COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV

WE’RE AT FARMFEST WITH A LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF FARM AND CARBON POLICY.

Mikkel Pates: A FAST, DRY WHEAT HARVEST IN NORTHWEST MINNESOTA.

The former house ag committee chair talks disaster aid.

WE’LL SHOW YOU SOME NEW AG TECHNOLOGY THAT’S DEBUTED RECENTLY.

AND WE’LL TAKE YOU TO A MINNESOTA FARM THAT’S SEEN 150 SPRING WHEAT HARVESTS.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I’M MICHELLE ROOK.

THE FARM SHOW SEASON IS IN FULL SWING AND THIS WEEK WE’RE AT FARMFEST AT THE GILLFILIAN ESTATE IN REDWOOD COUNTY, MINNESOTA.

THE SHOW WAS HELD IN PERSON THIS YEAR AND FOR FORTY YEARS FARMFEST HAS BROUGHT THE AG INDUSTRY TOGETHER TO TALK ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES. IT FEATURED SOME GOOD FOOD, RIDE AND DRIVE AND LIVESTOCK EQUIPMENT DEMOS. PLUS, MORE THAN 400 AGRICULTURAL COMPANIES DISPLAYED THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, INCLUDING SEVERAL ACRES OF EQUIPMENT.

FARMFEST FORUMS COVERED VARIOUS TOPICS, INCLUDING THE FUTURE OF FARM POLICY WITH THE NEXT FARM BILL ONLY TWO YEARS AWAY. A CROSS SECTION OF EXPERTS COVERED EVERYTHING FROM CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY, TO CROP INSURANCE AND AG CONCENTRATION.

Farm leaders like Zippy Duvall agree the next farm bill needs to continue to provide a safety net for farmers.

Zippy Duvall: The centerpiece or the cornerstone I guess you would say of the farm bill is our risk management programs, crop insurance we’ve got to make sure we protect that.

However, former USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey says that doesn’t preclude some type of disaster program to eliminate the need for ad hoc assistance.

Bill Northey: What do we do in years like this when we’ve got a whole lot of producers that all they get is crop insurance and they need a little bit more to tide them over?

There will also be a new emphasis on the conservation title but NFU’s Rob Larew says those programs must be voluntary.

Rob Larew: Whether it is on working lands or some room for a CRP type contract or even shorter term contracts so folks can maybe even look at getting those conservation program benefits but also looking to the market for signals.

NCGA’s Tom Haag says the challenges will be working with a mostly urban House Ag Committee and mostly new leadership.

Tom Haag: We got Senator Stabenow back on the Senate side but on the House side we have two new individuals that yeah they were on the committee but they weren’t in the position they are in now.

Farm group leaders say they’ll soon be gathering input and developing policy to take to Washington to shape the farm bill.

FARM POLICY MOVING FORWARD WILL ALSO INCLUDE SOME TYPE OF CARBON PROGRAM, BUT HOW WILL CARBON BE MEASURED AND WHAT WILL FARMERS BE PAID FOR IT? AGWEEK’S NOAH FISH VISITED WITH TWO PANELISTS FROM ANOTHER FORUM HERE AT FARMFEST.

Noah: I’m here with Jason Weller of the Truterra division of Land O’Lakes and Brian Ryberg, a crop farmer in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. First of all, we’re discussing carbon markets. One of the obvious questions is how do we put value on a carbon credit?

Jason Weller: THERE IS NOT AN EXCHANGE A FARMER CAN GO TO, OR FRANKLY A BUYER OF A CARBON CREDIT CAN GO TO TO SAY, HERE’S TODAY’S PRICE, YOU KNOW, ON AUGUST THIRD. WHAT WE CAN, YOU KNOW, OFFER THE MARKET TO PURCHASE A CARBON CREDIT. BUT IN GENERAL THEY’RE STARTING TO BECOME A BIT LITTLE MORE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE COSTS ARE. SO WHAT THE FARMERS COSTS ARE, AND WHAT THE DATA YOU KNOW COLLECTION AND SOIL SAMPLING COSTS ARE. SO ON THE COST SIDE WE HAVE A PRETTY GOOD UNDERSTANDING. AND SO THE QUESTION IS WILL THE PRICE START TO INCREASE FROM THE BUYER’S SIDE. WE BELIEVE AT LAND O LAKES THAT YES, THE PRICE WILL START TO GO UP, AS MORE AND MORE COMPANIES WANT TO PURCHASE CARBON CREDITS.

AND BRIAN, YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT, YOU PRACTICE A LOT OF CONSERVATION ALREADY ON YOUR FARM. WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T PRACTICE CONSERVATION ON THEIR FARM, TO CHANGE TO GET INTO A MARKET LIKE THIS?

Brian Ryberg: WELL EVERYBODY LIKES CASH, THERE’S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. BUT I STATED DURING OUR PANEL, I THINK YOU NEED TO DO THIS FOR MORE THAN JUST THE CASH, YOU KNOW. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN SOIL HEALTH, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN MAKING THOSE CHANGES FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS LONG TERM TO MAKE YOUR SOILS BETTER TO PASS ON YOUR FARM AND CREATE A LEGACY. OBVIOUSLY THE CASH PORTION HELPS OFFSET SOME COSTS. AND NOBODY’S GOING TO TURN THAT DOWN.

Noah: Well thanks guys, I appreciate it. Again this is Noah Fish at Farmfest 2021 for Agweek.

SOME ADDITIONAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR DROUGHT MAY BE ON THE WAY, AS THE SENATE AG APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVED $7 BILLION IN DISASTER AID FOR 2020 AND 2021.

AND LAST WEEK THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE PASSED AN EXTENSION OF WHIP-PLUS WITH FUNDING OF $8.5 BILLION. FORMER CHAIR COLLIN PETERSON SAYS THAT’S A BIG IMPROVEMENT.

Collin Peterson: You’ll be able to qualify if you have a D2 county, you know with eight weeks of D2 drought, so that gives the Secretary more flexibility.

HOWEVER, HE DOESN’T THINK THIS AID IS SUSTAINABLE.

It’s been four years of disaster programs that are not being paid for by either the government or the farmers and I just worry about whether that’s going to come back and haunt us.

PETERSON SAYS THE AG COMMITTEE IS ALSO LOOKING AT A PERMANENT DISASTER PROGRAM BUT IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO DO THAT WITHOUT UNDERMINING CROP INSURANCE.

LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS IN DROUGHT AREAS CAN OFTEN SEE ADDITIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH CONCERNS ARISE.

THE INCIDENCE OF DISEASE INCREASES WHEN LIVESTOCK ARE UNDER STRESS. AND SPECIFICALLY, ANTHRAX IS MORE COMMON WHEN IT’S HOT AND DRY, SO PRODUCERS SHOULD BE VACCINATING FOR IT. PLUS FORAGE QUALITY IS A REAL CONCERN, ESPECIALLY IN THE COW HERD. SO A FEED TEST WILL BE CRITICAL.

Dustin Oedekoven: When we have a drought and we see the nutrient content in the forage and the pastures decrease, we can see all kinds of problems, you know, primarily in that reproductive efficiency.

WATER QUALITY IS ALSO AN ISSUE AND PRODUCERS NEED TO WATCH FOR HIGH LEVELS OF SULFATES WHICH CAN CAUSE POISONING. SO OEDEKOVEN RECOMMENDS HAVING WATER TESTED.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, OUR CEREAL CROPS TOUR CONTINUES WITH STOPS IN MINNESOTA AND NORTH DAKOTA.

POLK COUNTY, IN NORTHWEST MINNESOTA, IS TRADITIONALLY THE STATE’S TOP SPRING WHEAT PRODUCER.

FIFTEEN MILLION BUSHELS WERE GROWN THERE IN 2019 AND 2020. BUT AS MIKKEL PATES FOUND IN THIS WEEK’S AGWEEK COVER STORY, THAT NUMBER IS EXPECTED TO BE MUCH LOWER THIS YEAR.

Ben Larson: IT’S VERY VARIABLE. THERE’S SOME NICER WHEAT FIELDS AND THERE’S SOME REAL POOR ONES.

THE LARSONS AND THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE SEEN 150 SPRING WHEAT HARVESTS ON THIS NORTHWEST MINNESOTA FARM. TODAY BROTHERS BEN AND MATT LARSON RAISE ABOUT 2500 ACRES OF WHEAT, AS WELL AS SUGARBEETS AND SOYBEANS. BEN LARSON SAYS THAT AFTER A DRY FALL AND WINTER, WHEAT PLANTING CAME EARLY AND WENT SMOOTHLY.

Ben Larson: WE DIDN’T PLANT WET SO IT HAS A TENDENCY TO DEVELOP BETTER ROOT STRUCTURE RIGHT OFF THE BAT. SO I THINK THAT’S HELPING US.

LARSON SAYS THEY HAD SUBSOIL MOISTURE, POSSIBLY STILL LEFT FROM THE WET FALL OF 2019. THEY ALWAYS SHOOT FOR A YIELD OF EIGHTY BUSHELS PER ACRE. BUT THIS YEAR THE CROP CONTINUED TO DETERIORATE UNTIL THE HARVEST GOT STARTED EARLY ON JULY 25TH

Ben Larson: QUALITY WAS GOOD, YIELD’S DOWN, IT’S PROBABLY HALF OF WHAT WE WOULD NORMALLY EXPECT.

SOME FIELDS WILL YIELD MORE THAN OTHERS, IN EARLY TESTS, QUALITY WAS GOOD. PROTEIN RANGES FROM 14% TO 15.8%. BUT LARSON WORRIES THAT COULD IN FACT COULD COST THEM AT THE ELEVATOR.

Ben Larson: NORMALLY THEY’LL ACCEPT UP TO FIFTEEN WITHOUT A DISCOUNT, OR VERY LITTLE UP TO FIFTEEN, AND THEN HIGHER DISCOUNTS BEYOND THAT.

THE LARSONS SAY A LOT HAS CHANGED ON THE FARM OVER THE YEARS, BUT BEN’S SON, JACOB, SAYS ONE THING STILL HOLDS TRUE.

Jacob Larson: IF YOU’RE CONSISTENT ALL THE WAY THROUGH, YOU’RE GOING TO END UP ON THE GOOD SIDE OF THINGS THE MAJORITY OF TIMES, WHICH THIS FALL HAS BEEN KIND OF A TESTAMENT TO THAT.

FOR AGWEEK, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES AT CLIMAX, MINNESOTA.

YOU CAN READ MORE IN THE NEXT AGWEEK MAGAZINE, OR AT AGWEEK.COM.

OUR AGWEEK CEREAL CROPS TOUR IS ALSO CONFIRMING LOWER YIELDS IN THE REGION DUE TO DROUGHT. WE BEGIN WITH JENNY SCHLECHT NEAR MANDAN, NORTH DAKOTA.

Jenny: This is Jenny Schlecht on the Agweek Cereals Crops Tour and I’m here with Spence Koenig OF DIRECT AG SUPPLY. AND WE’RE STANDING IN A DURUM FIELD THAT IS BEING HARVESTED, AND SPENCE TELL US ABOUT WHAT WE’RE SEEING IN THIS FIELD.

Spence Koenig: WELL THIS FIELD HERE IS, IT’S RUNNING ABOUT 12 TO 13 BUSHELS AN ACRE. THE QUALITY IS REALLY GOOD ON IT THOUGH. BUT JUST. THE BUSHELS JUST AREN’T HERE THOUGH.

WHAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THIS PART OF THE STATE ON A NORMAL YEAR?

THIS SHOULD BE RUNNING PROBABLY IN THAT 40 TO 50 RANGE.

WHAT KIND OF ISSUES ARE WE SEEING IN THIS DURUM THAT LEAD TO THAT LOW YIELD RATE? IT LOOKS REALLY SHORT, BUT WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?

Spence Koenig: JUST THE LACK OF RAIN ON THIS, YOU KNOW, THEY FERTILIZED THIS. THEY DID EVERYTHING RIGHT. THERE’S NO WEEDS. THEY DID A GOOD JOB ON THAT, JUST ZERO RAIN.

WHAT HAVE THE DROUGHT CONDITIONS BEEN LIKE IN THIS AREA?

Spence Koenig: IT’S BEEN TERRIBLE. JUST NO RAIN. ALL THE CROPS ARE REALLY SUFFERING. A LOT OF THE SMALL GRAINS HAVE WENT TO HAY. THIS IS KIND OF AN EXCEPTION HERE, THIS IS DURUM. BUT MOST OF THE WHEAT FIELDS HAVE BEEN KNOCKED DOWN FOR BALES ALREADY FOR THE CATTLE.

I THINK USDA HAS THREE PERCENT ABANDONMENT FIGURED INTO THEIR FORMULAS. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS A MORE REALISTIC NUMBER IN THIS PART OF THE STATE?

Spence Koenig: WELL OVER 90 PERCENT. THERE IS HARDLY ANY WHEAT GETTING COMBINED. MOST OF IT’S BEEN BALED UP ALREADY.

SO ARE WE SEEING THE SAME KIND OF THINGS IN SPRING WHEAT AND IN BARLEY AS WELL?

YES.

AND NO ONE OF THE CEREAL CROPS IS DOING BETTER THAN THE OTHERS, THEY’RE ALL SUFFERING.

IT’S ALL,YEAH. AND YOU KNOW, THEN A LOT OF THE GUYS THAT ARE PUTTING BALES UP ARE RUNNING INTO NITRATE PROBLEMS. SO WE’VE BEEN GOING OUT AND HELPING THEM TAKE SAMPLES OF THE BALES AND SEND THEM IN.

Jenny: Thanks Spence. South of Mandan, North Dakota for the Agweek Cereals Crop Tour, this is Jenny Schlecht.

Mikkel: Today I’m with Jochum Wiersma, we’re south of Fergus Falls. JOCHUM ANY COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF GRADE YOU’D GIVE THE CROP IN THIS AREA OR THROUGHOUT NORTHWEST MINNESOTA?

Jochum Wiersma: THE BEST WAY I THINK WE CAN PUT IT IS, IT’S REALLY A MIXED BAG. THERE ARE FIELDS WHERE SOME OF THE PRODUCERS ARE ACTUALLY PLEASANTLY SURPRISED WITH SOME OF THE YIELD, WHERE THEY FEARED WORSE. THERE’S ALSO, YOU KNOW, INDIVIDUAL FIELDS THAT ARE INDEED NOT WHAT PEOPLE HAD HOPED FOR. AND AS YOU MAY HAVE READ EARLIER THIS SPRING, YOU KNOW, RIGHT IN JUNE, WHEN EVERYBODY ALREADY STARTED FEARING THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE A LOT LOWER THAN, BECAUSE WE DIDN’T GET ANY RAIN. THE TWO THINGS THAT HAVE REALLY BEEN FAVORABLE FOR WHEAT HAS BEEN THESE COOLER NIGHTS. THE FACT THAT WE’VE BEEN SO DRY HAS ALSO ALLOWED US TO HAVE VERY LOW DEW POINTS AND VERY LOW NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURES. AND SO IF THE CROP HAD ENOUGH STORED MOISTURE TO WORK WITH, PEOPLE ARE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED. IF THERE’S NO STORED MOISTURE, AND DIDN’T GET ANY ADDITIONAL RAINS, THAT’S WHEN WE GET THE REALLY DISAPPOINTING YIELDS AND LOW TEENS, YOU KNOW MID TEENS TO MID TWENTIES. AND SO I THINK ONE OF THE TAKE HOMES IS WITHIN AREAS, EVEN WITHIN EVEN INDIVIDUAL FARMS, THE VARIABILITY IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE LARGER THAN WE’VE SEEN IN A GENERATION.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, A FARGO COMPANY INVENTS TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE SPRAYING MUCH MORE EFFICIENT.

OUR WEATHER HAS BEEN A MIXED BAG, WITH SOME AREAS OF THE REGION GETTING NEEDED RAIN, FOR OTHERS THE DROUGHT INTENSIFIES.

HERE’S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

A FARGO AG TECH COMPANY SHOWED OFF ITS BREAKTHROUGH IN SPRAY TECHNOLOGY RECENTLY AT THE GRAND FARM SOUTH OF FARGO.

SPRAYING IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT JOBS ON THE FARM, BUT IT CAN ALSO BE ONE OF THE TRICKIEST.

BUT INTELLIGENT AG HAS COME UP WITH TECHNOLOGY THAT MONITORS SPRAY PRESSURE AND FLOW OUT OF EVERY NOZZLE TIP.

RECON SPRAY SENSE IS A SENSOR THAT GOES ON SPRAYERS TO LET YOU KNOW WHETHER A NOZZLE IS STARTING TO WEAR OUT, PUTTING OUT TOO MUCH SPRAY, OR IS CLOGGED, INHIBITING FLOW.

Joe Heilman: BASICALLY THIS SENSOR PLUS AN I-PAD, GIVES US FULL, REAL-TIME VISIBILITY INTO WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MY SPRAYER, AND SO I CAN MAKE SURE THE QUALITY OF THE JOB THAT I’M DOING IS ABSOLUTELY TOP NOTCH AND RIGHT ON TARGET.

INTELLIGENT AG HAS BEEN TESTING THE SENSORS ON SEVERAL PLOTS AT THE GRAND FARM, TO SHOW THEIR EFFECTIVENESS.

SPEAKING OF NEW TECHNOLOGY, THE AG PHD FIELD DAY RESUMED WITH FARMERS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY ANXIOUS TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE CUTTING EDGE ADVANCEMENTS IN CROP PRODUCTION.

THE MOST POPULAR SESSIONS FEATURED TOP YIELDING FARMERS LIKE IOWA’S KELLY GARRETT, WHO PUSHES YIELDS THROUGH A COMBINED APPROACH.

Kelly Garrett : On corn it would be foliar application, hybrid selection, PGR’s Plant Growth Regulators, you know things like that, variable rate, variable rate applications of things.

HEFTY SEEDS ALSO CONDUCTED HUNDREDS OF RESEARCH TRIALS THAT WERE ALSO ON DISPLAY, LOOKING AT EVERYTHING FROM NEW HERBICIDE TOLERANT TRAIT LINES, TO FUNGICIDES. AND THE BIGGEST PUSH IS IN THE BIOLOGICALS.

Glenn Herz: And guys continue to try and improve soil health and soil fertility and you know some of the things that in the Midwest here we deal with. You know we may have organic matter and stuff but there’s also times when we have nutrients that are tied up. So, the biology space I think is big.

THERE WERE ALSO FIELD DEMOS, INCLUDING AN AUTONOMOUS TRACTOR AND GRAIN CART, PLUS A NEW STRIP TILL MACHINE. THE SOILWARRIOR EDGE IS A THREE-POINT MOUNTED SYSTEM THAT GOES FROM EIGHT ROWS TO 18 ROWS.

Brent Brueland: It’s convertible from shank to coulter and back and forth. You can run a single coulter, a shank and a coulter or three coulters. And you can convert to any type of fertilizer system.

STRIP TILL IS POPULAR IN THE WESTERN CORN BELT AS IT PUTS THE FERTILIZER IN A ZONE RIGHT WHERE THE PLANT NEEDS IT, WHICH INCREASES EFFICIENCY.

STILL AHEAD, PRODUCE TRUCKS ARE POPULAR THIS TIME OF YEAR, AND ONE FAMILY HAS TURNED IT INTO A BIG BUSINESS.

THE BLATNER FAMILY IS WELL KNOWN IN SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA FOR ITS FRESH PRODUCE.

THEIR “PRODUCE PLUS” CORN STANDS HAVE BEEN SELLING THEIR SOUGHT-AFTER SWEET CORN FOR MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS.

MIKE AND KRISTI BLATTNER SELL A VARIETY OF PRODUCE RAISED ON THEIR FARM NEAR EYOTA. THEY RUN AS MANY AS FORTY TRUCKS. AND CONTINUE TO GROW EACH YEAR.

BLAKE, THEIR YOUNGEST, PLANS TO TAKE OVER THE BUSINESS WHEN HIS PARENTS RETIRE. HE SAYS THIS YEAR’S WEATHER HAS BEEN A BIT CHALLENGING.

Blake Blattner: IT KIND OF GOT STARTED A LITTLE BIT LATER THAN WE THOUGHT, BUT I MEAN IT BOUNCED BACK AND SOME OF OUR FIELDS HAVE IRRIGATION OR SOMETHING SO I MEAN THAT KIND OF HELPED IT CATCH UP TO WHERE IT SHOULD BE, SO EVERYTHING’S DOING GOOD NOW.

IN ADDITION TO RUNNING MOST OF THE PRODUCE TRUCKS IN THE ROCHESTER AREA, THE BLATTNERS’ BUSINESS EXTENDS INTO IOWA AND WISCONSIN.

THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF AG WEEK TV FROM FARM FEST. REMEMBER, FOR ALL YOUR AG NEWS, GO TO AG WEEK.COM, OR YOU CAN FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM. HAVE YOURSELF A GREAT AND SAFE WEEK.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here