Mikkel Pates/Agweek Staff Writer
ROCK VALLEY, Iowa. — Big supplies. Poor quality. That summarizes the hay market in 2018, says Paul McGill, owner-manager of Rock Valley (Iowa) Hay Auction Co. "Every year is different," McGill says, and he should know. He runs one of the largest markets of its type in the five-state area of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Rock Valley is in Sioux County, about 40 miles southeast of Sioux Falls, S.D. The National Agricultural Statistics Service pegs it as No. 1 among Iowa counties in all livestock marketing categories:
MOORHEAD, Minn. — This year's strong harvest conditions and relative profitability compared to other crops have kept beet share prices strong in the northern Red River Valley.
FARGO, N.D. — Farmers who grew corn from 2013 to 2017 are likely to get notices in the mail in mid-May telling them to apply to be included in the $1.51 billion settlement with Syngenta over a faulty marketing of genetically modified corn varieties.
David Berg and his family on Friday said their goodbyes to a few hundred of the friends they’ve made during his time at American Crystal Sugar Co., in Moorhead, Minn. Berg, 62, the outgoing chief executive, received accolades and mementos of his nine years as the top manager for the cooperative. Among the gifts was a wall hanging that included numerous tiles that symbolized turning points or issues — either good or bad — that he had to grapple with as CEO. (One of the tiles was a simple “dark tile” square with a padlock, symbolizing the two-year union lockout.)
Tom Borgen, general manager for PacificAg LLC in the upper Midwest, says his program for processing and marketing wheat straw in the region has been going well although Mother Nature has been stepping on their toes on the dance floor. “High humidity and a shot of rain every week doesn’t help our cause,” says Borgen, who lives in the Georgetown, Minn., area, with his wife, Stephanie, who is a part-time office manager for the company.
Tonight I found “Banquet in a Field” to be a stunning an unusual showcase for today’s commercial farmers to reach out to urban friends who might never get into a farm field. In North Dakota, the effort is by CommonGround North Dakota, a group of about 50 state members — women who are closely connected to production agriculture. It’s one of the group’s primary events in a year, and the third of its type staged at Peterson Farms Seed of Harwood, N.D.
Jacob "Jake" Chisholm, a farmer from Gary, Minn., has been named the new editor of the Sugarbeet Grower magazine, based in Fargo. Chisholm replaces Don Lilleboe, who had been the editor of the publication for 30 years who retired from the position at the end of July. The Sugarbeet Grower is published by Forum Printing Co., which is owned by Forum Communications Co., in Fargo. FCC also owns Agweek and AgweekTV.
Chatted with an ag lender acquaintance recently: Farm finances are tough in North Dakota south of Interstate 94, where most farms lost money in all of the past three years, he says. Farms north of I-94 lost money in two of the past three years, except for years with exceptional crops. Most are projecting losses in 2016.
GEORGETOWN, Minn. — Thomas J. “Tom” Borgen and his wife, Stephanie, are new regional managers for PacificAg LLC, a company based in Portland, Ore. It brings corporate-style management of the straw and corn stover byproduct market, and claims to be the nation’s largest crop residue supply chain. In a sense, it is designed as a way to bring a corporate-style organization to a market that has always been more ad-hoc.
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Anti-corporate farming laws in North Dakota will stand after an overwhelming vote on Tuesday to keep them. Will all precincts reporting, 76 percent voted "no" to loosening corporate farming law changes that had been passed by the 2015 Legislature.