Minnesota boasts a broad diversity of agricultural resources from rich soils to innovative businesses and entrepreneurs in the food and ag sector. GreenSeam strives to harness the strengths of the region to grow future opportunities. In this week's Field Talk podcast, GreenSeam Executive Director Sam Ziegler joins to discuss GreenSeam's mission and to highlight the upcoming State of Agriculture report.


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
YouTube YouTube


Check out the latest LFN video by clicking the link below. This week's feature addresses GreenSeam's State of Agriculture report.  

Farm News

March 2, 2022
Repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine are being felt around the world on a humanitarian and geopolitical level. Commodity markets are also demonstrating volatility since the invasion. Ron McDaniel with Abbott Futures says about 80% of the world's sunflowers, 30% of the wheat and 19% of corn exports come out of the Black Sea region. McDaniel expects the volatility to remain, especially as the confrontation continues. Listen

Jim Emter, Van Ahn and Company says some grain markets are showing wide spreads between current prices and futures contracts. Emter says Chicago wheat prices for May 2022 were up 75 cents, while futures prices for May 2023 were down more than 70 cents. Listen

Soybean and corn growers associations from several states, including the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA), have filed two separate petitions asking a federal appeals court to set aside EPA's revised greenhouse gas emissions standards. The groups are opposed to regulatory action they say is attempting to mandate a single technology to reduce emissions.

MSGA Executive Director Joe Smentek says the greenhouse gas tailpipe standards are designed to push electric vehicles. He says  biofuels including biodiesel and renewable diesel can help meet emissions standards but aren't being considered. Smentek says states like California and Oregon are currently using biofuels to meet their low carbon fuel standards. Listen

A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to move the state's ethanol fuel standard to E15. MCGA Director Richard Syverson says the Corn Growers are working with retailers to address concerns they may have. Currently over 410 stations in Minnesota have E15, also known as Unleaded 88, available at the pumps. Syverson says current events around the globe reinforce the need for the energy independence fuels like ethanol can provide. Listen

The House Ways and Means Committee has approved a $10 million-dollar drought relief package for Minnesota farmers.

The measure includes $5 million in grants and financial assistance for livestock farmers and specialty crop producers harmed by the drought of 2021. There’s also $5 million for the the Rural Finance Authority’s revolving loan account targeted toward drought relief.  

A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been discovered in a backyard bird flock in Pottawattamie County in southwestern Iowa. Dr. Dale Lauer with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health says the virus moves with migratory birds that are returning via their normal flyways. He says farmers should assume that wild migratory birds are carrying the virus. He says poultry producers should be on high alert and to watch for more than dying birds. Drops in water and feed consumption can be signs of an issue. Listen
Agriculture leaders from across the country and around the world will descend on New Orleans next week for Commodity Classic. The Linder Farm Network will report from New Orleans next week.

Commodity Classic is a joint effort of the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. 

Spring crop insurance guarantees set new records for soybeans and wheat for the 2022 season, and corn guarantees are the highest since 2011. The corn projected price is $5.90 per bushel, while soybeans are $14.33 per bushel and spring wheat $9.19 per bushel. Those projected prices are one of the top components in how crop insurance is priced. Higher prices mean stronger coverage, but it also carries a higher premium.

Farm analyst Kent Thiesse says crop insurance premiums will be higher, but he says farmers should look beyond the premium cost and consider what they're protecting. Listen

The production of Minnesota’s field and miscellaneous crops was valued at $14.1 billion in 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Crop Values 2021 Summary. This was up 14 percent from 2020. 

The value of corn for grain production totaled $7.47 billion, up 15 percent from the previous year. Minnesota’s corn price averaged $5.35 per bushel, 83 cents above the last marketing year. 

The value of soybean production was $4.67 billion, up 15 percent from 2020. The average price increased $2.10 from the previous year to $13.10 per bushel.

The annual State of Agriculture report generated by GreenSeam will be released March 22, which is also National Ag Day. GreenSeam collects survey data and conducts focus groups to identify challenges and opportunities for the state's agriculture and food sector. The report reveals the perceptions and opinions on the economy and other major issues impacting businesses in the agriculture industry and places an emphasis on education, as well as talent attraction and retention. To learn more about GreenSeam and to sign up for a monthly newsletter, visit www.greenseam.org. 

Linder Farm Network listeners have until April 1 to sign up for this summer's lister tour to Northern California. The trip runs June 19-26. Click here to learn more!

Ketelsen Comments

It’s time our leaders in Washington wake up and deal with the real problems our country is facing.  We hear over and over how we need to spend trillions of dollars on climate change, and yet the U.S. has done more than any other country to promote a clean environment. Yet the decisions made in the name of climate have had a huge negative impact on energy production here at home, caused unprecedented inflation and put us at the mercy of Russia, instead of being energy independent.  It simply makes no sense.

 Recently, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has talked about his major goals as Secretary, and at the top of the list is climate change, followed by his new equity commission making services available regardless of race or gender, national origin, sexual orientation or geography at USDA, and finally talking about corporate greed without any evidence that is it happening. The goal seems to blame everyone else for inflation and supply chain issues instead of taking responsibility and solving the problems.

What is that accomplishing? Nothing.

What should be done?

First, find out the root causes of supply chain issues.  We’ve been told only union truckers can haul from the California ports, if that is the case, it needs to be changed immediately.

Second, get the container ships organized and get them unloaded.  This can’t be that tough, get it done

Third, our energy policy must include our own oil, ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, solar, coal, wind and electricity.  It's not one vs. the other, it should be all combined.

Fourth, get the Keystone pipeline completed, and open up the other pipelines that have been shut down.  Canada has huge oil supplies, would you rather buy from them or Russia?

Fifth, help farmers farm instead of making it more difficult with more taxes and rules and regulations. We are supposed to have a Secretary of Agriculture, where are farmers in that equation?

It’s time to take a step back and get our country moving, tackle inflation and energy issues that impact everyone, and deal with real world problems of today. The message should be loud and clear, and recent events certainly point to the need to get things done.

Lynn Ketelsen

Upcoming Events

March 3:                   Nitrogen Smart training, Red Baron Arena, Marshall
March 7:                   Nitrogen Smart training, Library, Cambridge
March 8-12:             Commodity Classic, New Orleans
March 16:                 Regional Trade School, Alexandria
March 17-19:            North American Farm & Power Show, Owatonna
March 22:                 National Ag Day
March 23-24:           AURI New Uses Forum, Minneapolis

Farm Fun Fact

In homage to New Orleans hosting Commodity Classic next week, here's a Big Easy fun fact. Because of the city's low sea level location  massive pumps and canals drain the city, as annual rainfall can be between 60" and 100".