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Gov. announces South Dakota conservation commission appointments

PIERRE – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has reappointed David Fischbach of Faith, Alan Vedvei of Lake Preston and Thomas Glover of Burke to the State Conservation Commission.

Fischbach will serve as the Farmer Area III representative. Vedvei will serve as the Farmer-at-Large representative and Glover will serve as the Water Development District representative.

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

Fischbach, Vedvei and Glover will serve with six others on the State Conservation Commission. Their terms expire on Dec. 31, 2017.

FSA announces key dates for 2014 Farm Bill ARC and PLC programs

FSA announced key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The new programs are designed to help producers better manage risk for price losses or revenue losses.

Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and producers need to know:

• September 29, 2014 to February 27, 2015: Land owners may visit their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres.

• November 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015: Producers make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.

• Spring 2015 through summer 2015: Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years.

• October 2015: ARC or PLC payments for the 2014 crop year are issued, if triggered.

Minwind files for bankruptcy reorganization

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Farmers and land owners who invested in two small wind farms in southwest Minnesota have filed for bankruptcy reorganization.

Regulatory filings say the 360 owners stand to lose their investment and the wind farms may eventually have to shut down.

The two Minwind Energy projects are located near Luverne. Minwind says the turbines have needed extensive repairs and it can no longer afford the maintenance.

The Star Tribune says Minwind has also failed to file some paperwork with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since 2006 and has a $1.9 million liability. Minwind’s attorneys have told the government the owners are “unsophisticated” about regulatory matters and should be excused for the filing lapse.

The Minwind farms went online with 11 turbines in 2002 and 2004. The electricity is sold to Xcel Energy and Alliant Energy.

$5.2M awarded to outdoor recreation, conservation projects

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota officials have awarded $5.2 million to 16 outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

The Industrial Commission has approved the funding through Outdoor Heritage Fund grants. The commission is chaired by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and includes Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

The projects that received a grant include the Fox Island boat ramp bank stabilization project in Bismarck and the handicap-accessible fishing pier at Sheep Creek Dam in Grant County.

The most generous award went to the state’s Department of Agriculture. The $1.2 million grant was awarded for the North Dakota Waterbank Program.