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AgweekTV Full Show: The dairy industry, Bill Gates, Agweek Cereals Crop Tour and a Minnesota farm

This week on AgweekTV, we’ll see how technology is changing the dairy industry. We’ll discuss the North Dakota land Bill Gates purchased that continues to stir up controversy. We’ll kick off our Agweek Cereals Crop Tour. Finally, we’ll visit a Minnesota farm that gives its customers a taste of summer.

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This week on AgweekTV, we’ll see how technology is changing the dairy industry. We’ll discuss the North Dakota land Bill Gates purchased that continues to stir up controversy. We’ll kick off our Agweek Cereals Crop Tour. Finally, we’ll visit a Minnesota farm that gives its customers a taste of summer.

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COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV...

WE'LL SEE HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE DAIRY INDUSTRY

THE NORTH DAKOTA LAND BILL GATES PURCHASED CONTINUES TO STIR UP CONTROVERSY.

I'm Jeff Beach in western Minnesota where we're starting our Agweek Cereals Crop Tour.

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AND A MINNESOTA FARM GIVES ITS CUSTOMERS A TASTE OF SUMMER

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M EMILY BEAL.
WITH RELATIVELY STABLE GROWING CONDITIONS, THE WEEKLY U.S. CROP PROGRESS REPORT SHOWS CORN AND SOYBEANS CROPS HOLDING STEADY IN OUR REGION, THOUGH MINNESOTA DID SEE DECLINES IN SOYBEAN AND WHEAT QUALITY.

NATIONALLY, CORN CONDITION REMAINED UNCHANGED AT 64-PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT. THE DAKOTAS ARE STILL ABOVE 70-PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT, WHILE IOWA IS NOW AT 81-PERCENT AFTER A 4-PERCENT JUMP. MINNESOTA AND NEBRASKA ARE STILL IN THE 60'S.

SOYBEAN RATINGS NATIONALLY HELD NEARLY STEADY THIS WEEK, AT 62-PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT. THE DAKOTAS ARE BOTH AT 69-PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT, NEARLY UNCHANGED, WHILE CONDITION IN MINNESOTA FELL 5-PERCENT TO 63.

SPRING WHEAT RATINGS IMPROVED 4-PERCENT NATIONALLY TO 70-PERCENT GOOD TO EXCELLENT, BUT DROPPED 8-PERCENT IN MINNESOTA, WHILE STAYING THE SAME IN SOUTH DAKOTA. WHEAT IMPROVED 6-PERCENT IN NORTH DAKOTA, TO 82 PERCENT.

ONCE AGAIN THIS SUMMER, AGWEEK IS MAKING STOPS THROUGHOUT OUR REGION, CHECKING ON THE PROGRESS OF SMALL GRAINS.

WE KICK OFF OUR 2022 CEREALS CROP TOUR SOUTH OF FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA, WHERE JEFF BEACH HAS A WHEAT UPDATE, INCLUDING A NEW VARIETY...

JEFF: I'M HERE AT THE JOHN WALKUP FARM SOUTH OF FERGUS FALLS WITH UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION AGRONOMIST JOCHUM WEIRSMA. JOCHUM, WHY ARE WE HERE TODAY?

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JOCHUM: WELL, I LIKE TO HAVE FIELD TOURS, BECAUSE ALL WINTER WE TALK ABOUT THE VARIETIES AND THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. IT'S NOT THE SAME AS KICKING THE TIRES, BUT I LIKE PEOPLE TO SEE THE VARIETIES, AND LOOK AT THE VARIETIES NEXT TO EACH OTHER. SO NO BETTER WAY TO DO THAT THAN ACTUALLY COME OUT TO THE YIELD TRIALS.

JEFF: AND YOU'VE GOT A NEW VARIETY TO SHOW OFF THIS YEAR, IS THAT RIGHT?

JOCHUM: YUP. LINKERT NOW HAS BEEN IN THE MARKET FOR PRETTY MUCH A DECADE. IT WAS THE LARGEST VARIETY ACREAGE-WISE IN MINNESOTA FOR SIX YEARS IN A ROW. ROTHSAY IN A SENSE IS SOMEWHAT OF A REPLACEMENT FOR LINKERT IN THAT IT ALSO STANDS OUT FOR ITS STRAW STRENGTH, BUT OVERALL IT HAS A LITTLE BIT BETTER DISEASE PACKAGE, A LITTLE BIT BETTER SCAB RESISTANCE, SLIGHTLY HIGHER YIELD, AND ABOUT THE SAME TO SLIGHTLY LESS GRAIN PROTEIN PER ACRE.

JEFF: TELL US WHAT YOU'VE SEEN ACROSS THE FIELDS IN WESTERN MINNESOTA?

JOCHUM: OVERALL I'M MORE OPTIMISTIC THAN AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, BECAUSE WE STARTED SO LATE. GENERALLY THE CROPS, WHAT I FIND IN SMALL GRAINS, THE STUFF THAT GOT PLANTED ON THE SECOND TWO WEEKS, THE LAST TWO WEEKS IN MAY, FROM MAY FOURTEENTH TO THE THIRTIETH OF MAY, SHORTER. WELL TILLERED, DECENT HEAD SIZE ON THEM, CLEAN CANOPIES, NOT A LOT OF APHIDS, IF ANY. AND RIGHT NOW WITH THE WEATHER THAT WE HAVE, I'M MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE YIELD POTENTIAL OF THAT CROP THAN I WAS AT PLANTING TIME. THOSE REALLY LATE PLANTED FIELDS, THERE'S GOING TO BE A CROP TO HARVEST, BUT IT MIGHT BE WETTER THAN WHAT WE'RE USED TO.

JEFF: JOCHUM WIERSMA, THANKS FOR JOINING US ON THE AGWEEK CEREAL CROP TOUR.

KATIE: I'M HERE ON THE NORTH DAKOTA-MINNESOTA BORDER, WE'RE JUS TIN RURAL THOMPSON, NORTH DAKOTA ON THE AGWEEK CEREALS CROP TOUR. JOINING ME NOW IS KATELYN LANDEIS, EXTENSION AGENT IN GRAND FORKS COUNTY. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE ARE SEEING TODAY.

KATELYN: SURE, SO WE ARE OUT AT THE NDSU SPRING WHEAT, HARD RED SPRING WHEAT VARIETY TRIAL IN GRAND FORKS COUNTY. AND WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT IS DIFFERENT VARIETIES FROM MANY DIFFERENT COMPANIES, AND HOW THEY COMPARE TO EACH OTHER.

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KATIE: WHAT HAS CHANGED THIS SEASON IN CEREAL CROPS THIS SEASON, VERSUS LAST SEASON?

KATELYN: WE HAVE HAD A VERY DRASTIC CHANGE IN OUR SEASONS, FROM LAST YEAR BEING VERY DRY TO THIS YEAR WE'VE BEEN ON THE WET SIDE, ESPECIALLY EARLIER THIS SPRING. SO PLANTS ARE GETTING, WHEAT IN GENERAL AND ALL CROPS IN GENERAL, HAVE GOTTEN PLANTED A LITTLE BIT LATER THIS SEASON, AND THAT DOES HAVE AN EFFECT ON SOME TYPES OF MANAGEMENT FOR FARMERS.

KATIE: SHARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE DISEASE PRESSURE THAT YOU'RE SEEING, AND HOW IT'S BEING ADDRESSED?

KATELYN: WE ARE SEEING SOME BACTERIAL LEAF STREAK, AND BACTERIAL LEAF STREAK IN WHEAT AND BARLEY IS ONE OF THE MOST ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT DISEASES IN OUR AREA WITHIN THE PAST FIVE YEARS. WHY WE'RE SEEING IT THIS YEAR IS WITH SOME OF THE HIGH WINDS AND THE STORMS THAT WE'VE HAD, HAVE KIND OF CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWS SOME OF THESE PLANTS THAT ARE MAYBE A LITTLE BIT MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO IT TO BECOME INFECTED.

SHARE WITH US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SMALL GRAINS IN CROP ROTATION IN THIS AREA.

KATELYN: HAVING A SMALL GRAIN IN YOUR CROP ROTATION CAN BE BENEFICIAL FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. FOR ONE, IT'S A COOL SEASON GRASS, OR A COOL SEASON CROP, UNLIKE, YOU KNOW, OUR SOYBEANS AND OUR CORN WHICH ARE WARM SEASON. SO IT ALLOWS YOU TO GET A PLANT IN AT A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT TIME OF YEAR, AND THAT CAN HELP WITH EARLY SEASON WEED PRESSURE, IT CAN HELP WITH MANAGING DISEASES. IT'S ALSO NICE FOR JUST A COVER AND SOIL STRUCTURE AND BUILDING UP THE SOIL STRUCTURE WITH A LITTLE BIT MORE RESIDUE.

KATELYN LANDEIS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THE AGWEEK CEREALS CROPS TOUR.

ROBOTIC MILKING IS MEANT TO PROVIDE HELP FOR STRUGGLING DAIRY FARMERS, BUT THEY STILL FACE A LOT OF CHALLENGES. IT'S THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

Chad Schumacher: THE DAIRY INDUSTRY'S PRETTY GOOD RIGHT NOW, BUT WE'VE BEEN THROUGH SOME REALLY TOUGH TIMES.

CHAD SCHUMACHER'S DAD STARTED THIS SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA DAIRY OPERATION IN 1973. HE MILKED BY HAND IN AN OLD TIE-STYLE BARN FOR DECADES. BUT IN 2014, WHEN MILK PRICES WERE GOOD, THEY PUT TWO ROBOTS IN THEIR NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART DAIRY BARN.

Chad Schumacher: AND THEN DAD'S LIKE, YOU KNOW, MY BODY'S GIVING OUT, IT'S JUST HARDER AND HARDER TO DO ALL THIS.

THEY HAD 75 COWS, THEN ADDED 75 MORE TO MAKE THE ROBOTS PAY. BUT SOON AFTER, THE DAIRY MARKET STARTED TO STRUGGLE. THE GOOD NEWS IS, IT'S STARTED TO COME BACK UP RECENTLY. THE BAD NEWS IS, SO HAVE INPUT COSTS, ESPECIALLY FUEL AND FERTILIZER.

Chad Schumacher: WITH THE MARGIN OF ERROR BEING AS TIGHT AS THEY ARE RIGHT NOW, THAT IS REALLY TOUGH TO CASH FLOW. WE'RE KIND OF STUCK, // WE PAY RETAIL AND WE SELL FOR WHOLESALE. I MEAN, IT'S A TOUGH RACKET.

IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DECADES, THE NUMBER OF LICENSED AMERICAN DAIRY FARMS HAS DROPPED FROM ABOUT SIXTY THOUSAND TO THIRTY THOUSAND. RISING COSTS AND LABOR SHORTAGES HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE CONSOLIDATION. MINNESOTA DAIRY ECONOMIST MARIN BOZIC SAYS DAIRIES NEED TO GET BIGGER TO BE PROFITABLE, AND THAT MEANS EVEN MORE STREAMLINING, AND ROBOTIC SYSTEMS.

Marin Bozic: ROBOTICS WILL BE INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT GOING FORWARD AS LABOR MARKETS TIGHTEN, AS THE THE AVAILABILITY OF THE IMMIGRANT LABOR FORCE ALSO BECOMES, YOU KNOW, A RISING COST.

BOZIC WANTS TO SEE CHANGES IN THE 2023 FARM BILL, TO INSURE DAIRY PRODUCERS ARE PAID A FAIR PRICE. AND HE THINKS OTHER COUNTRIES STEPPING AWAY FROM DAIRY PRODUCTION WILL GIVE AMERICAN PRODUCERS MORE OPPORTUNITIES.

Marin Bozic: ALL I WANT IS FOR ALL DAIRY FARMERS IN THE U.S. TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT, YOU KNOW, VERY EXCITING NEXT DECADE.

YOU CAN READ MUCH MORE IN THE NEXT AGWEEK MAGAZINE, OR AT AGWEEK.COM .

UP NEXT ON AGWEEK TV, WE'LL VISIT A COUPLE OF THE FARMERS WE'RE FOLLOWING THIS SEASON, TO CHECK CROP PROGRESS, AFTER A SLOW START.

THE AGWEEK CEREALS CROP TOUR IS SPONSORED BY HEFTY SEED COMPANY OF WILTON AND HURDSFIELD, NORTH DAKOTA... CORTEVA AGRISCIENCE, AND MOSAIC

FORMER NORTH DAKOTA AG COMMISSIONER, NOTED FARM ATTORNEY AND AUTHOR, SARAH VOGEL, HAS QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS FARMLAND SALE.

TOM, BILL AND GREG CAMPBELL SOLD TWO THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND IN NORTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA FOR ABOUT THIRTEEN MILLION DOLLARS, TO A TRUST ASSOCIATED WITH BILLIONAIRE BILL GATES. VOGEL, WHO'S A FORMER ASSISTANT NORTH DAKOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL, HAS A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DEAL, AND WHETHER THE A-G'S OFFICE DID A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF IT.

VOGEL THINKS THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS REGISTERED A GENERAL PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SAME RED RIVER TRUST NAME IN AN EFFORT TO HIDE THE DEAL. SHE DOESN'T KNOW IF THE SALE VIOLATES THE STATE'S ANTI-CORPORATE FARMING LAW, BUT SHE REVIEWED THE DOCUMENTS, AND SAYS THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR ANY LAWYER IN HIS OFFICE SIGNED OFF ON THE SALE.

AND SHE SAYS THE FILE THE A-G'S OFFICE SHARED WITH HER LOOKS INCOMPLETE.

Sarah Vogel: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE DOES NOT HAVE A COPY OF THE RED RIVER TRUST, THAT SAYS THAT THE SOLE BENEFICIARY IS BILL GATES. AND IT STRIKES ME THAT THE ANTI-CORPORATE FARMING LAW IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH THAT IT DESERVES MORE THAN THE ATTENTION OF A PARALEGAL IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE SAYS ALTHOUGH THE CASE IS NOW INACTIVE, IT COULD BE REACTIVATED IF MORE INFORMATION SURFACES.

WE GET A LOOK AT A SOIL CONSERVATION PROJECT, AS WE CHECK IN WITH ONE OF THE FARMERS WE'RE FOLLOWING THIS SEASON.

VANCE JOHNSON OF BRECKENRIDGE, MINNESOTA HAS OFFERED UP A 60-ACRE FIELD

TO STUDY SOIL HEALTH AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES.

THE FIELD WAS THE SITE OF A FIELD DAY HELD BY THE WILKIN COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT THIS WEEK.

JOHNSON PLANTED SUGARBEETS IN A FIELD THAT HAD BEEN CORN LAST YEAR. ALTHOUGH THE BEETS GOT PLANTED IN LATE MAY, JOHNSON SAYS THEY'RE STARTING TO TAKE OFF. THE FIELD IS DIVIDED INTO CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE, NO TILL AND STRIP TILL. IN ADDITION, HALF THE FIELD HAS COVER CROPS. HE SAYS IT WAS AN INTERESTING TEST.

Vance Johnson: I GUESS I WAS SURPRISED AS FAR AS, NOW WE'RE TO ROW CLOSURE. WATCHING IT CLOSE ROWS, THE NO TILL AND THE STRIP TILL REALLY CLOSED A LOT FASTER THAN THE CONVENTIONAL DID, WHICH KIND OF SURPRISED ME. ONCE YOU GET ROW CLOSURE, THEN YOU START MAXIMIZING YOUR PHOTOSYNTHETIC CAPABILITIES OUT OF THE SUGARBEET WHICH IS WHAT IT NEEDS TO DO. YOU START GETTING CLOSE TO THAT HUNDRED PERCENT SUN CAPTURE.

THE POOR SPRING WEATHER FORCED JOHNSON TO TAKE PREVENTED PLANTING COVERAGE ON ACRES THAT HE HAD PLANNED FOR CORN.

IN NORTHWEST MINNESOTA NEAR OSLO, 22 YEAR OLD LILY BERGMAN IS

ANOTHER FARMER WE'RE FOLLOWING THIS GROWING SEASON.

WHEN WE FIRST MET HER IN MID-MAY, BERGMAN TOLD US HER DRIEST GROUND WASN'T YET READY TO PLANT. WHEN WE FOUND HER AGAIN THIS WEEK, SHE WAS REFILLING THE SPRAYER AND IN THE PROCESS OF SPRAYING PINTO BEANS.

SHE TOLD US, EVEN WITH THE LATE START, THERE WAS GOOD NEWS FOR HER FAMILY'S FIELDS.

LILY: WE GOT EVERY ACRE PLANTED WHICH IS SOMETHING WE WEREN'T SURE IF THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. I'D SAY EVERYTHING STILL LOOKS A LITTLE BEHIND, GIVEN THE DATE ON THE CALENDAR. USUALLY BY NOW WE SEE A LOT MORE GROWTH. THE BEETS HAVE CAUGHT UP TO THE SEASON, KIND OF, EVEN THOUGH WE PLANTED THEM LATE. BUT THE PINTO BEANS AND THE SOYBEANS AND THE WHEAT ARE SHOWING THE LATE PLANTING DATE

BERGMAN FINISHED SEEDING JUNE 7TH, BUT LATER DID REPLANT A FEW PINTOS AND BEETS, DUE TO WIND DAMAGE AND RAIN DROWN OUT.

SHE SAYS THE CROPS LOOK BETTER THAN EXPECTED, GIVEN THE COLD, WET SPRING.

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, FARMERS LEARN ABOUT MAKING SOME MONEY BY STORING CARBON IN THEIR LAND.

IT'S BEEN DECENT STRETCH OF WEATHER RECENTLY. BUT WILL SOME MOISTURE BE NEEDED SOON? HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

THE CARBON MARKET COULD OFFER FARMERS SOME EXTRA INCOME, BUT IT CAN BE VERY CONFUSING.

FARMERS LEARNED MORE ABOUT THE ON-AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN CARBON MARKET AT THE CULTIVATE AG TECH CONFERENCE IN FARGO. REMOVING C-O TWO FROM THE ATMOSPHERE THROUGH REGENERATIVE FARM PRACTICES IS THOUGHT TO HELP REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES. ONE OF THE NEWER, HIGH-PROFILE PLAYERS IN THAT INDUSTRY IS NORI, INC., A TECH COMPANY BASED IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. NORI IS WORKING TO CREATE A CARBON MARKET, AND SEQUESTERING AS MUCH CARBON AS POSSIBLE. NORI IS PAYING $20 PER TON OF CARBON SEQUESTERED, WHICH TRANSLATES TO ABOUT $10 AN ACRE PER YEAR. BUT NORI CEO PAUL GAMBILL SAYS THE MARKET IS STILL BEING DEVELOPED.

Paul Gambill: If I ask you today, like what is the price of corn or wheat, like we know where to go and look that up. We know what those reference prices are. If I ask you today, what is the price of carbon, every person you ask is going to give you a different answer, because we don't have a commodity reference price for carbon dioxide today. And that's really what Nori's purpose or mission is, to create that reference price.

COMPANY OFFICIALS SAY NORI HAS ALREADY TRANSACTED MORE THAN 100,000 TONS OF CO2, SINCE STARTING IN 2019, AND PAID OUT $1.5 MILLION TO FARMERS.

INFLATION IS CAUSING THE PRICE OF ALMOST EVERYTHING TO JUMP, INCLUDING GROCERIES.

THOSE RISING GROCERY BILLS COULD LEAD TO A FOOD INSECURITY ISSUE, ESPECIALLY FOR AT-RISK COMMUNITIES.

Megan Ditterick: Certainly anytime food prices go up, it impacts everyone. Sometimes our food insecure audiences are most impacted because they have less extra income for other things and food really does end up being a big part of their household budget

THE U.S. DOES HAVE PROGRAMS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM FOOD INSECURITY. HOWEVER, MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD ISN'T SO FORTUNATE.

Frayne Olson: Within the United States we have a very strong support system in the form of food assistance and the SNAP program to try to help support those that are lower income that are having trouble. On the international stage, a lot of other countries don't have that support system. And so, the U.N. in particular is most concerned about what's happening internationally.

UNIVERSITY EXTENSION PROGRAMS TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT SAVING MONEY ON GROCERIES. FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL OFFICE.

STILL AHEAD, WE'LL TAKE YOU TO A FORMER DAIRY FARM THAT'S ALL ABOUT BERRIES NOW.

NESTLED IN THE HEART OF MINNESOTA LAKE COUNTRY, YOU'LL FIND A FORMER DAIRY FARM THAT'S NOW A BERRY FARM.

OHE'S OUTPOST IS A FAMILY FARM NEAR ERHARD, MINNESOTA, THAT GROWS STRAWBERRIES. THE OHE'S GOT INTO THE BERRY BUSINESS AFTER DISPERSING THEIR DAIRY CATTLE HERD.

Landon Ohe: My parents wanted us kids to have a work ethic. So they decided on planting a bunch of strawberries, and we did about an acre the first year. We've been doing it for about 15 years now.

THE OHES ALSO SELL BEEF AND POULTRY OFF THEIR FARM DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLIC.

Marshall Ohe: More people are wanting to know where their food comes from these days. Here they can give us a call and just come out and see what we got going on and see how things are raised.

THE OHES ARE FIXING UP THE FARM'S ORIGINAL DAIRY BARN, WHERE THEY HOPE TO TURN IT INTO A STORE FOR THEIR PRODUCTS.

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

A RAMEN NOODLE FACTORY IS OPENING IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND WILL USE WHEAT GROWN IN THE AREA.

AND MINNESOTA'S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MADE ITS FIRST TRADE MISSION TO THE AFRICAN COUNTRY OF GHANA.

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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