Growers Look to Pacific Ag for Biomass Baling

Joanna Schroeder Leave a Comment

Bill Levy Pacific AgLast week Abengoa’s cellulosic ethanol biorefinery went online and is expected to produce 25 million gallons of advanced ethanol per year as well as 21 MW of bioenergy. But how exactly does the corn and wheat residue get from the fields to the biorefinery in a economical and efficient way? Enter Pacific Ag.

The company was founded by Bill Levy in 1998 and began by baling residue for growers and using the biomass for animal feed both in the U.S. and internationally. It was a natural progression for Pacific Ag to get involved in cellulosic production in the U.S. and to become a major supplier to the industry.

I asked Levy to talk about their residue removal model. He noted that since their inception, they have always focused on having a balanced residue program for growers and they are finding value for those products for them. So taking their successful model from the Northwest and applying it to the Midwest was a good fit. “The fundamentals of having residue removed on a timely basis and in a sustainable way is really the same,” explained Levy. Today they are in California, North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas and he says they have innovated to become “energy balers” because of the new bioenergy market for residue.

It’s very easy for a grower to work with Pacific Ag. Levy explained that if a grower has five circles of corn, for example, he/she can call Pacific Ag after harvest and they will schedule a time for them to come in and bale the biomass. “We have a very predictable payment schedule. You get 50 percent when the stack is created and 50 percent when the stack moves,” explained Levy. He said they also have a great paperwork system to track all the bales, the tons and their movement.

Pacific Ag Hugoton Kansas teamHe added that what’s nice is to have growers contact them early to let them know how many circles they want harvested because they put so much effort into planning for the season but a grower can add circles after he sees the value of Pacific Ag and his neighbor can call after he harvests his field when he sees the significant revenue stream the biomass provides others.

“And I think as the world starts to look at renewable energy, I think agriculture is going to be the benefactor,” added Levy.

Pacific Ag is looking for growers of rice, wheat, corn, alfalfa and other biomass crops who are interested in working with them. As the markets for biomass continue to explode, Pacific Ag is ready to be the partner to help make the growers who plant the bioenergy crops, successful.

Learn more about Pacific Ag and how to become involved in the biomass energy revolution by listening to my interview with Bill Levy: Interview with Bill Levy, Pacific Ag

Abengoa Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Grand Opening photo album.

Agribusiness, Alfalfa, Audio, Cattle, Dairy Joanna SchroederGrowers Look to Pacific Ag for Biomass Baling

Beef: Fueling Runners to the Finish

Jamie Johansen Leave a Comment

Beef checkoffJoin the beef checkoff and Miss Patty Melt to cheer for Team BEEF in DC during 2014 Marine Corps Marathon.

The beef checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) is proud to fuel runners at the 39th running of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, on Oct. 26, 2014. The beef checkoff is fielding a group of runners under the Team BEEF banner, as well as participating in various activities throughout the weekend including the first timers pep rally.

“Athletes everywhere are turning to lean beef as an invaluable component in their diet regimens to help with weight management, muscle development, immunity and cardiac health,” says Jennifer Orr, NEBPI director of public relations. “We’re proud to be a part this year’s Marine Corps Marathon and are excited to cheer on Team BEEF as they race to the finish.”

The beef checkoff will be participating in several events throughout the weekend, including:
– Health and Fitness Expo by GE
– First Timers Pep Rally
– MCM Kids Run

For real-time updates on Team BEEF on Twitter during the Marine Corps Marathon, follow @NortheastBeef and #BeefFuelsMCM.

Ag Group, Beef, Beef Checkoff, Food, Health Jamie JohansenBeef: Fueling Runners to the Finish

Proprietary SPC Enzymes Enhance Digestion of Feed

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R_D_Logo_1Inclusion of proprietary SPC Enzymes™ in R&D LifeSciences’ feed additives helps to improve digestion of feed. The proprietary enzymes enhance the digestion of starch, protein, and cellulose in feed to help livestock extract more nutrition from their diet.

R&D LifeSciences feed additives, including top-sellers Lactomace® and Cattlemace®, contain a combination of Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma viride, and Aspergillus oryzae which include enzymes cellulase and amylase. Research has shown these enzymes support optimal rumen function and digestion. David Zehendner, President and CEO of R&D LifeSciences said, “These enzymes can be especially beneficial when the forage is low-quality or low in supply. They help to keep up normal weight gain and milk production.”

Producers seeking to limit reliance on antibiotics will appreciate SPC Enzymes as a non-drug additive that can result in increased productivity. This is an economically and environmentally smart choice as well, explained Zehendner. He said, “As the human population grows, our need for food increases. The majority of this food has to come from innovations in technology that produce food in smarter, more efficient ways. SPC Enzymes do just that by helping the animal to get more nutrition out of the food they eat, so they do not need as much.” Better utilization of forages reduces the amount needed per animal, limiting cost and waste output.

Agribusiness, Cattle, Feed, Nutrition Jamie JohansenProprietary SPC Enzymes Enhance Digestion of Feed

CWT Assists with 3.3 Million Pounds of Butter & Cheese

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CWT-logo6Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) has accepted 9 requests for export assistance from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), and Tillamook County Creamery Association to sell 3.252 million pounds (1,450 metric tons) of butter (82% milkfat) and 55,116 pounds (25 metric tons) of Cheddar cheese to customers in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The product will be delivered December 2014 through April 2015.

Year-to-date, CWT has assisted member cooperatives in selling 86.677 million pounds of cheese, 51.426 million pounds of butter and 37.847 million pounds of whole milk powder to 43 countries on six continents. These sales are the equivalent of 2.234 billion pounds of milk on a milkfat basis.

Assisting CWT members through the Export Assistance program, in the long-term, helps member cooperatives gain and maintain market share, thus expanding the demand for U.S. dairy products and the U.S. farm milk that produces them in the rapidly growing world dairy markets. This, in turn, positively impacts U.S. dairy farmers by strengthening and maintaining the value of dairy products that directly impact their milk price.

CWT will pay export assistance to the bidders only when delivery of the product is verified by the submission of the required documentation.

Ag Group, Butter, Cheese, cooperatives, cwt Jamie JohansenCWT Assists with 3.3 Million Pounds of Butter & Cheese

Zoetis Adds to U.S. Cattle & Equine Marketing Team

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pfizerZoetis welcomes Megan DeRose to its U.S. Cattle and Equine Marketing Team as marketing manager, responsible for the U.S. Dairy Anti-Infective and HOOF-TEC™ product portfolios.

Previously, DeRose worked in the marketing department at Alltech. She also served as the North American product manager for T-HEXX Animal Health, where she developed the launch and marketing approach for dairy footbath and teat dip products.

“Megan’s strong experiences in marketing, from launching and rebranding products to implementing campaigns, will make her a great asset to our team,” said Mike Layfield, director of U.S. dairy marketing at Zoetis. “We are very excited to have her join our team at Zoetis.”

DeRose earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science with a concentration in equine studies from Rutgers University. She has more than eight years of marketing experience in the animal health industry. DeRose also has extensive experience with the National FFA Organization and local FFA chapters as well as University Agricultural Extension Programs, 4-H and the Animal Agricultural Alliance Group.

In her work, DeRose has demonstrated her passion for helping producers grow the healthiest animals in the best environments so their agricultural businesses can prosper and provide nutritious food for consumers.

Agribusiness, Animal Health, Cattle, Company Announcement, Equine Jamie JohansenZoetis Adds to U.S. Cattle & Equine Marketing Team

CHB Volume Surpasses 50 million lb. Sold

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HerefordBeefLogoCertified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC experienced a record year of growth during fiscal year 2014 with 50.2 million lb. of product sold— a 2% increase compared to the previous year’s total. Since 2008, CHB LLC has increased beef sales by 43%.

“Once thought of as a start-up branded beef program, the 19-year-old CHB® brand has weathered many storms including the growing complex of Angus beef programs that have proliferated foodservice, export, fast food and even beef jerky and pet food brands,” says Craig Huffhines, American Hereford Association (AHA) executive vice president. “What’s made the difference for the American Hereford Association’s flagship commercial marketing brand are its unique name, its consistent quality and the fine people who own the brand — the more than 5,000 AHA members.”

CHB LLC staff, along with the program’s marketing partners, tout the advantages of CHB product in marketing differentiation when compared to “Angus brands,” along with the fact that it is a consistently tender, juicy and flavorful beef product. These advantages are fueling the brand’s advance in both food service and retail markets.

“We are very proud of the progress we have made in growing the CHB brand,” says Dale Venhuizen, CHB LLC president and a Hereford cattle breeder from Manhattan, Mont. “We’ve made terrific gains in the marketplace despite tight cattle supplies, record high beef prices and a consumer trend of trading down to lower cost proteins.”

Fiscal Year 2014 Certified Hereford Beef LLC program highlights:
– 74% certification rate.
– 304 retail supermarkets in 35 states.
– More than 40 foodservice distribution centers.
– Welcomed Mike Mitchem, CHB LLC director of food service sales.
– Developed a strategic marketing plan involving business-to-business target communication, training and salesmanship, and a business-to-consumer message and communication plan. Commissioned new product photography to give point-of-sale materials a facelift.
– Conducted several sales force and merchandiser trainings with Sysco Minnesota, Sysco St. Louis, Jake’s in Houston and Yokes in Spokane.
– Signed ground beef and steak cutting licenses with Wolverine, Detroit; Buckhead, Chicago; and Burger Maker, New Jersey.
Focused efforts on building international marketing opportunities. Hosted two days of office tours, presentations and product sampling for 120 international buyers from around the world.

Agribusiness, Beef, Breeds, Food, Hereford, Meat Jamie JohansenCHB Volume Surpasses 50 million lb. Sold

Food Defense Orientation Program for Poultry & Egg Processors

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Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 10.01.55 AMU.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) has developed a Food Defense Orientation program for poultry and egg processors, focusing on raising awareness of potential risks faced by the industry and encouraging employees to be active participants in protecting products in the workplace. The program offers a short orientation video for plant employees that will help them during training activities in poultry and egg facilities. It also includes a detailed presentation for managers and key personnel directly involved in the design and execution of a food defense plan.

The Food Defense Orientation presentation discusses why poultry and egg processors should prepare a food defense program, what key elements should be taken into account and the importance of maintaining a food defense plan. The program also includes a resource guide to help with the creation of a food defense program and additional information that can assist in improving an existing program.

The CD is available at no charge to Association members, and the CD can be ordered here. Non-members may purchase copies of the CD for $200 each.

Ag Group, Chicken, Education, Eggs, Poultry, US Poultry Jamie JohansenFood Defense Orientation Program for Poultry & Egg Processors

New American Lamb Board Members Appointed

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Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.35.39 AMTammy Doughty, David Quam and Elizabeth Dressler have been appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve on the American Lamb Board. Each appointee will serve a three-year term, effective January 2015.

The Board is composed of six producers, three feeders, one seedstock producer and three first handlers. The Secretary of Agriculture appoints one third of all board members each year.

Tammy Doughty from Reform, Alabama has been appointed to represent feeders. Doughty has been engaged in the sheep business for 12 years and is a member of the National Lamb Feeders Association and the American Sheep Industry’s Young Sheep Entrepreneurs Committee.

David Quam from San Angelo, Texas has been appointed to represent producers. Quam has been involved in the sheep industry for over 43 years and is currently the Sheep Order Buyer at Producers Livestock Auction Company. Quam has been involved in the National Lamb Feeders Association and has served as the Director of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Lamb Committee.

Elizabeth Dressler from Parker, Colorado has been appointed to represent first handlers. Dressler has been engaged in the sheep industry for 6 years as the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Mountain States Rosen. Dressler is an active member of the American Sheep Industry Association’s Young Sheep Entrepreneur Committee and serves on the Lamb Industry Roadmap’s Product Characteristics team.

The Secretary of Agriculture also reappointed Joanne Nissen of, Soledad, California, representing producers and Wes Patton of, Orland, California representing seedstock producers. Nissen and Patton will be serving their second three year term.

“I look forward to working with the three new Board Members and I am thrilled to see Joanne and Wes continuing on the Board,” said ALB Chairman Dan Lippert. “I also want to recognize and thank retiring Board Members Cody Hiemke, Leo Tammi, Antonio Manzanares and Ben Lehfeldt whose hard work, dedication and innovation has been instrumental in designing programs and strategies that will be key to our continued success.”

Ag Group, Government, Sheep Jamie JohansenNew American Lamb Board Members Appointed

Rapid Intensification of Brazilian Beef Production to Continue

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raboIn response to rising global beef demand, Brazil is set to step up the rapid intensification of its beef production sector over the next ten years, enabling the industry to expand into higher-value export markets. According to its latest report “Beefing up in Brazil: Feedlots to Drive Industry Growth,” the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research (FAR) and Advisory group expects Brazil’s feedlot capacity to more than double to 4.5 million head, turning out over 9 million head of fed cattle annually, and increasing fed beef production by approximately 2.5 million tons per year by 2023.

“The opportunities for Brazilian beef producers, feeders, processors and exporters appear very bright,” explained Rabobank Analyst Adolfo Fontes. “Expected improvements in productivity and quality in the beef industry will help Brazil increase its presence in high-value export markets such as Europe, Japan and Korea.”

Brazil is already the world’s second-largest beef producer and the largest exporter. However, the industry remains relatively inefficient by global standards, with below-average sector productivity and yield parameters, suggesting significant opportunities exist for improvement.

“Brazil is uniquely positioned to fulfil this need, due to the country’s unmatched potential for expanding corn and soybean production—the two most universally-used ingredients for animal rations,” explained Rabobank Analyst Renato Rasmussen.

Read More

Agribusiness, Beef, Food, International, Markets, Meat Jamie JohansenRapid Intensification of Brazilian Beef Production to Continue

World’s Largest Robotic Milking Installation Now in Operation

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DeLaval 0264The van Leeuwen dairy farm in New Zealand has become the site of the world’s largest robotic milking installation for free cow traffic under one roof.

With twenty four new DeLaval voluntary milking system VMS™ the 1,500-cow barn in Makikhi South Canterbury has gone from milking zero to 750 cows in just seven days in just half the space available. The barn is expected to be running at full capacity by year end. DeLaval worked closely with the van Leeuwens to meet their needs, providing a complete package to deliver excellence in animal health, efficient milking and a farm that works in synergy with the environment, at scale.

“We are pleased that the van Leeuwen’s chose DeLaval, a world leader in robotic milking systems, and we are confident that together we will be great partners,” says Paul Löfgren, EVP Sales & Marketing. “In addition, to the twenty four DeLaval VMS™, we are pleased that the barn is equipped with the DeLaval online cell counter OCC and our Herd Navigator™ system, which were among the key reasons for choosing DeLaval. The van Leeuwen dairy farm is a great example of a farm that is maximising its resources and keeping in balance with the environment.”

Robotic milking offers today’s farmers the opportunity to reduce labour costs and provides more flexible lifestyles by eliminating the need to milk the cows twice a day. This enables successful modern farmers like the van Leeuwens to focus on improving areas such as environmental sustainability and herd management.

“On this farm there is no artificial fertilizer. What comes out of the barn is recycled and goes back on to the farm,” says owner Aad van Leeuwen. “We have proved to the authorities that what we are doing here is sustainable. As we have a contracting business, the farm grows all its own feed for the cows on surrounding land and so completes the cycle of a completely self-sufficient farm. Our goal is to focus on milk solids and not push volume ; we want to be sustainable,” he adds.

Agribusiness, Dairy, Milking Parlor, Technology Jamie JohansenWorld’s Largest Robotic Milking Installation Now in Operation