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 Agriculture News


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's winter wheat crop and livestock herds appear to be in good shape as the winter progresses.
     The federal Agriculture Department says in its monthly crop report that 66 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated good to excellent, and only 3 percent is rated poor or very poor.
     Cattle and calf conditions are rated 78 percent good to excellent, and sheep and lamb conditions 83 percent in those categories.
     Stockwater supplies are 98 percent adequate to surplus, and hay and forage supplies are 96 percent in those categories.


     JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) - A nonprofit organization that helps farm families in need is accepting planting applications from farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and eastern Montana.
     Farm Rescue assisted 50 farm families in 2013 and hopes to help a similar number of families as available funding and volunteer staffing allows.
     Farm Rescue was founded in 2006 by Bill Gross to assist farm families who have experienced major illness, injury or natural disaster and has helped more than 250 families since its inception.
     Gross says the group encourages friends and neighbors to anonymously refer a family that needs assistance since some families are hesitant to ask for help.
     Priority is given to applications received by April 1.

     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Meat and livestock groups upset that Congress opted in the new farm bill not to back off from mandatory country of origin labeling requirements are worried that the issue could start a trade war with Canada and Mexico.
     Previous labeling rules required only the country of origin to be noted, such as "Product of U.S." or "Product of U.S. and Canada." New rules require labels for steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat include clear information about where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.
     South Dakota Cattlemen's Association President Cory Eich says that's a lot of information that doesn't really guarantee anything.
     Congress' decision not to address the issue has drawn criticism from Canadian officials. They say the country may retaliate by imposing tariffs on American products

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

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