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.
FARGO, N.D.—Get ready, get set, because April warm temperatures and any flooding potential will accelerate rapidly, says a North Dakota State University specialist. "Once we shift to 50s during the day and staying above freezing at night, which they're forecasting will come up by April 6, 7, 8, that is going to trigger some major changes for us," says Ken Hellevang, an NDSU Extension Service, engineer in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department.
WASHBURN, N.D.—Grain trader Hunter Hanson was arrested Thursday, April 4, on a felony theft charge brought this week in McLean County. Hanson's Devils Lake-based businesses were shut down by the North Dakota Public Service Commission last year after he failed to make payments to farmers from which he had purchased grain. Claims against the businesses now top $7 million. McLean County state's attorney Ladd Erickson confirmed Hanson's arrest Thursday, but declined to say when or where or he was arrested or where he would be taken.
BISMARCK, N.D.—The 2019 crop year looks fraught with stormy financial seas—with low commodity prices and high fertilizer and input prices. A newer entry to the market space is Lighthouse Commodities of Bismarck—a "roving grain buyer" as regulated by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, but with an unusual array and combination of functions and strict internal financial controls. Lighthouse has a $2 million bond, but its top officials say its real value is a system of discipline and integrity.
PIERRE, S.D.—While the South Dakota Legislature looks at studying changes to the way it values ag land for taxes, the current system also is being challenged in the courts. The issue is the use soil type to determine the value of the land, whether it be in the middle of a pasture, under a pond or on top of a remote bluff.
FARGO, N.D.—The chief executive of an Iowa company has announced a "stretch goal" to plant 10,000 acres of American soybeans in 2019. The wrinkle is his custom farming company will use "supervised" autonomous tractors. The company is called Sabanto Inc. of Ames, Iowa. Craig Rupp, the company's chief executive officer who has a track record in high-tech ag business, spoke Wednesday, March 6, to more than 100 attendees at a 1 Million Cups event in Fargo. The event is hosted by Fargo tech company Emerging Prairie, led by Greg Tehven.
BISMARCK, N.D.—The North Dakota Public Service Commission says claimants have until early April to file loss claims against Hunter Hanson, who was ordered late last year to stop his grain trading businesses after complaints of his checks being returned of insufficient funds. Hanson was doing business from Devils Lake, N.D., with a roving grain buyer license named Midwest Grain Trading and a warehouse license to NoDak Grain.
PROSPER, N.D. — When the Philippines approved the import of the Enlist soybean traits, it was a game-changer for soybean growers and seed sellers for the 2019 crop. Enlist E3 is a brand of Corteva Agriscience, an agricultural division of DowDuPont. Enlist is a genetically-modified trait for soybeans that provides tolerance to weed killers 2,4-D choline, as well as Liberty (glufosinate) and Roundup (glyphosate).