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Jonathan Knutson


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North Dakota canola crushing plant shutdown temporary, manager says

The Prairie Premium Oil canola crushing plant in Northwood, N.D., has shut down, but only temporarily, the plant manager said Tuesday. “We’re not closed. We’re just on a maintenance cycle right now,” James Gorres tells Agweek.


Two South Dakota grain companies announce merger plans

Two South Dakota-based grain companies announced Tuesday they want to merge. North Central Farmers Elevator and Wheat Growers plan to unify into a new cooperative, subject to a vote of the full membership of both cooperatives. The boards of directors of both cooperatives already have unanimously approved a letter of intent to merge.

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.

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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.

Of summers green and brown

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