Mark Steil Feature Archive

Minnesota's largest rural water system says its facing a "phenomenal" problem with frozen water pipes. (02/27/2014)
The nation's largest agricultural organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation, launched a major effort this month to influence the immigration debate. The group is pushing for a guest worker program to help furnish the labor for California vegetable farms to Midwest dairy operations. (02/23/2014)
Corn farmers in the upper Midwest have seen record profits in the last three years. But those good times appear to be over. The huge harvest last fall caused corn prices to tumble by nearly half from more than $7 bushel. (02/07/2014)
The number of Minnesota hog barns with the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, increased 14 percent over the past week, representing an additional 50 cases confirmed. (02/06/2014)
Other Minnesota schools dealing with budget deficits include Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Winona State, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Enrollment shortfalls are a common problem at all the schools. (01/31/2014)
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents Minnesota's 7th District, said it was the most difficult farm bill he's ever worked on. The Senate is expected to pass the farm bill next week, and President Barack Obama has said he'll sign it. (01/29/2014)
University of Minnesota researchers have developed a test that will tell whether a hog has been exposed to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and if it can fight off the disease. (01/27/2014)
In the last month, the number of cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea in Minnesota increased by almost two-thirds. The disease has been found in about 300 hog barns across the state. (01/26/2014)
A Minnesota native will find out if she wins another Grammy. (01/26/2014)
The news is a relief for Alejandro Cruz Blanco, Simon Cruz Perez, and for hundreds of supporters in the town of St. James, Minn. who rallied behind them. Cruz Blanco, right, received a kidney transplant four years ago. His doctor described a return to Mexico as "certain death" for him. (01/07/2014)
The plant in Le Sueur, Minn. uses tiny organisms to break down a a slurry of corn silage and manure to create methane gas to fuel four electricity generators that will send eight megawatts directly to the city's distribution system. (01/05/2014)
Local leaders in southwestern Minnesota cheered when tractor manufacturer AGCO announced plans to expand operations and add jobs. Then the worrying began: Where would the new workers live? (12/25/2013)
Some experts question whether plants that make ethanol from corn stalks and wood chips can be viable without long-term government support. (12/17/2013)
More than 100 miles of pipe have been laid in South Dakota and Iowa for the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System. But not a drop of water has crossed into Minnesota. (12/02/2013)
A federal Environmental Protection Agency proposal to lower ethanol use in gasoline next year has upset grain farmers and drawn praise from oil and livestock producers. The change would reduce market demand for corn purchased to make the fuel, forcing already low corn prices even lower. (11/15/2013)