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Hundreds of Upper Midwest farmers are reporting damage from the controversial herbicide dicamba....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Hundreds of Upper Midwest farmers are reporting damage from the controversial herbicide dicamba. The agriculture departments in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota this fall all asked farmers to respond to surveys so they could gauge the amount of damage in their states. More than 200 farmers in each state indicated damage. State officials are considering restrictions for the 2018 growing season that might surpass even new federal rules.
    The North Dakota Agriculture Department says nearly all of the 215 farmers who responded to a survey on the herbicide dicamba reported damage from newly registered formulations of the chemical. But Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says 184 of the 207 responses reporting damage did not have plant tissue analysis to back up the claim.
     Dicamba has been around for decades, but complaints surfaced across the country this summer over drifting of newly registered formulations onto neighboring crops.
     The federal government on Friday released new label language classifying the new formulations as restricted-use products. That means additional requirements for applicators and limitations on when and how the herbicide can be sprayed. Goehring says his agency is drafting North Dakota-specific restrictions to mitigate potential damage next year.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Gackle rancher Warren Zenker will lead North Dakota's largest rancher organization for another year. Zenker was re-elected president of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association at the group's recent 88th annual convention and trade show in Fargo. Zenker has been a Stockmen's member for 24 years. He and his family farm, ranch and run a feedlot.
     McVille rancher Dan Rorvig was re-elected vice president.
     The Stockmen's Association represents more than 3,000 cattle-ranching families. Officers serve up to two one-year terms.


     WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican senator says he may seek to block President Donald Trump's nominees for key posts at the Environmental Protection Agency unless the administration backs off a proposed reduction in the volume of biofuels blended into gasoline and diesel.
     Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a phone call with Iowa reporters Tuesday he plans to speak with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about the Renewable Fuel Standard. Pruitt has proposed targets for 2017 and 2018 set slightly below current levels following a push by oil companies to ease mandates for using ethanol from corn and soybeans.
     Grassley said EPA's proposed rollback would result in job losses in his home state. Pruitt's position is in contrast to the staunch support for the biofuel industry Trump pledged as a presidential candidate last year.


     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A wet autumn has some Minnesota farmers working against the clock as they deal with a delayed harvest amid approaching winter weather. The Minnesota Public Radio reports that harvesting soybeans and other crops in a soggy field can compact the soil, which may stunt the growth of crops in the next growing season.
     Farmers say they're concerned that pushing the harvest too late can run the chance of snow. And even if crops get harvested before winter, farmers say there's a chance soybeans and corn will be wet, causing mold and fungus to grow.
     A climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the weather trend is toward heavier rains. He says climatologists are researching whether October's rains are part of a changing pattern.

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's corn and soybean harvests are starting to pick up after delays due to wet field conditions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday in its weekly crop progress and condition report for Minnesota that farmers took advantage of 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork last week, though muddy fields remain a challenge in some areas.
     The report says only 7 percent of the state's corn-for-grain crop has been harvested, which is 22 days behind the average pace. The state's soybean crop is only 45 percent harvested, compared with a five-year average of 82 percent. Still, those numbers represent progress from a week earlier. Sugarbeets were 74 percent lifted, just 3 points behind average.
     Fortunately for farmers, the forecast calls for sunny, relatively warm days through Friday across much of Minnesota.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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