Minnesota farmers were able to get a lot of field work done last week, thanks to the lack of rain. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there were 6.2 days suitable for field work in Minnesota for the week ending Sunday. That marks the most days suitable for any week so far this season.
A new report estimates that delays in railroad shipping have cost Minnesota corn, soybean and wheat farmers nearly $100 million. The report was released Thursday at a conference in Alexandria organized by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Edward Usset of the University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management estimates rail delays cost Minnesota corn growers $72 million from March to May. He puts the losses at $18.8 million for soybean growers and $8.5 million for wheat growers.
Minnesota farmers are coming off their best week for fieldwork in nearly a month. Drier conditions gave farmers 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota says the weather allowed many farmers to catch up on herbicide and fertilizer spraying, and to make progress on the first cutting of alfalfa hay. Some farmers were able to replant soybeans and corn in drowned out areas.
The University of Minnesota is getting about $103,000 in federal money to help educate farmers and ranchers about the new farm bill.
Dozens marched at the Capitol Saturday afternoon as part of a nationwide protest of the company Monsanto. Monsanto is an agriculture company that works with farmers around the world. They provide seed for things like corn, cotton, fruits and vegetables.
Wildlife and environmental groups are claiming victory for conservation practices in the new farm bill, where two of their top priorities made it into law. Farmers will be required to use good conservation practices on highly erodible lands and protect wetlands to qualify for crop insurance subsidies. And the law requires “sodsaver” protections to discourage farmers from plowing up native grasslands in several Plains and Midwest states.
Most Minnesota farm families could get an extra $260 in property tax relief per year under legislation that’s meant to ease the squeeze they’re feeling between rising property taxes and falling crop prices.
A year ago, the spring snow went into May, and it prevented some farmers from getting their crops in.
Mower County authorities say 22 dairy cows have been found dead in a barn of apparent starvation, and a farmer has been cited. Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen says the animals were found in February, but the citation wasn’t issued this week because of “extenuating circumstances” involving the owners. Sheriff Terese Amazi says the 52-year-old man and his 75-year-old father were in a serious car crash recently.
If beef is what’s for dinner at your house, it’s going to cost you more. Beef prices are the highest they’ve been in 27 years. Fewer cattle, drought and cold weather are all contributing to push prices to an average of $5.04 per pound in January Penny Jernberg, general manager of the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis, says the demand for her restaurant’s trademark juicy Lucy burger is steady, while prices for the main ingredient are climbing.
Farmers in the Whiskey Creek area of western Minnesota are being invited to learn more about how they can help clean up the region’s lakes and streams.
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.
An illness that only affects pigs is making its way across the Midwest, including here in Minnesota. The Porcine Epidemic Virus (P.E.D.) killed more than 7,000 pigs at a facility near Good Thunder last December. Pork producers say newborn piglets are most susceptible, and it’s always fatal. The virus’ devastation cost the facility about $500,000.
A local egg company has been named one of four finalists competing to have their ad played at this year’s Super Bowl in February. Locally Laid Egg Company has already beat out thousands of others to get this far and now they need your help to get more votes.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and a northern Minnesota farmer will be in the holiday spotlight. John Burkel of Badger will be presenting his turkeys to President Obama at the White House. Burkel raises 70,000 turkeys a year. He says he’s picked out a handful of his best, and is getting them ready in a heated garden shed for their national debut. Only two of the turkeys will make the trip to the White House, and they’ll be pardoned, not served.