Red River Farm Network News


Drought Area ExpandsWith little or no rain, conditions worsened across western and southern North Dakota and the western half of South Dakota. According to the latest Drought Monitor, conditions range from abnormally dry to extreme drought in every North Dakota county. A portion of South Dakota has reached extreme drought conditions in the latest update. That area includes Dewey, portions of Potter, Walworth and Campbell counties. Aberdeen, South Dakota is still in moderate-to-severe drought. 

Emergency Grazing AuthorizedAgriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Emergency grazing has been approved immediately and extends through September 30 unless conditions improve. Producers have to work with the NRCS to develop a modified conservation plan that is site-specific, including the authorized duration to reflect local wildlife needs. Eligible CRP participants can use the acres for grazing their own livestock or may grant another livestock producer use of CRP ground. No reductions will be assessed to the annual rental payments for the CRP acres grazed.

What About Haying? — South Dakota Senator John Thune is glad to see USDA take an important first step to give farmers and ranchers additional pasture as they cope with tough conditions. Thune says more can be done, including opening up the lands to haying. Thune and Senator Mike Rounds sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue making that request two weeks ago.

Drought Emergency Declared — North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has declared a drought emergency. This move allows the State Water Commission to reactivate a water supply assistance program for livestock producers in 26 counties dealing with moderate-to-extreme drought. Burgum is also bringing together representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Department of Emergency Services and other agencies to coordinate the state’s drought response efforts.

Difficult QuestionsAccording to North Dakota State University Extension Agent Nicole Wardner, ranchers are making difficult decisions. Due to the drought, numerous questions are being asked. "Will we reduce the herd or maintain it? If we maintain the herd, how will we find feed that’s available for them, whether it’s alternative feedstuffs or finding forages that’s really not growing for them today? If we are reducing the herd, how do we decide who goes and what animals stay a while longer? It’s a big issue impacting the county right now.” Wardner says there have been isolated rains, but there hasn't been enough moisture to alleviate the drought stress. Sheridan County Extension is hosting a stockmanship workshop that is considering issues like heifer selection and grazing management. Cattle handling expert Curt Pate is being featured.

Cattle Dilemma — There has been limited growth on the drought-stressed pasture ground. Hay supplies are short-to-non-existant. Ranchers are being forced to make tough decisions. Do they find more pasture, buy hay, dry lot, or sell part or all of their herd? South Dakota State University Extension livestock business management field specialist Heather Gessner encourages producers to run the numbers and consider the fixed costs. “The biggest thing we need to do is to know our current land, labor and capital situation. We need to have a good understanding of our finances and what the inputs cost to get a calf from conception to weaning.” Additional considerations include the cost of restocking and the tax consequences of selling females. “What does it cost to haul hay back and forth for our cow herd? And maybe consider the cost of moving cows twice if we can find a place to take cows to feed instead of bringing feed to our operation.”  

All Options Being Considered — South Dakota Wheat Commission executive director Reid Christopherson says state farmers are looking at all options, including harvesting the wheat as cattle forage. "It's not looking good. The decision is being made on how to deal with the crop.” Wheat farmers went into the year with less acreage. Extreme drought and disease pressure are also causing problems. The drought has been reflected in the MGEX spring wheat futures. "Going nto the year, South Dakota was carrying a full year of old crop. We’ve got wheat that needs to be moved. They may be sitting back a while longer to see where prices end up. It’s one of those years where it could bring balance books back into play."  

Cooler Temps Seen in Northern Plains — Daryl Ritchison, interim director, North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network, says the drought would be even worse without the cooler-than-average temperatures that have been seen in June. Comparisons have been made to other dry years, like 2012. "I don’t think this summer will be like 2012. I think we’ll get more moisture than 2012 and will be cooler. Having said that, some areas are already too late to salvage the wheat grown or the grasslands to recover the costs.” Ritchison expects the dry conditions to continue into the month ahead.

Stand Establishment Was a Challenge — Coleharbor, North Dakota farmer Paul Anderson thinks the planting delay could still give his crop a chance. "We really didn’t have measurable precipitation until about two weeks ago. We got our first half-inch of rain. We were really dry." Anderson labored to improve the seed-to-soil contact this season. "I had to change the way we plant. We had to push away dry dirt to get the seed into moisture. It was a challenge to get stands established.” Anderson's wheat crop has suffered. In his view, it is his weakest wheat crop since 1988.

IDC Shows UpIron Deficiency Chlorosis is being seen in the soybean crop. “The yellowing is happening because the soybeans aren’t able to pick up enough iron to keep itself green," explained DuPont Pioneer field agronomist Derek Crompton. "Because we had some dry soils at germination, the soybeans have a weak, small root system. That’s why these yellow-green fields are showing up.” If farmers planted a variety with a good IDC tolerance, Crompton expects the crop to grow out of it. “When you have a spring like we had without lots of saturated soils, you also get some infestations of rhizoctonia, which can impact the soybeans later in the season. We probably have a touch of this out in the fields.”

NDFMGA Update — Dry conditions could make an impact on farmer's market season. Listen to this update from the North Dakota Farmers Markets and Growers Association.

Recent Rains Helped With Drought — Stockmen’s LivestockExchange manager, Larry Schnell, says recent rains have helped with drought near Dickinson.  “That’s that many fewer cattle on the market so the cattle we do have to sell in this area won’t have to go so far to find a buyer to put it on grass. There’s cow-calf pairs being sold at every market in three states. That gets to be a tough situation. The area is getting smaller, thankfully.” Schnell says that every ranch is different and each producer is weighing their options given the price of hay.        “It doesn’t really work. Expensive hay coming out of Minnesota is costing upwards of $150/ton. You can’t make that work very long feeding to commercial cows.”

MN Beef Update — Hear from the Minnesota Beef Council and the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association in their weekly MN Beef Update.

Pleased with the CropStephen Minnesota farmer Craig Halfmann is pleased with the crop right now. “The rain has been about right. We hope it continues. The wheat crop should be heading soon. Cool weather shouldn’t be a bad thing.” He says there’s a little bit of IDC in the soybeans, but they should grow out of it. The sugar beet crop looks good. RRFN's CropWatch coverage is sponsored, in part, by Syngenta sugarbeets and Hilleshog.

Canola Minute — Here's the latest Canola Minute from the Northern Canola Growers Association. The research field day is this week.

Weeds Growing WellKarlstad, Minnesota farmer Kurt Aakre says the crops look nice thanks to timely rains in the area. “The wheat crop is close to heading. We’ve seen a few lately," says Aakre. "The weeds are growing well. We’ve been over the crop at least once with Roundup. We just have soybeans and wheat this year.” He says some ground was cold early on. "We’re seeing more IDC issues this year. We put iron product on beans and that seems to help." RRFN's CropWatch coverage is sponsored, in part, by Minnesota soybean farmers and their checkoff.

The Sugarbeet ReportLearn more on taking care of your crop during the growing season. Here's a cercospora update. The Sugarbeet report is sponsored, in part, by SES VANDERHAVE and Dow Agrosciences. 

Busy TimeCHS Ag Services manager Jim Rinde tells RRFN the crops are decent right now near Badger, Minnesota. “The ryegrass crop looks ragged at times, but there are nice fields out there. Harvest is less than one month away.” The soybeans are growing well. He also talks the corn crop. “There are more corn acres than anticipated here, but we need more heat for the corn. Farmers are out spraying weeds in the field.” CropWatch coverage is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

Dry Bean Scene — The Dry Bean Scene is on the air, with information about the dry edible bean industry in the Northarvest region. This broadcast airs each Friday at 12:37 PM. 

Monitoring Seed Supplies — It may be mid-to-late June, but the North Dakota State Seed Department is already assessing seed supplies for next year. With the current dry conditions, this year will likely result in a short crop. State Seed Commissioner Ken Bertsch. “We’re starting to develop a concern based on applications for certification at our office. They’re slow. We’re hearing from farmers west of Highway 281, even in the seed business, thinking they aren’t going to apply because the crop doesn’t look good. We’re hearing six to ten inch crops headed out. There’s concern on the commercial and seed industry side that the crop won’t make it.” Bertsch says it is too early to say that, but his department is keeping a close eye on the crop. A small crop can have longer term implications. Bertsch is participating in the American Seed Trade Association annual meeting in Minneapolis.

A Variety of CropsSouth 89 Seed owner, Amy Brateng is growing her first field of bluegrass in a few years, since 2012. “The crop looks nice. It’s a second-year stand, so it’s a little thin. But it’s filling in nice. We’re looking forward to harvest. The grass will be cut the week after July 4.” The row crops look good near Roseau, Minnesota.  “The corn crop is huge: about in the V5-V6 stage. The soybeans look nice, but are struggling a little bit with cooler weather." RRFN's CropWatch coverage is sponsored, in part, by DuPont Pioneer. 

New Pea Insect — A new field pea insect has been found in western North Dakota. North Dakota State University Extension Entomologist Jan Knodel says Pea Leaf Weevil has been positively identified in Golden Valley and Stark Counties in western North Dakota. “We did find it in Golden Valley and Stark county. The infestation was higher in the Golden Valley county. It’s a serious pest.” Knodel is not sure how the weevil arrived in North Dakota. “We don’t know, but most weevils are good fliers. It could have flown in. The adults will also feed on alfalfa or clover. Did they hitch hike? They probably flew in, but we don’t know for sure.”

A Wall of Corn — Farm lenders meeting in Bismarck were told to be prepared for a “wall of corn” being stored on North Dakota farms after last year’s phenomenal yields. North Dakota State University Extension crops marketing economist Frayne Olson told the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota that many farmers are sitting on corn, hoping for a price rally. “Lots of farmers are frustrated. We had fantastic corn yields last year. The bins are full of corn from last year because of the extra yield," says Olson. "That price has been so range bound for the last-almost all winter-that it’s been hard to get excited about grain movement. We are going to have to clean out some of that before harvest. I’m concerned the cash market will start to get softer. I’m a bit cautious and concerned about what will happen on the corn side.”  

Jury Awards Farmers in Syngenta Suit — A Kansas Jury has awarded farmers $217.7 million in damages in the first Class-action lawsuit filed against Syngenta over the shipment of Viptera corn to China.  The Jury took less than two days to render its verdict. A Syngenta spokesman told DTN that punitive damages were not awarded, instead damages were awarded on actual losses as determined by the Jury. Syngenta is expected to appeal the ruling.  

Syngenta's Repsonse — In an official statement, Syngenta says they are disappointed with the verdict because it will deny American farmers access to future technologies. Syngenta says the case is without merit and they will move forward with an appeal and continue to defend the rights of American farmers. 

Corn Matters — Hear the Minnesota Corn Growers Association's Corn Matters program. Learn how the MN Corn Growers partnership with Environmental Initiative.

Trump's Visit to Iowa — President Donald Trump visited Iowa on Wednesday to talk about agriculture. He told attendees at an evening rally in Cedar Rapids, the White House is working to get rid of the death tax and vowed to protect corn-based ethanol and biofuels. “And we’re also working hard to get rid of the death tax so you can pass farms onto your children and your grandchildren. I don’t know if we’re going to pull that one off, but we’re going to work hard to do it.” 

Trump Agenda: Trade Priorities — In the same hearing, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley asked Lighthizer which areas were priorities for the Trump Administration’s trade agenda. Here’s Lighthizer’s response. “There’s been lots of talk about starting bilateral trade agreements with countries that were a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think there’s an analysis right now within the administration which countries we should start with, which would make the most sense economically. The president’s idea is to have a series of bilateral agreements. We’re in the process of determining which ones should come first.” Lighthizer says the area of the most focus is the TPP countries. There is a lot of activity in that area. Lighthizer expects to come to a conclusion which individual country the U.S. will start with, once NAFTA negations are underway. He does address talks with Japan. “Right now, I don’t think Japan is in the position where they want to do that negotiation. The U.S. isn’t either at that point. We are in talks with Japan. They’ve had a trade deficit with the U.S. along time. I think they should be making unilateral temporary concessions. It’s a simple way to get the trade deficit down.”

The Status of the 100-Day Action Plan — The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hosted a hearing on U.S. trade featuring U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer Wednesday morning. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts asked Lighthizer about the status of the 100-day action plan with China. “We have another few days in the 100-day period. There are a variety of items of which there are negotiations. There’s hope we’ll get another harvest of some level before the 100-days are up. The question before the administration is: what is the next step? There has been an exchange of priorities the U.S. has and the Chinese has. We’re trying to decide the procedure moving forward.” Lighthizer says the pressure is still on. We’ll find out if it’s a good way to organize thoughts with China.  

A North American Trade Commitment — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico, issued a joint statement after meeting in Savannah, Georgia. The statement said the three share a commitment to keeping their markets open and transparent so that trade can continue to grow. The statement also said NAFTA has benefited agriculture and consumers. The three ag leaders also said their differences are relatively small in the context of the $85 billion in agricultural trade that takes place between the U.S., Mexico and Canada each year.

Keeping Opportunities Open for Farmers and Ranchers — The Trump administration wants to renegotiate parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven says the key to doing that is keeping opportunities open for U.S. farmers and ranchers. “We are watching it very closely.” When it comes to the budget, Hoeven says it gets tricky. He thinks Sonny Perdue will follow through for agriculture. “I just had Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue in front of our ag appropriations committee and told him the budget for FY18 isn’t sufficient and we need to sustain funding for ag," says Hoeven. "I think he did a good job. I believe he was good about committing to work with us.”

Do More, Not Less — Minnesota Farm Bureau president Kevin Paap says we need to be doing more, not less to encourage exports. “We’re going to do everything we can to work with and strongly encourage the Trump administration and Dayton-Smith administration this is critical to help us expand market access for our products. We need to make sure we can create that demand.” Paap traveled to Cuba with a Minnesota delegation this past week.

Trade Top-of-Mind — With some of the details ironed out on U.S. beef exports to China, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Craig Uden, says the focus on trade continues. The North American Free Trade Agreement and negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan are top-of-mind. “I understand they want to do a bilateral. We’re fine with that,” says Uden. “We hope it continues to move forward. Japan is our No. 1 export market right now. Australia is down on their numbers. It’s critical to keep working on the Japan agreement. We want to maintain and increase prices for all producers.”

Challenges Ahead — North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp says there will be lots of challenges ahead in the Farm Bill. One challenge will be to maintain balance. “We know we have a problem in dairy. It’s not a cheap problem to fix. We know we have a problem in cotton. That’s also not a cheap problem to fix," says Heitkamp. "We know the pockets we need to fix. There are some changes to Title One. I’d like to get this thing done. I talked to Chairman Roberts about the timing. He’s pushing to get it done sooner rather than later, which is good to hear.” Heitkamp says it’s important to not go backwards in the discussions. RRFN asked Heitkamp if she thinks Farm Bill progress is on schedule. “I think there’s all of this uncertainty on all of the issues including the September budget and appropriations bills looming large in the horizon. To me, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I think there’s a bipartisan will to get this done, but this isn’t a town that’s easy to predict.”

The Next Steps on ARC — North Dakota Senator John Hoeven was able to include an ARC- County Pilot program into the Appropriations Act of 2017. North Dakota Corn Growers Association President Carson Klosterman says the pilot program is a result of the issues faced when a couple of counties didn’t have county yield data published. “These stem back from last year. It must have been February or March. When this first came about, we put a pen to paper and came up with an idea like this.” The ARC-County Pilot Program is expected to be implemented this fall when FSA works on the 2016 crop year yields. “The USDA gets to pick the states. We don’t know what states those are. It allows the state FSA committee to pick a yield, which more than likely would resemble a neighboring county’s yield versus getting one handed to them. That would hopefully make the ARC payment more realistic than what the yield would have been through RMA.”

SNAP Discussions — Former North Dakota state senator and state director for USDA Rural Development Ryan Taylor coordinated a media event at the Bill Hejl farm near Amenia, North Dakota Wednesday morning to highlight the need for SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Taylor says this is in response to President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget. “One of the more alarming developments is a proposal to cut $193 billion from SNAP. We’re concerned about that.” Taylor says 54,000 North Dakotans, in 26,000 households, use SNAP. His biggest concern with cutting SNAP has to do with passing another Farm Bill. “That’s my greatest fear that it would erode that support. It doesn’t seem like there are many opportunities for us to work together in Washington D.C. This is an area in which we can work together.”

MN Farm Bureau Legislative MinuteHere's the latest from the Minnesota Farm Bureau. In this report, we talk about the Minnesota nitrogen applicator rule.

Meeting Focuses on Buffers and Property Tax — The Minnesota Farm Bureau is hosting a series of policy development meetings across the state. Wednesday morning, farmers met in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota to review topics of interest. Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Northwest Minnesota Program Director Riley Maanum says the big state level discussions are focused on buffer legislation, along with property and estate taxes. “One of the big things that’s been talked about is a memo that went out from BOWSR to county commissioners on June 2. It’s saying they need to take on enforcement of buffer law. They need to do that if they want to get funding for this year, by June 28. One of the big discussions is county commissioners have received this memo, do they understand what it all entails. We want to keep the buffer law enforcement as local as possible.”  

No RFS Updates Yet — The U.S. EPA is set to present the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard any day. The Minnesota Corn Growers Association Senior Policy Director Amanda Bilek shares an update. “I haven’t seen numbers either. We had a policy call last week with National Corn. The RVO are at the congressional office and we anticipate we’ll be seeing number shortly”  Bilek says the other piece Minnesota Corn is monitoring is a federal bill which would allow ethanol to be sold year-round.    

USDA Bans Fresh Beef Imports from Brazil — Citing safety concerns, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has suspended fresh beef imports from Brazil. The U.S. stepped up its inspections of Brazilian meat in March. That’s when news broke that meat companies bribed Brazilian inspectors to certify tainted or spoiled meat products. Since that time, the U.S. has rejected 11 percent of Brazil’s fresh beef imports, far above the one percent rejection rate typically seen from other beef exporting nations.

Court Affirms December 2016 Ruling on MT Beef Checkoff — The U.S. district court in Great Falls, Montana has placed a preliminary injunction impacting the beef checkoff program in Montana. The Montana Beef Council collects the $1-per-head checkoff assessment on all cattle sold in the state. The council keeps 50 cents and sends the remainder to the national beef checkoff program. The court ruling prevents the Montana Beef Council from keeping its portion of those funds without the approval of the rancher. R-CALF USA filed the lawsuit, claiming the beef checkoff program violates First Amendment rights to free speech. 

Dairy Cow Numbers Increase for 8th Consecutive Month — In the 23 major dairy states, milk production increased 1.8 percent in May. The U.S. dairy herd increased for the eighth straight month, coming in just under 9.4 million head. In Minnesota, cow numbers declined 2,000 head from year ago levels, but milk production increased 2.6 percent. South Dakota dairy farmers added 3,000 head to the state herd and milk output rose 2.8 percent. Last month, Wisconsin milk production dropped just under one percent and California output declined just over one percent.

COOL Lawsuit Filed — R-CALF USA and Cattle Producers of Washington have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against USDA. The suit alleges USDA regulations allow beef and pork to be classified as domestic products, even when those meat products are imported from other countries, confusing consumers and hurting American farmers. The complaint also argues that the USDA regulations violate the text of the Meat Inspection Act, which requires that imported meat should be labeled indicating its country of origin. 

Sunflower Meeting Coming Up — National Sunflower Association’s annual meeting will be in Rapid City, South Dakota. NSA executive director John Sandbakken says the event will be an overview of the sunflower market. “In June 2018, the FDA has banned the use of hydrogenated oils, because of the trans-fat issue," explains Sandbakken. "It’s not they can’t be used, but they’ll have to be labeled. Most companies don’t want to label the oils, because they know trans-fats are unhealthy. The dominant oil used is soybean oil. It’s an opportunity for sunflowers. Some customers will want sunflower oil. Others, we can blend sunflower oil with soybean oil to get rid of the trans-fat issues.” Sandbakken also says they’ll look at the status of the sunflower crop and the 2018 Farm Bill.

A Slight Move from GMOs — A survey by Farm Journal shows a slight move away from GMO crops compared to a year ago. The survey shows a 4 percent drop in GMO seeds planted and a 4 percent increase in non-GMO seed planted.

New Livestock Alliance Group — The North Dakota Livestock Alliance has recently been created by farmers to help other farmers raise livestock successfully and responsibly in the state. Chairman Craig Jarolimek from Forest River says the Alliance will help producers and communities with development or expansion of the livestock industry. "When you look at the value-based returns on livestock, that’s money put back into communities. We export all of our grain and that’s our basis. Those are dollars leaving our state each day. We want to retain some of those and bring its economic value back to the state.” The Livestock Alliance includes the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Pork Council, North Dakota Farmers Union, Midwest Dairy Association and North Dakota Ethanol Council.

E-Tour Coming Up — The North Dakota Grain Growers Association’s annual E-Tour will be in eastern North Dakota this year. North Dakota Grain Growers has hosted the E-Tour since 1993 highlighting the environmental stewardship of the state’s agriculture.  Grain Growers President John Weinand says the EPA officials will tour several locations across eastern North Dakota this upcoming week. “We’re looking forward to it. That’s always been a good experience to have an exchange with people in D.C. It’s good for us to show them firsthand how this works for us.” Weinand says having the EPA rule makers on the ground has been very helpful. “It certainly seems like it when we have those conversations on the bus. I think the people get a away better understanding of what we are doing. That’s really beneficial.”

ND Soybean MinuteHear the latest North Dakota Soybean Minute from the North Dakota Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. 

Stay Connected with RRFN — Are you on social media? Connect with RRFN and get updates on farm news, markets and weather on Facebook and Twitter. The RRFN team: Carah, Mike, Randy, Jay and Don are also on Twitter. Listen each day on your local RRFN affiliate. 

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JBS Divests — Brazilian meatpacker JBS has revealed a $1.8 billion divestment plan to raise capital after a corruption scandal raised concerns about financing. The plan includes divesting of 19.2 percent of its Brazilian dairy operation; its Northern Ireland; unit and it ownership of Fiver Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America. Five Rivers has a combined cattle feeding capacity of more than 980,000 head with locations in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Idaho. Fiver Rivers also manages a 75,000 head feedyard in Alberta, Canada.

FCS of Mandan Elects Vander Vorst — James Vander Vorst of Hauge was elected board chairman for Farm Credit Services of Mandan. Michael Schaaf of Glen Ullin is vice chairman. Dawn Martin of Beulah and Carson Kouba of Regent were elected to the board.

Kessel Elected to Chair Northern Crops Council — Belfield, North Dakota farmer Greg Kessel has been elected as chair of the Northern Crops Council. Kessel is the North Dakota Barley Council representative on the Council. Gettysburg, South Dakota farmer Tregg Cronin is the new Vice Chair. Cronin is the South Dakota Wheat Commission representative on the Council.  

Whitehill Joins SDBIC Staff — The South Dakota Beef Industry Council has a new communications director. Kylee Whitehill has been working as a journalist for the Capital Journal in Pierre.

Dairy Princess Crowned — North Dakota’s 70th State Dairy Princess is Heidi Jacob from Linton, who was crowned at the Midwest Dairy North Dakota Division board meeting Monday. Jacob graduated from Linton High School in May and currently works on her family’s dairy farm near Linton. She plans to attend Bismarck State College this fall, to study secondary education.    

Cooper Honored — Renewable Fuels Association Senior Vice President Geoff Cooper has been awarded the 2017 High Octane Award, presented today at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Minneapolis. Since the inception of the awards 18 years ago, only two other trade association staff members have received this honor.

Last Week's TriviaPresident George Washington's image can be found on the U.S. quarter. We didn't need to flip a coin. Patrick Jirik of University of Minnesota Extension wins our weekly trivia challenge. Dean Nelson of Kelley Bean Company, Kevin Schulz of National Hog Farmer, Rene Scheurer of Betaseed and Ron Dvergsten of Northland FBM earn runner-up honors. The 'first 20' recognition goes to Curtis Noll of Noll's Dairy Farm, Brian Rund of Nufarm Americas, Jim Altringer of Columbia Grain, Bruce Miller of Minnesota Farmers Union, Jon Farris of BankWest, Mandy Kvale of Farm Credit Services of Mandan, Greg Guse of Paulsen, Mark Bernard of Agro-Economics, Keith Rekow of Dairyland Seed, Harvey farmer Bill Ongstad, Royalton farmer Darrell Larsen, Twyla Wulf of Clear Springs Cattle Company and Clearwater County auditor/treasurer Allen Paulson.