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Agriculture
December 16, 2019
Tim Little dug up one of his fields planted with cereal rye, a cover crop, with help from Larry Conrad, left, and Mike Ludwig, right.

More Minnesota farmers buck tradition and plant cover crops

Preventing erosion in a time of increasing flooding is just one of the benefits of the still-rare practice of planting winter cover on farm fields. Healthier soil is another.
Agriculture
December 12, 2019
Soybeans in the foreground close to harvest near Nicollet, Minn.

Economist: Soybean prices won't quickly recover for Midwest farmers

Trump tariffs, swine fever in China will have effects in 2020, economist says.
Agriculture
December 10, 2019
Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland, left, Mexico's top trade negotiator Jesus Seade, center, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Light

Minnesotans applaud trade breakthrough, forged by rare Pelosi-Trump compromise

The biggest obstacle to trade for Minnesota farmers, the trade war with China, remains.
Agriculture
December 3, 2019
From right to left, Chris Farrell of Marketplace; Devy Boughner Vorwerk, former CVP of Global Affairs at Cargill; Ken Smith Ramos, Mexico’s former c

Free trade advocates sound the alarm, tell Minnesotans that U.S. is 'falling behind'

Without USMCA, there will be no progress with China, trade leaders warned at a Minneapolis forum.
Agriculture
November 21, 2019
New USDA data shows that the rate of small dairies that are closing is accelerating -- but so is production of milk. That’s one effect of the growth

Milk production is rising even as small dairy farms shut down

Surviving operations say efficiencies, higher-yielding cows compensate for loss of farms.
Agriculture
November 16, 2019
Alternative crops, such as hemp, that can be grown on small acreages at a profit are gaining ground.

Go big or get out? Some in farming say the opposite is the future

Economies of scale are winning, but conventional operations might not be able to keep it up.
Agriculture
November 15, 2019
In parts of Minnesota and North Dakota, farmers weren't able to get sugar beets harvested before the ground froze. Distributors are warning food produ

Sugar beet harvest is worst in decades in Minnesota, N.D.

Sugar distributors are warning foodmakers they won't be able to meet orders. Sugar imports are likely to rise this winter.
Agriculture
November 9, 2019
Kate Graham, a lawyer in New Ulm: “People who have inherited farmland, they feel an obligation, maybe to their parents or grandparents or ancestors.

New Ulm lawyer helps farm families navigate tricky succession matters

Farm transition and elder law increasingly intersect as farmers try to figure out what to do with their land when they retire.
Agriculture
November 6, 2019
Executives and representatives of Minnesota firms hurt by the U.S. trade war with China on Wednesday called for the Trump administration to resolve it

Minnesota farmers, manufacturers say trade war is hurting them, not China

Invoices from Customs and Border Patrol, complicated product exclusion process now part of life for U.S. companies.
Agriculture
November 5, 2019
Farm income is forecast to rise about 5% this year and the government's portion of overall farm income will reach 34%, the highest in more than a deca

More than a third of U.S. farm income in 2019 will come from the government

Trade bailout, insurance payouts, to account for roughly 34% of U.S. farm income.
Local
November 4, 2019
Organic farmer Kristin Pearson is trying to buy some Minnesota land to expand, but she is finding it difficult — and expensive.

A tough row to hoe as farmers age: Young ones can't buy land

Farmers and the people who own farmland in America are aging, but they and their heirs are consolidating their grip on the nation's arable land. And it's nearly impossible for a beginning farmer to buy land.
Agriculture
October 19, 2019
Landowner Albert Carlson stands atop a blown out earthen dike where this spring the nearby flood-swollen Zumbro River busted an 80 foot-long hole in t

In SE. Minnesota, swollen river threatens to reclaim cropland

Heavier rainstorms in the last 10 years have made the Zumbro more volatile. The river is punching holes in berms up and down the valley, destroying crops and making the land more difficult to farm.
Agriculture
August 7, 2019
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Rep. Collin Peterson, right, spoke to reporters at FarmFest, near Morgan, Minn., on Wednesday.

During Minnesota visit, Ag Secretary Perdue says 'ball is in China's court'

Ag chief tells Minnesota farmers that a deal on tariffs was close in April, but it fell apart.
Agriculture
August 6, 2019
Chinese purchases of U.S. agriculture products fell sharply last year as the country retaliated against Washington's imposition of tariffs on steels a

In another blow to farmers, Chinese to halt U.S. farm imports

In Minnesota, soybean exports have sharply declined. Pork and other goods may soon halt.
Agriculture
August 3, 2019
This field of Tom Haag’s corn was planted the first week of June, about two weeks later than he preferred due to the rainy conditions in the area. C

In a terrible summer, another fear stalks Minnesota corn farmers: an early frost

After spring planting delay, growers need crop to stay in ground as long as possible.
Agriculture
July 27, 2019
A wet spring forced Larry Conrad to leave large tracts of land bare on his farm in Dundas.

Millions of unplanted acres mean billions in crop insurance payouts this year

The wet spring prevented Minnesota farmers from planting on vast areas, and insurance will cover only part of the lost revenue.
Agriculture
July 15, 2019
Farmers in Minnesota hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade war received $681 million from a federal assistance program, the third most behind Illin

Minnesotans were No. 3 recipients of trade bailout for farmers

Producers got $681 million in trade war aid, with some skirting payment caps.
Agriculture
July 11, 2019
Harvested corn lay ready outside a full grain elevator Virginia, Ill.

Climate change surprise: It's helping grow more corn, soybeans in Minnesota

Higher temperatures and heavier precipitation have increased yields for corn and soybeans in much of Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.
Agriculture
July 6, 2019
Scandinavia, Wis.-based John Bobbe is one of the country's foremost investigators of organic grain fraud.

Organic farmers stalk fraudulent imports that taint market

As organic food sales continue to skyrocket, U.S. consumers might be buying products that were tainted in their growing and feeding. Grain fraud investigators like John Bobbe are trying to turn back that rising tide of counterfeit imports.
Local
June 28, 2019
A corn field farmed by George Sill near Madelia, Minn., was leveled by a hailstorm on June 20, 2019.

Hailstorm damaged thousands of acres of Minnesota crops

A hailstorm that ripped through southwest Minnesota last week left thousands of acres of corn and soybeans damaged or destroyed — in many cases too late in the season for farmers to replant their crops.