Weather Forecast


Forage Day coming to Detroit Lakes Feb. 12

Hay prices are high, and demand for good quality forage is increasing. Producers in central Minnesota will have an opportunity to participate in a forage seminar entitled: "Practical solutions for today's challenges and vision for tomorrow's opportunities."

The Midwest Forage Association (MFA) and University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension Forage Team are partnering to bring area forage producers this Forage Day program on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn.

Dr. Geoff Brink of the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wis., and Dr. Mike Murphy of the UMN College of Veterinary Medicine are this year's featured speakers.

Dr. Brink, a UMN graduate, will share his latest research on 1) alfalfa harvest timing effects on yield and quality trade-offs and 2) grass forage quality, species selection, and management. Dr. Murphy will discuss the importance of molds and mycotoxins in stored forage, a common problem with wet harvest conditions.

Other featured speakers and topics will include the following:

-- Dr. Paul Peterson, UMN Extension specialist, will present his latest research on alfalfa-grass mixtures, offering guidelines for grass species selection for mixtures with alfalfa.

-- Dr. Dwain Meyer, North Dakota State University forage agronomist, will present his latest work on fall-harvest and fertilizer management of alfalfa.

-- Dr. Dan Kaiser, UMN's new soil fertility Extension specialist, will discuss "Fine Tuning Forage Fertilization."

-- Regional crops Extension educator Doug Holen will team with local Extension educators Vince Crary and myself to provide updates on local and regional forage projects.

-- Jenna Larson, MFA's local council director, will provide an update on MFA's productive year.

The UMN Extension Forage Team and MFA are grateful to the nine MFA Platinum Sponsors who are providing critical financial support for the 2008 Minnesota Forage Days. Those sponsors include: DHIA Laboratories, BASF, Cargill, Croplan Genetics, Dairyland Seeds, Kemin AgriFoods North America, Monsanto, NK Brand Alfalfa, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Representatives of these valued industry partners will be at the event. The Otter Tail/Becker Forage Council is a local sponsor of the event.

The Forage Day program opens with registration at 9:30 a.m., followed by presentations starting at 10 a.m. sharp. Lunch is at noon, and adjournment at 3 p.m. Proceedings, several publications, and other handouts will be provided.

Pre-registration is encouraged and appreciated, and will be rewarded with a discount. Registration for 2008 MFA members is only $15 in advance, or $20 on-site. Non-MFA-members pay $25 in advance or $30 on-site. 2008 MFA membership costs only $50, payable in advance or on-site. Registration includes attendance, proceedings, several publications and handouts, refreshments, and lunch. Please pre-register via MFA staff at 651-484-3888 or

More information, including detailed brochures and registration forms, is available at and; or from Doug Holen (218-998-5787,; or Will Yliniemi, Hubbard/Becker County Extension Educator (218-846-7328), for the Feb. 12 evemt in Detroit Lakes.

Irrigation clinic to feature marketing seminar

The Central Minnesota Irrigator's Corporation (CMIC) will hold its Annual Irrigation Clinic on Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Hubbard Community Center in Hubbard, Minn., which is located eight miles southeast of Park Rapids. This year's clinic will feature a marketing seminar, "Looking at how to lock in profits with ever increasing input costs."

The Irrigation Clinic will start at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program will begin at 9:20 a.m. and conclude by 1 p.m., followed by the CMIC Annual Meeting. New members are welcome to join the CMIC at the clinic. Exhibitors will have booths for viewing as well. A noon lunch will be free of charge to CMIC members. Door prizes and coffee, cookies will be available all day.

The CMIC welcomes and invites irrigators, dry land producers, area businesses, and the public to attend and participate in this year's clinic. For more information, please contact me at the Hubbard (218-732-3391) or Becker (218-846-7328) Extension Offices; by cell phone at 1-218-252-1042; or by e-mail at

Private pesticide applicator re-certification

The PPAT manuals and 2008 tests have arrived at the local extension offices for those farmers who need to re-certify in 2008. Check your card for the expiration date. You can do the take home test and mail in the application, take the test on line at or attend one of the PPAT re-certification workshops listed below.

Registration for the re-certification workshops will be taken at the door, and no pre-registration is required. Workshop topics include pesticide laws, regulations and record keeping, applicator health effects, pesticide label comprehension, application equipment and pest management updates.

Farmers need to have two forms of ID to attend a workshop (driver's license required and applicator certification card preferred). The cost to attend a re-certification workshop is $50, payable by check only (same as the retesting fee). If you attend one of the workshops you do not need to do a test to re-certify.

Private Pesticide Applicator Workshops Sites for PPAT License Renewal are scheduled as follows:

-- Monday, Feb. 4: 8-11:30 a.m., Northern Grill, Breckenridge; 1-4:30 p.m., Hawley Community Center, Hawley.

-- Friday, Feb.15: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Otter Tail County Government Service Building, Fergus Falls.

-- Tuesday, Feb. 26: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., McIntosh Community Center, McIntosh.

For more information about the upcoming Private Pesticide Applicator Workshops, please contact Phil Glogoza at 1-888-241-4527.