Ashburn VA

Friday
Mostly Cloudy
34°F / 16°F
Wind: 8 S
Average Humidity: 50
The Next Three Days

Saturday
Partly Cloudy
19°F / 9°F
Wind: 22 NW
Humidity: 37

Sunday
Clear
27°F / 16°F
Wind: 9 NNW
Humidity: 37

Monday
Snow
32°F / 30°F
Wind: 10 SSE
Humidity: 70
Close
@C - CORN - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '16 361'2 360'0 360'0 -0'2
May '16 365'6 364'6 364'6 -0'2
Jul '16 370'6 369'6 370'0 0'2
Sep '16 375'4 375'0 375'0 0'4
Dec '16 384'0 382'6 382'6 0'0
Mar '17 393'0 392'2 392'2 0'2
@S - SOYBEANS - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '16 875'4 872'2 874'6 1'2
May '16 880'0 876'6 879'0 1'2
Jul '16 885'0 882'2 884'4 1'4
Aug '16 886'4 885'6 885'6 1'0
Sep '16 886'0 884'0 886'0 1'0
Nov '16 889'6 886'4 888'2 0'4
Jan '17 895'0 893'2 895'0 1'6
@K - HARD RED WINTER WHEAT - KCBT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '16 445'6 444'4 445'4 1'4
May '16 455'6 454'4 455'0 1'2
Jul '16 466'0 464'4 465'4 1'2
Sep '16 479'2 479'2 479'2 1'2
@L - LIVE CATTLE - CME
Month High Low Last Chg
Feb '16 131.975 129.475 130.125 -2.350
Apr '16 130.900 128.800 129.525 -2.275
DTN Click here for info on Exchange delays.
Local
How Dogs Can Help You Tackle Weeds
Tucked into his home office, Jim Peters sits with one dog at his feet and two others close by. What started as a simple love for dogs turned into an opportunity to make a career working with them. One year ago, the Iowa native partnered with a friend to train dogs to find whatever their handlers might be seeking: missing people, dead bodies, specific types of amphibians, and even weeds. German shepherd Rocky is on search-and-rescue and cadaver duty while the red heeler mix Jojo and border collie-blue heeler mix Charlie are on conservation duty, finding endangered turtles and invasive weed species. “We look for dogs from a working breed category,” he says. “We need them to be familiar with working with people and to be trainable.” His dogs aren't the high-dollar purebreds you might expect. Instead, they're typically mixed breeds that he's adopted after seeing how they performed on simple tests assessing their trainability. Charlie, for example, was one of a full litter of puppies. Peters brought toys for the dogs to see which one was the most curious and responded the best to challenges. He let the dogs see the toy and hid it in various spots near the dogs to see which one had the best searching instincts. Charlie stood out from his littermates when he found the ball in a closed trash can. In the initial training stages, he uses toys to get dogs started using their noses. He simply tosses the toy into tall grass and other tricky spots to get the dogs to sniff out their location. From there, he works up, eventually training them on specific scents such as endangered turtles, weeds or missing people. “Now I’ve got a county conservation group lined up to find weeds,” he says. “Dogs can find the much smaller weeds before they pollinate and spread.” In some cases, the dogs can even detect weeds prior to emergence. They’re starting in Iowa with lespedeza weeds and training with more as counties request it. Peters plans to focus on two or three different weed types this year and might add more in 2017. Currently, the dogs are finding weeds for conservation purposes, but he can see a place for it in production agriculture. “In pastures especially, I think they’ll be great at finding weeds,” he says. Peters notes that dogs are capable of more than many people realize, from detecting explosives, drugs, and organic materials at airports and to sensing signs of seizures or cancer in humans. “We don’t talk about what are the limitations," the dog trainer says. "We talk about the opportunities.” Source: Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal
National
Surviving and thriving in 2016
Matt Roberts Ohio State University Extension Ag Economist Matt Roberts was in Nebraska recently for a presentation at the Nebraska Farm Bureau?s Ag Edge conference. In an?interview with Brownfield, Roberts?talked about some?steps farmers should be?taking to get through this current ?rough patch? in the farm economy, including building up a cash cushion. ?What I encourage farmers to do is to?have a full year of land charges, in cash, as your ?keep your powder dry? emergency fund,? Roberts said. Roberts also shared his thoughts on what he sees happening with cash rents. AUDIO: Matt Roberts http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/MFP-for-2-12-16.mp3 The post Surviving and thriving in 2016 appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
World
Decade of Red Angus Breed Improvement Pays Dividends
In a time when commercial cattlemen are demanding profit-maximizing genetics, Red Angus breeders are stepping up to offer genetically superior bulls representing a decade of unrivaled breed improvement. 
Facebook
We are finally out! Are you? Post your big snow piles and show how ...
We are finally out! Are you? Post your big snow piles and show how ACE customers Get It Done!>
The Aurora Tire Center and Service Center are open if you need them, ...
The Aurora Tire Center and Service Center are open if you need them, whether it is for a tire repair or to purchase more snow shovels!>
The main office is Aurora is closed again today. If you need ...
The main office is Aurora is closed again today. If you need assistance, please reach out to the person you need via email or mobile phone. Everyone, please stay safe out there!>
The main offices in Aurora are closed for the day due to weather. ...
The main offices in Aurora are closed for the day due to weather. Please be safe out there!>
Post your Winter Storm Kayla Video, this video from Chris Vincent's ...
Post your Winter Storm Kayla Video, this video from Chris Vincent's home north of Aurora, Ne>
Come on over to www.auroracoop.com and check out our new website! A ...
Come on over to www.auroracoop.com and check out our new website! A group of young people from each division is working hard to bring you a website that will be your favorite spot for all things agriculture!>
Over 30 area producers were in attendance today in Geneva, NE for ...
Over 30 area producers were in attendance today in Geneva, NE for today's R2G yield meeting. Aurora Agronomy will be hosting many of these same yield focused meetings across the trade area. We encourage you to attend to learn and share what helps yield on your farms!>
Dr. Tom Osborne addressed employees, patrons, and friends of Aurora ...
Dr. Tom Osborne addressed employees, patrons, and friends of Aurora Cooperative today while he visited Aurora!>
Don't miss out on these January specials - stop into the Service ...
Don't miss out on these January specials - stop into the Service Center & Tire Center before they are gone!>
Randy Dowdy, a first generation farmer and winner of numerous ...
Randy Dowdy, a first generation farmer and winner of numerous national yield contests, came from Georgia to speak to a group of producers today about preventing yield loss. What a turnout!>
It is a full house for the Aurora Cooperative producer meeting with ...
It is a full house for the Aurora Cooperative producer meeting with Randy Dowdy as the speaker.>
Aurora Cooperative Is proud to announce that patron Brad Kroeger was ...
Aurora Cooperative Is proud to announce that patron Brad Kroeger was a winner of a new Polaris Ranger. Aurora Agronomy and Curry Seed teamed up for the Ranger promotion that all Curry customers qualified for this fall. Congratulations Brad and thanks to Curry Seed for delivering the Ranger to Brad this afternoon.>
The York Ag Expo goes until 5:00 today. If you haven't stopped by ...
The York Ag Expo goes until 5:00 today. If you haven't stopped by yet, you should!>
Stop by the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show at the Chuck ...
Stop by the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show at the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex in Norfolk to visit the Aurora Cooperative booth! We will be there until 4:00 pm today!>
The Nebraska Cooperative Council Education Foundation Scholarship ...
The Nebraska Cooperative Council Education Foundation Scholarship Applications are due by April 15, 2016. Go to the link below for more information. http://www.nebr.coop/foundation/foundation-scholarship-program-in-honor-of-michael-s-turner/>
Local
How Dogs Can Help You Tackle Weeds
Tucked into his home office, Jim Peters sits with one dog at his feet and two others close by. What started as a simple love for dogs turned into an opportunity to make a career working with them. One year ago, the Iowa native partnered with a friend to train dogs to find whatever their handlers might be seeking: missing people, dead bodies, specific types of amphibians, and even weeds. German shepherd Rocky is on search-and-rescue and cadaver duty while the red heeler mix Jojo and border collie-blue heeler mix Charlie are on conservation duty, finding endangered turtles and invasive weed species. “We look for dogs from a working breed category,” he says. “We need them to be familiar with working with people and to be trainable.” His dogs aren't the high-dollar purebreds you might expect. Instead, they're typically mixed breeds that he's adopted after seeing how they performed on simple tests assessing their trainability. Charlie, for example, was one of a full litter of puppies. Peters brought toys for the dogs to see which one was the most curious and responded the best to challenges. He let the dogs see the toy and hid it in various spots near the dogs to see which one had the best searching instincts. Charlie stood out from his littermates when he found the ball in a closed trash can. In the initial training stages, he uses toys to get dogs started using their noses. He simply tosses the toy into tall grass and other tricky spots to get the dogs to sniff out their location. From there, he works up, eventually training them on specific scents such as endangered turtles, weeds or missing people. “Now I’ve got a county conservation group lined up to find weeds,” he says. “Dogs can find the much smaller weeds before they pollinate and spread.” In some cases, the dogs can even detect weeds prior to emergence. They’re starting in Iowa with lespedeza weeds and training with more as counties request it. Peters plans to focus on two or three different weed types this year and might add more in 2017. Currently, the dogs are finding weeds for conservation purposes, but he can see a place for it in production agriculture. “In pastures especially, I think they’ll be great at finding weeds,” he says. Peters notes that dogs are capable of more than many people realize, from detecting explosives, drugs, and organic materials at airports and to sensing signs of seizures or cancer in humans. “We don’t talk about what are the limitations," the dog trainer says. "We talk about the opportunities.” Source: Sonja Begemann, Farm Journal
Rabobank Report Examines Water Situation
The world must increase its usable water supply and effectively manage water demand. These are the key findings in a new report from Rabobank. The report "Agricultural Water - Free Flowing Markets Sustain Growth" focuses significant attention on water markets as a tool that has been proven to be effective at delivering water where it's most valued. According to the research, markets are an important part of ensuring that the proper allocation of water can occur, and helping ensure that the agricultural industry has access to enough water to be economically viable and can feed a growing world population. "We encourage food and agri suppliers and other leaders to be directly involved in the establishment of water markets to protect the long-run economic sustainability of the agriculture industry," says Vernon Crowder, analyst at Rabobank. "Globally, local governance and investment will be required in order to ensure stable water supplies but also to replenish current deficits caused by years of overuse in many countries. Water markets will increase the overall net benefit to society, increase the incentive for expanded investment, while decreasing risk for the agriculture sector as a whole." The report goes on to examine the situation in some of the major agricultural regions of the globe. In North America the report focuses on California, the Colorado River Basin and the Ogallala Aquifer with the following: California - As represented by tree rings, the last four years in California have marked the worst drought seen in the last millennium. This has forced Californians to create policies which will help manage and replenish basins in the future. In the meantime, water marketing has enabled most California ag producers to reduce the economic impacts of severe drought conditions, but improvements to its water trading system are needed to deal with ongoing increases in demand and tighter supplies. Colorado River Basin - More than 80 percent of the water delivered from the Colorado River Basin is used for agricultural purposes. Increasing demand from agriculture, municipal and industrial users severely threatens the sustainability of the basin. The US Bureau of Reclamation predicts that a 20 percent decrease in runoff could lead to a 60 percent or 70 percent decrease in storage, along with a 15 percent increase in salinity. Ogallala Aquifer - The Ogallala Aquifer is a name for thousands of smaller aquifers that stretch from South Dakota into Texas, reaching into Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. In a 2013 study published by Kansas State University, it was estimated that, between 1960 and 2010, nearly 30 percent of the total volume of the Ogallala Aquifer had been depleted. If the use of water continues at a similar rate, the projection is that, by 2060, nearly 70 percent of the aquifer's total available water will be tapped. The report concludes by encouraging food and agri suppliers and other leaders to be directly involved in the establishment of water markets to protect the long-run economic sustainability of the agriculture industry. Globally, local governance and investment will be required in order to ensure stable water supplies but also to replenish current deficits caused by years of overuse in many countries. The research proposes that water markets will increase the overall net benefit to society, increase the incentive for expanded investment, while decreasing risk for the ag sector as a whole. Source: Ag Professional
U.S. Farm Income Will Drop for Third Year in Commodity Slump
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that farmers will face a drop in profit for the third straight year as persistent surpluses depress crop and livestock prices. Farm net income will be $54.8 billion in 2016, the USDA said Tuesday in a report on its website, 2.8 percent less than the $56.4 billion estimated for 2015. The hard times follow an era of record profit that peaked at $123.3 billion in 2013, when rising global demand combined with a domestic drought that crimped supplies of corn and cattle, while a virus devastated hog herds. Direct government farm-program payments are forecast to rise 31 percent to $13.9 billion in 2016 with the 2014 Farm Bill’s price-loss and risk coverage accounting for almost two-thirds of the total. U.S. farm expenses will fall 1 percent to $376.5 billion this year, the first consecutive annual decline since 1986. ‘The drop in expenses is expected to alleviate, but not completely offset, the drop in cash receipts, and ultimately lead to tighter margins,” the USDA said in a report. Surplus Cycle The 2013 boom spurred farmers to boost crop and livestock production, triggering a cycle for surpluses in major agricultural commodities at the same time, David Anderson, a livestock economist at Texas A&M University in College Station, said in a telephone interview. Farmland values have dropped from all-time highs. The U.S. farm debt-to-equity ratio will rise for a fourth straight year, indicating “a higher level of financial stress is building” relative to recent years, the USDA said. This measure “remains low relative to historical levels,” indicating the industry is “insulated from solvency risk associated with declining commodity prices” and swings in farm-asset values, the agency said. Some farmers will work through supply gluts faster than others, with chicken and dairy cattle possibly seeing some price improvement later in the year, Anderson of Texas A&M said. For crops, only a major improvement in trade, or a weather disaster, will soak up supplies in the near term, said Patrick Westhoff, an agricultural economist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. “For years, we saw rising ethanol demand and Chinese growth as sources for profit,” he said in a telephone interview. “Ethanol growth is behind us, and China is cloudy. It’s hard to see much that will significantly increase profit going forward.” Source: AgWeb.com
4 Questions That Will Shape Farm Decisions in 2016
The questions you ask are sometimes more important than the answers they bring. That’s because even though hindsight is 20/20, those revelations sometimes come too late to bring about effective change. “If we could predict future prices, [for example], we would simply wait until the market price is at its highest level, then market an entire year’s worth of production,” according to John Berry, ag marketing educator with Penn State University. “Imagine how fun that would be. Since this ability is not possible, grain marketers are stuck with doing the best they can with what they have.” In particular, farmers need to know their true cost of production to implement truly effective marketing strategies, Berry says. The challenge is, farmers often tell him they don’t know cost of production until harvest is over. “I agree with this,” he says. “However, my point is we can make a fairly accurate guess of next year’s cost of production by using last year’s costs and yield well before the crop is even planted. We do not have to wait until after harvest to know the cost of operating our grain business to decide on a market price we like.” So back to asking questions. Berry says farmers who ask – and answer – these four questions in particular will help them do the best they can with what they have. What does it cost for your farm to operate? What do you expect prices to be? What is your current guess of total 2016 farm revenues? What is your farm management team’s plan for managing your business in the months ahead? Any time you can sell bushels for above your cost of production, you are in effect locking in “a modicum of profit,” however big or small, Berry adds. In that regard, trying to project future prices isn’t pure folly, he says. “Remember, nobody can predict the future with any certainty, but it can offer some insight that might be reflected in our price expectations when we try,” Berry says. Source: Ben Potter, AgWeb.com
What?s In Store For Nitrogen In 2016?
Supply is the overriding theme for the North American 2016 nitrogen outlook. In the last 12 months, global factors have created a supply-driven market. In the next 12 months, new nitrogen capacity starting up, along with those same global factors, will build on that story. At the same time, demand in North America, while not the dominant theme ahead, will be positive for the year. The Dynamics Of 2015 North American nitrogen during 2015 was defined by declining nitrogen prices globally while corn and the futures market traded sideways, incentivizing farmers not to sell grain. North America entered the year with excess ammonia inventory due to a carryover from the poor fall 2014 application season and customer reluctance to take on inventory due to perceived price risk. Spring 2015 proved to be exceptionally strong for ammonia application in North America. The weather patterns that evolved in March and lasted through May were highly conducive to ammonia application throughout the Midwest and Canada. The extended season allowed us to have a record spring at some of our distribution terminals, though overall ammonia shipments were lower than the record we had shipped during the first six months of 2014. North American growers are expected to produce a corn harvest of about 13.7 billion bushels during 2015, which would be the third largest production on record. With a continued trend of positive economic return on the incremental crop yield, growers applied nitrogen fertilizer in order to maximize their revenue per acre. Nitrogen fertilizer trade volumes continue at historically high levels. CF Industries estimates that Chinese urea exports will total more than 12 million tons in 2015, down from the record level of a year ago, but still overwhelming the global market. High UAN volumes were also seen in 2015, particularly high exports from Russia. Global Factors Affecting a Global Commodity For a significant part of 2015, prices for nitrogen in North America declined. The factors were clear: Global production and delivery costs declined while nitrogen capacity expanded in low cost regions. The energy market played a key role. Lower energy prices for natural gas and coal have reduced input costs for most nitrogen producers. On top of that, lower demand for coal and other raw materials in China have weighed on dry bulk freight rates. Combined with lower fuel costs, freight rates have continued to decline, making offshore producers more competitive in North America. Devalued currencies have also played a key role in where global supply moves. The weak Ruble continues to give the incentive to Russian producers to export high volumes as Russian natural gas costs are priced in Rubles and very low in dollar terms. Another supply side impact was the announcement by the Chinese government to weaken its currency. This devaluation offset the impact of a new VAT tax on fertilizers and helped to keep Chinese exporters competitive in the international market. On the demand side, the devalued Brazilian Real contributed to an unstable operating environment for Brazilian fertilizer importers driving a few to bankruptcy as well as lower urea imports. New capacity continues to come on-stream in higher quantities than usual, in China as well as the Middle East/North Africa, Russia, and Southeast Asia, from this year through 2017. North American Nitrogen Supply Coming Online New capacity is not coming online just in other parts of the world. In December, CF Industries announced that it had started up the new urea plant at the company’s Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex, with UAN and ammonia to follow. This is the first new plant to start-up as part of our capacity expansion projects at Donaldsonville and our Port Neal Nitrogen Complex in Iowa. It is also the first world-scale urea plant to be completed in North America since 1998. It won’t be the last. CF Industries projects more than five million tons of gross ammonia to come online in North America in the coming years. More than 40% of that total will be at CF Industries’ Donaldsonville and Port Neal sites. Despite this new capacity, North America will still depend on imports to meet nearly 30% of its nitrogen needs. The 2016 Nitrogen Demand Outlook The global factors helping increase the supply of nitrogen in North America will also help increase demand in 2016, though not enough to move away from the supply-driven market we are in today. The current returns for the 2016 crop, based on new crop futures, favors nitrogen-intensive corn plantings. Weaker soybean prices due to increasing global supplies and devaluation of the Chinese yuan, along with lower fertilizer prices, has the market signaling an increase in corn acres. As a result, CF Industries now expects 2016 corn planting to be 90.5 million acres, which is 2.1 million acres higher than last year. Along with other crops, this level of corn planted acres should lead to total North American nitrogen demand of 15.7 million nutrient tons for fertilizer year 2016, with 13 million nutrient tons in the U.S. alone. Considering the very weak fall application season the last two years, the product mix is expected to shift in 2016 and favor more direct application ammonia consumption. As a percent of corn revenue, 2015 U.S. fertilizer costs are projected at 23%, slightly above the 10-year average of 21%. Looking Forward Will anything move North American nitrogen away from the supply-driven environment we find today? There are a number of factors that could: Production curtailments and limited natural gas availability; supply interruptions stemming from political unrest; shuttering or mothballing high-cost, marginal plants. Also, the delay in purchasing and positioning of plant nutrients could result in price distortions if demand exceeds supply in the short term. We saw all those factors affect prices in 2015 at one point or another. In the near term, though, the supply-driven outlook for nitrogen appears firm. Source: Bert Frost, CropLife
Stalk Nitrate-nitrogen as Affected by Nitrogen Rate, Row Spacing and Population Density
There is considerable interest in maximizing corn yields by combining new hybrids with improved production practices. In 2015, Michigan State University Extension and DEKALB/Asgrow brands of Monsanto Company tested two modern semi flex-ear-type hybrids, DKC50-84RIB and DKC49-72RIB, at two-row spacings of 20 inches and 30 inches, three populations of 30,000, 36,000 and 42,000 per acre, and two nitrogen application rates of 120 and 240 pounds nitrogen per acre. The experiment was located in Mason, Michigan, and treatments were replicated three times. The overall objective was to find how these hybrids will interact with non-limiting plant populations and nitrogen rates to produce the highest grain yield per acre. The 20-inch row spacing was included to provide a more desirable geometric spacing for plants at high populations. This means higher within-row distances between plants for a given population rate compared to 30-inch rows. The trial was planted under ideal weather conditions on April 27, 2015. All plots received 25 pounds of nitrogen per acre at planting. The balance of nitrogen was sidedressed as liquid nitrogen (28 percent) injected on June 2. Based on MSU nitrogen fertilizer recommendations, the high nitrogen rate (240 pounds per acre) is considered an adequately fertilized treatment. In 2015, the site received excess rainfall in June (7 inches) and early July, raising concerns about potential nitrogen losses and shortages. Some of the heaviest rainfall was received few days after the nitrogen sidedress application. This field was temporarily flooded several times. Corn at the V7-V8 stage looked normal, but we started to notice early firing starting in September. The end of season cornstalk nitrate test is a diagnostic tool that can assess nitrogen fertilizer practices and adequacy to corn throughout the season. We analyzed stalk samples from all plots at the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory. The stalk nitrate-nitrogen as affected by the nitrogen rate in the second hybrid, DKC49-72, is discussed in this article. The overall stalk nitrate-nitrogen average for all plots receiving 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre was 47 ppm. The overall average for the plots receiving the 240 pounds of nitrogen per acre was 187 ppm. Both low and high nitrogen rates produced stalk nitrate-nitrogen levels considerably below the optimum lower level of 700 ppm. This data is in sharp contrast to the first hybrid DKC50-84 (see Part 1). The data supports our speculation that heavy rainfall received in June/July after the nitrogen sidedress application may have contributed to substantial nitrogen losses due to denitrification and leaching, creating severe nitrogen shortages in the field. Based on climate and rainfall patterns we have observed in the past few years, corn farmers will benefit by having rescue nitrogen application options when necessary, and be able to stretch the sidedress nitrogen application window based on current season weather, soil type, nitrogen source and fertilizer application equipment availability. Sticking to a predetermined nitrogen fertilizer rate has proved to be too risky in the past two years. For data on the first hybrid, DKC50-84, see “Stalk nitrate-nitrogen as affected by nitrogen rate, row spacing and population density – Part 1.” Source: Michigan State University 
Building Soil Organic Matter on Upper Peninsula Crop Rotations
All of the buzz about soil health – benefits for crop production, how to improve it, how to measure it – has left some Michigan farmers wondering where they fit into the discussion. Two main practices stand out front and center in the soil health discussion: no-till or reduced tillage planting systems, and inclusion of cover crops into rotations. Many of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula farmers are somewhat skeptical about the practical application of these techniques in their cropping systems because of short growing seasons and the widespread conviction that no-till “doesn’t work up here.” To simplify the issue, a focus on soil organic matter content may be helpful. In February 2015, 57 Upper Peninsula farmers and agriculture industry people attended Michigan State University Extension cover crop educational meetings held in four Upper Peninsula locations: Rudyard, Chatham, Hancock and Escanaba, Michigan. Many of these farmers were primarily livestock producers with main crops of hay, pastures and occasional small grains. Feedback from attendees indicated farmers are interested in improving their soils, but feel that currently promoted practices focus on annual crop rotations and don’t apply to their systems. After all, when your rotation includes perhaps nine years of perennial forage and one year with a small grain including a new hay seeding, you are cover cropping as much as you could possibly be, right? And won’t that long-lasting perennial hay or pasture result in a maximum of soil organic matter accumulation? Don’t we have some information about the results of no-till practices under Upper Peninsula conditions? Well, yes we do, but not from a controlled research project. Soil organic matter tests have been collected occasionally at the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center. This was not done as part of a research project, but rather in the course of normal feed production for the Center’s cattle. The following MSU soil test report information is interesting. Keep in mind this is not a research project, just typical farm information: No-till management started in 1991. Typical rotation included corn, small grain, alfalfa. Soil organic matter levels were not measured until 1998. Average organic matter of 19 fields in no-till rotation tested in 1998 was 3.3 percent. Average organic matter of 16 fields in no-till rotation tested in 2013 was 3.6 percent. Average organic matter of 12 fields in permanent hay (no rotation) since 1991 tested in 2013 was 4.1 percent. It is logical to assume that the 4.1 percent organic matter may serve as a goal for those other fields that were under a conventional tillage system through 1991 and under no-till through 2013. The soil organic matter averages suggest a trend of soil organic matter build-up amounting to 0.3 percent increase over 15 years (0.02 percent per year) between 1998 and 2013 – slow but steady. Using this data, the goal of 4.1 percent organic matter might be reached in another 25 years or so. This would be about 47 years after the implementation of no-till planting practices in 1991. Certainly not a scientific analysis, but puts the process into perspective for this type of cropping system. Part 2 of this series focuses on cover crop opportunities to build soil organic matter on Upper Peninsula farms. Source: Michigan State University 
Wheat Down After USDA Forecasts Biggest Stocks in History
Chicago wheat futures fell again on Wednesday, remaining near their lowest level since 2010 hit on Tuesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the largest world wheat inventories in history are being piled up. Corn was again weak after dropping in the previous session after the USDA forecast hefty U.S. supplies. Soybeans were firm on bargain buying. "Wheat, corn and soybeans are still burdened by the forecasts of large global supplies made by the USDA monthly report on Tuesday," said Frank Rijkers, agrifood economist at ABN AMRO Bank. "But markets have been moving in and out of positive territory today because of the impact of re-positioning after the USDA report and bargain-hunting following yesterday's price falls." The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract fell 0.1 percent to $4.56-3/4 a bushel by 1049 GMT after dropping to $4.55 a bushel on Tuesday, the lowest since 2010. Most active soybeans rose a 0.09 percent to $8.64 a bushel. Corn was down 0.2 percent at $3.60 a bushel, having ended down 0.3 percent in the previous session when prices hit a low of $3.59-1/4, the weakest since Jan. 15. The USDA on Tuesday raised its forecast of 2015/16 world wheat season ending stocks to 238.87 million tonnes, above trade estimates. The figure would be the largest in history if realized. "There is a global picture of large wheat supplies facing little demand," Rijkers said. "But some attention in the wheat market is now turning towards the northern hemisphere sowing season soon to gather speed in coming weeks." The USDA also raised its estimate of U.S. corn season ending stocks to 1.837 billion bushels, the most in a decade and above the average analyst estimate of 1.809 billion. The USDA increased its forecast of U.S. 2015/16 soybean ending stocks to 450 million bushels, up from 440 million in January. The figure was above an average of trade estimates for 445 million. "Corn is being weakened by the outlook for good harvests, with crop recent weather positive in South America," Rijkers said. "There is also some concern that the U.S. weekly figures on ethanol production due later today could show a dip in production." "Soybeans are facing headwinds from the prospects of large global supplies, but are not much changed from yesterday, with some bargain-buying supporting." Source: Ag Professional 
U.S. Corn, Wheat Supplies to Rise as Exports Wane
U.S. corn and wheat ending stocks will be higher than previously expected at the end of the marketing year due to a drop in already weak demand for U.S. supplies on the export market, the government said on Tuesday. The U.S. Agriculture Department in its monthly supply and demand report also raised its soybean ending stocks outlook due to a slowdown in the pace of crushing at domestic processors. The new domestic supply view for all three commodities came in above the average of analysts' estimates, near the high end of market forecasts. The estimates pressured U.S. grain markets, which were already trading at multi-week lows. "We have too much supply and too little demand," said Brian Hoops, analyst at Midwest Market Solutions. Nearby corn futures were down 0.5 percent at $3.60-1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade after touching a three-week low during the session. Nearby wheat futures were off 0.4 percent at $4.56-3/4 after reaching their lowest point since Dec. 3. Front-month soybeans were 0.1 percent at $8.61-3/4 after trading to a seven-week low earlier in the session. On the global front, wheat ending stocks were raised above the high end of trade expectations, largely due to a 4.0-million tonne cut to usage by China, reflecting that country's policy shift that favors other grains. "Rallies are going to be very hard to come by because we have that huge supply sitting there," Hoops said. The market had been dialing in a bearish stocks view, with many analysts citing weak demand and huge supplies as corn and soybean futures fell for four straight days heading into the report. Wheat had fallen for three days in a row, with the front-month Chicago Board of Trade futures contract hitting its lowest in more than a month. USDA pegged global wheat ending stocks for the 2015/16 crop year at 238.87 million tonnes, up from its January forecast of 232.04 million tonnes. Global corn ending stocks were seen at 208.81 million tonnes and soybean ending stocks at 80.42 million tonnes. U.S. wheat ending stocks were raised to a six-year high of 966 million bushels, reflecting a 25 million drop in exports. USDA said increased competition from Canada was hindering U.S. sales. Canadian exports were raised to 22 million tonnes, up 1.5 million from the USDA's January view and above the forecast for U.S. exports. U.S. corn ending stocks were pegged at 1.837 million bushels, with a 50 million bushel cut to exports mitigated by a 25 million bushel increase in usage by the ethanol sector. U.S. 2015/16 soybean end stocks were raised by 10 million bushels to 450 million due to the reduced crush. The USDA also surprisingly raised its forecast for Argentine soybean production to 58.50 million tonnes, up 1.5 million from January and above the high end of the range of analysts' estimates. It left its outlook for Brazil soybean production unchanged at 100 million tonnes compared to the average analyst forecast of 99.43 million. The corn production outlook was raised for both Argentina and Brazil. Source: Ag Professional 
New feed plant brings farmers financial opportunities
A Gretna based business is bringing its technology to a new York location is hoping to help area farmers to eliminate excess corn stover, while providing an opportunity to make money at the same time.Randall Pelzer, general biomass manager of Pellet Technology USA (PTUSA), brought his agricultural knowledge to Aurora on Jan. 29 where he informed local farmers of the new technology. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive it 1/5Give it 2/5Give it 3/5Give it 4/5Give it 5/5 No votes yet
Nebraska Ag Update - February 09, 2016
Nebraska Ag Updates
Beef from Nebraska Headed to Israel for First Time in Over a Decade
LINCOLN ? WR Reserve, a beef processing company in Hastings, Nebraska, will send the first significant shipment of beef from the United States to Israel since that country placed a ban on U.S. beef imports in 2003.
Will Crop Insurance Face Cuts in Upcoming Federal Budget?
The federal crop insurance program faced scrutiny in 2015, and many policy analysts expect the same this year. “Be aware: Crop insurance will be in the cross hairs again,” said Roger Bernard, a policy analyst with Informa Economics. “It’s the low-hanging fruit that seems to be the place (where) most anti-subsidy folks are focusing their attention.” Last fall, a bipartisan budget deal included unexpected cuts of $3 billion to the federal crop insurance program, which, after great outcry, were rolled back in December through the highway bill. Bernard suggests farmers pay close attention to the administration's 2017 budget proposal, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday. “We (Informa Economics) are told the Obama budget that is to be released on February 9, will contain proposals to cut crop insurance,” Bernard says. “Be aware, agriculture, because (crop insurance) is still going to be the focus for budget cutters.” Source: Anna-Lisa Laca, MILK
Policy Outlook Suggests Wild Ride in Year Ahead
If you live in Iowa, or any other swing state, politics are certainly top of mind. In fact, they are probably putting you out of your mind. We know 2016 will bring the United States a new President, but what will it mean for farm policy? Below are the top issues you need to track this year. Clean Water Act Turn your eyes to the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit. Attorney and ag law expert John Dillard says this case will tell us what we need to know about the reach of the Clean Water Act. Des Moines Water Works is suing drainage districts in three rural Iowa counties for increased levels of nitrates in their water. “The suit alleges that excess nitrogen is coming from tiled fields,” Dillard explains. “Because they can’t target farmers for this pollution, Water Works is arguing that the water leaving the drains is a point source of pollution.” This is the first case of its kind and could have major implications for farmers. WOTUS A new twist to the Clean Water Act is the Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS). Heavily debated and opposed by agriculture groups, WOTUS is at a stalled point that won’t be resolved any time soon. “WOTUS is held up in court,” Dillard says. “In 2016, we’ll see some movement in the litigation, but it’s not likely we’ll see a solution this year.” Nutrient Management Another big issue facing agriculture? Activists, who are working to target livestock facilities as they did recently in Yakima, Wash. Cow Palace dairy was the first dairy to be targeted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), but Dillard says “copycat lawsuits are spreading throughout the West.” The lawsuits allege that spreading dairy manure in excess of agronomic uptake rates amounts to open dumping of solid waste, which would violate RCRA. Proactive tip: Have your nutrient management plan ready to go, and give a copy to your lawyer. Trade: TPP, TTIP, Cuba The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was signed by President Obama on Feb. 3. However, policy analyst Roger Bernard with Informa Economics told Top Producer Seminar attendees we won’t see a vote anytime soon, and Dillard agrees. “Mitch McConnell has already made it clear he’s not going to bring it up for a vote before the election,” Bernard said. Both agree it could even be 2017 before the deal is finished. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a trade deal with Europe, won’t be completed anytime soon either, according to Bernard. “TPP and TTIP can help address trade problems that aren’t related to currency but other matters, to help increase export sales.” While trade restrictions are slowly easing in Cuba, it could be some time before the doors are blown open; only Congress can remove the embargo, which Bernard doesn’t envision happening in the near term. “Broadening trade in Cuba is going to be a longer process than anyone thought it would be,” Bernard says, adding: “U.S. agriculture stands to gain a lot in Cuba.” Ethanol The Presidential election hasn’t included many agricultural topics other than the Renewable Fuel Standard. “I think ethanol’s probably been the one that’s come up the most, and that focused really on Mr. [Ted] Cruz,” Bernard says. “His statements (and) his positions were not very favorable.” Bernard says that no matter who wins the Oval Office, RFS won’t just disappear when its 2022 expiration date arrives. Congress would have to repeal the law. USDA While the race to the White House commands the most attention among the media and voters, farmers and ranchers probably will be most impacted by whoever is tapped for the top spot at USDA, according to Bernard. “What is their focus going to be?” he asks. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has been on the job since 2009 and this year, he’s expected to move onto a new role. Though he might not leave Washington, some analysts think he could be selected as Hilary Clinton’s running mate, a possibility, according to Bernard. “You can’t rule it out,” he says. “Keep in mind that when Mr. Vilsack ran for president, when he pulled out of the race, he threw his support behind Hillary Clinton.” It all depends on where the Clinton campaign thinks it needs support, according to Bernard, but he adds that having a person who understands agriculture in the No. 2 spot in Washington would be a “major plus for U.S. agriculture.” Source: Anna-Lisa Laca, MILK
Less Cotton in Southeast, but More Total U.S. Acres in 2016
U.S. cotton farmers will increase their acres in 2016 despite the less-than-rosy forecast for cotton future prices, according to the National Cotton Council’s Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. The survey says producers intend to plant 9.1 million acres of cotton, up 6.2 percent from 2015’s 8.58 million acres. The latter were the lowest plantings since 1983. Upland cotton intentions are 8.9 million acres, up 5.7 percent from 2015, while extra-long staple or Pima plantings could reach 208,000 acres, a 31.2-percent increase. Those acreages could produce a crop of 14 million bales – 13.4 million bales of upland and 595,000 ELS, NCC economists said. “Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed. Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size,” said Dr. Jody Campiche, the NCC’s vice president for economics and policy analysis. She said that with abandonment set at 11 percent for the United States, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 8.1 million acres. Using an average U.S. yield per harvested acre of 831 pounds generates a cotton crop of 14.0 million bales, with 13.4 million upland bales and 595,000 ELS bales. Mid-December to mid-January intentions The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2015 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2015 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January. “History has shown U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. During the survey period, the cotton December futures contract averaged just under 65 cents per pound, which is very similar to year-ago levels,” Campiche noted. “However, corn and soybean prices are 8 to 12 percent below year ago levels, so price ratios of cotton to competing crops are a bit more favorable than in 2015.” Here’s how the acreage breaks down by region: Survey respondents in the Southeast indicated a 5.1 percent decline, lowering the regional total to 2.1 million acres. Across the six states, the results are mixed with increased acreage in Alabama and Florida and a decrease for the other four states. The survey indicates more cotton in Alabama at the expense of wheat and soybeans. Florida’s acreage almost exclusively is moving away from peanuts into more cotton. In Georgia, cotton acreage is expected to decline by 5.0 percent with corn and soybeans pulling acres from cotton. In South Carolina, cotton acreage is expected to decline by 13.5 percent with shifts to corn and soybeans. North Carolina is shifting to primarily soybeans and corn, while corn benefits from the modest decline in Virginia. Mid-South acreage up 25 percent In the Mid-South, growers have demonstrated their ability to adjust acreage based on market signals, in particular, competing crops’ relative prices. This year’s survey results are no different with growers intending to plant 1.2 million acres, a 24.9 percent increase from the previous year. All the region’s states are expected to increase cotton acreage. In Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, respondents indicate a reduction in wheat, soybeans and the ‘other crops’ category. In Missouri, cotton acreage is expected to increase while declines are expected for corn, soybeans and ‘other crops’ acreage. In Tennessee, acreage of corn, wheat and ‘other crops,’ likely sorghum, is expected to move into cotton. Southwest growers intend to plant 5.3 million cotton acres, a 6.1 percent increase. Increases in cotton area are expected in each of the three states. In Kansas, land is shifting away from wheat and grain sorghum. Oklahoma cotton acreage is expected to increase as wheat acreage declines. Overall, Texas cotton acreage is expected to increase by 5.6 percent with south Texas responsible for the statewide increase. The survey responses indicate that cotton growers expect to plant land that was idled in 2015 due to excessive moisture. Little change in acreage was indicated in the state’s other regions. Far West producers are expecting to plant 213,000 upland cotton acres – a 24.4 percent increase from 2015. Arizona is responsible for the increase, with California and New Mexico acreage seeing slight declines. Arizona survey results suggest a shift from wheat and ‘other crops’ to cotton. Arizona growers also are expecting to plant 34.8 percent more ELS cotton. The increase in California ELS acreage in 2016 is likely the result of expectations of increased water allocations. The survey responses indicate that the modest increase in cotton acreage is largely the result of weaker prices of competing crops and improved expectations for water and favorable planting-time weather. “Comments from respondents underscored the very difficult financial conditions facing cotton producers,” the NCC said. “For the past two years, U.S. cotton producers have struggled with low cotton prices and high production costs – and with current futures markets indicating steady prices, producers’ economic situation is not likely to improve in 2016. Some producers, in fact, will find it very difficult to obtain production financing for the current year.” Source: Forrest Laws, Southeast Farm Press
National
Surviving and thriving in 2016
Matt Roberts Ohio State University Extension Ag Economist Matt Roberts was in Nebraska recently for a presentation at the Nebraska Farm Bureau?s Ag Edge conference. In an?interview with Brownfield, Roberts?talked about some?steps farmers should be?taking to get through this current ?rough patch? in the farm economy, including building up a cash cushion. ?What I encourage farmers to do is to?have a full year of land charges, in cash, as your ?keep your powder dry? emergency fund,? Roberts said. Roberts also shared his thoughts on what he sees happening with cash rents. AUDIO: Matt Roberts http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/MFP-for-2-12-16.mp3 The post Surviving and thriving in 2016 appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Secretaries Jewell, Vilsack Applaud President Obama's Designation of Three New National Monuments in California Desert
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2016 - Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today joined members of Congress, state and local officials, and local business and community leaders in applauding the President's designation of the Sand to Snow National Monument, Mojave Trails National Monument, and Castle Mountains National Monument in southern California.
Calf-Tel Introduces The ECS, Calf Housing System
Hampel Animal Care introduces the Calf-Tel ECS, an enhanced calf housing system that provides superior protection for calves in the worst weather conditions - from blizzards to heat waves.
Beef Organization Looks For Comments
The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, or CRSB, is seeking the public?s comments on the first draft of its sustainability indicators for beef operations.
McCarthy: EPA will respect court decisions
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the agency will abide by court decisions regarding the EPA?s Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Rule.? In a hearing Thursday before the House Ag Committee, McCarthy was asked by Chairman Michael Conaway of Texas how the EPA will respond to federal court rulings against full implementation the rules. The post McCarthy: EPA will respect court decisions appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
WOTUS continues to be a challenge
Indiana Senator Joe?Donnelly?says lawmakers are keeping a close eye on the EPA?s Clean Water Rule, to make sure it isn?t twisted to harm America?s farmers and ranchers. ?There?s a court decision that has put a hold on WOTUS,? he says.? ?And on the Senate side we?re working constantly with our colleagues to get them to understand nobody wants cleaner water than the farmers that live there and the kids that live there.? He says the rule, commonly referred to as Waters of the US (WOTUS), continues to be a challenge. Donnelly?tells Brownfield he wants a common sense solution.? ?Use the wisdom of the farm community rather than some bureaucrat in Washington trying to tell us what to do,? he says. He says Congress has drawn its battle lines.? ?A number of legislators that would have made it a veto-proof number said ?if they see bureaucrats trying to include things like farm ponds and ditches and others ? they?d be out,? he says.? ?They?ll stand with us at that point.? The rule is currently stayed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/DonnellyJoe_FoF.mp3 The post WOTUS continues to be a challenge appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Cattle trade at lower prices
USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading was moderate in Kansas and light in the Texas Panhandle on Thursday on light to moderate demand. Compared to last week, live cattle traded $3.00 lower at 133.00. Trade and demand was light to moderate in Nebraska and Iowa. In Nebraska live sales in the central part of the state traded at 132.000, with dressed sales $4.00 lower than last week at 206.00. Cattle in Iowa trended $1.00 t0 2.00 lower at 130.00, with dressed sales down $4.00 at 206.00. The estimated sales volume was 45,000 head. Boxed beef cutout values were lower on choice and higher on select on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef 217.02 down 1.17, select 214.27 up .65. USDA estimated the Thursday cattle slaughter at 108,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, but 1,000 less than last year. Live cattle contracts settle 155 to 235 points lower on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Futures cut early losses nearly in half but remained under significant pressure as traders concentrated on weakening fundamentals and lower cash cattle prices. Feeder cattle finished 97 to 185 points in the red under moderate to strong pressure. Aggressive losses which pushed the live contracts to limit losses early in the session, appeared to test limit losses in the feeder cattle market also. The inability to draw additional seller activity into the market brought futures back to a more moderate range. Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 3870 head on Wednesday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers under 800 pounds sold steady, over 8.00 were mostly $2.00 to 5.00 lower, heifers were mostly steady. Demand was good for replacement heifers and moderate to good on all other classes of cattle. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 721 pounds brought 163.87 per hundredweight. 715 pound heifers traded at 147.75. Lean hogs settled 15 to 110 points higher. Moderate to strong short covering helped regain the losses which developed Wednesday, and created additional support through the end of the trading session most of the traders attention was placed on the pressure in the cattle trade and outside markets, which allowed for buyers to easily step back into the hog complex, creating more stability. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .56 higher at 63.64 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .62 at 63.50, and nationally the market was .58 higher at 62.90. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 51.00 to 57.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis were steady from 37.00 to 48.00. The pork carcass cutout value was down 1.53 at 75.52 FOB plant. For the week ending Feb. 6, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 283.5 pounds, .6 pounds lighter than the prior week and 2.1 pounds smaller than 2015. This week?s hog slaughter total is expected to come in between 2.24 and 2.25 million head. Weekly kill totals should start running below the 2.20 million mark by early March. The hog kill Thursday was estimated at 435,000 head, 34,000 more than last week and 1,000 greater than last year. The post Cattle trade at lower prices appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Nearby milk futures up
In Class III trade at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, milk futures were mixed, with winter and spring months up and summer months down. February was $.10 higher at $13.88 and March was up $.04 at $14.01, April was $.03 higher at $14.06 and May was up $.01 at $14.16. Cash cheese barrels were up $.015 at $1.48. The last bid unfilled was on one load at that price. Blocks were steady at $1.49 with five loads sold. The last bid unfilled was on five loads at $1.47. Butter was $.005 higher at $2.13. There were a total of 15 loads sold, from $2.12 to $2.16. The last bid unfilled was on one load at $2.12. Grade A nonfat dry milk was up at $.76, with two loads sold. The last offer uncovered was for three loads at $.77. The post Nearby milk futures up appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Soybeans hold gains
Soybeans were higher on short covering and technical buying, seeing an oversold bounce. Weekly export sales were a little larger than expected with China the big buyer. Unknown destinations did cancel a lot of beans, though, and South American crop conditions look good. Conditions in Brazil are conducive to early harvest activity and there?s rain in the forecast for parts of Argentina. Soybean meal and oil were higher, following beans. Corn was steady to modestly lower. Weekly export numbers were bearish with lower than expected sales and a slow week for shipments. Corn?s also watching crop development conditions in Argentina and Brazil. Ethanol futures were lower. Unknown destinations bought 152,400 tons of 2015/16 U.S. corn. The wheat complex was mixed. Weekly export sales were at the high end of estimates, while shipments continue to be slow. The fundamentals are bearish, but wheat is considered to be a good value. France?s AgriMer lower its 2016 soft winter wheat acreage estimate. The post Soybeans hold gains appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Vilsack explains proposed crop insurance cut
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack defends a reduction in crop insurance in the president?s proposed 2017 budget. In a budget hearing this morning, House subcommittee chairman Robert Aderholt of Alabama criticized the move citing current economic difficulties, sharply decreasing crop prices and a number of natural disasters, ?There are number of uncertain economic factors in the future yet USDA is proposing to reduce crop insurance by $16.9 Billion over 10 years and make it increasingly difficult for them to secure funding.? Vilsack testified that recent audits have criticized the USDA for not focusing on prevented planting concerns. He described crop insurance as a partnership between taxpayers, farmers and insurance companies and said the proposal is more equitable in the price harvest loss area, ?Where instead of subsiding 62% of the premium we would only subsidize a little over 50%. That seems to me to be an equitable partnership. So, I don?t think it necessarily destroys the (crop insurance) program. I think it responds to oversight concerns and I think it provides a more equitable partnership between the partners.? Vilsack testified that both the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had leveled the criticism against the administration and says the USDA had to pay attention to that. ? ? ? The post Vilsack explains proposed crop insurance cut appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
$35 million for school kitchen equipment
The dairy checkoff and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are awarding $35 million to schools to update kitchen equipment. Chief Communication Officer Mollie Waller with Dairy Management Inc. tells Brownfield the grants are possible through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.? ?There?s are number of things that the schools can choose to apply for and it?s really customized.?? She says, ?What that school most needs is what they can apply for.? Up to $5,000 will be awarded to individual schools or school districts for nutrition equipment. The USDA says a recent survey found almost 90 percent of schools are lacking at least one piece of kitchen equipment to serve healthier foods. Fuel Up to Play 60, a partnership of the dairy checkoff, NFL and USDA, is an in-school nutrition program that encourages students to develop healthy habits. AUDIO: Interview with Mollie Waller http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/160211_DMI-Kitchen-Grants.mp3 The post $35 million for school kitchen equipment appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Water issues challenge young farmers in the West
A new report from the National Young Farmers Coalition says young farmers are conservation minded, but face major water scarcity barriers. Western water program director Kate Greenberg tells Brownfield water scarcity, climate change and drought are top concerns of young farmers in the West.???If we want young farmers to be able to farm and ranch in the West not only today but in the decades ahead?we need to address the price of irrigated land, we need to look at the impacts of drought and other climate related events and how those will impact water supply for agriculture, and I think we really need to value water for agriculture.? She says 94 percent of respondents to their Conservation Generation survey are using some form of conservation on their farms, but the cost of irrigated land is limiting many from entering the business. ??Currently the price of irrigated land is out of reach for many young and beginning farmers, especially those farmers who are first generation.? The group is advocating for protection of irrigated farmland, more incentives for on-farm water and soil conservation, and clarity of farmers? water rights. AUDIO: Interview with Kate Greenberg http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/160211_NYFConservationGeneration.mp3 The post Water issues challenge young farmers in the West appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: February 11, 2016
Mar. corn closed at $3.60 and 1/4,?unchanged Mar. soybeans closed at $8.73 and 1/2,?up 11 and?1/4?cents Mar. soybean meal closed at $263.70,?up?$2.70 Mar. soybean oil closed at 31.59,?up?58?points Mar. wheat closed at $4.58 and 1/4,?down 3?cents Feb. live cattle closed at $130.12,?down $2.35 Feb. lean hogs closed at $65.52,?up?37 cents Mar. crude oil closed at $26.21,?down?$1.24 Mar. cotton closed at 58.42,?down 46?points Mar. rice closed at $11.01 and 1/2,?down 11 and 1/2?cents Feb. Class III milk closed at $13.88,?up 10?cents Apr. gold closed at $1,247.80,?up $53.20 Dow Jones Industrial Average: 15,660.18,?down 254.56?points The post Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: February 11, 2016 appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Survey of cotton growers shows acreage increase
A survey of U.S. cotton growers? 2016 planting intentions may have caught some in the ag industry by surprise. Even though cotton prices are at their lowest levels in five years, the survey showed cotton growers plan to increase plantings by six percent over last year. Jody Campiche, an economic analyst with the National Cotton Council (NCC), tells Brownfield an increase in cotton acreage in south Texas accounts for some of the increase. ?Last year, for the 2015 season, South Texas had a lot lower cotton acres than they normally do, due to excessive rainfall that prevented them from planting,? says Campiche. ?So what we?re seeing in Texas is mostly just that acreage that didn?t get planted in ?15 is now coming back into production in ?16.? The Mid-South, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, is anticipating a 25 percent increase in cotton acres. Campiche says, for many farmers in that region, cotton looks like a better bet than corn or soybeans. ?So we?re kind of seeing a bit of a shift from corn and soybeans into cotton. Not because cotton prices are higher. It?s just that they?re looking at some really tight margins?really tight economic conditions?and they?re kind of looking at, ?Which crop do I have the possibility of making a profit with?.? Cotton growers in the Brownfield state of Missouri indicate they?ll increase acreage by 14 percent to 211-thousand acres. The NCC survey was conducted from mid-December through mid-January. Campiche says that actual plantings will be influenced, of course, by what happens with markets and weather in the coming weeks. AUDIO: Jody Campiche http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/campiche-jody-cotton-survey-160209.mp3 The post Survey of cotton growers shows acreage increase appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
USDA Secretary Vilsack Announces $58.25 Million to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases Through 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 ? U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA?s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has allocated $58.25 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill. This money will support 434 projects that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment and ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.
World
Decade of Red Angus Breed Improvement Pays Dividends
In a time when commercial cattlemen are demanding profit-maximizing genetics, Red Angus breeders are stepping up to offer genetically superior bulls representing a decade of unrivaled breed improvement. 
A Look at Key Players in Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff
The last four armed occupiers of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon surrendered Thursday, ending a tense standoff that began more than a month ago. The armed group seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 and demanded changes to federal land use policies.
Soybeans are Running for $8.78
Three Keys to Planning the Spring Breeding Season
Three key management concepts can help commercial cow calf operations improve the productivity of their cow herds. However, planning and preparation must take place well in advance of the spring breeding season.
Bill Provides $40M in Aid to Flood-Devastated Farmers
South Carolina farmers devastated by last fall's flooding could get up to $40 million in state aid to stay afloat under legislation advanced Wednesday to the House floor.
Weaker Dollar Supports Soybeans, Limits Selling in Corn and Wheat
LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_999353'); Soybeans lead today’s gains, finishing around 10 cents higher, with corn steady to 1 cent lower. Wheat favored a weaker tone on a mixed close. Cattle were sharply lower and hogs were stronger.
Analysts Recommending JBS Say They Really Love It at Lower Price
Analysts Recommending JBS Say They Really Love It at Lower Price
California Farmers Reap Record Sales in Record Drought
A new state report shows California farmers reaping record sales despite the epic drought, thriving even as city-dwellers have been forced to conserve water, household wells have run dry and fish have died.
Weaker Dollar Spurs Corrective Buying in Grain and Soybean Markets
LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_400852'); Corn and wheat futures are slightly higher, with soybeans posting stronger gains. Cattle are lower and hogs are firmer.
Acuron Flexi Available for 2016 Season
A new corn herbicide option has been approved by the EPA and is ready for 2016. Syngenta’s Acuron Flexi joins the company's lineup of herbicides to help farmers fight weeds and growing resistance.
Risk off in the financial world
Rotam North America and SipcamAdvan Announce Joint Venture
In an effort to give customers access to complementary products, Rotam North America and SipcamAdvan have entered into a joint venture as SipcamRotam LLC. Customers in agriculture?and other?markets across the United States will have access to the two companies’ combined portfolios. The joint venture “improves efficiency in order to elevate the customer experience with plant protection products,” the companies said. “The joint venture is a commercial alliance with the two companies sharing commercial, marketing and customer service activities.” ?We?re thrilled to join forces with an innovative and talent-filled company like Rotam,? said Adam Burnhams, Joint Chief Operating Officer at SipcamAdvan and newly appointed General Manager of the JV. ?We believe this new joint venture will not only allow our customer base access to a broader selection of effective chemistry but will also enable both companies to bring new products to market more efficiently.? ?When we reviewed the list of chemistries that SipcamAdvan had available, it made perfect sense to optimize our combined market access to increase product availability for the customers of both companies,? said Tom Chavez, Regional Head, NAFTA at Rotam North America and appointed Chairman of the Board of the JV. Read more about the Rotam North America/SipcamAdvan joint venture.  
Attache: China's Overproduction in 2016 Will Add to Bulging Stocks
The U.S. ag attache in China says the country has not articulated when or how it will deal with bulging supplies.
Eden Research Fungicide Registered in Italy
Eden Research’s 3AEY fungicide designed to prevent and treat botrytis in table and wine grapes has received authorization for use in Italy. The product will be sold in Italy by Sipcam S.p.A. under the brand name 3LOGY following the issuance of the registration number by the Italian authorities. “Italy has recently become the largest wine producing country in the world, and so to have 3LOGY registered and available for sale in this important market is clearly very good news for Eden, our partners and the grape growers in Italy,” said Sean Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Eden. “Since we signed the licence agreement with Sipcam in November 2014, there has been a lot of work by both parties to ensure that we could meet the 2016 growing season and to demonstrate the benefits of 3LOGY to growers and distributors.” Read more about 3AEY in Italy.
Learn How Dogs Can Help You Tackle Your Weeds
Man's best friend sniffs out invasive weeds species to help eradicate problem weeds.