Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
Iowa cropland values — sometimes seen as a harbinger of land values elsewhere — have dropped, partly because of concerns over tariffs and trade agreements, according to a new report. Average statewide farmland values fell 1.7 percent to $6,844 from March through September, said the semi-annual report by the Iowa Chapter of the Realtors Land Trends and Values Survey. At its peak in 2013, not long after the 2018-2012 agricultural boom, Iowa farmland sold for an average of $8,750 per acre, according to an earlier report.
WASHBURN, N.D. — Rick Tweeten has been farming since 1986. The Washburn farmer knows all too well that in some growing seasons, the weather just do esn't cooperate. That was the case again this year, despite some promising weeks. "We started off in May with no moisture. Then June had pretty good moisture, and things were looking pretty good," he said. "But then a hailstorm came through (in late June), and Mother Nature turned off the spigot. And we went the other way in a hurry."
CRYSTAL, N.D. — Brian O'Toole ticks off the 10 Southeast Asian and Latin American countries he's visited, some more than once, to promote U.S. wheat exports. O'Toole formerly served as chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, which develops markets for U.S. wheat around the world, and farms in Crystal, N.D. The trips have given O'Toole personal, front-line experience with foreign customers.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Ralph Eichler was born and raised in Colorado, moving to Canada with his family in 1968. Though initially unenthusiastic about the change, he eventually became a proud Canadian agriculturalist and now serves as Manitoba minister of agriculture. "Agriculture doesn't know boundaries,"and certainly not the one between Manitoba and North Dakota to the south, Eichler said.
A new government report confirms what most people in Upper Midwest agriculture knew already: The region's 2019 corn and soybean harvests have begun, a little sooner than usual. Harvest of the two crops is under way in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, according to the latest weekly crop progress released Sept. 17 by the National Agricultural Statistic Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
If you've been around Upper Midwest agriculture as long as I have, you know a whole lot more than you want to about tough times. You've lived through the sky-high interest rates of the 1980s, you've experienced drought, you've suffered flooding, you've endured poor crop and livestock prices. You understand the economic pain that farming and ranching often brings, just as you know that ag brings good times, too.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — The annual Big Iron farm show in West Fargo, N.D., has a two-fold mission: allowing agricultural companies to show off their latest products and giving ag producers an opportunity to look over the companies' wares and ask questions. This year's event, held Sept. 11-13, attracted more than 600 exhibitors that filled more than 900 exhibit spaces. Agweek visited four exhibitors with strong area ties — Anchor Ingredients, Unverferth Manufacturing, Thunder Seed and Pulse USA — to get their front-line perspective.
If you ask Upper Midwest agriculturalists about potential yields for this year's corn and soybean crops, they'll probably answer "highly variable," or words to that effect. The latest crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirms that crop conditions vary greatly. On balance though, a majority of the corn and soybean crops remains in good or excellent condition.
Palmer amaranth — voted the most troublesome weed in the United States by the Weed Science Society of America — has made its way to North Dakota. The weed, also known as Palmer pigweed, recently was discovered in McIntosh County, the first official sighting in the state. DNA testing at the University of Illinois confirmed that the weed is Palmer. The weed already had been found in South Dakota and Minnesota.
This is the story of a young man who was "nuts about farming" and later developed a passion for firefighting — and now, against the odds, is doing both. It's also the story of a man and his family who are slowly but persistently coming to terms with a terrible loss. "We're still trying to figure it all out. We still have a long ways to go, and we may never get all the answers. But we're working at it," Adam Schiller says. Amber Schiller, Adam's wife and the mother of their three young children, died unexpectedly of natural causes on Jan. 27.