NEBRASKA CATTLE ON FEED DOWN 2 PERCENT
Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.01 million cattle on feed on September 1, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. The inventory was down 2 percent from last year. Placements in feedlots during August totaled 445,000 head, down 7 percent from 2010. Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 400,000 head, up 5 percent from last year. Other disappearance during August totaled 15,000 head, 50 percent above 2010.
United States Cattle on Feed Up 5 Percent
Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on September 1, 2011. The inventory was 5 percent above September 1, 2010. This is the third highest September 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.
Placements in feedlots during August totaled 2.25 million, 1 percent below 2010. Net placements were 2.18 million head. During August, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 715,000, 600-699 pounds were 370,000, 700-799 pounds were 477,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 690,000.
Marketings of fed cattle during August totaled 2.05 million, 7 percent above 2010. Other disappearance totaled 72,000 during August, 53 percent above 2010.
See the complete report by clicking here... http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CattOnFe/CattOnFe-09-23-2011.txt.
Informa Cuts 2011 Corn
Analytical firm Informa Economics on Friday lowered its forecast of U.S. 2011 corn acreage and production, while raising its estimate of U.S. soybean acreage and production.
The firm estimated 2011 U.S. corn planted acreage at 91.862 million acres, down 420,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's figure of 92.3 million. Informa projected U.S. 2011 corn production at 12.620 billion bushels, down from its Sept. 6 figure of 12.711 billion but above USDA's current forecast of 12.497 billion.
Informa said its estimate of U.S. 2011 soybean planted acreage was 50,000 acres above USDA's figure of 75.0 million. The firm raised its estimate of U.S. 2011 soybean production to 3.092 billion bushels, up from its Sept. 6 estimate of 3.061 billion and above USDA's current estimate of 3.085 billion.
Ag Resource Cuts Corn Estimate
Research firm AgResource Co on Friday cut its estimate of the average U.S. corn yield by 2% as it began to factor in disappointing results from early-harvested crops.
The firm lowered its yield forecast to 145.1 bushels per acre from its previous outlook of 148 bushels, according to AgResource president Dan Basse.
Analysts had been expecting that yield reports from fields seeded early in the planting season would be the highest of the season as most of those crops were mature enough to withstand the scorching temperatures that hit the Midwest in July.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's most recent estimate for average corn yield is 148.1 bushels per acre.
USDA said that 10% of the corn crop was harvested as of September 18, down from 18% a year earlier and slightly below the five-year average of 11%t.
Fall Weather Outlook
Nebraskans are getting curious about what the weather will bring later this fall and in to the first part of winter. University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension state climatologist, Al Dutcher, is concerned that last winter’s conditions will be replicated this year...
(click on links below to hear audio)
Dutcher 3 “Very cold conditions... ...through March period.” TRT=: 27
Dutcher says we are going in to our second year La Nina event which allowed the area south of Nebraska to experiencing severe drought conditions, which has the potential to move north...
Dutcher 2 “And the concern... ...the dominant force.” TRT=: 27
Dutcher says you have to go all the way to October 5th before there's a significant chance of rain in the forecst. He estimates the maturity of the corn crop is about seven to 10 days behind expectations.
Ways for Beef Producers to Combat Corn Prices
High corn prices are having a negative impact on beef producers in the United States. University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension beef feedlot nutrition specialist, Galen Erickson, says there are ways to combat high corn prices.
Erickson 1 “A lot of... ...maybe even less.” TRT=: 30
Erickson says there is a possibility that distillers grains and gluten feed will go up in price as demands increase, so even corn stalks could be an option...
Erickson 2 “We’ve seen a... ...low in quality.” TRT=: 24
A new study is looking at chemical treatments on corn stalks to help digestibility.
Get to Know the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Governor Dave Heineman
The primary role of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is to help ensure that our state’s natural resources are protected from contamination. Nebraskans can take pride in the high quality of Nebraska’s air, land and water.
Under the direction of Mike Linder, the 215 employees of NDEQ work with businesses, communities and individuals toward the common goal of protecting the environment. NDEQ’s permitting; compliance, remediation, monitoring, and assistance programs are designed to help achieve this goal.
NDEQ’s permitting programs establish specific limits on the types of pollutants that can be emitted into the air or discharged into water. Emission limits in air quality permits help ensure that Nebraska’s outdoor air complies with all health standards. The agency also enforces rules to ensure wastewater is being properly treated, and that a variety of types of wastes are being managed, treated and disposed of properly. These activities are designed to help protect our streams and lakes as well as the state’s groundwater.
If contamination occurs, NDEQ’s remediation programs make sure that proper investigation and cleanup procedures are followed so that contamination is removed and public health and the environment are protected.
The monitoring programs measure the quality of Nebraska’s rivers, lakes, groundwater and outdoor air across the state. This information helps to establish whether there are areas within the state that have particular environmental challenges.
In addition to making sure environmental laws are followed, NDEQ also provides technical and financial assistance to communities, businesses and individuals. Financial assistance is provided to recycling and waste reduction efforts, lake restoration and other water quality projects, and projects to update or replace wastewater treatment facilities.
All of us can be a part of these efforts to protect Nebraska’s natural resources. At the local level, we can become involved in recycling and waste reduction efforts. We can look for more efficient ways to use energy - in fact, making new cans with recycled aluminum uses up to 95% less energy. Likewise, recycling paper helps protect our environment. Each ton of paper recycled prevents 60 pounds of air pollution, and saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.
Pitch in on litter cleanup efforts in your community. Become involved in local improvement projects, such as community lake restoration projects and park improvement efforts. For more information about NDEQ, visit their web site at www.deq.state.ne.us.
Senate Trade Votes Clear the Path for FTA Action in October
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill 70 to 27 that should clear the way for the Obama Administration to send legislative language for three long-pending free trade agreements to Congress for approval.
The bill passed extends the generalized system of preferences (GSP) and provides assistance for U.S. workers who are hurt economically by trade agreements, known as trade adjustment assistance (TAA).
The Obama Administration has required TAA approval before submission of the three agreements, with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, which were negotiated during the last Bush Administration.
This position has been supported by some Congressional Democrats but was a non-starter for many Congressional Republicans.
To overcome the impasse, lawmakers have worked out a complex but seemingly workable compromise, in which the House passed GSP; the Senate took up the House bill with a TAA amendment; and now the entire measure is set to be sent back to the House.
It is expected to meet approval there, but will not be enrolled – or made ready for the President Barack Obama’s signature – until the FTAs are in play, so both pieces will move simultaneously but not attached together.
Despite different priorities for trade policy and the compromise’s complexity, Senators seem willing to hew to it, giving hope it will soon lead to submission of the FTAs.
A vote early in the week on a motion to end debate on the GSP measure passed 82 to 8 vote, showing strong bipartisan support for established process. The body has also rejected amendments, including adding trade promotion authority to the bill, because that could have upset the delicate process.
It’s most likely the FTAs will be sent to the Hill sometime after returning from recess next week. Once on the Hill, Members will have 90 days to hold up-or-down votes on them.
Bill Aims at Ethanol Mandate
U.S. House Bill Would Lower Mandate to Use Ethanol
Legislation was being drafted in the U.S. House of Representatives that would reduce the federal mandate to use fuel ethanol when corn supplies are tight, a congressional staff worker confirmed Thursday.
The staffer said a bill was under consideration, but declined to discuss details.
The Renewable Fuels Standard guarantees a share of the motor fuel market for corn-based ethanol. Livestock and dairy producers say the mandate gives a financial advantage to ethanol makers and unfairly boosts the cost of livestock feed.
According to consulting firm MF Global, the legislation would reduce the ethanol mandate by 25 percent when the corn stocks-to-use ratio is projected to be less than 7 percent and reduce it by 50 percent when the ratio would be 5 percent or less, a bare-bones level for supplies.
Representatives Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, and Bob Costa, a California Democrat, were the likely sponsors. They are from districts with large livestock industries.
The ethanol mandate for this year is 12.6 billion gallons. Production expected to exceed 13.5 billion gallons, due to exports and high oil prices, which make ethanol attractive.
A dozen bills involving ethanol have been filed in the House. Some would encourage ethanol use while others would limit the portion of ethanol in fuel or repeal a tax credit for the fuel. One bill would repeal the ethanol mandate.
RFA Warns Against Reported Effort to Relegislate the RFS
Relegislating, repealing, or reopening the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) at this time is bad policy, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said today. That includes the reportedly newest effort by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Jim Costa to waive a portion of the RFS when the corn stocks-to-use ratio falls below an arbitrarily determined level.
“Seeking to relegislate the RFS in this manner would do nothing to address the concerns raised by the livestock constituents of Reps. Goodlatee and Costa,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Research clearly demonstrates that implementing an RFS waiver trigger based on the stocks-to-use ratio will not have the effects on corn prices desired by livestock and poultry interests, nor will it mean more corn is immediately available for feed use. Rather than knee-jerk policy reactions, Congress should maintain the integrity of the RFS to help drive job creation and wean America from its addiction to foreign oil.”
Recent studies have concluded that the RFS has been only a minor contributor to corn prices in recent years. A July 2011 analysis commissioned by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development found that corn prices would have been exactly the same in 2009/10 if both the RFS and Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) had not existed.
Additionally, the stocks-to-use ratio has limited value as an indicator of expected market dynamics and price. University of Illinois economist Darrell Good cautions that stocks-to-use ratio should only be considered as “a starting point (for estimating potential price impacts) since very different supply and demand conditions in individual years can lead to similar ratios of stocks-to-use but very different prices.”
The RFA also cautioned that if this effort were to be successful, the loss of ethanol in the fuel supply would hammer American consumers at the pump. A study from the Center for Agriculture Development (CARD) this past spring estimated that the use of nearly 13 billion gallons of ethanol in 2010 kept gasoline prices $0.89 lower than they otherwise would have been. In the past decade, the average annual savings has be $0.25 per gallon, according to CARD.
“If successful, reducing America’s use of its own domestic renewable fuel would wallop consumers at the pump, resulting in far greater economic pain than the marginal impact ethanol production has on grain prices,” said Dinneen. “In fact, given the disproportionate impact on food pricing exerted by energy and fuel prices, raising gas prices by reducing ethanol use would exacerbate concerns with rising food prices. This is simply the wrong policy to address corn supply concerns.”
NMPF Hails Introduction of Dairy Security Act Legislation
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) is giving its full support for a new bill introduced today in the House of Representatives that would make broad improvements in dairy policy.
The bipartisan “Dairy Security Act of 2011” was formally introduced today by the House Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN), along with senior House Republican Mike Simpson (R-ID). The bill is modeled on the dairy reforms developed and promoted by NMPF, and would revamp and improve the farm-level safety net for dairy producers.
“It’s been a long journey of reforming dairy policy following the difficult days of 2009, when America’s dairy producers lost billions of dollars in equity, but the introduction of the Dairy Security Act is a huge step towards ending an ineffective program, and replacing it with something much better,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF.
“We are thankful for Congressman Peterson’s diligent attention this issue, as well as his commitment to real reform, and we look forward to working with him and Congressman Simpson to get this bill passed,” Kozak added. The bill reflects the changes endorsed this week by NMPF to its initial “Foundation for the Future” proposal to reform dairy policy.
The Dairy Security Act (DSA) bill is somewhat different from the legislative discussion draft introduced by Peterson this summer, in that it now makes voluntary the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), which will help reduce milk output during times of low margins. However, if dairy producers wish to elect to enroll in the subsidized margin insurance program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they will automatically be enrolled in the Dairy Market Stabilization Program so that they are promptly alerted when additional production may affect their overall margins.
The new legislation is also an improvement over the earlier version, according to NMPF, because extends the Basic level of margin insurance coverage to 80 percent of a producer’s production history, from 75 percent as initially proposed. The Supplemental margin coverage option is also improved, as it will now allow producers to purchase insurance for growth in their milk production history.
Other changes to the final version of the legislation include a refined provision in the Dairy Market Stabilization Program to ensure that it does not activate during times when signals for farmers to reduce production may impinge on the ability of the U.S. to export dairy products.
Lastly, the Dairy Security Act of 2011 simplifies the Federal Milk Marketing Order pricing system through a formal hearing process conducted by USDA. The proposal directs changes in the way milk used to manufacture cheese (Class III) is priced, from a complicated end-product formula, to a more market-oriented competitive pricing system.
The Congressional Budget Office has evaluated, or scored, the legislative draft to assess its budget impact, and finds that the DSA will reduce federal spending by $167 million during the next five years, and $131 million during the next ten. That level of savings “represents one of the major benefits of this approach, since it will not only provide farmers better security, but also save the government money when the main topic of conversation in Washington is on reducing the deficit,” Kozak said.
Record High Pork Production in August
Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.30 billion pounds in August, up 4 percent from the 4.13 billion pounds produced in August 2010.
Beef production, at 2.39 billion pounds, was 4 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.10 million head, up 5 percent from August 2010. The average live weight was down 7 pounds from the previous year, at 1,270 pounds.
Veal production totaled 11.3 million pounds, 1 percent above August a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 79,900 head, up 5 percent from August 2010. The average live weight was down 7 pounds from last year, at 247 pounds.
Pork production totaled 1.89 billion pounds, up 4 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.53 million head, up 5 percent from August 2010. The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 266 pounds.
Lamb and mutton production, at 13.1 million pounds, was up 2 percent from August 2010. Sheep slaughter totaled 198,200 head, 3 percent below last year. The average live weight was 132 pounds, up 6 pounds from August a year ago.
January to August 2011 commercial red meat production was 32.3 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2010. Accumulated beef production was up 1 percent from last year, veal was down 2 percent, pork was up 1 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 8 percent.
State Production Data, August, 2011
Iowa .........: 543.3 million pounds, +4% from last year
Kansas .....: 497.1 million pounds, +2% from last year
Nebraska ..: 635.7 million pounds, +6% from last year
ASA Confirms World Initiative for Soy in Human Health Leadership Team
American Soybean Association (ASA) President Alan Kemper has confirmed the U.S. soybean grower leaders for ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program in 2011-2012. WISHH program Committee Members reelected David Iverson of South Dakota as chair, Andy Welden of Michigan as vice chair, Barb Overlie of Minnesota as secretary, and Pat Dumoulin of Illinois as treasurer.
In addition to the officer team, Kemper also confirmed extensions for WISHH Program Committee Members: Ken Bartlett, North Carolina; Dan Farney, Illinois; Scott Fritz, Indiana; C.W. Gaffner, Illinois; Jared Hagert, North Dakota; Lucas Heinen, Kansas; John Heisdorffer, Iowa; Monica McCranie, South Dakota; Darrel McGriff, Indiana; Jack Trumbo, Kentucky; Randy Van Kooten, Iowa, and Bill Wykes, Illinois.
“Through WISHH, these soybean leaders are blazing trails to new markets for the U.S. soybean industry,” Kemper said. “Developing countries are driving protein demand as the global population grows. Raising low-income consumers out of poverty is the most important factor in future global demand for food, and WISHH has the strategic plan to help them at the same time we expand the U.S. soy market.”
"Fifty years of U.S. soy market development have shown that helping people understand how to use soy for nutrition, both for human health and for livestock production, increases worldwide demand for U.S. soy," said WISHH Executive Director Jim Hershey.
The potential appetite for protein is projected to increase by 75 percent by 2025 compared to 2001, according to research from the National Soybean Research Laboratory.
Since U.S. soybean farmers founded WISHH in 2000, WISHH has worked in 23 countries to improve diets, as well as encourage growth of food industries. The WISHH program is managed from ASA’s world headquarters in Saint Louis. For more information, visit www.wishh.org.
Iowa Soybean Association asks lawmakers’ continued support for strong U.S. agriculture
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) released its Farm Bill Priorities paper on Tuesday, making the point, “U.S. agriculture in general is the brightest spot in the economy. U.S. farmers now export 40 million acres of whole soybeans and even more in meal, oil and livestock products as a result of public and private investments in research that has led to increased yields, trade development programs and an improved transportation system.”
According to ISA President, Dean Coleman of Humboldt, “These improvements over the last 50 years have come about because of government and private investments in agriculture. And while competing nations such as Brazil are working to emulate our production and distribution systems, current Farm Bill discussions now going on in Washington seem to be only focusing on what must be cut rather than recognizing the value of supporting a strong U.S. production agriculture system.”
The ISA Farm Bill Study Team, which includes President Coleman, President-elect Mark Jackson of Rose Hill, Ron Heck of Perry, Ray Gaesser of Corning and Randy Van Kooten of Lynnville, worked on the report, asking lawmakers to take another look at those programs outside of direct subsidies which have built strong ag markets and allowed USDA to reduce government spending on agriculture.
Agricultural trade generates 8,000 jobs for every $1 billion in exports. Returns from agricultural research have a benefit/cost ratio of 20 to 1. Renewable energy has created well over 400,000 jobs and lowered the price of fuel while increasing availability of lower cost animal feed. Conservation programs have cut soil erosion in half and improved water quality while increasing habitat for wildlife. Transportation and infrastructure investments give U.S. soy exports a $70 to $90 per ton advantage over Brazil in landed transportation costs.
“No one is talking about the reasons why agriculture is doing well,” explains Ron Heck, soybean farmer from Perry. “The investments in trade expansion, ag research, renewable energy, conservation and transportation systems have put U.S. farmers in the current favorable market situation. We’re asking that those programs be continued, along with a meaningful safety net program.”
The report concludes, “ISA believes the 2012 Farm Bill should provide support for these programs that strengthen our greatest economic engine—agricultural production. Agricultural trade, research, renewable energy, conservation and transportation systems cannot be maintained by farmers acting alone. Public investments in agriculture have provided a huge benefit to the economy with a decreasing number of very productive farmers. This public investment in the programs that support agriculture should continue.”
Fish Kill from Manure in Clay County (Iowa) Stream
The DNR found dead fish Wednesday in a county wildlife area about one mile south of a manure spill that entered a small stream northeast of Peterson in Clay County Monday morning.
The DNR found a limited number of dead creek chubs, minnows, stonerollers, white suckers and northern pike where the stream runs through the Bertram Wildlife Area Wednesday. The Clay County Conservation Board manages the area.
Previously the DNR traced the manure to a 4000-head swine confinement owned by Bruce Click of Peterson. The wildlife area is directly downstream of the hog operation. DNR specialists are linking the fish kill and manure spill after taking water samples and testing ammonia levels up and down the stream.
The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate enforcement action.
Click said he pumped liquid manure from under-building pits to a nearby field after a water line broke, flooding the pits. He was unaware that the manure was leaving the field.
Northey Elected President of NASDA
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has been elected to serve as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for 2011/12. The election took place at the organization's recent annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As President, Northey will host NASDA members in Des Moines September 12-17, 2012.
"I'm excited for this opportunity and appreciate the support of NASDA members," Northey said. "As negotiations pick up on the next farm bill and discussions continue on a variety of other important public policy areas, I am committed to providing a unified voice for the organization and working with NASDA members to highlight the important role of state departments of agriculture."
NASDA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association that represents the commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the state departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. As regulators of significant aspects of our nation's agriculture industry, NASDA members are actively involved in ensuring the safety of an abundant food supply, protection of animal and plant health, stewardship of our environment, and promoting the vitality of our rural communities.
The last Iowan to serve as NASDA President was Secretary Robert Lounsberry in 1981-82.
Other changes in organization's leadership include the selection of Commissioner Steve Troxler of North Carolina as NASDA First Vice President, Commissioner Scott Soares of Massachusetts to serve as Second Vice president, and Chairman Russell Kokubun of Hawaii as Secretary-Treasurer.
Other members elected to NASDA's Board of Directors include the presidents of the four NASDA regions: Secretary Chuck Ross of Vermont representing the Northeastern region (NEASDA); Commissioner Hugh Weathers of South Carolina from the Southern region (SASDA); Director Joe Kelsay of Indiana representing the Midwestern region (MASDA); and Director Jason Fearneyhough of Wyoming representing the Western region (WASDA).
Ed Kee, the Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, will serve as the at-large representative on the board and Utah Commissioner of Agriculture Leonard Blackham remains on the board as immediate past president.