Ag Business Briefs

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Edmunds County 4-H Achievement Days Premium Sale Aug. 8

The Edmunds County 4-H Achievement Days Premium Sale will be held on Friday, August 8, following the Beef BBQ. This event will be held in the back barn of the 4-H Building. The night will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the Pre 4-H Livestock Show and the awarding of the Grand Champion Bottle/Bucket Calf trophy. The premium sale will begin at 7:30 p.m.

If you are interested in being a buyer or would like more information on the sale please contact the Edmunds County Extension Office. A list of sellers and the animal being sold will be sent to all interested buyers.

Being a Premium Sale buyer is a great way to support the Edmunds County 4-H Program and the individual 4-H members.

S.D. grants $11,000 to address forestry problems

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Department of Agriculture has provided more than $11,000 in grants for tree planting projects.

They came from the Urban and Community Forestry Comprehensive Challenge Grant Program and the U.S. Forest Service. Recipients matched the grants with more than $16,000 worth of additional resources.

Participating communities are providing cash, labor and supplies to support the projects. Officials say the funding will address forestry problems in the communities and show the importance of trees.

Sturgis was awarded the most with $4,000. Lead was given $2,500. The department gave around $1,000 to the other cities.

An additional $14,500 in grants was previously distributed in western South Dakota. Those funds were designed to replace trees damaged during Winter Storm Atlas.

SDSU Extension provides HR training modules for dairy producers

BROOKINGS — With the cultural and technological landscape of today’s rapidly changing dairy operations, producers must effectively educate, train and communicate across a diverse workforce to ensure maximum efficiency.

To aid with this challenge, SDSU Extension has developed a set of Agricultural Human Resource Management Training Modules targeting dairy producers.

“From defining standard operating procedures, to communicating with Hispanic workers, these interactive modules are designed to expand the skillsets of producers, employees and the dairy support industries to help ensure the continued success of your dairy operation,” said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

Erickson helped developed the web-based modules which include short training videos with corresponding tests.

To learn more, or view the web-based, interactive video training modules, visit

Ag Instagram contest begins

PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is hosting an Instagram photo contest to celebrate South Dakota’s 125th year of statehood through Friday, Aug. 8.

“Agriculture has been and remains South Dakota’s number one industry,” said Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. “This contest is a creative way to share our heritage and celebrate the state’s hard working families in agriculture now and from years past.”

To enter, use the Instagram or Twitter applications on your smartphone to post photos of South Dakota families working in agriculture. Use the following hashtag: #SDAgProud

Two winners will be randomly selected weekly from July 3 to Aug. 8. Weekly prizes include 125 years of South Dakota statehood lapel pins. The grand prize of two tickets to a South Dakota State Fair concert or event will be distributed the last week of the contest.

Winning photos will be displayed at Dakotafest and the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Detailed rules can be found at

For questions about the contest, please email Jamie Crew at

South St. Paul’s last beef plant idles 300 workers

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The last beef-packing plant in South St. Paul says it’s temporarily shutting down to an “extremely short supply of cattle.”

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports Dakota Premium Foods is idling 300 employees. Its parent company, American Foods Group, says it doesn’t know how long the shutdown will last.

The number of cattle in the U.S. has been declining for eight years, and the severe drought across much of the western U.S. has worsened the shortage. The number of cattle and calves in the U.S. is at its lowest level since the early 1950s.

South St. Paul was once the heart of the Upper Midwest meatpacking industry. Swift and Armour once had major plants there, but they closed by the early 1980s as the economics of the industry changed.

Northern N.D. sees moderate river flooding

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Some parts of northern North Dakota are seeing river flooding from high releases from Lake Darling and southern Canada, but officials say most of the affected area is agricultural land along the Souris river.

Bill Abeling is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. Abeling says high releases from the Lake Darling Dam and Alameda Dam in Saskatchewan have caused parts of the Souris to flood moderately at several points.

Abeling says there is major flooding from the Souris River near Westhope, but says no houses have been been affected.

The meteorologist says there’s also still overland flooding across Renville County and parts of northern Ward County. Abeling says that’s primarily leftover water from heavy rains that continues to drain.

Railroads report backlogged grain shipments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Farm commodity rail shipments are running about a month behind in North Dakota.

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has told BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific to submit plans to address backlogs in northern Plains states and begin filing weekly updates.

The companies filed their first updates last week.

BNSF Railway reported 4,942 past due rail cars in North Dakota averaging 32 days late. North Dakota had the most past-due rail cars followed by Montana, Minnesota, Washington and South Dakota.

BNSF promised in April to add more locomotives and crews in an effort to address the agriculture shipping delays.

Canadian Pacific’s report does not include a specific number of past-due rail cars or average lateness. But the railroad estimated a backlog demand of 10,000 to 12,000 cars across its system.

Nebraska storm killed about 1,000 large animals

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Authorities estimate that about 1,000 large animals were killed by the June 16 storms that roared through northeast Nebraska, destroying more than half of Pilger.

Marty Marks of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Wayne County says the toll could be 1,000 in a six-county region, plus hundreds of chickens and other poultry.

The Lincoln Journal Star says producers aren’t required to report livestock losses to the government, and businesses such as cattle feeding operations generally don’t insure individual animals.

Two of Herman Dinklage Inc.’s three cattle feedlots were hit, with the Wayne County feedlot struck hardest. Owner Jeff Dinklage said more than 650 head were killed or had to be euthanized.

The EF4 tornado that struck Pilger killed a 5-year-old girl in town and a motorist a few miles east of town.

SW Minnesota rivers hurt by erosion, runoff

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A new report says rivers in southwestern Minnesota are in bad shape because of increased erosion and runoff.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report also says half the rivers and streams tested throughout the state have been altered in recent years, the result of measures taken to help improve drainage for both agriculture and city development.

MPCA spokesman Steve Mikkelson tells Minnesota Public Radio the agency will use the data to help with watershed restoration projects, and to prevent some streams and rivers from becoming worse.

The report takes data from multiple statewide surveys. Mikkelson says the report will act as a baseline when the MPCA does another survey next year.

David Ganje to speak at Indian Water Rights Conference in July

Environmental and natural resources attorney David Ganje has been invited to speak at the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance Water Rights Conference in July. The Conference is hosted by the Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance and will take place July 23-24 in Rapid City, S.D. Ganje will speak on Tribal Water Codes and Water Law.

For more information on this event or Ganje Law Offices, please call the S.D. offices at (605) 385-0330 and the N.Y. offices at (518) 437-9000 or visit

AgriBank pays quarterly preferred stock dividend

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On July 1, St. Paul-based AgriBank paid a quarterly cash dividend of $1.7188 per share on its 6.875 percent non-cumulative perpetual class A preferred stock to holders of record as of June 1, 2014.

AgriBank issued $250 million of preferred stock on Oct. 29, 2013 to provide the Bank and the 15-state Farm Credit District it serves with long-term access to high-quality capital, helping ensure the District is well-positioned to meet the long-term growth and credit needs of farmer and rancher customers.