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 Agriculture News


     VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp will be hosting roundtables on conservation and rural development in North Dakota with U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Robert Bonnie.  Events are scheduled for Wednesday in Valley City and Wahpeton. They will focus on the challenges North Dakota farmers face with conservation compliance and the USDA's role in the state's rural economic development.
     Bonnie is the USDA's undersecretary for natural resources and environment. He oversees the Forest Service.  Heitkamp's office says the USDA has invested nearly $12.8 billion in North Dakota during the past five years to support farmers, ranchers and growers.
     The roundtables will be at 10:15 a.m. at Valley City State University and 3:45 p.m. at North Dakota State College of Science.  U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is scheduled to participate in the second meeting.


     PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's state veterinarian is urging ranchers to ensure their animals are vaccinated after the state's first case of animal anthrax this year.  Dustin Oedekoven (OH'-dih-koh-vehn) says a herd of unvaccinated bison in Dewey County in north central South Dakota was found to be infected on July 31.  Oedekoven says the disease is not a food safety concern, but more of an occupational concern.
     Anthrax bacteria spores lie dormant in the ground and can become active under extreme weather like flooding and drought. Outbreaks can kill many animals quickly. An outbreak in North Dakota in 2005 killed more than 1,000 animals.
     North Dakota had its first case this year about a month ago, in a Barnes County beef cow. State Veterinarian Susan Keller says there have been no additional cases.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Producers and processors of organic food in North Dakota can apply for help paying their certification costs.  Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says applications are now being accepted through the National Organic Cost Share Program for fiscal 2014. Organic farmers, ranchers, handlers and processors can receive up to $750. Applications are due Oct. 31.
     Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal seal that assures consumers the products were produced using recognized organic methods.  The national program last year provided $99,000 in certification reimbursements in North Dakota.



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


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