FSA allows emergency use of Mont. conservation land
• BOZEMAN, Mont. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency approved the emergency use of Montana Conservation Reserve Program land under contract to assist livestock producers affected by the ongoing wildfires in Rosebud and Powder River counties. “Producers who have been affected are encouraged to contact their local FSA office immediately to inquire regarding eligibility,” says Dick Deschamps, acting state executive director. Note that the window of opportunity for this emergency use is limited and expires on Aug. 3. Under this new administrative authorization by FSA, livestock may be temporarily moved to land enrolled in CRP in Rosebud and Powder River counties for no more than 30 days, as approved by the FSA county office on a case-by-case basis. No CRP payment reduction applies during this temporary authorized exception. Authorized CRP land use is limited to livestock producers who lost pasture or fences to wildfires. Information: call or visit a local USDA service center or call the Montana state office at 406-587-6872.
Falkirk won’t disclose earnings
• FALKIRK, N.D. — The liquidation of the two Falkirk (N.D.) elevators drew a good crowd of bidders June 30, though it’s too soon to say how much cash from the liquidation will be available to pay off the elevators’ debts. Trucks, tractors, furnishings and other equipment from the Falkirk and Hazen, N.D., elevators was sold off at auction to help pay down loans that are worth more than cash on hand and stored commodities. Upside-down finances of about $3 million were uncovered this spring, when CHS Inc. conducted an audit for a planned merger with the Falkirk elevators and a CHS elevator in Garrison, N.D. Elevator patrons recently voted 88-1 to liquidate rather than take other steps, including reorganizing under bankruptcy. Elevator manager Art Perdue says some money from the auction will go to pay off vehicles and tractors, before the rest can be applied to looming bank loans of nearly $6 million. Beyond that, Perdue wouldn’t discuss auction earnings. The physical properties were not sold at the auction. Perdue says a couple of entities are interested in purchasing the Falkirk bean plant facilities and the board has offers, but nothing in writing, for the Hazen elevator. One is from a fracture treatment sand operation for oil well development. Enerbase, a Minot, N.D., company, is operating agronomy services at both locations, but neither elevator is open for typical grain trade operations.
Environmental training for CAFO operators July 11
• BROOKINGS, S.D. — An environmental training session for operators of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is set for July 11 in Huron, S.D. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Crossroads Convention Center. The cost is $50 and includes lunch, breaks, and training materials. The program begins at 8:50 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m. Specialists from South Dakota State University, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are offering the training, which fulfills the environmental and manure-management training requirement to obtain a livestock permit for CAFOs from the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Producers and other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit also can benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend. To register, call Candy Willms at 605-688-5141.
S.D. farmer jailed for stealing neighbor’s corn
• MITCHELL, S.D. — A Mitchell, S.D. area farmer has been sentenced to about a month in jail and fined $1,000 for stealing more than 750 bushels of corn from a neighbor. Scott Suelflow, 53, also was ordered to pay more than $13,700 in restitution. Suelflow was arrested late last year for stealing corn out of storage bins on the Gene Stehly farm. He pleaded guilty in May to a grand theft charge.
University of Minnesota extension moves
• CROOKSTON, Minn. — The University of Minnesota Regional Extension office in Crookston has new quarters.The office, which includes the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, has moved to the Valley Technology Park just north of the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Though all staff members have moved, their phone numbers and email addresses remain the same. The new site has more space and provides easier access, officials say. Visitors can pull into the parking lot at the Valley Technology Park and enter the extension office through the east entrance of the building. The office’s new address is 510 County Road 71, Crookston, Minn., 56716. The phone number is 888-241-0781.
Cattle shot in Oliver County, ND
• A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing nine head of cattle in Oliver County, N.D., on July 4. The animals’ owners, Miles and Marjorie Tomac and John and Kim Dixon, all of Mandan, N.D., have pledged $9,000 to add to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association’s standing $1,000 reward to help bring the livestock criminals to justice. The NDSA, the Oliver County Sheriff’s Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the crime, which claimed two cows and a calf owned by the Tomacs and two cows, three calves and a yearling owned by the Dixons. The animals were shot in adjoining pastures about two miles north of the Morton County/Oliver County line off North Dakota Highway 25. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in solving this crime. Tips: 701-223-2522; or the Oliver County Sheriff’s Department: 701-794-3450. This is the second cattle shooting case in recent weeks. The other involved 14 cattle shot in a pasture near Hankinson, N.D.