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SOYBEANS

Red Wing Grain, which typically loads 400-600 barges in a year and handles about 25 million to 30 million bushels annually through its facility, is down 10% to 20% this fall, said Jim Larson, general manager
North Dakota’s wide-open spaces are attractive to hog producers in states such as Indiana and Iowa who are trying to improve biosecurity by spreading out barns. Soybean crush plants will soon be adding even more feed to the local supply, and manure is increasing in popularity as an alternative to commercial fertilizer.
Epitome Energy no longer has plans for a biodiesel refinery for the $300 million facility in Polk County.
Across Steele County, about 15% of the acres weren’t planted this spring, said Johnny Jorgensen, a Hunter (North Dakota) Insurance Agency who sells Rural Community Insurance Services and NAU Country federal crop insurance. Traill County, which borders Steele County on the east, has about the same percentage of unplanted acreage and Barnes County has from 35 to 40% prevented planting acres, Jorgensen estimated.
The North Dakota Soybean Processors plant at Casselton and the Green Bison plant at Spiritwood are signs of the growing demand for renewable fuel as well as feed for the livestock industry.
Anne Waltner, Parker, South Dakota, left a full-time career as a concert pianist and educator to join her parents’ farming operation. Along the way she married, had triplet daughters and survived cancer. Of her journey and life, she says: “Can you think of anybody luckier than me?”

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In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was restricting the use of a herbicide in six Minnesota counties out of concern for an endangered species, a species it chose not to make public. Before the calendar could flip to April, EPA had reversed those restrictions as well as even wider herbicide bans because of an insect called the American burying beetle. So what was behind the initial secretiveness? Why the sudden reversal?
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, S.D., are moving a bill in the Senate, designed to pressure international ocean freight companies to fill freight “containers” with agricultural products instead of sending them back to Asia empty. Rick Brandenburger, president of Richland Innovative Food Crops Inc., Inc., of Breckenridge, Minnesota, says the company is getting only one-third of their needed containers. They want “teeth” in any efforts to fix the problem.
The Environmental Protection agency says it relies on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but information from that agency and other snake experts seem to contradict what EPA says.

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