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Report: Kansas wheat planting begins, corn harvest

picks up

WICHITA, Kan. | Kansas farmers have begun planting their next year’s winter wheat crops.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 1% of the winter wheat has now been planted in Kansas. That is near the average for this time of year.

The agency also reports that 4% of the corn in the state has now been cut. That is near the 8% average for this point in the season. About 28% of the corn has matured.

Other major field crops also are making progress as harvest nears in Kansas.

About 89% of soybean crops are setting pods and 7% are dropping leaves

The government also is reporting that 3% of the sorghum in Kansas is now mature.

Ricketts: Japan trade deal would be ‘big deal for Nebraska’

LINCOLN, Neb. | Gov. Pete Ricketts said a new trade agreement that lowers tariffs between the United States and Japan would be a “big deal for Nebraska” and farmers in particular if both sides can reach an agreement.

Ricketts made the comment by telephone Monday from Japan, the latest stop on his foreign trade mission to promote Nebraska abroad and connect local businesses with Japanese officials.

Ricketts said many officials and business leaders are cautiously optimistic about the agreement, but a lot of has to be done in a short period of time and there are still some issues to resolve.

Japan is Nebraska’s largest export market for beef, pork, eggs and wheat.

Ricketts said he also has encouraged Japanese businesses to invest in the state.

Target ups hiring by 4% to more than 130,000 for holidays

NEW YORK | Target is hiring more than 130,000 people ahead of the critical holiday season, up more than 4% from last year.

The retailer is increasing by two-fold the number hires dedicated to handling online orders from stores.

Retailers likely will have a tough time attracting holiday help again this year. Unemployment is near a 50-year low, and people can be pickier about where they work.

That has made hiring even more expensive for Target Corp.

All seasonal workers will receive a starting salary of $13 per hour after Target raised its minimum wage in June. Its goal is to pay a $15 minimum hourly wage by the end of next year.

— From AP reports