S.D. gov's hemp veto survives override vote

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — An attempt to override South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem's veto of a hemp legalization bill has failed in the Legislature.

The 20-13 Senate vote Tuesday was short of the two-thirds needed to overcome Noem's veto. It came after the House easily voted to override Noem earlier in the day.

Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert, a supporter, said the bill was right for South Dakota's producers and residents who want to use, grow and manufacture the product.

Noem said Monday that "normalizing" hemp is part of a bigger strategy to make legal marijuana inevitable. She also said legalizing hemp would make law enforcement's job tougher.

The National Conference of State Legislatures said at least 41 states have enacted hemp growing and production programs.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized cultivation of industrial hemp nationally.

Mich. fruit growers vote to continue research

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Apple, cherry, peach, and plum producers in Michigan have voted to continue a tree fruit research and development program.

The initiative was established in 2014 to boost the competitiveness of Michigan's tree fruit industry. It supports fruit research stations, plus study and extension programs.

It's run by nine producers appointed by the governor. The director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is a non-voting member, as is Michigan State University's dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Officials say 171 valid ballots were cast in the referendum on whether to continue the program an additional five years, with 120 voting yes and 51 voting no.

Cornell: Apples are big business in N.Y. state

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — Cornell University researchers found that apples are bigger business in New York than traditionally thought.

The researchers found the total economic impact of the state's apple farming industry was $574 million — or 21 percent higher than estimates based on more traditional methodologies.

Cornell researchers said their estimate is more precise because it relies on locally sourced data showing what farmers spent their money on as opposed to secondary state and national data. The researchers considered agricultural spending on things like packaging, storage, labor and supplies and whether the farmers spent it locally, regionally or nationally.

The research was supported in part by the New York Apple Association.

 

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