A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Friday, April 07, 2023
Mother Nature’s Fury-A late spring snowstorm is in the forecast for this week, pushing back spring fieldwork yet again and testing the resiliency of livestock producers in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Red River Farm Network features World Weather Incorporated Senior Ag Meteorologist Drew Lerner twice a day. Be sure to stay informed on weather conditions by catching Drew’s forecast on the air or online. Red River Farm Network is proud to offer reliable information to keep farmers and ranchers up to date on current issues.
WOTUS “Stomps” on Landowners Rights – The Senate passed a resolution to rescind the Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States rule Wednesday. The Senate passed the Congressional Review Act resolution on a 53 to 43 vote. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says the EPA’s rule goes far beyond the scope of congressional intent. “WOTUS is a big-time regulatory overreach that hurts our energy industry and violates private property rights. We worked hard to repeal it once and we’re not going to stop until we get it repealed again.” North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer says the Biden Administration seem eager to stomp on the rights of North Dakota’s landowners as they develop resolutions ahead of the Sackett vs EPA case. “Instead, what they do is circumvent the courts and subject their farmers, ranchers, landlords, business owners to this constant regulatory ping-pong that we’ve been seeing for decades if not years.”
Cargill Takes a Step Back from Russian Market – Cargill Inc. stated it would take a further step back from the Russian market by no longer handling the country’s grain at its export terminal, although its shipping unit will continue to carry grain from the country’s ports. Cargill says this will go into effect in July. The move stoked concerns about global grain supplies being disrupted by the war in the Black Sea region.
Smith Introduces Livestock Disease Legislation – Minnesota Senator Tina Smith introduced a bipartisan bill aimed to protect meat and poultry export markets in the case of disease outbreaks. Smith says with Avian Influenza, Hoof and Mouth Disease, and African Swine Fever concerns on the horizon, ensuring markets are open and thriving will help livestock producers. “Right now, when there’s an outbreak, our trading partners can shut down exports for the whole country when that disease outbreak might not affect everybody. Our bill allows USDA to negotiate ahead of time regional agreements to protect export markets.” The bill would provide thresholds for disease activity based on regions, so the entire nation’s export activity wouldn’t be shut down.
Vilsack Addresses Farm Bill Questions – Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before three congressional committees this past week. Vilsack said climate smart programs within the Inflation Reduction Act can make up for a loss in baseline funding. “Utilization of those resources can compliment and supplement what you have to do and can do within the farm bill,” said Vilsack. USDA is also working toward greater food security. Vilsack said there has been a focus on more fertilizer production projects with 21 projects being funded in the first round of this program.
Livestock Regulation Act Introduced – South Dakota Senator John Thune and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema have reintroduced a bill that would prevent the EPA from issuing livestock emission permits. The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent EPA from issuing permits for carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor or methane emissions from biological processes associated with livestock production.
MFBF Minute – Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Dan Glessing is in Washington for the spring fly-in. Hear more the latest MFBF Minute.
USDA Releases Quarterly Grain Stocks Report – USDA says there were 7.4 billion bushels of corn in the U.S. as of March 1. That is about 70 million bushels below the average trade guess. Soybean stocks are reported at 1.68 billion bushels, about 57 million bushels less than the average trade estimate. Wheat ending stocks were above the average trade guess at 946 million bushels.
A Million More Acres – USDA says farmers intend to plant 92 million acres of corn this spring, about one million more than the February Ag Outlook Forum estimate and the average trade estimate. Soybean acreage is slightly less than the average trade estimate but equal to the Outlook Forum number at 87.5 million acres. The all-wheat acres are slightly above the average trade estimate at 946 million acres. USDA estimates spring wheat acres at 10.8 million.
USDA Releases Hogs & Pigs Report – USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report shows the inventory of all hogs and pigs as of March 1 at 73 million head. Slightly more than a year ago but two percent less than the December quarterly report. Breeding inventory is up slightly from last year at 6.13 million head but two percent below the December quarterly report. Market hog inventory at 66.7 million head is slightly more than last year but two percent less than the December quarterly report. The quarterly pig crop at 32.1million head is slightly more than a year ago and slightly less than the December quarterly report.
USDA Announces Second Round of Debt Relief – USDA announced another $123 million in payments will be made in April under the Inflation Reduction Act to provide debt relief for borrowers. The second round of payments is focused on providing relief to those past due on a qualifying direct loan as of September of 2020, those who have restructured a qualifying loan through primary loan servicing at FSA, and those who owe more interest on a direct loan than the level of principal owed.
Canola Minute – In this week’s Canola Minute, Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman talks about USDA’s Crop Values Summary. This update is sponsored by the Northern Canola Growers Association.
H2A Rule Change Concerns – Changes that impact H2A labor programs in the U.S. are now in effect. The method used to calculate the Adverse Effect Wage Rate is now calculated differently. National Council of Farmer Co-ops Vice President of Communications Justin Darisse says this new model will cost producers utilizing the program a lot more than it had previously. “It becomes something that’s just economically unsustainable,” says Darisse. He expects action to be taken to change the ruling. This rule would not impact employers currently enrolled in the H2A program until next year, but those entering the program will be under the new rule as of March 30, 2023.
MN Farm Bureau Visits DC – A delegation of Minnesota Farm Bureau members met with lawmakers and officials in Washington D.C. Education and open dialogue continues for farm organizations as lawmakers work to pass the next Farm Bill. MNFB Director Shane Isane of Badger, MN says this trip to the capitol was full of opportunity to advocate for producers. “Most of our focus was on Farm Bill. Priorities included crop insurance, the dairy program, and conservation programs, WOTUS, ag labor and we discussed issues with H2A programs as well,” says Isane. Isane says meetings with the EPA and the UK Embassy were a unique opportunity to build relationships. “You make those connections and you never really know when those might be used down the road.”
Ask for E15 Summer 2023 Waiver – The desire to use E15 year-round goes beyond those growing corn for that purpose. Growth Energy hosted a fly-in to D.C. with retailers to continue asking for a waiver for E15 use in 2023. CEO Emily Skor says it’s important for lawmakers to hear firsthand from those marketing the product about why there is a need for the E15 waiver for the summer of 2023. Kum-n-Go Director of Retail Sales Brad Peterson says having E15 use throughout the summer is important not just for retailers, but consumers as well. “We can’t afford outdated summertime restrictions to get in the way of these cost savings for our customers,” says Peterson.
Carbon Pipeline Concerns Heard in Gwinner – Summit Carbon Solutions have secured easement agreements with more than 375 North Dakota landowners, accounting for 70% of the proposed pipeline route in the state. Summit Carbon Solutions Chief Operating Officer James Powell says more than additional five percent of pipeline easements have been acquired in the last two weeks. “From the last hearing on the 14th through yesterday, we’ve acquired an additional 18 miles of pipeline right away which equates to almost five percent of the total route. We’re currently at 67.79% of the route secured.” Richland County farmer Benjamin Datzenrod testified at the hearing, and expressed concerns regarding the negative impact of the pipeline on working farmland that has drain tile installed. Datzenrod says freshly disturbed soil from pipeline installation can cause unstable soil for years. “What scares me is when these air pocket form around this pipeline, and the use of heavy machinery causes these air pockets to eventually collapse. Now add the knowledge that pipeline heaving has been observed in Richland County, and we have the conditions where there is reasonable expectation for unintentional third-party strikes.” The next public hearing will take place in Wahpeton on April 11th.
“A Matter of Life and Death” – Arthur, North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes testified at the public hearing in Gwinner, North Dakota on the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline. Skunes, who’s served on the board of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association says this pipeline would support corn growers in the state. “Corn production provides a total annual economic value of about 2.2 billion dollars here in North Dakota, making it one of the most critical components of our broader ag economy, and ethanol is very much tied to this figure.” Skunes says low-carbon fuels are in the cards for the future of agriculture. “We need to keep reminding ourselves that it takes investment and innovation in order to keep these industries strong in the years to come. And that is exactly why carbon capture projects are a matter of life and death for ethanol products and by extension, our corn farmers.”
House Ag Budget Takes Spotlight – Minnesota House Ag Committee Chair Samantha Vang says the ag budget bill was the center of attention in committee this week. The target budge in the ag committee is $148 million in one-time money, and $40 million in ongoing money. Of the $148 million, $100 million is dedicated to building infrastructure for broadband. There are several initiatives that the budget dollars are designated to, including soil health expansion, cover crop initiatives like Forever Green, expansion of the International Marketing Team. Vang says there are several big-ticket items as well. “The DAIRI (Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Relief Initiative) Program that support dairy producer participation in the federal risk-protection program has quite a big focus along with the grain indemnity fund.”
Goehring Clarifies CBD Bill – North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring issued a statement clarifying a CBD bill moving through the North Dakota legislature. Goehring says the bill closes loopholes that currently allow synthetically created drugs made from CBD to be sold as CBD. CBD is legal but altering it into another form is not.
Are CRP Rates Creating Competition? – Members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation are in Washington DC for their annual spring fly-in. While the top priority is the farm bill, Glessing says the CRP program is one area of concern. “CRP rates have been a concern of farmers and ranchers because they’re direct competition and actually raising rental rates in a lot of places. Now CRP is a good program and it’s designed for sensitive grounds, but we’ve been finding that it’s not being used that way. It’s getting put in prime farmland and that’s something that we’re a little worried about.”
North Dakota Legislative Report – Senate Bill 2183 would help costs associated with snow removal in rural townships. North Dakota Senator Terry Wanzek says he’s gotten calls about townships paying four to five times their budget on snow removal this year. Hear more in this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report.
Garcia Vacates Minnesota State Veterinarian Position – The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says effective immediately, Dr. Marion Garcia is no longer serving as the Minnesota State Veterinarian and the Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The state veterinarian position is up for reappointment every April and after a meeting of the State Board of Animal Health, it was decided that Garcia would not be reappointed for the upcoming year. A press release says the Board has begun a search for qualified candidates. Dr. Brian Hoefs has been appointed as interim Executive Director and State Veterinarian while the search process continues.
HPAI Will Piggyback on Spring Migration – This time in 2022, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was making headlines with spring migration picking up. Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President Pete Klaphake says last year’s outbreak changed the whole industry. “There was a large number of birds that were lost throughout the year whether they were directly infected with the virus or happened to be on a farm where the virus was detected. It altered everybody’s schedules, it altered our pulp placements which is when we get our started birds, which not only affects that particular flock but can be all the subsequent flocks that follow it because as you get pushback starting birds, your process dates get pushed back.” Klaphake, co-owner and operator of R & L Turkeys, says the cold temperatures have been holding off cases of avian influenza. The start of thaw will no-doubt bring more migratory waterfowl, which will cause HPAI cases to increase.
ND Corn Council Elects Executive Team – The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council board has elected their Executive Officer Team at the spring quarterly board meeting. Tysen Rosenau of Carrington will serve as Chairman, Carson Klosterman of Wyndmere has been elected as Vice Chairman and Justin Quandt of Oakes will serve as the Secretary and Treasurer.
ND Sunflower Growers Elected – Scott Tranby of Cooperstown and Matt Swenson of Walcott have been elected to the North Dakota Oilseed Council and National Sunflower Association board of directors.
Fern Moves to NDCUC – The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council has named Molly Fern as its finance and research director. For the past 16 years, Fern was in a financial management role with the North Dakota Soybean Council.
Sioux Falls Pork Processing Plant on Hold – The planned construction of Wholestone Farms pork processing plant in Sioux Falls is being put on hold. South Dakota Pork Producers Executive Director Glenn Muller says the company recently announced a union with Prestige, which has taken the spotlight. “There’s been a merger between Wholestone and Prestige Farms with the Freemont and Eagle Grove plants and so that’s changed the business model to some extent. Exactly what that will look like, we don’t know at this time.” The plant has already overcome obstacles like a ballot initiative and zoning regulations.
Three Emerging Issues for Ag Retailers – In a new report from CoBank, agricultural retailers face three key issues over the next five years. The changing needs of farm customers are at the top of the list. CoBank said a growing number of farmers want to manage input purchases electronically without contacting an actual salesperson. Secondly, the report forecasts lower working capital for farmers. The third emerging risk is the sharply higher property insurance premiums expected this year. CoBank recommends ag retailers begin preparing now for the combination of lower grain prices and these emerging issues.
Survey Shows Americans Support the Next Farm Bill – American Farm Bureau Federation released a survey that showed almost three-quarters of Americans say that not reauthorizing the farm bill in 2023 would have a significant impact on the country. The survey explores the public’s awareness of the farm bill and its impacts. Nearly 70 percent of responses identified risk management programs and nutrition programs as top priorities for government funding. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “Almost nine in ten adults trust farmers, which will be important as we work to inform the 260 lawmakers who weren’t in Congress when the last farm bill was written.”
Farmers Top Buyers of Land – Farmers National Company released its biannual “Regional Land Value Report” that showed 2022 brought record sales and overall increases in land values across the country. The report also looked at who was making land purchases in 2022 and found 75 percent of final sales went to farmers versus land investors.
A Snapshot of Last Week’s Beet Stocks – According to Acres & Shares broker, Jayson Menke, last week there were three American Crystal Sugar Company beet stock sales totaling 40 shares, brokered at $4,800 per share.
Biologicals to Address Yields – New technology in biologicals can help boost yields in sugarbeets. FMC biologicals expert Matthew Pye says they have products that can be especially helpful with shorter growing seasons. “Dealing with short a season and issues with drought, we have benefits for water use efficiency,” says Pye. Using products like Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide in corn is also showing up to a five-bushel yield increase.
Find the full interview here.
Dicamba Application Window Moved for South Dakota – The Environmental Protection Agency moved up the cutoff date for over-the-top application of dicamba label products for soybeans to June 20, for South Dakota. South Dakota State University Extension Weed Science Coordinator Paul Johnson says the South Dakota Department of Agriculture made the rule based on input from the EPA and farmers. With the way this spring is shaking out, Johnson says the delay in planting could mean farmers have to alter their application plan. “This year, we won’t be in the field on time so the beans will be smaller than normal. Farmers are going to have to look at other alternatives like an early burndown or late post application, because the weeds won’t be done germinating until later on.”
Proactive Planting with Seed Treatment – Innovation derives from need and demand. According to Valent USA’s Kenny Seebold value in protecting crops has driven development of products. “Value in the market is bringing new active ingredients or new types of formulations to address resistance and emerging pathogens,” says Seebold. Planning and planting proactively can be key to keeping weeds and disease under control during the growing season. “It pays to think proactively. It’s the value of a seed treatment from disease and insect management points of view.”
Kenny Seebold’s full interveiw can be found here.
Dry Bean Scene – Northarvest Bean Growers President Eric Jorgenson talks about a recent trip to Panama in this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Indigo Ag and Farmer Mac Introduce Sustainable Ag Incentive Program – An interest rate rebate is available to eligible farmers who maintain or adopt new conservation practices. Indigo Ag and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation are partnering on this program in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Farmers accepted into the incentive program will be able to receive a quarter-point percent interest rate rebate payment on the principle balance of qualifying Farmer Mac farm mortgages.
Japan Approves U.S. Ethanol – Japan will now allow US ethanol to successful access 100 percent of the Japanese biofuel market. This is an increase from the previous 66 percent access that was assessed in 2021 and is based on continued improvement in reduction of carbon emissions by the US ethanol industry. Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper and Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor applaud the Japanese government for joining other countries in recognizing the role ethanol can play in the global effort to address climate change.
MN Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member Jim Kanten recaps his testimony supporting year-round E-15. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters.
Omnibus Ag Bill Laid Over – The Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee has laid over the omnibus agriculture bill for a vote at a later time. The committee was given a $48 million budget target, far less than many farm groups expected with the $18 billion budget surplus. Committee Chair Aric Putnam acknowledged that situation as he wrapped up testimony. “We weren’t able to do everything you wanted us to do but you were heard. That’s incredibly important and your words resonate with us.” Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen thanked the committee for the investment in soil health, international trade and a continuation of the Agricultural, Research and Innovation program. Peterson is disappointed a proposed fertilizer tonnage fee was not put in the omnibus bill. “I don’t like to create fees but we need to talk about that part of our division which is highly funded by fees and doesn’t keep up with inflation. That’s going to mean slower permitting and inspections in the future.”
MN Beef Update – Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Kaitlyn Root discusses the “Steak on a Stick” event in the latest Minnesota Beef Update.
Farm Bankruptcies Fall in 2022 – 2019 was the third-highest year for farm bankruptcy filings, according to American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Economist Veronica Nigh. Nigh says high commodity prices contributed to a dramatic drop in filings in 2022. “Stronger farm income was beneficial last year, but USDA is projecting a decline in farm income in 2023.” The upper Midwest saw an average decline of 67 percent in bankruptcy filings. “Part of the reason the region had such a strong decline, was because it was the area with the largest number of bankruptcies before that. In 2022, the Midwest had 47 farm bankruptcies, down from 297 in 2020.”
Job Opportunities in Agriculture – Visit the Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the Red River Farm Network website. The North Dakota Beef Commission is seeking its next executive director. The North Dakota Soybean Counci, True North Equipment and AURI also have positions available. If you business is hoping to connect with potential employees, contact RRFN for more information about this resource.
ND Corn Checkoff – House Bill 1153 was heard in the North Dakota Senate Agriculture Committee that would designate half of all corn checkoff dollars to the Corn Growers Association instead of the funding being totally managed by the North Dakota Corn Council. This issue seems to stem from disagreement of how funds are currently utilized. Representative Mike Brandenburg introduced the bill to the committee. North Dakota Corn Council Executive Director Jean Henning says the bill as written would greatly impact current research projects that are funded by the council. “Our research program would be non-existent. We couldn’t support NDSU or UND research.” said Henning.
Click here to follow this legislation and find details on HB 1153.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board member Jay Esser talks about the benefit of the E-15 fuel waver.
Wild Rice River Diversion Approved – A major milestone will be accomplished for the Fargo diversion project. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineer says the Wild Rice River will be permanently diverted through a new gated concrete structure allowing the Corp to regulate flows through the Fargo-Moorhead area and allow a construction company to complete construction of a dam embankment across the existing Wild Rice River channel. Structure is part of a 30-mile-long Fargo-Moorhead flood control project.
Spring Road Safety Reminders – Navigating rural township roads with heavy equipment may require more patience this spring with potential flooding issues as the snowpack melts. North Dakota Township Officers Association Executive Secretary Larry Syverson says to keep in mind the importance of watching weight restrictions. With the additional moisture from the above average snowpack, roads may become impassable much more easily. “When roads are barricaded, it’s there because we see a failure that’s either happened or it’s about to happen. We don’t want anyone getting in there and losing their lives just trying to get though on some road,” said Syverson. Stealing, moving, or ignoring road closures puts lives at risk. Syverson says when rural roads are closed, there is good reason. Safety is the main concern.
Flooding in the Farmyard – NDSU Extension Ag Engineer Ken Hellevang says flooding is expected this spring. “When we look at what they call the snow water equivalent, we’re looking at a lot of areas of three to six inches of water content sitting out there so that would be like a six-inch rain.” Hellevang says making a flood plan for your farmyard can help divert flooding risks and keep standing water from accumulating. “Where’s the water going to accumulate? If we have livestock, will they be where it’s dry? Will we have access to the feed supply? Just a six-inch snow accumulation as it melts off of 1,000 square feet, ends up being thousands of gallons of water.”
Cold Calving Warnings – There’s been lots of sleepless nights for livestock producers who are calving in below normal temperatures. NDSU Extension Livestock Specialist Lisa Pederson says with the cold weather coming in during a critical time in calving season, making sure calves are warm is a top priority. “We should always warm calves before providing them with colostrum because they can’t absorb colostrum when they’re cold.” Pederson warns livestock producers to watch out for frozen hooves on newborn calves. “If we’re concerned about frozen ears, then we need to be concerned about frozen hooves too. You don’t know they have frozen feet until a few weeks later when they can’t move. Those calves typically need to be euthanized. There’s just not a positive outcome for them.”
NCI’s Market Update Features Weather Edition – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Market Update: Weather Edition webinar on April 5 at 8:00 am. The webinar will feature North Dakota Agricultural Network Director, Daryl Ritchison who will offer important upcoming weather insights to course participants. Webinar information and registration can be found here.
Space Ag Conference – The Grand Farm will host their Space Ag Conference Wednesday, April 4th at the University of North Dakota. Grand Farm Ecosystem Director Andrew Jason says space research has a few different ties to agriculture including satellites and zero gravity research. This conference ties together research institutions and highlights potential for future projects and applications while drawing attention from policy makers as well. “UND has a very innovative space studies program and what NDSU does from an agriculture standpoint, we can leverage those two great research institutions and bring outside recognition to this,” says Jason. Senator John Hoeven will be on the agenda at this years conference. Learn more about the conference by visiting the Grand Farm online.
UPL ‘Ask the Expert’ – In the latest UPL ‘Ask the Expert,’ Technical Services Lead Lynn Justensen discusses the possibility of a wet spring and the impact it will have on potato growers. For more details, listen to the entire interview with Justensen.
MN Wheat Minute – Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers On-Farm Research Coordinator Melissa Carlson talks about this year’s research projects in the latest Minnesota Wheat Minute.
It’s About Quality, Not Quantity – It’s been a long, snow-covered winter. The harsh start to this winter meant many livestock producers dug into their hay stocks sooner than expected. SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist Robin Salverson says the quality of hay been fed right now isn’t the best. “The feed resource might be there but it’s more on the quality of it maybe versus the quantity of it. So, make sure that calves and cows are receiving the right amount of protein and energy. A few years ago, when individuals were really relying on a lot of winter wheat and spring wheat to feed their cows, we were seeing calves born that were really weak.” Salverson says with calving season here, colostrum consumption is extremely important for newborn calves.
Late Spring Spurs Spring Wheat Concerns – Spring wheat acres will be a question mark as cold weather limits the spring snowmelt. North Dakota Wheat Commission Policy and Marketing Director Jim Peterson is concerned about a late start. “A lot of guys like to get their spring wheat in early just to get it flowering and heading out before the heat of summer. It’s a cool season crop so the earlier you can get it in the better.” Lower prices have also been moving against spring wheat acres.
Soil Fertility Minute – On this week’s Soil Fertility Minute, sponsored by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council, University of Minnesota Assistant Extension Professor Dr. Anna Cates talks about the different uses of cover crops.
Livestock Adds to Soil Health – North Dakota Livestock Alliance Executive Director Amber Boeshans says there are some value-added benefits to livestock. “First, I like to point people to number 2. The value of manure for soil health and the profitability of your farm,” says Boeshans. Navigating permitting for livestock operations can be overwhelming. NDLA is a resource to help producers take advantage of opportunities while concentrating on transparency with both producers and communities they serve. Learn more by visiting their website.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson says the livestock markets are seeing highs again. Weather is having an impact both on the livestock markets and wheat. “We’re also seeing some good strength in the wheat markets primarily in Minneapolis, Kansas City, and soybean strength as well.” USDA reports are also playing a role.
Cattle Market Optimism – While cattle numbers remain low in the country, MRW Cattle Resources’ Matt Woolfolk says he’s seen a lot of optimism going into this spring as producers look to rebuild herds with strong genetics. “It’s been kind of a season of optimism,” says Woolfolk. As drought persists in some areas there are some producers who are looking to rebuild herds. “The folks that have the opportunity and the availability to do so, have been anxious and ambitious about going out and getting those good genetics to rebuild those cow herds.”
Cattle Inventory Rebuild – American Hereford Association Field Representative Kevin Murnin says as moisture returns, he expects to see commercial cattle come with it. “We’re starting to see commercial producers rebuild inventory,” says Murnin. With the current numbers low, Murnin expects prices to remain strong. “We’re going to see some really wild things happen this summer I think as we start forward contracting cattle. It’s a great time to have mama cows around and be a part of it.”
The full interview with Kevin Murnin is available here.
Canadian Processed Beef Can be Exported to Japan – For the first time in 20 years, Japan is reopening its market to Canadian processed beef. Restrictions were put in place in 2003 after BSE was discovered in Alberta. This is the first change since Japan approved imports of Canadian beef from cattle older than 30 months in 2019.
Happy Cows – Farmers and ranchers have paid the higher price for inputs, as long as the market follows. Rabobank Global Dairy Strategist Mary Ledman says the milk market in 2022 and low feed prices meant good margins for dairy farmers. That may not be the case for 2023. “2022 was the year when milk prices reached record high in some places, and we were still using the previous year’s cheaper feed. 2023 is the year we’re still paying feed expenses and milk prices have come down.” Ledman says with increased input costs, they could see some sell-off of the dairy herd. “Hopefully margins will be back at break-even, otherwise we see happy cows go to happy meals, especially now with the strength in beef prices.”
Calving Season Technology – Beef producers are at various stages of the calving season right now. For DaKitch Farms near Ada, Minnesota, they are toward the end. Matthew Kitchell says with new technology and upgrades over the years as they’ve moved their calving season earlier, things have been going smooth. Kitchell says the use of cameras and having an insulated calving shed has made dealing with this much snow a little easier. “As long as they’re dry, they’ll stay healthy and do well,” says Kitchell. He adds that proper nutrition and genetic selection are also key to a successful calving season.
The full interview with Kitchell is available here.
MN Beef Council Names 2023 Retailer Beef Backer – The Minnesota Beef Council announced Blondies Butcher Shop of Wanamingo, Minnesota as the 2023 Minnesota Retail Beef Backer award winner. This award is given to retailers who go above to market and merchandise beef to consumers. Blondies Butcher Shop has been a staple in southeastern Minnesota for 80 years where they operate a fully stocked retail area.
MN Bison Turns 30 – The Minnesota Bison Association celebrated 30 years this weekend in Alexandria at their annual Spring Conference. Demand for Bison has been holding strong and keeping markets moving this year. Minnesota Bison Association Executive Director Adam Ulbricht says the industry continues to see record output. “On one hand we’re processing more animals than we ever have. On the other hand, the one big thing that’s holding everyone back is feed costs,” says Ulbricht. In addition to drought pressure, input costs for bison production in general remain high. “If we could get some feed costs to just come down a bit and meet an equilibrium where the crop guys and livestock guys can do well, that would be preferable.”
Swine Biosecurity Research Grants – A second round of funding is available for the Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Research Program through the Swine Health Information Center. SHIC Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder says this second round of funding will focus on five main areas for pigs post weaning. Reproductive swine facilities have historically been a main focus for biosecurity research in the past. “We’re really looking for cost effective tools and technologies that can make biosecurity easy,” says Niederwerder. These projects will focus on pigs who may be born and go through nurseries without being infected with disease but who are exposed as they are placed into finishing stages of production. The goal of this research is to find efficient and cost-effective biosecurity protocols to the next stage of production. Project proposals are due to SHIC by 5 p.m. April 28th.
Italy Moves to Ban Lab Grown Meat – The Italian government is working to approve a bill that would ban the use of laboratory-produced meat in food and animal feed. This would forbid Italian companies from producing food or feed from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals. Italian leaders say laboratory products endanger the traditional link between agriculture and food.
Ear Tag Comment Period Extended – USDA is extending its public comment period on its proposed rule to strengthen animal disease traceability by requiring electronic ear tags. The comment period is extended to April 19th. The rule would apply to breeding cattle 18 months of age or older, all dairy cattle, and bison of any age that are crossing state lines. Cattle industry organizations are reviewing the proposed rule and preparing comments.
Seeking Endangered Species Protection for Iowa Skipper – The Center for Food Safety has filed a formal petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, seeking protection for the Iowa skipper butterfly under the Endangered Species Act. The government now has 90 days to make an initial determination. At one point, this bright yellow-orange butterfly was seen throughout the Midwest and Great Plains. The Center for Food Safety claims protection is needed due to the loss of native prairie and the use of crop protection products.
Last Week’s Trivia-‘Sit’ is the most common dog training command. Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Mark Mettler of PreferredOne, Anna Kemmer of Oakes/Sargent Central/Ellendale FFA, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Barry Walton of BW Farms. Special recognition also goes to retired banker John Stone, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Regan farmer Jim McCullough, Mackenzie Schaefer of CHS Ag Services, Kevin Schulz of The Farmer, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Lawton farmer Dennis Miller and Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed.
This Week’s Trivia-What popular springtime perennial flower is cup-shaped and is often associated with Holland? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|April 4||Grand Farm Space Ag Conference - Grand Forks, ND|
|April 11 - April 13||PEAK 2023 Where North American Poultry Connects - Minneapolis, MN|
|April 11||ND PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Wahpeton, ND|
|April 11||AURI New Uses Forum - Minneapolis, MN|
|April 12||Women’s Agricultural Leadership Conference - Chaska, MN|
|April 15||Beef Quality Assurance Training - Bagley, MN|
|April 15||NDSU Extension Sheep Workshop - Carrington, ND|
|April 16 - April 18||SD FFA Convention - Brookings, SD|
|April 17 - April 19||NAFB Washington Watch - Washington DC|
|April 23 - April 25||MN State FFA Convention - Twin Cities, MN|
|April 28 - April 30||MN Horse Expo - St. Paul, MN|
|May 9||ND PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Linton, 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.