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DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — Taylor Aasmundstad is just starting his agricultural career and wants to jump into animal agriculture, but some neighbors are opposed to the location near Devils Lake, a major fisheries and recreational resource. "We decided if we're going to make it in agriculture, we're going to have animals on our farm," says Taylor, 23, who raises crops with his father, Eric Aasmundstad, west of Devils Lake. Eric is a former president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau and is president of Nodak Insurance Co.
FARGO — They're far from the drought, but North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory chemists on the Fargo campus are in the middle of the action, running tests for ranchers who want to know their animals are getting safe feed and water. Brett Webb, director of the lab, say tests are about six-fold from non-drought years. Excessive nitrates in feed or water can lead to cattle losses or abortions. Typically the lab does 20 to 30 of the tests in non-drought years. So far this year, they have done about 300 for water and about the same for forages.
SPIRITWOOD, N.D. — The North Dakota Soybean Processors LLC is continuing sets of investor information meetings to attract $60 million in equity for a $287 million project near Spiritwood but is planning more through August, and perhaps beyond, officials say. The company has found "sincere, enthusiastic" response, especially when promoted by a local champion, says interim board chairman Bruce A. Hill, of Worthington, Minn. The self-imposed deadline for raising the equity is Aug. 31. Starting Sept. 1, the share prices will go up, with the same goal.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Harvest crews are in northeast North Dakota this weekend to take emergency Conservation Reserve Program hay, though some haying on CRP lands won’t happen until the first week of August.
MADISON, S.D. — Dan Bruns says the crops are looking pretty good in his corner of southeast South Dakota. Dan, 66, and an older brother established Bruns Angus Farms at Madison with registered cattle in 1972. "My dad ran a commercial Angus operation in the early 1960s," he says. "My oldest brother and I started with a registered operation, buying a few heifers for 4-H."
FT. PIERRE, S.D. — Central South Dakota has had a bit of a rain revival, but many areas have back-slid into drought. Brothers Pete and Rick Severson farm and ranch in conjunction south of Onida, S.D. After an excruciatingly dry May, they got 1.2 inches on June 11, another .3 inches on June 15, then smatterings after that. They're still about 3.6 inches below average rainfall for the growing season.
FARGO — North Dakota State University served up a heaping helping of nutritional and food safety information along with flavor enhancing tips at the season's first BBQ Bootcamp event. The Fargo event on May 23 was the first in this city for a few years. It was a sell-out with 180 registrations, said Eric Berg, an NDSU meat science professor and co-director for the event at the NDSU Beef Cattle Research Complex.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — American Crystal Sugar Co. officials say eight days of talks with their union leave the parties "far apart," but that a "best and final" offer has been sent to union leaders. The farmer-owned cooperative with five factories in the Red River Valley is negotiating with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union over a multi-year contract that ends July 31, 2017. The contract covers about 1,200 workers. A failed negotiation ended in a union lockout in 2011 that lasted two years.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A federal judge in Iowa has refused to allow a biofuels promoter out of jail before his trial on fraud charges, saying he is a risk to obstruct justice. In 2016, Darrell Duane Smith was sentenced to 13 months in jail for failing to a pay employment taxes for biofuels businesses he led. Initially, he was scheduled to leave jail April 28, but federal authorities retained him to face new, more extensive fraud charges.
WOODSTOCK, Minn. — Excuse him, but Clint Magnus can only take a minute or two from his fertilizer spreading duties. The cold, damp conditions this spring have everyone hopping to get everything done. For the past three years, Magnus has operated a TerraGator fertilizer applicator for Schmitz Grain out of Slayton, Lake Wilson and Curry, Minn. During the rest of the year, he's hauling grain for the elevator. On the side, he farms with his parents, Doug and Brenda, near Slayton.