NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 25, 2011 Agriculture Column


The sun is shining bright today and hopefully for a long period of time, however it sounds like a not such good moisture system pulling into our part of the world by the weekend.  Hopefully it will slide to the south again.  As I travel around the county and across the state it is just so sad the devastation that is taking place.  In our area there are no surprises however I am not sure if it is just the wear and tear of the years of this disaster or what but this year seems to be taking a higher toll on all us than in the past.  Maybe it is because of the way our problems have been handled but I listen to the problems in the all of the valleys and not once is Devils Lake mentioned about our issue.  People might say that we have been on the news a lot but the word is just not getting out there.  I was in western North Dakota two weeks ago and they don’t realize the magnitude of our problem.  I have included two different articles from the Red River Farm Network news releases pertaining to the Devils Lake show from our area producers and an a note from Dave Franzen about nitrogen availability.

North Dakota State University Extension soil science specialist Dave Franzen is worried about nitrogen that was applied before October 15th last fall. "I know there was some urea and ammonia that went on in late September and that was way too early, it really didn't get cold enough," said Franzen, "I would watch very carefully the fields that had that early N and if you find out early in the season that they need to be supplemented, you need to do that as early as possible." Franzen says many fields with heavy clay soils are now covered with water, which could lead to some problems.

Penn, North Dakota farmer Lee Gessner’s farm used to be 2.5 miles from Pelican Lake; now, the lake is in his farm yard. On April 16th, Gessner moved all of the equipment out of his farm shop. On April 20th, the day of the RRFN broadcast in Devils Lake, Gessner had eight inches of water in that shop. "I've got seven grain bins and about 25,000 bushels of storage and they're sitting in water; a week earlier they weren't." Gessner’s neighbor, John Peyerl, is one of many farmers who say these high grain prices are only adding to their frustration. "I would love to contract, but I just don't dare; I might not get much seeded at all and some of the land that is out of the water, will have access problems."


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