Tag Archives: Farming

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some Nebraska and Iowa businesses are still struggling to recover from flooding that damaged their properties or otherwise kept customers away from their doors.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated that in Nebraska alone, more than 1,000 businesses were affected by March’s severe weather.

Flooding continued into May and June in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, especially along the Missouri River. Central Nebraska got hit by flash floods earlier this month this month, hurting Kearney’s hotel and tourism industry.

The Omaha World-Herald reported that businesses and boosters have been taking extra steps to send a message: Our towns and businesses haven’t been wiped out, and we need customers now more than ever.

In northeast Nebraska’s Knox County, for example, officials have been handing out maps so visitors can navigate flood-damaged roads and bridge reconstruction. The community of Verdigre held an event called “Good As New” at the end of May.

A Harley-Davidson dealership in Iowa’s Pacific Junction threw a party at the end of June to celebrate the dealership’s return to its regular location after cleaning up and repairing soggy drywall. Loess Hills Harley-Davidson moved employees and motorcycles to a temporary building in nearby Glenwood for months after taking on 18 inches of water.

“We can either sit back and say we’re victims and we’re going to play the pity party or say, hey, were going to take the opportunity to make something good out of something bad,” general manager Dan Roland said.

Agricultural company Cargill has helped employees pay for hotels in Nebraska City to ensure operations at its plant there weren’t interrupted too much by road closures and detours. Interstate 29 across the river in Iowa was closed by flooding, and the Iowa Highway 2 link to the bridge over the Missouri to Nebraska City was underwater for weeks as well.

Developers are speeding plans to build more housing on the Nebraska City side of the Missouri, in case Iowa residents hurt by flooding decide not to rebuild, said Dan Mauk, executive director of the Nebraska City Area Economic Development Corp.

This is day 15 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Fields of wheat that are not yet harvested are fewer and farther between as harvest is wrapping up. Most farmers will be done by this weekend or the beginning of next week.

Roger Snodgrass, of McDougal-Sager & Snodgrass Grain Inc., in Rawlins County, reports that they are about 80% done with this year’s wheat harvest. Snodgrass says they missed out on most of the big rains this year and did not get too much hail. While they are seeing lower protein levels, they are also seeing above average yields and good test weights.

“Most of the guys are smiling around here and are happy with the crop that we are seeing,” says Snodgrass.

Theron Haresnape, a farmer near Lebanon in Smith County, says that wheat harvest is finally winding down. He said they didn’t receive any hail in their area, just rain showers.

Haresnape said, “It has been a pretty good year. The biggest rain we had all spring was 2.5 inches.”

With above average yields and protein levels in the area between 11.5 and 12%, Haresnape is pleased with this year’s wheat harvest. Haresnape says if the weather cooperates, they plan to increase acreage in the fall; however, he will still be planting 25-30% less than ‘normal.’

The 2019 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest19.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A farming business owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development corporation will start growing hemp this summer on the tribe’s reservation.

Ho-Chunk Farms announced Thursday that it was one of 10 applicants that received a state license to start hemp farming. Nebraska cleared the way for a limited number of farmers to grow hemp with a new law passed in May.

Aaron LaPointe, the company’s business manager, says the first season will start small, with 5.5 acres of hemp. Planting is expected to start in the coming weeks. LaPointe says the initial crop for a pilot program will help the company prepare for next year.

Industrial hemp was legalized in 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.

More information on Nebraska’s Hemp program can be found here:  http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/hemp/index.html

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. and DULUTH, Ga. – Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN today joined global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO Corporation in a new collaboration to help farmers deploy cutting-edge application equipment, noting the importance of precision agriculture tools to farmers’ efforts to safeguard natural resources and focus on optimizing farm economics.

“Working with AGCO to promote precision agriculture tools makes perfect sense for Land O’Lakes, including our North American network of locally-owned ag retailers, and the farmers we serve,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “AGCO’s expertise in manufacturing cutting-edge agricultural equipment complements Land O’Lakes’ commitment to supporting farmer-led stewardship with technology, insights and in-field capabilities.”

“The precision and versatility of AGCO technology equips applicators with the tools to help them tackle jobs efficiently and productively, while maintaining a focus on protecting the air, land and water,” said David Webster, director of application equipment marketing NA, AGCO Corporation. “We are pleased to work alongside Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and committed to supporting farmers and their ag retailer advisors with tools that can help them run an efficient operation, balancing environmental benefits and profit potential on every acre.”

“At NuWay-K&H Cooperative we began offering precision ag services back in 1995, and we’ve always been on the leading edge of bringing new technology to growers faster and more efficiently than any other supplier in our market area,” said Jeff Crissinger, vice president of agronomy sales and marketing at NuWay-K&H Cooperative, a Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN agricultural retailer. “The AGCO offering through Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN is an exciting new collaboration and will help us continue to support our growers through leading technologies that support both the grower’s business and their environmental impact.”

Today’s announcement builds on an existing relationship between AGCO and WinField United, the crop inputs, seed and agronomy business of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

The Land O’Lakes ag retail network reaches more than 300,000 farmers nationwide – approximately half of U.S. harvested acres – through the farmer-owned cooperative’s locally-owned network of ag retailers.

A new online tool can help farmers and ranchers find information on U.S. Department of Agriculture farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA has launched the new Farm Loan Discovery Tool as the newest feature on farmers.gov, the Department’s self-service website for farmers.

USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says the tool can “help farmers find information on USDA farm loans within minutes.” The changes are part of customer service improvements effort by USDA, and was identified through suggestions from farmers. USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations, from buying land to financing the purchase of equipment.

Compared to this time last year, FSA has seen an 18 percent increase in the amount it has obligated for direct farm ownership loans. Through the 2018 Farm Bill, FSA has increased the limits for several loan products. USDA conducted field research in eight states, gathering input from farmers and FSA farm loan staff to better understand their needs and challenges.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Milk Producers Federation today marked the one-year anniversary of then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s famous observation that “almonds don’t lactate” by reminding the agency it still has not resolved the issue and that citizens who heeded its call for comments with thoughtful responses deserve answers.

“An almond doesn’t lactate, I must confess,” Gottlieb said last July 17, admitting that FDA has been lax in enforcing its own rules on the use of dairy terms on products containing no dairy ingredients. “Have we been enforcing our standard of identity? The answer is, probably not,” he said, while pledging agency action in “something close to a year.”

“FDA’s longstanding inaction on enforcing its own standards of identity is perpetuating the marketing of products using milk and dairy terms when those products don’t match the nutritional content of the dairy products they are imitating,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Dairy farmers have never called for bans on fake-food competitors, nor have they called for market censorship. They do want the FDA to enforce its own rules defining what a product is and what it isn’t, in keeping with similar standards enforced in other countries around the globe. The clock is still ticking. We are not going away.”

The FDA in January concluded a comment period exploring the issue of consumer confusion regarding the nutritional content of dairy products versus plant-based imitators, with organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics offering evidence of nutritional deficiencies caused by confusion over the contents of plant-based versus dairy beverages while dairy’s detractors submitted thousands of off-topic creeds. After carefully considering comments and noting consumer survey data that clearly demonstrates confusion over nutrition, NMPF in Februaryreleased its own road map offering solutions to how public health, product integrity and free speech could be protected through updated regulations. That Citizen Petition is currently open for comment.

NMPF also supports the DAIRY PRIDE Act, a potential legislative prod for FDA action.

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) will conduct its Annual Meeting Monday, Aug. 26, at the Kansas Soybean Building in Topeka. It is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

During that meeting, the commissioners will elect officers for the coming year and approve their request for proposals (RFP) for fiscal year 2021 research and education projects.

Other discussion topics will be current and future research projects, market-development activities, educational programs, and administrative items. To obtain a complete agenda or to suggest additional matters for deliberation, contact KSC Administrator Kenlon Johannes at johannes@kansassoybeans.org or call the Kansas Soybean office at 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923).

With the beef industry going through continuous changes and advancements, it is important cattlemen and women across the country are “in the know”, which is where the Cattlemen’s Education Series (CES) comes into play. This partnership between the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association(NCBA) is designed to provide resources to NCBA state and breed affiliates through a grant which allows them to extend outstanding educational experiences locally. The mission of the CES is to provide cutting-edge information to beef producers that contributes to increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.

 

With approximately 32 percent of the Nation’s 2018 corn crop being utilized as animal feed, this partnership is important as it promotes corn products and by-products utilized in the cattle industry.

 

“I understand the importance of being able to deliver a quality product for my customers,” said Missouri farmer Gary Porter. “I take pride knowing the crop I grow will end up in so many outlets.”

 

Porter also serves as the liaison to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the National Corn Growers Association. “Our ability to produce an abundant and high-quality crop, makes corn an attractive feedstock for current and future end users.”

 

The recent advances in corn fractionation technology, provides the opportunity for more tailored, species specific distillers feed products, in addition to the great value that present DDGS bring today.

 

“As a cattle producer, I have confidence in the U.S. corn crop and the value that corn and DDGS bring to my cattle and operation,” said NCBA Vice President Jerry Bohn. “It is good to see the various partnerships from NCGA and the state corn affiliates to increase beef demand, especially exports through USMEF. NCGA also shows their commitment to cattlemen via the Cattlemen Education Series grant program that supports cutting edge education for beef producers that contributes to their increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.”

 

Although the NCGA funded grant program is still young, NCBA has awarded over forty CES grants across the country. Look for upcoming CES events in your area.

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation to address a shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and ag industries at the border.

Ag inspectors work to prevent the intentional or unintentional entry of harmful plants, food, animals, and goods into the U.S. The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 would ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across our nation’s borders by authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors to fully staff America’s ports of entry.

Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts was one of several authors of the legislation. Roberts says, “Every day, millions of pounds of produce, meat, and other agricultural good enter the U.S. through our ports of entry. Ag Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the goods move efficiently across our borders while safeguarding against harmful pests, diseases, and even potential bioterrorism attacks.”

Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow says, “It’s critical that we address the shortage of agricultural specialists and hire qualified staff to safeguard our food and our farms.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife.

Friday’s EPA announcement — coming after the agriculture industry accused the agency of unduly favoring honeybees — makes sulfoxaflor the latest bug- and weed-killer allowed by the Trump administration despite lawsuits alleging environmental or human harm. The pesticide is made by Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff created last month out of the DowDuPont merger and restructuring.

Honeybees pollinate billions of dollars of food crops annually in the United States, but agriculture and other land uses that cut into their supply of pollen, as well as pesticides, parasites and other threats, have them on a sharp decline. The University of Maryland said U.S. beekeepers lost 38 percent of their bee colonies last winter alone, the highest one-winter loss in the 13-year history of their survey.

Emails and other records obtained from the EPA through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the Sierra Club, and provided to The Associated Press, show sorghum growers in particular had pressed senior officials at the agency for a return to broad use of sulfoxaflor.

Sorghum growers regard honeybees as just another “non-native livestock” in the United States, lobbyist Joe Bischoff said in one 2017 email to agency officials, and by cutting threats to the bees, “EPA has chosen that form of agriculture over all others.”

A federal appeals court had ordered the EPA to withdraw approval for sulfoxaflor in 2015, ruling in a lawsuit brought by U.S. beekeeping groups that not enough was known about what it did to bees.

EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn said Friday that new industry studies that have not been made public show a low level of harm to bees and other creatures beyond the targeted crop pests.

Dunn said EPA’s newly reset rules for use of sulfoxaflor, such as generally prohibiting spraying of fruit and nut-bearing plants in bloom, when pollinators would be attracted to the flowers, would limit harm to bees. She called it “an important and highly effective tool for growers.”

Michele Colopy, program director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, one of the beekeeping groups that had successfully sued to block sulfoxaflor, said the EPA limits weren’t enough to protect bees and other beneficial bugs whose numbers are declining.

“We understand farmers want to have every tool in their toolbox,” when it comes to curbing insects that damage crops. “But the … pesticides are just decimating beneficial insects,” Colopy said.

An environmental group charged the EPA with sidestepping the usual public review in reapproving broader use of the pesticide.

“The Trump EPA’s reckless approval… without any public process is a terrible blow to imperiled pollinators,” said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced without fanfare on July 1 that it would stop collecting quarterly data on honeybee colonies, citing budget restrictions. Beekeepers and others used the data to track losses and growth in U.S. honeybee colonies.

Other Trump administration decisions have upheld market use of the weed-killing glyphosate, which is now the target of thousands of consumer lawsuits over alleged harm to people exposed to it, and shelved an Obama-era decision to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos as a threat to human health.