A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Congress to Consider Another Stopgap Spending Package – Congressional leaders took steps over the weekend to avoid a government shutdown. This deal calls for another continuing resolution to fund parts of the government, including USDA, until March 1. The rest of the agencies would have enough money to operate until March 8. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it will take bipartisan cooperation in both chambers of Congress to pass the CR and send it to the President’s desk before Friday’s deadline. That may be a big lift in the House where members of the Freedom Caucus want to use the government spending bill as leverage to secure the U.S. border with Mexico.
Farm Bill Timeline Offered – A farm bill won’t make it to the House floor until March at the earliest. House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson made that point at a farm show in his home state of Pennsylvania. Thompson said at least three weeks are needed from the time it leaves his desk and goes through the agriculture committee and onto the House floor for a vote. Thompson indicated House Speaker Mike Johnson supports that timeline.
Border Debate Slows Congressional Progress – Policy Solutions President Jay Truitt says March may be an optimistic goal for marking up the farm bill. However, “if you don’t set a date, you don’t do the work before that needs to occur.” Congress has a full plate, including the appropriations process. “The border is basically the baby being held for ransom here,” Truitt told RRFN. “For the people that are wanting border changes, they are deeply passionate about it.”
Coalition Forces Respond to Houthi Attacks – A U.S.-led coalition has levied a series of attacks on the Houthi rebels in Yemen. These militant pirates have been attacking commercial shipments on the Red Sea. President Biden released a statement, saying the U.S. and its partners will not allow these hostile forces to shut down one of the world’s most important commercial routes. The U.S. was joined by England, Australia, Bahrain, Canada and the Netherlands in this coalition attack. Houthi rebels fired a missile toward an American warship Sunday, but the United States was able to shoot it down. It was the first skirmish since the U.S. and coalition forces hit Houthi targets in Yemen last week.
Bearish Numbers – USDA dumped a mountain of data on the marketplace Friday. U.S. corn production is estimated at 15.3 billion bushels. That’s up 108 million bushels from the last report. The average corn yield is 177.3 bushels per acre. That’s well above the average trade guess of just under 175 bushels per acre. USDA put the soybean production total at 4.2 billion bushels, which was on the high end of trade expectations. Yield is estimated at 50.6 bushels per acre, above the average trade estimate of 49.9 bushels per acre. The season-average corn price was lowered five cents to $4.80 per bushel. The Agriculture Department put the season-average soybean price at $12.75 per bushel, down 15 cents from last month.
Corn Matters – The Minnesota Corn Growers Association invites farmers to take part in the next webinar in the Let’s Talk Crops series. Kluis Commodity Advisors Managing Director Al Kluis will review USDA reports, charts and how to build a grain marketing plan. Listen to the preview in this week’s Corn Matters.
A Record Corn Crop – U.S. corn production is record large. “We really did see a stout increase in the yields of corn and beans compared to what they were in November.” said Brian Basting, Advance Trading. “If we look at corn for example, the last report in November was 174.9 yield per acre and it is now at 177.3, that’s a record corn yield.” Corn production was estimated at a record 15.34 billion bushels when the trade was looking for about 15.2 (million bushel crop) so about 130 million bushels above the trade estimate.”
A One-Two Punch – There was little positive news in Friday’s USDA reports. U.S. Commodities President Don Roose says the January report is dangerous because it has so many moving parts. “No doubt, the government threw a haymaker to us on the negative side,” said Roose. “Ending stocks on corn grew, soybeans grew, world ending stocks on corn and beans grew; if there is anything positive is the fact winter wheat acres were down more than the trade thought.”
Register for NCI Market Outlook Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting a market update webinar on Wednesday at 8 AM. This webinar will feature Jim Sullivan, executive vice president, Leese Group. Sullivan will discuss the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for key agricultural products. The WASDE is a monthly report providing participants with a global look at the market for key agricultural products. Go online for more information and to register.
‘Better Than Expected’ – Minnesota had an average corn yield of 185 bushels per acre this past year. That’s down ten bushels per acre from 2022. North Dakota corn yields came in at 143 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels. In South Dakota, corn averaged 152 bushels per acre, a 20-bushel improvement from 2022. Dry weather took the top off the Minnesota soybean crop. The statewide average yield was 48 bushels per acre, down two bushels from the previous year. North Dakota soybean yields are a half-bushel improvement over 2022 at 35.5 bushels per acre. In South Dakota, soybeans averaged 44 bushels per acre, up from 38 bushels per acre one year ago.
MN, ND, SD Spring Wheat Yields Updated – Minnesota spring wheat farmers had an average yield of 62 bushels per acre, up one bushel from a year ago. North Dakota had a statewide spring wheat yield of 48.5 bushels per acre. That’s down from 50 bushels per acre in 2022. South Dakota’s spring wheat averaged 43 bushels per acre, down five bushels per acre one year ago.
Fewer Acres Devoted to Winter Wheat – Winter wheat seedings are forecast at 34.4 million acres. That’s down six percent from last year, but up three percent from 2022. The planted area was down seven percent in Kansas and eight percent in Texas.
Moving On – Bower Trading President Jim Bower says traders are looking forward to moving on from Friday’s USDA bearish reports. “This January report is notorious for throwing out unexpected news.” The futures market is closed today in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That gives traders one more day to digest the data in Friday’s reports.
Fielding Questions – In the latest edition of the Fielding Questions podcast, AgCountry Chief Marketplace Officer Troy Andreasen discusses the importance of continuing education for farmers and ranchers. The upcoming AgFocus conferences are part of that discussion. Fielding Questions is a collaboration between AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the Red River Farm Network.
A Record Long Navigation Season – The Port of Duluth-Superior enjoyed its longest navigation season ever. The last cargo for the year was a shipment of beet pulp pellets heading to Ireland. The shipping season out of Duluth lasted 277 days. The St. Lawrence Seaway officially closed on January 5, the latest closing date in history.
Mato Grosso Crop Suffering – AgResource Company President Dan Basse is home after spending time in Brazil. “We did not like what we saw (in Mato Grosso), the crop is stunted, it’s populated poorly and when we look at yield analysis, it’s going to be 30-to-50 percent below last year,” said Basse. “I don’t think people understand when a place like Mato Grosso, which has sandy, loamy soils, endures a drought with short-season soybeans without drought tolerance that the crop really doesn’t do very well.”
MAP, FMD Funds Awarded – USDA is awarding more than $203 million to 70 ag groups to expand export markets. Nearly $175 million will be through the Market Access Program. That includes nearly $13 million for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, $8.6 million for the U.S. Grains Council, $5.5 million for the American Soybean Association, $5 million for the National Potato Board, $4.8 million for U.S. Wheat Associates, $4.5 million for the U.S. Dairy Export Council, $1.1 million for the U.S. Dry Bean Council and just under a million dollars for the National Sunflower Association. The Foreign Market Development program will allocate $27 million to 20 trade groups. The American Soybean Association will receive the largest amount at $7.7 million. U.S. Wheat Associates gained $3.4 million, and the U.S. Grains Council has $2.8 million.
Challenges Seen With Kochia, Waterhemp – Despite a late start to planting, a record sugarbeet crop was seen this past year. At the Sugarbeet Research Reporting Session, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist TomPeters said he is concerned about weed control. “I’m worried a lot about kochia and your audience already knows that I’m worried about waterhemp,” said Peters. “We have some formidable challenges to try to back up last year’s yield with the 2024 crop.”
Beet Stock Values – “Beet stock found its groove last week,” said Jayson Menke, broker, Acres & Shares. Menke reported a strong volume of 504 American Crystal Sugar Company beet shares were brokered with all but one sale at $5,400 per share. On a weekly basis Menke tracks sales from the three beet stock brokerage firms. Menke said there were 22 sales ranging from five to 117 shares per trade.
Cover Crops and Sugarbeets – University of Minnesota Extension Soil Scientist Anna Cates is continuing to research cover crops in a sugarbeet rotation. There has not been a statistical drop in yields using either fall or spring-planted cover crops but more data is necessary to determine the soil health benefits over time. Cates also has research projects underway that will look at wind erosion. “Our first year, the 2022/2023 winter didn’t see much. Maybe this year. we’ll see a little more.”
Resurrecting Old Chemistries – Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative Research Agronomist David Mettler will continue to look for new ways to use old chemistries in 2024. “We are resurrecting some of these older products,” said Mettler. “We’re not really getting any new products and we’re trying to control some of these waterhemp populations that are resistant to glyphosate.” Eptam and Ro-Neet worked well to control waterhemp in areas that did not have enough moisture to fully activate pre-emerge herbicides. There is some risk of injury to sugarbeets using those products, but other products lack overall weed control.
Translating Sugarbeet Science – American Sugarbeet Growers Association Vice President of Science and Innovation Dr. Nicholas Storer was in Fargo during his second week on the job for the Sugarbeet Research and Reporting Session. “I hope to translate some of this amazing science into something that the politicians and regulators can understand.” Storer says the level of research done in the industry is surprising. “It’s a small crop in the big picture of the United States, but it’s attracting a lot of really good researchers and dollars.” Storer has taken a newly-created role for ASGA and is based in Washington, D.C.
Early ’23 Heat Could Impact ’24 Crop – Early season heat in 2023 resulted in additional pest pressure. NDSU Extension Research Entomologist Mark Boetel said his own plots experienced early armyworms and cutworms. “If weed infestations really get going, they can be attractive to those pests.” Rootworm control was also impacted. “What I was seeing in growers’ fields, control was not as successful as we would have hoped.” That could elevate the risk for some locations going into 2024.
A New Soybean Pest in MN, ND, SD – An insect called the soybean tentiform leafminer was first detected feeding on soybeans in the United States in 2021. University of Minnesota Extension is reporting this pest has been found in 51 counties in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This tiny moth is normally seen along field edges close to tree lines. The larvae feed inside soybean leaves, forming mines that are initially seen on the lower surface and eventually on the upper surface. The leafminer was initially found in the Twin Cities area and moved into portions of south-central Minnesota and southeastern South Dakota in 2022. Last year, it was evident in most of western Minnesota and the southern Red River Valley.
Dry Bean Scene – In this week’s Dry Bean Scene, NDSU Extension Plant Pathologist Sam Markell says soybean cyst nematode was saw high populations in some dry bean areas. The Dry Bean Scene is brought to you by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
New Pest Detection in the Works – The University of Minnesota is developing a new form of pest detection. “The satellite system that we’re using is pretty attractive because it has sensors that detect the wavelengths of light or energy that are being reflected by the plant,” explains Extension Entomologist Bob Koch. “Certain parts of that energy being reflected are important for measuring plant health.” The goal is to use satellite imagery to detect crops that have been altered by aphids and other pests. The project is still in the proof-of-concept stage.
Pathogen Survey for Soybean Growers – Soybean growers have an opportunity to participate in a survey to test pathogen levels in their fields through funding from the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. University of Minnesota Extension Regional Crops Educator Angie Peltier says it’s important to note the movement of phytophthora sojae pathogens that cause root rot. “Recently, when we’ve had some disease losses occur, we’ve realized there’s probably a shift in pathogen population over time,” said Peltier. This survey takes place once every ten years to assess the pathogen population to make sure growers are planting resistant soybean varieties.
Canola Minute – Here’s the latest Canola Minute from the Northern Canola Growers Association. This week, NCGA Executive Director Barry Coleman reflects on the growth of the canola industry and looks forward to the year ahead.
Heat to Control Cercospora – Michigan State University Extension Potato and Sugarbeet Scientist Jamie Willbur is evaluating the use of heat to manage Cercospora Leaf Spot. The fungus winters well in leaf residue. Incorporating residue is helpful, but Michigan uses less tillage than other areas. Willbur’s team worked with a fabricator to create a tractor-mounted propane burner to pass over sugarbeets just before defoliation. The study has shown proof of concept. “These treatments promoted leaf degradation,” said Willbur. “We’re able to reduce the inoculum pressure that next year’s sugarbeet fields would experience.”
Wheat Variety Selection for ’24 – The University of Minnesota has released its latest wheat variety selections. University of Minnesota Extension Small Grains Specialist Jochum Wiersma says variety selection looks at several factors. “We’re going to pick a number of varieties that are on the high yield side and some varieties that are more conservative balanced varieties,” said Wiersma. “After that, things that really drive the decision are fusarium head blight, bacterial leaf streak, preharvest sprouting, and straw strength.” MN-Rothsay, Dyna-Gro Ballistic, and SY Valda are among the top variety picks.
Farming for the Future – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Red River Farm Network and the Linder Farm Network to provide information on soil health events and topics. This week on Farming for the Future, Clay County farmer Noreen Thomas reflects on why it was important for her farm to become ag water quality certified. Thomas was one of the first ag water quality certified farms in the state.
Ethanol Groups Seek a Rehearing – The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy have filed separate petitions in federal court seeking a rehearing of a previous case. The EPA rejected 100 small refinery waiver requests for the Renewable Fuel Standard. The ethanol groups contend the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals was not the proper venue for this case. RFA and Growth Energy are saying the Clean Air Act specifies the Washington, D.C. federal appeals court is the only appropriate court to hear these issues because of the national ramifications.
Common Sense Trade Policy Sought – Growth Energy General Counsel Joe Kakesh says Brazilian ethanol imports are a worry. “In 2023, there was a pretty significant imbalance in the tariffs that are imposed on American ethanol,” said Kakesh. “We’re really trying to think through the best way for us to advocate so that balance gets remedied.” Kakesh believes it is important that American policy does not incentivize imports of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol when there is ample feedstocks of corn ethanol in the U.S.
Corn Growers Meet in St. Louis – State corn growers association leaders met in St. Louis this past week to collaborate on issues impacting growers across the country. North Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Brenda Elmer says the discussion included the Next Generation Fuels Act, and the farm bill. “Of course, there was discussion of ethanol and trade,” said Elmer. “A lot of our corn producers don’t think that enough is being done for and being paid attention to trade in Washington.”
Seeking a Solutions-Based Answer for the EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency is considering plans to protect more than 900 endangered species through its draft herbicide strategy. “Some of them work for us in North Dakota, some of them work for people in other parts of the country,” said Andrew Mauch, president, North Dakota Corn Growers Association. The EPA is seeking a blanket approach. “Maybe we can reduce those map sizes by 80 or 90 percent to get down to the critical habitat where these species actually are at and not just do a one-size-fits-all approach because that doesn’t work for the American farmer.” Mauch leads the National Corn Growers Association Production Technology Action Team.
Surprises Found in the Corporate Transparency Act – The Corporate Transparency Act is now in place. The law, which is intended to help detect and prevent criminal money laundering and other forms of fraud, is going largely unnoticed by the agriculture community thus far. “It kicks in this year and so far every audience we’ve talked to is completely surprised to hear about it,” said Michael Pittman, executive director, National Agricultural Law. “The real kicker is that it does have penalties, including criminal penalties.” More information can be found online.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s addition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Executive Director DaNita Murray previews a meeting to be held at Madison, South Dakota on Thursday to learn more about USDA funding for conservation practices from the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Sign Up for CRP – The Agriculture Department has reopened the application process for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program. Farmers can also re-enroll the CRP acres that expire this year.
Extreme Weather Impacts on Cattle – Iowa State University Extension Beef Specialist Beth Doran says energy needs change drastically in cold temperatures. “For every degree below 32 degrees, they need to increase their energy intake one percent,” said Doran. “Average daily gains are going to back off and feed efficiencies are going to be poorer than if we were dealing with more moderate weather.” Doran warns producers against changing rations to meet increased energy needs but says to simply increase the amount fed.
Livestock Roadshow Underway – USDA’s Risk Management Agency is hosting the Livestock Roadshow to educate producers on available livestock insurance programs. This series includes both in-person seminars and online webinars. Historically, Livestock Risk Protection and Livestock Gross Margin products have been underutilized but recent changes have made them both more available to producers. “The participation in LRP has increased dramatically, but LGM hasn’t really seen that big increase,” said Cody Lovercamp, risk management specialist, RMA. LGM is now offered once per week instead of once per month and is available for beef, dairy and swine herds. There are also no imits for the number of animals covered under LGM. Find the full schedule for the Livestock Roadshow here.
MN Beef Update – This week’s Minnesota Beef Update catches up with MN Beef Director of Industry Relations Jon Dilworth. This week, Dilworth highlights the 2024 Top of the Class program. This program helps those interested in the beef industry build communications and media skills. To find out how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Court Rules on Undercover Surveilance by Activists – A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court ruling dealing with undercover video surveillance of livestock and poultry farms. Iowa passed this law three years ago, increasing the penalties for animal rights activists who use hidden camera video to document the treatment of animals. A three-judge panel in the St. Louis district ruled this law protects privacy rights and prevents the theft of trade secrets. In a separate decision, the appeals court determined it is illegal to knowingly make false statements on job applications to gain access to the business. That would include animal rights activists lying on their job application with a plan to hurt the farm.
Foreign-Owned Ag Land Highlighted in SD State of the State Address – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem delivered her State of the State Address to begin the new legislative session. Noem emphasized the importance of small government and promoting freedom. That includes issues impacting farmers and ranchers. “Last year, I brought forward legislation that would’ve stopped foreign advisories from purchasing ag land in South Dakota (because) China and other evil foreign governments are executing a plan to own our ag land and to control our food supply,” said Noem. “Although last year’s proposal to regulate these purchases didn’t pass, we’ve continued to discuss solutions from all those folks that are involved and impacted.”
Roberts Begins Session With an Appearance Before the Ag Committee – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is putting more emphasis on international trade. Secretary Hunter Roberts highlighted that work in an appearance before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “In September, Lieutenant Governor (Larry) Rhoden and myself went with South Dakota Trade and five of our companies and a member from our South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council to Mexico on our first trade mission in nearly nine years so it was kind of a new thing for us.”
A Rally for Private Property Rights – A group gathered at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre, South Dakota last week to demonstrate the importance of property rights. South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says the issue stems from the use of eminent domain for private gain. “That’s a bridge too far for many of us,” said Sombke. “Right now, we’re trying to make sure the legislature and others in the state know this isn’t about ethanol, it’s about property rights.”
SDFB Prepared for the Policy Debate – The South Dakota legislative session began last week. “Eminent domain with the carbon dioxide pipelines is probably going to be very heated and take a lot of time,” said Matthew Bogue, policy director, South Dakota Farm Bureau. SDFB will also keep a close eye on livestock identification with the brand board and foreign ownership of ag land. The organization set its policy during the annual meeting in November.
Deer Farmers File Lawsuit Against State of Minnesota – The Minnesota Deer Farmers Association is suing the State of Minnesota over its moratorium on new deer farms. The ban was put in place by the legislature this past year to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease. The lawsuit contends the state cannot directly link CWD in wild white-tailed deer with farm-raised deer or vice-versa. MDFA President Scott Fier said that the moratorium is interfering with preventing their constitutional right to run their businesses. “The law is basically a death by a thousand cuts,” Fier told RRFN. “They keep implementing new rules and regulations every year until we can hardly do commerce.” With the new regulations, deer farms can only be sold one time and that sale must be to a family member. In a proactive step, Minnesota deer farm operators are breeding animals that are resistant to CWD.
Ag Groups File Court Brief to Support Dairy Project – Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Minnesota Pork Producers Association and the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association have filed a friend of the court brief to support a Winona County dairy farm. The district court upheld a county board decision to deny a permit variance for Daley Farms at Lewiston. This farm wants to expand the size of its dairy herd. Farm Bureau and the three commodity groups contend all farms deserve a fair, unbiased process.
MN Dairy Farm Charged with Wage Theft – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has announced a civil lawsuit against a Stearns County dairy farm. Evergreen Acres allegedly failed to pay at least $3 million in wages and charged rent for substandard housing. In the lawsuit, the AG’s Office claims the farm exploited the vulnerability of its employees, which includes unauthorized workers from Mexico.
ND Dairy Convention Coming to Bismarck – The North Dakota Dairy Convention will be held on Wednesday. North Dakota Livestock Alliance Executive Director Amber Wood is looking forward to the event that will feature University of Minnesota Extension Engineer Erin Cortus. “She’s going to talk about building value in sustainability,” said Wood. “Her information would apply to all of animal agriculture.” Wood expects to hear a discussion about utilizing the state’s new soybean meal capacity in dairy rations and issues with dairy processing capacity.
MN Ag Expo on the Schedule This Week – Minnesota Soybean Growers Association President Bob Worth is excited about the new program for new and beginning farmers at this year’s MN Ag Expo. “We’re going to discuss agriculture and how to talk to your banker, how to talk to your landlord, and how to deal with all the financial issues.” In addition to the trade show, MN Ag Expo includes important meetings for state corn and soybean growers. “This is where we set the roadmap for where we want to go in St. Paul and D.C.” MN Ag Expo will be held in Mankato Wednesday and Thursday.
Pig Farmer Christmas – South Dakota Pork Producers Council President Adam Krause describes the South Dakota Pork Congress as ‘Pig Farmer Christmas.’ “It’s a big reunion; we come for the pigs and we stay for the people in this industry.” At the beginning of this year, farrow-to-finish hog producers saw losses of nearly $60 per head. “As producers, we’re pretty good at gritting our teeth in these tough times because the good times are hopefully on the horizon.”
Urban Ag Engagement – Minnesota Farm Bureau had a capacity crowd for its first-ever Urban Agriculture Conference Saturday in St. Paul. The issues addressed include access to land, water usage and the availability of grants and funding assistance.
A Record Crowd for Potato Expo – The 2024 Potato Expo was a record-breaker with attendance topping 2,200 people. “The last time we were in Austin, Texas was five years ago and in that time we added 40 percent more exhibitors and 25 percent more attendees,” said National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles. Regarding policy, Quarles said the potato industry wants a new farm bill passed. “We want Congress and the Administration to get back to normal business and leave this chaos behind. Producers in 2024 need certainty and need to know what’s happening on trade, environmental policy, nutrition, conservation and tax policy.”
Great Networking Opportunity – Potato Expo is a gathering point for the entire industry. “There’s great networking that goes on, there’s a lot of newer products out here and it helps producers tremendously with their what they’re doing day-to-day,” said Andy Robinson, potato agronomist, NDSU Extension.
Boomer Generation Views Potatoes Differently Than Younger Consumers – Changing consumer buying habits is one of the challenges facing the potato industry. “The baby boomers are pretty traditional eaters,” said Steve Nicholson, vice president of food and agribusiness research, Rabobank. “As you go down the age range, they have a little different view. They do like the fact that potatoes are a fresh vegetable. It’s easy to prepare and it’s convenient, but there’s a perception that it makes me fat. It’s too much starch. Too much carbohydrates so I don’t want all that in my diet.” Nicholson, who spoke at the Potato Business Summit Wednesday, said consumer education is a must.
Potato LEAF Takes Leadership Training to the Next Level – The mission of the Potato Leadership Education and Advancement Foundation is to nurture leadership within the potato industry. During Potato Expo, Foundation Chairman Gregg Halverson announced a new program to expand that effort. “We would call in leadership in the field; the battlefield and the potato field.” The first training will be held at Gettysburg. “There is a lot of history at Gettysburg and there’s a lot of lessons that can be learned about leadership on that battlefield; this is a very exciting thing.” Halverson is the chairman of the board for Black Gold Farms, based in Grand Forks.
The Flavor of the Good Earth – Consumer trends have changed over time. Northland Potato Associates President Gary Shields says that includes the expansion of yellow potato production in the Red River Valley. “We produce the finest potatoes in the world,” said Shields. “The yellow potatoes, just like the reds, have a very earthy taste. Our glacial soils are where we get the flavor. I always say it’s the flavor of the good earth.”
A New Strategy for Gowan – Gowan Company is a family-owned company that has found a successful niche marketing off-patent chemistries. Idaho sales rep Scott Kerbs says Gowan is now moving beyond the off-patent chemistries. “These are discovery chemistries. This is the first time we’ve taken some products that are numbered compounds just discovered. We’re doing all the development and bringing them into the market which is the first time we’ve done that ever.”
On the Rise – Bayer is bringing a new fungicide to the potato market called Velum Rise. “We’ve had Velum Prime on the market for the last few years,” said John Martin, senior technical sales representative, Bayer. “It’s an in-furrow product that really takes on the nematodes.” Velum Rise combines penflufen and fluopyram. “That is going to add additional black dot control verticillium as well as Rhizoctonia for that in-furrow treatment.”
AMVAC: Evaluate the Data – AMVAC has proven chemistries for the potato industry, such as VAPAM and K-PAM. AMVAC Commercial Product Manager Micah Scanga says the company has also invested in the development and research of the biological segment, we feel like these tools are supplementary to the proven chemistries.” When considering biologicals, Scanga says it is important to evaluate the data. “These tools are probably not a one-stop shop but they certainly have a fit. Moving forward, you’ve got to play with them yourself to see if is going to work on your farm.” AMVAC is an exhibitor at the Potato Expo trade show. Listen to the story.
A Game Changer – Miravis Prime is Syngenta’s newest fungicide. Syngenta Agronomic Service Representative Jeff Hopp says this product is a game-changer for disease management in potatoes. “We see the really good plant health attributes that Miravis Prime will deliver,” said Hopp. “A lot of times if you open up that canopy when you apply after row closure you’ll see a delay in the senescence or the aging of the crop. The lower leaves will still have fewer incidents of disease; they’re going to hold their chlorophyll longer which translates to bulking up later into the season to optimize yield.”
CHS, GROWMARK Explore Further Collaboration – Two of the largest farm cooperatives are considering ways to work together. CHS and GROWMARK now collaborate on projects. CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin says the plan is to consider new opportunities to join forces. In an interview, the Red River Farm Network asked Debertin if this process could result in a merger. “Could it result in a merger someday? I think the answer is it could if that’s where this goes, but I also wouldn’t say that is the only way it could go. It may be that we just have more opportunities to work together or on the other hand we feel what we have in place right now is the right mix.” Teams from CHS and GROWMARK will meet over the next couple of months to explore all options. CHS is the nation’s largest farm cooperative with 2022 revenues of nearly $46 billion. GROWMARK is the fourth largest farm co-op with annual revenues of $14.5 billion. CHS is based in the Twin Cities while GROWMARK is headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois.
CHS Releases 1Q Financials – CHS is reporting first quarter net income of $523 million. That’s down from record first quarter earnings of nearly $793 million one year ago. Continued strong soybean meal and soybean oil demand drove strong gains in the ag business. The gains in oilseed processing were offset by poor export demand. The refined fuels business enjoyed favorable returns due to strong global energy demand. CHS is the nation’s largest farm co-op.
Titan Machinery Participates in Investor Conference – The ICR investor conference in Orlando features companies representing everything from robotics to fast food. West Fargo-based Titan Machinery was on the stage Tuesday. A question came up about the right-to-repair legislation. President and Chief Operating Officer BJ Knutson said Titan Machinery supports its customers having the ability to fix their own equipment. “What we’re against is the right to modify, which is, actually the driver behind some of this,” explained Knutson. “As you look back with the Tier 1 emissions standards up to Tier 5 that we have today with the DEF fluid and the DEF injectors, it has been a frustration for a lot of customers and they’re looking to bypass some of that. I’ll leave that to the EPA to figure out.” Knutson said there can be safety risks and performance issues if someone without proper training modifies farm machinery.
Titan Machinery Adds New Dealership – Titan Machinery has acquired the assets of Scott Supply Company. That’s the Case IH and New Holland dealership in Mitchell, South Dakota. In the past year, this dealership had revenues of 40 million. Titan Machinery is based in West Fargo.
Enrollment for Truterra Sustainability Programs is Underway – Truterra has announced its programs for this year, including the expanded eligibility for its carbon program to include long-term adopters of conservation practices. Truterra’s carbon program can help farmers offset some of the technical and financial costs associated with a transition in farming practices. Farmers with corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton can earn up to $30 per metric ton of carbon stored with a minimum of $2 per acre. In the past two years, Truterra paid farmers more than $9 million to those enrolled in its sustainability programs. Truterra is part of Land O’Lakes. More information is available online.
Novel Biological Increases Carbon Credit ROI – An Australian-based company called Loam Bio is launching a program called CarbonBuilder in the U.S. this year. Portfolio Lead Jake Olson says this is a soybean microbial seed overtreatment that builds soil carbon. “We’re not asking folks to change their practices, we’re looking to integrate into what you’re already doing, as in planting your soybeans. You don’t have to have a different pass or change your practices.” The Loam Bio system captures more carbon and protects yield. Olson said the CarbonBuilder soybean product is available through local, independent retailers. Listen to the full interview.
Ownership Transition for DPH Biologicals – DPH Biologicals has announced a management-led buyout of the company. The company was formed in 2018 with its teams based in Indianapolis, Indiana and Princeton, Illinois. “When ownership discussions started last year, the existing management team decided the time was right and we were ready and willing to fully invest in the company ourselves,” said Mick Messman, president/CEO.
Meristem Introduces New Formulation for Beet Growers – Meristem Crop Performance’s microbe delivery system will be available to sugarbeet growers this year. The REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE powered by the BIO-CAPSULE technology was used in corn and soybeans this past year. This product is specially formulated to bring fertility to the crop through biologicals. In a statement, Meristem officials said BIO-CAPSULE technology results in fast emergence, a strong stand and better plant health for the entire season.
Correction – In a recent story about a joint venture involving the companies behind the Hilleshog, Maribo, SES VanderHave and Seedex sugarbeet seed brands, the headquarters for DLF Seeds was incorrect. DLF Seeds is based in the Denmark.
Job Opportunity in Agriculture – The Red River Farm Network can connect agricultural companies and organizations with future employees. The Job Opportunities in Agriculture tab on the RRFN website is that meeting point. At this time, Bayer is seeking a field testing agronomist. This is a residence-based, field-facing role for implementing a small plot research program in crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat. Primary responsibilities inlcude coordinating, negotiating and contracting leased land for field research trials. The job is based in Devils Lake. For more information, visit Bayer Operations Lead Travis Jenson at Glyndon, Minnesota.
NDSCS Receives Another Major Donation – The North Dakota State College of Science at Wahpeton has received a $500,0000 donation from Linda Kosel Patterson. The money will be used to create the Kosel Family Agriculture Lab. The Kosel and Patterson families donated 95 acres of farmland to the NDSCS Alumni Foundation to support the school’s ag programs. A month ago, the Yaggie family donated $1 million for the renovation of the NDSCS agricultural center.
Bayer Undergoes Executive Leadership Changes – Bayer CropScience has announced several changes to its executive leadership team. Brian Faber will assume the role of commercial lead for North America. Naber succeeds Jackie Applegate, who is retiring after more than 30 years with the company. Malu Nachreiner, who is currently the senior Bayer representative and country division head in Brazil, will succeed Faber as the commercial lead for Bayer in the Asia Pacific. As of February 1, Oliver Rittgen will take over as the new chief financial officer. Rittgen follows Kelly Gast who is retired. Oliver is now the CFO for Bayer’s consumer health division. Jessica Christianson assumes the position as head of the Bayer CropScience communications team after leading its sustainability and business stewardship team. Tom Armitage, who was the lead for the communications team left Bayer to pursue further career opportunities.
Banks to Lead Indigo Ag – As of February 1, Dean Banks will take over as the CEO of Indigo Ag. Most recently, Banks was the president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. Banks has been a member of the Indigo Ag board since July of 2022. Banks succeeds Ron Hovsepian, who had been the CEO since 2020.
A New CFO for Pivot Bio – Pivot Bio has named Robert Houghton as its chief financial officer. Most recently, Houghton was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Life Time Group Holdings.
EPA Official to Leave the Agency – The assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Water, Radhika Fox, is leaving the agency at the end of February. Fox has had a key role in the oversight of water issues, including the controversial Waters of the United States rule.
Daudt to Step Down – Former Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt will resign from the Legislature on February 11. That’s one day before the 2024 legislative session begins. Daudt led the Republican majority from 2015 to 2019.
Kiel Announces Retirement Plans – Minnesota Representative Deb Kiel will retire from public office at the end of her current term. Kiel farms at Crookston and has represented northwest Minnesota in the Legislature for seven terms.
Longtime ND Climatologist Passes – Cancer has claimed the life of North Dakota State Climatologist Adnan Akyuz. Akyuz, 63, has been with NDSU for more than 17 years. Before that, Akyuz served in a similar role in Missouri.
Last Week’s Trivia-–In 1984, the Wendy’s fast food chain aired a commercial featuring three elderly ladies and the famous phrase ‘where’s the beef? Dean Nelson of Kelley Bean Company wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Adam Kuznia of Riopelle Seed Company, retired Nelson County farmer Mike Naas, Norm Groot of Monterey County Farm Bureau and Eric Lahlum of Corteva. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with cattle order buyer/rancher Roger Potter, Carrington farmer Charles Linderman, Randy Knudsvig of First State Bank, Case-IH retiree Fred Bower, Hillsboro insurance agent Gregg Webster, Adams farmer Dave Linstad, Cindy Cunningham of Woodruff, Brad Farber of Anglo American, Carla Pederson of Hub International, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Ron Claussen of Ag Media Research, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Jeff Triebold of Columbia Grain, Mike Trosen of Meadowland Farmers Co-op and Dave Gehrtz of Proseed.
This Week’s Trivia-What is the name of Mickey Mouse’s dog? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events
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|January 15 - January 17
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|Wild World of Weeds Workshop - Fargo ND
|MN Corn Grain Marketing Seminar - Online Webinar
|January 16 - January 18
|Red River Basin Land & Water Internation Summit Conference - West Fargo, ND
|January 16 - January 18
|MN Young & Emerging Farmer Workshop - Mankato, MN
|January 16 - January 18
|Manitoba Ag Days - Brandon, MB
|NDSU Feedlot School - Carrington, ND
|AgCountry AgFocus Conference - Willmar, MN
|January 17 - January 18
|MN Ag Expo - Mankato, MN
|ND Stockmen’s Assoc Beyond the Bunk Workshop - Towner, ND
|Northarvest Bean Day - Fargo, ND
|January 19 - January 24
|American Farm Bureau Federation Convention - Salt Lake City, UT
|SD Corn Conference - Sioux Falls, SD
|NDSU Extension Lambing Workshop - Carrington, ND
|Northern Pulse Growers Association Convention - Minot, ND
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|Cow Calf Day - Staples and Bagley, MN
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|January 24 - January 25
|Advanced Crop Advisers Workshop - Fargo ND
|January 24 - January 26
|KMOT Ag Expo - Minot, ND
|Cow Calf Day - Iron, MN
|Southern MN Sugarbeet Growers Seminar - Willmar, MN
|January 25 - January 27
|US Custom Harvesters Inc. Annual Convention - Oklahoma City, OK
|January 31 - February 2
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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.