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DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Matt Nelson began experimenting with cover crops in 2012 and doesn't expect them to provide quick or easy solutions. He says he has "a long-term timetable," one that includes enhancing soil health on his Lakota, N.D., farm and incorporating them into Lakota-based Redline Agri Services, which Nelson owns and operates.
COOPERSTOWN, N.D. — David Lunde and his father, Nathan, sit at the kitchen table in the house in which David grew up and is living in again. They talk about cattle and careers, choices and options, their lives so far and their lives still to come. And they talk about David's adventures far from home. "It's his Viking blood (that prompted David's travels)," Nathan says with a smile.
FOSSTON, Minn. — Same town, same bank, same last name. Different generations. Yes, Daniel Paulson and Ryan Paulson are father-son ag bankers. "There was a job opening here, and he (Ryan) was the perfect candidate," Daniel Paulson says. Other decision-makers told Daniel, "Ironic that he has your last name." The Paulsons work at the Fosston, Minn., branch of American Federal. Dan, 50, is the ag/business banker and senior vice president. Ryan, 25, is the ag/business banking specialist.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - I always assumed it's obvious why farmers, especially in the Upper Midwest, have barns for their livestock. Sometimes it's really cold. Sometimes it's really wet or muddy or windy. Though animals are pretty tough and can handle some inclimate weather, sometimes they need shelter from the elements; barns provide that. Barns are humane and sensible, obviously. So obvious it goes without saying, right?
PLAZA, N.D. — Durum always has been a big part of Keith Deutsch's life. Besides raising the crop, the 60-year-old Plaza, farmer promoted it through service on the U.S. Durum Growers Association, including a stint as the group's president. But Deutsch has "termed out" on the association's board, reaching the limit of his potential service. What's more, he's strongly considering not planting any durum himself this spring. "I might end up having a little. But I don't think it would be much. The price just doesn't justify the risk (of growing it)," he said.
WASHINGTON — Family farms are one of the most controversial topics in modern agriculture. There's widespread disagreement on what constitutes a family farm and what doesn't. A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't end the debate, but does shed light on family farms nationwide. Among its conclusions: • Ninety percent of million-dollar farms, or ones with gross cash farm income of at least $1 million, are family farms.
WASHINGTON — Depending on how you cut the numbers, the U.S. farm economy could get a little weaker — or a little stronger — in 2017. U.S. net farm income in 2017 is projected to fall 8.7 percent to $62.3 billion, reaching its lowest level, adjusted for inflation, since 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service said Tuesday. Jeffrey Hopkins, chief of the farm economy branch in the resource and rural economy division of the Economic Research Service, presented the numbers online to the news media.
REGENT, N.D. — For the past eight years, Aaron Krauter has said he has "the best job in agriculture in North Dakota." After Jan. 20, he'll be saying, "I used to have the best job in agriculture in North Dakota."
GRAND FORKS — Daryl Ritchison didn't expect drought in 2016 in North Dakota. He was right. In fact, generally favorable growing conditions allowed many farmers to enjoy record yields. Ritchison, interim director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network, doesn't expect drought in 2017 either. But he does anticipate the next growing season will be slightly drier and cooler than average.
GRAND FORKS — Farmers and ranchers need to take out sentiment and emotion to make sound financial decisions, relying instead on discipline and sound tools, two extension specialists say. "There's probably more emotion in farming than other business. But it is a business, and you need to be disciplined when you make financial decisions," said Nathan Hulinsky, a Marshall, Minn.-based educator with University of Minnesota Extension.