Ag Business Briefs

Farm Forum

S.D. producers can still apply for direct farm ownership loan program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) last week announced that farmers and ranchers still have time to apply for low interest 2014 loans available through FSA’s direct farm ownership program. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 30, 2014.

Eligible producers can borrow up to $300,000 in direct farm ownership loans to buy or enlarge a farm, construct new farm buildings or improve structures, pay closing costs, or promote soil and water conservation and protection. The interest rate on select loans can be as low as 1.5 percent with up to 40 years to repay.

FSA encourages all interested applicants to apply for direct farm ownership loans. For more information about the program and other loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or For local FSA Service Center contact information, visit

North Dakota names agricultural emergency manager

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner has appointed an agricultural emergency manager.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring named Kent Theurer to the post last week to oversee the state’s agricultural security as well as emergency and disaster response.

The Dickinson native will coordinate the development of the state’s emergency management plans, create preparedness exercises and facilitate staff training. He will also act as a liaison with federal, state and local government agencies that respond to emergencies.

Theurer has been the emergency management coordinator at the Jamestown Regional Medical Center for the past seven years.

Site chosen for proposed $30M grain facility

TABOR, S.D. (AP) — Dakota Plains Ag Center has chosen a site west of Tabor for a proposed $30 million grain-loading facility.

The facility will be built at the junction of state Highways 25 and 50 in Bon Homme County, pending county approval. Construction is to begin next April, with the facility opening in time for the fall 2016 harvest.

The Tabor site was chosen after talks between Dakota Plains and Yankton County about a possible site northwest of Yankton stalled after three years.

The project would require about $10 million in rail upgrades. Dakota Plains says it would pay $4 million of the cost.

Suspect in custody after buffalo ranch standoff

FORT PIERRE (AP) — A Stanley County man faces charges after a standoff at a ranch north of Fort Pierre.

The sheriff’s office responded about mid-day on Aug. 5 to reports of an armed man making threats at the Houck Triple U Buffalo Ranch.

Sheriff Brad Rathbun tells KCCR radio that 45-year-old Mark Taggart allegedly brandished a rifle but did not fire the gun. He was taken into custody without incident after about three hours.

No one was hurt except for Taggart, who was treated at a hospital for a cut on a hand before being taken to jail.

Rathbun says Taggart is related to the Houck family and lives at the ranch. He was being held with no bond on aggravated assault charges. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

N.D. gets rural development funding for 3 projects

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The U.S. Department Agriculture has awarded funding for three rural development projects in North Dakota.

Officials say the city of Reeder is getting $153,400 in grants and loans to replace the roof of the city’s community center.

The Central Rural Fire Protection District in Golden Valley County received $50,000 in grants to purchase a new fire truck.

Officials say the Wishek Hospital Clinic Association received $715,000 in loans to be used in the replacement of boilers, and the removal of fuel oil tanks at the facility.

S.D. trade mission to Russia might be postponed

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s Agriculture Department is analyzing whether to postpone a trade mission to Russia that was scheduled for October.

Russia banned most food imports from the West on Aug. 7 in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine.

The Capital Journal reports that the state Agriculture Department has made two trade missions to Russia in recent years, mainly to arrange the importation of registered, purebred American beef cattle. Ty Eschenbaum with the department says officials haven’t decided whether to continue with the planned October trade mission.

South Dakota Beef Industry Council President Ron Frederick says Russia stopped buying beef from the U.S. some time ago because of its concerns about an additive in American cattle feed. He says he isn’t sure how the ban will impact Russia’s importation of U.S. livestock.

2 killed after vehicle hits cow in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Highway Patrol says two men were killed after their vehicle struck a cow that was wandering on a road in western North Dakota.

Troopers say a 27-year-old Idaho man and a 19-year-old Utah man died at the scene late on Aug. 8 about 12 miles east of Mandaree.

The victims’ names have not been released.

The patrol says the vehicle entered a ditch and rolled several times after striking the black cow.