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Red River Farm Network News

Tight Diesel Supplies Expected — A busy harvest season this fall will coincide with the shutdown of major refineries. CHS Hedging energy market analyst Tony Headrick says this could be a bigger problem this fall. "There is an extended amount of refinery maintenance happening this fall, compared to last year and years prior," said Headrick, "As it historically does in fall and this year could be a bit more than usual, we could see some tightness in diesel supply." Farmers are encouraged to secure their diesel supply now.

New Equipment From Case IH — Case IH has introduced new products, including the True-Tandem 375 disc harrow. This tool includes 24-inch Earth Metal blades and a new mounted TigerPaw Crumbler option. Case IH has also introduced the Patriot 2250 sprayer. This sprayer is rated at 175 horsepower and has a tank capacity of 660 gallons.

Monsanto-Syngenta Merger Won't Happen — Surprisingly, Monsanto has dropped its bid to takeover Syngenta. Just over a week ago, Monsanto increased its offer to $47 billion. That’s up from a previous offer of $45 billion. Syngenta has communicated with Monsanto, saying the proposal did not meet its financial expectations. Without a basis to move the process forward, Monsanto will no longer pursue a possible merger. Instead, Monsanto says focus on growth opportunities within its core business.

BIO Appoints Baenig to Leade Food and Agriculture Section — The Biotechnology Industry Organization has named Brian Baenig as its executive vice president for food and agriculture. Most recently, Baenig served as the chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Before USDA, Baenig spent time on Capitol Hill, including a stint as a legislative assistant to Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone.

Work on the Weed Management Strategy — With an eye to next year, WinField regional agronomist Jason Hanson says this is a good time evaluate weed pressure. "Is that patch of weeds out there because something didn't work right or was it weather?" asked Hanson, "Also think about glyphosate resistance or other herbicide resistance issues and manage around that."

Center for Food Safety Goes to Court — The Center for Food Safety is suing USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, saying it withheld information on biotech crops. The activist group claims APHIS violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to respond to requests for records about new GMO regulations. The lawsuit also challenges the way USDA handled the discovery of an unapproved biotech wheat variety in Oregon in 2013.

A Good Harvest Season in Southwest North Dakota — Harvest reports are positive in southwestern North Dakota. "Spring wheat yields are a little above average and quality is good," said Mike Hillstrom, sales representative, Bayer CropScience, "Canola looks good and I'm hearing very good yields; barley is good quality, making malt and a lot of yields are in the area of 80-to-90 bushels."

Layoffs Announced at Fargo Plant — Due to market conditions, CNH Industrial plans to lay off 34 full-time employees at its Fargo plant. CNH, which manufactures Case IH and New Holland brands, made similar cutbacks earlier this year.

Deere Introduces New 4-Track Tractor — John Deere has officially launched its new four-track tractor. The 9RX line has four models ranging from 470 to 620 horsepower. The new tractor will debut at the Farm Progress Show and be available for the 2016 growing season.

Pork Demand Remains Strong — The breakdown in the Chinese economy has put a dent in US commodity prices, but the outlook for pork exports to China remains positive. During a conference call with market analysts, Smithfield officials said its pork shipments to China are up more than 45 percent from last year. That strength is tied to the big liquidation of the sow herd in China. Smithfield Foods is owned by a Chinese company, known as the WH Group.

Shively Moves to ASTA — Bethany Shively is the new communications director for the American Seed Trade Association. Most recently, Shively had a similar role at the National Association of Conservation Districts.

AGP and Monsanto Partner on High Oleic Soybeans — For the first time, Monsanto’s Vistive Gold high oleic soybeans will be grown in Iowa in 2016. Ag Processing Incorporated is the first processor to offer contracts for the high oleic soybeans. Vistive Gold field trials have taken place the past three seasons in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. With these soybeans, food companies can produce cooking oils with an improved nutritional profile.

Dean Foods Appoints New Chairman — Dean Foods has named Jim Turner as its non-executive chairman. Turner, who has been a Dean Foods director since 1997, is a principal of JLT Beverages and is the former CEO of Dr. Pepper/Seven-Up Bottling Group. Turner takes over after Thomas Davis resigned in early August. Davis is reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Farm Income to Decline — US farm income is expected to decline 36 percent this year to its lowest level in nine years. USDA is projecting net farm income at $58.3 billion. That’s down from just over $91 billion last year. That is the largest one-year decline in farm income since 1983. This projection revises downward an estimate that was made in February. USDA said low grain prices were already factored in, but a more pessimistic outlook for milk and hogs influenced the forecast for livestock producers.

SDDA Names Policy Advisor — Dani Hanson has been named the policy advisor for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Hanson has been on the SDDA staff since January. Previously, Hanson was a legislative aide for South Dakota Senator John Thune.

An Early Start to the Dry Bean Harvest

Some growers have begun cutting dry edible beans and others have dessicated their crop. North Dakota State University dry bean breeder Juan Osorno says the harvest is starting a little ahead of average. "We're off to a good start." Osorno was part of a dry bean field day on the Mark Dombeck farm near Perham, Minnesota Tuesday. Osorno has a kidney bean variety trial there, with 26 lines replicated four times. "Just in this location, we have around four acres of research plots." Root rot, rust and halo blight are the most common issues being seen in Minnesota’s dry beans this year.

Farm Bill Consternation — Some lawmakers want to take a look at the conservation compliance requirement in the 2014 farm bill for the 2016 crop insurance year. Proponents say the provision simply defers penalty for a year to allow producers to certify compliance and USDA to adequately deal with the rule. Lawmakers say no farmer should lose coverage due to a paperwork issue but apparently there are producers who are not compliant due to paperwork glitches. Others say that the rule is like a strict liability provision.

Monsanto Increases Its Offer for Syngenta — Monsanto has reportedly upped its offer to buy Syngenta. With this latest proposal, Monsanto is offering $47 billion. That’s up from its previous bid of $45 billion. The new offer also includes an increase in the break-up fee from $2 billion to $3 billion. This payment would be made if the deal is blocked by federal regulators. So far, Syngenta executives have refused to sit down with Monsanto officials and discuss a deal. With this new offer, Monsanto hopes to jump-start negotiations between the two companies.

Land O'Lakes-United Suppliers Merger Announced — Land O’Lakes and United Suppliers have approved a merger. Land O’Lakes is based in Arden Hills, Minnesota and United Suppliers has its headquarters in Eldora and Ames, Iowa. With this merger, the seed and crop protection business will be combined under the WinField brand. Once complete, the focus will be on the crop nutrient business, which has been operated by United Suppliers up until this time. The merger is expected to be finalized in October.

Another Successful Larry Sing Memorial ALS Golf Classic — The region’s crop input suppliers came together for the 21 st annual Larry Sing Memorial ALS Golf Classic in Fargo-Moorhead. Sing, who worked for NorAm, started the tournament in 1995, two years before dying from ALS. "Larry is probably up there smiling because I'm sure he didn't think this would still be happening 21 years later," said Steve Sing, who is Larry's brother. Fifty teams participated in the golf tournament, and combined with the live and silent auction, raised almost $109,000 for ALS yesterday.

Dalrymple Won't Seek Re-election in '16 — North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has announced he will not seek re-election in 2016, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Dalrymple has served 16 years as a state representative, ten years as lieutenant governor and five-plus years as governor. Dalrymple farmed at Casselton and was the founding board chairman of Dakota Growers Pasta Company.

Make Plans to Join RRFN at Big Iron — The Red River Farm Network is busy preparing for the Big Iron Farm Show, which will be held September 15-17 at West Fargo. Each year, RRFN hosts seminars in our tent. This year, we'll feature FSA Administrator Val Dolcini Tuesday, September 15. The Wednesday, September 16 program includes well-known meteorologist Leon Osborne and on Thursday, September 17, we'll consider the new margin environment in agriculture with Wells Fargo economist Michael Swanson and NDSU crops economist Frayne Olson. Each afternoon, RRFN hosts market outlook forums with some of the best analysts in the country on our stage. Visit RRFN online to see the complete schedule.

ND Soybean Minute — Hear the latest North Dakota Soybean Minute from the North Dakota Soybean Council and the soybean checkoff. Find out more about soybean aphid control in this update.

Oilseed & Grain Summit Announces Keynote Speaker — The daughter of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro will give the keynote address at the Oilseed and Grain Trade Summit in Minneapolis late next month. Alina Fernandez will share insight on her very unique relationship with Cuba, the changes the nation has undergone in the past few decades, and the economic opportunities that lie ahead. Fernandez will also give details of the current agricultural relationship between the US and Cuba, and what post-embargo Cuba might look like for US agriculture. The Oilseed and Grade Summit will be held September 30 to October 2. For registration information, go to

Zoetis Completes Expansion Project — Zoetis has completed an expansion of its global manufacturing and supply facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. The new facility will handle manufacturing for SYNOVEX beef implants.

DuPont Selects New VP/Controller — DuPont has named Jeanmarie Desmond as its vice president and controller. Desmond succeeds Barry Niziolek, who plans to retire. Most recently, Desmond was DuPont’s general auditor and chief ethics and compliance leader.

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