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Jonathan Knutson


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A new crop of farmers ready to face the challenges

Alex Bata didn’t expect to be a farmer. Growing up in Adams, Bata was active in high school in “football, basketball, golf, student council -- everything I could get my hands on. I just didn’t think about farming.”


UPDATED: Crops ‘dodged a bullet’ after temperatures didn’t hit lows expected

Though it’s too soon to be sure, North Dakota and northwest Minnesota appear to have avoided significant frost damage overnight.


Early signs indicate minor frost damage to crops

Though it's too soon to be sure, initial reports indicate that much of northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota avoided significant frost damage overnight.

Organic Trade Association proposes checkoff

The Organic Trade Association wants to create a checkoff, a move the association says could raise more than $30 million annually and boost an already-growing industry.

USDA report shows planting picks up

Upper Midwest farmers generally made excellent planting progress during the week ending May 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday afternoon.


Sheep program application deadline nears

May 1 is the deadline to apply for funding through the Let’s Grow Program, which the American Sheep Industry Association operates to strengthen sheep production nationally.

More cases of bird flu in Minnesota; officials urge continued cooperation

Minnesota officials say they’re doing everything possible to stop the spread of bird flu and stress that the disease poses no threat to food safety or the general public.

Company officials defend proposed South Dakota grain merger

A proposed merger of two South Dakota-based grain companies would make the consolidated organization more competitive and better position it for the future, leaders of the two grain companies said Thursday in an online meeting with the news media.

The deadline for farmers to choose a farm bill safety-net program has passed

U.S. farmers and the Farm Service Agency are now two-thirds of the way through a process that could play a huge role in producers’ bottom line for the next five years.

New ND hemp law pleases supporters

Wayne Hauge says he’s “mostly your typical northwest North Dakota farmer.” But the Ray producer also is a staunch supporter of industrial hemp, and a new state law is expected to help him and other North Dakota farmers start growing the crop, perhaps as soon as 2016.

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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.

Frequently asked questions come with the job

Agricultural journalists often are asked about their job and the subject they cover. Here are some of the questions and my responses.

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.