• Lon Tonneson

    Signs of Soil Loss

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 27, 2013

    There were a couple times this winter when it was pretty easy to see soil erosion happening. During a couple blizzards, the air was filled with blowing snow and dirt -- snirt, as it's called in the Dakotas. On a trip I made from my farmstead to Bismarck after the storm, I saw road ditches were filled with snowdrifts laced with black streaks. Next to really bare fields, the drifts of snow were grey, not white. It was disappointing to see so much wind erosion happening after so…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Go Big With Hybrid Building

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 23, 2013

    Everything is getting big on Dakota grain farms, even the buildings. Vaughn and Vance Zacharias, Kathryn, N.D., put up one of the new hybrid Morton Buildings. The building is called a “hybrid” because it combines steel trusses with wood post frame construction. With the pre-engineered steel trusses it’s possible to create a clear span of 150 feet and a vaulted ceiling, which allows for taller doors. But the superior insulating, strength and esthetics of the post frame…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    World’s biggest sprayer?

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 20, 2013

    Ron and Curt Sylte, of Williston, N.D., have what may be the world’s biggest sprayer. Last year, they had Sprayflex Sprayers, of Detroit Lakes, Minn. (www.sprayflexsprayer.com, 701-360-3544) build them a sprayer from an International 7600 tandem axle truck. The sprayer has a 3,150-gallon stainless steel tank and a 150-foot wide boom. Ron, who does most of the spraying while Curt plants, says covers 600 acres in 4-5 hours in one fill with the most of the products they apply. At…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Climate Change: The Whole Story

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 15, 2013

    I can look out my home office window and see the 10-foot tall snow drifts back in the shelterbelt that surrounds our farmstead near Fargo, N.D. There’s two feet of snow out on the level in the yard between the house and barn. It’s clear and sunny, but cold and windy. Blow ice on the Interstate 29 is keeping me from going to a precision farming conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. It’s March, but winter won’t let go. We won’t be planting in April this…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    S.D. Soybean Processors Back In The Black

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 12, 2013

    South Dakota Soybean Processors, a farmer-owned company started in 1994, has done something of a turnaround. It lost money two years ago. But in 2012 it made money and expects to generate more profit in 2013. Launched in 1994 by about 2,400 soybean growers, SDSP crushes soybeans and makes soybean oil and meal. Last year, it began further refining some of its soybean oil into food grade salad oil. It also began producing some high-value byproducts from the salad oil, such as lecithin and…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    A 300 Bushel Corn Yield May Be Within Winners' Reach

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 8, 2013

    You would like meeting Jamie Gorder and her husband, Mark. They farm near Wahpeton, N.D. Jamie won the North Dakota 2012 corn yield contest with a 298.6 bushels per acre corn yield entry. It was in the dryland corn division. The entry earned her second place in the national corn yield contest. The couple enters the National Corn Growers Yield Contest every year. They use the yield contest to test new practices and products. The Gorders ridge till. The push plant populations and…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Sunflower Can Brighten Outlook In Drought

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on March 4, 2013

    Sunflowers might be a good cropping option, if the spring remains dry. You don’t have to plant until sometime in June in the Northern Plains, which will give you a lot of time to catch some rains this spring. A farmer you might want to meet if you are new to sunflowers, or haven’t planted them in a while, is Tom Young, Onida, S.D. Young is an old hand at sunflower (pardon the pun). His family has been growing sunflowers since the 1970s and he’s the immediate past…

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