OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years. The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
BISMARCK, ND - The application deadline for reimbursement for organic certification costs is less than two weeks away. Applications will be accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2017 through October 31, 2017. All funds are reimbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted.
"Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 per scope of the organic certification costs paid between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017," Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring said.
Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.
Applicants must provide a 2017 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017, an itemized statement showing payment between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017, and a completed IRS W-9 Form for new applicants.
Applicants who are certified by International Certification Services or the Organic Crop Improvement Association Chapter 1 should apply for reimbursement through the certifier. These organizations certify most North Dakota organic producers. All other producers should contact Emily Edlund at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2191 or edlundnd.gov.
Goehring said the program provides North Dakota producers with $229,000 for certification reimbursement for 2017.
More information, including program guidelines and application forms, are available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at www.nd.gov/ndda/marketing-information-division/organics/organic-certification-cost-share-program.
Potential applicants that do not wish to apply through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture can request assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
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