Ag Business Briefs

FF Editor
Farm Forum

4 North Dakota crops set production records in 2016

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota farmers last year produced record corn, soybean, canola and dry pea crops.

The Agriculture Department says in its crop production summary that North Dakota’s corn crop totaled 517 million bushels, up 58 percent from 2015. The state’s soybean crop totaled 249 million bushels, up 34 percent.

The canola crop of 2.7 billion pounds was up 7 percent. The dry pea crop of 12.3 million hundredweight was up 52 percent.

North Dakota also saw a rise in the production of sugar beets, lentils, dry beans and oil sunflowers.

The state’s potato, flaxseed, safflower and alfalfa crops were down over the year.

Oklahoma City firefighters rescue cow stuck in swimming pool

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Think it’s hard for firefighters to rescue a cat in a tree? Try a cow in a swimming pool.

Firefighters in Oklahoma City were summoned on Jan. 15 after a homeowner reported hearing some sort of “snorting” coming from his swimming pool area. Emergency responders arrived and discovered a hole in the swimming pool’s liner and a cow trapped in the water.

Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson says firefighters used their pumps to remove about 5 feet of water from the pool so the cow wouldn’t experience hypothermia. Crews then brought in a wrecker to hoist the nearly 1,500-pound animal from the pool and to safety.

Fulkerson says the cow appeared to be uninjured after its ordeal.

Applications available for South Dakota Farm Bureau Centennial Community Initiative

Applications are now being accepted for the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) Federation Centennial Community Initiative grant. SDFB will be reinvesting $100,000 in local communities for community improvement projects in 2017 as part of the organization’s centennial year.

The Centennial Community Initiative is a grant program for community projects that make a difference, have high visibility and reflect Farm Bureau’s mission and vision. Grants of up to $5,000 per county could be awarded by SDFB, and additional monies will be contributed on top of the state award to each project by county Farm Bureaus. Award dollars will be dispersed during the SDFB Centennial year and projects will be showcased in November at the centennial celebration November 17-18, 2017 in Sioux Falls.

For additional information and to download the complete application visit

— South Dakota Farm Bureau

Fire chief: 3,600 chicks killed in Pennsylvania fire

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A fire chief says 3,600 chicks have been killed in a chicken house fire at a south-central Pennsylvania farm.

Rheems Fire Chief Charles Stanford says a malfunctioning heater caused the fire on Jan. 16 at the farm in West Donegal Township, about 20 miles southeast of Harrisburg.

The chief says the farm hands worked to hold the fire in check until firefighters arrived, but it wasn’t enough to save the chicks.

The fire caused about $16,000 damage to the building.

3 Latvia regions under emergency due to African swine fever

HELSINKI (AP) — Latvia has declared a state of emergency in three regions affected by the African swine fever and expects hundreds of pigs to be culled at local farms to prevent the disease from spreading.

The government said on Jan. 17 that “an emergency situation zone” status will prevail at the Krimulda, Adazi and Salaspils regions of the Baltic country for three months, until April 17.

Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service earlier reported an outbreak of the African swine fever at a farm with more than 5,000 pigs in central Latvia’s Krimulda region.

The source of infection is unclear, but the farm has been put under quarantine and the government has earmarked more money to fight the disease.

Unlike swine flu, the African swine fever doesn’t affect humans.