Red River Farm Network News
Correction--Huskie Complete Has HPPD Chemistry — As growers prepare for spring, weed control must be considered. Bayer CropScience marketing manager Jason Manz says Huskie Complete offers control of grasses and broadleaves. “With the influx of corn coming into the market, soybeans, sugarbeets and wheat, they need to be able to look at what mode of action they can be using out there and how they can steward those modes of action.” Manz says Huskie Complete is also the only product on the market with the HPPD chemistry, which will deal with the resistance issue.
SD House Passes Animal Cruelty Bill — The South Dakota House has passed a bill that would create a felony animal cruelty bill in that state. Senate Bill 46 now goes to Governor Dennis Daugaard for his signature. Similar bills have failed in past years in South Dakota, but this year's bill was written with input from the state’s livestock producers and animal welfare groups. The measure would make it a felony to commit malicious, intentional acts of abuse that cause prolonged pain, serious physical injury or death of an animal.
Responsible Ag Formed — The Fertilizer Institute and the Agricultural Retailers Association have announced plans to create an independent, not-for-profit organization called Responsible Ag. Responsible Ag is designed to support fertilizer retailers’ compliance with federal fertilizer safety and security regulations.
Canada Pulls Duracade — Syngenta’s Agrisure Duracade trait is being pulled from the market in Canada. Any seed containing this trait should be returned to the retailer. While this move was made north of the border, the Duracade trait will be sold in the US. Syngenta has developed a ‘Right to Grow’ program with the Gavilon Company. With this effort, the corn will be directed to domestic markets. The biotech corn trait has not been approved by China or the European Union.
ND Tightens Swine Requirements — North Dakota has tightened its requirements on imports and intrastate movement of swine. State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller says all swine entering the state, except those for immediate slaughter, must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection and all swine imported into North Dakota for breeding or feeder purposes must be officially and individually identified. Keller says the discovery of a single case of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the state, concerns from the industry and the upcoming show season led the State Board of Animal Health to strengthen the existing requirements and put the new rules in place. A link to the requirements is available on the NDDA website.
#1 Pest for Soybean Growers — Soybean Cyst Nematode has been a problem for soybean growers in the Corn Belt for years and continues to migrate north and west. Syngenta technical product lead for corn and soybean seed treatments Dale Ireland says soybean cyst nematode is the number one pest for soybean growers. “Looking at all the different pathological pests of soybeans, you can take the next five pests and it doesn’t even equal the amount of losses from soybean cyst nematode on an annual basis.” Ireland says once you have soybean cyst nematode in a field, all you can do is manage it. “We recommend rotating beans with non-host soybean crops and a nematicide seed treatment such as Clariva Complete. It has three fungicides, soybean insecticide Cruiser and our new nematicide Clariva PN.”
Crop Production Report Bodes Well for Wheat — USDA did not make any changes to the wheat crop in Monday Crop Production report. Randy Martinson with Progressive Ag says the main wheat numbers may not have changed, but hard, red spring wheat exports increased. “We saw a switching from soft red into hard, red spring. That’s friendly for our wheat up here. Now we’re looking at exports for hard, spring coming in close to 250 million bushels. Soft red is going to decrease down to 290 million bushels. That again, is better for our spring wheat market. With the weather we’re dealing with, there could be some concerns with needing to get more spring wheat. It all bodes well for wheat.”
Reports Reflect Need to be Agressive in Care of Rural America — In a speech to the National Farmers Union annual convention Monday morning, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said two recent reports put the fine point on the need for USDA to be aggressive in its care and commitment of rural America. “Preliminary information from the Ag Census issued last month suggests we have fewer farms in this country. We’ve seen an increase in larger sized operations and a resurgence of very small operations, but a shrinking middle. The Rural Economy at a Glance report points out that despite the fact that our country has expanded job opportunities in 48 consecutive months, there have been very few net job gains in rural America. Incomes in rural America are significantly below those of our urban and suburban friends even though the average farm family has a higher median income.”
E15 Best Way to Get Past the Blend Wall — During the National Farmers Union’s 112th Annual Convention in Santa Fe, Farmers Union presented a check for almost $197,000 to Feeding America. Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson sees three issues Farmers Union will be dealing with within the next two years: country of origin labeling, trade, and the Renewable Fuel Standard. Peterson thinks the best way to get past the blend wall is with E15. “That is going to provide for some tremendous investments, some tremendous home-grown economies. That’s jobs in rural Minnesota. There are some real benefits environmentally, air quality, conservation, those kinds of things. When we start moving into the second generation of biofuels, which has basically been squashed by the big oil companies, we need them to clean up what we have. Stuff that we throw away can be turned into gas and used by consumers and it’s going to be cleaner.” RRFN’s coverage from the NFU convention is sponsored in part by Minnesota Farmers Union.
Dicamba Supply Tight Again — For the second consecutive year, dicamba supplies are expected to be tight. Extension specialists in Illinois and Tennessee are saying retailers may be forced to limit grower purchases of dicamba herbicides. The issue is blamed on the expansion of weed resistance nationwide.
Bayer Buys Biagro — BayerCropScience has an agreement to purchase an Argentine producer of seed treatment products. The Biagro Group has facilities in Argentina and Brazil. This transaction still requires regulatory approval in Argentina.
NAFB Scholarships Available — The National Association of Farm Broadcasting Foundation is offering three, $5000 college scholarships: the Glenn Kummerow Memorial Scholarship, the George Logan Scholarship and the Orion Samuelson Scholarship. Applicants must be a college junior, senior or grad student and must be enrolled in - or transferring to - an agricultural communications curriculum with concentration or application in broadcast media. For more information and to apply, go to www.nafbfoundation.com.
SFP Expands Team — SFP has added a branded dealer manager to its team to provide marketing support for dealers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, and Nebraska. Klaire Madden will take that position. Madden has been a sales representative for Row Crop Solutions. SFP has also hired a new regional sales manager for Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and western South Dakota, Nate Fairbanks. Fairbanks previously worked for Central Montana Co-op.
Johnson Reelected NFU President — The National Farmers Union has reelected Roger Johnson as its president. The former North Dakota agriculture commissioner did not face any opposition. Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske was elected vice president. Teske succeeds Claudia Svarstad from Minnesota, who did not seek reelection.
Boerm to Lead ADM Grain Group — Archer Daniels Midland has appointed Chris Boerm as president of its grain division. Boerm will oversee ADM's US and export grain business, grain merchandising and destination marketing. Boerm has been with ADM since 1991, most recently as the grain vice president.
Davis Honored for Meritorious Service — The National Farmers Union has presented its Meritorious Service Award to Don Davis of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Davis recently retired as the CEO of Farmers Union Industries. The core business for Farmers Union Industries is its rendering company, Central Bi Products. The company also features a metal fabricating business, a restaurant grease recycling business and a pet food division.
Fick to Receive NSA Honor — Gerhardt Fick has been named the National Sunflower Association Gold Award winner. Fick was a USDA research geneticist in Fargo from 1971 to 1977 and is recognized as a key individual in the release of the first sunflower hybrids in the US. Fick later went on to a career as a commercial sunflower breeder at SIGCO Research and Seeds 2000. Fick will be honored at the NSA Summer Seminar in late June.
MN Livestock Breeders HOF — The Minnesota Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame will induct five new honorees this month. University of Minnesota professor emeritus Mel Fahning will be recognized for his work in the area of cattle reproduction and embryo transfer. Beef cattle breeder Jerry Wulf of Hancock, dairy farmers Matt and Pam Hendel of Calendonia and swine breeders Jim, Chris and Dean Compart of Nicollet will be honored. In addition, longtime 4-H livestock coach and volunteer Jim Nesseth of Lakefield will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The award ceremony will be held March 20th at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus.
Replacing Direct Payments — During a panel discussion at the National Farmers Union annual convention in Santa Fe, Senate Agriculture Committee chief economist Joe Schultz said one reason it took so long to finish the farm bill was because of the move away from direct payments. “The majority of our time, we discussed what it means to replace direct payments with a more responsible risk management program. I think we found something that’s going to work for all parts of the country. It allows producers to tailor their risk management choices to their own farms and most importantly, it’s defensible.”
Defending COOL — The farm bill continues to get attention wherever farmers meet, and the National Farmers Union Convention in Santa Fe was no exception. During his speech to the general assembly, president Roger said the NFU was able to keep Country of Origin Labeling in the farm bill, turned back attempts to gut GIPSA, and got money for renewable energy. Johnson said, the fight over COOL is not over. “I think we will face continued challenges with every single legislative vehicle that is a potential opportunity to add a piece of language to, someone’s going to try to stick on top of a bill, some provision that guts the COOL statute.” Johnson says NFU has already invested over $250,000 to defend COOL and will continue to do so. RRFN's coverage from the National Farmers Union Convention is sponsored in part by the Minnesota Farmers Union.
NFU Delegate Session to Review Numerous Issues — South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke expects a good discussion Tuesday when National Farmers Union delegates establish policy for the coming year. “Looking at what the policy committee has changed, I think it’s going to be very good. I heard there are some things coming out addressing issues from HSUS, which of course is always a ‘red flag’ for several of us, but, we have to be willing to work and do the right things as well.” RRFN's reports from the National Farmers Union Convention are sponsored in part by the South Dakota Farmers Union. See pictures from the NFU Convention on RRFN's Facebook page.
Logistical Issues Expected for Spring Inputs — All winter, RRFN has reported on the problems associated with shipping grain, sugar and flour out of the Northern Plains. As spring approaches, the question centers on if the rail delays will impact movement of fertilizer and other inputs coming into the region. At the end of the day, CHS Ag Services general manager Gary Halvorson says logistics are going to be in play for all ag retailers. “Just like they are on the outbound, the inbound traffic is coupled with the same issues. We’re lucky we have a large network through CHS so we have a lot of eyes on that ball trying to make sure we’re there for the producer in-season.”
Dry Conditions Hurting Australian Wheat — The Australian Grain Harvesters Association had a small delegation at the US Custom Harvesters Convention. AGHA President Brett Vang said Australia is facing significant crop stress. “We’ve experienced dry conditions to the extreme similar to what you guys have experienced with your winter wheat conditions. It’s continuing on and lingering on longer than normal. Our eastern seaboard is hit heavily, it’s fairly severe. The western side isn’t so bad.”
Maximizing Yield Potential — Three-hundred bushel corn and 85 bushel soybean yields are attainable. University of Illinois professor Dr. Fred Below made that point at the CHS Ag Services Ag Industry Day in Grand Forks. “What the national yield contest winners show is that we’re not even remotely approaching the yield potential we have in today’s genetics.” Below said hybrid selection is one of the most important decisions corn growers make. A plant population of 32,000 plants per acre is recommended. For soybeans, Below says nobody is adequately fertilizing. “I think the fact that soybeans get some of its nitrogen from its nodules makes us think that the crop doesn’t need fertilizer. Nothing could be further from the truth." Hear RRFN's conversation with Below on RRFN's website. See pictures from the day on RRFN's Facebook page.
Soybean Update — To hear this past week's edition of the Minnesota Soybean Update, click on http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/030614%20MN%20Soybean%20Update%20Mar%203.mp3.
More Alfalfa Acres Needed — For dairy farmers, it can be a struggle to source good quality hay. University of Wisconsin-Madison dairy nutritionist Randy Shaver says alfalfa acreage declined when corn and soybean prices peaked. “So many acres flew into corn and soybeans that hay stocks have been down," said Shaver, "We’ve had that drought in the western states that’s continuing in California. We really need more hay acres; guys are really pushing the upper limits on corn silage.” During this time of high milk prices, Shaver is encouraging dairy farmers to take a fresh look at their rations. Shaver spoke at the US Custom Harvesters Convention this past week.
Corn Matters — The Minnesota Corn Growers Association presents a weekly update on the Red River Farm Network. This broadcast can be found at http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/030514%20MN%20Corn%20Matters%20Reese.mp3.
Custom Harvesters Face Regulatory Burden — A demanding regulatory environment seems to permeate the entire custom harvesting business. US Custom Harvesters President Kent Braathen, Grand Forks, North Dakota, says just like farming, custom cutters are constantly faced with new regulations. “Whether it’s DOT (Department of Transportation) or DOL (Department of Labor), they’re constantly coming up with more and more regulations and making it more difficult to be a small business owner in this country.” As an example, custom harvesters must secure a hazardous materials endorsement if transporting more than 119 gallons of diesel fuel. These regulations have not kept pace with the size of modern day equipment.
Labor is Agriculture's Biggest Limiting Factor — The US Custom Harvesters group has made labor reform its top priority, saying it is a matter of food security. “I would much rather import my work force than my food," said USCHI vice president Jon Orr. The National Council of Agricultural Employers executive vice president Frank Gasperini spoke at the USCHI convention Friday, saying labor is the single biggest limiting factor for agriculture. A bill has passed in the Senate, but the House is taking a different path, choosing to do immigration reform in four or five separate pieces. “The Republicans have suddenly retrenched. They have primaries. We’re hoping that after those primaries are over, we’ll have a chance to sit down and talk. If we don’t, I think the outlook’s pretty grim through 2015 because we have to start the Senate process all over.”
Harvesters Face Big Jump in Labor Cost — Profits for custom harvesters moderated this past year. Kansas State University professor emeritus Terry Kastens has updated the annual Custom Harvester Analysis and Management Program. On the expense side, Kastens said equipment, fuel and labor costs all increased. “The biggest jump we saw was in labor, which actually surprised us. Maybe the overall broader US economy has reduced the labor pool that’s available or maybe it’s the fact that custom cutters have been making a lot of money the last few years and are now deciding to bump up wages. I’m really not sure.” See pictures from the USCHI convention on RRFN's Facebook page.
Coexistence is Working — The American Soybean Association says current coexistence efforts are working and enhancements are not necessary at this time. The ASA submitted comments to USDA, urging the Administration to take a practical and a scientific approach to agricultural coexistence. ASA President Ray Gaesser says the USDA advisory committee on biotechnology could not identify any data that shows contamination between identity-preserved, conventional and organic farming has occurred, or is a significant problem that would warrant additional steps be taken beyond enhanced communication and education.
Considering an Equipment Lease — In recent years, farmers have made good use of the Section 179 Expense Deduction with the limit at $500,000. This year, that limit has dropped to $25,000. Western Equipment Finance regional sales manager DuWayne Miller, who is based in Devils Lake, North Dakota, says that has more producers considering an equipment lease. “That Section 179 change is a tremendous change from the depreciation schedules we’ve had the last four or five years. It really makes the lease option a lot more real that it’s been in the past.” Miller says an equipment lease can be tax deductible.
Canola Minute — For this week's edition of the Canola Minute, go to http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/030514%20Canola%20Minute%20Pederson.mp3.
ND Ag Groups Agree on Opposition to Proposed Constitutional Amendment — One thing it appears all North Dakota farm organizations agree on this year is their opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would take five percent of the State’s oil extraction tax revenue to fund water, wildlife and recreation projects over 25 years. North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne says they’re concerned about the ability for land acquisition. “It’s somewhere around $4.5 and $5 billion over the 25 years. It is a constitutional measure which would be the first measure to ever direct money without going through some legislative process. It’s not the right way, in our view, it would be hard to change it." RRFN's coverage from the National Farmers Union Convention is sponsored in part by the North Dakota Farmers Union.
MFU Legislative Update — The Minnesota Farmers Union Legislative Update is available at http://rrfn.com/indepth/030514%20MFU%20Leg%20Minute%20Woertish.mp3.
MN Farm Bureau Minute — Here's the latest from the Minnesota Farm Bureau: http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/030414%20MFBF%20Busselman.MP3.
A Possible Increase in SD's Wheat Checkoff — South Dakota wheat producers have asked the state legislature to change the way their checkoff is assessed. Senator Jason Frerichs, Wilmot, says it will go from being an amount per bushel to being a percentage of the wheat’s value when sold. “Instead of being 1.5 cents per bushel, it will now be four-tenths of one percent of net price sold. That’s almost a doubling of the wheat checkoff. The point of that is to try to stabilize the fund and provide more research.” The bill is awaiting Governor Dennis Daugaard’s signature. The main run of the South Dakota Legislative session goes through Friday. Legislators will return March 31 to address any vetoes by the governor.
Data Privacy Ensured — Moving data collected by farm machinery to the office has gotten easier with new technology. Ag Leader Technology software sales manager Luke James says the AgFiniti allows growers to securely transfer data from the field to the office. “We provide them with the ability to share that information with whomever they want. The data belongs to the grower. We have firm data privacy stances. We’re not going to use that information. We’re not going to sell it. It creates more efficiencies for that grower’s operation.” James says Ag Leader Technology allows the grower to choose his wireless platform.
Working Together — There’s no doubt, men and women think differently. Scranton, North Dakota farm wife Katie Dilse spoke at the US Custom Harvesters Convention. Beforehand, Dilse privately interviewed men and women about their farming operations. Dilse said women want to be appreciated for their role. “I need to feel valued; I want you to say thank you for what I have done.” Dilse says the men that were part of this informal survey explained what they want from their spouse. “I want them to be involved. I want them to be all-in when I’m in."
Movie Tells Wheat Harvesters' Story — Custom harvesters got a preview of the Great American Wheat Harvest movie during the US Custom Harvesters convention in Wichita. Filmmaker Conrad Weaver says this documentary tells the story of the wheat harvest. “It tells the story of custom harvesters who travel from Texas to Montana or North Dakota harvesting our nation’s wheat. It’s about their life and what they do to help the public understand how bread gets from the field to the table.” On March 25th, this film will debut in Washington, DC as part of National Agriculture Day. This film will be released in other venues as the year continues. The US Custom Harvesters put their support behind this effort and helped Weaver with this endeavor, telling agriculture’s story.
AURI Update — Minnesota's Agricultural Utilization and Research Institute has an important mission for agriculture. Find out more at http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/030714%20AURI%20Networking.mp3.
FMC to Split into Two Companies — The FMC Corporation will split into two independent companies. The new FMC will focus on agriculture, health and nutrition. The current minerals division will stand on its own as FMC Minerals. The separation is expected to be finalized in early 2015.
Soybean Minute — To hear this week's North Dakota Soybean Minute, click http://www.rrfn.com/indepth/022414%20ND%20Soybean%20Minute%20Herbicide.mp3.
Climate Basic Available on Your Smartphone — Farmers now have a tool from Monsanto to give them better weather data. Asgrow and Dekalb district sales manager Ben Hoff describes Climate Basic as a free app that Monsanto. "You can sign up one field and get weather data on that and sign up the next field and get weather data on that. You get rainfall. You get field workability. You get crop staging, soil saturations, things like that, all on your hand-held device.” Hoff says among other things, that field workability feature will tell a grower when he can get back in the field after a rain." The app can be downloaded at http://www.climate.com.
Tonsager Honored by NFU — Former South Dakota Farmers Union President Dallas Tonsager received one of three Meritorious Service Awards at the National Farmers Union Convention this weekend in Santa Fe. Tonsager was head of USDA Rural Development during the first four-year term of President Barack Obama, leaving the job eight months ago.
Helena Chemical Hires Stanislawski — Tim Stanislawski has accepted a territory sales representative position with Helena Chemical Company in eastern North Dakota. Stanislawski is now the sales manager for Dakota Agronomy Partners, which is based in Minot. Previously, Stanislawski was with CHS Ag Services.
— Tune in to any of these Red River Farm Network radio partners to get the latest information: Ada, MN KRJB 106.5 FM Aberdeen, SD KMOM 105.5 FM Bagley, MN KKCQ 96.7 FM Bismarck, ND KLXX 1270 AM Casselton, ND KVMI 103.9 FM Crookston, MN KROX 1260 AM Devils Lake, ND KZZY 103.5 FM Fergus Falls, MN KBRF 1250 AM Fosston, MN KKCQ 1480 AM Grafton, ND KXPO 1340 AM Langdon, ND KNDK 1080 AM Mayville, ND KMAV 105.5 FM Mahnomen, MN KRJM 101.5 FM Jamestown, ND KSJB 600 AM Roseau, MN KCAJ 102.1 FM Rugby, ND KZZJ 1450 AM Thief River Falls, MN KKAQ 1460 AM Wadena, MN KKWS 105.9 FM To learn more about our radio partners, go to www.rrfn.com/stations.php.
Last Week's Trivia — Lucky Charms is the breakfast cereal with a leprechaun for a mascot. Crookston farmer Ron Lanctot was the first to respond and is our weekly trivia winner. Michael Brekhus of Bayer CropScience, Jon Davis of Davisco Foods, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed and Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services earn runner-up honors. Our 'first 20' list rounds out with Pennock dairy farmer Stephanie Larson, Dan Filipi of American Federal Bank, Douglas Brown of AGP Grain Marketing, Sarah Gronberg Kolell of Rabo AgriFinance, Mike Brinda of Columbia Grain, Brock Gussiaas of Gussiaas Family Farm, Kent Olson of Professional Insurance Agents Association of North Dakota, Jason Evenson of Betaseed, Kristal Rick of SES VanderHave USA, Mike Dietrich of Monsanto, Julie Ellingson of North Dakota Stockmen Association, McIntosh farmer Joan Lee, Bob Byrnes of the University of Minnesota Extension, Bruce Miller of Minnesota Farmers Union and UM student Chelsea Vilchis.