Maintaining global demand for Minnesota-grown agricultural commodities is an ongoing challenge. Minnesota soybean farmers help themselves through the investment of checkoff dollars into the development of new uses and new markets for soy products. Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council director Rochelle Krusemark joins this Field Talk podcast to discuss some of the organization's recent activities. 


Cool, wet conditions are keeping many Minnesota farmers from getting started on their spring planting. This University of Minnesota agronomy podcast features Drs. Jeff Coulter and Seth Naeve addressing concerns with corn and soybean planting. 

Farm News

April 26, 2023

Conferees will begin meeting soon to hammer out differences between the agriculture funding and policy bills passed by the Minnesota House and Senate. The House passed their version last week. The Senate passed their version the week prior. Conferees include Senate Ag Committee Chair Aric Putnam, Vice Chair Sen. Rob Kupec, Sen. Torrey Westrom, House Ag Committee Samantha Vang, Vice Chair Rep. Kristi Pursell and Rep. Paul Anderson. 

Among the key measures in each bill is money for a grain indemnity fund, meat processing, biofuels infrastructure and more. Sen. Putnam says the two versions of the bill aren't far apart, so he expects a collaborative process to reach a final draft. Listen

House Ag Committee Chair Samantha Vang says the House bill makes a lot of direct investments in agriculture. Listen

Rep. Paul Anderson, one of two Republican members on the conference committee agrees that financial difference should be fairly easy to work out, but some of the policy issues, including proposed changes to the Board of Animal Health may be more problematic. Listen

The Linder Farm Network broadcast from the Minnesota State Capitol this week with Minnesota Farmers Union President Gary Wertish serving as farm broadcaster for the day. We were able to sit down the Governor Tim Walz to discuss his agriculture priorities. Gov. Walz says the grain indemnity fund, support for meat processing and biofuels infrastructure are among the positive investments taking place in the ag bills. Gov. Walz also said his support for increasing access to electric vehicle use in Minnesota shouldn't be construed as a knock on the importance of biofuels to the state. Listen

State and Windom city officials and policymakers met this week to consider options for the HyLife Foods Windom, LLC pork production plant. Just over two weeks ago the company notified state officials the plant will permanently close in June if a new buyer is not found. The meeting included Representatives with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. The organizations say they are working to HyLife to help secure a new buyer for the facility, placing an emphasis on housing and infrastructure needs. Support for the nearly 1,000 plant workers remains a focus. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson says it's important to employees and farmers in the region to keep the plant open. Listen

According to MDA, following the meeting, Windom Mayor Dominic Jones spoke to a representative of the HyLife facility, and the company reiterated their position of actively working toward selling the facility and continuing to operate production for the immediate future.

Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Tom Emmer recently held Farm Bill listening sessions in Minnesota as Congress works on writing the 2023 Farm Bill. Sen. Klobuchar was joined by ranking Senate Ag Committee member Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas. Minnesota Farm Bureau President Dan Glessing says he's optimistic the 2023 Farm Bill can cross the finish line because the current bill has been working well for many farmers. Listen

Thousands of Minnesota FFA members participated in the 94th annual FFA convention, which concluded Tuesday. Among the multitude of activities during the convention was the election of new state officers. The new slate of state officers includes:. 
President - Katelyn Ketchum, Lewiston-Altura 
Vice President - Tyler Ratka, ROCORI
Secretary - Alison Murrell, Braham 
Treasurer - Mason Grams, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 
Reporter - Miriana Eiden, Buffalo
Sentinel - Mackenzie Kuschel, Sebeka 

The top three premier FFA chapters in Minnesota were also recognized. The chapters have spent the past year working on projects, furthering their education and carrying out community service. The top three premier chapters were:

First place, Rockford High.
Second place, Rockford Middle.
Third place, Sleepy Eye.

Last year it was low water concerns, now high water due to spring flooding is causing concerns with Mississippi River shipping. Soy Transportation Coalition Executive Director Mike Steenhoek says high water levels could impact the movement of fertilizer up the river. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says some monitoring stations along the Mississippi River could see record high levels. Listen

Corn and soybean planting progress is ahead of the five-year average, according to the USDA's latest crop progress report. However, planting in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin remains minimal. About 1% of Minnesota's corn crop is planted and less than 1% of beans are in the ground.

Spring planting remains on hold for many areas of Minnsota due to cold, wet conditions and unfit soil. University of Minnesota Extension Corn Agronomist Jeff Coulter says that soil temperatures remain cold, but a big consideration for farmers is soil condition. Coulter says that farmers are concerned they'll end up planting late due to the weather. Coulter says that because of the late spring, the window of opportunity for achieving good corn yields may be open longer than normal. Listen 

University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist Seth Naeve says farmers need to consider the risks and rewards of early planted soybeans. Naeve says the reason for planting soybeans early this year may come down to which fields are fit for planting. Listen

Sue Martin with Ag and Investment Services in Clarion, Iowa says some parts of Iowa may need to replant corn that was planted early. Martin says corn planted during a warm spell several weeks ago got off to a good start but has since struggled due to cold conditions. Listen

New data released this week by USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the number of U.S. farms continues to decline. After peaking at 6.8 million farms in 1935, the number of U.S. farms and ranches fell sharply through the early 1970s. Since 1982, the number of U.S. farms has continued to decline, but much more slowly. In 2022, there were 2.0 million U.S. farms, down from 2.2 million in 2007. Similarly, the acres of land in farms continue a downward trend with 893 million acres in 2022, down from 915 million acres ten years earlier. 

Upcoming Events

April 28           Arbor Day

May 20             Martin County Breakfast on the Farm, Fairmont

May 23-25        U.S. Meat Export Federation Spring Conference, Minneapolis

Farm Fun Fact

Baseball season is in full swing and it just wouldn't be the same sport without wool. Every baseball has about 150 yards of wool wrapped in its core.


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