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POLICY

In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was restricting the use of a herbicide in six Minnesota counties out of concern for an endangered species, a species it chose not to make public. Before the calendar could flip to April, EPA had reversed those restrictions as well as even wider herbicide bans because of an insect called the American burying beetle. So what was behind the initial secretiveness? Why the sudden reversal?
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, S.D., are moving a bill in the Senate, designed to pressure international ocean freight companies to fill freight “containers” with agricultural products instead of sending them back to Asia empty. Rick Brandenburger, president of Richland Innovative Food Crops Inc., Inc., of Breckenridge, Minnesota, says the company is getting only one-third of their needed containers. They want “teeth” in any efforts to fix the problem.
The Environmental Protection agency says it relies on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but information from that agency and other snake experts seem to contradict what EPA says.
The Environmental Protection Agency, not the North Dakota Agriculture Department, is responsible for disposal of stocks of unusable chlorpyrifos products, Doug Goehring, North Dakota Department of Agriculture Commissioner said.

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A Bismarck, North Dakota, man said he’s frustrated that a coal company damaged the access to a farm field he owns near Beulah, North Dakota. He refuses to accept the company’s offer to build a new field approach if they would have no further responsibility for flood damage and digging a deep diversion ditch. Further, he thinks he shouldn’t have to pay legal fees to get the North Dakota Public Service Commission to regulate ditching that he says is clearly mine-related.
The Environmental Quality Board approved changing the form as part of a pilot project, which will make the assessments more expensive to fill out, but is part of Minnesota's goals to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Some North Dakota farm groups are growing concerned about federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates for elected Farm Service Agency county advisory committees and others.
North Dakota officials have told CHS Sunflower at Grandin, North Dakota, to stop shipping sunflower screenings for livestock producers in North Dakota after a Grant County rancher found his feed product had contaminated hundreds of acres with the hard-to-control Palmer amaranth weed seeds.
According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, China missed the $36.5 billion goal for 2020 set in the phase one deal, coming in at $28.75 billion worth of purchases. China is also on pace to be short of its 2021 goal of $43.5 billion. U.S. Census figures through August 2021 put China’s agricultural and related purchases at $19.28 billion.
In the years since the age for buying tobacco was raised at the local, state and federal level, research has shown its been effective in decreasing youth smoking. While the issue persists, proponents see the laws as progress.

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When North Dakota’s legislative session began in January, a long slate of bills sought to rein in public health powers, including one with language similar to ALEC’s. The state didn’t have a health director to argue against the new limits because three had resigned in 2020.
Analysis by Iowa State University shows about an $80 million impact to producers if plants in Minnesota and Nebraska continue to see a slowdown in line speeds.
Medical experts recommend students and their families study up before heading to campus. Make calls to local or university health center providers and secure appropriate insurance to help make a smooth transition.

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