Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
ENDERLIN, N.D. — Steve Miller, who farms at the intersection of Barnes, Cass and Ransom counties near Enderlin, sees 70 acres of severely damaged soybeans from what he believes is caused by errant dicamba herbicide. Miller, 50, saw the cupped, blistered leaves and white brittle leaf tips and sent in samples to an out-of-state laboratory to confirm what he already suspects — dicamba damage on his Roundup Ready 1 beans.
If the Chinese government wants to hit Trump where it hurts over tariffs, I would bet on their ability to stick it to Midwest farmers for a bad, long time. I think the Chinese will: 1) find beans somewhere else at a premium and force their consumers to pay more 2) grow more beans or make it seem so 3) reduce the amount of beans imported by reducing the rise in meat consumption 4) all of the above.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Bidders in an unusual auction recently paid 77 percent of the future face value of American Crystal Sugar payments owed to an insolvent former farmer of Stephen, Minn., over the next five years. Farmer Bill Sczepanski in early 2017 filed for a bankruptcy-like liquidation in Marshall County District Court in Warren, Minn. Sczepanski owed $7 million to creditors. Erik Ahlgren of Fergus Falls, Minn., is the court-appointed lawyer in charge of liquidating his assets on behalf of creditors.
BAGLEY, Minn. — If you think blueberries are the only kind of blue berry in the northwoods, think again. Honeyberries (also commonly, "haskaps") are becoming more popular across the northern U.S. One of the region's newer pick-your-own farms is called Honeyberry USA, at Bagley, Minn.
PORTLAND, N.D. — Meet Parker Strand — cattle woman. At age 11, young Strand borrowed the maximum of $5,000 last December in a Farm Service Agency Youth Loan program and bought five bred cows. She put her animals with her father's cow-calf operation north of Portland and now she's in business for herself.
FARGO, N.D. — You see them often you drive across the heartland. The Stars and Stripes pop up in many places — on a pole, on a wall, at the top of a machine, or over U.S. Department of Agriculture and agribusiness offices. The flag is a big deal in the heartland, especially around the Fourth of July.
The threat of drought backed off in most areas of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana, in the wake of recent rains.
FARGO, N.D. — It will likely be early July before farmers and crop experts see whether the 2018 dicamba spray system work without off-target impacts seen in 2017. "It's an open question, what the results might be," said Andrew Thostenson, North Dakota State University Extension pesticide program specialist. North Dakota farmers can spray through June 30. South Dakota farmers don't have a deadline. Farmers in Minnesota crossed the finish line for their state deadline on June 20 — a new deadline in that state.
KINDRED, N.D. — The steel tariff threats and realities have been roiling for four or five months and are starting to come to a head in farm country, where farmers already are watching purchases carefully. Josh Rauser is operations manager at Superior Grain Equipment Inc., based in Kindred, maker and marketer of steel grain storage bins and grain drying equipment. The company has manufacturing plants in both Kindred and Beresford, S.D.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Fallout from the insolvency of Stephen, Minn., farmer William "Bill" Sczepanski is resulting in an unusual auction beginning next week involving American Crystal Sugar Co. More than $720,000 in "unit retains" — payments owed to Sczepanski by American Crystal of Moorhead, Minn. — once owed to insolvent farmer Sczepanski of Stephen, Minn. — will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Bidders don't have to be beet growers or members of the co-op.