‘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

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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

Below-normal temps slow Iowa’s crops

Iowa’s corn and soybean crops, overall, are still in very good shape, but last week’s below normal temperatures slowed crop development.

As of Sunday, 19 percent of the corn acreage was mature, 11 days behind normal.  Leaves were changing color on 51 percent of the soybean crop, four days behind average.  Corn rated 76 percent, and soybeans 74 percent, good to excellent.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay was 71 percent complete, just over two weeks behind the five-year average.  Reports indicated hay conditions were wet with concerns that, in some cases, a third cutting may not be completed.

Pasture condition rated 66 percent good to excellent.

Nebraska crops maturing on schedule

Row crops in Nebraska are maturing right on schedule, according to the latest crop progress report.

Corn, at 29 percent mature, and sorghum, at 10 percent mature, are both very near their five-year averages.  Soybeans dropping leaves reached 25 percent, also near normal, while 15 percent of dry beans have been harvested, slightly behind average.

Crop condition ratings continue very strong, with corn and soybeans both rated 73 percent good to excellent.

The fourth cutting of alfalfa hay was 40 percent complete and the crop rated 64 percent good to excellent.  Pasture and range conditions rated 54 percent good to excellent and 33 percent fair.

Winter wheat 26 percent planted compared to the five-year average of 27 percent.

Reporting from FC Coop’s Field Trial Showcase in Iowa

fccoopOne of the biggest field day events held in Iowa each year is the FC Coop Field Trial Showcase.  We attended this year’s event near Farnhamville and had the opportunity to visit with several members of the FC Coop staff as well as guest speakers and farmers in attendance.

Todd Claussen is FC Coop’s director of agronomy.

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AUDIO: Todd Claussen (3:14 MP3)


Kent Klingbeil, the coop’s director of precision agriculture, talked about their new 1R Precision System.

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AUDIO: Kent Klingbeil (1:46 MP3)


Dave Lemke is a key accounts manager with FC Coop.

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AUDIO: Dave Lemke (3:05 MP3)


Tyler Smith is a regional sales manager with FC Coop.

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AUDIO: Tyler Smith (1:50 MP3)


Tony Moellers, a former state FFA officer, worked this summer as an intern with FC Coop.

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AUDIO: Tony Moellers (4:57 MP3)


Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer was the keynote speaker at this year’s event.

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AUDIO: Tom Hoegemeyer (4:29 MP3)


Stephan Becerra, general manager of Hoegemeyer Hybrids, talked about their relationship with FC Coop.

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AUDIO: Stephan Becerra (1:38 MP3)


Farmer Jon Halbur of Coon Rapids shared his thoughts about FC Coop and the Field Trial Showcase.

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AUDIO: Jon Halbur (4:29 MP3)


Paul Wetter, who farms near Rockwell City, gave us his impressions of the day.

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AUDIO: Paul Wetter (3:02 MP3)

NRCS announces conservation grants

nrcs bufferThe Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced its latest round of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).

The agency is giving out 15.7 million dollars in matching grants to 47 awardees.

NRCS chief Jason Weller says “soil health” is a big focus of this year’s CIG program.  And Weller says one of the organizations receiving a CIG grant is the National Grazing Lands Coalition.

“There’s been a lot of focus on cropland and we’ve made great advancement on our knowledge on how to improve the health of the soils on croplands,” Weller says. “But last I checked there’s also soil underneath grazing and pasture lands, and also forested lands.

“So what the National Grazing Lands Coalition is going to help us do is, they’re going to go out and pilot test new ways—different, effective practices—we can use on range and pasture land to ultimately improve the health of the soils.”

Also receiving major grant awards were the National Corn Growers Association and the National Association of Conservation Districts. Their projects will demonstrate the use of best management practices such as conservation tillage, cover crops and advanced nutrient management to address soil health concerns.

To find a complete list of this year’s CIG grants, click here.

AUDIO: Jason Weller-excerpt from telephone news conference (12:00 MP3)