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Pates

Mikkel Pates

Mikkel Pates, reporter/columnist for Agweek magazine of Grand Forks, reports from Fargo, N.D., about agriculture in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
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Articles

NDDA signs rail shipment deal with Port of Vancouver, Wash.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Aug. 27 signed a memorandum of understanding with the head of the Port of Vancouver. The action is intended to help move specialty agricultural products, but at least one shipper is concerned.

USDA’s Scuse discusses farm bill program options in ND

Michael Scuse, U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, appeared in Bismarck, N.D., Aug. 25 to discuss farm bill programs and implementation with the ag industry and North Dakota legislators.

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Offutt grain venture uses bag storage

Randy Fleishauer is the farm manager of Gunsmoke Farms, in its second year of production west of Fort Pierre, S.D. The 31,000-acre farm is owned by R.D. Offutt Co. of Fargo, N.D.

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With poor rail flow, SD farmers and elevators pile, bag grain

Scott Dowling is one of many farmers piling wheat on the ground and stuffing it into bags.

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BNSF, CP catch up on old-crop past-dues

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway reports it is getting caught up on old-crop past-due train car orders, but there are significant new-crop orders still past-due.

Canadian Pacific's Harrison: We will get better

Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway, showed his pride and disappointment in his railroad’s ability to move North Dakota grain in a meeting Aug. 11 with shippers and two U.S. senators in Minot.

NDSU field days to address salt issues

A Soil Health Field Day will be held Aug. 21 at the historic Bagg Bonanza farm near Mooreton, N.D. Some of the events will be at a nearby North Dakota State University research and demonstration farm.

An inside look at the Worthington Ag Parts operation

Worthington Ag Parts in Worthington, Minn., is the original location of a global business and still one of its busiest stores.

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Worthington Ag Parts celebrates 50 years

Worthington Ag Parts has put the name Worthington on the world map. The agricultural tractor salvage business celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

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CP’s Harrison: We will get better

Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway, showed his pride and disappointment in his railroad’s ability to move North Dakota grain in a meeting Aug. 11 with shippers and two U.S. senators in Minot.

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Columns

What's real and what's obscene?

FARGO, N.D. — The “pink slime” controversy brings to mind my days growing up, and my re-education about food at Brookings (S.D.) Middle School. It was there in the late 1960s and early 1970s that I first ate school lunch.

Is that pop champagne?

FARGO, N.D. — If farmers are the eternal optimists, then they may have more to be optimistic in 2012 than ever before. And more to be careful about, I would think.

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100 years of history

FARGO, N.D. — My congratulations to the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association, which celebrated its 100th annual convention in January.

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A prediction on American Crystal’s lockout situation

FARGO, N.D. — I’ve often been asked what I think the future of the labor lockout between American Crystal Sugar Co. and the Bakery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union locals. So here’s what I think.

Bees and a book

FARGO N.D. — Honeybees are important — certainly to my family. I occasionally had a firsthand experience with a commercial honeybee business that was run by my mother’s first cousin, Jim Folsland, in Oldham, S.D., in Kingsbury County.

Accidents happen when people get in a hurry

FARGO, N.D. — May 5, I drove from Fargo, N.D., to Bismarck, N.D., to cover a court hearing the next morning. It was a beautiful evening, but it was clear that the fields were too wet for this time of year. Almost none of the field work had been done. I counted two planting rigs operating across that 180-mile stretch. I think there was one outfit planting potatoes.

Does tiling cut flooding?

FARGO, N.D. — My wife and I are contemplating another season of flood fighting in south Fargo, N.D. We’ve helped fill sandbags each year for the past two years but never had to place them around our property. In 2009, I helped a family friend put 30,000 of them around his Moorhead, Minn., house. Lloyd is one of the greatest of the Greatest Generation, in my book, and appreciated the help. He’ll get it again this year if he needs it.

New year guesses can entertain, guide us

FARGO, N.D. — My wife, Barb, and I have an annual New Year’s ritual — Our Predictions.

What does humane production mean?

FARGO, N.D. — I always am fascinated with recommendations from groups like the Humane Society of the United States.

Candidates tout ag connections

FARGO, N.D. — Agriculture = good. If you don’t believe it, look at the year’s crop of political ads. This year, I took special notice of ads by Brad Crabtree, candidate for the North Dakota Public Service Commission.