Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Garth Kruger is taking the long view on tile drainage, aka "agricultural subsurface drainage" and "subsurface water management." Though tile drainage might not make great financial sense in the short term, the Warren, Minn, farm still sees it as strong long-term investment. "I've got young children. When you consider them, the next generation, you take a different view of this," he said.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Like other Upper Midwest soybean farmers, Mike Loyland is happy that he has a new tool to fight weeds. Also like other area farmers, the Thompson, N.D., producer knows the newly approved formulation of the herbicide dicamba requires greater-than-usual care. "It's good we have this. Now, to use it properly, we'll have to continue to be vigilant,' says Loyland, who also raises other crops, including potatoes, that can be hurt by dicamba drift.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — If there's a silver bullet or magic pill to help farmers overcome poor crop prices, Andrew Swenson and Frayne Olson don't know what it is. But the two North Dakota State University economists do advise agriculturalists to focus on efficiency. "I want to challenge your thinking about how you're doing business, just to confirm that you're doing it right. Are there ways you can make some tweaks or adjustments or refinements to what you're doing to do it even better?" Olson said.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — U.S. soybean growers and the people who work with them are "on probation" with their use of the herbicide dicamba, a North Dakota State University extension weed specialist said. "The bottom line is, we're on probation. We have to demonstrate to the (Environmental Protection) Agency that we can successfully apply these products," Tom Peters said. Peters spoke Feb. 23 at the International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, N.D.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — If you're familiar with Upper Midwest agriculture, you know the eastern half of Agweek country — southern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota and the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota — generally enjoys better crops and greater potential profit than the western half.
Agriculturalists like to portray themselves to the outside world as, "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers." (Hey, it's a Shakespeare quote. Don't blame me because it's gender-limited.) When you account for just 2 percent of the U.S. population, trying to present a unified front is a good idea.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Chris Koch said, with a perfectly straight face, that he has a "disarming personality." Then he broke into a broad grin and said, "I like to tell corny jokes. It puts people at ease." Koch — a Nanton, Alberta, farmer and motivational speaker born without arms and legs — was the keynote speaker Jan. 22 on the first day of the annual two-day International Crop Expo in Grand Forks, N.D. The event drew about 4,000 people and 180 exhibitors
Forty-three billion dollars is roughly the gross domestic product of Tunisia and the net worth of Oracle founder Larry Ellison. It’s also the amount of money U.S. and Canadian corn and soybean farmers would lose annually to uncontrolled weeds if they couldn’t apply herbicides or use other control techniques, according to a new study by a group of weed scientists. About half of the current average yield of both crops would be lost if weeds couldn’t be controlled, the study finds.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Jon Hanson is new to agriculture. But he’s already figured out a basic truth of Upper Midwest ag. “When the weather is good in planting, you really go. And we have been. The days get to be pretty long. It’s great, though,” says the Grand Forks, N.D.-based Hanson, who began driving a fertilizer truck for J.R. Simplot Co. this spring. He talked briefly with Agweek at a field near Grand Forks, where he had just delivered fertilizer for a soon-to-be-planted potato field.
If you live in the Upper Midwest, parts of it anyway, you’ve noticed haze in the air caused by Canadian wild fires. If you live in the Upper Midwest and are involved in ag, you’ve probably wondered if the haze will hurt crops. After all, growing plants need sunshine.