Mark Steil Feature Archive

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)
To hold a job you have to get to work, so "car guy" Dan Jones focuses on putting low-income people behind the wheel of cheap cars. (05/01/2012)
With favorable weather most of last week, Minnesota farmers have planted nearly half their corn as the pace of spring planting continues ahead of normal. (04/30/2012)
Legislation on its way to the U.S. House includes a moratorium on rural post office closings, which could keep dozens operating in Minnesota. (04/26/2012)
In what could be a bellwether for the industry, low ethanol prices and high production costs contributed to a big first-quarter loss for the owner of an ethanol plant in northwest Minnesota. (04/26/2012)
A new study published today in Nature, the international weekly journal of science, concludes that organic farming methods produce less food per acre than conventional practices. (04/25/2012)