A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, October 05, 2020
Reporting Agriculture’s Business – The forecast looks great for harvest activity and fieldwork this week. It will be a dry week with highs generally in the 60s and 70s. Markets got a surprise with the USDA grain stocks report, which will be followed by this Friday’s supply/demand report. Count on the Red River Farm Network to provide these ‘pocketbook’ stories that impact the farmers’ bottomline. Take note, RRFN will be on the road later this week for the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association annual convention in Bismarck.
USDA Report Supports Market During Harvest – Total Farm Marketing Senior Market Advisor Naomi Blohm says Wednesday’s stock report sets the tone for October grain markets. “I think prices stay steady to sideways, just a little higher during harvest and then we’ll see if the demand pace keeps up with exports.”
Quarterly Stocks Report Shocks Grain Markets – The USDA sent a shock wave across the grain trade on Wednesday at the release of the Quarterly Stocks Report. “Basically, this is USDA’s way of rebalancing the numbers. They brought down domestic stocks to say the crop wasn’t as big as expected,” explained Bob Utterback, president, Utterback Marketing. “This was a fundamental surprise to the market. Traders didn’t expect this level of an adjustment and it will take a few days for the market to recalibrate itself to find out where it will go.” Utterback said the net impact will increase the likelihood of farmers holding inventory. “This will intensify a farmer’s desire to hold onto inventory, preparing for a weather scare in South America. This will put a whole new spin onto the market.”
Agriculture Department Revises June 1 Corn Stocks – In a rare move, USDA cut the June 1 corn stocks by 205 million bushels. That drove the September stocks number down. In effect, USDA said it was too high on its 2019 harvested corn acreage. Northern Crops Marketing and Investment President Brad Paulson says this revision recognizes last fall’s difficult harvest. “The terrible weather we had last fall and the yields that were trimmed up with the early snow finally showed up.” Analysts recognize the challenges USDA had in estimating harvested corn acreage last year with a tremendous amount of prevented plant, farmer confusion on reporting PP and the corn left standing over the winter in North Dakota.
What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets – In today’s edition of What’s Hot, What’s Not in the Markets, Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi highlights demand, the pandemic and the harvest season.
Feed Residual Usage is Larger Than Expected – A big part of the cut in U.S. corn stocks was due to a correction in the June stocks figure. “It implies larger than expected feed residual usage of corn in the June, July, August summer quarter,” said Brian Basting, market analyst, Advance Trading. market analyst Brian Basting says soybean stocks also came in below trade expectations. The carryout for the 2019-2020 crop year is projected at 523 million bushels. That’s 50 million bushels lower than expected. “The arguments for the lower than expected bean number may fall in the camp of the crop size from 2019 may still be overstated and they may tweak that down in January.”
USDA’s Approach on Crop Report a ‘Head Scratcher’ – According to Zaner Ag Hedge Chief Market Strategist Ted Seifried, it’s the way USDA lowered the quarterly stocks that is surprising. “The USDA didn’t lower production really from last year. In fact, they did make marginal changes and revised it, but it was just so small. They increased corn production 2.67 million bushels, it’s nothing,” explains Seifried. “For soybeans, the revision was 333,000 bushels. It doesn’t really make an impact on the balance sheet. For the report numbers to come in below expectations that means demand was a lot stronger than we knew about. Seifried says that’s a head-scratcher. “I’m a little confused by the numbers, but that doesn’t discount the fact that these are really bullish numbers.”
’19 ND Corn Crop Stayed in the Bin – There were a few surprises in the state-by-state grain stocks report. Corn stocks in North Dakota were up 88 percent from a year ago. The amount of corn stored on the farm in North Dakota was up a massive 150 percent from last year. Corn stocks were down 12 percent in South Dakota and down four percent in Minnesota. For soybeans, the biggest adjustment in the region was in the Gopher state. The September soybean stocks figure in Minnesota was 48 percent lower than last year.
USDA Small Grains Summary Lower than Trade Expectations – In its small grain summary, the USDA said all wheat production is at 1.83 billion bushels in 2020, a five percent decline from 2019’s revised total of 1.93 billion bushels and well below the average trade estimate of 2.2 billion bushels. Harvested wheat acres are down two percent from one year ago to 36.7 million acres. Spring wheat production is up four percent from last year to 586 million bushels. Winter wheat production of 1.17 billion bushels is down 11 percent. Durum production is up 28 percent to 68.8 million bushels.
State Spring Wheat Production Numbers Released – USDA’s small grains summary reflects a dramatic change in conditions in South Dakota. The state’s spring wheat production is up more than 40 percent from last year. Harvested acres increased nearly 30 percent. Barley production is up nearly 60 percent and oat production increased 75 percent from last year in South Dakota. Spring wheat production declined ten percent in Minnesota and dropped five percent in North Dakota.
A Significant Bump in SD Small Grain Production – USDA’s small grains summary reflects a dramatic change in conditions in South Dakota. The state’s spring wheat production is up more than 40 percent from last year. Harvested acres increased nearly 30 percent. Barley production is up nearly 60 percent and oat production increased 75 percent from last year in South Dakota. Spring wheat production declined ten percent in Minnesota and dropped five percent in North Dakota.
Now is the Time to Lock In Profits – As prices go higher for corn and soybeans, Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting President Mike Zuzolo advises farmers to lock in profits if you have them. “The profit per acre mindset has to be really at the top of your mind at this point, because we don’t know the aftermath of the election,” says Zuzolo. “Especially if you’re in a low production area and you see futures go higher and the basis doesn’t offset by getting wider and you see basis narrow, that profit can’t be turned away.” This could be a time for the old “sell and defend” strategy. “You could sell the cash, lock in a profit and come back in and buy into the springtime with the futures or options and then, take a look at what the Brazil and U.S. hard red wheat weather looks like when we get into January or February.”
RRFN Interview with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler denied requests for retroactive small refinery waivers in mid-September, but pending small refinery exemptions remain. “Those pending waivers are from 2019 and they’re the subject of the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision,” Wheeler told RRFN. “The other side of that case has appealed. We’re waiting to see what ultimately becomes of the court decision. If we were to prematurely grant or deny them and the court overturns or sustains them, we would have to go back and do them again and it’s almost impossible to go back and take away or give it to someone after the fact.” Wheeler visited an eastern Minnesota farm and participated in the Minnesota Farm Bureau Shop Talks this past week, answering questions on the Renewable Fuel Standard, the WOTUS replacement and 2021 dicamba registration. Hear the full interview.
MN Corn Matters – Sign up for the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is now open. Find out more from Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Les Anderson in the latest Corn Matters program.
Several Agricultural Provisions Included in HEROES Act 2.0 – The House Agriculture Committee released the list of agriculture provisions included in the HEROES Act 2.0. The total package would cost $2.2 trillion, a slight decline from the $3 trillion HEROES Act passed in the spring. This bill would provide payments to farmers for depopulated livestock and poultry, with payments not exceeding the average market value of market ready livestock. The legislation provides $500 million to support specialty crop growers dealing with supply chain issues, supports biofuel plants impacted by the pandemic and would provide block grants for state departments of agriculture to deal with farm stress. Read more details.
Rural Perspectives – Farmers and ranchers are certainly busy this time of year. Not only are they focused on harvest, but they are also trying to sell crops during markets rallies and sign up for a new round of coronavirus-related assistance. In this edition of the Rural Perspectives podcast, AgCountry Farm Credit Services market education specialist Katie Tangen talks about the USDA Quarterly Stock Report, CFAP 2 and more. Listen now!
Local Farm Groups Give FSA Feedback on CFAP 2.0 – Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce reviewed the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program with local farm groups in a roundtable hosted by Senator John Hoeven. In feedback, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association said disparity remains between those who sold livestock early in the market versus those who sold livestock later. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association Secretary Paul Thomas asked if FSA could clarify APH for joint-venture scenarios and Fordyce said they’re already looking into this. Farmers are signing up for CFAP 2.0. North Dakota Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Brad Thykeson said so far, there’s been $15 million paid in the program to 649 farmers in the state. “In comparison, North Dakota is at about $150 million plus in the first CFAP. We’ve processed more than 18,100 applicants and I think maybe we could go past that with this new program. We have some work ahead of us.”
2019 Farm Program Payment Rates Finalized – MinnStar Bank Senior Vice-President and farm management analyst Kent Thiesse says the farmers who enrolled corn or wheat in the 2019 Price Loss Coverage Program will be getting a payment. “The final price came in at $3.56 and the reference price for corn is $3.70, which means a 14 cent PLC payment for corn,” explains Thiesse. “If farmers have a 135 bushel corn yield, it will be a shade over $16 per base acre and if it’s at 150 bushels an acre, farmers are between $17.50 and $18 an acre.” The final PLC price for wheat is 92 cents. There’s no 2019 PLC payment for soybeans, but many farmers chose to enroll their soybeans in the Agricultural Risk Coverage program. Thiesse anticipates 23 counties in North Dakota getting a soybean ARC-CO payment. In Minnesota, 45 counties are estimated to get a payment. There will be a federal sequestration reduction of 6.2 percent in the final payments. Farmers should be receiving their 2019 payments by mid-October.
Wetlands Determination Reform Proposed – South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds has introduced legislation to reform the Natural Resources Conservation Service. North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer supports this measure, saying it will make positive changes to the wetland determination process. “This is common sense. This bill will provide a more thorough appeals process and it prohibits bureaucrats from being retroactively punitive and puts the burden of proof on the government rather than landowners.”
Peterson Asks NRCS About CSP Sign-Up – The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing on the challenges and successes of conservation programs on Thursday. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program is challenging some Minnesota farmers. Natural Resources Conservation Service Acting Chief Kevin Norton responded by saying all of the programs are open to accept applications on a continuous basis, but there are evaluation cycles. If a farmer submits an application after the evaluation cycle, they’ll have to wait until the next time.” Essentially, Norton says it may be a factor of demand and resources.
The Silage Crop is Coming Off Fast – The sooner you can chop corn silage after a hard frost, the better. That’s according to NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center livestock specialist Karl Hoppe. Proper corn silage fermentation requires adequate moisture to reduce dry-matter loss and spoilage. “If it’s too wet, you can end up with leakage in the silage pile. The best way to determine if the crop is ready is to take a sample,” says Hoppe. “This year, especially after a frost, the corn will look dry. That’s perception. When you actually get into the crop, you’ll find out there is still a lot of moisture in the stalk and cob.” Hoppe adds that silage is generally ready at kernel dent and when the plant is at approximately 75 percent milk stage. However, dry weather in parts of North Dakota did take the top end off corn yields. Listen to the RRFN interview with Hoppe here.
A Drier Harvest in 2020 – September 2019 was wet in the Red River Valley. Rainfall totals of four-to-12 inches made it a difficult harvest. This record fall flooding was followed by an October snowstorm. National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Greg Gust said the Red River Valley didn’t receive much more than an inch of rain in September 2020. “The topsoil conditions are getting pretty dry. Of course, it gets drier outside of the Red River Valley.” The harvest forecast looks positive.”Going into October and November, the outlook is trending toward warmer and drier than normal.”
Northern Plains Farmers Push Forward on Soybean Harvest – Asgrow Dekalb Technical Agronomist Eric Nelson expects farmers to finish soybean harvest before moving to the corn. “I’m sure there’s already corn being harvested, but farmers are focusing on soybeans first. No one wants snow on their soybeans again.” Nelson is hearing reports of very good soybean yields. “The story so far is for very good yields. We’ll see how things progress.” Hear the story.
A Timely Harvest – There seems to be a lot of variability in the soybean crop coming off this fall. “It may not be record yields, but the ability to get out there and have a timely harvest is great,” said Syngenta Crop Protection Retail Sales Rep Ben Nesseth. It has been quite dry and there are farmers that would welcome a rain. “On the potato side of things, a nice even rain would soften the ground up and protect the crop from bruising. It’s tough to call for a little bit of moisture during harvest, but it wouldn’t hurt folks to take time out for a couple days and regroup.”
September Frost May Have Had Greater Impact on Soybeans – Soybean harvest is well underway across the Northern Plains and some farmers are starting to wrap up. Peterson Farms Seed President Carl Peterson thinks the frost hurt the soybeans more than expected. “Primarily, that’s evident in the smaller bean size, but we haven’t seen a lot of samples that are green or kind of gross looking,” says Peterson. “Generally speaking, farmers are more than satisfied with the yields. Of course, everyone is excited to get harvest going and complete so we can get fall fieldwork done.” Hear the story.
Limited Corn Acres, But Excellent Yields – Farmers are working overtime to get the crops harvested and move onto fall fieldwork. The open fall has helped move the soybean harvest forward. BASF Innovation Specialist Henry Steinberger says yields vary. The combines are also starting to move into the corn. “We’ve got a few guys around Jamestown starting to dip into the little bit of corn that got planted in Stutsman County,” said Steinberger. “We only got about 20 percent of our corn acres in compared to last year. Moisture is in the 20 percent club and yields look really, really strong.”
A Respectable Corn Crop in the Works – Soybean harvest is about 40 percent complete in the Frederick, South Dakota area. Frederick Seed owner Rich Achen says yields are variable, depending on planting conditions. “Some yield are average, while others are maybe more above average. Anything that was planted on marginal ground is more disappointing, in the 30 bushel per acre range.” Some of the early-maturing corn is being harvested as well. Moisture levels are in the 18-to-20 percent range. “There are not a lot of big acres coming off yet, but it won’t be long any more farmers are rolling. I don’t have any concerns with test weights this year, and yields should be very respectable.” Achen has more in this full RRFN interview.
Corn Drying Down Nicely in the Northern Plains – Dekalb Asgrow Technical Agronomist Derek Pruitt says the corn is drying down nicely in the Northern Plains. The agronomist reminds farmers to be aware of standability with reports of some of the early varieties already under 20 percent moisture. “Generally speaking, we’ve had a good year for the health of the plant. If the entire plant froze, that may cause the plant to fall over. If you’ve got a field that needs work, just stay on top of it.” Hear the story.
Give Frost-Stricken Soybeans More Time in the Field – NDSU Extension ag engineer Ken Hellevang recommends leaving frosted soybeans in the field longer to improve color. “When the soybeans are frosted before they reach the nice golden color, the question is will they continue to change color in the field or will they continue to change color in storage? Our experience is it’s better to leave the soybeans in the field, exposed to sunlight,” said Hellevang. “If we put green soybeans in the grain bin, they will have some color change, but it will be a much slower process over several months.”
Corn and Soybean Yields in Northeastern North Dakota Meeting Expectations – Corn is coming off in northeastern North Dakota. Harvest conditions are like “night and day” compared to last year. Brevant retail product agronomist Morgan Hanson says the early maturing corn are performing well. “The 73-day is running average, 120-to-140 bushels per acre, even 180 bu/a in some spots. Moisture levels are in that 15-to-17 percent range and test weights are excellent in the mid-to-upper 50s.” Soybean harvest is also moving along at a rapid pace, with some farmers even nearing completion. Hanson says yields are in the mid-to-upper 40s, which is average for the area. “We did get dry mid-season and the especially the hilltops started to wither. Also, I do think the early frost took off some yield, but I’m not sure we would have kept that with the dry conditions.” Hanson has more in this interview exclusive to RRFN.
With Harvest Complete, Kakela Turns to Tillage – Langdon, North Dakota farmer Brian Kakela has had the combine parked for almost two weeks. “We had some big rains in July and it was a little dry towards the end. Overall, the (wheat and canola) crops were a little above average for us.” Kakela has already put a good dent into his fall fieldwork. “It’s working relatively nice, but a little rain wouldn’t hurt. I know the guys with beans don’t want to hear that, but it would make tillage go better.”
Fall Harvest Complete for Rolla, ND Farmer – Rolla, North Dakota farmer Doyle Lentz is completely done with fall harvest. The final soybean fields were harvested on Wednesday. “The soybeans did pretty well this year. We were surprised, because we had less than eight inches of rain during the growing season. We had about 30 to 50 percent hail damage, so that impacted them a little,” says Lentz, “but we got close to our long-term average on yield. We were satisfied.” This year’s harvest was completely different from 2019. “One thing’s for sure, we sure weren’t pulling out the combines as much. We didn’t harvest soybeans until Halloween last year. This year, we’re done the last day of September. In the 22 years of growing soybeans, I’m not sure we’ve ever been done in September with all of the soybeans.” Conditions remain dry in the Rolla area, which means Lentz will wait to do any fall fieldwork.
Full Sugarbeet Harvest Begins for American Crystal Sugar Company – Warmer and drier conditions caused American Crystal Sugar Company to start their full harvest earlier than usual. General Agronomist Joe Hastings says the cooperative expects a decent sugarbeet harvest. “At pre-pile, we were surprised sugars were less than normal, but in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a rebound and growth in sugar content. We’re expecting an average crop in the 28 to 29 ton range,” says Hastings. “We definitely had the summer heat to push the crop.” Ada, Minnesota farmer Neil Rockstad says field conditions are much better than this time last year. “We are actually driving around without getting mud on the tires or in the lifter and I’ll take that any day,” adds Rockstad. “I think we’ll be harvesting an above-average crop.”
Consider the Big Picture Trends in Agriculture – Rabo AgriFinance is forecasting seven major trends in agriculture, including increased government intervention, changes in consumer behavior and less demand for fuel and biofuels. To thrive in this changing environment, grain and oilseed analyst Erin FitzPatrick Nazetta said farmers must know their break-evens and lock in profits when the market provides that opportunity. Niche markets are also an option. Non-GMO or specialty crops are one possibility. “What a farmer in Illinois versus North Dakota versus Kansas is able to do is probably different, but there are opportunities out there and farmers should be aware of them and maybe try something out on a portion of your farm.”
Agriculture Contributes $37 Billion to MN Economy – Agriculture and forestry contribute over $37 billion in value to the Minnesota economy and create nearly 400,000 jobs. Twenty-five major agricultural stakeholder groups funded this new economic contribution study. This research identified Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota Counties as the top three counties in the state for value-added contributions from agriculture. AgriGrowth Executive Director Tamara Nelsen says that reflects the number of corporate headquarters and processing companies in the metro. “I think metro legislators, especially new ones, are going to find it interesting to learn how agriculture and food affect their local area, perhaps in a way that they haven’t seen it before.” This study also evaluated big picture items, including COVID-19 “and we’re all quite proud how quickly turkey, pork and cattle processing came back and we see that as a great sign of strength.” This is the first time a comprehensive evaluation like this has been done in Minnesota for agriculture and forestry.
New MN Corn Growers Association Leaders Focus on E15 – Advancing E15 is one priority for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association’s new president and board chairman. President Tim Waibel raises corn, soybeans and hogs near Courtland, Minnesota. “The biggest goal is likely getting E15 implemented in this next year and another goal is meeting the transportation needs for agriculture in the state.” Waibel will be serving a one-year term as president. Former MCGA president, Les Anderson, will be in a chairman role. Anderson’s year ended with a one-on-one meeting with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We talked about E15 infrastructure, trying to get guidance on that. It will be huge if we didn’t have to retrofit everything before we started using E15.”
MN Beef Update – This year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is trying to update a wolf management plan. Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Allison VanDerWal has the details in this week’s Beef Update.
Cattle Markets See Gains, But How Long Will the Volatility Last – Calf numbers are picking up at the regional auction markets, and September cattle market prices are holding above year ago levels. Particularly, double-digit gains have been seen in the 400-to-500 pound calves in Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and several other states. “South Dakota prices increased 14 percent on a monthly average basis compared to one year ago,” says Katelyn McCullock, senior economist, Livestock Marketing Information Center. “A lot of that is dependent on how backgrounder and stocker operations feel about forage and feed supplies moving into winter.” However, feeder cattle prices have been volatile this past year. That uncertainty is expected to continue, at least in the coming months. The million-dollar question is, ‘When will the markets return to a more seasonal pattern?’ According to McCullock, the markets could still be dealing with this at least through the early part of 2021. Listen to the full RRFN story.
Challenging Prop 12 – The federal government, 20 state attorney generals and agriculture groups have filed briefs with the federal court of appeals, asking the court to rule California’s Proposition 12 as invalid. The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council filed the original lawsuit. Prop 12 bans the sale of meat from veal calves, pigs and chickens in California if not raised under stringent housing standards. The proposition regulates businesses outside of California’s state borders and the court briefs indicate that it would be costly consequences for the interstate marketing of these meat products.
SD Congressman Introduces Cattle Market Bill – South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson introduced a new bill called the PRICE Act on Thursday. This legislation is meant to increase transparency in the cattle market, improve risk management and support new and expanding meat processors. This bill is co-sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway and Minnesota Congressmen Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn. The legislation is also supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. Read the full bill.
It’s County Meeting Season for ND Farm Bureau – NDFB Executive Vice President and CEO Jeff Missling says there has been very good attendance at these policy development meetings. One issue getting attention is the need to develop a strong livestock industry in the state. “We’re hearing a lot of townships and counties in other parts of the Midwest that are promoting livestock development locally. We’re sitting on a goldmine in North Dakota if we could create an atmosphere where that is happening here.” Missling says dairy and swine production would be good for the state’s economy. “That way we don’t have to worry so much about rail cars hauling our bulk ag commodities out of the state; if we could feed it right here, it makes perfect sense.”
Canola Minute – Canola prices continue to move higher with the rest of the oilseeds. According to Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman, this is unusual this time of the year. Hear more in the latest Canola Minute.
On the Rails – USDA is reporting an increase in the amount of grain that is moving by rail. For the latest reporting week in late September, Class I railroads originated over 22,000 carloads of grain. That’s up three percent from the previous week and up five percent from last year. The bids on the secondary market for railcars were approximately $1,500 above tariff for the week ending September 24. That’s $300 more than the previous week and nearly $1,800 mor than this week last year.
Dry Bean Scene – Mitch Coulter has joined the Northarvest Bean Growers Association as the new executive director. Coulter grew up on a row crop and livestock farm in west central Minnesota near Maynard. Previously, he did commodity marketing and biofuels work for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. Learn more in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, Johnstown Bean Company, SRS Commodities and BASF.
UM Secures NRCS Grant for Precision Nitrogen Management Research – The NRCS has awarded $25 million in grants for on-farm trials of conservation systems. The University of Minnesota received one of those 14 grants. This project will implement precision nitrogen management in corn. On-farm research will be conducted to evaluate agronomic, economic and environmental benefits of this technology.
EPA Proposes a Phase-out of Bt Corn – The Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment on its proposal to phase out many of the Bt corn hybrids over the next three-to-five years. This action is designed to reduce above-ground insect resistance. Farmers and industry stakeholders can provide their input through November 9.
Local Agronomist Looks at XtendFlex Trait Performance – At the end of September, the European Commission approved Bayer’s XtendFlex soybean trait, the final approval needed for a full launch of the product. Channel Technical Agronomist Derek Crompton has more on the new trait. “The Xtend soybeans already out are resistant to Roundup, glyphosate and any dicamba formulation out there. This one is now adding the third trait of the Liberty system,” explains Crompton. “That’s what really makes it great. Farmers have the option of going early for weed control and then, farmers can take care of weeds later in the season, too.” Crompton just harvested a few plots of XtendFlex. “The performance is right up to par with the current Xtend line-up.” Hear the story.
Bayer AG Adjusts Guidance Lower – Bayer now expects sales to be flat in 2021 after previously forecasting sales growth of four percent. The company also announced it will make significant adjustments in its costs over the next two years. The drop in ethanol production and its impact on commodity prices was highlighted as one issue for the crop science division. Increased competition in the soybean market was also a factor.
SDBIC Finalizes FY 2021 Budget – The South Dakota Beef Industry Council has passed its fiscal year 2021 budget. The $4 million budget includes support for consumer marketing programs in the high population areas within the northeastern United States. The Build Your Base nutrition and training program, which uses beef as the premier protein source, will also be expanded this year.
Rural Cloud Initiative Announce in Fargo – New cloud computing technology is coming to the region. Trilogy Networks and the Rural Cloud Initiative joined the Grand Farm, the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station to announce this new effort. The cloud technology will start onsite at the Grand Farm in south Fargo with the potential to expand to other research locations across North Dakota. This initiative is designed to benefit precision agriculture and result in more reliable, high speed technology for farmers.
Job Cuts for Animal Health Company – Elanco Animal Health is eliminating more than 900 jobs as part of its restructuring after its acquisition of Bayer Animal Health. Company officials said this move will reduce duplication and drive efficiency.
ACSC Beet Shares Begin the Season Strong – In the past two months, there have been three sales of American Crystal Sugar stock, totaling 170 shares. Acres and Shares broker Jayson Menke says the early sales range from $3,850-to-$3,950. That’s a relatively strong start, especially when compared to last year. “In early December at the American Crystal annual meeting, I think most people thought it would drop down to the low-to-mid $2,000 area. However, in late December with speculation on the WHIP program for sugarbeets, the price trended up to $3,000 per share and ended around $3,300-to-$3,400 per share in the spring.”
Ohio Farmer Takes Over As NCGA President – The new president of the National Corn Growers Association, John Linder, wants to help the U.S. corn and ethanol industries recover and grow from the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s tough. Ethanol plants are feeling a lot of pain and we’re really looking at every avenue to support them,” said Linder. “We want to work with the industry to help keep those idle plants in place to where they can start back up and working diligently on ethanol exports.” Linder is impressed and challenged with the administration at the EPA. “It’s a double edged sword; they are open to our conversations and our dialogue. I’ll meet with the administrator in the next few days and I’ve found him to be friendly in dialogue. We have conversations and they’re healthy, but do we need more? Yeah, we need more.” Linder operates a fifth-generation farm in central Ohio.
Erickson to Serve Another Term on Pork Board – USDA has announced the newly appointed members to the National Pork Board. Todd Erickson from Northwood, North Dakota will serve another three-year term. Erickson manages North Dakota Sow Cooperative LLC.
Peterson Farms Seed Hires Swenson – Rick Swenson has joined Peterson Farms Seed as its new lead agronomist. Swenson will head up agronomy services for the company playing a key role in product development. Swenson has more than 20 years of agronomy experience, most recently with LG Seed.
Tonneson Announces Retirement – The longtime editor of Dakota Farmer magazine has announced his retirement. Lon Tonneson, who is based in Fargo, has spent 39 years with the magazine.
Allen Named Executive Director of ND FFA Foundation – Beth Allen is the new executive director of the North Dakota FFA Foundation. Allen previously served as the board’s fiscal manager and takes over the executive director responsibilities from Tommy Winders. Allen started in the role on Wednesday, October 1.
Last Week’s Trivia – Elliot Stabler, Olivia Benson, Fin Tutuloa, John Munch and Amanda Rollins are all characters on Law and Order SVU. Anna Kemmer of the Southeast Region Center and Technology Center wins this week’s trivia challenge. Mandy Kvale of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Regent farmer Aaron Krauter, Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services and retired NDSU Extension dairy specialist J.W. Schroeder earn runner-up honors. Special recognition also goes out to Rolette farmer Steve Grenier, Jim Altringer of CHS Dakota Plains Ag, AgCountry tax specialist Patti Sell, Sarah O’Toole of O’Toole Seed and Carver County feedlot officer Alan Langseth.
This Week’s Trivia – What breed of dog was named for the patron saint of skiers and mountaineers? Send your answer to email@example.com.
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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.