Mark Steil Feature Archive

"Knee high by the Fourth of July." There's no clear explanation when, where or why the phrase started. It sticks around as a simple rhyme that people love to say. But the phrase has outlived its usefulness. (07/06/2012)
Fines for transporting invasive species in Minnesota doubled on July 1, and DNR officers are checking boats for violations over the holiday period. (07/04/2012)
Recent rains have boosted Minnesota corn farmers' prospects for 2012 and drought conditions elsewhere could drive up the prices they will be able to get this fall. (06/29/2012)
Three people have been charged with stealing $1.6 million in meat over several years from a southwest Minnesota packing plant. (06/27/2012)
A dispute over a proposed bioenergy plant in Le Sueur could be headed to court after the city council refused to block the facility. (06/26/2012)
Minnesota's $2.5 billion hog industry is on the defensive, with farmers under growing pressure to change how they raise pigs. At issue is the widespread practice of housing pregnant sows in stalls (06/25/2012)
A Monday evening hail storm caused widespread crop damage in southern Minnesota. (06/20/2012)
The company that converted a southwest Minnesota ethanol plant to production of a corn-derived industrial chemical has won an early victory in a court fight with a competitor. (06/20/2012)
Minnesota state agencies and environmental groups have made reducing farm field runoff into fields a major priority. But the task will be difficult, if the record May rains are any indication. (06/13/2012)
Windsurfers from around the Midwest compete in a regatta this weekend in southwestern Minnesota. (06/09/2012)
With a new farm bill possibly reaching the U.S. Senate floor next week, an environmental group wants Congress to cut crop insurance subsidies when it takes up the legislation. (05/31/2012)
A Colorado company has started the first commercial production of a corn-based alternative to ethanol at a converted plant in southwest Minnesota. (05/24/2012)
Minnesota's corn crop is off to a good start and could contribute to a record U.S. harvest. But uncertainty over prices has farmers wondering if a bountiful harvest might cost them more than they can sell their corn for. (05/24/2012)
Southern Minnesota dairy farmer Michael Hartmann and three others face criminal charges linked to an earlier investigation of sales of raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products. (05/18/2012)
The Big Stone County board has approved a controversial granite quarry proposal near Ortonville. (05/01/2012)