2017
MGFA Annual Convention & Industry Trade Show

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Strong crops, weak prices (12-01-14) -- Bin-busting crops in corn and soybeans are causing furrowed brows rather than smiling faces for many Minnesota farmers this year.

Pigs too fat for holiday hams (11-20-14) -- CHICAGO – Eating ham has never been more expensive than this year, partly because U.S. pigs are too fat.

BNSF to spend $6B in 2015 to ease gridlock (11-20-14) -- NEW YORK – BNSF Railway Co., the railroad owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to spend a record $6 billion next year to help speed trains and improve service crimped by surging grain and oil shipments.

Grain takes a detour (11-17-14) -- Railroad bottlenecks, congestion and high freight prices have frustrated Minnesota farmers this year as they try to sell their corn and soybeans.

Rail congestion costs farmers (10-10-14) -- ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association has been around for 108 years and for 108 years its members have been having trouble with railroads, its executive director told members of a joint legislative committee.

STB Orders Continued and Expanded Reporting From Railroads (10-09-14) -- Late yesterday, the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued an order, requiring all Class I railroads to publicly file weekly data reports to promote industry-wide transparency, accountability and improvements in rail service.

Grain bin toll heightens fear for harvest (09-23-14) -- LEWISTON, Minn. – The corn wasn’t flowing out of the grain bin any longer, so farmer John Daley stepped inside to look more closely.

Cargill plans expansion at Madison grain elevator (09-17-14) -- Cargill announced this week it will invest $17 million to upgrade and expand its grain elevator in Madison in western Minnesota. The project is expected to be completed in time for this year’s harvest.

USDA Chief says urged Buffet to ready BNSF for record crops (09-17-14) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack met with Warren Buffett last week to urge the billionaire investor to make sure his BNSF railroad is ready for an expected record corn and soy harvest this year.

Stadium naming rights deal gives CHS much needed visibility (09-17-14) -- Even close followers of the Twin Cities business community might be a little bit fuzzy on what CHS actually does.

MGFA Participates in STB Field Hearing (09-08-14) -- The MGFA Executive Director Bob Zelenka was one of the testifiers at the Surface Transportation Board (STB) field hearing held in Fargo on Thursday, September 4.

Dayton wants more answers from railroads on ag shipping problems (08-28-14) -- WASHINGTON – A study that shows Minnesota grain farmers lost $109 million in revenue from March through May proves that the state’s major rail carriers are not sufficiently addressing agricultural shipping problems, Gov. Mark Dayton has told federal transportation officials.

Grain shipments still on hold as railroads struggle to keep up (07-04-14) -- Railroads have made some progress toward reducing backlogs and delays, but large amounts of grain are still waiting at rural Minnesota elevators.

Climate could burn economy (06-25-14) -- A group of prominent business and political leaders including Cargill Chairman Greg Page said Thursday that agriculture and other major sectors of the economy could face widespread disruptions from climate change in coming decades unless much more is done to reduce the risks.

New Farmhands: GPS, Drone, Bots (05-15-14) -- Zumbrota, MN - For Marty Amundson, farming is measured in inches, not just acres.

State urged to toughen pesticide controls (05-13-14) -- Seventeen DFL legislators rebuked the state Department of Agriculture late last week over its planned review of the controversial pesticides implicated in the decline in honeybees, arguing that the study should include the possibility of restricting or even banning them in Minnesota.

Another record year forecast for corn (05-12-14) -- ST. LOUIS — U.S. corn growers may surpass last year's record production despite lesser acreage devoted to the grain, but corn prices later in the year could edge lower, a federal report forecast Friday well ahead of an unpredictable summer.

STB RAIL CUSTOMER & PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM STAFF TO HOLD MEETINGS ON MAY 14 IN BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA (05-02-14) -- The Surface Transportation Board announced today that staff representatives of the Board's Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program (RCPA), within the agency's Office of Public Assistance, Governmental Affairs, and Compliance, will conduct informal and confidential meetings with interested persons on May 14, 2014, in Bloomington, MN concerning continuing railroad service issues.

CHS agrees to buy ethanol plant in Illinois (05-01-14) -- CHS Inc., the nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative, is getting back into the ethanol-making business, hoping that the third time is the charm.

Grain rescue tubes can save lives (05-01-14) -- WINTHROP - Fire and Rescue team members from New Ulm, Fairfax, Brownton and Arlington paid particular attention to grain rescue tube training Tuesday at the United Farmers Cooperative (UFC).

Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Announces Strategic Alliance with Ahmann-Martin as its Insurance and Risk Management Partner (03-06-14) -- Eagan, MN (March 6, 2014) — The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, with the full support of its board of directors, today announced a strategic insurance and risk management partnership with Ahmann-Martin.

Grain Handling Safety Seminar Scheduled (02-21-14) -- The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association has teamed up with our neighboring state grain and feed associations, to bring you a Grain Handling Safety Seminar designed to bring you up to basic compliance with the myriad of federal and state regulations impacting our grain and feed industry.

Propane shortage slams farmers (02-10-14) -- Livestock agriculture is a big user, particularly the turkey and pork producers.

Piglet-killing virus hitting farmers hard in Minnesota (02-02-14) -- A contagious virus that can wipe out all the young piglets in a barn is spreading quickly in Minnesota.

Minnesota farmers welcome certainty, substance of farm bill (01-30-14) -- Reshaped policies end subsidies, enhance insurance, cut food stamps.

At last, farm bill positioned for passage (01-29-14) -- WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives is expected to pass a five-year farm bill on Wednesday after two years of delay and ongoing debate about its key provisions.

A Fire at a Barnesville Grain Elevator Closed Interstate 94 on Sunday (01-22-14) -- Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said a fire at the Agassiz Valley Grain elevator at the intersection near I-94 and Highway 9 was reported around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Corn price drop pushes farmers to soybeans (01-17-14) -- DES MOINES – Farmers spent the last few years planting as much corn as they could, but with its price half what it was a couple of years ago, the crop’s golden luster has dulled and many growers are considering shifting acreage back to soybeans.

Original Cheerios to go GMO-free; other flavors such as Apple Cinnamon not affected (01-03-14) -- General Mills says some Cheerios made without genetically modified ingredients will start appearing on shelves soon.

Canadian Pacific to sell west end of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern line to Genesee & Wyoming (01-02-14) -- Canadian Pacific (CP) (TSX:CP) (NYSE:CP) and Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) (NYSE: GWR) announced today that they have executed an agreement pursuant to which CP will sell the west end of its Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) line to G&W for continued rail operations.

Midwest Propane Prices Rise As Cold Snap Holds On (12-23-13) -- Several states in the upper Midwest are dealing with significantly higher prices for propane because of a supply problem caused by a late harvest, persistent very cold temperatures and the temporary shutdown of a major supply pipeline.

Agriculture spies target seed technology Feds say (12-12-13) -- Des Moines, IA – A corporate agriculture espionage case announced Thursday by Federal prosecutors offered a glimpse into how at least seven Chinese men allegedly traveled across the Midwest to steal millions of dollars in seed technology.

Pipestone County harvest could best 2005 record (12-06-13) -- Pyramid-shaped piles of grain have sprouted up at local elevators as Pipestone County’s farmers spent almost two months completing the 2013 corn and soybean harvest.

INDUSTRY ADVISORY – to members who deliver feed, propane or fuel to hog farms! (12-05-13) -- The recent introduction of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) Virus into the United States presents a new challenge for the swine industry.

Railroads quietly benefit from federal projects (12-04-13) -- WASHINGTON – The railroad industry brags in its national publicity campaign that it spends billions of dollars improving its infrastructure “so taxpayers don’t have to.”

Crop of Minnesota ag teachers dwindles while need grows (12-02-13) -- MORRIS, MINN. – Just like her frequent lecture topics — corn, cattle and ethanol — Natasha Mortenson is a bit of a ¬commodity herself.

Cargill's new boss focuses on culture (12-01-13) -- In 2000, nine years after he joined Cargill Inc., David MacLennan felt his career had stalled. He was a top leader in Cargill’s financial business, but he seemed pigeonholed as a finance guy, unable to move up in the company.

Ethanol supporters see threat to industry (11-25-13) -- WASHINGTON – An Obama administration plan to lower the target for biofuels in the nation’s gasoline supply is causing a rift with leading Minnesota lawmakers over a vital state industry that recently opened its first gas station offering a 15 percent ethanol blend.

EPA Proposes to Cut 2014 RFS Mandate on All Renewable Fuels (11-15-13) -- EPA finally released November 15 its long-awaited proposal on 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) biofuels blend mandates, and as hoped for by the petroleum and animal agriculture, the numbers reflect the first-ever reduction in the so-called “renewable volume obligation” (RVO) for corn ethanol blended with gasoline under the RFS.

US raises corn crop estimate to record 13.989 billion bushels (11-11-13) -- CHICAGO – Corn production in the United States, the world’s top grower and shipper, will be largest ever this year while stronger exports will contribute to smaller-than-expected inventories next year.

Propane Shortage Continues To Impact Corn Harvest (11-07-13) -- The propane availability problem continues to plague Minnesota elevators and producers statewide but seemingly more acute in the southern and western part of the State.

Minnesota ag commissioner endorses E15 ethanol blend (10-31-13) -- Leaders celebrated at a Minneapolis gas station that’s the first in the state to offer the 15 percent ethanol blend.

Bipartisan committee vows to vote for farm bill (10-31-13) -- Food stamp funding has been a sticking point in the lengthy debate over the bill.

PROPANE SHORTAGE CONTINUES TO IMPACT CORN HARVEST (10-31-13) -- The propane availability problem continues to plague Minnesota elevators and producers statewide but seemingly more acute in the southern and western part of the State. With the corn harvest moving at a good clip and with average moisture levels in the 19-21% range, a lot of drying is going on and putting a real stress on available supply of LP gas. Some are saying it is the worst supply shortage in 25 years.

Battle lines being drawn over ethanol (10-30-13) -- The debate over ethanol has taken another turn, with both sides launching campaigns focused on higher blends of the fuel additive that are coming to the marketplace.

Governor Dayton Issues Emergency Executive Order Providing Regulatory Relief For Transporting Propane and Anhydrous Ammonia (10-24-13) -- The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association was actively involved this week in addressing the severe shortage of LP gas in the region, with both suppliers and with those involved in the regulatory arena.

LP Gas Shortage (10-23-13) -- Letter to Commissioner Frederickson from Executive Director Bob Zelenka on October 23, 2013 in regards to the LP Gas Shortage.

MN farmers get lost in budget standoff crop policies revert to 1949 (10-07-13) -- When the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, ushering in a massive federal government shutdown, the calendar also flipped back to 1949 for Minnesota farmers like Kevin Paap.

Major upgrades for grain elevator in Waterville, just in time for harvest (10-04-13) -- At a time when small-town independent businesses may be losing customers to bigger regional competitors, the grain elevator in Waterville, about 15 miles southeast of Faribault, is building up for the next generation.

Federal Government Shutdown Continues as Senate Democrats Reject Negotiations with House on Funding Impasse (10-02-13) -- The impasse on Capitol Hill over funding the federal government for the new 2014 fiscal year continues today, with no path yet apparent for resolving the significant divide between the House Republican and Senate Democratic leaders.

Federal Government Shutdown (10-01-13) -- The House and Senate failed to come to agreement on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund federal government operations for the new fiscal year.

Social justice group objects to size of Cargill's land holdings in Colombia (09-27-13) -- A Cargill-owned entity now has nearly 130,000 agricultural acres in Colombia, where farm size is limited. Not fair, says the group Oxfam.

Twin Cities said to be on shortlist for ADM’s HQ (09-25-13) -- The Twin Cities reportedly is on a closely guarded shortlist of sites for a new global headquarters for agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co.

Crops should withstand tough weather (09-22-13) -- Despite the double whammy of a soaked spring and parched summer, Minnesota farmers are likely to pull off a reasonable crop this year.

Feed costs rise for cattle, dairy farmers (09-22-13) -- Dried up pastures and a shortage of hay are vexing Minnesota cattle operations and dairy farms, pushing up feed costs.

Cargill is building a $200M sunflower plant in Russia (09-20-13) -- Cargill Inc. said Thursday that it has begun building a $200 million-plus sunflower oil crushing plant in southern Russia, the agribusiness giant’s latest addition to its already sizable portfolio in the country.

University of Minnesota student hopes to convert old Bunge grain elevator in Como to rock climbing gym (09-15-13) -- The abandoned Bunge grain elevator in Southeast Como may soon become a rock climbing gym.

Farmers' high hopes for farm bill give way to low expectations (09-14-13) -- WASHINGTON – A group of Minnesota farmers who flew to Washington this week to beg members of Congress to pass a new farm bill arrived with great expectations. But after two days talking to people on Capitol Hill, they headed home discouraged about their chances of getting what they want.

Railroad says it has met DM&E obligations (08-30-13) -- Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Said it has met its obligations from the 2007 purchase of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad.

Midwest hot, dry spell brings back drought worries (08-30-13) -- A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and its impact on crops.

Minnesota farmers turn away from wheat; corn, soybeans more profitable (08-26-13) -- Once the foundation of the Minnesota economy, wheat has been surpassed by other crops that are easier to grow and more profitable.

Dayton, lawmakers set Sept. 9 special session to consider relief for June storm damage (08-21-13) -- Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders agreed Wednesday to a one-day special session Sept. 9 to approve relief for areas hit hard by storms in June.

Farm fields turn dry in central, eastern Minn. (08-20-13) -- Dry pastures have some cattle producers thinning their herds.

U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange International Event Coming to the Quad Cities (08-19-13) -- Major players in the global soy and grain industry will be descending on Davenport, Iowa and the Quad Cities September 16 – 18th, as the U.S. Soy Export Council and Midwest Shippers Association (MSA) join together to host probably the most important international soy trade event of 2013.

Homeland Security Non-compliance Letter (08-19-13) -- This is a follow-up to an, “important notice” story we ran in the MGFA Washington Report last Friday at the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), concerning a recent letter you may have received from DHS, informing you of a potential need to complete DHS’s Top-Screen online assessment tool, as required under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) interim final rule issued on April 9, 2007.

Cargill ends its year with $2B in earnings (08-08-13) -- Cargill Inc. posted a solid fourth quarter to complete a comeback year, with most of its myriad businesses turning in bigger profits.

Granite Falls ethanol maker buys control of Heron Lake plant (08-08-13) -- Financially strong ethanol producer Granite Falls Energy has acquired a controlling stake in the struggling ethanol plant at Heron Lake, Minn., for $17 million.

Falling prices cloud outlook for Minnesota corn farms (08-06-13) -- Minnesota agriculture has been going strong, but a big corn crop has cut into prices.

US cash corn bids tumble from lofty levels after soy drops (07-25-13) -- CHICAGO, IL - U.S. cash corn bids fell hard from record-high levels on Thursday as a big drop in Chicago futures markets encouraged farmers to sell what remained of last year's harvest, analysts and grain merchants said.

Ardent Mills joint venture will land in Denver (07-17-13) -- The nation’s new flour power may be majority-owned by Minnesota companies, but it will call the Denver area home.

Crops catch up after late, soggy spring (07-16-13) -- Minnesota crops are still running behind schedule due to a cold, sodden spring, but warm weather the past couple of weeks has picked up the grain growth pace.

Crops emerge but late and not in all fields (07-01-13) -- Southern Minnesota fields are turning from brown and black to green, but at this point in the year, that’s not saying much. Furthermore, plenty of acres will remain brown this season, except for some free-growing weeds, that is.

ND PSC makes progress with Anderson Seed claims (07-01-13) -- Fargo, ND - North Dakota Public Service Commission officials say they are making progress in solving some farm claims against Anderson Seed Co. of Mentor, Minn., but have not finally settled the case, as a hearing cancellation indicates.

Feds’ suit vs. Corzine pleases ag interests (06-29-13) -- Minnesota farmer Dean Tofteland is not celebrating the lawsuit the government filed this week against former MF Global Chief Executive Jon Corzine.

Learn and live: Grain industry hazards lead to deaths, injuries each year (06-25-13) -- U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA, Minnesota OSHA, Minnesota Grain and Feed Association work together to promote safe practices

Minneapolis Grain Exchange stands apart as enduring institution (06-24-13) -- Consolidation has claimed most of the commodities exchanges that once dotted the Midwest. But a Minneapolis institution endures.

Weak turnaround this year in Minnesota's ethanol industry (06-24-13) -- Some of the Minnesota-affiliated ethanol producers are making profits again, but plants carrying high debt loads are struggling.

KSU to hold eight combustible grain workshops this summer across the Midwest (06-13-13) -- Manhattan, KS—In order to increase safety awareness at grain elevators, feed mills, and other grain processing facilities, Kansas State University’s Department of Grain Science and Industry is offering workshops, in English and in Spanish, to address combustible dust hazards.

Subsidies out, crop insurance up in farm bill (06-12-13) -- WASHINGTON – Minnesota’s farmers face an end to direct crop subsidies but would gain a more generous crop insurance in the Senate version of the five-year farm bill that was approved Monday night.

Spring planting hasn't caught up yet (06-04-13) -- Wet weather continued to vex farmers last week, which means planting of Minnesota’s main crops remains behind schedule.

Federated Insurance Offers Health Reform Solution For Small Employers (05-15-13) -- Federated Insurance, your association’s recommended insurance carrier, has recently developed a strategy for small employer accounts (50 or fewer employees) to change their plan year and renew their coverage on December 1, 2013, deferring the impact of many portions of the ACA until December 1, 2014 versus January 1, 2014.

Supreme Court Supports Monsanto in Seed Replication Case (05-15-13) -- WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that farmers could not use Monsanto’s patented genetically altered soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company a fee.

National Turkey Federation Refutes Alarmist "Study" on Ground Turkey (04-30-13) -- The National Turkey Federation (NTF) strongly disputes the misleading findings of a Consumer Reports article about ground turkey, which makes a number of alarming claims based on an extremely small sampling of ground turkey products.

As bees die off, Europe adopts 2 year pesticide ban (04-30-13) -- PARIS – The European Commission will enact a two-year ban on a class of pesticides thought to be harming global bee populations, the European Union’s health commissioner said Monday.

Blast shakes up Shakopee, but injuries are avoided (04-26-13) -- Amy Johnson had just settled in with a book Thursday afternoon when she heard a tremendous boom outside her Shakopee apartment.

Texas explosion risks $22 billion of U.S. fertilizer expansions (04-24-13) -- North American fertilizer production projects totaling $22 billion may be at risk of delay amid increased scrutiny from regulators and communities after last week’s explosion at a Texas plant killed 14 people.

Buffalo Lake ethanol plant closes amid allegations of wrongdoing (04-22-13) -- A recently reopened ethanol plant in Buffalo Lake, Minn., has again been shuttered and its top executives fired amid a bitter bankruptcy case laced with conflicting allegations of wrongdoing.

$55M sale of Heron Lake ethanol plant falls through (04-17-13) -- A deal to sell a struggling ethanol plant in Heron Lake, Minn., to financially stronger producers has collapsed.

Minnesota farm incomes surged in 2012 as state crops dodged drought (04-11-13) -- Minnesota farmers’ median income rose about 50 percent in 2012, anchored by crop growers who dodged the nationwide drought with a strong harvest at a time of high grain prices, according to an annual report released Thursday.

Corn boom goes bust with US sales in record drop (04-10-13) -- CHICAGO – The record collapse in U.S. corn exports and shrinking domestic demand are leaving more grain in silos, spurring a bear market just eight months after drought drove prices to an all-time high.

Corn-ucopia: Farmers have sunny outlook for Minnesota's biggest crop (04-02-13) -- Minnesota farmers plan to plant a record amount of corn this year, while the overall U.S. corn crop is expected to be the biggest since 1936, say federal government forecasts released Thursday.

BREAKING NEWS: OSHA Makes Decision on Bin Sweep Issue (03-28-13) -- We just received verification that Minnesota OSHA will be adhering to a decision rendered recently in Illinois by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, in regards to the operation of grain bin sweep augers.

Cargill, CHS, ConAgra flex new power in the flour business (03-06-13) -- Cargill, CHS and ConAgra agreed to form a new flour-milling business that will have more than $4 billion in annual sales.

Thomas J Hammond, CEO of Columbia Grain and ‘grain handler,’ dies (02-21-13) -- Thomas J. Hammond, longtime chief executive of Portland-based exporter Columbia Grain, died Thursday in Portland after a sudden illness. He was 60.

USDA Announces 45th General Sign-Up For Conservation Reserve Program (02-21-13) -- Minneapolis, MN—Agric