Red River Farm Network News

FCA Leader Passes — Former Farm Credit Administration Chairman Kenneth Spearman has died. Spearman was a member of the FCA board from 2009-to-2016, serving as chairman during the last two years of his term. Spearman was 72.

Trump Admin Rolls Back Clean Power Plan — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday for the EPA to roll back the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The order also lifted a moratorium on federal coal leases and sought to reduce the role of climate change in federal environmental reviews. 

Pleased — South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds is pleased president Donald Trump has rolled back the Clean Power Plan. Rounds says we all want clean air and water, but it is possible to achieve the goal without imposing costly regulations on American businesses. 

Repealing BLM 2.0 Rule — President Trump has repealed the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0 rule under the Congressional Review Act. According to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, the rule moved decision making away from the state and local level and pushed it up to bureaucrats in Washington. 

Dayton Responds to Ditch Mowing Concerns — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton told the Red River Farm Network this morning farmers have expressed concern about the ditch mowing issue. Dayton told RRFN ‘we’ll see’ on the legislation. “There are a few versions of the legislation. We’ll see what comes forward. I’ve been doing state government for 40 years and this continues to be an issue again and again….hopefully we can work something out.”

Cheese Supplies Influence Milk Price Outlook — The forecast for the milk check for 2017 is ahead of last year and the five-year average. However, Blimling and Associates president Phil Plourd says an oversupply of cheese is hanging over this market. "It is hard to get your head around, but in a 12 billion pound market, a one percent change in demand is 120 million pounds. That's more than two million pounds of cheese per week looking for a home if demand is down from three percent to two percent. It's not a disaster on the demand side, but, we can't make 120 million pounds disappear easily." 

The Midwest is Made for Dairy Production — Associated Milk Producers, Incorporated Co-President and CEO Donn DeVelder says 2017 is looking a lot like 2016. If this year is a repeat of 2016, milk prices should recover in the third and fourth quarters. DeVelder says the Midwest dairy industry is operating at full capacity. The Midwest has become the place to dairy, especially with its strong dairy infrastructure. "Just take AMPI as an example with its ten processing plants and its diversity, we produce anything from milk that goes to the bottle to cheese to non-fat dry milk to help balance those markets. Look at the price paid for milk in the Midwest versus California, we're typically $1.50 (per hundredweight) over them. We don't see that changing, if anything, that gap will get wider. The infrastructure here really helps."

Checkoff Reform — A bi-partisan group of lawmakers from outside the Corn Belt have introduced legislation that they say will bring transparency and accountability to USDA checkoff programs by making them voluntary. The legislation is being hailed by the Organization for Competitive Markets as a much-needed reform.

Limiting Data for EPA — The Environmental Protection Agency is limited on the data it can release regarding livestock farmers. That’s according to a federal judge who recently approved a settlement agreement between the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation and the EPA. NPPC says the EPA may only provide under a Freedom of Information Act request the city, zip code and Clean Water permit status of a CAFO. The EPA is also required to conduct training on FOIA. NPPC president Ken Maschhoff says the organization is pleased with the agreement and the settlement ensures it won’t happen again.

Weed Management 101 The special Red River Farm Network series, Weed Management 101, is on the air. In this week's edition, North Dakota State University Extension weed specialist Rich Zollinger says weed control takes greater management. Listen to Weed Management 101.   Thanks to the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Peterson Farms Seed and BASF for their support of this education effort.

Industrial Hemp Program Gets Thumbs Up — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says 35 proposals submitted for the industrial hemp program have been approved. Goehring says the primary goal of the program is to increase knowledge of how industrial hemp fits into the existing agricultural landscape and economy. Goehring says the 35 proposals include just over 3,000 acres in 17 North Dakota counties.

New CRP Program Focused on Non-Game — Declining non-game wildlife populations has sparked a new USDA Conservation Reserve Program in North Dakota that focuses on non-game wildlife. The State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement or SAFE program is a voluntary program that allows states to design CRP practices that maintain soil and water benefits while targeting wildlife species. The program’s goal is to increases the availability of prairie habitat for breeding grassland birds with declining populations in North Dakota. 

Fertilizer Surveys Out — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture wants farmers to participate in the annual pesticide and fertilizer use survey. The phone survey will be directed to soybean and wheat producers. MDA says the data helps MDA track the use of ag chemicals on Minnesota farms and provides guidance to educational and research programs. 

Drought Tolerance — A consortium of researchers from around the globe are studying a South African plant because of its ability to survive long periods of extreme drought. Researchers from the Netherlands, the U.S., Australia and South Africa say food crops that can survive extreme drought are, and will be, of increasing importance. The researchers are trying to find which gene or genes in the “resurrection plant” enable it to survive long periods of drought.

RRFN On-air, Online and On Your SmartphoneThe Red River Farm Network serves its audience on-air, online and on your smartphone. If you want farm news headlines, agronomic information, weather, market analysis and RRFN's daily broadcasts, there are several ways to get it throughout the day. Listen to any of our 19 radio partners. "Like" the RRFN Facebook page. Check out the news headlines, our daily programs, the calendar of events and more at Or download the free RRFN smartphone app. The app is available for both iPhone and Android. Your way. When you want it. The Red River Farm Network is Reporting Agriculture's Business.

Cargill Adds KnownOrigins — Cargill says it is adding to its non-GMO foods and ingredients portfolio, adding an identity preserved process called KnownOrigins. Cargill say the KnownOrigins process will provide transparency in its non-GMO supply chain from field to fork.

Leopold Conservation Award Finalists Announced — The finalists for the Leopold Conservation Award have been announced. The finalists are Cammack Ranch of Union Center, Center of the Nation Cattle Company of Newell, South Dakota, Blue Bell Ranch of Clear Lake and 777 Ranch of Rapid City. The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes achievement in voluntary conservation. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association says the recipient will be announced in late-April and recognized at the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association annual convention in November.

Dry Bean Scene — The Dry Bean Scene is on the air, with information about the dry edible bean industry in the Northarvest region. This broadcast airs each Friday at 12:37 PM. 

ND Soybean Minute — Hear the latest North Dakota Soybean Minute from the North Dakota Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. Learn about the annual 'See For Yourself Tour.'

Corn Matters — Hear the Minnesota Corn Growers Association's Corn Matters program. Learn more about the omnibus spending bill in the Minnesota legislature.

MFU Legislative MinuteCheck out this update from the Minnesota Farmers Union on Minnesota's current legislative session. 

MN Farm Bureau Legislative Minute — Here's the latest from the Minnesota Farm Bureau. In this report, get an update on the budget forecast.

ND Legislative ReportGet an update on work in the North Dakota Legislature. The North Dakota Legislative Report is sponsored by North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and North Dakota Corn Growers Association. In this week's update, we dive into the budget.

MN Beef Update — Hear from the Minnesota Beef Council and the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association in their weekly MN Beef Update. Learn more about the Cattlemen's Day on the Hill.

Canola Minute — Here's the latest Canola Minute from the Northern Canola Growers Association. Research grants have been awarded. Learn where canola is focused for the year. 

AURI Update — In the weekly update from the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute. Learn more about the successful New Uses Forum.

This Week's Trivia — What automaker brought the Explorer, Fusion, Torino, Cougar and Pinto to market? Send your answer to Please include your name and business. 

Last Week's TriviaFord is the company behind the Explorer, Fusion, Torino and Pinto car models. Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad crossed the finish line first and is the winner of the weekly trivia contest. Scott Roemhildt of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Dennis Inman of Land O'Lakes, Bob Brunker of J.L. Farmakis and Marsha Van Laere of Gowan USA earn runner-up honors. The 'first 20' includes Laurie Hoffman of Vistacomm, Mark Schmidt of Betaseed, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot Grower Solutions, Dean Nelson of Kelley Bean Company, Mark Dahlen of Benson County Farm Service Agency, Jim Altringer of Columbia Grain, Chelsea Vilchis of Canterbury Park, Norm Groot of Monterey County Farm Bureau, Ron Claussen of Ag Media Research, Erin Nash of Woodruff Sweitzer, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Barry Medd of First State Bank, Al Juliuson of Juliuson Farms, Pete Carson of Carson Farms and Tyler pork producer Don Buhl.