A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, August 16, 2021
Reporting Agriculture’s Business – The Big Iron Farm Show is less than a month away. The Red River Farm Network will once again be hosting forums in our building on the southwest end of the grounds, across the road from the food court. We have a great lineup and the complete schedule is available online. Dakotafest is taking place this week, where RRFN Farm Broadcaster Carah Hart will report from Mitchell, South Dakota. In this edition of FarmNetNews, you’ll also find complete coverage of the latest USDA reports. RRFN farm broadcaster Megan Overby covered the Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show this past week and the news coming out of Nashville can be found in this e-publication. Also, check out video interviews from #CattleCon21 with the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and the North Dakota Beef Commission. Thanks for reading!
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Minnesota last week. During the two-day visit, Vilsack heard from Minnesota’s farmers and ranchers about the drought. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor has 78 percent of Minnesota in severe to exceptional drought. “Farmers and ranchers need as much assistance and flexibility as possible, whether it’s the Livestock Forage Program, haying Conservation Reserve Program acres or hauling water. This is likely something we’ll have to confront on a more frequent basis, making sure our support programs can do what they can to provide assistance.” Vilsack talks about the WHIP+ program, haying Conservation Reserve Program acres and more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Working Through Drought Relief – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven met with farmers and ranchers in Rugby, North Dakota last week. The senator received feedback on existing drought assistance. “We have flexibility from the Risk Management Agency when it comes to adjusting crops that aren’t going to make it. Farmers can leave a strip, graze the crop or bale crops for livestock,” says Hoeven. “Crop insurance companies haven’t been allowing this for row crops. Apparently they’re waiting until after September 1. We’ll go back to the RMA to see if this can happen for row crops.” Hoeven is also working to secure $6.28 billion in disaster relief in the Senate Ag Appropriations bill. This would expand the WHIP+ program to include 2020 and 2021 disasters. This would also provide $750 million for livestock producers. “Right now, USDA has flexibility how to provide that assistance.”
After a six-month delay, the Cattle Industry Convention was back in action and in person. Convention registrations are down slightly compared to previous years, but that didn’t stop nearly 6,500 pairs of cowboy boots from leaving their mark in Nashville. Those in the industry learned from experts, engaged in industry discussions and networked with fellow producers. Kimball, Minnesota rancher Don Schiefelbein says one topic on the mind of many are wide-spread drought conditions. “It’s an uncomfortable situation, but everybody has a little bit different scenario. In Minnesota, we’re seeing how deep we can go into the swamps and sloughs for hay.” Schiefelbein, who is also the NCBA president-elect, adds that other cattle producers are seeking out different types of grain typically not used. “One thing we all have in common, however, is that we are resilient. We’re finding ways to keep these cows fed.” Hear more, including tax policy commentary from Schiefelbein, in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Like many fellow cattle producers, De Smet, South Dakota rancher Todd Wilkinson is facing his own drought dilemmas. Wilkinson would normally have the feedlot full of calves and be looking for yearlings to place in pens right now. “I emptied the lots on June 1 and only have two weeks of silage left over from the last group of cattle finished. Right now, I have no desire to fill those pens until I have some additional crop.” Wilkinson, who is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President, says true price discovery in the cattle markets will be critical for the industry. “I attended the big meeting in Phoenix this past May. Our Live Cattle Marketing Committee has been working on a system to encourage greater cash trade.”Hear more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Putting a Price on Silage – In western North Dakota, NDSU Extension Livestock Marketing Economist Tim Petry says there’s a lot of corn being put into silage. “Probably the highest place in Burleigh County right now is a big silage pile. We’ve had a lot of questions about what silage is worth this year.” NDSU Extension updated the corn silage decision tool. Learn more.
Mixed Harvest Conditions in Montana – After a late start to the harvest season, Kansas-based High Plains Harvesting owner Ryan Haffner says wheat harvest is moving along. “Once it got going, it’s really gone fast. We had to make up time in the middle throughout the run. It was a challenge.” Haffner is cutting winter wheat in Montana. “North of Great Falls, Montana, the yields are off of average and a lot less than last year, when it was above average. We are averaging around 40 bushels/acre. It could have been better or a lot worse.”
American Crystal Sugarbeet Growers Prepare for Pre-Pile Harvest – The American Crystal Sugar Company will begin sugarbeet pre-pile harvest next Tuesday, August 24. General Agronomist Joe Hastings reminds sugarbeet growers to be aware of pre-harvest intervals. “Growers have done a good job controlling cercospora this year. We had high inoculum starting out the season. It’s been a combination of the dry environment and timely fungicide applications.”
A Tale of Two Crops – NDSU Extension Crops Marketing Economist Frayne Olson says there’s a tale of two crops growing in the U.S. right now. “We’ve talked about South Dakota and southern Minnesota being key corn and soybean growing regions. Drought continues to expand in the Western Corn Belt,” says Olson. “The grain markets are monitoring crop progress very closely. The crop growing in the Eastern Corn Belt, I’m expecting large yield reports.” Going forward, Olson says the weather forecast will continue to be closely monitored by the grain trade. Hear more from Olson on the latest Ag Market Situation and Outlook webinar.
Rock and Roll Agronomy owner and agronomist Jason Hanson is finding an unbelievable amount of diamondback moths, flea beetles and aphids in the canola growing in north central North Dakota. “I don’t know what it is with the canola this year, but it’s loaded with insects. There’s a lot of spraying happening from Cando to Langdon, North Dakota. I found fields that had insects on leaves, not the pods yet, but they’ll get there. We’ll have to spray later seeded canola,” said Hanson. “Where the crop is green, it’s tough. If you drive into areas where the ground isn’t stressed, that canola is done and it’s done because of insects.”
Pioneer Agronomy Update – Canola conditions are all over the board. Pioneer field agronomist Kristie Sundeen says the earliest fields have the best potential. For late-planted canola, this past week’s rain may have been too late. “Insect pressure is a lot worse in the fields that are at the end of flowering or early pod set. We have some fields being sprayed for Diamond Black Months and some are borderline, but throw in leaf beetles and grasshoppers in the same field you have three insects that are not at threshold, but technically, you are at threshold.” Ross Garrison, who operates North Border Seed at Rolla, North Dakota, says there is good potential for soybeans after the recent rain. “There’s also some pretty nice looking sunflowers in the area; the wheat looks better than I expected it to.” The Pioneer Agronomy Update came from Rolla on Tuesday. Watch on YouTube.
Minnesota Drought Conditions Worsen – In the last week, northwest Minnesota went from extreme to exceptional drought, stretching across nine counties. The exceptional drought starts in Polk and Norman counties and goes through Lake of Woods county. Severe and extreme drought covers the rest of northwest Minnesota. This is the driest northwest Minnesota’s been since the 1980s. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Assistant State Climatologist Pete Boulay says 1988 was dry, but 1980 was worse. “In 1980, conditions in northwest Minnesota were drier by another 1.5 inches compared to 1988,” explains Boulay. “This year, rainfall is seven inches short of normal, as a whole. The big difference between 1988 and now is 1988 was a more universal drought. This drought is more hit-or-miss.” Boulay says what happens in the next two months will set the stage for 2022. Right now, the outlook is for drier and warmer than average conditions.
Rain in the Forecast for the Northern Plains – The Northern Plains has a greater chance rain in the next week. “We may see this begin to evolve in the next few days,” says Drew Lerner, senior agriculture meteorologist, World Weather Incorporated. “We’ll see a follow-up system happening over the weekend. Right now, it looks like we could see better rain.” Total moisture through Wednesday will vary. While rains bring relief, Lerner says this isn’t the beginning of the end of the drought. Warmer temperatures will stick around this week. Hear the latest forecast.
USDA lowered corn yields more than expected in the August Supply and Demand report. “The corn yield at 174.6 bushels per acre is well below the average estimate of 177.6 bushels per acre,” said Naomi Blohm, senior market advisor, Total Farm Marketing. “Typically, USDA increases yield in the August report. This is a very bullish number. The soybean yield came in at 50 bushels per acre, below the average estimate of 50.4 bushels per acre.” USDA tweaked the demand category. “For soybeans, USDA raised old crop ending stocks up to 160 million bushels. That’s bigger carry in. Then, USDA left new crop soy ending stocks unchanged at 155 million bushels. For corn ending stocks, USDA raised old crop carryout. New crop ending stocks for corn came in at 1.24 million bushels.” USDA lowered wheat ending stocks to 625 million bushels. The grain markets had a bullish response to the report.
Crop Losses Too Big to Offset Overall Production – USDA indicated last week the eastern Corn Belt’s crop will not be big enough to offset the losses seen in the western Corn Belt. The Money Farm market analyst Luke Swenson is surprised USDA went that route. “We’ve been arguing with some of our bigger Corn Belt customers in the last few months that say the corn crop will be huge. We’ve been telling them if you take 30 bushels off of the crop growing in the Dakotas and Minnesota, you need Iowa and Illinois to beat trendline yield by 16 bushels per acre to offset that. When you start to see stand issues pop up, that’s what’s rippling through the report. I thought a 2.5 bushel reduction from the USDA was a lot to ask for and we got a five bushel reduction.”
Smaller Crops Across the Board – According to Stone X Group Chief Commodities Economist Arlan Suderman, the story is smaller crops across the board. “The decline in corn and wheat production estimates are significant. U.S. corn yields are estimated at 174.6 bushels per acre. World wheat stocks fell 12 million metric tons, largely on reduced production estimates in major exporting countries, especially Canada, Russia and the U.S. The wheat and corn interaction is going to be important because when one is small, it leans on the other. They’re both small this year.” Suderman says USDA’s yield estimates are based on farmer surveys and satellite data. Next month’s supply/demand report will be based on boots on the ground objective field surveys. Between now and then, various crop tours will be important.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – There is a lot to talk about in the markets, including the latest production report from USDA. Advance Trading risk management advisor Tommy Grasfi has more in the latest edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets. Listen now.
USDA Tweaks HRSW Yield Averages – For spring wheat, USDA increased the size of the spring wheat yields from a month ago for North Dakota and South Dakota. North Dakota is expected to average 30 bushels per acre. That’s two bushels more than in the July report, but nearly 20 bushels below last year. Minnesota’s spring wheat is forecast to average 42 bushels per acre, an increase of two bushels from last month. A year ago, Minnesota had an average yield of 53 bushels per acre. South Dakota’s spring wheat yield is projected at just 24 bushels per acre, down one bushel from July. That’s nearly half the yield seen a year ago in South Dakota.
Drought Cuts Into Regional Corn and Soybean Yields – USDA is forecasting North Dakota’s corn crop to average 106 bushels per acre, down from 139 bushels per acre last year. Yields are also down in Minnesota and South Dakota. Minnesota’s average corn yield is projected at 166 bushels per acre, down from 192 bushels in 2020. South Dakota is looking at a 133 bushel per acre corn crop, dropping from 162 bushels per acre last year. For soybeans, a 24 bushel per acre average yield is forecast for North Dakota. That’s down from 33.5 bushels per acre last year. Minnesota’s average yield is projected at 43 bushels per acre, down six bushels per acre from last year. USDA is forecasting South Dakota’s soybean yield at 39 bushels per acre, down from 45.5 bushels per acre last year.
Tri-State Yield Information Updated for Specialty Crops – The National Agricultural Statistics Service expects the sugarbeet yields to be on par with last year. North Dakota is looking at an average yield of 25.1 tons per acre. For Minnesota, the total is 26.5 ton. The drought is taking its toll on dry beans. North Dakota is forecast to have an average yield of nearly 1,100 pounds per acre. Last year, that average was over 1,600 pounds. In Minnesota, dry beans are expected to average 1,650 pounds per acre. That’s down from 2,100 pounds last year. Barley yields are forecast at 38 bushels per acre in North Dakota, down from 63 bushels in 2020. Minnesota barley yields are projected to come in at 52 bushels per acre, up from 47 bushels per acre one year ago.
Getting a Better Sense of the U.S. Crop – Traders will get a clearer picture of new and old crop supplies in the next two weeks. Utterback Marketing President Bob Utterback says the WASDE report and the Pro-Farmer tour are just snap shots. “The Pro Farmer tour tries to be on the bullish side and they typically give you the most pessimistic yield number possible. The stocks report has what’s in the grain bins and this week, we’ll get a closer look at what’s being produced.”
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Takes ‘Boots on Ground’ Look at the Corn Belt – This week, about 100 tour participants will take a closer look at the crops growing in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. The Pro Farmer Crop Tour is divided into two tour routes: east and west. Pro Farmer editor Brian Grete is leading the eastern leg of the tour. “There’s a divide between the areas that have received rains with good growing conditions compared to those in drought.” Grete says the tour will have the first field samples pulled on a broad base across the Corn Belt. “That puts a lot of attention on the crop tour and crop size. We’re not out to prove or disprove USDA; it’s to find out the yield potential of the crops growing in the U.S.”
Potato News – The processing potato crop growing in northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota is variable. Near Halma, Minnesota, farmer Lance Hapka says the irrigated russet potatoes are doing alright. Hear more in Potato News, presented by Corteva Agriscience, Gowan USA and BASF’s Provysol Fungicide for early blight.
The CattleFax seminar at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention provided both an optimistic and not-so-optimistic industry outlook for cattle producers gathered in Nashville. North Dakota Stockmen’s Association President Jeff Schafer, who ranches at New Rockford, says one positive takeaway was cattle inventory numbers. “It looks like we’ve turned a corner. Drought in the western United States will probably bring that to fruition quicker than in a normal cattle cycle.” Schafer adds there should also be better marketing opportunities for cattle producers according to the six month-to-one year outlook. The 2022 CattleFax price outlook puts 800-pound steers up $20 at $165 per hundredweight and fed steers up $14 at $135 per hundredweight Watford City, North Dakota rancher Jason Leiseth, who is also the Stockmen’s Association vice president, Leiseth says the weather outlook was not as optimistic. “While there a few chances for rain, we basically need to plan for drought to extend throughout much of 2022. I guess it’s probably better to know that now so we can decide what to do with the cowherd.” Listen to the full Red River Farm Network story.
Larry Schnell wore a couple different hates at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville. First, representing the Livestock Marketing Association in the president role. Schnell provided an update to convention attendees on legislation impacting producers, feeders and auction barns across the nation. “The impact of the Livestock Dealer Trust legislation will be tested over the next couple years. If a buyer defaults, it puts the unpaid seller at the front of the line for getting the money.” Secondly, Schnell operates Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange at Dickinson, North Dakota. Drought conditions not only in the Northern Plains, but virtually across the entire western half of the United States, keeping cattle moving. “I believe in North Dakota that we’ll be selling a minimum of 20 percent of the cows; it might be closer to 30 percent. We will be moving to two sales per week soon and selling mostly slaughter cows and bulls.” Schnell has more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
The U.S. cattle herd is declining, with beef cowherd numbers potentially reaching 30.5 million head by January 2023. That’s according to Rabo Research animal protein analyst Dustin Aherin. Drought conditions are playing a small role in the current cattle cycle. “A big share of the worst drought we are seeing isn’t in as densely populated beef cow country,” he explains. “The exception to that is in the Dakotas and parts of Montana where we really do have a large beef cow inventory struggling with drought.” While all that in mind, Aherin is expecting the national cowherd to decline, and the latest Cattle Inventory Report implies the same. The six-month outlook for fed and feeder cattle prices is the highest in at least five years. There are a couple factors driving these prices, including more manageable cattle on feed numbers. Aherin has more in the Red River Farm Network interview.
Senate Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill – The Senate has approved a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bill will now be considered in the House. This first phase of infrastructure allocates $110 billion for roads and bridges, $16 billion for ports and waterways, $65 billion for rural broadband and $47.2 billion for cybersecurity, flood and drought mitigation. Agriculture groups have a mostly positive response to the vote, calling it a step in the right direction. The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging the House to follow the Senate’s lead by leaving tax rates and stepped-up basis unchanged.
Transportation Dollars in Infrastructure Bill Welcomed – The Senate-passed infrastructure bill includes money for roads and bridges. There’s also money for rail and ports. National Corn Growers Association President Linder is pleased with this vote. “It is so wonderful to have the investment in infrastructure that will help move our grain and value-added products out of the country,” said LInder. “We have a lot of folks that really don’t have good access to internet yet in Rural America and that includes farmers; it is great to have the broadband piece.” Linder said he is somewhat disappointed in the lack of dollars for ethanol-related infrastructure.
A Closer Look at Rural Broadband Investments – The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package passed in the Senate last week has $65 billion available for rural broadband investments. The Rural Broadband Association Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield says $42.5 billion of that will go towards broadband distribution. “That’s deployment for those completely unserved and it will tier up to underserved. Every state under this will be guaranteed $100 million in grant support as the baseline. The rest of the money will be competitive. That way, we don’t have smaller states or larger states taking up all of the funding.” Bloomfield says this package allows the emergency broadband program from the FCC to continue and become permanent. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says some of the additional resources available with the money may be issued in grants and loans. “The $65 billion is one number, but it will lead to a larger investment.”
Progress Made on $3.5 Trillion Budget Resolution – The Senate approved a ten-year $3.5 trillion budget resolution early Wednesday morning. This was the first step in the reconciliation process which will allow the legislation to pass with a party-line Democratic vote. bill. This bill is expected to include everything from green energy provisions to immigration reform to free community college. Now House leadership is planning to cut the August recess short and bring lawmakers back on August 23rd to consider the budget resolution.
Cattle producers from across the country brought forth several policy items at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention. Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Allison VanDerWal says tax policy was a main point of discussion. “Tax policy in regards to stepped up basis and capital gains in something we’re watching closely. The Association is working on a state-led letter for our representatives and senators.” VanDerWal says if some of the proposed tax code changes pass through Congress, there will be big problems. “We could lose a lot of family farms across the entire United States. That’s why we need to start an open door discussion with Congressional members.” VanDerWal shares more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Senate Confirms Moffitt as USDA Under Secretary – The U.S. Senate confirmed Jenny Moffitt to serve as the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the USDA. Moffitt is the first USDA Under Secretary to be confirmed in the Biden Administration. Learn more about Moffitt
Dry Bean Scene – There are a number of dry bean variety trials being featured at the Carrington Research Extension Center. North Dakota State University dry bean breeder Dr. Juan Osorno has more in the latest Dry Bean Scene. This radio update is made possible by Sharpen by BASF, SRS Commodities, Johnstown Bean Company and the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Parade of Champions – Jorden Thune – Jorden Thune from Barnesville, Minnesota is a member of the Barnesville FFA Chapter and the Humboldt 4-H Club. She’s been showing cattle this summer; a steer and aheifer. “I plan to show at the Minnesota State Fair if college lets me do that.” Thune will attend North Dakota State University in the fall, where she will pursue a degree in psychology. Thune cannot wait to participate in the Little International, learning how to improve in her showmanship before her final year of showing livestock. “The bond you have with your animal makes the greatest showman, because if you’re connecting with your animal, they’ll want to be with you. You become friends.” The Parade of Champions is brought to you by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the North Dakota Wheat Commission, Associated Milk Producers Incorporated and its Dinner Bell Creamery brand and Ag Country Farm Credit Services. Hear the story.
Parade of Champions – Isaac Folland – Halma Ideal 4-H Club member Isaac Folland has been showing cattle for many years. The soon-to-be high school junior from Halma, Minnesota showed Simmental cattle at the county fair this summer. “I got grand champion with my Simmental heifer.” Folland won a chance to compete at the Minnesota State Fair, but will not move forward due to other commitments. He has learned a lot from showing livestock, but the most important things include “patience and taking your time.” This Parade of Champions is brought to you by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and Ag Country Farm Credit Services, the North Dakota Wheat Commission and Associated Milk Producers Incorporated and its Dinner Bell Creamery brand. Hear the story.
Reporting Agriculture’s Business from Dakotafest – On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals will explore the Dakotafest grounds in Mitchell, South Dakota, viewing product demonstrations and attending educational sessions. Dakotafest Director of Marketing Niki Jones says it will be good to have an in-person event. “This year, we have 450 exhibiting companies. We also have so many things lined up from an educational perspective.” On the opening day, there will be a Congressional update. “Senators Mike Rounds, John Thune and Representative Dusty Johnson will be on-site with us at 11 a.m. talking about agriculture policy on the Hill. Later that day, there will be a panel of experts talking about the cattle markets.” A climate-smart agriculture forum will happen on Wednesday and then, on Thursday it’s all about Women in Agriculture. Check out the full agenda.
Sustainability continues to be a buzz word in agriculture, especially when it comes to cattle production. According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Colin Woodall, the topic isn’t going away anytime soon. That’s why a brand-new beef sustainability plan was unveiled at the Cattle Industry Convention. “It continues to be a point of discussion among consumers and Congress. In order to make sure this discussion does not lead to more rules and regulations, we have to lead.”. The first goal of the plan is for beef production to be climate neutral by 2040. “That’s a big goal, but it’s do-able,” adds Woodall. “We believe that methane as a greenhouse gas has not been appropriately measured for years. New research shows that gas only stays in the atmosphere for about ten years before it is reabsorbed by the same grasses that are grazed by cattle.” The plan also highlights sustainability from a social and economic sustainability standpoint. Cattle association leaders from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota were part of the Sustainability Goals Task Force. Learn more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Year-to-date, U.S. beef exports are up 18 percent. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom says it is important to keep up that momentum. “I would argue that in a lot of countries demand is higher than pre-COVID.” Retail beef sales are down, but Halstrom calls that the “silver lining” because that business will come back. The largest export customers for U.S. beef are Mexico, Korea and China. Sales are also up more than 50 percent in Central America. “They were one of the first ones to come out of the COVID lockdown and we have tourism coming back. It is a good example of how markets when they get back to some sort of normal, U.S. beef and pork will take advantage of it.” Hear more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
U.S. beef demand is at its strongest level in more than 30 years. Minnesota Beef Council Executive Director Kelly Schmidt said that point is being made at this year’s Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville. “That’s because our producers make a really great product that we work hard to promote. We’re excited there is solid proof that consumers are demanding beef, ” says Schmidt. “We’re trying to keep up with promotion and really ride that demand wave. Hopefully everything else, in terms of the rest of the supply chain, will fall in place.” Of the $1-per-head is collected for the Beef Checkoff, Minnesota sends 50 cents to the national research and promotion program. The other half stays in the state. “We really use that to promote beef in our state. My staff and myself make sure those dollars are being spent wisely.” Hear more from Schmidt in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Record-high demand is positive for the promoters of beef. North Dakota Beef Commission board member Ray Erbele, who hails from Streeter, says consumers are most interested in where their food comes from, particularly how it is being raised. “So, I think it’s imperative that we address that as an industry, stay transparent and let people know we’re producing a safe product.” Erbele adds a lot of effort is being put forward by the Beef Checkoff to target the eastern United States, which has a heavy population. It’s no secret that North Dakotans love to eat beef. On a state level, Erbele says product demand remains strong because consumers of beef are constantly looking for new ways to prepare it. Learn more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
Minnesota Beef Update – As students head back to school, there are a lot of great educational resources available from the Minnesota Beef Council. Find out more from Director of Industry Relations Royalee Rhoads in the Minnesota Beef Update.
The concept of a national vaccine bank for animal agriculture was included in the last farm bill. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Animal Health and Food Safety Policy Chase DeCoite says the federal government now needs to take the next step. “We encourage USDA to appropriately fund that and stock that bank with vaccines so we have measures in place to prevent a foot and mouth disease outbreak.” DeCoite also recommends farmers and ranchers have their own plan to prepare for a foreign animal disease outbreak. Listen to the interview.
Container Crisis Cranks Up – The availability of shipping containers may be getting even tighter. A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at one of the major ports and China has suspended operations. Some ships are being rerouted to Shanghai, which is already dealing with the worst congestion in years. Freight rates are expected to increase.
2Q Income Increases for World’s Largest Meat Processor – JBS is reporting second quarter net income of $843 million. That’s up from $631 million one year ago. U.S. beef sales are up 19 percent and pork sales are up nearly 26 percent from one year ago.
Herd health management should remain a priority during the drought. “Think about switching or shifting the timing of your vaccines and don’t forget parasites in drought conditions that are stealing some of your nutrients may be more important than in the past,” said Dr. Mark Ally, managing veterinarian, Zoetis. At the Cattle Industry Convention Trade Show, Zoetis highlighted a new cattle health product called Draxxin KP. “This product is labeled for treatment of BRD associated with Mannheimia, Pasteurella, Histophilus and Mycoplasma which are four major bacterial pathogens. It is also labeled for fever reduction associated with the respiratory disease problem.” Listen to the interview.
Bayer Disappointed in Latest Court Decision – A federal appeals court has upheld an $86 million verdict against Bayer over the use of glyphosate. This is the third appeal Bayer has lost. Meanwhile, Bayer plans to ask the Supreme Court to review a separate case, saying the company should be cleared of any illegal behavior because the EPA determined glyphosate does not cause cancer.
Enlist Genetics to be Sold in South America – Corteva Agriscience is expanding its Enlist soybean seed lineup to South America. Company officials said Enlist will give South American farmers an option for biotech beans. At this point, Bayer has the majority share of the soybean seed market in Brazil.
Headsight Harvesting Solutions Sold to Precision Planting – Precision Planting has an agreement to acquire another precision agriculture company called Headsight. Headsight has developed harvesting row guidance and height sensing technologies. Precision Planting is a subsidiary of AGCO.
ND Receives USDA Broadband Funds – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $167 million in 12 states to improve broadband infrastructure. North Dakota is one of those states, with two grants and one loan going to the Halstad Telephone Company and Polar Communications Mutual Aid Corporation. Combined, that’s more than $8.5 million for the state. The investments are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program. USDA will invite applications for a third round of program funds in the next few weeks.
APUC Funds Awarded – The North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission has approved $482,000 in funding for eight projects. Those projects include the Red River BioRefinery for $80,000 to conduct a feasibility study on wheat biorefining. Scranton Equity Exchange was awarded $52,500 to evaluate plans to build an oilseed crush facility and Black Leg Ranch Meats will receive $20,000 for a branding campaign.
Smith Presented With the Beef Checkoff Visionary Award – The first-ever Beef Checkoff Visionary Award has been presented to Jo Ann Smith of Florida. Smith was the first chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board in 1986. Smith was also the first women to be president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and worked at USDA during the George H.W. Bush Administration.
Local Producers Recognized at ’21 Cattle Convention – Some local names were on the list of those recognized at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President-Elect and Kimball, Minnesota rancher Don Schiefelbein was the Top Membership Recruiter in the NCBA Top Hand Club. Johnson Farms of Frankfort, South Dakota was a regional winner and finalist for the Environmental Stewardship Award. Kathryn Slavick of Mandan, North Dakota, who attends North Dakota State University, was recognized with the Collegiate Beef Advocacy Program award.
NCGA Fills Public Policy Role – Angus R. Kelly has joined the National Corn Growers Association as its director of public policy, trade and biotechnology. Kelly has worked a Syngenta as a lobbyist and in corporate affairs.
USDA Fills a Half-Dozen Key Staff Positions – In the Office of Congressional Relations, Mia Mayberry was appointed deputy director of intergovernmental affairs. Mayberry has been serving as the outreach director for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. John Rapp is the new director of the Office of Budget and Program Analysis, a role he held in an acting capacity. Brooke Jamison was appointed associated administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Jamison has sent 23 years working on agriculture and international development policy, including time as a congressional staffer. Regina Black is the new chief of staff for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. Most recently, Black was the director of the executive office at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Caryn Compton was named the chief of staff for the Rural Utility Services. Compton has been the chief of staff for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Dr. Marty Matlock will be the senior advisor for food systems resiliency within USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Matlock was the founding executive director for the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center.
New Press Secretary Named for Senate Ag Committee – Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow has hired Lillie Zeng as the committee’s press secretary. Previously, Zeng worked in a similar role at USDA.
Former SMBSC President Passes – Funeral services for Frank Johnson, 100, will be held Wednesday in Hector. Johnson was a founding board member and former president of the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative. Frank and Babe Johnson were also recognized with honorary lifetime membership by the Minnesota Farm Bureau.
AEM’s Slater Announces Retirement Plans – Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater will retire at the end of the year. The AEM board has announced the organization’s senior vice president, Megan Tanel, will succeed Slater.
Former MN State Veterinarian Passes Away – Former Minnesota State Veterinarian Dr. Tom Hagerty passed away on Saturday. The Waseca, Minnesota-native was 85 years old. Hagerty practiced large and small animal health in St. Michael, Minnesota for 25 years. Hagerty was the executive director of the Minnesota State Board of Animal Heath from 1984 until he retired as State Veterinarian in 2001. He then served as the lead Minnesota State Fair Veterinarian for 15 years. Read more.
Last Week’s Trivia – Porterhouse is the term for a T-bone steak that has a significantly larger portion of filet meat. Dianne Bettin of LB Pork is our weekly trivia winner! Congrats, Dianne. Kristal Rick of MAGNO Seed, Keith Finney of John Stewart and Associates, Bob Byrnes of UM-Extension and retired Grand Forks banker Barry Medd earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Dennis Duvall of Dakota Environmental, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot Grower Solutions, Jim Altringer of CHS Dakota Plains Ag, Jacob Downing of Cargill, Norcross farmer Dwight Veldhouse, Patti Sell of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Keith Bjorneby of Lone Wolf Farms, longtime WinField business manager Jim Resch, Peter Carson of Carson Farms, Twyla Wulf of Clear Springs Cattle Company, Charlies McIntyre of USDA Market News (retired) and Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad.
This Week’s Trivia – What vintage tractor brand is known for its iconic orange color? 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.