Ag Briefs: ND bee colonies hit all-time high

BISMARCK -- The country's No. 1 state for the bee industry has hit an all-time high for colonies. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced Thursday approximately 510,000 bee colonies were registered this in North Dakota, up by almost 30,0...

BISMARCK - The country’s No. 1 state for the bee industry has hit an all-time high for colonies.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced Thursday approximately 510,000 bee colonies were registered this in North Dakota, up by almost 30,000 from 2013. The colonies are spread across more than 12,200 locations, compared to 11,000 last year.
“Not only are the number of colonies and beekeepers up, so is compliance,” Goehring said in a news release. “In the meantime, we are getting fewer landowner complaints about bee colonies.”
Goehring credited the state Department of Agriculture apiary staff with taking action to improve compliance. Staff members made numerous phone calls to educate and keep producers in compliance.
Disease and other threats continue to be a concern for bee populations across the nation, according to the release.
North Dakota has led the nation in honey production for the past decade. In 2013, the state produced more than 33 million pounds of honey, 22 percent of the national total.

USDA announces SCO coverage for ND crops
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released more information on its Supplement Coverage Option, which is available to North Dakota counties.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced Wednesday that the Risk Management Agency’s program is available for the 2015 crop year. The SCO covers spring and durum wheat, corn and barley for all North Dakota counties. It also covers soybeans for 33 of the state’s 53 counties.
The senator advocated for the 2014 farm bill to include SCO “as an important crop insurance option designed to strengthen and expand insurance coverage options for producers,” he said in a news release. He also asked USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to implement the SCO for all counties in the state.
“We worked hard to pass a strong, long-term farm bill, and now we are committed to seeing that this bill is implemented so our producers have the tools they need to run their operations,” Hoeven said in the release.
The senator is asking the RMA to cover all North Dakota counties for all commodities by the 2016 crop year.
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Ag in the Classroom mini-grants available
BISMARCK - The North Dakota Ag in the Classroom Council is offering approximately $12,000 in mini-grants for agriculture projects, units and lessons for school-age children.
In past years, the program has supported classrooms, 4-H groups, libraries and teachers, and helps fund hands-on activities that develop and enrich understanding of agriculture as the source of food and/or fiber in our society, according to a news release.
Those interested should apply at or call Beth at 701-471-5004. The deadline for applying is Sept. 15.

ND Stockman’s to host 28th annual All Breeds Cattle Tour
JAMESTOWN - The North Dakota Stockman’s Association’s 28th annual All Breeds Cattle Tour will showcase ranches near Jamestown and its surrounding areas on Friday, Oct. 10. The tour will feature eight cattle producers representing six breeds of cattle.
The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration at the Quality Inn & Suites in Jamestown. The bus will leave the hotel at 9 a.m. Attendees who visit each stop will have an opportunity to be drawn for a $500 gift certificate to be used toward the purchase of seedstock from a participating breeder on the tour. There is no cost to attend and pre-registration is not required, but helpful to planning the event. To pre-register, contact the NDSA at 701-223-2522.

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