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Tom Hintgen/FOCUS Area farmers gathered south of Fergus Falls to hear University of Minnesota educators and other speakers talk about crop yields, disease, soil fertility and other issues of importance.

Many area farmers facing challenges in 2012

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Drought stress in parts of Otter Tail County and other areas of west central Minnesota has been evident in many agricultural fields in recent weeks.

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In late June, the majority of northwest Minnesota was rated to be in a moderate drought while a large portion of west central Minnesota was considered abnormally dry. Plant disease is a concern of many farmers.

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