October 31, 2014

ACRE Payments on Corn

Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Aaron Krauter announced today that FSA has begun distributing Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) payments for revenue losses associated with corn grown in North Dakota. Discontinued by the 2014 Farm Bill, the ACRE program provided producers with protection from revenue losses for crops grown in 2009-2013.

Corn was the only crop eligible for October payments that was grown in North Dakota in the 2013 crop year.  2,359 producers on 4,551 farms in North Dakota enrolled 2.22 million acres in ACRE.  Payments to North Dakota producers through ACRE total more than 43 million dollars, however the Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires these payments to be reduced by 5.1 percent.
For more information on ACRE, producers should contact their local FSA office or visit FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov .


Rails Bracing for Winter

BNSF is telling its customers that it will go into the 2014-2015 winter season better prepared than ever before, especially if the United States experiences a return of the polar vortex. The 2013-2014 winter was one of the most severe winters the United States has experienced in decades with extreme temperatures that persisted for long periods and created special challenges for operating the railroad.

 “While we always prepare the operations for winter, the extreme cold experienced last year provided us some additional insight that we have incorporated into our future preparations and operating procedures,” said Steve Bobb, BNSF executive vice president and chief marketing officer.  “We know that customers depend on BNSF for reliable freight transportation. While unplanned events can always happen, we will go into this winter season with more resources and more preparation than ever before so that our people stay safe amid the harshest of weather conditions and our customers’ freight gets to its destination as promised.”

Given the extremes endured last winter, BNSF’s operating divisions evaluated this year’s winter action plans with the benefit of last year’s winter experience. Steps include:

·         Taken inventory of snow removal equipment and supplies, such as emergency generators and salt supplies.

·         Tested specialized snow removal equipment to make sure it works properly. For example, snowfall in excess of 8” will activate pushers and blade and salt trucks.

·         Reviewed winter weather operational procedures on when to adjust crew transportation procedures so that moving crew from one location to another  using crew vans is eliminated in favor of allowing crews to remain overnight at crew change locations as well as when to adjust train size, speed and other operating restrictions.

Source: BNSF


The Gift of Beef – Feeding a Family

In America, one in eight people goes to bed hungry at night. To fight hunger, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary (SDCA), in partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), recently completed the “Feed A Family” project, where they donated beef to local food pantries and daycares.

In addition to the donation of ground beef, which was gifted to the Lake County Food Pantry, Lake Preston Food Pantry, Kingsbury County Food Pantry, Huron Salvation Army, and Madision Food Pantry, SDCA also put together packages complete with recipes, oven mits, seasoning and pie plates to prepare the recipes.

“Each year, we go to different communites and do something a little different,” explains Laurie Johnson, SDCA president and SDBIC board of director. “This year, we did pie plates and different beef recipes that you can prepare in a pie plate. Last year, we did crockpot recipes.”

Recipes included: Applesauce Meatloaf, Shepard’s Pie, Taco Pie, Spaghetti Pie, and Cowboy Casserole. SDCA also hosted a couple of cooking classes to teach area families how to prepare the recipes, which featured ingredients that most food pantries have on hand.

As the holiday season draws near, meat will be available for many area families in need, thanks to the beef checkoff. Not only does the donation of beef help those less fortunate, but the recipes provided during the cooking class were versatile, budget-friendly and easy-to-make for weeknight meals and hopefully will soon become family favorites.

By reaching this demographic, this project educated families on how to use beef as a go-to protein choice that is nutritional without breaking the bank.

The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations: SD Beef Breeds Council, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, SD CattleWomen, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, SD Livestock Auction Market Association and SD Stockgrowers Association.

Source: SDBIC