Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
BISMARCK, N.D. — The National Sunflower Association is taking registrations for the 2018 NSA Summer Seminar, scheduled for June 26-28, 2018, at the Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, Minn. For more information, go to www.sunflowernsa.com/events/2018-NSA-Summer-Seminar/ . A block of rooms has been reserved there for June 25-28, and will be released May 25, 2018. For information, contact Tina Mittelsteadt at firstname.lastname@example.org . Program details are not yet available.
ELBOW LAKE, Minn. — Brad Larson was 12 years old when the first National Ag Day came around in 1973. He's lived through 45 of them but the March 20 observance at the Larson Farm and Feedlot will be like the ones before — a work day. National Ag Day is primarily focused on the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., with lunches, speeches, and dinners, and an event led by the Agriculture Council of America. The National Ag Day Program and ACA program were both started in 1973 as a way to increase public awareness of agriculture's role in society.
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — Kevin R. Lind sees grain bins as the "perfect billboard," and he wants to see mini-bins everywhere — shiny in corrugated steel and festooned with company logos — on shelves in farm offices and agribusinesses.
PERLEY, Minn. — Paul Houglum knows farming has taken its toll on his hearing. In mid-March he was hauling grain to the local elevator, emptying wheat from bins with a large vacuum machine. "It's a very loud machine," says Houglum after stopping the task. "The new ones have gotten better, but they're still loud."
MIDLAND, S.D. — The Steve Daly family missed the big snow at the farm and ranch west of Midland, S.D., on March 5. Heavy, wet snow this time of year is "good for everything but the baby calves," says Daly, 41. "The wind was awful." Daly farms and ranches with his wife, Julie, and sons Carson, 14, and Dane, 12. They raise winter wheat, spring wheat, milo, safflower and other specialty crops on about 3,000 acres near Midland, about 70 miles west of Pierre, S.D.
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — A top Cargill Inc. official told grain elevator company leaders that trade is the "heartbeat" of the overall economy, and warned that soybean and potential corn exports could be "collateral damage" in a potential trade war. Devry Boughner Vorwerk, vice president of Global Corporate Affairs, Cargill Inc., said new tariffs on steel and aluminum could indeed spark a trade war. "U.S. agriculture exports like soybeans could be thrown into the fray and become collateral damage," she said. In 2017, China imported 100 million metric tons of soybeans.
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — Directors of Minnesota cooperative grain elevators are the "guardians" of those business and must be keenly aware of marketing risks and policies, especially when markets are volatile and farm-customers are facing cash flow problems. John Christianson of Christianson PLLP at Willmar, Minn.,was one of the speakers on March 7 at the 111th Minnesota Grain & Feed annual meeting and trade show at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake.
FT. PIERRE, S.D. — A 34,000-acre grain farm west of Pierre, S.D., that last year was controlled by RDO Farms of Fargo, N.D., will be converted to an organic farm under new ownership and management. General Mills of Minneapolis on March 6 announced a "strategic sourcing agreement" with Gunsmoke Farms LLC, to convert the farm to organic by the year 2020. It will grow certified organic wheat and other rotational crops, according to a news release.
LaCROSSE, Wis. — Fake organic grain imports are becoming an increasingly heavy weight that could sink some U.S. organic farmers. Fraud allegations loomed large at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference and trade show in LaCrosse, Wis., on Feb. 21-23. It's billed as the largest event in the U.S. about organic and "sustainable" farming, with dozens of workshops and roundtable discussions. The trade show attracts 170 vendors and 3,000 attendees.
LaCROSSE, Wis. — The dicamba volatilization controversy in rural America is a new top-of-mind target for those who already criticize pesticide use. Kristin Schafer, executive director of a group called Pesticide Action Network, was one of the speakers at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference and trade show in LaCrosse, Wis., on Feb. 23. PAN North America has special emphasis in California, Hawaii, Minnesota and Iowa, 120,000 supporters in North America and is supported by foundations and organizations.