Biofuels have become an integral part of the move to decarbonize many sectors of industry, including transportation. Biofuels are no longer grounded as demand for sustainable aviation fuel grows. Tom Verry with Clean Fuels Alliance America joins this podcast to talk about the potential for sustainable aviation fuel. 


Harvest is already well underway for some segments of Minnesota agriculture, including apple orchards. Minnesota has more than 100 commercial apple orchards that offer a wide range of varieties, many of which were developed to grow in Minnesota. Lynn Ketelsen takes us to an orchard near Fairmont.

Farm News

September 21, 2022
Limited corn and soybean harvest has begun across Minnesota. Recent hot, dry weather has hastened the maturation process for many early planted crops. The latest USDA crop progress report estimates about 1% of Minnesota's soybean crop has been harvested. A very small amount of corn acres have been harvested. About 7% of the state's sugarbeet crop has been harvested. 

Curt Burns with CB Agronomics says activity in South Central Minnesota is picking up. Silage chopping in the region has largely wrapped up and the warm, dry weather has pushed crops to maturity quite rapidly. Burns expects farmers to begin harvest of early maturing soybeans this week. Listen

Some cornfields in Southeastern Minnesota have been infected with tar spot. Van Larson with Agronomy Services Plus in Rochester says the disease is causing some standability issues, which could be problematic if fields receive high winds. Larson recommends that farmers scout their fields, especially those that have already turned brown. Listen

Dr. Dennis Todey, USDA Midwest Climate Hub director says there continue to be dry areas in the Midwest and conditions are likely to remain largely dry for the near future. Periodic rain is possible in the coming weeks, but Todey expects the dry pattern to continue, which should be favorable for harvest. Listen

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Brad Carlson says that even though fertilizer prices remain higher than long-term average, farmers shouldn't have an issue getting the nutrients they need. Most areas of the state have also had relatively normal growing conditions this year so nutrient uptake by crops has also been normal. Carlson says soil testing can help farmers determine what nutrients are left in the soil. That can be especially important in dry areas where crops may not have utilized as much fertilizer. 

Carlson also recommends that farmers wait until the soil is at or below 50 degrees before applying fertilizer. Listen

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Jim Salfer says environmental pressures and regulation in the European Union have resulted in cuts to dairy production in the region. That reduction is helping to support global milk prices. Salfer says Minnesota currently is the nation's sixth leading cheese producing state, producing about 6% of the total cheese supply. He says that sector has also experienced some modest growth in recent years. Listen

A tentative deal was reached last week to keep rail workers from several unions from walking off the job. However, union workers who were unhappy with working conditions have yet to ratify the deal which was reached last Thursday. Voting on the deal is expected to occur over the next several weeks. 

GreenSeam is bringing together business, community, and educational leaders from across the region to learn about workforce challenges and opportunities when incorporating and accommodating international students and graduates into their organizations. The event is being held October 6 at Pioneer Bank in Mankato. Find out more here.
Leaders from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) were in Washington D.C. last week meeting with congressional leaders. NPPC Vice President Lori Stevermer, who farms near Easton, says key issues included visas for foreign-born workers, funding for customs and border protection to keep foreign animal diseases out of the country. Stevermer says that issue is of particular concern since African Swine Fever (ASF) has been detected in the Dominican Republic. 

California's Proposition 12, which regulates how animals must be raised in order to sell pork products into California remains a major concern for pork producers. Stevermer says arguments in the case are scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in October. Listen

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Monday joined governors in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio to announce the launch of the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition (M-H2 Coalition). The coalition will accelerate the development of clean hydrogen, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

U.S. farmers’ and ranchers’ increasing dependence on off-farm employment and income reveals the growing economic interconnection of rural communities and surrounding cities. According to a study by researchers at the University of Missouri, 82% of U.S. farm household income now comes from off-farm sources. The study was commissioned by CoBank and completed in partnership with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.

Most farmers cited reliable income as the top reason for off-farm employment, as one-half of farm households have negative farm income in a typical year. Health and retirement benefits were also cited as keys reasons for off-farm jobs within farm households.

The Minnesota Beef Ambassador Program is a project of the Minnesota CattleWomen’s Association, with support funding from the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association and the Minnesota Beef Council. The  Beef Ambassadors promote the beef and agricultural industry to consumers as they develop leadership and communication skills as well as self-confidence. The program highlights the positive impact cattle farming has on our health, economy, and environment.

Zola Olson of Montevideo is the 2021-2022 Senior Lead ambassador. She says one of the biggest benefits of the program is the opportunity to talk to people agriculture. Listen

Applications can be found here and are due on Oct. 10, 2022. 

Lynn Ketelsen was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame on September 17. The induction recognizes Lynn's farm broadcasting career which has spanned more than 40 years. 

Upcoming Events

Oct. 2-7                World Dairy Expo, Madison WI
Oct. 6                    GreenSeam Global Workforce Opportunities event, Mankato
Oct. 12-14            U.S. Grains Council Export Exchange, Minneapolis
Dec. 1                    GreenSeam Rural Forum, Mankato

Farm Fun Fact

September is National Chicken Month, established in September 1989. The National Chicken Council, non-profit trade association whose primary purpose is to serve as the advocate and voice for the U.S. broiler chicken industry, banded together with major chicken producers in the U.S. to promote chicken sales in the month of September.

There are around 25 billion chickens in the world, making them the most abundant bird species. According to the National Chicken Council, chicken is the most consumed meat in the U.S. 


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