Dale, Bart, and Kolt are in Kansas City this week at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention and meetings. The highlight of the event is the “Trade Talk” trade show where agribusinesses and associations from all walks of agriculture come to share the latest on their companies with Farm Broadcasters from around the country. Listen in to their travels around the Trade Talk floor in Kansas City.
This week, Dean Foods Company announced that it and substantially all of its subsidiaries have initiated voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings in the Southern District of Texas. The Company intends to use this process to protect and support its ongoing business operations and address debt and unfunded pension obligations while it works toward an orderly and efficient sale of the Company.
Dean Foods also announced that it is engaged in advanced discussions with Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) regarding a potential sale of substantially all assets of the Company. If the parties ultimately reach agreement on the terms of a sale, such transaction would be subject to regulatory approval and would be subject to higher or otherwise better offers in the bankruptcy.
Dean Foods is operating in the ordinary course of business and remains focused on providing its customers with wholesome, great-tasting dairy products and the highest levels of quality, service and value.
A government program intended to support farmers and ranchers affected by trade disputes disproportionately benefitted large-scale and Southeastern operations, according to a minority staff report published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, known as the Market Facilitation Program, compensated most commodity grain producers based on a single county rate per planted acre. National Farmers Union (NFU) initially expressed concern that the payment disparities among counties would put some farmers at a financial disadvantage, a fact that has been confirmed by today’s report. Although farmers in the North, Midwest, and West have experienced the greatest harm from trade disputes, 95% of counties receiving the highest payment rates are based in the Southeast. Even in adjacent counties, payment rates sometimes vary by two to three times.
“Farmers in every county have been affected by withering export markets,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president.
Farmers across Ohio are feeling the brunt of last spring’s unprecedented rainfall. Finding hay that is both affordable and sufficiently nutritious has been one roadblock this year for farmers.
In addition, a nutritional deficiency could be sneaking into their herd during this record-breaking year in agriculture.
“Some of the hay’s quality is so low, the animal could actually starve with their hay right in front of them,” said Ted Wiseman, Ohio State University Extension educator.
The enormous amount of rainfall last spring left many farmers unable to get into their fields to harvest hay before it became too mature. The longer the hay matured in the field, the lower its nutritional value got, Wiseman explained.
There are other nutritional alternatives to replace hay in a herd’s diet. A farmer could use corn as a protein source, for example, if protein is what the hay is lacking. Wiseman advises farmers and ranchers to get their hay nutritionally tested as a first step toward making sure their herds are getting the nutrition they need.
By Andy Michel, Kelley Tilmon, Ohio State University Extension
As soybean harvest progresses, a few growers are noticing poor yields in otherwise nice-looking plants and pods. While a visual inspection might lead to high estimations of seed quality, the inside may contain shrunken, shriveled or, even worse, missing seed. Stink bugs can often cause this type of injury to soybean seed. They have piercing sucking mouthparts that poke through the pod wall, and then feed directly on the seed. Because their mouthparts are small, damage to the pod is often undetected. However, opening a few pods may reveal poor seed quality evident of stink bug feeding. We have seen increasing issues with stink bugs in Ohio. This past season was no exception and we will likely continue to see issues in the future. For more information on stink bug identification, scouting and resources, see our agronomic crops insects webpage: https://aginsects.osu.edu/home
As the U.S. and China continue to work on an interim trade deal, the Chinese commerce ministry said both countries have agreed to cancel existing tariffs in phases that were imposed during the trade war.
It’s expected that a “phase one” trade deal would include the U.S. eliminating tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports. However, President Trump said he has not agreed to roll back the tariffs. As already announced, “phase one” would include a pledge for China to buy $40 billion-$50 billion in U.S. agricultural products, including pork.
President Trump had hoped to sign the “phase one” trade agreement in mid-November while at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile, but the summit was cancelled due to domestic unrest. Numerous venue locations have been discussed, including domestically in Iowa and Alaska, as well as London, where Trump is scheduled to attend a NATO summit from Dec.
By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.
The Xenia Effect refers to the effect of foreign pollen on kernel characteristics. Cross-pollination occurs in corn because it is a monecious, which means that it has both male (the tassel) and female (the ear) flowers on a single plant. The Xenia effect occurs when pollen from the tassel of one corn variety moves from one field to another, landing on the silks of another variety which fertilizes and produces. The picture above is an example of the Xenia effect, found by SC agronomists. Flint corn was planted a short distance from a field of hybrid dent corn. Both the flint corn and dent corn were flowering at the same time, allowing the flint corn to pollinate some kernels on the dent ears. The cross-pollination exhibited by the Xenia Effect can influence testing procedures and production of specialty corn crops.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will proceed with its second tranche of trade relief payments to American farmers as a result of retaliatory tariffs, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
“We just have gotten authorization on the second tranche. We’ll be getting it ready hopefully at the end of this month or early December,” he said.
In May, the USDA announced it would again provide payments under the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), valued at $16 billion.
The first round of payments was issued in August and Perdue indicated a third tranche may not be necessary.
“We’re very hopeful that the China negotiations can come to a favorable conclusion. The numbers that we’re talking about right now would be very beneficial to our agricultural producers. We’re hopeful that trade would supplant any type of farm aid needed in 2020,” he said.
MFP provides payments to eligible producers of:
- Non-specialty crops, including alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat.
Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs — two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs — for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.
“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”
ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price.
By Carl Zulauf and Ben Brown, Ohio State University, and Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, and Nick Paulson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ARC-IC (Agriculture Risk Coverage – Individual) has received less attention than ARC-CO (ARC – County) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage). ARC-IC is operationally more complex, thus harder to explain and understand. It pays on only 65% of program base acres while ARC-CO and PLC pay on 85% of base acres. Nevertheless, ARC-IC is worth considering if an FSA farm has one or more of the appropriate production attributes. These attributes include (1) 100% prevent plant acres on a FSA farm, (2) high year-to-year production variability, (3) much higher farm than ARC-CO and PLC yields, and/or (4) acres planted to fruits and vegetables. The prevent plant attribute is more relevant than normal in 2019.
- ARC-IC is a whole farm program option based on the average experience of all covered program commodities planted on the ARC-IC farm.
By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist
I’ve heard several people mentioning lately that they are glad that this season is about over. This is especially true with corn and soybean producers. It certainly has been a very unusual year.
None of us need a reminder of the spring, but most areas of Indiana started out and remained wet for a very extended period which delayed or prevented row crop planting and created lots of challenges for pasture and hay.
Some areas just kept wet enough to keep you out of the fields while others remained saturated from excessive amounts of rain. I’ve now exceeded my 2018 rainfall of 61 inches and the year is not over yet.
Surprisingly, even with all the rain, there was still a droughty period from late August until early October, which varied slightly depending on location. This dry period created issues with fall-planted annuals and stockpiled forages.
A letter signed by 15 U.S. Senators and 23 Members of Congress, was sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Margaret Everson this week. The letter requested that the Service promulgate new rules to increase flexibility in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) permitting process to empower livestock producers to protect their livelihoods. The bipartisan, bicameral letter was led by Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2).
“Whether it is black vultures, ravens, or cormorants, MBTA-protected avian predators pose a significant risk to newborn calves and livestock operations across the country,” said Ethan Lane, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs. “Despite populations of each species numbered in the millions, current regulations place arbitrary caps on permitted take and incur heavy restrictions on preventative measures necessary to protect farming and ranching operations. We appreciate the leadership of Sen. Boozman and Rep. Bishop and look forward to engaging with the U.S.
By Randall Reeder
We have important topics and 15 speakers to cover them.
The Ohio No-till Conference will be December 5 at Der Dutchman, Plain City. We expect a full house and about 16 exhibitors/sponsors. Program will run from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m.
Our keynote speaker is Mark Anson of Vincennes, Ind. The Anson family (3 brothers, plus sons) farms 19,000 acres of no-till with cover crops. (Previously, I incorrectly wrote 10,000 acres.) In 8 years, they have planted a total of 75,000 acres of cover crops. His topic: “Healthy Soils, Healthy Waters, Healthy Life.”
Here are our topics and speakers:
Managing Cover Crops in Spring 2020. Nathan Brause, Cody Beacom, David Brandt, Glenn Harsh, and Eric Niemeyer
Soil Health, No-till and Cover Crops. Mark Anson, David Brandt, and Jan Layman
No-till, global warming and Federal Farm Policy. Bill Richards, Fred Yoder, Ben Brown and Allan Lines
How to Reverse the Impact of Carbon Emissions: Pay Farmers to Bury Them.
By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.
As harvest is completed across the Eastern Corn Belt, seed companies, universities, and growers will have the chance to compile and analyze data from yield testing. One of the most important decisions a farmer will face all year is deciding what variety to plant and in which field to plant it. To ensure that the best possible decision is made next spring, it is important to spend some time looking at yield data. While reviewing data is critical, knowing how to determine whether it is accurate and useful is equally important. Below are some tips for using data to make sound planting decisions next spring.
Look for replicated data
Don’t rely on yield results from one strip plot on a farm or from a single plot location. Look for data from randomized tests that are repeated multiple times and across multiple locations.
By Ellen Essman and Peggy Hall, Ohio Law Blog, Agricultural & Resource Law Program at The Ohio State University
Livestock issues have been the subject of various legal action around the the nation in recent weeks.
In August, Oregon passed a new law that would require egg-laying chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, or guinea fowl to be kept in a “cage-free housing system.” This law will apply to all commercial farms with more than 3,000 laying hens. A cage-free housing system must have both indoor and outdoor areas, allow the hens to roam unrestricted, and must have enrichments such as scratch areas, perches, nest boxes and dust bathing areas. As of Jan. 1, 2024, all eggs sold in the state of Oregon will have to follow these requirements for hens. The law does allow hens to be confined in certain situations, like for veterinary purposes or when they are part of a state or county fair exhibition.
Once again, it’s time to submit nominations for ASI Awards, which will be presented during the 2020 ASI Annual Convention on Jan. 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The deadline for all award nominations is Nov. 15.
There are five awards open for nominations: The McClure Silver Ram Award, the Camptender Award, the Distinguished Producer Award, the Industry Innovation Award and the Shepherd’s Voice Award.
The McClure Silver Ram Award is dedicated to volunteer commitment and service and is presented to a sheep producer who has made substantial contributions to the sheep industry and its organizations in his/her state, region or nation. The award may recognize a lifetime of achievement or may recognize a noteworthy, shorter-term commitment and service to the industry.
The Camptender Award recognizes industry contributions from a professional in a position or field related to sheep production. Nominees should show a strong commitment and a significant contribution to the sheep industry, its organizations and its producers above and beyond what is called for in his/her professional capacity.
Women are active advocates for agriculture and successful business owners interested in filling leadership roles, according to a new Farm Bureau survey. A majority of those surveyed, 91%, also believe there should be more women in leadership roles in the industry. More than 3,000 women completed the informal survey online, which was conducted to determine the goals and achievements of women in agriculture.
“Women play a vital role in modern farming and ranching,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. “We hope to use the survey results to drive our program of work and also to give women their voice and help them make even more of an impact in their communities.”
More than 50% of women surveyed have started their own business that’s still in operation; 25% have not started a business but indicated they would like to do so in the future.
Combines kept harvesting despite the 1.7 inches of rain the State received last week, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending November 3.
Corn was 49 percent harvested, an increase of 12 percentage points from the last report. The average corn moisture content was 20 percent, a decrease of 1 point from last week. Soybeans were 78 percent harvested, an increase of 8 points over last week. The average soybean moisture content was 13 percent, the same as last week. Fewer growing degree days and cooler temperatures have slowed maturation down for both corn and soybeans, keeping progress behind the 5-year average for all reported categories. High corn moisture content slowed harvest progress across the State, particularly in the northern districts.
Winter wheat planted was just about finished as it reached 96 percent complete. Winter wheat was at 86 percent emerged, which was 13 points ahead of the 5-year average.
Food production and agriculture is Ohio’s largest industry and essential to our economy, contributing $124 billion annually in economic value and employing 1 out of every 8 Ohioans. Today’s farms and food companies are challenged by unprecedented barriers to finding a stable, reliable workforce. To address this issue, a broad group of Ohio’s leading agriculture organizations have collaborated behind a new initiative — Futures Grow Here.
“The focus of Futures Grow Here is to demonstrate the opportunities that are available for young adults in food production and agriculture,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association, a supporting organization of Futures Grow Here. “The initiative reframes the narrative around these jobs, creates excitement for them, and engages a broader and more diverse group of job seekers.”
Futures Grow Here is a collaborative initiative among Ohio food production and farming companies to educate students, young professionals and their families about their growing and innovative businesses and career opportunities that may not have been previously considered.
CommonGround volunteers recently shared the story of American agriculture at the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Philadelphia. With 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policymakers and health-care providers in attendance, CommonGround volunteers attracted enthusiastic attention and engaged in meaningful dialogue that helped this influential audience delve further into how America’s farmers grow and raise the healthy foods they recommend.
“FNCE provides a great venue for us to connect with people who directly impact the food choices of countless others,” said CommonGround volunteer Paula Linthicum, who farms in Laytonsville, Maryland. “The audience is receptive and appreciates the work that we do to provide a direct link to farming.
“I spoke with a dietitian from Kentucky who was skeptical about GMOs when we began chatting who left noting that she needed to look at the issue much more closely because our conversation made her realize that she had nothing to fear.”
The activity, organized by CommonGround Maryland with the support of the National Corn Growers Association, brought an authentic voice to issues of interest to both consumers and agriculture such as how the use of modern technologies and practices produces healthy, quality food options for our country and beyond.