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UPDATE 11 a.m: Fatal crash closes I-94 near Osakis

MDA report shows profitability

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released a new report detailing the financial performance of nine types of specialty crops in Minnesota. The report, Minnesota Specialty Crop Farm Performance 2008-2011, includes enterprise data for apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, pumpkins, raspberries, strawberries, sweet corn and assorted vegetables.

It shows that growing strawberries, raspberries and assorted vegetables was consistently profitable over this period, while other crops had mixed results.

The data were contributed by 47 Minnesota farmers who have been enrolled in farm business management education programs offered by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) campuses across the state.

"Our goal is to give growers hard financial data that will help them decide what kind of fruit or vegetable production could fit their financial goals," said MDA program administrator Meg Moynihan. "They can also use this information to compare their costs of production and their returns to the averages experienced by other."

The report was produced in partnership with MNSCU's Farm Business Management programs and the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota. The Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association also collaborated on the project.

The 19-page report is available online at www.mda.state.mn.us/fbm or by calling (651) 201-6012.

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