NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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February 21, 2011 Agriculture Column


The weather sure turned for the colder this past few days, almost to point of miserable.  That wind sure makes things feel colder!!  Calving season right around the corner for most, machinery preparation for the spring season, obviously more water coming, and markets offered that sure makes farmers wishing they could take advantage of these commodities.  Depending on your location you may have been more fortunate than others in marketing.  I have always been a big promoter of during some pre-harvest marketing, particularly if the markets are strong and this winter is a very good example of that timing.  With commodity prices at a very attractive level and livestock prices never seen before it would seem the perfect time to take advantage of these opportunities; however when will be get in the field, how much will we have to plant, how much pasture will we have left, will we get any corn planted, and will we have any hay are just a few of the challenges that face our producers during this marketing period.  What do we do? 

Last week I attended a Advanced Crop Advisors conference.  There were many very good sessions but one that caught my eye among many was can we raise 75 bushel soybeans.  The speaker was from Ontario and discussed strategies that would enhance our chances of raising 75 bushels soybeans.  His comments are only things for you to think about and I am not encouraging you to change practices that have been working for you.  I also realize he lives in a little longer growing day than we do; however he certainly gave us something to think about.  He and others talked about micro-nutrients and does not recommend micro nutrients except maybe sulfur and zinc (depending on the crop).  He did talk about getting your beans planted earlier.  He said that as long as they soil temperatures are raising soybeans will get along very nicely.  He did say they have had early soybeans get frosted to a -4 C and did burn off some plants but at the fall harvest still out yielded the later planted beans.  He said the stand was obviously much reduced but the amount of beans per plant was significantly higher.  He had data providing support for his comments.  He also said inoculation and a seed fungicide treatment was a must.  The other objective that caught my eye was his over emphasize of have black dirt to plant beans in.  He had data indicated a 7-9 bushels advantage over any cover on the ground.  He used many different tillage operations to get the ground cover distributed and blackened and found the blackest ground performing significantly better.

Ramsey County Crop Improvement annual meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 23 at the K.C. Hall.  The day will start at 9 am with coffee and donuts.  The annual meeting will start at 9:30 with Jeremy Peterson talking about the impact a pre-harvest application of Glyphosate on increase seed.  He will show pictures of club roots from the treated seed that reduces plant stand and yield.  Next on the agenda will be Leon Osborne.  Leon will talk about our weather pattern for the upcoming year.   I know we are all anxiously waiting for that great announcement.  We will conclude the morning with commodity director elections (held at 11:30 am), Crop improvement board director election, and a few new business items.  Dinner is provided following the conclusion of the meeting at approximately noon. 



Feb. 16                        Dakota Cow/Calf Clinics

            Feb 23                         Ramsey County Crop Improvement Annual meeting, KC Hall  

            Mar. 2-3                      Eastern  Crop Scout School, Fargo

            Mar. 8                          Pesticide training, Hampden, 6 P.M.

            April 5                          Pesticide training, Devils Lake, 6 P.M.


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