A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, December 05, 2022
Reporting Agriculture’s Business-The Red River Farm Network team will be putting on the miles this week. This afternoon, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will be making an announcement at the Capitol and RRFN will be there. The North Dakota Farm Credit Ag Leader’s Forum will be held Tuesday. This week’s schedule also includes the Prairie Grains Conference, a farm succession planning conference, irrigation workshop, North Dakota Farmers Union Convention and Minnesota State Cattle Convention.
Catastrophe Avoided – In the words of President Joe Biden, Congress’ action on the rail contract will spare the country “a Christmas catastrophe in our grocery stores, our workplaces and in our communities.” The House and Senate took action to force unions to accept a tentative contract agreement that was adopted in September. Biden signed the legislation Friday. The five-year contract gives union railroad workers a 24 percent bump in wages but does not address the issue of paid sick leave.
House and Senate Differ on Paid Sick Leave Measure – The House passed a provision related to sick leave for rail workers. “The House took up a resolution that would add seven days of paid sick leave for railroad workers and for that vote, there was a clear break down on party lines, passing with a narrow margin of 221 to 207,” said Kent Bacus, executive director of governmental affairs, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The Senate did not pass this language.
Trains Continue to Roll – Commodity and agriculture groups are applauding Congress’ action to avert a rail strike. Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek is pleased, but would have liked the railroads and unions to reach a deal on their own. “We were at an impasse for the 12 railway worker unions and we were coming closer and closer to the potential strike date.” The consequences of a rail shutdown would have been devastating. “It would’ve been profound for agriculture and the broader economy. It was a potential event that had to be prevented at all costs.”
A Difficult Balance – North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne says the railroads are critically important for the entire economy but admits it is a complex issue. “I both support the fact that you have a right to strike and I support the fact that there’s times when certain logistics can’t really strike.”
Record Income – Net U.S. cash farm income is forecast to be a record high $188 billion for 2022. That’s up 25.5 percent from 2021. Cash receipts for corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops are up 19 percent. Receipts from animal agriculture are expected to increase over 30 percent from last year.
ERP Extension Sought – A coalition of nearly 20 farm groups is urging the leadership of the agriculture appropriations subcommittees to provide adequate resources to extend the Emergency Relief Program to cover losses for 2022. The letter to lawmakers said the next farm bill is a chance to strengthen the farm safety net and reduce, if not, eliminate the need for ad hoc disaster programs. They contend an extension would serve as a bridge to that next farm bill. Groups signing this letter include the National Farmers Union, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and commodity groups representing corn, soybeans, wheat, sugar and more.
ERP Phase One Deadline Drawing Near – The last day for eligible farmers to apply for phase one of the Emergency Relief Program is December 16. North Dakota Farm Service Agency Executive Director Marcey Svenningson says phase one is based on the 2020 and 2021 crop years. “They have 60 days after they file their application to bring in needed forms. If they received crop insurance losses in 2020-2021, then they could receive compensation.” ERP Phase Two was announced mid-November and is based on revenue. Farmers should start gathering Schedule F forms from 2018 through 2022. “Applications are not open yet, but we’ll be receiving training soon.”
Revenue Policies Now Available for Oats and Rye – The Risk Management Agency has expanded its small grains crop provisions to include revenue protection for oats and rye for the 2023 crop year. This option was already available for wheat and barley.
Biofuel Blending Standards Announced – The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a renewable fuel standard of 20.8 billion gallons in 2023. That will rise to 22.6 billion gallons in 2025. For advanced biofuels, EPA set the mandate at 5.8 billion gallons for 2023, 6.6 billion gallons for 2024 and 7.4 billion gallons for 2025. The market was anticipating a much larger increase. The announcement was bearish for soybean oil with prices dropping over six percent in one day.
EPA Flatlines Biofuel Projections – The Clean Fuel Alliance America is criticizing EPA for its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2023 and beyond. Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik says EPA flatlined biomass biodiesel usage. “We’re pleased that they proposed a three-year proposal rather than the typical one-year proposal, but that’s where the good news ends.” The proposed volumes are less than what is currently being blended. “The current market is higher than what EPA set for the next three years. Not only does this proposal stop market growth, but it ignores what’s happening in the industry.” Kovarik is hopeful farmers will make their voice heard on Capitol Hill so this proposal will be dead on arrival.
Soybean Market Reacts to EPA Announcement – The soybean market reacted violently to the EPA’s proposed RFS regulations Thursday. AgriSompo North America market analyst Sterling Smith says EPA’s proposed volumes of vegetable oil used for biodiesel and renewable diesel were very disappointing. “The biodiesel numbers were much smaller than expected.”
Major Development for Canola – The U.S. Canola Association is applauding the EPA’s determination that canola oil-derived renewable diesel will qualify as an advanced biofuel under the Renewable Fuels Standard program. “They’ve shown that canola oil will reduce GHD remission by at least 18 percent,” explained Barry Coleman, executive director, Northern Canola Growers Association. “We expect to see a lot more canola oil used for the biofuels market.”
Fuel Retailer Choice Act Introduced – The Fuel Retailer Choice Act has been introduced to the US Senate by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer. The bill would ensure permanent yearround use of E15. National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag is excited to see the legislation. “It’s a win-win situation here in Minnesota using something that we grow in our own state that’s renewable and benefits our ethanol plants and small communities. We’re giving the consumer a better quality grade gas, that’s cheaper at the pump.”
U.S. and Mexico Discuss GMO Corn Ban – In a meeting with Mexico’s economic secretary, U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai emphasized the importance of U.S. corn exports to Mexico for both feed and food. Mexico has proposed a ban on imports of GMO corn, suggesting it may allow imports of Number 2 Yellow Corn, but prevent white corn imports. National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag said any decision to block biotech corn imports would be illegal and targeting white corn does not resolve the issue.
U.S. Farmers Not Expected to Switch – Mexico is prohibiting imports of biotech corn for human consumption. GM corn will be accepted if it is to be used for livestock feed.” NDSU Extension Crops Economist Frayne Olson doesn’t think farmers will switch corn varieties to non-biotech varieties. “A lot of people are left wondering where Mexico is going to get their corn since about 90 percent of U.S. corn has some form of GM trait in it. The Mexican president claimed the country would contract with farmers to grow non-GM corn; I think that’s going to be a very difficult process.”
“Unfeasible” – Country Futures market analyst Darrell Holaday thinks Mexico’s decision to ban GMO corn imports by 2024 is not feasible. “If they go to non-GMO corn, they’ll pay $3 a bushel more than anything else or they’ll starve to death. I think the whole issue is ridiculous.” Holaday expects Mexico to delay implementation of that GMO corn ban. “If they don’t, it’ll be a huge policy mistake on their part.”
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, we catch up with South Dakota Corn Growers Association President Scott Stahl to talk about the upcoming Annual Corn Conference.
Urgency to Fill Trade Positions – Important trade negotiations like the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are rapidly approaching. U.S. Meat Export Federation President Dan Halstrom is pushing to get the U.S. Senate to confirm two key ag trade nominees. “We’re almost to the half-way point of the Biden administration and we need to get our roster full. Doug McKalip has been put forth as chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office and Alexis Taylor as USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.”
Pent-up Demand for Farm Equipment – In an update on Deere’s quarterly earnings, Reuters reported farm equipment and combines are virtually sold out for 2023. StoneX Chief Commodity Economist Arlan Suderman says the high commodity prices in recent years have driven up demand. “Unfortunately, the same issues keeping us from getting new cars is also happening in the equipment industry.” The computer chip shortage is the missing link. “So much of our equipment is reliant on chips and there is still a shortage. The ability to manufacture and get products distributed has led to some long waiting lists for equipment.”
Fed Signals Another Half Point Increase – Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell signaled the central bank is on track to raise interest rates by a half a percentage point at its next meeting. During a speech Wednesday, Powell said it would make sense to slow rate increases to give the economy time to adjust to previous rate hikes. A 75 basis point interest rate hike was seen for four straight months.
Farm Debt Climbs – Farm real estate debt continued to increase in the third quarter. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says the number of farm real estate loans rose seven percent and the balances at agricultural banks was up ten percent. Less than ten percent of all commercial banks report farm loan delinquencies greater than three percent. That’s the lowest level on record. Liquidity at farm banks remain strong, but total loan growth overtook deposit growth for the first time since 2019.
Positive Signals for Farm Economy – Net farm income is forecast to reach levels not seen since 1973. A new report from Farm Bureau Market Intelligence says most of this increase in farm income is coming from the marketplace. Farmers still face an uphill battle. Farm Bureau Market Intelligence cites the increase in operating costs and the rising cost for financing. This combination may make it difficult to move beyond break-even levels moving forward.
Land Price Trends and Headlines – After seeing farmland sell for $30,000 per acre in northwest Iowa, Pifer’s Auction & Realty and Land Management President Kevin Pifer described the sale as “an aberration that really defies any common sense.” Farmland values have seen a steady increase over the last 15 months. “Land values have increased 40 to 60 percent,” said Pifer. “Even with increasing interest rates, we haven’t seen any softening in the last few months.” Pifer is seeing a promising trend with a lot of 30-to-50 year old people buying farmland.
Diesel Fuel Prices Decline – CHS Senior Vice President of Refined Fuels Jason Schwantz says most diesel fuel prices have declined in recent weeks. “The only prices that aren’t falling is No. 1 diesel fuel is really, really important to people in the Red River Valley, North Dakota/South Dakota area,” said Schwantz. “That’s been really tight because people were short diesel fuel going into the fall and they wanted to make all the No. 2 (diesel fuel) they could.” Diesel fuel supplies are extremely tight. “Quite frankly, we’ve taken a million barrels of refining capacity out of the U.S. during COVID that’s not coming back and that’s going to keep the market tight. Diesel is the driver of the U.S. and the world economy and I don’t see demand slowing down.”
Russia Rejects $60 Per Barrel Price Cap – The United States, Australia, Canada, England, Japan and the European Union are capping what they will pay for Russian crude oil to $60 per barrel. That cap is scheduled to take effect today, but Russia says it will not accept the price ceiling. The price cap is in retribution for Russia’s invasion to Ukraine.
Marketing Seminar Offered – Farm Credit Services of Mandan is hosting marketing meetings in Dickinson and Mandan. Innovus Agra owner Bret Oelke is leading these sessions. “We just finished up the first round and the second series takes place on December 30 with the final meeting taking place January 17.” Oelke says farmers can learn more about marketing their commodities. “The second session details options and how future contracts work and then we’ll start the development of old crop marketing plans for grains, oilseeds, and feeder cattle.”
Do the Math – Northland Community and Technical College Farm Business Management Advisor Betsy Jenson expects the corn and soybean markets to be quiet through the end of 2022. “If farmers are expecting something big before the end of the year, they’re going to be disappointed. The big date is in January when the annual (USDA crop production) report comes out.” The cost to store the crop should be considered. “One thing we’re dealing with this year is interest rates. Previously, holding the physical product hasn’t been that expensive because of low interest rates: I encourage farmers to do the math and figure out how much it’s costing them.”
Lower Mississippi River to Benefit From Forecast – Heavy rain is in the forecast across the Tennessee River Basin and northern Delta region tonight through Thursday. World Weather Incorporated says additional rain is expected this weekend and early next week. The persistent rains should temporarily ease the record low-water levels on the Mississippi River. It won’t be enough to end the shipping problems, but it is positive news.
Surprises in Stats Can Report – IntelliFARM President Brian Voth says Statistics Canada had a couple of bullish surprises in this week’s crop report. Canola production wasn ot as large as traders were expecting. “It was substantially lower.” The wheat production number was the other surprise. “Total wheat production was put at 33.8 million tons. Previously, it was at 34.7 (million) and the trade estimate was at 34.8 million tons. So again, about a million tons lower than the trade estimate.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – The markets are in the holiday doldrums. In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson outlines the positive side of the soybean market and the challenges seen in the wheat and corn markets.
A Big Corn Year – Going into next year, farmers may want to prepare for possible drought conditions. Dekalb Asgrow Technical Agronomist Grant Mehring believes the easiest way to do that is through your seed choice. “There is a definite trend toward a more droughthy hybrid or variety and I think that’s a good plan.” 2023 is setting up to be a big corn year. There are several reasons for that. “Number one, we’re coming off an incredible corn harvest even with the challenge of not having much rain in the second half of last year,” said Mehring. “Number two, the futures board makes it look pretty profitable to grow corn and thirdly, there were enough prevented plant acres in North Dakota and Minnesota which tend to go to corn and, maybe, wheat.”
Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Association District Field Manager Macy Petrowiak joins us to discuss the results of the Minnesota Corn Variety Plot Program. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters, presented by Minnesota Corn.
Long-Lasting Weed Control – Tough broadleaves, like waterhemp, have changed the way farmers manage weeds. BASF District Sales Manager Ken Diebert looks at a layered approach. “In North Dakota and northern Minnesota, I would say that has become the favorite way to apply these Group 15 chemistries.” There is optimism about new traits that are in the pipeline. “We can’t wait for those traits to get here, but we have some time where we need to use the important tools we have right now; it is important to get that residual chemistry to control things like waterhemp.”
Soil Fertility Minute – Dr. Lindsay Pease, who is with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center has a special focus on phosphorus. Learn more in this week’s Soil Fertility Minute, sponsored by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council.
Looking for Your Next Career Move? – Check out the Job Opportunities in Agriculture page on the Red RIver Farm Network website. Pioneer is looking for a field agronomist in east-central North Dakota. There is a general manager position open at Red River Grain Company. Dakota Ingredients, North Dakota State Seed Department and others have jobs posted. Find out more online.
Ag Economic Conditions Report to be Released – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum will highlight the state’s agriculture’s economic contributions this afternoon. North Dakota State University conducted this inaugural study. NDSU Agricultural Affairs Vice President Greg Lardy and the lead researchers will also be part of the announcement at the State Capitol.
North Dakota Legislative Leaders Announced – Representative Mike Lefor of Dickinson is the House majority leader. Representative Josh Boschee of Fargo returns as the minority leader. Senator David Hogue of Minot will lead the Senate. Senator Kathy Hogan of Fargo is the minority leader. The North Dakota Legislature’s organizational session is underway through Wednesday. The full legislative session begins January 3.
New Legislators, New Relationships – Midterm elections are behind us and there will be many new legislators in St. Paul for the upcoming session. Minnesota Farmers Union Government Relations Director Stu Lourey says now is the time to build relationships with the 65 first-term lawmakers. “Talk to legislators, invite them out to your farm. I think folks are anxious to ask for their time, but they want to do a good job and represent their constituents well.”
Stay Engaged With State Lawmakers – Federal policies often grab the headlines, but action in state legislatures can have a considerable impact on agriculture. Bayer Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy Dave Tierney says the crop protection industry face scrutiny. “Glyphosate and the use of neonicotinoids have gotten some attention so we continue to work with a lot of policymakers on the value and their benefit.” The DFL controls the House, Senate and Governor’s Office in Minnesota while the Republicans have a super-majority in North Dakota and South Dakota. Speaking at a Bayer event Tuesday night in Fargo, Tierney encouraged farmers to remain involved. “Things can happen really fast in the state legislature so stay close to your elected officials.”
MN Farm Service Agency Goals Met – Minnesota Farm Service Agency’s Executive Director Whitney Place says that despite expiring contracts, CRP acres were maintained in Minnesota and that loan program goals were met for a successful 2022 year. “We had a lot of good success in Minnesota. We maintained our CRP acreage even though this was a big year for contracts to be up. We put out a lot of money with our ERP program and met significant goals with our loan programs.” Place also reminded farmers and ranchers that county FSA committee ballots are due December 5th.
Trusted Advisor Partnership Takes Root in North Dakota – The Trusted Advisor Partnership (TAP) is a pilot program that will begin in North Dakota and is a joint effort between several entities. North Dakota State University Associate Professor of Soil Health, Dr. Abbey Wick says this program will help farmers adopt or expand the use of profitable stewardship practices. “We’re working through certified crop advisors in North Dakota to share experience, research, science based results, logistics and all the things that go into guiding a farmer to soil health building practices,” said Wick. Companies involved in sponsoring the program include General Mills, the Walmart Foundation, PepsiCo, Anheiseur-Busch, Unilever, King Arthur Baking, and Hershey.
A-PLUS Act on the Backburner – The Amplifying Processing of Livestock in the United States Act is designed to fix regulatory roadblocks for increasing meat processing capacity. “It would allow localized livestock auction markets to own or invest in a small-medium packing facility,” said Chelsea Good, vice president of government and industry affairs, Livestock Marketing Association. Transportation bottlenecks are impacting capacity. “We’re having a hard time getting truckers to move cattle from place to place. There’s also the challenge of getting enough Hours of Service to ensure livestock get where they need to go.”
Japan Approves Beef Safeguard – Japan has approved protocols, amending the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement regarding the beef safeguard mechanism. The new three-trigger safeguard mechanism will allow U.S. exporters to meet Japan’s growing demand for high quality beef while reducing the concern over tariffs. Japan is the second-largest export market for U.S. beef, with 2021 exports totaling almost $2.4 billion.
A Transition for Canadian Swine Imports – Over the past five years, 83 percent of Canada’s hog imports into the United States has been feeder pigs. Since 2021, that percentage has dropped to 77 percent. In that same time period, slaughter hog imports from Canada are up nearly 20 percent. A report from the Steiner Consulting Group says this trend may suggest the economics favor finishing hogs in Canada rather than exporting feeder pigs into the U.S.
DOT Denies Hours of Service Exemption – Farm groups have been working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for months to exempt livestock truckers from some Hours-Of-Service rules. The livestock industry will retain the 150-mile radius exemption on the front and back of a shipment, but the administration has denied the HOS request. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Government Affairs Executive Director Kent Bacus says the ruling doesn’t take into consideration the live animals being transported. “With this extended relief we’ve had for the last few years, we’ve had flexibility in how and when to ship cattle. Not having this hours-of-service exemption kind of puts us in a bind.” Bacus says NCBA will continue to look at any possible legal or Congressional recourse.
Raising Bison for a Niche Market – The number of bison processed in an entire year is equal to cattle slaughter by noon on January 1 each year. “We know we are a niche market, but we’re okay with that,” says Adam Ulbricht, executive director, Minnesota Bison Association. According to Ulbricht, bison are extremely hardy and require very little maintenance, but will never truly be domesticated. “They don’t need help calving, they don’t need any kind of shelter and prefer to be out in the elements.” Ulbricht says bison is a very healthy source of red meat.
Dry Bean Scene – In this week’s Dry Bean Scene, we catch up with U.S. Dry Bean Council Northarvest’s Delegate, Kevin Regan. Regan underwent a trade trip to Peru and Chile recently. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Maintaining Asian Wheat Markets – Valley City, North Dakota farmer Scott Huso was part of a U.S. Wheat Associates delegation that recently visited Southeast Asia. Huso says quality is important, but price plays a big role. “If you can buy a bushel of wheat a $1 cheaper from a neighboring country, they might lean towards that. There are countries that truly value higher quality and are willing to pay for it.”
NCI to Provide Update on Russia-Ukraine – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Market Update webinar on Wednesday at 8 AM. This webinar will feature Zsolt Vincze, senior vice president, R.J. O’Brien & Associates, who will provide an update on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the impact on commodity markets. Register online for Wednesday’s webinar.
Canada Takes Action on Potato Wart – The Canadian Food Inspection Service has plans to modernize the management plan for potato wart on Prince Edward Island. Details have not been provided, but the National Potato Council says a long-term coordinated plan must be taken by the U.S. and Canada to deal with this disease threat.
Setting Priorities – American Crystal Sugar Company and Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association held their joint annual meeting Thursday. RRVSGA Executive Director Harrison Weber says the farm bill is top-of-mind. “We’ve spent a lot of time identifying needs and coming up with strategies with our industry partners. At the end of the day, we’re going to move ahead as a united front for sugar.”
Record Sugarbeet Production – Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association President Neil Rockstad says growers at the annual meeting were in good spirits following a recore sugarbeet crop. “As a company, we’ve taken in more total tons than ever, but that’s due to more acres planted and not record yields. Beets are in the pile and everyone is in good shape.” Rockstad, who farms near Ada, Minnesota, says farmers are still worried about input costs.
A Higher Payment for ACSC Shareholders – The 2021 American Crystal Sugar Company harvest produced 11.8 million tons, a notable increase from the previous year. The final shareholder payment for the 2021 fiscal crop was $64.98 per ton. President Tom Astrup says payments for the 2022 crop are estimated at $71 per ton. “We’ve been blessed with large, high-quality crops. We’ve had great through-put in our processing facilities and cost efficiencies in the face of input pressure.” ACSC hopes to increase production, but expansion costs are putting those plans on the backburner for now. “At the factory level, costs for everything is increasing, whether it’s labor, spare parts, machinery, or natural gas.”
Beet Share Values – According to Acres & Shares broker, Jayson Menke, last week 362 American Crystal Sugar Company beet shares were brokered at an average price of $4,780 per share. “At these higher prices, there continues to be smaller trade increments,” Menke says. “However, there was a larger block of 290 shares sold at $4,800 per share last week on a short-term contract for deed.”
A New Sugar Market – American Crystal Sugar Company has announced an investment into a liquid sugar product. “We purchased a liquefier to produce off-colored sugar,” said Kelly Erickson, chairman, ACSC. “There’s all kinds of companies like Gatorade and Pepsi that want this sugar.” Demand for sugar has increased with more people cooking at home. “I think this could be the new normal. With how rocky the economy is, I don’t see people eating out and spending money.”
Invest in Growth – The nation’s largest farm cooperative finished the year with record income and is returning $1 billion in equity and patronage to its members. CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin says agriculture is in a good place and this is a time to invest in growth. “I think we have a really good opportunity and time in agriculture to pick the avenues of growth. We’re looking at investments within our export capabilities as this world wants more and more flexibility, speed and space.” The full interview can be found online.
Looking Forward – From agronomy to energy, all CHS business segments performed well in the past year. Board member, Scott Cordes, who farms in southeastern Minnesota, says it is important to look forward. “Right now, our concern is the global economy. Are we going in recession? Are we gonna slow it down? Agriculture really hasn’t seen that but we may get some spillover effect.”
Supply Chain Improvements – The supply chain situation isn’t perfect, but CHS Executive Vice President of Country Operations Rick Dusek says conditions have improved. “A lot of freight rates have eased a little bit and it feels like product availability is less of a concern,” Dusek told RRFN. “What is still a concern though is the uncertainty around the globe, particularly, around fertilizer but also for some crop protection products.”
Cooperative Ventures Advances Autonomous Ag Effort – CHS and Growmark are working together to invest in ag technology. A year ago, the two large farm cooperatives formed a venture capital fund called Cooperative Ventures. The first investment has been in Sabanto, which is in the autonomous farm equipment space. CHS Senior Vice President David Black is optimistic about the prospects with this start-up. “We, like everyone, are dealing with labor challenges across all the ag industry,” said Black. “That’s a space where we’ll continue to look for opportunities that help farmers and help our co-op members. Autonomous farming, we see them very much in our future.” Future investments will likely be in the area of sustainability, the supply chain and precision agriculture.
APUC Funds Awarded – The North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission has awarded more than $1 million for nine projects. The biggest grant went to Vertical Malt to expand capacity. Other projects will assist with the development of an insect agriculture facility, develop a multimode imaging system for drones and market hemp bedding and a flax feed supplement.
ND Invests in Ag Projects – North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced Agricultural Diversification and Development Fund awards for four projects totaling $825,000. This fund supports value-added agriculture businesses. North American Bison of New Rockford was awarded $250,000 for the expansion of its facilities. Two Track Malting was awarded $250,000 to expand production capacity. 6 in 1 Meats of New Salem received $200,000 to expand and Cloverdale Foods was given $125,000 to resolve issues of inefficiency related to the electrical system within the facility.
Supporting Mental Health – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is funding three projects dealing with mental wellness in agriculture. The Minnesota FFA Foundation received $52,000 to support activities at the chapter level. Grants were also awarded to the Southern Minnesota Agricultural Center of Excellence and the Latino Economic Development Center.
MAELC @ 25 – The Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This organization promotes and supports agricultural education in the state. Executive Director Sarah Dornink says ag education has enjoyed amazing growth. “Just going back a couple years to 2019, we went from 195 (ag education) programs to 220; we had 290 teachers and now we have 325 teachers so the growth has just exploded.” FFA membership in the state is also approaching levels seen in the heydey of the 1970s and 1980s. MAELC was established in 1997 by the legislature and includes representation from education, agriculture and the government. Over the past 25 years, MAELC has invested $21 million in grants to supplement ag education funding. Dornink says the teacher shortage remains a concern moving forward.
Corteva to Buy Stoller Group – Corteva Agriscience is expanding its presence in the biological market. Corteva has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Stoller. The deal should be finalized in 2023 and is valued at $12 billion. This is Corteva’s second major acquisition in the biologicals platform this year, with a recent agreement to acquire Symborg.
New Traits on the Way – BASF is adding ten new soybean varieties for 2023. Soybean Seed Marketing Manager Doug Little says that innovation will continue with exclusive germplasm from BASF’s own breeding program with the Enlist E3 trait on the horizon. “In late 2029 and into 2030, we’ll have our soybean nematode-resistant trait coming out, that’ll be innovative and new pipeline material for our Xitavo lineup.” Additional traits are coming with the next decade. “With the collaboration with Corteva and MS Technologies, we’re going to have a new four-way traited soybeans and not too much after that, we’ll have a five-way herbicide tolerant traited soybeans.” Little was part of the Breakfast with BASF program at the Northern Ag Expo.
Price Fixing Lawsuit FIled – McDonald’s has filed a price-fixing lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, Hormel Foods, JBS and Tyson Foods. The lawsuit claims the meat processors conspired to limit production to stabilize pork prices in 2008 and 2009.
Pipeline Lawsuit – Summit Carbon Solutions is taking legal action against two Iowa counties to get its pipeline approved. These counties have strict setback requirements and Summit wants the court to rule against these policies. Summit Carbon Solutions is partnering with ethanol plants across the Midwest on this carbon capture project. The company has secured agreements on more than half of the proposed route. The pipeline will be in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.
A New Location for Valley United – Valley United Co-op has acquired the agronomy center in Climax, Minnesota. This location has a 6,500-ton dry fertilizer plant, liquid fertilizer, seed, seed treating and crop protection and custom application. This had been a Columbia Grain location.
New Farm Leaders on United Soybean Board – The USDA appointed 19 new farmer-leaders to serve on the United Soybean Board. 24 farmer-leaders were reappointed. Leaders will be sworn in for service during the USB December meeting. Newly appointed leaders include Thomas Frisch from Dumont, Minnesota and Dawn Scheier of Salem, South Dakota.
USB Appointments – USDA has appointed 19 new members of the United Soybean Board, including Tom Frisch of Dumont, Minnesota and Dawn Scheier of Salem, South Dakota. USB members oversee the soybean checkoff.
SSGA Elects Sinner – Bob Sinner of North Dakota-based SB&B Foods is back as chairman of the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance. Sinner previously served in that role in 2021. Jake Noll of Minnesota-based Richland IFC was elected to the board. The SSGA presented its Alliance Honors to the American Soybean Association WISHH program, Minnesota Crop Improvement Association Executive Director Fawad Shah, Duluth Cargo Connect and the former executive director of Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Bob Karls.
Deibert Promoted – Ken Deibert is suceeding Barry Rongen as the BASF district sales manager in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Most recently, Deibert has been a technical service representative with the company. Rongen will retire from BASF in January.
Wyndmere Teacher Receives CHS Foundation Grant – During the CHS Annual Meeting, the CHS Foundation presented a $15,000 grant to Wyndmere High School in Wyndmere, North Dakota. Ag instructor Desi Severance will use the funds to build a mobile produce processing lab and implement an ag processing curriculum. Ag programs in Wahpeton, North Dakota; Barrett, Minnesota; Drayton, North Dakota; Paynesville, Minnesota; Tracy, Minnesota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Wolsey, South Dakota received $2,500 grants.
‘Big Frank’ Schiefelbein Passes – Funeral services were held Friday for Frank Schiefelbein Jr., 89, of Kimball, Minnesota. Schiefelbein was a pioneer in the Angus business. The family farm is the largest seedstock producer in Minnesota and one of the largest in the United States. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Don Schiefelbein is ‘Big Frank’s’ son. A history of Schiefelbein Farms can be found online.
Last Week’s Trivia- In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was the main character. Norm Groot of Monterey County Farm Bureau wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Jacob Downing of Cargill, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, retired banker John Stone and Eric Lahlum of Corteva Agriscience. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot, Lee Hutchinson of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Dennis Sabel of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Nick Revier of SES VanderHave, Roger Wippler of Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, Dave Gehrtz of Proseed, C.O. nxt founding partner Lyle Orwig, Polk County Commissioner Joan Lee, Kent Braathen of Braathen Harvesting, Carrington farmer Charles Linderman, Crookston farmer Tim Dufault, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Peter Carson of Carson Farms and Regen farmer Jim McCullough.
This Week’s Trivia-The 2020 film ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas,’ what actor starred as the Grinch? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|December 6, 2022||North Dakota Farm Credit Ag Leaders Forum - Bismarck, ND|
|December 6, 2022 - December 8, 2022||Crop Pest Mgmt Short Course and MCPR Trade Show - Minneapolis, MN|
|December 7, 2022 - December 8, 2022||2022 Prairie Grains Conference - Grand Forks, ND|
|December 7, 2022 - December 8, 2022||SD Soybean Association Ag Outlook Conference - Sioux Falls, SD|
|December 8, 2022 - December 10, 2022||U.S. Cattlemen’s Association 15th Annual Meeting and Forum - Nashville, TN|
|December 8, 2022||NDFU Succession Planning workshop - Bismarck, ND|
|December 9, 2022||ND Simmental Association Annual Meeting - Bismarck, ND|
|December 9, 2022||ND Red Angus Association Annual Meeting - Bismarck, ND|
|December 9, 2022 - December 10, 2022||2022 Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention - Willmar, MN|
|December 9, 2022 - December 10, 2022||North Dakota Farmer’s Union State Convention - Bismarck, ND|
|December 12, 2022 - December 14, 2022||SD Cattlemen’s Association Annual Convention & Trade Show - Pierre, SD|
|December 12, 2022 - December 14, 2022||Dakota Innovation Research & Technology Workshop|
|December 15, 2022||NDSU Monthly Agricultural Market Outlook - Online Webinar|
|December 15, 2022||Crary Ag Hosts first ever Full Pod Event - West Fargo, ND|
|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||Triple Up Commodity Marketing Seminar - Dickinson and 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.