A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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RAYMOND, Minn. — After explaining how technology-driven, prescription fertilizer methods make economic and environmental sense because fewer chemicals are applied to farmland, Noah Hultgren invited Matt Dean to climb into the cab of a John Deere combine. Even though there was too much snow to harvest corn and the combine was in a heated shop, Dean got the rundown on how the mammoth machine operates and then followed Hultgren outside to see a grain dryer that was reducing the moisture content of already harvested corn.
WILLMAR, Minn. — A Willmar man was sentenced Monday to 45 months in prison for a long list of felony theft and burglary charges for taking nearly $30,000 worth of items from farm sheds and garages in his rural Kandiyohi County neighborhood and pawning or selling them on Facebook. Jordan Anthony Brede, 23, cried in court Monday as he pledged to change his ways while in prison. "I want to take this time to apologize to the community and victims of my crime," Brede said.
WILLMAR, Minn. — After a cool, wet spring kept most farm implements inside the machine shed in April, farmers are out in force this week getting field tillage and planting underway. Statewide in Minnesota, 35 percent of the corn was planted. That's 16 days behind last year and eight days behind the average, according to the latest crop report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WILLMAR, Minn. — About 50 farmers and community leaders from around the region met Thursday in Willmar to talk about issues affecting agriculture and rural communities. "Let your voices be heard," said Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, which is conducting 15 listening sessions around the state over a two-week period. Health insurance was a major topic of debate at this March 30 session in Willmar. Emily Piper, commissioner of Human Services, responded to questions about the high cost of health insurance.
WILLMAR, Minn. — The driver of a runaway horse-drawn wagon that was carrying passengers as part of a local Christmas light celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, is in critical condition after the wagon crashed in yard. Some of the 15 passengers in the wagon were also transported by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Most were treated and released, according to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.
WILLMAR, Minn.—Fear fueled by misinformation—and not science—is a driving force in the anti-GMO movement that could harm agriculture and make it difficult to feed a growing world population. That was the message delivered Tuesday during the sixth annual Ag and Animal Science Conference at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.
WILLMAR — This time last year — to be blunt — all hell was breaking loose on west central Minnesota poultry farms as thousands of commercially raised turkeys and chickens began dropping dead from a highly contagious bird flu. All told, more than 9 million birds in Minnesota were either killed by the disease or euthanized to prevent its spread. The economic cost to the state is estimated at $650 million.
NEW LONDON - A giant pumpkin grown in Iowa beat out a New London man's attempt for a world record. The difference was just 65 pounds. Chad Revier had hoped the combined weight of the three largest pumpkins he grew in his grandmother's garden would earn him the 2009 "Grower of the Year" title from the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth. It's a prize that pumpkin growers from all over the world compete for. Read more on this story Wednesday in the West Central Tribune.
NEW LONDON -- Chad Revier has already broken the Minnesota state record he set last year for growing the largest pumpkin. Now he's seeking the status of "Grower of the Year" for the world. A 1,579-pound pumpkin the New London man grew this year outweighs the giant pumpkin he grew last year by about 150 pounds.
Pie makers and jack-o'-lantern carvers may want to nab a pumpkin while they can. A cool summer in Minnesota, and much of the Midwest, could result in fewer pumpkins for sale this fall at farmers' markets and retail outlets. "It was too cold of a summer. The heat wasn't there," said John Blonigen, who grew about an acre of pumpkins this year on his 6-acre vegetable farm near Paynesville. He sells to local retail outlets.