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AgweekTV Full Show: NAFB Convention, autonomous technology, elections and ag, middle school ag ed

This week on AgweekTV, we take our show on the road, with coverage from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. We'll talk with industry experts about autonomous technology. What do the recent elections mean for the ag industry? We'll find out. And we'll visit a rural school that's giving hands-on agriculture experience to middle schoolers.

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This week on AgweekTV, we take our show on the road, with coverage from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. We'll talk with industry experts about autonomous technology. What do the recent elections mean for the ag industry? We'll find out. And we'll visit a rural school that's giving hands-on agriculture experience to middle schoolers.

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WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M EMILY BEAL.

WE'RE ON THE ROAD THIS WEEK, COMING TO YOU FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FARM BROADCASTING CONVENTION IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.

THIS IS THE 79TH YEAR THAT FARM BROADCASTERS AND AG INDUSTRY REPS HAVE GATHERED FOR THE CONVENTION. THE EVENT FEATURES DISCUSSIONS ABOUT HOT BUTTON TOPICS AND HOW THEY IMPACT THE AG INDUSTRY, SUCH AS THE ELECTION, TECHNOLOGY AND LABOR SHORTAGES.

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MANY EXPERTS PREDICTED A RED WAVE WOULD SWEEP THE NATION IN THE RECENT ELECTION, BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN ON THE SCALE ANTICIPATED.

JACKIE FATKA, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR AGRI-PULSE COMMUNICATIONS, SAYS THAT COULD HELP THE UPCOMING FARM BILL WITH BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT. HOWEVER, FOR MANY OF THE ELECTED OFFICIALS, THIS WILL BE THEIR FIRST TIME WORKING ON THE FARM BILL. AND SHE SAYS EDUCATION WILL BE NEEDED.

Jacqui Fatka: Their voices are trying to be heard and so they're going to look for the farm bill. This is one of the few bills that could be advanced you know as an opportunity to advance their agenda, or those who voted them in. And sometimes that's problematic or worrisome for those in agriculture because it does not align with where things have mayve best benefit the farm level.

ACCORDING TO FATKA, AT LEAST ONE-HUNDRED FIFTY HOUSE MEMBERS HAVE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN A PREVIOUS FARM BILL.

FORMER MINNESOTA CONGRESSMAN COLLIN PETERSON AGREES THE CLOSELY SPLIT CONGRESS IN THE WAKE OF THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS COULD BODE WELL FOR A NEW FARM BILL IN 2023.

THE DEMOCRAT IS A FORMER CHAIR OF THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE, AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN MANY FARM BILLS DURING HIS THIRTY YEARS IN CONGRESS.

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PETERSON SAYS THE SMALL MARGIN BETWEEN THE PARTIES IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE COULD STRENGTHEN LEADERS WHO MAY WANT COMPROMISE ON DIVISIVE ISSUES LIKE CLIMATE AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS. HE THINKS IT COULD FORCE FARM BILL ADVOCATES TO LISTEN TO PEOPLE IN THE OTHER PARTY TO GET THEM PASSED.

Collin Peterson: WE HAD THIS ELECTION, IT'S VERY CLOSE, YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE KIND OF DIVIDED, SO LET'S WORK ON WHAT WE CAN ACTUALLY GET DONE, WHAT WE CAN AGREE ON, WHAT WE CAN COME TO A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON.

PETERSON LIVES IN DETROIT LAKES, MINNESOTA AND IS NOW AN AG LOBBYIST.

One of the big topics at this year's convention is technology. Joining me now to discuss autonomous technology is Ryan Jardon, marketing manager of John Deere. So, Ryan, where is autonomous technology going in the ag industry?

Ryan Jardon: Yeah. So one of the big challenges that we hear from a lot of growers is the availability of skilled labor in order to execute a job when the job's ready. One of the challenges that we've set out to face or that we've set out to conquer is that availability of skilled labor. So one of the ways that we can do that is by taking an operator out of the cab. Our machines can run autonomously, which then allows that customer to essentially double their time. For instance, they may be combining in one field while their tillage job is being executed in the field adjacent to them.

Emily Beal: So as you're talking to these farmers and producers, a lot of them are skeptical about how safe autonomous technology is. What is John Deere doing to ensure everybody's safety?

Ryan Jardon: So safety is priority number one by far for us with this system. And so our system uses a series of cameras. This vision detection system or an anomaly detection system is using a series of cameras that give us a 360 degree view of that machine's surroundings. And so it's always watching for anything that it doesn't recognize. And if it doesn't recognize something, it stops, stops immediately.

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And then it sends a notification to that farm manager with a photo of what it saw. And it says, Hey, I stopped for this. You want me to keep going and steer around this, or do you want to come out and move whatever this is?

Emily Beal: So going into the future in the next decade, what does autonomous technology look like for John Deere in the future?

Ryan Jardon: Yeah, so we I mentioned we started with fall tillage for a variety of reasons and I'd say, you know, the next easiest thing for us to do would be other jobs that the tractor does. Spring tillage, planting grain carts, things like that would be the next easiest places for us to go from there.

Emily Beal: It's certainly going to be an interesting technology to follow. Ryan Jardon. John Deere.

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR COMPANY IS PROJECTING WHAT MAY BE A RECORD-HIGH INITIAL PAYMENT ESTIMATE FOR ITS 2022 CROP.

CRYSTAL PROJECTS AN INITIAL PAYMENT OF 71 DOLLARS PER TON. THAT COMPARES TO A 60 DOLLAR PER TON INITIAL PROJECTION FOR THE 2021 CROP, WHICH ENDED UP AT $64.98 PER TON. THE CO-OP CAN ADJUST THE PROJECTION IN THE FOLLOWING SPRING AND FALL. CRYSTAL IS A CLOSED CO-OP WITH FIVE BEET PROCESSING PLANTS IN THE RED RIVER VALLEY, AND ONE IN MONTANA.

CRYSTAL'S 2022 CROP TURNED OUT STRONGER THAN EXPECTED, AVERAGING 26.5 TONS PER ACRE. THE COMPANY STARTED STOCKPILE HARVEST FIVE DAYS LATE, WHICH THIS YEAR ADDED TONS AND SUGAR CONTENT.

A NORTH DAKOTA FEED MILL WILL BE BACK TO MANUFACTURING ANIMAL FEED SOON. THE DAKOTALAND FEEDS MILL IN GLEN ULLIN CLOSED ABOUT SIX MONTHS AGO, BUT NOW HAS NEW OWNERS.

Ethan Kaml: CATTLE, SHEEP, PIGS, BUFFALO, CHICKENS...

DAKOTALAND HAD MANUFACTURED CUSTOM FEED FOR A VARIETY OF LIVESTOCK AT ONE TIME, BUT SOLD COMMERCIAL FEED FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, BEFORE CLOSING SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. THE MILL WAS SOLD TO ALL DAY TRUCKING OF JAMESTOWN, NORTH DAKOTA, WHICH WAS ALREADY HAULING A LOT OF THE INGREDIENTS FOR FEED. OWNER BEN MICKELSON SAYS IT'S A GOOD FIT WITH HIS TRUCKING BUSINESS, TRANSPORTING AG BYPRODUCTS.

Ben Mickelson: IT FITS REALLY WELL FOR US BECAUSE A LOT OF THE INGREDIENTS THAT THE MILL WILL USE, WE'RE ALREADY HANDLING, BUYING AND SELLING. AND WE'RE DIRECTLY SHIPPING TO OTHER FEED MILLS AS WELL AS DIRECT TO RANCHES AND FEEDLOTS.

ETHAN KAML, A FORMER DAKOTALAND FEEDS EMPLOYEE, IS MANAGING THE MILL.

ETHAN: YOU SEE HERE WE GOT LIKE SOME BARLEY SCREENINGS.

THEY'RE PARTNERING WITH FAMO FEEDS, AN ANIMAL FEED COMPANY IN FREEPORT, MINNESOTA. IN ADDITION TO PREMADE- FEED, THEY'LL FORMULATE RATIONS WITH RIGHT NUTRIENTS AND MINERALS FOR EACH TYPE OF ANIMAL.

Ethan Kaml: WHETHER IT BE FOR CATTLE OR FOR CALVES, WHETHER YOU'RE FEEDING IN A FEEDLOT SITUATION OR PERHAPS MAYBE YOU'RE FEEDING A GROUP OF HEIFERS, BUT WE HAVE SOMETHING TO CHOOSE FROM WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THEIR NEEDS.

THE MILL CAN PRODUCE 25 TO 30 TONS OF PELLETED FEED A DAY, AND PLANS TO INCREASE THAT AMOUNT.

That is a pellet mill, that's the pelleter right there.

THE RATIONS WILL USE A VARIETY OF COMMODITY BY-PRODUCTS INCLUDING WHEAT MIDDS, SOY HULL PELLETS AND DRIED DISTILLERS GRAIN TO CREATE HIGH QUALITY FEED.

Ethan Kaml: WE WANT TO UPHOLD A REALLY GOOD PRODUCT, AS FAR AS THE INTEGRITY OF THE ACTUAL PRODUCT WE'RE MAKING, BUT YET ALSO MAKE IT COST EFFECTIVE FOR ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS.

THE MILL WILL SHIP FEED NATIONWIDE, BUT EXPECTS THE BULK OF THEIR CUSTOMERS WILL BE IN A 100 MILE RADIUS OF THE GLEN ULLIN PLANT.

WHEN AGWEEK RETURNS FROM THE NAFB CONVENTION IN KANSAS CITY.

WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT A SCHOOL THAT'S USING A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO HELP STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT AG CAREERS.

WELCOME BACK TO AGWEEK FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FARM BROADCASTING CONVENTION IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.

EACH YEAR AT THIS TIME OF THANKFULNESS, WE TAKE SOME TIME TO LOOK AT THE MANY WAYS PEOPLE ARE THANKFUL FOR AGRICULTURE. THIS YEAR WE BEGIN WITH A UNIQUE NEW PROGRAM AT THE NORTHERN CASS SCHOOL IN HUNTER, NORTH DAKOTA, TEACHING KIDS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF AG IN THEIR LIVES. KATIE PINKE HAS MORE IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

Katie Pinke: AT NORTHERN CASS PUBLIC SCHOOL THEY HAVE A MOTTO, BE BRAVE BEFORE PERFECT. THEY'RE TAKING THAT MOTTO INSIDE THE CLASSROOM FOR A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

You're all going to taste it, and you won't know what it is.

Sue McPherson: YOU PICK WHAT YOU'RE INTERESTED IN, SO THEN WE'LL HELP YOU RUN THERE.

KATIE: THE MIDDLE SCHOOL AT NORTHERN CASS SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS A UNIQUE "STUDIO" SYSTEM -- SHORT TERMS IN WHICH KIDS CAN CHOOSE SUBJECTS THEY'RE INTERESTED IN, SUPPLEMENTING THEIR REGULAR CLASSWORK.

You're switching it to the pasta plant? Yup.

SUE MCPHERSON IS LEADING THE "FIELD TO FORK" STUDIO. SHE WANTED TO TEACH KIDS ABOUT AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT THAT'S ALL AROUND THEM, AGRICULTURE. AND SHE WANTED TO HELP THEM DEVELOP AN APPRECIATION FOR IT.

What do you think it was? Syrup.

Sue McPherson: I AM THANKFUL FOR AGRICULTURE BECAUSE IT'S THE FOOD WE EAT. YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOUR PARENTS ARE BANKERS OR IF THEY'RE DOCTORS. YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY EATS.

Katie Pinke: STUDENTS ARE EXPLORING CAREERS IN AGRICULTURE, INCLUDING PLANT SCIENCES, SOIL SCIENCES, AND BEEF AND DAIRY.

Sue McPherson: THERE'S SO MANY AREAS OF AGRICULTURE, LIKE VAST CAREERS IN AGRICULTURE. SO THEY'RE EACH CHOOSING A DIFFERENT CAREER PATH PER SE, OR A DIFFERENT AREA IN AGRICULTURE.. are you Crystal Sugar? Yeah.

AND THEY'RE RUNNING WITH IT.

Katie Pinke: REPRESENTING SIX RURAL COMMUNITIES, THE NORTHERN CASS SCHOOL IS LOCATED BETWEEN CORN AND SOYBEAN FIELDS.

Cory Steiner: I AM SO THANKFUL FOR AG. IT IS WHAT BUILT THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL STATE AND THE AMAZING PEOPLE. I BELIEVE THAT AG IS WHAT GIVES US HUMBLENESS AND HUMILITY.

MCKENZY ALBERT IS ONE OF THE STUDENTS WHO SIGNED UP TO TAKE PART IN THE FIELD TO FORK STUDIO. HER DAD WORKS WITH BEEF CATTLE, SO SHE KNOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE.

McKenzy Albert: I'M THANKFUL FOR AGRICULTURE BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT JUST WORK SO HARD TO MAKE OUR FOOD AND OUR COMMUNITY. IT'S JUST A BLESSING.

NEAR HUNTER, NORTH DAKOTA, THIS IS KATIE PINKE FOR AGWEEK.

EVERY YEAR AT THIS TIME, SCHOOL KIDS ARE REMINDED TO BE THANKFUL FOR TURKEY GROWERS, WITH A VIRTUAL TOUR OF A MINNESOTA TURKEY FARM.

THE TOURS ARE SPONSORED BY MINNESOTA AGRICULTURE IN THE CLASSROOM. THIS YEAR'S TOUR WILL BE AT HUNTER KVISTAD'S FARM IN SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA. HE'S A RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE WHO COMES FROM A LONG LINE OF TURKEY GROWERS. NOW, HE'S STARTING OUT ON HIS OWN. HE HAS TWO NEW STATE-OF THE-ART TURKEY BARNS. THEY COST THREE MILLION DOLLARS, AND EACH ONE HOLDS 40,000 BIRDS. HE KEEPS AN EYE ON IT WITH TECH ON HIS SMARTPHONE.

Hunter Kvistad: IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG ON THE FARM MY PHONE STARTS TEXTING ME AND CALLING ME, TELLING ME HEY THIS IS GOING ON, YOU MIGHT WANT TO COME CHECK IT OUT, THEN I HAVE TO COME OUT HERE AND SEE WHAT'S GOING ON, SEE WHAT THE BIRDS ARE UP TO, WHAT MAYHEM THEY HAVE CAUSED.

THE VIRTUAL TOUR IS NOVEMBER 22ND. A TOUR OF A REINDEER FARM NEAR MANKATO, MINNESOTA IS PLANNED BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE AG AND FOOD SUPPLY CHAINS GOT TOGETHER AT THE MINNESOTA AG AND FOOD SUMMIT, TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THE FUTURE WILL LOOK LIKE.

THE EVENT IS SPONSORED BY AGRI-GROWTH, WHICH REPRESENTS FARMERS, LENDERS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, CO-OPS, AG BUSINESSES AND OTHERS INVOLVED IN THE FOOD AND AG CHAIN.

TAMARA NELSEN, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MINNESOTA AGRI GROWTH, SAYS THE ANNUAL EVENT IS A GOOD CHANCE FOR ITS MEMBERS TO GET TOGETHER TO TALK ABOUT WHAT'S IMPACTING THEM THE MOST.

Tamara Nelsen: THE IDEA IS TO GET EVERYONE IN THE CHAIN TO TALK ABOUT ISSUES TOGETHER SO THAT WE'RE ALL WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES.

THIS YEAR THOSE ISSUES WERE THE SUPPLY CHAIN, ANIMAL DISEASES, GLOBAL ECONOMICS AND THE ELECTION RESULTS. THE EVENT ALSO INCLUDED TWO PANELS ON EMERGING FARMERS IN MINNESOTA AND NEW AG PRODUCTS.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL TELL YOU ABOUT SOME IMPORTANT THINGS SOYBEAN GROWERS NEED TO WATCH FOR THIS WINTER.

HOW WILL THE SECOND HALF OF NOVEMBER'S WEATHER FARE?

HERE'S OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

A LOW-MOISTURE SOYBEAN HARVEST THIS YEAR MEANS GROWERS MAY HAVE TO TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS. I TALKED TO AN EXPERT ABOUT WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR, IN THIS MONTH'S SOY INSIGHT.

EMILY: I'M HERE WITH KEN HELLEVANG, NDSU EXTENSION AGRICULTURAL ENGINEER. SO KEN, HOW IS THE MOISTURE LOOKING IN SOYBEANS THIS YEAR?

KEN HELLEVANG: WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, OUR HARVEST WAS ACTUALLY MAYBE TOO EASY THIS YEAR. AND WE ENDED UP WITH A LOT OF EIGHT, NINE PERCENT MOISTURE SOYBEANS, WHICH IS LOWER THAN THAT MARKET MOISTURE OF 13. AND SO ACTUALLY, ACROSS A LARGE REGION OF OUR COUNTRY, WE HAVE GUYS THAT ARE WONDERING, IS THERE A WAY THAT I CAN GET THAT MOISTURE CONTENT CLOSER TO 13?

EMILY BEAL: SO IS THERE A WAY TO GET THAT MOISTURE CONTENT CLOSER TO THAT 13 PERCENT?

KEN HELLEVANG: IF WE RUN AERATION FANS OR DRYING FANS UNDER APPROPRIATE RELATIVE HUMIDITY CONDITIONS, 60-65% WOULD BE THE LOW END. AND THEN UP TO 80-85% KIND OF FOR THE HIGH RANGE FOR CONDITIONING OR RECONDITIONING THOSE SOYBEANS. WE PROBABLY NEED TO WAIT UNTIL SPRING WHEN TEMPERATURES OUTSIDE ARE AVERAGING 40 DEGREES OR BETTER SO THAT THE AIR HAS ENOUGH MOISTURE IN IT TO ADD THAT MOISTURE TO THE SOYBEANS.

EMILY BEAL: SO IS THERE ANYTHING PRODUCERS SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR AS THEY'RE ADDING MOISTURE BACK INTO THEIR SOYBEANS?

KEN HELLEVANG: AS MOISTURE IS ABSORBED BY THE SOYBEANS, THOSE MORE SOYBEANS WILL EXPAND. AND AS THEY EXPAND, THEY TEND TO PUSH AGAINST THE BIN WALL. AND IT CAN ACTUALLY STRESS THE, THE CONNECTIONS AND IN SOME CASES COULD EVEN POTENTIALLY LEAD TO A BIN FAILURE. SO WHAT WE RECOMMEND IS THAT AS WE'RE GOING THROUGH THAT CONDITIONING PERIOD, WE SHOULD UNLOAD A LOAD EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, MAYBE TWO OR THREE TIMES AS WE CONDITION THE BEANS TO TRY TO RELIEVE SOME OF THAT PRESSURE THAT MIGHT BE DAMAGING THAT GRAIN BIN.

EMILY BEAL: WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US, KEN HELLEVANG, NDSU EXTENSION.

STILL AHEAD ON OUR SHOW, POTATO GROWERS MAKE A GENEROUS DONATION TO FEED THE HUNGRY.

THE NORTHLANDS RESCUE MISSION IN GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, IS THANKFUL FOR POTATO GROWERS.

THE MISSION SERVES MORE THAN TWO HUNDRED MEALS EVERY DAY, AND THAT NUMBER IS RISING, BUT DONATIONS HAVE BEEN FALLING THIS YEAR. THAT'S WHAT PROMPTED THE NORTHLAND POTATO GROWERS ASSOCIATION TO LAUNCH THE NORTHLAND POTATO BLESSING PROJECT. THE MISSION IS WELCOMING THE DONATION OF POTATOES GROWN BY LOCAL FARMERS.

Jacey Kuerstein: SO WE JUST, AS AN ASSOCIATION FEEL SO BLESSED WITH ALL OF OUR GROWER COMMUNITY,THAT WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING TO GIVE BACK. AND I KNOW THAT OUR GROWERS FEEL THE SAME WAY. SO WE'RE JUST SO THANKFUL THAT WE ARE ABLE TO PROVIDE THESE POTATOES TO NORTHLAND RESCUE MISSION. SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR.

OVER THE YEAR, FARMERS WILL DONATE ABOUT FOUR THOUSAND POUNDS OF POTATOES AND 65-HUNDRED BAGS OF POTATO CHIPS TO THE MISSION.

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

A SUGARBEET INDUSTRY LEADER WAS KILLED, AND ANOTHER FACES FELONY CHARGES, AFTER A SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH.

AND A ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA, CO-OP IS LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS THAT COULD "PAY" FARMERS TO DONATE EXCESS PRODUCE, IN ORDER TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE.

THANKS FOR JOINING US FROM THE NAFB CONVENTION IN KANSAS CITY. WE'LL HAVE MORE FROM THIS EVENT IN COMING WEEKS.

AND REMEMBER CHECK OUT AGWEEK ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM AND TIK TOK FOR ALL YOUR AG NEWS. SO LONG EVERYONE.

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