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Field Posts

News & Politics Podcasts

Learn about and discuss the cutting edge of the ag industry and explore new perspectives on farming’s old adages. Field Posts is a weekly podcast by DTN/The Progressive Farmer that dives deeper into the most important trends in technology, policy, management, and business to explore the ag industry’s cutting edge.


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Learn about and discuss the cutting edge of the ag industry and explore new perspectives on farming’s old adages. Field Posts is a weekly podcast by DTN/The Progressive Farmer that dives deeper into the most important trends in technology, policy, management, and business to explore the ag industry’s cutting edge.








E165: Ag Braces for a Season of Uncertainty in Washington

If Congress doesn’t act in the next couple of days to continue funding government agencies, by Sunday, October 1st, the federal government will be back in shutdown mode, and the consequences could be wide ranging. For the ag sector, worries about everything from FSA loan processing to passing a farm bill to what a downgrade in the US’s financial rating could mean are keeping many keen eyes trained on Capitol Hill as the cliff approaches. Here to help us unpack the current situation, and better understand all the ways that ag might be effected in the aftermath is DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton, who’s been keeping an eye not only on key congressional actions, but also how key agencies are preparing for disruptions. Today we’ll talk to Chris about congressional discussions about USDA spending, the latest from EPA on E15, crop protection approvals, and PFAS, and what could be on the legislative horizon for everything from additional disaster payments to foreign ag land sales. We’ll also check in on the Farm Bill and a new documentary aiming to shape Farm Bill discussions going forward.


E164: View from the Cab with Chandra and Mike Langseth

Since 2005, DTN Progressive Farmer has been selecting two farmers every year from across the country to participate in their annual View from the Cab Project. These farmers spend a full year getting to know DTN’s Pamela Smith as they work through weekly calls and check-ins, sharing their stories and their seasons with the broader farm community. The second 2023 farmers we’re checking in with are Chandra and Mike Langseth from the edge of the Red River Valley in Barney, North Dakota. They’ve been farming for nearly a decade, through more than one challenging year and the long transition as the couple takes over the farm from Mike’s father. In addition to Mike’s working full-time on the farm, Chandra tackles scouting and agronomy on-farm while also teaching precision ag and agronomy at the local university. Today, we’ll chat with the Langseths' about the season they’ve had, what they foresee in the upcoming harvest, and how the farm transition is going. We’ll also talk tech, hearing about how the two are thinking about strategic decisions in the farm’s future, and hearing about ongoing experiments at the farm. Then we’ll dig into their vision for the future; and how they see their farm evolving in the face of unpredictable weather, commodity prices, and interest rates.


E163: The September WASDE and the Near-Record Crop

The September WASDE dropped Tuesday, September 12th, finding DTN’s Lead Analyst Todd Hultman on the road in Nebraska — talking with farmers about the disconnect between USDA’s prediction of a near-record corn crop and what growers see out in the fields. Going into the report, expectations were high that a reduction in yield estimates for US grains could bring some bullishness to the market, but with USDA’s update to planted acreage, the overall stocks picture ended up heading the other way. Todd joins us today to offer his insights on USDA's latest adjustments, and what they might mean for everything from exports to ethanol demand to feed prices in the weeks and months ahead. We’ll also dig into the global picture, with a focus on Brazil, Argentina, and how the battle to feed Chinese demand might be shifting. Plus, Todd will explore the latest in the livestock sector, where USDAs estimates might be headed as harvest gears up, and what might still be ahead as we look to the winter and beyond. Then we’ll talk drought, winter weather, and the impact of shifting energy prices.


E162: Harvest Weather Ahead

As a sultry August turns to September and the weather world is riveted by hurricanes and tropical storms, farmers across the corn belt are continuing to deal with unexpectedly persistent hot and dry weather that’s sapping the last hope for a yield rebound. With harvest already queued up, attention is starting to shift to the further future — where an intensifying El Nino indicates that this winter could be very different from the last three. To help us prepare for the weeks and months ahead, DTN’s Team Lead for Ag Weather John Baranick joins us to dig into where the weather models have offered clarity, and where they’ve clouded the picture. He’ll cover his expectations going into harvest and where he thinks there’s still room for a wild card of extreme weather to mix things up. We’ll dig into upcoming drought conditions for the Southern Plains, talk through the precip and wildfire picture for the West, and better understand the global weather picture with a particular focus on Latin America and the El Nino changes ahead.


E161: Putting the Success in Farmland Succession

For farmland owners who aren’t interested in simply selling off heritage property to the highest bidder, exploring alternatives can be a daunting process — even when there is a clear farm family heir who’s interested in continuing the business. The good news is, there are multiple options for property holders who are committed to avoiding development and keeping their land in agriculture — and DTN’s Victoria Myers joins us today to explore exactly what some of the options look like. Today, we’re taking a closer look at conservation easements, how to work with local and state land trusts, and what kind of financial and tax tools exist to help support these efforts. We’ll talk life insurance, dive into the benefits and limitations of trusts versus limited liability corporations, and hear more about recent, and potential, updates to estate tax rules. Then, Victoria will give us some insight into her next set of stories on shifting farmland prices across the country


E160: Corn Crop Comeback with the 2023 Digital Yield Tour

DTN’s sixth annual Digital Yield Tour wrapped up just days ago on August 11th, 2023, and the tour’s conclusion coincided with a USDA report that largely agreed with the event's findings. Which is to say — 2023 started out rough, but the corn crop in particular is making a stunning comeback. Today, DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger joins us to reveal both the national and the state level yield estimates for corn and soybeans that Gro Intelligence revealed during the tour, including county by county estimates for 10 key midwestern states that reveal a crop that’s highly variable– mostly depending on how much rain a given area received during a sporadically droughty season. We’ll dig into the realities behind the numbers, talk through reactions from DTN market analysts, from the data scientists at Gro Intelligence, and think about what is still possible in the few weeks that remain between now and when harvest starts to get underway. We’ll dig into the biggest surprises, where weather might be headed, and how these estimates might affect market conditions. See the full DTN Digital Yield Tour story here.


E159: Farmer Perspectives in the August WASDE

The August WASDE dropped Friday, August 11th, coming on the heels of DTN’s Annual Digital Yield tour and of USDA’s most recent farmer surveys. Overall, perspectives on the August report were positive, as USDA seemed to adjust crop estimates to be more in line with perspectives from farmers and analysts– reflecting a crop that’s improving, but that had a very difficult start. DTN’s Lead Analyst Todd Hultman joins us today to talk through the USDA’s updates to estimated yield figures for the three major grains, and to offer some insight on how to understand August numbers as we look ahead to the rest of the year. He’ll dive into the global corn landscape, shed light on tightening soybean supplies, and help us think through what’s happening to wheat markets as harvest continues. Plus, we’ll dive into the global stocks picture as situations evolve in both Latin America and between Russia and Ukraine, we’ll highlight the current basis situation, and get an update on an unprecedented cattle market. Then we’ll dig into weather updates, inflation news, and what Todd will be on the lookout for between now and the September WASDE. Read more about of Todd's analysis here and register for WASDE webinars here.


E158: Hopeful Signs on the 2023 North Dakota Wheat Tour

On July 27th, the 2023 Spring Wheat and Durum Tour hosted by the Wheat Quality Council wrapped up its survey of the Northern Plains crop, tallying three days and hundreds of fields of data into a final overall yield prediction of about 47 bushels per acre — despite summer drought conditions and an uncertain start to the season. DTN Crops Editor Jason Jenkins made his way from Fargo across the state with a host of participants, and brings us the latest on a highly variable crop straight from the field. He brings us regional perspectives from across the state, outlooks from farmers and other tour participants, and information on pest and disease pressure. Plus, he compares the 2023 crop with recent years, and to what USDA has been predicting as the season wears on. He’ll talk about conditions and expectations going forward, how the situation might change as the season continues, and discusses how he’ll be following the wheat story in the weeks ahead. Check out more of Jason's reporting here.


E157: The Bull in the Cattle Markets

A shifting drought picture and more favorable weather in key cow-calf states are colliding with dry weather in the corn belt and extreme heat in the Southern US to make for an uncertain cost picture in today’s cattle market. But nevertheless, inventory remains tight and prices are strong as the market slides towards Labor Day. DTN Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart joins us today to discuss recent updates from the USDA’s mid-year Cattle Inventory Report as well as the July Cattle on Feed Report, while also taking a deep dive into the fundamental picture for what remains a hot beef market. We’ll talk weather– both precipitation and heat, and gain some clarity both on the feed and grass picture for the coming months. Then we’ll take a deeper look at the demand side of the equation, including exports, and better understand the current dynamics between feedlots and packers, especially where the Feeder Cattle market is concerned. We’ll tackle all this, and hear how things are going on ShayLe’s family cattle operation.


E156: View from the Cab with Zach Grossman

Since 2005, DTN Progressive Farmer has been selecting two farmers every year from across the country to participate in their annual View from the Cab Project. These farmers spend a full year getting to know DTN’s Pamela Smith as they work through weekly calls and check ins, sharing their stories and their seasons with the broader farm community. The first 2023 farmer we’re checking in with is Zach Grossman, a row crop grower from Tina, Missouri. This young farmer already has more than a decade of farming experience under his belt, working alongside his dad and brother on the family operation. He farmed through college, and since graduating has settled into an off-farm job as a local ag lender in addition to his work on the operation. Today, we’ll chat with Zach about everything from the secret ingredient to his family farm’s dynamic to how working in the financial sector has offered him a unique perspective on the current state of the farm financial system. We’ll also talk tech, hearing about some ongoing experiments on the Grossman place as well as his outlook for new tools like autonomy. Then we’ll dig into his vision for the future; including what the land transition picture looks like in his area. Then we’ll look ahead to harvest and hear about the wild cards that Zach will be watching, from weather to commodity prices to interest rates.


E155: What to Expect with DTN’s 2023 Digital Yield Tour

DTN’s 6th annual digital yield tour is just a few weeks away — getting started August 7th and running through August 11th. DTN’s tour partner Gro Intelligence will be back with industry-leading, real time predictions of national yield for corn and soybeans, as well as much more granular breakdowns to the state level. Today, DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger joins us for a preview of the tour, including her expectations for what might be revealed during this unpredictable season, a discussion of Gro’s accuracy in recent years, and more info on how farmers can follow along and participate. Then, we’ll check in with Katie on the upcoming Ag Summit Series event, which will directly follow the yield tour and will offer participants a chance to chat directly with analysts from Gro Intelligence, in addition to farmers and experts from around the country. She gives us an update on a new DTN video series tackling weather, markets, and ag business, and teases a story she’s currently working involving a Canadian farmer, a grain marketing deal, and a thumbs up emoji. Sign up for the digital yield tour here:


E154: The Quirky July WASDE

The July WASDE dropped Wednesday, July 12th, and as it came on the heels of an unprecedented June 30th planted acreage report, updates were expected for USDA’s outlook. What analysts actually saw in the July WASDE however, left many scratching their heads– trying to understand how USDA could translate a drought stricken crop throughout the corn belt into an all-time record yield prediction. DTN’s Lead Analyst Todd Hultman joins us to dig into the shifts in planted acres and the June Grain Stocks report that brought us here, and offers insight into the shifting global stocks situation for major grains as well as the uncertain soybean supply that’s expected in the wake of startling low planted acres. Plus, we’ll dive into the current and future weather outlook, in the US and beyond, and understand how transforming outlooks are shaping price pictures from the futures market to local basis. Then we’ll dig into updates for pork and cattle markets, take a closer look at what’s ahead for ag markets as overall inflation calms, and put wild Russia-Ukraine news into context. Read Todd's analysis here:


E153: Summer Weather Surprises

An unexpected Derecho was whipping across key parts of the corn belt today as we recorded this podcast, representing just the latest in a long line of storms and unpredictable weather events that have crowded the forecast at the last minute so far this season. One thing’s for certain– as the La Nina ebbs and the El Nino comes into full effect, the wilder the possibilities get on the weather front. To help us navigate that uncertainty, DTN’s Team Lead for Ag Weather John Baranick joins us to dig into what we know and what we don’t. He’ll cover his expectations going into this growing season and where he’s been proven right and wrong, in addition to talking us through the latest weather events, from extreme heat in Texas to wildfire smoke in the Northern Plains. We’ll dig into the coming conditions for California and the Pacific Northwest, understand more about the Super El Nino that might materialize this fall, and gain a new perspective on the global weather picture and what it might mean for prices in the coming months. Then we’ll check in on John’s harvest outlook, as well as his perception on hurricane and wildfire risk in the heart of summer.


E152: Game Changing Tech Under the Crop Canopy

Before the flashy demo at the farm show and the test drive at the local retailer, a lot of farm tech gets its start in university labs. Today, we’re zooming in on what’s happening in one small corner of the basic research space, to get an idea what might be in the future of soil moisture and nutrient management. Today, we’re joined by Senior Editor for The Progressive Farmer Joel Richenberger (Rich-en-berger) who’s been following developments out of a Colorado soil sensor lab for a couple of years now. He brings us the latest on some groundbreaking engineering that’s helping to carve out a path for the next generation of precision agriculture technologies. We’ll dive into the specifics, hear about the major learnings, how they’re being applied to newer, even bigger projects in the space, and catch a glimpse of other weird and wild tech experiments coming out of University labs and beyond. Read more on "under the canopy" crop sensor research and aerial ATVs.


EP151: Farmer Forecasts for the 2023 Season

The recent DTN Ag Summit Series brought color to USDA’s reports of planting season and to what might be ahead during an uncertain summer with discussion among farmers, market analysts, and other experts about what they’re seeing in the field. Today, we’re dropping in on a session hosted by Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger, who’s joined by farmers from two very different regions with a lot of interesting insights. Marc Arnusch, a Keenesburg, Colorado grower and previous View from the Cab participant, and Eric Oberbroeckling, a farmer from Eastern Iowa, talk planting, pest pressure, and seasonal outlook as their 2023 crop emerges. On the panel, you’ll also hear about their marketing perspectives, how they’re thinking about risk management going into the weather-driven summer, and what wild cards they think may still be in play.


E150: One Month Turn Around in the June WASDE

Uninteresting as the trade expected, a few unexpected changes were still enough to catch analyst attention. And beyond updated figures, the concerns of cold and wet soils delaying planting last month have morphed into worries that hot and dry soil in the Eastern corn belt might already be threatening USDA’s outlook for a record crop this year. DTN’s Lead Analyst Todd Hultman joins us to dig into a few surprises out of Brazil and Ukraine when it comes to corn and wheat stocks looking ahead, as well as offer perspective on how the emerging neutral weather conditions might shift the crop picture over the coming months. Plus, we’ll dive deep into the current price context of the soybean market given existing demand signals, and unpack what outside forces might be driving markets for both pork and beef to unexpected places. Then we’ll check in on the broader economic picture, hear Todd’s perspective on the state of the Southern Wheat crop, and flag key reports to keep on eye on this month.


E149: Look Inside USDA’s Facility for Fighting Extreme Animal Diseases

Over the last two decades, the US livestock industry has had some painful encounters with foreign animal diseases– from High Path Avian Influenza and its impact on the poultry industry to “mad cow” to the current looming fear of African Swine Fever. One of the most challenging things about these kinds of highly transmissible and dangerous diseases is how difficult they are to study, and how vulnerable that absence of information can leave the industry. But in the last few weeks, USDA has opened a new facility in Kansas that promises to help close that information gap. DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton joins us today to discuss his rare first look at the new National Bio and Agro-Defense facility near the Kansas State campus in Manhattan. He got a chance to discuss the facility’s top security priorities, learn how the latest, state-of-the-art technology will aim to keep the facility, and US ag, and see for himself how diseases will be studied as the facility gets up and running. Plus, he’ll dive into the planned vaccine development work, and highlight the history of protecting US livestock from foreign disease.


E148: 2023 Kansas Wheat Tour Reveals Drought Impacts

On May 17th, the annual Winter Wheat Tour wrapped up its survey of the Southern Plains wheat crop with its report on predicted yield averages, which indicated that the persistent impact of droughts have indeed driven wheat production to near-record lows. Progressive Farmer Senior Editor Joel Reichenberger made his way to Colby, Wichita, and finally Manhattan, Kansas this week with more than a hundred fellow surveyors to see fields across the state first hand, and bring us the latest reactions from farmers, bakers, millers, and industry experts from across the country. Today, we’ll talk about the weather impacts that affected various regions of Kansas, and what they might mean for abandonment rates, yields, and plantings of secondary crops as we move towards harvest. Plus we’ll dig into other pressures, from pests to irrigation to protein levels.


E147: Looking Back, Looking Ahead with May WASDE

The May WASDE dropped Friday, May 12th, as market watchers waited with high expectations for USDA’s latest insights as plant2023 continues. A number of unexpected adjustments made this a May report to remember, especially as the outlook for a possibly bin busting crop collided with continuing tight stocks. DTN’s Lead Analyst Todd Hultman joins us to dig into not only the latest on old and new crop demand and how the market is interpreting the most timely information on shifting weather, feed demand, and persistent wetness that’s thwarting planting in North Dakota. He’ll also give us an update on ethanol usage, the global ending stocks picture with surprises from Brazil, and the unpredictability in current beef and pork markets. We’ll dive into outside pressures after the latest jobs report, global trade, and what the looming new wheat season might hold.


E145: Planting Progress and the 2023 Crop Upside

Plant 2023 is off to a relatively good start, despite cold and wet conditions lingering in the Northern Plains. For much of the central corn belt, from Nebraska to Indiana and Ohio, farmers are having luck, getting into fields weeks before they were able to in recent years– which could prove promising for key crop plantings this season. To bring us the latest on where planting stands now and how we expect it to advance in the next few weeks, we’re joined by Joel Karlin, a DTN Grains contributor and President and Economist at Ocean State Research. Joel will dig into the data on planting regional planting weather, highlighting where progress is dragging and where dryness might inhibit emergence as the season wears on. He’ll offer insights on expectations for prevent plant and replant, and look ahead to what current conditions might indicate for harvest. Plus, he’ll flag other key issues he’s keeping an eye on, from inflation to a possible recession, right after this word from our sponsor. Learn more and register for the DTN Ag Summit Series at