July 25, 2016

Wheat Quality Council Begins HRS Wheat Tour

wheatThe Wheat Quality Council begins their annual 2016 Hard Red Spring Wheat tomorrow and finish up on Thursday, but according to many it might be a quick tour with wheat harvest already in full swing in many of the inspected areas.  The tour will begin in Fargo, ND where participants will split into three groups headed for western Minnesota, central North Dakota and northern South Dakota for the day.  Round one will end in Bismarck, ND where scouts will rest for the night and then move on to inspect western and northern North Dakota.  The last stop will be in Devil’s Lake, before the tour inspects Northeastern North Dakota on the final day.

As extensive as the tour is, however, it won’t be without its challenges. Pre-tour interviews with participants indicate that harvest is moving along much faster this year, with many indicating they witnessed combined fields on their way into Fargo for the tour.  USDA’s weekly progress report LAST Monday for the state of ND reported 51% of the crop was coloring, well ahead of the 23% normally seen at this time of year.

Despite some challenges, however, the consensus in that the HRS and durum crops will largely be average in yield, down from previous year but not disappointing.  In fact, early expectations are that while yields may have taken a hit due to heat and dryness, protein levels are likely improved which could be a relief to a market recently flooded by a low protein hard red winter crop.


“Chalk it up to Ag” at the SD State Fair

As a tribute to agriculture, the South Dakota State Fair has teamed up with SD Farm Bureau (SDFB) to “Chalk it up to Ag” with an interactive chalk art contest during the fair Sept. 1-5 in Huron, S.D. “Chalk it up to Ag” will feature agriculture chalk art designs up and down Farm Bureau Avenue, along 3rd Street, during the five-day fair.

Experienced chalk artists are being sought and encouraged to fill out an application that can be found on www.sdstatefair.com or by calling the State Fair Office at 605.353.7340. Six chalk artists will be chosen to create agricultural masterpieces at the SD State Fair and receive prizes.SD State Fair 2016

“South Dakota Farm Bureau is excited to showcase agriculture in this unique way during the South Dakota State Fair,” said Krystil Smit, SDFB executive director. “Just imagine chalk art renderings of an agricultural scene filling the pavement on Farm Bureau Avenue on 3rd Street – and fair-goers having the chance to vote on their favorite design! We can’t wait to see how these talented artists ‘Chalk It Up to Ag’ in this special contest.”

“The State Fair is a celebration of agriculture so we are excited to be able to showcase it in this creative manner,” commented State Fair director Peggy Besch.

The “Chalk it up to Ag” drawings will be voted on in a people’s choice manner. The winner will receive a trophy and cash prize.

The 2016 South Dakota State Fair will run from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 5. Channel Seeds Preview night will be Wednesday, Aug. 31. This year’s theme is “Thrills, Squeals and Ferris Wheels.”



Finding the Balance in Sustainable Agriculture – The Triple Bottom Line

More U.S. food companies are focused on sustainable agriculture — and believe the ag retail sector is a crucial partner in scaling sustainability.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. on Wednesday announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership.

SUSTAIN was developed in cooperation with United Suppliers (USI).

General Mills, Smithfield Foods, Campbell Soup Company and now Kellogg’s are advocating SUSTAIN in their sourcing regions. The ultimate goal of the project is to work with farmers along all points in the food supply chain to reduce fertilizer runoff, safeguard the environment, and ensure farm productivity.

The SUSTAIN business will be led by Matt Carstens, who has moved to Land O’Lakes, Inc. to serve as senior vice president.


Land O’Lakes, Inc., which recently announced a new public-private partnership with the State of Minnesota to protect and improve water quality across the state, brings a strong and evolving commitment to do more with less while helping feed a growing global population.

USI is a cooperative of 560 locally owned and controlled agricultural retailers who operate nearly 2,500 retail locations, and who serve growers spanning 45 million acres in the U.S. and Canada. USI’s SUSTAIN platform has been helping growers across the country train ag retailers in using proven, effective technologies, practices, and products to improve their soil health practices. The ag retail staff then shares this knowledge with the growers they serve, so the potential for bringing sustainability to scale is tremendous.

USI’s goal is to have 10 million acres enrolled in SUSTAIN by 2020. This represents the largest agricultural sustainability commitment by any agribusiness or food company to date.