Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
Farming and ranching in the Upper Midwest isn't much fun right now. It's not particularly satisfying, enjoyable, pleasurable, or rewarding, either. The long, tough winter has stressed livestock and the people who care for them. Poor crop prices will prevent most farmers from turning a profit in 2019 unless they enjoy very good yields.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has narrowed its search for the new homes of two of its agencies and hundreds of its employees, and proposed locations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana didn't make the cut. But three proposed sites in Minnesota remain in the running, USDA announced Tuesday, March 12. Of the initial 136 "expressions of interest" received by USDA, 67 locations remain under consideration, including the following Minnesota plans: • Falcon Heights, Minn., as proposed by Buhl Investors.
There was a time when an Upper Midwest sunflower producer considered a single field yielding 2,000 pounds per acre to be a bumper crop. But the 2018 Minnesota statewide average yield blew past the ton-per-acre mark, with some individual fields faring even better.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — It's sometimes said the devil is in the details. Now, for Upper Midwest farmers facing tough financial times, economic success may rest in the details — especially details of the things they can control, including marketing and relationships with landlords and grain buyers.
GRAND FORKS. N.D. — When Scott Knoke visited Nebraska in 2017 on a group trip to learn more about Palmer amaranth, he and others on the trip hoped the destructive weed wouldn't reach North Dakota until 2020. But Knoke, Benson County (N.D.) Extension agent, acknowledges that was too optimistic. The state had its first confirmed case of the weed in 2018. The task now is to keep Palmer from expanding further and establishing itself in North Dakota, Knoke said.
BUFFALO, Minn. — Minnesota's long, snowy and windy winter is taking a toll on dairy barns in the state. At least 19 barns, most in the central, southeast and south central parts of the state, have collapsed due to the combination of snow and high wind, said Lucas Sjostrom, executive director of the Minnesota Milk Producers Association. "There gets to be wet, heavy snow and high winds and, depending on the angle of the building (to the wind), there's one weak point and the building collapses," he said.
A short primer: Cell-based meat is a complicated and controversial topic that doesn't lend itself to simple or clear-cut conclusions, especially since the technology is still evolving. But these key points provide a useful overview: • The process takes cells from animals, and grows the cells using liquid solutions in controlled conditions in a laboratory. Advocates say a brewery is a better comparison than a lab. • Worldwide meat consumption will increase 73 percent by 2050, according to a 2011 United Nations report.
LANGDON, N.D. – CHS has announced plans to build a new 24,000-ton fertilizer facility at its Langdon, N.D., location, part of its Country Operations retail division. This expansion is meant to broaden both supply and services to growers in Cavalier County, providing much-needed speed and space to meet growing demand.
The caller told me in clear and certain terms that he didn't like what I'd written in an Agweek news article: that many U.S. farm organizations and commodity groups are deeply concerned about disruptions in American ag exports. "Fake news," the caller said. "Well," I said, "you may disagree with their assessment. But it's undeniably true that they're worried. And it's part of our job as journalists to report that." I don't know if there was a sneer on the caller's face, but I certainly heard one in his voice when he said, "You arrogant journalists" and hung up.
"Food Citizenship, Food System Advocates in an Era of Distrust," written by Ray A. Goldberg and published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. Reviewed by Jonathan Knutson, Agweek Staff Writer. Ray Goldberg tackles the fundamental issue in his introduction: "Perhaps no economic system is viewed with suspicion by so many people around the world as the food system," he writes.