Mark Steil Feature Archive

The number of mediation requests for troubled farm loans fell again last year, reflecting strong grain prices. (03/03/2013)
Records show hundreds of water permit holders in Minnesota are illegally using billions of gallons more water then they are allowed. But they face few consequences for these misdemeanor violations. Even in a two-year drought, state officials admit they don't spend much time enforcing permit limits. (02/27/2013)
Southern Minnesota dairy farmer Michael Hartmann faces three more criminal charges in connection with selling unpasteurized milk and other food products. (02/22/2013)
Federal legislation designed to discourage farmers from plowing up native prairie areas includes a co-sponsor from Minnesota. (02/17/2013)
The southern Minnesota dairy farmer at the center of a controversy over raw milk sales faces new criminal charges. (02/04/2013)
The U.S. Postal Service says post office hours are being reduced in many locations throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin as the system faces a big budget deficit. About 550 employees in the region have taken early retirement. (02/02/2013)
Minnesota slipped two notches in the national wind power rankings, based on 2012 energy production. The state now ranks seventh in the U.S. (01/30/2013)
The sale of a financially struggling ethanol plant in southern Minnesota is the latest evidence of tough times in the renewable fuel business. (01/24/2013)
The Environmental Protection Agency has verified for the first time that some corn rootworms have developed resistance to genetically modified corn sold by Monsanto. Rootworm resistance is suspected in a number of Midwest states, including Minnesota. (01/18/2013)
Minnesota may see some drought relief in February, March and April, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center. (01/17/2013)
High land prices are making it difficult for young farmers. In one of the most volatile and expensive land markets in history, they generally don't have the financial resources to compete with established producers or investors. For those seeking a start, just renting a few acres is daunting. (01/14/2013)
Farmers are watching agricultural production in South America this winter as they try to predict the direction corn and soybean prices will take in coming months. (01/11/2013)
Key tax credits for the biodiesel and wind industries have been renewed as part of the fiscal cliff legislation. (01/02/2013)
Dakota Indians and their supporters commemorated the largest mass execution in U.S. history at a ceremony Wednesday in Mankato. (12/27/2012)
Minnesota Municipal Power Agency has started construction on a $30 million renewable energy plant in Le Sueur, 50 miles southwest of the Twin Cities. (12/24/2012)