Case IH supports National FFA Foundation through auction

In continuing its support for the National FFA Foundation, Case IH unveiled “Red Power” to kick off this year’s National FFA Convention Career Fair.  Bill Preller, Case IH Regional Sales Director says the “Red Power” skid steer is a one-of-a-kind, specially “tricked out” skid steer from Case IH and Case Construction.  Preller says it traveling around to a number of venues over the course of the next year and will be featured at all the major ag trade shows around the country.

Preller tells Brownfield, when all said and done, the skid steer has the potential to start the conversation about the benefits of FFA with over 1 million people.

Rob Cooper, Executive Director of the National FFA Foundation says today’s announcement couldn’t have been more fitting and there is no better place to celebrate and share the partnership between Case IH and the National FFA Foundation then with those involved in agricultural education and the agriculture industry.

Over the next year, “Red Power” will be on display at all the major farm shows and will be auctioned off in late 2012 for a list of upcoming stops visit

AUDIO: Bill Preller, Case IH (3:38mp3)

AUDIO: Rob Cooper, Executive Director: National FFA Foundation (1:55mp3)

Puerto Rico and FFA

The National FFA Convention draws attendees from all over.  For Puerto Rico’s North District President Teysha Villaneuva her first visit to the National FFA Convention is already exciting and she looks forward to learning more about agriculture.  Villaneuva says Puerto Rico doesn’t have a lot of agriculture, but they are using their FFA experience to educate others about the industry. 

While Villaneuva doesn’t come from an agricultural background, she says over her years of participation in FFA, she has realized how important agriculture is.  Villaneuva tells Brownfield for her it started with an animal health class.  She said when she enrolled in the class she didn’t know it was related to agriculture.  But, when the class began, Villaneuva said the advisor taught the students how the two (agriculture and animal health) were related and also how important agriculture is to everyone.  That was the start of her FFA career.

Villaneuva’s chapter is participating in the livestock evaluation competition while in Indianapolis.

 AUDIO: Teysha Villaneuva, Puerto Rico FFA North District President (2:59mp3)

Mo. deer positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

A captive white-tailed deer in Macon County, Missouri has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. That’s according to a news release issued late Wednesday by the Missouri Departments of Agriculture, Conservation and Health and Senior Services as well as the USDA. Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. In the release, State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Hickam says there’s a plan in place and the situation is being addressed. She says there is no evidence that Chronic Wasting Disease poses a risk to humans, non cervid livestock, household pets or food safety.

The animal that tested positive was inspected as part of the State’s Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance and testing program. Preliminary tests were conducted by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

There was another case in early 2010 confirmed in Linn County on a captive hunting preserve operated by the same entity, Heartland Wildlife Ranches. That facility was depopulated and no further infection was identified there. The current case was found through increased surveillance resulting from the previous Chronic Wasting Disease incident.

Chronic Wasting Disease is transmitted by live animal to animal contact or soil to animal contact. There’s no evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.

South Dakota grower happy with yields

Some growers in South Dakota are close to wrapping up harvest. Waiting in line at the elevator Wednesday, Bob Montross at De Smet, in the east-central part of South Dakota, had ideas of finishing Wednesday and told Brownfield he’s happy with what he’s seen.

“There’s going to be a lot of 150-160 bushel corn, I believe, and the quality is real good, it’s dried down,” said Montross, from his truck cab as he was about to drive onto the scale with a load of corn. “We’ve combined a lot of corn in the 13 and 14 percent range, which is really unusual; test weight’s been good, we’ve had some corn that tested 58 pounds, so I really can’t complain about anything, I guess.”

It’s very dry in that area now, but Montross says there are spots that were drowned out in the unusually wet spring.

AUDIO: Bob Montross (2 min. MP3)

MO Farmers Union says NeFU deal not for them

The Missouri Farmers Union, which agreed with other Missouri ag groups in their battle against the HSUS dog breeder ballot initiative last year, is not willing to work with the HSUS like the Nebraska Farmers Union is doing.

Missouri Farmers Union President Richard Oswald says he understands where Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen is coming from – forming an Ag Council with the HSUS to promote humanely raised livestock in exchange for HSUS “promising” not to file any animal welfare ballot initiatives in Nebraska. Oswald says the people Farmers Union groups represent – family farmers – ‘haven’t been winning any battles lately’…

“You know we haven’t gotten the GIPSA rules passed even though the Obama administration said they favored those. We’ve seen continued consolidation and market domination by a lot of big corporate interests but I don’t think we’re ready to join hands with HSUS either because I just don’t believe that’s the way our board would want to go.”

Oswald says some Missouri Farmers Union members want to have access to those markets for meat from humanely raised animals.

“I think HSUS, if I understand correctly what John Hansen (NE Farmers Union President) said, I think HSUS is willing to partner with them and help promote that because that is sort of down the line of what HSUS wants.”

But, Oswald says he doesn’t work with groups that don’t have their policies in writing.

“I have to see it written down and HSUS may have that but HSUS is not a group like Missouri Farmers Union and they can construct whatever policy they want to construct at any moment of any day. I can’t do that.”

Oswald says unlike the HSUS, Missouri Farmers Union has meetings and votes on policies, in writing, and abides by those policies.

Missouri lawmakers were able to change that voter-approved HSUS dog breeding measure, removing broad language that ag interests say could have led to unreasonable restrictions on livestock operations.

 Brownfield – HSUS tries new approach in Nebraska

AUDIO: Richard Oswald (9:00 mp3)


Wisconsin Assembly votes to roll-back restrictions

The Wisconsin State Assembly unanimously passed AB 228 on Tuesday which seeks to restore a registration exemption for cooperatives offering securities. Cooperatives had been exempt from a law requiring filing with the Department of Financial Institutions before selling securities such as preferred stock. A recent update to the federal Uniform Securities Act significantly narrowed that exemption. AB 228 author, Representative Al Ott of Forest Junction said that change was proving to be a significant barrier to cooperative development in the state resulting “in confusion, delays, and substantial new legal costs for cooperative business start-ups.”

The bill now goes to the State Senate.

U.S. milk production up in September

Milk production in the United States in September totaled 15.8 billion pounds, up 1.7 percent compared to September of last year. There were 9.2 million cows in the nation’s dairy herd in September, 88,000 more than a year ago. Production per cow increased 12 pounds to an average 1,716.

Milk production in the 23 major dairy states increased 1.9 percent to 14.76 billion cows. Of the 23 major dairy states, 18 saw an increase in production, four, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania saw a decrease while Virginia was unchanged from a year ago.

California production increased 0.6 percent to 3.3 billion pounds, the Golden State added 25,000 cows to make the herd 1.777 million head but production per cow slipped 15 pounds to 1,865.

Wisconsin milk production in September totaled 2.12 billion pounds up 1.8 percent from a year ago. The Badger State herd held steady at 1.26 million cows but production per cow jumped 30 pounds to average 1,680.

Rounding-out the top-five; Idaho 1.12 billion pounds up 2.9 percent; New York 1.037 billion pounds up 0.1 percent; Pennsylvania 854 million pounds down 1.5 percent.

For the July through September quarter, milk production in the U.S. totaled 48.7 billion pounds up 1.4 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Read the full NASS report here:

HSUS working on federal petition drive

The Humane Society of the United States says it’s making progress in gathering signatures for their effort to get President Obama to crack down on so-called “puppy mills.” HSUS spokesperson Jordan Crump tells Brownfield they have gathered more than 20-thousand signatures for their anti-puppy mill petition that they’ve submitted through the White House Website “We the People.”

In a news release, HSUS “Puppy Mill Campaign” Director Melanie Kahn says they are asking the president to “close a loophole” that they say allows “large scale, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to escape basic oversight and minimal animal care standards.” The HSUS says the minimum number of signatures needed to get a response from the White House is five-thousand which they surpassed in their first week of signature gathering.

The release says the ASPCA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society Legislative Fund are working with HSUS in the effort.

Mostly lower finish for grains and oilseeds

Soybeans were lower on profit taking and fund selling, along with spillover from the outside markets. Contracts started higher but couldn’t follow through due to the lack of fresh demand news and generally good planting conditions in South America. Still, farmer selling remains slow, keeping the nearby supply tight. Soybean meal and oil followed soybeans and many other commodities lower. Noble Group, via Dow Jones Newswires, sees China’s 2011/12 marketing year soybean imports at 60 million tons; Beijing’s most recent marketing year started October 1. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Thursday at 7:30 AM Central. Soybeans are pegged at 700,000 to 1.2 million tons, meal is seen at 75,000 to 250,000 tons, and oil is placed at 5,000 to 15,000 tons.

Corn was lower on fund selling, profit taking and spillover from beans and the outsides. However, farmer selling for corn is also slow and the weekly export sales are expected to be strong. In any event, there was no real fresh news and traders continue to watch the harvest. Ethanol futures were mostly lower. Weekly U.S. corn sales are expected to be big following last week’s interest from China and unknown destinations. The range of analysts’ estimates runs from 1.7 million to 2.5 million tons.

The wheat complex was mostly lower. Chicago and Kansas City were down on profit taking and spillover from corn, beans, and the outsides. Minneapolis was up modestly on the comparatively bullish supply and demand outlook for hard red spring. The global fundamentals remain bearish, especially on the supply side of the ledger. European wheat ended the session flat. Japan bought 12,350 tons of feed wheat in a sell-buy-sell tender and Taiwan issued a tender for 44,000 tons of feed wheat. Ukraine’s Agriculture Minister, via Dow Jones Newswires, expects Kiev’s 2011/12 exports to hit 27 million tons out of a crop of 53 million tons, both up from the previous projections. USDA’s Ag Attaché in Poland sees 2011/12 grain production at 26.3 million tons, down 3.5% on the year due to heavy rainfall before and during harvest. Weekly U.S. wheat sales are projected at 400,000 to 650,000 tons.

Officials: listeria result of sanitation problems

Federal investigators suggest the listeria that tainted cantaloupe and has killed 25 people so far came from a packing shed used by Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado. Food and Drug Administration officials said Wednesday the contamination was, among other factors, the result of poorly cleaned equipment and wet floors in the plant that are difficult to clean.

Although it’s not clear how the bacteria got into the packing shed, officials cite a truck parked near the shed that was used to haul culled cantaloupes to a cattle operation. Listeria is sometimes found in soil and manure. Officials also expressed suspicions about a lack of what they refer to as pre-cooling to remove field heat from cantaloupes before cold storage.

The 25 deaths occurred in a dozen states. In all, 123 people have been made sick in 26 states.