The Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture reminds farmers and their families that the Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a free service to help farmers during these challenging times during the rough farm economy, harvest, unpredictable weather and more. The Helpline’s number is: 833-600-2670. The line is also open to people who are worried about family or friends and aren’t sure how to help. Translation services are available in all languages.

Area State Rep Dean Urdahl of Grove City says that the deadline for farmers to apply for state tax credits is November 1 st. Beginning farmer credits for Minnesota residents include for the sale or lease of land, equipment, machinery and livestock. To qualify, you must be looking to start farming, or have begun farming in the past ten years. Contact the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture for info or to apply.

According to a study by Kiplinger’s, Minnesota is the least tax friendly state in the nation. Minnesota has a state tax income rate of 5.35 to 9.85. The average local sales tax is now 7.43. Gas taxes and fees are .29 cents per gallon. Kiplinger’s also cited the Northeast states as high tax states, while the south has the lowest taxes in the nation.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has confirmed a case of H5N2 low
pathogenic aVian influenza in a commercial flock in Kandiyohi County. The disease was found during routine surveillance of the flock of ten thousand 13 week old tom turkeys last Friday. The farm includes an additional 3 barns housing 10,000 birds each, all of which have tested negative. This is not the same virus that was the cause of the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak 3 years ago. This does not pose a risk to humans and there is no food safety concern. Turkey producers with questions should contact the MN board of Animal Health.

With the rifle and shotgun slug deer hunting seasons coming soon, the MN Dept of Natural Resources reminds hunters that deer taken in central, north central & southeast MN will need to bring their deer in to be tested for chronic wasting disease on opening week-end, November 3rd & 4th. Southeast MN hunters will also have to bring deer in taken November 17th & 18th due to the proximity to 18 known cases of CWD in the area.

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