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South Dakota speech contest offers scholarships

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota regulatory commission has moved to require for the first time that companies post bonds to cover the cost of turning a wind farm site back to its original state when a facility is shut down for good.

Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak says wind farms cover thousands of acres and can leave a large footprint.

North Dakota law allows the commission to decide whether a wind energy project that has been operating more than 10 years should be required to file some form of financial guarantee to cover the cost of decommissioning and restoring the site.

Brian Kalk is the chairman of the commission. He says it’s important to ensure that land is reclaimed after a wind farm no longer operates.

Goehring says more harvest help is needed in N.D.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner says more combiners are needed to help bring in the state’s harvest this year.

Doug Goehring says the state’s Harvest Hotline has a long list of farmers who need combining services but few looking for work.

Goehring says the number of farmers on the list looking for work is more than three times the number of harvesters.

Farmers can call the hotline and the department will match them up with someone who needs harvesting help or work. Department employees answer the phones daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hotline is free of charge.

Southeast Nebraska plant to lay off 33 workers

FAIRBURY, Neb. (AP) — A southeast Nebraska agriculture manufacturing plant will close part of its operations and eliminate more than half its workforce by November.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the Agrium plant in Fairbury will eliminate 33 jobs.

The plant manufactures high-purity liquid and dry micronutrients for the fertilizer and animal feed industries.

Bill Cornmesser, senior U.S. operations manager for the Canadian fertilizer company that owns the plant, says Agrium is exiting the zinc sulfate market, which affects the Fairbury operation. Cornmesser says the plant’s Loveland Products business, which employs 20 people, will continue to operate.

New Saints ballpark named CHS Field

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The St. Paul Saints’ new ballpark will be named CHS Field.

Twin Cities-based agriculture co-op CHS Inc. was announced Monday as the naming rights partner for the new ballpark in downtown St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood.

The new name was unveiled at an event held on the site’s future second base.

Saints president and owner Mike Veeck say both the independent minor league baseball team and CHS have “left their footprint in the Twin Cities for a long time and now we can make a meaningful impact together.”

In addition to the Saints, CHS Field also will be home to amateur baseball. The new ballpark is scheduled to open in 2015.

Community wind farm project tops $1 million mark

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Officials with a planned community wind farm in southeastern South Dakota say they have raised more than $1 million.

Dakota Power Community Wind has a goal of raising $1.5 million. The group of local landowners hopes to begin development of the project this fall.

Group spokesman Paul Shubeck says fundraising efforts should wrap up in the next few weeks.

Officials say there are 24,000 acres committed to the project, which is enough land to support a 300 megawatt farm.

Titan Machinery 2Q misses Wall Street expectations

WEST FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Titan Machinery Inc. (TITN) on Tuesday reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $603,000.

The West Fargo, North Dakota-based company said it lost 3 cents per share. Excluding non-recurring costs, the company said it earned 4 cents per share.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected the company to report net income of 13 cents per share.

The agriculture and construction equipment seller posted revenue of $451 million in the period, topping Street forecasts. Analysts expected $450.2 million, according to Zacks.

Titan Machinery lowered its full-year guidance, and now expects to earn between 30 cents and 60 cents per share, with revenue in the range of $1.9 billion to $2.1 billion.

As of Sept. 9, Titan Machinery shares have decreased 26 percent since the beginning of the year, and they have decreased 21 percent in the last 12 months.