Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
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.
With the average age of U.S. farmers approaching 60 years old, attracting more beginning farmers is a priority for U.S. agriculture. A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a big-picture look at the beginning farmers in place now.
Agriculturalists know all too well that weeds, insects, crop disease and viral disease in livestock change and evolve, complicating efforts to control them. Now, a $3 million grant will help researchers at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine — as well as farmers — learn more about how porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, or PRRSV, evolves and spreads. The research also seeks to help producers stay ahead of the disease.
Determining the right farmland rental rate can be both difficult and controversial. But experts advise using impartial, third-party statistics as a starting point, and the National Agricultural Statistics Services, or NASS, has information that can help.
Tim Courneya sighed when asked how the region's 2019 dry bean harvest is faring. "It's so hard to tell," said Courneya, executive vice president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, based in Frazee, Minn. "It's all over the board." This much is clear: though a handful of dry bean farmers have finished or are close to completing their harvest, the overall harvest is well behind schedule and overall yields won't measure up to their excellent 2018 and 2017 levels.
Kevin Paap is pleased by repeal of the controversial Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS, rule. Now he and his organization are hoping that the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, will be approved quickly by the U.S. Congress. "Approval of the USMCA is very important," said Paap, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau and a fourth-generation family farmer in Blue Earth County near Garden City, Minn.
PARK RIVER, N.D. — Aaron Kjelland says he's "inherently an optimist." That's a good thing, even a necessity, in modern agriculture. But it's especially important this growing season — one that began for Kjelland with too little rain and that's now plagued with excess moisture, harvest delays and major quality concerns in his wheat crop. "It's been a challenging year, that's for sure. And there are farmers who've had greater challenges than we've had," said the 38-year-old who farms with his father Orville near Park River northeastern North Dakota.
September brings shorter, generally cooler days, as well as dew that stays longer in the morning and arrives earlier in the evening. Those things are working against area farmers, who need warm, dry conditions to get into soggy fields and combine wet wheat and also to boost the late development of still-maturing crops.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Crop prices are poor, and farm profits are limited, even non-existent. So it stands to reason that the price farmers pay to buy and rent cropland is slipping, right? But that's not the case. Though trends vary from area to area, "Land values are resilient" overall, holding steady or even inching higher, said Brent Qualey, veteran area real estate salesman and appraiser with Farmers National. His company describes itself as "the nation's leading agricultural landowner services company."