Tillage field day

Tillage Options on Display at Field Day

More than 200 farmers took part in a unique event designed to demonstrate the value and impacts of various tillage techniques. The Total Tillage Solutions Field Day drew farmers from several counties to the Jeff Olson farm near Madison, Minn., on Thursday. Put on by the University of Minnesota Extension and sponsored in part by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, the field day offered a unique opportunity to better understand options, advantages and challenges of different tillage equipment options.
In the past decade, there have been many new equipment choices brought to the market. They operate at several depths and create different intensities of soil disturbance that can affect fertilizer, weed, residue and planting management.
The field day used four customized soil pits to demonstrate different management techniques to help producers better understand their tillage options. The pits, using backfill of alternating dark and light soil layers, helped visualize the impact these implements are having below the soil surface. The pits showcased 11 different tillage implements, revealing a cross section of the soil and the disturbance each implement creates. Another station demonstrated the newest applications of UAV technology. Field demonstrations by major equipment manufacturers also took place.

Pope County Soybean Plot

Pope County Farmers Discuss Varieties at Plot Trials

Dozens of Pope County farmers have a better understanding of what crop varieties they may plant in 2015 thanks to the Pope County Plot Event. More than 70 farmers and industry representatives toured the soybean and corn plots on Curt Dahlseng’s farm near Starbuck as seed company representatives shared variety and genetic information.

After the tour of varieties in this year’s plot, Pope and Douglas County FSA Director Grant Herfindahl discussed this year’s farm bill decisions and urged the farmers to be in conversation with their local FSA offices about communications they receive from the USDA.

To wrap things up, Joe Smentek, Minnesota Soybean Director of Environmental Affairs, spoke during supper about EPA’s Waters of the U.S.

“The proposed rule does not clarify waters of the U.S. any more than the current Supreme Court cases,” Smentek said. “It is important for farmers to be engaged in these discussions because it could have ramifications in the future for farmers in caring for their land.”

The Pope County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), a non-profit organization controlled by a board of elected soybean producers from across the state who directs the investments of the state’s soybean checkoff dollars into programs designed to increase the profitability of Minnesota’s soybean farmers.

soybean pod

Meints: Another Tool in the GMO Discussion

I’d like to take a moment to highlight a recent article posted on AgProfessional Friday, August 26.


Paul Meints

The article introduces the searchable Genetic Engineering Risk Atlas (GENERA) a privately funded project of Biology Fortified, Inc. a non-profit entity engaged in discussion on biological issues in agriculture. Their current work shows that half of all GMO focused research is funded by government agencies and independent non-profit organizations suggesting that unbiased research into GMO safety is ongoing. This is in contrast to common anecdotal reporting that all GMO research is funded by entities that profit from the science and thus result in pro-GMO bias.

As you continue to talk with friends and neighbors who may not be involved in agriculture, have in your memory facts about the science of agriculture and resources such as the one listed here. Use these to help them search for and understand the truth about the crops we produce.

Dr. Paul Meints is the Research Program Manager at MN Soybean and has an MS in plant breeding and genetics and a PhD in Seed Physiology.

farm bill

Farm Bill webinars Continue to Deliver

The second in a series of three Farm Bill 2014 webinars wrapped up Tuesday with strong farmer participation. Minnesota Soybean Growers Association director Theresia Gillie, from Kittson County, was among hundreds of participants who joined the webinar, hosted by Farm Market Analyst Al Kluis, Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse and FSA staff.

“A lot of people have been on the webinars and there have been a lot of good questions,” Gillie said.

Read more

MSR&PC directors evaluate Indonesian Market

Hello all,Indonesia mission

Things are going very well in Indonesia as Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council director Gene Stoel and I have been touring parts of Bogor, Indonesia. We met up with Dady Maskar, the soyfoods program manager for the USSEC Indonesia office in Jakarta, which isn’t too far from Bogor. Gene and I are evaluating the investment of Minnesota soybean checkoff dollars into the Indonesia market because it is the fifth largest importer of U.S. soybeans. As with all investment of soybean checkoff dollars, we are constantly evaluating the use of farmers’ money to make sure that our investments link back to farmer profitability.

In Indonesia, 70 percent of soybean usage goes to tempeh, with 27 percent going to tofu. With consumption levels like these, it is no wonder Indonesia has become a good business partner and an important market for U.S. soybeans.

On our mission, we’ve also met with chicken integrators, who are large customers of soybeans. We have been pushing the value of Essential Amino Acids (EAA), which are essential to the complete growth of livestock and poultry. We’ve put an emphasis on EAAs with our customers rather than crude protein, or CP, because we have found northern soybeans to contain a higher value of the critical amino acids essential for a healthy diet. Overall, the people we have spoken to here are interested in learning more about EAAs, which is good news for Minnesota soybean farmers as we continue to push our superior product.

Douglas County FSA

Local FSA Director Speaks at Douglas County Plot Event

The Douglas County Soybean & Corn Growers had a good turnout at their county plot tour Thursday. Seed company representatives shared variety and genetics information, Grant Herfindahl, FSA Director of Douglas & Pope Counties, spoke on the timing of Farm Bill implementation and what that might mean for local growers and a pork chop dinner was served.

Concerning farm program sign-up, Herfindahl said he is hoping it will run after growers finish harvesting this year’s crop so they can have ample time to make decisions on what programs to sign-up for. He also says the sign-up is likely to flow into the next year.

He went on to answer questions about the programs and about the current crop in Douglas County.

“This year there is about 12,000 prevent plant acres in Douglas County. Normally, there are 170,000 acres planted in the county. And compared to the approximately 72,000 planted acres of corn we’ve seen the last couple of years in the county,” Herfindahl said, “this year there is only 45,000 planted acres of corn. So it seems there is a lot more acres of soybeans than in the recent past.”

Herfindahl will also be speaking to farmers at the Pope County Plot Tour Tuesday, Sept 2. The event will be held near the Dahlseng farm near Starbuck at 5 pm.


Northwest Minnesota variety trial

Another Look in the Field: Variety Selection Questions are About to Begin

It is nearly September, which means that the first contacts for varietal selection and seed purchases for next year are soon to begin. Between now and the end of harvest, you will likely be visited by your local seed dealers or company representatives concerning what you will be planting next year. These initial commitments are often requested before a combine has entered the field for you as a grower and most likely for the seed companies as well. The importance of deciding what varieties you will grow next year cannot be overstated. As you receive these visits, I’d like to encourage a few considerations.

Read more

biodiesel essay

Biodiesel Essay Contest Winners announced

The winners of the 2014 Clean Air Choice Biodiesel Essay contests have been selected. John Wheaton, a recent graduate of Minnetonka High School, was the first place winner with his essay, “Impacting a new generation: my journey toward educating the community on the benefits of biodiesel.”
Wheaton, a resident of Deephaven, Minn., has long had an interest in alternative fuels and vehicle technologies. He heard about the scholarship while attending a meeting at the American Lung Association in Minnesota headquarters. He will receive a $1,000 check for his winning essay.
The second place winner is Hannah Korri of Duluth. A recent graduate of Two Harbors High School, Hannah wrote of her concerns that vehicle emissions from traditional petroleum fuels threatened the “…crisp, clean air found only in our Northland.” She will receive a $500 check for her winning essay.
There were 76 entrees in the 2014 Clean Air Choice Biodiesel Essay contest, which is open to all high school seniors in Minnesota.

biodiesel truck

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo

January 19, 2015 – January 22, 2015

1201 Houston St.

View MapMap and Directions | Register


If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the biodiesel industry, this may be your chance. Minnesota Soybean will be selecting 19 applicants to get a look inside the industry by attending the National Biodiesel Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. See for yourself how the soybean checkoff is being invested in biodiesel and learn about topics like the RFS2, feedstock technology and ASTM developments.

See For Yourself (SFY) is a nationally recognized program that allows farmers the chance to see for themselves how soybean checkoff dollars are being invested and evaluate the process. The purpose of the program is for participants to evaluate the mission and share their experiences with the soybean checkoff council, members of the media and fellow farmers.

Any checkoff-paying soybean farmer in Minnesota is eligible to participate. All travel expenses related to this mission will be paid and travel arrangements will be made by MN Soybean. Spouses are welcome as long as space permits. Spouses must pay their own travel expenses if they wish to participate.

Deadline to apply is Nov. 30


MSR&PC Meets, Sets Budget for 2015

Members of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council met this week in Moorhead, Minn., to set the organizational budget for 2015. The Council reviewed recommendations from action teams for funding efforts in the areas of market development, production, environmental stewardship, marketing communications, new uses, industry relations and more. The farmer leaders invest soybean checkoff dollars into projects that are aimed at increasing the profitability of soybean farming.