Category: Farming

USDA Crop Report: Dry Weather Impacting Minnesota's Corn

First it was the wet spring. Then an unseasonably cool July and early August. Now it’s lack of rain. The weather for many Minnesota corn farmers has come full circle this planting and growing season.

According to the USDA, statewide average temperatures for the week ending Sept. 1 were almost 12 degrees above normal. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were short at 66 and 61 percent, respectively, and overall corn conditions lagged behind compared to last year.

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Farmers and Technology: Staying Connected on the Farm and Agvocating to Consumers

Written by Wanda Patsche

I will be the first to admit that I am an electronic device “junkie!” I own and use a desktop computer, laptop computer, iPad, Kindle and iPhone. And, yes at times, I do use more than one device at the same time!

Computers have been a huge part of my life and there is no such thing as too many electronic devices in my mind.

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Blame McDonald's — not Ethanol — for Increasing Chicken Prices

chartWell, don’t “blame” McDonald’s, that’s a little harsh. It’s a good thing for agriculture that McDonald’s is buying more chicken from farmers to meet demand for a new menu item. Bravo!

But this story from Bloomberg Businessweek about how McDonald’s may be influencing chicken prices as it prepares to add chicken wings to its menu is important for poultry farmers to read for this reason: There are many factors that influence food prices.

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Minnesota Gophers Farm Family of the Game goes to 5th Generation Dodge County Farmers

There’s a shade tree on Roger Toquam’s farm that sometimes doubles as a board room. On a hot day last week, the “board room” was packed for a very important meeting.

Roger, two of his three sons, and Roger’s father – three generations of Toquams — were gathered to talk farming. They covered strategies for improving their corn, soybean and contract hog finishing farm, and also reflected a little on how fortunate they all are to be a part of such a special family “business.”

“I thought to myself,

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Ag Water Quality Experts Tour Minnesota Discovery Farms Network

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Farmers want to know the volume of nutrients and sediment leaving their land. Eleven such producers across the state of Minnesota take part in Minnesota Discovery Farms Network, and three of these farms hosted a tour of agricultural water quality experts on Aug. 13-15 from states that have each developed their own Discovery Farms network.

Warren Formo, director of Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center,

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What will it take to surpass the next yield barrier?

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The Lantz brothers, Matt and Luke, achieve consistently high yields on their Lake Crystal farm where they feed all of their grain to their farrow-to-finish operation (60,000 pigs a year). The total crop land in production is 2,800 acres in rotation, with about a third devoted to soybeans.

“This is not about getting to some high number once, but it’s about increasing by five bushels here with one practice,

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Klobuchar and Grassley Letter asks for Investigation of Big Oil

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter this week asking the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate possible anti-competitive practices by oil companies that may be limiting consumer access to renewable fuels like ethanol.

“By forcing a franchisee to carry premium gasoline as a condition of carrying regular gas, the oil company may be using its economic power over its franchisee to effect a tying arrangement in violation of the Sherman Act,” the two senators wrote in the letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FTC Chairwoman Edit Ramirez .

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Corn is Everywhere at the Minnesota State Fair

A search for “corn” using the Minnesota State Fair’s food finder tool yields 122 results. That’s a lot of options for fairgoers attending The Great Minnesota Get Together to find some type of food — corn on the cob, corn dogs, corn-fed meat or popcorn — that uses corn in one way or another.

But food stands won’t be the only place to learn about corn at the Minnesota State Fair,

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Let's Help the Poultry Industry Better Understand Ethanol and the Renewable Fuels Standard

For some reason, our fellow farmers in the poultry industry still do not understand the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and ethanol.

Maybe they’ll get it if corn farmers contact them directly.

This recent commentary in the Star Tribune, penned by a turkey and a chicken producer, attacked the RFS and called on Congress to reduce the ethanol blend rate. The piece also blamed ethanol for increased food and feed costs by making the same old tired and dated food vs.

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"Uniting" a Major Theme at 2013 Minnesota Agriculture Leadership Conference

As the number of people in farm circles gets smaller, it’s more important than ever before for agriculture groups to become more united in their efforts to shape sensible farm policy and fend off attacks on issues like biotechnology, ethanol and the environment.

“Uniting” was a major theme of the 2013 Minnesota Agriculture Leadership Conference earlier this week in Brainerd. More than 160 farmers, policy makers, business leaders and elected officials addressed issues related to agriculture,

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