A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
A Call to Action-There’s something missing in the 2023 Ford F-150 EV ‘Lightning.’ Ford’s new electric version pickup will not have an AM radio. The F-150 is popular in farm country and is the place many farmers and ranchers stay up-to-the-minute with markets and ag news. Red River Farm Network listeners receive our updates on AM radio, FM radio and on streaming services. The recent edition of Radio World magazine has a column written by farm broadcaster Brian Winnekins. If you depend on farm radio, let Ford and other auto manufacturers understand the importance of the AM band.
Endangered Species Act Work Plan Called “Unworkable” – The Environmental Protection Agency has an issued an Endangered Species Act work plan for pesticide registrations. The EPA has thousands of pesticides up for review, bogged down by legal challenges regarding the protections given to endangered species. James Callen Associates CEO Jim Callen summarizes the EPA’s response. “It’s a federal offense to use any pesticide in a manner that results in an unauthorized take, kill or otherwise harm, of an endangered species and certain threatened species under the Endangered Species Act; this is what EPA is proposing for label language. The groups that I’m working with, in particular North Dakota Grain Growers Association, believe this is regulatory overreach and unrealistic to enforce.” The EPA proposal says farmers must get a Bulletin at least six months before using one of these crop protection tools. The NDGGA is calling that “impractical and unworkable.” EPA is accepting public comment on this issue through Tuesday.
Tensions Mount Over Airspace Violations – China is now accusing the U.S. of flying ten spy balloons in its airspace this past year. The Biden Administration denied these allegations. U.S. fighter jets have shot down four objects in the past eight days. The first balloon was taken out off of the coast of South Carolina February 4. Three other objects were shut down over the weekend in Alaska, northern Canada and Michigan. Tensions were already on edge before the balloon-gate controversy.
Biden Highlights Achievements and Aspirations in SOTU – President Joe Biden faced Congress and the American people Tuesday night to tout his legislative agenda in the State of the Union Address. The economy was part of that message. “Inflation has been a global problem because the pandemic disrupted our supply chains and Putin’s unfair and brutal war in Ukraine disrupted energy supplies as well as food supplies, blocking all that grain in Ukraine.” Biden stressed inflation is easing and gas prices are down $1.50 per gallon from the peak. Energy got a lot of attention in the speech, but the topics of agriculture and trade were absent. The President also said his administration is focused on infrastructure. “Projects are going to put thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, our bridges, our railroads, our tunnels, ports, airports, clean water and high-speed internet all across America. Urban, rural, tribal,.folks, we’re just getting started.” Tensions between the U.S. and China were also on the world stage. Biden mentioned China and its president, Xi Jinping, seven times during his speech. Despite a hardline tone, Biden emphasized he wants competition with China, not conflict.
RRFN Interview: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – Infrastructure was a large part of President Biden’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night. The Red River Farm Network spoke with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about infrastructure, the supply chain, electronic vehicles and renewable fuels. The full interview can be found online.
Baseline Numbers On the Way – The Congressional Budget Office will release farm bill baseline funding estimates on Wednesday. This will provide lawmakers a look at the amount of money that is available and is a key step in the development of a new farm bill.
A Possible Farm Bill Budget Squeeze – The farm bill was top-of-mind at this past week’s Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau annual meeting. Deputy Executive Director Tara Smith says one overriding concern is the budget. “We saw this when you look at the ’14 farm bill process where we cut $23 billion and I think folks are seeing a lot of similarities between the potential for this farm bill process and what we saw at that time.”
Debt Ceiling Debate Limits Farm Bill Activity – National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner is optimistic about the upcoming farm bill debate but is concerned about the lack of activity. Conner says Congress is consumed with the debt ceiling issue. “It’s sort of taken all the oxygen out of the room. By the time that’s resolved, I fear the clock may just be working too much against us to get the farm bill done this fall or even by the holidays.” Farm bill priorities for the farm cooperative organization include strong commodity and crop insurance titles. Climate-smart agriculture is also part of the discussion. “I’ve been working hard to really try and get agriculture out front of this climate debate in a way that is very very pro-farmer.” The NCFC annual meeting was held this past week. Labor shortages were a top issue at that meeting. Conner said labor is the reason many farm cooperatives have postponed plans for expansion.
Crop Insurance and Climate – Crop insurance and risk management topics dominated Thursday’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. Ranking Member John Boozman praised the role of crop insurance, but has one worr”What I get concerned about are efforts to use the crop insurance program as a carrot or a payment delivery tool to try and get producers to adopt specific climate and conservation practices without regard to what is best for their individual operations.” USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie said the Risk Management provides rebates for cover crops, but that does not affect the actuarial soundness of the program.
Corn Matters – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office hosted a recent farm bill listening session. Hear more from Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member John Swanson in the latest Corn Matters, presented by Minnesota Corn.
Sugar Stocks-to-Use Ratio Discussed – USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie was grilled about a wide range of topics during Thursday’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, including sugar policy. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar got Bonnie to go on the record about the stocks-to-use level. “In last week’s hearing, your colleague Undersecretary (Alexis) Taylor confirmed that she would work together with you to maintain a stocks-to-use level in the United States between 13.5 percent and 15.5 percent which provides for a reliable and stable supply of sugar to both consumers food manufactures,” said Klobuchar. “Do you feel that range represents an adequate supply for the US?” Bonnie responded with a short answer, saying “yes.”
Sugar Reform Sought – The trade group supported by candy makers and sweetener users is seeking reform to U.S. sugar policy. The Alliance for Fair Sugar Policy sent a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman, saying it wants a ‘fairer and simpler” sugar program. This could be considered the opening volley against the sugar program in the upcoming farm bill debate.
Risk Management for Livestock Producers – During the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven asked Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux for ways to improve risk management for livestock producers. “Our livestock programs lag behind our crop programs by virtue of being newer so there’s room to evolve,” said Ducheneaux. “We really appreciate the flexibility that we’re offered because that lets us find that solution in a more timely manner. Another of the strength of the programs is they’re funded through the CCC which allows us to again make more timely decisions.”
Cattle Price Discovery Act Reintroduced – The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act has been reintroduced in Congress. U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Justin Tupper is happy to see the bill back on the table. “We’re disappointed it never made it to the floor during the last Congress and while this isn’t a fix-all-be-all fix, it puts us in the right direction for improving competition.” Even with the cattle cycle pointing to increased profitability, Topper said it remains important to keep markets transparent.
Ag Groups Weigh In Over the RFS – The Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up its public comment on the Renewable Fuel Standard this past Friday. Ethanol and corn grower groups touted ethanol as a way for the Biden Administration to reach its carbon reduction goals. These pro-ethanol groups also urged EPA to allow the year-round use of 15 percent ethanol blends.
Strap In for Another Golden Age in Agriculture – The first ‘golden age of agriculture’ was in the early 1900s when farm income doubled and land values tripled. University of Minnesota Grain Marketing Economist Edward Usset says American agriculture enjoyed similar success from 2007-to-2014. “It’s the second Golden Age” due the rapid growth in the ethanol market. Usset believes the increase in soybean crushing capacity, biodiesel demand and war in Ukraine could deliver a similar scenario. “Strap in. It could be an interesting few years ahead.” Usset spoke at the Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research meeting.
Bull Pen Report with Tommy Grisafi, Advance Trading – Moving into the balance of the year, Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi remains cautiously optimistic. “I’d rather be forward sold this year and owning calls than having a put,” said Grisafi. “I’m confident that ‘store and ignore’ won’t work like it did in other years.” In the latest edition of the Bull Pen on the Red River Farm Network’s YouTube channel, Grisafi also voiced concerns about the price of money. “When you’re dealing with higher interest rates, it’s like walking uphill with quite an incline. Take your bushels and turn it into cash, take that money and pay off operating (loans) and put money into a CD. If you’re blessed to have extra money, go make five percent and don’t go watch grain break 15 percent.”
China Transitions to South America for Soybeans – February is typically the time of year when the pace of U.S soybean exports begins to slow with the South American crop becoming available. Midwest Market Solutions President Brian Hoops says cancellations have happened. “China probably canceled some soybean purchases, which is typically the start of their migration to South America’s cheaper crop.” China has a lot of unshipped grain on the books. “The product that hasn’t been shipped is all subject to cancelations. Even with cuts to Argentina’s production, there’s still over 750 million bushels of soybeans of South American crop that needs to find a home and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more cancelations through February.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson says soybean meal has found new contract highs. The cattle market is also showing strength. The bearish side of the ledger can be found with corn and hogs.
CONAB Drops Brazil’s Safrinha Corn Crop Estimate – CONAB says Brazil’s farmers will produce a record 152.9 million metric tons of soybeans this season. The Brazilian crop supply agency kept the soybean export forecast steady at 93.9 million tonnes. The second crop corn forecast was reduced slightly due to late planting following the slow soybean harvest pace. CONAB expects second crop corn production at 94.9 million tonnes, down from the January estimate of 96 million tonnes. Brazilian ag consultant Kory Melby was not surprised with the CONAB numbers. The concern is with the lateness of getting the second crop corn planted. “As of last Friday (February 3), about 16 percent of second crop corn was planted which is way behind average.”
MN Wheat Minute – The Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research meetings are starting soon. Tune in to Project Lead Chris Matter the latest MN Wheat Minute to find out more.
Improvement in Farmer Sentiment Carries into 2023 – Following a sharp increase to close out 2022, the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer had only a modest increase in January. While optimism about the future improved slightly, most of the farmers responding to the telephone survey said margins will be tighter this than in 2022. Seventy percent of the farmers said they think now is a bad time to make large investments in their operation. Nearly 40 percent blamed high prices for farm machinery and new construction and 25 percent cited high interest rates. The report said more farmers expect farmland values to hold steady this year.
Soil Fertility Minute – On this week’s Soil Fertility Minute, University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialist Fabian Fernandez joins us to talk about nitrogen resistance in corn. The Soil Fertility Minute is sponsored by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council.
EPR Phase II Reminder – Grand Forks County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Terry Miller said Emergency Relief Program Phase II qualification will be determined differently than Phase I, noting payments are expected to be smaller and will have limitations. “Generally, if a producer received pretty large payments under CFAP or ERP Phase I they may not qualify for Phase II, but the only way to know for sure is to review tax records and calculate the payments.” March 15 is the deadline to enroll in either the ARC or PLC coverage programs. Miller is encouraging farmers to contact their FSA office early to avoid a rush just before the deadline. Miller was featured at the Countryside Insurance farm meeting in Reynolds, North Dakota.
Crop Insurance Flexibility – The Stage 1 crop insurance guarantee has returned for sugarbeet growers this year. At the Countryside Insurance Agency Farmer Update Meeting, owner Jennifer Otteson said additional coverage may be necessary. “If your cause of loss is before July 1, you will only receive 60 percent of your guarantee,” said Otteson. “To not have that, you must purchase a stage removal option by March 15; that has a six percent surcharge, but could be highly recommended if, for example, a big rain event right before July 1 and won’t be able to replant.” Otteson stressed the importance of talking with your crop insurance agent when making those decisions.
Fielding Quesitons – Fielding Questions is a podcast produced in collaboration between AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the Red River Farm Network. In the latest update, AgCountry Vice President of Insurance and Commodity Marketing Education Rob Fronning recaps the recent USDA crop report. The volatility seen during the month of February when crop insurance spring pricing is calculated is also discussed.
USTR Ag Ambassador Seeking Answers From Mexican Government – The chief agricultural trade negotiator has reportedly given Mexico until Tuesday to explain the science behind its proposed ban on biotech corn. Doug McKalip told Reuters this response will help the United States determine the path forward. In late January, Mexico rejected 14 traits submitted by the U.S. and did not provide any explanation. McKalip said Mexico needs to base its decisions on science. Mexico’s GMO corn ban is expected to begin in 2024.
Canola Minute – In this week’s Canola Minute, Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman discusses a new project focused on winter canola.
From Corn to Cows – The opportunities for animal agriculture was highlighted at the annual North Dakota Livestock Summit. South Dakota Retailers Association Executive Director Nathan Sanderson said the uptick of animal agriculture in South Dakota will migrate to north. “We saw a renaissance of livestock development starting in the early 20-teens. North Dakota has an opportunity to do a similar thing in the decade ahead.” The potential for growth is seen in the I-29 corridor. Despite the eastern portion of North Dakota boasting fertile farmland, Sanderson said the potential in livestock expansion is just as profitable. “In South Dakota, the fertile farmland on the south-eastern side of the state also has a lot of dairy and swine operations. It’s really a value proposition where the nutrients go back on the farm.”
Land of Opportunity – North Dakota’s swine inventory totals 140,000 head, just a fraction of national production. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity, especially on the farrowing side, for hog production in North Dakota,” said Tamra Heins, executive director, North Dakota Pork Council. Start-up costs may be a barrier. Rising interest rates and the cost of building supplies are also factors, but Heins says the low-pig density in North Dakota makes it a “land of opportunity” for producers looking to build hog operations.
Number Two is #1 – At the North Dakota Livestock Alliance’s annual summit, Executive Director Amber Boeshans said livestock is the key to diversifying agriculture in the state. “In North Dakota, we have an opportunity to responsibly add livestock to the state.” Animal agriculture is advocated as a sustainable boost to the economy. “The answer is simply Number Two is #1. When it comes to soil health and crop management, you can’t beat manure.” With the addition of more processing, byproducts from canola, soybeans, and corn could also provide more feedstuffs.
Hungry for Soybeans – Green Bison Soy Processing Grain Origination Coordinator Shauna Vorderbruggen says the byproducts from the crush plant have a lot of potential in the feed market. “We’ll be turning those beans into a product that we hope to sell back to North Dakota like soybean meal and pelletized hulls, which are both feed resources.” Vorderbruggen is looking to secure over 52 million soybeans a year from local farmers. “We just have a giant appetite for soybeans”.
MFU Minute – In this week’s Minnesota Farmers Union Minute, Antimonopoly Director Justin Stofferahn discusses bills in the legislature dealing with monopolies.
Expanding Beef Demand – North Dakota Beef Commission Chairman Mark Voll values the role of the beef checkoff program. “With a lot of the economic challenges going on, it’s important to bring back the message to consumers and producers that their dollars are supporting this market. North Dakota is an exporting state, so we look to other places to sell our product.”
MN Beef Update – The 2023 National Cattlemen’s Convention and NCBA Trade Show is in the books. Join us in the latest Minnesota Beef Update to hear from the Minnesota Beef Council board member Hilary Paplow.
A “Pop” in the Market – Napoleon Livestock Auction co-owner Paul Bitz has been waiting for a pop in the market. “Feeder calves are on fire compared to where we were two years ago,” said Bitz. “Cattle have been $100 per head higher in a ten-day span with a 700 pound steer in the $1.85 per pound range and went to $2 per pound. For 600 pound heifers, $2 is in the cards now.” Bitz has seen smaller runs overall this year. “Numbers are just down across the board because we had poor calving and poor weaning conditions.”
A Good Vaccination Program Goes a Long Way – Merk Animal Health Beef Technical Service Manager Tim Farks says a good vaccination program aims to prevent and manage Bovine Respiratory Disease. “If we set the animal up at an early age, we set them up for success from pre-wean, wean, and throughout the production cycle.” Farks says a vaccination program can help calves keep up their daily gain after weaning by strengthening their immune system.
Record Dairy Exports – U.S. dairy export sales were record high in both value and production in 2022. According to USDA, dairy exports totaled $9.5 billion in value last year. That beats the 2021 record by 25 percent. Sales totaled 2.8 million metric tons in volume, up 52 percent in the past ten years. The U.S. dairy industry now exports 18 percent of all milk production.
Dairy Industry Weighs In Over School Lunches – USDA’s recent proposals for school nutrition and the Women, Infants and Children program addressed salt, added sugars and whole grains. International Dairy Foods Association Senior Vice President Matt Herrick said the proposal could potentially eliminate chocolate milk from elementary and middle school meals. “There’s a 60-day comment period the Department of Agriculture opened up and we’re working to make our voices heard.” Studies throughout the country have evaluated the use of low-fat flavored milk in schools. “They have low-fat flavored milk on the menu and then remove it and they measure the reaction from those kids,” explained Herrick. “What they end up seeing in those instances is there’s lower participation first (in school meals) and they see is a lot of waste. When they add low-fat, flavored milk back,kids are actually participating more in the program and they’re eating more of their meals.” Herrick said this recent proposal conflicts with USDA’s own dietary guidelines.
Severe Weather Bennefits – North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison spoke at the Countryside Insurance Agency Farmer Update Meeting in Reynolds, North Dakota. “I don’t know if we would even really be able to use land in this area for anything outside of maybe pastureland if it weren’t for severe weather,” said Ritchison.”While the disadvantages are really striking, which is why that makes the news over the great benefits the rainfall it brings to the area.”
Weed Management in Beets – When it comes to weed control in sugarbeets, waterhemp gets a lot of attention. Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist Tom Peters is also concerned about common ragweed and kochia. Crop rotation is an important part of weed management. “Especially for kochia, what you do with last year’s crop and even two years ago crop is really important,” said Peters. “That’s because kochia doesn’t last more than two years; the seed doesn’t remain viable.” When wheat and soybeans are part of the rotation with beets, products should be used that are active on kochia. Peters was part of the series of American Crystal Sugar Company grower seminars. Peters is evaluating the role of older chemistries for beets, like Eptam and Ro-Neet. “We don’t have the luxury of many options so we have to take advantage of all the tools in the toolbox and if it means going back to some of the oldies but goodies, we’re certainly going to do that.”
The Insect Trifecta – NDSU Extension Entomologist Mark Boetel told growers at the American Crystal Grower Seminars there are three main pests to be watching for this coming year; grasshoppers, springtails and root maggots. “There was a fair amount of grasshopper eggs laid last fall, combined with abnormally dry conditions in areas of North Dakota and itcould mean a higher population.” Boetel says a combined approach of seed treatment and insecticide is shown to be very effective on springtails.
New Threat to Soybean Yeild – Soybean Gall Midge was first discovered in 2018 and has been relatively unseen in the northern Red River Valley. University of Minnesota Extension Specialist Dr. Robert Koch said the soybean gall midge has shown resistance to pesticides and cold temperatures. “My colleagues have evaluated seed and foliar treatments, lots of different chemicals, and while there’s some minor impacts to the population, it’s not enough to be a stand alone tool.” Koch said resistant varieties will take time to develop. Predators or parasites may be key to controlling the pest in the future. Speaking at the Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research meetings, Koch said these pests are small, slender flies.
Dry Bean Scene – Northarvest Bean Growers Association Treasurer and U.S. Dry Bean Council Delegate Joe Mauch was in Mexico recently for the annual U.S. Dry Bean winter meeting. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Alarming Amounts of SCN – Results from soil samples indicate a large percentage of acres have damaging levels of soybean cyst nematode. BASF Product Manager Jeremiah Mullock says over 500 sample kits were sampled last fall. “Seventy-five percent of the fields sampled had SCN present with egg counts at damaging levels.” Farmers can help combat SCN by using a seed treatment and growing resistant varieties.
Closing a Foreign Land Ownership Loophole – South Dakota has had a ban on foreign ownership of farmland for years. State Representative Will Mortenson is carrying a bill that would close one loophole to that law. “A South Dakota LLC, a South Dakota partnership or a South Dakota corporation could have entirely foreign owners and not only would we not know, it wouldn’t be illegal; that’s the loophole.” The South Dakota House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed this bill with a ‘do pass’ recommendation.
Foreign Land Ownership Bill Heard in ND Judiciary Committee – The North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation banning a foreign adversary from owning land in the state. State Senator Bob Paulson, who is from Minot, introduced the bill. Paulson said this proposal was prompted by the proposed Fufeng corn wet milling project in Grand Forks. Center for Security Policy State Outreach Director Christopher Holton came from Washington, D.C. to testify. “China has been particularly active in the last ten years in attempting to acquire land in the U.S.,” explained Holton. “From 2010 to 2020, Chinese ownership of U.S. farmland increased from $81 million (in value) to $1.8 billion, including land in North Dakota, Texas, North Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Utah, Virginia, Colorado and Oklahoma. Food security is national security. If Americans don’t act, China will.”
Soybean Checkoff Changes – As crossover approaches, the North Dakota House Agriculture Committee has been busy the recent few weeks. Chair Paul Thomas says one of the bills generating attention deals with the structure of the state soybean checkoff. “The (North Dakota) Soybean Council is looking at ways to remove some of the state provisions for audits, purchasing through the Office of Management and Budget and having state employees.” In it’s final form, the bill only removed provisions for state audits. Representative Lori VanWinkle was one of two ‘no’ on House Bill 1501, saying it didn’t accomplish everything it originally set out to do. The committee gave the bill a ‘do pass’ recommendation with an 11-2 vote.
Pros and Cons for Raw Milk – State Representative Dawson Holle is sponsoring a bill that would alllow dairy farms to sell raw milk directly to consumers in North Dakota. The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony both in favor of and in opposition to the bill this past week. Supporters spoke about freedom of choice and the ability to revive the state’s dairy industry. Opponents highlighted the health risks associated with the unregulated sale of raw milk. HB 1515 will be revisited in the future.
North Dakota Legislative Report – Crossover is coming up at the end of February. A bill has to clear one chamber by that time before it can move to the other chamber. North Dakota Grain Growers Association Executive Director Dan Wogsland says it is crunch time in the state legislature. The NDSU ag research and Extension bill is also highlighted. Find out more in this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report.
MFBF Minute – Hear Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Board Member Shane Isane talk about the upcoming Northwest Minnesota Ag Summit in the latest MFBF Minute.
Marijuana Bill Approved in MN Senate Ag Committee – The Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee has approved legislation to legalize marijuana on a party-line vote. Assistant Majority Leader Erin Murphy spoke on behalf of this bill. “This proposal creates a new market in Minnesota; one that gives preference to Minnesotans, to their well-being and their interests as businesses, as consumers and as farmers.” This bill creates a new state agency to regulate marijuana in the state. State Senator Torrey Westrom said he was shocked by that language. “We don’t have an agency on corn and another agency on soybeans and another agency on potatoes; it seems like a lot of growth in the size of government,” said Westrom. “Do we really need a full agency for one crop versus housing it under the Department of Ag?”
Walz Signs Federal Roads Bill – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed legislation to unlock over $315 million in federal funds to improve roads. The money was allocated to the state last year, but a transportation bill failed to pass during last year’s session.
Grain Prices Spurs Feed Efficiency – Elanco Animal Health Tech Service Support Mike Brown says feed prices are spurring livestock producers to adopt new additives quicker. “We have some of the highest grain prices since 2014, so customers have been adapting to the climate to get more out of the feed being consumed”.
Every Pound Counts – Performance Livestock Analytics Area Growth Manager Emma Coffman says this one program allows cattle producers to simplify feeding, performance, and recording health data. “It allows the producer to have clear transparency in their operations. Especially now with high feed prices, it can calculate and track everything going into your ration.” With high feed prices, livestock producers need to closely monitor inputs and feed rations. “This system tracks every single pound of ingredients. If you’re missing 10-20 pounds, it may not seem like a lot but after a 90-day period, it can really add up to a lot of money.”
Maximizing Feed Efficiency to Maximize Your Dollar – To optimize feed use, nutritionists are starting to balance diets based on amino acids to energy. “Our primary focus is on making that calf as efficient as biologically possible and how that relates to minimizing cost of gain for the producer,” said Monte Curly, ruminant nutritionist, Farmers Business Network. Curly says animal nutrition is constantly evolving to make feeding calves more efficient.
USDA and Tribal Colleges Renew Their Partnership – USDA has renewed its memorandum of agreement with a consortium of 36 tribal colleges and universities. These schools were recognized as land-grant colleges nearly 30 years ago and the new agreement will make USDA programs more accessible to these institutions. A large portion of these schools are in this region with five tribal colleges and universities in North Dakota, four in Minnesota and three in South Dakota.
PFS Contracts Available for Yellow Peas – A growing trend in agriculture is the emergence of limited-scale, identity-preserved crops. Peterson Farms Seed is targeting that market with high-protein yellow peas. Acres are being sought for contract production. “We have a base contract price of effectively $11.50 because there’s a minimum of 75 cent premium but with good protein, good environmental conditions growers can get up to a $3 premium,” said Carl Peterson, president, Peterson Farms Seed. “The seed is being harvested in Texas now and we’ll get it home in good time so we feel like we’re in pretty good shape, but there’s plenty of opportunity and we’re looking for more growers.” Peterson says there are also agronomic advantages to having yellow peas in the rotation, especially during a drought year.
CoAXium Now Available in Spring Wheat – The Colorado Wheat Research Foundation funded research 15 years ago to identify a new herbicide tolerance trait in wheat. Executive Director Brad Erker says this trait is resistant to Group I chemistries. The Foundation formed a partnership with Albaugh to provide the chemistry and Limagrain to manage and expand this technology to other classes of wheat. Erker says the trait began with hard red winter wheat and is now expanding into spring wheat. “Herbicide tolerance is a big convenience factor in other crops and that’s why we wanted to develop something in wheat to help us keep up with those other crops,” said Erker. “For 20 years, we were limited to just one herbicide tolerance technology in wheat with Clearfield and that drove the thinking behind our Colorado growers and our researchers at Colorado State to try to develop a second option.” Erker says grower stewardship is key to the long-term performance of CoAXium. CoAXium is unique because it is a farmer-owned trait.
Green Plains Release Year-End Financials – Green Plains Partners is reporting annual net income of nearly $41 million. That’s a slight increase from last year. The ethanol company said it faced “a challenging environment” last year due to rail delays and weather-related shutdowns. Green Plains operates 11 biorefineries nationwide, including a facility at Fergus Falls.
Bunge Income Softens – Bunge reports profits of $1.6 billion in its annual financial report. That compares to just over $2 billion one year ago. The fourth quarter ended with strong soybean crush margins.
Tyson Foods Suffers Significant Quarterly Decline – Tyson Foods is reporting quarterly profits of $316 million, down from $1.1 billion one year ago. This is the company’s largest year-over-year decline in quarterly net income since 2009.
Miller Livestock Suspended – Due to alleged violations of the USDA Packers and Stockyards Act, Miller Livestock at Mina, South Dakota has been suspended from operation for five years. An investigation by USDA found Miller Livestock failed to pay for livestock transactions totaling $548,000 from June-to-November of 2021. A total of $368,000 remains unpaid.
AURI Update – The 2023 New Uses Forum is coming up on April 11. Hear more in the latest AURI Update.
Beet Share Values – Last week, 193 American Crystal Sugar Company beet shares were brokered at an average price of $4,451 per share. “Trading activity picked up last week,” says Jayson Menke, broker, Acres & Shares. “This was the most shares traded in a week since late November/early December.”
Sidney Sugars to Shutdown – The Sidney, Montana sugarbeet plant will close this spring. Sidney Sugars is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Crystal Sugar Company. The decision was made due to the decline in contracted sugarbeet acres in the Sydney, Montana area.
Pre-Order NCI Wheat Quality Handbook – The Northern Crops Institute has announced the upcoming release of the Wheat Quality Handbook. This handbook is authored by Dr. Senay Simsek, Department Head, Professor, and Dean’s Chair in Food Science at Purdue University. The Wheat Quality Handbook is comprised of four primary sections. There is an introduction to wheat quality and kernel testing and a focus on flour and dough testing, end product quality and advances in wheat quality. The Wheat Quality Handbook is available for pre-order.
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. Minnesota’s AURI is looking for a business development director. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Fischbach Joins Budget Committee – Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach has been appointed to the House Budget Committee. Fischbach was already a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Rules Committee.
USDA Promotes Mayberry – Mia Mayberry has been promoted to chief of staff for the undersecretary of marketing and regulatory programs. Most recently, Mayberry was the acting deputy assistant for administration. Before joining USDA, Mayberry was the deputy of outreach for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and was the deputy national political director for Klobuchar’s presidential campaign.
A New CEO for Bayer – As of June 1, Bayer will have a new chief executive officer. Bill Anderson will succeed Werner Baumann, who is retiring after 35 years of service to the industry. Most recently, Anderson was the CEO for the Roche Pharmaceuticals Division.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, Feeding South Dakota CEO Lori Dykstra talks about South Dakota Corn Council’s support for the program.
South Dakota Corn Hires Bechen, Pennock – Amanda Bechen and Margaret Pennock have joined the South Dakota Corn Growers Association staff. Bechen is the new director of digital communicaitons and previously worked in a similar role for Larson Manufacturing. Pennock is the director of external affairs. Pennock has worked in communications for the past 30 years and also has experience in real estate.
SDCGA Officer Team Elected – The South Dakota Corn Growers Association has elected Dave Ellens of Madison as president. Taylor Sumption of Frederick is vice president and Trent Kubik of Hamill is the secretary/treasurer.
Ten Acre Marketing Expands Account and Creative Teams – Ten Acre Marketing has added Jonnah Lee and Simon Andrys to its staff. Lee joins the Ten Acre team as the account coordinator. Previously, Lee worked for the North Dakota Corn Growers Association and Nutrien Ag Solutions. Andrys is the organization’s new art director and previously worked for Razor Tracking and Spotlight. Ten Acre Marketing is a full-service agriculture marketing firm based in Grand Forks.
LEAD21 Class Includes MN, ND – A program designed to develop leaders in land grant colleges and their strategic partners has announced its latest class. That list includes University of Minnesota 4-H Program Leader Nancy Hegland, University of Minnesota Family Development Program Leader Mary Jo Katras, NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Director Heidi Pecoraro and NDSU Carrington Research Extension Director Mike Ostlie. In total, LEAD21 has 90 participants nationwide.
MN Livestock Hall of Fame Inductees Named – The latest inductees into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame have been announced. The honorees are purebred Holstein breeders Jerry and Linda Jennissen of Brooten; Hereford cattle breeder Jerry Delaney of Lake Benton; dairy farmers Fran and Mary Ann Miron of Hugo and the late Dr. Harry Rajamannan, who developed ova transfers and cryo-preservation in cattle production. Portraits of the inductees will be hung in Haecker Hall on the University of Minnesota-St. Paul campus. The recognition will be given at the Minnesota Livestock Breeder’s Association annual meeting March 9 in St. Paul.
Last Week’s Trivia-To recieve a score in bull riding, the cowboy needs to stay on the bull’s back for eight seconds. Erin Nash of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting wins our weekly trivia challenge. Retired North Dakota Farmers Union economist Dale Enerson, Regan farmer Jim McCullough, Crystal farmer Sara O’Toole and Bruce Trautman of Living the Dream Consulting earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Bob Brunker of J.L. Farmakis, Kevin Schulz of The Farmer, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Jon Farris of BankWest, Wayne Christ of CHS Agronomy, Al Wimpfheimer of Simplot Grower Solutions, former feedlot officer Al Langseth, Joe Peiffer of Ag & Business Legal Strategies, Val Dolcini of Syngenta, Calloway farmer Bill Zurn, Willow City farmer Martin Kitzman, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad and Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed.
This Week’s Trivia-Four NFL teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl game. Name one of them. Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|February 13||ND Crop Improvement and Seed Association Annual Conference - Bismarck, ND|
|February 13||Dakota Resources Council Farm Bill Forum - Valley City, ND|
|February 14||Northern Corn and Soybean Expo|
|February 15||FCS of Mandan Producer Education Seminar - Mandan, ND|
|February 15||NDSU Best of the Best in Wheat Production - Minot, ND|
|February 20 - February 21||AMPI Annual Meeting - Bloomington, MN|
|February 20 - February 22||MN Pork Congress - Mankato, MN|
|February 21||NPPGA Annual Meeting - Grand Forks, ND|
|February 21||UM 15th Annual Nutrient Management Conference - St. Cloud, MN|
|February 21||NDFU Evolution Ag Summit - Jamestown, ND|
|February 21 - February 22||Red River Watershed Mgmt Board/FDRWG Joint Conference - Moorhead, MN|
|February 22 - February 23||International Crop Expo - Grand Forks, ND|
|February 23||Rancher’s Night Out - Devils Lake, ND|
|February 23 - February 25||Marbleseed Organic Farming Conference - LaCrosse, WI|
|February 24||UM Small Grains Update - Benson, MN|
|February 28 - March 1||Western Crop and Pest Management School - Minot, ND|
|March 1||FCS of Mandan Producer Education Seminar - Wishek, ND|
|March 3 - March 4||MN FFA Alumni & Supporters Annual Conference - Staples, MN|
|March 6||NDSU Extension Women in Ag – Leading. Linking. Learning. - McClusky|
|March 9||Getting it Right in Canola Production Webinar - Online|
|March 9||MN Livestock Breeders Association Annual Meeting - St. Paul, MN|
|March 15 - March 16||International Sugar Beet Institute|
|March 21||Getting it Right in Sunflower Production Webinar - Online|
|March 21||MN Farm Bureau Foundation AG Gala - St. Paul, MN|
|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.