• Lon Tonneson

    Ranch Renewed

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 25, 2012

    I thought the bare hills and the eroded draws along the Missouri River in South Dakota were just symbols of a tough country. But during a tour last week of the Mortenson Ranch near Hayes I learned that they are more than likely signs of an abused land. “This country was full of trees in the 1800s, until the government decided to put a family on every section,” says Clarence Mortenson, a Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a fifth-generation rancher who has been working…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Overheard In The Soybean Field

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 18, 2012

    The great thing about being out and about at farm events is the stuff you hear. At the Pioneer Hi-Bred International ribbon cutting for its corn and soybean research center expansion in Volga, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said that his trip to China was an eye-opener. On a 400-mile drive through China’s major agricultural province he and his group only saw four tractors. Everything else was being done by hand. And corn that looked as if had been spilled asphalt by a passing…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    How The Cookie Crumbles In the Sugar Program

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on June 6, 2012

    I get razzed by some of my colleagues about the U.S. sugar program. They argue that the only reason the U.S. restricts imports is because the sugar growers in the Red River Valley and elsewhere spend a lot more money lobbying Congress than other commodity groups. Protection money, they call it. True, the political contributions might give farmers who grow sugar access to tell their story, but maybe their story rings true. Consider this: Cheryl’s, a $50 million mail order cookie…

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