Mikkel Pates / Agweek Staff Writer
CARRINGTON, N.D. — Post Holdings Inc., parent to Dakota Growers Pasta Co., has taken a step that could lead to a change for the private brands business that includes the iconic North Dakota pasta company. On March 28, Post Holdings announced it had filed a document with the Securities Exchange Commission for a potential initial public offering for its private brands business.
WARREN, Minn. — Bill Sczepanski's farm insolvency at Stephen, Minn., isn't as widely known as Ron McMartin Jr.'s, across the river at St. Thomas, N.D., but both have had their impacts. The two large farms in the northern Red River Valley were 40 miles apart, both brought down by declining commodity prices and production challenges. Both had impacts on suppliers and associated businesses. In the Sczepanski case, creditors fought successfully at the district court level to get the benefit of about $1 million in "unit retains," owed by a sugar beet cooperative.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—American Crystal Sugar Co. stock share prices and trading ran steady to stronger in the trading season, which seems to be coming to a conclusion, says Jayson Menke, ag stock specialist at FNC Ag Stock LLC, in Grand Forks, N.D. American Crystal of Moorhead, Minn., is a farmer-owned cooperative in which members purchase shares, which offer the right and obligation to deliver beets. Shares typically are bought and sold from harvest until spring.
COOPERSTOWN, N.D. — April blizzards have added to difficulties for cattlemen in the region, as well as the veterinarians who serve them. Paul Motter is a veterinarian and owner of Cooperstown Veterinary Clinic, where he's served for 30 years. Today he operates the practice with veterinarian Quynn (pronounced "Quinn") Steichen. It's a mixed practice that is two-thirds committed to large animal work and about one-third with pets and some horses.
CARRINGTON, N.D. — Bryan Neville has joined North Dakota State University's Carrington Research Extension Center as an animal scientist. Before starting in late March, Neville, 38, worked with Nutrition Service Associates, doing nutritional consulting in the Northern Plains and Canada for two years. Prior to that he worked six years as director and animal scientist at the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center near Streeter, working in range and grazing areas.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Agriculture Department said a Page, N.D., elevator improperly disposed of farm chemical "rinsate" but the details — what and how much was released — are not disclosed. And they may never say. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring confirms that his department had found an infraction by the Arthur Companies, a group of grain elevators that is family-owned by the Burgum family. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum sits on the elevator's board of directors.
LAKE BENTON, Minn. — Jim Nichols campaigns like a politician, but he isn't running for office anymore. The 71-year-old former Minnesota agriculture commissioner is lobbying for farmers to learn more about how to boost their corn yields. He says he's achieved an impressive 300-bushel yield by paying better attention to nitrogen fertilizer timing.
ELBOW LAKE, Minn. — There are often glimpses of the quiet spiritual expressions of farmers in the Upper Midwest. One image that suggests Easter is on a farmstead two miles north of Elbow Lake, Minn. The sculpture garden is the eye-catching legacy of Allen Bakke, who farmed until he became ill with cancer, and then spent his twilight years building images of importance in his life. The site is just to the west of Grant County Highway 20.
ABERDEEN, S.D. — A relatively new service is offering high-accuracy Global Positioning System "corrections" for farm equipment in the region through a network of ground stations, rather than through familiar towers. MidStates VRS, based in Fargo, is linked to the Butler Machinery Co. MidStates VRS started taking subscriptions in the spring of 2015 and business has been building since then.
PERLEY, Minn. --Paul Houglum knows farming has taken its toll on his hearing. In mid-March he was hauling grain to the local elevator, emptying wheat from bins with a large vacuum machine. "It's a very loud machine," says Houglum after stopping the task. "The new ones have gotten better, but they're still loud." Noise is "one of the things you try to put up with" as a farmer, he says. "You try to wear ear muffs or ear plugs when you're doing it. But, there's certain things you have to hear, too. There's times you don't using hearing protection as much as you should."