Tag Archives: crops

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.

This is day 11 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.

The hot, dry weekend weather was just what farmers needed to make some excellent progress on wheat harvest in Kansas.

Mike McClellan, who farms in Rooks County, is wrapping up his wheat harvest on Monday. Their harvest started on July 1, and they have seen good yields and test weights, but lower than average protein levels.

“We’ve had a really good harvest run this year,” said McClellan. “We’re pretty happy with the yields. No complaints here.” He added, “We’re ready to wrap it up.”

McClellan reports that the area is about 80-90% finished with wheat harvest.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised on some fields, and disappointed on others,” he said. Yields have ranged from 20 on a field with hail damage to 80s on his best wheat. Test weights have remained over 60 pounds per bushel, and his proteins have been lower than average, which he partially attributes to the fact that they were late getting nitrogen on because of the moisture. He said he has neighbors who have gotten as high as 12s on protein.

Wheat harvest for Lisa Schemm, who farms in Wallace and Logan counties, got into full swing on July 10. They had started cutting on July 4, but rains kept them out of the fields until last week. A normal start date for them is June 25. A severe storm on June 22 hit some of their wheat and corn hard with hail.

Schemm reports that they are now a little over half done with harvest. She says that yields are above average, and test weights have remained well above 60, ranging from 62-63. Areas that had to be replanted aren’t yielding as well, so planting date has definitely had an effect on yields. Their protein levels have been coming in about 10.5%.

Schemm says the Kansas Wheat Alliance variety Kanmark has been performing well for them this year. She says morale is a little higher in their area, with the excellent yields and a slightly higher wheat price. Overall, wheat harvest is going well; it’s just behind schedule. She hopes to wrap up by the end of the week.

Brian Linin, a farmer from Goodland in Sherman County, started his harvest on July 8, and they’ve been rolling ever since. His wheat is yielding quite a bit above average, ranging from 70 bushels per acre and up. Test weights are 61.5 to 62 pounds per bushel, and proteins are ranging from 11.5 to 13%.

Linin says this is an above average year, with good quality wheat and good kernel size. He reports that he has about 1,200 acres left to cut, so their harvest will last about another week. The WestBred variety WB-Grainfield and a WB-Grainfield/PlainsGold Langin blend are performing well for him.

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.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas State University row crop specialist says he’s happy – even if surprised – by the low incidence of disease he’s finding in the state’s corn fields so far this summer.

But he’s urging growers to continue scouting their fields for diseases that have been commonly found in Kansas in past years.

“I have been surprised by the low levels of gray leaf spot in most fields,” said Doug Jardine, who has traveled several areas of Kansas over the past few weeks looking at corn and soybean fields.

“In those areas where I was able to find gray leaf spot, it was on the very lowest leaves, even in some fields that I know have had a problem with a history of this disease.”

Gray leaf spot is a fungus that causes an estimated loss of 9 million bushels of corn per year in Kansas. It was first found in the state in 1989, and is considered the most serious foliar disease of corn in Kansas and the north central United States.

For that reason, indications that it might not be as prevalent so far this summer is no reason for growers to become complacent.

“It’s present in the state, so we need to be scouting,” Jardine said. “But at this point, I was not personally in any fields that I think are going to need a fungicide this year. And given the commodity prices this year, if we can save $15 to $25, that’s probably a good thing.”

He added that the lower incidence of the disease in Kansas could be due to growers’ tendency in recent years to plant hybrids containing tolerance to gray leaf spot, “because that’s what we’ve preached as the primary management practice for years.”

Jardine said that gray leaf spot is sometimes confused with another disease that shows up routinely in Kansas – bacterial leaf streak, a bacteria that is more common in corn fields managed under continuous no-till and center pivot irrigation.

He noted that bacterial leaf streak is mostly found in the western one-third of Kansas, but has been found recently in the southeast (Labette County), north central (Clay County) and south central (Butler County) parts of the state.

“To an untrained eye, this disease can look very similar to gray leaf spot,” Jardine said. “We know over the last 3-4 years that people thought they had gray leaf spot, went out and sprayed and saw no response to the fungicide application – that’s because fungicides don’t work on bacteria.”

Differences between the two diseases are often seen in the lesions that appear on the leaves of the corn plant.

“With gray leaf spot, the lesions are defined by the vein, so they have very sharp borders on them; they don’t cross the vein,” Jardine said. “With bacterial leaf streak, they don’t respect that vein, so they can have a wavy edge that crosses the border and comes back. They tend to be very long and linear.”

He noted that another test is to hold up an infected leaf so that it is back-lit by the sun. If the light passes through readily (translucent), the disease is likely to be bacterial leaf streak. But if light doesn’t pass through the lesions (opaque) and appears dark brown, the disease is likely to be gray leaf spot.

In either case, Jardine suggests that growers submit samples of suspect leaves through their local extension office, or send directly to the plant disease diagnostic lab at Kansas State University.

In addition, Jardine said corn growers should be on the lookout for signs of the root lesion nematode, which were “very severe” in northeast Kansas (Doniphan and Brown counties) a year ago.

Producers who suspect an infestation of root lesion nematodes should dig up whole plants 30-40 days past emergence, shake off the excess soil from roots, and send the sample into the plant disease diagnostic lab.

Jardine said one sample received at K-State a year ago had a count of 100,000 nematodes per gram of root weight. That’s a huge number considering that yield losses in corn are common with infestations of 5,000 to 10,000 nematodes per gram of root weight.

“You’re looking for stunted areas in the fields, especially if they’re starting to become a little chlorotic (yellowish),” Jardine said.

Specific to soybeans, Jardine said he’s keeping his eye out for the presence of frogeye leaf spot, which could take hold in some fields this year because of the wet June weather in Kansas.

More information on crop diseases in Kansas is available from K-State’s Department of Plant Pathology, and the weekly e-Update published by the Department of Agronomy.

Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN), a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced results for its third quarter ended May 31, 2019.

Third Quarter Summary

Revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $121.1 million, a decrease of $48.5 million, or 29 percent, compared to revenues of $169.6 million in the prior year third quarter. Approximately $27.2 million of the decrease in revenues was attributable to previously announced business divestitures in the irrigation segment as part of the Company’s Foundation for Growth initiative.

Net earnings for the quarter were $2.9 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $10.4 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior year. In addition to the impact of lower revenues, net earnings for the quarter were reduced by after-tax costs of $2.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, related to the Company’s Foundation for Growth initiative. Excluding these additional costs, net earnings for the third quarter would have been $5.5 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. 1 Net earnings for the same period in the prior year, adjusted for Foundation for Growth costs, would have been $17.9 million, or $1.66 per diluted share. 1 Net earnings in the prior year included $1.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, related to the business divestitures.

“Low commodity prices and uncertainty regarding the outcome of trade negotiations continued to weigh on farmer sentiment and demand for irrigation equipment during the quarter,” said Tim Hassinger, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Along with that, strong Road Zipper System ® sales in the prior year third quarter resulted in a challenging year over year comparison.”

Segment Results

Irrigation segment revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $98.6 million, a decrease of $29.8 million, or 23 percent, compared to $128.4 million in the prior year third quarter. Excluding the impact of the divestitures, North America irrigation revenues of $63.0 million increased $2.8 million, or 5 percent, compared to the prior year. Higher revenue from engineering project services and the impact of higher average selling prices were partially offset by lower irrigation equipment unit volume and lower sales of replacement parts. International irrigation revenues of $35.6 million decreased $5.4 million, or 13 percent, compared to the prior year. Excluding the negative impact of differences in foreign currency translation compared to the prior year, international irrigation revenues decreased $2.7 million, or 7 percent.

Irrigation segment operating margin was 11.2 percent of sales (11.7 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter, compared to 9.1 percent of sales (14.1 percent adjusted) 1 in the prior year. The prior year benefited from the recovery of $2.5 million in previously reserved accounts receivable that did not repeat. In addition, lower sales of irrigation equipment and replacement parts in North America resulted in a lower margin mix in the current quarter.

Infrastructure segment revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $22.4 million, a decrease of $18.7 million, or 45 percent, compared to $41.2 million in the prior year third quarter. The decrease resulted almost entirely from lower Road Zipper System ® sales compared to the prior year’s period.

Infrastructure segment operating margin was 15.8 percent of sales (16.0 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter, compared to 34.6 percent of sales (35.0 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter of the prior year. The prior year period included high margin Road Zipper System ® orders that did not repeat in the current quarter.

The backlog of unshipped orders at May 31, 2019 was $42.5 million compared with $55.8 million at May 31, 2018. Approximately $12.4 million of the reduction in backlog resulted from business divestitures. Excluding the impact of the divestitures, irrigation segment backlogs were higher and infrastructure backlogs were lower compared to the prior year. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, a $15.0 million Road Zipper System ® order was received from a customer in Japan, with delivery expected to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

Foundation for Growth Initiative

In fiscal 2018, the Company announced a defined performance improvement initiative, referred to as Foundation for Growth, with the objectives of simplifying the business and achieving operating margin performance of 11 percent to 12 percent in fiscal 2020, assuming no improvement in market conditions from fiscal 2017.

Outlook

“Severe wet weather and widespread flooding in the U.S. have caused delayed corn plantings and curtailed planted acreage, reducing supply estimates and driving a recent increase in corn prices. Any further reduction in supply and increase in corn prices supports an improved outlook for irrigation equipment demand,” said Mr. Hassinger. “The short-term outlook for international markets remains mixed, with growth expected in Brazil and developing markets while certain other markets remain challenged.”

Mr. Hassinger added, “The receipt of a large international Road Zipper System order, along with early successes we are seeing in partnering with states on road construction projects, positions the infrastructure segment for growth. In addition, we expect that execution of our Foundation for Growth initiative will help us achieve our objective of delivering improved operating margins.”

DENVER—Operating margins for ethanol producers will likely remain weak for the remainder of 2019 under the weight of abundant production. Declining corn production this year will also squeeze margins and some ethanol plants will be forced to shut down or idle their production due to high corn prices or insufficient supplies.

According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, exports remain one area of optimism for ethanol producers, but that optimism is based on China’s plans to convert to E10 blend gasoline nationally by the end of 2020. In the meantime, domestic U.S. ethanol demand will likely be flat over the next two years.

“For margins to go up, supply will need to go down,” said Will Secor, economist, grain and farm supply, for CoBank. “This will be a painful process for some higher-cost producers as they look to reduce production or exit the industry. Consolidation and a slow grind to higher margins will be themes in the coming years as the industry works through changes to absorb excess production capacity.”

Ethanol plants had expanded capacity after several years of positive margins. However, margins began sliding in the summer of 2018 and plants have struggled to remain profitable since then. With stocks expected to remain above 900 million gallons through the remainder of 2019, margins are expected remain low.

One potential growth area is E15, as this fuel blend containing 15% ethanol can now be sold year-round. Some retailers will need to invest in additional infrastructure to support E15 sales and will have to weigh the costs of new pumps, tanks or other equipment against the potential profits from offering E15.

Increased demand for ethanol due to E15 will be limited in the next three years as retailers make these investments and consumer acceptance builds. Longer-term, the E15 fuel market will be able to provide stronger support to ethanol plant margins.

Persistent, low margins will also drive ethanol plants to diversify their revenue streams. “The ethanol plant of today could turn into the corn bio-refinery of tomorrow,” said Secor. “One could expect co-product offerings to expand and investments in these co-product lines to increase. These co-product investments may include equipment to produce high-protein dried distiller grain with solubles, corn oil optimization, and new buyers for carbon dioxide.”

Watch a video synopsis and read the full report: Ethanol Outlook Weak Amid Sluggish Demand.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. and CHICAGO,  /PRNewswire/ — Ag producer sentiment rebounded in June as farmers’ expressed a more optimistic outlook towards the future of the ag economy. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S., increased to a reading of 126 in June, up 25 points from May.

Increases were also seen in both of the barometer’s sub-indices. While the Index of Current Conditions only saw a modest increase, up 13 points from May, to a reading of 97, the Index of Future Expectations jumped 33 points, to a reading of 141 in June.

“This year farmers have faced an extremely wet planting season and uncertainty surrounding trade discussions, however, a crop price rally coupled with USDA’s announcement of its 2019 MFP program and Congress’ passage of the Disaster Aid Bill made farmers more optimistic,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “While this combination provided a boost to a struggling ag economy, it remains a challenging economic environment for farmers.”

In June, the prospect of large prevented plantings, along with concerns that delayed planting of corn and soybeans would impact yields, led USDA to forecast tighter supplies than previously expected. Supply concerns were a key factor behind a rally in corn and soybean prices that took place from mid-May to mid-June when the June barometer survey was conducted. For example, nearby CBOT corn futures prices were up 28 percent and nearby CBOT soybean futures prices were up 12 percent, both compared to their mid-May lows. The USDA also announced it would provide another round of MFP payments on planted acres of a large number of covered crops, including corn and soybeans.

In light of the announcement and the historic corn and soybean planting delays this spring, producers who planted corn or soybeans in 2018 were asked whether the MFP announcement affected their decision to take or not take a prevented planting payment this year. Ten percent of corn and soybean producers said the announcement did impact their prevented planting decision making and one out of five farmers within that group said they intended to plant more corn, while one out of ten farmers within that group said they intended to plant more soybeans, because of the MFP program.

One of the big question marks in the 2019 outlook is how many acres will be enrolled in Federal Crop Insurance’s prevented planting program. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of corn/soybean farmers in the survey said they intended to take prevented planting payments on some of their corn acres and of those who intend to take a prevented planting payment, just over half (51 percent) said they intend to take prevented planting on more than 15 percent of their intended corn acreage.

Lastly, farmers were slightly more optimistic regarding the resolution and impact of the ongoing trade dispute with China. From March through May, the percentage of producers expecting a beneficial outcome to the trade dispute declined from 77 percent to 65 percent; yet, on the June survey, that percentage rose slightly to 69 percent. Farmers were also asked whether they believe the dispute will be resolved by September 1. In mid-June, 32 percent of producers expected it to be settled by early September, whereas just 20 percent expected the dispute to be settled by July 1 when this question was posed in mid-May.

Read the full June Ag Economy Barometer report at https://purdue.ag/agbarometer. This month’s report includes more information about farmer sentiment regarding farmland values and large farm investments. The site also offers additional resources – such as past reports, charts and survey methodology – and a form to sign up for monthly barometer email updates and webinars. Each month, Dr. Mintert also provides a short video analysis of the barometer results, available at https://purdue.ag/barometervideo.

The Ag Economy Barometer, Index of Current Conditions and Index of Future Expectations are available on the Bloomberg Terminal under the following ticker symbols: AGECBARO, AGECCURC and AGECFTEX.

This is day 4 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.

According to the USDA/NASS crop progress and condition report for the week ending June 30, only 28% of Kansas winter wheat has been harvested, well behind 68% last year and 61% for the five-year average. Winter wheat condition rated 4 percent very poor, 12 poor, 29 fair, 41 good and 14 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was 98 percent. Mature was 76 percent, behind 95 last year.

Mike Schloctermeier, of Meade Coop Elevator & Supply Co., reports that since starting harvest on June 20, they have seen exceptional results.

“Having dry weather this last week, harvest has really picked up the last 5 or 6 days,” says Schloctermeier. He reported that this is some of the best wheat his guys have seen out in the field, with yields ranging from 65-80. Proteins have been all over the place, ranging from 9 to low 11, but still they are pleased with the results. While they have been running about 10 days behind normal harvest, they are still happy to be harvesting quality wheat this year.

Lyle Friesen with Friesen Harvesting reports that they started harvesting in Oklahoma on June 4 and will continue all the way through harvest in Montana. They have seen yields of 50 to 80 bushels per acre in Kansas, where they are harvesting between Meade and Plains. Test weights have ranged from 60 to 64, and proteins are 10-12%. The area has seen 14 inches of rain since May. While he reports they are harvesting more acres this year than last year, last year was their lowest acres since they started in 1949. The varieties they are harvesting this year are Grainfield and Winterhawk, which have been performing pretty well.

Calvin Williamson, who farms in the Ensign area, reports that his yields are averaging about 80 bushels per acre. He had one field that had hail damage, and with empty heads, it was averaging in the 30s. He reports that a field near Minneola normally yields under 30, but yielded 65 bushels per acre this year. They started harvest on June 26 and plan to be finished with their 2,200 acres by July 6. Test weights have been excellent at 63 pounds, and he reports protein is averaging 12%.

Daren Fischer, of Golden Belt Coop Assn. Inc, in Ellis County, has been seeing the brighter days of wheat harvest this year. Their test weights are excellent, and moisture has been rather solid at 11-12. They are very pleased with the wheat they are seeing. While they did have a few acres hailed out, they are finding the silver lining of the good quality wheat that they are bringing in.

Nicole Harrison, farmer and agronomist with Rezac Land and Livestock in Pottawatomie County, reports that the variety Zenda has been performing well for them this year. Their yields have been ranging from 40 to 60 bushels per acre, which is slightly better than average for their area, especially considering they grazed their wheat. Test weights are ranging from 58-60, and proteins have been excellent, ranging from 11.8 to 13.8%. They started wheat harvest on June 28 and are rushing to get finished so they can bale the straw and get their double crop soybeans planted before July 4.

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 — Whole ecosystems are shifting dramatically north in the Great Plains, a phenomenon likely linked to human influences such as climate change, says new University of Nebraska-Lincoln research that analyzed nearly 50 years’ worth of data on bird distributions.

The northernmost ecosystem boundary shifted more than 365 miles north, with the southernmost boundary moving about 160 miles from the 1970 baseline.

The findings could inform the development of an early-warning system that would give land managers decades to prepare for ecosystem shift or collapse, allowing them to accommodate or foster the change rather than simply reacting, the researchers said.

Early warning, long the siren song for extreme weather events such as tornadoes, is likewise an emerging goal in ecology. Ecologists long thought that ecosystems respond to external pressures — climate changes, invasive species — in idiosyncratic, largely unpredictable ways.

But the team’s new study, published June 24 in the journal Nature Climate Change, managed to quantify the spatial component of that change for the first time. In doing so, it suggests that ecological responses are much more ordered and predictable than previously thought.

“If we can work toward prevention (of changes), we’re going to save ourselves so much money and time,” said Caleb Roberts, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at Nebraska. “We won’t have to worry about specific endangered species, perhaps, because we will be protecting the system they require.”

To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers analyzed 46 years’ worth of avian data collected for the North American Breeding Bird Survey, a U.S. Geological Survey program designed to track bird populations. That survey included more than 400 bird species found within a 250-mile-wide transect stretching from Texas to North Dakota.

The team then separated bird species into groups based on their body masses and searched for gaps in the distribution of the groups. Those gaps effectively act like the DNA signature of an ecosystem, said co-author Craig Allen, allowing the team to identify where one ecosystem ends and another begins.

By analyzing the geographic movement of the distinct body-mass signatures over the 46-year period, the team managed to measure how much and how fast each ecosystem shifted north.

“All (these breaks) are saying is that there are a lot of animals with the small body size; then there’s a gap with nothing in this middle body size; then you have another group and another group,” said Allen, director of the university’s Center for Resilience in Working Agricultural Landscapes. “And since these reflect the domains of scale in an ecosystem, it’s like a signature — the DNA — of a given ecosystem.”

Over their study area, and over time, the researchers identified three distinct ecosystem boundaries, with a fourth — and thus a fourth ecosystem regime — appearing in the final decade.

The fact that the northernmost boundary shifted more than its southernmost counterpart reflects a well-documented phenomenon known as Arctic amplification, suggesting that climate change is at play, the researchers said. But the movement also aligns with other global change drivers that include wildfire trends; the invasion of woody plants such as eastern red cedar trees; energy development; agricultural land conversion; and urbanization.

“Like most things in ecology, (these shifts) likely have multiple causations,” Allen said. “And I think it’s fairly intractable to try to separate, say, tree invasion from climate change, because it has to do with fire but also with changing climate. All of these things are highly related.”

Grasslands are the most endangered ecosystem in the world, Roberts said, partially due to woody-plant encroachment. That encroachment, he said, is something people can work to control by increasing burning, increasing tree removal and decreasing planting.

“Those are all things we can do and use the early warning to say, ‘We’re coming to the edge of this grassland’s resilience. It’s about to collapse, especially in our area. What can we do to stop that?’ That’s the kind of power this tool would have,” he said. “You don’t have to wait until it gets to you. You can see it coming and act pre-emptively.”

When land managers do wait until the problem arrives at their backdoor, Allen said, it’s often too late to alter the outcome. Given that urgency, the researchers plan to expand the range of their ecosystem analysis both east and west — potentially picking up forestlands and mountain ranges — while further clarifying how neighboring ecosystems move in relation to one another and in relation to global drivers.

Eventually, the researchers said, they intend to develop tools usable by land managers and conservationists ranging from private industry to the military.

“We are working closely with a long list of partners to understand how to navigate these types of transitions and increase the performance of conservation investments,” said Dirac Twidwell, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture. “Large-scale transitions should not be underestimated. Restoring what has been lost has proven extraordinarily difficult when the challenge spans large geographic regions.”

The research was conducted with support from the Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research Development Program; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. David Angeler, adjunct professor with the School of Natural Resources and also of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, contributed to the study.

LINCOLN- Secretary of State Robert Evnen along with a representative of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture successfully completed a trade mission to Bulgaria.  The Secretary of State is the chief protocol officer representing Nebraska internationally. “My vision for this trade mission was to become a force multiplier for the Governor and Nebraska Department of Agriculture,” the Secretary stated.  “The project is part of the Emerging Markets Program of the USDA and is fully federally funded.”

As a leader in agriculture, Nebraska has a competitive advantage in the production of many agricultural commodities including dry beans of the Great Northern variety.

“Great Northern Beans are part of a traditional diet of the Bulgarian people, “stated Secretary Evnen. “Nebraska is number one in Northern Bean production and no one provides a better quality product than Nebraska producers when it comes to dry edible beans,” he continued.

Secretary of State Evnen was accompanied on this trade mission by Mr. Grant Hinze, General Manager for Sales of the Kelley Bean Company of Scottsbluff, by Assistant Secretary of State Cindi Allen, a dry bean farmer and member of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee to the U.S. Trade Representative, and by Mr. Angel Velitchkov, Counsel for International Trade at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The delegation held talks with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov; Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva; Minister of Agriculture Desislava Taneva; and Deputy Minister of Labor Rousinova, whose ministry is responsible for the distribution of food aid to needy people in Bulgaria, which contains dry beans.

The delegation organized a business forum with the largest importers and distributors in Bulgaria.

“Bulgaria is a great emerging market where we have had significant success with soybeans and beef, and we believe dry beans provides another excellent opportunity for growing Nebraska’s international agricultural trade,” Secretary Evnen said.

The Secretary concluded, “I thank the Governor, USDA, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission for providing this opportunity for our dry bean producers to increase their market share in the Bulgarian marketplace and the surrounding region.”

East Central and Southeastern Nebraska Growers

On June 25, larvae suspected to be soybean gall midge were found in soybean plants at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Ithaca. Figure 1 shows a soybean plant with dark discoloration near the soil surface. Dissection of the plant showed orange larvae feeding within these damaged areas.

Photos were also submitted by grower Trevor Houghton showing orange larvae feeding within soybean plants near Nehawka in east central Nebraska. The discovery of these larvae already feeding within the plants closes the window on the likelihood that foliar insecticides will control soybean gall midge in this area. We suggest that growers with fields south of the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center not apply an insecticide, as it is unlikely to have any effect on soybean gall midge. Low levels of emergence are still occurring at some trap locations, but numbers have declined significantly in the past few days.

Northeast Nebraska Growers

No soybean midge larvae were found in soybean plants in northeast Nebraska fields near Randolph and Belden. Insect phenological events here (e.g., corn rootworm egg hatch and adult emergence) are typically one week to 10 days behind the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center (Ithaca), so it is likely that soybean gall midge adults, and possibly larvae just emerging from eggs, are vulnerable to foliar insecticides.

This is a very new pest, and we have no research-based management recommendations; however, because the midge is most frequently an issue along field edges, we have farmer cooperator studies that employ insecticide treatment around the edges of soybean fields. For example, fields receive one pass, 120-foot deep into the soybean field, with an insecticide with residual activity. The objective of such studies is to protect the field from soybean gall midge by preventing the first generation of midges from establishing along the edge of the field. Soybean fields that are adjacent to or very near fields that had high infestations of soybean gall midge in 2018 may benefit from such a foliar insecticide treatment, if application occurs within the next few days. Once most eggs hatch and larvae enter the plant, insecticide treatment will be unlikely to have an effect.

For more information on soybean gall midge in Nebraska, please see cropwatch.unl.edu/tags/soybean-gall-midge.