A 2015 aerial photo shows an agricultural field in Sebeka, Minn. The mixed pine forests of central Minnesota are rapidly being replaced to grow irriga

Minnesota lawmakers consider steeper fines for violating limits on water use

The proposals follow revelations of excessive water use by farmers and others during the 2021 drought.

St. Anthony: Couple build farm-to-fork business — and community — in central Minnesota

March 24
Tom and Jenni Smude at their plant in Pierz, Minn. They have diversified and grown their primary sunflower oil business, plus beef and most recently w
Jenni and Tom Smude pivoted about 15 years ago after nearly losing their farm.

Minnesota debates right-to-repair bills as tractor makers, farm groups seek amends

March 21
Folks gathered to talk and get a look at the equipment offerings at Ziegler Ag Equipment, Farmfest 2021.
In January, the Farm Bureau struck a deal with John Deere to open their computer codes to independent mechanics to fix farm machinery. Some farmers say more is needed.
March 15
A 2010 file photo of a freshly killed chicken during processing.

State agency alleges eight minors illegally employed by Minnesota meatpacker, seeks court injunction

Minnesota's Department of Labor and Industry has requested a judge in Watonwan County issue a temporary restraining order against Tony Downs Food Co., alleging the food processor is employing minors.
March 15
You try telling them that the clocks changed.

Brooks: When the clocks sprang forward, the weary cows laid back down

Cows have just as much of a mental clock as we do, a dairy farmer said, so a time change "really messes with them."
March 15
Corn could become chemicals as the state spends $100 million on a new facility.

A Minnesota nonprofit proposes facility to make chemicals from corn, sugar beets, even dandelions

A new bill in St. Paul would spend $100 million on an innovation facility for BioMADE, a Minnesota-based nonprofit looking to generate bioindustrial manufacturing.
March 14
Marcia Endres photographed alongside a research cow back on April 10, 2018, at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus

Minnesota had set a price floor for dairy products. A new bill could remove it

Backers said repealing a decades-old law would aid farmers by allowing retailers to position products as so-called "loss leaders."
March 11
The FDA draft guidance would allow plant-based alternatives to use the word milk.

Sen. Tina Smith shows early support for counter to FDA milk proposal

Draft FDA guidance would mean plant-based beverages can stick with milk names.
March 10
CHS HQ in Inver Grove Heights. CHS Inc. is is the country’s top-grossing agriculture co-op.

CHS fined $531,000 for safety failures in death of Nebraska grain worker

OSHA cited the Inver Grove Heights-based farmers cooperative for inadequate "safety gear."
March 9
The Xcel Energy solar farm in North Branch is currently the largest of its kind in Minnesota. Xcel has a larger solar farm planned in Becker, and the

Regulators approve $256M solar farm in southern Minnesota

County officials had objected because it would be located on more than 1,500 acres of prime farmland.
March 7
Global Processing, a grain buyer with facilities in Hope, Minn., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

Indemnity fund, meant to protect Minnesota farmers when grain elevators go bust, clears hurdle

The Minnesota Senate ag committee approved a safety net for farmers whose grain payments go unpaid by a bankrupt elevator.
March 2
Mr. Peanut starred in a Super Bowl commercial this year. Planters’ parent company Hormel says that while the company didn’t see an immediate finan

Hormel off to disappointing financial start to 2023, with sluggish snack-brand Planters

The Minnesota-based company, which owns household brands Hormel and Planters, reported $3 billion in revenue with sales down 2% for the first quarter.
February 27
Young workers exit JBS pork plant after an overnight cleaning shift in Worthington, Minn., on Oct. 18, 2022. Their employer, a sanitation company, was

Federal government investigates more than 600 child labor cases across nation

U.S. officials announced new multi-agency efforts to root out child labor, building on last year's slaughterhouse investigation, which included several cases in Minnesota.
February 21
Joanne Knight, left, the acting chief financial officer at Cargill, was named the permanent CFO. Philippa Purser was named head of strategy and global

Cargill names two women to lead finance, global strategy on leadership team

Joanne Knight — acting CFO and General Mills veteran — will permanently step into her executive team role after Jamie Miller's departure.
February 18
A lone pine tree survived the plowing of this field south of Park Rapids, Minn., seen in a Jan. 28, 2015 photo. The mixed pine forests of central Minn

Fighting drought, potato farmers in northern Minnesota overdrew their water permits by tens of millions of gallons

They likely face few consequences, because of laws that one regulator says are inadequate.
February 18
Pam Benike, left, and her son Isaiah work their Prairie Hallow Farms booth at the Mill City Farmers Market in Minneapolis on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

How some Minnesota farmers grow green produce in frozen winter months

"This is how we grow vegetables up here" in the winter, says one Rochester farmer.
February 16
This 27-inch brown trout was one of 2,500 that died in Rush Creek on July 23.

Rush Creek fish kill likely caused by manure, pesticide runoff, MPCA says

No single culprit was found in a seven-month investigation into what killed more than 2,500 fish.
January 28
New Cargill CEO Inc. Brian Sikes: “We link people together. And we do it around the world.”

New Cargill CEO on role in global food chain: 'Food can't be weaponized'

Brian Sikes took the helm at America's largest private company on Jan. 1, at a moment in time full of volatility and international upheaval.
January 28
Dave MacLennan, CEO of Cargill and one of Minnesota’s most globally influential/high profile leaders, gave his final interview in his office before

Cargill's ex-CEO 'DMac' reflects: 'The next 10 years will be far more volatile'

Dave MacLennan led the agribusiness behemoth through some of its most dynamic years of change, with the last three among the wildest in the company's recent memory.
January 26
Specialty eggs, which include organic, pasture-raised and free-range, have at times been less expensive than conventional eggs as the latter faced sha

For a moment, organic, cage-free and other specialty eggs beat conventional prices

It may still be happening, depending on where you shop.
January 26
A farmer stands to address legislative agriculture leaders at the headquarters of Smude Sunflower Oil in Pierz, Minn., on Jan. 20.

Minnesota farmers meet over meatballs, talk legislation

An informal gathering billed as a "listening session" by organizers found legislative agriculture leaders seated in a Pierz machine shop, hearing directly from farmers from across the state.
January 20
Ted Matthews, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s director of rural mental health, checked his schedule at his office in Hutchinson, Minn.

Meet the Minnesota psychologist who provides free help to farmers

Like many farm families he counsels, the state's longtime ag psychologist is passing the torch to the next generation.
January 19
The Nicollet Diner in Minneapolis is “paying $2,000 more per week compared to this time last year” for eggs, owner Sam Turner said.

Egg costs peck away at budgets for consumers and businesses

While egg prices may have peaked, they likely won't fall quickly. Minnesota businesses that go through hundreds or thousands of eggs per week are still feeling the pain.


News coverage and the latest trends in Minnesota agriculture, including dairy, cattle, poultry and wheat, corn, soybean and potato farming.