One of the most enjoyable things about covering agriculture in the Upper Midwest is that there’s a cycle to it. No two years are ever close to the same — the variable weather and markets guarantee that — but there is a familiar pattern.
Plant in the spring and harvest in the fall (weather permitting, of course.) After harvest and before planting comes what’s sometimes referred to as “ag meeting season.” Not a week goes by in the cold-weather months that t least one area farm group or organization doesn’t host a meeting.
Agweek, of course, will be covering many of the upcoming meetings. We won’t be able to attend all of them, but we’ll make it to a lot. Please drop me a line if there’s anything particularly important or newsworthy about your event. I can’t promise to attend, but I do promise to listen carefully when you make your sales pitch.
The North Dakota Farm Bureau has just announced that its president, Eric Aasmundstad, will be stepping down after 12 years in the position.
Aasmundstad is no longer a full-time farmer because the rising waters of Devils Lake have swallowed up most his family’s farm. Anyone serving as the organization’s leader should be a full-time farmer, he says in a Farm Bureau news release.
He also says it’s important for other people to step into leadership positions.
The U.S. potato industry has worked long and hard to promote spuds as a healthy, affordable food. So the industry is naturally pleased to publicize University of Washington research that found potatoes to be the biggest, most affordable source of potassium per serving of any veggie or fruit.
Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves and digestive system, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine web site.
Check out www.uspotatoes.com to learn more about the nutritional benefits of spuds. The site is associated with The U.S. Potato Board, the national potato marketing organization.
This is the time of year that many farmers and landlords renegotiate farmland leases that expired after the 2011 growing season. It’s dangerous to generalize too much — conditions vary from area to area and even from farm to farm — but one thing is clear:
The supply of land is finite, while demand for it is strengthening. You don’t need to be a University of Chicago economist to figure out how that’s affecting farmland rental rates.
Read my cover story on the subject in Nov. 7 issue of Agweek.