A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Farm Bill, Harvest, Feeder Cattle- This week’s edition of FarmNetNews includes a look at the political drama in Washington, D.C. with the farm bill and a potential government shutdown. Before rains sidelined the combines, harvest has advanced across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest and we have that story. The fall feeder cattle run is just beginning and the critters moving through the sales ring are getting a good price. On-air, online and in this weekly e-newsletter, the Red River Farm Network is Reporting Agriculture’s Business.
Government Shutdown Likely – While a shutdown is looming, a stalemate remains in place in the House over a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. Weekend votes were expected, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sent lawmakers home Thursday. There was little hope to pass a stopgap spending bill after a small group of Republican lawmakers voted down a military spending bill for the second time in a week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture and set up an avenue to pass a CR this week in the Upper Chamber. The farm bill expires at the end of the week, but that’s on the backburner until the government funding issue is cleared up.
‘Playing Chicken’ – Combest Sell and Associates Managing Partner Tom Sell says the current threat of government shutdown isn’t anything new. “This is an annual appropriations cycle so we kind of go through this at this time every year with various levels of drama.” In the case of a shutdown, Sell expects limited impact to most farmers and ranchers until the end of the year. The administration does have some flexibility to help mitigate any fallout from a shutdown. “There will be no shortage of people kind of playing ‘chicken’ up to the deadline because they want to bring people to the table and get a deal.” Listen to the full interview with Tom Sell here.
A Farm Bill Before the End of the Year – At an event hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow said she’s looking to get the farm bill done in December, three months after the current law. Stabenow said the delay is a matter of crafting a ‘practical’ bill that would require compromise from both parties.
More Delays for ’23 Farm Bill – The drama over a possible government shutdown is adding another delay in the farm bill process. There are huge differences between the House and Senate efforts to fund the government. “At this point, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes to pass even the Republican proposal to keep the government open,” said Randy Russell, president, Russell Group. A lot of work has already been completed on the non-spending portions of the farm bill, but now leadership has to make the decisions over funding. “That’s really where the rubber hits the road and oftentimes that takes many weeks of negotiation to come to an agreement.” With no additional money to add in this farm bill debate, Russell says it will be an even bigger challenge. Hear the full conversation with Randy Russell here.
Farm Bill Outreach Continues – American Soybean Association Vice President Josh Gackle, who is from Kulm, North Dakota, says efforts are underway to keep lawmakers informed during the farm bill negotiations process. “Farm bill discussions may have taken a bit of a backseat, but committees are still trying to put a bill together that can be presented to the full House and Senate hopefully in the near future.” While it is late in the process, ASA continues to provide input. “Committee members and staffers are especially good at reaching out to ASA and other groups to get ideas. It’s still very much a give and take, back and forth.” The full conversation with Josh Gackle is available here.
PACE Act Would Increase Loan Limits – North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have introduced the Producer and Agricultural Credit Enhancement Act. The PACE Act would update loan limitations for USDA loan programs to better reflect current conditions. Limits would increase for direct operating loans from $400,000 to $750,000. Guaranteed operating loans are proposed to increase from $2.04 million to $2.06 million. For direct ownership loans, limits move from $600,000 to $850,000 and guaranteed ownership loan limits increase from just over $2 million to $3 million. Numerous farm groups have endorsed this proposal.
Turkey Growers Advocate in D.C – A Minnesota Turkey Growers Association delegation was in Washington D.C. to advocate their legislative priorities. MTGA Executive Director Ashley Kohls says the availability of CO2 is an important aspect of processing turkeys and is often overlooked by policy makers. “We need to talk about unintended consequences of storing CO2 for industries that utilize it, CO2 is imperative for a lot of animal welfare standards, chilling standards, transportation, and shelf-life.” National Turkey Federation Vice Chairman John Zimmerman, Northfield, Minnesota, also participated in the trip and focused on “continued funding for the animal disease preparedness programs that were introduced in the 2018 farm bill.” When asked about the outlook for farm bill passage before the end of the year, Zimmerman said there were both optimistic and pessimistic views expressed.
Voters Support Sugar Policy – A national survey of 2,000 register voters found bipartisan support for the U.S. sugar industry. Ninety-four percent of the voters surveyed by Morning Consult recognize the role farmers have in the economy and 86 percent support the sugar policy in the farm bill. Agriculture and the farming industry had the highest support from respondents of U.S. industries, including technology, manufacturing and tourism. Eighty percent of the voters prefer American-made sugar over imported sugar. The survey was commissioned by the American Sugar Alliance.
Wheat Groups Support Food for Peace Concept – The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates are praising a bipartisan group of lawmakers for the introduction of the American Farmers Feed the World Act. This proposal would restore the intent of the Food for Peace program without taking additional farm bill funding. A similar bill was introduced in the House earlier this summer. In a news release, the wheat groups said this proposal will feed more hungry people worldwide without additional taxpayer costs.
NCI Hosts Next 5 Years Conference – The Northern Crops Institute recently hosted The Next 5 Years Executive Conference in Moorhead. The conference was an educational opportunity for the 90+ attendees to explore the future of agriculture in the region and how businesses can prepare for the likely changes. The Next 5 Years welcomed four speakers throughout the day: Jacob Shapiro, who presented on Geopolitics and Its Impact on Agriculture; Megan Rock, who presented on Sustainability; Ty Eschenbaum, who presented on Livestock Development; and Larry LeMaster, who presented on Biofuels. The conference wrapped up with a farm panel discussion and Q&A. To learn more about future conferences, courses, webinars, and more, please go online.
Interest Rates Unchanged – As expected, the Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged. Inflation has dropped from a year-over-year peak of nine percent in June of last year to 3.7 percent last month. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that trend has allowed the Central Bank to proceed carefully. “We need to get to a place where we’re confident that we have a stance that will bring inflation down to two percent over time,” said Powell. “As we’ve gotten closer to it, we’ve slowed the pace at which we’ve moved. I think that was appropriate and now that we’re getting closer, we again have the ability to proceed carefully.” Powell suggested there will be one more interest increase before the end of the year.
Government Shutdown Would Influence Markets – The threat of a government shutdown is not positive news for the markets. Advance Trading Risk Management Advisor Tommy Grisafi cites the USDA crop report that is coming out in October. “That could get delayed and once that data gets delayed that date becomes corrupt, like a hard drive with a corrupt file,” said Grisafi. “From that point on, everytime economic data is released like a USDA report they’ll say we were shut down for a couple weeks and that data isn’t quite right.” In addition to distorted economic data, Grisafi is seeing less speculation in the stock market and the commodity markets “and we’re losing volatility in interesting commodities.”
Climate Costs to be Considered – The Biden Administration has issued a directive to its agencies, asking them to consider the potential risk to the climate as they make budget and spending decisions. The example given in ‘The Hill’ cites the purchase of electric vehicles because the social costs of carbon reduction outweigh a higher price tag.
Tax Credits Sought for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Production – A coalition of oilseed groups is asking the Biden Administration to support farmers and processors with tax incentives to produce sustainable aviation fuel. A letter was delivered to White House Senior Advisor John Podesta, urging the administration to recognize the so-called GREET model as an option for the tax credit eligibility. The letter said it is “inconceivable” for Washington to implement a clean energy incentive that discourages the use of homegrown, low-carbon feedstocks, like soybeans and canola. The letter was submitted by the Clean Fuels Alliance, American Soybean Association, National Oilseed Processors Association and U.S. Canola Association.
A Milestone for Green Bison Soybean Processing – Tuesday was a historic day for the new Green Bison Soybean Processing plant in Spiritwood. The plant received its first truckload of soybeans. When fully operational, Green Bison Soybean Processing will have a capacity of 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day. This facility is a joint venture between ADM and Marathon Petroleum and is North Dakota’s first soybean crush plant.
Groundbreaking for Mitchell, SD Crush Plant – After more than two years of planning, High Plains Processing broke ground for its new soybean crush plant south of Mitchell. South Dakota Soybean Processors made the initial investment in this $500 million project. BP Products North America is a joint-venture partner.
Camelina Delivered for MT Biorefinery – Montana Renewables, which is a subsidiary of Calumet Specialty Products Partners, has celebrated the initial deliveries of camelina for its biorefinery in Great Falls, Montana. This facility produces renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
Bean Harvest ‘All Over the Board’ – Page, North Dakota farmer Jim Thompson is working finishing the harvest of his black beans. Thompson said the timing of the dry bean harvest is all over the board with the local crop in all stages of maturity. Soybean harvest won’t be far behind. “Some of the early maturities are turning pretty hard, so I think overall everything will be ready in the next week-to-ten days.”
Hoping for More Surprises – The sugarbeet pre-pile harvest is wrapped up for James Nelson, who farms near Moorhead, Minnesota and serves on the board of directors for the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. Small grain harvest was a surprise. “We walked wheat fields before harvest and probably wouldn’t give two cents for it so we were shocked. It was a little above our average.” Nelson hopes soybeans follow the same pattern.
Soybeans Starting to Turn – Carrington, North Dakota farmer Caylor Rosenau expects the soybean harvest to be going full throttle in a week-to-ten days. The corn crop perked up after August rains. “I picked a few ears and it’s got about a quarter to milkline and almost to black layer.”
An Above Average Soybean Crop Near Erskine, MN – Erskine, Minnesota farmer Brady Lee says the soybean harvest is off to a good start. “Weather was good and we were able to keep rolling so we got about half done with soybean harvest.” Yields are well above average. “It was a good looking crop pretty much all summer long, we had just enough rain to keep it going and it didn’t show a lot of stress.” Lee will move on to corn harvest next and is excited to get into what looks like a promising crop.
SD Soybeans Better Than Expected – Roy E. Abbott Futures President Roy Abbott is hearing reports of decent soybean yields in South Dakota. “We’ve got some people that were disappointed earlier with 35-to-40 (bushel per acre) yielding beans, but the later fields are yielding in the 60’s and even some 70’s.” Abbott expects corn yields to also be better than expected, but no preliminary yields have been reported.
Corn Harvest Around the Corner – Rock N’ Roll Agronomy crop consultant Jason Hanson says the canola and dry bean harvest is still in full swing. “A lot of people are working on canola right now and that’s going slower than anticipated.” The crop is struggling to dry down in a timely manner. Hanson says corn harvest will be here sooner than many would think. “I shelled out some corn that was anywhere from 21.2 to 35.5 percent moisture.”
Bigger Kernels, Bigger Yield? – Wishek, North Dakota farmer Taylor Ketterling is working on silage right now, but overall, his corn crop looks to be on the drier side. “It’s more mature than you think because we had more GDU’s.” According to Ketterling, kernel size is bigger than average, which may bump yields. Ketterling expects to start soybean harvest as soon as things dry down after this active weather pattern passes through.
Sugarbeet Pre-Pile Continues – American Crystal Sugar Company General Agronomist Joe Hastings says the sugarbeet crop this year looks fantastic, both despite and because of scarce moisture. “The root hasn’t had a lot of exposure to root rot disease, so we’re fortunate that way and the canopy looks great. We can still find cercospora in the field, but it hasn’t overtaken anything.” Sugarbeets can tap down six-to-eight feet to find moisture in the soil profile so Hastings says yields are looking good. Pre-pile is underway. The moisture should help finish the crop and make digging easier on equipment.
Canola Crunch-Time – According to Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman, yields are higher than expected. “The crop conditions for canola actually improved in the last week which is surprising.” Harvest is pretty much wrapped up in southwestern North Dakota. “They’re just finishing up in the south-central part of the state, but most of the harvest is wrapping up in the northern part of the state.”
Canola Taking Time to Dry Down – Canola harvest has been slower than usual this year in the Rolla, North Dakota area. Tim Mickelson says the drydown has been the issue. “The desiccated stuff is taking 14 days when it should take nine-to-ten days to dry off.” According to Mickelson, rainfall made a big difference in the yield. “To be honest, if the field was in line with a couple of thunderstorms, it made a world of difference.”
Combines in Different Zip Codes – Bowden, North Dakota custom harvester Mychal Neumiller has combines in several North Dakota locations, including Hazelton, New England, West Hope and Wilton. Most of the machines are going on canola and wheat with soybeans coming soon. Much of the wheat crop has been better than expected. “Down in Hazelton, it’s the best they’ve had with yields close to 85 bushels.”
Small Grain Harvest Winding Down – The small grain harvest is nearly done in the Minot area. Dakota Agronomy Partners agronomist Hunter Schreiner said most yields were better than expected. “A lot of guys were surprised with how it ended up, but one downside was the proteins coming in a little lower than average.”
Grain Elevators Ready for Fall Season – Logistics at North Dakota grain elevators has not been a big issue so far. North Dakota Grain Dealers Association Executive Vice President Stu Letcher says that could change. “It’s an interesting situation. It sounds like the wheat has not been sold and farmers are holding onto wheat”. So far, railcar availability has not been a problem. “I know there was a lot of cars in storage so we should have a good supply as they put them into use.”
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 market is going into a quiet mode, but soybeans and wheat exports are weighing down the market.
Russian Wheat Dilemma – Russia is exporting a record amount of wheat this year. CoBank Lead Economist for Grains and Oilseeds Tanner Ehmke has one eye on Russia in case there’s a disruption in the flow of exports, which could pose a risk to elevators. “Russian wheat is flooding the world market right now, which is weighing down wheat prices. Our concern is the impact on grain elevators if there’s a sharp rise in wheat.” The global wheat stocks are somewhat tight “so if we had any disruption in the Russian wheat trade, we could see some extreme volatility come to the U.S. wheat market.”
Best of Both Worlds – The Margin Protection Insurance program signup deadline is October 2. The program protects the margin between income and expenses. NAU Country Vice President of Farm Services Rich Morrison sees MP as a unique program. “It is the only policy that sets its base price in August and September. To me the big advantage is to have something locked in right now.”
Money in the Pocket – Fort Pierre Livestock Auction owner Bryan Hanson says the grass cattle are moving through the sale barn at a good rate and the market is competitive. “The majority of the feeder cattle is just coming off grass with a few that have been backgrounded.” The feeder cattle run is still a couple of weeks out for weaned calves. If current prices are any indication, Hanson has high hopes for the feeder run. “It looks to me like the cow/calf operator is going to get a little money in their pocket for the first time in several years.”
Cattle Prices Could Push Higher Before the End of the Year – The cattle market have been surging. “We did outpace the new record high this year in the mid $180’s,” said Katelyn McCullock, director, Livestock Marketing Information Center. The demand for boxed beef has come down from its summer high. “We saw an early peak in July, but things have cooled down since then”. McCullock projects the market to soften a bit more before the holiday demand season bumps fed cattle prices through the rest of the year.
Grass Cattle Keep Coming – Herreid Livestock Auction owner Kent Fjeldheim is seeing the rush of grass cattle move through the sale barn. “We’ve been having about 3,000 a week since August, but this week we saw 5,000 head move through.” Fjeldheim says with buyers starting to purchase 600–700-pound calves to feed, the inflow of feeders could stay steady for a while. Prices and demand have stayed strong with a lot of feeders bringing $2.45 to $2.65 a pound.
Preserving Pastures in Drought – A University of Minnesota Crop News blog shared tips for dealing with drought stressed pastures. Extension Crops Educator David Nicolai says it’s important not to put added pressure on already drought stressed pastures. Cool season grasses and legumes usually become dormant during a drought. “We want to avoid overgrazing. That can weaken the plant and lead to stand loss and allow for weed invasion.” Nicolai encourages reducing the stocking rate of drought stressed pastures and warns it’s important to give forages time to recover. “It typically takes four-to-six inches of water to produce a ton of cool season grass or alfalfa forage.” Grazing should be delayed until there are at least eight inches of regrowth to preserve the stand. Listen to the full interview with Nicolai here.
Anthrax Identified in South Dakota – For the first time this year, officials have confirmed the presence of anthrax in a South Dakota cattle herd. According to South Dakota State Veterinarian Beth Thompson, the disease was discovered in an unvaccinated herd with about 150 pairs in Ziebach County after several animals were found dead. Weather conditions can expose animals to anthrax spores, triggering an outbreak.
NDSU Hosts First-Ever Beef Field Day – North Dakota State University hosted its inaugural Beef Field Day at their research facility in Fargo. NDSU Extension Beef Specialist, Dr. Zach Carlson said the event focused on current research projects. “Ultimately, we hope people left understanding more about the impact of what we feed cows on the offspring and new ways to feed calves as well as some new ways to look at grazing cover crops.”
‘Welcome Home’ – The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association is holding its 94th annual convention in Watford City. NDSA President Jason Leiseth says the theme, “Welcome Home” is a nod to the organization’s roots. “Watford City is the birthplace of NDSA when producers came together to overcome a cattle rustling problem.” Meetings revolving around policy issues are the core of the convention. “We’ll start putting together policy for the convention over issues on marketing, ag policy, or disaster programs.” The NDSA convention and trade show begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.
Dollars for Organic Dairies – USDA has announced the second round of payments to dairy farmers through the Organic Dairy Marketing Assistance Program. The $5 million in payments are on top of the $15 million that was paid in the first round. The money will be used to offset market volatility, higher input and transportation costs and an unstable feed supply.
Rising Milk Production – U.S. milk production is expected to increase next year. “We’re currently forecasting 230.4 billion pounds of milk, up 2.9 billion pounds from 2023,” reports Mark Jekanowski, chairman, USDA Ag Outlook Board.
Addressing Workforce Challenges – USDA has launched a pilot program to address workforce issues in agriculture. It supports the expansion of lawful migration opportunities for workers through the H-2A visa program. Workers from Northern Central America were referenced in the announcement. Up to $65 million in grant money is available. Applications must be received by November 28.
H-2A Proposed Rule – The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would add protections for worker self-advocacy, better protect workers against retaliations, and make foreign labor recruitment more transparent. The proposal modernizes aspects of the H-2A program to strengthen protections for farm workers under the program.
USDA Seeks Nominations For Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee – Nominations for USDA’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee are open now. USDA is looking for nominations from interested organizations and individuals who are engaged in farming or ranching, related state and tribal agriculture entities, academic institutions, trade associations and related nonprofit enterprises. Nominations are due by October 10. Find the full notice and more information on the USDA website.
Conservation Assistance for the Underserved – USDA is investing $70 million in partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance to underserved communities. The projects include over $600,000 for Renewing the Countryside to encourage women farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin to adopt conservation practices. The University of Minnesota was also awarded $236,000 for graduate student/career mentorship to serve small-scale farms in five Midwestern states, including Minnesota. The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.
NPPC Leader Testifies in D.C. – The House Ways and Means’ Committee trade subcommittee took testimony on the supply chain this past week. National Pork Producers Council Past President Randy Spronk, Pipestone, Minnesota, testified in support of the Generalized System of Preferences which expired in 2020. “Increased income and buying power in those countries will create future export opportunities for U.S. pork producers.” Spronk says bringing back this program would benefit developing countries while holding trade partners accountable. Watch the full hearing on the committee YouTube page.
Expanding the Fresh Potato Market – The U.S. is focused on expanding market access for fresh potatoes to Japan. National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles cites recent success with Mexico. U.S. fresh potato exports could increase by 20 percent with an open Japanese market. “The Mexican market could bring in $115 million, that’s roughly a ten ercent increase in global fresh potato exports. The Japanese opportunity is a mirror image of Mexico.”
Trade Mission Highlights Opportunities – Minnesota Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Andrea Vaubel describes the recent trade mission to Japan as an opportunity to build relationships. “We’ve been very lucky to have the state legislature to invest in an additional position in our international trade marketing team.” Previously, the state has had only one person devoted to international trade. “We know there is a lot more that we could be doing, states around us have a lot more staff devoted to this effort.”
Midwest Crop Tour Highlights Northern Grown Soybeans – A group of buyers from Southeast Asia visited the region for the Northern Soy Marketing Midwest Crop Tour. University of Minnesota Professor of Agronomy Seth Naeve joined the tour and says they wanted to give buyers a look at the quality of soybeans grown in Minnesota and North Dakota. “The idea was to meet with farmers and learn a little bit about their practices and how harvest is progressing.” According to Naeve, the tour helps move the needle by opening conversations for northern soybean producers.
Pork Exports Add Value to SD Soybeans – The U.S. Meat Export Federation led a trade visit to South Korea and Japan. South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council board member Todd Hanten was a member of the trade delegation and said their food consumption habits differ from what is seen in the U.S. “A lot of consumers in Korea especially order their food at night for the next day and a lot of just one-or-two meals at a time that are all packaged to just be heated and served.” Hanten serves as the liaison between the SDSRPC and USMEF. The pork industry is the biggest consumer of soybean meal in South Dakota. Helping promote pork products benefits soybean growers. “The more pork we sell and produce here, the more money that stays here.”
Dry Bean Scene – In this week’s Dry Bean Scene, RRFN visits with U.S. Dry Bean Council Program Advisor Dee Richmond about the recent Worldwide Trade Mission. 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.
ND: Early Adopters of Precision Agriculture – More farmers have adopted precision agriculture practices in North Dakota than any other state. According to research conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, 57 percent of North Dakota farms use precision agriculture technology. Nebraska is second with 55 percent and South Dakota is third with 53 percent. This same study said 85 percent of all U.S. farmers have access to internet and more than half of them have broadband access. Seventy-five percent of the farms have cellular access to the internet and 25 percent have satellite access.
Climate Costs to be Considered – The Biden Administration has issued a directive to its agencies, asking them to consider the potential risk to the climate as they make budget and spending decisions. The example given in ‘The Hill’ cites the purchase of electric vehicles because the social costs of carbon reduction outweigh a higher price tag.
On-Farm Research – Minnesota Wheat Vice President of Research Melissa Carlson says data collection continues from this year’s research trials. Wheat plots are wrapped up, but soybeans, corn and sunflowers are still in the field. We’re still working on getting all of our protein samples run and most of our soil sampling is done so we’re running through the rest of the data.” This year’s research includes evaluations of biologicals, copper and nitrogen. Data will be available and presented throughout the winter, including the Prairie Grains Conference in December. Carlson also reminds producers to consider moisture and soil erosion when harvesting and working on tillage this fall.
Farm Safety Week Reminders – University of Minnesota Extension Farm Safety Educator Emily Krekelberg says this time of year is extremely important to make healthier decisions for a successful harvest season. Rest and nutrition can be key to staying alert and safe. “Even though it is busy, we are stretched thin and the days are long, we still need to take care of ourselves.” Safety is also a consideration. Cleaning out equipment at the end of the day can prevent fires. “We’re going to be picking up a lot of extra dry matter, dust, leaves and stems that would be perfect tinder if they stay in that combine.” Hear the full conversation with Emily Krekelberg here.
New Scholarship Opportunity Available From NDFB Foundation – The North Dakota Farm Bureau Foundation has introduced a new scholarship program aimed at high school seniors who are advocates for agriculture. “It’s extremely important to teach the younger generation where their food comes from, so what better group to advocate than our youth right now?” said Joey Bailey, director of organization development. The $2,500 scholarship applications are limited to high school seniors.
Celebrating National Teach Ag Day – National Teach Ag Day was cthis past Thursday. AgCentric Executive Director Keith Olander sees agricultural education as a key to the future of the industry. “When we think of the next generation of agricultural leaders, it really comes out of this idea of an agriculture teacher and the legacy they leave in the classroom.” Minnesota high school ag education programs have been expanding at a drastic rate in the last few years. That means ag educators are in high demand. “That means we need talent, which means we need high school and post-secondary ag educators to help maintain that talent pipeline as we go forward.” Listen to the full interview with Keith Olander here.
Cargill Income Down From One Year Ago – Cargill is reporting net income of $3.8 billion for the year ending May 31. That’s down from a record $6.7 billion in the previous year. Profits were hurt by losses in Cargill’s beef and chicken business.
Layoffs for Deere & Company – John Deere plans to lay off 225 production workers at its Harvester Works factory in East Moline, Illinois on October 16. This plant has over 2,300 employees with 2,000 working in production.
Mattracks Launches Tracks for High Clearance Sprayers – Mattracks has introduced the new High Track (HT)series for high clearance sprayers. Offered in two weight classes, the HT-400 is designed for approximately 40,000 pounds gross sprayer weight for most 1,200 gallon and smaller self-propelled sprayers. The HT-500 has a longer tread and increased carrying capacity designed for sprayers weighing 50,000 pounds fully loaded or most 1,400 and 1,600 gallon capacity machines. Karlstad, Minnesota-based Mattracks is the original innovator of the wheel-to-rubber track conversion system.
Blanton to Take SDSU Post – John Blanton Jr. has been named the director of South Dakota State University’s Agricultural Experiment Station and the associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Most recently, Blanton was the head of the animal science department at Purdue University. Blanton will assume his duties at SDSU October 22, succeeding interim director Russ Daly.
Craven to be Honored by ABA – The American Bankers Association will present its Blanchfield Award to Robert Craven with the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. This award recognizes the contributions of a non-banker to support agricultural lending. The award will be presented during the Agricultural Bankers Conference in early November.
From USDA to ASTA – The American Seed Trade Association has hired Martha Malapi as its director of seed health and trade. Malapi transitions into the role as Ric Dunkle prepares for retirement. For the past ten years, Malapi has been at USDA, including time as the branch chief of APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services.
NPPC Welcomes Cline in Policy Communications Role – Meghan Cline has joined the National Pork Producers Council as its director of policy communications. Most recently, Cline was the director of communications for JBS USA. Previously, she served as communications director for the Senate Agriculture Committee under Chairman Pat Roberts.
Bien Recognized as Eminent Leader – Veblen rancher Neil Bien has been named a 2023 South Dakota State University Eminent Leader in Agriculture, Family and Community. This award program has been in place since 1927.
RLND Names New Advisory Council Members – Kristi Schultz and Brady Pelton have been selected to serve a three-year term on the Rural Leadership North Dakota Council. Schultz is an alum of the RLND program and works for Border States. Pelton is the vice president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
MARL Leader Passes – Funeral services were held Friday in New Prague for Mike Liepold. Liepold, 61, was a program leader for the Minnesota Agricultural Leadership Program helping to create the program in 2000. Liepold spent 34 years as an Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota.
Last Week’s Trivia-John Lennon was the Beatle that was married to Yoko Ono. Erin Nash of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting wins our weekly trivia challenge. Runner-up honors belong to Dennis Sabel of Minnesota Farm Bureau, Gary Sloan of BMO Commercial Bank, Peter Carson of Carson Farms and Bob Lebacken of RML Trading. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Ramsey County farmer Paul Becker, Dave Gehrtz of Proseed, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag, Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio, Jason Heen of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Sara O’Toole of O’Toole Seed, retired controller Evonne Wold, Mike Trosen of Meadowland Farmers Cooperative, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Crookston farmer Ron Lanctot, Roger Wippler of Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Darrell Larsen of Royalton, retired feedlot officer Al Lanctot, Jon Farris of BankWest and Dennis Sleiter of Morris.
This Week’s Trivia-What company’s advertising slogan is ‘you’re in good hands?’ Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.