Walz Signs Executive Order to Help MN Agriculture

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-27 to lift hours of service requirements for truck drivers transporting livestock feed or fertilizer, in order to support Minnesota’s agriculture community while they work to keep Minnesotans fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 there are heightened concerns within the agricultural industry about the decrease in the commercial driver workforce and the risk it poses to efficient movement of agricultural commodities. Executive Order 20-27 lifts certain regulations on hours of service, helping to facilitate safe and efficient movement of critical supplies.
 
“Minnesota agriculture is critical to both our economic health and our ability to keep Minnesotans fed and healthy during this pandemic,” said Governor Walz. “This measure will help ensure essential agriculture supplies can be transported quickly and efficiently.”
 
Minnesota is one of the top agriculture states in the country—ranking first in grain sales, second in hog sales, and fourth in dairy sales. Commodities such as animal feed and fertilizer are needed to ensure the continuity of essential farming activities and the supply of food in Minnesota and throughout the country.
 
This Executive Order will be effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State. 

Dry Bean Scene

According to the USDA Prospective Planting report, U.S. farmers intend to plant 1.37 million acres of dry edible beans in 2020. Learn more in the latest Dry Bean Scene from the Northarvest Bean Growers Association on the Red River Farm Network.

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.

Stock Up on Dry Beans

As consumers across the country shelter in place against the coronavirus, it’s not surprising that packages of dry beans have been flying off grocery store shelves. Dry beans are an essential part of any well-stocked pantry, especially one that feeds families through an emergency. Learn more here

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.

Dry Bean Plantings Estimated to Rise

According to the USDA Prospective Planting report, U.S. farmers intend to plant 1.37 million acres of dry edible beans in 2020. That is up 7 percent from the previous year’s 1.29 million acres. Planted area is expected to be above last year in all estimating states except California. Minnesota farmers intend to plant 215,000 acres of dry beans in 2020. That is an increase from 210,000 acres the previous growing season. In North Dakota, dry bean planting intentions are also expected to increase with USDA estimates coming in at 650,000 acres. When compared to 2019, that is an increase of 6 percent from 615,000 acres

Weekly Dry Bean Market News

Dry bean trading activity is slow to steady with very good demand, according to USDA’s Weekly Market News. Contract product is moving steady. North Dakota and Minnesota grower prices for pinto beans are at $32 to $38 per cwt. Black beans remain steady at $25 to $28 per cwt and navy beans are at $28 to $30 per cwt. Kidney bean prices for Minnesota remain steady at $39 to $46 per cwt.

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
 

President Trump Signs $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

The U.S. House approved a $2 trillion stimulus package on Friday that passed the Senate earlier in the week. Hours later, the package gained President Donald Trump’s signature, as coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S. The legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in U.S. history, featuring $350 billion in Small Business Administration loans. It also includes $14 billion to replenish Commodity Credit Corporation funds and $9.5 billion in separate USDA funding to help ag producers impacted by COVID-19.