Ag and Extension Briefs

SMSU Farm Outlook & Education Seminar scheduled for Feb. 14

The 34th annual Farm Outlook & Education Seminar will be from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, in the Conference Center Ballroom at Southwest Minnesota State University.

The Farm Outlook & Education Seminar is a scholarship fundraiser for students in SMSU’s agriculture programs.

Three speakers with broad agriculture backgrounds will highlight the event. They will share their expertise on a number of ag topics, including agronomics and economics; analysis of current grain and livestock market conditions; and strengthening relationships with ag lenders.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., with a welcome and introductions at 9 a.m. Tickets are $100 per person, or $150 for a couple, which includes lunch.

Registration deadline is Feb. 12. The preferred method of registration is online: Registration can also be mailed to: SMSU Foundation, 1501 State St., Marshall, MN, 56258.

Speakers are:

Jim Emter is the CEO of Van Ahn and Company, Inc., where he started back in 2003. The company has been assisting producers with risk management techniques since 1987. Its goal is to help commercial operations, producers and end users establish sound, detailed marketing plans.

Ken Franzky is the agronomy services manager of Minnesota and South Dakota for Centrol Crop Consulting. He has extensive experience as a crop management specialist, account manager and agronomy service manager with a number of major agricultural companies, including Syngenta and DuPont-Pioneer.

Paul Lanoue is the dean of agriculture & business at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. He grew up on a farm near Tracy where he developed a passion for agriculture and education. Lanoue and his team of instructors work with farmers to help achieve their financial and personal goals to leave a legacy on their farm. He also farms crops and cattle with his family south of Marshall. He is pursuing his master’s degree at SMSU.

The Farm Outlook & Education Seminar is sponsored by sustaining affiliates Ag Country Farm Credit Services, Centrol Crop Consulting, First Independent Bank, F&M Bank Minnesota, Granite Falls Bank, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnwest Bank and Ralco.

The schedule:

8 a.m.: Registration opens

9 a.m.: Welcome and introductions

9:15 a.m.: Ken Franzky, “Merging Agronomics with Economics”

10:15 a.m.: Break

10:30 a.m.: Jim Emter, “Analysis of Current Conditions in the Grain and Livestock Markets”

11:30 a.m.: Prime rib lunch

12:30 p.m.: Jim Emter, “How to Adapt to the Changing Markets”

1:45 p.m.: Break

2 p.m.: Paul Lanoue, “Strengthening Your Relationship with Your Ag Lender”

3:30 p.m.: Seminar close.

Register now for workshop on Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds

Weed management has become one of the most significant challenges in crop production as herbicide resistance continues to increase. Learn about the latest research and information to address these challenges by attending the “Strategic Farming: Growing Soybeans That Out-Compete Weeds” workshop taking place Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Best Western Plus in Willmar. The workshop runs from 7:30-11a.m. with breakfast included. There is no cost to attend. Registration is now open at

By attending, you will learn about:

• Growing soybeans that out-compete weeds.

• What are the impacts of row spacing, plant population, canopy closure, and pest pressure on soybean competitiveness and profitability?

• Beating weeds at their own game.

• How can we use weed biology to our advantage?

• Breaking the cycle of loving a technology to death: Get off the resistance treadmill.

• What are some new viable weed management options we can implement now?

• Implementing a game plan.

• What is your strategy to win against weeds?

Additional workshops will be held throughout the state, with details available on the registration website.

Registration is strongly encouraged at least five days prior to the event to assist in meal and program planning. Please visit This program is being sponsored by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

For more information about this program, contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711 or, or Dave Nicolai at 651-480-7700 or

Farm resource guide available

The Farm Resource Guide for 2018 is now available at many University of Minnesota Extension County offices across the state. This resource guide includes a wide variety of useful farm business management information including the following items:

• Custom rates

• Average farmland rental rates by county

• Flexible Rental Agreements

• Includes lease forms for Cash Rent and Share Rent arrangements

• Farmland sales information for all counties in Minnesota

• Information on charges for custom feeding, commodity storage, leasing buildings and various bin rental rates

• Current information on pasture rental rates, tree timber values

• Marketing information along with recent cost trends for Minnesota

• Commodity price probabilities for corn, soybeans, alfalfa hay, straw, grass hay, hogs, and cattle

• Corn and soybean yields by county

• Feedlot Rule Highlights and information on Manure Agreement and Easements

• Examples of Manure Spreading Lease and Land Application Agreement forms

This Resource Guide is available for a $25 fee plus postage and sales tax if you would like to have your own copy. The information can be provided in your preferred format: email cost $25 plus sales tax; CD cost $28.50; or hard copy cost $30.

If you would like your own copy of the Farm Resource Guide, email David Bau at or call at 507-372-3900 ext. 3906 and let him know what format you would like. He will send out the materials and an invoice as soon as possible.

For more farm business information, see the University of Minnesota Extension website:

University of Missouri uses Extension to broaden reach

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The University of Missouri is using its Extension program to bring the faculty, research and students to Missouri residents so that the school is more accessible.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Extension is a partnership between the University of Missouri and each of the state’s 114 counties. The university employs most of the specialists and each county funds office space, among other things.

There is usually a land-grant emphasis on agriculture, mechanical arts and other practical skills. But with the onslaught of technology and the gradual growth of cities, the population’s needs and expectations changed.

“Our general mission is still the same,” said Jody Squires, associate regional director for Extension in the St. Louis city office. “The challenges change but the goal is always to provide resources to overcome those things, whatever they may be.”

Extension leaders said they’re ready to provide financial planning classes, leadership training and dozens of other programs that vary by region.

By the end of the year, each county office will have a specialist who will focus on one of three issues: Education and workforce development, health and access to health care, and the economy.

“They’ll be uniquely positioned to focus on one of those top issues,” said Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for Extension and engagement at the university’s Columbia campus. “They’ll have content expertise but a focus deep in that county to see how that expertise can be helpful.”

DNR board approves manure limitations for eastern Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources board has approved new restrictions on manure spreading in eastern Wisconsin.

The board approved the package unanimously Wednesday. The DNR developed the rules largely in response to widespread groundwater contamination in Kewaunee County.

The regulations limit how much manure farms in 15 eastern Wisconsin counties can spread. The limits vary according to the depth of each farm’s topsoil. Farms with less than 2 feet of topsoil would be prohibited from spreading any manure. The restrictions also carve out zones around wells where farmers can’t spread manure.

The package now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his approval. From there it would go to the Legislature, which would have 60 days to object to the rules or demand modifications.

Wisconsin farmers organizations join group to support NAFTA

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Several Wisconsin farmers organizations have joined a new coalition in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association have become part of the new Americans for Farmers and Families coalition, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

The group is made up of more than 30 national and state organizations. It aims to lobby President Donald Trump and Congress about the importance of NAFTA negotiations.

Farmers are concerned about measures that will limit trade, said Tom Lochner, executive director of the cranberry growers association.

“The discussions that cause delays in or significant trade barriers being erected are only going to come back to harm American businesses and American farmers,” he said.

Negotiations could have a broader impact than just trade with Canada and Mexico as other countries observe how the U.S. handles negotiations, Lochner said.

“Free trade and open trade is a positive for everybody involved, whether it’s the exporters or the importers,” he said. “It just helps grow the overall market for cranberry products; and if we can do that, we can see our growers be able to farm in a profitable manner.”

The cranberry industry exports as much as 40 percent of its products, Lochner said.