For more than 30 years, educational and candidate forums have drawn thousands of visitors to Farmfest. Planning for the forums begins long before the event takes place. Farmfest forum coordinator Kent Thiesse joins this episode of the Field Talk Podcast to talk about the process and highlight what's happening at Farmfest 2022.


Educational and candidate forums are a big part of what Farmfest is all about. Because 2022 is an election year, candidates for U.S. Congress and Minnesota governor will be on stage at Farmfest to help give visitors a better idea of their positions on key ag and rural issues. Lynn Ketelsen has more in this week's LFN video. 


Farm News

July 20, 2022
Minnesota Ag Commissioner Thom Peterson and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Vice President Darin Johnson are participating in a trade mission to the Philippines this week. USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley is leading the delegation of representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations to Manila. The Philippines is the eighth-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, averaging $3.1 billion annually during the last five years..

Dozens of Minnesota farmer leaders, researchers and industry representatives are in Brainerd for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council Future of Soybeans event. The gathering is intended to identify future opportunities for soybeans and soy products. MSRPC Vice Chair Tom Frisch from Dumont says the organization is the organization is being proactive. Listen

Clean Fuels Alliance America (CFAA) has written to President Joe Biden and other administration officials to highlight the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry’s contribution to job growth in the clean energy sector. 

The recent United States Energy & Employment Report 2022 shows that the clean fuels industry added jobs in 2021 at a rate of 6.7% and anticipates continued job growth of 5.8% in manufacturing during 2022. Additionally, a recent study from the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Service showing that U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generated a 4 percent decrease in the price of diesel fuel in 2021 – a saving of $0.22 a gallon at current fuel prices.

Clean Fuels' Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik said that "America's biodiesel and renewable diesel producers and their partners in the agriculture sector are making investments to expand production and meet consumer demand for better, cleaner fuels. Our efforts are paying dividends today in emission reductions, savings at the pump, and new jobs and economic growth. We encourage the administration to continue its strong support for homegrown solutions to our economic and environmental challenges."

Jackson County farmer Chris Hill is on the CFAA governing board. He says renewing tax credits for biodiesel producers is a key issue for CFAA. Listen

Minnesota's crop conditions remain slightly behind the five year average according to the USDA's latest crop report. However, warm weather has allowed most crops to catch up. According to the latest report, 18% of the state's corn crop is silking, 2% is at the dough stage, while 68% of the crop is rated as good to excellent. Soybeans are rated at 62% good to excellent with 46% blooming and 10% setting pods. Spring wheat is listed as 71% good to excellent with 71% of the state's crop currently headed. 
Farm groups across the country are applauding the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) announcement that it has rejected imposing final duties on urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. Fertilizer prices have skyrocketed in the past year, including for UAN. A key factor in the price increase is the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. These two countries are important crop and energy producers, as well as producers of fertilizers and fertilizer input products—including natural gas for UAN. Ag groups had asked ITC to take into consideration that price pressure experienced by commodity farmers has cascading effects that reverberate through the farm economy. 

Incoming National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Harold Wolle from Madelia says the decision not to impose additional duties was a welcome decision. Listen

Plato, Minnesota farmer Brian Thalmann has been re-elected to another two year term on the National Corn Growers Association. Thalmann was first elected to the NCGA in 2020. He said his top priorities during a second term will be adding value to corn, highlighting the environmental successes of corn and corn farmers and building upon the grassroots work of state grower associations. Listen

The inaugural North Star Ag Expo takes place at the Ritchie Bros. Auction site near Medford, July 26-28. The show opens at 9 a.m. each day. Activities on Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27 will include Linder Farm Network seminars. 

The University of Minnesota will be offering an Advanced Nitrogen Smart session. “A Deep Dive Into the 4Rs,” will be held in conjunction with the North Star Ag Expo on Tuesday, July 26, 1-4 pm.

A full schedule of events can be found here. 

Corn and sorghum growers are making the case that newly proposed restrictions on atrazine use will lead to their practicing less conservation tillage, resulting in reduced carbon sequestration at a time American agriculture is trying to make inroads in the fight against climate change.

In late June, the Environmental Protection Agency issued proposed revisions to its 2020 interim decision that would require farmers who grow field corn, sweet corn and sorghum to implement conservation practices on their fields in order to continue applying the widely used herbicide. 

Allison Crittenden, Director of Government Affairs for the American Farm Bureau says if the proposal becomes the rule, about 65 million acres of production could be impacted. Listen

Upcoming Events

July 19-21:          Future of Soybeans, Brainerd
July 20-21:          U of M Field School for Ag Professionals, St. Paul campus
July 26-28:          North Star Ag Expo, Owatonna
Aug. 2-4:              Farmfest, Redwood Falls
Aug. 25-Sept. 5   Minnesota State Fair

Farm Fun Fact

The first Farmfest was held in September of 1972 at Vernon Center and included the 19th Annual World Ploughing Contest. President Richard Nixon even signed a proclamation encouraging U.S. and foreign citizens to attend!


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