MOORHEAD, Minn. — Farmers facing difficult economic volatility and slim profit margins need to stick to the fundamentals and watch the "leading" and not "lagging" indicators of recession, a nationally-known agricultural economist advises. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., spoke at the fifth annual Bell Bank symposiums in Moorhead and Fergus Falls in Minnesota on Monday, July 8, to an audience of ag professionals and farmers.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota's decision to allow spraying of new formulas of dicamba herbicide on dicamba-tolerant soybean varieties through July 10 puts the state later than surrounding states. But it's too soon to say whether weather or other label requirements will be the limiting factor, experts say. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on June 26 announced the decision to extend the spraying period in the state from the initial June 30 deadline, based on delayed planting and insufficient spray days so far this summer.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Hunter Hanson, the North Dakota grain trader who investigators say bilked millions of dollars from farmers and elevators, will be allowed to leave jail while he awaits a plea hearing on federal wire fraud and money laundering charges. In a bond hearing on Thursday, June 20, Magistrate Judge Clare Hochhalter ordered Hanson released under strict conditions at the farm where his father, Keith Hanson, lives near Sheyenne in northeast North Dakota.
BISMARCK, N.D.—Federal prosecutors have asked that grain trader Hunter Hanson be detained and not eligible for bond release prior to his change of plea hearing in five weeks. Magistrate Judge Clare Hochhalter said Hanson will be held in the Burleigh County Detention Center until a bond hearing at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 20, in Bismarck. The separate change of plea hearing is at 9:15 a.m., July 30, in Bismarck.
KULM, N.D. — A town that lost its Case IH dealer two years ago is now benefiting from an independent farm service business. Kulm Service started in April 2017 and has replaced a Titan Machinery dealership that was among a dozen announced for closure in February 2017. “It was a pretty hard hit on ourselves and the community,” farmer Neal Berntson says, while discussing the Titan announcement.
NEKOMA, N.D. — There was something comically Machiavellian about the scene during a crop visit with the Waslaski men at a farm field near Nekoma in northeast North Dakota. Smoke could be seen for miles — billowing up, the blades from wind electric generation turbines spinning in the background. The father and son duo explained that they’d been scouting a new canola crop field for flea beetle pests and realized that obsolete tree lot they’d grubbed out four years ago could be burned without any impact on neighbors or motorists.
FARGO, N.D. — If machines are going to go out and identify weeds and then send out drones or sprayers to control them, the cameras researchers first must "teach" the machines how to tell the weeds from crops and weeds from weeds. And if cattle farmers and ranchers are going to use drones to count cattle and check them for diseases, they'll need some "machine learning" to sort out what behavior is meaningless and what might indicate disease stress.
GLYNDON, Minn. — Vice President Mike Pence, standing with farmers at a sugar beet and crop farm in Clay County, Minn., delivered a simple message, aimed at Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., regarding the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement. "We're grateful that Congressman Peterson is supporting USMCA. But I think it's absolutely essential that Congressman Peterson, who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, carry the message of agriculture here in Minnesota and across America, to the Democratic leadership in the House," Pence said Thursday, May 9.
DOYON, N.D.— Ron Severtson and his son, Kevin, think it might be the first week in May before they start planting east of Devils Lake in northeast North Dakota. They're ready for temperatures in the 60s and 70s. It was reasonably dry last fall. The Severtsons had worked some ground they hadn't gotten to since things started getting wet after 1993. Ron said he hopes there has been enough moisture as the winter's snow-melt soaks in.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.— If the bearish numbers in the March 29 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Prospective Plantings Report gets you down, Alan Roebke says he has a plan to perk things up—the Roebke Plan. Roebke, 69, in the 1980s was a sizeable Minnesota farmer and sugar co-op mover and shaker. He says his plan can do for corn, wheat and soybeans what the sugar program does for the region's sugar beets. He says he thinks farmers need the government to raise commodity loan rates significantly and increased ethanol content in gasoline mixes.