Red River Farm Network News
Thaler and Meimann Among Masters of Pork Winners — National Hog Farmer is honoring its 2013 Masters of the Pork Industry. The honorees include South Dakota State University Extension swine specialist Bob Thaler and former National Pork Board senior vice president Jim Meimann. Award winners also inlcude Brad Wolter of The Machhoffs Inc., Malcom DeKryger of Belstra Milling, Rodney Baker of Iowa State University and Jeff Hansen of Iowa Select Farms.
With a Busy Spring, Communication is Key — Dakota Agronomy Partners agronomist Courtney Hawbaker says retailers are working overtime to stay on top of the fertilizer season. "We're really trying to stay ahead on the fertilizer side of it. Our floaters are running as they can, we've got truckloads going out the farm and to our spreaders, so we're trying to deal with it as quickly as we can. We're getting unit trains in too, so we're keeping ourselves stocked," Hawbaker said, "Anhydrous has been a little tight as far as getting trucks in, but we're trying to work through that. Communication this spring is going to be huge."
Few Changes to Acreage Plans Anticipated — Morris, Manitoba farmer Art Enns says planting progress is moving along. Enns is expecting most farmers to say with original acreage plans. "In this area, corn is going to be up pretty good. Soybeans, I think if we don't get too much rain, most of the soybeans will be going in. This year I think a lot of cereal acres moved to soybeans and corn," Enns said, "Even canola is going to be down here, but canola acres are progressing pretty well here."
A Rush to Get Fertilizer Applied — Since farmers in the Alvarado, Minnesota didn’t get much fertilizer applied last fall, Farmers Elevator Company of Alvarado agronomist Roger Kazmierczak says they are starting in a hole this spring. "We didn't have a fall application last fall, it was too dry to start with and then too wet. We're basically doing everything this spring and half of it should've been done last fall," Kazmierczak said, "That puts a lot of pressure on the people in the machines; we're doing the best we can."
A Busy Spring for Fertilizer Spreaders — Fertilizer supply has not been an issue so far for CHS Ag Services, sales agronomist Justin Moe says planting progress is moving ahead. Moe says so far, the fertilizer spreaders are able to keep up. "We're doing our best to keep up, but with corn becoming king in the country there's a lot of pounds that go on per acre," Moe said, "That slows things up a little bit. We're doing our best and are plugging away." RRFN's weekly Crop Watch broadcast is sponsored, in part, by North Dakota Farmers Union.
A Normal Planting Window for Producers — Northern Crops Marketing and investments president Brad Paulson says farmers are making good planting progress in the Langdon, North Dakota area. Paulson is seeding wheat and says, for his area, the planting window is not that far from normal. "The last 20 years it's the first or second week of May when a guy gets going. I think people just look at last year and that was more of an anomaly the other way, how early we were in the field, how dry it was and how fast things went in," Paulson said, "To me, this is more of an average year." RRFN's Crop Watch is sponsored, in part, by Minnesota Soybean Farmers and the Soybean Checkoff.
Planting Nears Completion — Crops are mostly planted in southwestern North Dakota. New England, North Dakota farmer John Wert says area farmers are about done planting. "It's pretty much getting seeded out down here, there's not a whole lot left," Wert said, "We have about three days left but a lot of guys are wrapping things up." RRFN's Crop Watch broadcast is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
Most Spring Wheat is Planted — Capistran Seed Company president Wayne Capistran says according to seed load outs, most of the spring wheat is getting planted. "Wheat is going in just fine, I would say we're are probably 75 percent in the ground looking at what's left to pick up. About a quarter is left to go and no one has cancelled anything," Capistran said, "Soybean load outs have started, and I would say corn is done; beets for the most part are getting pretty close."
Spring Wheat Yield Reductions Expected — North Dakota State University extension agronomist Joel Ransom is expecting to see some yield reduction in spring wheat because of the late spring. "We can anticipate that late planted wheat will have some detrimental effect on yield potential. Of course, every year is different and it could be that we have a nice, cool year and it favors wheat development and we won't really have the penalties we're talking about," Ransom said, "As you get into planting wheat after May 1 we typically expect to lose one-and-a-half bushels per day of delay."
Lack of Subsoil Moisture Raises Concerns — Peterson Farm Seed Agronomist Adam Spelhaug says planting conditions are nearly ideal, but, the crops are going to need moisture shortly. "Fields had been too wet to get into. Once we got in, worked them and planted they are drying up pretty quick; we definitely lost all that subsoil moisture last year. I think a lot of the stuff that's seeded could use a rain," Spelhaug said, "The guys that are still going want to keep going, but if we got a half-inch or inch of rain it's not going to hold us back too long."
Drought Conditions Ease — U.S. drought conditions eased slightly this week with 47.7 percent of the continental U.S. under long term drought compared to 48.1 percent last week. Fifty-two percent of the winter wheat crop remains in drought, down 1 percent from last week. Kansas is listed as 21.5 percent in exceptional drought, down just over 1 percent from last week. Ag Management Services says the U.S. corn crop is 34 percent in drought, and soybeans are 25 percent in drought, both down slightly from last week.
Weather May Delay Fertilizer Demand — Cool, wet conditions in much of the Midwest and concerns regarding future weather will delay the normal cycle of fertilizer restocking, bringing significant uncertainty to the second quarter fertilizer markets. A new report from Rabobank International Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory group finds that, overall, the pace of fertilizer demand is now increasing seasonally and fueling a pick-up in global trading activity. The report goes on to show the fast-approaching Northern Hemisphere planting season will be pivotal in driving short-term commodity prices. Rabobank Senior Vice President Sterling Liddell says the financial incentive to maximize production is driving a large planting, which will lead to a predominately neutral price outlook.
Some Challenges Restocking Fertilizer Supplies — With a shortened-spring season, there has been some challenges for retailers in restocking fertilizer supplies, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Rabobank senior vice president Sterling Liddell says this is a bigger challenge in this region. "In the Northern Plains area it has been a challenge because of the lack of fieldwork that was done in the fall, where a lot of the Midwest fieldwork was able to be done in the fall," Liddell said, "So it has intensified the problem in the Northern Plains a little bit."
Land Values Continue to Rise — A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank shows the increase in farmland values has slowed, although still rising. A Fed economist says rising production costs and falling crop prices curbed farm income growth in the first quarter. High feed and forage costs continued to hurt profitability in the livestock sector. Farmland values rose 3.4 percent in the first quarter, compared to the fourth quarter. Land values were still up 19 percent from the previous year in the Kansas City Fed’s District. The Chicago Fed reports a 4 percent boost in farmland values in the first quarter, and up 19 percent from a year ago.
Informa Cuts Corn, Soybean Acres — Informa Economics released its estimated 2013 acreage numbers this morning. Informa cut corn acres slightly to 96.8 million, down almost 1 million from its March intentions number of 97.7 million. It’s also down slightly from USDA March planting intentions report estimate of 97.3 million. Informa expects soybean acres to be 78.3 million, down from its March number of 78.5 million but up 1.2 million from USDA’s March number of 77.1 million. Informa is pegging spring wheat acres at 12.4 million, up slightly from its March number of 12.36 million with Durum acres pegged at 1.9 million acres, down from its previous forecast of 1.99 million acres.
House, Senate Make Farm Bill Progress — The farm bill flurry continues Monday as the Senate takes up its bill on the floor. Both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees marked up and approved their versions of a new, five-year farm bill on back-to-back days last week. Votes on amendments to the Senate bill could begin as early as Tuesday and passage could come as early as late next week.
Farm Bill Battle Continues — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas says he realizes passing the farm bill through his committee is only the first of many hurdles. "We still have choice, we still have a bill that all regions and commodities can participate in and we'll still have some differences to work out with our friends in the Senate. My understanding is we'll be on the floor in June that's a dramatic improvement over a year ago knowing it'll go to the floor," Lucas said, "Many of the battles from committee whether it is dairy, sugar or the size of the nutrition reforms will be fought out again on the floor of the House." Lucas will chair the Farm Bill Conference Committee, which could begin in July assuming the House passes its farm bill in June. The Washington Watch broadcasts are sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Farmers Union.
Dairy Policy Faces Tough Opposition — South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem says the dairy title still faces opposition in the House, from the top down. "We're hoping that the bill will get scheduled for the House floor sometime in June. We've got some amendments that are going to be kind of controversial and I'm guessing the speaker has weighed in on some of those, so he's going to want some time to talk to members about them as well. What he doesn't like about the dairy policy is the supply management portion of that policy," Noem said, "It's something we've known all along that he doesn't like very much. He encouraged a lot of members on the Ag committee to take a second look at it but when it comes to the House floor he said he'd be willing to speak against it himself." The Washington Watch broadcasts are sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Corn Growers Association.
Dairy Policy Has to Work for Producers — One of the biggest fights during the House Agriculture Committee farm bill hearing was over dairy policy. Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson has been the architect of the dairy reform plan. "The last thing we need to do is change the dairy policy to something that's not going to work, we've got to make sure we get this right," Peterson said, "The producers and National Milk have worked on this for three-and-a-half years and they are the ones that handle 80 percent of the milk; they understand what needs to be done." RRFN's Washington Watch coverage is sponsored, in part, by the U.S. Durum Growers Association.
Farm Bill Discussions Create Momentum — North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer says it was an eventful week for farm policy in Washington, D.C. "I like the fact that the House and Senate are doing this in tandem. I think that speaks well of the process, it creates momentum, it's synergistic and efficient," Cramer said, "What's encouraging is that the two bills are more closely aligned than they were last year. I think any time there's momentum in one chamber it helps the other chamber, especially when they're tied so closely together in the time frame." The Washington Watch broadcasts are sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Grain Growers Association.
Concerns Over Addition of Target Price Program — The Senate farm bill looks more similar to the House bill than last year at least the commodity title because of the addition of a target price program. That gained support from southern Senators but Midwest Republicans John Thune, Mike Johanns and Pat Roberts voted against the bill on Tuesday. "I think this bill is a rearview mirror bill, not a reform bill," Kansas Senator Pat Roberts said. The bottom-line according to Roberts, "Farmers may have every opportunity during tough times like the third year of drought in Kansas to farm for the government as opposed to the market. I thought we had gone past those days."
Senate Will Hear Good and Bad Farm Bill Amendments — Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is very pleased that the Senate will take up the farm bill starting today. "It went directly to the floor and we're debating it. Obviously we're going to have amendments, last time we had over 80 amendments. I'm hoping that some of those people who lost their amendments badly won't feel the need to put them up again because they know they'll lose," Klobuchar said, "There's good amendments and dumb amendments and we'll hear them all, get through them and get the bill passed before Memorial Day." RRFN's Washington Watch coverage is sponsored, in part, by the National Potato Council.
Franken Will Fight for Energy Title — Minnesota Senator Al Franken wrote the energy title in the Senate farm bill. Franken says he’ll work to make sure it stays in the farm bill. "The Rural Energy for America Program, is a program that Minnesotans take care of second most in the country other than Iowa, which gets grants and loans for rural energy efficiency projects or for renewable energy projects," Franken said, "This could be anything from anaerobic digestors to blender pumps and wind projects." Franken will also fight to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard. RRFN's Washington Watch coverage is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Farmers Union.
Strong Crop Insurance Program Should be Foundation of Farm Bill — South Dakota Senator John Thune was one of five no votes on the farm bill that the Senate Agriculture Committee passed and sent to the floor last week. Because Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran took over as ranking member, Thune says a number of policies were added that are very favorable for some southern states. "Many of us who represent the upper Plains states think that this farm bill ought to be about reform and moving away from some of the old price support systems that we had and really using as the foundation for this farm bill a good, strong, robust crop insurance program," Thune said, "Some of these old policies that are a throwback to previous decades of farm policy are very difficult in terms of World Trade Organization requirements. They're very difficult to defend in terms of the environment we are in fiscally and policies that really don't reflect as much market forces as they do planning for the government." The Washington Watch broadcasts are sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Wheat Commission.
Not Unfair to Ask Producers for More, Vilsack says — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency supports tying crop insurance to conservation compliance. "It's a bargain; it's a deal that's made between tax payers, farmers and insurance companies. The deal is we recognize Mother Nature can be unpredictable, we want to support our farmers, we want to provide them risk management tools and we're happy to provide some of the resources to make that possible. I don't think that's too much to ask, I think it's a fair deal," Vilsack said, "When tax payers are paying more than 50 percent of the premium, especially when we are reducing so many other areas of government spending, maybe it's not unfair to ask for just a little bit more from producers."
Hoeven Will Fight to Decouple Conservation Compliance, Crop Insurance — North Dakota Senator John Hoeven tried hard, but failed to decouple conservation compliance from crop insurance during the markup of the Senate farm bill. But, he remains optimistic it’ll get done in conference committee. "I offered a series of amendments and on the last amendment I had a split vote 10 to 10 in the committee that's a very good sign. I stopped there because if the House can keep them decoupled, which I think they can, I think there's a good shot to keep them decoupled," Hoeven said, "There will be a fight perhaps on the floor, but I'm hopeful that they'll keep them decoupled in the House. Since I was able to get a tie vote, which shows we have strength in this issue, I think in conference we can maybe get this done." RRFN's Washington Watch coverage is sponsored, in part, by the North Dakota Farm Bureau.
Disagreement Over Tying Crop Insurance to Conservation Compliance — Last week the American Farm Bureau Federation joined a coalition of agriculture and conservation groups in support of tying crop insurance to conservation compliance. North Dakota Farm Bureau lobbyist Eric Aasmundstad says North Dakota Farm Bureau is disappointed with this decision. "President Johannes has said that this is the wrong thing to do. Passage of a farm bill by basically sacrificing producers access to affordable crop insurance is not the thing to do. We are very disappointed as an organization with AFBF's decision," Aasmundstad said, "Our members have contacted us in as large of numbers as any contact, I believe, the organization has ever had being quite upset with AFBF's position. Essentially, if this were to come to fruition it would leave producers in the Prairie Pothole Region and across the country in a tough position."
Removal of Set-Asides Still Impacts Farm Policy Debate — Ohio State University ag economics professor Carl Zulauf thinks the farm policy debate is still reacting to the 1996 farm bill, which removed set-asides. "Set-asides were parameters the government used to adjust farm policy as we went along. Let's say we did not forecast where prices of corn were going to be and we ended up with more corn than we thought, we simply raised the annual set-aside of corn. We had this mechanism to annually adjust," Zulauf said, "When we did away with set-asides we no longer have an annual adjustment mechanism. Since I don't believe you can forecast prices and more importantly I don't believe you can forecast changes in prices, I believe you have to have a policy that reacts to inadvertent mis-forecasting."
Farm Bill in Uncharted Territory — While committee action on the farm bill took place last week, the real action will be seen on the floor. Lobbyist Jeff Harrison of Combest Sell and Associates sees a path forward in the Senate. "On the House side it's uncharted water. You're looking at a lot of House members that have never voted on the farm bill before and that's really uncharted territory; not so much as it relates to crop insurance in the commodity title but I think the sticky issue remains food stamps," Harrison said, "Most Democrats feel that the cuts are too deep in the House and most Republicans feel they're not deep enough."
Senate Approves Water Resources Development Act — With an 83-14 vote, the US Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act. The WRDA bill includes funding for modernization projects on the Mississippi River. The bill also includes authorization for permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley and prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from charging residents or businesses for Missouri River reservoir water. The bill now goes to the House, where it faces criticism on both sides of the aisle.
Passage of WRDA Good for North Dakota — Almost lost in all the talk about the farm bill this week was passage of the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says WRDA is huge for North Dakota. "The diversion in the Red River Valley, authorization for permanent flood protection is huge for eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota," Hoven said, "We wrote legislation called the States Rights Act and it's also included in the Water Resource Development Act. It prevents the Corps of Engineers from charging us for using Missouri River Water; that is huge for western North Dakota."
Farm Policy, Federal Budget Big Topics on Capitol Hill — There was a lot of discussion about farm policy and the federal budget in Washington, D.C., last week. American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Bob Young thinks almost all of the farm program support will be of a risk management nature. "We're going to talk about Title 1 spending that's probably going to come in around $4 billion per year. Here's a sector of the economy that's going to talk about cash receipts probably well in excess of $330 billion," Young said, "The alternative is to talk about a program, as we are, that on most years is going to spend absolutely zero but once in a while could write a big check."
Good Session for Minnesota Farmers Union — Minnesota Farmers Union President Doug Peterson thinks agriculture will come out of the Minnesota Legislative session in pretty good shape. "The legislative session, everyone recognizes the need to move forward. Specifically the mechanics of providing enough financial support for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Animal Board of Health," Peterson said, "If there are other fees to pay for programs we've been very successful in finding other ways of paying for those so the fee doesn't come back to the farm in rural Minnesota; that's been pretty good for Minnesota Farmers Union right now."
Download the RRFN Smartphone App — The Red River Farm Network has launched a new smartphone app for iPhone, iPad and Android users. The RRFN app delivers the power of the Red River Farm Network agriculture journalism team to your fingertips. Farm news, weather, market analysis, agronomy information and the latest RRFN broadcast is now available anytime, anywhere. The features of the RRFN app include the latest radio broadcast and news headlines. World Weather, Inc. ag meteorologist Drew Lerner, who provides agriculture forecasts on the Red River Farm Network, will be featured on this app. In addition, agronomic information and commentary from leading market analysts will be found on the RRFN app. The Red River Farm Network app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or from Google Play.
Superior Livestock Auction Under New Ownership — The Superior Livestock Auction has new ownership. The video marketing service is now owned by National Livestock Credit and 31 cattlemen investors. This deal has been in the works for three years, but was delayed by the bankruptcy of Eastern Livestock. At the time of its bankruptcy, Eastern Livestock owed Superior Livestock Auction $19 million. That case is still being sorted out in the courts. All procedural and broadcast operations will continue as they have in the past for Superior Livestock.
North and South American Groups to Form Corn Alliance — An alliance for North and South American corn farmers is being created. The US Grains Council, National Corn Growers Association and two South American groups have an agreement to form the International Maize Alliance. The new alliance will emphasize the need for better consumer understanding of production agriculture and reduce trade barriers.
EU to Investigate Oil, Biofuel Companies — European Union antitrust officials have raided oil and biofuel companies. These companies are under suspicion for distorting prices and market collusion. European Commission officials describe this as the first step in an investigation of anti-competitive practices in the energy market.
Strong 2Q for Deere & Company — In the second quarter, Deere & Company reports net income of just over $1 billion. That’s up 3 percent from last year. Revenue from equipment sales rose 9 percent, topping $10 billion.
JBS Reports Increased 1Q Net Income — In the first quarter, meat process JBS had net income of more than $113 million. That’s up more than 96 percent from the same period last year. JBS’s US beef operations generated revenue of $4.3 billion. That’s up almost six percent from last year. Strong poultry prices helped JBS offset high grain costs, pushing sales for Pilgrim’s Pride to $2 billion. The JBS US pork operations had net revenue of 842 million, down nearly two percent for the quarter.
GrainCorp Reports Decreased Profits — Australian based GrainCorp Ltd says first half profits were 34 percent lower than a year ago as the company dealt with lower grain exports, expanding its oils businesses and costs related to Archer Daniels Midland Company’s takeover. GrainCorp says net profits for the first half of its fiscal year fell to $88.2 million. CEO Alison Watkins says while net profits were down, GrainCorp’s total revenue was 40 percent higher than a year ago.
Mosaic Delays Expansion Plans — Mosaic Company says it will delay plans to expand potash production in western Canada for a year or two while it waits for better market conditions. Mosaic says waiting a year or two will give the company better clarity about the long term supply picture and waiting may improve labor conditions in Saskatchewan that might help bring the cost of the expansion down.
Supreme Court Sides with Monsanto — The US Supreme Court has unanimously sided with Monsanto in case over patent rights. Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman purchased commodity soybeans from his local grain elevator and replanted them. Two lower courts also ruled in Monsanto’s favor in this battle over patents and intellectual property rights. Monsanto general counsel David Snively welcomes the ruling, saying it should promote a continued investment in agricultural innovation.
BWSR Appointments Made — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has made appointments to the Board of Water and Soil Resources. Those appointments are Christy Fogarty of Farmington, Tom Loveall of Winnebago, Judy Ohly of Rochester and Thomas Schulz of Sebeka.
Krei, Sauter Join North Dakota Ag Department — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has appointed Jonathan Krei as pesticide program specialist. Goehring says Krei will be responsible for reviewing all of the department’s pesticide inspections and investigations and will manage data associated with the pesticide enforcement program. Goehring also appointed Jerry Sauter as an environmental scientist in the pesticide program. Sauter will work on pesticide issues related to water quality, threatened and endangered species, and bees.
Schueller Joins Renewable Fuels Association — The Renewable Fuels Association has a new communications director. Dawn Schueller Moore previously served as the press secretary to Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl.
Moniz Named Secretary of Energy — The Senate has confirmed Ernest Moniz for the Secretary of Energy. Dr. Moniz has previous experience at the Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration, as well as a nuclear physicist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Moniz will succeed Dr. Steven Chu. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says President Obama has chosen a well-qualified individual to lead the Department of Energy. Buis is also pleased that Gina McCarthy’s nomination for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has successfully advanced through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Rabo AgriFinance Adds Kolell — Sarah Kolell is the new public relations director for Rabo AgriFinance. A native of Climax, Minnesota, Kolell will lead Rabo AgriFinance's public relations strategy and planning. Most recently, Kolell was with AdFarm in Kansas City.
Soybean Council Promotes Fern — Molly Fern has been promoted to Manager of Business and Administrative Services for the North Dakota Soybean Council. Fern will be responsible for finance, administrative services and coordination of the Federal soybean checkoff program. Prior to joining the Council in 2006, Fern worked for Target Corporation.
Corn Matters — The Minnesota Corn Growers Association presents a weekly update on the Red River Farm Network. This broadcast can be found at http://rrfn.com/indepth/050713%20MN%20Corn%20Matters%20Staff.mp3
Canola Minute — For this week's edition of the Canola Minute from the Northern Canola Growers Association, go to http://rrfn.com/indepth/050813%20Canola%20Minute%20Sheri.mp3
Incognito Dry Bean Report — To listen to this week's Incognito Dry Bean Report, click http://rrfn.com/indepth/050613%20MANA%20173%20Week%208.mp3
Soybean Update — To hear this past week's edition of the Minnesota Soybean Update, click on http://rrfn.com/indepth/050813%20MN%20Soybean%20Update%20Naeve.mp3
Soybean Minute — To hear this week's North Dakota Soybean Minute, click http://rrfn.com/indepth/050913%20nd%20soybean%20council%20050213-60%20may%20see%20for%20yourself%20trip.mp3
Condolences — Wayne Bollum, 57, passed away Wednesday. Funeral services will be held Tuesday in Northfield, Minnesota. Bollum's career included time as the national sales manager for Farm Journal Media and publisher with Penton Media.
Last Week's Trivia — Country music great George Strait is celebrating his 61st birthday with his hit song "Give It All We Got Tonight." Mark Maris of Cargill Turkey tops our charts and is our weekly trivia winner. Bruce Trautman of Ralco Nutrition, Laurie Hoffman of Vistacomm, Grand Forks County Extension Agent Willie Huot, and Bruce Miller of the Minnesota Farmers Union earn runners-up honors. RRFN's 'first 20' rounds out with Todd Good of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Mark Bernard of AgroEconomics, retired seedsman Robert Hobbs, Mandy Kvale of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Brenda Christensen of Swanson Russell, Marla Thissen of McLeod County Extension, Will Kusler of First State Bank, Pam Vilchis of Hutchinson High School, Heather Koehler of AdFarm, Nathan Johnson of Roseau Regional Extension Office, Steele County Extension Agent Alicia Harstad, Jill Nelson of Olmar Farms, Rene Scheurer of Betaseed, financial consultant Bob Anderson and Ryan Svoboda of the North Dakota Mill.