NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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January 26, 2015 Agriculture Column


It so nice, putting up with weather like we are having.  It is actually fun being outside and does not hurt the fishing either.  It is fun watching producers respond to this kind of weather.  Even though many are in the process of what crops to grow and managing their rotation based on those crops they manage to get out to haul a little grain or attend a cow sale, held last Saturday.  Speaking of cow sale, Lake Region Livestock was packed to capacity with many ranchers looking to replace the cull cows they have sold.  Jim and Mary do a really good job of attracting quality bred females and the sale results are evident.  It is evident of the need of replacing cows in the herd as the livestock barns have been selling slaughter cows by the hundreds every week, but then why not clean up with slaughter cow prices like they are.  Sunday I had a discussion with three retired cattlemen and talked about the price of bred females.  One would argue that things are out of control and maybe in some sense they are; however if we look over time, and I am talking may years, bred females usually bring double of the calf market.  I have talked about this in an article about a month ago so no need to go any further, except it is fun to watch the enthusiasm among the crowd.

As we approach the spring planting season, many will wonder what the spring will hold for planting dates.  The weather man would predict a normal spring, maybe even start in April, time will tell.  One thing we know for sure things will be a little different going into the planting season.  Lower commodity prices and the unknown of the growing season will add stress for the next season.  Along with the stress of not knowing the growing conditions we all know that weeds do not stop.  There are becoming many resistant weeds in our presence and well even be more in the future.  As you think about the weed pressure in your fields we are all finding that an early application is becoming more important than ever as taller weeds become more difficult to control.  A new weed to be on the look out for is Palmar Amaranth.  This weed is a very difficult weed to control as it generally grows in areas not easily gotten too and not many herbicides that will do a good job of controlling the nasty weeds.  As you prepare for  the upcoming growing season be thinking of crops and herbicides rotations that will control the weed species that are causing us the most problems.     

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