Dairy Business News Team's Posts (794)

by Cheri Oechsle
The Sale of Excellence at Rosedale certainly lived up to it's name with 123 lots averaging $5,850. It was standing room only as the crowd gathered to join in this special day. Mark and Nicky Rueth rolled out the red carpet and offered the best of their years of breeding and development of outstanding families and cows along with several of their partners. 
Topping the sale was Arolene Goldwyn Divine owned by Rosedale Genetics and Dan Hovden. The EX-92 Goldwyn sold due in June with a Solomon ultrasounded female. The 2016 All-American Sr. 3 nominee milked 118 pounds on her last test.  Budjon/Vail won the right to take the silky cow home with a final bid of $92,000.
Rosedale Lucky-Rose-Red EX-94 was second-high seller at $35,000 to Oakfield Corners. The Rainyridge Perseus daughter sold due in June carrying an ultrasound Avalance female. Lucky-Rose is out of the 2E-91 Sanchez, Rosedale Crown of Thorns-ET, an own daughter of Redrose 4E-96. 
Top selling heifer was a choice of two Rosedale Lexington daughters sired by Doorman. Aaron Eaton of New York was the winning bidder and chose the fancy Rosedale Catch A Glimpse ET for $18,000.  
Adam Fraley of Fraley Auction, Muncy, Pennsylvania, cried the sale with Norm Nabhoz on pedigrees in the box. A photo gallery from the sale day is available for viewing at purebred.smugmug.com. For a complete sale write up see the upcoming May Red and White issue of the HolsteinWorld Exclusive.

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Central Plains Dairy Expo begins Tuesday in Sioux Falls  with Welcome Reception and the Clint Black concert. Don't miss it!
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Central Pains Dairy Expo is this week – it’s gonna be great!
Country western star Clint Black kicks off the Central Plains Dairy Expo in Sioux Falls Clint Blackwith a concert on Tuesday evening, March 28. It’s free to everyone in the dairy industry. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. And that’s just the beginning of a great event. The trade show is Wednesday and Thursday. More than 300 companies are exhibiting. There’s an inspiring Ag Prayer Breakfast, 21 educational sessions (four presented in Spanish), and much more. Check it out atwww.centralplainsdairyexpo.com. Not signed up for tickets yet? No problem. Register at the door..
Free, free, free
Most everything is free at the Central Plains Dairy Expo. Parking is free. Admission is free. Tickets to the Clint Black concert are free if you own, operate or work on a dairy, calf or heifer ranch, dairy-beef feedlot or a farm that produces feed for dairies.
Top 10 reasons to attend the Central Plains Dairy Expo
10) It's an all-dairy show. No fluff.
9) Nearly everyone in the Central Plains dairy industry will be there.
8) You can get a lot of business done.
7) You can catch up with friends and colleagues.
6) The show is just the right size – big enough, but not so big that you can’t see everything in two days.
5) Sioux Falls is easy to get to and get around in.
4) You can learn a thing or two that might help you make a buck or two. There are about 30 seminars, news conferences, luncheon speakers, workshops and meetings going on during the Central Plains Dairy Expo.
3) You can bring your kids. it's a family-friendly show.
2) You be able to eat all your favorite treats -- grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream cones, milk shakes and all different kinds of milk. And did we say there will be lots of cheese?. And beer? And wine? And it's free!
1) It is a perfect time of year to get away from the farm or office for a day or two.
First robotic dairy in Nebraska
Demerath Dairy is the first dairy in Nebraska to install a robotic milking system.  "I've been working with Norfolk Dairy Systems, and we've kind of been through five years of this to get to this point," said Bill Demerath, of Plainview. "We wanted to increase the herd without increasing labor. We needed a new barn. Our other free-stall barn was 40-plus years old. So we decided to go with this.” Read more.
When bad things happen to cows
“Nature is cruel. We don't have to be," says Temple Grandin, an expert in large animal handling and welfare. Keep her words in mind when cows are severely injured and or get sick beyond the point of recovery, says Jim Bennett, DVM.  Read his advice on handling these situations.

Zero pneumonia in new S.D. calf nursery
Shannon Houselog, general manager at Global Dairy, Estelline, S.D., is very pleased with their new 400-head calf nursery. Over the past year, there have been minimal death losses and zero cases of pneumonia in the new facility. "We believe that this building is the first of its kind and that there is nothing else quite like it,” she says. Read more in Dairy Star.com.
DFA recognizes Central Plains dairy
Dairy Farmers of America has named Haverkamp Dairy, Seneca, Kan., as one of its 2017 Members of Distinction. Brian and his wife, Kristina, have grown their dairy from 200 to 550 cows since 2002. They added a new freestall barn and renovated the milking parlor and flushing system.. Along with their daughter and her husband, the Haverkamps are planning another expansion. See all the honorees.

Win a new Bonnie Mohr painting at the Central Plains Dairy Expo
Birth of an industryThe Central Plains Dairy Foundation is raffling off two Bonnie Mohr paintings at the Central Plains Dairy Expo. One is of a Holstein cow and calf, titled "Birth of an Industry."  The other is ofShe's got the lookJersey cows, "titled "She's Got The Look."  First place gets their choice. The drawing will be at the close of the Central Plains Dairy Expo. Money raised will go to a dairy scholarship and youth activity endowment fund. Tickets are $5 each or 10 for $20.

2017 Central Plains Dairy Expo

Tuesday, March 28 -- Welcome Reception and Concert
Wednesday, March 29 -- Trade Show and Seminars
Thursday, March 30 -- Trade Show and Seminars
Sanford Premier Center Complex, Sioux Falls, SD
See http://www.centralplainsdairy.com/HomeExpo.htm


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 New Prague, Minn. (March 24, 2017) − Gardner & Gardner Communications (G&G), an association management/marketing firm based in New Prague, Minn., has been selected to be the association manager for the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC). DCRC was founded in 2006 to advance fertility in dairy cattle through knowledge exchange on assessment and management of reproductive performance.

DCRC is led by an elected board and several committees, all of whom volunteer their time. G&G, beginning immediately, is assisting with administration, membership services, conference organization and marketing and communications for the council, which is a growing organization with a long-term interest in raising awareness of issues critical to dairy cattle reproductive performance. 

The Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council is focused on bringing together all sectors of the dairy industry – producers, consultants, academia and allied industry professionals – for improved reproductive performance. DCRC fosters a network to achieve sustainable, effective fertility and health for dairy cattle. 

“We are pleased that Gardner & Gardner Communications will manage DCRC,” said Todd Bilby, DCRC president. “The DCRC leadership team felt it was time to fully engage one firm to manage all of the council’s duties to reach our members and help us grow the organization to the next level. We gratefully acknowledge our previous association management relationships with Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) and Charleston Orwig (CO), particularly CO’s generous support of DCRC in our early years.”

Den Gardner and Kristy Mach will serve as co-executive directors of DCRC, with JoDee Sattler serving as director of communications, Kyle Wieskus as membership director and Kristi Gardner as administrative assistant. Sandy Gardner, G&G co-owner, will manage DCRC’s accounts payable/receivable.

For more information on DCRC, visit www.dcrcouncil.org.

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PRO-DAIRY e-Alert: Manure Spreading


Manure Spreading

NYSDEC is warning farmers to be aware of the current and rapidly changing weather conditions. We are entering a very risky time for manure applications. The National Weather Service is predicting substantial snowmelt and periods of rain in many parts of the State. Rainfall on snowpack will saturate soils and creates a high risk for significant runoff.

For permitted CAFO farms, any emergency applications of manure must be made in accordance with their Emergency Action Plan and monitored for runoff. Discharges must be reported.

Interim solutions may be available on a farm by farm basis and should be discussed with an AEM certified planner.

PRO-DAIRY e-Alert 
March 27, 2017

Diversity and Inclusion are part of Cornell's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.

For more information about PRO-DAIRY, go to:http://prodairy.cals.cornell.edu/

Julie Berry, Editor Tom Overton, Director Facebook

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March 27, 2017

In This Issue
DuPont Pioneer to Launch Lumisena™ for Phytophthora Control in 2018
Adjusting Planting Dates and Maturities Can Improve Soybean Yields
Crop Insights
Reduce Planter Down Pressure to Reduce Sidewall Compaction
Why is My Corn Purple?

Did You Know?
DuPont Pioneer, The Iowa State Fair and WHO News Radio 1040 are looking for nominations for the 2017 Way We Live Awards, which recognizes six Iowa families who exemplify the values derived from hard work on the farm and show a love for farming.

More Information
Contact Susan Mantey
at DuPont Pioneer
Visit the Media Resource
Visit Pioneer.com
News You Can Use
Growers are often reminded that successful crop production is the product of optimum planting and preparation. The news briefs this week cover some of those management tips, including early planting dates to improve soybean yields, watch-outs for purple coloring on young seedlings and tips for reducing sidewall compaction. 

Want to speak with a Pioneer expert on these or other topics?  Contact Susan Mantey.

Pioneer In the News
DuPont Pioneer to Launch Lumisena™ for Phytophthora Control in 2018
DuPont Pioneer’s new soybean fungicide seed treatment, Lumisena™, will launch commercially for the 2018 season. Lumisena improves crop establishment and stand uniformity by controlling Phytophthora in soybeans, resulting in healthier plants that emerge quickly and develop strong root masses, Keith O’Bryan, agronomy research manager, seed treatments at DuPont Pioneer said to Farm Journal’s AGPRORead more

Adjusting Planting Dates and Maturities Can Improve Soybean Yields
In-field research by DuPont Pioneer at 37 locations in Illinois and Indiana found a seven-bushel gain by selecting full-season soybean varieties and adjusting their planting dates.

When full-season varieties are planted early, plants have a longer growth period, so they can capture more sunlight, more solar radiation and have the ability to make more yield, DuPont Pioneer Field Agronomist Kelli Bassett told AgriNews PublicationsRead more

Crop Insights
Reduce Planter Down Pressure to Reduce Sidewall Compaction
Fields are not always in ideal shape for planting. Wet soils compact easily and sidewall compaction during planting can result in over-packing seeds into the soil. In place of standard press wheels, consider using spoked closing wheels. These less aggressive spoked wheels provide some seed-to-soil contact and reduce air pockets around the seed …Read more

Want to speak to a local DuPont Pioneer expert on this topic? Contact Susan Mantey.

Why is My Corn Purple?
When corn plants emerge, it’s not uncommon for seedlings to have a purplish tint. The coloring can be a genetic expression, typically triggered by early cold temperatures. While early purple seedling color does not currently show any impact to harvestability and yield, there are factors to monitor. Erratic purpling may indicate that phosphorus is a limiting factor to plants in that area…Read more 

Want to speak to a local DuPont Pioneer expert on this topic? Contact Susan Mantey.

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2017 Purple Ribbon Classic Sale Report

The Purple Ribbon Classic, hosted by the Wood Area Holstein Breeders took place on March 3 this year and we are so thankful for all of the support. We had an official average of $2,425 on 44 live lots. The sale crew fielded bids and sold heifers from California to Arkansas to British Columbia!

Our top seller was Lot 3 from Sandy-Valley Farms, a 2708GTPI Jedi from the same family as the top female in the breed GTPI 3011 Highlight .  When the gavel finally came down she commanded $5,100 to head to Royal Vista Holsteins of Pickett, WI. Cary Moser of Dream Prairie Holsteins sent a summer yearling Monterey going back to Starbuck Ada(Lot 23). She's going to have to get her passport out because she's heading to T&L Cattle Company in British Columbia for $5,000. Next up was the red Armani consigned by Jason Danhof that had the whole sale buzzing. From an EX Ladd-P and then Seisme, the Spears family of Arkansas paid $4,600 to take lot 6 back to Arkansas with them.

To our consignors, bidders and buyers, a heartfelt Thank You. We are forever grateful for your support. To the Wood County Jr's and their parents, you are the reason why we do this and the driving force in getting all of the work done for the sale.   See you all in March of 2018 for the 30th edition of the Purple Ribbon Classic!


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Enfield, Conn., Monday, March 27, 2017 — Farm Credit East reported today strong 2016 financial results, showing continued growth in loans coupled with strong earnings, which allowed for record patronage dividends of $56 million to customer-owners.
“Farm Credit East is committed to growing our cooperative to best serve our customers into the future,” said Bill Lipinski, CEO of Farm Credit East. “We know that some customers face lower net farm incomes, but as we have done through other industry down cycles, our lending and financial services staff will work proactively with our customers.”
Farm Credit East’s 2016 net income was $151.4 million. Following more than two decades of growth, the cooperative closed out the year with $6.3 billion in loan volume, a 3.2 percent growth from the previous year, and $1.2 billion in capital. This level of equity capital allows the cooperative to finance customers’ growth and to work with customers through industry cycles. 
Farm Credit East continues to be the leading lender to Northeast agriculture providing approximately 70 percent of the credit to farm businesses and serving nearly 14,000 farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products producers. Farm Credit East maintains competitive interest rates for its customers and continues to share its success with customer-owners through patronage dividends.  
Farm Credit East Board Chairman Matt Beaton commented, “We are very pleased with our results this year, which enabled us to pay patronage of $56 million to farmers, commercial fishermen and forest products operations in the seven states we serve.”
This record patronage dividend payment returned, on average, in excess of 25 percent of the interest eligible customers paid in 2016. Over the past 21 years, Farm Credit East, and its predecessor associations, has declared a combined $653 million in patronage. 
Farm Credit East’s 2016 Annual Report is being mailed to customers in March 2017. It is also available on Farm Credit East’s website. Visit FarmCreditEast.com to learn more.
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The roots of Iowa State originate with agriculture, and more than 150 years later, students still have the opportunity to pursue careers in dairy and food science, keeping with the tradition of providing for Iowa and the rest of the country.........

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By Donny Kwok and Elzio Barreto | HONG KONG

Shares in China Huishan Dairy Holdings plunged 85 percent on Friday, wiping off about $4 billion from its market value before trading was halted in its second suspension in three months.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the slide..........

READ MORE..........

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Dairy Banquet celebrates area farms

I am pleased to report the 67th annual Ashtabula County Dairy Banquet March 18 at Camp Beaumont in Rock Creek was a great event with 80 persons in attendance. The participants were treated to a wonderful meal catered by the camp staff and to a wide range of activities to celebrate a super year in our local dairy industry. 

We were very excited to be invited to host this year’s banquet at Camp Beaumont. This 1,200-acre Boy Scout Camp located just north of Rock Creek is one of Ashtabula County’s hidden treasures. We were delighted to be able to hold our banquet here and to be treated to the talents of their culinary staff. Thanks to Bill Roloff and his staff for opening their doors to our dairy farmers......

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A quarter-century ago, small farms generated 46% of U.S. agricultural production. Today, the powerhouse of production is the large family farm with more than $1 million a year in gross cash farm income (GCFI). They represented 2.9% of the U.S. farm total in 2015 but were responsible for 42% of ag output, say USDA economists James MacDonald and Robert Hoppe.........

READ MORE.........

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CONCORD — A $2 million emergency relief fund for the state’s struggling wholesale dairy farms cleared the House of Representatives on Thursday with bipartisan support, despite the protests of opponents who said the proposal was “milking New Hampshire taxpayers.”

The 257-96 vote on SB 10 came after amendments were adopted changing the distribution formula and inserting guarantees against double-dipping by dairy farmers into both the state relief fund and federal crop insurance..........

READ MORE..........

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News Conference on Immigration Reform

The Idaho Dairymen’s Association believes that Hispanic labor is the backbone of economic vitality in rural Idaho, in large part because of the need for employees on dairy farms there.  The group has been advocating for immigration reform and yesterday held a press conference with Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Association and three others with expertise here.  

Also participating were:  Margie Gonzales, executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs; Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a Washington D.C. based organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration; and Charlie Garrison, a Washington based attorney specializing in public affairs in food, ag, immigration and energy policy who represents a number of dairy organizations.

This video was provided by the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.

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Click Here for PDF of Sale Order, Updates and Added Lots

Sale Updates

Lots 1-4 Maternal sisters to Lots 1-4 include:

3 by Redburst EX-90, EX-90 & VG-86

2 by Goldsun VG-88 &VG-87

1 by Alexander VG-87

Lots 6 & 7 Dam is NOW EX-94,2E

Maternal sisters to Lots 6 & 7 include:

4 by Sympatico VG-87, VG-87, VG-85 & VG-85

1 by Fever VG-87

Lot 10-13 Dam is NOW EX-93

Lot 12 3/17 PTA +3.43T +2.11UDC +2.18FLC

Lot 16 Dam is NOW GP-84 @ just 2-01

Lot 17 Maternal sister: Kings-Ransom Door Cassie

*2016 Res. Jr All-NY & HM All-NY

Sisters to Dam include EX-94 Epic, & EX-92 Mogul

Lot 20 Bred 3/19/17 to 507HO12353 Beemer (sexed)

Lot 23 Bred 3/19/17 to 507HO12587 Diamondback (sexed)

Lot 25 Dam is NOW EX-91

Lot 26 Dam is now VG-85

Lot 28 OUT

Lot 30 CORRECTION. Pregs are Due in September

Lot 32 OUT Lot 34 OUT

Lot 37 Bred 3/20/17 to 777HO10146 Solomon (sexed)

Lot 47 now millking 100 lbs/day

Lot 49 OUT Lot 52 Last test- 102 lbs 4.3%F 2.8%P SCC 37,000

Lot 55 OUT

Lot 61 Bred 3/19/17 to 594HO17998 Crush (sexed)

Lot 75 She is polled! Dam spring close & looks great!

Lot 80 *Potential 13th generation VG or EX

Dam will be EX when calbes in June

Dam RIP 2-10 269 21195 3.5 840 3.1 663 inc.

2nd Dam if VG-86 (important!)

Lot 87 Milking 87 lbs/day: Herd DHI code 52-53-0082

Lot 88 OUT

Lot 89 Milking 80 lbs/day; Herd DHI code 52-53-0082

Lot 91 Dam niow milking 170 lbs/day!

Lot 92 26 DIM 3,383M 4.0%F 3.3%P Lot 95 OUT

Lot 96 Carries ultrasound female.

Dam sisters include EX-92 Allen & EX-90 Sept Storm

Dam RIP 269 20412 3.6 726 2.9 592 inc.

Lot 99 DHI herd code: 23-38-0023 Index #1155

Sale Order

Read more…

Click Here for a PDF

Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding
Application to Serve as Non-Voting, Advisory Member of Board of Directors DEADLINE for submission is 4:00 pm EDT on Monday, April 17, 2017

The CDCB Board would like to appoint non-voting, advisory members of the Board who are able to provide meaningful insight, guidance and perspective to the Board’s work within dairy industry and fulfill traditional board member responsibilities (meeting, attendance and participation, committee service, etc.). Individuals (or organizations that desire to nominate an individual) are encouraged to apply by completing this application (preferred completed PDF file emailed) or by delivering application to:

Email: joao.durr@uscdcb.com
Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding

4201 Northview Dr., Suite 302 Bowie, MD 20716

The CDCB Board at its sole discretion will select non-voting, advisory members of the Board who will serve until the next annual meeting following the date of appointment or as long as the Board determines in its sole discretion. In evaluating potential non-voting, advisory Board members, the Board will consider, among other things, character, ability to exercise sound judgment, demonstrated leadership, skills (including financial literacy), and experience in the context of the needs of the Board and within the dairy industry.

Name_______________________________________________ Phone_____________________ Organization__________________________________________ Email_____________________ Address_________________________________________________________________________

1. Describe what qualities, skills, experience, employment, and other expertise would aid your service as a non-voting, advisory member of the CDCB Board. (Attach a résumé if relevant.)

2. Why are you and your organization interested in the CDCB? (Please note that organizational/employer support is likely important to successful service as a non-voting, advisory Board member. Most CDCB Board meetings and teleconferences occur during normal business hours. Non-voting, advisory members are not compensated by the CDCB.)

  1. How do you expect to contribute to the CDCB’s mission?

  2. Please address other professional or volunteer commitments that might interfere with your ability to serve as a non-voting advisory member of the CDCB Board.


4201 Northview Drive | Suite 302 | Bowie, MD 20716 | www.uscdcb.com 

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NFU Urges Congress to Vote Against AHCA

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NFU E-News
Issue 315 ~ March 23, 2017
Government Relations Education News Releases
Membership Calendar Price Barometer
NFU President Roger Johnson
NFU Urges Congress to Vote Against AHCA
Citing the need for family farmers and ranchers to have affordable access to quality health coverage, National Farmers Union urged Congress to vote against the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill is scheduled to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
NFU President Roger Johnson sent a letter to the members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, highlighting NFU's primary concerns with the proposed legislation. The organization is troubled by the inclusion of a cap on Medicaid, reforms to the healthcare marketplace, and the proposed system of basing premium subsidies on a person's age, rather than their income.
"NFU's member-driven policy 'affirms the right of all Americans to have access to affordable, quality health care,'" said NFU President Roger Johnson. "We believe the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would have serious negative impacts on farmers' and ranchers' access to affordable health insurance coverage."
The AHCA's proposed system of basing subsidies on age instead of income is particularly troublesome for small farms and younger farmers, noted Johnson.  In 2012, 75 percent of farms sold less than $50,000 in agricultural products and 57% had sales less than $10,000. "Young farm families that don't receive additional income or health benefits from off-farm jobs would find it extremely difficult to purchase health insurance."
Read more in this NFU press release.
The Trump Administration this week released a list of 24 trade practices, including Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), that trade negotiators should prioritize in future negotiations. National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the administration to keep COOL on the list, and to ensure a reinstatement of COOL would be allowable under any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

"For thirty years, NFU has championed Country-of-Origin Labeling, and we strongly believe the issue is important to American producers and consumers alike," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "American producers raise the best beef and pork in the world, and they believe consumers should be able to know where the meat at the grocery store came from. The President should stick up for American consumers and producers by ensuring COOL is a priority for his administration's trade negotiations."
Read more in the NFU press release.
Changing Lands, Changing Hands
Land access, agricultural land tenure and farm succession are top challenges for US agriculture. In cooperation with USDA, Land For Good is hosting Changing Lands, Changing Hands from June 13-15 in Denver, Colorado.

This conference will bring together practitioners, educators, policymakers and advocates who work with and on behalf of farmers and landowners of all types, commodities, scales and regions.  While there, attendees will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge, information, and research findings, build professional skills and networks, and collect and disseminate the wealth of ideas, experiences and perspectives from all regions and sectors.
Click here for registration and more information.
Apply for the Beginning Farmer Institute

Beginning farmers and ranchers, the NFU Beginning Farmer Institute (BFI) is accepting applications for its 2017/2018 class!

BFI brings together a select, diverse group of new farmers and ranchers from across the country. This group develops leadership and farm management skills together through three in-person meetings throughout the year in Washington, D.C., California, and Missouri.

Learn more about the program by visiting the link below, and apply today! The deadline is fast approaching - March 30, 2017 - so get your applications in quickly!
Applications for next year's BFI are now available on NFU's website. Application postmark deadline is March 30, 2017.
Take the Health Insurance in Agriculture Survey
Health insurance affects family farmers and ranchers and influences their business decisions. Take this USDA-funded survey to help researchers understand how health insurance policy affects farmers' and ranchers' decision to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises.
The study is a joint effort with between the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Policy and the four USDA Rural Development Centers. Findings will be used to develop training materials for professionals who work with farmers and ranchers. The study was originally conducted in 10 states but is now open to farmers across the country until March 31.
New on the NFU Beginning Farmer Column: Gleaning
Hunger is a consistent problem, both globally and nationally. Approximately 12.5% of Americans are food insecure, while 11% of all people are chronically malnourished. While there's no silver bullet for this problem, food producers are in a position to make a difference. On-farm gleaning programs are one option for farmers who want to tackle food insecurity directly.
Check out this post about gleaning on the NFU Beginning Farmer Column. You can also join the Beginning Farmer Forum for more on the conversation!
New on the NFU Climate Column: Gabe Brown's Story
With a focus on building soil quality, Gabe adopted management intensive grazing in 1991, and by 1993, he had converted all of his cropland to no-till. The following year, he began diversifying his crop rotation by adding peas to the spring wheat, oats, and barley that had been grown for many years on the ranch.

The results are remarkable - soil organic matter levels on the ranch have more than doubled and infiltration capacity has increased by 16 times. Brown has used neither insecticides nor fungicides for over a decade, nor synthetic fertilizer since 2008, and he has cut herbicide use on the ranch by 75 percent. Corn yields at Brown's Ranch are 20 percent higher than the county average.
Check out this guest post by Laura Lengnick about  dynamic cropping systems on the  NFU Climate Column. You can also join the NFU Climate Leaders Facebook group for more on the conversation!
NFU Salutes Family Farmers, Ranchers on National Ag Day

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2017) -  Highlighting the important roles family farmers and ranchers play in ensuring food security, National Farmers Union (NFU) joined the agriculture community today in celebrating National Ag Day.

"Family farmers and ranchers play a critical role in providing food, fuel, feed and fiber to both our country and the global population," said NFU President Roger Johnson. "In order to ensure our food security for future generations, we need to be fostering the next generation of family farmers and ranchers today."

The average age of the American farmer is 58 years old, and, according to the 2012 Ag Census, 57 percent of the nation's farmers are within 10 years of retirement age or older. The good news is that the number of young people who said farming was their primary occupation increased by 11 percent between 2007 and 2012.

Read more in the NFU press release.
NFU Lauds Bill to Add USDA to Foreign Investment Committee

WASHINGTON (March 14, 2017) - U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today introduced a bill to add the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Food Security is National Security Act also directs CFIUS to consider U.S. food and agriculture systems when determining whether or not to approve foreign investment in U.S. companies.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson lauded the bill, citing the importance of maintaining food security for the sake of U.S. national security.
"Potential impacts on global and domestic food security should be a primary consideration for those tasked with ensuring our national security. As we're seeing across the world, food shortages and disputes are leading to massive international crises. Without stability and certainty in our food systems, we can expect similar crises on our own soil." said Johnson.
The U.S. agriculture sector has recently experienced an alarming amount of investment from foreign governments and companies, notably Smithfield's sale to Chinese firm Shuanghui, the Syngenta acquisition by Chinese-government owned group ChemChina, and Bayer's proposed acquisition of Monsanto.
"This foreign investment threatens our domestic food security," noted Johnson. "In the case of biotech, it transfers critical technologies to foreign entities. In meat processing, it has disrupted trade markets, giving foreign competitors an unfair advantage."
"NFU is pleased Sens. Stabenow and Grassley are calling for increased scrutiny on food security implications, and we call on Congress to adopt this commonsense legislation."
Join NFU's Beginning Farmer Forum

The NFU Beginning Farmer Forum is a community of farmers, ranchers, educators, policy makers, and the general public that share common knowledge and interest in helping beginning farmers and ranchers overcome the challenges to starting and sustaining a farming operation in the U.S. It hopes to spread awareness about these challenges, provide insight into how they can be addressed at local, state and national policy levels, and share current resources and tools that benefit.

Join the Beginning Farmer Forum on Facebook to connect with hundreds of other farmers and contribute to the conversation.
NFU Farm Safety Video Series

NFU released a series of farm safety videos in 2016. Through these 10 short videos, we hope to build mass awareness to farm safety issues and contribute to reducing the number of annual farm-related accidents.

The short videos are on these farm safety topics:
  1. General Safety
  2. Power Take-Off
  3. Roll-Over Protection
  4. ATVs
  5. Grain Bins & Augers
  6. Livestock Handling
  7. Transporting Equipment
  8. Handling Chemicals
  9. Electrical Safety
  10. Behavioral Hazards & Child Safety
Visit our website (http://nfu.org/farmsafety) to find all of the videos that pertain to your operation, and share with your friends, family and neighbors to help prevent farm-related accidents and casualties! You can also order them here on DVD or USB.
NFU Urges Trump Administration to Avoid Changes that Undermine RFS

In the past couple of  months, there have been reports of a pending executive order to change the point of obligation for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), from refiners to gasoline retailers. NFU urged the Trump Administration to avoid these changes that would undermine the success of the nation's strongest biofuel policy, which has been a boon to rural economies, energy independence, and the environment.
In the past, President Trump has expressed support for renewable biofuels and the RFS, and his administration has stated it's intent to administer the program as written by Congress. Any attempt by the administration to change the point of obligation through an executive order would unnecessarily complicate compliance and undermine the underpinnings of the RFS.
Craig Watts, North Carolina Poultry Grower
NFU Stands with Contract Growers

Contract farmers raise 97% of the chicken consumed in the United States, but they face unfair challenges and hidden risks under the production contracts that are commonly offered by large corporate firms today.

In December, USDA published the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, also known as the GIPSA rules, as an interim final rule and two proposed rules to help balance the relationships between producers and meat packers in the concentrated livestock and poultry industries. NFU was pleased that the long-awaited rules were finally released.

However, the Trump Administration delayed the effective date and comment periods for the three Farmer Fair Practices Rules. In response, NFU President Roger Johnson said, "Family farmers and ranchers have been waiting on the protections provided by the Farmer Fair Practices Rules for far too long, enduring heavily concentrated markets and the unfair practices associated with lack of competition. After having been delayed and obstructed for the past seven years, it's time to end the unnecessary delays to the Farmer Fair Practices Rules and allow these basic protections to be finalized."

There is a common misconception that the Farmer Fair Practices Rules were a "midnight rule" of the Obama Administration. In fact, they are the culmination of nearly a decade of work, having been provided for in the 2008 Farm Bill and undergone the full regulatory process. The USDA went to extensive lengths to ensure public comment was considered and Congress's intent was realized, only to be blocked by riders stuck on appropriations bills in the middle of the night. Though some have disagreed on the policy, both producers and consumers will benefit from the competitive, transparent markets that these rules will help protect. Consequently, in March, NFU President Roger Johnson submitted testimony to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, advocating for the expedient adoption of the Farmer Fair Practices Rules.
Trump Administration Neglects Rural Communities
In mid-March, President Trump issued his fiscal year 2018 federal budget blueprint, calling for a drastic reduction in spending on agriculture- and rural-related agencies and programs.
Among his recommendations is a $4.7 billion cut to USDA, which equates to a 21 percent drop for programs that serve rural and farming communities across the U.S. This huge cut to discretionary spending puts rural development, food safety, conservation and research programs on the chopping block. Additionally, the blueprint provides for a $2.6 billion cut to EPA funding. This 31 percent drop guts the agency's ability to provide essential environmental services and pesticide approval.
Family farmers and ranchers are currently enduring the worst farm economy in well over a decade as well as an inadequate safety net that is hamstrung by $23 billion in budget cuts. Further cuts to agencies and programs that provide support to agriculture and rural communities will compound the difficulties farmers endure, particularly during the current farm crisis. These cuts and the message they send to rural America are deeply disappointing.
To compound these concerns, President Donald Trump failed to mention the words 'rural,' 'farm,' or 'agriculture' in his address to a joint session of Congress in February, even though he touched on a number of subjects that will both directly and indirectly affect American farmers and ranchers.  NFU expressed dismay about the President's statements on trade, immigration, and healthcare. 
The President's plans to replace the "current system of lower-skilled immigration" has many farmers and ranchers on edge, as it neglects the unique and important contribution of immigrant laborers to our national food system and rural economies. Farmers are similarly concerned about the proposed changes in national health insurance policy. Notably, motions to cut support to Medicaid would disproportionately affect farmers and ranchers, a population that is older than average.
To this point, the president has put the needs of rural America and agriculture on the backburner, and, in many cases, on the chopping block. If the President intends to be a champion for all Americans, he must consider the real and lasting impacts of his policy agenda and budget on rural America and family farmers and ranchers.
Member Benefit Highlight: DripWorks

NFU members receive a 10%discount on retail purchases. For discounts up to 25%, NFU members are invited to take advantage of DripWorks' one-step signup process for wholesale pricing. DripWorks provides quality drip irrigation supplies and equipment to people wanting to reap the savings and benefits of using drip irrigation.
Visit nfu.org/join to become a member and start saving today.
Visit nfu.org/benefits for a complete listing of all NFU membership benefits.
Call a Doctor 24/7 with Telemedicine
Have you heard the term "telemedicine" recently and wondered what it is? Wonder no more! Telemedicine is a convenient new way to talk to a doctor 24 hours a day 7 days a week when you're having non-emergency medical issues at home or anywhere else not close to a doctor's office.

So how does it work? You get telemedicine when you sign up for the Wellness Access Card for a low $99 yearly fee for the entire family. You will then get access to a 24-hour physician phone line that lets you speak to a real doctor, who will make treatment recommendations and even write prescriptions over the phone for common sickness such as flu, sinus infections, respiratory infections, pink eye and more.

Telemedicine is a great option for those who live in rural areas far away from a doctor's office. You don't need to wait until the morning to visit the doctor if you're feeling under the weather at night.  

There are no age restrictions, and there are even pediatricians available for when your children get sick.  On average we see 97% member satisfaction and 97% physician satisfaction.  On average members receive a call back from the physician in 22 minutes and a guarantee call back within three hours.

All you have to do is sign up for the Wellness Access Card and choose whether you want a monthly or annual membership. Once enrolled you will receive your membership kit, which comes with the telemedicine phone number and specific instructions on how to use it. That's it. No long forms to fill out. Simply call the number and get medical assistance.

To learn more, visit www.careington.com/co/nfu or call (877) 376-8958.
Farmers Union Insurance

Farmers Union Insurance has always been a community-based insurance provider. Founded by Farmers Union leaders in 1945, the company offers personalized, relationship-based service to farmers and rural residents across the Rocky Mountain and upper Midwest states. Last year alone Farmers Union Insurance provided more than 90,000 policies. 
In 2005 Farmers Union Insurance was integrated into the Americas division of the international QBE Insurance Group. As part of the QBE family, Farmers Union Insurance continues to offer quality care and protection to policyholders. Together, QBE and Farmers Union work to maintain the Farmers Union brand to ensure that America's farmers, ranchers and rural residents know that Farmers Union respects and supports their economic needs and livelihoods.
It is an exciting time for Farmers Union Insurance. By working with QBE, Farmers Union Insurance is poised to expand its offerings to new regions and enhance its product line. New products are ready to be rolled out under the Farmers Union brand that will allow family farmers, ranchers and rural residents to choose a policy that is better tailored for their needs. There are imminent plans to expand the geographic offering of Farmers Union Insurance beyond the current footprint and to further support our Nation's rural communities. 
Looking to get the most out of your insurance policy or know a farmer who is? Remember that by choosing a Farmers Union Insurance product you are supporting your state Farmers Union as well as National Farmers Union's 114 year old effort to advocate on behalf of the American family farm.

 Farmers Union Insurance - A QBE Group Partner
Hastings Mutual Partnership

Farmers Union members join for lots of different reasons, but a very fundamental reason is a business reason. They want to get added-value from their membership for their farming operation. In the states where Hasting Mutual Insurance Company operates, the added-value is a very high-quality health insurance partnership that provides many of the insurance products farmers across the country need.

Hastings Mutual provides members top farm insurance products as well as other great coverages including home, auto and commercial insurance. The company operates in six Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. Last year alone, the partnership garnered over 500 new memberships in those states.

Know a farmer in one of these six states? Tell them to contact their state farmers union or a Hastings insurance agent in their area to receive discounts on their farm owners policy premium.

Watch the Hastings Mutual/NFU partnership video here.

Visit our website to learn more about your state farmers union. Call Hastings Mutual at 1-800-442-8277 to find an agent near you.
PricebarometerFarmer's Share Price Barometer

February 2017
                           Commodity                            Current        Parity           % of
                           Crops                                        Price             Price            Parity              
Barley (bushel) $5.19 $14.30 34
Corn (bushel)  $3.40 $13.00 26
Cotton, Upland (pound) $0.671 $1.93 35
Flaxseed (bushel) $8.26 $32.10 25
Oats (bushel) $2.31 $8.41 27
Peanuts (pound) $.195 $0.663 29
Rice (cwt) $10.80 $39.50 27
Sorghum Grain (cwt) $4.81 $22.20 22
Soybeans (bushel) $9.71 $31.40 31
Wheat (bushel) $4.02 $17.70 23
Cattle (cwt) $117.00 $320.00 37
Hogs (cwt) $48.10 $161.00 30
Eggs, (dozen) $0.81 $2.94 29
Milk, All (cwt) $18.90 $51.90 37
~Parity prices reflect January 2017 NASS prices 
Taken from "Agricultural Prices," USDA/NASS. 
20 F St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
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Conference features milk quality short courses and presentations, and tours

NEW PRAGUE, MN – Milk quality experts from the Northwest invite you to attend this year’s National Mastitis Council (NMC) Regional Meeting July 19-20 at The Grove Hotel in Boise, Idaho. July 19 features a variety of interactive short courses and dairy farm and meat packing plant tours. On July 20 during the general session, presenters will address milk quality as it relates to parlor throughput, automatic milking systems, organic dairy production, contagious mastitis and beef carcass quality.

“The overall aim of the regional meeting is to help dairy producers produce and market higher quality milk,” said Allan Britten of Udder Health Systems, Meridian, ID, and chair of this year’s regional meeting.  “Five years ago, Idaho and Washington lowered their maximum somatic cell count limit to 400,000 cells/ml for farm milk shipments. State dairy leaders had a strong and visionary milk quality improvement plan. We want to show other dairy producers and their consultants that this milk quality level is achievable and the right thing to do.”

This year’s regional meeting program is targeted toward mastitis/milk quality specialists, dairy producers and their employees, veterinarians, researchers, extension specialists and students who have an interest in high quality milk production. NMC is a Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) provider. Thus, veterinarians attending the meeting can earn continuing education (CE) credits. Additionally, conference attendees can earn American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) CE credits.

Watch the NMC website – www.nmconline.org – for program updates and registration information. For more information about The Grove Hotel, visit www.grovehotelboise.com

NMC is a professional organization devoted to reducing mastitis and enhancing milk quality. NMC promotes research and provides information to the dairy industry on udder health, milking management, milk quality and milk safety. Founded in 1961, NMC has about 1,000 members in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

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