U.S. potato imports increase

DENVER (Potatoes USA) — Total Potato imports were up 10 percent in volume and 12 percent value for the July to September 2018 quarter compared to 2017, according to a report by Potatoes USA.

The largest increase was for fresh potatoes up 32 percent to 77,507 metric tons. Dehydrated potatoes were up 9 percent to 18,161 MT while frozen products increased 5 percent to 253,599 MT.

These figures are compiled by TradeStats NW based on U.S. Department of Commerce reports.

Ark. panel backs regulated dicamba use

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A committee is recommending that the Arkansas Plant Board allow farmers to use the herbicide dicamba next year, but extend protections to prevent the weed killer from drifting and damaging crops.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that the board's pesticide committee voted to allow in-crop use of dicamba in 2019 through June 15.

The group also recommended extending buffer zones for crops and other vegetation sensitive to the herbicide. The move comes after Arkansas banned the spraying of dicamba this year following complaints of crop damage in 2017.

The Environmental Protection Agency ruled last month to allow the herbicide's use on soybeans and cotton for the next two years.

The full board will consider accepting or amending the recommendations Dec. 6. The issue will then move to a public comment period.

University brews beer made with kiwiberries

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — The University of New Hampshire is brewing a beer made of kiwiberries.

The school's Agricultural Experiment Station and Brewing Science Laboratory have partnered on the creation, which they say will be available locally soon.

Cheryl Parker, manager of the lab, said she has never heard of kiwiberries being used to make beer, but they are a good selection because they offer a flavor that is delicate and blends well with the sour style brew UNH is making.

Kiwiberries, are grape-sized and smooth-skinned. They have grown in the backyards and gardens of the New England region for 140 years.

The lab and station also are working on a potential winter beer that uses pumpkins. The lab recently brewed a kelp beer.

Most Iowa soybean, corn harvest complete

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Most of the state's corn and soybean crop have been harvested ahead of a snowstorm that blanketed much of southern and eastern Iowa.

The USDA reported Monday that 96 percent of Iowa's corn crop had been harvested as of Sunday. While the percentage is even higher in northwest, north-central and central Iowa, 13 percent of corn remained to be harvested in southwest Iowa.

That statewide percentage is four days behind the five-year average.

Iowa's soybean harvest was 98 percent complete. That's 12 days behind the five-year average.

Kan. soil moisture adequate for crops

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government snapshot show mostly adequate topsoil and subsoil moisture supplies for Kansas crops.

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that about 87 percent of the winter wheat planted in the state this fall has now emerged.

The agency rated winter wheat condition as 9 percent excellent, 37 percent good and 38 percent fair. Just 16 percent was rated as poor or very poor.

Meanwhile, the harvest for other Kansas farm crops is rapidly drawing to a close.

About 94 percent of the corn has been harvested in the state, along with 92 percent of the soybeans and 83 percent of the sorghum. Sunflower harvest is 82 percent finished.

Topsoil moisture supplies are 98 percent adequate to surplus, while subsoil moisture levels are 95 percent adequate to surplus.

Late-season N.D. harvests progress

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's soybean harvest is coming to a close, and the corn and sunflower harvests both have reached about three-fourths done.

The USDA said 93 percent of soybeans, 74 percent of sunflowers and 71 percent of corn is harvested. All remain behind the average pace.

Sixty-five percent of subsoil moisture supplies and 74 percent of topsoil moisture supplies are rated adequate to surplus.

Stockwater supplies in the state are rated 64 percent adequate to surplus, and pastures are rated mostly in fair to good condition.

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