Mark Steil Feature Archive

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)
Hunters killed more than 40 wolves in northern Minnesota during the first weekend of the wolf season, Department of Natural Resources data show. (11/12/2013)
The big crop has sent the price of corn plummeting, and that's cut costs for the beleaguered biofuel industry and others that rely on the grain. (11/08/2013)
Green Plains Renewable Energy announced it purchased the BioFuel Energy facility in Fairmont, Minn. The ethanol plant has been closed for nearly 14 months. (11/05/2013)
Gov. Mark Dayton signed an emergency order Oct. 23 to allow truckers to work longer hours than normal delivering propane. That effort has helped, but not everywhere. (11/03/2013)
Federal funding for the massive Lewis & Clark water project has been cut back sharply. Cities, water utilities and other project participants are scrambling to find construction funds elsewhere. (10/20/2013)
The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System is supposed to deliver Missouri River water to southwest Minnesota. But construction ended when Congress failed to deliver promised funding. (10/20/2013)
For livestock producers, the trends are a welcome relief after some tough years. They buy a lot of grain to feed their animals and the falling prices will reduce their costs and boost profits. But for grain farmers, slipping prices will shrink profit margins. (10/15/2013)
A University of Minnesota study finds that a person would have to eat almost their body weight in vegetables every day to approach unhealthy levels of antibiotics. (09/28/2013)
Even though Minnesota's corn crop is doing well, the state's agricultural economy is facing a roughly $175 million loss from a projected smaller soybean crop. (09/12/2013)
Fertilizer use in farming is so prevalent that at least two dozen Minnesota communities have unhealthy levels of its by-products in their drinking water supplies. Crop researchers say there is a proven solution: perennial crops which absorb nitrates. But not many farmers have adopted the method. (09/10/2013)
Researchers say a long winter and cold, wet spring probably are to blame. They also worry that habitat loss will keep pheasant numbers down. (09/09/2013)
The University of Minnesota's Center for Farm Financial Management analyzed economic data from about three dozen organic farms around the state. They showed a median net income for 2012 of just over $85,000, more than double the $38,000 organic farms earned the year before. (09/04/2013)
The Minnesota Agriculture Department holds the first of six public meetings this week on it's new nitrogen fertilizer management plan for state farmers. The plan's goal is to prevent or minimize the impact of nitrogen fertilizer on drinking water. (09/03/2013)
Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels is starting to hire workers for what could be the nation's first commercial-scale plant to make ethanol from corn crop waste instead of kernels. (08/25/2013)