Mark Steil Feature Archive

A farmer in southwestern Minnesota faces charges that he destroyed more than 1,000 federally protected pelican nests last spring, on land he rents near the town of Minnesota Lake. (10/05/2011)
A report released early today paints a gloomy future for cellulosic ethanol, saying that the renewable fuel is unlikely to become a major source of energy for the U.S. (10/04/2011)
About 600 pigs were stolen in Kandiyohi County in August. This month about 150 hogs disappeared from a Nicollet County farm. (09/28/2011)
A Minnesota farmer will be arraigned Wednesday on misdemeanor charges for illegally selling unpasteurized milk. (09/27/2011)
Corn pest resurgence leads to debate about the role of genetically modified corn, and casts doubts on benefits of one of the nation's most popular seed lines. (09/20/2011)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its estimate of the size of the Minnesota corn crop slightly in its latest forecast, but increased the outlook for soybeans. (09/12/2011)
Monsanto is responding to growing reports of an insect's resistance to one of the company's genetically modified corn varieties, said a company executive. (09/08/2011)
The family of a young child is suing a farmer whose raw milk food products were traced to an outbreak of E. coli. (09/07/2011)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering new regulations to force meatpackers to disclose more information on how they set prices for livestock. (09/06/2011)
The presence of corn rootworms is on the rise again, as the pests apparently are becoming resistant to genetically modified corn. One factor contributing to the resurgence of rootworm is a drop in farmer compliance with provisions calling for them to plant part of their land with non-genetically modified corn. (09/05/2011)
Blue Earth County is considering a smoking ban in its 84 public housing units. (08/31/2011)
An insect that can fatally weaken the root system of corn crops is overcoming farmers' main line of defense against the pest, and could threaten Minnesota's nearly $5 billion corn crop. (08/17/2011)
Minnesota's corn and soybean harvests are forecast to fall well short of last year's crops, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. The USDA predicts poor weather will cut the soybean yield by 11 percent, and corn by 6 percent. (08/11/2011)
Uneven growth of corn in Minnesota farm fields has sparked a lot of speculation this summer about the condition of the state's major crops, valued at more than $12 billion. Too much rain, followed by too hot weather, has taken a toll on fields across the state. (08/10/2011)
Farming is profitable now and some sectors are experiencing record profits. But many farmers are still uneasy about the future -- and much of their uncertainty has to do with government farm policies. Attendees at the annual Farmfest show in Redwood Falls echoed those sentiments. (08/02/2011)