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CROPS

"Across Agweek Country, hundreds of farmers, ranchers and other agriculturalists are deciding whether this will be their last full-time year in ag. They still enjoy what they do, but they also realize it might be time to step back."
Kernza has been getting some buzz in recent years for its multiple uses as a forage, a grain that can be used in the kitchen, and a plant beneficial to water quality and the environment. Alexandria High School in Minnesota is planting test plots to help its ag students learn more.
You only get 30 to 40 cracks at planting season, Jonathan Knutson says. So, enjoy it, even in its difficulties.
Flooding near Oslo, Minnesota, has destroyed agricultural land, washed out their township roads and caused thousands of dollars of damage to a railroad line that carries cars filled with wheat to the West Coast and southern United States.

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A North Dakota potato breeder brings in a speaker from Wyoming who has trained a dog to detect potato virus diseases using their nose.
The North Dakota Soybean Processors plant at Casselton and the Green Bison plant at Spiritwood are signs of the growing demand for renewable fuel as well as feed for the livestock industry.
Anne Waltner, Parker, South Dakota, left a full-time career as a concert pianist and educator to join her parents’ farming operation. Along the way she married, had triplet daughters and survived cancer. Of her journey and life, she says: “Can you think of anybody luckier than me?”
Cold temperatures and excessive moisture have delayed spring planting across the northern Plains.
Jared Goplen, a farmer and University of Minnesota Extension educator on crops and forage, is seeing more interest in small grains in traditional corn and soybean country for a few reasons: soil health, weed and pest management, and benefits to livestock operations.
In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was restricting the use of a herbicide in six Minnesota counties out of concern for an endangered species, a species it chose not to make public. Before the calendar could flip to April, EPA had reversed those restrictions as well as even wider herbicide bans because of an insect called the American burying beetle. So what was behind the initial secretiveness? Why the sudden reversal?

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Meyers Tractor Salvage of Aberdeen, South Dakota, is the largest enterprise of its type in the region. The family sells recycled parts and also does its own scrap iron work. Many farms in the region have bought parts from them or sold them rough and fire-damaged tractors, combines and other implements.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, S.D., are moving a bill in the Senate, designed to pressure international ocean freight companies to fill freight “containers” with agricultural products instead of sending them back to Asia empty. Rick Brandenburger, president of Richland Innovative Food Crops Inc., Inc., of Breckenridge, Minnesota, says the company is getting only one-third of their needed containers. They want “teeth” in any efforts to fix the problem.
From 20- to 30% of the barley grown in North Dakota and Minnesota is sold to pet food processors or pet food companies, said Steve Edwardson, North Dakota Barley Council executive administrator.

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