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Jonathan Knutson


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Interest in soil health grows in Upper midwest

Jerry Sikorski, a pilot and farmer, saw from the air years ago how erosion was hurting U.S. farmland. That led the veteran Ekalaka, Mont., producer to search for ways to protect his own soil.


March 17 is crop insurance deadline

It doesn’t get much attention outside agriculture, but a key date on most farmers’ calendars is upon them. March 15 is the normal deadline for buying or modifying crop insurance for most spring-planted crops. Farmers, working closely with their insurance agents, typically make their final decisions on 2014 crop insurance in the first two weeks of the months.

Times are tough in sugar, but approaching planting season kindles optimism

Kelly Brantner, a fourth-generation sugar beet farmer, has seen tough times before. Another planting season is nearing, however, and Brantner and others involved in the area’s sugar beet industry say optimism is in order.


Grand Forks, N.D., conference promotes soil health

The Red River Valley region’s soil formed over 9,000 years. Speakers at a Grand Forks, N.D., conference have some suggestions on how farmers and ranchers can keep their precious soil healthy and productive.

Ag census shows farms are bigger, fewer, more prosperous

The Ag Census, conducted once every five years, says American farms, on average, are bigger, fewer and more prosperous. And though the number of young farmers has risen, U.S. farmers, on average, are getting even older.

Crop Expo speaker says farmers need to tackle herbicide resistance

Upper Midwest farmers are on the road to perdition, or utter ruin, unless they change the way they control weeds, according to Phillip Glogoza, a University of Minnesota Extension agronomist.


WIC and Mexican trade restrictions still hot topics in potato industry

John Keeling. head of the National Potato Council, spoke Feb. 19 at the annual International Crop Expo at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. The show, which combines activities sponsored by small grains, potato and soybean groups, is expected to draw 5,000 people and about 175 exhibits.

Audit: Benda helped increase beef plant grant

Rich Benda, while serving as director of the Department of Tourism and State Development, on Dec. 23, 2010, amended two Future Fund grants for Northern Beef Packers in Aberdeen, S.D., according to the Department of Legislative Audit report.

Mixed results in Minn. corn growers’ survey

Minnesota corn farmers are cautiously optimistic, but slightly less confident than a year ago, according to an independent survey commissioned by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

ND ag commissioner: New farm bill is tolerable

The new farm bill, though imperfect, is acceptable, North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner said. “Given the current atmosphere, I’m glad we got it. Would you like more? Yeah,” Doug Goehring said.


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Enjoy the good times, but don’t get carried away

I don’t know if the past few years have been the best stretch ever for farmers on the Northern Plains.

Ag needs young blood in rural areas

Sure, wheat, corn and cattle are common on the Northern Plains, but the prairie’s leading staple may be gray hair.

Good years in agriculture require public relations skills

The past few years have been pretty sweet for many area farmers. Yes, some producers, especially ones with livestock, have struggled through no fault of their own. And yes, many producers, again through no fault of their own, sold a lot of grain too soon or too late and missed the best prices.

Farmers no longer have the region to themselves

If you’re closely connected to agriculture on the Northern Plains, you’ve almost certainly come to this unpleasant conclusion: A growing number of area residents know little about ag and care even less.

That special season returns

There’s nothing quite like harvest on the Northern Plains. If you’re a pragmatist, you enjoy harvest because it’s when the money rolls in.

Of summers green and brown

One summer years ago, when I was still a farm kid, central North Dakota was gripped by drought.