Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

Governor announces S.D. Conservation Commission appointments

Pierre – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has reappointed Aaron Kiesz of Aberdeen, Charlie Moe of Rosebud, Wayne Bunge of Rapid City and Douglas Hansen of Webster to the State Conservation Commission.

Kiesz will serve as municipality representative. Moe and Bunge will serve as tree industry representatives and Hansen will serve as the Commission’s member-at-large representative.

“These appointees bring a wealth of experiences to the Conservation Commission,” said South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. “Their experiences and knowledge of conservation practices have been valuable during their past tenures.”

Moe, Bunge, Kiesz and Hansen serve with five others. Their terms will expire on Dec. 31, 2016.

The Commission, which has administrative oversight of South Dakota’s 69 conservation districts, is charged with overseeing the development and implementation of the State Coordinated Plan and setting natural resources policy. For more information, visit

North Dakota APUC funding 6 projects this quarter

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Six projects are getting a total of nearly $390,000 in funding this quarter from the North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission.

The group funds developers of North Dakota farm products. It’s a program of the state Commerce Department.

The largest grant this quarter is going to Bio-Sunn of Garrison, which is getting $92,000 to defray costs studying a facility in Walhalla that would manufacture ethanol, methane, flax composites and treeless paper products.

Specialty crop grants available in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Agriculture Department is once again accepting applications for grants to help promote specialty crops.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the amount the state will get for the grants isn’t known yet because of the delayed passage of the new federal farm bill.

Goehring says projects that promote the production, processing and use of specialty crops in North Dakota are eligible for grant money.

Specialty crops grown commercially in North Dakota include dry beans, dry peas, lentils, potatoes, confection sunflowers, grapes, honey and various vegetables.

More information can be found at: The application deadline is May 23.

North Dakota FSA announces NAP policy changes for 2014

FARGO, N.D. – USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Aaron Krauter announced that non-irrigated corn for grain has been added as a covered crop under the 2014 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program in some North Dakota counties. Coverage under NAP is equivalent to the catastrophic risk protection level of crop insurance.

A request for an exemption in nine counties in western North Dakota was approved to allow the use of NAP Coverage for non-irrigated corn for grain beginning with the 2014 crop year. Counties approved for the policy change are: Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burke, Divide, Golden Valley, McKenzie, Slope and Williams.

Crop insurance through USDA Risk Management Agency cannot be purchased for this crop use in these counties. The application deadline for the 2014 NAP coverage for all non-insurable spring planted and forage crops, including grass for hay and grazing is March 17, 2014.

Interested producers can apply for coverage at their local FSA office. Additional information on NAP and other FSA programs can be obtained from your local FSA office or online at

S.D. PUC chairman appointed to serve on national board

(AP) — South Dakota Public Utilities Commission chairman Chris Nelson has been appointed to a national board.

The Federal Communications Commission selected Nelson for the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service. Nelson was nominated for the appointment by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Nelson is one of four state utility regulators on the joint board, which also includes delegates from the FCC and a consumer advocate representative.

The board is charged with making recommendations to the FCC related to federal universal service policies. Those policies include the Connect America Fund for rural areas, Lifeline for low-income customers, E-rate for schools and libraries and rural health care.

N.D. commission to mull proposed drilling rule

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Industrial Commission is considering a proposal designed to lessen the impacts of oil development in the western part of the state.

The commission regulates oil and gas development in the state. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem make up the panel.

Stenehjem last year submitted the proposed list of 18 places for special protection. The so-called special or extraordinary places list includes private and public land, including the Little Missouri National Grasslands and Lake Sakakawea.

Stenehjem’s proposal has been criticized by some Republican lawmakers and oil and farm groups. Conservation groups have supported the plan.

Grants funding 2 new fire halls in South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency is providing grants for two new fire halls in South Dakota.

The money is being funneled through rural electric cooperatives, with $250,000 going for a new fire hall for the Delmont Fire Protection District and $300,000 going to the Parkston Rural Fire Protection District.

Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks says the new fire halls will give firefighters a “top functioning facility” and provide them with greater safety features.