NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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Free Testing Services Offered to Ranchers and Soybean Producers

soybean cyst nematode soil samples, soybean cyst nematode, nitrate quick testing, nitrates

Submitted by Craig Askim, Extension Agent/Agriculture and Natural Resources

The North Dakota Soybean Council agreed to pay laboratory costs for up to 2,000 Soybean Cyst Nematode soil samples in 2018. Growers MUST use the soil sample form and bags provided to county Extension offices (the bags are numbered and pre-paid). The yellow label on the bag which includes site information must be completed and submitted with the form. The form allows the lab to mail the results directly to the grower. The North Dakota Soybean Council will not see names associated with samples, only data points for mapping. 

Soybean Cyst Nematode is the single biggest disease threat to soybeans in the United States and is spreading quickly in North Dakota.  If growers find the disease early it can be managed with resistance and rotation, if not, it will reduce yield potential for years.

NDSU Extension Mercer County is once again offering free Nitrate Quick testing of hay and forages. Most hay and forage was put up under favorable weather conditions this year, but the presence of nitrate poisoning is favorable. During the latter part of summer, drought conditions were present. Producers/ranchers baling harvested small grains, soybean stocks or corn stocks are strongly encouraged to have these bales tested for nitrates. Most of these fields have been under drought stressed conditions for a favorable amount of time, which increases the potential for nitrate poisoning.

The Extension office has a hay and soil probe for producers/ranchers to check-out and use to collect samples for soil testing and relative feed value. Again, due to the present drought conditions, you should know your nutrient soil levels to prepare a soil nutrient plan for 2019.

Ranchers need to know relative feed values of the hay and forages so they can feed accordingly to reduce costs and prices for hay/forage products. Hay and forage prices can only be priced appropriately if a rancher truly has a complete understanding of the RFV laboratory results of the hay/forages they are trying to buy or sell.

If you have questions on these services, please give me a call at 701-873-5195.

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