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AgweekTV Full Show: Biden administration, agricultural transportation, manure composting, Minnesota legislature – AG Week


COMING UP ON AGWEEK TV

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES AT ASSEMBLE ITS AG TEAM IN WASHINGTON.

CONCERNS ARISE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURAL TRANSPORTATION WITH THE POLITICS OF OIL PIPELINES.

LIVESTOCK MANURE IS CHANGING FROM A WASTE PRODUCT TO A VALUABLE COMMODITY,

AND THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS AN E-15 MANDATE.

WELCOME TO AGWEEK TV, I’M MICHELLE ROOK.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CONTINUED CONFIRMATION HEARINGS THIS WEEK AND ASSEMBLING THEIR AG TEAM.

ON TUESDAY, THE SENATE CONFIRMED FORMER IOWA GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK AS AG SECRETARY FOR A SECOND TIME BY A VOTE OF 92 TO 7.

ON THURSDAY, THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARD FROM U.S. TRADE u0009u0009REPRESENTATIVE NOMINEE KATHERINE TAI.

AND USDA’S NEW DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY FOR FARM PRODUCTION AND CONSERVATION WAS NAMED. ITS ARIZONA’S GLORIA MONTANO GREEN.

SPEAKING OF APPOINTMENTS, A SOUTH DAKOTAN IS MAKING HISTORY AS THE FIRST NATIVE AMERICAN TO BE NAMED FARM SERVICE AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR.

ZACH DUCHENEAUX AND HIS FAMILY RUN DX RANCH ON THE CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX RESERVATION. HE WAS SERVING AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERTRIBAL AGRICULTURE COUNCIL WHERE HE USED AGRICULTURE AS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOL IN INDIAN COUNTRY. HE SAYS THAT WILL TRANSITION WELL INTO HIS ROLE AS HEAD OF FSA.

Zach Ducheneaux: What Indian Country has been doing in agriculture holds a lot of promise for solution building and knocking down barriers. And I’m very excited for the opportunity to do it within the Farm Service Agency.

DUCHENEAUX ALSO WORKED TO RESHAPE AG FINANCE IN INDIAN COUNTRY AND WANTS TO MAKE FSA GUARANTEED LOANS AND OTHER PROGRAMS MORE TARGETED AND EFFECTIVE FOR FARMERS.

Zach: And it’s always about the commitment to the farmers. I think there’s a great opportunity there to change it to what can we do instead of what’s the bare minimum we have to do.

HE ADDITIONALLY WANTS TO POSITION AGRICULTURE TO WIN IN THE ADMINISTRATION’S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN.

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S HALTING OF THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE PROJECT AND A MURKY FUTURE FOR THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE HAS INCREASED THE CONCERN ABOUT THE ABILITY TO TRANSPORT AGRICULTURAL GOODS AND ENERGY.

EXPERTS ON THE NORTHERN CORN AND SOYBEAN EXPO’S TRANSPORTATION PANEL SAY THEY CAN HANDLE THE ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC, ESPECIALLY WITH THE INVESTMENTS MADE IN RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE AFTER THE CRISIS IN 2013 AND 14.

Angela Caddell: Yes, I’m absolutely confident in our ability to handle that additional volume across our northern corridor. We’ve invested $5.4 billion over that northern corridor and $1.3 billion was used for expansion projects.

THE ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE PIPELINE HAS ALREADY PROVEN ITSELF AS IT HAS BEEN EFFICIENTLY HANDLING THE ROBUST CHINA EXPORT DEMAND THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, INCLUDING RECORD U.S. SOYBEAN SALES TO CHINA, MUCH OF WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN SHIPPED OUT OF THE PNW.

Kristin Meira: I haven’t heard of any issues with regard to turning over ships and getting them in and out of the lower Columbia River quickly.

Angela: We set volume records especially to the PNW as well as on the aggregate in the fourth quarter.

INCREASED EXPORT BUSINESS ALSO HELPED THE TRANSPORTATION OUTLETS RECOVER FROM LOW VOLUME EARLIER IN 2020 TIED TO THE PANDEMIC.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION’S CHANGES IN ENERGY AND CLIMATE POLICY HAVE MAJOR IMPLICATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE ACCORDING TO SOUTH DAKOTA SENATOR JOHN THUNE.

THE HEAD OF THE SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE SAYS HE’S CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE PIPELINES AND THE NEGATIVE IMPACT THAT COULD HAVE ON THE AG TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM. HE SAYS THEY WANT TO AVOID ANOTHER CRISIS LIKE 2013-14, WHICH CRIPPLED MOVEMENT OF AG PRODUCTS TO MARKET AND DEPRESSED GRAIN PRICES.

Sen. John Thune: I do think that’s the risk you run and I was disappointed that was one of President Biden’s first moves. I think the pipelines have been proven over time to be much more safe, reliable than putting it on a railcar or loading it up in a, you know, tanker truck or whatever.

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AS FAR AS CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY, THUNE SAYS ITS POSSIBLE FOR AGRICULTURE TO PROFIT FROM A CARBON CREDIT MARKET FOR THINGS THEY ARE ALREADY DOING TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL. HE HAS TALKED TO FARM GROUPS AND HAS ADVISED THEM TO WORK TOGETHER TO GET WHAT THEY WANT AND DESERVE OUT OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE AGENDA.

THE EPA ANNOUNCED THEY WILL FOLLOW THE 10TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULING FROM JANUARY 2020 ON RFS SMALL REFINERY EXEMPTIONS.

EPA’S NEW LEADERSHIP AGREES WITH THE COURT AND BIOFUELS LITIGANTS THAT WAIVERS WERE MEANT TO BE TEMPORARY AND ONLY PRE-EXISTING EXEMPTIONS MAY BE EXTENDED BY THE AGENCY. THIS MAY MEAN LESS SRE’S IN THE FUTURE.

VARIOUS AGRICULTURAL ISSUES ARE HEATING UP IN THE NORTH DAKOTA LEGISLATURE.

A BONDING BILL HIT THE HOUSE FLOOR THIS WEEK. THE SIZE WAS CUT TO $680 MILLION, INCLUDING FUNDING FOR THE NDSU AG PRODUCTS DEVELOPMENT CENTER. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE MONEY FOR COUNTY ROADS AND BRIDGES, OTHER REVENUE STREAMS ARE BEING LOOKED AT, INCLUDING A GAS TAX INCREASE.

MEANWHILE, A SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE REJECTED A 15% REDUCTION FOR NDSU EXTENSION AND RESEARCH.

IN MINNESOTA, A BILL HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO SHIFT THE STATE’S FUEL STANDARD TO E15 BY JULY 2022.

A SIMILAR BILL WAS HEARD LAST YEAR, BUT THIS ONE CONTAINS INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATES TO HELP SMALLER LOCATIONS COMPLY. NEW FUELS STATIONS HAVE COMPATIBLE EQUIPMENT FOR E15. THOSE SELLING LESS THAN 300,000 GALLONS WOULD BE EXEMPT.

LEGISLATION IS ALSO BEING CONSIDERED CALLING FOR $5.5 MILLION IN GRANTS AND DIRECT PAYMENTS TO FARMERS FOR SOIL HEALTH PRACTICES.

STILL AHEAD ON OUR AGWEEK COVER STORY

Mikkel Pates: SOME FARMERS ARE TAKING A PROACTIVE STANCE ON SOME OF THE CARBON AND NITROGEN ISSUES FACING THE COUNTRY.

THE AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR IS SPONSORED BY TRANS OVA AND STOCKMENS LIVESTOCK EXCHANGE.

ON THIS WEEK’S AGWEEK LIVESTOCK TOUR STOP, NOAH FISH VISITS WITH AN ANGUS OPERATION ON THE MINNESOTA-IOWA BORDER THAT’S 8 GENERATIONS AND MORE THAN A CENTURY OLD.

Noah Fish: Thanks Michelle. I’m here with Chris Miller and Larry Miller with Miller’s Viewlawn Angus in Mabel, Minnesota. and so what do you guys sell?

Chris Miller: WE DO PRIVATE SALES OF YEARLING BULLS, YEARLING HEIFERS AND TWO YEAR OLD BULLS THIS YEAR. IN ADDITION TO THAT IN THE FALL WE ALSO SELL BRED FEMALES AND BRED HEIFERS.

CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CALVING?

Larry Miller: WE’LL START ABOUT THE FIRST OF APRIL WITH CALVING AND WE’LL CALVE OUT ABOUT 250 COWS.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AT MILLER’S VIEWLAWN ANGUS?

Larry Miller: IT’S OUR HERITAGE. WE’VE BEEN AT THIS A LONG TIME, SOME OF THE LAND HAS BEEN IN THE FAMILY 153 YEARS NOW. AND WE’VE HAD A TOTALLY REGISTERED ANGUS HERD SINCE 1903 THAT WAS STARTED BY MY GREAT GRANDPA. AND WITH OUR SEVEN GRANDSONS AROUND RIGHT NOW, THEY REPRESENT THE EIGHTH GENERATION OF MILLERS AROUND HERE.

AND DO YOU WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT IT’S LIKE TO OPERATE ON THE BORDER?

Chris Miller: IT’S INTERESTING BEING ON THE BORDER. WE’RE STANDING APPROXIMATELY FIFTY FEET FROM THE IOWA BORDER RIGHT NOW. BUT IT HAS ITS CHALLENGES AT TIMES. DIFFERENTIATION IN TAXES AND LAWS AND WORKMAN’S COMP. I GUESS FOR A PERSON THAT’S NEVER BEEN USED TO IT IT’D PROBABLY BE A BIG PAIN BUT WE GET USED TO IT. IT GIVES US FLEXIBILITY ALSO WITH OUR CATTLE, AND OUR SHIPPING REQUIREMENTS, HEALTH REQUIREMENTS. BUT SOME YEARS IT CAN BE A LITTLE BIT OF A BATTLE TOO WITH THAT IN REGARD, SO.

Noah: Sounds good, so this is Chris and Larry Miller, and I’m Noah Fish with Agweek in Mabel, Minnesota.

A CUSTOM CATTLE FEEDER ON THE SOUTH DAKOTA-MINNESOTA BORDER IS FAST BECOMING AN INNOVATOR IN TURNING BEDDED PACK MANURE INTO A VALUABLE SOIL ADDITIVE. MIKKEL PATES HAS MORE ON HUMUS COMPOST IN THIS WEEK’S AGWEEK COVER STORY.

Chad Olsen: TO MAKE THIS PLACE PROFITABLE WE HAD TO USE THE MANURE.

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CHAD OLSEN OWNS A 3500- HEAD BEEF FEEDLOT NEAR THE SOUTH DAKOTA-MINNESOTA BORDER. HE HAS LOTS OF MANURE, MORE THAN HE CAN PRACTICALLY APPLY ON HIS OWN ACRES AS FERTILIZER IN ITS RAW FORM. OLSEN’S AGRONOMIST, KURT DAGEL, URGED HIM TO INVEST IN A HUMUS COMPOSTING ENTERPRISE, TO MAKE BETTER USE OF THE VOLUME PRODUCED IN THE OPERATION. USING MANURE AS FERTILIZER SAVES MONEY, BUT IT’S ALSO CARBON FRIENDLY AND DENSIFIES NUTRIENTS FOR GROWING CROPS.

Kurt Dagel: THAT’S THE BYPRODUCT OF ANY FEEDING OPERATION, IS YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE MANURE, AND A LOT OF TIMES IT’S AN ISSUE, BUT WE WANTED TO CAPITALIZE ON THAT IT’S AN ASSET. SO COMPOSTING WAS A TRIED AND TRUE PROVEN WAY TO DENSIFY NUTRIENTS AND THEN YOU CAN GET THEM IN A TRANSPORTABLE FORM.

OLSEN SPENT A TOTAL OF ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS ON THE 14-ACRE COMPOSTING SYSTEM — INCLUDING SITE PREPARATION, SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING. THE PROCESS DRIES AND COMPOSTS MANURE, AND IT TURNS IT INTO A SOIL ADDITIVE THAT’S EASIER TO TRANSPORT AND APPLY TO CROP LAND.

Chad Olsen: WE’RE REALLY HOPING TO SEE NOT ONLY MORE EFFICIENCY OUT OF OUR MANURE, BUT YIELD BUMPS ON THE BACK END OFF OF OUR CORN CROP.

ANOTHER OLSEN AGRONOMIST, TRENT JOHNSON, SAYS THAT AS THEY GEAR UP, THEY’LL LIKELY PRODUCE MORE THAN THEY CAN USE ON THEIR OWN ACRES SO THEY’RE ALREADY PLANNING TO SELL IT TO OTHER FARMS OR IN LANDSCAPING MARKETS.

Trent Johnson: WE WANT TO SEE THE BENEFITS ON OUR FARM AS WELL, WE’RE NOT JUST TRYING TO SELL A PRODUCT, WE WANT TO SEE GOOD USE OUT OF IT AS WELL.

SO IN 2021, A NEW COMPOST ENTERPRISE.

Chad Olsen: I THINK IT’S ALREADY A WINNER.

FOR AGWEEK, THIS IS MIKKEL PATES AT TORONTO, SOUTH DAKOTA.

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

AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, WE’LL TELL YOU HOW YOU CAN BRING BACK UNPRODUCTIVE SALINE SOILS.

THE WEATHER MODERATED THIS WEEK WHICH HAS BEEN WELCOMED BY FARMERS AND LIVESTOCK, BUT IT STILL LOOKS PRETTY DRY. WILL THAT CONTINUE?

HERE’S JOHN WITH OUR AGRI-WEATHER OUTLOOK.

IT’S TIME TO BE THINKING ABOUT SPRING PLANTING, BUT IT’S ALSO THE PERFECT TIME TO WORK ON IMPROVING YOUR UNPRODUCTIVE LAND.

SALINITY CAN LEAVE PARTS OF A FIELD BARREN, BUT NOW THERE’S A SOLUTION THAT CAN BRING THAT LAND BACK TO PRODUCTIVITY.

ROSE DUNN EXPLAINS HOW CALCINE IMPROVES THE SOIL.

Tom Vander Heiden: WE GOT WHEAT TO GROW WHERE NOTHING HAD

GROWN IN THESE AREAS BASICALLY FOR YEARS.

TOM VANDER HEIDEN LOVES TO SHARE THE STORY OF CALCINE WITH GROWERS, AND HOW IT CAN BRING DEAD SPOTS ON THEIR FARMS BACK TO LIFE, BY REMOVING SALTS IN THE SOIL’S UPPER LAYERS. HE’S AN AGRONOMIST WHO’S NOW THE AG SALES DIRECTOR OF CALCINE DISTRIBUTOR S.T. BIOLOGICALS.

Tom Vander Heiden: SO THAT WAS ONE TREATMENT IN THE SPRING AND WE STARED GROWING WHEAT THAT SAME YEAR.

SALT PUSHES THE OTHER NUTRIENTS OFF OF THE SOIL COLLOIDS. THAT LEAVES THE LAND UNPRODUCTIVE, AND COSTS GROWERS MONEY. LAND CAN BECOME TOO SALINE FROM DRY CONDITIONS, IRRIGATION, OR A NUMBER OF OTHER FACTORS. BUT CALCINE CAN HELP SOLVE THAT. IT PUTS CALCIUM TO WORK LEACHING SALT BELOW THE ROOT ZONE AND OUT OF YOUR FIELD, NATURALLY.

Tom Vander Heiden: IT USES PROTEIN, SUGARS, NATURAL SURFACTANTS. IT BASICALLY MIMICS THE ROOT EXUDATES THE PLANT GIVES OFF.

AN ARIZONA-BASED COMPANY DEVELOPED THE TECHNOLOGY TO TAKE SALTS OUT OF THE SOIL AT GOLF COURSES. BUT SOON IT WAS PUT TO USE ON UNPRODUCTIVE FARMLAND. IT’S ESPECIALLY A PROBLEM IN THE UPPER MIDWEST.

Tom Vander Heiden: SOME OF IT IS FROM WAY BACK, WHEN THE GLACIERS CAME THROUGH AND LEFT SALTS, AND SOME OF IT’S BECAUSE OF THE ADDITIONAL SALTS THAT HAVE BEEN ADDED THROUGH FERTILIZERS THROUGH THE LAST FIFTY YEARS.

CALCINE IS A SPRAY-ON PRODUCT, AND CAN BE USED FOR ALL UNPRODUCTIVE

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SOILS, WHETHER SODIC OR SALINE. IT CAN TAKE TWO OR THREE GROWING

SEASONS TO SEE FULL RESULTS, BUT GROWERS OFTEN SEE RESULTS AFTER THE FIRST TREATMENT. RECENTLY ON A NEARBY FARMSTEAD, TOM WORKED CLOSELY WITH A GROWER WHO FOR A LONG TIME HADN’T BEEN ABLE TO GROW ANYTHING ON A TEN ACRE STRIP OF LAND.

Tom Vander Heiden: ON THAT TEN ACRES, WE GOT A LITTLE OVER 100 TONS OF BEETS OFF OF THOSE TEN ACRES. NOT A FULL CROP, BUT NOTHING HAD GROWN THERE FOR ALMOST TWENTY YEARS, OK. SO GETTING TEN TONS OF BEETS PER ACRE GAVE THEM A NICE PAYBACK.

COSTS FOR THE CALCINE TREATMENT VARY, FROM ABOUT 80 TO 125 DOLLARS AN ACRE OVER A 3 YEAR PERIOD. A FAIRLY SMALL PRICE TO PAY TO RECOVER

ABANDONED ACRES, COMPARED TO THE COST OF BUYING MORE LAND.

Tom Vander Heiden: IF IT’S 125 DOLLARS, AND THE GROUND SELLS FOR 25 HUNDRED DOLLARS, IF WE CAN RECOVER IT, WE GET A TWENTY TO ONE RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

AND THAT DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE VALUE OF THE CROPS. VANDER HEIDEN SAYS ANOTHER ADDED BENEFIT, IMPROVING SOIL HEALTH WILL ALSO BRING DOWN INPUTS, LIKE LOWER FERTILIZER COSTS.

Tom Vander Heiden: TO REDUCE SOME OF THE INPUTS, AND BE ABLE TO STILL GET A HIGH PRODUCTIVE YIELD AND GET THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT BACK TO THE PRODUCER, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT’S CRITICALLY IMPORTANT.

IN HILLSBORO, NORTH DAKOTA, THIS IS ROSE DUNN FOR AGWEEK.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CALCINE, CONTACT JIM ERICKSON AT E.C.O., AT THE PHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL ON YOUR SCREEN.

STILL AHEAD ON AGWEEK TV, HOW TWO FFA CHAPTERS A THOUSAND MILES APART ARE FORMING A BOND.

IT’S NATIONAL FFA WEEK, AND A TIME TO CELEBRATE THE IMPORTANCE OF AG EDUCATION.

TWO FFA CHAPTERS IN MINNESOTA AND OHIO HAVE FORMED A BOND, BY VISITING EACH OTHER’S CITIES, AND LEARNING ABOUT AGRICULTURE IN OTHER AREAS.

AS EMILY BEAL REPORTS, THEY HOPE TO KEEP IT UP, AFTER THE PANDEMIC.

THESE SLEEPY EYE, MINNESOTA FFA STUDENTS ARE LEARNING A LOT ABOUT AG IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA. BUT THEY’RE ALSO LEARNING ABOUT AG ONE THOUSAND MILES AWAY, THANKS TO AN EXCHANGE TRIP TO OHIO SET UP BY THEIR TEACHER.

Morgan Hoffmann: IT WAS A REALLY FUN EXPERIENCE TO GO SEE AND MEET THE OTHER CHAPTER. AND WE GOT TO VISIT PLACES AROUND THERE AND SEE HOW THEIR AGRICULTURE DOES EVERYTHING.

SLEEPY EYE AG TEACHER AND FFA ADVISER MARY HOFFMAN MET HER CASSTOWN, OHIO COUNTERPART ON AN FFA TRIP A FEW YEARS AGO. THEY HIT IT OFF, AND WANTED THEIR STUDENTS TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO MEET AS WELL. SO SHE STARTED PLANNING A ROAD TRIP.

Mary Hoffman: YES MARIE, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN, WE’RE COMING TO OHIO.

THE TRIP WAS SUCH A SUCCESS, THE OHIO GROUP CAME TO MINNESOTA THE NEXT YEAR.

Mary Hoffman: SO WE WENT TO ONE OF MY STUDENTS WHO HAS LIKE LLAMAS, PEACOCKS, WE TRY TO DO LIKE LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF AGRICULTURE SO THAT ALL THE STUDENTS CAN LEARN, YOU KNOW JUST WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE.

BECAUSE OF COVID-19, THE TWO CHAPTERS AREN’T SURE WHEN THEY’LL MEET AGAIN, BUT FOR THEIR NEXT TRIP THEY PLAN TO MEET IN THE MIDDLE-MAYBE INDIANA OR ILLINOIS.

Morgan Hoffmann: I HOPE WE CAN DO IT AGAIN BECAUSE IT’S SO COOL TO SEE THEM. AND THEN IT WOULD BE REALLY COOL IF OTHER CHAPTERS WOULD DO IT AS WELL, BECAUSE IT’S SUCH AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY.

IN SLEEPY EYE, MINNESOTA, THIS IS EMILY BEAL FOR AGWEEK.

MORGAN SAYS IT’S BEEN FUN RECONNECTING WITH THIER OHIO FRIENDS AT NATIONAL FFA CONVENTIONS, AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

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

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



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