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Dry Conditions Persist in Northern North Dakota

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, dry conditions still persistent in the northern tier counties of North Dakota. Northern Pierce and Benson counties, located in the north central part of the state, remain in D1 or moderate drought. That area of moderate drought did expand into northeast McHenry County this week. A small area in northeast Minnesota encompassing Saint Louis, Itasca and Aitkin counties is also abnormally dry, as well as the western edge of Kittson and Marshall counties in northwest Minnesota.
 

Northarvest Holds Summer Board Meeting

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association held two productive days of board meetings at Thumper Pond Resort in Ottertail, Minnesota. Programs and budgets were approved for 2019/2020, with many projects in place for the upcoming year. LeRoy Stumpf from Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson’s office shared an update and also heard from Northarvest dry bean growers. Thank you to the farmer-led board for all your hard work and dedication to the dry bean industry!

RRV Ag Celebration Event Coming Up

The Red River Valley Ag Celebration event is on the calendar. Northern Crops Institute Executive Director Mark Jirik is helping to organize this event. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of change in this region in the past ten, 20, 30, 50 years and this region is better than most in taking those challenges head on and figuring out how to adapt, change and do better with what we have.” 
 
This event will also celebrate the career of Dave Torgerson, who recently retired from the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers. The Red River Valley Ag Celebration will be held Tuesday at Mentor, Minnesota. Preregistration is requested.

Land Values Remain Steady

Despite another year of falling farm income, land values remain steady to slightly softer in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. “There have been a few pockets where a lot of land is on the market,” says Jayson Menke, broker, Acres & Shares.

Menke attributes the strong values to a limited supply of land currently on the market. Top quality ground continues to hold its value better than the average ground. “Even though there are some farmers struggling financially, there are still people who have money from the ‘boom years’ and are still able to buy land.”

Hear more from Menke.

Censky Meets with MN Farmers

USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky came back to his home state of Minnesota and met with state farm leaders on Tuesday. States like Minnesota and North Dakota, which are more dependent on exports, will see that reflected in the new Market Facilitation Program payments.

“It is based on the calculated impacts on trade per commodity.” says Censky. “That is totaled up together with all the commodities within a county, including how much is produced in each county, and that will determine the county rate. So yes, there will be differences between counties.” The country rate structure has not been announced and that may not happen until after the Farm Service Agency certifies acreage in mid-July. “Our goal is have it available right around or shortly after the USDA acreage report.”

Trump Issues Disaster Declaration for MN and ND

President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for North Dakota and Minnesota. The declaration covers winter weather and flooding conditions that occurred in the states, triggering the release of Federal funds for recovery. Nineteen North Dakota counties and 51 Minnesota counties can now access assistance for repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.

Dicamba Application Deadlines Inching Closer

With the spraying season underway, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers and applicators of the Special Local Needs label for use of dicamba. Only those certified can apply FeXapan, XtendiMax and Engenia herbicides over the top, with application allowed one hour after sunrise to two hours before sunset. The label allows for spraying in North Dakota up to June 30 or R1 stage, whichever comes first.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is maintaining the June 20 state-specific deadline for dicamba application. The late planting date has caused concern for farmers who want to use dicamba, but Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says a delayed application can result in poor weed control and other risks.

Dry Bean Scene

Warm and dry weather is allowing farmers to get the dry edible bean crop in the ground. Kelley Bean Company general manager in Minnesota and North Dakota John Bartsch says the start of planting was later than usual. A few acres have been switched from soybeans to dry beans. Get the details in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network.

Krause Reelected to MN Dry Bean Council

Norman Krause of Nisswa, Minnesota was reelected to serve a three-year term on the Minnesota Dry Bean Research & Promotion Council. Krause has served as a director on the Council for nine years and also chairs the Northarvest Bean Growers Association research committee.

Walz Releases Budget Proposal

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s first budget calls for a simplified tax code for farmers that will conform to the Section 179 expensing in federal law. The proposal also cuts taxes by $220 million for state farmers and small businesses. Walz is also seeking a 20 cent gas tax increase to fund road and bridges. A border-to-border broadband program is also included in the Walz proposal.

With the announcement and next week’s economic forecast for the state, the Minnesota Legislature will begin working on budget bills for the biennium.

(Source: Red River Farm Network)