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Three Counties in Kansas Listed as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

In response to a request from Jack Salava, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Kansas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Grant, Kingman and Sherman counties in Kansas as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by high winds,...

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Three Counties in Kansas Listed as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

In response to a request from Jack Salava, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Kansas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Grant, Kingman and Sherman counties in Kansas as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by high winds,...

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EPA Announces Innovative Research in Kansas, Nebraska to Address State Environmental Issues

(Lenexa, Kan., August 22, 2017) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced research projects addressing priority environmental and human health problems in 14 states through partnerships between EPA’s research office, regional offices, and states. “EPA encourages the u...

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Nebraska Delegation to Focus on Farm Bill at Upcoming Listening Session

LINCOLN, NEB. – All five members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation will take part in an upcoming farm bill listening session hosted by several Nebraska agricultural organizations. The Nebraska Agriculture Farm Bill Listening Session will be held Friday, Sept. 1 at the Bosselman Center on ...

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Cargill invests $18 million to increase storage and unload capability for Gibbon, Neb. growers

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A multi-million dollar project to upgrade the Cargill grain facility in Gibbon, Neb., is underway. Once complete, growers will have access to an additional 2 million bushels of upright grain storage space and an increased unload capacity of 65,000 bushel...

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EU Probes Bayer's Planned Buyout of Monsanto

The European Union's anti-trust watchdog said Tuesday that it has launched a probe into German chemical maker Bayer's planned acquisition of U.S. seed and weed-killer company Monsanto. The European Commission, which polices competition in Europe, said it has concerns that the merger may reduce comp...

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Crops

NAFTA Mexico Fact Finding Tour

The U.S. Grains Council will host a team of U.S. and Mexico-based and agriculture-focused media members to Texas and Mexico, August 6th-11th, to learn about the impact of U.S. corn exports to that market, including the critical role NAFTA plays in ongoing market share and continued market development. This will include education about the Mexican feed industry, integrated infrastructure, current and future policy and the developing political situation. Rural Radio Network's Susan Littlefield was invited and will be reporting from the tour.   **Stories are oldest --> newest on the list** Former U.S. Grains Council Board Member Charles Ring talks about the benefits of NAFTA and how it has effected his operation... More of my audio interview with Mr. Ring on the importance of NAFTA http://krvnam.streamon.fm/listen-pl-2092   Southern Texas producer Bobby Rieder... Deneb Galvan talks about their movement of grain from the U.S. to Mexico   Daniel Perkins Manager of Gavilon in Progreso TX talks of grain movement & NAFTA  Ing. Martin Gonzalez Rancho LaJoya talks about NAFTA & his cattle operation pt1...   Ing. Martin Gonzalez Rancho LaJoya talks about NAFTA & his cattle operation pt2...   Primus Brewing Relies On NAFTA part 1... Primus Brewing Relies On NAFTA part 2... Interview with Melissa Kessler, Director of Communications with the U.S. Grains Council... http://krvnam.streamon.fm/listen-pl-2093 On the road discussion with Primus Brewing: [audio mp3="http://media.ruralradio.co/wordpress/2017/08/8-11-17-SL-OTR-Primus-Brewing.mp3"][/audio] Director of Communications for the U.S. Grains Council talks about NAFTA Trip... Primus Brewery talks how NAFTA is so vital to their operation... [audio mp3="http://media.ruralradio.co/wordpress/2017/08/8-11-17-SL-OTR-Primus-Brewing-NAFTA-a-huge-part-of-it.mp3"][/audio] A stop at Port of Pregreso where 77% of the grain going through the port comes from the U.S. Grupo Gramosa Edmundo Miranda & Arturo Garcia talk about the importance of NAFTA to their grain handling facilities... http://krvnam.streamon.fm/listen-pl-2181

Wheat Growers Say NAFTA Can be Improved

The National Association of Wheat Growers says the North American Free Trade Agreement can be improved to benefit U.S. wheat farmers. While stressing the ag industry line of “do no harm” to agricultural trade, the Association says there are some areas where the framework for wheat trade between the three countries can be improved. Association CEO Chandler Goule says those areas include sanitary and phytosanitary rules that the three countries already agreed to as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Goule also points to Canada’s grading system for U.S. wheat, stating: “Canadian wheat can freely enter U.S. elevators and receive a grade equal to its quality while U.S. wheat brought to Canadian elevators is automatically downgraded to a ‘feed wheat’ grade or the equivalent.” NAFTA negotiations started last week in Washington, D.C., and will continue next month in Mexico.

Cargill invests $18 million to increase storage and unload capability for Gibbon, Neb. growers

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A multi-million dollar project to upgrade the Cargill grain facility in Gibbon, Neb., is underway. Once complete, growers will have access to an additional 2 million bushels of upright grain storage space and an increased unload capacity of 65,000 bushels per hour. "The Gibbon area features high production, mostly irrigated farm ground that historically produced consistently high yields. We're excited to expand our capabilities and improve service to growers in the area," said Jim Reiff, Northwest commercial leader for Cargill's Agricultural Supply Chain in North America. "In addition, the facility is on the Union Pacific mainline rail, connecting our growers to export markets in the U.S. Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Mexico, and helping to meet the needs of key end user customers in California." The facility, located at 46750-70th Rd, Gibbon, Neb., has eight full-time employees who handle corn, soybeans and wheat. The improvements, which will be complete by early 2019, are being done in phases, with no shutdowns planned throughout construction. "These improvements are in line with our growth strategy and ensure we can continue to provide a competitive offering to Cargill customers," said Dave Baudler, grain managing director for Cargill's Agricultural Supply Chain in North America. "The upgrades in Gibbon will have a positive impact on both long and local supply chains. It will continue to enhance the service we can provide to key strategic customers and reinforces our goal of being a trusted partner for American farmers and a leader in U.S. grain and oilseeds." The Gibbon, Neb. location is one of 16 facilities Cargill operates across the state of Nebraska, where it has over 3,800 employees.

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Livestock

USDA Launches Animal Welfare Database

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service has launched what it calls a “refined public search tool” offering access to compliance records for the Animal Welfare Act. Last year, APHIS formally initiated a comprehensive review and update of the Animal Care website. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the agency also hoped to balance its commitment to transparency with applicable laws, including rules protecting personal privacy. APHIS removed the Animal Care Information System search tool in February for review, and began posting inspection reports on a rolling basis in February, March, April and June of this year. A group of animal activists sued USDA and APHIS earlier this year over the removal of thousands of documents during the review period. The agency says that it is continuing to review animal inventories that accompany inspection reports for accuracy. For that reason, the newly posted inspection reports do not include animal inventories, but APHIS intends to make this information available in the future.

Farm Computer Ownership Report Released by USDA

A report by the Department of Agriculture shows farm access to the internet is increasing. The 2017 USDA Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report shows that nationally, 73 percent of farms have computer access. Of those farmers having computer access, 72 percent, up one percent from 2015, own or lease a computer. To connect to the internet, eight percent of farmers indicated they use fiber-optic connections, while 17 percent indicated they used mobile internet service for cell phones. However, DSL connection continues to be the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 29 percent of the farms in the United States using it, down from 30 percent in 2015. A satellite connection, at 21 percent, remained steady from 2015. Computer usage for farm business at 47 percent nationally, is up four percentage points from 2015. However, the report does show that bigger farms are more likely to have internet access, than smaller farms.

Kansas Animal Health Officials Monitor Equine Disease in Finney County

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health (KDA–DAH) is continuing to monitor a facility in Finney County where six horses tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) last week. The facility is under quarantine and the remaining horses at the facility will be observed and retested in 60 days. EIA is an incurable, infectious disease caused by a virus that can affect horses, donkeys, asses and other equine species. This virus destroys red blood cells and is spread through blood-to-blood contact, not through close proximity or casual contact. Clinical signs of EIA include fever, anemia and edema; however, affected horses may not show symptoms. All infected horses, including those which are asymptomatic, are carriers of the disease. The virus can be transmitted from an infected equine to a “clean” equine by biting flies, the use of unsterilized or contaminated medical instruments, or through a blood transfusion. This disease does not affect humans. KDA has identified a prescribed surveillance area within one-half mile of the affected premises, and is working with local officials and horse owners to identify any other horses that may have been within that surveillance area in order to test those animals. The surveillance area is identified based on risk associated with the potential transfer of the disease. EIA is mechanically transmitted via the mouth parts of biting flies, and research has shown that the EIA virus survives for a limited time on the mouth parts of the fly vectors, so the area of possible exposure is limited to a relatively small radius around the affected premises. Symptomatic horses, those showing clinical signs, are more likely to transmit the disease compared to those that have an in apparent infection. It is estimated after visiting an asymptomatic carrier, only one out of every 6 million flies is likely to become a vector. There are typically a small number of cases of EIA in the United States every year, although the disease is common in other parts of the world. EIA is controlled in the U.S. by regular testing before traveling across state lines and/or exhibition. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. Horse owners who have concerns about their animal’s health or questions about possible exposure should contact your local veterinarian. For more information about EIA or other animal disease issues in Kansas, go to the KDA–DAH website at agriculture.ks.gov/AnimalHealth. If you have questions, please call KDA–DAH at 785-564-6601.  

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Technology

DuPont to Purchase Granular Inc.

DuPont last week announced that it would buy Granular Inc. for $300 million. The software company provides software management that helps the business side of farm operations, and both parties expect to close the acquisition at the end of the third quarter of this year. The acquisition gives DuPont ownership of Granular's Farm Management Software and AcreValue website that together serves 250 farms on two million acres in the U.S., as well as farms in Canada and Australia, according to Farm Journals AgWeb. Granular's current CEO and founder Sid Gorham will lead digital agriculture at DuPont. Granular will keep its offices in San Francisco and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. DuPont will also leverage Granular's existing partnerships with other agricultural companies.

Go Back to Tillage to Control Tough Weeds?

An onslaught of the weed Palmer amaranth in the southeastern United States has left many farmers wondering if they should continue using environmentally friendly cover crops and conservation tillage, or switch to conventional tillage. Palmer amaranth is aggressive, drought tolerant, a prolific seed producer and capable of developing resistance to glyphosate, known as “Roundup.” Because of that, thousands of acres in Alabama and elsewhere are at risk of being converted to conventional tillage, which may better control the weed, but increases soil erosion and threatens long-term soil productivity. Agricultural Research Service scientists at the agency’s National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, Alabama, are showing cotton farmers in the region how they can control the weed, save their soil and still generate a profit: They can conventionally till weed-infested fields for one year and then go back to conservation tillage for the next two years. ARS economist Leah M. Duzy and her colleagues analyzed the financial implications by comparing costs for two approaches, one involving three years of conservation tillage and another involving one year of conventional tillage followed by two years of conservation tillage. In cotton fields infested with Palmer amaranth, she found a financial advantage to conventional tilling during the first year because of the immense weed pressure. But in the second and third years, there was little difference in net returns between the two systems. Additionally, with the higher costs of conventional tillage, returning to conservation tillage made more sense financially. Duzy estimates that a farmer would save approximately $25.57 per acre per year in the second and third years by switching back to conservation tillage. That would represent a $15,342 savings each year on a typical 600-acre Alabama cotton farm. If farmers decide to plow for a year because of weed infestations, they should consider adopting a high-residue cover crop and immediately return to their conservation system in subsequent years, according to Duzy. They don’t have to plow the soil year after year.  

Mycogen Seeds Launches New Corn Seed Treatment

Available for the 2018 season, Mycogen Seeds announced Thursday its new Revontek seed treatment for corn. The product will be in new corn hybrids in Mycogen seeds. The product includes six fungicide active ingredients, one insecticide active ingredient and one biological. Fungicide active ingredients include: fludioxonil, mefenoxam, azoxystrobin, thiabendazole, ethaboxam and sedaxane; and the insecticide is thiamethoxam. Fungicides target troublesome seedling ailments such as Pythium and Rhizoctonia, the insecticide rate is doubled to more aggressively target early season pests such as wireworm and the biological helps promote early season vigor and root growth. “This will help with early season stand development and help protect the seed investment,” says Andrew Hoffman, Mycogen Seeds agronomy marketing manager. For southeast Iowa farmer, Clark Yeager a seed treatment that targets Pythium is long-needed. “We can lose up to 100% of our stands in spots from Pythium,” Yeager says. “Sometimes you’ll only lose two to three thousand plants. You’ll typically see damage in hotspots.” When looking for seed treatment make sure you take your environment, expected weather conditions and field history into account. These factors will effect how much value you gain from seed treatments.  

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Ag Policy

US Commerce Department Proposes CVDs on Imports Of Some Biodiesel

An initial finding that Argentina and Indonesia are subsidizing biodiesel production has prompted the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to set preliminary countervailing duty rates of up to 68 percent on imports of the product from the two countries. DOC's preliminary determination means the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service will require cash deposits on imports of Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel ranging from 50.29% to 64.17% for biodiesel from Argentina, and 41.06% to 68.28% for biodiesel from Indonesia. The levels vary based on the companies involved. DOC also found that "critical circumstances" exist in the Argentina investigation relative to two companies -- Vicentin S.A.I.C. and LDC Argentina S.A., and will instruct Customs and Border Protection Services to collect the required cash deposit rates retroactively on all entries of biodiesel from these companies effective 90 days prior to publication of the preliminary determination in the Federal Register. The countervailing duty (CVD) rates would be 50.29% for LDC Argentina and 64.17% for Vincentin. All others from Argentina will be subject to a 57.01% duty rate for all other Argentinian producers and exporters. Cash deposit requirements will be imposed on the other Argentine companies effective on the date the preliminary decision is published in the Federal Register. In the Indonesia CVD investigation, Commerce has calculated preliminary subsidy rates of 41.06% for Wilmar International Ltd. and 68.28% for P.T. Musim Mas. Commerce determined a rate of 44.92% for all other Indonesian producers and exports. There is no mention of "critical circumstances" relative to Indonesian biodiesel which signals those duties become effective the date the determinations are published in the Federal Register.  

Wheat Growers Say NAFTA Can be Improved

The National Association of Wheat Growers says the North American Free Trade Agreement can be improved to benefit U.S. wheat farmers. While stressing the ag industry line of “do no harm” to agricultural trade, the Association says there are some areas where the framework for wheat trade between the three countries can be improved. Association CEO Chandler Goule says those areas include sanitary and phytosanitary rules that the three countries already agreed to as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Goule also points to Canada’s grading system for U.S. wheat, stating: “Canadian wheat can freely enter U.S. elevators and receive a grade equal to its quality while U.S. wheat brought to Canadian elevators is automatically downgraded to a ‘feed wheat’ grade or the equivalent.” NAFTA negotiations started last week in Washington, D.C., and will continue next month in Mexico.

Groups See Pruitt NCBA Video Biased Against WOTUS

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s appearance in a video with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is drawing criticism from critics and so-called government ethics experts. The Cattle Network reports that critics say Pruitt inaccurately uses industry talking points to describe the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule, and that his comments sound as if he has already made up his mind about WOTUS, regardless of the comments posted to EPA’s website. In the video, NCBA suggests that viewers take action and “tell EPA to kill WOTUS,” offering a link to provide comment to the EPA. An administrative law specialist at the American University's Washington College of Law says Pruitt’s appearance in the video makes the rulemaking process and the EPA seem like “it is not really open-minded and that public participation doesn't really matter.” Critics also note that during a visit to Iowa last month, Pruitt was photographed holding a sign that says, "It's time to Ditch the Rule," with those photos posted to social media.

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Markets

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