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Futures One Crop Progress Report

The U.S. corn and soybean harvest made some headway last week but is the slowest it's been since 2009, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday. As of Sunday, 86% of corn was estimated as mature, 11 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%. That was closer to...

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Futures One Crop Progress Report

The U.S. corn and soybean harvest made some headway last week but is the slowest it's been since 2009, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday. As of Sunday, 86% of corn was estimated as mature, 11 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%. That was closer to...

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Gov. Ricketts Cuts Ribbon at Costco Poultry Plant

FREMONT – On Saturday, Governor Pete Ricketts took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Costco’s new chicken plant in Fremont.  The poultry operation will turn Nebraska-grown broilers into Costco’s popular rotisserie chickens and other chicken products.  Costco sells 90 million rotiss...

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Apply by Nov. 1 to serve on the National Pork Checkoff Board of Directors

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Pork Checkoff’s board of directors is accepting applications through November 1 to fill five three-year terms. State pork producer associations, farm organizations or individuals who pay the Pork Checkoff, including pig farmers and pork importers, may submit an applicatio...

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Nebraska Cattlemen welcomes Kohls, Goes to staff

The Nebraska Cattlemen association is pleased to announce the selection of Ashley Kohls as the association's Director of Government Affairs. Previously, Ashley served for five years as the Executive Director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association. She is a graduate of South Dakota State Univ...

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Agricultural youth receive scholarships and awards at 92nd Aksarben Stock Show

Wells Fargo purchases Grand Champion Market Beef for $15,000 The Aksarben Stock Show managed and produced by the Nebraska State Fair welcomed with over 900 youth and 2,700 animals entered along with their families, and supporters to Fonner Park, September 26-29, 2019. Youth exhibited beef, sheep, g...

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Crops

Monday Fontanelle Final Bell with Sam Hudson of Cornbelt Marketing

Slowest news day in markets today-which the market reflected.  Spread between South America & U.S. prices.  Export numbers from the U.S.  Weather still being talked about = more rain then anything else.  Weekly Crop Progress.  Wheat movement on the market.  Livestock market was relatively quiet as well.  Cold Storage report due out tomorrow.

K-State student second in crops competition

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas State University student took top honors and the K-State Crops Team placed second in the Australian University Crops Competition recently. The event was hosted by the Australian Grain Growers organization and was held at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Luke Ryan, junior in agronomy from Solomon, Kansas won top individual honors overall. The University of Sydney placed first in the team competition, K-State placed second, and Charles Sturt University from Wagga Wagga, Australia, was third. Three students from South Dakota State University traveled with the K-State team and participated in the competition. The teams competed against agricultural universities from across Australia. K-State Crops Team members making the trip included top winner Luke Ryan, plus Jayden Meyer, Smith Center, junior in agricultural economics; Wes Jennings, Abilene, senior in agronomy; Nate Dick, Inman, senior in agronomy; Madison Tunnell, Olathe, junior in agronomy and Blake Kirchhoff, Hardy, Nebraska, junior in agronomy. The team was accompanied by coach Kevin Donnelly, professor of agronomy. This was the fifth trip for the K-State team since 2012 to participate in the Australian competition. Ryan, Meyer and Jennings were awarded a stipend from the American Society of Agronomy to cover part of their travel expenses as a result of previously placing in the top three at the U.S. Collegiate Crops Contests in Kansas City and Chicago last November. Additional sponsors of the K-State team were Kansas Grain Sorghum, Kansas Corn, Syngenta, and the K-State Department of Agronomy. The College of Agriculture also provided an international travel scholarship to the K-State students. The trip was a combination of work, learning and sightseeing, which also proved educational for the students. The competition portion spanned three days at the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus. The contest included a seed identification section, three exams over production of selected Australian crops, a business management problem, field yield estimates and management recommendations, and a live crop, weed and disease evaluation component. Before the competition, the group spent a day touring tropical agriculture in Queensland, learning about bananas, coffee, avocados, and sugarcane, and visited a large grain farm in South Australia featuring mixed cropping of wheat, canola and pulses. After the contest, they visited a sheep farm, a cherry orchard, a vineyard, and an apple orchard and processing facility in the Adelaide Hills area. They also travelled to Kangaroo Island, visiting grain farms and KI Pure Grain, the island’s major cooperative grain handling and export business. Learning about canola and Australian white wheat production, ryegrass herbicide resistance problems, and the use of pulse crops such as lentils and fava beans in crop rotations were highlights for the U.S. teams. The students also took a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef at Cairns, with a visit to Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House on the trip to Adelaide. After the contest, they spent two days touring Kangaroo Island. Highlights were observing the majestic coastal rock formations, beaches with seals and dolphins, and kangaroos and koala bears in the wild.

The Friday Fontanelle Final Bell with Eric Kruegar of Smart Yield

Mixed market for a Friday.  Winds across the Midwest will see some dry down options with the winds moving through ahead of the storms.  Harvest grind is finally here.  China trade talks, USMCA-trade has drug on for so long we need to see something signed.    Great leg up on the cash.  Light trade in the south.  Saturday sales possible?  Futures market overprices vs. cash.  Good correction.  Profit in the calf market.  Profitability in the feedlots as early as December.

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Livestock

Monday Fontanelle Final Bell with Sam Hudson of Cornbelt Marketing

Slowest news day in markets today-which the market reflected.  Spread between South America & U.S. prices.  Export numbers from the U.S.  Weather still being talked about = more rain then anything else.  Weekly Crop Progress.  Wheat movement on the market.  Livestock market was relatively quiet as well.  Cold Storage report due out tomorrow.

Gov. Ricketts Cuts Ribbon at Costco Poultry Plant

[caption id="attachment_415427" align="alignright" width="300"] Gov. Ricketts (right) and state leaders receive a tour of Costco’s facilities.[/caption] FREMONT – On Saturday, Governor Pete Ricketts took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Costco’s new chicken plant in Fremont.  The poultry operation will turn Nebraska-grown broilers into Costco’s popular rotisserie chickens and other chicken products.  Costco sells 90 million rotisserie chickens at its stores annually, and the plant in Fremont will help meet this demand.  At full capacity, the facility will process over 2 million chickens each week. Costco plans to hire between 800 and 1,000 Nebraskans to work at the plant by the time it’s fully operational.  In addition to the jobs at the Fremont facility, Costco is partnering with more than 100 farm families to build new chicken barns in Nebraska.  Additionally, corn and soybean growers will supply the equivalent of 2,000 acres of corn and 2,000 acres of soybeans to Costco every week. The Governor’s remarks at Costco’s ribbon cutting ceremony are viewable by clicking here.

New Beef Industry Long Range Plan Task Force Begins Year-Long Process

CENTENNIAL, CO (October 21, 2019) -- The long-range strategic planning process for the beef industry is underway, a process that takes months to coordinate and pulls together key leaders from all over the country representing different sectors of the beef business. THE BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLAN Updated every five years, the Beef Industry Long Range Plan is the standard by which the beef industry focuses on one strategic direction, identifying key areas to advance beef demand. Since 1995, industry leaders have gathered to develop an aligned, comprehensive plan with the goal of increasing consumer demand for beef. These leaders are brought together to study and compile major areas of opportunity facing beef for the next five years. The current plan, in place since 2016, focuses on increasing beef demand in four key areas: Driving growth in beef exports Protecting and enhancing the business and political climate for beef Growing consumer trust in beef and beef production Promoting and strengthening beef’s value proposition The newly appointed committee will begin convening over the next several months and will consider all aspects of the industry from production trends, economic factors, foreign markets, consumer trends, and the competitive climate. The group will evaluate the current plan and determine, based on industry trends and insights, where the industry should maintain and/or shift focus over the next five years. THE 2020 BEEF INDUSTRY LONG RANGE PLAN TASK FORCE The new plan, which will be effective from 2021 through 2025, will be developed by a group of leaders representing key beef segments from across the industry. This Long Range Plan Task Force will be led by Kim Brackett, owner/operator of Brackett Ranches, a cow-calf and stocker operation in Idaho. “Having helped develop our current long-range plan, I was encouraged with how it has been embraced by the industry, especially by Checkoff committees,” said Brackett. “Our new plan will be researched and fashioned with as much care, and I’m sure be received with as much enthusiasm.” The balance of the task force includes individuals devoted to ensuring the long-term success of the beef industry. Keith Belk, Department Head of Animal Science, Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) Tim Brady, Director of Risk Management at Agri Beef packing (Boise, ID) Donnell Brown, Owner/Manager of R.A. Brown Ranch (Throckmorton, TX) John Butler, CEO the Beef Marketing Group, feeder (Manhattan, KS) Paul Defoor, Co-CEO at Cactus Feeders, Inc. (Amarillo, TX) Joe Goggins, Auction Market/Seedstock (Billings, MT) Ken Griner, President of Usher Land & Timber, Inc., cow/calf and seedstock (Chiefland, FL) Mary Kraft, Dairy Owner/Operator (Fort Morgan, CO) Jon Lowe, Sr. VP, Cattle & Equine Business, Zoetis animal health (Parsippany, NJ) Dean Meyer, Farmer/Feeder (Rock Rapids, IA) William Rishel, Rishel Ranch, seedstock (Lincoln, NE) Suzy Strassburger, President, Strassburger Steaks, LLC, a specialty meat purveyor (Carlstadt, NJ) Jerry Wulf, Partner/Advisor Wulf Cattle, seedstock (Hancock, MN)

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Technology

Soy Backs Artificial Turf With Sustainability

Consumer demand for sustainable products continues to increase, and soy is ready to deliver. For artificial grass, soy plays a significant role in the product’s sustainable success. From putting greens to playgrounds and landscaping to lawns, soy-backed synthetic turf has become an attractive option for a number of diverse residential and commercial uses. Universal Textile Technologies, with research investment from the soy checkoff, recognized soy’s potential to contribute to the sustainability of its products. UTT developed BioCel and EnviroCel synthetic grass backing using soy-based polyols to replace all of the performance attributes of petroleum-based polyurethane. Soy-based polyols add the advantages of price stability, lower carbon emissions and improved air quality. Following successful product development to expand from replacing petroleum-based backing to latex backing, UTT provided its soy-based technology to SYNLawn. The largest artificial grass manufacturer in the U.S., SYNLawn operates in the commercial, residential and golf synthetic grass landscape markets, with products carried by retailers such as Lowes and Ace Hardware. SYNLawn broke new ground in the industry, producing the first USDA-certified, bio-based artificial turf in the industry. Today, SYNLawn estimates their products have replaced up to 60% of the petroleum-based polyol with soy-based polyol. SYNLawn says their customers report a more than 50% reduction in water use and lower landfill impact with the longer projected life cycles. Additionally, SYNLawn’s artificial grass is 100% recyclable, and the company says it finds it has superior durability to petroleum-based products. “SYNLawn turf has the natural qualities of real grass in appearance and feel. The product is as innovative as it is beautiful and functional,” says Kyle Bridgeforth, a partner with fifth-generation Bridgeforth Farms in Tanner, Alabama, which grows soybeans, wheat, cotton and other row crops. Through a United Soybean Board leadership program, Bridgeforth traveled to New York City to learn more about soy-based products. “The SYNLawn turf we experienced at the Standard Hotel’s Le Bain rooftop was cool and soft to the touch. It collapsed under your feet like regular grass,” he adds, likening the SYNLawn artificial turf’s look to a real, well-manicured golf course. A number of diverse industries and customer groups see all the benefits too. Several have stepped into SYNLawn’s artificial turf market, including federal agencies meeting looking to meet new water reduction requirements. Agencies must cut water use for industrial, landscaping and ag consumption by 2% annually through fiscal year 2025. One highly visible SYNLawn customer is the historic Del Mar Race Track in southern California, operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The second largest horse-racing venue in the western United States, the site also hosts more than a million visitors attending national touring concerts, weddings and the county fair. Property managers turned to SYNLawn to install more than 8,500 square feet of turf in its paddock area. Similarly, in Indianapolis, the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience, a 7.5-acre exhibit at The Children’s Museum, added SYNLawn product to a nearly an acre and a half of its outdoor area. And to create a happier environment for dogs in need of forever homes, SYNLawn installed artificial pet grass at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County, Florida. The additional play yard transformed an unused field into a fenced area where small dogs play and exercise. “The SYNLawn representative we met was very enthusiastic about their use of soy. She expressed SYNLawn’s appreciation for soybean farmer-funded research and the collaborative effort with USB in promoting the product,” says Bridgeforth. “This is a prime example of how progressive ideas and great partnerships increase profitability for soybean farmers,”. Finding new industrial uses for soy has been a long-time priority for the soy checkoff. Industrial uses generate additional soybean demand and have contributed to significant growth in the U.S. soybean industry — from $11 billion to $41 billion in the last 25 years. “I am constantly amazed at how flexible and adaptable soy is for industrial uses,” says Woody Green, USB director from Lynchburg, South Carolina. “I am a long-time supporter of making checkoff investments in industrial uses, and USB for the coming year has invested in several new promising and innovative uses.” USB-funded research and product development encourages more manufacturers like SYNLawn to choose soy, giving U.S. soybean farmers more profit opportunities. “USB's focus on industrial uses is a very important, needed use of our checkoff dollars,” says Russell Wolf, soybean farmer from Tipton, Missouri. “With all of the trade issues we have today, we must continue to find sustainable new uses for our soy — here and abroad.” Wolf also traveled with USB’s leadership program to the Northeast to experience soy-based industrial products at the end of the value chain, something farmers don’t always get to see. “Industrial uses are one area we can grow, and USB knows the importance of using our checkoff dollars to do so,” says Wolf. “It was eye-opening to see soy used in an urban setting. Such industrial uses help increase demand beyond animal feed and biodiesel,” says Bridgeforth. “The more companies and industries use soybeans, the more confidence and exposure we gain in consumer markets. Ultimately, new partners and collaborations will grow soy demand.”

Vanier Family Donates $1 Million to Wheat Research Foundation

The Jack and Donna Vanier family continued their legacy of giving by donating $1 million to the future of wheat research. "As we enter the golden age of wheat research, this gift to the Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation (KWCRF) will ensure a bright future for our state's most iconic crop," said Ron Suppes, a Kansas wheat farmer who serves as the chair of the KWCRF Steering Committee. "Wheat is something that touches lives across the world every day, from the Kansas farmer to the suburban mom to children in developing countries," said the Vanier family. "For our family, wheat is ingrained in our heritage and is a proud cornerstone of our business, so we are honored to give back to the industry that has blessed us with so much." In recognition of the Vanier family's forward-thinking gift, the Kansas Wheat Alliance has named a new wheat variety KS Western Star, a tribute to the Salina flour mill that started it all for the Vaniers. John J. Vanier had a bold passion for the milling industry, and through saving and hard work, was able to afford a then-struggling Western Star Mill Company in 1925. As his business began to expand, so did his family, which includes Jack and Donna Vanier, as well as their children Marty, Mary and John, the generous individuals who now have given a gift that will shape the Kansas wheat industry for years to come. The KS Western Star variety, which was developed at Kansas State University, will be available to farmers in fall 2020. This generous donation is a pillar of the KWCRF's Fields Forward campaign for a sustainable wheat future. The campaign aims to fund research projects that improve yield and quality, develop and maintain technologies and facilities necessary for future wheat research and cultivate new talent in the wheat breeding and genetics industry. "This gift is an incredible gesture to Kansas wheat farmers and researchers," said Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations at Kansas Wheat. "It will allow us to properly maintain and improve the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, a facility that marks the largest investment by farmers in wheat research to date. This facility has hosted tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe over the last seven years, and it contains the future of wheat genetics in its laboratories and greenhouses. This donation gives our stakeholders peace-of-mind, knowing that the hub they have created for international wheat research will be maintained for years to come." The KWCRF was established in 2011 as the official fundraising organization for the Kansas Wheat Commission. The Foundation works to raise private dollars to combine with public funds for the advancement of wheat research including the accelerated release of wheat varieties. Much of this research is conducted at Kansas State University. Over the past half century, Kansas wheat farmers have contributed millions of their own hard-earned dollars toward wheat research through the wheat checkoff. However, the cost of research continues to increase while government funding decreases. The Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation was created to increase research funding above and beyond the resources of the wheat checkoff. And while the checkoff is paid only by farmers, the Foundation allows private individuals and all segments of the wheat industry to support wheat research through tax-deductible gifts.

Rural firefighters promote farm safety through national program

Firefighters and farmers, two groups of professionals who often work in hazardous environments, are teaming up in a program aimed at improving agricultural safety and health nationwide. The Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health (RF-DASH) project trains emergency responders to provide resources and consultation to farmers in their service areas. “This project is based on our research indicating that firefighters can be influential and can motivate farmers to make changes to improve health and safety on their farms,” said project leader Casper Bendixsen, Ph.D., director of the National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. “Rural firefighters and first responders are highly esteemed in rural and agricultural communities. With the new tools and knowledge we’re giving them, they can be influential on farmers’ health and safety decisions.” Funding for RF-DASH is provided through the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, with a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Farmers Paul and Barb Liebenstein recently hosted a training session at Wolf Creek Dairy in Dundas, Minn., about an hour south of the Twin Cities. “The opportunity to help the people who do so much for our communities is something we would never say ‘no’ to,” said Paul, whose involvement on the local rural fire board has given him insight into the challenges of responding to farm emergencies. “We were glad to learn ways we could be safer here, just by hosting the training on our farm.” The 18 participants of the Sept. 7-8 training at Wolf Creek Dairy included agricultural health and safety specialists, fire/EMS, health care providers and National Fire Protection Agency committee members from nine states (Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin). “We recruited firefighter/EMT and ag safety professionals from specific regions in the hope that they will collaborate when they return home,” said training coordinator Kyle Koshalek. Participants engaged with five curriculum modules: Introduction to Ag Emergencies, Pre-Planning Farm Responses, Farm Hazard Analysis, Farm First Aid, and Farm Community Outreach. Master trainers included Bendixsen; Matt Keifer, M.D. (Puget Sound VA); Jerry Minor (fire chief, Pittsville, Wis.); Dave Hill (Penn State University); and Jim Carrabba (New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health). “We’ll be conducting another training with possibly 30 fire/EMS at the Wisconsin EMS Association (WEMSA) conference in November at Wisconsin Dells, while continuing to build RF-DASH as a generalizable program for all rural fire/EMS across the nation,” Bendixsen said. Since November 2017, RF-DASH has provided training for 68 individuals from 10 states who have, in turn, trained dozens more in helping farmers make their operations safer. “Farmers who volunteer as emergency responders are likely to become the ideal trainees in the program,” said Bendixsen, himself a former rancher and volunteer firefighter. “These individuals can help bridge the farming community and the local departments.” The RF-DASH program follows National Fire Protection Agency standards, specifically the 1300 standard, addressing community risk assessment. Find more information online at www.umash.umn,edu. Emergency first responders interested in becoming trainers may contact Bendixsen at bendixsen.casper@marshfieldresearch.org. Try these free online tools used in RF-DASH training: SaferFarm.org, a hazard analysis tool of farm elements that pose a risk for injury. NFMCFarmMapper.com, a tool to pre-plan response on a specific farm, limit damage in the event of a fire, and keep first responders safe in when responding to a farm emergency.

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Ag Policy

Ross: China Phase One Must be Right Agreement

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Monday suggested the phase one agreement with China doesn’t have to be ready to sign next month. Speaking on Fox Business Network, Ross says, “It has to be the right deal, and it doesn’t have to be in November.” President Donald Trump has indicated the deal would be ready to sign at the November APEC summit. The agreement includes the intent by China to purchase up to $50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods over the next two years. However, China has said it won’t move forward with significant purchases unless Trump agrees to cancel a planned round of tariff increases set for December. The comments from Ross seem to suggest the phase one agreement may not be as solid as previously portrayed. Agriculture is described best as cautiously optimistic that the phase one agreement can be completed, and that China massively increases its purchases of U.S. farm products. However, China recently purchased soybeans from Brazil, an uncharacteristic move for this time of year.

Mexico: USMCA Would Provide Certainty in Global Trade

A government official from Mexico says global trade uncertainty is another reason the U.S. and Canada should ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexico’s Finance Minister last week noted global trade was a common topic during the fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. Arturo Herrera says that in a world that is "probably facing some uncertainties for a while," USMCA is "going to help attract investments to the region," according to Reuters. Herrera says the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, now 15 months long, is partly to blame for a sharp slowdown in global growth. USCMA replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement and was ratified by Mexico this summer. The U.S. and Canada have yet to ratify the agreement, and some fear if Congress doesn't act soon, the deal will be stalled by the 2020 elections. Democrats in the House of Representatives are set to continue negotiations with the White House this week. However, Congress is running out of working days to pass the agreement this year.

Gov. Ricketts Meets with Ethanol Delegation from Mexico

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman met with leaders involved in Mexico’s ethanol industry.  The Mexican delegation is studying Nebraska’s ethanol production and infrastructure.  Earlier this week, the group visited an ethanol plant in Hastings, a blended ethanol fuels distributor in Grand Island, and a blending terminal in Doniphan.   During his remarks to the Mexican delegation, Governor Ricketts highlighted the agricultural, financial, and environmental benefits of ethanol.  Nebraska produces over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, which ranks second among all U.S. states.

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Markets

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