Ashburn VA

Monday
Chance of a Thunderstorm
82°F / 57°F
Wind: 9 SSW
Average Humidity: 73
The Next Three Days

Tuesday
Rain
64°F / 50°F
Wind: 6 N
Humidity: 76

Wednesday
Partly Cloudy
69°F / 50°F
Wind: 7 W
Humidity: 60

Thursday
Rain
63°F / 49°F
Wind: 10 N
Humidity: 72
Close
@C - CORN - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
May '16 390'2 388'0 389'6 -0'4
Jul '16 392'2 389'0 390'2 -1'4
Sep '16 392'0 389'0 390'0 -1'6
Dec '16 395'6 392'2 393'6 -1'4
Mar '17 403'0 399'4 401'6 -1'0
May '17 407'0 405'0 406'6 -0'6
@S - SOYBEANS - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
May '16 1024'6 1019'4 1022'0 1'0
Jul '16 1033'2 1025'6 1030'2 0'4
Aug '16 1033'6 1026'2 1033'4 3'0
Sep '16 1019'0 1014'0 1018'2 1'0
Nov '16 1010'0 1002'6 1008'4 0'6
Jan '17 1010'4 1007'2 1010'4 1'4
Mar '17 1003'4 1000'2 1003'4 2'0
@K - HARD RED WINTER WHEAT - KCBT
Month High Low Last Chg
May '16 465'4 456'0 465'2 4'2
Jul '16 479'2 475'4 476'6 -1'6
Sep '16 493'6 491'6 493'6 -0'4
Dec '16 517'4 517'0 517'4 -0'6
@L - LIVE CATTLE - CME
Month High Low Last Chg
Jun '16 116.400 114.075 114.925 0.125
Aug '16 113.775 111.275 112.425 0.675
DTN Click here for info on Exchange delays.
Local
Ag Groups Concerned About USDA's Biotech Regulations Changes
Several agricultural groups have submitted comments voicing concerns to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) proposed revisions to biotechnology crop regulations. In February, APHIS announced its intent to conduct a programmatic economic impact study as part of a comprehensive study of its Part 340 regulations of biotech crops. Under these regulations, APHIS makes science-based determinations of whether biotech-enhanced traits pose a plant pest risk or noxious weed risk. Five national grain-based organizations cautioned APHIS not to make premature and ill-advised changes to its biotech regulations that could result in increased domestic and international market disruptions for grain and grain products. The statement - authored by the National Grain & Feed Assn. and joined by North American Export Grain Assn., Corn Refiners Assn., North American Millers Assn. and National Oilseed Processors Assn. - said the outcome of any revision to APHIS's biotech regulations should be either acceptable to - or comparable and compatible with regulatory approaches used by - competent government authorities in important U.S. markets so as to minimize or prevent the risk of market and trade disruptions. The comments state, "We believe that any changes to U.S. biotech regulatory processes, including Part 340, should be considered only after advance, robust and thorough discussions with competent government authorities in countries that represent important U.S. export markets, during which alignment in regulatory approaches is achieved to the maximum extent possible. ... This is even more important currently, given ongoing and potentially productive discussions occurring between the private sector and various foreign governments on whether and how to address the regulatory treatment of important new breeding technologies," such as gene editing techniques. The groups said there is no indication that adequate consultations or buy-in from foreign governments have occurred to date. The American Soybean Assn. (ASA) said it is particularly concerned by the potential for changes in the regulatory system to disrupt international trade. It said the U.S. government and soybean industry are actively encouraging foreign trading partners to adopt product-based regulatory review systems for biotech traits that are similar to U.S. systems. "This issue is critically important to U.S. soybean producers, since we export over half of our annual production, and biotech traits are expressed in over 90% of the varieties we plant," ASA stated. "A sudden or unexpected change in our regulatory policy could prevent the introduction of new biotech products in the U.S., since nearly all countries have a zero tolerance for the presence of traits they haven't approved. This would effectively shut down the process for developing and introducing new products." ASA commended APHIS for undertaking this initiative and said it supports the goal of updating regulations to reflect changes in the environment for the development and commercialization of the products of biotechnology. "Any changes to the regulations should be tailored to address specific problems in a clear and transparent manner," ASA said in its comments. "In addition, APHIS must consider the potential impact of changes in its policies on the international as well as the domestic regulatory and commercial environment for biotech products." ASA expressed support for the proposed regulatory approach that is product based, regulates only products that pose a documented risk and is consistent with APHIS's authority and intent to modernize its regulations and called for oversight that is transparent, predictable and proportionate to the actual risk posed. The grain groups' statement also cited the need for APHIS to develop a clearly defined, specific regulatory process for biotech-enhanced agricultural products that have unique functional characteristics (e.g., output traits) that may adversely affect the functionality and/or compositional and nutritional integrity of the product and downstream users if the trait becomes present in the commingled, fungible supply chain at levels exceeding certain thresholds. The organizations faulted APHIS for seemingly divorcing the review of its regulations that determine whether a biotech trait poses a plant pest or noxious weed risk from the Obama Administration's ongoing comprehensive review of the so-called Coordinated Framework for biotechnology that involves other federal agencies like the Food & Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, which have oversight of other aspects of pre-market reviews of biotech-enhanced products. In comments, the National Sorghum Producers said it is concerned that APHIS's proposed changes to the seed technology regulatory framework ultimately will have the effect of regulating non-transgenic or non-genetically modified crops in the same fashion they do transgenic ones currently. It also is concerned that this expansion of APHIS's regulatory powers will slow down the delivery of new technologies and varieties to farmers' fields and significantly increase costs. Further, consistent with previous statements the grain groups have made to APHIS, the joint statement also urged APHIS to consider the concept of "conditional deregulation" in instances where scientific risk assessment has found that a given biotech-enhanced trait does not present a plant pest or noxious weed risk but the trait has not been approved in important U.S. export markets or has a functionally different output trait. Under this concept, APHIS would continue to provide permit-controlled oversight of prudent stewardship and risk responsibility plans put in place by biotech owners/providers to minimize the potential for traits that could pose market disruptions from becoming commingled in the fungible commodity supply stream. The groups noted that the "conditional deregulation" concept is consistent with USDA's obligation to consider the potential economic impacts on U.S. agriculture of commercialization of biotech-enhanced traits. It also would contribute to preserving the efficiencies and cost-competitiveness of the fungible, commingled U.S. and global grain and oilseed supply in which commodities from various regions of the world can be sourced in a timely and efficient manner in response to customer demand without concern over regulatory status, thereby enhancing food security. Source: AgriMarketing
National
Cool, wet weather impacting much of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, cool, mostly dry weather prevails, although a few showers linger in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. The cool conditions are slowing the emergence and growth of recently planted corn. On the Plains, very cool weather prevails, except for lingering warmth in parts of Texas. Showers and thunderstorms have returned to the central and southern Plains, maintaining a wet pattern that developed in mid-April. The sudden wetness has slowed or halted fieldwork but has revived rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. In the South, warmth continues to promote winter wheat development and the emergence of spring-sown crops. However, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms are moving across the mid-South in conjunction with an approaching storm system. In the West, another round of late-season snow is underway across the central Rockies, further improving water-supply prospects. Meanwhile, isolated showers dot the Northwest. The entire region continues to experience unusually cool weather, a sharp departure from earlier warmth that had promoted rapid crop development. Daily Weather Briefing Page Morning Low Temperature Plot Weather Alerts Forecast High Temperatures (National) ? The post Cool, wet weather impacting much of the Heartland appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
World
Trump or Clinton? Buffett Sees Business as Fine With Either
A Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, according to Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Facebook
Added 23 yellow flags @ 36 hrs..So far 32,700 plants emerged
Added 23 yellow flags @ 36 hrs..So far 32,700 plants emerged>
24 hrs later...added 34 flags...75/3 = 25,000 plants/ac emerged. ...
24 hrs later...added 34 flags...75/3 = 25,000 plants/ac emerged. Getting a little stormy out>
Cool and Windy...but another 31 plants emerged over night. 3 rows x ...
Cool and Windy...but another 31 plants emerged over night. 3 rows x 1/1000th acre test>
First Flag Test has been initiated
First Flag Test has been initiated>
Planting Season Brings Optimism, Challenges for Corn Growers
Planting Season Brings Optimism, Challenges for Corn Growers
SOIL TEMP CHARTS 4-15-16.
SOIL TEMP CHARTS 4-15-16.
Check out these "Spring Spruce Up Specials" from the Aurora ...
Check out these "Spring Spruce Up Specials" from the Aurora Cooperative Service Center!>
>
4-12-2016 SOIL TEMPERATURE CHARTS
4-12-2016 SOIL TEMPERATURE CHARTS>
And the 2016 Nebraska State FFA Career Fair has kicked off!
And the 2016 Nebraska State FFA Career Fair has kicked off!>
Our employees work sun up until sun down and often much later, ...
Our employees work sun up until sun down and often much later, putting our owners' equity to work. This is the service our farmer-owners deserve and require in todays agricultural industry. These pictures of lime application were taken Saturday evening near Gibbon, Nebraska.>
Couldn't get this to "share" from the original post, but wanted to ...
Couldn't get this to "share" from the original post, but wanted to show it off regardless! We LOVE messages like this one!>
Today is our 108th Birthday! Let's celebrate by giving away a gift ...
Today is our 108th Birthday! Let's celebrate by giving away a gift card! Post your favorite farm machinery from the past 108 years to be entered for the gift card. Entries will be accepted through Thursday. Drawing held on Friday!>
Be sure to follow us on all social networks: Twitter: ...
Be sure to follow us on all social networks: Twitter: AuroraAgNetwork Instagram: Aurora_Cooperative Facebook & LinkedIn: Aurora Cooperative>
The market place is viewing todays report data as negative. 93.6 ...
The market place is viewing todays report data as negative. 93.6 million acres of corn is 3.6 higher than the trade estimate. Call us at 855-226-7587 for more information.>
Local
Ag Groups Concerned About USDA's Biotech Regulations Changes
Several agricultural groups have submitted comments voicing concerns to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) proposed revisions to biotechnology crop regulations. In February, APHIS announced its intent to conduct a programmatic economic impact study as part of a comprehensive study of its Part 340 regulations of biotech crops. Under these regulations, APHIS makes science-based determinations of whether biotech-enhanced traits pose a plant pest risk or noxious weed risk. Five national grain-based organizations cautioned APHIS not to make premature and ill-advised changes to its biotech regulations that could result in increased domestic and international market disruptions for grain and grain products. The statement - authored by the National Grain & Feed Assn. and joined by North American Export Grain Assn., Corn Refiners Assn., North American Millers Assn. and National Oilseed Processors Assn. - said the outcome of any revision to APHIS's biotech regulations should be either acceptable to - or comparable and compatible with regulatory approaches used by - competent government authorities in important U.S. markets so as to minimize or prevent the risk of market and trade disruptions. The comments state, "We believe that any changes to U.S. biotech regulatory processes, including Part 340, should be considered only after advance, robust and thorough discussions with competent government authorities in countries that represent important U.S. export markets, during which alignment in regulatory approaches is achieved to the maximum extent possible. ... This is even more important currently, given ongoing and potentially productive discussions occurring between the private sector and various foreign governments on whether and how to address the regulatory treatment of important new breeding technologies," such as gene editing techniques. The groups said there is no indication that adequate consultations or buy-in from foreign governments have occurred to date. The American Soybean Assn. (ASA) said it is particularly concerned by the potential for changes in the regulatory system to disrupt international trade. It said the U.S. government and soybean industry are actively encouraging foreign trading partners to adopt product-based regulatory review systems for biotech traits that are similar to U.S. systems. "This issue is critically important to U.S. soybean producers, since we export over half of our annual production, and biotech traits are expressed in over 90% of the varieties we plant," ASA stated. "A sudden or unexpected change in our regulatory policy could prevent the introduction of new biotech products in the U.S., since nearly all countries have a zero tolerance for the presence of traits they haven't approved. This would effectively shut down the process for developing and introducing new products." ASA commended APHIS for undertaking this initiative and said it supports the goal of updating regulations to reflect changes in the environment for the development and commercialization of the products of biotechnology. "Any changes to the regulations should be tailored to address specific problems in a clear and transparent manner," ASA said in its comments. "In addition, APHIS must consider the potential impact of changes in its policies on the international as well as the domestic regulatory and commercial environment for biotech products." ASA expressed support for the proposed regulatory approach that is product based, regulates only products that pose a documented risk and is consistent with APHIS's authority and intent to modernize its regulations and called for oversight that is transparent, predictable and proportionate to the actual risk posed. The grain groups' statement also cited the need for APHIS to develop a clearly defined, specific regulatory process for biotech-enhanced agricultural products that have unique functional characteristics (e.g., output traits) that may adversely affect the functionality and/or compositional and nutritional integrity of the product and downstream users if the trait becomes present in the commingled, fungible supply chain at levels exceeding certain thresholds. The organizations faulted APHIS for seemingly divorcing the review of its regulations that determine whether a biotech trait poses a plant pest or noxious weed risk from the Obama Administration's ongoing comprehensive review of the so-called Coordinated Framework for biotechnology that involves other federal agencies like the Food & Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, which have oversight of other aspects of pre-market reviews of biotech-enhanced products. In comments, the National Sorghum Producers said it is concerned that APHIS's proposed changes to the seed technology regulatory framework ultimately will have the effect of regulating non-transgenic or non-genetically modified crops in the same fashion they do transgenic ones currently. It also is concerned that this expansion of APHIS's regulatory powers will slow down the delivery of new technologies and varieties to farmers' fields and significantly increase costs. Further, consistent with previous statements the grain groups have made to APHIS, the joint statement also urged APHIS to consider the concept of "conditional deregulation" in instances where scientific risk assessment has found that a given biotech-enhanced trait does not present a plant pest or noxious weed risk but the trait has not been approved in important U.S. export markets or has a functionally different output trait. Under this concept, APHIS would continue to provide permit-controlled oversight of prudent stewardship and risk responsibility plans put in place by biotech owners/providers to minimize the potential for traits that could pose market disruptions from becoming commingled in the fungible commodity supply stream. The groups noted that the "conditional deregulation" concept is consistent with USDA's obligation to consider the potential economic impacts on U.S. agriculture of commercialization of biotech-enhanced traits. It also would contribute to preserving the efficiencies and cost-competitiveness of the fungible, commingled U.S. and global grain and oilseed supply in which commodities from various regions of the world can be sourced in a timely and efficient manner in response to customer demand without concern over regulatory status, thereby enhancing food security. Source: AgriMarketing
Little Space, Big Bottom-line Difference
A little space could make a big difference for some Iowa farmers. As planting begins, switching to narrow row spacing is a simple change that could potentially add some cushion to farmers’ bottom line. “The idea of planting soybeans in narrower rows is not a new concept,” said Brett McArtor, Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network field research specialist for southern Iowa. “From research we have conducted and analyzed, narrowing soybean row spacing is probably one of the more consistent practices a farmer can do to increase soybean yields.” Research comparing 15-inch row spacing versus 30-inch is being conducted for the third year in a row across Iowa with the On-Farm Network, and across the country through a project with the United Soybean Board. Nine states participated in the research last year and more are expected to this year. There are both pros and cons for planting narrow rows. Pros Much earlier canopy closure – reduces weed pressure and soil moisture loss Increased sunlight interception – increases growth rate, dry matter accumulation and seed yield Easier harvest – Narrow row soybeans can be harvested more efficiently Cons Pest problems – narrow rows may cause more severe infestations of diseases like white mold Crop damage – Wheel traffic damage from late season pesticide applications Cost – upgrading to a narrow row planter is a big investment, as is having multiple planters for multiples crops Checkoff-funded research at Iowa State University showed a 4.5 bu/Ac advantage to 15-inch row spacing compared to 30-inch spacing. On-Farm Network research, compiled with United Soybean Research in nine states have also showed a positive response to narrow rows, but not to the same extent. This spring the On-Farm Network, funded by Stine Seed, is looking to set up additional sites across the state to compare row spacing yields across a three year period. The extended time frame will allow researchers to analyze the row spacing differences under the influences of different weather patterns and management practices. There are a couple ways farmers can set up a row spacing trial. For farmers with a 30-inch planter, they can plant the field in 30-inch sections as normal, and then go back through the field a second time planting replicated strips of 15-inch spacing. In this case the seeding rate is reduced by half for each trip. For farmers with a 15-inch planter, they can turn off rows to mimic a 30-inch planter in replicated strips. This type of trial is possible due to increased GPS accuracy in most tractors. “Row spacing trials are easy to set-up, and harvest is a breeze because you can visually see where the treatments are,” McArtor said. “Farmers who receive yield and scouting results from our analysis find them really useful to predict a return-on-investment, but also to predict in-season weed and disease pressures. At the end of the day it comes down to determining if narrow rows can work on your operation.” At harvest, soybeans have to be harvested with the row, for these trials, rather than on an angle. Other equipment and methods can also work, depending on a farmer’s personal management techniques. The On-Farm Network can work with farmers to determine what will work best for their operation. Source: Allie Arp, Iowa Soybean Association
Scouting for Aphids Vectoring Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus this Spring
The SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic received a sample of winter wheat this week that was infected with Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and infested with aphids. In addition, reports of large populations of aphids in winter wheat fields came in this week. There are three species of aphids capable of vectoring BYDV to wheat in South Dakota. Although there were no reports of aphids in winter wheat last fall, it appears that the populations are arriving this spring. Read the entire article here.
Sidedressing Corn Makes a Comeback
Sidedressing nitrogen became a lost art for a few years in our history. Many farmers abandoned the practice as farms grew larger and application windows grew tighter. This isn’t the first practice to make a comeback, but it may be one of the most important. The current input cost crunch, the necessity to manage spring nitrogen loss and new application technology are driving the resurgence. The good news is there are other benefits to spoon-feeding nitrogen and providing a fresh supply of nitrogen that includes ammonia. When you apply N either as ammonia, urea ammonia nitrate (UAN) or urea most of the N is in the ammonia form. When soils warm above 50 degrees, much of that ammonia naturally converts to nitrate. It’s the nitrate that is vulnerable to loss from leaching and denitrification. That is why most N management strategies include tactics to keep it in the ammonium form as long as possible. Charles Shapiro, University of Nebraska agronomist, said there is evidence that today’s corn hybrids respond to having N available as ammonia. “Applications of nitrate containing fertilizers provide a source of ammonium for 2 to 3 weeks after application,” Shapiro said. “Some agronomists consider ammonium important along with nitrate and some racehorse varieties respond to having ammonium present in addition to nitrate.” Nitrogen is still applied alone in the fall as ammonia or in spring as ammonia, UAN or urea. In the spring, UAN is often added with herbicides as a weed and feed. Growers can be putting down 150 to 200 pounds of N up front before the crop is planted. Shapiro pointed out that applying too much N that early can drive organic matter decomposition too quickly in the spring instead of letting organic matter decompose more naturally and mineralize N more slowly, like a slow-release fertilizer. We are often told that adding N helps break down residue that has a high carbon to nitrogen ratio. Growers sometimes apply 30 to 50 pounds per acre of N on cornstalks or wheat stubble to drive decomposition or compensate for the corn-on-corn N penalty. However, over-applying too much N early can mineralize N more quickly and put that additional N at risk of loss. “Decomposing organic matter too early can dump too much N in the system and lead to more environmental loss,” Shapiro said. Spoon-feeding N in doses — in the fall, spring, at planting and sidedressing in-season — may be an important element in soil health. Soil microbes need four things: Good soil structure; Good aeration; Labile (active) soil carbon; and A pool of nitrogen. If the soil is moist and well-aerated, the microbes will feed and break down residue and mineralize a supply of nutrients as long as there is some nitrogen and labile carbon (the preferred source of carbon for energy) present. The benefit of healthy soil with a high level of microbial activity is its ability to recycle and mineralize nutrients. So having a fresh supply of nitrogen available longer through the summer may maintain higher levels of microbial activity. Unfortunately, as we move into July and then August these supplies naturally diminish and so does microbial activity. In addition to the economic benefits of higher yields with spoon-feeding, this practice has positive environmental implications. The less nitrogen fertilizer applied and the closer to time of usage by plants, the less chance there is of unused nutrients finding their way into water supplies. Along the way microbes are being fed, enhancing microbial activity and nutrient recycling. Yes, sidedressing puts additional trips across the field on our already crowded list of summer chores. However, spoon feeding goes down easier when you consider that more N is being kept for the crop, it protects the environment and feeds the microbes critical to soil health. Source: Dan Davidson, AgFax
Nebraska Ag Update - April 28, 2016
Nebraska Ag Updates
Corn Export Sales Jump to Marketing-year High
Export sales of corn jumped to a marketing-year high of 2.16 million metric tons in the week that ended on April 21, up 80% from the prior seven days, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report this morning. Japan was the biggest buyer, purchasing 567,400 tons, while unknown customers bought 483,200 tons and Mexico purchased 267,600 tons, the USDA said. Sales for the 2016-2017 marketing year totaled 440,000 tons, according to the agency. Soybean sales, however, dropped 45% from the prior week to 226,000 tons, the government said. The total, down 36% from the prior four-week average, included purchases of 78,600 tons from Mexico, 55,000 tons from Bangladesh, and 37,300 tons from Indonesia. For 2016-2017, sales totaled 720,400 tons, including purchases of 375,500 tons by Mexico and 180,000 tons by China. Wheat sales rose 19% from the prior week and noticeably from the four-week average to 351,900 tons. Mexico was the big buyer at 118,800 tons, and Taiwan purchased 43,400 tons, the USDA said. For 2016-2017, exporters sold 454,700 tons, according to the government. Source: Agriculture.com
Black Cutworm Activity Increasing Across Illinois
Black cutworms have been observed in traps across the state for the past couple of weeks. Several counties have reported significant moth flights (9 or more moths over a 2-night span). We can use the date of the significant flight to predict potential cutting dates based on degree day predictions. Figure 1. Projected potential cutting dates. Figure 1. Projected potential cutting dates. For more complete information about the biology, life cycle, and management of black cutworms, a fact sheet is available from the Department of Crop Sciences, UIUC. Provided below is a brief overview of some key life cycle and management facts concerning black cutworms. Black cutworm moths are strong migratory insects with northward flights commonly observed from Gulf States into the Midwest from March through May. Moths are attracted to fields heavily infested with weeds such as chickweed, shepherd’s purse, peppergrass, and yellow rocket. Late tillage and planting tends to increase the susceptibility of fields to black cutworm infestations. Cutting of corn plants begins when larvae reach the 4th instar — with a single cutworm cutting an average of 3 to 4 plants during its larval development. Cutting tends to occur most often during nights or on dark overcast days. Fields at greatest risk to cutting and economic damage are in the 1-to-4 leaf stage of plant development. An early warning sign of potential economic damage includes small pinhole feeding injury in leaves (caused by the first 3 instars). Producers are encouraged to look for early signs of leaf feeding as a potential indicator of cutting, rather than waiting for cutting to take place. Don’t assume that all Bt hybrids offer the same level of cutworm protection. Plants in the 1- to 4-leaf stage are most susceptible to cutting. Cutting of plants earlier than these projected cutting dates is possible — localized intense flights may have occurred and were not picked up by our volunteers. A nominal threshold of 3% cutting of plants has traditionally been used as a point at which growers should consider a rescue treatment. Not all Bt hybrids offer adequate protection against black cutworm damage. Growers should consult the Handy Bt trait table prepared by Dr. Chris DiFonzo at Michigan State University to determine the level of protection provided by their chosen Bt hybrid. Weekly trap counts in their entirety can be found at the link below and are also shared weekly via Twitter (@ILPestSurvey) along with current pest alerts. March 28- April 4 April 5 – April 11 April 12 – April 18 April 19 – April 25 Source: University of Illinois Extension
Peterson: Dairy Program Not Adequate Right Now
Dairy policy was anything but easy during the last farm bill debate, but with the current downturn in feed prices and milk prices, the safety net may not be working as well as producers had hoped or providing the desired amount of margin protection. House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) said of the new dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) policy established in the 2014 farm bill, “Clearly, it is not adequate right now, and we’re starting to see frustration.” The dairy MPP offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Catastrophic coverage (CAT) of a $4 margin level at 90% of the established production history requires no premium payment beyond the $100 annual cost. For increased protection, dairy operations may annually select a percentage of coverage from 25% to 90% of the established production history in 5% increments and a coverage level threshold from $4.50 to $8.00 in 50-cent intervals. Peterson said this is one of the problems of writing farm bills in high price and cost environments. At the time the farm bill was being debated, feed costs were $12/cwt., and the price of milk was $18.50/cwt. Today, with feed costs at $8/cwt. and milk prices at $14.50, the guarantee is $1.50 below the cost of production. At the time, lawmakers thought $6.50 was the sweet spot for the margin, but in his meetings with dairy groups, Peterson said now it may need to be $8. By raising the guarantee, it may create a system that's more in line with needs, he added. Although designed similar to an insurance product, MPP is operated under the Farm Service Agency rather than the Risk Management Agency (RMA), like other agricultural insurance products are. At the time of the farm bill discussion, the hope was to keep it as a government program since some areas of the country with extensive dairy populations don’t have many crop insurance agents in the same area. “This has locked us into a bad situation, and we can’t fix it,” Peterson said of not having the program under RMA. If it was under RMA, the issue could be addressed in one year. “We are looking at whether it is time to put this into a regular crop insurance program to give more flexibility,” Peterson noted. Reports have indicated that only $700,000 has been paid out to producers, while $73 million in premiums have been paid into the system. Peterson said many of his dairy producer constituents didn’t buy into the program because they don’t expect they'll get anything out of it. “That’s the wrong mentality. This was not a program designed to pay money. The purpose was to provide a safety net,” he said. “What happens if milk goes to $10?” Peterson concluded that dairy farmers may not be convinced to buy into the program until a bad year happens. Source: Jacqui Fatka, Feedstuffs
2016 Net Farm Income Projections Under Different Price Scenarios
Recent increases in corn and soybean prices have cast a more optimistic light on the potential for higher 2016 incomes. In this article, net incomes for different price scenarios are examined given that yields are at their expected levels. Even given recent increases, prices near current fall delivery bids will result in working capital deterioration on many farms. Given expected yields, prices need to be above $4.20 for corn and $10.25 for soybeans before working capital stabilizes on typical grain farms. Again all of these projections are made using expected yields. A key period for understanding 2016 net income levels will occur in August 2016 when a clearer picture of yields and prices emerges. Read the entire story here.
4 27 16 Aurora Cooperative Grain Market Commentary
Panama Canal to Increase Opportunity Across the Pond
The U.S. grain industry has anticipated the completion of the Panama Canal expansion since the project was announced nearly a decade ago. It is a vital trade route for agricultural commodities shipped from the East Coast and the Mississippi River destined for Asia and western South American countries. When fully completed, U.S. exporters and foreign buyers can look forward to reduced transportation and landed costs thanks to the Canal’s new lane of traffic and a new set of locks — doubling the waterway’s capacity. The congestion alleviated will decrease transit times by two to three days for grain and other agricultural goods shipped from the United States to Asia and vice versa. Although the United States must update much of its inland waterways system to accommodate larger vessels and reap the full benefit of this upgrade, the faster route holds potential for increasing the efficiency of U.S. grain shipments. All components of the Panama Canal expansion were originally scheduled to be finished by October 2014; however, construction complications and labor disputes pushed the projected opening back to April 2016. At press time, reports indicated that final testing on the expansion would begin in late April and it should be open for commercial traffic in May. The last 100 years The French government began to build the Panama Canal in 1881 to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across the Isthmus of Panama. The canal was designed to provide travelers an alternative to navigating the dangerous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America. But when the French encountered insufficient funding, a labor force sickened by malaria and yellow fever, and key design flaws, they could not complete their enormous endeavor. In 1904, the United States government purchased the Canal Zone for a total of $50 million and spent $375 million to complete its construction by 1914. The 51-mile-long canal connected vessels from one ocean to the other by raising and lowering them nearly 86 feet through a series of three locks. The United States operated the canal for 85 years until nearly the turn of the century. When it turned over operations to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) in 1999, the average time vessels spent in-transit through the canal was nine hours, but it rose to anywhere from 13 to 35 hours by 2008, according to the ACP. In 2007, the ACP announced that an expansion plan of epic proportion, costing $5.25 billion, would be completed by 2014. The main advantage of the expansion for U.S. agriculture is its third set of locks, which will ease congestion at the canal by accommodating vessels with capacities of up to 13,000 to 14,000 shipping containers, called twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). Pre-expansion, the canal allowed for the passage of Panamax vessels that carried only up to 5,000 TEUs. The new post-Panamax vessels will be able to carry up to 85,000 metric tons of grains compared to the usual 55,000-metric-ton grain shipments, according to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Expansion plan The new locks will be 1,500 feet long, 180.5 feet wide, with a depth of 60 feet. Additionally, the expansion plan consists of three other critical components: the Pacific access channel, navigation channel improvements and improvements to water supply (See table above). Panama Canal’s role in U.S. grain According to the Agricultural Marketing Service, the United States is the No. 1 user of the Panama Canal, amounting to two-thirds of the its traffic, and grain tops the list of U.S. commodities shipped through the canal. The ACP’s report on “Principal Commodities Shipped Through the Panama Canal” shows that in 2014, more than 158 million metric tons of cargo originated from or was destined for the United States. The figures report soybeans have taken the lead as the top U.S. commodity shipped through the canal, clocking in 19,743.8 million metric tons in 2015. According to the Soy Transportation Council, approximately 600 million bushels of U.S. soybeans annually transit the Panama Canal. Other leading U.S. commodities include corn, sorghum, wheat, rice and barley — shipping a total of nearly 27,532.8 million metric tons altogether through the canal last year. During the first half of 2015, a record 33.3 million metric tons of grain transited the waterway — representing an 8.5% increase compared to the same period in 2014. A majority of this increased grain trade originated from the United States. Funding needed to seize the opportunity The Panama Canal plays a huge role in the trade of U.S. grain, but its expansion highlights some of the challenges facing the Mississippi River’s locks and dams. According to a Soybean Checkoff-funded study “Panama canal Expansion: Impact on U.S. Agriculture,” the draw area to the nation’s major navigable waterways could expand from 70 miles to 161 miles once the Canal is complete. With an increased area of the country able to take advantage of the inland waterway system, the demand for barge loading facilities along the country’s major rivers will likely increase. However, the Post-Panamax vessels require deeper, wider shipping channels, greater overhead clearance, and larger cranes and shore infrastructure. Many of the Mississippi River’s locks don’t meet such requirements because they were built more than 50 years ago — well before the era of supersized 14,000-container vessels. Federal funding is crucial to update the system. Waterways funding saw a victory in 2015 with appropriators allocating far above the administration’s deficient requested budget. To maintain this momentum, the Ag Transportation Working Group recently appealed to the House and Senate to continue funding on the U.S. inland waterways system. A letter signed by the group’s 20 members asked lawmakers to appropriate the full amount supportable by the diesel fuel tax going into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which should be around $390 million in FY2017. Additionally, the National Grain and Feed Association requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency responsible for carrying out Mississippi River improvements, receive the minimum funding level of $3.137 billion for its operations and maintenance account. The expansion of the Panama Canal holds vast potential to increase the efficiency of U.S. grain exports to Asia and the western South American region, but reaching maximum potential depends on further funding of the United States’ aging inland waterways. The canal’s new, larger lock is projected to open in May, representing an exciting time in U.S. agriculture when its various sectors can come together in support of a common goal. If the United States fails to make investments in our ports, inland waterways and other vital infrastructure, the Panama Canal expansion may truly be a missed opportunity. Source: Elise Schafer, Feed & Grain
Planting Progress Surges, Corn Emergence Closer to Average
Corn planting surged even further ahead of the five-year average last week according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 30 percent of total corn acres planted by April 24, progress surpassed the five-year average for this point by 14 percentage points, ten percentage points further ahead of the average than this time one week ago. Progress surpassed the five-year average by 50 percentage points in Missouri, with Iowa and Minnesota both more than 30 percentage points planted over the five-year average as well. Only Texas lagged behind the five-year average by more than five points. The USDA also released its first forecast of the percentage of corn emerged this week. While planting ran far ahead of the five-year average, the percentage of the corn crop emerged surpassed the five-year average by only one percentage point. Again, Missouri saw progress the furthest ahead of the average, with 24 percent of corn acres emerged. The state normally sees only ten percent emergence by this point. To view the full report, click here. Source: National Corn Growers Association
Recent Rains Brought a 'Mixed Bag' for Texas Producers
Precipitation from a mid-April storm system was good and bad for Texas farmers, according to the state climatologist. Heavy rains caused flooding in some areas of the state that damaged corn and other row crop fields and pastures. Around 1,500 of 10,000-acres of corn in Fayette County were drowned out or swept away, said Scott Willey, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent in Fayette. Flooded fields A flooded corn field in Fayette County where around 1,500 acres of crops were swept away or drowned out by flooding earlier this month. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Scott Willey) Much of the damage was limited to bottomland and fields near creeks and rivers, Willey said. Willey said it was doubtful those producers would replant. He said rye and wheat fields there were also affected by heavy rains and high winds. Hail caused the total loss of just under 1,000 acres of corn in Matagorda County, according to AgriLife Extension reports. Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist, said the storm system’s effect on individuals varied widely. He said the storm system that caused severe flooding in Houston was not exceptional with regard to overall rainfall and that while it caused widespread damage to some areas, it brought needed moisture to others. He compared it to a severe storm that dumped an average of 2.5 inches of rain around the state in October 2015. The Corsicana area was hardest hit when that storm system dumped 20 inches of rain and caused severe flooding. “This April’s event was a big multi-day event but it didn’t do damage in as many parts of the state,” he said. Notable amounts of moisture that fell in different regions of the state and caused flooding included 10-plus inches in southeast Texas between Fayette and San Jacinto counties and more than 8-inches between Wichita Falls and Stephenville, and in Jack and Palo Pinto counties, he said. South of Abilene also experienced widespread flooding when more than 5 inches fell as the storm system passed. He said areas where rainfall is scarce or heavy rains rarely occur can be impacted more than areas like East Texas where heavy rain occurs more often. The Leon River, southwest of Waco, was still 2.5 feet above flood stage on Friday. At its peak, the west fork of the Trinity River was more than 6 feet above flood stage. “The streams just don’t handle as much water in those areas,” he said. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension state cropping systems specialist, College Station, said he believed most of the flooding occurred north and west of croplands. But he said subsequent river and creek swelling may have flooded bottomland and affected row crops after the rains subsided. Overall, the rains helped soil moisture levels around the state, especially in the Panhandle where topsoil needed moisture to allow farmers to begin planting row crops, he said. AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here. Source: Texas AgriLife
Added 23 yellow flags @ 36 hrs..So far 32,700 plants emerged
Added 23 yellow flags @ 36 hrs..So far 32,700 plants emerged>
Nebraska Ag Update - April 26, 2016
Nebraska Ag Updates
National
Cool, wet weather impacting much of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, cool, mostly dry weather prevails, although a few showers linger in the vicinity of the Great Lakes. The cool conditions are slowing the emergence and growth of recently planted corn. On the Plains, very cool weather prevails, except for lingering warmth in parts of Texas. Showers and thunderstorms have returned to the central and southern Plains, maintaining a wet pattern that developed in mid-April. The sudden wetness has slowed or halted fieldwork but has revived rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. In the South, warmth continues to promote winter wheat development and the emergence of spring-sown crops. However, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms are moving across the mid-South in conjunction with an approaching storm system. In the West, another round of late-season snow is underway across the central Rockies, further improving water-supply prospects. Meanwhile, isolated showers dot the Northwest. The entire region continues to experience unusually cool weather, a sharp departure from earlier warmth that had promoted rapid crop development. Daily Weather Briefing Page Morning Low Temperature Plot Weather Alerts Forecast High Temperatures (National) ? The post Cool, wet weather impacting much of the Heartland appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Missouri farmer finished corn planting ?earliest I can remember?
The corn planting pace is faster than normal, but no state is as far along as Missouri, where most farmers are done or close to it. North central Missouri farmer Robert Alpers is not accustomed to having his corn in the ground at this point in the season. ?We finished the earliest in history that I can ever remember,? Alpers told Brownfield Ag News Thursday.? ?We planted our last field I believe it was on the 16th of April and a lot of times we?re just maybe getting started then.? All of Alpers? crop is up, and even his next worry of the growing season has been taken care of. ?The first of this week got about an inch and three-tenths [of rain],? he said.? ?It came pretty hard, but we were needing the rain, so we?re off to a really good start.? Alpers will soon be concentrating on soybean planting, which he?s delayed voluntarily in hopes of avoiding sudden death syndrome. ?We had a chance to go ahead and plant in mid-April, but we decided to hold off, and I think as soon as it dries up again, if and when, we?re going to go ahead and start,? said Alpers, ?hopefully around the first few days in May. Alpers farms near Prairie Home, Missouri. AUDIO: Robert Alpers (4 min. MP3) http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/160428_RobertAlper_Planting.mp3 The post Missouri farmer finished corn planting ‘earliest I can remember’ appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
A drier, seasonal pattern for the Corn Belt
For the remainder of Friday, a developing storm system will spark heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms across the south-central U.S. and heavy snow in the central Rockies and environs. During the weekend, rain will spread across the southern Corn Belt, the Mid-Atlantic States, and the Southeast. Precipitation will linger into early next week across the Four Corners States and the southern Plains. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from central sections of the Rockies and Plains to the Mid-Atlantic States, and 2 to 5 inches from the western and central Gulf Coast regions into the mid-South. Meanwhile, cool weather will continue to dominate the U.S., except for some lingering warmth across the South. During the weekend, however, above-normal temperatures will return to the Pacific Northwest and begin to spread eastward. Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across much of the southern and eastern U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather can be expected along the northern Atlantic Coast and from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in most of the eastern half of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across Florida?s peninsula and the majority of the West. 5-Day Precipitation Totals NOAA?s 6- to 10- Day Outlook NOAA?s 8- to 14- Day Outlook The post A drier, seasonal pattern for the Corn Belt appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Wiebold is MU Soybean Center?s staff of one
The new University of Missouri Soybean Center has a goal of coordinating soybean research, but its current lone staff person Professor Bill Wiebold tells Brownfield Ag News it?ll be done on a shoestring. ?We will never be very large in terms of staff,? Wiebold said, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News, ?so I?m the director, but I don?t get paid to do that; we have a steering committee, they?re all scientists, they don?t get paid to do that.? We?ll probably have one staff person and we?ll make things go.? Right now the center has no funding and there are no plans for bricks and mortar.? Wiebold says the university will not be able to provide much money for the center, but he says what?s needed can be raised elsewhere. ?We need to reach out to agencies, commodity groups, companies, and so part of what I?m going to be doing the next year is getting that base funding so that we can do even more,? he said. The purpose of the Soybean Center is to efficiently bring together researchers who have a common focus. ?And what I like about it,? said Wiebold, ?it brings applied kinds of research that can be used on the farm within just a couple of years with basic research that may take 10 years or 15 years, really, to see the fruits of that.? AUDIO: Bill Wiebold (4 min. MP3) The post Wiebold is MU Soybean Center’s staff of one appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Minnesota corn and soybean prices mostly lower in March
Prices Minnesota farmers receive for corn and soybeans continue to trend mostly lower. USDA?s March 2016 Agricultural Prices Report says the average per bushel payment for corn was $3.25, a decrease of six cents from February and 41 cents lower than a year ago. The average for soybeans last month was $8.17 per bushel, $1.35 below last year. However, it was a nickel higher than the February price. ? ? The post Minnesota corn and soybean prices mostly lower in March appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Ethanol gains favor as climate focus intensifies
Growth Energy co-chairman Tom Buis spoke at an ethanol forum in Omaha. As the focus on carbon reduction and climate change intensifies around the world, ethanol seems to be gaining favor. A debate has raged for years over ethanol?s carbon footprint and whether or not it plays a positive role in fighting climate change.? But U.S. corn ethanol fuel production has experienced significant energy use and greenhouse gas emission reductions over the course of the last few years?a fact that even some of ethanol?s strongest critics are starting to recognize. ?Everybody?s really focused on carbon and climate change,? says Doug Durante, executive director of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition. ?It?s generally agreed that it?s positive to reduce carbon and the transportation sector continues to be a big part of that. Ethanol and renewable fuels are a great way to do that.?? AUDIO: Doug Durante http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/durante-doug-ethanol-forum-4-16.mp3Ethanol supporters say innovations in energy use and conversion technology at ethanol production facilities, and innovations in corn production management, have reduced the current carbon intensity of corn ethanol fuel by more than 50 percent since 2008. ?With all the concerns about reducing their dependence on fossil fuels, lowering the carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ethanol comes out as a winner,? says Tom Buis, co-chairman of Growth Energy. ??We have less greenhouse gas emissions, we?re higher-performing and we?re cheaper.? AUDI: Tom Buis http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/buis-tom-ethanol-forum-edit-4-16.mp3Brownfield spoke with Durante and Buis at the recent Ethanol 2016 ?Emerging Issues? Forum in Omaha. ? The post Ethanol gains favor as climate focus intensifies appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Hogs were higher cattle end lower
The cattle trade was completed on Friday with just a few head trading in cleanup activity at 124.00 live and 193.00 dressed. USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading and demand was light to moderate in the Texas Panhandle and Kansas on Thursday afternoon. Compared to last week, live sales were $ 3.00 lower at 124.00. Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa trading was moderate on moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales in Nebraska were 1.00 to 3.00 lower at 124.00, with dressed sales 2.00 to 4.00 lower in Nebraska, and 4.00 lower in Iowa at 196.00. The weekly cattle kill was estimated at 590,000 head, 3,000 more than last week, and 26,000 more than last year. Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light to moderate demand and offerings. Choice beef was down 1.05 at 211.45, and select was .82 lower at 202.27. Feeder cattle receipts at Missouri auctions this week totaled 25,038 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers statewide sold mostly 5.00 lower. Locally some auctions found a few instances of slightly steady to slightly stronger markets on certain classes or types of cattle and there were also other spots where the market was 10.00 lower. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 570 pounds traded at 164.64 per hundredweight. 570 pound heifers brought 148.26. Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled 12 to 95 points higher in late week short covering and profit taking. The last two sessions have been a tough ride for bulls, such that Friday?s firmer tone probably doesn?t say much per se. Feeder cattle settled 27 points lower to 70 higher in rather choppy action in light trade volume. Most of the morning session saw lower price action, but late week short covering lifted most issues back into the black. Lean hogs settled 5 points lower to 92 higher with May through August up the most with only a few 217 contracts in the red. A couple of summer months closed above $81.00, they stand to make new technical friends when trading resumes Monday according to John Harrington at DTN. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .68 higher at 70.40 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West was up .73 at 70.35, and nationally the market was up .86 at 69.28. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady to 1.00 higher from 56.00 to 63.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis were steady from 40.00 to 50.00. The pork carcass cutout value was up.57 at 82.54 FOB plant. Bellies, butts and ribs were all higher. Early weaned and all feeder pigs were 2.00 per head lower in the national report on Friday, The demand was moderate for moderate offerings. Early weaned pigs, 10 to 12 pound basis traded from 31.00 to 44.00 per head. 40 pound pigs from 60.00 to 78.50. The weekly hog kill was estimated at 2,139,000, 102,000 less than last week, and down 12,000 from last year. The post Hogs were higher cattle end lower appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Michigan corn growers reject proposed assessment increase
Michigan corn farmers have voted against an increased assessment proposal. The Michigan Department of Agriculture says the proposed amendments would have increased the current assessment by one half cent per bushel and required seed corn to be included in the checkoff. The changes would have also revised the nomination process for the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan. Almost 60 percent of farmer ballots voted no on the measure, representing about 60 percent of the state?s corn crop, 177 ballots were disqualified. The Michigan corn assessment will remain at one cent per bushel. The post Michigan corn growers reject proposed assessment increase appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Inaugural alfalfa checkoff to launch this fall
A new checkoff for alfalfa is set to begin in September.? The national, voluntary program will allocate $1 per bag sold.? Beth Nelson, president of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) says alfalfa is the third most valuable field crop but is the only one without a checkoff program. The program was approved by the organization?s board in February.? Nelson says if everyone participated the program, it could generate $800,000 to support public alfalfa research for increase yield, water utilization, and new storage or harvest systems. The $1/bag assessment will be made on any product that is at least 80 percent alfalfa. The post Inaugural alfalfa checkoff to launch this fall appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
The shame of food waste
The hottest ?emerging? political food issue is waste.? In food-rich America, depending on which organization or group you talk with, somewhere between 30-40% of all food ? 34 million tons ? is ?wasted,? meaning crops so unharvested, surpluses are trashed, restaurant meals half-eaten and foods purchased for the home are prematurely tossed out. ?Consumer and foodservice waste are the biggest culprits. Over 97% of food waste, or roughly 33 million tons, winds up in landfills, making it the second largest component of these disposal sites.? The cost of landfilling food waste is roughly $1.3 billion, says EPA, and the agency is quick to point out every ton of landfilled food waste generates 3.8 tons of greenhouse gases ? mostly methane. Half a dozen bills and resolutions have been introduced in this Congress, with the most extensive being legislation penned by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D, ME), a bill that parallels legislation in her home state.? Pingree?s bill would provide tax and other incentives for various measures taken by farmers to reduce waste, e.g. biofuels, conservation practices, composting, etc., while making it easier for restaurants, foodservice companies and the like to donate excess food to the hungry.? She also identifies consumers don?t understand a ?sell-by? date has nothing to do with food safety. Too many consumers apparently toss food not consumed by the sell-by date, a tool for retailers to sell products at their best.? The House FY2017 agriculture/FDA appropriations bill approved last week in full committee carries money to study sell-by dates and similar label information ? currently unregulated ? and consumers? use of the information, all in the context of cutting food waste. The political food waste issue is creating strange bedfellows, as food companies, processors, farmers and others in agriculture with a collective goal of making the best, most practical use of their production, find themselves agreeing with hunger groups and other activists on how best to handle America?s food surpluses. One of the first to recognize this emerging partnership is House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway (R, TX), a man in search of a relatively smooth path forward for the nascent 2018 Farm Bill, a path that will hopefully find Conaway and rural lawmakers arm in arm with their urban colleagues.? To that end, Conaway is looking to hold hearings on food waste to broaden the common ground between his committee and urban House members who are often critical of Farm Bill policy and programs. Conaway is working with Pingree, an organic farmer and promoter of small-scale agriculture, to discover whether there?s a federal solution to the food waste challenge.? The ag committee chair told Agri-Pulse, ?Whether there?s a federal solution to the issue is yet to be seen, but it should be addressed.? ?It is a very good thing that Conaway has stepped into this issue, as most members of Congress have little understanding of production agriculture or most other parts of the food chain for that matter. The House ag committee food waste hearing will be one of several Conaway intends to hold over the remaining months of the 114th Congress and into 2017 and the 115th Congress, all geared to issues related to urban attitudes toward food production, marketing and consumption, and all tools to build bridges on Farm Bill issues and secure urban support for the next round of ?income safety net? and policy debates. Some more disturbing food waste statistics: The United Nations reports that each year, industrial nations waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa ? 222 million tons versus 230 million tons ? and this amount is the rough equivalent of more than half of the world?s annual cereal crop production. The European Union (EU) wastes 88 million tons of food each year, at a value of about $160 million, representing about 20% of all food produced/used in Europe. In the U.S., nearly 50 million Americans live in ?food-insecure? households, according to USDA?s Economic Research Service (ERS) 2010 statistics.? According the National Institutes of Health, just a quarter of the food wasted each year could provide three meals per day for 43 million people. The post The shame of food waste appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
CropLife: EPA?s opening of settled science political
The president of CropLife America says the EPA is trying to reopen settled science on pesticides, saying its part of that agencies political agenda against farmers. Jay Vroom tells Brownfield that two previous independent panels called by EPA rejected a New York study that said the ag chemical chlorpyrifos is a health risk to children, ?And yet here we are back a third time by EPA seeking to impose this bad science on farmers.? Vroom says it?s part of EPA?s agenda to punish farmers, ?For things that either didn?t happen or allegedly happened miles away from where farming occurs.? Vroom says agriculture and the EPA settled concerns under the Food Quality Protection Act nearly 20 years ago and the EPA is trying to reopen that agreement. Vroom testified at a recent House subcommittee hearing saying the EPA is pushing aside scientific findings on chlorpyrifos and glyphosate, both tested and safe chemicals necessary for agriculture. He also testified before the EPA?s Scientific Advisory Panel on April 21st. The post CropLife: EPA’s opening of settled science political appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Midday cash livestock markets
USDA Mandatory reported cattle trading and demand was light to moderate in the Texas Panhandle and Kansas on Thursday afternoon. Compared to last week, live sales were $ 3.00 lower at 124.00. Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa trading was moderate on moderate demand. Compared to last week, live sales in Nebraska were 1.00 to 3.00 lower at 124.00, with dressed sales 2.00 to 4.00 lower in Nebraska, and 4.00 lower in Iowa at 196.00. Boxed beef cutout values were lower in the morning report. Choice was down .45 at 212.05, and select was .08 lower at 203.17. Feeder cattle receipts at Lamoni, Iowa on Thursday totaled 1481 head. Compared to the sale two weeks ago, feeder steers under 600 pounds were mostly 16.00 to 25.00 lower, over 600 pounds mostly 8.00 to 10.00 lower. Feeder heifers under 400 pounds mostly 2.00 to 4.00 lower, over 400 pounds mostly 7.00 to 14.00 lower. Trade and demand was moderate. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 733 pounds traded at 153.11 per hundredweight. 622 pound heifer calves brought 135.62. Midwest Exchange Regional Stockyards at Mexico, MO had receipts of 535 head of sheep and goats on Thursday. Demand was moderate on a moderate supply. Slaughter lambs nontraditional markets, choice and prime 2-4 weighing 40 to 80 pounds brought 207.50 to 229.00 per hundredweight. Feeder lambs weighing 29 to 41 pounds traded at 202.50 to 212.50. Slaughter kid goats selection 2 weighing 40 to 55 pounds brought 235.00 to 255.00 per hundredweight. Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade opened .96 higher at 70.68 weighted average on a carcass basis, the West is up 1.06 also at 70.68, and nationally the market is .81 higher at 69.23. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady to 1.00 higher from 56.00 to 63.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis are steady from 40.00 to 50.00. The pork carcass cutout value is down .45 at 212.05 FOB plant. The seasonal tendency is for June lean hog futures to trend in a negative market fashion for the next couple of weeks. Furthermore, given the fact that June leads the cash index by as much as $11, an ample serving of positive fundamentals over the next 30 days may not be impressive enough to move the summer board much higher. The post Midday cash livestock markets appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
Legislative priorities for ag facing uphill battle in Minnesota
A Minnesota lawmaker says providing property tax relief for farmers and necessary transportation funding will be difficult this legislative session. Representative Jeanne Poppe, Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) Lead on the House Ag Finance Committee, tells Brownfield lawmakers need to find common ground on how to put the more than $900 million dollar budget surplus to use. ?I think the House Republicans are looking at trying to spend (the surplus) on a tax bill that includes?tax relief and tax credits.? The Senate Democrats are looking at kind of spreading (those dollars) out more; perhaps doing some in tax relief, some in a transportation bill and some for bonding.? She says if tax and transportation bills would?ve been done last year, there wouldn?t be a surplus the size of what lawmakers are working with now. ?We?re really playing catch-up, but I think the political philosophies that differ between the Republicans in the House and Democrats will be just very challenging to see if that can be overcome and progress can be made.? Poppe says with less than a month remaining in the Legislative Session, a greater sense of urgency is needed. ?We are not required at this point to have a tax bill or a transportation bill or even a bonding bill.? There?s nothing that absolutely has to be done, and that is just how it sits.? With all 201 Legislative seats open this year, Poppe says her fear is nothing on property taxes or transportation funding gets done by the end of the session, and months of finger-pointing by lawmakers will follow. ? http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Jeanne-Poppe-4-29-16.mp3? ? ? The post Legislative priorities for ag facing uphill battle in Minnesota appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
USDA Unveils New ?Urban Agriculture Toolkit? for Urban Farmers and Agri-business Entrepreneurs
WASHINGTON, April 29, 2016 ? Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit, a new resource created by USDA?s Know Your Farmer team to help entrepreneurs and community leaders successfully create jobs and increase access to healthy food through urban agriculture. From neighborhood gardens grown on repurposed lots, to innovative mobile markets and intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing into a mature business sector in cities across the country.
Campbell?s plans to label in favor of GMOs
A spokesman for Campbell?s Soup says the state of Vermont has brought the GMO labeling debate front and center. Senior Food Law Counsel Steve Armstrong says Campbell?s was the first food company to support mandatory GMO labeling.? ?We believe that GMOs are safe, we believe that they are playing a critically important role in the food supply.? He says the company will NOT be removing GMO ingredients from its food, but plans to meet the Vermont labeling law when it goes into effect in July.? ?We are going to label for GMOs no matter what happens in any of the other states, no matter what the federal government does, and we?ve begun doing the kind of research that is necessary in order to establish accurate and reliable consumer perception.? Armstrong says the GMO debate has enhanced Campbell?s belief in transparency, with 60 percent of consumers wanting a government required label. AUDIO: NAFB Biotech Panel Discussion http://cdn.brownfieldagnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/160428_NAFBWW-GMOs.mp3 The post Campbell?s plans to label in favor of GMOs appeared first on http://brownfieldagnews.com.      
World
Trump or Clinton? Buffett Sees Business as Fine With Either
A Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, according to Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Australia Blocks Farm Sale to Chinese over National Interest
Citing national interest, the Australian government on Friday blocked a Chinese-led consortium from buying the nation's largest private land holding, a collection of Outback cattle ranches bigger than South Korea.
Tomorrow Never Comes
April 2016 Global Weather Roundup
A recap of global weather trends in April 2016
South Dakota Egg Production Down but Value up to $73.5M
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the value of South Dakota's egg production rose to $73.5 million in 2015, up from $63.3 million in 2014. ​
Tomorrow's Top Producer Early-Bird Rate Expires May 13
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Take Me to Your Lead Guitarist
Regulators, Users, Industry to Benefit From Better Definitions
It seems like every article discussing micronutrients and biostimulants begins with a statement expressing how plant health is the fastest-growing segment of the crop protection industry. And while that notion is true, it does not mean this segment is free from concern. Dave Lanciault,?Agricen Sciences That duality is captured by a thought from Johnny McRight, owner of DeltAg: ?(Micronutrient and biostimulant) companies and products are coming out of the woodwork and with very little scrutiny over them.? That lack of scrutiny could change with the expectation of a U.S. regulatory framework, which could create challenges for manufacturers and formulators looking to bring new products to market. In an article last month we explored the rapid growth of the plant health market. This month we look at those issues that might slow that growth. In the United States there is no definition about how these products are categorized (although there is hope that will change later this year). Each state has the right and ability to define and regulate these products as they see fit. ?Regulatory uncertainty may complicate the path to market for some of the technologies, as promising products have to navigate a complex?environment?between the states and EPA,? says David Lanciault, President & CEO of Agricen Sciences. ?Education and outreach efforts by industry must increase in order to help gain acceptance of the technologies by growers,?associations, consultants, legislators (who can help with incentives for the use of sustainable technologies), sustainability and other affiliated groups, the general public and other stakeholders.? The problem extends well outside the U.S. ?Regulatory guidelines as well as proof or efficacy requirements along with actual product registration issues (are a concern),? McRight says. ?Biostimulants are neither fertilizer nor pesticides ? so where should they be registered? With nutrient content, they can be registered domestically in each individual state, even though guidelines vary slightly from state to state. Internationally, some countries have very stringent registration guidelines, while others have no rules at all.? A lack of understanding by legislators is certainly one issue the industry is working to overcome. Organizations like the non-profit Biostimulant Coalition work to proactively address regulatory and legislative issues. The Biostimulant Coalition also serves as a resource for regulatory bodies. It develops a set of standards for biostimulant products such as fertilizers, biological or naturally-derived additives. Many stakeholders across the industry have problems understanding all the intricacies of the market. Stan Hendley, Director of International Business?at Horizon Ag-Products, agrees with Lanciault that education is key. ?All of the products in this space will have an impact,? Hendley says. ?The critical component is understanding how the products best fit in a farmer?s production system in order to gain the most benefit for the crop. This begins with education.? Jeff Norrie, Acadian Seaplants The lack of understanding (at least in the U.S.) can and has led to products being categorized in ways that make it more difficult for them to be used. ?There is a movement to recognize biostimulants as helping stimulate nutrient uptake and abiotic stress mitigation; however, biotic stress effects are very well supported in the literature,? says Dr. Jeff Norrie, Agricultural Research Manager, Acadian Seaplants Ltd. ?Often, products with biotic effects are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Pesticide, and Rodenticide Act, and require increased labeling vigilance and cannot be used off-label.?Rather, they should be included in a soft chemistry category for ultra-low-risk products that, in almost all cases, leave no residue.?This would allow for proper identification and separation of these products from more aggressive ones.?As there is a current movement to correctly define biostimulants globally, we trust that this alignment will bring about the proper classification and recognition of the many benefits of biostimulants.? Email Dan at djacobs@meistermedia.com
Grain Hedge: Why U.S. Exports Are So Strong
If you watch one video about U.S. exports, let it be this one. Kevin McNew of Grain Hedge gives a massive breakdown of the driving forces behind strong US exports. Don't miss this one. 
Market's Month-End Brings Mixed Results
Between realizing crop shortfalls in South America, a weaker dollar and weather uncertainties, prices for the month of April are up 35 cents for corn to near $4 for corn and $1.10 higher in soybeans back above $10. But the benefit for grain farmers is making it more expensive for cattle feeders.
China?s $6-Billion Market Continues its Volume Growth
Dr. Nomman Ahmed is the Regional Manager of Asia/Pacific The Chinese Market was flat in harvest year 2015 compared to the previous year, according to recent farmer-level data collected in China by Kleffmann panel surveys. This analysis is also generated by analyzing the market using data from amis AgriGlobe, which includes a multitude of sources including distributor studies (amis Trend), expert interviews, and national association data. But China?s flat performance in U.S.-dollar terms is more positive than most markets considering the rest of the world?s average 10% decline. China?s crop protection product (CPP) consumption increased, but like much of the world, CPP price softness and devalued local currency pulled value out of the market and the industry. Farmers in China applied slightly higher volumes of crop protection products in 2015, but value growth was consumed by a falling RMB. The industry did not feel this marginal growth due to higher stocks lower down the chain. 2013 and 2014 were fantastic years for the global and Chinese crop protection market, and the general outlook was positive. Thus ? in expectation of a similar market performance in the year to come and slightly higher and increasing prices for key technical material at the end of 2014 ? a small stockpiling started in China, especially at the tail end of the distribution chain. In 2015, it is believed CPP inventories were reduced by 5% to 15% compared to 2014, and the stockpile was most pronounced at the retailer level. Overall, the crop protection market value rose 0.2% compared to last year to $6.09 billion at ex-manufacturer level amid the lowest levels of both imports and exports in several years. That makes China the world?s third-largest crop protection market and the largest market in the Asia/Pacific Region. Market Developments The global crop protection market achieved an average 9.8% growth between 2010 and 2014. In the same period, the Chinese crop protection market rose 16%. In 2015, for the first time since 2010, the Chinese crop protection market did not grow in nominal terms. If China is to continue growing, it needs to manage the many challenges that its industry is faced with. During the past 20 years, many smaller Chinese enterprises rode the wave of overall market success and got a piece of the cake for themselves. The Chinese crop protection industry seemingly could do no wrong. Environmental concerns and international regulations were not enforced to the extent they are today, and international demand was continuously high. Many smaller enterprises benefited from this boom ? they could jump in and earn their share for a year or two and decide to exit before diving into the manufacturing of the next most-hyped chemical coming off patent. In recent years, industry consolidation and stricter environmental requirements forced out a number of smaller market participants. Among the many small- and medium-sized companies, a few larger corporations have emerged, and they are worthy contenders for global market leadership. ChemChina and Sinochem are only two of these larger corporations. The widely discussed takeover of Syngenta by state-owned ChemChina will greatly impact the global crop protection market ? but what about the impacts in China? Demand Drivers With the recently announced two-child policy in place and with the overall need to feed its population, food self-sufficiency is one important issue the country needs to address sooner than later. This seems even more important in times of economic slowdown and the possibility of balance-sheet recession. Considering that it needs to produce enough food for the ever growing population without relying too much on imports ? China?s stance on genetically modified food has been somewhat inconclusive at times. The general echo in public is against GMOs, however, the decision that this technology could be widely adopted in China seems to be around the corner, notably for rice and corn. Should the ChemChina deal with Syngenta go through, advanced genetic engineering could become more readily available in China, which would pave the path for domestic cultivation of genetically modified food. This would allow the company to deliver integrated solutions to the farmer ? seed, crop protection, and agronomic support ? from a one-stop shop. This is something that has already raised repercussions against the deal both domestically and abroad. A ?ChemChina-Adama-Syngenta? mega corporation could lead to a monopolistic market situation where winning market shares for foreign players as well as other domestic players would become even more difficult than in the past. ChemChina and Syngenta already indicated that having Adama in the mix would not lead to overlaps, as the intention is to have offerings in both the generic and proprietary segments. The other concern that is widespread domestically, is the involvement of the ?state,? which could lead to non-market behavior and give an unfair competitive edge to the new mega corporation. China?s overall growth has lost some momentum since 2011, but its hunger for commodities continues to grow disproportionately to the global average. China?s growth is increasingly shifting from an industry-driven growth to a more consumption-led growth. The continued growing food demand from China?s surging population, especially for meat, creates enough opportunity for the agriculture industry to continue growing and will most likely also put a hold to the commodity-price slide. At the same time, emerging Asia must contribute more strongly to overall regional growth, which then itself would generate commodity demand large enough to fill the void left by China. As far as the crop protection market is concerned, further de-stocking can be expected for the running year 2016, which can turn into a slight market growth for 2017, provided that consumption levels remain stable. Dr. Nomman Ahmed is the Regional Manager of Asia/Pacific for syndicated grower level market research in crop protection and seed at Kleffmann Group. He is also a senior analyst of Kleffmann?s agricultural input market trend information and consulting wing ? amis AgriGlobe. His peer-reviewed publications address agricultural economics, climate change economics and agrichemicals. He is a regular contributor to AgriBusiness Global and can be reached at Nomman.Ahmed@kleffmann.com.
Will There Be a Federal Policy Response to the Slumping U.S. Agricultural Sector?
U.S. net farm income peaked in 2013, but since that record level was achieved, crop prices across the board have been on the downhill slide—significantly diminishing net farm income.
S.C. Senate Passes $40 Million Aid Bill for Flood-Devastated Farmers
South Carolina's State Senate has approved a bill providing $40 million to South Carolina farmers devastated by last fall's flooding.
Sea Lion that Made Strange, 50-mile Trek to Ranch Found Dead
Washington state biologists are trying to determine what killed a sea lion that was captured and released after it was strangely found in the driveway of a cattle ranch about 50 miles from the ocean.
Let's Go Crazy
One line in the Prince song Let's Go Crazy (according to www.metrolyrics.com) is ?And if the elevator tries to bring you down, go crazy, punch a higher floor?. All the gloom and doom talk tied to large US ending stocks estimates became irrelevant for a while as the bulls got some friendly news out of South America and punched the buttons labeled $10 and $4. Cattle and the DX apparently couldn?t reach the buttons and were still stuck on the elevator as of Friday.