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Jonathan Knutson


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Great weather creates tough choice for area corn farmers

Continued warm, dry weather, and the forecast of more to come, is giving Upper Midwest corn producers a difficult but not unpleasant decision: Harvest wet corn now and pay drying expenses? Or hold off combining for a few days and allow corn to dry naturally in the field?

Tips for prospective ag students

Experts offer these tips for anyone interested in pursuing ag education or training:


Ag students remain in high demand

Dylan Pratt smiles as he walks through the college livestock barn. He calls out friendly greetings to the cattle and pats a few on the forehead.


Farm management specialist: ‘No right answer’ between PLC, ARC

Dwight Aakre has analyzed many federal farm bills in his career. But even the veteran North Dakota State University Extension Service farm management specialist isn’t sure which of the two safety-net options created by the 2014 farm bill is the better choice for area farmers.

Soybean harvest picks up after slow start

The Upper Midwest soybean harvest is surging into high gear. “Right here in my area, it will really get going this week,” says Anthony Bly, Sioux Falls-based soils field specialist with South Dakota State University Extension. “I know other areas where it’s already going strong.”

CWB building new elevator in Manitoba’s Red River Valley

CWB, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, is building another “state-of-the-art” grain elevator, this one in Manitoba’s Red River Valley. The new elevator, near St. Adolphe, south of Winnipeg, will feature 34,000 metric tons of storage and is scheduled to open in 2016. The project includes a 134-car loop track and cleaning facilities.

Navigating the farm bill

The fall to-do list of Upper Midwest farmers includes figuring out complicated provisions of the new farm bill.

Wrapping up the wheat harvest

Grain dust hung heavy in the air across much of the Upper Midwest during the week of Sept. 22, as dry and unusually warm weather allowed farmers to make rapid harvest progress.


ND rancher wears multiple hats

Nevada Miller is a rancher. He’s a taxidermist. And, for a little longer, he’s a rodeo bullfighter, too.


UPDATED: Goehring has 'positive' talk with CP after calling company's CEO 'arrogant'

North Dakota’s Commissioner of Agriculture said the Canadian Pacific Railway and its CEO are “arrogant” and that the company is less responsive than Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the state’s other major shipper.


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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.