Border patrol agents find bits of harmful insect in shipment 

Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Michigan's Port Huron found the remnants of an insect considered to be one of the world's most destructive pests of grains, dry beans and other stored products while inspecting a shipment from India.

The specialists found cast skins they suspected were from khapra beetles during an inspection of a shipment of mung beans on Nov. 29. The shipment wasn't allowed into the country.

Two days later, entomologists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture positively identified the cast skins as being from khapra beetles.The incident marked the fourth time khapra beetle remains had been found in a commercial shipment in Port Huron. All four of the shipments have been from commodities originating from India.

The khapra beetle is one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Shipments containing remnants or specimens of the beetle, whether they're alive or dead, aren't allowed into the U.S.


Kansas farmers take top honors at wheat yield competition

A Kansas teenager and his family, along with another local farmer, top honors at the inaugural National Wheat Yield Contest.

The winning variety for irrigated winter wheat, WestBred's Grainfield, came from 17-year-old Jagger Borth of Meade. It had a yield of 133.64 bushels an acre, which is more than 377 percent above county average, according to the Hutchinson News.

Rick Horton of Leoti had the contest's highest yielding dryland winter wheat plot, which yielded 127.94 bushels an acre. Horton planted the winning plot with Joe, the variety through the Kansas Wheat Alliance. He said it has good resistance to three major diseases in western Kansas: wheat streak mosaic virus, stripe rust and leaf rust.

The National Wheat Foundation announced the winners earlier this month.Kansas farmers in general saw a record-high average yield of 57 bushels an acre, an increase from 20 bushes last year.


Genoa reaches Centennial Farm status 

A farm that has stood the test of time through two World Wars is being honored for its 100th year in farming. The 160-acre Peterson farm, 33210 N. State Road in Genoa, now is owned and operated by founder Otto Peterson's grandson, Donald, 77. Donald Peterson started working on the farm when he was in high school, and he said he plans to continue running the farm - and fixing antique tractors during the winter months - for as long as he can.

To honor the family's 100 years of farming, the Illinois Department of Agriculture gave the farm Centennial Farm status. To qualify for Centennial Farm status, an agricultural property must have been owned by the same family for at least 100 years. More than 9,500 Illinois farms have been named Centennial Farms since the program was created in 1972.


Ohio woman fights city hall to keep chickens

An Ohio woman is fighting to keep her six chickens after she was told her pets had to go. Raising poultry within 200 feet of an adjacent home violates Perrysburg's agricultural use code.

But Krista Kiessling, who has owned chickens for three years, told city officials in June her chickens weren't raised for agricultural purposes, The Blade reported.Kiessling said she values the sustainable source of eggs, compost for her garden and natural bug control.

She has proposed a new ordinance that would allow up to six chickens on properties zoned for a single family. Residents would have to obtain a $25 permit. Regulations would be created for chicken coops and squawking hens. Roosters would be banned, and slaughtering chickens would have to be done in accordance with state law.


Hunters donate deer meat to help the hungry

For years, hunters in Iowa and Nebraska have been donating deer to local meat processors so those who are hungry can enjoy fresh venison.

The program Help Us Stop Hunger is a partnership between the Food Bank of Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, meat lockers and of course hunters. The program allows hunters to donate deer to be processed into ground venison, which helps hungry Iowans.

Six other southwest Iowa meat lockers also participate in the program, including those in Atlantic, Earling, Essex, Hamburg, Hancock and Irwin. Similar programs, like Hunters Helping the Hungry, are coordinated with the Food Bank of the Heartland which reaches into both Nebraska and Iowa.

Beginning in 2002, as of 2013 HUSH has provided approximately 2.3 million pounds of venison throughout the state.

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