Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
If the Chinese government wants to hit Trump where it hurts over tariffs, I would bet on their ability to stick it to Midwest farmers for a bad, long time. I think the Chinese will: 1) find beans somewhere else at a premium and force their consumers to pay more 2) grow more beans or make it seem so 3) reduce the amount of beans imported by reducing the rise in meat consumption 4) all of the above.
ENDERLIN, N.D. — Steve Miller, who farms at the intersection of Barnes, Cass and Ransom counties near Enderlin, sees 70 acres of severely damaged soybeans from what he believes is caused by errant dicamba herbicide. Miller, 50, saw the cupped, blistered leaves and white brittle leaf tips and sent in samples to an out-of-state laboratory to confirm what he already suspects — dicamba damage on his Roundup Ready 1 beans.
PORTLAND, N.D. — Meet Parker Strand — cattle woman. At age 11, young Strand borrowed the maximum of $5,000 last December in a Farm Service Agency Youth Loan program and bought five bred cows. She put her animals with her father's cow-calf operation north of Portland and now she's in business for herself.
FARGO — You see them often you drive across the heartland. The Stars and Stripes pop up in many places — on a pole, on a wall, at the top of a machine, or over U.S. Department of Agriculture and agribusiness offices. The flag is a big deal in the heartland, especially around the Fourth of July.
FARGO — It will likely be early July before farmers and crop experts see whether the 2018 dicamba spray system work without off-target impacts seen in 2017. "It's an open question, what the results might be," said Andrew Thostenson, North Dakota State University Extension pesticide program specialist. North Dakota farmers can spray through June 30. South Dakota farmers don't have a deadline. Farmers in Minnesota crossed the finish line for their state deadline on June 20 — a new deadline in that state.
KINDRED, N.D. — The steel tariff threats and realities have been roiling for four or five months and are starting to come to a head in farm country, where farmers already are watching purchases carefully. Josh Rauser is operations manager at Superior Grain Equipment Inc., based in Kindred, maker and marketer of steel grain storage bins and grain drying equipment. The company has manufacturing plants in both Kindred and Beresford, S.D.
FRANKFORT, S.D. — It's tough to stay in dairy production when milk prices are $15 to $17 per hundredweight. The Spink Colony at Frankfort didn't want to give up its longstanding dairy enterprise so leaders decided to take the milk from their 82-cow herd up the food chain and market through the new Käsemeister Creamery cheese factory. The colony welcomed 300 well-wishers at an open house for the cheese factory and retail center on June 1, just in time for June Dairy Month.
One of the champion learners I've known in life was Ray Crippen, the executive editor of the Worthington (Minn.) Daily Globe. I was at the Daily Globe from 1979 to 1983 and had the opportunity to learn from Ray. He had a deep love for his 35-year run in the business. Ray was a single man but never isolated. He died Dec. 27, 2015, at age 85.
MOORETON, N.D. — Jeff Skovholt's barley could use a good drink. "Our rain has been minimal, so we could use a good 1- to 2-inch soak," says Skovolt, who farms with brother, Korey, near Mooreton. When it gets warm, the farm could use a good inch each week. The bustling headquarters of J&K Grain Farms stands to the west of Interstate 29 at the Wahpeton/Mooreton exit — perhaps one of the most visible farms in the state. The Skovholts and their crew raise barley, mostly for a rotation crop for sugar beets, and have set themselves up for handling corn and soybeans.
RAYMOND, S.D. — Gale Filipek was seeding soybeans on the Francis Hass farm on June 1, dodging 1.5-acre muddy spots while fields only three miles away were too dry. "We're pushing hard as we can to get it done," Filpek, 70, said. Seed was going in 1.5 to 2 inches deep because fields are dry, other than the mud holes. "Hopefully we get a shower of rain tonight." Hass, reached by phone on June 4, said seeding was likely to be finished by June 9. Much of the farm picked up a tenth of an inch of rain on June 1.