Red River Farm Network News

Datmars Releases No-Tear Ear TagsDatamars, Inc. has released a new, no-tear ear tagging system for livestock. The Z Tags Z2 No-Tear-Tagging System has a new applicator with a kickback jaw that automatically retracts once the tag has been inserted. This, combined with a flip-out pin, reduces the risk of ripped ears and improves tag retention.

Hearing a Ton About GMO's — Veteran Washington, DC farm policy analyst David Crow, the president of DC Legislative and Regulatory Services, says we’ll be hearing a “ton” more about GMOs. “As agriculture becomes more technical, has more intellectual property and is more connected to global production, the more our opponents are going to attack us. I think the theory that you should be small, self-contained, everything should be local and you should do it organically, all of those are huge fights now. I thought they had gone away, but they haven’t.”

Kabbes Promoted at BungeDavid Kabbes has been appointed as General Counsel and Managing Director, Corporate Affairs for Bunge Limited, effective February 1. Kabbes has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate and Legal Affairs for Bunge North America.

Bayer to Award Bee Care Grant — Bayer CropScience is taking nominations for its 3rd annual Bee Care Community Leadership award. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant to be used for a community bee keeping project. Nomination deadline is April 3.

Farm Bill Cost Keeps Going Up — Agri-Pulse reports the CBO estimates farm programs will cost $18 billion more over the next 10 years than previously estimated. Mandatory spending for farm programs reached $19 billion in fiscal 2014, $1 billion more than the CBO forecast last August. The costs are expected to dip to $11 billion this fiscal year, before increasing to $16 billion in 2016 and $19 billion in 2017.

ARC Individual Coverage Option Getting Little Interest — North Dakota State University Extension farm management specialist Andy Swenson says the Agricultural Revenue Coverage-Individual Coverage option has received little interest compared with the ARC-County and the Price Loss Coverage programs. However, Swenson says it may be the best option in certain instances. Swenson says ARC-IC should be considered if you had a yield shortfall on an FSA farm last year, if your farm is generally less productive than the county average, or if your farm has high historic yields, but significant yield variability. If your farm has a significant amount of base in crops that project strong ARC-County or PLC payments, ARC-IC will rarely be the optimal choice.

DuPont Reports Increased Earnings — DuPont has announced fourth quarter operating earnings of $1 billion, eight percent more than the previous year. Sales fell five percent. Fourth quarter agriculture sales declined four percent; however, earnings rose 47 percent. For the full year, DuPont’s agriculture sales of $11.3 billion were down four percent from the previous year and earnings declined five percent on lower corn seed volumes and the negative impact of currency, partially offset by higher crop protection volumes, higher local seed prices, and lower costs, including seed inputs.

CBO Expects More Soybean Acres — The Congressional Budget Office expects US farmers to plant more soybeans and less corn than they did last year. CBO forecasts corn acres at 89 million acres, two percent less than last year, and soybean seedings of 86 million, up three percent from a year ago. CBO projects wheat area at 55.5 million acres this year, down more than two percent from last year. CBO forecasts this year’s corn production at 13.5 billion bushels, and soybeans at 3.8 billion, both less than last year.

Wilbur-Ellis Opens Divsion in Denver — Wilbur-Ellis Company has opened its new agribusiness division location in the Denver metro area. The relocation of its agribusiness operations from California to Colorado is part of Wilbur-Ellis’ multi-faceted Alignment for Growth plan announced last summer.

Crop Protection Merger — AgGateway and the CRISTAL Product Traceability team of CropLife International are merging their bar code guidelines. This will allow crop protection companies with global operations to enhance data exchange in managing product traceability, inventory control, regulatory compliance and quality control.

CHS Expanding in Kansas — CHS, Inc. and Hansen-Mueller Company, have signed a letter of intent for CHS to acquire the Hansen-Mueller assets in Kansas. The country elevators in Kansas originate corn, winter wheat and milo, with the majority of production being shipped by truck to area cattle feedlots, ethanol plants and milling companies.

AgriFinance Advisors Launches Web Tool

AgriFinance Advisors, Inc. has launched an online financial tool for farmers. AgWizard is licensed to ag lenders, accountants, crop insurance agents or agribusinesses.

Dvorak Makes Job Move — Ducks Unlimited’s Agronomy Manger of Conservation Programs is leaving DU for Mycogen Seeds. As of February 9th, Steve Dvorak will be Mycogen’s commercial agronomist for the state of South Dakota.

GMO Bill in MN — Minnesota State Senators John Marty and Foung Hawj are introducing a GMO labeling bill in the Minnesota Senate. The bill, which would take effect on January 1, 2017, would not apply to animals that consumed feed from biotech crops. It would prohibit foods that contain biotech ingredients from being promoted as natural.

NDSU Releases ND Henson Soybean Variety — North Dakota State University has released a new soybean variety. ND Henson is a conventional soybean variety developed by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences chair Rich Horsley says the ND Henson line is intended to replace NDSU’s Cavalier soybean. In field trials, ND Henson matured two days later than Cavalier but yielded six bushels more per acre.

NDSU Releases New Barley Variety — The ND Agricultural Experiment Station has released ND Genesis, a two-rowed barley line. Rich Horsley, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences chair, says the improved foliar disease resistance and yield potential of ND Genesis, as compared with Pinnacle, make it a possible replacement for Pinnacle in ND Genesis is added to the American Malting Barley Association’s list of recommended malting barley varieties.

MN Value Added Grants Available — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced another round of funding for projects to help farmers and processors add value to their operations. MDA says a total of one million dollars has been made available through the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation Program. MDA will distribute the funds through its AGRI Value Added Grant Program which aims to increase sales of Minnesota Agricultural products. MDA says applications with a meat processing, farm-to-school component, or are addressing Good Agricultural Practices will receive priority. Grant applications are due no later than 4pm March 6. The application is found on the MDA website.

Carbon Credits Grants Available — USDA says applications are being accepted for up to 20 million dollars is grants to help create new markets for carbon credits. The grants are part of the Conservation Innovation Grant program. About half of the 20 million dollars is available for environmental markets and conservation finance projects. NRCS is seeking projects that will build on the basic infrastructure of those markets funded in past years.

Federal Funds for New and Beginning Farmers — North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is encouraging eligible organizations, such as federal, state, and tribal agencies, community-based and nongovernmental organizations, and schools, to apply for available federal resources to support educational training programs for new and beginning farmers and ranchers. The USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program has made available more than $18 million in federal funding for organizations to train and develop new and beginning farmers and ranchers.