. "The amount of potassium that might someday be available to crops is largely dependent on soil texture, moisture, and other environmental factors." Potassium fertilizer rates for alfalfa should be determined based on expected yield, soil test levels, and if the crop will be fed to cows.The next steps in this work may be to consider the timing of potassium fertilization. In this study, potassium fertilizer was incorporated in the soil prior to planting the first year. Then, it was applied in the spring the following years. In the Midwest, application of potassium fertilizer is common in the fall or after the first cutting.Understanding tradeoffs between alfalfa yield and quality is important for fertility management and sustainable production. Measuring and reporting these tradeoffs helps growers make the best decisions for their operations.Read more about this research in Agronomy Journal. This work was funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Fertilizer Research and Education Council and the Midwest Forage Association.Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/11/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 11, ethanol production edged up to 971,000 barrels per day (b/d), equivalent to 40.78 million gallons daily, an increase of 8,000 b/d or 0.8% from the prior week. Production was 4.0% below the same week a year ago and 4.7% below the level two years ago. For the first time since April 2017, production has been below 1 million b/d for four consecutive weeks. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined for the seventh straight week, falling 0.8% to 959,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.70 billion gallons, the lowest average since May 2016.Ethanol stocks rebounded 4.1% to 22.1 million barrels after declining by a record amount a week earlier. Still, inventories were 8.3% lower than the same week last year. Stocks rose in all regions.There were zero imports for the third consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market declined 1.1% to 9.354 million b/d (392.9 million gallons per day, or 143.40 bg annualized). On the other hand, refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol increased by 2.7% to 942,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.44 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production rose to 10.38%.New NGFA video showcases link between grain quality and grain handling safety The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) this week unveiled a new safety training video, “Safety and Grain Quality Management,” that illustrates the connection between grain quality and safety. The animated video, funded by the National Grain and Feed Foundation, was launched during NGFA’s first-ever Harvest Safety Week, which is taking place Oct. 14-18. Working in or around a grain bin can expose farmers and workers to serious and life-threatening hazards, including entrapment and suffocation from engulfment. Historically, nearly 70 percent of these incidents occur on the farm. The video notes that hot weather and grain whose condition is not maintained and monitored can increase the need for farmers and others to enter bins to dislodge  grain hung up or crusted in a bin. “Grain that has gone out of condition will always be a safety risk,” the video notes. Viewers will learn several steps to follow when storing grain to maintain quality, including proper aeration, moisture levels and temperature monitoring to avoid potentially hazardous situations. All videos, “Safety Tips” sheets, webinars and other materials can be found on ngfa.org/safety.During Harvest Safety Week, NGFA is delivering free safety resources particularly useful during  the busy fall harvest season to NGFA members’ inboxes each day. Participants are encouraged to use this opportunity to exemplify commitment to safety by using NGFA’s training materials and sharing them with #Harvest19 and #HarvestSafetyWeek on social media. NMPF Statement on Its Letter to President TrumpRandy Mooney, Producer Chairman “On behalf of dairy farmers and farmer-owned dairy cooperatives across the country, the National Milk Producers Federation wrote to the President today to commend his Administration for its excellent judgment this month in including a number of European dairy products, particularly cheeses from major EU exporters such as Italy, on a list of WTO-authorized retaliatory tariffs related to the successful U.S. case against European Airbus subsidies. However, we must reject European efforts to deceive the United States about the reality of Transatlantic dairy trade. To that end, we respectfully asked the President to put the needs of U.S. dairy farmers above those of Italian and European farmers by maintaining the retaliatory tariff list against Europe, as the Administration proposed earlier this month. “The U.S. is running a $1.5 billion dairy trade deficit with Europe because of unfair EU trade practices that largely block our access to their market while they enjoy broad access to ours. EU policies such as Italian-initiated bans on American-made parmesan, asiago and gorgonzola mean that they can ship us $1 billion in cheese each year while U.S. cheese exports to the EU clock in at $6 million.“In light of this disparity and the EU’s refusal to meet its WTO commitments regarding illegal Airbus subsidies, American dairy farmers saw the proposed retaliatory tariff list’s strong focus on EU dairy and cheeses as at least temporarily creating a slightly more level playing field for Made in America products that face even higher barriers to entry in the EU market.“Dairy farmers are counting on the President to stand with them and resist Italy’s request that he side with the Italian farmers and cheese makers who have blocked our own great cheeses from EU store shelves.”

I-29 Moo University to offer California dairy tours and World Ag Expo tripThe I-29 Moo University consortium of Extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota will host a “California Dairy Tours and World Ag Expo Trip” in the Fresno and Tulare, California areas on February 9-13, 2020. This tour is open to dairy producers and agri-business personnel. The tour will focus on agriculture in California with an emphasis on dairy production. Participants will tour dairy farms in the Fresno and Tulare areas, spend one day at the World Ag Expo and another day touring local attractions and other California agriculture commodities. “This tour provides Midwest dairy producers the opportunity to tour dairy farms in California and network with fellow dairy producers,” said Kim Clark, dairy extension educator at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “We want dairy producers to experience California agriculture and dairy production.”“We understand dairy producers are facing challenging times financially and with this year’s weather events,” said Tracey Erickson, dairy field specialist at South Dakota State University.  “Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we are able to offer this trip at a discounted rate for dairy producers and our current year sponsors.”Fees for the tour include airfare, hotel, most meals, bus transportation and fees for parks and World Ag Expo. Tour fees start at $1,100 for dairy producers for the double occupancy rate. The registration information and a $250 non-refundable deposit are due by November 1. Final payment is due by December 30.   For the full agenda for the trip and the fees, visit https://dairy.unl.edu/i-29-moo-university/upcoming-events.The I-29 Moo University Consortium connects extension dairy staff and dairy producers from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to share research, information and management practices through workshops, webinars, monthly e-newsletters and on-farm tours.For more information and to register, contact Tracey Erickson at 605-882-5140 or Tracey.Erickson@sdstate.edu, or Kim Clark at 402-472-6065 or kimclark@unl.edu.First National Bank - Omaha supports agriculture campaign at Northeast Community CollegeFirst National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) understands the importance of agriculture in Nebraska, and has committed $250,000 toward the drive to enhance the future of agriculture education at Northeast Community College.Don Polodna, First National Bank of Omaha community president for the Norfolk market, pointed out that agriculture is the largest industry in Nebraska.“Our communities in this area are all surviving, are all successful, because of agriculture,” Polodna said. “Agriculture is so important for us. It’s important for my business and probably for 95% of the other businesses in northeast Nebraska.”First National Bank has a long and colorful history that dates back to 1906 when a group of Columbus citizens got together to form a new national bank, Central National Bank. The name was changed to First National Bank & Trust Company of Columbus in 1961. First National Bank of Omaha purchased the bank in 1988; a branch was opened in Norfolk in 1993; and in 2014, the bank’s legal name was changed to First National Bank of Omaha. FNBO now has more than 100 locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas, including two in Norfolk.“The support of a financial institution like First National Bank of Omaha is vital to the success of the Nexus project,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president for development and external affairs at Northeast and executive director of the Northeast Community College Foundation. “First National understands the importance of agriculture in Nebraska; the importance of educating the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness employees and owners; and the importance of a trained agricultural workforce for the success of rural communities.”Polodna said that supporting the communities around Norfolk is one of the reasons FNBO chose to donate to the Nexus project.“There’s no doubt, other communities are all going to benefit by having that next generation of producer,” he said. “This project is about investing today to grow tomorrow, to grow the future of our area.”Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a new veterinary technology clinic, classrooms, a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at tracyk@northeast.edu, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.NEXT YEAR’S SUCCESS BEGINS TODAYBruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage Specialist               Fall field work is in full swing for most folks.  Your focus may be on your row crops, but when possible, take time to get a jump on next year’s hay and pasture challenges and opportunities.               I’m great at procrastinating.  But when it comes to pasture and hay fields, I’ve learned that problem prevention and advanced preparation are the only ways to make significant progress.  So today, I’m giving you a laundry list of actions you can still take this fall to make your forage production better next year.               Let’s begin with weeds.  Many alfalfa fields are contaminated with mustards, pennycress, cheatgrass, and downy brome every spring.  This doesn’t have to happen.  Before the ground freezes, spray metribuzin, Velpar, Sinbar, or Karmex and these weeds won’t be there next spring.               Similarly, you can avoid letting warm-season grass pastures get overrun by cool-season grasses and weeds.  Spray glyphosate or Plateau after a couple freezes turn desirable grasses dormant but these invaders are still green for cleaner pastures next summer.               Speaking of pasture, is nitrogen fertilizer getting too expensive?  Adding clovers or alfalfa to your grass can eliminate your need for any nitrogen fertilizer.  Prepare for making this addition by grazing one of your pastures as short as possible this fall to open it up for adding legume seeds early next spring and to slow down its spring growth rate.               Finally, pull soil samples, especially from hay fields but also from some of your pastures, and get them tested this fall.  Then use the test results to order fertilizer and maybe even apply it yet this fall if weather conditions still permit.               Don’t be a procrastinator.  Act now to reduce hay and pasture problems next year and improve your forage production.Beef Quality Assurance Transport Certification Session SetBeef Quality Assurance Transportation is the latest certification needed for beef cattle haulers and producers who deliver cattle to major packing plants.The BQA Transportation program has several objectives with the key components being to provide for transporter safety, to deliver cattle in a timely manner and to provide the most comfortable transportation for the animals."This new certification program will soon be a required part of business for any cattle haulers or producers who direct deliver cattle to a major packing plant," said Beth Doran, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.To help transporters become certified in BQA transportation, a multi-state workshop will be offered by Iowa State Extension and Outreach, South Dakota State University Extension and University of Minnesota Extension on Dec. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sioux Falls Regional Livestock near Worthing, South Dakota. The workshop will include a classroom presentation and trailer walk-through discussion."Several major packers have announced that as of Jan. 1, 2020 they will not accept cattle from transporters who are not BQA Transportation certified," Doran said. "Transporters include both farmer feeders and commercial truckers hauling directly to a packing plant."Those hauling cattle to a packing plant may either attend the workshop or go online at www.bqa.org to complete the BQA Transportation curriculum. The Dec. 10 training is the last in-person workshop offered in South Dakota and northwest Iowa for 2019. It is co-sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, SDSU Extension, South Dakota Beef Industry Council and South Dakota Beef Quality Assurance. Special appreciation also goes to Sioux Falls Regional Livestock and M.H. EBY, Inc. for hosting the workshop and providing refreshments and trailers for the demonstration.For more information, see the program flyer on the IBC website. Preregistration is $25 per person and can be done by contacting Doran at 712-737-4230 or doranb@iastate.edu or Heidi Carroll, South Dakota BQA Coordinator, at 605-688-6623 or Heidi.Carroll@sdstate.edu.Fertilizer Prices Sink for 9th Consecutive WeekRetail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of October, 2019, continue to be slightly lower. Prices have moved lower for nine straight weeks.All eight fertilizers were once again lower in price compared to last month. As with the last few weeks, no fertilizer was down a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more.DAP had an average price of $472/ton, down $14; MAP $473/ton, down $9; potash $383/ton, down $2; urea $403/ton, down $4; 10-34-0 $470/ton, down $1; anhydrous $509/ton, down $7; UAN28 $253/ton and UAN32 $289/ton, both down less than $1.On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.With prices significantly lower in recent months, two fertilizers' prices dropped to being lower in price from a year ago. MAP is now 10% less expensive and DAP is 6% lower from last year at this time.The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be slightly higher compared to last year. Both UAN32 and urea are 3% more expensive, both anhydrous and 10-34-0 are 4% higher, potash is 5% more expensive and UAN28 is 6% higher compared to last year.CORN GROWERS SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS TO AFLATOXIN CONTINUESThe National Corn Growers Association continues to move forward with its long-term initiative to manage and ultimately solve aflatoxin issues for farmers with the announcement of a new round of research grants.The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.“The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair Charles Ring, a corn grower in Texas. “Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”Projects funded for 2020 should focus on one of these six priority areas: amelioration, best-management, biological controls, breeding, testing and transgenic.While corn farmers in southern states experience aflatoxin challenges every year, these challenges may present themselves in any corn region of the United States when the crop comes under stress. Thus, the benefits of such research, particularly as outlined in the six priority areas, are truly national in scope. Thusly, proposals will be considered regardless of the geographic region of the parties submitting and any state wishing to provide additional funding for AMCOE is encouraged to do so.Letters of intent from principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and collaborators not exceeding the $75,000 per year limit will be accepted by AMCOE until October 25. Seeding Rural Resilience Act Will Help Farmers and RanchersThe American Farm Bureau Federation supports the Seeding Rural Resilience Act sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), which is designed to help farmers respond to stress and decrease the stigma associated with mental health care in rural communities.“Farmers and ranchers are some of the most resilient people you will ever meet,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “But times are tough on the farm, and with challenges from weather, trade and low commodity prices, it can definitely wear down the resiliency of farmers. AFBF commends Senators Tester and Grassley for introducing the Seeding Rural Resilience Act, which will be instrumental in bringing mental health resources and awareness to rural communities.”AFBF is committed to raising awareness about the benefits of seeking support and how to recognize the signs that someone needs help.According to a Morning Consult research poll commissioned by AFBF in April 2019, a strong majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues (91%), farm or business problems (88%) and fear of losing the farm (87%) impact the mental health of farmers and ranchers, and nearly half of rural adults (48%) say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago.Background on the bill:The Seeding Rural Resilience Act creates three initiatives aimed at promoting mental health awareness in rural America:-    Implementing a farmer-facing employee training program that requires the Agriculture Department to provide voluntary stress management training to Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees;-    Forming a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services and USDA to create a $3 million PSA to increase public awareness of farm and ranch stress and destigmatize mental health care in rural communities; and-    Directing the Secretary of Agriculture to work with state, local and nongovernmental stakeholders to collaborate and determine best practices for responding to farm and ranch mental stress.The National Wheat Foundation Begins Accepting Applications for 2020-2021 Scholarship Honoring Ag StudentsThe National Wheat Foundation officially began accepting applications for the Jerry Minore Scholarship, honoring students pursuing a career in agriculture. The scholarship is available to both high school and college students for the 2019-2020 academic year with an application deadline of December 01, 2019. “The scholarship is meant to aid those students who have shown a passion for agriculture both inside and outside the classroom,” said Wayne Hurst, Chairman of the National Wheat Foundation. “These students can then educate the next generation on the importance of wheat and agriculture and the significant role both play in society.” The late Jerry Minore was a BASF Senior Market Manager and a liaison to the wheat industry. Since his unexpected death in 2012, BASF has partnered with the National Wheat Foundation to fund scholarships and honor his advocacy efforts for wheat growers. This year the Foundation will be issuing two scholarships for $2,500 each. “We are proud to partner with the National Wheat Foundation to find students who have shown a commitment to our industry and a willingness to honor Jerry’s legacy and enthusiasm for agriculture,” said Scott Kay, Vice President U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “We will continue to invest in the best and brightest ag students to help them achieve their career goals. We look forward to seeing their impact.”  For more information on how to apply, visit https://wheatfoundation.org/education-and-scholarships/.

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION For the week ending October 13, 2019, there were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 7 short, 79 adequate, and 13 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 79 adequate, and 14 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 3 percent very poor, 6 poor, 20 fair, 51 good, and 20 excellent. Corn mature was 85 percent, behind 95 last year and 92 for the five-year average. Harvested was 20 percent, behind 25 last year, and near 24 average. Soybean condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 21 fair, 58 good, and 14 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 91 percent, behind 97 both last year and average. Harvested was 28 percent, behind 38 last year and 47 average. Winter wheat planted was 95 percent, ahead of 89 last year, and near 92 average. Emerged was 66 percent, behind 73 last year and 75 average. Sorghum condition rated 2 percent very poor, 2 poor, 14 fair, 66 good, and 16 excellent. Sorghum mature was 82 percent, behind 94 last year and 92 average. Harvested was 10 percent, well behind 31 last year, and behind 26 average. Dry edible beans harvested was 87 percent. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 14 fair, 59 good, and 23 excellent. IOWA CROP PROGRESS & CONDITION REPORTIn addition to the first freeze of the season, Iowa experienced drier weather this past week; however, wet field conditions remained an issue for farmers as they were limited to 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending October 13, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field work activities included chopping silage and harvesting hay, seed corn, soybeans and corn for grain. Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Nearly all of the corn crop has reached the dented stage or beyond at 97 percent statewide, with 72 percent reaching maturity, 3 weeks behind last year and 15 days behind average. Seven percent of corn has been harvested for grain, 18 days behind last year and nearly 2 weeks behind average. Corn condition remained unchanged from the previous week at 65 percent good to excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the soybean crop has begun coloring or beyond, nearly 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average. Eighty-five percent of the crop has begun dropping leaves, 15 days behind last year and 10 days behind average. Seventeen percent of soybeans have been harvested, 9 days behind last year and 11 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 64 percent good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 92 percent, over 3 weeks behind average. Pasture condition rated 45 percent good to excellent. Livestock have dealt with large temperature fluctuations the past 2 weeks and feedlots remain muddy. Corn Condition Drops AgainIn addition to corn condition dropping 1 percentage point this week, corn estimated as mature is still far behind the five-year average pace, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Tuesday.As of Sunday, 73% of corn was estimated as mature, 19 percentage points behind the five-year average of 92%. That was slightly closer to the average pace than last week, when corn mature was running 27 percentage points behind average.Nationwide, corn harvest progressed another 7 percentage points to reach 22% as of Sunday, but that's still 14 percentage points behind the five-year average of 36%.The condition of corn still in fields continued to decline with an estimated 55% good-to-excellent rating, down 1 percentage point from the previous week and the lowest in six years.Soybeans dropping leaves reached 85% as of Sunday, 8 percentage points behind the five-year average of 93% -- an improvement from last week when the percent of the crop dropping leaves was running 15 percentage points behind average.Soybean harvest moved ahead 12 percentage points last week to reach 26%, but still 23 percentage points behind the five-year average of 49%. That was further behind average than in last Monday's report, when soybean harvest was running 7 percentage points behind the average pace.Soybean condition was rated 54% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 53% the previous week.Spring wheat harvest moved ahead only 3 percentage points to reach 94% as of Sunday, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 100% complete.Winter wheat planting progress stood at 65% as of Sunday, equal to the five-year average. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 41%, 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average.Sorghum mature was estimated at 81%, just barely behind the average of 82%. Sorghum harvested reached 40%, behind the five-year average of 46%.Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 87%, ahead of the average of 83%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 32%, also ahead of the five-year average of 27%. Rice harvested was 87%, just slightly behind the average of 87%. Cuming County Almost Captures Rent Triple CrownNE Farm Bureau newsletterCuming County almost captured the Nebraska Triple Crown for highest average cash rental rates on irrigated, dryland, and pasture ground in 2019. The county led the state in average cash rents on irrigated and dryland ground with rents of $294/acre and $244/acre, respectively. However, it lost its chance at the Triple Crown with average rents on pasture of $72/acre, third behind Wayne County ($81/acre) and Colfax County ($74/acre). Dixon and Cedar Counties were close behind Cuming County on rents on irrigated ground, both with rents near $290/acre. Dakota and Thurston Counties followed Cuming County on rents for dryland cropland with rents of $240/acre and $233/acre, respectively. Northeast Nebraska generally had the highest average rental rates in 2019, like it did in 2017. However, cash rents on cropland this year were less compared to 2017. The top cash rent on irrigated ground in 2017 was $312/acre in Dixon County. The top rate in 2019 was almost 6 percent less than that. The top average cash rent on dryland ground this year, $244/acre, was $22/acre less compared to 2017, or just over 8 percent. The drops in rental rates are reflective of the ongoing struggles for positive returns in the crop sector. They are also similar in percentage terms to the declines seen in land values over the past few years. Somewhat surprising, the top rental rate for pasture ground this year was higher compared to 2017 by $8/acre or 11 percent. Cattle numbers have grown in recent years and the uptick in pasture rental ground might have resulted from more competition for pasture.Feeding Light Test Weight Corn in Growing and Finishing DietsSteve Niemeyer – NE Extension Educator  The number of growing degree days remaining for the season will influence the amount of light test weight corn harvested this fall. The current standard test weight for corn is 56 pounds per bushel. When corn test weight is below the standard, it is often discounted in price, suggesting the feeding value is lower. However, research has shown that the feeding value of light test weight corn is often similar to normal test weight corn when included in various cattle diets.  A two-year study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln evaluated feeding light test weight corn during the growing and subsequent finishing phase. Dry rolled corn was included at 37% of the growing diet and 86.2% of the finishing diet (dry matter basis). Cattle fed light test weight corn (46.8 lb/bu) had similar gains and feed efficiency as cattle fed normal corn (56.2 lb/bu) during both the growing and finishing phases. Research at North Dakota State University has shown similar results when light test weight corn was harvested and fed as high-moisture corn to finishing steers. A metabolism study conducted by South Dakota State University showed that the net energy content of light test weight corn (40.8 lb/bu) was not inherently lower than normal corn (53.8 lb/bu) in steers fed finishing diets containing 77.7% whole corn.  Light test weight corn is generally lower in starch but higher in protein and fiber than normal corn. With the variability in corn growing conditions, analyzing the nutrient content of light test weight corn prior to feeding is important from both a cattle performance and financial standpoint.  Cattle feeders that grow their own corn have the opportunity to market light test weight corn through their cattle without sacrificing cattle performance. For cattle feeders purchasing corn, there may be opportunity to capitalize on the discounted price associated with light test weight corn.Farm Bureau Focused on Boosting Reliable, High-Speed Internet Access for Rural NebraskaEnsuring all Nebraskans can access reliable, high-speed internet service is the focal point of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s engagement with the Nebraska Rural Broadband Task Force. As the Task Force nears a November deadline for making recommendations to the Legislature on how to improve broadband service in rural areas, Nebraska Farm Bureau offered a series of suggestions to the group.“Approximately one out of every ten Nebraskans report significant limitations with their internet service, while just over half of rural Nebraskans have internet service with download and upload speeds that meet the federal “broadband” definition,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “It’s critical to the future of Nebraska that we make strides in improving broadband deployment statewide. We can’t afford to fall behind.”Among Nebraska Farm Bureau’s recommendations to the Task Force are:    Requiring internet service providers to meet the basic federal definition of “broadband” (25 Megabytes per second download and 3 Megabytes per second upload) to receive taxpayer support for broadband development or to be shielded from subsidized competition.     Recognition by the Public Service Commission (PSC) that fiber deployment might not be the most efficient and affordable way for rural residents to receive high-speed internet service and encouragement of the PSC to be open to evolving technology to address cost and logistical problems for rural broadband deployment.     Support for PSC to use a grant process for broadband project support and support for public-private partnerships that encourage collaboration between internet carriers, businesses, farms, ranches, cooperatives, as well as schools, municipalities, counties, and public power providers.     Support for the development of cooperatives for the sole purpose of broadband deployment.      Support for allocating Nebraska Universal Service Fund (NUSF) dollars to telecommunications companies that experienced damaged infrastructure due to severe weather events and natural disasters if replacement dollars are used to ensure internet services meet the federal “broadband” definition for download and upload speeds.     Emphasis on the need for more accurate data to ensure precise mapping of broadband services, given such maps are used to identify underserved areas and subsequently receive priority for federal funds for broadband improvement.     Support for the establishment of a Subcommittee on Agriculture within the Task Force given the importance of broadband to agriculture and the state’s economy. “Improving and expanding broadband isn’t just vital to farmers and ranchers wanting to use new technologies. It’s vital to our communities, all rural businesses, and future economic growth. It’s critical to our children’s educational opportunities. It’s important to the next generation of rural Nebraskans, as young people won’t return to rural Nebraska without it,” said Nelson. “Access to high-speed, high quality internet has become a necessity.”The Nebraska Rural Broadband Task Force was created by the Legislature’s passage and Governor Ricketts signing of LB 994 in 2018. The bill was introduced by Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson. The Task Force was charged with reviewing issues related to the availability, adoption, and affordability of broadband services in rural Nebraska and is required to present its recommendations and findings to the Legislature by November 1. Ricketts: Healthy Revenues Mean More Property Tax ReliefToday, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that state general fund tax receipts for September were $42 million above forecast.“Our budget is set for the next two years, and higher-than-expected revenues have flowed into our cash reserve,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “This trend of healthy revenues is setting the state up to do significant property tax relief in the upcoming legislative session.“Earlier this year, Gov. Ricketts worked with state lawmakers to increase the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund $50 million to $275 million in property tax relief annually.Extension, Farm Service Agency Plan Farm Bill Education Meetings Across NebraskaUniversity of Nebraska Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska are planning a series of Farm Bill education meetings in late November through December to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions.The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) commodity crop safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.“These in-person meetings are being planned as a supplement to available online resources,” said Nancy Johner, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. “We encourage producers to educate themselves on the ARC and PLC changes, and then plan to attend a meeting in their local area for additional informational support.”“While the ARC and PLC programs and enrollment decision may look familiar, the circumstances for a new decision are very different than they were in 2014,” said Brad Lubben, Extension Policy Specialist at UNL. “Education and analysis will help producers prepare for the decisions they have ahead.”Information regarding 2018 Farm Bill resources can be found at farmbill.unl.edu or at the Nebraska FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/ne.Meetings are being planned for 28 locations across the state. Details, including locations, dates and times will be announced in early November and will be available at the farmbill.unl.edu website. All meetings will be free and open to the public. USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage ProgramsAgricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. ARC and PLC have options for the farm operator who is actively farming the land as well as the owner of the land. Farm owners also have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields beginning with crop year 2020. If the farm owner and producer visit the FSA county office together, FSA can also update yield information during that visit. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. 2018 Crop Year ARC and PLC PaymentsFSA began processing payments last week for 2018 ARC-County (ARC-CO) and PLC on covered commodities that met payment triggers on enrolled farms in the 2018 crop year. In addition to the $1.5 billion now in process, FSA anticipates it will issue another $1 billion in November once USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service publishes additional commodity prices for the 2018 crop. Producers who had 2018 covered commodities enrolled in ARC-CO can visit www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc for payment rates applicable to their county and each covered commodity.  For farms and covered commodities enrolled in 2018 PLC, the following crops met payment triggers:  barley, canola, corn, dry peas, grain sorghum, lentils, peanuts, and wheat.Oats and soybeans did not meet 2018 PLC payment triggers.2018 PLC payment rates for the following covered commodities have not been determined: crambe, flaxseed, large and small chickpeas, long and medium grain rice, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, seed cotton, sesame seed, sunflower seed and temperate Japonica rice.Study Shows Pig Farmers Improving Their Environmental Footprint Through EfficienciesA new environmental study has found that pig farms are generating less manure nutrient content associated with odor. Data gathered from more than 106,000 samples at 182 North Carolina farms shows significant reductions in ammonia levels and manure nutrient content. The improvements are attributed to gains in feed efficiency, which means it takes less feed to raise a pig.“For an industry that is continually striving to become more sustainable, this study shows that pig farmers are making significant progress toward reducing the environmental impact of their farms,” said Lowry Harper, president of Harper Consulting, who conducted the study from decades-long data.The study, funded by the Pork Checkoff and conducted by Harper Consulting in consultation with Southern Utah University, found that North Carolina pig farmers have significantly increased feed efficiency over the past 17 years. Long-term, continuous improvement has resulted in trending reductions in nutrient content in manure lagoons at the farms. Specifically, data gathered from more than 106,000 samples at the 182 participating North Carolina pig farms showed a reduction of 35% to 78% in the nutrient content from hog finishers in primary lagoons, and a reduction of 17% to 68% in primary lagoons for sow farms. Also, the study showed a reduction of 22% to 54% in ammonia levels.The analysis showed considerable improvements in pig farms’ nutrient output, with major decreases in all nutrient concentrations, except for copper which is an essential dietary nutrient. The modeling conducted suggested decreased emissions, including ammonia.  While the study looked at North Carolina farms, the findings can likely be replicated throughout the country as U.S. pig farmers adopt better genetics and target nutrition and greater veterinary care.The environmental study shows hog farms’ contributions to nutrient levels and ammonia emissions have declined significantly over the last two decades. Other activity – increasing human population and growth in associated emission sources like automobiles, industry and human waste processing – has likely contributed to a general increase in ammonia emissions in the state.The study also found that “advancements in swine production practices, changes in feed formulation, improved swine genetics, reduced nutrient excretion and other management changes have resulted in reduced nutrients in both primary and secondary lagoons.”“U.S. pig farmers have a great story of sustainability to share, and this study validates it,” said Jan Archer, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “Farmers have always been good stewards of the environment, and we are proud of the continuous improvement and innovative practices on our farms. As a pig farmer in the second-largest pork producing state in the country, I am proud of our record and believe these sustainability gains are being replicated by many of my fellow farmers in other states.”A research summary of the environmental study is online at pork.org.  EPA Issues Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels VolumesToday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on the recently proposed rule to establish the cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes for 2020 and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.Today’s notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way that annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Annual renewable fuel percentage standards are used to calculate the number of gallons each obligated party is required to blend into their fuel or to otherwise obtain renewable identification numbers (RINs) to demonstrate compliance. Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE), including where DOE had recommended partial exemptions. The agency intends to grant partial exemptions in appropriate circumstances when adjudicating 2020 exemption petitions. The agency proposes to use this value to adjust the way we calculate renewable fuel percentages. The proposed adjustments would help ensure that the industry blends the final volumes of renewable fuel into the nation’s fuel supply and that, in practice, the required volumes are not effectively reduced by future hardship exemptions for small refineries. Consistent with the statute, the supplemental notice seeks to balance the goal of the RFS of maximizing the use of renewables while following the law and sound process to provide relief to small refineries that demonstrate the need.EPA will hold a public hearing on Oct. 30, 2019 followed by a 30-day comment period from the date of the hearing to receive public input on these issues. The agency will finalize this action later this year.For more information, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/proposed-volumes-2020-and-biomass-based-diesel-volume-2021.Today’s action fulfills the agreement reached on October 4th, with the White House, EPA, and USDA. Fischer Encourages Nebraskans to Submit Comments on EPA’s Supplemental Rule on RFS DealU.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) seeking comments on reallocation of biofuel gallons waived due to exemptions for small oil refineries:“It’s good to see that the EPA has rolled out this supplemental rule to protect the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard. However, I am disappointed in how the agency is proposing to address the three year rolling average to ensure a net 15 billion gallons is blended into our fuel supply. This is different than what we expected based on our previous conversations with the administration. I encourage Nebraska farmers and ethanol producers to weigh in during this comment period. I remain committed to holding the EPA accountable and providing certainty for rural America.”The supplemental rule seeks comments on whether to take the three-year rolling average of the Department of Energy’s recommendations to the EPA in either 2015-2017 or 2016-2018 into account when calculating the reallocation of biofuel gallons lost due to recent exemptions for oil refineries.Earlier this month, after a concerted effort by Senator Fischer, the EPA unveiled a new RFS deal under which the EPA announced it will factor in those recent waivers exempting oil refineries when setting new annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) starting with 2020. Accounting for these exemptions will ensure the 15 billion net gallons of conventional biofuel obligation is met in the 2020 RVO.This deal followed an announcement by the EPA earlier this year to allow the year-round sale of E-15. Senator Fischer long fought for year-round sales and was a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would have allowed retailers to sell E-15 and other higher-ethanol blends all year. She traveled with President Trump to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this summer, where the announcement was made alongside U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.EPA Continues to Undermine the Renewable Fuel StandardICGA President Jim GreifToday, we are outraged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not implement the details that were presented and outlined by the President only eleven days ago. Any proposal that does not account for actual waived gallons under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) fails to restore the integrity of the law. Last week President Trump promised to uphold the Congressional intent of the RFS by addressing the demand destruction brought on by expanded use of small refinery exemptions and prospectively account for those exemptions using a three-year rolling average of actual waived gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standard. Today’s announcement falls well short of that mark, only accounting for the Department of Energy recommendations that the EPA itself ignored.The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) will continue to fight back on demand destruction with our biofuels champions and President Trump to ensure the final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) reflect the commitments made by the President to restore the integrity of the RFS to the benefit of farmers and consumers everywhere.NCGA Statement: EPA Plan to Address RFS Waivers Falls ShortNational Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking. The proposed rule follows an announcement from President Trump last week directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.“While corn farmers appreciate the EPA’s intent to follow Department of Energy recommendations on waivers going forward, the proposed rule fails to provide the assurance needed that EPA’s practices for granting waivers will change going forward. Farmers have long been skeptical of the EPA’s administration of the RFS. This proposal doesn’t provide farmers confidence in EPA’s ability to follow through and make this right. President Trump made a commitment to farmers and instructed the EPA to follow the law, but this proposal appears to come up short again.”Supplemental Proposed Rule: It Does Account for SREs… But with a Loophole?The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental proposed rule would indeed estimate future exempted Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes, but not as a 3-year rolling average based on actual volumes previously lost through small refinery exemptions (SREs). That solution was supported by the industry to keep the pesky waivers - piling up year after year - from undermining the intent of the RFS.The White House, EPA, and USDA reached a deal Oct. 4 that would update the already-announced 2020 renewable volume standards and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2021 under the RFS program. That deal does not directly change the volumes but instead adjusts the way annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated – and what can be exempted due to small refinery waivers. But details of the plan have been pending—and the devil may be in those details for farmers and other biofuel industry members anxious for change.“Details announced today confirm EPA is considering a new plan in which only lost gallons previously forecast by the Department of Energy (DOE) would be restored to the marketplace going forward, with no value given to the actual gallons waived by EPA. Relying on DOE forecasts does not assure rural stakeholders, the markets, or investors that EPA is going to abide by the President’s intentions going forward and truly protect RFS volumes,” said Rob Shaffer, chair of ASA’s Biodiesel and Infrastructure Committee.SREs are issued by EPA after consultation with DOE, but concern stems from EPA’s ability to ignore DOE recommendations. A public hearing on the proposed rule will be held Oct. 30, followed by a 30-day comment period.Shaffer continued, “ASA will be carefully reviewing the written proposal released by EPA today. We are very concerned that this proposal does not fulfill the agreement reached between the White House, EPA, USDA, and biofuel stakeholders as it was announced last week. ASA will not support any attempt by EPA to undermine the President's commitments, which we continue to appreciate."RFA Statement on EPA Supplemental Proposal for 2020 RVO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a supplemental proposal regarding the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation, seeking to ensure that the conventional renewable fuel standard is not eroded by small refinery exemptions. The following is a statement from Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper:“If the Oct. 4 announcement from EPA was a big step forward, today’s supplemental proposal is a step backward. It falls short of delivering on President Trump’s pledge to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and leaves farmers, ethanol producers, and consumers with more questions than answers. It is baffling to us that the proposal sets the three-year average of exempted volume using the very same DOE recommendations that EPA blatantly ignored over and over. We are concerned that the volume of actual exemptions granted in 2020 could very well exceed the amount of projected exemptions from DOE, putting us right back into the quagmire where the 15-billion-gallon requirement is eroded and undermined. Simply put, this proposal is not what was promised by the administration just over a week ago and fails to answer President Trump’s personal call for a stronger conventional biofuel requirement of more than 15 billion. It is our hope that President Trump will personally intervene again to get the RFS back on track and ensure his EPA honors the commitments that were made.”Cooper pointed out that the Renewable Fuel Standard has specifically required 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuel each year since 2015. However, the massive increase in small refinery waivers means the actual volume enforced by EPA has fallen short of the requirement each year. After the exemptions, the conventional biofuel requirement for 2018, for example, was only 13.89 billion gallons. In their communications since the October 4 announcement, both President Trump and EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler have stressed their intention to ensure at least 15 billion gallons are actually blended domestically. It is unclear whether this proposal will actually ensure that volume is met.Cooper said RFA will take every opportunity to ensure President Trump’s original deal is honored and will remain active and vocal during the public comment process. Skor Statement on EPA Supplemental ProposalToday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its supplemental proposal to the proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement:“It is unconscionable that EPA’s proposal betrays President Trump’s promise to rural America. A week ago, Administrator Wheeler personally took to the airwaves and promised Iowa farmers that he would accurately account for lost gallons moving forward based on the ‘last three years of the waivers.’ Administration officials repeatedly said that 15 billion gallons will mean 15 billion gallons and this proposal fails to ensure that farm families and biofuel producers have the certainty they need to reinvest and rebuild after three years of massive demand destruction at the hands of EPA.       “After completely ignoring Department of Energy (DOE) advice to reduce exemptions, EPA now proposes to use DOE’s deflated numbers to turn a real fix into little more than a Band-Aid. To effectively address demand destruction moving forward, EPA’s fix must incorporate a projection of actual exempted gallons, not simply apply an out-of-date DOE recommendation. “The proposal released today will do nothing to bring back the ethanol plants that have shut down or help the burden that many of our corn farmers currently face. Every day that passes without the true solution President Trump promised means more and more pain for America’s farmers and rural workers.” Growth Energy also called on the EPA to hold a regulatory hearing on the proposal in Iowa, so more Midwest families racing to complete this year's harvest will have an opportunity to share their views.   "The farm families hit hardest by EPA exemptions deserve a seat at the table, and that can't happen if the EPA refuses to hold a hearing in a central location, closer to millions of voices who cannot afford to leave the farm for days at a time," added Skor.  NBB Says Supplemental RFS Proposal Not What Was PromisedToday, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) said it is skeptical the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed supplemental rule will ensure that 2020 and future biomass-based diesel volume obligations are fully met. The supplemental notice contains a never-before-discussed proposal to estimate small refinery exemptions for 2020, with no assurance that the estimate will come close to actual future exemptions. The biodiesel industry does not believe the proposal meets President Donald Trump's October 4 promise to American farmers and biodiesel producers.Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, "The notice that EPA issued today is significantly different from the agreement that biofuel industry champions negotiated with President Trump just two weeks ago, which was to estimate future exempted RFS volumes based on the average of actual volumes exempted over the past three years. EPA is proposing a brand-new method for making the estimate – one that was never previously proposed or discussed and significantly undercounts past exemptions."Once again, EPA is sending a signal to the biofuel industry that the volumes it sets in annual rules can't be trusted. The proposed estimates lack transparency and undercut the President's commitment to ensure that biomass-based diesel volumes are fully met. The biodiesel industry will work diligently with all appropriate federal agencies to ensure that the final rule scrupulously fulfills President Trump's promise to soybean farmers and biodiesel producers."EPA’s Biofuels Fix is Another Broken Promise to American FarmersA week and a half after announcing its intentions to offset a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated due to the ongoing misappropriation of small refinery exemptions (SREs), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a supplemental proposed rule outlining how it plans to do so. Rather than basing relief on an actual three-year average of exempted gallons, as expected, the agency has instead suggested basing it on values recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE). The former would have increased the amount of biofuels in the transportation sector by approximately 1.35 billion gallons per year, while the latter will increase it by just 770 million gallons.Though National Farmers Union (NFU) was initially hopeful that the proposal would reallocate the lost gallons based on a three-year average, the organization was disappointed to learn that EPA’s plan falls significantly short of that target.  NFU Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew released the following statement in response to EPA’s announcement:“Again and again, the administration has made big promises to family farmers. And again and again, they have failed to deliver on those promises. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when President Trump and the EPA swear to fully repair the harm inflicted by small refinery exemptions and then only offer half a solution.“We might not be surprised, but we are still gravely disappointed. Family farmers have been burned too many times by broken promises and half-hearted support. If this administration wants to earn back their trust, they must make the biofuels industry whole by accounting for all of the gallons lost to these exemptions.”USDA Recognizes Hard-Working School Meals Professionals, Empowers Them to Do Right in School LunchroomsU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement in support of President Donald J. Trump’s National School Lunch Week Proclamation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) celebrates food service professionals, school leaders, as well as the farmers, ranchers, and producers who grow the delicious, healthful, American-grown foods that kids enjoy every day in school lunches.“At USDA we recognize the importance a healthy lunch has on millions of school children across our nation. Without a nutritious and wholesome lunch, students are not being set up for success. One of my first actions when I arrived at USDA was to give school food service professionals more local control – they’re the experts and know what their kids want to eat,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The tireless efforts of school food service professionals deserve recognition and I thank them for their service to our country and their commitment to the future of our next generation.”To help give school food workers the tools they need to do their jobs well with world-class customer service, USDA is offering additional flexibilities for serving school meals, as announced this month in new guidance provided to schools. These bring new opportunities to allow commercially produced smoothies to be included in school meals, provide more guidance on serving milk options, and allow for healthier, more innovative foods to be incorporated into meal plans. Schools are also now empowered with more resources to offer salad bars and better positioned to teach good eating habits to our nation’s children.The flexibilities provided to school foodservice professionals recently expand on those USDA gave schools last December, when the department provided more options around milk, whole grains, and sodium. USDA continues to encourage schools to meet their children’s needs and tastes in these areas, while helping schools meet the recommended MyPlate dairy needs in their students’ diets.USDA is also promoting Farm to School initiatives. This year’s Farm to School grants are the biggest ever awarded – with more than $9 million supporting programs across 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – and will reach more than 3.2 million children in over 5,400 schools. These grants increase the amount of local food in America’s schools, while helping young people foster healthy eating habits. They also create new economic opportunities for local farmers, ranchers, and producers and can inspire children to consider future careers in agriculture.USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. World Leaders Tackle Biofuels Policies With A Role for TradeA joint statement from Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) on the conclusion of the Global Ethanol Summit, held in Washington, D.C., this week:“Today wraps up the first Global Ethanol Summit, which saw  more than 400 attendees from 60 countries come together on behalf of global collaboration, access to free trade in biofuels and the increased use of ethanol to achieve its potential for environmental, human health and economic benefits. Image“Ethanol is a cost-competitive transport fuel that offers long-term, medium-term and short-term benefits to consumers, suppliers and the governments that regulate them. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves human health. It also helps countries offer value-added production opportunities for rural communities.“From Mexico to Brazil, from Canada to the Philippines, the countries here today are taking the next steps in developing biofuels policies with a role for trade. The enormity of the moment is obvious. This Summit united us in the common cause to make measurable societal change – to decarbonize transport, to reduce particulate matter emissions, to make positive impacts today that will bear opportunity for future generations.”Growth Energy Announces New Chairman of the BoardFollowing a year of milestones for the biofuels industry, Growth Energy, the nation's largest ethanol trade association, announced the election of Dan Sanders as the association's new chairman of the board of directors. Sanders is the vice president of Front Range Energy, a 48 million gallon ethanol production facility located in Windsor, Colorado that joined Growth Energy in 2008, when the organization was founded."I’m honored to serve our members and staff as the next chairman of the Growth Energy Board of Directors," said Sanders. "I look forward to working with our dedicated board to lead our association’s strategies to deliver strong demand for our products and supportive policy." Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor welcomed Sanders as chairman, where his proven leadership will be critical in the battles ahead: "This year we have achieved some major victories for the ethanol industry, but there is still a long road ahead of us. As the vice president of a small plant in Colorado, Dan brings a unique perspective to our board. His years of experience on the Growth Energy Board of Directors, including as Growth PAC chairman and vice chair of the board, make him the right man to continue leading this organization towards success."As chairman, Sanders succeeds Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, LLC who held the position since the association's inception in 2008 and through the successful campaign to achieve year-round E15, the original goal on which the association was founded. Upon reaching this industry milestone, Broin announced in September he would step down as chairman, but plans to remain an active member of the Growth Energy Board."It has been an honor to serve as chairman of this great organization for so many years," Broin said. "Growth Energy was founded ten years ago to secure year-round sales of E15 fuel and, now that we've accomplished that goal, it is time to pass the baton. I am proud of everything we have done as an association for our nation's ethanol producers, farmers and consumers, and I am looking forward to working with Dan as our new chairman. I have the utmost confidence that Dan has the right skills and passion to lead this organization into the future."Skor thanked Broin for his years of service, “We are grateful for Jeff’s vision and leadership on these important issues. Without his contributions, the industry would not be where it is today.”Sanders previously served as vice chair of the board, which will now be filled by Mitch Miller. Miller currently serves as the chief executive officer and managing director for Carbon Green BioEnergy, LLC a 55 million gallon biorefinery in Michigan; president of Iroquois Bio-Energy Company, LLC a 50 million gallon biorefinery in Indiana; and managing partner of NUVU Fuels, which owns and operates convenience stores in Michigan and Indiana. Carbon Green BioEnergy joined Growth Energy in January of 2009.The Growth Energy Board of Directors represents the most diverse set of leaders in the biofuels industry and includes producers large and small, advocacy experts, agricultural leaders, and a NASCAR team owner.Dairy Defined: Milk ­– A Great Addition to Your Science-Based DietCall it old-fashioned, but dairy believes in science. For example, it takes climate change seriously – that’s why North America’s dairy sector, which is dominated by U.S. production, is the only one worldwide whose total greenhouse gas emissions have declined from 2005 levels, according to a UN study.Dairy also closely examines research on hot-button topics like plant-based versus dairy beverages – where studies consistently show consumer confusion over nutrition and support for clearer labels. And the sector understands that “industry-funded research” will not be seen as quite the same as “independent” studies. Fine – even though industry transparency standards are high, critics will believe what they believe.But if you don’t want to believe what dairy tells you – will you believe Consumer Reports?  In its November issue, Consumer Reports’ food-testing team evaluated 35 plant-based beverages, including almond, coconut, oat and soy varieties, for nutrition and taste, also comparing them with milk. The result? “Few of the drinks we tested match cow’s milk for nutrition,” the authors wrote. Experts also noted that consumers “are confused about plant milks’ nutritional profile” and that in terms of calcium intake especially, “you may be missing out” with plant-based beverages.The study found that, along with often relying on added sugars for flavor, industrially produced plant-based beverages also include concerning additives linked to higher risks of kidney disease, heart disease, bone loss, and inflammation. That’s not exactly the story a vegan lobbyist might want you to read, but facts are facts. And by the way -- they’re the same facts the Food and Drug Administration is examining as it considers enforcing already existing standards on what milk is, and what it isn’t. (We at NMPF have sent them a road map with some suggestions.)That’s not the only interesting study of recent note. CNN recently picked up on research from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland showing that when it comes to hydration, milk outperforms even water, due to its unique blend of nutrients. The lactose in milk, for example, helps slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach, maintaining hydration longer. Beverages with higher concentrations of sugars, such as juices and sodas, use up the water that’s needed to dilute them.These are only two studies. There are more. Did you see the one from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Heart Association? It recommended that children under 5 drink only milk and water, specifically warning against replacing milk with plant-based beverages. And how about last year’s University of Wisconsin study showing that, once you factor in packaging and transportation, soy and almond beverages have a larger carbon footprint than milk, with almonds exponentially higher in water use?The evidence keeps coming in: Milk is a highly nutritious, climate-compatible beverage that benefits consumers. And it’s not just dairy sources saying that – it’s respected scientists in reputable publications. (A few more studies of interest are listed below for ease of reference.) From the evidence, one might just conclude that milk is an excellent part of a science-based diet. But maybe it’s just old-fashioned, thinking a debate should be focused around facts instead of marketing.Massey Ferguson Introduces 5700 Global Series Tractors Equipped with Dyna-4 TransmissionAGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, introduced two new Massey Ferguson® 5700 Global Series mid-range tractors during the 2019 Sunbelt Ag Expo. The 100-HP MF5710D and the 110-HP MF5711D feature the high-end performance of the rugged, reliable Dyna-4 transmission in a handy tractor designed for efficient loader work, hay production and general on-the-farm use.“Today’s producers want durable, reliable tractors that help them do more in a day, more easily,” says Brian Celli, tactical marketing manager. “We’ve added a premium, clutchless transmission to our popular 5700 Global Series tractors to give our customers another option to help them get their work done more efficiently.” Dyna-4 transmission makes loader work faster, more efficientThe easy-to-operate and easy-to-maintain Dyna-4 transmission shifts smoothly through 16 forward and 16 reverse clutchless speeds, allowing the operator to shift through all gears and ranges on the roll. This speeds up time-consuming tasks like loading and stacking hay or cleaning barns and livestock lots. In addition, Auto-Drive™, standard in the new models, speed-matches the transmission to shift automatically at 1,500 rpm in Eco mode for transport and light applications. In Power mode, it auto-shifts at 2,100 rpm, convenient for field applications. Operators who make frequent stops when round baling, for example, will appreciate the Brake to Neutral feature, which operates the clutch as soon as the brake pedal is pressed, stopping the tractor with no other action required. When operations call for extremely low speeds, the 32 X 32 creeper gear option provides speeds as low as .06 mph.For extra convenience, a combination power shuttle and power control lever on the left side of the steering column allows the operator to change direction, change gears and de-clutch the tractor with the left hand. This is especially handy when operating the loader joystick or rear remote controls with the right hand. With Comfort Control, operators can adjust settings within the system information screen to fine-tune how aggressively directional changes and DynaShift changes take place.High-flow hydraulics for responsive loader actionThe open-center hydraulic system has two high-pressure pumps, one with a standard flow rate of 11 gallons per minute (gpm) to the rear three-point linkage and the other with 15 gpm to the remote valves and the loader. An in-cab switch combines the flow from both pumps for an industry-leading 26 gpm flow for quick response times for loader and auxiliary hydraulics to help get work done quickly.Three remotes are standard, with the third remote offering flow control capabilities. Four loader models are available for 5700 Global Series tractors, each operated with the integrated joystick for the perfect loader/tractor combination. Choose from the MF941X and MF946X loaders for light-duty work or the high-performance MFFL3723 and MFFL3819 for work that demands the most from a loader. The pedestal mount design of these loaders and Quick Lock bucket system make attaching the loader and changing attachments faster, with fewer headaches.New standard in cab comfort and visibilityOperators of the MF5710D and MF5711D benefit from the largest and quietest cab in the 100- to 110-HP tractor class. Its advanced suspension provides a smooth ride. The cab includes a swiveling air-ride seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column for optimum operator comfort. The optional see-through Visio roof provides above-cab visibility, popular among loader operators who need more visibility when stacking bales. The tractor’s sloped, low-profile hood and slim exhaust profile provide a clear view for any task.The tractors are powered by fuel-efficient AGCO Power™ 4.4L, four-cylinder diesel engines that meet Tier 4 final emissions compliance without a costly and time-consuming diesel particulate filter (DPF). They offer many standard features which optimize the work they can handle and set them apart from the competition including an easy-to-read digital system information screen, advanced cab suspension for a smooth ride, three hydraulic remotes and a 540E/540/1000 PTO, plus radial tires for better traction and ride.

Practicing Fire Safety at HarvestJohn Wilson - NE Extension Educator, Burt CountyWhile harvest has been delayed in many areas of the state due to wet conditions, in other areas fields are dry and harvest is progressing. Each year volunteer fire departments across the state are called to respond to combine or field fires started during harvest operations. The following guides can help ensure a smoother and safer harvest season without fire emergencies. Combine MaintenancePreventative maintenance is key to preventing many of the fires that occur on farm equipment.-    Keep all bearings and gears well lubricated to prevent heat buildup and keep lubricants at proper levels.-    Repair any leaks in the fuel system and any damaged electrical wiring.-    Repair or replace damaged or worn out exhaust systems. In addition to a good exhaust system, install a spark arrester to catch burning particles. They are easy to install and require little maintenance.Before and during harvest operations check for a buildup of combustible crop residue around the engine and exhaust system; concealed drive belts and pulleys that can overheat due to friction when there is an accumulation of crop residue around them; and worn or frayed electrical wiring that can cause sparks and ignite grain dust, crop residues, or fuel vapors.Refueling SafetyToo often during harvest, safe fueling practices are ignored to save time. The few seconds saved are insignificant when compared to the loss of expensive farm equipment or weeks or even months spent in a hospital burn ward. Follow these safety practices:-    Never refuel equipment with the engine running. Always shut the engine off.-    Allow hot engines to cool 15 minutes before refueling.-    Extinguish all smoking materials before refueling.-    If fuel spills on an engine, wipe away any excess and allow the fumes to dissipate before starting the engine.Plan to Avoid EmergenciesBeing prepared to respond to a fire if one should occur can save critical minutes.-    Start harvesting a field on the downwind side. If a fire does occur, the flames will be pushed toward the harvested portion of the field.-    Always carry a cell phone or alternative for communicating with others in case of an emergency.-    Know the location of the field in relationship to letters or numbers on county roads. This seems obvious, but in the excitement of the moment, it’s easy to not be able to recall this information. More than once volunteer firefighters have been paged for a field fire “northeast of town” and then had to look for the smoke.-    Always carry two fire extinguishers on the combine, one in the cab and one that you can access from the ground. Also, carry a fire extinguisher in your grain hauling equipment.-    If a field or equipment fire does occur, call 911 before trying to extinguish it yourself.-    Have a tractor hooked to a disk near the field you are harvesting, but located where it wouldn't be affected if a field fire should occur.-    If using a fire extinguisher, stay between the fire and your path to safety.-    When using a fire extinguisher, remember to PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep.       + Pull the safety pin on the extinguisher.       + Aim it at the base of the fire.       + Squeeze the handle.       + Sweep the extinguisher back and forth while releasing the contents.Following these safety tips may seem like common sense, but with the long hours and rush to get harvest done, sometimes these are forgotten.For more information on fire safety at harvest, contact your equipment dealer, your local fire department, or your local Nebraska Extension office.13th Annual Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars SummitThe 13th Annual Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars Summit on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus will be held Thursday, November 21st in the Animal Science Complex.The Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars senior class, in cooperation with Nebraska Cattlemen, has been working diligently to bring this Summit to you. A variety of topics will be discussed at this year’s event.....-    Panel Discussion: Weather Patterns - Martha Shulski, Galen Erickson-    Trade – Stan Garbacz-    Breakout Session:         - Transitioning Back to the Operation – Mark Goes         - Genetic Management-    Alternative Meats – Jessie Herrmann-    Market Volatility – Charley Fezter-    Carcass Evaluation & Checkoff - Chris CalkinsSpace is limited, so please send us your registration form, https://nebraskacattlemen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/summit-registration-form-2019.pdf, by November 14th to secure your place. The cost of this program is $50 and will cover lunch, speaker costs and other expenses for the event. After receiving your completed registration, we will send you additional event information. Parking permits are needed for lots on campus and will be provided at registration. They look forward to seeing you on November 21st.Drying and Storing Expected High-moisture CornKen Hellevang - North Dakota State University Extension Agricultural EngineerA killing frost is expected from Nebraska to North Dakota this weekend, which will end corn development in much of the Northern High Plains.According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, nearly 100% of the corn in Nebraska had reached full dent on October 6. Only 74% had reached maturity.“It is important to check [the moisture content of] each field because these values will vary depending on planting date, corn maturity rating and growing degree days during the year,” Hellevang says. For the 18 states producing the majority of the corn in the U.S., only 58% of the corn was mature on Oct. 6. Across Midwest states, the percent mature ranged from only 22% in North Dakota and 52% in Iowa to 87% in Missouri.The amount of drying in the field depends on parameters such as corn maturity, hybrid, moisture content, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed.Iowa State University has developed a Corn Dry Down Calculator that covers several Midwest states, including Nebraska. You select your location on a map and input estimated grain moisture content and the start of the dry-down period. For example, it estimates that if corn in south-central Nebraska is at 35% moisture on Oct.10, it will, on average, dry to about 22% by Oct. 30. (See this ISU Integrated Crop Management article for more information https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/blog/mark-licht-sotirios-archontoulis/corn-dry-down-calculator-goes-live.)Field drying normally is more economical until mid to late October in North Dakota and mechanical high-temperature drying normally is more economical after that, Hellevang notes. The midportion of the corn-producing states, including Nebraska, will have a more rapid field dry down due to the warmer temperatures. Natural-air drying also is more feasible there due to the warmer November temperatures, Hellevang said.For example, corn reaching maturity in Nebraska on Oct. 11 is expected to dry in the field to about 21% on Oct. 30. The average November temperature in Nebraska is about 40°F, so air drying likely is feasible in November. However, with an airflow rate of 1 cfm/bu, drying may not be completed in November.Corn field losses will depend on stalk strength, ear shank attachment to the stalk, winter conditions and wildlife. A September 27 story in CropWatch noted widespread stalk quality issues in Nebraska this year. Accumulated winter snow adds water to the soil as it melts. Plus, standing corn shades the ground, which reduces drying and may lead to wet fields in both the fall and spring.Natural-air and low-temperature drying are limited to initial corn moisture contents of about 21%. Even at that moisture content, air drying is limited in the northern states due to the colder outdoor temperatures in late October and November.The moisture-holding capacity of air is very small at temperatures below about 40°F. Expect to store the wet corn for the winter by cooling it to 20 to 30°F and finishing the drying in the spring when outside temperatures average above 40°F.Provide an airflow rate of at least 1 cubic foot per minute per bushel (cfm/bu) to complete the drying before corn deterioration affects the market quality. The required fan size to provide the needed airflow can be determined using a fan selection program such as that developed by the University of Minnesota.High-temperature corn drying may face challenges with high-moisture corn. The kernel color of immature corn may be affected during drying due to sugars still being in the kernel. Hellevang recommended reducing the dryer temperature to reduce the potential for affecting the kernel for corn that was not mature at the time of the first hard freeze.Hellevang also warns that corn at moisture contents above about 23% may have enough surface moisture on the kernels that the kernels freeze together in the bin and will not flow.For more information on grain drying and storage see the Grain Storage Management section of CropWatch, the NDSU Grain Drying and Storage website https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/graindrying, or the Grain Storage tag linking to grain storage news articles in CropWatch.Stakeholders’ Help Needed to Identify Nebraska Weed IssuesShawn McDonald - UNL Graduate Research AssistantAs part of a master’s project, I and UNL weed scientists are collecting stakeholder information on weed management practices and problems across Nebraska. The goal for this project is to identify the current state of cropping systems and the weed issues growers face to provide direction for future UNL research.Nebraska Agronomist, CCA, and Farmer Input NeededFor this project we are asking Nebraska stakeholders to provide agronomic information specific to farms/fields they manage. With this data, we can conduct an analysis of weed issues across all the different cropping systems in Nebraska. Along with stakeholder survey data from previous years, data collected from this survey will provide great insight into changes in weed and systems dynamics that have occurred over time.We have put together a three-page survey on systems information and weed issues that we would like you to fill out. Specifically, we are requesting information related to the 2019 growing season in terms of crops raised, tillage practices, herbicide usage, and weed issues. All cropping systems and management styles are acceptable.You may have already filled out a copy of this survey at one our UNL Weed Science field days. If not, an online copy is now available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QZV8Z2T (full page version). There’s no need to send in a completed form, just follow the link and complete and submit the form online.We look forward to receiving your submission. All data that is submitted will be kept strictly confidential. In this project, our objective is to work for you, our Nebraska producers. It’s our goal that with the data collected from these surveys, we can provide better information and research on the weed issues facing growers.Nebraska Cattle Confinement Symposium Set for Dec. 16-17 in KearneyNebraska farmers who may be interested in expanding or diversifying their operations are invited to the two-day Nebraska Cattle Confinement Symposium scheduled for Monday and Tuesday December 16 and 17 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.The event will run from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday and from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $55 each, but early bird tickets are available for $35 for those who register online prior to December 1 at cattleconfinement.com. The symposium is sponsored by the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN), Nebraska Cattlemen, Central Confinement Service of Columbus, Neb., and Accu-Steel, Inc. of Audobon, Iowa.Topics to be discussed by producer and supplier experts include facility design and ventilation considerations; financing a new facility; trends in cattle markets; confinements and vet protocols; and managing nutrition in confinement operations. In addition, two sessions will provide virtual barn tours and producer panel discussions. The symposium will conclude December 17 with the Cattlemen’s Lunch featuring guest speaker Matt Rush, “inspirational speak and farm boy.” For agenda details, go to www.cattleconfinement.com.“Many area farmers are considering diversifying their operations because of the trend in declining row crop income amid surplus foodstuffs, as well as the increasing cost of land ownership,” says Will Keech, AFAN director of livestock development. “Others are looking for ways to strengthen their operations so younger family members will be able to run the farm into the future. The purpose of this symposium is to provide farmers with key information and insight they need to decide whether to add a cattle confinement component to their operation.”FALL HAS SOIL SAMPLING ADVANTAGESRandy Pryor, NE Extension Educator, Saline County   This past week I was doing some soil sampling on an on-farm research soybean study in the Tobias area.  The cooperator was comparing soybeans that were later planted at 160K population and no foliar fungicide and insecticide applied versus early planted soybeans at 130K with foliar fungicide and insecticide applied.  The plots are randomized and replicated and will be a part of the 2019 Nebraska Extension on-farm research results one of 104 studies! You have to admire the farmers involved in these studies for the work involved and willingness to share the unbiased statistically based results published by Extension.   My soil samples for nutrient status at the site were not easy because of the wet soil.  It took a fair amount of WD-40 on the sampling tube to keep the soil from sticking. Fortunately WD-40 does not affect the soil sample results.  I also sampled for soybean cyst nematode.  It reminded me that fall is the best time to take soil samples, for several reasons: After corn and soybeans have been harvested it’s easy to walk between the rows of stubble; the pressure of spring planting and crop harvest is over; and soil analyses are more reliable than analyses from samples taken in early spring. The results can really help in planning for the next year’s fertilization program.   I had a client this week ask if he should grid sample again as in the past or try a different approach.  That was a great question and the proper answer is it depends!  With today’s agricultural economy farmers are questioning everything on the cash flow sheet that they can to lower expenses.  In looking at the Nebraska Farm Business Association data of the top third profitability producers, they all performed higher in lowering expenses to a small degree in all categories. The nickels and dimes do add up.    If you grid sample some fields this fall, I suggest that grid samples be collected every five years for phosphorus. Ag lime application, according to recommendations, should amend soil pH for 8-10 years. Even if variable rate lime application has occurred according to a grid-sampled map of pH, it should not be necessary to grid sample for soil pH for 8-10 years after application.    Choose grid sampling if previous management has altered soil nutrient levels such as manure, land leveling, if you take on a new field with no sampling history or if you have a small field with different cropping histories that have been merged into one.  Another reason would be if you need an accurate organic matter map of the field.  Farmsteads with livestock history will likely leave areas of higher organic matter and higher phosphorus levels. Pastures which were not converted to farmland for many years are likely to show up clearly. There is very likely to be considerable difference between upland, side-slope, and lower areas of fields influenced by past years of erosion history. On irrigated fields the most common variance is caused by leveling for furrow applications done some time in the past. Old channels of streams are also quite apparent.  Do not save money by doing 4 or 5 acre grids. This reduces the samples in half compared to 2.5 acre grids but sacrifices too much accuracy of the results.   An alternative is to take past grid sample information, yield maps, soil type and other precision ag data and sample in zones or directed soil sampling.   These samples could be georeferenced but that will add cost.  Zone management assumes uniformity based on experience and information.  Georeferencing the zone samples adds cost but still makes variable rate application a possibility.    The bottom line is both grid and directed soil sampling are valid options for precision soil sampling — each has advantages and disadvantages. Unless the grid is dense enough, grid sampling may miss patterns and boundaries that are evident from looking at soil surveys or yield maps. Grid sampling is very expensive — both to collect and to analyze the samples. Directed sampling uses other sources of spatial information to make informed decisions on where to sample, however, there may be patterns in soil fertility which are not detectable except with grid sampling.  For more information go to: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/ssm/soilsampling. Avoiding Harvest Compaction in Wet SoilsPaul Jasa - NE Extension EngineerWith fall harvest underway across Nebraska, rains have left fields soft and ruts are being cut into the soil in some areas. These ruts leave the soil surface rough and have severe compaction below them. This compaction can impede the crop's roots next season and increase runoff because of reduced infiltration. Grain carts and the large tractors pulling them can add to the compaction problem when the fields are soft.If the combines and grain carts aren't leaving a rut, don't worry about compaction from the heavy equipment. Compaction is the loss of pore space between soil particles and occurs when that space is squeezed out of the soil and reappears somewhere else, such as in the form of a rut. If a rut wasn't formed, there was enough soil structure present to support the weight without causing additional compaction.If ruts were formed during harvest, tillage can break up compaction but the soil must be dry to fracture compaction. If the soil was wet enough to cause ruts, the odds are that it is too wet to do tillage. Tilling a wet soil causes more compaction as the soil particles are lubricated and easily slide under the weight of the tractor and tillage implement. This compaction is harder to see because the entire soil surface is compacted, even though the surface looks loosened. Deep tilling a wet soil often only cuts slots and smears the soil rather than fracturing compaction.Regardless, tilling destroys soil structure and more tracks will be formed with future passes. Typically ruts are as deep as the soil was tilled, down to the compaction layer from the tillage. The majority of compaction is caused primarily by tillage. It breaks up the existing soil structure and packs the soil below the tillage depth. With little soil structure in the tilled layer, the next pass easily compacts the soil, either full width with tillage or in tracks with traffic.10 Tips to Avoid Compaction on Wet Soils    Wait until the soil dries enough to support the combine.    Don't use grain bin extensions or fill the combine as full.    Use wide tires with lower inflation pressures.    Keep trucks out of the field. Consider unloading at the ends of the field, not on the go.    Grain cart should track the same rows as the combine.    Don't turn around in the middle of the field.    Don't fill the grain cart as full, unload more often.    Establish a grain cart path and stay on it.    Don't till wet soils as they are easily compacted.    Use cover crops to help build soil structure.Controlling Traffic, Controlling CompactionProducers should practice controlled traffic to reduce the areas in the field with wheel traffic compaction. Eighty to 85 percent of soil compaction damage is done with the first pass of the tires. If additional passes are made on the same traffic lanes, little additional compaction occurs. Because once a traffic lane has been driven on and the soil has been firmed up, subsequent passes have little effect on the amount of compaction. By using the same traffic lanes year after year, the soil structure and water infiltration in the untrafficked areas greatly improve.Controlled traffic lanes improve traction, soil load-bearing, and timeliness of planting and harvesting operations while minimizing potential yield reduction from compaction. Compaction is managed, not eliminated, and the area subjected to compaction is minimized. The concept is to separate traffic zones from root zones. Controlled traffic keeps compaction where it is less detrimental to root development and uptake of nutrients and water. Fertilizer placement and furrow irrigation practices can be modified as these traffic zones are established and the traffic lanes are known.To minimize wheel compaction at harvest time, grain carts should be following the same tracks as the combine. A lot of grain cart drivers think they should move over a few rows and spread out compaction, but this will only compact more of the field. Likewise, grain trucks shouldn't be driven in the field as the axle loads and tire pressures are not suitable for soils.If ruts were cut at harvest, wait until the soil is dry to smooth them out to avoid causing additional compaction. This smoothing operation may be a light tillage operation next spring before planting. Deeper tillage in the spring will usually cause more compaction as the soil is wet and the tillage will break up soil structure.To fracture the compaction in the ruts from this year's harvest, a producer may have to wait until next fall before the soil is dry enough. However, often the compaction in the bottom of the ruts extends deeper into the soil than most producers will be able to till. This is a case where prevention is far more effective than the cure. It's best to build soil structure and not drive on wet soils if possible. Controlled traffic, no tillage, and cover crops will all help build soil structure and reduce compaction concerns.NE Agri-Business Assoc. Research Symposium Scott Merritt, President, Nebraska Agri-Business Association Please join us for this year's annual Research Symposium, co-sponsored by the Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources and the Nebraska Agri-Business Association! There will be eight speakers presenting cutting edge research being performed in the agronomy and agriculture fields. Many of you will find this meeting to be very beneficial in your career.Research Symposium is on Friday, November 22, 2019, at the Holthus Convention Center in York, NE.  Registration will begin at 8:00 am, with speakers starting at 8:30 am.The speakers and topics are:    Tyler Williams - 2019 Weather Recap and the Impact on Nebraska Agriculture    Joe Luck - Crop Management    Amit Jhala - Management of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Nebraska    Amy Schmidt - Benefits and Barriers to Manure Use in Cropping Systems    Jenny Rees - Cover Crops in Cropping Systems On-Farm Research Update    Daran Rudnick - Overview of Irrigation scheduling Technologies    Tom Clemente - Innovations in Agriculture    Michael Kaiser - Effects of Soil Management on Soil Organic CharacteristicsThe cost of registration covers rolls & coffee, lunch, and all speaker handouts. A registration form is included for you to register for Research Symposium or you can register online at http://bit.ly/ResSym2019.  Please contact Sarah Skirry at sskirry@na-ba.com or (402) 476-1528 if you have any questions. We hope to see you in York at this year's Research Symposium!Huge Beef Quality Price SpreadsDavid P. Anderson, Extension Economist, Texas A&M Beef production has dipped below a year ago over the last couple of weeks, leading to some higher fed cattle prices and a widening Choice-Select price spread.Over the last four weeks total beef production is more than half a percent below the same period a year ago. As we all know, not all beef is the same. Over this period, fed steer and heifer slaughter is down 1.7 percent, while cow slaughter is up 4.2 percent. Digging in a little deeper, fed steer slaughter is down 6.5 percent while fed heifer slaughter is up 6.7 percent. Dressed weights continue to be down about 2 pounds per head over the last month for steers, heifers, and cows. Combining weekly slaughter and dressed weights leaves fed beef production about 2.2 percent lower than a year ago while cow beef is up 3.8 percent.To dig in a little deeper, the percent of carcasses presented for grading over the last month that are grading Prime and Choice are running about 1.6 and 2.6 percent below a year ago, respectively. About 7.7 percent more carcasses are grading Select than a year ago. Combining the percent of carcasses by grade and pounds of fed steer and heifer beef produced indicates that over the last month Prime beef production has been almost 4 percent below a year ago. Choice beef production is almost 5 percent lower than a year ago, while Select production is about 5 percent higher.The Prime boxed beef cutout has averaged $279.55 over the last month compared to $214.81 last year. Over the same period the Choice cutout has averaged $215.76 versus $202.48 last year. That leaves the Prime-Choice spread at $63.80 per cwt this year compared to $12.33 last year. The average Choice-Select spread has grown to a whopping $25.76 per cwt over the last month compared to about $11 last year and $11 over the last 5-years. The Choice-Select spread tends to increase seasonally this time of the year and that seasonal trend is again occurring, but at a much higher price level this year.There is a lot of data shoved into this little article, but it highlights that even though beef production remains large, the makeup of those supplies is important. We are producing a little less fed beef and a little more cow beef relative to last year. Fewer cattle grading Prime and Choice are tightening up supplies even more. Relatively tight supplies of Prime and Choice beef are contributing to historically wide price spreads and high values for high quality grade beef.Participants From 60 Countries Gather For First Global Ethanol Summit In Washington, D.C.Industry and government officials from 60 countries are meeting with U.S. officials in the nation’s capital this week at the Global Ethanol Summit to learn about changing biofuels policies in countries around the world and prospects for expanded global ethanol use.“In the spirit of global collaboration, access to free trade and increased use of ethanol worldwide, we look forward to hosting, along with our partners, this meeting that focuses on ethanol’s role in improving human lives around the world,” said Ryan LeGrand, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) president and CEO.“The number of countries with ethanol policies on the books has grown exponentially in the last 18 months, and ethanol trade around the world remains strong, showing the level of commitment these countries have to reaping the benefits of this biofuel. The Council is proud to bring this group together in Washington, D.C.”This week's Summit, sponsored by the Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), features high-level government and industry officials from Algeria to Vietnam, who are working together to expand the global use of ethanol by developing policies with a role for trade.Building on the success and momentum of 2017’s Ethanol Summit of the Americas and 2018’s Ethanol Summit of the Asia Pacific events, the Global Summit seeks to capitalize on potential markets around the world as demand increases for higher-level biofuels policies – including decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving clean air quality. The Council and its partners are working in all of these countries to highlight ethanol's benefits and address constraints to expanding ethanol's use.“The Summit highlights policy conversations going on in governments around the world, scientific rationale for the increased use of ethanol and market development opportunities for U.S. ethanol,” LeGrand said. "The benefits of ethanol use provide common ground for countries to collaborate as they seek to meet their societal goals.”The Summit also allows senior-level officials from agriculture, environment and energy ministries from around the world to discuss environmental, human health and economic benefits of ethanol use with industry leaders, while it fosters collaboration and trade across the region.The two-day conference will feature remarks from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky and Foreign Agricultural Service’s Associate Administrator Daniel Whitley, who will speak on collaboration and trade and the U.S. energy renaissance, respectively.The conference also includes views and analysis on the overall global ethanol outlook; a focus on Brazil and Canada’s changing environmental policies; the costs of inaction on both air quality and related human health consequences; a look at industrial ethanol use and the bioeconomy; octane economics; vehicle compatibility; perspectives from ethanol retailers; and prospects for the future use of ethanol.The U.S. ethanol industry’s efforts, including conferences like the Summit, establish the United States as the resource for experience in developing an ethanol industry and as a trading partner.The United States exported 6.1 billion liters (1.62 billion gallons, or 609 million bushels in corn equivalent) of ethanol in 2018, valued at $2.7 billion. According to analysis of USDA data, the volume of U.S. ethanol exports grew by 18 percent per year over the last five years, making ethanol the fastest growing U.S. agricultural export.Because building collaboration creates additional markets, the U.S. Grains Council is sponsoring several pre- and post-Summit tours so participants are able to see the full production and value chain of ethanol in the U.S. These tours will highlight ethanol in Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.Growth Energy CEO Highlights International Biofuels Growth at Global Ethanol SummitToday, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor addressed more than 400 attendees from 60 countries at the first-ever Global Ethanol Summit in Washington, D.C. The Global Ethanol Summit is sponsored by Growth Energy, U.S. Grains Council, and the Renewable Fuels Association, bringing together industry and government officials to learn about biofuels policies and global ethanol use.In her remarks, Skor spoke on retailer adoption of ethanol bends and the fuel's growing popularity in the U.S. and abroad:“Some of the most well-known U.S. retailers like Kwik Trip, Casey’s, Sheetz, not only carry the nation’s standard 10 percent ethanol blend – but they are also among the over 1,900 stores who are offering E15, a fifteen percent blend of ethanol. And we’re seeing that number of retailers offering this fuel choice continuing to grow. That’s because these retail giants know ethanol’s value, and so do their customers. They are comfortable, and excited, about putting their million and even billion-dollar brands behind engine-smart, earth-kind biofuels…Ethanol blended fuel is becoming the new global norm for consumers, and along with it, the promise of a low-carbon future.”Additionally, Skor highlighted that “this growing trend of adoption across the globe shows that governments are looking to biofuels to meet their climate goals with a choice that drivers feel good about.”During the summit, attendees have the opportunity to hear from experts ranging from decarbonizing our transportation fuel and the human health benefits of ethanol to favorable policies and ongoing trade discussions. The summit is being held in from Oct. 13 – 15 in Washington, D.C.Global Ethanol Summit Highlights Environmental, Human Health Benefits Of Increased Biofuel UseDelivering on the potential that could be captured from expanded global use of ethanol took center stage on Monday during the first full day of the Global Ethanol Summit, an event with attendees from more than 60 countries, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).“In the last 18 months, 11 markets – nearly all in which the Council has active ethanol engagement – made announcements of new or updated ethanol policies with a role for trade,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO, who delivered a keynote address that was translated into nine languages for attendees.“All of us are united by the goal of finding transport energy solutions to make our environmental and human health commitments a reality while also making economic sense. Our presence in Washington, D.C., this week is a testament to the fact that we are collectively concerned about the long-term health of our citizens and the environment and recognize the real economic opportunity that’s available through greater adoption of ethanol.”The meeting began with a pulse-check on U.S. ethanol supply and demand including a rundown of policy drivers that could affect the outlook for the commodity, including calls by an increasing number of nations to identify permanent solutions for climate change, cleaner air, improved health and less expensive fuel.Case studies from Brazil and Canada, the two largest markets for U.S. ethanol, were employed to highlight existing ethanol realities and new benchmarks for the environmental benefits it can provide. Additional input from the European Union's experience with ethanol rounded out the morning sessions.The afternoon included two panels focused on the chemical properties and societal impacts of ethanol use, as well as experiences with ethanol in India and Nigeria. Speakers addressed the intersection between biofuels use and electrification of transport fleets as well as the benefits specifically to women and children of ethanol for cooking fuel.Miguel Ivan Lacerda Oliveira, director-biofuels for Brazil's Ministry of Mines and Energy, underscored the benefits outlined by the day's presenters, saying, "The future is ethanol, and why is that? Because there is no future outside of ethanol."In his comments, LeGrand emphasized that the Council and its partners in ethanol export market development are poised to help the attendees from more than 60 countries who are considering expanded ethanol use operationalize their plans."My hope for you is that no one walks away from this meeting wondering if ethanol will work for your country," said LeGrand. "The answer, as we hope to show, is yes."The Global Ethanol Summit continues tomorrow with a scheduled address by U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky who will speak about global collaboration and trade of ethanol.New Campaign Sheds Light on Beef Animal Care StandardsConsumers will soon learn about the steps beef farmers and ranchers take to care for their animals and to produce high quality beef in a new promotion and advertising campaign about the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. BQA trains farmers and ranchers on best practices and cattle management techniques to ensure their animals and the environment are cared for within a standard set of guidelines. The program began 30 years ago, and today more than 85 percent of beef produced in the U.S. comes from a farmer or rancher who has been BQA certified.  The formally producer-facing BQA program, will now be introduced to consumers via a campaign designed to meet their desire to learn more about how beef is produced. The integrated marketing and communication campaign includes a new video from Beef. It's What's for Dinner. bringing the BQA program to life by highlighting how cattle farmers and ranchers across the country raise cattle under BQA guidelines. The video will be used in marketing efforts and is available to consumers on the new BQA section of BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Consumers will also be able to learn more about BQA through interactive "BQ&A" Instagram stories addressing common questions about how cattle are raised. The video, website and social activations provide consumers with an overview of the BQA program and the ongoing commitment of cattle farmers and ranchers to caring for their animals and providing the safest and highest quality beef possible."According to market research, the majority of consumers say they consider how and where their food is raised when making a meal decision," said Josh White, executive director of Producer Education at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. "The BQA program offers consumers assurance that there are consistent animal care standards in place across the beef industry. BQA exemplifies what beef farmers and ranchers have always cared about – a commitment to caring for their animals and providing families with the safest and highest-quality beef possible, and we look forward to introducing this important program to consumers."The foundation of BQA is a set of educational resources promoting animal care practices that are based in science and align with governmental regulations. These resources are reviewed by an expert advisory group consisting of farmers and ranchers, veterinarians and animal scientists who meet quarterly to evaluate the program, discuss trending topics, review the latest research and make recommended changes or updates, as needed. The BQA program specifically addresses and provides training in the following areas, among others:    Cattle handling    Cattle health    Cattle nutrition    Cattle transportation"With the vast majority of the beef supply in the U.S. today coming from a BQA certified farmer or rancher, and many packing plants and restaurant chains setting BQA requirements, consumers should have the utmost confidence in the beef they consume and purchase both at restaurants and supermarkets," White addedCattle farmers and ranchers can become BQA certified by either attending a classroom course taught by a network of hundreds of state BQA coordinators and trainers or by completing a series of robust online courses. Certification is good for three years, after which time farmers and ranchers must become re-certified to ensure they have the most up-to-date information and are trained on the latest BQA guidelines.Not only does the BQA program provide guidelines for proper animal care and welfare, these management guidelines also result in the production of higher quality beef. In fact, the beef industry is producing more high-quality beef today than ever before, with more than 80 percent of beef grading the highest available USDA quality grades of Prime or Choice.iFor more information about the BQA program and the high-quality beef produced today by U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.Soy Growers Hope Partial Agreement is Step Toward Ending Trade WarReports of a partial agreement came Friday after a week of meetings between the Trump Administration and Chinese officials. The American Soybean Association is hopeful this "Phase 1" agreement will signal a deescalation in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.While it’s good news to hear the U.S. and China have reached a partial agreement in this conflict, ASA is still awaiting additional information on the initial agreement, and the potential impact on U.S. soy growers. We remain hopeful this is a step toward rescinding the tariffs and helping restore certainty and stability to the soy industry.Implications of China Trade Deal for American Farmers Still UnclearPresident Donald Trump Friday announced the United States had reached a deal with China to put the brakes on a trade dispute between the two countries. The United States will delay additional tariffs on Chinese imports and, in exchange, China has agreed to what are thus far unspecified changes to intellectual property policies and currency guidelines. The country will also reportedly import between $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States over an unspecified period of time.National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the news:“While we are glad to see a détente in this seemingly endless trade war, the tangible benefits to American family farmers and ranchers are unclear. “There are many questions that still need to be answered: What will these agreed to policy reforms look like? How will they be enforced? And over what time frame will the $50 billion of agricultural purchases—an amount that is double our peak annual farm exports to China—take place?“Regardless of the answers to these questions, this deal should not be the end of our efforts to address China’s transgressions. Their unfair and manipulative trade practices are clearly still a problem that need to be fixed through substantive and meaningful reforms. Moving forward, the administration should work with our friends and allies to determine what those reforms should look like.”

Saturday, October 12th is National Farmers DayNational Farmer's Day is observed every year on October 12. It's a day for everyone to acknowledge the hard work that goes into feeding and supplying the world.The day generally encourages people to thank the farmers and ranchers in their lives and to pay tribute in some way to the individuals who plow, sow, raise, feed and harvest to provide the food and materials that our country needs to succeed.We thank all farmers for all they do!NEBRASKA CROP PRODUCTION REPORT Based on October 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2019 corn production is a record forecast at 1.81 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last year's production, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Area to be harvested for grain, at 9.75 million acres, is up 5 percent from a year ago. Yield is forecast at 186 bushels per acre, down 6 bushels from last year. Sorghum for grain is forecast at 13.0 million bushels, down 19 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 140,000 acres, is down 18 percent from 2018. Yield is forecast at 93 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last year. Soybean production is forecast at 277 million bushels, down 15 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 4.95 million acres, is 11 percent below 2018. Yield is forecast at 56 bushels per acre, down 2 bushels from last year. Dry edible bean production is forecast at 2.22 million cwt, down 32 percent from 2018. Area for harvest, at 110,000 acres, is down 16 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 2,020 pounds per acre, down 460 pounds per acre from last year. Beginning in 2019, chickpeas were excluded from the dry edible bean program. Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.20 million tons, down 14 percent from 2018. Area for harvest, at 43,600 acres, is down 1 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 27.6 tons per acre, down 4.3 tons per acre from a year ago. All sunflower production is forecast at 51.8 million pounds, up 9 percent from last year. Acreage for harvest, at 36,000 acres, is up 2,500 acres from 2018. Yield is forecast at 1,438 pounds per acre, up 24 pounds per acre from a year ago. Of the acres for harvest, non-oil sunflowers account for 9,000 acres and oil sunflowers account for 27,000 acres. Alfalfa hay production, at 3.51 million tons, is down 4 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 900,000 acres, is up 6 percent from a year ago. Yield of 3.9 tons per acre, is down 0.4 ton from 2018. All other hay production, at 2.72 million tons, is down 18 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 1.60 million acres, is down 14 percent from a year ago. Yield of 1.7 tons per acre, is down 0.1 ton from 2018. IOWA CROP PRODUCTION ESTIMATESIowa corn production is forecast at 2.52 billion bushels according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Crop Production report. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 192 bushels per acre, up 1 bushel from the September 1 forecast, but down 4 bushels per acre from last year. Corn planted acreage is estimated at 13.5 million acres. An estimated 13.1 million of the acres planted will be harvested for grain. Soybean production is forecast at 484 million bushels. The yield is forecast at 53.0 bushels per acre, down 1.0 bushel per acre from the September 1 forecast, and 3.0 bushels per acre lower than 2018. Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 9.20 million acres with 9.13 million acres to be harvested. Production of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures for hay is forecast at 2.24 million tons, a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. Yield is expected to average 3.20 tons per acre, down 0.50 ton from last year. Production of other hay is forecast at 988,000 tons, up 40 percent from last year. Yield for other hay is expected to average 2.60 tons per acre, up 0.40 ton from last year. The forecasts in this report are based on October 1 conditions and do not reflect weather effects since that time. The next corn and soybean production forecasts, based on conditions as of November 1, will be released on November 8. U.S. Corn Production Down Less Than 1 Percent from September ForecastSoybean Production Down 2 PercentCorn production for grain is forecast at 13.8 billion bushels, down less than 1 percent from the previous forecast and down 4 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 168.4 bushels per harvested acre, up 0.2 bushel from the previous forecast but down 8.0 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 81.8 million acres, down less than 1 percent from the previous forecast but up slightly from 2018. Acreage updates were made in several States based on a thorough review of all available data.Soybean production for beans is forecast at 3.55 billion bushels, down 2 percent from the previous forecast and down 20 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 46.9 bushels per acre, down 1.0 bushel from the previous forecast and down 3.7 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for beans in the United States is forecast at 75.6 million acres, down less than 1 percent from the previous forecast and down 14 percent from 2018. Acreage updates were made in several States based on a thorough review of all available data.Cattle Production Risk Management Workshops Offered in November and December 2019Jim Jansen, UNL Agricultural EconomistNebraska Extension will be hosting risk management workshops for cattle producers at five locations throughout the state during November and December 2019. Join specialists and educators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as they present vital information on strategies designed to reduce risk exposure associated with cattle marketing and forage production to achieve a profitable outcome in uncertain times. Topics covered during the workshop include marketing tools available to protect against unfavorable price declines, programs for protecting against weather related forage losses, and current issues facing the cattle industry.Specific marketing tools covered during the workshop include futures and options as well as Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) Insurance. Programs covered to guard against weather related losses for grazing land and annual forages include Pasture, Range, and Forage (PRF) Insurance, Annual Forage Insurance, and FSA disaster programs. Current issues and opportunities facing the cattle industry will also be discussed as part of the meeting.MANAGING CATTLE AND FORAGE PRODUCTION RISK: PROTECTING PROFITS IN UNCERTAIN TIMESDates and times for these programs include:Tuesday, November 5, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm MTCountry Kitchen Restaurant1250 W 10th St, Chadron, NE 69337Contact: Jack Arterburn at 308-327-2312Wednesday, November 6, 2016 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm MTBuffalo Point Restaurant638 Cabela Dr, Sidney, NE 69162Contact: Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122Thursday, November 7, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm MTBunkhouse Bar & Grill306 Fir St, Arthur, NE 69121Contact: Randy Saner at 308-532-2683 Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm CT** Dairy focused livestock and forage meeting. **Ramada Hotel & Conference Center265 33rd Ave, Columbus, NE 68601Contact: Kimberly Clark at 402-472-6065Monday, December 9, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm CTTumbleweed Café850 East S East St, Broken Bow, NE 68822Contact: Troy Walz at 308-872-6831 To register for the meetings please either call the contact listed above or go to the link:  http://go.unl.edu/cattlerisk.These workshops do not have a cost for attending and a complementary meal will be provided, but registration is required 3 days prior to the day of the workshop to ensure an accurate meal count.NEBRASKA SPECIALTY CROP PROJECTS RECEIVE FUNDING FROM USDA From dry beans to honey, specialty crops are an important part of Nebraska agriculture. Several organizations in Nebraska recently received nearly $675,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) to fund projects designed to strengthen the specialty crop industry in the state. The funding comes from the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) which provides grant monies to the departments of agriculture in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. NDA administers the state’s SCBG program that funds research, agricultural extension activities and marketing to increase demand for specialty crops in Nebraska. “Specialty crops add value and variety to Nebraska’s agricultural industry which helps grow our economy,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “The SCBGP projects receiving funding will benefit Nebraska specialty crop producers for years to come.” USDA defines specialty crops as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey and some turf and ornamental crops. A full list of specialty crops is available on USDA’s website at ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) received grants for 10 of the 13 projects that were approved for funding this year. Below is a brief description of each of the 10 projects that will allow UNL to:   - improve pea seed protein quantity and quality in western Nebraska by evaluating fertilizer management strategies;   - study the genetics of bacterial wilt resistance in dry beans;   - develop unique hop flavor profiles as hops are influenced by their growing environment;   - distribute hybrid hazelnuts in Nebraska and other states for testing;   - develop a dry bean gene editing system to improve the productivity and availability of dry beans;   - provide resources to help Nebraska farmers improve yields and performance to grow broccoli, bell peppers and cucumbers;   - create a pest management program to more effectively control Western Bean Cutworm;   - teach youth about specialty crops and expand the availability of the crops;   - provide information to producers about crop and water management practices to enhance productivity and increase economic return; and   - study vineyard production in order to produce the best quality wine at the most profitable crop load. In another funded specialty crop project, Southeast Community College will increase awareness, access and use of certain Nebraska specialty crops by creating and incorporating specialty crop curriculum for students in SCC’s Culinary Program. The Nebraska Center for Rural Affairs will receive grant funding to test the effectiveness and production of alternative hive structure for honey production and honey bee health, in another specialty crop project. In the last specialty crop project approved for funding this year, the Papio Valley Nursery will use their greenhouses to create year-round production of fresh strawberries. All of the projects receiving SCBGP funding this year must be completed by Sept. 29, 2022. For more information about this year’s grant awards, go to USDA’s website at ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/awards and click on “FY2019 pdf.” NDA uses a portion of the USDA-awarded funding to monitor and administer Nebraska’s SCBG program. NDA administered a two-phase competitive grant application process for these SCBGP funds. Phase I involved the submission of concept proposals, which allowed applicants to explain the main points of their project. The concept proposals were independently and competitively scored by a field review panel. Projects with the highest combined scores were asked to complete Phase II of the application process and include a more in-depth description of the project. Cattle Marketing Listening Sessions ScheduledThe Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been dedicated to improving market conditions for Iowa’s independent cattle producers since long before the Holcomb, Kansas Tyson plant fire. However, recent market conditions have added more urgency to the situation, and ICA’s volunteer leaders are actively searching for new solutions to the market problems faced in the upper midwest.The ICA Feedlot Council has been working on specific policy proposals and invites cattle producers to attend one of the upcoming cattle marketing listening sessions.Each meeting will include a history of ICA's policy initiatives related to cattle marketing and an open forum to discuss new ideas with staff, Feedlot Council members and board members.Meeting dates and locations:Oct. 15, 7 pm, Ames; Iowa Cattlemen's AssociationOct. 17, 7 pm, Atlantic; Cass County Community CenterOct. 23, 10 am, Maquoketa; Johnson Family Farms, 101 300th AveOct. 23, 7 pm, Osage; Knights of Columbus HallOct. 28, 7 pm, Sioux Center; Kooima, Kooima and Varilek officeMembers who are unable to attend one of the five meetings will be given an opportunity to voice their opinion through other avenues.Valley Irrigation Advanced Technology Uses AI to Detect Crop Health and Irrigation Concerns Before It's Too LateValley® Irrigation, The Leader in Precision Irrigation®, is gaining traction with the initial launch of Valley InsightsTM service. Through the partnership between Valley Irrigation and Prospera Technologies announced in February 2019, the Valley Insights limited release has demonstrated successful results this growing season, turning data into useful, actionable information for growers in Washington and Nebraska. The service has exceeded expectations by already reaching its targeted goal of one million acres by 2020.Valley Insights (valleyirrigation.com) is designed to move growers closer to autonomous crop management, generating greater returns while using fewer inputs and resources. Using computer vision, the service scouts to identify areas of over- or under-irrigation and related plant stress. It goes beyond typical aerial imaging, using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the visual data, detect issues and alert the grower so proper actions can be taken."Our initial release has been focused in the Northwest, where a late winter created a challenging season for growers," says Troy Long, Senior Director of Product Management for Valley Irrigation. "They would have been hard pressed for time to sift through stacks of aerial images provided by other services, searching for potential irrigation-related issues. Valley Insights analyzes the images and alerts growers to possible crop threats before they become big problems. It has saved our users a lot of valuable time they can now dedicate elsewhere."Henry Boersma, who grows diversified row crops outside of Moses Lake, WA, began piloting Valley Insights this season. He says his crops are already benefitting from the technology."When Valley Insights identifies under-watering in certain sectors and alerts us that sprinklers appear to be plugged on certain spans, that's exactly what's happening," he says. "We have another eye in the field, so we can identify issues and make corrections long before we could see stress on our crops with the naked eye. We can fix minor issues before they become major problems, which saves us both time and money."More and more, growers are also contending with increased resource restriction. In a changing climate, water restriction represents the new normal for growers across the country, and AI-enabled technologies like Valley Insights are helping them maintain yields while using fewer resources.Thad Taylor, Sales Manager of Lad Irrigation South, says his customers used Valley Insights to do everything from programming a variable rate irrigation (VRI) table to improving water application."One of my customers has very little water allocated to his operation," he says. "By using Valley Insights, he makes sure his crops get an even application. He's able to fix issues with his irrigation equipment promptly so he's not wasting his limited supply of water."Valley has integrated user feedback from the limited release of Valley Insights, prioritizing product development without sacrificing its commitment to simplicity and ease-of-use – all with the goal of enhancing the service prior to additional expansion in 2020."Valley and Prospera each bring unique expertise to the partnership, and together we're bringing greater value to growers that undoubtedly will make a difference in overall crop health," stated Darren Siekman, Valley Irrigation Vice President of Water Management & Business Development.Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship AvailableCollege students enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate students at a fully accredited Nebraska college, university or technical college in an agriculture related degree program are encouraged to apply for the Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship.The deadline to apply is November 10. Applications will be reviewed, and selection notifications will be sent by December 1. Students may apply for the scholarship online by visiting www.nepork.org.The Larry E. Sitzman Youth in Nebraska Agriculture Scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship that will be awarded to one deserving applicant each year.The scholarship is named for Larry E. Sitzman, who retired in 2016 as Executive Director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association. Sitzman learned  patriotism, service to our country, and respect for our leaders  from his parents. While  in  high school, he heard John F. Kennedy’s inaugural  address, in which he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you,  ask what you can do for your country.” This address increased his desire to serve.Agriculture has always been his passion. Throughout his life he has provided service in various forms and from different positions of leadership. Sitzman is known for sharing his voice defending perspectives and asking challenging questions. He served on many state and national agricultural boards before being named the Director of Agriculture for Nebraska in 1991.  Today, Sitzman serves as an active volunteer leader  at the Veterans Administration in Lincoln.Academics, agriculture, military, and other forms of public service  have all improved in some measure due to the leadership, service, and voice of Larry E. Sitzman. Upon his retirement, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association established this scholarship in his honor.Eligibility Requirements:  - Must be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student at a fully accredited  - Nebraska college, university or technical college in an agriculture related degree program   - Must have at least one full year of study remaining toward a degree  - Must have plans to work in the agriculture industry upon graduationSelection will be based on qualities of leadership and participation in collegiate or extracurricular activities related to the agriculture industry.Remember, the deadline for applications is November 10. Go to www.nepork.org to apply online.For more information, contact Kyla Habrock: kyla@nepork.org Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Announcement of Preliminary U.S., China Trade Deal“President Trump’s announcement that he has reached a partial trade deal with China is welcomed news. For more than a year, we’ve been hopeful that the administration would be able to make progress on an agreement that would lessen the impacts of the trade war between the U.S. and China on Nebraska’s farm and ranch families. While we are anxious to learn more of the details of this agreement, reports that the deal could include significant increases in purchases of U.S. agriculture commodities beyond previous levels certainly have our attention. It’s our hope that this is the first step in resolving the ongoing trade dispute with one of the largest consumers of Nebraska agriculture products.”  Sasse Statement on Possible China Trade DealU.S. Senator Ben Sasse, an outspoken advocate for trade and a China hawk, issued the following statement regarding the President's announcement that the United States and China are close to a "phase one" trade deal. "Everyone in Nebraska hopes that the President is able to get a good trade deal across the finish line in the next few weeks of negotiation. Trade is a win-win for our farmers and ranchers. I'm also pleased that Trade Representative Lighthizer has said that Huawei, the crown jewel of China's espionage network, has not been taken off the United States' blacklist. Americans want trade and we want to win the war between Chinese techno-authoritarianism and American democracy." Ricketts Comments on “Phase One” China Trade Agreement Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that President Donald J. Trump had achieved a “phase one” agreement on trade with China during a meeting with trade officials in Washington, D.C.  “From forced tech transfer to non-tariff trade barriers, President Trump has rightly spotlighted a host of challenges in America’s trade relationship with China,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Since 2012, exports from Nebraska to China have fallen, and the country has been an uncertain trade partner for our state.  Our farmers and ranchers would like to see more predictable trade that grows over time.  Today’s agreement is a positive step forward in a long process of achieving this goal and right-sizing America’s trade relationship with China.”NCF Accepting Applications for CME Beef Industry ScholarshipsThe National Cattlemen’s Foundation is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 beef industry scholarships sponsored by CME Group. Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry.“CME Group is pleased to support the next generation of cattlemen and women, while promoting participation in an industry that is critical to feeding the world,” said Tim Andriesen, CME Group Agricultural Products Managing Director. “During the nearly three decades of partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and NCBA, we’ve worked together to strengthen the education of tomorrow’s industry leaders on risk management in the beef industry.”The CME Beef Industry Scholarship was first introduced 30 years ago in 1989. Today, the scholarship recognizes and encourages talented students who will each play an important role in the future of food production in America. Students studying education, communication, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry should consider applying for the scholarship.Applicants for the 2020-2021 scholarship must submit a one-page letter expressing their career goals related to the beef industry. Students must also write a 750-word essay describing an issue in the beef industry and offering solutions to this problem. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior or full-time undergraduate student enrolled at a two- or four-year college.Online applications should be submitted by Nov. 8, 2019 at midnight Central Time. To apply, or learn more about the scholarship, click here. Scholarship winners will be announced in January and recognition will be given in San Antonio during the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show.For more information visit www.nationalcattlemensfoundation.org. RESEARCHING THE NEXT GENERATION OF BIOBASED MATERIALSThe Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) recently held a workshop on Leveraging First Generation Bioethanol Production Facilities. The National Corn Growers Association participated in the event, which was held in Ames, Iowa at the Ames Laboratory, a national laboratory operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Iowa State University.The workshop focused on how to leverage existing infrastructure and available feedstocks to create biobased materials and chemicals. Suggestions and proposals from the workshop may be used to inform future DOE Bioenergy Technology Office funding announcements. NCGA’s Director of Market Development, Sarah McKay, presented a Rapid-Fire Talk during the workshop. McKay discussed NCGA’s priorities and approach for increasing corn demand and driving the bioeconomy.“NCGA has a three-pillar approach toward increasing corn demand and driving the bio-economy,” said McKay. “This approach creates new opportunities, improves efficiency and seeks to build trust with consumers. The first pillar is encouraging and creating new demand, where NCGA seeks to stimulate innovation. Second, NCGA seeks to position corn as a clear feedstock choice, using resources such as the ’Corn as an Industrial Feedstock’ booklet found at www.ncga.com/newuses. Third, NCGA aims to help our customers sell their products to their customers, because if they are successful, so are corn growers.”NCGA highlighted that efficiencies in production and conversion would make corn and corn-based ethanol increasingly attractive feedstocks for new chemicals, materials and fuels.  The Department of Energy, specifically the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bioenergy Technology Office, is a major supporter of the development of renewable fuels, chemicals and materials. With these developments and adoption of front and back-end corn fractionation technologies, NCGA recognizes there are tremendous opportunities to utilize the starch and fiber component of the kernel for biobased products and chemicals while meeting current and future food, fuel and feed demands. NPPC Honors Duroc Breeding Legend with Commemorative PaintingThe National Pork Producers Council today unveiled a commemorative painting in honor of Kay Christian, a highly respected pork producer who contributed to the industry in countless ways before her passing on Nov. 4, 2018.The painting is the second in a series commissioned by NPPC from Iowa artist Valerie Miller, who specializes in livestock-themed art. Entitled "Kay," the artwork depicts a Duroc gilt, the breed for which Christian was so well known for raising, and will be showcased at pork industry events over the next year.Christian was recognized throughout the industry for raising quality, purebred Duroc hogs and for investing in the development of the next generation of pork industry leaders. Christian is the only woman honored to date with an Iowa Master Seedstock Producer Award, a recognition she earned twice."It's appropriate that we honor Kay during Pork Month," said Iowa Pork Producers Association Chief Executive Officer Pat McGonegle. "Kay was an exemplary industry leader known not only for her Duroc breeding expertise but also for her commitment to mentoring aspiring producers, including many 4-Hers, and serving as a judge at many pig shows."Canvas, paper prints and other representations of the "Kay" painting are available from Steel Cow, the artists retail operation, at www.steelcow.com. USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Dairy Margin Coverage ProgramDairy producers can now enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for calendar year 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened signup this week for the program that helps producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.“We know it’s tough out there for American farmers, including our dairy producers,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “As Secretary Perdue said, farmers are pretty good at managing through tough times, and we know that more dairy farmers will be able to survive with this 2018 Farm Bill and its risk mitigation measures, like the Dairy Margin Coverage program.”The DMC program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The deadline to enroll in DMC for 2020 is Dec. 13, 2019.Dairy farmers earned more than $300 million from the program in 2019 so far. Producers are encouraged to take advantage of this very important risk management tool for 2020.All producers who want 2020 coverage, even those who took advantage of the 25 percent premium discount by locking in the coverage level for five years of margin protection coverage, are required to visit the office during this signup period to pay the annual administrative fee.“Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2020 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments,” said Northey. “Dairy producers should consider enrolling in DMC to guard against what has been, for several years, an extremely unforgiving market.” Certified Angus Beef brand marks 15th consecutive year of growthMiranda ReimanEconomic incentive is a powerful thing.It directs ranch-level decisions and points an industry in a specific direction.Financial reward kept cattlemen on the path toward higher quality, and led them to produce record amounts of Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand product in the 2019 fiscal year that ended September 30.For the 13th year in a row, the brand reported record sales, settling at 1.25 billion. It’s also the 15th consecutive year of sales growth.A global network of nearly 19,000 licensed processor, foodservice and retail partners marketed an additional 38 million pounds—or a 3.1% increase—over the previous year.CAB president John Stika credits “an entire community of Angus farmers, ranchers and feeders being extremely intentional over several years in the way they breed, raise and care for their cattle with a focus on quality.”As a result, the CAB acceptance rate, or percentage of Angus-type cattle meeting the brand’s 10 carcass specifications, rose to a record 35% this year. That 5.65 million certified carcasses came to 471,000 more than last year’s tally. “We basically had a thirteenth month of supply this year. That was really a big part of what allowed this brand to grow its sales,” Stika says. “You can’t turn a ship that big on a dime. It was several years of focus. That increase is significant because it doesn’t happen by random chance.”Without the sales to move that product, it becomes too much a good thing.“It takes a great number of people filling different yet connected roles for this growth,” Stika says. “Fortunately, there is a lot of room at the brand’s table.”Monthly sales records and category growthCAB set sales records in all but 3 months of fiscal 2019; 6 months ranked among the top 10 sales months in the brand’s 41-year history. Propelled by strong consumer demand and relatively steady market prices, sales records spanned product categories.Backed by traditionally strong demand, sales of middle meats grew by 3.8%. Sales of roasts and other end meats increased 3.4%, and ground beef sales, boosted by the better burger movement, grew by 2 million pounds.Sales of the Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime product extension grew by 36.6%—an achievement made possible by historically high availability of the most highly marbled product.“We used to think of this almost exclusively as a product for elite steakhouses, but this year retailers from coast to coast saw the opportunity to add to the offerings in their meat case,” he says. The brand provided encouragement in the way of business analysis and marketing support.Divisional successGlobal sales reached an all-time high of 207.5 million pounds, demonstrating the universal appeal of highly marbled, grain-fed beef among diverse cultures and markets. Japan led the way for growth, followed by Taiwan, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.Representing 43% of the brand’s sales, the retail division’s 8.8% gain was its fourth consecutive year of growth to achieve an all-time record of 537.5 million pounds.In addition to Prime product driving sales, retailers increasingly chose to feature CAB over lower-priced protein options on the front page of their circulars.The foodservice division achieved a 4.6% increase. Largely driven by the efforts of licensed distributors, restaurants that actively promoted the brand on their menus more than doubled that benchmark and increased sales 10% over the previous year.Also, for the 10th consecutive year, sales of branded value-added products set a record, exceeding 33 million pounds. Processors offered more high-quality convenience meals in both retail and foodservice.All of this growth is possible, because of the new dollars that flow into the business from customers who want more of the best.In 1998, beef demand was at an all-time low, Stika says. Since then, the entire beef industry has benefitted from a $60 billion increase in annual consumer spending.“Quality improved, and demand followed suit,” he says. “Producers didn’t just do it because it was the right thing to do. It was, but the improvement is also a result of the economic signals that say produce more quality and we’ll reward you for it.”Today, 18% of all fed cattle qualify for the brand—that’s more than the number that grade Select.“Our partners have been a meaningful part of that success,” Stika says. “Through their commitment to quality, they’ve helped direct the entire industry, drawing it closer to the consumer. As they do so, they’re providing a more sustainable future for all.”Brazil Forecasts Record Soybean Crop of 120.4 MMT for 2019-2020 SeasonBrazilian crop agency expects the country's farmers to produce a record amount of soybeans in the 2019-20 season as producers increase the area planted and better weather is expected for the end of this year.Brazilian farmers will grow 120.4 million metric tons of soybeans this season, for which planting has already started, an increase of 4.7% from the 2018-2019 season, when 115 million tons were produced. The area planted is forecast to rise 1.9% to 36.6 million hectares.Unusually hot and dry weather in some soybean-producing states at the end of last year and the start of this year reduced yields for the 2018-2019 season in areas, leading to a smaller crop in the season than the record 119.3 million tons grown in 2017-2018.The relatively small increase in the area planted is due to uncertainty about international demand in the face of the continuing trade dispute between the US, normally the world's biggest soybean producer, and China, the world's biggest consumer, Conab said.Lower prices and the increasing cost of opening up new areas for planting also contributed to the slower increase in area planted, according to the agency.Brazilian farmers will produce a smaller total corn crop in 2019-2020, of 98.4 million metric tons, down 1.7% from the record 100 million tons produced in 2018-2019, Conab said. Climate FieldView Teams Up with Tillable to Improve Farm Data TransparencyBayer’s digital agriculture division, The Climate Corporation (Climate), announced today a partnership between its industry-leading FieldView™ digital farming platform and Tillable, a first-of-its-kind digital marketplace connecting farmers and landowners.Approximately 40 percent of U.S. farmland is rented or leased, according to USDA estimates. Despite the sizeable $32 billion farmland rental market in the U.S., Tillable is the first and only digital platform to optimize returns for landowners. The platform also helps farmers access land to expand operations. Now, FieldView farmer customers using Tillable can more easily share farm operation details, such as planting and yield data, that they’re already collecting through the FieldView platform.“Farmers rely on many different relationships and technologies to ensure a successful season,” said Mike Stern, CEO at The Climate Corporation and Head of Digital Farming for Bayer Crop Science. “We are always interested in collaborating with other innovators to support farmers in the many decisions they make to simplify and improve their operations. Integrating Tillable’s marketplace with FieldView offers easy-to-use digital tools that will improve farm efficiency.”Digital platforms that provide a marketplace to easily connect consumers to service providers are common across nearly all industries. From booking accommodations to scheduling a ride to the airport, digital platforms are playing a prominent role in how people secure services today.“This partnership reaffirms our commitment to protecting farmland’s long-term value,” said Corbett Kull, co-founder and CEO of Tillable. “With FieldView integration, farmers using Tillable can more easily share data about their operation to continue building their reputation, and landowners can rest assured that their property is being properly cared for and will remain a protected investment.”First launched in the United States in 2015, FieldView gives farmers a deeper understanding of their fields so they can make more informed operating decisions to optimize yields, maximize efficiency and reduce risk. FieldView is currently on more than 60 million paid acres across the United States, Canada, Brazil, Europe and Argentina and on track to achieve more than 90 million paid acres globally in 2019. It has quickly become the most broadly connected platform in the industry and will continue to expand into other global regions over the next few years. R.J. O'Brien Announces Expanded Commitment to AutoHedge Agri-Tech Offering, Rebranded as Hrvyst, for Commercial Agriculture IndustryChicago-based R.J. O'Brien & Associates (RJO), the oldest and largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States, announced today that the firm has expanded its commitment to its agri-tech offering for the commercial grain industry, originally known as AutoHedge and now rebranded as Hrvyst. Spearheading the strategic initiative full time will be long-time RJO executive Kirk Bonniwell, who had been in charge of the Commercial Grains and OTC Markets divisions.RJO Chairman and CEO Gerald Corcoran said: "We believe Hrvyst is positioned to revolutionize the agriculture industry by enabling grain operators to achieve significant economies of scale and superior streamlining of their business. This innovative technology platform helps our clients modernize ag commerce and build a productive bridge to farmers. I've asked Kirk to focus exclusively on the initiative going forward, with the expectation that the offering will grow and serve an important role in the industry."Bonniwell said: "Following our early success with select clients, we will continue to build on our hedge management platform while expanding the Hrvyst ecosystem to deliver – in new and exciting ways – a range of products and services to the market."Hrvyst enables users to manage their grain risk in real time, enterprise-wide, automatically converting cash grain movement into futures hedging orders. Conceived and developed internally by the RJO Commercial Agricultural team, Hrvyst automates what has historically been a human process, improving communication, accountability and hedging precision for large grain elevator companies and cooperatives, commercial producers and commercial agricultural operations.

Awards Aim to Keep Agricultural Education Teachers in NebraskaThe Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation awarded 10 teachers with funds  in support of agricultural education and FFA programs in Nebraska.“All 10 teachers are committed to making a difference in rural Nebraska,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “We’re proud to support this year’s winners and their contributions to their classrooms and communities.”The 10 recipients of the scholarships are   - Kathryn Arp, Bishop Neumann High School (Wahoo);   - Jacob Goldfuss, Sandy Creek Public Schools;   - Kate Grimes, Axtell Community School;   - Blair Hartman, Ansley Public Schools;   - Hannah Horak, Shelton High School;   - Brian Johnson, Litchfield Public Schools;   - Lacey Jo Peterson, Riverside Public Schools;   - Morgan Schwartz, Stanton Community Schools;   - Nicole Sorensen, Minatare High School;   - Macie Wippel, Kearney Public Schools.Recipients are all agricultural education teachers in their first through fifth year of teaching. Teachers are eligible for increasing awards each year. As the teachers’ impact grows in the classroom, in their FFA chapters, and in their communities each year, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation aims to recognize and support their efforts.USDA TO SURVEY COUNTY ROW CROPS ACREAGE AND PRODUCTION The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey producers in 41 states, including Nebraska, as part of its County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS). The survey will collect information on total acres planted and harvested, and total yield and production of row crops down to the county level.“The data provided by producers will help federal and state programs support the farmer,” said Nick Streff, director of the NASS Northern Plains Field Office. “We hope every producer will take the time to respond if they receive this survey. Producers benefit when there are data available to help determine accurate loan rates, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections, and more. When enough producers respond to surveys, NASS is able to publish data. Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency may not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers.” Within the next few weeks NASS representatives will contact selected Nebraska growers to arrange telephone or in-person interviews to complete the survey. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified as required by federal law. USMEF Awards Honor Rodibaugh, Carpenter, CutlerThe U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has announced the recipients of its Distinguished Service Award and Michael J. Mansfield Award. The awards will be presented Nov. 7 at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Tucson, Arizona.The USMEF Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the pursuit of USMEF's export goals. This year's honoree is Danita Rodibaugh of Rensselaer, Ind., a former USMEF chair and longtime advocate for the U.S. red meat industry. Active in the management of a family farm operation that raises pigs, corn, soybeans and wheat, Rodibaugh is a past president of the National Pork Board (NPB) and has held many key industry leadership roles, chairing the Ethics of Pork Production Task Force and serving on the board of directors of both the National Pork Producers Council and Indiana Pork, the NPB Trade Committee and several committees focused on environmental stewardship."I really admire the past recipients of the USMEF Distinguished Service Award, and I am humbled to receive such an honor," Rodibaugh said. "I marvel at an organization like USMEF that can work with so many different agricultural sectors and bring them together to accomplish a common goal. Looking back at my time as USMEF chair and as an officer, it's that kind of collaboration that I am most proud of — working jointly and making key decisions together. I was truly blessed to have such an outstanding officer team when I was USMEF chair."Rodibaugh added that fostering trust was a top priority during her time in the USMEF leadership, not only among the USMEF officers and executive committee, but also the organization's funding sources."Enhancing communication between the various sectors allows USMEF to benefit from the expertise each sector brings to the table and to better understand the challenges we all face," she explained. "When that level of trust is established, it helps us educate fellow producers about the value red meat exports deliver and how exports benefit all of U.S. agriculture."The Michael J. Mansfield Award is presented in honor of the former U.S. Senate majority leader and U.S. ambassador to Japan who helped form the foundation for U.S. trade relations throughout the world. This year's co-recipients of the award, which recognizes individuals whose leadership has helped expand international trade opportunities, are Barry Carpenter, who recently retired as president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), and Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI).Carpenter's 50-year career in the public and private sectors included 37 years at USDA, where he led the Agricultural Marketing Service's Livestock and Seed Division. Carpenter oversaw creation of USDA's beef export verification programs, which were critical to restoring market access for U.S. beef following the nation's first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in December 2003. His leadership was also critical in developing video technology for beef yield and quality grading. During his time at NAMI, Carpenter was a highly respected spokesperson for the U.S. meat industry who provided steady guidance on key policy issues and represented the industry on several international governing bodies. His many career honors include Presidential Rank Awards, NAMI's E. Floyd Forbes Award and induction into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame."I am overwhelmed at the honor of receiving the Mansfield Award," Carpenter said. "Having worked on trade issues for many years in various capacities, trade is something that I care deeply about, and I never anticipated that I would be honored at this level."When asked to reflect on the contributions he is most proud of, Carpenter cited USDA's efforts that laid the groundwork for U.S. beef exports' impressive recovery following the BSE-related market closures."Coming up with an export verification program that bridged the gap between our government's regulatory food safety scheme and what our trading partners were expecting was just phenomenal," he said. "I don't know how else we could have ever broken that logjam and satisfied the needs of those countries. For some trading partners it obviously worked faster and better than others, but for all practical purposes it was the tool that got us back into all of those markets."Cutler also has a long history of helping the U.S. meat industry overcome barriers in the international marketplace. Prior to joining ASPI, she had a very accomplished career with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Cutler worked on a wide range of trade negotiations and other initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, serving as USTR's chief negotiator on the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and leading the bilateral negotiations with Japan under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).When reacting to the Michael J. Mansfield Award announcement, Cutler was quick to emphasize the team approach that underpinned these advancements in U.S. trade relations."I am delighted to be recognized for my efforts, but this award also belongs to the other hard-working negotiators with whom I worked so closely," she noted. "By working as a team, we made important inroads into the lucrative and growing meat markets in Asia."While Cutler knew that USTR had secured very favorable terms for the red meat sector in KORUS, the remarkable success the U.S. industry has achieved in Korea has exceeded her expectations."I am pleasantly surprised that the United States has now become the leading beef exporter to Korea, because this was such a sensitive issue during and after the FTA negotiations," Cutler said. "The KORUS model is a great example of a genuine partnership between the U.S. government and U.S. industry. Trade agreements can open markets by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers, but then it's up to the private sector to take advantage of these opportunities. The U.S. meat industry has done an incredible job of marketing its products in Korea and other international markets."She emphasized that Korean consumers are benefiting greatly from KORUS because it has made beef and other U.S. agricultural products more affordable."In many Asian countries, including Korea and Japan, agriculture has traditionally been one of the most-protected markets in their economy," Cutler said. "As those markets open up and consumers are able to avail themselves of different cuts of meat at competitive prices, consumption increases. At the same time per capita income is also rising in the region, which contributes to more meat consumption."In addition to receiving the Michael J. Mansfield Award, Cutler will be a featured speaker at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference. On Friday, Nov. 8, she will update USMEF members on the status of U.S. trade relations in Asia and where she sees opportunities to further increase trade and strengthen economic ties with key trading partners.Retail Fertilizer Prices Continue Slow Slide LowerRetail fertilizer prices are beginning to sound a bit like a broken record: They're all slightly lower, just like they've been seven of the last eight weeks, according to prices tracked by DTN for the first week of October 2019.All eight of the major fertilizers were again lower in price from the month earlier. No fertilizer was down a significant amount, which DTN designates at 5%.DAP had an average price of $476 per ton, down $15; MAP $474/ton, down $14; potash $384/ton, down $3; urea $404/ton, down $4; 10-34-0 $470/ton, down $3; anhydrous $511/ton, down $11; UAN28 $253/ton, down $2; and UAN32 $289/ton, down $1.On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.With prices significantly lower in recent months, two fertilizers' prices dropped to being lower in price from a year ago. MAP is now 9% less expensive and DAP is 5% lower from last year at this time.The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be slightly higher compared to last year. UAN32 is 3% more expensive, both urea and 10-34-0 are 4% higher, anhydrous is 5% more expensive, potash is 6% higher and UAN28 is 7% more expensive compared to last year.Celebrating a Century of the American Farm BureauZippy Duvall, PresidentYour American Farm Bureau turns 100 next month, a truly special cause for celebration. All year long we have been celebrating a century of working together for the men and women who grow our food, fiber and energy. This remarkable milestone is a testament to how much stronger we are when we speak with one voice.A lot has changed in 100 years, but farmers’ and ranchers’ most essential needs and concerns have not. Then and now, we need markets for what we produce, labor to grow and harvest it, infrastructure to transport it, and fair prices to keep our businesses moving forward.Founded in November 1919, the American Farm Bureau Federation has given all farmers and ranchers a voice in our nation’s capital.Thankfully, there is a strong, national organization working for those goals. Founded in November 1919, the American Farm Bureau Federation has given all farmers and ranchers a voice in our nation’s capital. Because of the decision 100 years ago to establish the American Farm Bureau Federation, farmers and ranchers are represented when Congress works on a wide range of issues. No matter what they grow or where they grow it, farmers and ranchers come together through Farm Bureau to work for the good of all of agriculture.On a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to take this organization for granted. It seems as if it always has been here for us farmers and ranchers, and it always will be. But to appreciate something’s true value, you need to imagine how things would be without it. Without Farm Bureau, we would not have federal programs to provide risk management tools to help farmers and ranchers survive volatile ups and downs in the farm economy. Without this great organization, non-farm interests would drown out the voice of farmers and ranchers.The American Farm Bureau was the first organization to bring groups of grassroots members to Washington, D.C., to influence their members of Congress in favor of farm legislation. Our Farm Bureau forefathers wrote the book on grassroots advocacy and influence, and we’re still proud of our grassroots structure.We have been standing firm for farmers since day one. In the early days of Farm Bureau, Congress wanted to recess without voting on a farm bill. The American Farm Bureau worked with a “farm bloc” of senators and representatives, however, to stop Congress from recessing until the farm legislation was considered. With that same passion, we continue to band together across Farm Bureau to ensure that Congress, the White House and federal agencies make our farmers and ranchers a priority.We in Farm Bureau often say that if there wasn’t an American Farm Bureau, we’d have to create one today. Of course, the reality is we do “recreate” Farm Bureau with each new generation of grassroots farm and ranch leaders. Each generation determines where this movement will go next, how engaged they will be and, therefore, how effective and influential Farm Bureau will be. Each generation strengthens Farm Bureau for the next, so that future farmers and ranchers will have a strong, united voice working for them, too.In an age when it seems that so much is coming and going faster than ever, it is such a blessing to be able to celebrate 100 years as an organization. Much like the farmers and ranchers we represent, we tend to keep our heads down and hands on the plow here at American Farm Bureau, moving forward with the work that needs to get done. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to pause and reflect on our organization’s history and the good work we’ve accomplished together. May God bless us with another fruitful century of Farm Bureau!Cattlemen Participate in White House Event Spotlighting Federal OverreachTwo members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) today joined President Trump at a White House event spotlighting past federal overreach by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the event, the President signed two Executive Orders that will provide more clarity and transparency to often-daunting and complicated federal regulatory processes."Today’s event at the White House demonstrates the effectiveness of our association’s efforts in having meaningful and lasting positive impacts on regulation reforms that benefit our industry, rural communities and family ranching operations," said Nevada public lands rancher J.J. Goicoechea, who participated in this afternoon's West Wing event. "We stand ready and committed to further assist President Trump’s administration in further improvements."Another NCBA member and public lands rancher who participated in today's event is Kevin Lunny of Point Reyes, California. Lunny was the owner of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, which was forced to close in 2015 after a years-long battle with the National Park Service, Interior Department, and radical environmental groups that attracted national attention and outrage."As cattle producers we’re humbled to have the opportunity to advocate for our industry at the highest levels," Lunny said. "We applaud this administration for finally giving ranching families a voice, and look forward to working with the President to find solutions to these challenges.”NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane echoed Goicoechea's and Lunny's comments."Time and time again over the past three years, this Administration has proven its commitment to regulatory relief and reform for agricultural producers," Lane said. "Washington needs to help our producers succeed and continue to help feed the world - not actively try to put them out of business. The Trump Administration understands that, and we look forward to continuing our work with them toward that goal." OCM Applauds U.S. Senators for Probe into JBS TransactionsAs reported today in Meatingplace, "U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter to Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin requesting that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) formally open a review of the transactions of Brazilian meat-processing conglomerate JBS S.A."Angela Huffman, Communications and Research Director for the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), offered the following statement:"The corrupt actions of JBS demonstrate the epitome of unchecked monopoly power. JBS should be stripped of all its U.S. assets. No one should profit from illegal activity. We thank Senators Rubio and Menendez for their courageous action in taking on the largest meatpacker in the world."For the past year OCM has called out JBS for using ill-gotten influence to take over the beef market in the U.S. Below are a few of JBS' most egregious abuses:-    In November 2018, Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods rescinded its bid for bailout money after a backlash on Capitol Hill over a similar award, but neither JBS nor USDA would rescind their $22 million sweetheart deal.-    This past week it was disclosed that Secretary Perdue had extended an additional $40 million in farmer trade bailout dollars to JBS.-    In a decade-long scheme, the meatpacker bribed more than 1,800 Brazilian politicians, which JBS admitted helped them take over the U.S. beef market. In 2017, JBS was caught exporting rotten meat worldwide and trying to cover up the stench using cancer-causing acid products. In 2018, 12 million pounds of JBS ground beef were recalled and 246 people were sickened in the U.S. due to salmonella poisoning. Evidence shows the salmonella outbreak was caused by JBS’s standard practice of allowing sick dairy cows into the beef supply. In 2018, USDA found JBS had ripped off U.S. cattle producers at three separate slaughter facilities by shorting them on payments for their cattle, and while the JBS abuses were extensive, USDA settled the claims for a mere $50,000 penalty.-    As reported by Reuters, JBS is making money off of the U.S. China trade war.-    A Congressional Research Service report issued in December 2018 indicated 2018 net farm income was down 12% from the previous year. The calculations were inclusive of the farmer bailout payments which had been made due to the U.S. China trade war.-    In spite of these massive payments for pork by USDA to JBS, U.S. hog farmers are still in what the Washington Post has called a tailspin.-    Bloomberg reported last month that U.S. soybean growers are seeing the lowest commodity prices in a decade.Groups Call out Kansas Livestock Association over Misuse of FundsThe Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) has been collecting and expending $10 million dollars per year in violation of state and federal law, according to the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA).A briefing paper released by the two groups today outlines how KLA has obtained funding through an improperly close affiliation with the Kansas Beef Council, which is charged with collecting $1 a head from every cattle transaction as part of the federally mandated Beef Checkoff Program. The groups also say KLA has refused to release financial information disclosing how these federally mandated funds are spent.Following a comprehensive review of publicly available records, OCM concluded that these funds are being used to prop up KLA operations by contributing to office rental payments and employee salaries. Co-opting these funds allows KLA to gain undue influence in the legislative arena, although by law checkoff funds can only be used for non-legislative promotion and market-development activities. The briefing paper also explains how as much as $2 million dollars a year is being funneled from KLA to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), KLA’s national trade and lobbying affiliate, in a pay-to-play scheme that unjustly amplifies its legislative activities.All told, OCM estimates that NCBA receives more than $37 million through similar pay-to-play arrangements with various state affiliates. This money is then used to promote the political interests of its members, which include meatpackers, rather than the interests of the cattle industry as a whole.Greg Davis of the of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association said, “We support the beef checkoff program, but we strongly object to the way it is being administered, the way it is being collected, and the total lack of transparency and accountability to the cattle producers who are forced to pay the federal tax. For years Kansas Cattlemen’s Association has voiced these concerns, but no one has taken one step to stop this injustice. We can only hope, based on the evidence in this briefing paper, that others in our government will hear our concerns and answer the call to end the taxpayer abuse. It is our fear that if this mess is not cleaned up soon, the majority of cattle producers will be calling for an end to the beef checkoff program.”Joe Maxwell, Executive Director of the Organization for Competitive Markets, said, “It is just unimaginable that the state of Kansas is allowing this taxpayer abuse. A large part of these funds are federal tax dollars collected by this state agency. The state has a responsibility to administer these federally mandated funds, no differently than it does any other federal funds it receives. The state’s family farmers deserve no less.”OCM and KCA are calling for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board to disqualify the Kansas Beef Council from collecting any further checkoff funds until a complete separation is established from KLA and all associated lobbying activities. If needed, the state legislature should enact legislation setting up a new collection authority that is fully transparent and equally representative of all Kansas cattle producers, the groups say.Corruption and Misuse of Farmers’ Funds Found in Kansas Beef Checkoff programToday, farmers and ranchers gathered at the State Capitol to hold a press conference to release the findings of a research paper that highlights the abuses of a federal program administered by a state not-for profit.  The Organization for Competitive Markets and Kansas Cattlemen’s Association joined to speak out against the corruption and potential misuse of $10 million of farmers’ hard-earned dollars, at a time when agricultural producers are already struggling because of the disruption of international markets because of trade disputes.Originally established by the Congress to pool funds for commodity-specific promotion and research, and mandated to be funded directly from farmer dollars, the checkoff programs have expanded far beyond their intended purposes and have become a source of controversy and government abuse.  The latest report shows the diversion of money for high salaries and lobbying activities by private trade associations – not activities consistent with the authorizing language in the federal statute that governs the program.Checkoff dollars appear to have been misused for decades to lobby for policies that are harmful to animals, including a recent plan to roundup and incarcerate massive numbers of wild horses from public lands in the West.  “Once again, ‘Big Ag’ and the so-called National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s scheme that misuses farmers’ dollars to line the pockets of multi-national corporations has been exposed,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “We’re ramping up our efforts to help end the abuses in the corrupt USDA checkoff programs. Checkoff’s shouldn’t be allowed to use the American family farmer’s hard-earned money to put them out of business.”“I don’t want my hard-earned dollars funneled to a quasi-governmental organization that works against my best interest and represents industrial agriculture’s continued movement toward the monopolization of farming,” said Will Harris, president of the American Grassfed Association. “We’ve farmed the same land since 1866, and I want to ensure that future generations are able to continue to do the same.”Earlier this year, a very unlikely group of allies – U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – banded together to reintroduce the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 935. The bill doesn’t seek to abolish the checkoff programs, as Big Ag has misrepresented in its attacks against the legislation – but would instead create transparency and accountability and prohibit checkoff funds from being used for lobbying. The OFF Act also would prohibit funds from being used to pay for staff and programs of trade associations that favor multi-national corporations and push small farmers out of business. U.S. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) plans to introduce a similar measure in the U.S. House of Representatives.The Beef Checkoff Program was established in the 1985 Farm Bill. As a result of federal law, the Beef Promotion and Research Act (Beef Act), mandates that every time cattle producer sells a cow; the producer is required to pay a $1.00 federally mandated beef checkoff assessment to the federally designated Qualified State Beef Council in the producer’s state.Although the Kansas Beef Council, which is actually the Kansas Livestock Association, is designated as a federal Qualified State Beef Council, it does not legally exist as a formal entity. Instead, the Kansas Livestock Association – the state affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) collects the federally mandated beef checkoff assessments and administers the funds.Because Kansas Livestock Association is a private membership trade and lobbying organization with a complex business model of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, its role as the tax collector has created resentment and hostility among the independent cattle producers who are mandated to pay into the fund.THE REALITY OF THE BEEF CHECKOFFGreg Hanes, CEO, Cattlemen’s Beef BoardIn the few months since I took the helm as CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) – the governing and administrative organization of the Beef Checkoff – there appears to be many misperceptions, false rumors, and misinformation about how the checkoff works and is administered. Let’s look at its history, what the Beef Checkoff can and cannot do, as well as the processes and procedures we have in place to continue to be strong stewards of your checkoff dollars. THE CREATION OF THE BEEF CHECKOFFThe Beef Checkoff was created through the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 as part of the Farm Bill. It was initiated as an effort driven by producers who saw an important need for more promotion and research to stave off falling beef demand in the late 1970s / 1980s and was designed to be producer driven at both a local and national level. Immediately following its passing, the Beef Promotion and Research Order was created, outlining the detailed rules for governance over the program, funding distribution, contractor requirements, etc.  The areas where checkoff funding can be used are clearly defined:  promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, and producer communications. Conversely, lobbying or “influencing governmental action or policy” is also clearly prohibited.  Within 22 months, a referendum was conducted among producers throughout the U.S. to vote on the continuation of the program – which was passed by 79% of farmers and ranchers. The Beef Checkoff as we know it came life in 1988. Copies of both “The Act and Order” are available online at beefboard.org/beef-act-and-order, or you can contact our office and we can ensure you get a copy. USDA OVERSIGHTThe Act and The Order is our rulebook - set in law - that we must follow every day.  To ensure all aspects of this law are followed, the USDA is delegated authority by Congress to oversee the Beef Checkoff Program. As part of its oversight responsibilities, USDA reviews and approves our plans, projects, budgets, contracts, processes and procedures, and keeps a watchful eye over our financials, our board, our communications, and our operations.  In fact, the Secretary of Agriculture himself appoints all 99 CBB board members, which includes both domestic producers and importers, a process outside of our purview.CATTLEMEN’S BEEF BOARDThe Act and The Order outlines additional specifics about the governance supporting your checkoff dollars. As noted, they outline the type of activities that can/cannot be funded; define that all efforts must be producer-driven; that the CBB board members must be producers and importers who serve on the national board in a voluntary capacity for 3-year terms; that no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms; and that the number of board members are  based on the cattle inventory of each state. BEEF PROMOTION OPERATING COMMITTEEAnother piece outlined by The Act and The Order is the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. This important group of 20 producers and importers is created by appointed positions from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (10 members) and the Federation of State Beef Councils (10 members). This committee oversees the distribution each year of nearly $40 million of national Beef Checkoff dollars to beef industry contractors to do the work outlined in The Act and The Order. Funding decisions must be made together by both national and state-level decision-makers, with great consideration to the balance between the national and regional needs of producers. No funding decision can be made without approval from at least two thirds, or 14 of the Operating Committee members, so neither the CBB nor the Federation can dictate where funding goes. As such, programs must show great benefit to the industry as a whole to get approved.  BEEF CHECKOFF CONTRACTORSThe Beef Checkoff currently partners with eight national non-profit, beef industry-governed organizations we call contractors. All contractors are vetted, audited, and reviewed regularly by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Each contractor must meet specific criteria to receive Beef Checkoff funding, a process that can take up to a year to facilitate. In fact, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association just became a new contractor this year. The Act and The Order states that contractors to the checkoff be national non-profit industry-governed organizations that are governed by a board of directors representing the beef industry, and have been active and ongoing for at least two years.  All contractors work on a cost-recovery basis, meaning they must do the work outlined in their funding request and then seek reimbursement for their costs. This allows for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board to have direct oversight of expenses that use checkoff funds. If expenses are submitted that do not meet The Act and The Order, they are not reimbursed. Thus, the checkoff does not pay for anything it should not. In addition, if a contractor has a lobbying arm, they must prove they have an accounting “firewall” between their checkoff and lobbying dollars. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board works closely with these organizations so that checkoff dollars aren’t used outside of the scope of the Act and Order.Our eight contracting organizations for Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 2019 - Sept. 2020):    American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture    Cattlemen’s Beef Board    Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education    Meat Import Council of America    National Cattlemen’s Beef Association    National Livestock Producers Association    North American Meat Institute    United States Cattlemen’s Association In addition, our contractors work with four subcontracting organizations:    Kansas State University    North East Beef Promotion Initiative    National Institute for Animal Agriculture    United States Meat Export FederationThe Beef Checkoff plays an extremely important role in providing education and driving demand for our beef. Competition is fierce among proteins in the United States and global markets now, so we are proud of our contractors and the work they do every day to ensure beef continues to be the number one protein to consumers everywhere. We have small contractors and large ones; we have contractors with very targeted audiences, and those who reach large swaths of the population. Whether building a promotional campaign, researching nutrition and health, championing handling and safety, or engaging consumers, together they each play an important role in driving beef demand, both here in the United States as well in the international markets.Visit DrivingDemandForBeef.com for more information on the Beef Checkoff, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Qualified State Beef Councils, and Beef Checkoff contractors.Weekly Ethanol Production for 10/4/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Oct. 4, ethanol production expanded 5,000 b/d or 0.5% to 963,000 barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 40.45 million gallons daily. This was the third straight week in which production was below 1 million b/d, and output was 7.4% lower than a year ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate slowed for the sixth week, declining 1.5% to 967,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.82 billion gallons and the lowest average since June 2016.Ethanol stocks plummeted 8.6% to 21.2 million barrels—the largest weekly draw on record. Inventories were the smallest in over 2 years (since Sept. 2017). Stocks came in 11.6% lower than the same week last year and 1.4% under two years ago. Stocks declined across all PADDs, including a 15.9% decrease in the Gulf Coast (PADD 2).There were zero imports for the second consecutive week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of August 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied lifted 3.5% to 9.460 million b/d (397.3 million gallons per day, or 145.02 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol tapered off by 0.7% to 917,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.06 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production decreased to 10.18%.Study Reveals Ramifications of Limited Rural Broadband Service on American FarmersA new study commissioned by the United Soybean Board (USB) reveals the lack of access to broadband in rural areas takes a significant toll on American farmers and the economy.According to “Rural Broadband and the American Farmer: Connectivity Challenges Limit Agriculture’s Economic Impact and Sustainability,” an alarming 60% of U.S. farmers say they do not have enough connectivity to run their businesses. USB initiated the rural broadband study to better understand how and why farmers currently access the internet, and the implications that access has for farm business decisions, economic viability and overall sustainability.Data from the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service indicates that farming contributes to nearly $133 billion of our country’s gross domestic product. Based on USB’s rural broadband survey, the lack of connectivity negatively impacts farmers responsible for $80 billion of gross domestic product.“End users ask farmers to deliver a consistent and high-quality crop without adequate internet access and reliable broadband speeds, which undoubtedly impacts their efficiency and sustainability,” says Tim Venverloh, vice president of sustainability strategy for USB.Other significant findings include:—  78% of farmers do not have a choice in internet service providers.—  60% of farmers say the internet service they do have is slow, with most relying on cell signals or hotspots to connect to the internet.—  40% of farmers have a fixed internet connection, while others rely on satellite connections.  “There’s a clear disparity between connectivity in rural versus non-rural areas,” says Venverloh. “The lack of connectivity, however, extends to farmers past the farm gate. When farmers can’t maximize the functionality of their equipment, particularly in the middle of the field, it has repercussions beyond the farm. More and more of the future is about data and data transfer. The timely dissemination and use of data is becoming more important in a precision ag and decision ag world.” The results of the qualitative and quantitative research highlight the critical need to improve rural broadband access, which has implications far beyond quality of life (information, communication and entertainment) in addition to the livelihood for rural communities.  “Farmers continually look for ways to improve efficiencies while protecting natural resources," adds Venverloh. "Upwards of 50% of the farmers we surveyed want to incorporate more technology into their operations, but they are held back by limited connectivity. Improving their access to broadband needs to be a priority.”USB will share survey data with internet service providers, as well as influencer organizations working to tackle policy and technical challenges involved in delivering high-speed broadband access to rural communities.For background on the study, more than 2,000 primary and secondary farm operators responded to a combination of online and mail-in surveys to participate. Thanks to cooperation from American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Illinois Soybean Association and North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, the report represents a cross-section of U.S. agriculture. Participants included 86% who grow field or row crops such as corn and soybeans; 21% who grow specialty crops such as fruits and vegetables; and 55% who raise livestock. In-depth telephone interviews were also conducted with participants in eight states in July and August 2019. National Voter Poll Shows Strong Support for RFS, Biodiesel UseToday, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) released results of an annual national poll of registered voters designed to measure awareness of and attitudes toward biodiesel and federal policies that support the industry. The results show a candidate's support for policies to promote clean energy, including biodiesel and renewable diesel use, can influence votes.NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, "Voters are consistent year-to-year in saying they support political candidates who champion federal policies to encourage development and use of cleaner fuels such as biodiesel. Results of our poll indicate that environmental concerns are growing in importance for voters. Biodiesel can deliver environmental benefits to address those concerns today."Among the respondents, nearly three-quarters (73%) had previously heard some information about biodiesel. More than half (57%) of all respondents agreed that federal policy should encourage use of biodiesel and renewable diesel. When asked if federal policy should support petroleum, 45% said "no," while only 34% said "yes."When asked about issues that affect their votes, a strong majority of the polled registered voters (81%) indicated that a candidate's position on renewable fuels is important. Overall, 86% of respondents indicated that a candidate's position on clean energy is important or very important to their voting preferences. Further, 85% of respondents agreed that it is important that President Donald Trump keep his promises on the RFS.Kurt Kovarik, NBB's Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, "President Trump recently renewed his commitment to expand use of biofuels, promising to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard. It's clearly important to voters that the president succeed on that commitment and get American workers in the biodiesel industry back on the job."When informed that biodiesel is America's first and most widely available advanced biofuel and has demonstrated environmental benefits, more than three-quarters (76%) of respondents supported increased use. High percentages of respondents agreed that the government should "stand with American workers, manufacturers, rural economies and businesses" to support a clean fuels industry (83%) and "follow the law to implement an existing mandate that creates jobs and economic development across the country" (82%).Nearly four of every five respondents expressed support for existing federal programs that encourage increased production and use of advanced biofuels. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents support the federal tax incentive for biodiesel, and 79% support the Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally, 79% of respondents would encourage local communities and governments to promote use of biodiesel.Conducted September 18-19, 2019, the poll gathered responses from 1,064 registered voters across the country. The poll was conducted by Moore Information Group on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board. The results of the poll were consistent with prior polling in September 2017 and September 2018.NAWG CEO Honored with CropLife America Award On September 28, 2019, NAWG CEO Chandler Goule was named a recipient of the 2019 CropLife America (CLA) Annual Jay Vroom Agricultural Ambassador Award. The award honors a member or an allied organization to CLA who has made a major contribution to public education about pesticides and their contribution to a safe, affordable and sustainable food supply.“It is a true honor to be presented with an award named after my long-time friend and ally of wheat Jay Vroom,” stated NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “I really appreciate being nominated for the award and to CropLife for bringing awareness to the importance of educating the public on such complicated issues as pesticides.” The Jay Vroom Agricultural Ambassador Award is an expression of appreciation from CLA and the industry for outstanding leaders who have provided complete, accurate and unbiased information to society about pesticides. NAWG CEO Chandler Goule was presented the award during CropLife America’s 2019 Annual Meeting. “Between social media and the ease at which information can be spread today, the wheat industry’s biggest hurdle is those who fearmonger and spread fabrications around how farmers use pesticides on their crops,” continued Goule. “I will continue to work to ensure that NAWG remains a leader in educating congressional staff, the public, and its allies on how crop protectants are vital to ensure safe and affordable food supply.”

The NCB Co-op 100 Reports Top Producing Cooperatives with Revenues of $222.2 BillionOn Monday, the National Cooperative Bank, known for providing banking solutions tailored to meet the needs of cooperatives and their members nationwide, released its annual NCB Co-op 100®, listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. In 2018, these businesses posted revenue totaling approximately $222.2 billion. The NCB Co-op 100® remains the only annual report of its kind to track the profits and successes of cooperative businesses in the United States.“The theme for Co-op Month this year is: Co-ops: By the Community, For the Community”, stated Charles E. Snyder, president and CEO of National Cooperative Bank. “Cooperatives are unique because they operate for the benefit of their member-owners and communities. Having a vested interest in the co-op fosters a natural closeness and accountability between owners/members and management. We know this is a successful and sustainable business practice, since co-ops have been doing it for 175 years.”The following are the top revenue producers in 2018 for the NCB Co-op 100's main sectors:Agriculture:• CHS Inc., based in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota reported $32.7 billion in revenues in 2018 and maintained its first place position on the NCB Co-op 100® list.• Land O’Lakes, Inc., based in Saint Paul, Minnesota reported $14.9 billion in revenues, earning the number two ranking this year.Grocery:• Wakefern Food Corporation/ Shoprite, based in Keasbey, New Jersey reported $13.1 billion in revenue, earning the fourth ranking again this year.• Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Kansas City, Kansas reported revenue of $9.7 billion and earned the fifth position on the list.Hardware & Lumber:• ACE Hardware Corp., based in Oak Brook, Illinois earned $5.7 billion in revenue and came in at number nine on the list.• Do-it-Best Corp., located in Fort Wayne, Indiana earned the 12th place on the list, with $3.7 billion reported in revenue.Finance:• Navy Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Merrifield, Virginia, earned $6.9 billion in revenues and is number eight on the list.• CoBank, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado earned $4.3 billion and came in 10th on the list.Healthcare:• HealthPartners Inc., located in Bloomington, Minnesota earned $7.0 billion in revenue and is seventh on the list.Energy & Communications:• Basin Electric Power Cooperative, located in Bismarck, North Dakota earned the 16th position with a reported $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018.• Oglethorpe Power Corporation, located in Tucker, Georgia earned the 29th position with reported revenue of $1.5 billion in 2018.Nebraska-based Cooperatives that made the list include:(rank, name, town, 2018 revenue)11) Ag Processing, Inc., Omaha - $4.154b 21) Central Valley Ag, York - $1.656b26) Farm Credit Services of America, Omaha - $1.571b35) Producers Livestock Marketing Assoc., Omaha - $1.393b56) Aurora Cooperative, Aurora - $1.01b70) Farmers Cooperative, Dorchester - $824m78) Frenchman Valley Farmers Cooeprative, Imperial - $695m86) Cooperative Producers, Inc., Hastings - $637mOthers of note:3) Dariy Farmers of America, Kansas City, MO - $13.63b44) Landus Cooperative, Ames, IA - $1.172b  53) NEW Cooperative, Inc., Fort Dodge, IA - $1.078b59) Heartland Cooperative, West Des Moines, IA - $941mWhile the companies and rankings change each year, the cooperative sector continues to advance, playing an increasingly influential role in the national and global economy. Released annually in October during National Co-op Month, the NCB Co-op 100® is just one way the Bank strives to educate and promote the importance of this sector.As a long-time advocate for cooperatives, NCB’s mission is providing critical financing to support the growth and expansion of cooperative businesses, while also deploying hundreds of millions of dollars to support underserved communities and cooperative expansion initiatives.Although similar to other business models, a cooperative has several unique features. It is owned and controlled by its members, who have joined together to use the cooperative’s goods, services and facilities. A board of directors, elected by the membership, sets the cooperative’s policies and procedures. By pooling resources, members can leverage their shared power to buy, sell, market, or bargain as one group, achieving economies of scale and sharing in any profits generated. In addition, communities benefit both socially and fiscally by the cooperatives’ ability to access and deliver goods and services from across the nation. ICON calls on Washington, D.C. to restore fairness to markets, label beef honestlyThe Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska join other agriculture groups in calling for a stern rebuke if not the removal of USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue, who clearly believes economic opportunities only belong to the biggest companies.Perdue recently told a group of Wisconsin dairy producers, “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out” -- ignoring the family farmers who sit on school boards, church boards, volunteer fire departments, have bake sale fundraisers and pay taxes to support local schools.Concentration in farm and food markets has been accelerating at a rapid pace. A handful of corporations now virtually control the inputs, production and distribution of our food.That concentration incentivizes those companies to engage in unfair and discriminatory acts that cause ranchers and farmers to receive less than a competitive price for their livestock and crops, said Al Davis, a member of the board of directors of ICON and the group’s legislative chairman.Davis recently addressed some 400 people at a “Stop the Stealin” rally Oct. 2 in Omaha that motivated ag producers to call for fair markets and fair trade.Davis noted that when a cattle producer loses $500 per head, the loss is not only felt on the ranch, but also in the community and the state. Ranchers have lost around 30% of their share of the retail beef dollar over the last several years. Combined with low market prices, losses can amount to $1,000 per head. Millions of head of cattle are produced in Nebraska.  Lawmakers must take action to ensure fair markets for producers, Davis said.There are six actions the USDA could take immediately to restore fairness to farm markets. The most basic improvement would be to stop imported foreign meat from being labeled a “Product of the USA.”When country of origin labeling (COOL) of meat was rescinded, it allowed foreign meat that is imported into the U.S. to be re-wrapped during processing and labeled “Product of USA.”More than 14 months ago, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and the American Grassfed Association (AGA) filed a petition with Sec. Perdue’s Food Safety Inspection Services agency to stop this deception and ensure only U.S. domestic meat products can be labeled “Product of USA.”The Food Safety and Inspection Service labeling practice must use an ingredient-based definition and not a processed-based definition, Davis said. “We have a choice,” he said. “We can sit on our hands or we can work together as ranchers to fight for a fair and balanced market, fair and balanced labeling, fair and balanced trade, and a fair and balanced approach by the Secretary of Ag to our problems and our needs.”Davis also noted that four processing companies now control 80% of the beef in the US, and two of the companies are foreign owned.  He also said anti-trust protections of the Packers & Stockyards Act have been undermined, and called on the USDA to require Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting to be shared with the USDA Packers and Stockyards administration.ICON also joins many other groups in calling for COOL to be included in the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.“It’s time for us to send a message to Washington that we’re sick and tired of being screwed and we’re not going to take it anymore,” Davis said. Prioritize Flu Vaccinations to Protect People and PigsAs we move into fall, there are many on-farm tasks that need to be adjusted, such as ventilation and rodent control. One practice that needs to be added to the list is influenza protection, specifically to prioritize flu vaccinations for everyone working on a pig farm.“Everyone associated with the farm should be vaccinated whether they work directly with pigs or not,” said Heather Fowler, DVM, director of producer and public health for the Pork Checkoff. “That is the best thing producers can do to protect their families, co-workers and pigs from the flu.”In fact, a seasonal flu vaccination is a public health recommendation and part of the One Health approach to protect people, pigs and the global environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against seasonal influenza. The seasonal influenza vaccine is available now, so people should be vaccinated as soon as possible to prompt their immune system to prepare for flu season, which typically stretches from October to May.“Equally important, farms need to have sick-leave policies in place that encourage workers to stay home if they are suffering from flu-like like respiratory symptoms,” Fowler said. “While it’s especially important to stay off the farm, people need to stay away from public places and take time to rest and recover. This will help shorten the duration and impact of the infection.”Influenza is a virus, and infections can last three to seven days, although a cough can persist for more than two weeks. “People with active infections can be contagious for several days,” Fowler said. “They should not return to work for at least 24 hours after their fever breaks without using a fever-reducing medication.”Other on-farm practices should receive extra attention this time of year, including reviewing the Pork Quality Assuance® Plus (PQA Plus®) section that addresses influenza. Here are a few critical steps:-    Animal caretakers should wash their hands and arms frequently with soap and water. Keep hands away from mouth, nose and eyes.-    Monitor animal health daily and contact the herd veterinarian immediately if influenza is suspected. A rapid response is helpful when treating sick pigs and may also minimize losses and further spread.-    Maintain proper building ventilation and barn hygiene to help reduce influenza virus transmission.-    Ensure bird and rodent control programs are well established.-    Do not allow anyone with flu-like symptoms to enter the facility, and ask visitors about recent contact with others who may have been ill.-    Restrict eating in animal areas.“The good news is that seasonal flu vaccinations are widely available today, including convenient options, such as a quick stop at the local pharmacy or clinic,” Fowler said. “Influenza can be addressed effectively through vaccinations, which help reduce the duration, intensity and spread of the virus. Producers are committed to protecting swine health and welfare, as well as public health. Getting vaccinations and following protocols to reduce the potential transmission of influenza this season is one more step in doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.” African Swine Fever Brenda Boetel, Dept of Ag Economics, University of Wisconsin - River FallsBy now every livestock producer has heard of African Swine Fever (ASF), the highly contagious disease with no known vaccine that is devastating the hog herd in China. ASF was first detected in China in August 2018 and has since spread to every mainland Chinese province as well as Hong Kong. China's hog herd has shrunk between 25% and 50% (depending on which Chinese agency is reporting the numbers). The decline in pork production, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, is decidedly smaller and estimated at 20%. One shouldn't expect total pork production to be down the same as hog herd size, as sow culling is being reported at a higher percentage than market hogs. Thus, short-term pork production may not decline as much as herd size, but the long-term effects will continue into 2020. Regardless of the decline in Chinese pork production, the gap between Chinese supply and Chinese demand will be filled by either imported pork, or substitution of an alternative protein product.Chinese pork imports are up 30% year over year for the January through August time period. Spain is the top pork exporter to China followed by Germany, Canada, Brazil and the USA. Chinese imports from the USA are up 38% year over year, but account for only 4% of US pork production. The large increase reflects both the uptick due to ASF and the downtown in 2018 due to trade concerns. Chinese imports didn't start to increase significantly until the third quarter of 2019. Given the continual tightening of Chinese supply, the fourth quarter of 2019 and 2020 will see increased Chinese imports, likely coming from a combination of Canada, Brazil and the US.The 38% growth in exports to China has been offset by weaknesses in other exports to other Asian countries and Mexico, allowing for only a 4% growth year over year in total US export quantity. The strong dollar and disruptive trade policies have dampened the potential growth in US pork exports and will continue to slow export growth to China and other countries.Prior to the outbreak of ASF, China consumed approximately 73 pounds per capita of pork, 13 pounds of beef and 25 pounds of poultry. Chinese pork consumption is expected to drop sharply in response to soaring prices, as well as lack of physical supply. In an attempt to curb price increases (and resulting inflation) reserve pork supplies have been released and price ceilings have been created. Nevertheless, Chinese pork prices have increased between 33% to 100% since January. Additionally, retail prices for sheep, beef and chicken are also at record levels.China has increased beef imports approximately 57% over the same period in 2018. US beef export quantity to China has increased 24% over 2018 but note this is still less than 1% of total US beef export quantity. Given that Chinese beef imports are increasing at a faster rate than pork, and that Chinese beef and poultry prices are at record levels, one can assume there has been some substitution from pork consumption to alternative proteins.ASF will have long-term effects on Chinese protein consumption and world protein exports. US-China trade war limits export opportunities and EU is relatively high priced. Poultry production has increased in China due to the much shorter production cycle than either pork or beef and poultry's similar price point to pork. If Chinese consumers switch to poultry in the short-run to accommodate the Chinese pork shortage, it will take some time for Chinese pork consumption to rebound. Nevertheless, pork exports into China will increase, although the amounts will be less than hoped for due to the political landscape. US pork producers and exporters should see year over year prices.EIA Projects 1.9% Year-on-Year Decline in 2019 Ethanol ProductionThe Energy Information Administration expects ethanol production to average 1.03 million barrels per day (bpd) this year and in 2020, down 20,000 bod, or 1.9%, from 2018, according to its latest Short-term Energy Outlook released this afternoon.EIA projects a 0.3% year-on-year growth rate in domestic ethanol consumption in 2020 after a 0.3% decline this year and 0.4% falloff in 2018 from 2017.Biodiesel production is expected to edge 5,000 bpd up to 124,000 bpd this year from 2018, and to climb to 145,000 bpd in 2020.In its outlook, EIA projects an 11.7% annual increase in U.S. biodiesel consumption this year and 10.7% year-on-year growth rate for 2020.Registration Opens for RFA’s 25th Annual National Ethanol ConferenceRegistration is now open for the Renewable Fuels Association’s 25th annual National Ethanol Conference (NEC), to be held Feb. 10-12, 2020, in Houston. This year, with the theme “Focus Forward,” attendees will have the opportunity to look ahead to what the next quarter-century will bring for the U.S. ethanol industry, said RFA Board Chairman Neil Koehler, co-founder and CEO of Pacific Ethanol. “For the past 25 years, this conference has been bringing the industry and its allies together to learn, share, network and celebrate our hard work,” Koehler said. “There will be so much to talk about in 2020, from presidential politics to increased calls for action on climate concerns. At the same time we’re talking about politics and policy, we’re also moving forward when it comes to building new markets, driving efficiency and advancing sustainability.”The NEC is the nation’s most widely attended executive-level conference for the ethanol industry. At the 2019 NEC, about 1,000 industry leaders and professionals attended, representing 38 states and the District of Columbia. A strong international presence was also felt, with attendees from 16 countries. The annual conference provides an unequaled opportunity to engage key decision makers and industry executives about the latest opportunities and challenges affecting the industry today. Speakers will address numerous topics, and RFA looks forward to offering attendees robust discussions around new uses and technologies, policy and politics, the market outlook, and the future vision for high-octane, low-carbon fuels.Early bird registration provides substantial discounts until Nov. 22. For more information and to register, visit www.NationalEthanolConference.com. Make sure to also follow NEC on Twitter, at @EthanolConf, for updates.  Culver's Thank You Farmers Project Donations Reach $2.5 MillionCulver's and its Thank You Farmers Project has raised $2.5 million to support agricultural education since its inception six years ago. So far in 2019, over $400,000 has been raised.By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion, meaning we'll have to produce 80% more food than we do today to feed everyone. Money raised through Culver's supports programs such as FFA and others that are educating our country's future agricultural leaders."We're facing a turning point in agriculture, and the responsibility to feed a growing population falls on all of us, not just farmers," said Joe Koss, president and CEO at Culver's. "Our guests understand this, and that's why they've helped us to raise money every year to support the future of agriculture."In addition to supporting agriculture education efforts, Culver's is joining the efforts of national organizations in support of agriculture's future. Mr. Koss is a newly appointed member of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) board of directors. USFRA represents farmer and rancher-led organizations and food agricultural partners with a common vision to further our global sustainable food systems.Online Registration Open for AFBF’s 2020 Annual ConventionOnline registration is open for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Convention & Trade Show, Jan. 17-22, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Attendees will learn about the policies and perspectives affecting their farms, ranches or agribusinesses and gain deep insight into current trends impacting food production. With a focus on AFBF’s theme for the year, 2020 Vision: Sustaining America’s Agriculture, the convention will bring thousands of farmers and ranchers from around the country together to hear from powerful speakers on subjects ranging from trade, broadband and the farm economy to business development, consumer engagement and technology. Advocacy and member engagement and development will also be featured topics.The trade show provides hands-on access to innovative products and services from highly regarded industry leaders. At the Cultivation Center, on the trade show floor, attendees can enjoy TED-style talks as well as hear the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge finalists pitch live to the Challenge judges.“Agriculture is at a crossroads and it has never been more important for farmers and ranchers to have the latest information about the challenges and opportunities we face,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Our convention is unique in its ability to inform, engage and unite farmers and ranchers.”Register for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Convention online here:  https://annualconvention.fb.org/. 

NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION For the week ending October 6, 2019, there were 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 7 short, 78 adequate, and 14 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 83 adequate, and 10 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 56 good, and 17 excellent. Corn mature was 74 percent, behind 91 last year and 85 for the five-year average. Harvested was 12 percent, behind 22 last year and 17 average. Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 21 fair, 62 good, and 12 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 86 percent, behind 95 last year and 93 average. Harvested was 14 percent, well behind 35 last year, and behind 30 average. Winter wheat planted was 88 percent, near 85 both last year and average. Emerged was 41 percent, behind 56 last year and 60 average. Sorghum condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 16 fair, 66 good, and 15 excellent. Sorghum mature was 75 percent, behind 88 last year and 82 average. Harvested was 4 percent, behind 22 last year and 17 average. Dry edible beans harvested was 80 percent. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 15 fair, 63 good, and 18 excellent. IOWA CROP PROGRESS & CONDITION REPORT Excessive rainfall throughout Iowa limited farmers to only 1.6 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the week ending October 6, 2019, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Very little harvesting took place this past week as farmers wait for field conditions to improve with drier weather. Topsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 35 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition was rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Ninety-four percent of the corn crop has reached the dented stage or beyond, nearly 3 weeks behind last year and 16 days behind the 5-year average. Fifty-two percent of the crop reached maturity, 3 weeks behind last year and over two weeks behind average. Three percent of corn has been harvested for grain, 2 weeks behind average. Corn condition rated 65 percent good to excellent. Ninety-two percent of the soybean crop has begun coloring or beyond, 2 weeks behind last year and 10 days behind average. Sixty-eight percent of the crop has begun dropping leaves, 15 days behind last year and 10 days behind average. Five percent of soybeans have been harvested, 12 days behind average. Soybean condition rated 64 percent good to excellent. The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 90 percent complete, 18 days behind average. Pasture condition improved slightly from the previous week to 47 percent good to excellent. Feedlots remain muddy. Corn 58% Mature, 15% Harvested; Soybeans 72% Dropping Leaves, 14% HarvestedThe gap between the current percentage of U.S. corn and soybeans that has reached maturity and the five-year average narrowed slightly last week, but harvest progress for both crops slipped further behind the average pace, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.As of Sunday, 58% of corn was estimated as mature, 27 percentage points behind the five-year average of 85%. That was slightly closer to the average pace than last week, when corn mature was running 30 percentage points behind average.Nationwide, corn harvest progressed another 4 percentage points to reach 15% as of Sunday, 12 percentage points behind the five-year average of 27%. That was further behind average than last week, when harvest was 8 percentage points behind average.The condition of corn still in fields was estimated at 56% good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week, and still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for the crop at this time of year since 2013. The poor-to-very-poor category moved up another 1 percentage point to 15%.Soybeans dropping leaves reached 72% as of Sunday, 15 percentage points behind the five-year average of 87% -- an improvement from last week when the percent of the crop dropping leaves was running 21 percentage points behind average.Soybean harvest moved ahead 7 percentage points last week to reach 14%, 20 percentage points behind the five-year average of 34%. That was further behind average than in last Monday's report, when soybean harvest was running 13 percentage points behind the average pace.Soybean condition was rated 53% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from 55% the previous week. As with corn, that remains the lowest good-to-excellent rating in six years.Winter wheat planting progress, which had been slightly ahead of average in last Monday's report, stood at 52% as of Sunday, falling slightly behind the five-year average of 53%. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 26%, equal to the five-year average.Spring wheat harvest stalled last week, moving ahead only 1 percentage point to reach 91% as of Sunday, 8 percentage points behind the five-year average of 99%.Sorghum mature was estimated at 65%, behind the average of 73%. Sorghum harvested reached 33%, behind the five-year average of 40%.Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 83%, ahead of the average of 75%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 25%, also ahead of the five-year average of 20%. Rice harvested was 76%, behind the average of 80%. Nebraska Corn encourages safety this harvest seasonAs combines pop up in fields across the Midwest, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association encourage farmers, as well as local residents and visitors, to take a second for safety in rural areas this harvest season.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agricultural sector is one of the most dangerous industries in America. Over 2 million workers are employed full-time in production agriculture, which does not account for part-time help or family members who also live and work on farms. In 2016, there were 417 reported fatalities of agricultural workers, which equates to 21.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. While harvest season is an opportune time to be mindful of safety precautions, safety should be implemented year-round in the agricultural industry.“There are lot of moving parts in agriculture, and people need to be responsible,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “A lot of accidents can be prevented by just allowing a little extra time and care. We like to tell people to ‘take a second for safety.’ It’s a great reminder for all of us not to get in a hurry and be mindful of our surroundings.”With factors like fluctuating weather, field conditions and machinery availability, farmers typically have a narrow window to complete their harvest work. Therefore, it’s important farmers take care of themselves to ensure a safe and productive season.“Farmers need to remember to look out for their own well-being during harvest,” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “So often, farmers want to move fast in order to take advantage of good weather, but a tired farmer puts him or herself in danger. It’s important for farmers to get enough rest and take short breaks, when needed. A well-rested farmer is a safe and alert farmer.”Farmers are not the only people who should be cautious during the harvest season. Anyone who may be visiting or traveling through rural areas should be mindful of increased farm traffic on roads and highways. Harvest equipment should be visible with front and rear warning lights, as well as slow moving vehicle emblems to notify motorists of approaching machinery. In rural areas, parents of small children should also develop safety rules to prevent youth from playing on or near harvest equipment.Additional tips for farmers, farm workers and rural residents to consider while on the farm this fall (adapted from the National Corn Growers Association):Equipment SafetyBe careful when approaching harvest equipment. Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.Avoid pinch points between equipment – such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited and serious injury can occur.Entanglement HazardEntanglement hazards can happen very quickly.Do not ever try to unplug any equipment without disengaging power and removing energy from the equipment.Never pull or try to remove plugged plants from an operating machine.Always keep shields in place to avoid snags and entanglement when working around equipment.Fall HazardBe careful climbing on and off equipment.Be alert and extremely careful when working in wet or slippery conditions.Keep all walkways and platforms open and free of tools, dust, debris or other obstacles. Clean all walkways and platforms before use.Wear clothing that is well fitting and not baggy or loose. Also wear proper non-slip, closed toe shoes.Use grab bars when mounting or dismounting machinery. Face machinery when dismounting and never jump from equipment.Never dismount from a moving vehicle.Fire PreventionCarry a fire extinguisher with you in your vehicle (A-B-C, 5 or 10 pound).Remove dust and buildup from equipment. Check bearings regularly to prevent overheating and chance of fire.Grain Wagon SafetyBe careful to monitor grain wagon weight to never exceed maximum weight limits. As weight increases, grain wagons can be more difficult to control.Load grain wagons evenly to distribute weight to prevent weaving or instability across the grain wagon.Inspect grain wagon tires and replace any worn or cracked tires.Grain Bin SafetyIf entering a bin, wear a harness attached to a secure rope.Never work alone.Never allow children to get too close or inside the bin.Wear a dust filter or respirator when working in bins.Stay out of bins when equipment is running.“This may be a unique year where harvest occurs over many weeks,” said Bruntz. “All farmers are excited to see the fruits of their labor, but we all need to be safe in the process.”Nebraskans Celebrate Pork MonthThis year Celebrate National Pork Month in October by enjoying delicious pork for your family meals. Get creative with new pork recipes, fix old favorites and try substituting pork for other proteins in your meal plans.  You can enjoy the pork on your fork, knowing it was raised by a farmer that cares about people, pigs and the planet. “If you eat, you have a connection to a farmer,” said Tim Chancellor, pork producer and President of the Nebraska Pork Producers. “October Pork Month is a time to reestablish that producer-to-consumer relationship. Our mission is to produce safe, nutritious food in a responsible manner, and we need to share how we do that with consumers.  This October cook a ham, slice a marinated loin, make a pork roast, fry some bacon or create a pork surprise for the family and enjoy while talking about everyone involved in producing your meal.”The six We Care ethical principles guide the U.S. pork industry and demonstrate our commitment to produce a safe, high-quality pork supply. Producers are committed to: • Producing safe food • Ensuring practices to protect public health     • Protecting and promoting animal well-being • Safeguarding natural resources in all industry practices • Providing a work environment that is safe and consistent for our people • Contributing to a better quality of life in their communitiesThe principles are summed up in the Pork Checkoff’s purpose to build trust by doing what is right for people, pigs and planet. Nebraska’s pork producers raise 3.7 million pigs each year making it one of the top pork producing states in the Country.  “We know that today’s consumers are putting more pork on their fork,” Chancellor said. “They have the trust in our product as a flavorful healthy protein choice that creates a wonderful exciting eating experience.”Effects of a Freeze on ForagesBruce Anderson, NE Extension Forage SpecialistSorghum-related plants, like cane, sudangrass, shattercane, and milo can be highly toxic for a few days after frost. If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will. And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages.When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison livestock. But you can prevent problems.Sorghum-related plants, like cane, sudangrass, shattercane, and milo can be highly toxic for a few days after frost. Freezing breaks plant cell membranes. This breakage allows the chemicals that form prussic acid, which is also called cyanide, to mix together and release this poisonous compound rapidly. Livestock eating recently frozen sorghums can get a sudden, high dose of prussic acid and potentially die. Fortunately, prussic acid soon turns into a gas and disappears into the air. So wait 3 to 5 days after a freeze before grazing sorghums; the chance of poisoning then becomes much lower.Freezing also slows down metabolism in all plants. This stress sometimes permits nitrates to accumulate in plants that are still growing, especially grasses like oats, millet, and sudangrass. This build-up usually isn't hazardous to grazing animals, but green chop or hay cut right after a freeze can be more dangerous.Alfalfa reacts two ways to a hard freeze, down close to twenty degrees, cold enough to cause plants to wilt. Nitrate levels can increase, but rarely to hazardous levels. Freezing also makes alfalfa more likely to cause bloat for a few days after the frost. Then, several days later, after plants begin to wilt or grow again, alfalfa becomes less likely to cause bloat. So waiting to graze alfalfa until well after a hard freeze is a good, safer management practice.Frost causes important changes in forages so manage them carefully for safe feed.Sioux City FFA Agriculture Dinner - With IA Ag SecThe first-ever Sioux City FFA chapter has been formed and officers elected. Now your support is needed to help send the new FFA officers to the National FFA Convention at the end of October. You're invited for a dinner and conversation with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig.Date and TimeWed, October 16, 20195:00 PM – 8:00 PM LocationCountry Celebrations Event Center5606 Hamilton BoulevardSioux City, IA 51108 Tickets are $40 per individual tickets, or $400 to sponsor a table.  Proceeds support the trip to FFA Nationals and the upstart costs associated with building a new FFA chapter.Please purchase tickets by Friday, October 11th here... https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sioux-city-ffa-agriculture-dinner-with-ia-secretary-of-agriculture-mike-naig-tickets-72156904243#tickets.  Unions Sue USDA, Seeking to Halt New Pork Processing Rule(AP) -- The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees.The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local unions in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas joined with nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to file the lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis.The lawsuit alleges that the new rule announced in September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it isn't backed by reasoned decision-making and should be set aside.A spokeswoman for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.UFCW International President Marc Perrone said there is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety."Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm's way," he said.Swine slaughter workers regularly have reported extreme pressure to work as quickly as possible, which increases the risk of knife injuries, knee, back, shoulder and neck traumas, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, the union said in a statement.In June, the USDA's Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into its rulemaking procedure at the request of 17 members of Congress. Public Citizen and UFCW are asking the court to block implementation of the rule and to set it aside.Local UFCW units joining the lawsuit represent pork slaughter workers in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Denison, Iowa and Bel Aire, Kansas. August Exports Strong for U.S. Pork; Beef Exports Below Last YearU.S. pork exports continued to post very strong results in August, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), while beef exports were below the record-large totals of August 2018.August pork exports increased 22% from a year ago to 221,586 metric tons (mt), while export value climbed 19% to $588.8 million. These results pushed January-August export volume 4% ahead of last year's pace at 1.7 million mt, while value increased 1% to $4.35 billion.Pork export value averaged $54.18 per head slaughtered in August, up 22% from a year ago. For January through August, the per-head average was down 2% to $51.70. August exports accounted for 27.1% of total U.S. pork production and 23.7% for muscle cuts only, up significantly from a year ago (21.9% and 19.2%, respectively). January-August exports accounted for 26.4% of total pork production and 23% for muscle cuts, both up slightly year-over-year.August beef exports totaled 114,119 mt, a 4% decline from last year's large volume, while export value ($690.3 million) was down 8%. January-August beef exports were slightly below last year's record pace, declining 2% in volume (881,526 mt) and 1% in value ($5.44 billion).Beef export value per head of fed slaughter averaged $298.94 in August, down 7% from a year ago, while the January-August average was down 3% to $309.85. August exports accounted for 14% of total U.S. beef production and 11.3% for muscle cuts only, down from 14.3% and 12.2%, respectively, last year. Through the first eight months of the year, exports accounted for 14.2% of total beef production and 11.6% for muscle cuts, down from 14.6% and 12.1%, respectively, in 2018.Emerging markets strong for U.S. pork, even as exports rebound to China and MexicoAlthough still held back by China's retaliatory duties, China/Hong Kong was the largest destination for U.S. pork in August at 63,656 mt, more than tripling the August 2018 volume, while export value climbed 160% to $137.6 million. For January through August, exports to China/Hong Kong were up 38% in volume (356,322 mt) and 17% in value ($717.9 million).Since Mexico removed its 20% retaliatory duty on U.S. pork in late May, exports have rebounded significantly but are still trailing the record-large numbers posted in 2017. August exports to Mexico were down 1% year-over-year in volume (61,365 mt), but value increased 18% to $121.1 million. A slow start to the year still weighs on January-August exports to Mexico, which were down 11% from a year ago in both volume (473,309 mt) and value ($821.8 million)."China's demand for imported pork has increased steadily over the past few months and the U.S. industry is well-positioned to help fill that need," said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. "But the really positive story behind these numbers is that even as U.S. exports to China/Hong Kong have surged and exports to Mexico rebounded after the removal of retaliatory duties, demand in other markets is proving resilient and continues to grow. This is exactly why the U.S. industry invested in emerging markets over the years, and it is definitely paying dividends."The U.S. and Japan recently announced an agreement that will bring tariffs on U.S. pork in line with those imposed on major competitors, and August export results illustrated the pressing need for tariff relief. August volume was down 19% to 28,240 mt, while value fell 18% to $120.1 million. Through August, exports to Japan trailed last year's pace by 6% in both volume (250,540 mt) and value ($1.03 billion). U.S. exports of ground seasoned pork to Japan have been hit particularly hard by the tariff gap (20% compared to 13.3% for the European Union and Canada), with Japan's imports through August falling by 28% — nearly $60 million — compared to last year.January-August highlights for U.S. pork include:-    Led by steady growth in mainstay market Colombia and surging demand in Chile, exports to South America climbed 28% above last year's record pace in volume (105,344 mt) and 30% in value ($264.7 million). Shipments to Peru cooled in August but have also contributed to export growth in 2019.-    Exports to Central America were 16% above last year's record pace in volume (60,727 mt) and 19% higher in value ($147 million). Honduras and Guatemala are the largest Central American destinations for U.S. pork, and exports trended higher to both markets. Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua also contributed to regional growth, with exports increasing by double digits.-    Exports to Oceania were up 38% from a year ago to 77,556 mt, while value increased 32% to $217.1 million. A key destination for hams and other muscle cuts used for further processing, exports to Australia jumped 36% from a year ago to 69,692 mt, valued at $192.5 million (up 31%). Growth to New Zealand was also impressive, with exports up 52% in volume (7,864 mt) and 48% in value ($24.6 million).-    While January-August exports to South Korea were down 9% from last year's record pace in volume (145,690 mt) and fell 10% in value ($411.8 million), August exports were up significantly as volume climbed 27% to 14,336 mt and value surged 35% to $42.2 million. In mid-September, South Korea confirmed its first cases of African swine fever (ASF), with 13 outbreaks reported in the northwest corner of the country near the border with North Korea. While the disease is still confined to a relatively small area, ASF is certainly a pressing concern for Korea's domestic pork industry.-    ASF has also impacted pork production in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam but also recently spreading into the Philippines. While U.S. exports to the ASEAN trailed last year's pace by 10% in volume (35,164 mt) and 19% in value ($81.1 million), the region's need for imported pork is likely to trend higher in coming months. U.S. beef exports cool in August, but remain on strong paceAfter setting new value records in June and July, U.S. beef exports to South Korea slowed 9% from a year ago in August to 22,307 mt, while value dropped 11% to $157.4 million. But for January through August, exports to Korea were still 8% ahead of last year's record pace in volume (174,290 mt) and 10% higher in value ($1.26 billion). Korean import data through August showed double-digit growth for U.S. beef in the top two cut categories: short rib and short plate/brisket. The United States accounted for more than 55% of Korea's chilled/frozen beef import volume, up from 53% in the first eight months of 2018.Similar to pork, the U.S. beef industry looks forward to gaining tariff relief in leading market Japan, where August exports slipped 15% from a year ago to 28,646 mt. Value was down 22% to $164.3 million, although it is important to note that exports in August 2018 were a post-BSE record $209.3 million. For January through August, exports to Japan were 3% below last year's pace in volume (217,698 mt) and 4% lower in value ($1.36 billion). Beef variety meat exports to Japan (mainly tongues and skirts) have been a bright spot in 2019, increasing 31% in volume (44,617 mt) and 18% in value ($260 million). U.S. tongues and skirts face higher duty rates than competitors' products but are tariffed at 12.8% compared to 38.5% for U.S. muscle cuts."The U.S. beef industry is extremely excited at the prospect of lower tariffs in Japan, as 38.5% is the highest rate assessed in any major market," Halstrom said. "As we've seen in Korea, where the tariff rate was once 40% but has been reduced by more than half, lower tariffs make U.S. beef even more affordable for a wider range of customers. While the agreement still needs parliamentary approval in Japan, importers are already enthused and preparing for long-awaited tariff relief."January-August beef exports to China/Hong Kong fell 24% from a year ago in volume (60,259 mt) and 20% in value ($510.7 million). Several factors have impacted U.S. exports to the region, including street protests in Hong Kong that have slowed commerce and tourism. While supermarket sales remain strong in Hong Kong, the disruption has been particularly hard on the restaurant sector. Although China remains a small destination for U.S. beef and exports are hampered by China's retaliatory duties, January-August volume increased 23% from a year ago to 5,625 mt, valued at $44.7 million (up 12%).January-August highlights for U.S. beef include:-    Exports to Mexico, the third-largest international market for U.S. beef, were slightly lower than a year ago in volume (156,528 mt, down 1%), but value increased 5% to $729.5 million. Beef variety meat exports to Mexico were down 3% from a year ago to 62,504 mt, but commanded better prices as export value increased 12% to $166 million.-    Although beef exports to Taiwan were modestly lower year-over-year in August, January-August exports were still 10% percent above last year's record pace in volume (42,785 mt) and 7% higher in value ($383.9 million).-    Led by surging demand in Indonesia and solid growth in the Philippines and Vietnam, beef exports to the ASEAN region were 27% above last year's pace in volume (37,206 mt) and 12% higher in value ($180.6 million).-    Strong August results in Central America pushed exports 4% above last year's pace in volume (9,898 mt) and 10% higher in value ($56.7 million), led by a strong performance in Panama and steady growth in Guatemala and Honduras.-    Beef exports to the Dominican Republic continue to reach new heights, as volume increased 45% from a year ago to 6,060 mt, while value climbed 35% to $48.6 million.Halstrom noted that the temporary loss of a major processing plant to a fire likely had a negative effect on August exports, but he does not expect to see a lasting impact."Beef supplies are tight throughout the world but the U.S. maintains a supply advantage, as production is expected to be record-large in 2020," he said. "Both domestic and international demand for U.S. beef remains strong, and there is significant potential for further export growth, especially once the U.S.-Japan agreement is implemented."Lamb exports trend lower in AugustAugust exports of U.S. lamb were down 12% year-over-year at 1,193 mt, while value declined 8% to $1.84 million. For January through August, exports remained 32% above last year's pace at 10,626 mt, while value increased 13% to $17.5 million. Lamb muscle cut exports were 17% lower than a year ago in volume (1,397 mt) but slightly higher in value ($9.5 million, up 1%). Markets showing promising muscle cut growth included the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama.Farmers and Ranchers Celebrate Japanese Trade Deal, Look Forward to MorePresident Trump today signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which is an important step forward with U.S. agriculture’s fourth-largest export market. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “Today’s signing marks the successful end to more than a year of negotiation between Japan and the United States. This agreement means sharply lower tariffs on our farm and ranch exports with the promise of more to come. And while we aren’t yet finished opening this market, the conclusion of these talks means we can now trade with Japan with the same advantages enjoyed by signers of the CP-TPP trade agreement. That’s great news.Duvall continues, “We hope the momentum from this win carries through to the negotiations with China this week and sets the stage for similar bilateral agreements with other countries involved with the CP-TPP. We appreciate this Administration’s efforts to improve trade opportunities for farmers.”BACKGROUNDU.S. negotiators have been working to develop new trade agreements with Japan and other countries in the wake of U.S. withdrawal from the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership process.The Japan bilateral agreement keeps intact essentially all the trade benefits the United States would have gained in Japan under TPP.The agreement immediately eliminates all tariffs on U.S. exports of sweet corn, almonds, broccoli and prunes, among other things. Other tariffs on products such as ethanol, cheese and whey, fresh cherries and other farm and ranch products will be phased out over a number of years.The U.S. will also benefit from increased export quotas on products such as corn starch, malt, potato starch, fructose and more.Fischer Statement on U.S.–Japan Trade AgreementsU.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after President Trump signed the official text of new trade agreements with Japan:“This agreement between the U.S. and Japan is a victory for Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, and ethanol producers. By securing reduced tariffs on a variety of exports like beef, pork and ethanol, this agreement expands markets for Nebraska’s great ag products. I appreciate the administration’s hard work on this deal, and look forward to continuing to work with the president toward additional trade agreements.”Under these trade agreements, Japan will eliminate or lower tariffs on American beef, pork, wheat, ethanol, and more, as well as expand digital trade between the two countries.Statement on Trade Agreement with JapanJennifer Houston, President, National Cattlemen’s Beef AssociationNational Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston today issued the following statement after attending a White House ceremony in honor of the bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan that will lower Japan’s massive tariffs on U.S. beef.“I was deeply honored to attend the ceremony at the White House where we celebrated a bilateral trade agreement with Japan. As the top market for U.S. beef exports, Japan accounts for one quarter of our exports and roughly $2 billion in annual sales. As a beef producer, I understand the value of exports to my bottom line, and President Trump understands that increased access to foreign markets like Japan is the economic stimulus we need. We are grateful for President Trump’s leadership and for the hard work of our trade negotiators who fought hard to strengthen our access to the Japanese market. Because of their efforts, future generations of American ranching families will benefit from trade with Japan.”Houston hailed today’s announcement as an important step forward for the U.S. beef industry.“For the past few years, U.S. beef producers have benefitted greatly from growing demand for U.S. beef in Japan. While Japanese consumers enjoy high quality U.S. beef, they unfortunately pay a higher price for U.S. beef due to the massive 38.5 percent tariff. Removing that tariff allows more Japanese consumers to enjoy more U.S. beef at a more competitive price. Today’s announcement is welcome news for American families who produce U.S. beef and Japanese families who purchase it.”In 2018, Japanese consumers purchased $2.07 billion of U.S. beef. Currently, U.S. beef faces a massive 38.5 percent tariff in Japan, while our competitors from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand face a 26.6 percent tariff. Leveling the playing field in Japan is a top priority for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.NCGA Joins President Trump for U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement SigningNCGA President Kevin Ross today joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers. Ross made the following statement.“Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. This is a high-value market for our livestock industry, therefore, also a major purchaser of U.S. corn through exported meats. NCGA has been a long-time supporter of trade with Japan. With many farmers struggling amid some challenging times, this is some much-needed good news. This agreement reaffirms and builds on our trading relationship with Japan and NCGA looks forward to continued work for a successful Phase 2 of these important negotiations.”U.S. Grains Council Statement On Signing Of U.S.-Japan Trade AgreementUSGC Chairman Darren Armstrong, a corn farmer from Hyde County, North Carolina, on the signing of the U.S.-Japan trade agreement:"I was very pleased to join President Trump and other U.S. agriculture leaders at the White House today for the signing of the agreement recently negotiated to solidify our country's trade relationship with Japan."This agreement provides certainty and stability in our second largest corn market, brings sorghum imports to a zero tariff level immediately and reduces the import markup on barley. We anticipate additional market access measures related to ethanol to be addressed in the next round of negotiations with Japan coming soon."We truly appreciate the deep ties we have built with our Japanese customers through decades of mutual work, and we appreciate the efforts of both governments to take this step forward into the future together."U.S.-Japan Tariff Agreement Confirms Equal Access for U.S. WheatThe text of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement signed today in Washington, D.C., confirms that the agreement will provide imported U.S. wheat the same preferential advantage that is now given to Canadian and Australian wheat under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan’s Diet must approve the agreement before it is implemented. “As we hoped, the text confirms that the agreement will put U.S. wheat back on equal footing with wheat from Canada and Australia when it is implemented,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson who attended the event at the White House. “In addition, Japan has agreed to open country specific quotas for U.S. wheat and wheat product imports. The Trump Administration and negotiators for both countries clearly understood what was at stake for U.S. wheat farmers and made sure to have our backs in this agreement.” “NAWG is thrilled to be present during the signing of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement, a major milestone for wheat growers,” said National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “We would like to thank staff and leaders at USTR, USDA, and the Administration for working with the wheat industry as this agreement nears the finish line.” As USW and NAWG noted when President Trump and Prime Minister Abe announced the tariff agreement last month in New York, Japan’s effective tariff on imported U.S. wheat will drop to the same level Japanese flour millers now pay for Canadian and Australian wheat. Since the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement entered into force last December, market factors have kept U.S. wheat competitive. Without this new agreement, however, U.S. wheat imports would have become less and less cost competitive to the point that Japan’s flour millers would have no other choice than to buy more of the lower cost wheat from the CPTPP member countries. U.S. wheat represents about 50 percent of all the wheat Japan imports each year, currently valued at more than $600 million. That volume represents more than 10 percent of total annual U.S. wheat exports, generally benefiting all U.S. wheat farmers and specifically farmers from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern and Central Plains states. NGFA commends signing of U.S.-Japan trade deal National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) President and CEO Randy Gordon issued the following statement after President Trump on Oct. 7 signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement:“NGFA commends the United States and Japan for consummating, effective Jan. 1, a stage one trade agreement that will preserve significant market access for U.S. agricultural products, including wheat and wheat products, pork and beef. Japan represents America’s third largest agricultural market, and this agreement was essential so that U.S. agricultural products were not put at a competitive disadvantage compared to the preferential tariff treatment accorded the 10 other countries signing onto the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership following the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord, as well as the Japan-European Union trade agreement. NGFA is grateful that President Trump and Prime Minister Abe and their respective trade negotiators worked intensively to complete this agreement in a remarkably short, one-month period. "NGFA also commends U.S. and Japanese trade negotiators for their commitment to engage in a second stage of trade negotiations starting in April that will focus on addressing additional agricultural tariffs, as well as important sanitary and phytosanitary and non-tariff barriers to trade, to enhance further the positive, mutually beneficial and long-standing U.S.-Japan trade relationship to benefit consumers, economic growth and job creation in both countries.” USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Dairy Margin Coverage ProgramDairy producers can now enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) for calendar year 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened signup today for the program that helps producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.“We know it’s tough out there for American farmers, including our dairy producers,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “As Secretary Perdue said, farmers are pretty good at managing through tough times, and we know that more dairy farmers will be able to survive with this 2018 Farm Bill and its risk mitigation measures, like the Dairy Margin Coverage program.”The DMC program offers reasonably priced protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The deadline to enroll in DMC for 2020 is Dec. 13, 2019.Dairy farmers earned more than $300 million dollars from the program in 2019 so far. Producers are encouraged to take advantage of this very important risk management tool for 2020.All producers who want 2020 coverage, even those who took advantage of the 25 percent premium discount by locking in the coverage level for five years of margin protection coverage are required to visit the office during this signup period to pay the annual administrative fee.“Dairy producers should definitely consider coverage for 2020 as even the slightest drop in the margin can trigger payments,” said Northey. “Dairy producers should consider enrolling in DMC to guard against what has been, for several years, an extremely unforgiving market.”Congress Must Compel FDA to Enforce Butter Law, American Butter Institute SaysNoting that the Butter Act of 1923 gives the Food and Drug Administration no leeway in enforcing a congressional statute that defines the food as a dairy product, the American Butter Institute sent letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, urging them to compel FDA to enforce federal law against plant-based imposters that illegally misuse the term “butter” as a marketing trick.“When it comes to violations of the Butter Act specifically, Congress did not give the Food and Drug Administration any enforcement discretion on the matter,” Tom Balmer, executive director of the American Butter Institute, said in the Oct. 4 letter. “Congress stated very precisely the ingredients from which butter is to be made and its final composition. FDA’s non-action in enforcing what Congress has mandated represents, in essence, a federal agency’s rewriting of a Congressional act and usurping Congressional authority.” Butter’s definition has been settled law for more than a century, covered by legislation dating to 1886. Imitators made from vegetable oils have been able to use terms such as “margarine” and “spread,” ensuring a transparent marketplace. However, as butter’s popularity has grown in recent years – per-capita U.S. consumption last year reached its highest since 1968 – marketing departments at brands such as Country Crock® have been breaking the law by calling their margarines and spreads “plant-based butter” – an attempt to cash in on butter’s popularity that tarnishes a product that has had a consistent identity for generations.“Words have meaning, power, and consequences,” Balmer writes. “We know this. You know this. ‘Misregulation,’ ‘confusion,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘obfuscate’ are not terms that should be used to describe the marketing of our nation’s food supply. Accordingly, we urge you to continue efforts to compel the Food and Drug Administration to enforce the statutory definition of the term ‘butter.’The letter was released in conjunction with the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Tucson, Arizona. One year ago, ABI filed a lengthy complaint to the FDA in September calling out imitators. The organization also supports the National Milk Producers Federation’s citizen petition with the agency filed in February, outlining a roadmap toward a constructive resolution of the problem of mislabeled, fake dairy products.Cattle Recordkeeping Booklet For 2020 Available from NCBACattle producer record-keeping can be improved and simplified through the Redbook, a pocket-sized recordkeeping tool from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Made available yearly for more than three decades, NCBA’s 2020 edition helps cattle producers effectively and efficiently record their daily production efforts, helping enhance profitability.                In addition to an area for recording Beef Quality Assurance practices and proper injection technique information, the 2020 Redbook has more than 100 pages to record calving activity, herd health, pasture use, cattle inventory, body condition, cattle treatment, AI breeding records and more. It also contains a calendar and notes section.                Redbooks can be purchased for $7.00 each, plus shipping and handling. To order, visit https://store.ncba.org.       ASA Soy Recognition Awards Nomination Period Ends Oct. 14The American Soybean Association (ASA) wants to recognize exceptional soy volunteers and leaders—and we need your help. During ASA’s annual awards banquet, individuals will be recognized and honored for state association volunteerism, distinguished leadership achievements and long-term, significant contributions to the soybean industry. The nomination period is open through Oct. 14, 2019.The Recognition Awards categories are:-    ASA Outstanding State Volunteer Award–Recognizes the dedication and contributions of individuals who have given at least three-years of volunteer service in any area of the state soybean association operation.-    ASA Distinguished Leadership Award–Distinguished and visionary leadership of ASA or a state soybean association is recognized with this award to either a soybean grower-leader or association staff leader with at least five-years of leadership service.-    ASA Pinnacle Award–An industry-wide recognition of those individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of contribution and lifetime leadership within the soybean family and industry.All nominations must be received online, no later than Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. No nominations by telephone, email or fax will be accepted. A judging committee will be assigned to make the final selections.Recipients will receive their awards at the ASA Awards Banquet on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas at Commodity Classic.INTL FCStone Completes the Acquisition of the Futures and Options Brokerage and Clearing Business of UOB Bullion and Futures Limited in SingaporeINTL FCStone Inc. today announced that its Singaporean subsidiary INTL FCStone Pte Ltd has met all conditions of the Asset Purchase Agreement it entered into on 18 March 2019, and completed the acquisition of the futures and options brokerage and clearing business of UOB Bullion and Futures Limited, a subsidiary of United Overseas Bank Limited.As part of the acquisition, IFP upgraded its Capital Markets Services license in Singapore so it can offer full service brokerage encompassing dealing in exchange-traded derivatives contracts, over-the-counter derivatives contracts and spot foreign exchange contracts for the purposes of leveraged foreign exchange trading.   IFP was also admitted as a Trading Member of Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Limited and Clearing Member of Singapore Exchange Derivatives Clearing Limited.Greg Kallinikos, Chief Executive Officer of IFP and Deputy CEO, Asia for INTL FCStone Group, commented on the closing of the transaction, “The successful completion of our acquisition of UOB Bullion and Futures Limited’s F&O business in Singapore marks the beginning of a new, exciting era for INTL FCStone in Asia. We are both thrilled and honoured by the prospect of serving our new customers and look forward to building long lasting relationships with all of them. This transaction significantly enhanced our regional and international capabilities with the addition of SGX as another major exchange we now offer clearing and execution services on. This is an important milestone in expanding INTL FCStone’s presence in Asia and fully supports our plans of offering a one-stop solution for all our customers’ market access needs for listed derivatives globally.”

President Trump Delivers on a Key Promise to American Farmers as EPA, USDA Announce Agreement on Promoting BiofuelsToday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statements after President Donald J. Trump successfully negotiated an agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):“President Trump’s leadership has led to an agreement that continues to promote domestic ethanol and biodiesel production, supporting our Nation’s farmers and providing greater energy security,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to expand domestic energy production and improve the RFS program that will result in sustained biofuel production to help American farmers.""President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is a champion for our nation's farmers and rural America," said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. "The President recognizes that American farmers are the most productive in the world, and he has found a way to pursue policy that promotes economic growth and supports our producers. Building on the success of the year-round E15 rule, this forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant.”Under this agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA:-    In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.       + EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.       + EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year.       + In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions.-    Building on the President’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15.-    EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform.-    USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.-    The Administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.Since taking office in 2017, the Trump Administration has enacted tax and regulatory policies that have helped make America energy dominant.  The Administration has cut burdensome red tape through deregulation, including signing a record number of Congressional Review Act (CRA) legislation, repealing the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, reforming the Section 401 process under the Clean Water Act, proposing a new methane rule, and removing the U.S. from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.  The Administration has also expedited permitting approvals, has opened up federal land for development, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and will continue to enact pro-growth energy policies to expand American energy dominance.NCGA: Farmers Thank Trump Administration for Listening and Upholding the RFSThe National Corn Growers Association today welcomed an announcement from President Trump directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole. The RFS and corn farmers have repeatedly come under attack from big oil and the EPA, including the most recent approval of 31 additional RFS exemptions for oil companies, reducing corn demand for ethanol and increasing total waived biofuels demand to 4.04 billion gallons under the Trump Administration. Today’s announcement that EPA will reopen the rulemaking for the 2020 RFS volumes and propose to account for waivers in the volume requirements allows EPA to follow the law and restore integrity to the RFS.“We’re very grateful the President listened to our concerns and is upholding his commitments to put the RFS back on track,” NCGA President Kevin Ross said. “Corn farmers weren’t shy in telling the President that the impact of these waivers would lead to significant consequences for farmers, folks working at ethanol and biodiesel plants, and the countless other rural jobs that depend on this market.”Earlier this year, Ross joined President Trump at an Iowa ethanol plant and pressed that he address the impact waivers are having on the RFS. NCGA has advocated that the EPA use its available tools to account for expected waivers in the annual Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking so that waivers do not reduce the RFS volumes. The EPA, to date, had ignored these calls and the clear requirement of the law, refusing to take steps to keep the RFS whole or even consider comments pertaining to waived gallons in RVO rulemakings.“The President is finally telling the EPA that enough is enough, they must follow the law, and we appreciate that,” Ross said. “NCGA is thankful to our elected Senators, Representatives, Governors and other state lawmakers who consistently pressed the Administration to find a real solution to the harm caused by refinery waivers. A special thanks to USDA Secretary Perdue who continues to be an outspoken advocate on this issue and for farmers. We stand ready to work with them to ensure these commitments are finalized.”In addition to the commitment to redistribute waived gallons, the Administration is also proposing to take further steps supported by farmers, including removing additional barriers and supporting infrastructure to help grow demand for higher blends of ethanol. Soy Growers Pleased with Administration’s New RFS AgreementThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced a supplemental proposed rule to the recently announced 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-based Diesel Volume for 2021. EPA will seek public comment on the agreement, which aims to address the impacts of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) by incorporating into the RFS volumes a projection of expected waivers based on a 3-year average.“We are very pleased to see something positive for biofuels and thank both the President and the members of Congress who have been champions of this revised proposal,” said Davie Stephens, Kentucky soybean farmer and American Soybean Association president. “Addressing the flood of waivers issued in recent years by EPA is the most immediate need, and this proposal, if finalized, will account for future waivers. We will also continue to advocate for growth in RFS volumes and improved implementation of the program.”Biofuel and farm advocates are urging the administration to act swiftly on the president’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and address the economic crisis created by EPA’s overuse of SREs. The following joint statement has been issued by ASA, the National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board, and Fuels America:“We thank President Trump for today’s announcement, which shows that the voices of farm families and biofuel producers are being heard in Washington. Efforts to restore hope for rural communities cannot come soon enough, and we will continue to work closely on that process with our elected champions and this White House until a plan is finalized and gallons start flowing again. The EPA must uphold the president’s commitment to restore demand, based on a 3-year average of all the exempted gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standards.”Nebraska Corn thanks President Trump for upholding the law and the integrity of the RFSThis morning, the White House released its intention to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by reallocating waived gallons of ethanol. The Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association thank President Trump and his administration for following through in their commitment to our nation’s corn farmers and our ethanol industry. Nebraska Corn also thanks the USDA, our state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska’s corn farmers who took a unified stand in demanding the law is upheld and the goals of the RFS are reached.“We’ve been waiting for a reallocation of waived gallons for a long time,” said Dan Nerud, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association and farmer from Dorchester. “To say we were upset with the refinery waivers is an understatement, so today’s announcement is welcome news. We’re very happy with today’s announcement.”“I’m extremely excited with today’s announcement,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Today’s news just goes to show what our growers can achieve when our voices are unified. Thanks to all of Nebraska and our nation’s corn farmers who rallied together to ensure we have vibrant corn and ethanol industries for years to come.”Nebraska Corn looks forward to working with the administration to ensure the RFS is fully realized and the clean-burning, renewable ethanol industry continues to thrive.Corn Farmers Thank Trump Administration and Biofuels Champions for Upholding the Integrity of the RFS Statement from ICGA President Jim GreifIowa corn farmers received positive news today for momentum in the right direction to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) thanks President Trump for his commitment to address the demand destruction of corn ethanol brought on by expanded use of small refinery exemptions and prospectively account for those exemptions using a three-year rolling average of actual waived gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel standard. This gives hope to Iowa’s rural economy, especially at a time when corn farmers need it most.We also want to thank Iowa’s elected leaders and Iowa Corn Growers Association members who overwhelmingly responded to communicate with the President the top priority of ICGA -- to retain the RFS and reduce regulatory barriers for higher blends of ethanol. We are grateful for the dedication of our biofuels champions, Senators Ernst and Grassley along with Governor Reynolds, who fought for Iowa’s corn farmers, ethanol plants and rural communities.We appreciate the Trump Administration is taking steps to make it right to help Iowa corn farmers. ICGA will continue to work with our elected champions and the Administration to ensure the commitments made today are implemented and demand for Iowa corn is restored.  RFS Deal Provides Certainty for Farmers and Ethanol ProducersU.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) deal. Among other changes, the EPA will begin to account for projected numbers of gallons exempted when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations for refiners, providing farmers and ethanol producers with more certainty.Senator Fischer was an integral part of a concerted effort over a series of months involving numerous meetings and phone calls with President Trump, White House staff, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and her Midwest Senate colleagues to secure this deal.“In my discussions with the president, I fought hard for a fair deal for Nebraska’s farmers and ethanol producers. I thank the president for following through on his commitment to rural America. Today’s announcement means more certainty for families, businesses, and communities across the Good Life,” said Senator Fischer.More information on the deal:Under the deal, the EPA will factor in recent waivers exempting oil refineries from blending renewable fuels when setting new annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) starting with 2020. Accounting for these exemptions will ensure the 15 billion net gallons of conventional biofuel obligation is met in the 2020 RVO.This deal follows an announcement by the EPA earlier this year to allow the year-round sale of E-15. Senator Fischer long fought for year-round sales and was a lead sponsor of the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act which would have allowed retailers to sell E-15 and other higher-ethanol blends all year. She traveled with President Trump to Council Bluffs, Iowa, this summer, where the announcement was made alongside U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.Senator Fischer is also the lead sponsor of the bipartisan RFS Integrity Act of 2019. The bill aims to add order and transparency to a messy and opaque Small Refinery Exemption process. It sets a deadline for refiners to apply for exemptions and requires the EPA to account for lost gallons when coming up with Renewable Volume Obligations. Additionally, the legislation mandates more transparency in how and when the EPA reports Small Refinery Exemptions. Currently, the RFS Integrity Act has 15 cosponsors, including five Republicans and 10 Democrats.Sasse Praises Trump Administrations Ethanol DealU.S. Senator Ben Sasse issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s biofuels deal that was announced today.“This is good news for Nebraska farmers and producers. The President and I have talked repeatedly about how important it is for our farmers to have clarity, and I’m glad that he’s focused on this issue. This is a tough time for agriculture but Nebraskans are grateful that the EPA is committed to E-15 being available year-around and following the law when it comes to small refinery exemptions. Nebraskans deserve this.” Smith Welcomes President Trump’s RFS ActionCongressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after the Trump administration released the details of his plan to uphold the RFS.“The RFS has been widely successful, bipartisan, and benefits producers and consumers alike. I am glad the President took action to rectify the hardships RFS waivers granted by the EPA have created. This action restores credibility to the RFS consistent with congressional intent and compliments the President’s action to expand E-15.”The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program, has been harmful to the RFS by exempting refineries from the RFS. The White House announced today President Trump’s plan to ensure biofuel targets are met by accounting for the gallons lost due to SREs based on a three year average.Ricketts Thanks President Trump for Delivering on Ethanol PromiseToday, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following a key announcement from President Donald J. Trump aimed at bolstering ethanol production.“Ensuring RVOs do not go below 15 billion gallons and expanding access to E15 will bolster the RFS and ethanol production at a critical time for our nation’s rural economy, which has been suffering from low commodity prices,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “Thank you to President Trump for taking these important steps for ethanol and our great farm families!”Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Trump Administration Action on Ethanol, Biofuels“We appreciate President Trump and the administration taking progressive steps to address the concerns of Nebraska farmers regarding the promotion and further development of domestic ethanol and biofuels. The administration’s announcement that it will ensure the blending of 15 billion gallons of ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply by 2020 is welcome news in farm country and music to the ears of our farm families who rely on the biofuels industry as a critical market for our homegrown corn, soybeans, and other commodities. Equally important to the future of biofuels is the administration’s actions and commitment to create opportunities for moving U.S. biofuels into international markets as announced with this deal. We thank President Trump for his actions, Gov. Ricketts, as well as the Nebraska Congressional delegation, for helping get us to this point, especially Sen. Deb Fischer and Congressman Adrian Smith who have championed the need for action to provide certainty to farmers in this critical market.”Nebraska Ethanol Board eager to see action on Trump administration’s promises to the biofuel industryThis morning, the White House announced its intentions to honor the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by upholding the existing law that requires 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into the U.S. fuel supply each year, starting in 2020. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) committed to implementing a process that will eliminate barriers that inhibit the sale of higher ethanol blends and cause confusion among consumers and fuel retailers.“The wait for this decision has been agonizing, especially for Nebraska farmers and biofuel producers struggling in today’s industry,” said Jan tenBensel, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and farmer from Cambridge. “Thank you to the White House for listening, and, to our Congressional delegates for working tirelessly to ensure our voices are heard. As you contemplate how this decision will unfold, hear this: our life’s work is to take the land we are privileged to call home and nurture it to sustain the masses. The decisions made today impacts the now and the future. Thank you for recognizing the importance of the biofuel industry and your commitment to its prosperity.”   The Nebraska Ethanol Board’s mission is to see that the production of ethanol continues and grows. Over the past several months, the future of ethanol has looked dismal due to the trade wars and refinery exemptions. Seventeen ethanol plants across the country have ceased operation, which has directly affected the price of corn for Nebraska farmers. When the Board submitted comments to the EPA on its proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for ethanol, it urged the EPA to redistribute the more than four billion gallons of ethanol that have been stripped out of the RFS over the last three years. Today’s statement from the White House is a step in the right direction but it does not address the wrongs of the past.    “We are encouraged by the Trump Administration’s announcement to uphold the law by way of the RFS and to remove barriers that are holding back the biofuel industry’s ability to compete and thrive,” said Roger Berry, administrator for the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “Today’s announcement is good news and we appreciate the step forward but we are disappointed in its lack of details. There is a lot of work that still needs to take place to help stabilize the damage already done and increase biofuel consumption. We look forward to working with the administration and our Congressional champions to help shape a concrete plan of action soon, as our farmers and ethanol producers cannot take any more hits and need immediate relief.”Iowa Farm Bureau statement on EPA renewable fuels announcementIowa Farm Bureau Federation President Craig Hill:"Iowa Farm Bureau is encouraged that promises to farmers made for 15 billion gallons of renewable fuels will be kept by the Administration. Burdened by six years of a downturned ag economy, depressed commodity prices and weather challenges that have wiped out crops for many, Iowa farmers welcome the good news."The 15 billion EPA biofuel requirements, coupled with promised action to keep biomass-based diesel sales and a recent decision to allow year-round sales of E15, is needed by grain farmers to remain sustainable and to help reduce carbon emissions for us all. But, it’s not just farmers who rely on Iowa-grown fuels; it’s all Iowans. More than 48,000 Iowans are employed by or depend upon the continued operation of the state’s biorefineries. Iowans who depend on those biofuel jobs also welcome today’s news to keep that 15-billion-gallon promise to farmers."Agriculture provides the food and fiber for a growing world, and farmers are pleased to see support for our Iowa-grown fuels continue, to assure a future of sustainable energy for this nation."Secretary Naig Calls Biofuels Announcement Welcome News for IowaIowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement in response to today’s biofuels announcement.“This is welcome news for Iowa’s farmers and the renewable fuels industry,” said Secretary Naig. “President Trump listened to our producers’ concerns and took action to address them. This is what happens when farmers, biofuels producers and government leaders work together to make our voices heard. We are grateful to President Trump for directing EPA to uphold the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and we look forward to working with EPA and USDA to implement today’s announcement.“As the number one producer of ethanol and biodiesel in the country, Iowa is proud to lead the nation in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We will continue to work to restore and build demand for these critical markets for Iowa agriculture.”Growth Energy Applauds President Trump's Plan to Uphold RFSGrowth Energy, the nation’s largest ethanol association, today applauded the White House’s announcement of President Trump’s plan to uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by ensuring biofuel blending targets are truly met each year. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement:“It’s been a long process, but when the chips were down, President Trump delivered for farm families and biofuel producers. This is a victory for rural America, and we are grateful to our champions in Congress, USDA Secretary Perdue, and governors across the heartland who fought to put homegrown energy back on the market. We also thank President Trump for hearing the voices of farmers and biofuel producers and his commitment to finding a solution that will make an immediate difference for rural families."By accurately accounting for lost gallons from this point forward based on a 3-year average of all exempted gallons, beginning with the 2020 biofuel targets, and breaking down regulatory and infrastructure barriers to higher biofuel blends, we will be able to realize the true potential of the opportunities President Trump opened by approving year-round sales of E15. Our industry and farm suppliers are eager to put this plan in place and deliver more lower-cost, lower-carbon biofuels to American consumers. We look forward to finalizing this rule to help America's farmers."To restore growth and revitalize farm income, it’s vital that the EPA stay true to the president’s promise, and we will be working closely with leaders in Washington to ensure that happens. What matters now is how quickly we can restore demand for U.S. farmers and put biofuel gallons back to work for America’s economy.”NBB Thanks President Trump and Iowa Leaders for Restoring Integrity to RFSToday, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) thanked President Donald Trump for directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly account for future small refinery exemptions in annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules. NBB also thanked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) for their steadfast defense of the renewable fuel industry and the RFS program.NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen stated, "On behalf of NBB's members and soybean growers, we are grateful that President Trump is taking a huge step to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biodiesel producers continue to be severely harmed by EPA's misuse of small refinery exemptions. Nine producers from across the country – including in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, Georgia and Iowa – have closed their doors or reduced operations and laid off more than 200 employees. Today's announcement is a first step in reversing the loss of production and restoring those jobs. The biodiesel industry deeply appreciates the consistently strong advocacy of Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Iowa’s political leaders.”Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, added, "Proper accounting of the exemptions is vital to ensure that the annual RFS volumes send a reliable signal to biodiesel producers, who are making investments and plans for the future. The biodiesel industry relies on the RFS program to support continued growth and market development. While today's proposal addresses the lost gallons from future exemptions, it does not provide for additional volumes of biomass-based diesel in 2021. We will continue to press EPA to send signals for future growth for biodiesel producers and soybean farmers."We appreciate President Trump's commitment to make biofuels producers and soybean farmers whole by accounting for waived biofuel gallons using a three-year average of exempted gallons as an estimate. We look forward to working with EPA to ensure that the President's commitment is fully and faithfully implemented and the RFS program is made whole from the prior damage."RFA: President’s Renewable Fuels Plan a Crucial Step ForwardThe Trump Administration announced today that it is taking action to begin reversing the damage done to rural America by refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Today’s plan requires EPA to keep the statutory RFS volumes whole by prospectively redistributing exempted renewable fuel blending requirements to non-exempt refiners. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:“We thank President Trump for hearing the concerns of ethanol producers, farmers and consumers across the country. The plan announced today takes a crucial step toward repairing the damage done by EPA’s small refinery waivers and re-establishes the RFS as a driver of growth in the production and use of low carbon renewable fuels. Once finalized and implemented, this plan will ensure EPA follows the law in setting annual biofuel blending obligations under the RFS.“President Trump’s action today not only begins to restore integrity to the RFS, but also starts to revive hope for farmers and ethanol plant workers who have seen small refinery exemptions wreak havoc on their markets and destabilize their rural communities.“It is important to remember that today’s announcement marks the beginning—not the end—of an EPA regulatory process, and much work remains to be done. We will continue to diligently work with EPA and the administration to ensure this action is finalized in a way that guarantees a 15-billion-gallon requirement in 2020 truly is a 15-billion-gallon requirement.“We are especially grateful to the many members of Congress, state governors, and USDA leaders who voiced their concerns to the President and stood steadfast with farmers and ethanol producers. America’s farm families and biofuel workers have an incredibly powerful voice when we pull together, and we applaud the President for responding to our concerns and upholding his promise to protect the RFS.” ACE thanks rural leaders for speaking out on the RFS, urges continued vigilanceAmerican Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings thanks rural leaders for prompting today’s announcement following White House discussions over the past few months with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA says it is seeking comment on actions to ensure that the statutory volume for conventional biofuel is met by prospectively accounting for waived volumes beginning in 2020, as well as initiating a rulemaking to ‘streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15.’ Jennings issued the statement below following today’s announcement.“Because this plan is short on details and the final outcome is dependent upon a new rulemaking process, it’s unrealistic and premature for me to conclusively praise it at this stage. Instead, my sober assessment of the good and bad in this plan, based on the few details we currently have to work with, is as follows:“It’s good the President is directing EPA to account for future Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) beginning in 2020 to ensure more than 15 billion gallons is blended under the RFS next year. We are grateful for this step in the right direction, but it isn’t a special deal, it is the White House finally directing EPA to follow the law. We will carefully examine how EPA proposes to offset future SREs in the supplemental rulemaking and will submit comments to shape an outcome to get the RFS back on track starting with the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO). Of course, this implies EPA will continue issuing SREs in the future, likely following the recent pattern whereby an average of 30 small refineries were allowed to escape blending obligations. The difference is hopefully those blending obligations will be reallocated to non-exempt refiners going forward as required by law.“Speaking of reallocation, it’s bad that the Trump Administration is doing nothing to reallocate the more than 4 billion gallons of RFS blending obligations waived for refineries from the 2016, 2017 and 2018 compliance years. These 85 waivers combined with the trade war and weather-related disasters have taken a terrible economic toll on rural America. It’s unfortunate our only remaining remedy is our joint litigation in the DC Circuit Court. It’s also disappointing the plan appears silent on whether EPA will finally restore 500 million gallons to the RFS as ordered by the DC Circuit Court. Our comments to the supplemental 2020 RVO rulemaking will encourage EPA to comply with the court order.“Most importantly, I want to thank the farmers, biofuel producers, and elected leaders for speaking out about the need for the Trump Administration to reverse the damage done through EPA’s abuse of the SRE provision of the RFS. Your vigilance and grassroots leadership will be necessary to help achieve a positive outcome in the upcoming rulemaking process.”Renewable Fuel Action Crucial for Farm EconomyAmerican Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall“Farm Bureau is pleased the Administration is returning integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard while ensuring the policy will continue to provide economic opportunities in rural America.“Today’s actions put us on a path toward greater ethanol use in nearly all vehicles now on the road and recognize the loss in demand caused by small refinery waivers. Today’s proposal will also encourage increased biofuel infrastructure through the federal budget process.“It’s no secret we face a difficult farm economy, so this announcement comes at a crucial moment in time. Farmers across the nation applaud this decision.” Plan to Expand Biofuels a Step in the Right DirectionAfter several months of negotiations and much fanfare, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a broad plan to offset a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated due to the ongoing misappropriation of small refinery exemptions (SREs). More specific details will be rolled out within the next week, but EPA is expected to release a supplemental proposed rule that would add about 1.35 billion gallons to its annual biofuel blending quota for 2020.Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 2.4 billion gallons of biodiesel are required to be blended into transportation fuel. However, EPA has waived that requirement for 85 oil refineries over the past three years, a rate quadruple that of the previous administration. As a result, the amount of corn ethanol and biodiesel in the transportation sector during that time has been under the benchmark, representing a 1.4-billion-bushel decline in demand for corn and an 825-million-bushel decline for soybeans.National Farmers Union (NFU) has consistently voiced opposition to this administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine the American biofuels industry. Though the organization was relieved that the administration intends to expand the market for biofuels in the coming years, NFU President Roger Johnson is concerned that it will not go far enough to compensate for all of the economic losses incurred by farmers and rural Americans.“Family farmers have been waiting many months for this announcement. In the meantime, they have continued to lose millions of dollars of hard-earned income, upwards of 30 biofuels plants have halted production, and hundreds of rural Americans have lost their jobs.“The damage inflicted on rural communities by these waivers cannot be emphasized enough. While this plan will make important progress in making the biofuels industry whole, we worry that it may be too little, too late.“We should have been taking several steps forward to expand the market for homegrown biofuels over the past several years, but instead we’ve taken many steps backwards. Though this plan will hopefully return the market back to where it was at the beginning of 2016, it won’t move us forward to where we would have been today, if it weren’t for the waivers. In order to bring biofuels to where they ought to be, NFU encourages this administration to not only reallocate the lost waivers, but to also substantially increase the amount of biofuels in our transportation sector and to find new opportunities for the use of higher level blends of ethanol like E30.”Safety tips provided for farm equipment damaged by floodsFarmers and ranchers across the Midwest continue to work recovering their equipment damaged in the spring 2019 flooding. The safety team at the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center reminds those working to restore equipment to consider personal safety at each step of the process.Exposing farm equipment to any kind of water can result in serious problems and can turn a normally safe piece of equipment into a safety hazard.Submerging electric and internal combustion engines or electric appliances in floodwater only adds to the potential for damage and complicates cleanup. Look for a dirty water line on the equipment to get an idea of how high the floodwater rose.“If you have an internal combustion engine under water, get it out of the water and dried out as quickly as possible because the integral parts of the engine will quickly corrode,” said University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Educator Steve Melvin, an expert in irrigated cropping systems. “Drain oil out of the crank case and fuel out of the fuel system. Replace all the filters.”Injectors or spark plugs must be removed to ensure there is no water in the cylinders. With electric motors, make sure they are completely dried out, free from any dirt, sand, or other flood debris, and grease motor bearings by removing the relief plug and adding grease until the old grease is expelled.Whether an engine is internal combustion or electric, all parts must be thoroughly dried out before attempting to start it. Any water remaining in the cylinders of the engine could cause the engine to lock up if not drained, and any dampness in an electric motor may result in damaging electrical shorts and potentially hazardous electrical shocks.Once the motor has been taken apart, it can be placed in a warm (not too hot) oven to speed drying. Ideally an electrical or internal combustion professional can inspect the motor before it’s reassembled to ensure it’s safe to operate.Because floodwater contains a wide range of particles such as sand, silt, and contaminants that include an abundance of fuel, pesticides and other chemicals, carefully inspect engine parts for traces of contamination. Always wear gloves to protect yourself when handling contaminated parts. Ensure that those working around you are aware of possible contamination. Always keep children away from flood-contaminated equipment.“You could use compressed air or something similar to help clean the engine,” said University of Nebraska Extension Educator Troy Ingram. “If it’s an electric motor, the water may affect bearings, windings and rotor. It’s best to take electric pump units to an electrical shop to have them evaluated, since you rely on them all summer to keep water on crops.”There’s good reason to believe most internal combustion engines and electric motors can be restored after being submerged in floodwater. However, it’s possible an engine could suffer enough damage that it requires a complete rebuild.“If a center pivot is submerged in water, you’ll want to inspect every electrical component to make sure floating debris didn’t crash against it and damage wiring or tear things loose,” Ingram said.Components of a center pivot that should be checked include the wheel and center drive gearboxes, center drive motors on electric drive pivots, tower boxes if the water reached them, and the pivot panel. Hydraulic drive pivots would still need to have wheel gearboxes checked, but the hydraulic system should be OK as long as the pump and/or oil reservoir were not submerged.“With gearboxes, drain any water that’s present,” Melvin said. “If the oil appears contaminated, drain it and refill with new oil. The center drive motors should be inspected to make sure they are dry and free of debris. That may require removing the stator housing from the motors.”If water reached the pivot panel and/or the tower boxes, it’s recommended to have a service technician or electrician inspect them.“Be sure they are completely dried out before servicing them,” Melvin said. “Both basic and computer panels may operate after drying out and cleaning, but sometimes they need to be repaired or replaced.“It’s also a good idea to contact your local well or pivot company service technicians and involve them in the system inspection. If something was missed, additional damage could occur by operating the system.”To help protect irrigation equipment from floodwater, consider moving it to a side hill (if there’s one in the field) or set the system as far away as possible from creeks, rivers and known flood plains.“If it’s set on a side hill, the center pivot may be more susceptible to wind damage,” Melvin said. “But that would help keep it out of floodwater.”Farmers who pump irrigation water out of a creek or river typically move irrigation equipment away from the water source when it’s not being used, helping to protect it from flooding.“In those situations, the farmer is likely to be accustomed to watching for signs of a pending flood,” Melvin said. “Any type of equipment you can protect from potential floodwater will help avoid a nighttime trip to move it or deal with costly repair or replacements caused by floodwater.”Once a center pivot’s power unit has been checked for damage, the well should be inspected, too. Wells with an open discharge pipe that is not plugged or connected to a gravity irrigation system are of more concern. Wells with proper backflow valves should be less susceptible to contamination and collection of debris.“Make sure the well pump turns freely before operating it or you could incur damage to the impellers,” Melvin said. “Once the power unit is operable, it’s probably helpful to pump any contaminants out of the well or shock chlorinate it to kill any bacteria that might be present.”Well gearheads are usually sealed. However, it’s advisable to drain the oil, flush if possible, and refill it with new oil.Melvin also noted that securing propane or diesel tanks or moving them to higher ground helps keep them from floating away, keeping everyone safer in the event of a flood.Often, insurance policies don’t provide coverage for flooding. To thoroughly understand the details of equipment coverage, consult your insurance agent and request specific information about whether or not your policy includes coverage for flood-damaged equipment. It may be helpful to request a written statement of specific coverage details.“Above all else, stay safe when you’re working in a flood damaged area and when repairing damaged equipment,” Melvin said. “Make sure all power is shut off to these engines and center pivots. Double check to make sure that’s done. Don’t attempt to use a system that hasn’t been thoroughly restored and inspected.”Nebraska Soybean Board names Ritzman as associate executive directorThe Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) is pleased to announce the hiring of Scott Ritzman as associate executive director.In his position, Ritzman will work on behalf of the state’s soybean farmers to contribute to the mission of the NSB, which is to effectively invest and leverage soybean checkoff resources to maximize profit opportunities for Nebraska soybean farmers. Ritzman will work on the achievement of NSB’s mission and strategic objectives, program development and administration, employee oversight and leadership, communications and relationship-building, and fiscal and contract management.“As a member of the Nebraska Soybean Board, I am excited to welcome Scott Ritzman to our staff as associate executive director,” said Eugene Goering, vice chair of the NSB and farmer from Columbus. “We conducted a search and interviews this summer with good candidates and the board selected Scott at our September meeting. Scott brings great talent and experience to serve our soybean farmers in Nebraska.”A native of Omaha, Ritzman graduated from Midland University with a degree in accounting. Prior to joining the NSB, Scott spent seven years in the international grain export industry working for Mishek Inc. & Associates launching projects for clients, enhancing existing programs, and solving client problems in foreign markets. More specifically, Ritzman has experience in the global soy supply and demand chain.“I look forward to serving the Nebraska Soybean Board and advancing the checkoff into the future and always evolving soybean industry,” said Ritzman. “I’m excited to work on increasing the awareness and marketing of Nebraska soybeans and the entire U.S. soybean industry with the collaboration of valuable partnerships. It’s vital that we work to move the products that our farmers work so hard to grow and to assist them on the research, marketing and promotion of soybeans distributed both domestically and internationally.”Ritzman joined the NSB as a new employee as of October 1, 2019.ISU Bee Research and Best Management Practices Topic of Monthly WebinarIowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. about the research being done at Iowa State University on bees in agricultural settings.There are between 300 and 400 species of bees in the state of Iowa, according to Randall Paul Cass, extension entomologist at Iowa State University. Cass will present Iowa State research which focuses on observing the challenges and opportunities for bees in Iowa’s agricultural landscapes.“We thrive when bees thrive,” said Cass, whose research focuses on honey bees and native bees, and on exploring how Iowa’s landscapes impact bee health and abundance. Join the webinar at noon Oct. 16 to learn more about Iowa’s native bees and the research being done at Iowa State University on the relationship between bees and agriculture.To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Oct. 16, to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable.A Certified Crop Adviser board approved continuing education unit (1 CEU: Crop Management) is available for those who are able to watch the live webinar. Information will be provided at the end of the presentation for submitting CCA/CPAg/CPSS/CPSC number to earn the credit.Study: Mandatory Labeling had Minimal Effect on Meat DemandA Kansas State University agricultural economist says a law that once required mandatory reporting of the origin of meat sold in grocery stores likely did not have an impact on consumers' demand for those products.Glynn Tonsor has completed an analysis of meat demand before, during and after the U.S. Department of Agriculture had implemented mandatory country of origin labeling for meat products.Known as MCOOL, the law was in place in the United States from 2009 through 2015, and required food labels in grocery stores to include a statement indicating where the animal was raised before it was harvested for a meat product.Essentially, said Tonsor, "if beef and pork products went through the grocery store, then they had to be labeled. With that (labeling) comes the cost of compliance, which goes into a benefit-cost assessment, and an attempt to quantify the benefit. So what we tried to determine is the impact on the demand for meat of that law, and ultimately whether there was a positive benefit-cost ratio."There's no evidence of a positive demand development following implementation of the law," Tonsor said. "So if you don't have evidence of a benefit, and you do have evidence of a cost, that's not a desirable benefit-cost ratio," which led to the law being repealed in late 2015.Four years later, Tonsor said there is "no reason to think" that repeal of MCOOL would provide a measurable boost to the demand for meat products. "One of the estimates we have reported looks that way, but there are a lot of things that change. Beef demand or pork demand could be better after MCOOL, and have nothing to do with MCOOL being repealed."Recent drivers in meat demand are more likely due to consumers' higher preference for protein diets, and the population mix from 10 years ago has changed, Tonsor said.He and his colleagues have published a paper outlining many factors that have affected meat demand before, during and after MCOOL was in place. The fact sheet is available online at www.agmanager.info, and titled, "Overview of MCOOL Impact on KSU Domestic Beef and Pork Demand Indices.""I would encourage those who read this to read the other publications we have on beef demand and pork demand," Tonsor said. "There are a lot of resources that say the last two or three years have been very good on domestic meat demand, and I am not going to attribute that to the absence of MCOOL. There are other factors that are in play, such as consumer incomes rising, favorability of protein in the diet, and more."The fact sheet may be especially valuable as there is some renewed interest in bringing MCOOL back."I hope all policy decisions and industry leaders make their decisions based on information and research-based knowledge, and less on emotion," Tonsor said. "I hope this and other resources are part of the knowledge set that guides that process."Registration Opens for Massive 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade ShowRegistration and housing for the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade show is now open. The annual convention will be held in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 5-7, 2020, and it’s recommended attendees register early, as convenient housing will fill quickly. Annual meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and National Cattlemen’s Foundation will be held at this event.Thousands of cattle industry members are expected at this event. Convention participants will gain insights on industry trends at a CattleFax Outlook Seminar, learn about current products and services at the NCBA Trade Show – the industry’s largest, with more than 350 exhibitors on 7 acres. Attendees will also enjoy entertainment throughout the event, including a Sunset Music Festival on Thursday, Feb. 6 and NCBA Invitational PBR Bull Riding on Friday, Feb. 7.  U.S. astronaut and retired U.S. Navy Captain Scott Kelly will share his lessons from space during the Opening General Session, and other noted speakers will be on hand to inform, energize and motivate audiences. Participants will also work with other industry leaders on both Beef Checkoff and NCBA policy programs, and they will appreciate fellowship with thousands of other cattle producers from around the country.The convention will again be preceded by 27th annual Cattlemen’s College, which is famous for stimulating and thought-provoking sessions that can help generate high returns for cattle operations. The event will begin Tuesday, Feb. 4, with afternoon sessions and be followed by an evening reception. It will be continued the next morning with a morning full of educational sessions. In addition, the National Environmental Stewardship Award winner will be named at a special reception Wednesday, Feb. 5. Winners of Beef Quality Assurance awards will be recognized at the Closing General Session Friday, Feb. 7.NCBA President Jennifer Houston of Tennessee says the convention represents an important annual get-together for cattlemen and women from around the country. “In addition to the important decision-making sessions at the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, there are valuable education, information, entertainment and engagement opportunities at this event,” says Houston. “The 2020 experience in San Antonio Feb. 5-7 will be a terrific chance to come together to do good, have fun and learn more.”To register and secure housing for the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, visit www.beefusa.org. Judge Won't Block Meat Label Law(AP) -- A federal judge has declined to block a Missouri law that bans companies from labeling plant-based meat products or meat substitutes as meat.U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. said last week that he wouldn't issue a preliminary injunction to stop Missouri agriculture officials from enforcing the law, which says a product cannot be marketed as meat unless it comes from an animal with two or four feet, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .Turtle Island Foods, which produces Tofurky products, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Good Food Institute appealed the decision on Wednesday. They argue the law violates their free-speech rights.The law, which was approved by the Legislature in 2018, gives the Missouri Department of Agriculture the power to investigate and refer potential labeling violations to the Attorney General's office or a county prosecutor.Supporters contend they are trying to protect the products raised by ranchers, pork producers and chicken and turkey farmers during a time when plant-based products are increasing in popularity.Gaitan wrote in his opinion that Tofurky would not be affected by the law because its labels disclose that its products are plant-based or grown in labs."Thus, plaintiffs have not shown that they are at any risk of either prosecution for violating the statute or that there is any need to change their labels or advocacy efforts," the judge said.The two sides of the dispute reached a tentative agreement last year but the talks broke down in July and no final resolution was reached.The coalition earlier this year sued Arkansas , saying a similar law in that state also censors speech and similar law in Mississipp i is also in litigation. Other states with labeling laws include Montana, South Dakota, Louisiana and Wyoming.Ranch Group Files Lawsuit to Stop USDA's RFID Ear Tag MandateToday, Harriet Hageman, Senior Litigation Counsel with the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA), filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Casper, Wyoming representing the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and four ranchers from Wyoming and South Dakota, to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) effort to eliminate all animal identification options other than radio frequency identification (RFID) devices and premises registration for adult cattle and bison moving interstate.    The lawsuit seeks declaratory judgment and an injunction against Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and USDA Administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Kevin Shae, who together issued the RFID mandate in April of this year.The lawsuit alleges that USDA's mandate that livestock producers use RFID ear tags, along with the requirement that they obtain a premises identification number (PIN), and the elimination of all other animal identification options currently available to U.S. cattle producers, violate current traceability regulations. The existing regulations, adopted in 2013, allow livestock producers to use the types of effective animal identification techniques and devices that have been widely used by the industry for over 100 years, including brands, tattoos, permanent metal ear tags, group/lot identification, and backtags on animals destined for harvest.The lawsuit further alleges that the USDA violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by relying exclusively upon a hand-picked group of individuals who have been advocating for the use of RFID, including industry officials and ear tag manufacturers who stand to earn windfall profits from the mandate. The USDA created this advocacy committee simply by winnowing out those U.S. cattle producers who oppose RFID. The defendants' actions in that regard violate federal law, which requires balanced representation on advisory committees. According to Harriet Hageman: "This case is important well beyond the livestock industry. Under our Constitution, Congress is the legislative branch responsible for making the law. The executive branch, which encompasses USDA and APHIS, is tasked with carrying it out. Congress has not passed legislation requiring animal RFID, these agencies have. Of even greater concern is the fact that they did so through the back door and without following the law. Forcing livestock producers to adhere to an RFID program will have an enormous impact on their operations, with noncompliance resulting in the denial of access to interstate markets. The USDA and APHIS are seeking to force compliance through extralegal lawmaking. That practice violates our clients' Constitutional rights. This situation is exactly why NCLA was formed-to stop federal agencies from violating the law by circumventing rulemaking."R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said the U.S. cattle industry developed numerous and highly effective traceability systems over the past many decades, making the U.S. cattle industry's disease resistance capabilities the envy of the world. Then, in the years leading up to 2013, cattle producers worked with USDA to further improve what was already a highly effective traceability system. That effort resulted in the 2013 Traceability of Livestock Moving Interstate regulation that improved traceability for adult animals through identification during interstate travel."Today, the USDA is catering to special interests and running roughshod over the rights of America's cattle producers by forcing them and their industry to incur costs that could run into the billions of dollars. The agency wants to gift RFID ear tag manufactures even more profits and is continually subjecting our industry to greater risks of foreign disease introduction through unrestrained imports of cattle from Mexico, a known reservoir of bovine tuberculosis; and from Canada, a known reservoir of brucellosis. "Our lawsuit draws a line in the sand telling the USDA that our industry will no longer stand for the agency's blatant government overreach." Bullard said.The individual plaintiffs in this case are Tracy and Donna Hunt, cattle ranchers from Newcastle, Wyoming, and Kenny and Roxie Fox, cattle ranchers from Belvidere, South Dakota.Sentera FieldAgent Analytics Toolset Expands to Include Tassel CountsTassel Counts available for the 2020 growing seasonSentera announces that its Tassel Count analytics product will be available to all FieldAgent™ customers in March 2020. Instead of forecasting yield using a small number of spot samples, the Sentera tassel count analytics tool allows users to more precisely calculate yields using tassel population data gathered across the entire field. Understanding tassel population can also help to more accurately time the application of certain crop protection products. This addition to Sentera’s toolbox will help growers and ag professionals leverage late-season data for crop marketing decisions to maximize profit and optimize storage costs.Accurate Data. Applicable Analysis.“We’ve validated the accuracy of our tassel counting technology over several seasons of testing. It’s another tool to improve economic outcomes for FieldAgent customers,“ said Eric Taipale, CEO of Sentera. “FieldAgent continues to build out as the go-to platform for in-season, whole field, real-time insights for advisors, retailers, cooperatives, and growers. Tassel count is also one of many advanced analytics products that we provide to our enterprise customers.“Tassel Count capabilitiesThe product delivers tassel count density throughout a field so users can more easily forecast and refine their crop yields prior to harvest and make other management decisions. Visualization is available in FieldAgent and data layers can be exported via shapefile. Users can also convert their results into zone maps, which provide an average tassel count per acre per zone and total acreage per zone. API connected partners have the option to integrate these new data layers directly into other digital platform products.Availability and PricingTassel count analysis will be available starting March 2020 through Sentera’s FieldAgent Platform. The new analytics tool will be $1200 for 1-year unlimited use and users can run the analysis on all or part of a field.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Suggests Cattle Market Reforms to USDANebraska Farm Bureau has offered the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) a series of recommendations to reform the way beef cattle are marketed. The underlying concept of Farm Bureau’s suggestions are to create a more transparent and value-based system that would more closely link the prices farmers and ranchers receive for their cattle to the value of beef products sold at the wholesale and retail levels. Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson shared the recommendations with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in an October 2 letter.“With only four major meatpackers, many Nebraska cattle producers have expressed concerns about the level of control that exists within the consolidated meat packing industry, specifically in the way of packer captive supplies of cattle and the diminishing cash market for live cattle. We believe reexamining the cattle pricing system and moving toward one where cattle prices and cattle contract prices are discovered under a more transparent and value-based system would be beneficial in addressing producer concerns and allow the cattle market to better respond to actual supply and demand conditions,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.Beef producers’ concerns about the potential for anti-competitive actions in cattle markets heightened after a July fire at a Tyson meat processing facility in Holcomb, Kan. with producers seeing prices paid for cattle drop while meatpackers made significant profits. Nebraska Farm Bureau had urged, and USDA stepped forward, in investigating the situation under the powers given to the agency under the federal Packers and Stockyards Act; the long-standing legislation targeted to eliminating anti-competitive measures in livestock markets.“We have no preconceived outcome in mind for the Packers and Stockyards investigation and our state’s cattle producers are grateful USDA is doing its due diligence. However, we believe the best way to address real or perceived manipulation concerns is to move to a value discovery system that more closely links what cattle producers receive for the beef they produce and the value of that product as it nears the end consumer,” said Nelson.Nebraska Farm Bureau’s recommendations to USDA for changes under the Packers and Stockyards Act include:    Create regulatory standards requiring that cattle marketing contracts have a set, negotiated base price before cattle are committed for delivery.      Assure that cattle marketing contracts utilize reference or base prices that are more broad-based and publicly available rather than the shrinking cash markets.    Consideration of requiring contract standards that have reference prices or base prices that are more value-based such as using wholesale price cuts, retail meat values, or beef cut-out values. Requiring base or reference prices for cattle contracts that are more value-based up the beef supply chain would reduce, by market forces, any real or perceived incentives for packers to manipulate captive supplies in order to drive down local cash markets.    Consideration to developing a live cattle value index which would be required to be used as a reference or base price standard for cattle marketing contracts.  The index could use a combination of average spot cash prices, average weekly close of nearby live cattle futures, weekly average of beef cutout value, and weekly average of retail meat values.  Using this live cattle value index would help ensure that cattle are marketed on a value discovery system rather than a price discovery system.    “This has been a challenging year for Nebraska beef producers as weather, trade disputes, rising debt issues, increased input costs, and now difficult marketing conditions have created great stress on the largest sector of Nebraska’s agriculture-based economy. We appreciate the work USDA has done on many fronts for farmers and ranchers. It’s our hope Secretary Perdue and USDA will consider these ideas for reforms to move our beef industry forward toward a value-based cattle marketing system that would offer true reform,” said Nelson. SOIL AND WATER: ANALYSIS IDS AG PRACTICES TO FIGHT FLOOD, DROUGHTA synthesis of 89 studies across six continents has helped clarify which agricultural practices hold water when it comes to helping soils soak up precipitation — a factor critical to mitigating floods, outlasting drought and stabilizing crop yields.The roots of the solution? Put down and preserve some, said the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Andrea Basche.“There are a number of ways to improve water getting into the soil, but what we found to be the most consistent are the practices that offer continuous roots,” said Basche, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture.When acting like sponges, soils can alleviate the worst consequences of torrential rains that now strike with increasing frequency and are abruptly redefining terms such as “500-year flood.” Absorbent soils can also make the most of water when it’s most precious, allowing crops and other plants to better survive droughts that many researchers predict will become more severe going forward.Though some agricultural producers have adopted management practices designed to minimize the disruption or maximize the enrichment of soils, little research has systematically compared how those practices influence water absorption, Basche said.“We talk about a lot of (landscape) conservation practices as if they’re equal,” she said. “My perspective was that we didn’t have a good sense of the benefits that different practices provide.”So Basche and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Marcia DeLonge decided to analyze the effects of five emerging ag-related practices: no-till farming, cover crops, crop rotations, perennial plantings and cropland grazing.Their meta-analysis found that planting perennials such as grasses or trees near cropland increases the rate of water absorption by an average of 59%. Cover crops — those planted primarily to combat erosion and restore soil nutrients — boosted water absorption by an average of 35%, according to data from 23 studies.By contrast, the synthesized data from 52 studies found no overall effect from practicing no-till agriculture.“That was probably the most surprising finding,” Basche said. “Very commonly, you hear people talk about how important no-till is to increasing (water) infiltration. There were some environments and management combinations where no-till led to an increase in infiltration, but on average, that’s not what we found.”Rotating among cash crops also seemed to have no substantial influence, at least in the aggregate. Allowing livestock to graze on cropland, meanwhile, reduced water infiltration by an average of 21%, though the team found relatively few studies on the practice.The differences that emerged from the meta-analysis could partly account for the flood-related phenomena that farmers have noticed and recounted over the years, Basche said. Nebraska farmer Noah Seim told the U.S. Department of Agriculture that a rye-heavy cover crop seemed to spare his land from the worst aftermath of the widespread flooding that hit the state in March.“You hear all these anecdotes about soil health,” Basche said. “Producers love to tell these stories about, ‘I got this 6-inch rain event. My neighbor’s farm had flooding, and my farm let all that water soak into it.’ I’ve heard (versions of) that story numerous times.”Prior research has suggested that the continuous presence of root systems, like those that perennials and cover crops can offer, may open up more pores for water to infiltrate, Basche said. Undisturbed soil might also encourage more biological activity, such as the burrowing of earthworms, that does the same.“It’s hard in an analysis like this to say exactly what’s the process behind that,” Basche said. “But when you put these (practices) all together, you can see the relative differences and make some new hypotheses about what might be impacting infiltration.”Basche recently returned from Washington, D.C., where she presented to a congressional caucus focused on soils. After illustrating the post-1980 jumps in heavy rainfall across much of the United States, Basche shared lessons from the meta-analysis, other research and an ongoing study of 17 field sites across Nebraska.Part of the challenge ahead, she said, lies in demonstrating the value and feasibility of soil-friendly practices to agricultural producers. Less than 10% of U.S. cropland, for instance, currently supports cover crops.“Ultimately, with anything that we do research on in agriculture, it has to work on the farm,” Basche said. “We have to figure out how to do it and how to make it economically sustainable, too.“But when it comes to improving outcomes with heavy-rain events, I think this work illustrates that soil can be a solution.”Basche and DeLonge published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE. They received support from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the TomKat Foundation and The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.ACE welcomes ethanol producer members Heron Lake BioEnergy and Southwest Iowa Renewable EnergyThe American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) recently welcomed two new ethanol producer members Heron Lake BioEnergy (HLBE) located in Heron Lake, Minnesota, and Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. HLBE’s 65-million-gallon-per-year (MGY) plant provides jobs to 40 full-time employees and has approximately 1,200 investors. “Over the years, I have been able to see and experience the value ACE offers first hand,” said Kenton Johnson, HLBE and ACE board member. “ACE provides the best value in the industry. The return on investment for ACE’s policy and market development work is bar none the best in the business. In a time where our industry is working with difficult margins, it is more important than ever to invest in trade organizations that keep up the fight for ethanol’s access to the market.”The 130 MGY SIRE ethanol plant employees 62 people and has over 800 investors. SIRE hosted President Trump to celebrate the lift on the summertime E15 ban this past June. SIRE CEO, and 18-year veteran of the ethanol industry, Mike Jerke said, “joining ACE was an initiative we wanted to accomplish this year.”“ACE’s grassroots approach to public policy and market development is top notch, making the decision to join an easy one,” Jerke added. “They work with the folks who are in the trenches on environmental policy and international market development. Their proven experience and expertise in these areas only strengthened our cause for joining. We need industry champions who are willing to help place us in an offensive position, ACE is doing just that. We look forward to our continued work with this organization.”“ACE is proud to represent farmer and community-owned ethanol plants,” said Liz Bunkers, ACE Director of Member and Industry Relations. “We take great pride in being a voice for farmers and ethanol producers who are committed to making a superior renewable product that supports local agriculture and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. With the addition of Heron Lake BioEnergy and Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, ACE is growing our membership roster to represent a bigger slice of rural America.” Survey Finds Strong Opposition to EPA Oil Refinery Waivers, Strong Support for RFSRegistered voters oppose the Trump administration’s actions to exempt oil refineries from renewable fuel blending obligations by a margin of nearly two to one, according to new polling data released today by the Renewable Fuels Association. The nationwide survey, by Morning Consult, also found strong support for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard. In fact, support for the Renewable Fuel Standard reached its highest level since RFA began polling on RFS support in 2016.“The massive increase in secretive small refiner waivers has been all over the news recently and we wanted to find out how registered voters really feel about the EPA giving highly profitable oil companies a free pass to ignore their Clean Air Act obligations,” RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said. “Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of voters with an opinion on the issue opposed the small refinery exemptions. At the same time, public support for the RFS reached its highest rate since we began polling on the issue more than three years ago. As the White House and EPA move to finalize a relief package to mitigate the negative impact of these refinery waivers on rural America, we hope they take this information into account. It’s time for EPA to follow the law and implement the RFS as intended by Congress.”The survey of nearly 2,000 voters found opposition to the refinery waivers, with 55 percent of respondents opposed compared to 29 percent supporting and 17 percent having no opinion. When it comes to ethanol, the survey found 64 percent of voters have a favorable view, with support reflected across all key demographics, regardless of gender, location and political party. Support for the Renewable Fuel Standard, at 62 percent, represented an increase of six percentage points from May 2018 and was the highest since RFA began regular polling with Morning Consult on the rate of support for the RFS in 2016. The percentage of respondents indicating “strong support” for the RFS also hit its highest level since RFA started polling. Only 13 percent of respondents opposed the RFS, the lowest rate since polling began on RFS support.The top reasons cited for a favorable opinion for ethanol are the environmental benefits of ethanol, the fact that renewable fuels are domestically produced, and that they offer consumers an affordable choice at the pump.The poll was conducted by Morning Consult for RFA between Sept. 26-28, among a national sample of 1,998 registered voters. The interviews were collected online and the data weighted to represent a target sample of voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, education attainment and region; results have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.NCBA Exposes Relationship of OCM and HSUSThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, today released the following statement in response to a Nebraska rally demanding government intervention to alleviate price disparities impacting cattle markets:“Yesterday, an HSUS-funded organization called the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) held a rally in Omaha, Nebraska entitled the “Rally to Stop the Stealin’ (sic)”.  According to OCM, this event was intended to place pressure on the Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to “fix” our cattle markets in response to the price disparity producers are currently having to endure.“First and foremost, I think it’s important to make clear – once again – that these producers have every right to be angry. Down markets are horrible, and can leave a wake of financial and operational hardships that can persist for years after the boards in Chicago have moved on. Our stance remains consistent: NCBA is committed to the USDA’s investigation into the events surrounding the Holcomb plant fire and stand ready to respond to the results of that investigation to ensure that our members – 95 percent of which are boot-on-the-ground producers – have a fair market in which to thrive. Unfortunately, this continues to be the focus of much of HSUS and OCM’s misinformation and deception campaign. What’s worse, they’ve found willing allies in the leadership of both the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and R-CALF.   “It’s no secret that our industry is divided at the moment. I’ll be the first to stand up and say that a healthy debate about the future of our industry is appropriate as we see tremendous advances in technology, production practices, conservation, quality, and markets. However, these discussions need to be amongst those who love, work, and make their living in this industry. Regardless of our positions, we must stand together against the onslaught of detractors and dividers that do not care about our internal struggles. These outside forces want to end animal agriculture – full stop. Chief among them HSUS, and anyone who watched yesterday’s rally witnessed that point illustrated in high definition.“These people have told us who they are. In 2012, OCM President Fred Stokes told a crowd that “…every cowboy out there owes a debt of gratitude to the Humane Society of the United States.” Further, on their website, OCM argues passionately on behalf of HSUS’s work to end our industry. Finally, OCM’s executive director is a well know and unapologetic HSUS operative, as outlined by Protect the Harvest several years ago. “As if to add insult to injury, yesterday’s event included pleas for President Trump to be voted out of office in favor of Elizabeth Warren, among other positions that likely don’t reflect the views of most cattle producers I know. Oh, and they served turkey for lunch. Around this office, we don’t even serve turkey at Thanksgiving.“There’s an old saying that most definitely applies here; if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and if the duck TELLS you it’s a duck, believe it.”  Dairy Products August 2019 Production HighlightsTotal cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.11 billion pounds, 2.2 percent above August 2018 and 1.6 percent above July 2019.  Italian type cheese production totaled 457 million pounds, 0.8 percent above August 2018 but 1.8 percent below July 2019. American type cheese production totaled 458 million pounds, 5.1 percent above August 2018 and 4.7 percent above July 2019.  Butter production was 136 million pounds, 2.1 percent above August 2018 but 4.3 percent below July 2019.Dry milk products (comparisons in percentage with August 2018)Nonfat dry milk, human - 132 million pounds, up 2.5 percent.Skim milk powder - 51.4 million pounds, up 8.0 percent.Whey products (comparisons in percentage with August 2018)Dry whey, total - 84.5 million pounds, up 7.2 percent.Lactose, human and animal - 92.8 million pounds, down 4.6 percent.Whey protein concentrate, total - 39.6 million pounds, down 7.7 percent.Frozen products (comparisons in percentage with August 2018)Ice cream, regular (hard) - 65.7 million gallons, down 6.4 percent.Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 40.2 million gallons, down 3.8 percent.Sherbet (hard) - 2.48 million gallons, down 23.8 percent.Frozen yogurt (total) - 3.79 million gallons, down 5.4 percent.SSGA speaks up for identity-preserved farmers in D.C. testimonyIdentity-preserved (IP) crop farmers were represented at a hearing Wednesday about China’s compliance with its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), regarding China’s current zero threshold presence limit placed on imports of non-genetically modified (non-GM) field crops.On behalf of the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance (SSGA) and with coordination and support of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and American Soybean Association (ASA), SSGA Executive Director Eric Wenberg provided testimony to the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) in preparation of the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) annual report about China’s compliance with WTO rules. Wenberg was one of six individuals providing testimony on a range of issues, including intellectual property among others.Non-GM food variety soybeans from the United States have been excluded from Chinese imports, although genetically modified soybeans are allowed for import, due to China’s lack of a nonzero low level presence threshold allowing for biotech soybeans to be mixed in.“Farmers growing identity-preserved and non-GM crops must abide by stringent standards to produce specific varieties and traits to produce food for customers around the globe,” Wenberg said. “They deserve an additional market opportunity for their products. The soybean industry’s concern about this issue helps draw attention to the need to see a solution to this problem along with the other barriers to U.S. product sales. According to customs and trade data, food variety soya exports to all destinations for IP can reach $1.7 billion (2018), but we could sell more if the China market was open to us.”IP soybeans and specialty grains are grown coast-to-coast, but are predominately exported from North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas and Wisconsin.

Gillespie receives Master Conservationist AwardDan Gillespie of Battle Creek was recently honored with the Master Conservationist Award.  The Master Conservationist Awards recognize people and organizations who excel in managing and conserving Nebraska’s water and soil.  The awards are sponsored by the Omaha World-Herald and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.The award was recently presented to Dan at the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Annual Conference at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.  The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) assisted in nominating Dan for this award in the Agriculture category.Dan began experimenting with no-till corn into soybean stubble in 1986 on his farm south of Meadow Grove.  Since 1991, he has practiced Continuous No-Till Farming on all his 412 corn-soybean acres.  Dan was the first one to start no-tilling in the area.After continuous no-till for 13 years, Dan began planting cover crops in the fall of 2005 in response to intense rainfall events.  He has planted cereal rye cover crops on all soybean stubble acres since 2006 while also experimenting with legumes and brassicas in seed mixtures. After several years of utilizing aerial application, he has settled on drilling all cover crops after harvest.In the spring of 2007, the Battle Creek watershed endured a seven-inch rainfall. Dan was able to plant in his cover cropped field only three days later while having no need to repair any waterways or flow areas.  No sediment left the 11-16% slopes on his farm with valuable nutrients and he maximized his rainfall infiltration and storage in the soil profile. Dan said, “I haven’t repaired a concentrated flow area in the fields since I implemented continuous cover cropping.  I believe the top benefit or return on my conservation investments is the elimination of soil erosion.  The regeneration of my cropland soils has allowed me to spend less on fertilizer, herbicide and irrigation inputs.”In the spring of 2012, Dan drilled soybeans into the green, living cereal rye he had planted the previous fall and let both soybeans and rye cover crop grow until cover crop termination in May. The practice worked well, yields were excellent, and he has continued to utilize this practice. He is one of the leaders in the state regarding “planting green.”In the fall of 2012, Dan drilled the flow areas (high probability of soil erosion) in his corn fields with a bushel of rye per acre. The concept was to augment the residue cover from the corn crop in the stable flow areas with a living root system. The fields were drilled to soybeans in spring 2013 and the cover crop in the flow areas was left to grow until the first herbicide application.  Dan said, “The practice worked very well and is now used for treating ephemeral gully problems by many farmers.”Dan’s use of soil moisture monitoring with telemetry gives him real time available water capacity for the crop, allowing him to take advantage of the increased infiltration and water storage capabilities that healthy soils provide. Dan has averaged 5.14” of irrigation water on corn and 4.94” on soybeans annually since installation of flow meters and adoption of electronic soil moisture monitoring.  The reduction in applied irrigation has also reduced issues with fungal diseases in Dan’s cornfields. He has not applied a fungicide to his corn since the implementation of soil moisture monitoring.  Dan added, “I have cut back on N application as the soil organic matter improves and increased soil biological activity continues to mineralize nitrogen at greater rates.”The 2% soil organic matter improvement in Dan’s fields allows him to infiltrate intense rainfall events and store that moisture in the soil profile. That 2% additional soil organic matter can store an additional 1.5 inches of rainfall in the soil profile, releasing it to the crop as needed and this happens repeatedly through the year.  Dan added, “Night crawler populations are a good soil health indicator and have gained rapidly since the implementation of cover crops. The macropores they create when burrowing add significantly to the infiltration rate for rainfall and irrigation water in the field.”Dan had 30 acres of cropland in CRP from 1981 through 2001 and enrolled 20 acres into Pollinator CRP in 2015-2016 to enhance habitat for pollinators. The 30 acres of CRP, returned to crop production, routinely out yields the cropland next to it due to the soil organic matter improvements from CRP years.When you visit with Dan about his farming practices, he says, “I want to leave the land in better shape than it was in when I started farming it.”Julie Wragge, LENRD Information & Education Specialist, said, “His credibility comes from experience. Dan wouldn’t ask another farmer to do something that he hasn’t tried and proven himself.  Speaking to agri-business groups, soil health workshops, No-till Conferences and Expos, college classes, high schools and grade schools, Dan has spoken to or presented to over 18,000 people since 2012.”  Wragge added, “Dan is very deserving of this high honor.  He continues to ‘sell’ conservation to everyone he encounters.”Two instructors from Madison High School receive Educators of the Year AwardTwo instructors from Madison High School received the Educators of the Year Award from the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD).Suzy Foley and Patrick Kratochvil, both science teachers at Madison High, were recently honored at the NARD Annual Conference held at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.  The awards were presented by Jim Johnson, Chairman of the NARD Information & Education Committee, and NARD President Larry Reynolds.The two were nominated by the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) for their work in developing the Taylor-Union Watershed Team.  The team was started in the summer of 2011 to introduce minority students to fieldwork in science and to see how the concepts taught in the classroom can be used in real work situations.Kratochvil said, “A total of eight sites on the Taylor and Union Creeks are tested once a month on consecutive days from June through August. The water quality is calculated based on the Water Quality Index (WQI) System, developed by the National Sanitation Federation.  Macro-invertebrates are also studied, allowing us to obtain a more complete survey of the Taylor and Union Creeks.  A macro-invertebrate count is made giving a water quality rating based on a formula developed by the Nebraska Wildlife Federation’s Adopt-a-Stream program.”Kratochvil added, “Through the project we are using a cross-curricular strategy, which includes science, language arts, math and technology. This project also teaches the students about the different areas of science including Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Chemistry.”Suzy Foley said, “We have students that started as young as incoming 6th graders and have continued through their first year of college. Through this process we have seen that the skills learned lead to higher achievement on tests such as the ACT and a more diverse set of skills for the job market.”Foley added, “Students use their critical thinking skills while collecting and analyzing the samples collected during the Watershed class.  Excel is used to analyze the data that has been gathered throughout the summer and from past summers.  Once the data is entered, we generate graphs to visually display the information.  This allows the students to obtain a better grasp of the information they have collected.  They also create a Power Point presentation to share with the Madison Public School Board of Education, local community groups, the LENRD Board of Directors, and local Universities and Colleges.”Kratochvil commented, “Each year we have some of the students involved in the program go to the Middle School and do a presentation about what the program is and how it’s exciting and fun as well as educational.  This is one way that we keep recruiting students into the program.”LENRD Information & Education Specialist, Julie Wragge, said, “I was happy to nominate such a great team of leaders for our youth.  I have worked with Suzy and Patrick for a long time and they continue to step it up each year as they grow their program.  I’m very proud of the partnership the LENRD has developed with Madison Public Schools.  We congratulate Suzy and Patrick on this very deserving award.”The Watershed Team has also become involved with the “Know Your Well” program through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the Nebraska Water Center.  The students have had to gain an understanding of how land and water conservation apply to real world situations.  In this project, the students collect well samples from rural drinking wells in the area.  They run tests on the water and reports are given to the well owners with a discussion about the results.  Students were given the task of trying to discover where any possible contaminants came from.The Taylor-Union Watershed Team has received grants from the LENRD, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, the Groundwater Foundation, and Farmland.Patrick lives in Albion, and is originally from Pierce.  Suzy lives in Madison, and is originally from Blair.Grain donations accepted for Northeast’s Nexus campaignA Randolph area grain producer is donating grain to Northeast Community College as a way to support the construction of new ag facilities at the College in a tax advantageous approach.Mike Korth, of Randolph, has pledged 200 bushels of corn each year for five years to the Nexus project, a plan to relocate the College farm and build a new veterinary technology building near the existing Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex.“Donating the grain to Northeast is easy,” Korth explained. “I just turn the corn over to Northeast when I take my crop to the CVA (Central Valley Ag) 81/20 Grain Hub. The elevator then sells the grain and sends the proceeds directly to Northeast. In that way, I get to deduct 100 percent of the value of the grain from my income for tax purposes.”Korth encourages other producers to consider this option.“Pledging to donate as little as one acre’s production each year for five years is an easy way to make a significant contribution to the new ag facilities at Northeast without having to write a big check,” he said.Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs at Northeast and executive director of the Northeast Community College Foundation, said the College has more information on how a gift of grain would work to the advantage of both Northeast and the producer. Forms to be used to make the donations and other information on the process for giving a gift of grain can be found online at https://agwaternexus.com/gifts-of-grain-and-livestock/.“We do encourage producers to talk with their tax professionals if they have questions about how this process works,” Kruse said. “It is important that the producer give up title to the grain before it is sold in order to achieve the best tax advantage.” Kruse noted that there is a similar process for giving gifts of livestock.Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, and a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.In August, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.LISTENING SESSIONS ON RURAL COMMUNITY PROSPERITY SCHEDULED IN NORTH PLATTE, LINCOLNTwo regional convenings in October will offer Nebraskans opportunities to share their best ideas on how the University of Nebraska can help rural communities position themselves for economic success. The listening sessions, which are open to the public, will be held in North Platte on Oct. 15 and in Lincoln on Oct. 24.“The University of Nebraska is a key resource for the state’s rural communities,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “As part of our efforts to ensure the continued competitiveness of our state, we want to help rural communities position themselves for long-term economic prosperity.”The sessions are organized by a working group charged with creating a comprehensive strategic framework for an innovative, robust and integrated approach to rural community vitality, prosperity and resilience. The upcoming discussions, to be hosted by Boehm, will invite Nebraskans to share experiences in rural community development and to explore how the University can be most effective in strengthening the economic prosperity and vitality of rural communities.Session times and locations:    NORTH PLATTE: Oct. 15, 1:30 – 5 p.m., West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Rd.    LINCOLN: Oct. 24, 8:30 a.m. – noon, Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Dr.To register to attend in person or online, visit http://go.unl.edu/rcphub.For more information, visit https://ianr.unl.edu/rural-community-prosperity. Weed Seed Control Clinic Will Explore Harvest as a Control MethodControlling weeds has always been one of the biggest challenges of producing a crop, and with the ever-present issue of herbicide resistance, farmers are constantly searching for new solutions.Some practical, but innovative ideas will be explored during an Oct. 21 workshop, when Australian researcher Michael Walsh visits Iowa State University to talk about the various ways farmers can harvest and destroy weed seeds from the combine.Walsh is director of weed research at the University of Sydney, Australia. Weed resistance in Australia is among the worst in the world, and Walsh has explored a number of seed harvest solutions, including removing chaff from combines, grinding chaff and weed seed, and windrowing/tramlining the chaff.Walsh will host a harvest weed seed control clinic at the Iowa State University Field Extension Education Laboratory Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The morning session will focus on the principles of harvesting weed seeds as a method of control, and following lunch, Walsh will demonstrate the types of combine and equipment modifications used to separate weed seeds from other materials entering the combine.Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach, said the workshop will be a great opportunity for participants to learn about weed management tactics of other countries, while also considering the potential for use on their own farm.“'Harvest weed seed control’ is an alternative weed control tactic that targets weed seeds before they are shed from the plant, using the combine to intercept the seeds and prevent them from entering the seedbank and contributing to future problems,” she said.According to Anderson, some Australian farmers are using combines that are modified to either pull a machine that collects and crushes the weed seed, or modified internally, in a way that collects and grinds the seed, or deposits the chaff behind the combine.Anderson said some of the methods may not work in the United States, at least not currently, but there may be some ideas for the future.“While the technology is not currently available for our system, it is likely this will be a tool that will be of value in the near future,” she said.One thing she’s certain about is the continued fight against herbicide resistance. Harvesting weed seeds before they have a chance to fall to the ground could provide farmers one more option.The clinic is free and open to the public. Attendees may be eligible to receive up to 4.0 pest management Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) continuing education units for their attendance at the clinic (pending approval). Iowa State’s Field Extension Education Laboratory is located at 1928 240th St., Boone, Iowa.To help with the lunch count, RSVP by Oct. 14 to Meaghan Anderson at mjanders@iastate.edu or 319-331-0058.National Pork Board Report Calls for Pork Industry to Better Meet the Needs of Hispanic ConsumersA National Pork Board report shows U.S. Latinos’ affinity for pork and growing purchasing power make it a critical audience for the industry, but as Hispanics acculturate, their pork consumption declines. The new report, Time to Tango: Latinos are Pork’s Future, reveals steps food retailers and packers must take to connect with these influential consumers who represent the biggest growth opportunity of the next several decades.The report is the latest in the National Pork Board’s Insight to Action research program examining key behaviors, attitudes, and cultural nuances of U.S. Hispanic shoppers. It outlines top motivators for Hispanics when selecting their preferred retailer and protein choice.“Pork is entrenched in Hispanic heritage and culture, and extremely relevant to the fast-growing and economically powerful Hispanic segment,” said José de Jesús, director of multicultural marketing for the National Pork Board. “The pork industry must proactively engage them and better meet their needs, otherwise we risk losing the Latino consumer.”According to the report, as Hispanic consumers become acculturated in the United States, the link between pork and culture weakens. Often, they can’t find the cuts they want for traditional dishes in mainstream stores, so they use other proteins or shop at specialty stores that offer the service to deliver the cuts they want. Nearly half (49%) of Hispanics do not choose mainstream retailers as their go-to store, and instead opt for specialty stores, ethnic markets and bodegas. The meat case is a contributing factor — 44% of Hispanics choose to buy their fresh meat at non-mainstream grocery stores.To maintain and increase loyalty among Hispanic consumers, the report outlines three key motivators retailers and packers must address:-    Accessibility: Most (79%) Hispanic consumers shop with someone else in their family and seek out stores that offer a family friendly experience. More than half seek out stores offering specialty cuts. Therefore, the shopping experience and value must meet Latinos’ expectations, and the cuts and preparations they want need to be more easily available in mainstream stores.-    Authenticity: Traditional family recipes are important to Hispanic consumers, but those traditions vary by the country of origin. What’s relevant to the Cuban or Puerto Rican consumer will be different than those from Mexico or Central American countries. While two of three Hispanics in the U.S. are originally from Mexico, a third are from other nations. A “hyper-local” strategy is best and should extend beyond the meat case. Having the right cuts available is key, but also offering the seasonings, spices and ingredients that are needed to complete those traditional pork dishes is just as important. -    Health: Nearly two-thirds (63%) of unacculturated Hispanics mistakenly believe pork is unhealthy. The industry must focus on the nutritional value of specific cuts, including pork’s protein profile.“The food industry is changing rapidly; foresight and adaptability are the keys to survival. U.S. Hispanics spend $95 billion a year on consumer packaged goods and their purchasing power is growing,” said David Newman, a pig farmer and president of the National Pork Board. “It’s no longer enough to offer a Hispanic aisle or packaging in Spanish. We need to look at each area of the store and ensure we’re meeting Hispanic consumers’ needs.”The report is the first in a series of reports, articles and updates the National Pork Board will provide in the months ahead to help the food industry better respond to Hispanic consumers’ needs.  The Pork Board has also developed a free marketing toolkit that includes content and information for retailers and packers to leverage in their own communications channels. The full report, and more information about the National Pork Board’s Insights to Action research, is available at www.Pork.org/marketing. Statement on U.S. Response to Illegal EU Subsidies Under WTO“Subsidies and barriers that handicap U.S. businesses in the global marketplace by violating international trade commitments shouldn’t be tolerated. We strongly support the World Trade Organization’s imposition of $7.5 billion in retaliatory duties on European products, including dairy foods, to prod the EU to uphold its World Trade Organization commitments and reinforce the importance of two-way trade.“NMPF strongly endorses the U.S. Trade Representative’s new list of European dairy exports that will now face higher tariffs, including cheeses, yogurt and butter. “The U.S. is running a $1.6 billion dairy trade deficit with Europe because of unfair EU trade practices that block our access to their market while they enjoy broad access to ours.“Trade authorities should also address one particularly egregious example of EU trade practices: the EU’s abusing the use of geographical indications to limit competition from cheese exporters in the U.S. that use common food names. Rather than compete head-to-head with high-quality American-made foods by allowing the use of common food names to coexist alongside GIs relating to those products, Europe instead blocks sales of these everyday food products from the United States and aggressively pressures other countries to do the same.“The retaliatory tariffs announced today are a clarion call for fair trade and an indication that trade must be a two-way trade. What better way to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Europe than by selling them award-winning US cheeses?”DMC Payments Top $300 Million as Signups, Aid Exceed Previous ProgramThe popular Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program signed up more than 22,000 dairy farmers – more than participated in the last year of the Margin Protection Program (MPP) that it replaced -- and paid out more than $302 million in its first year. That’s $302 million more than what farmers would have received under the MPP, which would have actually cost farmers money in 2019, according to an analysis of USDA data done by NMPF. Monthly milk price/feed cost margins so far in 2019 have been above the $8 per hundredweight coverage cutoff that existed under MPP, but below the new $9.50 per hundredweight coverage limit under DMC, the stronger dairy safety net enacted last year in the farm bill. Under the old MPP rules, the total paid out under the entire program so far this year would have been $75,000 -- about $3 per farmer and a net loss for them after premium costs. Instead, the new DMC threshold has triggered hundreds of millions of dollars in much-needed assistance for dairy producers, showing the program’s value and helping farmers stay afloat who otherwise may not have been able to continue.With 2020 signup beginning on Oct. 7, that success is worth keeping in mind as farmers weigh the program’s affordable cost versus its proven benefits.“The Dairy Margin Coverage program has proven its worth, with more than $300 million in farmers’ pockets as a result of our work on the farm bill with Congress and USDA,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “None of that assistance would have occurred under the MPP. We encourage farmers who haven’t already signed up for all five years of Dairy Margin Coverage to re-new their sign up for 2020, and for farmers who decided not to participate in the 2019 program to consider it in the future.”According to the latest USDA data, 22,631 dairy producers signed up for DMC. Based on reported margins for the first eight months of the year, payouts so far for 2019 have been $302,906,824. Wisconsin signed up the largest number of farmers, while California enrolled the highest production volume of any state. A key change to the program that boosted aid was the inclusion of dairy-quality alfalfa into the feed-cost calculation, which narrowed the difference between milk prices and feed costs and adjusted margins to better reflect dairy expenses, a change that NMPF pushed for throughout legislation and implementation.“We thank USDA not only for prioritizing the DMC in farm-bill implementation but adjusting it in a way that provided additional benefit to producers,” Mulhern said. “The DMC’s success has truly been a partnership throughout, from a united dairy community that aided Congress as it crafted and approved the program, to USDA’s work with that community in making it reality.”CWT-assisted sales contracts top 94 million pounds of dairy product exportsCooperatives Working Together in September assisted member cooperatives in capturing 39 contracts to sell 2.4 million pounds of American-type cheeses, 299,829 pounds of butter, 7.8 million pounds of whole milk powder, and 668,001 pounds of cream cheese. The products will be going to customers in 12 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America and are being shipped during the period from September 2019 through next February.These contracts bring the 2019 total CWT-assisted product sales contracts to 94.4 million pounds, which includes of 42.6 million pounds of cheese, 4.5 million pounds of butter, 42 million pounds of whole milk powder, 277,782 pounds of anhydrous milkfat, and 5 million pounds of cream cheese. These transactions will move the equivalent of 848 million pounds of milk on a milkfat basis overseas.Assisting CWT member cooperatives gain and maintain world market share through the Export Assistance program in the long-term expands the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them. This, in turn, helps all U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.NMPF Requests Dairy Farmer Input on Zero-Day Withdrawal Period AntibioticsThe National Milk Producers Federation is requesting dairy farmers respond to this survey to better understand how dairy farmers interpret an antibiotic with a zero-day withdrawal period of zero-day milk discard time.  Survey link here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/antibioticwithdrawaltimesurvey. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration opened a docket Aug. 9 requesting information regarding transit times to slaughter, milking frequency, and how end users interpret zero-day withdrawal period or zero-day milk discard time statements found on new animal drug labeling. This request is driven by the recognition that the animal agriculture industry has drastically changed since original assumptions were determined in 1980, and FDA is requesting information to ensure their regulations are in line with what is practiced today.  Survey responses are completely anonymous and cannot be traced back to the respondent. No personally identifiable information is captured, and your responses will be combined with those of other farmers and summarized to further protect anonymity. The answers will be used to inform NMPF’s comments to the FDA to ensure they have the most accurate information from dairy farmers.Farm Bureau Releases Milk Program RecommendationsThe American Farm Bureau Federation today released a proposal for the future of U.S. milk-pricing provisions and marketing-order reform. The recommendations aim to bring more democracy and a more equitable program for all dairy farmers. Although federal milk marketing orders have been a pillar of the dairy industry for more than 80 years, the program has not undergone substantial change in nearly two decades. A working group consisting of Farm Bureau grassroots leaders and other contributors from the Farm Bureau family prepared the report after broad consultation with industry and academia.The Farm Bureau Federal Milk Marketing Order Working Group recommendations are contained in the report “Priorities, Principles and Policy Considerations for FMMO Reform.”Key recommendations would:-    Give every dairy farmer a voice by eliminating the ability of coops to vote on behalf of member-producers on changes to federal milk marketing orders (bloc voting);-    Improve risk sharing across the supply chain in the product pricing formulas by adjusting the “make allowance” (a fixed deduction or credit for processing milk into finished dairy products) to be variable on a commodity-by-commodity basis;-    Collect more robust pricing information by significantly expanding the Agriculture Department’s mandatory price reporting survey; and-    Simplify milk pricing rules in the Southeast by aligning the qualifying criteria for pooling and eliminating transportation subsidies.Farm Bureau leaders will convene in January to consider and vote on these priorities and policy recommendations. Based on the outcome, Farm Bureau staff will work with stakeholders in the dairy industry and policymakers to advance the recommendations.The working group was formed in January 2019 when AFBF’s voting delegates recommended the formation of a dairy task force to review methods to restructure and modernize the current Federal Milk Marketing Order system.Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to DeclineThe streak is over.  The retail price of one of the eight major fertilizers tracked by DTN increased in the fourth week of September 2019, ending a six week run in which all of the fertilizers' prices declined.The price of 10-34-0 increased to $471/ton, up $1 from the same time last month.Prices for the remaining seven fertilizers were lower but not by a significant amount, which DTN considers at 5% or more. DAP had an average price of $479/ton, down $12; MAP $475/ton, down $19; potash $384/ton, down $3; urea $404/ton, down $8; anhydrous $511/ton, down $17; UAN28 $254/ton, down $2; and UAN32 $289/ton, down $1.On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.With prices significantly lower in recent weeks, two fertilizers' prices dropped to being lower in price from a year ago. DAP is now 3% less expensive, and MAP is 9% lower from last year at this time.The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be higher compared to last year. UAN32 and anhydrous are both 4% more expensive, both urea and UAN32 are now 5% higher, potash is 6% more expensive and UAN28 are 7% higher compared to last year.Weekly Ethanol Production for 9/27/2019According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending Sept. 27, ethanol production expanded 15,000 b/d or 1.6% to 958,000 barrels per day (b/d)—equivalent to 40.24 million gallons daily. Output is 5.6% below year-ago volumes and 5.1% below the same week two years ago. The four-week average ethanol production rate slowed 1.4% to 982,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.05 billion gallons and the lowest average in nearly three years.Ethanol stocks rebounded 3.2% to 23.2 million barrels. However, inventories were 1.0% lower than the same week last year. Stocks built in the East Coast (PADD 1), Midwest (PADD 2), and West Coast (PADD 5) but declined across the other regions.There were zero imports recorded after 113,000 b/d hit the books last week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of July 2019.)The volume of gasoline supplied decreased 2.2% to 9.137 million b/d (383.8 million gallons per day, or 140.07 bg annualized). Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol narrowed 1.3% to 923,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.15 bg annualized.Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production increased to 10.48%.ACE introduces updated fuel marketer website, videos at NACSThe American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is introducing its revamped fuel marketer-to-marketer flexfuelforward.com website and new videos to prospective E15 and flex fuel retailers attending the 2019 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show this week in Atlanta, Georgia. The NACS show is the largest annual gathering of convenience and fuel marketing professionals, drawing nearly 25,000 industry stakeholders from around the world to see the newest and best products and strategies available to station operators. This year, ACE is also accompanied on the trade show floor by Helena Jette, Director of Biofuels for the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.“Based on input from retailers who stopped to talk to us at trade shows, emails and phone calls we received from marketers, and conversations we had with station owners and operators we work with, ACE updated the flexfuelforward.com website to provide more in-depth information for retailers considering adding E15 and flex fuel, and more answers from fellow marketers to questions retailers frequently ask about ethanol,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE Senior Vice President and Market Development Director. “Flexfuelforward.com started out as a ‘landing page,’ where marketers could find general information on higher ethanol blends and then link to other existing sites with more detailed information on the topic they were searching for. We still do that, however, retailers told us they like the E15 & Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap, and with more in-depth video and testimonials from real-world ethanol retailers, prospective higher-blend marketers can now have more of their questions answered without leaving a site they trust.”Studies show people trust information they get from “A person like me,” and that fact drives ACE’s approach to developing new markets. After helping wholesalers and retailers add or expand their ethanol offerings, ACE follows up with those marketers to share their successes and challenges with other retailers who may be considering adding higher ethanol blends. The flexfuelforward.com website was created to provide 24/7 access to those peer stories. Station owners can read information or watch short film clips from other station owners who have already done the things they are considering.“Earlier this year, we had a conversation with Mike Lorenz from Sheetz, and single store owners Bruce Vollan of Midway Service, and Charlie Good of Good & Quick,” Lamberty said. “We talked to them about questions they’ve been receiving from other retailers and asked them some of the questions we’ve gotten from marketers considering adding E15 and flex fuels. Several videos from those conversations are up on the website. The look of the site has also changed to emphasize current news including updates to rules or policy changes as they happen, answers to retailer questions, and easier access to our E15 & Flex Fuel Retailer Roadmap.”Visit flexfuelforward.com to check out the website and new videos. Student Leaders Preparing for 92nd National FFA Convention & ExpoIn a few weeks, the city of Indianapolis will transform into a sea of blue jackets when the National FFA Convention & Expo kicks off for the 92nd time. This time-honored tradition will be held in the Circle City Oct. 30- Nov. 2, 2019.More than 67,000 FFA members from across the U.S., representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are expected to attend the event. It’s an opportunity for students to be exposed to new career paths and opportunities – while celebrating the accomplishments these future leaders have made over the past year.Throughout the week, convention and expo attendees will also be able to experience the FFA Blue Room, a 17,000+-square-foot interactive area that showcases the cutting-edge technology, research and innovation taking place in agriculture. Through experiential learning and specific focus on the most critical challenges facing our communities—from respecting the planet to feeding the world—the FFA Blue Room will inspire and equip students to activate their potential.With an estimated $33 million impact on the city, attendees will be seen throughout the city, staying at more than 115 hotels in the area as well as giving back to the community through the National Days of Service.In fact, during the week, more than 2,500 student members will be lending a helping hand to the greater Indianapolis area as part of the National Days of Service. Places, where students will be giving back to the community, include Gleaners Food Bank, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indianapolis City Market, the Wheeler Mission and more.Convention and expo events will take place at several venues in downtown Indianapolis and other surrounding areas. FFA members and advisors will meet in Lucas Oil Stadium, where the eight general sessions will be held. At the Indiana Convention Center, members can explore the expo or expand their minds by attending a variety of workshops or participating in educational and career success tours.The convention and expo will kick off on Wed., Oct. 30 with the opening general session in Lucas Oil Stadium, where the organization will be celebrating 50 years of women in FFA.  On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 2, American FFA Degrees, the highest degree for an FFA member, will be bestowed upon more than 4,000 FFA members. The event concludes that afternoon with the election of the 2019-20 National FFA Officer team.The National FFA Convention & Expo is scheduled to be held in Indianapolis through 2031.

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