Dan Gunderson / MPR News 90.3 FM
HUNTER, N.D.—Nick Vinje spread rye and radish seeds this summer among the waist-high corn on his farm. While rye and radishes may not bring a profit, he still expects to see a payoff. Those cover crops ultimately will boost the health of his soil, reduce his runoff pollution and keep the water cleaner. He's moved most of his 1,700-acre farm to a no tillage system the past four years, so cover crops are a natural fit. But it's a complex way to farm and many of his neighbors aren't willing to take the risk, especially now when crop prices and profits are low.
FARGO—Jonathan Garaas has learned a few things in three seasons of backyard beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They're complicated. And keeping them alive is not easy. The Fargo attorney lost hives in his first two years as a novice beekeeper. With nine hives now established near his home and a couple of University of Minnesota bee classes under his belt, he feels like he's got the hang of it, although it's still a challenge.
FARGO – When you're trying to wrap your head around freezing the cells of bee embryos for the future, it helps to think of Dippin' Dots.
Rich McCumber drives a truck onto a rail crossing and lowers the small steel wheels onto the rails. Then it's off down the track at about 20 miles per hour, his eyes straight ahead as he talks. "This stretch of track I do three times a week," he says as he searches for loose spikes, missing bolts, broken switches or anything else that could compromise the rails and potentially send a freight train crashing. "Three times a week over it. I learn my territory by heart."
MOORHEAD – In a small, noisy lab, Fardad Azarmi rummages through a few pieces of steel on a table. He picks up a playing card-sized chunk covered with a gray coating.
OTTER TAIL COUNTY, Minn. – "Basically, it's the 800-pound gorilla in the room." That may seem an odd way to describe a fish swimming in a lake. But Dave Majkrzak believes it's spot-on when talking about the muskie population in Pelican Lake and the problems he says the fish — and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — are causing.
Researcher Mark Ditmer has tracked black bears for years in northwest Minnesota using heart monitors and satellite collars, and the bears barely noticed.
More than 330 railroad bridges pass over freeways, highways and streets in Minnesota, and last year state and local inspectors determined that one in five of those was structurally deficient, including one in Moorhead.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – The struggle over clean water and runoff pollution in Otter Tail County often starts with a picture.
MOORHEAD, Minn. – North Dakota environmentalists want oil companies to reduce volatile gasses in Bakken crude. Regulators, however, say they’re taking a different tack that’s cheaper for the industry and...