Weather helped grain harvest

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- The harvest of small grains in South Dakota is moving along quickly.

The USDA says the harvest of most small grains in the state is now at least 70 percent complete thanks to mostly dry weather recently.

The spring wheat harvest is now 81 percent complete. That's a little ahead of the average of 80 percent harvested at this time of year.

Good weather also helped row crops develop. Fifty-three percent of the corn crop is at or beyond the dough stage. The average is 39 percent of the crop at that stage.

About 66 percent of the soybean crop rated in good or excellent condition. But there have been reports of mold, aphids and sudden death syndrome in the soybean crop.

151 jobs will go in dairy closure

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) -- A Dallas-based food company says it will close a South Carolina dairy plant in October, eliminating 151 jobs.

The Morning News of Florence reported that Dean Foods said in a news release last week that it would phase out production over the next two months.

The nation's largest milk maker reported its earnings fell sharply in the second quarter and stock analysts said the company needs to reduce the amount of milk it makes to cut costs.

Dean Foods has about 100 dairies nationwide, and in the past few years has closed plants in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Florence County reported a jobless rate of 11.1 percent in June.

Exterminator faces trial

BOUNTIFUL, Utah (AP) -- A Utah pest exterminator says he's haunted by the deaths of two Layton girls at a home he treated with pesticides for a rodent infestation in February.

Coleman Nocks tells KSL-TV that whatever happens in his criminal case, nothing will bring back 4-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister, Rachel.

Nocks has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor negligent homicide stemming from allegations he applied too much pesticide too close to the Toones' home. If convicted, he could face up to two years in jail.

Nocks worked for Bountiful-based Bugman Pest and Lawn. The company is nearing a Utah Department of Agriculture settlement over records violations.

Sweet orange scab crops up

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- State agriculture experts are asking citrus growers to be on the lookout for sweet orange scab of citrus caused by a fungus and recently found on a satsuma tree in Orange, Texas, about 3.5 miles west of the Louisiana border.

Previously, this disease had only been reported in South America.

LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Ferrin says the scab presents little problem, but it affects the ability to sell the fruit because of the way it looks.

Ferrin says it can be controlled with fungicides applied at and shortly after bloom.

Ferrin says a survey for sweet orange scab within one-mile of the infected tree in Texas was conducted over the weekend. A similar check for the disease in Calcasieu Parish will begin this week.

Citrus scab commonly occurs on lemons, tangerines, grapefruit and satsumas and rarely occurs on sweet oranges. Sweet orange scab occurs primarily on sweet oranges, tangerines and satsumas.

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