Staff Directory 10645426

Tom Meersman

Reporter | Agriculture
phone: 612-673-7388
Tom Meersman covers farmers and farming.
Recent content from Tom Meersman
Minnesota corn and soybean farmers had a good year for production, but profits may not follow

Minnesota corn and soybean farmers had a good year for production, but profits may not follow

Corn, soybean production declined slightly in a year when worldwide harvests are 'hitting on all cylinders'
University of Minnesota researchers are blasting weeds with corncob grit to protect raspberries and other crops

University of Minnesota researchers are blasting weeds with corncob grit to protect raspberries and other crops

Researchers are studying how to pulverize weeds with abrasive grit as an alternative to herbicides or hand pulling
University of St. Thomas ratchets up its entrepreneurship programs on campus

University of St. Thomas ratchets up its entrepreneurship programs on campus

With a new leader, the University of St. Thomas ratchets up its entrepreneurship training effort

Cargill will purchase Diamond V animal health and nutrition business

The acquisition expects to accelerate the support of healthier animals and more wholesome food.
Time for hooky: Minnesota soaks up picture-perfect days

Time for hooky: Minnesota soaks up picture-perfect days

More Minnesotans may be calling in sick this week. Blame it on a string of higher than normal temperatures that has folks keeping their shorts…
New insect pest changing the way Minnesota fruit is grown

New insect pest changing the way Minnesota fruit is grown

Scientists race to find fix as losses pile up for berry farms, wineries
Minnesota's organic farming industry shows steady growth, USDA survey shows

Minnesota's organic farming industry shows steady growth, USDA survey shows

Minnesota ranks ninth nationally in organic production and sales with double-digit growth that mirrors trends around the country
Land O'Lakes opens $40 million innovation center in Wisconsin

Land O'Lakes opens $40 million innovation center in Wisconsin

The facility in River Falls, Wis., will develop products for its WinField United division.

Farmers, Syngenta reach settlement over Agrisure Viptera corn seed

The pending settlement is subject to court approval and would establish a fund to compensate corn farmers for economic losses incurred when China would not accept U.S. exports.
Adrienne Barnwell, longtime pediatric psychologist, dies at 79

Adrienne Barnwell, longtime pediatric psychologist, dies at 79

Barnwell was passionate about helping children with complex, rare and traumatic medical problems, and spent four decades doing so in the Twin Cities.
Mosaic assessing damage to Florida operations after Hurricane Irma

Mosaic assessing damage to Florida operations after Hurricane Irma

All employees seem to be safe and accounted for, the CEO said.
Minnesota farmers take on Syngenta in court this week

Minnesota farmers take on Syngenta in court this week

A yearslong battle between farmers and the Syngenta Corp. over whether the Swiss giant rushed to market a genetically modified corn seed, causing millions of…
Highly anticipated Roundup replacement spawns hundreds of Midwestern farmers' complaints

Highly anticipated Roundup replacement spawns hundreds of Midwestern farmers' complaints

A new formulation of an old herbicide has sparked complaints.
Mosaic sees higher fertilizer sales

Mosaic sees higher fertilizer sales

Even though fertilizer prices remain low, the company beat earnings expectations in second quarter.
Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin are now recycling millions of pounds of plastic

Farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin are now recycling millions of pounds of plastic

Dairy farmers are lining up to join a program that turns plastic waste into trash bags
Bankrupt Brazil partner sinks CHS earnings for quarter

Bankrupt Brazil partner sinks CHS earnings for quarter

The nation's largest farmer-owned cooperative reported lower earnings across the board during the past quarter.
First-of-its-kind law aims to help young farmers find footing in Minnesota

First-of-its-kind law aims to help young farmers find footing in Minnesota

As young farmers in the state struggle to break into the industry, Minnesota introduces a first-of-its-kind law to lend a hand
Wellness programs evolve to help workers cope with social and emotional stress

Wellness programs evolve to help workers cope with social and emotional stress

Top Workplaces companies are expanding programs to include mental and social dimensions.
Robert Rohlf, former Hennepin County Library system director who died at 89, left wide-ranging imprint

Robert Rohlf, former Hennepin County Library system director who died at 89, left wide-ranging imprint

He was known as Mr. Library, and no wonder. Robert Rohlf directed the Hennepin County Library system for 25 years, served as president of the…
New law allows much of Minnesota's biomass industry to be shut down

New law allows much of Minnesota's biomass industry to be shut down

Xcel says plants are too expensive to run.
Buffer measure has grace period added under new legislation

Buffer measure has grace period added under new legislation

Farmers would apply for the temporary extension; money would be shifted in budget to help.
Despite barriers, organic farming is still a growth industry, expert says

Despite barriers, organic farming is still a growth industry, expert says

John Mesko, executive director at Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), has a broad background in both conventional and organic farming. He worked in…
Jay Debertin named president and CEO of Inver Grove Heights-based CHS Inc.

Jay Debertin named president and CEO of Inver Grove Heights-based CHS Inc.

Carl Casale replaced by veteran manager after co-op's earnings flounder.
Minnesota farmers are back on track with 2017 planting

Minnesota farmers are back on track with 2017 planting

Dry — and warmer — weather last week allowed corn and soybean producers to catch up to average planting times.
Great Lakes shipping season off to a solid start

Great Lakes shipping season off to a solid start

A winter with less ice meant shipping out of Duluth and Superior and across the Great Lakes saw upsurge over last year.
Minnesota farmers hit pause as they wait to plant corn this spring

Minnesota farmers hit pause as they wait to plant corn this spring

Farmers need some sun to get corn, other crop production back on schedule.
Low fertilizer prices hurt Mosaic's bottom line

Low fertilizer prices hurt Mosaic's bottom line

Farmers have reduced fertilizer, putting strain on Plymouth firm's earnings.
Xcel's plan for Becker plants is uprooting University of Minnesota research farm

Xcel's plan for Becker plants is uprooting University of Minnesota research farm

Xcel, with city of Becker's support, is selling land for industrial development.
AgStar merger creating one of nation's largest farm credit associations

AgStar merger creating one of nation's largest farm credit associations

The merger of three major agricultural lenders in the Upper Midwest is raising questions about how big is too big when it comes to the Farm Credit System.
State tracks down source of weed harmful to crops

State tracks down source of weed harmful to crops

The invasive Palmer amaranth contaminated seed mixes sold by a small Minnesota company.
Pot's cousin explored as viable crop option for Minnesota

Pot's cousin explored as viable crop option for Minnesota

Not to be confused with illicit marijuana, useful plant draws interest as crop option at U's ag campus.
Land O'Lakes buying artisanal pioneer Vermont Creamery

Land O'Lakes buying artisanal pioneer Vermont Creamery

Specialty cheeses have bumped up in popularity because of stronger consumer interest in healthier, locally produced foods without artificial growth hormones.
More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016

More than 30 percent of Minnesota farmers lost money in 2016

Two years of losses place financial stress on farmers as prices continue to decline.
Losses, tighter credit prompt University of Minnesota Extension to help financially pressed farmers

Losses, tighter credit prompt University of Minnesota Extension to help financially pressed farmers

University of Minnesota Extension announces free and confidential counseling service to help struggling farmers.
Douglas Birk, pioneer of Minnesota archaeology, dies at 73

Douglas Birk, pioneer of Minnesota archaeology, dies at 73

Birk was a national expert on fur trade history, which included the early French explorers and the British and Americans who followed.
Chuck & Don's buys online company Fetch to expand its pet food sales

Chuck & Don's buys online company Fetch to expand its pet food sales

The Mahtomedi-based pet retailer sees e-commerce as key to growing market share.
Organic farmers worried about possible fraudulent grain imports

Organic farmers worried about possible fraudulent grain imports

The flood of organic corn and soybeans, driven by U.S. consumer demand, has caused a huge drop in prices for farmers during the past 18 months.
Land O'Lakes reports record earnings despite slow farm economy

Land O'Lakes reports record earnings despite slow farm economy

But the cooperative saw decreases in some areas.
As farms grow bigger, Minnesota continues to lose farms

As farms grow bigger, Minnesota continues to lose farms

The decline mirrors national and regional trends.
Swine research at U of M tackles animal welfare concerns

Swine research at U of M tackles animal welfare concerns

Scientists studying swine are trying to help pork producers respond to animal-welfare concerns
Mosaic profit drops sharply, but executives see end to low prices in fertilizer business

Mosaic profit drops sharply, but executives see end to low prices in fertilizer business

Mosaic sees a gradual upswing in its fertilizer business, but the company slashed its dividend.
Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Hormel suspends Okla. supplier after video alleging pig mistreatment

Buying from Maschhoffs is now suspended as inquiries begin.
Push continues for fewer antibiotics in livestock industry

Push continues for fewer antibiotics in livestock industry

New federal regulations mark the first serious attempt in at least 20 years to tackle what many have called the systematic overuse of antibiotics in…
Mexican import tax would be dire for Minnesota industry, trade experts say

Mexican import tax would be dire for Minnesota industry, trade experts say

Mexican import tax could severely harm agriculture sector.
Minneapolis company Vibes will be on 'Shark Tank'

Minneapolis company Vibes will be on 'Shark Tank'

"Shark Tank" investors will judge a Minneapolis start-up that makes high-fidelity earplugs to protect against loud music.
Study: Median price of Minnesota farmland continues to slide

Study: Median price of Minnesota farmland continues to slide

U study finds median selling prices of Minnesota farmland have declined for the third consecutive year.
CHS quarterly earnings drop from a year earlier

CHS quarterly earnings drop from a year earlier

Low energy prices affected margins at cooperative's refineries.
Sunday conversation: Grant Herfindahl, Farm Service Agency state executive director

Sunday conversation: Grant Herfindahl, Farm Service Agency state executive director

Grant Herfindahl runs an agency that’s familiar to all Minnesota farmers but little known to the general public. The Farm Service Agency is the financial…
Smoother transit bolsters Minnesota grain exports

Smoother transit bolsters Minnesota grain exports

Bigger shipments and lower rail costs are helping to offset low commodity prices.
Denver arts-and-crafts bar eyes Minneapolis expansion

Denver arts-and-crafts bar eyes Minneapolis expansion

At Upstairs Circus, staff members provide supplies, photo tutorials and assistance for the projects, which are ranked by degree of difficulty and can take from one to three hours to complete.
Superweed creeps into Minnesota, threatening row crops

Superweed creeps into Minnesota, threatening row crops

Seed mixes that were planted to increase habitat for bees and wildlife were contaminated with one of the most prolific and damaging weeds in the country.
U.S. Bank to build $250 million data center in Chaska

U.S. Bank to build $250 million data center in Chaska

The new facility will join others in an industrial park and will get financial aid from state and city.

Mosaic to buy Brazilian fertilizer business for $2.5 billion

The $2.5 billion deal will make the company the leading fertilizer producer in Brazil.

Dougherty to expand by acquiring municipal bond dealer Cronin & Co.

The local investment banking firm will grow larger in 2017
CHS Sunflower gets down to the science of snacking

CHS Sunflower gets down to the science of snacking

CHS Sunflower is the only major processor working both ends of production to improve sunflower seed growth, taste.
Minn. veggie farmers had season ruined by state's extremely wet summer

Minn. veggie farmers had season ruined by state's extremely wet summer

Continued rains and constant moisture increased plant disease and spoilage.
Obituary: Former ADM executive Dwayne Andreas had deep ties to Minnesota and Hubert Humphrey

Obituary: Former ADM executive Dwayne Andreas had deep ties to Minnesota and Hubert Humphrey

He never sought the limelight, but Dwayne O. Andreas was one of the leading farm industrialists of the 20th century with deep business, political and…
Talking turkey: Minnesota is the land of 44 million

Talking turkey: Minnesota is the land of 44 million

Minnesota is the nation's leading turkey producer, accounting for 18 percent of all turkeys raised in the U.S.
Land O'Lakes adding wing in $80 million Arden Hills headquarters expansion

Land O'Lakes adding wing in $80 million Arden Hills headquarters expansion

The expansion is designed to put workers on one campus and increase collaboration.

Minnesota corn and soybean crops forecast to set records for second consecutive year

With prices stagnant, high yields in Minnesota are not likely to be a big income boost.
Minnesota farmers tighten belts, leave ripple effects on rural economy

Minnesota farmers tighten belts, leave ripple effects on rural economy

Impact of weak farm economy rippling through main streets.
Mosaic optimistic that fertilizer demand will continue to increase

Mosaic optimistic that fertilizer demand will continue to increase

Company's third quarter results see plunge in earnings, but still beat analysts' expectations.
Study: Better lighting, reflection on farm vehicles could reduce crashes

Study: Better lighting, reflection on farm vehicles could reduce crashes

Research shows Minnesota safety middle of the pack of Midwestern states.
Oil production continues to shrink in North Dakota

Oil production continues to shrink in North Dakota

North Dakota oil production has slid below 1 million barrels per day for the first time in more than 2 years.
Putting the buffer law to protect public waters in effect is no easy job

Putting the buffer law to protect public waters in effect is no easy job

Minnesota's buffer strip law is taking hold in farm country as farmers prepare the land.
Obituary: Former Gophers basketball coach became pioneer in adapted physical education

Obituary: Former Gophers basketball coach became pioneer in adapted physical education

"George was a good solid citizen, a Rock of Gibraltar type, and you could depend on him for anything," said Joe Selvaggio, a friend who knew Hanson in his later years.
Bird flu epidemic sparks $8.5M in upgrades to Willmar poultry lab

Bird flu epidemic sparks $8.5M in upgrades to Willmar poultry lab

The $8.5 million expansion of a poultry disease lab was approved after a bird flu epidemic in the state in 2015.
BiPro USA sees opportunity ahead in protein-enhanced food and beverages

BiPro USA sees opportunity ahead in protein-enhanced food and beverages

The Eden Prairie firm has increased marketing and sales dramatically since being acquired two years ago by a Canadian dairy cooperative.
Minnesota ranks No. 1 for producing sweet corn

Minnesota ranks No. 1 for producing sweet corn

Minnesota ranks No. 1 in sweet corn — the belle of the State Fair
Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart and several other giant food, agricultural and environmental groups will announce a partnership on Wednesday to accelerate programs and research to…
Syngenta purchase by ChemChina moves forward

Syngenta purchase by ChemChina moves forward

Some worry that Chinese deal will affect security, food supply
Growing corn like it's 2065 to study climate change effects

Growing corn like it's 2065 to study climate change effects

A state-of-the-art greenhouse allows researchers to study potential crop yield reductions.

Land O'Lakes announces new sustainability division

Responding to consumer and retail demand, plus farmers’ needs, Land O’Lakes Inc. has created a new sustainability business division. Company president and CEO Chris Policinski…
Handling of chicks blamed in multi-state salmonella outbreak

Handling of chicks blamed in multi-state salmonella outbreak

As more families raise poultry, Minnesota health officials issue warnings about safe hygiene.
Organic meat processor coming to Northfield

Organic meat processor coming to Northfield

Valley Natural Foods, based in Burnsville, will spend $2 million to process and sell organic beef and other meat closer to home.
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