Julie Buntjer / Forum News Service
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — From snowstorms in April to floods in June and July, southwest Minnesota farmers have had their share of weather woes this growing season. Add in hail storms and wind, and it’s anyone’s guess what harvest will bring in just a few short months.
WINDOM, Minn. — Bare land took the shape of a homestead, horses were replaced by tractors and implements eased the workload for everything from planting to harvest. Yet over the course of 100 years, one thing remained constant on the Wittrock-Swenson farm in Heron Lake Township in Jackson County, Minn.
ROUND LAKE, Minn. — Jackson, Minn.-based New Fashion Pork celebrated the groundbreaking for its new $10 million state-of-the-art feed mill in Round Lake Wednesday afternoon. Under cloudy skies, NFP’s owner and CEO Brad Freking, along with his wife, Meg, and sister, Susan, gripped shovels and took celebratory scoops of black dirt as they grinned for cameras.
AVOCA, Minn. — A chorus of bellars arose from the Big Slough Waterfowl Production Area Friday morning as cattle farmers Travis and Cory Reith first unloaded a livestock trailer filled with cows, then a second trailer of calves. The cattle talk didn’t subside until each cow had been reunited with her calf. Once all was right with the pairs, they set out across the land with its more-than-knee-high dried grasses to graze on their new temporary home west of Avoca.
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday authorized $150,000 in tax abatement for New Fashion Pork LLP to construct a new, $10 million feed mill in Round Lake, Minn. The Jackson, Minn.-based company is also requesting abatement from the city of Round Lake. The county abatement will be spread over 15 years, with $10,000 in abatement each year.
READING, Minn. — On a farm not far from here, pigs are sprawled out and sleeping, rooting up the frozen cap in a dirt yard and frolicking on a weathered cement slab. It’s mid-December, but these four-legged porkers are hamming it up in the final days before they leave for market. As you may already expect, these are no ordinary pigs.
AVOCA, Minn. — Tucked behind the barn on a rural Avoca acreage, Dillon and Chandra Carlson have constructed a 16-kilowatt, 64-panel solar array that will generate enough energy to power their farmhouse, with excess energy feeding into the power supply grid. While the project was completed in September, the Carlsons have yet to capture the full advantage of the system — the warm summer sun.
BREWSTER, Minn — A large granite rock unearthed from a rural Brewster, Minn., farm three years ago will get a new resting spot by early next week, weather permitting. Since it was dug up from a farm field three miles north of Brewster in 2014, the rock has rested not far from a field approach along Nobles County 1. It will now be moved a few miles farther north — to Fury’s Island, a Nobles County park in Graham Lake Township. There, the hope is more people will be able to see it.
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — A representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appeared before Nobles County commissioners on Tuesday to discuss a 97-acre Bloom Township parcel that will be restored to wetlands, native prairie grasses and forbs.
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — With combines across the region still working through fields of corn, farmers have found it slow going as they harvest what appears to be another bumper crop. Rural Bigelow, Minn., farmer Matt Russell wrapped up harvest late last week. He said corn yields are about 10 percent better than last year, while soybean yields were slightly lower, though still good at 50 to 65 bushels per acre.