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AgweekTV Full Show: WOTUS, Ellingson Simmentals, cybersecurity, Minnesota crops update

This week on AgweekTV, agriculture anticipates the worst as EPA rewrites the waters of the U.S. rule. We kick off our Agweek Livestock Tour at a well-known North Dakota Simmental operation. Agriculture tightens cybersecurity to protect the food supply. And farmers get updates on the latest agronomic research from the University of Minnesota.

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This week on AgweekTV, agriculture anticipates the worst as EPA rewrites the waters of the U.S. rule. We kick off our Agweek Livestock Tour at a well-known North Dakota Simmental operation. Agriculture tightens cybersecurity to protect the food supply. And farmers get updates on the latest agronomic research from the University of Minnesota.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I'M MICHELLE ROOK.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS REWRITING THE CONTROVERSIAL WATERS OF THE U.S. RULE. THEY RELEASED THEIR FIRST PROPOSAL IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON DECEMBER 7TH AND ARE CURRENTLY IN THE COMMENT PROCESS. HOWEVER, SOME FARM LEADERS BELIEVE INPUT WILL DO LITTLE TO CHANGE ITS DISASTROUS COURSE.

AGWEEK'S JEFF BEACH EXPLAINS IN THIS WEEK'S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONCERNS FOR AGRICULTURE IS WHAT'S "NOT" IN THE CURRENT PROPOSAL--

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SPECIFIC EXEMPTIONS FOR FARMERS THAT WERE IN PLACE UNDER PREVIOUS DEFINITIONS OF WATERS OF THE U.S. HOWEVER, EPA HAS LEFT THAT OUT.

VanderWal: The Navigable Waters Protection Rule was common sense, it was easy to understand. People didn't have to hire engineers and lawyers to figure out what parts of their farms or ranches were regulated by the federal government.

PAST DEFINITIONS CLEARLY SPELLED OUT AREAS, SUCH AS STOCK PONDS, THAT WERE NOT REGULATED.

VanderWal: To come down and try to regulate ephemeral waters and temporary streams that only run into things like stock dams when a heavy rain comes along, they should not be trying to regulate those.

THE CONCERN IS THE RULE COULD REPRESENT FEDERAL OVERREACH BY ELIMINATING SPECIFIC EXCLUSIONS FOR AG.

Kevin Deinert: We understand that sometimes they want to dictate every puddle on the farm but we also got to have real world expectations on what we can and cannot do and so hopefully they bear that in mind and hopefully come up with a decision that is very sensible.

THE COMMENT PERIOD ON THE STEP ONE PROPOSAL ENDS FEBRUARY 7TH, WITH A SECOND PROPOSAL TO FOLLOW.

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THANKS JEFF.

MANY FARM STATE LAWMAKERS HAVE PUBLICLY OPPOSED THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION'S POSITION ON WOTUS AND SAY THE AGENCY'S OVERALL REGULATORY AGENDA IS ALARMING.

SENATE AG COMMITTEE MEMBER JOHN THUNE OF SOUTH DAKOTA SAYS THE INTELLIGENCE HE'S RECEIVING ABOUT WOTUS 2.0 IS THAT IT COULD BE MORE EXPANSIVE AND BURDENSOME THAN THE OBAMA ERA-RULE, SO PRE-2015.

Sen. John Thune: The hints that we're getting from EPA is that this administrator is talking about it being even more aggressive than the deal that was struck back then and so that was bad enough.

THUNE SAYS IF EPA GOES THAT AGGRESSIVE, THEY WILL GET SERIOUS PUSH BACK FROM FARMERS AND RANCHERS.

And it seems like almost that the agenda that they're driving right now is animated by interests on the coasts and just are kind of without regard to how this is going to impact the middle of the country.

WOTUS IS ONE OF THE FEW POLICIES THAT THE ENTIRE AGRICULTURE COMMUNITY HAS UNIFIED TO OPPOSE.

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A STUDY COMMISSIONED BY STATE CORN GROWER GROUPS DETAILS THE REASONS FOR RECORD HIGH NITROGEN FERTILIZER PRICES.

RESEARCH FROM TEXAS A&M SHOWS SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS ARE INFLUENCING THE PRICE AND SUPPLY OF NITROGEN PRODUCTS BUT INDUSTRY CONCENTRATION IS ALSO IN QUESTION. THE REPORT ALSO WARNS THE THREAT OF 19-PERCENT TARIFFS ON UAN IMPORTS, FROM RUSSIA AND TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, COULD DRIVE THE PRICES EVEN HIGHER.

NORTH DAKOTA'S FIRST SOY PROCESSING PLANT IS ON TRACK TO OPEN NEAR JAMESTOWN BY FALL OF 2023.

ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND IS CONVERTING THE FORMER CARGILL MALT PLANT INTO THE GREEN BISON PLANT, AT THE SPIRITWOOD ENERGY PARK.

ADM SAYS THE PROJECT IS ON TIME AND ON BUDGET. IT WILL BE THE STATE'S FIRST DEDICATED SOYBEAN PROCESSING FACILITY, AND WILL PROCESS 150,000 BUSHELS OF SOYBEANS PER DAY INTO OIL, MEAL AND FIBER.

THE OIL WILL BE SENT TO THE MARATHON REFINERY IN DICKINSON, TO BE REFINED INTO RENEWABLE DIESEL. THE MEAL AND FIBER WILL BE FOR LIVESTOCK FEED.

GREEN BISON PLANS TO START BIDDING ON 2023 SOYBEANS BY THE END OF 2022.

SOME HIGH-PROFILE CYBER ATTACKS OF MAJOR AG COMPANIES HAS SECURITY EXPERTS CALLING FOR TIGHTER MEASURES.

RANSOM PAYMENTS TO HACKERS CAN COST A COMPANY MILLIONS, IN ORDER TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS. BUT ONE CYBER SECURITY EXPERT SAYS PREVENTION DOESN'T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE. WADE ACHESON SAYS YOU CAN BETTER PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FOR AS LITTLE AS 2 DOLLARS PER EMPLOYEE PER MONTH.

Wade Acheson: Unfortunately it's been highly publicized. So they know and the

companies have paid. So now they've paid, they've set the standard. So the best thing you can do now is put in best practices. Invest in making sure your business does not have that happen to them. I think most people would be surprised at the minimal investment it takes to help protect your business.

CYBER SECURITY WAS ONE OF THE TOPICS AT THE NORTH DAKOTA GRAIN DEALERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING THIS WEEK IN FARGO.

A NORTH DAKOTA FARM HAS FILED A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST JOHN DEERE, THE LARGEST FARM EQUIPMENT MAKER IN THE U.S.

THE LAWSUIT, FILED BY FOREST RIVER FARMS OF NORTH DAKOTA, ALLEGES JOHN DEERE HAS MONOPOLIZED THE REPAIR SERVICE MARKET FOR ITS AG EQUIPMENT BY PURPOSEFULLY WITHHOLDING SOFTWARE TOOLS NEEDED TO REPAIR ITS PRODUCTS.

FOREST RIVER FARMS OWNER ROBERT BLAIR IS SEEKING DAMAGES FOR FARMERS WHO, STARTING JANUARY 12TH OF 2018, HAVE PAID FOR REPAIRS FROM DEERE DEALERS,

THEY'VE ASKED FOR A JURY TRIAL AND WANT THE COURT TO ORDER JOHN DEERE TO MAKE THE NECESSARY SOFTWARE AVAILABLE TO FARMERS AND REPAIR SHOPS.

FOLLOW AGWEEK IN COMING WEEKS FOR MORE ON THIS DEVELOPING STORY.

UP NEXT ON AGWEEK TV, WE KICK OFF OUR ANNUAL LIVESTOCK TOUR, WITH A VISIT TO A LEADING SIMMENTAL BREEDER.

THE AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR IS SPONSORED BY 701x AND FARMERS MUTUAL OF NEBRASKA

ONE OF THE REGION'S PREMIER, AND EARLIEST, CATTLE SALES IS COMING UP NEXT WEEK.

ELLINGSON SIMMENTALS HAS BEEN HOLDING ANNUAL AUCTIONS FOR ABOUT TWENTY YEARS. WE START OUR ANNUAL AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR IN NORTHEAST NORTH DAKOTA.

Terry Ellingson: IT SHOULD BE ANOTHER INTERESTING SET OF CALVES.

TERRY ELLINGSON HAS BEEN INTERESTED IN CATTLE BREEDING SINCE HE WAS STUDYING ANIMAL SCIENCE IN THE 1970'S. HE'S BEEN WORKING TO IMPROVE GENETICS, AND NOW HAS THE UNIQUE TRAITS THAT BULL BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR.

Terry Ellingson: YOU HAVE TO DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. YOU REALLY STUDY THE PEDIGREES OF WHAT'S OUT THERE.

ELLINGSON SAYS THEY BREED TO CALVE IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, SO THE CATTLE ARE WINTER HARDY. IT ALSO MAKES FOR AN EARLIER AUCTION. THE RANCH WILL AUCTION 59 BULLS, 26 OPEN HEIFERS AND FOUR BRED COWS AT THE SALE. THE ELLINGSONS SOLD THEIR CATTLE PRIVATELY UNTIL 2000, WHEN THEY STARTED HOSTING AUCTIONS. ELLLINGSON SAYS THE INTERNET HAS GIVEN THEIR BUSINESS A REAL BOOST. THEY HAVE ONLINE BIDDERS FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, AND BUYERS CAN GET DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE CATTLE AHEAD OF THE AUCTION.

Terry Ellingson: SO WE DO ULTRASOUNDING, SEMEN TESTING, WE HAVE TO GET ALL THE WEIGHTS IN FOR ADJUSTED WEANING YEARLING, HIP HEIGHTS WE HAVE TO HAVE ALL THAT DATA ON THE INTERNET SO THEY HAVE THIS INFORMATION.

ELLINGSON SAYS THE GOAL OF THE SEED STOCK PRODUCER IS TO ALWAYS BE FINDING THE NEXT DESIRED TRAIT.

Terry Ellingson: YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO TRY TO BE ABOUT TWO YEARS AHEAD OF YOUR BULL CUSTOMERS BECAUSE THEY NEED NEW GENETICS, AND IF WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR THOSE NEW GENETICS AND TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THEM WHY, THEY'LL FIND IT SOMEWHERE ELSE.

IT'S A CHALLENGE. I MEAN, YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW IF YOU'RE GOING DOWN THE RIGHT ROAD OR NOT, BUT THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING.

THE 22ND ELLINGSON SIMMENTALS PERFORMANCE BULL AND FEMALE SALE WILL BE HELD AT THE ELLINGSON RANCH NEAR DAHLEN ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 28TH. THEY EXPECT ABOUT 100 BUYERS AT THE AUCTION, AND SEVERAL HUNDRED MORE WATCHING ONLINE.

WITH A FAIRLY MILD WINTER IN MOST OF THE REGION BEEF FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN GOOD, BUT IT'S NEEDED TO COMPENSATE FOR THE HIGH COST OF GAIN.

SDSU EXTENSION FEEDLOT SPECIALIST WARREN RUSCHE SAYS HIGHER CORN AND DDG PRICES, PLUS HIGHER FEEDER CATTLE VALUES THIS FALL AND WINTER, ARE DRIVING UP THE COST OF PRODUCTION. HE SAYS THAT WILL SQUEEZE MARGINS GOING FORWARD.

Rusche: Cost of gain you is really, you know, corn is the driver and the rest sort of follow. So we're going to be looking at increased cost of gains. The bigger concern then is going to be can we manage the buy sell margin to make those values work?

RUSCHE SAYS RATES OF GAIN HAVE BEEN GOOD EVEN WITH THE FLUCTUATING TEMPERATURES AND HE SAYS CONSISTENT FEED DELIVERY IS THE KEY TO KEEPING THAT TREND GOING.

HE SAYS FROM AN ANIMAL HEALTH STANDPOINT, THE BIGGEST KEY TO FEEDLOT PERFORMANCE IN THE WINTER IS THE CONDITION OF THE PENS AND PREVENTING EXCESSIVE MUD.

CROP PROTECTION PRODUCTS MAY BE FINDING THEIR WAY TO HOME GARDENS, AND THAT CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR FARMERS AND GARDENERS.

BY-PRODUCTS OF AGRICULTURE, LIKE STRAW BALES, COMPOST AND MANURE, ARE OFTEN USED BY GARDENERS, BUT THEY CAN CONTAIN HIGH LEVELS OF FARM CHEMICALS. THAT CAN DAMAGE LAWNS AND GARDENS.

THE ANNUAL "WILD WORLD OF WEEDS" CONFERENCE IN FARGO FOCUSED ON THE RESPONSIBLE USE OF HERBICIDES AND PESTICIDES, SO AG RESIDUE DOESN'T END UP IN URBAN GARDENS.

Bridgette Readel: TODAY IS ABOUT EDUCATION, AND MAKING SURE THAT FOLKS ARE READING THE LABELS, AND USING PESTICIDES ACCURATELY. BECAUSE IF WE DON'T, WE'LL GET OURSELVES INTO TROUBLE AS AN INDUSTRY, DOWN THE ROAD WITH THE EPA.

READEL SAYS ANOTHER PROBLEM SHE'D LIKE TO STOP IS HOME GARDENERS THINKING THEY CAN USE AG CHEMICALS OFF-LABEL ON THEIR LAWNS AND GARDENS. AND SHE EMPHASIZES ALL USERS MUST STRICTLY FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS.

COMING UP, WE'LL MEET A NORTH DAKOTA STUDENT RECOGNIZED FOR HER IMPORTANT SOYBEAN RESEARCH.

AND WE'LL TAKE YOU TO WINTER CROPS DAY IN SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA.

A SERIES OF CLIPPER SYSTEMS CREATED ANOTHER WEEK OF ROLLER COASTER TEMPERATURES, WILL THE RIDE CONTINUE INTO FEBRUARY?

HERE'S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

CONCERNS ABOUT A PRODUCTION ISSUE IN HER DAD'S SOYBEAN FIELD HAS LED TO A PRESTIGIOUS SCHOLARSHIP FOR A NORTH DAKOTA STUDENT.

EMILY BEAL JOINS US NOW WITH MORE.

Emily: EMMA KRATCHA WAS RIDING IN THE FIELD WITH HER DAD A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN SHE NOTICED SOME PATCHES THAT WEREN'T PRODUCING AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE FIELD. THAT INSPIRED HER RESEARCH, WHICH HAS NOW LED HER TO BE A REGENERON SCHOLAR.

Emma Kratcha: I GREW UP IN A FARMING FAMILY, SO I'VE BEEN AROUND AGRICULTURE AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER.

EMMA KRATCHA IS A SENIOR AT HANKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA HIGH SCHOOL. ONE DAY IN SCHOOL SHE CHECKED HER EMAIL, AND GOT THE NEWS FROM REGENERON, NAMING HER A SCHOLAR.

Emma Kratcha: I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED AND SUPER EXCITED.

IN HER RESEARCH, EMMA TESTED HOW PRAIRIE SOILS IMPACT THE MICROBIOLOGICAL HEALTH IN A VARIETY OF SOILS.

I'm proposing that farmers let their unprofitable, exhausted cropland grow back into prairie, to increase in organic matter and microorganism populations, to have its microbially rich topsoil periodically harvested and applied to struggling cropland.

Emma Kratcha: I HAD DONE RESEARCH WITH SOIL MICROORGANISMS IN THE PAST, SO I WAS LIKE, WELL WHAT IF YOU COULD TURN IT INTO KIND OF A PLOT FOR MICROORGANISMS TO DEVELOP, AND TO HARVEST THOSE MICROORGANISMS OFF. SO YOU'RE STILL GETTING A BENEFIT FROM THAT PIECE OF LAND, AS OPPOSED TO SOME YEARS WHEN IT'S UNPROFITABLE.

EMMA SAYS SHE, AND HER DAD, ARE GRATEFUL FOR THAT COMBINE RIDE THAT LED TO HER RESEARCH, AND HOPE IT BENEFITS OTHER FARMERS IN THE FUTURE.

Emma Kratcha:THIS IS SOMETHING THAT COULD BE USED IN AGRICULTURE TO MAKE SOME OF THOSE PIECES OF LAND USABLE AGAIN WHILE HELPING THE OTHER CROPLAND BE MORE SUSTAINABLE.

My hope is that the application of prairie soil would act as a biological seed for struggling cropland to increase in microorganism populations.

EMMA SAYS SHE'S ALWAYS LOVED SCIENCE, AND PLANS TO CONTINUE HER RESEARCH WHEN SHE GOES TO COLLEGE NEXT YEAR, MAJORING IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE.

Emma Kratcha: I AM INTERESTED BY SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS, AND THIS ONE ONE THAT'S REALLY HIGH UP THERE.

In conclusion, soil farms show considerable potential for increasing the biological activity of cropland soil.

THREE HUNDRED STUDENTS NATIONWIDE ARE RECOGNIZED AS REGENERON SCHOLARS. FOR BEING HONORED, EMMA RECEIVED A TWO THOUSAND DOLLAR SCHOLARSHIP.

HER SCHOOL ALSO RECEIVED TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS TO SPEND ON STEM.

THANKS EMILY.

THE LAST GROWING SEASON WAS A CHALLENGING ONE FOR MANY FARMERS. BUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA'S SOUTHERN RESEARCH AND OUTREACH CENTER FOUND SOME BRIGHT SPOTS AS WELL.

Tom Hoverstad: THE 2021 PLANTING SEASON GAVE US A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE SOME THINGS I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT WAS VERY DRY.

AND U OF MINNESOTA SCIENTIST TOM HOVERSTAD SAYS THE 2021 PLANTING SEASON GAVE THEM LOTS TO LEARN FROM. THIS YEAR THEIR FOCUS WAS ON HERBICIDE DRIFT AND LATE CORN PLANTING TRIALS.

Tom Hoverstad: WHAT WE SAW THIS YEAR IS THE EARLY PLANTED CORN TOOK A LONG TIME TO COME UP AND SOME PLANTS DIDN'T COME UP FOR AT LEAST A MONTH. SO IT GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN ABOUT THOSE LATE EMERGERS AND WHAT THEY DO.

HOVERSTAD SAYS THOSE LATE EMERGING CORN SEEDS YIELDED ABOUT SIXTY PERCENT OF WHAT THE EARLY VARIETIES DID.

Fabian: We have more potential for nitrogen loss.

FABIAN FERNANDEZ IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SOIL, WATER AND CLIMATE. CHANGES LIKE WETTER SPRINGS AND WARMER WINTER TEMPERATURES CREATE CHALLENGES FOR MANAGING NITROGEN.

Fabian Fernandez: THE RESEARCH THAT WE ARE DOING IS LOOKING AT THAT, AND TRYING TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE DOING THE BEST POSSIBLE JOB WITH WHAT WE HAVE, IN TERMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE, IN TERMS OF THE TOOLS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO FARMERS.

Tom Hoverstad: I'VE BEEN HERE FORTY YEARS, AND EVERY YEAR I SAY I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT BEFORE. SO EVERY YEAR, IN AGRICULTURE, ESPECIALLY IN CROP FARMING, EVERY YEAR IS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.

THE RESEARCH CENTER WILL HOLD ANOTHER CROPS DAY IN THE SUMMER.

STILL AHEAD, A MINNESOTA FARMER WILL SOON LEAD A NATIONAL AG GROUP.

AN EAST GRAND FORKS, MINNESOTA FARMER HAS BEEN ELECTED CHAIR OF THE U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES.

RHONDA LARSON HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN HER FAMILY'S FARM FOR NEARLY THIRTY YEARS. LARSON FARMS WITH HER TWO BROTHERS AND HER SON. THEY GROW WHEAT AND SUGAR BEETS. LARSON HAS BEEN A BOARD MEMBER OF THE MINNESOTA WHEAT RESEARCH AND PROMOTION COUNCIL FOR SEVERAL YEARS SERVING AS CHAIR FROM 2010 to 2012. LARSON HAS A LAW DEGREE FROM UND. SHE TAKES THE POST IN JUNE.

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

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA HAS UNVEILED A PROGRAM THAT SUPPLIES RESEARCH-BASED INFORMATION TO HELP OPTIMIZE CROP MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR 2022.

AND WOLF CARBON SOLUTIONS IS WORKING WITH ADM ON A CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION PIPELINE FROM IOWA TO ILLINOIS, ADDING TO THE LIST OF OTHER PLANNED MIDWEST CARBON PIPELINES.

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

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

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