Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
In late March, Tim Courneya, executive vice president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, based in Frazee, Minn., asked the farmers-directors of his organization how many acres of dry edible beans they intend to plant this spring. Their collective answer, Courneya said, was, "Status quo" — or roughly the same number of acres as they planted in 2018.
FARGO, N.D. — Matthew Kleinhenz stood in the front of the room, enthusiastically answering one question after another about the challenges of operating high tunnels: mice, insects and cold well water, among others. "They're not imbued with special cosmic properties," Kleinhenz, Extension specialist in vegetable production systems at Ohio State University, said of high tunnels. "They're a tool, a tool you can use to reduce risk."
Through the years, I've been in the barns of quite a few Upper Midwest dairy farmers. They're some of the nicest people and best farmers I know. So I take no pleasure in writing about the long stretch of poor milk prices that has forced far too many dairy operations out of business. From 2017 to 2018 alone, 6.5 percent of U.S. dairy farms shut down, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. So what's the problem?
G3, the successor to the former Canadian Wheat Board, is building two more grain elevators in Alberta. One will be in Irricana, the other in Stettler County. Both new facilities will have a capacity of 42,000 metric tons and a railway loop track that can accommodate a 150-car unit train. G3 Stettler County will be on CP Rail; G3 Irricana on CN Rail. Construction on the elevators is planned to start by this summer, pending final regulatory approvals. Construction is expected to be complete in 2020.
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. — 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.