Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
PLYMOUTH, Minn. — New and innovative uses for crops are always important in modern agriculture. But they’re crucial during the current period of low crop prices and poor farm profitability. So Minnesota’s Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, or AURI, is hosting its first “New Uses Ag Innovation Forum” March 21-22 at the Minneapolis West Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plymouth, Minn.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Potatoes — which boosters describe as “America’s favorite vegetable” — are going on the offensive after years of fighting defensively “We used to say, ‘It’s OK to eat potatoes,’” said Blair Richardson, president and CEO of Potatoes USA. The organization, formerly known as the U.S. Potato Board, is the nation’s potato marketing organization.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Family farms are one of the most controversial topics in modern agriculture. There’s widespread disagreement on what constitutes a family farm and what doesn’t. A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture won’t end the debate, but does shed light on family farms nationwide. Among its conclusions:
If you’re a farmer, you’re probably familiar with cover crops. But home gardeners might want to become familiar with them, too, says the Soil Science Society of America, too. Cover crops — which are grown primarily to improve soil health, not for harvest and sale — can benefit gardens in three ways, the organization says.
MCINTOSH, Minn. — Hank Kimball was the fictional county agent on the old “Green Acres” TV show. Though friendly and eager-to-please, he was scatter-brained and knew virtually nothing about agriculture.
WASHINGTON — I’m writing this in a hallway of a Congressional building on Capitol Hill. I’m here for the annual conference of North American Agricultural Journalists; other members and I have met with various ag leaders in Congress and the Obama administration.
WASHINGTON — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., is worried about food labeling efforts, concerned about a proposed international trade agreement and looking ahead to the next farm bill. Peterson is garnering national attention for his support of Bernie Sanders, but thinks Donald Trump would be a better president, at least for agricultural interests, than Ted Cruz.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — The morning sky was dark gray, as if it teemed with drizzle or fog. But anyone stepping outdoors immediately realized that a hard, relentless mid-April wind had filled the air with dust from dry, unplanted fields. A recent trip to northwest Minnesota found dry conditions — and agriculturalists who gladly would have shut down planting to receive rain. Though only a few drops fell during the visit, some producers did need to quit temporarily because of the wind.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The U.S. sheep industry is optimistic that it’s on a long-term upswing. But the industry faces challenges for at least the next 18 months, a new report says. Slaughter lamb prices will struggle through 2017 because of big stocks of frozen meat in storage and competition from relatively inexpensive imports, according to a report from the Livestock Marketing Information Center, a joint effort of state extension services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Midwest Dairy Association wants consumers to pledge their commitment to dairy.