A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Thursday, July 06, 2023
Shock and Awe- Friday’s USDA acreage report was a huge surprise. Corn acreage was more than 2 million acres above the March estimate and more than 1 million above the highest trade guess. Soybean acres were 4 million acres below March intentions and more than 3 million below the lowest trade estimation. Soybeans, soyoil and soybean meal have expanded limits today. Markets are open today but closed tomorrow for the holiday. Trade will resume Wednesday morning.
Surprising Soybean Acreage – USDA estimated the soybean plantings at 83.5 million acres. That’s far below the average trade guess of 87.6 million. Corn acreage is at 94.1 million, above the pre-report trade estimate of 91.8 million. This year’s corn crop represents the third largest planted acreage in the United States since 1944. The all-wheat category is in line with the average trade guess at 49.6 million acres. Spring wheat acreage totals 10.5 million.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In this week’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Martinson Ag Risk Management President Randy Martinson says USDA came in and blindsided the soybean market last week in its acreage report. “Soybeans are the hot market along with feeder cattle.”
A Game Changer – If there was a surprise going into the June quarterly stocks and planted acreage report, traders were expecting it to be in the stocks number. StoneX market analyst Arlan Suderman says the big shock was with the corn acres. “We had heard reports of increased corn acres across the Midwest, but we thought it would be offset by the prevent plant acres in the northwest and it would balance out. Those increases were much bigger than expected.” Suderman calls this report a game changer for the soybean market. “There’s zero margin for error for soybeans this year. On the other hand, corn could afford to lose some yield due to bad weather.”
Corn, Soybean Acres Generally Trend Higher in Tri-State Region – Corn acreage is up across the tri-state region. Minnesota growers planted 8.4 million acres, up 400,000 acres from last year. South Dakota’s planted corn acreage is record high at 6.2 million. That’s up 450,000 acres from 2022. Corn acres in North Dakota totaled 3.9 million, up nearly 100,000 acres from a year ago. For soybeans, Minnesota acreage is up slightly from a year ago at 5.7 million. North Dakota is down slightly from a year ago at 5.65 million. Soybean planting in South Dakota totaled 5.3 million, an increase of 200,000 acres from a year ago.
Despite a Late Spring, ND HRSW Acres Rise – North Dakota is the largest spring wheat-producing state in the country with 5.6 million acres, up six percent from last year. Minnesota’s spring wheat acreage totals 1.14 million, down from 1.2 million last year. South Dakota farmers seeded 750,000 acres of spring wheat, an increase of 20,000 acres from a year ago. Barley acres are up nationwide. North Dakota leads the way with 840,000 acres of barley, 100,000 acres more than a year ago.
Canola Acreage at Historic Levels – The planted area for canola nationwide is forecast to be record high at 2.28 million acres. That’s up three percent from last year. Canola acreage in North Dakota is at an all-time high of 1.9 million. That’s up six percent from 2022. After a huge sunflower crop last year, many of those acres have gone away this year. North Dakota is the #1 sunflower production state with 625,000 total acres. That’s down 15 percent from last year. South Dakota sunflower acreage is at 460,000 acres, down more than 29 percent. The total sunflower acreage in Minnesota declined 24 percent at 59,000.
Pioneer Agronomy Update: GDUs Well Ahead of the Norm – The corn has stretched out with the recent heat. “In my 19 year history with Pioneer, we’ve never been this far ahead in GDUs,” said Zach Fore, product agronomist, Pioneer. “We’re 300 GDUs ahead of normal because it has been so warm.” Even with late planting dates, the crop has advanced rapidly. In the Pioneer Agronomy Update on YouTube, Fore said 300 GDUs is the equivalent of 12 maturity days. “A 92 day hybrid right now is at the same stage as an 80 (day corn) normally.” During the interview, Fore also outlined the IMPACT plots and hybrid development, water usage and the influence of the Canadian wildfires on the crop.
Hot Days Took the Top End Off of the Yields – In the Aneta, North Dakota area, Fred Lukens is spraying soybeans. “Things are in pretty good shape, but on the Tuesday before the rain it was 95 degrees and 25 mile-an-hour winds and the crops were just wilting.” Lukens says the wheat will be okay, but not what it could have been. “The 80-to-90-degree weather has taken the top end off of the yield. While it won’t be a bumper crop, it still looks good.”
A Good Crop in the Minot Area – The crops across northwest North Dakota are making decent progress. “Crops are growing quickly,” reports Courtney Meduna, technical agronomist, Dekalb Asgrow. “We’re seeing yellow canola flowers all over the place; corn and beans are growing pretty rapidly as well.” Meduna said soybeans are beginning to flower.
Late-Seed Crops Helped by the Recent Moisture – The recent moisture has been beneficial for Brian Boll’s later-planted spring wheat. “In some of the sandier fields, wheat is six inches tall, brown and headed out, but our later-seeded stuff looks pretty good.” The soybeans on Boll’s Crookston farm are all over the board. “Any place that picked up an early rain looks pretty good, but fields that missed it look pretty tough.” There’s a similar scenario for corn where some fields are thriving and others are not. The corn that was planted into dry dirt is just starting to emerge and Boll plans to chop that.
Fairly Good Weed Control – At Crookston, Dustin Perry is wrapping up the spraying of his soybeans. “Our weed control has been fairly good this year. We did do a lot more pres this year in the soybeans.” Perry is now focused on cleaning up volunteer corn. Sugarbeets are starting to close rows. Perry is now preparing for fungicide treatments in his beets.
Too Much – Most farmers are grateful for the rains that came through just over a week ago, but some areas received too much water. “We got between 7.5-to-8 inches of rain, so everything is a little soggy,” said Taylor Ketterling, who farms at Wishek, North Dakota. “There’s a lot of missing fences and drowned out spots in fields.”
Optimism for the Wheat Crop – Despite early stress, Kirby Steichen is pleased with his wheat crop at Goodrich, North Dakota. “A few hilltops got hurt earlier with the heat; we were dry for a little period there, but, all in all, stand looks good,” Steichen told RRFN. “The heads look to be decent size and I think will fill good now with the little bit of cooler weather and the moisture we have.” The corn in central North Dakota went in late, but Steichen says the crop caught up with the recent heat.
SD Wheat Crop Still Has Potential – Most of the spring wheat across South Dakota is heading. South Dakota Wheat Commission Executive Director Reid Christopherson is seeing a wide range of conditions. “The crop is generally characterized by being a little bit short and a little bit thin in areas that were stressed by lack of rainfall. There’s some other areas where the rains did fall and it’s not going to be a bumper crop but I think it’s going to have potential.”
Not Counting Out the Wheat – Despite limited moisture this spring, Red River Sales and Agronomy sales agronomist Leah Johnson is pleased with the crop conditions in the Elbow Lake, Minnesota area. Wheat has seen the most stress this year, but Johnson isn’t ready to give up on the prospects of good yields. “We’re putting fungicide on the fields that look to have the most yield potential. We never count the wheat out because it’s so hard to predict the yields we’re going to have.” Corn emergence was great this spring, but the crop will need consistent rains to stay in good condition. Later-planted soybeans had a rough start. “With the soybeans that got planted into dry dirt, we’ve kind of got extended emergence.”
An Uneven Crop – Rock and Roll Agronomy owner Jason Hanson, who is based at Webster, North Dakota, is looking at very uneven heading in the wheat crop. “It’s not the crop we’d like to see. In ten-inch row spacing you can still see down rows for the most part in some fields.” For canola, dry beans and corn, Hanson says the recent rain came at just the right time.
Hit or Miss Crops – In the Roseau, Minnesota area, Richard Magnusson is looking a crop that differs based on the fields that caught a rain and those that didn’t. “Rains have been very spotty. Some spots have been in severe drought and the crops are going backwards; other areas look good.” The small grains and ryegrass didn’t handle the heat and dryness very well. “Some of the wheat is very short, the stand is thin and it is starting to change colors.”
Insect Issues – Wheat midge is being found in light numbers spring wheat fields. NDSU Extension Entomologist Jan Knodel encourages farmers to begin scouting. “Most fields are ten-to-15 percent emerged in the northern tier of North Dakota where we see the most economic problems with wheat midge.” Knodel is worried that recent rains could bring back the population. Wheat stem sawfly is also emerging in the drier areas of North Dakota.
Dry Bean Scene – ADM Edible Bean Specialties Agronomist Robb Zenk and Fessenden Coop Association Edible Bean Division Manager Brad Stevens give us a snapshot of dry bean fields across the region in this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, Varisto Herbicide from BASF, SRS Commodities, and Heads Up Plant Protectants.
Dry Bean Acres Drop Off – The area planted to dry edible beans in 2023 is estimated at 1.21 million acres. That’s down three percent from last year. Seven of the nine reporting states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, had a drop in dry bean acreage.
Beans in a Bathtub – Before the recent rain, dry edible beans were under stress. Kelley Bean Company Regional Manager John Bartsch says last week’s moisture was timed perfectly. According to Bartsch, most dry bean fields are in perfect condition with the exception being in parts of Pembina County in northeast North Dakota where was too much rain. “If you have standing water in fields for 24-to-48 hours, those plants will be dead. In Pembina County, the ditches were so full, the fields were just sitting there like a bathtub.”
More Interest Rate Hikes Expected – The first quarter real gross domestic product increased by two percent. That’s far better than the 1.4 percent expected by industry analysts. In a separate report, the Labor Department said the initial jobless claims for the week ending June 24 was 239,000. That’s well below the 264,000 that were expected. At the same time, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell spoke at event in Spain, saying most of the board favors two or more interest rate increases by the end the year.
New WOTUS Rule On The Way – The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers are now working to amend the final Revised Definition of Waters of the United States rule to stay consistent with the Supreme Court Ruling. Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Director of Public Policy Pierce Bennet says this is a win for farmers across the country. “The EPA has to go back to the drawing board and create a tighter and more focused scope as to what a Water of the U.S. is and what bodies of water they think they have regulatory authority over.” EPA has recently acknowledged the Supreme Court Ruling and intend to issue a revised ruling by September of this year. “Farm Bureau will remain engaged continuing to communicate on behalf of our members,” said Bennett.
Legal Action Taken Over WOTUS – Farm groups are asking the federal courts to vacate the Waters of the United States rule. The lawsuit was filed jointly by numerous farm groups, including Farm Bureau, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association and National Pork Producers Council. “EPA has indicated and the Army Corps (of Engineers) have indicated they would like to issue a direct final rule redefining WOTUS by September 1,” said Mary Thomas-Hart, chief counsel, NCBA. “Hopefully, by the end of the summer we will hear from this federal court and can achieve the nationwide vacatur that forces the agencies back to the drawing board.”
Ag Policy Research Center Being Established at NDSU – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and former House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson joined North Dakota State University leadership to announce the establishment of a new agriculture policy research center. This center will complement the work done at the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University. Funding for the center passed unanimously in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill needs approval by the full Senate and to be conferenced with the House.
A Midwestern Voice for Farm Policy – North Dakota State University Vice President of Agricultural Affairs Greg Lardy says the new agriculture policy research center will help guide federal farm policy. “We’ll be operating in partnership with FAPRI and the operations of Texas A&M, this will be a Midwest version of that.” When approved, this center will provide in-depth policy and economic analysis for Congress and USDA. “Think of the implications for future farm bills, having sound analysis and understanding the impacts of various policy decisions is going to be critically important.”
Boozman-McConnell Discuss Farm Bill – Senate Agriculture Committee Chair John Boozman joined Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday for a farm bill roundtable meeting. After the Lexington, Kentucky event, Boozman said he shares McConnell’s commitment for the timely passage of a bipartisan, farmer-focused farm bill.
Crop Insurance Favored Over Ad Hoc Disaster Bills – According to House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, 80 percent of the money spent on agriculture over the last five years has been outside of the 2018 farm bill. That includes disaster relief, trade mitigation assistance and COVID money. Weather disasters are emotional issues. Thompson believes that can result in overspending. Thompson would like to take some of that disaster money and invest it in the crop insurance program. “They will make crop insurance more attractive; we’ll get more subscriptions which helps bring income in and we will save money because we will avoid the typical emotional disaster decisions.”
Reference Prices Need Attention – The South Dakota Corn Growers Association and South Dakota Soybean Association are asking Congress to update reference prices in the next farm bill. The reference prices are currently $3.70 per bushel for corn and $8.40 per bushel for soybeans, far below the break-even cost of production.
Homegrown Fuels – USDA is investing up to $500 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to increase the capacity of domestic biofuels. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said another $25 million was also awarded to build the infrastructure for higher ethanol blends. Roughly one-third of those funds are being invested in Minnesota. “This federal funding that was secured is going to help gas stations to install, retrofit or upgrade fuel pumps and storage tanks to deliver ethanol blends greater than ten percent and biodiesel blends greater than 20 percent,” said Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Additional projects will be awarded in the coming weeks.
Corn Matters – National Corn Growers Association has a call to action on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Hear more from National Corn Growers Association Director of Political Strategy Anne Thompson in the latest Corn Matters. Corn Matters is a presentation of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
Vilsack Defends RFS Decision – While announcing plans to increase the availability of domestic biofuels, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was asked about the recent EPA decision on renewable fuel obligations for the next three years. Vilsack said EPA’s announcement represents the largest biofuels production target in the history of the Renewable Fuel Standard. “The reality is no administration in my 30 years of dealing with this issue that has been more supportive for the biofuel industry than the Biden-Harris administration,” said Vilsack. “That’s a fact.”
Soy Crush Projects On Hold – Numerous farm groups were disappointed in the recent EPA announcement on the Renewable Fuels Standard. It is impacting the expansion of the soybean crush. Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council Director of Market Development Kim Nill saids Cargill put a hold on a major project. “That would have been the biggest of all these announcements at 200,000 bushels of crushing capacity per day.” The project would have generated 40 permanent jobs. “We know this project has been put on hold, but talking among the industry, we fear there might be more.”
Broadband Across the Nation – The Biden Administration has announced over $40 billion to expand the availability of high-speed internet service. These projects are expected to be shovel-ready by mid-2024. The White House compared this announcement with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Rural Electrification Act that turned on the lights across America.
USDA Funds Fertilizer Expansion – USDA announced an additional $400 million in grants to support domestic fertilizer production capacity through the Fertilizer Product Expansion Program. The program will help applicants increase or expand manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. USDA previously allocated $500 million through FPEP, but has seen an increase in demand after the first two rounds of funding.
Money Available to Help Small and Medium Sized Meat Processors – USDA has awarded projects in 17 states to increase meat processing and expand market opportunities for farmers. In this region, the Oyate Community Development Corporation and Rural Development Finance Corporation in North Dakota each received $15 million for a revolving loan fund. The Farmers Union Foundation also received $834,000 in a revolving loan fund to assist independent, small and medium-sized meat processors in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin.
More Dollars Devoted to Wildlife Conservation – USDA has announced a historic investment in wildlife conservation. At least $500 million is being invested over the next five years by leveraging CRP and other conservation programs. Half of the funds will come from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and the half from the Environmental Quality Incentive Program.
Practical Experience Gained on E-Tour – The North Dakota Grain Growers Association E-Tour was based out of the Williston area this year. “This is our 29th year hosting the tour,” said Ed Kessel, president, NDGGA. “We looked at a broad spectrum of things on what it takes to write a label.” Kessel says the tour gives EPA employees an opportunity to gain practical experience. “It may just be conversations about droplet size, but it’s real-world experiences.”
National Sunflower Association Holds Summer Seminar – The National Sunflower Association held their summer meeting in Spearfish, South Dakota this past week. The farm bill, bird food market trends and plant breeding were the big topics. “We’re trying to get additional funding at USDA for sunflower breeding,” said John Sandbakken, NSA executive director. “A lot of sunflower breeding is happening overseas so we want to increase the focus on hybrids that will work in the U.S.”
USMCA Meeting This Week – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will meet with her counterparts from Canada and Mexico Thursday and Friday in Cancun. This is a regularly scheduled meeting to review the USMCA trade agreement. Tai will also have individual meetings with the Canadian and Mexican trade ministers.
Canadian Dock Workers on Strike – Over 7,000 port workers on the Canadian Pacific Coast went on strike over the weekend. In addition to wages, the union wants limits on outsourcing and automation. In recent weeks, U.S. port workers tentatively approved a six-year contract with a 32 percent pay increase.
Building Dairy Demand – Class III milk prices are in a downward spiral. Minnesota Senator Tina Smith hosted a meeting with dairy farmers Tuesday in the southeastern corner of the state. “We talked a lot about what we can do to support strong demand for dairy products, that’s why I support the Dairy PRIDE Act to make sure that if something is calling itself milk in the grocery store it actually comes from a cow or goat or sheep or comes from some mammal,” Smith told RRFN. “We talked about trade policy and making sure that American-produced cheese and other milk products have a fair shake and an opportunity to compete in global markets.” Regarding the dairy title in the new farm bill, Smith supports an update to the Dairy Margin Coverage program.
Seeking Dairy Checkoff Transparency – Two groups are calling on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to release the dairy checkoff program’s financial information. Farm Action and the National Dairy Producers Organization says these annual spending reports are mandated by law, but haven’t been released for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022. The two groups cite the current economic hardship facing dairy farmers in its criticism of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Program.
More Prop 12 Questions – The implementation date for California’s Proposition 12 has been pushed back, but questions still remain. U.S. Meat Export Federation Vice President of Economic Analysis Erin Borror says there are still questions about product moving through California for export. Not all of the documentation required for export physically travel with the product. It is unclear if electronic versions of documents will be sufficient. “These are seemingly minor details in the whole scheme of Prop 12, but it’s important for those in the export business to understand what exactly will be required.”
Little Change in Swine Inventory – The U.S. hogs and pigs inventory totaled 72.4 million head as of June 1. That’s up just 80,000 head from last year. The breeding herd category topped 6 million head, which was down slightly from last year. The market hog inventory is up slightly from a year ago. Iowa has the largest supply with nearly 24 million head. Minnesota is ranked second with 8.7 million head.
Pastures Green Back Up – Rains brought new life to pastures and crops near Shevlin, Minnesota. “The rain we got definitely shaped things up, it was spotty and varied in amount,” said Ryan Holm. “We were about an inch-and-a-half in our area, but some areas south of Bagley got close to eight inches.” The pastures are starting to green up. “We were having to rotate a little more often to try to preserve those pastures and now we’re feeling a little better.” Listen to the full interview with Ryan Holm here.
Bull Sales Signaled the Current Gains in the Cattle Market – Montana-based KRose Company CEO Karoline Rose expected cattle markets to continue to rise after monitoring bull sales this spring. “That was kind of the first glimpse of wow, the market is going to have to go somewhere for these bulls to cost in some cases double what they cost the year before.” Rose has noticed cattle producers are starting to market animals differently. “We’re going a little more outside the box,” said Rose. “We should see really good prices I think this fall and spring. If the Midwest doesn’t get any moisture, some of those cows are going to get dispersed into other areas.” Click here to find the full market discussion with Karoline Rose.
Finding Value in Feeding Cattle – The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association hosted its feedlot tour near Wing and Goodrich Tuesday. Chairman Alan Heim said the NDSA Feeder Council does its best to represent the cattle feeding industry. “There’s been some growth in feedlots in the state and we have the feed resources in the state to retain cattle for backgrounding.” Even from a legislative standpoint, there’s been a push for more animal agriculture in the state. “There’s value in manure and fertilizer, it’s another whole industry within the industry.”
Wing, ND Ranch Featured in Feedlot Tour – Vollmer Angus Ranch was one of the stops on the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Feedlot Tour. The tour highlighted the seed stock operation’s bull and heifer development facility, which was built in 2019. Co-owner Troy Vollmer said environmental considerations were part of the design. “Anything we can do to take care of our land, water and our resources, it’s incredibly important to our well-being. Not only today but in the future as well.”
MN Cattlemen’s Tour Coming Up – The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association is hosting its summer beef tour July 17-18. MSCA Vice President Rachel Gray says this tour is a great learning experience for producers. “They have great farms lined up that are throwing open their doors and letting us look at how their operations work.” For more information on the event and to register, visit mnsca.org. Find the full interview with Rachel Gray here.
A High School With Its Own Beef Herd – A program through the Kelliher, Minnesota public school is teaching students about the beef industry in a unique way. When agriculture and science teacher Amy Mastin was asked to start an ag program, she let her students help shape the program. “The Kelliher Cattle Company actually started as a school project for my first class in 2019. I had four girls in the class; I asked them what they wanted to learn about and took what they were going into college to do and built the class around that.” One of the original students is pursuing a career in veterinary science and another in entrepreneurship. The students make marketing decisions and have learned about artificial insemination, beef quality assurance practices, genetics, nutrition, and meat processing. Their herd of now six cows are kept at a local farm. To learn more about the Kelliher Cattle Company, find them on Facebook or visit their website, KelliherCattleCompany.com. Hear the full interview with Amy Mastin here.
Mitigating High Feed Prices – Commodity and Ingredient Hedging account executive Josh Pankratz is advising livestock and poultry farmers to protect themselves from huge market swings. “We have this push and pull between a weather forecast that could tighten up the crop while USDA is still projecting a bumper crop in corn and little tighter supply in beans but still growing.” Pankratz told turkey growers at the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Summer Summit to incorporate flexibility in their price risk management to benefit from lower markets while protecting price when there is a pullback.
Playing Defense – Minnesota Turkey Growers Association lobbyist Bruce Kleven addressed the MTGA Summer Summit saying the focus for turkey growers in the next legislative session will be disease preparedness and response. “We’ll be paying attention to avian influenza. If there ever gets to be an outbreak, we want to have the funding in place at the Minnesota Department of Ag, the Board of Animal Health and the University of Minnesota.” Kleven says agriculture will likely need to take a defensive strategy duing the 2024 legislative session.
HPAI Preparation – At the Minnesota Turkey Gowers Association Summer Summit, a roundtable discussion focused on wild bird management and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Health Supervisor Erik Hildebrand said the agency is working with national groups regarding the collection of data on wild bird populations. “What are we seeing in wild birds? Are we seeing new virus strains? We respond to public reports of any neurologic bird or an event that might be happening.” Hildebrand says the DNR works closely with the Board of Animal Health regarding a wild bird outbreak. “If there are concerns that poultry producers have with waterfowl near there area, they can work with the DNR to possibly get a hazing permit.”
Next Nest Brings New Tech to Turkeys – Construction on a new turkey hatchery near Wilmar, Minnesota has begun. Next Nest Sales Director Peter Gruhl says technology is available to replicate the nest for poults and provide immediate access to food, water, light and ventilation. This technology has shown to strengthen the birds’ immune systems, overall health and growth. “They are 37 percent bigger when they leave the hatchery and they carry that weight out all the way to market.” As birds mature, they require less feed to reach maturity and are approximately .9 pounds heavier at 140 days. The new facility will hatch 42 million turkey eggs per year and is expected to be fully operational in early 2024. Listen to the full interview with Peter Gruhl here.
A Bigger Grocery Bill for the 4th – The July 4th cookout will cost significantly more than two years ago, but less than last year’s record highs. The American Farm Bureau Federation marketbasket survey found families will pay an average of $67.73 on an Independence Day cookout with ten guests. The survey found the price of eight hamburger bunds was $2.26, up 17 percent from last year. The cost of potato salad is up five percent and the price of ground beef rose four percent. Farm Bureau cites inflation and the drought for the uptick in prices.
70 Years for Farm Business Management in Minnesota – The Minnesota Farm Business Management program is celebrating its 70th anniversary. AgCentric Executive Director Keith Olander says the numbers have changed dramatically over that time. “If you just go back to 1956 when the original state report came out, there were 152 farms enrolled and the average spending on the farm was just shy of $15,500. Fast forward to last year where we had over 2,154 farms and spending was $1.1 million on the average farm. Farm Business Management was mandated federally to assist the thousands who were coming back from the Korean War. “Minnesota, far and away, has the strongest program in the country today when it comes to farm management. I would say one of the keys that Minnesota hung onto was that financial analysis and that really has been the program’s anchor.” This milestone will be recognized during the Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators Conference in July and with a special event September 11 in St. Cloud.
Excitement for BASF SCN Soybean Trait – BASF is known as a chemistry company, but it is also one of only six U.S. companies actively breeding soybeans and one of four in the trait business. Marc Hoobler is the company’s agronomy lead for soybeans and canola and participated in the BASF Showcase Plot Tour near Davenport, North Dakota. The Xitavo brand is only in its third year. “What’s exciting is not only the germplasm that is coming with Xitavo, but also the trait packages that we’ll be able to put together,” said Hoobler. “We’re going to have a novel GMO trait for soybean cyst nematode which is the number one pest for soybeans in the U.S. and when you stack other traits behind that, like PPO tolerance, it is very exciting.” Hoobler says the soybean cyst nematode trait will be a game-changer and will be on the market in late 2028 or 2029.
CPKC Touts New Markets – Canadian Pacific Kansas City leadership hosted its first investors day since its $27 billion takeover of Kansas City Southern. At the Kansas City event, CEO Keith Creel said the new railway connects Canada, the United States and Mexico and will open new markets for agriculture.
Bongards Creameries to Expand Perham, MN Plant – Bongards Creameries is increasing daily capacity by 30 percent to 5.5 million pounds of milk. This project includes the milk intake bays, cheese packaging equipment, whey warehousing and wastewater treatment. “We will be able to continue supporting the growth of our business, allowing our current farmer-owners to expand and allow us to bring on new members,” said Daryl Larson, CEO. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.
Yara and DMI Collaborate – Yara North America and Dairy Management Inc. have launched a new soil health collaboration. This work is meant to compliment the Dairy Soil & Water Regeneration project and will explore the use of organic fertilizers derived from manure.
A New NAWG Hire – The National Association of Wheat Growers has welcomed Jack Long as its newest government relations representative. Long is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University and is from a multi-generational farm in Missouri.
Basse to Chair Farm Foundation Board – AgResource Company President Dan Basse is the new chair of the Farm Foundation board. Natural Prairie Dairy owner Chris DeJong was elected vice chair and American Seed Trade Association President and CEO Andrew LaVigne is the treasurer. Six new board members were also elected; former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewell Bronaugh, The Nature Conservancy global managing director Micheal Doane, Kinder Farms co-owner James Kinder, S2G Ventures managing director Christina Rohr and Farm Credit Council President/CEO Todd Van Hoose. The Farm Foundation is an accelerator for practical solutions for agriculture.
New Leadership Positions Within Grand Farm – Brian Carroll, who is the Grand Farm co-founder and former director for the organization, is now the chief innovation officer for Grand Farm’s parent organization Emerging Prairie. Dr. William Aderholdt, who has been serving as the director of Grand Farm’s farm program management office, is now the director.
Appointments Made to MN Board of Animal Health – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has appointed Steve Neil and Brandon Schafer to the Board of Animal Health. Neil is a cattle producer from Northfield and Schafer raises swine at Goodhue. Terms expired for Dean Compart of Nicollet and Jim Vagts of Harmony.
Ag Ambassadors Announced – During the Governor’s Agricultural Summit, the Governor’s Ag Ambassador Award will be presented to the Nef and Gonzenbach families of Milbank. Alfred Nef and Alfred Gonzenbach founded Valley Queen Cheese in 1929 and their families continue to operate the company. The Ag Summit will be held July 18-19 in Watertown.
Congratulations to Max Armstrong – The Red River Farm Network offers our congratulations to long-time farm broadcaster Max Armstrong. Max retired Friday after 48 years as a farm broadcaster. Forty-five of those years were with Orion Samuelson at WGN, U.S. Farm Report and This Week in Agribusiness. We’ll miss hearing that big booming voice on a regular basis, but wish him all the best in his retirement.
Last Week’s Trivia-The deep dish pizza is associated with the ‘windy city’ of Chicago. Lee Hutchinson of Farm Credit Services of Mandan wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Mackenzie Derry of CHS Ag Services and Chicago native Bob Brunker of J.L. Farmakis. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Kristal Rick of Magno Seed, Jacob Downing of Cargill, Erin Nash of National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Mark Mettler of PreferredOne, Karlstad farmer Kurt Aakre, Pete Neal of Bayer, Mark Bernard of Agro-Economics, Dianne Bettin of LB Pork, Phyllis Nystrom of CHS Hedging, Peter Carson of Carson Farms, Barry Walton of BW Farms, Lyle Orwig of Certified Agriculture Dealerships, Crookston farmer Ron Lanctot and Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad.
This Week’s Trivia-The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. What city is home to the Liberty Bell? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|July 5||UM Small Grains Plot Tour - Benson, MN|
|July 6||ND Corn Growers Ass’n Clay Shoot and Supper - Bismarck, ND|
|July 6||Grand Farm Field Day - Wheatland, ND|
|July 6||SD Swine Summit - Brookings, SD|
|July 10||Central Grasslands Research Extension Center Field Day - Streeter, ND|
|July 10 - July 13||MN Association of Agricultural Educators Summer Conference - Welch, MN|
|July 11||NDSU Extension Adult Mental Health First Aid Seminar - Dickinson, ND|
|July 11||SD Cattlemen’s Association Region Roundup - Watertown, SD|
|July 13||Northeast Research Farm Field Day - South Shore, SD|
|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 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 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|
|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.