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Jonathan Knutson


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USDA predicts fewer corn, wheat acres, but more soybeans and small-market crops

Corn, the star of Upper Midwest agriculture in recent years, won’t shine quite so brightly in the 2015 growing season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts. “A little bit of the shine seems to be off corn,” says Erik Younggren, a Hallock, Minn., farmer.

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Deadline nears on key ARC, PLC decision

Kelly Turgeon is on the stretch run of a half-year marathon. Turgeon, executive director of the Kittson County (Minn.) Farm Service Agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is working to help farmers meet a crucial March 31 deadline. They’re choosing between two important safety-net provisions in the federal farm bill, and their irrevocable decision will impact their bottom line for the next five years.

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WHO: Monsanto weed killer 'probably' carcinogenic

A new report from a World Health Organization agency suggests that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, the widely used herbicide, may increase the risk of cancer.

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New forecast favors good planting start

Much of the Upper Midwest, particularly Minnesota, could be unusually warm or dry, or both, in late spring and early summer, the federal government says. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center’s newest forecast,

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New funding for Minnesota wolf management announced

The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association welcomes Wednesday’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Minnesota will jointly provide $220,000 for wolf management in the state.

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Minnesota ag economist shares results of farm bill choices analysis

A new analysis of 76 Minnesota sample farms doesn’t provide much help in deciding whether farmers in the state should reallocate their base acres under the new farm bill, an agricultural economist says.

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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.

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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.

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Columns

Of summers green and brown

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