NDSU Extension Service - Williams County

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Wishing for Rain - July 6th

Danielle Steinhoff

County Agent Update

 

Wishing For Rain

 

Whether you are involved in Agriculture or not, we all know that it is extremely dry. Looking at lawns in Williston, we can see that there are fewer lush green lawns than years past. With the hot weather and winds, watering flowers, gardens and lawns is becoming quite a challenge. Looking at the weather forecast there doesn’t seem like there will be any cooling off anytime soon. With the next ten days to be in the high 90’s and low 100’s, a lot of our plants will be desperate for water. For those that water their lawns, gardens and flowers try watering in the early morning or at night. Watering in the heat of the day sometimes can do more damage than good.

For those that farm and ranch, this year has been a stressful one to say the least. The window for small crops to receive rain is almost completely shut, as many fields are starting to head out. There are placing in the county that might be harvesting in July, which is not common for our area. Ranchers in our area have been faced with the struggle of finding enough pasture land. With the little rain we have received, our grasses haven’t been able to grow to quantity and quality that they have in years past. With the livestock needing to eat, and not many options available, some pasture could see damage in future years. Similar to our pastures, our hay land isn’t growing either and what is growing is “undesirable” plants. I say undesirable as they are generally weeds or low nutrient plants. Those that have started to bale are getting anywhere from 20-30% of what they normally would in those fields.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service, Williams County Soil Conservation District, Farm Service Agency and the NDSU Extension Service is having a program on Wednesday July 19th, to discuss options and how to manage pastures in drought years. More information to come, check our Facebook page NDSU Extension Service- Williams County or check the paper for more information. You can also call our office at 701-577-4595.

Along with the crops having a challenge with the hot weather, please make sure to take care of yourself and your animals. Please make sure your animals have a cool place to get to, shade and water. Don’t leave your animals or children in vehicles, it will get extremely warm in minutes. Plenty of water, shade and sunscreen is needed this time of year, if possible try to stay indoors during the hottest time of the day. Williams County technically isn’t in a burn ban, but please try to refrain from burning. With our moderate to extreme drought conditions throughout our area, it won’t take more than one spark for this to burn. Grass or brush fires will burn real hot and real fast, many times our local and rural fire departments aren’t able to respond with a few minutes. Please keep yourself and our communities’ safe, thank you to those that are firefighters!

 

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