Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO—Tim McGreery hasn't seen prices this low for pulse crops in 12 years. Peas, he said, are down 25 percent, lentils 40 percent and chickpeas 50 percent. McGreery, chief executive officer of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, based in Moscow, Idaho, said tariffs in India and China—formerly the two top international destinations for U.S. pulse crops—are "definitely having an impact."
WASHINGTON — Producers who have raised soybeans, wheat, corn, sorghum, cotton, pork and dairy found out on Aug. 27 how much of the $12 billion trade compensation package they will receive. But many in agriculture would prefer a strong market to a government check. "It's nice to get a little money, make a little cash flow happen," said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. "Everybody is appreciative of a payment; everybody is kind of wishing the payments would go away."
FAULKTON, S.D — Drivers heading west on U.S. Highway 212 into this north central South Dakota town this summer have found themselves gawking in amazement at the image of the back of a small boy in jeans and a T-shirt on the Agtegra elevator. The image shows every wrinkle of fabric, every strand of hair and the softness of a child's form, as if a giant black-and-white photo had been pasted to the side of the towering structure. Aussie Dave even has joked about starting a pool on when the first crash will be.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — The pouring rain on the first day of Minnesota Farmfest didn't keep people from pouring through the gates of the annual event that draws thousands to learn about what's new in agriculture. John Hendel, director of event sales for Farmfest, said the event, in its 37th year, has been held for 25 years at the Gilfillan Estate near Redwood Falls, Minn.
FARGO, N.D. — Many Upper Midwest wheat farmers have been hoping that good-looking wheat fields will produce record or near-record yields this year. The results of a widely watched annual tour indicate that won't happen. Spring wheat will yield an average of 41.1 bushels per acre this year, up from 38.1 bushels per acre in drought-ravaged 2017 but down substantially from estimated per-acre yields in 2012 to 2016, including the record 49.9 bushels per acre in 2014, according to results of the Wheat Quality Council's hard red spring wheat and durum tour.
"It's really, really a small percentage that are doing it right." I saw that quote while perusing Twitter. The speaker, apparently, was actress Natalie Portman on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, talking about animal agriculture in June. It's disheartening, of course, for those of us involved in raising livestock to see people believe we aren't "doing it right." It's more disheartening when it seems unlikely that either of the people involved in the conversation has ever spent the night doctoring a sick calf or rushed an old cow to the veterinarian.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says the kind of bipartisan, across-the-board support the U.S. Senate's version of the farm bill received doesn't happen often. "That doesn't happen for anything but basketball resolutions," she says. "The vote ... shows the rest of the world that America has the backs of our rural communities."
BISMARCK, N.D. — The word "alumni" when invoked regarding FFA alumni groups seems to indicate a gathering of former members of the agriculture education group. Perhaps a fraternity of sorts. But that's not the point at all. "A local alumni group would be comparable to a sports booster club," says Aaron Anderson, ag ed supervisor for North Dakota Career and Technical Education. The use of alumni in the name of the groups, Anderson says, can be a bit misleading. "It's just anyone who is interested in supporting agricultural education and FFA," he clarifies.
FARGO—Michelle Rook will join AgweekTV as anchor, effective April 30, 2018. Rook has worked for Agweek as a freelance television and magazine reporter since 2016.
TAPPEN, N.D. — One could be excused for thinking the central North Dakota weather on March 30 was an early April Fools' Day joke — and a cruel one at that. The northwest wind bit at exposed skin and sent snowflakes fluttering wildly, the conditions fit for neither human nor beast. But, as February, March and April are the prevalent calving times for the region, the repercussions of the weather on both humans and beasts can be a harsh reality.