BISMARCK, N.D. - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has activated the North Dakota Harvest Hotline.
"Farmers who need custom combining and combiners looking for a job should call us at 701-425-8454," Goehring said. "Your name and information will be entered into the Harvest Hotline database to be matched up with other callers."
Goehring said North Dakota Department of Agriculture employees will answer calls to the hotline weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Callers can also leave a message on evenings and weekends. The service is free of charge.
A self-service Harvest Hotline map is also available again this year. The map can be found by clicking here. Users may click on the black icons to retrieve information about harvesters available in their area.
"Both farmers and combiners are already utilizing the service," Goehring said.
First implemented in 1992, when adverse weather conditions caused a heavy demand for custom combining, the Harvest Hotline has been offered annually as a free service for farmers and combiners.
BISMARCK, N.D. - Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2018.
"Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 of the organic certification costs paid between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018," Goehring said.
Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.
Applicants must provide a 2018 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018, an itemized statement showing payment between October 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018, and a completed IRS W-9 Form for new applicants. Applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2018 but are reimbursed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted.
Applicants who are certified by International Certification Services or the Organic Crop Improvement Association Chapter 1 should apply for reimbursement through the certifier. These organizations certify most North Dakota organic producers. All other producers should contact Deanna Gierszewski at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2191 or degierszewskind.gov.
Goehring said the program provides North Dakota producers with $125,000 for certification reimbursement for 2018.
More information, including program guidelines and application forms, are available on the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/marketing-information-division/organics/organic-certification-cost-share-program.
Potential applicants that do not wish to apply through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture can request assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota's state Mill and Elevator had $14.2 million in profits during its last budget year, and the third-highest in the history of the state-owned facility in Grand Forks.
President and CEO Vance Taylor on Friday reported the mill's profits for the budget year, which ended in June. The profits were up from $9.7 million last year. The record $16.7 million came in 2015. Taylor says better-quality spring wheat and durum, along with a 6.7 percent increase in shipments led to the profits.
The mill began operating in 1922 and is the largest wheat-grinding factory in the U.S. The mill buys most of its wheat from North Dakota farmers. Most of the mill's profits go into North Dakota's general fund, which finances a variety of state programs.
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
FARGO, N.D. - For the week ending July 29th, there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 20 short, 73 adequate, and 5 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 21 short, 73 adequate, and 4 surplus.
Field Crops Report
Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 15 fair, 70 good, and 12 excellent. Soybeans blooming was 95 percent, ahead of 77 last year and 83 for the five-year average. Setting pods was 68 percent, well ahead of 45 last year and 46 average.
Spring wheat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 11 fair, 75 good, and 12 excellent. Spring wheat coloring was 76 percent, near 75 last year, and ahead of 60 average. Mature was 21 percent. Harvested was 1 percent, near 4 last year, and equal to average.
Durum wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 1 poor, 19 fair, 72 good, and 7 excellent. Durum wheat coloring was 60 percent, equal to last year, and ahead of 43 average. Mature was 5 percent.
Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 3 poor, 26 fair, 61 good, and 8 excellent. Winter wheat coloring was 95 percent, near 96 last year. Mature was 62 percent, behind 75 last year. Harvested was 11 percent, behind 29 last year.
Corn condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 9 fair, 67 good, and 23 excellent. Corn silking was 86 percent, well ahead of 58 last year and 57 average. Dough was 11 percent, ahead of 3 last year and 1 average.
Canola condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 17 fair, 73 good, and 6 excellent. Canola coloring was 61 percent, ahead of 48 last year, and well ahead of 41 average.
Sugarbeet condition rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 8 fair, 14 good, and 78 excellent.
Oats condition rated 2 percent very poor, 1 poor, 10 fair, 78 good, and 9 excellent. Oats coloring was 74 percent, behind 83 last year, but ahead of 66 average. Mature was 28 percent, well behind 51 last year. Harvested was 5 percent, near 8 both last year and average.
Barley condition rated 1 percent very poor, 1 poor, 11 fair, 81 good, and 6 excellent. Barley coloring was 84 percent, near 86 last year, but ahead of 69 average. Mature was 40 percent, behind 51 last year. Harvested was 1 percent, behind 8 last year, and near 4 average.
Dry edible peas condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 14 fair, 77 good, and 6 excellent. Dry edible peas dropping leaves was 59 percent, behind 73 last year. Harvested was 10 percent, behind 23 last year.
Sunflower condition rated 1 percent very poor, 1 poor, 9 fair, 85 good, and 4 excellent. Sunflowers blooming was 54 percent, well ahead of 31 last year and 26 average.
Flaxseed condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 15 fair, 75 good, and 9 excellent. Flaxseed blooming was 94 percent, equal to last year. Turning color was 31 percent, behind 36 last year, but ahead of 26 average.
Potato condition rated 1 percent very poor, 0 poor, 8 fair, 80 good, and 11 excellent. Potatoes blooming was 96 percent, near 92 last year. Rows closed was 77 percent, near 73 last year, and ahead of 60 average.
Dry edible bean condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 18 fair, 70 good, and 11 excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 93 percent, near 89 last year, and ahead of 78 average. Setting pods was 59 percent.
Alfalfa condition rated 0 percent very poor, 3 poor, 27 fair, 60 good, and 10 excellent. Alfalfa second cutting was 37 percent, behind 48 last year, but near 36 average.
Pasture and Range Report
Pasture and range conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 6 poor, 24 fair, 63 good, and 6 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 2 percent very short, 11 short, 83 adequate, and 4 surplus.
More than 70 percent of North Dakota's soybeans are exported. China is their top destination.
BISMARCK, N.D. - The Trump administration has announced $12 billion in emergency aid for farmers amid an escalating trade war.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the aid is in response to "unjustified, retaliatory" tariffs by China, after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on China and other trading partners. The National Farmers Union estimates that farmers lost $13 billion last month alone from disruptions to their markets.
Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, said agriculture has been affected across the state, and aid is needed.
"It has a little bit of a mixed message," he said. "In one sense, we're thankful that we're getting some attention on it, and we worked pretty hard from farmers' union to get that attention. But it's going to be extremely hard if this trade war lasts a long time to replace what we're losing in the marketplace."
The aid package is set to go into effect in September. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said tariffs have been especially hard for soybean, dairy and pork farmers. Watne said it's still unclear exactly how funds will be distributed, which will make a difference in how effective the aid is for North Dakota.
The emergency payment aims to make up for losses, but Watne said disruptions from the escalating trade war are compounding another serious issue. He said farmers have been struggling for years with the low price of farm products, adding that he thinks leaders in Congress should address this.
"We need them to go in, when they're working this new Farm Bill, and raise reference prices up, because that's a real backstop, and get them at a level of the cost of production," he said. "So, if they want to be in a trade war or if they want to renegotiate things, at least the farmers have something that shows to their bank that they have a portion of their crop at a price that makes money."
Under the tariffs, North Dakota soybean farmers could see some of the biggest disruptions. According to the North Dakota Soybean Council, more than 70 percent of their product is exported - and China has been the top destination.
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)