DuPont to launch Aproach fungicide

DuPont is featuring its new Aproach fungicide that it expects will be registered for use in early 2012. Todd Robran, DuPont Crop Protection Project Manager says they’re excited about the launch of this unique product. Robran says Aproach has not only preventative qualities as a fungicide, it also has curative properties.

AUDIO: Todd Robran (3:00 mp3)

House committee passes farm dust bill

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011 on Wednesday. H.R. 1633 would exempt farm dust from the Clean Air Act unless the Environmental Protection Agency administrator can prove it is a significant problem and that applying the standard is worth the costs. It also gives states and local governments the authority in regulating dust.

The bill now goes to the full House; a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.

The EPA has contended all along it has no intention of regulating farm dust but some have raised concerns that the agency could do so at some time in the future. H.R. 1633 is designed to prevent that from happening.

Canadian Wheat Board one step closer to the end

The demise of the Canadian Wheat Board is one-step closer to reality. On a 153 to 120 vote, the House of Commons passed a bill this week to increase marketing choices for wheat and barley growers in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and a small part of British Columbia. The bill is expected to pass the Canadian Senate and become law by Christmas effectively ending the CWB monopoly on the marketing of wheat and barley in the provinces.

Opposition to the board has been growing as producers in the provinces want to have the right to market their wheat and barley any way they want instead of being required to market through the CWB. It has also drawn criticism from U.S. growers who charge it has an unfair trading advantage. When Stephen Harper became Prime Minister he made it clear that it was time to do-away with the Board.

The Board does have it supporters with some fearing big international grain companies or railways will end up controlling the market.

The CWB will continue to operate as a voluntary marketing entity supported by the Canadian government while it transitions to private ownership.

Rooted in the early 20th century, the original Board of Grain Supervisors controlled Canadian grain until the end of World War I. Fearing a sudden drop in prices, the Canadian Wheat Board was created for the 1919 crop only and dissolved in 1920. Wheat prices plunged leading to the creation of provincial wheat pools to buy wheat and sell it for export. The pools went broke in the financial collapse of 1929. The Canadian Wheat Board was brought back in 1935. The Board’s authority was expanded to barley, oats, flax and corn during World War II and membership was mandatory for western Canadian growers. In 1965 the Canadian Parliament made the board permanent governed by 10 directors elected by producers in the four provinces, four directors and a president appointed by the Governor in Council.

A little more profitable on the farm in November

The Preliminary Index of Prices Received by Farmers in November was up 0.5 percent from October. Farmers received higher prices for corn, cattle, broilers and lettuce; lower prices for hogs, hay, soybeans and apples. The Index shows prices received by farmers are 20 percent above November of last year.

The Crop Index increased 2.5 percent from October; the average corn price in November was $6.00 up 29 cents from a month ago. The all-wheat price increased 4 cents to $7.33 per bushel. Soybeans were 20 cents lower averaging $11.50 per bushel and the all-hay price slipped $5.00 to $176 per ton.

The Livestock Index increased 1.3 percent in November. Hogs were $3.00 lower to average $67.50 per hundredweight while beef cattle increased $2.00 to $119.00 per hundred. Broilers were up 2 cents per pound to average 45 cents, turkeys were 1.1 cents higher at 78.4 cents per pound. Eggs increased a half-cent to 86.2 cents per dozen.

The November all-milk price was unchanged from October at $19.90 per hundred while the overall cost of feed to make a hundred pounds of milk 1 percent higher for the month at $11.06. So income over feed cost is $8.84 per hundred down 13 cents from October.

The Index of Prices Paid by Farmers is unchanged from October. Farmers paid more for feeder cattle, diesel, nitrogen and mixed fertilizers offset by paying less for complete feeds, concentrates and supplements. They are paying 9.6 percent more than a year ago for commodities and services.

Read the full NASS report here:

Senator against resumption of horse slaughter

The reversal of the horse slaughter ban in the United States in mid-November has a lot of people talking as the industry gears up to reopen.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who voted for the end of horse processing five years ago, says she would vote that way again.

“I don’t support the slaughtering of horses for domestic consumption and I would vote again to oppose it if given the opportunity.”

McCaskill, a Democrat, agrees with animal rights supporters who say that horse processing is inhumane, “You know, I think there are humane ways to dispose of horses. I mean, I grew up in a rural area and I’ve witnessed the humane disposal of animals that are on farms.”

McCaskill told reporters that horses are not a part of the agribusiness world of Missouri.

“I think horses are raised and used for various purposes, including pleasure and show but I’m not aware of there ever being, in my state, the effort to produce horses for human consumption,” says McCaskill.

The ban on USDA inspection of horse meat was removed in the ag appropriations bill that was passed and signed into law November 18th.

Missouri’s other US Senator, Roy Blunt, says he is in favor of restoring the horse processing market.

AUDIO: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), conference call excerpt (2:00 mp3)

~Missourinet contributed to this report~

Soybeans, corn up modestly

Soybeans were higher on light technical and fund buying, along with spillover from the outside markets. The dollar was sharply lower with the Dow, gold, and crude oil higher. Past that – there was no fresh news, pulling contracts down from the highs, but there is talk of new export demand from China. Soybean meal and oil followed beans up with meal outgaining oil on product spread adjustments. DTN and Reuters state Egypt bought 6,000 tons of soybean oil. USDA’s weekly export sales report is out Thursday at 7:30 AM Central. Soybeans are pegged at 400,000 to 800,000 tons, meal is seen at 100,000 to 225,000 tons, and oil is placed at 0 to 10,000 tons.

Corn was higher on light fund and technical buying, in addition to the outside market direction. Also, the commercial and longer term fundamentals outlooks are supportive. However, there was no real new news and export demand remains a little slower than expected due to increased global competition, particularly from Ukraine. Ethanol futures were mixed. Weekly U.S. corn sales are expected to be between 350,000 and 550,000 tons.

The wheat complex was mostly lower on profit taking and fund selling against outside market influence. Chicago’s trying to keep pace with corn, Kansas City is watching weather in the Southern Plains, and Minneapolis has an eye on the export market. In any event, the overall fundamentals remain bearish, especially on the global supply side. European wheat was lower on the higher Euro and expectations for a very large clean weight Russian grain crop. Saudi Arabia bought 330,000 tons of hard wheat and Tunisia picked up 75,000 tons of durum wheat. In sell-buy-sell activity, Japan issued a tender for 60,000 tons of feed wheat and 200,000 tons of feed barley after purchasing 17,500 tons of feed barley and no wheat following an initial tender for 200,000 tons of feed barley and 90,000 tons of feed wheat. Weekly U.S. wheat sales are estimated at 400,000 to 700,000 tons.

DuPont featuring its new Basis Blend herbicide

Whether it’s weeds in Ohio, Nebraska, Illinois or Missouri, DuPont Crop Protection Corn & Soybean portfolio manager Jeff Carpenter says DuPont has you covered. DuPont is featuring its new Basis Blend herbicide to control winter weeds.  Carpenter says seed companies are pushing for earlier planting so growers can use it for a cleaner, warmer, drier spring seedbed. Carpenter also talked about DuPont’s comprehensive product approach to glyphosate resistance for growers.

AUDIO: Jeff Carpenter (4:00 mp3)

DuPont Basis Blend Herbicide


Nebraska biodiesel plant is sold

A Kansas-based company has purchased the Beatrice Biodiesel plant in southeast Nebraska for five million dollars.

According to a story on the Beatrice Daily Sun web site, Flint Hill Resources LLC submitted the only bid at a bankruptcy auction Tuesday in Lincoln.  Flint Hills is a subsidiary of Koch Industries.

Flint Hills has ethanol plants in four Iowa communities—Fairbank, Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell Rock.  Company officials declined to discuss Flint Hills’ plans for the Beatrice plant.

Construction of the 52-point-five million dollar plant began in August of 2007, but it never started operations.  Bankruptcy was declared in 2008.

Seed detasselers voice concerns with child labor law proposals

Seed detasseling companies are expressing concern over changes to the child labor laws that have been proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor.   

They say that proposal could prevent youngsters who are under the age of 16 from detasseling.  It’s estimated that over 50 percent of seed detasslers nationwide are in the 13-15 age group that could be impacted. 

Thirteen year-old Haleigh Seizys of Lincoln, Nebraska was a first year detassler in 2011. She says it was a great experience.

“It really taught me what it’s like to persevere through hard work and tough conditions,” Seizys says, “and I learned a lot about teamwork as well.”

AUDIO: Haleigh Seizys (2:35 MP3)

Brad Hansen of Ceresco, Nebraska is 18. He has detasseled for the past five years.

“It’s been an excellent opportunity for me to develop a work ethic, develop character, and to make a great amount of money for my age,” Hansen says. “The past couple summers, I’ve made right around 25-hundred dollars for three weeks work—and I just can’t make that at any other job.”

AUDIO: Brad Hansen (2:45 MP3)

Dawn Buell owns and operates NATS Detasseling of Lincoln.  She employs 500 teenagers each summer, about 40 percent of whom are under 16.

“I believe it would really have such a detrimental effect, I’m not sure it would be worth staying in business any more, quite frankly,” Buell says.

If the teen labor force is cut, Buell says many companies would likely turn to migrant labor to get the job done.

AUDIO: Dawn Buell (2:17 MP3)

Nebraska Farm Bureau national affairs coordinator Jordan Dux says it’s just another example of federal government overreach.

“We have been concerned for the past few years on federal government really trying to sink its hands—and really regulate—what farmers and ranchers do a very daily basis,” says Dux.

AUDIO: Jordan Dux (6:27 MP3)

Thursday (December 1st) is the last day to submit comments on those proposed child labor law changes to the U.S. Department of Labor.

AUDIO: News conference remarks-Nebraska State Capitol (26:46 MP3)

A wide separation between cattle asking prices and bids

Cattle country remained in low gear with a wide spread existing between preliminary bids of 121.00 to 123.00 live and asking prices of 127.00 plus. Feedlot operators are asking for 203.00 to 205.00 dressed, but packers are only willing to bid 200.00 to 202.00. Significant trade volume could be delayed until Friday.  Cattle slaughter was estimated at 128,000 head, 3,000 less than last week, and down 4,000 from last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak to lower on light to moderate demand and moderate offerings. Choice beef was down .52 at 194.43, and select was .82 lower at 175.67.

Live cattle contracts settled 72 to 125 points higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday Support came from the broad rally in stock and commodity markets. Dow Jones Newswire reported the recovery in European economies could add to global meat demand which is already rising quickly because of fast growing economies in the developing world. December settled 1.02 higher at 121.60, and February was up 1.15 at 123.60.

Feeder cattle ended the session 50 to 120 points higher. Trade volume was extremely sluggish throughout much of the session, but the buying in nearby live cattle futures contracts drew January and March feeder futures higher. January was up 1.20 at 146.02, and February was 1.15 higher at 123.60.

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