Farm Forum The Green Sheet: Where we grow. Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:36:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Retired rancher doesn’t let age slow him down Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:36:06 +0000 http://ffimp-20302083 By Erin Ballard

For John Zilverberg, age truly is just a number.

The 104-year-old stays active in many disciplines, including participating in sports and keeping up with the news.

Ask him how he’s made it more than a century with his relative health in tact and he’ll just laugh.

“I don’t have any big secrets. Don’t abuse yourself too much,” he said on Jan. 17 in his apartment at Primrose Retirement Communities of Aberdeen. “I’ve been pretty lucky, no serious accidents.”

Zilverberg moved into the complex at the end of November, but it didn’t change much about his lifestyle. Upon arrival, he realized there was no pool table. That would quickly change.

“They said I could bring it in,” he said of moving the table into the second floor of the building. “Whenever I get the chance to play pool, I do.”

Even for someone who has had few maladies throughout life, Zilverberg’s career is impressive.

He has been an active participant in the South Dakota Senior Games for at least 30 years, with dozens of bronze, silver and gold medals that hang from multi-colored ribbons in his living room. Now, he’s the oldest competitor in the state games. He participated in nine or 10 events last year, including the hammer throw, shuffleboard, bean bags and bowling.

Zilverberg was inducted into the South Dakota Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2005.

“I’ve been active all my life,” he said while shuffling through a book of old newspaper clippings and photos. “I like the competition and you meet a lot of people.”

Zilverberg is also a decorated marine. He joined the corps in 1941 and spent most of his time in the South Pacific. That was during World War II. Despite the unnerving experience, Zilverberg is sure the four-year stint didn’t change his life drastically.

“When I came back, I went to the ranch (near Highmore), starting right where I left off,” he said.

That concept seems to be a theme in Zilverberg’s life. He might appear extraordinary to anyone looking in, but to him, it’s just life.

July 10, 2013, was proclaimed John Zilverberg Day in South Dakota by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in appreciation of his life’s work.

“I just do it,” he said of his active lifestyle. “As long as I’ve got something to do, I can keep busy and it’s alright.”

When Zilverberg returned home after the war, he put together some money and began his career.

That soon involved two private cattle auctions a year. His family would eventually become founding members of the North American Limousin Foundation, a group for those involved with the breed of cattle that originated in France.

Even today, Zilverberg dons tucked-in Western-style shirts with leather belts depicting scenes of the West looped through dark jeans. Being at the ranch is and was a passion, he said. It’s what he’s dedicated most of his life to.

Zilverberg didn’t retire from his ranch until 1990, at age 85.

When his daughters told a story of him climbing and re-tinning a building roof at the Highmore ranch by himself, he shrugged it off.

“Yeah, well …”

He was 92 years old at the time.

“They didn’t think I should be out there,” he said, chuckling.

Nowadays, when Zilverberg’s not bowling, playing pool or spending time with loved ones, he’s watching the news or reading the paper — things he does to stay up to date on world and local happenings.

Last year, he sent the American News nine letters to the editor that were published. That was the highest total for any person in 2017.

“I see events I’m interested in and I write my opinion,” Zilverberg said.

One was about nonmeandered waters, an issue the Legislature is again debating in Pierre.

Asked if he enjoys politics in particular, which he writes frequently about, he laughed and said, “It’s all about politics, isn’t it?”

Zilverberg doesn’t have any specific plans for the future, except that he hopes to keep doing what he’s doing.

“I guess I hope to live another five years,” he said, half joking.

He couldn’t talk too long because he had a friendly competition lined up.

“I’ve got a pool player waiting on me now,” he said.

Follow @eballard_aan on Twitter.

SDSU Extension Managing the Margins workshop begins Feb. 6 Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:36:05 +0000 http://ffimp-20301123 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension teams up with several financial institutions, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and North Central Extension Risk Management Education to host Managing the Margin Workshops beginning Feb. 6 on the campus of South Dakota State University in the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab (Berg Agricultural Hall 139) using Bloomberg Trading Terminals.

“These hands-on workshops led by financial experts provide participants with marketing strategy and risk management information and tools to help them better manage their agriculture businesses,” said Jack Davis, SDSU Extension crops business management field specialist.

The Managing the Margin workshop series provides hands-on learning.

The workshop series includes sessions I through IV held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“This workshop series is developed as a complete series in order to foster continual knowledge building from session to session,” said Lisa Elliott, assistant professor and SDSU Extension commodity marketing specialist.

All sessions will be offered twice on different days. Participants must sign up for one of each of sessions I-IV with sessions being taken in consecutive order.

Participants who attend all four individual topic sessions will receive a certificate of training completion.

All sessions will be held on the SDSU campus in 139 Berg Agricultural Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.

If you have questions about this workshop series, please contact Elliott, who is the lead teacher. Elliott can be reached at or Jack Davis, SDSU Extension crops business management field specialist at or 605-995-7378.

Registration deadline is Jan. 16, 2018.

Space is limited. To register, visit

Funding for this project is provided by the Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226. In addition, support was provided by the following partners: Farm Credit Services of America, First Dakota National Bank, Great Western Bank, and Bryant State Bank.

Workshop dates and details

• Session I: Measuring and Monitoring Value at Risk (VaR). Available Dates – Tuesday, February 6, 2018 or Tuesday, February 13, 2018

• Session II: Using Fundamental & Technical Market Information to Enhance Returns Relative to VaR. Available Dates – Thursday, February 8, 2018 or Thursday, February 15, 2018

• Session III: Aligning Market Strategies with Insurance Products According to Risk Preferences. Available Dates – Tuesday, February 20, 2018 or Tuesday, February 27, 2018

• Session IV: Managing VaR without Direct Futures Contract through Cross-Hedging. Available Dates – Thursday, February 22, 2018 or Thursday, March 1, 2018

Jensen elected to SD Farm Bureau Board of Directors Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:36:03 +0000 http://ffimp-20285753 South Dakota Farm Bureau

Reid Jensen, a Burbank, S.D., producer, was elected to serve on the South Dakota Farm Bureau Board of Directors at the organization’s recent Centennial Convention.

Jensen will represent District 1 which includes Bon Homme, Clay / Union, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner and Yankton counties. Jensen succeeds Richard Vasgaard of Centerville, S.D., who termed off of the SDFB Board of Directors after serving eight years.

Jensen and his wife, Marilyn, have four sons and have a diversified farming operation near Burbank.

South Dakota Farm Bureau is governed by an 11-member state board of directors, including one representative from each of the state’s seven districts, the SDFB Women’s Leadership team chair and the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee chair(s).

More information about SDFB can be found at

Tree Facts: Pruning your fruit trees Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:09 +0000 http://ffimp-20300977 By Natalie Euler
Natural Resource Specialist

Pruning means removing parts of a tree in order to regulate shape and improve fruit production. Not all kinds of fruit trees are trained and pruned the same way, but most fit into three basic systems: central leader, modified leader and open center. It is best if pruning is done when fruit trees are young but even older trees can be improved.

There are three main hand tools that you need in order to prune fruit tree. Long-handled pruning shears or loppers are the most useful tools for almost all pruning jobs. Hand shears can be used on young trees and limbs of a half inch diameter or smaller. If many large cuts are to be made, a pruning saw should be used. Pruning saws consist of a wooden handle with an 8 to 15 inch curved saw blade with the teeth set wide with about 6 teeth per inch.

1. Central leader pruning – Cut back newly planted trees to a height of 30 to 36 inches. The uppermost bud remaining will grow into the central leader. During the following spring the central branch will continue to grow upward as a dominant leader. After the growing season select three to five wide-angled lateral branches along the leader and remove the others. Use wood or metal spreaders to spread branch crotches to approximately 60 degrees. Cut back the central leader each spring in order to induce lateral branching.

2. Modified leader pruning – Cutting back standard or full sized trees to 36 to 40 inches at planting. If branched 1 or 2 year old trees are planted, select up to four of the best lateral branches with wide crotches and prune off the rest. Leave the leader, or top lateral, about twice as long as the longest side lateral. The leader should be removed after the desired number of main branches have been selected. Spacers should be used to help develop wide angled crotches on scaffold limbs.

3. Open center pruning – Cut back a 1-year old tree to a height of 28 to 30 inches. Select two branches and leave only two or three buds on each, remove all other branches. By late June most buds on the tree will have developed into leaf rosettes or growing shoots. Select three lateral shoots to serve as scaffold branches. Cut back any shoots from these branches leaving only 2 or 3 inches of growth and remove all other branches. After the second or third season’s growth, the permanent shape of the tree should be well established.

Apple trees: Best when trained using either the modified leader or central leader system. Dwarf apple trees should be trained to a central leader. Semi-dwarf apple trees may be trained to either central leader or modified leader type of trees. Standard trees or full size should be trained to a modified leader system.

Pear trees: Should be trained to a modified leader with four or five main scaffold limbs. Select these branches early, remove the undesirable laterals and do very little more pruning during the first few years. Pruning cuts should be restricted to branches that severely rub each other and to water sprouts as they appear. Mature trees require little pruning other than to remove dead, broken and weak branches.

Peach and nectarine trees: Should be trained to an open center or vase system. An open center pruning system will result in the development of two to four scaffold branches. All scaffold branches are pruned to about equal in size, spaced as equally as possible around the trunk at a height 18 to 24 inches from the ground.

Other fruit trees: The modified leader system of training is most desirable for the sweet cherry tree. Tart cherry trees may be satisfactorily trained to either the modified leader system or to the open center system. European Plums, such as Italian Prune and Stanley, are best pruned and trained to the modified leader system. Apricot trees may be trained to either the modified leader or open center system.

My sources for this news release was the Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service. If you would like more information about “Pruning your fruit trees,” call Natalie Euler at the Conservation office at 605-244-5222, Extension 109 or by e-mail at

Pledge your heart to 4-H on Giving Hearts Day Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:08 +0000 http://ffimp-20300786 NDSU Extension

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation is participating in the 2018 Giving Hearts Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event on Thursday, Feb. 8, that benefits nonprofit organizations in North Dakota and western Minnesota.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation is a nonprofit organization that secures and manages financial resources to support and expand North Dakota’s 4-H programs and educational opportunities in areas such leadership development, animal and plant science, consumer and family science, healthy lifestyles, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences, citizenship and personal development, communication and expressive arts.

“Giving Hearts Day has allowed the 4-H Foundation to reach out all across the state, touching individuals we might not be able to connect with through traditional activities,” foundation board member Tammy Meyer says. “The money raised is used for a variety of activities, such as awards at the North Dakota State Fair, travel to and participation in leadership opportunities at the national level, training for 4-H volunteers and support for the work of the 4-H Ambassadors.”

Research shows that youth who participate in 4-H do better in school, and they are four times more likely to contribute to their communities and two times more likely to make healthier choices.

The theme of this year’s Giving Hearts Day is #countme. This demonstrates the event has made a profound impact in North Dakota and western Minnesota, and everyone’s donation counts.

The first $8,500 raised for the North Dakota 4-H Foundation this year will be matched by seven donors: Great River Energy, Peterson Farms Seed, Kupper Chevrolet-Subaru, Jim Kirkeide, David and Julie Hassebroek, Eric and Suzanne Lahlum, and the North Dakota Association of Extension 4-H Youth Workers. The foundation’s goal is to raise $30,000.

Supporting the North Dakota 4-H Foundation on Giving Hearts Day is an easy, three-step process:

• Go to

• Click on “Donate”

• Choose the 4-H Foundation of North Dakota

The first Giving Hearts Day, in 2008, generated online donations totaling $325,000 for local nonprofit organizations. In 2017, 21,816 donors raised $10,667,502 for more than 300 organizations.

“The North Dakota 4-H program is a program that I hold very close to my heart,” says Andy Staloch, chair of the North Dakota 4-H Foundation board. “It is the program that sculpted me into the person I am today. Please join me in donating to the North Dakota 4-H Foundation on Giving Hearts Day so we can continue to make the best better.”

University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab completes renovations Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:07 +0000 http://ffimp-20300669 University of Minnesota Extension

The University of Minnesota’s Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab has undergone a $3 million renovation. The lab is now has fully modernized infrastructure and work space to fulfill the soil testing needs of the state.

“The lab is really one of the largest service laboratories in the university system,” said Brian Barber, director of the Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab.

Barber took over the lab six years ago, and in that time tripled the amount of samples going through the lab. He said this renovation will help improve their efficiency even more.

“We have a completely redesigned lab space so that it is much more efficient. This lab grew, and outgrew the facility it was in,” he said. “We needed to have it reorganized.”

Technicians now have a better work flow, plus new and better equipment. The Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab employs six full-time scientists and two part-time scientists. Six to ten students are also employed at the lab.

“With that new equipment come increases in automation and throughput as well as better detection limits, lower detection limits. We can improve some of the trace level testing that we are asked to do,” he said.

The lab takes samples from both university researchers and local farmers. About 80 percent of the business is with the university and 20 percent is directly with farmers.

By improving efficiency and equipment, the lab can give researchers faster and more accurate results. This in turn improves the quality of their research and the speed of their research. The result is Minnesota farmers have better data to use when making decisions on their own farm.

The more sophisticated lab equipment can detect smaller amounts of minerals in soil and plant tissue. This is beneficial for those wanting to know more about how trace minerals impact a farming operation.

Funding for the renovation came from the legislature through the Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Program (AGREETT). Equipment upgrades were generated by the lab itself, the University of Minnesota and grant writing. The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council was involved in several aspects of this renovation.

You can find more information at For more information, you can check out their website, email, or call 612-625-3101.

USDA announces plenary speakers for the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:07 +0000 http://ffimp-20300703 U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced speakers for the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), to be held Feb. 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

This year’s forum is themed “The Roots of Prosperity,” and the opening plenary session will feature keynote remarks from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, welcoming comments from Deputy Secretary Steve Censky, and “The 2018 Economic Outlook for Agriculture” presented by USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson. The forum distinguished speaker is Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate. Speaking at dinner on the first day is Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer for PepsiCo.

The plenary session will also feature agriculture industry professionals involved in production, finance, marketing, input supplies, and trade, as well as representation from state government. The prominent group includes James C. Collins, Jr., chief operating officer, agriculture division from DowDuPont; Celia Gould, director, Idaho State Department of Agriculture; Bill Lovette, president and chief executive officer, Pilgrim’s; and Joe Stone, senior vice president, Cargill, Inc.

“This gathering of leaders in agriculture is part of the USDA’s commitment to maximize the ability of the men and women of America’s agriculture and agribusiness sector to create jobs, to produce and sell the foods and fiber that feed and clothe the world, and to give them every opportunity to prosper,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Along with the plenary presentations, attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 90 speakers and a host of agriculture-related exhibits. Among the concurrent track sessions and topics supporting this year’s theme are International Markets, Trade, and Agricultural Policies Here and Abroad for Brazil, Sub-Saharan Africa, and China; Rural Broadband; The Economic Impact of Opioids on Rural America; Responding to Hurricane Disasters; Animal Disease Outbreak Preparedness; Water Quality and Conservation; Food Safety; Right Sizing Regulation; and the annual commodity outlooks and luncheons.

Now in its 94th year, the Agricultural Outlook Forum is the USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting as many as 2,000 attendees from the U.S. and abroad. The forum highlights key issues and topics within the agricultural community, offering a platform for conversation among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both foreign and domestic.

Early arrivals may take part in two pre-forum field trips: a farm conservation tour of a working family farm in Maryland or a tour of the Beltsville Agricultural Center and National Arboretum. The nominal fee includes transportation and a boxed lunch.

National Junior Angus Association announces State of the Year Award Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:05 +0000 http://ffimp-20300620 by Katy Holdener
Angus Communications

Participation of state associations in contests and events is an integral piece of National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) success. In order to recognize state associations that go above and beyond, the NJAA established the State of the Year Award. Winning states have demonstrated outstanding performance in their services and are dedicated to ensuring the achievement of junior members.

The NJAA Board of Directors will select a winner from applications received prior to the 2018 National Junior Angus Show in Madison, Wisconsin. Deadline for applications is March 1. Participation will be considered on a weighted basis and take into account the number of members in the state association and/or the number of members who attend junior activities. Adult association activities will not be taken into account, unless the junior association planned the activity.

“The State of the Year Award was created to recognize junior state associations that are committed to going the extra mile,” said Director of Events and Education Jaclyn Clark. “We want to commend them for providing opportunities for junior members in the areas of involvement, leadership, growth and development.”

The winner of the State of the Year Award will be recognized at the 2018 National Junior Angus Show. State associations interested in applying for the State of the Year award can find the application here.

For more information about the State of the Year Award, contact the events and education department at 816-383-5100 or

USDA announces a near-record year for farm loans Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:04 +0000 http://ffimp-20300388 U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON — On Jan. 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced another year of high activity in its farm loan programs. Hard-working farm families across the country accessed nearly $6 billion in new credit, either directly or guaranteed through commercial lenders in 2017. At year end, FSA was assisting more than 120,000 family farmers with loans totaling just over $25 billion.

“FSA loan funds have been in high demand the last few years,” said Dr. Robert Johansson, acting deputy under secretary for the farm production and conservation mission area. “We provide opportunities to qualified small, beginning and underserved farmers who are unable to obtain commercial credit, to help them get started, gain access to land and grow their operations. Family farmers across America also come to us for credit when they face challenges to stay in business. We’re proud to support rural prosperity by providing credit to those who need it most.”

FSA provides a variety of loan assistance, including direct and guaranteed farm ownership loans, operating loans and even direct Microloans up to $50,000 and EZ Guarantees up to $100,000 with streamlined application processes.

More than 25,000 direct and guaranteed FSA loans went to beginning or underserved farmers and ranchers. Over 4,200 beginning farmers received direct farm ownership loans from FSA to make their first land purchase. And of the approximately 6,500 Microloans made in the last fiscal year, three-quarters (almost 4,900) went to beginning farmers, 1,000 went to women and 400 to veterans.

FSA’s direct farm loans are unique in that the agency provides technical assistance in addition to credit. Consistent with efforts to continually improve technical assistance, FSA announced the publication of two booklets that will serve as important informational tools and resources for existing and prospective farm loan borrowers.

Your FSA Farm Loan Compass booklet was recently developed specifically for farmers and ranchers who have an existing farm loan with FSA. It provides detailed guidance outlining borrower responsibilities and the servicing options that FSA offers. It also addresses common questions borrowers may have as they navigate through loan program requirements and the financial concepts involved.

Originally published in 2012, Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans was designed for new loan customers. It provides information about the various types of farm loans available and guides new borrowers through the application process. The revised version addresses program changes and includes new loan offerings, like the popular Microloan program that was rolled out after the publication of the original Guide.

“Your FSA Farm Loan Compass” and “Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans” are available on the FSA website at Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to download and share them with others in their community who may require assistance in understanding FSA’s loans and servicing processes. For additional information about FSA farm loans, please contact your loan officer or other FSA staff at your local office. To find your local FSA office, visit

Top leaders honored with American Agri-Women Awards Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:16:03 +0000 http://ffimp-20285654 AgPR

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — At the American Agri-Women (AAW) national convention Nov. 15-18, 2017, Oregon Women for Agriculture (OWA) was the first place recipient for Most New Members. California Women for Agriculture as the first place recipient for Most Members. Several OWA Members were recognized for contributions to AAW. Additionally, three members of the Oregon affiliate Kristi Miller, Mallory Phelan and Arwen McGilvra, plus Lynn Wolf of Kansas Agri-Women and Krystal Doolittle of Iowa Agri Women were honored for their part in the Ag Day 365 campaign. (See and

Ag Day 365 was a year-long advocacy initiative started by American Agri-Women during the 2016 National Convention and formally kicked-off at National Ag Day 2017 in Washington D.C. Mrs. McGilvra was also honored with the organizations president’s award along with Lynn Woolf of Kansas. President Doris Mold, MN, remarked on the great amount of work McGilvra and Woolf did for the all-volunteer organization during the year, and thanked them for being “the wind beneath her wings.” American Agri-Women is the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women. American Agri-Women began in 1974 with members of women from four states joining together to create a national organization to represent women involved in agriculture and agri-business.

The “Ag Day is Every Day” campaign, or #AgDay365, is inspired by and builds on the important connections made between the public and farm and ranch producers on National Ag Day, which is celebrated in March and organized by the Agriculture Council of America.

Electronic logging device mandate meeting – Jan. 31 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:56:05 +0000 http://ffimp-20297855 South Dakota Stockgrowers Association

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the Black Hills Stock Show will host an informational meeting during the 60th Annual Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain John Broers and members of the South Dakota Highway Patrol will be in attendance to answer questions and explain enforcement of the trucking regulations in the state.

“We know that the electronic logging device mandate is bringing a lot of concern and confusion to folks who are hauling livestock to sales and events like the Black Hills Stock Show for exhibitions and rodeo performances. We invite those folks to join us for these meetings to find out how these rules will apply to their specific situations,” said Ron Jeffries.

The public is invited to attend the meeting to be held on Jan. 31 during the cattle events at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.

“With the Highway Patrol coming to this meeting, we hope that everyone can get specific details on how the trucking regulations will affect them so we can get away from the rumors that are circulating,” said Gary Deering, president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. “We’re going to keep working on amendments to these rules to make it easier for agriculture haulers to comply, but the reality is that these rules are likely not going away.”

“If you want to know specifics of how these rules affect you and what you need to do to comply, please make the time to attend one of these information sessions with the South Dakota Highway Patrol.”

Details of the events

• Jan. 31 at 4 p.m.

• Rushmore Hall at the Rapid City Civic Center, Rapid City

For more information, please contact South Dakota Stockgrowers at 605-342-0429 or the Black Hills Stockshow at 605-355-3861.

Champions chosen at National Gelbvieh and Balancer Show Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:56:04 +0000 http://ffimp-20297676 American Gelbvieh Association

The National Gelbvieh and Balancer Show took place at the National Western Stock Show on Jan. 8 in Denver, Colorado. Judge Randy Mullinix, Toulon, Illinois, evaluated the 42 Gelbvieh females, 36 Gelbvieh bulls, 78 Balancer females, and 30 Balancer bulls.

Grand champion Gelbvieh female was BCFG Butlers Ms Dixie 283D owned by Clint Main, Seymour, Indiana. This heifer was born March 4, 2016, and is the daughter of BCFG Butlers Red Oak 908W. She first claimed the junior heifer division.

GHGF Deanna 77D owned by Austin Teeter, Mount Ulla, North Carolina, won reserve grand champion Gelbvieh female. This March 3, 2016, daughter of FMGF Blue’s Impact 001X also came out of the junior heifer division.

Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Indiana owned the grand champion Gelbvieh bull. GGGE 3G Die Cast 637D is the January 27, 2016, son of GGGE 3G Zip Line 266Z and was first named Gelbvieh champion junior bull.

Reserve grand champion Gelbvieh bull was GDV T Bar S Ace’s High 209D owned by Grace Vehige, Bonnots Mill, Missouri. This bull was born December 22, 2016, and is the son of GDV T Bar S Reload 27A ET. He first claimed the senior bull calf division.

Grand champion Balancer female was EGL Vivian C1083 owned by J W LeDoux, Ree Heights, South Dakota. This female is the March 25, 2015, daughter of Eagle Pass Final Answer 1047 and was first named Balancer champion cow-calf pair. Vivian C1083’s calf-at-side was CHIP Exhibition 7283E born May 21, 2017, and is sired by EGL Roundhouse B019.

J W LeDoux also owned the reserve grand champion Balancer female. EGL Lass E3200 is the daughter of EGL Lifeline B101. This February 15, 2017, heifer first claimed the winter heifer calf division.

Grand champion Balancer bull was GGGE 3G Double Agent 602D owned by Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Indiana. This bull was born January 6, 2016, and is the son of GGGE 3G Smoke N’ Mirrors 639S. He first claimed the junior bull division.

MDR First Step 7549E owned by Dobson Ranch, Kaw City, Oklahoma, won reserve grand champion Balancer bull. This bull is the March 5, 2017, son of JRI Next Step 285X72 and was first named Balancer champion spring bull calf.

Division Champions and Reserves

Gelbvieh females

Gelbvieh Champion Spring Heifer Calf: GHGF Zelda 20E; French Farms, Big Clifty, Ky.; Sire: GHGF Young Gun C310

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Spring Heifer Calf: SEPT RCO No Tan Lines E273; September Farms/Riddle & Co., Franklin, Neb.; Sire: JRI Next Step 285X72

Gelbvieh Champion Winter Heifer Calf: VOS 909E; Hilltop Farms, Asbury, Mo.; Sire: FHG Flying H MR Traction 45B

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Winter Heifer Calf: SKYC BCFG-SKYS Eleanor 282E; Casey Martin, Oregon, Ill.; Sire: JRI Pistol Pete 214A44

Gelbvieh Champion Senior Heifer Calf: POST Post Rock Wilma 334D8 ET; Kyle Cavalli, Lincoln, Kan.; Sire: DCSF Post Rock Power Built 37B8

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Senior Heifer Calf: GHGF Bella 58D; Austin Teeter, Mount Ulla, N.C./French Farms, Clifty, Ky.; Sire: GHGF Zeus 61Z

Gelbvieh Champion Intermediate Heifer: PHS ProHart Brandy 634D; Cross Seven Ranch, Las Animas, Colo.; Sire: BDCG DC 401A4 ET

Gelbvieh Champion Junior Heifer: BCFG Butlers Ms Dixie 283D; Clint Main, Seymour, Ind.; Sire: BCFG Butlers Red Oak 908W

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Junior Heifer: GHGF Deanna 77D; Austin Teeter, Mount Ulla, N.C.; Sire: FMGF Blue’s Impact 001X

Gelbvieh bulls

Gelbvieh Champion Spring Bull Calf: VLK E729 War Cloud; Britney Volek, Highmore, S.D.; Sire: BABR 5201C Reload ET

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Spring Bull Calf: RWG Exact Combination 7409; Royal Western Gelbvieh, Red Deer County, Alberta, Canada; Sire: RWG Right Combination 5506

Gelbvieh Champion Winter Bull Calf: JLSL Apollo 759E; Ledgerwood Gelbvieh, Clarkston, Wash.; Sire: JDPD Time Traveler 450X

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Winter Bull Calf: HTFM Mr Equalizer E711; Hilltop Farms Benny McWilliams, Asbury, Mo.; Sire: DCSF Post Rock FI 49B2

Gelbvieh Champion Senior Bull Calf: GDV T Bar S Ace’s High 209D; Grace Vehige, Bonnots Mill, Mo.; Sire: GDV T Bar S Reload 27A ET

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Senior Bull Calf: GHGF Whole Lotta Love 53D1 ET; Green Hills Gelbvieh, Mount Ulla, N.C.; Sire: FMGF Blue’s Impact 001X

Gelbvieh Champion Junior Bull: GGGE 3G Die Cast 637D; Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind.; Sire: GGGE 3G Zip Line 266Z

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Junior Bull: GHGF Cow Town D536; Green Hills Gelbvieh, Mount Ulla, N.C.; Sire: FMGF Blue’s Impact 001X

Gelbvieh Champion Two-Year-Old Bull: AAD R One Eyed Jack 5009C; Linda Shafer, Strasburg, Colo.; Sire: Rid R Collateral 2R

Gelbvieh Reserve Champion Two-Year-Old Bull: RWG Right Combination 5506; Royal Western Gelbvieh, Red Deer County, Alberta, Canada; Sire: RWG War Admiral 2528

Balancer females

Balancer Champion Spring Heifer Calf: BCFG Butlers Elize 730E; Butler Creek Farms, Milton, Tenn.; Sire: BCFG Butlers Bismarck 512Z

Balancer Reserve Champion Spring Heifer Calf: RRAB BCFG Ms. Evangeline 413E ET; Aidan Raab, Markle, Ind.; Sire: S A V Brilliance 8077

Balancer Champion Winter Heifer Calf: EGL Lass E3200; J W LeDoux, Ree Heights, S.D; Sire: EGL Lifeline B101

Balancer Reserve Champion Winter Heifer Calf: MDR Elly Zendt 702E ET; Brylee Thiel, Kaw City, Okla.; Sire: Dameron First Class

Balancer Champion Senior Heifer Calf: GHGF Delilah 655D; Austin Teeter, Mount Ulla, N.C.; Sire: Gambles Hot Rod 9620

Balancer Reserve Champion Senior Heifer Calf: BCFG Butlers MS Daisy 28D3 ET; Butler Creek Farms, Milton, Tenn.; Sire: AHL Flashback 446B

Balancer Champion Intermediate Heifer: GGGE 3G Cowgirl Dixie 6102D; Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind.; Sire: S S Hoover Dam B115

Balancer Reserve Champion Intermediate Heifer: RID R Ima’s Pride 6117D ET; Ridinger Cattle Company, Deer Trail, Colo.; Sire: WPRA Legacy A-314

Balancer Champion Junior Heifer: BCFG Butlers Ms Dolly 1315D; Alexandria Raab, Markle, Ind.; Sire: BCFG Butlers Bismarck 512Z

Balancer Reserve Champion Junior Heifer: BRAX Delilah D26; Braxton Murray, Kingfisher, Okla.; Sire: BAG Mr Quick Sand 135 A

Balancer Champion Cow-Calf Pair: EGL Vivian C1083; J W LeDoux, Ree Heights, S.D.; Sire: Eagle Pass Final Answer 1047

Balancer bulls

Balancer Champion Spring Bull Calf: MDR First Step 7549E; Dobson Ranch, Kaw City, Okla.; Sire: JRI Next Step 285X72

Balancer Reserve Champion Spring Bull Calf: GHGF Terminal Velocity E03; Garrett Teeter, Mount Ulla, N.C.; Sire: BGGR Gravity 803A

Balancer Champion Winter Bull Calf: OGSG OVER Enshrined 028E; Overmiller Gelbvieh, Smith Center, Kan.; Sire: OVER Cooperstown 350C

Balancer Reserve Champion Winter Bull Calf; GGGE 3G Extra Money 709E; Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind.; Sire: GGGE 3G EZ Money 209Z

Balancer Champion Senior Bull Calf: DCSF Post Rock Dividend 375D8 ET; Post Rock Cattle Company, Barnard, Kan.; Sire: Basin Payweight 1682

Balancer Reserve Champion Senior Bull Calf: DMS Stuckys Dak ET; Stucky Beef Genetics, Salina, Kan.; Sire: Sandpoint Butkus X797

Balancer Champion Junior Bull: GGGE 3G Double Agent 602D; Emily Griffiths, Kendallville, Ind.; Sire: GGGE 3G Smoke N’ Mirrors 639S

Balancer Reserve Champion Junior Bull: MDR Pistol Pete 6566D; Dobson Ranch, Kaw City, Okla.; Sire: MDR Silver Bandito 3505A ET

Balancer Champion Two-Year-Old Bull: BNW Concho 5131C ET; Wilkinson Gelbvieh Ranch, Model, Colo.; Sire: SYD Stampede 6122S ET

South Dakota Farmers Union calls USDA report a missed opportunity Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:56:03 +0000 http://ffimp-20285117 South Dakota Farmers Union

HURON — Calling it a “swing and a miss,” the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) criticized a recent report by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in an editorial published in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader for failing to highlight the critical role of agricultural derived ethanol.

According to SDFU President Doug Sombke, the report references renewables but does so in the most general way imaginable, and lumps the need to produce renewables in rural America with coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power. The word ethanol is not mentioned despite the fact that it is a multi billion dollar domestic industry and in South Dakota alone it contributes nearly four billion dollars to the state’s economy

“Agriculturally derived biofuels, primarily ethanol, have single-handedly reversed a decades long trend of rising oil imports and a staggering flow of American dollars to foreign countries that support drugs, terrorism, and other activities. While we are struggling to see commodity prices above the cost of production, I shudder to think of where we would be without the 15 billion gallon ethanol market,” said Sombke .

Sombke noted that the report failed to not only pinpoint the contributions to date but the untapped potential of the future. “Ironically, the report keys on the need for regulatory reform in order to “unleash the potential” of rural America when there is no industry held back more from expansion than ethanol. We need USDA to lead the charge to break down the barriers at EPA and let us grow this market,” he said.

“We can thrive in a free market if given access and we can play a key role in protecting public health through higher blends like E20, E25, and even E30.”

USDA provides funding to increase access to educational and health care services in rural areas Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:46:03 +0000 http://ffimp-20297533 U.S. Department of Agriculture

Huron, S.D. – On Jan. 19, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that USDA is awarding grants for broadband projects to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas in 35 states, including South Dakota.

“These technological advancements are enhancing efficiency and safety in rural communities. Rural areas will have the ability to receive health care consultations remotely by physicians in Sioux Falls which will help save lives,” said Julie Gross, South Dakota USDA Rural Development state director.

USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. This program funds equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to advanced learning and specialized medical services.

Here in South Dakota, USDA provided a total of $612,316 for two Avera Health projects as follows:

• Avera Health was awarded $484,271 to help Avera Health implement a telehealth project to enhance labor and delivery and post-partum services for mothers and their babies. The end-user sites are 11 rural hospitals in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. New equipment will be able to monitor a baby’s heart rate, which is a critical indicator of fetal health during the birthing process. When necessary, the baby’s heart rate information can be transported to Avera Health 24 hours a day, where specialists can assist at a critical time for mother and baby. Avera’s Best Beginnings Rural Obstetrics Connections Project will reduce brain damage, permanent injuries and even deaths during difficult pregnancies when something goes wrong and additional help is immediately needed. This project will greatly improve labor and delivery services in rural hospitals by making highly specialized and dedicated specialists available whenever they are needed.

• Avera Health was awarded $128,045 to help Avera Health implement an advanced telehealth project to provide access to telehealth pharmacy services. Avera will connect to end-user sites in Hutchinson and Spink Counties in South Dakota; Osceola, Iowa; and Lincoln, Minnesota with their hub in Minnehaha County, South Dakota. The project will provide telehealth programs with 24-hour pharmacist support for review of medication orders. This is a critical step to prevent medication errors related to allergies, drug interactions and incorrect dosages.

In addition, a $388,988 grant will help the Vermont State Colleges System create a distance learning network to connect Northern Vermont University, comprised of Johnson State College and Lyndon State College, to Sinte Gleska University, Lower Brule Community College and Ihanktonwan Community College in South Dakota and to 28 Vermont high schools. A mix of fixed and mobile video conferencing technology will increase course offerings to students, such as dual-credit college courses. It also will provide increased professional development opportunities for instructors and extend these opportunities to individuals in public service agencies, such as police officers and firefighters.

USDA’s DLT program has a strong record of supporting rural health care and educational programs. For example, in South Dakota, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has used four DLT grants during the last two decades to provide a range of health care services (including mental health) to people living in rural parts of the state. As a result, Horizon now offers preventative care and treatment for opioid addiction. Telemedicine is critical to providing quality care in South Dakota, where more than 40 percent of the population live in rural areas that lack access to critical medical services.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit

Farm transition planning programs held in Sioux Falls and Pierre Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:10 +0000 http://ffimp-20297716 SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — Passing the family farm or ranch operation on to the next generation is the focus of SDSU Extension’s Sustaining the Legacy programs held in Sioux Falls and Pierre.

The Sioux Falls event will be held February 1, 8 and 15 and the Pierre event will be held February 13, 20 and 27.

“Bringing the next generation back to the family farm or ranch is important to many South Dakota families,” said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension livestock business management field specialist. “Before that decision is made, there are many intentional conversations and plans that need to be covered.”

Topics will include the following:

• Wages and salary compensation.

• Policy creation; creating a business structure.

• How life insurance, trusts and other tools can aid with the transition.

• New tax laws, and other details related to passing an agriculture operation to the next generation.

“We hope all members of the family involved in the operation will be able to attend these sessions together,” Gessner said. “This not only ensures all family members hear the same information, but also generates questions and conversation that benefits all attendees at the conference. It is our hope, that this program spurs transition plan development,” Gessner said.

Program details

• Sioux Falls, Sustaining the Legacy program will be held Feb. 1, 8 and 15 at the SDSU Extension Regional Extension Center (2001 E. 8th Street). Registration is due Jan. 29.

• Pierre, Sustaining the Legacy Program will be held Feb. 13, 20 and 27 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (412 W. Missouri Ave). Registration deadline is Feb. 7.

Both programs will run each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch and breaks provided.

Participants are expected to attend all three sessions.

To help cover expenses registration for the event is $100 and includes up to five family members. To register, mail a check for $100 to SDSU Extension, Attn. Heather Gessner, 2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls SD, 57103. Include the names and contact information for all attendees.

For more information, contact Gessner at 605-782-3290 or

Minnesota Crop Improvement Association presents awards Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:09 +0000 http://ffimp-20297588 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association

Keith Chisholm, a long-time certified seed producer on a Minnesota Century Farm; Brent Benike, an expert in grass seed production and conditioning; Perry Ellingson, a producer of high quality certified wheat seed for over 30 years; Brent and Bryant Haugrud, brothers in a multi-generation family farm that has produced Foundation seed for many years; and James Anderson, a gifted University of Minnesota plant breeder recognized in the classroom and field; were honored by the members of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA). The awards were presented during the MCIA Annual Meeting held Jan. 10 in Fergus Falls.

Achievement in Crop Improvement Award

Keith Chisholm of Gary was recognized with the Achievement in Crop Improvement award for his dedication to the certified seed industry and commitment to agriculture. Keith has spent a lifetime producing Certified seed and seeking ways to diversify his farming and business operation. He has produced a variety of certified seed crops including wheat, barley, oats, soybeans, and edible beans. In addition to seed, he worked to increase the value of locally grown agricultural products including the production and export of food grade soybeans.

In his career he has built two MCIA Approved Seed Conditioning Plants. At his current facility, Star of the North, he conditions certified seed and processes edible beans. A past MCIA board member, Keith has also been active in a number of local organizations, including over 40 years as part of the Norman County Crop Improvement and its Annual Crop show. The award is MCIA’s highest honor and is presented annually to recognize exemplary service by an individual to the agriculture and the seed industry.

Premier and Honorary Premier Seedsman Awards

Brent Benike, Perry Ellingson, and Brent and Bryant Haugrud received Premier Seedsman Awards. The award, presented annually since 1929, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the production and promotion of high quality certified seed and have been active in the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association and their local community. James Anderson received the Honorary Premier Seedsman award, established in 1930 to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding support of agriculture and MCIA but who may not be directly involved in the seed industry.

Brent Benike of Birchdale in Kanabec county has been involved in the certified seed industry all of his life. Brent is currently the general manager at Northern Excellence Seed LLC, a grower based business involved in the production of turf grass seed. Responsible for contracting, conditioning, and marketing, he is dedicated to the success of grass seed producers in Minnesota. Prior to moving north, Brent worked as hybrid seed corn area production manager in the Dassel/Cokato area. Brent also farms with his brothers, Ross and Kent, as Benike Farms, Inc. Brent has been a longtime member and supporter of MCIA. He served on the MCIA Board of Directors for six years.

Perry Ellingson of Borup has lived on his family’s farm in Minnesota’s Red River Valley his entire life. Ellingson has been a certified seed grower and member of MCIA for over 30 years. Focusing on wheat, he took great pride in producing high quality Certified seed. He has dedicated many years to several ag organizations including the Norman County Crop Improvement, the Perley Community Co-op Board, and the Norman County Agricultural Society. Recently retired from farming, Perry remains involved in agriculture, lending a hand to neighbors during the planting and harvest seasons, and restoring vintage tractors. He is also an ardent supporter of 4-H and the county fair.

Brent and Bryant Haugrud of Rothsay are brothers who were raised on the Haugrud Seed farm, which has been producing Certified seed for nearly 60 years. Brent is the primary mechanic and engineer on the farm. Bryant is responsible for the seed business operations. They have produced a wide variety of Certified seed crops; today they produce primarily wheat and soybean seed. Growing seed of University-developed varieties as well seed for private companies, the family also operates an MCIA Approved Conditioning facility. Haugrud’s have cooperated with MCIA to produce Foundation seed for many years, and have been involved in the Wilkin County Crop Improvement organization.

James Anderson, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, received the Honorary Premier Seedsman award, presented to individuals who demonstrate outstanding support of agriculture and MCIA but are not directly involved in the seed industry. With strong support from Minnesota wheat growers, the efforts of Anderson and a team of university researchers has resulted in the release of several very productive wheat varieties, including Linkert, the most widely grown variety in Minnesota in 2017. Other recent releases that posses traits beneficial to farmers include Bolles, Shelly, and Lang-MN. Anderson is an internationally recognized expert in plant genetics and a strong supporter of MCIA. A regular presenter at field days and grower meetings he is well known to farmers and seed producers.

In addition to the awards luncheon, seed producers and processors from around the state participated in an educational program, business meeting, and industry trade show. For more information contact MCIA at 800-510-6242 or visit online at

Grain prices to remain flat as US inventory excess is consumed Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:08 +0000 http://ffimp-20297425 By Blair Fannin
Texas A&M University

MDA Value Added Agricultural Grants now available Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:07 +0000 http://ffimp-20297232 Minnesota Department of Agriculture

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will award up to $2.5 million through the competitive Value Added Grant Program. The goal of the Value Added Grant Program is to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, increasing market access, and increasing food safety of value-added products. Applications for this Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Grant are due March 9.

“We welcome applications from a variety of organizations,” said MDA grants specialist Julianne LaClair. “Farmers or businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and local government agencies can apply, as long as their projects meet our criteria and help increase the sales of Minnesota’s agricultural products. Our number one priority is to help farmers sell more of their products.”

Grant funds reimburse up to 25 percent of the total project cost. Funding under this round will come at two levels. Level 1 projects will have a maximum award of $200,000 and a minimum of $1,000. Level 2 projects will have a maximum award of $1,000,000 and a minimum of $200,001. Applicants may only apply to one level.

Grants may be used for equipment purchases or physical improvements that will:

• Start, expand, or update livestock product processing businesses.

• Start, upgrade, or modernize value-added businesses.

• Increase the use and processing of Minnesota agricultural products.

• Increase food safety.

• Increase farmers’ processing and aggregating capacity to sell to schools, hospitals, or other institutions.

Level 2 projects must also provide significant economic impact to a region of the state.

Applications must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 9. Applications are available at and may be submitted online, by mail, or in-person.

USDA announces proposed rule to modernize swine inspection Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:06 +0000 http://ffimp-20297187 U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON — On Jan. 19, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced its continued effort to modernize inspection systems through science-based approaches to food safety. USDA is proposing to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), while also requiring additional pathogen sampling for all swine slaughter establishments.

The proposed rule also allows innovation and flexibility to establishments that are slaughtering market hogs. Market hogs are uniform, healthy, young animals that can be slaughtered and processed in this modernized system more efficiently and effectively with enhanced process control.

For market hog establishments that opt into NSIS, the proposed rule would increase the number of offline USDA inspection tasks, while continuing 100 percent FSIS carcass-by-carcass inspection. These offline inspection tasks place inspectors in areas of the production process where they can perform critical tasks that have direct impact on food safety.

“FSIS is excited to continue modernizing inspection practices, while allowing opportunities for industry to innovate and streamline food production,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg. “There is no single technology or process to address the problem of foodborne illness, but when we focus our inspections on food safety-related tasks, we better protect American families.”

In this proposal, USDA would also amend the regulations that apply to all establishments that slaughter swine. The new requirements would ensure that establishments implement measures to control enteric pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. Specifically, all swine slaughter establishments would be required to implement appropriate measures to prevent contamination throughout the entire production process in their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs), or other prerequisite programs. The new requirements would ensure that both USDA and the establishment have the documentation they need to verify the effectiveness of these measures on an ongoing basis.

There will be a 60-day period for comment once the rule is published in the Federal Register.

To view the proposed rule and information on how to comment on the rule, visit the FSIS website at

Tax law gives unexpected break to farmers who sell to co-ops Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:36:05 +0000 http://ffimp-20297050 By STEVE KARNOWSKI
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Key senators and farm groups are trying to fix a provision in the federal tax overhaul that gave an unexpected tax break to farmers who sell their crops to cooperatives rather than regular companies.

Lawmakers say they didn’t intend to give a competitive advantage to co-ops. But it’s not clear they can rework the legislation given the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. That means many companies — from local grain companies to agribusiness giants such as Cargill and ADM — could wind up paying more for crops than co-ops.

The provision from GOP Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and John Hoeven of North Dakota surfaced in the final days of the debate over the tax bill, which President Donald Trump signed last month. Thune and Hoeven wanted to replace a deduction that benefited co-ops in the old law, which was being dropped, and they wanted to make sure farmers didn’t wind up with a tax increase.

But the final language went further than maintaining the status quo.

“I think at the end of the day what it boiled down to is the staff didn’t know what they were doing. … They rushed this thing through,” said U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee.

Agricultural co-ops are typically owned by farmers, and they provide their members with help with marketing crops, purchasing supplies and various other services. They range from small and local co-ops to big, nationwide ones such as Land O’ Lakes and Sunkist Growers.

The new provision lets farmers deduct 20 percent of their gross sales to co-ops, but only 20 percent of their net income if they sell to other companies. The difference is big enough that farmers who sell to co-ops could entirely eliminate their tax bills.

“If it stands the way it is, you’re going to see a dramatic change in who farmers sell their product to,” said Paul Neiffer, a partner with CliftonLarsonAllen, a national accounting firm with clients on both sides.

Farmers who do sell to regular companies may be able to command higher prices to help make up for the lower tax break.

Kristine Tidgren, assistant director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University, calculated that a farmer with $300,000 in income from grain sales to a regular company and $180,000 in expenses would have $86,400 in taxable income for the year. If that same producer sells to a co-op, she said, the farmer would have just $48,000 in taxable income.

“It’s a huge difference. … We’ve tried to tell everyone to hold on and see what happens before you make any major changes to your business,” she said.

Hoeven’s chief of staff, Ryan Bernstein, said the senators didn’t intend to give a competitive advantage to co-ops and their farmer-patrons. They’ve been working with the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and other parties to find a quick solution, he said.

Greg Ibach, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the tax code shouldn’t “pick winners and losers” and the agency expects a correction.

The new tax break has at least one defender, the North Dakota Farmers Union. The group’s president, Mark Watne, said efforts to change it “may not be in the best interest of farmers or the viability of cooperatives.”

Spokespeople for Thune and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said they’re supporting efforts to fix the provision.

Randy Gordon, president of the National Grain and Feed Association, which represents co-ops as well as regular companies, said there’s been progress in the past week. He said in a newsletter on Jan. 17 that all sides have held several meetings and conference calls to explore alternatives.

Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, the country’s third-largest agricultural co-op, and Illinois-based ADM both said they look forward to a fix.

But it won’t be simple. Bernstein said Hoeven and Thune are looking at attaching it to must-pass legislation, likely a big spending bill expected to come up late next month. That assumes that everyone agrees on a solution by then.

Even a must-pass bill likely would require 60 votes to pass the Senate, which would require some support from Democrats.

“All it’s going to take is a couple Democrats in the Senate to derail the whole thing. … I’m willing to help, but it looks like a long shot to me,” Peterson said.

Minnesota farmers skeptical of free nitrate tests Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:15 +0000 http://ffimp-20297017 Associated Press

NEW ULM, Minn. — A south-central Minnesota county rejected the Department of Agriculture’s offer for free nitrate well tests.

Brown County rejected the state program in December after residents voiced fears that the data could be used to target farmers for additional regulations, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“The assumption is that all these nitrates come from farmers and from fertilizer when they’re coming there naturally from the natural break down of organic matter in the soil,” said Greg Bartz, president of the Brown County Farm Bureau. “So, (we’re) being blamed for something that is not our fault.”

Nitrates can come from failing septic systems, fertilizer and animal manure. High nitrate levels can cause health risks, such as a life-threatening blood disorder known as blue-baby syndrome.

Environmental groups are critical of the county’s decision. Almost 20 counties across the state have agreed to participate in the program and Brown County is the first to turn it down, said Trevor Russell, program director for Friends of the Mississippi River.

“For a county to sort of deny its families the chance to find out if their drinking water is safe is certainly surprising and not the trend we’ve seen so far,” Russell said.

Brown County offers free water testing for families with newborns, county officials said.

The department began the program in 2013 to give homeowners free information about their drinking water and to gather data about the state’s groundwater. Testing water costs range from $17 to more than $100, depending on the number of contaminants being evaluated.

The program focused on about 300 townships vulnerable to nitrate contamination because of farming and soil type.

“What we wanted to do was really start to target which agricultural areas of the state should we really start to take a good look at, and help citizens understand what they’re drinking,” said Bruce Montgomery, manager of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s fertilizer nonpoint section.

Making sugar from sugarbeets in the Northern Great Plains Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:10 +0000 http://ffimp-20287324 #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item4 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item5 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5a64b53c7b003 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item6 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

By David Graper
SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist

Edited from the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative website:

The sugar process

The following information shows how the sugarbeet becomes beet sugar; factories may vary slightly, but the process is basically the same.

The process involved in the production of sugar from sugarbeets is not truly a manufacturing process but rather extracting the sugar (sucrose) manufactured by the sugarbeet itself from sunlight, water, and nutrients in the soil. The sugar is stored within its root at a concentration averaging from 10 to 20 percent, depending upon the variety of beet planted and the weather conditions experienced while growing.

The manufacturing processes are really just a series of physical and chemical separations and processes designed to extract the sucrose from the other soluble and insoluble materials produced by the beet during its growth cycle and from the weeds, dirt, and beet tops left adhering to the beets during harvest.

Planting and growing sugarbeets

Planting of the sugarbeet crop begins in mid to late April of each year. Shareholders plant varieties, which have been previously tested and approved for planting. Sugarbeet varieties are approved based upon the varieties ability to meet or exceed a minimum standard for both extractable sugar per ton and extractable sugar per acre.

Planting a sugarbeet field

Sugarbeet seedlings begin emerging from the soil 10 days to two weeks after being planted. Sugarbeets are very susceptible to wind damage, chewing insects and seedling disease until they reach the 4-6 leaf stage. At this time, they become very hearty and will survive many weather extremes. Herbicides are applied to sugarbeets to control weeds until the sugarbeet canopy becomes large enough to shade the area between the rows. Once full canopies are established (July 1), weed pressure and competition with the sugarbeet is greatly reduced.

Harvesting sugarbeets

When the beets are first harvested in early August and September, they are delivered directly to the processing plant. This limited harvest allows shareholders to open roadways through fields in preparation for the main harvest, which begins October 1. Beets harvested later in the season are stored in large piles. Shareholders deliver their sugarbeets to a designated receiving stations located throughout the growing area. Sugarbeets are harvested with two primary pieces of equipment. The defoliator removes the green leaves and slices a slab from the top of the sugarbeet root. This removed slab is the growing point of the sugarbeet and contains high levels of impurities, which impede the factory’s ability to extract the sugar from the remainder of the harvested root. The sugarbeet root is then harvested by lifting it from the soil. The sugarbeet harvester also separates some soil and conveys the sugarbeet into a truck to be transported to a receiving station.

Trucks hauling sugarbeets to receiving stations are weighed and off-loaded on sugarbeet pilers. These machines also screen soil from the sugarbeets and pile the sugarbeets in large storage piles, which are 18 to 30 feet tall and 1500 feet long.

Samples of sugarbeets are taken upon delivery to be analyzed for sugar content, purity and tare. Later, sugarbeets are reloaded into re-haul trucks, which deliver the stored sugarbeets to the factory for processing. Large front-end loaders load belly dump trailers which haul 32 tons per load. Piles are monitored for temperature during the storage term. Some piles are forced air ventilated to enhance storage conditions and allow sugarbeets to be stored for longer periods. Harvest is concluded in late October. Sugarbeets can be stored in piles as long as the end of April when the slicing operations will be completed. Then, it is time to begin the process all over again.

Handling sugarbeets

When the beets in storage are transferred from the storage pile with a loader into a re-haul truck, they are delivered to the factory’s receiving hopper. The beets are then conveyed to the factory’s washing and cleaning station via an underground conveyor belt system. Since the sugarbeet has a nearly identical density to that of water, their transport inside the cleaning station is made much easier by being carried in a current of water, called a flume. The beets then enter a series of two beet washers to remove large dirt clumps in large tumbling drums partially filled with water, then on to a series of two rotary rock catchers, all of which to remove anything that could dull the slicing knifes. A large screw conveyor extracts the beets from the water and onto an elevated final spray wash table, before being conveyed (by a series of belts) to hoppers above the beet slicers.

Extraction of sugar by diffusion

After cleaning, the next step in the “extracting” process is slicing. In order to extract the soluble materials from the insoluble materials in the sugarbeet, a maximal amount of the surface area must be exposed to the hot water extracting solution. The sugarbeets are sliced into thin rectangular strips called “cossettes”, which resemble shoestring potatoes. This is done in large drum slicers, a type of industrial grater, set with several pairs of rotating opposed groove knives.

Slicing beets into cossettes

The cossettes are then conveyed across a weightometer, which feeds back information that controls the rate of slicer activity, and into the cossette mixer. Here the cossettes are scalded with hot juice to break down the cell walls in preparation for extraction of the juice, and then pumped to two diffusers. Hot water is introduced at one end of the diffusers and the cossettes at the other. The cossettes are propelled upward by a large, vertical screw conveyor.


As the cossettes continuously come in contact with hot water containing a lower sugar content, more and more soluble sugar and other compounds are extracted from the cossettes. By the time the hot water leaves the diffuser, after passing by all the cossettes, the cossettes are essentially depleted of all of their sugar and other soluble materials which is now in the water, now referred to as “raw juice”.

Carbonation / clarification and filtering of the juice

The next major step is to separate approximately 40 percent of the soluble non-sugar materials produced by the sugarbeets, which were extracted along with the sugar in the diffuser, from the high sugar content raw juice. This involves heating the juice and adding various compounds like calcium hydroxide and carbon dioxide bubbles. The non-sugar materials are then removed with a settling process. More carbon dioxide bubbles are added to further remove non-sugar components. The juice is then heated again and the unwanted components are filtered out. The remaining juice has sulfur dioxide gas added to prevent browning during additional heating steps. The juice at this stage in the process is now called thin juice.


The thin juice flows to a surge vessel and pumped through a series of multiple effect evaporators. The thin juice enters the evaporator set at about 12 to 18 percent solids and leaves between 61 and 72 percent solids. The juice at this stage is called thick juice. Sugar from a second crystallization step is added to the thick juice, then additional evaporators remove more water from the juice so that eventually they reach at least 72 percent to form a syrup or “standard liquor” which is ready for crystallization.


The most important step in the separation process is that of crystallization. It is more than 99 percent effective as a purification step and without its use, further separations would have to be made in order to purify the sugar acceptably for commerce today.

Crystallization takes place in specially designed vessels called “pans”. Each pan of sugar boiled is called a “strike”. Standard liquor is introduced into the pan to a level known as the charge level. It is then boiled under vacuum, while continuously adding more standard liquor feed to maintain the charge level, until it reaches a concentration where no further sugar would dissolve in the syrup if it were added. This point is known as the “saturation point”.

The pan is then carefully raised in concentration above the saturation point to a preset “supersaturation point”. Then a pre-measured quantity of very fine milled sugar crystals are added as a seed on which the sugar will deposit and become macroscopic crystals. The standard liquor feed is then increased to maintain crystal growth. When the pan is nearly full, the feed is stopped. Then, the percent solids of the mixture of sugar crystals and syrup in the pan is raised to about 92 percent by evaporation. A great deal of crystal growth occurs during this “brixing-up” process.

Centrifuges separate massecuite from syrup

At this point the mixture of crystals and syrup from which the crystals have been grown is called “white massecuite” or white “fill-mass”. The pan is now “dropped”, which means that vacuum on the pan is released, and the massecuite allowed to flow by gravity to a mixer above the white centrifugals. The mixer keeps the massecuite in suspension until the syrup can be separated from the crystals by centrifugation. Centrifugals are large electrically driven machines with baskets or “tubs” enclosed within. The baskets are then spun at high speeds. The result is that the syrup is spun out through holes in the screen and the sugar crystals are trapped on the face of the screen. The sugar crystals are then washed with hot water and/or steam. The syrup and crystal washings are collected and returned for further crystallization and the sugar is removed from the screen either mechanically or centrifugally, dependant upon machine design.

Molasses is one of the three final end products of the factory. It contains about 60 percent of the soluble non-sugars originally extracted with the beet and its sucrose content approaches 50 percent. The non-sugars concentration, however, prevents further crystallization within reasonable time limits.

Sugar crystals must be dried and cooled prior to storage

White sugars, after purging and washing in the centrifugals, are conveyed to the “granulator” for drying and cooling. The granulator is a long rotating cylindrical device, which forces the sugar crystals to tumble through a continuous draft of hot (drying) or cold (cooling) air.

Following their passage through the granulator the sugar is first weighed (for accounting purposes) then conveyed, through a silo distribution system. The sugar must remain in the sugar silos to cure for a minimum of 48 hours prior to packaging or shipping.

The amount of sugar produced from sugarbeets ranges from 70 to 86 percent of the sugar that was in the beets when processed. The wide range is due to the quantity and nature of the non-sugars that were also contained in the beets, along with factory processing techniques.

Mark your Calendars

• Have cold temperatures or life in general been stressing you out? Hammer out your frustrations with us at McCrory Garden’s Wine & Madness event! This workshop will show you how the dye from plants can be transferred to fabric, making a beautiful art piece. Wine, beer, and soda will be available, and your first glass and a light snack is included! Is your holiday Poinsettia losing its beauty? Bring it along and make it into a lasting art piece! Supplies will be provided, but you may bring your own hammer, dish towel, or flowers if preferred! The workshop is held at the McCrory Gardens Education & Visitor Center, 631 22nd Ave., Brookings, SD, Jan. 26, from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Workshop is $20 per person and is limited to 20 participants! Please register for this event by calling the welcome desk at (605) 688-6707, or go visit our website at

• Spring Fever 2018 Gardening Event will be held in the Rushmore Room at Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City on March 3, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. This year’s conference features two presentations by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott of Washington State University, speaking on “Evidence Based Gardening Information” and “The Root of the Problem, When Plants Don’t Thrive”. Dr. John Ball, SDSU Professor and Extension Forestry Specialist will present “Selecting Trees for Western South Dakota.” Short “table talks” topics include: “Growing Vegetables in Containers on Your Deck or Patio”, “Caring for House Plants”, “Conserving Water in Your Garden”, and “Using Compost and Mulch in Your Garden”. Lunch catered by Minerva’s is included in the $35 registration fee. The event includes a Silent Auction, Door Prizes and a Free Table. Registration limited to 200, please register before Feb. 27. Visit under the “Welcome” tab for registration blanks and more information.

Assistance available to producers through Conservation Stewardship Program Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:09 +0000 http://ffimp-20286755 Natural Resources Conservation Service

WASHINGTON – Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2 to be considered for this funding period.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like management for improved soil health, improving grazing management strategies, cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Some of these benefits of CSP include:

• Improved cattle gains per acre.

• Increased crop yields.

• Decreased inputs.

• Wildlife population improvements.

• Better resilience to weather extremes.

NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit

Farm management meeting set for Jan. 31 in Fargo Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:08 +0000 http://ffimp-20286472 NDSU Extension

The Northwest Farm Managers Association will hold its 109th annual meeting for producers and others interested in agriculture on Jan. 31 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

Presentations will focus on providing information to help guide producers through the current challenges in agriculture. Topics include farm financial management, grain market outlook and strategies, the land market, projected weather patterns for the next growing season, the economics of precision agriculture and how new federal tax legislation will impact farmers.

The meeting speakers and their topics are:

• Why prices go sidewise but farm income rises and taking what the land market offers – Michael Swanson is an agricultural economist and consultant for Wells Fargo. He does forecasting for grain and livestock sectors, develops credit and risk strategies, and conducts macroeconomic and international analysis on agricultural production and agribusiness. Swanson will give two presentations.

• Crop price outlook and marketing strategies – Darin Newsom, DTN senior analyst, has nearly 30 years of experience analyzing commodity markets and developing risk-management strategies. Besides DTN, his commentary is featured in industry publications and agricultural news media throughout the country. He will provide the grain market outlook.

• The economics of precision agriculture – Kelly Sharpe is owner of GK Technology Inc., Halstad, Minn. The company specializes in agricultural geographic information system software and image processing, drainage tile design and control, yield monitor and mapping, and site specific services. Sharpe will explain how to get the most return for your investment options in drainage, fertilizer, seed and herbicide.

• Projected weather patterns for the 2018 growing season – Daryl Ritchison does climate research and is the interim director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN), a network of 91 weather stations in North Dakota, eastern Montana and western Minnesota. Previously, he worked for 25 years as a meteorologist at various Midwestern television stations.

• How the new federal tax legislation will affect your farm operation – Mark Giddings, CPA and CGMA, is the founder and CEO of Giddings and Associates, which has provided accounting and tax services, and business planning for 28 years. Giddings will explain how recent tax legislation will impact agricultural producers, its complications and possible unintended consequences.

The meeting is open to the public. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the meeting at 9. The fee for attending is $75, payable at the door. The fee includes a noon meal and breaks. For more information, call 701-231-7393.

Sara Wyant receives American Agri-Women’s Veritas Award Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:07 +0000 http://ffimp-20285512 AgPR

Bloomington, Minn — The American Agri-Women (AAW) presented Sara Wyant of Missouri the Veritas award at their recent convention in Bloomington Minnesota. She originally worked with Illinois Agri-Women in the 1980’s when her job took her to Illinois as part of the Farm Progress Show. Sara was honored for her reporting of State and National Ag Issues that affect daily farm policies. Sara has a long history of serving on AAW committees and always being supportive to AAW members visiting Washington, D.C. to seek independent, reliable information to develop AAW position statements.

She started Agri-Pulse in 2005 to report weekly to legislators, national media and the whole agriculture community. She recently had a special Farm Bill summit hosted by Agri-Pulse that she moderated.

Sara’s newsletter and website, Agri-Pulse, includes the latest updates on farm policy, commodity and conservation programs, trade, food safety, rural development, and environmental and regulatory programs.

In addition, she publishes an early morning news summary, Daily Harvest, providing busy readers with a quick overview of the latest farm, food and rural policy news each weekday. She frequently speaks at farm and commodity associations around the country.

Sara now lives in Missouri with her husband, Allan Johnson. She is the mother of 2 sons, Jason and Jordan. She maintains a Washington, D.C. office as well as one at home.

BeefTalk: Healthy soil buffers human inadequacies Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:06 +0000 http://ffimp-20285306 By Kris Ringwall
NDSU Extension Service Beef Specialist

Perhaps a healthy soil is a good buffer to our own inadequacies.

As we know, water storage and availability are necessary for soil health and forage growth.

Ten years ago, the Dickinson Research Extension Center implemented a cropping system on a quarter of land. The system changed the rate of average water infiltration into the soil from 1.3 inches per hour to 10.2 inches per hour, an increase of 685 percent. Additionally, the projected average plant-available nitrogen increased from 100 to 175 pounds per acre, a 75 percent increase.

Soil is a biological system that depends on the recycling of nutrients to sustain microbial action beneath the soil surface and provide nutrients for above-ground production. The balance between the ground surface and below-ground interaction is essential for soil, allowing water infiltration, nutrient cycling and erosion reduction.

How can producers respond? To answer that question, the center collaborated with the Soil Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Services in Billings, Dunn and Stark counties in North Dakota and established the Southwest North Dakota Soil Health Demonstration Project (2008-2016). The project evaluated existing organic matter within the soil to help understand the level of feeding soil microbes that improve water infiltration and nutrient cycling.

Production practices initiated were to reduce soil disturbance, increase plant diversity, add animal diversity, maintain living roots to feed soil organisms, and cover soil with plants and plant residues. The drought in the 2017 growing season was a good test for the project. The cropping system showed how the increased water infiltration and plant nitrogen availability decreased the impact of the 2017 drought.

Noticeable field production was evident in 2017, despite precipitation totals less than one-half of normal. The diverse rotations maintained adequate production on seeded annual crops, while gain per acre on beef grazing annual crops exceeded 2 pounds per day. The improved forage production allowed the center to maintain stocking rates despite the dryness.

Could these management practices be initiated on a larger scale? Would the result be added revenue for producers and a stronger rural economy?

A need exists to develop agro-ecosystems that optimize the balance between forage-based and grain-based crop/livestock systems reflective of the many individual ecosystems. These integrated systems must be synergistic to the native and agronomic plant communities, providing the base for future beef production.

Beef producers need to think “outside the box” and link the components of agricultural management systems with value-added opportunities. Producers need to review high-residue cropping systems, grassland systems and livestock systems that will further define, integrate and refine these systems toward a more sustainable production system.

For instance, at the center, the integration of rotational grazing increased plant-available nitrogen and overall forage production per acre, allowing for increased beef production that can utilize an integrated cropping system prior to marketing beef cattle. Producers who embrace long-term sustainability of beef and cropping systems will see successes emerge within their production environment.

In time, producers will learn that an integrated agricultural system that truly entwines crop, beef and forage production with other managerial practices is beneficial for long-term survival. Only time will tell. Long-term systems research is not easy work for researchers or educators.

Regardless, producers certainly have an opportunity to improve soil, the base from which agriculture stems. In fact, Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “He (the farmer) stands close to nature; he obtains from the earth the bread and the meat. The food which was not, he causes to be.”

That connection to the earth, soil, bread and meat, plus other food, is as real today as it was when Emerson wrote his words. Some would say such quotations are old-fashioned and best left to the English teacher to read in class. But that is not true, not true at all. The soil contains all that is needed to generate inputs for the bread and the meat.

Some would say that the soil cannot keep up with the demands of the modern world. So perhaps, at least from a producer standpoint, some effort to rejuvenate soil, to improve its health, to expand its living population of things we fail to comprehend is not a bad idea.

Rain comes from places we do not control. But production is a process producers do control, and the incorporation of production practices that reduce soil disturbance, increase plant diversity, add animal diversity, and maintain living roots to feed soil organisms and cover soil with plants and plant residues is a positive step.

A healthy soil really is a good buffer to our own inadequacies.

May you find all your ear tags.

For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service agent ( or Ringwall at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601; 701-456-1103; or

Hofer elected president of South Dakota Pork Producers Council Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:46:05 +0000 http://ffimp-20285099 South Dakota Pork Producers Council

SIOUX FALLS — The South Dakota Pork Producers Council (SDPPC) elected Ferlyn Hofer, a pork producer from Canistota to serve as president.

Hofer stated “I am honored to have been selected to be the South Dakota Pork Producers president for 2018. Our hog industry is growing in the state which is enabling many of our young people to come back to the farm. My hope is that we grow our hog industry responsibly and with respect for our neighbors. I ask each of you to share your story with others so that we can all understand modern pork production. Our staff at the office is exceptional and if you have any questions, please call the office and they are more than willing to answer your questions.”

The board also elected Craig Andersen of Centerville as first vice president; Shane Odegaard of Lake Preston as second vice president. Also elected was Seth Denning of Corsica; Greg Feenstra of New Holland, and Ashley Gelderman of Hartford a representative from Standard Nutrition to serve on the South Dakota Pork Producers Council Executive Board.

The South Dakota Pork Producers Councils mission statement states that the South Dakota Pork Producers Council is a unified and engaged advocate that promotes, with integrity, the image and growth of the South Dakota pork industry through education, research, marketing and responsible policy.

Their vision statement states that the South Dakota Pork Producers Council is a respected leader advocating for sustainable, responsible growth of the South Dakota Pork Industry that benefits our producers, consumers, and communities.

The pork industry has put together an industry pledge for their producers and it is the We Care Ethical Principles. The recent adoption of a statement of ethical principles calls attention to producers’ commitment to responsible practices. With this statement, U.S. pork producers affirm an obligation to produce safe food, protect and promote animal well-being, ensure practices to protect public health, safeguard natural resources in all of our practices, provide a work environment that is safe and consistent with our other ethical principles and contribute to a better quality of life in our communities.

For nutritional information and pork recipes or for information about modern pork production, please visit

How to prevent scours in calves Fri, 19 Jan 2018 22:06:04 +0000 http://ffimp-20285070 BioZyme Inc.

SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — Calving time and scours. For many producers it seems the two go hand-in-hand. In a perfect world, producers would have ample calving space they could rotate to weekly with fresh, clean bedding in a protected environment away from Mother Nature’s wrath. That does sound good, but the reality is most cow-calf operations don’t have that much space and use the same calving area for a 90-day period where they have shelter for the cows and their new babies.

No matter how often you clean your calving facility, the cause of scours – bacterial pathogens in the digestive system – goes unnoticed. And although there is no sure way to eliminate a pathogen invasion resulting in scours, there are ways to help prevent it.

“Good nutrition is key to supporting the immune system,” said Kevin Glaubius, director of Nutrition at BioZyme Inc.

Glaubius suggests a two-part program to keeping cows and calves at their optimal health. First, he said producers should add VitaFerm Concept-Aid 5/S MOS to cow diets 60 days prior to calving. Then, when the calves are born, create a creep area for the calves and include a 50-pound Vita Charge Stress Tub with MOS.

For optimal results, Concept-Aid is typically recommended 60 days prior to calving. The Amaferm in Concept-Aid is a natural prebiotic that is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as to the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility. Adding the Concept-Aid with MOS will aid both the cow and her newborn calf’s nutrition and health in three key ways.

First, it helps reduce fecal shedding of the cow, keeping the area clean. Glaubius also recommends keeping gestating cows out of calving pen until calving time to help keep the area as clean and pathogen-free as possible.

Secondly, the MOS contains a high level of beta-glucans to help boost the immune system and help build a higher-quality colostrum, the only way immune defense the calf has immediately. MOS, is a sugar-protein complex that mimics compounds found in the digestive tract of the animal. Organisms attach to the MOS and get carried out of the calf instead of attaching to the cell wall of the digestive system where they multiple at a faster rate.

Third, the Concept-Aid contains elevated vitamin, mineral and trace mineral levels to help support reproductive health getting those females bred back. Those added vitamins and minerals also support the development of colostrum, crucial to the calves’ first nutritional intake.

When your first calves hit the ground, make a creep area for baby calves only, making sure to provide the area with a wind break, dry bedding and a 50-pound Vita Charge Stress Tub that only the calves can access. The Stress Tubs are a cost-effective way for the calves to get added nutrients. The palatability will attract the calves, and the height of the 50-pound tub makes it easier to access than a traditional mineral feeder. The calves will typically only consume about a .10 of pound per day, enough to get adequate MOS and Amaferm to help balance out the good and bad bacteria in its system.

“The challenge isn’t bacteria; its bad bacteria,” Glaubius said. “The animal relies on the healthy bacteria in its system. We don’t want to keep the gut sterile, we need to keep a balance of good bugs to bad bugs in check.”

Scours come in three primary forms – bacterial, nutritional and viral. The mode of action is targeted to bacterial, but its typically a combination of 2 of the 3 forms. Keeping nutrition top-of-mind and keeping a clean environment should help prevent scours.

“This program is not a cure-all for every type of scour. It won’t ensure you won’t have scours, but it will ensure that you are doing the best you can to prevent issues that lead to scours,” Glaubius said.

Make sure the calves have plenty of dry bedding, and put one 50-pound Stress Tub out for every 20-25 calves. Keep the tubs available to the calves until they are turned out to pasture in the spring time for maximum results. Keep cows on Concept-Aid MOS until grass turnout for maximum benefits. Then you can switch to Concept-Aid without MOS.

It’s not a perfect world, but with some planning, a clean environment and a sound nutrition program, scours at calving time can become one less challenge producers have to face. For more information about these VitaFerm products or to find a dealer near you, visit

National Pork Industry Forum to be held Feb. 28 – March 2 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:36:04 +0000 http://ffimp-20284201 National Pork Board

DES MOINES, Iowa – Producer delegates from across the United States will gather in Kansas City Feb. 28 – March 2 for the annual National Pork Industry Forum.

The 15 producers who serve as members of the National Pork Board will hear directly from Pork Act Delegates appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Each year the delegates confer, vote on resolutions and advisements and provide valuable direction on the important issues facing pork producers and the industry. Delegates will learn about the aggressive promotions to grow consumer demand and plans to build consumer trust and drive sustainable production.

The theme for this year’s Pork Forum, We Care – A Decade of Commitment, references the 10-year anniversary of the We Care ethical principles. Adopted in 2008, the ethical principles show pork producers’ commitment to producing safe food, protecting and promoting animal well-being, safeguarding natural resources, promoting public health, promoting a safe work environment and contributing to a better way of life in their communities.

“The We Care ethical principles are at the core of who we are as pig farmers,” said Terry O’Neel, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska. “They show consumers that we are committed to doing what’s right on the farm for people, pigs and the planet.”

At the meeting, Pork Act Delegates will rank eight candidates for the National Pork Board and submit the list to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for approval. The candidates, in alphabetical order, are:

• Gary Asay – Illinois.

• Richard Deaton – Ohio.

• Patricia Dumoulin – Illinois.

• Todd Erickson – North Dakota.

• Patrick FitzSimmons – Minnesota.

• Bill Kessler – Missouri.

• David Newman – Arkansas.

• Bill Tentinger – Iowa.

Prior to the annual meeting, members of the National Pork Board also will convene their March board of directors meeting. The agenda will include updates on 2018 plans to enhance pork demand, increase market opportunities, improve pork production practices and invest in research priorities.

Included on the 2018 Pork Forum agenda will be opportunities for pork producers to become certified in the pork industry’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus program, as well as learn more about other pork industry programs. The full agenda is available at

Angus Media announces launch of Angus Sales TV Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:26:04 +0000 http://ffimp-20284181 by Katy Holdener
Angus Communications

In today’s world, videography is taking over media platforms at an ever-increasing rate. Now more than ever, filmed promotional materials allow a farm or ranch to connect with their audience in a more engaging and productive way. Angus Media is excited to announce the launch of its new video addition to sale catalogs, Angus Sales TV. Take your promotional dollars further with the addition of videography to your sale catalog and much more.

Angus Sales TV is a portfolio of video services ranging from video shoots, editing, posting and promotion. Now, as prospective customers flip through your online sale catalog, they can simply click on an image of an offering, and the lot’s video launches instantaneously.

“In 2017, Angus Media online sale catalogs received more than 38 million views,” said Angus Productions Inc. President Rick Cozzitorto. “By adding videos with your sale catalog on the Angus Media website, you will be on a site with the most page views in the agricultural industry, exposing your program to the largest audience possible. With Angus Media, the possibilities for your cattle marketing options are endless.”

Allow potential customers to get to know your operation beyond the pages of a sale catalog. Angus Sales TV is available to develop and create an added sense of excitement around your program and production sales. With 38 million sale catalog page views in 2017, the Angus Media team is the leader in first-class production catalogs and promotional materials.

For more information regarding Angus Sales TV, contact Brett Spader at 816-383-5100, ext. 205 or