DL News Staff
If the high prices of commercial nitrogen fertilizer are putting pressure on a farmer's crop production budgets, then livestock manure may be the substitute, according to a North Dakota State University livestock waste management specialist.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will host a farm forum at 2 p.m. at the Ada VFW on Friday, March 17. Peterson, the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, will address issues like the budget, the upcoming farm bill, renewable energy, and disaster assistance. "The President's budget proposal has created a lot of uncertainty for farmers," he said. The meetings are open to the public, with farmers and other interested people encouraged to attend.
We are all painfully aware of the increase in fuel prices this past year. I have looked at data from the past five years of figures from Northwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Program data. In 2000, northwest region Minnesota farms enrolled in FBM Programs spent $395 for drying and $9,541 for fuel and oil. In 2004, they spent $989 for drying and $11,828 for fuel and oil (total $12,817). This is a 29 percent increase. Northwest Minnesota farms spent $9.63 for drying and $16.46 for fuel and oil to total $26.09 per acre.
Commercial cattle producers shouldn't ignore the benefits of a well-planned crossbreeding program in their beef herd as they prepare to buy bulls, North Dakota State University Extension Service beef cattle specialist Greg Lardy advises. Producers are in the thick of poring over bull catalogs this time of year. "Crossbreeding offers many advantages to the commercial producer," said Lardy.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed an Environmental Assessment Worksheet on a proposed 5,500-head dairy feedlot southeast of Wheaton in Traverse County. The public comment period for the EAW ends March 15. The proposed Dollymount Dairy would include two 1,328-by-122-foot free stall barns, one 190-by-95-foot milking parlor and one 684-by-262-foot special needs barn. Manure from these buildings will be stored in a 1,600-by-400-by-18-foot clay-lined earthen basin.
Riders of all ages will be able to test their skills at the North Dakota State University Fuzzy Wuzzy Horse Show in Fargo March 26. The show, which starts at 10 a.m., will be at the NDSU Equine Center, two miles west of Interstate 29 on Fargo's 19th Avenue North. The NDSU Equine Studies Program is sponsoring the event. Participants can enter classes in showmanship, walk-trot pleasure, Western pleasure, walk-trot horsemanship, Western horsemanship, walk-trot egg and spoon, walk-trot barrels, walk-trot pole weaving and a bribe-your-horse race.
Minnesota corn producers facing higher fertilizer prices are looking for ways to cut costs without reducing yields. At our recent Feb. 28 workshops in Callaway and Park Rapids, Dr. George Rehm discussed banding of fertilizer as a replacement for broadcast applications of phosphate, potash and zinc to reduce the rate of these nutrients needed for optimum yields. With this fact in mind, some corn growers are thinking about applying the entire suggested rate of nitrogen in a band.
When you are approaching the point of retiring from the farming operation, there are many questions you should ask yourself. Here are some of them. What are your farm transfer goals? We all have goals in life and each is unique. I would encourage all generations involved in the farming operation to sit down and list their individual, family and farm goals. The next step would be to rank and combine these goals from the different generations into one -- for the farming operation. As the retiring farmer you might have certain items you want to go to certain heirs.
For months, the state's cattle and dairy industries had waited to see the practical consequences of the discovery of bovine tuberculosis in five northwestern Minnesota cattle herds. The other shoe finally dropped at the end of January when the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed Minnesota from the list of accredited-free states. Losing our "TB-free" status was expected, but it was unpleasant all the same.