Farm aid group to truck hay to Neb.

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) — A farm aid nonprofit is planning to bring more hay from North Dakota to producers in flood-stricken Nebraska.

The North Dakota-based Farm Rescue recently activated “Operation Hay Lift” to haul livestock feed to Nebraska ranchers affected by high water. A similar program was first used nearly two years ago to help cattle producers facing drought conditions in the Upper Midwest.

Farm Rescue officials are expecting to send as many as 10 semitrailer trucks of hay donated by local farmers.

Farm Rescue helps farm and ranch families in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Iowa.

Man charged over dead cattle

EXETER, Neb. (AP) — A 30-year-old man has been a charged in connection with the discovery of hundreds of dead and ailing or neglected cattle at his farm in southern Nebraska’s Fillmore County.

County court records say Aaron Ogren is charged with one count of theft, two counts of prohibited sale of livestock and 26 counts of cruelty to animals. His bail was set Wednesday at $300,000. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.

The Nebraska State Patrol said officials investigating at the property near Exeter on April 3 found a horse carcass as well.

The cattle in poor condition were taken to a nearby ranch for care.

Swine fever cancels World Pork Expo

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Concerns about the spread of Africa swine fever to the U.S. have led organizers to cancel the World Pork Expo scheduled for June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors announced its decision Wednesday. The annual June event brings about 20,000 visitors to Des Moines, including people and exhibitors from regions of the world where the disease has been diagnosed and is spreading.

The council said African swine fever affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

There is a swine show during the event, but no pigs from other countries were expected to participate.

Council spokesman Jim Monroe said the risk isn’t zero for U.S. producers. For example, he says, some foreign visitor could unwittingly bring the virus along if his or her shoes were splattered with blood or feces from an infected animal.

Dairy farmers need farm bill changes

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s two U.S. senators are joining more than a third of their colleagues in the Senate to call for the government to implement provisions of the most recent farm bill that are designed to help struggling dairy farmers.

The 2018 Farm Bill makes changes to the way the federal government provides financial assistance to dairy producers when prices are low. Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King said dairy farmers are facing market instability and need the added flexibility of the changes.

Collins, King and 36 other senators called for the implementation of the changes in a letter last month to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. The letter says dairy producers in the country are “struggling to survive the fourth year of sustained low prices.”

Ind. cites 3 hog farms for spills, kills

PORTLAND, Ind. (AP) — State regulators have cited three eastern Indiana hog farms for manure spills and other runoff, including discharges that caused two fish kills last fall.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management said manure applied last October to a field at a Portland hog farm eventually reached the Salamonie River, killing more than 3,100 fish. IDEM has proposed a $15,000 civil penalty.

The (Muncie) Star Press reported the agency has also proposed a more than $16,000 civil penalty for a Union City hog farm after fluid from hog carcasses entered a nearby creek in September, killing nearly 3,000 fish.

Fla. thoroughbred breeding struggles

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Data shows that Florida’s thoroughbred breeding industry still has not recovered from the recession a decade ago.

According to annual statistics compiled by the Jockey Club Fact Book, the number of mares bred in the state in 2018 fell below 2,000, and the number of stallions dropped below 100.

The Ocala Star-Banner reported those numbers fall far short of the nearly 7,200 mares bred in Florida in 2005.

Statistics for California, Louisiana, New York and Maryland showed similar declines. However, Kentucky’s breeding industry has held steady and accounts for more than half the number of mares bred in North America.

Arkansas high court rejects hog farm case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected a request from environmental regulators to halt proceedings in a lawsuit over a hog farm’s permit application to operate near the Buffalo River.

The state Department of Environmental Quality had asked the court to intervene after Newton County Circuit Judge John Putman ordered a stay on the permit proceedings in October.

Putman said he, and not the department, had sole jurisdiction over C&H’s permit application. But the department issued a final decision in November, saying C&H Hog Farm could no longer operate. The farm opened in 2013 and houses about 6,500 hogs on Big Creek.

C&H alleged that the department was in contempt of Putnam’s order. Putman agreed but didn’t rule, instead asking regulators in December to show why they shouldn’t be found in contempt.

 

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