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Our Spirit-filled walk doesn't make us sons, the Holy Spirit does. And "sonship" is the root of freedom.

- Daniel Bush

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 Agriculture News


Some farmers in the northern Plains who are enduring the worst drought conditions in decades say a cloud-seeding program aimed at making it rain may be part of the problem....

    FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Some farmers in the northern Plains who are enduring the worst drought conditions in decades say a cloud-seeding program aimed at making it rain may be part of the problem. The longstanding controversy reached a head in North Dakota this summer when Gov. Doug Burgum asked the state Water Commission to review the program. Promoters of weather modification say they welcome the questions and believe the science will support them.

    North Dakota launched its program back in the 1950s. The state currently pays about $400,000 toward the program, or about one-third of the cost, and it operates in seven counties.

    Northern North Dakota farmer Roger Neshem is leading the push to stop cloud seeding. He says the state has been spending money on it without any evidence it works.


    FARGO, N.D. - For the week ending September 24th, significant rainfall was received over much of the state, which delayed most harvest activities, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Moisture amounts ranged from over an inch in the western part of the state, to over three inches in the east.

    Livestock producers were busy hauling hay and moving livestock to fall pastures.

    Temperatures were variable, averaging two to six degrees below normal in the western part of the state, to two to six degrees above normal in the east.

    There were 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork.

    Topsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short, 28 short, 59 adequate, and 3 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 14 percent very short, 33 short, 51 adequate, and 2 surplus.

    Field Crops Report

    Corn condition rated 5 percent very poor, 11 poor, 31 fair, 45 good, and 8 excellent. Corn dented was 88 percent, behind 94 last year and 93 for the five-year average. Mature was 30 percent, well behind 56 last year, and behind 48 average. Harvested was 1 percent, near 3 last year, and behind 6 average.

    Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 11 poor, 33 fair, 47 good, and 5 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 88 percent, near 85 last year and 87 average. Harvested was 9 percent, near 11 last year, and behind 21 average.

    Winter wheat planted was 52 percent, near 51 last year. Emerged was 12 percent, near 11 last year.

    Sunflowers condition rated 9 percent very poor, 13 poor, 39 fair, 37 good, and 2 excellent. Sunflower ray flowers dried was 95 percent, near 94 last year. Bracts turning yellow was 84 percent, near 82 last year, and ahead of 74 average. Bracts turning brown was 48 percent, near 50 last year.

    Dry edible beans condition rated 3 percent very poor, 11 poor, 25 fair, 50 good, and 11 excellent. Dry edible beans harvested was 58 percent, near 55 last year and 61 average.

    Canola harvested was 95 percent, near 93 last year and 91 average.

    Flaxseed harvested was 91 percent, equal to last year, but ahead of 79 average.

    Potato condition rated 3 percent very poor, 11 poor, 23 fair, 51 good, and 12 excellent. Potatoes vines dry was 92 percent, near 91 last year, and ahead of 85 average. Harvested was 47 percent, well ahead of 26 last year, and ahead of 35 average.

    Sugarbeet condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 6 fair, 25 good, and 67 excellent. Sugarbeets harvested was 12 percent, equal to last year, and near 13 average.

    Lentils harvested was 97 percent, near 95 last year, and ahead of 89 average.

    Pasture and Range Report

    Pasture and range conditions rated 27 percent very poor, 30 poor, 32 fair, 10 good, and 1 excellent.

    Stock water supplies rated 18 percent very short, 34 short, 47 adequate, and 1 surplus.


    BISMARCK, ND - North Dakota's state veterinarian says the state's first reported case of anthrax this year is a reminder to livestock producers to take action to protect their animals from the disease, especially in areas with a past history of the disease. The case, in Sioux County, was confirmed Thursday morning by the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory based on samples submitted by a veterinarian with the Mandan Veterinary Clinic.
    "Anthrax has been confirmed in a group of cows in a pasture in Sioux County," Dr. Susan Keller said. "Producers in past known affected areas should consult with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is current. Producers in Sioux County and surrounding areas should confer with their veterinarians to determine if initiating first-time vaccinations against anthrax is warranted for their cattle."
    Effective anthrax vaccines are readily available, but it takes about a week for immunity to be established, and it must be administered annually for continued protection. Producers should monitor their herds for unexplained deaths and report them to their veterinarians.
    Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, but it has been found in almost every part of the state.
    "With the drought conditions the state has experienced along with scattered heavy rain in some locations, the environment is right for the disease to occur," Keller said.
    A few anthrax cases are reported in North Dakota almost every year. In 2005, however, more than 500 confirmed deaths from anthrax were reported with total losses estimated at more than 1,000 head. The animals impacted included cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk.
    While no cases of anthrax were confirmed in North Dakota in 2016, two cases were identified in North Dakota in 2015 in two different counties in the state.
    An anthrax factsheet is available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at
    Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. The bacterial spores can lie dormant in the ground for decades and become active under ideal conditions, such as heavy rainfall, flooding and drought. Animals are exposed to the disease when they graze or consume forage or water contaminated with the spores.

     ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota researchers are examining how wild birds are affected by eating crop seeds treated with insecticide. Minnesota Public Radio reports Julia Ponder at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center has been testing various doses of neonicotinoid insecticide on chickens. She's found that the animals will fall asleep or have muscle spasms.
     Neonicotinoid insecticide was introduced on the market 20 years ago as a safer alternative to conventional insecticide. The insecticide is typically applied to corn or soybean seeds before planting. However, treated seeds are often spilled during the planting stage, and many animals eat those seeds. Researchers estimate that at least 15,000 large seed spills happen in the state during a spring planting season. Companies that produce the insecticide warn farmers to clean up or cover spilled seeds.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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