NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 4, 2011 Agriculture Column


Well, we lucked out again.  I need to be careful how I say lucked out as the further north you the more ugly it looks.  I have not heard any snow amounts in the county however I would guess that 0-2 inches would cover the county thinking that the northern teer could possibly have a bit more.  Devils Lake only had flurries and a little rain turning to a bit of ice but nothing drastic.  This is the second storm that has strayed around us, all being a good thing.

It sure does have the feeling of spring.  The early bird Canada geese are everywhere, new born calves and lambs enjoying the warmer weather, water starting to move in the country side, the days are considerably longer  (even with the changing of the clock a couple of weeks ago) and the attitude of everyone has brightened.  Saturday I made a trip to Edmore to get a woodshed.  On the journey, it is not hard to see a dramatic difference in snow cover from Devils Lake to Edmore, in fact almost a line of considerable differences.

I have been getting a lot of interest in an approximate start date for our farmers.  The first thing I ask is “what will the weather be like for the next three weeks.  If we knew for sure I could give a very good answer however with the weather changing weekly it becomes very hard to predict.  My first answer for a start time prediction is May 15-20.  I really do hope I am wrong as this puts extreme pressure on our farmers to get everything accomplished.  Any later, the question becomes how much corn will get seeded and depending how much moisture we receive will also play a factor in start time.  Leon Osborne suggests that the end of May is a likely start time and then warming very nicely over the summer season and staying nice through the fall season.  We will have to wait and see.

For any farmer needing private pesticide certification tomorrow night is the last chance, locally.  I will be holding training at 6 pm. in the basement of the courthouse.  Cavalier will be holding a training on April 13 if April 5 does not work for you.

These markets have really been something and a little glitch will change supply and demand dramatically.  The cattle market is the very same.  Cow herd numbers are at the lowest number in many years.  People are talking about 30% fewer mama cows than recent history.  Slaughter cows and bulls are at an all time high and would be a great time to think about replacing those older bulls or those poorer producing cows.  Slaughter cows are bringing high seventies at the local livestock barn.  I  attended a bull sale on Friday at Lake Region Livestock and bull prices are up a little on good quality bulls however when you consider what you are receiving for those older bulls young bulls are still a bargain.


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