Jonathan Knutson / Forum News Service
MINOT, N.D. — Sure, lentils are increasingly popular with consumers for their affordability and nutritional value. And, yes, lentils are found in a growing number of food products ranging from cereal to dog food. But now lentils are being used as an ingredient in a high-profile food product that could enhance awareness of the crop among people who know little, if anything, about it now. Beer.
HOLDREGE, Neb. — The three dozen agriculturalists peered through the bus windows to get their first good look at what they'd come from North Dakota to see: A field infested with Palmer amaranth, the weeds — replete with seeds — towering triumphantly over the outmatched soybean plants beneath them.
INKSTER, N.D. — Red River Valley potato growers generally have avoided drought and deluge this growing season. That bodes well for the soon-to-begin 2017 harvest. "The crop is looking really good in Minnesota, and it looks very good in North Dakota. We're optimistic," said Chuck Gunnerson, president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.
HOFFMAN, Minn. — Many farmers say their career is what they always wanted, what they always planned on. Not Andrew Barsness. But the happenstance organic farmer from Hoffman is making the most of his unexpected profession, in part by advocating for other beginning farmers. "Farming once seemed so foreign to me. Now I can't imagine doing anything else," he said. "Beginning farmers like me have some things we have to deal with, though."
The caller said he'd enjoyed my column on rental rate negotiations between farmers and landlords. He also had a question for me. "What happened to crop shares?" he asked, adding that they seem fair and reasonable to him. "Good question. It's one I've asked many times, too," I said, adding that I like them, too.
FARGO — Andrew Robinson is a familiar face in the Red River Valley potato industry. Now some of the players in Angola's potato industry know him, too, and that could lead to closer ties between the African country and the Red River Valley. Robinson, Extension potato specialist with both North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota, visited Angola in early March to share his expertise with potato farmers there. "There's great potential for Angolans to increase their potato production," he says.
Jason Bond has been battling Palmer amaranth for years. And he has this advice for Upper Midwest farmers encountering the weed for the first time. "If I was a farmer up there, and I see a small patch of Palmer amaranth coming up out of my crop, I'd stop my truck, walk out there, pull them up and go throw them in a ditch someplace," says Bond, weed science specialist with Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — Coty Wangen takes a few moments to wolf down his noon meal of hamburger/macaroni hotdish, aka "farmer" hotdish, "funeral" hotdish or "church" hotdish. Employees of CHS Ag Services in Crookston, of which he is location manager, often bring food from home on particularly busy days. This early May day — warm, sunny and not terribly windy — is nearly perfect for planting, so Wangen and his fellow CHS employees are hard at work helping customers.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was talking with a group of ag journalists when Rep. Collin Peterson. D-Minn., strolled into the room, a little early for his own meeting with the group. Roberts, generally considered one of the funniest people in Congress, greeted Peterson with with a few good-natured quips, and Peterson responded in kind. After a bit more banter between the two, Roberts returned to his presentation to the ag journalists.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The federal government and U.S. beekeepers now know a little more about the number of honeybee operations nationwide. The newly released, first-of-their-kind statistics, which help set...