NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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March 12, 2012 Agriculture Column

Howdy!!!  What beautiful weather we are coming into and have had.  I heard the weatherman say that we have a chance to set a record high on Friday of near 70 degrees.  Who would have ever thought we would have a winter like this considering the winters of the last 15 years.  One farmer, I spoke with over the weekend, thinks we will be the field by the first week of April.  I think that is pushing it but if we look at the calendar and the temperatures they are talking who knows what will happen.  One thing is for sure, the weather is absolutely, fantastic.  Calving is under way and what great weather for that.  No frozen ears or tails and fun to have the cattle outside and not in a barn, creating more work.  Remember as we get through the calving season to keep those cows in good condition.  This past year we had a very large amount of open cows and heifers.  This could be created by many different scenarios but one culprit could be flushing the cows.  This means making sure the cows are in good condition going into the breeding season.  Thinner cows have a greater chance of a poorer conception rate.  The other factor is, if you are not presently doing so, to consider a sound vaccination program.  There are many things that affect conception and the term of the calf to include things like vibrio.  The little things add up and a 100 percent cow calf drop is the number one criteria then comes live calves.

This is also a great time to be getting your spring planting seed germination done.  It is always a good idea to check your seed as subpar germination can and will result in a reduced yield and profitability.  We do have seed germination bags available for your use and the North Dakota State Seed department is ready for any samples that are sent in.  Many of us have used preharvest Roundup burn down and that application can affect how the plant grows during the growing season.  The seed will germinate ok but the plant roots can become club roots causing the plant to grow reach it potential production capacity.  A germination test will detect if the seed has been affected by the pre-harvest burn down so look through your records for the previous cropping history.

Calendar

            March 13                     Private Pesticide training                       Hampden

            March 15                     Commercial ornamental and turf            Devils Lake

            March 27                     Private Pesticide training                       Devils Lake

            April 10                        Private Pesticide training                       Devils Lake

            April 14                        Grand Forks Gardening Saturday

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