A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, February 15, 2021
In the Deep Freeze-At the Boundary Waters near Ely, Minnesota, the temps dropped to -50 Saturday morning. That’s the air temp, not the wind chill. Other notable lows include -39 at Roseau, -38 at Bemidji, -36 at Fosston, -33 at Thief River Falls and -28 at Bismarck. There will be a very gradual warm-up this week with highs forecast in the teens above zero by Thursday. The Red River Farm Network features World Weather Incorporated Meteorologist Drew Lerner for our twice-daily forecasts.
USDA Lowers Corn Ending Stocks in February Report – USDA lowered U.S. corn ending stocks by 50 million bushels from the January report to 1.502 billion bushels, mainly on a matching increase in exports to China. U.S. soybean ending stocks are lowered 20 million bushels from January to 120 million bushels. U.S. wheat ending stocks are mostly unchanged from January, with an increase in spring wheat exports being offset by a decrease in winter wheat exports.
Soybean Carryout is Extremely Tight – Advance Trading Market Risk Advisor Tommy Grisafi says that will keep the market extremely volatile. “Are $14 beans high enough? It’s only February and we need to get through February, March, April, May, June, July, August and September until we get American beans, we’ll need to import beans from other countries.” Grisafi, who spoke at the Premium Ag Solutions Ag Day program, would not be surprised to see growers plant soybeans as early as possible. “There will be a premium paid for product brought to the market early.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – Crude oil has moved above $60 per barrel. Gold and silver values are also higher. In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi takes a look at the overall tone of the markets to start the week.
A Boost in Global Corn Ending Stocks, Soy Ending Stocks Lower – The February USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report had USDA raising world corn ending stocks 2.7 million tonnes from January to 286.5 million tonnes, reflecting increasing stocks in China, South Africa and Mexico partially offsetting decreases in Argentina and Brazil. Global soybean stocks are reduced one million tonnes to 83.4 million as lower stocks in the United States and Brazil more than offsetting higher stocks in Argentina. World wheat ending stocks were raised 800,000 tonnes to 304.2 million tonnes as global production was increased to a record 773.4 million tonnes.
No Shock for Grain Traders in the February USDA Report – Brock Associates President Richard Brock wasn’t too surprised with the February USDA report. Most grain traders expected the USDA to increase corn and soybean exports more than they did. “I think what USDA is assuming is some of the exports will be cancelled. It hasn’t all been shipped yet,” said Brock. “That’s what USDA has to be assuming or else their export number would be larger.” Brock thinks the corn market may struggle in the next few weeks to go higher. “The key issue is having a strategy to take advantage of these prices. Soybeans could literally do anything. We can’t even see how we’ll get a carryover high for next year unless we pull more acres than expecting. We’ll still see fireworks in soybeans, but I’m not sure we’ll see fireworks in corn.”
Virtual Ag Outlook Forum Happening This Week – USDA will hold their annual Ag Outlook Forum virtually later this week. Advance Trading Commodity Research Analyst Brian Basting says traders will be watching to see what USDA does with the acreage mix. “USDA will give us the best guess on Thursday and Friday of the 2021 acreage estimate. We are anticipating a fairly large switch to soybeans.” Basting says traders are expecting much of the switch to soybeans to happen in the Northern Plains. “One of the areas we looked at was switching away from small grains into canola or beans.”
Biden-Xi Discuss U.S.-China Relationship – President Joe Biden has spoken with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, by phone. In a statement, the White House said Biden is “committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements” between the two countries. Xi called for an improved relationship between China and the U.S. Before the call, senior administration officials said trade policy will be evaluated. In the interim, the tariffs imposed by President Trump will remain in place.
China Misses First Year Phase One Target – In the first year of the phase one trade deal, U.S. ag exports to China reached $27.2 billion missing the target by more than $6 billion. While China did not meet its first-year commitments, the American Farm Bureau Federation says 2020 was a good year for pork, poultry, hay, beef and pea exports. Corn exports also exceeded 2017 export levels to China. To meet the phase one deal commitments in 2021, U.S. ag exports to China will need to reach $45.8 billion, a near 70 percent increase from 2020 levels.
International Markets Fare Well for U.S. Ag – Access to international markets for U.S. grain supported an additional $41.8 billion is business sales during 2018 over and above the value of the grain sold, according to an Informa/HIS Markit study commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association. The study highlights the importance of grain exports to the U.S. economy and jobs. The study says grain exports boosted the U.S. GDP by $27 billion with roughly 295,000 jobs tied directly and indirectly to grain exports.
CONAB Boosts Brazil Corn and Soybean Production – Brazil’s crop supply agency CONAB raised its soybean and corn production estimates in the February crop report. CONAB expects Brazil’s farmers to produce a record 133.8 million metric tons of soybeans and near record 102 million tons of corn this season. CONAB raised soybean planted area by 30,000 hectares to 38 million hectares. Brazil’s second crop corn area is pegged at 14.4 million hectares with total second crop corn production projected to be 80 million metric tons.
Ag Credit Conditions Improve at the End of 2020 – There was a dramatic improvement in farm credit conditions for the region in the final three months of 2020. More than three-quarters of the ag lenders surveyed in the fourth quarter by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis reported an increase in farm incomes. Just under half of the lenders said loan repayment rates have increased. The value of non-irrigated cropland increased 3.6 percent from one year ago. Cash rents for that ground rose more than six percent. Lenders in North Dakota reported the largest increase in land values, up 8.5 percent.
High Corn Prices Influence Ethanol Sector – Margins are stressed by rising corn prices, but NDSU Extension Bioenergy Economist David Ripplinger says ethanol refineries are making it work. “E10 is the fuel we use so the refiners and blenders are always looking for ethanol for blending requirements. There’s a home for the ethanol. For the most part, the refineries can make it work, but it is not as great as it could be or would be if corn prices were lower.”
House Ag Committee Advances Budget Reconciliation Bill – The House Agriculture Committee advanced a $16 billion budget reconciliation bill Wednesday. There’s $4 billion in the proposal to respond to the pandemic’s impact on the food supply chain and another $1 billion to help black and minority farmers with financial training and access to land. House Ag Committee Chairman David Scott said farmers aren’t the only ones who need help. “We gave the previous administration nearly $50 billion to help the farm economy. The population we’re trying to assist now didn’t benefit.” Republicans wanted to spend money already allocated first. “This committee hasn’t had a hearing on the USDA’s COVID response and the programs developed,” said Glenn G.T. Thompson, ranking member, House Ag Committee. “We don’t know what the new needs are and if we’re meeting them with this package.”
EPA Nomination Forwarded to Full Senate – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed EPA Administrator Nominee Michael Regan’s nomination out of committee on Tuesday. The vote was 14 to 6. Regan’s nomination will now be considered by the full Senate.
Grassley Eager to Hear from Tai on Trade – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is looking forward to hearing more about U.S. Trade Representative Nominee Kathrine Tai’s take on the phase one trade deal with China. “The Biden administration wants to round up support in Europe, the United Kingdom, North America, Japan and South Korea to take a united front against abusive trade laws by China. If they can be successful, I think that’s a necessary first step. Beyond that, I hope they’ll start negotiating a phase two deal with China.” Tai’s confirmation hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but Grassley says it will likely take place after the Secretary of Health and Human Services confirmation hearing. Grassley also said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s nomination may not be voted on by the Senate until the end of the month.
Hope Remains in Ag Amid Division in Washington D.C. – According to National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner, a partisan polarization is happening in Washington D.C. “Members of Congress now, quite literally, fear members across the aisle and their supporters or simply view them as un-American in some way. These feelings aren’t just across party lines, there are these feelings among the same political party,” said Conner. “Working together seems impossible and yet, against that terrible backdrop, is the start of a new presidential administration. One reason for hope among some of the darkest times in our nation’s capitol is having Ag Secretary designate Tom Vilsack to lead agriculture.” Conner said President Biden seemed respectful of all views, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be partisanship on key issues. Conner’s comments were made during the NCFC annual meeting.
How Will the Biden Administration Handle Trade Tariffs? – Negotiating new trade deals is not the top priority for the Biden administration, but former Chief Ag Negotiator and Edelman PR Vice Chair of Ag, Food and Trade Darci Vetter says there are overlapping trade decisions the administration will be making soon on tariffs. How the administration makes the decisions will signal how they’ll deal with future trade problems. “As they review the phase one deal, there are hundreds of billions of products we import from China currently facing import tariffs. A few products had exclusions expiring December 31. The Biden administration will have to figure out how to deal with those.” An additional item the Biden administration will consider with China is benchmark purchases. “There are valid questions to ask. I think it’s worth agriculture thinking about. How would we like to engage with China?”
AGree Considers Role of Climate Change and Farm Policy – The AGree Coalition has published a white paper that considers the policy link between climate change and farm policy. South Dakota native Bruce Knight, who the principal and founder of Strategic Conservation Solutions, co-authored this white paper. Knight said additional revenue for farmers is possible. “We’re suggesting the consideration of a bonus payment structure that goes on top of ARC and PLC for folks who have a long history of conservation and make a commitment to increase conservation practices.” Knight also sees an opportunity for additional funding from CSP and EQIP, but “I also recognize we can’t cost-share our way out of these challenges.” Climate change stands out as a policy priority for the Biden Administration and the new leadership in the House and Senate agriculture committees. Knight is seeing the farm and food sector prepare for this debate.
Adding More Debt to the Federal Ledger – U.S. federal debt reached 100 percent of gross domestic product this past year. The Congressional Budget Office is now forecasting federal debt to reach a record 107 percent of the GDP by 2031. The cumulative deficit over the next decade is expected to total nearly $13 trillion.
Consider Crop Insurance Plan When Selecting Farm Programs – Farmers will need to consider their crop insurance plan when making their ARC or PLC farm program election for the 2021 crop year. “There are restrictions associated to whether or not a producer can have certain elections under their crop insurance, versus ARC,” said Steve Peterson, Acting Administrator, Farm Service Agency. “For example, producers can take advantage of the supplemental coverage option along with taking advantage of the price loss coverage portion of PLC, but they can’t do the same under ARC-County, because it’s revenue-based.” RMA had developed an enhanced option for ARC-County coverage. “Even though the supplemental coverage option may not be an option for ARC-County, there’s a new, enhanced coverage option without the conflict the supplemental coverage option has.” Farmers have until March 15 to make their ARC or PLC farm program election.
ND Farmers Work Through Quality Loss Adjustment Sign-Up – Farmers have three more weeks to sign up for the Quality Loss Adjustment program. North Dakota Farm Service Agency Farm Program Director Laura Heinrich says so far, there are 600 applications started in the North Dakota system. “We have a long ways to go. There are lots of questions and with our county offices not able to do face-to-face interactions, it’s been a difficult program to administer, but we’re working through it.” Producers need to gather more documentation for the program. This documentation should show bushels affected, total value of dollars lost due to discounts and the price before discounts. Heinrich says North Dakota is working with the national office to get answers acceptable documentation from grain elevators. QLA sign-up is open through Friday, March 5. Watch the QLA webinar.
FSA Finishing Up Processing First Half of 2019 WHIP+ Payments – As the Farm Service Agency takes applications for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program, the agency is also trying to finish processing WHIP+ program payments. In North Dakota, FSA offices are through the bulk of WHIP+ program applications, but there are applications still being processed for the first round of payments. Texas A&M University Ag and Food Policy Center co-director Bart Fischer thinks it’s a similar situation in other parts of the country. “One good thing is the year-end appropriations bill and additional funding was made available for the program. The question is still there whether or not the remaining half of 2019 losses will be covered. Everyone is eager for an answer.” The WHIP+ program may also be extended to cover 2020 losses as part of the reconciliation bill considered in the House Agriculture Committee last week.
North Dakota Legislative Report – In this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report, State Senator Terry Wanzek outlines the proposed NDSU Research and Extension budget. Significant cuts were made at the subcommittee level, but Wanzek expects those dollars to be restored.
Governor Walz Sends Biofuels Letter to President Biden – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday asking him to support the biofuels industry and reverse the Trump administrations actions in supporting small refinery exemptions. Walz wants the Biden administration to issue an executive order to ban the use of aromatics in gasoline and adopt new Renewable Fuel Standard regulations. Read the letter.
State Budget a Priority in MN Legislature – The state budget is front-and-center for Minnesota lawmakers. Ag lobbyist Bruce Kleven says legislative committees are unpacking the details. “The governor is trying to equalize the uneven affects of the pandemic across the state. In the next few weeks, they’ll continue to do that across the state. They may hear a few policy bills, but the whole place is waiting on the February forecast, the state economists’ prediction of what the books will look like at the end of the two-year budget cycle if revenue and spending patterns don’t change.” The Minnesota Ag Department is proposing a three percent budget increase. Kleven doesn’t expect lawmakers to accomplish much outside of the budget this session.
MFBF Update – The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation is watching state budget discussions, along with Capital Gains Tax rates on the national level. Hear more from President Kevin Paap in the latest MFBF Update.
Hours-of-Service Requirements Waived – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz have signed executive orders in their respective states to waive the hours-of-service requirements for drivers hauling propane, gasoline and diesel fuel. Propane supplies are low and the transportation industry is impacted by driver shortages. The executive order is in place for 30 days in North Dakota and 15 days in Minnesota.
Opportunities in a Post-COVID World – Over 90 percent of consumers surveyed by the Food Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute faced empty meat cases or meat shortages this past year. More than half of the people surveyed are cooking more at home. North Dakota Department of Agriculture Local Foods Specialist Jamie Good says the survey offers insight into a post-pandemic food trends. “Fifty-two percent of consumers said they would go back to pre-pandemic buying habits, but 48 percent like the options that they’ve tried. That’s very powerful for those of us who saw an uptick in sales this year.” During Wednesday’s North Dakota Livestock Alliance webinar, Good highlighted the enhancements being made to the state’s online local foods map. A new tool that helps consumers source local food products was also promoted.
A Record Year for Pork Exports – U.S. pork exports reached nearly 3 million tons in 2020, topping the 2019 record by 11 percent. U.S. beef exports were lower year-over-year, dropping five percent. Lamb exports set a record of 20 million metric tons sold, up 27 percent from the previous year.
Minnesota Beef Update – Steak is a love language at the Minnesota Beef Council. Get some Valentines Day recipe ideas from Director of Industry Relations Royalee Rhoads in the latest Minnesota Beef Update.
NCI/WISHH Reach Trade Teams Despite Travel Restrictions – The Northern Crops Institute and the American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health have been able to pivot during this time of COVID. Faced with travel restrictions, virtual training has been made available to trade teams from 12 countries. WISHH Executive Director Liz Hare said the pandemic has made it more important than ever to deliver information to developing and emerging economies in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
NASDA Requests Additional Flexibility for Specialty Crop Block Grants – The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has requested to protect farm workers and additional support for the specialty crop industry. In a letter to Acting Agriculture Secretary Kevin Shea, the organization asks for extra flexibility for the use of Specialty Crop Block Grants. These uses could include vaccination programs for agricultural workers, building COVID-19 related infrastructure and offsetting increased costs for worker housing and transportation.
OIG Seeks Changes to SLN Registration Process – The EPA’s Inspector General is calling for improvements to the process surrounding Special Local Needs pesticide registrations. In a new report, the Office of the Inspector General said this process does not effectively reduce risk or prevent pollution. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has agreed to make improvements in the program.
Spring and Summer Weather Outlook Released – World Weather Incorporated is calling for a wet spring in the extreme part of the Northern Plains and the Upper Midwest. Springtime temps are also expected to be warmer than normal. For the summer, World Weather is forecasting dry conditions and above normal temperatures. The dryness is expected to be more serious by the end of the summer.
A Dry Winter Does Not Foreshadow a Dry Growing Season – Dryness has been escalating with the release of the Drought Monitor each week. However, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison is not worried yet. “I’ve never seen a Drought Monitor I ever agreed with in my entire weather career.” Ritchison argues droughts do not begin in the winter. “We’re only a half of an inch or one little snow storm away from going back to average.” The timeliness of spring rains is seen as a bigger factor for the ’21 crop. Ritchson was featured in the Premium Ag Solutions Ag Day in Hitterdal, Minnesota.
Cold Temps Hit Winter Wheat Growing Areas – The Kansas wheat crop was widely variable as it went into dormancy. Kansas Wheat Vice President of Research Aaron Harries says the northwest third of the state is the concern. “We’ve had good moisture in the central and parts of southern Kansas, but the northwest third of the state has been dry and we’ve had cold weather and wind impacting the wheat crop. Some of the wheat crop hasn’t emerged. The wheat crop isn’t necessarily in a stage of growth, but temperatures below zero are a concern when there’s no snow cover.” With the crop still in dormancy, Harries says farmers won’t know if there has been any damage until spring.
Proper Phosphorus Levels Advised – The price of nitrogen gets a lot of attention, but Channel technical agronomist Derek Crompton is looking at the role of phosphorus. “That price of P has gone through the roof so guys will be thinking about the best place to put that down. The data says you need to have the P on your soybeans and I think with the (soybean) prices now, it is a good investment.”
Dry Bean Scene – Data is now available for dry bean variety trial results from NDSU Extension. Learn more from Extension agronomist Hans Kandel in the latest Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Fertilizer Prices Are On The Way Up – According to a weekly survey conducted by DTN, ag retailers said urea prices are up 16 percent from last month. DAP is 15 percent more expensive and UAN28 increased 14 percent. MAP values are now over $600 a ton, levels that haven’t been seen since 2014. The average price for anhydrous and 10-34-0 are both over $500. Potash is up more than five percent from one month ago.
Cercospora Leaf Spot is a Challenge for Beet Growers – This past year was a difficult year for cercospora, especially in the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative region. “Some growers had six or seven applications in 2020,” said Mohamed Kahn, sugarbeet specialist, NDSU/University of Minnesota. New varieties with improved CLS resistance will be available this year. A series of sugarbeet virtual grower meetings took place this past week.
Farm Credit Conditions Improve – There was a dramatic improvement in farm credit conditions for the region in the final three months of 2020. More than three-quarters of the ag lenders surveyed in the fourth quarter by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis reported an increase in farm incomes. Just under half of the lenders said loan repayment rates have increased. The value of non-irrigated cropland increased 3.6 percent from one year ago. Cash rents for that ground rose more than six percent. Lenders in North Dakota reported the largest increase in land values, up 8.5 percent.
Northern Plains Net Cash Farm Income Won’t Change Much – Net cash farm income for the Northern Plains in 2021 isn’t expected to change much from 2020. NDSU Extension Ag Finance Specialist Bryon Parman says the rally in market prices is going to help farmers. “The Heartland is expecting a nine percent increase due to higher commodity prices and looking at the Northern Plains, there’s not really much change. There’s better cattle, corn and soybean prices and not as big of a drop off. Other regions, heavy in cotton, are expected to see a big drop in net farm income.” Parman says one year can make a big difference, but the farm income forecast can always change. “This year is expected to be better than 2019, but not quite as good in 2020, but a lot of that is regional.”
Not a Rosy Picture for All in Agriculture – Northland Community and Technical College Farm Business Management Instructor Josh Tjosaas says the Red River Valley has double the net farm income compared to one year ago, but it’s not a rosy picture for everyone. “There are farms that had crops left in the field to begin the year and there were lower yields on the new crop. There were moisture issues. In fact, 2020 itself wasn’t a great year for some farms. If you look at it on a crop basis, a couple of crops we analyze will show a negative net return, including soybeans. What farmers actually sold them for at harvest or the end of the year, wasn’t enough to pay for all expenses.” To keep moving forward, rebuilding and growing working capital is the game plan in 2021. Hear the story.
Rural Perspectives – There has been a rally in the grain markets. In the Rural Perspectives podcast, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Market Education Specialist Jeff Beaudry said input costs have also gone up.
Fertilizer Prices Start to Move Lower – CHS Hedging Commodity Fertilizer Broker Chris Short says fertilizer prices are starting to move lower as a wave of imports are being unloaded at Gulf Ports. “Urea prices are lower. There are still massive imports coming into the Gulf at the end of February and into April.” Short says imports and the current lack of demand will keep fertilizer prices in check until demand picks up in the spring. “Long-term, we’re not sure of the direction on all of these things. There are excellent imports in the next eight weeks of urea and phosphorus. If we do get a really wet spring, we may push prices lower if there’s not demand we don’t have open spots to put stuff.”
U.S. Pork Demand is Terrific – In spite of the COVID pandemic, Kerns and Associates Economist Steve Meyer says U.S. pork demand is terrific. “When this thing started breaking in March, if you would have told me we would end the year with meat and poultry demand stronger than it was the year before, I would have told you that you were nuts. I thought the impact on the economy would drag us all down and it didn’t. People still had to eat.” Meyer says pork exports were even better. “China is a big number, but so is Mexico. That’s a terrific accomplishment.”
Chinese Authorities Crack Down on GMO Production/Research – The Chinese agriculture ministry has identified eight companies that illegally produced or studied biotech seeds. The seed corn was confiscated and the companies were fined. China does not allow the planting or production of GMO seeds.
Don’t Forget Planter Maintenance – Planter technology is always changing, but one thing does not. Precision Planting regional manager Matt Grove says maintenance is a must. “Look at parallel arms and gauge wheel arm bushings, those things that have a lot of movement year-over-year. Also look to the basics, is the planter level and do the row units have the ability to move in the range needed.” Seed placement and closing the furrow properly are also important. Grove says a proper closing system will help retain moisture for a longer period of time and give each seed the opportunity to germinate consistently.
Slow Harvest Continues in Brazil – Brazil’s farmers continue to make slow harvest progress. Brazilian ag consultant Kory Melby says the harvest pace in Mato Grosso is well behind average. “To-date, 15 to 20 percent of the state is harvested. We should be at 40 to 50 percent by mid-February and that gives you an idea of how slow things are this year.” Soybean yields are variable. “Early soybean yields were terrible. I’ve heard from 20 to 30 bushel yields. Later stuff will be much better and I’ve heard of yields equal to or better than last year, but they haven’t got to it yet.”
Bunge Q4 Net Income Improves from 2020 – Bunge is reporting fourth quarter net income of $551 million compared to a net loss of $51 million last year. Full year net income is reported at $1.14 billion on net sales of $29.53 billion. Bunge’s Oilseed business was up $440 million year-over-year to $855 million. Bunge’s grain business increased $360 million year-over-year to $627 million and Bunge’s fertilizer segment reported net annual sales of $484 million, down $85 million from one year ago. Even with lower net sales, Bunge’s fertilizer segment profits increased $23 million year-over-year to $85 million.
1Q Income Slips for Tyson Foods – For the first quarter, Tyson Foods had net income of $467 million. That’s down from $509 million in the same time last year. Higher earnings were seen for Tyson’s prepared foods, beef and chicken business segments.
TruCarbon Creates a New Revenue Stream for Farmers – A Land O’Lakes subsidiary has launched the first and only farmer-owned carbon program. Truterra Vice President Jason Weller says TruCarbon is selling carbon credits to the private sector. “When folks hear about carbon, they immediately go to climate change and what happens with carbon emissions. There is now a new market where companies are interested in offsetting their carbon emissions by paying farmers to remove carbon from the atmosphere.” This program creates a new revenue stream for farmers. “There’s a way now for them to be compensated for their great soil stewardship.” Microsoft has been secured as the first buyer for the TruCarbon credits.
Brazilian Sugar/Ethanol Mills Sold – Louis Dreyfus’ sugar and ethanol subsidiary, Bioserve, is being sold to a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shel and Cosan South America. This joint venture will pay $670 million and offer preferred shares to Bioserve investors. The 35 mills in this deal can easily shift from sugar to ethanol production.
Delaney Moves to Senate Ag Committee – Patrick Delaney is the new director of external affairs for the Senate Agriculture Committee. In this role, Delaney will oversee coalition building and stakeholder outreach. Previously, Delaney was the chief spokesperson for House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson and handled policy communications for the American Soybean Association.
Fischbach Names District Director – Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach has named Ben Anderson as her district director. Most recently, Anderson was a regional director for the University of Minnesota Extension Service. Previously, Anderson worked at USDA, the House Agriculture Committee and the staff of Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman.
Barbre Starts at MyAgData on March 1 – Former USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre is the new chief executive officer of MyAgData. The company’s founder and current CEO, Deb Casurella, will take over as the chief operating officer. Barbre previously served as president of the National Corn Growers Association.
Corteva Searching for a New CFO – Corteva’s chief financial officer, Greg Friedman, plans to retire. Friedman will stay in that role while the search is underway. Meanwhile, an activist investor called Starboard Value has been pressuring Corteva CEO Jim Collins to step down. This investment group claims Corteva’s profits have been inadequate.
New Communications Director for NBB – Liz McCune is the new director of communications for the National Biodiesel Board. McCune has been the associate director of communications at the University of Missouri.
ACE Elects Officer Team – Dave Sovereign from Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa is the new president of the American Coalition for Ethanol. Tony Knecht of Redfield Energy in Redfield, South Dakota is vice president. Ron Alverson of Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota is treasurer and Chris Wilson of Mid-Missouri Energy in Malta Bend, Missouri is the board secretary. Chris Studer of East River Electric Cooperative of Madison, South Dakota and John Christianson of Christianson PLLP in Willmar are new members of the ACE board.
New Cattlemen’s Beef Board Officer Team – The Cattlemen’s Beef Board elected new officers at the 2021 Winter Meeting held virtually. Colorado rancher Hugh Sanburg is chairman, along with Norman Voyles, Jr. of Indiana as vice chair and Jimmy Taylor of Oklahoma as secretary/treasurer.
Dairy Promotion Board Members Elected – Dairy Management Inc, National Dairy Promotion and Research Board and United Dairy Industry Association have elected board officers. Farmers from the tri-state area are serving in leadership, including Deb Vander Koi of Worthington, Minnesota as the treasurer of DMI. UDIA officers include First Vice Chairman Allen Merrill of Parker, South Dakota and Treasurer Charles Krause of Buffalo, Minnesota.
Ogdahl Wins NDFB Discussion Meet – Billy Ogdahl of Milnor, North Dakota won the NDFB Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet at the Farm and Ranch Conference this past weekend in Bismarck. This contest is an exchange of ideas and information on issues in agriculture among participants. Other finalists included Aspen Lenning of Plaza, Aaron Subart of Robinson, and Anna Lemm of Hillsboro. Ogdahl will compete in the national contest next year in Atlanta, Georgia.
Last Week’s Trivia- Apple Jacks is the Kellogg’s brand cereal that is described as a ‘crunchy, sweetened, multi-grain cereal with apple and cinnamon.’ Anna Kemmer of the Southeast Region Career and Technical Center scoops up first place honors in our trivia contest. Worthington Tractor Parts President Mike Winter, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading and Badger farmer Shane Isane earn runner-up honors. Special recognition also goes to Al Juliuson of Juliuson Partnership Farms, Jacob Downing of Cargill, Jim Altringer of CHS Dakota Plains Ag, Kevin Schulz of Dakota Farmer/Nebraska Farmer, Crookston farmer Ron Lanctot, Craig Kemmet of Kemmet Farms, Karlstad farmer Justin Dagen, Sarah Kolell of Rabo AgriFinance, retired controller Evonne Wold, Keith Bjorneby of Lone Wolf Farms.
This Week’s Trivia-What U.S. fast food chicken restaurant chain has more locations in China than any other restaurant? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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FarmNetNews is a production of the Red River Farm Network. RRFN is based in Grand Forks, North Dakota and provides news to farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.