• Lon Tonneson

    NRCS has a wetland mess

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on February 2, 2015

    When the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that it was going to try and speed up wetland determinations in South Dakota and North Dakota by relying more on soil, aerial maps and other in-office methods rather than field observations and soil samples, I thought “good” and figured farmers would be all for it. Boy was I wrong. Corn and soybean groups have denounced so called off-site determinations and have asked farmers tell NRCS its drop its…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Corporate farming law changes in the works

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 29, 2015

    There are moves afoot in both South Dakota and North Dakota to make changes to the states' corporate farming laws. In South Dakota, several senators have introduced a bill to change the ban on corporate ownership of hog barns. The law currently states, “No corporation, except a family corporation, may own or operate any hog facility. The main change to the law simply says the “restrictions to corporation ownership do not apply to any hog confinement facility.” The text of…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Halls of Fame, Or Shame?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on November 6, 2014

    I got to thinking about North Dakota and South Dakota Halls of Fame the other day. The North Dakota Winter Show is looking for nominations for inductees to its Ag Hall of Fame for 2015. Al Gustin, a Bismarck, N.D., farm broadcaster and author, was inducted in 2014. The list of inductees, which goes back to 2007, includes some familiar names, including: Bill Gross – founder of Farm Rescue, Jamestown Gregg Halvorson – chairman of the board of Black Gold Farms, Grand…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Farmers Call for End to Ducks Unlimited, NRCS Deals

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 20, 2014

    Seven North Dakota farm and commodity groups have gotten to together to ask the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to end NRCS’s practice of using Ducks Limited employees to do conservation work in North Dakota. The groups include: • North Dakota Grain Growers Association • North Dakota Corn Growers Association • North Dakota Soybean Growers Association • Northern Canola Growers Association • US Durum Growers • AmeriFlax • North Dakota Farm…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Grain Growers Fires Off Complaint On Ducks Unlimited

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 16, 2014

    News that Ducks Unlimited employees are working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service continues to generate some political heat. It’s getting hot especially in North Dakota where DU and nearly all of the state’s farm groups are on opposites of sides of wetland issues and Measure 5, an initiated measure that would allocate millions of dollars of oil taxes to conservation practices – including the purchase of land for parks, grasslands and wetlands. The North Dakota…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Raise Your Spoon In Salute To Farmers

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on October 14, 2014

    It’s great to see two South Dakotans featured on the boxes of Hy-Vee brand cereal boxes as part of a Farm Credit Services of America ag advocacy program. Brad and Peggy Greenway and Rhonda McDonnell, Quinn, S.D., are part of as FCSAmerica’s “Spoon Salute.” “We are encouraging consumer to give a spoon salute to the American Farmer as we honor producers on cereal boxes in the same way others honor sports figures,” says Judy Hartlieb, FCSAmerica vice president…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Ducks Unlimited Staffers At NRCS?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on September 23, 2014

    Are Ducks Unlimited staffers working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service? That’s what the North Dakota Grain Growers Association says is going on and they don’t like it. Ducks Unlimited is a private non-profit organization that has been working to increase wetlands and grasslands, especially in North Dakota, South Dakota and other Prairie Pothole states and provinces. The organization has been at loggerheads with some farm groups in recent years over tile and surface…

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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

    You Had Better Speak Up on the Renewable Fuel Standard

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 23, 2014

    “Please don’t allow corn to be used for gas, we need it for food…” “We must not increase ethanol to E15 level. Ethanol is hard on machinery…” “Use of corn and soybean (for fuel) should be lowered or completed ended. They are planting on marginal land, wasting comondities (sic) for no good reason, driving up prices for food and land…” “Do not change the amount of ethenol (sic) put in gasoline. This is working…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    My 2 Cents On The Renewable Fuel Standard

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on January 16, 2014

    There’s still time to let EPA know what you think of its proposal to cut the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA wants to cut the RFS requirement from 14 billion gallons of biofuel this year to 13 billion gallons. The corn and ethanol industries make it sound like the world is ending. The deadline for comments is Jan. 28. I haven’t written to the EPA yet, but I’ll give you my two cents worth here. I don’t like mandates. I don’t like the government picking winners…

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