A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, November 06, 2023
A Pause for Interest Rate Increases – As expected, the Federal Reserve made no change in interest rates. This is the second straight Federal Open Market Committee meeting where they skipped an interest rate hike. That’s the longest period without an increase since the Fed began lifting rates from near zero in March of 2022.
Record Farmland Sale – A record land sale has been reported in Pembina County in northeast North Dakota. Two quarters sold by auction with one sale just over $19,000 per planted acre and the other for nearly $18,700 per planted acre. The previous record was $12,600, which was set in 2022. The amount of available farmland in the area is very small. In addition to corn, soybeans and wheat, high value crops, like potatoes and sugarbeets, can be grown on this ground.
Biden Highlights His Rural Agenda on a MN Farm – Dutch Creek Farms, south of the Twin Cities, hosted President Joe Biden as he kicked off his focus on rural issues. Biden said the economics of agriculture told farmers they had to get big or get out. “Over the past four decades, we lost over 400,000 farms in America and over 141 million acres of farmland,” cited Biden. “That’s roughly equal to the size of Minnesota, North and South Dakota combined. ” Faced with higher costs, Biden said family farms have struggled to make it the math work “and the promise of keeping the farm in the family is slipping out of reach for so many across America.” To support farmers and rural communities, the White House announced over $5 billion for rural infrastructure and climate-smart agriculture projects. Numerous members of the cabinet are on the road telling that story.
$5 Billion Investment in Rural America – During President Joe Biden’s stop in Northfield, Minnesota Wednesday, over $5 billion in funding for Rural America was announced. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that includes $1.7 billion for conservation. “It’s the single largest investment in any one year of conservation in the history of our conservation programs and a significant portion of it is $1 billion in regional conservation partnership program opportunities in 35 states. It’s funded from the Inflation Reduction Act which itself is a record level of investment in climate-smart agriculture.”
Not Just Surviving, But Thriving – Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President Dan Glessing attended the Biden event at Northfield and was happy to hear the rural infrastructure announcement. “We’re all about helping rural communities thrive; we need those communities to be strong so we can raise a family who want to stay farming in rural areas.” Glessing had a chance to talk with President Biden and emphasized the importance of getting the farm bill done. “Now that we’ve got a House with a Speaker, the Senate is ready to go. The President said he is committed to getting it done, too, so that was good to hear.”
Progressive Payment Factor Added to ’22 ERP Payments – USDA has made some changes with its approach to the Emergency Relief Program for 2022. Like payment limits, a progressive payment factor will be applied to the assistance payment. For example, a farmer with a calculated loss of $100,000 in 2020 would have received $75,000 plus a refund for a portion of the crop insurance premium. With the progressive payment factor for 2022, the same farmer with a $100,000 loss will receive just over $11,000. The reimbursements for crop insurance premiums will only be available to farmers who qualify as ‘underserved.’
‘Strange Politics’ at Work for New Version of ERP – Combest Sell and Associates Managing Partner Tom Sell says the new Emergency Relief Program is a complete departure from previous disaster programs, restricting assistance to full time farmers and ranchers. “This progressive payment factor is the real threat and no one knows where it came from; it certainly wasn’t a good idea,” said Sell. “We see it as a backdoor pay limit, against the will of Congress.” In an interview with the Red River Farm Network, Sell said USDA has a track record of balancing the needs of all segments of agriculture, but “strange politics” are in place for this version of disaster assistance.
EWG Criticizes Crop Insurance Indemnities – A new report from the Environmental Working Group claims nearly $119 billion in crop insurance payments were triggered between 2001 and 2022. North Dakota was in four of the top five weather-related causes of loss. EWG Midwest Director Anne Schechinger said extreme weather is increasing and taxpayers are footing the bill.
Budget Hawks Criticize Farm Program Spending – A coalition of advocacy groups is appealing to House Republicans to resist attempts to increase farm support programs in the farm bill debate. Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst David Ditch said additional government subsidies would only increase input costs. “When there are particularly generous programs that provide subsidies, you distort the markets; people become less cost sensitive and people start taking advantage of that.” National Taxpayers Union Free Trade Initiative Director Bryan Riley believes Congress should focus on keeping input prices low by reducing tariffs and other measures. “Let’s get rid of some of these real-world costs being imposed by government that are costing farmers every single day.” The Environmental Working Group was also part of Tuesday’s news briefing.
Scott Seeks a One-Year Farm Bill Extension – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott is calling for a one-year farm bill extension. The Georgia Democrat said his colleagues are committed to passing a strong, effective farm bill as soon as possible. However, Scott said farmers should not be subject to “an artificially rushed and haphazard farm bill” because House Republicans went through a leadership crisis.
A Farm Bill in 2025? – The Ag Economists’ Monthly Monitor released a survey of more than 60 economists that concentrated on the farm economy. The survey indicated that the majority of economists surveyed think the Farm Bill won’t get completed until 2025. “The general consensus is that we’re unlikely to see a full farm bill authorized in 2023 or even 2024,” said Jackson Takach, chief economist, Farmer Mac. Takach, who was one of the economists surveyed, said economists are watching the farm bill process closely.
Positive Projections for Farm Bill Progress – Speaker Mike Johnson wants to have the farm bill on the House floor by late December. Livestock Marketing Association Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Chelsea Good describes that as an aggressive timeline but remains optimistic. A short-term farm bill extension would still be necessary to conference with the Senate. “I think that the ideal situation would be a product that gets worked on in early 2024 to avoid the election timeframe,” Good told RRFN. “Also, keep in mind that we’ve got certain people like Chairwoman (Debbie) Stabenow of the Senate Ag Committee that e announced that they’re not gonna run for reelection so I think she’s pretty motivated to get something done here in her last term of Congress.”
Chlorpyrifos Ruling Called a Win for Agriculture – The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on the use of chlorpyrifos. The court determined the EPA disregarded its own science-based findings. “This is great news for soybean farmers, sugarbeet farmers and all farmers because this is a chemical that we really miss,” said Bob Worth, president, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. Farmers are eager to have the uses of chlorpyrifos restored for the 2024 season. “It’ll be back, if you can find it. EPA shut down all that plants that were producing it so there’s no product available as of today. If they have some available for 2024, it is possible supplies will be realy limited.”
Friends of the Earth: This Critical Protection Must be Restored – The environmental group condemned the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to reverse EPA’s 2021 decision to ban chlorpyrifos in food crops. “The 8th Circuit’s decision to overturn this critical science-based regulation is unconscionable and hands the pesticide industry a license to poison people and the planet,” said Jason Davidson, a senior food and agriculture campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
Obstacles Remain for Chlorpyrifos – Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association Executive Director Harrison Weber is pleased with 8th Circuit Court decision on chlorpyrifos, but remains cautious. “It’s definitely a win for us, but there are a lot of hoops yet that need to be jumped through,” said Weber. “A lot of things have happened in over the course of the last two years when this whole process kind of began. There’s certain registrations that have lapsed and there’s certain registrants that have voluntarily pulled their registration.” An appeal is possible, but Weber feels the unanimous decision by the three-panel judges offers confidence on that possiblity. Farmers are being asked to take a wait-and-see approach. “I know there are a number of producers that were holding onto it and that’s fantastic but just wait until we give you the green light to go out there and apply it.”
Legal Process Began in ’22 – The chlorpyrifos lawsuit began in February of last year with the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association being the lead plaintiff. RRVSGA was joined in the lawsuit by American Crystal Sugar Company, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association and six state soybean groups, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council, fruit and vegetable groups and Gharda Chemicals International.
Peterson Farms Seed Offers IP Opportunities – In the weekly update from Peterson Farms Seed, PFS Regional Sales Manager for IP Natalie Larson outlines the identity-preserved program. “When a company is looking specific ingredient and utilizing a particular seed, we connect that company to growers to produce a certain commodity with a specific characteristic.”
Snowy Setback – At Mandan, North Dakota, Dennis Renner wrapped up his soybean harvest before the season’s first winter storm. There is still a lot of corn still standing. Transporting grain from the field has become more challenging. “The snow is going to hamper travelling with semis.” One option is to pile corn in the field. “I’d like to get the corn off the field, you never know when we’ll get more snow that would constitute more weather losses.”
Harvest Hiccup – Only a small amount of snow hit Edgeley, North Dakota farmer Mike Brandenburg’s farm, but it was it was very wet. “The snow wasn’t so terrible, but the moisture before the snow went into the corn ears and increased the moisture content.” Due to the field conditions, Brandenburg planned to harvest corn at night when temperatures dropped to the teens, firming the ground.
Harvest Progress Varies in Fergus Falls Area – Weather has been a challenge in the Fergus Falls area this fall. “There’s still some soybeans that need to be combined yet and they’re definitely damp,” said Gaylen Affield. “There’s quite a bit of corn out there, but then again there’s some guys that are done and tillage is done. It’s all over the board.” Yields vary. “They always tell us at the end of the year that we had average precipitation. That doesn’t necessarily mean it comes when you want it.” Affield expects all of the crops to come off, but some field work will not get done.
Erickson Recaps Soybean Harvest – Hallock, Minnesota farmer Kelly Erickson started his soybean harvest right after he finished small grains. “I was a little disappointed in the soybeans; I thought they looked way better than they yielded, but it must have been so dry that they didn’t develop when putting on pods.” Erickson said there were a lot of popcorn showers in the area this summer with rain seen in one section and not another.
Solid Sunflower Performance – Mother Nature slowed down the sunflower harvest with the cold and snow. “Harvest is going to be a little more difficult this year,” said John Sandbakken, executive director, National Sunflower Association. “We probably haven’t had a situation like this since 2019.” Yield and quality has been good thus far. “Guys are around that 2,000 to 3,000 pound range. We had a report out of Minnesota that was at 4,200 pounds which is just unbelievable.”
Bushels Are There Despite Drought – Asgrow Dekalb Technical Agronomist Grant Mehring says most farmers are satisfied with the crop. “It’s kind of a tale of two situations. There are some fields that are poor with bad drought, but, by and large, yields are really satisfying and really pleasing. Most folks are commenting that with half the rain they would have probably wanted, there are still outstanding corn yields.”
Where Did The Yield Come From? – Channel Seed Field Sales Representative Mike Dufault says the harvest in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota needed more time before the snow arrived. “Those standing crops, if we get the right weather, we should be able to go out and get them later on in the season here.” There was variability, but Dufault says a lot of growers were surprised with the yields. “A catchphrase is ‘where did they come from?’ A lot of areas didn’t receive much rain at all and still had pretty decent crops overall.”
Fall Moisture Welcome – At Warren, Minnesota, Bob Wimpfheimer finished his harvest season and avoided winter weather delays. “We were pretty fortunate early in the season to get decent moisture, but August turned extremely dry.” There was still some field work to be done, but Wimpfheimer is grateful for moisture. “We’ve received a little rain and snow so it’s looking better for next year already.”
Yields Came Through Despite Dry Conditions – Cokato, Minnesota farmer Harlan Anderson was happy to get an early start on harvest this year. Yields were surprising for Anderson’s alfalfa, corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats. “If this is a dry season and was bad, give me more of ‘em.”
Late-Season Moisture Could Have Been Used in July/August – Near Wolverton, Minnesota, Jay Nord wrapped up soybean harvest, but it was a challenge this year. “When it rained on Labor Day, the soybeans decided to start growing again so it was nightmare to get finished and combined.” Nord is back in the field after a seven-day weather delay. He’s hoping weather will hold to finish the corn. “We had some really nice soybeans and some really bad soybeans. So far our corn has been a little more disappointing than we thought.” From planting to Labor Day, Nord received only five inches of rain. Since Labor Day, there has been six inches of rain locally. “We need the rain for next year, but could have used a little bit of it in July and August.”
The Waiting Game – In southwestern North Dakota, harvest is stalled until snow melts off the crop. High yields still wait in the field. Harlan Klien, who farms at Elgin, said this has been the best crop he can remember during his farming career. “It’s been a challenge to get things off the field. It was wet during wheat harvest, it’s been wet this fall again. Then we got this ten-to-12 inches of snow.” Harvest will likely have to wait until the ground freezes, but Klein is confident they will eventually get the crop off.
Grain Keeps Moving When Combines Stall – Corn is still standing in the Ulen, Minnesota area. “We did fill up on corn ahead of the storm, but we have trains coming,” said Randy Zimmerman, grain merchandiser, West Central Ag Services. “We should be good through mid-November for space.” When combines were stalled, WCAS saw the truckloads of corn head to town. “We’ve been taking some dry corn in to make some space in some farmers’ bins.” Zimmerman encourages farmers to call ahead to the delivery sites to figure out a plan of action for the rest of harvest.
New Opportunities in Southeast Asia – Leaders from three state agriculture departments and 29 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations participated in a trade mission to Southeast Asia. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources Hunter Roberts was part of that trip. During a press call, Roberts said he sees possibilities to expand an already strong trade relationship. USDA Undersecretary Alexis Taylor led the trade mission. “We toured a business that’s looking to expand dairy production in Malaysia. They’re looking to source U.S. genetics.”
Talking Trade in China – A delegation of 11 U.S. farm organizations, including U.S. Wheat Associates and the U.S. Grains Council, is in China to discuss agricultural trade. This is the largest agricultural delegation to visit China since 2016. The group will be in Shanghai this week for the annual China International Import Expo.
Biden and Xi to Meet in San Francisco – President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to meet later this month in San Francisco. Relations have been tense between the two countries in recent years. The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
New Rules for Ukrainian Ag Exports – Ukraine has new rules for companies exporting wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds and other food products. Only companies that are registered with the government and have no tax debts are eligible to export grain. Up to one-third of this business is now done on a cash basis without paying taxes. This pilot program is in place through the end of 2024 and is designed to prevent corruption or abuse of the system.
A Possible Ban on Russian Durum Exports – Due to tight supplies, Russia’s agriculture ministry has proposed a six-month moratorium on durum wheat exports. If this ban goes into effect, it will take place from December 1, 2023 until May 31, 2024.
The Bull Pen – In this monthly look at market-moving news, Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi highlighted interest rates, land values and the markets. The Bull Pen included a discussion about the wars happening in Ukraine and the Middle East and the impact on global markets. “It creates volatility on that side,” said Grisafi. “Although commodity prices are contracting and not as volatile, gold and the dollar have been very volatile.”
Register for NCI Cereal Innovators Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting a Cereal Innovators webinar on Wednesday at 9 AM. This webinar will feature Amrita Ray, who is a milling specialist at the Northern Crops Institute. She will be presenting her work with stone milling and the upcoming Stone Milling Handbook. This interactive webinar series focuses on new and unique ways to use cereal grains. Topics throughout the series include new processes, useful information on milling and baking, equipment information and uses for cereal grains grown in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Registration for this event is free of charge. Go online for more information.
Duties Reduced on Moroccan Phosphate Fertilizers – The U.S. Commerce Department is lowering the duties placed on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco from 19.97 percent to 2.12 percent. The issue stems from a Commerce Department decision in 2020 that favored a petition by Mosaic, which claimed foreign companies unfairly flooded the U.S. market with low-cost fertilizers. The American Soybean Association and National Corn Growers Association opposed these duties and praised the Commerce Department decision.
Mississippi River Avoids Major Closures – Water levels of the Mississippi River have reached record lows for the second year in a row. CHS Global Grain & Processing Manager of Barge Freight Ben Doane was part of a webinar hosted by the Northern Crops Institute. The river system was more equipped to handle low water levels this year. “The Corps of Engineers made it their goal to make sure this wasn’t going to happen again.” Dredging operations were put in place throughout the summer and major traffic shutdowns were averted. “We did deal with intermittent closures and groundings, but we avoided the full two-week closure.”
St. Lawrence Seaway Strike Ends – Union workers have ratified their labor contract with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. The seven-day strike impacted 13 Canadian locks, but not the two U.S.-based locks. The entire St. Lawrence Seaway system was shut down, including the Port of Duluth. Multiple ships were loaded out of Duluth and unable to leave. There was also a growing number of inbound ships unable to enter this shipping route. Shipping activity has resumed.
Airlines & Ethanol Industry Unite for GHG Modeling Change – Delta, Southwest and other airlines and aviation companies have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging support for sustainable aviation fuel. These airline companies have joined the ethanol industry in asking the government to make regulatory changes so corn-based ethanol can qualify for federal subsidies. The Treasury Department is expected to finalize methodology for greenhouse gas emissions in December.
Economics and Environmental Sustainability Go Hand In Hand – Association of Equipment Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades said economic decisions often lead to better environmental practices. “The reason for farmers to adopt precision agriculture had more to do with the economics of their individual farm. The added benefit is that the industry becomes more sustainable.” Blades believes consumer expectations and farmer practices are coming together, but consumers need to understand what farmers do to maintain their crops. “We take the act of feeding the world very seriously but we also take the act of protecting the planet very seriously.” Listen to the full interview with Curt Blades here.
Farming for the Future – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is partnering with the Red River Farm Network and the Linder Farm Network to provide information on soil health events and topics. Minnesota Soil Health Coalition Executive Director Mark Gutierrez talks about the 2023 Premier Soil Health Event on this week’s Farming for the Future.
Carbon Insets Present New Opportunities – A new option for carbon credits is gaining popularity. NDSU Extension bioenergy economics specialist David Ripplinger says to be on the lookout for carbon inset programs. “Long term, it will likely become a common part of marketing crops and livestock and agriculture across the country.” Carbon insets are different from carbon offsets in that they will give producers an opportunity to participate in the carbon credits market for practices already implemented. “It is really eye opening and exciting for a group of people who thought they were going to be excluded.”
New National Officer Team Installed – Amara Jackson of Michigan was elected national president during the FFA convention. The national secretary is Grant Norfleet of Missouri. Carter Howell of Florida is the new southern region vice president. Kanyon Huntington of Iowa was elected central region vice president. The eastern region vice president is Morgan Anderson of Ohio and the western region vice president is Emily Gossett of New Mexico.
An Honor to Compete – Minnesota FFA national officer candidate Kyle Thomas made it past the first round of interviews, but didn’t make the final cut. Thomas said FFA changed his life for the better. “Whether it be from my SAE in understanding time management to the competitive side in career development events that fostered leadership.” Thomas is with the Rockford FFA chapter, which has only been chartered for ten years. He says coming from a small, relatively new chapter and running for national office was an honor.
Minnesota Brings Home Star Farmer Award – Daniel Jossund from the Ada-Borup-West FFA Chapter brought home the American Star Farmer Award from the National FFA Convention. With this recognition, Jossund is the best of the best. “The American Star Farmer is the top award that FFA has to offer and the most historic award, to be one of the few that have one that is an honor.” Jossund owns 150 acres of farmland and is a student at North Dakota State University. He’s home and back to work. “I got someone coming for hay tomorrow and I have to load the semi with a load of small squares that are going to Wadena this week and I’m going to school and we’re combining corn.” Jossund was featured in an interview with R & J Broadcasting after the big announcement.
A Generational Theme – Daniel Jossund from Ada-Borum-West FFA took home the National FFA Star Farmer award. Daniel’s parents, John and Lorraine Jossund, walked across the stage at National FFA Convention to receive their Honorary American Degree. John was a member of the FFA in the 1970s. “It wasn’t very many years before that girls got involved, but it’s a lot more inclusive now.” Lorraine Jossund enjoyed having her three children gain skills through FFA. “I’ve watched them hold a lot of different leadership roles and meet kids from all over the state. It’s one of the best organizations they could have been in.”
Ag Mechanics Proficiency Award Belongs to Huper – There is a national proficiency award winner from Minnesota, Caldyn Huper of United South Central. Huper won the award for agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance.
Going Back to the Farm – Ben Scheresky, who is from Max, North Dakota, was a national finalist for his diversified agricultural production proficiency award. Scheresky raises corn, soybeans, pinto beans, canola and cattle. After college, he plans to go back to the farm. “It’s always been my goal and it’s helped me raise money to pay for college. I’ve picked up a lot of land and I’m looking forward to it.”
Vilsack Receives Honorary FFA American Degree – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack received the Honorary American FFA Degree at the National FFA Convention. Vilsack also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National FFA organization’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Stump to emphasize a commitment to agriculture youth. “These young people are so knowledgeable about the challenges their farms and families face and their willingness to consider new opportunities.”
A Pathway to Passion – National FFA Central Region Vice President Karstyn Cantrell wrapped up her year in office at the national convention. Cantrell gained a lot from her involvement in the organization. “I’ve found a lot of different paths to passion that are important to me, including agricultural communication and education.”
Ag Careers Highlighted in Indy – More than 300 companies and organizations were represented at the National FFA Expo. Carley Potter leads the intern program for CHS and appreciates the passion found within the students. “We see the confidence as they grow through the FFA program and we’re here to support all the opportunities that they have available to them.” Potter, who is originally from Hunter, North Dakota, said the FFA students typically have personal experience on the farm. “We also like to showcase if you have that analytical background or if you have the communication skills, there’s opportunities at companies like CHS that are in the agriculture world.” CHS is a major sponsor of the Red River Farm Network coverage of the National FFA Convention.
Jobs Are Available in Agriculture – Brad Blaha coordinates the recruiting efforts for the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science at South Dakota State University. While at the National FFA Convention, Blaha said there is demand for young people in agriculture. “We’ve got a lot of programs that have 100 percent job placement; dairy production, dairy manufacturing, agronomy all really have strong growth.”
FFA Has Evolved Over the Years – The FFA was organized over 95 years ago. Corteva AgriScience Vice President of Business Development Tony Klemm says FFA grew from an organization of farm boys to a diverse program that focuses on career and leadership development. “While ag production is important, it’s also important that we are creating the leaders that are gonna be able to step into the ag industry in the future,” Klemm told RRFN. “Whether they’re leading in artificial intelligence, IT development, engineering design for the new tractor or back on the farm, we need them.” Klemm, who a state FFA officer in Iowa, said the organization is developing the next level of leaders that will help U.S. agriculture stay competitive.
VIP Citation Presented During Convention – Twenty-four individuals were honored with the VIP Citation during the National FFA Convention. There are familiar names on that list including Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, retired Central Lakes College Dean of Technical Programs DelRay Lecy, Syngenta Global Head of Strategy and Portfolio Management David Hollinrake and former farm broadcaster Janet Adkison.
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 soybeans had a very good push last week due to rumors of Chinese demand and adverse South American weather. “Corn put in a key reversal Friday and hopefully that is a signal that we put a bottom in this market.”
Weather Extremes for South American Crop – The Money Farm owner Allison Thompson is closely monitoring South American weather. “They took out a good chunk of rain that was expected for the north-central areas of Brazil, which are high-producing areas. Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay, are going to remain pretty wet.” If that forecast holds, So that forecast holds for the next week-to-ten days, Thompson said it should be very supportive to the soybean market. “And it’ definitely going to have an impact on their second crop corn.”
Crop Insurance Will Likely be Triggered – The crop insurance harvest prices were determined in October. Ihry Insurance agent Reed Ihry is expecting crop insurance payments to be triggered in some counties. “Just on a 75 or 80 percent coverage level, if you had any kind of reduction in yield, it could trigger a loss there.” Those with additional coverage options may be in good positions. “Even if you had an average county-wide yield, with the price drop, it should trigger corn for sure. Some of those county-wide products could be a winner this year.”
ND Auditor’s Office Rules on Checkoff Expense – The North Dakota State Auditor’s Office found the North Dakota Soybean Council inadequately monitored contract expenses which were submitted for reimbursement. The Council provided a grant to the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and a portion of that money was paid to a legislative educator for time testifying in the Legislature on a bill that dealt with checkoff issues. The Auditor’s Office determined this action is considered as lobbying activity, which can’t be done with checkoff funds.
Rural Veterinary Clinics Face Uncertain Future – Labor is hard to find in the U.S. no matter the industry. Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Aric Putnam and Moorhead Senator Rob Kupec recently met with University of Minnesota veterinary medicine students. Rural areas are facing extreme vet shortages because of the huge financial burden of veterinary school and that was part of the discussion. “It was a good conversation, but also kind of a scary one,” said Kupec. Large animal and food animal veterinary practices in rural areas are less profitable than companion animal practices. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association the average vet med student graduates with over $147,000 in debt. “They just can’t accrue more debt to take over that practice.” Kupec hopes to address this issue in future state legislative sessions.
Volatility in Butter Markets – Butter prices have moderated after reaching record highs. DairyVisor President Joe Spader says holiday demand has been the biggest support for the market. “There may be a shift in consumer buying patterns for butter, but it has definitely created some volatility.” Spader is somewhat disappointed in the recent activity. “Given the fact that we are in that pre-Thanksgiving window, you’d like to see the front end of the market performing better than it is,” said Spader. “We also have expectations of that milk (production) surge coming back and that’s also having a negative impact.”
Dry Bean Scene – In this week’s Dry Bean Scene, RRFN visits with NDSU Extension Weed Specialist Joe Ikley regarding problematic weeds this season in dry beans. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, Sharpen Herbicide from BASF, SRS Commodities, and Heads Up Plant Protectants.
More Time Sought for Feedback on H-2A Reform – A bipartisan group of senators is asking the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department for a 60-day extension for public comment on reforms to the H-2A ag worker program. There is concern the DHS and DOL will finalize rules before they can fully determine the impact on agricultural employers. Nearly 30 lawmakers are on the letter to the agencies, including John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer from North Dakota and John Thune and Mike Rounds from South Dakota.
Marketing Assistance Loans Available – Marketing Assistance Loans are available through the end of the year despite the farm bill expiring at the end of September. North Dakota Farm Service Agency Price Support Division Program Director Brian Haugen says certain criteria must be met to utilize these loans. “Sometimes it becomes more prevalent during suppressed market prices to meet cashflow means rather than be forced to sell the commodity.” Contact your local FSA office to learn more.
GAO Recommends Changes in Tariff Rate Quotas for Sugar – The Government Accountability Office is recommending changes in the way raw sugar tariff rate quotas are allocated. The GAO said the U.S. sugar program provide significant benefits to sugar farms, increasing consumer costs. The GAO, which is an independent, non-partisan agency that works for Congress, recommends USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office evaluate different ways to allocate TRQs. Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer and New Hampshire Representative Ann Kuster are frequent sugar program critics and requested the GAO study.
AFBF: Latest Number on Foreign Land Investment – Foreign ownership of farmland remains a hot topic nationwide. According to a new report from the American Farm Bureau, foreign investors and companies own approximately three percent of privately-held agricultural land in the U.S. Canadian investors have the largest share of farmland with 31 percent. Many policymakers have focused on China, but the Farm Bureau report said Chinese ownership represents just three hundredths of one percent of all of the agricultural land in the United States. That is equal to an average-sized county in Ohio.
Record Quarterly Income for AGCO – AGCO is reporting third quarter net sales of $3.5 billion. That’s an increase of nearly 11 percent from last year. AGCO officials said the record third quarter results are due to good crops, favorable farm economics and an improved supply chain situation.
Income Down, but CF Industries Delivers a Positive Outlook – For the third quarter, CF Industries had net earnings of $ 164 million. That compares to $438 million in the third quarter of 2022. President and CEO Tony Will said the global nitrogen fundamentals remain favorable for the foreseeable future.
Revenues Down for FMC in Q3 – FMC Corporation reports third quarter revenue of $982 million, down 29 percent from one year ago. Price increases in North America, Asia and Europe were more than offset by price declines in Latin America. In North America, revenue was down 34 percent year-over-year. Overall net income was down 52 percent.
BASF Group Releases Latest Financials – BASF Group suffered a loss of $265 million (U.S.) in the third quarter. That compares to a profit of $967 million in the same period last year. The decline was blamed on lower prices in its materials, chemicals and surface technology segments. Higher prices in the agricultural solutions business had a positive effect.
Meristem Launches Biological Advancement for Dry Beans – Meristem Crop Performance has introduced a new biological formulation for dry bean growers. REVLINE HOPPER THROTTLE DRY BEAN has a base of iron, manganese and IONLOCK Zinc. Meristem’s patented delivery system can be used with this product. In a news release, Meristem cited in-field research that demonstrated up to ten times the number of live microbes can be delivered through the planter box when compared to a seed treatment or liquid starter.
Platform Integration – Bayer has announced a platform integration with Climate FieldView with its recently acquired crop marketing management tool called Combyne. With this capability, farmers will be able to connect their FieldView agronomic data with the Combyne marketing data to make more informed decisions.
A Milestone for Red Trail Energy – Red Trail Energy will be the first production facility in the country to bring third-party verified carbon dioxide removal credits from bioethanol carbon capture to voluntary carbon market. When the initial offering is made, companies can purchase credits through Red Trail Energy’s marketing firm, Renewable Products Marketing Group. The Richardton, North Dakota plant is one of the first bioenergy companies in the U.S. with carbon capture and storage technology. The CO2 is stored 6,500 feet directly beneath the facility in the Broom Creek Formation.
ADM and Solugen Finalize Supply Deal – ADM will provide Solugen with the raw materials needed at the plant it is building at Marshall, Minnesota. Solugen’s new facility will be located next to ADM’s corn complex and will use ADM’s dextrose to produce organic chemicals for use in consumer and industrial products. Solugen said these chemicals are being made with no carbon emissions, replacing materials traditionally made from fossil fuels.
CropLife America Begins Search for New CEO – The CropLife America board of directors has appointed Susanne Wasson as its interim president and chief executive officer. Previously, Wasson was president of Corteva’s crop protection business. Chris Novak, who was on the job for five years, is no longer with CropLife America.
Otieno to Lead MDA Emerging Farmers Office – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has named Lillian Otieno as the first director of the Emerging Farmers Office. Otieno has been the coordinator of the MDA Emerging Farmers program since 2021 and has been an MDA employee since 2017. The Emerging Farmers Office was established by the State Legislature two years ago and is the first state office of its kind in the United States.
Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Associations board member Angela Guentzel talks about MCGA’s scholarship applications. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters, brought to you by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
Becton Accepts New Role in Swine Health Sector – Dr. Lisa Becton will be joining the Swine Health Information Center in January as its next associate director. Most recently, Becton served the National Pork Board as its director of swine health. Becton will succeed Dr. Megan Niederwerder, who will become the SHIC executive director following the retirement of Dr. Paul Sundberg at the end of the year. The SHIC was launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats.
Beet Stock Values – Fueled by a record crop and forecast payment, American Crystal Sugar Company beet stock trended higher last week setting a new high price which has happened multiple times since trading started back in August. According to Acres & Shares broker Jayson Menke, last week there were two brokered sales, 65 share at $5,350 per and 100 shares sold at $5,600 per share.
ACSC Promotes Bernhardson – Dan Bernhardson is the new vice president of operations for American Crystal Sugar Company. Bernardson has been with ACSC for nearly 19 years, most recently as the director of operations.
Drummond to Lead ND 4-H Foundation – Chloe Drummond is the new board coordinator and relationship specialist for the North Dakota 4-H Foundation. In this role, Drummond will work with the foundation’s board and NDSU Extension staff to develop financial support for North Dakota 4-H programs. Drummond is a Fargo native with experience in sales, philanthropy and leadership.
Last Week’s Trivia-Central and Mountain time zones can be found in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Val Dolcini of Syngenta wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Paul Sproule of Sproule Farms, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, Dianne Bettin of Bettin Consulting and Keith Finney of Tharaldson Companies. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Jacob Downing of Cargill, Derry MacKenzie of CHS Ag Services, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Bryce Messner of Choice Insurance, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, McIntosh farmer Joan Lee, retired UM Extension Educator Russ Severson, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, retired Minnesota Ag in the Classroom Executive Director Al Withers, Dave Gehrtz of Proseed, Ken Pazdernik of Ada, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad and Kevin Schulz of The Farmer.
This Week’s Trivia-In Internet slang, HAND is ‘Have A Nice Day.’ IMHO is ‘In My Humble Opinion’ and BTW is ‘By The Way.’ IDK is an online abbreviation for what term? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|November 5 - November 8||National Agricultural Bankers Conference|
|November 7||FCS of Mandan Agriculture, Finance and Technology Forum - Mandan, ND|
|November 9||ND SBARE public input forum|
|November 9||AgriGrowth Minnesota Ag & Food Summit - Minneapolis, MN|
|November 10||ND Angus Ass’n Annual Meeting - Bismarck, ND|
|November 10||NDSU Harvest Bowl Banquet - Fargo ND|
|November 11||NDSU Harvest Bowl - Fargo ND|
|November 16 - November 18||MN Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting - Bloomington, MN|
|November 17 - November 18||NDFB Annual Meeting - Fargo, ND|
|November 17 - November 18||SD Farm Bureau Annual Convention - Sioux Falls, SD|
|November 17 - November 19||MN Farmers Union Annual Convention - Minneapolis, MN|
|November 17 - November 18||Independent Beef Ass’n of North Dakota Annual Meeting - Bismarck, ND|
|November 18||ND FFA Foundation Blue & Gold Gala - Fargo ND|
|November 28 - November 29||SD Cattlemen’s Association Convention and Trade Show - Watertown, SD|
|November 28 - November 29||NDAA Agribusiness Expo - Fargo ND|
|November 30||Crary Ag Full Pod Event - Fargo ND|
|November 30 - December 1||SD Farmers Union State Convention - Huron, SD|
|December 1 - December 3||North Star Classic - Valley City, ND|
|December 2||ND Hereford Ass’n Meeting and Sale - Valley City, ND|
|December 4 - December 5||ND Township Officers Association Annual Meeting|
|December 5||Design your Succession Plan - Carrington, 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.