Mark Steil Feature Archive

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)
Many city leaders say the state's budget will force them to raise property taxes next year. (07/29/2011)
It's been a week since a new budget was signed into law for the state of Minnesota, and we're still looking at how that budget is being implemented. Cities and counties around Minnesota predict property tax hikes and service cuts, because of the new state budget. The budget freezes state aid to local governments - locking in for the next two years cuts made during the Pawlenty administration. A report from the State House research department estimates those local governments together will raise property taxes by some $376 million as a result. (07/27/2011)
Investigators say a fire that killed six people at a bed-and-breakfast in New Ulm was started by candles left unattended on a front porch. (07/25/2011)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering new regulations to force meatpackers to disclose more information on how they set prices for livestock. (07/18/2011)
A severe thunderstorm last week damaged at least six wind turbines and some homes in Lincoln County. (07/06/2011)
Republican Sen. Dave Senjem heard yells of "get back to work" at a parade yesterday in the southern Minnesota community of Blooming Prairie. (07/04/2011)
U.S. and Minnesota farmers have planted more corn than expected and the prospect of an ample harvest is driving prices sharply lower. (06/30/2011)
The growth of Minnesota crops are behind where they should be for this time of year, agriculture officials say. (06/28/2011)
Not only has ethanol production stalled out in the United States and taken at least a symbolic blow in Congress, what once was billed as the next generation in making ethanol has been slower to build than expected. (06/27/2011)
Heavy rains over the past couple of days have caused rivers to rise, flooded some farm fields, and caused power outages. The storm is moving out today. (06/22/2011)
If you want a sense of how nervous Minnesotans might be getting over the pending state government shutdown, Nicollet County is a good place to start. The county has a larger share of state workers than any other in the state. (06/16/2011)