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Published September 16, 2013, 09:47 AM

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A couple died, Sept 8 from injuries after crashing their vehicle into a parked implement, 89 people are sick possibly from spoiled yogurt and Kemps announced its Duluth plant will shift production to Minneapolis.

2 die in crash with farm implement

• OLIVIA, Minn. — An Olivia, Minn., couple has died as a result of injuries sustained Sept. 8 when their vehicle struck an unoccupied farm implement along U.S. Highway 71 south of Olivia. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the front seat passenger of the 2005 Buick, Carla R. Kopel, 74, died at the scene. The driver, Thomas J. Kopel, 76, was flown by air ambulance to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn., before he died of his injuries. According to the Patrol, the farm implement was stopped along the northbound shoulder and extended about 2 feet onto the lane of traffic. The car was northbound and struck the implement, which was not specified by the report, from behind. The crash was reported around 8:40 p.m. Sept. 8. One of the rear seat passengers, Allie Cook Jr., 54, of Cottage Grove, Minn., was taken to the Olivia Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Another passenger seated in the rear seat, Theresa Cook, 53, of Cottage Grove, Minn., was not injured.

FDA receives 89 reports of illness from yogurt

• TWIN FALLS, Idaho — At least 89 people have reported getting sick after eating Chobani Greek yogurt manufactured in Twin Falls, Idaho, the Food and Drug Administration reports. No link has been confirmed between the illnesses and the yogurt. But Ward says the FDA is working with Chobani to hasten its voluntary recall. Chobani recently told grocery stores to destroy 35 varieties of yogurt reported to have been contaminated by a mold associated with dairy products. Chobani spokeswoman Amy Juaristi says 95 percent of the tainted product had been destroyed. The affected yogurt cups have the code 16-012 and expiration dates between Sept. 11 and Oct. 7. Health officials say the yogurt is not a public health threat, but the company says the “mold can act as an opportunistic pathogen for those with compromised immune systems.” Juaristi says the company had identified the source of the issue at the Twin Falls plant and had taken steps to prevent it from happening again.

Kemps ending milk processing at Duluth, Minn., plant

• Dairy giant Kemps told workers on Sept. 9 at its Duluth, Minn., milk processing facility that production was being shifted to a Minneapolis facility, meaning 35 workers will be out of a job at Franklin Foods on Oct. 4. Franklin will still sell and distribute the Arrowhead brand of milk, meaning about 25 employees will stay on. Kemps will keep buying milk from the Northland but it will be sent to Minneapolis for processing. Kemps spokeswoman Rachel Kyllo says the change will be “100 percent transparent” for those who currently order milk through Franklin, such as schools and colleges. When asked if the milk being sent back to the Northland would be from area cows, she said there was no way to segregate milk at the Minneapolis facility. Farmers in the region shouldn’t see a drop in demand from the company, Kyllo says. Kemps will now have two processing plants in Minnesota — Minneapolis and Rochester — along with those in Fargo, N.D., and Milwaukee.

Potato breeders discuss lines at ND spud meet

• FARGO, N.D. — A potato breeding tour and social will be held Sept. 26 at North Dakota State University’s Research Extension Center. Asunta Thompson, NDSU’s potato breeder, and Christian Thill, the University of Minnesota potato breeder, will make presentations and focus on promising new multi-purpose potato varieties for specialty fry processing, roasted, table stock chips, culinary qualities and storability, among other things. Thompson says she’ll be discussing 24 line selections that are in plots. Those lines will be brought back to NDSU in Fargo for yield data, storability information and french fry quality. She says she has a promising russet with yellow flesh in the trial that needs another year or two of evaluation. Jerry Bergman, WREC director, says the niche market opportunities for the MonDak Gold red-skinned, yellow-fleshed potato variety that outperforms traditional existing yellow flesh varieties and improves quality attributes over Russet Burbank varieties will be addressed by Chuck Stadick, a nationally known potato consultant. Bergman says the MonDak region is the “last best place for new quality irrigated potato production and processing in the USA, with plenty of virgin ground, excellent water supplies and low shipping costs to the eastern market.” The event includes a social, dinner and program at 5:30 p.m., at the Ernie French Center, 4.5 miles west of Williston on U.S. Highway 2. Make dinner reservations by 4 p.m. Sept. 23, by calling 701-774-4315, or emailing Kelly.stehr@ndsu.edu.

Briefly . . .

• Minnesota grants: The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is urging livestock farmers to apply now to take advantage of $1 million available for Livestock Investment Grants. The program helps eligible producers offset the costs of on-farm improvements. Qualifying upgrades include the purchase, construction, or improvement of facilities for livestock production, and purchases of fencing, as well as feeding and waste management equipment. Producers who suffered losses from natural disasters or unintended consequences may also apply. The deadline to apply is Sept. 23. More information: www.mda.state.mn.us/ livestockinvestmentgrant.

• Emergency haying: Aaron Krauter, Executive Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s North Dakota Farm Service Agency, has announced that emergency haying of Conservation Reserve Program acreage is authorized in seven North Dakota counties in response to severe drought conditions. CRP participants in Barnes, Griggs, Kidder, Lamoure, Logan, Stutsman and Wells counties may cut hay on eligible CRP practices after submitting a signed request to their local FSA office. Hay must be cut before Sept. 24 and at least 50 percent of the field or contiguous fields must be left uncut. Hay may be sold as long as no hay was sold from the same land anytime during the previous two years. Interested producers should contact their local FSA office for additional information.

• Correction: The subject of the Sept. 9 Agweek article “Propane biofuel,” is a bi-fuel truck, not biofuel as the article suggests. The vehicle runs on propane or gasoline.

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