Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Content Manager
BISMARCK, N.D. — The north door on Bismarck Livestock Auction opened a little after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, signaling the start of the first feeder calf sale at North Dakota's newest sale barn.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A feed transportation program started by the state of North Dakota in response to livestock producers' difficulty in making and hauling feed has not had many applicants yet. Gov. Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Thursday, Dec. 12, announced the Emergency Feed Transportation Assistance Program to help producers who have verifiable feed losses as a result of extraordinary weather conditions. Goehring on Tuesday, Jan. 7, said only a half-dozen livestock producers had applied to the program, which has an application deadline of Jan. 31.
In recent months, I've started listening more to podcasts than to traditional radio as I drive. This is, in large part, because of the fact that we've launched the Agweek Podcast (look for it on Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music). But part of it is that it allows me to hear about eclectic topics without having to change the station as I out-drive radio signals.
A few months back, I noticed I had a few messages on Facebook Messenger from people I didn't know. The first was quickly disposed of as a case of mistaken identity. The second, a long screed from a person with an out-of-the-ordinary name, seemed likely to be the same kind of thing. But I scanned it just long enough to catch the names of my great-grandparents, including the somewhat unusual maiden name of my great-grandmother.
WASHINGTON — Congress on Thursday, Dec. 19, passed an agriculture appropriations bill that includes another $1.5 billion in disaster assistance for agriculture producers impacted by severe weather. The bill also includes disaster payments for sugar beet growers and expanded program eligibility to cover quality losses for some crops, as well as funding for various U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.
Tough growing and harvest seasons have left many Northern Plains livestock producers with a bleak outlook for stored feed for winter. In North Dakota, Extension agents in November completed a survey evaluating forage availability for the winter. Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist, says that while the impacts on crop producers have been well documented, livestock producers have seen similarly devastating impacts with fewer resources available to help.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture producers affected by severe weather may be eligible for another $1.5 billion in disaster funding under a bill under consideration in Congress. Other provisions in the bill could help sugar beet producers and others affected by unusual 2019 conditions. Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chair John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the bill, which provides funding on top of the more than $3 billion already available under Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, will be taken up by both the House and Senate this week and has support in both chambers.
My daughters and I were listening to Christmas music as we were driving the other day, and no matter what kind of music we listened to, some version of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" seemed to get played at least once an hour. If I'm being completely honest, the reason we listened to multiple stations of Christmas music that day was because I looked to change the channel anytime I heard someone crooning about snow. If I'm being even more honest, hearing that wistfulness about snow kind of made me gag.
Editor's note: This is the first part in a series about rural food access. Next week's piece will look at how lack of local food access affects health. STEELE, N.D. — Melissa Johnson pores over bills and invoices in her closet-like office at the back of the SuperValu. One of her employees peaks in. A customer is looking for some pork casings, and Johnson replies that they should be in within the week.
FARGO, N.D. — China confirmed on Friday, Dec. 13, that it had reached a partial trade deal with the U.S., but many in agriculture could muster only cautious optimism as a reaction. "We're hopeful," said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. "That's the biggest thing is that we're hopeful that all of the details will be concluded and we would be able to move forward for the planning for next year."