• Lon Tonneson

    Bring Back TIP In New Farm Bill

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 29, 2013

    Congress ought to bring back the Transition Incentive Program. The program gave landowners an additional two years of payment if they rented or sold land coming out the Conservation Reserve Program to beginning farmers. TIP helped Richie and Michael Heinrich, Medina, N.D. Richie is a recent graduate from North Dakota State University and Michael is a senior at NDSU. Both are back home farming with their father and starting their own operations. “We were lucky to have landowners…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Beginning Farmers Find Land

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 26, 2013

    How do you find land when you are a beginning farmer? John Overboe, Kindred, N.D., is looking everywhere. He is talking to relatives, neighbors and friends; running ads in newspapers; and even visiting courthouses to track titles to land. Overboe has to hustle. He has to compete with large, established farms in the southern Red River Valley for land and he has to deal with urban sprawl from Fargo, N.D. Overboe has turned one those challenges into an opportunity. He’s met…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Yield, Not Price, Is King

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 22, 2013

    You have probably been told more times than you care to remember that you need be a good grain and livestock marketer to survive in agriculture today. It’s probably true, but it may not be as important as being a good producer. Jay Olson, a North Dakota Farm Business management instructor at Devils Lake, N.D., wrote an interesting column about the topic in the April Dakota Farmer magazine. He says that his analysis shows that in recent years yield, not price, has driven net…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Wheat Dreams Are Sweet

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 17, 2013

    There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic that we can produce more wheat to feed the world’s growing population, says Randy Englund, executive director of the South Dakota Wheat Commission and South Dakota Wheat, Inc. Average yields in South Dakota increased from 6.5 bushels per acre in 1900 to nearly 40 bushels per acre in 2012. If South Dakota’s average wheat yield were to increase as much in the next 112 years, yields in 2124 would be 246 bushels per acre…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Talking Ag With The Enemy

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 12, 2013

    Do you get tongue-tied when confronted by somebody who doesn’t like the way you farm? I do. When one of my sisters-in-law, who lives in California, announced over lunch that pasteurized milk was bad; that she didn’t want her girls getting all the extra hormones that were in milk produced in big factory farms; and that genetically modified foods were an abomination against nature about all I could manage was a weak, “Well, I don’t think so.” I…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Rancher Finds Her "Winner Within."

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 9, 2013

    I got fired up meeting Holly Hoffman. She ranches with her husband Charlie, near Eureka, S.D., and has become a professional inspirational and motivational speaker. If she is ever speaking at an event near you, take the time to go to listen to her. You won’t be disappointed. In 2010, Hoffman was looking for a new challenge when youngest of her three children entered college. The 44-year-old could have gone back to school herself, gotten a new job in town or even competed in a…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Sunflower: The Extra Crop Option

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 4, 2013

    Dakota farmers have a nice cropping option that most other producers don’t -- sunflower. New crop sunflower prices are competitive with corn and soybeans this year. Native to the Great Plains, sunflower does better than most other crops when it is dry. Best of all, you can grow sunflower under contract and most contracts include Act of God clauses. “Act of God clauses basically mean the producer doesn't have a production risk,” says John Sandbakken, executive…

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  • Lon Tonneson

    Corn Planter Problems

    Inside Dakota Ag

     by Lon Tonneson
     on April 1, 2013

    I read an interesting report about corn planting from Peterson Farms Seeds, Harwood, N.D. Adam Spelhaug, their agronomist who also writes “Dakota Crop Notes” for Dakota Farmer, says he’s noticed that a number of their top corn growers who have relatively new planters with only a few hours on them had a “disappointing number of variable corn stands” last year. He says part of the problem appears to be planting speed. “Our research has shown a…

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