• Lon Tonneson

    Blizzard Surprise

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 26, 2014

    Ten minutes ago I walked out to the mailbox and the sky was blue, the sun was shining through bright white clouds and there was only a little snow drifting across the highway. Now, the farmstead is socked in. I can’t see much further than the barn, which is a few hundred feet from the house. Beyond it, the world dissolves into white. Had I lived out here in the Red River Valley 125 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have survived the Children’s Blizzard that hit in a similar…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    The Meat Racket

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 24, 2014

    The question of whether vertical integration in the poultry and swine industries, and packer concentration in the beef industry, is good or bad is a moot point. It’s how we do business today and it is here to stay. But you might like the new book, “The Meat Racket,” by Christopher Leonard. It’s about how Tyson Foods was founded and how it grew. What I like best about the book are the stories about the farmers — especially John Tyson, who founded the company. He…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Big Hurdles For Industrial Beets

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 10, 2014

    What the heck are the industrial beet guys smoking? They’re proposing farmers grow beets as a feedstock for ethanol at a time when the EPA is proposing to cut the amount of renewable fuel sold in the U.S., and when the ethanol industry is still reeling from the food-versus-fuel debate. It makes no sense to me to try to produce more ethanol if the Renewable Fuel Standard is cut. New beet ethanol plants would have to compete with existing corn ethanol refineries. Also, ethanol’s…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    A Fresh Look At Farm Profits

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 6, 2014

    Try rearranging the formula for calculating profit and see how it affects your planning for 2014. The profit formula is: Income – Expenses = Profit. Joshua Dukart, a technician with Burleigh County, N.D., Soil Conservation District and a certified holistic management educator, says to rearrange the formula this way: Income - Profit = Expenses Looking at your farm or ranch through this formula gives you control of the amount of profit you desire. It also also gives you a ceiling for…

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