Coming up on AgweekTV, we will take a look at the former house Ag Committee chair predicts the future of ag policy with mostly urban committee members. We'll talk about the Minnesota ag groups gearing up for the budget battle in the state legislature. We will continue our Agweek livestock tour in DX Ranch west of Gettysburg, S.D. Finally, we will discuss our annual look at farmland rental rate trends.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV

THE FORMER HOUSE AG COMMITTEE CHAIR PREDICTS THE FUTURE OF AG POLICY WITH MOSTLY URBAN COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

MINNESOTA AG GROUPS GEAR UP FOR THE BUDGET BATTLE IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE.

Michelle: Our Agweek Livestock Tour brings us here to the DX Ranch west of Gettysburg, South Dakota.

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AND WE TAKE OUR ANNUAL LOOK AT FARMLAND RENTAL RATE TRENDS.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS ARE HEATING UP AROUND THE REGION. IN MINNESOTA, THE BUDGET IS FRONT AND CENTER FOR LAWMAKERS WHO AWAIT OFFICIAL PROJECTIONS.

THE FEBRUARY REPORT WILL BE RELEASED SOON AND BUDGET DECISIONS FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS WILL BE BASED ON THOSE NUMBERS. AG GROUPS SAY THEY'RE PLAYING DEFENSE ON THE BUDGET REGARDING TAX POLICY.

Dave Preisler: You know we made some big gains over the last three years on tax issues with agriculture and we certainly want to hang on to those. And there's some things that we need to look at from the standpoint of how Minnesota treats some of the federal aid programs like the PPP program.

HE SAYS HEARINGS ARE ALSO BEING HELD ON NEW CAFO PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS THE MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY PUT INTO EFFECT IN 2020. PLUS, A BILL TO ALTER THE MAKEUP OF THE BOARD OF ANIMAL HEALTH.

IN THE NORTH DAKOTA, LAWMAKERS CONTINUE TO DEBATE LEGISLATION TO CHANGE THE STATE BEEF CHECKOFF.

THE HOUSE REJECTED A BILL THAT WOULD HAVE MADE THE DOLLAR PER HEAD STATE BEEF CHECKOFF AN OPT-IN PROCESS RATHER THAN OPT-OUT.

THE NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ESTIMATES HOUSE BILL 1487 COULD COST THE BEEF COMMISSION A $1 MILLION PER YEAR.

PROPONENTS DON'T WANT TO HAVE THE MONEY ASSESSED AT ALL AND DISAGREE WITH THE WAY THE COMMISSION HAS OPERATED. OPPONENTS SAY THERE'S NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT ASKING FOR A REFUND IS A BURDEN ON PRODUCERS. THE FUTURE IS UNCERTAIN.

AND IN SOUTH DAKOTA, STATE LEGISLATORS PASSED A BILL ALLOWING THE STATE FARM BUREAU TO OFFER HEALTH INSURANCE. SENATE BILL 87 PASSED THE HOUSE BY A 50 TO 16 VOTE AND WAS SENT ON TO GOVERNOR NOEM FOR HER SIGNATURE. THEY HOPE TO OFFER THE PROGRAM BY FALL, AND WILL COVER MANY WHO HAVE NO INSURANCE OR WHO ARE PAYING UNAFFORDABLE PREMIUMS.

FORMER HOUSE AG COMMITTEE CHAIR COLLIN PETERSON SAYS THE CHANGING MAKEUP OF THE COMMITTEE IS BAD NEWS FOR AGRICULTURE.

PETERSON REPRESENTED MINNESOTA'S SEVENTH DISTRICT FOR THIRTY YEARS, BEFORE HE WAS DEFEATED BY REPUBLICAN MICHELLE FISCHBACH.

TODAY REPUBLICANS CONTROL ALL THE SEATS IN CONGRESS IN FARM COUNTRY. PETERSON SAYS HE'S CONCERNED THAT DEMOCRATS WILL HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING ENOUGH MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE CURRENT AG COMMITTEE.

THE AG COMMITTEE HAD 47 MEMBERS FOR MANY YEARS, BUT LEADERSHIP INCREASE THE SIZE TO 53, SO REPUBLICANS COULD GET MORE MEMBERS. NOW, THE DEMOCRATS HAVE 27 SLOTS TO FILL AND THE REPUBLICANS HAVE 24, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO FILL THE COMMITTEE.

PETERSON SAYS IT'S A GROWING PROBLEM FOR AGRICULTURE.

Collin Peterson: WE'VE GOT ALL OF THE AG DISTRICTS REPRESENTED BY REPUBLICANS. THIS IS BAD. I WAS ABLE TO HOLD THINGS TOGETHER, I WAS ABLE TO KEEP THINGS BIPARTISAN. BUT I'M WORRIED WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

PETERSON SAYS HE'S GETTING CALLS FROM PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY WHO WANT HIM TO STAY INVOLVED IN AG POLICY, INCLUDING NEW AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK.

WHILE CONGRESS WORKS ON A $1.9 TRILLION COVID RELIEF PACKAGE, THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE ADVANCED A $16 BILLION BUDGET RECONCILIATION BILL CONTAINING AID.

IT INCLUDES $4 BILLION TO RESPOND TO THE PANDEMIC'S IMPACT ON THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN AND $1 BILLION TO HELP BEGINNING MINORITY FARMERS. CHAIR DAVID SCOTT SAYS THEY'RE TARGETING THOSE NOT HELPED WITH THE PREVIOUS $50 BILLION OF COVID AID.

MORE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NOMINATIONS ARE MOVING THROUGH THE VETTING PROCESS.

THE SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE PASSED EPA ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL REGAN'S NOMINATION BY A VOTE OF 14 TO 6. IT WILL NOW BE CONSIDERED BY THE FULL SENATE.

HOURS OF SERVICE REQUIREMENTS HAVE BEEN WAIVED BY NORTH DAKOTA GOVERNOR DOUG BURGUM AND MINNESOTA GOVERNOR TIM WALZ. BOTH SIGNED EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO WAIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVERS HAULING PROPANE, GASOLINE AND DIESEL FUEL. PROPANE SUPPLIES ARE LOW DUE TO TRUCKER SHORTAGES.

2020 WAS A ROLLER COASTER RIDE WITH THE PANDEMIC AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST DEMAND LED BULL GRAIN MARKETS IN HISTORY. SO HOW HAS THIS IMPACTED THE FARM ECONOMY, AND CROPLAND RENTAL RATE NEGOTIATIONS THIS WINTER?

JONATHAN KNUTSON TAKES A CLOSER LOOK IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

2020 WAS A STRANGE YEAR FOR MOST AREA FARMERS. EVEN SO, AG OFFICIALS FROM AROUND THE REGION SAY THEY AREN'T SEEING BIG CHANGES IN FARMLAND RENTAL RATES.

Nate Franzen: AS PEOPLE LOOK AHEAD TO 2021, I THINK THEY SEE BETTER PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES, SO THAT COULD FUEL A LITTLE BIT OF UPWARD PRESSURE.

TRENDS VARY A BIT FROM STATE TO STATE, SO GENERALIZING CAN BE RISKY. BUT OVERALL, SOME RATES ARE INCHING HIGHER, SOME ARE HOLDING STEADY, AND SOME HAVE DIPPED. WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MONTANA IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.

Daniel Bigelow: YOU SEE A LITTLE BIT OF A RISE MAYBE IN THE TREND FOR NON-IRRIGATED CROPLAND CASH RENTS, FOR BUT FOR PASTURE THEY'RE VERY FLAT.

STRONG YIELDS AND HIGHER PRICES COULD SET THE STAGE FOR HIGHER RENTAL RATES. BUT 2021 STILL HOLDS LOTS OF UNKNOWNS, SO IN RENEGOTIATING RATES, GOOD COMMUNICATION IS VITAL.

Noah Hultgren: I THINK THAT COMMUNICATION IS KEY, AND JUST KEEPING, AS A FARMER, I TRY TO KEEP MY LANDLORDS AS UP TO DATE AS POSSIBLE.

ANOTHER FACTOR TO CONSIDER IS THAT THE PRICES OF SOME FARMING INPUTS ARE PROJECTED TO RISE THIS YEAR. AND THAT COULD MAKE SOME TENANTS RESIST PAYING MORE FOR RENT. BUT THERE'S A REASON FOR OPTIMISM TOO.

Nate Franzen: MAYBE IT WILL BE A LITTLE BETTER YEAR FOR EVERYBODY, AND THEY CAN GET IT OUT OF THE MARKET INSTEAD OF FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

IN GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, THIS IS JONATHAN KNUTSON, FOR AGWEEK.

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

STILL AHEAD ON THE SHOW, OUR LIVESTOCK TOUR CONTINUES, WITH A LOOK AT AN OPERATION THAT'S WORKING TO LEAVE THE LAND BETTER THAN THEY FOUND IT.

THE AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR IS SPONSORED BY TRANS OVA AND STOCKMENS LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE.

WELCOME BACK. WE CONTINUE OUR AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR THIS WEEK WITH A CATTLE OPERATION THAT PRACTICES REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE, UTILIZING NEARLY 8000 ACRES OF PRIVATE AND TRIBAL LAND. ITS A UNIQUE FAMILY-FOCUSED OPERATION THAT ALSO SELLS DIRECT TO CONSUMERS.

Kelsey Ducheneaux: Our focus is in letting Mother Nature do her job. Try to find a way that we can leave the resource better than we found it.

That's evident at the DX Ranch, located on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota. Kelsey and her father Zach Ducheneaux and their entire family raise quarter horses and 250 head of beef cows in a regenerative production system.

Kelsey: We've really focused on ensuring that we're not just thinking about the livestock above ground but we're also thinking about the livestock below ground.

That's helped them produce high quality cattle for 4-generations now, but they realized they weren't getting the true value by selling their cattle like a commodity at the sale barn.

Zach: Our entire year's livelihood depends on three people in that building and if that buyer doesn't have a good day, he's not going to make the next bid. And it just drove home the point that we've got to try to find a way to do something different than that.

That was the birth of DX Beef, a direct to consumer business featuring their 100% grass-fed beef. Zach says they're capturing a larger share of the food dollar by selling more beef in the box last year than live at auction. Cattle which last January brought $950 per head.

Zach: Any of those steers that we're able to keep and sell in the meat next year are gonna sell for around $2500, $2600 a head.

Kelsey: From 2019 and 2020 we saw a 1300 percent increase in our sales.

And that was during the pandemic. Most of their sales are internet based, and they're committed to keeping costs low for food insecure families on the reservation.

Zach: We are going to price this meat affordably to our community members because without them and without the ability to affordably use tribal resources we wouldn't be able to do this.

Long term they're committed to connecting with consumers and healing the food system.

Kelsey: And that's what really drives me, is finding a way to help others and to feed others. That's the goal with DX Beef.

OUR OWN EMILY BEAL ALSO FOUND A LIVESTOCK OPERATION IN NORTHEAST, SOUTH DAKOTA TO SHOWCASE. TWISTED E SHOW GOATS.

Emily Beal: Thanks Michelle. Today I'm on Agweek's 2021 Livestock Tour in Lake Norden, South Dakota. And today I'm with Jacob and Sara Ebbers. Tell me a little bit about your operation.

Jacob Ebbers: YES, WE GOT STARTED IN 2016. WE RAISE SHOW GOATS FOR 4-H, FFA KIDS. WE RUN ABOUT 40 DOES AND HAVE A PRETTY DECENT-SIZED ET PROGRAM, EMBRYO TRANSFER. SO WE'RE TAKING OUR TOP END OF OUR DOES EVERY YEAR, FLUSHING THEM, PUTTING EGGS IN, RESET THOSE. IT'S DONE PRETTY PREVALENT IN THE CATTLE BUSINESS AND PRETTY BIG IN THE SMALL RUMINANTS NOW TOO.

DO YOU GUYS FOCUS MORE ON THE BREEDING ASPECT, SO SELLING STUFF FOR BREEDING, OR ARE YOU GUYS GETTING MORE TOWARD MARKET SHOW ANIMALS?

Sara Ebbers: WE DO THE SHOW ANIMALS AND THE WETHERS AND MARKET DOES.

AND I'VE ALWAYS HEARD THE TERM THAT SHOW WETHERS ARE LIKE MINI STEERS. WOULD YOU GUYS AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT?

Jacob Ebbers: 100 PERCENT. SOME OF OUR BEST FAMILIES HAVE BEEN SHOWING OUR GENETICS ARE CATTLE FAMILIES. WHETHER IT'S ON THE WETHER SIDE OR THE BREEDING DOE SIDE, PLAYING WITH, IT IS A MINI STEER, THEY LIKE TO PLAY WITH THAT HAIR, AND IF YOU CAN FEED A CALF YOU CAN FEED A GOAT.

Sara Ebbers: I GREW UP ON A CATTLE FARM, AND SO HAVING THE GOATS HERE THEY'RE MORE EASY TO MANAGE. THE SIZE IS GOOD, FEEDING, EXPENSES, ALL OF THAT ARE SMALLER BECAUSE THEY'RE A SMALLER ANIMAL, SO IF SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE TREATED OR SOMETHING NEEDS HELP I CAN EASILY DO IT.

AND WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE SALE END OF THINGS, DO YOU GUYS HOLD A SALE WHERE CUSTOMERS WILL COME OUT AND PURCHASE STUFF, OR DO YOU GUYS DO MOSTLY PRIVATE TREATY?

Jacob Ebbers: SO IT'S BEEN ALL OVER THE BOARD IN THE PAST. WE DO QUITE A BIT OF PRIVATE TREATY IF WE CAN SELL SOME RIGHT OFF THE BARN WE WILL. WE GO TO A COUPLE OF CONSIGNMENT SALES IN INDIANAPOLIS AND DOWN IN DES MOINES. AND THEN WE'LL HOST A COUPLE OF ONLINE SALES AS WELL.

ALL RIGHT, WELL THANK YOU GUYS. ON AGWEEK'S 2021 LIVESTOCK TOUR, THIS IS EMILY BEAL WITH AGWEEK.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, HOW THE BITTER COLD IS MADE LIFE TOUGHER FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS THIS WEEK.

SUB ZERO TEMPERATURES CONTINUED IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS EARLIER THIS WEEK.

BUT COLD STRETCHED INTO THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, HITTING LOWS NOT SEEN IN OVER 100 YEARS. LIVESTOCK WERE STRESSED AND THERE MAY BE LASTING HEALTH ISSUES IN MANY HERDS.

ONE OF THE HARDEST HIT SECTORS, HAS BEEN BEEF FEEDLOTS, WITH LOWER PERFORMANCE AND MARKET WEIGHTS ON CATTLE DOWN AS MUCH AS 50 POUNDS IN NEBRASKA.

Gerald Stokka: Even though you feed them their maintenance requirements just for keeping their body warm go up a lot, so the gain isn't there.

STOKKA SAYS NORTHERN PLAINS PRODUCERS WERE PREPARED TO THAW WATERS, PROVIDE SHELTER, AND FOR INCREASED FEED REQUIREMENTS.

POWER OUTAGES HIT FEED, MILK, PORK AND BEEF PROCESSORS THOUGH IN THE SOUTH, BACKING UP LIVESTOCK MARKETING AND MILK WAS EVEN DUMPED.

AFTER OUR SUB ZERO START TO THE WEEK IT LOOKS LIKE TEMPERATURES MAY BE RETURNING BACK TO NORMAL.

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

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

GRAIN PRICES ARE NEAR SEVEN YEAR HIGHS, BUT THE MARKETS ARE ALSO VERY VOLATILE, SO TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THAT CAN BE TRICKY.

THE NORTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN COUNCIL IS HOLDING TWO VIRTUAL MARKETING SEMINARS IN MARCH. SOYBEAN ENDING STOCKS ARE HISTORICALLY TIGHT, SO PRICES ARE HIGHER, BUT FLUCTUATING MORE.

THE INTERACTIVE WEBINARS WILL HELP GROWERS MAKE BETTER MARKETING DECISIONS.

Frayne Olson: THE WHOLE PURPOSE BEHIND THIS TRAINING SERIES IS NOT ONLY TO GIVE YOU AN UPDATE ON WHAT'S GOING ON CURRENTLY, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY GIVE YOU A BACKGROUND ON SOME OF THE DYNAMICS, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WILL INFLUENCE DECISIONS AS WE MOVE FORWARD, AND ALSO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE TOOLS THAT PEOPLE CAN USE TO BE ABLE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF MARKETING.

THE SOYBEAN TRADE AND RISK MANAGEMENT WEBINAR IS MARCH 15TH AND 16TH, AND THEN ON THE 17TH, FEMALE SOYBEAN PRODUCERS CAN TAKE IN A MARKETING, RISK MANAGEMENT AND FUNDAMENTALS SEMINAR. IT'S CONDUCTED BY NAOMI BLOHM, ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING BASIS, DELIVERY POINT CONSIDERATIONS, CASH FLOW AND CONTRACTS.

Naomi Blohm: WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WAYS THAT YOU CAN LOCK IN THE OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD, MANAGE THE RISK THAT COULD BE THERE, AND ULTIMATELY MANAGE SOME OF THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT COULD BE COMING THIS SUMMER WITH THE, YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE PRICES TO COME, JUST BECAUSE THE DEMAND IS THAT STRONG.

FOR MORE INFO OR TO REGISTER FOR EITHER OF THE FREE WEBINARS, GO TO NDSOYBEAN.ORG.

FEBRUARY IS HEART MONTH AND THE SOUTH DAKOTA BEEF INDUSTRY COUNCIL AND SANFORD HEALTH HAVE TEAMED UP TO SHARE EASY LEAN BEEF AND HEART HEALTHY EATING TIPS.

Dietician Mary Aukes says the science backs their recommendations regarding lean beef and cardiovascular health.

Mary Aukes:The research does show that lean meat and lean beef can be included in a heart healthy diet.

There are a variety of lean and extra lean cuts of beef to choose from that support heart-healthy eating.

Aukes: The area of the beef where you're going to typically find that leaner cut of meat will be the loin part of that meat or the round.

And she says 96-percent lean ground beef is acceptable, but keep a sensible portion size.

Aukes: It's in moderation of course. There's the research that shows that 3 to 4-ounces is that serving size.

Plus, she says balance that lean protein with a variety of food groups.

GET MORE INFORMATION AT SDBEEF.ORG.

STILL AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV,

A HUGE INSECT COLLECTION TEACHES HOW MUCH THEY CONTRIBUTE TO AG.

INSECTS CAN GREATLY DAMAGE CROPS, BUT MANY ARE VITAL TO AGRICULTURE AS WELL.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY IS HOME TO A CENTURY-OLD COLLECTION OF 12,000 OF THE KNOWN INSECT SPECIES IN THE REGION. OF THOSE, LESS THAN HALF A PERCENT ARE HARMFUL TO CROPS, WHILE THOUSANDS ARE BENEFICIAL.

ENTOMOLOGIST PAUL JOHNSON SAYS LANDOWNERS ARE INTERESTED IN CONSERVING INSECT POPULATIONS. AND NEW SPECIFIES ARE STILL BEING DISCOVERED.

Dr. Paul Johnson: AND IT'S NOT JUST THE ONES IN THE SOILS. THOSE THAT FEED INSIDE OF PLANTS, OR FOR EXAMPLES IN THE SEEDS OF GRASSES, NATIVE GRASSES. AND THE PARASITES OF THOSE INSECTS. WE'RE STILL, STILL DISCOVERING LOTS OF NEW SPECIES.

JOHNSON SAYS THEY'VE LOANED SPECIMENS FROM THE COLLECTION ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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

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