A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, February 03, 2020
Taking You to the Story – The Red River Farm Network team will be on the road this week to San Antonio and Orlando. RRFN will broadcast from the Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Texas and the American Sugarbeet Growers Association annual meeting in Orlando. In addition, RRFN will be at a sugarbeet meeting later today and at the North Dakota Corn and Soybean Expo Tuesday. You’ll also see RRFN at the West Otter Tail Country Crop and Forage Show, the Best of the Best meeting, the Central Dakota Ag Show and a crop insurance meeting.
Coronavirus Continues to Spread – As of Sunday, more than 17,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed and 361 people have died in China. That fatality rate is now higher than what was seen during the SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003. Millions of people are under lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. Major airlines have suspended flight service to China and many businesses remain closed. Chinese markets reopened this morning after the New Year break and went down sharply.
China Seeking Flexibility on Phase One Deal – According to a Bloomberg report, Chinese officials are hoping the U.S. will agree to flexibility on pledges in the phase one trade deal. This comes as the country is working on containing coronavirus outbreaks. There have been more than 17,000 confirmed cases, with more than 360 deaths. The phase one trade agreement between the U.S. and China was signed on January 15 and is expected to take effect in mid-February.
China Could Still Be in the Market for U.S. Pork – Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes says African swine fever and the recent trade agreements with China, Mexico and Canada are positive for U.S. pork exports. “In November 2019, China was the largest buyer of U.S. pork. We hope to see that continue,” says Hayes. “The demand is there, but it isn’t making its way into live hog prices yet. U.S. pork production is growing, in part, because people are anticipating big exports and good prices. We’re going to have a real problem with packing plant capacity in the fall.” Hayes the coronavirus may make a slight impact on China’s pork consumption, but he thinks China will still need U.S. pork. Hayes was part of the Minnesota Pork Congress.
Trump Signs the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement – Farmers and ranchers surrounded President Donald Trump at the White House as he signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Wednesday. Other industries, U.S. lawmakers and officials from Mexico and Canada were in attendance. “They said it was too complicated, too big and it couldn’t be done. We got it done,” said Trump. “We’re finally ending the NAFTA nightmare and signing into law the brand new USMCA.” Trump went on to say the agreement is a breakthrough for American agriculture. “Canada will finally provide greater access for American dairy. It (the USMCA) will grow annual exports to our neighbors by an estimated $315 million,” he said. “Poultry exports to Canada are expected to rise by at least 50 percent and egg exports could increase by 500 percent. Canada will finally give fair treatment to American grown wheat.” The Canadian parliament now needs to ratify the agreement. Watch the signing ceremony.
Next Up, Canada – On the day President Trump signed the USMCA, Canadian lawmakers began the ratification process for the same trade deal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is in the minority and will need help from others to pass the updated trade agreement. Trudeau said he hoped it will move through parliament “responsibly and rapidly.”
USMCA is a “Big Deal” for U.S. Wheat Industry – U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson attended Wednesday’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement signing ceremony. “It was a nice cap off for 2.5 years of very painful negotiations. The USMCA is a big deal for us in the U.S. wheat industry. It caused some heartburn during the course of the negotiations, but we are glad to have this done.” Peterson says USMCA puts U.S. wheat back on a level playing field. “Mexico was a little bit insulted from the politics surrounding the trade negotiations. We had to do some rebuilding to get the trust and the marketplace back together,” says Peterson. “We’ve been able to do that and now, we’re back on square footing. In fact, we’re having one of our best years in Mexico in terms of wheat sales.” The USMCA allows tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat to flour millers in Mexico and gives progress for more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the Canadian border, clarifying grading treatments.
Dry Bean Scene – The signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is receiving praise from the dry bean industry. Learn more from U.S. Dry Bean Council in this week’s Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
USMCA Stabilizes Potato Trading Relationship – The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is considered positive for the U.S. potato industry. Ratification of the agreement is still needed by Canada. “We anticipate Canada will do that relatively quickly. Then, things will turn to simply implementing the agreement, ensuring the terms of the new USMCA are followed,” says Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council. “The big one for us is beyond the tariffs. We are very optimistic we’re going to be able to push forward in getting fresh potato market access to Mexico. That’s been a long running battle for the U.S. potato industry.”
MN Corn Matters – Corn growers were on Capitol Hill for the signing of the U.S.-Mexco-Canada Agreement. Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Les Anderson shares more in this edition of Corn Matters.
MN Hog Farmer Attends USMCA Signing Ceremony – Easton, Minnesota hog farmer Lori Stevermer left the Minnesota Pork Congress early to witness the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement signing in Washington D.C. She says the USMCA provides market certainty for U.S. pork producers. “Canada and Mexico are two big export markets for us. To have the certainty of exports with them and trade without tariffs provides good certainty for the future.”
Still Waiting for the MFP 2.3 Payment – The Trump Administration was expected to announce the third traunche of Market Facilitation Program payments in late January. The calendar has now turned to February and there’s been no announcement. President Donald Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have said the payments are coming, but the timeline is not known.
Local Farmers Discuss Quality Challenges at USDA – USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey, Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and local farmers met in Washington D.C. last week to discuss updates to crop insurance and disaster aid. Quality problems challenged North Dakota farmers at harvest. Local farm groups like the North Dakota Grain Growers Association would like to see crop insurance discounts align with quality issues. They are also seeking a quality adjustment for the WHIP plus program. Northey says it can be a challenge to manage quality losses. “Which can be very different between producers and region to region. It’s especially different when you have lots of quality problems. It’s hard to get a discount table and crop insurance to match up when we have a year like this year.” The USDA is gathering more information, contemplating formulas and the differences of each region. “We’re still trying to investigate the possibilities to try and figure out what’s easiest for producers and also, what is fair.” According to North Dakota Grain Growers Association President Dennis Haugen, one takeaway from the meeting is that if farmers don’t get corn harvested, that ground will still be eligible for prevent plant in 2020. Conversations will continue this week.
ND Farmers Continue Quality Discussions – According to lobbyist Jim Callan, it wasn’t just the North Dakota Grain Growers Association who met with USDA last week. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association also met with USDA leaders on Thursday to discuss quality and prevent plant. “One of the key issues for corn farmers is if they’ll be able to claim prevent planting for 2020, when they have their 2019 crop still in the field Their general answer is yes, but it will determined on a case-by-case basis. We believe that was promising to hear.” When it comes to quality, Callan says the USDA will need to determine the formula for the WHIP plus program. The Risk Management Agency is developing a quality loss option for crop insurance, potentially taking effect in 2021. Callan says the North Dakota Grain Growers Association will be back in Washington D.C. this week to discuss quality loss formulas more in detail. “We’re meeting with the North Dakota Congressional delegation, Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre and the Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce. We’re going to make the rounds again and touch on the key issues.”
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Market – In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Market, Advance Trading senior risk management advisor Tommy Grisafi discusses market volatility, coronavirus and crop insurance.
USCHI Meets in Hot Springs, Arkansas – In conjunction with the U.S. Custom Harvesters Convention, the U.S. Custom Harvesters Incorporated directors met on Friday. State meetings followed. The state meetings allow custom harvesters to discuss regional issues. USCHI board member Dane Dolechek says the state meetings are an important way to keep other harvesters abreast of the latest state regulations. “Members can dive into issues on a more personal level.” USCHI says they are careful to listen to vendors. USCHI board member Raph Jolliffe says the board actively seeks ways to improve the show. “We had a decent turnout. The vendors were down a little, but coming down to Hot Springs, Arkansas, we still consider it a good turnout.”
Electronic Logging Devices and Ag Labor Priorities for USCHI – Herington, Kansas-based forage cutter Rana Zeller says Electronic Logging Devices is a top priority for the U.S. Custom Harvesters Incorporated. “The big thing our members are concerned about is Entry Level Driver Training, a drivers training coming up. We have new information about that regarding deadlines.” There are also discussions on agricultural labor. “The Department of Labor is looking at changing the H-2A program. Some of those changes could impact us negatively. We’re waiting on all of that to come out on what it will really mean for us. Labor is becoming more expensive. It’s an issue.” The Red River Farm Network’s convention coverage from Hot Springs, Arkansas is made possible by USCHI and AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Helping Solve Harvest Labor Challenges – Finding and keeping qualified labor is a challenge for some custom harvesters. Harvest Jobs U.S. co-founder Roy VanPelt is focusing on bringing custom harvesters and the U.S. labor force together. “In pre-screenings, I discovered applicants felt left out in the process, just like the harvesters were taking what they could get. We centralize the process where we can get employees and employers matched up well.”
Burgum Addresses Crop Challenges in State of the State Speech – According to North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum in the 2020 State of the State address, North Dakota is strong, growing and full of opportunity. “This isn’t about the state of the state in 2020 and we’re in fantastic shape, but it’s important to look ahead at the legacy decisions that will ensure prosperity for North Dakota in 2030 and 2040.” Burgum said the state’s finances are stable and reserves are being rebuilt. The Budget Stabilization Fund is expected to reach its statutory cap of $726.5 million by the end of the 2019-2021 biennium. Burgum also proposed investing the state legacy fund in infrastructure, property tax relief and legacy projects. That fund has a balance of $6.8 billion. Workforce development are a priority. Burgum mentioned agriculture in his reflection of 2019, noting the challenging fall. “This is the most amount of dollar values of crops that have been left standing in North Dakota. Billions of dollars of crop were unharvested this last year. We feel very fortunate President Trump approved our request for Presidential Disaster Declaration for 16 counties.” Burgum said the state is working to offer emergency disaster loans and funding to help agriculture families and spring flood risks are real. This is his fourth state of the state address.
Reducing Risk, Maximizing Revenue – In a depressed ag economy, farmers and ranchers are working on reducing risk and maximizing revenue. There are risk management options out there, and a standard crop insurance policy is one. Farm Credit Services of Mandan Assistant Vice President Eric Ehlis says whole farm revenue protection is another. “I think it’s a good option for certain producers to consider, especially in light of all the quality issues in the cereal grains this pas year,” says Ehlis. “In a lot of those cases, I think whole farm revenue insurance would’ve been good to have because it pays on a true revenue loss; it’s not truly a production element.” Ehlis adds government programs have an influence on crop insurance decisions. The lending side of the spectrum has seen the benefits of participation in USDA programs from a risk mitigation standpoint. These topics, along with others, will be points of discussion at the upcoming crop insurance meetings hosted by Farm Credit Services of Mandan. Additional seminars are on the schedule for February 5 in Beulah and February 6 in Washburn. Listen to the full RRFN interview.
Managing Risk – Crop insurance protects farmers against losses caused by crop failure. Ihry Insurance Agency agent Reed Ihry says that was certainly evident this past season. In addition, federal programs are available. “WHIP+ is based off of the multi-peril policy that you had so benefits you the higher you bought up in the past,” said Ihry. “We want to buy just as much multi-peril coverage level that you can handle; it costs more, but it covers more.” Ihry encourages growers to pay attention to deadlines for crop insurance and the farm programs. Ihry Insurance hosted meetings in Devils Lake, Hope and Hillsboro.
Planning Pays – NDSU Extension has released its 2020 short and long-term price projections for North Dakota. These planning prices can be used when preparing annual enterprise budgets and annual whole-farm cash flow projections. Compared to the historical average, the short-term forecast is lower for most commodities. The few exceptions would be for corn, winter wheat, dry beans and alfalfa. For livestock, the short-term outlook for slaughter hogs, slaughter lambs and milk is better than the historic average.
U.S. Cattle Herd is Starting to Contract – As of January 1, all cattle and calves in the U.S. totaled 94.4 million head. That is slightly below 94.8 million head one year ago. This Cattle Inventory Report from USDA was neutral to the marketplace, coming in one percent higher than pre-report estimates. All cows and heifers that have calved are at 40.7 million head, one percent lower than the previous year. The 2019 calf crop in the U.S. is estimated at 36.1 million head, down one percent from last year. View the report.
Closer to Calving Calls for a Nutrition Switch – As cows get closer to calving, nutritional requirements change. South Dakota State University Extension cow/calf specialist Olivia Amundson says that’s why nutrition should be a top priority prior to calving. It’s easier to stay ahead of the game than play catch up. “During the last trimester, that calf is doing some significant growth. Therefore, that cow needs to keep weight on and maintain a body condition score of five,” says Amundson. “Something else to point out is just the fetus alone adds about 100 pounds to that cow.” Once a calf hits the ground, ranchers should check a couple things. Colostrum can be frozen or commercially available. Calves need approximately 2 quarts within four hours of birth and one gallon within 12 hours. Listen to the full RRFN story and get more tips here.
Reporting Agriculture’s Business from Cattle Industry Convention – Stay with the Red River Farm Network for coverage of the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Antonio. As nearly 10,000 cattlemen and women will gather deep in the heart of Texas, you’ll hear reports from state and national leaders and get the latest information in the cattle business. The special Cattle Industry Convention reports are made possible by the North Dakota Beef Commission, the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association and AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Court Rules on Small Refinery Waivers – The U.S. Court of Appeals found the EPA’s approval of three small refinery waivers was illegal. The National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association and National Farmers Union are behind this lawsuit. North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne called this decision “a huge win for family farmers.” American Coalition of Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings says the ruling highlights how EPA “abused” the small refinery exemptions within the Renewable Fuel Standard.
MFU Minute – The federal court system recently ruled on small refinery waivers issues by the Environmental Protection Agency. Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish has more in this week’s MFU Minute.
ND Corn Harvest Progressing Slowly – North Dakota farmers are slowly making progress on corn harvest. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says at the end of January, corn harvest in North Dakota was 49 percent complete. That’s a slight increase from December. Muddy, snowy fields are causing delays. Wimbledon, North Dakota farmer Rob Hanson says some farmers are still trying to push through and make progress. “We tried it in late January and the moisture was in the 20 to 21 percentage range,” said Hanson. “I think I’ll leave the corn another month or so to see if the snow will settle.” There hasn’t been as much snow in other parts of the state. Some are done with corn harvest. Belfield, North Dakota farmer Ed Kessel wrapped up in mid-January. “The corn was still a little wet and those farmers who still have corn to harvest near me will likely wait until spring to wrap up.” Listen to the story.
Deibert: Fewer Wheat Acres Expected in 2020 – Past president and USCHI board advisor Jim Deibert says the 2019 harvest season was one for the record books. “My favorite day was the last one. We had trouble in Texas and North Dakota with wet weather. There were some quality issues in the wheat like scab and sprout damage. It was the worst harvest I’ve ever had in North Dakota, but life goes on. We got through it.” Deibert says he will harvest fewer wheat acres in 2020. “There’s a big switch to corn in the Midwest. We lost big wheat acres. There were several farmers in my community that farmed thousands of acres that don’t have any wheat now. It will come back.”
What Will the 2020 Wheat Crop Look Like? – While custom harvesters attend educational seminars, discussions always come back to the next crop. U.S. Custom Harvesters Incorporated board member David Misener says there is some optimism about the wheat crop in Oklahoma this year. “There was a lot of wheat planted in the fall. Once it was planted, cool air hit. None if it is very tall,” explains Misener. “Some moisture coming in 2020 is helping the wheat. There is potential for the crop. It’s time to put fertilizer down.” Misener says the crop has not broken dormancy. “It will be coming out of dormancy soon. We’ve had enough moisture we’ll have to watch.”
Farmers are Preparing for a Challenging Spring – Farmers and ranchers are preparing for a challenging spring. That was just one, of the many, discussions held at the NDSU Soil Health Café talk in Michigan, North Dakota on Tuesday NDSU Extension agent Katelyn Hain says farmers are trying to plan accordingly. “They may be dealing with ruts and compaction. There is also still a lot of corn and snow out there, so they are asking questions on how to prepare for a late planting season.” Listen to the full conversation with Hain.
There’s Only One Chance to Start the Crop Right – The KMOT Ag Expo in Minot seems to a turning point as growers focus on the upcoming growing season. WestBred Wheat technical product manager Grant Mehring says the difficult field conditions were a talking point at the show. “We’re thinking about creative ways (to fix ruts and get into the field), finding equipment that they may not have anymore because they’ve been in no-till for so long.” Mehring says now is the time to plan. “You only have one chance to plant a crop and everything stems from there; we need to be conscious about getting the best seed-to-soil contact in some of these soils.” Even with late planting or saturated soils, Mehring encourages growers to utilize a diverse mix of varieties.
TransFARMation: The Proper Attitude Can Help Take on the Challenges – Bob “Mr. Attitude” Prentice has roots in agriculture, coming from the Wessington, South Dakota area. So, how important is attitude in agriculture? “Attitude is everything, or at least I believe it is,” says Bob. “It’s not always about having a positive attitude, but more of a proper mental attitude. It’s about being able to find a creative and innovative way to take on the challenges in life.” Hear more in the latest edition of the TransFARMation podcast.
Cover Crops are One Way to Manage PP Acres – Discussions on combating excess moisture, cover crops and more were held at the Soil Health Café Talk in Michigan, North Dakota. With unharvested crops in North Dakota fields, what options do producers in the state have come spring? The obvious goal is to get them harvested. But if that doesn’t happen, NDSU Extension rangeland and forage specialist Kevin Sedivec says to plan now. “They’re going to be dealing with all that residue let in the field and may struggle getting something planted on those 2019 acres,” says Sedivec. “If they fall into prevented plant acres, cover crops are a way to manage those acres. Cover crops are valuable to that soil and to livestock producers who can also use it for grazing or forage.” Sedivec adds if the goal is to combat excess moisture, a farmer or rancher wants green growth in a cover crop for as long as possible. Hear from Sedivec in this RRFN interview.
Seed Options Available for Prevent Plant Acres – Spring was top of mind at the KMOT Ag Expo. If it’s a late planting season, farmers may not get much planted. Agassiz Seed Territory Sales Manager Mark Halvorson says there are options for farmers considering prevent plant acres. “If you just say you’re looking for something to add some nitrogen, there are lots of mixes you can do. For example, peas, legumes, a radish and rye, something to soak up the moisture.” Halvorson says Agassiz can help farmers make good decisions. “We can point you in the right direction.”
Beet Stock Snapshot – According to Acres & Shares, last week 100 American Crystal Sugar Company beet shares were brokered at an average price of $3,290 per share. A low volume of shares on the market helped the price trend up.
Red River Valley Watersheds Prep for Spring Thaw – A wet fall and near to above average snowfall increase the flood risk in the Red River Valley this spring. Red River Watershed Management Board Member Linda Vavra, from the Bois de Sioux watershed district, is paying attention. “Every lake, stream, road ditch and slough is banked full and running over. We have acres of farm fields under water,” says Vavra. “We are worried what will happen in the spring, hoping we will have a very slow melt. We will have some overland flooding.”
Flood Mitigation Highlighted at Drainage Conference – Tile drainage, ditch design alternatives and water retention are three areas of focus for the Red River Watershed Management Board Technical Advisory Committee. Houston Engineering Incorporated Engineer Jerry Bents says water retention in the right locations can provide flood resiliency. Right now, there’s not enough in place throughout the Red River basin to alleviate much of a spring flood. “We talk about a 20 percent reduction on the Red River. That’s been the long-term goal. At this point, we’re probably at two to three percent of that 20 percent that’s needed for the basin,” says Bents. “What’s been done helps, but we have a long way to go.” Tile drainage is another piece of the flood mitigation puzzle, but Bents says it’s not the entire solution. “In localized areas, if we can take soil that otherwise would have been saturated and have available retention or storage within soils it can provide local benefits.” Bents was part of the 2020 Red River Basin Drainage Conference.
State and Federal Regs Discussed at Conference – State and federal water regulations were a big part of the conversation at the Red River Basin Drainage Conference. Watershed districts and county leaders asked questions about the Minnesota-specific Wetland Conservation Act and the recently announced Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Rinke Noonan Law Firm attorney John Kolb told attendees the new WOTUS definition is one to watch and the Supreme Court will have the final say. “Until Congress decides it’s going to clarify the Clean Water Act and remove the ambiguity the Supreme Court noted, there’s always a chance the interpretation of WOTUS to change or be challenged.”
The Past, Present and Future of Precision Ag – The past, present and future of precision agriculture has many similarities and differences. As a whole, it’s about leveraging data and technology to make better decisions, while improving profitability and sustainability. Those words came from Terry Aberhart, who manages Aberhart Farms near Langenburg, Saskatchewan. “For me, it’s about having an abundance mindset. There are still a lot of ‘oldschool’ mindsets where farmers are worried about sharing or they may be in compensation with their neighbors,” said Aberhart. “I look at it in the sense of we’re all in this together. The more we can learn and share together, the better.” Speaking at the 111th gathering of the Northwest Farm Managers Association, Aberhart went on to say there are long term, positive returns on investment with variable rate technology. Hear more.
EPA Concludes Glyphosate is Safe, Again – The Environmental Protection Agency has made an announcement about the use of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The EPA reaffirms a previous decision, saying glyphosate is safe to use and unlikely to cause cancer. This decision incorporates recommendations to reduce spray drift, including a ban on spraying during temperature inversions or when wind speeds exceed 15 miles per hour. Regarding neonicotinoids, the agency is seeking to limit exposure to bees by restricting the use of these products on blooming crops. Additional personal protective equipment for applicators and management techniques for on-target applications are also advised.
Legal Wranglings for the Beef Checkoff – Supporters of the mandatory beef checkoff got a major legal win in a lawsuit filed by R-CALF USA. A magistrate judge granted a summary judgement allowing state beef councils to continue their work on promotion and research. This decision now goes to the federal district court for a final ruling. Appeals are still possible, meaning this process could continue for a long time.
MPCA Permit Fees Could Increase – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is proposing an increase in water quality permit fees. In addition to livestock operations, the permit costs would increase for city and industrial wastewater facilities and septic systems. MPCA claims many of these fees haven’t been adjusted in nearly 25 years. Farm groups who are criticizing the proposal want to see the money for MPCA to come from the general fund and not permit fees.
NDDOT Awarded Repair Funds – The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $4.3 million to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to repair highways and roads damaged by flooding. The funds were made available after the presidential major disaster declaration approval.
Northern Corn and Soybean Expo Coming Up – The Northern Corn and Soybean Expo is Tuesday, February 4. North Dakota Soybean Council Executive Director Stephanie Sinner says the one-day event starts at 8 a.m. on the main stage. “We’ll feature AgriTalk host Chip Flory, and Illinois farmer John Phipps is the emcee for the day.” Sinner says there will be breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon that cover topics ranging from disease and weed management to the wet spring. “We will also talk about mental health and biofuels.” Learn more about the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo.
Corteva Reports Year-End Financials. – Corteva Agriscience reports full-year sales of $13.8 billion, down three percent from the previous year. The fourth quarter ended with net sales up six percent from the same quarter in 2018. The company reports it is accelerated the ramp-up of its Enlist E3 soybeans and the Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides.
Income Improvement for ADM – Archer Daniels Midland is reporting fourth quarter income of $504 million, up from $315 million one year ago. Profits got a boost from strong feed sales. Sales declined for its agricultural services and oilseed processing business.
Perspective on the Australian Fires – Northern Crops Institute Director Mark Jirik recently traveled to Australia, including the bush country that is dealing with wildfires. Jirik says the area impacted is very small. “For those living through it, it is obviously a major ordeal, but for those that have lived in that area for a long time deal with fire on a regular basis.” The region currently dealing with the fires is primarily used for cattle pastures. A limited amount of wheat ground is also impacted. “When I was down there, harvest was still happening. They do put on what they call paddock bans where they ban harvest just because they don’t want fires to get out of hand in ripened wheat fields.” Jirik emphasized the fire-stricken area is very small and the rest of Australia is open for business.
MN Pork Honors – The Minnesota Pork Board has presented its Distinguished Service Award to Sleepy Eye attorney Gary Koch. The Environmental Steward award went to Craig Holm of New Ulm. Tim Kerkaert of Marshall is the Swine Manager of the Year and the Hugoson family of Granada is the Minnesota Pork Board’s Family of the Year. The Pork Promoter of the Year honor went to Dale and Lori Stevermer of Easton.
Visser Wins 2020 NDFB Discussion Meet – The winner of the 2020 NDFB Young Farmers & Ranchers discussion meet contest is Sheridan Visser. Chris Gartner, Billy Ogdahl and Katelyn Skalicky were also apart of the final four competition. Visser will go on to represent North Dakota in the national Farm Bureau discussion meet contest.
Jantzen Elected President of USCHI – The U.S. Custom Harvesters Incorporated has a new president. Plymouth, Nebraska-based custom forage cutter Glen Jantzen was elected into the role at the conclusion of the annual convention. He says forage cutters face exactly the same issues as the custom combiners. “We’re still moving equipment long distances, looking for help and are interested in CDL training. It’s a nationwide industry.” Jantzen isn’t looking for big changes during his term. “We have a good system in place for most everything. We want to continue on programs like labor, driver’s licensing and keep membership growing. We have a fantastic board and it will be a great year.”
USCHI Board Members Elected – There are new additions to the U.S. Custom Harvesters Incorporated board following last week’s convention. The new USCHI President is Glen Jantzen, Vice President is Raph Jolliffe, Secretary is Josh Beckley and the Treasurer is David Misener. JC Schemper is the new Advisor. Three new board members were elected, including Jon Orr, Paul Paplow and Ryan Haffner. USCHI board members serve a three-year term.
MMPA Elects Officer Team – A Preston hog farmer is the new president of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. Dave Mensink was elected during the Minnesota Pork Congress. John Anderson of Belgrade is vice president and Adam Barka of Sleepy Eye is the secretary.
From Capitol Hill to Bayer – Kellie Adesina is the new director of federal government affairs for Bayer Crop Science. Adesina previously served as the chief counsel for the House Agriculture Committee.
Thompson Moves to NCGA – Anne Thompson joins the National Corn Growers Association as its director of PAC and political strategy. Previously, Thompson worked by Bunge North America and CoBank.
Glover Joins Public Lands Council – Kaitlynn Glover has joined the Public Lands Council as its executive director. Glover will serve as chief lobbyist for the organization in this role. Previously, she worked for Wyoming Senator John Barrasso.
Morrison Moves to NAU Country – Rich Morrison is the new vice president of farm services for NAU Country Insurance Company. For the past 20 years, Morrison has been a risk analyst for Diversified Services Marketing Group. Morrison is a regular market contributor for the Red River Farm Network.
Radatz to Retire from MFBF – Minnesota Farm Bureau Executive Director Chris Radatz plans to retire June 1. Radatz has been with Farm Bureau for over 40 years and served as executive director for seven years.
Last Week’s Trivia – No brain freeze here! The Blizzard treat is on the Dairy Queen menu. Jamie Reed of Valley United Co-op is our weekly trivia winner. Runner-up honors go out to Erin Nash of National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Dennis Inman of CFS Cooperative, St. Thomas farmer Nathan Green and Regent farmer Aaron Krauter. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Phyllis Nystrom of CHS Hedging, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Dianne Bettin of LB Pork, Keith Bjorneby of Lone Wolf Farm, Nick Revier of SES VanderHave USA, Sherry Koch of Mosaic, Bob Nielsen of United Farmers Co-op, Twyla Wulf of Clear Springs Cattle Company, Ron Dvergsten of Northland FBM, Lawton farmer Dennis Miller, Underwood farmer Paul Beckman, Kelly Kliner of Simplot Grower Solutions, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio and Lloyd Kuster of Bremer Insurance.
This Week’s Trivia- What city hosted the Super Bowl last night between Kansas City and San Francisco? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|February 3, 2020||Soil Health Cafe Talk - Jamestown, ND|
|February 3, 2020||American Crystal Sugar Grower Seminar - Grand Forks, ND|
|February 4, 2020||Northern Corn and Soybean Expo - Fargo, ND|
|February 4, 2020||American Crystal Sugar Grower Seminar - Fargo, ND|
|February 5, 2020||Agronomy on Ice - Devils Lake, ND|
|February 5, 2020||West Otter Tail Crop & Forage Show - Fergus Falls, MN|
|February 5, 2020||Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research - Grand Forks, ND|
|February 6, 2020||Soil Health Cafe Talk - Park River, ND|
|February 6, 2020||Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research - Moorhead, MN|
|February 6, 2020||American Crystal Grower Seminar - Grafton, ND|
|February 7, 2020||North Central Dakota Ag Show - Rugby, ND|
|February 10, 2020 - February 12, 2020||National Farmers Organization Convention - Bloomington, MN|
|February 11, 2020||Soil Health Cafe Talk - Drayton, ND|
|February 11, 2020 - February 12, 2020||Advanced Crop Advisors Workshop - Fargo, ND|
|February 12, 2020||Soil Health Cafe Talk - Langdon, ND|
|February 14, 2020 - February 15, 2020||NDSU Little International - Fargo, ND|
|February 19, 2020 - February 20, 2020||International Crop Expo - Grand Forks, ND|
|Contact RRFN||Don Wick
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|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.