A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, July 17, 2023
Wild Ride-There has been a lot happening in the markets. In the past week, we’ve had the market leaning the wrong way ahead of a crop production report, weather problems, volatile outside markets and rumors swirling around the news coming out of Beijing and Moscow. The Red River Farm Network interviews five-to-six market analysts each day bringing different perspectives to our farm listeners. Listen to your local RRFN radio affiliate for markets, farm news and weather. In addition to market sensitive news, this week’s edition of FarmNetNews has coverage from the House Ways and Means Committee field hearing in Kimball, Minnesota, crop conditions and more.
Russia Pulls Out of Black Sea Grain Deal – A Russian government spokeman told reporters its involvement in the grain deal has been “terminated.” However, Russia will rejoin the agreement if its demands over grain and fertilizer shipments are are met. Unsuccessful negotiations over the possible renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative took place earlier today in Istanbul, Turkey. This deal was originally put together with the help of Turkey and the United Nations in July of 2022. In the overnight electronic trade, grain and oilseed futures were higher due to the uncertainty in this region.
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 cites the news Russia is terminating its involvement in the Black Sea Grain deal. “That is likely going to bring some demand back to the U.S.” A change in the weather forecast is also a factor today.
Out of the Beltway – Nearly 20 members of Congress traveled to Schiefelbein Farms for the field hearing on agricultural trade and the supply chain. After the three-hour hearing, Chairman Jason Smith said it is a priority for the Ways and Means Committee to get out of the Washington Beltway “and there’s no better place than Kimball, Minnesota.” Opening new markets is seen as a must. “If we open up more markets for our farmers, it will improve the economy for Rural America and Rural America is struggling.”
Trade Deals Need Enforcement – Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach hosted the committee in her district. In addition to negotiating new trade agreements, Fischbach said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai needs to enforce the existing trade deals. “The USMCA has provisions for her to deal with those issues with corn and dairy and she needs to be using those provisions; the countries sign an agreement and they need to be following it.” Fischbach and Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in March and discussed Mexico’s ban on biotech corn imports. In addition to the trade barrier south of the border, Canada’s restrictive dairy policy was repeatedly brought up during the hearing.
Trade Policy Frustration – Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith chairs the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee. During the field hearing in Minnesota, Smith criticized the White House trade policies. “Forgive me for expressing my frustration, but the Biden administration is approaching trade with dialogues and frameworks rather than trade agreements.” The United States is seeking intervention through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement regarding Mexico’s ban on biotech corn imports. Smith wants more to be done. “I’d like to see President Biden take a stage somewhere and make it very clear that what Mexico is doing with our corn is wrong and if Mexico gets away with this, it will undermine all of our rules-based trade approach.”
Science-based Trade – Kimball, Minnesota cattle producer Don Schiefelbein hosted the House Ways and Means Committee on his multi-generational family farm. Schiefelbein, who is a past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, also testified saying trade agreements must be based on science. “When you go into trade agreements, they almost always push back on the very things that make food available for the poorest of the poor and to me that’s a disservice for not only the U.S. farmers, but for the world,” said Schiefelbein. “We’ve got to keep our eye on the ball and make sure that a scientific notation is real and not just another means to say we don’t want your efficiently produced product.”
MFU Minute – In this week’s Minnesota Farmers Union Minute, Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish discusses the House Ways and Means Committee field hearing in Minnesota. Wertish was one of five agriculture and rural stakeholders testifying at the hearing.
Political Airs – Schiefelbein Farms is the largest seedstock cattle operation in Minnesota and one of the largest in the country. The site that is home to an annual bull sale hosted lawmakers from across the country for the House Ways and Means Committee field hearing. Minnesota Congressman Brad Finstad reminded his colleagues about this unique location. “Smell in this beautiful smell of farm country; it is the smell of money and the smell of opportunity.”
USMCA Enforcement Falls Short – Glenwood, Minnesota dairy farmer Brad Vold was one of the five farm and rural leaders testifying before the Ways and Means Committee. Vold said it is important for the government to negotiate new trade agreements in key markets including Taiwan, Japan and Vietnam. “However, new agreements aren’t enough. They need to work for farmers and unfortunately, free trade agreements, such as the USMCA, have missed the mark in terms of providing the security that dairy producers, like my family, need to stay in business.” Vold emphasized the importance of enforcing the current trade agreements. “Canada has continued to fall short of their commitments to the United States failing to uphold its USMCA dairy tariff quota obligations by providing preferential treatment to their domestic producers.”
Sugar Business Threatened by Unfair Trade Practices – During the House Ways and Means Committee hearing in Minnesota, Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee stressed the need for an aggressive trade agenda. For Kildee, that includes protecting the sugarbeet industry. “Sugar growers support 144,000 jobs over the U.S.and these jobs are regularly threatened by unfair trade practices across the world that allows sugar to be sold at below-production costs undercutting American farmers.” With it being a farm bill year, Kildee said the no-cost sugar program needs to be protected.
Devastating Economic Consequences – Once African Swine Fever is confirmed in North America, it will be too late. Minnesota Farm Bureau Vice President Carolyn Olson used her own farm as an example when describing the impact of ASF. “If we are unable to raise pigs any longer in our barns because our grower has to depopulate that means we have no manure and no fertility for our organic crops and that will be devastating for us,” said Olson. “It’s also our neighbors who raise the corn and soybeans that go to feed the pigs. It’s a ripple effect that will have a impact on the local economy that I can’t even put into a estimate because it will be devastating.”
Bipartisanship Still Exists in Congress – A divided government naturally results in conflict. California Congressman Jimmy Panetta was part of the field hearing on agricultural trade in Minnesota. Panetta said the differences between Democrats and Republicans makes headlines, but bipartisanship still exists in farm policy, especially with the farm bill. “You’re going to hear some fights over SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, coming up. I get that, but the fact is the majority of that farm bill is going to be bipartisan.” Panetta encouraged farmers to continue to tell agriculture’s story.
Ag Exports on Downward Spiral – For the first eight months of the marketing year, U.S. agriculture exports continued to run behind last year’s pace. USDA Economist Bart Kenner is looking at a lot of negative numbers. “It’s the big downturn in bulk products that’s the biggest mover of total export values.” Wheat is down $4.5 billion from 2022. Corn is down $9.8 billion and cotton exports are down $4.6 billion from last year. Total agricultural exports October-through-May totaled $128.6 billion.
A Bearish Report – In the July supply and demand report, USDA pegged 2023 corn production at 15.3 billion bushels with an average yield of 177.5 bushels per acre. That’s above the average pre-report trade guess of 176.6 bushels per acre. Soybean production is estimated at 4.3 billion bushels and an average yield of 52 bushels per acre. Prior to the release of the report, the average trade estimate was 51.4 bushels per acre. New crop corn ending stocks are forecast at 2.26 billion bushels and new crop soybean ending stocks are estimated at 300 million bushels. USDA projects the all-wheat production estimate at 1.7 billion bushels with spring wheat production estimated at 479 million bushels and durum production at 54 million bushels. Wheat ending stocks are at 592 million bushels.
Wheat, Soybean Carryover Larger Than Expected – StoneX Chief Commodities Economist Arlan Suderman says the winter wheat crop was much bigger than anticipated in the July WASDE Report. “USDA hasn’t fully accounted for abandonment in the hard red winter wheat belt in the Plains.” That will be solved in the September report. Soybean ending stocks was another surprise. “Instead of dropping ending stocks below 200 million bushels, they pushed it to 300 million bushels.” An accounting mechanism was used to make adjustments that incorporated old crop ending stocks that absorbed the loss of 400 million acres of soybeans. Commodity prices fell across the board following the release of the report.
USDA Adjusts Yields – The Money Farm owner Allison Thompson says USDA’s supply and demand report could have been more surprising. “The big story is new crop and their adjustments to yields; including the minor uptick on corn yields and downturn on soybeans.” The market will continue following the production debate and yield forecasts.
Register Now for NCI Market Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Market Update webinar on Wednesday at 8 AM featuring Jeffrey McPike, broker/analyst, WASEDA Commodities, Inc. McPike will discuss World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for key agricultural products. This webinar series focuses on providing new market insights on commodities and trading to those across the globe. Go online for more information about the webinar and to register.
Early Season Conditions Impact Minnesota Spring Wheat – A late start to the season and extreme heat cut into the size of Minnesota’s spring wheat crop. Compared to last year, USDA expects Minnesota’s spring wheat crop to be 20 percent smaller. The average spring wheat yield is forecast at 54 bushels per acre, down seven bushels below last year. Barley production is projected to be down 34 percent from 2022. The expected barley yield in Minnesota is 57 bushels per acre, down 15 bushels.
A Small Decline in HRSW Scenario in ND – According to USDA, North Dakota’s spring wheat crop will be three percent below last year. The average yield is projected at 47 bushels per acre, down three percent from a year ago. North Dakota’s barley crop is six percent below last year with an average yield of 65 bushels per acre, eight bushels lower than 2022. The size of the durum crop is down 20 percent from last year. The average durum yield for North Dakota is forecast at 34 bushels per acre, down six bushels from a year ago.
USDA Updates SD Small Grain Estimates – Based on crop conditions on July 1, South Dakota’s spring wheat crop is nearly 30 percent smaller than last year. The average yield is forecast at 34 bushels per acre, down 14 bushels from 2022. The winter wheat crop is 17 percent below year ago levels.
Thune Outlines His Farm Bill Priorities – South Dakota Senator John Thune went to the Senate floor Thursday and outlined his farm bill priorities. Thune said crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm safety net and must be maintained. Thune has introduced legislation requiring the U.S. trade representative to develop a WTO-compliant country-of-origin labeling law for beef. “Under our current system, beef that is neither born nor raised in the United States but is simply finished here can be labeled product of the United States even if the only American thing about the beef is the plastic that it’s wrapped in,” said Thune. “That is unfair to American cattle producers and misleading to consumers.” Thune wants the new farm bill to close the labeling loophole.
Farm Bill Passage in ’23 – Twenty groups representing agriculture, the environment and hunger have launched a campaign to get the farm bill passed this year. This coalition includes Farm Bureau, Farmers Union and commodity groups representing everything from soybeans to sugar. The group is highlighting five major objectives; food security, job creation, conservation, risk management and addressing hunger.
ABA Releases Farm Bill Priorities – Number one, the American Bakers Association wants Congress to support increased wheat production through sustainable agricultural practices. The group supports changes in the U.S. sugar program and an investment in research. ABA is also advocating for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bakers’ group was on Capitol Hill this past week to meet with members of Congress.
ASA Goes to Capitol Hill – The American Soybean Association met with lawmakers this past week. ASA board member Joel Schreurs said the feedback about the farm bill was hopeful. “You just never know, there’s always things that pop up at the very end that they have to get worked through.” While most of the funds go toward food programs, crop insurance is vital. “The farm part of it is very minimal, but it’s still a lot of dollars and it’s crucial to the ag economy and farmers.”
Corn Growers Headed to D.C. – Corn Congress will take place in Washington D.C. this week. In addition to regular business, National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag says the farm bill will get attention. “A lot of the politicians will be hearing about the farm bill and that crop insurance is our number one priority going forward.”
Farm Bill Listening Session Coming to MN – The House Agriculture Committee will host a farm bill listening session during Farmfest in Minnesota’s Redwood County. Committee Chair Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson will lead that session that will be held Wednesday, August 2. USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie is scheduled to participate in the Farmfest forums on Tuesday, August 1.
Fielding Questions – In this episode of Fielding Questions, Andy Martin, legislative and public affairs officer at AgCountry, joins the program to give an update on where the new farm bill stands in Washington, D.C. Fielding Questions is a collaboration between AgCountry and the Red RIver Farm Network.
Bill Seeks Limits on CCC Authority – Three Republican senators have introduced legislation to limit the distribution of funds through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. The agriculture secretary has broad discretionary authority to use CCC funds. During the Trump Administration, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue used the CCC to compensate farmers for Chinese trade retaliation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has funded climate projects through this line of credit. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, Kansas Senator Roger Marshall and Indiana Senator Mike Braun said their proposal reduces unauthorized, wasteful spending.
Competition, Not Consolidation – The White House and USDA met with representatives of 16 food and agriculture organizations Thursday to discuss the need for more competition in agricultural markets. According to a White House summary, the Administration said consolidation can reduce the options for seed, fertilizer and farm equipment. The groups participating in the listening session include Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, R-CALF, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Campaign for Family Farmers and the Environment.
Harvest Likely to Begin in Early August – The wheat is starting to turn and Hallock, Minnesota farmer Theresia Gillie expects the crop to be ready for harvest in early August. Other crops could use more rain. “We had some significant snow events so I think our subsoil moisture has been fine, it’s just that we need some moisture on the top.” Conditions have been favorable for spraying. The full interview with Theresia Gillie can be heard here.
Black Layer Possible by September 10th – Corn across the region is well into the pollination phase. Peterson Farms Seed Lead Agronomist Rick Swenson says the crop is well ahead of the normal pace. “From full flower, it’s about 60 days before you get to black layer so I really wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have some fields black layering by the 10th of September and in our north country we can’t ask for anything more.” Scouting is now recommended for soybean aphids. “We’re really watching how those populations go, we might end up having to spray later in July.”
Pioneer Agronomy Update – Colfax, North Dakota was the site for this past weeks Pioneer Agronomy Update . Pioneer Field Agronomist J.J. Jaehning said field conditions are on the dry side. “We’re four-to-five inches below normal for average precipitation.” Despite being dry, Jaehning says growing degree units are ahead of the norm. “From a May 17th plant date, we’re about 200-250 units above normal.” You can watch the full update here.
Canola Crop is Blooming – Minot, farmer Pat Murphy is happy with the canola crop. “Like most crops, we could use a drink of water, but the earlier seeded stuff is in full bloom and some is actually starting to shut down.” Murphy, who serves on the Northern Canola Growers Association board, said the weather has influenced the fungicide treatments. “There’s been very little fungicide applied because the surface moisture has been low.”
Pasture Conditions Improve in SE North Dakota – At Monango, North Dakota, pastures have greened up after the late-June rains. “The last week of June most of the area caught anywhere from 3.5-to-5.5 inches of rain,” said Mark Wagner. “The second cutting of alfalfa is coming on strong and things look really good.” Wagner says flies and biting insects have been hard to control. “It’s a bugger when you’re out there fixing fence and you’ve got to douse yourself down with repellent; the cattle are out there with the same bugs.” Record heat in June was also tough on cattle. Listen to the full interview with Mark Wagner here.
A Mixed Bag for Potatoes – Rains have been hit or miss for spuds. Northland Potato Growers Association President Donavon Johnson says the potato crop is a mixed bag. “They all look really good above ground, but potatoes need a lot of water so there’s some dry areas that need more moisture.”
Pest Problems – The early-season heat could impact pest management. According to University of Minnesota Entomology Professor Ian MacRae, the number of insect generations can be sped up in that scenario. “When that happens, it means you have a mixed population of caterpillars, eggs, adults, and more insects to deal with throughout the summer.” Pyrethroid resistance in cutworms is also a problem this year. MacRae suggests spraying when it is overcast or in the evenings for best efficacy. Listen to the full interview with Ian MacRae here.
Early Cercospora Detection – American Crystal Sugar Company and USDA are partnering to create early cercospora detection data. General Agronomist Joe Hastings says scientists are using DNA sampling. “We found 100 percent of our samples during the week of July 4 all had cercospora in the DNA in leaves so it’s there even if we can’t see the spots.” Most beet growers started their cercospora spray program the first week of July. “Some growers have even started their second fungicide application to prevent cercospora from taking over.”
KS Wheat Harvest Well Behind the Normal Pace – After years of drought, too much rain has sidelined custom harvesters near Dayton, Kansas. Johnson Harvesting co-owner Shawn Johnson says the yields have not been great. “It’s been anywhere from mid-20s to low-30s, but we’ll have to see now that the kochia weeds have taken over more.” According to Johnson, other parts of Kansas have suffered crop damage from hail and wind. Johnson is based at Evansville, Minnesota and his family has been custom harvesting since 1960.
Kansas Harvesters Struggle with Mud – Harvest conditions in southern Kansas remain dismal. Dean Karau is part of a custom harvesting crew and says the Kiowa area went from drought conditions and less than five inches of rain in the past year to over 30 inches since the first of June. “They’ve had so much rain, they don’t know what to do with it. We’re playing in muddy conditions.” Karau says it’s been a struggle for all the harvesters. “The biggest problem we have are weeds coming through again.”
China Staging Soybeans Before Granting Clearance – China is now requiring imported soybeans to be staged at warehouses before getting clearance to enter the market. In May, China increased the rate of inspections on imported soybean cargoes that caused further delayed clearing times, according to Reuters. China is now looking to diversify its soybean import origins to meet the country’s oilseed supply.
Brazilian Appetite for Corn – Brazil is positioned to surpass the U.S. in corn exports this year. National Corn Growers Association lead economist Krista Swanson believes the marginal profitability for corn may affect the acres planted to second crop or safrinha corn. “The comparison between U.S. and Brazilian prices have narrowed these last few weeks. The exchange rate difference and the record corn crop coming onto the market are the cause of those differences.” The interest in corn is somewhat fickle in Brazil. “Their appetite for corn production depends on relative costs, investments in their infrastructure and transportation systems and demand after the corn market gets flooded.”
A ‘Whirlwind Year’ for East Grand Forks Grower – East Grand Forks farmer Rhonda Larson has wrapped up her tenure as chair of U.S. Wheat Associates. Larson describes the past year as a whirlwind. “I’ve been all over the world in a year and seen so many markets, wheat growers, and staff.” USW is focused on building demand for U.S. wheat. “U.S. wheat is the best wheat out there, but it’s not the cheapest wheat,” Larson told RRFN. “Several millers want to put ‘U.S. wheat’ on their labels because it’s the best wheat.”
Strike Ends for Canadian Ports – A tentative agreement is in place, settling the labor dispute with Canada’s West Coast ports. The four-year deal still needs to be ratified by the unions. The specifics of the agreement have not been released.
UK-Aussie Trade Negotiations to Continue – Trade talks between Australia and the United Kingdom broke down without a deal. Market access remains the biggest hurdle. Australia and the UK plan to resume trade negotiations next month.
EU’s Green Recovery Deal Seeks Approval – The European Union’s version of the Green New Deal survived a key vote in the European Parliament sending it back to committee. The measure would require member states to develop a recovery strategy for 20 percent of EU land and sea with a restoration deadline of 2050. Opponents to the bill include the conservative European People’s Party and trade groups representing agriculture and fisheries.
EPA Denies 26 Small Refinery Waiver Requests – The Environmental Protection Agency has denied 26 small-refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. These petitions for an RFS waiver extend back to 2016. American Coalition for Ethanol CEO Brian Jennings released a statement, saying its members are grateful the Biden Administration is fulfilling its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Biden Administration Pledges $300 Million Against Climate Change – The Biden administration pledged $300 million to measure greenhouse gas emissions generated by agriculture. This is part of the administration’s goal to reach zero net emissions by 2050. Agriculture accounts for about 10 percent of U.S. emissions according to the EPA.
Another Ring for the Value-Added Chain – North Dakota Soybean Council Treasurer Jim Thompson was in Portland this past week for the See for Yourself tour following soybeans throughout the system. “We learned about where our soybeans end up in the Pacific Northwest.” With the move toward soybean crushing, the big question centers around what will happen to the soymeal that will be produced in North Dakota. “Some places are expanding their meal capabilities with ADM and other soy processors coming online. In a perfect world, we would get more livestock in the state and add another ring to the value-added chain.”
Economic Slowdown Still Coming – According to a new quarterly report from CoBank, a mild recession is likely by the fourth quarter of this year. The report says the U.S. economy has not seen the full impact of the government’s monetary policy, including higher interest rates, quantitative easing and tighter lending standards. Due to the drought, grain markets will remain volatile. Fertilizer prices are dropping, but most other farm input costs remain high.
Farm Loan Numbers Decline From 2022 – As interest rates pushed higher, farm lending activity at commercial banks slowed during the first half of the year. The quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said the drop was due to a lower average loan size and fewer farm loans compared to one year ago. As interest rates moved up rapidly over the past year, variable rates have become more common.
Increased Equipment Sales in June – Farm tractor sales increased in the month of June for the first time this year. Large tractors and combines led the charge according the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive tractor sales increased 21 percent. Combines led the increase and were up by 27.5 percent.
Dry Bean Scene – Northarvest Bean Growers Association President Eric Jorgenson talks about the upcoming board meeting and gives us a midseason crop update in this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, Endura Fungicide from BASF, SRS Commodities, and Heads Up Plant Protectants.
Controlling Disease in Potatoes – With row closure, disease control becomes a priority for potatoes. “Provysol has been a shining star in potatoes for early blight control,” said BASF Technical Service Representative Ken Deibert. “We tend to recommend it early, but we’ve seen it in the second application; we’ve seen it in third and the fifith.” Deibert said it is important to keep rotating chemistries.
PEI Potato Wart Identified – A new detection of potato wart has been found on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Late last year, the Canadian Food Inspection Service announced its plans to modernize its efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, but action has not been taken. In October of last year, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said it is a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if’ potato wart from Prince Edward Island will spread to the United States.
Are Cattle Prices Too High? ‘Heck No’ – Despite low cattle numbers, Aberdeen Livestock Sales Co. co-owner Kevin Larson says the number of cull cows moving through the market is high for this time of year. “We’re talking pot loads instead of trailer loads of cows coming to town.” Larson expects the price strength to continue. “We’ve bypassed all-time highs and I don’t see where this thing is letting up.” Profits are limited by the cost of production. “Are we too high? Heck no. All we’re doing right now is keeping up with inflation.” Hear the full conversation with Kevin Larson here.
Herd Rebuilding on Pause – U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Justin Tupper thinks cattle producers haven’t started rebuilding their herds yet. “I think hay is a little short and cattle prices are too good for producers to start retaining heifers.” Tupper, who ranches near St. Onge, South Dakota, is seeing good feeder cattle prices. “This feeder market is on fire. Seven-weight heifers bring $2.15-$2.20 easy.”
Take Proactive Steps Against Anthrax – Anthrax has not been confirmed in North Dakota since 2021. NDSU Extension Veterinarian Gerald Stokka advises ranchers to be alert for the disease, especially in areas where outbreaks happened previously. “The disease can preserve itself by producing spores that remain in the soil for long periods of time.” The spores can be picked up by livestock, especially after floods or droughts. Minnesota has a confirmed case and Stokka is reminding cattle producers to vaccinate against Anthrax.
Support for the Checkoff – A resolution has been introduced in Congress underscoring the importance of commodity checkoff programs. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Todd Wilkinson praised the move, urging more members of Congress to reject efforts by activists to attack the checkoff program.
State Agencies Meet Weekly to Discuss Drought – Due to extremely dry conditions in parts of the state, the Minnesota Drought Task Force has begun weekly meetings. Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said calls are made to share information with “the DNR, Extension, FSA and RMA.” Hope remains for rain, but Petersen told RRFN said conditions are challenging in a large share of Minnesota. If a disaster is declared, zero-interest loans become available. “We saw a lot of use with that in 2021 when we had that very bad drought.”
U of M Small Grain Summer Plot Tours Continue – The University of Minnesota Small Grain Summer Plot Tours continue through northwest Minnesota this week. Extension Small Grains Specialist Jochum Wiersma says these tours will give farmers a chance to see current and new varieties. “It’s one thing to talk about the varieties in the winter, but it’s another thing to actually see what they look like in the field.” There are over 60 entries in the variety trials at each location. Wiersma will also address issues growers are facing this growing season.
Soil Fertility Minute – On this week’s Soil Fertility Minute, University of Minnesota Extension Northwest Research and Outreach Specialist Lindsay Pease talks about the upcoming Drainage Research Forum. The Soil Fertility Minute is sponsored by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council.
NACD Visits ND – The National Association of Conservation Districts is in Bismarck for its summer meeting. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven will address the group today. Speakers will also include Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Crosby. The group will tour Black Leg Ranch at McKenzie this afternoon.
File Hail Damage Claims on a Timely Basis – Sporadic hail has been seen in recent weeks. Ihry Insurance Agency agent Reed Ihry is thankful there hasn’t been many claims of severe hail damage this year. “Our Finley, (North Dakota) area towards Lakota, had a little hail, but overall, it hasn’t been severe.” Ihry reminds farmers to file claims right away. “Make sure to report immediately so we can take a look at what type of damage there is in breakoffs, cutoffs, or shattering.”
CHS 3Q Net Income Reflects Strong Global Demand – CHS is reporting quarterly net income of $547.5 million. That compares to nearly $577 million during last year’s record third quarter. For the first nine months of the fiscal year, CHS has net income of $1.6 billion and revenues of over $36 billion. Strong soybean and canola crush margins pushed earnings higher for its oilseed processing business. In the agriculture division, wholesale and retail agronomy product prices declined, resulting in lower margins compared to last year.
Strong Crush Margins – CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin partially credits the company’s latest financial success to an improvement in the soybean and canola crush margins. “For a number of reasons, one is in the food industry, which is just very robust, and increasingly due to renewable fuels.” Moving forward, Debertin remains optimistic. However, the value of the U.S. dollar will be a factor. Go online to hear the full interview.
Onida, SD Ethanol Plant Damaged – An explosion and fire broke out on July 9 at the Ringneck Energy ethanol plant in Onida, South Dakota. The ethanol plant is part of the Renewable Products Marketing Group, based in Shakopee, Minnesota, and started production in 2019 and processes 80,000 bushels of corn a day. The state fire marshall’s office is investigating the cause of the explosion.
Syngenta Brings Together Biologicals Business – Syngenta is bringing together the Valagro technology platform it acquired three years ago with its in-house biologicals business. In a statement, Syngenta said this one-team approach sets the stage for fast growth in the biologicals market. Syngenta Biologicals is the new brand name.
Cargill-Deere Collaboration – Cargill and John Deere are working together to streamline the digital and in-field experience for farmers using John Deere technology and participating in the Cargill RegenConnect program. The Cargill program provides farmers a financial incentive for the adoption of regenerative farming practices. The Deere precision technology and digital platform allows farmers to implement and document those practices.
Nutrien Cuts Potash Production – Nutrien has temporarily cut potash production at its Cory potash mine in Saskatchewan. The labor issues at the Port of Vancouver limits its export capability. So far, the strike has only impacted the Saskatoon mine but Nutrien officials said a prolonged strike could impact other mines in the province.
Simplot Settles With DOJ/EPA – J.R. Simplot has come to terms with the Justice Department and EPA over environmental issues with its Pocatello, Idaho facility. The company will pay $150 million to reduce the environmental impact of the fertilizer facility and pay a $1.5 million civil penalty.
WDE to Remain in Madison – Madison, Wisconsin will continue to host the World Dairy Expo through 2028. A new five-year contract was signed for the massive dairy event. Madison has hosted every World Dairy Expo since its inception since 1967.
Torres Small Confirmed as #2 at USDA – Xochitl Torres Small has been confirmed by the Senate as the next deputy secretary of agriculture. Torres Small has served as an undersecretary at USDA since 2021 and was a member of Congress from New Mexico for one term. Torres Small was confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 79-to-8.
Imle Takes the Reins of Northland Potato Growers – Northland Potato Growers Association elected their new officer team for 2023-2024. Chairman Peter Imle started July 1. Casey Hoverson is the new vice chairman, and Sander Dagen will serve as secretary/treasurer for the upcoming year.
New Leadership in Place for ND Farm Credit Council – Dale Zahradka of Lankin is the new chair of the North Dakota Farm Credit Council. Zahradka has been a member of the AgCountry Farm Credit Services board for over 20 years and is its past chairman. The new NDFCC vice chair is Carson Kouba of Regent. The NDFCC consists of Farm Credit Services of Mandan and AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Last Week’s Trivia- There are 52 cards in a standard deck of playing cards. Mackenzie Derry of CHS Ag Services wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Kristal Rick of Magno Seed, Lawton farmer Dennis Miller, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading and Nick Revier of SES VanderHave. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Carrington farmer Charles Lindeman, retired Fessenden farmer David Clough, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Randy Knudsvig of First State Bank, Dianne Bettin of LB Pork, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Joan Hoovestol of Mandan, retired Minnesota Ag in the Classroom Executive Director Al Withers, Mike Trosen of Meadowland Farmers Cooperative, Jon Farris of BankWest, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed and Phyllis Nystrom of CHS Hedging.
This Week’s Trivia-What ‘Blue Collar’ comic is known for the phrase ‘Git-R-Done?’ Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will recognize the first 20 responses in next week’s newsletter. Please, include your job title and/or hometown.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|July 15 - July 19||National Ass’n of Conservation Districts Summer Meeting - Bismarck, ND|
|July 17 - July 18||MN State Cattlemen’s Association Summer Beef Tour and Trade Show - Slayton, MN|
|July 17||NDSU Extension Agronomy Seed Farm Field Day - Casselton, ND|
|July 18||NDSU Extension CREC Field Day - Carrington, ND|
|July 18 - July 19||SD Governor’s Agricultural Summit - Watertown, SD|
|July 18 - July 20||Ag in Motion - Langham, SK|
|July 18||UM Small Grain Plot Tour - Oklee, MN|
|July 19||NDSU Extension NCREC Field Day - Minot, ND|
|July 19||NWROC Crops and Soils Day - Crookston, MN|
|July 19||MN Canola Council Field Day & Golf Scramble - Roseau, MN|
|July 20||NDSU Extension Langdon REC Field Day - Langdon, ND|
|July 20||Northern Canola Growers Ass’n Golf Tournament - Langdon, ND|
|July 20||Northland Potato Growers Ass’n Potato Golf Open - Park River, ND|
|July 20||UM Small Grain Plot Tour - Strathcona, MN|
|July 20||Northern Great Plains Research Lab Friends & Neighbors Day - Mandan, ND|
|July 21||UM Small Grain Plot Tour - Humboldt, MN|
|July 24||Bell Bank AgViews Live - Fargo ND|
|July 25||Bell Bank AgViews Live - Sioux Falls, SD|
|July 25||Partners in Ag Innovation Conference - Willmar, MN|
|August 1 - August 3||Farmfest - Redwood County, MN|
|August 2 - August 4||National Strip-Tillage Conference - Bloomington, IL|
|August 7||Northern Canola Growers Ass’n Golf Tournament - Minot, ND|
|Contact RRFN||Don Wick
|RRFN Affiliate Stations|
|Aberdeen, SD – 105.5 FM||Ada, MN – 106.5 FM||Bagley, MN – 96.7 FM||Bemidji, MN – 1300 AM|
|Benson, MN – 1290 AM||Bismarck, ND – 1270 AM||Bismarck, ND – 1270 AM||Casselton, ND – 103.9 FM|
|Crookston, MN – 1260 AM||Devils Lake, ND – 103.5 FM||Fergus Falls, MN – 1250 AM||Fosston, MN – 1480 AM|
|Glenwood, MN – 107.1 FM||Grafton, ND – 1340 AM||Jamestown, ND – 600 AM||Langdon, ND – 1080 AM|
|Mahnomen, MN – 101.5 FM||Mayville, ND – 105.5 FM||Roseau, MN – 102.1 FM||Rugby, ND – 1450 AM|
|Thief River Falls, MN – 1460 AM||Wadena, MN – 920 AM|
FarmNetNews is a production of the Red River Farm Network. RRFN is based in Grand Forks, North Dakota and provides news to farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.