A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, December 12, 2022
Winter Storm Approaches- A deep trough of low pressure on the West Coast will bring a major winter storm to the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Freezing rain is possible tonight and into tomorrow morning. The snow will kick in tomorrow and continue until Thursday morning. World Weather Incorporated is forecasting snowfall totals of eight-to-12 inches with localized areas above that. This system will be followed by cold weather with daytime highs early next week in the below zero range. You can hear the latest forecast from agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner online.
Epitome Energy to Build Crush Plant in Grand Forks – Epitome Energy plans to build a 42 million bushel per year soybean crush plant on the north side of Grand Forks. This same project was announced nearly three years ago in Crookston, but Epitome CEO Dennis Egan said there was no path forward for that site. “After 16 months of being in the air permitting process and the MPCA just wanted to proceed with some components that no other crush facilities is being held to.” Soybean crush facilities are being built at Spiritwood and Casselton. Egan says North Dakota has a rigorous permitting, but there is certainty with the process. Epitome Energy is purchasing the site from Northern Plains Rail. “We’re looking at putting in a loop track and partnering with Northern Plains Rail to get that done; we have a letter of intent signed.” Again, construction is scheduled to begin next summer and the plant should be operational in time for the 2025 soybean harvest. The full interview can be found online.
Petersen Disappointed in Epitome Energy Decision – Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen is disappointed in Epitome Energy’s decision to move its proposed soybean crush plant from Crookston to Grand Forks.”We provided over $1 million grant and another extra planning grant that we made available,” said Petersen. “It is my understanding the air permit would have been approved February 1. Ultimately, I wish (Epitome CEO) Dennis (Egan) well and hope that it gets built because it does provide opportunities for farmers in this region, I just wished it could have been built in Crookston.” The full RRFN interview with Petersen can be found online.
Black Sea Grain Exports Hampered by Russian Bombing – Ukraine’s Odessa port is not operating due to Russia’s bombing of the regional electrical grid. There’s no timeline for the resumptions for shipments out of Odessa. Grain shipments are now being diverted to two other Ukrainian ports.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in Agriculture – In this week’s editon of What’s Hot, What’s Not in Agriculture, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson says better-than-expected rains are forecast for Argentina and that has pulled down soybean and soybean meal prices to start the week. “Last week, it was soybeans and soybean meal that led the charge and that had been the hot market.” Crude oil prices have struggled. The Federal Reserve decision on interest rates will be out at midweek.
Few Changes in Crop Report – The December USDA supply and demand report was not much of a market mover. USDA left the U.S. wheat supply unchanged from last month; lowered corn exports by 75 million bushels and raised corn ending stocks by 75 million bushels. USDA did not make any changes to soybean carryout in the December report.
USDA Report Dubbed “Dull” – AgriSompo North America market analyst Sterling Smith calls the December USDA supply and demand report a “dull” report. “There’s not a lot of big changes at all. Smith says this report sets up the January report for bigger changes. “We’re going to have to address this export situation if it doesn’t improve over the next three-to-four weeks. The most important number, which is Brazilian soybean production, they left unchanged too.”
Basis Tells the Story – The futures market is acting differently than it has in the past. Chiodo Commodities market analyst Marc Chiodo says the futures trade apparently divorced itself from the fundamentals. “The cash basis is telling us we’re quite a bit tighter than what the numbers have been telling us,” said Chiodo. “We went through this last harvest with abnormally high numbers; at least 30-to-50 cents higher than we’d normally see at harvest time.” Chiodo believes the basis levels provide a better perspective on supply and demand.
The Bull Pen – Commodity prices have come down while input costs are still high. Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi is urging farmers to consider this new dynamic. “We’re going into a record high cost of production with 30-to-40 year high interest rates into a commodity market that is depreciating,” said Grisafi. “Store and ignore might not work as well as it did in the past.” The low-interest rate environment took hold after 9-11 “so there’s three or four generations who are saying what do you mean it costs eight percent to buy a home.” The full interview with Grisafi can be found on the Red River Farm Network YouTube channel in the monthly Bull Pen report.
NCI Hosts Grain Industry Emerging Leader Program – The Northern Crops Institute hosted a Grain Industry Emerging Leader Program this past week. The goal of the course was to help prepare current grain elevator employees for their eventual transition into managerial positions. In addition to the training, participants toured NDSU’s Barry Hall and the NCI facility. Go online for more information about future course offerings at NCI.
Clock is Ticking – The current continuing resolution expires at the end of this week. North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer says a one-week stopgap spending bill is already in the cards due to the lack of movement in the House. “If we don’t get a continuing resolution or an omnibus (spending bill) done by Christmas Eve, it’s possible we’ll come back the following week to get it done.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has threatened to bring up a bill that extends the current CR through September of 2023. “The first concern is that we find ourselves in the same boat as last year where the appropriations process doesn’t function.”
Help Sought for Mega-Drought – A group of 15 senators is asking Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to address a “22-year mega-drought” that is threatening farmers and ranchers across the West. The lawmakers contend many existing USDA programs do not meet the needs of Western agriculture. Vilsack is being asked to use his authority to conserve water and protect lands hurt by the drought. Additional staffing in USDA field offices is also on the wish list.
OMB Reviewing E15 Request – The nine states seeking federal approval to allow permanent year-round E15 sales are getting an official review from the Office of Management and Budget. Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are among the three states seeking the change. The OMB review normally takes two months to complete.
Wheat Reference Price Adjustment Needed in New Farm Bill – Crop insurance is the number one priority for the National Association of Wheat Growers in the next farm bill. NAWG President Nicole Berg also wants to see the PLC reference price for wheat to move beyond the current $5.50 per bushel. “Take all the regions in the United States and $7 (per bushel) is our break even,” said Berg. “We’re $2.50 below our break even in our reference price and is that really fair? That doesn’t really cover our costs, it doesn’t really help us when we’re price takers.” Berg was in Grand Forks for the Prairie Grains Conference.
Promoting Wheat Around the World – US Wheat Associates Chair Rhonda Larson, who farms at East Grand Forks, Minnesota, has been traveling the globe to represent wheat farmers. “Zanzibar and Egypt are really concerned about the Black Sea; they want to know that if they’re not able to get wheat through Black Sea ports, they can source from the U.S. The problem is they like cheaper wheat than we do.”
Education Will be Necessary for New Ag Committee Members – Agri-Pulse Communications Editor Sara Wyant says there will be a lot of new people writing the next Farm Bill and many of these lawmakers have no agricultural background. “A lot of them have not been involved in writing a farm bill in the past and may have joined the House Agriculture Committee not to work on farm policy, but to work on food policy.” With the lame duck session ongoing, Wyant is keeping an eye on the Water Resources Development Act. “We’re watching WRDA to get crucial infrastructure in place for moving our farm exports to market.” Wyant was part of the Ag Leader’s Forum Tuesday in Bismarck.
Ag Committee Reviews Research Title – Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is praising the bipartisan Agriculture Committee approach to the farm bill, including this past week’s oversight hearing on research. “Whether it’s land grant university support or extension program support, it was helpful to see how deep the importance of research is in the next farm bill.”
Hoeven Invites USDA Undersecretary to ND – During this past week’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven outlined the importance of research to Rural America. Hoeven invited USDA Undersecretary Chavonda Jacobs-Young to see the research being done by Grand Farm and North Dakota State University. “The theory is to have a fully automated farm, and I want to invite you to see it in person.”
Dry Bean Scene – In this week’s Dry Bean Scene, we catch up with Northarvest Dry Bean Growers Association Marketing & Communications Director Jed Brazier to announced Northarvest’s 2023 Bean Day details. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Midwest Senators Want Action From Maritime Commission – South Dakota Senator John Thune, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin have asked the Federal Maritime Commission for clarity. The issue centers around the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and shippers refusing to move agricultural cargo.
A $31 Billion Impact – A new study shows agriculture contributes $30.8 billion to the state’s economy, 24 percent of which is value-added agriculture. The study also breaks down employment numbers to show over 110,000 total jobs are affected by agriculture with labor income totaling over $7 billion. NDSU Vice President for Agricultural Affairs Greg Lardy says the study highlights how important agriculture is to the state. “This study give us a baseline to work with. When you think about the importance of agriculture, there’s a huge impact on employment and the economy.” Lardy says ag leaders can utilize this study when making better policy decisions.
First-of-it’s-Kind Economic Analysis – The study conducted by NDSU researchers includes data regarding the total economic contribution of agriculture, agriculture’s share of the economy, and jobs created by agriculture. NDSU research scientist Dean Bangsund was one of the key researchers behind the study. “I think this is the first-ever comprehensive assessment of agriculture.” Bangsund says the study could help compare North Dakota’s agricultural value to other states and see how much progress agriculture is making over the years. “The report sets a foundation for the industry to reference.”
Study Highlights Need for More Livestock – Agriculture contributes $31 billion to the North Dakota economy. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says the NDSU study highlighted the need for more animal agriculture. “There’s one thing missing in North Dakota compared to Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa and that’s animal agriculture,” Burgum said. “We’ve got a lot of red tape and corporate farming laws that we need to overcome before animal agriculture can expand.” Burgum said value-added agriculture could bring more animal agriculture to the state. “If the market hadn’t shifted to soybean oil, we wouldn’t have soybean processing plants in North Dakota. Now we’ve got two plants, we’re very close to almost having three and wherever we see a processing plant going in, we need to ask what are the animal agriculture opportunities we can gain from this?”
Opportunities for Animal Agriculture – Incoming North Dakota House Agriculture Committee Chair Paul Thomas sees the addition of more soy crush facilities could open the door to animal agriculture in the state. “There’s going to be more meal available for animal feed.” Thomas is seeing more interest in this issue. “People are meeting with commodity groups, industry leaders and legislators trying to identify barriers; they’ve ranged anywhere from zoning issues, community acceptance issues, and lack of capital.”
A Fertilizer Plant in North Dakota? – State Senator Terry Wanzek admits it will be a long road, but hopes to see a fertilizer plant built in North Dakota. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but there’s been a lot of discussion and there’s one particular company that’s very interested,” said Wanzek. “As a farmer who’s concern about price fluctuations and availability, it’s very exciting.” Wanzek, who farms near Jamestown, said having a fertilizer plant in the state wouldn’t necessarily lower prices, but it could stabilize supplies.
Income Tax Relief Proposed – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum delivered a budget proposal to the Legislative Assembly that invest in roads and bridges, workforce development, and tax relief. Bergum said the state is doing incredibly well. “We are blessed as a state compared to virtually every other state, but when our state is doing well, the citizens should also share in that prosperity,” said Burgum. “Our budget includes income tax relief that will eliminate the state individual income tax for three out of five taxpayers. Those who will still pay income tax will see their liability reduced by roughly a quarter to a half.” The 2023-2025 budget proposal includes an unprecedented investment of $2.4 billion in roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Burgum also said state revenues are strong enough that it should not be drawing profits from the state owned-mill and bank.
Noem Emphasizes Fiscal Responsibility – Governor Kristi Noem says South Dakota has grown during her time in office, but the state remains fiscally responsible. “We have become a success story because we keep government limited and live within our means.” During her annual budget address, Noem proposed eliminating the state’s portion of the sales tax on groceries.
A Record Surplus – For the upcoming biennium, Minnesota will have a record budget surplus of $17.6 billion. “The golden opportunity that we have to make Minnesota an even better and fairer and more inclusive and more prosperous state is there,” said Governor Tim Walz. Walz will release his budget proposal in late January.
Common Farming Practices May be a Target – The Minnesota Legislature will have a new look in the upcoming session. The majority shifted in the Senate, resulting in one-party rule in both chambers. The entire House and Senate leadership team are also new with the exception of House Speaker Melissa Hortman. Speaking at the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers meeting, agricultural lobbyist Bruce Kleven said it will be more difficult for agriculture to hold off bills that target common farming practices. “You’re referring to the bans on neonics, bans on Roundup, bans on treated seed and those kinds of things. EPA registers this stuff so when it trickles down to the state legislature, it’s often done on just a whim; I have an election certificate, so I’m going to take it away from you.” Kleven will concentrate on the Senate, which typically is a more deliberate body. “We’ve always found an open audience there.”
Forum Brings Together Ag Leaders – North Dakota Farm Credit hosted its 14th Biennial Ag Leaders Forum this past week. AgCountry Farm Credit Services CEO Marc Knisely says it’s not often you can find so many state legislators and ag leaders under one roof. “We’ve hosted this event for over 30 years, and it brings together members of North Dakota Ag Coalition, members of commodity groups, educators and Extension agents and our elected officials.” Discussion circled around the upcoming legislative session. “We know that agriculture and energy are the top two drivers of our economy and they overlap an awful lot.”
Farm Policy Goes Beyond Taxes and Regulations – Non-traditional issues, such as healthcare, childcare and workforce development, are current priorities for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. “We are hearing more and more from our members that it’s not just about taxes, crop and livestock issues, it is those second-tier issues that are really impacting their business,” said Karin Schaefer, executive director. “We’re also looking at rural vitality and making sure that our workforce is strong and our farm families have those basic necessities like broadband, access to childcare and housing availability.” Schaefer was a live guest during RRFN’s Country Morning broadcast Thursday, discussing state and federal issues.
Looking for Fairness – National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the Fairness for Farmers campaign addresses consolidation in agriculture. “It has been a topic for Farmers Union for a long time.” There is pressure on farmers to get bigger to cover their costs and consumers are pressured by having fewer players in the middle. “We’re hoping Fairness for Farmers will get the attention of Congress and the White House on this issue.”
Market Transparency Rule in Place – USDA has issued its final rule implementing a contract library pilot program to improve transparency and competition in the cattle market. Any meatpacker with more than five percent of the annual national cattle supply must report marketing information at the end of each month. The data collected include cattle numbers, the purchase price and contract timelines. Information that would identify the farmer or rancher will not be included in those reports.
Cattle Market Gains Aren’t Offsetting Increased Costs – Hub City Livestock Auction owner Steve Hellwig is seeing a $3-to-$5 permium for calves that are weaned and bunk-broke. Hellwig says the cattle market has some catching up to do. “Yes, the prices are $150-to-$200 more a head than what we saw last year, but so is the cost to raise these calves and and you can’t forget about all the death loss from last spring.” In Hellwig’s words, “nobody is getting rich raising cattle right now.”
Building Better Beef – American Angus Association Director of Commercial Industry Relations Troy Marshall says Certified Angus Beef has added millions of dollars of premium into cattle producers’ pockets. “CAB was the leader of the branded beef revolution and now we have over 100-something brands. We probably return more premiums to the cattlemen than any other single program.” The cattle industry is always evolving to make better, higher quality cattle. Marshall says the association is working on adding longevity to the cow herd.
New Leadership for MSCA – Mark Pankonin of Lamberton is taking over the reins as president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association. “I’m excited to serve during such a prosperous time for the cattle industry. We are still dealing with drought relief issues, wolf depredation and will be keeping an eye on the Farm Bill in 2023.” Pankonin succeeds Grant Breitkreutz as MSCA president.
Pork Checkoff Rate Adjusts Lower – As of January 1, the mandatory pork checkoff rate will be at 35 cents per $100 of value. That’s down five cents from the current rate. The rate change is due to a policy change approved at this past year’s Pork Industry Forum.
DMC Enrollment Period Extended – USDA has extended the deadline for farmers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage programs for 2023. The National Milk Producers Federation praised the news and encouraged dairy farmers to consider USDA’s complete array of risk management options. The new enrollment deadline is January 31.
Dairy Industry Fights for Workforce Modernization Act – The International Dairy Foods Association wants the Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed during the lameduck session. “Workforce is by far the number one issue facing our IDFA members,” said Michael Dykes, CEO, IDFA. “Most of our members are short 10-to-20 percent of the workforce and are heavily reliant on temporary workers.” After meetings this past week on Capitol Hill, Dykes is optimistic this legislation can be passed before Congress adjourns for the year.
Fielding Questions – AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the Red River Farm Network present the Fielding Questions podcast. In this episode, AgCountry branch manager Jordan Croatt reviews the impact of rising farm costs.
Ag Groups Sue EPA Over Dicamba Rules – The American Soybean Association and Plains Cotton Growers are in federal appeals court in a dispute over EPA rules and dicamba. The groups filed the lawsuits two years ago, arguing the EPA’s approach led to the agency imposing arbitrary and burdensome buffers and cutoff dates. ASA and PCG are asking the court to remand portions of the registration back to EPA for reconsideration.
Dealing With Weed Pressure – Thanks to Mother Nature, weed control was difficult this past year. Syngenta Technical Development Lead Dean Grossnickle says that will impact weed management in the year ahead. “We know we probably have a bigger weed seed bank to deal with and that means we need to think about going with a more stout residual early on,” said Grossnickle. “We hope we get that timely rain to get that (residual) incorporated and then we want to be out there in a timely fashion to get that overlapping weed control to take us home.”
2023 Weather Outlook – North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison expects a dry spring. “Once the snow melts and we get out planting, if it is a little drier than average, I really think in June the moisture will come and it will end up being a pretty good growing season because of that.”
South Dakota Corn Comments – In South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Executive Director DaNita Murray outlines the current political environment in Washington, D.C. and the implications for agriculture.
Seed Decisions Being Made – A large percentage of the seed has been already booked for the 2023 growing season. Pioneer Soybean Marketing Lead Don Gehrls says most of the early interest is in corn. “I’ve been hearing a little more momentum around corn than soybeans.” Soybean seed purchases can happen much later, and in some cases, be an in-season decision. “There’s been unique supply challenges that have happened in corn the last couple years, not just with us, but also with other companies so I think the farmers are locking that in,” said Gehrls. “We have a lot of supply for soybeans and a lot of options.”
A Phenomenal Wheat Year – According to WestBred Regional Account Manager Peter Comis, wheat seed decisions are being made earlier and earlier. “It’s really cool to see that wheat is starting to be thought about as a huge crop and not just a rotational piece of the farm.” Comis says 2023 could be a big year for wheat production. “We had a phenomenal year in 2022 across all the northern region which is North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. We had some late planting but the wheat just really shined from north to south to east to west, especially up here in the northern (Red River) Valley area so wheat’s going to have another big year.”
November Fresh Potato Movement is Down – November fresh potato movement typically has the strongest activity for the year due the Thanksgiving Day demand. However, November sales were the smallest total for the month in modern history. U.S. packers shipped nearly 7.6 million hundredweight of fresh potatoes during November. That’s down 231,000 hundredweight from November of 2021. North American Potato News reports all major shipping areas posted reduced movement for the month except the Red River Valley and northeastern Colorado. Red River Valley shipments rose 1.4 percent from one year ago.
Delivering on Conservation – The Inflation Reduction Act includes increased funding to address climate issues. Minnesota’s $17 billion surplus is also expected to include support for soil health and water storage. Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation Districts Association Executive Director LeAnn Buck says these efforts influence conservation strategies at the local level. “For the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, we’re very cognizant of policies that are done at the federal, state and local level,” said Buck. “It is a nice trifecta looking at the policies coming down the road; I really want to emphasize the voluntary conservation approach and the acknowledgement that a lot of landowners are doing great things.” The MASWCD Annual Meeting begins today in Bloomington and continues through Wednesday.
Preserving Access to Missouri River Water – North Dakota Water Association President Dave Lang says the conversation at this past week’s convention revolved around protecting the Missouri River. “We need to protect North Dakota’s right to the Missouri River water. There’s talk about pipeline construction from the river to Denver so we need to protect our source.” The discussion of efficient water usage during drought years was also a prominent topic. “I think our aquifers are still in good standing.”
Water Supplies Under Scrutiny – The beginning stages of construction has begun on the Red River Valley Water Supply Project. This effort is designed to deliver an emergency water supply to central and eastern North Dakota during times of drought. Vogel Law Firm attorney Tami Norgard has been working on this project since 2001. “They started pipeline construction on the eastern part of the state and that was done strategically,” said Norgard. “There’s a question on whether they can use a different water supply, the McClusky Canal, which could save us up to $300 million dollars.” The McClusky Canal is nearly 75 miles long and was built from 1969 to 1976. It is a part of the Garrison Diversion project and is authorized for approximately 24,000 acres of irrigation. Norgard said expansion into the McClusky Canal is currently being reviewed. “We got federal approval to use the canal, but we’re still looking at the Red River Valley project that would just be the state project.”
Irrigation Workshop Stresses Efficiency – Farming has become increasingly efficient in utilizing natural resources. North Dakota Irrigation Association Chairman Loren Dewitz says irrigation usage has increased across the state, especially with recent drought years. “There’s several areas in the state where permits are hard to come by because they don’t know exactly how much water is available,” said Dewitz. “We don’t want to be in a situation in North Dakota like they are in the southern states where they’re mining water faster than it can replenish.” Dewitz says irrigation technology has come a long way since he started utilizing pivots. “There’s a lot of variable rate irrigation now that’s more efficient where we can water exact zones.”
Funding Sought for Flood Control Projects – Minnesota is going into a budget year with a $17 billion surplus. Red River Watershed Management Board Executive Director Rob Sip will be working on securing additional funding for flood reduction. “We have about ten large scale flood projects, so we’re looking for about $50 million from the State of Minnesota, but they do have a little bit of extra money and we’re hoping to get some of that funding next year.” Sip also says there are several farmstead ring dike projects are underway and similar projects are planned in the future.
Preparing the Next Generation – North Dakota State University Extension and North Dakota Farmers Union partnered on a farm successing planning workshop in Bismarck. “Anytime you hand down property to keep a farm going, there’s going to be a lot of planning involved,” explained Tyler Kralicek, Burleigh County Extension. “You have to talk to the right type of professionals like lawyers or insurance agents.” Kralicek says farmers can start succession planning at any age.
Fair, Not Equal – When it comes to succession planning, Oliver County Extension Agent Rick Schmidt encouraged landowners to start the communication process early. “I think it’s important that when you start, you identify which individual will be leading. What really makes planning successful, is making sure everyone is on the same page.” Passing down the family farm can be a difficult path. “You need to treat them all fair, but that doesn’t mean they’re equal and it doesn’t mean everyone’s happy at the end of the day.”
Addressing the Labor Shortage – The pain from the agricultural labor shortage is being seen at all levels. CHS Senior Vice President of Enterprise Customer Development Gary Halvorson cites the number of baby boomers who are leaving the workforce. To retain and recruit employees, ag companies must offer competitive salaries and benefits packages. “Beyond that, the millennial generation really wants a purpose-driven organization; our purpose is creating connections to empower agriculture, and that resonates well with that generation,” said Halvorson. “That’s a generation that grew up with Harry Potter so they look at the world as teams of people, but Generation Z is a different one because they grew up with a completely different look on life and behave more like baby boomers; they’re ultra-competitive, want to climb quickly and their expectations are really high.” Halvorson says ag companies are also looking at technology to help fill the gap in the labor market.
Job Opportunities in Agriculture – The Red River Farm Network is connecting agricultural companies, organizations and farms with high quality job prospects. Click on the Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the RRFN website to see the latest listings. R.D. Offutt Farms is seeking a team lead and has three agronomy internships available. Dakota Ingredients, Pioneer and others are among those listed at this time. If you want your job listed, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mosaic Cuts Potash Production – Mosaic is temporarily cutting production at one of its potash mines in Saskatchewan. Company officials said farmer demand has been slower-than-expected in the second half of the year. Current inventories are adequate to meet near-term demand.
50 Years – Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative celebrated its 50th anniversary during its annual meeting Thursday in Fargo. Minn-Dak was officially formed in August of 1972 and produced its first beet crop in 1974.
Antitrust Settlement – Perdue Farms is settling a class action lawsuit dealing with the violation of antitrust laws. Eighteen chicken processors were accused of sharing wage and benefits information to keep compensation down. Perdue Farms denies the allegations, but paid a $61 million settlement.
A Swine Industry Collaboration – PIC has made a minority investment in a farm management solutions company called SwineTech. The two companies will work together to develop new strategies to improve predictability and efficiency for swine production.
Ag Resource Management Names New CEO – Rip Mason has been named CEO of Ag Resource Management. Mason has been on the ag lending and crop insurance firm since 2019 and was recently named vice chairman. Mason succeeds John Hoffman, who was ARM’s CEO since January of 2020.
A New Role for Busse – Julie Busse is the new director of renewable fuels for the National Corn Growers Association. For the past five years, Busse has been in the NCGA communications department. Before that, Busse worked for an advertising agency, a seed company and as a farm broadcaster.
Zenk Named USDA Deputy Undersecretary – USDA has announced several staff appointments. Danube, Minnesota native Katie Zenk is the new deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Most recently, Zenk was the chief of staff for USDA marketing and regulatory programs. Previously, Zenk held positions on the House Agriculture Committee staff and with Land O’Lakes.
IDFA Honors MN, SD Lawmakers – The International Dairy Foods Association has honored six individuals for their work in supporting U.S. dairy policy. That list includes Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, South Dakota Senator John Thune and South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson.
NDSU Faculty Recongized – In the annual awards program, NDSU Extension Crops Economist Frayne Olson received the AGSCO Excellence in Extension Award. Animal science professor Kendall Swanson was recognized with the Eugene R. Dahl Excellence in Research Award. The award winners also included 4-H specialist Meagan Hoffman with the Excellence in Extension Early Career Award.
ACSC Promotes Braseth – American Crystal Sugar Company has promoted Nolan Braseth to factory manager at the Crookston factory. Most recently, Braseth was the production superintendent at the Moorhead facility.
Beet Share Values – It was another slow trading week for American Crystal Sugar Company beet stock. According to Jayson Menke, owner, Acres & Shares, ten shares were brokered at $4,700 per share. For the trading season, 1,625 shares have been brokered at an average price of $4,578.40 per share.
Landuyt Named Cattleman of the Year – The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association named Mike Landuyt the Cattleman of the Year. Landuyt Land and Livestock is a fifth generation family farming operation near Walnut Grov. The award is presented each year to an individual with outstanding leadership and personal dedication to Minnesota’s cattle community.
North Dakotan to Lead ASA in ’24 – Kulm, North Dakota farmer Josh Gackle has been elected vice president of the American Soybean Association. This puts Gackle in line to be ASA’s president in 2024. Daryl Cates of Illinois is the incoming president. Thirteen new directors have joined the board, including Jordan Scott of Valley Springs, South Dakota and Justin Sherlock of Dazey, North Dakota.
USB Elects Executive Committee – A Missouri farmer, Meagan Kaiser, is the new chair for the United Soybean Board. North Dakota farmer, Matt Gast, was also elected to the USB executive committee. USB oversees the national soybean checkoff.
Watne Re-elected as President – Mark Watne of Velva, North Dakota was re-elected to a tenth year as North Dakota Farmers Union president at the state convention this past weekend. NDFU members also adopted four special orders of business that outline priorities for the upcoming legislative session and farm bill, which includes addressing fair markets for farmers and ranchers, and adequate staffing for the Farm Service Agency.
WI Added to Northern Soy Marketing LLC – The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board has joined the soybean checkoff boards of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska on Northern Soy Marketing. Wimbledon, North Dakota farmer Rob Rose was appointed to the farmer-led board that focuses on the issues surrounding northern-grown soybeans.
Colorado Farmer to Lead National Sunflower Association – Tom Kirkmeyer succeeds Lance Hourigan of Lemmon, South Dakota as president. Chuck Todd from Onida, South Dakota is the first vice president and Josh Greff of Regent, North Dakota is the second vice president. Lacey Zahradka of Archer Daniels Midland will serve another term as secretary-treasurer.
ND, MN, SD Farmers Return to CHS Board – Reelected to a three-year term on the CHS board are Kevin Throener of Cogswell, North Dakota; Hal Clemensen of Aberdeen, South Dakota; Al Holm of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and Mark Farrell of Dane County, Wisconsin. Nebraska farmer Jerrad Stroh of Nebraska was elected to a new term on the board.
MN Farm Bureau Hires Public Policy Director – Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation has named Pierce Bennett as its new director of public policy. Bennett comes to MFBFfrom the Livestock Marketing Association where he was the director of government and industry affairs. Bennett is an Ohio native and graduate of Kansas State University.
Last Week’s Trivia- Jim Carrey starred ast the grinch in the 2000 film ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ Linda Skelly of Columbia Grain wins our weekly trivia challenge. Retired North Dakota Farmers Union economist Dale Enerson, Wayne Christ of CHS Agronomy, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio and Mark Haugland of the National Wheat Foundation earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Kelly O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Crookston farmer Tim Dufault, Randy Knudsvig of First State Bank, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Brad Farber of Anglo American, Eric Lahlum of Corteva Agriscience, Farm Business Management instructor Steve Metzger, Shell Valley farmer Steven Grenier, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute and Lyle Orwig of Certified Agriculture Dealers.
This Week’s Trivia-‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a ___________.’ Finish that line from the classic Christmas poem. Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|December 12, 2022 - December 14, 2022||SD Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention & Trade Show - Pierre, SD|
|December 12, 2022 - December 14, 2022||MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts Convention - Bloomington, MN|
|December 12, 2022 - December 14, 2022||Dakota Innovation Research & Technology Workshop|
|December 13, 2022||Risk Management Agency virtual workshop|
|December 15, 2022||NDSU Monthly Agricultural Market Outlook - Online Webinar|
|December 15, 2022||Ranchers’ Night Out - Devils Lake, ND|
|December 15, 2022||Crary Ag Hosts first ever Full Pod Event - West Fargo, ND|
|December 15, 2022 - December 16, 2022||SD Farmers Union Convention - Huron, SD|
|December 15, 2022 - December 16, 2022||2022 UM Soil Management Summit - St. Cloud, MN|
|December 16, 2022||South Dakota Simmental Association Annual Meeting - Mitchell, SD|
|December 16, 2022||NDSU Central Dakota AG Day - Carrington, ND|
|December 20, 2022||FCS of Mandan TRIPLE UP Marketing Seminar - Dickinson and Mandan, ND|
|December 20, 2022||Triple Up Commodity Marketing Seminar - Dickinson and Mandan, ND|
|January 4 - January 5||Lake Region Extension Roundup - Devils Lake, ND|
|January 4 - January 5||Potato Expo - Aurora, CO|
|January 6 - January 11||American Farm Bureau Federation Convention - san Juan, Puerto RIco|
|January 7||North Dakota Angus Association Sale - Mandan, 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.