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LINTON, N.D. — Rain has fallen in much of central North Dakota in the past week, but that wasn't enough to keep the area in severe drought in the state from doubling. The June 13 U.S. Drought Monitor, released on June 15, reports 27 percent of North Dakota is in severe drought, compared to 13.54 percent the week prior. An additional 56.4 percent is considered to have moderate drought conditions, while the remainder of the state is abnormally dry. North Dakota has the largest area of drought conditions in the country, though its neighbors also have growing problems.
RICHARDTON, N.D. — As drought spreads across the upper Great Plains, some cattle producers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are reducing their herds. Joe Vetter, a field representative for Herreid Livestock, calls the situation in northern South Dakota "very grim." "There's virtually been no moisture, even starting in the month of April," he says. "Ten or 15 hundredths, maybe." The latest Drought Monitor, released June 8, shows all of North Dakota in at least abnormally dry conditions, with 13.54 percent in severe drought and 73.92 in moderate drought.
Fargo, N.D. (WDAY/WDAZ-TV)--American Crystal Sugar Co. employees across the Red River Valley voted and accepted the 'final' labor proposal from the company. The Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union sent out a press relelease early Friday morning confirming the vote. This proposal was a five-year deal that offered 3 percent pay raises from 2017-2020 and then a 2.75 percent increase in 2021. American Crystal Sugar also offered employees a $2,250-per-employee signing bonus if they accept the agreement by May 22.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has written a letter asking new U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to keep the needs of North Dakota's farmers and ranchers in mind as the country moves forward in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Senate late last week confirmed Lighthizer to the post of trade representative. Lighthizer served as a deputy trade representative in the Reagan administration and was confirmed on an 82-14 vote.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The Minnesota Milk Producers Association says all 10 Minnesota dairy farms who lost contracts due to changes in pricing in Canada for ultrafiltered milk have found new processors to buy their milk.
LAMOURE, N.D. — Kelly Klein likes to watch cattle sales while he eats dinner. Back in January 2015, he saw some "wild, longhorn-looking cattle, rodeo looking cattle" out of Loup City, Neb. There was something he liked about the red-and-white-paint bull that came through the ring as he watched on his computer screen. "He looked like he was built right, had a little fire to him. He looked kind of wild," Klein says. So he bought him.
BISMARCK — Jacob Odermann in the spring of 2014 went out to fix fence before turning pairs to their spring pasture north of Belfield, N.D. He heard a popping noise and realized it was hunters shooting at prairie dogs in his direction. The two hunters told him his no-trespassing signs weren't valid because they weren't signed. Odermann asked them to leave, and they did, but the incident influenced his decision to testify in favor of a trespassing bill under consideration in the North Dakota Legislature.
WASHINGTON — Pat Wallesen, a partner with WestStar Food Co. in Corpus Christi, Texas, is the guy many North Dakota bean and pulse companies go to when they have products to be exported. Most of the beans Wallesen has shipped to Cuba in the past have come from North Dakota. But it's been almost five years since a shipment went to the Caribbean island nation. "Every time that we've talked to a Cuban buyer, credit is always an issue. They say they can't buy without credit," Wallesen says. "It's kind of stopped the dialogue between the two countries."