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Jonathan Knutson


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Friday is key farm bill sign-up deadline

A key signup deadline for the federal farm bill is looming, and area Farm Service Agency officials urge landowners who haven’t signed up to act quickly. “Let us know if you haven’t done it yet. We want to work with you,” says Diane Beidler, executive director of Turner County (S.D.) FSA.

ND and regional EPA office disagree with pesticide inspection report

Both North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner and regional Environmental Protection Agency officials dispute a report from the EPA’s Office of Inspector General that says adequate pesticide inspections haven’t been conducted in the state for years.

Goehring: EPA report on lapses in pesticide inspection in North Dakota 'misleading' and 'disingenuous'

North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner said he feels “blindsided” by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announcement that the agency’s pesticide inspections need to resume in the state.


Climatologist says lack of snow could bring dry spring in North Dakota

North Dakota is the “land of climatic extreme,” which complicates his job, the state climatologist says. But the state, dry already, could become even drier this spring, Adnan Akyuz said. The lack of snow “will make a big impact (on potential moisture) this spring,” he said. Unless spring brings new precipitation, “drought conditions will be intensified.”

Potato industry wins on WIC, but more on to-do list

American potato growers have fought and won what one industry leader calls “a long, lonely battle” to restore the vegetable to the approved list for the government’s Women, Infants and Children program.

Annual KMOT Ag Expo still upbeat despite lower crop prices

A no-reason-to-panic attitude was typical of people who talked with Agweek Wednesday on the first day of the 44th annual KMOT Ag Expo, one of the region’s largest and most popular farm shows. The three-day show, which ends Jan. 30, is at the State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people will attend, as will more than 1,000 exhibitors.


Andy Robinson wins national potato honor

Andy Robinson, extension potato agronomist for North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, has been named Spudman 2015 Emerging Leader. He received the award, sponsored by Bayer CropScience, at the National Potato Council’s recent annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.


Canadian fertilizer co. seeks US investors

A Canadian-based company is seeking U.S. investors for a proposed nitrogen fertilizer plant near Regina, Saskatchewan. It would supply farmers in both Canada and the U.S.

Great time to be an ag student

Dylan Pratt is batting 0 for 1. But the game is just getting started, and he has plenty of swings ahead of him.


Tips for coming up with fair rent

Experts have the following recommendations for landlords and farmers involved in rental rate negotiations:


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What 2015 will bring

Upper Midwest agriculture is big and diverse. No two years are ever quite the same.


Controlling the language

I talked once with a farmer who repeatedly mentioned the “individualized housing” in which animals live. He slipped once and used “cage,” but quickly corrected himself. OK, I told myself, it’s the old control-the-language, control-the-debate approach. But the animals live in cages, and that’s the term I’ll keep using.


No winner in sugar trade war

I talked once with a guy, an American, shortly after he returned from vacation in Mexico. He told of how he’d wanted to eat “authentic” Mexican food, not “tourist” food. So he walked past two restaurants filled with tourists eating fried chicken; no “tourist” food for him. Finally, he found a restaurant serving local residents and ate “authentic” food with them. “Well, what did you have?” I asked. He hesitated an instant (he’d clearly told the story before; his timing was perfect) and said, “Fried chicken.”


Dipping into a two-sided debate

Setting 'fair' farmland rental rates not an easy task


Willows, weather and rains

When I was a kid, my family hayed most of a low, damp meadow. Thickets of willows grew in spots too wet to hay.


We're right, you're crazy

This past winter, I attended an area farm conference at which one of the speakers blasted the intelligence and common sense of environmentalists.


How do you view agriculture?

OK, Agweek readers, I have a question for you. Which of the following best describes your view of agriculture? A) It’s a business that should be treated like any other business. B) It’s a way of life that should be protected at any cost. C) It’s both a business and a way of life.


If you were an urban congressman ...

Planting, harvesting and marketing a crop isn’t easy. But it’s child’s play compared with writing a new farm bill.


Thinking internationally

Through the years, I’ve dealt with a lot of successful agriculturalists — and a few who weren’t so successful.

Harvest changes with the times

Agriculture has changed in so many ways through the years, and harvest is no exception.