Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
WEST FARGO, N.D. — The Big Iron International Visitors Program received more applications than ever from international buyers who wanted to visit the annual farm show here. But because of visa denials from the U.S. State Department, only about 50 participants ended up making it to the show, said Simon Wilson, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office.
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Dawn Entzminger had been having migraines and nausea almost constantly. Thinking it was "just a headache," she powered through. "One day was so bad I had to go in," she said. Entzminger, a Jamestown veterinarian, tested positive for West Nile virus, one of 86 cases in North Dakota through Sept. 4, 2018. Jenny Galbraith, surveillance epidemiologist at the North Dakota Department of Health, said in all of 2017, the state had 62 cases. "We're a little bit high, but not ridiculously high yet this year," she said.
FARGO—Tim McGreery hasn't seen prices this low for pulse crops in 12 years. Peas, he said, are down 25 percent, lentils 40 percent and chickpeas 50 percent. McGreery, chief executive officer of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, based in Moscow, Idaho, said tariffs in India and China—formerly the two top international destinations for U.S. pulse crops—are "definitely having an impact."
I made an observation the other morning: It takes me and my daughters as long to feed three calves as it takes my husband and father-in-law to feed 70 bred heifers. I've written before about our bottle calves. We ended up with three this year for various reasons. One had an abusive mother and a navel infection that meant he needed special care. One was a twin left behind by her mother. And the third had a mother get sick and quit milking.
WASHINGTON — Producers who have raised soybeans, wheat, corn, sorghum, cotton, pork and dairy found out on Aug. 27 how much of the $12 billion trade compensation package they will receive. But many in agriculture would prefer a strong market to a government check. "It's nice to get a little money, make a little cash flow happen," said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. "Everybody is appreciative of a payment; everybody is kind of wishing the payments would go away."
WASHINGTON — Soybean farmers will receive the majority of the initial payments set aside for assistance to agriculture due to trade disruption.
FAULKTON, S.D. — Public art can be a beneficial part of rural communities, arts officials say. "In any community where there is an idea and a space, how you bring the people together in partnership to work on that idea is going to be beneficial to everybody involved," says Kim Konikow, executive director of the North Dakota Council on the Arts. "The arts is about everything," agrees Linda Bartholomew, a member of the Faulkton Area Arts Council.
FAULKTON, S.D — Drivers heading west on U.S. Highway 212 into this north central South Dakota town this summer have found themselves gawking in amazement at the image of the back of a small boy in jeans and a T-shirt on the Agtegra elevator. The image shows every wrinkle of fabric, every strand of hair and the softness of a child's form, as if a giant black-and-white photo had been pasted to the side of the towering structure. Aussie Dave even has joked about starting a pool on when the first crash will be.
FARGO — The North Dakota Trade Office says two trade missions to the state have been canceled over ongoing trade difficulties and tariffs. At the same time, a far higher than normal percentage of visas sought by international buyers hoping to attend the Big Iron Farm Show have been denied by immigration officials. Simon Wilson, executive director of the trade office, says delegations from Italy and Spain had planned to come regarding specialty crops, and a delegation from China had planned to come regarding food-grade soybeans.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — A pair of monarch butterflies fluttered by Grant Breitkreutz as he stood in a field of cover crops. "The wildlife we got back here on the farm is unbelievable," he said. Besides the butterflies, there are pheasants, quail and partridge, and "you can't even count" the deer, he explained in a visit to his farm this month. Many of the species hadn't been seen in decades until they reappeared in recent years. Breitkreutz attributes the increase in wildlife to the soil health practices implemented on the farm