Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
It's a truism of Upper Midwest agriculture that nature can't provide August weather to please all farmers. Dry conditions benefit small-grain harvest but work against soybeans and other late-planted crops, while the rain showers that help still-developing crops complicate combining wheat and other small grains. But most area farmers, especially ones who grow more than small grains, would welcome rain this August. Many fields across the area are getting dry, and deteriorating crops need moisture.
Organics, wind farms, solar farms, vineyards and more will be among the topics at the summer conference of the Realtors Land Institute, Minnesota Chapter. The event, being promoted to all Minnesota Realtors as well as Realtors Land Institute members, will be held Aug.22-23 in New Ulm, Minn.
Women's ag role expands Women have been essential to Upper Midwest agriculture since the first homesteaders arrived. They've tended livestock, driven tractors, kept books, cared for their children and much more, traditionally concentrating on their family operation. But women's role in area agricutlure is broader and more diverse than ever. Reflecting on what's happening in society overall, women increasingly work off their family farm or ranch and serve in positions once held almost exclusively by men.
The Upper Midwest harvest has begun. Area farmers have started combining what appears to be good overall crops of oats, barley and wheat, according to the weekly crop report released Monday, July 30, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report reflects conditions as of July 29. The oats' harvest is most advanced. In South Dakota, 54 percent of oats were harvested on July 29. Seventy-four percent of the crop was rated as good or excellent, with 24 percent fair and 2 percent poor or very poor.
When you work in agriculture, it's easy to get wrapped up in short-term stuff. Caring for crops and livestock requires a gotta-get-done-today mentality. Marketing crops and livestock often involves changing-by-the-second prices. When you're an ag journalist, it's also easy to focus on the short term. The day-to-day concerns of readers become our concerns, too.
Jasper Teboh: 'I feel I belong here" JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Deron Teboh has just asked yet another question. Bright, curious and 10 years old, he asks a lot of them. This one is complicated, involving technology and political systems. Jasper Teboh, his father, who has answered many such questions, thinks for a second. Then — patiently, succinctly and wisely — he gives an answer emphasizing the value of education and responsible government.
Sugg overview hed: A time of changes The face of agriculture is changing. Literally. By gender, ethnicity and birthplace, the people who live and work in area ag are increasingly diverse. The gender change is sweeping and obvious. Yes, women have been essential to area agriculture since the first homesteaders began planting crops and raising livestock. But reflecting transition in society overall, women are playing a broader, more varied role in agriculture — frequently serving in positions once held almost exclusively by men.
Two major federal farm program deadlines are nearing, and many Upper Midwest farmers and landowners could be affected. Aug. 1 is the deadline to enroll in the 2018 ARC/PLC program. Aug. 17 is the final day for continuous CRP signup. Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage are the federal government's two primary safety-net programs. Farmers already have made their choice between the two programs, but producers must enroll their farm by signing a contract each year to receive coverage.
Generalizing about Upper Midwest crops is always risky. The region is so big and conditions vary so much — south to north and east to west — that what's true in some places is never true in all. But a new government report reinforces what Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota agriculturalists already know: Crops in the region are doing well overall, despite heavy rains in many areas.
BLACKDUCK, Minn. — Theresa Gustafson, Lily Krona and Haley Mouser have strong insights into educating the next generation of Americans about GMO foods. The three Beltrami (Minn.) County teens — members of that generation themselves — put their perspective to good use when they developed an awarding-winning curriculum for teaching pupils in grades three through five about the science and value of GMO crops. "It's so important to help the next generation learn more about science-based agricultural practices," says Mouser, 14, from Tenstrike, Minn.