Latest newsUSDA grants for energy efficiency, dry conditions in South Dakota and a decision on the country-of-origin appeal
North Dakotans asked to help Wyoming ranchers
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is notifying North Dakota landowners with available pasture and grazing land that Wyoming livestock producers are in need of land available for leasing. “Wyoming farmers and ranchers have been dealing with severe to moderate drought in the eastern part of the state since early spring,” Goehring says. “The situation has reached a critical point, and many producers are looking elsewhere for grazing land for their animals.” Goehring says Jason Fearneyhough, Wyoming Department of Agriculture director, contacted him asking about the possibility of Wyoming cattle being moved to North Dakota. “With the conditions the way they have been in Wyoming, we have a lot of producers looking for other options for their operations,” Fearneyhough says. “To help alleviate the issues that Wyoming producers are facing, we hope producers in surrounding states have some grass available for rent.” Fearneyhough says producers who are interested in providing grass to rent for Wyoming producers can contact the Wyoming Department of Agriculture at 307-777-7321. Beth Carlson, North Dakota deputy state veterinarian, says all cattle imported from other states must meet North Dakota’s health requirements. North Dakota’s livestock importation requirements are available at www.nd.gov/ndda/
Goehring to head Midwest ag department group
INDIANAPOLIS — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is the new president of the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Goehring was elected June 25, during the group’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. He succeeds Joe Kelsay, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Also elected were Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as vice president, and Dale Rodman, Kansas secretary of Agriculture, as secretary/treasurer. MASDA is comprised of the state agriculture commissioners, secretaries and directors of North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Goehring says the next annual meeting of MASDA will be in June 2013 in Medora, N.D. Goehring was also elected vice president of the Food Export Association of the Midwest. Kelsay was elected president and Adams secretary/treasurer. Food Export Midwest is a non profit organization that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the Midwest. In conjunction with its member states, the group provides a wide range of services to facilitate trade between local food suppliers and importers around the world, including export promotion, customized export assistance and a cost-share funding program.
USDA grants to improve energy efficiency
BISMARCK, N.D. — Four recipients have been selected to receive a total of $62,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program to implement renewable energy and energy-efficiency measures in their operations. REAP provides funding to projects that incorporate energy-saving practices into business operations. Heartland Heating and Cooling Inc., Courtenay, N.D., received $11,000 to assist with the purchase and installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the business’ new office and shop. The system will produce 11,272 British thermal units per year with an average annual savings of $2,800. Joshua Ihry got a $20,000 grant to replace an existing grain dryer with a new energy-efficient dryer. This project will produce an annual energy savings of 52 percent. Jon Polries also received $20,000 for a new energy-efficient dryer that brings annual energy savings of 59 percent. Clark Slater got an $11,000 grant, also for a new energy-efficient dryer. This project will produce an annual energy savings of 36 percent.
Dry conditions spark worries in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Dry conditions across South Dakota are worrying everyone from farmers and ranchers to fireworks dealers and firefighters. South Dakota is not experiencing a drought like some states, but crops will suffer if the region doesn’t get some decent rain soon, Larry Wagner, an extension service crops specialist in Sioux Falls, tells the Yankton (S.D.) Daily Press & Dakotan. The average temperatures in South Dakota during the months of March, April and May were the warmest in 118 years of record-keeping, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The warm, dry weather has persisted into the summer. The National Weather Service forecasts more heat. One sign that area crops are reacting to the dry conditions is that corn is starting to curl in some areas, Wagner says. That might actually be a good sign, an indicator that the corn is trying to preserve water. Volunteers put up safety signs for their fireworks and Renner Fire Chief Mike Schmitz hopes custo-
mers heed the warning. Conditions are ripe for grass fires sparked by fireworks, he says. Lightning sparked three forest fires in western South Dakota’s Black Hills recently.
WTO sides with Canada again in country-of-origin labelling appeal
DUNDURN, Saskatchewan — An international trade referee has sided with Canada in a long-running dispute over labelling beef and pork products produced in Canada. The World Trade Organization has ruled that U.S. rules forcing country-of-origin labels on Canadian products violate trade agreements. The decision is on an appeal of an original ruling from last fall that also went Canada’s way. Canadian meat exports to the United States have dropped sharply since the U.S. first brought in country-of-origin labels. Shipments of feeder cattle and slaughter hogs have dropped by about half since 2009. Canada’s Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz welcomed the trade organization’s decision.