Nitrogen-fixing Cover Crop Considerations in Corn & Soybean Cropping Systems

Cover crops can offer multiple benefits to corn and soybean cropping systems, but they also introduce new management considerations and challenges.   Aaron Alexander, DuPont Pioneer Agronomist, discusses nitrogen-fixing cover crop considerations.  

As a long-term investment in your soil productivity, work with your soil agronomist to help select and manage the right cover crop for your farming  operation.

(Part 2 of 2)

Planting Winter Cover Crops in Corn & Soybeans

Cover crops can offer multiple benefits to corn and soybean cropping systems, but they also introduce new management considerations and challenges.   Aaron Alexander, DuPont Pioneer Agronomist, has more.

Cover crops are best viewed as a long-term investment in soil productivity.  The extensive fibrous root system produced by grass cover crops makes them well suited for stabilizing soil, scavenging N and building soil organic matter.   Begin by identifying the specific functions you want the cover crop to provide. The time and method of cover crop establishment should be tailored to the cover crop species, local environment and farming operation.

Many Agricultural University Extension Services have done significant work providing resources on cover crops like Cornell and University of Nebraska as well as DuPont Pioneer (

NRCS-USDA does have programs available. Work with your soil agronomist to help select and manage the right cover crop for your farming operation.

(Part 1 of 2)

EPA Raises 2017 Volume Requirements for Biofuels

The Environmental Protection Agency has made biofuels supporters thankful this holiday by raising its Renewable Fuels Standard volume requirements for 2017 above this year’s levels for all types of biofuels. Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen with his thoughts about the future of the biofuels industry over the next four years.   Gary Crawford, Sec’y Tom Vilsack and Bob Dinneen.  More

Improved EPA Final Rule for 2017 Renewable Fuel Standards

November 23, 2016, Washington, DC – Congressman Collin C. Peterson announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released improved volume obligations in the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule for 2017.

“Today, I am pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency has gotten the Renewable Fuel Standard  back on schedule and released more robust, final volume obligations for 2017,” Peterson said. “I have advocated continuously for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard and for EPA to match Congressional intent. This is an important step towards strengthening confidence in the biofuels industry and maintaining a strong rural economy.”

The real winners with this announcement are American consumers who will now have access to even more cleaner burning, advanced biofuel,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen. “These benefits extend far beyond the biodiesel industry, supporting high paying jobs and clean air across the nation. Though we are poised to top these numbers this year, growth in advanced biofuels still sends positive signals to the marketplace.”

The final rule increased the 2017 target for ethanol by 200 million gallons bringing it in line with the 15 billion gallon per year target in the RFS law, and also increased the target for advanced biofuels by 280 million gallons.

Under the new RFS rule, Biomass-Based Diesel standards would move to 2.1 billion gallons in 2018 up from 2 billion gallons in 2017. The Biomass-Based Diesel category – a diesel subset of the overall Advanced Biofuel category – is made up of biodiesel and renewable diesel, another diesel alternative made from the same feedstocks using a different technology.  Advanced Biofuels would move to 4.28 billion gallons in 2017 up from 3.61 billion gallons in 2016 with Biomass-Based Diesel continuing to fill a large portion of the Advanced Program.

Made from a diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement used in existing diesel engines. According to the EPA, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent compared with petroleum diesel, qualifying it as an Advanced Biofuel under the RFS.

“While the NBB applauds the increased volumes, there is room for more aggressive growth. The U.S. biodiesel industry can do more. The production capacity and feedstock are clearly available as the market is already topping these levels. We will work with the incoming Administration to help them understand the benefits provided by our growing domestic biodiesel industry and the potential to support additional jobs and investment in rural economies,” Rehagen said.

Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country and is currently supporting more than 47,000 jobs. With nearly 200 member companies, NBB is the leading U.S. trade association representing biodiesel and renewable diesel.

United Soybean Board Celebrates 25 years!

Congratulations to the United Soybean Board as it celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary of innovation, growth and sustainability.  Jared Hagert, soybean farmer from Emerado, North Dakota, leads the USB farmer-funded checkoff investment. The USB Chairman discusses soybean innovation beyond the bushel, creating and enhancing partnerships that increase value and preference for U.S. soybeans at home and abroad.  “The best use of checkoff funds is to invest in programs that provide value back to all U.S. soybean farmers,” Hagert says. “To maximize profit opportunities for our farmers, we need to look beyond the bushel and focus on our end users. USB works to create solutions to their customer needs…Meeting their needs will help to drive demand for our crop now and in the future.”

New CSP Acreage Enrollment Period Coming Up

USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program will enroll up to ten million acres beginning later this month.  Mark Rose of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service discusses the process to enroll lands under the Conservation Stewardship Program, with the latest enrollment period set to start in mid-November.

Record Supplies of Most Meats in 2017

This year will set a record for U.S. meat production, but that record won’t stand long if USDA’s forecasts for 2017 turn out to be accurate. Gary Crawford, Seth Meyer and Rob Johansson.

Feeding livestock and poultry should there be a disaster–Assuring proper nutrition and a consistent diet is key for herd and flock owners helping their animals deal with stress during and after a disaster. Rod Bain and Ely Walker.

Substantial Beef & Pork Production Boost Expected Next Year

With higher production levels beef cattle producers could face more price declines in the coming year.  And hog producers may need to do some belt tightening next year, if pork production climbs as much as predicted. Gary Crawford and Seth Meyer.

National Weather Outlook through Nov. 28

It’s Finally, Officially Here! – La Nina! What seemed obvious weather-wise to some has become official with a declaration of La Nina

The Path Of The First Major Fall Snowstorm-Where will the first significant snowfall of the season occur this week, and what kind of conditions will it bring?

USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey, has the national weather outlook for November 22nd through the 28th.