MSGA's Soybean Business March~April 2015

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An Artist’s

Checkoff Helps Paint Picture of Agriculture

INSIDE: Scouting for Success Understanding Buffers Don’t Go Wrong on the Right of Way MARCH - APRIL - Soybean Business




Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Officers and ASA Directors: OFFICERS

Dan Brandt Eyota, MN Olmsted/S. Wabasha Counties

Bruce Nelsen Rose Creek, MN Mower County

Mark Brown St. James, MN Watonwan County

Keith Nelsen Westbrook, MN Cottonwood County

Steve Brusven Cottonwood, MN Yellow Medicine County

Robert Nelsen Westbrook, MN Murray County

Ron Bunjer Arco, MN Lincoln County

Ron Obermoller Brewster, MN Nobles County

Cecil Deschene Argyle, MN Marshall County

Mike O’Leary Danvers, MN Swift County

Brian Fruechte Verdi, MN Lincoln County

Mike Petefish Claremont, MN, Dodge County

George Goblish Vesta, MN Redwood County

Tom Grundman Osakis, MN Douglas County

Ray Hewitt Le Sueur, MN Scott/Le Sueur Counties

Bill Gordon Worthington, MN Nobles County

Corey Hanson Gary, MN Norman County

Ian Sandager Hills, MN Rock County

Lance Peterson Underwood, MN Ottertail County

Jeremy Hanson Nerstand, MN Dakota/Rice Counties

Bruce Schmoll Claremont, MN Dodge County

Joel Schreurs Tyler, MN Lincoln County

Ed Hegland Appleton, MN Lac Qui Parle County

Joel Schreurs Tyler, MN Lincoln County

Lawrence Sukalski Fairmont, MN Martin County

Christopher Hill Brewster, MN Jackson County

Mike Skaug Beltrami, MN Polk County

Brad Hovel Cannon Falls, MN Goodhue/N. Wabasha Counties

Cal Spronk Edgerton, MN Pipestone County

Ryan Wondercheck Lamberton, MN Redwood County

Steve Hulke Courtland, MN Nicollet/Sibley Counties

Sheldon Stevermer Wells, MN Faribault County

Aaron Yaggie Thief River Falls, MN Pennington/ Red Lake Counties

Gary Joachim Owatonna, MN Steele County

Doug Toreen Bird Island, MN Renville County


Kurt Krueger Rothsay, MN Clay/Wilkin Counties

Robert Wayne Ellendale, MN Freeborn County

Jim Kukowski Strathcona, MN Roseau/Lake of the Woods Counties

Matt Widboom Worthington, MN Nobles County

George Goblish President Vesta, MN Redwood County Paul Freeman Vice President Starbuck, MN Pope County Cole Trebesch Treasurer Springfield, MN Brown County Theresia Gillie Secretary Hallock, MN Kittson County



Kevin Amiot Red Lake Falls, MN Pennington/ Red Lake Counties Nick Bjornberg Willmar, MN Kandiyohi County Dana Blume Elbow Lake, MN Ottertail/Grant Counties

Bob Lindemann Brownton, MN McLeod County Larry Muff New Richland, MN Waseca County

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Earl Ziegler Good Thunder, MN Blue Earth County Karolyn Zurn Calloway, MN Becker/Mahnomen Counties

B U S I N E S S EDITORIAL STAFF: Editor in Chief Doug Monson Communications Manager Minnesota Soybean 151 Saint Andrews Court Suite 710, Mankato, MN 56001 888-896-9678

Contributing Writers Dan Lemke Cathy Riley Shawna Aakre

Art Director

Eric Melhorn Funkiture, Inc. CIRCULATION: Soybean Business is published six times a year on behalf of Minnesota Soybean. Comments and suggestions can be submitted to: Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, 151 Saint Andrews Court, Suite 710, Mankato, MN 56001. ADVERTISING For advertising information, contact Veronica Bruckhoff, Minnesota Soybean, 888-896-9678 or veronica@mnsoybean. com. Advertising space reservations can be made by the 15th day of the month prior to publication. In consideration of the acceptance of the advertisement, the agency and the advertiser must, in respect of the contents of the advertisement, indemnify and save the publisher harmless against any expense arising from claims or actions against the publisher because of the publication of the content of the advertisement. Advertisements within this publication contain the opinions and information of the advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Minnesota Soybean organizations or affiliated groups.



Minnesota soybean farmers are using the new Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to help create a better understanding of modern agriculture. Local artist Malia Wiley is giving that effort an artistic touch.

FEATURES Scouting for Success

Lorem dolor asitgame amet, el et netus et maleBefore youipsum can formulate planconsectetur for dealing withadipiscing soybean pests and diseases, you first have to know what you’re up against. suada fames ac turpis egestas. suada vitae ut erat. Mauris nulla tellus, Proper scouting is the name of the game.

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What You Say—What They Hear Does it ever seem like farmers and non-farmers speak two different languages? To more effectively communicate, it’s important to understand how others interpret what we say.

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Don’t Go Wrong in the Right of Way Road rights of way are becoming increasingly important pieces of public land. Find out what you need to know about them before you plant this spring.

p. 14

Buffer Confusion Some Minnesota waterways are required to have vegetative buffers. Others aren’t. What you don’t know about buffer requirements could cost you.

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Pythium Back on the Radar A well-known soybean pathogen is gaining new attention as researchers learn more about how pythium could impact soybean and corn acres.

p. 22

Myth Busted Once an alternative means of crop production, strip-tillage is moving into the mainstream for many. Modern technology is making it happen.

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An estimated 50,000 people are expected to visit the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota each year. When it opens in May of 2015, it will feature a large and unique mural designed to help connect visitors to agriculture.

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Letter from the President

Spring Renewal As the days get longer and gradually start to warm, most farmers begin feeling the urge to get out in the fields and do what we do best—farm! The pull to start working the fields is undeniable. The spring sunshine, the smell of freshly-tilled soil and the excitement of the new season is all part of our annual spring renewal. While most Minnesota farmers are turning their attention to the season and crop ahead, members and leaders of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association are also paying attention to activities at the Capitols in St. Paul and Washington D.C. These days, legislative or regulatory decisions can have almost as much impact on our farming operations as the weather. Congress and the Minnesota state legislature have undergone a renewal of sorts, too. Following the November elections, many new people were elected and are now in place in both bodies. The MSGA works hard to make sure that we connect with Minnesota’s U.S. senators and congress people as well as our state senators and representatives. MSGA is under a renewal of sorts, as well. For the first time since the 1970s, all Minnesota agriculture groups are uniting with a singular legislative focus. Because the rural representatives who more fully understand agriculture are in the minority, it is important that all of agriculture works together. One of those areas where we stand united with our counterparts is research. Agricultural research at the university level continues to diminish in funding, and we are working to bring back that funding, which benefits every sector of agriculture in Minnesota. For MSGA, the mission remains keeping soybean production profitable. We will continue to focus on transportation issues that contribute to the ongoing high basis for many of our farmers. We will defend our ability to use biotech seeds and guard against state GMO product labeling. We will be deeply involved in discussions on environmental issues such as buffer strips on all waterways as well as nutrient management plans. We will also continue to support renewable fuels like biodiesel both in Minnesota and across the U.S. You concentrate on planting. We’ll take care of rest. On behalf of all of us at MSGA, I wish you all a safe and profitable growing season. George Goblish President, MSGA


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Want To Make Sure You’re Heard By Lawmakers?

Join The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. Let’s be honest, fewer and fewer people know what farmers do to provide safe, affordable food. This includes the decision makers in St. Paul and Washington, D.C. Let the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association be your voice. With over 4,100 members, they’ll be your voice to inform lawmakers about what Minnesota soybean farmers are already doing to grow food, fuel and fiber while protecting the land and water that we all love and share. To learn more about the benefits of MSGA membership, call us at 888-896-9678 or visit us at

MARCH - APRIL - Soybean Business


Scouting for Success First step in managing is knowing what’s there Football teams spend hours working on a game plan for their upcoming opponent. Coaches take scouting information they’ve received on the opposing team’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies to formulate a plan for success in all phases of the game.

It’s important that soybean farmers show the same tenacity and attention to detail when they’re making plans to manage diseases, weeds or pests.

A decision tool

“Good scouting leads to good decisions,” says Bruce Potter, Integrated Pest Management Specialist at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, Minn. Many farmers utilize crop scouts to help them gather information about what’s happening in their fields. With all the things on their plate during the growing season, farmers themselves may not have time to thoroughly scout on their own. Enlisting the help of professionals can free up some of that time, plus trained scouts are likely to have additional expertise farmers themselves may not have. In most cases, scouts will also come with a wider point of view. “Hiring from outside has advantages because they’re probably scouting a wider geography and different environments that will give them a broader perspective,” Potter says. For example, knowing soybean aphid numbers may be climbing in a few fields in the area, prompting growers to pay particular attention to their own fields to see how populations are developing. Gathering that information can help lead them to a decision on whether or not they need to take action. Whether farmers scout themselves or enlist the help of others, the efforts need to be thorough. Scouting has to cover the whole field, It can’t be done through the windshield or by checking the first few rows, you have to get into the field and really look.

Choose wisely

Because scouting plays an important role in decision making, choosing the right person for the task shouldn’t be taken lightly. Potter says farmers need to be able to trust that their scout has proper training and supervision.

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But farmers themselves need to be educated to recognize diseases, identify weeds and check for pests. Hiring a scout doesn’t mean farmers don’t step foot into the field. Farming isn’t a one-size-fits-all enterprise. Gathering information through scouting is an important way farmers can know exactly what’s happening in their fields. “Scouting is just a tiny part of the whole process, but it is very useful in putting a crop pest management plan together,” Potter adds. “How and why farmers scout is part of their overall management philosophy.”

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An Artist’s

The layers of detail that she keeps adding to it are coming to life. It’s beautiful to look at.” Peter Olsen, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota

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Touch Story by Doug Monson, photos by John Cross

Malia Wiley sits in a chair, staring down at the spread of paint within the tray in her hand. She dabs into the tray and works the grass laid out before a pair of grazing cows. She’s graceful as her attention fixates on the smaller details of the blades, the depth, the shadows. When people think about the soybean checkoff and the many areas the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council invest in, few would think about a mural inside a children’s museum in the middle of downtown Mankato. But the checkoff ’s reach here, at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, brings agriculture to the center of a busy region filled with urban and non-farming rural Minnesotans.

“The children’s museum gives farmers the opportunity to present agricultural practices to youth, parents and senior citizens as all youth under the age of 16 will need to be chaperoned,” says Vernon Pooch, an MSR&PC director and former chair of the Education action team, which recommended the project be funded to the full Council.

Art & agriculture

While Wiley’s mural isn’t the main attraction of the museum, her painting ties together the agricultural section in its entirety. Staring at the wall, an antique tractor starts the scene to the left. Stairs are built into the wall to allow children the chance to sit in the

driver’s seat. The painting begins with hay behind the tractor. Traveling into the painting to the right, history begins with the Dakota Indians and their early forms of agriculture. The painting gives way to cows grazing, a pig, children, a woman in a cucumber patch, a tractor planting, midseason soybeans and finally a corn field ready to harvest. “It’s a really big wall,” says Wiley. “But there really isn’t a lot of space. When everything is nearly life size, it fills up the space pretty quickly.” A chicken coop and a shed, both of which take up significant space, breaks up the wall. Despite those obstacles she said the trick was trying to piece together agriculture, whether historical, modern production or gardening, and make those pieces representative of farming. “I know you don’t plant four rows of soybeans next to your corn,” she says. “I know that you wouldn’t have cucumbers next to your soybeans. But I also need to represent a fuller picture of agriculture.”

Agriculture’s place at the museum

Peter Olson, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, had worked with Wiley before on various projects for the museum at its other locations. He was pleased when the board accepted her bid for the mural. (continued on page 10)

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(continued from page 9)

“I’m blown away by it every day,” Olson says. “The layers of detail that she keeps adding to it are coming to life. It’s beautiful to look at.” Olson says the agriculture section of the museum is built into two sections: the inside of the museum, and outside, where eventually the Dotson Back 40 will be located. Inside, children will have the chance to play in agriculture and to learn about the various aspects of modern farming. There will also be a lab area where children will have the opportunity to dig and plant. The Dotson Back 40 will be a mixture of live animals, planted soybeans and corn, and a park, which will give children a chance to see the kind of areas farm kids enjoy playing in out in the country. “We’re working to become the premier ag destination for families and schools,” Olson says. With conservative estimates, Olson says the museum hopes to draw 50,000 visitors per year, but he is optimistic its location in central Minnesota will help it draw visitors from east to west to the borders, the metro area, southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. “We’ve had this extended development process,” Olson says of the various locations the museum has inhabited on its way to its new home, a former bus depot between Cub Food and Subway just off Riverfront Drive. “We’ve

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been working with farmers and producers for five years. That ultimately helps hone in on what this will be.”

From farm girl to artist

Wiley has always been an artist, at least as she sees it. Her earliest memories growing up on her family’s dairy, soybean and corn farm near Nicollet, Minn., involve her painting or drawing or doing something artistic. Those early memories also involve Disney movie covers and a nurturing grandmother. Wiley recalls how when she was young, she used to sneak into said grandmother’s ceramics shop because she had lots of paint, and as Wiley tells it, her paint was the good stuff. “When she finally caught me, I didn’t want to show my Grandma the Disney covers,” Wiley says. Eventually, however, her grandmother’s persistence paid off, and Wiley gave her the covers. “When I showed her my paintings, my Grandma said, ‘you go ahead and use those paints anytime you want.’”

By the Numbers 50,000 3.5 5

Estimated number of visitors per year The number of months it will take Wiley to finish the ag mural Number of months it will take to prepare and build inside of museum for grand opening

The 28-year-old Bethany Lutheran College graduate continues to paint to this day. While working for her Bachelors of Art degree, she experimented with other forms of creativity, but painting always drew her back. “Something about manipulating the colors draws me. It’s what I’m the best at,” Wiley says. “It’s very immediate. You put the paint on and it’s color.”

Why invest checkoff money?

Pooch says, to him, investing checkoff money was the right thing to do. The Council invests money in education projects all the time, but this one is special, Pooch says. “The museum will attract tens of thousands of people each year, not only locally, but regionally, too,” he adds. “I don’t know how we could have spent our checkoff money more wisely.” And while the museum offers more than just agriculture, modern ag will play a large role. “I don’t like the word museum as much as I’d like it ot be thought of as an Ag Learning Center,” he says. “You think you are going to look at history, but it’s an interactive learning experience.”

Staying connected to ag

Wiley doesn’t live on the farm anymore, but many of her paintings are direct reflections of her upbringing. For the past three years, she has concentrated much of her efforts on agriculture and animals. “I really like animals,” she says. “So I probably gravitate to it.” She often paints people’s pets for

her customers, and at times she paints farm landscapes requested by clients. But the mural has been a true passion for her, she says. She started the process in mid-December by sketching out the scene to get the scaling and proportions correct. From there, she used paint to bring the scenes to life. She’s also documented her work on Facebook so people can follow the progression of her mural, which she hopes to finish later this month.

On the Web Learn more about Malia Wiley at paintingsbymalia The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is planning its Grand Opening May 1 and May 2. Learn more about the museum at http://www.

Wiley admits the project has been a large one, but one she is excited to see unveiled for the children. “I’m excited to see the kids use the space and play in it,” she says. “Even with just the few public events we’ve had, kids are just curious. I am excited to see them interact with the painting and incorporate it into their play.” MARCH - APRIL - Soybean Business

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“What you say...

...what they hear” By Shawna Aakre What comes to mind when you hear the words “I’m going out to spray aphids today”? How do you think your nonfarming relatives would interpret that statement? The agriculture industry, like any other, has its own set of words used to discuss things and its own jargon that is used without thoughts on why. But, how those in agriculture use the words can have an influence on the perspectives of those outside the industry. A survey by U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) gauges people’ attitudes toward chemical use on the farm. The survey demonstrates how those in the agriculture industry talk to people matters. In fact, some of the phrases and words currently used often actually spark negative emotions with non-farmers. Throughout this year, look to this section to learn more about the study’s findings and the value of moving past our agriculture jargon into language that resonates positively with our audiences. 12 - Soybean Business - MARCH - APRIL

Communicating with consumers about precision agriculture: The phrase “Right amount, right time” receives a more positive reaction from consumers than “precise” when talking about precision agriculture. The phrase leads to more trust and acceptance of farming practices than the word precise itself. When farmers use complex technology words to describe farming practices, consumers view farmers as lacking accountability. Talking about GPS systems & other tools used to “accurately & carefully care for plants in the field” is simple wording farmers can use that resonates positively with consumers. Saying “high yielding crops” is received negatively. It brings visions of big business/mega-farmers to consumers, fueling mistrust. Americans believe farmers have consumer’s best interest in mind, but that economic drivers trump those interests.

Other highlights:

This U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) study, titled “Precision Ag Research: A Summary Report”, was invested in by many agriculture groups, including your soybean checkoff. GOAL: The farming industry continues to face criticism regarding the use of pesticides and USFRA wanted to determine the right way to discuss this with a consumer population. SUMMARY: The research results highlighted: l

general consumer perceptions of the agricultural industry


perceptions specific to the use of pesticides and other defense measures in farming


believability of and comfort with pesticide messages


perceptions of pesticide, GMO and precision messages in demonstrating farmers are doing the right thing


sources of information and trusted sources of information

The words care, protect, responsible and natural all resonate positively with consumers. Consumers like to speak to farmers face-to-face & like the oneon-one attention. The medical community was found to be the most trusted source for pesticide information, yet traditional media sources are leading sources of information regarding pesticides. GMOs receive more criticism than pesticides, and there are some misperceptions around the use and impact of GMOS and how they relate to pesticide use. Only 24% of Consumer Food Connectors (people who advocate on food) believe farmers are doing the right thing with regard to the use of GMOS. Only 22% believe they are doing the right thing with regard to use of pesticides. Safety & healthy are more important to consumers, they cite cost as secondary.

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Don’t Go Wrong in the Right of Way Farmers need to heed roadway setbacks By Dan Lemke 14 -- Soybean Business - MARCH - APRIL 14

Farmers are always on the lookout for ways to get the most out of their acres. But as spring planting approaches, they’re reminded that those gains cannot come at the expense of road rights of way. Over the course of time, farming can encroach on a road right of way, particularly in areas where markers have fallen down or have been removed. That can lead to safety, utility and environmental concerns. “First and foremost our concern is for the safety of the traveling public,” says Steve Schoeb, roadway regulation supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Mankato district, “but we also have to accommodate public utilities.”

That practice can not only be dangerous for motorists, but it could interrupt public utilities and even foul ditch drainage. Plowing, tilling and planting within highway rights of way violates state law and could lead to a fine of $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. “Public utilities are the only things that are supposed to be in the road ditches,” Schoeb adds. “Those utilities used to be unusual, now there may be as many as four different utilities running through that ditch. That’s valuable public land and it’s a problem when we can’t get to it because it’s being cropped.” In some cases, unintentionally planted crops have been mowed to allow companies to install public utilities in the

“The land owner’s property title may say they own to the center of the road, but most titles like that have an easement giving the roadway authority the power to take care of the roads,” Schoeb says. Even if the title says farmers own the land to the center of the road they’re usually not assessed. Schoeb says on state highways, the right of way typically extends a minimum of 75 feet from the center of the road. In some areas, depending on topography or other features, that right of way can extend further. Sight corners occur at the intersection of two roads. They can be susceptible to visual obstructions if crops are planted illegally in the right of way, particularly if that crop is tall, like corn. In heavily farmed areas, especially in locations where right of way markers are no longer present, farm tillage may have gradually expanded into areas where it shouldn’t.

On the Web All of the state’s right of way maps are available on the MNDOT website at www. For specific questions about right of way issues, contact the Department of Transportation district office nearest you.

right of way. Schoeb says the Mankato district is in the process of reinstalling right of way markers in many of the areas where they’re currently missing to eliminate any confusion. “The land owner’s property title may say they own to the center of the road, but most titles like that have an easement giving the roadway authority the power to take care of the roads,” Schoeb says. Even if the title says farmers own the land to the center of the road they’re usually not assessed. Another issue highway officials often encounter is illegal signage. Signs are not allowed in the right of way, including for sale, political or seed signs. Pounding stakes or posts into the right of way could disrupt public utility service or cause a visual obstruction. As part of the highway beautification act, seed signs placed outside the right of way can include the company logo, variety number and retail seller’s name, but not the address, in order to avoid being considered an advertisement. Those in violation can be removed.

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Bean Briefs B10 Resumes After a successful inaugural summer in 2014, B10 (10 percent biodiesel) will be back in every gallon of diesel sold in Minnesota, beginning in April. Minnesota became the first state to make B10 available in every gallon sold in the state last summer from July through September. In 2015, B10 will be available April 1 through September 31. A five percent biodiesel blend (B5) is included during the remaining months. “With a heavy construction season and a lengthy fall harvest, biodiesel definitely added to the fuel pool,” says Mike Youngerberg, director of field services for Minnesota Soybean. “The longer availability of B10 should provide additional fuel to the marketplace.” Minnesota’s biodiesel industry produces about 60 million gallons of biodiesel annually. National Biodiesel Conference More than a dozen Minnesota farmers, diesel mechanics and fuel distributors boosted their knowledge of the nation’s biodiesel industry by attending the 2015 National Biodiesel Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. The January event was put on by the National Biodiesel Board and brought together researchers, industry representatives and end users to learn more about the challenges, advancements and developments within the biodiesel industry.

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Among the Minnesota contingent was Peter Girard, diesel technology instructor at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Canby. “I thought I knew a lot about the biodiesel industry, but I’ve learned a lot as far as where the industry is at and probably where it needs to go,” Girard says. “One of the biggest things I take away from this is the fact that communication and getting the word out to the public is probably our biggest accomplishment for the future.” The delegation attended the event on behalf of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, which invests checkoff dollars into its See For Yourself program. SYF programs allow soybean producers to evaluate how their soybean checkoff is invested. Ag EXPO About 800 farmers, researchers and industry representatives participated in the 2015 MN Ag EXPO held at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. Ag EXPO is put on jointly each year by the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. This year’s event featured speakers addressing market conditions, trends in climatology, transportation as well as a panel discussion on farm data. There was also a sizeable tradeshow featuring representatives from more than 100 organizations and businesses. Ag EXPO also featured the annual meeting and delegate session for the MSGA, with delegates from across the state setting policy direction for the organization in the coming year. 16 - Soybean Business - MARCH - APRIL

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Building by Bargaining By Dan Lemke

Many export markets the result of negotiated agreements products, including $21 billion in soybeans during that period. Those types of talks are still occurring as the U.S. works to solidify relationships that are mutually beneficial for trade.

Trade Promotion Authority

Brady says a key piece of legislation that is currently being debated in Washington impacting trade agreements is the fast-track or trade promotion authority, which gives the President and his administration the power to negotiate trade agreements. Congress must still approve or disapprove the agreements, but they cannot make amendments or filibuster. This authority is granted by Congress and has been in place off and on since the mid-1970s. Currently, TPA authority has expired, but legislation is moving forward and could come up for a vote within the next few months.

Of all Minnesota crops, soybeans are the most widely exported. In fact, soybeans are the largest export commodity in the entire country. About half of the total U.S. production is shipped overseas. Getting those soybeans to markets around the world takes more than just infrastructure and logistical choreography; in most cases markets opened because of trade agreements. Those treaties may not be front of mind for farmers, but growers do owe much of their market access to negotiated agreements. “Soybean farmers grow for the marketplace, both here and abroad, so their capacity to produce far outpaces the domestic demand alone. This makes access to new markets incredibly important,” says Janae Brady, trade associate with Gordley Associates, a Washington D.C.-based government relations group that works on behalf of the American Soybean Association. “Food security is a global issue and we are in a position to help countries address that.” Agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and recent treaties with Panama, Colombia and South Korea were the result of long and sometimes arduous negotiations. According to the USDA Foreign Ag Service, from NAFTA’s 1994 enactment to 2014, Mexico alone imported more than $200 billion in agricultural 18 - Soybean Business - MARCH - APRIL

“This legislation is important because it assures countries that are in negotiations with the U.S. that we are serious about the agreement,” Brady adds.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a multi-national agreement being hammered out between 12 countries, including Canada, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Vietnam and the U.S. The agreement would deepen economic ties between the nations and reduce or even remove some tariffs. There are concerns over some agricultural trade, particularly livestock, which is a vital industry to soybean farmers. Brady says congressional leaders hope to have an agreement finalized in the coming months.

Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP, is a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the 28 member nations of the European Union. The agreement would foster free trade, reduce tariffs and potentially reduce trade barriers such as acceptance of GMOs. Negotiations on this agreement began in 2013, but Brady expects a final agreement is still off in the distance as discussions are in their early stages. (continued on page 19)

(continued from page 18)


A move to normalize relations with Cuba could provide farmers with a boost. Brady says because of our proximity to the island nation, access to the high quality food U.S. farmers produce could help Cuba address their food security concerns. “Another opportunity is tourism,” Brady explains. “An increase in tourism would bring an increase in demand for high quality food. The U.S. is in a good position to take advantage of that opportunity.”

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The U.S. currently does some trading with Cuba. In the 2012/2013 marketing year, Cuba imported nearly 87,000 metric tons of soybeans and over 155,000 metric tons of soybean meal. Minnesota farmers are some of the best in the world,” says Keith Schrader, Vice Chair of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. “They are really good at what they do. Expanding the ability to access markets is not even a question, it just needs to be done.”

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Buffer requirements for drainage depends on designation The push to have all open drainage ditches in Minnesota buffered is happening. In January, Governor Mark Dayton announced he would push to have 50-foot buffers required and enforced on all rivers, streams and farm drainage systems in the state. Dayton’s proposal would create an estimated 125,000 additional acres of wildlife habitat. While the move is being applauded by wildlife and environmental groups, most in agriculture are waiting to see the specifics of what is being proposed.

the state has more than 17,300 miles of public ditches designed to help move water off farmland to increase productivity. There are also untold miles of private ditches in place across the state. Because there are multiple designations for ditches and each comes with their own set of rules, confusion often exists when it comes to determining who has regulatory authority over the ditch and if a vegetative buffer is required.

“There are a lot of details that haven’t been explained, so we’ll reserve final judgment until we see what those details are,” says Minnesota Soybean Executive Director Tom Slunecka. “The loss of 125,000 acres of productive farmland is something any farm group should be concerned about.”

Even though the ditches run through private land, landowners can be required to have a buffer in place. These permanent grass or native vegetation buffers are designed to keep nutrients and sediment from getting into rivers and streams. They also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Thousands of miles of ditches For decades, a patchwork of drainage ditches and waterways has crisscrossed Minnesota’s farmland. A 2006 Board of Water and Soil Resources study determined

Varying designations Some Minnesota rivers streams and drainage ditches are designated as protected waterways by the Department of Natural Resources. Current law calls for

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Buffer Details

The DNR and counties set buffer rules, but counties are the enforcers. A 50-foot buffer on both sides of a mile-long ditch adds up to about 14 acres

a permanent 50-foot buffer strip along all DNR-protected rivers and streams. County ditches are required to have a 16.5 foot (one rod) grass buffer. Private ditches currently have no buffer requirement, though in some cases the county drainage authority can require one. The DNR and counties set buffer rules, but counties are the enforcers. “More and more the idea of buffers is well supported for water and wildlife, plus we have to clean out the sediment less often,” says Kurt Deter, an attorney with Rinke-Noonan Law in St. Cloud, Minn., focusing on environmental law. “If farmers are required to have a buffer, they are compensated through their assessments.” Deter says problems can arise when farmers attempt to make improvements on ditches that run through their property. In order to make those upgrades, landowners

Still, sometimes farmers are surprised to find out that ditches on their property had been designated as protected waters and they needed the larger buffer. A 50-foot buffer on both sides of a mile-long ditch adds up to about 14 acres. The current 50-foot buffer rule gives landowners some flexibility in the size of the buffer if approved by their county or if they are enrolled in certain USDA programs. Deter recommends checking with the area DNR hydrologist to get a determination whether or not the ditch is considered public water. It is also helpful to contact the county ditch inspector. “Whether farmers like the rules or not, they have to know the designation and they have to follow the law,” says Joe Smentek, director of environmental affairs for Minnesota Soybean and an environmental attorney. “They have to follow the rules whether or not they believe the buffers will do any good.” “In my experience, agriculture supports buffers,” Deter adds. “There are a lot of good reasons to support them whether for habitat or water quality. The way drainage and water quality efforts are moving, the trend is to have all open ditches buffered.”

need a DNR permit, even though they aren’t the enforcing agency. The inventory of water courses hasn’t changed since 1981, but it’s not readily available. That information is available at the county auditor’s office or from the DNR.

Some waterways, like this private ditch, (left) require no buffer, while others (above) may require as much as 50 feet of vegetation. To know for sure, check with the county ditch inspector.

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Once Forgotten, Pythium Back on the Radar U of M professor takes closer look at pathogen

As planting season approaches, there are many different pathogens and diseases Minnesota’s soybean farmers are watching for in their fields. One such pathogen, Pythium, has undergone recent research by Jim Kurle, University of Minnesota Department of Plant Pathology Associate Professor. “The last time anyone really looked closely at Pythium was probably close to 30 years ago,” Kurle said. “It’s an important pathogen because it is a real problem in terms of early season stand establishment, especially when there is excessive soil moisture or soil temperatures are low, which is sort of typical Minnesota early-growing season weather.” Kurle said while early information on the pathogen only identified a few species, information from other states has shown more species, some of which infect both soybeans and corn. His research is looking at identifying Pythium species present in Minnesota soils, looking at pathogenicity in soybeans and corn and also looking at Pythium’s sensitivity to treatments. As a result of his research so far, there are now 30 identified Pythium species in Minnesota soils, which is considerably more than researchers knew previously existed. This means that farmers cannot focus on one single species to manage or control. “Another result, which is in some ways disturbing for farmers, is that there are a number of species, about four, that are pathogenic on both corn and soybeans,” Kurle said. “So the concern here is that they will be very difficult to manage using rotation techniques since soybeans and corn are the standard planting pattern in the state. It also means they actually increase on either crop.”

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By Shawna Aakre

Pythium are traditionally known as pathogens active at low temperatures and wetter soils. A component of this study looking at a range of temperatures found a number of pythium species are actually pathogenic and more active in warmer temperatures. Kurle pointed out that this may explain some of the root rot stand establishments problems farmers and researchers have seen under more ideal drying conditions. The Pythium species used to be called a fungus at one time, but they actually behave differently. “While this might seem to be the kind of information only scientists are interested in,” Kurle says, “it is very relevant because species like Pythium and Phytophthora are Oomycetes. This means they are susceptible to a different group of fungicides than the typical treatments for Fusarium and Rhizoctonia, and so there needs to be different components in seed treatment used if you are dealing with Pythium.” Observation during the study has shown that a number of seed treatments are effective on Pythium, at least very early. For farmers, that can be helpful in stand establishment, but Kurle said they have yet to find out how long the pathogen is important in a plant’s lifecycle. For example, Phytophthora affects the plant throughout the growth cycle. Currently, Kurle said they have just started on the fungicide sensitivity portion of their research and have observed some slight differences depending upon species. Kurle’s research on Pythium is being funded in part by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Look for future information on his research at

Photos courtesy David Hansen, University of Minnesota AES

New U of M Soybean Breeder Selected

Minnesota native returns to alma mater

Aaron Lorenz has been chosen by the University of Minnesota to lead their soybean breeding program. He will join the U of M on April 1. The Minnesota native had been working as a plant quantitative geneticist for corn at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Lorenz grew up on a corn and soybean farm near Worthington. He attended Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington before getting his B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota. Lorenz then earned his graduate degree from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. “I have a soft spot in my heart for the University of Minnesota, and I really like the St. Paul campus,” Lorenz says. “I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to take over the tremendously successful U of M soybean breeding program and work with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council because I know they support research in a big way.” Lorenz says the soybean breeder position at the U of M is important to help educate the next generation of plant breeders, engage in longer-term projects, serve as an unbiased information source, to interact with industry representatives and to produce public cultivars that meet the needs of soybean farmers across all regions of the state. “There are a lot of opportunities to move soybean research forward,” he adds. “This will give me the chance to apply my research on plant breeding methodology and to interact with soybean researchers of all kinds to effectively produce new soybean cultivars.” Lorenz succeeds longtime University of Minnesota soybean breeder Jim Orf, who is retiring. — Dan Lemke


PLANNING FOR WEED MANAGEMENT THIS SPRING Information provided by Harmon Wilts, Asgrow® and DEKALB® Technical Agronomist

Tough-to-control weeds don’t have to be an issue in Minnesota fields Tough to control and herbicide resistant weeds can cause severe challenges in soybean and corn crops in Minnesota. However, tough-to-control weeds don’t have to be an issue through the use of multiple herbicide modes of action to target weeds. According to Harmon Wilts, Asgrow and DEKALB technical agronomist, Roundup Ready PLUS® Crop Management Solutions is an ideal option for Minnesota acres when it comes to managing tough-to-control or resistant weeds. The use of the Roundup Ready PLUS platform works well by incorporating multiple modes of action and implanting a management strategy for farmers’ fields. “To develop this Roundup Ready PLUS platform, we joined forces with weed scientists and farmers in order to control glyphosate-resistant weeds where they are problematic and to reduce the risk of developing new resistant weeds,” says Wilts.

How to manage weeds in your area If resistant weeds are identified, farmers should use a pre-emergence herbicide, scout weeds and spray the first pass when weeds are 2-4 inches high, using Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides and a tank-mix herbicide partner. According to Wilts, “The key to managing those tough-to-control weeds is to scout the summer before to identify the weed pressure so you know which additional mode of action to use.” He reminds farmers that scouting again after that initial pre-application to see what weeds broke through is critical to determining if more than Roundup is needed for the next application.

Know where to go for help Crop safety is a primary factor in choosing your second herbicide option. On, there are many tools to get farmers started when it comes to thinking about their options for eliminating weeds while protecting the plant. Herbicide options are categorized according to weed species, and the site describes how Roundup Ready PLUS platform can provide farmers with another tool in their toolbox. Farmers should talk with an expert Asgrow agronomist to customize a weed management package for their acres this spring.

WORK WITH YOUR EXPERT ASGROW DEALER TO LEARN HOW TO GROW MORE CONFIDENTLY IN YOUR FIELDS, OR VISIT ASGROW.COM For more information regarding the intellectual property protection for the seed products identified in this publication, please see ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Tank mixtures: The applicable labeling for each product must be in the possession of the user at the time of application. Follow applicable use instructions, including application rates, precautions and restrictions of each product used in the tank mixture. Monsanto has not tested all tank mix product formulations for compatibility or performance other than specifically listed by brand name. Always predetermine the compatibility of tank mixtures by mixing small proportional quantities in advance. Asgrow and the A Design®, Asgrow®, DEKALB®, Roundup Ready PLUS® and Roundup® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2015 Monsanto Company.

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Faces of MSGA

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is the nation’s largest soybean association. But that distinction is only possible because farmers across the state have made the choice to become members and get involved in the growth and promotion of soybean farming in Minnesota. Here are two examples of farmers, just like you, who actively promote our way of life. Judy Kahn and her husband Frank farm land near Elgin, Minn., that has been in the Kahn family since 1861. They raise corn and soybeans on their Olmsted County farm. The farm is multi-generational as both of their sons help out with the operation, especially during spring planting and fall harvest, while their daughter farms near Chokio, Minn. Involvement with the Olmsted/South Wabasha County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is also a family affair. When Frank’s term on the county board was up several years ago, Judy stepped in, serving as membership recruiter and county treasurer. “I wanted to get more involved in an organization that uses and promotes what I grow,” Judy says. Because the Kahn’s farm in the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota, they are very conscious of the need for conservation. They practice vertical and minimal tillage as well as some no-till. They’ve installed waterways, sediment structures and they maintain terraces. They’ve incorporated these practices to reduce erosion and to be good stewards of the land.

Judy Kahn

Having a farmer’s voice on issues like conservation is one of the reasons Judy is an MSGA member. “It helps farmers to have a voice in what’s being done in Washington and at the state level,” she adds. “We need to help them see the farmer’s side, so regulations aren’t unrealistic for farmers.” w

Mark Johnson is an active and successful membership recruiter for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. The Plato, Minn., corn, soybean and wheat farmer is committed to helping give farmers a voice on issues that could impact them.

Mark Johnson

“The more members you have, the more others are going to listen to what you have to say,” he says. Johnson got involved with the McLeod County Corn and Soybean Growers Association because he “got tired of others telling our story, plus we seem to get hit from every direction. Groups like the MSGA put out the correct information about farming.” Johnson says for him and farmers like him, membership in the MSGA ensures that their points of view are shared with those who make important, long-term decisions. Most farmers aren’t experts on issues like the Farm Bill or EPA water rules, so having a collective voice takes on added importance.

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“Most of us aren’t going to talk to legislators ourselves,” he says. “We rely on our associations to do it.” 13-LPC-0044

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Meal Focus:


Minnesota is 2nd largest pork producing state

As the second largest pork producing state in the nation, Minnesota is home to a lot of hungry hogs, and the state’s soybean farmers are more than happy to help feed them. Animal agriculture is the largest domestic use for Minnesota soybeans, which is why soybean farmers focus so much effort on meeting the needs of livestock production. Just how important is pork production to soybean farmers and the entire state? You be the judge.

State has over 3,300 farms Produce about 14 million hogs per year Value of nearly $7 billion Generates gross income of about $2.5 billion annually Hogs are number 1 soybean meal consumer in Minnesota Pigs eat over 1 million tons of soybean meal each year

Hogs consume over 60 % of Minnesota’s annual soybean meal production


THINK BEYOND HERBICIDES TO CONTROL WEEDS. I will take action against herbicide-resistant weeds. Every action I can. I will do whatever I can to defend this ground. They aren’t ordinary fields. They’re battlefields. And I’m fighting a war on weeds. I will think beyond herbicides and expand my arsenal. I will crowd weeds out and knock them down. I will smother them with foliage. I will farm to win. Mistakes will be made, and weeds will emerge. But I will emerge on top. And I will continue to take action. Because every action counts. Now is the time to take action against herbicide-resistant weeds. Visit to learn about diversified weed management strategies.

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MARCH - APRIL - Soybean Business


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Leading the charge in Zone Tillage™, the SoilWarrior® from Environmental Tillage Systems helps you create an ideal seedbed. Now you can preserve soil, conserve moisture, minimize runoff, and optimize nutrient value by placing fertilizer directly in the zone where plants need it. Unlike other strip-tillage equipment, the SoilWarrior won’t plug or clog as it builds raised rows that help soils warm faster. Save labor, fuel, input costs, and time while you create a whole new zone of opportunity.


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Farmers are always on the lookout for ways to increase profitability while protecting their soil and water. One option many farmers have implemented and others are considering is some form of reduced or conservation tillage. Because incorporating practices like strip-tillage into a farming operation may involve a significant shift away from how they’re currently operating, farmers can be hesitant to make the switch. Proponents of strip-tillage say the practice can be just as productive as conventional tillage, but also conserves soil resources while saving time and money because tillage, fertilization and planting all take place in a single pass. Here are some common misconceptions about strip-till farming.

Myth: I risk getting reduced yields if I don’t use conventional tillage

Truth: Multiple on-farm and university studies throughout Minnesota and the Midwest have shown that strip-till farming consistently produces higher corn and soybean yields than no-till, and equal to those of conventional tillage. “Yields generally don’t go down,” says Jodi DeJong-Hughes, crops specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension, “but the management and learning curve go up.” Because strip-tillage involves different equipment and management, farmers can sometimes have a difficult time finding other farmers from whom they can learn. The University of Minnesota puts on an annual conservation tillage conference and tillage field days to help farmers learn more about tillage options and how they impact farm productivity. The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council sponsors these events. Myth: My soils won’t warm as quickly in the spring with strip tillage.

Truth: Even though only narrow strips of ground are

tilled, multiple years of research from multiple Minnesota locations shows that spring soil temperatures are essentially

the same in the tilled zones as they are in conventionallytilled fields. Temperatures are cooler in the untilled zones, but that has little or no impact on seed germination.

Myth: I tried it years ago and it doesn’t work for me. Truth: Some farmers did try strip-till farming decades ago and struggled to make it work. As with many things in agriculture, advances have been made to equipment and guidance systems since then. “Technology has definitely changed the game,” DeJong-Hughes adds. Manufacturers have improved their equipment technology and RTK guidance systems have advanced, adding another level of precision. Strip tillage may not be for every farmer, but tools and technology are improving to make it a viable option for many.

Myth: The equipment I need is too expensive. Truth: As with most pieces of farm equipment, there

is a significant investment involved to purchase strip-till equipment. However, converting to strip tillage does make multiple implements obsolete. Because tillage, fertilization and planting takes place all at once, farmers would no longer need all of their current tillage equipment. Farmers use the same piece of equipment if they choose to do fall tillage. “No one wants to get rid of traditional equipment until they’re sold on another practice,” says DeJong-Hughes. “But when someone believes in it, they’re more willing to pay for what they need.” DeJong-Hughes says some manufacturers will work with farmers to rent equipment to see if they like it and to see if strip tillage is right for them. Yearly cost savings can also help offset the cost of any equipment. A three-year on-farm study in southwestern Minnesota showed that the farmer who practiced strip tillage saved about $13.55 per acre compared to disk ripping and chisel plowing. MARCH - APRIL - Soybean Business - 27

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