Get to Know Your Checkoff Leader – Rob Hanks

With 42 years of farming under his belt, Rob Hanks, District 9 representative for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), knows a thing or two about agriculture. Hanks and his brother run a diverse farming operation of cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans and hay in southeast Minnesota. In addition to serving as MSR&PC’s District 9 representative, Hanks participates in the production and new uses committees.

Hanks has a wealth of experience with the Minnesota soybean checkoff – he has been on the MSR&PC board for nearly 20 years and was elected chairman in 2007. In addition to his state checkoff experience, Hanks has served nine years on the United Soybean Board (USB). Hanks strongly believes the state and national checkoff helps farmers overcome challenges soybean farmers face in their fields, and helps add value to their crop.

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United Soybean Board

United Soybean Board announces new CEO

After an intensive search by a farmer-led team, the United States Board (USB) has named Polly Ruhland as the new chief executive officer (CEO) effective Nov. 1, 2017. 

“Polly exceeded all of the attributes for what we as a board were looking for in a new CEO to lead us into the future,” says John Motter, USB chair and soybean farmer from Jenera, Ohio. 

Gene Stoel, a Minnesota Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) director and USB director, was impressed with Ruhland’s breath of knowledge and grasp of issues related to commodity groups.  Read more

Get to Know Your Checkoff Leader – Gene Stoel

With a passion for research and an impressive background working with farmer advocacy groups, Gene Stoel, a corn and soybean farmer from Lake Wilson, Minn., makes a great addition to the United Soybean Board (USB). Stoel also serves as a District 7 representative for the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), where he is an advocate for involvement and promotion, especially when it shows results for farmers.

“I don’t know of any manufacturing company, or any company producing a product, that doesn’t promote itself,” says Stoel. “I feel that we, as farmers, need to promote ourselves and our crop. The soybean checkoff has been great in helping us accomplish that.” Read more

damaged soybeans

Gathering dicamba data needed for documentation

Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Director Lawrence Sukalski has reached out to his liability insurance agent to discuss dicamba, and he advises fellow growers not to hesitate reporting suspected dicamba damage in their fields. 

“Most importantly, growers who think they might be suffering from dicamba damage need to make sure they’re covered for insurance reasons before it’s too late in the season,” the Martin County farmer says. “They shouldn’t be afraid to file a report. We want to be as diligent as we can on the dicamba issue to properly manage this, and that starts with documentation.”

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) had reported receiving 54 dicamba-related complaints, well below the numbers seen in other states.

Joshua Stamper, MDA’s Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division director, says the names of people filing potential dicamba-related complaints are kept private within the department, and aren’t shared publicly. 

“The potential for drift is always going to be there, but we don’t believe these cases to be off-label uses,” Stamper says. “We do advise farmers to follow the best management practices, cross their Ts and dot their Is.”

Stamper says a complaint doesn’t necessarily mean dicamba drift is to blame; other culprits and factors could be to blame. Most complaints are inspected in approximately one week. 

“Drift, volatility and failure to properly clean sprayers, these are all on the table for causes, but it’s hard to know unless folks report and document any damage they might observe,” says Tom Peters, extension agronomist at North Dakota State University. “This is important because the only way we can learn more about dicamba drift is by compiling the reported data. We need to see the full numbers before issuing any conclusions.” 

Sukalski says MSGA is taking the issue seriously and proceeding with caution, but there is no cause for alarm at this stage. 

“We’re trying our best to collaborate with industry partners and the MDA to find a solution,” he says. “MSGA is holding meetings and working hard to get the word out there that if you think you’ve experienced dicamba damage, the best course is to report it.” 

For more information, growers can visit XtendiMax’s application requirement page or call 1-844-RRXTEND for questions regarding performance issues with a Monstano dicamba product.

DuPont recommends users always consult label and state requirements before applying FeXapan™ herbicide plus VaporGrip® Technology.

For stewardship information, product details and training around tank mix guidelines, nozzles and operating pressure, boom height, application timing, wind speed, ground speeds, buffer requirements, triple-rinse cleanout procedure and additional topics, visit FeXapan’s website and application requirements page

MDA has also posted a dicamba fact sheet.

Growers can file a private complaint with MDA on their pesticide website 

Soybean farmers host trade team visit

Scott and Vicky Singlestad hosted a buyers mission this week at their 800-acre farm in Waseca. Eight countries were represented; the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) sponsored buyers from Romania and Vietnam.

“We’ve been doing this for a number of years,” Vicky says. “We have so much fun meeting people from across the ag world, and showing these folks how we farm in Minnesota.”

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minnesota soybean growers association

MN Soybean leaders tout value of volunteering

George Goblish anticipated his tenure as president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) would be a refreshing professional endeavor.

But he didn’t foresee having a bucket of ice water literally dumped on his head included in the job description. 

“Boy, was that cold!” Goblish says, laughing as he recalled his 2014 participation in the viral Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for ALS research. “That’s what you have to do when you’re president of an organization –it’s important to be able to put yourself out there like that. It’s a growing experience.”

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High oleic soybean oil a hearty treat at Go Red for Women event

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the cause of one in three women’s death every year, killing about one woman every 80 seconds. 

The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) was a sponsor at the Go Red for Women May 11 luncheon at the Country Inn & Suites in Mankato, handing out nearly 300 16-ounce sample bottles of Plenish™ high oleic soybean oil. Read more

MSR&PC director embarking on EAA mission

Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director Eric Thorn is visiting Vietnam this week on an Essential Amino Acid (EAA) mission funded by the soybean checkoff. 

Soybeans grown in northern regions, like Minnesota, North and South Dakota often receive lower crude protein scores. However, research has shown that northern-grown soybeans with lower crude protein actually have a higher critical amino acid value than soybeans with higher crude protein levels. MSR&PC has been focused on spreading this message to overseas soybean buyers, promoting Minnesota soybeans and its higher EAA content. 

Thorn is accompanied on the trip by University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist Seth Naeve and soybean leaders from South Dakota. 

“Our first three days have gone by very fast,” Thorn says. 

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MN Soybean “Get to Know Your Checkoff Leaders” – Rochelle Krusemark

MSR&PC Director Rochelle Krusemark

MSR&PC Director Rochelle Krusemark

A longtime advocate of the Ag in the Classroom program, Rochelle Krusemark has brought her love of agriculture to kids across Minnesota. Krusemark did not grow up on a farm, but her experiences in both urban and rural settings help her connect with the children she teaches.

“So many of the kids I talk to have no idea that ag is so large and vast in its opportunities,” she says. “This is when I like to share with them that no matter what they’re interested in, every one of them could find a career in agriculture.” Read more

Parsley Represents Minnesota Soybean Farmers at Regional Institute

Drew Parsley

Drew Parsley

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director Drew Parsley was recently elected as a representative onto the Northern Crops Institute (NCI) board.

NCI is a combined effort among Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana to promote, develop and market crops grown in the region.

The Institute is important for the soybean industry because it brings together processing and production professionals with international consumer groups. NCI works to facilitate better production and serves producers and consumers to educate and create a better product.

“NCI is important for soy, because the entire reason we raise soybeans is the end user who wants the product,” Parsley said. Read more