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Jonathan Knutson


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Frost comes early to Upper Midwest fields

Upper Midwest farmers are still assessing damage to their crops from mid-September frosts that hit fields from eastern Minnesota to central Montana.

Resource on rental rates

Farmers and landlords have a new resource to help them determine farmland rental rates.

CWB continues its expansion

CWB is building another grain elevator, its third new facility, and is looking for people to work in them.

Droves of drones at Big Iron

Drones flew above a demonstration field recently in West Fargo, N.D. Someday, drones could be commonplace above Upper Midwest fields and pastures — provided the Federal Aviation Administration releases some long-awaited guidelines.


Lincoln-Oakes Nursery name, mission, location

The Lincoln-Oakes Nursery is owned by the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, which says its mission is promoting “sound and practical soil and water conservation practices” in North Dakota.


ND nursery copes with declining shelterbelt sales

Brian Johnston wanted a challenge. He got one: Rescuing the faltering Lincoln-Oakes Nursery in Bismarck, which had been “hemorrhaging cash for years” and was close to closing, he says.


Storms further delay wheat harvest

Farmers are sorting out damage from a string of storms that hit parts of eastern North Dakota and west-central Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday. Some areas were hit with as much 4 inches, leading to flash flood warnings in several counties. Some reported high winds and hail, too.

Drones on Big Iron agenda

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) might be the hottest topic in production agriculture right now, and the annual Big Iron Farm Show will offer both UAS demonstrations and classes.

A bigger, better Big Iron show

Farm machinery is getting so big and sophisticated that the Big Iron Farm Show is looking at adjusting the doors of an exhibit building to get equipment in and out, the show’s director says.

Farmers unfairly blamed for food prices

One of farmers’ longstanding complaints is that they’re often blamed unfairly for rising food prices. Now, two separate reports from the U.S. government show consumers are paying more for food, even as farmers receive less for what they produce.

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Controlling the language

I talked once with a farmer who repeatedly mentioned the “individualized housing” in which animals live. He slipped once and used “cage,” but quickly corrected himself. OK, I told myself, it’s the old control-the-language, control-the-debate approach. But the animals live in cages, and that’s the term I’ll keep using.


No winner in sugar trade war

I talked once with a guy, an American, shortly after he returned from vacation in Mexico. He told of how he’d wanted to eat “authentic” Mexican food, not “tourist” food. So he walked past two restaurants filled with tourists eating fried chicken; no “tourist” food for him. Finally, he found a restaurant serving local residents and ate “authentic” food with them. “Well, what did you have?” I asked. He hesitated an instant (he’d clearly told the story before; his timing was perfect) and said, “Fried chicken.”


Dipping into a two-sided debate

Setting 'fair' farmland rental rates not an easy task


Willows, weather and rains

When I was a kid, my family hayed most of a low, damp meadow. Thickets of willows grew in spots too wet to hay.


We're right, you're crazy

This past winter, I attended an area farm conference at which one of the speakers blasted the intelligence and common sense of environmentalists.


How do you view agriculture?

OK, Agweek readers, I have a question for you. Which of the following best describes your view of agriculture? A) It’s a business that should be treated like any other business. B) It’s a way of life that should be protected at any cost. C) It’s both a business and a way of life.


If you were an urban congressman ...

Planting, harvesting and marketing a crop isn’t easy. But it’s child’s play compared with writing a new farm bill.


Thinking internationally

Through the years, I’ve dealt with a lot of successful agriculturalists — and a few who weren’t so successful.

Harvest changes with the times

Agriculture has changed in so many ways through the years, and harvest is no exception.

‘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.