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.
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.
One of the most powerful storms ever ravaged several of the Philippine islands, and the death toll is rapidly growing. As of Saturday night, as many as 10,000 are feared dead. The storm had winds of 190 miles per hour – making it the strongest tropical typhoon on record to make landfall. The wind snapped trees and pushed waves up to four-stories high. Cleanup and rescue operations are extremely difficult since there is no power and no phones in most places.
This week’s snow has added to an already wet crop, and that means a lot of farmers will rely on grain dryers to dry out their corn. “You can’t dry it, you can’t combine it, and you can’t get it done,” said Peter Leuer of Leuer Farms.
Low sugar prices are cutting into payments to farmers at American Crystal Sugar Co. The Moorhead-based cooperative is telling its growers to expect a “massive reduction” in payments for this year’s beet crop. In a company blog, American Crystal CEO David Berg says growers will be paid just $38 per ton. Last year, Crystal’s farmers were paid more than $68 per ton. KFGO-AM reports Berg says most of Crystal’s growers will lose money, and in many cases, “they will lose a lot of money.”
Minnesota farmers are making rapid progress on the fall harvest after a slow start to the growing season.