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ND House mulls exemptions to anti-corporate farming law

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's farmers and ranchers are at odds over a so-called "ham-and-cheese bill" that would exempt pork and dairy operations from the state's eight-decades-old anti-corporate farming law. The measure, one of the most contentious non-oil related bills considered by lawmakers this session, is intended to revitalize dairy and swine farms after years…

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Ag United for South Dakota hosts multiple events for National Ag Week

SIOUX FALLS — American agriculture provides the necessities of everyday life: food, fiber, clothing, and fuel. That's the message that farmers will share with South Dakota youth March 9 through 26 to celebrate National Ag Week, which is March 15 through 21.  Local farmers are giving back on Thursday, March 12. Nearly 40 people will volunteer for "Farmers Serving Families". …

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BASF gathers stakeholders from the entire value chain to discuss future of food

Washington D.C. – As part of the co-creation activities that landmark its 150th anniversary year, BASF hosted a two-day Creator Space jamming event in Washington, D.C. to discuss the “future of food.” This event brought together more than 30 stakeholders from the entire food value chain including farmers, academics, food manufacturers and logistic companies. The attendees discus…

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Livestock Indemnity Program offers protection for 2015 weather events

Producers who suffer livestock deaths due to adverse weather events from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 may submit a notice of loss and application for payment with their local FSA County Office by the January 31, 2016 deadline.  Eligible livestock producers must file a notice of loss within 30 calendar days from when the loss was apparent. Livestock producers su…

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USDA provides greater protection for fruit, vegetable and other specialty crop growers

Greater protection is now available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance. The new options, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquac…

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Tree Facts: How to prune trees and shrubs

All trees and shrubs will need pruning during their lifetime. There are several reasons why. Pruning is done for safety reasons of branches that could fall, or any branches or shrubs that interfere with the line of sight on driveways or streets. Pruning is done to remove disease and insect infested parts of trees and shrubs. This done to prevent spreading disease and insect infe…

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Iowa farmer wins national conservation award

ST. LOUIS — The American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Steve Berger from Wellman, Iowa, the 2015 National Conservation Legacy Award during the annual ASA Awards Banquet last week at Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. Prior to his recognition as the program’s national winner, Berger was named the Midwest Regional winner of the Conservation Legacy Award. The national a…

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Wanted: Volunteer weather observers in ND

A nationwide rain and snow reporting network is looking for volunteers in North Dakota to become part of the state’s climatological history, says Adnan Akyuz, state climatologist and professor of climatological practices at North Dakota State University. These observers will measure rainfall, snowfall and snow depth as part of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow…

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Soils Support Agriculture: Precision agriculture explained

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout 2015 International Year of Soil (IYS) to educate the public about the importance of soil. March’s theme is “Soils Support Agriculture.” In one of SSSA’s March Soils Matter blog posts, experts explain what precision agriculture is, and why farmers use it. Precision agriculture is one…

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USDA and Pheasants Forever renew partnership to conservation

I recently attended the 2015 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, where I met with sportsmen, farmers, young people, wildlife biologists and others who are committed to strengthening wildlife habitat throughout America. It was exciting to see firsthand the passion for the native and restored grasslands and woodlands that typify the rural American landsca…

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National survey on cover crops seeks farmer participation

Farmers are invited to share their thoughts on cover crops—whether or not they use cover crops themselves—in a national survey, now in its third year of collecting valuable data on the increasingly popular management practice. The results, which will be released this summer, will help growers, researchers, agricultural advisors, ag retailers and policymakers more effectively add…

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USDA launches initiative to develop new solutions to end child hunger

WASHINGTON – In a speech at the 2015 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference on March 2 about the extent of childhood hunger in America and the impact of USDA programs on reducing food insecurity, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed help end childhood hunger. The announcement was part of USDA efforts dur…

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Senate OKs looser standard for conditional-use permits

PIERRE — State senators voted 22-11 on March 4 for allowing county commissions to adopt a lower standard for approving conditional-use permits. The legislation would allow a simple majority of board members present to approve permits for projects that don’t conform to the county’s zoning or planning code. State law currently requires a two-thirds majority of the board’…

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