In this photo taken Sept. 22, 2011, Tim Smith of Mackinaw, Ill., works a corn field east of Mackinaw. Illinois' state crop report Monday, Sept. 26, 20

Proposal would tax Minnesota farmers to help pay for cleanup of nitrate pollution

Last year, the EPA called out nitrate pollution, largely from agriculture, in southeastern Minnesota. Now a bill to raise taxes on fertilizer is moving through the Legislature.

Minnesota Commerce official leaves for nonprofit in wake of conflict of interest complaints

February 29
Xcel plans to build more solar arrays like this one, the first community solar array in Minnesota, which was set up in Rockford earlier this year by t
The concerns raised by staff were tied to Louise Miltich's marriage to a solar industry lobbyist. Agency leaders said there was no conflict based on state law and policy.

Range lawmakers bristle at 'robber baron' bill that would send mining money south

February 26
A dump truck transferred a load of ore from one part of the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine pit to another Wednesday evening in Hibbing.   ]  JEFF WHEELER •
The bill would expand the northeastern Minnesota Taconite Assistance Area to include several central Minnesota communities.
February 23
Take and prepare food items are easy to locate in the grocery area of the Target in Minnetonka, as are the bulk food items in the foreground. ] JEFF W

Target joins antitrust lawsuit against Cargill and others over high beef costs

The Minnesota retailer is among the most recent to join dozens of plaintiffs alleging a price-fixing conspiracy by the nation's largest beef producers, including fellow Minnesota company, Cargill.
February 23
The higher-ethanol fuel blend called E15 has hit the Twin Cities through an unusual marriage between the state corn growers and independent gas statio

Summer sales of E15 coming permanently to Minnesota, EPA says. But not until 2025.

Midwestern governors, including Gov. Tim Walz, had requested the federal agency allow sales of higher blends of ethanol for use by consumers during summer months.
February 22
Keith Johnson, plowed a field for cover crop on rented land near his farm in Centre City, Minn., on Wednesday, August 21, 2014. He lets the outskirts

Minnesota's top ag official denies allegations of discrimination made by white, male farmer

Last month, a Beltrami County farmer sued over a state-backed grant program aimed to help producers buy farmland, saying he was discriminated against because he was a white male.
February 21
United Stated Department of Labor building in Washington, D.C. (Mark Gomez/ ORG XMIT: 73153775W

Janitorial service breaks child labor laws at Iowa slaughterhouse, feds allege

New court filing says nine teens were working overnight at Sioux City plant.
February 16
In 2016, hogs genetically similar to wild hogs, like the two seen above captured in rural Washington County, Mo., found in the southwestern U.S. were

Feral hogs not in Minnesota, new state report finds

But loose swine do run wild in state. Moreover, wild pigs live north of Minnesota's Canadian border, fueling concern about possible incursion down the road.
February 14
The Tony Downs Food facility in Madelia, Minn.

Union asks Minnesota meat processor to create child-welfare fund in wake of labor allegations

Amid contract negotiations with Tony Downs Foods in Madelia, the union calls for a novel response: pay for a fund for kids.
February 13
With skyrocketing farmland prices and crop insurance guarantees, black dirt is looking more like black gold for farmers in Minnesota. . Looking to exp

USDA says Minnesota farms are growing in size, but shrinking in number

Fewer farmers and farmland across America, as nation's agriculture industry continues to consolidate.
February 8
This photo provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows raw cream from Plainview Milk Products Cooperative in Wabasha County draining into

Dairy processor fined for overwhelming southeastern Minnesota sewer plant by dumping raw milk

Plainview Milk Products Cooperative has been cited for four spills in the last two years.
February 7
Egg McMuffins in the U.S. now use cage-free eggs after McDonald's and supplier Cargill beat a goal to be 100% cage-free at U.S. McDonald's locations b

McDonald's eggs are now 100% cage-free with assist from Cargill and a Minnesota grower

The fast-food chain hit its pledge early to use only cage-free eggs.
February 7
Turkey farmers are worried about implications of a new USDA rule that applies to chicken growers but not to them.

Turkey growers crying foul over USDA decision favoring industry players including Jennie-O, Cargill

Final payment reform rule only applies to broiler chicken growers instead of all poultry farmers.
February 3
The main street in Long Prairie is a mix of Mexican, Chinese and pizza restaurants, bars, clothing stores and small groceries like this one.

Ramstad: This Minnesota town can defy rural trends of decline, but first must overcome prejudice

A food processing town, which found the spotlight because of a local fight on workforce housing, is taking a deeper look at its economic future.
February 1
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Brooke Cunningham speaks during a press conference at the Ramsey County WIC Office with U.S. Agricultu

Thousands of Minnesota women, infants could lose access to federal program due to stagnant funding

On Thursday, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Minnesota to urge Congress to fully fund the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program, or it will face funding cuts for the first time in 25 years.
January 31
The milking carousel at Louriston Dairy in Murdock, Minn, operated by Riverview LLP, in a 2018 file photo.

A pipeline for cow gas draws environmental support, ag concentration concerns

The PUC met at a bar in Benson, Minn., on Tuesday evening to hear citizen feedback on a plan to pump and sell biogas that could generate green energy.
January 29
Kristi Maricle taught an adult literacy class to immigrants at the Windom High School in Windom on Jan. 23.

Many workers displaced by slaughterhouse closure remain in Windom, waiting for opportunity

A state investigation into missing backpay for workers opened the door for many workers on agriculture worker visas to remain in the U.S.
January 29
A photo of a farmer trimming the wool behind his sheep’s ears on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, inside the Sheep & Poultry Barn at the State Fairgrounds i

Minnesota farmers wonder: Will a new federal farm bill ever come?

Last fall, Congress extended the 2018 farm bill for another year. Farmers say "kicking the can down the road" just won't do in 2024.
January 24
Jack Weber drove his wheat combine on his field. The wheat doesn't bring much cash but it does improve the health of his soil. ] GLEN STUBBE ¥ gl

White farmer sues Minnesota ag grant program, alleging discrimination

Last year, Minnesota's legislature offered money for historically underserved producers — including BIPOC, LGBTQ and women farmers — to buy land.
January 24
“Snirt" could be seen for several miles along Hwy. 60 near St. James on Tuesday.

A dry, warmer winter means more snirt. What is it and why is it coating Minnesota ditches?

Not only a wicked portmanteau, the combo of "snow" and "dirt" is a symptom of warmer winters.
January 19
Carey Tweten drives at tractor through the barn to push feed to the cows Wednesday, June 15, 2023, at Valley Acres Dairy in Lewiston, Minn.

Minnesota dairy farmer takes Hastings Creamery to court over unpaid milk deliveries

Text messages show Minnesota dairy farmer in distress as historic creamery stumbled toward demise.
January 18
CHS headquarters in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Minnesota-based CHS explores potential merger with ag co-op Growmark

Illinois-based Growmark and Inver Grove Heights' CHS are in early talks.
January 17
The high level of nitrate in its drinking water is forcing Utica, a small town in Winona County, to drill a much deeper new well. It’s a $2 million

State says it will provide clean drinking water in southeast Minnesota, but offers no new curbs on farm pollution

State Rep. Rick Hansen, chair of the House environment committee, called the state's response "embarrassing" and said the EPA should reject it.


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