By Evelyn Pyburn
The bees are still dying.
Hives are still collapsing.
The industry is still threatened.
Not much has changed in the beekeeping business over a couple of years ago, when the industry reported that bees were mysteriously dying.
There were some widely reported conclusions that cell phones were causing the mysterious demise of bees and the collapse of hives, but it turned out to be little more than media hype, with no substantiation. The premature reports actually harmed the industry more, reports Lance Sundberg, owner of Sunshine Apiary in Columbus, Montana.
The Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) have acknowledged the announcement by BNSF Railway of a rate increase for the 2010 wheat crop. The two agricultural groups are disappointed but realistic about the implications of the increase. The new rates will be implemented system-wide, taking effect in the southern wheat states June 1 and in Montana and the Northern Plains August 1. Increased labor and input costs were cited by BNSF Railway as factors in their decision.
Fidelity Exploration & Production Company, the wholly owned natural gas and oil production subsidiary of MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU), announced that it signed a purchase and sale agreement on March 15, to acquire producing natural gas properties located in the Green River Basin in Sweetwater and Carbon counties in southwest Wyoming.
Based on estimates by Fidelity's reservoir engineers, the acquired properties include 63 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe) of proven reserves of which 51 Bcfe is proved developed producing. In addition, the acquisition includes an additional estimated unproven reserve potential of 67 Bcfe to 190 Bcfe based primarily on infill drilling opportunities. Net production as of the effective date of the transaction was approximately 14.5 million cubic feet equivalent per day, 92 percent of which was natural gas. Approximately 63 percent of the daily production will be from wells operated by Fidelity.
The sale of a food research company will have impacts on a production company in Dillon.
NutraCea (NTRZ), a leader in stabilized rice bran (SRB) nutrient research and technology, announced that it completed a sale of NutraCea’s existing cereal ingredients business and certain related equipment to Kerry Inc. (“Kerry”), a global food ingredients company on March 9, for $3.9 million. In addition, NutraCea received $272,000 for inventory related to its cereal ingredients business.
Fidelity Exploration & Production Company has announced the acquisition of additional leasehold interests in the Bakken area of western North Dakota, and in the emerging oil shale play in the Niobrara formation in southeastern Wyoming and north-central Colorado. Fidelity is a wholly owned natural gas and oil production subsidiary of MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU).
The Bakken lease purchase includes approximately 40,000 net acres with the Three Forks play as the primary target. The acquired leases have three to five year primary terms and increase the company's acreage position in the Bakken to approximately 56,000 net acres. In the Niobrara oil shale play, the company has signed an agreement to acquire approximately 27,000 net acres with five-year primary lease terms.
"These lease purchases broaden our position in the Rocky Mountain region and provide long term growth potential in two exciting oil plays," said Terry D. Hildestad, president and chief executive officer of MDU Resources. Hildestad noted that Fidelity continues to look for other development opportunities throughout the Rocky Mountain Region to augment the company's reserves and production.
Party Time Plus started laying the foundation last week, of a new, larger building to keep pace with the company’s rapid growth. The new 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 3138 Gable Road, just a few blocks down the street from their current location at 1011 S. 29th St. West. Jones Construction is the general contractor.
Anticipating the continued growth in leisure travel trends, Group Destination Planners, LLC (GDP), a Tour Company with Receptive & Destination Services, has named Jody L. Lamp of Billings, as its Independent Destination Marketing Director for both inbound and outbound 2010 trips.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103