Ann Bailey / Forum News Service
FARGO — President Donald Trump’s signing Wednesday, Jan. 15, of the Phase One trade agreement with China will benefit North Dakota soybean farmers, said Nancy Johnson, the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association's executive director. Trump and China Vice Premier Liu He signed the agreement Jan. 15 at the White House. The agreement includes ramping up purchases of agricultural products from the United States. Under the agreement, China has agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural commodities.
GILBY, N.D. — Depending on how you look at it, this is either the latest or the earliest Greg Amundson has ever combined corn. Amundson was in a field southwest of Gilby on Monday, Jan. 6, chipping away at his last 200 acres of corn. Rain and snow made the field too wet to harvest during the fall of 2019, so he was forced to extend his efforts into the new year. “We’re two months into a two-week corn harvest,” Amundson said. He started harvesting his 1,600 acres of corn Nov. 8, 2019. Before the historically wet harvest of 2019, the latest he had ever finished harvesting corn was Dec.
GILBY, N.D. — John Hancock doesn’t take water for granted. The 82-year-old Gilby farmer recalls all too vividly the 25 years he spent hauling water from Inkster to his farm northwest of Gilby, which is 27 miles from Grand Forks. It was a 10-mile round trip that he or his wife made at least twice monthly, spring, winter, summer and fall, with their single-axle 1952 Studebaker farm truck loaded with a 1,500 gallon-capacity tank.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Crop disasters in the Northern Plains aren’t unusual. Drought, flood, hail and other adverse weather conditions have wreaked havoc on crops since humans have planted them. But what makes the 2019 crop year one for the history books is the breadth and severity of the damage during September to October, and, on top of that, as much as 2 feet of snow fell in an early autumn snowstorm.
GRAND FORKS — The ripple effect of what likely will be multibillion-dollar crop losses will be felt in many sectors of the Grand Forks regional economy, experts say. A historically wet fall resulted in fields too muddy to harvest; as a result, tens of thousands of acres of grain and row crops were abandoned in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Meanwhile, freezing temperatures destroyed more than a combined 100,000 acres of sugar beets and potatoes in the Red River Valley.
American Crystal Sugar Co. told its shareholders this week that they will receive $37 per ton for the 2019 sugar beet crop. That’s about $14 per ton, or 28%, less than last year’s payment. The announcement was made at the company’s fall factory district meetings held in Drayton, N.D., and Crookston, Minn., on Tuesday, Nov. 19, and in East Grand Forks, Minn., and Hillsboro, N.D., on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The factory district meeting in Moorhead, Minn., will be Thursday, Nov. 21 . About 2,800 Red River Valley farmers grow sugar beets for American Crystal Sugar.
KARLSTAD, Minn. — Sander Dagen raised an exceptional seed potato crop this year. That makes it sting even more as he is forced to abandon approximately 80% of his acres because he cannot harvest them. “You spend a year planning this out," Dagen said. "To have to destroy them is a little bit sad for sure.” The Karlstad farmer, like other seed potato farmers in the Red River Valley, had to abandon acres because wet weather delayed the harvest for several weeks.
HILLSBORO, N.D. -- Jason Siegert’s eyes welled up as he watched his sugar beet crop go under the corn shredder. “That’s the hardest part, to have a crop out there and know we couldn’t get it, and now, we have to mow it off,” Siegert said Wednesday, Nov. 13, as he stood in the field east of the Hillsboro American Crystal Sugar Co. factory. The field that Siegert’s son, Lee, was shredding was one of several that make up the 1,050 sugar beet acres Siegert raises with his business partner, Paul Kozojed.
MOORHEAD — American Crystal Sugar Co. farmer shareholders who had to leave sugar beets in the field this fall will have to pay back the company $343 per acre for the unharvested acres, said growers for the company. The money will be used to cover the company's fixed costs.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — Sugar beet and potato farmers whose crops have been hard hit by excessive moisture this harvest converged on Crookston Tuesday, Nov. 5, to tell U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson about their unprecedented crop losses.