The EPA’s Michael Regan came to Washington with a reputation as a consensus builder who could work with people in industry along with environmentali

Water protections return to spotlight

The EPA said it had found that the changes under Trump caused "significant environmental degradation."

South Dakota pork plant, labor union reach 4-year agreement

June 10
The entrance to the Smithfield Foods pork plant in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The union that had threatened a strike at a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota says it has reached a tentative agreement with the company on a four-year contract.

JBS settles Muslim discrimination lawsuit for $5.5 million

June 9
In 2020 photo, a worker heads into the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colo.
The second-largest producer of beef, pork and chicken in the U.S. will pay up to $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company discriminated against Muslim employees at a meat processing plant in northern Colorado.
Business
June 17
As the end of the pandemic arrives, some businesses are finding that the challenges they faced before it happened are still there.

Schafer: Back to normal means the normal challenges are back, too

The news that General Mills is cutting jobs after its stellar response to the pandemic, and the results that followed, shows that going back to where things were was never going to be easy.
Business
June 16
Cargill’s new joint venture began construction on a new facility in Eddyville, Iowa, where it will create a plant-based alternative to synthetic pla

Cargill backs corn as substitute for plastic, builds new plant in Iowa

The Minnetonka-based agribusiness is building a new facility in Iowa to create a corn-based alternative to petroleum-based plastics used in certain consumer goods.
Business
June 9
Eric Taipale, chief executive of Sentera.

Ag analytics firm Sentera raises $25 million, will move to St. Paul

The latest infusion is the biggest for the company, which is changing the way farmers analyze their fields and crops.
Business
June 1
The JBS Worthington Pork Plant is shown in 2020.

Shifts canceled at Worthington meat plant after JBS hit by cyberattack

The company told the White House its computers had been hacked, likely by a criminal organization in Russia.
Business
May 28
Subfreezing temperatures may have hurt young plants in the northern third of Minnesota. File photo of a farmer in a field of newly-emerged wheat plant

Surprise cold may have hurt crops just emerging in northern Minnesota

Sub-freezing temperatures Thursday night and Friday morning in the northern third of the state might have hurt soybean, wheat and corn plants.
Local
May 25
In this 2015 file photo, a lone pine tree survived the plowing of this field south of Park Rapids, Minn. The mixed pine forests of central Minnesota a

Minnesota appeals court: OK to skip full environmental review of Pineland Sands irrigation project

Intensified potato farming and row cropping threatens drinking water and the Mississippi River, opponents say.
Nation
May 22
Shade Lewis throws hay bales on his cattle farm in La Grange, Mo.

A windfall for minority farmers divides rural America

A $4 billion federal fund meant to confront how racial injustice has shaped American farming has angered white farmers who say they are being unfairly excluded.
Local
May 16
University of Minnesota research professor Jacob Jungers checked the growth of Kernza at a field at the U’s St. Paul campus in 2019.

New kind of wheat draws pollutants from soil, water

The perennial wheat Kernza was grown just west of Brainerd on a few acres immediately surrounding wells within corn and soybean fields. Over the past three years, it cut nitrate contamination from the cornfields by 96% and from soybeans by 86%.
Business
May 1
A wheat field on Feb. 26, 2021, in the village of Kale, India.

Amid COVID chaos and protests, India's farmers eye record wheat crop

While India battles soaring COVID-19 infections, on the outskirts of New Delhi thousands of farmers are keeping up a monthslong sit-in protest against government legislation…
Agriculture
March 31
Minnesota farmers had their most profitable year in 2020 since 2012, a survey by the University of Minnesota Extension showed. File photo of a corn ha

Minnesota farmers had most profitable year since 2012

The results became clear late in the year when commodity prices suddenly climbed after government aid rolled in.
Coronavirus
March 28
The JBS pork processing facility in Worthington, Minn., the nation’s third-largest and shown here in a file photo. State officials are now gathering

Minnesota farms, food industry face another pandemic growing season

Last year the COVID-19 pandemic triggered major disruptions in the state's $112 billion industry. Meatpacking plant closures and declines in sales to restaurants forced some livestock to be euthanized.
Agriculture
March 20
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2019, file photo, cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation boat at the Port of

Hawaii coffee farmers hope lawsuit settlements guarantee the Kona in your cup is real

Big retailers and distributors slap the label on coffee that doesn't meet Hawaii's standard.
Agriculture
March 6
South Dakota, where WH Group’s Smithfield runs a massive pork plant in Sioux Falls, may not begin vaccinating food and agriculture workers until Apr

States take uneven approaches to getting vaccines to meatpacking workers

COVID-19 vaccines are making their way into the arms of U.S. meat and agriculture workers, but companies and union officials said progress needs to be…
Agriculture
March 3
Bonnie Haugen and her family have been farming near Canton, Minn., near the Iowa border since the 1990s.

Minnesota farmers prepare for new direction from Washington

A new year brings new reasons for optimism for Minnesota's farmers, fueled by a booming export market with China and forecasts for a strong 2021 harvest. But the new administration has farmers wondering what's in store.
Agriculture
February 20
Seed corn.

USDA sees record plantings of corn, soybeans, but tight supplies too

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast domestic supplies of soybeans would remain historically tight into 2022 despite its projection for a record-large harvest this autumn.The…
Agriculture
February 19
Newly marked pigs at a Centerville, S.D., farm are ready to be shipped to a meatpacking facility. Some employees at slaughterhouse facilities want the

As Oklahoma pork plant speeds up slaughtering, workers report more injuries

A regulatory change in 2019 is starting to make the day-to-day duties more difficult in pork slaughterhouses.
Business
February 6
Beth Ford, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, said the carbon program will help users gauge how environmentally friendly practices may affect the fa

Land O'Lakes launches carbon-trading program for farmers

Land O'Lakes launched a carbon credit generation and trading program last week that it said will help crop farmers capitalize on rising demand for greenhouse…
Agriculture
January 23
Pile of soybeans

China's purchases of U.S. soybeans soared 53% in 2020, but fell short of deal target

China's soybean imports from the United States in 2020 rose by 52.8% from a year earlier, customs data showed last week, though the stepped-up buying…
Agriculture
January 23
Jewel Bronaugh, right, is commissioner of the Department of Agriculture for the state of Virginia and is nominated by President Biden to a top job at

As Biden seeks diversity on his team, the Agriculture Department becomes a flash point

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's choice to fill the deputy secretary post at the Agriculture Department underscores the scarcity of Blacks and other minorities in…
Business
January 20
On President Trump’s last day in office, the EPA gave waivers to three unidentified refiners from biofuels standards, including the production of et

Trump administration's last-minute break on ethanol standards angers farmers

The EPA on Tuesday exempted three oil refiners from biofuels requirements.