Agriculture

Ranchers: Government Shutdown Restricts Cattle Transactions

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Some South Dakota ranchers say the partial government shutdown is stalling cattle sales because buyers can’t access their federal loans. The Rapid City Journal reports that ranchers who have a loan through the Farm Service Agency need an agent to co-sign the check before it can be cashed or deposited. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue…

North Dakota Leaders Unveil Oil Tax-Sharing Deal With Tribe

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Republican legislative leaders have introduced a bill that aims to end a longstanding disagreement over shared revenues on the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian reservation. The bill unveiled Thursday reworks a tax-sharing agreement that favors the Three Affiliated Tribes on the reservation that accounts for about a fifth of the state’s oil production. The legislation…

Rural Bankers in 10 States Worry Over Farm Loan Defaults

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019. More than 4 of every 10 bankers questioned for the Rural Mainstreet survey for January said they expect farm loan defaults to be the year’s biggest challenge. Creighton University economist…

USDA Reopening Farm Service Agency for 3 Days

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is temporarily reopening an agency that provides resources to farmers and ranchers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday the department has called back 2,500 employees to reopen Farm Service Agency offices on Thursday, Friday and next Tuesday to process existing farm loans and provide tax documents. The office will not process any…

Farming During a Government Shutdown

S.D.-It’s the 20th day of the partial government shutdown and many people across the US are feeling the effects. Kdlt’s Miranda Paige checks in with some South Dakota farmers to see how the shutdown is impacting them. This is not the first government shutdown former South Dakota Secretary of Ag. and 4th generation farmer Walt Bones has been through. He…

Health, Gun Violence, Education Top House Democratic Agenda

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Leaders of the new Democratic majority in the Minnesota House unveiled the first 10 bills they’ll introduce this session, including a proposal to let all residents buy into the MinnnesotaCare health program, which is currently reserved for the working poor. They acknowledged at a news conference Wednesday it will be a struggle to find enough votes…

USDA Delays Deadline for Farmer Aid to Offset Tariff Losses

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Farmers already reeling from low prices and uncertainty amid the nation’s trade dispute with China are welcoming a decision to extend a deadline for federal aid because of the partial government shutdown. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Tuesday announced the Agriculture Department would extend a Jan. 15 deadline for farmers to apply for payments…

State Ag Officials Concerned With Invasive Insect Found on Holiday Decorations

What you need to know if you purchased evergreen decor from a chain store

If you purchased evergreen decorations over the holidays from any regional chain stores, state ag officials are encouraging you to bag the items and dispose of them at a landfill to stop the spread of the invasive insect elongate hemlock scale (EHS). EHS was found on wreaths and other evergreen decorations sold at chain stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin this December, according…

Iowa Lawmakers to Weigh Hemp Regulations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa legislators must create rules to regulate hemp production in the state now that Congress has legalized the crop and farmers are eager to start planting. Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana but doesn’t contain THC, the compound that causes a high. Hemp is used in clothing, textiles, building materials, paper and food….

Why Slowing Economies Could Prod US and China to Reach Deal

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration and China are facing growing pressure to blink in their six-month stare-down over trade because of jittery markets and portents of economic weakness. The import taxes the two sides have imposed on hundreds of billions of each other’s goods – and the threat of more to come – have heightened anxiety on each side of…

Government Shutdown Could Block Federal Payments to Farmers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government shutdown could complicate things for farmers lining up for federal payments to ease the burden of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. The USDA last week assured farmers that direct payments would keep going out during the first week of the shutdown. But payments will soon be suspended for farmers who haven’t certified production,…

Farmers Talk Soil Health at Sold-Out Conference

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Farmers who are looking for innovative ways to keep their soil healthy are gathering at a sold-out conference in Fargo. A new focus in the soil health movement encourages farmers to stop tilling the soil and plant cover crops after harvest. Most Minnesota farmers still till their fields, but University of Minnesota Extension educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes…

Farmers Buoyed but Cautious as China Resumes Buying Soybeans

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The resumption of soybean sales to China is encouraging to American farmers who’ve seen the value of their crop plummet amid a trade war with the world’s second-largest economy. But producers see it only as a small step toward normalcy as they continue monitoring the unsettled trade relations between the countries and call for more federal…

South Dakota Farmers Feeling Optimistic After Congress Passes Farm Bill

S.D.-Many area farmers are feeling optimistic about an $867 billion federal farm bill. It was passed by Congress on Dec. 12th. “It’s not perfect, but we’re certainly happy with it,” said Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. Farmers got hit hard this year by tariffs due to the trade war with China. This bill will…

Minnesota keeps June 20 cutoff for using weed killer dicamba

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota is maintaining its June 20 cutoff date for farmers to use the herbicide dicamba, which has been blamed for drifting and damaging neighboring soybean fields. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture imposed the cutoff for 2018 after getting 253 reports of alleged dicamba drift in 2017, including 55 formal complaints requesting investigations. Some 265,000 acres…