Tag Archives: Farming

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) will conduct its Annual Meeting Monday, Aug. 26, at the Kansas Soybean Building in Topeka. It is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

During that meeting, the commissioners will elect officers for the coming year and approve their request for proposals (RFP) for fiscal year 2021 research and education projects.

Other discussion topics will be current and future research projects, market-development activities, educational programs, and administrative items. To obtain a complete agenda or to suggest additional matters for deliberation, contact KSC Administrator Kenlon Johannes at johannes@kansassoybeans.org or call the Kansas Soybean office at 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923).

With the beef industry going through continuous changes and advancements, it is important cattlemen and women across the country are “in the know”, which is where the Cattlemen’s Education Series (CES) comes into play. This partnership between the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association(NCBA) is designed to provide resources to NCBA state and breed affiliates through a grant which allows them to extend outstanding educational experiences locally. The mission of the CES is to provide cutting-edge information to beef producers that contributes to increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.

 

With approximately 32 percent of the Nation’s 2018 corn crop being utilized as animal feed, this partnership is important as it promotes corn products and by-products utilized in the cattle industry.

 

“I understand the importance of being able to deliver a quality product for my customers,” said Missouri farmer Gary Porter. “I take pride knowing the crop I grow will end up in so many outlets.”

 

Porter also serves as the liaison to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the National Corn Growers Association. “Our ability to produce an abundant and high-quality crop, makes corn an attractive feedstock for current and future end users.”

 

The recent advances in corn fractionation technology, provides the opportunity for more tailored, species specific distillers feed products, in addition to the great value that present DDGS bring today.

 

“As a cattle producer, I have confidence in the U.S. corn crop and the value that corn and DDGS bring to my cattle and operation,” said NCBA Vice President Jerry Bohn. “It is good to see the various partnerships from NCGA and the state corn affiliates to increase beef demand, especially exports through USMEF. NCGA also shows their commitment to cattlemen via the Cattlemen Education Series grant program that supports cutting edge education for beef producers that contributes to their increased knowledge, profitability and sustainability.”

 

Although the NCGA funded grant program is still young, NCBA has awarded over forty CES grants across the country. Look for upcoming CES events in your area.

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation to address a shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and ag industries at the border.

Ag inspectors work to prevent the intentional or unintentional entry of harmful plants, food, animals, and goods into the U.S. The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 would ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across our nation’s borders by authorizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors to fully staff America’s ports of entry.

Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts was one of several authors of the legislation. Roberts says, “Every day, millions of pounds of produce, meat, and other agricultural good enter the U.S. through our ports of entry. Ag Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the goods move efficiently across our borders while safeguarding against harmful pests, diseases, and even potential bioterrorism attacks.”

Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow says, “It’s critical that we address the shortage of agricultural specialists and hire qualified staff to safeguard our food and our farms.”

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife.

Friday’s EPA announcement — coming after the agriculture industry accused the agency of unduly favoring honeybees — makes sulfoxaflor the latest bug- and weed-killer allowed by the Trump administration despite lawsuits alleging environmental or human harm. The pesticide is made by Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff created last month out of the DowDuPont merger and restructuring.

Honeybees pollinate billions of dollars of food crops annually in the United States, but agriculture and other land uses that cut into their supply of pollen, as well as pesticides, parasites and other threats, have them on a sharp decline. The University of Maryland said U.S. beekeepers lost 38 percent of their bee colonies last winter alone, the highest one-winter loss in the 13-year history of their survey.

Emails and other records obtained from the EPA through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the Sierra Club, and provided to The Associated Press, show sorghum growers in particular had pressed senior officials at the agency for a return to broad use of sulfoxaflor.

Sorghum growers regard honeybees as just another “non-native livestock” in the United States, lobbyist Joe Bischoff said in one 2017 email to agency officials, and by cutting threats to the bees, “EPA has chosen that form of agriculture over all others.”

A federal appeals court had ordered the EPA to withdraw approval for sulfoxaflor in 2015, ruling in a lawsuit brought by U.S. beekeeping groups that not enough was known about what it did to bees.

EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn said Friday that new industry studies that have not been made public show a low level of harm to bees and other creatures beyond the targeted crop pests.

Dunn said EPA’s newly reset rules for use of sulfoxaflor, such as generally prohibiting spraying of fruit and nut-bearing plants in bloom, when pollinators would be attracted to the flowers, would limit harm to bees. She called it “an important and highly effective tool for growers.”

Michele Colopy, program director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, one of the beekeeping groups that had successfully sued to block sulfoxaflor, said the EPA limits weren’t enough to protect bees and other beneficial bugs whose numbers are declining.

“We understand farmers want to have every tool in their toolbox,” when it comes to curbing insects that damage crops. “But the … pesticides are just decimating beneficial insects,” Colopy said.

An environmental group charged the EPA with sidestepping the usual public review in reapproving broader use of the pesticide.

“The Trump EPA’s reckless approval… without any public process is a terrible blow to imperiled pollinators,” said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s environmental health program.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced without fanfare on July 1 that it would stop collecting quarterly data on honeybee colonies, citing budget restrictions. Beekeepers and others used the data to track losses and growth in U.S. honeybee colonies.

Other Trump administration decisions have upheld market use of the weed-killing glyphosate, which is now the target of thousands of consumer lawsuits over alleged harm to people exposed to it, and shelved an Obama-era decision to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos as a threat to human health.

This is day 10 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

With dry weather in northwest Kansas this week, many farmers in the area are finally getting to start harvesting their first fields of the 2019 crop. Yields are above average and while most of the state is seeing below average protein, there are pockets of protein in several areas.

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas winter wheat production is forecast at 330 million bushels, up 19 percent from last year. Average yield is forecast at 50 bushels per acre, up 12 bushels from 2018. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 6.60 million acres, down 10 percent from a year ago.

Casey Andersen, a 4th generation farmer in Gove County south of Oakley, reports that his family got started with harvest on July 8, the latest start that he or his dad can remember.

Yields are above average due to rain and the cool, wet fill period. He said, “It has been an excellent year for wheat.”

He has about two weeks of harvest left, and Oakley CL is a variety that has been performing well on his farm. The main issue they have had this year is some lodging due to the excessive moisture.

Andersen reports test weights of 63-64 pounds on Oakley CL, and proteins ranging from 10.5 to 11.5%.

Jennifer Princ of Midway Coop Association in Luray reports that they took their first load of wheat in on June 26, their latest start since 1996. They are 90-95% complete with harvest in their area.

She said yields in their area have ranged from 18 to 104, with a strong correlation between planting date and yield. The overall average yield for their farmers is 50-60 bushels per acre. Princ said test weights have averaged 61.2 pounds per bushel, and protein average is 12.04%.

The 2019 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest19.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday accused China of “letting us down” by not promptly buying more U.S. farm products.

“They have not been buying the agricultural products from our great Farmers that they said they would,” the president said on Twitter. “Hopefully, they will start soon.”

After meeting with President Xi Jinping late last month, Trump said China had agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural products as part of a cease-fire in the two countries’ trade war. The truce suspended U.S. plans to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods — action that would have extended the taxes to everything China ships to America.

The United States and China are sparring over the Trump administration’s allegations that Beijing is using predatory tactics — including stealing sensitive technology and forcing U.S. firms to hand over trade secrets — to try to supplant American technological supremacy.

Trump has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing has counterpunched by taxing $110 billion in U.S. goods, specifically targeting U.S. farm products produced by many Trump supporters in the U.S. heartland.

The administration has rolled out $27 billion in aid to farmers to ease the pain.

Trump and Xi agreed to restart negotiations that had broken down in May after 11 rounds of talks. So far, the two countries’ top envoys have spoken by phone but haven’t announced plans to resume face-to-face talks.

In addition to opposing sharp-elbowed Chinese tech policies, the United States wants Beijing to buy more U.S. products and to narrow America’s trade deficit with China — a record $381 billion last year.

Last month, a former Chinese diplomat, Zhao Weiping, told reporters in New York that the United States was asking “us to purchase more than we can buy.” He added, “You have to be realistic.”

Still, Larry Kudlow, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, said Thursday that “our side expects China very soon to start purchasing American agriculture commodities, crops, goods and services.”

This is day 9 of the Kansas Wheat Harvest Reports, brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association.

Jerald Kemmerer, of Pride Ag Resources in Ford County, says that they are about 80-85% done with wheat harvest this year. With good looking tests weights and sporadic yields, they are still pleased with the wheat that they are cutting. “If mother nature would work with us, we could wrap up harvest this weekend,” says Kemmerer.

John Lightcap, of Offerle Coop Grain & Supply Co in Edwards County, said their wheat harvest is coming to an end for the year as long as the rain stays away. Lightcap says that he is pleased with the protein and test weight numbers that he is seeing in their crop. Harvesting at 3 different locations, they are seeing better protein numbers in northern fields. Being about 93% done with harvest, Lightcap believes that if the weather holds out they should be able to wrap up wheat harvest within the next four to five days.

Frontier Ag Inc. in Graham County is just getting the ball rolling with wheat harvest. Although the area is typically done by now, local farmers are just getting a good start this week. With the wheat that they have cut, they are seeing good test weights and average protein levels. They are hoping to continue on with wheat harvest and its above average yields as the week progresses.

The 2019 Harvest Report is brought to you by the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. To follow along with harvest updates on Twitter, use #wheatharvest19.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas State University row crop specialist says he’s happy – even if surprised – by the low incidence of disease he’s finding in the state’s corn fields so far this summer.

But he’s urging growers to continue scouting their fields for diseases that have been commonly found in Kansas in past years.

“I have been surprised by the low levels of gray leaf spot in most fields,” said Doug Jardine, who has traveled several areas of Kansas over the past few weeks looking at corn and soybean fields.

“In those areas where I was able to find gray leaf spot, it was on the very lowest leaves, even in some fields that I know have had a problem with a history of this disease.”

Gray leaf spot is a fungus that causes an estimated loss of 9 million bushels of corn per year in Kansas. It was first found in the state in 1989, and is considered the most serious foliar disease of corn in Kansas and the north central United States.

For that reason, indications that it might not be as prevalent so far this summer is no reason for growers to become complacent.

“It’s present in the state, so we need to be scouting,” Jardine said. “But at this point, I was not personally in any fields that I think are going to need a fungicide this year. And given the commodity prices this year, if we can save $15 to $25, that’s probably a good thing.”

He added that the lower incidence of the disease in Kansas could be due to growers’ tendency in recent years to plant hybrids containing tolerance to gray leaf spot, “because that’s what we’ve preached as the primary management practice for years.”

Jardine said that gray leaf spot is sometimes confused with another disease that shows up routinely in Kansas – bacterial leaf streak, a bacteria that is more common in corn fields managed under continuous no-till and center pivot irrigation.

He noted that bacterial leaf streak is mostly found in the western one-third of Kansas, but has been found recently in the southeast (Labette County), north central (Clay County) and south central (Butler County) parts of the state.

“To an untrained eye, this disease can look very similar to gray leaf spot,” Jardine said. “We know over the last 3-4 years that people thought they had gray leaf spot, went out and sprayed and saw no response to the fungicide application – that’s because fungicides don’t work on bacteria.”

Differences between the two diseases are often seen in the lesions that appear on the leaves of the corn plant.

“With gray leaf spot, the lesions are defined by the vein, so they have very sharp borders on them; they don’t cross the vein,” Jardine said. “With bacterial leaf streak, they don’t respect that vein, so they can have a wavy edge that crosses the border and comes back. They tend to be very long and linear.”

He noted that another test is to hold up an infected leaf so that it is back-lit by the sun. If the light passes through readily (translucent), the disease is likely to be bacterial leaf streak. But if light doesn’t pass through the lesions (opaque) and appears dark brown, the disease is likely to be gray leaf spot.

In either case, Jardine suggests that growers submit samples of suspect leaves through their local extension office, or send directly to the plant disease diagnostic lab at Kansas State University.

In addition, Jardine said corn growers should be on the lookout for signs of the root lesion nematode, which were “very severe” in northeast Kansas (Doniphan and Brown counties) a year ago.

Producers who suspect an infestation of root lesion nematodes should dig up whole plants 30-40 days past emergence, shake off the excess soil from roots, and send the sample into the plant disease diagnostic lab.

Jardine said one sample received at K-State a year ago had a count of 100,000 nematodes per gram of root weight. That’s a huge number considering that yield losses in corn are common with infestations of 5,000 to 10,000 nematodes per gram of root weight.

“You’re looking for stunted areas in the fields, especially if they’re starting to become a little chlorotic (yellowish),” Jardine said.

Specific to soybeans, Jardine said he’s keeping his eye out for the presence of frogeye leaf spot, which could take hold in some fields this year because of the wet June weather in Kansas.

More information on crop diseases in Kansas is available from K-State’s Department of Plant Pathology, and the weekly e-Update published by the Department of Agronomy.

Lindsay Corporation (NYSE: LNN), a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology, today announced results for its third quarter ended May 31, 2019.

Third Quarter Summary

Revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $121.1 million, a decrease of $48.5 million, or 29 percent, compared to revenues of $169.6 million in the prior year third quarter. Approximately $27.2 million of the decrease in revenues was attributable to previously announced business divestitures in the irrigation segment as part of the Company’s Foundation for Growth initiative.

Net earnings for the quarter were $2.9 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $10.4 million, or $0.96 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior year. In addition to the impact of lower revenues, net earnings for the quarter were reduced by after-tax costs of $2.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, related to the Company’s Foundation for Growth initiative. Excluding these additional costs, net earnings for the third quarter would have been $5.5 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. 1 Net earnings for the same period in the prior year, adjusted for Foundation for Growth costs, would have been $17.9 million, or $1.66 per diluted share. 1 Net earnings in the prior year included $1.5 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, related to the business divestitures.

“Low commodity prices and uncertainty regarding the outcome of trade negotiations continued to weigh on farmer sentiment and demand for irrigation equipment during the quarter,” said Tim Hassinger, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Along with that, strong Road Zipper System ® sales in the prior year third quarter resulted in a challenging year over year comparison.”

Segment Results

Irrigation segment revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $98.6 million, a decrease of $29.8 million, or 23 percent, compared to $128.4 million in the prior year third quarter. Excluding the impact of the divestitures, North America irrigation revenues of $63.0 million increased $2.8 million, or 5 percent, compared to the prior year. Higher revenue from engineering project services and the impact of higher average selling prices were partially offset by lower irrigation equipment unit volume and lower sales of replacement parts. International irrigation revenues of $35.6 million decreased $5.4 million, or 13 percent, compared to the prior year. Excluding the negative impact of differences in foreign currency translation compared to the prior year, international irrigation revenues decreased $2.7 million, or 7 percent.

Irrigation segment operating margin was 11.2 percent of sales (11.7 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter, compared to 9.1 percent of sales (14.1 percent adjusted) 1 in the prior year. The prior year benefited from the recovery of $2.5 million in previously reserved accounts receivable that did not repeat. In addition, lower sales of irrigation equipment and replacement parts in North America resulted in a lower margin mix in the current quarter.

Infrastructure segment revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 were $22.4 million, a decrease of $18.7 million, or 45 percent, compared to $41.2 million in the prior year third quarter. The decrease resulted almost entirely from lower Road Zipper System ® sales compared to the prior year’s period.

Infrastructure segment operating margin was 15.8 percent of sales (16.0 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter, compared to 34.6 percent of sales (35.0 percent adjusted) 1 in the third quarter of the prior year. The prior year period included high margin Road Zipper System ® orders that did not repeat in the current quarter.

The backlog of unshipped orders at May 31, 2019 was $42.5 million compared with $55.8 million at May 31, 2018. Approximately $12.4 million of the reduction in backlog resulted from business divestitures. Excluding the impact of the divestitures, irrigation segment backlogs were higher and infrastructure backlogs were lower compared to the prior year. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, a $15.0 million Road Zipper System ® order was received from a customer in Japan, with delivery expected to begin in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

Foundation for Growth Initiative

In fiscal 2018, the Company announced a defined performance improvement initiative, referred to as Foundation for Growth, with the objectives of simplifying the business and achieving operating margin performance of 11 percent to 12 percent in fiscal 2020, assuming no improvement in market conditions from fiscal 2017.

Outlook

“Severe wet weather and widespread flooding in the U.S. have caused delayed corn plantings and curtailed planted acreage, reducing supply estimates and driving a recent increase in corn prices. Any further reduction in supply and increase in corn prices supports an improved outlook for irrigation equipment demand,” said Mr. Hassinger. “The short-term outlook for international markets remains mixed, with growth expected in Brazil and developing markets while certain other markets remain challenged.”

Mr. Hassinger added, “The receipt of a large international Road Zipper System order, along with early successes we are seeing in partnering with states on road construction projects, positions the infrastructure segment for growth. In addition, we expect that execution of our Foundation for Growth initiative will help us achieve our objective of delivering improved operating margins.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today sent a letter signed by 39 of its state affiliates to U.S. Senate and House leaders urging them to support the swift ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is NCBA’s latest salvo in the battle to build support for USMCA ratification, coming less than two weeks after the group launched a new media campaign to push the accord.

“American cattle producers need to maintain our unrestricted, duty-free access to markets in Canada and Mexico, and that’s exactly what USMCA would guarantee us,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “Jeopardizing that access by having Congress not take action on USMCA is simply not an option for us.”

In addition to calling on Congress to quickly ratify USMCA, the letter also encouraged the Capitol Hill leaders to oppose efforts to re-instate failed policies of the past, such as mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or MCOOL.

“MCOOL was U.S. law for six years until it was repealed by Congress in 2015 to avoid $1 billion of retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico that were sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the letter says. “The truth is MCOOL cost the U.S. beef industry hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, and the vast majority of consumers never paid attention to it. Our industry has suffered enough with this bad idea and we do not need to relive the sins of the past.”

Click here to read the full letter, and click here to view NCBA’s “Faces of USMCA” media campaign, which launched in June.