• Lon Tonneson

    Looking On The Bright Side Of Lower Prices

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 10, 2014

    David Gillen, a White Lake, S.D., farmers sends his landlord and others regular updates on what’s happening on his farm. His latest crop report, was pretty interesting – especially he talked about the tough year that was coming up. Here’s an excerpt: “The 2014 corn crop will start to be seeded in about 2.5 months. We have the seed, fertilizer and weed control chemical already lined up and will be spreading fertilizer the end of this month. “The high input costs…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Bright Future For Corn, But Does Danger Lurk Around Every Corner?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 18, 2014

    “I think the future is pretty bright for new crop corn… I think we have a lot of [profit] potential,” said Mark Pearson, host of the Market to Market TV show, at the South Dakota Corn Grower Association annual meeting. He said he expects corn to stay around $4 per bushel in 2014. With more aggressive marketing than was required in the past two years, farmers will be able make money on corn, he said. “Are we going back to $2.50, $1.25 [per bushel] corn? Are we going…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Crazy Timing For Ethanol Cutback

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 17, 2013

    It’s ironic that EPA announced its proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard precisely the same week the retail price gas fell below $3 per gallon and just as farmers were wrapping up a harvest that’s so big that there will be enough corn for food, feed and fuel with plenty to spare -- and corn will cost half of what it did last year. Isn’t this what consumers wanted? Cheaper fuel? Cheaper feed? Cheaper food? Some blame Big Oil for the proposed cutback in the Renewable…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Corn Comes Through

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 13, 2013

     “This field is running 120 bushels an acre,” said Mitch Wanzek, Windsor, N.D., as I rode with him while he combined corn today. “This summer we didn’t think it would make 20 bushels per acre,” he added. On their farm in central North Dakota near Jamestown, they had too much rain early, which delayed emergence and even washed some corn seed out of the furrows on the slopes. Then it stopped raining and stayed dry for much of the summer.  “The rain…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    This Seed Ad May Make You Laugh

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 26, 2013

    Tired of all those serious seed ads that are running everywhere this time of year? An ad from Millborn Seeds, Brookings, S.D., will make you laugh. The company sells forage, grass and cover crop seeds. The commercial is a spoof. They were just having fun when they dreamed up, “Milton Tarkenton’s Super Mega Sugar Beet Seed Warehouse Store.” They thought their customers would enjoy the fake commercial. I did and it made me want to buy their seeds! Check it…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Turn Sugar Into Ethanol? You bet!

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 20, 2013

    Should the U.S. start making ethanol out of sugar? I say, you bet. We have a glut of sugar on the market -- thanks mostly to Mexico dumping their surplus into the U.S. this year. Switching to sugar might be good for ag’s image, too. I doubt that anybody will complain about using sugar to make fuel, like they complain about using corn. The food police -- who seem to hate the fact that we use corn to make meat -- aren’t sweet on sugar. They say sugar is making us fat…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    King Corn's Secrets To High Yields

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 12, 2013

    What’s Randy Dowdy’s secret to high corn yields? Dowdy won the irrigated division in the 2012 National Corn Growers Yield Contest with a 372-bushel-per-acre entry. He shared some of his secrets to high yields at a session at the recent Big Iron farm show in West Fargo, N.D. “The most important thing to see in your field…is your shadow,” said Dowdy, of Valdosta, Ga. He walks every acre of corn on his farm. “I walk with the crop…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    The Worst Cornfield

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 26, 2013

    I saw what could be a 100-bushel-per-acre soybean field and a 285-bushel-per-acre cornfield last week in my travels through South Dakota and North Dakota (see my earlier blog post), but I also saw some fields that looked like they aren’t going to yield anything. The worst was near Ashley, N.D. See the photo. The corn probably had been planted on a gravel or sand ridge. Cornfields nearby looked better, but lots of fields from Selby, S.D., to Fargo, N.D., were firing in the…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Is a Monsanto Ultra-Early Corn Coming Soon?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 12, 2013

    A new ultra-early corn hybrid -- the first from Monsanto’s Canada Corn Expansion Project -- may be on the market in just two or three years, says Mike Claywell, Monsanto's northern test lead specialist. At a meeting I attended at Dekalb’s Glyndon, Minn., plant breeding station (Dekalb is one of Monsanto’s brands), Claywell said that a new early-maturing line developed in Ontario looks very good. If it performs as expected this season, it will be developed quickly…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    No Farm Bill, No Sugarbeets Up North

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on August 5, 2013

    I didn’t see a lot of difference in the farms when I crossed the border into Manitoba last week to attend a Wolf Trax field day. Wolf Trax makes micronutrients that fertilizer dealers market across the U.S. On the North Dakota side of the border, there were a lot of corn, soybean, wheat, canola and sugarbeet fields. On the Manitoba side, it was nearly the same, but the sugarbeet fields were missing. Manitoba’s sugarbeet industry dried up in the late 1990s. According…

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