Zimfo Bytes 7/5

Carrie Muehling

  • American Agri-Women Foundation and CHS Foundation are joining forces to promote the “Growing Leaders” project to help develop young leaders in agriculture. CHS Foundation has pledged scholarships $10,000 to help 10 women to travel to American Agri-Women’s annual convention Nov. 8-9 in Tigard, Ore. The deadline is Aug. 15th. Download the scholarship application here. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 and be a member of American Agri-Women. (Here is the link to join.)
  • The American Soybean Association and Corteva Agriscience are seeking applicants for the 2019-20 Young Leader Program. Phase I of the 2019-20 Young Leader program takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana Dec. 3-6, 2019. The program continues Feb. 25–29, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show. Applications are being accepted online now. Interested applicants should click here for additional program information and to apply.
  • The Renewable Fuels Association announced Florida-based MoistTech has recently joined the organization as an Associate Member. The company offers technical equipment that uses near-infrared technology to measure a wide range of product attributes, such as moisture, oil and fat content, coatings and adhesives. For the ethanol industry, MoistTech’s sensors are typically used to measure and control moisture in the distillers grains drying process.
  • Farm Market iD released its annual farmer, crop and farmland database update on June 28, 2019, providing powerful insights from the 2018 crop year. Insights gathered from the 2018 crop year data include 2,867,449 active farmers (includes both owners and operators); 323,552,517 planted acres; average age is 63.1 years old; average Gross Farm Income is $168,368; 64.3 percent have a phone number and 49.9 percent have an email address. For companies who want to use this data to gain more industry insights, visit http://farmmarketid.com/.
  • After decades chasing the enormous China market, a sale of U.S. rice was confirmed here last week. The deal occurred on the margins of the first U.S. rice trade seminar in China that was conducted with funds from the new U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program. Five U.S. companies had the opportunity to meet with 15 of China’s top rice importers who expressed a great deal of interest in U.S. rice.
Zimfo Bytes

Veteran Farm Broadcaster Going Part Time

Cindy Zimmerman

Tom Steever has won pretty much every award a farm broadcaster can win, he’s been a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) for 45 years and served as president more than once, and he has been anchor/reporter for the biggest farm network in the country for over 15 years – so it’s time to slow it down a little.

On September 30, 2019 the veteran farm broadcaster is retiring from his full-time role as Anchor/Reporter and easing into a part-time position with Brownfield.

Tom Steever is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. His career in journalism began as a photographer for student-run publications in high school and college and continued with part-time on-air work for the campus radio station and commercial stations in Brookings and Sioux Falls.

“My farm upbringing in southeastern South Dakota prepared me to begin my farm broadcast career at KSOO in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, followed by livestock market reporting on dozens of Upper Midwest radio stations and on CBS affiliate KELO-TV in Sioux Falls,” said Steever.

Steever left South Dakota for a brief stint anchoring Channel Earth on DirecTV. He went on to do news part time at WLS in Chicago before joining AFBF.

During his farm broadcast tenure, Steever traveled extensively, covering stories in 15 countries, including Germany, China, Cuba and Brazil. He has been honored by farm and commodity organizations in South Dakota, Missouri and Illinois and awarded FFA Honorary Farmer Degrees at the chapter, state and national levels.
Steever has been member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting since 1976, serving as Regional Vice President (two different regions), National Vice President, President Elect and President (2012).

Tom’s wife Lori is a retired surgical technologist. Son Brian is a musician in Kansas City and daughter-in-law Katie, a dentist in Kansas City.

Brownfield will begin seeking applications for a full-time Anchor/Reporter in mid-July with plans to have someone hired and ready to assume those responsibilities on October 1, 2019.

Brownfield, farm broadcasting

Little Change in Cost of July 4th Cookouts

Carrie Muehling

Americans will pay just slightly more to celebrate the Independence Day holiday with a traditional cookout.

A cookout of Americans’ favorite foods for July 4th, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and watermelon, will cost just a few cents more this year, coming in at less than $6 per person, says the American Farm Bureau Federation. Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $52.80, or $5.28 per person. The cost for the cookout is up just 11 cents (less than 1%) from last year.

“Strong consumer demand for beef and growth in U.S. meat production has led to higher ground beef prices but lower pork spare rib prices for the 4th of July,” said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton.

AFBF’s summer cookout menu for 10 people consists of hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, ketchup, mustard and watermelon for dessert.

“Pork production in 2019 continues to increase compared to year-ago levels. Increased supplies and competition in the meat case at the grocery contributed to lower spare rib prices,” Newton said.

With milk production record-high in 2019 and cheese production increasing, consumers will see lower cheese prices this grilling season. New this year, AFBF tracked the average cost of 1.5 quarts of vanilla ice cream ($3.58). Including ice cream brings the total for the July 4th cookout to $56.38, which is still under $6 per person. A total of 114 Farm Bureau members in 34 states served as “volunteer shoppers,” checking retail prices for July 4th cookout foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey. The July 4th cookout survey is part of the Farm Bureau marketbasket series, which also includes the popular annual Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey of common food staples Americans use to prepare meals at home. The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food at home. Both the index and the marketbasket remain relatively flat compared to year-ago levels.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home. During 2017, farmers received approximately 14.6 cents of every food marketing dollar, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series. However, after accounting for the costs of production, U.S. farmers net 7.8 cents per food dollar,” Newton said.

As online grocery shopping continues to capture consumer interest, a survey of popular online grocery services reveals the 13 items included in the AFBF July 4th survey cost more than $70, 38% higher.

AFBF, AgWired Animal, Food, Holiday

Precision Ag Bytes 7/3

Carrie Muehling

  • Farm Market iD released its annual farmer, crop and farmland database update on June 28, 2019, providing powerful insights from the 2018 crop year. Insights gathered from the 2018 crop year data include: 2,867,449 active farmers (includes both owners and operators); 323,552,517 planted acres; average age is 63.1 years old; average Gross Farm Income is $168,368; 64.3 percent have a phone number; 49.9 percent have an email address. For companies who want to use this data to gain more industry insights, visit http://farmmarketid.com/.
  • Excessive moisture and flooding in 2019 have prevented or delayed planting on many farms across most of the country. Many fields that are saturated for a long time face a loss of soil organisms. Cover crop roots re-establish soil health and create pathways for air and water to move through the soil. USDA provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers plant cover crops. Learn more about prevented planting coverage. The 2018 Farm Bill mandated changes to the treatment of cover crops for USDA programs, which add more flexibility to when cover crops must be terminated while remaining eligible for crop insurance. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) developed new guidelines and policy provisions to enact these changes, which will be available beginning with the 2020 crop year.
  • Register here for the Soil Health Institute annual meeting in Sacramento, Calif. This year’s theme is Soil Health: A Global Imperative.
  • The Soil Health Partnership Executive Director, Dr. Shefali Mehta testified at a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing in support of investment in soil health practices. The SHP, a program of the National Corn Growers Association, is a farmer-led effort that has built a network of over 220 farmers in 15 states and over 100 partner organizations at the federal, state and county levels over the past five years. Read Dr. Mehta’s full testimony.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes

ZimmCast 620 – Timber Creek Distillery

Chuck Zimmerman

For this week’s program I visited Timber Creek Distillery near Crestview, FL. The owners are Camden Ford and Aaron Barnes, two exceptional entrepreneurs, who are building a new distillery on some beautiful property. Aaron calls it Crestucky. I had the opportunity to meet them when they did some taste testing in Pensacola and found their story to be fascinating. AgWired followers know we support ethanol in our fuel supply and we also support it in fantastic beverages like the ones these guys are making.

The new distillery building, which is near completion, is a massive 13,000 square feet with 40 foot high ceilings and includes outdoor seating areas. They have built their own power supply using solar panels, propane, batteries and backup generators. All of this has been done by just these two guys. To see it you would assume a construction crew had been busy for months. It’s really amazing how much they have done with their own skills and ingenuity.

Timber Creek DistilleryThey have been producing products like Florida whiskies, rum, vodka and gin for over three years and source as much of their ingredients like corn, rye, wheat and more from local Florida farmers. In the program you’ll hear more about this and their hopes and plans for the future. If Florida farmers, especially in the panhandle, would like to contact these guys to provide them with grains and fruits they would love to talk to you.

Timber Creek Distillery products are being sold commercially in 200 stores and have already won over 40 spirit competition awards.

Listen in to our conversation. I hope you enjoy it. And thank you for listening.

Listen to the ZimmCast here: Timber Creek Distillery

Audio, Entertainment, ZimmCast

Global Ethanol Summit Announced

Cindy Zimmerman

Three global ethanol export organizations are teaming up this year to host the first-ever Global Ethanol Summit (GES), scheduled for Oct. 13-15, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) are working together with the goal of engaging a broad array of global ethanol leaders about the benefits of expanding global ethanol use.

The GES follows two previous regional ethanol summits – the Ethanol Summit of the Americas held in October 2017 and the Ethanol Summit of the Asia-Pacific held in May 2018. Additional funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program and other sponsors will support the expanded focus of the GES.

With informative general sessions, networking and dedicated business-to-business meetings over two days, the GES will provide attendees direct access to thought leaders on the future of global ethanol use and the opportunity to build partnerships with industry leaders.

More than 250 ministerial-level officials and senior-level industry leaders, ethanol producers and refiners from more than 40 countries have been invited to attend the summit and interested domestic ethanol industry leaders and other members of the ethanol value chain can register for the event at www.grains.org/event/ges.

Ethanol, Exports, Growth Energy, RFA, Trade, USGC

Hemp Farming is Getting Real

Cindy Zimmerman

The seeds planted in the 2018 farm bill legalizing the production of hemp as an agricultural commodity are starting to grow.

Florida has officially entered the field with the governor just signing a measure allowing an agricultural hemp program to be developed. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried believes hemp could be the boost the state’s farm sector and rural areas need.

Fried held workshops around the state in anticipation of the bill being signed, with the goal of having a first set of rules published in July, with the hemp program running by the end of the year. Southeast AgNet has been keeping up with hemp progress in the state and recently posted some of Fried’s comments about the potential for the industry.
FL Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried discusses hemp potential

University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) recently joined forces with Florida-based hemp industry company Green Point Research (GPR) to support an industrial Hemp Pilot Project. Hemp plants have been planted at the UF/IFAS Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead Florida and at the UF/IFAS Agronomy Forage Research Unit in Hague, Florida — the first hemp plants to be legally grown in the state since the 1950s. GPR donated 200,000 seeds and 100 living plants for the project with more to come.

In addition, GPR has announced the rollout of its pilot Farmers First initiative to help restore struggling and defunct farms in Florida by helping them get into hemp farming. Green Point Research CEO David Hasenauer says hemp can be cultivated for more than 25,000 industrial uses, including clothing, nutritional supplements, biodegradable plastics, and fuel.

Learn more in this interview with Hasenauer, who is also president of the Florida Hemp Industries Association.
interview with David Hasenauer, CEO of Green Point Research

AgWired Precision, Audio, Farming, hemp

New Manager for Ag Media Summit

Chuck Zimmerman

Tina BowlingThanks to Kenna Rathai, Public Relations Director with Broadhead, for letting us know about the new manager for the Ag Media Summit. She’s Tina Bowling, president of Innovative Association Management Solutions (IAM Solutions) for almost 12 years. Tina’s experience in agriculture includes serving as executive director for both the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Western Seed Association. She is based in Berea, in east central Kentucky, and graduated from the state’s Morehead University.

Kenna did a little Q&A with Tina for the AAEA newsletter:

She’ll attend this summer’s event in the Twin Cities and is excited to get first-hand working knowledge of AMS so she can ensure a smooth transition into the 2020 event. We asked her a few questions, so let’s get to know her better!

Q: Why do we have a separate Ag Media Summit conference manager now vs. staffs of AAEA and LPC?

A: AMS has been very successful through the years and both groups wanted some changes so that the AAEA and LPC staffs could focus on their organizations. I’ll be responsible for providing conference and event planning, and consultation. All groups will continue to work together and are excited about the future of AMS.

Q: Why were you interested in the job?

A: I enjoy conference planning and working with agriculture organizations so this seemed like an excellent fit.

Q: What do you think will be the most challenging part of the job?

A: The transition is always a challenge as it is an attempt to learn 20 years of information and history as quickly as possible. However, I am extremely fortunate to have support from Diane, Samantha and the Steering Committee to provide all the resources necessary for success.

Ag Media Summit, Media

Animal Ag Bites 7/1

Carrie Muehling

  • The Equine Science Society recognized Carey Williams, Ph.D., an equine extension specialist at Rutgers University, for her professional achievements in the equine industry on June 6 at the 2019 ESS Symposium in Asheville, N.C. The Equine Nutrition Research Award is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association as part of its ongoing awards program, which dates back to 1948.
  • The American Feed Industry Association is now accepting nominations for the 2019 inductee into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame. AFIA’s Liquid Feed Committee developed the award in 2003 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the science and growth of the liquid feed industry. People interested in nominating individuals for the hall of fame award must submit a completed Hall of Fame 2019 Nomination Form to Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA’s director of quality, animal food safety and education, at pdavis@afia.org. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, July 26. For more information, visit afia.org/LFHOF.
  • Utah State University announced Dr. Eric Bastian as the new director of the Western Dairy Center. As vice president of industry relations for Dairy West, Dr. Bastian worked with former WDC director Donald McMahon in 2012 to develop the BUILD Dairy program (Building University and Industry Linkages through learning and Discovery).
  • Milk Specialties Global, an industry-leading nutrition performance manufacturer, announced the appointment of Troy Peifer as the new Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Peifer joined Milk Specialties in early 2019 and brings with him over 20 years of experience leading accounting, finance, information technology, and legal teams.
  • Select Sires’ marketing department will experience restructuring and operate under new leadership beginning July 1. Chris Sayers, former sales and marketing operations manager, will become the manager of global order operations. Darryl Snyder, former assistant semen distribution manager, will step into a new role as manager of global product distribution. Adam Oswalt, previously the dairy sire products specialist, will assume the role of manager of global sire products and logistics.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

USDA Corn Acreage Report Surprises

Cindy Zimmerman

With all the weather-related planting delays we’ve had, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Acreage report out Friday was a big surprise to the trade with corn acres estimated to be three percent higher than last year. At the same time, soybean acres are estimated to be the lowest in six years.

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2019 is estimated at 91.7 million acres, up 3 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acres are up or unchanged in 40 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 83.6 million acres, is up 2 percent from last year.

Soybean planted area for 2019 is estimated at 80.0 million acres, down 10 percent from last year. This represents the lowest soybean planted acreage in the United States since 2013. Compared with last year, planted acreage is down in all 29 estimating States.

USDA also estimates all wheat planted area for 2019 at 45.6 million acres, down five percent from last year and the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. All cotton planted area for 2019 is estimated at 13.7 million acres, three percent below last year.

NASS will be doing a recount in July to collect updated information on 2019 acres planted to corn, cotton, sorghum, and soybeans in 14 states. The planted acreage information released Friday was collected during the first two weeks of June. Excessive rainfall had prevented planting at the time of the survey, leaving a portion of acres still to be planted for corn in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; cotton in Arkansas; sorghum in Kansas; and soybeans in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. If the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the Crop Production report to be released at noon ET on Monday, Aug. 12.

The MGEX Crop Report conference call featured commentary from Brian Hoops of Midwest Market Solutions.
MGEX call commentary, Brian Hoops, Midwest Market Solutions

AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, Corn, MGEX, Soybean, USDA