November 23, 2022
RAIL STRIKE REMAINS POSSIBLE
Four freight rail unions representing nearly 60,000 workers have voted down a five-year labor agreement brokered in September. The latest rejection came this week when the largest of the 12 unions voting on the agreement. Eight of the 12 unions have voted to approve the labor agreement, but the unions that have approved the deal also agreed to show solidarity and not cross picket lines if the other unions chose to strike. A potential strike could happen as soon as early December. An estimated $2 billion of goods are moved by rail every day, so any disruptions would have a major impact on the economy, especially agriculture.
Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition says most ag groups want the two sides to work out an agreement without government intervention. However, if that's not possible, Congressional intercession may be necessary to prevent a catastrophic shutdown. Listen
SPOTLIGHT ON TURKEY
Turkey is a focal point for many Thanksgiving dinners across the country, but the turkey industry is a vital part of Minnesota's ag economy every day. Minnesota remains the nation's leading turkey producing state. Growers raise about 46 million turkeys annually, which is approximately the same number of turkeys consumed on Thanksgiving. Minnesota Turkey Executive Director Ashley Kohls says feed availability is one big reason Minnesota is such a large turkey producing state. She says turkey growers feed about $108 million in corn and $146 million of soybean meal each year. The industry also has a far reaching economic impact. Listen
AVIAN INFLUENZA LINGERS
Minnesota poultry producers continue to monitor the risk of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Another case was identified last week in an Otter Tail County commercial flock. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says farmers have done a good job with biosecurity, there is plenty of turkey available for consumers and turkey products are safe to eat. Petersen says the ongoing threat of avian influenza does take a toll on producers. Listen
THANKSGIVING DINNER COSTS
The Farm Bureau Marketbasket survey shows the annual Thanksgiving dinner will cost about 20 percent more than last year. The cost for 10 people amounted to about $64.05 which is about $10.74 higher than a year ago. According to the Farm Bureau, the farmer's share is about 16 cents on the dollar, according to USDA data. American Farm Bureau Economist Veronica Nigh says only a small percentage of what we spend in the grocery store is attributable to the cost of production. Listen
STATE FAIR CEO TO RETIRE
Jerry Hammer will retire as the Minnesota State Fair CEO in the spring of 2023. Hammer has worked at the fair for 53 years, including 26 years as CEO. He's. the longest-serving CEO in the fair’s 169-year history.
FARM BUREAU CONVENTION
The Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) held their annual meeting over the weekend. MFBF President Dan Glessing, a farmer from Waverly, says issues like taxes and inflation are on the minds of farmers. He says that with the current cost of inputs, farmers will need high commodity prices in order to stay profitable. Listen
Cottonwood farmer and MFBF Vice President Carolyn Olson says with the elections now past, MFBF members will work to meet with lawmakers especially since most do not have a background in agriculture. Listen
FARMERS UNION CONVENTION
The Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) also held their annual convention this weekend. MFU Executive Director Gary Wertish says key issues the organization is working on include the new Farm Bill, renewable fuels and emerging carbon market opportunities. Wertish says health care costs are another issue that is putting pressure on Minnesotans. Listen
Senator Tina Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, spoke at the MFU convention. As work begins on crafting a 2023 Farm Bill, Sen. Smith says lawmakers need to make certain that core programs in the are working as they should. Listen
CORN GROWERS CONNECT WITH NEW LEADERSHIP
National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag, a farmer from Eden Valley, says the NCGA will be working on efforts to connect with new agriculture committee members in Congress now that the elections are over. With Democrats maintaining Senate control, ag committee leadership will likely remain the same. Republicans will control the House, so new leadership will be in place. Listen
SOIL MANAGEMENT SUMMIT
The annual Soil Management Summit will take place December 15-16 in St. Cloud. University of Minnesota Extension Educator Jodi Dejong-Hughes says the goal of the summit is to help farmers learn how to maker their soil more productive and resilient. She says the Summit is particularly valuable for farmers who are newer to practices designed to improve soil health. Listen
COMMODITY CLASSIC REGISTRATION OPENS
Registration for Commodity Classic 2023 in Orlando is now open. The event takes place March 9-11. Redwood County farmer and American Soybean Association director George Goblish is co-chair for the event. Commodity Classic is the gathers for national corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum associations as well as the equipment manufacturers. The event continues to grow and Goblish says there's something for everyone. Listen
LFN LISTENER TOUR
The Linder Farm Network is once again partnering with Holiday Vacations to offer an exciting trip to the Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rockies. Join Dan Lemke and his wife Jackie on this once in a lifetime excursion July 15-24. Click on the photo below for more information.
Dec. 1 GreenSeam Rural Forum, Mankato
Dec. 9-10 Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention, Willmar
Dec. 15-16 Soil Management Summit, St. Cloud
The world's heaviest turkey tipped the scales at 86 pounds. The ironically named Tyson, was verified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1989. Tyson won a competition in the United Kingdom and was later auctioned for charity.