Farming and Racing are an odd couple

Farming and racing clearly don’t have a lot in common, other than the occasional left turn. However, much like Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple television show, they seem to have learned to get along in spite of their differences.

The racing bug seems to bite most fans early in life. “My dad took me to my first Go-Kart race when I was ten years old,” said Kyle Berck, a farmer from Marquette, Nebraska. “When you go to your first Go-Kart race, what ten year old boy wouldn’t like that? After four years of Go-Karts, we moved on to stock cars, and have been around it ever since.”

Kyle Berck

Kyle Berck, one of several farmers we found that really enjoys racing (Photo courtesy of Todd Boyd photography)

Family seems to play a big part in a love of racing. “I’ve been into it as long as I’ve been around,” said Travis Kumpf, the crew chief for Tyler Iverson of Albion, Nebraska. “My dad used to race when I was really young. I helped a buddy of mine with his car for awhile, then he quit racing and I moved on to helping Tyler.”

In addition to his racing duties, Travis keeps very busy on and off the farm. “I help my uncles on their farm, and I actually work for our local John Deere dealership in the parts department.” Kumpf is a college graduate with a degree in Ag Business.

“I enjoy the adrenaline,” said Kurt Torell, a farmer from the Shelby-Stromsburg-Gresham area. He’s a pit crew member for Tyler Mark, a driver from Lincoln, Nebraska. “It’s a really fun time, and now that we’ve gotten involved with an actual car that’s out there (on the track), it’s a whole different viewpoint of what racing’s about, compared to being a spectator.” He added, “It’s a whole lot more involved than I dreamed.”

Most racing fans can tell you the racing can be very competitive, but from a drivers perspective, things on the track can get really intense.

“It is,” said Berck. “We’ve had a good year and won about fifty percent of our races, which is an extremely good win ratio. There are always tougher places to go, and it relates to the amount of money the race pays out. If it’s $10,000 to win a race, there’s going to be some really tough competition.”

“When it gets down to $1,000 to win a race, those are probably more the local-type shows with guys I’ve grown up with and raced against my whole life. The competition then may be a little easier. The higher the pay, the tougher the competition will get. It’s directly related.”

The next logical question is ‘what’s it like to be behind the wheel on the track?’

Berck said, “I probably take it for granted because I’ve done it for so long. When you drive an 850 horsepower car that only weighs 2,300 pounds, and then you’re on dirt and have to make four corners in 13-14 seconds per lap, there’s a lot going on.”

“After years of racing, you do develop your skills and your experience takes over, it’s still extremely intense,” said Berck.   “You’re not thinking of anything else, you’re not looking at anything else, and it takes every ounce of focus you can dig up, especially when you put yourself out there on the track with 24 other guys going 100 miles an hour, so there’s no room for error.”

Kyle Berck on the track

Kyle Berck out on the track (photo courtesy of Todd Boyd Photography)

A driver’s success can be determined even before he gets to the track. That’s where the Crew Chief and the rest of the pit crew come in.

“We check all the nuts and bolts,” said Kumpf, the crew chief for Tyler Iverson. “We check everything over, and if something’s broke, we replace it. Once we get to the track, we make sure things like tire pressure are good, we eyeball the bodywork, and make sure all is in order. That way, Tyler can focus on what’s going on out on the track.”

A driver and his crew can be as busy as they want to be. “We try to race our home track, which is the Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Nebraska,” said Torell. “We try to be there every week, with the occasional trip to another track in the home area.”

“We hit two or three states a year,” said Berck. “Roughly 70 percent of our races are in our home state of Nebraska. We try to keep it to about a four-hour radius as much as possible. We generally race about 35-40 races a year.”

If you’ve looked at the cost of cars recently, you may have guessed racing is an expensive hobby. If you add in the cost of individual car parts and the tools to install those parts, the money spent can pile up quickly.

Berck said sponsorships have been a huge benefit to his racing career.

“It takes a lot of money to race at the level we do,” said Berck. “There’s no way you can win enough money to self-support. Aurora Agronomy (Aurora, Nebraska) is our primary sponsor, and it works out well with the farming. We get a lot of our inputs from them, like our seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, so it was a natural progression. One of the guys higher up the ladder is a racing nut, and he thought it would be a good venture to join up with our team.”

“The areas we race are in the heart of their territory, so it’s a win-win for both parties,” said Berck.

Racing can get expensive, so it’s good to have help with the pocketbook. “We have some local friends of ours that kind of sponsor our car,” said Travis Kumpf. “They’re like silent sponsors, but mostly the racing cost is funded personally. To be competitive, you have to throw quite a bit of money at racing.”

Racing also requires a large investment of time and energy to be successful too.

“We’ve kind of cut back,” said Kumpf.  “A few years ago, we ran for IMCA points, so we were at the track 55 nights out of the year. We’d run maybe three or four nights a week.” He added, “I think this year we had 20-25 nights on the track.”

“You just kind of get burned out, and don’t have much family time,” said Kumpf.

Family responsibilities come first, and they can cut into track time. “I got married late in life and now have three little kids, so the responsibilities there have certainly increased,” said Kyle Berck. “I don’t burn the midnight oil that I used to, but I have learned to work more efficiently.”

“We have a full-time guy that helps with the farming and the racing,” said Kyle. “That helps to take a little of the edge off.”

Berck farms 1,100 acres in the Marquette, Nebraska area. He said it takes a lot of phone time to coordinate the racing and farming activities. “I enjoy designing and building cars for clients. As the racing slows down at some point in the future, that’s one way I can stay involved in racing for the long term,” said Berck.





Add a Minnesota grown Christmas tree to your shopping list

Minnesota Christmas tree growers look forward to another great season of local, fragrant Christmas trees thanks to overall good growing conditions this year.  Many tree farms are stacked with a variety of trees and ready to go.

Christmas trees

Minnesota grown Christmas trees are in good supply for the holidays (photo from Minnesota Farm Guide)

Happy Land Tree Farms Owner, Ken Olson shared, “Thanks to all the rain we had on our farm, our trees are in really great condition. We had a great growing season and our new plantings did well.”

The 8-12 year growth of Christmas trees poses a unique marketing challenge, “Christmas tree growers look far ahead to estimate customer preferences,” said Minnesota Grown Spokesman, Paul Hugunin.  “Farmers provide continuous care and attention to each tree as it matures.”  Trees are formed and sheared over time to help create the iconic Christmas tree shape shoppers desire.

The Christmas tree industry supports the local economy and provides environmental benefits. Christmas tree farms replant one to three new seedlings for each tree cut, and local trees travel short distances to consumers to maintain freshness and can be recycled after the holiday season. While the seedlings mature into trees, they act as a carbon-sink: pulling pollution produced carbon dioxide out of the air. Additionally, trees can provide habitat for wildlife.

Beyond beauty, sustainability, and economic benefits, Christmas trees support holiday traditions and family fun. For more than 40 years, Connie Anderson and her family have been selling Christmas trees and wreaths at Anderson Tree Farm in Isanti, “Many of our customers are families and individuals who return each year. We cherish these relationships and are happy to support holiday memories and traditions.”

Many Christmas tree farms offer a fun experience for the whole family (Photo from the Minnesota Department of Ag website)

Many Christmas tree farms offer a fun experience for the whole family (Photo from the Minnesota Department of Ag website)


Many tree farms offer fun family activities such as sleigh rides, games, gift shops, and visits with Santa. They can also be a source for local gift ideas: wreaths, garlands, ornaments, and holiday decorations. The Minnesota Grown Directory has 60 Christmas tree farms and retail tree lots. Consumers can easily find a fresh, local Christmas tree using the Minnesota Grown online Directory at, or order a FREE printed copy by calling 1-888-TOURISM.

2015 Minnesota Organic Conference registration now open

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has opened registration for the 2015 Minnesota MDA-logoOrganic Conference. This farmer-focused event and associated trade show is being held January 9-10 in St. Cloud. Organizers expect 500-600 people to attend and are offering an early bird discount rate until December 26.

“There’s a strong market for organic; demand is really outpacing supply,” said conference co-organizer Meg Moynihan. “This conference helps beginners learn what’s required to raise organic crops and livestock. It helps experienced farmers get better at what they already do and make connections benefitting themselves and their farming operations.  Many people come back year after year because they enjoy seeing each other.”



Attendees can choose from more than 36 practical, educational sessions during the two day event. Topics include soil quality and fertility, weed management, marketing, livestock health, organic certification requirements, energy conservation, and forage and grazing management. Presenters include many experienced organic farmers, as well as university researchers, agency and nonprofit staff.


In addition, two nationally known speakers will keynote the event. Ken Cook, co-founder and president of the Environmental Working Group will speak Friday. David Montgomery, who wrote the award winning book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, speaks Saturday.


The conference trade show features 80 vendors, including organic fertilizer, seed, feed, and equipment dealers, crop and livestock buyers, organic certifying agencies, marketing organizations, farmer organizations, and others.


The MDA keeps the conference cost at $150 for 2015, and offers a $25 discount for early bird registrations received by December 26. There are other discounts for additional registrants and students, as well as a single day rate.


Program information, registration forms, and a growing list of trade show vendors are available at or call 651-201-6012 for a registration brochure.

Farmers, Ag Technology Providers Reach Agreement on Big Data

Big Data now kept private

Major Ag groups and AG Tech providers have reached an agreement on how to manage farmers data to help maximize efficiency, and still keep data private (picture from

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, November 13, 2014 – A coalition of major farm organizations and agriculture technology providers (ATPs) today announced an agreement on data privacy and security principles that will encourage the use and development of a full range of innovative, technology-driven tools and services to boost the productivity, efficiency and profitability of American agriculture.

The coalition supporting the principles includes: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Beck’s Hybrids, Dow AgroSciences LLC, DuPont Pioneer, John Deere, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, Raven Industries, The Climate Corporation – a division of Monsanto, and USA Rice Federation.

“The principles released today provide a measure of needed certainty to farmers regarding theprotection of their data,” said American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman. “Farmers using these technology-driven tools will help feed a growing world while also providing quantifiable environmental benefits. These principles are meant to be inclusive and we hope other farm organizations and ATPs join this collaborative effort in protecting farm-level data as well as educating farmers about this revolutionary technology.”

AFBF President Stallman

Bob Stallman applauded the agreement at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention on Wednesday (Photo from

The principles promise to greatly accelerate the move to the next generation of agricultural data technology, which includes in-cab displays, mobile devices and wireless-enabled precision agriculture that has already begun to boost farm productivity across the United States.

Many analysts compare today’s big-data-driven precision ag to the “green revolution” of the 1960s and 70s, which has likely saved a billion lives or more from starvation since its inception.

Central to the effort surrounding the principles will be grower education initiatives that will include an easy-to-use transparency evaluation tool for farmers. The tool would allow farmers to compare and contrast specific issues within ATP contracts and to see how the contracts align with these agreed-upon principles, and how ATPs manage and use farmers’ data.

“The privacy and security principles that underpin these emerging technologies, whether related to how data is gathered, protected and shared, must be transparent and secure. On this matter, we all agree,” said Stallman. “Farmers are excited about this new technology front, which is why Farm Bureau asked these groups to come together and begin this collaborative dialogue.”

Using precision technology, farmers send large amounts of business and production information to ATPs regarding their planting, production and harvesting practices. Companies use that data to produce “field prescriptions” and benchmarks that provide valuable information farmers can use to make decisions on when, how and which crop varieties to plant, and optimize the application of crop protection and fertilizer inputs. “That’s good for the environment and efficient for food production, too,” Stallman said.

The principles cover a wide range of issues that must be addressed before most farmers will feel assured to share their private business information with data providers. Highlights include:

  • Ownership: The group believes that farmers own information generated on their farming operations. However, farming is complex and dynamic and it is the responsibility of the farmer to agree upon data use and sharing with the other stakeholders with an economic interest such as the tenant, landowner, cooperative, owner of the precision agriculture system hardware, and/or ATP etc. The farmer contracting with the ATP is responsible for ensuring that only the data they own or have permission to use is included in the account with the ATP.
  • Collection, Access and Control: An ATP’s collection, access and use of farm data should be granted only with the affirmative and explicit consent of the farmer. This will be by contract agreements, whether signed or digital.
  • Notice: Farmers must be notified that their data is being collected and about how the farm data will be disclosed and used. This notice must be provided in an easily located and readily accessible format.
  • Third-party access and use: Farmers and ranchers also need to know who, if anyone, will have access to their data beyond the primary ATP and how they will use it.
  • Transparency and Consistency: ATPs shall notify farmers about the purposes for which they collect and use farm data. They should provide information about how farmers can contact the ATP with any inquiries or complaints, the types of third parties to which they disclose the data, and the choices the ATP offers for limiting its use and disclosure. An ATP’s principles, policies and practices should be transparent and fully consistent with the terms and conditions in their legal contracts. An ATP will not change the customer’s contract without his or her agreement.
  • Choice: ATPs should explain the effects and abilities of a farmer’s decision to opt in, opt out or disable the availability of services and features offered by the ATP. If multiple options are offered, farmers should be able to choose some, all, or none of the options offered. ATPs should provide farmers with a clear understanding of what services and features may or may not be enabled when they make certain choices.
  • Portability: Within the context of the agreement and retention policy, farmers should be able to retrieve their data for storage or use in other systems, with the exception of the data that has been made anonymous or aggregated and is no longer specifically identifiable. Non-anonymized or non-aggregated data should be easy for farmers to receive their data back at their discretion.
  • Data Availability: ATPs agree they should provide for the removal, secure destruction and return of original farm data from the ATP, and any third party with whom the ATP has shared the data, upon request by the account holder or after a pre-agreed period of time.
  • Market Speculation: ATPs will not use farm data to illegally speculate in commodity markets.
  • Liability & Security Safeguards: The ATP should clearly define terms of liability. Farm data should be protected with reasonable security safeguards against risks such as loss or unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure. Policies for notification and response in the event of a breach should be established.

Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data can be found here:

Get support for your innovative ag idea

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is accepting applications for the Sustainable mdalogosmAgriculture Demonstration Grant program. These funds promote conservation of environmental resources and strive to improve on-farm profitability and quality of life. The MDA awards up to $250,000 for on-farm sustainable agriculture research or demonstration projects. Eligible recipients include; Minnesota farmers, educational institutions and individual staff, and non-profit organizations. Farmer’s projects receive priority. All non-farmer initiated projects must show significant collaboration with farmers.

“Farming in Minnesota has a rich past of progress and success,” said Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “It’s our responsibility to keep those advancements in agriculture moving along for future farmers. These grant funds support innovative ideas to sustain our agricultural economy and environment for upcoming generations.”

Dave Frederickson

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson (Photo from MDA website)

Since 1989, the MDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program has awarded more than $3 million to 300 statewide projects. Grants are available to fund:

·         Project diversification and organic production using traditional and non-traditional crops and livestock

·         Cover crops and crop rotations to increase nitrogen uptake, reduce erosion, or control pests

·         Conservation tillage and weed management

·         Cropping systems to start integrated pest management systems for insects, weeds and diseases

·         Nutrient and pesticide management, with an effort to keep them out of water bodies

·         Energy production, such as wind, methane, or biomass

·         Developing/refining marketing opportunities, season extension, and post-harvest storage and handling

·         Other creative ideas addressing farm conservation, energy, and/or profitability

The grant application is available on the MDA website at: or by contacting the Agricultural Marketing and Development Division at 651-201-6012. Completed applications must be received no later than January 23, 2015.


Current and past grant projects are highlighted in the

November Weed of the Month: Black Swallow-wort

by Emilie Justen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

(This is part of a series of regular columns by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on the state’s noxious weeds.)

Black Swallow-wort

Black swallow-wort vines with flowers (Photo from the Mn Dept of Agriculture)

A member of the milkweed family is November’s Weed of the Month. Black swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae), also called dog-strangling vine, is a perennial, herbaceous vine that can form large patches and crowd out native vegetation. It was introduced to North America from southern Europe in the 1800s as an ornamental plant, and in 1864 was recorded escaping from a botanic garden in Massachusetts. Since its introduction to North America, it has been found invading abandoned farm fields, pastures, and prairies throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States.

Black swallow-wort has twining stems up to six feet long. It has dark green, glossy foliage and star-shaped, dark purple flowers with a yellow center. The flowers are only 1/8 inch in size, and develop into a milkweed pod to disperse its seed by the wind.

The plant poses many ecological threats to the Midwest. It outcompetes native plants by forming a large root system that exudes chemicals to prevent other plants, such as the native butterfly milkweed, from growing. Black swallow-wort also threatens monarch butterflies by crowding out native milkweed host plants. In addition, female monarchs will lay their eggs on black swallow-wort but the plant is lethally toxic to the caterpillars after they hatch and begin feeding.  It can also thrive in wooded areas to form a monoculture in the forest understory. In Minnesota, black swallowwort was found growing on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus and successful eradication efforts kept the infestation from spreading.  There are two reports of isolated infestations in Minneapolis.

Black swallow-wort’s characteristics make it a challenge to control. It grows over other vegetation to block light and create tangled masses. As a target weed on Minnesota’s Noxious Weed Eradicate List, it is required by law that all above- and below-ground plant parts must be destroyed. Recommended management practices for black swallowwort include the following:

  • Pulling the plants by hand can be difficult and cause resprouting.
  • Burning and grazing have not shown to be effective.
  • Foliar and cut stem herbicide applications can be effective. For specific herbicide recommendations, contact your University of Minnesota Regional Extension Educator.
  • All management practices for black swallow-wort should include yearly monitoring to ensure the depletion of the seedbank.

To report infestations of black swallowwort or any other noxious weeds on the eradicate list, please notify MDA by email at , or voicemail at 1-888-545-6684 (toll-free).

Not much change to Minnesota fence law

The need for man to fence in livestock has been around a long time, and Minnesota is no exception. Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 346 and 561, cover livestock fencing, and state that a landowner does not need to fence his land against the livestock of another landowner. The livestock owner is required to restrain his livestock from entering the land of another.

Cattle behind a fence

Humans have fenced in livestock as far back as anyone can remember. But who actually pays for fencing in Minnesota Law Books? (Photo from

However, Minnesota Statute, Chapter 344, supplements the Common Law of 346 and 351. Chapter 344 covers “partition fencing,” and says the livestock owner is not the only one responsible for maintaining the fence that keeps livestock on his land and off his neighbors. A landowner who doesn’t have livestock may have to pay his neighbor to help put up that fence.

“When there’s adjoining land and one of the parties wants to have a fence erected, the other adjoining landowner has to pay for half. That’s the long and short of it,” said Bruce Kleven, President of Kleven Law in Minneapolis, and a lobbyist for the Minnesota Cattlemen and Minnesota Wheat Growers.

Bruce Kleven

Bruce Kleven of the Kleven Law Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Photo courtesy of

The obligation doesn’t stop when the fence is put up, either. “It says build and maintain in here (the statute),” said Kleven. “If we think that out, say 20 years go by and you have to paint it, the adjoining landowner would pay half the cost.”

Kleven has been involved in agriculture law for years, and said he thinks many farmers may not even know the law exists. “I think most farmers, if they want to put up a fence, they put up a fence, and they don’t even know they could charge the adjoining landowner for half the cost,” said Kleven. “Property law has been around a long time. It’s old. It’s mid-1800’s.”

“The law itself is a territorial law, which means it predates Minnesota statehood,” said Kleven. “When you look at the development of the law, it was put in out state code in 1858 when we hit state hood. There was an amendment in 1866, and then a couple more in the late 1800’s.”

“Since then, it’s been pretty quiet on Minnesota fencing law through most of the Twentieth Century,” said Kleven.

The only recent amendment to the law was applied in 1994. “The amendment said this law applies to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) like it does to everyone else,” said Kleven. “Elk farming was taking hold at that time. For clarity, I think they said if there’s an elk farm next to a piece of DNR property, this law applies to the DNR like it does to everybody else.”

“I don’t think we’ve had any bills attempting to change the fencing law at the Legislature since 2000 and ‘02,” said Bruce Kleven. “House and Senate members from the Otter Tail County area brought a bill forward, but it never really moved.” He said, “Then, in 2002, House and Senate members from Wright County brought the same issue, and it didn’t move either.”

“What they were trying to do is change the fence law because urban sprawl was beginning to cause conflicts between farmers and non-farmers,” said Bruce. “The non-farmers were moving out into the country and asking ‘why do I have to help pay for your fence?’”

Minnesota hasn’t seen a large number of fencing conflicts in recent years. “There was a court case in 2001 up in Lake of the Woods County,” said Bruce. “The case made it to the Court of Appeals in St. Paul, and the main question there was what kind of fence would be used instead of whether or not one was needed.”

“Some of why it’s so quiet is if you go back 100 years, we had more grazing, cattle, and prairie. Quite a bit of livestock has left the state, and we’re seeing more confinement and feedlot-type activity, so that may be some reasons why we haven’t see a lot of land use conflict,” said Kleven.

“Just think of the Dakotas. Miles and miles of fences, and we just don’t have that here.”

Kleven did find one exception to the state Statues. “The local Township Board, by resolution, may exempt adjoining landowners or occupants from this Statute when their land is less than 20 acres,” he said. “That can get into your suburban landowner who moves a couple miles out of town and only has five acres. They can take it to the town board and get an exemption.”

Minnesota Organic Conference draws nationally known speakers

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is excited to announce two outstanding keynote MDA logospeakers will headline the 2015 Minnesota Organic Conference in January.

Environmental Working Group Co-founder and President Ken Cook will speak Friday, January 9, while David Montgomery, a geological scientist and author of the award-winning book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization will speak Saturday, January 10.

Cook is widely recognized as one of the environmental community’s most prominent and influential thinkers of industrial agriculture, the food system, and farm policy. He has written dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on environmental, public health and agricultural topics, and is a highly sought public speaker. Organizers expect Cook’s talk to promote lively debate at the conference.

Montgomery will talk about every organic farmer’s best friend: soil.  He is a professor at the University of Washington, where he researches and teaches about how geological processes affect ecological systems and human societies. In his book Dirt, “We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil—as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt,” according to Montgomery was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2008.

The Minnesota Organic Conference will be held January 9-10, 2015 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Learn about the event’s educational sessions and trade show at Registration for the conference will open in mid-November, but the public can sign up now at this web site to receive conference information and updates.

David Montgomery

David Montgomery is the author of “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization.” He’ll speak at the Minnesota Organic Conference on Saturday, January tenth. (Photo from the Minnesota Department of Ag)

Ken Cook

Ken Cook is the President and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group. He’s speak at the Minnesota Organic Conference on January Ninth. (photo from the Minnesota Department of Ag)


Minnesota cropland rents rising

Cash Rent paid for non-irrigated cropland in Minnesota during 2014 averaged $185.00 per acre, an increase of $8.00 from 2013, according to the latest report released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Crop land rental rates continue to rise in Minnesota, according to a new survey from the National Ag Statistics Service (Photo from

Crop land rental rates continue to rise in Minnesota, according to a new survey from the National Ag Statistics Service (Photo from

Non-irrigated cropland rents ranged from an average of $14.00 per acre in St. Louis County, to $276.00 per acre in Nicollet County. Six counties had average rents greater $270.00 per acre and 10 counties had average rents less than $40.00 per acre.

Cash rent paid for pasture in Minnesota averaged $26.00 per acre in 2014, down $2.00 from 2013. Average cash rents ranged from $8.60 per acre in Carlton County to $61.50 per acre in Brown County.

Cash rent rates for irrigated cropland and other states are available online at:

Here are some of the cash rents for southeast Minnesota:

Minnesota Farmers are shelling out an average of $8 more per acre for cropland than they did last year, according to a survey from the National Ag Statistics Service (photo from

Minnesota Farmers are shelling out an average of $8 more per acre for cropland than they did last year, according to a survey from the National Ag Statistics Service (photo from

Olmsted County: Cash rents on non-irrigated cropland average $246 per acre, up from $220 last year.  The average cash rent for pasture is $29 an acre, up from $26 last year.

Wabasha County: Cash rents on non-irrigated cropland average $222 per acre, up from $206 last year.  Cash rents for pasture average $44.50 per acre.

Dodge County:  Cash rents on non-irrigated farmland average $274 per acre, up from $264 last year.  Cash rents for pasture land average $45 dollars per acre, up from $41 last year.

Fillmore County: Cash rents for non-irrigated farmland average $236 per acre, and that’s actually down from $245 last year.  Cash rents for pasture land average $43 per acre, up from $41 dollars an acre last year.

Winona County:  Cash rents for non-irrigated cropland average $222 per acre, up from $206 last year.  Average cash rents for pasture land is $26 per acre, and that’s down from $40 per acre a year ago.