Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
A lot of work remains, but Upper Midwest farmers finally made a strong start to the 2018 planting season. Wheat, oats, barley and sugar beets all enjoyed substantial gains in planted acreage in the week ending May 6, according to the weekly crop progress report released May 7 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
U.S. consumer demand for lamb is "up and to the right," and that's a double dose of good news for lamb producers, a new report says. Consumers are buying more lamb at prevailing prices and also are willing to buy the same amount of lamb at a higher price than they paid a few years ago, a combination known as up and to the right, according to the report for the American Lamb Board, an industry-funded national promotion, research and information organization.
Yes, he's good with cattle Retired rural veterinarian Vernon Knudson is a storyteller. But countless people have a story, or several stories, to tell about him, too. Here's mine: It was either 1986 or 1987. I was working at the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune, but had come back to spend a few days on the family farm near McVille, N.D. On one of the days — drizzly, muddy and miserable — I half-volunteered and was half-drafted to help my father with our cattle during the annual fall visit from the Cooperstown (N.D.) Veterinary Clinic.
That noise you hear in the Upper Midwest is the roar of tractors in fields and the collective sigh of relief from anxious farmers. The spring planting season has finally begun in earnest after being delayed by weeks of cold, wet weather. Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota farmers made small but meaningful progress in the week ending April 29, according to the weekly planting progress report released April 30 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
I once sat with a farmer in his pickup on the way to look at his fields. As we drove, he pointed to a field and said, "That one's not mine. A neighbor has it on a one-year lease at a crazy-high rent. And he's cutting corners on weed control." Then the farmer caught himself and said, "But don't print that! The other guy would be mad at me. So would the owner." That incident is just one example of many I've experienced that demonstrate how controversial one-year leases are in modern agriculture.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — Tim Dufault knows and likes wheat. Always has, always will. The fourth-generation Crookston, Minn., farmer expects to plant half of his farm to wheat and half to soybeans this spring — provided the weather cooperates. "I'd sure like to get in all the wheat I planned to. And it's still possible I can. But for that to happen, we'll have to really start moving on the planting," he said.
Kirby Hettver is pleased that the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule was released on April 24. But the DeGraff, Minn., farmer and president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association needs time to evaluate the 400-page proposal. "Minnesota's farmers are happy the Groundwater Protection Rule is finally available for review, and we appreciate the work of Minnesota Department of Agriculture staff to get the rule released with an 80-day comment period," Hettver said.
Upper Midwest farmers have watched the snow melt in their fields. Now they're waiting, with as much patience they can muster, for fields to dry sufficiently for them to begin planting their 2018 crops. Farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana overall made virtually no planting progress in the week ending April 22, according to the weekly planting progress report released April 23 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rural electrification — which in the 1930s brought electricity to huge chunks of rural America — was straightforward and clearcut. Rural broadband is not, a communications industry executive says. With rural electrification, "When the lights went on, you knew you had it. It's a little different when you have multiple ways to deliver the product (broadband service)," said Steven Berry, president and CEO of the Competitive Carriers Association.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. farm and food groups generally have been publicly optimistic for months that the next farm bill will look a lot like the existing one. Now, despite uncertainty in the U.S. House, at least one person engaged in the farm bill process still thinks that will be the case