NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 8, 2013 Agriculture Column


Sunday night Deb and I watched the ACM Country awards and part way through the program Dodge advertisement played the Paul Harvey “and God made a farmer”.  I am in no way advertising for anyone or any dealership but that commercial brought tears to my eyes as it did during the Super Bowl football game.  This clip really does emphasize the important role that our agricultural producers play in the rural and local communities.  Agricultural producers, around the world, provide food that keeps some of us more than healthy and keeps the local economies thriving.  The next time you see a producer thank them for all they do for communities across the world.

Well, it is getting to be that time of year when producers are anxiously awaiting for the fields to dry.  When that will happen is always a mystery but does happen.  Yesterday a producer stopped by and asked about treating his seed this spring.  He asked if treating his seed was important and of course the response is yes.  Soil temperatures play a very large part of that decision along with soil moisture.  I would strongly encourage all you to consider treating your spring small grain seed.  There are many good fungicides so talk to your supplier and ask them for their advice, for your area. 

Starting a new Asparagus patch???

I have had many phone calls and visits with gardeners wanting to start an asparagus patch this spring.  Asparagus will grow in most of our soil profiles, however good soil drainage is a must as asparagus is prone to many different diseases, including root rot.  You should also have your asparagus area checked for soil nutrients.  The nice thing with asparagus is that you can apply common garden fertilizers, with the root and it will not hurt the root from developing into a bountiful garden vegetable.  Fertilizers like 10-20-10 is a good start and should be incorporated into the soil profile 4-6 inches deep.  Apply, depending on nutrient analysis, apply approximately 15-20 pounds per 1000 square feet.

When planting asparagus look for one year old, healthy crowns from disease free asparagus.  These crowns are from a plant that is at least one year old.  Seeds can be planted but new asparagus seed can be very time consuming due to the seeding, caring, and moving the newly established plants to their new location. Select all male hybrids as they do not produce seeds which act like weeds but also the female plants use a lot of energy to develop those new seeds taking away from production plus the male hybrids out produce female hybrids.

I will provide more planting tips on our first radio program which will start the last week of April.


                April 27                 Gardening Saturday                        Grand Forks Alerus Center

                July 11                   Relay for Life Garden Tour           Devils Lake  


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