October 29, 2014

Cedar Mountain holds Groundbreaking Ceremony

Members of the Cedar Mountain School Board break ground for the school’s construction project. From left to right, Tim Sandgren, Joe Sullivan, Rhonda Kerkhoff, Joe Serbus, Doug Mathiowetz, Angie Jemmings, and Superintendent Bob Tews. (Staff photo by Amy Berg)

By Amy Berg, Staff Writer

As one bystander put it, “If the great weather today is any indication on how this project will go, then it’s sunny skies ahead.”

The Cedar Mountain School District held its Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday, October 24 at the Morgan High School campus. The elementary school students came over from Franklin to witness the event. Students from St. Michael’s were also in attendance, as the majority of those students will attend Cedar Mountain after they complete sixth grade at St. Michael’s.

Students, faculty, staff, representatives from the construction and architecture companies, as well as community members, were all in attendance.

The Cedar Mountain band kicked the ceremony off with the National Anthem and then Superintendent Bob Tews opened up the ceremony with a few words.

“This is an investment that we can all be proud of,” Tews said.

He went on to say later in the ceremony that the community wants what is best for the students now, and in the future, and the project is a testament to that fact.

For complete story see print edition

Get informed for November 4

By Amy Berg, Staff Writer

The General Election is so close you can almost feel the sigh of relief from television viewers who are constantly peppered with campaign ads. But Tuesday, November 4 is an important day that shouldn’t be ignored until it goes away, because the politicians who are elected will be here to stay (for at least two years anyway).

This year, the big day is a midterm election, which means citizens do not cast votes for a president. These elections are notorious for low voter turnout.

Voter apathy and the thought that one vote won’t change anything are both very common attitudes. Thinking about these attitudes, one can be reminded by the quote, “Decisions are made by those who show up.” The citizens who vote on November 4 will be the ones whose voice will be heard. Go out and vote and be a part of this group!

Doing your “homework” before casting a vote is important though, too. But, researching candidates doesn’t do much good if a citizen doesn’t know what they care about. Citizens should take the time think what is important to them and then cast their vote accordingly. 

The candidates for the local elections are featured in this week’s newspaper. Read up on them and their views so when you head to the polls on Tuesday, November 4, you can cast your vote with confidence.

See pages 14-17, 19 and 20.

October 22, 2014

Fall harvest is in full swing

In a field just a couple miles south of Fairfax Tom Runck empties his combine hopper before making another round in his corn field. Conditions were ideal on October 20 with the sun shining, a slight breeze and temperatures in the upper 60s. (Staff photo by Kjersti Bastian)

By Amy Berg, Staff Writer

Driving down the highway or any gravel road, it’s easy to see that it’s harvest season in farmland.

According to an October 10 report by the University of Minnesota Extension, the corn harvest is two and a half weeks behind the average and it is the slowest progress since 2009.

As of October 10, only seven percent of the Minnesota corn crop has been harvested.

The local grain elevators include South Central Grain and Energy (SCGE) with locations in Fairfax and Gibbon, and Harvest Land Cooperative with a location in Morgan.

According to Fairfax Grain Operations Manager Tanar Haala at SCGE, the corn harvest has been relatively steady.

“The weather looks good and we’re optimistic,” Haala said.

Haala reported that this year for SCGE farmers, the corn yield has varied between 140 and 220 bushels per acre. The test weight is in the mid 50’s. Test weight is measured in pounds per bushel.

Harvest Land Cooperative’s Kurt Soupir, who works in Commodities, reported the test weights he had heard were right around 54 and 55 pounds per bushel.

SCGE reported the closing market price of corn on October 16 as $3.11.

According to Harvest Land Cooperative’s Cash Bid Chart, corn in Morgan is at $3.06 as of October 20.

Due to the dry conditions, area farmers have been able to let their corn sit in the fields longer, which will hopefully bring them higher test weights and lower drying expenses.

Per a University of Minnesota Crop E-news article, it is recommended that if farmers are leaving their corn in the fields to dry, they should keep an eye on the strength of the corn stalks and shanks.

In regards to corn silage the University of Minnesota report states that, “eighty-seven percent of the corn for silage has been harvested, two weeks behind average.”

Soybeans are a different story. From October 3 to October 10, about forty percent of Minnesota’s soybean acres were harvested. Soybean harvest is reported to be approximately four days behind average.

The report indicated that sixty-six percent of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition.

As for SCGE, Haala reported that their patrons are wrapping up the soybean harvest. The average yield was approximately 47 bushels per acre.

The number was similar in Morgan, with Soupir, reporting the average bushels per acre of soybeans between the upper 40’s and the lower 50’s.

SCGE reported the closing market price of soybeans on October 16 as $9.11.

Harvest Land Cooperative’s listing of soybeans was $8.84 at the Morgan location as of October 20.

With corn harvest going steady, keep an eye out for tractors and other farm implements on the road and drive safe.