Farmers across the country are dealing with rising input costs, including fertilizer. Jason Troendle with The Fertilizer Institute joins this Field Talk podcastto discuss the current situation and what famers can expect for 2023. 


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Farm News

January 18, 2023

The MN Ag Expo kicked off in Mankato today with a trade show, speakers, breakout sessions and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association annual meeting. More than 800 farmers and agribusiness members had pre-registered for the two day event.

The MN Ag Expo resumes Thursday with the Minnesota Soybean Growers annual meeting, the trade show, breakout sessions, and an afternoon panel on the farm bill. 

Governor Tim Walz addressed the crowd at the MN Ag Expo before meeting privately with farmer leaders. 
The Governor discussed the upcoming state ag budget as well as biofuels. Gov. Walz says the state budget surplus will provide the opportunity to reduce taxes, make investments in infrastructure and, step up the ag to school credit. Listen

The Governor's full address can be heard here. Listen

The Governor is expected to roll out his proposed budget in the coming days. Minnesota Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen says the state ag budget is a very small percentage compared to the impact agriculture has on the economy. Listen

Last week, Gov. Walz signed the first bill of the 2023 session as lawmakers had unanimously passed tax conformity legislation to simplify tax filing. The bill brings Minnesota’s tax code into conformity with federal tax rules. Officials said the legislation needed to be signed into law by last Friday so that tax forms and software could be updated in time for the filing season.

Minnesota Senator Torrey Westrom of Alexandria was awarded Minnesota Corn's Friend of Agriculture at the MN Ag Expo. Sen. Westrom is ranking minority member on the Senate Agriculture, Broadband and Rural Development Finance committee. Westrom has previously served as chair of the Senate Ag Committee. Westrom is in his fourth term in the Senate. 

Minnesota has landed three representatives on the U.S. House agriculture committee; Con. Michelle Fischbach,  Con. Brad Finstad and Con. Angie Craig.

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) director Harold Wolle of Madelia says priority issues for the coming year include work on a new farm bill, higher blends of ethanol and trade, including resolving Mexico's proposed ban on imports of GMO corn. Listen

Production for both corn and soybeans declined from last year, according to the 2022 Crop Production Annual Summary released late last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

U.S. corn growers produced 13.7 billion bushels, down 9% from 2021. Corn yield in the United States is estimated at 173.3 bushels per acre, 3.4 bushels below the 2021 record high yield of 176.7 bushels per acre. Area harvested for grain, at 79.2 million acres, is down 7% from 2021.

Soybean production for 2022 totaled 4.28 billion bushels, down 4% from 2021. The average soybean yield is estimated at 49.5 bushels per acre, 2.2 bushels below 2021, and 0.7 bushel below the Nov. 1 forecast.

Corn for grain production in Minnesota for 2022 was estimated at 1.46 billion bushels, according to NASS. Current year production was up 5 percent from the previous year's 1.39 billion bushels. Minnesota's corn for grain yield was estimated at 195.0 bushels per acre. Area harvested for grain was estimated at 7.49 million acres, 

Soybean production was estimated at 370 million bushels in 2022. This was up 4 percent from last year's 356 million bushels. The Minnesota soybean crop yielded 50.0 bushels per acre in 2022. The harvested acreage of 7.39 million was down 190,000 acres from 2021. Soybean planted acreage, at 7.45 million, was down 200,000 acres from 2021.

Tar spot of corn is becoming increasingly problematic for Minnesota corn farmers. The disease has been most prevalent in southeastern Minnesota, but cases have developed elsewhere in the state. University of Minnesota Plant Pathologist spoke on tar spot at the Winter Crops Day at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca. Malvick says there is still some mystery in how tar spot moves. For farmers with concerns about the disease, Malvick says variety selection and fungicides are the best approach. Listen

The snowy winter has put a bit of a dent in the drought that began in 2022, according to Minnesota Assistant State Climatologist Pete Boulay. So far the peak of the Drought of 2022-23 was in November, 2022. There’s been gradual improvement since then. The U. S. Drought Monitor map released on January 10, 2022 depicts 31% of the state free of drought designation. About 32% of the state was Abnormally Dry, and 30% of the state in Moderate Drought conditions, and 6.5% in Severe Drought conditions. More information is available in the HydroClim newsletter by clicking here

The U.S. remains under the influence of a La Nina weather pattern, which typically means colder weather for the Midwest. While some analysts are predicting a gradual shift to the warmer, wetter El Nino pattern by spring, Shawn Hackett of Hackett Advisors is less optimistic. He's concerned that dry conditions could again be the rule for the upcoming growing season. Listen

About 800 people gathered in Bloomington this weekend for the annual Minnesota Federation of County Fairs (MFCF) Convention. The MFCF promotes the interests of county and district fairs throughout Minnesota encourages all agriculture.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 18-19          MN Ag Expo, Mankat0

Feb. 7                 Nitrogen Conference, Mankato

Feb. 7                 Women in Ag Network Conference, Willmar

Feb. 21-22          Minnesota Pork Congress, Mankato

Mar. 9-11            Commodity Classic, Orlando

Farm Fun Fact

Even though Minnesota has 87 counties, there are 90 county fairs. There are a handful of counties in Minnesota with more than one county fair, due in large part to county size and the proximity of the county seat to the rest of the county. Lac qui Parle County is the only county to hold its fair after the Minnesota State Fair.