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 Agriculture News


     SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The sunflower crop is progressing in the Dakotas.  The National Sunflower Association says South Dakota's blooms are above average, while North Dakota's are a little behind average.  The group says 18 percent of South Dakota's crop is blooming. That's ahead of last year's 10 percent average and a five-year average of 14 percent.
     Meanwhile, only 1 percent of North Dakota's crop is blooming. The average for the state last year is 5 percent, while the five-year average is 10 percent. Still, the association says, crop conditions there are rated 79 percent good to excellent.
     Sunflowers are used to make cooking oil, snacks and bird seed. North Dakota produces about half of the nation's crop, and South Dakota's production is not far behind.


     FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Lawyers for the corn syrup industry say American Crystal Sugar CEO David Berg would be a good witness in a lawsuit filed by sugar groups because he's not involved in litigation.
     Berg is contesting a subpoena to testify in the long-running suit filed by sugar producers over claims by corn syrup marketers that sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are nutritionally the same.
     Berg's lawyer, David Bunde, said during a hearing Wednesday that American Crystal opted out of the suit because Berg preferred the issue be debated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
     Bunde said Berg has no relevant information in the case and other officials are better suited to testify.  Corn syrup lawyer Cornelius Murphy says Berg is a bystander and therefore has less bias than other sugar executives.


     VALLEY CITY, N.D. (AP) - A rural Kathryn woman charged with the deaths of eight horses had a seizure in court and was taken to a hospital.  KOVC Radio reports that Ginger Helland appeared in court on Tuesday. She is awaiting trial on charges of animal neglect, animal abuse and improper disposal of animal carcass.
     Judge Jay Schmitz called for emergency workers to assist the woman, who began shaking uncontrollably with a seizure.  Barnes County State's Attorney Carl Martinek says the trial for Helland will be reset and witnesses will be recalled later.

     NAPOLEON, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota farmer has died in a grain bin accident.  A Logan County sheriff tells KXMB-TV that Marvin Grenz of Napoleon died Saturday after being buried in grain for nearly 40 minutes.  He was found by family members who called police. Emergency responders say they retrieved his body after eight minutes.  The sheriff says everyone will miss the Grenz's smile.  It's the second grain bin death the town has seen in less than a year.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced a third round of land enhancement grants in North Dakota.  The grants are aimed at helping landowners enhance their property and restore habitat damaged by overland flooding, erosion, and weed infestations.  People can sign up for the Land Enhancement and Habitat Renewal Program Aug. 1-29.
     Goehring says the program will provide up to 50 percent reimbursement of most costs associated with reclamation, landscaping, soil conditioning, re-vegetation and weed control. Proposed projects must involve land that has at least 10 percent woody vegetation or is adjacent to wooded vegetation.
     The state Agriculture Department since last year has awarded 14 grants totaling $55,000. Goehring says another $30,000 is available.


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


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