NDSU Extension - Williams County


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Beginner Sheep Producer Clinic Scheduled & Sheep and Nitrate Testing - August 25, 2017

County Agent Update

Danielle Steinhoff


Beginning Sheep Producer Clinic Scheduled


New shepherds will have an opportunity to learn more about managing sheep at a clinic Sept. 16 at North Dakota State University's Hettinger Research Extension Center.

The clinic starts at 10 a.m. Mountain time. It's a joint effort of the NDSU Extension Service, the Hettinger center and the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association.

"Sheep production allows for a lower-input initial cost for young and entrepreneurial producers to get involved with agriculture," says NDSU Extension Service sheep specialist Travis Hoffman. "Whether you wish to start with sheep on a small acreage or expand and diversify with sheep to graze with cattle on an existing livestock operation, there are opportunities in today's market. With North Dakota's drought challenges, sheep will require fewer feed resources, and a recent steady and strong lamb market has proven beneficial for northern Plains producers."

The New Shepherd Clinic will follow the Hettinger Ram Sale, which is on Sept.

13, and the Newell (S.D.) Ram Sale on Sept. 15. These sales will give new producers an opportunity to purchase high-quality rams from several breeds and/or expand their ewe flock, Hoffman says.


Topics that will be covered during the clinic are:

- Sheep production

- Sheep nutrition

- Animal-handling techniques

- Shepherding equipment

- Lambing barn management


Clinic participants also will be able to tour the Hettinger Research Extension Center's sheep facilities.

Lunch, sponsored by the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association, will be provided.

Registration for the clinic is free of charge. The registration deadline is Sept. 8.

For more information or to register, contact Hoffman at 701-231-2222 or travis.w.hoffman@ndsu.edu.


Nitrate Testing for Forage


Many ranchers, especially this year, will be feeding crops that have been bailed. There are a few cereal grains that could have high nitrates in them; oats, rye, wheat, barley, triticale and corn. High nitrates in forage is something that cattle are not able to handle, which will result in nitrite poisoning.

Along with grains that are bailed, there are a few grasses that can accumulate high nitrates as well; bromegrass, fescue, sorghum, sudangrass, millet, sweetclover and alfalfa. There are a few weeds that have had reports of high nitrates before as well, those are; kochia, lambsquarter, pigweed, quackgrass and Russian thistle.

NDSU Extension Service Williams County is able to do a QuikTest to see if nitrates are accumulated in that sample. This test is free, and only takes a few minutes, if you are interested in bringing in the sample, please call Danielle at 701-577-4595.


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