Ag Equipment Sales Higher at Mid-Year

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All categories of agricultural machinery sales are in the plus column so far this year compared to last, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“We view 2018 as a rebuilding year for agriculture; we’ve experienced a steadily improving economy, tax reform provides incentives and machines need to be replaced,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, AG services. “We’re still concerned with the impact of tariffs and trade wars on continued stability for manufacturers and their customers.”

AEM reports that U.S. sales of self-propelled combines are up 20.5 percent compared to 2017 January-June; U.S. sales of the machines in June grew 4 percent compared to June 2017. January-June U.S. sales of 4-wheel-drive tractors gained 5 percent over 2017 year-to-date sales; June sales jumped 23 percent compared to last year. Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel drive tractors at mid-year grew 6.5 percent over the same time period in 2017; all categories were positive, with strongest gains in the under-40 HP category at 8 percent.
For 2-wheel drive tractors, June U.S. sales in the 100-plus HP category increased 16 percent, under-40 HP tractors grew 15 percent, and 40-100 HP 2-wheel drive tractors gained 4 percent.

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Animal Ag Alliance Responds to Animal Rights Groups

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The Animal Agriculture Alliance has shared reaction to the most recent gathering of the Animal Rights National Conference, held June 28 through July 1 in Los Angeles.

The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups. According to conference organizers, the Animal Rights National Conference is the world’s largest and longest-running gathering of animal rights activists with the shared belief that “animals have the right to be free from all forms of human exploitation.”

“We believe it is important for everyone in animal agriculture to stay informed of how animal rights extremists plan to target us next,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “That’s why we release reports from major activist conferences every year. If your livelihood depends on animals, whether for food, research, transportation, or any other purpose, you need to review this report and prepare for what strategies and tactics these groups and individuals will use in their increasingly aggressive efforts to take meat, poultry, dairy and eggs off of our plates.”

This year’s conference speakers focused heavily on the “reproductive rights” of animals, an apparent new focus area for the movement. The 2018 Animal Rights National Conference Report, which includes personal accounts of speaker presentations and general observations, is available to Alliance members in the Resource Library on the Alliance website. The Alliance also has reports from previous animal rights conferences accessible to members on the Alliance website.

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Animal Ag Bites 7/9

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  • Sixteen culinary experts from across the country got a taste of the beef industry during the Pasture to Plate Beef Tour, sponsored by state beef councils in California, Colorado, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas. Invited to the beef checkoff-funded event were the culinary chairs responsible for the 28 International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes across the country. The non-profit Art Institutes operate the largest system of culinary schools in the United States.
  • Media pre-registration for the 2018 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting, which will be held August 1-4 in Denver, is open. Click here to access the registration page.
  • A jury verdict against a North Carolina hog farm in favor of plaintiffs who lodged unwarranted nuisance claims sets a dangerous precedent for American livestock agriculture, according to Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio. The following statement can be attributed to Heimerl: “For the second time in as many months, a North Carolina verdict has come back in favor of plaintiffs after a jury was prevented from visiting the farm subjected to baseless claims. We are deeply troubled by this decision against a farm that has operated responsibly and in compliance with state laws since 1985 and that maintains the highest standards of environmental and community stewardship. American hog farmers already face serious headwinds, including export market uncertainty caused by ongoing trade disputes. We can’t allow trial-lawyer abuse of our legal system to continue as it threatens the livelihood of livestock farming families, undermines the rural economy and unnecessarily increases food prices for consumers.”
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Scott Pruitt Resigns From EPA

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Well, here’s news that probably won’t upset too many people I know. I’m actually amazed that this didn’t happen much sooner. Of course this had to happen during a pretty much vacation week for the ZimmComm Team and many, many other folks.

Here’s some industry reaction on the announcement. I think you can sum it up that everyone is pretty happy about it.

President Trump’s Tweet announcing his acceptance of Pruitt’s resignation

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA)
Quote from Kevin Skunes, president and North Dakota Farmer:
“It’s no secret corn farmers have been frustrated with Scott Pruitt’s ongoing actions over the past year that have seriously undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Growth Energy
Quote from Emily Skor, CEO:
“Administrator Pruitt’s tenure as administrator of the EPA put a heavy strain on this administration’s relationship with supporters, farmers, and biofuel producers across the heartland.

Renewable Fuels Association
Quote from Bob Dinneen, CEO:
“For the past year, Scott Pruitt had been waging war against the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the biofuels industry, and the millions of farmers and rural Americans who helped Donald Trump get elected.

National Biodiesel Board
Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs:
“The EPA plays an important role in implementing policies that have a great impact on our industry. For that reason, we look forward to working with Mr. Wheeler and hope he will act more in line with President Trump’s support for America’s farmers, biofuels producers and the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

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God Bless America and the American Farmer

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Food for thought this Independence Day from former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack:

“America has to understand and appreciate what it has in agriculture.

American consumers walk out of the grocery store with still more money in their pocket and their paychecks and their incomes than virtually anybody else in the world.

That creates great flexibility in our economy directly connected to American agriculture.

It also provides the opportunity for every single one of us who are not farmers to be able to choose alternative opportunities for ourselves and our families.

We have transferred the responsibility of feeding our families to a relatively small percentage of our population called the American farmer.”

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July 4th Cookout a Bit More Affordable

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What will be on your grill for the 4th of July? Chances are it probably costs a little less than it did last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Farm Bureau’s informal annual survey reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $55.07, or $5.51 per person – that’s down about one percent from 2017. The All-American cookout menu includes hot dogs and buns, cheeseburgers and buns, pork spare ribs, deli potato salad, baked beans, corn chips, lemonade, chocolate milk, ketchup, mustard and watermelon for dessert.

While lower prices are good news for consumers, it’s not so much for farmers. “This is a very tough time for farmers and ranchers due to low prices across the board. It is appropriate that this very painful situation hitting farmers be reflected at the retail level as well,” said AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton.

A total of 96 Farm Bureau members in 28 states served as “volunteer shoppers,” checking retail prices for summer cookout foods at their local grocery stores for this informal survey.

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Animal Ag Bites 7/2

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  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., in which researchers evaluated filtration systems with the goal of reducing ammonia in poultry houses.
  • BioZyme Incorporated, a world-wide leader in animal health through nutrition and microbial products and services has acquired Cogent Solutions Group, LLC (CSG). CSG is a trailblazer in the research, development and production of bioactive polysaccharides.
  • Two students will gain experience in dairy management and the feed industry as Vita Plus interns this summer. Cristian Sosa and Simon Johnson will work on different teams and focus on specific projects for the duration of the summer while learning the values of Vita Plus.
  • Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with other land-grant universities, is conducting a nationwide survey of food-animal producers to learn more about how the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rules that have been in effect just over a year have impacted animal agriculture. All responses are confidential and participation is voluntary. Click to take the survey.
  • Minnesota pig farmers Randy Spronk and John Schwartz will travel to the Dominican Republic to attend the 2018 Latin American Product Showcase. The two farmers will participate in a market tour, marketing sessions and networking activities designed to highlight U.S. pork to importers in the rapidly growing Latin American export market.
  • Lane Giess has joined the American Simmental Association team as Director of Commercial and Nontraditional Data Programs.
  • Select Sires honors Bob Sabo of Green Bay, Wis. with the 2018 Select Mating Service (SMS) genetic consultant of the year award. Sabo was recognized at the 2018 SMS Conference among more than 115 genetic consultants and support staff from the United States, Canada and Brazil.
  • The American Feed Industry Association honored two individuals in the animal science field at the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Knoxville, Tenn. Ian J. Lean, Ph.D., of Scibus received the AFIA-ADSA Nutrition Research Award, and Ronald L. Horst, Ph.D., of Heartland Assays received the AFIA and Federation of Animal Science Societies New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award.
  • A nationwide grilled cheese competition inspired original recipes with everything from Cap’n Crunch® to peanut brittle, and nachos to grilled shrimp. All these unique ingredients combined with award-winning Wisconsin cheeses delivered sandwiches that went far beyond the traditional grilled cheese. Wisconsin Cheese announced the grand prize winner — The Green Lobster, which features a blend of Wisconsin butterkäse and fontina cheese, rich lobster and vibrant chimichurri sauce.
  • Kent Bacus, Director of International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released the following statement in response to Canada’s announcement of higher tariffs on U.S. beef products beginning on Sunday, July 1: “For the past few weeks Canada has threatened to retaliate against the United States by slapping a tariff on $170 million worth of U.S. beef products in direct response to the steel and aluminum tariffs. Today, they made good on that threat. These retaliatory tariffs were and still are clearly avoidable, and the unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers and America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. We may not know the extent of the damage these tariffs may have on our producers, but we believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation. As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day and we prepare to celebrate American Independence, we encourage our government and the Canadian government to remember that we are allies and we rely on each other for future economic prosperity.”
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture

USDA Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report

Chuck Zimmerman

The Pork Checkoff announced the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report via an ag media teleconference. The call featured three distinguished agricultural economists and their reactions to the report.

The panelists included:

  • Dr. Ron Plain, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
  • Dr. Lee Shulz, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Joe Kerns, President, Kerns and Associates, Ames, IA

Listen to the complete teleconference here: USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report - 6-28-2018

Audio, Markets, NASS, Pork, Pork Checkoff

National FFA and AgriNovus Indiana Announce Blue Room

cindy zimmerman

The National FFA Organization and AgriNovus Indiana have joined together to announce the “Blue Room” will debut at the 2018 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis Oct. 24-27.

The Blue Room is the kickoff to Blue 365, an initiative that will bring this same innovation into classrooms and impact more than 650,000 members nationwide. FFA student members are the future leaders of the food industry, which is relying on this generation to meet unparalleled challenges to feed a growing world population.

The 17,000-square-foot interactive Blue Room will center on the challenges facing our community—from respecting the planet to the urgent matter of feeding the world. This cutting-edge approach will focus on experiential learning and thought-provoking exposure to the convergence of agriculture, technology, human health, engineering, and more.

Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, and Elanco are also proud participating sponsors of The Blue Room and supporting partners of AgriNovus Indiana.

Making the Blue Room announcement Monday in Indianapolis were National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl, AgriNovus Indiana president and CEO Beth Bechdol, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, and FFA alumnus Loren King. Listen to their remarks here: National FFA and AgriNovus Indiana Announce Blue Room

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Alltech’s Total Replacement Technology Boosts Performance

carrie muehling

Research from Alltech shows that replacing inorganic trace minerals with the same minerals in an organic form can provide huge benefits for swine producers.

Alltech’s Total Replacement Technology (TRT) includes feeding plant-based trace minerals like the company’s Bioplex product, according to Russell Gilliam, U.S. Swine Business Manager.

“So that animal is able to absorb that mineral better, which leads to us not having to feed as much, which reduces mineral interactions in the digestive tract,” said Gilliam. “But most importantly, it increases performance in those sows and it allows us to lower our cost of producing a weaned pig.”

Gilliam added that producers using TRT on average see a one-fourth of a pound increase in birth weights, translating to a gain of one and a half pounds at weaning. He said removing the inorganic mineral portion of the diet actually yielded a better response from the Bioplex minerals included in the diet, which means increased performance over all. Alltech’s research includes studies over the entire life of sows looking at total lifetime performance.

Interview with Russell Gilliam, Alltech

2018 World Pork Expo Photo Album

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