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Published December 09, 2013, 09:44 AM

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Anderson's Redfield Sunflower plant is sold, TB is found in N.D. dairy heifer and Titan machinery cuts their forecast.

By: Agweek staff and wire reports, Agweek

Anderson’s Redfield sunflower plant sold

• FARGO, N.D. — The defunct Anderson Seed Co. Inc. sunflower processing plant at Redfield, S.D., was sold in November to Advanced Sunflower, a Huron, S.D., firm. Danny Dale, CEO of Advanced Sunflower, told the Redfield Press that he had been leasing the facility since September. Advanced Sunflower purchased the building from Binco Holdings LLC, of St. Cloud, Minn. Advanced Sunflower is a sister of Sunbird Inc., of Huron. Deliveries are being handled through Sunbird’s buying license for now, Dale says. The company is accepting human grade oil- and conoil-type sunflowers. The facility was licensed on Oct. 21. The selling price was $2.25 million, which includes 10 acres of property. The facility was built in 2010 for $3 million, company officials said at the time. “The purchase satisfied the outstanding bank loan on the property,” Dale told the Redfield Press, emphasizing that “No monies were received by the Anderson Seed Co.” Anderson Seed, based in Mentor, Minn., went insolvent in February 2012, leaving some $5 million in unpaid seed claims in North Dakota and South Dakota. Both Dale and Jarrid Graff, in purchasing and sales for Advanced Sunflower, were former employees of Anderson Seed. Dale was listed by the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association as Anderson Seed’s general manager in 2009. “We understand that there were problems with the last company,” Dale told the Redfield Press. “We’d like the opportunity to earn the trust of the community back.” Shortly after Dale left Anderson Seed to start building his own plant at Huron, Ron Anderson started building the Redfield plant. The North Dakota Public Service Commission recently voted to propose a settlement of part of the claims owed to North Dakota farmers because of a state lien law. Canada-based Legumex Walker Inc. bought some assets of the company and announced it was the source of much of the new money in the settlement — $480,500, which Legumex withheld from a $1.5 million purchase of sunflower seeds from Anderson Seed in January 2012. Nearly two years after the insolvency, Legumex Walker “contributed” an additional $102,250 to North Dakota growers. Farmers have until late December to decide whether they’ll object to the proposed deal, which comes up in court in Fargo on Jan. 6.

TB found in ND dairy heifer

• BISMARCK — State and federal veterinarians are investigating a case of tuberculosis in a young, nonlactating heifer from an Oliver County dairy herd. Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian, says the case was found when the owner agreed to have the herd tested after an employee tested positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. “U.S. Veterinary Service Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the TB diagnosis in the heifer.” Keller says. “The heifer had never produced milk, and in any case, routine pasteurization would prevent any contamination of the milk supply.” Tuberculosis is a zoonotic disease and can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals. “An epidemiologic investigation is now underway, and further testing will be done to determine the source of the disease and to prevent its spread, Keller says. “Both the herd owner and the employee are fully cooperating in the investigation.” Keller says the state veterinarians are working with U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service Veterinary Services and the North Dakota Department of Health in the investigation and testing.

Titan Machinery cuts forecast

• Farm equipment retailer Titan Machinery Inc. slashed its full-year profit forecast as a record corn harvest pulled down prices and left farmers with less money to spend on new tractors and harvesters. Titan’s shares fell as much as 11 percent to a three-year low after the company also reported a third-quarter profit that more than halved. While the effects of the lower crop prices were expected to hurt equipment sales next year, Titan felt this impact two quarters early partly because of its geographic exposure, William Blair analyst Lawrence De Maria says. Farmers in the U.S. Midwest, already pressured by low prices, made even less money than their peers in other parts of the country because of delayed rains. Farm profits from crops are expected to fall further in 2014. As a result of lower farm income, Titan has been left with higher inventory, forcing it to sell its sprayers, combines and hay and forage equipment at a lower price. Titan’s gross margin fell to 15.9 percent in the third quarter from 16.2 percent a year earlier. Margins would remain under pressure for the next two quarters as Titan looks to reduce inventory next year, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Peter Prattas says. Deere & Co, the world’s largest farm equipment maker, said last month it expects sales of agriculture and turf equipment to fall about 6 percent next year. Titan cut its full-year profit forecast to 55 to 75 cents per share from $1.20 to $1.50. It expects revenue of $2.15 billion to $2.35 billion, down from its previous forecast of $2.25 billion to $2.45 billion. Sales from its equipment business fell 3 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, accounting for three-quarters of total revenue. Net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $5.7 million, or 27 cents per share, from $13.9 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1 percent to $588 million. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $613.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Farm Rescue wraps up record-breaking year

• JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization that provides planting and harvesting assistance free of charge to farm families who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster, has finished harvesting for 2013. Fifty farm families were helped this year, and the reasons ranged from paralysis, broken bones, cancer and natural disasters. “Every year, we try to help the maximum number of farm families experiencing unexpected crises, and this year, we were able to help 50 farm families,” says Bill Gross, founder and president. “We are thankful for our volunteers, sponsors, and all who support Farm Rescue in making a positive impact for present and future generations of farm families and rural communities.” Visit farmrescue.org to view video testimonials and recent news articles and see where Farm Rescue has helped farmers.

Briefly . . .

Car accident: The South Dakota Highway Patrol says a 33-year-old Parkston, S.D., woman died after the car she was driving struck a bull on a state highway 16 miles east of Parkston. Sherry Kay Baker was driving west on South Dakota Highway 44 just after 11 p.m. Dec. 1. A bull struck the hood and windshield of Baker’s car, and she was killed from the impact. The Highway Patrol says she was not wearing a seat belt. The crash remains under investigation.

Ethanol plant: Shareholders have approved the sale of Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op in Little Falls. About 650 shareholders voted to sell the facility to Green Biologics Inc. It plans to convert the plant to butanol production. The purchase is expected to be completed late in 2014. Green Biologics specializes in renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. The sale is the end of an era for CMEC, which was established in 1995. The Little Falls plant was one of the first of its kind in Minnesota. It bought 7.5 million bushels of corn annually and produced 21 million gallons of ethanol per year.

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