Red River Farm Network News

Mosset Named ND Dairy PrincessRobin Mosset has been crowned North Dakota’s 68th State Dairy Princess. Mosset was crowned during a luncheon last week with Midwest Dairy Association North Dakota Division board members. She received a $500 scholarship from the Midwest Dairy Association.

SD Names Eminent Farmers/Ranchers — South Dakota State University has announced its 2015 Eminent Farmers/Ranchers and Eminent Homemakers selections. Gary Duffy of Oldham and Rebecca "Becky" Walth of Glenham have been named Eminent Farmers/Ranchers while Ida Slocum, of Aurora and Helen Sweeter from Worthing have been named the Eminent Homemakers. The honorees will be recognized during a banquet in September.

NFU NYAC Council Elected — Young leaders from South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin have been elected by their peers as the 2015-16 National Youth Advisory Council for the National Farmers Union. The new NYAC consists of: Kiana Brockel, South Dakota; Jesse Carlson, South Dakota; Andrew Cotter, Wisconsin; Alexandra Farber, South Dakota; Karly Held, North Dakota; and Ali Slaughter, Wisconsin.

USDA Increases Soybean Acres — According to today’s USDA crop report, soybean acreage is at a record 85.1 million acres. That’s up from 83.7 million acres last year. Minnesota farmers planted record large soybean acreage. If realized, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin also put in all-time high for soybean acreage. With weather-related problems in the major soybean states, the acreage numbers are being discounted. Corn acreage is estimated at 88.9 million crop. That’s down two percent from last year and is the lowest planted acreage in the US in five years. According to USDA, the area planted to spring wheat nationwide is at 13.5 million acres. That’s up four percent from last year and at the high end of trade expectations. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at 40.6 million acres, is down four percent from last year. 

More Acre Estimates — US canola acreage is estimated at nearly 1.6 million acres, down from 1.7 million acres last year. The planted area for sunflowers is approaching 1.7 million acres, up from 1.5 million in 2014. Dry edible bean acreage is down slightly from last year. Nationwide, sugarbeet acreage is expected to be slightly higher than 2014 levels. Minnesota beet acreage is estimated at 430,000 acres, down 10,000 from last year. North Dakota sugarbeet acreage is forecast at 224,000 acres, up 8,000 acres from last year.

MN, ND, SD Acre Estimates — According to the USDA crop production report, Minnesota soybean acreage is estimated an all-time high of 7.7 million acres. That’s up 350,000 acres from last year. North Dakota soybean acreage is at 5.8 million acres, down from 5.9 million acres in 2014. South Dakota soybean acreage is at 5.1 million, which is a slight reduction from a year ago. For corn, Minnesota acreage is equal to last year at 8.2 million acres. The planted area for North Dakota corn is 2.8 million acres, which is on par with a year ago. South Dakota corn acreage has dropped to 5.2 million acres. That compares to 5.8 million acres last year.

Other MN, ND, SD Acre Estimates — According to USDA’s acreage report, spring wheat acreage in North Dakota is up one percent. Barley acreage is up 45 percent. Soybean acreage dropped two percent and corn is unchanged from last year. Canola planted acreage in North Dakota increased three percent. The area for oil sunflowers increased nearly 20 percent and non-oil sunflowers is up 38 percent from 2014. Dry edible bean acreage is down three percent. Minnesota farmers planted 8.2 million acres of corn this year, down 300,000 from the March intentions, but unchanged from last year. Soybean acreage in Minnesota is at a record high 7.7 million acres, up 350,000 acres from last year. Spring wheat acreage is estimated at 1.65 million acres, up 430,000 from last year. Minnesota’s spring wheat acreage is at its highest level since 2008. South Dakota farmers planted 5.2 million acres of corn this year, a decline of ten percent from last year. The soybean planted acreage is estimated at 5.1 million acres, down one percent. Spring wheat acreage in South Dakota increased nine percent from a year ago.

Resurvey — Due to weather-related delays this spring, USDA will resurvey growers in three states to get a better handle on planted acreage. Soybean farmers in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri will be resurveyed and the adjustments will be reflected in the August crop report.

USDA Increases Grain Stocks — USDA’s Quarterly Stock Report showed all corn, soybeans and wheat inventories rising slightly from a year ago. Corn stocks are estimated at 4.45 billion bushels, up 15 percent from a year ago. Soybean stocks are estimated at 625 million bushels, up 54 percent from a year ago and wheat stocks are estimated at 753 million bushels, up from 590 million a year ago.

MN, ND, SD Grain Stocks — According to USDA’s grain stocks report, the amount of North Dakota wheat in on-farm storage is up over 40 percent from a year ago. On-farm soybean stocks are up a whopping 376 percent from a year ago. North Dakota corn on-farm stocks are down 23 percent. For Minnesota, corn stocks in all positions on June 1 was just fractionally higher than a year ago. Nearly 70 percent of that corn is stored on-farm. The amount of soybeans stored in all positions in Minnesota is up 46 percent from a year ago. Of that, more than half of that crop is stored on the farm. In South Dakota, the amount of corn stored on the farm is up 14 percent; on-farm soybean stocks are up 130 percent and the amount of wheat stored on the farm is up 40 percent.

Canadian Canola Production Expected to be Lower — The CWB warns that a lack of rain could see canola production fall to an eight-year low this year. The CWB also cautions that drought conditions are on the verge of causing irreversible damage to Canada’s durum crop. CWB says rain is needed by next weekend for the crop to have any chance of reaching average production levels. CWB projects Canada’s canola crop as low as 12.6 million tons, well below the government’s current forecast of almost 15 million tons.

USDA Allows Beef Imports from Brazil and Argentina — USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will now allow fresh beef imports from portions of Argentina and Brazil. These regions have a history of foot-and-mouth disease, but USDA said the risk of bringing the disease to the United States is very low. The National Farmers Union is opposed to this move, saying it has “potentially devastating consequences” for American livestock producers. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis said the Administration made the decision to gain political points. The announcement came on the same day Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was meeting with President Obama.

MPP Signup Starts July 1 — Starting July 1, dairy farmers can enroll in the new Margin Protection Program for 2016. This program was part of the 2014 farm bill and provides a safety net when milk prices fall or feed prices increase. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden said more than half of US dairy farmers are enrolled in the program this year.

MN Buffer Initiative Starts — Implementation for Minnesota’s new buffer initiative began Wednesday. Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts can begin hiring staff to provide technical assistance for new buffers. These employees will also help eligible landowners enroll in federal funding programs. Additional aspects of the law will take effect over the next several years as farmers and landowners add buffers to their property.

Viptera Lawsuits Combined — A US judicial panel has ordered two lawsuits pending in Iowa to be combined with those being considered in a Kansas federal court. These consolidated lawsuits, which now approach 1,900, challenge Syngenta for the release of its Viptera corn before its complete approval in export markets.

Cargill Value Added Protein — Cargill has combined its value added meats business in Wichita, Kansas with its Monticello, Minnesota-based egg business. The new business unit will be called Cargill Value Added Protein. With the move, Cargill has announced John Niemann has been appointed president of the company’s Turkey and Cooked Meats business unit and Chris Roberts will take over the newly-formed Value Added Protein division. Tom Windish, who is now a commercial business leader for Cargill Beef, will take Niemann’s previous position and will oversee distribution. Sonya Roberts, who now leads Cargill’s sales and marketing for the salt business, will become the managing director of the egg portion of Cargill Value Added Protein and will be based in Monticello, Minnesota.

Crop Inputs Merger — Land O’Lakes and United Supplies have announced plans to merge their crop inputs business. Before the deal can be finalized, Land O’Lakes members and United Suppliers’ owners need to approve the merger. That vote is expected to happen in August. In 2014, WinField had $4.9 billion in seed and crop protection product sales. United Suppliers, which is based in Ames, Iowa, had $2.6 billion in crop protection, seed and crop nutrient sales.

Anti-Monsanto Album Released — Long-time rocker Neil Young has released a new album called ‘The Monsanto Years.’ Monsanto chief technology officer Robert Fraley, who is a Neil Young fan, said this is an example of the poor job the company has done in communications and engaging with the public about science. In a blog post, Fraley invited Young to Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis to learn more about the company’s approach to science and agriculture.

New Refinery Opens in Dickinson — The nation’s first Greenfield refinery to be built and put into service in more than 40 years held its grand opening near Dickinson, North Dakota Monday. Lawmakers including North Dakota Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, and Governor Jack Dalrymple were on hand for the grand opening ceremony. The lawmakers spoke about the commitment from MDU and Resources and Calumet in getting this refinery off the ground. The Refinery will produce diesel fuel from Bakken oil.

Ladhoff Joins Black Gold — Black Gold Farms has announced it has contracted with Don Ladhoff to assist with the sales and marketing of its expanding fresh potato business. Ladhoff is president of FreshSmartSolutions, consulting in the fresh foods and produce sector. Ladhoff will fill the role of director of fresh sales and marketing. Black Gold Farms is based in Grand Forks.

Former 4-H Leader Takes Job That Celebrates Farm Life — The former executive director of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation has been named the president of a unique Iowa program. Cara Miller will oversee Silos & Smokestacks, a national heritage area that highlights Iowa's blend of agricultural and manufacturing history.

American Angus Association Looking for CEO — The American Angus Association executive committee has selected a search firm to identify candidates for the CEO vacancy. The full board will vote on that choice at its board meeting next week. Nearly a month ago, the Angus group announced CEO Bryce Schumann was no longer with the association. Chief Financial Officer Richard Wilson is the interim CEO.

Dixon Joins Valley Irrigation — Valley Irrigation has appointed Joshua Dixon as its vice president of global operations. In the past, Dixon worked at Danaher Business System, Belden Inc., and General Electric.

Roberts Resigns — National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Forrest Roberts is resigning to pursue other opportunities in the cattle industry and agriculture. Roberts has been on the job for six years. NCBA chief operating officer Kendal Frazier has been named the interim CEO.

USDA Committee Appointments — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative Michael Froman have announced the appointment of 129 individuals to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees. The list of appointees to the policy advisory group includes American Soybean Association CEO Stephen Censky, National Farmers Union senior vice president Chandler Goule, US Meat Export Federation President Philip Seng, US Dairy Export Council President Thomas Suber and US Wheat Associates President Alan Tracy. For the technical committees, the Administration selected US Dry Bean Council executive director Rebecca Bratter, North Dakota Wheat Commission administrator Neal Fisher, Minnesota Farmers Union vice president Gary Wertish, American Sugarbeet Growers Association executive vice president Luther Markwart and American Crystal Sugar Company vice president Kevin Price.

USDA Has New Communications Staff — USDA has named a new deputy director of communications and a new press secretary. Joanne Peters will serve as the deputy director of communications. Most recently, Peters has been working as a communications consultant. Previously, Peters was a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department. The new press secretary is Cathy Cochran. Cochran joined the USDA staff in 2009 as a public affairs specialist with the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Gussuiaas Scholarship Established — A scholarship to attend The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers, honoring the late Brock Gussuiaas from Carrington, North Dakota has been established and is open for applicants. The scholarship was formed with the help of Gussiasas’s classmates from TEPAP Unit 1, which he attended in 2014. Brock passed away of viral pneumonia in May 2014 at the age of 28. All TEPAP applications must be submitted by August 31.

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