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AgweekTV Full Show: Grain market, prevented planting, progress on meatpacking, ag technology

This week on AgweekTV, we'll visit with an expert to discuss the current state of the grain market and what the future holds. We travel to a part of North Dakota that saw significant prevented planting acres. Is progress being made against the four major meatpackers? The administrator of FSA shares his thoughts. And entrepreneurs offer innovative ideas on how technology can help solve ag issues.

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This week on AgweekTV, we'll visit with an expert to discuss the current state of the grain market and what the future holds. We travel to a part of North Dakota that saw significant prevented planting acres. Is progress being made against the four major meatpackers? The administrator of FSA shares his thoughts. And entrepreneurs offer innovative ideas on how technology can help solve ag issues.

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WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M EMILY BEAL.

THOUSANDS OF ACRES WEREN'T PLANTED THIS SPRING BECAUSE OF WET SOIL CONDITIONS OR FIELDS THAT SIMPLY WEREN'T READY. WE VISITED ONE AREA IN NORTH DAKOTA FOR A CLOSER LOOK, AND TO GET THOUGHTS FROM THE PEOPLE INVOLVED.

IT'S THIS WEEK'S COVER STORY...

TONY RICHARDS: YEAH, MOTHER NATURE HAS THROWN A FEW CURVEBALLS.

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Official FSA records of unplanted acres won't be available until summer or fall. But Tony Richards, who farms near Hope, North Dakota, already knows one thing about his prevented plant acres.

TONY: 15 TO 20 PERCENT....THAT'S AS HIGH AS WE'VE EVER BEEN.

TONY: EVERYBODY THOUGHT WE'D BE DRY THIS SUMMER. THEN...WE GET ALL THAT SNOW AND RAIN AND IT JUST NEVER ENDED.

A big June thunderstorm was the final straw.

JOHNNY: AND ONCE THAT LAST BIG RAIN CAME, THAT WAS IT FOR THE FARMERS. SO THERE WERE FULL FIELDS ALL OF A SUDDEN BEING PUT INTO PREVENT PLANT.

Johnny Jorgensen is an insurance agent in east central North Dakota.

JOHNNY: BARNES COUNTY, FROM THE FARMERS I'VE TALKED TO, IS GOING TO PROBABLY BE THE WORST THIS YEAR, POSSIBLY AROUND 60-65% PLANTED.

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Megan Vig is an extension agent in bordering Griggs County.

MEGAN: LOCAL CROPS INSURANCE AGENTS REPORT ANYWHERE FROM MINIMAL ACRES TO UPWARDS OF 25 PERCENT. THOSE ACRES ARE COMING FROM FIELD MARGINS, WET LOW SPOTS, BUT ALSO WHOLE FIELDS.

Richards says markets have made prevented plant especially painful this year.

TONY: THE OPPORTUNITY LOST TO PLANT A CROP WITH THE RECORD PRICES. THAT'S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING.

Through the disappointment, a small silver lining for some, thanks to a change in PP this year.

MEGAN: LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS COMING INTO THOSE PREVENTED PLANTING ACRES PUTTING SEED DOWN IN HOPES OF RAISING SOME SORT OF FORAGE OFF THOSE ACRES.

That forage can then be sold to cattle producers. But neither that, nor prevented plant, will ease the financial burdens for farmers like Richards.

THE DEADLINE TO REPORT 2022 CROP ACREAGE IS JULY 15TH.

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THE PANDEMIC BROUGHT NATIONAL ATTENTION TO THE POWER THAT MEAT PACKERS HOLD OVER PRODUCERS.

RANCHERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE LOOKING TO TAKE THAT MONOPOLY AWAY FROM THE FOUR MAJOR MEAT PACKERS AND GIVE MORE POWER BACK TO PRODUCERS.

FSA ADMINISTRATOR ZACH DUCHENEAUX, WHOS' FROM SOUTH DAKOTA AND A FORMER CATTLE RANCHER BEFORE TAKING HIS CURRENT POSITION WITH FSA, TOLD ME RECENTLY IT'S BEEN A STRUGGLE, BUT HE FEELS PROGRESS IS BEING MADE.

ZACH: I THINK THERE'S HOPE AND I THINK WE'RE CLOSER. WE'RE HAVING THE CONVERSATION OUT IN THE OPEN NOW. THE SECRETARY IS REALLY TAKING A STAND AGAINST THE CONSOLIDATION IN THE MEATPACKING INDUSTRY, AND HAS PUT SOME RESOURCES TOWARDS ADDRESSING THAT, WITH THE SMALL AND MICRO-SCALE PROCESSING FACILITY FUNDING THAT WE'RE DELIVERING. WE'RE AT A CRITICAL POINT WHERE WE HAVE PRODUCERS AWARE. WE'VE GOT BOTH SIDES OF THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH AWARE. AND WE'VE GOT THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH WORKING ON IT AS WELL. WE'VE JUST GOTTA EMPOWER OUR PRODUCERS TO HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH THEIR PRODUCT THAN TO ONE OF THOSE FOUR MEAT PACKERS.

CATTLE RANCHERS ARE CURRENTLY SEEING BETTER MARKET PRICES TO HELP MAKE UP FOR LOST INCOME TO THE PACKERS, BUT INFLATION HAS MADE IT HARD FOR PRODUCERS TO SEE A DIFFERENCE FROM THOSE HIGHER PRICES, DUE TO INCREASED INPUT COSTS.

Tim: Costs are going up too, so we have to have prices so we're kinda status quo now. We will get higher prices and then you know the cost side is really getting us.

TODAY THE FOUR MAJOR MEAT PACKERS HOLD 85% OF THE MARKET.

THE LATE, WET SPRING MUCH OF THE NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS WENT THROUGH WAS AN EXCELLENT TESTIMONIAL TO THE ADVANTAGES OF DRAIN TILE.

TILING CAN BE A LARGE, INITIAL INVESTMENT FOR FARMERS AND LANDOWNERS. BUT ACCORDING TO HANS KANDEL, AN NDSU EXTENSION AGRONOMIST, THE BENEFITS FAR OUTWEIGH THE DRAWBACKS, ESPECIALLY IN SPRINGS LIKE THIS.

Hans: Of course, higher yield. And we can document that yields are higher when you have tile drainage. It will depend on the rainfall of course and the conditions during the season, how much that difference is. We typically can get into the field earlier and because you can get into the tiled field earlier, you also can then plant the whole farm earlier.>

KANDEL HAS BEEN DOING TILING RESEARCH ON TEST PLOTS SINCE 2008. BUT HE SAYS HIS FINDINGS DURING LAST YEARS DROUGHT TOOK HIM BY SURPRISE.

Hans: During some of the drier years, you would expect that there would be a negative effect of tile, but that is not always the case. In this particular soil, we typically have some IDC issues. But because of the tile, some of the salts leaked through the tile system and are at a lower level. Because the salts are lower, the crop did better. So during the dry years, last year during the drought, I had a few bushel more yield on the water managed side compared to the non tile drained side.

KANDEL ADVISES LAND OWNERS COME UP WITH A TILING PLAN FOR THEIR ACRES AND START WITH FIELDS THAT NEED THE MOST HELP WITH WATER MANAGEMENT.

ONE COMPANY IS SETTING OUT TO "UNLEASH THE POWER OF NATURAL RESISTANCE" AGAINST A MAJOR SOYBEAN DISEASE IN THE REGION.

AYOS DIAGNOSTIC WAS CREATED IN 2020. THE QUEBEC BASED COMPANY WILL WORK IN RESEARCH PLOTS AT GRAND FARM AND PLANS TO USE ITS TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE CONTROL.

Jerome: WE'RE WORKING ON A NATURAL RESISTANCE SOYBEAN. SO WHAT IT MEANS IS WE HAVE A TECHNOLOGY THAT WE DEVELOPED IN THE LAST FOLLOWING YEARS, FIVE OR SIX YEARS TO IDENTIFY THE SPECIFIC VARIANTS IN PHYTOPHTHORA IN THE FIELD AND BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY IN THE FIELD

AYOS ATTENDED THE RECENT CULTIVATE AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE IN FARGO WHERE THEY SHARED THEIR FUTURE RESEARCH PLANS.

COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV, I SIT DOWN WITH AN EXPERT TO TALK ABOUT THE GRAIN MARKETS, THE ONGOING UKRAINE IMPACT, AND WHAT TO EXPECT THROUGH HARVEST...

EMILY: WELCOME BACK I'M HERE WITH NDSU EXTENSION CROPS ECONOMIST AND MARKETING SPECIALIST FRAYNE OLSON. SO FRAYNE IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS SINCE WE'VE SPOKEN TO YOU LAST AND IN RECENT WEEKS WE'VE SEEN QUITE A DIP IN THE WHEAT MARKETS, YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD AND TELL ME A LITTLE BIT WHAT THE DRIVING FORCES ARE BEHIND THAT

FRAYNE: YEAH SO JUST AS A REMINDER, AT THE END OF FEBRUARY WE HAD RUSSIA INVADE UKRAINE, THAT WAS A HUGE CHANGE IN PARTICULAR FOR THE WHEAT MARKETS. WE SAW THIS GREAT BIG RALLY AS WE STARTED TRYING TO FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHAT THIS MEANT FOR GLOBAL WHEAT PRICES AND THEN YOU ADD ON TOP OF THAT SOME VERY DELAYED SPRING WHEAT PLANTING IN THIS REGION, AS WELL AS GOING INTO THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE PROVINCES. SO ALL OF THIS INFORMATION KIND OF BUILT. WE HAD A RISK PREMIUM THAT ENTERED INTO THE MARKETPLACE. AND NOW SOME OF THAT RISK PREMIUM IS BEING TAKEN OUT SO WE WERE GETTING A LITTLE BIT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW MANY ACRES HAVE BEEN ACRES PLANTED HERE IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS FOR SPRING WHEAT AND DURUM, AS WELL AS WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE PROVINCES. LOOKS LIKE WE GOT A LOT OF OUR ACRES SEEDED, STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY OBVIOUSLY ABOUT WHAT KIND OF YIELD AND YIELD POTENTIAL THAT WOULD BE. WE'RE ALSO STARTING TO TAKE SOME OF THE RISK PREMIUM OUT BECAUSE WE'RE STARTING TO LOOK AT ALTERNATIVE FLOWS OF GRAIN. THE RUSSIAN WHEAT CROP LOOKS VERY GOOD THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A VERY LARGE CROP THIS YEAR, ACTUALLY, SOME ARE PREDICTING A RECORD LARGE RUSSIAN WHEAT CROP. THE RUSSIANS ARE ALSO TRYING TO FIGURE OUT ALTERNATIVE SUPPLY CHAIN SYSTEMS AND SOME OF THAT GRAIN IS NOW STARTING TO MOVE NOT ONLY FROM LAST YEAR, BUT ALSO SOME OF THEIR NEW CROP. WE HAVEN'T, IN MY OPINION, REACHED QUITE THE BOTTOM YET. I THINK WE'LL SEE A LITTLE BIT MORE OF THAT RISK PREMIUM TAKEN OUT. BUT MOVING FORWARD, I DO THINK WE'LL START TO SEE SOME ADDITIONAL VOLATILITY. WHAT WE'LL PROBABLY SEE IS A TRADING RANGE START TO DEVELOP AND, WITHIN THAT TRADING RANGE WE'RE GOING TO SEE A LOT OF VOLATILITY OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS AS WE TRY AND FIGURE OUT, AGAIN, EXACTLY HOW MANY BUSHELS WE HAVE TO WORK WITH AND WHERE THOSE BUSHELS ARE BEING PRODUCED AND AVAILABLE.

EMILY: SO WITH THE VOLATILITY IN THE MARKETPLACE RIGHT NOW, WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT YOU WOULD GIVE PRODUCERS THAT HAVEN'T SOLD A LOT OF THEIR ACRES SO FAR?

FRAYNE: SO MY RECOMMENDATION IS, YOU'RE NOT FAST ENOUGH AS A FARMER, FAST ENOUGH TO CATCH THE MARKET, YOU'RE NOT FAST ENOUGH TO CHASE IT, SO MY RECOMMENDATION IS THAT FOR THOSE FARMERS THAT SIT DOWN PUT TOGETHER YOUR MARKETING PLAN LOOK AT WHAT YOUR COST OF PRODUCTION IS BECAUSE THAT'S CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS. AND IN PUTTING SOME PRICING TARGETS AT WHAT PRICE, WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO SELL SOME ADDITIONAL GRAIN. AND FIGURE OUT WHAT THOSE PRICE LEVELS ARE, WORK WITH YOUR LOCAL ELEVATOR, WORK WITH A PROCESSOR OR A BROKER. AND SAY WELL LET'S PUT THOSE ORDERS IN AHEAD OF TIME. SO LET'S LET THE MARKET COME TO YOU RATHER THAN YOU TRYING TO CHASE THE MARKET. AND SO THAT HISTORICALLY, THAT STRATEGY, IN PARTICULAR WHEN WE GET INTO THESE TIMES OF EXCEPTIONAL VOLATILITY, TENDS TO WORK RELATIVELY WELL. IT GIVES YOU THE PEACE OF MIND TO SAY, WELL, THE ORDERS HAVE ALREADY BEEN PLACED, WE'LL JUST WATCH WHAT'S HAPPENING AND MAKE SURE THAT THOSE ORDERS GET FILLED AND WE'RE ABLE TO SUPPLY THE PRODUCT.

EMILY: SO THE REGION HAD A VERY LATE PLANTING SEASON THIS YEAR. HOW DID THAT IMPACT, THE MARKETS CURRENTLY AND HOW DO YOU THINK THAT IS GOING TO FORECAST THE LATER SUMMER MONTHS SUCH AS AUGUST?

FRAYNE: LATE JULY, EARLY AUGUST TIMEFRAME, WHEN WE GET INTO THE POLLINATION FOR CORN AS WELL AS FLOWERING AND PODSET FOR SOYBEANS, THE MARKETS ARE GOING TO BE WATCHING THAT VERY VERY CLOSELY. OUR MARGIN FOR ERROR ON ALL THE MAJOR COMMODITIES IS RELATIVELY TIGHT THIS YEAR WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF INVENTORY EXTRA INVENTORY, IF WE DO HAVE SOME PRODUCTION ISSUES SO I DO EXPECT TO SEE A LOT OF VOLATILITY AS WE GET INTO THOSE KEY REPRODUCTIVE PHASES FOR IN PARTICULAR SOYBEANS AND CORN, WHICH WILL THEN SPILL OVER INTO THE WHEAT MARKETS AS WELL. SO HANG ON, I DON'T THINK THE VOLATILITY IS OVER YET.

EMILY: FRAYNE OLSON WITH NDSU EXTENSION, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INSIGHT TODAY.

STILL AHEAD,

DURING THIS PATRIOTIC TIME OF YEAR, WE LOOK BACK AT SOME OF OUR FAVORITE "FLAGS ON FARMS" STORIES FROM THE AGWEEK VAULT...

COULD THE REGION BE IN FOR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPS?

HERE'S JARED WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

FOR FARMERS, FLYING THE STARS AND STRIPES ISN'T JUST FOR AROUND INDEPENDENCE DAY. FARMERS PROUDLY DISPLAY THEIR PATRIOTISM ALL YEAR ROUND.

FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS, REPORTER MIKKEL PATES HAS BEEN SHARING THOSE STORIES OF "FLAGS ON FARMS," AS HE'S TRAVELED AROUND THE UPPER MIDWEST.

HERE ARE A COUPLE OF OUR FAVORITES FROM THE AGWEEK VAULT...

Ardith DeJong: WE DID IT BECAUSE WE WERE SO THANKFUL TO BE LIVING IN A FREE COUNTRY AND WANTED TO SHOW OUR APPRECIATION.

THIS ROUND RAFTERED HOG SHED HAS STOOD ON THE DE JONG FARM NEAR ORANGE CITY, IOWA SINCE 1920. BUT IN 2011 IT NEEDED A NEW ROOF, SO RONALD AND ARDITH DE JONG DECIDED IT'S THE PERFECT CANVAS TO SHOW THEIR PATRIOTISM. BUT THEIR IDEA TO COVER IT WITH A FLAG WAS NO SMALL TASK.

Ronald DeJong: THEY HAD TO DO A LITTLE SPECIAL MEASURING WITH THE COMPUTER TO GET THE RIGHT WIDTH AND THE RIGHT STRIPES AND THE RIGHT, WHERE THE STARS ARE. IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ME, I WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD IT THAT ACCURATE. BUT IT HAD TO BE AS ACCURATE AS WE COULD GET IT.

HE'S NOT EXAGGERATING. DE JONG SAYS MANY WHO STOP COMMENT ON THE FLAG'S AUTHENTICITY. THE DE JONGS SAY THE FLAG HAS SERVED AS A BACKDROP FOR EVERYTHING FROM FAMILY PORTRAITS TO WEDDING PICTURES.

Ardith DeJong: IT'S REALLY AMAZING HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL STOP ON THE ROAD AND GET OUT AND TAKE PICTURES. I MEAN, WE NEVER IMAGINED.

RONALD DE JONG AND HIS TWO BROTHERS ARE MILITARY VETS, AND HE DISPLAYS THIS FLAG WITH PRIDE AND GRATITUDE.

Mikkel: This time of year, patriotism runs high, and there is no better symbol of that..

Jason Lovas: Top quality so that it would last...

Mikkel Pates: JASON LOVAS IS THE FOURTH GENERATION ON HIS HILLSBORO, NORTH DAKOTA FARM. AS HIS CORN PRODUCTION GREW, SO DID THE SIZE OF HIS BINS, AND GAVE HIM A BIGGER PLACE TO PROUDLY DISPLAY A HUGE FLAG.

Jason Lovas: I've been surprised at how many people have stopped by the shop, just to thank us and show their support, and to kind of congratulate us on the idea of putting up a flag.

Mikkel Pates: JASON'S DAD PETER WAS SURPRISED WHEN HE SAW WHAT JASON WANTED TO DO, BUT HE LOVES HAVE THE 12 BY 25 FOOT FLAG RIPPLING PROUDLY ACROSS HIS BIN, PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED ALONG INTERSTATE-29.

Peter Lovas: I said what the heck are you doing up there? Then its' like, you know, that's pretty neat!

Mikkel Pates: JASON LOVAS SAYS AT THIS TIME OF POLITICAL DIVISION IN THE U.S., THE FLAG IS STILL A GOOD REMINDER OF WHO WE ARE.

Jason Lovas: There's certainly a fair amount of political tension in this country, and we need to remember that we're all Americans. That was maybe part of my goal or thought behind the flag.

Mikkel Pates: THIS IS MIKKEL PATES FOR AGWEEK.

music up, then ends!

drum music begins

STRIKE UP THE BAND! IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE 80 YEARS FOR A SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA CANCER RESEARCH LAB, THAT STARTED OUT....AS AN EFFORT TO BENEFIT FOOD SAFETY.

WHEN YOU SEE OR HEAR THE WORD 'HORMEL', CHANCES ARE FOOD OR MEAT LIKELY COME TO YOUR MIND.

BUT DID YOU KNOW HORMEL IS ALSO SYNONYMOUS WITH INNOVATIVE CANCER RESEARCH?

THE HORMEL INSTITUTE, IN THE SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA CITY OF AUSTIN, RECENTLY CELEBRATED ITS 80TH ANNIVERSARY.

THE SON OF HORMEL FOODS FOUNDER GEORGE HORMEL, STARTED THE LAB IN AN EFFORT TO BENEFIT FOOD SAFETY AND PRESERVATION RESEARCH.

80 YEARS LATER, IT PARTNERS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AND MAYO CLINIC, AMONG OTHERS, TO CONDUCT CRITICAL CANCER RESEARCH.

WHILE AWARENESS OF THE INSTITUTE AND ITS MISSION HAVE GROWN, THANKS TO TWO EXPANSIONS IN THE LAST 15 YEARS, IT'S STILL SOMEWHAT UNDER THE RADAR.

Robert: WE'RE SORT OF LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT WE CAN BE IN THE NEXT 80 YEARS. WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO SET THE INSTITUTE UP ON A TRAJECTORY SO THAT, WITHIN 80 YEARS, YOU'LL REALLY KNOW WHO WE ARE AND SO WILL THE REST OF THE WORLD.

THE INSTITUTE'S RESEARCH IS FUNDED PARTLY THROUGH DIVIDENDS FROM HORMEL FOODS, GIVEN THROUGH THE HORMEL FOUNDATION.

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

A LAWYER IS TRYING TO KEEP SUMMIT CARBON SOLUTIONS OFF THE LAND OF HIS CLIENTS IN SOUTH DAKOTA.

AND POOR GROWING CONDITIONS IN SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN HAVE HURT STRAWBERRY FARMS

WE APPRECIATE YOU WATCHING AGWEEK TV.

REMEMBER TO CHECK US OUT DAILY ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM, TO KEEP UP ON ALL YOUR AG NEWS. HAVE A GREAT WEEK.

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