Reporting Agriculture's Business — The Red River Farm Network begins this week at the Minnesota FFA Convention in the Twin Cities and the South Dakota FFA Convention in Brookings. It is inspiring to see the FFA'ers in action at these events. The weather hasn't exactly cooperated, but, the planting season has begun across the region. You'll find those stories in this edition of FarmNetNews. On the policy front, it will be a busy week in Washington, D.C. with the widely expected confirmation of Agriculture Secretary-nominee Sonny Perdue. Without congressional action, the government also runs out of funding at the end of the week. In Bismarck and St. Paul, budgets are also top-of-mind. Find out more in this e-publication and on your RRFN radio affiliate. You can also find RRFN on Facebook and Twitter. The RRFN team: Carah, Mike, Randy, Jay and Don are also on Twitter.
Beets and Spring Wheat Seeded in Comstock Area — The Red River Farm Network kicked off the 2017 growing season with the Crop Watch broadcast on Tuesday. C-W Valley Co-op agronomist Jade Albrecht said growers in the Comstock, Minnesota area are off to a good start. "Guys got a good chunk of the wheat in and sugarbeets are in." Most seed decisions have been made, but Albrecht said farmers were still booking the final acres. "Corn acres are up a little bit." Thanks to Syngenta Sugarbeet/Hilleshog for its sponsorship of RRFN's Crop Watch.
More Interest in Corn — Before the rains started this past week, most of the wheat was seeded in the Kent, Minnesota area. Andy Beyer, who is a dealer with NorthStar Genetics, says some sugarbeets and corn were also planted. Soil temps were cold. "We had a few frost boils in the yard and they are still soft." Beyer has been busy delivering seed corn and soybeans. "I've been seeing guys ordering a little more corn so I don't know if it was because they thought they'd get in early. If we get delayed, that will change again." RRFN stopped at the Beyer operation during Tuesday's Crop Watch broadcast. The #CropWatch 17 broadcast is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Field Conditions are Top Priority for Planting — Field conditions and soil temperatures are still more important than the calendar right now, according to Pioneer Field Agronomist Derek Crompton. “It’s not May 20, and in all reality, we don’t consider starting to think about changing our corn planting strategy until after that time. We have a good month ahead of us.” Crompton also tells growers if they start seeing soil temps warming up close to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, "go ahead and get started.”
Watch for Crusting — Greg LaPlante, owner of GL Consulting at Wahpeton, North Dakota, says planting progress varies considerably. "Some guys have all of their sugarbeets in and others haven't started." LaPlante says corn planting has active to his west in the Wyndmere/Barney area and to his east in Minnesota's Otter Tail County. With the recent moisture, LaPlante says some of that rain came down hard. "Some of these soils were kind of fine, especially, the fields going into sugarbeets this year so we're going to need to watch for crusting." The Red River Farm Network Crop Watch broadcast is sponsored, in part, by DuPont Pioneer.
In Good Shape — Wolverton, Minnesota farmer Jay Nord has all of his wheat planted. Area farmers have also started with corn. Nord wouldn't be surprised if neighboring farmers start planting soybeans "Guys will do whatever they can get done. We'll try to wait until the first of May to plant beans, but, we'll see what happens." #CropWatch17 is sponsored, in part, by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Soybean Checkoff.
Kansas Wheat Update — Winter wheat is heading in fields near Lyons, Kansas. Wheat grower Doug Keesling shares an update on the crop. “Just got done walking a field where there’s probably a good five to ten percent poked out of the areas. We can still see the stress areas of the field that are quite stunted-less than knee high. Better conditions are at waist high. We can still see the differences in the drought we’ve been suffering.” Keesling says there’s more rain forecasted in the week ahead, but the farmers are still able to get into the field. Corn planting has also been underway near Lyons, Kansas as well.
Cutting Costs — University of Minnesota Extension small grain specialist Jochum Wiersma has put together of list of things growers can do to cut their spring wheat production costs. Wiersma says the last thing they should cut is fertilizer. “Nitrogen is so important for us to maximize grain yield and be able to maintain grain protein.” Wiersma says input decisions should be based on a biological need. As an example, Wiersma says the biggest savings would come from using a wild oat herbicide only where there is wild oat pressure.
No Big Changes — In the weekly North Dakota State University Extension Sugar Beet Report, NDSU Extension soil science specialist Dave Franzen says the good news is nothing has changed for sugar beet fertility requirements. "There has been research on the nitrogen and phosphate requirements of sugar beets, but even though our yields continue to increase, the recommendations are the same.” Franzen also says research shows the nitrogen rate does not need to be raised in a high yield environment.
A Head Scratcher — Statistics Canada’s seeding intentions report had some surprises for the grain trade. Canola and spring wheat intentions are more than expected. Canadian farmers intend to plant 27 percent more soybeans than last year and 25 percent fewer lentils. Brian Voth, with IntelliFARM Inc. was surprised with the canola figure. “Statsistics Canada came in at 22.4 million acres (for canola). The average estimate for the report was 21.3 million and last year’s acres were 20.3 million. The trade was looking for a one million acre increase in canola, but ended up with a two million acre increase. That was a head-scratcher.” Manitoba farmers intend to plant 200,000 acres less canola, with many of them switching to soybeans. Spring wheat acres are also a surprise with a 1.3 million acre increase over last year. The trade expected an 800,000 acre decline. Voth says quality issues are behind the expected drop in lentil acres in western Canada. Farmers intend to plant six percent fewer dry beans this year.
Too Early to Worry — Zaner Group Ag Hedge Lead Ted Seifried says traders are aware of the delays with planting, but it’s a little early for major worries about corn. “Some of us thought when we saw the Perspective Plantings numbers, we might see corn add one million or two million acres to that if we got off to an aggressive corn planting pace. We haven’t done that. Every day we are out of the fields really makes the possibility less and less. That adds support for the growing season, but right now, it’s not a big issue.” Seifried thinks traders could start to focus on corn planting progress as early as this week.
Scouting for Weeds — It’s not too early to be scouting fields. WinField United agronomist Jason Hanson, who is based in the Devils Lake area, says a few weeds are starting to show up. “I’m finding kochia, marshelder and volunteer canola. Then you have some winter annuals like shepherd’s purse, but it is very sparse right now. The ground is fairly cold. I did find a striped flea beetle. It’s the middle of April and there are already insects out. That surprises me.”
Weed Management 101 — The special Red River Farm Network series, Weed Management 101, is on the air. In this week's edition, University of North Dakota and Minnesota Extension weed specialist, Tom Peters talks about palmer amaranth. Listen to Weed Management 101. Thanks to the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Peterson Farms Seed and BASF for their support of this education effort.
Brazilian Farm Groups Turn Up Pressure for Help — With a huge corn crop on the horizon, Brazilian government officials and farm leaders are meeting to find a solution to low prices. Proposals include a support system for farmers and a plan to utilize up to ten million tons of corn per year. The agriculture ministry has already announced the release of $800 million reais to prop up corn sales. Last year, corn farmers in Mato Gross received 40 reais per sack. That would be close to $13 U.S. dollars. According to Brazilian consultant and Minnesota native, Kory Melby, the price today is closer to 13 reais per sack or the U.S. equivalent of $4. Without some stabilization in prices, Melby believes Brazilian corn farmers will farm less acres and use fewer inputs in 2018.
Weed of the Week: Biennial Wormwood — The increase in soybean and dry edible bean production has contributed to an increase in biennial wormwood
populations in Minnesota and North Dakota. Biennial wormwood is most prevalent in moist environments in both conventional and no-tillage systems. Biennial wormwood grows slowly after emergence, remaining as a rosette until midsummer, when plants bolt and growth becomes rapid. Biennial wormwood has natural tolerance to many soil-applied and post emergence broadleaf herbicides such as some ALS Inhibitors (SOA2), dinitroanilines (SOA3), PPO inhibitors (SOA14), acetamides (SOA15) and HPPD Inhibitors (SOA27). Post-emergence herbicides such as growth regulators (SOA4) should be applied when biennial wormwood is less than 3 inches in height. While biennial wormwood is glyphosate sensitive, control often is inconsistent and may require a repeat application, especially when size is greater than three inches. Thanks to Tom Peters of North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota and Richard Zollinger of NDSU for assisting with this project.
FY17 Budget is on Track — North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says the federal agriculture budget is pretty much set. “There are 12 different bills that go into passing the FY17 appropriation and we are on track." Hoeven sees a couple big ticket funding issues; money for the U.S.-Mexico border and wall and increased funding for the military. "I think we have reasonable proposals out there and hope to get things wrapped up in two weeks.”
Proposal Would Give Baseline Funding for Cotton — Getting the Fiscal Year 2017 spending package passed will be an important focus for lawmakers as they return to Washington D.C. this week. The current continuing resolution expires on Friday. National Corn Growers Association executive vice president Jon Doggett says the cotton industry is looking to include a provision in the FY17 omnibus spending package to designate cottonseed as an oilseed. If successful, cotton growers could be eligible for ARC/PLC payments, giving cotton a baseline for the 2018 Farm Bill. “We’ve talked to the cotton folks and we know this is something they are interested in getting done, probably in the FY 2017 budget." Doggett also says the U.S. needs to protect the good trade agreements already in place. Corn growers are still concerned about Mexico purchasing corn from South America. “We are hearing from buyers in Mexico. They are quite upset and very concerned. They are in active discussions with the corn industries in Brazil and Argentina and they are very active in seeking ways to increase their domestic production.”
Trade is Big Concern — The confirmation vote for ag secretary nominee Sonny Perdue will be one of the key stories coming out of Washington, D.C. this week. North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp says that is a priority, but trade is a bigger concern. “A lot of our trading partners have gotten nervous," said Heitkamp. "We’ll continue to talk about building relationships that maintain our all-important relationships with our trading partners. Whether it’s opening up the eastern markets to pork and beef or yellow corn and soybeans into China.”
Seeking Market Access — Vice President Mike Pence is advocating a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan. At a news conference in Tokyo, Pence said he is anxious to begin formal trade negotiations with Japan. Increased market access was sought in the Trans Pacific Partnership, but that deal went south. Japan does have a trade deal with Australia and U.S. Meat Export Federation spokesman Joe Schuele says that puts the U.S. beef industry at a disadvantage. “With TPP not going forward, we feel like there’s a need for some alternative as far as market access to Japan and other Asian markets," says Schuele.
Not Playing Fair — President Donald Trump took his ‘America First’ message to Wisconsin Tuesday. Trump promised to stand up for the U.S. dairy industry in its current dispute with Canada. Canada has implemented a new pricing policy that prevents U.S. dairy farmers from exporting ultra-filtered milk across the border. Trump responded Tuesday, saying Canada is not playing fair. “It’s another typical one-sided deal against the U.S. It’s not going to be happening for long.” Trump went on to say the North American Free Trade Agreement is a disaster. "NAFTA has been very bad for our country, bad for our companies and workers. We will make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA once and for all.” The National Milk Producers Federation praised Trump for defending the U.S. dairy industry.
Cramer Meets with Canadian Politicians — North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer met with members of Canadian Parliament in Grand Forks on Tuesday afternoon. Cramer says the group talked about the dairy industry concerns and North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations. “I think sometimes the U.S. administrations haven’t acknowledged in their negotiations how big our consumer market is and w sometimes give up a little easily."
Trudeau's Input — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending supply management, saying it works for suppliers, the agriculture industry and it works for Canadians. This comment is in response to the Canada-U.S. dairy dispute. Trudeau also said there will always be issues that come up. “The way Canada deals with issues will be based on facts, a strong-defense of Canadian interests and an approach that is respectful and productive.”
"Absurd" — The Canadian Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, has upset leaders within the U.S. dairy industry. MacNaughton has said the market problems for dairy farmers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York is due to overproduction and has nothing to do with Canada’s new pricing policies. In a statement, National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern said MacNaughton’s comments are “absurd” because it is very clear the losses experienced by U.S. dairy farmers are directly linked the Canada’s pricing system.
Taking Action — Minnesota Senator Al Franken met with state agriculture groups on Friday to talk about the Minnesota dairy industry. Canada has implemented a new pricing policy preventing U.S. dairy farmers from exporting ultra-filtered milk across the border. Franken says Minnesota lawmakers are putting pressure on the administration to change the Canadian national ingredients policy and make it a priority of any North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation. If this effort isn’t successful, Franken says there will be a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization. “In the meantime, we would ask the USDA to get the Commodity Credit Corporation to buy milk to ease the market and turn it into cheese. We don’t want this to happen, but there are also disaster loans.”
An Encouraging Market — USDA Deputy Administrator of the Office of Trade Programs, Mark Slupek, recently led a delegation of nearly two dozen companies on a trade mission to Egypt, North Africa and the Middle East. “We had a great trip to Egypt. They made sales of about $1.2 million on site. They are following up with their business contacts they made from Algeria, Jordan and of course, Egypt. More companies joined us on this trip than expected. All of them found the market to be encouraging.” Slupek says the most sought after products are pulse crops, soy products, rice, beef, seeds and lumber.
USTR Confirmation Bears Watching — Informa Economics Senior Vice President Jim Wesiemeyer says the key to trade policy is to get U.S. Trade Representative nominee Robert Lighthizer’s vote in the Senate scheduled. “He’s just as important as Perdue’s nomination as far as I’m concerned. Especially in the meat area for the U.S. They have the most to gain from getting us back on board for inking new trade agreements. They lost some market access relative to when they pulled the TPP out. I’d watch Robert Lighthizer. He’ll eventually get approved, because he has bipartisan support.” Perdue’s confirmation vote in the senate is scheduled for later today. Weisemeyer thinks it will be an easy vote.
Building EPA's Team — EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is quickly building his team. Troy Lyons will lead EPA’s congressional and intergovernmental relations office. Tate Bennett and Aaron Ringel will have deputy administrator roles in the EPA's congressional relations department. National Potato Council Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling says the people being talked about or added to the Environmental Protection Agency bring a lot of experience to the agency. “We continue to be very positive about the changes being made over there and implementation of personnel. We continue to support adequate funding for EPA, particularly for the pesticide programs. There is a lot of discussion about reducing budgets over there. We would agree there are areas where budgets can be reduced. Cutting the amount of money out of programs evaluating pesticides and make them both safe for use and available, aren’t ones that need cut.”
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NDSU Extension Budget Finalized — After some back-and-forth, the North Dakota Legislature has finalized the budget bill for North Dakota State University Extension, the Northern Crops Institute, the branch research centers and Agronomy Seed Farm. The Extension Service faces a cut of $290,000. The conference committee will take a final look at the bill they drafted, but does not plan to meet again unless there is a disagreement about its language.
Wrapping Up the Session — The North Dakota legislative session is scheduled to wrap up this week. North Dakota Farmers Union member advocacy director Kayla Pulvermacher says lawmakers are reconciling the budget, with a focus on proposed cuts to the NDSU Extension program. “They are still going to have at least a 13.5 to 14 percent decrease in their budget. This is heart-breaking for the agriculture community. We are hopeful we can get the programs and dollars we need to be able to run the programs that need to happen. We’re also hopeful in the future the dollars will be there so we can up our Extension program to continue doing the great work its been doing all of these years.” Pulvermacher says NDFU is also keep an eye on Senate Bill 2014, otherwise known as the Industrial Commissions budget, which includes the North Dakota State Mill.
Dayton Seeks Additional Dollars in Ag Budget — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has sent a letter to House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, highlighting his position on the numerous budget bills. At a minimum, Dayton wants the Legislature to hold base funding levels for each of the agencies. Dayton included correspondence from each of his Commissioners to defend his position. Agriculture Comissioner Dave Frederickson said the administration’s priorities include over $2 million in operating adjustments so the Agriculture Department can maintain its current level of service. Another $1.5 million is being sought to modernize the IT system. Other funding priorities include money to deal with plant pathogen and pest risks, the eradication of noxious weeds and the decline of pollinators.
Differences Seen Over Buffers and Pollinators — The Minnesota House-Senate conference committees are expected to get their budget targets early this week. AgriGrowth public policy director Cory Bennett says all finance bills are on hold until legislative leadership provides those targets. Buffers have been a critical issue during this session. Bennett says Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature are at odds over buffers. "Hopefully, there is room for negotiation. We'd like to get something to the Governor that he can sign." Late last summer, Dayton issued an executive order to protect pollinators. The agriculture bills under consideration in the legislature take issue with the Governor’s pollinator strategy. "That being verification of need where the Department of Agriculture would have further authority to regulate treated seed. The legislature, at this point, does not give that authority."
MN DNR Corrects Buffer Maps — The Minnesota DNR has made significant revisions to its buffer maps. The so-called Public Waters Inventory were mistakenly claimed as part of the public drainage system. Since those areas are not public waterways or public ditches, 540 watercourses have been removed from the country PWI and buffer protection maps. Minnesota Soybean Growers Association public affairs director Joe Smentek said this DNR reversal is encouraging news. In a statement, Smentek said it is an indication that “the original intent of the buffer legislation is being followed.”
Process Moves Forward for SDSU Animal Diagnostic Lab — An important step has been taken to pay for the expansion of the animal research and diagnostic laboratory at South Dakota State University. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board has given its approval, sending the project to the South Dakota Building Authority to borrow the money needed to issue bonds. The South Dakota Legislature passed lab project, directing the building authority to issue $50 million in revenue bonds. Funds will also come from a redirection of money from the agriculture levy for general education; a one-time transfer of $6 million from the Board of Regents and an increase in fees.
April Showers Bring...Scours? — Calving hasn’t been as easy for producers this year, due to wet conditions. North Dakota State University Extension Area Livestock Systems Specialist Karl Hoppe says producers need to be watchful of calves for scours. It’s better to identify it early. “If you get some electrolyte fluids in them and maybe an antibiotic, the calf has a better chance of recovery than hoping the animal will get better on its own. They get dehydrated when they get scours. They use all of their body fluids to flush the bacteria or parasites out of their body." Hoppe says if scours continues to be a consistent problem year-after-year, the environment could be deficient in certain trace minerals like copper and zinc. Producers need to fortify rations with that to the calves so the calves are in a better status when born.
Activist Group Challenges Livestock Indemnity Program — The Humane Farming Association is asking USDA to stop making Livestock Indemnity Program payments to farmers and ranchers who do not provide adequate shelter for their animals. The activist group claims this money is a disincentive for producers to protect their livestock from bad weather. The Farm Service Agency Livestock Indemnity Program helps farmers and ranchers who suffer losses from weather-related issues. Eligible producers can receive up to 75 percent of the animal’s market value, up to $125,000 per year.
FFA Conventions Underway — Starting next week, the Minnesota FFA Convention will be underway in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Nearly 4,000 student members will gather for the 88th Minnesota FFA Convention. During convention, FFA members compete in career development contests, attend sessions and workshops and receive awards for the FFA achievements. RRFN’s Don Wick will be reporting from the event. During the same timeframe, the South Dakota FFA Convention is underway in Brookings, South Dakota. RRFN’s Carah Hart will be reporting from the event. Follow RRFN for details.
Earley Comes Home to the MN FFA Convention — In the past nine decades, only nine Minnesotans have been national FFA officers. Valerie Earley is on that list, currently serving as the central region vice president for the National FFA Organization. Earley is back in her home state making an appearance at the Minnesota FFA Convention. "It is a wonderful feeling and it makes me really thankful for all of the support on the way. This brings it full circle." Earley has been excited to see other FFA members accomplish great things. "I think the greatest thing people can realize is the potential that they have." Numerous career development contests, general sessions and workshops are on the agenda today with thousands of blue jackets on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus this morning and at Maraucci Arena in Minneapolis this afternoon. Coverage of the Minneasota FFA Convention on the Red River Farm Network is made possible, in part, by Associated Milk Producers, Incorporated.
FFA President to Apply for Veterinary School — Minnesota State FFA President Spencer Wolter is busy over the next couple days overseeing the state FFA convention. Wolter also has an eye to the future with plans to enroll in veterinary school. "After I retire Tuesday, I'm applying for VetFast so FFA has built me up for that school. I completed a couple years of college before I came to the University of Minnesota and VetFast is an accelerated program which looks at those leadership opportunities that FFA instilled in me." Wolter says his focus on veterinary school began at a very young age. "You always want what you can't have. My family crop farmed and I always wanted animals. This started when I got my first chickens when I was eight years old to eventually showing every species. Hopefully, I can become a large animal vet." RRFN's special coverage of the Minnesota FFA Convention is sponsored, in part, by Minnesota Farm Bureau.
All In, Our Legacy Starts Now — The Minnesota State FFA officer team has been working for many months preparing for this state convention. State Vice President Katie Rogers hopes the theme of this year’s convention will resonate with the FFA members. The theme is 'All In, Our Legacy Starts Now.' "This theme has a special place in my heart because I think 'All In' is something that we can live by everyday. I hope our FFA members live that theme for the next few days and in years to come." Rogers acknowledges it is a difficult time for farmers with weak commodity prices, but remains optimistic. "It can be discouraging at times for our farmers and agriculturalists, but just knowing that if we keep pushing through, we will prosper in the future." Thanks to AgCountry Farm Credit Services for its support of the RRFN coverage of the Minnesota FFA Convention.
FFA Members Enhance Convention Experience — The South Dakota FFA Convention is underway in Brookings on Sunday. South Dakota FFA Reporter Jaclynn Knudson says the theme for this year’s convention is ‘Enhance.’ Knudson also says spending the year as a state officer has been a blast. It’s been good to give back to the organization. “I have undoubtedly had those opportunities with members. I’m excited to see members again.” Red River Farm Network's Coverage of the South Dakota FFA Convention is sponsored, in part, by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the South Dakota Farmers Union.
Trying for a State Office — Twenty-three FFA members from across South Dakota are in the process of interviewing for six state officer positions. The new FFA officer team will be
named on Tuesday. Sydney Swanson from Webster-Waubay FFA Chapter is interviewing for an office. “FFA is something I’ve dedicated my life to since I was in seventh grade. I saw those state officers and said ‘I want to be them.’ It’s been pushing me to work harder and harder every year. Now, I’m here and couldn’t be more excited!” Tri-Valley FFA member Mary Dybedahl, who is also interviewing for an officer position, says the biggest opportunity for South Dakota FFA is personal growth. “A lot of people start out shy in the FFA. You see them as seniors and you see how they’ve grown through the program. It’s a really cool experience.” National FFA Western Region Vice President Trey Elizondo and New Mexico state FFA president Kynzi Creighton met with state FFA officer candidates this week. Creighton says the candidates definitely have a desire to serve. RRFN's coverage of the South Dakota FFA Convention is sponsored, in part, by the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Breaking Ground — The City of Aberdeen has issued a soil erosion permit to allow Ag Processing Inc., to start dirt work for its soybean processing plant, which is expected to open in 2019. Mayor Mike Levsen says this is the biggest economic development project in Aberdeen’s history. “I’m not aware of a larger one in the city or eastern South Dakota," says Levsen. "They’ve asked us to not talk about the specific numbers involved, but they did buy 300 acres. It’s going to be the largest plant put together by AGP, a giant in the soybean processing industry. The size of it is beyond any project you can think of around South Dakota.” The AGP plant in Aberdeen will process up to 40 million bushels of soybeans per year or as many as 500 trucks per day. Levsen says that will require considerable infrastructure work, primarily to state and county roads. “There will be considerable road work needed, because this is primarily a trucking business coming in. Lots of it will be on rail going out. There’s going to be hundreds of trucks coming in to bring soybeans into the plant. We’ll need extra facilities as well.”
Stockholders Approve AgCountry-United FCS Merger — As of July 1, AgCountry Farm Credit Services and United FCS will become one entity. Stockholders overwhelmingly approved the merger. AgCountry President and CEO Bob Bahl says the merged organization will best serve the needs of its customer/members. “Both associations are significant in size and have a great position in the marketplace. We’re able to handle what we do today very well. It positions us stronger for the future. With the two together, we’ll have more than 18,000 customers to whom we can bring an assortment of financial services and credit.” After 60 days, this agreement will be submitted to the Farm Credit Administration for regulatory approval. The new entity will operate in 65 counties in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin and have $7.2 billion in assets. Bahl says this merger positions the two farm credit associations for the long term. The merged organization will operate under the AgCountry Farm Credit Services name and will be headquartered in Fargo.
FGI Files Lawsuit Against Alforex Seed — Forage Genetics International has filed a lawsuit against Alforex Seeds with allegations of false and misleading advertising. The suit claims Alforex inaccurately promotes its Hi-Gest alfalfa as a low-lignin variety that is comparable to FGI’s HarvXtra alfalfa. In reality, the Hi-Gest alfalfa is only comparable to conventional alfalfa varieties and Forage Genetics International company officials said that is confusing for the marketplace.
Dow Responds to AP's Chlorpyrifos Story — Dow Chemical has released a statement saying a recent Associated Press story includes misleading and inaccurate information. The AP story cites government studies conducted during the Obama Administration that claimed the use of chlorpyrifos was harmful to endangered species and human health. Dow said chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used and studied pest control products in the world. Dow, FMC and Adama produce these compounds and say the EPA failed to apply its own quality standards or its own procedures when evaluating chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos is known by trade names like Lorsban and Dursban.
Gerbaud Takes Over at the Minnesota Trade Office — The Minnesota Trade Office has a new executive director. Most recently, Gabrielle Gerbaud was an international sales and operations supervisor for Polaris Industries. Gerbaud is a native of Spain and previously worked in the food policy division for Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Conference Committee Named — The Minnesota House and Senate have named conference committee members for the omnibus agriculture finance bill. Senate members are Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake, Bill Weber of Luverne, Andrew Lang of Olivia, Kent Eken of Twin Valley and Mike Goggin of Red Wing. The lawmakers representing the House are Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake, Paul Anderson of Starbuck, Jeanne Poppe of Austin, Jeff Backer of Browns Valley and Dale Luek of Aitkin.
Local Student Receives MidAmerica CropLife Scholarship — The MidAmerica CropLife Association Board of Directors has selected 11 college students to receive its Young Leader Scholarship to be used for their college expenses. The recipient from Minnesota is Alexis Larson at the University of Minnesota. North Dakota State University student John Baldwin is the recipient from North Dakota, and Jordanne Howe from South Dakota State University is the scholarship recipient from South Dakota.
NAFB Names New Events Manager — The National Association of Farm Broadcasting has welcomed Shannon Higgins as its new events manager. Most recently, Higgins coordinated events for the Savannah Food & Wine Festival. Higgins will take an active role in the NAFB Washington Watch program during the first week of May.
Leading Minnesota's Turkey Industry — Kim Halvorson of Morristown is the new president of the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council. Chris Huisinga of Willmar is the vice president and Max Velo of Rothsay is the secretary-treasurer. Huisinga has been elected president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. For the grower group, Scott Christensen of Willmar is the vice president and Paul Kvistad of Wood Lake is secretary-treasurer.
MN Turkey Leaders Present President's Awards — Minnesota Turkey Growers Association President Gene Brownfield has presented his President’s Award to Warren Formo, who leads the Minnesota Agricultural Waters Resource Center. Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council President Robert Ostren gave his President’s Award to Dr. Carol Cardona from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Dale Lauer from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
SDSU Professor Selected for Award — An assistant professor and field crops pathologist at South Dakota State University has been chosen for the Schroth Faces of the Future Award in Host Resistance and Host/Pathogen Interactions from the American Phytopathological Society. Dr. Febina Mathew’s research on Phomopsis stem canker of sunflower will be the focus of her talk at the organization’s annual meeting in San Antonio in August.
Dry Bean Scene — The Dry Bean Scene is on the air, with information about the dry edible bean industry in the Northarvest region. This broadcast airs each Friday at 12:37 PM.
Canola Minute — Here's the latest Canola Minute from the Northern Canola Growers Association. Learn how canola helps boost heart health.
ND Wheat Link — Hear the North Dakota Wheat Commission's Wheat Link. Learn more about the trade title portion of the Farm Bill.
MN Beef Update — Hear from the Minnesota Beef Council and the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association in their weekly MN Beef Update. Learn more about the Ibotta rebate campaign results.
MN Farm Bureau Legislative Minute — Here's the latest from the Minnesota Farm Bureau. In this report, we get an update on the ditch mowing issue.
ND Legislative Report — Get an update on work in the North Dakota Legislature. The North Dakota Legislative Report is sponsored by North Dakota Farm Bureau, North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and North Dakota Corn Growers Association.
ND Soybean Minute — Hear the latest North Dakota Soybean Minute from the North Dakota Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. Learn about the differences between the Soybean Council and Soybean Association.
Corn Matters — Hear the Minnesota Corn Growers Association's Corn Matters program. Learn more about the new public relations manager.
Last Week's Trivia — Nike's signature symbol is called the Swoosh. Brian Rydlund of CHS Hedging was the first to respond with the correct answer and is our weekly trivia winner. Jim Altringer of Columbia Grain, Scott Roemhildt of Minnesota DNR, Fred Parnow of Nuseed Americas and Vincent Restucci of R.D. Offutt Company earn runner-up honors. The 'first 20' includes Pam Vilchis of Hutchinson High School, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Adam Kuznia of Braaten Farms, Cokato farmer Harlan Anderson, Mark Haugland of Bayer, Nicollet farmer Kaye Compart, Al Juliuson of Juliuson Farms, Clearwater County auditor/treasurer Allen Paulson, Bob Nielsen of United Farmers Co-op, Greg Guse of Paulsen, Randy Knudsvig of First State Bank, Kevin Praska of Stone's Mobile Rado, former Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini, retired NDSU Extension dairy specialist J.W. Schroeder and Erin Nash of Woodruff Sweitzer.
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235527 Upcoming Railway Recruitment 2017 RRC & RRB indianrail.gov.in