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 Agriculture News


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Agriculture Department has announced new supplemental coverage for North Dakota crops through the federal crop insurance program.  U.S. Sen. John Hoeven said Wednesday the department's Supplemental Coverage Option will include corn and barley for all North Dakota counties in the 2015 crop year. It covers soybeans for 33 of the state's counties.  The Republican senator had previously announced coverage would be available for spring and durum wheat in all counties.
     The Supplemental Coverage Option was included in the 2014 farm bill to let farmers purchase an extra insurance policy beyond their individual farm-based policy.  Hoeven says he's looking forward to other counties being included in the future.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota and a port in the state of Washington have signed an agreement that will increase the shipments of ag commodities from North Dakota to the West Coast.
     Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the agreement signed Wednesday with Port of Vancouver USA located in Vancouver, Washington, will provide a major opportunity to commodity handlers, particularly small and mid-sized companies, to access rail facilities on the same basis as larger companies.
     Goehring says boxcars that carry supplies to North Dakota's oil industry currently return to the port empty. Under the agreement, the boxcars will head back west filled with wheat, corn, soybeans and other crops.
     The boxcars would then be offloaded and put into ships that can transport the North Dakota commodities to Asia and Latin America.  The first rail cars with agricultural products will roll into Vancouver in September.


     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton is urging the federal government to step in on railroad delays hitting Minnesota grain farmers.  A growing backlog of railroad shipments cost corn, wheat and soybean farmers $109 million in lower prices this spring, according to a University of Minnesota study. With harvest approaching, Dayton on Wednesday asked the Surface Transportation Board, a major federal railroad regulator, to press freight railroads to address the issue.  
     Dayton says recent plans to tackle delays released by BNSF Railway, Minnesota's largest freight carrier, don't have enough information to soothe the state's concerns.  Farmers and some politicians have blamed railroad companies for prioritizing oil shipments from North Dakota over agricultural products, while railroads say the brutally long winter has caused issues.


    ST. LOUIS - Farmers now have the opportunity to contribute $3.3 million to organizations throughout rural America.  To honor and support the tradition of service organizations in rural America, the America's Farmers Grow Communities program is partnering with farmers to direct $2,500 donations to individual nonprofit organizations. The program, which kicked off its fifth year on August 1, benefits 1,324 counties across 40 states.

    Organizations that received funding in the past include fire departments, food pantries, community groups, and youth service programs like FFA and 4-H. In the smaller, rural communities where this program operates, a donation like this can make the difference in dozens of lives. The results include better-equipped volunteer fire departments, food pantries stocked with more fresh produce, improved meeting halls and fair grounds, and opportunities for youth leadership development.

    Since its inception in 2010, Grow Communities has invested more than $16 million in 6,000 nonprofit organizations across rural America. In the Dakotas alone, Grow Communities has provided $1,060,000 to nonprofit organizations over the past five years.

    America's Farmers Grow Communities is part of the America's Farmers initiative.  These programs, supported by the Monsanto Fund, have awarded over $22 million to rural communities since 2010. Connect with America's Farmers on Facebook or AmericasFarmers on Twitter. Join the #GrowCommunities conversation today.

    To enroll or learn more, visit, or call toll-free 1-877-267-3332.



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


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