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NDSU Agriculture and Extension

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2017 Annual Highlights Publication Now Available

2017 Annual Highlights CoverWe are pleased to share the valuable accomplishments of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES) and NDSU Extension Service in our 2017 Annual Highlights publication. Our missions contribute directly to the economic success of North Dakota agriculture and meeting the needs of our residents.

In this report, you will read about important research that advances and sustains agriculture as the leading economic sector in North Dakota. The agricultural economy is facing challenging times, and NDAES scientists are applying innovative technologies to improve cultivars, increase production levels and gain efficiency with the goal of improving farm profitability.

You'll also learn about how our NDSU Extension Service specialists and agents are providing educational programming that helps North Dakotans improve their lives, livelihoods and communities.

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Work Safely Around Grain

Grain Bin HazardsUsing appropriate safety practices when working around grain is vital. 

"Make sure everyone, including family and employees, working around stored grain understands the hazards and proper safety procedures," North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang says.

 "Too many people ignore safety practices and suffer severe injury or death while working around grain," he adds. "They get trapped in grain, tangled in auger flighting, or develop respiratory problems from exposure to grain dust and mold particles."

Read more about working safely around grain at NDSU Ag News, or view the NDSU publication “Caught in the Grain.”

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NDSU Research Improves Beef Cattle Production

Making sure pregnant beef cows meet their nutrient needs this winter could be difficult because of the toll this year's drought took on hay production. Supplementing the cows with feed such as corn dried distillers grains with solubles will provide the animals with the extra nutrients they require, according to research at NDSU's Central Grasslands Research Extension Center, near Streeter.

The scientists involved in this research also studied the impact of supplementing pregnant cows with alfalfa hay and a liquid supplement.

"Cows supplemented with alfalfa or liquid supplement lost weight and body condition, which might indicate that these supplements did not supply adequate energy to meet animal demands," says Michael Undi, the animal scientist at the center.

This was one of several beef cattle topics NDSU animal scientists and Extension Service specialists studied in the past year. To learn more about these studies and other NDSU beef research, be sure to read the 2017 North Dakota Beef Report.

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FeedList Connects Livestock Feed Buyers, Sellers

HayMany North Dakota producers are experiencing the effects of drought conditions on their operations.

In addition, late spring frosts and plant pests have stressed the 2017 hay crop further.

Farmers and ranchers who have feedstuff such as hay or corn for sale can list it on North Dakota State University’s FeedList website, which is designed to connect feed sellers and buyers. Producers also may list pasture they have for rent.

The FeedList, at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/feedlist, shows what each seller has for sale, how the feed is stored (large round bales, small bales, etc.) and the seller’s contact information. Prospective buyers can select what they want to buy and contact the sellers. Using the FeedList is free of charge.

The FeedList has been available during feed shortages since the late 1970s.

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2016 Annual Highlights Publication Now Available

2016 Annual HighlightsWe are pleased to share the valuable accomplishments of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES) and NDSU Extension Service in our 2016 Annual Highlights publication. Our missions contribute directly to the economic success of North Dakota’s agriculture and meeting the needs of our residents.

In this report, you will read about important research that advances and sustains agriculture as the leading economic sector in North Dakota. The agricultural economy is facing challenging times, and NDAES scientists are applying innovative technologies to improve cultivars, increase production levels and gain efficiency with the goal of improving farm profitability.

You'll also learn about how our NDSU Extension Service specialists and agents are providing educational programming that helps North Dakotans improve their lives, livelihoods and                    communities. We sincerely hope you enjoy reading the 2016 Annual Highlights!

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Long-term Grain Storage Requires Good Management

Some grain will be stored for many months or even more than a year due to low grain prices, so maintaining grain quality during extended storage will require extra care and management, according to North Dakota State University’s grain storage expert.

“Grain that will be stored for an extended time needs to be good-quality grain,” says NDSU Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang. “The outer layer of a grain kernel is the pericarp, or seed coat, and provides protection for the kernel. If the pericarp is damaged, the kernel is more susceptible to mold growth and insect infestations. This reduces the expected storage life of the grain.”

Assure that the storage facility is clean and insects are not living in aeration ducts, under perforated floors, or in handling equipment or debris around the facility. Fumigate the empty bin to kill insects under the floor or in aeration ducts if an infestation occurred during the previous year. Also, consider applying an approved residual bin spray and a grain protectant to repel potential insect infestations if storing grain during warmer portions of the year.

More advice about grain drying and storage is available from the Extension Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering homepage.

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Livestock Water Quality Threatened by Dry Conditions

Stock dams and dugouts commonly are used to supply water to grazing livestock. (NDSU photo)Monitoring water quality throughout the livestock grazing season is important, as some parts of North Dakota are seeing hot and dry conditions.

“There are reports of areas in the southwest and parts of central North Dakota that are having water quality issues in stock ponds and watering holes where cattle have no other options for water,” says North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock environmental stewardship specialist Miranda Meehan.

Poor water quality can impact livestock health negatively, adds Gerald Stokka, NDSU Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist.

“Monitoring water quality throughout the grazing season is important because it changes in response to climate and environmental conditions,” Meehan says. “What is especially important is to keep a close eye on water quality during drought when using a shallow water source and sources with a history of water quality issues.”

Read more about livestock water quality at NDSU Ag News. Water testing is available at the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

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$2 Million Grant Awarded to NDSU for Cover Crop Research

Cover Crops Trials
(NDSU Photo)
A nearly $2.15 million grant the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded to North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station scientists at North Dakota State University will be used for a project to demonstrate how cover crops can increase the resilience and productivity of crops such as corn and soybeans and improve soil health and land use efficiency.

"The use of cover crops, common in the eastern and central Corn Belt, are uncommon in corn-soybean systems in the Upper Midwest and northern Great Plains due to the short growing season and extreme fluctuations in temperature and precipitation within and across growing seasons," says Marisol Berti, the project's lead investigator and a professor in NDSU's Plant Sciences Department.

This project is a collaborative effort of 13 researchers. Eight are from NDSU, which is leading the project. The remainder are from the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service laboratory in Morris, Minn.

Read more about this grant and a grant for pest and disease research at NDSU Ag News.

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Revised Field Pea Production Guide Available

Field PeaWith an increased interest in field peas in North Dakota, a team of NDSU Extension research specialists has updated and revised a field pea production guide.

According to the 2016 North Dakota prospective plantings report, produced by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, growers are intending to plant 640,000 acres of dry edible peas this spring, up 66 percent from 2015.

If all of these acres are planted, it would be a record high, with 30,000 more acres planted, compared with the current high of 610,000 field pea acres planted in 2006.

With the increased interest in field peas, North Dakota State University Extension agronomists, pathologists, entomologists and an agricultural engineer, revised and updated the NDSU Field Pea Production guide.

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2015 North Dakota Beef Report Released

CowandCalfNorth Dakota State University; the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources; and the Agricultural Experiment Station are pleased to be able to provide this new 2015 report to the beef industry and cattle ranchers in the state. This report provides the most recent results from research related to beef cattle, beef products, and environmental and range sciences from North Dakota.
It also includes a broad range of research from on-campus departments, schools and centers, as well as Research Extension Centers across the state, and provides producers and stakeholders with one document that contains all beef-related research conducted at NDSU each year.

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