Smithfield said it will close its giant pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., shown in a photo taken Wednesday, where health officials reported

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.

Egg prices right now perfect example of supply, demand, experts say

April 9
Shoppers are clamoring for extra cartons of eggs as they aim to limit grocery runs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prices rise and might stay higher for some time.

With restaurants closed, a bacon backup is building in Minn. and hog prices are plunging

April 8
Bacon is routinely on sale in Minnesota grocery stores these days as the coronavirus-related shutdown of restaurants is creating an oversupply in the
About two-thirds of bacon sales happened in restaurants and hog farmers are suddenly losing money.
Agriculture
April 7
Layoffs at manufacturers have accelerated as the pandemic shutdown moved into its fourth week in Minnesota. File photo of a worker at Code Welding in

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…
Coronavirus
April 1
Medical equipment makers like Medtronic rely on parts from suppliers in many countries and are worried that a U.S. wartime production law may invite r

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.
Agriculture
March 28
Serbian soldiers in Belgrade set up beds for treatment of possible COVID-19 patients. As the coronavirus pandemic grows, Serbia is among countries tha

Virus epidemic leads some countries to restrict food exports

For some commodities, a handful of countries, or even fewer, can make up the bulk of exportable supplies.
Coronavirus
March 24
Chippewa Valley Ethanol in Benson, Minn.

Minnesota ethanol producer ramping up production of industrial alcohol used in sanitizers

A biofuels downturn has been exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown.
Coronavirus
March 24
Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, in a 2019 file photo.

Minnesota offers emergency loans to help small business stay afloat

The program is designed as a stopgap until federal money starts flowing.
Coronavirus
March 24
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, shown finishing a press conference on coronavirus last week, and other top political leaders are confronting fundamental ethi

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.
Coronavirus
March 18
Neel Kashkari, in a file photo, speaking at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Fed chief floats forgivable loans for small business

The idea would be to prevent a massive, prolonged spike in unemployment.
Agriculture
March 14
Livestock grazed along the Chanarambie Creek in the city limits of Edgerton.

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.
Agriculture
March 13
As oil suffers its steepest plunge since the Gulf War in 1991 and the coronavirus spreads across the globe, agriculture markets are feeling the pinch.

Oil's epic crash reminds farmers they are also energy traders

Growers have become more vulnerable to energy swings over the past decades as nations from the U.S. to Brazil mandated the use of biofuels.
Agriculture
March 13
Beef prices have fallen more than 20% in the past two months, reflecting a change in global demand as the coronavirus pandemic grew. File photo of Bla

Economic fallout from coronavirus is also hitting farmers

Dairy prices also suffering, could get worse if schools close, lowering demand.
Agriculture
March 12
Dairy cows ate at a farm near Lewiston, Minn., last month.

Moratorium on large dairies proposed at Minnesota Legislature

The proposal comes amid fear that a handful of rapidly expanding dairies are hastening the exits of small dairies across the state and country.
Agriculture
March 9
Greenhouse workers at Superior Fresh in Northfield, Wis., packed produce for distribution.

Huge Wisconsin operation shows promise of aquaponics in Midwest

Superior Fresh's grand experiment raises an intriguing question that, for now, can't be answered: How many other Midwest farmers can follow its path?
Local
March 4
A buffer strip of grass and trees along the Rock River west of Edgerton is a good example of the protective strips that help filter runoff.

Nitrate problem worsening in rural Minnesota's drinking water

A new report shows that fast action is needed to control the contamination.
Agriculture
February 29
Some organic farmers use flames to destroy weeds.

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.
Agriculture
February 29
Alonzo Nelson, a Tech Dump electronic repair technician.

'Fair repair' movement gaining ground with Minnesota legislators

"Fair repair" legislation is under consideration in Minnesota to force manufacturers to share their repair manuals and parts with independent repair shops.
Agriculture
February 28
In this file photo, firefighters protected a house in Conjola, Australia, on Dec. 31, 2019. Fires and drought adversely affected crops and livestock d

Australian farmers plant smallest cotton area since 1979 after driest year ever

After minimal rainfall last year, the McVeigh family in Queensland, Australia, planted just one paddock of cotton on their parched property this summer, about 5%…
Agriculture
February 26
Workers move soybeans from a temporary storage bunker into silos at the CFS grain elevator in Randolph, Minn, on Thursday, Dec. 6. 2018.

Minnesota farmer on U.S.-China trade pact: 'The ag economy doesn't live on promises'

A U.S. House committee hearing explored the impact of the China trade war and the first phase of a trade pact to resolve it.
Agriculture
February 25
Michele Gran held a photo of her 18-year-old son, Landon, on her family's farm near Norseland, Minn.

Minn. 'mama on a mission' pushes for farm safety funding after son's death

Michele Gran is the advocate behind new funding proposals to prevent farm accidents like the one that killed her son.
Agriculture
February 21
Next Generation: Gabe Daley, 24, carried a new calf from the maternity barn to other quarters on Daley Farms of Lewiston. Daley and his cousins are th

Battle over 160-year-old Minnesota dairy hinges on whether big is bad

Winona County family farm fights for permission to expand
Agriculture
February 17
Luis Hummel, holding a dead hemp plant on his Lanesboro, Minn., farm, said he is only interested in growing hemp for the production of CBD.

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.