Help Us Help You: Take Our Harvest Survey

As harvest winds down, we’re curious to find out how things are going, how things went and in some cases, what could have been better. Did you experience transportation issues with rail service? How was your experience with diesel supplies? Those sort of things. Please take our short survey, which should take you about a minute, to give us a better look at the 2014 harvest.

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MSGA Staff Tour Biodiesel Facility with Rep. Daudt

Rep. Kurt Daudt, Dist. 31A, has a better understanding of biodiesel thanks to a tour of the Ever Cat Fuels biodiesel plant Thursday, Oct. 23, in Isanti, Minn.

Daudt-ECF-Tour-web

From left to right: Larry McNeff, Joe Smentek, Clayton McNeff, Mike Youngerberg and Rep. Kurt Daudt stop for a picture while touring the Ever Cat Fuels Isanti, Minn., location.

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association staff joined Daudt, along with Ever Cat Fuels Chief Executive Manager Larry McNeff and Chief Science Officer Clayton McNeff. MSGA Senior Director of Field Services Mike Youngerberg said this tour was an opportunity to educate Daudt about the biodiesel industry in Minnesota and to answer questions he may have.

Daudt, a Republican, could be in line for Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives if the Republicans gain control in Minnesota.

The Ever Cat Fuels staff showcased their innovative, patented biodiesel technology to produce ASTM grade biodiesel from a multitude of feedstocks. MSGA Director of Environmental Affairs Joe Smentek said Ever Cat Fuels is trying to incorporate the use of pennycress and camolina as raw materials for their Isanti plant, which he said could prove to be valuable cover crops in Minnesota.

The EverCat plant has been in production since 2008 and supplies B99.9 to underground mines in South Dakota as well as to other fuel distributors in Minnesota in order to fulfill the biodiesel mandate.

Fun Facts: Everything you need to know about Co-op Month

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first nationally honored Co-op Month, which was proclaimed in 1964 by then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman. Minnesota, however, was one of the first states to enact laws authorizing cooperatives and the first in the nation to officially declare October Co-op Month in 1948. Minnesota is currently home to the largest number of cooperatives in the nation, including three Fortune 500 companies and the two largest cooperatives in the United States.

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EPA says neonicotoid treatment on soybeans lacks benefits

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an analysis of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in soybeans, a report all Minnesota soybean farmers should review.

Neonicotinoids are an insecticide that uses nicotine as a toxin. Neonicotinoids were developed in the 1980s and 90s. They were developed due to the reduced toxicity over organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Neonics tend to show lower toxicity in mammals than in insects. Read more

ASA requests Administration’s FY16 budget prioritizes waterways

Agriculture organizations are calling on the federal government, as the Administration creates its fiscal year 2016 budget, to prioritize construction funding for the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) on the Upper Mississippi River System.

The American Soybean Association (ASA), along with 12 other farm organizations, has signed the letter to President Obama, saying that congressional support for the NESP has been “reaffirmed in the recently enacted Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)”.

The groups are calling for the funding to immediately carry out navigation efficiency improvements and upgrades to locks, including the design and construction of new and larger locks on the Mississippi River System, if feasible.

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Another Look in the Field – Compaction, tillage and erosion repair

While harvest is in full swing and attention is focused most intensely on the yield monitor, soil considerations are important even if they are just below the horizon. Avoiding or reducing soil compaction is important with all of the potential traffic across your fields during harvest operations. Keep in mind that a full combine or grain cart can have an axle load near 40 tons and can create soil compaction 30-36 inches into the profile.

The best management practice to reduce compaction is to use the same wheel tracks when making additional passes across a field. Under the best conditions, more than 80 percent of compaction damage is done on the first pass across the field so limit that damage to the fewest number of wheel tracks when possible. Avoid angular traffic or “shortest path” traffic, as well. While it might save you a few moments of time, the potential damage to your soil and future yields can have an even greater value.

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Duluth Port an option for bulk shipping soybeans to EU

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council has a keen interest in re-energizing shipping of soybeans and soybean meal via the Duluth/Superior twin ports, especially as rail transportation capacity issues have arisen for soybean growers.

Minnesota Soybean farmers and staff, along with Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) staff, have been looking into bulk loading capabilities and handling considerations at ship loading elevators for independent exporters at Duluth. For next spring, bulk ship loading capability is looking promising and break bulk loading of products in bags and totes by crane is available now.

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Biofuels Gathering Unites Industry Leaders

The 2014 Advanced Biofuels Conference came and went with ideas shared about new technologies, biofuels opportunities and challenges the industry faces when it comes to policy and regulations.

Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka and Senior Director of Field Services Mike Youngerberg attended the conference, held Oct. 13 and 14 in Minneapolis. Read more

todd county

MSGA Pleased with EPA Enlist Duo Decision; Awaits Minn. Approval

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will register Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide for use with Enlist soybeans, a decision the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) applauded.

George Goblish

MSGA President George Goblish

“The EPA’s decision to register Enlist Duo herbicide is important for all farmers,” MSGA President George Goblish said. He added that it will be important for the EPA to register the herbicide in Minnesota.

Currently Enlist Duo is registered for six states, with an additional 10 being considered. The initial six states were part of the Agency’s original proposed registration for the Enlist Duo product. During the decision-making process, EPA scientists completed an endangered species risk assessment for the 2,4-D choline salt, as required by the Endangered Species Act, for the initial six states and concluded that the use, as approved, would not pose a risk to endangered species or their habitat.

EPA scientists have now completed risk assessments for the 2,4-D choline salt for 10 additional states, including Minnesota. The Agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14 to register Enlist Duo in those 10 additional states.

“While Minnesota soybean farmers won’t be able to take advantage of this new tool yet, we’re still excited about the decision,” Goblish said. “The Enlist Duo registration unties farmers’ hands and gives them another option to combat weed issues.”

The new, low-volatility Enlist Duo herbicide will be utilized with Enlist soybeans, when commercialized, to control resistant and difficult to manage weeds.

More information on the EPA’s decision can be found here.

ASA DuPont Young Leader

ASA DuPont Young Leader Program Tabs Two from Minn.

The American Soybean Association DuPont Young Leader Program announced this week that it has accepted two Minnesota applicants for the 2015 Young Leader Program.

Ryan Wondercheck of Lamberton, Minn., and Aaron Yaggie of Thief River Falls, Minn., will be the next Minnesota ASA DuPont Young Leaders. Wondercheck will participate in the program with his wife, Wendy. Read more