NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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February 15, 2010 Ag Column


Well, here we go again, another 4-9 inches of snow depending where you live.  We were in Leeds on Saturday and they had quite a bit more snow than we did here in Devils Lake.  I am not looking forward to the next couple of months as March and April tend to be more wet than the rest of the winter.  We had a baptism in our family, yesterday, and Dad had brought pictures of the “great” March 1966 storm.  The snow was massive everywhere.  Sure brings back many memories especially for those of you dealing with livestock, like we did.  We spent many days trying to dig out hay, clean open front barns of snow and even had the National Guard clean roads and yards that needed help, with a D-8 cat my uncle Richard was operating. 

This past week Luke Walter (the new Nelson County Extension agent), Crystal Martodam (Towner County Extension agent) and myself attended a Beef College in Bismarck.  I know some of you are wondering why I would attend as we do not have any beef in Ramsey County but if you start a list you would soon find we have something over 4000 head of beef in the county.  Even at that, I am here to help even a few, if it means a single producer with 1 head.  The college was very good and dealt with many topics to include “Beef Quality Insurance”, “Why are we in this business”, a panel discussion of experiences to include the development of the new slaughter plant in the Bismarck area (this plant is being built to handle 750 slaughter animals a day, to be shipped back to Korea),”Organic and conventional feeding” and managing our cow herd financially.  Lucas Walter wrote a very good article talking about “Optimism in the cattle business”, for the folks of Nelson County, that I would like to share a little of it with you.  This information came from our meetings in Bismarck. 


“There was a study conducted which asked Americans what their beef consumption would be in 2010. 75 percent of the persons who were asked said they would consume the same amount of beef as they did in 2009, and 13 percent acknowledged they were going to consume more beef then they have in the past. Exports have been down in recent years due to due mainly to the “mad cow disease”, for lack of a better phrase.  With a slowdown in the recession and increasing demand in other countries we have started to see a slow turn around where exports are increasing slowly.  As I mentioned earlier, Korea is looking at a slaughter plant, to ship boxed beef back home.  This would bode very well for the cattle industry.


For the past three years the cattle heard in the United States has been declining, and now we are seeing a herd size that has not been this small in over fifty years.  In the US all cattle and calves in 2010, are down 1 percent from 2009, and North Dakota has seen a 2 percent decrease. Any producer looking at these numbers, of a decreasing herd with demand slightly increasing, is saying; “Hey prices are going to go up.”  Lucas Walter


Commodity elections!!!!

Commodity elections were held for Ramsey County last Wednesday, at our annual Crop Improvement meeting with the following commodities needing a county representative, Corn, Barley and Sunflower.  The following were elected to represent our county: Corn- Paul Becker, Barley-Jim Berg and Sunflower-Paul Ivesdal.  Congratulations to you knowing you will all represent our county well at the district level.




March 15           Private Pesticide training (Devils Lake 6-9 pm)

March 20           Gardening Saturday

March 29           Private Pesticide training (Devils Lake 6-9 pm)




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