Coming up on AgweekTV, we will take a look at farmers finalizing their farm program and crop insurance elections. We will discuss the probability in sheep productions. We'll see firefighters learn about grain extractions. Finally, we will discuss how many grain producers are evaluating their 2021 market decisions.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV

FARMERS FINALIZE THEIR FARM PROGRAM AND CROP INSURANCE ELECTIONS WITH THE BEST SAFETY NET IN 7 YEARS ON CORN AND 8 YEARS ON BEANS.

WE HEAD TO MINNESOTA TO LOOK AT THE PROFITABILITY IN THE SHEEP PRODUCTION BUSINESS.

FIREFIGHTERS PUT DOWN THEIR HOSES TO LEARN ABOUT GRAIN BIN EXTRACTIONS.

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AND AFTER MANY GRAIN PRODUCERS SOLD TOO SOON IN 2020 THEY EVALUATE MARKETING DECISIONS FOR 2021.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

FARMERS HAVE UNTIL MARCH 15 TO SIGN UP FOR CROP INSURANCE AND MAKE THEIR FARM PROGRAM ELECTIONS FOR THIS CROP SEASON.

AGRICULTURE RISK COVERAGE COVERS REVENUE FROM YIELD AND PRICE, WHILE PRICE LOSS COVERAGE JUST PROTECTS PRICE. TYLER LEIGHTON WITH FARM CREDIT SERVICES SAYS WITH HIGHER GRAIN PRICES CURRENTLY NEITHER OPTION LOOKS LIKE IT WILL TRIGGER A PAYMENT.

Tyler Leighton: There's lots that could change depending on if we end up in a drought or anything like that then ARC may end up triggering payments, but with this run up in prices obviously PLC is a little bit out of the money right now.

HE SAYS FARMERS THAT CHOOSE PLC CAN BUY THE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE OPTION FROM THEIR CROP INSURANCE PROVIDER, WHICH IS SOMETHING HE RECOMMENDS.

SCO allows you to take and insure 100% of your actual acres, instead of with like ARC or PLC, 85% of your base acres. This gives you a bigger risk management pool to play with.

EACH FARMER NEEDS TO MAKE AN INDIVIDUAL DECISION, DEPENDING ON COUNTY YIELDS AND RISK TOLERANCE. THERE ARE SEVERAL ONLINE TOOLS TO HELP.

BASE PRICES FOR CROP INSURANCE WERE SET IN FEBRUARY AND PRICES ARE WELL ABOVE A YEAR AGO, BUT SO IS THE COST FOR THEIR INSURANCE.

THE RISK MANAGEMENT AGENCY APPROVED VALUES EARLY THIS WEEK WITH THE CORN INSURANCE GUARANTEE AT $4.58 PER BUSHEL, UP 70-CENTS FROM 2020. THE SOYBEAN PRICE IS AT $11.87, UP $2.70 FROM A YEAR AGO AND SPRING WHEAT AVERAGED $6.53, WHICH IS $.96 HIGHER THAN 2020.

HOWEVER, WITH THE HIGHER GUARANTEES, FARMERS WILL BE PAYING HIGHER PREMIUMS IN 2021.

Randy Martinson: We are looking at a 20 to 30-percent increase in premiums for from last year and a lot of that is going to be due to, part of its due to the price increase, a lot more of its going to be due to the volatility.

THE FLIP SIDE IS THIS ALSO LOCKS IN A HIGHER FLOOR OR SAFETY NET FOR PRODUCERS, ESPECIALLY GOING INTO A SEASON THAT IS ALREADY STARTING DRY.

You know the instance for corn and for soybeans a lot of producers will be able to lock in yeah profits with their crop insurance this year.

THE CROP INSURANCE BASE PRICE FOR CORN HASN'T BEEN THIS HIGH SINCE 2014. FOR SOYBEANS, THIS IS THE HIGHEST AVERAGE SINCE 2013.

THE GRAIN MARKETS HAVE HIT 7 TO 8-YEAR HIGHS IN 2021. THE MOVE STARTED LAST AUGUST AND THE RALLY CAME QUICK, CATCHING MANY IN THE TRADE OFF GUARD.

AT THE HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC LAST SPRING, GRAIN FUTURES HIT MULTI-YEAR LOWS, WITH A GRIM OUTLOOK. SO, MANY FARMERS MARKETED AT OR PRIOR TO HARVEST. IN FACT, IT'S ESTIMATED NEARLY 80-PERCENT OF THE SOYBEANS WERE SOLD BEFORE THE BIG RALLY.

SOYBEANS PUT IN THEIR LOWS IN AUGUST AND CLIMBED OVER 6-DOLLARS AT THEIR HIGHS IN FEBRUARY, WHILE CORN RALLIED NEARLY TWO AND A HALF DOLLARS WHEN IT HIT ITS HIGH IN JANUARY.

Daniel Fixsen: Well most of our beans were sold off the combine this fall, so that was different. Normally we wait till the summer.

Bob Worth: We started selling our beans at $8.20 and we got all the way up to $9.50 before we had the last of them gone. Same way with corn, we don't have a kernel of anything left on the farm.

NOW PRODUCERS ARE WATCHING NEW CROP GRAIN FUTURES. WITH NEW HIGHS HIT PUT IN THE CORN AND BEANS LAST WEEK, THEY'RE TRYING TO DECIDE IF THEY SHOULD FORWARD PRICE AND HOW MUCH TO SELL ESPECIALLY WITH THE LOOMING DROUGHT.

USDA IS EXTENDING THE SIGNUP FOR THE THIRD ROUND OF THE CORANVIRUS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OR CFAP-AA. \u0009AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAYS THEY HAD COMPLAINTS FROM PRODUCERS THAT FELT THEY WERE UNFAIRLY LEFT OUT OF THE FIRST TWO PROGRAMS. THE AGENCY IS REVIEWING THE CFAP-AA AND WHEN THEY FINISH, FARMERS WILL HAVE 30 DAYS TO SIGN UP.

A BILL WAS PASSED THROUGH THE NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE THIS WEEK WOULD HELP PROTECT FARMERS FROM FRAUD WHEN SELLING GRAIN.

IT WILL GIVE THE AG COMMISSIONER MORE DISCRETION OVER WHO GETS GRAIN MERCHANDISING LICENSES IN THE STATE AND HOW MUCH FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION THEY MUST PROVIDE.

FOR ELEVATORS IT MEANS INCREASED FINANCIAL SCRUTINY, PARTICULARLY WHEN APPLYING FOR AN INITIAL LICENSE. FOR FARMERS, EVERY TIME THEY ENTER INTO A DEFERRED PAYMENT CONTRACT, ELEVATORS MUST OFFER AN OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE THEIR OWN BOND PROTECTION IN EXCESS OF WHAT WOULD BE COVERED IN AN INDEMNITY FUND.

THE BILL WAS SPARKED BY THE HUNTER HANSON FRAUD IN 2018 .

THE NATION'S AG CONTAINER SHIPPERS AND 70 AG ASSOCIATIONS HAVE SENT A LETTER ASKING PRESIDENT BIDEN TO INTERVENE IN THE CURRENT EXPORT CRISIS.

THEY SAY THE INABILITY TO TRANSPORT CONTAINERS HAS SEVERELY INJURED THE EXPORT OF FOOD AND OTHER AG PRODUCTS. THE PROBLEMS STARTED DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, ESPECIALLY AT WEST COAST PORTS LIKE LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA.

PORTS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, MOVING MOSTLY AG GOODS FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CORN BELT, HAVE BEEN HURT LESS.

Kristin Meira: We are seeing an uptick in container imports you know, not a full resurgence in what trade was like pre-pandemic, but it does seem that shoppers are starting to buy things again. So yes hopefully that container shortage will be abated.

THERE'S CONGESTION AT OTHER PORTS FROM AN INCREASE IN INCOMING HIGHER VALUED CONSUMER GOODS FROM ASIA. PLUS, COVID CUT THE LABOR FORCE TO HANDLE SHIPMENTS IN A TIMELY MANNER. SOME ASIAN COMPANIES ARE PAYING LARGE PREMIUMS TO HAVE CONTAINERS SHIPPED BACK EMPTY. OTHER OCEAN CARRIERS HAVE REFUSED TO CARRY CONTAINERS BACK TO ASIA TO CASH IN ON SKYROCKETING FREIGHT AND SPOT RATES.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV, OUR LIVESTOCK TOUR CONTINUES, WITH A VISIT TO A MINNESOTA SHEEP OPERATION.

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

SHEEP PRODUCTION ISN'T AS POPULAR IN THE REGION AS OTHER SPECIES. HOWEVER, THIS WEEK ON OUR AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR, MIKKEL PATES TAKES A LOOK AT THIS INCREASINGLY PROFITABLE ENTERPRISE.

Brian Fruechte: WHEN WE FIRST STARTED THINKING ABOUT SHEEP, I GET THESE BIG IDEAS AND THOUGHT MAYBE WE'D REALLY BLOW IT UP.

BRIAN FRUECHTE AND HIS WIFE, KIM, FARM IN SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA. THEY RUN COWS AND RAISE CROPS AND A FEW YEARS AGO THEY STARTED SHIFTING INTO SHEEP, IN PART SO THAT THEIR FOUR KIDS COULD GET MORE INVOLVED.

Brian Fruechte: THEY CAN'T REALLY GO OUT AND HELP A COW HAVE A CALF, OR EVEN BE IN THE SAME PEN REALLY WHEN THEY'RE THAT SMALL, AND SO WE WANTED SOMETHING THAT COULD BE MORE OF A FAMILY PROJECT.

SO FOR NOW, THEY'VE SCALED BACK THEIR AMBITIONS. RIGHT NOW THE FRUECHTES HAVE 150 EWES. OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS THEY'VE BUILT NEW FACILITIES FOR THE SHEEP, WITH AN EYE TOWARD INCREASING EFFICIENCY, AND EXPANDING THEIR FLOCK TO AROUND 200 EWES. THE MOST RECENT ADDITION IS AN INSULATED LAMBING BARN BETWEEN TWO HOOP BARNS.

Kim Fruechte: SO WE CAN LAMB IN JANUARY. PRIOR TO THIS WE WERE ONLY LAMBING IN APRIL WHEN THE WEATHER IS WARMER, USUALLY. AND SO IT'S ALLOWED US TO SPREAD OUR LAMBING OUT AND POTENTIALLY LOOK AT GETTING MORE EWES IN THE FUTURE.

Philip Berg: We've actually seen a steady increase in our number of operations that we're working with.

THE FRUECHTES WORK WITH PHILLIP BERG AND ANN KOLTHOFF, WHO ARE INSTRUCTORS WITH THE PIPESTONE LAMB AND WOOL PROGRAM AT THE MINNESOTA WEST COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGE. BERG SAYS SHEEP CAN ADD VALUE TO A FARM.

Philip Berg: IT ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS THAT ARE CROP FARMERS TO DIVERSIFY THEIR LABOR AND THEIR LABOR NEEDS, AND IT ALLOWED PRODUCERS OR INDIVIDUALS TO UTILIZE EXISTING FACILITIES TO RUN SHEEP IN.

EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN PROFITABILITY, AND PERHAPS THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS LABOR. KOLTHOFF SAYS MILDER WEATHER EARLIER THIS WINTER MADE THE WORK A LITTLE EASIER. IT HELPED KEEP SHEEP HEALTHIER WITH LESS COST.

Ann Kolthoff: WE HAVEN'T HAD AS MANY ILLNESS CONCERNS BECAUSE THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO KEEP THEIR BARNS A LITTLE BIT MORE OPEN AND VENTILATED. BUT IT'S BEEN REALLY NICE, BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T PROBABLY HAD TO PUT QUITE AS MUCH FEED INTO THEM, WHICH HELPS ON A PROFITABILITY STANDPOINT.

IN PIPESTONE, MINNESOTA, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES FOR AGWEEK.

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

USDA'S AG MARKETING SERVICE HAS ESTABLISHED A NEW DEALER STATUTORY TRUST TO PROTECT LIVESTOCK SELLERS. THE SENATE PASSED THE SECURING ALL LIVESTOCK EQUITABLY, OR SALE, ACT IN DECEMBER, WHICH ESTABLISHED THIS TRUST TO PROTECT LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS WHEN THEY NEED TO RECOUP OUTSTANDING COSTS OR LIVESTOCK IN THE EVENT OF A DEALER DEFAULT.

THE CATTLE MARKET TRANSPARENCY ACT OF 2021 WAS ALSO INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE THIS WEEK. THE LEGISLATION WOULD RESTORE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE CATTLE MARKET BY ESTABLISHING REGIONAL NEGOTIATED CASH MINIMUMS, AND EQUIPPING PRODUCERS WITH MORE MARKET INFORMATION TO FACILITATE PRICE DISCOVERY.

FIREFIGHTERS SAVE LIVES FROM BURNING BUILDINGS ON A REGULAR BASIS. BUT THE NORTH DAKOTA FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION IS HELPING LOCAL FIRE CREWS TAKE ON A NEW TYPE OF RESCUE. TANNER ROBINSON SHOWS US HOW THEY'RE TAKING A DIVE, TO TRAIN IN THE GRAIN.

West Fargo fire crews drilled the holes, and loaded a dummy into a makeshift grain bin

a tool the North Dakota Firefighters Association is providing to help firefighters across the state save more lives.

MATT BERG: Regular firefighting, we pull our hose daily, weekly. Higher-risk things, like this grain bin extrication, we don't do all the time.

Firefighters got harnessed up

and made their way up the stairs to take on their rescue roles.

West Fargo training chief Matt Berg says while this is only a simulation, the training still feels real.

BERG: It is going to be noisy, there's going to be augers running.

there's going to be trucks running, tractors running on the outside trying to move the grain away from the grain bin.

As crews moved the grain around

and set up barriers around the wooden body.

Got his shoulder.

Berg was reminded of his own experience with a grain bin accident, one year before coming to West Fargo.

BERG: I was part of one in Ramsey County, a fatality. I'm not totally sure of the circumstance that happened, but we ended up having to cut holes in the side.

With that real-life experience under his belt

Berg hopes the rest of the crew learns the same knowledge

in hopes of preventing a tragedy.

BERG: Farmers are in their bins all the time, so training like this, we need to take advantage of it as much as we can.

BERG SAYS THERE HAVE BEEN 5-DEATHS FROM GRAIN BIN ACCIDENTS WITHIN THE LAST YEAR IN NORTH DAKOTA, INCLUDING ONE IN JAMESTOWN EARLIER THIS MONTH.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOYBEAN GROWERS TO AFFECT THEIR INDUSTRY ON A NATIONAL LEVEL.

AND LATER, HOW A FARMER-HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIP IS MAKING SOME PEOPLE HEALTHIER.

TEMPERATURES WERE BACK ABOVE NORMAL THIS WEEK, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE'RE STAYING DRY. HOW CONCERNED SHOULD WE BE?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

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

NORTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN PRODUCERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR A SEAT ON THE UNITED SOYBEAN BOARD. NORTH DAKOTA HAS FOUR FARMER-LEADERS THAT SERVE ON THE 78-MEMBER NATIONAL BOARD AND THERE IS ONE AVAILABLE POSITION OPEN RIGHT NOW.

THE FOURTH SEAT WAS ADDED IN 2019 BECAUSE OF INCREASED SOYBEAN PRODUCTION. USB OVERSEES THE INVESTMENTS OF THE SOY CHECKOFF, TO MAXIMIZE PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL SOYBEAN FARMERS.

THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NORTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN COUNCIL SAYS SERVING AS A USB DIRECTOR IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE INDUSTRY ON A NATIONAL LEVEL, AND MAKE DECISIONS ON PROGRAMS LIKE RESEARCH AND MARKET DEVELOPMENT.

Stephanie Sinner: BEING PART OF THE UNITED SOYBEAN BOARD AND REPRESENTING NORTH DAKOTA TO THAT BOARD IS REALLY A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO MEET OTHER FARMERS FROM ALL AROUND THE U.S., BUT ALSO TO WORK ON BIG PICTURE THINGS THAT ARE IMPACTING THE SOYBEAN INDUSTRY AT A NATIONAL LEVEL, AND ALSO AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL.

TO BE CONSIDERED, GROWERS MUST FILL OUT A NOMINATION FORM AND "AGREEMENT TO SERVE" STATEMENT, AND SUBMIT BOTH TO THE NORTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN COUNCIL OFFICE BY FRIDAY, MARCH 19TH.

THE HMONG AMERICAN FARMERS ASSOCIATION'S CSA PROGRAM HAS SEEN EXPLOSIVE GROWTH IN THE PAST YEAR.

THE GROUP IS BASED 20 MILES SOUTH OF SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA, AND SERVES THE TWIN CITIES AREA. THEY'VE GONE FROM 100 MEMBERS EIGHT YEARS AGO, TO ONE THOUSAND LAST YEAR.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JANSSEN HANG SAYS HE THINKS MUCH OF THE GROWTH IS DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, AND THEY'RE WORKING TO KEEP IT GOING STRONG. HE SAYS THEIR VEGGIE RX PROGRAM IS BECOMING VERY POPULAR.

SINCE 2016, HAFA HAS PARTNERED WITH HEALTH EAST TO OFFER CSA BOXES TO PATIENTS FOR FREE.

AFTER ONE SEASON, PATIENTS WITH DIABETES SAW A BIG IMPROVEMENT IN THEIR HEALTH.

Janssen Hang: THEIR A-ONE-C LEVELS, THEIR MARKER HAD SIGNIFICANTLY DROPPED, RIGHT? THERE'S A CORRELATION THAT EATING HEALTHY BUILDS A MORE HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT, BUILDS A HEALTHIER BODY OVERALL.

PRODUCTS FOR THE CSA ARE GROWN BY MORE THAN 100 HMONG FARMERS ON 155 ACRES IN DAKOTA COUNTY THAT THE ORGANIZATION OPERATES.

STILL AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, IT'S WINTER SHOW TIME AGAIN, AND WE'LL TELL YOU WHY THEY EXPECT IT TO BE A BIG ONE.

THE NORTH DAKOTA WINTER SHOW IS GEARING UP FOR ITS 84TH YEAR.

THE THEME IS "HOME GROWN FUN IN 2021". ACTIVITIES INCLUDE A CATTLE SHOW, RODEO AND TRACTOR PULL.

THE SHOW'S MANAGER SAYS THERE'S EVEN MORE ENTHUSIASM THAN USUAL, WITH SO MANY ACTIVITIES CANCELLED OVER THE PAST YEAR.

Tesa Klein: YES, EVERYBODY FROM THE VENDORS, WE HAVE A LOT OF VENDORS THIS YEAR, A LOT OF NEW VENDORS, THEY ARE HAPPY TO HAVE A PLACE, THE CATTLE PEOPLE ARE, THE RODEO PEOPLE, OUR RODEO NUMBERS, OUR CONTESTANTS, IT IS INSANE. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ROUGH STOCK IN OUR SLACK. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY UNHEARD OF.

THE SHOW RUNS MARCH 10TH THROUGH THE 14TH AT THE WINTER SHOW BUILDING IN VALLEY CITY.

JOIN US FOR THE 39TH ANNUAL AGWEEK FARM SHOW MARCH 23 AND 24, DURING NATIONAL AG WEEK. THE EVENT WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY AT AGWEEK DOT COM.

VISIT VENDOR BOOTHS AND TAKE IN GREAT EDUCATIONAL EVENTS, LIKE A MARKET ROUND TABLE, AG POLICY DEBATE, A SOIL HEALTH PANEL, WAYS TO COMBAT HIGH FEED COSTS, AG CONTRACT PROTECTIONS AND SPECIALITY CROP PRODUCTION. I'LL BE HOSTING THE DISCUSSIONS AND INVITE YOU TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS AHEAD OF TIME. WE'LL ALSO HAVE SEVERAL PRIZE GIVEAWAYS. LEARN MORE AT AGWEEK DOT COM BACKSLASH VIRTUALSHOW

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. HAVE YOURSELF A GREAT AND SAFE WEEK.