• Lon Tonneson

    Secrets to high corn and soybean yields

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 15, 2015

    What’s the secret to growing 100 bushel soybeans and 300+ bushel corn in the Dakotas? High plant populations, lots of fertilizer and “no boat.” That’s what I gleaned from the recent Soy100 conference at South Dakota State University. Scott McKee, Alcester, S.D., talked about what he did to produce 103 bushels of soybeans per acre to win the 2014 South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest. Frank Kralicek, Yankton, S.D., answered questions about how he produced 318 bushel corn…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Grain Bins Danger Extends Beyond The Bin

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 19, 2014

    I had no idea that you could become entrapped in grain and die if you stayed OUTISDE the grain bin. But it happened to a North Dakota farmer this year. Charles Sperle, LaMoure, N.D., died outside the bin when he was covered by corn. According to a recent article in the North Dakota Farmers Union’s "Union Farmer" magazine, Sperle was working outside a 30,000 bushel bin, unloading corn with a grain vacuum though the bin door. The corn was wet and frozen. Something happened and…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    New Sweet Spot For Corn Fertilizer Placement

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 16, 2014

    Did you place fertilizer for corn in the right place this spring? If you no-till, and you didn’t place fertilizer three inches to the side and level with the seed, you might have missed the sweet spot. Dwayne Beck, SDSU professor and manager of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, Pierre, S.D., says last year he saw a 20 bushel per acre increase in yield with a 3 x 0 inch  placement compared to broadcasting. "Where we have residue, roots don’t go down, they go…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    The Friday Buzz: Hot News and Views

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on May 2, 2014

    There’s some news you can use in the Friday Buzz. A tech savvy young farmer has an idea on how to make money with a drone this spring. Check out what he’s hoping to fly. A couple is helping their community, promoting ag and polishing their dairy’s image all at the same time. And all it takes is a love of cows! There’s also some sad news about farm fatalities, worries about how the cool weather has damaged corn, new hope for future fertilizer supplies and a puzzle over…

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  • 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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