A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, December 21, 2020
Gratitude – This past year has been one for the record books. The pandemic has been and continues to dominate the news. The Red River Farm Network is honored to report on the issues impacting our farmers and ranchers. During this Christmas week, the entire RRFN team wishes you and your family the best of the holiday season. Thank you and be well.
Agriculture Receives $13 Billion in Coronavirus Relief – After a lengthy weekend session, Congress will vote today on legislation to fund the government and deliver coronavirus assistance. The $908 billion COVID-19 package includes $13 billion for agriculture. Crop farmers will receive a supplemental $20 per acre Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payment. In addition to the COVID relief, the omnibus bill fully funds commitments made under WHIP+ for 2018 and 2019. That includes the second half of those payments and quality loss. Another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans will be available. There’s $3 billion to partially offset losses for livestock and poultry farmers forced to euthanize animals due to supply chain issues. The bill also addresses a timing issue in the original CFAP payments for cattle producers, offering help to farmers and ranchers who sold cattle after April 15. This wide-ranging bill has money for ethanol producers, specialty crop block grants, food donations and local market development. There’s supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage payments for small dairy farms and money to deal with farm stress.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi says a new coronavirus strain and a travel ban in the United Kingdom has the attention of traders today. The COVID-19 economic stimulus package will include additional support for farmers and ranchers. Hear more in today’s report.
Biden Selects Regan to Lead the EPA – President-elect Joe Biden has selected Michael Regan as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Regan now leads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Previously, Regan spent ten years at EPA and worked for the Environmental Defense Fund. In a statement, American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings said the ethanol industry is hopeful for a change in philosophy regarding the management of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Jennings said previous EPA administrators mismanaged the RFS. In a statement, the National Corn Growers Association said they hope to have a dialogue with the new administrator, once confirmed, and work together to uphold the RFS.
McCarthy Picked to Lead Office of Domestic Climate Policy – Obama-era EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will oversee domestic climate policy for the new Biden-Harris White House. McCarthy has been chosen to lead the new White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. McCarthy currently leads the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Agriculture Needs to be Part of Climate Solution – Climate policy will be a priority in the first 100 days of the Biden presidency. Syngenta Senior Manager of Federal Government and Industry Relations Mary Kay Thatcher said agriculture needs to be part of the solution. “I think there are a lot of farmers who don’t want to think about it, but with all the money sent to rural America in the last few years (and) that money has not gone over well with urban America.” Farm groups have created the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. Thatcher says that was a good start, “but everyone has more work to do.”
Doud Reflects on Time at USTR – In an interview with the Red River Farm Network, Ambassador Gregg Doud said his time in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has been remarkable. “In three years here, we’ve renegotiated deals with Canada and Mexico, Japan and China. That’s 47 percent of U.S. ag exports; 47 percent of $141 billion in ag trade and that’s a pretty amazing thing that we’ve gotten done.” There’s more work to do, but Doud is confident about the career employees at USTR. “I refer to them as Seal Team Six, they are the best of the best.” Hear more in the interview.
NAWG Outlines Priorities for Biden-Transition Team – As the administration transition begins in Washington D.C., the wheat industry is outlining priorities for the Biden transition team. The priorities include trade, COVID relief, Farm Service Agency staffing and the WHIP+ program. “We are starting early and have rallied the troops to maintain the current regulations we have,” said Chandler Goule, CEO, National Association of Wheat Growers. “We will continue to engage with the transition teams until March or April.” The USDA is working on quality loss adjustments for the WHIP+ program. “Heading into the holidays and switching administrations, if the USDA doesn’t get this out in the first week or two of January, it will likely be further delayed. We hope to see something by the end of the year.”
MFBF Update – The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors has set eight new priority issues for the new year. Find out more from Associate Director of Public Policy Josie Lonetti in the MFBF Update.
WHIP+ Program Applications Still Being Processed – As 2020 wraps up, North Dakota farmers are waiting to hear more about the WHIP+ program. North Dakota Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Brad Thykeson asks for patience. “I apologize to North Dakota producers. This has been a long program. We’ve had producers waiting patiently, because of all of the other programs. We are also in a funding hiccup. We’re going on four weeks where the funding mechanism isn’t engaged in Washington D.C. and applications are stalled.” For farmers waiting to hear if the remaining 50 percent will be paid for 2019, Thykeson said the program needs to mature before that can be determined. There’s no fresh news on the quality loss adjustments. “They keep promising it’s coming. We hope it comes with some streamlined implementation so it doesn’t last as long.” In the meantime, 2021 ARC and PLC sign-up is open.
Labor Costs Increase, Little Change Expected in Cash Rents – Compared to other parts of the country, North Dakota farmland values remain flat. As a result, NDSU Extension Ag Finance Specialist Byron Parman does not expect much of an increase in cash rent. Parman, who was part of the NDSU Extension Crop Outlook on Tuesday, said equipment and skilled labor costs are continuing to increase. “Not only is skilled labor getting hard to find, we’re having to pay more for it.” Pre-pricing crop inputs is another option to lower production costs. The NDSU Extension Crop Compare Tool is available to help farmers evaluate production costs.
Dry Bean Scene – There are several strategies farmers and ranchers can be using during the tax planning season. AgCountry Farm Credit Services Vice President of Taxes Renee Fink says one of the main strategies is deferring crop insurance. Learn more in the latest Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Dealing With Dry Conditions Across the Northern Plains – As winter begins, it is dry across the Northern Plains. “It looks like most soils are frozen in North Dakota so there’s probably not much of a chance to get a soil recharge right now, but it’s always good to get snow on the landscape,” said Dennis Todey, director, USDA Midwest Climate Hub. “We’re also looking at what La Nina may bring and what that means in the winter. The long-range outlook does hint at the pattern getting more active eventually.” Todey said there is still time for the soil moisture situation to improve.
Rains Help Brazil’s Crop – Soybean and Corn Advisor President Michael Cordonnier thinks recent rains have stabilized Brazil’s crop. “The weather has improved, but the dryness going forward will be more important.” While weather conditions are improving in Brazil, that’s not the situation in Argentina. “The next 10 day forecast is mostly dry weather for the central part of the country. The soybeans in Argentina are 57 percent planted and corn is 47 percent planted. Both are slow and the corn in Argentina is only rated 24 percent good to excellent, down 10 points from the prior week. The soybeans in Argentina is rated 55 percent good to excellent, down 12 points from the prior week.”
Soybeans Have a Story – On Friday, soybean futures closed above $12 per bushel for the first time in six years. “We are sitting on a carryout that is extremely tight domestically,” said Kristi Van Ahn, market analyst, Van Ahn and Company. “Not only are we that tight, we haven’t seen any production updates in a little bit and we haven’t seen a change in the demand structure.” U.S. soybean export sales are at 88 percent of USDA’s forecast for the marketing year that ends August 31. Despite that pace, the Agriculture Department has been slow to increase the export estimate. “I don’t know if they are waiting to see if South America gets a crop or if China is going to make any cancelations, but, soybeans have the story.”
Soybean Demand Stays Strong – Cornbelt Marketing market analyst Sam Hudson says demand is strong for U.S. soybeans even with higher prices. “When you look at our soy crush and export campaigns, we’re not rationing demand yet. If we have to do that, it will come in the second or third quarter of next year.” Strikes at Argentina’s soybean crush plants continue to support the soybean market. “Argentina is a big soy meal exporter. When you look at the U.S. crush report, it was a record for November. Our crush capacity is on the rise and it’s not going to change anytime soon. If South America remains dry, we could continue to see strong shipments. It’s hard to ignore the numbers.”
Beet Stock Snapshot – According to Acres & Shares broker Jayson Menke, last week 285 American Sugar Company sugarbeet shares were brokered at $3,600 per share. Stay up to date on the latest beet stock numbers here.
Weak Dollar Spurs Demand – Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting President Mike Zuzolo thinks the weak dollar is spurring demand. “For weekly export sales, wheat was five percent above the four week average, corn was 40 percent above the four week average, sorghum above average and soybeans were 20 percent above the four week average. What that says to me is with the weaker dollar, we have gone low enough to attract demand again.” This demand takes some pressure off of the South American weather.
Grain Movement Steadier Compared to Last Year – Strong export sales and market prices have provided an incentive to keep grain moving. Based a Beltrami, Minnesota, West Central Ag Services grain manager Bryan Mueller says compared to earlier this year, grain movement is indeed steadier. “A lot of grain was being carried over and even still being harvested this past spring. Moving that grain through the pipeline was a challenge,” says Mueller. “It’s very positive that exports have picked up, and with better prices more farmers are moving grain now.” While this started out as a struggle, Mueller adds farmers are more optimistic about next year. Listen to the Red River Farm Network interview.
Grain Keeps Moving Going into Winter – A counter-seasonal rally in grain prices allowed U.S. grain elevators to capture strong margins on the stored crop. Elevators were also able to sell a stronger basis into the marketplace. That’s according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “Grain has been flowing with considerable momentum over the past few months,” said CoBank senior economist Ken Zuckerberg. “It’s followed an orderly fall harvest and a strong price rally. This was an unexpected price rally and strong export demand with China.” Zuckerberg says this year ended differently than expected. “It goes to show you, things can turn on a dime. The export demand picked up and there was increased demand by local processors.” Economists are cautious going into 2021 with the potential for more corn and soybean price volatility.
LeGrand: Grain Exports Have “Skyrocketed” – There are a lot of irons in the fire when it comes to relations between the U.S. and its trading partners around the world. A couple years ago at the height of the trade war, next to nothing was being exported from the U.S. to China. A lot has changed since then, and grain exports to China have “skyrocketed again.” That’s according to U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “Both corn and soybean purchases have taken off to round out the year. Compared to previous years, this is 100s and 1,000s times more,” says LeGrand. “This tells us that despite all of the noise, our trading relationship has held together. The demand is there in China.” LeGrand adds there are also other regions beyond China that hold long-term trading certainty, such as Mexico and Canada. Hear more in this Red River Farm Network story.
USDA Report: Farmers Are The Largest Users of Highway Freight – A USDA report recognizes farmers are the single largest users of freight services on the nation’s highways. In 2017, 2.9 billion tons of agricultural products worth $2.5 trillion moved on the freight network. The report says highways provide critical first and last mile transportation connections to higher capacity modes of transportation such as rail, barge and ocean vessels. The report identifies high-volume agriculture highways and stresses the economic importance of highway infrastructure in maintaining economic competitiveness.
Great Lakes Ag Shipments Remain Steady – In November, shipments of U.S. ag commodities and wind turbine components remained steady. Steel shipments also picked up pace before the year’s end. That’s according to the latest tonnage report from the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership. A total of 10.9 million metric ton of grain has been handled, which is a 23 percent increase. Even though total tonnage of 32 million is below last year’s levels, the number or vessels in the Great Lakes Seaway System is down only six percent from 2019, narrowing a 10 percent deficit reported this past May. Read more.
Now is the Time for Late Gestation Planning – For most cattle producers, weaning is in the books and pregnancy checking is complete or soon to be underway. Now is the time to pay attention to those pregnant cows out on crop residue or grass. South Dakota State University Extension cow/calf field specialist Olivia Amundson says producers shouldn’t neglect nutrition during the late gestation planning period. Cattle producers who calve in January and February should be paying attention to injuries or diseases that can occur in the pre-calving stages. One of those is prolapsing. “That usually happens when cows are over conditioned,” says Amundson. “Another thing to look out for is ketosis, or pregnancy toxemia. This typically happens to cow exposed to a lower level of nutrition.” There is an upcoming opportunity for cattle producers to learn more about calving distribution and management strategies. Check out the BeefUp event and listen to the full interview.
Stronger Feeder Cattle Demand – The last feeder cattle sale of the year happened on Wednesday for Hub City Livestock Auction in Aberdeen, South Dakota. There’s been good demand for calves. Since the fall feeder cattle run began, co-owner Steve Hellwig says the markets had a $3 to $5 gain each month, especially on the lighter calves. The market is offering a mixed bag for cattle. “The fat cattle market isn’t very good. There’s negative vibes on that end. On the other side, there’s a lot of bullish people who think the first quarter of next year’s feeder deal, despite having $4 corn, will hang in there well.”
Navigating Severe Winter Feeding Conditions – This winter has been favorable for feeding cattle in the Northern Plains. But while the weather has been mild lately, winter-like weather is coming sooner rather than later. South Dakota State University Extension beef feedlot management associate Warren Rusche says bedding cattle during the extreme cold reduces maintenance energy costs and improves gain and feed efficiency. A study at SDSU showed a $62 per head cost reduction over a 143-day feeding period with bedding during severe winter conditions. “I think we need to look at bedding as an insurance policy or an emergency fund,” says Rusche. “When conditions start turning on feeders, they can used bedding as a resource for cattle to reduce overall cost of gain and cattle comfort.” Hear more in this Red River Farm Network interview.
COVID Forces Temporary Closure of Cargill Beef Plant – Cargill has temporarily closed a beef processing plant in Guelph Ontario due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Out of 950 workers, 82 have tested positive and 128 others are currently quarantining. The plant, which processes 1,500 head of cattle per day, has not set a reopening date after voluntarily shutting down. Ontario beef producers have asked the Canadian government to help cover feeding costs while slaughter capacity is unavailable.
No Major Surprises in Dec. Cattle on Feed Report – There were no major surprises in the latest Cattle on Feed Report, as feedlot inventories came in close to year-ago levels. As of December 1, U.S. feedlots had 12 million head. “So, about 5,000 more head on feed than December 1, 2019,” says Shayle Shagam, livestock economist, USDA. “In terms of working down that ‘bulge’ of cattle that got backed up because of COVID earlier in the year, it would appear most of those cattle have moved through the feedlots.” Texas feedlots ended with year-over-year gains dropping one percent, while Kansas and Nebraska posted moderate gains of three and two percent, respectively. November placements into feedlots are nine percent lower than one year ago. Cattle prices were also lower for 700-800-pound feeders compared to last year. Cattle on feed numbers remained steady in South Dakota, while Minnesota feedlots experienced an eleven percent drop. Looking forward, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases throughout the winter will be the big question for cattle feeders. Listen to the story.
U.S. Dairy Farms Produce More in November – According to the USDA, November milk production in the 24 major dairy states was 17.2 billion pounds. That’s three percent more than last year. Production per cow increased an average of 41 pounds year-over-year to 1,935 pounds. In Minnesota, November milk production was 820 million pounds, an increase of four percent from one year ago. Minnesota’s dairy herd was up 2,000 head from last year. In South Dakota, milk production increased 13 percent year-over-year. The average number of milk cows was up 13,000 head from one year ago.
How the Dairy Checkoff Adapted to COVID Challenges – COVID forced the dairy industry to redirect its efforts this past year. As of September, Dairy Management Incorporated CEO Tom Gallagher says domestic dairy demand and dairy exports combined had an increase of 1.2 percent. That’s 2.7 million pounds. “I think if anyone would have placed a bet on that in March, people weren’t going to guess we’d be at that level. I think we’ll finish the year in positive territory domestically if cheese keeps going the way it’s going.” The dairy checkoff credits stronger domestic demand with pizza promotions, new products, the local work done to save school feeding programs and product donations to food banks. The U.S. Dairy Export Council data through the first 10 months of the year suggests the industry is on track to ship more than two million tons of milk solids for the first time in a single year.
Meat and Poultry Workers May Get COVID Vaccine Soon – The Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Priority said frontline meat and poultry workers should be some of the first to get the new COVID vaccine. The agriculture industry is pleased with the CDC’s recommendation. In a statement, the North American Meat Institute CEO Julie Anna Potts said this is a critical step in the long-term safety of those agricultural workers.
SDCGA Seeks Answers to Merger Proposal – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is merging the state agriculture department with the environment and natural resources department. With the announcement in August, South Dakota Corn Growers Association Legislative Director Teddi Mueller said some farmers didn’t even realize the merger was happening due to the timing of the announcement. The SDCGA is seeking clarity. “Like anything, the devil is in the details. I don’t think it was done with any intent to hurt one side or another, but there are things both sides need to be clear on before everyone is comfortable.” State lawmakers may voice opposition to the merger in the upcoming legislative session.
Ag Department Merger a Special Order of Business for SD Farmers Union – One of the special orders of business approved during the South Dakota Farmers Union annual meeting focused on the merger of the South Dakota Agriculture Department and the Natural Resources Department. The state reached out to all agriculture groups to explain how this would be done, but SDFU President Doug Sombke says there wasn’t a comment period. “Both departments are very important to the whole state. The focus needs be on what each of them bring to the table instead of being combined.” State lawmakers can oppose the effort when they meet in January, but at this time, Sombke isn’t aware of pending legislation opposing the effort.
Epitome Energy Crush Facility in Permitting Process – The proposed Epitome Energy soybean crush facility in Crookston, Minnesota is still in the permitting process. CEO Dennis Egan said COVID slowed things down, but the goal is to have air and wetland permits submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency by the second quarter of the 2021. “If all goes as planned, this will allow us to be on site moving dirt in fall 2021 and operational by fall 2022.” Capacity is being increased to make refined, bleached and deodorized oil. “We’ve added additional value,” said Egan. “We’ve also had great conversations with the City of Crookston. We talked about additional roads and infrastructure. We’ve added more railroad tracks to the site with almost two miles available for150 railcars.” This crush facility will also have outside investors, but Egan would not say who those outside investors are at this time. More will be known in 2021.
A Changing Perspective on Biotechnology – Following the annual Central Economic Work Conference, the Chinese government is hinting there may be a change in its policy on biotech crops. There’s no clear language supporting the commercialization of biotech traits, but the conference proceedings said science and technology should be used in the seed industry. The ultimate goal is for China to improve its food security position.
Traits Are Available to Keep Weed Resistance in Check – The simple button no longer applies to weed control. “The days of letting all the weeds come and just planning to clean them up with one application of glyphosate is not working anymore,” said Tom Mudd, marketing manager, UPL. Mudd says there are a limited number of weed control choices, making it important to preserve all of these options. Mudd says farmers recognize the problem of weed resistance, but more education is needed. “A lot of farmers are still looking for an easy solution, but it is important for us to make sure we’re getting that message out about making sure they use multiple modes of action and planning on a pre, a residual program and a post application to clean up any escapes.”
Weed Pressure From Kochia and Marestail – Weed resistance is an urgent concern across the region. “One of the main driver weeds we see in the Northern Plains is kochia and we’re starting to see an increase in marestail pressure,” said Brooklyn Dalton, product manager, Corteva Agriscience. Corteva received federal registration this past year for its next-generation broadleaf weed control, called WideARmatch. Dalton is optimistic about another cereal herbicide that is expected to receive federal registration in 2021.
Gowan Acquires Two Active Ingredients From Syngenta – Gowan Company has acquired the rights to the active ingredients prosulfuron and primisulfuron from Syngenta. This acquisition includes the product registrations and trademarks for Peak, Spirit, Beacon and Northstar herbicides and related intellectual property and labels. Prosulfuron is a HRAC/WSSA Group 2 post emergence herbicide for use on corn and cereal crops for broad spectrum control of annual broadleaf weeds. Primisulfuron is also a Group 2 post product for control of problem grasses and many broadleaf weeds in field corn.
EPA Approves Katagon Herbicide From HELM Agro – HELM Agro US has received federal registration for its Katagon postemergence herbicide for field corn. The next generation HPPD premix weedkiller two modes of action. When used with atrazine, Katagon provides residual activity for broadleaf weeds and grasses.
Minnesota Beef Update – The yule log has been a holiday tradition. Now Beef It’s What’s for Dinner brings you the Drool Log. Learn more Minnesota Beef Council Director of Industry Relations Royalee Rhoads in the Beef Update.
Trend: Wheat Seed Decisions Are Being Made Earlier – It has been a robust sales season for spring wheat seed. WestBred Global Wheat Business Strategy Lead Jeff Koscelny says seed decisions are being made earlier. “It is becoming more and more common as farmers look at their mix for the coming year and they want to speak up to make sure they get the varieties that they want.” Koscelny encourages farmers to spread out the risk by planting different wheat varieties. “Varieties differ in maturity and their tolerance to the different environmental things that the season throws at them. We can help spread that workload at harvest time to make sure you can get across the acres in a timely fashion.”
Calyxt Sells High Oleic Soybean Crop to ADM – Calyxt has contracted to sell all of the production from its high oleic soybean crop to ADM. This high oleic soybean is the first commercially-approved gene-edited food in the United States. The Twin Cities-based Calyxt is also working on a new type of wheat that has high levels of fiber.
Big Bushels Seen in NCGA Yield Contest – The top honors in the National Corn Growers Association yield contest went to Don Stall of Michigan. Stall’s conventional, irrigated corn, which was a Pioneer hybrid, hit 477 bushels per acre. In Minnesota, the overall yield winner is Roger Volz of Mountain Lake. The Pioneer hybrid won the conventional non-irrigated category with nearly 314 bushels per acre. For South Dakota, Brennen Reid Bird of Elk Point won the state contest with nearly 311 bushels per acre with a Pioneer hybrid. James Frauenberg of LaMoure, North Dakota won his state competition. The Pioneer hybrid was in a conservation tillage, irrigated class and had a yield of 286.5 bushels per acre.
2021 Virtual Potato Expo Will Be Here Soon – The 2021 Potato Expo is two weeks away. The virtual event will feature general and breakout sessions on the potato business, consumer preferences, demand, supply chains and climate change. National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles will lead a panel discussion on how COVID-19 relief was put together for agriculture. “When COVID hit earlier this year, the four co-chairs of the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance worked together to come up with priorities we could go to the USDA with,” said Quarles. “This expo panel is to walk through how we did that.” There will also be a virtual trade show at the expo, featuring more than 70 exhibitors. “Attendees can enter the booths virtually and chat with the company,” said Hollee Alexander, vice president of industry relations, NPC. “There’s also the ability to Zoom in the trade show.” The Potato Expo starts on January 5 and goes through January 7. Register here.
New Challenger Track Tractor – AGCO has introduced an all-new Challenger MT800 series of track tractors. The line up offers more horsepower efficiently while improving in-field performance. The MT800 series will be available in 2021.
Corn Matters – The Twin Cities Road Crew has been working with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association on educating those in non-farming communities. Owner Ben Thul has more in the latest Corn Matters update.
Johansson to Depart USDA – After 16 years, Chief Economist Rob Johansson will be leaving USDA at the end of January. Johansson’s next job is with the American Sugar Alliance as associate director of economics and policy analysis. As a result, Seth Meyer will return to USDA as the new chief economist. Read the press release.
Seng Awarded Diplomatic Honor – Former U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng has been awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun. This diplomatic honor recognizes Seng’s work strengthening U.S.-Japan relations. Seng led USMEF from 1990-to-2018.
Roberts Receives Top Hand Award – Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts has received the Top Hand Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. This honor is presented to elected officials who help represent cattle producers and rural communities on Capital Hill. Chairman Roberts will retire at the end of this Congressional session.
Corn Comments – The annual gathering of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association will be held on January 16, 2021. Learn more in the latest Corn Comments, a production of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Kruger Recognized for 35 Years of Dairy Leadership – Former Midwest Dairy CEO Mike Kruger has been awarded the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board’s Richard E. Lyng Award for his service to dairy promotion. In 1993, Kruger brought together the dairy checkoff organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to form the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council of the Upper Midwest. That led to the consolidation of dairy checkoff boards to include Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Kruger also helped form the Minnesota Dairy Leader’s Roundtable. This award is named for former Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng.
Missouri Native Takes PF Job – Pheasants Forever has hired a precision agriculture and conservation specialist. Joey Rasco is based in Minot and will work with farmers in north-central and northwest North Dakota. Rasco is a graduate of the University of Missouri and worked in agronomy sales for an ag retailer.
Kinney Returns to Minnesota Farm Bureau – Minnesota-native Robin Kinney will return to her home state, joining the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation as the membership and marketing director. Beginning February 1, Kinney will coordinate organization development, member growth and programs that serves Farm Bureau members. Most recently, Kinney served as senior director of member engagement for the American Farm Bureau in Washington D.C.
Orion Samuelson Retires at the End of the Year – The man that set the standard for the farm broadcasting business is retiring at the end of the month. Orion Samuelson has been on the air for 60 years. In addition, Orion’s booming voice could be heard at farm events and annual meetings throughout the country. Learn more about Orion’s career in this WGN interview. The Red River Farm Network offers our congratulations to ‘O’ for his legendary career.
Last Week’s Trivia –The traditional holiday protein that shares its name with a Middle East country is turkey. Bob Lebacken of RML Trading is our weekly trivia winner. Gary Sloan of BMO Harris Bank, Jacob Downing of Cargill, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot and Jim Altringer of CHS Dakota Plains Ag earn runner up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Kristal Rick of SES VanderHave USA, Dennis Inman of Central Farm Service Co-op, Brian Rydlund of CHS Hedging, c.o. nxt industry ambassador Lyle Orwig, Ron Claussen of Ag Media Research, Ray Albrecht of Cargill, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Pete Carson of Carson Farms, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Ken Pazdernik of Minnesota Farmers Union, Underwood farmer Paul Beckman, Jon Farris of BankWest, Danny Pinske of Pro Ag Farmers Cooperative, Renville County farmer Mickey Peterson and Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management.
This Week’s Trivia – Hermey the Elf, Fireball, Sam the Snowman and Yukon Cornelius are characters in what Christmas television show? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|January 5, 2021||Lake Region Extension Roundup - Online Webinar|
|January 5, 2021 - January 7, 2021||Potato Expo - Online Webinar|
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|January 10, 2021 - January 13, 2021||American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention - Online Webinar|
|January 12, 2021||Small Grains Update - Virtual|
|January 13, 2021||Discovery Farms Series – Tile Drainage - Online Webinar|
|January 13, 2021 - January 14, 2021||National Sunflower Association Research Forum - Virtual|
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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.