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Published August 18, 2014, 10:03 AM

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North Dakota will benefit from a crop insurance program, a North Dakota man who neglected horses violates his probation and a Minnesota cattle grouped names a new leader.

By: Agweek Staff and Wire reports, Agweek

ND to benefit from crop insurance program

• BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says North Dakota is among the states selected to participate in a new pilot program that offers more comprehensive crop insurance. The Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program insures farm revenue, rewards diversity and gives farmers and ranchers more options and greater flexibility in planning. WFRP allows farmers to insure the value of crops and livestock on their farms, rather than insuring commodity by commodity, including coverage of specialty crops, fruits and vegetables and organic crops. “This is especially important in North Dakota because of our agricultural diversity,” Goehring says. “Our state produces more than 40 different commodities, and many farmers grow four or five crops each season.” Goehring says the program offers improved coverage and a premium discount for farmers with greater crop diversification. Farmers who direct market will be covered for the costs associated with getting their product to market, such as cleaning, trimming and packaging. “This program will be especially useful to operators of smaller and mid-sized farms and to owners of integrated livestock and grain operations,” Goehring says. Risk Management Agency will notify producers later this fall to contact their crop insurance providers for more information on WFRP coverage.

ND man who neglected horses violates probation

• BISMARCK, N.D. — The Fargo, N.D., man whose responsibility for the deaths of more than 100 horses helped inspire North Dakota legislators to strengthen state animal cruelty laws was back in court on Aug. 11 for violating his probation conditions by allegedly purchasing a horse. William Kiefer, 64, appeared at Morton County Court on a bench warrant, after Assistant State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter successfully submitted a petition to revoke Kiefer’s probation on Aug. 6. According to the petition, on July 29, Kiefer purchased a horse from a Wyoming woman for $2,000. He also failed to follow through with obtaining court-ordered mental health services, the petition says. Kiefer previously pled guilty to five counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and four counts of overworking, mistreating or abandoning animals, after Morton and Burleigh county officials found 99 dead horses and mules and seized 150 more from Kiefer’s properties in New Salem, N.D., and east of Bismarck. Several of the seized animals later died. Kiefer’s two-year probation, which began in January, included a restriction against buying livestock.

Port of Vancouver to resume grain inspections

• A tentative agreement has been reached in a long running labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Northwest Grain Cos. The agreement is expected to clear the way for federal grain inspection service to resume at the United Grain Corp. export terminal at the Port of Vancouver. In early July, police escorts removed Washington state grain inspectors who provided the federal grain inspection service required for all grain shipped for export and who had been crossing a picket line to enter the UGC facility. This action effectively shut down one of the largest grain export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and caused a negative ripple effect further down the supply chain. Patrick McCormick, the spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, declined to comment on the terms of the contract, but says, “It is a relief to be able to get the grain moving at this time of the year,” and that the companies are grateful for negotiating efforts on both sides.

Minn. cattle group names new leader

• Ashley Kohls has been named executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, effective Sept. 1. She has many years of experience in various sectors of the beef industry, including nutrition, reproduction and animal health. Most recently, she specialized in HAACP, regulatory compliance and environmental monitoring. The Iowa native graduated with a bachelor of science degree in animal science from South Dakota State University. Kohls now lives in rural Hutchinson, Minn., with her husband, Craig, and two children. She and her husband own and operate Kohls Land and Cattle, which consists of a short-term cow program, multiple yard feedlot and a diversified cropping operation. Joe Martin, who had been the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association’s executive director, resigned last fall to become communications director for Dupont Pioneer’s northern business unit. Lynn Geiss has been serving as interim executive director.

Briefly . . .

E. coli outbreak: A traveling Minnesota petting zoo has been linked to an outbreak of E. coli infections in several counties. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, cases of E. coli have been found among 13 people, seven of whom have been hospitalized. The department has linked the cases to Zerebko Zoo Tran of Bovey. The business was at four events in July: the Nashwauk Fourth of July Festival, July 3 to 5; the Polk County Fair, July 9 to 13; the Rice County Fair, July 15 to 20; and the Olmsted County Fair, July 21 to 27.

Harvest hotline: North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has re-activated the North Dakota Harvest Hotline. North Dakota Department of Agriculture employees will answer calls to the hotline weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Callers can also leave a message on evenings and weekends. The service is free of charge.

Wheat movie: A new movie that celebrates wheat harvest is coming to Bismarck, N.D. The Great American Wheat Harvest will have its North Dakota premiere at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Grand 22 Theater, 1486 Interstate Loop. The movie tells the story of custom harvesters who travel from Texas to the Canadian border. More information: www.greatamericanwheatharvest.com.

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