Tag Archives: Farming

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.

This is day 10 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.

With dry weather in northwest Kansas this week, many farmers in the area are finally getting to start harvesting their first fields of the 2019 crop. Yields are above average and while most of the state is seeing below average protein, there are pockets of protein in several areas.

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas winter wheat production is forecast at 330 million bushels, up 19 percent from last year. Average yield is forecast at 50 bushels per acre, up 12 bushels from 2018. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 6.60 million acres, down 10 percent from a year ago.

Casey Andersen, a 4th generation farmer in Gove County south of Oakley, reports that his family got started with harvest on July 8, the latest start that he or his dad can remember.

Yields are above average due to rain and the cool, wet fill period. He said, “It has been an excellent year for wheat.”

He has about two weeks of harvest left, and Oakley CL is a variety that has been performing well on his farm. The main issue they have had this year is some lodging due to the excessive moisture.

Andersen reports test weights of 63-64 pounds on Oakley CL, and proteins ranging from 10.5 to 11.5%.

Jennifer Princ of Midway Coop Association in Luray reports that they took their first load of wheat in on June 26, their latest start since 1996. They are 90-95% complete with harvest in their area.

She said yields in their area have ranged from 18 to 104, with a strong correlation between planting date and yield. The overall average yield for their farmers is 50-60 bushels per acre. Princ said test weights have averaged 61.2 pounds per bushel, and protein average is 12.04%.

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.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday accused China of “letting us down” by not promptly buying more U.S. farm products.

“They have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would,” the president said on Twitter. “Hopefully, they will start soon.”

After meeting with President Xi Jinping late last month, Trump said China had agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural products as part of a cease-fire in the two countries’ trade war. The truce suspended U.S. plans to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods — action that would have extended the taxes to everything China ships to America.

The United States and China are sparring over the Trump administration’s allegations that Beijing is using predatory tactics — including stealing sensitive technology and forcing U.S. firms to hand over trade secrets — to try to supplant American technological supremacy.

Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing has counterpunched by taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods, specifically targeting U.S. farm products produced by many Trump supporters in the U.S. heartland.

The administration has rolled out $27 billion in aid to farmers to ease the pain.

Trump and Xi agreed to restart negotiations that had broken down in May after 11 rounds of talks. So far, the two countries’ top envoys have spoken by phone but haven’t announced plans to resume face-to-face talks.

In addition to opposing sharp-elbowed Chinese tech policies, the United States wants Beijing to buy more U.S. products and to narrow America’s trade deficit with China — a record $381 billion last year.

Last month, a former Chinese diplomat, Zhao Weiping, told reporters in New York that the United States was asking “us to purchase more than we can buy.” He added, “You have to be realistic.”

Still, Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said Thursday that “our side expects China very soon to start purchasing American agriculture commodities, crops, goods and services.”

This is day 9 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.

Jerald Kemmerer, of Pride Ag Resources in Ford County, says that they are about 80-85% done with wheat harvest this year. With good looking tests weights and sporadic yields, they are still pleased with the wheat that they are cutting. “If mother nature would work with us, we could wrap up harvest this weekend,” says Kemmerer.

John Lightcap, of Offerle Coop Grain & Supply Co in Edwards County, said their wheat harvest is coming to an end for the year as long as the rain stays away. Lightcap says that he is pleased with the protein and test weight numbers that he is seeing in their crop. Harvesting at 3 different locations, they are seeing better protein numbers in northern fields. Being about 93% done with harvest, Lightcap believes that if the weather holds out they should be able to wrap up wheat harvest within the next four to five days.

Frontier Ag Inc. in Graham County is just getting the ball rolling with wheat harvest. Although the area is typically done by now, local farmers are just getting a good start this week. With the wheat that they have cut, they are seeing good test weights and average protein levels. They are hoping to continue on with wheat harvest and its above average yields as the week progresses.

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.