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.
It’s a beast of a weed, creeping north into the Midwest from cotton country. Palmer amaranth can shoot up as high as 7 feet, and just one plant can produce up to a million seeds. Herbicide is increasingly futile against it, and the weed’s thick stems and deep roots make it hard work to clear by hand.
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.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering emergency haying for livestock producers because of a hay shortage. State wildlife managers have identified 922 acres on 43 wildlife management areas where emergency haying would benefit wildlife.
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.
Janet and John Bremer are dairy farmers in Hastings, and have seen a lot of changes over the years. “When my in-laws first began this farm, there was only three cows — we now milk 128 every morning and every night,” Bremer said. The couple said they understand the decline.
Some Upper Midwest farmers are worried they won’t qualify for crop insurance on land they couldn’t plant because it was too wet. At issue is a rule affecting whether farmers qualify for “prevented planting” payments for cropland that’s too wet or dry to plant.
With a cold spring and recent storms, a lot of Minnesota farmers are expecting to lose out on this year’s corn crop. Corn in Minnesota is only about 10 inches high on average. It’s usually more than double that by now.
Ed McNamara has been farming in Goodhue County for 36 years. As the old saying goes, he’s used to seeing corn knee-high by the Fourth of July. This year, he may not see it at all. “We’ve had wet periods but we’ve always been able to get a crop in. This is the first time that we’ve ever not been able to get the whole crop in,” McNamara said.
Wet weather has put some farmers way behind schedule. Corn and soybeans have been a struggle this year, so has alfalfa.
A stretch of wet weather has slowed planting of crops in Minnesota.