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K-State teaming with other universities to offer 5-State Beef Conference

ASHLAND, Kan. – Kansas State University is teaming with several other universities, industry representatives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer a 5-State Beef Conference in three locations in early November. Presentations will cover a range of topics, including a market outlook for be...

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K-State teaming with other universities to offer 5-State Beef Conference

ASHLAND, Kan. – Kansas State University is teaming with several other universities, industry representatives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer a 5-State Beef Conference in three locations in early November. Presentations will cover a range of topics, including a market outlook for be...

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Kansas forestland acreage decreases for first time in 81 years

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- For 81 years, the forests and woodlands of Kansas have been inventoried by the U.S. Forest Service in collaboration with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University to track changes in the size and condition of this valuable resource. The most recent inventory informat...

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Conaway, Rouzer Praise Trump Administration’s Withdraw of Controversial GIPSA Rules

Washington, D.C.— Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (NC-07) issued the following comments in response to the Trump administration's decision to withdraw a controversial Grain Inspection, ...

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Republican Governors Express Concern to President Trump Over EPA Actions on RFS

Today four Republican Governors sent a letter to President Trump with concerns on the recently proposed changes to America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), urging the president to keep his promises to rural America to support the RFS.   “The renewable fuels industry in our states—an...

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Tractor Sales Fall in September

Overall sales of tractors were lower in September compared to last year. The Association of Equipment Manufacturer's monthly report on equipment sales found the sale of all tractors in the U.S. in September 2017, were down 10 percent compared to the same month last year. For the nine months in 2017,...

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Crops

Effects of a freeze on forages

LINCOLN — If you haven’t experienced a freeze yet this fall, you soon will. And remember, a freeze can cause hazards for using some forages. When plants freeze, changes occur in their metabolism and composition that can poison livestock. But you can prevent problems. Sorghum-related plants, like cane, sudangrass, shattercane, and milo can be highly toxic for a few days after frost. Freezing breaks plant cell membranes. This breakage allows the chemicals that form prussic acid, which is also called cyanide, to mix together and release this poisonous compound rapidly. Livestock eating recently frozen sorghums can get a sudden, high dose of prussic acid and potentially die. Fortunately, prussic acid soon turns into a gas and disappears into the air. So wait 3 to 5 days after a freeze before grazing sorghums; the chance of poisoning then becomes much lower. Freezing also slows down metabolism in all plants. This stress sometimes permits nitrates to accumulate in plants that are still growing, especially grasses like oats, millet, and sudangrass. This build-up usually isn’t hazardous to grazing animals, but green chop or hay cut right after a freeze can be more dangerous. Alfalfa reacts two ways to a hard freeze, down close to twenty degrees, cold enough to cause plants to wilt. Nitrate levels can increase, but rarely to hazardous levels. Freezing also makes alfalfa more likely to cause bloat for a few days after the frost. Then, several days later, after plants begin to wilt or grow again, alfalfa becomes less likely to cause bloat. So waiting to graze alfalfa until well after a hard freeze is a good, safer management practice. Frost causes important changes in forages so manage them carefully for safe feed. To listen to BeefWatch podcasts go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/unl-beefwatch/id964198047 or paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlbeefwatch into your podcast app.

USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report

Nebraska:  For the week ending October 15, 2017, temperatures averaged near normal across eastern Nebraska, but four to eight degrees below normal in the west, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation of less than an inch was scattered across a majority of the State; however, a few southeastern counties received over an inch of rain. Wet fields continued to slow harvest. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 7 short, 80 adequate, and 11 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 14 short, 76 adequate, and 6 surplus. Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 4 percent very poor, 9 poor, 23 fair, 46 good, and 18 excellent. Corn mature was 92 percent, near 95 last year and 93 for the five-year average. Harvested was 17 percent, behind 32 last year, and well behind 39 average. Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 9 poor, 26 fair, 49 good, and 12 excellent. Soybeans harvested was 33 percent, well behind 59 last year and 67 average. Winter wheat planted was 86 percent, behind 98 last year and 95 average. Emerged was 66 percent, well behind 88 last year, and behind 72 average. Sorghum condition rated 3 percent very poor, 2 poor, 20 fair, 53 good, and 22 excellent. Sorghum mature was 92 percent, behind 98 last year, but equal to average. Harvested was 22 percent, well behind 49 last year, and behind 34 average. Alfalfa fourth cutting was 92 percent complete, ahead of 86 last year. Dry edible beans harvested was 75 percent, behind 94 last year and 89 average. Proso millet harvested was 73 percent, behind 92 last year. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 13 poor, 45 fair, 35 good, and 4 excellent. Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 92 adequate, and 3 surplus. Kansas: For the week ending October 15, 2017, above normal temperatures in the east preceded late week rains while the western half of the State remained mostly cool and dry, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Wheat seeding and row crop harvest continued across Kansas with some reports of soybean pods shattering. There were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture rated 2 percent very short, 11 short, 77 adequate, and 10 surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 4 percent very short, 18 short, 74 adequate, and 4 surplus. Field Crops Report: Winter wheat planted was 42 percent, well behind 71 last year and 75 for the five-year average. Emerged was 25 percent, behind 44 last year, and well behind 46 average. Corn mature was 92 percent, behind 99 last year and 97 average. Harvested was 54 percent, well behind 74 last year, and behind 73 average. Soybean condition rated 5 percent very poor, 14 poor, 37 fair, 39 good, and 5 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 93 percent, ahead of 86 last year and 87 average. Harvested was 34 percent, ahead of 25 last year, but near 36 average. Sorghum condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 poor, 32 fair, 46 good, and 12 excellent. Sorghum mature was 75 percent, behind 88 last year, and near 78 average. Harvested was 13 percent, well behind 41 last year, and behind 32 average. Cotton condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 27 fair, 60 good, and 11 excellent. Cotton bolls opening was 72 percent, near 74 last year and 75 average. Harvested was 7 percent, equal to last year, and near 5 average. Sunflowers condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 26 fair, 56 good, and 14 excellent. Sunflowers ray flowers dried was 93 percent, near 94 last year and 96 average. Bracts turning yellow was 83 percent, near 87 last year, and behind 88 average. Bracts turning brown was 69 percent, near 72 last year and 70 average. Harvested was 5 percent, behind 24 last year and 22 average. Alfalfa fourth cutting was 92 percent complete, near 96 last year, but ahead of 86 average. Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions rated 4 percent very poor, 15 poor, 35 fair, 43 good, and 3 excellent. Stock water supplies rated 3 percent very short, 14 short, 82 adequate, and 1 surplus.  

National Young Farmers Coalition teams up with renowned data visualization firm to help farmers buy land

HUDSON, NY – Oct. 16, 2017 – Finding Farmland (http://findingfarmland.youngfarmers.org), a new website that offers educational tools to help young farmers address the top obstacles to starting a farm— access to both land and capital—was launched today by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) and Fathom Information Design. Features include a first-of-its kind land affordability calculator that makes it easy for farmers to learn about options for financing farmland and tools, such as easements, to help make it more affordable. “Buying land is one of the most consequential decisions that a farmer will make,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director and Co-Founder of NYFC. “We built Finding Farmland to help farmers make that choice with more confidence. The tool gives users a full view of their credit options, the full cost of land over time, and strategies to make a farm more affordable.” "From down payments and loans to conservation easements, purchasing farmland can be remarkably complex,” adds Ben Fry, Principal at Fathom Information Design. “We’re excited about empowering prospective owners by helping them consider different scenarios in a way that’s simple and clear." Finding Farmland is a free educational tool for farmers and farm service providers, such as extension agents, and can be used as a standalone resource or integrated into a farm business planning course. Farmers can use the tool to analyze the financial impact that different options for financing a land purchase would have on their bottom line, or to compare the overall costs of two different properties. With two thirds of the nation’s farmland to change hands in the next twenty years, NYFC is ramping up its work to help beginning farmers and ranchers access land. Finding Farmland is part of a larger land campaign strategy, including Farm Bill and state policy advocacy, land access workshops for farmers, a land access webinar series, and a national working group for land trusts. This project is supported by a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. The current site is a beta version. The site launch will be accompanied by a series of in-person trainings around the country and additional online resources. The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) is an advocacy network of farmers fighting for the future of agriculture. Visit NYFC on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram

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Livestock

K-State teaming with other universities to offer 5-State Beef Conference

ASHLAND, Kan. – Kansas State University is teaming with several other universities, industry representatives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer a 5-State Beef Conference in three locations in early November. Presentations will cover a range of topics, including a market outlook for beef producers and tools available when marketing calves. Dates, locations and contact information for each conference are: Nov. 7 - Boise City, Oklahoma – Cimarron County Fair Building, 1300 N. Cimarron St. – Cimarron County Extension 580-544-3399 Nov. 8 - Perryton, Texas – Ochiltree County Expo Center, 402 Expo Dr. – Lipscomb County Extension 806-862-4601 or Roberts County Extension 806-868-3191; and Nov. 9 - Ashland, Kansas – Clark County Fairgrounds, 701 Kentucky St. (corner of 11th Ave. and Kentucky) – Clark County Extension 620-635-2811 Topics at the conference include: Market Outlook; Factors Affecting Calf Prices: Why the Impact?; Marketing of Calves and Stocker Cattle: Beef Basis Tools; Cow Nutrition; and Transition Strategies and Estate Transfer Issues: You Built It – Now What Do You Do With It? In addition to Kansas State University and the USDA, Oklahoma State University; Texas A&M University; and New Mexico State University are collaborating on the conference.

NFU Deeply Disappointed By USDA Decision to Terminate Farmer Fair Practices Rules

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it would be terminating the Farmer Fair Practices Rule on Competitive Injury, a rule that would have provided the most basic of protections to American family farmers and ranchers as they endure increasingly concentrated markets and unfair treatment from multinational meatpackers. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement: “It is deeply disappointing that USDA did not side with family farmers in the long-contested debate over rules for the Packers and Stockyards Act. The Farmer Fair Practices Rules offered a basic, yet important first step to addressing the unfair practice that family farmers and ranchers face in the extremely consolidated meatpacking industries.  “The withdrawal of the competitive injury rule is unjustified, given the long-held, plain language interpretation by the Department that growers do not need to prove harm to the entire industry when seeking relief from poultry companies for unfair contract practices. It is particularly egregious given the abuses that poultry growers face in the vertically integrated marketplace.   “With this decision, USDA has given the green light to the few multinational meatpackers that dominate the market to discriminate against family farmers. As the administration has signaled its intent to side with the meat and poultry giants, NFU will pursue congressional action that addresses competition issues and protects family farmers and ranchers.”

BQA Certification to be Hosted During KCA Convention

As part of the 19th Annual KCA Convention and Trade Show, KCA will host Dr. Dan Thomson in providing Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training. The program will begin at 1:00 pm on October 27th at the Meridian Center in Newton, Kansas. The program is proudly sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. BQA does more than just help beef producers capture extra value from their market cattle. BQA also reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and bulls are the best they can be. Today, the stakes are even higher because of increased public attention on animal welfare. BQA is valuable to all beef producers because it: - Demonstrates commitment to food safety and quality. - Upholds consumer confidence in valuable beef products. - Protects the beef industry from additional government regulation. - Improves sale value of marketed beef cattle. - Enhances herd profitability through better management. The program covers information specific to the needs of today's cow/calf, stockers, and back-grounding producers, including: up-to-date information on weaning and preconditioning of calves, handling and culling, herd health plans, calf management, humane euthanasia, best management practices, parasite control, animal abuse avoidance, and handling. For a full schedule or to register to attend the BQA training or any part of the KCA Convention, please visit www.kansascattlemen.com or call 785-238-1483.

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Technology

Microsoft Investing in Rural Tech Jobs, Broadband Projects

Microsoft announced last week it will team up with communities in six states to invest in technology jobs and broadband in rural areas. The Microsoft initiative TechSpark is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment to help teach computer science to students, expand rural broadband and help create and fill jobs, according to AgriMarketing. The communities involved are in North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. A Microsoft executive said there are 23.4 million Americans living in rural communities who don't have broadband coverage and the TechSpark program is going to focus on bringing coverage to those six regions. Further, Microsoft officials say there are nearly 500,000 unfilled computing jobs in the U.S. and that number is expected to triple by the end of next year.

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Ag Policy

NCBA on GIPSA Rule Withdrawal: "Victory for Cattle Producers and Consumers"

Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association's Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, today released the following statement in response to USDA’s decision to withdraw its controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule: “This is a victory for America’s cattle and beef producers – and it’s a victory for America’s consumers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue deserves a great deal of thanks and credit for this smart decision. The proposed rule would have crippled cattle producers’ ability to market their products through the value-added programs that help make American-produced beef the most delicious and nutritious in the world. This is a decision worthy of celebrating this evening with a top-quality steak.”

Conaway, Rouzer Praise Trump Administration’s Withdraw of Controversial GIPSA Rules

Washington, D.C.— Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (NC-07) issued the following comments in response to the Trump administration's decision to withdraw a controversial Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) interim final rule and take no further action on a complementary proposed rule released in the final days of the Obama administration:  “After nearly a decade of battling partisan and contentious GIPSA reforms, America’s livestock, poultry and packing industries can breathe a sigh of relief. Today’s decision helps restore both Congressional intent and common sense by ensuring American producers have the freedom to market their products without the threat of frivolous lawsuits. I appreciate the Trump administration’s dedication to regulatory reform through the rollback of unnecessary and burdensome regulations like these. I am particularly thankful for Sec. Perdue’s leadership on this effort and look forward to working with him to ensure that other problematic regulations like the organic livestock rule meet the same fate,” said Chairman Conaway. “Excessive regulations with questionable legal backing ultimately lead to a wave of lawsuits and to years of litigation. The withdraw of the GIPSA rule brings years of regulatory uncertainty in our livestock, poultry and packing industries to an end. I applaud the Trump administration, along with Sec. Perdue, for their hard work on behalf of rural America to roll back these cumbersome regulations,” said Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer. Collectively, the rules would have made it unnecessary for plaintiffs to show general harm to competition when challenging a packer’s decision to offer premiums to producers through established marketing agreements, going well beyond the statutory language, potentially opening the gates to a flurry of lawsuits from disgruntled producers, and ultimately limiting marketing options and consumer choice.

NAFTA Talks Turn to Agriculture, Dairy

The U.S. wants to reverse Canada's dairy supply management system as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation. U.S. negotiators centered on the agriculture chapter of NAFTA over the weekend, and proposed to reverse Canadian dairy pricing program that has undercut certain U.S. dairy exports to Canada. The text, which demands that Canada eliminates an industry pricing classification that lowered domestic prices for certain milk protein products to the minimum global price, was met with swift pushback, according to Politico. The proposal, called a "five-page attack" on Canada's management system, also includes transparency requirements for Canada to report pricing decisions. A labor union representing dairy workers in Canada said the U.S. is "preparing a full assault on Canada's supply management system." The U.S. has long protested Canada's system of tariffs and export limits designed to protect the domestic market, which is not part of the original NAFTA agreement.

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Markets

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