Red River Farm Network News


Injunction Granted — After two other federal courts denied similar requests, the US District Court of North Dakota has issued an emergency injunction, preventing the EPA Waters of the United States rule from take effect. The ruling by Judge Ralph Erickson also criticized EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, saying they violated its authority when it promulgated the rule. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is moving forward with implementation, with the exception of the 13 states that won its injunction. That means North Dakota and South Dakota are not subject to the rule, but it is in place in Minnesota.

Farm Groups Weigh in on Court RulingMost major farm groups are encouraged by the North Dakota District Court decision to issue an injunction blocking implementation of the Waters of the US rule. The National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are among those voicing support for the decision, which they say will give the courts and the public more time to figure out how to proceed with the rule. Julie Ellingson, executive vice president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, is excited with judge Ralph Erickson’s decision. "This is the first important step in what will be a long journey."

EPA Decision QuestionedThe preliminary injunction issued in Fargo delays implementation of the Waters of the US rule in 13 states, including North Dakota and South Dakota. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association vice president of government affairs Colin Woodall is concerned with the interpretation coming from the Administration that this ruling only impacts those 13 states. "We think this is another great example of the arrogance of the EPA trying to find any way to move this forward and I think this is more about their agenda than it is about clean water." With so many questions about the rule, Woodall says it will be difficult for any enforcement action to take place. "We also have the issue of the Corps of Engineers memos that were leaked a few weeks ago where even the Corps, itself, disagreed with the way EPA has manipulated the data and ultimately, they wanted their name and any association with this rule pulled back." 

Nearing the End — Crary, North Dakota farmer Fran Leiphon can finally see the end of his spring wheat harvest. "It's been a bit of a struggle," said Leiphon, "It is lodged and it has been humid making it tough to go early or late in the day." Leiphon says the yields and test weights are good. "So far, the proteins are 14 or above."

A Good Harvest Season in Southwest North DakotaHarvest reports are positive in southwestern North Dakota. "Spring wheat yields are a little above average and quality is good," said Mike Hillstrom, sales representative, Bayer CropScience, "Canola looks good and I'm hearing very good yields; barley is good quality, making malt and a lot of yields are in the area of 80-to-90 bushels." RRFN's Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Mill.

Lodged Grain Was Common This YearCustom harvester Nathan Sugden finished his wheat run just over a week ago. Sugden, who is based at Hallock, Minnesota, says plenty of spring wheat was laying down. "We were in some pretty extreme lodging," said Sugden, "It was flat down and we were at one-and-a-half to two miles an hour for most of it." Sugden says growers were pleased with the quality of the crop, but, in some cases, the yeild was below expectations. RRFN's Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by US Custom Harvesters, Inc.

Moving Through Wheat and Canola — Luke Nibbe is the crew chief for Olsen Custom Farms, a Hendricks, Minnesota-based custom harvester. Nibbe has been cutting wheat and canola in the Mott, North Dakota area and says it’s been slow going in wheat with good yields, but protein levels are disappointing. Nibbe says the canola crop has been the biggest battle. "It is lodged; the canola is doing well, but it takes a lot of time to go through it."

An Early Start to the Dry Bean HarvestSome growers have begun cutting dry edible beans and others have dessicated their crop. North Dakota State University dry bean breeder Juan Osorno says the harvest is starting a little ahead of average. "We're off to a good start." Osorno was part of a dry bean field day on the Mark Dombeck farm near Perham, Minnesota Tuesday. Osorno has a kidney bean variety trial there, with 26 lines replicated four times. "Just in this location, we have around four acres of research plots." Root rot, rust and halo blight are the most common issues being seen in Minnesota’s dry beans this year.

Dry Bean Harvest Begins — Central Valley Bean agronomist Andrew Ladwig is just starting to see some edible beans come to town. "It's pretty decent quality; we are seeing some small beans, which can be expected when the crop gets pushed like it did." Ladwig says the early yields are a little better than he was expecting.

Optimism Voiced for American Crystal Beet CropAmerican Crystal Sugar Company’s pre-pile sugarbeet harvest is going very well. Projections point to a 26.5-to-27 tons per acre. "We think we can handle all of them," said American Crystal President and CEO David Berg, "We got an early start to processing and think we will be able to handle all of them." American Crystal does have the Targeted Acres Program in place, which gives them the opportunity to buy acres from growers which may have to be destroyed, depending on the final size of the crop. There’s a lot of anticipation about this year’s beet payment. Berg says all the main drivers are positive. Factors include an expected larger beet crop and better sugar content than a year ago. "The final factor is the sugar net selling price and that is absolutely better this year than last year, mainly because of the agreement we entered into with Mexico as a result of the trade case." The early start to the harvest also coincides with the need for sugar. Berg says reduced imports from Mexico has taken Crystal’s silos down to as low as they can possibly get, and the need for sugar is pretty urgent.

Positive Pre-Pile ResultsMinn-Dak Farmers Cooperative is nearing the end of its first cycle of pre-pile sugarbeet harvest. Vice President of Agriculture Tom Knudson says the pre-pile harvest has been going good. "As expected, yields are all over the board, but, our current estimate is at 26.8 ton." Knudson is also pleased with the early-season sugar content levels. RRFN's Harvest Hotline is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Minn-Dak Implements Acreage Control Policy — The Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative board of directors has enacted the Acreage Control Policy, better known as the “corral.” All Minn-Dak sugarbeet growers will need to be prepared to destroy ten percent of their acres. None of the so-called “corralled” acres may be defoliated or harvested prior to receiving permission from the Co-op, nor may they be destroyed prior to being released by the Co-op. A harvest update on Minn-Dak’s website says it remains confident that all the beets will be able to be lifted and processed, based on the current projection of a 25.3 ton average yield. Tracking yields going forward is critical to determine if the corral can be reduced or eliminated.

SMBSC Looking at a Tremendous Crop — The pre-pile sugarbeet harvest at Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative is delivering positive results. "The crop is really tremendous; our last estimate is about 31 ton per acre," said Todd Geselius, vice president of agriculture, "All signs are pointing to pretty good sugar content right now, we just need some time to grow and mature."

Tracking SCN At a series of soybean plot tours across northwest Minnesota this past week, one topic was Soybean Cyst Nematode. University of Minnesota Regional Extension Educator Phil Glogoza has four locations in the northwest where SCN is being tracked. "We're evaluating commercially-released varieties, as well as some of the breeding material that the program has on campus." Glogoza says genetics remain the focus to reducing the yield impact of SCN.

Continue to Monitor Fields for Soybean Aphids — Growers are still be advised to scout for soybean aphids. DuPont Pioneer agronomist Zach Fore encourages farmers to evaluate the pod development when making treatment decisions. "At R6, we generally quit treating for aphids, but if you look at the top four nodes of the plant and you have pods that are plump and full, you're at R6," said Fore, "When those pods are plump, they're pretty much done and they will just dry down from there; that's the stage we're trying to get to and, at that point, we don't really need to worry about aphids any more."

Rust, Phomopsis Identified — South Dakota State University Extension oilseeds plant pathologist Fabina Mathew says sunflower rust and Phomopsis stem canker are showing up in SDSU research trials near Onida and Highmore. The plants are in the R4-R5 development stage, prior to or during bloom. Current weather conditions are favorable for disease development and presence of inoculum. Mathew is also getting reports of on white mold and sudden death syndrome appearing on soybeans in South Dakota. In-season option s for managing white mold in at-risk fields are very limited at this time, and there are no options available for SDS management.

Evaluating High-Oleic Soybeans in Minnesota Field Trials — At plot tours this past week in northwest Minnesota, University of Minnesota soybean breeder, Dr. Jim Orf, talked about high-oleic soybeans, which have increasing interest. Orf is working on incorporating the high-oleic trait into earlier soybean varieties. "The high-oleic soybean oil is more healthful; it works better in frying applications and also in biodiesel." Orf says crosses being made today will be available to farmers between 2022 and 2025.

Making Plans for Winter Wheat — It’s time to start thinking about whether or not to plant winter wheat. RRFN asked Blake Vander Vorst, cereals product evaluation specialist with Syngenta, what he expects in terms of acres. "It is a bit of an unknown," said Vander Vorst, "It might be down a little bit, but it will depend on how the guys take the results of the past year and the fact that they have the ability to seed this year with the early harvest."

High Management Strategies Advocated for Wheat — High management strategies are being advocated for the wheat crop. WinField regional product manager Ryan Moeller is urging farmers to treat wheat like corn. "The future of wheat is going to be understanding high management and how to do that high management." With more companies investing in wheat genetics, including CROPLAN, Moeller expects faster turnover with wheat varieties. "With the increase in spend at the major breeding companies, the wheat varieties are going to come a lot faster," said Moeller, "You might see a variety out for two, three, four years and it will be gone; it's not going to be like it has been traditionally where you had a wheat variety around for seven-to-ten years." 

More In-Season Decisions Being Made — There has been a shift in crop management, with more decisions now being made while the crop is still growing. Dakota Plains Cooperative general manager Ken Astrup likes this in-season approach. "There are a lot of guys that have decided they don't need to put all of the fertilizer on at the beginning of the year," said Astrup, "They are putting some on during the crop season, putting it on where it is needed, when it is needed and it has been very positive." For the retailer, Astrup also sees a logistical benefit. "With how fast farmers can put in a crop now, if everyone decides to do it all at once, they system doesn't have the capability of providing all of the inputs when they need it." By stretching out those applications into the growing season, "they get a better crop and it helps the suppliers."

Work on the Weed Management Strategy — With an eye to next year, WinField regional agronomist Jason Hanson says this is a good time evaluate weed pressure. "Is that patch of weeds out there because something didn't work right or was it weather?" asked Hanson, "Also think about glyphosate resistance or other herbicide resistance issues and manage around that." 

Assess Alfalfa Stands This FallWinterkill was a familiar sight in alfalfa this spring. Dairyland Seed forage product manager Chad Staudinger says poor snow cover and extreme cold conditions in February likely played a major role in winter injury. "This phenomenon stretched from Fargo to Green Bay," said Staudinger, "Some stands were flat-out dead, but others were just injured." Staudinger is encouraging farmers to evaluate alfalfa stands this fall to make decisions for next year. Walk these alfalfa fields and count the number of plants. A productive stand would have three-to-five plants per square foot. "After going above ground, take a spade and dig alfalfa plants out of the ground to look at the crown and root structure to see if it is healthy or infected with pathogens that will shorten the life of the stand." Staudinger says most of the younger alfalfa stands held up to the winter injury, but older stands may need to be rotated to another crop.

No Change in Acreage Expected in September Crop Report — Allendale Inc. is conducting its annual yield survey ahead of USDA's September 11 crop report. Allendale director of research Rich Nelson is quite sure that USDA will not make any changes in its soybean acreage estimate in the September report. "Only one time in the last 20 years has USDA changed harvested acres in this particular September report, they will be waiting for the October numbers."

IGC Raises Its Forecast — The International Grains Council has raised its forecast of world grain production by 18 million tons from last month. Global grain ending stocks are increased 12 million tons from July, to a 29-year high. The world wheat crop forecast is up 10 million tons, to equal last year’s 720 million ton crop. Wheat ending stocks are raised five million tons. The IGC raised its global soybean production estimate two million tons from last month, but cut ending stocks four million tons. Comparing world ending stocks year-over-year, wheat is up four million tons, soybean ending stocks are up one million tons, and the global corn carryout is down five million tons.

Liquidity — After more than two years of significantly lower grain prices, University of Minnesota Extension Educator Don Nitchie says liquidity has become a hot topic in agriculture. According to Nitchie, many financial experts now argue that the working capital to gross revenue measure is a much better measure of liquidity than the current ratio. "The Farm Financial Standards Council and others are looking at working capital relative to the size of the farm." Nitchie says strong liquidity cushions the shocks and allows producers some flexibility in making decisions.    

Farm Income to Decline — US farm income is expected to decline 36 percent this year to its lowest level in nine years. USDA is projecting net farm income at $58.3 billion. That’s down from just over $91 billion last year. That is the largest one-year decline in farm income since 1983. This projection revises downward an estimate that was made in February. USDA said low grain prices were already factored in, but a more pessimistic outlook for milk and hogs influenced the forecast for livestock producers.

Farm Program Backs Up Farmers USDA’s updated farm income forecast is down 36 percent from last year, as crop and livestock receipts are forecast to decline. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said the declining farm income demonstrates why it’s important that we help our farmers. "Our producers had some good years, but this year will be tougher; that's why it is important that we have a countercyclical farm program." Hoeven, who was in the banking industry in the 1980s, says the farm economy is nowhere near as scary as it was back then.

Farm Bill Consternation — Some lawmakers want to take a look at the conservation compliance requirement in the 2014 farm bill for the 2016 crop insurance year. Proponents say the provision simply defers penalty for a year to allow producers to certify compliance and USDA to adequately deal with the rule. Lawmakers say no farmer should lose coverage due to a paperwork issue but apparently there are producers who are not compliant due to paperwork glitches. Others say that the rule is like a strict liability provision.

Whole-Farm Policy Expanded — USDA has announced the expansion of the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection crop insurance policy to every state and every county for the 2016 insurance year. This makes Whole-Farm the first crop insurance policy to be universally available. USDA is also making changes to the policy to give farmers and ranchers with diversified crops, including beginning, organic, and fruit and vegetable growers, better access to the policy. The Risk Management Agency introduced the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection pilot program for a majority of counties this year.    

A Cautious Land MarketFarmland values are not crashing, but there is a lot of uncertainty. Brent Qualey is a real estate broker with Farmers National Company in Fargo and says the land market is quiet right now. "We are starting a little interest from sellers looking to put land on the market and the buyers are a little cautious right now to see what the yields are like for row crops this fall and where prices settle out." Qualey, who will present seminars on land values during Big Iron, in the Red River Farm Network’s Issues and Events Center, says land sales pick up in late September and early October.

CME Wants Input — The CME Group has finalized a questionnaire seeking feedback on potential changes in the Chicago Board of Trade corn contract. Several changes are being considered, including one that could increase the number of delivery facilities by over 65 percent. Following input from the National Grain and Feed Association and several CME-formed focus groups, the CME is now soliciting feedback until September 11 from a broad range of customers.

Tight Diesel Supplies ExpectedA busy harvest season this fall will coincide with the shutdown of major refineries. CHS Hedging energy market analyst Tony Headrick says this could be a bigger problem this fall. "There is an extended amount of refinery maintenance happening this fall, compared to last year and years prior," said Headrick, "As it historically does in fall and this year could be a bit more than usual, we could see some tightness in diesel supply." Farmers are encouraged to secure their diesel supply now.

Informational Buffer Meeting Held in Waubun — Minnesota’s new buffer initiative made headlines during the state legislative session. Buffer rules have been in place for decades, but the new legislation requires buffers be in place on public waters by November 2017 and public ditches by November 2018. The Mahnomen County Farm Bureau hosted an informational meeting Tuesday featuring Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center executive director Warren Formo. "The vast majority of farmers have their land very well stewarded and they have buffers where they need them, but this legilsation may require some additional buffers in new places."

Panama Canal Expansion Nears Completion — Expansion work on the Panama Canal is said to be about 90 percent complete and is on track for opening in the second quarter of next year. The expansion will allow bigger vessels to use the canal and should reduce the cost of shipping grain and soybeans. Bigger vessels will carry three to four million bushels instead of the current 2.2 million bushels. One estimate says the expanded canal will lower the ocean shipping cost of transporting soybeans from eastern Iowa via the Gulf of Mexico to Japan from $30.69 per ton to $21.43. The expanded canal will also reduce the time it takes a vessel to transit the canal.

Protecting Sage Grouse — USDA has unveiled a plan to spend $211 million over the next four years to protect the sage grouse and its habitat. Ranchers will receive additional financial assistance to improve conservation efforts on their land to benefit the bird and their agricultural operations. USDA has worked with nearly a dozen states on its sage grouse strategy, including North and South Dakota.

Auction Markets Preparing for a Busy SeasonFeeder cattle sales are normally slow at this time of the year, but Hub City Livestock co-owner Steve Hellwig is expecting numbers to pick up as we move through September and into October. "The range conditions are ideal with lots of rain and lots of moisture," said Hellwig, "Most of our yearlings sell from the 20th of September to the 10th of October and that leads right into our calf sales right through the fall." Yearling and calf prices are expected to be down from last year's record level, "but, it's not going to be a bad market."

Pork Demand Remains Strong — The breakdown in the Chinese economy has put a dent in US commodity prices, but the outlook for pork exports to China remains positive. During a conference call with market analysts, Smithfield officials said its pork shipments to China are up more than 45 percent from last year. That strength is tied to the big liquidation of the sow herd in China. Smithfield Foods is owned by a Chinese company, known as the WH Group.

American Lamb Board Outlines Industry Goals — The American Lamb Board has developed three strategic goals to address lamb quality. First of all, they group will address factors contributing to lamb flavor and customer satisfaction. Secondly, the plan is to improve lamb management for product size, composition and eating satisfaction while reducing production costs. Finally, the American Lamb Board wants to capitalize on market opportunities for American lamb.

WinField COO Outlines Merger with United Suppliers — One of the top executives at WinField spent time in a farm field west of Lisbon, North Dakota Thursday. At the Answer Plot event, WinField executive vice president and chief operating officer Mike Vande Logt outlined the decision made earlier this past week to merge WinField with United Suppliers, a crop inputs business based in Iowa. "Bringing United Suppliers in with WinField will increase our critical mass by 50 percent and that will aggragate more demand and negotiate for our grower/owners," said Vande Logt, "At a time of $3.50 corn and $9 soybeans, it is our goal to make sure our growers are more profitable." With this merger, WinField expands its reach into Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Vande Logt says this consolidation is a reflection of the current market environment. "Everybody needs to be smarter with the decisions they make and this is an opportunity for market share changes." The WinField-United Suppliers merger is expected to be finalized in October.

Milestone for the Barley Industry — A team of scientists at the University of California-Riverside has reached a new milestone in its work on sequencing the barley genome. The researchers, who started this work 15 years ago, have sequenced large portions of the genome that together contain nearly two-thirds of all barley genes. The new information will not only expand geneticists’ knowledge of barley’s DNA but will also help in the understanding, at the genetic level, of wheat and other sources of food. It also has applications in plant breeding by increasing the precision of markers for traits such as malting quality or stem rust.      

All Systems Are Go for the North Dakota Mill — After a record profit of almost $17 million last fiscal year, the North Dakota Mill is expanding. General Manager Vance Taylor updated the North Dakota Industrial Commission on the project Wednesday. "This is just about a 30 percent addition in capacity," said Taylor, "It's about an additional 11,500 hundredweight per day and most of it is driven by increased demand from our current customers." The expansion to 49,500 hundredweight will make the North Dakota Mill the largest in the US. The Industrial Commission also approved another project at the Mill, a high-speed wheat unloading pit.

Soybean Donation — The Northern Food Grade Soybean Association is donating 40 metric tons of food-grade soybeans to feed children in Central America. Two 20-metric ton containers are being shipped to Guatemala and Honduras. The Northern Food Grade Soybean Association is made up of nine regional soybean processing companies.

New Soybean Breeder at WorkThe new soybean breeder at the University of Minnesota is no stranger to St. Paul. Worthington, Minnesota native Aaron Lorenz got his bachelor’s degree at the U of M, where one of his professors was Jim Orf, who he’s working with until Orf retires next spring. Lorenz got his Master’s at Iowa State University and his Ph.D. at Cornell. Lorenz has been on the faculty at the University of Nebraska the last four years. Lorenz is working on breeding durable resistance to soybean aphid. "The idea is that since there is a lot of variabiilty in the soybean aphid population, aphids can easily overcome single-gene governing resistance."

Monsanto-Syngenta Merger Won't Happen — Monsanto has dropped its bid to takeover Syngenta. Last week, Monsanto increased its offer to $47 billion. That’s up from a previous offer of $45 billion. In a statement, Syngenta indicates its board unanimously rejected the new proposal, saying it undervalued the company and carried too much risk. Without a basis to move the process forward, Monsanto said it will no longer pursue a merger. Instead, Monsanto says focus on growth opportunities within its core business.

Center for Food Safety Goes to Court — The Center for Food Safety is suing USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, saying it withheld information on biotech crops. The activist group claims APHIS violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to requests for records about new GMO regulations. The lawsuit also challenges the way USDA handled the discovery of an unapproved biotech wheat variety in Oregon in 2013.

Monsanto Increases Its Offer for Syngenta — Monsanto has reportedly upped its offer to buy Syngenta. With this latest proposal, Monsanto is offering $47 billion. That’s up from its previous bid of $45 billion. The new offer also includes an increase in the break-up fee from $2 billion to $3 billion. This payment would be made if the deal is blocked by federal regulators. So far, Syngenta executives have refused to sit down with Monsanto officials and discuss a deal. With this new offer, Monsanto hopes to jump-start negotiations between the two companies.

Land O'Lakes-United Suppliers Merger Announced — Land O’Lakes and United Suppliers have approved a merger. Land O’Lakes is based in Arden Hills, Minnesota and United Suppliers has its headquarters in Eldora and Ames, Iowa. With this merger, the seed and crop protection business will be combined under the WinField brand. Once complete, the focus will be on the crop nutrient business, which has been operated by United Suppliers up until this time. The merger is expected to be finalized in October.

Another Successful Larry Sing Memorial ALS Golf Classic — The region’s crop input suppliers came together for the 21st annual Larry Sing Memorial ALS Golf Classic in Fargo-Moorhead. Sing, who worked for NorAm, started the tournament in 1995, two years before dying from ALS. "Larry is probably up there smiling because I'm sure he didn't think this would still be happening 21 years later," said Steve Sing, who is Larry's brother. Fifty teams participated in the golf tournament, and combined with the live and silent auction, raised almost $109,000 for ALS yesterday.

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

Oilseed & Grain Summit Announces Keynote Speaker — The daughter of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro will give the keynote address at the Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit in Minneapolis late next month. Alina Fernandez will share insight on her very unique relationship with Cuba, the changes the nation has undergone in the past few decades, and the economic opportunities that lie ahead. Fernandez will also give details of the current agricultural relationship between the US and Cuba, and what post-embargo Cuba might look like for US agriculture. The Oilseed and Grade Summit will be held September 30 to October 2. For registration information, go to www.oilseedandgrain.com

AGP and Monsanto Partner on High Oleic Soybeans — For the first time, Monsanto’s Vistive Gold high oleic soybeans will be grown in Iowa in 2016. Ag Processing Incorporated is the first processor to offer contracts for the high oleic soybeans. Vistive Gold field trials have taken place the past three seasons in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. With these soybeans, food companies can produce cooking oils with an improved nutritional profile.

New Research Facility at Huron, South Dakota — Dow AgroSciences has opened a new Seeds Research and Development Field Station in Huron, South Dakota. The new site allows Dow AgroSciences to increase its capacity to test and develop seed corn products.

Deere Introduces New 4-Track Tractor — John Deere has officially launched its new four-track tractor. The 9RX line has four models ranging from 470 to 620 horsepower. The new tractor will debut at the Farm Progress Show and be available for the 2016 growing season.

New Equipment From Case IH — Case IH has introduced new products, including the True-Tandem 375 disc harrow. This tool includes 24-inch Earth Metal blades and a new mounted TigerPaw Crumbler option. Case IH has also introduced the Patriot 2250 sprayer. This sprayer is rated at 175 horsepower and has a tank capacity of 660 gallons.

Layoffs Announced at Fargo Plant — Due to market conditions, CNH Industrial plans to lay off 34 full-time employees at its Fargo plant. CNH, which manufactures Case IH and New Holland brands, made similar cutbacks earlier this year.

Splenda Sweetener Goes to a New Owner — Johnson & Johnson has agreed to sell its Splenda sweetener product to Heartland Food Products Group. The two companies previously spent time in court in a skirmish over trademarks and advertising. The two sides settled that disagreement in 2009. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

New Airless Tire Introduced by Valley Irrigation — Valley Irrigation is introducing a new airless tire for center pivots. The Revolution tire is designed to eliminate problems with flat tires, which usually happen at inconvenient times and in difficult places to reach.

Dalrymple Won't Seek Re-election in '16 — North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Dalrymple has served 16 years as a state representative, ten years as lieutenant governor and five-plus years as governor. Dalrymple farmed at Casselton and was the founding board chairman of Dakota Growers Pasta Company.

SDDA Names Policy Advisor — Dani Hanson has been named the policy advisor for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Hanson has been on the SDDA staff since January. Previously, Hanson was a legislative aide for South Dakota Senator John Thune.

BIO Appoints Baenig to Leade Food and Agriculture Section — The Biotechnology Industry Organization has named Brian Baenig as its executive vice president for food and agriculture. Most recently, Baenig served as the chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Before USDA, Baenig spent time on Capitol Hill, including a stint as a legislative assistant to Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone.

Dean Foods Appoints New Chairman — Dean Foods has named Jim Turner as its non-executive chairman. Turner, who has been a Dean Foods director since 1997, is a principal of JLT Beverages and is the former CEO of Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up Bottling Group. Turner takes over after Thomas Davis resigned in early August. Davis is reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shively Moves to ASTA — Bethany Shively is the new communications director for the American Seed Trade Association. Most recently, Shively had a similar role at the National Association of Conservation Districts.

Industry Veterans Join Agspring — Firebird Artisan Mills, based in Harvey, North Dakota, has added three industry veterans to its staff. Chris Cairo will lead the team as vice president. Don Franke will serve as plant manager and Jeff Siewart is the new financial controller for Firebird’s parent company, Agspring. Cairo previously worked in the marketing department for Scoular. Franke has 30-plus years of milling experience, with companies like ADM and Seaboard. Siewart held a variety of corporate and supply chain finance roles at General Mills.

New Princess Kay CrownedA 19-year old college student from Wright County is the new Princess Kay of the Milky Way. Kyla Mauk was crowed Wednesady night at the Minnesota State Fair Bandshell. Mauk is a student at South Dakota State University and will now serve as the official goodwill ambassador for Minnesota’s dairy industry. Kylee Hoffman of Douglas County and Ellen Sheehan of Olmsted County were selected as runners-up. Scholarships have been awarded to Mauk, Michele Green of Roseau County and Samantha Keller of Goodhue County.

Last Week's Trivia — During a speech at the Minnesota State Fair in 1901, US President Theodore Roosevelt said "speak softly and carry a big stick." Barry Medd of First State Bank is our weekly trivia winner. Great job, Barry. Diana Beitelspacher of the North Dakota Soybean Council, Jen Nelson of the Farmers Elevator of Alvarado, Jodi Johnson of AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Dennis Sabel of Minnesota Farm Bureau earn runner-up honors. The 'first 20' list rounds out with Mandy Kvale of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Kevin Schulz of National Hog Farmer, Angie Skochdopole of Adfarm, Brian Rund of Nufarm Americas, Bruce Miller of Minnesota Farmers Union, Gene Kronberg of Gene Kronberg Consulting, Twyla Wulf of Clear Springs Cattle Company, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot Grower Solutions, Bob Rick of Central Lakes College-Farm Business Management, Neal Plante of SunOpta, Shirley Ball of Ethanol Producers and Consumers, Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee, Mark Mettler of Preferred One, Sherry Koch of Mosaic and Dianne Bettin of LB Pork.