A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, August 15, 2022
Congratulations to Bob Simmons-Bob and Dianne Simmons own and operate eight radio stations, including two Red River Farm Network affiliates KNDK-Langdon and KXPO-Grafton. This past week, the North Dakota Broadcasters Association honored Bob with its Pioneer Award. This is the NDBA’s most prestigious award and recognizes Bob’s impact on the media business in North Dakota and beyond. RRFN extends our congratulations to Bob and everyone at Simmons Multimedia.
House Passes Inflation Reduction Act, President Biden to Sign – As expected, the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on Friday. It was another party line vote with all 220 Democrats voting in favor of the legislation. The $430 billion spending bill includes money for renewable energy, climate smart agriculture and other assistance. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack thanked House leadership for passing the bill quickly. President Joe Biden said he would sign the bill into law this week.
No GOP Input in Inflation Reduction Bill – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven opposed the Inflation Reduction Act in the Senate, saying it is bad legislation. “Some of the programs they have in there that involve agriculture, but they were done on a strictly a one-party basis; there was no bipartisan input,” said Hoeven. “We should be working on in the farm bill in a bipartisan way so we make sure that we get things right for our farmers and ranchers and that means you need to have both sides weighing in and you need to have input from the farmers and ranchers themselves.
Klobuchar: Conservation Funding a Jumpstart – There’s $20 billion in conservation funding within the Inflation Reduction Act. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar sees it as a jumpstart for the next farm bill. “We see it as kind of a down payment on something we would have had to get in the future. That was a really big part of this for us. With actually getting the conservation funding, not all of it, for that title early on. We don’t think it’s going to hurt us in making the deal on the farm bill because there’s going to be other things as well.” Klobuchar is confident there will be dollars available for other parts of the next farm bill.
Climate Package Includes Biofuels Language – The U.S. ethanol industry is pleased with the biofuels investments included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Renewable Fuels Association Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Troy Bredenkamp says there are several incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel. “There’s a new provision to give a tax credit to sustainable aviation fuel. We feel very good about the fact that corn-based ethanol could play a huge role down the road in creating more sustainable aviation fuel.”
Farm Bill May Get A Bipartisan Boost – Of the $40 billion for agriculture included in the Inflation Reduction Act, roughly half is expected to be used for conservation programs. The infusion in conservation funding is divided between the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and Ag Conservation Easement Program. National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner says these investments make it easier to write a climate-friendly farm bill. “We’ll be under a lot of budget pressures. The additional funds from this bill will make the farm portion of the bill come together a lot easier and a lot better.” It’s unclear if this conservation funding will make it more difficult to secure additional money for other titles of the farm bill, including the commodities title.
No Bin Buster – Dickinson, North Dakota farmer Ed Kessel says his winter wheat isn’t a bin-buster. “It was good quality and probably average yields. We should have maybe put down more nitrogen earlier on for a better yield, but it turned out okay.” Next on Kessel’s list is barley and spring wheat harvest. “I would expect barley harvest to be rolling full force here in the next week.”
ND Barley Harvest Going Well, Spring Wheat Harvest Next – Arthur Companies General Manager Kevin Karel is pleased with the early barley harvest. “It’s great quality. The yields have been above average so far.” Karel is expecting an average to slightly above average spring wheat crop. In a few of the spring wheat samples, ergot is being detected. “We scout more than 100,000 acres with our agronomy department and they say ergot is being found on the lighter, sandier soils.” Karel, who is based at Arthur, North Dakota, remains optimistic. “We’re not hitting the panic button yet.” Ergot has not been found in the barley.
Late Planting Could Lead to Challenges at Barley Harvest – The initial quality and yield reports are favorable for this year’s barley crop nationwide. However, American Malting Barley Association Vice President and Technical Director Ashley McFarland says late planting may lead to prolonged dry down and harvest challenges. “Typically, we put it in storage and try to get air on it to get it to dry down,” says McFarland. “We have to be careful with malting barley to not use too high of temperatures when drying it.” Early yield reports are good. “There are also good test weights. The real test is quality. If we could keep the crop clean and disease free, we’ll be coming out good on the yields.”
Waiting for Wheat Harvest – Wahpeton, North Dakota-based custom combiner Mike Matejcek is waiting for the wheat crop to dry down to start the North Dakota harvest. “There are plenty of green heads out there; we sprayed Roundup on some acres.” The crop on this year’s harvest run is described as mixed. “We had to skip Oklahoma because the drought got most of those acres. In central Kansas, we harvested an okay crop about 60 bushels per acre. We skipped on over to northwestern Kansas and that was below average.”
A Fall Harvest Checklist – NDSU Extension Soil Scientist Dave Franzen says there are a few ways to prepare for fall field preparation. “There are more people thinking about seeding into the stubble. With that in mind, it is perfectly acceptable, especially in a no-till situation, to go ahead and bale the hay so you don’t have to deal with as much residue going into spring.” The next step is soil sampling right behind the combine. “That’s an exceptionally good idea.”
Scouting Recommended for Soybean Aphids – The North Dakota State University Crop and Pest Report says the current weather is favorable for the pest and the population can double every seven days. Soybean aphids were found in over 30 percent of the fields scouted. The economic threshold for treatment is 250 aphids per plant on 80 percent of the field. Pyrethroid-resistant soybean aphids are found in portions of eastern North Dakota and Group 3A insecticides should be avoided.
Pioneer Agronomy Update – In the latest Pioneer Agronomy Update, Pioneer sales representative Leah Johnson says soybean aphids are an issue. “The guys that went out with later planting, kept the beans naked and didn’t treat them with anything, those are the fields we’re seeing the biggest populations.” Treated fields look fine, but Johnson said populations are growing. “It’s really on us to be out looking at those fields to prioritize if we’ve got to treat because the beans are still at risk.” Johnson is with Red River Marketing at Elbow Lake, Minnesota and says corn rootworm is also being seen with more corn-on-corn situations. “We’ve had a couple situations where they’re eating those silks even though pollination is done. It’s not going to affect this years yield but knowing what those populations will manage them for the future.”
Early Rains a Saving Grace for Corn – Western North Dakota hasn’t had a good rain since the beginning of July. Agile Agronomy owner Kyle Okke says despite that, the corn crop is doing surprisingly well. “Let’s just put it this way, even though we haven’t seen near the rain in the last 30 days, our corn looks exceptionally good. All the rain we received in the months of May and June really set us up for a good crop.” Okke isn’t too worried about the recent high temps. “Heat stress looks to be minimal for us. My only concern is if we get extremely hot and don’t get the moisture to keep filling kernels.”
Prevent Plant Ground Being Worked – In northeastern South Dakota, Agtegra agronomist Blake Anderson says farmers with prevent plant ground are starting to work the ground or plant cover crops. “There are farmers planting turnips and radishes. Other farmers are planting wheat or barley, just enough to cover the ground and to get it ready for fertilization. Corn will be planted on a lot of that ground next year.”
The Sugarbeet Balancing Act – Pre-pile sugarbeet harvest is expected to begin around August 23 for American Crystal Sugar Company. This allows more time for the replanted sugarbeets. General Agronomist Joe Hastings says yield samples are being taken. “We are below the five-year average for tonnage and quality,” said Hastings. “Our yield estimate is still at 25.3 tons. We usually average 29 tons per ace.” American Crystal tried to balance things out by adding 50,000 acres to production.”It’s a balancing act.”
Sunflowers are in Bloom – National Sunflower Association Executive Director John Sandbakken says the sunflower crop in the Dakotas and Minnesota is about one week behind normal. “The heat we’ve had lately is really pushing the crop towards maturity. If you look at the five year average of growing degree days, we’re above average.” Sandbakken is also getting reports of the red seed weevil in sunflowers. “With prices where they’re at and the value of the crop, you don’t want to let something like the red seed weevil take away the yield or profit from you.”
Blooming Sunflowers Brings out Weevils – Red Sunflower seed weevils are active in South Dakota. South Dakota State University Extension Entomology Field Specialist Patrick Wagner says the pests are widespread. “Now that we’re at full bloom, they’re the most active.” The weevil can be found on the head of the sunflower. “In some fields, you can see the weevils walking across the flower. There’s a couple types of weevils on sunflowers, but the red sunflower weevil will have that rusty color.”
Red River Valley Potato Crop Needs Rain – Near Thompson, North Dakota, Tim Myron says the fresh red and yellow potatoes are catching up from the late planting season. It’s getting dry in fields with potatoes in the middle of tuber bulking. “They’re adding weight. Disease hasn’t been bad and maybe we’ll get rain before September begins.” Conditions this growing season are much better for the farm compared to last year. “We had warm weather, but it wasn’t days over 100 degrees like last year. We couldn’t wait for it to stop raining this spring, but actually, the way it worked out is probably okay.”
Potato Field Day Coming Up on August 25 – Extension Potato Agronomist Andy Robinson says the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association’s annual day be a similar program to previous years. “We’ll start between 7 to 8 a.m. at Hoverson Farms near Larimore, North Dakota. After that, we’ll move on to Inkster, North Dakota for a field tour,” says Robinson. “Our twilight tour starts around 5:30 p.m.” Robinson is working on a few research projects that will be highlighted during the day. “We’ll be looking at row spacing at Inkster. At Larimore, we’ll talk more about planting dates.” Registration is not required for this event.
Fielding Questions: A Look at the U.S. Crop – Dry conditions remain in the forecast for the Dakotas and Minnesota. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Marketing Education Specialist Katie Tangen says the southeastern part of North Dakota into Minnesota are areas to closely watch. “There’s also not a lot of old crop soybeans left. If we were to see a hit on the soybean yields, there’s not a lot to fall back on. We don’t have the stocks we had in other years. I think that’s the worse case scenario and I think we’ll end up ok. So far, soybeans are holding up well.” Other areas are in a tough spot, including Nebraska and portions of Iowa. As August continues, crop tours will take a closer look at the corn and soybeans across the Midwest. Hear more.
ND and Western MN Conditions Get Drier – In the last month, National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Greg Gust says drier conditions started to creep back into North Dakota. Rains are spotty now and there is some crop stress showing up. “Richland County is starting to pop up on our radar as moderate drought.” One-to-two-inch rains would help the situation. “For this time of the year, we’d still be expecting to get one inch each week to keep up with the demand, but we’re not getting it.” Gust says northwest Minnesota is hit-and-miss with the dry conditions.
Drought Hits Crops in Central and Southern Richland County, ND – Corn is seeing the biggest setback due to the moderately dry conditions. “The crop developed so quickly it didn’t have time to root in like it did last year,” said Greg LaPlante, president, GL Crop Consulting. “They’re probably tapped out in the top few feet in the soil.” Fields were pushed during spring planting and some of the crop got mudded in. Rains can fix that, but the million-dollar rains never came. “We’re about eight inches away from normal rainfall.” LaPlante says Richland County farmers may have to plant corn on corn next year to use up some of the nitrogen in fields that have lower than expected yields. “The crop rotation that got messed up this year will be messed up again next year. It will take us about three years to get it back.” Photo credit: Greg LaPlante
Fall and Winter Outlook – Japan’s weather agency says there is a 60 percent chance of La Nina continuing in the Northern Hemisphere through the early winter. There’s a 40 percent chance of weather conditions returning to more normal conditions this fall. A La Nina typically brings colder-than-normal temps to the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
Recent Pasture Growth Limited – Inadequate rainfall in the past few weeks has left new growth of pasture limited. Warm season grasses are harder to come by in pastures in North Dakota. NDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist Kevin Sedivec says the lack of warm season grass means there won’t be quality pasture growth until it cools down. “We’ve really shifted in the last 20 years to cool-season dominant pastures. We don’t have late season grasses anymore because of the shift of invasive species to where we’re cool-season grasses. We really on a second flush of cool-season grasses, which typically occurs in September.”
Cattle Coming Off Grass – Herreid Livestock Auction had their first sale with cattle coming off of this year’s grass one week ago. Herreid Livestock owner Kent Fjeldheim says the market looks strong. “We had about 2,500 head come through right off of grass. We had 900 pound steers up to $185 and some 870 pound steers up to $190.” Fjeldheim expects there to be a smaller run this fall. “There’s definitely going to be less cattle to handle this year. I just think we’re going into a few years where we’re going to have some really good markets.”
Container Movement Picks Up – The Port of Long Beach set a new record for cargo movement in July. The biggest increase in activity was the movement of empty containers. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles had a backlog of ten ships this past week. That’s the lowest number of ships waiting at the ports in well over a year. Dockworkers and their employers are in the midst of contract negotiations, but the work is continuing.
Historic Soybean Shipment – For the first time in history, Uzbekistan traders imported 700 metric tons of U.S. soymeal this week. Since 2020, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Checkoff has invested checkoff dollars into Uzbekistan to identify the country’s need for U.S. soy through a series of surveys. MSR&PC contractor Chris Andrews says the Council’s work in Uzbekistan has only just begun and it’s a growing market.
Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka – The Sri Lankan president has lifted his country’s ban on glyphosate. A ban was first implemented in 2015. That ban was lifted last November and quickly reimposed. Meanwhile, the country is facing economic collapse with food inflation now over 80 percent. Hyperinflation and food shortages has resulted in numerous protests throughout the country.
Use of Crop Protection Tools in Jeopardy – North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring does not trust the Environmental Protection Agency and its handling of crop protection products. “They’re geared up and ready to start pulling things off the shelf; they cancel registrations, change labels and that’s getting to be a real problem.” States still have the authority to make special needs or emergency exemptions. “Eventually, they’re probably going to start putting the hammer on me on that but we’re going to stand fast.”
AURI Update – The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute is hosting another Fields of Innovation event about learning from setbacks. The event will be held on August 23. Hear more in the latest AURI Update.
U.S. Farmland Values Increase – USDA’s land values summary shows farm land values increasing by $420 per acre this year. American Farm Bureau Federation economist Danny Munch that’s the largest year-over-year increase since the survey began in 1997. “Combining it with all of these other production cost increases, it’s a barrier to possibilities for farmers moving forward.” Many factors contribute to the jump in land prices. “Part of this increase is going to be linked to the rise in commodity prices that have translated to higher farming values in those lands, especially in heavy row crop Heartland states like Iowa and Indiana. There’s also competition with federal government program incentives like the Conservation Reserve Program.” Factors also include urban and suburban sprawl.” Read more.
Farm Rental Rates Get a Boost – Similar to land values, rental rates increased during the quarter by an average of 15 percent from one year ago. That’s according to a report from the Federal Reserve office in Kansas City. Non-irrigated farmland values increased about 35 percent since 2019 while cash rents grew by 25 percent over the same time period. The report says farm income and credit conditions during the quarter remained strong alongside elevated commodity prices. Looking ahead, the Fed says the outlook for farm income is softer due to a notable increase in production expenses.
The Next Five Years – An executive leadership conference considering the next five years in agriculture will be held September 12 in Moorhead. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Howard Olson says this event will consider big-picture issues for agriculture. “We have a tendency to take a look at this year’s crop conditions and so on, we’re jumping ahead ten, 15 years,” Olson told RRFN. “This conference tries to bridge that gap so we’re really taking a look at the world geopolitics and then bringing it down to how it impacts our local area.” The event is being hosted by the Northern Crops Institute.
Learn How to Ready Your Business for Change at The Next 5 Years Executive Conference – The Northern Crops Institute will host The Next 5 Years Executive Conference on September 12 at the Armory Event Center in Moorhead. The conference will explore the future of agriculture in the Northern Plains region over the next five years and how businesses can prepare for the changes that are likely to arrive. Discussion topics Geopolitics & Impact on Agriculture, Global Food Production, Global Sustainability Policies, and Energy Transitions in Agriculture. Early bird registration is available until September 1 for $185; standard registration is available for $225 after. A group rate is also available. Registration is available online.
TransFARMation: Farm Stress Goes Beyond Farm Finances – Most people would assume the number of calls to a rural mental health specialist would decline when the farm economy is strong. That’s not the case. “Even in really good financial times when the commodity prices are up, the phone is still ringing,” said Monica McConkey, Minnesota Rural Mental Health Specialist. “That’s just an indicator that finances are just one piece of a whole bunch of things that farmers are facing.” McConkey said many of the people she works with are dealing with a relationship issue. The stress of farm transition is a common topic. Farming is unique with multiple generations working together. “There’s a lot to unpack in farm transitions.” McConkey also helps lead a farm suicide loss group and discusses this issue in the TransFarmation podcast. The stressors impacting farm youth are also part of this conversation.
Watershed Tour Next Week – Seven watershed and water management groups are coming together to host a joint summer meeting. Red River Watershed Management Board Executive Director Rob Sip says this event will be held around Grand Forks, North Dakota. “We’re doing a tour and series of meetings for all the partners to come together to not only have some regular meetings of some of the different partners but then also some training events and then the, it’s a 3-day event, August 23, 24 and 25. The middle day on the 23, we’re doing a watershed tour. We’re going to be seeing watershed projects on both the North Dakota side of the Red River and also the Minnesota side. With this being the anniversary of the 1997 flood, there will be a special presentation reviewing the flood reduction and water quality restoration efforts. RRFN will also be reporting from the event.
NDCGA Organized to Advocate for Better Markets – The North Dakota Corn Growers Association was organized 35 years ago. Fairmount farmer Wallie Hardie was at the table when the association was formed. “The 1980s were a tough time,” remembers Hardie. “I remember going to my local grain elevator in January of 1983 and I was delivering a tandem load of corn.” For 600 bushels, the price on the scale ticket was $1.35 per bushel. “I did the quick math and I realized I was getting less than $800 for this load of cor and it hit me like a bolt of lightning, my career in farming may not be very long if this continues.” Hardie, who went on to be the first North Dakotan to lead the National Corn Growers Association, shared his story at the NDCGA 35th Anniversary Celebration in Mapleton.
NDCGA at 35: Skunes Reflects on His Time as National President – Kevin Skunes is one of three North Dakotans to lead the National Corn Growers Association, serving as president in 2017 and 2018. “It was a whirlwind.” In addition to ethanol policy, the farm bill was a priority during his time as president. “I really wanted to get the farm bill done in my term, but we signed the farm bill in December after I took over as chairman in October.” Skunes said North Dakota has been able to influence policy at the national level, including crop insurance and wetlands.
ACE Intensity Conference Happens in Omaha – American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says the annual conference was the perfect time to discuss a key policy issues. “We dived into carbon market opportunities for farmers and ethanol producers. We also talked about the $18 billion for climate smart agriculture recently passed.” Jennings says the new direction the Biden administration is taking for the Renewable Fuel Standard is a net positive. “Reversing the damage done from the small refinery exemptions is big. We will always need to be vigilant about EPA no matter who sits in the oval office. We’re eagerly working with them to make sure ethanol is part of the climate solution.”
E-15 Waivers Expected – According to Agri-Pulse, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to grant E-15 waivers to eight states, including the Dakotas and Minnesota. The waivers would allow E-15 to be sold year-round on a permanent basis by next summer.
Foreign Buyers Travel Across MN, ND, SD – An international delegation from Asia, Latin America and Africa has traveled the region to learn about soy protein. The 18 foreign buyers visited Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, including stops at the Northern Crops Institute and South Dakota State Univeristy. Director Mark Jirik says the group is leaning about soy-based foods, animal nutrition and soybean production. “It really is a comprehensive look at the region, but also a comprehensive look at how soy fits into our diets on a daily basis,” said Mark Jirik, director, NCI. An educated buyer is a better customer. “When we educate those buyers, 99 percent have a better understanding of U.S. crop quality, 95 percent better understand supply chains and 51 percent actually increase purchases of U.S. crops as a result of our courses.” This trip is organized by NCI, the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program and the soybean checkoff programs in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
North Dakota Pork Council Holds Annual Meeting – North Dakota Pork Council recently held their annual meeting. North Dakota Pork Council Executive Director Tamra Heins says the biggest update was the change in checkoff rate. “As of January 1st, the rate has gone down from 40 cents per hundred dollar value to 35 cents per hundred dollar value.” Heins says she isn’t worried about a tighter budget with the rate change, due to a higher pig population. “I think we’re going to be able to offset it because we have a few more pigs. A lot of other state associations are planning for a 12 percent budget reduction, but I think we’ll be just fine.”
Dry Bean Scene – The Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council has their summer meeting coming up. Belgrade, Minnesota farmer and dry bean producer Grant Anderson serves on the AFREC board and tells us the ins and outs of the meeting priorities. The Dry Bean Scene is brought to you by SRS Commodities, Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, and BASF.
USDA Report Neutral for Corn, Bearish for the Soybeans – USDA lowered the corn yield forecast from 177 bushels per acre to 175 bushels per acre the latest USDA report. That lowers new crop corn production to 14.3 billion bushels. The soybean yield was the big surprise. USDA raised the U.S. soybean yield from 51.5 bushels per acre to 51.9 bushels per acre. Soybean production is raised from 4.5 billion bushels to 4.53 billion bushels. USDA raised the average wheat yield slightly to 47.5 bushels per acre leaving production nearly unchanged. Read more.
Soybean Yield a Big Surprise – AgriSompo North America market analyst Sterling Smith says USDA’s soybean yield was major surprise to the market. “The market was completely blindsided by that. This surprise sent soybeans spiking lower, taking corn with it. The wheat market didn’t even really trade.” This report was friendly to the wheat market. “As far as wheat, yields were bumped up, as expected. Ending stocks were cut. While wheat is largely not traded much, this was fairly supportive to wheat.”
Fewer Corn and Soybean Acres in Dakotas and Minnesota – USDA’s re-surveyed acreage data from the Dakotas and Minnesota shows 100,000 fewer corn acres. Summit Commodities market analyst Tim Marsh says there’s also fewer soybean acres. “Acreage went down nearly 300,000 acres on soybeans when they adjusted for differences in the Dakotas and Minnesota from June. That clarified things to be more realistic. It helped the soybean number from being worse than it was.”
Corn and Wheat Ending Stocks Lowered, Soybean Ending Stocks Raised – USDA lowered new crop corn ending stocks from 1.47 billion bushels to 1.38 billion in Friday’s Supply and Demand report. The season average corn price is unchanged at $6.65 per bushel. Soybean ending stocks are raised 15 million bushels to 245 million bushels. The season average soybean price is down five cents per bushel to $14.35 per bushel. Wheat ending stocks are down 29 million bushels to 610 million bushels with the season average price down $1.25 per bushel to $9.25 per bushel.
USDA Adjusts Ukrainian Export Forecast – USDA increased global soybean ending stocks increased two million tons. Corn global ending stocks fell slightly and wheat held steady. Ag Resource Company President Dan Basse says there’s nothing new globally other than Ukraine will be exporting 3.5 million metric tons more corn and 1.5 million metric tons of wheat due to the open corridor. “With that in mind, USDA trimmed U.S. corn exports by 50 million bushels. We saw soybean exports go up slightly, along with wheat exports.” Basse says it’s a relatively tame global situation, especially with Ukrainian exports being raised. “Russian exports are forecast at a record large 42 million metric tons. As we look at the world, we wonder in war torn areas are we going to export that much. USDA is really aggressive right now in forecasting Ukraine and Russia exporting as much wheat as they are.”
Prevent Plant Data Delayed – The USDA Farm Service Agency was scheduled to release the first look at prevent plant acres in the United States on Friday, but the data was never published. According to the FSA, more time is needed to process the data.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson says the livestock sector is hot. “We’re not putting in big weekly gains, but this market is consistent. In the last week and the week before, we saw decent gains in the market,” says Martinson. “We continue to hear about tight supplies. As far as the cattle market is concerned, we’ve placed a lot of feeders into feedlots early due to the drought in the Southern Plains.” The grain markets aren’t hot. “If you look at how markets performed after Friday’s USDA reports and now, the markets are under extreme pressure. Weather looks benign as we look ahead at the final weeks of August.” Hear more.
Parade of Champions: Don’t Miss the Opportunity – Emma Jackson from Menahga, Minnesota is a member of the Pine Cone 4-H Club in Wadena County. Jackson shows rabbits in 4-H at county and state fairs. “I show New Zealand: I’ve been showing them for four or five years now.” Jackson had a good time showing projects at the Wadena County fair this year. “It went pretty well. I had hard competition. It’s really nice to meet new kids. I got two blue ribbons for my rabbits.” When Jackson isn’t showing rabbits, she’s learning how to be a leader at 4-H camp. “Being with with people that have different backgrounds and meeting new friends is a wonderful experience.” Jackson, a high school senior, doesn’t want young people to miss out on a good opportunity. “Try to do as much as you can, once you get older you will miss certain opportunities that you wish you had done.” Hear the story.
Parade of Champions: Be Dedicated – Julia Carlson from Murdock, Minnesota is part of the Dublin Victory 4-H Club in Swift County and KMS FFA Chapter. In 4-H, Carlson shows beef cattle along with other general exhibits. “When I was younger, my dad made a rule we could have livestock, but we also had to have one project in the other building. Normally for me, that was either flowers, gardening or photography.” The Swift County fair is coming up and Carlson is looking forward to showing. “Every year my favorite part is the beef show.” When it comes to showing livestock, especially cattle, you must have grit. “Things don’t always go as planned. You have to have grit, especially with livestock. You can’t just give up with something, once you’re in, you have to do it. You have to be prepared and stay ahead of the game to plan out your summer. It’s not just something where you can be like ‘oh, I’m gonna do this’, and then two day before the fair you’re gonna do it. It’s something you have to take to heart and work hard at it.” Hear the story.
An Average Crop – After a late start to the season, the crop in west-central Minnesota has advanced quickly. Barrett Agri General Manager Gary Sabolik says the area has had timely rains. “If we can get a good September, I think we are going to have an average crop; I think everyone was calling it below average but we’re looking pretty much average right now.” Barrett Agri hosted a massive field day with Anuvia Plant Nutrition Thursday. Sabolik says his company has worked with the Anuvia products for five years. “We had a product that was two-and-a-hal or, three times return on investment and those are the things we’re looking for to help our growers be more competitive.”
Anuvia Considers the Future of Fertilizer – West-central Minnesota hosted the fifth and final stop on the ‘The Future of Fertilizer Tour.’ Anuvia Executive Vice President of Sales Brett Bell says the goal is to deliver more nutrition for the crop, healthier soils and a better environmental outcome. Organic materials are used to develop fertilizer for large-scale agriculture. The organic matter may include livestock manure, wastewater treatment plant materials, distillers grain. “We can use any biological material that can find itself in a landfill,” said Bell. “We can take that, put it through our hydrolysis process and come out with a really nice multi-nutrient fertilizer that not only feeds the crop but it feeds the soil microbiome. Not only is your soil healthier but your crops yield more.” Anuvia’s Symtryx product delivers less leaching and volatilization. “In addition, there’s a lot of talk about the carbon footprint and carbon intensity. Simply swapping out synthetic nutrition with Symtryx on an acre of corn reduces that farmers’ greenhouse gas footprint on an acre about ten percent.” Photos are available on the RRFN Facebook page.
An Update on Tractor, Combine Sales – Compared to one year ago, U.S. farm tractor sales declined 21 percent in July. Four-wheel drive units and 100-plus horsepower two-wheel drive tractor sales increased more than 20 percent. The mid-range and small tractor sales were in negative territory. U.S. combine sales rose more than nine percent. Association of Equipment Manufacturers Senior Vice President Curt Blades said high-dollar equipment sales trended upward, which reflects the farm economy.
Electric Tractors on the Way – California-based Monarch Tractor is planning to bring a driverless electric tractor to the market. Monarch is working with Taiwan-based Foxconn to build these tractors at a former General Motors plant in Ohio. Production is expected to begin in early 2023. CNH Industrial has a minority ownership stake in Monarch Tractor.
Loan Volume Up for AgriBank – Net income remained strong for AgriBank in the second quarter, totaling $365.7 million. That’s up slightly from the same quarter last year. Loan volume for the first six months of the year totaled $125 billion, up $3 billion from the end of 2021. The St. Paul-based AgriBank had more loans in the agribusiness and real estate mortgage areas. That partially offset declines in production and intermediate-term loans.
Corteva and Bayer Heading to Court – Corteva Agriscience has sued Bayer CropSciuence for alleged patent infringement. Corteva claims Bayer wrongfully used its patented AAD-1 gene used in Enlist-branded corn. Meanwhile, a Bayer spokesperson said Corteva’s lawsuit was filed right after Baer sued Corteva for misusing its technology and violating a contract agreement.
Cargill Reports FY22 Income – Cargill reports a record $165 billion in revenues for the fiscal year. That’s up 23 percent from one year ago.
A Casselton, ND Soy Crush Plant Update – The Minnesota Soybean Processors is working through final approvals for the proposed soy crush facility in Casselton, North Dakota. Executive General Manager Jeramie Weller says the general contractor is starting to do dirt work. “The past few weeks we finished the upgrade to the township road coming from the south, allowing construction equipment to start coming in. There air and construction permits are the final straw for construction. We’re expecting that in the next month.” Weller says the official groundbreaking is scheduled for August 24 in Casselton. The summer of 2024 is what we’re targeting for starting the plant up.”
New ADM Fertilizer Terminal in MN – ADM has a new fertilizer terminal and blender at the St. Paul Alter River Terminal in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s a 40,000-ton fertilizer warehouse with seven large storage bins for bulk products, three micro bins and a high-capacity blending and loadout system. ADM leases the facility from Alter Logistics Company. Alter’s Vice President of Terminal Sales and Marketing Tom Streight says the new facility’s been up and running since July 1. “The fertilizer is a big portion of our facility. It comes in by barge or rail and then, we load it back to rail or truck to go to the end user.” Streight says the new terminal and blender triples fertilizer capacity at the location.
Stoller USA and Meristem Crop Performance Group Partner Up – The Wisconsin-based crop input supply company Meristem Crop Performance Group and Texas-based bio-stimulant company Stoller USA are coming together to distribute Stoller’s bio-stimulant technology products through Meristem’s growing network of dealer-partners. Meristem President Rob McClelland says teaming with Stoller will bring more innovative products to more farmer and more acres faster.
Full Pod to Feature YouTube Personalities – Crary Ag is planning its first-ever Full Pod event featuring agricultural YouTube stars on December 15. The West Fargo event will include Zach Johnson, who is known as the Millennial Farmer, and three other social media personalities.
Werner Moves to MN Biofuels Association – Brian Werner is the new executive director of the Minnesota Biofuels Association. Previously, Werner was the deputy legislative director for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Finstad Goes to Washington D.C. – New Ulm, Minnesota farmer and former USDA Rural Development Director Brad Finstad was sworn into office Friday in Washington D.C. Finstad is finishing out the term of former Minnesota Congressman Jim Hagedorn, who died in January. “I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting to work, taking my farmer mentality to Washington. I take pride in the fact I have dirt under my fingernails and drive a John Deere tractor. I think Congress needs a lot more of that.” Finstad said his priority is to serve on the House Agriculture Committee.
Preisler Wins County Commissioner Primary Race – Retired Minnesota Pork Producers Association CEO Dave Preisler was the leading candidate in a primary race for Le Sueur County commissioner. Preisler had 41.5 percent of the vote in a four-way race and will now be on the ballot in the general election. Preisler is orignally from Mahnomen, Minnesota.
North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Winner Announced – The 2022 recipient of the North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award is Spring Valley Cattle of Glen Ullin. This award recognizes private landowners’ achievements in voluntary conservation practices. Spring Valley Cattle will be recognized during the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts’ Annual Convention in November.
Last Week’s Trivia-A female sheep is known as a ewe. Cary Sifferath of the U.S. Grains Council wins our weekly trivia challenge. Congrats, Cary! Runner-up honors belong to Mike Brinda of Riverland Ag Co-op, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Al Wimpfheimer of SImplot Grower Solutions and Randy Knudsvig of First State Bank. The ‘first 20’ round out with Linda Skelly of Columbia Grain, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Shell Valley farmer Steven Grenier, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Mark Mettler of PreferredOne, Dianne Bettin of LB Pork, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Kristal Rick of MAGNO Seed, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Kevin Schulz of Dakota Farmer/Nebraska Farmer, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Pisek farmer Ernie Barta and Burleigh County farmer Jim McCullough.
This Week’s Trivia-In the Bible, who is the father of Cain and Abel? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.