Recent content from Adam Belz
Farmers see record $40B in aid, but many uneasy accepting help
Farmers, who as a group disproportionately vote Republican and support President Donald Trump, are uneasy with being seen as on the dole. "Who wants to be dependent on government for everything? It just feels wrong."
Some snow is no big deal because Minnesota farmers were far ahead on this year's harvest
Soybeans are mostly in, and corn is way ahead of schedule despite the early cold.
Battle over southeast Minnesota dairy expansion drags on
The Land Stewardship Project was ordered to produce internal documents by Tuesday.
Farmland prices holding steady, maybe even ticking upward in Minnesota
The good soil is still selling for about $8,000 an acre in Upper Midwest.
Gene-editing research by Calyxt exec at U of M for a time lacked proper oversight
University officials caught and fixed an oversight involving a campus committee on biosafety.
Corn, soybean prices rally on Chinese demand, disaster in Iowa
As harvest begins, farmers are seeing some of the best commodity prices of the year.
Why fewer Minnesota dairy farmers are going out of business
New insurance programs and virus aid are helping improve "safety net" for Minnesota dairy farmers.
Why Minnesota lumber prices are going through the roof
A do-it-yourself home-improvement and construction boom has sent the price of lumber skyrocketing, as sawmills and strand-board manufacturers, including in Minnesota, scramble to keep up with surging demand.
Judge rules Minnesota winemakers can use more out-of-state grapes
The court's ruling means more out-of-state grapes can be used in producing Minnesota wines.
How Minnesota's biggest beef producer is weathering the coronavirus
The first tremors arrived with the lockdown of Wuhan. By March, restaurants were shutting down across the U.S., and beef prices had fallen by about a third.
A block from Lake Street, urban farm tries to meet growing need
City patch near greenway, 4-acre farm supply fresh vegetables for families in need.
Bumper Minnesota corn crop on tap as prices stall below break-even price
Corn prices are not close to break-even and may only rise if a natural disaster happens.
Trump flies to Minnesota, blasts local leaders over Floyd riots
He paints himself as force for stability and order.
Minnesota hog farmers fight visa restrictions: 'We need the labor'
The trade national program that employers can use is small and has been throttled by COVID-19: "We need the labor."
James Bransford, who steered himself and many others away from addiction, dies at 89
After retiring from his job in the judicial system, Bransford kept working to help people overcome addiction until the pandemic forced him to stay home.
On Minnesota farm, experiment could change how farmers get costly nitrogen
After land and seed, nitrogen for fertilizer is the largest yearly expense for corn and soybean farmers. It costs more per acre…
Calyxt will license its plant gene-editing tech to other firms
The Roseville-based firm previously focused on using the technology in its own plants.
Sen. Tina Smith attacks Jason Lewis over past crop subsidy comments
Smith, a Democrat, is using the video to challenge Lewis with farmers, who tend to vote Republican. The two candidates are scheduled to meet for a virtual candidate forum on Tuesday as part of FarmFest.
Meatpacking is nearly normal, but workers left to cope with COVID-19's toll
More than 30,000 meatpacking workers nationally have fallen ill. At least 100 have died, with the lives of others upended or permanently altered.
At epicenter of Minneapolis riots, a reckoning is underway
Among small business owners on Lake Street, there is grief, anger and hope for change as they make decisions about whether to rebuild.
Nur Omar Mohamed was 'Superdad' and mentor to many in Minneapolis Somali community
Nur Omar Mohamed, the father of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, was a mentor to many young people and a man whose support of his daughter's…
Minneapolis gathering focuses on a future with a new type of police department
About 150 people brainstormed ideas at North Side park
Meatpacking plants nearly back at capacity, but COVID fallout continues on farms
Farmers and consumers continue to pay a price from the shutdown.
Minnesota soybean farmers may use dicamba despite court ruling
The recent court ruling was "very untimely," says Minnesota's ag commissioner.
Minnesota farmer charged with cheating grain elevator
Federal prosecutors say he had two co-conspirators who worked at the CHS elevator in Herman.
Burned-out pharmacies leave a hole in Twin Cities neighborhoods
Pharmacies, and the controlled substances they hold, were a particular target for looting in last week's chaos, even far from Lake Street in Minneapolis and University Avenue in St. Paul, the hardest-hit areas. Swaths of the metro now have no open pharmacy for miles.
Glen Taylor-owned pork firm in Windom to merge with Canadian pork producer
Manitoba-based HyLife is one of Canada's largest producers.
Virus hit meat plants just as workers asked to speed up
Even as the outbreak began to force plants to temporarily close last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture continued granting permission to chicken processors to boost speeds by 25% on production lines.
College seniors entering job market had a feast, now confront a famine
Three months ago they were facing an excellent job market; now 35 million Americans have been idled.
Corn prices keep slumping, and Minnesota farmers keep planting more
Farmers call it "plant and pray." With supply far outpacing demand, another huge corn crop is projected in 2020.
As virus loomed, Worthington pork plant refused to slow down
A week before JBS idled its Worthington pork plant, it was clear that meatpacking plants had become clusters of the virus. But until April 20, JBS was running the plant, which can slaughter as many as 21,000 hogs a day, at full tilt. JBS has made strides since shutting down, but workers say it was slow to react
Next to a vineyard in southwest Minnesota, a site for euthanized hogs
Tens of thousands of pigs have been euthanized in Minnesota in recent weeks thanks to the shutdowns of meatpacking plants after outbreaks of coronavirus among workers. The site where euthanized hogs are ground into compost in Nobles County is a wide open field across the road from a lakeside vineyard.
Testing uneven, or nonexistent, at meatpacking plants with COVID-19 outbreaks
The only guidance from the federal government has been that meat processors should "consider" tests.
Land O'Lakes opens Wi-Fi spots to help rural broadband access
The hotspots allow students to finish homework and sick people to connect with medical facilities in a time of crisis. More important, it is a step forward for communities, says CEO Beth Ford.
More than 300 USDA meat inspectors sidelined by coronavirus
Some 197 are positive for the virus and another 120 are under quarantine after exposure.
In Minnesota, 10,000 pigs are being euthanized a day
Millions of chickens have been euthanized, too, with turkeys likely to follow suit.
JBS to reopen Worthington pork plant, Smithfield opening in Sioux Falls
Worthington, Sioux Falls processors contending with high absenteeism.
While JBS limits work in Worthington, plant in small Iowa town still runs
The pork plant in Marshalltown is the same size as Worthington's but has stayed open despite its few dozen virus cases.
Egg demand shifted, and 61,000 Minnesota chickens euthanized
Demand for eggs in grocery stores is high and the price of a dozen eggs has risen. But much of the egg production system is built to provide fluid eggs to food service companies.
Business leaders say Walz's next move could make or break them
The Star Tribune last week interviewed decisionmakers in businesses around the state about when and how to start the next chapter of the crisis.
19 virus cases confirmed at pork plant in Worthington
Nineteen cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the JBS pork plant in Worthington, the union representing workers there said, the latest in a series of meatpacking plants that has become a cluster of the coronavirus in rural communities across the country.
Job losses hitting nearly 20% of Minnesota workers
The stats are a clear sign that the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus is the worst since the Great Depression.
An egg paradox: As demand soars, a Minnesota egg plant has shut down
Egg producers who serve restaurants can't quickly pivot to supply grocery stores.
Sioux Falls plant closing is risk to pork supply, but plenty of others are open
Smithfield Foods Inc. on Sunday said its Sioux Falls plant, shuttered last Thursday initially for three days, would remain closed after a count of COVID-19 cases among its 3,700 workers jumped from 80 to nearly 300.
Minnesota dairies are suffering too, but haven't dumped milk yet
An initial surge of pandemic-driven milk-buying at grocery stores has subsided and consumption has gone back to normal.
Crucial processor of Minnesota pork closes over COVID-19
The closing of the Sioux Falls plant, which slaughters a sizable number of hogs from Minnesota and supplies meat throughout the country, shows the growing tension between public health and sustaining the food supply chain.
With restaurants closed, a bacon backup is building in Minn. and hog prices are plunging
About two-thirds of bacon sales happened in restaurants and hog farmers are suddenly losing money.
Job losses in manufacturing show breadth of downturn in Minnesota
A sign-maker in Brooklyn Park permanently laid off 178 employees. An optical-glass company mothballed a factory in Faribault. Polaris shut down plants worldwide, including in…
Companies study Medtronic plans in race to bolster ventilator production
Engineers are studying a variety of designs in the effort to bolster production of the potentially lifesaving devices.
Medtronic, other med-tech firms fear parts shortage if Trump invokes wartime production law
Trump is under pressure to force companies to make ventilators for the U.S., but it's not so simple.
Minnesota faces chaotic global battle for more ventilators
Minnesota is scrambling against worldwide competition to line up the ventilators it needs to limit the death toll from a coming surge of patients critically ill with COVID-19.
In this downturn, job losses hit white-collar Minnesota workers hard
The anguish of unemployment amid a commercial shutdown is far-reaching
Minnesota offers emergency loans to help small business stay afloat
The program is designed as a stopgap until federal money starts flowing.
Trump, Walz, other leaders face fundamental choices between health and wealth
As economic toll rises, hard choices are being rethought by officials at every level.
Economic crisis in wake of virus has Minnesota shaking all week
The coronavirus pandemic and the measures meant to fight the spread of the virus brought a shocking new business reality to the state. But unlike a flood or hurricane, no one knows when it will end.
Minneapolis Fed chief floats forgivable loans for small business
The idea would be to prevent a massive, prolonged spike in unemployment.
Minnesota day cares asked to stay open, focus on kids of medical professionals
Medical and emergency workers' kids should receive priority, Gov. Walz said in letter.
As many places close in Minnesota, most child-care centers open
Gov. Tim Walz urged child-care providers to stay open even as he ordered the closure of public schools across the state, and most day care centers and preschools did so Monday.
Farmers use water much more efficiently than 60 years ago, new study says
Better animal genetics and breeding mean that animals are more efficient at converting food into meat, milk and eggs.
Economic fallout from coronavirus is also hitting farmers
Dairy prices also suffering, could get worse if schools close, lowering demand.
A fraud case in South Dakota throws harsh spotlight on organic grain
The case is the second large-scale organic fraud case in the Midwest to attract federal prosecution in less than a year.
Dodie Green, co-owner of St. Paul Bagelry, dies at 58
She and her sister bought the business in 2007 and built it into a beloved local brand.
Battle over 160-year-old Minnesota dairy hinges on whether big is bad
Winona County family farm fights for permission to expand
Hemp rules give Minnesota farmers little room for error with law enforcement
Rules meant to keep THC levels low keep farmers on the edge of breaking law.
Dredging down the Mississippi may lift crop prices in Minn.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it will devote $85.4 million to deepening the mouth of the river to 50 feet, enabling oceangoing ships to load more grain at terminals upriver.
U.S. farm income will drop by 9% in 2020, USDA forecasts
Biggest factor affecting profits will be the end of trade bailout payments.
Farm Bureau members ratchet up 'right-to-repair' pressure
Farm Bureau adopts new policy that introduces the threat of legislation
Farm bankruptcies keep rising in Minnesota, U.S.
Farm bankruptcies in Minnesota and across the U.S. rose again in 2019, as poor weather and the ongoing trade war with China prolonged a slump…
Even after trade-war detente, prices for U.S. crops didn't get a lift
Perhaps the biggest problem for farmers, one that won't go away soon, is an oversupply of grain — and competition from other parts of the world.
Hemp farmer near Lanesboro settles with state after THC dust-up
But Luis Hummel still faces criminal charges in Fillmore County.
Minnesota hog farmers will attend White House USMCA signing Wednesday
The two Minnesota pork producers said the deal provides reassurance.
Bio-methane from cow manure could be a 'new gold rush' on the farm
The back end of a cow generates 80 pounds each day of what Dennis Haubenschild, who owns 750 of them near Princeton, refers to as…
Greenhouse gas readout for dairy expansion near Winona heightens scrutiny of methane
Plans for expansion, changing industry prompt disclosure of emissions.
Farmland prices reach historic highs in Upper Midwest
Minnesota's farmers have made little money for several years, but their wealth is holding up because land remains valuable and in high demand.
Trade pact welcomed, cautiously, in Minnesota
Measured optimism from ag community, but long-term market restoration still elusive.