North Dakota

Drought in Plains a concern for U.S. corn and soy crops

Drought in the northern Plains, increasingly important in corn and soybean production despite the region’s prominence as a wheat-growing region, may foil expectations of near-record U.S. corn and soybean harvests. North Dakota and South Dakota are parched as the planting season begins, …

EPA should set a lower application rate for dicamba, says North Dakota official

Doug Goehring, the state agriculture commissioner in North Dakota, says "90 percent of the problems with off-target movement" of dicamba "may go away" if regulators set a lower application rate for the herbicide. In an interview, Goehring told the Capital Journal that he might allow a lower application rate for crops in his state even if EPA does not revise its rules for the controversial chemical.

Senate names high-power team for farm bill negotiations

When farm bill negotiators get down to business, the 47 House "conferees" will face an unusually big-caliber Senate team, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as one of its members, a rare role for the leader. Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, in cheering the formal appointment of their nine negotiators, used "bipartisan" to describe their approach and take a swipe at the Republican-written House farm bill and its proposal to require more people to work 20 hours a week to qualify for food stamps.

Cramer decides to challenge Heitkamp for Senate after all

A month after taking a pass, North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer changed his mind and entered the Senate race against first-term Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, giving the GOP a well-known candidate in a potentially pivotal race for control of the Senate. Political handicappers rate the race as a toss-up because President Trump carried the state in a landslide in 2016 but Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is a tenacious and well-funded campaigner.

Bustos recipe for Democratic success in the Midwest: Bread-and-butter issues

A report co-authored by Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois says that “national Democrats must acknowledge and stay focused on the bread-and-butter challenges facing hardworking families” to gain the rural and working-class support vital to winning elections in the Midwest.

North Dakota is fourth state to write tougher dicamba rules

State agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring announced “North Dakota-specific” rules on use of the weedkiller dicamba on GE soybeans in the new crop year. They include a ban on spraying when temperatures top 85 degrees and a total cutoff of dicamba use after June 30.

Heitkamp starts re-election drive for Senate seat she won narrowly in 2010

Casting herself as a centrist, North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp announced she is running for a second term in the Senate, potentially an uphill race in a state won by landslide margins by President Trump last November. Heitkamp told the Fargo Forum that she believes there is an opportunity …

Montana ranchers worry new radioactive waste rule isn’t enough

Since 2013, nearly 233,000 tons of radioactive waste, much of it from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, has been disposed of at a site near Glendive, Montana. Now, after years of prodding, the state has finally proposed a rule for handling oilfield waste, but area ranchers and farmers think the plan leaves them deeply vulnerable.

Heitkamp’s prospects brighten in North Dakota

First-term Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, “has a strong personal brand and Republicans do not yet have a clear challenger,” says the political tip sheet Sabato’s Crystal Ball in previewing the 2018 Senate race in North Dakota. “We’re giving her a boost to ‘Leans Democratic.’ ”

GOP state senator to take on Heitkamp in North Dakota

Tom Campbell, a Republican state senator in North Dakota, has announced that he’ll try to steal the U.S. Senate seat in 2018 from Heidi Heitkamp — the state’s sole Democrat in Congress. Heitkamp, who was considered for a role in President Trump’s cabinet, was both the first senator and the first Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee to endorse Sonny Perdue to lead the USDA.

Drought hurts Iowa, North Dakota farmers

Iowa, the top corn-producing state in the nation, has faced a punishing drought this summer, all but eliminating any hope of a “bin buster” corn year, despite rain this past week. North Dakota is also facing devastating drought conditions, says the AP, and its biggest ranch and corn organizations have launched efforts to help ranchers and farmers.

USDA allows emergency haying of set-aside land in northern Plains

With drought intensifying in the northern Plains, the USDA is taking an additional step to help ranchers short of livestock forage. The owners of land idled in the Conservation Reserve have USDA approval to harvest hay from the set-aside land in counties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana where drought conditions are rated as "severe" or worse.

Drought in northern Plains fuels futures market

Futures prices for spring wheat soared 40 percent in a month and hit nearly $8 a bushel at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange on Monday, a four-year high, due to drought in the northern Plains, said the Wall Street Journal. The spring wheat prices, far above USDA's forecast of a season average $4.30 a bushel for this year's wheat crop, illustrate the demand for high-quality wheat despite a global glut.

A narrow winner in 2012, Heitkamp ponders her political future

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who won election in 2012 by 2,936 votes, “is staring down an exceedingly difficult reelection campaign in a state where President Donald Trump is beloved,” says Politico in a story headlined, “North Dakota’s last Democrat?”

Trump nominates judge in WOTUS dispute for appeals court

In August 2015, U.S. district judge Ralph Erickson blocked the Obama administration's Waters of the United States rule from taking effect, the first injunction against the clean water rule. Now the North Dakota judge would be elevated to the U.S. appellate court under a nomination announced by the White House.

Two long-time wheat states fall in love with soybeans

Kansas and North Dakota perennially vie for the title of the largest wheat-producing state in the nation; last year, they reaped 35 percent of the U.S. wheat crop. This year, Kansas and North Dakota are leading the U.S. stampede into soybeans. In fact, North Dakota will plant more land to soybeans than to wheat, according to USDA estimates based on a March survey of growers – 6.9 million acres of soybeans vs 6.6 million acres of wheat.

Trump greenlights Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects

Fulfilling campaign promises, President Donald Trump signed memorandums that would lead to U.S. approval of the 1,100-mile Keystone crude oil pipeline and to completion of the Dakota Access pipeline from the Bakken and Three Forks oilfields of North Dakota. He also signed memos to encourage use of U.S. steel in pipelines and to speed up approval of domestic manufacturing plants and to expedite environmental review and approval of high-priority infrastructure projects, said a White House release.

Support crumbles for Oklahoma ‘right-to-farm’ amendment

Conservative voters are turning their backs on a proposed right-to-farm amendment for Oklahoma's state constitution, a possibly pivotal shift in a politically conservative state. The independent Sooner Poll says voter support for the right-to-farm proposal, one of seven constitutional questions on Tuesday's ballot, has plummeted to 37 percent from its July level of 53 percent.

Farmers Union asks for voice in corporate farming lawsuit

The fight over North Dakota's ban on corporate farming continues in federal court despite a June referendum in support of the 1932 law. The North Dakota Farmers Union, which spearheaded the successful referendum, asked for permission to intervene in the lawsuit, said the Fargo Forum.

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