Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

Select Sires Inc. to be featured in American Farmer, airing on RFD-TV

PLAIN CITY, Ohio—Select Sires Inc. announced today that they will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Farmer, airing Second Quarter on RFD-TV.

Select Sires is a federation of nine farmer-owned-and-controlled cooperatives. In this episode, American Farmer will go behind-the-scenes at Select Sires to educate audiences about CowManager, a continuous three−in−one heat, health and rumination herd monitoring system.

“Select Sires is intensely focused on making our customer-owners more productive and profitable to feed a growing world population,” says Lyle Kruse, Select Sires vice president of U.S. market development. “We are very excited about how the CowManager system can help dairy producers better manage cow health and reproduction and are proud to provide this innovative product. The upcoming feature on American Farmer will help educate dairy producers and consumers on how Select Sires and CowManager can revolutionize individual cow management.”

With CowManager, all measurements are taken by a computer microchip that is combined with the cow’s ear tag making it different from any other system on the market. The system includes three modules that measure health, fertility and feeding by constantly monitoring temperature, activity, rumination and eating time.

“Select Sires works hard to enhance productivity and profitability,” said Kelly Fussell, Producer for the Series. “We look forward to educating the public on Select Sires’ commitment to the industry.”

Thune announces committee assignments for coming year

U.S. Senator John Thune, R-S.D., has received his committee assignments for the 114th session of Congress (2015-2016).

Thune was selected to continue serving on the following committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and Finance.

Members of these committees will vote in early January to select committee chairs, and the full Republican conference will ratify those selections.

Thune was previously named ranking member, or the senior most Republican, of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for the 113th Congress. Thune will continue to serve in Republican leadership as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Grain Marketing seminar in Pierre

Join Midwest Cooperatives at their grain marketing seminar on Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Ramkota in Pierre.

RSVP by calling your local Midwest Cooperative location or 800-658-3670

Guest Speakers will be: Kevin Van Trump, Chairman of Farm Direction and Kent Beadle, Marketing Manager-Russell Consulting Group. Lunch will be served.

FSA offers online Farm Bill overview

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Act), also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, was signed by President Obama on Feb. 7, 2014. The Act repeals certain programs, continues some programs with modi­fications, and authorizes several new programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Most of these programs are authorized and funded through 2018.

For the latest on 2014 Farm Bill programs administered by FSA, please visit our Farm Bill website at and for an FSA program overview please read, download and/or print our recently posted FSA Farm Bill Fact Sheet titled, “What’s in the 2014 Farm Bill for Farm Service Agency Customers?” (

For more information on FSA, please contact your local USDA Service Center or visit us online at

Livestock group warns ranchers to get tax advice

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is warning cattle ranchers to seek professional tax advice for the payments they received after a blizzard in October 2013 that devastated cattle herds.

Association President Bob Fortune said that disaster recovery programs for ranchers would likely need to be reported as taxable income. He says it’s important for ranchers with questions to seek out a professional evaluation.

Donations and U.S. Department of Agriculture relief helped ranchers begin to replenish herds and rebuild barns and fences.

Most preliminary crop prices rise

SIOUX FALLS — Preliminary prices received by farmers for winter wheat in December averaged $5.83 per bushel, is up 21 cents from last month according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The preliminary December spring wheat price, at $6.14, is up 52 cents from last month.

The preliminary December corn price, at $3.44, is up 20 cents from last month.

The preliminary December soybean price, at $9.66, is up 14 cents from last month.

The preliminary December oat price, at $3.02, is down 16 cents from the last month.

The December alfalfa hay price, at $119.00 per ton, is up $2.00 from last month. The other hay price, at $94.00, is up $4.00 from last month.

Minnesota imposes quarantine to stop pine beetles

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota has imposed to new quarantine aimed at keeping the destructive mountain pine beetle out of the state.

The quarantine goes into effect Jan. 1. Minnesota Public Radio News reports the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s quarantine limits the import of freshly cut pine wood with the bark still on from the 13 states with mountain pine beetle.

Although the beetles are about the size of a grain of sand, they have devoured 45 million acres of pine trees in western North America over the past couple of decades.

On two recent occasions the beetle was found in Minnesota on wood transported from the west. Both times the bugs were already dead.

The Minnesota Forest Resources Council supports the quarantine.

South African farm worker dies on crash in SD reservation

STANDING ROCK INDIAN RESERVATION, S.D. (AP) — A South African farm worker is dead following a two-vehicle crash on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The Capital Journal reports 33-year-old Werner Swart died after two pickup trucks collided head-on. Each pickup truck was driven by 33-year-old Mattheus Christiaan Weldon and 26-year-old Cornelis Johannes Weldon. The drivers, also South African natives, are brothers.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol says Swart was Mattheus Christiaan Weldon’s passenger. Authorities say none of the men were wearing seat belts when the collision occurred.

Swart was pronounced dead at the scene and the brothers were transported to North Dakota hospitals.

The men are part of a group that travels to the Dakotas on visas to work on farms.

Green Iron Equipment named as one of best dealers in Upper Midwest

Naperville, Ill. (PRWEB) — Select equipment dealers throughout the United States and Canada learned how they rank with their customers and compare with their competitors as SATISFYD, a Customer Experience Management (CEM) software company and leader in customer satisfaction surveying, recently released a list of the top scoring dealers. Those represented on the SATISFYD 220 List achieved the highest overall ratings in their region based on their customers’ willingness to recommend their dealership to others, in 2014 survey results. More than 1,000 construction equipment and agricultural dealerships competed for the honor.

“This year we are reporting the top scoring dealers in each of 10 U.S. regions, rather than nationally,” said Ryan Condon, CEO and founder of SATSIFYD. “Since most dealers compete for customers at the local level, we felt this was a more meaningful measure for dealers.” The top 20 dealers in Canada are also recognized.

Green Iron Equipment in North Dakota made the SATISFYD 220 List as one of the top performing dealers in the Upper Midwest region. LeAnn Nelson, marketing coordinator at the company, said, “It’s gratifying to know that our customers appreciate the effort we put forth to meet their needs. Such feedback lets us understand what we are doing right and what needs to change. We also like knowing how we compare to our competitors.”

Losses projected for many crops in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An annual project at North Dakota State University that helps farmers determine the potential profitability of various crops projects a negative return on many crops this year.

NDSU Farm Management Specialist Andy Swenson tells The Bismarck Tribune that commodity prices have dropped but production expenses haven’t.

The crop budgets show a positive return is expected in about half of the state for spring wheat, durum wheat and soybeans. Projected returns for corn are negative in all regions except the west. Lentils are projected to bring the best returns of any crop.

Swenson says the estimates for returns don’t take into consideration price and yield variability or risk.