SBA Paycheck Protection Program Information

As part of the CARES Act signed by President Trump on March 27, the Small Business Administration is directed to administer a new Paycheck Protection Program loan to facilitate the delivery of $349 billion. 
 
There has been a lot of attention to the PPP program because it includes terms to forgive the loan if the proceeds are used for eligible business expenses, primarily payroll and payroll costs such as benefits. The intention of the program is to provide funding to businesses impacted by COVID-19 so that they can avoid laying off employees. 
 
The program funds will be delivered through the Farm Credit associations local banks and credit unions. The SBA is still working out details for this new program so much of this is still in draft form. Read more.

Crop Insurance Flexibilities Added

USDA’s Risk Management Agency is authorizing self-certification on replant inspections and waiving witness signatures in certain situations as part of a broader suite of flexibilities to support producers during the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Specifically, Approved Insurance Providers may allow the use of self-certification replant inspections for certain crops with 100 gross acres (before considering share) per unit in lieu of 50 acres, and they may waive the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignment of Indemnity through July 15, 2020, for applicable crop years. Get the full details.

NDSU Extension to Host Dry Bean Webinar

Farmers and crop advisers will have an opportunity to receive dry bean production and market updates during a ‘Getting-it-Right’ webinar that North Dakota State University Extension is conducting. The webinar date and time period are Wednesday, April 15 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
 
NDSU Extension, with support by Northarvest Bean Growers Association, conducted a live, full-day dry bean workshop at two locations in northeast ND in late January. “The educational event was well-received and valued by participants indicated by written evaluations”, according to Greg Endres, NDSU Extension cropping systems specialist.
 
“This webinar will provide more concise presentations to reach additional dry bean producers and managers with research-based production recommendations for 2020,” says Ryan Buetow, NDSU Extension cropping systems specialist, who is providing technical support of the webinar.
 
The dry bean webinar subjects that will be covered live by NDSU Extension crop specialists are:
  • Market types and variety review, and plant growth stages – Hans Kandel, Extension agronomist
  • Recommendations for selected plant establishment factors – Endres
  • Soil considerations and plant nutrition – Dave Franzen, Extension soils specialist
  • Disease management – Sam Markell, Extension plant pathologist
  • Weed management – Joe Ikley, Extension weed science specialist
  • Market update – Frayne Olson, Extension crops economist
 
Preregister for the webinar: https://tinyurl.com/NDSUdrybean
 
To join the webinar, go to https://tinyurl.com/jointhedrybeanwebinar. You should log in a few minutes before the start of the webinar because it will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.
 
The webinars will be recorded. Speakers can be contacted later to answer questions that result from the webinar. Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits will be available.

NDSU Extension to Host Virtual Town Hall Meeting

North Dakota State University Extension will host a virtual town hall meeting for North Dakota community development leaders. The meeting will be on Tuesday, March 31, at 9:30 a.m. Central time.
 
“We hope that this town hall meeting will give anyone involved in community development, Chambers of Commerce or small business entrepreneurship, etc., a chance to connect during these unprecedented times,” says Jodi Bruns, NDSU Extension leadership and civic engagement specialist.
 
The meeting will feature discussion on these topics:
  • Reaching your community at a distance
  • NDSU Extension resources
  • Community resources
  • Leadership in challenging times
 

Northarvest Seeks an Executive Director

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association, located in Fargo, North Dakota, seeks to hire a proven leader as its Executive Director. This position is responsible for administering and overseeing all programs, projects and contracts; working with the board members; managing office staff; and assisting with the development and management of the budget, along with other duties as assigned. Northarvest represents dry bean growers (pinto, navy, black, dark red kidney, light red kidney, pink, cranberry, small red, white kidney and Great Northern) in North Dakota and Minnesota.
 
Candidates will possess a bachelor’s degree with previous leadership experience. Excellent human relation skills with knowledge of the agriculture industry are essential to this position. Experience in market development and research is preferred. Travel required both in and out of state and international. Northarvest offers a competitive compensation and benefits package and a stable work environment.
 

Extension Services Cancel Face-to-Face Meetings

University of Minnesota Extension has canceled all face-to-face events, meetings and courses through May 15. The decision was made to safeguard public health during the coronavirus outbreak. All state and regional Extension offices are closed to the public, with faculty and staff working remotely. Those workers can be reached via e-mail and phone.
 
NDSU Extension has postponed, canceled or offered alternative means of delivery of all face-to-face meetings, trainings, etc. in light of the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation. This directive includes 4-H activities, programs taught by volunteers and all events sponsored by NDSU Extension. Following NDSU’s lead, this postponement of activities will be through Sunday, April 5.

USDBC Response to COVID-19

The U.S. Dry Bean Council is up and fully operational during this challenging time for the country and for the entire world. All global events are canceled through the end of May and possibly longer, as the USDBC reevaluates in accordance with global standards and recommendations.
 
U.S. and global staff are all working full time from home offices and keeping global programs running. Programming will be moving to digital platforms in the very near future to make up for the current inability to conduct site visits and in-person trade servicing.
 
As agriculture is considered a critical industry, farmers are working full steam ahead to prepare for dry bean planting and to allow the industry to continue to meet U.S. and global demand without interruption. The USDBC will be communicating more frequently through all social media and digital means.

Trump Administration Implements COVID-19 Guidelines

The Trump Administration has announced 15 guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus.The guidelines are intended to help save lives and keep critical U.S. infrastructure in place amid the outbreak, including the food supply chain. The Food Industry Association says grocery stores are working 24 hours-a-day to replenish and restock shelves while ensuring cleanliness.
 
According to a statement, the department is ensuring that Food Safety and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services and Agriculture Marketing Service employees remain healthy and safe. USDA says these agencies are prepared to make sure grading and inspection personnel are available, so USDA-inspected products continue to be available.

WHO Declares Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic

The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. This has sent the stock markets downward, with the DOW Jones dropping over 2,400 points on Thursday. Over 118 countries have reported more than 125,000 cases of the virus. All but three states in the U.S. have declared positive or confirmed cases. More information is available on the CDC website.

2020 Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association will award two, $1,000 scholarships in 2020. Northarvest is comprised of dry bean growers from North Dakota and Minnesota. In order to be eligible for the Northarvest scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • A parent or grandparent must be a current participating grower-member of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
  • Applicant must be planning to enroll or be enrolled in their first year of college or technical college.
  • Applicant must have at least a 3.0 grade point average from high school.
A request for an application can be sent by mail or email to:
  • 50072 East Lake Seven Road, Frazee MN 56544
  • nhbean@loretel.net
Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2020. The association looks forward to helping youth with their educational goals.