A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, February 27, 2023
Reporting Agriculture’s Business-Turn to the Red River Farm Network for the latest news on agricultural markets, weather and farm policy. Topics addressed in this week’s e-newsletter include the USDA Ag Outlook Conference, the International Crop Expo and the happenings in Bismarck, St. Paul and Pierre. If you know someone who would benefit from FarmNetNews, have them contact RRFN and we’ll get you added.
Significant Drop in Farm Income Forecast – Net farm income was at record high levels the past two years. That trend is not expected to continue this year, “but the expectation is it will still be an above average year.” USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer spoke at the Ag Outlook Conference and said net farm income is expected to top $150 billion this year. That would be down 23 percent from this past year.
Record Trade Deficit – USDA is forecasting a record agricultural trade deficit of $14.5 billion. The Agriculture Department blames the value of the U.S. dollar for the negative trade balance. Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman said this forecast is not unexpected given the Biden Administration’s lack of attention on trade. Boozman emphasized the need to open new markets, expand existing markets and demand trading partners follow the rules of the trade agreements.
Trade Must Be Based in Science – A series of meetings are scheduled between the United States and Mexico on the proposed ban on biotech corn. If Mexico doesn’t change its position, the U.S. will activate the dispute settlement process through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made that point at the USDA Ag Outlook Forum. “This is not a situation that lends itself to a compromise,” said Vilsack. “You need a science-based, rules-based system and if you begin to inject things that are not based in science, it is a very slipperly slope.”
China Seeks End of the War – China is calling for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. A document was released Friday seeking a settlement in this war. A dozen recommendations are part of this paper, including efforts to facilitate grain exports out of the Black Sea region.
Ukrainian Logistical Costs Rise – According to NDSU Distinguished Professor of Agribusiness and Applied Economics Bill Wilson, the logistical costs out of Ukrainian ports have doubled. “Pre-war logistics from farm to Odessa, were $31 per ton, which were the lowest logistics cost in world agriculture. Post-war, the range is $70 through Odessa, which doesn’t leave much for the farmer.” The increased costs for Ukrainian farmers are negatively impacting production. Wilson was featured at the USDA Ag Outlook Forum.
Register for NCI Market Outlook Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Market Update: Special Edition webinar on Wednesday at 8 AM. The special edition will feature Jacob Shapiro, partner and director of Geopolitical Analysis at Cognitive Investments. Shapiro’s webinar is titled ‘GeoPolitics: Navigating Uncertainty in 2023.’ Topics will include what will happen next in the Russian-Ukraine war, where China goes after reopening, a geopolitical hotspot tour of Brazil, Iran and Turkey and what unexpected happenings will take place in the next three-to-four weeks. Go online for more information and to register.
Additional WOTUS Lawsuits Filed – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of business groups from Kentucky are suing the Biden Administration over the new Waters of the United States rule. The plaintiffs claim WOTUS creates “needless uncertainty and endless red tape.” This follows the filing of lawsuits by 24 states and others impacted by new rule.
Agriculture Pinched by Labor Shortage – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed the USDA Ag Outlook Forum Thursday. “The pandemic put a spotlight on agriculture’s workforce and highlighted labor instability, irregular migration and the need for increased labor protections.” Vilsack says by addressing labor shortages, the United States can put resiliency back into the supply chain.
Interest Rate Decisions – Minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting earlier this month have been released. This information suggests the Fed may take a slower pace with its interest rate increases. Another quarter point increase is expected when the Fed meets in late March.
An Early Dry Season For Brazil – At the CHS Hedging Virtual Grain Summit, DTN/Progressive Farmer Senior Ag Meteorologist John Baranick said South America continues to struggle with weather as they fall behind with second crop corn planting. “We’re actually forecasting increased temperatures and an earlier start to the dry season across central Brazil. Concerns are abounding.” Argentina and Southern Brazil continue to see exceptionally dry conditions as well.
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 the cattle-on-feed report was friendly to the market. Soybean meal values are also strong, due to a poor Argentine soybean crop. Wheat remains on the bearish side of the equation.
Crop Insurance Deadlines and Considerations – March 15 is the deadline to elect crop insurance coverage. MinnStar Bank Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse says now is the time to analyze risk and consider important questions. “There’s a lot of drought potential even though we’re getting a lot of snow or if we have lower prices down the line, how much risk am I willing to stand?” Optional units may be an important tool to mitigate potential losses rather than enterprise units. “If you farm a lot of different farms with different risks, optional units are an additional cost, but can really enhance your coverage.” Thiesse says helpful resources are available from the Risk Management Agency, University of Illinois, Kansas State University and Iowa State University. Listen to the interview.
Get a Handle on Crop Insurance Options – Ihry Insurance agent Reed Ihry encourages farmers to get in touch with their county Farm Service Agency office and their crop insurance agent to get a handle on the best options for their operation. “We like to meet with our customers to discuss whether the Supplemental Coverage Option or the Enhanced Coverage Option fits. The issue is if you select SCO on top of your revenue policy, you have to do PLC at the county office.” Guarantees are almost locked in for the spring pricing period and are in line with year ago numbers.
Fielding Questions – The Fielding Questions podcast is a presentation of AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the Red River Farm Network. The crop insurance deadline is fast approaching. The Supplemental Coverage Option and Enhanced Coverage Option are outlined in this podcast, featuring AgCountry Senior Insurance Specialist Nick Dreyer.
Crop Values Rise – Minnesota crops were valued at $17 billion in 2022, up 13 percent from the previous year. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates North Dakota crop production values at $11.2 billion, up 27 percent. In South Dakota, the value of crop production last year was just under $9 billion. That’s a five percent increase from 2021.
Corn Matters – Applications for the Minnesota Department of Ag Soil Health Grant Program are due March 20. Hear more from Minnesota Corn Growers Association Past President Byran Biegler in the latest Corn Matters.
Little Frost in the Ground – A December snowstorm may get the credit for a more timely start to this year’s planting season. According to North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison, there isn’t much frost in the ground. The December storm was challenging, but the early layer of insulation could deliver a net benefit this spring. “Instead of using a lot of energy this spring to get rid of all that frost in the soil, that energy will be used to warm up the soil and will warm up the atmosphere a little bit.”
Red River Retention Authority Seek Improvements to Watershed Program – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven met with the Red River Retention Authority virtually to discuss farm bill priorities. The group asked for updates to the Watershed Protection and Flood Reduction Act, which authorizes USDA to help local units of government to plan and implement watershed projects. RRRA Executive Director Keith Weston highlighted current issues with outdated project parameters. “I just wanted to bring to light that that’s a great program, but it maybe needs to have some updates in dollars, approval limits, and acre foot storage.” Hoeven said he hopes to work with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to make amendments that would address these concerns.
Investing in Water Management – This is a bonding year for the Minnesota Legislature. The Red River Watershed Management Board is seeking funding for nine projects. “We’re looking for about $73 million and if we can get these done we’ll have another 100,000 acre feet of new water storage on the landscape,” said Rob Sip, executive director, RRWMB. Inflation has driven these costs higher. “Last year, if we were to get funding for the same projects it would have cost $47 million to $50 million; now that number is closer to $73 million.” The Red River Farm Network broadcast from the RRWMB/Flood Damage Reduction Working Group joint conference in Moorhead.
Job Opportunities in Agriculture – Check out the Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the Red RIver Farm Network website. True North Equipment has a Corporate Service Manager position open with competitive pay and fantastic benefits. AURI and R.O. Offutt Farms also have positions available. Contact email@example.com to find out how your business can fill key positions.
Beet Stock Values – Last week, there were 76 American Crystal Sugar Company beet shares brokered for an average price of $4,462.50 per share. On a weekly basis, Acres & Shares compiles sales from the three beet stock brokers and provides a snapshot of the trading activity.
Corporate Farming Law Change Approved in ND House – The North Dakota House voted 70-24 to make changes to the corporate farming law with hopes of expanding animal agriculture in the state. The North Dakota Farmers Union opposed previous attempts at changing these rules, but took a nuetral stance with HB 1371. NDFU worked with other groups to include amendments limiting the number of shareholders and requiring the majority of shareholders to be operators.
Animal Agriculture Opportunities on the Horizon – The North Dakota Legislature is in recess until Wednesday. During the second half of the session, the Senate will consider legislation to change the state’s corporate farming law. Senate Agriculture and Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Larry Luick said something needs to be done to expand animal agriculture. Projects are apparently ready to go once the corporate farming law is amended. “We heard there are three (projects) that are waiting at the door on the east side of the state,” said Luick. “From what I was told, there’s three different companies that want to start construction immediately as soon as they have the okay to do so.”
Zoning Compromise – A compromise bill was put together during the first part of the North Dakota legislative session to adjust zoning regulations for animal agriculture projects. House Agriculture Committee Chair Paul Thomas explained House Bill 1423. “Our current state law of zoning by miles compares to our surrounding states that zone in feet,” said Thomas. “We’re bringing our state closer to an environment that wants to encourage animal agriculture, but we certainly are not taking away any unreasonable rights of residents that live in the country that don’t want a larger animal operation close to their place.” This bill passed the House with a 76-17 vote and will now go onto the Senate.
Ag Friendly – State Board of Agricultural Research and Education Chair Sarah Lovas says the future of House Bill 1010 looks bright for education as it moves to the North Dakota Senate. “This Legislature really sees agriculture as such a critical industry for North Dakota,” said Lovas. “Compensation packages for state employees is really important so we can recruit and retain talented scientists and educators.” This bill also seeks a replacement for Waldron Hall on the NDSU campus, which houses agronomics research.
Foreign Ban on Farmland Ownership – A bill banning foreign governments from owning agricultural land has passed unanimously in the North Dakota House. This issue came to a head with the proposed Fufeng corn wet milling project in Grand Forks. This project was sidelined due to its Chinese ownership and a possible risk to national security. An amendment was approved, allowing foreign-owned companies to own agricultural land to be used for research and field trials. Representative Craig Headland, who is a farmer from Montpelier, explained the amendment. “Most of the larger ag chemical companies are already foreign owned and in order for them to do their research here and limit their liability, they’ve bought property.”
An Even Split for Corn Checkoff Funds – The North Dakota House passed a bill that would create an equal distribution of funds between the state corn growers association and the state checkoff council. Bismarck Representative Brandon Prichard said the corn growers group now receives six percent of checkoff funds while the promotion and research council receives the rest. “The growers (group) is the advocacy and education wing of the industry and the ag committee feels a fair distribution of funds is necessary.” Prichard cited precedence with the North Dakota Grain Growers Association and North Dakota Wheat Commission. Representative Jared Hagert, who farms at Emerado, is a past chairman of the United Soybean Board and offered his perspective. “Fifty percent distribution might sound fair, but it really isn’t fair especially to the group that does research and promotion.”
ND Leg Report – The North Dakota Legislature is in recess until Wednesday when the second half of the session begins. In this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report, House Agriculture Committee Vice Chair Mike Beltz recaps the work done over the past two months.
Bonding Bill Advances – The Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee has approved a $1.9 billion bonding bill. This bill includes $146 million for local roads and bridges. This bill is scheduled to go next to the House Ways and Means Committee.
MFU Minute – Minnesota Farmers Union Government Director Stu Lourey joins us to discuss Lobby Day in St.Paul. Hear more in this week’s MFU Minute.
SD Foreign Ownership of Land Bill Defeated – With a 23-11 vote, the South Dakota Senate rejected a bill dealing with foreign ownership of agricultural land. Governor Kristi Noem proposed this legislation. It would have established a seven-member board to review applications from foreign entities to purchase land in the state. The board would make its recommendations to the governor. Many of the South Dakota farm groups were opposed to the bill, saying it gave too much control to the governor.
Foreign Ownership Disclosure Bill Advances – The South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee has approved a bill requiring foreign entities to disclose any agricultural land ownership in the state. Governor Kristi Noem proposed a different approach to ban foreign ownership of farm land, but that bill was voted down in the full Senate.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Growers Association President Dave Ellens talks about agriculture’s role in U.S. history as we celebrate President’s Day.
BSE Confirmed in Brazil – Due to the confirmation of a case of BSE, Brazilian beef sales to China have been suspended. This appears to be an atypical case, meaning the disease appears spontaneously in nature. The suspension is expected to be a temporary situation while the case is being investigated.
Cattle Contract Library is Active – Cattle producers have a new tool to gain insight into cattle markets. USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Associate Deputy Administrator Taylor Cox says the new online cattle contract library pilot program is operational. “This library showcases the most heavily used premiums and discounts and we plan to expand on that as we understand more of the contracts.” USDA is seeking input from cattle producers on whether the contract is user-friendly. This pilot project is set to expire in September, but Congress could make it permanent.
MN Beef Update – The Minnesota Beef Council’s Local Producer Promotion Program was created to give producers funds to promote beef. Join us in the latest Minnesota Beef Update to hear from the Minnesota Beef Council Director of Industry Relations Jon Dilworth.
A Supportive COF Report – As of February 1, the number of cattle and calves on feed was down four percent from one year ago. January placements declined four percent and marketings were up four percent. This would be considered a slightly bullish report. January placements were eight percent higher than last year in South Dakota and Minnesota. Marketings rose nine percent in Minnesota and ten percent in South Dakota.
A Bullish Bull Market – North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Environmental Service Director Scott Ressler works as a ringman for seedstock sales across the region. Ressler says the bull prices have been good. “The power bulls bring top dollar, but there’s been a lot of interest in heifer bulls so there might be a lot of bred heifers to hit the market in the next year.” Ressler says there’s been a few “barn burner sales” and the bull market has been higher than the last couple of years. “It’s following the calf market and it seems that way across all breeds.”
Herd Rebuilding May Take a Backseat – The dry conditions last fall have made farmers and ranchers leery of a future drought. Sterling Marketing Group President John Nalivka says livestock producers are still cautious about restocking and herd rebuilding might not happen in 2023. “The problem is even with drought relief, that’s not long-term conditions for supporting economics for herd rebuilding.” Grazing resources could get slim if pastures need a rest year after hard grazing. Hay prices have been very high for the past two years due to high demand and low supply. High costs have made it particularly hard for cattle producers to depend on purchased forage. “If you feed hay for too long, the profitability of that operation could be significantly impacted.”
Milk Production Edges Higher – Milk production in the 24 major dairy states totaled 18.5 billion pounds in January. That’s up 1.5 percent from January of last year. Minnesota milk production increased 1.1 percent. South Dakota’s milk output rose more than nine percent. Minnesota’s dairy herd declined by 1,000 cows in the past year. Meanwhile, an additional 17,000 cows were added in South Dakota.
Plant-Based Confusion – The Food and Drug Administration has announced draft recommendations for plant-based foods. It will continue to allow plant-based food industry to use dairy terms, such as soy milk. The National Milk Producers Federation said the FDA guidance recognizes plant-based beverages do not have the nutritional value found in dairy products. However, NMPF remains upset with the labeling confusion.
More Than Cows, Plows, and Sows – Hailey Maddock is currently serving as North Dakota State FFA Vice President. Maddock says FFA runs in her blood. “It’s always been a family thing. My parents were very involved in FFA and my dad was a state FFA president.” Maddock is impressed with how diverse FFA has become within the learning opportunities from activities or other members. The youth organization is more than cows, plows, and sows. “It’s not all homed in on agriculture anymore. The horizon of different areas you can learn from is absolutely mind-blowing.” Click here for the full interview.
FFA: Forming the Foundation – South Dakota Soybean Association Executive Director Jerry Schmitz hails from the Elk Point FFA Chapter in the southeastern corner of the state. Schmitz says giving back to the community was a highlight of his FFA career. “We did a number of things for the community including projects in Elk Point. The more I learned in FFA, the more excited I got.” Schmitz served on the 1974-1975 South Dakota State FFA officer team and credits his time in the blue jacket for giving him the skills to succeed in his career path. “One thing that really stands out to me is the things that I learned in FFA, such as the conduct of meetings, how to do things efficiently, and being comfortable speaking publicly, those things are the foundation of what I do today.” View the full interview here.
Cultivating a Passion for Learning – FFA cultivated a passion about agriculture education for Keith Olander. Now serving as AgCentric’s executive director, Olander’s years in the blue jacket were spent at Staples, Minnesota where he served in leadership at the chapter and regional level. FFA is a great way to experience new things with less financial commitment than you have later in life. During his years spent as an advisor, Olander drove that message home to his students. “I encouraged my students to try new things. At the high school level in FFA, you can try things really at no cost. You get a chance to say I’ll never do that again or you find things that you really love to do.” It’s important to not just be a member, but to really get involved. “Don’t just sit there. The more involvement you have, the more payoff it’ll have over your lifetime.” Listen to the interview.
A Life Dedicated to the Future of Agriculture – Napoleon FFA Advisor Brian Schneider has been an FFA advisor for 37 years and during that time, thousands of students have passed through his classroom. “We’ve had around 140 state championships in teams and individuals,” said Schneider. “I’ve worked with a lot of amazing students. The one common thread would be their leadership abilities, drive and work ethic; I’ve had hundreds of those students.” Click here for the interview.
FFA Paves the Way for Global Travels – Chris Howard hailed from the Miller FFA Chapter in South Dakota. Howard comes from a strong agriculture community and joining FFA seemed like a natural fit. Howard says his FFA travels took him all around the globe. My SAE of swine production took me to national convention more than once and to Costa Rica as a national proficiency winner.” Howard currently is an alumni member and acts as the building superintendent of the FFA Ag Adventure Center at the South Dakota State Fair. “Our Ag Adventure Center helps not only inform the public but makes them more comfortable around agriculture. My favorite part of the FFA is being able to show people a new experience in agriculture.” You can find the full interview here.
Credit to the FFA – Butler Machinery Used Agriculture Equipment Manager Brock Saewert followed a long line of farmily members who were part of the FFA. “My biggest milestone was getting my American degree that less than one percent of FFA members achieve.” Saewert served as the North Dakota State FFA Secretary from 2015-2016. The former Kindred FFA member credits FFA for developing his public speaking and communication skills. “I think every day I use skills I learned in FFA in my personal and my professional life. I owe a lot of my success to my time spent in FFA.” Click here to listen to the full interview.
‘Intro to Ag’ Leads to Life Long Skills – FFA is no stranger to young entrepreneurship and ambition. Since graduating from Fertile-Beltrami High School, Britton McGregor has attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston pursuing a degree in Agriculture Education. At the same time, McGregor started a photography and videography business and is farming with her husband. “I don’t know if I’d be where I am without FFA because before 7th grade, I didn’t even know what agriculture meant. FFA has taught me so much not just about agriculture, but about real life skills.” McGregor will finish her student teaching in Thief River Falls this spring. She encourages students to engage fully in the opportunities offered by the FFA. Listen to the full interview here.
Soy Crush Ramps Up – There’s been a rush of investment into soy crush plants. In a soybean market webinar, CHS Vice President North America Grain Marketing Chris Pothen said soybean meal and oil demand is increasing. “We see a two-to-three percent growth globally on soybean meal (and) renewable diesel plants are going up around the U.S., which means more soy crush coming online.”
MN Wheat Minute – The Cover Crop Cafe talks are starting up once again. Tune in to On-Farm Research Coordinator Melissa Carlson in the latest MN Wheat Minute to find out more.
Avoiding Future Fertilizer Supply Problems – When Russia invaded Ukraine one year ago, fertilizer supplies were impacted. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Administration is taking steps to avoid future supply shocks. During the Ag Outlook Forum, Vilsack highlighted 21 projects to increase fertilizer efficiency. Sustainability was also discussed with Vilsack saying some parts of the country are “over fertilizing.”
Improving Fertilizer Efficiency – Soil health is an important step in improving fertilizer efficiency. Helena agronomist Steven McKechnie says a lot of biological products are being promoted for fertilizer efficiency. “Biologicals tend to have probelms with consistency but the industry is getting better as we produce more of them,” said McKechnie. “Don’t sell the whole farm to go nuts on something but try some new things.” McKechnie says science supports the use of biologicals, but growers can also take a more traditional route. “You can utilize something like a humic substance to help promote microbial growth that will allow for better nutrient availability in your soils.” McKechnie was a speaker at the International Crop Expo.
Soil Fertility Minute – On this week’s Soil Fertility Minute, University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialist Fabian Fernandez joins us to talk about timing of urea application. The Soil Fertility Minute is sponsored by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council.
Used Machinery Market Holds Strong – The inventory of new farm equipment remains tight. Steffes Group President Scott Steffes says that trend has kept the used equipment market strong. “Our expectations of the supply chain improving just hasn’t come to market yet,” said Steffes. “If you can find a piece of machinery that fits your needs and you can afford it, you pretty much have to buy it; there’s just not a lot of choices out there right now.”
Preparation Prevents Delays – While the supply chain issues seen in the last couple years have declined, lessons can be learned from that experience. New Holland Parts and Service Product Marketing Manager Jim Franceschetti says being prepared for on-the-spot repairs can keep you in the field when it’s most important. “Thinking ahead to have parts that wear on hand, and talking to your dealer about enhancements now can make your operation run more efficiently.”
AURI Update – The 2023 New Uses Forum is coming up on April 11. Learn more in this AURI Update with Director of Government and Industry Relations Dan Skogen.
The Carbon Conundrum – Anheuser-Busch is buckling down on the sustainability initiatives established in 2018. Anheuser-Busch U.S. Director of Agronomy Nikki Zahradka-Bylin says these efforts revolve around water, packaging, and equipment CO2 emissions. There’s also a Smart Agriculture program in place to help farmers become more sustainable in their practices. “We offer our growers crop protocols on different varieties to help them become financially empowered.” Zahradka-Bylin was part of the North Dakota Farmers Union Evolution Ag Summit in Jamestown.
TransFARMation: Goehring Reflects on Agriculture’s Mental Health – From the uncertainties of weather to high input costs, farming and ranching remains a high stress occupation. In the latest edition of the TransFARMation podcast, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring discusses the stress and anxiety found in agriculture today. The triple murder suicide in North Dakota’s Towner County hit home for many folks and still having an impact today. Goehring also recognizes the North Dakota Department of Agriculture Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network for providing additional resources.
Life Saving Learning – NDSU Extension hosted a learning session about first aid at the International Crop Expo. Grand Forks County Extension Agent Katelyn Landeis said this was a hands-on learning opportunity. “Think about where farmers are at, they’re out in rural areas. Help may be far away so knowing where that first aid kit is and how to use it can really be life saving.” Healthcare professionals from Sanford Health and Altru assisted with the learning session.
Income Up for Mosaic – The Mosaic Company recorded net farm income of $3.6 billion for the fiscal year. That’s up 120 percent from 2021. Company officials cited favorable agricultural markets and low cost phosphate for the annual results.
Valmont Financials Released – Valmont Industries reports operating income of $109.7 million in the fourth quarter. That’s up from $50.8 million one year ago. Net sales topped $1 billion and were a fourth quarter record.
Calyxt and Cibus Are Merging – Calyxt is a plant-based synthetic biology company and Cibus is a leader in precision gene editing in agriculture. The combined company have the ability to deliver two applications for gene editing; productivity traits and renewable low-carbon ingredients. Once the deal is closed, the new company will be renamed Cibus Inc. The current Cibus management team will lead the new organization with Rory Riggs assuming the role of board chair and CEO. Corporate headquarters will be in San Diego, but the Calyxt offices, lab and breeding facilities in Roseville, Minnesota will remain operational.
Canola Minute – In this week’s Canola Minute, Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman discusses a new project focused on winter canola.
Strategic Partnership – UPL and AgBiTech have expanded their strategic partnership. UPL will now distribute AgBiTech’s entire portfolio of bioinsecticides through its Natural Plant Protection business.
Thunder Seed-Meristem Team Up – Thunder Seed has selected Meristem Crop Performance as its marketing partner for specialty crop inputs including the BIOCAPSULE and MICROBILIZE biological delivery systems.
Dry Bean Scene – Northarvest Bean Growers Association Finance Director Jennifer Hansen talks about Northarvest’s involvement during the North Dakota Living Ag Classroom events. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
KWS Awarded for Innovation in Agriculture – As part of its 1 Million Thanks awards program, Emerging Prairie presented KWS Seeds with its Grand Farm Champion Award. KWS has a partnership with Grand Farm to test technologies in a real-world environment.
Caskey Named CEO of NCGA – Neil Caskey has been tapped to lead the National Corn Growers Association as its new CEO. Caskey served as NCGA’s vice president of communications and industry relations and previously worked for the American Soybean Association and on Capitol Hill. “I look forward to forging full-speed ahead and pushing for wins on some of our top issues, like the Next Generation Fuels Act, fighting Mexico’s ban on GM corn and securing reauthorization of the farm bill.”
Johnson, Craig Leading Biofuels Caucus – A bipartisan biofuels caucus has been relaunched for this session of Congress. South Dakota Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson and Minnesota Democratic Representative Angie Craig are co-chairing this caucus.
MFBF Hires Communications Specialist – Emma Wielinski is the new communications specialist for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation. Wielinski previously worked for Land O’Lakes.
Last Week’s Trivia-George Washington is the president that owned the Mount Vernon plantation. Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Kristal Rick of MAGNO Seed, Paul Sproule of Sproule Farms, Lee Hutchinson of Farm Credit Services of Mandan and Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio. The ‘first 20’ includes Mark Mettler of PreferredOne, Dianne Bettin of LB Pork, Ada farmer John Brainard, Pete Carson of Carson Farms, Crookston farmer Tim Dufault, retired Grand Forks County Extension Agent Morrie Davidson, Barry Walton of BW Farms, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Brian Langeland of Syngenta/Golden Harvest Seed, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Erin Nash of National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management and Michael Rose of Grand Forks.
This Week’s Trivia-What vintage snowmobile brand featured the Liquifire, JDX8, Trailfire, 300 and Cyclone models? Hint: this well known agricultural brand only produced snowmobiles from 1972 to 1984. 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.