NDSU Extension - Williams County

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Articles - 2011

Diseases Can Devastate Lentils

Of the few acres planted this spring, it is my observation that a higher percentage of lentils were put in the ground than any of our other primary crops - durum, peas, and hard spring wheat. One of the major yearly threats to lentils is ascochyta blight.

Diseases Can Devastate Lentils - Read More…

Options for Prevented Planted Acres

With the 2011 planting season all but wrapped up, many fields in Williams County remain wet and will likely be prevented planted acres for crop insurance purposes. Once the decision has been made to stop planting the very first step is to file a prevented planted claim with the crop insurance provider within three days of the decision.

Options for Prevented Planted Acres - Read More…

Ash Tree Infected With Anthracnose

Our climate is usually characterized as being close to a drought with warm temperatures, almost daily winds and low humidity. Obviously, that does not describe the spring of 2011 in northwest North Dakota or northeast Montana.

Ash Tree Infected With Anthracnose - Read More…

Prevented Planting Information.Dandelions & More.Horse Vaccination Urged

A few weeks ago I referred to the April 30 blizzard as a “once in a lifetime” event. This spring’s weather also fits into that category. For that matter, the entire winter and spring were far from normal. In 2009 the weed scientists at North Dakota State University chose dandelion as the weed-of-the-year. For ??? years, the dandelion has frustrated home owners. Horse owners who participate in activities involving other horses are encouraged to have their horses’ current on all vaccinations. In recent weeks at least 44 horses in nine western states have tested positive for the equine herpes virus, also known as EHV-1.

Prevented Planting Information.Dandelions & More.Horse Vaccination Urged - Read More…

Project Safe Send and Flood Information

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is planning 12 Project Safe Send sites and is encouraging anyone with banned or unusable pesticides to schedule a trip to Project Safe Send this July. Mother Nature is wielding a heavy club this year.

Project Safe Send and Flood Information - Read More…

4-H Foundation Launches New Initiative & Riveland Retires

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation, in cooperation with the NDSU Extension Service, is launching “Join the Revolution of Responsibility” initiative. The new campaign is part of the national youth development organization’s ongoing efforts that empower young people through hands-on learning, adult mentorship and research-based programs. Neil Riveland, longtime agronomist at the Williston Research Center, recently announced his retirement.

4-H Foundation Launches New Initiative & Riveland Retires - Read More…

Once in a Lifetime

Mother Nature has given us North Dakotans a lot of good times but once in a while she lets us know who is actually in control. Such was the case this past weekend when she added more snow to our 100 year plus record along with a blast of 60-70 mph winds that seemed to last for an eternity.

Once in a Lifetime - Read More…

Youth Horsemanship Group to Organize & NRCS Policy on Noxious Weed Control

4-H youth work set its roots back in 1914 with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act and the formation of the Cooperative Extension Service. 4-H clubs and the Extension Service worked hand-in-hand to produce the growing demand for food as the nation entered World War 1. Noxious weeds such as Canada thistle often invade Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sites planted to grasses and legumes. Owners of these sites often find themselves caught between the state law requiring them to control noxious weeds and regulations of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) requiring a legume must be maintained in CRP.

Youth Horsemanship Group to Organize & NRCS Policy on Noxious Weed Control - Read More…

Recommendations for Kochia Control & Potential for Foxtail Problems

Kochia is one of the most troublesome weeds for crop growers. It is an exceptionally competitive weed and a few uncontrolled plants can cause severe yield losses. Most kochia have some resistance to ALS herbicides. Weather to date looks like spring planting may be later than normal. Such would be favorable for two more troublesome weeds - green and yellow foxtail.

Recommendations for Kochia Control & Potential for Foxtail Problems - Read More…

Weed of the Year & Water Hardness Can Reduce Herbicide Effectiveness

The weed science department of North Dakota State University has chosen common ragweed as this year’s weed of the year. The selection of common ragweed for this distinction was made because of its growing resistance to certain herbicides. Among them is glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup. Water hardness is caused by potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Weed of the Year & Water Hardness Can Reduce Herbicide Effectiveness - Read More…

Trees Need Good Soil

As I was walking along the roadside this week I noticed a new blade of yellow/green grass emerging from the ground. For me, this was evidence the spring season is indeed arriving. I will still need to wait several weeks before the trees break buds and leaf-out, but the new grass shoot restored my faith in good ole mother nature.

Trees Need Good Soil - Read More…

Weed Resistance a Growing Concern & Knox Elected to Council

Most crop producers are aware that some weeds are developing resistance to very popular herbicides. For example, wild oat resistance to Group 1 class of grassy herbicides has been documented in nearly every North Dakota County. For over two decades this herbicide group has been one of the most important weed control tools available to small grain, canola, sunflower, flax,pea and bean growers. Last week I had the privilege of conducting the District 1 election to choose one representative from Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams Counties to the North Dakota Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

Weed Resistance a Growing Concern & Knox Elected to Council - Read More…

Carbon Key to Soil Health

When I taught land evaluation to 4-H members we focused primarily on soil texture (amount of sand, silt, and clay particles) and slope of the land as the primary ingredients of soil quality. In recent years I have heard several speakers and read many articles which convince me that I have a lot more to learn about the ground we walk on.

Carbon Key to Soil Health - Read More…

Crop Variety Identification Technology Available & Weed of the Year

It seems like just a few years ago when the only method of identifying a crop variety was to have a very experienced agronomist take a look at the seed and hope he was right. However in today’s world, technology is available which identifies varieties of certain crops. During the recent pesticide certification training meeting we learned from Dr. Richard Zollinger, Weed Scientist with the North Dakota State University Extension Service, that common ragweed has received the distinction of being named Weed of the Year.

Crop Variety Identification Technology Available & Weed of the Year - Read More…

Handling Calving Difficulties

This past January livestock producers of the area were able to hear Dr. Robert Mortimer of Colorado State University discuss calving and calving difficulties. Dr. Mortimer is widely recognized for his expertise in calving management. He has overseen the calving of thousands of heifers in training students and veterinarians in obstetrics.

Handling Calving Difficulties - Read More…

Beef Cow Feed Intake Guidelines

How much can a beef cow eat? This is a question addressed with 4-H members and parents as they develop plans for feeding their calf projects. It also is a question of producers.

Beef Cow Feed Intake Guidelines - Read More…

Growing Interest in Organic Matter

Over the years I have heard many farmers say “If you treat your soil well, it will treat your crops well”. The major focus of these farmers was to minimize soil loss through wind and water erosion to tolerable levels.

Growing Interest in Organic Matter - Read More…

Estate Planning Short Version & Body Condition Affects Beef Cow Reproduction

Estate planning is often viewed as a difficult task thus it is often avoided. A few weeks ago I announced that an in-depth three-session farm/ranch transition and estate planning seminar will be held in Williston, March 1, 8 and 10. Another, but much shorter, version of estate planning will be conducted in Williston on Wednesday, March 2 at the Ernie French Center located on the Williston Research Extension Center. The relationship between cow body condition and reproduction has been known for many years. In his book “Feeding the Beef Cowherd for Maximum Profit” Dr. Danny Simms cites Colorado State University research showing only 46 percent of cows with body condition score (BCS) of 4 exhibited estrous within 60 days after calving.

Estate Planning Short Version & Body Condition Affects Beef Cow Reproduction - Read More…

Custom Farm Work Rates

Custom rates include charges for the equipment, tractor or power unit used, fuel, repairs and the operator. Rates vary because of supply and demand and costs of custom operators. Exchange work between farms is not considered custom work.

Custom Farm Work Rates - Read More…

Recycling Plastics

2010 was an excellent year for agricultural plastics recycling in North Dakota. The year marked the second highest number of pounds recycled since the program began in 1992 and combined five recycling events with an already popular disposal event, Project Safe-Send.

Recycling Plastics - Read More…

Humor and Attitude Part of Wheat Show & Seed Publication Available

This year’s Wheat Show agenda will be more than production and markets. Each of the two noon luncheons will include special speakers who will be entertaining and inspirational. Are you looking for seed of a specific crop variety and want help finding it? If so, I suggest the 2011 version of the North Dakota State Seed Department’s list of field inspected seed.

Humor and Attitude Part of Wheat Show & Seed Publication Available - Read More…

Ag Outlook Conference Details & New Durum Variety Seed Available

January 26th is the date for a special Agricultural Outlook Conference scheduled in Williston at the Ernie French Center located on the Williston Research Extension Center. Several members of the North Dakota State University Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics will present information. Durum growers can add a new variety, Tioga, to their list of choices for the coming growing season. A 240 bushel allocation was awarded to the Williams County Agricultural Improvement Association this past spring.

Ag Outlook Conference Details & New Durum Variety Seed Available - Read More…

Ag Commissioner and Weatherman to Speak During Wheat Show Breakfasts

North Dakota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Doug Goehring and Joshua Scheck, Science and Operational Officer with the National Weather Service are scheduled to speak during the Tuesday and Wednesday breakfasts of the Wheat Show on February 8 and 9.

Ag Commissioner and Weatherman to Speak During Wheat Show Breakfasts - Read More…

Bigger Cars Still Cost More to Operate

Except for housing, most families spend more on transportation than on any other expense category. Consumers prefer the latest technologies and multi-year warranties of new cars, but the vast majority does not buy new cars. The reason is simple. Used cars are considerably cheaper to own and operate than new cars.

Bigger Cars Still Cost More to Operate - Read More…

Wintering of Beef Cows

The cost of feed is the highest line item of all costs incurred to produce a beef calf. Some say it is around 50 percent of the total cost while others report it can get as high as 70 percent. We do not know what next spring will be like but the weather so far this winter sure points to lower feed dollars which will be applied to the 2012 calf crop.

Wintering of Beef Cows - Read More…

New Seed Source Publication Available

Recently I received several copies of the 2012 North Dakota Field Inspected Seed publication which lists fields of various crops and varieties that were inspected this past summer. Field inspection is a prerequisite for final seed certification.

New Seed Source Publication Available - Read More…

2011 Growing Season Weather Summary

According to Adnan Akyuz and Barbara Mullins, both of the NDSU Department of Soil Science, the 2011 growing season (the period from April through September) for North Dakota can simply be characterized as “wetter” than normal compared to the 30 year average from 1981 to 2010. No one will argue that statement, even those retired farm producers who have lived a lifetime in this area. I have yet to come upon a farmer who remembers so many prevent-plant acres as we had this year.

2011 Growing Season Weather Summary - Read More…

Crop Outlook for 2012, Irrigation Meeting Schedule & 4-H Horse Club to Organize

Producers looking for information regarding the 2012 cropping season and a review of 2011 are invited to attend a special interactive video meeting on Monday, December 5, 1:30 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the Williams County Courthouse. It has been a tradition of the NDSU Extension Service to conduct annual informational meetings relating to crops produced under irrigation systems. Williston has always been one of those meeting sites. Horsemanship is the most popular 4-H project in North Dakota.

Crop Outlook for 2012, Irrigation Meeting Schedule & 4-H Horse Club to Organize - Read More…

Black Ash Possible Substitute for Green Ash

With the potential of the Emerald Ash Borer coming westward to North Dakota and possibly devastating our green ash trees, homeowners ask for alternatives. This is a very difficult question to answer as I feel there is no tree equal to the hardiness and drought resistance possessed by Green Ash.

Black Ash Possible Substitute for Green Ash - Read More…

Tax Information for Farmers & Bovine Connection

An interactive video program to assist agriculture producers and tax preparers with year-end farm business decisions and retirement planning is scheduled Friday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon CST at the 2nd Floor Conference Room of the Williams County Courthouse. Beef cattle producers will want to mark December 1 and 2 on their calendars. These are the dates of the bi-annual Bovine Connection to be held at Sidney, Montana.

Tax Information for Farmers & Bovine Connection - Read More…

Revegetating Disturbed Grass Sites

Landowners and pipeline installers ask for information regarding the renovation of disturbed sites. Most questions refer to grass species and seeding rates. To respond, I must first ask if the grass growing in the surrounding area is native or of introduced cool-season species. If it is the latter, my response is relatively easy - plant crested wheatgrass or smooth brome grass.

Revegetating Disturbed Grass Sites - Read More…

Ranchers Analyze Forage Quality

For as long as I can remember, livestock producers have recognized that not all forages are equal in their ability to produce animals. For decades the feedlot, dairy and swine industries have used laboratory analysis of available feeds to balance rations to obtain maximum economic returns.

Ranchers Analyze Forage Quality - Read More…

Water Quality Tests Available

Although I have not been overwhelmed with callers asking for information about water quality tests, there is a growing trend of requests regarding testing services and interpretation of test results. I suspect much of this is being driven by the desire to document the quality and safety of ground water sources.

Water Quality Tests Available - Read More…

Farm/Ranch Transition Planning & Order Trees Now

Designing a farm/ranch estate plan that is consistent with dreams and values is a personal and often complex process. Thus, the process is often delayed for another day and it ends up on a road of perpetual procrastination. Each spring the Williams County Soil Conservation District offers a variety of seedling hand plant trees for sale. Now is a good time to place an order for next spring’s delivery.

Farm/Ranch Transition Planning & Order Trees Now - Read More…

Grasses for Home Lawns

New home owners often ask about types of lawn grasses to plant. For those who ask this time of year I strongly suggest delaying planting until just before freeze-up or next spring. Grass planted now will likely germinate but not establish a strong enough root system to survive cold winter temperatures

Grasses for Home Lawns - Read More…

Soil Health Information Ranks High

This past week I participated in two meetings scheduled to plan the educational programs for next year’s Wheat Show and Pulse Day. These meetings involved farm producers, agribusiness folks and county agents. Both groups are at the initial stages of identifying issues that have positive impact on farm profits and what producers want to learn more. Both committees cited ‘soil health’ as a broad area for which there is opportunity to improve productivity of cropland acres.

Soil Health Information Ranks High - Read More…

New Lawn Publication Available and Seed Testing Advised

Just about every homeowner cherishes a lawn. Many hours of labor and dollars are spent each year making sure the grass is properly manicured, watered, fertilized and free of nasty weeds. When the grass starts to grow in the spring, I can’t wait until the first mowing just to smell the scent of freshly cut grass but by summer’s end I have thoughts of covering it with scoria and ornamental rocks. Wet growing season conditions favored the growth of crop diseases. Several of the diseases are carried through the seed, especially for crops such as field pea, chickpea and lentil.

New Lawn Publication Available and Seed Testing Advised - Read More…

Corn Price and Southern Drought Impact Beef Market

High corn values and severe drought in the southern plains are impacting the entire industry. According to the Denver based Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) feedlots recorded profits during the first four months of this year but cattle feeding returns have been mired in red ink the last four months.

Corn Price and Southern Drought Impact Beef Market - Read More…

Fall Weed Control in Lawns and Selecting Portable Generators

For most homeowners weed control in lawns is normally done in the spring as the dandelions begin to appear. Although spring application of herbicides probably catches us in a better mood, fall applications are really quite effective, especially if a systemic product is used. Following last spring’s April 30th storm I promised myself an early Christmas present, a portable electric generator. Since then I have been casually looking at generators on display in various stores. Of course, I am looking for the best buy but until recently I had little idea what to look for.

Fall Weed Control in Lawns and Selecting Portable Generators - Read More…

New Winter Wheat Available & Wheat Show Planning

Winter wheat growers of North Dakota and Montana now have a new variety to add to their list of selections. The new variety is named Decade. Have you heard a good speaker or a topic that should be incorporated into the 2012 Wheat Show? If so, I invite you to share such ideas with the committee who is now planning next February’s education program.

New Winter Wheat Available & Wheat Show Planning - Read More…

4-H Beef Project Evaluated for Carcass Merits & NDSU Specialists Offer Manure Test

4-H members of Williams County are beginning to understand how tough it is to produce finished beef steers whose carcasses will grade USDA Choice. For the past four years Dr. J. J. Hovde has been using ultra-sound technology to evaluate the amount of fat and muscle tissue of every steer brought to the Upper Missouri Valley Fair. With fall harvest approaching, producers soon will be applying livestock manure as fertilizer for next year’s field crops. Before applying manure to fields, producers should test it for nutrients to ensure proper application rates.

4-H Beef Project Evaluated for Carcass Merits & NDSU Specialists Offer Manure Test - Read More…

Best Tree -----????

A frequent question of both new and well established homeowners is “What is the best tree to plant?” I find this question hard to answer because there is no tree without problems. For example, one of the trees, green ash, is at the top of my list. Green ash is native, drought tolerant, and sustains itself through our harsh winters.

Best Tree -----???? - Read More…

Glenn and Divide Most Popular Wheats

Based on a June survey of approximately 2700 producers, the top two hard red spring wheat varieties in North Dakota remain Glenn and Faller, according to Jim Peterson, Marketing Director of the North Dakota Wheat Commission. Combined, the two varieties account for nearly 30 percent of the acres. Barlow, RB07 and Brennan round out the top five.

Glenn and Divide Most Popular Wheats - Read More…

Updated Canola Production & Scout for Pea Aphids

Producers, agricultural consultants and others interested in agriculture can use a new updated canola production (spiral bound) pocket field guide to obtain the latest information about canola production. Pea aphids are fairly abundant this year as are other species of aphids, so pea fields should be scouted during flowering. They are small, about 1/8+ inch long and pale green.

Updated Canola Production & Scout for Pea Aphids - Read More…

Winter Wheat May Be Alternative

Based on “buzz” I hear from crop producers, agriculture vendors and colleagues, there is much interest in planting winter wheat later this summer and early fall. The reason for this is to avoid another catastrophic spring planting season such as this past spring when millions of acres were not planted in North Dakota because of excessively wet soils.

Winter Wheat May Be Alternative - Read More…

Anthracnose Causing Leaf Damage to Dakota

A few weeks ago I wrote about a fungal disease on ash trees known as anthracnose. This was causing a lot of premature leaf drop. The past two weeks have brought numerous specimens of oak leaves along with many telephone calls inquiring about the desiccation of leaves of oak trees.

Anthracnose Causing Leaf Damage to Dakota - Read More…

Weeds Dominate Wet Acres & Leaf Miners on Elm Trees

Based on reports of growers, I estimate that approximately 70 percent of crop acres in Williams County were not planted this spring due to excessively wet conditions. Many of these prevent plant acres remain too wet for farm vehicle travel meaning weeds have been taking advantage of the good growing conditions. Several tree leaf specimens have been received which have large areas of tan/brown spots. When held to light, the affected area is nearly transparent. The leaves rattle when shaken. Other telephone inquiries indicate the symptom is widespread.

Weeds Dominate Wet Acres & Leaf Miners on Elm Trees - Read More…

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