Red River Farm Network News

Waiting on Green Wheat — Custom harvester Myron Eberts got to Martin, South Dakota Monday. He says they’re waiting on some green wheat. “We sampled a little Sunday night and we were running into 14 percent moisture. Some of the best didn’t come up the best because it was so wet.” Eberts, who is from South Heart, North Dakota, says yields for what they cut in Nebraska were all over the board. “We came here from the North Platte area where we saw anywhere from 20 to 80 bushels per acre. There was better, irrigated wheat that guys were cutting that was up over 100. There was a fair amount of hail. Test weights have been up in the 60’s. They don’t really check protein down there.” 

Sprayer Cleanout is a Priority — When weed control meant only Roundup, sprayer cleanout was not that big of a worry. With new chemistries in the tank mix, WinField regional agronomist Jason Hanson says that sprayer demands more attention. "Get very familiar with your sprayer," said Hanson, "It's not just rinsing and cleaning, it is doing a full colonoscopy, so to speak, so you're very confident that when you get to the next crop there won't be any issues with anything.” It may be easy to rinse the tank, but Hanson says everything behind the tank needs extra scrutiny.

Climate Change and Farming Discussed at White House Forum — The White House hosted a roundtable discussion on climage change Tuesday. Monsanto and The Climate Corporation participated in the event. "We've contributed valuable data and expertise to multiple collaborations to advance climate change research and we're pleased to come together with others who share our commitment to sustainable food production," said Martha Schlicher, global stakeholder engagement lead, Monsanto.

Odds of El Nino Changing — Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has cut the odds of El Nino after parts of the tropical Pacific Ocean cooled. The chance of El Nino developing this year is now put at 50 percent. Meantime, the US Climate Prediction Center has raised the odds of an El Nino to 70 percent during the Northern Hemisphere summer and close to 80 percent during the fall and winter. 

Not Much Risk of Early FrostWorld Weather, Inc. senior ag meteorologist Drew Lerner does not believe there will be much risk of early frost and freezes in the northern US. Lerner does think the central and lower parts of the Midwest and interior parts of the southeastern states will see an early start to winter this year, but many crops in those areas will be mature long before the cold arrives. A new round of very cold air is expected this week, which will likely reinforce fears of an early frost. World Weather, Inc.’s trend model suggests a third wave of this six-week episode of cold will be with us near mid-August, which could bring some temperatures in northern Canada down close to the frost level. However, Lerner says no threatening cold will come anywhere near the northern US. Hear more from Lerner on his weather outlook in the RRFN Issues and Events Center Wednesday, September 10 at 10:35am during Big Iron.

Busch Ag Launches "Smart Barley"The Budweiser Clydesdales and the Budweiser Brewmaster Tour were part of an appreciation day for barley growers and employees at the Busch Ag-Inbev’s Moorhead, Minnesota malt plant Monday. Tony Rosing, manager of Busch Ag’s West Fargo elevator, says something new that Busch Ag is talking to growers about is a new program. “Smart Barley is a program we did on a limited basis last year. It impacts what producers can look for to obtain better yields, better quality as well as nutrient and fungicide management. They can be looking at growers in any country and benchmarking against what they’re doing. We’re launching this in multiple counties around the world.”

Growing Barley for BuschAneta, North Dakota farmer Fred Lukens has grown barley on contract for Busch Ag Resources for about 15 years. There were certainly more acres, and more growers then. “Barley is harder to raise. It takes more management. You can’t spray glyphosate on it. There are a lot more specifications you have to meet. People have had to get involved in more intensive fungicide practices to make that all work.” Lukens says he’s a few weeks away from combining his barley.

Thune Adds Rail Service Information to His WebsiteSouth Dakota Senator John Thune has released a new rail service section on his website where rail shippers can find the latest on South Dakota rail developments. On the site, shippers and consumers can find the most up to date actions taken by Thune, access grain car reports, find contact information for the Surface Transportation Board and can leave messages for the Senator about rail problems they’ve experienced.

Genes Discovered That Protect Sunflowers Against Rust — USDA scientists have discovered two genes that protect sunflowers against rust disease. ARS molecular geneticist Lili Qi at the agency’s Sunflower and Plant Biology Research Unit in Fargo, and her collaborators, discovered that the genes confer resistance against all rust strains tested to date. In an annual field survey conducted by the North Dakota State University Extension Service and the National Sunflower Association, sunflower rust was found in 60 to 70 percent of surveyed fields. 

SD Gets Disaster Declaration — Twelve South Dakota counties will receive federal assistance, due to a series of June storms that produced tornadoes and flooding. The presidential disaster declaration was signed Monday. The region affected extends from Perkins County in northwest South Dakota to Union County in the southeastern corner of the state. 

Bayer-Evogene Collaberation Changes — The collaboration agreement between Bayer CropScience and Evogene has been modified. Since 2010, Evogene concentrated on the discovery of novel genes to improve wheat yield, nitrogen-use efficiency and stress tolerance. With the amended agreement, the genomics company will focus on ways to optimize how these genes are expressed in the plant. 

Sustainability Efforts Continue at General Mills — General Mills’ focus on sustainability continues. The Minneapolis-based company has committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from its entire supply chain, including farm production. The new climate policy includes a reduction in water use. 

AGCO Sales Are Down — AGCO reports net sales of $2.8 billion in the second quarter, a decrease of nearly 10 percent from a year ago. Net income dropped 18 percent. Net sales for the first six months was $5.1 billion, down seven percent, while net income went down 17 percent. AGCO president and CEO Martin Richenhagen says falling commodity prices negatively impacted farmer sentiment, and demand for farm equipment softened across markets in North America and Europe.

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Comparing July Weather — July has been cool and dry across the corn belt, which is an unusual combination during the summer months. MDA Weather Services’ analysis of 17 cool July analogs yielded only two years which were as dry as this year in the Midwest, 1960 and 1967. In 1967, corn yields were well above trend, while 1960 saw corn yields below trend. Soybean yields were slightly above trend in 1960 and were below trend in 1967. MDA meteorologist Kyle Tapley says soil moisture reserves are in much better shape than would ordinarily be expected given how dry it has been so far in July.  

Starting to Go the Wrong Direction — First it was too wet, and now it’s getting too dry. Kent Sortland, who farms in Barnes County, North Dakota, says his row crops are going backwards. “We need rain pretty badly now. Typical July for us. It shuts off and we dry out. I can see it on the beans. I have a couple fields with sandy spots where you can really tell it on the corn too. We’re starting to go the wrong direction.”

Club Root May Be in ND — Club Root may have been found in a canola field in north east North Dakota.  Northern Canola Growers executive director Barry Coleman reminds canola growers to be vigilant and scout for the disease. “The disease had been fairly prevalent in Alberta the last five years. We didn’t think it would spread this far, but it may have. We’re doing some tests to make sure it’s confirmed.” Coleman say removing soil from equipment before moving to another field will go a long way in helping prevent the spread of club root.