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The weed was found in a field in McIntosh County.
Palmer amaranth, a very aggressive weed, has been found in North Dakota for the first time.
Laboratory analysis has confirmed that a plant found in a row-crop field in McIntosh County in southcentral North Dakota is Palmer amaranth.
By April Baumgarten | Forum News Service
That trend likely will continue this year, said Andy Swenson, a farm management specialist with the Extension Service.
"It may not be the highest performer, but it is a steady performer," he said of soybeans.
Farmers could see an average estimated return of $26 per acre on soybeans. That's slightly more than the $24.85 per acre return projected for counties in the north Red River Valley—Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina. The return in the northeast region—Nelson, Ramsey, Cavalier and Towner counties—could average $55.85 per acre, according to the projected budgets.
U.S. soybeans have become more popular as demand across the world has increased. The U.S. is the largest soybean producer and second-leading exporter, with producers harvesting a predicted record of 4.38 billion bushels for the crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
North Dakota and Minnesota ranked in the top 10 for soybean production last year, though North Dakota was projected to produce 249 million bushels in 2017, down slightly from 2016, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast released in November. Minnesota estimates put the state's 2017 production at 373 million, a 4 percent decrease from 2016, the USDA said.
Planting projections from the USDA aren't expected to be released until March 29, said Darin Jantzi, a North Dakota statistician for the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Both states planted an estimated record high for soybean acres last year—North Dakota had 7.2 million acres while Minnesota planted 8.2 million acres, according to the USDA.
Costs on the rise
Spring wheat also should see an uptick in planting as projected returns for most of North Dakota are estimated between $14 and $20 per acre, but northwest North Dakota and north Red River Valley regions likely will see breakeven prices, Swenson said. The south valley, which includes Traill, Cass and Richland counties, could see a slight loss.
Farmers who plant corn this year likely will see a loss of $21 to $47 per acres, with Swenson predicting that producers will commit fewer acres to the crop. Corn has lost appeal with farmers in recent years, with U.S. producers harvesting an estimated 14.2 billion bushels last year, a 7 percent decline from 2016, the USDA said.
The crop could see a loss of $33.74 per acre in the north Red River Valley and a loss of $32.23 in the northeast region.
Projected total costs also are expected to be up about 2 to 5 percent from last year, Swenson said in a statement. He warned that the budgets do not take into account price and yield variability, as well as risk.
"The situation on the revenue side was mixed," he said. "Yields have increased noticeably in many instances but prices for several crops are lower."
The valley has the fewest types of crops that could produce positive returns. That's why he warned farmers this could be a challenging year.
The Extension Service doesn't conduct forecasts for sugar beets, but American Crystal Sugar Co. will allow 390,000 acres of beets to be planted this year, about 10,000 acres fewer than last year.
That's due in part to the large yields—early estimates said 2017 presented the second highest yield on record—and an estimated record high sugar count from this year's crop, said Brian Ingulsrud, vice president of agriculture for American Crystal.
The increasing yield is a continuing trend as genetics improve, he said.
On the weather side, conditions are trending toward a year with limited flooding but no drought, said Bill Barrett, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
"We're sitting pretty neutral," he said.
Farmers in the Red River Valley watch the world market closely to determine what they should grow, said Paule Sproule, owner of Sproule Farms in Grand Forks. The industry has made advances in genetics, giving producers in North Dakota and Minnesota options when it comes to choosing which crops to plant, he added.
"That's the beauty about North Dakota and part of Minnesota," he said, adding he is optimistic. "We can hold off on our final decision until just before planting."
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January 9, 2018 at 10:28AM
Senators Secure Language in Tax Relief Legislation
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) announced that his amendment to maintain the fair tax treatment of cooperatives, which he authored with Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), has been included in the conference committee’s final tax relief package. The elimination of Section 199 in Congress’ draft tax bills presented a significant problem for cooperatives, threatening to increase their taxes and leading to higher costs for their members. The Hoeven-Thune language included in the final bill fixes this provision, ensuring cooperatives in North Dakota and across the nation will benefit from Congress’ tax relief legislation.
“We worked hard to ensure the final tax relief legislation provided certainty for cooperatives and treated them fairly,” Hoeven said. “Cooperatives provide vital services for our communities and agriculture producers and fill an important role in our economy. I appreciate Senator Thune, as well as our colleagues in the Senate and the House, for working with us to secure this important provision for our cooperatives. I look forward to advancing this and the rest of our tax relief legislation to help grow our economy and benefit middle-class Americans, workers, small businesses, farmers and ranchers.”
“Throughout the debate on tax reform, Senator John Hoeven has worked tirelessly to ensure that farmers and their co-ops were treated fairly. In particular, the Senator recognized early on that the elimination of the Section 199 deduction threatened to raise the tax burden of many producers and cooperatives. The provisions that he and Senator John Thune were able to secure in the bill will, we believe, keep money in the pockets of family farmers across the country at a time when low commodity prices mean that every penny counts. We strongly support this bill and thank Senator Hoeven for his leadership.”--Chuck Conner, President & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Tom Astrup, President and CEO of American Crystal Sugar Company, applauds Senator Hoeven for his hard work on behalf of family farmers. Senator Hoeven fought effectively to craft a good alternative to Section 199, the Domestic Production Activity Deduction, which is eliminated under the tax bill. We think the alternative will continue to provide important job creating incentives to rural America, which is extremely important given this challenging period for the farm economy.
“Senator Hoeven’s leadership in the tax reform debate means that CHS members—both farmers and local co-ops—will continue to be engines of economic activity in North Dakota and across the territory we serve. The Section 199 deduction helped to create jobs and broaden the tax base in many rural communities and the loss of the deduction would have had impacts far beyond agriculture. Senator Hoeven has prevented that scenario through his efforts to make the new tax code work for co-ops and their members. On behalf of CHS and our farmer-owners, I would like to thank him for being a champion of agriculture.” – Jay Debertin, President & CEO of CHS Inc.
“Land O’Lakes and our members thank Senator Hoeven today for his dedication to making the tax reform package work for family farmers and the co-ops they own. Senator Hoeven led the effort to ensure that eliminating the Section 199 deduction does not have the unintended consequence of raising taxes on producers during hard times across the countryside. The provisions included in the final package will offset the loss of this deduction, we believe, and help encourage job creation and growth across rural America.”--Chris Policinski, President & CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) worked to gather support for the Hoeven amendment in the House of Representatives, along with Congresswoman Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Mike Conaway (R-Texas). Other cosponsors of Hoeven’s amendment in the Senate included Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Tom Cotton (R-Texas) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
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December 19, 2017 at 12:53PM
By Mike Spieker
FARGO, N.D. – American Crystal Sugar Company held its annual shareholders meeting December 7th in Fargo. Tom Astrup, the co-op’s president and CEO said the projected initial gross beet payment for the 2017 crop is $46 per ton.
That projected payment is higher than last year’s final payment of $42.45 per ton, mainly because the sugar content of the 2017 crop was higher than that of 2016.
The 2016 sugarbeet crop yielded a record average of 30.4 tons per acres, with an average sugar content of 17.02 percent, stated a release by American Crystal. Better than forecasted sugar prices and good operating results in 2016, including lower operating costs combined to raise the final payment over estimates made earlier in the year. The total shareholder payments for the 2016 crop reached $500 million.
While the 2017 crop didn’t quite reach last year’s record, shareholders still produced a solid 30.2 tons per acre. What may be more important, however, was the higher sugar content of this year’s crop, which came in at 18.11 percent.
So Far, So Good
Despite the warmer than average temperatures in the Red River Valley, Astrup says the sugarbeets are storing nicely. “So far, the weather has been almost ideal,” he said. “We’ve had cool weather in late October and November. Now we are receiving our first shot of winter, which has allowed us to turn on the fans to freeze those beets down.”
Red River Valley sugarbeet growers produced an overall tonnage record for American Crystal in 2017, coming in at 12 million tons grown on 400,000 acres. That mark broke the previous record set in 2006 at 11.91 million ton grown on 500,000 acres.
Astrup says he expects the processing campaign to run until the end of May at a few of American Crystal’s factories.
By Mike Spieker
FARGO, N.D. – American Crystal Sugar Company held their annual shareholders meeting Thursday at the Fargo Holiday Inn. Tom Astrup, president and CEO of American Crystal announced the expansion of the company’s Drayton, N.D factory.
The project is expected to increase the factory’s output by 30% and increase output five to seven percent companywide. American Crystal spent between $20 million and $25 million on the expansion during the summer of 2017. The estimated total of the four-year project is estimated to be around $100 million.
In 2017, American Crystal shareholders produced a record 12 million ton crop on just 400,000 acres – 100,000 less than 10 years ago. With the higher yields, American Crystal is looking to “take advantage of the yield increases” by increasing their processing capacity, says Astrup.
“It probably doesn’t mean there will be more acres of sugarbeets,” said Astrup on the expansion at the Drayton factory. “What is probably means is if yields continue to increase, acres won’t decline as much as they have in the past.”
Of the company’s five plants, Astrup explains why Drayton was selected for the expansion – “It’s economics,” he said. “We have more beets grown in the Drayton factory district than we can process there.” As a result, excess sugarbeets are trucked south to other factories for processing. The Drayton expansion will significantly reduce those freight costs.
Before the expansion, Drayton averaged a 6,900 ton/day capacity. When completed, the factory is expected to be operated at 9,000 ton/day.
The theme of American Crystal Sugar Company's 2017 annual meeting was "We Grow." This video was featured during the annual meeting last week in Fargo.
Younggren re-elected to third term as Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association President
Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op of Wahpeton, North Dakota held its annual meeting this week at the Fargo Holiday Inn.
FARGO, N.D. — Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, N.D., notched its 45th annual meeting at the Fargo Holiday Inn, celebrating another big crop and payments at profitable levels.
Kurt Wickstrom, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative president and CEO, announced $32.50 per ton as an initial payment, "which we hope is conservative," he said. That's "not a great number" but a "pretty significant improvement" over last year, which was bedeviled by processing difficulties.
The co-op's 2017 crop averaged 32.3 tons per harvested acre, compared to 2016 at 32.4 tons. The company reduced planted acres by 17 percent and growers still were asked to leave 5 percent of their beets in the field unharvested.
Growers harvested 30.6 tons per planted acre (with non-harvested acres taken out). The initial payment is designed to produce $1,000 per acre in profits, which should help carry the load when corn and soybean prices are low, he said.
"Quite honestly, they need it," Wickstrom said, noting that grower costs have increased over the years.
Shareholders delivered 2.91 million tons, which is at the outer edge, at 17 percent sugar content, versus 15.7 percent in 2016, and purity at 89.4 percent compared to 88 percent in 2016. The co-op expects to process beets "right until the end of May" in 2018.
"The improvement in sugar content and quality is likely due to the intensive cercospora leaf spot management by growers," he said. The delivered sugar increased 1.25 percentage points because of better disease control. Most growers sprayed four or five times or more.
This is the second year Minn-Dak has exported beet pulp pellets to China as a source for that country's growing dairy industry. Wickstrom discussed a "necessity" to find co-op efficiencies and at the grower level, "assuming soft market prices going forward."
Wickstrom said the co-op over the next several months will ask growers whether they'd accept a system that would incentivize them to produce higher recoverable sugar per ton.
"We can only process so many tons of beets," Wickstrom said. Growers can affect that in various ways, including nutrient management, variety selection and disease control.
Brent Davison of Tintah, Minn., stepped aside after serving 14 years on the board, including the past five as chairman. Davison's father, Earl, had served as the second board chairman at Minn-Dak, which was the first of the beet sugar companies established as a farmer-owned cooperative. Davison, 67, said his most important accomplishment was helping the board select a changeover in management to Wickstrom. He said he decided to step aside prior to reaching his 15-year maximum to make way for younger leaders.
Davison said a changeover in the processing staff bodes well for the future. "With new hires, a new culture, a kind of a new attitude, I think we're on our way to bigger and better things," he said. He said the domestic sugar producers continue to battle with the Sugar Users Association and must defend their political situation.
Wickstrom said the Washington outlook is "confused" on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the farm bill. He said the co-op failed in an effort to preserve a pass-through deduction in the congressional tax reform package. The lost Section 1999 DPAD (Domestic Producer Activities Deduction) for cooperatives to pass through to members will cost the average 500-acre beet co-op shareholder $15,000. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., sponsored a measure that failed in the Senate, and the DPAD also failed in the House version.
Wickstrom said June 6, 2017, amendments "appear to be working" to stem the tide of sugar imports illegally flowing from Mexico under NAFTA. The amendments went into effect in October 2017.
American Crystal Sugar Co. of Moorhead, Minn., holds its annual meeting in Fargo on Thursday, in conjunction with the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.
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December 6, 2017 at 03:17PM
The MonDak Ag Research Summit was held November 15th at the Richland County Event Center in Sidney. Agricultural scientists and researchers from the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center, MSU Eastern Agricultural Research Center, and USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab presented current and past research results.
The presentations included management strategies that can save both dryland and irrigated growers time and money. The topics presented at the MonDak Ag Research Summit were Planting Fusarium Headlight Contaminated Seed, Effect of Seed Treatments for Control of Rhizoctonia Root Rot of Sugarbeets, Biological Control of the Wheat Stem Sawfly, Microbial Control of Wheat Stem Sawfly, Update on Invasive Weeds and Biocontrol, Soil Health in Diverse Dryland Cropping Systems, Irrigated Cropping Sequence with Sugarbeets and Soybeans, Pulse Crop Variety Performance, Small Grain Varieties for Irrigated Production, Small Grain Varieties for Dryland Production, High Tunnel Vegetable Production, and Grasshopper Outbreak Prediction.
Audrey Kalil, Plant Pathologist at the Williston Research Center, talked about the effects of planting Fusarium-infected seed in a field. Some solutions for increasing yields of infected crops are to clean seed, check germination rate, treat with fungicide, adjust planting population based on germination of seeds, or avoid planting Fusarium-infected seed with high levels of Deoxynivalenol (DON).
Frankie Crutcher, Plant Pathologist at the Eastern Agricultural Research Center, discussed the effects of Rhizoctonia Root Rot on Sugarbeets and the effects seed treatments have on the disease. Rhizoctonia Root Rot is a disease caused by a fungus and is one of the most damaging sugar beet diseases nationwide that is common in the MonDak area. Crutcher's research included effects of planting date, maturity on disease incidence, and severity of durum in Eastern Montana. She also displayed posters that showcased information/research about the development of a non-destructive pulse seed DNA extraction methodology for disease diagnostic and breeding applications.
Tatyana Rand, Research Entomologist a part of the Pest Management Research Unit at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab in Sidney, presented a PowerPoint on biological control of the wheat stem sawfly. The wheat stem sawfly is known to be one of the most destructive pests in wheat production in Montana. The pest is responsible for an annual loss of an estimated $25 to $30 million. Rand discussed research on wheat stem sawfly and how to implement and evaluate management tactics against the pest to decrease crop losses. She also presented a poster board about the effects of grassland habitats on wheat stem sawfly infestations and biological control.
Don Tanaka, retired ARS scientist, spoke about soil health in diverse dryland cropping systems of the northern Great Plains. Tanaka presented information on how to increase organic matter of the soil, increase biomass production, maintain good soil cover, and how to use appropriate water use to different crop types. By maintaining low soil disturbance, cropping systems such as no-till will help sustain a soil cover, which will increase soil health.
Research Leader and Research Agronomist a part of the Agricultural Systems Research Unit at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab, Bart Stevens discussed irrigated cropping sequence with sugarbeets and soybeans and sugarbeet response to tillage and nitrogen management. Stevens also presented a poster that included research of sugarbeet response to seed position relative to fertilizer band in a strip tillage system.
Chengci Chen, Superintendent and Cropping Systems Agronomist at the MSU Eastern Agricultural Research Center, presented the topic, Pulse Crop Variety Performance in Eastern Montana and also sugarbeet response to tillage and nitrogen management. Chen showcased a poster with Abdelaziz Nilahyane, Post Doc at the MSU Eastern Ag Research Center, about spring wheat and durum yield and quality improved by micronutrients.
Austin Link, Agronomy Research Specialist, and Tyler Tjelde, Irrigation Agronomist from the Williston Research Center talked about small cereal grain varieties for irrigated and dryland production. The talk included durum, wheat, oats, and barley. Link also presented a poster that included research about the effects of cropping sequence, ripping, and manure on pipeline reclamation in Western North Dakota.
Kyla Splichal Horticulture Research Specialist, at the Williston Research Center presented a talk on high tunnel vegetable production. High tunnels are unheated greenhouses that help producers lengthen their growing season so that they can increase profitability and productivity of their crop. Splichal performed a research project on a Rimol high tunnel for vegetable and cut flower research. The goal of the research is to inform growers when to plant, what pest management issues to expect, and to develop a communication center for North Dakota high tunnel growers. Splichal also presented a poster at the event with the topic "Hope Selections for North Dakota".
Research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab, David Branson discussed a grasshopper outbreak prediction and the understanding of grasshopper ecology at the event. Branson has been performing research on ways to prevent a grasshopper scourge by uncovering the ecology and biology underpinning grasshopper population surges. He is also researching ways to decrease the need for aerially sprayed pesticides that have been used to stop grasshopper outbreaks in the past.
During the event, lunch was served by the Meadowlark Brewing Company and sponsored by the Northern Pulse Growers Association. Throughout lunch, Brian Gion, Marketing Director of the Northern Pulse Growers Association (NPGA) talked about the 2017-2018 pulse updates on marketing and exporting of pulse crops. Dion also discussed how NPGA works as a trade association to increase pulse growers profitability through both international and domestic marketing, research, government relations, and education.
Producers from around the MonDak area that attended the event had opportunities to interact one-on-one with the local scientists and agronomists. Group discussions were held and local producers asked questions about their operation and about crop diseases. A total of 31 posters were showcased that contained information about current and past research projects performed by the agronomists. The event featured a collaboration of agricultural growers in the community that came together to familiarize themselves with the impact scientific research conducted at local research labs has on modern agriculture.
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December 6, 2017 at 09:17AM