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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, or by phone at 701-936-0686.

A North Dakota potato breeder brings in a speaker from Wyoming who has trained a dog to detect potato virus diseases using their nose.
Breaking News
Planting progress for North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and surrounding states is far below normal for mid-May. Farmers have been delayed in getting the 2022 crop in the ground due to late cold temperatures and now excessive rain and storms.
Anne Waltner, Parker, South Dakota, left a full-time career as a concert pianist and educator to join her parents’ farming operation. Along the way she married, had triplet daughters and survived cancer. Of her journey and life, she says: “Can you think of anybody luckier than me?”
Breaking News
A derecho – a large-scale wind storm with 90- to 100-mph straight winds and two tornados – blasted through eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota on May 12, 2022, killing one, damaging buildings including hundreds of farms.
Brokers handling American Crystal Sugar Co. stock share sales say the 2021-22 selling season saw a record high average of $4,217. The brokered share sales for the Moorhead, Minnesota-based co-op account for less than 1% of planted acres in the co-op.
Dwayne Gorder is a northeast South Dakota farmer dropping plans to plant wheat because of the calendar. His first planting near Estelline, South Dakota, was on May 10, 2022.
The lawyer for a South Dakota grain company says they’ll appeal a decision by Nebraska regulators who refused to reconsider their $290,000 fine against the company for buying grain in that state without a license.
Several top U.S. Department of Agriculture and Biden administration officials in late April told the North American Agricultural Journalists in their national meeting that they are moving ahead on perennial concerns for farmers, including Waters of the United States rules, and crop insurance improvement.
Richard Zollinger, a long-time North Dakota State University Extension Service weed scientist, has been honored by the Western Society of Weed Science in their Fellows Awards. He was an innovator in the Wide World of Weeds annual conferences and was known for his study of dicamba herbicide drift issues.
Officials of Emerging Prairie, a Fargo, North Dakota, non-profit technology and economic development group, on May 3, 2022, announced its new multi-million “Innovation Center” will be west of Casselton, North Dakota.