Severe storms rolled through parts of the state Wednesday morning. The worst weather hit Wright County with damaging winds and large hail. For farmers there, the storm was devastating. Piles of hail up to a foot deep is an incredible sight to a meteorologist, but it’s a sight that farmers in Waverly, Minn. hope to never see, especially at harvest time.
A small organic dairy in southern Minnesota has prevailed in forcing a buyout by a utility that’s building high-voltage power lines along the property. The case involving the Cedar Summit Farm near New Prague was seen as an early test of Minnesota’s revised “Buy the Farm” law.
A Minnesota farm is helping people power their homes and businesses with solar energy without having to put panels on their roof. Eichten’s Cheese Farm in Chisago County is about to become one of Minnesota’s biggest community solar gardens.
Five candidates for Minnesota’s U.S. Senate seat, including incumbent Sen. Al Franken, are laying out their ideas for helping farmers at the annual FarmFest trade show. Wednesday’s panel was Franken’s first appearance with his challengers, and the last until after Republican voters choose their candidate in next Tuesday’s primary.
Five Minnesota candidates for governor have gathered at the annual FarmFest trade show, where they say they’d help farmers by promoting trade and easing environmental regulations. The candidates Tuesday included four Republicans who square off in a primary next week.
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.
On Thursday, Jason DeRusha and Jamie Yuccas headed east to New Richmond, Wis. where they visited the Heritage Center, went kayaking on the Apple River, explored Willow River State Park, enjoyed the 45th Parallel Distillery and visited Star Prairie Trout Farm.
Sunday’s beautiful weather is a relief to most of us, but one particular group is really grateful. Farms are finally buzzing with activity after a long cold winter and wet spring, which was a terrible combination for farmers. So, planting is way behind in many parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A report by the National Climate Assessment says a warming planet will worsen a series of weather trends already showing up across the Midwest. Look for more extremes: searing heat, late-spring freezes, floods and droughts across a region that includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri.
New federal data show the number of farms in Minnesota fell 8 percent from 2007 to 2012, while the market value of agricultural products the state’s farmers sold increased by 61 percent over the same five-year period.
A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota’s “Buy the Farm” law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits the CapX2020 project against Cedar Summit Farm near New Prague (prayg), a dairy that fills glass bottles on site and feeds its cows a 100 percent grass diet.
The persistent snow is delaying the beginning of fieldwork on farms across Minnesota. In its first weekly crop progress and condition report of the season for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says last week’s heavy snow is one reason why no days were rated suitable for fieldwork last week. Planting of some early crops such as oats usually begins around now.
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.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is updating its annual Minnesota Grown directory of farms and farmers markets. The 2013 edition listed 970 farmers and farmers markets. Producers who grow or raise products to sell directly to consumers are eligible to be included.
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.