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Jonathan Knutson


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New choice for durum growers

Durum growers have wanted more planting options. Now they have one, albeit in limited supplies.

ND eyes dairy turnaround

North Dakota officials are fine-tuning plans for an upcoming conference on revitalizing the state’s long-declining dairy industry.

Creating a succession plan

Passing on the family farm or ranch to the next generation can be one of the most difficult jobs in agriculture.

Record setting year for spring wheat

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirm what Upper Midwest farmers already thought: South Dakota and North Dakota enjoyed record spring wheat yields this year.

Upper Midwest harvest continues to cruise

Upper Midwest farmers have caught up on their harvest of soybeans and nearly caught up on corn and sunflower harvest, the federal government says. Producers also have finished harvesting sugar beets and are done planting winter wheat, according to the Nov. 3 harvest progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

'Entry point' on climate change

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a new resource for farmers and ranchers who are adapting their operations to climate change.

Record run for spring wheat

Jerry Kruger, a long-time Warren, Minn., wheat farmer, remembers when a spring wheat crop that yielded 40 beshels per acre was cause for celebration.


Farmers weigh harvesting corn or drying in the field

The long run of warm, dry weather, and the forecast of even 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?

Dry bean yields suffer

Dry bean yields in North Dakota and western Minnesota were hurt by unfavorable weather and crop disease, an industry official says.

Looking back at planting decisions

This spring, for the second straight year, many area farmers decided to continue planting well into summer rather than quit planting and collect federal crop insurance.

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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.