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Minnesota News Briefs: Crop insurance deadline approaching

ST. PAUL -- The March 15th deadline for Minnesota farmers to finalize a crop insurance plan is fast approaching.

State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says if dry conditions persist as expected, having proper crop insurance could be crucial. Ag Commissioner Dave Fredrickson says risk comes in many forms for farmers and crop insurance is an important tool for managing it. He encourages farmers to review their options carefully. The two cite the National Weather Service which says extreme drought remains across most of west-central and south-central Minnesota, and severe drought continues across most of the remaining portion of southern Minnesota. Farmers still looking for an agent to finalize their crop insurance plan can consult the website for the U.S. Agriculture Department's Risk Management Agency.


Veterans will be at the State Capitol tomorrow for their "Day on the Hill." Lee Ulferts, chair of the Minnesota Commanders' Task Force, says organizations will lobby for issues important to Minnesota's $370,000 veterans. Ulferts says one of the most important items this year is a bonding bill that allocates $53-million for the Minneapolis Veterans Home. He says it's always a case of "the squeakiest wheel gets the grease" and legislators aren't hearing enough about veterans issues.


A Watkins man is hospitalized after being ejected from his car early this morning in Stearns County. A car driven by 20-year-old Dillon Hansen left the road and rolled several times in Maine Prairie Township. Hansen was transported to St. Cloud Hospital by family and his condition is unknown. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.


The 29th-annual John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is underway in northeastern Minnesota. Thousands of spectators showed up Sunday to see the racers off. The event was canceled last year and postponed this year due to poor snow conditions. The race had been scheduled to start January 27th. The marathon ends Wednesday.