NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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October 4 Agriculture Column


The season is upon us with the turning of the tree leaves and the beautiful leaf colors.  It is definitely a sign that fall is here and “finally” some beautiful weather to go with it.  This weather will make harvest proceed along very nicely.  I checked by son’s corn yesterday, which is located west of Edmore and is a 81 day corn and it has black layered and will make very nice corn.  The corn harvest has begun in the area with some high moisture corn being harvested for the feedlots.  The other corn harvest will also start this week as there are some early maturing corn in the area that looks very good, also.  Please keep our farmer friends in mind when traveling along the country side and give them some room to travel.  This also goes the other way too, you farmers need to remember that these roads are only so wide and driving these big implements down them makes for a very dangerous encounter.

Saline Tiling project

September 22 saw our new saline project installation take place.  This project will be a ongoing project with many sponsors to include Devils Lake Joint water board, RC & D, Ramsey County Soil Conservation District, Ag Country Farm Credit, Ramsey County Extension, JS Ag Consulting, and Agassiz tiling from Mayville.  All of these sponsors sponsored the installation of the tile, sponsored a plot sign and/or sponsored water sampling for water quality, and soil sampling (monitoring soil qualities).  I know that some of you are wondering what is going on so here is the scoop.  We have many hundreds of acres across the county that is being taking over by salinity.  We all know about the water problems but driving down the road you will soon realize the saline areas in our communities.  In most cases this would be areas that are planted to a crop but not growing anything but weeds.  There are also CRP fields that have grass planted to intentionally try to establish some growing materials on these area which are not growing so good either.  This project was designed to establish benefits of tiling saline areas, take water quality samples and soil qualities, over a period of seven years.  Please remember any project of this nature needs permitting requirements to begin and this project was no exception.  A Wetland Determination Certification (not draining a predetermined wetland) and also any affects this tiling would have on a 80 acres water shed.  I also needed to garner permission from the North Dakota State Water Commission (Devils Lake is considered a state water of significance).

Listed below are the nuts and bolts of this project;

·         Saline Tiling is NOT drainage

·         Tiling removes excess inner soil water to prevent soil surface evaporation (leaving salt behind)

·         Will help with compaction issues

·         Will allow green matter to grow (either cover crops or grain crops)

·         Water samples will be collected regularily to determine water quality leaving the tile.

·         Soil sampling will occur to check soil health


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