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Grandin to speak at Fair Oaks Farms

Dr. Temple Grandin will participate in a public discussion at Fair Oaks Farms’ The Farmhouse Restaurant.  Grandin will discuss reducing fear and stress in animals, breeding, handling stress in livestock, and gestation stalls.

A question and answer session will follow Dr. Grandin’s presentation.

The event is October 21 from 2pm to 4pm Central Time.

A link to more information can be found HERE.

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Drago Corn Heads feature Kernel Capture Technology

Dustin Bollig of DragoTEC in front of one of the company's corn heads at Husker Harvest Days, Grand Island, Neb. Sept. 9, 2014.

Leave it to Italians to get this figured out.  Drago Corn Heads, which are imported from there, have Kernel Capture Technology, according to Dustin Bollig, from DragoTec USA.  “They have automatic deck plates that are spring loaded, so as you go through the field, they constantly adjust to the right size of stalk,” Bollig told Brownfield Ag News at Husker Harvest Days.  “Every row thinks for itself, constantly keeping small ears and kernels from slipping through.”  The snoots are spring loaded keeping them on the ground and under corn stalks.  Don’t worry about matching it to your combine.  The heads come in colors to match what’s coming out of the factory.

AUDIO: Dustin Bollig (3 min. MP3)

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PERC pushes propane as preferred energy source

The Propane Education & Research Council promotes the use of propane gas as a preferred energy resource. The organization, funded through a checkoff, does this through programs that support safety, training, and the development and commercialization of propane technologies.

In Nebraska, most of which lies over the Ogallala Aquifer, PERC sees a big opportunity in powering irrigation pumps.

“We’re seeing amazing growth in irrigation and propane engines in irrigation,” said Cinch Munson, the director of agriculture business development for PERC, during an interview with Brownfield Ag News at Husker Harvest Days.

AUDIO: Cinch Munson (6 min. MP3)

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‘Waste management’ was focus of swine symposium in China

Pork industry leaders from the U.S. and China gathered in Beijing for the 2014 U.S.-China Swine Industry Symposium.

Joel Haggard, who covers the Asia Pacific region for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, says the focus was on waste management.

“This is a very important topic for the Chinese because the Chinese industry is facing new environmental regulations and also a public that’s growing more concerned about the condition of the environment,” Haggard says.

According to Haggard, there was a lot of discussion about “sustainable” pork production.

“It was great to see the U.S. producers’ concern over sustainability,” he says. “China is just getting to the point of having that (word) in its production vocabulary.”

Among the speakers at the symposium was Wayne Humphreys, a pork, corn and soybean producer who serves on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Humphreys provided attendees with an overview of the manure management practices on his hog operation in Louisa County, Iowa.

Russ Vering of Scribner, Nebraska, who serves as vice president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, gave a presentation on large animal mortality composting – another important area of environmental protection that presents a growing challenge for China’s producers.

Other members of the U.S. delegation included:

  • Bruce Schmoll, Minnesota Soybean Association and USMEF secretary-treasurer
  • Patrick Fitzsimmons, president of the Minnesota Pork Board
  • Craig Mensink, Minnesota pork producer and National Pork Board member
  • Becca Hendricks, vice president for international marketing, National Pork Board
  • Scott McGregor, Iowa Soybean Association
  • Dean Black, Iowa Beef Industry Council
  • David Bruntz, Nebraska Corn Board
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Soybeans, wheat lower on supply

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling. As of Sunday, 72% of the crop is rated good to excellent, pretty much unheard of for this time of year, and long term fundamentals look bearish, with the trade expecting a record crop. Still, there are at least some concerns about muddy fields in parts of the Midwest, which is something to keep an eye on as we get closer to widespread harvest. Chinese soybean crushers signed a deal Monday to buy a large amount of U.S. beans, but there could be some cancellations in the near futures due to poor margins. Soybean meal and oil followed beans lower.

Corn was firm on oversold signals. 74% of corn is rated good to excellent, great for this time of year, and while late development and early harvest are a bit behind average, the trade’s not too worried, at least not yet. Corn also has a bearish long term fundamental outlook, but on Tuesday, the path of least resistance was up modestly. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling. 74% of spring wheat is harvested due to delays in the Northern Plains and 12% of winter wheat is planted, with soil moisture in the Southern Plains getting recharged by recent rainfall. The overall fundamentals for wheat also look bearish, primarily due to the large available world supply. Egypt bought 180,000 tons of wheat from France.

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Disease pressure in soybeans

As harvest nears, Purdue Extension plant pathologist Kiersten Wise says farmers really need to evaluate soybean fields this year.  “Decisions need to be based on the diseases that are present in the field,” she says.  “We did have some seedling disease issues this spring and we need to address those by selecting seed treatments that would be effective against the diseases that were present.”

She tells Brownfield those same fields that experienced seedling diseases may be experiencing Sudden Death Syndrome and/or Brown Stem Rot.  “It’s important to get the right diagnosis to know which disease you have,” she says.  “But they can occur at the same time and the next time those soybean fields get planted – you’ll want to select varieties that would have resistance to the disease that is the problem.”

And with harvest just about underway – she says now is a good time to make notations of issues in the field.

AUDIO: Kiersten Wise, Purdue Extension (1:30mp3)

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Global Dairy Trade hold steady

The Global Dairy Trade auction on Tuesday, September 16 held steady with an average winning price of $2,795. Even unchanged on the week, the index, at 822, is at its lowest level since August 1, 2012. That’s with 191 participating bidders and 50,801 loads sold.

Anhydrous milk fat was down 2.2% at $3,264. Butter was 2.5% lower at $2,698. Butter milk powder dropped 6.9% to $3,140. Cheddar declined 6.5% to $3,077. Rennet casein was up 1.3% at $8,343. Skim milk powder was nine tenths of a percent higher at $2,619. Sweet whey powder held at $1,295. Whole milk powder was up six tenths of one percent to $2,692. Lactose was not offered.

Cash cheese was higher. Barrels were up 4.5 cents to $2.4050 per pound. Blocks were 2.5 higher at $2.3950. Both had last unfilled bids for one load at their respective closing prices. Double a butter was a quarter cent higher to $3.0025. There were 16 loads sold, 15 at $3 and 1 at $3.0050. The last bid unfilled was on two loads at $3 and the last offer uncovered was for one load at $3.0025. Grade a nonfat dry milk was down 1.25 at $1.3350. There were nine loads sold, with one at the closing price. There were three loads sold at $1.34 and three sold at $1.3450.

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Feeder cattle trade steady to higher at Monday auction

The cash cattle market was at a standstill on Tuesday with no bids evident and very little interest seen through the trade. At this point, it is expected to be the last half of the week before active trade develops. Both sides are aggressively trying to advance their positions. Asking prices are around 164.00 in the South, and 253.00 to 255.00 plus in the North. USDA estimated the slaughter at 115,000 head, 1,000 less than last week, and 8,000 smaller than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice boxed beef was down 1.38 at 247.64, and select is .32 lower at 232.96.

Live cattle contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange settled 15 to 45 points lower, but did regain most of the morning losses as lack of follow through pressure in the lean hog and feeder cattle markets seemed to drive trade activity through most of the cattle contracts. There was very little direction available from market fundamentals over the last couple of days, prices may be unable to break out of the current market range, and may wander in this zone for a while. October settled .15 lower at 156.320, and December was also .15 lower at 158.87.

Feeder cattle ended the session 35 points higher to 22 lower after battling back and forth through the morning trade after holding strong triple digit losses. September settled .35 higher at 229.60 and October was up .02 at 225.87.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 8100 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers trended steady to firm. Steer and heifer calves were mostly steady to 5.00 higher. There were very few true yearlings on offer with the majority of the supply consisting of un-weaned calves, as a result the most advances were recorded on larger packages of weaned cattle. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 868 pounds brought 218.33 per hundredweight. 628 pound heifers traded at 230.26.

Lean hogs settled 80 points higher to 80 lower with wide separation between the October contracts and the rest of the complex. Early sharp trading losses softened as the session progressed, and that left the markets mixed at the close. The fear of weaker demand through the end of the year kept markets under pressure. October settled .80 higher at 106.87, and December was up .07 at 95.82.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .92 higher at 104.66 weighted average on a carcass basis. The West was up .72 at 104.21, and the East was not reported due to confidentiality. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 90.00 to 97.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed fully steady from 65.00 to 74.00.

The pork carcass value was up 1.90 at 110.75 FOB plant.

Weights on the hogs moving to market remain well above year ago levels, almost large enough to offset the smaller head count. Over the next several weeks, hog kills should continue to trend seasonally larger and the gap to last year’s weekly kill volume will get smaller and smaller.

Tuesday’s hog slaughter was estimated at 417,000 head, 12,000 more than last week, but 15,000 less than last year.

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ASA encourages comments on new technologies

The American Soybean Association is encouraging farmers, dealers and all stakeholders to comment on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Monsanto’s next generation dicamba-tolerant weed management technologies, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex™ cotton.

ASA says it is important that the USDA follow through on its commitment to U.S. farmers to conduct timely, science-based reviews of new technologies. The group says positive comments will help support the USDA’s determination to provide soybean and cotton farmers the choice to plant new technologies.

The public comment period ends September 25th.  For more information on how to submit a comment, click here.

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Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: September 16, 2014

Dec. corn closed at $3.43 and 3/4, up 3/4 cent
Nov. soybeans closed at $9.80 and 3/4, down 8 and 3/4 cents
Oct. soybean meal closed at $338.30, down 50 cents
Oct. soybean oil closed at 32.81, down 46 points
Dec. wheat closed at $4.96 and 1/4, down 4 and 1/2 cents
Oct. live cattle closed at $156.20, down 15 cents
Oct. lean hogs closed at $106.87, up 80 cents
Oct. crude oil closed at $94.88, up $1.96
Dec. cotton closed at 65.55, down 29 points
Oct. Class III milk closed at $24.19, up 32 cents
Oct. gold closed at $1,235.70, up $1.60
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,131.97, up 100.83 points

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How a hybrid becomes a hybrid

Seed corn take a long and winding road to becoming a hybrid that farmers can plant in the field.  Magen Eller, commercial corn breeder for Monsanto says it is a two-step process.  “The first is to create an inbred,” she says.  “The second step is to combine two inbreds into a hybrid.”

Eller tells Brownfield the first step is about selecting the best traits possible.  “It’s eliminating things that are going to be bad for yield,” she says.  “We try to make sure our inbreds don’t have things like Green Snap, stalk lodging, or root lodging.  We try to make sure they’re healthy so they are resistant to things like northern leaf blight and grey leaf spot and they aren’t susceptible to ear rots.”

She says the hybrid development stage is about putting together two inbreds that complement each other.  “If one inbred seems to be a little bit lacking in a particular trait – it’s finding another inbred on the other side of the pedigree that complements that,” she says.  “If one is a susceptible to foliar diseases – we can help it out a little with the other side of the pedigree.”

From there the hybrid goes through rigorous testing before entering the commercial pipeline.

AUDIO: Magen Eller, Monsanto (2:00mp3)

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Crop insurance and the new farm bill

fcsamerica logoDoug Burns is vice president of insurance with Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America.  We visited with Burns about the new farm bill’s implications for crop insurance and decisions producers will be making in the coming months.

AUDIO: Doug Burns (7:20 MP3)

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Midday cash livestock markets for Tuesday

It is a typical Tuesday in cattle country with bids and asking prices still not fully established. A few showlists have been priced around 164.00 in the South, and 255.00 plus in the North. Though mixed from state to state, generally smaller in the South and larger in the North the new showlists look generally steady with last week. Fed cattle supplies are likely to remain relatively tight through the entire fall season.

Choice boxed beef 248.62, down .40, select is up .22 at 233.50 in the morning report.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Oklahoma National Stockyards on Monday totaled 8100 head. Compared to last week, feeder steers and heifers trended steady to firm. Steer and heifer calves were mostly steady to 5.00 higher. There were very few true yearlings on offer with the majority of the supply consisting of un-weaned calves, as a result the most advances were recorded on larger packages of weaned cattle. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 868 pounds brought 218.33 per hundredweight. 628 pound heifers traded at 230.26.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota and Eastern direct trade are not reported due to confidentiality. Western hogs are .78 lower with a weighted average on a carcass basis at 102.71. Nationally barrows and gilts are 1.84 lower at 98.88. Missouri direct base carcass meat price is steady from 90.00 to 97.00. Barrows and gilts at Midwest markets are fully steady from 65.00 to 74.00 on a live basis.

The pork carcass cutout value FOB plant 109.11, up .26 in the morning report.

Weights on the hogs moving to market remain well above year ago levels, almost large enough to offset the smaller head count. Over the next several weeks, hog kills should continue to trend seasonally larger and the gap to last year’s weekly kill volume will get smaller and smaller.

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FFA tire auction at HHD totals nearly $40,000

Ken Anderson interviews Stacey Agnew, while state FFA officers Amanda Lambrecht and Blair Hartman look on.

Ken Anderson interviews Stacey Agnew, while state FFA officers Amanda Lambrecht and Blair Hartman look on.

Rainy, muddy conditions didn’t stop Nebraska FFA supporters from attending the second annual Nebraska FFA Foundation Tire Auction at Husker Harvest Days, hosted by Titan Tire, Goodyear Farm Tires and Graham Tire.

The event, originally planned for Wednesday, September 10th, was postponed to Thursday due to the heavy rain and mud at the show site. The tires brought in $39,500 for Nebraska FFA Foundation to support statewide FFA and Ag Ed programming.

Just prior to the auction, we had the opportunity to visit with Stacey Agnew, executive director the Nebraska FFA Foundation, as well as two of Nebraska’s state FFA officers, Blair Hartman and Amanda Lambrecht.

AUDIO: Agnew, Hartman and Lambrecht (5:18 MP3)

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Raven introduces new nozzle control system

esselink-gary-raven-hawkeye-editAt the Raven tent at Husker Harvest Days, Gary Esselink, product manager for application controls, gave us a demonstration of Raven’s new Hawkeye Nozzle Control System.

Esselink says this pressure-based product control system allows for precise sprayer application in a variety of conditions, reducing spray drift and getting the most out of every nozzle.  Plus, Esselink says, the Hawkeye system is built on the ISOBUS communication platform which allows it to work with most ISO Task Controllers on the market, including the Viper 4 by Raven.

AUDIO: Gary Esselink (2:57 MP3)

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Kugler expands to the east

kugler logoKugler Company, which been serving farmers in the western Corn Belt with quality liquid fertilizer products for decades,  recently announced an expansion of its production and marketing territory into the central and eastern Corn Belt.

In this Husker Harvest Days follow-up interview with Leigh Hoyt of Kugler, we discussed that expansion and also talked about Kugler’s lineup of innovative fertilizer products, including KQXRN, a 28 percent slow release nitrogen product that is a key component of Kugler’s agricultural specialty products.

AUDIO: Leigh Hoyt (4:06 MP3)

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Drier weather settles into the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- to below-normal temperatures favor a gradual push toward maturity for late-developing corn and soybeans. By September 14, corn reaching maturity ranged from 15 to 25 percentage points behind the respective 5-year averages in Iowa, Minnesota, and the Dakotas.


On the Plains, isolated showers are mostly confined to central and coastal Texas. Meanwhile, the return of warm weather to the northern and central High Plains favors fieldwork, including spring wheat harvesting and winter wheat planting. On September 14, Nebraska led the Plains with 26% of its winter wheat planted.


In the South, heavy showers are lurking near the Gulf Coast. Farther inland, isolated showers are causing only minor fieldwork disruptions.


In the West, showers associated with Tropical Storm Odile are spreading into Arizona and New Mexico. Currently, Odile is centered inland over Baja California, moving north-northwestward. Elsewhere, a late-season heat wave is promoting crop maturation and fieldwork, including Northwestern winter wheat planting. However, there is also an elevated risk of wildfire activity in parts of California, Nevada, and Oregon.


Morning Low Temperature Plot


Weather Alerts


Forecast High Temperatures (National)

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Seasonal pattern for the Heartland

Remnant moisture from former Hurricane Odile will continue to spread into the Southwest, where heavy showers and flash flooding can be expected during the next several days. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 6 inches or more in parts of Arizona and New Mexico, with lighter amounts farther to the north and west. Meanwhile, showers will also linger from coastal Texas to Florida, where 1- to 3-inch totals may occur. Toward week’s end, showers and thunderstorms will produce 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals from the Great Lakes region to southern Plains. Elsewhere, late-season heat—currently in place from California to the northern and central Rockies—will gradually spread eastward across the nation’s mid-section.


Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide. The greatest likelihood of warmer-than-normal weather will be from the Pacific Coast States to the northern High Plains. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the South, East, and lower Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

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Talking new products

Field days are a great opportunity to not only talk about new products, but Doug Clouser, Product Lead at Beck’s Hybrids says it’s an opportunity to determine what’s going to work best on you farm and where.

Audio: Doug Clouser, Becks Hybrids (2:55 mp3)

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Are farmers listening to consumer concerns?

Katie Pratt is a family farmer in Illinois where they grow corn and soybeans and seed corn. She says farmers DO listen to consumers’ concerns and want them to keep coming.  In this Healthy Living, Pratt says the U.S. has among the most stringent ruless and regulations on food safety.

HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM – Farmers listen to consumers (1:30 mp3)



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