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PNS Daily Newscast - April 9, 2020 


Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends his campaign for president. And COVID-19 is ravaging the black community in some areas, including Milwaukee.

2020Talks - April 9, 2020 


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the race for president, though he assured supporters yesterday his movement will continue. A federal judge ruled this week a lawsuit in Florida awaiting trial will apply to all people with former felony convictions, not just the 17 plaintiffs.

Weather Leaves Frustrated ND Farmers in Holding Pattern

The brown squares on this satellite image indicate the areas of unharvested corn in an otherwise snowy North Dakota landscape. (NASA Earth Observatory)
The brown squares on this satellite image indicate the areas of unharvested corn in an otherwise snowy North Dakota landscape. (NASA Earth Observatory)
January 24, 2020

MAKOTI, N.D. - Many North Dakota farmers have yet to harvest all their 2019 crops, due to the wet fall and more snow over the winter. There's also concern about planting new crops this spring.

The state Department of Agriculture estimates that North Dakota farmers are still sitting on roughly two million acres of unharvested corn, with plenty of spring wheat and soybean in the ground as well. Farmer Tyler Stafslien of Makoti says after dealing with record amounts of rain last fall, farmers aren't feeling too good about what lies ahead, either.

"Besides the incredibly difficult harvest, we're now looking at moving into a springtime where our soils are very saturated," says Stafslien. "And any type of precip we get this winter is not welcome."

Last fall, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture approved a disaster declaration for farmers in 47 North Dakota counties impacted by an early-season blizzard and the wet fall. Industry observers say the problem is widespread - between the Dakotas, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, roughly seven million acres of corn are still unharvested.

While federal disaster aid has been granted, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goering says farmers face another dilemma. If a farmer can't plant new crops because the old crops weren't harvested, they might lose out on insurance coverage.

"If they are ineligible for 'prevent plant,' they don't even get any type of payment, or can submit a claim on the acres that can't be planted," says Goering.

Goering describes the U.S. Department of Agriculture as sympathetic to the farmers' plight. At the state level, the governor's office has issued several proclamations this winter, waiving restrictions on hauling hay, livestock and propane to better help farmers and ranchers during the rough stretch.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - ND