The joy of chickenship
It’s that time of year when the chickens (and maybe everyone else) are truly experiencing cabin fever. They free-range just about every day in the spring, summer, and fall. In winter, the closest they get to a sense of freedom is hanging out in the chicken run on slightly warmer days. I’ve found that the couple hours of outdoor bliss on sunny winter days mostly leads to a jackpot dinner for wild, hungry critters.
them to peck some kind of tune. It didn’t work like it does in reels. I’ve never put pants on my chickens or attempted to tie on little hats, but I do always wonder about the behind-the-scenes efforts when I see those kinds of videos.
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With who knows how many weeks left of winter, I try to bring a little excitement to my small feathered flock to shake up their days and to allow some reprieve for the ones at the bottom of the pecking order. I give them some time to wander inside our shed for a change of scenery as I do my chicken choring, but herd them back into the coop before I leave as we’re prone to unintentionally house an opossum or two on especially cold winter days. The chickens are fed a healthy amount of treats: minnows, mealworms, and an assortment of produce. Even a cannibalistic serving of scrambled eggs with crushed eggshells from time to time (something I never would have fathomed before chicken life).By Laura Cole
As someone who loves names, the chickens have also been a creative outlet. And I’ve learned in a real way that children have more of an opinion about their names than chickens do. As it turns out, my kid likes naming things, too, and it’s been pretty fun to see what she comes up with. My personal favorites of the monikers she’s given have been Dilly and Dally for a couple of Australorps; the potato trio of Rhode Island Reds: Tator, Tot, and Idaho; and then there’s Barb (full name, Barbecue) — a saucy little Barred Rock with a signature stumbly sort of walk.
It’s advised to never let a chicken get a taste for a raw egg as once they do, they’ll make it their life’s work to snatch them up for their own meals. I don’t exactly recall when this batch learned they can produce their own delicacies, but it seems like it had to have been a bit mind-blowing.
For several days in a row this winter, when I opened the door to the coop and took my first step in, I consistently heard and felt a crush under my foot. The chickens would swarm me, eager to get their share of the busted egg. Maybe one of the hens was getting bullied away from the available boxes or simply wanted a new view, but I kind of like to imagine a devious chicken strategizing a way to get a daily appetizer minus the required pecking.
Besides eating potential offspring, there was plenty I didn’t know before getting chickens. The first year was certainly a learning curve. But what surprised me most was suddenly being on the receiving end of so many poultry items. Potholders, framed art, statues, knickknacks — there’s a lot of stuff decorated with chickens out there, and it seems most of it has found its way into my home.
When I was a newbie and pretty taken by the celebrity chickens of social media (and their mansion homes), I brought a toy piano into the coop and scattered feed across the keys, thinking I might get
We got our first group of chickens when the Disney movie, Moana, was in its prime and so of course one had to be named HeiHei. This little black and white Barred Rock was more like a puppy. In the mornings, she marched back and forth at the door like a soldier, waiting for us to let her out for the day. In the evenings when we pulled into the driveway, she always came running to greet us. Treats or no treats she seemed to genuinely enjoy the company of humans.
It was her lovable personality that made HeiHei’s disappearance especially hard. It was a rainy Friday evening in the summer. I went to close up the chicken run door and walked inside the coop to do the nightly count. I was one short. We had multiple of her breed, but I knew right away it was HeiHei that was missing. I did my walk through the yard calling her name (it was worth a shot). Some of our chickens have a habit of staying out later than others, but HeiHei wasn’t one of them. She usually followed close behind Carlos, the bedtime initiator. After shaking the mealworm bag as bait, and checking under possible shelters from the rain, I headed inside, not looking forward to delivering the news.
This little country living kid of mine had already become familiar with losing a couple chickens at this point. But HeiHei was certainly different. I will never forget watching that six year old pull on her pink boots and walk through the falling rain with me calling her dear chicken’s name and the tears that followed when it was time to call it a night. It was heart wrenching, but at the same time, I felt
Paltry fine proves what — and not who — we truly value
A much-favored line often quoted by preachers and politicians rightly notes: “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”
Curiously, a famous American politician, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and an even more famous attorney-turnedpreacher, Mahatma Gandhi, are both credited as its originator.
FARM & FOOD FILEBy Alan Guebert
It’s doubtful, however, that many in Big Meat ponder its authorship, let alone its admonition.
The latest evidence to highlight Big Meat’s low light is a mid-February case where, according to the Washington Post, a company named Packers Sanitation Services Inc. paid a $1.5 million fine after it “allegedly employed minors as young as 13 to use caustic chemicals to clean ‘razorsharp saws,’ head splitters and other dangerous equipment at meatpacking facilities in eight states… in some cases for years.”
Take a moment to consider the full meaning of those words: 13-year-olds, caustic chemicals, razor-sharp saws, and something called “head splitters.”
Now contrast them to words like skateboards, video games, bussing tables, and high school sports — some of the more common diversions “employing” teenagers.
The difference is stark, violent … and even brutal.
The absolute topper in this woeful tale is that some of the meatpackers using PSSI-hired contract cleaners “are operated by some of the country’s most powerful meat and poultry producers — including JBS Foods, Tyson and Cargill. Those companies were not charged or fined,” reported the Post Feb. 17.
It’s not that these Big Three (of meatpacking’s Big Four) aren’t profitable enough to have their own cleaning crews of trained professionals who are old enough to drive or at least shave once a week.
We know this because in 2022, for example, Tyson Foods’ net profits totaled $3.3 billion on sales of $53.3
billion. The world’s biggest meatpacker, JBS, posted results for 2021 (its latest) that showed $20.5 billion net profit on $351 billion in sales. Privately-held Cargill doesn’t reveal profits, but did report $165 billion in total sales for 2022.
And remember, none of these immensely profitable, global meatpackers were “charged or fined” by the U.S. Department of Labor in this case; because none of the cleaners — babyfaced or bearded — were employed by JBS, Tyson or Cargill.
Instead, all worked for PSSI, a Kieler, Wis. company which is “privately owned by Blackstone — one of the world’s largest private equity firms, and employs roughly 17,000 workers,” explained the Post.
Simply put, that means three of ag’s biggest, richest players are at least two steps removed from legal liability for “accidents” or injuries which occur while workers, some as young as 13, are cleaning and sanitizing their industrial slaughterhouses.
PSSI provides other benefits, too, according to its website. For example, the “vision” of company founders more than 50 years ago included PSSI “providing contract sanitation services using a non-unionized workforce.”
The website doesn’t say if that founding vision also included child labor.
Still, it may get a helping hand in that endeavor as at least two Midwestern states heavy with meatpacking presence, Iowa and Minnesota, are now considering laws that allow “exceptions to child labor regulations in their respective states due to the persisting labor shortage,” reported Business Insider Feb. 13.
Of the two legislative proposals, Iowa’s is particularly “abhorrent,” related a Feb. 12 Cedar Rapids Gazette editorial. The legislation “pushes for teenagers as young as 14-years-old to work in… jobs like mining, meatpacking, and logging… work longer shifts which last late into the evening…
A lambing barn is a happy place!
Our trusty thermometer that doesn’t falsify the temperature (or even exaggerates) recorded a rather cold temperature of eight degrees below zero. The roar of the ferocious winds could be heard through the walls of this insulated farmhouse. From my kitchen window, the world was white with snow on the ground while all sizes of tiny swirling snowflakes filled the skies.
Even though this winter desires to have a place in the meteorologist’s record book, my farmer and I have chores to do.
Because I don’t like to be cold, dressing to go outdoors requires triple pairs of winter socks, gloves (which are never warm enough and make me even clumsier), insulated coveralls, hooded sweatshirt, plus more head gear. If there is a smile or a frown on my face, who can tell?By Renae B. Vander Schaaf
Anyone who sees me will know I am on mission.
The tiny ice crystals sting the one bare spot on my face. The blinding snow is already a problem. It causes ice to form on the outside of my eye glasses. Because my eyes automatically water when it is cold, the inside of the cold lens freeze immediately from the tears. Sight is practically impossible.
We slip and slide on the ice, walk on top of snowbanks or slip knee-deep into the snow bank whenever it gives way under our weight. At times our attitudes may not be most grateful, but thankfully we can’t hear each other talk. There is no reason for talking under one’s breath, because the wind seems to have emptied the air right out of our lungs.
Finally we reach our destination. I can’t tell if it is new snow resting in front of the door, or if the wind decided to rearrange yesterday’s snow. Nevertheless, a snow scoop is a handy partner this winter.
We breathe a sigh of relief when we step inside the sheep barn. There’s a new sensation, a totally different environment from the one outdoors. Walls made of wood, rafters, some lighting, sheep on the straw — it’s absolutely wonderful!
Once my glasses clear, I search for the plaque that says, “My Happy Place.” There isn’t one, but the atmosphere of the building proclaims the ambiance loud and clear.
Our sheep do not have a modern up-to-date barn. Although we did have fun designing one which could be cleaned with a skid loader, gates that were easy to open and close, and pens for each ewe and lambs. Instead, those two major decision makers — time and money — strongly suggested an old cattle
shed we had been using as a chicken house would be the better option.
The laying hens left the farm about the week before the egg price began its rapid rise. On the other hand, the ewe lambs and ram were purchased about the time the sheep price began to decline. Oh … by the way, at the present time we have no intention of purchasing any other livestock, so your livelihoods should be safe for the time being.
My farmer and I found plenty of enjoyment as we worked together on transforming the dilapidated cattle shed into a barn. We decided the building was even older than us. A date on the foundation suggested it had been moved to its present location in the 1960’s when we still looked forward to sledding in winters such as this one.
The building looked quite decrepit. It had so many different angles and slants to it that to get a straight board in was a challenge. It did require some creative carpentry on the part of my farmer.
We had to undo some of the modifications we had done through the years that had made the shed more useful for its purpose at the time. Once our supply of leftover lumber was gone, we made many trips to town to purchase the supplies needed. Whew, there has been a slight price increase since our last project. That’s okay. It had us scouring the buildings to make use of what we had. We found old windows, barn doors and hinges which fit perfect with the shed’s architectural style.
While I am constantly amazed at my famer’s skills, the number of tools he had in his workshop was another cause for wonderment. How they got there is beyond me; but thankfully he had what he needed — so we didn’t have to make more trips to town. They sure came in handy.
He was the designer and master carpenter, I was the extra hand for carrying or holding the plywood sheets in place while they were fastened in securely. My penchant for walking was put to good use going after tools. It was a good idea to listen carefully as he described the color, the look and possible location for the exact saw or drill which was now needed immediately.
The snow began to fall about the day it was no longer a shed but a bona-fide sheep barn. We have to admit that our parents are still right, a manure fork and scoop really do fit our hands. And my mom’s cheerful encouragement, to go outside to do chores helps one to feel and function better is also true. A barn is a mighty fine place to be on a snowy afternoon.
A livestock barn is almost a second home on the farm. The animals require our care. In return, they are appreciative and good listeners. I have always enjoyed spreading a fresh bale of straw on a justcleaned floor. It’s relaxing to watch the animals scratch through it while searching for that bit of
pregnant mama checks could be suspenseful
The older we get, there are mixed emotions that come with deciding whether or not to turn the rams in with the ewes every fall; and more mixed emotions that come when February arrives and it’s time for that fall decision to stand on more legs than a person can count.
Come to think of it, there may be some mixed emotions out there in the sheep yard at both times of year as well, I imagine — perhaps different emotions from different genders and ages, too.
TABLE TALKBy Karen Schwaller
But certainly in the manager’s position; because, while the fall decision is a matter of moving the rams and making sure there are enough of them to ‘service’ the ewes while we turn our backs on them for the next six to eight weeks to get the crop out, the February end of that decision is a little more involved.
A few years ago, when our children were all living at home, we shared the night checks. That helped so that no one had to be up in the middle of the night every night to check the pregnant mamas out there. There was a rotation, and it worked well. I was even trusted to take my turn out there, which (in all honesty) may have been the result of a mixed cocktail of fatigue and whiskey on my husband’s part.
Regardless, I remember those nights of the 2 or 3 a.m. checks. It was hard to get out of bed on a cold
Grandchildren are eager to help
FARMHOUSE KITCHEN, from pg. 4
grain left in the straw.
Raising livestock on any scale can be one of the ties that bind families. Our children were actively involved with whatever livestock or fowl we had have had on this farm. We started out with sheep, a cow/calf herd, and chickens for meat and eggs. At one time we had goats or a cow for milk and meat. Geese and turkeys provided entertainment and some good eating. Yes, this farm has been a place of learning and working together on a broken shoestring budget.
Now it is our grandchildren who want to see Grandpa’s baby lambs or to help — even though they are very young.
How sad it is to think that if my farmer’s family had stayed in The Netherlands, he might not be able to teach his grandchildren about raising livestock.
Renae B. Vander Schaaf is an independent writer, author and speaker. Contact her at (605) 530-0017 or firstname.lastname@example.org. v
February morning like that, to go to the basement, put on my farm clothes and trudge outside into that cold night air. It certainly woke a person up. And it was like another world when I would open the garage door to step outside.
It was the one time of day when the winds were literally non-existent. The extreme dark and quiet of the night was both soothing and unexplainably spooky at the same time. And yet, when you looked up at the sky, the stars would be out in full form, and the moonlight would make the snow glisten like diamonds. It was truly a sight and a feeling to behold…
… until I wondered if someone was out there in the dark, watching me. Part of me thought I should bring a crucifix with me to hold up all the way out to the sheep barn; but then I wondered where would I put it if some mother out there was in dire need of obstetric aid?
It wasn’t just the cold that kept my feet moving forward quickly as I tried to enjoy the beauty of those frigid, still wintery nights. For some reason, once I got inside the barn, I felt like I had reached the pinnacle of safety and security.
Still, I again faced mixed emotions once inside the barn. If there was nothing happening, then it was a complete waste of time and effort for me to get up in the night. On the other hand, if there was something happening, it could be a while before I got back home, depending on what was happening and who was birthing where, who might be having trou-
ble and who might not be claiming their lambs.
So honestly, I never knew what I wanted to see when I would open the barn door.
But the first order of business is still to look for babies on the ground, get them to the safety of a lambing pen and take care of them first. Then it’s important to get back out to the group and walk around behind all of the other expectant mothers to see just how busy the maternity ward really is.
While it’s the responsible thing to do, I sometimes feel the need to go to confession after I have spent time walking around looking at the back ends of these ladies in waiting, who just walk around with it all hanging out.
After it’s all done and I can turn down the barn lights, it’s actually kind of fun to see the mothers who have had their babies, all cozied together and getting to know each other — until you see one who won’t claim her baby. Then you just want to do an exorcism right on the spot while you’re up anyway, and while you might have that crucifix somewhere on your person.
Indeed, that fall decision certainly impacts our February work load — especially the older we get. Someday it will be young man’s work.
But until then, when the fall comes, we’ll still turn the rams in with the ewes, then leave them some privacy while we work on getting the crop out. Then we’ll only dream about peaceful February nights.
Karen Schwaller brings “Table Talk” to The Land from her home near Milford, Iowa. She can be reached at email@example.com. v
Expansion of Minnesota Care will not cut medical costs
Our Minnesota legislators are currently at work in St. Paul. One of the issues they are considering is an expansion of Minnesota Care. Minnesota Care came into being in 1992 to help provide health insurance for those earning too much to be on Medicaid but earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. (The federal poverty guideline is currently about $29,160 for an individual and about $49,720 for a family of three.) Taking into account the cost of food, housing, clothing and transportation, there is no money left over for health insurance at that level of income.By Mark Brakke
The Minnesota Care expansion, also referred to as a “public option”, would expand Minnesota Care to those earning above 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline. Premiums would be based on a sliding scale dependent on income.
Expanding the availability of health insurance to more Minnesotans would be good. It is, however, pertinent to note that an expansion of Minnesota Care would not cut the cost of medical care to our society as a whole. It would not do anything to reduce the current excessive administrative costs caused by the crazy quilt of current health insurance (multiple insurance companies with multiple different insurance packages interacting with mul-
tiple hospitals, multiple clinics, multiple government programs and complex contracts defining who pays who, how much etc.). It would not eliminate the generation of profits for insurance company shareholders. It would not cut U.S. pharmaceutical costs which are twice that of other prosperous countries. There is a cost saving possibility in the bill. The bill requires an analysis of a state-run insurance program for Minnesota Care compared to the current insurance company-based situation. Why would that save money? Administrative costs for health insurance companies are quite high. Why? The health insurance companies spend lots of money advertising to convince the consumer that their plan W is better than the competitors’ plan X. (When the reality is the furniture is the same — but it has been rearranged.) The commercial insurance companies also need to generate profits for their owners. In the case of the “nonprofit” insurers, they are squirreling money away for a snowy day (otherwise known as building “reserves”) in addition to paying their administrators princely salaries and having enough money left over, they make grants to other “nonprofits” (I kid you not.).
As we consider health insurance, it is reasonable to identify what constitutes good health insurance. Everyone should have good health insurance (In general we do not have a choice regarding whether we get ill or stay healthy). The health insurance should preserve an individual’s or family’s financial well being. Good health insurance should be affordable. Good health insurance should allow one to see the doctor of one’s choice at the hospital or clinic of one’s choice. The insurance company should not have the ability to decide what care a patient can have. That decision should be based on the doctors’ recommendations. Additionally, health insurance should include one’s vision, hearing and teeth as they are as much part of us as our heart or bones.
Is the overall cost of medical care important? Currently, the United States is paying about twice as much per person per year compared to the other modern prosperous countries in the world. At the same time, our health outcomes are inferior. The CIA (yes the Central Intelligence Agency does track this statistic) notes the United States is 72nd
among world nations for life expectancy. Making U.S. health care more effective, less costly and redirecting that money would have a very positive effect by allowing more dollars to improve housing, eliminate hunger and improve wages.
Is expanding Minnesota Care our best option? No. A comprehensive, state wide health insurance plan such as Senator John Marty’s bill for the Minnesota Health Plan would save more money while providing us all with good health insurance. It does not appear Minnesota voters understand the problem well enough to make that jump. Minnesota Care expansion is not the silver bullet; but it is a positive step.
Consider a conversation with your state senator and state representative. Make it clear to them you want all Minnesotans to have excellent health insurance at an affordable price.
If you like to read proposed legislation, the pertinent bills for Minnesota Care expansion are HF 96 and SF 49. The legislature/Minnesota government has an excellent website (https://www.leg.mn.gov) which will enable you to read proposed as well as existing legislation word for word. (If you do not enjoy reading legislation it can also cure some people’s insomnia.)
Mark Brakke is a retired family practice physician. He cared for patients in Coon Rapids, Minn. for 41 years during which time he was on the boards of directors of two health insurance companies. He currently is on the board of the educational non profit Health Care for All Minnesota (HCA-MN.org).
Duke is keeping predators at bay
LAND MINDS, from pg. 2
pretty honored to know such a good soul.
Since getting Duke, our German Shorthaired Pointer, chicken disappearances have been minimal. I’m not sure if he’s aware that he’s protecting them, but somehow his presence is keeping the fourlegged predators at our perimeter.
My dad always kept a rubber snake in his apple trees, moving it every now and then to trick the feathered predators and keep them from the fruit. After a gruesome hawk attack, I put a snake decoy on the coop’s roof, and as far as I can tell haven’t had an issue since.
Chicken chores do reluctantly pull me out of bed on the weekends, but I am almost always grateful for the nudge once I’m outside. Breathing in the early morning air and witnessing a beautiful sunrise is only ordinary because it happens every day. It’s actually nothing short of my best dream.
Laura Cole is the staff writer of The Land. She may be reached at lcole@TheLandOnline.com. v
Calendar of Events Letter: The Land should come to
March 10-11 — New Ulm Farm-City Hub Club Farm Show — New Ulm, Minn. — The overall theme of the club’s 41st annual show is Celebrate Farm Family Friends, with an added emphasis on farm safety. Contact Jenny Eckstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 233-4302.
March 17 — Climate Adaptation in Minnesota — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss a key issue facing woodland owners in Minnesota. Contact Gary Wyatt at email@example.com.
March 21 — Garden Gala — Litchfield, Minn. — Learn from experts about a wide variety of gardening topics. There will also be vendors offering a wide array of services. Contact Meeker County Extension office at (320) 693-5275.
March 24 — Windbreaks/Living Snow Fences – Designs and What to Plant — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss a key issue facing woodland owners in Minnesota. Contact Gary Wyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 27 — Getting Your Product on Shelves at Your Local Food Coop — Online — Learn about how to sell your food products at your local food retail cooperative. Contact Jessica Jane Spayde at email@example.com.
March 28 — I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course — Sioux Falls, S.D. — This course is scheduled as part of the pre-educational events for the Central Plains Dairy Expo. Contact Fred Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (712) 737-4230.
March 31 — Foraging for Wild Edibles — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss woodland topics. Contact Gary Wyatt at email@example.com.
April 3 — Getting to Know Your Local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) — Online — Learn about how to work with your local SBDC. Contact Jessica Jane Spayde at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 10 — Navigating Business Resources with the Help of Your Local
Business Incubator — Online — Learn about how local business incubators can help your food business navigate business resources. Contact Jessica Jane Spayde at email@example.com.
April 11-13 — Dairy Calf & Heifer Association Annual Conference — Prior Lake, Minn. — The conference will include three speakers, Ross Bernstein, Dave Kuehnel, and Peggy Coffeen. There will also be a trade show with approximately 50 companies highlighting their calf and heifer products. Visit their website for more information at calfandheifer.org.
April 11-13 — PEAK 2023 — Minneapolis, Minn. — Formerly called the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention, PEAK is the nation’s largest trade show and convention in North America focused exclusively on the business and food production of poultry. Contact Lara Durben at firstname.lastname@example.org or (763) 284-6763.
April 14 — Things to Think about when Planning a Timber Sale — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss a key issue facing woodland owners in Minnesota. Contact Gary Wyatt at email@example.com.
April 17 — Spring Gardening Seminar — Sauk Rapids, Minn. — This event will include horticulture topics, and is open to all gardening enthusiasts. The workshop will include two sessions: “Soil, starting from the ground up” and “Going ‘No-Till’ with your garden 2.0.” Visit http://z.umn.edu/SpringSeminar2023 for more information.
April 21 — Strategies to keep your woods healthy and resilient — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss a key issue facing woodland owners in Minnesota. Contact Gary Wyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 28 — 2023 Participatory Science: Spotted Lanternfly, Mock Strawberry, Garlic Mustard Aphids — Online — Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss woodland topics. Contact Gary Wyatt at email@example.com.
To the Editor,
I recently received a notice from my favorite farm magazine. Renewing The Land Magazine has been a simple formality for me for years. But now I am declining to renew it due to the writing of a true political hack — Tim King. It’s because of him and his ilk that the “mainstream media’s” approval ratings are lower than that of congress.
He is impressed that a conservative is convicted in the liberal mecca of Washington, D.C. SURPRISE! Would they get a conviction in rural America? Probably not.
Now we are learning that the once neutral and trusted FBI was involved in encouraging the protestors to storm The People’s House. Videos clearly show the capitol police waving the
people inside. Who was killed? An unarmed female veteran. Where is the justice for this American citizen?
The summer before is when the real riots occurred. Many were killed, government buildings were destroyed, and billions of dollars in damage to businesses occurred. This is what the “mainstream media” referred to as “mostly peaceful protests.”
If I want to read left-wing propaganda I can turn to “the rag,” the Minneapolis Tribune. Until you come to your senses and do fair and impartial reporting I will decline to renew. If you ever go back to your glory days when you were neutral and middle-of-the-road, let me know and I’ll be the first to sign up.Michael Thiesse Ceylon, Minn.
Need to put children first
(and) what’s more… the company they worked for would be free from any civil liability or negligence.”
If that proposal becomes law, warned writer Cheryl Tevis in a Feb. 18 Substack post, all Iowans “would be complicit, along with our elected representatives and governor, if we look the other way… [while] putting our children in harm’s way.”
Exactly, but we continue to “look the other way;” we continue to give power to the already too powerful until, like now, all we have left to give is our most vulnerable, our children. Shame on them and shame on us.
The Farm and Food File is published weekly through the United States and Canada. Past columns, events and contact information are posted at www. farmandfoodfile.com. v
This winter’s weather adds challenge to handling snow
Just as every snowflake is special and unique, so has been the winter of 2022-23. Snow this season has exceeded recent winters, and even now, as the Minnesota Pork Congress was shortened last week by a late-February winter storm, we need to take a close look at the effects of all of this snow on farm building roofs and the farmstead in general.
University of Minnesota
engineers Chuck Clanton, Erin Cortus, Kevin Janni and Extension specialist Krishona Martinson collaborated to help farmers address snow handling issues on the buildings and in the barnyard.
Snow loads on the roof
SWINE&UBy Diane DeWitte
If your cubic foot of snow weighs 11 pounds and you have 2 feet of snow on the roof, then you have about 22 psf of snow load on your roof. This method is based on the idea that the snow on the roof is similar to the snow on the ground and that the snow is evenly distributed on the roof. Use caution to avoid falls if you attempt to climb on a roof by using a fall arrest harness and the buddy system.
The excessive amount of ice and snow this past month has livestock owners concerned about snow load on farm building roofs. The design roof snow load for residential buildings in Minnesota is set by state statutes and is 42 pounds per square foot (psf) in northern Minnesota and 35 psf in southern Minnesota. However, many agricultural buildings are built using a 20 psf snow load which would be expected to handle six feet of dry, fluffy snow or one foot of wet, heavy snow.
Estimating the weight of snow and ice on a roof is difficult because snow density can range from 3 pounds per cubic foot for light, fluffy snow to 21 pounds per cubic foot for wet, heavy snow. Ice density is around 57 pounds per cubic foot. One way to estimate snow load on a roof is to go to an area on the ground nearby the shed or barn. Collect and weigh 1 cubic foot of snow (1 foot high x 1 foot wide x 1 foot long). Then estimate or measure snow depth on the roof.
Do you know the snow load capacity of your barn or shed? Snow load capacity is determined by the truss capabilities. Building manufacturers should supply truss certificates as they erect the building.
Janni suggests the installation of snow fences and or tree shelterbelts upwind of farmsteads and agricultural buildings as additional ways to prevent excess snow buildup on building roofs.
Proper snow fence design and location is important for protecting a building or farmstead. Some building roofs have failed in the past because the buildings were located too close to shelterbelts or windbreaks, which resulted in large snow drifts on top of these buildings.
Remember when placing a 50 percent solid snow fence or tree windbreak that snow will be deposited downwind a distance of up to 10 times the shelter belt or snow fence height. An 85 percent solid fence deposits the snow within a distance of about four
times the fence height. Porous snow fences distribute the snow more evenly and give better protection downwind than a solid fence.
Leaving an area for snow to accumulate is very important when locating a machine shed or livestock building downwind from a shelterbelt. If the building is too close, it will be within this snow drop area. If too far from the windbreak, it will be outside of the wind “protection” zone.
Moving snow around the farmstead
After a winter of heavy snow and ice, livestock owners should consider where the snowmelt will go and how it could make farm operations difficult in the spring. Janni emphasizes that early snowmelt and spring rains can run across frozen ground, gather in low spots and create flooded areas. Melting snow can flood buildings, feed and bedding storage areas in low areas, which can damage feeds, bedding or equipment. Feedlot runoff needs to be managed properly to prevent contaminating surface waters. It is also important to prevent snowmelt from entering in-ground manure storage pits or basins.
When moving snow, producers must plan for spring thaw. Plow or scrape snow off to the side of outdoor exercise lots, feeding areas and heavy traffic lanes. Avoid pushing uphill of outdoor lots, feeding areas and traffic lanes. This will reduce snowmelt that is in — or drains through — the lot or feeding area. Avoid removing manure or wasted feed with the snow unless it will be land applied properly to cropland. Carefully consider where you place snow when you move it around the farm. Locate piles so snowmelt will drain away from animal lots or traffic lanes rather than through them. Also, ensure pump-out covers on deep manure pits are properly seated so snow and roof runoff do not drain into the pit. Adding snowmelt and rain runoff to a manure storage facility reduces manure storage capacity and adds to land application costs.
In the spring, take a good look at the overall farmstead drainage pattern. If
other parts of your property drain through the animal yards, feed storage areas, or high traffic areas, regrade the slope or add shallow diversion ditches so runoff water flows around the areas you want to protect.
On some farms, water runs off the barn roof into animal lots. A shallow trench or ditch beneath the overhang can help direct this water out of the yard. Better yet, install gutters and downspouts that empty away from the animal lot. Also, grade the ground around farm buildings to slope away from the building. This helps move snowmelt and rain runoff away from the building and its contents.
Another long-term solution is to avoid placing buildings, feed and bedding storage in low areas. And grade animal yards and the farmstead to provide continuous drainage away from the animals, feed storage, and high traffic areas. A 4 to 6 percent slope is recommended.
Consider building conditions
Snap, crackle pop! A sound you want to hear when eating cereal, but not from your buildings in the winter. Signs of building failure (or damage) include walls bulging at the top from failing knee braces, sagging roof lines, doors or windows that no longer open, physical sounds of cracking and popping, and roof collapse.
If there are indications of building damage or failure, do not climb onto the roof or enter the building. One way to remove snow from a roof is to physically shovel off the snow. There are numerous human safety concerns with this, including falling off the roof. One should use ladders, safety ropes and the buddy system. Also watch out for power lines and take other necessary precautions that may include hiring a professional, if possible.
For more information on managing snow loads on barn and shed roofs, and handling snow around the farm, visit the University of Minnesota Extension website at https://extension. umn.edu/farm-safety
Diane DeWitte is an Extension Educator specializing in swine for the University of Minnesota Extension. Her e-mail address is stouf002@umn. edu
Ram’n Acres looks to breed ‘super model’ HampshiresBy TIM KING The Land Correspondent
MONTICELLO, Minn. — Rodney Scheller, of Ram’n Acres, has been raising Hampshire sheep since his parents bought their first five “Hamp” ewes in the early 1980s. At the time, his parents were switching from raising Black Angus cattle to Shorthorns.
“The farm they purchased their first Shorthorns from also raised Hampshire sheep,” Scheller said. “They ended up buying five ewes from them to keep the grass eaten down in a grove of trees, so they didn’t have to mow it. There are seven kids in our family and we all had chores around the farm. I was assigned the sheep chores. And the rest is history.“
Ram’n Acres now has a registered Hampshire flock of 60 brood ewes, 15 replacement ewe lambs, and seven rams.
“The goal of my program is to sell breeding and show stock,” Scheller said. “I select for fast growing, heavy muscled sheep with substantial bone and foot size that are structurally correct and sound on the move with good Hampshire breed characteristics.”
Scheller says he looks for sheep that have some flare and extension to their front end for good eye appeal.
Accomplishing all that is an on-going project which evolves with each lamb crop.
“I always say I’m breeding for super models; but the majority don’t make the cut,” he said. “So, many end up at a livestock yard like Zumbrota or Sioux Falls. I also sell between 10 to 20 lambs
a year to individuals for their personal freezer.”
The livestock yard and freezer sales can sometimes bring a good price; but that’s not Scheller’s objective.
“The top end of the ewe lamb crop each year is either kept for replacement ewes or for breeding sales,” he said. “Additionally, I only keep the best one or two rams for breeding or selling.”
One of those rams won the Minnesota Hampshire Sheep Association’s Champion Ram award for 2021 and 2022, at the organization’s annual show at the Martin County Fairgrounds in Fairmont.
“He is a structurally correct ram that
excels in breed characteristics,” Scheller, describing the prize winning ram, said. “He has a straight spine and extremely high dock set and wide hip shape. He has good extension up front and is smooth on the walk.”
It pays to look good if you don’t want to end up in somebody’s freezer. But you also have to provide results.
“My first lambs for the 2023 season are twin ewe lambs sired by him and are very impressive at this point,” Scheller, who is MHSA president this year, said. “I’m excited to see if he continues to stamp his pattern on his future offspring.”
Twins, such as those sired by the MHSA champion ram, are common amongst Hampshire mothers and, in the Ram’n acres flock, a few sets of triplets are born every year.
In addition to that two time winner, another prize-winning ram from the Ram’n Acres breeding program was Hercules.
“He was the 2015 Reserve Senior Champion at the National Sheep Show
in Louisville, Ky. The show is also known as N.A.I.L.E or the North American International Livestock Exposition,” Scheller said.
Passing on the genes of those champion rams is vital to the long range success of Scheller’s breeding program. But the genes from a lamb’s mother are also important.
“There are a hand full of ewes I consider stud ewes that annually produce the best lambs. Their lambs have a greater chance of being chosen as a replacement female,” he said.
Scheller refers to those top ewes and rams as having good Hampshire breed characteristics. He says a correct Hampshire should have wool on their legs and head with a shorter ear length.
“They should also have a shorter and wider muzzle and a clean fleece with no black fiber,” he said. “Hamps are known for having a larger leg bone and foot size.”
“A winner has flare,” he says. “I say they have “The Look”.
See HAMPSHIRES, pg. 11
His sons raised them, but the goats stuck with HolckBy RICHARD SIEMERS The Land Correspondent
RUTHTON, Minn. —
Brian Holck was introduced to goats the way he said others have been: through his children. A couple of his sons liked goats. One bought feeders; the younger one still living at home purchased does and was raising kids. There were times when the boys were busy and Holck would fill in doing goat chores.
“I guess I took a liking to them from the beginning,” he said. “I bought two Savanna bucks in 2014 and started my own herd.”
Neither son is still on the farm, but Brian has become the family goat herder. He raises commercial meat goats and works with crossbreds on his farm near Ruthton, Minn.
“I have primarily Savanna and TexMaster,” Holck said. “Right now we’re running a herd of about 75 does. We’ve been as low as 45 and as high as 130 does. For our size operation, what we have for buildings and can raise for feed, around 75-80 does has been about right.”
This year he kidded in the nasty weather of late December and in January into February. That’s not his usual choice, but came about as the result of a test. He raises his replacement does and thinks he is close to raising his own bucks.
“I had left my young bucks in with
the does last year,” Holck said. “When the bucks get big enough they’ll start breeding the does. Part of it was to see if I’m raising good enough bucks so they can do the job, and they apparently did. I’m always tweaking things and trying different things; but I’d like to stick with a spring kidding.”
Now that he has seen what they can do, he won’t leave the young bucks with the does this year. His usual timeline is kidding late April and into May. It’s not as tough on the mothers or on the kids.
“[With spring kidding], you have the grass coming in pasture so when the kids get old enough and follow moms, they’re out on the nice grass. It’s a lot less stressful and a lot less work.”
Gestation is five months or 150 days, so it is possible to kid three times in two years.
“I don’t push that hard,” he said. “I go for one kidding a year. I can leave the kids on their mothers three to four months and then get them weaned off.”
In six to seven months they reach market weight, around 60-70 pounds. Then they go to the sale barn. Lately he has been selling at Jackson Livestock Auction. The buyers represent processing plants in the east, where the goats are shipped for processing.
“I can market anywhere from 100-150,” Holck said, “depending on how many does I have and what my kidding percentage is. I normally average 1.6 or 1.7 for percentage. We’ve had singles, twins are common. One year a third of my does had triplets, which sounds good because it raises the average, but it takes a good doe to do that. They can have triplets, but to get that set of three raised to weaning, that takes a bit. You’ve got to have a good mother; the feed has to be there so they milk enough. Myself, I’m happy with a good twinning percentage.”
He prefers to “group kid.” When he started, each doe was penned up before she kidded; but that was a lot of work and a lot of handling. If everything goes well, he lets them run with the whole group.
“Once in a while I may have an issue,” he said. “Does may kid in two different spots, or one kid wander off and doesn’t get bonded up with mom right away,
so I have to pen them up just to make sure she takes care of both.”
Last year, and the year before, a doe had quads. He did pen them up and treated them a little better, making sure they got the feed to produce the milk. Fortunately, both weaned off their set of quads in good shape. He kept some of last year’s quad kids to be does this year.
As already mentioned, Holck no longer buys does. He said he started with a “hodge-podge” — buying does at different places, mostly Boer-crossed does. He had done his research and wanted Savannas because he learned they had good maternal instincts. But people weren’t selling — and when they did, they wanted a high price. That’s when he bought his first two bucks — Savannas — and decided he could raise his own.
He later purchased a TexMaster buck and crossed him onto the Savannacross does. Holck keeps two or three bucks and rotates them in and out of the herd. He holds back a couple that look good to see how they develop, and occasionally buys one to bring in some new bloodlines.
He’s not breeding for a certain percentage breed.
“My thing is just trying to breed a good meat goat, regardless of what the breed is,” he said. “Savanna and TexMaster happen to be the two breeds
State Hampshire Association maintains breed’s integrity
HAMPSHIRES, from pg. 9
“That means their lines are sharp, they run uphill to the shoulder, their neck comes out of the top of their shoulder, extra extension in their neck, and they have a smooth stride as they walk,” he said. “Kind of like a super model at a fashion show.”
Scheller’s colleagues in the Minnesota Hampshire Sheep Association work together to assure that the Hampshire breed adheres to those characteristics and high standards. They also work to make the MHSA accessible to all who care about maintaining and improving the breed.
“I think the biggest thing we do is to offer alternatives to major shows and sales,” he said. “Some breeders may feel intimidated by trying to show or sell their sheep at a national event. Our sponsored events are on a smaller scale
and there is less pressure on the exhibitor.”
“The two big events we host are The State Hampshire Show in Fairmont, Minn. in late August, and The Minnesota Bred Ewe Sale in late November. And in 2023 we are doing an online sheep sale for members also.”
To find a good general description and history of Hampshires, Rodney suggests looking at the American Hampshire Sheep Association web site at hampshires.org
He says that anyone interested in getting started raising Hampshires can contact him or any member of the association to answer questions and help them get started. Scheller can be reached directly at (612) 386-7479 or through the MHSA web site at mnhampshires.org.
Goats are ‘kind of fussy about what they eat’
HOLCK, from pg. 10
I work with. The herd I have now is a mix of both and I know the percentages are going to vary. Some of the does look Savanna, white with the dark pigment. And I have others that show TexMaster. Those are multi-colored, red, white, black, different colors. You can see both types in my doe herd.”
The idea that goats will eat anything is overblown. ”They are kind of fussy about what they eat,” Holck said. They just happen to have a wider-ranging diet than most ruminants, and have a preference for roughage.
“Left to their devices, their diet would probably be closer to a white-tail deer than to a cow,” he said. “I turn them out on pasture and they eat the grass, but if I turn them into the trees, they don’t go for the grass. They go for the leaves, the low-hanging branches. The more woody stuff, forbs, more brushy stuff is their preferred diet.”
In the winter he feeds them a good mix of grass and alfalfa. They really like the protein-rich alfalfa, he said.
The coming Easter season is one of
Gestation for the Savannah goats is five months, so it is possible to kid three times in two years. “I don’t push them that hard,” says Holck.
the best times for the goat market, Holck said. It is usually a little lower in the summer, but picks up again in the fall coming into Thanksgiving and the December holidays.
Whatever the market, Brian Holck likes his goats. His sons have moved on, but he’s not leaving goats behind any time soon.
You can contact Brian at bholck@ woodstocktel.net. v
The Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) program completed 2022 with a new Executive Director, Brad Schloesser. With an extensive background in agriculture and education, Schloesser most recently served as South Central College’s Dean of Agriculture and had been with the college since 1992.
Schloesser has also been involved in the sheep and wool business for a number of years. In fact, it was a lamb named Willie who made a lasting impact early on in Schloesser’s ag journey.
Schloesser grew up the second child of six on his parents’ farm near Le Center, Minn. where they raised dairy cows and pigs. When he was 9 years old, his uncle Gene brought over a lamb that wasn’t nursing. Gene handed his nephew some milk replacement in a refashioned 7-Up bottle, and Schloesser took the lamb into his care. “That one sheep, Willie, in 1970, helped me discover a path I was very passionate about and enjoyed,” Schloesser said.
As a freshman in high school, Schloesser’s ag teacher encouraged students to start an enterprise of their own, and Schloesser decided to go with sheep. He purchased 13 ewes that year and by the time he graduated high school, he had about 100.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in
road to MARL leadership is winding
Agriculture Education, Schloesser’s first teaching position was in Madelia, Minn. where he taught for six years. During that time, Schloesser, his wife, LuAnn and two young daughters, Jessica and Carissa, moved to a home in the country. It wasn’t long before 75 ewes from the flock he had established in high school joined them. Schloesser stated the majority of the flock were a Suffolk Hampshire cross, which is a meat breed. Schloesser said the price of lambs was lucrative and he started raising about 500 head of feeder lambs.
Besides his daughters having the opportunity to learn about raising sheep firsthand, Schloesser also introduced his students to the industry and gave them the opportunity to help with shearing. About 10 students ended up with sheep projects of their own, and Schloesser was nominated by a student for a teacher recognition program. When Schloesser was posed with the possibility of continuing his education, he was led to ask himself, “What would I be interested in?”
That query took Schloesser and his family to Bozeman, Mont. where he earned his master’s degree in Animal Science from Montana State University. His thesis focused on ruminant nutrition, examining the various effects that different diets had on 40 head of sheep. After completing the program, Schloesser returned to Minnesota and spent one year teaching in Marshall before accepting a position with South Central College and moving to an acreage outside of St Peter.
Schloesser has seen how shepherding animals has shaped his ability to raise a family and take care of others, and also views the work as a symbol of his Christian faith. Reflecting on his journey so far, Schloesser said, “It’s been a wonderful career to help me prepare for this role in guiding, supporting, celebrating ag.”
As a member of MARL Class XI (2020-2022), Schloesser brings firsthand knowledge of the program to his new role. “It was a tremendous experience,” Schloesser said. “As a lifelong learner, I appreciate the design.”
MARL provides each class of up to 30 individuals a two year experience that provides unique opportunities to build both leadership and personal skills at a variety of events in Minnesota, as well as in national and international environments. Over the two year period, Schloesser and 26 peers attended nine in-state seminars, a national seminar, and an international seminar. It’s this design of requiring individuals to step out of their comfort zones into new and different atmospheres that Schloesser believes allows growth.
Class XI traveled to Ecuador and visited a variety of agricultural environments that were quite a bit different than the corn and soy beans of
Minnesota lands. They toured a wide range of establishments including pineapple, rose, avocado, and plantain farms. They even visited a livestock farm that raised thousands of guinea pigs, an Ecuadorian delicacy. Schloesser also recalled being immersed in a Spanish-speaking market with the task of purchasing ingredients for an Easter soup. The items were donated and the meal was served to a food insecure population.
Now as the program’s executive director, Schloesser recruits future enrollees from all over the state and also supports current members of the program. “We’re educating individuals on the value of leadership as well as supporting,” Schloesser stated. He explained that about half of the participants are actively farming while others come from many different walks within the ag industry including finance, innovation, development, and various roles within the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. With this variety comes different experiences to be shared and Schloesser emphasized the value of making connections, sharing reflections, and collaborating.
Quality leadership is of value both within the ag industry and outside of it. In reference to those who may be misinformed about the industry or removed from it, Schloesser noted, “It’s really important we tell the story properly.”
Class participants pay approximately 25 percent of the total cost; the rest is covered by supporters of the program. Therefore, Schloesser explained, another aspect of his position is “daily sharing the story, seeking support from sponsors who value good leadership.”
An advocate for women in agriculture, Schloesser is thrilled with the evolving enrollment statistics for the MARL program. He reports the last two classes have had slightly more women than men enrolled. Schloesser also looks forward to witnessing the ripple effect: meeting new class members who were encouraged to apply to the program by veteran class members. Having started in 2000, MARL now has over 350 alumni.
Lemke’s skills are tailor-made for a wool ambassadorBy TIM KING The Land Correspondent
WATKINS, Minn. — Henry Lemke had a plan.
“I love to show sheep,” the high school sophomore said, “so I wanted to make something that I could wear while showing them.”
The western style three-piece pants,
shirt and vest ensemble Lemke made does look just right in the show ring. The judges at the national “Make It With Wool” contest in Fort Worth, Texas thought the outfit looked pretty sharp too. Out of 22 entrants who had won their state’s Junior Level contests, Lemke’s ensemble took first place at the national competition.
“Henry also won the first place award for Exemplary Construction,” Glenette Sperry said. Sperry is the director for the Minnesota “Make It With Wool” contest since 2006. “Henry’s sister Gretta also did well at the national contest as she was in the top ten in the Senior Class competition. Marcella Matthys, from Marshall, Minn., was the fourth runner-up in the nation for the Adult Class.”
Although Minnesota has had more than a dozen national award winners during the 75-year history of the contest, Henry Lemke is the first male national champion from Minnesota, Sperry said.
Henry, who has been sewing for six years, credits his mother for being both his teacher and his design partner.
“My mom is an avid sewer and she taught me how,” Lemke said. “One of the hardest parts of this project was the yoke on the shirt. My mom and I worked together on that and I designed the pattern.”
To create the design for the threepoint western style yoke, Lemke and his mother studied the construction of a number of shirts the family had. After they’d studied and taken measurements, Henry created a pattern.
“Then we cut out a mock-up using muslin fabric,” Henry said.
After making adjustments to the muslin mock-up, Henry finally cut out his fabric, which was 100 percent wool made by Pendleton Woolen Mills.
Henry took the same approach with the 100 percent wool pants.
“The difficult part with the pants is the crotch,” he said. “You have to make it comfortable — not too tight or too loose. The nice thing about wool is that it doesn’t stretch like synthetic knits do.”
This was the fifth year Henry has been a competitor in the Minnesota “Make It With Wool” contest. Each year, as his sewing skills advanced, he has taken on a more challenging project.
“Next, I’m thinking of making something from start to finish; from raw fleece to finished garment,” he said.
It’s that kind of creativity and appreciation for wool fabric the “Make It With Wool” contests intends to inspire, says Sperry.
The objective of the contest, according to the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association web site, is to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics and yarns and to encourage personal creativity in sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning and/or weaving wool fabrics and yarns. The Association sponsors the annual Minnesota contest.
“It’s held at the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association’s annual meeting,” Sperry said. “In 2022 we met in Alexandria and had 17 urban and rural contestants from age 5 to 77.”
“We like to encourage young people to sew and everybody who enters is a winner,” she said. “Each entrant gets a piece of Pendleton wool.”
The Minnesota contest has a number of categories including preteens, ages 12 and under; juniors, ages 13-16; seniors, ages 17-24; and adults, ages 25 and older. Entrants can make their entry for themselves or for somebody else (such as a child), but the person it’s made for must model it. Preteens, juniors, seniors and adults must select, construct and model their own garments.
See LEMKE, pg. 17
NAFP seminars take place all three days March
The 2023 North American Farm and Power Show is once again offering a number of informative seminars and meetings in the upper level meeting room of the Four Seasons Centre.
Thursday, March 16 kicks off with “Farm Business Succession Planning,” sponsored by Linder Farm Network. Running from 10-11:30 a.m., the session is being led by Leah R. Gilbert of Gilbert Legal, PLLC. Gilbert focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, post-death administration and elder law. She assists clients with disability planning, farm/ business succession planning, entity planning, tax
planning and long-term care planning.
Later that same day, the latest information on the complex task of manure handling is coming to NAFP.
University of Minnesota Extension is presenting a commercial animal waste technician workshop from 1-4 p.m.
Topics covered during the workshop include licensing rules and regulations, actions required for spills and discharges, a runoff advisory forecast, characteristics of manure and safety.
On Friday, March 17, Lindsay Kuehn of the Farmers
Legal Action group and Brad Jordahl Redlin with the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program will present “Taming the Wild West of Carbon Markets.” Taking place from 10-11:30 a.m., the session will study potential opportunities and obstacles for your farm in the carbon market.
Later that same day, the University of Minnesota Extension will present “Adjusting Nitrogen Management to Climate.” This timely topic takes place from 1-4 p.m. and is led by University of
See NAFP, pg. 18
North American Farm & Power Show exhibitors
Grain Outlook December corn contracts tumble
The following marketing analysis is for the week ending Feb. 24.
CORN — Stale news is how I would best describe trade action when traders returned from the long President’s Day holiday weekend. Yes, we saw a bounce to begin the week based on a weekend frost in Argentina and less rain there than expected; but it didn’t take long for prices to reverse lower ahead of the Feb. 23 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Outlook Forum.
The USDA numbers were viewed as slightly negative and price action that day reflected the reaction. The May contract has been unable to punch through the January high of $6.86 per bushel and prices took out all moving average support levels on post-report trading. The December contract broke out of its February range by extending the downside to $5.74.25 per bushel. This was the lowest the December 2023 contract has traded going back to last August when it hit $5.64 per bushel.
A poor showing in wheat prices this week added pressure to the corn market with moisture in the hard red wheat areas and an overall lack of demand for U.S. wheat. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased by 0.6 percent to 5.4 percent on an annual basis in January vs. 5.3 percent in December and shot the U.S. dollar index to its highest since early January.
The USDA forum released full supply/demand balance sheets hours ahead of the Forum opening. They pegged the 2023-24 U.S. corn acreage at 91 million acres vs. estimates for 90.9 million acres and 88.6 million planted acres last year. In the last 13 years, the March prospective acreage report number was below the February Outlook number five times; but the final corn acreage number has been below the February number nine times.
The U.S. corn yield will begin at a record 181.5 bushels per acre vs. 179.7 bu./acre estimated and 173.3 bu./acre last year. It seems early to be forecasting such a large number. U.S. production is forecasted at 15.085 billion bushels vs. 14.949 billion bushels estimated at 13.73 billion bushels last year. This production level would be the second-largest U.S. corn crop.
The 2023-24 carryout is pegged at 1.887 billion
Cash Grain Markets
third-highest safrinha production areas will not be planted within the ideal planting window.
Negotiations to extend the Black Sea grain corridor should begin soon. Russia is once again asking for concessions to make it easier for customers to buy their grain and Ukraine wants more ports and vessel inspectors added — as well as extending the agreement for a year. The current agreement ends March 18. President Putin this week said he would halt participation in the New Start nuclear arms treaty, a nuclear arms control treaty with the United States. The first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was Feb. 24.
bushels vs. 1.809 billion estimated and 1.267 billion last year. The USDA’s history of ending stocks in February is to overestimate the stocks compared to the final number. The stocks-to-use ratio is estimated at 13 percent. The average farm price outlook for 2023-24 at $5.60 is $1.10 lower than for 2022-23.
There weren’t any export sales flashes this week and both the weekly ethanol and export sales reports were delayed a day by the holiday. Weekly export sales were within expectations and the lowest in six weeks at 32.4 million bushels. Total cumulative exports are 1.13 billion bushels and remain 40 percent behind last year when the USDA is forecasting a 22 percent decline in year-on-year exports. We need to average 26.3 million bushels of sales per week to ring the bell on USDA’s outlook. Weekly export inspections at 622,800 metric tons were at the low end of expectations and cumulative inspections are running 36.6 percent behind last year. The USDA has exports down 22 percent year-on-year.
Weekly ethanol production was up 15,000 barrels per day at a nine-week high of 1.029 million bpd. This is still below the pace needed to meet USDA forecasts. Ethanol stocks were up 249,000 barrels at 25.6 million barrels. Net margins improved 2 cents to 15 cents per gallon. Gasoline demand was at an eight-week high at 8.9 million bpd. Gasoline demand over the last four weeks has averaged 1.2 percent below last year.
The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange cut their Argentine corn production forecast by 3.5 million metric tons to 41 mmt. The USDA is at 47 mmt and will be expected to play catch-up on the March World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report. The BAGE had Argentina’s pollination at 61 percent vs. 74 percent on average. The corn rating fell 2 percent to 9 percent good/excellent. AgRural said over half of the safrinha corn crop in Brazil’s second and
Outlook: A major winter storm across the upper Midwest garnered a lot attention this week with not much fresh for the markets. The number of traders may have been limited in the first half of the week with the last vestiges of Mardi Gras winding up before Ash Wednesday. The three major crops of corn, soybeans, and wheat total acres were estimated by the USDA at 228 million acres, up 6.2 million acres from last year. Prevent planted acres are expected to be below the last two years. Cotton acres are anticipated to be slashed to 10.9 million acres, down from 13.8 million acres last year. The first “survey based” acreage estimates will come on the Prospective Planting report on March 31.
Corn this week plunged below the recent trading range and back to December’s lows. Without bottompicking or fresh bullish news, the next downside support will be the January low which was $6.48.25 in the May contract. The December contract crashed to prices not seen since early August. The December low in August was $5.64 per bushel.
For the week, May corn plunged 28.25 cents to $6.49.25, July dropped 27.25 cents to $6.38.75, and December was 19.5 cents lower at $5.76.25 per bushel.
SOYBEANS — Soybeans gapped higher in postholiday trading after reports of frost in Argentina and limited rainfall events. The gaps were filled later in the week in post-USDA Forum trading. Brazil’s soybean harvest is behind the average pace, but it is expected to move ahead with sporadic rain interruptions. The two week forecast for Argentina is a return to hot, dry conditions.
May soybeans surged to highs not seen since last June and November not seen since mid-January. The May contract has been stymied at the $15.50 per bushel level several times and again fell back before touching it. The November contract traded above $14.00 per bushel, but couldn’t muster the strength to close above it.
The USDA Outlook Forum showed 2023-24 U.S. soybean acreage at 87.5 million acres vs. 88.6 million acres estimated and 87.5 million acres last year. The February soybean acreage number has been above the final acreage number in all of the last five years.
Lemke’s goal is to make a garment from raw wool to finish
LEMKE, from pg. 13
There aren’t a lot of rules for the contest, but entrants must be residents of Minnesota and the fabric must be at least 60 percent wool.
“There have been people who made things that didn’t pass the 60 percent test,” Sperry said. “We encourage people to get their wool tested before they go to all the work of making something.”
Sperry says finding wool fabric is a challenge. There are retail stores in St.
Paul and Rochester. An on-line purchase via Pendleton, such as those made by the Lemke family, are trustworthy.
Henry Lemke won’t be allowed to compete in the state or national show next year. Instead, he will be serving as Minnesota’s Lamb and Wool ambassador. It’s a role that he’s looking forward to.
“Wool is really a wonderful fabric,” he said. “It’s environmentally friendly, it’s comfortable, and, unlike synthetic fabrics, it breathes. That’s what makes it
Soybean exports lower than expected
NYSTROM, from pg. 16
U.S. soybean yield is expected at 52.0 bu./acre vs. 51.5 bu./acre estimated and 49.5 bu./acre last year. Final soybean yields have been higher than the February estimate in seven of the last nine years.
Crush was forecasted at a record high. U.S. production for 2023-24 is projected at a record 4.51 billion bushels vs. 4.515 billion bushels estimated and 4.276 billion bushels last year. The carryout is predicted to be 290 million bushels vs. 319 million bushels estimated and 225 million bushels last year. The USDA has a history of overestimating ending stocks when compared to the final figure. The stocks-touse ratio is estimated at 6.5 percent. The average 2023-24 average farm price of $12.90 per bushel was down $1.40 per bushel from 2022-23.
Weekly export sales were on the low side of expectations and were the highest in three weeks at 20 million bushels. Total cumulative soybean exports stand at 1.78 billion bushels and are now down 1 percent from last year. The USDA is projecting year-on-year exports to be down 7.7 percent. We need to average 7.7 million bushels of weekly sales to reach the USDA forecast for 1.99 billion bushels. Weekly export inspections were in the middle of expectations at 1.578 mmt. Cumulative inspections are up 3.5 percent from last year when the USDA is predicting exports to be down 7.7 percent from last year.
The BAGE slashed its Argentine soybean production outlook by 4.5 mmt to 33.5 mmt. The USDA was last at 41 mmt. They dropped Argentina’s soybean rating by 6 percent to 9 percent good/excellent and increased the poor/ very poor category by 4 percent to 60 percent. As of Feb. 21, Safras and Mercado estimated Brazil’s soybean harvest at 21 percent complete compared to 23 percent on average and 33 percent complete last year. AgRural put it at 25 percent complete.
Outlook: How small is Argentina’s soybean crop? How did the unexpected weekend frost impact yields? The answer to these questions is unknown, but it may be safe to assume the crop is not as big as the USDA expects at 41 mmt.
A late week sell-off came as attention once again turned to the prospect of higher interest rates. The March 8 WASDE will provide further direction; but for now, we will need fresh bullish inputs to get back to the upper end of the recent trading range.
For the week, May soybeans posted a moderate 3 cent loss at $15.19.25, July was 6 cents lower at $15.08.5, and November fell 12.25 cents to $13.74 per bushel. May soymeal was $5.10 higher at $4.80 and May soyoil fell 53 ticks to $61.22.
Weekly price changes in May wheat for the week ended Feb. 24: Chicago wheat plummeted 54.5 cents to $7.21.75, Kansas City dropped 60.5 cents to $8.35.25, and Minneapolis was 41 cents lower at $8.82.5 per bushel. v
comfortable even in warm weather.”
One of the things Henry plans to do while serving as Lamb and Wool ambassador is to attend wool shearing camp to improve his shearing skills.
As ambassador, Henry is available to speak to 4-H clubs and other groups about wool and lamb. He is a member of the Valley Victors 4-H Club and learned public speaking through the club.
If you’d like to learn more about the Minnesota “Make It With Wool” contest, visit the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association at mnlwp. org or you can contact Sperry at firstname.lastname@example.org
North and South Dakota, along with Wisconsin, have “Make It With Wool” contests. Iowans can participate in the National contest via the at-large contest. More information can be found at makeitwithwool.com v
Schloesser keeps ties with SCC
SCHLOESSER, from pg. 12
“It’s a fabulous asset for Minnesota,” Schloesser stated of the MARL program. While unique to Minnesota, MARL is one of many established member programs within the International Association of Program for Agriculture Leadership. Schloesser is able to connect with directors of IAPAL member programs in other U.S. states, as well as Canadian provinces and countries.
Schloesser states he’s “looking forward to leveraging experiences and turning a really good program into an even better program.” With only a few months into the role, Schloesser has already been able to meet many new faces at expos and conferences. He commented about the experience, “It just keeps getting better.”
Schloesser continues to raise sheep and donates meat to South Central College’s culinary program. He currently has a dozen head of Targhee sheep that make up his “therapeutic flock.” Schloesser also manages a vineyard located on his property and sells his grape harvests to a local winery. The Schloessers’ two daughters have careers in the ag industry, have both married and are raising children of their own. Schloesser enjoys spending time with his eight grandchildren, ranging in ages from 4-15, and passing along the joys and lessons that come with sheep raising to another generation.
MARL will be accepting applications for Class XIII in early 2024. To learn more about the process, visit their website at marlprogram.org. v
Global Dairy Trade butter continues to climb; cheese stalls
This column was written for the marketing week ending Feb. 24.
Direction reversed in the Feb. 21 Global Dairy Trade where the weighted average fell 1.5 percent after jumping 3.2 percent on Feb. 7.
Anhydrous milkfat led the declines, down 2.6 percent after jumping 4.8 percent on Feb. 7. However, butter was up 3.8 percent following a 6.6 percent advance on Feb. 7. Skim milk powder was down 2.4 percent after holding steady last time, and whole milk powder was down 2 percent following a 3.8 percent rise. Cheddar was up 1.5 percent after a 2.3 percent gain.
MIELKE MARKET WEEKLYBy Lee Mielke
With less volume available for purchase, many region’s purchases were lower than they were in the last GDT, says StoneX’s Dustin Winston. “However, North Asian purchases, which includes China, were higher than both the last event and last year as the region continues to stay above 50 percent market share after their return to that market at the start of February.”
StoneX Dairy Group says the GDT 80 percent butterfat butter price equates to $2.1782 per pound U.S., up 7.8 cents, after gaining 13.1 cents on Feb. 7, and compares to Chicago Mercantile Exchange butter which closed Feb. 24 at a pricey $2.43. GDT cheddar, at $2.3068, was up 4.8 cents, and compares to Feb. 24’s CME block cheddar at a bargain $1.88. GDT skim milk powder averaged $1.2559 per pound, down from $1.2834, and whole milk powder averaged $1.4806 per pound, down from $1.5101. CME Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Feb. 24 at $1.2150 per pound.
U.S. dairy margins were relatively flat over the first half of February with limited price movement in the milk and feed markets, according to the latest Margin Watch from Chicago-based Commodity and Ingredient Hedging LLC.
“While milk price changes have been limited,” the Margin Watch said, “There has been some discrepancy between classes as Class III has been moving lower while Class IV prices have been increasing and are up around $1.00 per cwt. since the beginning of the month. The rebound in spot butter helped support Class IV milk, with cash butter up 15.25 cents since the end of January. Block and barrel cheese prices have been moving sideways to offer limited direction to Class III. The recent weakness in milk prices combined with sky-high feed
Sessions take place on second floor
NAFP, from pg. 14
Minnesota Extension Scientist Dan Kaiser and water resources educator Brad Carlson.
This training looks at average climate conditions including soil temperature, soil moisture status, precipitation, and evapotranspiration together with an eye on the calendar date. The implications of deviation from average are discussed with respect to adjusting N management practices based on condition.
The Southern Minnesota Irrigators Association will be holding its annual meeting on Saturday, March 18 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
This session provides a specific meeting time for active farmer/irrigators from southern Minnesota.
All farmers who are currently irrigating (or have plans to start pumping water soon) are encouraged to attend. The primary focus is organization and management of the Southern Minnesota Irrigators Association.
Wrapping up the 2023 NAFP sessions is “Let’s Talk Cover Crops With The People Doing It,” sponsored by Saddle Butte Ag. From 11 a.m.–1 p.m., Saddle Butte Seed, Inc. Regional Manager TJ Kartes will review cover crop economics, direct marketing, and how to kill cover crops with other herbicide programs. Kartes will be joined by Andy Linder – a farmer from Easton Minn. who will discuss his cover crop experience and how he applies economics to his cover crops. v
costs continue to crimp spot margins. This has led to increased dairy cow slaughter.”
“USDA made minor adjustments to domestic corn and soybean balance sheets in the February World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, although sizable production cuts were noted for Argentina. The corn crop was reduced 5 million tons from January to 47 million while the soybean crop was cut 4.5 million tons to 41 million. Further cuts are expected as the country has been decimated by drought during their growing season. This will significantly reduce global supplies of corn and soybean meal which has kept both markets elevated at historically high levels. Expectations are growing for increased corn acreage in the United States this season given profitability dynamics among competing crops, and the USDA’s Outlook Forum at the end of the month is expected to provide the first set of estimates,” the Margin Watch concluded.
In politics, it appears that so-called “identity politics” is even ruling the dairy industry. The Food and Drug Administration issued a draft guidance this week which allows plant-based beverages to continue using the term ‘milk’ and allows for such beverages to include a “voluntary” nutrient statement on its label.
The draft drew fire from the Wisconsin-based American Dairy Coalition and other dairy groups. Dairy processors had not issued a statement as of our deadline.
The National Milk Producers Federation’s Jim Mulhern said the draft is “A step toward labeling integrity for consumers of dairy products, even as it falls short of ending the decades-old problem of misleading plant-based labeling using dairy terminology. By acknowledging the utter lack of nutritional standards prevalent in plant-based beverages and the confusion over nutritional value that’s prevailed in the marketplace because of the unlawful use of dairy terms, FDA’s proposed guidance will provide greater transparency that’s sorely needed for consumers to make informed choices. The decision to permit such beverages to continue inappropriately using dairy terminology violates FDA’s own standards of identity which clearly define dairy terms as animal-based products,” says NMPF.
Grade A nonfat dry milk closed Feb. 24 at $1.215 per pound, down a half-cent on the week and 64.5 cents below a year ago, with 10 sales put on the board for the week.
Dry whey finished the week at 46.5 cents per pound, up 1.5 cents, but 31.5 cents below a year ago. There were four CME sales reported for the week.
Lee Mielke is a syndicated columnist who resides in Everson, Wash. His weekly column is featured in newspapers across the country and he may be reached at email@example.com.
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Planting, Spraying, & Tilling Machinery
Our Annual Pre-Planting Spring Auction Has Some Exceptional Clean Low Hour Farm Machinery Line Ups Auction Location: Maring Auction Lot • Hwy 56 North Kenyon, MN One Half Mile North of Kenyon, MN on Highway 56
Saturday, March 11, 2023 • 9:00 a.m. LIVE AND ONLINE BIDDING AT
Case IH MX255, Case IH 1250, 2007 Freightliner Semi
From Devenshire Farms Retirement Pat Devney, 651-210-6298 or 651-210-6304
CIH MX255 MFWD, 9730 Hrs, Weights, 480x80R46, Big & Small 1000/540 PTO, 4 Hyd. Front Suspension, 18 Speed P/S, Trimble EZ Steer, One Owner; ‘12
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Please recycle this magazine.
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Thank You Farmers!
Only registered bidders may attend
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151 St. Andrews Court #1310, Mankato MN 56001
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FOR SALE: 2018 340 row trac, CVT, 878 hrs, 120” spacing, 6 hydraulics, all options. Rented land out. 320-808-5723
FOR SALE: 1996 JD 8870, 7402 hrs, 1 owner tractor, 71070R-38 tires, 800 hours on tires since new, LED lights, & rock box. Asking $56,000. 320-522-1495
FOR SALE: John Deere 620, new paint, runs good, carburetor redone; John Deere 530, runs good, NF; 3 and 4 bottom plows for sale. 507-380-4380
NEW AND USED TRACTOR PARTS JD 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 55, 50 Series & newer tractors, AC-all models, Large Inventory, We ship! Mark Heitman Tractor Salvage 715-673-4829
12”x58’ lagoon pumps (2021-2019) - Nuhn Multi depth Vert 8” pumps - (6) Puck TTR20 hose carts (2020-2015) - 10 Miles of manure hose 10”, 8” & dragline - Hose hustlers - Manure tool bars 2022 & 2021 Farmstar 26’ pull type - Puck 35’ 3pt. toolbar - (4) Shop Bilt 30’-32’, 3pt. toolbars - 2021 Phil’s Pumping 10,000 gal manure dumpster - (2) 2012 Dragon 8,500 gal semi tankers - 2011 Houle 7300 tank - JD 4640 displays - JD 3000 globes - Bazooka Farmstar Nexus ECS unit - Krohn 8”,6” flow meters - 2006 Peterbilt 385 day cab - (5) 2014-2011 Ford F350 Dsl. 4x4 pickups - (2) NH 7450 discbines(3) JD Gators, Dsl. - Taverse 8040 Forklift - JD 799Z Dsl. zero turn -Scotchman 65 ton ironworker - Tools & related items
To submit your classified ad
NOTE: Ad will be placed in the appropriate category if not marked.
FOR SALE: REDBALL 580 sprayer, 90’ boom, 1600 gal tank, 46” tires, $11,000. Retired farmer. 507-995-7966
Hay & Forage Equipment
FOR SALE: NH 1034 stack liner, very nice condition, always shedded. asking $12,000/OBO. 507-227-2602
All kinds of New & Used farm equipment - disc chisels, field cults, planters, soil finishers, cornheads, feed mills, discs, balers, haybines, etc. 507438-9782
WANTED: Case IH MX100, MX110, MX120, or MX135. Also JD 450 or 780 manure spreader, good or for parts. 320-630-8131
Spot, Duroc, Chester White, Boars & Gilts available. Monthly PRRS and PEDV. Delivery available. Steve Resler. 507-456-7746
Sell your livestock in The Land with a line ad. 507-345-4523
Grain Handling Equipment
DMC air transfer system model 1700, about 300 ft of 5” tubing, 2-10HP motors, single phase, new in 2001, only used once in last 10 yrs, stored inside off -season, current new approx. $34,000. $19,000/OBO (952)451-2315
FOR SALE: 60 farrowing crates with tri-bar and tender foot flooring; also 160 6-stall for sows & drop buckets. 320-583-9877
FOR SALE: Black Angus bulls also Hamp, York, & Hamp/ Duroc boars & gilts. Alfred (Mike) Kemen 320-598-3790
NEW NH T4.75, T4.90, T4.120 w/loader On Order
NEW NH Workmaster 60, 50, 35’s/loaders On Order
NEW NH 25S Workmasters ...…......…. On Order
NEW Massey Tractors ........................... On Order
NEW Massey 4710 w/loader ….......... COMING
New NH Boomer 40w/loader ….......… On Hand
3-New Massey GC1725 ……..................... Just In
Bobcat CT440 w/loader ……........… Just trd’d
’11 Massey 7475 Nice ………..........……. $99,500
’13 NH Workmaster w/loader ………...…. $18,500
’16 Massey 4608 rops w/loader …............. $43,900
’17 NH T4.75 w/loader ……..................… $53,000
’18 NH T4.75 w/loader .............................. $54,000
’21 NH T7.260 ………........……………… Just in NH 8970 ………………….....………… Just trd’d
Sunflower 4610 9-24 …….........……… COMING
Sunflower 4412-05 …….......................…… SOLD
NEW NH L318/L320/L328 wheeled units ....... On Hand
NEW NH C327/C337/C345 track units .......... On Order NH L228 low hours ............................................ $44,900
New Disc Mowers - 107,108,109
New Disc Mower Cond. - 10’, 13’
New Wheel Rakes - 10,12,14
New NH Hay Tools - ON HAND
Frontiern WR1010 wheel rake …….............……… $5,950
’13 NH BR7090 ……………….........…..………… SOLD
PARMA DRAINAGE PUMPS
New pumps & parts on hand. Call Minnesota’s largest distributor
HJ Olson & Company 320-974-8990 Cell - 320-212-5336
Sales & Service
New & Used
For your irrigation needs 888-830-7757 or 507-276-2073
Please recycle this magazine.
JD 7200 12-30 w/LF ………........................…… $21,000
White 6186 16-30 w/liq …....…...................……. $15,900
Taking 2023 New Spring Orders
NEW Geringhoff chopping cornhead Call
’02 Gleaner R62 …...............................……… $53,500
’02 Gleaner R62 ……………...................……. $35,000
’94 Gleaner R72 ………….......................…… $27,000
Gleaner R65 ……...............................…….. COMING Geringhoff parts & heads available MISCELLANEOUS
This week’s Back Roads is the work of The Land Managing Editor Paul Malchow.
A park for all seasons
Yes, the swimming beach is under a couple of feet of snow, the lifeguard’s chair is vacant, but the Firemen’s Park and Veterans Park in Chaska Minn. has plenty of activity on a sunny winter’s day.
Situated off State Hwy. 41 near the downtown district, the two parks sandwich Lake Fireman which is surrounded by a boardwalk walking path. The lake has a swimming beach and fishing pier and provides a tranquil backdrop for both parks.
The Veterans Park pays tribute to U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and MIAs. Each branch of the service is represented with flags and a separate station. The Chaska VFW sits right across the street.
An unusual park feature is tucked away in the northeast corner: an archery range complete with an observation deck.
The boardwalk takes a winding path south across the lake to the Firemen’s Park. A bronze sculpture of a firefighter holding a
little girl’s hand adorns the park along with stations honoring each decade of the Chaska Fire Department’s history.
Firemen’s Park has the standard features of playground equipment, picnic area and walking trails. Both the playground and trails were in heavy use on this beautiful day. But there is one building adjacent to the park which is even busier.
The Chaska Curling Club has six rinks which were being prepared for afternoon play. There is a bar and restaurant with floor to ceiling windows giving patrons a ring-side seat to all of the action.
Chaska Parks and Recreation conducts monthly classes for those interested in learning to curl. For spectators, the Curling Center is hosting the Brick City Open Bonspiel March 10-12. More information on these parks and other offerings from the Parks and Recreation Department are available at www.chaskamn. gov/647/Parks-Recreation or follow them on Facebook @chaskaparksandrec. v
Daily Seminar Schedule
Thursday, March 16th
10:00am to 11:30am Farm Business Succession Planning
Leah R. Gilbert Gilbert Legal PLLC
Sponsored by Linder Farm Network
1:00pm to 4:00pm Commercial Animal Waste Technician (CAWT) Recertification
The U of M Extension is putting on this recertification training which will cover; licensing, rules, regulations, action required due to a spill or discharge, runoff advisory forecast, characteristics of manure, and safety.
Friday, March 17th
10:00 am to 11:30am
Taming the Wild West of Carbon Markets
Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), in partnership with Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), released a Farmers’ Guide to Carbon Markets in Minnesota earlier this year. With one fifth of the world’s largest companies setting net-zero emissions targets, farmers are being asked to make changes to their operations that sequester carbon and sell companies credit for that sequestered carbon. These relations between farmers, large companies and often third-party vendors are defined by contracts. Attend this panel to learn about potential opportunities and obstacles for your farm in the carbon market. Sponsored by Linder Farm Network
1:00pm to 4:00pm Adjusting N Management to Climate
This U of MN Extension training looks at the effectiveness and advantages of various nitrogen (N) management practices with regard to average climate conditions including soil temperature, soil moisture status, precipitation, and evapotranspiration. The implications of deviation from average are discussed with respect to adjusting N management practices based on condition.
Saturday, March 18th
8:30am to 10:30am Southern Mn Irrigators Association Annual Meeting
11:00am to 1:00pm Let’s Talk Cover Crops with The People Doing It
TJ Kartes invites you to join him and Andy Linder to review cover crop economics, direct marketing, and how to kill cover crops with other herbicide pro grams. Sponsored by Saddle Butte Ag booth # 618
Thursday Friday Saturday
Free Ag Seminars Go to our website: www.tradexpos.com
to see a full list of speakers and seminar topics
Tradexpos, Inc. also produces the
North Star Ag Expo at the Richie Bros. Auction site in Medford, MN
Find out more about it at www.tradexpos.com
The Land (10.41 w x 10.16 tall) Outside Wrap - Back Cover - Full Color