April 11 Agriculture Briefs

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bullock eases requirements for fertilizer deliveries

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has temporarily lifted hours of service regulations for drivers to enable them to meet fertilizer delivery demands. Bullock said in a news release that he signed the executive order and changed the requirements due to a “compressed spring planting schedule and an increased fertilizer delivery demand facing farmers across Montana.” The order pertains only to those carriers who are actively involved in transporting anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers. The order will expire at midnight on June 6.

— by Star Staff

4-H seeks families to host Japanese youths, chaperones

BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension is seeking host families for 25 Japanese youth and two adult chaperones from July 22 to Aug. 17. According to an MSU news release, the youths and their chaperones are part of an international exchange program with the Labo International Exchange Foundation and with LEX, or Language Experience, Experiment and Exchange. Families hosting youth can be located anywhere in Montana and should have a child at home ages 9-18. Families hosting chaperones do not need to have children, or may have children of any age. The Japanese youths will know some English but are not fluent, the news release explained. “The purpose of the program is for both the family and their guest to enjoy cultural immersion while learning from one another,” according to Stephanie Davison, citizenship, sustainable communities and international programs coordinator with MSU Extension and the Montana 4-H. The application deadline for host families is May 15. To apply, visit states4hexchange.org/apply/host/ or contact Davison at 406-994-3502 or sdavison@montana.edu.

— by Star Staff

Average fieldwork start in North Dakota still weeks away

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Most North Dakota farmers are still a couple of weeks away from getting into the fields. The Agriculture Department in its weekly crop report says April 27 is expected to be the average start date for fieldwork this spring. It doesn’t appear soil moisture will be a problem for newly planted crops. Topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 94% adequate to surplus, and subsoil moisture is 81% in those categories. The winter wheat crop is rated in mostly fair to good condition. So, too, are cattle and calf conditions. Death loss is rated mostly average to light. Hay supplies are rated 76% adequate to surplus, and stock water supplies are 94% in those categories.

Settlement talks fail in soybean lawsuit in Tennessee

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Lawyers have failed to reach a settlement in a federal lawsuit claiming a soybean seed company purposely sold faulty seeds to black farmers in Mississippi. A court filing by attorneys for Stine Seed Co. says mediation talks did not lead to an agreement to settle the suit. U.S. District Judge John Fowlkes had set a Friday mediation deadline. The suit alleges Stine conspired with a seed salesman to sell defective seeds to the soybean farmers because they are black. The suit claims the good seeds the farmers thought they had bought from Stine were replaced by inferior seeds before delivery. Adel, Iowa-based Stine says discrimination and fraud allegations are baseless and irresponsible. Fowlkes has not ruled on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. A court date has not been set.

Soil moisture supplies in good shape across South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A wet spring across South Dakota has soil moisture in good shape for the spring planting season. The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 99% adequate to surplus, and subsoil moisture is 98% in those categories. South Dakota’s winter wheat crop is rated 2% poor, 52% fair, 44% good and 2% excellent.

Idaho OKs plan to allow hemp trucks to cross the state

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation allowing hemp-loaded trucks to cross Idaho — where hemp is illegal — while traveling from one state to another or from Canada to a state has cleared the Senate. The Senate on Tuesday voted 31-1 to send an amended version of the bill back to the House for consideration there. The House passed the bill late last week, but Republican Rep. Caroline Troy at a Senate committee meeting on Monday suggested several amendments. One amendment to the current bill seeks to have the Idaho Department of Agriculture create rules in cooperation with law enforcement officials that lawmakers will consider early next year. A previous House bill involving legalizing hemp in Idaho appears dead after amendments in the Senate sought by law enforcement officials caused many House members to withdraw their support.