Mikkel Pates is an agricultural journalist, creating print, online and television stories for Agweek magazine and Agweek TV. He writes about a wide range of farmers and agribusinesses throughout North Dakota, Minnesota and surrounding states. He earned his degree in agricultural journalism degree from South Dakota State University and has worked for what are now Forum Communications papers since 1979. He grew up on at Brookings, S.D., where his father was an agricultural journalist with the SDSU Extension Service.

Readers can reach Mikkel email at mpates@agweek.com, or by phone at 701-936-0686.

Farmers had a challenging year in 2022 for weed infestations because of a late planting season and dryness, especially in central and southern South Dakota. Kevin Erikson, lead sales representative for Wilbur-Ellis at Salem, South Dakota, discusses recommendations for grappling with weeds, including herbicide resistance, and year-end chemical and fertilizer purchases.
Cathy Scheibe, at 82, of LaMoure, North Dakota, continues with Toy Farmer Magazine, more than 22 years after her husband and co-founder, Claire, died. She talks about how the company is changing and preparing for transitions, about how markets for toy tractors and construction equipment have been unusually strong due to the pandemic and supply chain issues for new toy commemorative projects.
LeRoy and Rosemary Helbling of Mandan, North Dakota, farm with International Harvester equipment that is mostly 30 to 40 years old, kept in pristine condition. They raise crops primarily as feed for their Hereford herd of cows.
Cow-calf producers had plenty of time to bring cattle from summer pastures, to shelter around farmsteads and to fenced corn stubble fields for late grazing prior to winter. Northeast South Dakota farmer Wally Knock said he has plenty of feed despite a dry late summer.
Officials of American Crystal Sugar Co., a Moorhead, Minnesota, a farmer-owned cooperative, in factory district meetings told shareholder-growers that they brought in a record-high 12.1 million tons of beets. The company added 52,000 acres in the spring to offset effects of late planting and flooding. The company a very strong initial projection of a $71 per ton payment for the 2022 crop, because of the strong crop and many market and economic factors. The company’s annual meeting is Dec. 1, 2022, in Fargo, North Dakota.
Two agricultural policy lobbyists – former Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Randy Russell, a long-time Republican staffer and advocate – say the the closely-divided Congress after the midterms may bode well for replacing the federal farm bill in 2023.
Nathan Faleide has spent about 20 years in agribusinesses, helping farmers use aerial and satellite imagery in precision farming. Now, he’s started “Boundri,” a business that prints those images on novelty items including travel mugs, play rugs and functional or wall hangings, based on views of farmland anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Tom Peters, a North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension service specialist focused on controlling weeds in sugarbeets and rotation crops, thinks North Dakota’s response to Palmer amaranth weeds needs to step up to a “zero tolerance” stance, or farmers will face a tripling of weed chemical control costs.
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022, political and business luminaries helped break ground on Grand Farm’s Innovation Facility. The new facility is being developed on 140 acres west of Casselton and will support research and development projects to advance the next generation of precision agriculture, including autonomous technologies.
Flax has been central to Archer Daniels Midland’s Red Wing, Minnesota, plant that is the biggest of its type in North America, and was one of ADM’s first locations when it took ownership in 1971. The plant has always produced flax seed oil for industrial purposes and has been certified for human food in a specialty market under the Knwble Grwn (“noble grown”) brand.