National Headlines

House Ag Advances Disaster Aid

OMAHA (DTN) — The House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill to provide as much as $8.5 billion in supplemental disaster aid for farmers and ranchers who faced disaster both in 2020 and 2021. The bill, passed unanimously by voice vote, will expand coverage of losses under USDA’s Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP-Plus) and cover losses including those from wildfires last year in California as well as the derecho that hit Midwestern producers last summer. The aid will also cover producer losses this year from the polar vortex as well as farmers whose crops are in D-2 “severe” drought …

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These States Have Best Corn Conditions

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Though the national corn crop condition rating was slightly downgraded by USDA in its latest weekly Crop Progress report on Monday, several states turned in very high good-to-excellent ratings. Overall U.S. corn condition was rated 64% good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from 65% the previous week and down 8 percentage points from this time last year (https://www.dtnpf.com/…). Farmers in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado and North Carolina, reported the best corn crops of any producers in the nation. Pennsylvania’s nation-leading good-to-excellent rating on corn in Monday’s report came in at 88% …

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Kip Tom: UN Direction Flawed

OMAHA (DTN) — Although Indiana farmer Kip Tom left his post in January as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, he is keeping tabs this week as the U.N. holds events while global agricultural leaders gather in Rome. The United Nations is holding a three-day “presummit” in preparation for a shorter U.N. Food Systems Summit set for this fall in New York. Under the Trump administration, Tom was effectively in charge of the U.S. policy toward the Food Systems Summit and challenged the direction of the EU Farm to Fork strategy to reduce the …

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Fraud Verdict Against Akaushi Assoc.

As the value of DNA and cattle lineage continues to increase throughout the beef industry, it’s notable that one of the world’s most widely recognized premium branded programs has just been hit with a $30 million verdict for what a jury saw as failure to deliver on some key promises to buyers. Last week a trial ended in a court in Fort Bend County, Texas, with some astounding findings. Twinwood Cattle Company had sued the American Akaushi Association (AAA), HeartBrand Holdings, and Ronald Beeman, chairman of the board of both entities, over DNA identifications for cattle bought through HeartBrand. A …

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AFBF President Talks Policy

WASHINGTON (DTN) — In his first in-person meeting with reporters since the beginning of the pandemic, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall on Thursday praised the Biden administration’s openness but said his Republican-leaning group vigorously opposes any change in the use of stepped-up basis for the valuation of farm estates. The Biden administration “has been very open to us,” Duvall said, giving Farm Bureau the opportunity to express its views on a variety of topics. “I think the pandemic helped this administration realize how important agriculture is to this country.” He said he was particularly appreciative of Environmental Protection …

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USDA Cattle on Feed Report/Cattle Inventory

Editor’s Note: This report was originally published at 14:10 p.m. CDT; It was last updated at 14:40 p.m. CDT. OMAHA (DTN) — Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million head on July 1, 2021. The inventory was 1% below July 1, 2020. The inventory included 6.98 million steers and steer calves, down 1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.32 million head, down 2% from 2020. Placements in feedlots …

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High Oleic Premium Opportunities Build

ANKENY, Iowa (DTN) — High-oleic soybean acres are expected to increase in the coming years to provide more farmers the chance to cash in on premium opportunities, which can be more than $2 per bushel. Demand is on the rise for the healthier cooking oil made from high oleic soybeans, according to representatives from Corteva Agriscience and Benson Hill, whose companies sell that oil. High oleic soybean oil also has expanding industrial uses, such as being used as a substitute for petroleum in motor oil, tires, asphalt and other products. Roger Theisen, marketing manager for Corteva’s Plenish high oleic soybeans, …

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USDA Cattle on Feed Report Preview

OMAHA (DTN) — Friday’s Cattle on Feed report isn’t expected to highlight any wild surprises, nor is it expected to greatly affect the market in any manner. The report’s biggest key findings could potentially be in the specific placement data. With drought continuing to plague cattlemen in the western half of the United States, the report could show that there’s been more lighter weight calves working their way into the feedlots than years past. This not only will affect how the marketing cycle works this year — meaning that the calf run in October could be far less than what …

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Washington Ranch Sale Hearing Delayed

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on July 20. It has been updated with new information at noon on July 21. LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — The final sale of Easterday Ranches Inc. in southeastern Washington to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church) likely will be completed by sometime in August. Attorneys for the ranch, owned by Mesa, Washington, rancher Cody Easterday, asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Washington to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Rabo AgriFinance LLC. A motion was filed Monday to delay …

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Herbicide Injury on the Rise

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Both the temperature and tempers are running hot this summer, as herbicide injury surfaces across the Midwest and South once again. Dicamba remains the primary source of complaints, although cases of 2,4-D injury are also being reported, state regulators told DTN. In October 2020, EPA granted new labels and five-year registrations to three dicamba herbicides — XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and Tavium (Syngenta) — for use over-the-top of Xtend and XtendFlex soybeans and cottonfields. The agency added some new rules, including national cutoff dates and use of new volatility reduction agents (VRAs) in the tank. Yet …

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Washington Ranch Sale Delayed

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — The sale of Easterday Ranches Inc. in southeastern Washington to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church) remains on hold maybe until this fall after a federal bankruptcy case was delayed a second time. Attorneys for the ranch, owned by Mesa, Washington, rancher Cody Easterday, asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Washington to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction against the Rabo AgriFinance LLC. A motion was filed on Monday to delay a hearing on that motion to Aug. 25. The motion was filed to …

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Biden Admin to Delay Late RFS Proposals

By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter, and Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor OMAHA (DTN) — The Biden administration reportedly will delay the release of already late Renewable Fuel Standard volume proposals because of political concerns, according to a Reuters report citing two unnamed sources. The biofuels puzzle continues to be as vexing for the Biden administration as it was for the Trump administration. The ethanol industry — which has been hit by a torrent of major court decisions that went against it, battles with the Trump administration over small-refinery exemptions and a loss of year-round E15 — was expecting …

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Enviros Sue on New Herbicide Approval

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Another herbicide is in the crosshairs of environmental groups and this time before it ever finds the field. EPA’s approval of a newly registered herbicide violates the Endangered Species Act and should be set aside, the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity allege in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In May the EPA granted unconditional approval to BASF’s trifludimoxazin, the active ingredient in the herbicide Tirexor. The product is designed for weed control in corn, soybeans and other crops including tree plantations. “Petitioners allege …

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Harnessing the Power of Ag Data

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Because many farmers find themselves flush with cash from the recent spikes in commodity prices, now may be the time for producers to make investments in ag-data technologies, the head of the National Corn Growers Association said during a webinar on Thursday. The idea of sharing data collected from yield monitors and other gizmos was considered a major privacy concern for farmers not that long ago. It still is on many farms. But this data’s potential to improve operations is beginning to outweigh those concerns. Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, said some …

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Harnessing Power of Agriculture Data

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Because many farmers find themselves flush with cash from the recent spikes in commodity prices, now may be the time for producers to make investments in ag-data technologies, the head of the National Corn Growers Association said during a webinar on Thursday. The idea of sharing data collected from yield monitors and other gizmos was considered a major privacy concern for farmers not that long ago. It still is on many farms. But this data’s potential to improve operations is beginning to outweigh those concerns. Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, said some …

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