@C - CORN - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 372'6 369'2 370'4 1'2
May '17 379'6 376'2 377'6 1'2
Jul '17 387'0 383'4 385'0 1'2
Sep '17 392'4 389'2 390'6 1'2
Dec '17 398'6 395'4 396'4 0'6
Mar '18 406'0 403'4 404'4 0'6
@S - SOYBEANS - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 1031'6 1023'4 1024'0 -2'2
May '17 1042'4 1034'0 1034'4 -2'6
Jul '17 1051'2 1043'4 1043'4 -2'6
Aug '17 1048'4 1042'4 1042'4 -2'6
Sep '17 1031'6 1027'4 1027'4 -1'4
Nov '17 1018'4 1012'6 1013'0 -1'4
Jan '18 1020'6 1017'4 1017'4 -1'0
@K - HARD RED WINTER WHEAT - KCBT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 457'0 451'4 454'2 2'0
May '17 470'2 464'6 467'4 2'0
Jul '17 481'6 476'4 479'0 1'6
Sep '17 495'2 490'6 493'2 1'6
@L - LIVE CATTLE - CME
Month High Low Last Chg
Feb '17 121.875 119.150 121.875 2.775
Apr '17 117.200 115.025 116.900 1.600
@C - COTTON #2 - ICEFU
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 74.89 74.12 74.89 1.37
May '17 76.20 75.58 75.82 0.16
Jul '17 77.19 76.58 76.78 0.07
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Local
High School Juniors, Seniors: Apply Now to Attend NAYI 2017
LINCOLN - The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) brings together high school juniors and seniors from around the state to explore the ag industry, discover potential ag-related careers and strengthen their appreciation for agriculture. Applications for this year?s NAYI are now available from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Current high school juniors and seniors interested in attending this summer?s program in Lincoln have until April 15th to apply.
National
NAFB Washington Watch
Brownfield’s Meghan Grebner and Mark Dorenkamp will be on the ground in Washington, D.C. for the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting? (NAFB)Washington Watch Sunday, April 30th to Thursday, May 4th, 2017.   Continue reading NAFB Washington Watch at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The NFiles: Upward Momentum Builds
Urea gave us clues in December and has since made good on pulling the nitrogen segment higher. where do we go from here?
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We are excited to have Governor Pete Ricketts join us on Day 2 (Feb. ...
We are excited to have Governor Pete Ricketts join us on Day 2 (Feb. 28) of our annual meeting to talk about property taxes and ag!>
Col. Greg Gadson's story is absolutely phenomenal! You do not want to ...
Col. Greg Gadson's story is absolutely phenomenal! You do not want to miss the opportunity to hear him speak during our annual meeting on Feb. 28 in Grand Island! RSVP online or by calling 402-694-2106. We look forward to seeing you there! www.auroracoop.com>
Come on out to the UNL Career & Internship Fair at the East Campus ...
Come on out to the UNL Career & Internship Fair at the East Campus Union today to see us!>
We are super excited to kick off our first drawing of the ACE ...
We are super excited to kick off our first drawing of the ACE Character Award! February's winner is Brian Urbom with two other honorable mentions! Congrats! We are truly amazed at how our employees go above and beyond in everything they do!>
Contact your local Aurora Cooperative Animal Nutrition Representative ...
Contact your local Aurora Cooperative Animal Nutrition Representative for a Spring Mineral booking today! Also check out our current calving specials!>
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The countdown towards the annual meeting has begun! Here is a look at ...
The countdown towards the annual meeting has begun! Here is a look at the schedule for the two-day event which features many amazing presentations from people like motivational speaker Col. Greg Gadson and the soybean yield record holder Randy Dowdy. You won't want to miss out on this unique event!>
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Here is the line-up of our Grain Team's Market Outlook Meetings ...
Here is the line-up of our Grain Team's Market Outlook Meetings starting tomorrow.>
Don't miss out on our upcoming Market Outlook Meetings starting ...
Don't miss out on our upcoming Market Outlook Meetings starting tomorrow in Superior!>
Please join us at one of these locations to gain some insight on ...
Please join us at one of these locations to gain some insight on important grain marketing decisions!>
Please join us at one of these locations to gain some insight on ...
Please join us at one of these locations to gain some insight on important grain marketing decisions!>
A special "Thank You" to Governor Pete Ricketts and Norm Krug for the ...
A special "Thank You" to Governor Pete Ricketts and Norm Krug for the great meeting at Preferred Popcorn in Chapman, Ne! It's exciting to see the commitment to Nebraska's Farm and Ranch Families, the tax relief focus is on point! (Pictured, Chase Perry- Chapman location manager, Chris Vincent-CEO, Daryl Hunnicut-Aurora Coop Stockholder/Preferred Popcorn Board Member, visiting with Governor Pete Ricketts")>
ACE board of directors getting to work on how to meet the growing ...
ACE board of directors getting to work on how to meet the growing demands of our owners and thinking through how we continue to put our owners' equity to work for your farm, your cooperative and your future.>
Our 2017 scholarship application is now available on our website!
Our 2017 scholarship application is now available on our website!>
Local
High School Juniors, Seniors: Apply Now to Attend NAYI 2017
LINCOLN - The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) brings together high school juniors and seniors from around the state to explore the ag industry, discover potential ag-related careers and strengthen their appreciation for agriculture. Applications for this year?s NAYI are now available from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA). Current high school juniors and seniors interested in attending this summer?s program in Lincoln have until April 15th to apply.
Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career
High Plains FFA president Tana Engel brings more than just her vast knowledge of animals to the respected position as her poise and leadership skills have proven she is the perfect person for the job. ?It?s not about what office you have in FFA it?s what you do with the office that matters,? Engel explained as part of her personal mantra. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. ? Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career 1/5Give Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career 2/5Give Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career 3/5Give Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career 4/5Give Engel?s presidency leads to an ag-based career 5/5 No votes yet
Minimize Negative Impacts of Winter Manure Spreading
Livestock farmers face many challenges. One of the most daunting is deciding where to apply manure during the winter months. Rumors and fears about winter spreading bans have been circulating for years. The major concern with winter application of manure is losing manure nutrients in surface runoff from fields. Michigan State University Extension encourages farmers to be aware of different tools and practices that can minimize potentially negative effects associated with winter manure application, especially those that farm in priority watersheds such as the Western Lake Erie Basin and Saginaw Bay watersheds. A conservation practice that farmers can implement to minimize manure runoff while capturing manure nutrients is to spread on fields that have a cover crop. Cover crops can capture and hold onto the manure so that it is less likely to leave the field. This practice may decrease the risk of manure nutrients running off into surface waters or leaching through field tiles. Cover crops can uptake the manure nutrients in the spring for an early growth. This not only means healthier plants but it also decreases the likelihood of nitrogen leaching through the soil and getting into groundwater. Another benefit may be an increase in biomass production, which equates to an increase in organic matter. Cover crops can improve soil health and less fertilizer may be needed for crop production. If you would like to learn more about cover crops, the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) is holding its annual business meeting followed by a one-day conference this year in Michigan. The MCCC conference will be held on March 15, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza 5700 28th Street SE. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. The MCCC business meeting will precede the conference on March 14. Event details are available here. This event is an opportunity for farmers, researchers, educators, agency personnel, NGOs and agribusiness to learn from one another about the latest information in successful cover cropping. Michigan State University Extension is hosting the meeting and conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Making Cover Crops Work - Experiences from the Field.” In addition to joint sessions on cover crop termination and inter-seeding of cover crops, three concurrent sessions will feature cover crop use in field crops, vegetable crops and forage/grazing systems. CCA and RUP credits are pending. Exhibitors providing cover crop and other ag-related services will be present. Register on the MCCC annual meeting page. A new tool is in the toolbox for Michigan livestock producers to use when making decisions on when and where to spread manure. The MSU EnviroImpact Tool is part of the Michigan Manure Management Advisory System that was been developed through a partnership between National Weather Service/NOAA, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), Michigan State University (MSU) Institute of Water Research, Michigan Sea Grant and MSU Extension. The MSU EnviroImpact Tool provides maps showing short-term runoff risks for daily manure application planning purposes; taking into account factors including precipitation, temperature, soil moisture and landscape characteristics. Anyone that is handling and applying livestock manure in Michigan can use this tool to determine how risky it will be spread manure on their fields. Source: Michigan State University Extension 
Will Spring Planting Start Early This Year?
Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter on Feb. 2, 2017, but since then, temperatures have been warming in the Midwest. If the warm weather continues, we may see an early start to the grain shipping season on U.S. waterways this year. Ice coverage on Lake Superior and on Lake Pepin is unseasonably light for this time of year. Both lakes are key to the grain shipping spring season opening, normally in late March or early April. On Feb. 3, DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson reported, “The updated outlook for February has nearly the whole continental United States in warmer-than-average conditions more likely.” On Feb.17, the NOAA Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System (GLCFS) reported that total ice coverage on the Great Lakes was at 13.3% vs. 20.3% at the same time in 2016, with Lake Superior coverage at 5.9% vs. 9.5% in 2016 on the same date. The Coast Guard issued a warning that, “Unseasonably warm air temperatures will cause frozen waters to melt at an alarming rate and may cause misperceptions about Great Lakes water temperatures, which will remain dangerously cold, posing safety concerns for anyone venturing onto the lakes.” Strong winds in recent weeks also have helped reduce ice cover, breaking up any ice that had formed. The Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping News reported as of Feb. 18, the opening of the 2017 navigation season is scheduled to take place on March 20 at 8 a.m. with vessel transits subject to weather and ice conditions. Restrictions may apply in some areas until lighted navigation aids have been installed. Early ship traffic will be limited to a maximum draft of 26 feet, 3 inches in the Montreal/Lake Ontario section of the Seaway until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 15. The maximum draft then increases 3 inches through that section and the Welland Canal. The opening of the Sault Ste. Marie locks is scheduled for March 25. In 2016, the Great Lakes spring shipping season commenced on March 21 as the St. Lawrence Seaway opened two weeks earlier than normal, with no ice hindering ships thanks to the warm weather. The very first ocean-going vessel (saltie) of 2016 sailed into the Port of Duluth-Superior beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge on April 3, 2016, officially opening the grain-shipping season. On Wednesday, Feb. 15 crew members with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), St. Paul District took the first of their annual measurements on Lake Pepin, finding less ice on the lake than in previous years at the same time of year. Lake Pepin is located 60 miles downriver from St. Paul, Minnesota, and is the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River. Pepin is the last roadblock for barges waiting to come upriver to open the spring shipping season. It is basically the only “highway” to get to the St. Paul Mississippi River District, which is home to many grain terminals that ship barges of corn, soybeans and feed grains downriver. The Corps reported that the thickest ice on the lake measured 17 inches, about 1 mile southeast of Lake City. However, when they went 3 miles north of Lake City, they encountered open water. Crew members concluded that “this is the least amount of ice they’ve seen on the lake in the last few years.” Measurements will be taken every week or two and will be used to decide when it’s safe for barges to break through any remaining ice and begin the navigation season in the northern portion of the Upper Mississippi River. Tows will typically move barges through ice no thicker than 10 to 12 inches so they don’t risk damage to their vessels. In 2016, the first tow passed through Lake Pepin to reach St. Paul, arriving on March 13. The USACE said the 10-year average for the first towboat to arrive in the St. Paul District is March 24. The earliest date for an up-bound tow to reach Lock and Dam 2 was March 4, in 1983, 1984 and 2000, according to the USACE. The latest start to a navigation season since 1970 occurred on April 16, 2014. WILL PLANTING SEASON OPEN EARLY IF WARM WEATHER CONTINUES? While planting season is not too far away for states such as Texas (corn planting started Feb. 17 in south Texas), Arkansas (corn planting started Feb. 18 in parts of the state) and Mississippi, warm air temperature does not necessarily mean that spring planting would start any sooner than normal. Soil temperatures at a 2-inch depth should be 55 degrees Fahrenheit by 9 a.m. for three consecutive days for good corn germination. Also, in some parts of the Midwest, fields may be too muddy as frost leaves the ground earlier than normal and continued warm weather speeds that process up. The other key component in deciding to plant early that famers need to be aware of, is crop insurance plant dates. Planting dates for corn in the key growing states are usually April 6 to April 11 with the latest date being in the Northern states. Crops planted before the specified earliest planting date will not be eligible for replanting payments. Anderson noted in his Midwest moisture forecast on Feb. 13, that a large portion of the central and southern Midwest, portions of southeastern Iowa, much of Illinois and Indiana, and most of Missouri is quite dry. Precipitation since last October is in many parts of this sector, running well under half the normal amount. “In fact, almost all of Missouri is in abnormally dry or moderate drought stages, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. In contrast to the northern areas, this part of the Corn Belt could use some moisture,” said Anderson. Heading to the Upper Midwest, the scene is much different. The Red River Farm Network reported in their Feb. 6 newsletter that, North Dakota Ag Weather Network interim director Daryl Ritchison thinks spring will be on the cool and wet side of average. “I don’t know if we’ll get extremely cold or extremely wet, but leaning in those two directions, a little cooler and wetter than average,” added Ritchison. “The last two springs, we’ve had very little snow. We were able to get into the fields with warm, dry and no snow to melt very early. This year, there are greater odds of having to wait for the snow to melt and it will take a while to get rid of that snow.” That could give the perception of delayed planting. While the warm weather may be a temptation for farmers to start spring field work early, much needs to be considered before they take their tractors out of hibernation and head to the fields to officially start the 2017 growing season. Source: Mary Kennedy, DTN
Factors To Consider When Assessing Risk Of Herbicide Resistance
How does a farmer or ag retailer establish that a herbicide resistance problem is developing or if their farming practices may lead to resistance appearing? There are several factors to consider when evaluating herbicide resistance risk, according to the Herbicide Resistance Action Commitee’s “Guideline to the Management of Herbicide Resistance”. Some of these relate to the biology of the weed species in question, others relate to particular farming practices. Some examples are given below: Biology and genetic makeup of the weed species in question Number or density of weeds: As resistant plants are assumed to be present in all natural weed populations, the higher the density of weeds, the higher the chance that some resistant individuals will be present. Natural frequency of resistant plants in the population: Some weed species have a higher propensity toward resistance development; this relates to genetic diversity within the species and, in practical terms, refers to the frequency of resistant individuals within the natural population. Seed soil dormancy potential: Plant species with a longer soil dormancy will tend to exhibit a slower resistance development under a selection pressure as the germination of new, susceptible, plants will tend to dilute the resistant population. Crop management practices which may enhance resistance development Frequent use of herbicides with a similar site of action: The combination of ‘frequent use’ and ‘similar site of action’ is the single most important factor in the development of herbicide resistance. Cropping rotations with reliance primarily on herbicides for weed control: The crop rotation is important in that it will determine the frequency and type of herbicide able to be applied. It is also the major factor in the selection of non-chemical weed control options. Additionally, the cropping period for the various crops will have a strong impact on the weed flora present. Lack of non-chemical weed control practices: Cultural or non-chemical weed control techniques, incorporated into an integrated approach is essential to the development of a sustainable crop management system. Download the HRAC’s “Guideline to the Management of Herbicide Resistance.” Source: Matt Hopkins, CropLife
4 Steps to Limit Palmer Pigweed Infestations
As of the end of 2016, Palmer amaranth had been found in 18 Ohio counties, and the majority of it is resistant to both glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides (site 2) based on OSU greenhouse screening. Not all of these “finds” represent problem infestations, and in some cases the potential for a few plants to become an established patch was remedied by timely removal and subsequent monitoring. There are however a number of fields where Palmer became well established and effective control has since required extremely comprehensive herbicide programs combined with removal be hand. This past growing season, three soybean fields were so densely infested with Palmer that they had to be mowed down in early August. At that point, the only recommendation we could make was mowing, to prevent the production of massive amounts of additional seed, in order to at least limit somewhat how bad future infestations were going to be. These infestations obviously started prior to this year, and were ignored, allowing them to continue to increase to the point of disaster. This scenario is of course what occurred in many fields in the southern US as Palmer spread and took over fields. In this article we cover the relative importance of the various paths of Palmer amaranth introduction in to Ohio fields so far, and the steps growers can take to prevent infestations from becoming established. 1. Use cotton feed products from the south by animal operations, and subsequent spread of manure from these operations onto crop fields, has been responsible for most of the infestations in Ohio so far. Palmer is widespread in cotton fields in the south so the cotton harvest byproducts that are shipped to Ohio for use as feed have a high potential to contain Palmer seed. Action items: avoid use of these feed products, educate animal operations in your area about this issue; if still using these feed products, find out whether the supplier has taken any steps to remove Palmer seed prior to shipping them here; if possible, store manure in pits for a period of time prior to spreading, which may reduce the seed viability at least somewhat. 2. Field to field spread by local equipment has occurred in a few areas of the state, primarily via combines that are used in Palmer-infested fields without subsequent complete cleanout (and it’s impossible to get all Palmer seed out of a combine anyway). Action items: if hiring custom harvesters, find out whether the combine has previously been in fields infested with Palmer; ask the custom harvest operator what his philosophy is with regard to harvesting very weedy fields or those infested with Palmer – does he avoid these fields, are cleanout procedures used? 3. Purchase of used equipment that came from the south is known to be the source of several infestations in one area of the state. In this case a used combine was purchased from a local equipment dealer, but apparently originated in Georgia. Action items: when purchasing used equipment, especially combines, know the full history; and avoid purchase of combines from Palmer-infested areas. 4. Contamination of seed used for establishment of cover crops, CREP and similar areas, pollinator areas, wildlife areas, etc. We should say at the outset here that as far as we know this has been the source of only two infestations of Palmer amaranth in Ohio – one in Scioto County that may have started in about 2007, and one in Madison County several years ago that was torn up to prevent future problems and so did not turn into an established infestation. However, a pollinator seeding program in Iowa this year resulted in many new introductions of Palmer amaranth due to the contamination of pollinator seed with Palmer seed. A recent Ohio Farmer article on this subject made it look like Armageddon was about to occur here in Ohio based on the problems that occurred farther west, which is an overstatement. It stated that two counties were “infected” with Palmer due to contamination of CREP, when the reality is that there are three infested fields in Scioto County. The introduction in Madison County was largely eradicated) Much of this type of seed is produced farther west (Kansas, Texas, etc), or in the south in the case of warm-season grasses, in areas that can be abundantly infested with Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth is not a noxious weed in the western states at least. The Catch 22 is that while seed sold for use here is not supposed to contain seed of Palmer amaranth or other weeds designated as noxious in Ohio, the fact that Palmer is not a noxious weed where the seed is produced means that the seed tag does not have to show whether Palmer seed is a contaminant. If you are thinking well that doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone. Programs of state and federal agencies have been relying on seed tags for the most part, although they are encouraging growers to have seed tested (see below). One county FSA office apparently does mandate testing of all seed. Pheasants Forever appears to have a more proactive approach in place. They contract with only one seed vendor each year. Prior to being shipped from the Kansas vendor, seed is screened for the presence of first any pigweed, and then also Palmer amaranth if necessary. Action items: Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) will screen any seed of this type for the presence of all Ohio noxious weeds. We recommend having this done prior to planting. Contact the ODA Grain, Feed, and Seed Program at (614) 728-6410 – they have to pick the seed up, it cannot be mailed or dropped off. Other possible mechanisms of introduction include movement of seed on animals or migratory birds or with flood water, all of which are out of one’s control. Keep in mind that the residual herbicides we are using to control marestail and ragweeds also have activity on Palmer amaranth. The early-season control of Palmer that they provide allows for a fighting chance to scout and remove Palmer plants later in the season, before they have been able to produce viable seed. There was no use of residual herbicide in the fields that were mowed down this year (nothing except glyphosate actually). We need to have a zero tolerance attitude toward Palmer amaranth in Ohio. An important component of this, in addition to the steps outlined above, is scouting of soybean fields in mid to late season for the presence of Palmer plants that have escaped all prior herbicide treatments. This can be accomplished a number of ways – driving by or around fields and scanning with binoculars, use of a drone, etc. Any Palmer plants found should be first checked for presence of mature seed – small black seed upon shaking or crushing of seedheads. If there are none, cut the plants off just below the soil line, remove from field and burn or compost. They can reroot and regrow enough to still produce seed if left in the field. Where plants have mature seed, our suggestion would be to first cut off and bag seedheads on site, prior to removal of plants. Or possibly drive into the field, and put them gently into the bed of a vehicle. Avoid dragging plants with mature seed through the field. We assume that Palmer plants would not be evident in corn fields until seen from a combine cab during harvest. When in doubt, get help with identification and avoid contaminating combines with Palmer seed, rather than just harvesting through anything and hoping for the best. Contact us at any time for help with identification or management advice. Source: Mark Loux, Ohio State University 
Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B
Extension entomologist Robert Wright took over the speaking duties at the end of the day Jan. 6 at the Crop Production Clinic in York to discuss recent studies on the resistance to insecticides for some of today?s biggest pests in agriculture -- the western corn rootworm and the western bean cutworm. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B 1/5Give Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B 2/5Give Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B 3/5Give Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B 4/5Give Insecticide resistance costs producers $1.4B 5/5 No votes yet
Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease
While the farming industry advances steadily every year to improve upon previous growing season?s results, so do all the elements trying to make a producer?s life more difficult.Graduate research assistant Terra Hartman spoke to a crowd of more than 100 Jan. 6 at the Crop Production Clinic in York, where she discussed to all the new and old corn diseases found around the state.Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 1/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 2/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 3/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 4/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 5/5 No votes yet
Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields
One of the top priorities at the Crop Production Clinic in York Jan.6 included the topic of invasive insects and what Nebraska farmers should look for when identifying pests in their fields.Extension crop protection and cropping systems specialist Justin McMechan spoke to the hundreds in attendance about the issues facing producers today when it comes to the small creatures most would prefer out of their fields. One such insect that has seen an increasing presence around the state is the Japanese beetle.Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields 1/5Give Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields 2/5Give Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields 3/5Give Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields 4/5Give Invasive insects showing up in Nebraska fields 5/5 No votes yet
Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor
Aurora native Mitch Oswald has joined AgriGold as a field advisor serving clients in Hamilton County.Oswald, a 2012 Aurora graduate, earned a degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor 1/5Give Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor 2/5Give Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor 3/5Give Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor 4/5Give Oswald joins AgriGold as field advisor 5/5 No votes yet
Cover crop expert compares soil to economy
As the concept of cover crop usage continues to grow in popularity, experts like Keith Berns, owner of Green Cover Seed, take the idea seriously by also focusing on what each individual soil selection may require.?We?ve been doing cover crops since 2009,? Berns began during his Dec. 14 speech at a Crop Tip forum in York. ?We also started Green Cover Seed in 2009 as a way to provide cover crop seed as an additional business. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Cover crop expert compares soil to economy 1/5Give Cover crop expert compares soil to economy 2/5Give Cover crop expert compares soil to economy 3/5Give Cover crop expert compares soil to economy 4/5Give Cover crop expert compares soil to economy 5/5 No votes yet
We are excited to have Governor Pete Ricketts join us on Day 2 (Feb. ...
We are excited to have Governor Pete Ricketts join us on Day 2 (Feb. 28) of our annual meeting to talk about property taxes and ag!>
Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbicide-Resistant Giant Ragweed
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/weed-science/article/div-classtitleseedbank-depletion-and-emergence-patterns-of-giant-ragweed-span-classitalicambrosia-trifidaspan-in-minnesota-cropping-systemsdiv/C59A1FA3653BEAF9559CFBF2B7F80416?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=WSC_RagweedResearchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant ragweed — a plant shown to produce significant yield losses in Midwest corn and soybean crops. Since giant ragweed is resistant to multiple herbicide sites of action, researchers at the University of Minnesota set out to determine the impact of alternative control strategies on both the emergence of giant ragweed and the number of giant ragweed seeds in the weed seedbank. They evaluated six, three-year crop rotation systems, including continuous corn, soybean-corn-corn, corn-soybean-corn, soybean-wheat-corn, soybean-alfalfa-corn and alfalfa-alfalfa-corn. Researchers found that corn and soybean rotations were more conducive to giant ragweed emergence. Thirty-eight percent fewer giant ragweed plants emerged when the crop rotation system included wheat or alfalfa. They also found that adopting a zero-weed threshold can be a viable approach to depleting the weed seedbank, regardless of the crop rotation system used. When a zero-weed threshold was maintained, 96 percent of the giant ragweed seedbank was depleted within just two years. “Since the ragweed seedbank is short-lived, our research shows it is possible to manage fields infested with giant ragweed by simply eliminating weeds that emerge before they go to seed,” says Jared Goplen, a member of the research team. Herbicide-resistant giant ragweed is rapidly becoming a major threat to corn and soybean production in the Midwest and elsewhere. This research will help growers utilize crop rotation as a much-needed additional strategy for managing this weed. Access the full paper: Seedbank Depletion and Emergence Patterns of Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) in Minnesota Cropping Systems Source: Matt Hopkins, CropLife
High Yield Potential, Prices Prompt More High Plains Cotton Production
With many producers in the northern High Plains considering planting cotton this year, some for the first time, one Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist is advising that optimizing irrigation and fertility will be important to their bottom line. Dr. Jourdan Bell, AgriLife Extension agronomist in Amarillo, recently spoke at the High Plains Irrigation Conference, and will repeat her Cotton Production 101 presentation twice this week – at 1 p.m. Feb. 21 at Wolf Creek Heritage Museum, state Highway 305 in Lipscomb, and 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at Ag Producers Agronomy Barn, 919 Liberal St. in Dalhart. AgriLife Extension entomologist Dr. Ed Bynum, Amarillo, will also be on hand to discuss cotton insects, scouting and management at the various growth stages. “The price of cotton right now is pretty good and that is stimulating this increased interest,” Bell said. “Also, we had record yields this past year, with most averaging 3.5 bales to the acre, while others harvested up to 4 or 5 bales to the acre, which is also intensifying interest.” But growing cotton is a lot different than growing corn, she warned. A lot of management considerations were needed to make those yields. “Cotton is a different ball of wax. The irrigation management and fertility issues are different,” Bell said, half-jokingly adding, “If you are planning to grow cotton for the first time, don’t plan on an extended summer vacation, because it requires your attention all the time.” While cotton acreage has fluctuated with prices, there were 850,000 acres of cotton grown in the northern High Plains in 2016, and Bell expects acreage to reach that or higher this year. “That’s more in this region than many other southern cotton production states,” she said. Bell said one of the concerns raised at the gins is quality. “New producers need to know they can and will be docked for the quality,” she said. “Micronaire, leaf and color grade in addition to high moisture at harvest all need to be managed to enhance high lint yields.” Some of the increased interest is due to producers finding cotton fits well in their operations if water is limited, Bell said. It provides the ability to plant half the circle to corn that is irrigated at a higher rate and the other half to cotton which can be irrigated at a reduced rate. This strategy provides many producers an ability to manage lower well capacities and continue to keep corn in their rotation, she said. But producers still have the question, “We can make the pounds, but how can we maximize the quality?” Bell said they recognize that additional profitability comes with the quality. Both lint and quality are needed to maximize production. Quality factors include fiber length and strength; the micronaire, or thickness; uniformity and leaf grades, all of which are considered for the fiber to make a premium grade. “I have had a few producers comment that they can manage quality through variety selection, but that is only part of the story,” Bell said. “The length and strength of the fiber is strongly controlled by variety, but adverse conditions can still impact development. Micronaire is only about 50 percent genetics, the rest is management.” So, what affects micronaire development? The fiber thickness actually begins to develop at flowering. Epidermal cells begin to elongate for the first two to three weeks of growth and then the next two to three weeks is all about thickness. Low micronaire means the fiber is thin and won’t absorb the dye as well and easily forms small knots, while high “mic” fiber is coarse and won’t spin well because it is too thick, Bell said. “That four- to six-week window is critical and there are several management factors that can impact the development during this period,” she said. “Excessive nitrogen and irrigation can be an issue. Sometimes newer cotton farmers want to manage the cotton crop like their corn crop, but there are times they need to pull that irrigation back as well as closely monitor residual soil nitrogen, especially behind corn.” Under excessive irrigation and fertility, cotton can get too tall and overgrown, Bell said. “High-mic cotton can occur when there is too much plant for the boll load, resulting in carbohydrates going to fewer bolls and making the fiber too thick,” she said. “It is important for farmers to have a good plant-growth regulator program in a high input system.” Bell said cotton is an excellent fit for this region, as it is drought tolerant and responds well to a range of moisture levels. “However, excessive water or drought can cause problems. While it requires relatively little water until we get to the first white bloom period, it is very critical we don’t stress the cotton at that stage. “We want moisture for germination and establishment and to activate our preplant herbicides, so supply at least enough water to get the plants established and activate herbicides,” she said. Early bloom is the high water requirement period, Bell said. If water availability is short, water stress can gradually be imposed in the late bloom, cutout and boll opening periods. “We tell producers to be cautious with irrigation during these periods because it can result in excessive vegetation,” she said. “Typically, you don’t have sufficient growing degree days, so we may run out of time to mature the top bolls. The top bolls generally haven’t matured at the end of the season, and this can affect uniformity at harvest. “As we move north into the Panhandle, there is the chance of an early freeze, which limits maturity and yield potential,” Bell said. “Oct. 15 is the average first freeze date in the northern High Plains, so you have to plan accordingly. “If the season is cut short, you might have a good mic on the bottom bolls, the middle bolls may be average and the top bolls are immature, resulting in an overall lower quality mic and penalties,” she said. A fertility season-long program is also important, Bell said. Often producers apply all their fertilizer up front, “but you don’t want to put all your fertilizer on at one time. We do want to get our phosphorus out at planting, especially since it is very important for root growth.” But side-dressing nitrogen fertilizer after evaluating the stand establishment is a good option, she said, especially on dryland acres. Put it on at the correct time to encourage just enough vegetative growth for a good boll set. “Soil testing always recommended,” Bell said. “Manage the residual soil nitrogen to optimize quality. Don’t apply it all upfront; you might not think you have time for a split application, but there is a tradeoff if you don’t. Excessive vegetative growth requires an intensive plant-growth regulator program.” Bell advised cotton producers to look for varieties that are stable, have performed well across different environments and have a realistic maturity date for this region. Cotton variety trial results can be found at http://bit.ly/2l5oloq. Source: Texas AgriLife Extension
Low Fertilizer Costs Help Producers' Bottom Lines
Fertilizer prices have climbed since hitting recent lows last fall, but prices are still down enough to put a dent in corn production costs compared with a year ago. Executives at fertilizer companies have been telling investors that rising prices point to higher returns for them in coming months. For corn planted on the past season's soybean ground, one USDA report showed fertilizer costs at $162 in 2012 is down to $95 in 2016 and projected at $86 for 2017, said Charles Brown, an Iowa State Extension farm management specialist in eastern Iowa. He said retail urea prices slid from around $400 per ton in January 2016 to $320 in November. "It has started to trend up now" to around $360 in January, Brown said, and is likely to rise a little more in spring. Fertilizer company executives have sounded optimistic about strong global demand and rising prices for their products. Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, which markets all three major plant nutrients, said the average nitrogen price of $182 per ton it received in the fourth quarter of 2016 had dropped from $288 a year earlier. PotashCorp execs said they expect some seasonal price strength for nitrogen products, but new U.S. production facilities likely will weigh on domestic prices. They expect potash prices to rise, as farmers replenish soils after last year's record yields. Mosaic Co., said its average fourth-quarter 2016 diammonium phosphate selling price of $317 per metric ton in the quarter was down from $410 a year ago. But James O'Rourke, Mosaic president and CEO, told investment analysts Feb. 7, "potash and phosphate prices continue to move up, even through the seasonally-slow time of the year." He said blend-grade potash prices in North America had gained more than $50 per ton from last year's lows, and New Orleans phosphate base prices were up $35 per metric ton from the December low. In world markets during the first week of February, prices rose for diammonium phosphate, continued a steep increase for monoammonium phosphate and rose for potash after staying in a range since October, Market Realist reported. In Iowa, prices for major nitrogen fertilizer products since September reached their lows in early October, according to USDA Market News Service reports. Those reports show statewide cash prices, bulk f.o.b. distributor. Prices for anhydrous ammonia, urea and 32 percent liquid nitrogen rose to recent highs in late December or early January and weakened a little since then. Monoammonium phosphate and potash prices reached their recent low in late November, and their recent highs in mid-January, according to the USDA. For farmers looking to save costs, "You can maybe cut application rates without hurting yield," Brown said. When farm profits were strong several years ago, some farmers built up fertility in their soils and could mine the potash and phosphate in the soil, applying at a replacement rate or less. For nitrogen application rates, Brown points farmers to the nitrogen rate calculator at http://cnrc.agron.iastate.edu/. The site is designed for farmers in seven states, from Iowa and Minnesota to Michigan and Ohio. Users select their state and region, crop rotation, fertilizer price and corn price. The tool generates data and a chart showing returns to various levels of nitrogen applications. "Probably 115 to 175 pounds is where you get your biggest return," Brown said. "If you go to 200 lbs. per acre, you may increase yield but may not get your money back." Source: AgriMarketing
National
NAFB Washington Watch
Brownfield’s Meghan Grebner and Mark Dorenkamp will be on the ground in Washington, D.C. for the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting? (NAFB)Washington Watch Sunday, April 30th to Thursday, May 4th, 2017.   Continue reading NAFB Washington Watch at Brownfield Ag News.      
Conservation should boost the bottom line
The former chief of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) says the best form of conservation helps the farmer?s bottom line. Jason Weller, now with Land O?Lakes, tells Brownfield during his eight years at NRCS he saw the farm economy flourish and then stagnate. Through good times and bad, Weller says efficiency pays off. “Reducing the loss of your core asset, which is your soil.? Optimizing your use of fertilizers so you’re using just the right amount to maximize yield, but nothing more.? Continue reading Conservation should boost the bottom line at Brownfield Ag News.      
More mild weather from the Mississippi Valley, eastward
Precipitation in the Pacific Coast States will largely subside by Wednesday night. During the weekend, however, a final February storm will bring another round of heavy rain and snow to California, along with the possibility of flooding and mudslides. Farther east, a storm system will take shape by Thursday across the nation?s mid-section, with the storm expected to move from the central Plains (on February 23) to the Great Lakes region (on February 25). Heavy snow should occur from Wyoming to Michigan?s Upper Peninsula, while rainfall could total 1 to 2 inches from Iowa into the Northeast. Continue reading More mild weather from the Mississippi Valley, eastward at Brownfield Ag News.      
Record, near-record warmth across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, unusually warm weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. Wednesday?s high temperatures will approach 75? as far north as the middle Mississippi Valley. On the Plains, cooler air is overspreading Montana and the Dakotas, accompanied by patches of rain and snow. Meanwhile, record-setting warmth continues from Nebraska southward; Wednesday?s high temperatures will again approach or reach 80? as far north as Kansas, causing wheat to further lose winter hardiness and promoting some early-season crop growth. Continue reading Record, near-record warmth across the Heartland at Brownfield Ag News.      
Heart healthy pork cuts
Pork sirloin roast gets heart healthy approval from the American Heart Association. Registered Dietitian Adria Huseth with the Pork Checkoff says the pork sirloin is the second pork cut added to the American Heart Association?s Heart-Healthy checklist. HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM – Heart healthy pork cuts Continue reading Heart healthy pork cuts at Brownfield Ag News.      
The value of planning long-term
Market analyst Al Kluis says to be successful, farmers need to think about and create a plan for the future. Kluis, president of Kluis Commodities in Wayzata, Minnesota, says as farmers make preparations, it?s important to look back at what lessons history provides.       Continue reading The value of planning long-term at Brownfield Ag News.      
New Nebraska coalition focuses on property taxes, education funding
A new coalition of Nebraska farm and education groups is calling on the state to be less reliant on property taxes to fund public schools. The group is called Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education. At a Tuesday news conference, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said farmers and ranchers carry too much of the burden to fund public education. ?For many years, our organization and our members have been concerned about the growing burden of property taxes and imbalance in our state?s tax system,? Nelson said. Continue reading New Nebraska coalition focuses on property taxes, education funding at Brownfield Ag News.      
Bringing a Hoosier voice to the farm bill debate
Indiana?s Democratic Senator says he?s bringing Hoosier commonsense to the farm bill debate.? ?Because there is more wisdom here than in Washington, DC,? says Senate Ag Committee member Joe Donnelly.? ?The best way to write a farm bill is to be right here on the farm with everybody who has to live with it every day.? Donnelly met with leaders from the Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance as well as local farmers as part of his Farm Bill Listening Tour. Continue reading Bringing a Hoosier voice to the farm bill debate at Brownfield Ag News.      
Reasons vary that farmers take up conservation farming
Whether it?s profitable, or whether it?s simply the right thing to do, a growing number of farmers promote soil health by applying conservation practices to the way they farm. When Brent Bible was invited to join the Soil Health Partnership, the Indiana farmer was on a journey of discovery. ?Soil health and particularly cover crop techniques and cover crop practices were not something that we were very familiar with,? said Bible.? Continue reading Reasons vary that farmers take up conservation farming at Brownfield Ag News.      
Former USDA communications dir. remembers the cow that stole Christmas
A lesson from the past shows the quick release of accurate information can maintain public confidence in the U.S. food supply. Alisa Harrison clearly remembers the afternoon of December 23, 2003.? The former USDA communications director under Secretary Ann Veneman was preparing to take time off when she answered a call from the public affairs officer at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. ?I remember clearly,? Harrison told Brownfield Ag News, ?she said we have a presumptive positive on BSE, and I was almost just speechless.? USDA staff had prepared extensively to quickly communicate with the public in case of an incident involving the U.S. Continue reading Former USDA communications dir. remembers the cow that stole Christmas at Brownfield Ag News.      
Trade disruptions will cost US ag economy
An ag economist says one thing the US ag economy doesn?t need in its current environment is a contentious trade relationship with any of its key partners. Scott Brown with the University of Missouri says last week?s talk of a trade disruption with Mexico creates uncertainty in the US grain market and market opportunities for other countries ? like Brazil. ?But that might just be some movement of trade into particular countries,? he says.? Continue reading Trade disruptions will cost US ag economy at Brownfield Ag News.      
Helping young farmers and ranchers succeed in a down economy
A beginning farmer specialist says the current farm economy is forcing the next generation of farmers and ranchers to place more emphasis on business. Jonathan Carter with Farm Credit Mid-America says one of the greatest challenges facing young producers is access to capital and in today?s ag economy a good business plan is crucial.? ?A lot of times young farmers want to go out on a limb and get started,? he says.? ?So we really put a lot of emphasis on penciling out ideas to make sure it is viable.? Continue reading Helping young farmers and ranchers succeed in a down economy at Brownfield Ag News.      
Learn where to draw the line with biosecurity
Measures to prevent livestock disease outbreaks are not confined to just larger farms. Teng Lim, ag engineer with University of Missouri Ag Systems Management, says it?s essential for every farm, even the smaller ones, to figure out where to draw the line. ?Outside visitors, for example, where should they stop? And then, when you have new equipment coming in ? when you want to transfer equipment from one barn to the other or one farm to the other, what you should do. Continue reading Learn where to draw the line with biosecurity at Brownfield Ag News.      
New Sioux City pork plant announces expansion plan
The?scheduled opening of the new Seaboard Triumph Foods? pork processing plant in Sioux City, Iowa is still six months away. But the company has already announced plans to expand the new facility and add a second shift. Initial start-up of the plant is?set for August. Construction on the expansion is slated to begin this spring with completion set for the summer of 2018. The company says a second shift will allow the facility to process about six-million hogs a year. Continue reading New Sioux City pork plant announces expansion plan at Brownfield Ag News.      
Cattle futures close higher
Both bids and asking prices are poorly defined in feedlot country on Tuesday. A few Southern feedlot managers have suggested asking prices around 123.00 to 124.00. Significant business is not expected until late in the week. The slaughter was estimated at 115,000 head, 2,000 more than last week, and 4,000 greater than a year ago. Boxed beef cutout values were higher on the choice and weak on select on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Continue reading Cattle futures close higher at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The NFiles: Upward Momentum Builds
Urea gave us clues in December and has since made good on pulling the nitrogen segment higher. where do we go from here?
Syngenta?s Minecto Pro Insecticide Approved by EPA
Syngenta announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has registered and approved Minecto Pro insecticide for use in specialty and vegetable crops to control lepidopteran pests as well as sucking/rasping/chewing pests like mites, whiteflies, psyllids, thrips and Colorado potato beetles. ?Minecto Pro is a new foliar insecticide that answers the industry’s request for a broad spectrum solution with long-lasting residual control in specialty and vegetable crops,? said Meade McDonald, insecticide product lead, Syngenta. Minecto Pro combines cyantraniliprole, a second generation diamide that provides a broader spectrum of control, and abamectin, the global standard for mite control, into one convenient premix formulation. ?Its complementary modes of action broaden the activity spectrum compared to other stand-alone products,? said Elijah Meck, technical product lead, Syngenta. ?In many markets, newer products typically target a narrow pest spectrum. However, Minecto Pro has been specifically formulated to deliver robust rates of both active ingredients that will provide superior control of a broad range of lepidopteran and sucking insect pests.? Minecto Pro will be commercially available for the 2017 growing season upon receipt of individual state registrations.
Push to Reduce Property Taxes Gains New Support in Nebraska
A proposal in Nebraska is seeking to reduce property taxes.
Highs in 80s as Far North as Kansas
Winter storm headed for Western Corn Belt later this week.
Sorghum Research Has Potential That Pops
Plenty of people love to snack on popcorn. Considerably fewer have munched on a salty snack alternative – popped sorghum. But researchers at Texas A&M University would like to change that.
Planting Decision a No Brainer as U.S. Farmers Swap Corn for Soy
Acreage used for soy may exceed corn for first time since 1983.  
Trade Looks For Guidance From Ag Forum
Grain markets are slightly higher on short covering. The US Dollar is higher with crude a bit lower creating some headwinds for grains. Stock indices remain near all-time highs.
Colorado Fruit Growers Worry Over Unseasonably Warm Weather
Colorado fruit growers worry over unseasonably warm weather
Maximize Your Planning Efforts
Create, update and use a farm budget to achieve profits 
Keep Calm, Farm On
Experts stress risk-management excellence at 2017 Top Producer Seminar
Rains Increase California Demand for Goat Grazing Services
Southern California businesses that rent goats for brush control say demand is high for their services this winter.
How to Use Bond Market to Your Advantage as Dollar Strengthens
There’s a lot of rhetoric about the strong U.S. dollar and interest rates. Recently, Janet Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, testified in front of Congress that interest rate hikes will come sooner rather than later.
Trade Scrapping Tobacco from Mix, Shrinking Acreage
Tobacco is one crop struggling to keep acres.
US Sees Drop of 8,000 Farms, Believed to be Consolidation
A new government report shows the number of farms in the U.S. continues to shrink.
What's the Value of a John Deere 8320?
Machinery Pete was recently asked by a viewer about the value of a John Deere 8320.