Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
A few weeks ago, I helped my husband move some pens of calves and sort some cows. Our feedlot has an excellent drainage system, but this time of year, nothing can drain well enough to keep pens dry. An abundance of melting snow and ice jams in the culverts have created ankle-deep slop here and there. Every thwack of my boots sticking in the mud sounded like spring.
MEDINA, N.D. — When August Heupel learned about an effort to send some hay to Nebraska ranchers who are dealing with the aftermath of historic flooding, he didn’t hesitate to donate to the cause. “It’s tough to look at, so I can’t imagine living it,” Heupel said of the flooding.
MONANGO, N.D. — Mark Wagner has memories of the April 1997 storm that hit North Dakota, and he’s heard all about the 1966 storm before he was born that took lives, both human and livestock. He thinks the blizzard of March 2019 might go down in history with those past events.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Precision agriculture experts talk about a lot of possibilities for technology in agriculture. Things such as sensors for irrigation and plant health could help farmers keep on top of their crops and stretch their resources. But in many places, implementing such technologies will take something farmers have no control over — the availability of fixed or mobile broadband connections.
Sometimes, when you think about what a small percentage of our population is involved in agriculture and the even smaller percentage involved in livestock, you might ask why that is. I don’t ask why.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Tom Peters worked for 25 years in biotechnology and now is the Extension sugar beet agronomist and weed control specialist for North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. He can boil his weed control presentation down into two points. “The first one is, technology by itself isn’t going to solve our problems with weeds,” he said. “The second thing is, weed management is a learning experience.”
Once in awhile, I work with my kids at home. It’s not often, but it does happen. A few weeks ago, I knew I would be getting my girls a little early and planned to quit early. But a couple breaking news stories that day disrupted my plans. I asked my girls to play nicely while I did some quick interviews and finished things up. I was amazed both at how well my stories went and how well my children behaved. And then, just as I was giving my stories a final look, it started:
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Industry has provided plenty of interesting and exciting technology options to agriculture. But the challenge continues to be making that technology useful enough for farmers to adopt it. Technology adoption goes in phases, Chad Godsey of Godsey Precision AG, explained at the eighth annual Precision Ag Summit at the Farmers Union Conference Center. Early adopters take it on, then there’s a stage of discontent before the technology becomes useful enough for the majority to use it.
WASHINGTON — Farm Service Agency offices nationwide will reopen Jan. 24 despite the ongoing government shutdown. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will recall all staff to offer more services than were available during a previous brief reopening.
FARGO — At North Dakota State University, the budget for research extension centers took a 13 percent cut from the state during the past biennium. Federal funding has been stagnant for decades, says Greg Lardy, vice president for agriculture affairs. But still, work goes on at research centers across the state, where scientists breed new varieties, work on disease resistance, find new uses for products and look at methods for protecting and improving soil health.