Soybean Business: The other crops

This article first appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of Soybean Business. Click here to view the digital version of this issue.

Soybean farmers come in many varieties and stripes. Besides beans, many Minnesota farmers proudly work their land for diverse purposes, growing nontraditional crops. Take a peek at four soybean growers who like to walk on the wild side, where the grass is always greener. Read more

soybean seed treatments

Focus on Ag: Tight profit margins likely to continue in 2018

This article is written by Kent Thiesse, farm management analyst and vice president of MinnStar Bank

As we look ahead to 2018, it appears that the tight profit margins that have existed in crop production in the past three years are likely to continue into 2018. The combination of continued projected market prices for corn and soybeans that are near or below breakeven levels, together with minor reductions in input costs for seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, will limit any potential profit opportunities in 2018, assuming average crop yields. Another major variable for breakeven levels in crop production are required loan payments on capital investments such as farm machinery, facilities, and land purchases. Read more


Tools of the Trade: Dicamba and chemical trespass

Chemical trespass, the unwanted movement of a chemical onto neighboring property, will be a growing concern in agriculture during 2018.  The launch of dicamba products designed specifically for dicamba tolerant soybeans demonstrated just how major the problem can be. After all the discussions, one common message was heard from all parties: If we are going to keep these tools, there had better not be a repeat of 2017. Read more

soybean partnership

Minnesota beans in a class by themselves

“Beans have a soul.” Try wrapping your head around that phrase, which is attributed to the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who lived more than 2,000 years ago. Some theorize that he was a vegetarian, but no hard evidence exists that is the case. As one would expect in dealing with ancient history, many theories abound.

In comparison, the phrase stands far above the somewhat tired “bean” idioms we’ve heard for years:

  • Bean counter
  • Amount to a hill of beans
  • Don’t know beans

You get the point. Read more

damaged soybeans

MSGA: Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s dicamba restrictions needed

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Drift Task Force commends the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) for its new dicamba labels for the 2018 growing season. 

“We thank MDA for its diligence on this matter,” said MSGA President Michael Petefish. “MSGA is proud to be able to represent Minnesota soybean farmers on such an important issue. With resistant weeds on the rise, farmers need tools such as dicamba to have options to manage their crops.” Read more

Krusemark elected to USB Executive Committee

Rochelle Krusemark

Trimont, Minn., farmer and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) Director for District 8 Rochelle Krusemark was voted onto the United Soybean Board’s (USB) Executive Committee.

Krusemark, a USB director for Minnesota, was elected to the position at USB’s winter meetings Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis. Read more


Farmers encouraged to complete 2017 Census of Agriculture

You don’t have to be a farmer to dread taking surveys. But taking the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2017 Census of Agriculture is important to agriculture.

Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development and more. Read more

National Biodiesel Board

Biodiesel industry disappointed by Renewable Fuel Standard volumes

EPA misses opportunity to grow American-made energy, jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Thursday the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and failed to grow the biomass-based diesel volumes. Since the July proposal was released, NBB has relentlessly called for growth in the volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.

“EPA Administrator Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth. These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors — be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers — as well as consumers. Nevertheless, we can’t thank our members and our biodiesel champions at the state and federal levels enough for their tireless advocacy and education efforts. We’ll continue to work with the administration to right this wrong for future volumes,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board. Read more

USDA Sec. Perdue appoints Fairmont farmer to national board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday the appointment of 19 members and 3 alternate members to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB), one of which hails from Minnesota.

Longtime Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Director Lawrence Sukalski, of Fairmont, Minn., has been named to serve a three-year term for USB. Sukalski also spent nine years serving on the American Soybean Association board of directors, where he termed off this year. 

Lawrence Sukalski

“It’s going to be an honor to serve our farmers and work on the research and promotion side of soybeans,” Sukalski said. “We’re all humbled by this great checkoff machine we have going, and I am proud to be a part of an organization where we can continue to open new markets, explore new technologies and find new uses for soybeans.”

Read more

paul anderson

MnDOT hosts Mowing & Haying Listening Sessions throughout state

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is hosting a series of Mowing Haying in State Right of Way listening sessions this month throughout the state. 

The permit enforcement, which has technically been in place since the 1980s, became a hot topic during the 2017 legislative session and was delayed until April 2018. It is likely to be another contested issue this session. Read more