A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Sunday, July 31, 2022
Know Your Farmer-The Red River Farm Network delivers farm news, markets and weather to the most progressive farmers in the world. Those farmers will be highlighted this week as RRFN hosts a dozen agricultural advertising agency representatives. With the exception of the past two years of COVID, RRFN has hosted our Know Your Farmer Tour since 2014. This is a first-hand look at modern agriculture. Our group will tour farms and learn from panels of farmers and agricultural stakeholders.
Odessa Bombing Complicates Grain Deal – One day after a deal was made to resume grain exports out of Ukraine, Russian missiles struck the Port of Odessa. Ukrainian President Zelensky described the attack as ‘barbarism’ and Russia should not be trusted. U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power told CNN the United States is working on a ‘Plan B’ to export grain out of Ukraine. This contingency plan includes roads, rail and rivers to deliver grain to Europe.
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 highlights the weekend bombing of the Port of Odessa and the impact on exports out of Ukraine. Energy costs and interest rates are also major drivers for grain and meat futures.
Blockade for Port of Oakland – A key hub for U.S. agricultural trade has been shut down with independent truckers blocking traffic at the Port of Oakland. The truckers are protesting California’s new labor law called AB5. Protesters are saying AB5 threatens their ability to do business as independent owner-operators. The blockade further complicates the supply chain problems seen worldwide.
Canada’s Fertilizer Reduction Climate Plan – During meetings with his provincial ministers Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is moving forward with plans to cap fertilizer usage. Trudeau wants a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and that can’t be done without a significant drop in fertilizer usage. The provincial agricultural ministers in Saskatchewan and Alberta criticized the climate change plan, saying it will be “catastrophic’ for farmers and increase food prices.
High Winds and Hail Move Through ND, MN Over Weekend – There’s damage to buildings, trees and crops. Twitter photos posted by farmers show snapped and twisted corn stalks, lodged wheat and damaged soybean plants. “In the northern Red River Valley, there was light hail and it was spotty. The main problem was the wind,” said Jennifer Otteson, crop insurance agent, Countryside Insurance. “We’re getting calls about widespread damage.” Otteson told RRFN farmers should get ahold of their agent right away even if the damage is considered light.
Hail Shreds Corn and Soybeans in McIntosh County, ND – It’s been an active storm season in North Dakota. A storm moved through the Ashely area Thursday bringing high winds and hail. Mark Rohrich says it wasn’t large hail, but the duration made it a challenge. “It’s one of those five minutes of hail where it seems like it’s an eternity.” Rohrich estimates about 75 percent of the corn is defoliated. The soybeans look better from the road and there may be time to recover. Another storm system moved through this weekend. “More hail and rain came on Saturday. It was a bit of a double whammy.” Photo credit: Mark Rohrich
A Promising ND Winter Wheat Crop – North Dakota’s winter wheat harvest has started. “It’s a promising crop; I expect it to be above average this year,” said John Weinand, who farms at Hazen. “The only issue we had within wheat are small areas of the field that winterkilled or were drowned out.” Weinand is also ready to harvest field peas. “They’re not very tall plants, but they have a lot of peas in them.”
Excellent Winter Wheat Crop in SD – The combines are rolling in the winter wheat along and north of I-90. Custom harvesters are reporting exceptional wheat yields, good test weights and protein. “We expect that the harvest will continue to march up the Missouri River,” says Reid Christopherson, executive director, South Dakota Wheat Commission. “Many producers are reporting yields at 80 bushels per acre and as we get west of the Missouri River, we anticipate that to drop off due to the drought conditions.”
A Delayed Spring Wheat Harvest – The spring wheat harvest in the northern tier of South Dakota will likely be delayed two to three more weeks. “Spring wheat got planted later so farmers are still waiting on that,” said DuWayne Bosse, market analyst, Bolt Marketing. “It don’t like the heat from the last few days, but we’re optimistic about yield.”
A Highly Variable Wheat Crop – Nebraska-based custom harvester J.C. Schemper is working in Montana after harvesting in Kansas and Nebraska. “We had a stop in Scott City, Kansas with some irrigated and dry land wheat. Yields ranged from 15 bushels per acre to 97 bushels per acre. It was a good crop, given the drought conditions.” Schemper saw a lot of disease and insect pressure in Nebraska. “At Oshkosh, Nebraska, they had everything from hail, sawfly to mosaic virus; one field only yielded 18 bushels per acre.”
Crop Scouts to Evaluate HRSW Crop – The Wheat Quality Council’s Spring Wheat Tour will cover routes in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. While crop scouts will survey crop conditions, WQC Executive Director Dave Green sees the tour as an educational experience for tour participants. “We have a lot of new people that work in agriculture.” More than 50 participants are registered for the tour. “That’s about normal for attendance. It’s a nice, broad based group of flour millers, government people and more.” The tour begins later today in Fargo, North Dakota and wraps up Thursday. RRFN’s coverage of the WQC tour is sponsored exclusively by Acres Away Ag Services.
Weather is “Just Right” – It was a late spring for Ada, Minnesota farmer John Brainard, but the spring wheat, sugarbeets and soybeans are making excellent progress. “It’s kind of like Goldilocks. We don’t want it too hot, too cold, too wet or too dry. We’ve had it just about right. We’ve been able to get our work done on a timely basis with no big weather delays.” Brainard is getting ready for spring wheat harvest, less than one month away. “The early wheat should be pretty good.”
Developing Fast – Speaking at the NDSU Agronomy Seed Farm field day, NDSU Extension small grain and corn agronomist Claire Keene said crop conditions are generally good. “Between myself and the farmers I’ve spoken with, we’ve been pretty amazed at how quickly the crops developed and pushed ahead,” said Keene. “In some areas, you wouldn’t know that the crop got planted a month or even six weeks late.” Keene said the crops went through the vegetative stages really quickly. As a result, it may not be a bumper crop.
Temps Moderate During Pollination – The slightly cooler temperatures make a big difference for the corn going through the reproduction phase. “Instead of being in the upper 90s, we’re in the upper 80s and lower 90s and it’s cooling off at night,” said Keith Alverson, Chester, South Dakota. “All of those things add up to let the corn crop take a breather and get through pollination.” The conditions this season are a big turnaround from a year ago.
Pollination Time in Northeastern South Dakota – Corn started tasseling in northeastern South Dakota this past week. Bob Metz, who farms in the Peever, South Dakota, is optimistic about the crop. “Last year, we actually saw our first tassels on the 4th of July and now we’re seeing it on the 17th or 18th of July,” said Metz. “We’re behind, but people did adjust some of the corn into 89 or 90-day corn where it would normally be 95 to 100-day maturity.” Metz is locking in propane prices for drying corn, but is taking a wait-and-see approach for diesel fuel.
Heat Advances the Crop – Crops advanced quickly with the recent heat. Rock and Roll Agronomy crop consultant Jason Hanson says there was adequate subsoil moisture to handle some of this heat. “We still don’t want to see these type of temperatures for some of the (crop development) stages, particularly for cereals during their reproductive stage, but if we can move the crop ahead a little quicker that’s okay.”
ETS-Soil Warrior Providing Updates From Strip-Tillage Conference – The National Strip-Tillage Conference is being held Thursday and Friday in Iowa City, Iowa. This event will concentrate on critical management and equipment decisions for strip-till growers. Farmers, agronomists and researchers are featured on the program. Listen to the Red River Farm Network for special reports with experts from Environmental Tillage Systems/Soil Warrior.
‘There’s Some Yield There’ – After walking the fields at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center at Crookston, University of Minnesota spring wheat breeder Jim Anderson was happy with what he was seeing. “It’s much taller than I was expecting it to be,” Anderson told RRFN. “I’m actually seeing some lodging which I kind of like to see; it means there’s some yield there.” Lodging diseases were rare duirng the last two years. With this season’s moisture, disease is a bigger concern. “I think our breeding programs is going to collect some good data and when that publication (University of Minnesota Spring Wheat Variety Crop Trial) comes out in October, the growers can see all those results.”
A Slow Moving Winter Wheat Harvest – Gettysburg, South Dakota farmer Tregg Cronin says winter wheat harvest is only beginning. “South of us, closer to Onida and Pierre, they’ve been running one week to 10 days. We keep running into green wheat, but usually that’s a good sign. That usually means there’s a good crop coming and what little we’ve combined so far looks good. Most of the protein is at 13 to 14 percent. There will be a lot of 60 to 70 bushel-per-acre wheat.” Cronin says as long as the wheat matures at its current pace, winter wheat harvest will last another 10 days. Spring wheat harvest should start the second week of August.
Winter Wheat Crop Has Potential – Conditions look favorable for the North Dakota wheat crop. Winfield United Seed Product Manager Ryan Moeller says the crop has potential if we can keep disease off it. “It varies as you go east to west, but this might be one of the highest yielding wheat crops that we’ve had for a while, but we are starting to see diseases move in.” The recent heat may have hurt wheat still in the flowering stage. “A lot of the wheat may have flowered by then, but some of the later varieties were still in the midst of it.”
High Protein Content, High Test Weights – This year’s winter wheat crop had a tough start in South Dakota, but the quality of is better than expected. “Right away this spring I think people wondered if there would be much of a crop, until we started catching rain, said Logan Reuman, crop consultant, Reuman Ag. “The winter wheat overall has a lot of good protein and test weight as well. It sounds like the majority of winter wheat is at 60 plus test weight and a lot of 14 plus on protein.”
A Complete Turnaround – Pete Burgard farms at Towner, North Dakota and is the senior vice president of Merchants Bank in Rugby. Burgard told RRFN the crop looks “awesome.” The region received over ten inches of rain last fall and additional moisture this spring. Crop and pasture conditions are dramatically different than last year. “It is a complete turnaround from last year; attitudes are a lot better this year.” RRFN joined KZZJ-Rugby for a live broadcast at Merchants Bank Wednesday. The family-owned bank is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Grasshoppers are Back – Grasshopper populations are starting to build in portions of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension Entomologist Ian MacRae says it’s not as bad as last year. “We had a lot of grasshoppers at the end of last year. and they all laid eggs outside of fields and those eggs hatched,” said MacRae. “The wet spring allowed fungal pathogens to reestablish and kill young insects.” MacRae was part of the Northwest Research and Outreach Center’s annual Crops and Soils Day in Crookston, Minnesota.
Evaluating Preemergence Products for Small Grains – Preemergence weed control is encouraged, but few options are available in small grains. During the NDSU Agronomy Seed Farm plot tour, NDSU Extension weed scientist Kirk Howatt spoke about a trial where he is using Sharpen against preemergence products that are used in other crops. The goal is to encourage registration of new options in small grains. “Sharpen, applied at two-and-a-half to three ounces preemergence, was more effective than several of the other preemergence herbicides used in corn, soybean, other commodities,” said Howatt.. “We usually think of Sharpen as just killing weeds that are present before the crop emerges, but if we keep that rate up above two fluid ounces of product, we get very good soil residual on certain weeds.” Waterhemp and pigweeds are very susceptible to Sharpen and similar products.
Resistance Persistance – Northeastern North Dakota has more wild oat weed resistance than any other part of the state. The resistance is to the Group One and Group Two herbicides. “From the samples that have been submitted, about 75 percent have been resistant to many of those herbicides,” said Brian Jenks, weed scientist. Wild oat thrives in the cool, wet conditions in the northeastern corner of the state. If resistance is an issue, the mode of action and the crop rotation should change. “For wild oat, the seed longevity is usually at least five years. If you can stay out of wheat for at least three or four years and come back to wheat when the wild oat population is decreased, you might have a better chance.”
Disappointment with Palmer Amaranth Finding – Last week’s Palmer amaranth finding is the first time the noxious weed has been confirmed in Traill County, North Dakota. Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist and Weed Control Specialist Tom Peters is disappointed. “It seems North Dakota is not doing a good job being proactive with this noxious weed. Palmer amaranth is going to be a game changer. It will impact everybody, but especially sugarbeet growers because of the limited amount of products we have to control it.” (Photo from 2021)
Scab Risk Expands to Northeastern ND – In the last week, the risk of Fusarium Head Blight expanded into the Red River Valley. NDSU Extension Cereal Crop Plant Pathologist Andrew Friskop says that’s problematic because the wheat and barley are in different growth stages. A fungicide application should be considered. “Our general recommendation for wheat is when early flowering starts, there’s seven days to make an effective application. For barley, it’s full head and then, you’ve got one week. The good thing is that there may be a window of opportunity to help you with timing.”
Be Alert for Bacterial Leaf Streak – During the Crops and Soils Day in Crookston, University of Minnesota Small Grain Pathologist Ruth Dill-Macky said early symptoms of bacterial leaf streak include small water-soaked lesions extending along the leaf margins and midrib. “You will see some water droplets on the leaf in the early morning that may be milky in appearance because of the presence of this bacteria. Later on, they can dry to form a glaze on the leaf surface or sometimes they dry into small little granules that can appear anywhere between a whitey milky color all the way through to an amber.” As the disease develops, necrotic stripes can be found on the uppermost leaves. There is no immunity to the disease, but varieties are being developed with some level of resistance.
Straight Cut Canola – Straight combining is more common in western North Dakota, but interest is growing for canola production in the northeastern corner of the state. Langdon Research Extension Center Research Agronomist Bryan Hanson says straight-cut canola may be the future for area growers. “With straight cutting you tend to get higher yields, you probably have less of a green seed problem and a higher oil content.” Straight-cutting canola was a challenge with the uneven stand seen one year ago. “Maybe it’s still good to have that swather in your yard because in some situations where it gets heavily lodged you may be thinking about swathing it as well.”
Weather Holds the Keys for Durum Crop – U.S. Durum Growers Association President Scott Monke is seeing his durum crop start to head out. “There’s earlier durum that’s starting to head out, but the majority is late. It’s got potential but it all depends on the weather.” Monke, who farms near Regent, North Dakota, says timing of harvest is up in the air. “Harvest is going to be later than usual, at least for me. I’m guessing we’ll start second or third week of August, but weather will ultimately decide when we start.”
Two-Row Barley in Demand – Aneta, North Dakota farmer and Stoller Representative Fred Lukens likes what he sees in the Stoller/AgVise two row barley plots. “Two row barley is relatively new to our area, but barley problems are about the same today as they were 35 years ago,” said Lukens. “We have to attack the problems of lodging, disease and sprouting because the maltsters want the two row barley.”
Responding to Climate Emergency – President Joe Biden is prepared to use his executive powers to address climate change. Speaking at an event promoting wind energy, Biden said climate change “is an emergency.” The president said formal action will be taken within a matter of weeks.
Ag Groups Have Positive Response to Fertilizer Ruling – The International Trade Commission’s rejection of final duties on urea ammonium nitrate was not expected, but applauded by agricultural groups. National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington says this is a welcome relief, because tariffs would increase input prices much higher than current levels. The American Soybean Association also issued a statement in favor of the ruling.
Corn Matters – The International Trade Commission’s decision on fertilizer imports has the attention of corn growers across the country. Minnesota Corn Growers Association Vice President Richard Syverson has more in this week’s Corn Matters.
Farm Bill Listening Session in MN Today – The House Agriculture Committee is hosting a farm bill field hearing in Northfield, Minnesota today. Congresswoman Angie Craig is hosting the hearing and it is being chaired by House Ag Subcommittee Chair Cheri Bustos from Illinois. The hearing will also be live streamed here.
House Ag Committee Takes Closer Look at Crop Insurance – The House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management reviewed the crop insurance portion of the farm bill. Eden Valley, Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Tom Haag testified in favor of federal crop insurance. NCGA is still working on farm bill recommendations ahead of 2023. Watch the full hearing.
Attention Shifts to 2023 Farm Bill – After returning from Corn Congress, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association is focused on the farm bill. Executive Director DaNita Murray says South Dakota and Minnesota would like to see an increase in reference prices and loan rates, but that resolution did not pass at Corn Congress. “Changes or improvements to the Title One safety net for commodities generally comes with a price tag. In South Dakota, our intent for the resolution is to make this type of an improvement in a fiscally responsible manner.” Murray says agriculture is not immune from inflation on inputs. At some point, some of the older reference prices start to look low compared to the floor producers have to raise corn. “I think there is a renewed appreciation for those who aren’t involved in agriculture for the security to produce food in a reliable and safe manner.”
Oversight Sought for Gates Farmland Purchase – South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson wants Microsoft founder Bill Gates to testify before the House Agriculture Committee. Gates is the largest owner of farmland nationwide and made headlines with a recent purchase of 2,000 acres of North Dakota farmland from Campbell Farms. Johnson wrote a letter to Chairman David Scott saying the country deserves to hear from Gates about his intentions for this land.
Gates Land Purchase Complicates ND Development of Animal Agriculture – The development of the soybean crush industry in North Dakota opens the door to the expansion of the dairy, swine and poultry industries within the state. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said North Dakota’s corporate farming law is the biggest hurdle to the expansion of animal agriculture in the state. The issue has been further complicated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his recent purchase of 2,000 acres of North Dakota farm ground. People have gotten so many things mixed up, misconstrued, and it’s just been misrepresented,” said Goehring. “If you’re a US citizen, you can purchase land anyplace in the United States under the law. We tend to get distracted from the real issues and it will probably going to hurt the conversation.” Reporters from around the globe have reached out to Goehring every day for the last five weeks to discuss either the Bill Gates land purchase or the proposed Fufeng project in Grand Forks. These are two separate topics, but Goehring said media outlets have mistakenly put them together. “People get it confused and then it muddies the water and then it makes it difficult for anybody to want to come and do value-added.”
Next Gen Bill Introduced – Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer has introduced legislation to support workforce development in the agriculture sector. It creates a work-based agriculture training program within USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program by funding apprenticeships and internships. Minnesota Senator Tina Smith introduced the same bill in the Upper Chamber.
Early Stages of a Bearish Grain Market – According to Brock Associates market analyst Richard Brock, the grain markets will likely continue to move lower heading into harvest. “We’re basically in a weather market and there will be some weather scares between now and harvest,” said Brock. “Again, unless there are incredible weather surprises, I don’t know what will stop it.” Brock advises farmers to consider having 60 to 70 percent of the crop priced before harvest if they don’t have storage. “I think the odds are high the cash market will be a lot less than what a farmer can contract it for right now.”
Dry Bean Scene – North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center Director Mike Ostlie gives us an update on the dry bean breeding program on this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is brought to you by SRS Commodities, Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, and BASF.
Fertilizer Prices Remain Higher Than Last Year – Prices for most of the eight major fertilizers are lower now than June. Potash is the exception. According to DTN Fertilizer Reporter Russ Quinn, potash is slightly more expensive at $885 per ton. “A good chunk of the world’s potash comes from Russia. A lot of analysts are worried about potash supplies increasing going into 2023, because of unstable footing.” Prices for all eight major fertilizers remain higher than this time last year. “MAP is the lowest at 44 percent more expensive than last year. Starter fertilizer is 45 percent higher, DAP is 49 percent higher, urea at 47 percent higher and potash is 77 percent more expensive. Anhydrous is 100 percent higher than one year ago.”
Global Factors at Play in the Nitrogen Market – As farmers consider fall fertilizer purchases, several global factors continue to weigh on costs. Nutrien Ag Solutions Chief Economist Jason Newton says seasonality is a big factor for nitrogen fertilizer. “Nitrogen prices globally are expected to decline going into the third quarter of the year.” For the fourth quarter, Newton expects global market conditions to remain volatile, especially for nitrogen. “We know the Chinese government has been rumored to add further restrictions to urea exports with exports down from China year-to-date. Ammonia supplies from Russia are down significantly. Raw material prices are another final factor to watch, especially natural gas and coal.”
Buy Now or Wait-and-See – Fall fertilizer decisions will be different for every farm. “If you’re willing to pay the money today to make sure you’ve got supplies, you may pay a little more,” said Josh Linville, fertilizer specialist, StoneX Group. “If you wait, you run the risk that everyone is following a just-in-time supply model; that’s less reliable.”
Listening and Learning – North Dakota State University President David Cook spent the past two weeks traveling the state and participating in the Research Extension Center field days. It was a time of listening and learning. “I’m very impressed with what we do in agriculture across the state,” said Cook. “We’re doing cutting-edge research that brings communities together and is driven by and with industry. It’s the perfect model and it’s exciting to see it firsthand.” Cook, who took over as NDSU’s president in mid-May, plans to participate in the summer field day programs again. “This is going to be an annual thing for sure.” The full interview can be found online.
Progress for NDSU Peltier Complex – The initial groundwork has begun for the new state-of-the-art Peltier Complex at North Dakota State University. “The Peltier Complex is going to house our cereal science, food science, and meat science programs from a research and teaching standpoint,” said Greg Lardy, vice president of agricultural affairs, NDSU. “It will also house the Northern Crops Institute, the North Dakota Trade Office and USDA ARS on as well.” The new facility is expected to open in April of 2024.
Future of Pet Food to be Highlighted in NCI Webinar – Northern Crops Institute will host another Future of Feeding webinar this Wednesday. This webinar will focus on ‘The Future of Pet Food’ and will feature Kate Vliestra, associate director, Mintel Food & Drink. Vliestra will focus on the increasing consumer scrutiny of pet food sustainability, evolving pet health priorities and the emergence of lab-grown pet food. The Future of Feeding webinar series recurs on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Registration can be found online.
LIP Payment Rates Adjusted – USDA updated payment rates under the Livestock Indemnity Program. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said this will provide more help for ranchers. “In essence, it increases the reimbursement they’ll get for calves they lost in the blizzard last spring from about $179 a head to about $475,” said Hoeven. “I want to thank FSA and, in particular, (North Dakota State FSA Director) Marcy Svenningsen for working with us to get this done.” Payments that have been made will be recalculated to include the updated rates.
Ranchers Needed Relief Program This Year – The revised payment rates for the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) are a big deal for North Dakota livestock producers who lost animals in the spring blizzard. That includes North Dakota Stockmen’s Association President Jeff Schafer. “We always hope we don’t need the program, but we needed it this year.” The NDSA asked USDA for stronger payments for livestock producers. North Dakota Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Marcy Svenningsen supported the effort. If ranchers suffered losses from the spring blizzard or summer heat and haven’t signed up for LIP, Svenningsen says there’s still time. “Producers have until March 1, 2023 to actually finish the application. The vast majority of applications are still sitting out there and farmers will come into the FSA office later on.” Read all adjusted payment rates.
USDA Trade Delegation Returns From the Philippines – A U.S. trade delegation traveled to the Philippines last week to build stronger ties and economic partnerships between the two countries. A handful of agricultural industry representatives from Minnesota were on the trade mission, including Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Vice President Darin Johnson. Johnson says there’s potential to expand soybean exports in the Philippines. “Right now, they’re at 2.2 million metric tons of soybean meal from the United States and they buy around 130 million tons of soybeans. The Philippines is trying to rebuild hog herds following African swine fever.” Johnson says the Philippines want to increase soybean purchases by the end of the year.
ASF Prevention – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is partnering with the USDA, National Pork Producers Council and the Philippines Agriculture Department to launch a new program to help address African swine fever. According to the NPPC, the new program helps the Philippines animal health services build a risk-based approach to implementing animal health policy and programs.
Milk Production Report Released – South Dakota continues to lead the nation in the expansion of the dairy industry. During June, South Dakota dairy farms added 21,000 milk cows and increased production by 15 percent. In Minnesota, milk production dropped one percent. In the 24 major dairy states, June milk output was up 0.3 percent.
TransFARMation: Record Milk Check Offset by High Production Costs – “The margins shrunk,” said Mark Sauter, who farms at Cannon Falls, Minnesota. “With today’s price, we’re floating probably 50 cents either side of breakeven; the feed costs are a big chunk of that.” In the TransFARMation podcast, Sauter describes the heavy snows that collapsed the free-stall barn.That was followed by a tornado eight years later. “The 2018 one was a lot tougher to recover from. In September of 2018, a tornado came over the farm and in February of ’19,. we had another 100 feet or so of free-stall roof collapse.” The tornado unknowingly shifted all of the rafters about six inches from top-to-bottom. “We fought with the insurance company to prove that it was from the tornado. We got that resolved and prices skyrocketed afterwards so we were about 30 percent short of what we needed for settlement costs.” Sauter said the herd is now just beginning to come back into full production. Listen to the full podcast.
Fly Control in Cattle – Horn flies, face flies and stable flies are the most common and most treated pests on North Dakota livestock operations. NDSU Extension Livestock Systems Specialist Janna Block says fly populations are just reaching their peak now. “The ones that we’re most concerned about on pasture are horn flies and face flies, and they peak about mid-summer.” Out of control fly populations can affect weight loss and milk production. “There’s lots of production issues if left untreated. They can also be a vector for diseases like pink eye and mastitis.”
What a Difference a Year Makes – After a year of drought, ranchers are having better luck putting up hay this season. Mandan, North Dakota rancher Kenny Graner is on his second cutting. “I’ve heard stories of people getting more than twice as many bales off the same field this year than last year.” Graner says the grasshopper population is high this year. “It’s more than normal but I don’t think it’s going to be an issue because of the abundance of growth we have.”
Test for Hay Quality – It’s been a good year for hay production in North Dakota. Timely moisture has been seen, but the weather hasn’t been conducive for drying hay and there’s a lot of discolored hay. NDSU Extension Forage Crops Production Specialist James Rogers says testing the quality of the hay will be especially important this year. “When the moisture content is pushed, we can have heat damaged protein content. If we have heat damaged protein, there will be a little line on the forage test that says insoluble crude protein or ICP.” Rogers says the animal can’t use utilize this feed.”While you think you may have a high quality hay, if it has heat damaged protein, the available protein to the animal may not be what you think it is.”
North Dakota Lifts Poultry Event Ban – The North Dakota State Board of Animal Health ended the ban of poultry events and exhibitions, effective immediately. The risk of spreading Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is declining with warmer weather and fewer migratory birds flying around the state. A positive diagnosis in the state will cause a reinstatement of the ban.
MPCA Publishes Draft Assessment of Epitome Energy Project – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released the draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the proposed Epitome Energy soybean processing plant in Crookston, Minnesota. The project impacts two wetlands on the site, but no public surface waters are near. The assessment says the facility will require an air permit to make sure emissions comply with the Clean Air Act. A public comment period is open. The MPCA will host a virtual public information meeting the evening of Thursday, August 4. If there is no need for additional environmental reviews after the comment period is closed, the project can move onto the permitting process. Photo credit: MPCA website
The Benefits of Drainage – After three years of evaluating sub-surface drainage in research plots, University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient and Water Management Specialist Lindsay Pease is starting to notice yield differences in the crops. “In a really wet year, we started to see better yields in our drained section compared to the undrained section,” Pease told RRFN. “Unfortunately, in last year’s drought, we saw slightly lower yields in the drained section due to the lack of rain.” This summer, there are more rains and the lift stations are pumping. “We are looking forward to seeing how yields do this year.”
ND Carbon Capture and Storage Project Online – Carbon storage operations at the Red Trail Energy ethanol plant at Richardton, North Dakota has started. This project allows CO2 to be stored deep underground and is the first of its kind to operate under state-led regulatory authority for carbon storage.
Work Begins on New Canola Plant – Cargill broke ground this past week for its new canola processing plant in Regina, Saskatchewan. The plant will have an annual production capacity of one million tons and is expected to be completed by 2024.
Goehring Questions EPA Atrazine Plans – North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is upset with EPA’s proposal to restrict the use of atrazine. In a statement, Goehring said EPA appears to be “ignoring its own science” as it considers plans to restrict or ban safely-used products. Goehring said actions of this type hurt North Dakota’s agricultural economy and threatens the food supply.
Draft Sulfoxaflor Evaluation Released – The Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft biological evaluation of sulfoxaflor. This report says the insecticide is likely to have negative impact on certain endangered and threatened species and critical habitats. Once the draft opinion is posted in the federal register, there will be a 60-day comment period. Sulfoxaflor is registered for use in a variety of crops, including corn, soybeans and alfalfa. A lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity resulted in this EPA evaluation.
Parade of Champions: Say Yes – The Red River Farm Network Parade of Champions is celebrating 4-H and FFA across the region. Daniel Jossund from Perley, Minnesota was a member of the Riverside 4-H Club and Ada-Borup FFA chapter. “I joined 4-H when I was a kindergartener, as soon as I could. My parents were both club leaders and siblings were active in 4-H.” As a 4-H member, Jossund learned skills he uses every day. “I learned a lot talking to the judges at the county and state levels about crops, agronomy, mechanical skills, and woodworking.” Jossund is grateful for his experience in 4-H and FFA and encourages young members to make the most of their time in these organizations. “In FFA, I went to State Greenhand Leadership Camp and also 4-H camps and I met a lot of great friends that I am still in contact with today. Take advantage of the opportunities and say yes more often.” This salute to our next generation is sponsored in NDFB, Associated Milk Producers Incorporated and Dinner Bell Creamery. Hear the story. Photo is courtesy of R&J Broadcasting
Transition in the Organic Sector – Albert Lea Seed House has acquired Blue River Organic Seed from the Farmers Business Network. Blue River Organic Seed markets corn, silage corn, soybeans, alfalfa, forages and sorghum. Albert Lea Seed House sells conventional non-GMO and organic seed products under its Viking brand. With acquisition, Albert Lea Seed House is now the largest producer and supplier of organic field seed in the nation.
New Sunflower Trait Announced – CROPLAN and Syngenta have launched a new sunflower herbicide trait called ‘Air.’ CROPLAN U.S. Product Manager Mark Torno says the trait provides the ability to tank mix Beyond and Express herbicides. “It will be broad coverage across the Group 2 herbicide families and offers the ability to choose which herbicide system you want to use based on the weeds that are there or tank mixing them together and getting the best of both worlds.” Torno says the trait won’t be available on a commercial basis for another year or two. You can listen to the entire interview here.
Captain to Guide DMI Sustainability Effort – Dairy Management, Inc. has hired Lori Captain as executive vice president of global sustainability strategy, science and industry affairs. Captain joins DMI after service more than 20 years at Corteva Agriscience and its predecessor DuPont.
40 Square Hires Executive Director – 40 Square Cooperative Solutions named Amanda Beavens as its new executive director. Beavens has more than 20 years of experience managing senior care facilities throughout south-central Minnesota.
Sahr to Succeed Boyko at East River Electric – East River Electric Power Cooperative, based in Madison, South Dakota, named Bob Sahr as its new general manager and CEO. Sahr replaces Tom Boyko who announced his retirement in March. Sahr has been East River Electric’s general counsel since 2006.
SD Farmer Honored With Ag Tech Award – Greg Odde of L&O Acres in Aberdeen, South Dakota was presented the Precision Farmer of the Year Award during the first-ever Global Ag Tech Awards of Excellence.
Last Week’s Trivia-A light bulb was the heat source for the Hasbro Easy Bake Oven. Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker wins our weekly trivia challenge. Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Mike Trosen of Meadowland Farmers Cooperative and Bob Lebacken of RML Trading earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Nick Revier of SES VanderHave, Karlstad farmer Justin Dagen, Phyllis Nystrom of CHS Hedging, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Solen farmer and rancher Woody Barth, Mark Bernard of AgroEconomics, Peter Carson of Carson Farms, Michael Rose of Grand Forks, Jon Farris of BankWest, Kevin Schulz of Dakota Farmer/Nebraska Farmer, Danny Pinske of Bennett Houglum Agency, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Burleigh County farmer Jim McCullough and Keith Bjornby of Lone Wolf Farms.
This Week’s Trivia-What is the hair-like material on an ear of corn called? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|August 2 - August 4||Farmfest - Redwood Falls, MN|
|August 8||Corn Cob Open - Brookings, SD|
|August 9||ND Corn Classic - Maple River, ND|
|August 10 - August 12||ACE Intensity Conference - Omaha, NE|
|August 11||The Future of Fertilizer Tour - Barrett, MN|
|August 11||Pork Quality Assurance & Transport Quality Assurance Certification Sessions - Morris, MN|
|August 16 - August 18||Dakotafest - Mitchell, SD|
|August 18||NDSU Monthly Agricultural Market Outlook - Online Webinar|
|August 24||Midwest Agricultural Export Summit - Sioux Falls, SD|
|August 25||NPPGA Field Day - Larimore, Inkster and Hoople, ND|
|August 25||ND Corn Clay Shoot & Supper - Bismarck, ND|
|August 30||Sugarbeet Plot Tour - Foxhome, MN|
|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.