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KHRT AGRICULTURE NEWS - 12/06/13

Farm & ag news
     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota official says state and federal veterinarians are investigating a case of tuberculosis in a young heifer from an Oliver County dairy herd. The heifer has never produced milk.
 
     State Veterinarian Susan Keller says the case was found when the owner agreed to have the herd tested after an employee tested positive.  Keller says the U.S. Veterinary Service Laboratory in Iowa confirmed the tuberculosis diagnosis in the heifer. She says even if the heifer had produced milk, routine pasteurization would have prevented any contamination of the milk supply.
 
     Tuberculosis can be transmitted from animals to humans and from humans to animals.  Keller says an investigation is now underway, and further testing will be done to determine the source of the disease and to prevent its spread.
 
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     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Snow in early October and early December is pushing the fall harvest of some row crops in the Dakotas into the winter months.  National Agricultural Statistics Service North Dakota Director Darin Jantzi says his office has received reports that farmers might be forced to leave some corn and sunflower crops in the field until the snow melts in the spring.
 
     North Dakota corn farmer Mike Clemens says he knows of some producers with corn still in the field and spring harvesting could be a reality for some of them.  South Dakota sunflower farmer Tom Young says he thinks sunflower producers will be able to get the rest of that crop in. Sunflowers are taller than corn and can be harvested all winter long if weather permits.
 
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     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - American Crystal Sugar Co. is entering its 40th year as a farmer-owned cooperative, but there was little cause for celebration at the group's annual meeting.  Company CEO Dave Berg says total grower payments are down more than $300 million dollars from last year, when shareholders enjoyed the second-highest average beet payment in history.
 
     Berg says he doesn't see an end in sight to what he calls a "price crisis" created by excessive supplies of Mexican sugar in the U.S. market. He says it's a "pretty important time" for the sugar industry and the company.  The American Crystal leader says although growers don't like losing money, most of them are long-term investors who have weathered tough times before.


     (Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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