Agriculture

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…

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,…