A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, May 01, 2023
Warmer Weather is on the Way-After a long winter, the month of May is starting out with a taste of spring. Temps will heat up this week and that should help dry out the wet soils. The Northern Plains and Upper Midwest are starting to see a window opening up for planting. Once the rush of the season begins, please, be safe.
A Farm Bill for the Farmer, by the Farmer – The farm leaders facing the House Agriculture subcommittee Wednesday focused on the importance of crop insurance and a strong farm safety net. National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag, who farms at Eden Valley, Minnesota, was asked about his biggest worry. “Taking tools away from us would be our biggest hindrance,” said Haag. “If they were to limit the amount of nitrogen we were supposed to be using, it would be a major concern to the corn farmer.” Minnesota Congressman Brad Finstad carried a similar message during his time on the microphone. “Our role in Congress to pass a really strong farm bill; we have to make sure that it’s done for the farmer by the farmer.”
Fetterman Defends Climate Funding – The Inflation Reduction Act that passed in December includes climate funding for agriculture. There are efforts underway in Congress to take that $19 billion and include it in the farm bill budget baseline. Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who is the newest member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, wrote a letter to committee leadership. Fetterman said he does not want to see the climate funding to be ‘cannibalized’ to pay for farm bill conservation programs.
Ag Groups Host Farm Bill Series – North Dakota Grain Growers Association Executive Director Don Wogsland has been attending the farm bill listening sessions around the state and says final meeting helped nail down the importance of crop insurance. “Maintaining and enhancing crop insurance coverage is one of the top priorities of NDGGA, along with trade.” Wogsland said North Dakota depends on exports and keeping trade routes open is important.
Voluntary Conservation Policies Supported – The final farm bill listening session hosted by North Dakota commodity groups took place in Jamestown Tuesday. North Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Brenda Elmer says crop insurance was a consistent topic at these meetings. “The other strong theme we heard was keeping conservation programs voluntary.” Elmer says conservation programs aren’t a one-size-fits-all policy.
Prioritizing Animal Health – The National Pork Producers Council is prioritizing animal health during its farm bill discussions. NPPC Science and Technology Legal Counsel Andrew Bailey hopes to see the expansion of current programs including the vaccine bank, the national animal disease preparedness and response program, and the national animal health lab network. “These programs are integral to what we would do if we got a disease here and how we keep it out of the country.” Listen to the full interview with Andrew Bailey here.
A Unique Farm Bill Ask – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says the cattle industry has unique farm bill priorities. “We don’t have the big support programs and farm safety net programs that other commodities do, we want robust funding for the FMD vaccine bank and a strong conservation title.” NCBA is also keeping an eye on disaster assistance programs and risk management tools for cow-calf producers who have historically lacked access to this type of coverage. Listen to the full interview with Ethan Lane here.
Advocating CRP Flexibility – A Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association delegation was on Capitol Hill this past week, discussing flexibility for Conservation Reserve Programs with lawmakers. MSCA Interim President Jake Thompson, Barnesville, said grazing CRP ground can be a helpful management practice. “We want to make sure that we have CRP available to us in times of drought and the need is important in the farm bill.”
Animal Rights Group Lobbies Congress – Animal rights activists were on Capitol Hill this past week, asking Congress to prioritize animal welfare in the new farm bill. The platform for this coalition includes a moratorium on new and expanded large livestock feeding operations and a complete ban by 2040. They are also seeking $100 billion for a buyout program to transition animal feeding operations to raising pasture-based livestock, growing specialty crops or organic commodity production.
Promoting Competition – National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says his organization isn’t focused a bill that will easily pass politically, but a bill that will truly benefit farmers and ranchers promoting competition in the marketplace. “So much of agriculture right now is controlled by just a few hands. Farmers just see costs going up and the value that they’re getting too often is going down.” The full interview with Rob Larew is available here.
MFU Minute – In this week’s Minnesota Farmers Union Minute, Minnesota Farmers Union Director of Government Relations Stu Lourey talks about the passage of the omnibus bills.
Education Needed – During Wednesday’s House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn ‘G.T.’ Thompson asked farmers to educate members of Congress about the importance of the farm bill. “We’ve got a significant number, over half of the members of Congress have not been here for a farm bill and quite frankly, some folks who have been (in Congress for a farm bill vote), it wouldn’t hurt to do a little additional education with some of them.”
House Approves Debt Ceiling Bill – The House passed a debt ceiling bill this past week with a narrow margin of 217-to-215. An amendment was included to protect certain biofuel tax credits. The bill now goes to the Senate where passage is doubtful.
E15 Waiver Granted – Another emergency waiver has been granted, expanding the sale of 15 percent ethanol blends for the summer season. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a similar waiver last year. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said this decision will help farmers, strengthen U.S. energy security and provide relief at the gas pump.
Positive News for Ethanol Industry – South Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director DaNita Murray is pleased with Friday’s EPA announcement, approving an emergency waiver for E15 summer driving. “This is the right decision for American pocketbooks and it is the right decision for a lot of reasons for the industry as a whole.” Murray says the EPA waiver underscores the ethanol industry’s environmental story. “With this waiver, EPA had to again make the determination that emisisons weren’t going to be affected this summer by E15 and air quality would be the same,” said Murray. “We’re always glad to see these environmental truths highlighted.” North Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director Brenda Elmer said this decision will save consumers money and reduce supply constraints. “To say we are delighted would be a tremendous understatement.”
Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Public Policy Director Amanda Bilek talks about the progression of the omnibus bills in the Legislature. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters.
USFWS Seeks to Provide Clarity in Prairie Pothole Region – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a new rule for landowners in the Prairie Pothole Region. If landowners install drain tile near protected wetlands and follow the approved setback distances, the rule says they will not be punished if the wetland is drained by the system. In a statement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this change is designed to provide consistency, clarity and transparency to landowners.
Skepticism Over Proposed Regs – The proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations to clarify landowner’s property rights is being met with skepticism. NDFB President Daryl Lies is very wary. “They make it sound better than it really is and they have ridiculous setbacks.” Lies doesn’t see anything new in the regulations. “It’s not changing any parameters.”
House Committee Rejects ESA Protection for Gray Wolves – The House Committee on Natural Resources has passed a bill removing the gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protection in the lower 48 states. The majority rejected numerous amendments and eventually passed the bill with a margin of 21-to-16. The committee also approved changes in protection for everything from the lesser prairie chicken to grizzly bears. It’s not known when the bill will be voted on by the full House.
Lawmakers Hope to Overturn New H-2A Rule – A group of Republican senators has introduced a resolution of disapproval to overturn a Labor Department rule dealing with H-2A workers. This rule increases the minimum wages for those working on an H-2A visa. North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer said this rule increases the costs for farmers and “undermines their competitiveness.”
Climate Smart Commodities Projects Kick Off – USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie announced the beginning of the implementation phase for projects under the Climate Smart Commodities. “This effort is voluntary, incentive-based and it’s about working hand-in-hand with farmers and foresters.” USDA also launched a Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Learning Network, which is a collaboration between all of the project partners.
A Window of Opportunity – In recent years, agriculture has faced rising input prices, supply change disruptions and an uncertain future. “In times of challenge, there is often a window of opportunity,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who helped announce the Climate Smart program launch. Vilsack believes this initiative will help put profit back into farmers’ pockets and power into the hands of consumers. “The world is demanding more sustainable products.”
China Reinforces Self-Sufficiency Theme – A new outlook report from China’s ministry of agriculture and rural affairs highlights a move to self-sufficiency. This report says China plans to grow over 88 percent of its grain within the next ten years. That compares to the current level of 82 percent. Corn, soybeans, wheat and rice are part of this food security plan.
A Potential New Avenue for Ukrainian Grain – The European agriculture commissioner is optimistic five nearby countries will agree to allow Ukrainian grain to move though their countries for export to other parts of the world. Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia will simply be transit routes for these Ukrainian ag products that can’t be moved through the Black Sea. The agreement would be limited to wheat, corn, canola and sunflower products.
Pay Attention to the Headlines – Geopolitical issues continue to simmer in the background of the commodity markets. Advance Trading Commodity Research Analyst Brian Basting advises farmers to be alert to what is happening globally. “We’re looking at a countdown of a couple weeks until the latest Black Sea Grain Initiative expires, that will be critical to the market flow.” Crop conditions in places like Russia and Europe also need to be considered.
Register for NCI Market Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting another Market Update: Special Edition webinar Wednesday at 8 AM. The webinar will feature Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence for the United Soybean Board, and Scott Gerlt, chief economist for the American Soybean Association. This special edition webinar series focuses on providing new market insights on commodities and trading to those across the globe. Click here to register and learn more.
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 the feeder cattle market remains firm. “That is a market that isn’t ready to give it up yet.” Wheat and crude oil futures saw selloff to end the month of April.
River Closures – Barge traffic on the Upper Mississippi is shut down for a matter of weeks. All locks and dams above Lock 17 will be closed for three weeks due to high water. This extends from St. Paul south to New Boston, Illinois. This closure will impact the delivery of grain and soybeans for the export market and northern-bound barges filled with fertilizer.
Canadian Strike Ends – Over 120,000 federal Canadian workers are back on the job today after reaching a tentative agreement overnight. This agreement includes the many workers in the Canadian agriculture department and agencies like the Canadian Grain Commission. These workers have been on strike since April 18.
No Deal Yet, But Progress Made – The union and the West Coast ports are both reporting significant progress in their labor negotiations. No other details were provided. This current round of negotiations has been underway for more than ten months.
Mexico Pushes Back on Biotech Corn Issue – A key member of the Mexican agriculture ministry is upset with the United States and its challenge of the Mexican government’s ban on biotech corn imports. The U.S. is seeking trade consultations through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexican Deputy Agriculture Minister Victor Suarez said that is an “unacceptable violation” of Mexican law. In Suarez’s view, the U.S. government is taking its lead from seed and crop protection companies.
Vilsack Hopeful Japan Will Lift Potato Ban – During the Group of Seven meeting, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with his Japanese counterpart to discuss their ban on U.S. table stock potatoes. “I’m hopeful we could see progress on this in a relatively short period of time, given the fact that a number of years have gone by,” said Vilsack. Japan has been evaluating the ban for the past five years.
MFBF Minute – In St. Paul, lawmakers in both chambers are racing against the clock to get bills passed. Minnesota Farm Bureau Public Policy Specialist Kaytlin Bemis gives an update on what’s happening at the Capitol in the latest MFBF Minute.
Paid Family, Medical Leave Called ‘Unrealistic for Rural Minnesota’ – Paid family leave legislation continues to work its way through the Minnesota Legislature. State Representative Deb Kiel, Crookston, says this bill would have harsh consequences on Rural Minnesota where it is already a struggle to find staff. “We don’t have the employees to replace that person on leave so either business owners are having to work 24 hours per day to keep things moving or they have to close their doors.” While the concept sounds great for employees, Kiel said implementing this legislation would be difficult in small, rural communities, especially for seasonal businesses. Click here to follow House File 2 and Senate File 2.
North Dakota Legislative Report – The North Dakota legislative session has adjourned. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Larry Luick says it’s been a busy session for animal agriculture. Listen to this week’s North Dakota Legislative Report to hear more.
Governor Signs Animal Agriculture Bill – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed House Bill 1371, which modernizes state law to support animal agriculture. Burgum said the decline of animal agriculture in North Dakota is hurting the economy. “Ninety years ago, we had almost a million dairy cows in the state and now we’re down to 12,000. We’ve fallen far behind in animal agriculture and the reduction in red tape was badly needed.” The growth of the soybean crush will increase the availability of soybean meal and other byproducts. “We’ve got the land, we’ve got the water, we’ve got the feed, we’ve got the work ethic. The only thing missing was we had restrictive laws.”
A Welcome Legislative Session – North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson is pleased with the support for the livestock industry during this legislative session. “We have the raw ingredients to be very successful in animal agriculture and these new tools will help us realize the potential for new opportunities.” A different perspective was evident at the Capitol this year. “There were a lot of new faces that we introduced to the cattle industry in North Dakota.”
Historic Tax Bill Signed – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has signed a major tax relief package. It includes $358 million in income tax relief and nearly $157 million in property tax relief. Burgum did not get the flat tax he sought at the beginning of the session, but the governor called it “a huge win for North Dakota taxpayers.”
Sine Die – The North Dakota legislative assembly has adjourned. Governor Doug Burgum signed 538 bills as of Saturday with 45 bills awaiting action. He has 15 business days to act on those bills. In a recap of the session, Burgum cited the tax relief package, efforts to address workforce shortages and the modernization of animal agriculture and the state’s corporate farming law.
A Weather Turnaround – North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison is offering a positive weather outlook for the beginning of May. “It looks much more promising than it has for a long time. We should see temperatures at the beginning of May getting at least close to seasonal norms.” Ritchison says as farmers wait for soil to warm up, there can still be an issue with moisture below the surface. “Once you get down four-to-12 inches, that’s where it’s still really dry,” said Ritchison. “Once we get into June and roots start shooting down, we’ll need a recharge of moisture.”
Make Sure the Soil is Fit – The planting season has been put on hold, waiting for fields to dry down. WinField United Crop Protection Product Manager Kyle Gustafson is more interested in field conditions than some day on the calendar. “Everyone gets really impatient and they want to get some seed in the ground just to say they’re doing something,” said Gustafson. “Make sure the soil is fit. It’s probably going to give you a higher yield potential to plant later when the soils are fit versus early when the soils are not fit.” Planting in poor field conditions can result in irreversible yield loss. Gustafson cites sidewall smearing that could result in lodging later in the season.
Moisture Soaks into Soil Profile – Field conditions get drier as you travel to western North Dakota. Agile Agronomy owner and crop consultant Kyle Okke says the field conditions are decent and “the snow has pretty much soaked in.” A few farmers have broken ground. Okke believes most farmers are sticking with their original planting plans.
Waiting on Mother Nature – It’s been nearly impossible to catch more than four days in a row of dry, warm and sunny weather to help prepare soils for planting. Dairyland Seeds District Sales Manager Keith Rekow expects farmers to be in fields in the next week or two if the weather permits. “If the ground is ready, I think small grains will get started.” Rekow says seed corn purchases were strong this year, but there was some flexibility in soybeans. “We’ve got soybeans to ship and alfalfa to go, which really picked recently with how hard the winter was on cattlemen.”
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Growers Association board member Scott Stahl talks about the conservation practices farmers utilize.
Limited Field Activity – There’s been little-to-no progress across the Northern Plains yet. “There’s been a couple floaters and spreaders going down the highway, but I haven’t seen anything in the field yet which is probably the correct move because soil temperatures are still cool and fields are still wet,” said Pioneer Field Agronomist Kevin Sinner. The Barnesville/Rothsay/Pelican Rapids area may be one of the first areas to begin fieldwork due to less snowfall and lighter soils. In this interview, Sinner advised farmers to stay with their original plans.
Encouraging Forecast for Spring Fieldwork – Helena Agri-Enterprises Territory Manager Thad Meister says the surge of activity will be challenging for ag retailers. “I think when everybody gets going, it’s going to be hard and fast; it’s going to be a struggle to get everything to everybody in a timely manner.” A lot of fertilizer was applied last fall, giving farmers and retailers a head-start. However, the spray season could be hectic. “It’ll put a lot of stress on the sprayers getting everything covered with the pre-emerge herbicides that are getting put on.” Meister said many farmers are applying a pre with their dry fertilizer to save time during a compacted planting season.
UPL Ask the Expert – In the latest in the UPL Ask the Expert series, UPL Technical Services Lead Nathan Popiel highlights consumer trends and the impact on farm management decisions. Fertilizer, fuel and other input costs influence grower decisions, but Popiel cites potato consumption habits and a focus on sustainability. Listen to the interview.
Early Season Recommendations – The wet, cold soil has made it impossible for fieldwork to begin. University of Minnesota Extension Corn Agronomist Jeff Coulter says there are other factors more important than planting dates. “Like the two weeks before the tassels come out and three weeks after the tassels come out, the weather during that period is really what determines the crop yield.” The key is to wait until soils are fit. In a new podcast from the University of Minnesota Extension, agronomist Seth Naeve said this will likely be a season where decisions will need to be made on the go. “We definitely want to avoid getting ourselves in a box where we don’t do any kind of a pre,” said Naeve. “If we’re planning to push everything off on wheat control until after planting, that can really set us up for some problems later.”
WestBred Wheat Report – In the WestBred Wheat Report, WestBred Technical Product Manager Justin Berg discusses seed treatments and strategies to get the crop off to a good start. “Most of the spring wheat will germinate in the 45-to-50 degree soil temperature range so by waiting for the soil to warm up a little bit it ensures the seedlings are not exposed to cold soils for long periods and causing unneeded stress.”
Canola Minute – In this week’s Canola Minute, Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman talks about perspective canola acres. This update is sponsored by the Northern Canola Growers Association.
Feeding the Crop – Mosaic Senior Technical Sales Manager Sherry Koch is reminding farmers to have their crop nutrition plan in place. “Growers can put this crop in in a short short period of time,” said Koch. “As a matter of fact, they can do much more than what most of the local retailers can do to keep up” It’s been difficult to do a soil test with the wet conditions, but Koch says a recent soil test can still provide a good foundation for fertility recommendations. Certain nutrients, like nitrogen, can move with the moisture in the soil profile. “Products like phosphates and potash don’t. It’s a great investment because they don’t move a lot in the soil and we’re not going to lose those nutrients.”
Ready to Go – BASF Technical Service Rep Ken Deibert says sugarbeet growers are itching to get in the field. “We’re going to start off the season right in terms of moisture levels with how much snow we received.” Deibert is optimistic growers will start planting in the Red River Valley soon. “We’re just waiting on temperatures to warm up a bit.”
Sugarbeet Report – North Dakota State University Extension Entomologist Mark Boetel says you can’t be too prepared for sugarbeet root maggot. Hear more in the Sugarbeet Report, presented by Amity Technology, H&S Manufacturing, SESVanderHave and Bayer Crop Science.
Fertilizer Market Strengthens Ahead of the Season – StoneX Director of Fertilizer Josh Linville says fertilizer prices are firming up. “The market realized we do have a season in front of us, we do have demand.” Phosphate prices jumped up $50 per ton on the nearby, urea is up $150 per ton, potash is up $10-to-$50 per ton. River issues will also have an impact on availability of fertilizer for the Northern Plains. “The river won’t be able to keep up with (fertilizer) demand and it becomes a higher cost situation.” Listen to the full interview here.
APHIS Outlines Its Strategic Plan – USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has unveiled its new five-year strategic plan. It includes six goals, including the protection of agriculture from plant and animal disease, expanding safe trade, promoting animal welfare and addressing the agency’s workforce challenges. APHIS also focused on trends. That list ranges from threats to security, climate change and advances in science and technology.
MN Beef Update – Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Kaitlyn Root joins us to discuss the “Steak on a Stick” event in the latest Minnesota Beef Update.
FDA Ready to Implement Livestock Antibiotic Prescription Guidance – Beginning in June, FDA guidance will require prescriptions for several medically-important livestock antibiotics that were previously available over-the-counter. “The FDA is looking to reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage and promote sustainability to continue to allow effective use of these products,” explains Dr. Ron Tessman, beef technical consultant, Elanco. Building a Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship or VCPR is seen as an important element when making this transition. Hear Dr. Ron Tessman’s full interview here.
HPAI Threat Coincides with Spring Migration – A case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was confirmed in a turkey flock in Dickey County, North Dakota. Deputy State Veterinarian Beth Carlson says poultry producers need to be extra cautious with the spring migration in full swing. “All reported cases are given to our office in both wild and domestic birds, so we were watching and on alert with migration here.”
Bankruptcy Filed – The pork processing plant in Windom, Minnesota has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. HyLife Foods announced its intention to sell the plant two weeks ago and has been working with the State of Minnesota to find a buyer. This facility processes 1.2 million hogs per year. The Minnesota plant is a subsidiary of a Manitoba company.
MO Sow Operations to Shutdown – Smithfield Foods is reportedly shutting down 37 sow farms in northern Missouri. The decision is likely due to difficult swine market conditions.
New State FFA Officer Team Named – The Minnesota FFA Convention capped off with the installation of the new state officer team. Katelyn Ketchum of Lewiston-Altura is the new president. Tyler Ratka of ROCORI is vice president. The slate of officers also includes Secretary Alison Murrell of Braham, Treasurer Mason Grams of Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, Reporter Miriana Eiden of Buffalo and Sentinel Mackenzie Kuschel of Sebeka.
Endless Opportunities – At the Minnesota FFA Convention, students get a glimpse into their future at the Career Connections event. AgCentric Executive Director Keith Olander says this is a wonderful time to be in agriculture. “The opportunities are really endless for these kids with two, three, four jobs available to them,” said Keith Olander, executive director, AgCentric. “On the other side, industry is here really seeking talent and courting these students; getting the talent and retaining talent, competition is high.” Parents often want their kids to get a four-year degree, but the prospects are also good for those getting a technical education. Olander cites less debt for the students coming out of a technical school “and honestly, we’re seeing the earnings on the two-year side a litttle stronger than the four-year (degree) in a lot of cases.”
A Non-Traditional Ag Ed Program – One of the schools chartering a new FFA chapter is Robinsdale-Armstrong in the metro area. The agricultural science and technology educator, Luke Becker, said it is like every other FFA chapter. “The only thing different between a rural school and my metro school that I’m at right now, I can’t pronounce the kid’s names, but my kids act the same way. They are driven, they are excited, they want to try different things and they want to better themselves in every way humanly possible.” Becker sees demand for a technical education. “Last year, there was about 200 students who asked to take a CT (career and technical) program course in the area that I teach at Armstrong. Next year, I’ve got 600 kids that want to take a class with me and we’re going to have to turn away about 400 of them.”
Farm Numbers Decline – According to data from USDA Economic Research Service, the number of U.S. farms has continued to decline since 1982. In 2022, there were 2 million farms, down from 2.2 million in 2007. Farmland acreage also continues to decline with 893 million acres accounted for in 2022, down from 915 million just ten years earlier.
Staff Shortages Pinch County FSA Offices – North Dakota State Farm Service Agency Executive Director Marcy Svenningsen says workforce shortages are a major issue for county FSA offices nationwide. “The pandemic has acclerated the problem so the private industry started paying more competitive wages and the FSA can’t compete.” North Dakota currently has a ten percent vacancy in its FSA offices. Svenningsen says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has acknowledged the shortcomings of labor in FSA offices, however it’s up to Congress to raise the budget.
Bankruptcy Filed – The pork processing plant in Windom, Minnesota has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. HyLife Foods announced its intention to sell the plant two weeks ago and has been working with the State of Minnesota to find a buyer. This facility processes 1.2 million hogs per year. The Minnesota plant is a subsidiary of a Manitoba company.
MN Delegation Heading to Sydney and Melbourne – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will lead a trade mission to Australia in November. Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen said the trip will showcase the food and agricultural products grown and produced in Minnesota. In 2022, Minnesota exported $438 million of products to Australia.
SDFU Supports State Fair Project – The South Dakota Farmers Union has pledged $700,000 to a fundraising campaign for a new home for the open class sheep at the South Dakota State Fair. The South Dakota State Fair Foundation hopes to raise $3 million. The total project will cost approximately $8 million. The old sheep barn was torn down and a groundbreaking ceremony is expected to take place at the 2024 state fair.
California Announces Additional Regs on Truckers – The State of California will end the sale of gas and diesel-powered trucks by 2036. The rule also requires all fleet trucks be electric or zero-emission by 2042. The federal government needs to give its approval for the enforcement of this rule. This announcement was made Friday and follows a separate rule increasing the percentage of EV trucks sold in California. The American Trucking Association said “California is setting unrealistic targets and unachievable timelines.”
A New Division for Corn Yield Contest – The National Corn Growers Association has announced the expansion of the National Corn Yield Contest to include a new pilot class focused on nitrogen management. NCGA is partnering with Verdesian Life Sciences on this effort.
ND Wheat Commission Nominations – North Dakota Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring is asking for nominations for the North Dakota Wheat Commission. Interested groups and individuals are encouraged to submit nominations for consideration. Three names will be selected from the nominees to be submitted to the governor who will appoint an individual to the member-at-large position. Nominees must be a producer and resident of North Dakota. The four-year term begins July 1st of this year.
Dry Bean Scene – NDSU Extension Nutrition and Food Specialist Julie Garden-Robinson joins us to talk about the field to fork webinars in this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
A ‘Unique’ Seed Treatment – Verdesian Life Sciences Technical Development Manager Kurt Seevers says accolade is an interesting liquid application that can enhance crop growth that’s a pre-living nitrogen fixture. “It inhabits the soil around the roots instead of the plants and takes the nitrogen that exists in the environment already and turns it into a form the plant can utilize.” Seevers says accolade can help during a year when of late planting by providing additional nitrogen in soil conditions when the temperature is warmer than normal.
ONE SMART SPRAY – The joint venture between Bosch and BASF known as Bosch BASF Smart Farming has announced a new brand name. The ONE SMART SPRAY brand integrates precision, digital and agronomic intelligence into one weed control system. This camera-based system detects weeds in milliseconds and sprays only where it is necessary and only as much as needed.
ADM Releases 1Q Financials – Archer Daniels Midland finished the first quarter with net income of $1.1 billion. That’s up slightly from one year ago. Revenues topped $24 billion, helped by strong crush margins and significantly higher demand for refined products.
Syngenta Group Releases Quarterly Financial Report – The Syngenta Group finished the first quarter with sales of over $9 billion, a three percent improvement over last year. In North America, crop protection sales rose 22 percent. North American seed sales increased three percent. Prices moved higher to offset rising costs.
Profits Decline for Pilgrim’s Pride – Quarterly profits for Pilgrim’s Pride totaled $5 million. That compares to $280 million during the same quarter last year. The company cited higher costs for labor, fuel and feed. Pilgrim’s Pride is the second largest chicken processor in the United States.
MN Turkey Company to Build in North Carolina – A Minnesota-based turkey company plans to invest $58 million to build a new turkey hatchery and farm in North Carolina. Select Genetics will consolidate its existing hatcheries into this new large-scale facility.
Tyson Eliminates 10% of Coporate Jobs – Tyson Foods is planning to eliminate about ten percent of its corporate jobs and 15 percent of senior leadership roles. The layoffs are a result of the company’s declining profits and the struggle to improve its poultry sector. In March, Tyson announced the closing of two U.S. processing plants with almost 1,700 employees laid off.
Best of NAMA – During the National Agri-Marketing Association Conference in St. Louis, the Idaho Potato Commission was named the Best of NAMA Grand Champion. EvansHardy + Young is the agency responsible for this public relations campaign. Purina Animal Nutrition received the Best of Show-Specialty award. Filament is the agency for this PR campaign. AGCO won the Best of Show-Public Relations award with Colle McVoy responsible for the work. With an in-house plan, John Deere won the Best of Show-Advertising recognition. In the radio-single category, BBDO is the winner with Bayer CropScience as its client. The radio-series award went home with O & H Brand for its work with Wyffels Hybrids.
Job Opportunities in Agriculture – Check out the Job Opportunities tab on the Red River Farm Network website. The Marshall County Farms Service Agency is Warren, Minnesota is looking for a program technician. May 8 is the application deadline. The Ag Innovation Campus at Crookston has jobs posted. Recent listings also include American Crystal Sugar, AURI , and more. If your organization is looking for employees, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to get all of the details about RRFN’s multi-media approach.
MN Wheat Minute – Spring is just around the corner! Hear more from Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers CEO Charlie Vogel in the latest Minnesota Wheat Minute.
Charney Accepts White House Job – Alyssa Charney is the new White House director for lands and climate smart agriculture. Previously, Charney was the chief of staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
NIFA Names New Director – Dr. Manjit Misra has been appointed as the new director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more than 30 years, Misra has been the director of the seed science center at Iowa State University.
A New CEO for JBS US Operations – The new chief executive officer for JBS in the United States is Wesley Batista Filho. He is the son of one of the two Batista brothers who control the company. Tim Schellpeper, who has been with the JBS CEO since 2021 is retiring. Batista Filho has been the company’s global president of operations in the past year.
Vroom Joins Stratovation Advisory Board – Stratovation Group has added Jay Vroom to its board of advisors. Vroom is the retired president and CEO of CropLife America. Stratovation Group is a specialized management consulting firm offering market research and intelligence, marketing communication and strategy.
Brummond Announces Retirement – Walsh County Extension Agent Brad Brummond announced his retirement after 41 years in extension. Brummond worked extensively in soil health and dry bean production during his time in extension, and says tight rotations are the biggest challenge for producers. “We raise them too tight, so we end up with a lot of soil-borne diseases.” Brummond says below-ground pathogens can sneak up on producers and steal yields and recommends producers lift up plants to check roots.
HOF Honors for Walt Bones – The South Dakota Hall of Fame has announced its class for 2023. Former South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones is being recognized for his achievements in agriculture. The Honors Ceremony will be September 8-9 in Chamberlain.
Condolences to Friends and Family of Tim Burke – A public memorial service will be held May 19 in Chaska, Minnesota for Tim Burke. Burke, 71, passed away April 20. Burke was a mentor to many in the ag advertising and media industry, spending 32 years at the Martin Williams agency. Burke also served as the National FFA president in 1971-1972. Read the full obituary.
Last Week’s Trivia-The Bloomin’ Onion is a staple on the Outback Steakhouse menu. Paul Coppin of Valley United Co-op was the first to respond with the correct answer and is our weekly trivia winner. Runner-up honors belong to retired Pennock dairy farmer David Hallberg, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker and Manvel farmer Pete Buck. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, The Farmer Editor Kevin Schulz, Lawton farmer Dennis Miller, Norm Groot of Monterey County Farm Bureau, Shell Valley farmer Steven Grenier, Ryan Bohnsack of Equitable Ag Finance, Rick Robinson of First State Bank, Pete Carson of Carson Farms, Keith Bjorneby of Lone Wolf Farms, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Insitute, Barry Walton of BW Farms, Crookston farmer Ron Lanctot and Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed.
This Week’s Trivia-The mint julep is the signature drink of a major sporting event. Name that competition. Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|May 2||MN PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Breckenridge, MN|
|May 3||MN PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Fergus Falls, MN|
|May 4||MN PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Online|
|May 6||Powered by Pork/ND Pork Council Annual Meeting - Lisbon, ND|
|May 9||ND PUC Pipeline Project Hearing - Linton, ND|
|May 24 - May 26||USMEF Spring Conference - Minneapolis, MN|
|June 2||ND Stockmen’s Association Spring Roundup - Fort Yates, ND|
|June 2 - June 3||North Dakota Junior Angus Field Day - Carrington, ND|
|June 3 - June 4||North Dakota Junior Red Angus Field Day - Streeter, ND|
|June 5||ND Stockmen’s Association Spring Roundup - Leeds, ND|
|June 5 - June 8||ND State FFA Convention - Fargo, ND|
|June 6||ND Stockmen’s Association Spring Roundup - Turtle Lake, ND|
|June 6||Midwest Agriculture Summit - Fargo, ND|
|June 7||Bushel Buddy Seat Conference - Fargo, ND|
|June 7 - June 9||World Pork Expo - Des Moines, IA|
|June 8||Cultivate - Fargo, 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.