Mikkel Pates / Agweek
Mikkel Pates is at the Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative annual meeting in Fargo. Reports from the meeting are another big sugar beet crop and payments at profitable levels.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — The St. Cloud, Minn., attorney who unsuccessfully defended Anderson Seed Co. Inc. of Mentor, Minn., in a CHS Inc. lawsuit in Polk County, Minn., has withdrawn from the case, even during an appeal period. Gary R. Leistico of the Rinke Noonan firm on Feb. 15 notified the Ninth Judicial District Court that he withdrew from the Anderson Seed case. Leistico was the point of contact for the Andersons since their facilities went insolvent, creating millions in claims by farmers and elevators in South Dakota and North Dakota.
BROOKINGS, S.D. — A U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist who was famously suspended from his research post in 2015 is starting a research and demonstration farm for what he calls “regenerative, sustainable” farming techniques. Jonathan “Jon” Lundgren of Brookings, S.D., says he’s establishing Blue Dasher Farm LLC, a private research farm that he hopes will be the first in a national network of “centers for excellence in regenerative farming practices.”
FARGO, N.D. -- Cortney Cowley doesn't paint a pretty picture of the next few years for agriculture in the Great Plains. Cowley, an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in its Omaha, Neb., branch, says farm income has continued to weaken with low commodity prices. Farmers are concerned about working capital draining out of accounts.
FARGO, N.D. — Cheap is not sustainable. Low commodity prices will tempt farmers to cut back on weed control, but it won’t work to rely on a single mode of action for multiple years, said Jason Norsworthy, a University of Arkansas weed scientist, speaking recently at a Regional Weed Resistance Conference in Fargo, N.D. “If a weed program lacks diversity, you will quickly develop resistance,” Norsworthy said. “And it’s nothing specific to the Roundup ready (glyphosate) program.”
IPSWICH, S.D. — It’s been a lovely winter for animal care on the Kenneth Kilber ranch, about four miles west of Ipswich, S.D. The family’s operation was ahead in lambing, as 80 percent of the process was completed by Feb. 8.
HERREID, S.D. — Jared Miller of Leon, Iowa, earned the championship of the Greater Midwest Livestock Auctioneering Championship contest, held Jan. 21 at Herreid (S.D.) Livestock Market.
FARGO, N.D. — China is a fast-growing, major market for Upper Midwest soybeans, but the world environment of cheap oil is “flipping around world logistics” and taking away the region’s advantage of shipping soybeans through the Pacific Northwest. In 2016, North Dakota is going to be the largest soybean export state in America, says William Wilson, a professor of agricultural economics at North Dakota State University.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Two men with strong connections to the Red River Valley, who headed companies seeking biofuels investors and sold tax credits in North Dakota, have been indicted for federal tax violations in Iowa. Darrell Duane Smith of Forest City, Iowa, and Randy Less from Hopkinton, Iowa, each have been charged with multiple counts of “willfully failing” to collect, truthfully account for and pay federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes that were withheld from the wages of employees of Permeate Refining Inc., a business that made ethanol in Hopkinton.
MADISON, S.D. — Charlie Johnson of Madison, S.D., a former president of the Northern Plains Sustainable Agricultural Society, sees a strong future for organics, and that’s because of the rise of organic meat demand in America. Charlie and his brother, Allan, grow organic corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa on about 1,600 tillable acres. They have another 800 acres of pastures, sloughs and building sites, and a 200-head beef cow operation.