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Walz Releases Budget Proposal

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s first budget calls for a simplified tax code for farmers that will conform to the Section 179 expensing in federal law. The proposal also cuts taxes by $220 million for state farmers and small businesses. Walz is also seeking a 20 cent gas tax increase to fund road and bridges. A border-to-border broadband program is also included in the Walz proposal.

With the announcement and next week’s economic forecast for the state, the Minnesota Legislature will begin working on budget bills for the biennium.

(Source: Red River Farm Network)

Resources Available for Families Dealing with Farm Stress

The Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Committee addressed the issue of the farm economy and stress Thursday. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen testified in this hearing.

“I know farmers in all 87 counties of the state and my rings at 6:30 in the morning who are just having a hard time,” said Petersen. “We have a helpline, we have farmer-lender mediation, farm advocates; counseling is there and we want farmers to know we want to help them with the programs we have.”

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A Battle Against Resistant Weeds

While Palmer amaranth is garnering much of the attention, there are other resistant weed battles being fought in the region. According to Brian Jenks, a weed scientist at the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center, waterhemp is probably the bigger issue in eastern North Dakota.

“A couple other weeds we’re concerned about because of resistance are kochia and horseweed. We see kochia blowing across fields, spreading seeds and leaving trails,” says Jenks. “Another is narrowleaf hawksbeard in the western part of the state. It can easily blanket a field in just a year or two, resembling a canola field.”

Jenks spoke at the Wild World of Weeds Workshop in Fargo. Hear more of the conversation.