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MORRIS, Minn. — A Minnesota company is helping larger farmers get out of their neighborhoods to find peers for sharing management techniques.
BISMARCK — Claims against the failed grain businesses of Hunter Hanson have increased by more than $3 million over previous reported levels, is now nearly $11.5 million. The new figure includes $8.6 million for grain that sellers say was actually picked up by Hanson’s businesses but checks to pay for the grain bounced or never arrived. The rest of the amount is the reduced value from grain deals that were made but the grain wasn’t picked up and had to be marketed separately at a lesser price.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., says the farm bill is “marginally better” than the 2014 farm bill but says he’s worried it won’t be a strong enough safety net with current low commodity prices and trade upsets. Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, met with farmers and supporters in the district after the apparent agreement within the conference committee to pass a farm bill. The bill awaits conferees signing a conference report, Congressional Budget Office scoring, and then ratifying votes in the House and Senate.
ASHBY, Minn. — The soybean harvest is all but complete in the Ashby area, where the Ashby Farmers Elevator Cooperative shut its doors Sept. 14, and the corn crop is starting to come in. The small stand-alone grain co-op ceased operating after its trophy-hunting general manager was accused of stealing nearly $5 million and disappeared. The Wheaton-Dumont Cooperative Elevator stepped in to reopen the Ashby elevator on Oct. 3 under the name Ashby Grain LLC.
BATTLE LAKE, Minn. — Kathy Evavold has heard the rumors and they make her angry and hurt. Kathy, 59, is the widow of Leland “Lee” Evavold, a Battle Lake, Minn., a 64-year-old farmer and former board member of the former Ashby Farmers Elevator Cooperative. The couple farmed 10 miles north of Ashby. Lee killed himself July 9, 2018, after what she describes as a private battle with depression.
MITCHELL, S.D. — The technology of using "bale wrap" for storing large round bales has become more popular, but it's created some health problems when cattle and other animals accidentally ingest it.
FARGO — With sugar beet planting likely delayed until early May because of snow and cold, Tom Peters says farmers should set their sites on using pre-emergence herbicides to control waterhemp, and focus on that as much as they do on getting seed in the ground.
FARGO — Alex Kubicek wants you to make your farm into an automated weather network. "It's about using that network to help make daily decisions easier by having knowledge about what's happening," he says. Kubicek, 30, in 2012 founded Understory Inc. of Madison, Wis. Raised in Wisconsin, he holds a master's degree in atmospheric science from the University of Wisconsin. In the past six years the company has raised $10 million and has partnered with entities including Monsanto to launch "hyper-local" weather networks for agriculture and other purposes.
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson is on his last lap as the state's top ag official, pushing to the end for the water protection priorities of his boss, Gov. Mark Dayton. "I'm in, I'm hooked," said Frederickson, 74, in an interview after speaking at the recent Minnesota Grain & Feed Association in Prior Lake. "I want to make the case to Minnesota agriculture that you should get ahead of this issue and not behind it."
MIDLAND, S.D. — The Steve Daly family missed the big snow at the farm and ranch west of Midland on March 5. Heavy, wet snow this time of year is "good for everything but the baby calves," says Daly, 41. "The wind was awful." Daly farms and ranches with his wife, Julie, and sons Carson, 14, and Dane, 12. They raise winter wheat, spring wheat, milo, safflower and other specialty crops on about 3,000 acres near Midland, about 70 miles west of Pierre.