Farmers: Which Of These Two Things Is Worse?

I’m working on a story for Agweek’s Oct. 3 print edition that looks at how much of the North Dakota and Montana durum crop has been hit by vomitoxin, which greatly lowers the durum’s value. It’s extremely frustrating for durum farmers: they enjoyed terrific yields overall, but wet conditions during a key stage in the…
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‘That Could Be A Useful, Interesting Story’

This summer, while researching an Agweek cover story on the use of drones in agriculture, I visited on the phone with the head of the national ag ag pilot association. He happened to mention, in passing, that more aerial ag applicators are planting cover crops in the fall. I thought, “That could be a useful,…
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The Roar Of Combines? No, The Boasting Of Bison Fans

Yesterday I attended an agricultural bioscience conference on the North Dakota State University campus. Many weighty trends, issues and policies were studied and discussed. But the most important subject at the conference — and I don’t say this altogether in jest — seemed to be the big NDSU Bison victory two days earlier. Here’s the…
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A Must-Win Harvest?

Persistent wet weather has slowed and even stopped harvest in big chunks of the Upper Midwest. Many agriculuralists are understandably worried and frustrated. They have bills to pay, and need their unharvested grain to do it. Gotta get the crop off, they tell themselves. Viewing harvest as a must-win can be so simple, even inevitable.…
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Big Iron Is Never Boring

I’ve lost count of my how many times I’ve attended the annual Big Iron Farm Show in West Fargo. But I am sure of this: weather conditions have varied greatly: I’ve been hot, been cold. Been wet, been dusty. But I’ve never once been bored. There’s always something interesting to see, someone interesting to visit…
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