2019
MGFA Annual Convention & Industry Trade Show

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For soybeans, there was a boom in sales, and now there's a bust (7/18/18) - A rush to get soybeans out of the country ahead of retaliatory Chinese tariffs caused a spike in exports in the second quarter as farmers and grain elevators hurriedly loaded trains and ships. Then, sales slowed to a crawl.

Albert Lea Fire Department wins grain bin rescue tube in contest (7/10/18) - The Albert Lea Fire Department is a recipient of the 2018 Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. With the grant, the department will recieve equipment and training needed to aid in grain bin entrapment accidents.

As tariffs threaten, Cargill prospers (7/13/18) - Cargill Inc.'s quarterly profit doubled and its yearly net income grew for the third consecutive year, even as the agriculture behemoth frets over a U.S.-China trade war.

USDA to stop giving media early access to crop reports (7/12/18) - Financial traders have been feasting on a two-second lag in the transmission of federal crop data, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing the way it releases the information in an effort to "level the playing field," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Tuesday.

China's taste for soybeans is weak spot in trade war with Trump (7/10/18) - For all its economic might, China hasn't been able to solve a critical problem. Soybeans. It just can't grow enough of them.

Minnesota lawmakers in D.C. hope to settle farm bill soon (7/5/18) - As ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota would normally be in the negotiating mix on a federal farm bill that's now passed both the House and Senate.

PUC reconvenes today on the fate of controversial Enbridge pipeline (6/26/18) - As utility regulators reconvene Tuesday to determine the fate of Enbridge's controversial oil-pipeline proposal, the parties are still at work making their cases.

As tariffs intensify, Cargill emerges as leading pro-trade voice (6/18/18) - Devry Boughner Vorwerk's speech to global development experts in the nation's capital last week was a call to action.

FMCSA Announces Clarifying Regulatory Guidance for Transportation of Agricultural Commodities, Personal Conveyance (6/5/18) - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-miles hours-of-service agricultural commodity exemption as well as providing additional explanatory detail of the "personal conveyance" provision.

Bipartisan farm bill fails (5/19/18) - The U.S. House voted down the farm bill on Friday as controversy over food stamps and immigration combined to sink the legislation at the last minute.

Governor Dayton Issues Emergency Executive Order 18-07 to Increase Fertilizer Access for Minnesota Farmers (5/16/18) -

ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today signed Emergency Executive Order 18-07, to deliver emergency relief from regulations incorporated in Minnesota Statutes, section 221.0314, subdivision 9, pertaining to hours of service for motor carriers and drivers delivering fertilizers in Minnesota.  The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association was one of those advocating for this exemption on behalf of fertilizer retailers. Due to the late spring, Minnesota farmers are facing a delayed and shortened planting season. This delay has resulted in farmers from multiple states starting field work at the same time, causing a regional fertilizer shortage, and requiring drivers to travel further distances to acquire product. The Governor’s Emergency Executive Order will provide temporary relief from regulations on the hours drivers can work, to help ensure a sufficient supply of fertilizer and other resources are available to retailers and  farmers to complete planting.  This exemption is for 30 days. A copy of the Emergency Executive Order can be found on the Governor’s website here.

Mosaic leaves for Florida to cut costs, move closer to mines (5/16/18) - Mosaic Co.'s decision to move its headquarters from Plymouth to Florida left Minnesota business leaders to grapple with the loss of one of the state's prized Fortune 500 Companies.

SE Minn. farmer co-ops merge (4/30/18) - Ag Partners Cooperative Association and Genesis Cooperative Association have merged. 

Freight railroad files lawsuit over Southwest light-rail route (4/26/18) - Planners of the Southwest light-rail project are facing another legal challenge, this time from a freight rail company that is slated to share a portion of the nearly 15-mile route between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.

In a first, state may regulate fertilizer (4/25/18) - Farmers in Minnesota are using 10 to 15 percent more fertilizer than they need to maximize crop yields, one reason why drinking water across the state is increasingly contaminated with nitrogen, state agriculture officials say.

U.S. sorghum armada with Cargill grain changes course at sea after China tariffs (4/20/18) - Several ships carrying cargoes of sorghum from the United States to China have changed course since Beijing slapped hefty anti-dumping deposits on U.S. imports of the grain, trade scources and a Reuters analysis of export and shipping data showed Friday.

NGFA partners with OSHA to launch 'Stand Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Awareness Week' (4/6/18) - The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are launching a major safety outreach effort, the "Stand Up for Grain Engulfment Awareness Week" from April 9-13, to help raise awareness about grain bin engulfment hazards, provide education and training, and convey safety best practices.

Minnesota has millions at stake as China targets soybeans (4/5/18) - Minnesota's 2018 soybean crop lost $152 million in value in the commodities futures market hours after China threatened Wednesday to place a 25 percent ariff on soybeans imported from the United States.

Albert Lea Seed House still thriving as it adjusts to the same forces changing the farm industry (4/1/18) - Wes Swieter backed up his pickup truck to the loading dock at Albert Lea Seed House, making his annual run to buy triticale. 

Tariff fallout prompts concern, not panic (4/1/18) - First it was Minnesota's solar energy industry. Then, it was the state's commercial building contractors and other steel and aluminum users. Now, it is corn and soybean growers, plus pork producers.

Wooden elevator goes up in flames in Hanley Falls (3/30/18) - Volunteer firefighters and emergency responders went door-to-door evacuating residents near the Hanley Falls Farmers Cooperative Elevator early Friday morning as flames from the burning structure spewed glowing embers in the predawn darkness.

Down on the farm, profits mostly remain stagnant (3/28/18) - Minnesota farmers saw thin profits in 2017 for the fifth consecutive year, with one-third of them losing net worth and median farm income down again compared with 2016.

NGFA praises Section 199A fix in omnibus spending bill (3/23/28) - The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) today commended Congress for voting to pass and President Donald Trump for signing into the law the stake-holder driven provisions inluded in the omnibus fiscal year 2018 appropriations bil that correct the unintended consequences of Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

MORE Updates: Section 199A Solution Officially in the Omnibus (3/23/18) - Updates from Bobby Frederick with National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA)

NGFA commends congressional leadership for including Section 199A fix in omnibus spending bill (3/21/18) - The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) today commended the bipartisan congressional leadership for reportedly including in the omnibus fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill stakeholder-driven provisions that would correct the unintended consequences of Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 

Cargill to grain dealers: Stand for trade (3/19/18) - A top Cargill Inc. official told grain elevator company leaders that trade is the "heartbeat" of the overall economy, and warned that soybean and potential corn exports could be "collateral damage" in a potential trade war.

Tariff anxiety grows for some Minnesota companies (3/14/18) - On their farm near Mapleton, MN, Kristin Duncanson and her husband are waiting or the other shoe to drop.

NCFC/NGFA Joint Statement on Legislation to Resolve Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (3/13/18) - The National Counsel of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) and National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) today issued a joint statement regarding a stakeholder-driven proposal to resolve the unintended consequences of Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Minnesota crop land prices were down in 2017, but may be starting to stabilize (3/12/18) - Prices for farmland declined across Minnesota in 2017, another sign of a weak farm economy that's been plagued by low crop prices and reduced incomes for the past four years.

Time Running Out for Next Food Safety Modernization Act Compliance Dates (3/12/18) - Several national and state groups continue to educate U.S. grain facilities about compliance with new rules for the handling, transportation and storage of food, and animal feed, that are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Minnesota farmers jittery about trade conflict with China (2/25/18) - Minnesota soybean growers can be forgiven if they are a little on edge lately. About half of the 380 million bushels they produced last year were exported.

Co-op Chaos: Provision from tax bill has farmers, co/mpanies scrambling (2/23/18) - A provision in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is causing a scramble in farm country, as farmers looking to maxi/mize their bottoms lines take advantage of the law's incentives by moving their crops through farmer-owned co-ops rather than private companies. 

Leaders of Congressional Tax-Writing Committees Commit to Fixing Section 199A of New Tax Law (2/19/18) - Leaders of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees committed to addressing as soon as possible the unintended consequences of Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act during hearings on Capitol Hill this week.

Arkansas' ban on weed killer dicamba stays in place (2/17/18) - Arkansas' ban on the use of a weed killer blamed by farmers in several states for crop damage will remain in place after a state judge dismissed a legal challenge by a maker of the herbicide.

Pilgrim's Pride site closing (2/14/18) - Colorado-based Pilgrim's Pride Corp. will close the former GNP corporate headquarters in St. Cloud, a little more than a year after acquiring the maker of Gold'n Plump and Just Bare chicken products.

Recent report shows feed industry as a major contributor to nation's economy (2/8/18) - America's animal food manufacturing industry is at the intersection of plant and animal agriculture. 

ADM pursues big ag merger with grain trader Bunge  (1/19/18) - Top U.S. grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co. has proposed a takeover of Bunge Ltd., according to a person familar with the approach, which could set-up a bidding war with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc. 

Tax Law Disrupts How Grain Gets Sold  (1/17/18)  - Both farmer cooperatives and private grain trading companies are working together in an urgent attempt to change a provision in the massive new tax law that many fear could put small grain elevators out of business. 

1,700 Enroll in Plans for Farmers  (1/9/18) - Organizers say that more than 1,700 people enrolled in coverage from two new agricultural cooperative health plans during recently completed open enrollment periods for the Minnesota program. 

Changing consumers ignite food revoution  (12/17/17) - Elke Richards drives two hours to Maple Grove every month to shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, both of which offer more organic groceries for minimally processed food than she can find near her home in Alexandria. 

Fired Cargill employee gets 5 years in prison for stealing $3.1 million  (11/30/17) - In one of the largest cases of employee fraud against Cargill, Inc., a former bookkeeper from upstate New York has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

Ag health co-ops may jar market  (11/15/17)  - Minnesota farmers are sizing up a new crop of health plans after struggling for years with skyrocketing premiums and diminished insurance options. 

Bountiful but not record crops  (11/14/17)  - Minnesota corn and soybean production dipped slightly in 2017 after two consecutive years of record-breaking harvests, but that's not likely to change the bottom lines of producers very much. 

Cargill agrees to pay $10M fine for hiding value of swap trades  (11/7/17) - Cargill, Inc. agreed to pay a $10 million penalty for concealing the full value of certain swap trades to protect its own revenue, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Monday. 

Ex-Cargill CEO Page helps lead way to a climate-change solution (10/29/17) - Reducing the risk posed by climate change is economically and technically achievable, according to the Risky Business Project. 

Cargill Acquires Feed Firm in Iowa  (10/25/17) - Cargill, Inc. is taking a large step toward more natural nutrition for animals with the acquisition of Diamond V, a 75-year-old animal health and nutrition business in Cedar Rapids, IA. 

Corn Harvest, Drying, Storage Challenging This Year  (10/17/17) - Each year brings challenges for crop production North Dakota State University Extension Service grain drying expert Ken Hellevang warns.

Organic Farming On the Rise  (10/4/17) - Cow milk was the most valuable organic product in Minnesota in 2016, racking up more than $43 million in sales. 

Protein Fuel Jumps in Cargill Profits (9/28/17) - Growing consumer demand for beef, along with a balanced supply, lifted Cargill Inc.'s profit during the summer months, the company said. 

Farmers, Syngenta Settle Suit Over Corn  (9/27/17) - Tens of thousands - including an estimated 22,000 in Minnesota who filed a class-action lawsuit - have reached a pending setlement with Syngenta Seeds LLC over a dispute about lost sales and lower corn prices. 

New U Tool Tracks Corn Sustainability (9/14/17) - Food and livestock companies may have a new way to address one of their most vexing sustainability problems - corn. 

Will There Be Enough Elbow Room for Grain?  (8/23/17) - There doesn't need to be a bumper crop to get grain overflowing across southern Minnesota. But a good crop will certainly make the storage problem worse.

Cargill goes natural for animals (7/7/17) - Cargill Inc., adapting to rising consumer interest in how food is produced, on Thursday announced it was taking a stake in a European company that specializes in natural additives to animal food.

CHS Inc. Names Debertin As New CEO (5/23/17) - A veteran manager at CHS has been selected as the cooperative's new president and chief executive.

Minnesota farmers hit pause as they wait to plant corn this spring - (5/4/17)Chilly weather has slowed corn planting significantly this spring as Minnesota farmers await higher temperatures to dry and warm the soil.

Farmers in the red across the state (3/29/17) - More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016, according to a new analysis by the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota State.

Farm Numbers Shrink Slightly, Delince Mirrors National Trend  (2/18/17) - Minnesota lost an estimated 300 farms last year, continuing a regional and national trend that has seen the number of farms decline gradually and the average size increase slightly. 

Cargill vocal about Trump's trade turn (2/4/17) - Cargill Inc., the Minnesota-based company at the center of the global food chain, is stepping out of its usual low-key profile to fight attacks on trade and immigration.

New rules take aim at overusing antibiotics on healthy livestock (1/30/17) - New federal regulations mark the first serious attempt in at least 20 years to tackle what many have called the systematic overuse of antibiotics in healthy farm animals. 

Agriculture Groups Disappointed By Trade Decision (1/25/17) - CHICAGO - President Trump's decision to back out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, a $62 billion market for U.S. farmers, provides a fresh threat to a slumping agricultural economy that has grown increasingly dependent on exports. 

Minnesota farmers tightening belts, with ripple effects on the rural economy (11/7/16) - Ed McNamara sat in the driver's seat of his John Deere combine recently, musing about crop prices as he mowed through six rows of corn at a time. 

Dark clouds loom for farmers and their bankers as crop prices languish (8/1/16) - Midwest farmers and bankers face a reckoning this fall as low crop prices and a projected bumper harvest will produce financial losses for the second consecutive year.

Nobel Winners Fault Greenpeace (6/30/16) - More than 107 Nobel laureates have signed a letter urging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

Crops Ahead of the Game  (6/28/16) - Minnesota seems headed for another successful year of corn and soybean yields.

Deal Draws GMO Labels Closer (6/24/16) - WASHINGTON D.C. - Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday said they have agreed on what could become the first mandatory national safety standard for labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms - better known as GMOs. 

Farm Struggles Crimp Banks in Midwest (6/18/16) - The farm slowdown and low interest rates are taking a toll on banks in Minnesota & surrounding states. 

Minnesota Takes Big Step to Improve Farm Safety (6/9/16) - Minnesota will have the nation's best funded tractor safety plan now that Governor Mark Dayton has signed legislation that creates the state's first program to help farmers add roll-over protection to aging machines. 

Seeds of Doubt on Monsanto Soybean (5/24/16) - Across Minnesota, grain buyers and sellers have been warning farmers this spring to be wary about planting Monsanto's latest biotech soybean. 

Bird Flu Worries Still Haunt Producers As They Spends Money to Prevent It (5/9/16) - Last year at this time, Minnesota turkey growers were in the middle of a full-blown disaster, the likes of which they'd never seen. 

Farmers Off to Quick Start with Planting (4/26/16) - Many Minnesota farmers are ahead of the game this spring and were planting crops last week. 

Minnesota Crop Farmers Tighten Budgets As They Face Another Rough Year (4/17/16) - As Minnesota farmers climb into their tractors during the next few weeks, they're all too aware that they could lose money this year.  

State's Farm Incomes Take A Hit (4/1/16) - Farmers hauled in a record amount of corn and other crops last year, but declining prices hurt the pocketbook, with average farm incomes hitting a 20-year low in inflation-adjusted dollars. 

In win for beekeepers, Minnesota links insecticide to damaged hives (3/20/16) - In the first test of a landmark environmental law, Minnesota has compensated two beekeepers whose hives were severely damaged last spring by toxic dust that drifted off the fields of a neighbor planting corn.

Senate Panels OKs Ban on GMO Labeling Laws (3/2/16) - WASHINGTON D.C. - In a move that sparked outrage from consumer advocates and praise from the food industry, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill Tuesday that would stop states from requiring food labels to note the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO). 

Dan Patch Bridge Will Swing in Spring; 1st Time Since 2007 (2/29/16) - The Dan Patch Line bridge across the Minnesota River will swing shut to carry rail traffic this spring for the first time in nearly a decade, officials said last week, and it's being set in motion by an unlikely source: the Panama Canal.

New Study Finds Freight Rail Plays Significant Role in Minnesota's Economic Success (2/26/16) - A new study shows that freight rail plays a significant role in Minnesota's economic success - it is responsible for $40  billion of state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for adding more than $5,000 in annual income to the average Minnesota household. 

U.S. Oil Trains Now Feeling the Squeeze (2/25/16) - Crude oil shipments by rail have dropped nearly 17 percent in the United States last year as low oil prices, reduced oil output and new pipelines ended six years of rapid growth by the oil train industry.

Value of Minnesota Farmland is on Downturn (2/21/16) - Farmland prices in Minnesota continue to soften as prices for corn and soybeans remain relatively loaw and the outlook for 2016 appears to offer marginal profits for many crop growers. 

Ice Measurements on Lake Pepin Offer Clues to Start of Shipping Season, Spring (2/17/16) - Reads Landing, MN - By the time the men loaded the airboat onto Lake Pepin's icy shell, the clouds had cleared.

BNSF Sharply Cutting Capital Spending In Minnesota This Year (2/17/16) - BNSF Railway said Wednesday it will reduce its capital spending in Minnesota this year by 60 percent, part of a reduction nationwide that reflects softening demand for freight service. 

Former Fagen CFO Used Fake Ethanol Company to Embezzle $4.5 Million (2/17/16) - A former CFO at Fagen Engineering created a fictitious ethanol company in Nebraska called Fairmont Investments LLC to help her allegedly embezzle $4.5 million from her emplyer's company.

OFFICIAL NOTICE: Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association (12/31/15)The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association will be holding its 109th Annual Meeting on Monday, February 1, at 1:15 p.m., in the Opportunities Suite of the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center.  The Annual Meeting is being held in conjunction with the annual MGFA sponsored convention and industry tradeshow.  The meeting will include: review and acceptance of the 2014/2015 fiscal year-end statement; the election of three (3) directors to the MGFA Board of Directors; reports on staff and association activity during the year; and transacting other business brought before the delegates.  Each member shall be entitled to one vote in the affairs of this association, regardless of how many facilities are owned or operated by such member.

Annual Meeting:  One item at the meeting will require members to step forward as candidates for at least two of the three positions on the MGFA Board that will be expiring at the Annual Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the convention. The positions due to expire are: District 1, a restricted co-op farmer director position being vacated by Lyle Hovland, a Rothsay Farmers Co-op director; District 3, a director position open to any member, with its current director, Ben Hedtke of the Farmer’s Cooperative Elevator Company of Hanley Falls, running for re-election; and, District 4, a director position also open to any member and being vacated by Brad Stenzel, Matawan Grain and Feed, Inc.  For details on district boundaries and association bylaws, go to pages 8-11 in the 2015 MGFA Directory or contact the MGFA office.

The U.S. House Transportation Committee Leadership Introduce Legislation to Extend Rail PTC Deadline  (10/6/15) - The bill, Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, gives railroads until the end of 2018, a three year extension, to implement PTC, provides limited authority for the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary to entend the deadline beyond 2018 if railroads demonstrate they are facing continued difficulties in completing the mandate, but have made every effort to install PTC as soon as possible and requires railroads to complete progress reports on implementation.

Minnesota Feed Industry Losses Due to Avian Flu Exceed $55 Million (7/29/15) - The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, based on data compiled by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, has estimated that Minnesota feed manufacturers experienced an estimated $55.1 million loss in demand for poultry feed due to the recent Avian Influenza outbreak. 

USDA: Flu vaccine works on chickens; turkeys next (7/22/15) - DES MOINES - Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100 percent effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday. 

FDA Releases Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule (6/2/15) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 2 announced the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) final rule, an important piece of the agency's overall strategy to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials in food producing animals.

Bird Flu's Devastating Effects Hit More Than Turkey Barns (5/26/15) - PRINSBURG, MN - Truck trafic through the Farmers Co-op's feed mill here is about half of normal these days.

Rail's Balancing Act: Safety vs. Efficiency  (5/18/15) - WASHINGTON - Bob Zelenka, Executive Director of the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association, sums up the current rail shipping conditions for Minnesota in one sentence: "What a difference a year makes." 

Racing To Break Even  (5/17/15) - The Peterson brothers were rolling early this year, with Chris planting corn on one field near Northfield, Bruce planting soybeans about a mile away, and Brian racing between the two of them to supply extra seed, oil and other needs. 

Stong Crops, Weak Prices (12/1/14) - 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 Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to spend a record $6 billion next year to help speed trains and improve service cripmed 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.

Grain Bin Toll Heightens Fear For Harvest (9/23/14) - The corn wasn't flowing out of the grain bin any longer, so farmer John Daley stepped inside to look more closely.