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 Agriculture News


    FARGO, ND - Cool, wet weather continued across the state last week which delayed fieldwork even further, according to the USDA's Weekly Crop & Weather Report. Statewide, only 1.6 days were suitable for fieldwork. Average temperatures were 4 to 8 degrees below normal over much of the state with soil temperatures ranging from 38 to 45 degrees.

    Topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 1 short, 66 adequate, and 33 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 1 short, 78 adequate, and 21 surplus.

    Winter wheat condition declined slightly with 2 percent rated very poor, 18 poor, 38 fair, 40 good, and 2 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 8 percent compared to last week at only one.

    Durum wheat planted rated 1 percent, behind last year at 10 and well behind 23 for the five-year average.

    Spring wheat planted was 11 percent, behind 23 last year and 39 average. Emerged was 1 percent, equal to last year but behind 19 average.

    Barley planted rated 6 percent, compared to last year at 10 and behind 33 average. Emerged was 1 percent, ahead of 0 last year but behind 14 average.

    Oats planted at 16 percent was behind 27 last year and 37 average. Emerged was 2 percent, near 1 last year but behind 15 average.

    Canola planted was 2 percent, behind last year at 10 and well behind 26 average.

    Flaxseed planted was 1 percent, near last year at 3 but behind 13 average.

    Dry edible peas planted were 6 percent complete, ahead of last year at 0 but well behind 36 average.

    Potatoes planted were 2 percent, near 0 last year but well behind 27 average.

    Sugarbeets planted reached 8 percent, well behind last year at 36 and 57 average.

    Corn planted was 3 percent, behind last year at 16 and 33 average.

    Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 7 poor, 30 fair, 56 good, and 4 excellent.  Stock water supplies rated 0 percent very short, 1 short, 80 adequate, and 19 surplus.

    Livestock producers were busy moving their herds from winter feeding areas to pasture for grazing. Cattle and calf conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 13 fair, 70 good, and 13 excellent. Calving was 87 percent complete. Cattle and calf death losses rated 24 percent below normal, 74 normal, and 2 above normal.

    Sheep and lamb conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 16 fair, 69 good, and 10 excellent. Lambing was 90 percent complete and shearing 89 percent. Sheep and lamb death losses rated 20 percent below normal, 78 normal, and 2 above normal.


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A relief fund for western South Dakota ranchers who lost tens of thousands of cattle in an early October blizzard is set to disburse the last of $5.4 million in donations.
     South Dakota Stockgrowers Association President Bob Fortune says the outpouring of support to the Ranchers Relief Fund for those impacted by the storm far exceeded the association's expectations. Fortune says the fund is able to distribute meaningful contributions to more than 600 ranch families who suffered losses.
     South Dakota Cattlemen's Association President Cory Eich says nearly 43,000 head of livestock were reported lost by fund applicants.  The fund's steering committee has established a goal of closing the fund by June 1.  Donations are still being accepted until that date.


     HARVEY, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota meatpacking plant that began as a facility to process beef according to Islamic law is going on the auction block.  Maas Companies of Rochester, Minnesota, is auctioning the 18,000-square-foot facility in Harvey on June 4.
     The $2.7 million plant began operations in 2001 as Dakota Halal Processing but went bankrupt in part because of a drop in sales after the 2001 terrorist attacks.  A cooperative of ranchers and farmers took over operations in 2003 but also failed. Two Burleigh County ranchers later took over the plant to supply their Bismarck beef store, but that venture also didn't work out.

   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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