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CORN TALK March/April 2018

A publication for North Dakota corn producers

Photo by Lyle Heinle








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North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

800.678.3346 •


Carson Klosterman President North Dakota Corn Growers Association

I am writing my final article to you as the president of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA). I’ve served three years as your president and have enjoyed the experience. My tenure at NDCGA started in 2010, and I will complete my second four-year term on June 30th. I look forward to passing the role onto Randy Melvin, who has served as the NDCGA Vice President for the past three years. Although I will no longer serve on the NDCGA board, I'll continue to be involved with our state and national corn organizations, and encourage you to do the same. My time on the NDCGA board has taught me the importance of being involved. This includes attending meetings being held by your local or state representatives to relay your concerns and thank them for their time representing the community or group. Many of these meetings are open to the public and usually announced in your local newspaper or listed online at the Secretary of State’s website. I have also witnessed the importance of staying involved with our state and national commodity organizations. Regardless of the commodity, we need to tell our story and stay active notifying our leaders of our position on important issues related to farming. Our national partner, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), offers a few simple ways for farmers to participate in grassroots advocacy and share our views with lawmakers. The first way is via text messaging and the second is by using the NCGA smartphone application.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

To use the text message option, first text ‘NCGA’ to 50457. This will sign you up to receive an occasional text message with an alert to take action. The messages usually include a link to click on that allows you to access a pre-written letter that can be sent on to our President, Vice President, or our congressional members. I recently utilized this option when challenging the potential cap on the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). I was able to easily send messages to each of the parties mentioned above. All of them responded back to me indicating they received the correspondence. The NCGA smartphone application, “NCGA Action,” can be downloaded for free. After you download the app and enable notifications, you’ll be prompted if an issue arises that needs grassroots support by farmers. This app gives you another method to send pre-written grassroots letters to lawmakers, as well as talking points on legislative and regulatory issues, and contact information for your state and federally elected representatives. Making a call is easy when the number is right on your phone's screen. While at Commodity Classic last month, a meeting at the White House about the Renewable Fuel Standard and RINs was occurring. I took some time to call out to Washington, DC, and asked to speak directly to our legislators. I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen, but I left a message with the staffer who asked about my concerns. If you can build a relationship with the staffers, you’ll have a better chance of getting time on the phone or in-person with our congressional representatives. One more way to continue your grassroots advocacy is by visiting At this website, you’ll be able to indicate what topics and issues you’re interested in. When those issues become “hot,” you’ll be alerted with information about the topic and how you can take action. From this site you can also sign up for text message alerts and the smartphone application that I discussed earlier. This site also provides sample messages and tweets to send to President Trump. Our President likes using Twitter, so why not send a simple tweet to him about issues you care about? Although my time as a board member is coming to an end, I look forward to continuing being an advocate for corn farmers. I’d like to thank all of the NDCGA members, board members, staff, and state and federal representatives for a memorable experience as the NDCGA president. I can’t wait to see what NDCGA does next.



Scott German Chairman North Dakota Corn Utilization Council

If you are like me, you can’t wait to get back in the fields. There is nothing like spring planting, except maybe harvesting! I have recently had a change in my role at the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (Council). For the past three years I have been the Chairman of the Council. On April 1, 2018 I turned over the role to Terry Wehlander. I will continue to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Council. It has been a privilege to serve as chairman and am proud of all that was accomplished. I am excited to have Terry bring new ideas to the Council and I look forward to working with Terry and the other Council board members in the 2018-2019 term. Like most new roles in life, my time as chairman has seemed to fly by, but I believe a lot has been achieved by the Council in that time. I applaud the board members and our staff for leading the organization in a positive direction. One of the best accomplishments in my time as Chairman is our relationship with the North Dakota Soybean Council and North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. Our staff has a close working relationship with their staff and board members have also developed friendships. Most corn farmers in North Dakota also grow soybeans, so collaborating with these soybean organizations on more projects just makes sense. By collaborating on projects or events that benefit both soybean and corn farmers, we’re able to best utilize checkoff dollars.


I’m also proud of the formation of the North Dakota Livestock Alliance (NDLA). This group has great potential to increase livestock numbers in our state, which is a huge market opportunity for our corn. The Executive Director for NDLA was hired last fall, and has some great ideas and projects to work with parties interested in pursuing animal agriculture operations in our state. The funding of the NDLA fits in our plan of finding ways to created demand for corn. I’m very happy to see the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Soil Health Department involved with the National Corn Growers Association’s Soil Health Partnership (SHP). The NDSU Soil Health Department conducts on-farm research at the Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension farm in Mooreton, ND, which is one of over 100 farms in the U.S. that is part of the SHP. The SHP initiative strives to transform agriculture through improved soil health, benefiting farmer profitability, a stable food supply and the environment. One final aspect that I believe the Council has made great strides in is education. During the winter, our staff members attend multiple Living Ag Classroom events around the state to teach elementary students about corn and other commodity products. Many times, these students have never been on a farm, and know very little about agriculture. This year alone, staff has been able to talk to nearly 4,000 students about corn! Our education outreach is also being developed at the Red River Zoo in Fargo. Right now, the Zoo’s agricultural exhibit is being updated to include hands-on, educational activities that teach about agriculture. Not only will this exhibit be fun and educational for children, parents will be able to learn about where their food comes from while at the exhibit with their kids. I look forward to seeing this exhibit when it’s completed for the Agriculture Adventure Day at the Zoo on July 14th. Most importantly, I want to thank all of you who have placed your trust in the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council. I can assure you that it is well placed. We will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf to create demand and solve problems to benefit you, the North Dakota corn producer.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NDCUC ELECTS OFFICERS, REPLACES TWO MEMBERS The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) elected their officers to lead the organization and replaced two members, with terms starting April 1, 2018. The newly elected officers of the NDCUC are Chairman Terry Wehlander from DeLamere, Vice Chairman Jason Rayner, Finley, and Secretary/Treasurer Scott German from Oakes. Officers are elected to serve a one year term by fellow Council members. The NDCUC welcomed two new members on April 1. William Wagner, from Neche, will represent District 3. Wagner grows corn, soybeans, wheat, pinto beans and alfalfa and raises cattle with his father. He is currently transitioning his farm to no-till. Wagner and his wife have

one son. He replaces Paul Belzer from Cando, who has served as a Council member since 2010. District 3 includes Grand Forks, Nelson, Walsh, Pembina, Cavalier, Ramsey, Towner, Benson, Rolette, Pierce, McHenry, Bottineau, Renville, Ward, Burke, Mountrail, Williams, and Divide counties. Tysen Rosenau, will represent corn producers in District 4. Rosenau farms with his father near Carrington where they grow corn, soybeans and wheat. Rosenau and his wife have one son. He replaces Dave Swanson from New Rockford who retires after serving the allowable limit of two, four year terms. District 4 consists of Barnes, Griggs, Stutsman, Foster and Eddy counties.

Dave Swanson and Paul Belzer were recognized for their years of service at the NDCUC quarterly meeting in March.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


PATHOGEN TESTING FOR DISEASE DETECTION The National Agricultural Genotyping Center (NAGC) now offers molecular testing of soil and crop residues for three commonly misdiagnosed pathogens that cause Goss’s Wilt, Gray Leaf Spot and Bacterial Leaf Streak in corn. Management strategies for these three soil-borne pathogens differ, so it is good to know what may be present in the field prior to planting. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council is pleased to sponsor testing for North Dakota farmers through June 30th, 2018. Producers in the state can submit soil and crop residues free of charge to determine the presence of the aforementioned diseases.

TO PARTICIPATE: Visit and click on North Dakota. Click on "Plant, Seed, Soil Sample Shipping Instructions" and follow the instructions for soil samples. Samples should be taken from suspect areas of the field. Fill out Submission Form completely, indicating which pathogen(s) you would like to test for. Select either “GW” for Goss’s Wilt or “GLSx” for Gray Leaf Spot and Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum Multiplex (Bacterial Leaf Streak). Your confidential report will be sent to the email address you include.


National Agricultural Genotyping Center 1605 Albrecht Blvd N Fargo, ND 58102


Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NAGC TESTS FOR COMMONLY MISDIAGNOSED DISEASES Goss’s Wilt and Blight of corn, also shortened to simply Goss’s Wilt, is a bacterial disease that has spread throughout the US and into Canada. The pathogen causing Goss’s Wilt is Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis, and surface residue has been reported to be the main source of inoculum for Goss’s Wilt. The wilting is more common on young seedlings, while Goss’s leaf blight is typically characterized by large, elongated lesions (streaking) with small, water-soaked freckles in the periphery of the lesions. Currently there are no chemical treatments to manage Goss’s Wilt. NAGC can also perform a field test for Clavibacter loads in crop residues so that growers can customize their management strategies, or plant resistant varieties.

Photo by A. Friskop, ND State University

Photo by A. Sisson, Iowa State University

Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) is a destructive foliar disease caused by two closely-related fungal species Cercospora zeae-maydis and Cercospora zeina, which have different distributions in North America. C. zeae-maydis is thought to be found throughout North America compared to C. zeina, which appears to be restricted to the eastern Corn Belt. When plants are infected by either species, GLS first manifests as small pinpoints, which eventually turn into brownish-gray, rectangular lesions. Once infected, plants continually shed GLS fungal spores throughout the growing season, which can be transferred to adjacent plants or fields by wind-driven rain. During periods of high humidity and moderate temperatures, large GLS outbreaks can occur. Fungicides have been shown to be effective against GLS.

Bacterial Leaf Streak Disease (BLSD) is caused by the bacteria, Xanthomonas vasicola pathovar vasculorum, and was first reported by USDA in the US during the 2016 growing season. Symptoms of BLSD are similar to other diseases, making visual diagnosis difficult to impossible. Infected corn plants appear to have narrow stripes similar to fungal disease, like Gray Leaf Spot. The disease has been detected early and can develop three weeks after the plant emerges. Due to its recent discovery in the US, the epidemiology (control and spread) of BLSD is largely unknown, but it is highly unlikely that foliar fungicides typically used against Gray Leaf Spot will be effective against this bacterial disease. The bacteria likely persists in field residue from previously infected plants and common weeds may serve as important reservoirs for the pathogen. To keep costs down and aid the producer in evidence-based management practices, NAGC has developed a single test for both Bacterial Leaf Streak Disease and Gray Leaf Spot. Photo from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


NDCGA ANNOUNCES PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS The North Dakota Corn Growers Association is proud to have held a photo contest in 2018. Many great entries were received. Entries had to be taken in North Dakota, depict the corn industry, and be taken by an amateur. Entries will be used for marketing and promotional purposes. Congratulations to our winners (right), and thank you to everyone that entered! Our winning photo, taken by Lyle Heinle from Tower City, is also on the front cover of this issue.

1st Place: Lyle Heinle, Tower City

NDCGA AWARDS TEN SCHOLARSHIPS The North Dakota Corn Growers Association is proud to award scholarships to ten student members. Scholarships are awarded based on academics, school and community involvement, and impact on the future of agriculture. Our scholarships recipients for 2018 are: District 1: John Haverland, Walcott District 3: Elizabeth Neshem, Berthold District 4: Tanner Thomsen, Valley City

2nd Place: Katherine Plessner, Verona

District 5: Blake Nelson, Milnor District 6: Vincent Carruth, Ellendale District 7: Jack McCrory, Linton At-Large recipients: • Phillip Steffan, Michigan • Kaitlin Geyer, Lisbon • Walker Bruns, Oakes • Mya Vetter, Linton Congratulations to all recipients and thank you to all that applied for the NDCGA scholarship.


3rd Place: Clinton Pueppke, Ayr

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

ND CORN DELEGATION PARTICIPATES IN CORN CONGRESS The 2018 Commodity Classic was held in Anaheim, California, from February 26 to March 1, with over 8,000 attendees. During the week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) holds their delegate meetings to allow for input on policy from corn state delegates. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) and North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) had delegates working with NCGA and other state corn organizations to ensure that priorities expressed by our North Dakota corn membership were addressed. Much discussion at Commodity Classic evolved around the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and hot topic issues in Washington, DC, including discussions with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Secretary Perdue addressed the General Assembly and restated his commitment to support the RFS, ethanol, and farmers. Priorities covered by Secretary Perdue were the reorganization effort in place at USDA, his goal of better relationships with USDA staff and

farmers, reduction in regulations and forthcoming work on the 2018 Farm Bill. Main topics covered by the state corn delegates during the NCGA delegate meetings included trade and the need to retain the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and increase funding for trade programs at USDA, retain and fully fund the crop insurance program, preparation for the 2018 Farm Bill, reduction of federal regulations that negatively affect farmers, and a push for farmer-friendly conservation and water management programs. The North Dakota delegation was proud to have the NCGA President and NDCGA board member, Kevin Skunes, preside over the meetings during the week. The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held in Orlando, Florida February 28 to March 2, 2019.

North Dakota delegates at Corn Congress (from left): Paul Thomas, Randy Melvin, Kevin Skunes, Clark Price, Carson Klosterman, and Jason Rayner.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |


ND LIVESTOCK ALLIANCE JOINS CELEBRATION OF FAIRVIEW COLONY'S NEW SWINE FINISHING BARNS Submitted by Amber Boeshans, North Dakota Livestock Alliance Executive Director The North Dakota Livestock Alliance (NDLA), together with Standard Nutrition Services, hosted an open house at the new, state-of-the art, swine finishing barns at Fairview Colony by LaMoure, ND. Around 300 people attended including neighbors and members of nearby communities, members of the media, farmers and ag industry affiliates from across the state, and members of about ten Hutterite Colonies. The excited crowds were served lunch and could walk freely throughout the new barns. The Colony’s dedication to a sturdy design and flawless craftsmanship is evident everywhere the visitors turned! Eli Wipf, minister for Fairview Colony, summed it up perfectly when he said, “These are Cadillac buildings.” These barns were carefully designed for maximum herd health and safety. The barns are equipped with innovative technologies including monitors for ventilation, temperature and humidity, that will automatically adjust to optimize the pigs’ environment in the barns and will immediately notify the barn managers if an issue arises, such as a loss of power. They also are equipped with AgPlus internet based information and communication systems that will transfer real time data to allow employees to interact with offsite management teams. Fairview Hutterian Brethren have called LaMoure home since 1970. Construction of these barns started in the fall of 2017 and will be stocked by April 1st. Most of the work on the two 103’ x 252’ barns was completed by Fairview with some help from neighboring colonies. The addition of this 6,000 head finishing operation is another link in Fairview Colony’s swine development program. The completed farrow-to-finish operation will send 16,000 finished pigs to market every year. The colony currently farrows 1,100 sows utilizing Hypor genetics. When the piglets grow to 30-60 pounds, they will be moved from the existing farrowing barns to these new finishing barns. It will take approximately 18 weeks for these pigs to be raised to 280 pounds and sent to market.


Throughout those 18 weeks, they will be fed eight different feed rations specifically formulated for their life stage by Standard Nutrition Services. The feed will be sourced locally and mixed by the Colony. The finishing site will require 5,200 tons of feed annually! This includes approximately 148,000 bushels of corn and 950 tons of soybean meal. It takes a lot of corn and soybeans to make bacon! This farm’s manure handling system has been permitted by and will be routinely inspected by the North Dakota Department of Health. All animal waste will be stored below the buildings in concrete pits that are specially engineered to protect the health of the pigs and employees. These pits also prevent the nutrients in the manure from being degraded by the sun or diluted by rain so it can retain higher value as crop fertilizer. The manure will be applied to neighboring land every Fall in a manner that minimizes odor and best utilizes the nutrient value for crop production. The manure will be applied to the Colony’s land and to that of neighbors. Several of their neighbors were present at the open house and spoke fondly of the positive impact the manure has had on their soil quality and crop production. Now, back to the bacon! Fairview Colony sells to a unique market, they raise their pigs without using any antibiotics. The pigs are finished and sold for a premium price to Coleman Natural Foods. Animal care at this farm is of the utmost importance and will undergo routine Common Industry Audits. If a pig does get sick, it is treated with antibiotics in accordance with their veterinarian’s instructions, then is placed into a separate pen. The animal will eventually be sold into the conventional pork market after the medication’s meat withdrawal period is met. Antibiotics used on animals intended for meat has a Meat Withdrawal Period on its label. It defines the number of CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

days it will take the medication to clear from the animal’s system, therefore the farmer is required to wait that period of time before sending the animal to market. It is important to remember that all pork in the U.S. is antibiotic free and is inspected by the USDA. Fairview Colony’s goal to grow these pigs without ever using antibiotics requires strict adherence to biosecurity and management protocols. Fairview will supply all staff and management for day-to-day operations and the veterinary services will be provided by Standard Nutrition Services. When staff arrive, they will shower on-site before and after entering the pig housing. Vehicle traffic will be restricted to only those that have undergone biosecurity protocols and are approved by the management staff.

When a group of pigs has been sent to market, the entire barn will be cleaned and disinfected via a built-in power washing system before the next group enters. Fairview Colony hauls their own livestock, so their trucks also undergo a wash and decontamination treatment before returning to the farm. All of these steps are important to keeping the animals illness free, therefore not requiring treatment with antibiotics. NDLA is truly grateful to Fairview Colony and Standard Nutrition Services for being such wonderful hosts and for assisting in our mission to share the great things animal agriculture is doing in North Dakota. It was an honor be a part of this great event!

Fairview Colony near LaMoure, ND hosted an open house of their new swine finishing barns. The North Dakota Livestock Alliance assisted with the effort.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |



Founded in 1987, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is the grassroots voice of the ethanol industry, uniting ethanol producers, farmers, commodity groups, rural electric cooperatives, and individuals in support of its mission to make American ethanol the consumer fuel of choice. The corn grower state associations have provided critical support and leadership to ACE over the years, making many efforts — particularly the education and marketing of ethanol to fuel retailers — possible. Specifically, check-off funds from corn organizations have helped ACE develop new markets for ethanol by educating petroleum marketers and retailers. The guiding strategy of ACE’s market development program is to help station owners understand ethanol as a product addition that can provide a competitive advantage and a more profitable bottom line. ACE’s most recent retailer campaign, called “Flex Fuel Forward,” is focused on the real-life experience of retailers who got over the E10 “blend wall” and made more money by offering E15 and flex fuels to their customers. The website answers retailers’ questions, refutes ethanol mythology, and makes the business case for E15 and flex fuels with video clips of retailers who have profitably offered higher ethanol blends. Partnering with corn states on these efforts allows ACE the ability to help create new and profitable markets for ethanol, thereby expanding markets for corn farmers. In addition to market development, ACE provides grassroots-driven leadership in government affairs. ACE was the first group to support and endorse the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which was pivotal in helping it become law. Today, ACE is focused on protecting the RFS and developing markets for ethanol, whether that be through exports or demand for clean octane in new engine technologies.


ACE has ramped up efforts to protect the RFS lately, in large part, due allegations about the RFS compliance mechanism, renewable identification numbers or RINs. While most people are not familiar with RINs, some refiners have used RIN costs as a rallying cry to attack the RFS. So, what are RINs and why would ideas recently floated to cap or waive RINs reduce biofuel use, hurt farmers already suffering from low prices, and jeopardize rural workers who depend upon the RFS? A RIN is a serial number biofuel producers are required to assign to every batch of ethanol they make so EPA can track whether it has been blended with petroleum and enforce compliance with the RFS program. The RFS requires refiners to blend a specified volume of ethanol with the gasoline they produce on an annual basis. Put simply, refiners can satisfy their annual RFS obligation by either blending biofuel or purchasing RIN credits from someone who does. After ethanol has been blended with gasoline, the RIN can be “separated” and submitted to EPA as proof of RFS compliance. Approximately 2 billion RINs are currently stockpiled by refiners who generate excess RINs because they choose to blend more ethanol than required (which is common because of ethanol’s low price). Because some refiners have refused to blend ethanol with their gasoline, a market of Midwest wholesalers that do it for them has emerged. These marketers are capitalizing on the economic opportunity to acquire RINs and using the proceeds to reduce pump prices and afford equipment upgrades to sell higher ethanol blends. In other words, they retain the RIN and subtract its value from the ethanolblended fuel they supply to retailers resulting in a low net fuel price. For example, if a gallon of ethanol is selling for $1.45 and a RIN is worth 70 cents (2017 D6 “ethanol” RINs average price), a wholesaler can supply “RINless” ethanolblended fuel for a net price of just 75 cents. Many refiners own assets to blend their gasoline and diesel fuel while others, often referred to as “merchant” refiners, historically have not owned these downstream assets. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

ACE staff helping with an ethanol promotion at a fuel station.

However, in response to RIN prices, many merchant refiners — CVR, PBF Energy, and Valero — are reducing their RFS compliance costs by investing in assets to blend and distribute fuels, but some have not. One such example is Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES). PES filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, blaming RINs for their financial trouble. RINs might be a convenient excuse for PES’ bankruptcy filing but the inconvenient truth is that while other merchant refiners adapted their business model to reduce RIN costs by blending ethanol, PES kept doing things the same way they’ve always done them. EPA and economists confirm RIN costs do not harm refiners, whether merchant or integrated, and as such, RIN prices were not a significant factor in PES’ financial woes, rather the refiner sacrificed RFS compliance for big investor payouts and, as the nation’s oldest refinery, has been on the brink of collapse for the past 10 years. Despite the evidence, PES’ mismanagement blunders have been used as political leverage to undermine the RFS with

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

proposals to cap or waive RINs. If EPA or Congress is truly looking for a ‘win-win’ solution to take pressure off RIN prices that doesn’t involve dismantling the RFS, the solution is to update the antiquated Reid vapor pressure (RVP) limit which currently restricts E15 use. The quickest way to reduce RIN prices is to increase the supply of RINs. The quickest way to increase the supply of RINs is to blend more ethanol. The quickest way to blend more ethanol is to provide RVP relief for E15. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, some politicians are talking about so-called compromises which are really designed to waive or cap RINs. In fact, economists have examined some of the “reforms” that have emerged and believe they would reduce RFS volumes, depress corn prices by as much as 25 cents per bushel, and erase upwards of $4 billion from the rural economy. ACE is working to defeat these efforts because we know the RFS and other measures to increase ethanol help improve economic conditions in rural America.


NDCGA DISCUSSES ETHANOL IN D.C. On March 21-22, Rob Hanson and Mike Clemens, North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) board members, attended the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) fly-in in Washington, D.C. The event brought together retailers, ethanol producers, investors, and corn growers to participate in over 120 meetings on Capitol Hill. In meetings with Congressional members and Executive Branch decision-makers, the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to rural America was heavily discussed. Rob Hanson and Mike Clemens reported that their meetings with Congressional members were positive in most cases. When discussing ethanol with lawmakers, they focus on three main points: that the ethanol industry creates jobs, provides another market for corn to save on farm subsidies, and provides clean air - a topic that is important to everyone. The NDCGA members were happy to present Senator Heitkamp and Senator Hoeven with a corn-ethanol gift from ACE for their friendship to the ethanol industry.

The NDCGA delegation presents Senator Heitkamp with a corn-ethanol gift. (From left): Jim Callan, NDCGA policy advisor, Rob Hanson, Kevin Skunes, Senator Heitkamp, Pam Clemens, and Mike Clemens.


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

COUNTY CORN AND DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES ELECTED Corn producers in Districts 3 and 4 were elected to serve as county corn representatives in the county they reside. One representative from each district was then elected to serve as the district representative on the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC), serving the farmers of North Dakota by influencing how checkoff dollars are invested.

Ramsey: Paul Becker, Crary Renville: Vacant Rolette: Vacant Towner: Bruce Teubner, Cando Walsh: Vacant Ward: Gary Neshem, Berthold WIlliams: Vacant

County Corn Representatives from District 3:

County Corn Representatives from District 4:

Benson: Randy Simon, Oberon Bottineau: Vacant Burke: Bryan Ankenbauer, Bowbells Cavalier: Mike Muhs, Langdon Divide: Derik Pulvermacher, Crosby Grand Forks: Greg Amundson, Gilby McHenry: Jason Schiele, Balfour Mountrail: Cliff Tollefson, New Town Nelson: David Steffan, Michigan Pembina: William Wagner, Neche Pierce: Nick Schmaltz, Towner

Barnes: Mike Clemens, Wimbledon Eddy: Bill Smith, Sheyenne Foster: Tysen Rosenau, Carrington Griggs: Mark Ressler, Cooperstown Stutsman: Vacant William Wagner, Pembina County, was elected from District 3 to serve on the NDCUC. Tysen Rosenau, Foster County, will join the NDCUC as the District 4 representative. Wagner and Rosenau will serve a four-year term with NDCUC. Congratulations to all county and district representatives!

NDCUC AND NDSU HOST CORN MARKETING SEMINAR Nearly 30 North Dakota corn farmers attended the Introduction to Corn Marketing seminar at NDSU's Barry Hall on February 20-21. The event was organized by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC). The seminar was instructed by Dr. Bill Wilson and Dr. Frayne Olson from the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at NDSU. They covered topics such as live trading, hedging, contracts, transportation and logistics. Phil Coffin from Midwest AgEnergy gave a presentation on the corn and ethanol industries. Future marketing seminars will be advertised in CornTalk, the NDCUC website (, and social media.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


CONVERSATIONS FROM THE 2018 SOIL HEALTH CAFE TALKS Submitted by Dr. Abbey Wick, NDSU Assistant Professor of Soil Health - Extension It was a very successful season for the North Dakota Corn Council co-sponsored Soil Health Café Talks. A total of nine café talks were held across the eastern part of the state in Rutland, Lisbon, LaMoure, Jamestown, McVille and Park River. This led to over 25 hours of discussion and reached 295 farmers. On average we’d have 40 farmers at each Café Talk with our largest one being in Park River with 87 farmers. This one was run just like every other Café Talk – discussion, questions, explanations and lunch. My technician, Luke Ressler, and I covered 1,900 miles in January and February this year to hit all the different areas. Five other specialists joined us, including Mary Berg (Compost and Manure Management), Marisol Berti (Forage and Cover Crops), Dave Franzen (Soil Fertility), Miranda Meehan (Livestock Environmental Stewardship), and Kevin Sedivec (Rangeland/Grazing). To put things into perspective, when this program started in 2014 there were less than ten people at each café talk. Sometimes it would only be the county agent, a couple farmers and me talking about whatever topics came up. We started with two locations, Wyndmere and Mooreton, to gauge the interest and see what worked and didn’t work. As the program expands, we continue to learn alongside farmers about making soil health building practices work on-farm. This year, much of the discussion was centered around cover crops and grazing. It didn’t matter if the farmers attending the Café Talks had cattle or not, the ideas for which cover crops to use, timing for seeding, methods for seeding or interseeding and what to expect are universal. Which Cover Crops to Use: Most farmers are comfortable with cereal rye and many have it seeded in their fields awaiting management this spring. Cereal rye needs to be watched closely in the spring. If grazing, cattle need to be out there around May 10 to ensure forage quality. If planting soybean into cereal rye, soil moisture needs to be watched closely and the cereal rye terminated before it dries the soil too much to potentially affect yield. Cereal rye is not


recommended prior to a corn or wheat cash crop. Radish is another cover crop that is a good fit where farmers without cattle are using that as their primary brassica. Farmers with cattle also include turnip and are now looking to use Pasja turnip rather than Purple Top turnip to get more forage and less root. Legumes can be useful in the mix if planted early enough to get enough biomass production and forage peas are a top choice. Faba Bean was also discussed because of its cold tolerance to live longer into the fall than forage peas and the dark residue to help the soil warm in the spring. There is a video on the NDSU Soil Health webpage showing the difference between pea and Faba Bean and I encourage you to watch it if you’re interested (Picking a Legume for Frost Tolerance, Timing for Seeding: Getting a fall-seeded cover crop in the ground by August 15 is essential for our climate and getting it in earlier is even better. Most farmers try to follow the combine with the drill and that is recommended. If it’s not an option and it is getting late in the season (after August 15), then you may consider dropping the radish and other winter kill species from the mix. Cereal rye could still be used but bump up the seeding rates the later you get into the fall. Again, there are multiple videos on timeliness of cover crop seeding on the NDSU Soil Health Webpage (Titled: Timing Matters for Successful Cover Crops, Timeliness for Cover Crop Seeding, and Cover Crop Seeding Timing Makes a Difference) Methods for Seeding or Interseeding: There are multiple ways to fit cover crops into rotation and one of the most common ways being to interseed a cover crop into corn. This can be useful for farmers with and without livestock for establishment and some cover crop growth prior to harvest. Seeding or broadcasting anytime after five to eight leaf corn is acceptable and the cover crop will not compete with the corn crop. Getting good seed to soil contact is always preferred; however, broadcasting/aerial seeding has also worked with a timely rain. When seeding, rates CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

The nine Soil Health Cafe Talks held in various locations in eastern North Dakota averaged 40 farmer attendees per Café Talk.

for a grass (like oats, barley or cereal rye) can be around 30 lbs. With aerial seeding, increase the rate to around 60 lbs. These are just suggestions for starting points and seeding rates should always be determined based on soil type (lower rates on sandier soils and higher rates on clay soils) and comfort level with the cover crop. When using the cover crop as a forage, good seed to soil contact is highly desirable to get the most possible forage production out of the cover crop. Again, there are videos on this topic (Titled: Cover crops interseeded into Corn, 11 SHM Variable Rate Rye into Fall Corn, 08 SHM Cover Crops into Corn, 02 Agweek TV Soil Health Minute, Rye as a Cover Crop – Drill Seeding, Rye as a Cover Crop – Aerial Seeding)

at planting or harvest, weed and erosion management are all common goals that can easily be deemed successful or not based on looking at or driving equipment across the field. If you are disappointed the first year trying cover crops, figure out what could be tweaked and try again next year. Keep your trials to a small number of acres to reduce risk and try these practices on a field by your shop so you can watch it throughout the season. It’s a learning process, so don’t expect to get it perfect the first year. But certainly learn from successes and mistakes, reach out to Extension or other farmers and attend Soil Health Field Tours and Workshops to hedge your bets and have the best possible experience.

Expectations: It’s important to set expectations based on which cover crops are being used, when they are seeded and how they are seeded. Always start by determining an on-farm goal – what do you want to achieve? Are cover crops the tool that will help you achieve that goal? For example, water management in spring or fall, trafficability

Be sure to join the Café Talk discussions – we are planning to hold a few this summer and will start up again in January and February of 2019. All of the NDSU Soil Health information is posted online: or you can follow me on Twitter for updates through the season (@NDSUsoilhealth).

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CORPORATE SPONSORS EXECUTIVE LEVEL Tharaldson Ethanol PRINCIPAL LEVEL Dyna-Gro Seed Peterson Farms Seed Proseed Legend Seeds, Inc. CORE LEVEL AgCountry Farm Credit Cargill

Thank you!

Senator Hoeven’s invitation to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to visit North Dakota finally came to fruition on March 9th. Senator Hoeven hosted a day of events for Secretary Perdue which included a round table discussion on the farm bill. The round table consisted of North Dakota and commodity and ag-related groups. In addition to Senator Hoeven and Secretary Perdue, others at the table included Senator Heitkamp, Representative Cramer, Governor Burgum and former Secretary of Agriculture and North Dakota Governor, Ed Schafer. North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) President Carson Klosterman and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Skunes were both at the table and provided testimony to the Secretary and congressional members. Klosterman discussed the need to retain crop insurance as is with no cuts. Recent cuts to the prevent plant portion of the crop insurance program specific to corn are already in place and could hurt farmers in years of a late, wet spring planting season. Other crop insurance cuts proposed by the Administration such as payment limit and gross income tests, would harm the program. Water management and the ability to work closer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to manage wetlands was asked not only by Klosterman, but nearly every farmer who testified. Trade and protecting our trade agreements was also identified as a crucial need for farmers. Klosterman reported the atmosphere in the room seemed up-beat and positive, and that Perdue was happy and proud to be in North Dakota. “It was great to be able to tell the Secretary about the issues farmers in North Dakota are facing. I appreciated that Secretary Perdue asked us to turn in our notes to him at the end of the event so he could read our concerns again. That made me feel like he was taking our concerns seriously and will try to improve these issues for us,” said Klosterman. CONTINUED ON PAGE 19


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

Skunes discussed the need for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to stay intact with no changes. He mentioned a recent study from Iowa State University that indicates some proposals offered to change the RFS could reduce the value of corn by $0.25 per bushel - a reduction of revenue totaling over $110 million to North Dakota corn growers and over $4.0 billion in the United States. Skunes also asked for the group to look for funding of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center in Fargo. “It was great to be able to visit with Secretary Perdue again and provide additional information on the value of the RFS. I believe we’re making positive progress towards that mission,” said Skunes. Klosterman and Skunes agreed on the importance of having representatives of the administration attend listening sessions with farmers and agricultural organizations. It is also important for the NDCGA and NCGA to continue their work to ensure these provisions are protected or initiated in the next farm bill.

NCGA President Kevin Skunes met Secretary Perdue at Commodity Classic and again when the Secretary visited Fargo.

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U.S. GRAINS COUNCIL HOSTS EXPORT MISSION IN MOROCCO Kyle Speich, North Dakota Corn Growers Association board member from Milnor, North Dakota, recently participated in a Grain Export Mission Trip to Morocco sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) has partnered with the USGC for twenty-six years working together to develop world markets, enable trade and improve lives. The USGC invited one of the NDCUC members to join the mission to Morocco to meet with key end-users. International buyers enjoy meeting the farmers that are growing their product - it helps to build relationships and trust. Morocco imports approximately two million metric tons (MMT) of corn annually with US market share ranging from 20-30%. In addition, Morocco imported 180 thousand metric tons (TMT) of DDGS and 100 TMT of corn gluten from the United States. The USGC has had significant influence in affecting the trajectory of the Moroccan poultry and beef sector development over the past 25 years. Some of the activities include the establishment of the poultry association, Federation Interprofessionnelle du Secreur Avicole (FISA). FISA has been instrumental in promoting the growth and development of the Moroccan poultry sector which now produces over two MMT of compound feed. FISA has partnered with USGC to reduce import tariffs on corn and FISA members have been instrumental in introducing U.S. DDGS, corn gluten and sorghum into Morocco. In addition, USGC has developed a model feedlot and dairy project with COPAG, a dairy cooperative with over 16,000 members. This feedlot was the motivation for the development of a ruminant feed promotion program which resulted in over 1.2MMT of ruminant feed being produced annually in Morocco. Morocco has one of the most advanced livestock industries on the African continent. USGC uses Morocco and its partners as a platform for modeling livestock industry development throughout the region. The USGC has used


the Morocco beef program as a model for development in Algeria, Tunisia, India and Ethiopia. The Moroccan poultry association and the poultry industry has been utilized as a model for development in West Africa, North Africa and in the USGC’s U.S. Agency for International Development’s funded project in Tanzania. Morocco has a Mediterranean climate, where the rain comes in winter months. Casablanca receives an average of 28 inches a year, while Agadir (280 miles to the south) receives eight inches of precipitation per year, even though both cities are located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. 90% of Moroccan farms have less than 20 acres of farm land, with a few milk cows and 10-20 head of sheep. These smaller farmers do not invest much money in bulls so the overall quality of cattle isn’t very good. Their main crops are under green houses, which provide protection from the cool nights, and creates humidity for the citrus and vegetable crops. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, olives, wheat and barley are some of their bigger crop commodities. During Kyle’s trip he traveled to Mazaria Co-op in Larache to tour a dairy farm and citrus packaging plant. The co-op currently has 16,000 members. The USGC was instrumental in the design and start-up of the dairy barn. Mazaria bought 1,500 Holstein cows from the U.S. to establish the farm. The farm has grown to 2,700 head and is planning on reaching 3,300 head. The cows are milked three times per day and an average cow produces roughly seven gallons of milk per day. The group visited Alf Sahel Feed Mill. Alf Sahel is the largest feed mill in Africa and the largest importer of U.S. DDGS in Morocco. They produce both ruminant and poultry feeds and have been an instrumental partner in Council programs. The mill uses two million bushels of corn per month. There is a 2.5% duty tax on Argentinian corn, no tax on U.S. corn, but the quality that comes from U.S. isn’t as good as what they get from Argentina. They want to buy straight from farmers or elevators to eliminate CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

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the middle man and to get the corn they have seen out of the combine during their visits to the U.S. After the feed mill they traveled to their slaughter plant which is in the process of being built. They will have two lines for broilers, slaughtering 6,000 birds per hour/line. They also have two turkey lines at 2,400 birds per hour/line. The group toured a COPAG facility, which is a large citrus and milk processing cooperative that models itself after Land O’ Lakes. The USGC has been engaged with COPAG since 2002, building a 10,000 head feedlot and helping with the start-up of the feedlot. COPAG has become the #1 brand for quality in Morocco. It has 14,000

farmers - 80% of which are small farmers. They have four different sectors: vegetables, citrus, animal production, and environmental. All the feed that is made at their feed mill is sold only to members of COPAG. “I was happy to see first-hand how North Dakota Corn Council’s investment with the USGC and their work in Morocco has paid off in creating demand for U.S. corn. Morocco continues to be a valued trading partner and shows great promise for future growth,” remarked Kyle. The USGC seeks to maintain important trading relationships while continuing to look to the future and new opportunities for growth in demand.

Kyle Speich from Milnor, ND, (left) was a member of the U.S. Grains Council delegation that visited a dairy farm while on their grain export mission trip in Morocco.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


THE FARMACOLOGY™ APPROACH: LOCALLY PROVEN PRODUCTS Mike Tofsrud, Legend Seeds Sales Agronomist Are you tired of seedsmen that offer you a bag of corn in the fall and don’t return until the following fall? At Legend Seeds, we have a different approach to treating acres and maximizing yields for your operation. Powered by Legend Seeds, the Farmacology approach brings value to your seed investment through four key components: agronomic confidence, locally proven products, data insights, and our dealer advantage. How do we recommend locally proven products for your farm? Three ways - on-farm trials, Knowledge Plots, and our Replicated Corn Research Program. On-Farm Trials: Like most seed companies, we’ve been conducting on-farm trials since day one. It’s the foundation of getting-to-know how a product performs in local conditions.

Replicated Corn Research Program: Finally, through our Replicated Corn Research Program we have conducted over 70,000 replicated corn trials since 2014. Going forward, the very best hybrids that we tested in these 12 locations this year will be pulled into our product lineup. This program allows us to have in-depth research-based knowledge on our products before they are launched into our lineup, giving our team confidence in how products will perform by region. Harvest really is report card time! We get to see the results of the year’s efforts, including the individual hybrid notes that were taken on our field tablets. Each rectangle from the aerial view is converted into an individual yield. Can you spot the highlights?

Here’s just a few of the North Dakota highlights from our onfarm plot trials this year: • Corn at Wahpeton: In this part of the state, LR 9893 VT2PRIB really shows its dominance in the early to mid90 maturity range, phenomenal yield at 239.8 bushels compared to Dekalb’s DKC44-15 which was 224.6 bushels. • Corn at Brinsmade: LR 9882 VT2PRIB yielded right up there with some of the latest maturity hybrids in the plot and also was two percent drier and yielded 194 bushels. • Soybeans at Cando: LS 009X852N continues to show how consistent it performs across northern North Dakota, the plot average was 55.6 bushels and this variety was almost three bushels better. • Soybeans at Hillsboro: Very pleased with how our beans outshined the competitors in the plot across the board, the plot average was 37 bushels. Our LS 07X852 Xtend bean won the plot with 44 bushels. Knowledge Plots: Since 2012, we have taken our on-farm trials to the next level with our Knowledge Plots. We also offer public, hands-on, educational tours at multiple events each summer and fall. These events are a great opportunity to learn about new practices, technologies and products that will help improve your ROI.


The Four Key Components: We have a clear mission; to deliver high-yielding, consistent-producing, top-quality seed products that will provide our customers with more profit potential than they can get anywhere else. Our Farmacology approach provides our customers with the tools and resources they need to be successful, adding value to your seed investment. When you choose to partner with Legend Seeds, you’re getting more than just a bag of seed. We will provide you with confidence from planting to harvest … and every moment in between. To learn more about the Legend Seeds Farmacology approach or for more information on our 2017 plot data, visit or contact Mike Tofsrud at mtofsrud@

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

U.S. GRAINS COUNCIL DELEGATES MEET IN HOUSTON The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) representatives attended the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and advisory team (A-team) meetings during 15th International Marketing Conference and 58th Annual Membership Meeting in Houston, Texas. This meeting brings together grain producers and agribusiness representatives along with professional USGC staff from around the world to help chart the operational course for commodity trade. The North Dakota delegates included Bart Schott, Kulm; Scott German, Oakes; and Rob Hanson from Wimbledon. Each of these delegates also serve on one of the USGC’s seven advisory teams (A-teams) during the organization’s meetings in Houston. The teams are focused on key regions: Asia, Western Hemisphere and the Middle East and Africa – and topics: ethanol, trade policy, value-added products and innovation and sustainability. The delegates to USGC identify priorities for international trade and assist in the development of programs in more than 50 countries that buy corn, ethanol and other by-products.

attendees about the ongoing negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), potential bilateral trade deals and various export markets including ethanol. Throughout the sessions, USGC staff from around the world covered issues specific to their respective markets during panel presentations as well as one-on-one with delegates and members. The interaction between international staff and USGC members and delegates is a crucial component of the winter membership meeting. Some highlights of our trade partners: • Mexico is #3 largest trading partner with the U.S. • Potential E10 ethanol imports to Mexico could grow to 1.2 billion gallons • Canada is the #2 importer of U.S. grain products and #1 importer of ethanol • The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) will likely be left alone as related to ag, but needs to be reworked with steel and other products • Farmer visits to ag importer countries is of great importance. Making personal connections with buyers of the commodities and completing reverse trade missions are equally important.

A-teams conducted in-depth sessions in Houston to help set USGC global strategy and hear from the global staff members who work to promote the USGC’s key products. One of the speakers at the meeting was Ted McKinney, under-secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. McKinney addressed

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

The North Dakota delegates welcomed the opportunity to relay concerns that corn producers have related to trade, markets for corn, ethanol, DDGs and other byproducts. ND Corn delegate Rob Hanson stated, “With Canada and Mexico being our two largest corn and ethanol markets, it is imperative that the NAFTA renegotiations be completed in a fair and timely manner. By working with organizations like the U.S. Grains Council, we’re able to learn about these markets and the potential volume of corn and byproducts that can be exported. It’s also a reminder of how important NAFTA and other trade agreements are to agriculture.”


DDGS HELP REDUCE SYNTHETIC RESIN AND WAX USAGE Submitted by Dr. Dilpreet Bajwa, NDSU Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) is a byproduct generated during corn to ethanol production. It is a dried residue left after the corn starch is fermented with selected yeasts and enzymes to produce ethanol. Over the years, the DDGS production has significantly increased due to increased ethanol production. For year 2017-18 DDGS production is estimated to be 37.6 million metric tons. For every bushel (56 pounds) of corn, approximately 18.4 pounds of DDGS is generated. Most of the DDGS produced in the U.S. is currently used as animal feed. Therefore, there is a strong need to identify high value industrial applications of DDGS to maintain its price stability and long term viability of ethanol plants. In 2012, when I joined North Dakota State University I came across the composition of DDGS and found out that it has roughly 28-30% proteins, 11-13% fat and 36-39% fibers. From my background in wood composites working in industry, I thought these molecules can be used as natural binder and water repellent in particleboards/fiber boards and other construction materials. I believed that the protein part of the DDGS can be used as a glue or resin, fat (oil) can help in improving water resistance and fiber part can aid in reinforcing and strengthening the boards. Therefore, addition of DDGS in particleboards can help in reducing the amount of synthetic glue (phenol formaldehyde), water repellent (paraffin wax) and will also make boards safe and environmental friendly. Our first objective was to test our idea if DDGS can be used in particleboards. With funding support from the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, we proved that DDGS can be easily blended with wood particles up to 15% without compromising the physical and other strength properties of the particleboards. In fact, particleboard with 5% DDGS (500 micron size) showed superior properties than the control particleboard. Additionally, we found that synthetic resin and wax can be reduced by 3-5% with the addition of DDGS. The results of this work were published in 2016 in the Industrial Crops and Products Journal (http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.04.071).


Currently, our project is focused on identifying how much glue and wax can be reduced in particleboards with the addition of DDGS. We are looking at the economic saving that the wood composite industry can achieve using DDGS. The project aim is to promote DDGS as a value added filler, where industry can directly substitute a part of wood flour with DDGS without any major modifications to their existing manufacturing processes. Our team has also evaluated manufacturing binderless (no glue) boards using DDGS and wood flour (50:50). For binderless boards DDGS is treated with mild alkali (sodium hydroxide) or water to activate the proteins so they can bind with wood flour. The results have been extremely encouraging, the physical and mechanical properties of these boards were found to be superior to commercial particleboard. In the coming months, we are planning to manufacture and test a large number of DDGS based particleboards so we can create a product specification sheet that can be shared with the wood composite industry. We strongly believe that this work will help in diversifying DDGS usage into a billion dollar wood composite industry. Application of DDGS in wood composites will generate significantly better return than the current value, and provide long term stability and security to the DDGS. In addition, improved DDGS value will improve return on investment for the ethanol industry and corn growers as it enhances the rural economy.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

FINDING OUR COMMONGROUND - 2018 TRAINING Submitted by Val Wagner, CommonGround North Dakota Coordinator CommonGround North Dakota hosted a spring training in Fargo on March 22, 2018 for volunteers to learn about ways to communicate with consumers that are distanced from agriculture. It was a great way to celebrate National Ag Week! The training kicked off with updated consumer engagement research, including what people are looking for in labels at the grocery store, as well as how to answer some of those tough questions that they may have in regards to how food gets to their plate. The group discussed some of the current regulations when it comes to labeling to get a better understanding of what labels are actually regulated by the USDA, and which labels are purely marketing. This part of the training gave attendees insight on how difficult it is for consumers to make choices at the grocery store. The group also learned about leadership and training opportunities available through the corn and soybean councils and growers associations. The Council and Association boards have openings every year and are looking for farmers to get involved.

The afternoon wrapped up with idea-sharing, including a presentation from Abbey Wick about the Red River Zoo project. She inspired volunteers by sharing her story of stepping up and speaking out for agriculture, showing just how successful you can be when you plant that one seed of hope! Abbey had the skill and connections to revitalize and create new exhibits and an Agriculture Adventure Day at the Zoo. Agriculture Adventure Day will take place July 14, 2018. The event had a great turnout last year and the planning committee is expecting a bigger and better event this year! We also heard from Mike Schmitz from the North Dakota Horse Park, regarding a proposed Celebrate Agriculture day at the horse park. This event is in the formulation phase and he is looking for groups to get involved. A day of communication training, idea-sharing and networking was successful! Plans are underway for future trainings. These trainings and events are held at no cost to the volunteer, are a great way to brainstorm and energize a local movement, and are great networking opportunities. Future trainings and events are planned for April 14 at the Coteau des Prairie Lodge in Havana, ND and on April 17 at the Gourmet Chef in Minot, ND. Please like us on Facebook (CommonGround North Dakota) to stay updated on our events. For more information or to host your own CommonGround training or event, please email Katelyn from the ND Corn Council at katelyn@

Volunteers learned about topics such as connecting with consumers at the CommonGround ND training in Fargo on March 22. Similar training sessions will be held in Havana and Minot in April.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


NDCUC BIDS FAREWELL TO PAUL BELZER AND DAVE SWANSON March 31, 2018 marked the end of Paul Belzer and Dave Swanson's terms as a member of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC). Both served the allowable limit of two, four year terms. To learn more about their time served, we asked them a few questions. How did you get involved with the NDCUC?:

Dave Swanson Paul Belzer, Cando District 3

I got involved because I wanted to contribute to how corn checkoff dollars are being invested. I was eager to see agronomic research that helped corn acres grow across our state, and wanted to see that supply of corn used in ethanol production.

What has surprised you most about being an NDCUC board member with NDCUC?

What has surprised you most about being a board member with NDCUC? What surprised me the most about the Corn Council is how many projects are funded by our check off dollars. To see the research projects and other partnerships like ethanol move forward together to promote the use of corn as food, feed, fiber, and fuel has been a real eye opener. What have been some of the top achievements or your best memories of being on the NDCUC?

A big surprise was how involved growers across our state are involved with national organizations to help with corn markets and market development. There is much work to do and we need those willing to step forward and serve! What have been some of the top achievements or your best memories of being on the NDCUC? I am proud of the partnerships the NDCUC has created with other ag groups. One example is the NDCUC and North Dakota Soybean Council combining their annual events into the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo. This event will get bigger and better, and one that growers will want to attend every year.

There have many good memories I have had being on this board. One of the best is reviewing the NDCGA scholarship applications and being amazed at the quality of these students. Some people say our future is in trouble because of the kids now days. I think it has never looked brighter. What would you say to others looking to get involved in ag organizations like the NDCUC? There are a lot of ag organizations out there that need people to be involved. I know I enjoyed my time on the NDCUC and would encourage others to get involved.

What would you say to others looking to get involved in ag organizations like the NDCUC? I would encourage growers to get to know members of the Council and our professional staff. If you have research ideas, share them with NDCUC members and staff. Every farmer can help by sharing concerns, offering solutions, and helping with the ongoing mission.


Dave Swanson, New Rockford District 4

How did you get involved with the NDCUC?: I got involved after a phone call from my county Extension agent who asked if I'd like to represent our county corn producers. I said yes, and then went to the district meeting. There I was elected to serve as the District 4 representative.

I would also like to thank the other board members and staff. Your positive attitudes and the "get it done" approach made it lots of fun.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NORTH DAKOTANS ATTEND CORN RESEARCH WORKSHOP The National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team hosted an inaugural two-day Corn Research Ideation Workshop on March 28-30, 2018. North Dakota attendees included Larry Hoffmann, CPQAT member and North Dakota Corn Growers Association board member, Jean Henning, North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) Finance and Research Director, and Dr. Joel Ransom, North Dakota State University Extension Agronomist. The goals of the workshop were to bring together a group of U.S. corn producers, corn experts from public universities and private seed and chemical companies to identify problems experienced by producers and users of grain; present solution ideas to overcome factors limiting sustainable corn production, grain quality and composition; and to form partnerships to develop research to test ideas, validate solutions and define return on investment to corn producers. The workshop was divided into four main topic areas. The first area addressed by attendees was precision agriculture. It included the areas of crop sensors, robotics, imagery, onfarm research/modeling and the use of big data for corn producers. Some of the problems and solutions identified in precision agriculture included the need for research on ground truth models, early detection methodology, image sampling optimization and composition detection.

The second area that was addressed was agronomy/ crop protection. This area included tillage and residue management, NPK/microbes fertility and crop protection. Problems and solutions identified were a lack of trained agronomists and soil scientists, climate change management strategies, improved nutrient management, interactions and system dynamics and pest resistance management. The third area was germplasms and corn breeding. This area included disease and pathogen weed control, corn nutritional composition and genomics/phenomics gene editing. Problems and solutions in this area included identifying gene editing targets, full value chain breeding, resistance to casual diseases and toxin accumulation and genetic diversity. The fourth area was sustainability which included soil erosion and health, water quality, climate change, and carbon footprint/life cycle analysis. Problem and solution areas included a definition of soil health regionally, climate change adaption, quantifying carbon footprints and managing soil loss due to erosion. Problems and possible research solutions were discussed at the workshop. The participants ranked all of the possibilities in hopes to find one main problem and solution per area. Results will be made available by the end of April. This effort will help the CPQAT fund NCGA’s research budget of approximately $900,000. The CPQAT hosted this workshop to focus on production issues. Another NCGA affiliated event, the Corn Utilization & Technology Conference (CUTC), is held biannually and will take place on June 4-6, 2018 in St. Louis, MO. The CUTC will bring together industry, government and academic researchers to focus on creating demand with new uses. The NDCUC hopes to utilize ideas generated at the conference to share with North Dakota State University to work towards a focused research program that benefits the future of North Dakota corn production.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


FIRST NORTHERN CORN AND SOYBEAN EXPO SEES SUCCESS On February 13, 2018, the first annual Northern Corn and Soybean Expo filled the Fargodome with over 800 farmers, speakers and vendors. The event included general session speakers, breakout sessions, and a trade show. Expo is planned and hosted by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Corn Growers Association and North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. General session speakers included futurist Jay Lehr, and Mike Pearson, the former host of "Market to Market." Lehr discussed trends in agriculture and the impact they will have on the future. Pearson gave a market update and emceed the event. "We were thrilled with the huge number of farmers that attended the event. We hope to learn from this year's event and make 2019 even greater," said Ryan Wanzek,NDCGA board member and co-chair of the Expo.

Photo by Dan Lemke Mike Pearson, former "Market to Market" television host, emceed Expo and presented on what's driving agriculture in the year ahead.

Photo by The Creative Treatment The corn and soybean mascots attended the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo to greet attendees.


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Photo by Betsy Armour Kale Van Bruggen, Rinke Noonan Law Firm, spoke about water management and wetland regulation during his breakout session.

Farmers packed the meetings rooms to learn about a wide variety of breakout session topics. Topics included corn diseases and pests, water management, soil health, consumer education, and more. There was so much interest in the soil health breakout session, that the second session had to be moved to the general session meeting room to accommodate all the interested attendees. The trade show experienced steady traffic throughout the day. Over seventy vendors exhibited in the trade show. Planning for the 2019 Northern Corn and Soybean Expo is already underway. We hope you'll join us for the event on February 12, 2019 at the Fargodome!

Photo by The Creative Treatment Expo co-chairs, Matt Gast and Ryan Wanzek chat with media.

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COUNTY CORN REPRESENTATIVES Corn Council District 1 County



Arnie Anderson

Corn Council District 5 District Rep.





Justin Halvorson


Terry Wehlander

Corn Council District 2 County



Patrick Skunes


Jason Rayner


Steve Doeden

District Rep. X

Corn Council District 6 County



Scott German


Dennis Feiken



Randy Simon


Jordan Christman






Bryan Ankenbauer


Tony Pierce


Mike Muhs


Lance Hagen


Derik Pulvermacher


Robert Ferebee

Grand Forks

Greg Amundson


Alex Deis


Jason Schiele

Golden Valley

Steve Zook


Cliff Tollefson


Cody VandenBurg


David Steffan


Darwyn Mayer


William Wagner


James Cusey


Dennis Erbele


Nick Schmaltz


Anthony Neu


Paul Becker


CJ Thorne




Paul Anderson




Riley Schriefer


Bruce Teubner


Elwood Barth




Clark Price


Gary Neshem






Jarrod Becker


Ryan Stroh


Duane Zent


Richard Lies



District Rep.


Corn Council District 4 County



Mike Clemens


Bill Smith


Tysen Rosenau


Mark Ressler




X District Rep. X

Corn Council District 7

Corn Council District 3 County

District Rep.

District Rep.

District Rep.



Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NDCGA Board of Directors

District 1: Carson Klosterman, Wyndmere (President) District 1: Andrew Braaten, Barney District 2: Randy Melvin, Buffalo (Vice President) District 2: Tim Kozojed, Hillsboro District 3: Andrew Torkelson, Grafton District 3: Paul Thomas, Velva (Secretary/Treasurer) District 4: Robert Hanson, Wimbledon District 4: Ryan Wanzek, Jamestown District 5: Justin Halvorson, Sheldon District 5: Kyle Speich, Milnor District 6: Chris Erlandson, Oakes District 6: Bart Schott, Kulm District 7: Anthony Mock, Kintyre District 7: Clark Price, Hensler

ND Corn Utilization Council

District 1: Arnie Anderson, Hankinson District 2: Jason Rayner, Finley (Vice Chairman) District 3: William Wagner, Neche District 4: Tysen Rosenau, Carrington District 5: Terry Wehlander, DeLamere (Chairman) District 6: Scott German, Oakes (Secretary) District 7: Robert Ferebee, Halliday

Director-at-large: Mike Clemens, Wimbledon Director-at-large: Jeff Enger, Marion Director-at-large: Kevin Skunes, Arthur Director-at-large: Larry Hoffmann, Wheatland

NDCGA Industry Directors

Vern Anderson: Livestock Consultant, Carrington Gary Geske: Latham Hi Tech Seeds, Enderlin Ray Kotchian: Prairieland Ag Inc., Fargo Tom Cook: Cargill, Wahpeton

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The ND Corn Growers Association does not endorse the use of products promoted in the newsletter.


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March/April 2018 Corn Talk Newsletter  

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