• Lon Tonneson

    What's Hot When It's Cold

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 28, 2011

    I visited three farmers last week to see how they are getting ready for the planting season. Both John Horter, of Andover, S.D., and Paul Koch, of Sherman, S.D., had upgraded their standard box-fill planters this year to 24-row center-fill planters with auto row shutoff and variable rate seeding capabilities. Both were excited about the time they expected to save filling a bulk tank rather than individual boxes. Both also expected to save significantly on seed on headlands and…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    The Beet Goes On -- Or Will It For Roundup Ready Sugarbeets?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 25, 2011

    When I walked into the International Sugarbeet Show in Fargo the other day, I said to the first farmer I met, “so how’s the beet business?   “Great,” he replied, “and it’d be better if we plant get Roundup Ready beets.”   Sugar prices are high for a change and sugarbeet yields last year were high, too. Some fields produced 35-40 tons per acre. Now, the goal is to get every field to produce that much.   The lawsuits over Roundup…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Good Place In A Crisis

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 17, 2011

    As I watch the Arab revolts and the Japanese nuclear plant fires on TV, I can’t help thinking about what Jay Fisher, director of the North Central Research Station in Minot, N.D., once told me: North Dakota won’t be a bad place to be if there were a real serious energy crisis – if we can’t import foreign oil and fuel prices rise so much that it become impossible to ship food long distances. “North Dakota can produce its own energy," he said. "We have…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Scent of Spring

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 1, 2011

    You know the smell of freshly plowed fields? It makes Dan Forgey sick. Forgey, manager of Cronin Farms, Gettysburg, S.D., says he has come to understand that the classic scent of spring in the Dakotas is  really the odor of dying soil microbes. “It’s the last thing I want to smell.” Forgey is a long-time no-tiller who has recently started using cover crops to keep a living plants and roots and and in on the soil as long as possible. “The soil is…

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