Camelina new feed supplement

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Camelina companies say federal officials have approved the use of meal from the biofuels crop as a 10 percent supplement in cattle feed -- a development that could boost the prospects for Montana's fledgling camelina industry.

Two companies, Great Plains Oil & Exploration and Sustainable Oils, have been working in recent years to develop a market for camelina for use as a replacement for jet fuel or diesel.

Now the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of meal from the plant's crushed seeds for use in cattle feed. That could make biofuels production more profitable, by creating a potential market for one of the crop's byproducts.

Neb. checkoff dollars protected

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Complaints from Nebraska farmers and agriculture groups about using checkoff dollars to help balance the state budget appear to have worked.

On Wednesday, the Legislature's budget-writing Appropriations Committee voted to ditch Gov. Dave Heineman's plan for the checkoff money. His plan would have taken about $700,000 from the wheat, corn, sorghum and dry-bean funds to help the state close a $334 million budget gap.

Farm groups including Nebraska Farm Bureau had strongly opposed such a use of checkoff dollars.

Struggling Minn. farmers cope

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota farm families have a new resource to help them cope with financial challenges.

The Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network provides financial guidance, technical assistance and mentoring to farm families facing economic hardship.

Its toll-free help line at 1-877-898-MFAN connects farmers to experts such as farm business management instructors, extension educators and other financial analysts. It also helps farmers find legal guidance, tax advice and 24-hour crisis counseling.

Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson describes the program as "a streamlined network designed to get

UN says hunger stunts some 200 million children

ROME (AP) -- Nearly 200 million children in poor countries have stunted growth because they don't get enough to eat, according to a new report published by UNICEF Wednesday before a three-day international summit on the problem of world hunger.

The head of a U.N. food agency called on the world to join him in a day of fasting ahead of the summit to highlight the plight of 1 billion hungry people.

Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, said he hoped the fast would encourage action by world leaders who will take part in the meeting at his agency's headquarters starting Monday.

The U.N. Children's Fund published a report saying that nearly 200 million children under five in poor countries have stunted growth because they don't get enough to eat.

More than 90 percent of those children live in Africa and Asia, and more than a third of all deaths in that age group are linked to undernutrition, according to UNICEF.

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