Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
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.
Contact

« previous   next »

Articles

Ohio farmer: Precision ag pays

Most farmers attending a Precision Agriculture Summit instinctively believe precision agriculture pays, but when one of their own puts a pencil to it, they take notice. Brian Watkins is on the eastern edge of the corn and soybean belt and was one of the early adopters of variable-rate application technologies.

RELATED CONTENT

Precision Ag Summit proves interest in technology is still high

North Dakota’s 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Summit drew a slightly smaller crowd to Jamestown than last year, but the audience still showed strong and more intense interest in a fast-changing topic.

RELATED CONTENT

Regional farmers join legal actions against Syngenta

Northern Plains farmers are getting into the legal fray over Syngenta’s alleged premature release of a genetically modified (GM) corn variety. The commercial release to U.S. farmers allegedly led to China stopping imports of U.S. corn and distillers grains from November 2013 through much of 2014.

HSUS alleges cruelty at Minn. chicken plant; company denies claims

A southwest Minnesota food company denies allegations from an animal rights group that it scalded alive spent laying hens, and says there is no concern that the company will interrupt its production.

Hoeven tours new crop genotyping center

A new National Agriculture Genotyping Center on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo will start hiring scientists in three months and will employ six people by the end of 2015.

US, Mexico reach deal to suspend sugar antidumping, countervailing duty cases

The U.S. Department of Commerce has reached an agreement with the Mexican government and sugar producers to suspend the antidumping and countervailing duty cases against Mexican sugar imports. The deal is causing cautious optimism among sugar producers and criticism from sugar users.

Rail service complaints slow

Slower grain sales because of slack prices has reduced complaints about slow commodity rail shipments, but the railroads are reporting persistent backlogs, and container shipments of agricultural and other products to key Pacific Northwest ports are worse than ever, officials say.

Congress extends Section 179

The U.S. House on Dec. 3 passed a package of $42 billion in tax incentives, including Section 179, and the Senate passed it on Dec. 16. President Barack Obama was expected to sign it.

RELATED CONTENT

ND farmer makes farm bill decisions for the last time before handing operation over to sons

Al Juliuson is in the process of signing up for the Agricultural Act of 2014.

RELATED CONTENT

Easing of Cuba restrictions creates opportunity for ag

The Dec. 17 agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries could lead to improved trade possibilities and important opportunities for U.S. Agriculture, Upper Great Plains officials said.

« previous   next »

Columns

Death of a ‘Super Sage’

FARGO, N.D. — The great Norman Ernest Borlaug is dead. For those too young to remember, it was Borlaug, 93 at his death, who described himself only as a “temporary success” in fighting world hunger.

RELATED CONTENT

Can mankind end hunger?

FARGO, N.D. — I recently received my copy of “Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty.” Every person connected to the food industry should read it.

Ag At-Large: Seeding education

FARGO, N.D. — I recently spent time with Bob Majkrzak, president and chief executive officer of Red River Commodities, as he talked about his company’s role in a confection sunflower industry that has turned summersaults to remain competitive in the past 20 years.

AG AT-LARGE: Greenhouse gas rules should consider science

MINNEAPOLIS — I was walking through the airport terminal in Minneapolis, on the way home from a North American Agricultural Journalists annual meeting in Washington. My head was spinning with information about climate change and carbon footprints for agriculture.

AG AT-LARGE: Mother Nature is cruel and cold or a sustaining life force

FARGO, N.D. — It’s inevitable. When something bad happens in the environment — especially flood or storms — the blame usually goes to “Mother Nature.” I’m not sure what your mother was like, but mine wouldn’t have liked being held responsible for something like a flood.

AG AT-LARGE: Historian recounts stories of Red River Valley laborers

FARGO, N.D. — If you’re at all linked to or love agriculture in the Red River Valley, especially sugar beets or potatoes, you should take a few hours and read this new book — “North for the Harvest,” by Jim Norris, a history teacher at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

AG AT-LARGE: Grandin's book offers tips

FARGO, N.D. — Temple Grandin is in the news again. Grandin is one of the nation’s best-known autistic people and a famous designer of animal handling facilities and practices for cows, chickens, sheep and pigs. I interviewed her in 2004 when she was a guest lecturer at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

AG AT-LARGE: Northwood, N.D., farmer tells it like it is

FARGO, N.D. — It took me more than 25 years of jawboning to finally get an interview with Enoch Thorsgard.

AG AT-LARGE: Recalling another day

Remembering another economic crisis

Is another bust in farming a sure thing?

FARGO, N.D. — “Things are seldom as good as they say it is in the newspaper — and almost never as bad,” Mikkel Pates says to friends at least once a month for the past 20 years, often over a “nice cup of tea.”