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Jonathan Knutson


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A record wheat crop?

The annual tour of area fields shows great promise, but development is behind normal.

Officials at Minn. meeting say farmers need to manage water before government steps in

If Minnesota farmers don’t cooperate to manage water, the federal and state government will do it for them, officials at a water issues forum said Thursday.


Flood control creates tough times for farmers, ranchers

Ken Livedalen looks over what once was a broad meadow near the Souris River. For decades the ground produced a bountiful crop of nutritious grass that he baled and fed to his cattle.


Northwood, ND, canola crushing plant eyes July 7 public start

An oilseed crushing plant in Northwood, N.D., is expected to reopen to the public on July 7. The Prairie Premium Oil plant eventually could expand to other crops, but has no immediate plans to do so, says Kent Weston, the company’s president. “I think we’ll be primarily a canola plant,” he says. “We’ll be ready to change if we have to, though.”


Soybean growers welcome higher biodiesel blend, but there are critics

Spring was wet and difficult, and many of Bill and Karolyn Zurn’s late-planted soybeans are still small and scant in the soggy soil. The Callaway, Minn., farm couple won’t harvest a good crop this fall unless the rest of the growing season cooperates.


UAVs can be great asset to ag, speakers say

Unmanned aerial vehicles could be the next big thing in U.S. agriculture, but most farmers still have a lot to learn about them, according to John Perry, who heads Altavian, a Gainesville, Fla.-based unmanned aircraft company.


CWB adds to network

CWB, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, plans to buy Great Sandhills Terminal near Leader, Saskatchewan. The proposed $17.4 million acquisition includes GST’s grain-handling facility near Leader, as well as a majority stake in Great Sandhills Railway, a short-line railroad that operates 197 kilometers of track between Swift Current and Burstall, Saskatchewan.

FSA extends prevented-planting reporting deadline in ND, SD and Minn.

The North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota Farm Service Agency state offices have extended prevented-planting reporting deadlines to July 15 to coincide with the final acreage reporting date. Montana FSA hasn’t received any requests to extend the deadline and consequently hasn’t done so.

Heavy rains hurt farmers across the region

Heavy rains across parts of the Upper Midwest June 14 to 16 ended the planting season for many farmers and threaten the fields of some others.

Workshops set on Minn. B10 mandate

Minnesota is shifting to a higher diesel mandate on July 1, and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council is supporting a series of workshops intended to help farmers, diesel retailers and others learn more.

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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.

‘Wet cycle’ brings new challenges for area agriculture

Moisture is both the great friend and great enemy of agriculture. And because agriculture is so important in this part of the world, the amount of moisture we receive has a huge impact on our fields, towns and economy.

Two things we all agree on

Despite what urban folks might think, farmers often disagree among themselves. Everything from proper economic policy to the best brand of tractor is debated, sometimes with logic and sometimes with passion.