A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, October 30, 2023
Blue Wave-The National FFA Convention will be held this week in Indianapolis. More than 68,000 members and supporters will be in Indy to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year. Stay with the Red River Farm Network for complete coverage of the blue and gold this week.
Johnson Calls for December Farm Bill Action – In a letter to his fellow Republicans, House Speaker Mike Johnson said his plan is to pass a new farm bill in December. Before that, Johnson wants Congress to pass all 12 appropriations bills, including the ag spending bill during the week of November 13. The Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration appropriations bill was on the floor a month ago and voted down in a dispute over budget cuts and language dealing with the availability of an abortion pill. Johnson plans to appoint a new working group to address those concerns.
GOP Lawmakers Seek Timely Farm Bill Passage – Minnesota Congressman Brad Finstad in a letter to Speaker Mike Johnson seeking swift passage of the farm bill. Sixty House Republicans joined Finstad in the letter including North Dakota Representative Kelly Armstrong, South Dakota Representative Dusty Johnson, Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach and Minnesota Representative Pete Stauber. The letter said more than 92 percent of planted U.S. acres are represented by Republican members and “the farm bill is a critical agenda item that must be addressed in this Congress.”
Stabenow Calls for Farm Bill Extension – Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow is now calling for an extension of the 2018 farm bill. In comments made on the Senate floor, Stabenow said the delays in the House made it impossible to pass the farm bill on a timely basis. In January, the farm program reverts to permanent law and Stabenow said that would be “irresponsible.”
A Matter of Timing – The 2018 Farm Bill expired at the end of September and the likelihood of an extension is increasing. “I think it’s fair to say that most people have probably acknowledged that there will be an extension,” admitted Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The question is the length of that extension.” With the disfunction in the House, Vilsack said it is important to find different funding sources. That would include the Inflation Reduction Act.
Johnson Has a Connection to Agriculture – Combest Sell and Associates Managing Partner Tom Sell is excited to see Congress get back to work with Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson on the job as speaker. “After 20-some odd days of not having a speaker, we’re back to the way the Constitution designed it.” Sell is optimistic about what Johnson will do for agriculture. “Even in his initial rollout of priorities, the farm bill was among the six and that’s a great sign.” Johnson represents many rural Louisiana. Sell says Johnson is also well connected to Republican lawmakers from other agricultural districts.
SD Corn Comments – In this week’s edition of South Dakota Corn Comments, South Dakota Corn Growers Association Executive Director DaNita Murray talks about the farm bill timeline will influence legislative priorities.
Dairy Holds the Key to Farm Bill Decision – The farm bill process was put on a shelf when Congress was trying to elect a new speaker. With a full legislative agenda, lawmakers will have a difficult time completing the farm bill before the end of the year. If the farm bill isn’t completed before the end of the year, it reverts to permanent law with a parity price based on the market from 1910-to-1914. “If you ask a farmer if they would like $50 per hundredweight milk instead of $15 milk, they would like that for about three days until the markets are gone because that’s what will happen,” said Lucas Sjostrom, executive director, Minnesota Milk Producers Association. “The dairy cliff will make the farm bill get done in some way, shape or form.” MMPA would rather have a good farm bill rather than just an extension. Policy priorities include updates to Dairy Margin Coverage.
Watch for Tag-Alongs in the Next Farm Bill – Regarding the new farm bill, Gowan USA Agriculture Relations Director Cindy Smith believes there are still details to work out with the nutrition title and crop insurance. Once that’s complete, “I think we just need to pay attention to things that might be attached.” Few bills get passed in Congress and “when people see something moving, they want to attach something to it.”
Working Through the Individual Spending Bills – After three weeks of chaos over the Speaker’s gavel, Congress passed the energy and water appropriations bill and is in recess until Wednesday night. This bill cuts $5 billion in spending that was part of climate, tax and health care bill that passed last year. It also rescinds the revised Waters of the United States rule that followed the Supreme Court decision on the same issue.
Possible Movement on Ag Spending Bill – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced a plan to bring the agriculture appropriations bill to the floor. This ‘minibus’ also includes funding for Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. This action is happening three weeks before the continuing resolution and funding for the government expires November 17.
Biden and Vilsack Schedule MN Visit – President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Minnesota this week to promote administration’s investment in Rural America. The presidential visit will be at a farm near Northfield. During the next two weeks, other cabinet members and senior administration officials will be traveling across the country for what is being called the ‘Investing in Rural America Event Series.’
Fischbach Highlights Farm Policy at AgriBank Event – The AgriBank District Farm Credit Council recognized Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach with its Friend of Farm Credit Award. Fischbach is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction on tax policy, trade and other areas. At the farm event near Elbow Lake on Friday, Fischbach highlighted Mexico’s proposed ban on biotech corn imports. “They are not following through on what they agreed to (in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) and we need to just continue to go after them and make them understand we do not want them refusing to take our products,” said Fischbach. “We’ve been after Ambassador (Katherine) Tai to do that so we have a market for our GMO corn.” Fischbach referenced the handling of the dispute over dairy trade between the U.S. and Canada through USMCA.
Harvest Stalls With the Change in the Weather – Dairyland Seed Regional Agronomist Brian Weller covers Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. “We have some areas in Southern Minnesota into South Dakota where some folks are done with corn and you go a couple miles down the road where we have folks that are just really getting a good start,” said Weller. “As an overall average throughout the tri-state area, I would hazard to guess we’re that 40-to-50 percent done.” Despite dry growing conditions, Weller is surprised with the yields coming out of the region. Listen to the full interview.
Snow Delays Western North Dakota Corn Harvest – Washburn, North Dakota farmer Clark Price finished his soybeans with an average yield in the mid-50 bushel per acre range. “Everybody is just starting on corn, so there’s a lot to go.” With the health of his cattle taking priority during the snow storm at the end of the week, Price hasn’t had a chance to start on dry corn yet. “We’re trying to get pastures rounded up, especially with it sounding like water is going to be frozen.”
Full Throttle Before the Storm – Rock and Roll Agronomy crop consultant Jason Hanson says the corn harvest was going full throttle before the weather slowed combines. “Corn is probably 40 percent complete around me.” Hanson reports that corn yields in northern North Dakota have been below average due to drought. “I’ve heard corn yields from 90-to-105 bushels and soybeans range from 30-to-35 if you had moisture, down to ten (bushels per acre) if you didn’t.”
Weather Disruption – Byron Richard has finished his corn harvest, “We had an exceptional year for corn and sunflowers. Corn is probably only two-thirds done in the region and historically we’ve only been around that 70-80 bushel corn and this year we’ve been averaging 120-to-125 bushels.” Richard, who farms at Belfield, North Dakota, said snow and muddy road conditions have disrupted his plan to get some calves weaned and sold. “They’ve already at least 12 inches of wet snow on the ground.”
A Wrap On Harvest – Badger, Minnesota farmer Shayne Isane has wrapped up his harvest. Early crops, like spring wheat and perennial rye grass, were poor after receiving only 1.5 inches of rain each month throughout the growing season. “As we got into canola, soybeans and corn, it was probably an average crop,” said Isane. “I don’t know where all the yield came from, but somehow those crops dug down and found moisture.” The heat and dryness pushed teh crop ahead of schedule. “Normally, by the time we finish corn we’re pushing into the first week of November so this is earlier and we’re happy with that.”
Double-Timing Harvest – Burleigh County Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent Tyler Kralicek says farmers and ranchers worked overtime to prepare for the snow. “Guys have received anywhere from four-to-eight inches of snow. A lot of ranchers have brought their cattle closer to home and farmers have been doing double time to get harvest done.” Harvest has progressed immensely in the last two weeks. “We projected sunflowers at the upper 2,000 pounds per acre, so that’s really good. Soybeans also did really well, at least 25-to-40 bushels an acre.”
Working on Corn at Wyndmere, North Dakota – Near Wyndmere, North Dakota, Carson Klosterman was doing well with his corn harvest before the winter weather hit. “We did get the rains; give or take a week or so of when we needed it and yields have been nice on all crops around here.” There was a lot of field work happening ahead of last week’s snow and freezing temperatures.
Doyon, North Dakota Yields are Variable – Tronson Grain manager Pat Tronson says corn yields have been variable near Doyon, North Dakota. “Where corn caught enough moisture and extra rain, it’s pretty decent and where it didn’t, it’s average at best.” Rain and fog caused delays earlier this harvest season which Tronson says put his area behind on harvest progress. Corn test weights have been around 54 to 55 pounds. Moisture has been variable depending on where rain fell. “We’re anywhere from 16 to 22 off the field, so we’re probably averaging 18 to 19.”
‘A Hair Above Average’ – Wheaton, Minnesota farmer Jamie Beyer is still looking at a lot of standing crops in her area. “We’ve gotten most of the sugarbeets out and most of the beans, but there’s still a lot of corn left.” It’s been a very up and down growing season in west central Minnesota. “We went from flood to drought and back to too much precipitation lately, but the crops are looking really nice and solid, maybe a hair above average.”
Peterson Farms Seed Update – In the latest update from Peterson Farms Seed, PFS Product Manager Dennis Schulte said post-harvest meetings will review 2023 results and look ahead to the new growing season.
A Record-Setter – American Crystal Sugar Company wrapped up its sugarbeet harvest Wednesday. General Agronomist Joe Hastings said the crop was a record-setter. “For tons harvested, it’s going to be a record at around 12.7 million tons per acre; it looks like the recoverable sugar per acre is going to be a record, too and and we had very low loss to molasses for our quality. We had very high sugars as well, not a record, but very, very good.”
Big Beet Crop – M-R Consulting owner Mark Ramsey is pleased with the sugarbeet crop in North Dakota’s Pembina County. “Deep subsoil moisture made these things grow and some timely rains at the end of August and the first part of September and it turned out to be a record crop.” Corn has been coming off at 18-to-22 percent moisture “which is very, very doable.”
Beet Stock Values – American Crystal Sugar Company beet stock brokered sales have been active the past few weeks and pushed prices to record levels. According to Acres & Shares broker, Jayson Menke, 1,491 shares have been brokered the past two weeks and the highest sale was 20 shares at $5,350 per share – a record for brokered sales. For the trading season which started August 11, 2,023 shares have been brokered for an average price of $5,054.30 per share. “I think it’s important to remind people ACSC beet stock is very thinly traded,” said Menke. “Out of the 40 some sales this season, only nine have been more than $5,100 per share. If don’t see many new listings in the short-term prices could trend up, however, an influx of shares based on record prices could temper the market.” On a weekly basis, Menke tracks brokered sales from the three beet stock brokerage firms.
Dramatic Weevil Problem – South Dakota experienced a large number of red sunflower seed weevils this past growing season. SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist Adam Varenhorst says weevil numbers were alarming. “Thresholds for sunflowers are four-to-six per head and in South Dakota we see populations of 500 to over 1,000 per head.” Varenhorst said most of the sunflower fields scouted this summer had weevils. Unfortunately, the weevils are turning resistant to treatment. “There are decreased effects of pyrethroid class insecticides.”
Commerce Department Updates GDP – The third quarter’s Gross Domestic Product was up 4.9 percent. That’s higher than traders expected. The GDP is a key indicator of economic activity.
10-Year Treasury Yields Continue to Trend Higher – There was some pullback this past week, but StoneX Chief Commodities Economist Arlan Suderman said the 10-year Treasury notes are close to five percent and still trending higher. “A lot of it is based on the increased debt certificates that are being offered onto the market with a decreased supply of buyers of those debt certificates and that’s largely a factor of Congress borrowing more and more money and the Fed purchasing fewer of those debt certificates,” said Suderman. “We have to attract new buyers and you do that with higher yields.” Suderman said these economic trends impact the farmer. “Higher interest rates increase the costs for the agricultural producer to produce the crop to pay for that operating loan and it also increases the cost of storage.”
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 soybean meal market “has been on fire.” Gold is also seeing bullish enthusiasm, linked to the geopolitical uncertainty. The cattle market is under pressure. “It just hasn’t been able to put together a couple consecutive strong days.”
Little Corn Expected to Move in Coming Weeks – RCM Ag Services market analyst Steve Wagner cites harvest pressure for recent market trends. “We are looking at the tail end of the corn harvest so with what’s left out there, I think the market is going to see if it can buy it a little cheaper,” Wagner told RRFN. “I don’t think the farmers are engaged so the market won’t buy a whole heck of a lot of corn here in the next couple weeks.”
Dealing With the New Market Environment – Van Ahn and Company market analyst Kristi Van Ahn was one of speakers at the Harvest of Knowledge AgriWomen’s Conference. Van Ahn said farmers have options to prepare for a high cost environment. “Prices are not as good as they have been, but you need to ask if you’re still profitable with the inputs we have. If that’s a yes, I think it’s okay to be doing some marketing and chipping away some targets.”
Crop Insurance Payments Likely to be Triggered – With two more trading days on the calendar, the fall crop insurance price for corn is $4.90 per bushel. That compares to $5.90 last spring. Soybeans are averaging $12.84 per bushel, down from $13.79 in the spring. Revenue guarantees will be triggered with the spring prices higher than the fall price. It appears the corn acreage will likely have the best chance to receive the crop insurance payments.
USDA Taps CCC to Promote Exports – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is using $2.3 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funds to promote exports. A total of $1.3 billion will be used to create a Regional Agricultural Trade Promotion Program and another $1 billion will go towards commodity-based market development. The announcement received widespread praise from the agriculture community. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney said every dollar invested in export market development delivers $24 in export revenue. The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council welcomed this effort, but still want funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development doubled in the new farm bill. MAP and FMD funding has not increased in over 16 years.
Corn Matters – Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member Ellyn Oelfke recently hosted a Latin-American trade delegation. Hear more in the latest Corn Matters, brought to you by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
China Inks Purchase Agreements With U.S. Ag Companies – For the first time since 2017, China has signed purchase agreements to buy U.S. farm commodities. The non-binding contracts were signed at the China-U.S. Sustainable Agricultural Trade Forum in Des Moines. Eleven grain companies, including ADM, Cargill and Bunge, signed the agreements. There are no formal sales associated with this paperwork, but a promise China will purchase U.S. commodities.
Transportation Headaches Continue – Workers at 13 Canadian locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway are on strike. Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek described it as just one more transportation route that’s closed to farmers. “With all of the supply chain challenges we’ve encountered over the past few years, we’ve had a number of occurrences where these options aren’t operating at full capacity.” Water conditions on the Mississippi River are still concerning for Steenhoek. “We’ve recently hit a record low water level in Memphis and barge transportation is constricted.”
Register Now for Wednesday’s NCI Special Webinar – The Northern Crops Institute is hosting a Market Update: Special Edition webinar on Wednesday at 8 AM. The webinar will feature Ben Doane, who manages barge freight for CHS. Doane will provide an update on the Mississippi River levels. The special edition engages past NCI course participants and offering market insights on commodities and trading. Go online for more details and to register.
Grain Storage Buffers Transportation Woes – Storing grain after harvest this year may help with some of the transportation issues. American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Danny Munch says one of the big transportation issues he’s monitoring is Mississippi River water levels. “Especially in the southern half of the river, some of those levels reached record lows which means barges can’t navigate those pathways.” Munch says one way to buffer against these disruptions is an investment in grain storage. “Sufficient storage means farmers can offload harvest when there’s downstream disruptions.”
Interest Rates Cast a Shadow on Grain Storage – At the Agri-Women’s Harvest of Knowledge Conference, author Elaine Kub, said marketing some grain in the spring can help farmers avoid seasonal lows at harvest time. “These grain markets do have seasonal behaviors and reflect higher prices at the time of year when the crop itself is at the most risk.” Kub, who wrote ‘Mastering the Markets,’ also said interest rates can impact grain storage decisions. “If you’re going to start delaying taking in cash from grain, you’re delaying the opportunity to pay off the operating note or earn interest on that cash that you would otherwise be receiving.”
Argentine Crush Plummets, Creates Opportunity for U.S. Processors – During a recap of the company’s third quarter financials, ADM CEO Juan Luciano said Argentina will likely run out of soybeans to crush next month. At that same time, the Green Bison Soy Processing Plant at Spiritwood, North Dakota will be ramping up to full capacity and able to meet the demand for soy products. The Spiritwood plant is a joint venture between ADM and Marathon Oil.
Biden-Xi Summit Seems Likely – U.S. and Chinese officials met this past week to prepare for a summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. This summit will be held in conjunction with an annual meeting with Pacific Rim leaders in mid-November in San Francisco. There’s no guarantee Xi will participate in the summit, but both sides are trying to find a way to ease tensions between the two superpowers.
No Progress in EU-Australian Trade Talks – The European Union and Australia failed to finalize a free trade agreement over the weekend. Work began on this trade deal in 2018 and the two sides have been unable to end the deadlock. The Australian trade minister said negotiations will continue.
Well Grounded – Have farmland values stabilized or are they continuing to climb? In the latest edition of the Well Grounded podcast, two appraisers from AgCountry Farm Credit Services said prices are strong, but may be plateaued. The fall sales season is just beginning and the land inventory may hold the key for farmland values in the days ahead. Well Grounded is a presentation of Acres and Shares and the Red River Farm Network.
The Heart of Sale Season – Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange co-owner John Fischer said there was a decent push of new-crop calves in the Dickinson area before the snow system came through. “We’re right in the heart of sale season, selling about 3,500-5,000 head per day.” Cash prices have been good, despite a bearish cattle-on-feed report. “We’re still at record-high prices but the last (cattle-on-feed) report hit the futures market for about $20.”
Feeder Cattle Run is in Full Motion – Rugby Livestock owner Cliff Mattson says new-crop calves are coming through his barn at a good pace. “We’ve had a fair amount of yearlings and a good test of feeder calves. Even with futures down all week, we still got along just fine with feeder calves.” Mattsons says the yearling market moved up really fast. “Hopefully it stabilizes because I’d like to see some longevity in this market.”
Zero Cattle Expansion – According to Aberdeen Livestock owner Kevin Larson, there is a concerning trend in the cow-calf sector. :We’re seeing small guys quit.” Larson had five producers sell out completely this fall. “There’s zero expansion happening.” Otherwise, Larson said cash cattle prices have not dropped off like the futures market. “We’ve had a great yearling run. For where the board is at, they’re still bringing a pretty good premium.” Ample feed availability helped support prices this year.
Cash Cattle Markets See Seasonal Lows – Cattle futures took a dive after the October Cattle on Feed Report, but NDSU livestock economist Tim Petry still expects fall cash markets to stay ahead of last year’s level. “Calves are priced probably $70 higher than they were last year at this time.” Preconditioned calves should bring a premium later in the season. Other factors also contribute to increased cash prices later on. “As we usually do this time of year, I think we’ll see weakness into the next month or so before calves are weaned longer and Cornbelt buyers get corn harvested and come into the market.”
Calf Markets Hold Promise – Gill Red Angus owner Bryan Gill watched cash prices for feeder calves move lower at two sales in South Dakota following the cattle on feed report. “The demand was strong, but the prices weren’t as good as they were a week to two weeks before that.” Citing low cow numbers and strong beef demand, Gill says there could be a lot of opportunity for backgrounders and those selling weaned calves this fall and winter. “If that all holds together, I think we could see some really good fat prices in the future and I think these weaned calves could get pretty high.”
Limited Production Until 2026 – Steiner Consulting Senior Economist Altin Kalo says with the current cattle cycle, rain and pasture resources are the only thing that will kick-start herd rebuilding. “It doesn’t look like we’re anywhere close to starting the rebuilding process.” Kalo expects prices to remain elevated through next year with beef supplies still fairly limited. “We think that there’s not going to be an increase in beef production until 2026.”
Nutrition for Weaned Calves – NDSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Zachary Carlson says replacing nutrition from milk with high protein and energy feeds can help calves maintain or gain faster when weaning. Carlson suggests taking measures to help calves find water faster and learn their new environment. “The quicker they do that, the faster they stay on feed and the healthier they’ll be able to stay.
Animal Welfare Standards Included in USDA Organic Rule – USDA’s new standards for Organic Livestock and Poultry Production include strong language dealing with animal welfare. To qualify for the organic label, poultry must have access to the outdoors and pigs must have adequate space to move freely. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said this is a big step forward, supporting “an industry that is incredibly important to American Agriculture.” While these standards only cover animals raised in the National Organic Program, Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Kitty Block said this is the first time farmers will be required to honor animal welfare standards in the care, treatment and handling of animals within a government program.
Farmers Ask EPA to Withdraw Herbicide Proposal – Nearly 1,500 farmers and ranchers have sent a joint letter to the EPA outlining concerns with the draft herbicide strategy framework. The letter said this draft proposal is “unworkable” and would impose a massive regulatory burden. This strategy includes highly restrictive rules to protect endangered and threatened species.
New Tech Research for Potatoes – The latest Minnesota Crop News, University of Minnesota Extension nutrient management specialist Carl Rosen explains that in sandier soils, potato research continues to show that it’s important to split nitrogen applications. It’s also important monitor plants closely to make sure you are getting nutrients to the plant when it needs it. “Try to match that nitrogen with the demand of the crop. For potatoes, it’s usually around that time of tuber initiation to initial tuber bulking is really when nitrogen is taken up.” Petiole analysis continues to be the best tool for monitoring the nitrogen status of the crop, but research is underway to improve the ability to monitor crops. Rosen says this could help producers use nitrogen more efficiently. “We’re looking at remote sensing and reflectants. Perhaps using either satellites or drones can give us a better idea of spatial variability so maybe the whole field doesn’t need additional nitrogen.”
Beet Stock Remains Extremely Strong – The sale of American Crystal Sugarbeet Company beet stock began earlier than normal this year. Red River Land Company President Chris Griffen is seeing solid demand for shares. “Beet stock has remained extremely strong. There’s been more volume than is typical for this time of year and, surprisingly, some of the lots that we’ve sold have been larger than you’d anticipate with the current high price.” A year ago, beet stock peaked at $4,800 per share. The values are well above that level this year. “They’ve ranged primarily between $5,000 and $5,200. We had one sale at $5,200 which is the high.”
Dry Bean Scene – North Dakota Agri-Women President Alisha Nord joins us to talk about the 40th Annual Harvest of Knowlege Agri-Women’s conference on this week’s Dry Bean Scene. The Dry Bean Scene is sponsored by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, Sharpen Fungicide from BASF, SRS Commodities and Heads Up Plant Protectants.
New USDA Report Released on Carbon Markets – USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie said demand is growing within the carbon market. “You see a lot of the interest from companies that buy commodities in creating their supply chain (and) you see producer groups, whether its folks in cotton or beef or elsewhere that are interested in marketing the climate-smart practices that go along with their commodities.” Farmers cited the limited return on investment as a hurdle when adopting climate-smart practices.
More Work Ahead for Biofuels – Minnesota Biofuels Association Executive Director Brian Werner addressed the Agri-Women’s Harvest of Knowledge Conference in Grand Forks on Friday., highlighting the organization’s work to potential for biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We want to make sure that any clean transportation program takes biofuels into account.” Werner is grateful for bipartisan support in Congress, but education is still needed. “You’ve get the folks on the fringes of both sides, whether that’s the oil industry that pushes back on higher blending or folks that talk about the land use change and environmental impacts.”
Solutions to Move Agriculture & Food Industry Forward – The Minnesota Ag and Food Summit will be held November 9 in Minneapolis. “Our program committee, our board and our members really wanted to emphasize that agriculture and food is and can be the solution to so many issues facing our country and our state,” said Tamara Nelsen, executive director, Minnesota AgriGrowth Council. “Whether global food security, global fuel security or addressing issues related to climate change, we are the solution and we need to have access to good technology and talent to fulfill that need so that’s the underlying theme of our conference and everything in the agenda flows from that.” The program kicks off with geopolitical analyst Jacob Shapiro discussing the global and domestic issues impacting the farm and food business. AgriGrowth Director of Strategic Engagement Nikki Deyle said there is a lot interest in the program. “Registration is looking great and we are expecting the crowd to be right at that 400 mark; there’s plenty of opportunity to still register and you can even register that day.” Go online for more details.
EU Considers 50% Cut in Pesticide Usage – Members of the European Parliament environment committee have approved a plan to cut pesticide use in half by 2030. The plan is expected to go before the full parliament in November. A conservative lawmaker spoke against the proposal, saying it puts food security at risk in Europe, especially with the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Farmers Ask EPA to Withdraw Herbicide Proposal – Nearly 1,500 farmers and ranchers have sent a joint letter to the EPA outlining concerns with the draft herbicide strategy framework. The letter said this draft proposal is “unworkable” and would impose a massive regulatory burden. This strategy includes highly restrictive rules to protect endangered and threatened species.
More Americans Going to Bed Hungry – After trending lower for ten consecutive years, more Americans faced food insecurity issues in 2022. According to a new USDA report, nearly 13 percent of all households struggled to get enough food last year, up more than ten percent from 2021. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that is a “stark reminder of the consequences of shrinking a proven safety net.”
Consumers Feel the Pinch of Rising Food Costs – According to a report from Rabobank, consumers are taking a more cautious approach to food purchases. Third quarter restaurant transactions are down three percent from one year ago. The report said consumers are also being more careful with spending at the supermarket. In addition to the impact on food spending, consumers are making efforts to make smarter decisions. Consumers have also explored new options, including warehouse clubs and big box stores.
Support for Rural America – Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach introduced the Invest in Rural America Act. This bill would codify the ability for the Farm Credit System to work with local banks on behalf of rural communities. “I don’t care where you go across Minnesota or across Rural America, there’s just a huge need for capital to help support our rural communities whether it’s a hospital, senior living, child care or whatever,” said Perry Aasness, vice president of legislative affairs, Compeer Financial. “We think there’s a way that Farm Credit can work with banks to help bring that capital back and support those rural communities.” Aasness said there are no additional costs associated with this program.
ND Lawmakers Wrap Up Special Session – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed all 14 bills approved by the Legislature in its three-day special session. The action was necessary after the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled the Office of Management and Budget bill was unconstitutional. Lawmakers did approve a bill that will provide incentives to a company building a fertilizer plant in the state. This program will forgive $125 million in loans through the Bank of North Dakota once construction is complete. Burgum sought a tax relief bill, but that was rejected.
NDFU Supports Fertilizer Expansion – During the special session, the North Dakota Legislature passed legislation to promote fertilizer development in the state. This bill establishes a $125 million loan forgiveness program for a new fertilizer plant. “It is a big investment, which is why this incentive is so important,” said Mark Watne, president, North Dakota Farmers Union. Expanding the state’s fertilizer production capacity will mitigate price volatility and supply challenges. “In North Dakota, we’re in the end of the shipping cycle and with much of the nitrogen fertilizer shipped up the Mississippi, we’re concerned about pricing and supply disadvantages.”
A Migration of Blue – The annual migration of blue jackets starts this week to Indianapolis. “We might be small, but we’re definitely mighty when it comes to competing at National FFA Convention,” reports Nikki Fideldy-Doll, North Dakota State FFA Advisor. “This year we have 55 chapters and over 470 students going.” For many students, this is their first-time attending convention. “It’s one thing to zip up your jacket for the first time, but it’s another to be surrounded by 50,000 other people in that same blue jacket.”
Minnesotan is a Star Farmer Finalist – The National FFA Organization will name its Star Award winners this week. Daniel Jossund of Ada-Borup-West FFA in Minnesota is a finalist for the American Star Farmer award. Jossund raises sugarbeets, corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. He owns all his own farm machinery and a semi. Jossund is studying agribusiness at North Dakota State University.
FFA Nurtures an Interest in Research – Hadley Stiefvator is a member of South Dakota’s McCook Central FFA and is one of four finalists for the American Star in Agriscience. Stiefvator has completed research projects for her supervised agricultural experience, including salmonella reduction in dairy calves and sow behavior changes in different gestation stanchion lengths. Stiefvator is a student at South Dakota State University.
Proficiency Awards Recognize Individual Skills – National FFA Proficiency finalists include Caydyn Hapa of Minnesota’s United South Central FFA for ag mechanics, Benjamin Schenesky of North Dakota’s Max FFA for diversified ag production, Brytin Hauf of North Dakota’s Max FFA for diversified crop production and John Moenning of Minnesota’s Triton FFA.
Yara 3Q Profits Decline – The fertilizer company, Yara, had third-quarter net income of $2 million. That compares to $402 million one year ago. Company officials said prices are down significantly from last year. Global instability is being blamed.
ADM 3Q Financials Released – Archer Daniels Midland reports third quarter profits of $821 million. That’s down from revenues of $1 billion in the same quarter one year ago. ADM officials blame low grain prices and poor exports for the downturn.
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.
Disease Diagnostic Collaboration – Corteva and Alevo Technologies are working together to develop a novel in-field disease diagnostic platform. Alevo already has a portable medical-grade system that delivers real-time disease and pathogen analysis. In addition to a mobile app, the companies are considering a small, portable rechargeable device to diagnose crop diseases.
Poncho Votivo Precise Targets the ‘Silent Yield Robber’ – BASF has launched the Poncho Votivo Precise seed treatment for the 2024 growing season. This is a unique product that provides protection for soybeans from insects and nematodes. BASF Senior Field Technical Representative Troy Bauer said nematodes are a parasitic roundworm that is found in most areas where soybeans are grown. “The nematodes are a silent yield robber,” Bauer told RRFN. “They’re the leading cause of soybean yield loss in the United States costing growers about $1.5 billion in yield annually. They’re a below-ground pest and as a result you can get up to 30 percent yield loss without really seeing any above-ground visable symptoms.”
Helena Introduces New Soybean Seed Treatments – Helena Agri-Enterprises has launched two new soybean seed treatments for the 2024 growing season. Seed Shield Select is a multi-fungicide and insecticide combination. Enertia is an enzyme-based biological seed treatment designed to enhance soil health and improve nutrient availability. Helena encourages soybean growers to lock in their seed treatments now because supply is limited for ’24.
Ceres Settles Charges of Market Manipulation – Ceres Global Ag Corporation is paying the Commodity Futures Trading Commission $3 million to settle allegations of price manipulation in the oats market. The allegation stems from an attempt in 2016 and 2017 to influence the oats market. The Minneapolis-based company has undertaken steps to comply with the CFTC regulations.
Burns Joins Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance Leadership – International Fresh Produce Association CEO Cathy Burns has joined the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance as a co-chair. Burns joins Mike Joyner of the Florida Fruit and Vegetables Association, Western Growers President/CEO Dave Puglia and National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles in providing direction for the coalition.
Region Well Represented Among Wheat Yield Contest Winners – The National Wheat Yield Contest winners have been announced. Brad Disrud of Rolla, North Dakota won the Bin Buster category for dryland spring wheat. Disrud’s crop came in just shy of 130 bushels per acre with WestBred 9590. John Wesolowski of Warren, Minnesota won first place with just over 126 bushels per acre. Austin Kautzman of Mott, North Dakota had the largest percentage over the county average. The yield was just below 120 bushels per acre when the county average was 32 bushels per acre. That’s a 273 percent increase over the county yield. The winners will be recognized at Commodity Classic in February.
Branstad, Westman to Receive USMEF Awards – The U.S. Meat Export Federation will present two major awards at its strategic planning conference next week in New Orleans. Former U.S. ambassador to China and Iowa governor, Terry Branstad, will receive the Michael J. Mansfield Award for making agricultural exports a top priority. Bill Westman will be recognized with the USMEF Distinguished Service Award. Westman spent nearly 30 years with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. After that, Westman service as senior vice president of international affairs for the North American Meat Institute and is now president of William Westman and Associates.
New SDSU Specialist Focuses on Range Management – SDSU Extension welcomed Kaylee Wheeler as a new range field specialist. In her role, Wheeler will help producers develop livestock grazing plans. Wheeler will be based out of the Regional Extension Center in Pierre.
NDSU Extension Present Program Excellence Awards – NDSU Agriculture Communications and the North Dakota chapter of the Association for Communications Excellence presented its Communicator of the Year Award to NDSU Extension Farm and Ranch Safety Specialist Angie Johnson. Penny Nester of Bowman County Extension received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Mid-Career Service Award. The Epsilon Sigma Phi Meritorious Support Staff Award belongs to Torie Piehl, administrative assistant, Bowman County Extension.
RRFN Offers Career Opportunity – The Red River Farm Network is seeking an ag journalist to join our team. Strong writing, speaking and digital skills are a must. A solid work ethic, the ability to travel and flexible work hours are also a requirement. More details can be found online. If you or someone you know is interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Condolences to Harold Petersen Family – Longtime Murdock, Minnesota farmer Harold Petersen, 81, passed away on Wednesday. Petersen was a founding member of the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative and later served its chairman. He served in numerous farm leadership roles, including time on the Minnesota State Farm Service Agency Committee, a member of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association board, the Minnesota Farm Bureau board and a member of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
Last Week’s Trivia-Linus is the Peanuts character that spent Halloween in the pumpkin patch waiting for ‘the Great Pumpkin.’ Shell Valley farmer Steven Grenier wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Norm Groot of Monterey County Farm Bureau, Linda Schuster of NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center, Mike Trosen of Meadowland Farmers Cooperative and Gary Sloan of BMO Commercial Bank. The ‘first 20’ includes Mark Bernard of Agro-Economics, Erin Nash of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, Keith Bjorneby of Lone Wolf Farms, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Molly Nichols of Hoosier Ag Today, Brian Sieben of Hefty Seed, Adams farmer Dave Linstad, Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Dean Nelson of Kelley Bean Company, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Kristal Rick of MAGNO Seed, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading and Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management.
This Week’s Trivia-There are multiple time zones in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. What are the two time zones found in these states? Send your answer to email@example.com.
|RRFN Upcoming Events|
|November 1 - November 2||Crop Outlook & International Durum Forum - Minot, ND|
|November 1 - November 4||National FFA Convention & Expo - Indianapolis, IN|
|November 2 - November 3||Transform Food 2023 - Minneapolis, MN|
|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|
|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.