This week on AgweekTV, drought conditions and fears grow over the winter in the region. We'll have the outlook for 2021. We'll get the first look at what farmers intend to plant for the 2021 crop season. The ag committees will soon introduce climate change legislation, but can farmers benefit or even profit from trading carbon? And we'll look at a regional company selling conventional, off-patent seed corn to save farmers money.



WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

\u0009PRESIDENT BIDEN ANNOUNCED THE DETAILS OF HIS $2 TRILLION INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN THIS WEEK IN PENNSYLVANIA.

\u0009THE AMERICAN JOBS PLAN WOULD PUMP 621-BILLION DOLLARS INTO ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND REPAIR AND CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, BRIDGES, AND RAIL SERVICE. FARM GROUPS WANT TO MAKE SURE AGRICULTURE IS A PRIORITY THOUGH AS THE PLAN MOVES FORWARD.

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Chandler Goule: Highways are going to be there because people drive a lot, but rail and waterways that is going to be ag's job to make sure that stays at the forefront.



\u0009HE SAYS TRANSPORTATION IS CRITICAL FOR KEEPING THE U.S. GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE.



\u0009USDA HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW APPROACH TO DISTRIBUTING ADDITIONAL COVID-19 RELIEF, CALLED PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE FOR PRODUCERS.

\u0009USDA IS DEDICATING $6 BILLION TO EXPAND ASSISTANCE TO SMALL AND SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED FARMS, SPECIALTY AND ORGANIC PRODUCERS, PLUS THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN AND RENEWABLE FUELS SECTOR FOR DISRUPTIONS. SIGN-UP STARTS APRIL 5 FOR 60 DAYS.

\u0009ALSO, $1.1 BILLION OF CFAP 1 TOP-UP PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE ON CATTLE SOLD AFTER APRIL 15, 2020 FARMERS GET ANOTHER CFAP 2 PAYMENT OF $20 PER ACRE FOR ELIGIBLE FLAT RATE OR PRICE-TRIGGER CROPS FOR A TOTAL OF $4.5 BILLION. THESE PAYMENTS ARE AUTOMATIC AND LIMITS WERE NOT ADJUSTED.



\u0009USDA'S PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS REPORT WAS BULLISH FOR CORN AND SOYBEANS.

\u0009CORN ACRES WERE UP ONLY 1-PERCENT FROM 2020, BUT NEARLY 2 MILLION ACRES BELOW EXPECTATIONS. SOYBEAN ACRES WERE UP 5-PERCENT AT 87.6 MILLION, BUT NEARLY 2.5 MILLION BELOW ESTIMATES. ALL WHEAT ACRES WERE 5-PERCENT HIGHER THAN 2020, BUT SPRING WHEAT WAS DOWN NEARLY 4-PERCENT.

\u0009QUARTERLY STOCKS WERE BELOW YEAR AGO LEVELS, ESPECIALLY SOYBEANS WHICH WERE DOWN 31-PERCENT.



DuWayne Bosse is joining us with report analysis, and USDA did throw us some bullish numbers in the prospective plantings on both corn and soybeans. But soybeans two and a half million acres below the trade estimates and below USDA's form figures. So where does this put us for ending stocks and where did those acres go? .



DuWayne Bosse: I'M GOING TO SAY THAT THEY'RE HIBERNATING, I THINK THEY'RE GOING TO SHOW UP COME JUNE. WE ALL WENT INTO THIS REPORT SAYING WE NEEDED 90 MILLION ACRES AND WE DIDN'T GET THAT. WE GOT THE 87.6 MILLION. IF I PLUG THAT INTO AN S AND D TABLE USING USDA'S CURRENT OLD CROP STOCK, WHICH I THINK IT TOO HIGH, I BASICALLY RUN OUT OF BEANS, MICHELLE. AND USDA WILL NEVER PRINT THAT. I'M NOT HERE TO SAY THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN HERE, AND NOT BELIEVE REPORTS, BUT WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING, WE NEED TO EITHER LOWER DEMAND OR INCREASE PRODUCTION. AND YIELD IS GOING TO BE UP TO WEATHER, SO I GUESS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO RALLY THE PRICE THAT INCREASE IN DEMAND RIGHT NOW.



SO QUARTERLY STOCKS ON SOYBEANS WERE ALSO DOWN 31 PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR, SO WE'VE CONFIRMED TIGHT OLD CROP STOCKS, WE'VE ALREADY CONFIRMED THAT WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH ACRES. SO HOW HIGH DO PRICES NEED TO GO OLD CROP TO RATION DEMAND AND FOR NEW CROP TO BUY ACRES?



DuWayne Bosse: YEAH I THINK DURING THE WINTER I TALKED ABOUT 15, 16 DOLLAR BEANS WOULD, PROBABLY WHERE I THOUGHT WE WOULD RATION DEMAND. I THINK WE NEED TO GET THERE YET. AND THAT PRICE WILL DO THAT. THAT WILL PROBABLY CREATE A LITTLE BIT OF CANCELLATION ON SOME EXPORTS. IT WILL PROBABLY BRING SOME BEANS IN FROM BRAZIL.



DUANE, CORN ACREAGE WAS ALSO BELOW ESTIMATES BY OVER TWO MILLION ACRES, SO WHERE DID THOSE ACRES GO AND WHERE DOES THAT PUT US FOR ENDING STOCKS?



DuWayne Bosse: I THINK CORN WILL HAVE MORE ACRES THAN THE 91.1 MILLION WHEN WE GET TO JUNE I THINK WE'LL END UP AROUND 93 MILLION. THE 91.1 LET'S JUST ASSUME THAT'S RIGHT FOR NOW. THAT CREATES A TIGHTER SUPPLY SITUATION IN CORN, BUT I DON'T THINK YOU REALLY HAVE TO RATION DEMAND.



SO WHERE DO PRICES ULTIMATELY HAVE TO GO HERE, WILL THEY GO?



DuWayne Bosse: YOU KNOW, FOR NEW CROP CORN YOU PROBABLY HAVE TO GO TEST THAT FIVE DOLLAR MARK. IT'LL FOLLOW BEANS TOO, YOU KNOW, IF BEANS ARE FINALLY GOING TO DO LIKE 15, 16 DOLLAR OLD CROP RALLY, WELL THE NEW CROP IS GOING TO GO UP YOU KNOW, ABOVE 13 PROBABLY, AND MAYBE 13.50. AND CORN WILL FOLLOW. THE SMART TRADERS WILL KEEP IT TOGETHER, BUT LOOK FOR THE RATIO OF CORN AND SOYBEANS TO WIDEN OUT QUITE A BIT. THE PROBLEM MAY BE HISTORICALLY TO MAKE SURE TO GET SOME SOYBEAN ACRES.



WHEAT NUMBERS ON THE WINTER WHEAT SIDE WERE ABOVE EXPECTATIONS, SPRING WHEAT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE GOING TO BE LOWER. DID THAT SURPRISE YOU AT ALL?



DuWayne Bosse: MAYBE A LITTLE BIT. I THOUGHT THE WINTER WHEAT ACRES WEREN'T GOING TO INCREASE THAT MUCH. THAT WAS MAYBE ONE OF THE SURPRISES IN THAT REPORT. THE SPRING WHEAT, I JUST THOUGHT BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A GOOD SPRING YOU'D SEE MORE GUYS WANTING TO PLANT SPRING WHEAT, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE PROFITABILITY OF ALL THE CROPS, THAT'S THE ONE THAT'S GOING TO LOSE A FEW ACRES, SO IT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A SHOCK TO ME.



SO GOING FORWARD WHEAT SHOULD CONTINUE TO FOLLOW CORN AND SOYBEANS TO SOME DEGREE, BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO GO UP TOO MUCH WITH ALL THE SUPPLY THAT WE HAVE, RIGHT?



DuWayne Bosse: NO WHEAT WILL BE THE FOLLOWER FOR A WHILE, BUT THE NEW CROP SPRING WHEAT GUYS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THAT, MAYBE PRICE SOME OF THAT WHEAT TOO. BUT I KNOW WHAT EVERYONE'S GOING TO SAY IN NORTH DAKOTA IS WELL, AM I GOING TO GET THE RAIN OR NOT?



Thanks so much. That's DuWayne Bosse joining us with Bolt Marketing.



\u0009THE HOUSE HAS PASSED A BILL TO ADDRESS THE AG LABOR SHORTAGE. THE FARM WORKFORCE MODERNIZATION ACT WOULD AMEND THE H-2A VISA PROGRAM TO ALLOW A CAPPED NUMBER OF VISAS FOR FARM WORKERS TO WORK YEAR ROUND. DAIRY GROUPS IN THE REGION SAY IT'S A GOOD START BUT SIMILAR EFFORTS HAVE BEEN VOTED DOWN IN THE PAST AND SO THERE IS SOME SKEPTICISM.



Marv Post: It's been there numerous times and not gotten past the finish line. But I think for the most part it's positive for us and allows us that workforce that we so desperately need year round.



\u0009HOWEVER, OTHER FARM GROUPS SAY THEY WANT A PLAN THAT PROVIDES YEAR-ROUND LABOR WITHOUT A CAP AND PROVIDES LEGAL STATUS FOR AG WORKERS ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY.



\u0009THE SOUTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE WRAPPED UP IT'S 2021 SESSION THIS WEEK WITH SEVERAL MEASURES IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURE ADVANCING,

\u0009INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT OF AG AND DENR MERGER. WHICH WILL TAKE EFFECT APRIL 19. THE MOVE SAVES MONEY, CONSOLIDATES FARM VISITS AND INCORPORATES THE FEEDLOT PERMIT PROGRAM AND THE AG INSPECTION PROGRAM.



Richard Vasgaard: So if we can move it down to, like they want a one-stop shop so we can do it in one setting with one department I think it has the potential for being good.



\u0009HE SAYS GOVERNOR NOEM ALSO SIGNED A BILL TO PROVIDE $75 MILLION FOR RURAL HIGH SPEED BROADBAND AND A BILL TO PROVIDE RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS.



Vasgaard: Some of the countries around us have a lot of the old stone arch culverts they're called, there's a lot of them around that need to be replaced. We've got some bridges that are condemned that need to be replaced, so hopefully this will help bring our infrastructure more up to date and help us move our products to the market.



\u0009FUNDING WAS APPROVED FOR THE $20 MILLION DAKOTA EVENTS COMPLEX AT THE STATE FAIR, A $15 MILLION DAIRY RESEARCH FARM AT SDSU AND A $20 MILLION BIOPRODUCTS FACILITY AT THE BROOKINGS RESEARCH PARK.



COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV, DRY CONDITIONS COULD MEAN TROUBLE FOR MANY PRODUCERS THIS GROWING SEASON.



\u0009FEARS OF SERIOUS DROUGHT ARE GROWING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT'S THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

\u0009DRY CONDITIONS BEGAN LAST SUMMER AND INTENSIFIED WITH THE LACK OF SNOWFALL PUTTING MUCH OF THE UPPER MIDWEST IN A DROUGHT.

\u0009ON AN EVEN BIGGER SCALE, THERE'S GROWING ANXIETY ABOUT THE SO-CALLED "MEGA DROUGHT" OVER 75 PERCENT OF THE WESTERN U.S., WITH ABOUT 40-PERCENT OF THAT REGION IN EXTREME DROUGHT OR WORSE.

\u0009CLIMATOLOGIST BRIAN FUCHS SAYS THE OUTLOOK ISN'T GOOD FOR GROWERS, WITH PREDICTIONS OF BELOW NORMAL PRECIP AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES. BUT HE SAYS USING COVER CROPS AND LOW TILL OR NO TILL, CAN HELP.



Brian Fuchs: THAT'S GOING TO JUST HELP TO KEEP MORE OF THAT MOISTURE IN THE SOIL. EVEN IF WE GO INTO MORE SUBSTANTIAL DROUGHT IN THE REGION. THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT AT LEAST EARLY IN THE SEASON, PRODUCERS CAN DO TO MITIGATE SOME OF THAT DROUGHT IMPACT LATER ON IN THE SEASON.



\u0009CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA PRODUCER ROSS NIELSEN SAYS HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT THE GROWING SEASON. ITS TIED TO DRY CONDITIONS LAST YEAR, A LACK OF SNOW FOR MUCH OF THE WINTER AND A WARM, DRY, WINDY SPRING SO FAR.

\u0009BUT HE SAYS THEY'VE LEARNED TO LIVE WITH DRY CONDITIONS OVER THE YEARS.



Ross Nielsen: YOU HOPE FOR BETTER SOIL CONDITIONS AND WHAT NOT, BUT YOU DEAL WITH WHAT YOU HAVE, AND YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE, YOU NOW, PLANS AND WORK AROUND IT.



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



\u0009THE HOT, DRY CONDITIONS AND STRONG WINDS FUELED PASTURE FIRES AROUND THE REGION THIS WEEK.

\u0009ONE OF THE BIGGEST IS THE SCHROEDER FIRE NORTH OF RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA, WHICH HAS BURNED MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND ACRES. TWO FIRES NEAR MOUNT RUSHMORE HAVE CAUSED THE PARK TO CLOSE. THE GOVERNOR HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY UNTIL JUNE 1ST.



\u0009A SMALL MINNESOTA COMPANY IS IN ITS THIRD SEASON OF SELLING OLD-FASHIONED CORN SEEDS IN A NEW WAY.

\u0009MIKKEL PATES EXPLAINS HOW SURE-FLEX HYBRIDS IS SELLING CONVENTIONAL, OFF-PATENT CORN GENETICS AROUND THE COUNTRY.



Mitch Rowe: WE HAVE PRODUCT FOR MOST OF THE ACRES IN THE UNITED STATES.



MITCH ROWE WAS RAISED ON A FARM NEAR MINNESOTA'S SOUTHERN BORDER, HE BECAME AN AGRONOMIST, AND HE IMAGINED A NEW WAY TO SELL ROYALTY-FREE CORN. HE WANTED TO SELL IT DIRECTLY TO FARMERS, USING E-COMMERCE. MITCH CALLED IT SURE-FLEX HYBRIDS.



Mitch Rowe: ANYTIME THERE'S SOMEBODY IN THE MIDDLE THEY MAKE MONEY AND THAT MEANS THE PRICE GOES UP. AND SO WE DECIDED IN 2020 WE'RE GOING DIRECT TO THE FARM.



ROWE STARTED BREEDING HIS CONVENTIONAL, NON-GMO CORN IN 2017, BY ORDERING INDEPENDENT GERMPLASM FROM THE U.S. PATENT OFFICE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.



Mitch Rowe: AND I JUST GOT TIRED OF MAKING THESE LARGE GENETIC AND TRAIT SUPPLIERS A WHOLE BUNCH OF MONEY. AND SO I FIGURED THERE HAD TO BE A BETTER WAY TO OFFER A PRODUCT TO THE FARMER AND NOT HAVE THESE RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT THESE TRAIT AND GENETIC SUPPLIERS PUT ON US.



BY OPERATING ROYALTY-FREE, ROWE OFFERS AN INEXPENSIVE PRODUCT.



Mitch Rowe: WE'RE LOUD AND PROUD ABOUT OUR PRICE. IT'S 97 DOLLARS, AND IT'S THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE GROWING SEASON.



WHILE THEIR SALES WERE MAINLY IN MINNESOTA AND SURROUNDING STATES THE FIRST YEAR, THEY NOW HAVE CLIENTS ACROSS THE MIDWEST AND INTO THE DEEP SOUTH. RIGHT NOW THEY SELL FROM 78 TO 117 DAY HYBRIDS, AND THEY CONTINUE TO MAKE MORE PRODUCTS EVERY YEAR.



Mitch Rowe: WE'RE NOT PLOT WINNERS, WE'RE NOT GOING TO WIN, WE'RE HERE TO MAKE YOU MORE MONEY. WE CAN GIVE UP A FEW BUSHELS AND MAKE GUYS MORE MONEY AT THE PRICE WE'RE AT.



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



\u0009AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, CLIMATE CHANGE TAKES CENTER STAGE IN WASHINGTON.

\u0009AND LATER, WHAT ONE SOIL HEALTH PIONEER THINKS ABOUT CARBON TRADING.



SOME FARMERS IN THE REGION WERE ALREADY PLANTING SMALL GRAINS IN THE REGION, WILL THE WEATHER CONTINUE TO COOPERATE?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.



\u0009WHILE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS ROLLING OUT A CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN, THE HOUSE AND SENATE AG COMMITTEES ARE ALSO WORKING ON LEGISLATION. WHAT CAN FARMERS EXPECT? AGRI-PULSE'S SPENCER CHASE HAS THE DETAILS FROM WASHINGTON.



Conversations on Capitol Hill about climate policy are expected to see a key development soon. Senators Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Mike Braun of Indiana are soon expected to release an updated version of their Growing Climate Solutions Act, something Stabenow discussed at the recent Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit.



Sen. Debbie Stabenow: We're really putting in place through this bipartisan bill a process and a structure.



The bill would create a certification process through the Department of Agriculture for third-party verifiers of carbon-sequestering practices like cover crops and other conservation measures. Braun says the bill is picking up GOP support



Sen. Mike Braun: I got the 10th Republican to cosponsor the legislation. So if you add 50 and 10, that's the magic number, and I'll have several more that are believing now that we need to be engaged.



More Republican support could come with the backing of John Boozman, the top Republican on Senate Ag. He says he has a few issues with the bill in its current form, including what it might mean for existing conservation efforts. Boozman says he and Stabenow have had conversations about making sure the new program is producer-led and does not pull funds from existing farm bill programs.



Reporting in Washington for AgWeek TV, Spencer Chase, Agri-Pulse.



\u0009FARMERS ARE WATCHING CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION WITH THE HOPE IT WILL BE A VOLUNTARY PROGRAM PROVIDING AN ADDITIONAL PROFIT STREAM.

\u0009GABE BROWN IS A PIONEER OF THE CURRENT SOIL HEALTH MOVEMENT AND HAS LONG SEQUESTERED CARBON THROUGH REGENERATIVE PRACTICES LIKE NO-TILL. HOWEVER, HE'S NOT SURE FARMERS CAN MAKE MONEY TRADING CARBON BECAUSE COMPANIES CAN'T ESTABLISH A VALUE.



Gabe Brown: At this point and time they do not have the ability to accurately measure carbon in an economical way.



\u0009AND HE SAYS WITH PRIVATE TRADING PROGRAMS, FARMERS ONLY GET ABOUT 10-PERCENT OF THE PROFIT.



Right now carbon is trading for between $15 and $20 is what many of the markets are talking about per metric CO2 equivalent. That's just not near high enough. You take only 10-percent of that, you know that's $1.50 to $2.00 per acre.



\u0009BROWN SPOKE ABOUT SOIL HEALTH DURING AGWEEK'S VIRTUAL FARM SHOW, WHICH YOU CAN VIEW AT AGWEEK.COM.



STILL AHEAD, A MINNESOTA SHEEP PRODUCER IS FILLING A WOOL PROCESSING SHORTAGE.



\u0009THERESA BENTZ RAISES SHEEP IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA, BUT HAS SEEN A SHORTAGE OF MILLS FOR PROCESSING HER WOOL.

\u0009THEY RAISE ICELANDIC SHEEP NEAR NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA FOR FOOD AND WOOL. THEY'VE BEEN FRUSTRATED BY A LACK OF MEAT BUTCHERING, AS WELL AS A WOOL PROCESSING BACKLOG.

\u0009IN ADDITION, MANY MILLS WON'T PROCESS ICELANDIC SHEEP, SO SHE HAS TO SEND HER WOOL TO WISCONSIN.

\u0009TO EASE THE BACKUP, SHE'S PLANNING TO OPEN HER OWN MINI-MILL AT HER FARM.



Theresa Bentz: WE'VE BEEN HIT ON BOTH SIDES SINCE WE SELL MEAT TOO. WE'VE HAD PROCESSING BACKUPS. SO ALL OF OUR INCOME AND REVENUE THAT COMES IN FROM THE FARM HAS BEEN BACKED UP FOR MONTHS.



\u0009BENTZ SAYS SHE HOPES TO HAVE HER MILL RUNNING BY SUMMER.



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.