NDSU Extension Service - Traill County


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Traill County Extension

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2017 Stepping into SpringTraill County Crop Improvement Scholarships

The Traill Country Crop Improvement Association has established a scholarship for high school seniors and undergraduate students. The scholarship details are as follows:

  • The applicant’s family must be a resident of Traill County, ND
  • Applicants must be pursuing a degree in an agricultural related field.
  • There will be (4) $500 scholarships awarded. (2) $500 scholarships to sophomore undergraduate students.
  • Applications must be postmarked on or before April 28, 2017. 
  • Applicant must be a senior in high school and be graduating in the spring of 2017. Undergraduate applicants must be currently enrolled in agricultural related studies.

Scholarship will be paid directly to the institution where the student is enrolled. The scholarship will be paid after successfully completing one semester.

For more information and to get an application contact the Traill County Extension office at (701)636-5665 or email alyssa.scheve@ndsu.edu.

Private Pesticide Recertification and Certification Sessions

There will be three private pesticide certification/recertification sessions offered in Traill County for 2017. Location, date and times for sessions are as follows:

Thursday, March 16, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Norsemen Hall, Portland (testing following training for initial certifications) Tuesday, March 21, 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. - Fire hall, Portland (no initial certification testing)
Thursday, March 23, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Community Center, Hatton (testing in afternoon for initial certifications)

Those needing initial certification will be able to do so at the Portland Norsemen and Hatton Community Center sessions and will need to stay for testing immediately after those training session takes place.

Cost of certification/recertification is $30. Checks should be written to: Traill County Treasurer.

A letter has been sent to those Traill County producers whose certification expires on April 1, 2017 regarding their need to attend a recertification meeting.

Pre-registration is required ONE WEEK in advance for attendance at these training sessions. Email our office at or call us at 701-636-5665 to register.

NDSU Extension Offers Youth Gardening Grants

Grants of up to $1,000 for youth gardening projects are available through the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

Funds may be used to purchase gardening supplies (tools, soil, seeds, plants or containers), books and other educational supplies. A review of the applications will begin March 14 and continue until the available funds are exhausted.

“Schools, 4-H clubs, church groups and other youth organizations are encouraged to apply,” says Dean Aakre, 4-H youth development specialist.

More than 3,700 youth participated in Junior Master Gardener projects in 2016. These projects included starting school gardens, beautifying schools and parks, constructing raised beds for the elderly and growing food for local food pantries.

For more information and an application form, go to https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/jrmastergardener/. Questions? Contact the Traill County Extension office at (701)636-5665 or email alyssa.scheve@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Offers Updated Crop Compare Program for 2017

The North Dakota State University Extension Service has updated the Crop Compare program, which is a spreadsheet designed to compare cropping alternatives.

The program provides a tool for producers to check the changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made this spring.

The program uses the direct costs and yields from the 2017 projected crop budgets for nine regions of North Dakota, but producers are encouraged to enter the expected yields and input costs for their individual farm.

The user designates a reference crop and enters its expected market price. Depending on the region, a broad selection of nine to 18 crops are compared. The program provides the prices for competing crops that would be necessary to provide the same return over variable costs as the reference crop.

“Producers can compare these break-even prices to expected market prices to see which crop is most likely to compete with the reference crop,” says Andy Swenson, NDSU Extension farm management specialist. “Grain prices can move quickly. The program provides a tool for producers to check the changing scenarios until final planting decisions are made this spring.”

It should be noted that an underlying assumption is that fixed costs, such as machinery ownership, land and the owner’s labor and management, do not vary among crop choices and therefore do not need to be included in the analysis.

“In practice, there may be differences in fixed costs that should be considered,” says Swenson.

“For example, there may be additional labor, management and risk associated with a competing crop. If all the labor and management is provided by the owner-operator, it would be considered a fixed cost and could be excluded. However, the producer should add some cost if he or she would only want to produce the crop when an adequate reward would be received for the extra time and management required relative to the reference crop.

” A similar rationale could be used if a competing crop is considered higher risk.

The updated Crop Compare program is available on the Web at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/farmmanagement/tools.

NDSU Extension Service Warns Landowners About InvasivePalmer amaranth Weed

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and North Dakota State University Extension Service advise farmers to scout new conservation plantings for Palmer amaranth, a very aggressive weed that has plagued cropland production in the South and Midwest.

Palmer amaranth is a type of pigweed that has devastated crops in many states. In some areas, herbicide costs have more than doubled, while producers have not obtained complete control of the weed.

In Iowa, Minnesota and other states, Palmer amaranth recently has been found in many counties where native seed mixes used for pollinator or wildlife habitats inadvertently contained Palmer amaranth seed.

In Georgia, most cotton acres have to be hand-weeded because the weed no longer can be controlled with glyphosate.

“Landowners are encouraged to check their fields and contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture or NDSU Extension Service if a plant is suspected to be Palmer amaranth,” says Brian Jenks, North Central Research Extension Center weed scientist. “The plant should be growing and identifiable prior to hard frosts.”

Palmer amaranth has several unique characteristics that make it hard to control. In optimum conditions, Palmer amaranth has a rapid growth rate, and can grow 2 to 3 inches per day and reach 6 to 8 feet tall. One plant can produce up to 1 million seeds.

While most weeds have a short emergence window in the spring, Palmer amaranth can emerge throughout the growing season. One of the most troubling characteristics is that it is very prone to developing resistance to herbicides. Some populations are known to be resistant to at least five different herbicide modes of action.

Palmer amaranth’s distinguishing characteristics are:
• It has very little hair on the leaves and stem, compared with redroot pigweed.
• The petioles are typically as long or longer than the leaf blade.
• It is dioecious, meaning it has separate male and female plants.
• The female plants have spiny bracts at the leaf axils.
• Flowering heads are unbranched and 1 to 2 feet long.
• The heads of the female plant are sharp (spiny) to the touch, while the males heads are soft.

Given the history of Palmer amaranth in other states, learning to identify it so that new infestations can be controlled is important for farmers and agronomists, Jenks says.

“This weed is a game changer and will be controlled only by a zero-tolerance policy,” he adds. “Landowners should confirm that any purchased seed does not contain Palmer amaranth.

” For more information on Palmer amaranth, including how to identify it, go to https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/weeds. Questions? Contact the Traill County Extension office at (701)636-5665 or email alyssa.scheve@ndsu.edu.

Traill County Courthouse


NDSU Extension Service/Traill County
114 Caledonia Ave. W.
Box 730 (mailing address)
Hillsboro, ND 58045
Phone:  701-636-5665   
Fax: 701-636-5666

Office Hours:
8 am - 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday
Summer Office Hours:
(Memorial Day - Labor Day)
7 am - 4:30 pm,  Monday-Thursday
8 am - Noon, Friday


Rachael Hiam, Extension Agent/4-H Youth Development
Leigh Gunkel, Family Nutrition Program Assistant
LeAnn Beck, Administrative Assistant

Related Links:
NDSU Extension Service
North Dakota Department of Agriculture

Traill County
City of Hillsboro
Cities of Mayville-Portland
City of Hatton

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