Bish Enterprises

Hemp is a superfood with a low-carbon footprint, and many uses. So why isn’t Australia embracing it?

While many are aware of hemp’s use in clothing and its nutritional benefits when added to foods like yogurt or smoothies, its reputation as a superfood capable of substituting for plastics positions it as an ideal crop for Australian agriculture. Despite its approval for consumption over half a decade ago, the Australian hemp industry is experiencing a downturn. Proponents of hemp highlight its resilience, rapid growth, and minimal water requirements, emphasizing its environmentally friendly nature. Globally, Canada leads in hemp production, exporting seeds, oils, and protein products, with China also playing a significant role. However, Australia’s hemp production is lagging, facing challenges in expansion. In 2020, the industry saw 500 growers cultivating 4,000 hectares, but this area decreased to 2,500 hectares within three years. The decline is attributed to an oversupply of seeds, natural disasters, and a scarcity of seeds suitable for planting. Regulatory hurdles, aimed at preventing illicit cannabis cultivation, further complicate production. John Muir, an agronomist, is enthusiastic about the potential of hemp, citing its rapid growth and versatile uses, from food to sustainable materials in industries such as automotive. He advocates for increased investment in processing facilities to transform hemp into a wide array of products. Educational initiatives are emerging, with schools incorporating hemp cultivation into agricultural programs, exposing students to the crop’s potential firsthand. Despite hemp seeds being cleared for consumption, devoid of the psychoactive THC found in marijuana, the industry faces bottlenecks, notably in processing capacity. In the Hunter Valley, grower Colin Steady’s trials across various hemp strains underscore the need for more processing solutions. National trials coordinated by AgriFutures Australia are exploring the adaptability of different hemp varieties across the country, with results varying by location. The trials aim to provide growers with informed recommendations on the best strains and planting times. As the industry awaits the outcomes of these trials, there is hope for tailored guidance to bolster the hemp sector in Australia, aligning with AgriFutures Australia’s commitment to supporting agricultural innovation.

Hemp seed in chicken feed? A potentially huge market for Minnesota growers may be opening

Hemp grows in a field in 2022 near Waconia, Minn. Hemp seed may soon be allowed in chicken feed, opening a potentially massive market that could boost the industry here. Egg cartons could soon boast a new green claim: hemp-fed hens. Regulators recently gave hemp seed meal initial approval as feed for egg-laying chickens, granting hemp farmers access to part of the $85 billion U.S. livestock feed market for the first time. More markets could engender greater confidence among Minnesota hemp farmers to plant additional acres, which the industry here needs for bigger scale and favorable prices. Several major players in animal nutrition, including Cargill and Land O’ Lakes, are based in Minnesota. Hemp remains a specialty crop grown on just a sliver of Minnesota farmland since 2016. While better known these days for being a source of CBD and THC, the plant has been used for food and fiber for millennia. Hemp seed is high in protein, fat and fiber and contains a complete amino acid profile. Studies show that meat and eggs can be enriched when coming from chickens fed hemp seed meal and that no hemp cannabinoids end up in human food. The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine vetted the ingredient and recommended the feed association approve its use in egg-laying chickens. “One application like this has a lot of positive impacts,” Hemp Acres founder Charlie Levine said. “We’re really stoked about it.” Waconia-based Hemp Acres, the nation’s largest wholesaler of hemp grain and fiber, expanded in 2022 anticipating higher demand for hemp products. The livestock feed market may be the key to unlocking that potential. “The whole goal is getting more acres planted and yields up, and that can drive down the price of consumable good,” Levine said. With the chance to sell to livestock feed producers and increasing consumer demand for regenerative agriculture, hemp advocates hope farmers will be more willing to regularly incorporate hemp in a crop rotation or grow some on spec. As it grows, hemp takes more carbon out of the atmosphere than trees. “It’s an opportunity for farmers to diversify with lower risk for supply chains to become more sustainable, and for the entire agricultural community to reap the benefits of this versatile crop,” said Andrew Bish, head of the Montana-based Hemp Feed Coalition. Last year Minnesota licensed a combined 223 hemp growers and processors, according to the state Department of Agriculture, and applications are still open to grow it this year. Applicants, licenses and acreage have all been declining in recent years even as hemp-derived THC products became legal in the state in 2022. An initial boom-and-bust cycle of growers looking to cash in on the CBD market several years ago cratered prices and made hemp unprofitable, especially given added regulations. “I think farmers in general would like to use it as a rotational crop, but they’re being cautious because they have a business to run,” said David Ladd, head of the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Association. “There has to be an end use market for it, and chicken feed is a step in the right direction.” The American Farm Bureau Federation added a new policy goal for 2024 that would lift a huge regulatory burden for many hemp growers: “removing background checks and mandatory THC testing for industrial hemp grown for grain, fiber or industrial seed production.” Hemp and marijuana are the same plant, except for laws that dictate hemp contain no more than 0.3% THC, the main intoxicating compound in cannabis. Regulators and lawmakers have long been worried about higher-THC cannabis slipping through hemp supply chains unchecked. But due to how differently hemp for food and fiber and hemp for marijuana are grown, “no one is growing marijuana in a field like that,” Strohfus said. Fewer regulations should help bring down the cost of hemp seed, giving it more viability for farmers and customers. Some incentives wouldn’t hurt either, said Strohfus, who also grows sunflowers, buckwheat, sorghum and kernza.

FDA agency gives go-ahead on definition of ‘hemp seed meal’ for laying hens

Hemp has moved one step closer to approval as a feed for laying hens after a key U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) agency signed off on a definition of “hemp seed meal” (HSM). The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine did not object to tentative wording approved by the Ingredient Definition Committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) last week. AAFCO is expected to adopt the final definition later this year. Hemp seed meal is a high-protein, high-fiber, and nutrient-rich byproduct of cold-pressing hemp seeds to extract hemp seed oil. ‘Historic milestone’ “This historic milestone has been more than three years in the making and will allow processors to formulate with HSM in the diets of laying hens as a source of protein and fat at an inclusion of no more than 20%,” the Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC), an industry group, said in response to the development. The Coalition has worked for several years to clear hemp seed meal as feed for laying hens and other farm animals, based on research that demonstrated that the eggs of such hens carry multiple nutritional benefits, are safe, and contain no THC or other cannabinoids. Hemp meal offers a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils, and shows increased value over typical feed sources, with significant improvement in egg quality, HFC said. Hemp-fed hens lay eggs enriched with essential fatty acids, and Lutein, a natural antioxidant, according to the Coalition. Assurance for formulators Validation by FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine provides formulators and feed mills assurance that hemp seed meal is safe, and that any potential cannabinoid contaminants do not transfer over to human food products. The advancement of hemp meal means advocates have overcome earlier pushback from animal feed, nutrition and veterinarian interests who had warned agricultural leaders and policymakers about potential health risks. “Hemp’s integration into animal feed is a catalyst for agricultural advancement. It’s an opportunity for farmers to diversify with lower risk for supply chains to become more sustainable, and for the entire agricultural community to reap the benefits of this versatile crop,” said Andrew Bish, President of the Hemp Feed Coalition. Texas agriculture officials last year approved hempseed-derived feed for chickens and horses, and authorized the state feed agency to set regulations for such products.

CASE IH SETS BAR IN UNPARALLELED HARVEST PRODUCTIVITY WITH NEW AF SERIES COMBINES

Case IH revolutionized combine technology with the launch of the Axial-Flow, and now they are set to do it again with the completely reimagined new combine family, the AF Series: Case IH’s biggest combine ever produced. The new series will deliver on today’s grower’s need for capacity, speed, precision technology, and simplicity to make up for skilled labour shortages and an ever-present need to deliver more efficient harvests. “Farmers depend on being able to manage harvest as efficiently as possible and we’ve upped our game with this next series,” said Global Product Leader for Harvesting, Bill Weber, Case IH. “Case IH is the only manufacturer in the industry to offer a six-module single rotor with up to 775 horsepower (578 kW). We’re also setting the bar with industry-leading cleaning system capacity and grain tank size. Our AF series provides next evolution in technology and unmatched throughput, ultimately improving productivity for the farmers we serve.” The AF series will boast industry-leading capacity allowing farmers to cover more hectares in less time. The combination of efficient power, increased throughput and larger cleaning and grain handling systems will maximize crop flow throughout the machine. Highlights include: “This AF series has the ability to streamline operations and increase a grower’s profitability,” added Weber. “Not only are we delivering on the superior grain quality and grain savings the growers have come to expect from Case IH, we’re helping farmers optimise harvest by minimising harvest labour expenses and decreasing the amount of time spent in the field.” Part of the AF series’ optimisation comes to life through a suite of integrated technology, which makes operating the AF series combine more intuitive and efficient. Greater control and consistency in harvest are found through tailored visibility in the dual Pro1200 displays, real-time machine automation through Harvest Command and remote diagnostics and fleet logistics through AFS Connect. “The technology and intuitive nature of the AF series matches the simplicity that Case IH combines are known for,” said Weber. “You’ll see simplicity covered in how easy it is to clear blockages by reversing the rotor and feeder from the cab to easy maintenance covered through easier access to service points.” The new AF series combines from Case IH couple the world’s largest capacity with industry leading technology to deliver a combine series that is unprecedented. Details on the commercial release AF series combines will be announced in 2024.

Nebraska company designs 27-row folding corn header

October 26th, 2023 | Bryce Doeschot Bish Enterprises has unveiled what they call the world’s largest folding corn header, sporting a 27-row, 20-inch configuration. The colossal corn header features a 45-foot in-field cutting width, which folds down to 30 feet, making it maneuverable and transport-friendly. “Our latest addition transcends mere machinery,” said Andrew Bish, chief operating officer of Bish Enterprises. “It represents our unwavering commitment to continuously empower the farming community with top-tier tools, equipping them to meet the challenges and opportunities of modern farming.” Key Performance Highlights: In a news release, Bish Enterprises expressed their appreciation for the dedicated and talented Bish Team members, local farming families, and collaborators who played roles in the success of the project.

Giltner company builds 45-ft. folding corn header

By Ron Burtz on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 Bish Enterprises builds 27-row header for JD X9 combine Think of a standard 48-foot semi trailer moving sideways through a corn field and you’ll have some idea of the massive size of the new corn header created recently by Bish Enterprises near Giltner.  Over the last two years, the 40-year-old ag equipment manufacturer has worked with a client in northeastern South Dakota to build what it is calling the world’s largest folding corn header. The header…

Bish Enterprises Unveils World’s Largest Folding Corn Header, Set to Revolutionize the 2023 Harvest Season

October 12, 2023 08:00 PM AEDT | By EIN Presswire Bish Enterprises introduces a game-changing 27-row, 20″ folding corn header, setting new standards for the 2023 harvest season. GILTNER, NEBRASKA, UNITED STATES, October 12, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Bish Enterprises, a trailblazer in agricultural innovation for over four decades, has marked another milestone by successfully delivering the world’s most expansive folding corn header, a 27 row 20″ marvel. Designed to meet the evolving demands of modern agriculture, this header promises to redefine efficiency standards for the upcoming 2023 harvest season. Boasting a 45-foot in-field cutting width (reducing to 30’ when folded) and weighing over 8 tons, this equipment seamlessly combines efficiency, versatility, and durability. Andrew Bish, COO of Bish Enterprises, expressed, “Our newest addition goes beyond machinery. It is our promise to consistently empower the farming community with top-tier tools, ensuring they are equipped to face the challenges and opportunities of modern farming.” Brad Bish, the Owner and CEO, reflected on the company’s journey, stating, “Each product from Bish is a testament to our family’s unwavering dedication to agriculture. This header, in particular, stands as a beacon of our commitment to innovation and the farming community.” Key Performance Highlights:• At a steady pace of 5 mph, the header showcases its prowess by harvesting approximately 6,148 bushels per hour in fields yielding 225 bushels per acre.• Accelerating to 6 mph, its efficiency peaks at around 7,357 bushels per hour. The proud owner of this state-of-the-art header can look forward to a transformative 2023 harvest season, leveraging its unmatched productivity. Bish Enterprises wishes to extend its profound appreciation to the dedicated and talented Bish Team members, local farming families, and collaborators who were instrumental in this project’s success. The invaluable contributions of the Hoelk, Hunnicutt, and Humphrey families, coupled with the support from Bish Team members and the local AKRS team, have been pivotal. For those keen to explore more about Bish Enterprises and their array of groundbreaking agricultural solutions, please visit www.bishenterprise.com. Jacob BishBish Enterprises Inc+1 402-849-2674email@bishcom.comVisit us on social media:FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramYouTube 

Sorghum demand looks strong headed into harvest

Sorghum Focus: USDA projects a robust harvest of 393 million bushels of sorghum. John Duff September 19, 2023 3 Min Read SOLID HARVEST: USDA projects an impressive harvest of 393 million bushels of sorghum, and the industry demand will have a home for it, according to John Duff.JOSHUA DOWNS/GETTY The winds of fortune are blowing much stronger for sorghum farmers, as the historic drought of last season gave way to an abundant and promising year in 2023. No one will forget the 2022 harvest, which was the worst since the 1940s, and the dismal national yield that followed — the worst since hybrids were fully adopted in the early 1960s. However, 2023 paints a different and much brighter picture. At present, the USDA projects an impressive harvest of 393 million bushels of sorghum, eclipsing 2022’s 188 million bushels by a two-to-one margin. While recurring heat and drought have taken the prospect of a record sorghum crop off the table, 2023 will undoubtedly be an order of magnitude better for sorghum farmers. One of the brightest spots in this resurgent year is China’s renewed involvement. That country has already committed to purchasing almost 47 million bushels of the new crop sorghum set to be harvested this fall. Its demand is a refreshing sign and marks a return to a semblance of normality, which has been elusive for almost half a decade now. The sorghum industry had only just begun recovering from the 2018 trade war when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and we had only just begun to crawl out of quarantine when drought strangled supply. Think about that. It’s been five years since things were normal. New market leads So as the world begins its pivot towards healing, so too does the demand for sorghum — but not just from China. The Sorghum Checkoff marketing team has been aggressively working leads from Europe to Asia. Japan has also committed to purchasing new-crop sorghum, and while the amount isn’t noteworthy, the fact that two international customers have already committed to buying bushels of crop that hasn’t been harvested yet is noteworthy. The burgeoning interest is heartening — providing not only economic relief, but also a diversified portfolio of demand.  And lest anyone think all the U.S. sorghum industry’s proverbial eggs are in one basket, a quick look at the fuel industry press reveals ethanol — the foundation of domestic demand for sorghum — remains robust. U.S. ethanol plants, especially those here in the sorghum belt, are in a period of economic vitality. The trials of the pandemic forced these plants to diversify their revenue streams, and today, with the cascade of news spotlighting opportunities for low-carbon ethanol, the sentiment in the ethanol sector is more bullish than ever. A large amount of sorghum ethanol finds its way into a low-carbon-fuel market, where sorghum often boasts a competitive edge. This advantage has fueled interest in sorghum from ethanol plants, a development that’s especially critical in an era where every bit of new demand matters.  A lot to be thankful for As we stand on the edge of another harvest, there’s a lot to be thankful for. The landscape is one of abundant harvests — or at least a more abundant harvest than last year — and eager buyers, both domestic and international. After the trials of the last few years, 2023 is set to be a beacon. The future of U.S. agriculture is bright, and the future of sorghum is even brighter. Duff is founder of Serō Ag Strategies and serves as a consultant to National Sorghum Producers. He can be reached by email at john@sorghumgrowers.com or on Twitter @sorghumduff.

The Farm Bill Expired. What Happens Now?

OCT 02, 2023 Lena Beck Congress did not pass this critical omnibus bill by the September 30th deadline. Here’s what to expect. Photography by Shutterstock Remind me—what is the farm bill again? The US Farm Bill is a package of legislation that gets passed approximately every five years, and it more or less shapes the landscape of American agriculture. There have been 18 iterations of this legislation. A lot of important items are rolled into it: crop subsidies, crop insurance, nutrition assistance, conservation programs and much more. The legislation affects farmers, of course, but also every person in the country who eats and buys food, whether you realize it or not. This means that when a farm bill is delayed long enough, everyone may feel the effects in some way. For a more thorough explanation of what the farm bill is, see our breakdown here. What was the September 30th deadline? Why didn’t Congress meet it? Our last farm bill was passed in 2018, so we’re due for our five-year refresh. In preparation for creating a farm bill that will last until 2028, relevant committees in the House and the Senate both draft versions of the bill, then debate and rewrite until the bills pass in both chambers. Then the bills are combined and must be passed by both the House and Senate before being sent to the president. But there have been a few key issues this time around that have held up the process.  Republican-proposed cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) prompted House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott to say in a press release, “I urge my Republican colleagues to proceed with caution. If they want to pass a farm bill that supports America’s farmers and families, they need to keep their hands off SNAP.” Lack of consensus about how to handle the farmer “safety net,” which includes crop subsidies, as well as how to allocate funds within budget constraints have also been notable issues. To learn about other priorities from US groups for this farm bill, read our recap here.  Do farm bill-related programs stop now that the bill hasn’t been re-authorized? It’s complicated. The stakes are higher for certain programs.  For programs with mandatory funding from the farm bill, operations cease after the funding expires. Programs that get their funding through government appropriations (how the federal government decides to spend money), such as SNAP and federal crop insurance, can continue on without a current farm bill. There are also some programs that get amended and changed with each farm bill that, without reauthorization, would revert back to the law that introduced the program. Unfortunately, many of those laws are extremely outdated and wouldn’t work effectively in the present day.  Here’s what can happen to some of these programs now that the farm bill has expired: There are many other programs that depend on the farm bill for funding or authorization, and those will cease until the bill is reauthorized. These include USDA programs supporting organic farmers, farm-to-food bank assistance and some agricultural research. Read about how some of these programs were affected when the farm bill was delayed in 2018. Is the narrowly avoided government shutdown a factor? Yes. Congress just barely passed a continuing resolution on Saturday in time to dodge a government shutdown. If this stopgap hadn’t passed, the shutdown would have had an immense impact on programs funded by appropriations, such as nutrition assistance.  Fortunately, this temporary extension gives Congress 45 extra days to sort out the 12 appropriations bills that keep the country going. That means the next few months should contain big developments for government spending as well as the farm bill. Has the farm bill been delayed before? Yes. “It typically does take more than one Congress in one year to get a farm bill done,” said Jonathan Coppess, director of the Gardner Agriculture Policy Program, in the webinar. “So, if in fact we get into extension territory or this drags out past 2023, we are not in an anomalous situation.” According to Coppess, the longest process was for the farm bill that was passed in 2014. Discussions began in 2011, and it was supposed to be reauthorized in 2012. “The 2018 farm bill is actually the only one in recent history that has been reauthorized within the year of the expiration,” said Coppess. What happens now?  Congress has until December to get it together to avoid dairy price hikes in January. “It puts a lot of pressure on us to not reauthorize right now but by the end of the year and either finish a conferenced farm bill, which will be really tight at this point in time, or to do a short-term CR [continuing resolution],” said Pliscott. Continuing to avoid a government shutdown will also be critical. “These farm bills, they’re the biggest give and take in the ag community that we have to deal with,” said Regents Fellow, extension economist and professor at Texas A&M University Joe Outlaw in the webinar. “We’ve done this 90-plus years, and they’ve never been easy.”