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CORN TALK September/October 2018

A publication for North Dakota corn producers























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Randy Melvin President North Dakota Corn Growers Association

The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) has 1,400 members and represents approximately 7,000 corn farmers in the state. We are affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) who has 40,000 members, and represents the interests of 300,000 corn farmers in the U.S. Our strategy is to work together with all affiliated corn states to inform our leaders in Washington, D.C., of the increasing concern felt across our state and country due to multi-year drop of farm income. NDCGA and NCGA are currently focused on modifications to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for corn-based ethanol, trade and the 2018 Farm Bill. Corn farmers have consistently worked to increase the use of ethanol which in kind increases corn usage. We have asked that the administration follow through on the necessary steps for ethanol to reach its full potential. In addition, in the past year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave exemptions to 48 refineries, allowing the refineries to ignore annual ethanol blending targets which undercuts U.S. ethanol. This has destroyed ethanol use and demand by nearly two billion gallons which equates to nearly 700 million bushels of corn annually. We have pushed for the elimination of the outdated Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulatory barrier that limits the ability of fuel retailers to offer ethanol blends greater than 10 percent in most of the country from June 1 to September 15. This waiver would again increase the use of ethanol consumed in the U.S. and increase corn usage.

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In addition, a trade deal via the completion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is paramount for corn producers. It is good news that Mexico has agreed to renegotiate NAFTA, although Canada has not yet signed the revised NAFTA. Corn farmers need a trade win and for corn, NAFTA is number one. Mexico is the number one importer of corn from the U.S. importing more than 500 million bushels annually. Mexico is also the largest importer of dried distiller’s grain from corn ethanol. Canada is in the top two in ethanol imports. Thus, getting a deal done on NAFTA, including both Mexico and Canada, will be a great relief for corn farmers. Equally important, are ongoing final negotiations for the 2018 Farm Bill. The goal in Congress is to complete the Farm Bill by Sept. 30, 2018. The new program year for the 2018 Farm Bill starts with the 2019 crop. For the most part, NDCGA is satisfied with the Farm Bill in both the House and Senate as they do not cut crop insurance. Protecting crop insurance has been a priority for corn grower membership. We have relayed the NDCGA priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill to our congressional representatives and we are hopeful that we will have a solid bill when it is completed. Finally, we have impressed upon Washington, D.C., and congressional leadership that farmers need help now. Completing a timely Farm Bill would be a positive step for agriculture. We will continue to fight on your behalf, best wishes for a safe and bountiful harvest.

North Dakota Corn


YOUR CHECKOFF: WORKING ON TRADE Terry Wehlander Chairman North Dakota Corn Utilization Council

Trade is on everyone’s minds as our nation’s trade policies continue to impact everyone involved in agriculture. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) has increased its focus on establishing new relationships and strengthening our existing partnerships within our export community. The NDCUC is a member of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) whose focus is to establish a network of buyers and sellers of corn, barley, grain sorghum and all of their byproducts. USGC has staff throughout the world building relationships with buyers on the value of U.S. corn products and its byproducts. The USGC uses state checkoff funds, along with funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs to enhance their trade mission. USDA has determined that for every dollar invested, $28 is returned back to the U.S. agriculture economy. During a recent USGC meeting, several priorities were identified to get us through this uncertain time. 1. C  ontinue education efforts with our congressional representatives on the value of trade and trade agreements. 2. Continue education with our world trade partners on the value of U.S. corn and corn byproducts. 3. Increase ethanol exports from 1.0 to 1.5 billion gallons. Seeing the efforts of the USGC firsthand has been invaluable. Many people at the NDCUC, USGC and the National Corn Growers Association are working tirelessly


on your behalf to maintain relationships and seek out new customers. The NDCUC has recently been involved in a few opportunities that contribute to the priorities of USGC. In August, USGC and the NDCUC hosted a group from Tunisia. The group took part in a feed manufacturing course at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) on the campus of North Dakota State University. USGC is utilizing a grant provided by the U.S. State Department to create a Center for Feed Manufacturing in Tunisia, in conjunction with the Tunisian National Institute for Agronomy, Iowa State University and NCI. By the end of the 18-month grant, USGC expects the center to be self-sufficient, with this core group of locals providing comprehensive, in-depth trainings on feed manufacturing along with hands-on, technical education to feed professionals in Tunisia. The group toured North Dakota Corn Growers Association board member Tim Kozojed’s farm near Hillsboro where they got a closer look at corn growing in the field, equipment and grain storage. The U.S. Commercial Service has identified ethanol, oil and gas as key potential N.D. growth sectors for increased exports to Asia. They brought senior U.S. Embassy officials from Japan, Korea, India and the Philippines to Fargo as part of an Access Asia event. Access Asia seeks to connect U.S. companies with opportunities in Asia and increase market share for U.S. companies in these key Asian markets. NDCUC and the North Dakota Ethanol Council gave an overview of the N.D. ethanol industry and export goals. Participants had an opportunity for one-on-one meetings between companies, officers and industry analysts to establish connections and learn how the U.S. government can be more supportive of U.S. oil, gas and ethanol businesses seeking to export more to Asia. Participants also toured Tharaldson Ethanol Plant in Casselton and Kevin Skunes’ farm in Arthur. I am very proud of the work that the NDCUC and our partners continue to do in the area of trade on behalf of N.D. corn producers. Hopefully much of the strain that we are all feeling regarding the markets will be short-lived and we can get back to farming. I wish you all a safe and plentiful harvest.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

RESEARCH AND EXTENSION EFFORTS AT THE SOIL HEALTH AND AGRICULTURE RESEARCH EXTENSION (SHARE) FARM By Abbey Wick, NDSU Department of Soil Science The SHARE Farm is a key project within the NDSU Soil Health program. On-site, there are several research projects underway looking at soil health evaluation, tile drainage, conservation tillage practices and cover crops in rotation. Off-site, Extension programs share information using the Soil Health Café Talks, large and small field days and winter workshops and media-based outlets. Our goals are to use approaches which encourage face-to-face discussion along with communicate what we are learning using media and web-based outlets. One media outlet used to share information is the AgWeek Soil Health Minute co-sponsored by the ND Corn Utilization Council. This television segment and written column kicked off the spring of 2017. This program is used to share science-based information directly from NDSU

projects along with tips for adopting soil health building practices based on what farmers are trying in the field. Since spring of 2017, there have been 25 television and online segments produced alongside 32 magazine article columns. The television segment reaches 30,000 viewers in the northern plains region and has 27,000 subscribers to the magazine. Views of the television segment are not just occurring live, but are continuing to be watched online. The television segments have been viewed online or embedded into other webpages over 15,000 times. All of the segments and columns are posted on the NDSU Soil Health webpage ( and you can subscribe to an RSS feed (under the “in the news” tab) on the webpage to receive emails when new articles are added. Outreach didn’t stop with the Soil Health Minute - another 20 short videos were also produced this past year as part of the SHARE Farm project (posted on the NDSU Soil Health webpage under the “videos” tab) and three booklets were developed related to soil health, cover crops and grazing cover crops (found on the homepage). All are excellent resources filled with tips and results. The SHARE Farm project promotes the transfer of information in multiple ways – both using faceto-face meetings and web-based and media outlets. Check out the webpage for schedules of events and digital information including booklets and videos.

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CONSIDER PROS, CONS OF ALTERNATIVE GRAIN STORAGE METHODS By Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension Agricultural Engineer Grain can be stored in many types of facilities, but all storage options must keep the grain dry and provide adequate aeration to control the grain’s temperature.

heating. Dry grain’s average temperature will follow the average outdoor temperature.

Grain must be dry and cool (near the average outdoor temperature) when placed in alternative storage facilities because providing adequate, uniform airflow to dry grain or cool grain coming from a dryer is not feasible.

• Select an elevated, well-drained site for the storage bags. Run the bags north and south so solar heating is similar on both sides. Sunshine on just one side heats that side, which can lead to moisture accumulation in the grain and spoilage on the cool side.

Structural Issues Grain pushing against walls can damage buildings not built for grain storage. The wall must be anchored securely, and its structural members must be strong enough to transfer the force to the building poles or support structure without breaking or excessive bending. Typically, you’ll need additional poles and a grain wall to support the grain force in a pole building. Hire an engineer to complete a structural analysis, or have a contractor follow exactly the building company recommendations to prevent a structural failure. Before placing grain in a building previously used for grain storage, look for anything out of alignment, such as wall bowing and distortions in the roofline. Bowing or bending indicates the load on the building exceeded the load for which it was designed and built. This weakens the structure. Also examine connections for separation or movement and add a gusset or splice to reinforce the connection if necessary. Storing in Bags Storing grain in poly bags is a good option, but it does not prevent insect infestations or mold growth in damp grain. Place grain in the bag at recommended storage moisture contents based on grain and outdoor temperatures during the potential storage period. Heating will occur if the grain exceeds a safe storage moisture content and it cannot be aerated to control


How to store in bags:

• Monitor the bags for damage. Wildlife can puncture the bags, allowing moisture in, which can lead to spoilage and the grain smell being released, which attracts more wildlife. • Monitor the grain temperature at several places in the bags. • Never enter a grain bag because it is a suffocation hazard. If unloading the bag with a pneumatic grain conveyor, the suction can “shrink wrap” a person. Grain Piles Grain frequently is stored short term in outdoor piles. However, precipitation is a severe problem for uncovered grain because grain is very porous. A one inch rain will increase the moisture content of a one foot layer of corn by nine percentage points. This typically leads to the loss of at least a couple of feet of grain on the pile surface, which is a huge loss. For example, a cone-shaped pile 25 feet high contains approximately 59,000 bushels of grain. Losing just one foot of grain on the surface is a loss of about 13 percent of the grain, or $39,000 if the grain value is $4 per bushel and $78,000 at $8 per bushel. Aeration and wind blowing on the pile will not dry wet grain adequately to prevent spoilage. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

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Use a cover to prevent water infiltration. Drainage is critically important in grain storage. About 25,000 gallons of water will run off an area about 100 by 400 feet during a one inch rain. This water must flow away from the grain and the area next to it. When determining a location for a pile, examine the entire area to assure that flooding will not occur during heavy rains. Prepare the outdoor ground surface where grain will be piled to limit soil moisture from reaching the grain. The storage floor should be higher than the surrounding ground to minimize moisture transfer from the soil into the grain. Make sure the ground surface is crowned so moisture drains away rather than creating a wet pocket that leads to grain deterioration. Also look for these issues: • Anything out of alignment in a bunker or bulkhead wall - Any twisting, flexing or bending of a structural member may lead to a failure. • Separation or movement in connections • Material deterioration Grain Covers A combination of restraining straps and suction from the aeration system holds grain covers in place. Provide adequate airflow through the grain to control grain temperature. Place perforated ducts on the grain under the cover to provide a controlled air intake for the aeration system and airflow near the cover to minimize condensation problems under the cover. Place properly sized and spaced ducts under the pile on the ground to pull air through the grain. Some storage options use a perforated wall for the air inlet. Minimize the amount of open area so the air does not “short-circuit” to the fan. Wind velocity determines the amount of suction you need to hold the cover down. Some control systems measure wind velocity and start fans based on the wind speed. Backup power can hold the cover down during power outages. Make sure the backup power starts when needed. Cooling Stored Grain Cool grain with aeration to extend the allowable storage

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time and reduce the potential for insect infestation. Temperatures below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit reduce insect reproduction. Insects are dormant below about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and extended exposure to temperatures below about 30 degrees Fahrenheit can kill insects. Cooling grain as outdoor temperatures cool will reduce moisture migration and the condensation potential near the top of the grain pile. Also, the grain should be cooled because moisture content and temperature affect the rate of mold growth and grain deterioration. The allowable storage time approximately doubles with each 10-degree reduction in grain temperature. Grain should be cooled whenever the average outdoor temperature is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the grain. Cool it to near or below 30 degrees for winter storage in northern states and near or below 40 degrees in southern states. Aeration ducts need to have perforations sized and spaced correctly for air to enter and exit the ducts uniformly and obtain the desired airflow through the grain. The maximum spacing for aeration ducts is equal to the grain depth to achieve acceptable airflow uniformity. Storing Grain for Another Year Allowable storage time is cumulative, so consider the amount of storage life remaining when deciding if you can store the grain longer. For example, if corn were stored at 14 percent moisture and 60 degrees for two months (November-December), then cooled to 40 degrees for four months (January-April), then stored through the summer months (May-August) at 70 degrees, approximately 90 percent of the storage life has been used. That means very little expected allowable storage life remains if the grain is going to be stored for another year. Grain going into storage for a second year needs to have been kept cool and dry during the first year and have few broken or cracked kernels. For more information, contact your local Extension office or do an online search for NDSU grain drying and storage. consider-pros-cons-of-alternative-grain-storage-methods


ETHANOL, CORN PROMOTED AT RED RIVER VALLEY SPEEDWAY The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) held an ethanol promotional night at the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo on June 22. Staff and board members handed out promotional items prior to the races and encouraged fans to fuel their vehicles with a higher blend of ethanol. The ND Corn truck served as the pace vehicle and took a few laps around the track. Board members and staff cheered on the E85 Racing car, driven by Jason Strand, a North Dakota farmer and proponent of ethanol. Race night was a great way to promote ethanol and corn while enjoying an evening of racing! (Right) Jason Strand of E85 Racing meets ND Corn mascot Bob the Cob. Strand fuels his race car with ethanol.

NDCGA Board of Directors

District 1: Andrew Mauch, Mooreton District 1: Andrew Braaten, Barney District 2: Randy Melvin, Buffalo (President) District 2: Tim Kozojed, Hillsboro District 3: Andrew Torkelson, Grafton District 3: Paul Thomas, Velva (Vice President) District 4: Robert Hanson, Wimbledon (Secretary) District 4: Ryan Wanzek, Jamestown District 5: Justin Halvorson, Sheldon District 5: Kyle Speich, Milnor District 6: Drew Courtney, Oakes District 6: Bart Schott, Kulm District 7: Anthony Mock, Kintyre District 7: Clark Price, Hensler Director-at-large: Kevin Skunes, Arthur Director-at-large: Larry Hoffmann, Wheatland

NDCGA Industry Directors

Tom Cook: Cargill, Wahpeton Kyle Gerner: Gerner Ag, Oakes Ryan Bohnsack: American Federal Bank, Fargo Jeff Triebold: Prairieland Ag, Fargo


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |


In December of 2017, Congress passed and the President signed new tax legislation that made significant changes to the gift and estate tax law. The new law doubled the gift and estate tax exemption, so in 2018 a person can give away $11,180,000.00 during life or at death without paying any gift or estate tax. The new law also maintained estate tax portability for married couples so that a surviving spouse can inherit their deceased spouse’s unused exemption. This result in a 2018 exemption of $22,360,000.00 for married couples. The exemption will increase with inflation until the end of 2025 when it will revert back to $5 million (plus inflation from 2010). Because of the potential reversion to $5 million at the end of 2025, many are wondering what type of planning they should do now. Some want to take advantage of the increased exemption while it is available it by making gifts, and others just aren’t sure what they should do. If you previously used your gift and estate tax exemption, you now have an additional $5 million exemption to use before the end of 2025. However, before making a gift, you should consider all of the tax effects of making such a gift. For many, estate taxes are no longer a problem because the size of their estate is below the federal estate tax exemption. For those people, it is important to understand the tax effects of a gift to the recipient.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

Generally, when a recipient receives property by inheritance or gift, they will not have to pay any tax as a result of the gift. However, if the recipient sells the property, the recipient most likely will be required to pay capital gains taxes on the difference between the recipient’s basis in the property and the amount the property sold for. The recipient’s basis in property received as a result of a gift is equal to the donor’s basis, and the donor’s basis is usually equal to what they paid for the property. On the other hand, the recipient’s basis in property received as an inheritance upon the death of the donor is stepped up to the fair market value of the property on the date of the donor’s death. Often times, the recipient will have a low basis in property received by gift because it was purchased by the donor a long time ago when the property was worth less than it is on the date of the gift. Because the recipient has a low basis in the property received by gift, the recipient will likely pay more capital gains tax. However, if the recipient receives property by inheritance, they have a new basis equal to the fair market value of the property on the donor’s date of death which may be higher, so the recipient will likely pay less capital gains taxes. Therefore, the best tax result may be for the recipient to receive property by inheritance as opposed to a gift. Of course, there are factors one may consider beside the tax consequences of a gift, especially if it is unlikely that the property may not be sold during the recipient’s life time. Now might a good time to make gifts during your life while we have increased estate tax exemptions. However, before you make any significant gifts, consider all of the tax effects to the donor and to the recipient of such a gift.

Kyle Barlow is an attorney with Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., in Fargo, North Dakota, who focuses on estate and succession planning. If you would like to speak to Kyle regarding a transition plan for your farm you can contact him at 701.237.8213 or


SOIL AND WATER MANAGEMENT FOR CORN PRODUCTION UNDER FARGO CLAY By Amitava Chatterjee and Aaron Daigh, NDSU Department of Soil Science Conservation tillage, rotation and soil water management are key components for corn production in smectitic Fargo clay soil. Installing subsurface drainage is common practice in water logged area which has potential to cause yield loss. Integration of subsurface drainage and reduced tillage (no-till or strip till) can improve soil health and remove excess water leading to increased corn production.

Extent of subsurface drainage benefit depends on its design, depth of tile and spacing in between drain. We are conducting an on-farm long-term experiment to determine the effects of (i) subsurface drainage, crop rotation and tillage interactions and (ii) subsurface drain depth and CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

Figure 1. Effect of drainage [surface-drained (Check), controlled drainage (CD) and conventional drainage (OT)], rotation [Corn soybean (CS) and continuous corn (CC)] and tillage practices; chisel (CH), no-till (NT), and strip-till (ST) on corn yield (Bu/ac) during 2017 growing season.


Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Figure 2. Effect of different subsurface drain spacing (30, 40 and 50 ft) and placement depth (3 and 4 ft) combinations on corn yield during 2017 growing season.

spacing combinations on corn production. This experiment is located at Ron Holiday farm near Casselton, ND. For the first objective, three tillage practices, (i) chisel (CH), (ii) strip-tillage (ST), and (iii) no-tillage, are compared for corn production under two different crop rotation (corn-soybean and continuous corn) on only surfacedrained condition (check), controlled drainage (CD) and conventional drained (OT) conditions. Corn yield in the 2017 growing season is presented in Figure 1. The highest corn yield was observed with chisel plough under check (surface drainage) with corn soybean rotation; whereas, lowest yield was observed under convention drainage, continuous corn and chisel plough. The outcome indicate performance depends on the growing weather condition, 2017 was dry year with only 217 mm of rainfall which is very low when compared with 30-year average of 397 mm during the same growing season.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

For the second objective, combinations of three subsurface drain spacing, 30, 40, and 50 feet and two depths, three feet and four feet, are evaluated for corn production (figure 2). During 2017, the highest corn yield of 187.1 Bu/ac was found with 50 feet drain spacing at three feet depth (50_3) and the lowest yield of 166.4 Bu/ac were found under 30 feet drain spacing at three feet depth (30_3).


NDCUC CONTRIBUTES TO AG EXHIBIT AT THE RED RIVER ZOO A modern agriculture exhibit was recently installed at the Red River Zoo in Fargo, N.D. A grand opening for the exhibit was held during Agriculture Adventure Day on July 14. The exhibit is sponsored by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) in partnership with the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC), North Dakota State University Extension Soil Health and the Red River Zoo. The new exhibit is an interactive, educational space that highlights crop production, precision agriculture, conservation, renewable fuels, exports and end-use products. Highlights of the exhibit include: • A combine cab for kids to sit in and pretend to harvest crops • Ethanol and biodiesel pumps for kids to pretend that they’re fueling up their car or pickup • A Plinko game that shows visitors where corn and soybeans go after harvest

• A five-level soil climber demonstrating different layers of soil • Flip panels about food and industrial products made from corn and soybeans • Tables that depict farm fields and include toy tractors to play with • Information throughout the exhibit for kids and adults to learn more about agriculture One of the spaces in the new exhibit is a replica of a farmer’s shop. This area provides a space for activities and highlights the importance of family legacy on the farm. This area also shows different careers in agriculture with the tools used on the job. Some tools are a farmer’s pliers, a researcher’s microscope, an agronomist’s drone, a crop consultant’s computer and an Extension agent’s spade. This permanent exhibit will be open year-round and is anticipated to reach over 150,000 zoo visitors. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

A child pretends to fuel her vehicle with a ethanol blended fuel at the agriculture exhibit at the Red River Zoo.


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Besides the grand opening of the new exhibit, Agriculture Adventure Day included live entertainment by Penny and Pals, a free lunch prepared by NDSU’s BBQ Bootcamp, and hands-on activities for kids to learn about agriculture. Some of the activities included digging for worms in soil, crop sensory bins, face painting, identifying crops grown in the field plot, a soil health tunnel, and a corn and soybean seed necklace activity. Scott German, secretary of the NDCUC, was one of the farmers that volunteered at the event. He enjoyed talking to kids and adults about the crops that were growing in the field plot. “The event was a great chance to talk with zoo visitors and tell them a little bit about how we grow food on our farms. It was fun to show kids the crops that were growing and help them connect that crop to the food they eat.”

Children play with farm equipment on tables in the modern agriculture exhibit at the Red River Zoo.

Photo by Abbey Wick

Scott German, NDCUC secretary, shows visitors the crops growing during Agriculture Adventure Day at the Red River Zoo.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


ND CORN CLASSIC HELD AT MAPLE RIVER GOLF CLUB The 16th annual ND Corn Classic golf tournament was a fundraising success for the North Dakota Corn Growers Association. The ND Corn Classic was held Tuesday, August 14 at the Maple River Golf Club in Mapleton, N.D. There were about 130 golfing participants and 30 sponsors that donated supper, lunch and hole sponsorships. Prizes were given for first and second place teams. Winning first prize was Team Mitchell from Channel Seed with a score of 57. Team Otis from Ellingson Drainage was awarded second place with a score of 58. Prizes were also given for the Closest to Pin (Jim Mikkelson), Longest Drive (Missy Tabery), and Longest Putt (Cody Flaten) contests. Eleven golfers won prizes for making the putt in the putting contest. The NDCGA thanks our sponsors, members, board members, Maple River Golf Course staff and golfers for their support and making this event a huge success!

Team Sletto from AgCountry Farm Credit Services was one of the teams that participated in the ND Corn Classic.

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PALMER AMARANTH CONFIRMED IN N.D. By Tom Peters and Brian Jenks, North Dakota State University Palmer amaranth, a very aggressive weed, has been found in North Dakota for the first time. Laboratory analysis has confirmed that a plant found in a row-crop field in McIntosh County in southcentral North Dakota is Palmer amaranth. “A diligent farmer was scouting his field and doing some hand-weeding when he came across plants that looked unusual and wondered if they could be Palmer amaranth,” says North Dakota State University weed scientist Brian Jenks. The farmer pulled the plants to keep them from going to seed. He showed the plants to a local agronomist, who contacted NDSU weed specialists for confirmation. “We commend this farmer for being actively aware of the weeds in his field,” Jenks adds. “This is the type of awareness and diligence needed to keep this weed from having any impact in the state.” Palmer amaranth, the number one weed problem in the U.S., is a type of pigweed that originated in the desert region of the southwestern U.S. (New Mexico and Arizona) and northern Mexico, then spread to the Mississippi Delta before invading Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota, as well as other states. The plant in McIntosh County likely came from seeds dropped by migratory birds, according to NDSU Extension sugar beet agronomist Tom Peters. Palmer amaranth poses a serious threat to North Dakota crops because it can grow two to three inches per day in optimum conditions and reach a height of six to eight feet. A single plant can produce up to 1 million seeds. Especially heavy infestations have reduced yield up to 79 percent in soybeans and 91 percent in corn. Palmer amaranth is extremely hard to control because it is prone to being resistant to several herbicides. Applying herbicides before the weed emerges is more effective than trying to control it with herbicides after it has started growing, Peters says.

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Unlike other annual weeds that need to be controlled only through early summer, Palmer amaranth emerges throughout the growing season, notes Jenks. Peters and Jenks say the best way to keep Palmer amaranth from spreading is to look for it. Identifying Palmer amaranth can be difficult because it resembles redroot pigweed, Powell amaranth and waterhemp. One of the best ways to distinguish Palmer amaranth from the other weeds is its leaf stem, or petiole, Peters says. Palmer amaranth’s petiole is as long as or longer than the leaf blade. Another clue is Palmer amaranth’s distinctive, long, snaky seed heads. The seed heads can grow up to two feet long. Visit NDSU Extension’s Palmer amaranth website at https:// to learn more about the weed and how to identify it. Farm equipment, wildlife, water and wind are among the ways Palmer amaranth seeds can spread. In other states, seeds also have been found in native seed mixes used for pollinator or wildlife habitats and in potting soil and hay. A lot of donated hay came into North Dakota in 2017 because of the severe drought the state was experiencing, so producers need to be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth and other weeds, Jenks and Peters say. Gardeners also need to keep in mind that the potting soil they buy in North Dakota likely was bagged elsewhere and it may contain contaminants such as Palmer amaranth seeds, Peters adds. Anyone who sees a plant that may be Palmer amaranth should contact a local NDSU Extension agent as soon as possible. Visit for contact information. “This weed is a game changer and will be controlled only by a zero-tolerance policy,” Jenks says. palmer-amaranth-confirmed-in-n-d/view


THOMAS AN ADVOCATE FOR NORTH DAKOTA AGRICULTURE By Dan Lemke, Spirited Communications Growing up on the family farm near Velva, Paul Thomas received an early introduction to North Dakota agriculture. It made a lasting impression. Thomas is the fourth generation of his family to make a living off the land.

Thomas says ethanol advocates have fought for the Renewable Fuel Standard but have also had to deal with small refinery waivers taking away bushels from the renewable fuel obligations. He also says efforts to receive a waiver so E15 can be sold year-round have not yet been fruitful.

“My great grandfather homesteaded the farm,” Thomas says, “so growing up on the farm, I can say I’ve been farming my whole life.”

“The National Corn Growers have certainly been working overtime on that front and it’s necessary,” Thomas says. “We absolutely have to do it. From a grower’s standpoint I understand that, but it does get a little bit frustrating that we’re fighting to keep what we’ve got rather than using our time and energy trying to move things forward.”

After high school, Thomas attended North Dakota State University (NDSU), earning a degree in agricultural economics. Following graduation, Thomas worked in ag retail, then worked for several North Dakota commodity groups. All the while he was working those other jobs, farming was a big part of the picture.

Thomas says because the government is reevaluating the corporate average fuel economy or CAFE standards, ethanol is a natural fit for raising octane levels, thus creating better gas mileage.

“I bought some land while I was in college, so I’ve been part-time farming for basically all of my life,” Thomas says. “My wife and I have been doing this full-time now for 15 years.”

“Certainly, there are other products that can also raise the octane, but we believe, and most in the industry believe, that ethanol is the best for the environment and it’s also probably the cheapest way to raise octane as well, so it’s a win-win,” Thomas says. “We see that as the next step.”

Thomas, his wife Karen, and sons Jonathan and Michael and a neighbor operate Thomas Grain Farms, a diverse operation that encompasses about 5,500 acres. This year Thomas planted corn, soybeans, chickpeas, yellow peas, wheat, barley, canola and oats. “We grow a variety of crops. Part of the justification for that is trying maximize and spread out the use of our equipment for longer periods of time and also to maximize our labor during the harvest season,” Thomas says. Ag Advocacy In addition to operating his farm, in July, Thomas became vice president of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association. He also serves on the National Corn Growers Association ethanol action team, which is dealing with challenges to the industry. “If we look back over the last year, we as a team and we as growers were looking at how we grow demand, how we continue to grow this industry, but it’s turned into constantly being on the defense,” Thomas says.


Making Connections In late June, Thomas hosted a group of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives who traveled to North Dakota as part of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association’s E-Tour. The tour brings EPA employees charged with writing regulations and pesticide labels to North Dakota farms to meet growers, learn more about modern agriculture and to find out how EPA actions can impact farmers. Thomas described his farming operation to the group, highlighted his planting practices and demonstrated how farmers store grain. He says having EPA employees on the farm is beneficial for both agency representatives and farmers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17

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The Thomas family, Michael, Karen, Paul and Jonathan, hosted Environmental Protection Agency representatives on their farm as part of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association's E-Tour in June.

“Being out here, looking at a grain bin, seeing and understanding how we handle grains or why certain farmers need to use insecticides, and doing that face-toface rather than us having to go to Washington D.C., to try to explain this works a lot better,” Thomas contends. “It’s hard to create a picture of what a field pest problem looks like or help someone understand why you need these additional tools in a field. Whenever you have that oneon-one personal contact and can make a relationship, it’s going to carry more weight than just talking to someone that you don’t know.” The EPA representatives from Washington, D.C., and Denver spent nearly a week traveling across North Dakota, visiting farms, processing facilities and research sites. “I truly believe from their questioning that they’re really trying to learn more. They’re not just here to get out of Washington, D.C., for a while, I think they’re really here

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because they want to learn and understand how their job affects the food we eat and other people’s lives,” Thomas says. Forward Focused As the fourth generation to operate his family’s business, Thomas has his eyes on the next generation, too. His oldest son Jonathan will attend NDSU this fall and could one day become the fifth generation to work the family farm. Because most farmers want to leave a lasting legacy, Thomas made the decision to farm no-till. He also incorporates cover crops to manage moisture, erosion and soil health. “Every farmer has the goal of leaving the land better for the next generation,” Thomas says. “Everyone does it a little differently. For me, this is the right thing.”


NDCGA EXHIBITS AT BIG IRON FARM SHOW North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) staff and board members spent September 11-13 at the Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo, N.D.

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

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NDCGA staff and board members popped about 200 pounds of popcorn to give to visitors while also recruiting new members to join NDCGA. Both current and new members of NDCGA received a gift for visiting the booth. The Big Iron Farm Show celebrated its 38th year in 2018. An estimated 60,000 people from across the U.S. and several countries attended. Attendees were able to connect with peers, attend training sessions and demonstrations while enjoying the trade show with more than 900 exhibit booths.

NDCGA TO AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) will offer (10) $1,000 scholarship to senior high school graduates and college students that are members of NDCGA. Applicants can register to be a member at www. NDCGA board members will choose up to 10 applicants as a scholarship recipient. Typically, one winner from each of the seven grower districts plus three overall winners from all applications will be chosen. Applicants can only receive the scholarship once. Scholarships will be rated on the following: • • • • • •

Academic transcript Resume Activity participation Career plans Letters of Recommendation NDCGA membership

Scholarship applications are available on our website. Applications must be postmarked by January 4, 2019, to the ND Corn Growers office. Good luck to all applicants!


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FALL OUTLOOK John Flaa District Sales Manager Proseed It’s the last week in August as I write this article. I think the deadline to submit the article is today. Procrastination isn’t that bad. Archery season opens tomorrow and I haven’t found my camo yet either. It adds to the excitement of Opening Day. In my neck of the woods, Abercrombie, N.D., the fall outlook for corn yields is really good, much better than the fall outlook for pheasants. But you just never know until you actually get out there. As always, in our great state, things varied a lot. Around here, we had fairly normal planting dates. Not much going on until the end of April and wrapping stuff up the last week in May. Too dry was a common theme early, especially in the heavy dirt. Enough rains to get things going if you were lucky and wow, what a summer. The corn really grew fast under little stress.

I’m anxious to get in the pickup and chase around riding combines and watching plots come off. Once the corn crop starts coming off we’ll have a better idea of how that pheasant population looks in southeast ND. There is bound to be some good spots out there. Have a fun and safe harvest.



We all know the many different factors to make corn yields huge: genetics, weed control, fertility, population, Mother Nature, bla, bla. Lack of stress from shin high to pre tassel really helped around here this year. Then to top it off, moderate temps through most of pollination. We really had a nice June and July. So at the last week in August, things look good, but we have a couple weeks to fill yet before the corn is made. Looking at research plots during a year like this is quite interesting. Where stands are good and moisture was adequate, we’ll see what really has big yield potential. Where we started off good and then the faucet shut off, the same hybrids will probably respond differently than the first scenario. Useful information? I think it can be. Hybrids that stay toward the top in both scenarios are pretty cool and I look for them.

Soybeans are pretty fun lately, with all the new herbicide platforms that are here or pending. Sometimes it seems that corn isn’t as flashy and new and cool. But it is. Yield stability or consistency is Way Cool now compared to 15-20 years ago. Disease tolerance in corn hybrids, although not perfect, has changed a lot in just the last several years. Our corn lineup at Proseed is ever changing and changes quickly as well. Gone are the days of a hybrid having an eight to ten year life cycle. Heck, we think some hybrids are long in the tooth after three or four years. And sometimes they are. It’s been fun seeing that change and I’m excited for what’s next.

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On February 12, 2019, the second annual Northern Corn and Soybean Expo will be held at the FargoDome in Fargo, ND. Keynote speakers are Mark Mayfield and Chip Flory. Mayfield will emcee the event and present on Managing Change. Flory will present a keynote and do a live broadcast of his radio show, “After the Bell.� Local and national trade experts will participate in a panel discussion concerning trade and how it affects your operation. Breakout sessions will comprise the remainder of the Expo. Breakout session topics will include agronomy, water

management, trade, weather and more. The complete agenda will be released soon. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association and North Dakota Soybean Growers Association will be hosting a trade show of vendors at the event. Exhibitor information is available at The NDCUC and NDSC look forward to welcoming you at the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo on February 12. We hope you'll plan to attend this day of networking and education.

Photo by Betsy Armour Abbey Wick, (left), led a panel of agronomists, Mark Huso, Allie Marks and Lee Briese, at the 2018 Northern Corn and Soybean Expo.


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USE OF ENZYMES TO IMPROVE NUTRITIVE VALUE OF CORN DDGS AND SILAGE Submitted by Bryan Neville, NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center Feed accounts for 60 to 70 percent of total costs in most livestock enterprises, with energy as the major constituent of feed. Reducing feed cost is the primary driver for utilizing exogenous fibrolytic enzymes in livestock production. The high concentration of fiber, but low lignin, allows dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to partially replace grain in finishing diets. Although DDGS contain high proportions of digestible fiber, recent studies reported that ruminal digestion of neutral detergent fiber declined as dietary inclusion of DDGS level increased in corn DDGS-fed cattle or in wheat DDGS-fed cattle. Batch culture technique was used to screen and identify enzyme additives with potential of increasing fiber digestibility of corn DDGS and silage. The enzymes were then evaluated using in situ technique to measure effects on ruminal digestibility of DM using three ruminally cannulated steers. A backgrounding and finishing study were further conducted to evaluate the potential of exogenous enzymes to increase fiber digestibility of corn silage and DDGS. The backgrounding study was conducted utilizing 142 steer calves from multiple consignors. At the conclusion of the backgrounding study a finishing study followed in which pens of steers were reallocated to new treatments including a control and a single exogenous enzyme treatment. Based on the in vitro batch culture results, cellulase, protease and Aspergillus oryzae extract (increased in vitro dry matter digestibility of 7.7, 9.3 and 6.0 percent respectively compared to control) were selected for further evaluation using the in situ technique. Gas production reflects the generation of short-chain fatty acids and microbial mass which are utilized by the animal to meet their nutrient requirements. Compared with the control, all the enzyme treatments had higher dry matter digestibility in the in situ study. Consistent with the in vitro batch

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culture result, protease inclusion resulted in an increase of 9.9 percent ruminal dry matter digestibility (versus 9.3 percent for in vitro dry matter digestibility). Overall, these two techniques were utilized to identify an exogenous enzyme that can potentially increase dry matter and fiber digestibility of modified distillers grains in feedlot cattle. There were no differences in body weight, average daily gain, dry matter intake, or feed efficiency due to treatment in the backgrounding study. Likewise, no differences were observed in body weight, average daily gain, dry matter intake, or feed efficiency in the finishing study. It is interesting that while both in vitro and in situ digestibility was increased due to the use of exogenous enzymes no differences were found in either the finishing or backgrounding studies in animal performance. Certainly the limited amount of experimental power in the feeding studies may have influenced these findings. The combined results of the laboratory and production studies indicate that further research would be needed to understand the impacts of exogenous enzymes on feed efficiency.


NDCGA DELEGATION PARTICIPATES IN CORN CONGRESS In July, the North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) had several board members participate in the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Corn Congress and Action Team meetings in Washington, D.C. The NDCGA delegation met with Richard Fordyce, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator and Martin Barbe, Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator. In addition, they met with Senator Hoeven, Senator Heitkamp and Congressmen Cramer and congressional representatives from states without a strong corn presence to discuss issues affecting agriculture. The main topic of the week was trade. The message received by the NDCGA delegation was that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is very close to being completed, but negotiations with China will take time. Trade mitigation or compensation to farmers for trade losses in the Market Facilitation Program has now

been announced and implemented by USDA. NDCGA is very concerned that the corn payment rate of one cent per bushel will not cover their market losses. During the meeting with FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce, NDCGA focused on wetlands management. Several examples were provided to FSA where small wetland acres of 1/10th of an acre can result in a wetlands violation and refund of payments. Policy recommendations were provided to FSA for consideration. Support of the current Senate and House Farm Bills which includes provisions regarding minimal effect exemptions of wetlands. A suggestion to consider a reform of acceptable practices on expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts such as for tiling was provided. Regarding ARCCO in the farm bill, NDCGA supports the use of RMA CONTINUED ON PAGE 23

No thing holds more promise And when it comes from Peterson Farms Seed, it’s Grow your promise. Grow Peterson Farms Seed. backed with a promise from us: We will sell no seed we wouldn’t be happy to plant on our own farm. | 866.481.7333 North Dakota Corn Growers Association | 22

The North Dakota Corn Growers Association delegation met with N.D. congressional members during their time in Washington, D.C., for National Corn Growers Association's Corn Congress.

data with trend-adjusted yields over the use of National Agricultural Statistics Service data. NDCGA’s visit with RMA Administrator Martin Barbre emphasized the need to keep crop insurance as is with no cuts. However, the group expressed their concerns with the drop in the level of Prevented Planting coverage that producers can purchase. It was positively noted that the corn premium rating for crop insurance is completed by RMA every three years, with the three most recent years factored in and then folded into the last 20 years of experience. Lastly, NDCGA asked for the inclusion of Slope and Bowman counties for non-irrigated corn grain insurance. Meetings with the N.D. congressional delegation focused on trade. Senator Hoeven, Senator Heitkamp and Congressman Cramer have all been appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee. Senator Hoeven has

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

been meeting with the administration to discuss trade issues. Senator Heitkamp is very concerned about trade impacts on producers and has personally told her concerns to President Trump and U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. Congressman Cramer also focused on trade. He agrees with the Administration’s attempts to correct trade policies with China. Regarding the Farm Bill, the NDCGA delegation communicated the importance of raising the floor price for ARC-CO and keeping in Senator Thune’s provision allowing for two program elections of commodity programs – one in 2019, and another in 2021. The week of action team meetings and Corn Congress delegate discussions provided a basis to refine priorities for NCGA regarding the RFS, Trade and Farm Bill. NDCGA meetings with our congressional delegation and other governmental leaders were also successful by being able to express the needs of North Dakota farmers and ranchers.


DELEGATES TAKE PART IN U.S. GRAINS COUNCIL MEETING In July, the 58th Board of Delegates meeting of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) was held in Denver, Colorado. USGC develops export markets for U.S. corn, barley, grain sorghum crops and related products, including ethanol and distiller's dried grains (DDGS). USGC uses funds from state commodity checkoffs and accesses the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agriculture Services programs known as the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Program. The trade programs have resulted in longtime relationship building with trade partners from across the world with the emphasis of having access to the U.S. high value, quality corn and corn by-products. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) has four delegates. These delegates help determine priorities of the USGC to maximize crop prices for corn. NDCUC delegates include Terry Wehlander, DeLamere, N.D.; Scott German, Oakes, N.D.; Bart Schott, Kulm, N.D.; and Rob Hanson, Wimbledon, N.D. North Dakota Corn Growers Association board member and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Skunes, Arthur, N.D., also attended. NCGA and USGC work closely on issues related to trade and promotion of corn products. Attendees learned about current trade policies to assist them in finding common ground and successful agreements. The USGC operates seven advisory teams of delegates focused on key regions in the world Asia, Western Hemisphere, Middle East and Africa. USGC focuses on ethanol, trade policy, value-added products, innovation and sustainability. The USGC utilizes the priorities gathered from these meetings to guide the development of the USGC’s operational blueprint and strategic planning. Trade negotiations and the current status of trade agreements was the focus of discussion for all commodity groups at this meeting. USGC explained that 96 percent of the world’s population resides outside the U.S. and that demand growth has been relatively stagnant over time; however, markets in other countries have been growing exponentially year after year. New tariffs and political rhetoric have expanded trade challenges and the recent drop in commodity and livestock prices have brought great


concern across the U.S. Carla Hills, former U.S. trade representative from the former Bush Administration, stated that one-third of the U.S. total trade is with Canada and Mexico. Hills also indicated that the $12 billion in support by the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program is not a good substitute for a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Zhenglin Wei, counselor for Agricultural, Economic and Commercial Affairs for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, spoke at the meeting. Wei indicated that China is the largest market for agriculture in the world and that the U.S. is the largest developed agricultural producer in the world. Erich Kuss from the U.S. Agriculture Trade Office in Mexico, indicated that the message from Mexico is that NAFTA has worked for agriculture. He indicated that much of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico is due to the value of the currency, the Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar. He stated that over $25 billion in goods is generally imported from Mexico. Further, there is an emphasis to have NAFTA wrapped up with Mexico before Dec. 1, 2018, when the new Mexican president begins his term. USGC’s top priorities are to engage in all trade deals including NAFTA, Korean Free Trade Agreement, TransPacific Partnership and to engage with China on trade. The USGC would like to ensure the World Trade Organization remains a governing body which will settle trade disputes before it reaches the point of tariffs. On a final note, the USGC continues to work with the European Union on biotechnology and minimum residue levels which prevent the approval of new traits and the flow of agriculture products. USGC has a goal of exporting four billion gallons of ethanol by 2022. Major ethanol markets include Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan and Mexico. Currently the U.S. is on track to export over 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol in 2018. Ethanol exports continue to remain a top priority for the USGC, along with working through trade agreements and building partnerships with potential partners.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NCGA RECOGNIZES SENATOR HOEVEN WITH AWARD National Corn Growers Association President (NCGA) Kevin Skunes presented NCGA’s 2018 President’s Award to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress meeting in Washington D.C, to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture. Hoeven serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, playing a crucial role in crafting and passing a farm bill that provides farmers with the certainty they need to plan for the future, as well as new tools to manage risk with enhanced crop insurance.

2018 North Dakota Corn Acres Planted 2.9 million total Less than 10,000 10,001 – 30,000 30,001 – 60,000 60,001 – 100,000 100,001 – 200,000 200,001 – 285,000

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OUTREACH AT RED RIVER VALLEY FAIR, N.D. STATE FAIR The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) participated in two local fairs this summer, the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo, N.D., and the North Dakota State Fair in Minot, N.D. The Agriculture Education Center at the Red River Valley Fair (RRVF) is designed to educate all fairgoers about the region’s commodities and livestock. The theme of the center is “Farm to Fork” to show how animals and crops go from the field to the table. The NDCUC sponsors the Agriculture Education Center and displays an educational exhibit. This year, the NDCUC and the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC) led a corn and soybean seed necklace activity. This activity had visitors place a corn seed, soybean seed, and water beads

in a mini sealable bag. These bags were attached to string so it could be worn like a necklace. Visitors were encouraged to take care of the seeds in the necklace so they could grow their own corn and soybean plant. After a few days, the seeds begin to germinate from the water in the water beads and can be planted in soil. The NDCUC participated in the North Dakota State Fair’s (NDSF) S.T.E.A.M. Education program. This program for kids featured interactive classes on science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math to show how these topics are applied to everyday life. One day of the State Fair, the NDCUC and NDSC led agricultural activities with participants. The activities included the corn and soybean seed necklace, a corn bioplastic activity, and creating soybean lip balm.

Visitors at the Red River Valley Fair's Agriculture Education Center make a corn and soybean seed necklace.


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WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN! Eric Nelson Technical Agronomist Bayer Crop Science

As I visit with growers across the state I always ask their opinion of both corn and soybean crops in the area. Now that is a big geography spread, but even in more isolated areas there is no consensus about crop condition and potential performance. This begs the question as to why that may be. The first, most obvious, answer for crop variability is water. Now, when was that water important in each area? At this point we start to separate into different answers. We all want to have adequate water throughout the season for optimum yield potential, that is the table stakes. However, when was each area feeling more dry than another? Several areas had dry conditions at plant. This led to sporadic emergence patterns in many fields as the seed was not able to imbibe enough water to germinate and emerge in a timely manner. This was exacerbated when seed was planted too shallow or in fields with packed soils. Additionally, fields that were wet during spring tillage left cloddy soil conditions and poor seed to soil contact. Those fields needed a very timely rain after planting that many did not receive. Reduced stands and uneven emergence can affect yields if there are many runts still competing for nutrients and water and limiting ear flex in neighboring plants.

pollination, nice long grain fill period that did experience some transient drought conditions. This will be evidenced largely by tip-back on the ear as there was not enough water to let all kernels thrive. Much of the region has gotten some late season rains here the end of August/ early September. This rain is still beneficial to the crop. While some maturities in a geography may be near complete, those that still have a lot of green matter will continue to add test weight. We can’t add kernels now of course, but we can make the kernels we have heavier. It is easy to get discouraged as we consider the environment our crops encounter every year. If we make a list of all the adversity faced by corn and beans, it would be much longer than the list of good. I’ve always said that we need to be "forgetful optimists" to farm. While that still holds true, we also need to remember and learn how to adapt our practices to mitigate risk and increase yields. What are some of those learnings we need to consider as we plan for next year? Yield potential remains a top priority. You can affect yield to a much larger extent than you can affect the markets. Hybrid characteristics that manage stress, drought tolerance, speed of emergence/ early vigor to get the crop established quickly. Late season plant health/stalk quality also play a role here. In-season stress, plays a large role in stalk integrity during harvest, plants that stay the healthiest will stand the best. We need prioritize harvest order to avoid harvesting lodged corn. Given all the adversity faced, what was there to be excited about? Even though there was snow on the ground in April, we completed planting in a timely manner. Heat unit accumulation was above average leading to early pollination. No excessive heat during grain fill allowed us to fill as much as possible, with some tip-back of course. I am still optimistic about this crop and looking forward to a safe harvest.

Conditions during pollination were very good. Corn tasseled early, we were not excessively hot during

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NDCUC SUPPORTS FIFTH ANNUAL BANQUET IN A FIELD A perfect North Dakota summer evening served as an ideal backdrop for the fifth annual Banquet in a Field on August 7. This unique meet and greet event creates an opportunity for farmer volunteers to sit down with non-agricultural influencers to converse about sustainably grown food and farming. The 2018 event brought together approximately 125 guests and volunteers to the middle of Julie and Carl Peterson’s farm, located at Peterson Farms Seed near Harwood, North Dakota, where they were treated to a multi-course meal. The fare was prepared with 12 North Dakota crops, three meats, honey, and dairy products by local chefs and food-writers Tony and Sarah Nasello, together with NDSU Meat and Animal Science. Event staff included CommonGround volunteers and North Dakota FFA members from Kindred as servers. The purpose of the Banquet in a Field event is to create an opportunity for conversations about food, especially how it is raised or grown, which ultimately provides

an educational opportunity that eliminates fear or misinformation. The event is organized by CommonGround North Dakota, a group of farmer volunteers who work to bring clarity to discussions about food and farming. Of the 125 invited guests that were served, 100 are not involved in agriculture. The farmers and ranchers at the banquet openly fielded questions and discussion about food and their personal experience. Prior to the sit-down dinner, guests toured crop plots to learn more about each crop and tasted appetizers featuring the food grown in those fields. Throughout the meal, a panel of CommonGround North Dakota volunteers, led by Val Wagner, answered questions from guests. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council sponsors CommonGround North Dakota, and staff assist with planning the event. North Dakota Corn Growers Association President Randy Melvin and his wife Kristi attended the event to converse with guests about food and farming.

Photos by Betsy Armour


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NDCUC CONTINUES ETHANOL ADVOCACY AT AMERICAN COALITION FOR ETHANOL MEETING The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) held the 31st annual conference in Minneapolis with a discussion on the progress being made and work that remains to expand market access for ethanol in the U.S. and around the world. The conference allows those in the ethanol industry to catch up on the latest developments and have input on how to move forward. The conference addressed the importance of real-world retailer experience in developing markets for more ethanol. When station owners see other single store retailers offering E15 and flex fuels, they realize they haven’t heard the truth about the costs and risks of adding higher ethanol blends, most retailers trust the message more when it comes from other retailers. A presentation by Kristy Moore of KMoore Consulting discussed fuel quality and the happenings at the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM is an international standards organization that is a trusted source for technical standards for materials. Included in this session was a “Future Fuels” panel where Marty Ruikka of the ProExporter Network and John Eichberger of the Fuels Institute provided an overview of future demand for liquid fuels and electricity in the U.S. with emphasis on how ethanol can increase its share of the domestic marketplace based on high quality octane and low carbon qualities. Breakout sessions covering the latest in technology updates, strategic planning advice, and ways to make ethanol plants more profitable were held. These breakout sessions were tailored to ethanol plant boards of directors. Many of the sessions focused on ways ethanol plants can increase profitability and efficiency with new technology, coproducts and market opportunities. Diversification in plants is one way plants can obtain additional profits, Saola Energy LLC presented on ways to enhance corn oil to create renewable diesel and Fluid Quip Process Technologies focused on the global market demand for protein. A leading expert in low carbon fuel markets, EcoEngineers, shared their insight into developing a successful low carbon strategy to maximize the opportunity created by these markets.

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A popular panel at the conference is the retailer panel where conference attendees learn more about how their product is being marketed to consumers at the pump. American Freedom Energy owner Glenn Badenhop and JETZ Convenience Center owner Bob O’Connor shared their experiences and ideas about what ways the ethanol industry can help retailers market E15 and higher blends and how they view the future of biofuels. During the conference ACE announced the official release of a White Paper entitled “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol.” The White Paper was highlighted during a discussion on updates to lifecycle modeling and opportunities on the horizon for ethanol as a low carbon fuel. Brendan Jordan, vice president of the Great Plains Institute, “agrees that there is huge opportunity for existing corn ethanol plants to lower their carbon footprint through innovative technology and updated lifecycle modeling. We’re just beginning to see the potential for environment improvements through carbon capture and storage, soil carbon and agronomy and plant efficiencies.” The ACE White Paper makes an important contribution toward making progress on these goals. Congratulations to Anthony Mock, North Dakota Corn Growers Association board member from Kintyre, N.D., who was elected to the ACE Board of Directors during the conference. He will be a great addition to the board and will represent North Dakota’s ethanol industry effectively. The conference finished with a panel that explored the impact of current trade negotiations and tariff wars on the global market for corn and ethanol. Overall global demand for U.S. ethanol continues to grow driven by mandates, and consumption is outpacing production which indicates that ethanol markets will continue to grow.


NORTH DAKOTA CORN COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS 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

NORTH DAKOTA CORN COUNCIL COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES Corn Council District 1 Richland - Arnie Anderson Corn Council District 2 Cass - Patrick Skunes Steele - Jason Rayner Traill - Steve Doeden Corn Council District 3 Benson - Randy Simon Burke - Bryan Ankenbauer Cavalier - Mike Muhs Divide - Derik Pulvermacher Grand Forks - Greg Amundson McHenry - Jason Schiele Mountrail - Cliff Tollefson Nelson - David Steffan Pembina - William Wagner Pierce - Nick Schmaltz Ramsey - Paul Becker Renville - Bruce Teubner Ward - Gary Neshem Corn Council District 4 Barnes - Mike Clemens Eddy - Bill Smith Foster - Tysen Rosenau Griggs - Mark Ressler


Corn Council District 5 Ransom - Justin Halvorson Sargent - Terry Wehlander Corn Council District 6 Dickey - Scott German LaMoure - Dennis Feiken Corn Council District 7 Adams - Jordan Christman Bowman - Tony Pierce Burleigh - Lance Hagen Dunn - Robert Ferebee Emmons - Alex Deis Golden Valley - Steve Zook Grant - Cody VandenBurg Hettinger - Darwyn Mayer Kidder - James Cusey Logan - Dennis Erbele McIntosh - Anthony Neu McKenzie - CJ Thorne McLean - Paul Anderson Mercer - Riley Schriefer Morton - Elwood Barth Oliver - Clark Price Sioux - Jarrod Becker Slope - Ryan Stroh Stark - Duane Zent Wells - Richard Lies

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NDCGA AND NCGA SEEKING PHOTO ENTRIES We are now accepting entries for the 2019 ND Corn Photo Contest! Although not required, we request photos be taken by camera with a high resolution, rather than cell phones.

The National Corn Growers Association is also accepting photos for their annual Fields of Corn photo contest. The contest seeks high resolution photos to help tell the story of farming field corn.


Photos can be entered in seven categories: Conservation, Corn, Growing Field Corn, The Farm Family Lifestyle, Farming Challenges, Scenery/Landscapes, and True Grit.

• Photographs must be taken in North Dakota. • Photos must depict the corn industry. • Photographs must be taken by an amateur. Photographs must be emailed to by January 4, 2019. Please include your full name and phone number so that we may contact you if you’re chosen a winner.

Three winners will be chosen in each category, while the three highest ranked photos in Facebook "likes" will receives prizes in the Most Popular category. First place in each category will vie for the Grand Prize title. Photos can be submitted at until November 30. Winners will be announced in January 2019.

Lyle Heinle, Tower City, ND, entered the winning photo in the ND Corn Photo Contest in 2018.

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September/October 2018 Corn Talk Newsletter  

September/October 2018 Corn Talk Newsletter

September/October 2018 Corn Talk Newsletter  

September/October 2018 Corn Talk Newsletter


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