Agriculture

Forecasters Say Spring Could Bring Unprecedented US Flooding

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. weather experts say the stage is set for unprecedented major flooding this spring for most of the nation. In Thursday’s spring forecast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says more than 200 million Americans are at risk for some kind of flooding, with 13 million of them at risk of major inundation. National Weather Service deputy…

Survey: Bankers Losing Confidence in 10-State Farm Economy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows bankers are losing confidence in the future of the region’s farm economy in the wake of falling farm income and rising floodwaters. The Rural Mainstreet survey for March shows the survey’s confidence index dropping to 45.7 from February’s 48.5. Any score…

Farm Aid Nonprofit Arranging Hay Help for Nebraska Ranchers

Courtesy: Farm RescueBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Plains farm aid nonprofit Farm Rescue is launching an effort to bring donated hay to flood-stricken Nebraska ranchers. North Dakota-based Farm Rescue first activated its “Operation Hay Lift” program to help drought-stricken Upper Midwest ranchers in 2017. Dozens of volunteer truckers hauled hundreds of loads of hay to the region. The organization now…

Dogs With Unique Training To Help Round Up Rare Turtles

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Specially-trained dogs from Montana are coming to Iowa to help round up a rare and threatened turtle species. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the Bur Oak Land Trust is coordinating the project this spring to help gather the ornate box turtle, Iowa’s only native terrestrial turtle. The turtles are listed as “threatened” in Iowa,…

EPA Rule an Issue Pitting Oil Producers Against Corn Farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is proposing to allow year-round sales of gasoline mixed with 15 percent ethanol, seeking to calm a dispute between the oil industry and corn farmers. The proposal Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency fulfills a pledge that President Donald Trump made to U.S. corn farmers, who see ethanol as an important driver of demand…

Noem Vetoes Industrial Hemp Legislation

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem today vetoed HB1191 and sent the following message to the South Dakota House of Representatives: Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives, I respectfully return to you House Bill 1191, with my VETO. House Bill 1191 is an Act to legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative…

Governor Noem: “Conversation Has Changed” on Hemp Bill

PIERRE, S.D. – Republican Governor Kristi Noem says the “conversation has changed” about legalizing hemp in South Dakota. She continues to voice her displeasure with the bill currently in the state legislature. On Wednesday, state legislators passed House Bill 1191, which allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota. The bill was sent back to the state house…

Farm Rescue Accepting Spring Crop-Planting Aid Applications

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The Plains farm aid nonprofit Farm Rescue is accepting applications for spring crop-planting assistance. Farm Rescue provides free physical labor for farmers and ranchers dealing with an injury, illness or a natural disaster. It relies on volunteers from around the country, donations and corporate sponsors. It was launched in North Dakota in 2006 and has since…

SD Senate Plans to Reconsider Hemp Plan After Bill’s Failure

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota senators plan to reconsider a bill to legalize industrial hemp after the measure failed on the chamber’s floor. The 21-14 Tuesday vote fell short of the two-thirds margin required to pass the bill. Supporters used a procedural move to revive it and schedule debate for Wednesday. Gov. Kristi Noem has asked that lawmakers hold…

SD Industrial Hemp Bill Still ‘Gravely Concerns’ Governor

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says a bill to legalize industrial hemp still “gravely concerns” her, but she stopped short of threatening a veto. The Republican governor said Friday she’s worried the bill passed by a Senate panel a day earlier would make enforcement difficult. Noem says she’s concerned that drug detection dogs flag hemp like…

Hemp Bill Passes Through Senate Ag Committee with 7-2 Vote

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Senate panel has approved a bill to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota despite heavy pressure from Gov. Kristi Noem. The Senate agriculture committee voted 7-2 Thursday to send the bill to the floor, one step from the Republican governor’s desk. Democratic Rep. Oren Lesmeister, the sponsor, says the bill would allow…

Farm Loan Delinquencies Highest in 9 Years as Prices Slump

WICHITA, Kan. – The nation’s farmers are struggling to pay back their loans after years of low crop prices, with nearly one out of five loans in a government farm program now delinquent for the worst January default rate in at least nine years. The bulk of the nation’s agricultural loans typically come due around Jan. 1 for seasonal and…

Structure Fire in Rural Baltic

Emergency officials have responded to a structure fire in rural Baltic at about 10 p.m. Thursday. The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office states two out buildings were destroyed in the fire. The fire is under investigation. The Baltic, Colton, Lyons and Dell Rapids Fire Departments responded to the fire. The Dell Rapids Ambulance, South Dakota Highway Patrol and Minnehaha County Emergency…

Farmers Reminded About the Dangers of Working in Grain Bins

OMAHA, Neb. – Working in grain bins can be deadly, so insurers want to remind farmers of the dangers. Nationwide insurance is helping sponsor a campaign to educate farmers about safety procedures they can use when working in grain bins. Farmers should wear proper safety gear when they enter grain bins and test the atmosphere for toxic gases. Brad Liggett…

South Dakota Winter Wheat Acres Down 4 Percent

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s winter wheat crop is a bit smaller than it was a year ago. The federal Agriculture Department says South Dakota farmers last fall planted 800,000 acres of the crop, down 4 percent from 830,000 acres the previous year. Winter wheat goes dormant over the winter, then begins growing again in the spring and…