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Friday, August 26, 2016

USDA to Measure Small Grain Production

(NASS) LOUISVILLE, Ky. - During the first two weeks of September, growers of small grains around the country will receive survey forms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The agency is taking a comprehensive look into the 2016 production and supply of small grains, which includes winter wheat for Kentucky.

"We will contact 1,271 producers in Kentucky to accurately measure 2016 acreage, yield and production for wheat," said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. "The data collected from this survey will also help set acreage and production estimates at the county level."

County-level estimates are used by other USDA agencies to set standards for insurance and risk protection programs many farmers rely on to protect their operations.

"Farm Service Agency (FSA) relies on the county-level estimates for Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC), Price Loss Coverage (PLC), County Loan Rates, and its disaster program calculations," Knopf said. "The Risk Management Agency (RMA) uses the data for administering the Area Risk Protection Insurance Plan, establishment of transitional yields, and determining when to make crop loss insurance payments. When drought and flooding impact crop production, or even in a year with good yields, these data are crucial to the agriculture industry."

NASS will contact Kentucky survey participants to gather information on their 2016 production and the quantities of winter wheat stored on-farm. As an alternative to mailing the survey back and to help save both time and money, growers will have the option to respond to the survey securely online. Farmers who have not responded by Aug. 30, may receive a phone call from a NASS representative who will help them fill out the survey form.

NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.

Survey results will be published in several reports, including the annual Small Grains Summary and the quarterly Grain Stocks report, both to be released Sept. 30. These and all NASS reports are available online For more information, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at 1-800-928-5277

2016 Kentucky State Fair Coming to an End

The 2016 Kentucky State Fair will come to an end this Sunday, August 28. Last week, we told you a few places you would be able to find KyCorn at State Fair this year. Let's take look at how the rest of the fair went. 

Those who stopped by the Teach Ky Ag booth in South Wing B had the opportunity to place a magnetic cut out of their county on the wall map of Kentucky and learn what their county contributes to Kentucky Agriculture. After the puzzle is complete, it reveals color-coordinated regions.

Also at this booth, you can complete an information scavenger hunt to learn different agriculture facts. All answers to the scavenger hunt can be found on the wall under the different categorized boards such as: Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Goat/Sheep, Poultry, Beef, Horse. 

Also, taking place this week was the 53rd Annual Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast. The event began in 1964, auctioning off the Grand Champion Ham to the highest bidder and giving the money to the Charity of their choice. This year the winning bidder was Central Bank coming in at $600,000. The proceeds from the winning bid will be donated to several charities and organizations including University of Kentucky Athletics, Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky, University of Kentucky Hospital, God's Pantry Food Bank, Sunrise Children's Services, and Kentucky Community and Technical College.

Before the auction started, while guests were finishing up their breakfast, guests were addressed by Governor Matt Bevin, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.  

KyCorn once again sponsored the Sale of Champions, which allows exhibitors to sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. You can see the 2016 Sale of Champions results here

If you are going to be at the State Fair this weekend, don't forget to stop by and see us at one of the various locations!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Calling all Photographers: Share Your Best Corn Pictures With NCGA

The National Corn Growers Association invites photographers of all skill levels to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the third annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. Even those who have already submitted can enter additional photos as participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2016.
Please make sure to submit the highest resolution version of each entry possible. The best submissions are featured in NCGA's major publications such as the Annual Report.

Entries will also be considered for prizes with cash awards for the top three entries in five categories including: Farm Family Lifestyle, Farming Challenges, Growing Field Corn, Scenery/Landscape and the Soil Health Partnership's new Conservation category. Additional first, second and third prizes will be awarded for the entries with the most "likes."
For more information on prizes and on these categories, click here.
It is important to note that the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is specifically geared toward photos of field corn and not sweet corn. 
While entries will only be accepted until November 30, 2016, entries may accumulate "likes" until December 31, 2016. Winners will be announced in January of 2017.
Register, upload your best farm photos and come back often to submit new entries. The first step is to click here.

2016 Wheat Yield Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2016 winners of UK Kentucky Wheat Production Contest. The top wheat yield in Kentucky, 123.01 bushels per acre, was achieved by Kyle Bugg in Graves County. The top no-till yield was 115.94 bushels per acre submitted by Fresh Start Farms, of Larue County.

State and Area winners will be recognized at the Kentucky Commodity Conference on January 19, 2017 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. View full report here

Come See KyCorn at State Fair!

It's that time of year again! The 2016 Kentucky State Fair began Thursday and is underway. When attending the state fair over the next week, there are many places you can visit KyCorn. 

KyCorn will be sponsoring the Sale of Champions, which allows exhibitors to sell their champion livestock to hometown and national supporters. The Sale of Champions encourages youth to be competitive with their livestock, as well as leads to improved genetics and more valuable animals in Kentucky. 

KyCorn will also have a presence in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture booth in the West Hall. We will have a hot rod 1965 Cobra that runs on E85 available for viewing. We encourage all attending to stop by and learn about ethanol.

KyCorn sponsors the Mobile Science Unit in addition to KY Ag & Environment in the Classroom. The Mobile Science Units are trailers with 10 interactive workstations for a classroom of students to conduct activities and investigations related to agriculture and the environment. You can tour a mobile science center in South Wing B. 

KyCorn will also have materials located at the Ky Ag and Environment in the Classroom display, KDA's grain inspection and Dairy booths. Don't forget to stop by The Great American Cookout Tent next to Broadbent Arena where KyCorn is partnered with Gallrein Farms to offer roasted sweet corn. 

"KyCorn is excited to be involved in so many areas of the State Fair this year," said Laura Knoth, KyCorn Executive Director. "The State Fair is a great time to educate the public and promote corn and all corn products."

Friday, August 12, 2016

Angling for Ethanol

(Brian Sowers- Outdoors Unlimited Magazine) On the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail, there's one thing every top angler has in common, and it sure isn't bait. It's fuel. In fact, 100 percent of our fishing champions use the same blend of 10 percent ethanol (E10) that powers nearly every car in the U.S. These competitors are tough. They take pride in having the best equipment possible. And not a single one has ever reported anything but satisfaction with ethanol-blended gasoline.

So lawmakers can be forgiven for their surprise when the oil industry claims that renewable fuels are a threat to small engines and boaters. The truth is that ethanol blends are ideal for watercraft, and companies like Kawasaki, Mercury Marine, OMC, Pleasurecraft, Tigershark, Tracker, Honda, and Yamaha all approve the use of E10 in their machines.

Record Crop, Record Ethanol Production Underscore Importance of Getting RFS Back on Track

(RFA) - America's farmers are poised to harvest a record corn crop this fall and achieve the highest yield per acre in U.S. history, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates released today. Meanwhile, the U.S. ethanol industry is on pace to produce a record amount of clean-burning renewable fuel, according to Department of Energy (DOE) projections released Tuesday. The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said the government reports highlight the importance of getting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) back on its statutory track in 2017.

As harvest ramps up in fields across the country, corn demand from the ethanol sector is ramping up as well. DOE projects 2016 ethanol production will average 980,000 barrels per day - or 15.1 billion gallons. The agency also is projecting record ethanol consumption of 14.3 billion gallons. 


Friday, August 5, 2016

COMMENTS NEEDED: EPA Disregards Science in Atrazine Report:

You can contact the EPA to voice concerns at

EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016. All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. must be registered by EPA and re-registered every 15 years. Ecological risk assessments are one step of that registration process. 

In the report, EPA recommends an aquatic life level of concern (LOC) be set at 3.4 parts per billion (ppb) on a 60-day average. EPA's current LOC for atrazine is 10 ppb; however, scientific evidence points to a safe aquatic life LOC at 25 ppb or greater. In drafting this assessment, EPA discounted several high-quality studies showing atrazine to be safe, relying instead on studies its own Science Advisory Panel deemed "flawed" in 2012. 

EPA is accepting public comments on the ecological assessment through October 4.

"I cannot stress enough how important it is for farmers to submit comments on this issue," said Laura Knoth, KyCorn Executive Director. "Atrazine is one of the safest and most effective crop management tools farmers have and is in almost 100 products at varying levels. It's also one of the most studied pesticides in on the market and more than 50 years' worth of data show it is safe."

Local Corn Grower Sees Market Stability Through NASS Surveys

(Lisa Ferguson- NASS) The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its findings June 30, from the June Agricultural Survey conducted in late May and early June. The survey queried nearly 2,600 farms across Kentucky to determine crop acreage for 2016.

Kentucky farmers planted an estimated 1.5 million acres of corn, up 100,000 acres from 2015. The U.S. corn planted for all purposes in 2016 was estimated at 94.1 million acres, up seven percent from last year. This represents the third highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944.

One of those 2,600 farms surveyed earlier this year in Kentucky was Michael Buckman's farm in Marion County. Buckman, 39, of Calvary, Kentucky, is a lifelong, many-generation corn and soybean farmer in central Kentucky. He bought his farm from his parents in 2011, and has been running it ever since with his wife, Megan.

"I've always been a farmer," Buckman said. "I've either worked for dad or run the farm my entire life. We can trace our family farming back to the Civil War right here in Calvary."

Despite the rainy start to planting and some early hotter-than-usual temperatures, Buckman expects a 1:1 plant to harvest ratio this year, which falls in line with his farm's historical averages. He always harvests all his acres, even in a drought year like 2012, because his insurance policy requires that he harvest even zero-yield acres. He'd much rather get paid for his crop contracts than insurance payouts, but realizes weather is one of the unknowns in farming.

Weather isn't the only uncertainty facing farmers, a fact Buckman knows well from serving as the treasurer for the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, on several district boards through the county extension office, and being involved in the Marion County Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Soybean Association. 

"Market instability is one of the biggest issues facing corn growers," Buckman said. "We just want a stable market to know what to (generally) expect each year. A young farmer can't get started, because he can't go out and secure funding with a market that so radically changes every year. That's where the growers associations really work to offset the market instability and make sure the export market and trade programs are available."

Buckman sees the importance of NASS survey data assessing yields and values in adding stability to a farmer's life and answers all those that come across his desk, sometimes answering over the phone instead of filling out the paper survey.

Click here to learn more about NASS surveys and corresponding data in Kentucky. To sign up to be counted in the Census and other surveys, visit Ag Counts