Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published December 10, 2012, 10:32 AM

Latest news

More challenges for SD beef plant, animals rescued from Minn. farm, and more irrigation permits in SD.

By: Agweek wire reports, Agweek

SD beef plant faces more hurdles

•ABERDEEN, S.D. — The northern South Dakota city of Aberdeen has reduced the number of cattle that a new processing plant is allowed to slaughter because Northern Beef Packers has fallen behind on installing wastewater equipment. The plant also has been cited for violating its wastewater permit. The city of Aberdeen says the Northern Beef Packers plant is failing to monitor pollutants and properly operate its treatment lagoons, and that it does not have a certified wastewater supervisor on staff. Northern Beef Packers will not be fined, but has been given 10 days to come up with a plan to fix the problems and start implementing it. For now, the plant is restricted to 125 cattle per day, down from 500. Plant officials have not said how many cattle they are actually processing. The $109 million plant that was delayed by problems including financial issues, flooding and lawsuits eventually will process 1,500 cattle per day from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

Dozens of horses, ponies rescued from Minn. farm

•GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Animal-welfare officials have removed 55 unhealthy horses, ponies and donkeys from a property in southeast Minnesota. The Animal Humane Society said Nov. 30 the animals were suffering from untreated wounds, severe malnutrition and other health issues. A number of partially decomposed carcasses were also found on the Fillmore County property. The group says 12 horses in the greatest need of care were taken to the University of Minnesota Large Animal Hospital in St. Paul for testing. As of Nov. 30, four horses had to be euthanized because of health complications. Prosecutors could use the results of the testing to determine whether criminal charges are warranted. The Animal Humane Society is working with the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation and other rescue organizations to treat the animals and find homes for them.

ND ag certificates up; more commodities exported

•BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a big increase in the documentation required for agricultural exports means North Dakota is selling more commodities overseas. Goehring says phytosanitary certificates verify that the plants or plant products are free from certain pests and comply with regulations of the importing country. The state issued more than 2,500 phytosanitary certificates in fiscal year 2012. That’s up 30 percent from the previous year. The 2012 certificates indicate that North Dakota’s leading customers include Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, India, Thailand, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Italy and Spain. Some important customers, such as Japan, do not require phytosanitary certificates.

ND 2012 Holiday Showcases set attendance records

•BISMARCK, N.D. — More than 34,000 shoppers — the most ever — participated in the four Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcases in November and December. North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the numbers reflect the growing popularity of the Pride of Dakota program with both shoppers and members. “More and more North Dakotans look forward every year to taking in one or more of the Holiday Showcases, knowing they will find unique, high-quality products while supporting our state’s small businesses,” he says. “At the same time, Pride of Dakota member companies know the showcases attract people who are specifically looking for locally made products.” The new attendance total passed the previous mark by 3,084. In Fargo, 9,583 people exceeded the previous record by 1,194. Attendance at the Grand Forks Showcase was 6,038, down about 160 from the record set last year. The Minot Showcase, drew 4,283 customers. Goehring says inclement weather affected the turnout in Grand Forks and especially in Minot.

Drought leads to more irrigation permits in SD

•PIERRE, S.D. — The number of irrigation permits being issued in South Dakota this year is at a level not seen since the mid-1970s, and drought is a common factor. As of Nov. 26, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had issued 113 irrigation permits and 91 applications were pending, agency spokesman Kim Smith says. That compares with 62 permits issued last year and 43 in 2010. “We’ve got a stack of groundwater irrigation applications about a foot high,” agency engineer Lynn Beck says. “Everyone is covering the bases. I’m sure the drought has a lot to do with it.” All but the very northeast tip of South Dakota is in drought with a group of other Plains and Western states where the drought is expected to intensify at least through next February, according to State Climatologist Dennis Todey. Drought also hit in 1976 and 1977. South Dakota issued more than 500 irrigation permits in each of those years.


•Horse killings: Authorities are investigating the shooting of three horses in a pasture south of Watford City, N.D. Two of the dead horses were discovered Dec. 2 and the third was found Dec. 3. All three were brood mares owned by breeder Dale Kling, who supplies bucking horses for rodeos. All three had colts that were not shot. Family members say they plan to put up a reward for information.

•Newly elected: Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative of Wahpeton, N.D., has a new chairman — Brent Davison of Tintah, Minn. He succeeds Doug Etten of Foxhome, Minn., who stepped down from the board after serving about five years as chairman and his maximum 15 years on the board. Dennis Butenhoff, Sabin, Minn., was elected vice chairman. Dennis Klosterman, Mooreton, N.D., is secretary and Pat Freese, Kent, Minn., is treasurer. Tim Deal of Campbell, Minn., also was elected to the board.