Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
FARGO — A Fargo group has applied to the Small Business Administration for a contract grant to develop and create "the first 100 percent autonomous farm." The so-called "Grand Farm Initiative" is proposed to be completed by 2025, or in seven years, with the SBA funding.
FARGO, N.D. — It's complicated. It's painful. That's the trade situation for a family that makes agricultural equipment for the U.S. and the world. Howard Dahl is the chief executive officer of Amity Technology in Fargo. The company makes and markets sugar beet harvesting equipment they sell throughout North America and in many other countries, with a focus on former Soviet Union countries including Russia and Ukraine.
FARGO, N.D. — Two supervisors at a Nebraska potato farm operated by R.D. Offutt Company in Fargo were among those indicted in an illegal immigration sting on Wednesday, Aug. 8, by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mark Dickerson, director of communications for RDO, confirmed that Elkhorn River Farms LLC is part of their farming company. Dickerson said RDO is "aware of the situation and working with authorities."
As America wades into its new trade war, I've been thinking a lot about an interview I had with former Manitoba Premier Dufferin "Duff" Roblin. In the 1960s he spent his political capital to build flood protection for Winnipeg, which disastrously was flooded by the Red River in 1950. Roblin was derided for spending $64 million to build what his critics called "Duff's Ditch" — the kind of diversion that Fargo-Moorhead now wants to build for $2.4 billion. Duff's Ditch has saved some $40 billion.
TWIN BROOKS, S.D. — Corn is looking good but soybeans are "sketchy" in some parts of northeast South Dakota, after a hail storm on July 10. Harlan Bohn, 63, and his son, Greg, raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa on a small farm. They have 140 acres each of corn and soybeans and 100 acres of alfalfa along the south fork of the Whetstone River, which ends up in Big Stone Lake. They also rent about 200 acres of pasture for their registered red and black Angus and commercial stock cows.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — One of the Dakotas' largest metro areas since 1995 has been turning a byproduct of their wastewater treatment — sludge from city water waste — into farm fertilizer. Officials there say most city residents and even neighbors don't know how their "beneficial re-use" of nutrients is saving on their landfill.
CASSELTON, N.D. — Meet the the future — spot-spraying with a drone. The model AG V6+ is a 6-foot-wide spray boom, acquired by North Dakota State University. It will soon be tested for its ability to accurately spray herbicides autonomously. The new industrial "unmanned aerial vehicle" arrived three weeks ago. It is capable of carrying more than 4 gallons of liquid. Operators can send it to spray precise locations of problem weeds. The scientists hope to determine the locations separately from high-resolution drone imagery.
FARGO — You see them often you drive across the heartland. The Stars and Stripes pop up in many places — on a pole, on a wall, at the top of a machine, or over U.S. Department of Agriculture and agribusiness offices. The flag is a big deal in the heartland, especially around the Fourth of July.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Fallout from the bankruptcy of a sugar beet grower is resulting in an unusual auction beginning next week involving American Crystal Sugar Co. More than $720,000 in "unit retains" — payments once owed by American Crystal of Moorhead to insolvent farmer William "Bill" Sczepanski of Stephen, Minn. — will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Bidders don't have to be beet growers or members of the co-op.
MILNOR, N.D. — Geoff Lien was spraying corn west of Milnor, keeping an eye on the western sky for rain that would be welcome, even if it would slow his spraying progress. Lien works on a farm owned by his father, Marshall Lien, and a cousin, Kasey Lien, all of Milnor. The families raise corn and soybeans. Planting schedules were a bit behind, but some stretches of favorable conditions allowed the family to get crops in.