Red River Farm Network News

A Star Finalist from North Dakota — Justin Zahradka of the Park River, North Dakota FFA chapter has been named one of four Star in Agriscience finalists by the National FFA Organization. The Stars will be honored at this fall's National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

NDSU Spring Wheat Breeder Takes Job at University of Georgia — North Dakota State University’s spring wheat breeder, Dr. Mohamed Mergoum is leaving for the University of Georgia where he will be the small grains breeder. An NDSU endowed professor, Mergoum came to NDSU in 2002. He’ll start his new job in Georgia in September.

North Dakota Beef Checkoff Takes Effect — The change in North Dakota’s beef checkoff takes effect August 1. A new refundable dollar state checkoff will be added to the mandatory national checkoff program. This initiative was promoted by North Dakota cattle producers and passed overwhelmingly in the 2015 legislative session.

New Tool for Sugarbeet Growers — The Environmental Protection Agency has registered Vibrance seed treatment fungicide for sugarbeets. The Syngenta fungicide protects the crop against Rhizoctonia. Vibrance will be available this fall for the 2016 crop.

ND Soybean Minute — Hear the latest North Dakota Soybean Minute from the North Dakota Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. Find out more about biodiesel in this report.

Seeking Bankruptcy Protection — Trans Coastal Supply Company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Company losses are blamed on China’s decision to reject US shipments containing an unapproved biotech corn. Sales contracts were broken after China began rejecting shipments in late 2013.

Vilsack's Chief of Staff to Leave USDA in August — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s chief of staff is resigning to accept a job in the private sector. Brian Baenig became Vilsack’s chief of staff in 2013. Before that, Baenig was the assistant secretary for congressional relations and the deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Early in his career, Baenig served as a legislative assistant for Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone.