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Jonathan Knutson


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Flexible rent on the rise?

This could be the year flexible rent finally begins a comeback, area ag officials say.


Farmers, landowners renegotiate rental agreements

In a normal year, many Upper Midwest farmers and landlords already would have agreed on 2015 rental rates for cropland and pasture. In a normal year, agricultural producers, bankers and economists would have a pretty good handle on rate trends for the new year.


Weather expert: Mixed bag on 2015 growing season

Though the first half of the Upper Midwest 2015 growing season should be favorable, the second half could bring challenges, including the possibility of “one of the hottest summers on record,” according to an area weather expert.

Precision ag haven

Wheat Growers is building a $3.2 million Innovation and Equipment Modification Center near Bath, S.D.

Time for year-end tax planning

Planting, harvesting and marketing a crop isn’t easy. Raising and marketing livestock isn’t easy, either. But managing income taxes can get really difficult for farmers and ranchers.

Cattle feed additive sparks controversy

Harvey Dietrich has spent more than three decades in the cattle business and operates Arizona’s 750,000-acre Diamond A Ranch. He’s also a critic of a controversial feed additive he says hurts the U.S. cattle industry’s credibility and reputation.


Annual conference examines strategies for ag producers

Planting, harvesting and marketing a crop isn’t easy. Raising and marketing livestock isn’t easy, either. But managing income taxes can be even harder for farmers and ranchers. The 24th annual Income Tax Management for Ag Producers program was intended to make the job a little simpler. The interactive videoconference was held Dec. 2 at 11 sites across North Dakota.

Expected farm bill payout draws critics

The U.S. farm bill is working as intended and criticism of a potential $10 billion government payout is both premature and unfair, Upper Midwest farmers and farm group officials say.

Sheep poised for a comeback

Cade and Casey Koenig carry pails of corn as impatient sheep wait expectantly. It’s a raw, blustery early winter morning and the pails are heavy, but the teenaged brothers smile as they do their chores.


Analysis criticizes federal crop insurance

A new analysis from the Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project is critical of the federally subsidized crop insurance program.

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‘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.