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).
MOORHEAD, Minn.—Alan Slater retired Thursday, Feb. 28, as director of Midwest Malting Barley Operations for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. He's been with the company for 34 years. In his current role, Slater, 60, has run the Moorhead malt plant, visible along Interstate 94 with its big Budweiser sign. The plant itself has about 50 employees. Slater also has overseen country elevators that supply the malt plant in North Dakota from West Fargo, Sutton, and in Montana at Fairfield and Conrad.
PIERRE, S.D. — A new Ag in the Classroom program for South Dakota is taking off in its first year available in 102 of the 150 school districts in the state. Then Ground Works-Midwest, a non-profit headquarters in Sioux Falls, had developed a program to help teachers create classroom gardens, and then healthy eating for kids, and saw an opportunity for the Ag in the Classroom. A previous state ag in the classroom program had "died on the vine," about two years ago.
HOLABIRD, S.D.—Rodeo cowboys are known for toughness, so it would be no surprise that the Zilverberg family—all of them—take a typical South Dakota winter in stride.
MANSFIELD, S.D. — Calving came a bit earlier than planned, and right into the teeth of some of the coldest, snowiest conditions Michael Fischbach has seen. Fischbach, 45, farms with his wife Becky. They operate 2,800 ares, including alfalfa, corn, soybeans and wheat, and maintain 150 head of stock cows, which are in the midst of calving. In February, the cows "get all of the attention," he says, with a grin. Usually the Fischbachs aim to start calving about Jan. 20, with the first-calf heifers, and then start the more mature cows about three weeks later.
MINNEAPOLIS — The former general manager of the defunct Ashby (Minn.) Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. pleaded guilty to federal felony charges of mail fraud and income tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Thursday, Feb. 14.
FARGO, N.D. — A hearty crowd of more than 500 people attended the second annual Northern Corn and Soy Expo and trade show at the Fargodome on Feb. 12. Organizers said attendance felt the effects of slippery rural road conditions. Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association, said more than 700 had pre-registered for the event which combined forces for the two crops. Sponsors and commercial exhibitors seemed to agree that the one-day concentrated event was a success. "Everybody's happy," she said.