Grain Bins


SD Corn gears up for virtual annual conference

Posted on January 06, 2021
Water panel blog image resized for new site

In just over a week, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association will present its annual conference, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 16th.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in the interest of protecting all who would like to participate, the conference has been modified and will be an all-virtual event. Although the conference won’t have the same look and feel as events in the past, it will be just as educational and informational.

“Every year we look forward to seeing and connecting with farmers from all across the state,” said Lisa Richardson, South Dakota Corn executive director. “It was a tough call to make but given the concerns around COVID-19, we wanted to offer a safe alternative to this educational opportunity.”

If you haven’t registered to get your link, you can still do that on our website; just click here.

The lineup of daytime presentations includes a weather presentation from Don Day, Jr. of DayWeather Inc., a crop marketing presentation from David and Matthew Kruse of Commstock investments, and a water panel featuring Lara Moody of The Fertilizer Institute and Alex Mastellar of Rinke Noonan law Firm.

There will be no evening banquet or entertainment component to the conference this year. The silent auction will still take place but will be modified to run on a digital platform.

Participants will be able to view and bid on a wide variety of items directly from the comfort of home with their computer or mobile device. You can find and bid on the items here.

Water Panel

Water. It makes up around 60% of your body and about 70% of the earth is covered in it. No one relies on it more to do their job than our state’s farmers and ranchers.

Over the past several years, there has been a lot of talk about water—from melting snow to rainy springs, flooded fields and problems with drainage—and how this incredible force of nature can really test farmers’ patience.

Quantity and quality are always two major concerns with water. In order to answer some of the questions surrounding these topics and put our state’s largest economic sector at ease, South Dakota Corn is including a water panel in its annual conference and has brought together experts to tackle the topic.

This year, the panel will consist of Alex Mastellar of Rinke Noonan law firm and Lara Moody, the vice president of stewardship and sustainability at The Fertilizer Institute.

Water Regulation

Mastellar is an attorney with Rinke Noonan law firm and native of Minnesota. In his practice, he focuses on water and agricultural issues in South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Some of the topics he plans to cover include:

  • The South Dakota Civil Law Rule
  • County Drainage Permits
  • USDA Farm Program Compliance
  • Watershed/Water Project District Formation and Operation
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Easements

“In the last 25 years, much of South Dakota has become increasingly and consistently wetter and has increased drainage activities in many areas,” Mastellar said. “This has also caused certain areas to experience historic flooding events on a shockingly regular basis. There has never been a more opportune moment for the implementation of coordinated or public drainage infrastructure on a local level to allow for each area to adequately address the increase in water.”

Fertilizer and Water

Water has always been a key issue for farmers, as their livelihood depends so much on not only its availability, but also the rules and regulations surrounding fertilizer and water.

Lara Moody is devoted to advancing the 4R fertilizer strategy. This program is grounded in research to identify and recognize the impacts fertilizers have on the environment, and especially as they relate to water.

“Every year, farmers are asked to use a crystal ball to predict what the weather and cropping season outlook will be so they can make management decisions that optimize their ROI”, Moody said. “These expectations are a weight they carry for themselves, but they are multiplied by the many stakeholders that have a desired outcome whether it be their bank manager, their grain buyer or the end consumer.

“As an agribusiness industry, we must keep advancing tools that allow them to make better decisions, whether it’s better understanding of the impact of practice change and mitigating conservation practices, better predictive tools or product innovation to remove some of their unmanageable risks.”

Register Now

Although the conference is just over a week away, there is still time to register for this digital event. Click here or visit our news and events page to find the link to register. You can also call the office at (605) 334-0100 with any questions.

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