Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
The 2018 crop season was "challenging," bringing adverse weather and reduced yields, Matt Nelson said. But what the Lakota, N.D., farmer will remember most and longest about 2018 is this: "Nothing is more important than your personnel." Nelson farms near Lakota, N.D., a town of about 650 in north-central North Dakota. Agweek followed Nelson through the 2018 crop season, and wraps up the series with this article. Nelson raised wheat, canola, black beans and corn this year.
Dairy Farmers of America is buying the Agropur plant in St. Paul, allowing DFA to expand its current product line. The sale is expected to be completed in early January. Employees will retain their current positions and the existing management team will continue to manage all day-to-day operations, including customer relationships, milk procurement and production, according to the two companies. The facility manufactures fresh, extended shelf-life and aseptic dairy products for well-known grocery store chains and organic milk brands, DFA and Agropur say.
Upper Midwest agriculture is a heady brew of weather, crop and livestock prices, politics, personalities and more. Every new year brings both similarities and differences to what's happened in the past. And, over time, the years tend to run together. But two things made 2018 particularly memorable for area agriculturalists:
If you're interested in details of the newly approved farm bill — the centerpiece of U.S. food and ag policy, updated every five years — here's a link to the full 807-page document: https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20181210/CRPT-115hrpt1072.pdf .
WASHINGTON — Democratic members of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture introduced legislation Thursday, Dec. 20, that would halt the Trump administration's plan to relocate and reorganize the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The new, opposing legislation, the Agriculture Research Integrity Act of 2018, addresses widespread concern, especially among scientists and researchers, about the administration's plan.
Beef and other widely-eaten meats aren't particularly cheap — in dollars — in the United States. But they're a relative bargain in time worked to buy them. That's the conclusion of a global food affordability study from Caterwings, a British catering company. It measured beef, chicken, fish, pork and lamb prices in 52 countries and evaluated them against the minimum wage in each of the countries. The goal was to provide insight into the affordability of meat, not just its price tag.
I'll talk about agriculture with anyone. And I'm proud and pleased to have talked with Ray Goldberg, a North Dakota native, Harvard professor emeritus and a co-coiner of the term "agribusiness" in 1957.
FARGO, N.D. — Redder, bluer, and a more challenging environment for production agriculture. That's how Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer Washington analyst, assesses the result of the November elections. Wiesemeyer spoke Nov. 27 at the annual Northern Ag Expo in Fargo on "Washington Volatility to Continue: Updates on Economy, Farm Policy, Energy and Trade."
Alisha Nord and Dan Donnelly are true agriculturalists. The circumstances — he proposed to her in the barn, and she accepted — are proof of that. "It was about as honest a true surprise as a person could get," Nord said of his proposal. "I completely tricked her," Donnelly said. As for the setting, which some folks might consider, well, less than romantic, "Most of the people who know us, when they heard about it, said, 'That's so you guys. That's so perfect,'" Nord said.
It's sometimes said that Upper Midwest agriculture is divided into the crop season and the winter meeting season. Though the 2018 crop season isn't wrapped up yet, the meeting season is beginning. The 2019 Prairie Grains Conference — considered by some to be the unofficial start of the farm meeting season in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota — will be held Dec. 12-13 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Typically, 750 to 900 people attend.