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 Agriculture News


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Stockmen's Association will lobby the 2015 Legislature to double the $1-per-head checkoff ranchers pay when they sell cattle.
     The national beef checkoff hasn't changed for three decades, prompting seven states to increase the checkoff on the state level. Chairmen of the House and Senate agriculture committees say that for North Dakota to become the eighth, the Stockmen's will need to justify an increase.
     Stockmen's Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson says the buying power of the dollar checkoff has diminished, and the beef industry needs to stay competitive.
     Under the Stockmen's proposal, half of the $2 checkoff would go to a national board and the other half would stay with the state Beef Commission. Ranchers would have the option of asking for the second dollar to be refunded.


     GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A Grand Forks weather expert predicts that a chilly start to winter is a harbinger of things to come.  University of North Dakota atmospheric sciences professor Leon Osborne says if it's bitter cold to start the winter, generally that's the way it stays through the rest of the season, but Osborne also says the 2014 growing season should get off to a good start.
     Agweek reports Osborne predicts that April might be cool, but temperatures will rise in May and June. He says precipitation for the three months looks to be about normal.

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

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