National Farm Safety and Health Week
UNL Extension Educator Larry Howard, Cuming County
Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. The 2011 theme for National Farm Safety & Health Week is “Safety Counts ~ Your Community Depends On It” and will be recognized September 18-24, 2011.
July to October marks harvest season and the most dangerous period of the year for farmers. Since 1972, farming accidents have resulted in more than 570 fatalities in Nebraska during these four months. These accidents include tractor overturns, people getting thrown off ATVs, slipping and falling off combines, getting underneath headers and getting crushed, getting caught in picker heads and grain heads, suffocating in grain and so on.
Farmers need to do pre-harvest service on their equipment to ensure that everything runs smoothly during harvest time. They need to secure and clean steps and handles for getting on and off equipment. They also need to clean the cab glass and check that equipment lights are working, so they can see clearly. Conducting pre-harvest checks helps prevent breakdowns that add stress to an already busy harvest season.
Machinery doesn’t grow tired, but people do. Farmers need to ensure they themselves are well rested and alert to operate the machinery. Most fatalities occur after 3 p.m. because farmers might be getting tired after being in the fields for eight or nine hours.
To keep themselves alert, farmers need to eat right and take frequent breaks. Taking a break could mean stopping to check the machine, clean the chaff off, clean the cab glass – anything that gets the blood flowing. They also need to take prescribed medication at the appropriate times, so their concentration and response isn’t affected.
After grain is harvested, farmers need to unload it carefully because of the suffocation risk in grain bins and grain carts. People can be swept into the grain flow when it’s unloading and suffocate under the grain. Make sure everyone is clear of the bins or carts when unloading grain and keep children under close adult supervision.
After dark is also a dangerous time to be operating machinery. ATVs are almost tied with tractor overturns as the leading cause of farm fatalities in Nebraska in the last 16 years. It’s easy to get thrown off an ATV when it’s dark and people can’t see you and when you can’t see the ground. Those working in the fields should drive carefully and have their headlights on.
Taking some time to implement these safety tips is a worthwhile investment to help reduce the number of accidents and keep harvest going smoothly.
As we recognize National Farm Safety & Health Week this next week, please join us in promoting safe and healthy practices on our farms and ranches across the U.S. as producers enter the harvest season.
Ak-Sar-Ben Expo Approaches
Cuming County 4-Her’s will be working hard at the 84th Ak-Sar-Ben Youth Livestock Exposition at the Qwest Center in Omaha and the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln. Forty-one (41) members will be participating in the events, according to Extension Educator, Larry Howard.
For 84 years 4-H exhibitors have been participating in the annual 4-H livestock exposition presented by the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben. World class judges will be evaluating the livestock and showmanship of the 4-Her’s exhibits.
The Expo will run September 17 and 18 in Lincoln and September 22-25 in Omaha with the purple ribbon auction at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. All the 4-H Expo exhibitors come from ten states Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Missouri, Illinois and North Dakota.
The judges for this year’s expo are:
Market Beef, Brandon Callis, College Station, TX
Breeding Beef, Garrett Parsons, Manhattan, KS
Feeder Calf, Jordan Holt, Aberdeen, SD
Dairy Show, David Koss, Epworth, IA
Market Lamb, Justin Jonas, San Angelo, TX
Market Swine, Brian Anderson, Caney, KS
4-H Horse, Brett Scott, College Station, Tx
Market Broilers, Wayne E. Fischer, Arlington, SD
Meat Goat, Justin Jonas, San Angelo, TX
Showmanship Judges will be announced at a later date.
Cuming County 4-H Members Compete at the Norfolk Beef Expo
The Cuming County 4-H program was well represented at the 62nd Annual Norfolk Beef exposition that was held at the Northeast Community College Agriculture Complex on Sunday, September 11th. According to UNL Extension Educator, Leah Miller, Cuming County had fourteen exhibitors show fifteen head of Market Beef.
The Reserve Champion Division 1 Market Steer was exhibited by Callie Albers of Wisner. In the Showmanship contest, Ryan Schroeder of Wisner was Reserve Champion of the Intermediate Division and Megan Schroeder was Reserve Champion of the Junior Division.
Complete show results are as follows:
Purple: Patti Schlickbernd, West Point
Red: Nathan Groth, Beemer - Megan Groth, Beemer
Purple: Callie Albers, Wisner; Megan Schroeder, Wisner
Blue: Logan Polenske, Wisner; Emily Ludwig, Wisner
Red: Patti Schlickbernd, West Point
Division I Reserve Champion: Callie Albers, Wisner
Purple: Evie Schlickbernd, West Point; Alexis Heller, Wisner; Ryan Schroeder, Wisner
Blue: Colby Heller, Wisner
Red: Nic Polenske, Wisner; Dylan Ludwig, Wisner
Purple: Chase Albers, Wisner
Reserve Champion: Megan Schroeder, Wisner
Purple: Evie Schlickbernd, West Point
Blue: Dylan Ludwig, Wisner; Colby Heller, Wisner; Alexis Heller, Wisner
Reserve Champion: Ryan Schroeder, Wisner
Purple: Emily Ludwig, Wisner
Purple: Callie Albers, Wisner
Eight Nebraska Counties Eligible for USDA Loans
Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Dan Steinkruger announced that family farmers in eight Nebraska counties are eligible to apply for low interest Emergency (EM) loans due to physical and production losses caused by flooding that occurred on May 25, 2011 and continuing. Those counties are: Burt, Cass, Dakota, Douglas, Otoe, Sarpy, Thurston, and Washington.
These eight Nebraska counties became eligible for this assistance because they are contiguous to one or more of the six Iowa counties that were declared a Presidential Major Disaster on August 22, 2011, by President Obama due to this disaster.
Emergency loan applications are available and must be submitted through the local FSA county office from any applicant who qualifies for a physical or production loss (at least a 30 percent reduction from normal) in a single enterprise from this disaster in these counties. To qualify for an EM loan, an applicant must be an established family farm operator; provide evidence of having suffered a qualifying physical or production loss; be unable to obtain suitable credit from a source other than FSA. The low interest loans may cover up to 100 percent of their actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000. The loan applicants must show ability to repay the loan and the loan must be adequately secured. FSA loans for production losses may be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, or to refinance certain debts. FSA loans for physical losses may be used to repair or replace the property that was damaged or lost. The current interest rate for the EM loans is 3.75%. The deadline for submitting applications is April 23, 2012.
Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium Nov. 19-21 in Lincoln
The ninth annual Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium, Nov. 19-21 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will introduce Nebraska high school students to beef industry professionals, beef producers and other students from around the U.S.
In addition, six symposium participants will be awarded $500 scholarships for UNL's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
The three-day symposium, geared toward Nebraska high school juniors and seniors, features presentations on goal setting, leadership development and careers. Participants will tour the UNL Agricultural Research Development Center at Mead, partake in a taste panel and hear other hands-on presentations, including developing a marketing plan for a beef product.
The marketing project will allow students to create a booth space for a project fair where they will be able to interact one-on-one or in small groups to market their product. UNL students will be able to stop by that day to interact with NYBLS participants and taste the product.
"This educational symposium will allow students to network with beef industry leaders and hear about innovative cattle production practices," said Dennis Brink, animal science professor.
A career opportunity discussion and banquet will be the evening of Nov. 19. Several people working in different segments of the beef industry will give their perspectives on the importance of a college education and the variety of career opportunities. Numerous career areas within the beef industry will be represented by the panel members.
The symposium will conclude on Nov. 21 with the awards ceremony, including the CASNR scholarship presentation.
For more information about the Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium, including a list of sponsors, or to register, visit its website at http://nybls.unl.edu.
More information also is available by contacting Sara Ellicott at 402-624-8030, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Brink at 402-472-6446, email email@example.com. Registration is $30 due by Oct. 3. Late registration is $50 by Oct. 24. Registration includes all materials, meals and lodging.
Cooler Weather Blamed for Lower Hog Prices
An agricultural economist blames cooler weather and resulting increased growth rates for a substantial reduction in North American live hog over the past couple of weeks.
Dr Ron Plain, an agricultural economics professor with the University of Missouri, says after reaching record levels in early August live hog prices have fallen dramatically.
"We got carcass prices here in the United States as high as $105 per hundredweight or $1.05 a pound of carcass and then after that we've dropped pretty fast," Plain says. "We've taken almost $23.50 off of that to get where we are here in the lower 80s."
As to why prices got so high, several factors, it was a miserably hot summer in much of the United States. Pigs don't like that, they don't grow very fast.
Slaughter weights were way down and also the rate at which hogs were moving to market seemed to be a little bit delayed. Slaughter during July and August came in lower than USDA had been forecasting but we seem to be playing catch-up.
Dr. Plain acknowledges hog producers made pretty good money this summer but what normally happens as we move into the fourth quarter is lower hog prices and it looks like we're soon going to be back into red ink.
He predicts producers will to be slightly in the red in September and October November and December will all be months were hogs prices will fail to cover the cost of production.
House to hold two hearings tomorrow examining how farm regulations limit job growth and drive up food prices
The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform and the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy & Poultry will each hold a hearing on September 14, 2011, to examine how government policies can impact job creation and raise food prices for consumers.
At a time of high unemployment and record food prices, government regulations such as the new GIPSA rules could kill jobs and raise grocery bills even higher. An analysis by Informa Economics, an independent firm, found that GIPSA’s proposed rules would result in 22,800 lost jobs, $1.5 billion in decreased GDP and $359 million less in tax revenues. Food prices also are being driven up by the high cost of feed grain prices, which are at near-record levels in part because of U.S .biofuels policy. American workers and families cannot afford to be burdened by such policies and regulations.
Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn., will speak about the adverse effects of current overregulation and government policies on behalf of the National Pork Producers Council.
NCBA to be Represented in Congressional Hearings on GIPSA, Feed Availability
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will have witnesses testifying on behalf of U.S. cattlemen and women in two congressional hearings to be held tomorrow, Sept. 14, 2011. Robbie LeValley, co-owner of Homestead Meats and member of the NCBA Board of Directors, will testify during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing. The hearing will hone in on five onerous regulations proposed by the Obama administration and LeValley will represent the agricultural industry to discuss the harmful effects the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s proposed livestock marketing rule.
Meanwhile, Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, a livestock and grain marketing and economic advisory company in Adel, Iowa, will testify on behalf of NCBA during a hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry on the issue of feed availability.
FFA membership skyrockets to all-time high; more than 17,000 new students join organization
In the past year, more than 17,000 new students have joined FFA, setting a new all-time high in the organization’s membership since founded in 1928. During the 2010-11 school year, FFA membership grew to a record 540,379 students, up 17,070 students from 523,309 members in the 2009-10 school year. The number of FFA chapters in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also grew with the creation of 106 new, chartered FFA chapters.
Texas tops the list of states with the largest FFA membership with 81,694 students, followed by California with 70, 555, Georgia with 31,616, Missouri with 25,096 and Oklahoma with 23,562. The 10 largest FFA chapters are all in California.
Texas also tops all states for largest FFA membership growth during the 2010-11 school year, followed by California, North Carolina, Georgia and Utah. FFA chapters can now be found in 18 of the 20 largest U.S. cities, including New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia.
“We are excited to see that agricultural education continues to grow and flourish in this country. Agriculture plays an important role in our everyday lives and it’s inspiring to experience this surge in FFA membership, which allows FFA to grow its impact on young lives,” said National FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong. “With more than 300 careers in agriculture, it comes as no surprise that students from all walks of life are interested in pursuing agricultural education. FFA members are students interested in developing a diverse set of skills and experiences that will equip them for careers in such fields as aquaculture and food science to production agriculture, forestry, research and more.”
Fertilizer Prices Steady Ahead of Harvest
Fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of September continue to show very little movement. The month-long pause in fertilizer price movement has some retailers wondering if a fall increase is going to happen, while others believe a rise in prices is still on the horizon. Just two of the eight major fertilizers, DAP and UAN28, were slightly higher compared to the first week of August. DAP had an average price of $702 per ton while UAN28 was at $401 per ton.
The remaining six fertilizers were just slightly lower from a month earlier. MAP had an average price of $725/ton, potash $604/ton, urea $603/ton, 10-34-0 $792/ton, anhydrous $805/ton and UAN32 $444/ton.
There was also little change in the relative price of N among fertilizers. On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.66/lb.N, anhydrous $0.49/lb.N, UAN28 $0.72/lb.N and UAN32 $0.69/lb.N.
All eight major fertilizers are now showing double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier. Leading the way higher is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer has skyrocketed in recent months and is now 88% higher compared to the first week of September 2010. Urea has now climbed 54%, UAN28 44%, UAN32 41%, potash 33%, and anhydrous 31%. Bringing up the rear are DAP and MAP. Both phosphate fertilizers have climbed 28% higher compared to a year ago.
Foreign Corn Export Market Share Surpasses U.S.
According to the the latest USDA World Markets and Trade report, the U.S. corn export market share is forecast to fall below the combined share of all foreign exporters for the first time in 40 years.
The agency says the U.S. market share had historically been more than 60 percent annually, but has fallen significantly in recent years because of a confluence of events in both the United States and other major exporting countries.
The United States is still the world's largest producer and exporter in absolute tonnage. However, smaller crops, greater domestic use--particularly for ethanol production--and tightening stocks have constrained exportable supplies of corn.
Conversely, competitors like Argentina, Brazil, and Ukraine have expanded their exportable supplies.
Production in those three countries, forecast at a record for 2011/12, has nearly doubled over the past decade as both area and yields have expanded by about one-third. Exports for Argentina and Ukraine are also forecast at a record.
Addressing Corn Nematode Problems Can Increase Corn Yields
Corn nematodes can be overlooked as a cause of yield-loss in corn, say experts at Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.
Growers are seeing corn nematodes as an increasing problem in their fields. One reason is simply greater awareness of corn nematodes. This has been driven by improvements in testing methods which has increased the ability to detect infestations, thus recording higher numbers of incidents. Changes in production practices are also contributing factors.
"Common practices among growers may cause increases in corn nematodes," says Mark Jeschke, Pioneer agronomy research manager. These include reduced tillage and planting corn following corn, which are known to favor some nematode species. "In addition, many older corn rootworm insecticides also provided some level of nematode control, whereas newer insecticides and Bt traits do not," Jeschke says.
Identifying corn nematode problems can be tricky. Their small size and nondistinctive damage symptoms often allow them to go undetected.
"Their symptoms resemble those of common stress factors such as drought, nutrient deficiencies or soil compaction," Jeschke says. "Root symptoms can include pruning, proliferation of fibrous roots, thickening or swelling of the smaller roots and mild to severe discoloration. However, the only way to confirm symptoms are being caused by nematodes is to submit a sample of soil and root tissue for testing to a local lab."
There are more than 50 species of nematodes known to feed on corn in the U.S. While many of these species typically are specific to sandy soils, including parts of the Midwest and the coastal plains of North and South Carolina, Jeschke stresses that no field is immune to the potential for nematode damage.
"Nematodes are such a complex problem," says Jeschke. "There are several different types that feed on corn. Even within a particular type, there can be many different species with different behavioral characteristics."
Cultural practices such as crop rotation may be effective at controlling species that selectively feed on corn, but ineffective against species that feed on other crops.
Nematode populations are highly variable even within a single field. If you find damaging levels of corn nematodes, consider implementing control measures such as crop rotation, sanitation of equipment or use of nematicides.
Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment choices for added protection against corn nematodes include Poncho® 1250 + VOTiVOTM. This combination provides protection of corn roots from nematodes as well as root-feeding insects.
To prevent spreading the nematodes into uninfested fields, clean equipment with high pressure water or steam, removing all soil particles, before moving to the uninfested area, Jeschke suggests. "If possible, conduct field operations in the infested areas last," he says.
"Because nematodes cannot be eliminated once they are established in a field, prevention is a critical management strategy," Jeschke says.