Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
Venktat Chapara knows a great deal about canola and canola disease. Now he's warning farmers in North Dakota's Cavalier County, where canola is widely grown, that clubroot could be reaching "epidemic status" there. "The rapid increase in the number of clubroot-infested fields and the enormous potential for crop loss has raised concern," says Chapara, plant pathologist for the North Dakota State University Langdon Research Extension Center.
WARROAD, Minn. — One of the worst things in Upper Midwest agriculture is watching once-promising crops deteriorate day by day because they're not getting needed rains. That's what Drew Parsley, a Warroad, Minn., farmer, has been doing the past few weeks. "I don't think we've had more than 2 inches total on much of the farm; maybe some fields have gotten 3 inches. It's been especially hard on the soybeans. They had been looking so good, and now they're really struggling," he says.
Women operating farms There's nothing new about women operating U.S. farms. In one form or another, they've always helped to raise crops and tend livestock. But women's role in agriculture and society overall is expanding, and that's true in farm operations, too. On their own or working with neighbors or family members, women now account for nearly one in three U.S. farm operators.
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.
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.
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.