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AgweekTV Full Show: China trade, faster fertilizer, USDA appointments, avian influenza

This week on AgweekTV, China falls short on it phase one commitments, so what's next? We'll tell you about a Minnesota company that's making it faster for farmers to get loaded up with fertilizer. USDA appointments are being finalized in the region. And we'll take you to the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention to get an update on high path-avian influenza.

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This week on AgweekTV, China falls short on it phase one commitments, so what's next? We'll tell you about a Minnesota company that's making it faster for farmers to get loaded up with fertilizer. USDA appointments are being finalized in the region. And we'll take you to the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention to get an update on high path-avian influenza.

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WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY DODGED A SUPPLY CHAIN BULLET ON BOTH SIDES OF THE U.S. CANADIAN BORDER THIS WEEK AS CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY AVERTED A STRIKE. AFTER A LOCKOUT ON SUNDAY NIGHT, THE UNION AGREED TO BINDING ARBITRATION AND SERVICES WERE RESUMED ON TUESDAY.

JOSH LINVILLE WITH STONE X SAYS THIS WAS A HUGE WIN FOR BOTH U.S. AND CANADIAN FARMERS. A STRIKE WOULD HAVE STOPPED MOVEMENT OF GRAIN AND FERTILIZER IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE, JUST AHEAD OF THE SPRING PLANTING SEASON. HE SAYS THAT'S A BIG DEAL AS CANADA IS THE NUMBER ONE SUPPLIER OF POTASH IN THE WORLD.

Josh Linville: Yeah if you look at it them they are about 40-percent of that global operating capacity. They are more than double what Russia is and Russia's number two in the world so yeah they are a very, very important player on the world potash market.

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THE AGREEMENT FOLLOWS SIX MONTHS OF CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS.

LINVILLE SAYS THE FERTILIZER INDUSTRY FACES SIGNIFICANT HEADWINDS WITH SUPPLIES AND RECORD HIGH PRICES WHICH IS AMPLIFIED BY RUSSIA SHUTTING DOWN FERTILIZER EXPORTS AMID THE WAR.

A SOUTHERN MINNESOTA BUSINESS IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF HELPING FERTILIZER DEALERS GET NUTRIENTS TO THE FARM FASTER.

JEFF BEACH JOINS US NOW TO EXPLAIN, IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

KAHLER AUTOMATION OF FAIRMONT, MINNESOTA, DESIGNS SYSTEMS THAT DO EVERYTHING FROM BLENDING FERTILIZER...TO SENDING OUT THE BILL.

Dwight Christian: FERTILIZER HAPPENS IN ABOUT TEN DAYS, AND YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY HICCUPS. TEN DAYS IT'S OVER WITH.

Jeff: DWIGHT CHRISTIAN OF TDS FERTILIZER SAYS KAHLER'S AUTOMATED SYSTEM MAKES THEIR JOB A LOT EASIER. IT TAKES THE GUESSWORK OUT OF WEIGHING AND BLENDING DRY AND LIQUID FERTILIZERS, FILLING TRUCKS AND TANKS AND EVEN CONTROLLING INVENTORY AND BILLING FOR FERTILIZER.

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Dwight Christian: IT ELIMINATES ERROR. AS FAR AS PUSH BUTTON, AUTOMATION JUST TAKES CARE OF ITSELF SO IT ELIMINATES ANY ERROR. IF YOU WANT THIS CERTAIN ANALYSIS, THIS IS WHAT YOU GET BY POKING IT IN OUT THERE.

Jeff: KAHLER CEO JOHN CHRIST SAYS BEING FULLY AUTOMATED HAS A NUMBER OF BENEFITS FOR DEALERS AND CUSTOMERS.

John Christ: WE CONTROL THEIR SYSTEMS, WE CONTROL THEIR PROCESSES, WE KEEP TRACK OF THEIR INVENTORY AND WE MAKE THEM MORE EFFICIENT AND MORE PRODUCTIVE IN SERVICING THEIR CUSTOMERS.

Jeff: MITCHELL MOSHER HAS BEEN WORKING WITH THE SYSTEM AT TDS FOR A FEW YEARS. HE SAYS NOT ONLY IS THE AUTOMATION MORE EFFICIENT, IT MAKES FOR FASTER LOADING, TOO.

Mitchell Mosher: IT USED TO TAKE US UPWARDS OF AN HOUR LOAD ONE TRUCK, NOW WE CAN DO UP TO FOUR IN AN HOUR.

Jeff: AND CHRIST SAYS REMOTE, SELF-SERVICE ACCESS ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO LOAD AT ANY HOUR OF THE DAY OR NIGHT, WITHOUT THE HELP OF EMPLOYEES.

John Christ: IT'S A FANTASTIC FEATURE FOR A CUSTOMER. IT ALLOWS THEM TO FILL AT ANY HOUR, SO SOMEONE COULD SHOW UP AT TWO O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. AND IT REALLY HELPS OUR CUSTOMER CONTROL THROUGHPUT AT A TIME WHEN IT'S REALLY BUSY FOR THEM.

WHILE FERTILIZER IS ITS NICHE, KAHLER IS CAPABLE OF OTHER BULK MATERIAL HANDLING, AND THEY'RE WORKING ON SENSORS FOR AN AUTOMATED FAN SYSTEM FOR PRESERVING SUGARBEET PILES.

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

MORE CASES OF HIGH PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE REGION THIS WEEK.

IOWA CONFIRMED THE VIRUS IN A 5.1 MILLION HEAD COMMERCIAL CHICKEN BROILER UNIT IN BUENA VISTA COUNTY, THE SECOND IN THAT COUNTY JUST THIS MONTH.

AND ON TUESDAY NEBRASKA ALSO REPORTED ITS FIRST CASE IN A COMMERCIAL FLOCK OF 570,000 BROILERS IN BUTLER COUNTY.

THE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS VIRUS IS BEING SPREAD BY MIGRATORY BIRDS AND THE CONCERN IS THAT THE OUTBREAK IS ESCALATING BEFORE THE MIGRATION GETS INTO FULL SWING.

THE LAST AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAK WAS IN 2015, AND PRODUCERS HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT CONTROLLING IT SINCE THEN.

THE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS VIRUS WAS A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION AT THE 51ST ANNUAL MIDWEST POULTRY FEDERATION.

CONVENTION SPEAKER KEN KOELKEBECK IS AN EXTENSION SPECIALIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. HE SAYS PRODUCERS MUST PRACTICE GOOD BIOSECURITY. HE SAYS A LOT OF STEPS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT THE POULTRY INDUSTRY TO SLOW THE VIRUS DOWN, BUT PRODUCERS NEED TO STAY VIGILANT.

Ken Koelkebeck: Limit your visitors, make sure that your equipment coming on the farm is, is clean. But there's feed trucks going from different farm to different farm. It's kind of hard to stop that.

THE CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW ATTRACTS POULTRY PRODUCERS AND OTHERS IN THE BUSINESS, FROM ALL OVER THE U.S. AND CANADA.

DISEASE CONTINUES TO CUT INTO THE REGION'S HOG HERDS LEAVING MANY OPEN BARNS, ESPECIALLY IN STATES LIKE MINNESOTA AND IOWA.

MINNESOTA PORK PRODUCER DAVE MENSINK SAYS MANY OPERATIONS HAVE BROKE WITH DISEASE WITHIN DAYS OF BRINGING IN NEW PIGS AND HAD TO DEPOPULATE. THOSE BARNS HAVE BEEN DISINFECTED AND ARE NOW SETTING OPEN. PLUS MANY PRODUCERS ARE LEARY OF RESTOCKING WITH RECORD HIGH ISOWEAN PRICES. HIGH PIG DENSITIES IN SOME AREAS HAVE HAVE LED TO MORE HERD HEALTH ISSUES LIKE PRRS AND PEDV.

Dave Mensink: We had one of our sow units break with PEDV which we haven't heard much since 2014. We had a huge break in 2014 so they'll be no pigs out of that sow unit for probably 30 days.

MENSINK SAYS U.S. SLAUGHTER NUMBERS ARE ALREADY RUNNING FIVE TO SIX PERCENT UNDER A YEAR AGO AND HE THINKS THE SMALLEST HERD NUMBERS ARE STILL YET TO COME. HE SAYS BEYOND DISEASE, HIGH FEED COSTS ARE ALSO CURBING EXPANSION PLANS.

ACCORDING TO THE MOST RECENT TRADE DATA, CHINA FELL SHORT OF ITS PURCHASE OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE PHASE ONE TRADE DEAL WITH THE U.S.

THE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE'S OFFICE SAYS IN ALL, CHINA BOUGHT JUST 57-PERCENT OF THE U.S. EXPORTS IT COMMITTED TO UNDER THE AGREEMENT. OFFICIALS SAY THE RELATIONSHIP WITH CHINA HAS GROWN INCREASINGLY MORE COMPLEX AS THE U.S. CONTINUES TO PUSH THE CHINESE TO COMPLY. SO FAR, U.S. SOYBEAN FARMERS HAVE BEEN SLOW TO CONDEMN.

Monte Peterson: You know we have so many issues that have been before us I guess you know going back to African Swine Fever, a pandemic that we've all been trying to deal with. So many factors.

PETERSON SAYS HE'S NOT SURE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SHOULD ENFORCE THE DEAL.

I'm thinking that we probably don't, we're not able to do that. I think it's more a matter of just continuing to have a dialogue with the Chinese and try and work out some type of agreement with them.

HOWEVER, HE SAYS THERE DOESN'T SEEM TO BE MUCH INTEREST FROM THE ADMINISTRATION TO MOVE TO PHASE TWO.

UP NEXT ON AGWEEK TV, NORTH DAKOTA'S NEW FSA DIRECTOR MAKES HISTORY...

NEW FARM SERVICE AGENCY STATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS HAVE FINALLY ALL BEEN NAMED BY THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IN OUR REGION.

EMILY BEAL IS IN NOW WITH MORE...

MARCY SVENNINGSEN WILL RUN THE NORTH DAKOTA OFFICE. SHE'S A LIFE-LONG FARMER AND RANCHER.

SHE SERVED ON THE FSA BOARD DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, AND IS THE FIRST FEMALE FSA DIRECTOR IN NORTH DAKOTA. SHE'S A LONGTIME AG ADVOCATE WHO'S BEEN INVOLVED IN THE FARMERS UNION, AMONG OTHER GRASS ROOTS ORGANIZATIONS. SHE SAYS SHE'S NOT CONCERNED ABOUT BEING A DEMOCRAT IN A MAJORITY REPUBLICAN STATE AND INDUSTRY. SHE SAYS SHE KNOWS SHE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND.

Marcy Svenningsen: I'M HERE TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR ALL THE FARMERS IN NORTH DAKOTA, NOT JUST THIRTY PERCENT OF THE PRODUCERS. I WANT ALL OF THE PRODUCERS IN NORTH DAKOTA TO SUCCEED. I WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS USDA PROGRAMS.

IN ADDITION TO RANCHING, SHE IS ALSO FINANCE DIRECTOR FOR THE OPEN DOOR CENTER, A VALLEY CITY NON-PROFIT.

IN SOUTH DAKOTA, STEVE DICK WAS APPOINTED FSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. HE'S A FARMER AND CURRENT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AG UNITED FOR SOUTH DAKOTA. HE PREVIOUSLY WORKED FOR SENATOR TOM DASCHLE.

AT THE END OF JANUARY, WHITNEY PLACE WAS ALSO NAMED FSA DIRECTOR FOR MINNESOTA. SHE SERVED IN VARIOUS ROLES AT THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF AG, MOST RECENTLY AS ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER.

SOYBEAN FARMERS RECEIVED IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ON INCREASING SOYBEAN YIELDS AT SOUTH DAKOTA SOYBEAN'S SOY 100 IN BROOKINGS THIS WEEK.

SESSIONS LOOKED AT WEATHER AND HOW FARMERS CAN PUSH SOYBEAN YIELDS. AGRONOMIST RYAN WOLF TALKED ABOUT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES IN ACHIEVING THAT LIKE HERBICIDE SHORTAGES.

Ryan Wolf: You're just going to be limited to choices and limited to access of what you need at the right time. So again, planning ahead is a big deal.

PRODUCERS ALSO RECEIVED A SOYBEAN PRICE OUTLOOK FROM NAOMI BLOHM AND SOME TIPS FOR PROTECTING THESE HISTORICALLY HIGH PRICES IN 2022.

Naomi Blohm: We talked about ways that you can protect going forward, looking at protecting unpriced bushels with puts, looking at the timing of cash sales, seasonally when are your best opportunities.

ORGANIZERS SAY THE GOAL IS TO HELP PRODUCERS RAISE HIGHER YIELDS BUT ALSO WAYS TO OVERCOME PRODUCTION CHALLENGES SUCH AS HIGHER INPUT PRICES.

Tim Ostrem: Input costs are very very high this year so even though we are getting a better price for our crops the revenue is still concerning.

SDSU EXTENSION ALSO PROVIDED BREAKOUT SESSIONS ON SOIL HEALTH, PLANTING GREEN AND NEW PRODUCTS AND RESEARCH.

THE U.S. SUGAR INDUSTRY ENJOYED A YEAR OF RECORD PRODUCTION IN 2021, DESPITE SOME WEATHER CHALLENGES DURING THE GROWING SEASON.

GROWERS MAY STILL WORRY ABOUT WHETHER THERE WILL BE ADEQUATE MOISTURE THIS SPRING, BUT A FAR BIGGER CONCERN IS INCREASING PRODUCTION COSTS.

THE DIRECTOR OF ECONOMICS AND POLICY ANALYSIS FOR THE AMERICAN SUGAR ALLIANCE SPOKE AT THE INTERNATIONAL SUGARBEET INSTITUTE IN GRAND FORKS.

ROB JOHANNSON SAYS ALTHOUGH PRICES ARE STRONG, INPUT COSTS KEEP RISING, AND THAT COULD GET WORSE, AS RUSSIA AND BELARUS ARE BIG SUPPLIERS OF FERTILIZER.

JOHANSSON SAYS THEY'VE BEEN MAKING THE CASE FOR GROWERS TO POLICYMAKERS IN WASHINGTON.

Rob Johansson: WHILE PRICES MAY SEEM HIGH, OR STRONG RIGHT NOW, THOSE INPUT COSTS ARE RISING FASTER THAN PRODUCERS ARE ABLE TO GET A HANDLE ON, AND THAT'S REALLY WORRISOME TO THEM AS THEY LOOK TO, YOU KNOW, THIS COMING PLANTING SEASON.

OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS, SUGARBEET INDUSTRY OFFICIALS WILL ALSO BE ADVOCATING FOR THE BEST FARM BILL FOR GROWERS.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT A GROWING MOVEMENT TO RAISE POULTRY IN A MORE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

SOME SMALL GRAINS WERE BEING SEEDED ALREADY THIS WEEK IN THE REGION, BUT HOW SOON UNTIL THE ROW CROP PLANTING CAN START?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

WITH CONTINUING DROUGHT IN SOME AREAS, WATER QUALITY CAN BE A DEADLY ISSUE FOR LIVESTOCK.

THE SNOW RUNOFF THAT WOULD USUALLY PROVIDE FRESH WATER IS IN SHORT SUPPLY FOR SOME, LEAVING HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS OF TOXINS LIKE SULFATES, ACCORDING TO NDSU LIVESTOCK SPECIALIST MIRANDA MEEHAN.

MEEHAN SAYS ABOUT 20% OF SAMPLES TAKEN IN NORTH DAKOTA LAST YEAR CAME BACK WITH TOXINS, SO SHE SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO TEST THE WATER BEFORE PUTTING ANIMALS OUT ON PASTURE. MEEHAN SAYS THE TESTS ARE INEXPENSIVE AND EASY TO USE, AND CAN SAVE LIVES.

Miranda Meehan: WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF ISSUES WITH SULFATES, SULFATE TOXICITY, ANIMALS GOING BLIND, BOVINE POLIO AND SOME DEATHS TO ANIMALS BECAUSE OF THOSE SULFATE LEVELS.

MEEHAN ADVISES PRODUCERS TO LOOK FOR A DEPENDABLE, ALTERNATIVE CLEAN WATER SOURCE. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PROGRAMS THAT CAN PROVIDE FINANCIAL HELP.

A MINNESOTA FARM FAMILY HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN THE DIRECT-MARKETING OF ITS BEEF, TO THE POINT OF HAVING A WAITING LIST.

PATRICIA AND MATTHEW ERICKSON HAVE A 400-HEAD ANGUS COW-CALF OPERATION, CALVING IN THE SPRING AND FALL, AND ALSO A FEEDLOT. THEY GROW SOYBEANS, CORN AND ALFALFA, WITH THE HELP OF MATTHEW'S FATHER AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN.

THEY DIRECT-MARKET SOME OF THEIR BEEF. THE ERICKSONS SAY DEMAND FOR IT INCREASED SHARPLY DURING THE PANDEMIC. THE ERICKSONS SAY THEY ENJOY WORKING WITH THEIR THREE CHILDREN.

Matthew Erickson: I JUST ENJOY HAVING THE FAMILY TO WORK WITH AND THE KIDS AROUND AND HAVING LIVESTOCK TO TAKE CARE OF.

Patricia Erickson: I KIND OF GREW UP IN THE DAIRY BARN, SO I ALWAYS SAID I'D RATHER BE IN THE BARN THAN THE HOUSE.

THE ERICKSONS WERE NAMED THE POLK COUNTY FARM FAMILY OF THE YEAR IN 2021 BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.

PEOPLE INTERESTED IN A NEW POULTRY SYSTEM GATHERED RECENTLY, TO TALK ABOUT HOW TO EXPAND THEIR VISION.

THE REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE ALLIANCE HOPES TO TRANSFORM THE LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM. IT'S DEVELOPING A COALITION OF FARMS USING THE TREE-RANGE SYSTEM OF RAISING CHICKENS.

ELEVEN FARMS IN THE UPPER MIDWEST ARE NOW USING THE SYSTEM, WHICH ALLOWS CHICKENS TO BE RAISED IN THEIR ORIGINAL, NATURAL WOODED HABITAT.

MANY MORE FARMS ARE EXPECTED TO JOIN THE MOVEMENT, AND THE REGENERATIVE AG ALLIANCE'S FIRST POULTRY PROCESSING FACILITY IS NOW OPERATING IN STACYVILLE, IOWA. FARMERS, INVESTORS, PROCESSORS AND LAWMAKERS MET TO SHARE INFORMATION ABOUT EXPANDING THEIR VISION.

Diane Beck: WE'RE AT A PLACE WHERE WE REALLY NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND TALK ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT PHASE IS, SO THAT'S WHAT WE'RE DOING. YESTERDAY WE FOCUSED ON FARMER TRAINING, WE TALK ABOUT THE FRAMEWORK AND THE LENS IN WHICH WE SEE THIS MOVEMENT HAPPENING, WE ALSO GOT TO HEAR FROM SOME OF THE FARMERS THAT HAVE BEEN DEPLOYING REGENERATIVE POULTRY SYSTEMS.

THE GROUP ALSO UNVEILED PLANS TO DEVELOP NEW REGENERATIVE AG REGIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

STILL AHEAD, A LOOK AT THE DAY SET ASIDE TO HONOR AG..

IT'S NATIONAL AG WEEK AND A TIME WE CELEBRATE THE IMPACT AGRICULTURE MAKES ON OUR ECONOMY.

WE ALSO THANK FARMERS AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR THEIR TIRELESS EFFORTS TO PROVIDE FOOD, FIBER AND FUEL. DUE TO THE EFFICIENCY OF U.S. FARMERS, CONSUMERS STILL HAVE THE MOST RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE FOOD SUPPLY IN THE WORLD.

Jerry Schmitz: Food's a partnership. Farmers are aware and are working to make sure that they supply a plentiful and safe product.

AGRICULTURE IS ALSO THE NUMBER ONE INDUSTRY IN THE NATION AND IN OUR REGION AND IT DRIVES THE ENTIRE ECONOMY.

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

STRIP TILL SYSTEMS ARE GAINING POPULARITY WITH SUGARBEET FARMERS LOOKING TO CONSERVE MOISTURE AND PROTECT SOIL.

AND "MACHINERY PETE" TALKS ABOUT STARTING HIS COMPANY 30 YEARS AGO IN HIS MINNESOTA BASEMENT, AND THE CURRENT STATE OF FARM MACHINERY.

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

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

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