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Published April 08, 2013, 09:19 AM

Latest news

Two American Crystal workers are injured by scalding water, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard names a new ag secretary and sausages from the Belgrade (Minn.) Meat Center are being recalled.

By: Agweek Wire Reports, Agweek

SD governor names new ag secretary as Bones retires

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Department of Agriculture is getting a new leader. Agriculture Secretary Walt Bones has announced that he’s retiring from his position effective April 29. The Parker, S.D., native says he’s returning to his farm. Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he’s appointing Lucas Lentsch of Pierre to replace Bones. Daugaard says 39-year-old Lentsch is well-known across the state and well-respected in the ag community. He says Lentsch will be an effective advocate for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. Lentsch serves on the board of directors of South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership Inc. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy manufacturing.

2 American Crystal workers fall into scalding water

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — Authorities in northwest Minnesota say two employees at a sugar plant have suffered serious burns after they fell into scalding hot water. The accident happened March 30 at the American Crystal Sugar Co. plant in East Grand Forks, Minn. Police say the men fell into water that was nearly boiling. A 21-year-old suffered second- and third-degree burns over his entire body, and a 32-year-old had burns on his hands and feet. Both were taken to a hospital in Grand Forks, N.D. The 21-year-old was airlifted to a burn unit in the Twin Cities. Their conditions were not immediately known. Police say the water was nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

ND orders additional testing on cattle from Idaho

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s state veterinarian says Idaho cattle imported into the state must undergo additional testing to prevent the introduction of brucellosis. Susan Keller says the State Board of Animal Health has ordered additional testing requirements for all Idaho beef, dairy and rodeo cattle imported into North Dakota. “North Dakota livestock producers and dealers who are considering the purchase of Idaho livestock should make sure the animals meet these requirements,” she says. Keller says the board took the action during its recent quarterly meeting. “Part of the Yellowstone National Park is within the state of Idaho, and brucellosis continues to be reported in the park’s bison and elk herds,” she says. “After reviewing a summary of livestock movements inside and outside Idaho’s Designated Surveillance Area, the board determined that the potential for spread of brucellosis to neighboring domestic livestock herds continues to be of concern, and that an additional testing requirement was needed to help further protect North Dakota herds from animals moving into the state from Idaho.”

Sausages from Belgrade Meat Center recalled

BELGRADE, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is warning consumers to avoid eating smoked pork and beef pepper sticks produced by Belgrade (Minn.) Meat Center after routine sampling discovered Listeria contamination. There have been no reports of illnesses and the company has issued a voluntary recall. Belgrade Meat Center sold around 20 pounds of the pork and beef pepper sticks at its retail store in Belgrade. In addition, approximately 280 pounds of products were distributed under the Pastures A Plenty label. They include uncured smoked breakfast links distributed to Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis, and Whole Foods in Duluth. The products are also served at Bryant Lake Bowl, Café Barbette and Gigi Café in Minneapolis. They also include uncured pork wieners distributed to Seward Co-op in Minneapolis, Mississippi Markets in St. Paul and the River Market in Stillwater, Minn.


SD farm income increases in 2012

The average farm saw a 3.3 percent increase in net farm profit from 2011 to 2012, according to financial information provided by farmers enrolled in South Dakota’s Center for Farm/Ranch Business Management Program. The program is offered to farmers and ranchers throughout the entire state of South Dakota and administrated by Mitchell Technical Institute. The purpose of the program is to assist farm and ranch operators in upgrading their management skills. Average net farm profit of enrolled farmers was $228,908 in 2011 and increased to $236,437 in 2012. “Net farm profit represents dollars earned from the farm before business expansion, loan principal payments and family living expenses are paid,” says Roger DeRouchey, farm management Instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute. The average enrolled family farm spent $62,940 for living, but also earned $20,886 from nonfarm sources. “Nonfarm income helps for covering family expenses in today’s farming,” DeRouchey says. A number of factors contributed to the increase. The farming 2011 year was good in both the livestock and crop enterprises. In 2012, the livestock enterprises just broke even with the higher feed input prices, and the higher harvest time grain and feed prices helped the crop enterprises as most farmers had bought up on their crop insurance coverage levels. Good progress was made toward increasing net worth or owner’s equity. A change in equity of $218,062 was realized by the average farm, a 14 percent increase in 2012. In 2011, the change in equity was an increase of $234,570 or 16 percent. Gains can occur as a result of investing farm income into capital assets or repaying debt. Information: South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management at www.mitchelltech. edu/sdcfrm or 1-800-684-1969.


Another vote: Workers who have been locked out from American Crystal Sugar for more than a year will hold a fifth vote on the company’s last contract offer April 13, according to Gayln Olson, president of workers’ union in Hillsboro, N.D. The union last voted on the contract in December. At that point, 55 percent of the union workers voted to reject the contact. About 1,300 American Crystal Sugar workers have been locked out since August 2011 after they rejected the company’s contract.