Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — If you're interested in big-picture economics — and everyone involved in Upper Midwest agriculture has a stake in the macroeconomic outlook — there are good reasons to be positive, said Bryon Parman, North Dakota State University Extension ag finance specialist. But he also sees a longstanding and growing reason to be apprehensive: the huge and expanding federal deficit.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — An informal survey of northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota agricultural lenders found concern about the financial condition of many of their clients. But the survey also identified one reason for optimism. About 90 area bankers attended the annual North Dakota State University Extension Outlook Conference for Agricultural Lenders Oct. 28 in Grand Forks. The event allowed ag bankers to hear insights from Extension specialists about crop prices, land values and other ag topics.
Farmers worldwide are getting better at raising food, but the world's food needs are growing even faster than the increase in agricultural productivity, a new study finds. The 0.1% gap — world ag productivity is growing 1.63% annually, with an annual increase of 1.73% needed to sustainably produce food, feed, fiber and energy in the future — threatens global ability to provide ag products for 10 billion people in 2050, the study says. The world now has about 7.7 billion people.
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Though colony collapse disorder has generated a great deal of concern, the phenomenon has had "very small effects" on commercial pollinators, according to an author of a new study on the economic impacts of colony collapse disorder, or CCD, among commercial honeybees. The research found "remarkably little to suggest dramatic and widespread economic effects from CCD," according to the report.
Upper Midwest farmers made some harvest progress in the week ending Oct. 20. But their gains were far less than they wanted and needed, especially in North Dakota. The weekly crop progress report, reflecting conditions Oct. 20 and released Oct. 21 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that the already-delayed harvest remains far behind schedule. New harvest progress was particularly slow in North Dakota, which generally was hit harder than neighboring states by an exceptionally early October blizzard.
CAVALIER, N.D. — This is a story about a term and agricultural practice — silvopasture — that you're probably never heard of. But if you like trees or livestock, or want to better protect pasture for future generations, keep reading.
It's been said many times that good help is hard to find. The old saying is certainly true in Upper Midwest agriculture, where farmers and ranchers often struggle to find employees, both full-time and seasonal. Agweek reporter Jonathan Knutson plans a cover package on this important topic that will be published in early 2020. In addition to talking with experts about the challenges of the labor shortage and potential solutions to it, he wants input from readers about their own experiences in the hunt for hired help.
The seven days ending Oct. 13 brought heavy rains and a debilitating early blizzard to much of the Upper Midwest. As a result, area farmers made very little progress in an already disturbingly hate harvest. The weekly crop progress report, released Oct. 15 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and reflecting conditions on Oct. 13, confirms that the miserable weather further hampered harvest.
Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as Bedlam, is an English psychiatric hospital that once was notorious for its atrocious treatment of mentally ill patients. Reflecting the attitude of the era, respectable English families, parents with their children, came to gawk at the patients — mental illness becoming entertainment. Though the MTV Generation no longer uses the word, bedlam (not capitalized) came to mean chaos and confusion.
North Dakota's Morton County and Minnesota's Aitkin County have received a combined $2.8 million to enhance broadband service for some of their residents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced. In Morton County, BEK Communications Cooperative has received an $844,000 Community Connect Program grant to "help spark economic and educational opportunities, enhance health care and bolster public safety," USDA says. USDA will deploy a 49-mile Fiber-to-the Home network to 125 households that currently are underserved.