A look back at agriculture in 2022: blizzards, commercial decisions, Bill Gates, and conflict

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A look back at agriculture in 2022: blizzards, commercial decisions, Bill Gates, and conflict

Things appeared to be dry going into spring 2022. extremely dry

However, a series of storms in April provided rain, heavy snow, and in some cases a mix of the two, lifting at least significant portions of the region out of the severe drought conditions.

In a large portion of the northern Plains in 2021, drought had already made headlines, and it appeared that it would do so once more in 2022.

Not everyone benefited from the storms, of course. While the rains and wet, heavy snows generally helped pasture grasses get started and moisten the land before planting, they also caused a great deal of stress and illness in animals and contributed to a large number of livestock mortality.

Similar to the April storms, significant blizzards caused by “Colorado lows” swept through much of the area in November and December. However, the snowy start to the winter season isn’t doing much to ease anxiety: The majority of the moisture will wash off when the snow melts, according to meteorologists, so winter snow does nothing to relieve dryness.

Following the spring, the topic of drought once more became popular in the area. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor report on December 15, the majority of Minnesota, Montana, and Iowa also had dry conditions, and all of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska were under drought conditions.

Ukraine is invaded by Russia

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which started on February 23, is still causing havoc in the agricultural industry. Both nations are large producers of commodities like corn, wheat, and sunflower oil, and Russia is a significant fertiliser provider.

Markets have fluctuated throughout the year based on information about what is happening in Russia and Ukraine at any given time, including whether or not farmers can plant or harvest, whether or not shipping through the Black Sea will be permitted or even possible, and whether or not hostilities are escalating or slowing down. The markets will continue to pay close attention to what is happening in Ukraine because there doesn’t seem to be a clear end to the fighting there. Additionally, farmers and ranchers will continue to experience the effects of market volatility brought on by the conflict.

North Dakotan land is owned by Bill Gates. Agweek was the first to report in June that a company connected to Microsoft billionaire co-founder Bill Gates appears to have quietly agreed to buy about 2,100 acres of farmland in North Dakota’s northern Red River Valley from Campbell Farms in November 2021. Campbell Farms is a potato farming company with headquarters in Grafton, North Dakota.

Nobody should have been surprised by this development. Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda are thought to be among the greatest, if not the largest, owners of farmland in the United States because of their investments in farms around the nation. Through entities connected to them, the land is owned. They might have possessed more land in the area than we are aware of.

The tale also called into question if or how North Dakota’s anti-corporate farming law is actually enforced. The sale seemed to be legal, according to the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, but there are still some uncertainties. In Grand Forks, Fufeng intends to construct a wet corn milling facility.

Fufeng Group Ltd.’s U.S. branch received approval from the Grand Forks City Commission in February to develop a maize wet milling plant in the northeast North Dakota city. This triggered debates over land usage, national security, and environmental issues. Some locals in the area where the facility is planned to be built are concerned since Fufeng has a history of environmental issues in China, but others see prospects for agriculture and the local economy in Grand Forks. Residents of the city attempted to put the issue to a vote, but they were unsuccessful.

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