This week on AgweekTV, folks are in the fields with their soybeans and seeing mixed results. Cash basis levels for grains are historically strong at harvest. We'll find out what that means for ethanol plants. We went to northern Minnesota, where sugarbeet growers came together to help a family in need. A hailstorm takes a heavy toll on wildlife at a South Dakota hunting ranch. And possible tax changes could spell trouble for agriculture.



WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

\u0009THE HARVEST SEASON GOT OFF TO A QUICK START IN THE REGION UNTIL SOME RAIN DISRUPTIONS THIS WEEK.

\u0009USDA'S CROP PROGRESS REPORT SHOWED MOST STATES AHEAD OF AVERAGE.

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\u0009CORN HARVEST IS AROUND 10-PERCENT DONE IN MOST OF THE REGION AS FARMERS MOVE TO HARVEST EARLY WITH A DRY CROP AND STANDABILITY ISSUES.

\u0009AND SOYBEAN HARVEST IS WELL AHEAD OF AVERAGE LED BY MINNESOTA, BUT BEHIND LAST YEAR.



\u0009BEFORE BEING SLOWED BY RAIN MIDWEEK, COMBINES WERE ROLLING QUICKLY THROUGH SOUTH DAKOTA. AS OF LAST SUNDAY 17-PERCENT OF THE BEANS WERE COMBINED. YIELD RANGES ARE WIDE BUT GENERALLY BETTER THAN PROJECTED FOR A DROUGHT YEAR.



With one of the driest years in the last 100 in South Dakota, soybean results are a welcome surprise for Craig Converse.



Craig Converse, Arlington, SD Farmer, "They're a little better than average, certainly better than what I was expecting going into it just because we probably have had oh 8 to 10 inches for the whole year of rain so we're still five, six inches below normal."



Despite that, some of his bean fields are running better than 2020.



Converse, "The rain last year stopped in August. Those beneficial rains we got this year, we got some in August. I think that's what hurt the yields more so last year than this year."



In the southeast, Tim Ostrem says his soybeans are dry and yields are highly variable from field to field and within the field.



Ostrem: If you caught the rain you probably have got some of your best beans, if you got alot of rain you probably do have your best beans. If you didn't catch the rain you may have the worst beans you've ever had.



But he says its also a function of genetics and soil type.



Ostrem: I've got some fields that are on the bottom and their sandy and they're going to be even 25 and I've got fields that got better soil, dryland that are going to be about 45.



His irrigated yields are above that. However, he says the dryland acres are still better than past drought years on both total bushels and quality.



Ostrem: The one thing that I will say, 1988 was actually worse in that regard because it didn't even rain in August.



Across the state soybean yields range from 20 to 70 plus bushels per acre, and so Converse, who is also on the checkoff board, is optimistic about the statewide average.



Converse, "I think we're going to stay close to that trendline average yield. Certainly, on our Council I mean we're expecting 40 bushel average I think for the state.



And with higher soybean prices versus last year that will make up for some of the production shortfall.



\u0009THIS WEEK'S FIRST CROP STOP TAKES US TO ASHTON IN NORTHEAST SOUTH DAKOTA, WHERE THE

\u0009SOYBEAN HARVEST IS ADVANCING.

THE FRERICKS FAMILY FARMS FIVE THOUSAND ACRES THERE AND THEIR SOYBEAN YIELDS AND QUALITY ARE HIGHLY VARIABLE BECAUSE OF THE DROUGHT.

\u0009NATHAN FRERICKS SAYS YIELDS RANGE FROM THE MID-TEENS TO MID-FORTIES, WITH TEST WEIGHTS UP TO 57 POUNDS PER BUSHEL.



Nathan Frericks: THEY WERE LOOKING GOOD, AND THEN JUST, A LOT OF THEM WERE CUPPED AND THEN THEY GOT CUPPED AND UGLY LOOKING AND THEN THEY SLOWLY CAME OUT OF IT. AND THEN HERE WE ARE SEEING IT WHEN YOU'RE COMBINING THEY DON'T EVEN SHOW UP ON YOUR YIELD MONITOR, SO THAT'S PRETTY BAD.



\u0009THE FAMILY ALSO HAS MORE THAN 300 BEEF COWS IN A COW-CALF OPERATION.



\u0009NEXT WE HEAD TO SOUTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA, AND EDGELEY, WHERE

\u0009LOREN SCHULZ WAS FINDING HIS SOYBEAN CROP A LITTLE BETTER THAN HE EXPECTED...BUT STILL WAY BELOW AVERAGE.

\u0009THIS YEAR, SCHULZ' SOYBEAN CROP WAS DROUGHT-STRESSED, WITH ONLY TENTHS OF AN INCH OF RAIN EARLIER IN THE YEAR. BUT A "LITTLE SHOT" OF RAIN IN LATE JULY MAY HAVE SAVED HIS CROP FROM DISASTER.



Loren Schulz: BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE OF THE GENETICS THAT WE HAVE, A LITTLE MORE THAN I EXPECTED BUT WAY BELOW AVERAGE.



\u0009THE SCHULZ FAMILY ALSO GROWS CORN AND WHEAT.



\u0009CASH BASIS LEVELS AND PRICES FOR CORN AND SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN HISTORICALLY STRONG IN THE WESTERN CORN BELT FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, AND THAT HAS CONTINUED EVEN AT HARVEST.

\u0009NORMALLY CASH GRAIN PRICES ARE UNDER PRESSURE AS THE CROP IS DELIVERED TO ELEVATORS IN THE FALL. BUT PRODUCERS LIKE CHAD SCHOOLEY SAY THIS YEAR, CASH BASIS ON SOYBEANS IN NORTHEAST SOUTH DAKOTA IS ONLY ABOUT 25-CENTS UNDER FUTURES. AND CORN BASIS IS AT ZERO, WHICH IS A GOOD INDICATION OF THE SHORT CROP AND STRONG DEMAND.



Chad Schooley: Normally, I would take a guess that soybeans are usually a dollar under and corn is 50 cents under. So that makes a lot of difference in our markets.



\u0009CORN BASIS IS POSITIVE AROUND SOME ETHANOL PLANTS IN THE REGION, AS THEY SCRAMBLE TO SECURE SUPPLIES WHERE THE CROP HAS BEEN SHORT THE LAST TWO YEARS. FOR EXAMPLE, RED TRAIL ENERGY AT RICHARDTON, NORTH DAKOTA WAS PAYING 90-CENTS OVER THE BOARD FOR CORN.



USDA'S QUARTERLY STOCKS AND SMALL GRAINS SUMMARY WAS FRIENDLY FOR WHEAT BUT BEARISH FOR THE ROW CROPS..

ESPECIALLY SOYBEANS WHERE USDA PEGGED QUARTERLY STOCKS AT 256 MILLION BUSHELS...THAT'S 51-PERCENT BELOW LAST YEAR, BUT WELL ABOVE ESTIMATES. CORN STOCKS WERE ALSO LOWER THAN 2020 BUT ABOVE EXPECTATIONS AT 1.24 BILLION BUSHELS. WHEAT STOCKS WERE BULLISH, LOWERED TO 1.78 BILLION BUSHELS.

WHILE WHEAT PRODUCTION IS AT 19 YEAR LOWS WITH A DROP IN BOTH WINTER AND SPRING WHEAT FROM THE LAST REPORT.



\u0009THIS WEEK CONGRESS REVERTED BACK TO PROPOSING CHANGES IN TAX POLICY TO HELP FUND THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION'S ONE TRILLION DOLLAR INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE.

\u0009THE POSSIBLE CHANGES WOULD SHIFT THE FUNDING BURDEN TO FARMERS AND RANCHERS BY RAISING CAPITAL GAINS TAXES, ELIMINATING STEPPED UP BASIS, AND CUTTING THE ESTATE TAX DEDUCTION LEVELS IN HALF.



So we're probably going to lose about six million dollars in our federal gift tax and estate tax deduction. That's a big number, and when you take that with a couple, that's 12 million dollars.



\u0009AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK CONTINUES TO SAY THESE TAX CHANGES WON'T HURT MOST FARMERS AND RANCHERS, BUT NCBA ESTIMATES IT WOULD HIT 65 TO 80-PERCENT OF THAT GROUP.



COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV...

OUT OF THE KINDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS, OVER SIXTY SUGARBEET DRIVERS ARE DUMPING ONE FAMILY'S SUGARBEET CROP.



\u0009THE DROUGHT IS STRESSING ETHANOL PRODUCERS ACROSS THE MIDWEST. IT'S WORSE IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA, WHERE ETHANOL PLANTS IN RICHARDTON AND UNDERWOOD ARE UNABLE TO JUDGE THE SIZE OF THE CROP, AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT THEIR PRODUCTION. MIKKEL PATES HAS MORE IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.



Phil Coffin: THIS HAS BEEN AN EXTREMELY STRESSFUL YEAR. I DON'T SEE A LOT OF RELIEF COMING.



RED TRAIL ENERGY OF RICHARDTON AND MIDWEST AG ENERGY BLUE FLINT PLANT IN UNDERWOOD GRIND A TOTAL OF NEARLY FIFTY MILLION BUSHELS OF CORN A YEAR FOR ETHANOL AT THEIR WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA PLANTS.



Phil Coffin: IT WAS ONE OF THOSE 'IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME' TYPE OF INVESTMENTS. IT TOOK A LOT OF FAITH TO PUT A CORN PLANT IN THE MIDDLE OF WHEAT AND DURUM COUNTRY.



CHANGES IN SEED TECHNOLOGY AND OTHER INVESTMENTS TURNED WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA INTO CORN COUNTRY. 65 PERCENT OF THE CORN USED AT THE UNDERWOOD PLANT IS GROWN WITHIN ABOUT 75 MILES. MUCH OF THE LAND THAT GROWS THEIR LOCAL CORN SUPPLY GOT LESS THAN 8 INCHES OF RAIN THIS SUMMER, AND THEY HAD 20 DAYS OF 100-DEGREE TEMPERATURES.



Gerald Bachmeier: THIS DROUGHT IS EXCEPTIONAL.THERE ARE LOCAL POCKETS THAT DO HAVE SOME CORN, DEPENDING ON WHEN YOU RECEIVE THAT RAIN, THE VARIATION IS FROM 120 BUSHELS DOWN TO THIRTY BUSHELS IN THE SAME FIELD.



WITH CORN PRODUCTION DOWN, THEY'RE PAYING MORE FOR IT, AND PREPARING TO SHIP MORE CORN IN BY RAIL, IF IT MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE.



Gerald Bachmeier: WE WILL HAVE TO SOURCE CORN FROM THE EAST AND IT'S GOING TO INCREASE OUR TRANSPORTATION COSTS.



IN ADDITION TO THE DROUGHT, THE INDUSTRY LOST A LOT OF DEMAND BECAUSE OF COVID. BACHMEIER IS HOPING FOR FAVORABLE FEDERAL RENEWABLE FUEL POLICIES. RED TRAIL ENERGY AND BLUE FLINT ARE BOTH LAUNCHING CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION PROGRAMS TO FIT LOW CARBON MARKETS IN CALIFORNIA AND ELSEWHERE. RED TRAIL IS MOVING INTO PHARMACEUTICAL ETHANOL GRADES, AND WHILE CORN PRODUCTION WAS SHORT THIS YEAR, BOTH COMPANIES FACE CHALLENGES AHEAD.



Gerald Bachmeier: 2022 IS GOING TO BE A YEAR OF SURVIVAL.



Mikkel Pates: WHILE THERE'S NOTHING SURE ABOUT AG PRODUCTION, OR AG PROCESSING, THESE ETHANOL PRODUCERS OUT HERE IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA SAY THEY'RE HERE TO STAY. FOR AGWEEK, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES AT RICHARDTON, NORTH DAKOTA.



\u0009YOU CAN READ MORE IN THE NEXT AGWEEK MAGAZINE, OR AT AGWEEK.COM.



AN ACT OF COMMUNITY KINDNESS IS HELPING A MINNESOTA FARM FAMILY AFTER A TRAGIC LOSS. PAUL OLSONAWSKI DIED UNEXPECTEDLY IN JULY. HE WAS A LIFELONG LANCASTER AREA FARMER - KNOWN BY MANY FOR HIS COMPASSION.

EMILY BEAL WAS THERE AS FRIENDS AND FAMILY TOOK A DAY TO REMEMBER HIM...ONE ACRE AT A TIME.



Olsonawski: THE FIRST FEELINGS I HAD AFTER HE PASSED AWAY WAS JUST THIS GRIPPING FEAR THAT I'VE NEVER FELT.



MIDWAY THROUGH THE FARMING SEASON, DAWN OLSONOWSKI SUDDENLY LOST HER HUSBAND PAUL, WHO WAS 55, LEAVING HER TO NAVIGATE HER FIRST HARVEST WITHOUT HIM.



Olsonawski: I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO AFTER LOSING HIM DIDN'T KNOW HOW YOU WERE GOING TO DO LIFE WITHOUT YOUR PARTNER BUT YOU JUST TRY AND FIGURE IT OUT.



BUT FRIENDS, FAMILY AND EMPLOYEES SHOWED UP TO GET IT DONE, ALL IN A DAY.



TONY: HE'D SHAKE HIS HEAD AND TELL EVERYBODY TO GO HOME AND WORRY ABOUT THEIR OWN FIELDS. WE'LL GET IT.



OVER 100 PEOPLE WORKING OVER 15 HOURS TO GET THE CROP OUT OF THE GROUND.



Olsonawski: IT HAS BEEN THE MOST HUMBLING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE, I THINK. IT MEANS EVERYTHING.



PAUL'S CLOSE FRIEND DAN YOUNGREN ORGANIZED THE MASSIVE OPERATION OF 60 TRUCKS.



Youngren: IT'S LIKE LETTING 60 CATS GO .THEY'RE GOING IN ALL DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.



Olsonawski: EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK THERE'S TRUCKS TODAY AND THERE'S PEOPLE MOVING. AND IT'S THE FIRST TIME IN TWO MONTHS NOW THAT I'VE FELT PRETTY BLESSED.



AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR OPENED IT'S PILING SITE IN HUMBOLDT FOR THE DAY, JUST FOR THE OLSONOWSKI FAMILY'S YIELD.



Olsonawski: THIS FARMING FAMILY WE HAVE HERE IS WONDERFUL, THIS IS WHAT AMERICA SHOULD LOOK LIKE RIGHT HERE.



IN HUMBOLDT, MINNESOTA, THIS IS EMILY BEAL FOR AGWEEK.



\u0009THE GROUP HARVESTED 540 ACRES THAT DAY.



\u0009A ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA LANDMARK HAS A FRESH NEW LOOK.

\u0009THE ICONIC EAR OF CORN WATER TOWER HAS BEEN RESTORED TO LOOK NEW AGAIN. IT WAS CELEBRATED THIS WEEK WITH A CORN-THEMED PARTY.

\u0009IT WAS BUILT IN 1931 AT THE SITE OF A CANNERY.

THE PLANT CLOSED AND THE AREA WHERE IT STANDS HAS BEEN SOLD FOR DEVELOPMENT, BUT THE WATER TOWER REMAINS AS THE CENTERPIECE. ALLAN WHIPLE WORKED AT THE PLANT FOR DECADES AND IS THRILLED WITH THE RESTORATION.



Allan Whipple: I KNOW THAT FOR MANY YEARS THAT OUR CHILDREN, GREAT GRANDCHILDREN AND THE GENERATIONS TO COME WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO ADMIRE THAT BEAUTIFUL TOWER.



\u0009THE TOWER RESTORATION IS PART OF A TWO MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT BY OLMSTED COUNTY TO PREPARE THE SITE FOR DEVELOPMENT.



AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, A HAILSTORM TOOK A HEAVY TOLL ON THE WILDLIFE AT A HUNTING RANCH...

AND LATER, WE'LL TAKE YOU TO SOUTH DAKOTA'S HUGE BUFFALO ROUNDUP.



HARVEST WAS INTERRUPTED BY SOME RAIN LATE THIS WEEK IN PARTS OF OUR REGION, BUT IT LOOKS MORE COOPERATIVE AHEAD.

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.



\u0009A HUGE HAILSTORM IN NORTHEAST SOUTH DAKOTA IN LATE AUGUST TOOK A HEAVY TOLL ON CROPS, BUT ALSO A WILDLIFE AND BIRD HUNTING FARM.

AS MIKKEL PATES FOUND, COTEAU VIEW HUNTS AND KENNELS WAS DEAD CENTER OF THE STORM, BATTERING IT WITH BASEBALL SIZE HAIL, AND KILLING NUMEROUS WILDLIFE.



Bryan Sombke: IT'S TOTALLY DEVASTATING. TOTALLY DEVASTATING.



BRYAN SOMBKE AND HIS TWIN BROTHER BRYCE RUN GUIDED PHEASANT AND WATERFOWL HUNTS ON 500 ACRES OF CONSERVATION LAND, AS WELL AS THEIR BROTHER AND FATHER'S NEARBY CROP AND LIVESTOCK FARM. BUT A LATE-AUGUST "SUPERCELL" HAIL STORM, LEFT A PATH OF DESTRUCTION SIX MILES WIDE AND 225 MILES LONG. THEIR OPERATION GOT THE WORST OF IT.



8366 :09 Bryan Sombke: WE FOUND BIG MATURE DOES DEAD, COMPLETELY DEAD. HOLES PUNCHED IN THE SIDES OF THEM. SO OBVIOUSLY BEEN KNOCKED OUT AND THEN BLUDGEONED TO DEATH BY THE HAIL, EVEN TO THE POINT OF PIERCING HOLES IN THEM. AND THEN PHEASANTS, YOU KNOW YOU FIND ONE PHEASANT YOU FIND FIFTEEN OF THEM IN A CIRCLE ALL ROOSTED UP FOR THE NIGHT.



SOMBKE SAYS THEY HAVE NOT FOUND ANY BIRDS THAT SURVIVED THE STORM.



8318 1:01 Bryan Sombke: IT'S 100 PERCENT LOSS. WHEREVER THAT HAIL WENT THROUGH IT KILLED EVERYTHING.



BUT IT WASN'T JUST ANIMALS THAT WERE AFFECTED.



Bryan: This grass here, chin high native grass, and it's completely flat. Looks like we hayed it.



THE BASEBALL TO SOFTBALL-SIZE HAIL ALSO WIPED OUT ABOUT TWO HUNDRED ACRES OF THEIR CORN.



8365 Bryan Sombke: THERE'S A DENT RIGHT THERE. THAT HAILSTONE WENT TWO INCHES INTO THE GROUND.



SOMBKE SAYS WHILE CROPS CAN BE INSURED, THE WILDLIFE CAN'T, SO THEY'LL GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS, AS THEY SAY. THEY'RE WORKING WITH NEIGHBORS TO RUN THIS YEAR'S HUNT, AND WITH THE HELP OF A GOFUNDME EFFORT, THEY'LL RESTOCK FOR FUTURE HUNTING SEASONS. IN CONDE, SOUTH DAKOTA, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES FOR AGWEEK.



\u0009SOMBKE SAYS ONE SMALL SILVER LINING IS THAT THE HAIL DESROYED THE MAT OF DEAD MATTER ON THEIR CRP LAND, ALLOWING FOR FRESH GROWTH.



\u0009IT'S THE LARGEST, YEARLY, ONE DAY EVENT IN THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, DRAWING MORE THAN 20-THOUSAND PEOPLE. AND IT'S ONE OF A KIND.

\u0009IT'S THE CUSTER STATE PARK BUFFALO ROUNDUP, AND IT RECENTLY MARKED ITS 56TH YEAR BY GATHERING UP MORE THAN 13-HUNDRED HEAD FROM THE PARK'S HERD.

\u0009PEOPLE TRAVEL FROM HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY TO WITNESS THE MASSIVE EVENT, WHICH HAS BEEN HELD SINCE 1966. HORSEBACK RIDERS AND MORE THAN 100 PARK STAFF MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS MAKE IT POSSIBLE.

\u0009AND SOUTH DAKOTA IS THE ONLY STATE THAT DOES THIS WITH BUFFALO.



Kobee: Well, it's a critical herd management tool for us. It's our one opportunity every year to get an overall health assessment of our herd. Our adults, we pregnancy test them all, you know antibiotics, our veterinarian looks them over and then our calves actually get branded every year. And then we decide what animals are kept in the herd over the wintertime and which ones we sell at our annual auction in November. >



\u0009THERE ARE 1,450 BISON IN CUSTER STATE PARK, BUT THEY DON'T ROUND UP THE MATURE BULLS.



STILL AHEAD, HOW HORSES ARE IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH.



\u0009THE BISON STRIDES PROGRAM AT NDSU PUTS HORSES TO WORK HELPING PEOPLE.

\u0009THE PROGRAM HELD A WORKSHOP RECENTLY THAT FOCUSED ON MENTAL HEALTH AND LEARNING WITH HORSES. IT DREW PROFESSIONALS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND WAS CONDUCTED BY THE PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP, KNOWN AS PATH.

\u0009THE BISON STRIDES PROGRAM DIRECTOR SAYS HORSES WORK WELL IN PROGRAMS LIKE THIS BECAUSE THEY ARE EXTREMELY INTUITIVE.



Erika Berg: THEIR WHOLE EXISTENCE AND SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON THEIR ABILITY TO READ THE BODY LANGUAGE OF EVERYTHING IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT. SO THAT INCLUDES OTHER HORSES, BUT IT ALSO INCLUDES PEOPLE, AND IT INCLUDES CATS AND DOGS AND SO THEY'RE REALLY IN TUNE WITH WHAT'S TRULY GOING ON WITH A PERSON.



\u0009PEOPLE AT THE WORKSHOP CAN NOW BECOME PATH CERTIFIED AS EQUINE SPECIALISTS.



THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF AG WEEK TV.

REMEMBER, FOR ALL YOUR AG NEWS, GO TO AG WEEK.COM, AND FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM AS WELL. HAVE YOURSELF A GREAT AND SAFE WEEK.\