• Lon Tonneson

    Brazil -- Day 2

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 31, 2011

        I stilll haven't been on a farm in Brazil. But I''m getting closer. I've met a couple farmers. They are with Aprosoja, the organization that represents farmers in state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, like the Illinois Soybean Association represents farmers in the state of Illinois. Over dinner I got in a couple really smart questions to the vice president who had driven in hundreds of miles to be at this meeting. Have you started harvesting soybeans yet?   No, not yet…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Brazil - Day 1

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 31, 2011

    I made it to Brazil. It was nearly a 24 hour trip from Fargo, N.D., to Sao Paulo. The city is a hot noisy, place and a little bit of a culture shock for me. I'm comfortable with the wide open places of the Cornbelt and small, clean Midwestern towns. In this part of Sao Paulo there is graffiti everywhere. Houses, hotels and offices are surrounded with iron fences and walls. Some of the fences and walls are topped razor wire. There are homeless people sleeping in doorways, in…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Do You Think I'll Melt In Brazil?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 28, 2011

    Tomorrow I take off for Brazil. I'm representing Farm Progress Companies on a trip with a delegation from the Illinois Soybean Association. To prepare for the trip I did all the usual things -- packing, making sure I had everything on the list, etc. I also took one last ride on the snowmobile around the farmstead where I live and work outside of Fargo. I promptly buried the the snowmobile in a drift back in the shelterbelt and spent around two hours digging it out. By the time I was done, I…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Corn talk

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 25, 2011

    I ran down to Sioux Falls from Fargo Saturday for the South Dakota Corn Growers Association convention. Some of interesting things I heard at the conference: Land values boom. I heard about land selling for nearly $4,000 per acre in central South Dakota and $5,000 per acre near northwest Iowa. The land price-to-yield ratio is apparently higher in South Dakota that many other places in the Cornbelt. Cutting back. But not everybody is hungry for more land. One farmer told me…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Scared Straight

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 12, 2011

    A weed resistance meeting that I attended today reminded me of those Scared Straight programs from junior high – the ones where they take you to the county jail or the state prison and show what your life will be like if don’t follow the rules. Instead of taking us to the county jail, speakers at the Peterson Farms Seed seminar gave us of tour of Mid-South soybean and cotton farms. Instead of seeing an 8- x 8-foot concrete cell with iron bars, we saw soybeans in Arkansas…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    No Bones About It

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 10, 2011

      South Dakota sure has had a good run of ag secretaries. Larry Gabriel – the West River rancher and longtime state lawmaker– was great. He really helped grow the livestock industry, especially dairy. Bill Even – the southeast South Dakota corn and bean farmer – did a fine job. When Even resigned to take a job with Pioneer, Deputy Secretary Jon Farris was appointed to fill out the term. He would have made a good secretary in his own right. Walt Bones is…

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