Minnesota Farm Guide grown for two decades | News


Twenty years ago, the staff of Farm & Ranch Guide launched a new publication, Minnesota Farm Guide.

Flight. 1, No. 1 reached farmers’ mailboxes on Friday, May 17, 2002.

It was not a promising time to start a new agricultural journal.

The United States was still trying to figure out what happened on September 11, 2001, and it was affecting the economy.

The average monthly price for corn in the Midwest in 2002 was $2.05 per bushel, and soybeans were $4.86. Hog carcass weight prices were around $50 per cwt. Milk prices had fallen after a good run for dairy farmers between 1996 and 2001. Beef supply and demand in the United States changed rapidly after the news of a BSE case in Japan in September 2001 .

Farm & Ranch Guide staff recognized the challenges, but they also got to see how well a Minnesota agriculture publication would fit into their North Dakota/Northwest Minnesota publication, along with sister publications, Tri -State Neighbor based in Sioux Falls, SD, and The Prairie Star, serving Montana and Idaho.

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A strong management and publishing team in Bismarck, ND, along with a capable publicity and editorial staff continued their efforts. They found fantastic advertisers, readers, farmers, agribusinesses and educators who were willing to give the Minnesota Farm Guide a shot.

The time had come with digital technology poised to make leaps and bounds in many aspects of farming life. Minnesota Farm Guide was one of the first to adapt to the changing world of digital communications, which contributed to the success of the publication by reducing traditional agricultural publication costs.

Fast forward 20 years and Minnesota Farm Guide continues to arrive in farmers’ mailboxes every two weeks. Digital content in many different forms is also generated and sent to Minnesota Farm Guide readers.

In total, there are now 14 partners/publications in the Lee Agri-Media brand, and AgUpdate.com serves as a portal for all digital publications.

The decision to start Minnesota Farm Guide 20 years ago worked well.

On the occasion of our 20th anniversary, we look back on some of the events and seasons we have experienced together:

Farmers learn to use yield monitors and study Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Sales of automatic steering for tractors took off in 2003 for tillage and ginning. GPS accuracy in the fields is about 3 feet.

Cultivated land in Minnesota sells for between $1,500 and $1,745 per acre, and the average rent for cultivated land is $81 per acre.

Minnesota farmers plant 44% of their corn acres in varieties with biotech traits.

The Minnesota Legislature approved the addition of 2% biodiesel to most of Minnesota’s diesel pool. The mandate calls for at least 8 million gallons of annual biodiesel capacity built in Minnesota.

Twitter and Facebook are introduced, and the term “social media” is defined.

The USDA celebrates its 150th anniversary. The Department of Agriculture was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 15, 1862.

Cultivated land in Minnesota sells for between $4,917 and $5,090 per acre, and the average rent for cultivated land is $151 per acre.

Farmers and companies work together to unify technologies. Simultaneous use of multiple monitors in the tractor cab is becoming common to control various implements and technologies. Accuracy becomes sub-inch in the field using expensive RTK equipment and subscriptions. Farmers are recognizing that they can save on fuel, chemical and seed costs through precision farming.

Minnesota farmers plant 88% of their corn in varieties with biotech traits – 47% include stacked traits. Here, farmers plant 91% of their acres of soybeans with biotech traits.

The spot price for corn in west central Minnesota is $5.77 for corn and $13.60 for soybeans on May 11, 2012.

In 2012, over 60 million gallons of biodiesel were produced here.

Digital technology has moved to mobile phones. The iPhone was introduced to the market in 2007, as a telephone and Internet communicator. Android smart phones have also joined in and changed the world.

In 2020, the iPhone 12 Pro Max offered: 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB of storage. Developers found they needed strong cases to make phones break resistant. Terms such as “bionic chip and 5G networking” are now used. Cell phone cameras take almost as good photos as traditional digital cameras. Phone video also works well, and users can stream live events directly to YouTube or Facebook, as well as Twitter, Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram, to name a few.

Cultivated land in Minnesota sells for between $5,205 and $5,320 per acre, and the average rent for cultivated land is $163 per acre (MN Ag Statistics, August 2020).

With the announcement of COVID-19 in March 2020, a shelter-in-place mandate shut down most public places and accelerated the development of social media and virtual communication. Vaccines were quickly developed, and by April 27, 2022, the United States was no longer in the full pandemic phase.

Records for 2020 show the United States produced 1.8 billion gallons of biodiesel, with Minnesota producing approximately 74 million gallons of biodiesel.

The spot price for corn in west-central Minnesota is $7.91 per bushel for corn and $16.38 for soybeans on April 27, 2022.

Soil health, soil regeneration, and cover crops are all popular buzzwords that farmers and educators use when working to increase organic matter and continuously improve yields. Soil conservation and high quality animal husbandry are still top of mind for farmers and ranchers in 2022.

Thank you to our advertisers, readers and farmers for the opportunity to partner with you in agriculture!


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