Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Travis Bell knew exactly how many pounds of feed each pen of cattle in his 1,500 head feedlot in Fordville, N.D., got on Monday, Jan. 20. That wouldn’t seem like much of a feat unless you consider that Bell was more than two hours away, in Jamestown at the Precision Ag Summit.
In recent months, I’ve started listening more to podcasts than to traditional radio as I drive. This is, in large part, because of the fact that we’ve launched the Agweek Podcast (look for it on Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music). But part of it is that it allows me to hear about eclectic topics without having to change the station as I out-drive radio signals.
A few months back, I noticed I had a few messages on Facebook Messenger from people I didn’t know. The first was quickly disposed of as a case of mistaken identity. The second, a long screed from a person with an out-of-the-ordinary name, seemed likely to be the same kind of thing. But I scanned it just long enough to catch the names of my great-grandparents, including the somewhat unusual maiden name of my great-grandmother.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture producers affected by severe weather may be eligible for another $1.5 billion in disaster funding under a bill under consideration in Congress. Other provisions in the bill could help sugar beet producers and others affected by unusual 2019 conditions. Senate Agriculture Appropriations Chair John Hoeven, R-N.D., said the bill, which provides funding on top of the more than $3 billion already available under Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, will be taken up by both the House and Senate this week and has support in both chambers.
MEDINA, N.D. — My daughters and I were listening to Christmas music as we were driving the other day, and no matter what kind of music we listened to, some version of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” seemed to get played at least once an hour. If I’m being completely honest, the reason we listened to multiple stations of Christmas music that day was because I looked to change the channel anytime I heard someone crooning about snow. If I’m being even more honest, hearing that wistfulness about snow kind of made me gag.
FARGO — China confirmed on Friday, Dec. 13, that it had reached a partial trade deal with the U.S., but many in agriculture could muster only cautious optimism as a reaction. “We’re hopeful,” said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. “That’s the biggest thing is that we’re hopeful that all of the details will be concluded and we would be able to move forward for the planning for next year.”
BISMARCK — As livestock producers throughout much of North Dakota face a shortage of feed due to difficult growing and harvesting seasons, the state has announced a $250,000 feed transportation program. Gov. Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring on Thursday, Dec. 12, announced the Emergency Feed Transportation Assistance Program to help producers who have verifiable feed losses as a result of extraordinary weather conditions.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. — Arlen Bonde has a lot of corn to combine, but he was moving at about half speed in mid-November. On Nov. 19, Bonde had combined about 3,500 out of 10,000 acres of corn. Time was of the essence. The fall had, for a time, turned mostly dry, but Bonde — and other farmers across the region — knew the conditions wouldn’t last. Even with the time crunch of knowing winter could come in earnest at any time, Bonde had one combine parked and one running in a field west of Valley City.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture officials stressed the importance of the “dignity of work” while announcing a final rule that they estimate will kick 688,000 people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. “Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream. We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said.
Farm bankruptcies continue to increase nationwide, with the largest number of such filings coming in the Midwest region, according to a report from the American Farm Bureau Federation . The report, by Farm Bureau economist John Newton, details the number of bankruptcies per state in the 12-month period ending in September 2019, how those bankruptcy numbers compare to the year prior, and an overall discussion of farm income.