AgweekTV kicks off its seventh season with a look at the details of the much anticipated January WASDE report and the final production numbers for 2020. We'll provide an update on the new dietary guidelines. We'll take a look at a Minnesota food company that has found success amid the COVID crisis. And we'll talk about what a democratic Senate means for agriculture.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV

WE'LL HAVE DETAILS AND ANALYSIS OF THE MUCH ANTICIPATED JANUARY WASDE REPORT AND LOOK AT FINAL PRODUCTION NUMBERS FOR 2020.

PROVIDE AN UPDATE ON THE NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES, WHICH ARE RELEASED ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS.

Mikkel Pates: A MINNESOTA FOOD COMPANY FINDS SUCCESS AMID THE COVID CRISIS.

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AND LEARN WHAT A DEMOCRATIC SENATE MEANS FOR AGRICULTURE.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV AS WE KICK OFF OUR SEVENTH SEASON, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

THIS WEEK I'M REPORTING FROM THE 52ND ANNUAL SOUTH DAKOTA PORK CONGRESS IN SIOUX FALLS.

IT FEATURED A SOLD OUT TRADE SHOW, BUSINESS MEETING AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES. PORK PRODUCERS AND PACKERS ARE RECOVERING AFTER COVID, AND ARE FOCUSED ON HOW THEY CAN USE THE LESSONS THEY LEARNED FROM COVID. THIS INCLUDES PREPARING FOR A FOREIGN ANIMAL DISEASE OUTBREAK LIKE ASF.

Craig Andersen: We learned about the necessity for the traceability of following the disease flow. If you have a hot spot one place you're going to have to be able to follow it and know where it is so that you have an opportunity to contain it.

PRODUCERS WERE ALSO TALKING ABOUT MANAGEMENT AND NEW TECHNOLOGY TO HELP THEM COMBAT HIGHER FEED PRICES.

THE MUCH ANTICIPATED JANUARY WASDE REPORT HELD SOME BULLISH SURPRISES, ESPECIALLY FOR CORN PRODUCTION.

USDA LOWERED CORN YIELD A RECORD 3.8 BPA AND PRODUCTION BY 324 MILLION BUSHELS. ENDING STOCKS WERE CUT 150 MILLION, TO 1.55 BILLION BUSHELS.

SOYBEAN PRODUCTION WAS CUT BY 35 MILLION AND ENDING STOCKS WERE LOWERED THE SAME AMOUNT TO 140 MILLION BUSHELS, PUTTING THE STOCKS TO USE RATIO AT 3-PERCENT, A 7-YEAR LOW.

AND WINTER WHEAT SEEDINGS WERE AT 32 MILLION ACRES, UP 1.6 MILLION FROM 2019, MOSTLY HARD RED WINTER WHEAT. CARRYOUT WAS LOWERED 26 MILLION AND QUARTERLY STOCKS BY 167 MILLION BUSHELS FROM 2020.

JOINING ME WITH REPORT ANALYSIS IS PAT VON TERSCH. AND THE CORN NUMBER PROBABLY THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IN THE REPORT, WITH USDA PULLING DOWN PRODUCTION 325 MILLION BUSHELS. I DON'T THINK WE SAW THAT COMING.

Pat Von Tersch: YES, SIGNIFICANT. 3.8 BUSHEL DROP IN YIELD FROM THE NOVEMBER NUMBERS, TO THE FINAL REPORT HERE IN JANUARY, DOWN TO 172. I LOOK BACK TO 1990 HADN'T SEEN A DROP THAT SIGNIFICANT AT LEAST GOING BACK THAT FAR.

SO PAT, HOW HIGH DO CORN PRICES NEED TO GO, ESPECIALLY AS SOUTH AMERICA STAYS DRY?

Pat Von Tersch: IF WE CONTINUE TO HAVE WEATHER CONCERNS AS IT RELATES TO SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE GROWING CONDITIONS ON TOP OF OUR CHALLENGES, YOU KNOW, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE TO RUN THIS THING. WE JUST TOOK CORN THIS WEEK UP INTO SOME LEVELS THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN SINCE JULY OF 2013. ACTUALLY BLEW RIGHT THROUGH IT, SO PRICES ARE GOING TO, YOU KNOW, COULD POTENTIALLY WORK ITSELF QUITE A BIT HIGHER HERE IN THE SHORT RUN. THE MARKET WILL CONTINUE TO INVERT. IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO FIND QUICKLY THAT LEVEL THAT GETS DEMAND TO FIT THE SIZE OF THIS CROP.

SOYBEAN ENDING STOCKS WERE THE BIG THING THAT WE WERE WATCHING IN THE REPORT, DOWN TO 140 MILLION BUSHELS, BUT I THINK THE MARKET IS TRADING SOMETHING LOWER THAN THAT, ISN'T IT?

Pat Von Tersch: YEAH, THERE'S MANY ANALYSTS ARE GUESSING WE POTENTIALLY COULD DROP THAT ENDING STOCKS NUMBER DOWN BELOW 100 MILLION, PERHAPS AS MUCH AS REDUCTION OF 100 MILLION, FROM 140 DOWN TO 40 MILLION BELOW PIPELINE TYPE LEVELS, AND WE NEED TO FIND SOME LEVELS THAT WILL RATION DEMAND.

I WAS GOING TO SAY, WE ARE NOT RATIONING DEMAND AT THESE PRICE LEVELS, SO DO YOU THINK WE'RE GOING TO BE AT 15 OR ABOVE ON SOYBEANS, WHERE DO WE GO?

Pat Von Tersch: BEANS ARE TOUGH. THE DEMAND FOR BEANS IS SO INELASTIC IT'S HARD TO FIND THAT LEVEL. I DO KNOW FROM, FROM A LIVESTOCK PRODUCER'S PERSPECTIVE THAT YOU KNOW, AS WE EXIT OUT OF THE FOURTH QUARTER HERE AND WORK INTO THE FIRST QUARTER, PARTICULARLY IN THE HOG COMPLEX, WE WILL AGGRESSIVELY START TO WORK WEIGHTS DOWN, AND SO WE'LL START TO SEE SOME RATIONING THERE. SO I THINK THE DISCUSSION HAS STARTED. BUT YOU'RE RIGHT, MICHELLE WE HAVEN'T SEEN ENOUGH FROM SALES REPORTS ON EXPORTS OR ANYTHING TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THIS IDEA THAT WE FOUND A PRICE LEVEL THAT'S GOING TO WORK TO GET DEMAND TO FIT THE SIZE OF THIS CROP.

AND USDA ONLY LOWERED ENDING STOCKS ON WHEAT SLIGHTLY BY 26 MILLION BUSHELS, BUT DOES WHEAT HAVE TO CONTINUE TO FOLLOW CORN AND SOYBEANS TO BID FOR ACRES?

Pat Von Tersch: YES, WHEAT IS FOLLOWER OF CORN FOR SURE, THE WHEAT MARKET IS, THEIR STOCK SITUATION IS A LITTLE BIT MORE COMFORTABLE TODAY RELATIVE TO CORN AND SOYBEANS, BUT ANY DROP IN ACREAGE, WHICH WOULD, ANYWHERE IN THE GLOBE, WOULD BE QUITE A CHALLENGE FOR THE WHEAT MARKET. AND THERE'S ALSO SOME ISSUES OF SOME MAJOR EXPORTERS, PARTICULARLY UKRAINE REGION, THAT ARE HOLDING BACK ON SUPPLY, INCREASING EXPORT TAXES. SO YES IT'S GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP UP ESPECIALLY WITH THAT CORN COMPLEX AS WE GO FORWARD HERE.

THANKS FOR YOUR ANALYSIS. THAT IS PAT VON TERSCH WITH PROFESSIONAL AG MARKETING.

THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE IN WASHINGTON HAS CHANGED WITH THE DEMOCRATS NOW CONTROLLING THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS.

THE SENATE MAJORITY MEANS MICHIGAN'S DEBBIE STABENOW WILL AGAIN CHAIR THE AG COMMITTEE. HER AGENDA INCLUDES A CLIMATE CHANGE BILL. PLUS, SHE'S AN ADVOCATE FOR RE-AUTHORIZING THE CHILD NUTRITION BILL AND SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAMS.

THE OMNIBUS INCLUDED $1.5 BILLION FOR LAST HALF OF 2019 WHIP PLUS PAYMENTS AND THE QUALITY LOSS ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM.

IT COVERS 70-PERCENT OF FARMER'S PROVEN QUALITY LOSSES IN 2018 AND 2019. PAYMENTS ARE BASED ON FORMULAS FOR EACH CROP, AND THE LOSS FARMERS DOCUMENT, OR ON THE COUNTY AVERAGE LOSS. SIGNUP IS UNDERWAY THROUGH MARCH 5TH.

THE PANDEMIC HAS DRAWN ATTENTION TO ZOONOTIC DISEASES, WHICH ARE THOSE THAT CAN TRANSFER FROM ANIMALS TO HUMANS. \u0009THAT TRANSFER ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN 60% OF KNOWN INFECTIOUS DISEASES. UP TO 75% OF NEW OR EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, INCLUDING COVID-19, ARE ZOONOTIC IN ORIGIN AND COVID-19 IS BELIEVED TO HAVE ORIGINATED IN BATS.

A UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA VETERINARIAN SAYS THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THERE'S A LOT OF RISK OF TRANSMISSION, BUT PETER DAVIES SAYS YOU CAN FIND MULTIPLE HOST SPECIES FOR THE SAME VIRUS. HE SAYS FOR THE MOST PART, VIRUSES IN HUMANS STAY IN HUMANS AND ANIMAL VIRUSES STAY IN ANIMALS, BUT OVER TIME, THERE IS AN INTERCHANGE AND NEW VIRUSES ARE GENERATED.

Peter Davies: If you see it as a big soup, and there's a whole lot of organisms in there, they're finding niches where they can set up their lifestyle, and in some cases those niches are multiple animal species including the human.

HE SAYS ABOUT 20% OF ZOONOTIC DISEASES ACCOUNT FOR 80% OF PUBLIC HEALTH IMPACT, AND HE URGES THOSE WHO HANDLE LIVESTOCK TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL HEAR ABOUT THE LATEST RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HEALTHY EATING AT EVERY STAGE OF LIFE.

WELCOME BACK.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS RELEASED ITS 2020 DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS. THEY'RE UPDATED EVERY FIVE YEARS, AND ARE INTENDED TO PRESENT THE BEST UPDATED RESEARCH ON HEALTHY EATING.

WE TAKE A CLOSER LOOK IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

Rose: MICHELLE, THE GUIDELINES ARE COMPILED BY USDA AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.\u0009NUTRITION SPECIALIST JULIE GARDEN-ROBINSON JOINS US NOW FOR MORE INSIGHT. JULIE, THESE HAVE BEEN PUT TOGETHER AND RELEASED SINCE ABOUT 1980. HAVE THEY HAD MUCH INFLUENCE?

Julie Garden-Robinson: I THINK THEY CERTAINLY HAVE GUIDED US IN THE WORLD OF NUTRITION ON WHAT TO TRY TO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT. SO WE'VE USED ICONS LIKE MY PLATE AND BEFORE THAT MY PYRAMID TO TRY TO GUIDE CHOICES TOWARD MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, DAIRY, LEAN MEATS, AND ALL THE OTHER FOOD GROUPS.

Rose: WHAT REALLY CAUGHT YOUR ATTENTION IN THIS REPORT?

Julie: THIS YEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER WE HAVE LIFESPAN GUIDANCE, SO EVERYONE FROM BABIES TO OLDER ADULTS GET THEIR CHAPTER IN THE DIETARY GUIDELINES. WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS, DEPENDING ON OUR LIFE STAGE, SO FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER WE ALSO HAVE GUIDANCE FOR BREASTFEEDING OF BABIES AND NO ADDED SUGAR FOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF TWO.

Rose: SOME OF THE CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS EMPHASIZED INCLUDE THE CORE ELEMENTS THAT MAKE UP A HEALTHY DIET, INCLUDING DAIRY, FRUITS VEGETABLES, WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, PEAS, LENTILS, LEAN PROTEIN AND SOY, AND HEALTHY OILS. IS THIS PRACTICAL FOR MOST PEOPLE TO TRY TO FOLLOW ALL THOSE?

Julie: WELL IF YOU ARE FINDING THAT YOU AREN'T EATING ALL OF THE FOOD GROUPS, I WOULD SAY START WITH A SIMPLE GOAL. MAYBE YOU NOTICE, LIKE 75 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION, THAT YOU AREN'T EATING ENOUGH VEGETABLES SO START WITH JUST ADDING ONE SERVING EVERY DAY OF VEGETABLES.

Rose: THERE ARE SO MANY MORE OPTIONS, IT'S EASIER THAN EVER TO AT LEAST TRY SOME NEW THINGS.

Julie: AND AIM FOR A VERY COLORFUL CHOICE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THE MORE COLORFUL IT SEEMS LIKE, THE HEALTHIER THEY ARE FOR YOU.

Rose: ALL RIGHT, THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHT TODAY, JULIE. AND OF COURSE YOU CAN READ MUCH MORE ON THE GUIDELINES IN THE NEXT AGWEEK MAGAZINE OR AT AGWEEK.COM.

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS MORE PEOPLE COOKING AT HOME, AND THAT'S GOOD FOR A REGIONAL FOOD COMPANY.

AS MIKKEL PATES REPORTS, MINNESOTA FRESH IS WINNING IN THE RACE TO PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH FRESH, NEVER FROZEN, VEGETABLE KITS.

Monte Benz: I SEE NOTHING BUT GOOD THINGS.

MONTE BENZ AND ABOUT 50 EMPLOYEES OF MINNESOTA FRESH TURN OUT SOME 6.5 MILLION PACKAGES OF FRESH VEGETABLES A YEAR. THEY'RE VACUUM SEALED AND READY TO THROW INTO A CROCKPOT. THAT'S ABOUT 13 MILLION POUNDS OF POTATOES, CARROTS, ONIONS AND CELERY. THE BUSINESS STARTED AS KIDCO, AN ONION PACKER, BACK IN KIDDER COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA.

Monte Benz: WHEN WE STARTED OUT IN NORTH DAKOTA, WE WERE BASICALLY TEN PEOPLE AROUND AN EIGHT FOOT STAINLESS STEEL TABLE, FILLING A BAG AND HANDING IT TO THE NEXT PERSON, WEIGHING IT AND THEN SEALING IT.

BENZ SAYS THAT THEY WANTED TO EXPAND, BUT HAD TROUBLE FINDING ENOUGH LABOR. SO THEY MOVED THE PACKAGING OPERATION TO CENTRAL MINNESOTA. AND THEY'VE NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Monte Benz: WITH THESE MACHINES WE'RE PUTTING OUT ABOUT 85 PACKAGES PER MINUTE.

THEY STARTED PRODUCING THESE KITS HERE IN 2016, AND IT WAS GROWING WELL, THEN THE PANDEMIC REALLY KICKED DEMAND INTO HIGH GEAR.

Monte Benz: ON SATURDAY HERE WE PUT OUT JUST A LITTLE OVER THIRTY THOUSAND PACKAGES IN ONE DAY, AND WE'VE BEEN RUNNING FIVE AND SIX DAYS A WEEK.

THE KITS ARE SOLD NATIONWIDE THROUGH ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST RETAIL CHAINS AND GROCERS. AUGUST DEMAND WAS UP 27% FROM A YEAR AGO, AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF A SEASONAL SLOWDOWN.

Phillip Porter: 2020 HAS BEEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL SEASON FOR US.

BENZ'S SON-IN-LAW PHILLIP PORTER JUST BUILT AN ONION WAREHOUSE HERE IN DAWSON, NORTH DAKOTA, AND ALMOST ALL OF MINNESOTA FRESH'S ONIONS STILL COME OUT FROM THE REGION. THIS IS PORTER'S FIRST YEAR FULLY IN CHARGE OF ONION OPERATIONS, AND HE'S OPTIMISTIC.

Phillip Porter: YES. HAVE A GOOD CROP AND STUFF, AND YEAH, IT'LL BE A NICE YEAR THIS YEAR.

Mikkel Pates: SO AMIDST TODAY'S CHALLENGES, THERE'S ALSO FRESH OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURE. FOR AGWEEK, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES AT LONG PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA.

SINCE MOVING TO LONG PRAIRIE, THEY HAVE TRIPLED THE SIZE OF THEIR FACILITY, TO 30-THOUSAND SQUARE FEET, AND PRODUCTION HAS QUADRUPLED.

THE HORMEL COMPANY IS HELPING SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA RESTAURANTS GET THROUGH THE PANDEMIC. THE AUSTIN, MINNESOTA-BASED CORPORATION HAS BOUGHT 45-THOUSAND MEALS FROM 20 RESTAURANTS IN THE COMMUNITY SINCE MARCH. THEY'RE BEING DELIVERED TO EMPLOYEES AND SENIOR CITIZENS.

HORMEL'S JIM SHEEHAN SAYS WHEN INDOOR DINING CLOSED IN MINNESOTA IN MARCH, THEY KNEW IT WOULD PUT A BIG STRAIN ON RESTAURANTS, AND THEY LOOKED FOR A WAY TO HELP.

Jim Sheehan: WE'RE VERY ENGAGED WITH OUR COMMUNITIES. IT'S BEEN A VERY IMPORTANT WAY TO SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITIES THESE ARE IMPORTANT BUSINESSES IN THESE SMALL TOWNS AND WE'RE HAPPY TO HELP THEM OUT.

Sara White: OH MY GOSH, IT'S JUST EXPONENTIALLY BENEFICIAL FOR ME. YEAH, IT'S PRETTY AMAZING THE THINGS THAT THEY'VE DONE FOR NOT ONLY ME BUT THE WHOLE COMMUNITY.

THE PROGRAM WILL RUN THROUGH JANUARY. IN ADDITION TO THE LOCAL SUPPORT, SHEEHAN SAYS HORMEL HAS DONATED MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS AND A MILLION MEALS AROUND THE COUNTRY DURING THE PANDEMIC.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT CHANGES TO THE ANNUAL CORN AND SOY EXPO.

AND LATER, A GROUP OF NDSU ALUMNI ARE WORKING TO GET A POPULAR LIVESTOCK PROGRAM BACK ON TRACK.

WHILE IT MAY BE PREMATURE TO TALK ABOUT DROUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, WINTER PRECIP HAS BEEN BELOW NORMAL. IS THERE ANY SIGN OF CHANGE?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

AGWEEKTV SOY INSIGHT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE NORTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN COUNCIL

LIKE SO MANY EVENTS THESE DAYS, THE ANNUAL NORTHERN CORN AND SOYBEAN EXPO IS GOING VIRTUAL.

BUT ORGANIZERS SAY THERE'S A SILVER LINING--MORE PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ATTEND, WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT WEATHER OR OTHER CONFLICTS.

THE EXPO IS FEBRUARY 23RD AND 24TH, FROM 8 TO 11 AM CENTRAL TIME. BOTH NORTH DAKOTA CORN AND SOYBEAN SAY RESPONSE TO OTHER VIRTUAL EVENTS THEY'VE HELD HAS BEEN GOOD, SO THEY'RE EXPECTING A GREAT TURNOUT.

Stephanie Sinner: WHILE WE'RE REALLY GOING TO MISS THE IN-PERSON NETWORKING AND HAVING EVERYBODY TOGETHER AND THE FELLOWSHIP THAT OFFERS, THIS DOES OFFER SOME UNIQUE ASPECTS, AND SO WE DO ANTICIPATE IN THE YEARS COMING THAT THERE WILL BE MOST LIKELY SOME VIRTUAL ASPECT TO EXPO. I THINK THE OPPORTUNITY IS JUST TOO GREAT.

TYNE MORGAN OF U.S. FARM REPORT EMCEES THE VIRTUAL EVENT AND WILL RECORD AN UPCOMING SHOW THERE. OTHER FEATURED SPEAKERS INCLUDE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTIST ERIC SNODGRASS, A TRANSPORTATION PANEL, AND THE "SHARK FARMER,'" ROB SHARKEY.

Jean Henning: He's an Illinois farmer who's kind of a podcaster. He's kind of a TV celebrity in the agricultural world. And he's going to talk about advocating for agriculture and how to engage the public.

TO REGISTER, GO TO NORTHERN CORN SOY EXPO.COM.

NDSU'S LIVESTOCK JUDGING PROGRAM HAS SUFFERED UNDER BUDGET CUTS IN RECENT YEARS.\u0009BUT A GROUP OF ALUMNI IS WORKING TO CHANGE THAT. THEY'VE FORMED A FOUNDATION TO SUPPORT THE PROGRAM WITH MONEY AND CALF DONATIONS.

NDSU GRADUATES PAUL BERG AND BRYAN STROMMEN HOPE TO BRING STABILITY TO A ONCE-SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM.

Paul Berg: WE JUST THOUGHT IT'S KIND OF TOO BAD THAT A PROGRAM THAT'S BEEN THIS SUCCESSFUL IS FALLING INTO A LITTLE BIT OF DISREPAIR. SO WE NEED TO SO SOMETHING TO BOLSTER IT, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE FOR.

Bryan Strommen: WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO OFFER SOME SCHOLARSHIPS, AND TRY TO GROW THE JUDGING TEAM PROGRAM AS WE MOVE FORWARD.

STROMMEN COMPETED ON THE TEAM AS A STUDENT, AND BERG WAS THE MEAT JUDGING COACH FROM 1975 UNTIL 2009.

WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL GIVE A PREVIEW OF THIS WEEK'S POPULAR ONLINE RECIPE.

CRISTEN CLARK, THE IOWA FARMER WHO WRITES THE "FOOD AND SWINE" BLOG, IS A MONTHLY AGWEEK MAGAZINE COLUMNIST AS WELL.

SHE ALSO SHARES A MONTHLY VIDEO RECIPE WITH READERS AND VIEWERS OF AGWEEK. THIS MONTH, YOU CAN GO TO AGWEEK.COM AND WATCH CLARK MAKE AN AMAZING, ITALIAN, HOMEMADE PIZZA CRUST THAT WILL ELEVATE ANY PIZZA YOU MAKE AT HOME.

LAST MONTH, CLARK'S RECIPE WAS NO CHILL SUGAR COOKIES.

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

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