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Plug May be Pulled on High-Tech Farm Resource

April 2, 2007

Dickinson, ND - For many North Dakota farmers, spring planting will start with an online visit to a farm information Web site, but the plug may soon be pulled on federal funding for a valuable Web resource. The USDA's new farm bill proposal drops funding for the ATTRA - the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas Web site. North Dakota State sustainable agricultural expert Frank Kutka says the online service gives producers valuable information on a wide variety of topics.

"[It gives] different types of horticultural and field crops, soil science, composting, how to manage water, managing pests and weeds, organic farming, livestock management, marketing and risk management, farm energy, and so on. It's really quite diverse just like all our different farms are."

Kutka believes the benefits for farmers outweigh the modest costs of funding the Web site.

"As we are in agriculture facing so many different changes, it really would be poor time to lose information sources that help us understand our alternatives and ways that we might find to really make a good go of things."

The Web address for the ATTRA is

Debbie Aasen/Eric Mack, Public News Service - ND