01-02-18 RFA News: The List – 2018

RFA News: The List – 2018

Bob Dinneen, President & CEO

by Bob Dinneen, President & CEO

Before there was a “What’s Trending” on Twitter or Facebook, indeed before there was a Facebook or Twitter, or even an internet, there was “The List” from The Washington Post, providing insight into what was “In” and what was “Out” every year. It was as predictable as the ball dropping at Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and it remains wildly popular among Senators and interns alike in Washington, D.C. today. It is a must-read before turning to college football bowl games on New Year’s Day and provides fodder for water cooler conversation for weeks. I read my first “List” 40 years ago in 1977 and was chagrined to learn that Disco was out and Punk Rock was in. I didn’t even know what punk rock was at the time. Apparently, “The List” was pretty cutting edge. Of course, by the following January, punk rock would be out and something called Rap would be in. Keeping up was a challenge.
“The List” was never intended to be erudite social commentary and certainly not a reliable compendium of history or current events. But it was a fun and whimsical exercise. I was hooked. And because imitation is the highest form of flattery, I began compiling my own “List” many years ago to provoke light-hearted contemplation about the trends in the ethanol industry. So, with tongue firmly placed in cheek, and deep appreciation to The Washington Post, I provide this year’s “Ethanol List.”

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01-02-18 New “National Pesticide Safety Education Month” Will Focus on Safe Pesticide Handling

New “National Pesticide Safety Education Month” Will Focus on Safe Pesticide Handling

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – January 2, 2018 – Today scientists with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) join with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) to announce the first annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month that will be held in February, 2018.

“Today pesticides are used in and around homes, apartments, workplaces, farms and a myriad of other settings to control weeds, insects, disease-causing organisms, rodents and other pests,” says Fred Whitford, Ph.D., coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs at Purdue University. “That means everyone benefits when we focus on pesticide safety education. National Pesticide Safety Education Month is intended to reinforce the core principles of safe pesticide handling – from purchase to disposal.” Continue reading

01-02-18 Extreme Cold Causes Widespread Winterkill in U.S. Wheat Belt

Extreme Cold Causes Widespread Winterkill in U.S. Wheat Belt

Widespread winterkill occurred on Monday across southeastern Colorado, much of Kansas, far northern Oklahoma, central Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwestern Indiana.

Radiant solutions logoGaithersburg, Jan. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Extreme cold continues to grip most of the central and eastern U.S.  Lows yesterday morning (New Year’s Day), bottomed out to -30 to -40 degree F in the northern Plains. Snow cover was sufficient in the northern Plains and northern Midwest to protect wheat from damage; however, snow cover was very thin in the central and southern Plains and southern Midwest. Thus, widespread winterkill occurred on Monday across southeastern Colorado, much of Kansas, far northern Oklahoma, central Missouri, southern Illinois, and southwestern Indiana.

“Damage occurred in about a quarter of the hard red wheat belt in the central Plains, with about 5% of the soft red wheat belt in the Midwest seeing impacts,” said Don Keeney, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist for Radiant Solutions. Continue reading

01-02-18 CSU Ext: Trees Make Us Happy!

Trees Make Us Happy!

Written and submitted by Linda Langelo, CSU Horticulture Program Associate

Study after study reports that trees make us happy.  When we take the time to be near them, or walk by, or sit and stare at them whether in a hospital, our front yard or a park, they help calm us down.  Trees do even more than this.  According to The New Yorker, a Dr. Berman, a decade ago as a student at University of Michigan conducted a study where volunteers took a fifty-minute walk through a city street or arboretum.  After the walk the volunteers were given a cognitive assessment.  The volunteers who walked through the arboretum performed about 20% better on memory and attention.  I am sure the walking had its own benefits.  Dr. Berman suggests taking a walk at the end of a day.  For those with clinical depression, it gives those people a bigger boost. Continue reading

01-02-18 The 2018 NWSS Begins Saturday!

The 112th National Western Stock Show Begins Saturday, January 6th

To view a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, click here

Denver, CO.   –  The National Western Stock Show will launch the one hundred twelfth year with the annual kick-off parade, Thursday, January 4th at noon.  The historic Stock Show Parade trots through the streets of downtown Denver this Thursday, with the procession led by parade Grand Marshal and Denver Broncos mascot, Thunder.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 2nd

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 2nd

China Implementing New Import Requirements on U.S. Soybeans

U.S. soybean exports will undergo a new procedure to meet new phytosanitary requirements for shipping to China, starting on January first. A Bloomberg report discussed the new rules for American soybean shipments. The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the new procedure applies to both bulk and container shipments of raw and unprocessed American soybeans to China. APHIS says compliance with the new rules will be necessary to maintain uninterrupted shipments to China.  Greg Ibach (EYE-baw), USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, issued a statement saying that the agency worked closely with China and U.S. soybean industry representatives in coming up with an acceptable procedure. Earlier this year, China said the U.S. soybean shipments that were coming into the country contained too much foreign material in each load, including dirt and weed seeds. Chinese officials said the foreign material exceeded their standards and some of the weed seeds were of possible quarantine concern. Under the new procedure, APHIS will now notify China of any shipments that exceed one percent foreign material. China has assured the U.S. that all shipments will be allowed to continue while America develops new farm-to-export procedures to meet the new requirements.


Arkansas Plant Board to Review New Dicamba Regulations

The Arkansas Plant Board is scheduled to meet on January third, in order to consider possible revisions to previous proposed regulatory changes regarding dicamba application. The Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council requested the meeting. They’ll discuss potential revisions to the proposed changes during a pesticide committee meeting that day and then a full board meeting will start after that. The state’s Plant Board voted on November 8 to approve changes to the state regulations on dicamba application, including no dicamba application from April 16 through October 31. The subcommittee then met in December and voted to hold the proposed rule and recommended that the Plant Board consider possible revisions based on a number of factors. They want the board to consider possible changes based on scientific-based evidence, a dividing line to create north and south zones, as well as ambient temperature and humidity applicable to temperature inversion during nighttime hours. The Rules and Regulations Subcommittee will meet on January 16 to consider the outcome of the meeting with the Plant Board.


USGC Report Says U.S. Corn Harvest Quality was Excellent

The U.S. Grains Council issued a report on this year’s corn harvest quality, saying a good growing season resulted in record yields that had very good quality. The report says the majority of crop conditions in 2017 were good-to-excellent. That led to strong plant size, good kernel health, and a projected record yield of 370.3 million metric tons, or 14.58 billion bushels. If the projection turns out to be accurate, it would be the second-largest harvest on record. The report says just over 95 percent of America’s corn crop rated at U.S. grade number 2 or better. That result came from an extended planting period, a warm and wet vegetative period, a cool and dry grain-filling period, and a warm, wet, and slow harvest. The average test weight came in at 58.4 pounds per bushel, higher than the five-year average, and shows excellent kernel-fill and maturation. Roughly 98 percent of samples tested below the Food and Drug Administration’s action-level for aflatoxins, which is 20 parts per billion. 100 percent of the samples tested below the FDA-mandated advisory level for vomitoxins.


Agrium/Potash Corp. Merger Closing on New Year’s Day

Shortly after the Christmas holiday, Agrium and Potash Corp. received a late present in the form of final merger approval. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission clearance was the final hurdle in the effort to complete the business merger. If the companies successfully meet all the closing conditions, approval will go into effect on January first. The president/CEO of Agrium says the final clearance marks a significant milestone in bringing the two industry leaders together. He says the two companies have done extensive planning on how to quickly and successfully integrate both units together. Now that final approval has been granted, they will be working quickly to make good on many of the strategic benefits and synergy potential of the combination. The new company will be named Nurtien, providing potash, phosphorous, and nitrogen to customers around the globe. The new company says it will be the third-largest natural resource company in Canada, with its headquarters based in Saskatoon. It’s projected to generate about $500 million in annual operating synergies.


Downward Pressure Expected on 2018 Cash Rents

As commodity prices fell over the past few years, many landowners across the country agreed to lower cash rents. The annual LandOwner/Pro Farmer Cash Rent and Values Survey shows a majority of the respondents expecting cash rents to continue their lower trend in 2018. LandOwner consultant and columnist Mike Walsten says the survey also shows the focus on lowering cash rents in the year ahead will likely lessen when compared to the past few years. “53 percent of the survey respondents say they expect cash rents to continue their decline in 2018,” Walsten says. “While that’s still a majority, it’s down sharply from 74 percent last year, and 73 percent in 2015.” The percentage of respondents expecting cash rents to stay the same as last year rose to 45 percent, up from 24 percent last year and 21 percent in 2015. Walsten says, “The boost in respondents expecting no change in their rental rates this coming year might be an indication that the bottom in cash rental rates may be near.”


America Has Plenty of Apples This Winter

Although U.S. production won’t approach record volume, American apple suppliers have plenty to sell in 2018. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a national apple volume of 248.7 million bushels. That’s well short of a record harvest of 281.3 million bushels in 2014. Despite that, U.S. apple farmers are getting more efficient every year. With the 248.7 million bushels this year, the five-year average harvest number is 257 million bushels, two million higher than the previous five-year average of 255 million. Washington was the top apple-producing state in 2017, with an estimate of 142.3 million bushels headed to the market. New York was second at 28 million bushels, with Michigan third at 20.3 million. Cynthia Haskins, president of the New York Apple Association, says, “Overall, the crop ended up really good. We did have a few pockets of hail we were concerned about but the crop sized up beautifully.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service