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CORN

Gary Tharaldson, North Dakota’s successful hotel developer and owner of Tharaldson Ethanol in Casselton, North Dakota, describes how his company will move forward after the death of chief operating officer Ryan Thorpe. Tharaldson urges people to check in on others but said there was no warning at work that would have predicted the tragedy of Thorpe's death by suicide.
Across Steele County, about 15% of the acres weren’t planted this spring, said Johnny Jorgensen, a Hunter (North Dakota) Insurance Agency who sells Rural Community Insurance Services and NAU Country federal crop insurance. Traill County, which borders Steele County on the east, has about the same percentage of unplanted acreage and Barnes County has from 35 to 40% prevented planting acres, Jorgensen estimated.
Anne Waltner, Parker, South Dakota, left a full-time career as a concert pianist and educator to join her parents’ farming operation. Along the way she married, had triplet daughters and survived cancer. Of her journey and life, she says: “Can you think of anybody luckier than me?”
The Honeyford grain elevator, North Dakota's oldest cooperative elevator, is the first south of the U.S.-Canadian border to load an 8,500-foot — 1.6 miles-long — unit train. The train full of corn was bound for Canada.

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Gerald Bachmeier, chief executive officer of Red Trail Energy, Richardton, North Dakota, and Philip Coffin, vice president of Midwest AgEnergy LLC, at Underwood, North Dakota, discuss countermoves to a drought for acquiring local corn and getting it from eastern producers. Both companies started their histories by bringing corn in on unit trains and are preparing to do it again. Both are planning to inject and store carbon dioxide byproducts for a market advantage.
A small organic farm family near Le Sueur, Minnesota, and a larger, non-GMO farmer near Kasson, Minnesota, are among those hit hard by the Pipeline Foods bankruptcy, which sent shockwaves through the region’s organic markets. The company is asking the courts to let them sell inventory grain to pay off the secured creditors, not the farmers who deliver it. The case leaves farmers wondering whether the state does enough to protect farmers and verify the financial soundness of grain traders.
Mike and Kristi Blattner, owners of Produce Plus in Eyota, have been selling coveted sweet corn for over 30 years. They continue to grow each year.
University of Minnesota Extension specialists spent the day on July 8 demonstrating trials at its plot in Rochester.
The Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company began operations 25 years ago as among the first ethanol plants in Minnesota. It was launched as a pioneer of the Minnesota model: A farmer-owned cooperative producing value added earnings for corn growers.
A farmer-legislator says North Dakota’s rebuffing wind development in a futile attempt to save coal energy jeopardizes existing and future ethanol, soybean and other ag processing prospects in the state.

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Former South Dakota State Rep. Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot, says he was astonished with ad hoc payments in the past two years compensating for trade tariff wars and COVID-19. He thinks President-elect Joe Biden will try to maintain safety nets and ethanol programs, with payments shifting toward climate goals.
John Wicht, a vibrant 81-year-old machinist/entrepreneur, sold a precision medical and aircraft fuel system parts business and — with three sons — refocused as head of a substantial family-run corn and soybean farm. Their impressive farm headquarters is visible from I-94 near Osakis, Minn. Wicht is a former race car driver, fishing competitor and competes in corn yield contests.
American farmers are making greater use of futures, options and marketing contracts to manage risk, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says. Corn and soybeans are most likely to be involved.

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