NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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January 31, 2011 Agriculture Column


I am writing this on Sunday as I will be in Fargo Monday and Tuesday for a horticulture conference.  I am not suggesting that will turn this into a horticulture column but would argue if you look around the agricultural world you see more and more farmsteads looking ready for a horticulture tour.  Some would argue that a clean yard has not effect on the human mine but I would argue greatly with that thought.  I can remember living on the farm and a neat farmstead was not my top priority, as many of you know; however since moving off of the farm I have found having a neat yard and especially one that we worked so hard to look that way is very rewarding.  How many times have you walked out in the morning and heard the birds chirping, geese honking their morning sounds and the freshness of the predawn day and then to look around and find a yard that is just plain relaxing to observe it beauty? 

I was to the bred cow sale on Saturday and this market really has some fire under it.  I saw slaughter cows bring over $.70/cwt.  I have never seen that kind of market all the years I raised cattle.  The bull market is extremely high, as well, l which would certainly give the opportunity to improve genetics in our cow herd inexpensively this year.  Do you remember reading my article a week or two ago that talked about bull evaluation?  Well, this slaughter bull market gives you the opportunity to improve genetics plus bring in younger bulls to your herd.  Check your bulls over and look for not only their offspring but also a good look at the bull to determine soundness and age.  This might be the best spring we will ever have to improve genetics for the least amount of money.  The very same holds true in the mama cow herd.  Slaughter cows from $.50 to $.75/cwt is unheard of.  Why would you not sell an open cow or even a late bred cow and replace her with a heifer or young cow?  Some say that she has been too good of a cow and always raises a good calf well I WOULD argue how has that open or poor doing cow been adding to your check book.  There is not one old cow out there, that is a good producing cow, that was not a heifer at one point.  Anytime you can trade for a younger bred heifer or cow for $200-$400, what are we waiting for? 

Pesticide training is just around the corner and with that being said we will talking about weed resistance and a good herbicide rotation.  Have you been working on herbicide rotation like you do with your cropping rotation?  Don’t give the response; “ is has been working and is cheap AND it won’t happen to me attitude.  PLEASE BE THINKING ABOUT WHAT THE CROPPING WORLD WILL BE LIKE IN TWO. THREE. OR EVEN 10 YEARS FROM NOW.  Do you have weeds that are getting more hard to control is you can control them, like kochia.  How many of you grow edible beans and find the normal herbicide tank mix not working like it has been, in fact found was more kochia in your fields than ever before?



Feb 9                           Canola Days, Langdon

Feb. 14                        Commercial Fumigation, Devils Lake, IVN

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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