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AgweekTV Full Show: Blizzard impacts on cattle and drought, avian influenza, dairy pricing, Sharing Our Roots

This week on AgweekTV, we'll see how the blizzard in North Dakota impacted ranchers in the midst of calving and what it could mean for the state's drought status. We'll find out about the possible impact avian influenza could have on all poultry products. The region's dairy producers call for a change in their commodity's pricing. And we get to know a non-profit that allows people to have their hand in agriculture.

We are part of The Trust Project.

This week on AgweekTV, we'll see how the blizzard in North Dakota impacted ranchers in the midst of calving and what it could mean for the state's drought status. We'll find out about the possible impact avian influenza could have on all poultry products. The region's dairy producers call for a change in their commodity's pricing. And we get to know a non-profit that allows people to have their hand in agriculture.

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THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR AGWEEK TV, I'M EMILY BEAL.

RANCHERS HAVE BEEN IN A FIGHT AGAINST MOTHER NATURE, SINCE A HISTORIC APRIL BLIZZARD DROPPED HEAVY, WET SNOW OVER MUCH OF NORTH DAKOTA.

IN FACT, ABOUT THREE-FIFTHS OF THE STATE GOT AT LEAST 18 INCHES, WITH SOME AREAS GETTING CLOSE TO FOUR FEET, IN TWO ROUNDS OF STORMS. AND IT EXTENDED INTO SURROUNDING STATES.

AS ROSE DUNN REPORTS, THE TIMING FOR MANY RANCHERS COULDN'T HAVE BEEN WORSE...RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF CALVING SEASON.

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Gene Veeder: THIS IS A LITTLE TOUGH. WE LOST SOME CATTLE.

GENE VEEDER RANCHES NEAR WATFORD CITY, IN FAR WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA. HE HAD JUST STARTED CALVING WHEN THEY WERE HIT WITH MORE THAN TWO FEET OF SNOW. THAT'S MORE SNOW THAN THEY'VE HAD FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS, TOTAL.

 

Gene Veeder: WITH ALL THESE SNOW DRIFTS, THE COWS WANDERED OFF AND THEY WOULD DROP THEM IN THE SNOW BANKS, SO WE COULDN'T GET TO THEM, SO WE LOST SOME.

Hollie:  It was the worst storm I have ever seen, I've lived here my whole entire life. 

HOLLIE WILSON RANCHES IN STARK COUNTY, ALSO IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA. SHE WATCHED IN HORROR AS SNOW FILLED THE BARN, AND THE RELENTLESS WIND TORE SIDING AND PART OF THE ROOF OFF OF IT, MAKING THINGS EVEN WORSE FOR THE ANIMALS INSIDE.

Hollie: You felt helpless, completely helpless, you know, you've spent your whole entire life building up something just to feel like it's going to all fall away in one day.

 

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HOLLIE FEELS FORTUNATE THEY DIDN'T LOSE ANY ANIMALS, LIKE SO MANY OTHERS DID, DESPTE HEROIC EFFORTS TO SAVE THEM.

You take your baby, would you? Take your baby...

Gerald Stokka: WE'VE LOST SOME CALVES, THAT GOT TOO CHILLED, DIDN'T FIND THEM RIGHT AWAY, SO IT'S MENTALLY TOUGH. IT'S HARD TO GO TO SLEEP WHEN YOU KNOW THAT THERE'S COWS OUT THERE CALVING.

GERALD STOKKA IS AN NDSU EXTENSION VETERINARIAN AND LIVESTOCK SPECIALIST, BUT HE'S ALSO A RANCHER IN THE COOPERSTOWN AREA. HE AND HIS FAMILY HAVE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED RED AND BLACK ANGUS COWS. 

Yeah, that's 8025's calf over there.

LIKE SO MANY OTHERS ACROSS THE STATE, THEY WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF CALVING WHEN THE STORM HIT.

Gerald Stokka: NORMALLY THIS TIME OF THE YEAR,  WE DON'T WORRY ABOUT SNOW AND COLD AND IT'S USUALLY PRETTY NICE FOR CALVING COWS OUT ON THE RANGE BASICALLY.

STOKKA SAYS HE'S NEVER SEEN AN APRIL LIKE THIS. THE HARDEST PART HAS BEEN THAT THE STORM AND COLD LINGERED, AND EVEN DROPPED MORE SNOW FOR SOME. MANY PRODUCERS HAD TO BRING ANIMALS INTO THEIR HOMES TO HELP THEM SURVIVE THE FIRST FEW HOURS.

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Gerald Stokka: USUALLY THEY'RE PRETTY SELF-SUFFICIENT, USUALLY EVEN WHEN THE WEATHER IS TOUGH, THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THESE BABIES PRETTY WELL. AND THEY STILL DO, BUT SOMETIMES SOME NEED SOME HELP, AND WE BRING THEM IN AND WARM THEM UP AND FEED THEM A LITTLE BIT AND THEN TRY TO PUT THEM BACK WITH THEIR MOTHERS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. 

DESPITE THE HARDSHIPS OF THE LATE SEASON STORMS, VEEDER SEES THE SILVER LINING OF LESSENING THE SEVERE DROUGHT THEY'VE BEEN IN FOR A LONG TIME.

THIS IS THE FIRST MUD I'VE SEEN FOR A COUPLE YEAR, HONESTLY. FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

AND ON TOP OF ALL THAT, MANY PARTS OF THE REGION ARE EXPECTING EVEN MORE SNOW THIS WEEKEND. JOINING ME NOW TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IT ALL MEANS, ESPECIALLY ABOUT DROUGHT RELIEF, IS NORTH DAKOTA STATE CLIMATOLOGIST ADNAN AKYUZ. SO A LOT OF THE PARTS THAT GOT THE MOST SNOW WERE MAYBE MOST IN NEED OF MOISTURE. 

Adnan Akyuz: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED. AND I CAN SAY IT'S EVEN BETTER THAN DOCTORS ORDERED, IF THE DOCTORS ORDERED, FOR EXAMPLE THIS TIME OF THE YEAR, IN APRIL, THE PRECIPITATION WOULD FALL IN TERMS OF LIQUID.  RAINFALL IN THIS INTENSITY WOULD FALL ONTO VERY DRY SOIL, AND IT WOULD OVERFLOW IMMEDIATELY, IT WOULD ERODE THE SOIL. BUT WHAT IS HAPPENING, OR WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK, IS IT SNOWED TREMENDOUSLY. AND IT BROKE RECORDS. THAT SNOW IS GOING TO MELT, AND IT IS GOING TO TRICKLE INTO THE DEEPER PORTIONS OF THE SOIL, WHERE IT IS GOING TO REJUVENATE THAT MOISTURE THAT WAS REALLY NEEDED IN THIS PORTION OF THE STATE. YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU'RE JUST COMING OUT OF A BIG DROUGHT, ESPECIALLY IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA.

SO MUCH OF CENTRAL, WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA, ARE OFFICIALLY IN DROUGHT, SOME D THREE OUT OF FOUR. WILL THIS LIFT ANYBODY UP AND OUT OF DROUGHT?

Adnan Akyuz: SO IT IS GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME FOR US TO ELIMINATE SOME OF THESE, BUT DEFINITELY SOME OF THESE D ONE, D TWO, AND D THREE AREAS ARE GOING TO SHRINK.

SO GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS IN THAT COOLER FORECAST, IT'S GOING TO DELAY PLANTING A LITTLE BIT.

Adnan Akyuz: YES, LET'S DO ONE THING AT A TIME. LET'S GET THE MOISTURE FIRST.  AND IT IS GOING TO GET WARM, AND IT IS GOING TO WARM UP THE SOIL MORE, AND THAT SOIL IS GOING TO EVAPORATE, THE MOISTURE FROM THE SOIL IS GOING TO EVAPORATE, AND IT IS GOING TO BE ADDED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE, WHERE IT COULD RAIN AGAIN. SO THIS IS A LOCALLY PROVIDED MOISTURE SOURCE BECOMING AVAILABLE FOR THE LOCAL AREA. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEDED TO BREAK THAT VICIOUS CYCLE THAT WE WERE IN. SO WE NEEDED SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY TO BREAK THAT CYCLE. THINK THAT SNOWFALL EVENT WE HAD LAST WEEK, HOPEFULLY IS THE SIGNIFICANT EVENT THAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR.

WE'LL TAKE IT!

YES.

THANKS FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

THANKS ROSE. MINNESOTA'S SENATORS AND GOVERNOR ARE WORKING TO GET FARMERS THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO FIGHT THE HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA SPREADING ACROSS THE STATE.

SENATORS AMY KLOBUCHAR AND TINA SMITH, AND GOVERNOR TIM WALZ HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE THIS WEEK, WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE USDA, AND SEVERAL OTHER STATE AG AGENCIES.

THE CURRENT HPAI OUTBREAK HAS AFFECTED AT LEAST 17 COUNTIES AND 46 SITES AROUND THE STATE, AND MORE THAN TWO MILLION BIRDS.

GOVERNOR WALZ RECENTLY SIGNED INTO LAW A BILL THAT INCLUDES ONE MILLION DOLLARS FOR ASSISTANCE AND RECOVERY FROM  HPAI.

THE LEGISLATION INCLUDES MONEY FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE ACTIVITIES, DISEASE SURVEILLANCE AND PROVISIONS TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF FARMERS AND FLOCK OWNERS WHO SEEK MENTAL HEALTH CARE.

SOARING PRICES, SHORTAGES AND NOW BIRD FLU--THEY'RE ALL IMPACTING THE PRICES OF SOME FOODS.

THE SPREAD OF AVIAN INFLUENZA MEANS THE PRICE OF TURKEY AND CHICKEN COULD GO UP-- AND AVAILABILITY COULD DROP IF ENOUGH BIRDS ARE INFECTED. CONSUMER PRICE INFLATION IN MARCH JUMPED 8-POINT-5 PERCENT. AND IT'S NOT JUST POULTRY, BUT EGGS TOO.

ACCORDING TO THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE---RIGHT NOW-- RETAILERS ARE PAYING AROUND TWO DOLLARS AND 80 CENTS FOR A DOZEN LARGE GRADE-A WHITE EGGS IN THE MIDWEST.

THAT'S MORE THAN DOUBLE THE ROUGHLY 1-25 THEY COST IN MARCH.

Daniel Sumner: THERE'S NOT A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY IN THE DEMAND FOR EGGS WHICH MEANS THE PRICES REALLY HAVE TO JUMP TO RATION WHAT WE'VE GOT.

    ACCORDING TO THE U-S-D-A, BIRD FLU HAS BEEN FOUND IN AT LEAST 30 STATES SO FAR.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, FEARS OVER FERTILIZER PRICES AND SUPPLIES LED MANY GROWERS TO BUY EARLY.

DESPITE FEARS OVER HIGH PRICES AND SHORT SUPPLIES, MANY FARMERS AND FERTILIZER SUPPLIERS SEEM TO BE IN GENERALLY GOOD SHAPE FOR THE 2022 CROP.

FARMERS WE TALKED TO IN NORTHEAST SOUTH DAKOTA AND WESTERN  MINNESOTA SAY THEY AVOIDED A TRIPLING IN FERTILIZER COSTS, BY BUYING SUPPLIES LAST FALL. 

GARY HANSON, AND HIS SON CODY, RAISE CORN, SOYBEANS AND SOME WHEAT ON 2500 ACRES NEAR SISSETON, SOUTH DAKOTA.  

THEY BOUGHT MOST OF THEIR INPUTS LAST FALL, TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SLIGHTLY LOWER PRICES.

Gary Hanson:   AND WE CAPITALIZED ON THE NEW PRICING OF THE COMMODITIES SO THIS YEAR WE'RE SET PRETTY WELL WITH THE PRICING OF OUR INPUT COSTS, AND WITH THE MOISTURE UP HERE IN THIS CORNER OF THE STATE. 

Cody Hanson: I DON'T KNOW HOW HIGH FERTILIZER'S GOING TO GO, AND IF IT'S AVAILABLE I GUESS FOR THE FOLLOWING YEAR AFTER THAT. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE, WHAT I'M KIND OF WHAT I'M KIND OF WONDERING ANYWAY. 

FERTILIZER WAS ABOUT $200 A TON HIGHER THAN IN 2021, AND SEED INCREASED BY ABOUT 10% FROM LAST YEAR.

MANY DAIRY PRODUCERS ARE CALLING FOR A CHANGE IN HOW THEIR COMMODITY IS PRICED. 

AGWEEK'S MICHELLE ROOK TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT SOME POSSIBLE CHANGES.  

  

FOR YEARS FEDERAL MILK MARKETING ORDERS HAVE PUT THE MIDWEST DAIRY PRODUCERS AT A SIGNIFICANT PRICING DISADVANTAGE COMPARED TO OTHER AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES, BUT NOW THE INDUSTRY IS LOOKING AT AN OVERHAUL.  

Economist Marin Bozic says most Midwest dairies produce milk for manufactured dairy products.  So, to put them at par with areas producing fluid milk, he's proposing sweeping changes in the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, including a Milk Check Transparency Report. 

Bozic:  Which is a way for dairy producers to understand better their milk check and to understand better how they are being paid versus others in the region are receiving.

Bozic says the orders also need to mandate fairness in milk contracting to help the industry better manage risk.  

Bozic:  We need a new social contract between processors and producers so that no side feels taken advantage of.  That everybody knows by which rules they're going to play.    

And the regulatory change proposal also prohibits contracts where dairy buyers require exclusivity and impose volume limits.

Bozic: If you're preventing someone from growing, if you're preventing someone from trying to reap efficiencies, then you have to allow them to ship to multiple milk buyers. So that's why the volume limits and exclusivity should not come together in the same contract. 

Dairy producers have formed a coalition to study the pricing system.  They say the orders need to be modernized and that was evident during the pandemic. 

Marv Post:   That is what has driven this after the COVID and the negative PPDs that we saw for Class I milk.  So let's take a wholesale look at it.

Post says their goal is for the pricing system to level the playing field.  

Post: So that it works for all parts of the country and that we can all use it in our areas.

BOZIC SAYS ANY CHANGES TO THE FEDERAL MILK MARKETING ORDERS WILL NEED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE UPCOMING FARM BILL.

THANKS MICHELLE.  

A NORTH DAKOTA LANDOWNER IS TAKING UP THE CAUSE AGAINST THE SUMMIT CARBON SOLUTIONS PIPELINE. 

JEFF BEACH JOINS US NOW TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS COULD MEAN TO THE PROJECT.

TODD MCMICHAEL OWNS PASTURE LAND ALONG THE SHEYENNE RIVER NEAR KINDRED. 

 IT'S IN THE PATH OF THE 2000-MILE PIPELINE, WHICH WILL TRANSPORT CARBON FROM SEVERAL ETHANOL PLANTS IN THE UPPER MIDWEST, TO BE BURIED IN WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA. AND MCMICHAEL DOESN'T WANT A PIPELINE RUNNING THROUGH HIS LAND.

SUMMIT HAS SAID IT WILL USE EMINENT DOMAIN IF LANDOWNERS ON THE ROUTE DON'T GIVE PERMISSION.

MCMICHAEL SAYS HE AND A GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED LANDOWNERS ARE FIGHTING THAT. IN THE MEANTIME, HE HAS SOME ADVICE FOR THOSE WHO ARE APPROACHED BY SUMMIT.

Todd McMichael: BE PATIENT. DON'T BE SO ANXIOUS TO SIGN THEIR EASEMENTS, AND MAKE SURE YOU GET LEGAL COUNSEL TO REVIEW THE EASEMENT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT.>

MCMICHAEL SAYS SO FAR LAND OWNERS HAVE CONVINCED THE RICHLAND, SARGENT AND DICKEY COUNTY COMMISSIONS TO PASS RESOLUTIONS OPPOSING EMINENT DOMAIN, AND HE'S WORKING IN SEVERAL OTHER COUNTIES TO TAKE SIMILAR ACTION.  IT'S ON THE BURLEIGH COUNTY AGENDA IN MAY. 

SUMMIT WOULD LIKE TO START CONSTRUCTION IN 2023, 

AND HAVE THE PIPELINE OPERATING IN 2024.

THANKS, JEFF.

THIS WEEK WE OBSERVED EARTH DAY AND THE ROLE FARMERS ARE PLAYING IN RAISING CROPS AND LIVESTOCK IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER.  

THE DAIRY INDUSTRY HAS PROVEN THEY CAN BE A REAL SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE.  DAIRY PRODUCERS HAVE BEEN LOWERING THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT FOR MANY YEARS, THROUGH PRACTICES LIKE INSTALLING METHANE DIGESTERS TO CONVERT MANURE INTO ELECTRICITY, OR USING FOOD BY-PRODUCTS IN THE DAIRY RATION.  

Pelzer: Cows in particular are great upcyclers.   They eat foods from the human food supply that we can't use.  Things like peanut shells and spent grains. 

LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS ALL RECYCLE MANURE TO USE IN CROP PRODUCTION AND TO PRODUCE FEED.  GRAIN FARMERS USE PRECISION AG AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES TO BE MORE ENVIRONMENTAL.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL TAKE YOU TO A UNIQUE SOUTHERN MINNESOTA FARM THAT'S GIVING A DIVERSE GROUP A CHANCE TO GROW.

WITH UNSEASONABLE CONDITIONS IN THE REGION, COULD WARMER WEATHER BE ON THE HORIZON?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

NDSU'S ANIMAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT HAS A NEW LEADER. 

GUILLERMO SCAGLIA GREW UP IN SOUTH AMERICA AND CAME TO THE U.S. TO STUDY AG IN 1994. HE HAS A VAST BACKGROUND IN ANIMAL SCIENCE RESEARCH, PARTICULARLY IN GRASS-FED BEEF PRODUCTION.

SCAGLIA SAYS HE'S THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE AG RESEARCH AT NDSU.

Guillermo Scaglia: I AM EXCITED ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT. I AM EXCITED ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES OF DEVELOPING MORE RESEARCH PROJECTS AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS. I THINK WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT FACULTY AND STAFF THAT WILL PROBABLY MAKE MY ROLE A LOT MORE EXCITING THAN IN ANY OTHER PLACE.

SCAGLIA PREVIOUSLY WORKED AT BOTH VIRGINIA TECH AND THE LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY AGRICULTURAL CENTER.

NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA IS HOME TO A UNIQUE FARM, THAT GIVES A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE A CHANCE TO TRY AGRICULTURE.

"SHARING OUR ROOTS" IS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION WITH A MISSION TO ADVANCE A RESILIENT AG SYSTEM THAT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER TO HEAL THE LAND, NOURISH COMMUNITIES, AND PREPARE EMERGING FARMERS.  

THE "SHARING OUR ROOTS" FARM IS ENTERING ITS SIXTH SEASON ON ITS 100 ACRE PARCEL. THE FARM SERVES MANY PURPOSES, FOR A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE AND ENTERPRISES.

Rocky Casillas Aguirre:  IT'S A SITE FOR RESEARCH AND DEMONSTRATION, IT'S A SANCTUARY FOR WILDLIFE AND COMMUNITY. AND IT'S ALSO A HOME BASE FOR EMERGING FARMERS AND FARMERS OF COLOR.

SHARING OUR ROOTS ALSO ADDRESSES FOOD INSECURITY IN THE COMMUNITY, THROUGH FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS AND COMMUNITY GARDENS.

STILL AHEAD, CRISTEN CLARK BAKES UP HER FAVORITE BREAD THIS WEEK.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO TRY YOUR HAND AT BAKING BREAD, BUT ARE A LITTLE INTIMIDATED, CRISTEN CLARK HAS SOME TIPS.

CLARK IS THE IOWA FARMER WHO WRITES THE "FOOD AND SWINE" BLOG. SHE'S ALSO A MONTHLY AGWEEK MAGAZINE COLUMNIST, AND SHARES VIDEOS AT AGWEEK.COM .

THIS WEEK, SHE SHARES A VIDEO RECIPE FOR SIMPLE COUNTRY BREAD. SHE SAYS IT'S A GREAT RECIPE FOR YOUR FIRST TRY AT BREAD BAKING.

STORIES YOU'LL ONLY SEE ON AGWEEK.COM AND IN AGWEEK MAGAZINE THIS WEEK...

HEAVY SNOW DELAYS PLANTING FOR SOME.

AND  THE SOYBEAN INDUSTRY HOPES TO LEARN FROM THE EPA'S RESTRICTING OF ENLIST DUO AND THE REVERSAL OF THE RESTRICTIONS.

THANKS FOR WATCHING AG WEEK TV.

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

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