Agriculture

Elevators Feeling Effects Of Planting Season

HARTFORD, SD- During this time of year, farmers are usually in the middle of planting season.  Part of this process includes being able to sell crops to elevators. “It’s getting tough on everybody because you need something in the ground to continue farming,” says Matthew Semmler of Valley Central Co-op. Some elevators hold crops, like grain, to grind it into feed…

South Dakota Delegation Urges USDA for Ag Relief During Trade Talks

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota’s congressional delegation is calling on USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide short-term economic relief to US agriculture producers, as trade talks continue. Senators Thune, Rounds and Representative Johnson penned a joint letter to Secretary Perdue on Thursday. In the letter, they ask for protection and aid for producers during what they call a…

Escalating Trade War Causing Anxiety in America’s Heartland

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is causing anxiety among rural farmers and bankers. Upper Midwest soybean farmer Jamie Beyer says these are days of “a little bit of panic.” Minnesota agriculture lender Kent Thiesse says most farmers were able to get financing for spring planting, but more federal aid might be needed…

US Farmers Who Sell to China Feel Pain of Beijing’s Tariffs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – China’s announcement Monday of higher tariffs on $60 billion of American exports – retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest penalties on Chinese goods – hit a particular nerve here in the farm belt. China’s vast consumer market has been a vital source of revenue for Americans whose livelihoods depend on farm exports. Beijing’s action wasn’t…

Companies Await China Retaliation; Weaker Growth Expected

BEIJING (AP) – Companies are waiting to see how China will retaliate for President Donald Trump’s latest tariff hikes on Chinese imports while economists warned the escalating dispute could slow growth. Chinese officials gave no indication Monday what steps they might take after threatening “necessary countermeasures” for Trump’s penalties on $200 billion of Chinese goods, imposed Friday. Trade talks wrapped…

Something’s Got to Give: Senator Thune’s Holding Out Hope for China Trade Deal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – As promised, the Trump administration raised tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. Senator John Thune says “something’s got to give” when it comes to the escalating trade war with China. Senator Thune believes the administration is trying to do the right thing, citing decades of what he called “trade abuse” by China. Senator Thune…

Rounds: Farmers “In the President’s Corner” During China Trade Talks

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Chinese negotiators are in the United States this week, reportedly working to finalize a trade deal amid threats from President Trump to increase tariffs on Friday. In a media call on Thursday, Senator Mike Rounds says he understands producers and manufactures back home are taking a big hit from these trade and tariff troubles. Senator Rounds…

Ag Census Finds Number of South Dakota Farms Dropping

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) – The latest federal census of agriculture finds the number of farms in South Dakota has dropped. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 census, South Dakota’s farmland was worked by fewer farming operations from 2012 to 2017. The census is conducted every five years. Statewide, more than 43 million acres were operated as farms. But…

Mnuchin Hopes For ‘Substantial Progress’ In China Talks

BEIJING (AP) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he hopes for “substantial progress” in talks with Chinese officials aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Mnuchin arrived Tuesday in Beijing for the latest negotiations on the trade fight between the two biggest global economies, which has rattled financial markets. Mnuchin noted most talks are scheduled next…

Wet Fields Delaying Some Planting in Nebraska, Iowa

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Officials say late-winter moisture, flooding and low temperatures have delayed corn and other plantings in Nebraska and in some parts of Iowa. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report for the week ending Sunday says just 2% of the expected corn crop has been planted in Nebraska, compared with the five-year average of 8% by the date….

Funding Available For Cover Crops On Damaged Farmland

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The federal Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing money to plant cover crops on damaged farmland. The aid is aimed at recovery work on cropland directly affected by the severe weather in March. The highest priority cropland includes land that can’t be planted with a cash crop and/or can’t be harvested this year. Experts say cover…

New Report Outlines South Dakota’s Strong International Trade Ties

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A new report shows South Dakota’s strong trade ties to the international market. The report from Business Roundtable says the Rushmore state exported $2.9 billion in goods and $1.4 billion in services in 2017. The top export that year, oilseeds and grains, bringing in $1.6 billion. Meat products accounted for roughly $227 million. The report also…

Fungal Disease Decimates Minnesota’s Bat Population

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Half of Minnesota’s bat species are nearing extinction because of a potentially fatal fungal disease. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources released its bat population survey findings on Thursday. The department found that the disease called white nose syndrome has killed up to 94 percent of bats that hibernate in state-monitored caves and abandoned mines….

Couple Rescued From Flood Waters in Lac Qui Parle County

MADISON, Minn. – Sheriff’s deputies have rescued two people stranded in flood water in western Minnesota. Lac Qui Parle County sheriff’s officials say the man and woman drove around a road barricade near Madison Thursday afternoon and attempted to drive through flood water. A strong current pushed them into a field where water was rising quickly inside the vehicle. Deputies…

U.S. Senators Urging for Quick Federal Relief for Ranchers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – U.S. Senators from North and South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, and Kansas are urging federal authorities to provide urgent assistance to ranchers impacted by all of the spring flooding. The senators are requesting funding through the Livestock Indemnity Program, which provides benefits to producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather. The senators…

Noem Signs Law That Targets Companies Marketing ‘Fake Meat’

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Gov. Kristi Noem has signed legislation that requires “fake meat” products to be correctly labeled. The law says a product is misbranded if it intentionally labels products in a false, deceptive or misleading manner that misrepresents it as meat or a meat byproduct. The American News reports that Gov. Noem signed the bill Monday and it…

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…