NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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July 29, 2013 Agriculture Column


It is good to be back at work.  Was gone for a week on vacation and as we all know now comes the time to try to catch up.  Deb and I were in Colorado for a wedding and on our journey we traveled with Deb’s brother Paul and sister-in-law Kim.  We traveled to Belfield and drove US 85 through North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and then into Colorado.  The word that describes a large portion of that journey was dry.  We drove many miles without seeing an livestock and of course there the pastures are very large.  We did see an antelope occasionally and even that was rare.  On our journey home we traveled towards Valentine Nebraska and north on US 83 which took us to Sterling ND.  That journey found pastures generally very lush and crops looking pretty good.  We did drive through some areas where the crop was poorer but not like out western route.  When we got to the Philip SD area the crops were really quite nice.  Harvesting was starting with the winter wheat looking very good.  I was surprised by the amount of Sorghum that was planted along with the many acres of Sunflowers in the middle part of South Dakota.  I would say that generally our crops looked as good as any on the trip but we are presently have crops needing some moderated rain shortly.  This is however not true for the northern part of Ramsey County as the past month has found significant moisture falling there along with some damaging hail storms.  There was an area, of hail, that traveled the northern county totaling out some fields and making others look like a war zone and then of course areas off of the main center receiving lesser amounts of damage.

Last weekend, I attended a Soybean Cyst Nematode training near Aims Iowa.  This is another one of those topics that is hard to address as we seem to find something, too often, that will affect our farming operations.  I know many of you will say that will not affect us but like resistant weeds showing up almost everywhere I am afraid of this, as well.  The Soybean Cyst nematode will go unnoticed unless we examine soil samples regularly for any nematodes.  The nematode attacks the root system of the plant but yet will go unnoticed in most fields as the plants will have a tendency to look healthy like plants unaffected.  The difference will show its face at harvest with a very reduced yield from what you may been hoping for.  To date the nematode has been found from the epic center of the corn belt to now the Red River Valley and moving westward.  There has also been a confirmed report in Burleigh county of nematodes.  This nematode does not just attack soybeans but is as devastating to edible beans or maybe even more so.  We will be discussing this topic at Lake Region Extension Roundup but please put this into your bucket list of things to watch for as it is will affect our farming operations.  According to the professionals that we visited with in Iowa there is really no way of getting rid of or treating for that has shown consistent results in reducing the nematode problem.  

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