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Tom Meersman

Reporter | Agriculture
phone: 612-673-7388
Tom Meersman covers farmers and farming.
Recent content from Tom Meersman
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.
Minnesota crop farmers could be facing losses this year

Minnesota crop farmers could be facing losses this year

Minnesota farmers are worried that the crops in the ground won't cover their costs.

Cargill: New feed products can protect overheated cows during summer heat

Trials show new nutritional ingredients help cows stay hydrated.
Minnesota farmers are busy in fields planting

Minnesota farmers are busy in fields planting

Small grain and sugar beet planting is a month ahead of last year, making farmers optimistic about this year’s season.

Ex-engineer pleads guilty in Boston Scientific trade secret case

Indictment says Aaron Quoc Khieu wanted to set up new company with proprietary information from his former employer.
Vikings stadium roof will get snow melt system designed by Uponor

Vikings stadium roof will get snow melt system designed by Uponor

Uponor designs snow melt system to prevent buildup (or collapse).
CHS Inc. 2Q earnings decline because of oil slump

CHS Inc. 2Q earnings decline because of oil slump

Local retail operations and wholesale fertilizer sales improved.
Lake Minnetonka's ice is out, a sure sign of spring

Lake Minnetonka's ice is out, a sure sign of spring

Authorities declared ice-out on Lake Minnetonka on Sunday, nearly three weeks earlier than 2014.
Livestock in the black; crops in the red for 2014

Livestock in the black; crops in the red for 2014

Earnings crumbled for state crops in 2014, but livestock producers had a good year
Ahead of USDA forecast, Wells Fargo ag experts see crop shift this year

Ahead of USDA forecast, Wells Fargo ag experts see crop shift this year

Some Minnesota crop producers may switch to grow more soybeans because of low corn prices and high farming costs
Weather may help farmers get an early start to planting season

Weather may help farmers get an early start to planting season

A snow-sparse winter and recent mild temperatures may give Minnesota farmers a head start on planting this spring, which could improve crop yields at a time when prices remain low.
Organic dairy farming struggles to keep up with demand

Organic dairy farming struggles to keep up with demand

A burgeoning market has left processors struggling to catch up and raised prices for organic dairy producers.
Cargill's Vorwerk makes case for ending Cuba embargo

Cargill's Vorwerk makes case for ending Cuba embargo

A trade mission with 95 agriculture leaders from 12 states visited Cuba earlier this month. Many were members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba,…
Obituary: WCCO radio personality Dick Chapman dies at 84

Obituary: WCCO radio personality Dick Chapman dies at 84

Dick Chapman met governors, movie stars and authors, but his most cherished memento was a note written in crayon on the torn fragment of a…
Ag leaders connect with Cuba

Ag leaders connect with Cuba

Cargill-organized delegation travels to Communist nation to explore trade opportunities.
Ag grads are finding a bumper crop of job opportunities

Ag grads are finding a bumper crop of job opportunities

University of Minnesota majors in agricultural sciences or agricultural business don’t need to worry about jobs after graduating. Companies large and small are eager to hire them.
Farmland prices softening in Minnesota

Farmland prices softening in Minnesota

Several years of double-digit price increases have come to an end — and it may stay that way, experts say.
Rail strike between Canadian Pacific, Teamsters moves to arbitration

Rail strike between Canadian Pacific, Teamsters moves to arbitration

Canadian Pacific, Teamsters halt two-day strike to start third-party negotiations.

Minnesota sees modest crop results

Although many states set records in 2014 for corn and soybeans, Minnesota yields were limited by a short season.

Quarterly profit up 56% for CHS

Driven by success in its energy business, CHS Inc. reported net income of $378 million for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, an…
Obituary: Leora Hansen lived the arts she loved

Obituary: Leora Hansen lived the arts she loved

Leora M. “Lee” Hansen grew up when women’s roles were more narrowly defined, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her interests in art, music,…
Cuba has market potential for Minnesota

Cuba has market potential for Minnesota

The easing of economic and travel restrictions with Cuba could mean a significant bump in export sales for Minnesota farmers and agribusinesses.
Roller-coaster year for state's dairy farmers

Roller-coaster year for state's dairy farmers

Churn on global markets could undercut farms, but the oversupply will likely benefit consumers.

China approves biotech corn

Delay sparked lawsuits by Cargill, Midwest farmers.
China gives thumbs up to Syngenta's biotech corn

China gives thumbs up to Syngenta's biotech corn

The country’s refusal led Cargill and others in the industry to sue the Swiss seed maker.

Rail service smoother for farmers

A survey of grain handlers is giving railroads higher marks.

Wisconsin researchers have new corn variety

University of Wisconsin researchers have developed a new variety of organic corn called “Who Gets Kissed?” The sweet corn was named in honor of a…
Shipping slowdown ripples into the Midwest

Shipping slowdown ripples into the Midwest

West Coast slowdown adds to rail and barge shipping woes for producers, retailers.
High earnings, ambitious future for CHS co-op

High earnings, ambitious future for CHS co-op

Annual meeting of nation’s largest farmer-owned co-op attracts 2,300 members.
Strong crops, weak prices for Minnesota farmers

Strong crops, weak prices for Minnesota farmers

Minnesota corn and soybean growers will struggle to break even this year.
It's likely a Minnesota turkey on Thanksgiving table

It's likely a Minnesota turkey on Thanksgiving table

And you can thank Wisconsin for your table’s cranberries.
Rail congestion sends more grain to market on river barges

Rail congestion sends more grain to market on river barges

With the recent rail disruptions, Minnesota farmers are turning back to the river for transportation.
Canadian Pacific and BNSF get poor marks for service

Canadian Pacific and BNSF get poor marks for service

In the annual survey of shippers, CP finished last, BNSF was sixth among seven railroads.
High-tech feeders free dairy farmers

High-tech feeders free dairy farmers

Dairies are using automated feeders to improve calf health and reduce labor.
Propane shippers shift from pipelines to rail

Propane shippers shift from pipelines to rail

CHS is adding and expanding terminals to fill pipeline void.
Obituary: U regent, Cargill executive David M. Larson had passion for business, education

Obituary: U regent, Cargill executive David M. Larson had passion for business, education

David Larson was passionate about business and education, and a successful leader in both fields. He spent his entire career at Cargill, and rose through…
New reports on backlogs bring renewed criticism of railroads

New reports on backlogs bring renewed criticism of railroads

Critics say they prove oil favoritism; railroads say numbers are misleading.
Hmong American Farmers Association gets $70,000 grant

Hmong American Farmers Association gets $70,000 grant

The 155-acre farm in Dakota County will be improved with money from farm credit groups.
New combination herbicide for crops gains federal approval

New combination herbicide for crops gains federal approval

But Minnesota farmers likely will have to wait to use Dow’s combination herbicide.
Hog farms wage high-stakes fight to stop epidemic killing piglets

Hog farms wage high-stakes fight to stop epidemic killing piglets

Two new experimental vaccines are available for sows, and pig farmers are ratcheting up biosecurity strategies, including high-tech truck washes that “bake” vehicles at high temperatures to kill the virus and prevent its spread.
Syngenta's GMO product dispute widens as farmers file class-action lawsuits

Syngenta's GMO product dispute widens as farmers file class-action lawsuits

They’re seeking damages because China won’t accept Syngenta’s GMO corn.
More farmers seeking storage are turning to grain bags

More farmers seeking storage are turning to grain bags

The bags cost a fraction of what it would cost to build new steel bins for storage.
Sugar beet industry ready for harvest

Sugar beet industry ready for harvest

Even with labor shortages, growers and companies say they’ll be prepared.

Rail delays cause taconite backup

Minnesota companies race against time to increase taconite shipments before winter.
New programs aim to lower financial risks for farmers

New programs aim to lower financial risks for farmers

Federal programs give crop farmers more options to lower their economic risks.
Buffalo Wild Wings may sponsor different bowl game

Buffalo Wild Wings may sponsor different bowl game

Buffalo Wild Wings is expected to sponsor and receive naming rights to a major college football bowl — the former Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida — according to ESPN.
Obituary: Elinor Scott-Sutter inspired thousands with return to Boston Marathon

Obituary: Elinor Scott-Sutter inspired thousands with return to Boston Marathon

When Elinor Scott-Sutter qualified to run in the Boston Marathon in 2013, it was a dream come true.But then two bombs exploded when she was…
Hmong farmers in Dakota County are business pioneers

Hmong farmers in Dakota County are business pioneers

Hmong American Farmers Association offers land for those who may not be able to buy.
Railroads still struggle to move freight, despite federal warnings

Railroads still struggle to move freight, despite federal warnings

Farmers and grain shippers are increasingly worried about where they’ll put millions of bushels of Minnesota-grown corn and soybeans because the rail system is far behind.
Falling corn prices threaten Minnesota ag economy

Falling corn prices threaten Minnesota ag economy

Corn is selling for half of what it did two years ago, which could hurt farm-related businesses.

Regulators approve $160 million Enbridge Energy pipeline upgrade

Enbridge Energy plans to add pumping stations to boost the capacity of the line across northern Minnesota.
Weed blaster shows promise as alternative to herbicides

Weed blaster shows promise as alternative to herbicides

The method, gaining attention from organic farmers, uses corncob grit instead of chemicals to protect crops.
Aug. 2: Herbicide-resistant 'superweeds' emerge to challenge farmers

Aug. 2: Herbicide-resistant 'superweeds' emerge to challenge farmers

Weeds that won’t succumb to mainstream herbicides are a rising concern nationally, especially in cotton, corn and soybean country, and the largest agribusinesses are racing to propose solutions.
Minnesota's wild rice harvest delayed into September

Minnesota's wild rice harvest delayed into September

Just about every crop in Minnesota is a week or two behind schedule this year because of the late spring. That includes Minnesota’s official state grain

Authorities identify victims killed in south Minneapolis shooting, stabbing

The unrelated incidents occurred within hours of one other in south Minneapolis.
Grasslands conversion may increase water pollution in SE Minnesota

Grasslands conversion may increase water pollution in SE Minnesota

A new study predicts that changes in crops grown in southeastern Minnesota will jeopardize drinking water

June 20: Minn. farmers get a propane warning

Corn growers are being advised to plan ahead to avoid propane shortages like last year’s.
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