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Heating Your Farm Shop

Farm storage

Deciding on what size heating system to buy for a farm shop will depend on the size of the shop, how the shop will be used, how well it is insulated and how often the large doors will be opened. The construction of a building also makes a huge difference in how much heat the heating system needs to deliver. (Photo by pippalou at morgueFile.com)

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Check Feedlot Water Quality

cow in feedlot

Runoff from a feedlot may transport large quantities of organic matter, nutrients and pathogens. If feedlots are not managed properly, uncontrolled runoff from beef cattle feedlot pens may pollute public waters, thus may pose a risk to aquatic life, as well as recreational and drinking water. Various criteria have been developed to characterize water quality, including physical characteristics, chemical constituents and bacterial content. (Photo by mensatic at morguefile.com)

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Backgrounding Options

Cattle in yard

Not all backgrounding systems work with each type of cattle. Some cattle are best suited to being finished directly after weaning, while other cattle are best finished following an extensive growing program. Because of this, producers should recognize the many types of backgrounding systems that are available.

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Corn Drying and Storage Challenges

Corn in field

 Many corn fields have areas that are totally brown but also have areas that are still green and growing. In those green spots, test weights and moisture contents will be high,while in the brown spots, test weight will be lighter and moisture contents much lower. (Photo by Harry22 at all-free-download.com)

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Tips for Planting Winter Wheat

wheaty

Winter wheat can be a viable crop in today’s cropping systems. It usually is planted and harvested during periods that do not compete with other farm activities. If properly managed, winter wheat has high yield potential and can be an excellent option on land that was not planted last spring.

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NDSU Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results

Winter Wheat

Results from winter wheat variety trials at various locations in North Dakota are now available.  Selecting the crop varieties that will grow best in a particular area can make a huge impact on a producer's profitability. Each year, NDSU agricultural researchers conduct variety trials to help determine which varieties produce the best yields under a range of growing conditions. (Photo – Winter wheat harvest by NDSU)

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Prevent Insect Problems in Grain Bins

Grain bin

Before treating with an insecticide, make sure the bins are free of insect-infested grain. Leftover grain should be removed from the bin, and the walls should be swept and vacuumed. All grain handling equipment, such as augers, combines, trucks and wagons, should be thoroughly cleaned and grain residues removed before harvest. Also, the 2013 North Dakota Field Crop Insect Management Guide has good information on insecticides registered for use in stored grains.

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Water Essential for Cattle in High Heat

cattle in water

When temperatures soar, making sure cattle have enough water is critical. During hot weather, cattle can drink up to 20 or more gallons a day.  It also is important for ranchers to check ponds and tanks for green or blue-green algae because certain types of algae can be fatal to livestock. Water testing should be conducted to ensure optimum productivity of your herd or flock.

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Impacts of Flooding on Crop Development

Flooded field

The recent warm weather has accentuated the adverse effects of waterlogging on any emerged crops. Generally, the oxygen levels in saturated soils reach a point that is harmful to plant growth after 48 to 96 hours. In an effort to survive, tissues growing under reduced oxygen levels use alternate metabolic pathways that produce byproducts that can be toxic at elevated levels. Waterlogged conditions also reduce root growth and can predispose the plant to root rots, so the results of excess moisture may not be known until late in the season.

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Timing of Fungicides for Scab Control in Wheat and Barley

Scab in wheat

Some winter wheat is now approaching the growth stage that is most sensitive to scab infection. Also, the earliest planted spring wheat and barley fields are beginning to head out. Environmental conditions in the next few weeks will play a significant role in determining if scab will be problematic this year. The small grains disease forecasting model is an excellent resource in determining the risk for scab development. If conditions are conducive for scab development, recommended fungicides can be effective in reducing scab development, particularly if applied at the appropriate stage of development.

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