Mark Steil Feature Archive

The start of spring means the crop planting season is not far away. While the two-year drought is a worry, there have been signs of hope recently. Increased precipitation has helped boost farmers' outlook for this year's crop. (03/21/2013)
The Strata Corp. of Grand Forks, N.D., says it plans to move ahead with a new quarry in the western Minnesota city of Ortonville after an administrative law judge gave the city approval to annex a key piece of land from Ortonville Township. (03/17/2013)
Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is urging farmers to make sure they have enough crop insurance to deal with another possible year of drought. (03/09/2013)
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is watching a stagnant weather pattern over southern Minnesota that is increasing air pollution. (03/08/2013)
A company that hopes to commercialize a corn-based process to make an industrial chemical says it plans to resume production this year at its southwest Minnesota plant. (03/05/2013)
Parts of Minnesota have as much as five inches of moisture in the current snowpack, but that doesn't mean the drought is over. (03/05/2013)
The number of mediation requests for troubled farm loans fell again last year, reflecting strong grain prices. (03/03/2013)
Records show hundreds of water permit holders in Minnesota are illegally using billions of gallons more water then they are allowed. But they face few consequences for these misdemeanor violations. Even in a two-year drought, state officials admit they don't spend much time enforcing permit limits. (02/27/2013)
Southern Minnesota dairy farmer Michael Hartmann faces three more criminal charges in connection with selling unpasteurized milk and other food products. (02/22/2013)
Federal legislation designed to discourage farmers from plowing up native prairie areas includes a co-sponsor from Minnesota. (02/17/2013)
The southern Minnesota dairy farmer at the center of a controversy over raw milk sales faces new criminal charges. (02/04/2013)
The U.S. Postal Service says post office hours are being reduced in many locations throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin as the system faces a big budget deficit. About 550 employees in the region have taken early retirement. (02/02/2013)
Minnesota slipped two notches in the national wind power rankings, based on 2012 energy production. The state now ranks seventh in the U.S. (01/30/2013)
The sale of a financially struggling ethanol plant in southern Minnesota is the latest evidence of tough times in the renewable fuel business. (01/24/2013)
The Environmental Protection Agency has verified for the first time that some corn rootworms have developed resistance to genetically modified corn sold by Monsanto. Rootworm resistance is suspected in a number of Midwest states, including Minnesota. (01/18/2013)