Tuesday, January 19, 2016

National Hard Spring Wheat Show Feb 2, 3, & 4

The National Hard Spring Wheat Show will be held in Williston, North Dakota on February 2, 3, and 4 at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center.  For details about the show and a complete schedule of events, visit their facebook page.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Upcoming Programming for Northeastern Montana Producers

There are many programs coming up in Eastern Montana/Western North Dakota for the beginning of 2016 for Farmers, Ranchers, and Horticulture enthusiasts.  Here are a few:

January 2016

14 Beef Winter Series workshop at the saddle club in Culbertson.  This workshop will focus on breeding nutrition and pasture health and will start at 1:30 PM (MST).  Participants are asked to contact the Sheridan County Extension Office at 406-765-3406 to register.

February 2016

February 2-4 Hard Spring Wheat Show, Willston.  For more information contact the Williams County Extension Office at 701-577-4595

February 6, 20, and March 5, 19 Richland County Master Gardener Classes 8:00 AM-Noon (MST).  Contact the Richland County Extension Office to sign up 433-1206

February 16 MonDak Pulse Day.  This will be held in Wolf Point at the Elks Club.  More details to come.

February 18 Annual Meeting for the Yellowstone Wool Pool 6:00 PM (MST).  Contact the Richland County Extension Office for more details.

February 19 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance (NAP) program informational session 10:00 AM-Noon at the Richland County Extension Office.  To sign up contact Tammy Lake at the FSA office at 433-2103.

March 2016

March 3 and 4 MonDak Ag Days and Trade Show.  Damian Mason, agricultural humorist and professional speaker will be the featured entertainment at the banquet on the evening of March 3.  For more information visit the website or the Facebook page.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Harvest wrapping up

In Richland County, sugarbeets and corn for grain are about all that is left to harvest.  Those who were planning on seeding winter wheat have that crop in the ground and it should be off to a good start.  Beet harvest is going well as the weather has now cooperated and allowed farmers to get in their fields and harvest all day.

Corn for silage is all wrapped up and corn that will be harvested as grain has just begun.  Hay producers are weighing the options of whether or not to take a last cutting, graze, or just let it be.  We have had a few nights of frost, but not a good killing frost as of yet.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Beet harvest has started

Beet harvest has gotten off to a slow/warm/wet start.  Harvest started in earnest earlier this week but due to warm weather early in the week and now rain with more rain forecasted, there has not been a full day of harvesting.  Hopefully conditions will improve next week.

Corn harvested for silage has more or less completed and it won't be long until corn for grain harvest begins.  It appears as though the crop should fare pretty well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We're still here.......

It has been almost a year since any update has been made to this blog, so please excuse our absence.  We will do our best to keep the blog current from now on. 

In Richland County, small grain and pulse harvest is all wrapped up and except for a few brave souls, hay harvest is pretty much complete as well.  This harvest season was pretty good by most accounts except for those that received hail.

Corn silage harvest is going in earnest and sugarbeet harvest will begin soon.  Both of these crops should fare well this year.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Farm Bill Decision Tool

With the passing of the new Farm Bill, there are now new programs for agricultural producers to become acquainted with.  Trying to determine which program(s) to enroll in can be a daunting task.  The Montana State University Farm Bill website (http://www.montana.edu/farmbill/) has several resources available to help in the decision-making process and even includes a link to a tool that allows you to run various scenarios for your own operation.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Harvesting forages and frost

As was predicted, temperatures dropped below freezing and much of Richland County (and probably much of Eastern Montana) did receive frost last night (9-11).  While it definitely did frost, it probably should not be labeled as a killing frost as I don't believe it got cold and stayed cold for an extended period of time.

With that being said however, it definitely did frost and any time that happens and there is still forages to be cut, there is always some justified concern in regards to the threat of elevated levels of nitrates in forages that are cut after a frost.  So I did some searching and found an excellent paper on the very subject, that can be found by following this link (http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=1bd24bc2-167e-4b02-9f21-2b7f9217312e).

The take home message from this document is that, forage quality should be a bigger concern right now than nitrate levels.  Once the forage is hayed, test can be done on it to determine the nitrate levels and if the levels are high, then steps can be taken (such as blending) to mitigate the nitrate issue.  However, if quality starts to deteriorate, there is nothing that can be done to re-gain the loss.

Another concern with forages and an early frost is prussic acid poisoning.  For those with pastures containing sorghums and/or sorghum-sudangrass species, prussic acid poisoning of livestock is a legitimate concern.  When animals feed on these grass species after a frost, or if they are very young or stunted, the prussic acid concentration can potentially kill them.

For more information about prussic acid and considerations to take before feeding these grasses, visit this site (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages/publications/ay196.htm

The take home message here is that it is generally safe to allow animals to pasture these grasses 5 to 6 days after a killing frost.  If the frost was sever enough (which I don't believe last night's was) that it actually killed plants and new shoots are emerging from the rootstock, these shoots should not be grazed until the new growth is at least 2 ft. high.  In regards to hay, according to the site listed above from Purdue University, "the prussic acid content of sorghum hay decreases as much as 75 percent while curing and is rarely hazardous when fed to livestock."