Page 1

CORN TALK Spring 2020

A publication for North Dakota corn producers












Katherine Plessner of Verona, ND submitted this photo to the 2020 NDCGA Photo Contest. The photo won first place. Congratulations to Katherine!








Corn Talk is published four times a year by the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, 4852 Rocking Horse Cirlce S, Fargo, ND 58104. To update subscription information, please call (701) 566-9322 or email

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |


Randy Melvin President North Dakota Corn Growers Association

I am writing my final article to you as the North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) president. I have served as president for the past two years and I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate on behalf of North Dakota’s corn farmers. Being involved is more important now more than ever. The NDCGA is a farmer led, membership driven organization focusing on policy that impacts North Dakota corn producers. When you became a member of NDCGA you also become a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Your future as a corn producer is influenced by consumer opinion, regulatory guidelines and government programs. NDCGA ensures that your voice is heard when decisions are being made that impact your farm. On page 31 you will find a membership application. Please consider joining hundreds of your fellow corn farmers in creating an even stronger future for corn production in North Dakota. NDCGA is currently focused on several issues, one being the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+), specifically the quality loss provision. NDCGA has also monitored the progress of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) since the beginning and I will provide an update of that progress below.

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

WHIP+ With the challenging harvest season and quality issues around the state, NDCGA has been in constant communication with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) regarding the quality loss portion of WHIP+. WHIP+ provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from wildfires, hurricanes and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. In June 2019, more than $3 billion was made available through a disaster relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump. In December 2019, Congress passed and President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 that provides an additional $1.5 billion for the continuation of disaster assistance program delivery. This Appropriations bill expanded WHIP+ to include assistance for crop quality loss. However, providing this assistance for quality loss is complicated. In order to help producers as best they can, the FSA is gathering data and input from producers and stakeholders regarding the extent and types of quality loss nationwide. It is important to have this data in order to move forward and administer the quality loss assistance for producers. The FSA will open signup for WHIP+ on March 23, 2020 for eligible producers. USMCA Canada has now ratified the USMCA. Canadian Governor General Julie Payette gave royal assent to the USMCA, making Canada the last country to ratify the trade deal. As long as the implementation procedures go smoothly, USMCA can go into effect as early as June 1, 2020. While last year’s harvest season may not be completed for some, NDCGA is doing everything we can to provide assistance to producers around the state. My hope is that 2020 will improve with planting season coming around the corner.


A LETTER FROM THE NDCUC PRESIDENT grain is moving to our foreign customers. Terry Wehlander Chairman North Dakota Corn Utilization Council

The weather is warming and the snow is melting across the state, bringing feelings of excitement as we work to prepare for the spring planting season. However, life as we know it will be different for the foreseeable future as we all take necessary steps to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our family, friends and neighbors. The impact of these actions is putting every American in a tough situation: Those in healthcare are at risk as they serve on the front lines, people are losing their jobs with customers staying home, and many are isolated from their loved ones because the chance of infection is too great. While I know us farmers will have our fair share of struggles in the coming months, it is important to band together and keep a high level of empathy for others. I would also like to stress the importance of keeping open lines of communications with our loved ones during this ordeal - you never know who is struggling. In the meantime, I want to stress the fact that the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) is continuing to work on your behalf. Stopping the spread of this virus will be another factor out of our control that will impact the farm economy. NDCUC is working with partners like the U.S. Grains Council to strengthen our export markets while corn demand softens at home. We have seen increasing demand for DDGS out of China very recently, which is a great sign for their recovery and our market potential. I am assured that our ports are fully operational and


As industry stakeholders and international buyers make decisions about purchase contracts and processing needs for corn for feed, food or industrial use, corn quality information becomes critical. On page 6, you will find an article about a recent U.S. Grains Council Crop Quality Seminar in Taiwan where I was able to give a farmers perspective for Taiwanese buyers. During the mission, the USGC delegation met with the lead officials on agricultural issues at the American Institute in Taiwan. The Council works closely with U.S. government officials on the ground in order to maintain and expand market access. Partnerships with the North Dakota Livestock Alliance (NDLA), the U.S.A. Poultry and Egg Export Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation are also crucial to increasing corn demand and exports through livestock locally, nationally and globally. We know that there is a shortage of animal protein in the world and the U.S. is well positioned to meet this demand. Building demand for ethanol and its co-products will also remain a major focus for us through programs like the Unleaded88 Expansion Program. Additionally, continued checkoff supported research has been uniquely involved in the health and support of our healthcare professionals. NDCUC has partnered with Dr. Chald Ulven at North Dakota State University to produce corn starch based polylactic acid for 3D printed face masks. These masks are currently being tested at our local hospitals. It is easy to overload on the endless information related to COVID-19, and of course some sources are better than others. It is important to stay connected to the experts, mainly the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Dakota Department of Health. Please take the necessary action to keep you and your family safe as we work together to slow down the spread of this virus. While the unknown of what is to come can be deeply concerning, I take comfort in knowing we are up to the challenge.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NEW CORN OIL-BASED MONOMER SYNTHESIS FOR LATEX APPLICATIONS IN COATINGS AND PAINTS By Andriy Voronov, Coatings and Polymeric Materials, North Dakota State University The corn oil-based monomer (CBM) was synthesized using one-step transesterification reaction of corn oil with N-hydroxyethyl acrylamide (HEAA) in the presence of the catalytic amount of NaOH. 150 g of crude corn oil was mixed with 115 g of HEAA in the tetrahydrofuran media at 40oC. 1.5 g of milled NaOH granules was added to the reaction media and the transesterification was carried out for 4 h.

testing, the glass transition temperature of the polymer was determined at -86oC. Using miniemulsion polymerization, the stable CBM-based latexes were synthesized with the latex particle size in the range between 50 and 130 nm. The resulted CBM-based latexes are water-repellent and possess plasticizing properties, thus, can be applied to improve its material flexibility and/or hydrophobicity (water resistance).

The resulted monomer mixture was purified using brine solution, then filtered and evaporated under vacuum conditions. The yield of the reaction is close to 93%. The obtained CBM was characterized using FTIR and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The CBM has limited aqueous solubility due to highly hydrophobic nature.

As proof of concept, films from protein and 5-10 % of CBM-based latex were formed by mixing and sonicating the protein dispersion with different amounts of latex. The resulted films are flexible and exhibit high water contact angle (WCA), confirming hydrophobic nature of the films.

Chemical Structure of CBM

Above: Chemical structure of corn oil-based monomer Left: Corn Oil-Based Monomer (CBM) - based latex Below: Protein-Latex film

The polymerizability of CBM was established using free radical polymerization in toluene initiated by thermal initiator AIBN at 75oC. The resulted CBM-based polymer has the number-average molecular weight – 16,500g/mol. Using Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


U.S. FARMERS, USGC STAFF SHARE INSIGHTS DURING CROP QUALITY SEMINARS As industry stakeholders and international buyers make decisions about purchase contracts and processing needs for corn for feed, food or industrial use, corn quality information becomes critical. The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC’s) annual crop quality report and presentations by U.S. farmers, including from North Dakota, provide transparency about crop conditions and consistently reinforce that the United States is the world’s most reliable supplier of good quality corn. The 2019/2020 Corn Harvest Quality Report is the ninth in a series that offers a view of corn quality as it comes off the field and is prepared for export. It provides valuable information about the quality of U.S. corn to the point of unloading at a local grain elevator. The report is based on 623 samples collected from inbound farm-originating trucks at harvest and gives an early view of grading factors established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), moisture content and other characteristics not reported elsewhere.

This information is presented in person through conferences, seminars and one-on-one meetings around the world led by delegations of USGC staff and leaders from partner organizations like the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC), which puts the report in context with a full review of the global grain supply and demand situation and offers opportunities for buyers to engage directly with Council staff, agribusiness members and farmers. During these events, crop quality information is accompanied by presentations on U.S. corn grading and handling. The meetings are annual events for international buyers and customers of U.S. corn and co-products value – particularly because they can ask direct questions on growing conditions, crop availability, specific quality factors and more. These activities help establish clear expectations with buyers and end-users regarding the quality of corn this marketing year.

Taiwanese buyers, like those around the world, value face-to-face interactions with farmers like Terry Wehlander (center) to better understand how their feed ingredients are produced.


Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

While in Taiwan, the USGC delegation visited silo storage During the mission, the USGC delegation met with the facilities at Taichung port to better understand how grain lead officials on agricultural issues at the American is received. Institute in Taiwan. The Council works closely with U.S. government officials on the ground in order to maintain and expand market access. Participants particularly appreciate the perspectives of U.S. farmers who travel abroad to attend these crop quality meetings, including NDCUC Chairman Terry high-quality feed ingredients makes them highly Wehlander, who participated in the Council’s first 2020 effective trade ambassadors. Having a U.S. farmer like crop quality seminar in Taiwan this January. Wehlander present about the care and attention invested in producing each year’s crop also opens the eyes of Taiwan is an import-dependent economy that prefers international buyers to farmers’ innovations and focus on U.S. ag products because of their quality, affordability quality. In addition, it enhances the confidence of local and safety. With more than 45 years of partnership buyers and end-users in the products they purchase from between the Council and the livestock industry, Taiwan the United States. consistently imports U.S. corn and co-products. In the 2018/2019 marketing year, Taiwan ranked as the A forthcoming companion report – the 2019/2020 seventh largest buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing 1.99 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report – will focus on export million metric tons (78.2 million bushels). cargo samples collected from corn shipments undergoing federal inspection and grading processes at export Taiwanese buyers, like those around the world, value terminals. It will provide information on grading, handling face-to-face interactions with farmers like Wehlander and how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through to better understand how their feed ingredients are export channels. produced. In turn, these open discussions help provide reassurance on the reliability of the U.S. corn supply Both the harvest quality and the export cargo quality each year. reports published for the U.S. corn crop are part of the commitment by the U.S. Grains Council and its members The combination of farmers’ enthusiasm and confidence to provide the most transparent and timely information in their ability to supply their global customers with about the U.S. grain industry on an annual basis.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |


NDSU EXTENSION EXPLAINS NATURAL-AIR DRYING CONCEPTS, BUSTS MYTHS Dr. Ken Hellevang Extension Engineer North Dakota State University

“The general recommendation is to wait until the outdoor air temperature averages about 40 degrees to air-dry corn and soybeans,” Hellevang says. “Keep the stored grain near or below 30 degrees until drying starts.” Information is circulating that drying occurs at night and not during the day, so fans should be operated at night and not during the daytime. This theory has several inaccuracies, Hellevang says.

NDSU Extension’s Grain Drying Expert Offers Advice on Drying Crops The moisture content and temperature of grain play a big role in how long that grain can be stored without significant deterioration. Air drying is one way to reduce the moisture in grain. However, natural-air drying is not effective during the winter, according to Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer and grain drying expert. The cold air does not hold enough moisture to accomplish in-bin drying. For example, 100,000 pounds of air (about 1,280,000 cubic feet) at 47 degrees and 70% relative humidity used for air drying 21% moisture corn in October will pick up about 70 pounds of water while drying the corn to 16% moisture, which is the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) of corn for that air condition. In January, the same 100,000 pounds of air at 7 degrees and 70% relative humidity will pick up only about 9 pounds of water while drying the corn to only about 19% moisture, which is the EMC of corn at that air condition. Using an airflow rate of 1 cubic foot per minute per bushel (cfm/bu), drying the corn in October will take about 50 days, and a limited amount of drying in January will take 120 days.


At airflow rates used for natural-air drying, the grain temperature rapidly changes and is fluctuating during a 24-hour period. The time required to change the grain temperature can be estimated by dividing 15 by the airflow rate. So, at 1 cfm/bu, changing the temperature of the grain in the bin will take only about 15 hours. During the daytime, the grain is being warmed. Then as outdoor air temperatures cool during the evening, the grain at the bottom of the bin gradually cools and the air is warmed by the grain. As the air is warmed, the moisture-holding capacity is increased. During the forenoon, the grain at the bottom of the bin gradually is warmed by the air and the air is cooled. The cooling of the air limits the moisture-holding capacity, but the warming of the grain creates drying potential for later. Moisture is removed by evaporation, which requires that the grain and air going through the grain be warm enough to evaporate the moisture until moisture equilibrium is reached, based on the EMC of the grain. If the grain was not warmed during the day, the grain would remain at the night temperature, so running the fan the next night would bring cold, damp air in on cold grain and little if any drying would occur. As an example, a producer is attempting to dry 16% moisture soybeans in April when the average temperature is 42 degrees and 70% relative humidity. The soybeans would be expected to dry to about 13.5%

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

moisture if the fans run 24 hours per day. Typically, the temperature varies by 20 to 25 degrees during a 24-hour period, and the relative humidity changes as the air temperature changes unless moisture is added or removed from the air. If the fans were operated just at night, the grain would be about 32 degrees, and the air condition would be about 32 degrees and 100% relative humidity. Based on the soybean EMC, operating the fan just at night would add moisture to the soybeans. “Unfortunately, there are no new ways to dry grain,” Hellevang notes. “The laws of nature continue to apply.” He recommends starting to natural-air dry corn and soybeans when the average air temperature is about 40 degrees. The maximum initial corn moisture for naturalair drying using an airflow rate of at least 1 cfm/ bu is 20% this year due to the increased potential for deterioration because of damaged or immature kernels. The expected drying time for corn is about 45 to 50 days using an airflow rate of 1 cfm/bu. Drying time is proportional to the airflow rate, so at an airflow rate of 1.25 cfm/bu, the drying time is about 35 to 40 days. Adding heat will change the final corn moisture but will change the drying speed only slightly. Ensure that the fan’s airflow rate is adequate by checking fan charts or estimate airflow by using the fan selection program available at the NDSU grain drying and storage website ( graindrying).

wet grain at the bottom of the drying zone, picks up moisture until it comes into equilibrium with the grain in the drying zone and then carries that moisture through the wet grain above the drying zone and out of the bin. “There is nothing magical about the drying front or zone,” Hellevang says. “The grain and the drying zone will be in the same condition several days later when the fan is started again.” Fans should be shut off during rainy days and during fog.

Farm Safety Check: Grain Handling Safety Grain handling is a high-hazard activity, where workers face serious injury and death. Youth should not be in grain bins or silos or in/around flat storage structures unless they are empty, proper lock-out/tag-out and other safety procedures are followed, and the youth is at least 16 years old. Have you taken the proper steps to ensure the safety of grain bins/silo entry on your farm? The checklist below lists a few common hazards you can look for and fix to keep your workers and family safe.

If temperatures cool to an average of about 30 degrees, the fans can be stopped. Wait until the temperature again averages at least about 40 degrees before starting the fans. Cool the grain by operating the fans at night or other cool periods before shutting off the fans to extend the storage life of the grain. Some producers are concerned about shutting fans off because that leaves a drying front in the grain. The drying front is the area in the grain mass where the drying is occurring. The dry air comes in contact with

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Read more about grain storage hazards on page 25. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10





Start natural-air drying corn when the average air temperature is about 40 degrees. The maximum initial corn moisture for natural-air drying using an airflow rate of at least 1 cfm/bu. is 20% this year due to the increased potential for deterioration because of damaged or immature kernels. The expected drying time for corn is about 45 to 50 days using an airflow rate of 1 cfm/bu.

Normally start drying fans in late April when temperatures are averaging in the upper 40s. The estimated time to dry 17% moisture wheat using an airflow rate of 0.75 cfm/bu is about 40 days at 47 F. Adding supplemental heat that warms the air 3 to 5 degrees permits drying at a higher humidity but will approximately double the cost of drying.

Drying time is proportional to the airflow rate, so at an airflow rate of 1.25 cfm/bu., the drying time is about 35 to 40 days. However, he discourages drying corn above 20% due to the rapid deterioration at warmer temperatures. Adding heat will change the final corn moisture but will change the drying speed only slightly. Ensure that the fan’s airflow rate is adequate by checking fan charts or estimate airflow by using the fan selection program available at the NDSU grain drying and storage website ( graindrying). Corn that has a moisture content exceeding 20%, should be dried in a high temperature dryer before spring temperatures do not permit keeping the corn at 30 degrees or cooler.

SOYBEANS Use an airflow rate of at least 1 cfm/bu to natural-air dry up to 16% moisture soybeans. The expected drying time with this airflow rate will be about 50 days. The allowable storage time for 18% moisture soybeans is only about 40 days at 50 degrees, so use a minimum airflow rate of 1.5 cfm/bu to natural-air dry 18% moisture soybeans.


BARLEY Malting barley germination will be lost if adequate airflow is not provided so the barley is dried within the allowable storage time. The allowable storage time (or drying time) is related to the grain temperature and moisture content. The allowable storage time, based on germination, for 17% moisture barley is about 140 days at 50 degrees, 65 days at 60 degrees and only 30 days at 70 degrees. Germination will be lost before mold growth is visible. An allowable storage time chart for malting barley is available at the NDSU grain drying and storage website. Allowable storage time is cumulative, so if the 17% moisture barley was stored for 60 days last fall at 50 degrees before it was cooled for winter storage, the allowable storage time this spring is only about 60 days at 50 degrees before germination is lost. Drying 17% moisture barley will take about 40 days with an airflow rate of 0.75 cfm/bu at 50 degrees. Therefore, an airflow rate of 0.75 cfm/bu is the minimum recommended airflow rate to dry 17% moisture barley in the spring.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

CORN STARCH HYDROGEL AS UNPAVED ROAD DUST SUPPRESSANT By Ravi Kiran Yellavajjala and Dilpreet S. Bajwa, North Dakota State University The state of North Dakota has more than 65,000 mile-long gravel roads. Road dust from the gravel roads is found to adversely affect the respiratory health of older citizens and children in rural communities. Furthermore, road dust is detrimental to the health of farm animals and is proven to reduce the yield of crops in the vicinity of gravel roads. High volume traffic and farm equipment crush the gravel into finer particles and these finer particles are suspended in the air by the fast-moving vehicles and wind. In general, water, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, crude oil, organic oils, and other commercial products are sprayed on the gravel roads to address the road dust problem. These options are expensive (up to $18,000 per mile) and have limited success in the long run.

hydrogel with water. We subjected a pile of hydrogel mixed sand and water mixed sand to high-velocity wind generated by a fan. We noticed that the sand mixed with hydrogel generated almost no dust, and the sand mixed with water generated a considerable amount of dust (fig. 1(b)). In the next six months, we will extensively test the performance of the corn starch hydrogel dust suppressant by conducting more in-house tests that are representative of real-world scenarios.

The overarching goal of this project is to employ corn starch hydrogel as an additive to the gravel topsoil to mitigate the road dust problem in gravel roads. We would like to achieve this goal by 1) preparing corn starch hydrogel employing a low energy-intensive method, 2) lab-testing the efficacy of the corn-starch hydrogel as a dust suppressant, and 3) field testing the performance of the corn starch hydrogel as a dust suppressant. In the last six months, we were able to economically prepare corn starch hydrogel without the addition of any expensive chemicals employing heating techniques. We also performed lab tests by mixing corn starch hydrogel with fine sand and compared it with sand mixed with water. We observed that the sand with corn starch hydrogel agglomerated into harder aggregate and no such phenomenon is observed in the sand mixed with water alone (fig. 1(a)). The agglomeration is an important phenomenon as it binds together the finer sand particles preventing dust. We conducted an in-house test to compare the performance of corn starch

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Above: (a) agglomeration in the sand mixed with corn starch hydrogel after 24 hours and (b) no dust produced from the sand mixed with the corn starch hydrogel when compared to the sand mixed with water proving the efficacy of the corn-based product.


NDSU SOIL HEALTH CAFÉ TALK WRAP UP By Dr. Abbey Wick, NDSU Extension Winter of 2019-2020 was a busy season for the Soil Health Café Talk program. This year, the program expanded to include Café Talk style discussion groups at the Dakota Innovation Research and Technology (DIRT) Workshop in December ( In addition, NDSU’s Langdon and Carrington Research Extension Centers worked alongside main campus to coordinate and host over twenty Café Talk programs January through March, this is nearly double of what we’ve done in past years. With university shut-down from COVID-19 in March, a couple of the Café Talks were canceled, but this opens opportunities to get the ball rolling on holding Café Talks remotely using webbased tools like Zoom. More to come on that in the future. A lot of different topics were covered this winter and it is difficult to touch upon everything, but here are a few highlights of questions that were asked at multiple Café Talks. In 2020, can I harvest cereal rye cover crop that I flew on into my standing corn in 2019? This is a good question because depending on conditions this spring, there may be fields that farmers can’t get into to plant and if there is already cereal rye there, farmers are thinking of taking it to harvest. A couple considerations – any cover crop that is broadcasted will likely be a spotty stand with shallow roots. Meaning the yield may be disappointing, so set your expectations. But, if you have to prevent plant a field and you already have cereal rye on it from 2019, let that cereal rye grow, manage moisture and weeds and then terminate and plant another full season cover crop to continue managing the field. Cereal rye remains a great tool for management and should be considered to use as a cover crop in 2020.


One of the Wishek Café Talks focused on agronomy, soil fertility and soil health. How should I manage ruts and compaction in 2020? For this, Aaron Daigh (NDSU Soil Physics) recommends that shallow tillage be used on areas that need it. Create a good seedbed for planting and focus on shallow depths only. Work on the deep compaction and ruts with roots from your cash crop, by trying to fit in a cover crop after the cash crop and letting wet-dry cycles break up the compaction. This will take years, so be patient. Running a tillage implement deep in the soil this spring to go after compaction will smear the already wet soil and cause more damage. Keep tillage shallow and have a plan to get more roots (like from oats or other fibrous root crops or cover crops) into the soil. What do you know about wide-row corn and cover crops? Farmers are experimenting with wide-row corn and sharing on Twitter, so it’s getting some interest. NDSU doesn’t have a lot of research on this yet, but Kelly

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Cooper and Mike Ostlie with NDSU had plots in 2019 and will again in 2020. Here’s what we do know: first, determine why you want to do wide-row corn, what is your goal? Maybe it’s to get better establishment of cover crops for grazing, or to get more diversity in the system. Whatever your goal, make sure that you are ok with a slight reduction in corn yield to achieve that goal. Second, try this on a small number of acres first to get a feel for it. Third, make sure you have a solid herbicide program and fit the cover crop mixes to that herbicide program. Lastly, seeding the cover crops will give a better stand than broadcasting them. In widerow corn, the cover crops need to be seeded. We will be collecting on-farm information to combine with the research plot work this year, so we will know more this winter and be able to provide better guidance. What cover crops should I consider in mixes for grazing? Kevin Sedivec (NDSU rangeland specialist) attended quite a few of the Café Talks and shared information on cover crop mixes. He recommends diverse mixes for grazing because you can pencil out the cost of seed by running the biomass through a cow. If doing a full season cover crop, use a mix of warm and cool season grasses (for example, oats, barley, sorghum sudan), add some brassicas (radish and turnip) and throw in a legume (peas). The key is to have high quality forage along with fiber. There’s a lot more to this, Kevin has a really nice publication on different mixes that is an easy read: Annual Cover Crop Options for Grazing and Haying in the Northern Plains (R1759). There is also a nice summary of information in the NDSU Grazing Cover Crops booklet available at Kevin also has some really interesting research studies going on at the Central Grasslands Station, so be on the lookout for that information too. These are just a few questions that came up and were discussed at the Café Talks – we had some great

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

conversations this winter. I, along with my colleagues at NDSU, really appreciate everyone that made it to Extension events during a difficult winter with a harvest that didn’t seem to end and plenty of work to keep busy with around the shop. Wishing you all the best with planting this spring and be on the lookout for NDSU Extension programs this summer (soil health programs posted at One final note, extensive programs like the Café Talks don’t happen without a lot of support from people and funding organizations. Naeem Kalwar (Langdon), Greg Endres, Mary Keena and Mike Ostlie (Carrington) worked closely with Extension agents to bring more information further north and west of Fargo. Bryce Andersen (Technician) kept things coordinated and along with Kari Olson evaluated the Café Talks this year so we know what was covered at each location. We also brought back a familiar face, Luke Ressler, who has worked in the soil health program in the past and agreed to host a couple Café Talks. The ND Corn Council, ND Soybean Council, ND Wheat Commission, Northarvest Dry Bean Association, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and USDA NIFA all supported this year’s program. Photo by Abbey Wick

It's common to have the conversations continue long after the Café Talks formally end. This was typically the case at events in New Rockford.


TOOLS FOR SOIL HEALTH Marlow Nash Farmer and part-owner of Micro-Energy, LLC.

This spring many farmers are faced with the challenges of corn stalks still standing or even unharvested. Once harvested, either before or after tillage, an application of Energy-Pack from Micro-Energy will greatly speed up the composting of crop residue back into humus and give a boost to soil health. Microbes are the unsung heroes of agriculture. Without them nothing grows. Nutrient cycling from the stover, manure and fertilizer by the microbes and fungi allow crops to take in nutrients. Excessive crop residue in our fields can easily be managed as soil health improves. My grandfathers’ and father’s approach to soil health was to routinely use animal manure and rotate six different crops including alfalfa. It worked very well. This style of farming provides the foundation for microbes to flourish. Let’s fast forward to 2020. Most farmers are growing only two crops. Less crop and fertilizer diversity generally results in less microbe diversity and activity. Field compaction from working fields too wet can stunt soil health. What can improve flocculation in the soil and break down crop residue and chemicals? That is the job of microbes and fungal organisms.

it can cost $15-$20 per acre. What we have found very beneficial on our own farm and hundreds of customers’ farms since 2007 is a biological stimulant we call Energy-Pack. Our product is a concentrated, low cost, effective way to keep revitalizing soil health and improving your ROI. We recommend two applications of Energy-Pack a year at only $2.50 per acre each time. Any liquid trip across your fields can include the Energy-Pack. Our product is unique in that you can use it together with your pop-up or side-dress fertilizer or your pre and post-emerge chemicals. Our private research and farmer trials have proven consistent yield gains in normal years, but when stressful weather hits, biologically alive fields have much more resilience, allowing crops to keep growing and maturing. We recently started using the slogan “Do it for the Worms” because many of our customers find that after 2-3 years of using Energy-Pack, they start seeing many more earthworms than in previous years. Earthworms don’t necessarily bring better yields but they are one of the many signs of better soil health and flocculation. Last summer, a farmer who has been a customer for 11 years, counted 34 earthworms under one corn plant. That breaks our old record of 25 worms per plant. He farms in sandy soil using strip-til. Another customer in Montana stated that they had never had earthworms until after using Energy-Pack twice a year for two years. Give us a call or check out our website and let us help improve your nutrient cycling. “Do it for the worms” and keep doing it for your soil health as well! Find us today at or call 701-640-3222.

Without a doubt using cover-crops and doing less tillage greatly improves soil health, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate in accomplishing this and


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

COUNCIL MEMBER SPOTLIGHT - TYSEN ROSENAU, DISTRICT 4 North Dakota is divided into seven districts. These districts elect a member to serve producers on the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council. Tysen Rosenau of Carrington, ND represents those producers in District 4. District 4 is comprised of Eddie, Foster, Griggs, Stutsman and Barnes Counties.

operation he and my grandfather built,” says Tysen. “With each year bringing new challenges, it is vital to have someone to bounce new ideas off of in this ever changing ag world. As I look to the future, it is exciting to be able to bring my children up with the same lifestyle and opportunities I had as a child.”

Rosenau is a graduate of Carrington High School. Tysen received the honor of a National FFA award when he was recognized as a Star Farmer Finalist in 2016. He holds an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree in farm and ranch management from Bismarck State College.

Rosenau is excited about the opportunity to help fellow farmers understand the value of the corn check-off in North Dakota. “Understanding how the check-off program works in our state, and being a part of the allocation of check-off funds to support research, education and promotion of corn and its uses allows me to be a better advocate for farmers statewide. I hope to help others understand the power of our aggregated money.”

Tysen and his wife, Markie, have been married since 2016. Markie works as a nurse at CHI St. Alexius Health Clinic in Carrington. Together, Tysen and Markie have two children – their son Brayden is two, and daughter, Ember, is 4 months.

Tysen Rosenau with his wife, Markie, and their children, Lucas (2) and Ember (4mo). Tysen began farming alongside his father in 2011. The farm was established by his grandfather, and is comprised of 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat near Carrington. “It is amazing to be able to work alongside my father everyday as I strive to improve the

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Tysen also takes a special interest in ethanol programming in North Dakota. “I am excited about the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and North Dakota Ethanol Council’s joint effort to increase ethanol infrastructure in our state through the Unleaded88 Expansion Program as well.” Ethanol is an important part of rural economic development, contributing $623 million annually to the state’s economy and creating thousands of jobs across many sectors. Tysen was recently elected by his peers to serve as the Secretary/Treasurer of the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council. In addition to serving corn farmers in North Dakota as a member of NDCUC, Tysen sits on the board of directors for the Arrowwood Prairie Cooperative. In his spare time, Tysen enjoys time at the lake, ice fishing, getting together with friends and family, and traveling with his family. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC) was created in 1991 and consists of seven members representing seven districts. NDCUC board members can serve 2 consecutive 4-year terms. The NDCUC oversees how North Dakota’s corn checkoff dollars are spent on research, education and promotion of corn and corn products.


NDCGA HELD ANNUAL MEETING IN CONJUNCTION WITH NORTHERN CORN AND SOYBEAN EXPO The North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) held its Annual Meeting during the 3rd Annual Northern Corn and Soybean Expo on Tuesday, February 4th at the Fargodome. NDCGA President Randy Melvin facilitated the meeting. Melvin announced the ten NDCGA Scholarship recipients and revealed the 2020 NDCGA Photo Contest Winners. Scholarship recipients and photo contest winners are listed on page 18. The minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting were read and approved as well as the financial report. Senator John Hoeven and Representative Kelly Armstrong sent video updates from Washington, D.C. and a guest speaker from Senator Kevin Cramer's office provided an update of the happenings in Washington D.C. and in North Dakota.

directors. Mark Belter of Leonard, ND was nominated and elected to replace Randy Melvin of Buffalo, ND in District 2. Melvin has served the allowable limit of two, four-year terms. In District 7, Bryan Leier of Linton, ND was nominated and elected to replace Anthony Mock of Kintyre, ND. Mock has also served two, fouryear terms. Tim Kozojed of Hillsboro, ND in District 2 and Kyle Speich of Milnor, ND in District 5 were up for second terms. Kozojed and Speich were both nominated and re-elected. We hope to see you next year for the NDCGA Annual Meeting which will again be held in conjunction with the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo on Monday, February 22, 2021.

NDCGA also held elections for the NDCGA board of

Meeting attendees listen as guest speakers from each of the congressional offices gave updates.

NDCGA President, Randy Melvin conducted the annual meeting. Photos by Betsy Armour Images, LLC


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |


By Carl Dahlen, Associate Professor, North Dakota State University This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of feeding 60% dried corn distillers grains plus solubles or the equivalent sulfur as calcium sulfate on performance and semen quality in yearling Angus bulls. Bulls were housed indoors at the Animal Nutrition and Physiology Center in Fargo, ND and individually fed in a Calan gate system to target an ADG of 1.6 kg/d. Thirty-six half-sibling bulls [256 + or - 8 d; initial BW = 320 + or - 2 kg] were assigned one of three treatments: 1) corn-based diet containing 60% concentrate (CON; S = 0.18%; n = 12); 2) diet containing 60% dried corn distillers grains plus solubles as a replacement for corn (DDGS; S = 0.53% DM; n = 12); 3) CON diet + equivalent sulfur of the DDGS diet added as CaSO4 (SULF; S = 0.51%; n = 12). Body weights, scrotal circumference measurements, semen, and blood were collected every 28 days. By design, no differences were observed for final BW, ADG, and DMI, however, there was a tendency for reduced feed efficiency (G:F) in DDGS when compared to CON, with SULF being intermediate. No differences were observed among treatments for scrotal circumference, semen concentration, motile sperm, or progressively motile sperm. However, there were day effects observed for many of the semen characteristics because these bulls were advancing in sexual maturity as the study progressed.

No differences were observed for glutathione peroxidase activity in serum, but there was a treatment x day interaction for glutathione peroxidase activity in seminal plasma. Though treatments had similar values for glutathione peroxidase activity in seminal plasma on d 0, bulls fed DDGS had greater activity on d 56 compared with CON, whereas SULF was intermediate. On d 112, DDGS remained greater than all treatments. Along with this, DDGS had reduced triiodothyronine concentrations among treatments when compared to CON and SULF, but no differences were observed for testosterone or thyroxine concentrations in serum. Additionally, there were differences in trace mineral concentrations in seminal plasma and serum which may be altering semen kinematics. Therefore, differences among treatments of triiodothyronine concentrations, GPx activity, trace minerals, and semen velocity parameters indicates that sulfur may be influencing semen quality. Future analyses will be conducted to evaluate if any molecular modifications are present in the sperm. These analyses will give us additional information that is necessary to evaluate what is occurring in these bulls when distillers

A Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) was used to evaluate velocity parameters within the motile and progressive populations of sperm. No differences were observed among treatments for velocity parameters in progressive populations of sperm. However, treatment differences were observed in the motile population of sperm for velocity on an average path and curvilinear velocity where DDGS and SULF were reduced. A treatment ď‚´ day interaction was observed for velocity on a straight line where DDGS and SULF had reduced velocity on a straight line when compared to CON.

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 2020. 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 Katherine Plessner from Verona, is featured on the front cover of this issue.

1st Place: Katherine Plessner, Verona

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 2020 are: District 1: Jamin Mauch, Hankinson District 2: Gunnar Braaten, Kindred District 3: Michael Thomas, Velva District 4: Shannon Bryn, Dazey District 5: Ethan Lyons, Lisbon District 6: Claire Wagner, Oakes District 7: Anna Dragseth, Watford City

2nd Place: Jim Collins Jr., Bismarck

At-Large recipients: Rivers Bachman, Minot Andrew Muhs, Langdon Caleb Hauck, Forbes Congratulations to all recipients and thank you to all that applied for the NDCGA scholarship.

3rd Place: Katherine Dick, Englevale


North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

LIVING AG CLASSROOM RETURNS TO NORTH DAKOTA Did you know that there are over 6,000 farmers raising corn in North Dakota? Now you do, and so do more than 4,000 students from North Dakota and North Western Minnesota. Living Ag Classroom has returned again to North Dakota and is one of the most anticipated and attended features of trade shows statewide. The Living Ag Classroom is designed to educate elementary school-aged children on the diversity of agriculture in the state of North Dakota, and its role in feeding the nation and the rest of the world. The Living Ag Classroom is a walk-through educational seminar, and the “Farm-to-Fork” events teach students about many commodities, soil, careers and farm safety. Participating students will rotate through different fun and interactive activities in an effort to help teach them all about North Dakota agriculture and the process that puts food on their plates. Each activity is sponsored by one of various commodity groups. These groups set up the booths and provide a 5-8 minute presentation to help teach students about production agriculture. Students spend about an hour and a half in the Living Ag Classroom exhibits.

The program is geared toward fourth graders because that is when students are learning about their home state as a part of their school curriculum. “Living Ag Classroom connects directly to the North Dakota educational standards in classrooms,” says Gail Benson Wilson, a career elementary and college educator who facilitates and evaluates the Fargo event. This event fits into the social studies unit that teaches about regions in the U.S., and their economics. “They [students and teachers] come away not only learning about North Dakota agriculture, but feeling very proud of the role North Dakota plays in feeding the world.” At the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council booth, students learn about the types of corn grown in the state, as well as the most common “F” uses for field corn – food, feed, fiber and fuel. Kinesthetic learners are especially glad to see and feel the difference between sweet corn, popcorn, and field corn and get a closer look at food and fiber products made from corn that are on display in the booth. At the end of the presentation, students take turns spinning a trivia wheel in order to review the content they learned. CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

The North Dakota Corn Council Living Ag Classroom booth features products made from field corn for students to see and touch.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |



In addition to this day filled with education, many commodity groups and presenters provide free resources for teachers and students to continue discovering North Dakota agriculture in the classroom. Among other resources, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council provides each student with a “North Dakota Ag Mag” – an eight-page activity booklet focused on corn grown in North Dakota and its many uses. These resources fuel additional learning and curiosity about the agricultural industry and the North Dakota farmers that make it great.

The Living Ag Classroom has continued to grow in popularity as its importance is seen throughout the agriculture community. With the number of family farms declining, and the average producer age continuing to go higher, it is becoming ever more important that children are being educated about the industry. Youth are becoming far removed from agriculture, yet want to understand how their food is grown and how livestock provide many essential parts to the food cycle. Living Ag Classroom events offer teachers the opportunity to provide this key learning experience for their students.

Following the presentations, for those events that take place during an agricultural expo, there are also opportunities for students to check out equipment used in production agriculture. The Fargo Living Ag Classroom event features a booth staffed by North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Saddle and Sirloin Club that puts students face-to-face with live production animals raised in the state. Both of these add to the unique opportunities students get during the Living Ag Classroom events. For many students, this will be the first and the last time they get this close to agriculture.

“Fewer and fewer kids grow up on farms,” notes Alicia Harstad, NDSU Extension Educator and Jamestown Living Ag Classroom lead. “There is a disconnect between consumers and where their food comes from, even in the Jamestown area. Consumer education is increasingly important for production agriculture as consumer decisions ultimately have an influence on what production practices can be used.” When it comes to helping consumers feel positively toward agriculture, Alicia feels that Living Ag Classroom is a great place to start. “Living Ag in the Classroom is one way for consumers to learn correct information from those directly involved in agriculture,” she says. The message students learn at these events often makes it home to mom and dad, who are making decisions daily that can be negatively affected by misinformation in the agriculture industry. The North Dakota Corn Utilization Council participates in Living Ag Classroom events throughout the state, including the events in Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown and Lisbon.

Above: Students are eager to answer questions from the trivia wheel. Left: Students are able to see the difference between popcorn, sweet corn and field corn at the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council booth.


Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

ND LIVESTOCK ALLIANCE REMAINS FOCUSED ON TRANSPARENCY WITH NORTH DAKOTA’S COMMUNITIES As the North Dakota Livestock Alliance (NDLA) nears the conclusion of their third year, they continue to focus on the important role North Dakota communities play in livestock development. There is a direct and undeniable correlation between community acceptance and successful livestock development. As a livestock producer plans to expand, or a new livestock operation looks for a site, it is extremely valuable to have community leaders that already understand animal agriculture. In response, NDLA has developed their Community Outreach Program. This program contains a series of events to engage in respectful dialogue with North Dakota community leaders, township and county board members. The goal is to eradicate the ‘fear of the unknown’ by assisting communities in understanding modern livestock housing and management practices, the local and state permitting procedures, and the economic advantage to welcoming livestock development. The first and most widespread action of this program, is requesting speaking time at county and township meetings. NDLA is happy to report that these groups have been very welcoming, and all speaking requests have been accepted. Now keep in mind, this may be their first, or one of few, discussions regarding new animal agriculture. There have been several common take-aways from these group discussions. The first of which is local leaders seeking clarification on the livestock permitting process and transparency on the benefits and challenges of livestock development. A common concern pertains to increased costs resulting from new road use. So, NDLA makes sure these topics are covered thoroughly. Note, in all discussions with local zoning authorities, NDLA urges them to contact the ND Department of Environmental Quality (NDDEQ). The NDDEQ is the state regulatory authority for livestock permitting and compliance, so it is vital they are present to clarify rules, roles and procedures. NDLA’s presentations begin with their mission and how livestock development is a unified effort by their

board organizations and members. This is an important feature to share with citizens, because it instills in them confidence that farmers, ranchers, industry and educators are working together to provide a safe and sustainable food system. Then, they explain how North Dakota is poised for livestock development, especially for pig growth. Today’s pig farmers seek sites several miles away from each other, resulting in the birth and growth of healthy piglets. This fact is reassuring for communities to hear, because it puts to rest any rumors of intense livestock development. Along with all those excellent attributes, North Dakota has the best characteristic of all … a long history of devotion and passion for animal agriculture. Next, NDLA walks through the benefits to North Dakota’s communities and crop producers. The communities will see new job development (both direct and indirect) and an increase in purchases of utilities, housing, groceries, etc. The local agribusinesses will benefit from increased equipment sales and maintenance, trucking opportunities, and the list goes on. NDLA supports all these statements with reports provided by other states that experienced recent livestock growth. Along with benefits at the community level, it is important to discuss the benefits for neighboring farmers. NDLA emphasizes that farmers need livestock to provide a new market for their crops and co-products, and most important of all, manure is NOT waste. Manure is a valuable tool for improving soil health, while reducing input costs. This fact, combined with modern technology and environmental stewardship practices, greatly ease concerns for citizens seeing large animal agriculture for the first time. Today’s livestock operations and environmental stewardship practices work together with state and industry mandated environmental regulations. The livestock permitting process begins at the local level and pertains to the livestock operation’s nature, scope and location. Then, the engineered building plans, Nutrient Management Plan, and state livestock permit CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |



application is required by the NDDEQ. Compliance continues long after permitting with regular farm inspections by NDDEQ. Today’s livestock systems are designed by engineers to contain the manure and other operation runoffs, such as from silage feed pads or livestock feeding lots. These systems are designed and tested to protect the environment, minimize odors and for safety of the animals and farm employees. Environmental stewardship practices like these are not only required by state regulators but also by policies within the livestock industry, such as Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) and Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM). Beyond the local meetings, NDLA’s annual Livestock Summit includes content geared towards community members. The 2020 Summit was held January 14th at Black Leg Ranch by McKenzie, ND. The day was filled with many great speakers, including ‘What to expect when a pig barn comes to your community – a live-virtual pig farm tour’ presented by Dr. Robert Thaler, South Dakota State University Swine Extension Specialist. Dr. Thaler shared the advantages and challenges experienced by South Dakota county leaders undergoing new livestock development. Then did a live-virtual pig farm tour in which a student walked through the new SDSU pig barn and spoke directly with the Summit guests. Another local leader focused topic was the panel discussion moderated by NDLA’s Executive Director, Amber Boeshans. The panelists included Kenton Holle, a NDLA Board Director, Larry Syverson, the Executive Director of the ND Township Officer’s Association, Pat Copenhaver, a Foster County Commissioner, Ellen Huber, a Past President of the Economic Development Association. This discussion really ‘hit home’ with the event attendees and was covered extensively by the media because it shined a light on community desire for transparency. Pat Copenhaver said it best when describing the recent tumultuous, but ultimately successful, permitting of a dairy farm in Foster County. Copenhaver said ‘we just didn’t understand what to expect from a barn this size, so people got nervous’. He described the dairy as a tremendous asset to the community and believes


that good operators like this family can make a big difference in the public perception of an industry. In conclusion, NDLA will continue to reach local leaders by participating in the annual conventions of the North Dakota Association of Counties and North Dakota Township Officer’s Association. They will seek more opportunities with these state-wide organizations to help make livestock information readily available to their members. NDLA will also continue to provide annual livestock spokesperson trainings in which attendees learn more about livestock production and how to engage effectively with consumers. These seminars include speakers from NDSU Extension, National Pork Producers Council and more. If you are interested in participating in the next seminar, please reach out to NDLA via their website, Are you on a County or Township board? Are you an active member of your community? Does your community want to learn more about livestock development? Please contact NDLA through their website or call Amber Boeshans at 701-712-1488.

The 2nd Annual North Dakota Livestock Alliance Livestock Summit, held January 14th by McKenzie, ND, featured a panel discussion filled with local leaders that focused on their desire for transparency.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Funded Northby Dakota the North CornDakota Growers Corn Association Checkoff||




PRINCIPAL LEVEL Micro-Energy, LLC Peterson Farms Seed


Thank you!

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

DIFFICULT HARVEST CREATES GRAIN STORAGE HAZARDS By Dr. Ken Hellevang, Extension Engineer, North Dakota State University Because of difficult harvest conditions last fall, grain may have been stored with higher than normal moisture content, which could pose a danger to anyone working around the grain. “High-moisture grain storage leads to bin unloading problems,” warns Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer. “Grain may be in clumps due to high-moisture grain and foreign material being frozen together, or due to crusted grain flowing in chunks that block grain flow into the grain sump of the unloading system.” Warming the grain to just above freezing sometimes will enable the frozen grain to flow, he says. People also have used a variety of other methods to break up the clumps, such as a plumbing snake through the unloading tube, high-volume air pressure to the sump through a tube in the unloading tube, or a grain-vac and plumbing snake combination. Grain also can form columns along the bin wall or in other locations. These normally are broken loose with rods or bin unloading whip units from the bin roof. Poking at the grain while inside the bin may cause an avalanche that buries the person poking at the grain. The grain can flow with such force that it even will come through an open bin door and cover the person poking at the grain from outside the bin. “Make sure everyone, including family and employees, working around stored grain understands the hazards and proper safety procedures,” Hellevang says. Grain Bin Dangers Never enter a bin while unloading grain or to break up a grain bridge or chunks that may plug grain flow. Flowing grain will pull you into the grain mass, burying you within seconds. Unloading at 5,000 bushels per hour is moving almost 2 cubic feet of grain per second. A 2–foot-diameter by 6-foot cylinder has a volume

of about 9 cubic feet, so a person can be completely engulfed in less than five seconds and would not be able to lift individual’s feet in less than two seconds. Stop the grain-conveying equipment and use the “lockout/tag-out” procedures to secure it before entering the bin. Use a key-type padlock to lock the conveyor switch in the “off” position to assure that the equipment does not start automatically or someone does not start it accidentally. Bridging occurs when grain is high in moisture content, moldy or in poor condition. The kernels stick together and form a crust. A cavity will form under the crust when grain is removed from the bin. The crust isn’t strong enough to support a person’s weight, so anyone who walks on it will fall into the cavity and be buried under several feet of grain. Determine if the grain has a crust before any grain has been removed. If work needs to be done with a crust, it must be done before any grain is removed. “To determine if the grain is bridged after unloading has started, look for a funnel shape on the surface of the grain mass,” Hellevang advises. “If the grain surface appears undisturbed, the grain has bridged and a cavity has formed under the surface. Stay outside the bin and use a pole or other object to break the bridge loose.” If the grain flow stops when you’re removing it from the bin but the grain surface has a funnel shape and shows some evidence that grain has been flowing into the auger, a chunk of spoiled grain probably is blocking the flow. Entering the bin to break up the blockage will expose you to being buried in grain and tangled in the auger. If grain has formed a vertical wall, try to break it up from the top of the bin with a long pole on a rope or through a door with a long pole. A wall of grain can collapse, CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |



or avalanche, without warning, knocking you over and burying you. Never enter a grain bin alone. Have at least two people at the bin to assist in case of problems. Use a safety harness and rope that prevents you from descending rapidly when entering a bin. “If you get partially submerged in flowing grain, the force pulling you in is several hundred pounds, far exceeding the ability for a person holding a rope to prevent engulfment,” Hellevang says. “Again, never enter a bin with the unloading system running.” Rescuing a Trapped Person If someone gets trapped: • Shut off all grain-moving equipment. • Contact your local emergency rescue service or fire department. • Ventilate the bin using the fan if temperatures are moderate. At cold temperatures, the trapped person faces the risk of hypothermia. • Cut holes in the bin sides to remove grain if the person is submerged. Use a scoop on a tractor, cutting torch, metal-cutting power saw or air chisel to cut • V- or U-shaped holes equally spaced around the bin. Grain flowing from just one hole may injure the trapped person and cause the bin to collapse. • Form a retaining wall around the person using a rescue tube or other material to keep grain from flowing toward the person, then remove grain from around the individual. Walking on the grain pushes more grain onto the trapped person. • Don’t try to pull a person out of grain. The grain exerts tremendous forces, so trying to pull someone out could damage the person’s spinal column or cause other damage.


Other Dangers Getting tangled in the unloading sweep auger is another major hazard. Entanglement typically results in lost feet, hands, arms, legs and frequently death due to the severe damage. Although you shouldn’t enter a bin with an energized sweep auger, it may be necessary in some instances, Hellevang says. All sweep augers should have guards that protect against contact with moving parts at the top and back. The only unguarded portion of the sweep auger should be the front point of operation. If someone must go into the bin, make sure to have a rescue-trained and equipped observer positioned outside the storage bin. Use a safety switch that will allow the auger to operate only while the worker is in contact with the switch. Never use your hands or legs to manipulate the sweep auger while it’s in operation. The auger should have a bin stop device that prevents the sweep auger from making uncontrolled rotations. For more information, check out NDSU publication “Caught in the Grain!” It’s available online at https://

A. Never enter a storage bin while unloading grain because flowing grain can pull you in and bury you within seconds; B. Grain kernels may stick together, forming a crust or bridge that isn’t strong enough to support a person’s weight after the grain below it is removed; Image Source: MidWest Plan Service, Iowa State University

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

3RD ANNUAL NORTHERN CORN AND SOYBEAN EXPO SEES RECORD ATTENDANCE Hundreds of North Dakota farmers and agribusinesses joined together to get the latest updates on important topics like trade, weed and disease management and farm stress at the 2020 Northern Corn and Soybean Expo at the Fargodome in Fargo. More than 750 participants from across the state took part in the third annual event held February 4th and organized jointly by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council (NDCUC); the North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA); the North Dakota Soybean Council (NDSC); and the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association (NDSGA). “We had a record turnout of over 750 growers at this year’s event,” says Carrington, North Dakota farmer and NDCUC board member Tysen Rosenau. “We were pleased to see that the timely information and discussions resonated with farmers state-wide. We know farmers are busy, which is why we work so hard to bring together top-notch speakers to address topics that will create better producers. It’s a one-stop shop.” Tysen joined NDSC board member and Barney, North Dakota farmer, Mike Langseth as Expo co-chair. The Northern Corn and Soybean Expo featured a variety of general education presentations and educational breakout sessions, as well as an expansive trade show that boasted more than 75 industry experts and companies featuring emerging technologies and new information.

In addition to supporting research, education and promotion of corn and corn products state-wide, corn check-off dollars support a variety of global efforts to increase market demand and sustain research for farmers at home. The 3rd Annual Northern Corn and Soybean Expo made it a point to help farmers understand the resources and support they have on a state and national level as well. As a part of the main stage programming, the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the North Dakota Soybean Council welcomed their national partners to discuss these farmer-supported resources and timely issues in a Hot Topic Panel moderated by Michelle Rook of AgWeek TV. The panelists included Mace Thornton, vice president of communications and strategy for the United Soybean Board (USB); Jon Doggett, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA); and Ryan Findlay, CEO of the American Soybean Association (ASA). Following the panel, expo attendees were given the chance to ask questions and continue their conversations with these influential panelists in the Speaker Pavilion on the trade show floor. CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

Left: Author and humorist John Phipps gives a keynote on the opportunites and challenges of the current world market. Above: Michelle Rook, AgWeek TV, moderates the Hot Topic Panel featuring national commodity group representation.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |



“It is important for North Dakota producers to understand how their state check-off works for them on national programming,” says NDCUC Executive Director, Jean Henning. “We were fortunate to bring these national representatives together in Fargo, and I hope that attendees felt a sense of confidence in the people working hard on their behalf. Not just those of us in North Dakota, but also nationally and globally.” Rounding out the main stage programming, attendees heard a keynote from expo emcee John Phipps, author and humorist, discussing the opportunities and challenges of the current world market. The day wrapped up with a keynote from Chip Flory, author and radio host of AgriTalk After the Bell, on global market trends.

Above: Zach Johnson, the Minnesota Millenial Farmer, shares the power of social media and telling your farm story on the main stage during one of many breakout sessions.

This year’s expo also featured an appearance by YouTube celebrity and mid-west farmer, the MN Millennial Farmer. “We are seeing more and more misinformation about the agriculture industry circling the internet,” shares expo co-chair Tysen Rosenau. “In the age of social media and “viral” content, it is increasingly important to tell our farm story. Zach Johnson, the MN Millennial Farmer, has experienced a lot of success doing just that.” In addition to taking the reins of the expo social media accounts for the day, Johnson worked with NDCUC and NDSC on pre-expo media and hosted a well-attended educational breakout session at the event. “I got started because I wanted to put myself out there, and talk directly to consumers and show them exactly what’s going on when we make decisions on our farm,” Zach told Michelle Rook of AgWeek TV during an interview after his session. “The good news is, there genuinely are a lot of people out there who are interested in what we do. Because we have this big disconnect [between farmers and consumers], suddenly it isPhotos trendy by again to Armour know your farmer.” Betsy


Johnson feels that we have an opportunity to really take advantage of this trend, and make a positive impact now more than ever. Another well-attended portion of the event took place on the arena floor. Grain bin rescue demonstrations, brought to the event by the Sheyenne Valley Technical Rescue Team of Kindred, North Dakota brought a sobering but crucial message to the event. In a year ripe with harvesting challenges and low commodity prices for North Dakota farmers, grain is being stored in less than ideal conditions. This has resulted in an uptick in grain bin tragedies in Minnesota and North Dakota. These rescue demonstrations brought growers together to discuss the hazards and hidden dangers of grain handling operations, as well as shared advice for preventing farmer and grain worker tragedies by learning proper safety precautions and techniques and demonstrating the rescue equipment. 2020 marks the third year North Dakota’s corn and soybean organizations jointly put on the one-day event.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

The combined resources help the organizations tackle broader issues and attract more widely known speakers. “It allows us to cover bigger topics and get more bang for our buck,” NDCUC chairman Terry Wehlander says. “This event is for the growers and most of us are out there growing both corn and soybeans. It just makes sense to provide updates and new information to growers in a joint event.” Wehlander says he heard very positive feedback from farmers who liked the diversity of topics, with a crop disease outlook session, a weed management session, and a panel on risk management featuring Dr. Frayne Olson, North Dakota State University; and William “Bill” Beam, Farm Service Agency; and Jeremy Not Afraid, Risk Management Agency. “We’ve also had a lot of positive feedback on the trade show and the flow,” Wehlander says. “No two farms are alike, so we try to cover a broad spectrum of topics so that there is something for everyone." Both the NDCGA and the NDSGA held their annual meetings over the lunch hour. These meetings give members the opportunity to hear from grower leaders and get updates on legislative issues that the associations are following in Bismarck and Washington, as well as receive updates from North Dakota’s congressional delegation. Hundreds of farmers also participated in a free dicamba application training session following the Corn and Soybean Expo. If you were unable to join us at Expo this year, be sure to check out the video highlights of the event at Farmers are encouraged to mark their calendars for next year’s 4th Annual Northern Corn and Soybean Expo at the Fargodome, which will be held Monday, February 22, 2021.

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

Top: NDCUC board member Scott German takes part in a grain rescue demonstration by the Sheyenne Valley Technical Rescue Team. Middle: Expo attendees learn more about checkoff funded research in the Research Pavillion. Bottom: NCGA CEO Jon Doggett joins AgriTalk host Chip Flory for a live broadcast.


NORTH DAKOTA CORN COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS District 1: Carson Klosterman, Wyndmere 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/Treasurer) District 7: Robert Ferebee, Halliday

NORTH DAKOTA CORN COUNCIL COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES Corn Council District 1 Wyndmere - Carson Klosterman Corn Council District 2 Cass - Patrick Skunes Steele - Jason Rayner Traill - Vacant Corn Council District 3 Benson - Randy Simon Burke - Bryan Ankenbauer 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 Woody Barta Oliver - Clark Price Sioux - Jarrod Becker Slope - Ryan Stroh Stark - Duane Zent Wells - Richard Lies

Funded by the North Dakota Corn Checkoff |

NDCGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS District 1: Andrew Mauch, Mooreton District 1: Ben Bakko, Walcott District 2: Randy Melvin, Buffalo (President) District 2: Tim Kozojed, Hillsboro District 3: Greg Amundson, Gilby 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

BECOME A MEMBER TODAY! When you join the North Dakota Corn Growers Association (NDCGA) you invest in the North Dakota corn industry today and beyond. You join hundreds of your fellow North Dakota corn farmers in creating an even stronger future for corn production in the state. Your future as a corn producer is influenced by consumer opinion, regulatory guidelines and government programs. NDCGA ensures that your voice is heard when decisions are being made that impact your farm. You are an important part of North Dakota's corn industry. Fill out the North Dakota Corn Growers Association Membership Application on this page and join today! If you would like to learn more about membership, please contact us at

North Dakota Corn Growers Association |

North Dakota Corn Growers Association

MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION ___________________________________________________________ Name ___________________________________________________________ Farm/Business Name ___________________________________________________________ Address ___________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip ___________________________________________________________ County ___________________________________________________________ Home Phone ___________________________________________________________ Mobile Phone ___________________________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________________________ Spouse Name ___________________________________________________________ Recruiter Name MARK ONE

New Membership



I have sold at least 12,000 bushels of corn in ND, entitling me to a free 1-year membership. I have sold at least 24,000 bushels of corn in ND, entitling me to a free 3-year membership.

I have not sold corn in North Dakota, but wish to become a member. 1 Year = $35 3 Year = $85 1 Year Student Membership (High school or post-secondary) = $10 COMPLETE APPLICATION FORM AND MAIL WITH PAYMENT TO:

North Dakota Corn Growers Association 4852 Rocking Horse Circle South Fargo, ND 58104

For more information, visit or call (701) 566-9322


4852 Roc k ing H ors e Circ le S . • Fargo, N D 58104 • (701) 566 -9322

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


Profile for North Dakota Corn Growers Association

Spring 2020 Corn Talk  


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded