September 20, 2016

Nebraska corn 95% dented, 45% mature.

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Photo Courtesy of David City FFA
For the week ending September 18, 2016, temperatures averaged near normal in the east and two degrees below normal across western Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Minimal precipitation fell across western areas, while rainfall was widespread over eastern Nebraska. Parts of the northeast received five inches or more of rain. Seed corn and silage harvests continued. The first fields of soybeans were being taken and winter wheat seeding was active in the west. There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 23 short, 65 adequate, and 5 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 26 short, 64 adequate, and 3 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 57 good, and 17 excellent. Corn dented was 95 percent, near 91 last year, and equal to the five-year average. Mature was 45 percent, near 41 both last year and average. Harvested was 2 percent, near 4 last year, and behind 7 average.


Data for this news release were provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency and UNL Extension Service. 

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables HERE

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps HERE

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

September 16, 2016

Support For Atrazine Crops Up At Husker Harvest Days

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Husker Harvest Days goers and elected officials alike showed their support for atrazine during the 2016 Husker Harvest Days show. Visitors to Nebraska Corn's booth in the agriculture commodities building were invited to fight back against the Environmental Protection Agency's recent proposal to drastically limit the amount of atrazine farmers can apply to their fields. Nearly 1,000 signatures were collected on Fight EPA petitions, showing support for Nebraska farmers.

Fight EPA postcards also hit farm mailboxes across the state earlier this month. Please join the fight. Make your voice heard by returning one of these cards to Nebraska Corn, or sign the online petition at www.fightepa.com.


Photo Caption: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed a Fight EPA petition while visiting the Nebraska Corn booth on September 14th at Husker Harvest Days.

Trends to watch in agriculture

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"There are always opportunities.


Yet, those opportunities are always followed by hardships," Tom Field, Ph.D., Director of the Engler Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said at the recent Red Angus Association of America Annual Convention.

He went on to explain that the current times in agriculture that we are facing are topsy-turvy, wild times and the rule book is out the window. There are, however, trends to watch for that can help producers manage their risk and operations during the current, volatile markets.

Volatility is not going to go away.


Opportunities are part of the game, but it doesn’t mean you can’t thrive. Volatility and the current market is a challenge. Yet, one size does not fit all and big doesn’t always mean best. It’s a fast economy – we need to learn to deal with it.

Big data.


With all of the data being gathered within the technology in agriculture, we have a challenge: turning data into information. Doing everything through the cloud – this is the reality of the next generation of business owners. Virtual space is not going away. The next generation also includes more women: one-third of farm ownership is held by women.

“The world isn’t mad at us (agriculture),” Field said. “It resonates with people who we think don’t believe in us.”


Technology in agriculture.


The future: unmanned vehicles. We are already seeing technology that talks to each other and fitbit-type technology for animal welfare.

Search for new markets.


India and China is the increasing middle class – we have an opportunity in the protein business to reach the world demanding protein. 93-96% of consumers in the world include meat in their diet.

This trend is a huge opportunity for food production and entrepreneurs.

New space where people need high-touch.


Relationships that are face-to-face is still important in our high-tech economy. Those in the food business have an opportunity because there is not much higher touch than food. This involves the head and the heart – an emotional economy. Science still matters but perception, emotion and feelings matter more. Food decisions are emotional as they are logical. Customers make choices based on a lot of information and are loyal to brands they enjoy – this is emotional.


Consumers want simple.


Our consumers want a simple outcome. You are responsible for the customer understanding/utilizing the products. If the customer has problems in usage, blame yourself.


With farm businesses – take time to sit down with your family and/or employees and ask yourselves your goals and what it would take to be the best company in the world. We need to brand ourselves – who do you inspire to be? Who do you listen to? Are we asking the right questions?

September 13, 2016

Corn Harvest Underway with 1% Harvested

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Photo Courtesy of David City FFA
For the week ending September 11, 2016, temperatures averaged two to four degrees below normal across western Nebraska, but two to four degrees above normal in the east, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation of an inch was common across north central areas, portions of the east, and central Nebraska. Southwestern areas and much of the Panhandle remained dry. Cutting Silage was active and the first fields of high moisture corn were being harvested for feedlot use. There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 8 percent very short, 27 short, 61 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 28 short, 63 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 57 good, and 17 excellent. Corn dented was 89 percent, ahead of 83 last year, and near the five-year average of 87. Mature was 28 percent, ahead of 23 last year, and near 25 average. Harvested was 1 percent, equal to last year, and near 4 average. 
Photo courtesy of David City FFA


Data for this news release were provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency and UNL Extension Service. 

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables HERE

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps HERE

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

September 9, 2016

My Summer with USMEF

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By Kelsey Scheer, USMEF summer intern


Enjoyed an evening visiting with
Janel Domurat at her humble abode in the mountains.
Well, I have been back in Nebraska for about a month now, and my summer in Denver is getting farther and farther behind me. Many times I have been asked how my summer was, and I have nothing but positive things to say about my amazing experience in Denver with the U. S. Meat Export Federation. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me by the Nebraska Corn Board and USMEF. I enjoyed this experience and know that I learned way more than I ever thought I would.

My last month went by extremely fast!!

I spent the majority of my last month finishing up work with the Technical Services Department. We continued our work to update the Slaughter and Processing Plant information. I received emails back with the information for each plant, gathered all of the data from the emails, and imputed it to an excel spread sheet that I had created.

The men of USMEF actually do work. Just kidding.
They do a lot of work at the office and take out the trash on moving day!
Some of my time was spent finalizing all of the information on the Corn Project handout that I had been working on all summer. Last week I received the final handout, and I have passed it on to John Hinners, Jessica Struetzel, and Erin Borror, the USMEF employees that have helped me out with the project since the beginning. Once the project has been finalized, handouts for the remaining top ten states will be created and distributed to the respectable states.

My last week and a half at USMEF was spent helping them to move offices. Like I mentioned in my last blog post, the company had to move offices because of the extremely high rent that was being charged at their downtown location. To prepare for the move, we had to get several boxes ready to go to a storage facility. We also packed up the offices, kitchen, and all of the office supplies. On my last day I helped to make sure that the furniture and boxes made it to the correct offices at the new office building.

Greg Hanes (left) and John Hinners (right) looked out over the
 Colorado State Capital Building from the view of their offices. 
Overall, my summer with USMEF was a complete learning experience. I now have a wider view of agriculture, past that of just production. I better understand exports, from learning who our top export countries are and what percentage of our production is being exported - and how much it takes to get our products around the world to those consumers who desire them. I also understand how valuable these exports are, not just to the livestock producer, but also to other commodity producers. It was enlightening to experience firsthand all of the work that the USMEF staff put into promoting exports as well as the teamwork between them and leaders of corn, soybeans, and other farm organizations. I had several opportunities to network with international USMEF employees, USMEF members, and NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Beef Association) members.

I want to thank the Nebraska Corn Board and the United States Meat Export Federation for giving me this wonderful experience!
A weekend before I came back to Nebraska, I enjoyed hiking and biking
in the mountains with some family friends from back home.
 

September 8, 2016

Atrazine an Important Tool for Conservation Farming

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In a case of supreme irony, a recent report from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is highly critical of atrazine, an herbicide that helps reduce soil erosion and runoff, keeping our soil healthy and our water clean.

EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016, as part of the re-registration process for the herbicide. If the recommendation in the assessment stands, it will effectively ban atrazine, which plays an important role in conservation cropping systems that reduce soil erosion.

Tillage, or turning up the soil, is an effective means to control weeds, but it disturbs the top layer of the soil, leading to a loss of as much as 90 percent of the crop residue from the top soil. The practice damages soil and leaves it exposed to erosion, particularly by wind and water. Soil erosion leads to more runoff of fertilizer and pesticides.

The introduction of atrazine and other herbicides significantly changed conservation tillage practices, said Bob Hartzler, professor of weed science at Iowa State University.

"Atrazine was one of the first products used on a large acreage because it is broad spectrum and has a wide margin of safety. Prior to that tillage was the primary means of weed control. Atrazine makes it possible to reduce trips across the field," said Hartzler. "The extra two or three trips farmers were making across the field to control weeds loosened the soil and made it prone to erosion."

Farmers have made significant progress adopting reduced tillage and no-till methods of growing a crop, and atrazine plays a key role in making these more sustainable practices possible, Hartzler said. 

"Atrazine isn't the only tool used today, but it has a unique chemistry that makes other chemicals work better. That synergy is documented, and the benefit is it allows farmers to manage weeds effectively, especially problem weeds, and it allows reduced use of these other chemicals," Hartzler said.

Atrazine is one of the best tools on the market today for combatting resistant weeds that waste water and nutrients. It has also been shown to improve wildlife habitats.

NCGA President Chip Bowling called on EPA to consider the whole picture when evaluating the environmental impacts of atrazine and other crop inputs.

"The EPA's mission is to protect the environment. Atrazine plays an important role in sustainable agriculture, and banning it will hurt the environment, not help it," said Bowling.

"Farmers care deeply about keeping America's land and water safe for our families, our neighbors and our communities. The safe, responsible use of herbicides such as atrazine are an important part of modern, sustainable farming. Farmers need access to tools that ensure a safe, abundant, and affordable supply of food and fuel for consumers around the world," said Bowling.

Nebraska Corn urges farmers to voice their concerns about EPA's atrazine proposal at fightepa.org. The deadline to submit comments is October 4.

September 7, 2016

Nebraska Corn 76% dented

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Photo Courtesy of Chase County FFA
For the week ending September 4, 2016, temperatures averaged two degrees below normal across the south and two degrees above normal in northern areas, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation of an inch was common across the southeast, with heavier amounts recorded in some southern counties. Central Nebraska remained mostly dry. Irrigation was winding down with soybeans being the main focus. Silage cutting was underway and the first fields of seed corn were being harvested. There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 9 percent very short, 29 short, 59 adequate, and 3 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 8 percent very short, 30 short, 60 adequate, and 2 surplus. 

Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 20 fair, 58 good, and 16 excellent. Corn dented was 76 percent, ahead of 70 last year, and near the five-year average of 73. Mature was 8 percent, near 9 last year, and behind 13 average.


Data for this news release were provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency and UNL Extension Service. 

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables HERE

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps HERE 

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

September 1, 2016

And that's a wrap!

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By Maddy Breeling, USGC Intern, Washington D.C.
Me and Colton, the NCGA intern, 
at a restaurant over looking the White House 

Reflecting on my time here, at the U.S. Grain Council office, I can see how much I have been able to learn, how many amazing people I’ve met, and how many new opportunities have been presented. As my last week begins, I am both sad and excited. I am sad to leave the Council, and everyone I have met here, but I am also excited to go home to Nebraska, and be surrounded with all the things I have been missing. During this last week, I think this conflict will only grow as I slowly check things off my final to-do lists.

Two weeks ago I was able to attend a few of the Corn Congress events and meet some fellow Nebraskans. It was great to be able to connect with people back home about the issues I have been working with and observing here in D.C. It was also nice to be able to see some of the Corn Board’s staff and get a little piece of home in the city. This was just another example of an amazing event that I was able to participate in and learn from that I would have never been able to do without the Corn Board and Council.

Throughout my last few days, I am concluding my projects and preparing to present them to the office. It has been nice to have an assignment that I can work on and develop myself, with the backing and assistance of the staff here in D.C. Through my research and discussions with professionals in the bio-tech field, I feel that I have been able to create an in-depth perspective on bio-tech, something I was not incredibly familiar with before starting this. I can understand the Ag industry’s perspective, and see the obstacles and push back they face in a new light. I have also had a chance to discuss the issues with the anti- bio-tech side and gain an insight into their views. This has been the most valuable part of my internship: gaining a greater perspective on the major issues facing farmers and how the general public views them, especially those from a non-ag background. This seemed to be the theme of my time in D.C. and I believe it will help me immensely when returning to Nebraska as I can better communicate with both sides of the issues.

I am incredibly grateful for my time here in D.C with the U.S. Grains Council and the support the Nebraska Corn Board has given me throughout my time. Both of the organizations have given me immense opportunities to grow and an experience that not only will help me in my future, both academically and professionally, but personally as well. I am sad to leave D.C., but am just as excited to return back to my home, Nebraska.

August 30, 2016

Corn Denting Above Average

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Photo Courtesy of Imperial FFA
For the week ending August 28, 2016, temperatures averaged two to four degrees below normal, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Precipitation of an inch or more was limited to the southern border counties and portions of the extreme east. Much of the state remained dry. The cooler temperatures reduced crop moisture demands. There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 8 percent very short, 32 short, 57 adequate, and 3 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 30 short, 61 adequate, and 2 surplus. 

Field Crops Report: Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 19 fair, 59 good, and 16 excellent. Corn dough was 95 percent, ahead of 89 last year, and near the five-year average of 92. Dented was 61 percent, ahead of 53 last year and 56 average. Mature was 5 percent, near 1 last year and 7 average. 


Data for this news release were provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency and UNL Extension Service. 

Access the National publication for Crop Progress and Condition tables HERE 

Access the High Plains Region Climate Center for Temperature and Precipitation Maps HERE

Access the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

August 26, 2016

Journal of Kernels

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By Laura Lundeen, NeCGA intern.

June and July have come and gone and it is hard to believe it is already August! This summer has flown by, and I feel like the quote “time flies when you are having fun” is very fitting to describe the summer portion of my internship. Working is essential, but it is not always described as “fun”, making me even more thankful to be provided with an enjoyable learning experience by being the intern for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

The end of June and July means a lot for a NeCGA intern; it means Kum & Go promotions, ethanol races, and the moment that we have working exceptionally hard towards- the Corn Grower Open golf tournament.

Kum & Go promotions wrapped up nicely. The more promotions I did, the more I learned. Being around knowledgeable people working for the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board, and also the Nebraska Corn Growers Association makes it impossible NOT to learn something new! Listening to their responses to difficult questions regarding ethanol was a lesson by example for me, as well as motivated me to promote ethanol at the Kum & Go promotions or by myself. I feel confident in sharing the goodness of ethanol use to my friends, family, and anyone else passing by. Thank you farmers for growing our fuel, cleaning our air, and helping out our state! It is great to be a part of an organization that cares strongly about greater living.

July promised another American Ethanol Night at the Races. This event was hosted at the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood. This night was unique not only because of the ethanol races, but also because we were able to see Austin Dillon’s American ethanol racecar. This event brought in a great crowd where we were able to enjoy time meeting with the local members, promoting ethanol through intermission questions and giveaways, and watch the races while taking in some clean air.

The biggest job that I have had this summer is to help prepare for the Corn Grower Open golf tournament. Finding sponsors, speaking with golfers and businesses, promotion of the event, setting up, and tearing down have made for a busy summer! I am thankful that the event ran smoothly, the weather cooperated, and it was an enjoyable time for the people who came out for the tournament! Even though it was hard work to prepare for the tournament, the credit needs to go especially to our sponsors. Without their help, the tournament truly could not go on. Thanks to them, we can continue to have an annual golf tournament for members to enjoy as well as connect with other businesses. Now that the golf tournament has come and gone, it is time to look forward to all of the excitement August will bring; I am excited to experience it and share it with you all as well!