Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO, N.D. — Former large-scale farmer Ron McMartin Jr., of St. Thomas, N.D., has now filed personal bankruptcy in addition to his McM Inc. corporate bankruptcy, which was filed in February. McMartin filed a petition for Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fargo on Sept. 11. The three-page filing on an expedited basis doesn't yet include listing of debts and assets, a schedule which is due by Sept. 25.
WAHPETON, N.D. — Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative started its pre-pile harvest on Monday, Sept. 11, and its processing "slice" campaign on Sept. 13. The Wahpeton, N.D., based co-op had set its planting limits at 17 percent less than last year. On Aug. 23, management informed shareholders they would have to prepare for an "initial corral" of additional 15 percent of planted acres that may need to be destroyed by leaving them in the field to keep the crop in line with storage and processing capacity.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Regardless of future regulation or legal issues, an educator in agricultural pesticide application techniques urges farmers to "dig in" on learning labels and temperature inversions to make the best of dicamba in 2018. "Try to have conversations in your neighborhood to understand what's going on where," said Bob Wolf of Wolf Consulting and Research of Mahomet, Ill., speaking at the 37th Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo. "And if nothing else, learn more about how to deal with (temperature) inversions, about when to spray and when not to."
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Steiger Tractor Co. was sold to J.I. Case in the 1980s, but the Steiger brand lives on and pioneers came to the Big Iron Farm Show to honor the men and machines that made it happen. A focal point was unveiling a book that included Douglass Steiger, a leader in the family that invented the machine near Thief River Falls, Minn. The event was held in conjunction with gatherings of former Steiger executives at Big Iron as well as gatherings at the Case New Holland plant in Fargo, where the tractor model is still made, now under the Case-IH brand.
AYR, N.D. — Bagging wheat — it's a practice often seen in central and western South Dakota, but unusual in the Red River Valley of the North. Crews were unfurling the long, white structures and filling them with 2016 and 2017 wheat for the first time on Sept. 11, at Ayr, N.D. The Arthur Companies elevator made room in the bin for what's expected to be a strong soybean crop that is just days away. Some farmers in the area have been bagging some corn in the past few years, but bagging wheat is unusual here.
CAMPBELL, Minn. — While many farmers in the region have faced drought, farmers in the Wilkin County area in western Minnesota have gotten adequate moisture and have seen a bountiful small grains harvest. Now they're hoping for a favorable row crop finish. Kevin Tobeck is the new plant manager at the Campbell, Minn., site for the Wheaton-Dumont Co-op Elevator, which has sites in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Campbell has 1.25 million bushels of capacity, handling mostly wheat while other facilities in the group take beans and corn.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. — Dicamba damage on 2017 soybeans has shifted into a new phase of high-stakes public relations, regulatory and legal battles. The Arkansas State Plant Board on Aug. 25 recommended limiting the chemical's use to before April 15 in that state for 2018. Low-volatility dicamba herbicides include Monsanto's XtendiMax, DuPont's FeXapen and BASF's Engenia. The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing label instructions for the chemicals for 2018.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — The Environmental Protection Agency predicted it might take six months to do an initial evaluation of "energy beets" for their environmental footprint as a feedstock for biofuels. Six years — not months — later the agency has a thumbs up on energy beets as a feedstock — rating it for greenhouse gases and other environmental issues. Proponents say it's a the first of three hurdles in making it accepted as a viable biofuel.
MILNOR, N.D. — Rose and Dave Colby raise a range of crops on their farm. Their favorite crop is kids — happy, rural kids. Rose manages Colby's Corner Daycare, a child care facility that has literally taken over the old farm house on the farmstead where Dave grew up, a few miles west of Milnor, N.D. The rest of the site remains a working farm, across the section from where the couple has a separate farmstead. The Colbys started a child care nine years ago and in July 2013 expanded it to a "group 30" license, indicating the number of children they can accommodate.
BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Supreme Court on Aug. 30 unanimously upheld a East Central District Court ruling that an environmental permit for a sow farm at Buffalo, N.D., was properly granted. Plaintiffs in Coon v. North Dakota Department of Health argued that the permit was improper. East Central District Judge Douglas R. Herman had ruled that the Department's permit should stand.