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 Agriculture News


Farm & ag news
     WASHINGTON (AP) - For North Dakota, ongoing farm bill negotiations are about protecting what has been in place for years, not adding something new.  In past negotiations, some of the state's priorities have been among the more contentious elements. That's not the case this year, as Congress seeks to enact its first farm bill since a 2008 deal that expired in September 2012 and was then extended until the end of September.
     Crop insurance remains among the most important elements for North Dakota and its agriculture industry. Both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill contain enhanced crop insurance.  Republican Sen. John Hoeven, who is on the team negotiating a compromise between House and Senate versions of the farm bill, says constituents tell him crop insurance is their top priority.


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Twenty projects in the Dakotas are getting money through a federal Agriculture Department program aimed at helping farmers, ranchers and small rural businesses boost energy efficiency.
     The goal of the Rural Energy for America Program is to help producers and businesses reduce energy consumption and use renewable energy technology. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says 424 projects across the nation are sharing in more than $14 million in grants and loan guarantees.
     Most funding amounts in the Dakotas range from about $12,000 to near $50,000. Projects range from new grain dryers and wind turbines on farms to new coolers in grocery stores.


     CASSELTON, N.D. (AP) - An ethanol plant worker in Casselton fell from a 150-foot grain bin but is expected to live.  The Cass County Sheriff's Office says it happened early Friday afternoon at Tharaldson Ethanol.  The man was rescued from inside the grain bin and taken to a hospital by helicopter.  His name was not released.


     HOPE, N.D. (AP) - About half the residents of a small eastern North Dakota town are being credited with helping in the rescue a neighbor who got trapped beneath an overturned tractor.  The Forum reports that LeRoy Richards of Hope was hauling a load of weeds to a garbage pit on Nov. 9 when his tractor flipped.
     A helicopter ambulance was called to the scene, where about 100 people parked their vehicles in a ring around the garbage pit so their lights would illuminate rescue effort.  Rescuers freed Richards from under the tractor using a hydraulic jack and airbags. Richards' wife, Cindy, says her husband was conscious throughout the rescue.  He suffered injuries to his arm, liver, leg and an ear.  Cindy Richards says her husband is at a Fargo hospital recovering.

     DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Families in cities nationwide have discovered the joys of backyard chickens, and hundreds of cities have approved ordinances allowing the animals, but the trend also has created a growing problem - abandoned chickens.
     Hens lay eggs reliably only for a few years but can live a decade or more. Many families are hesitant to kill a chicken that has grown up in their yard, so they instead turn them loose or take them to a shelter.  As a result, more old hens are showing up at animal rescue organizations. The problem worsens when the weather turns cold.
     Chicken Run Rescue in Minneapolis, for example, saw the number of calls for help climb from six in 2001 to nearly 500 last year.

     (Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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