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August 1
A decline in U.S. power-plant emissions over the last 30 years means the air has less sulfur, a critical nutrient for wheat and many other crops.

As acid rain is curtailed, wheat gets less sulfur needed for tasty bread

With lockdowns due to COVID-19 curbing air pollution globally, sulfur deficiency could become even more acute in the farm belt, soil scientists said.
August 1
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday that private exporters sold 1.937 million metric tons of corn to China for delivery in the 2020-2021

China bought a record amount of corn the other day, but it's unlikely to hit trade-deal target

The recent purchases put China closer to the ambitious $36.5 billion target for imports of U.S. farm goods this year set in the Phase One trade deal.
July 20
Rural towns’ economies rest on farming: “It doesn’t matter what you do in North Dakota, your income is based somehow off of agriculture,” said

Farmers in Upper Midwest are hurting: 'I don't see an end in sight'

Buffeted by a two-year trade war, followed by a disappointing — at least so far — trade deal and then a worldwide pandemic, there aren't a lot of farmers, or rural communities, feeling flush right now.
July 10
A cleaning worker at the Jennie-O plant, Mejia fell ill and then found that her whole family had been infected with COVID-19: “We all got sick.”

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.
July 9
Lance Daberkow and his family have seen income from their farm shrink over the past two years. “It’s tight, especially with two kids,” he says.

Struggling Minnesota farmers weigh their support for Trump

Many growers around Minnesota facing an uncertain farm economy are having their faith in President Trump tested this time around.
July 4

Meat shortages reopen a path to smaller slaughterhouses

When coronavirus outbreaks forced shutdowns at America's giant meat plants, it quickly created a bottleneck: Farmers had nowhere to sell their animals, while consumers faced…
July 3
Workers use combines to harvest soybeans in Tangara da Serra in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Cargill mapping project in Brazil meant to help control deforestation

Cargill Inc. last week announced it has mapped out its entire supply chain for soybeans in Brazil, where the destruction of forest to make land…
June 19

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…
June 11
Farmers are contending with too many animals and ultralow prices for them.

Meatpacking plants nearly back at capacity, but COVID fallout continues on farms

Farmers and consumers continue to pay a price from the shutdown.
June 8
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will allow farmers to continue using dicamba this year, despite a court ruling. It noted that some planting of

Minnesota soybean farmers may use dicamba despite court ruling

The recent court ruling was "very untimely," says Minnesota's ag commissioner.
June 5
Guardian Energy ethanol plant in Janesville is among idled plants now reopened. (GLEN STUBBE/Star Tribune)

Minnesota ethanol production ramping up again

Three of four Minnesota plants idled as demand tanked due to COVID-19 have reopened.
June 5
Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minn.

More than 200 at Quality Pork, Hormel in Austin test positive for COVID-19

The two companies' plants in Austin had seen limited exposure, but over 200 now have the virus.
June 4

American exporters sell soy to China despite rising tensions

American soybean exporters sold several cargoes to Chinese state-run buyers, according to people familiar with the matter, showing that some transactions are still going through…
June 2

Minnesota farmer charged with cheating grain elevator

Federal prosecutors say he had two co-conspirators who worked at the CHS elevator in Herman.
May 28
Long Prairie Packing, which is in Long Prairie, is the latest meatpacking plant in Minnesota with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Long Prairie Packing latest Minnesota meatpacking plant to have COVID-19 outbreak

It has sparked a more than sixfold increase in COVID-19 cases in Todd County over the past two weeks.
May 28
Farmers applied fertilizer to their fields south of Egerton.

Manure, fertilizers overload parts of Minnesota with nitrogen, mapping project finds

Group tracks where nearly 50 million tons of animal waste goes on Minnesota fields, adding nitrates to wells, rivers and lakes.
May 26
Comfrey Farms Prime Pork, which Taylor founded in 2016 to resurrect a former beef packing plant in Windom, now employs more than 650 people.

Glen Taylor-owned pork firm in Windom to merge with Canadian pork producer

Manitoba-based HyLife is one of Canada's largest producers.
May 26
Plant-based burgers on a production line at Impossible Foods in Oakland, Calif. The company has been hiring more workers and increasing pay.

Meat giving ground to plant-based substitutes

Sales of laboratory-developed products rose 35% in a month.
May 25
The USDA has allowed chicken processors to boost production-line speeds in recent months, though the JBS plant in Cold Spring, shown here in a 2016 ph

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.
May 22
Corn planting around the U.S. this spring suggests a record crop is going in despite slumping demand and ultralow prices.

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.