Soil productivity and health is something most farmers strive for each year. The annual Soil Management Summit brings together researchers, farmers and industry experts who are interested in learning more about improving soil health. University of Minnesota Extension Educator Jodi Dejong-Hughes joins this Field Talk Podcast to talk about the Summit and soil health. 


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Farm News

November 9, 2022
Gov. Tim Walz was re-elected to the state's top post defeating challenger Dr. Scott Jensen.  Gov. Walz is scheduled to give a state of the state of agriculture address Nov. 10 at the Minnesota Ag & Food Summit, hosted by AgriGrowth at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Linder Farm Network will have reports from the Ag & Food Summit.

Minnesota's current congressional delegation was all re-elected as well. Brad Finstad, Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach and Pete Stauber will all return to Washington D.C. Craig, Finstad and Fischbach all serve on the House Agriculture Committee.

With party control of the U.S. House of Representatives still undetermined pending the results of several races, the ranking GOP member of the House Ag Committee doesn't want an extension to the current Farm Bill when it expires in 2023. Con. Glenn "GT" Thompson could be the next committee chair. He says the committee needs to get their work done on a new Farm Bill that would provide certainty to both farmers and lenders. 

The supply of diesel fuel has become problematic in some areas of the country. In addition to continuing high cost for diesel, Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition says the tight stocks in some areas comes at an inopportune time. Listen

Ag industry leaders are urging Congress to take swift action to avoid a potential rail strike or lockout that would significantly harm the U.S. agricultural supply chain and devastate the economy. More than 190 organizations, all part of the Agricultural Transportation Working Group have signed onto a letter to House and Senate leadership, highlighting how a rail shutdown would cause further damage to the supply chain, especially while waterways remain strained

The administration successfully helped mitigate a tentative agreement between the National Railway Labor Conference and 12 unions in September, preventing a potential strike or lockout. Each union is required to have its membership ratify the deal. If even one union does not reach a labor agreement, it is possible that all 12 unions will strike in solidarity. Railroads and the labor unions representing rail workers have until Nov. 19 to reconcile their differences and agree on a new labor contract. So far, members of four unions continue to review the agreement—following two unions that have voted to not ratify and causing concern that others will follow suit and cause a shutdown of the entire freight rail system.

Minnesota's corn and soybean harvest are essentially complete. While a few corn fields remain standing and some tillage has yet to be completed,  field work has wrapped up in most areas of Minnesota, bringing the challenging 2022 growing season to a close. 

Some badly needed rainfall developed over Minnesota on Tuesday. Showers are expected to last through Wednesday and into Thursday. Portions of northwestern Minnesota could get some measurable snow as cold air pours in for Veterans Day. Cold conditions are expected to remain until Thanksgiving. 
Families can expect their holiday turkeys to be more expensive than ever this year due to the combination of inflation and avian influenza. The price of uncooked poultry, including turkey, was up 17% in September from the same time last year, according to the Consumer Price Index. 

Dr. Michael Boland, a professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences says increases are a result of labor issues, energy costs and losses from  avian influenza. Listen

The State of Minnesota is receiving $15 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to establish a revolving loan program that will support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors. The new Meat and Poultry Revolving Loan Fund will be available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Rural Finance Authority. The fund will offer low-interest loans for the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter and value-added meat and poultry processing. Loans of up to $10 million will be available at a 3% fixed interest rate with a term of up to 10 years. Funds can be used to purchase land or equipment, cover start-up costs, and make other business investments.  Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says the MDA and others are working to improve the state's small meat processing capacity. Listen

Second Harvest Heartland has received a donation of 9,000 pounds of ground pork from Minnesota Pork and Compeer Financial. Pam Voelkel, director of events and promotions at Minnesota Pork says the donation comes at a critical time, especially given the rising cost of food. Listen

Agricultural export value was up in fiscal year 2022 compared to fiscal year 2021, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Economist Dylan Russell. Russell says China, Mexico and Canada were the top U.S. trading partners. Despite a 14% increase in export value, the value of imports coming into the U.S. also climbed. Listen

Landlords, farmers and agri-business professionals can attend one of the upcoming free land rent meetings hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension.

Farmland rental rates are the largest input cost the farmer has, and determining a fair farm rent agreement is always challenging. Extension ag business management educators David Bau and Nathan Hulinsky will help attendees determine a farmland rental rate that is fair for both the farmer and the renter.

Sessions will review local historic and projected farmland rental rate trends, current farmland values and sales, determining a fair rental agreement, input costs for 2022 and more.
The meetings will be held from Nov. 3, 2022, to Feb. 9, 2023. View the complete schedule here. 

The 39th annual GreenSeam Rural Forum is scheduled for Thursday, December 1, 2022 at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato. This event connects public leaders and a wide range of attendees from the agricultural sector, such as producers, manufacturers, educators, researchers, and more.

Rural Forum presents a great opportunity for conversations about key issues facing the rural economy, as well as brainstorming potential solutions. Keynote speakers include Ariel Delouya,
Consul General of Canada and Ivan Sierra
Head Consul of Mexico. 

More information on the Rural Forum is available here

Upcoming Events

Nov. 10               MN AgriGrowth Council 2022 Minnesota Ag & Food Summit, Minneapolis
Nov. 11                Veterans Day
Nov. 17-19          Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting, Bloomington
Nov. 18-20         Minnesota Farmers Union State Convention, Minneapolis
Dec. 1                   GreenSeam Rural Forum, Mankato
Dec. 9-10            Minnesota Cattle Industry Convention, Willmar
Dec. 15-16           Soil Management Summit, St. Cloud

Farm Fun Fact

According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, in 2017, the United States had 370,619 producers who had served or are serving in the military, accounting for 11% of the country’s 3.4 million producers. Individuals with military service make up 6.9% of the overall U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Seventeen percent of all farms have a producer who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. To all our veterans, thank you for your service.