While winter has been unforgiving to most of the Midwest, the next several months will dictate the season’s impact on all-important sectors, such as shipping and farming. Fast-melting snow in the northern Midwest likely won’t be able to soak into the frozen ground.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But Minnesota farmers say the free trade accord has not exactly been fair. Fresh from a NAFTA 20 year anniversary get together in Mexico City, Doug Peterson brought back a failing report card for the accord.
Minnesota’s corn harvest continues to run ahead of the normal pace after a slow start. In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the state’s corn harvest advanced 14 percentage points last week to 87 percent complete.
According to the owners of Locally Laid Eggs, their chickens are known as athletes. Oh, and they’re all named ‘Lola.’ The egg company is one of the finalists in a competition to win free ad time during the Super Bowl. The family farmers were in the Twin Cities Monday in an effort to get out the vote for the contest, which is sponsored by the software company Intuit. Owners Lucy and Jason Amundsen, along with their kids and the Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, were celebrating the announcement at the Seward Co-Op in south Minneapolis.
As U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar helped volunteers at the Second Harvest Heartland warehouse in Golden Valley, she said she is optimistic that Congress will pass a new long-term farm bill this year. That would be welcome news to Second Harvest CEO Rob Zeaske.
The farmer-owned cooperative CHS Inc. has pledged $3 million toward a national agricultural safety initiative. Carl Casale, president and CEO of Arden Hills-based CHS, made the announcement Wednesday at the North American Agricultural Safety Summit in Minneapolis.
A growing number of Minnesota farmers are relying on irrigation to ensure they can produce a crop when the weather turns dry. So far this year, Minnesota Public Radio reports, farmers have applied for 466 irrigation permits.
A dozen farmers and business owners from Africa are visiting farm equipment factories in the Midwest to study technology that might help them produce more soybeans and corn back home.
Minnesota farms are getting wired. New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that 71 percent of Minnesota farms now own or lease a computer, a slight increase from 2011.
Economic growth slowed down this month in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states, according to a report issued Thursday. The overall economic index for the region slipped to 55.8 in August from 57.3 in July, but was far ahead of the 47.1 in August 2012.
Minnesota farmers are expected to harvest their second-largest corn crop in state history. According to this week’s projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota’s corn and soybean crops are expected to be slightly smaller than 2012.
Cooler weather has given Minnesota farmers a break from the heat. In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that statewide, temperatures for the week averaged 6.7 degrees below average. Despite the cooler weather, 5.9 days were suitable for field work last week.
Armyworms are being blamed for damaging a number of central Minnesota cornfields in recent days, though experts aren’t sure about the extent and severity of the infestation.
State regulators blamed farming for rising nitrate levels in southern Minnesota surface waters in a new report Wednesday, citing the increasing use of drainage tiling as a major reason.
The new official commemorative art for this year’s State Fair was unveiled on Wednesday. Minneapolis artist Marie Olofsdotter unveiled her creation on Wednesday on the state fairgrounds.