Tag Archives: Nebraska

During the month of October, the Nebraska Corn Board hosted two trade missions which consisted of major U.S. corn buyers from Mexico and Saudi Arabia. The trade teams met with Nebraska farmers, suppliers and exporters of corn and corn co-products to better understand U.S. corn production, marketing and exporting logistics. The visits were coordinated in collaboration with the U.S. Grains Council, which works to develop export markets for U.S. agricultural products, such as corn, distiller’s dried grains with soluables (DDGS) and ethanol.

“American farmers have sustainably been growing quality agricultural products for generations,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “With 95 percent of the world’s population living outside of the United States, we must develop and maintain positive trade agreements with our global customers. By inviting these customers to the U.S., we’re able to help them understand our supply chain, so they’ll feel more confident doing business with American farmers. This undeniably has an economic value to our state and our country, but we’re also helping provide feed, fuel and fiber to the world.”

While in Nebraska, the Mexican grain buyers met with local corn farmers, Aurora Cooperative and Gavilon to better understand the U.S. value chain of white corn to Mexico from harvest to shipping. Nebraska is the largest white corn producing state in the country, and Mexico has historically been the largest importer of U.S. white corn. From Nebraska, the group further explored the American white corn industry through stops in Missouri and Kentucky.

Both trade missions, from Mexico and Saudi Arabia, represented only two of 21 international teams that were in the U.S. in October. The 21 teams consisted of more than 200 grain buyers who participated In Export Exchange, a bi-yearly event sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy. This year’s Export Exchange took place Oct. 22 through Oct. 24 in Minneapolis. The purpose of the event was to connect global grain buyers to over 300 domestic suppliers.

While the Mexican team visited Nebraska to learn about the white corn supply chain prior to Export Exchange, the grain buyers from Saudi Arabia came to Nebraska after the event concluded.

Saudi Arabia is the eighth largest overseas importer of U.S. corn, importing 3.7 million metric tons in market year 2017/2018, and is the second largest buyer of U.S. sorghum, importing 280 thousand metric tons during the 2017/2018 market year. The imported commodities are frequently used in dairies, feed and poultry companies.

While in Nebraska, the Saudi Arabian team visited the farms of Steve Wellman, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and Don Bloss, past chairman of the National Sorghum Producers. As major feed grain buyers, this team wanted to better familiarize themselves with U.S. corn and sorghum production. In addition to visiting Nebraska corn and sorghum farms, they visited Farmers’ Cooperative in Beatrice, the Aurora Cooperative corporate office and Pacific Ethanol, both in Aurora, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“We really had several great conversations with both teams over the last several weeks,” said Roger Berry, director of market development with the Nebraska Corn Board. “Our governments may not always see eye-to-eye, but these customers are so eager to learn more about U.S. agriculture. They want to be partners with American farmers in helping to meet the growing demands of their people, which is a major reason we host these trade teams. We have products to sell and we want to be able to show the world that U.S. agriculture is open for business.”

The Nebraska Corn Board partnered with the U.S. Grains Council to coordinate the missions. The U.S. Grains Council works in more than 50 countries and the European Union to market U.S. grains and their related products to build long-term demand from loyal customers. This work is also supported by funding from the USDA through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in the U.S. farm bill.

Delegates to Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention will discuss and form policy positions on several key issues that affect the well-being of Nebraska farm and ranch families. Farmers and ranchers will gather Dec. 2-4 at Kearney’s Younes Convention Center to establish policy for the organization on state issues and recommend policy on national matters to the American Farm Bureau, which holds its national meeting in January.

“Our annual meeting is about serving members, and our policy development process is critical to bringing together the collective voice of our members to help shape the public policies that directly affect the livelihood and our ability to raise food for a growing population,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

Among the key issues for discussion at the convention will be the state of the ag economy, trade, tax reform, food technology, and rural broadband.

“Net farm income in Nebraska has fallen substantially in recent years and income for 2018 looks like it will at best remain steady to lower. Delegates will discuss policy regarding profitability in agriculture from a state and national perspective,” said Nelson.

We have been tackling the issue of property tax reform on the delegate floor and this year will be no exception.

“Property tax relief and reform is still high on the minds of our members, and our delegates will further discuss what they would like to see done in that area,” said Nelson.

Delegates will also consider resolutions targeting the labeling of synthetic meat and who should regulate the process United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), Federal Drug Administration (FDA) or both.

“Nebraska is a beef state and our delegates will consider a number of resolutions that examine the labeling of synthetic meat products. While our members aren’t necessarily interested in banning these products, they are worried about consumer confusion and want to ensure the good-will bought and paid for with producer dollars via checkoff programs, isn’t harmed by this new technology. It should be a very good discussion on the delegate floor,” Nelson said.

Other issues for deliberation by delegates include topics such as private property rights and nuisance laws, the use of blockchain technology in agriculture as well as discussion surrounding the use of data to monitor and verify the source and origin of commodities and food from the farm through the processors, shippers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, among other topics.

Outside of action on agriculture policy, attendees to the Annual Convention will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions designed to help farm and ranch families address operational needs. Sessions will be held to help attendees with issues surrounding the transfer of the farm or ranch from one generation to the next, gain insight on trade deals, and the impact the next farm bill will have on the agriculture economy.

“The Nebraska Farm Bureau was established many years ago to help Nebraska’s farm and ranch families deal with challenging issues, while the times and issues may have changed, our mission has not,” Nelson said.

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention will also serve as the backdrop for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Grower’s Gala event Dec. 3.

“Annual Convention will highlight the Grower’s Gala fundraiser, and there is no better place to capture what the Foundation is doing to broaden their reach and provide high quality agricultural literacy programming across the state. We welcome their insight on how to continue the excitement of an industry that provides necessities, quality of life, and exciting career opportunities. The future in Nebraska is bright because of our Foundation,” Nelson said.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Three farmers have agreed to plead guilty to fraudulently marketing non-organic corn and soybeans as certified organic as part of a lengthy, multi-million-dollar scheme.

Documents filed in federal court in Iowa show that Tom Brennan, James Brennan and Michael Potter each intend to plead guilty to wire fraud.

All three are identified in court papers as farmers from Nebraska, but additional information about them wasn’t immediately available. Their attorneys didn’t immediately reply to phone messages.

Prosecutors allege that the three sold non-organic grains to an Iowa company that marketed them nationwide with an organic label. In particular, they allegedly used unapproved substances such as pesticides and nitrogen to grow the crops.

The scheme allegedly lasted from 2010 until 2017 and netted at least $10.8 million.