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Tom Meersman

Reporter | Agriculture
phone: 612-673-7388
Tom Meersman covers farmers and farming.
Recent content from Tom Meersman

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.

Total Hockey retail chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in St. Louis

The company, with four stores in the Twin Cities, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

Cargill to sell 18 agriculture retail outlets in Midwest, including Minnesota

Cargill said it will focus on grain and oilseeds as it sells its crop input stores in Minnesota and five other states.
Obituary: Soft-spoken Tom Doar was a strong force in Twin Cities media

Obituary: Soft-spoken Tom Doar was a strong force in Twin Cities media

Tom Doar loved to pretend he was a country bumpkin lawyer from rural Wisconsin. But he was a savvy businessman who played a key role…
Mist Labs wins Proto Labs award for irrigation device that helps conserve water

Mist Labs wins Proto Labs award for irrigation device that helps conserve water

Mist Labs device provides real-time irrigation data to help farmers use water more efficiently and improve crop yields.
Most crops on Minnesota farms ahead of the game

Most crops on Minnesota farms ahead of the game

Federal officials report many Minnesota staples are in good-to-excellent condition, despite weather damage in places
Minnesota's craft beer boom spawns a fledgling hops industry

Minnesota's craft beer boom spawns a fledgling hops industry

Minnesota's booming craft beer industry has created a huge demand for hops, an ingredient that provides the suds with bitter, citric, and zesty flavors and aromas.
For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers can be a boon

For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers can be a boon

For nonfarming heirs who keep land in the family, managers are an answer
Changing climate will reduce corn production, new U study predicts

Changing climate will reduce corn production, new U study predicts

Yields could fall sharply by 2050 because of climate change, according to U models, but growers trust technology to adapt.
Caribou Coffee getting heat for trademark lawsuit against small Michigan cafe

Caribou Coffee getting heat for trademark lawsuit against small Michigan cafe

Caribou Coffee Co. has won a settlement in a trademark infringement case but is taking heat from supporters and owners of the Blue Caribou Cafe,…
Land O'Lakes gives boost to Minnesota water quality effort

Land O'Lakes gives boost to Minnesota water quality effort

The company said it will help the state fight against pollution from agriculture.
Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans

Minn. farmers warned not to plant Monsanto's latest Roundup soybeans

The E.U. has not approved the biotech seeds; the uncertainty could present export problems for U.S. farmers and grain producers.
National Research Council: GMO foods cause no more health problems than others

National Research Council: GMO foods cause no more health problems than others

Report finds no difference in human health problems as GMO labeling issue heats up.
Hybrid hazelnuts are growing a Midwest presence

Hybrid hazelnuts are growing a Midwest presence

Hazelnuts are native to the eastern U.S., but new, tasty hybrids are emerging in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Bird flu worries still haunt producers as they spend money to prevent it

Bird flu worries still haunt producers as they spend money to prevent it

State's producers take pricey steps to prevent another $650M disaster.

Mosaic Company's first-quarter net earnings, sales slide

Crop nutrients company expects profits to pick up in the second half of 2016.

Farmers head into the fields for early corn, small grains and sugar beet planting this spring

Corn and sugar beets are among the crops that benefited from warm days in the state.
New Supervalu CEO hires two for high-level positions

New Supervalu CEO hires two for high-level positions

Mark Gross fills two high-level posts – chief innovation officer and chief financial officer.
Minnesota crop farmers are tightening budgets as they face another rough year

Minnesota crop farmers are tightening budgets as they face another rough year

Many are paring back their expenses as prices decline.

Sluggish agriculture and energy markets hurt CHS profits

Largest farmer-owned cooperative in the nation had a $31M quarterly loss.
Bushel Boy among those extending growing season for tomatoes in Minn.

Bushel Boy among those extending growing season for tomatoes in Minn.

"We can put a tomato on your plate right here in Minnesota year-round that you know is safe, wholesome and will taste like a garden tomato in January," said Keith Kersten, CEO of Bushel Boy.
Interest in agriculture careers ranks low in new Land O'Lakes survey

Interest in agriculture careers ranks low in new Land O'Lakes survey

An alarming lack of young people are planning to work in the agriculture industry, according to a new survey funded by Arden Hills-based Land O'Lakes…
Land O'Lakes finding rhythm in highly competitive world food industry

Land O'Lakes finding rhythm in highly competitive world food industry

Land O'Lakes is a company whose bread-and-butter business really is butter — and a whole lot more. It has to be to survive long-term, its CEO says.
Bernard Brommer, former president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, is dead at age 75

Bernard Brommer, former president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, is dead at age 75

Longtime leader was an expert in workers' compensation.

Earnings up, sales down for Land O'Lakes

Land O'Lakes reported record earnings of $308 million in 2015, although net sales dipped because of an overall slowdown in the farm economy.
Farmland prices on the downturn in Minnesota

Farmland prices on the downturn in Minnesota

Farmland prices in Minnesota continue to soften as prices for corn and soybeans remain relatively low and the outlook for 2016 appears to offer marginal profits for many crop growers.
Mosaic earnings down but company sees daylight ahead

Mosaic earnings down but company sees daylight ahead

The company said it is well-positioned for 2016 and will repurchase more shares of its stock.

Taylor, partner to build new pork processing plant in Windom, Minn.

Glen Taylor and a partner plan to raise, slaughter and market premium pork in Minnesota.
Popular insecticide-coated soybean seeds are overused, scentists say

Popular insecticide-coated soybean seeds are overused, scentists say

Scientists say the coatings usually offer little benefit for extra cost. The industry disagrees.

Mosaic Co. shuffles top leadership roles amid industry troubles

The company said the moves are part of a succession plan.
Crop report shows new records in 2015 for Minnesota corn and soybean growers

Crop report shows new records in 2015 for Minnesota corn and soybean growers

Ideal weather in much of the state helped corn and soybean growers shatter marks.
Panama Canal expansion could widen markets for Minnesota farmers

Panama Canal expansion could widen markets for Minnesota farmers

A third lane in Panama could help expand the export business for Minnesota farmers

CHS off to a slow start in fiscal-year 2016 because of energy and agriculture businesses

Lower prices for energy and grain affected the company's bottom line.
Stratasys stock drops after rival pulls out of consumer 3-D printing market

Stratasys stock drops after rival pulls out of consumer 3-D printing market

The first business day after the holiday weekend was not a merry one for Stratasys Ltd.Company stock fell 6 percent after news that a rival…
Hershey dumps sugar beets because of GM concerns

Hershey dumps sugar beets because of GM concerns

Regional co-ops are worried about losing big candy customers

Minnesota trade delegation makes trip to Cuba

Commodities a big opportunity as trade restrictions are eased.

Minnesota soybean businessman David Michael Wilcox indicted

David Wilcox is charged with bank fraud and making false statements.

Veteran Toro executive Michael Happe selected to lead Winnebago Industries

Happe will oversee a corporate expansion into the Twin Cities.
Wells Fargo sells Anoka-based crop insurance unit in deal worth up to $1B

Wells Fargo sells Anoka-based crop insurance unit in deal worth up to $1B

The deal with Zurich Insurance Group will near $1B for Rural Community Insurance Services, which covers 1 in 6 U.S. farmers.
EPA wants to rethink new herbicide; Dow pushes back

EPA wants to rethink new herbicide; Dow pushes back

Something unusual happened a couple of days before Thanksgiving. Federal environment officials filed court documents to pull the plug on a new herbicide combination that they had approved just a year ago and had been distributed on a trial basis to some Minnesota farms.
Former head of St. Paul Companies, who donated millions, dies at 79

Former head of St. Paul Companies, who donated millions, dies at 79

The former CEO of St. Paul Companies and a prominent philanthropist died peacefully on his 79th birthday.
Dairy farm offers U veterinary students one-of-a-kind training

Dairy farm offers U veterinary students one-of-a-kind training

Having such access is all the more important for seniors who'll be entering the workforce next year. Many of them will fill a growing need in rural communities with retiring veterinarians.
Cover crops provide benefits but are a tricky proposition for Minnesota farmers

Cover crops provide benefits but are a tricky proposition for Minnesota farmers

They're more common in the South, but Minnesotans want to test the agricultural benefits.
Safety net helps Minnesota corn, soybean producers

Safety net helps Minnesota corn, soybean producers

Federal program aids farmers based on need, but critics say the reforms are in name only.
Mosaic's 3Q adjusted profit beats expectations under broad pressure

Mosaic's 3Q adjusted profit beats expectations under broad pressure

Net profit fell 21 percent, but adjusted profit beat third-quarter projections.
Land O'Lakes invests in Villa Crop Protection, a South African farm chemical company

Land O'Lakes invests in Villa Crop Protection, a South African farm chemical company

The Arden Hills cooperative bought a majority stake in a South African company.
Wis. researchers testing fake love potion to reduce insects' hunger for cranberries

Wis. researchers testing fake love potion to reduce insects' hunger for cranberries

Central Wisconsin’s picturesque cranberry country has become a testing ground for a new approach to pest control: birth control for bugs. Scientists are experimenting with…
New type of microscope winner of Proto Lab innovation contest

New type of microscope winner of Proto Lab innovation contest

Echo Laboratories won an award from Proto Labs in Maple Plain.
Minnesota may set records this year for corn and soybean yields

Minnesota may set records this year for corn and soybean yields

Expectations are big for soybeans and corn, but global glut keeps prices low
Stone's Throw Urban Farm finds city spaces to grow produce

Stone's Throw Urban Farm finds city spaces to grow produce

Stone's Throw is a local leader in a limited scene.
Mosaic shares dip again following production cut

Mosaic shares dip again following production cut

Farmers pull back, and fertilizer companies feel it.
Obituary: Anne Adams Hage, former editor at the University of Minnesota Press and the Minnesota Historical Society

Obituary: Anne Adams Hage, former editor at the University of Minnesota Press and the Minnesota Historical Society

Anne Hage was a careful and curious editor and researcher, always on task to make lives better for others. “She had this keen awareness that…
Syngenta spending $20M to expand seed research center near Northfield

Syngenta spending $20M to expand seed research center near Northfield

Seeds are big business for international conglomerates such as Syngenta, which not only sell the seeds but develop technologies to make them better. Now Syngenta's Minnesota division is expanding to put more research into coatings.
University of Minnesota golf course could become national model for greener practices

University of Minnesota golf course could become national model for greener practices

A University of Minnesota scientist says many golf courses could be a lot more friendly to the environment if they were engineered to use different turf grasses that require less water and fewer chemicals.
CHS CEO Carl Casale talks Saints stadium and the company's future

CHS CEO Carl Casale talks Saints stadium and the company's future

In a surprise announcement earlier this month, CHS Inc. said it is no longer planning to build a $3.3 billion fertilizer plant in Spiritwood, N.D.,…
Minnesota Public Radio looks ahead after layoffs, program changes

Minnesota Public Radio looks ahead after layoffs, program changes

CEO says it's no longer "business as usual" at famed public radio units.
Cow power — manure — seen as part of climate change strategy

Cow power — manure — seen as part of climate change strategy

Capturing methane from manure from Minnesota dairy cows can reduce pollution and save energy, but technology can be tricky and too expensive to make money.
Agriculture could be biggest user of commercial drones

Agriculture could be biggest user of commercial drones

Unmanned aircraft with sophisticated sensors can detect pests, other issues.

Refinery downtime, pressure in ag segments, send profit lower at CHS

The decline was amplified by comparison to a ­one-time gain last year.
Bayer CropScience opens $12 million seed innovation center in Shakopee

Bayer CropScience opens $12 million seed innovation center in Shakopee

The $12 million facility in Shakopee will focus on cutting-edge technology linked to seeds

Land O'Lakes Inc. crops division merging with Iowa-based United Suppliers

It joins with Iowa-based United Suppliers as part of a two-stage process.

Soybeans planted on record acreage this year in Minnesota

Farmer interest in corn remains steady in 2015, but soybean planting gets a boost

Land O'Lakes program for emerging leaders focuses on food security

A Land O'Lakes program hopes to inspire new leaders and ideas.
Bird flu results in fewer eggs, layer hens in Minnesota

Bird flu results in fewer eggs, layer hens in Minnesota

Minnesota's production dropped 14 percent between April and May.
Corn, soybean crops doing well in Minnesota

Corn, soybean crops doing well in Minnesota

Nearly 80 percent of the crops in Minnesota were reported in good or excellent condition.
Obituary: Anna Stanley, rights activist, artist and teacher

Obituary: Anna Stanley, rights activist, artist and teacher

On a cold day in mid-January in 1969, Anna Stanley and a handful of other black students got the attention of University of Minnesota President…

These companies have been Top Workplaces every year

Right at Home is one of 13 companies that has made the Star Tribune's list of Top Workplaces each of the six years it has been produced.
Organic farmers see green both in sustainability and profits

Organic farmers see green both in sustainability and profits

A new report finds that, even if organic farming grows substantially, that it produces more per acre profits for farmers.
Glen Taylor turns CEO role over to niece, stays Taylor Corp. chairman

Glen Taylor turns CEO role over to niece, stays Taylor Corp. chairman

Deb Taylor joined the company four-plus years ago from Liberty Mutual.
Minneapolis Fed president Narayana Kocherlakota headed to University of Rochester

Minneapolis Fed president Narayana Kocherlakota headed to University of Rochester

Narayana Kocherlakota will start at the University of Rochester next year.
University of Wisconsin researchers join with Organic Valley to study pastures for dairy herds

University of Wisconsin researchers join with Organic Valley to study pastures for dairy herds

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have established a partnership with Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farming cooperative, to study how to make pastures more healthy,…

Ag summit in St. Paul focuses on women's leadership opportunities

Speakers at the event hosted by Sen. Amy Klobuchar called for more women to consider careers in the industry.
Free-range turkey debate could be reignited because of bird flu

Free-range turkey debate could be reignited because of bird flu

Some contend that free-range poultry face less bird flu risk. That theory will be tested in the coming weeks as the chicks are released outdoors for the first time.
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