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Published September 04, 2012, 10:07 AM

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N.D. Natural Beef closes, more drought relief for ranchers and wild rice crop suffers.

S.D. order allows over-width baled feed hauling

•PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has issued an executive order that, upon receipt of a permit, grants permission to move over-width baled livestock feed not exceeding 12 feet wide or 15 feet high in South Dakota two hours after sunset and two hours before sunrise. Over-width vehicles must be equipped with flashing or rotating white or amber warning lights placed at each side of the load’s widest extremity. The warning lights must be clearly visible to motorists approaching from the front and rear. Movement under the executive order is valid only for baled livestock feed. The Governor’s Executive Order allows over-width moving of baled livestock feed until cessation of the drought emergency or no later than Oct. 20. The normal restriction on South Dakota highway loads is 14-feet, 3 inches high and 8 feet, 6 inches wide. Although height and width restrictions for baled livestock feed have been temporarily increased by executive order, several highways in the state have width and height restrictions in place because of construction or permanent structures. Truckers are encouraged to check their routes ahead of time for those restrictions.

N.D. Natural Beef closes after losing customer

•FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota Natural Beef LLC, a beef and bison processing plant in Fargo, N.D., will end operations and lay off its workforce effective immediately, the company announced Aug. 28. Dieter Pape, president and CEO, says the company’s largest customer has completed a beef kill and processing plant expansion at Buffalo Lake, Minn., and will move the remainder of the processing to that facility. NDNB is entwined with the North American Bison Cooperative, which has a bison and beef kill plant at New Rockford, N.D. NABC is the majority shareholder of the NDNB, and is “not impacted by this situation,” says Pape, who is CEO of both companies. The NDNB plant initially had processed both natural beef (beef produced without antibiotics or hormones), and bison, both of which had been killed at the New Rockford plant. The beef company, however, earlier lost some of its natural beef customers, failed to pay some of its natural beef suppliers and stopped purchasing beef. It had recently been a contract processor for a Chicago-based beef company. Some of the Chicago company’s owners are part-owners of the Buffalo Lake plant. Pape made clear that the bison company is healthy, despite the beef company problems. “In fact, NABC, due to some additional supply of bison that have become available, is once again growing its business. NABC will be hiring approximately 10 people required by the growth of its business,” Pape says.

Ranchers get more drought relief from feds

•SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Drought-stricken farmers and ranchers in North Dakota and South Dakota are getting more help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a two-month extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land. He also has designated 21 South Dakota counties as primary natural disaster areas, which also affects six contiguous counties in North Dakota. Producers in those counties might qualify for low-interest emergency loans. The CRP grazing extension means ranchers can graze their cattle on CRP land that normally is idled through November rather than through September. The extension does not apply to emergency haying of CRP land.

Titan Machinery breaks ground for Jamestown, N.D., facility

•JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Marking the next step in expanding its business operations, officials from Titan Machinery broke ground Aug. 28 on a new facility in southwest Jamestown. It’s expected to cost $5.5 million to $6 million. Titan Machinery is a full-service Case IH Agriculture and New Holland Agriculture dealer providing sales, parts and service to 98 North American locations and 10 European dealerships. Hampered by a lack of needed space at its current location near Business Loop West in Jamestown, the company is looking forward to expanding its operation, according to Tom Hausmann, store manager. The facility will consist of two parts — a 55,000-square-foot parts, exposition and showroom and a 22,000-square-foot storage area. It will be located on a 20-acre lot west of Jamestown Regional Medical Center on the corner of the U.S. Highways 52 and 281 truck bypass and south of Interstate 94.

Wild rice crop suffers in Wis., Minn.

•SUPERIOR, Wis. — The wild rice beds in northern Wisconsin are nearly ready for harvest. But aerial surveys by agricultural observers show the wild rice crop isn’t looking that great. Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission biologist in Odanah, Wis., says a warm spring triggered early germination and heavy rain did some damage. David says while a few scattered beds look good, the overall crop looks poor, especially in northwest Wisconsin. He says beds in east-central Minnesota are in even worse shape. The grain grows on tall stalks in shallow lakes, streams and riverbeds throughout the Upper Midwest and Canada. In Wisconsin, most of rice harvest comes from Burnett, Washburn, Polk, Vilas and Oneida counties. Additional beds are managed on tribal lands.

Briefly...

•Prairie dogs: North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says North Dakota ranchers again can use Rozol to control prairie dogs. Goehring says when the use of Rozol was being challenged by environmental activists in 2010, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe led a group of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials on a tour of Morton and Sioux counties to see the extent of prairie dog damage and to meet and hear from area ranchers. After a federal court ordered EPA to withdraw the registration for Rozol, EPA worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to amend the label for the pesticide.

— Agweek Wire Reports

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