A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
On the Hill-The Red River Farm Network is part of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Washington Watch event this week. A new farm bill being written this year and the action on Capitol Hill has consequences for all farmers and ranchers. In addition to coverage from Washington Watch this week, RRFN is in Brookings to start the week for the South Dakota FFA Convention. From farm policy to agriculture’s next generation, the Red River Farm Network is ‘Reporting Agriculture’s Business.’
Waiting for Drier Conditions – Winter is taking its last gasp with snow over the past 24 hours in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Sunshine is now expected to start the week in Minnesota and the Dakotas. A mix of rain and snow will be seen in the later half of the week. Flooding caused by the snowmelt is being seen in many areas. Numerous roads are closed due to these conditions.
Dealing With a Late Start to the Season – There’s extra time this spring to tune up the planter and prepare for the spring season. “I don’t think we’re looking at an April start, but if we can get started by the 10th or 12th of May, that would be a win,” reports CHS Ag Services Senior Director of Operations Ryan Anderson. Few changes are expected in the acreage mix. “Look back to last year with how late we seeded and we had a phenomenal corn crop and a great spring wheat crop; I think right now we’re just going to stay the course and wait to see when we get in and we’ll deal with it then.” CHS Ag Services serves 20 locations in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.
Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan – A compressed spring season means efficiency will be of utmost importance in getting the crop planted in a timely manner. There are things farmers can do to increase productivity. “Have a plan and set goals,” said Ryan Bell, retail product agronomist, Brevant Seed. “There’s always going to be roadblocks in farming but keeping your eyes on your goals will help your efficiency.”
From Winter to Summer in 48 Hours – South Dakota Wheat Commission Executive Director Reid Christopherson says temperatures up to 90 degrees contributed to enormous snow melt this past week and in some places, spring wheat planting is underway. “We went from winter to summer in 48 hours, so it certainly is the land of infinite variety. One of our commissioners from Ideal, South Dakota was in the field planting spring wheat.” Christopherson says the wet conditions in northeastern South Dakota is keeping growers out of the field.
The Waiting Game – Bathgate, North Dakota-based M.R. Consulting owner Mark Ramsey says the snowpack is disappearing every day. Optimistically, Ramsey believes farmers in northeastern North Dakota should be in the field by mid-May. “The old wives’ tale around here is ‘when the river goes through Bathgate, it’s a month until we go to the field’ and there’s water in the river, but it’s not running.”The
A Season of Extremes – Belfield, North Dakota farmer/rancher Byron Richard says the western part of the state has been put through the wringer with wild swings in temperatures. “It’s a matter of extremes with high’s (a week ago) being in the 20’s and this week it was in the 90’s.” The calving season has gone better than last year for Richard. The early April snowstorm wasn’t terribly stressful on livestock, but Richard says the winter has been too long. “We dodged a bullet there and didn’t get as much snow as out east. To be honest with you, this is still the most snow I’ve seen since 2011.”
Conditions Changed Quickly in Western Minnesota – Temperatures in the Upper Midwest have cooled from last week’s rapid warmup. University of Minnesota Extension Regional Educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes says fields around her area are very wet from snow melt. “For the most part, the snow is gone and it left very quickly. We were pretty dry last fall, so hopefully it got into the soil.”
Early Season Weed Control Should Not be Ignored – Just like last year, it will likely be a compacted spring season. Planting took precedence over early spring weed control in 2022 “and I think we learned last year that we kind of regretted not getting more preemergence herbicides on.” Dekalb Asgrow Technical Agronomist Grant Mehring says the easiest weed to control is the one that hasn’t emerged yet. “That’s where cultural management such as PPI’s or pre’s are going to do a good job, but also certain things like managing your tillage. I really want growers to think about controlling weed seeds first and then controlling your really small weeds..” Mehring said the two-to-three inch tall weeds can become four-or-five feed tall before you know it.” The full interview with Mehring can be found on the Red River Farm Network website.
Maintaining Soil Fertility – Up-to-date soil testing data is needed to make the most of the fertilizer plan. Agvise Laboratories soil scientist John Breker says a lot of farmers did the majority of their soil testing last fall. “Even though it was dry, nitrate levels were close to normal.” With a delayed spring season, it is important to get soil testing done as soon as possible. Breker said handheld probes are the best option for soil testing wet fields.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board member Doug Noem talks about the efficiency of fertilizer use over the years.
Inflation Edges Lower – The U.S. inflation rate in March moved to its lowest level since May of 2021. The Consumer Price Index rose five percent last month, down from the six percent increase in February. Food inflation was 8.5 percent above one year ago. This financial data still holds open the possibility of another interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve Bank next month.
No Surprises in S/D Report – The April supply/demand report was a yawner. USDA made no changes to corn or soybean ending stocks. Wheat stocks rose 30 million bushels due to lower feed demand. Regarding South American production, USDA increased its estimate for the Brazilian soybean crop and made additional cuts to the Argentine crop.
MN Wheat Minute – Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers CEO Charlie Vogel talks about ways wheat products can be utilized in the latest Minnesota Wheat Minute.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in Markets – In today’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson said live cattle futures are making new all-time highs. “We have tight supplies and they’re only going to get tighter as we go into summer.” New crop corn and soybean markets are stuck in a holding pattern.
Court Halts WOTUS Rule – The newly revised definition of the Waters of the United States rule cannot be implemented or enforced in North Dakota, South Dakota and 22 other states. A federal judge in North Dakota granted a preliminary injunction stopping the new WOTUS rule, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed in North Dakota.
‘Red Tape Disaster’ – The decision to block the new Waters of the United States is being praised by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and the state congressional delegation. Congressman Kelly Armstrong described WOTUS as “a red tape disaster” and hopes the court will ultimately throw the case out.
NDFB Praises Court Decision – NDFB President Daryl Lies is pleased with the court decision regarding the Waters of the United States rule. Lies said U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland recognized the regulatory overreach. “In his statement, he said it was obvious there are constitutional concerns regarding interstate waters whether they are navigable or not. That’s the original thing addressed in 1972 when the Clean Water Act came about.” This decision comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is also reviewing the WOTUS rule. “It was pretty brazen and bold and overreaching by this administration’s EPA to come out with another rule before the ruling was in from the Supreme Court.”
Farm Bill Politics – Food stamps and other federal nutrition programs are in the crosshairs for the Republican majority in the House. “Going after the food stamp/SNAP program is a non-starter,” said Minnesota Senator Tina Smith. “It only injects politics into what has been a bipartisan bill for a long time. We cannot let the politics of the debt ceiling crisis and the budget weigh down the farm bill, it’s just way too important.” Smith chairs the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management and Trade. A series of subcommittee hearings are planned for late April and early May. Smith hosted an ag roundtable meeting this past week in Willmar.
Thompson Defends Nutrition Title – House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson hosted a farm bill listening session in the State of New York Friday. “Nutrition is not coming out of the farm bill,” assured Thompson. “That is near and dear to my heart. Those types of programs like SNAP are critical and it represents a rural value of neighbors helping neighbors in need.”
Education Necessary for a Successful Farm Bill – The number of U.S. lawmakers representing rural areas is lower than ever. Land O’ Lakes Director of State Government and Industry Affairs Amber Glaeser says everyone will need to work together to get the farm bill to the finish line. “There’s so many members on the (agriculture) committees and in Congress that have never worked on a farm bill before, including three of the four (agriculture committee) leaders who have never written a farm bill together. We need to make sure people understand these programs and keep the ship moving in the right direction.”
NCGA Opposes EPA GHG Proposal – The Environmental Protection Agency is giving electric vehicles a boost with a proposal for new greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and trucks. In a statement, the National Corn Growers Association said the plan does not recognize the environmental benefits of low-carbon ethanol. By focusing exclusively on EVs, the NCGA said the Biden Administration is failing to consider options to immediately address carbon emissions.
NCI Hosting Everything Ethanol Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Everything Ethanol webinar Wednesday morning at 10 AM. This webinar will feature USDA Biofuels Trade Policy Lead Emily Marthaler on Global Ethanol Progress through Policy Partnerships. During the presentation, Marthaler will discuss the role of trade for U.S. ethanol and Foreign Agricultural Service collaboration on global ethanol policy. This interactive webinar series focuses on advancing global ethanol market development. Go online for more information and to register.
Higher Renewable Fuel Volumes Sought – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley are leading a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are calling on the EPA to strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the senators said the agency should support national security by promoting this homegrown energy source.
Washington Watch This Week – The National Association of Farm Broadcasting is hosting its annual Washington Watch event in Washington, D.C. Red River Farm Network Farm Broadcaster Whitney Pittman will have reports on-air and online highlighting the farm bill and other agricultural issues coming out of Capitol Hill. This coverage is sponsored by NDFB, MInnesota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Soybean Council and Farm Credit Services of Mandan.
Brazilian Beans Coming to the U.S. – With a significant difference in price, Brazilian soybeans will soon be feeding hogs and birds in North Carolina. A 30,000 metric ton vessel will be leaving Brazil before the end of the month, heading to U.S. East Coast. This would be the first Brazilian soybean shipment to the United States in two years.
Fate of Black Sea Grain Deal in Question – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary is repeating a message that has been heard in recent weeks. Dmitry Peskov said the outlook for the Black Sea Grain Initiative is “not so great.” A month ago, Russia only agreed to a 60-day extension of the grain deal rather than the previous term of 120 days. Russia is seeking concessions from the sanctions imposed by the West. The current deal is scheduled to expire May 18.
Taiwan Reaffirms Trade Partnership – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and ranking members of the Senate Agriculture Committee met with Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture deputy minister to discuss agriculture and trade relations. The two parties signed letters of intent for Taiwan to purchase $3.2 billion worth of U.S. ag products. South Korea was the first stop on the trip where Hoeven also reinforced the importance of agricultural trade.
Trade Tensions Ease Between China & Australia – China is taking steps to end a trade dispute with Australia over barley exports. Australia challenged China’s 80 percent duty on its barley with the World Trade Organization. With this agreement, China will drop these duties and Australia will stop its WTO review.
Working Group to Evaluate Biotech Corn Dispute – The Mexican government has created a working group to investigate the impact of biotech corn imports on the human food supply. The United States is challenging Mexico’s attempt to restrict GMO corn imports. Mexico typically imports 17 million tons of corn from the United States each year.
G7 Nations Meet in Japan – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is spending time in Vietnam and Japan this week. At the same time, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is traveling to the Philippines and Japan. The G7 meetings are being held in Japan where world leaders will discuss the Russia-Ukraine war, food security, trade and climate change.
Statewide Emergency Declared – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has declared a statewide emergency for spring flooding. All state agencies, including the National Guard, are on standby to provide resources. In addition, the Legislature will consider a $2 million plan for the natural disaster response. That’s on top of the $20 million in emergency snow removal grants signed into law last week.
Banning Foreign Ownership of Farmland – Legislation banning foreign ownership of farmland has passed with a 90-to-one vote in the North Dakota House. The same bill passed unanimously in the North Dakota Senate. This ban does not apply to land used for ag research.
Corporate Farming Law Being Considered by a Conference Committee – A House-Senate conference committee is reviewing North Dakota’s corporate farm law. The bill provides more flexibility for the expansion of animal agriculture in the state. HB 1371 is expected to pass in the legislature and signed by the governor.
North Dakota Legislative Report – The countdown is on to get bills moved through committee. North Dakota Representative Jared Hagert says work in the tax and finance committee focused on the Legacy Fund. Hear more in this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report.
‘Balanced and Fair’ – The Minnesota Senate approved the omnibus agriculture bill with a vote of 58-to-seven. The amount of funding available was lower than what had been expected earlier in the session. Agriculture Committee Chair Aric Putnam said they built the best bill they could with what was allotted. “I would have liked more money, but it was still significantly more than has been dedicated in the past couple years and I think we spread it out in a way that was balanced and fair.”
Omnibus Ag Bill Moves to the House – The omnibus agriculture bill will be heard in the Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee today. The language differs greatly from the bill that passed in the Minnesota Senate last week. One major policy change is language banning crop protection products containing a manmade chemical called PFAS. That would include treated seed.
A Budget Hole for ’26-’27 – Nearly a month ago, Minnesota legislative leaders announced budget targets. For 2024-2025, agriculture was allocated $48 million. Governor Tim Walz sought $71 million for ’26 and ’27, but the Legislature’s ag budget target is $40 million. Cory Bennett, who leads Bennett Government Consulting, says the difference is with the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation or AGRI program. “AGRI is about $35 million so that was the difference that we saw in ’26 and ’27.” AGRI funding supports infrastructure grants for renewable energy, livestock investment grants, county fairs, crop research and more. AGRI is scheduled to sunset in 2026. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says the budget for the out years creates a big hole. “We also have to look at how we plan our contracts,” said Petersen. “A lot of grants that we do at the department are three-year contracts so we might have to reduce some of those contracts.” Petersen emphasizes agriculture makes up one-third of one percent of the Minnesota budget. At the same time, agriculture is responsible for 25-to-30 percent of the state’s GDP.
Bonding Bill Hits Minnesota House – Minnesota House Agriculture Committee Chair Samantha Vang says it was an exciting week with the $13 million bonding bill up for authorization. The bonding bill covers loan programs from beginner farmers to livestock expansion. “A lot of these funds will go towards issuing loans towards farmers.”
MFBF Minute – Legislators still need to hear from you. Minnesota Farm Bureau Director of Public Policy Pierce Bennett gives an update on what’s happening at the capitol in the latest MFBF Minute.
A Helping Hand After the Long Winter – Minnesota’s Rural Finance Authority has declared an emergency for the entire state. This makes zero-interest disaster recovery loans available for farmers who suffered property damage or livestock losses this year. Eligible farmers will be able to work with their local lenders to secure the RFA loans.
A Muddy Mess – With warm temperatures in the forecast and the snowpack starting to melt off, mud is becoming the new challenge for many farmers and ranchers. NDSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Zac Carlson says mud and manure can pose a hazard to cow and calf health. “I think a lot of producers are going from having to calve in snowbanks to having to calve in mud with flood and high-water potential.” Carlson recommends livestock producers put together a plan for bedding their cattle, especially since bedding stocks typically dwindle towards the end of the winter.
MN Beef Update – Minnesota Beef Communications Director Ashley Kraemer joins us to discuss “Build Your Base” program in the latest Minnesota Beef Update.
USDA Report Delivered Positive Demand Outlook for U.S. Beef – Due to higher-than-expected cattle placements in the first half of the year, USDA has increased its beef production forecast from last month. The projected cattle prices were increased with continued strong demand. The supply/demand report increased pork production for the first half of the year but revised the numbers lower for the balance of 2023. Hog prices are forecast to decline. Broiler and turkey price projections rose. U.S. milk production is expected to increase with a larger-than-expected cow herd. Class III milk prices are projected to increase.
Cheese Demand Props Up Class III Price – The dairy market remains wary about the spring flush and the destination for that volume of milk. In the Midwest, a lot of that milk supply ends up in a cheese vat. “The good news is the consumer has been relatively resilient,” said Mike North, principal, Ever.Ag. “Cheese production has been very elevated, but the buildup of inventory has not followed its seasonal norm; we’re actually keeping the inventory static or even depleting it a little bit depending on what category you’re looking at.” Nearby Class III prices have been in the $18 per hundredweight range, while deferred contracts are in the $19 territory. “When we lay that against feed prices right now, none of those prices are exciting and what we’re going to need is some sort of relief on feed costs or an ongoing push in the milk market to carry those margins higher.”
Thousands of Cows Lost in Texas Explosion/Fire – An explosion and fire at Southfork Dairy at Dimmitt, Texas resulted in the loss of 18,000 dairy cows and the hospitalization of one employee. The cause of the explosion is being investigated. “This was the deadliest barn fire for cattle in Texas history and the investigation and cleanup may take some time,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
Minnesota Has Learned From Previous HPAI Outbreaks – With migrating birds returning to the region, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture is keeping an eye out for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. “We’ve come a long way since 2015 in terms of our preparedness and response activities,” reports Andrea Vaubel, deputy commissioner. “We work very closely with USDA and the Board of Animal Health. We have a lot of expertise now in terms of depop and disposal, getting there quickly and thinking through transportation precautions we need to take to prevent the spread.”
Grants Awarded for Foreign Animal Disease Response – USDA is awarding nearly $16 million for 60 projects to ramp up the country’s animal disease preparedness and emergency response. The University of Minnesota will receive funding for targeted learning modules for the poultry industry and avian influenza. North Dakota State University is also up for grant money to investigate the emergency response to foreign animal diseases and mass livestock deaths.
USDA Invests $12 Million Into Conservation – The USDA has awarded $122 million in cooperative agreements for 49 projects to expand access to conservation assistance. USDA’s aim is for livestock producers to increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands.
PEAK Unhatched – The poultry industry’s PEAK convention took place this past week in Minneapolis. Midwest Poultry Federation Management team member Lara Durben says Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was a big topic during convention. “We’ve learned so much from the initial outbreak in 2015 and we continue to learn and grow.” PEAK included sessions directed at poultry producers in the turkey, egg layer and broiler industries.
Beet Sugar Production Declines – In its supply/demand report, USDA dropped beet sugar production by more than 10,000 short tons, raw value due to slightly lower sugar recovery and a small increase in the beet pile shrink. High-tier tariff imports increased to 225,000 short tons from 156,000 short tons the previous month. Two weeks ago, The Commerce Department indicated Mexico would be able to supply U.S. sugar needs of 1.1 million metric tons during the remainder of the export period.
Beet Share Values – There was one American Crystal Sugar Company brokered beet stock sale this past week for ten shares at $4,800 per share. “As the season winds down there are few shares on the market at higher prices,” said Jayson Menke, Acres & Shares owner. “It’s not a huge surprise to see a quieter market this time of year. It’s tough to know how many more trades we’ll see this year. Most year’s there are sales in April and occasionally a few sales the first week-to-ten days or May.”
Optimism for Sunflowers – USDA’s March acreage report estimated sunflower acreage to be down 20 percent from 2022. Given the late spring, National Sunflower Association Executive Director John Sandbakken is expecting steady-to-larger sunflower acreage. “Right now, things are shaping up really well for the sunflower crop. With it being a later planted crop, there’s still time for guys to get out there.” Crop insurance is also favoring the planting of sunflowers. Sunbakken expects this to be a year with weather risk.
Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Association Public Relations Manager Nate Gotlieb talks about treated corn seed stewardship. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters.
E15 Could Save Minnesota Drivers $84 Million – In a study from ABF Economics, if Minnesota switched from ten percent ethanol blends to E15 it would contribute just over $1 billion to the state’s gross domestic product. On a statewide basis, the transition would save consumers $84 million and provide $809 million in household income while supporting nearly 20,00 jobs.
Dicamba Use Returns to the Courts – The Center for Biological Diversity, National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action Network and Center for Food Safety are asking a federal judge to vacate the registration of the Bayer, BASF and Syngenta dicamba products. The case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The lawsuit is not expected to impact the use of dicamba for this year.
Legal Wranglings Continue Over the Use of Sulfoxaflor – The Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the federal appeals courts for a rehearing over the use of a popular pesticide. A three-judge panel previously rejected efforts to vacate the registration of sufoxaflor. The activist groups claim the judges failed to consider the impact on endangered species. Petitions for a rehearing are seldom accepted.
Dry Bean Scene – Northarvest Bean Growers Association U.S. Dry Bean Council Delegate Kevin Regan joins us to talk about a recent trip to Washington D.C. to discuss farm bill priorities in this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Pipeline Hearings Continue – The third of five public hearings on Summit Carbon Solution’s carbon pipeline took place in Wahpeton. Summit Carbon Solutions Director of Public Affairs Jesse Harris says the hearings give the public a spotlight to express their concerns. “We’ve held thousands of meetings with landowners across the Midwest for a chance to highlight how good this project is for the economy.” Harris says the 10-hour hearing highlighted the purpose of carbon pipelines construction and the benefits for rural communities, ethanol production, and property tax benefits.
The Survey Says – A survey conducted by Stratovation Group found more than one-third of farmers are currently using crop biologicals and rated them positively. The Fertilizer Institute, Agricultural Retailers Association and the DCLRS government relations firm were partners on this study. Over 80 percent of U.S. farmers are aware of the ‘biologicals’ term. Most of the farmers not using biologicals said they would try them if their profitability could be proven.
Farmers Lock in Equipment Purchases – U.S. 4WD tractor sales rose a whopping 106 percent in March. During the same time, combine sales increased 45 percent. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports all other tractor segments declined with the sub-40 horsepower tractors leading the losses downward. The small utility tractor sales dropped 14.2 percent.
Canada is Looking for Farmers – A new report indicates Canada is facing a significant shortage of farmers. The report was commissioned by the Royal Bank of Canada, the Boston Consulting Group Centre and the University of Guelph. It says more than 40 percent of Canadian farmers will retire over the next ten years. A policy analyst cited inflationary concerns, land affordability and succession planning as the big issues. Sixty-six percent of Canadian farmers do not have a succession plan in place.
Canola Minute – In this week’s Canola Minute, Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman talks about canola oil uses. This update is sponsored by the Northern Canola Growers Association.
25 Years for Ag Leadership Conference – The Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference celebrated 25 years on Wednesday at Chaska, Minnesota. Co-founder Doris Mold says the idea for this conference came from research. “The impetus came from a Ph.D. study that said that women were not being represented enough in agricultural leadership in the State of Minnesota and in the United States as a whole,” said Mold. “We were well aware of that, but the research we said we needed to do something different and that we set out to start this conference.”
Busting Burnout – Mental health and staying ahead of burnout can be difficult as spring planting is placed on hold in the Northern Plains. At the Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference, University of Minnesota Extension Educator on Farm Safety and Health Emily Krekelberg addressing ways to avoid burnout. “Learn to externalize some of the blame, take a deep breath and take a step back.” It is also important to have someone to talk to, whether it is a family member, supervisor, licensed therapist, or simply someone who you can trust.
Mental Health First Aid – North Dakota State University Extension hosted an Adult Mental Health First Aid training in Grand Forks Tuesday. The goal is to end the stigma surrounding mental health. FirstLink Outreach and Training Specialist Dallas Tufty said trainings like this can be an important tool for rural areas. “We have a lot of that ‘pick yourself up and get yourself going’ mindset through those challenges; you have to be able to turn to those around you and have an open dialogue.” Tufty says this training is meant to teach others how to be a resource as well. Help can be reached anytime by dialling 211. Find the full interview with Dallas Tufty here.
Blue Jackets Converge on Brookings – The 95th South Dakota State FFA Convention is underway in Brookings. State FFA Vice President Megan Sanders gave her retiring address at the first general session. “It was a big, go-out-with-a-bang kind of moment that has been building all year.” State officer candidate interviews started Friday. Sanders says the schedule today includes workshops, contests and the day of service. The Red River Farm Network coverage of the South Dakota FFA Convention is sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and South Dakota Soybean Council.
CHS-MKC Expand Joint Venture – CHS plans to expand its current grain marketing joint venture with the Mid-Kansas Cooperative. The two companies are building a rail-served grain terminal near Sterling, Kansas that should be operational next year. CHS and Mid-Kansas Cooperative will continue to independently own and operate assets om the region, but will be able to move grain more efficiently with the expanded joint venture.
Another Canola Plant Expansion – Louis Dreyfus is expanding its canola processing facility in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. The plant’s annual capacity will double to over two million metric tons. Construction is expected to begin later this year.
Windom, MN Pork Plant to Close – A southern Minnesota pork processing plant is preparing to close. In a notice to the state, HyLife Foods said it has faced a variety of issues including inflationary pressures, high grain costs, foreign exchange rates and operational losses. The Windom plant has the capacity to process 1.2 million hogs per year.
Job Opportunities in Agriculture – Check out the Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the Red River Farm Network website. The new Ag Innovation Campus at Crookston has three new jobs posted—including a plant electrician, maintenance technician and maintenance/operations coordinator. If your company or organization is seeking talent, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about this service. Find all the details on the Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the Red River Farm Network website.
Appointment Made to EQB Board – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has appointed Dan Katzenberger of Eden Prairie to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. Katzenberger advises clients on climate and sustainability for Accenture.
Dowdle and Smude Elected to Sunflower Council – Kennedy farmer Tom Dowdle has been reelected to the Minnesota Sunflower Council. Tom Smude of Pierz was also elected to the sunflower checkoff board.
Krause Leads Midwest Dairy Association – Buffalo, Minnesota dairy farmer Charles Krause is the new chair of the Midwest Dairy Association. Krause also serves on the United Dairy Industry Association board.
From Tyson to the Pork Checkoff – Jamie Burr is the National Pork Board’s new chief sustainability officer. Previously, Burr was the director of environmental compliance for Tyson Foods.
Matsen Launchs Consulting Firm – Former National Pork Board Senior Vice President of Communications Jacque Matsen has started a consulting firm called Relate Strategies. Previously, Matsen worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Pioneer, FleishmanHillard and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Valent Promotes Seebold – Valent USA has named Kenny Seebold as its new senior director of field research and development. Seebold has been with Valent since 2014 and has managed seed protection research and development. Seebold succeeds Mike Riffle, who is retiring in June.
Rob-See-Co Names Agronomy Manager – Rob-See-Co has added Tom Claussen to its staff as its new agronomy manager. Previously, Claussen worked for Dekalb Asgrow, Landus Cooperative and Midwest Seed Genetics, NC+ and Crow’s Hybrids.
Burks Takes Partnership Role – Hedging strategist John Burks is now a partner with AgMarket.Net, joining Matt Bennett, Bill Biedermann, Jim McCormick and Brian Splitt. AgMarket.Net is the farm division of the John Stewart & Associates brokerage firm.
Aakre Joins North Dakota 4-H Hall of Fame – Dean Aakre, who recently retired as the state 4-H activities coordinator, has been inducted into the North Dakota 4-H Hall of Fame. Five 4-H Century Families were also honored. The families are the Dwight and Christina Dockter family of Stutsman County, Dennis and Linda Goltz family of Sargent and Traill Counties, Ervin and Ruthann Helmuth family of Pierce County, Jason and Peggy Leiseth family of McKenzie County and the Jason and Carrie Odenbach family of Stutsman County.
FFA Alumni Recognized – The Minnesota FFA Alumni and Supporters presented the Day-Frederick Award for a lifetime of service to FFA and the FFA alumni to University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus Dr. Roland Peterson. Bob Sabo was given the Outstanding FFA Alumni Member Award for his work with the Paynesville and ROCORI FFA chapters. Sabo was also recognized with the outstanding FFA alumni coaching award. The Outstanding Young FFA Alumni honors belong to Teague Picht of Stevens County FFA Alumni. The ROCORI FFA Alumni and Supporters was named the Outstanding FFA Alumni Chapter.
North Dakotan Selected for Beginning Farmer Institute – The National Farmers Union has selected 11 individuals nationwide to participate in its Beginning Farmer Institute. The nine-month training will focus on business skills, mentorship and leadership development. Only one member of the class is from the tri-state region, April Marquart of Anamoose, North Dakota.
Last Week’s Trivia-The Toledo Mud Hens, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Albuquerque Isotopes, Nashville Sounds and Durham Bulls play minor league baseball. Mohall farmer Gene Glessing wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Erin Nash of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Jacob Downing of Cargill and Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Lyle Orwig of Certified Ag Dealer, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Bob Brunker of J.L. Farmakis, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Kevin Schulz of The Farmer, WGLR Farm Broadcaster Bob Middendorf, Dennis Sleiter of Sleiter Cattle, Karlstad farmer Justin Dagen, Barry Walton of BW Farms, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Adam Wishek of McIntosh County Bank and Craig Stroot of Stroot Farms.
This Week’s Trivia-What breed of dog is Snoopy from the Peanuts comic strip? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|April 16 - April 18||SD FFA Convention - Brookings, SD|
|April 17 - April 19||NAFB Washington Watch - Washington DC|
|April 20||Farm Bill Listening Session - Harwood and Grand Forks, ND|
|April 23 - April 25||MN State FFA Convention - Twin Cities, MN|
|April 25||Farm Bill Listening Session - Jamestown, ND|
|April 27||Connecting with UM Animal Science Showcase - St. Paul, MN|
|April 28 - April 30||MN Horse Expo - St. Paul, MN|
|May 9||ND PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Linton, ND|
|May 24 - May 26||USMEF Spring Conference - Minneapolis, MN|
|June 2||ND Stockmen’s Association Spring Roundup - Fort Yates, ND|
|June 3 - June 4||North Dakota Junior Red Angus Field Day - Streeter, ND|
|June 5 - June 8||ND State FFA Convention - Fargo, ND|
|Contact RRFN||Don Wick
|RRFN Affiliate Stations|
|Aberdeen, SD – 105.5 FM||Ada, MN – 106.5 FM||Bagley, MN – 96.7 FM||Bemidji, MN – 1300 AM|
|Benson, MN – 1290 AM||Bismarck, ND – 1270 AM||Bismarck, ND – 1270 AM||Casselton, ND – 103.9 FM|
|Crookston, MN – 1260 AM||Devils Lake, ND – 103.5 FM||Fergus Falls, MN – 1250 AM||Fosston, MN – 1480 AM|
|Glenwood, MN – 107.1 FM||Grafton, ND – 1340 AM||Jamestown, ND – 600 AM||Langdon, ND – 1080 AM|
|Mahnomen, MN – 101.5 FM||Mayville, ND – 105.5 FM||Roseau, MN – 102.1 FM||Rugby, ND – 1450 AM|
|Thief River Falls, MN – 1460 AM||Wadena, MN – 920 AM|
FarmNetNews is a production of the Red River Farm Network. RRFN is based in Grand Forks, North Dakota and provides news to farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.