Morton County Extension Update

Growing More in Morton
May 2020

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Welcome to the 1st issue of Growing More in Morton, a quarterly online newsletter published by Morton County Extension. The goal of this newsletter is to be an educational resource and highlight North Dakota agriculture and natural resource issues in our area. Please contact the office with topics you would like to see covered in the future.


Pesticide Certification

On April 9, Governor Burgum issued an executive order that suspended the April 1 expiration of commercial, public and private pesticide applicator certification. All trainings have been moved online utilizing Zoom. New applicators must pass a 30 question online exam. Private general renewal training will be held online May 7, 14 & 21. Private fumigation renewal training will be held online May 5 & 8.

Livestock Water Quality Program

This program is designed to improve the quality of livestock water and reduce losses of livestock due to toxic water conditions by measuring total dissolved solids throughout the grazing season. 


Grazing Readiness

One of the most important grazing management decisions is selecting a start date for grazing tame pasture and native range. Timing of grazing readiness depends on grass species, available moisture, weather and past management. The recommended plant development state to begin grazing domesticated pasture is at the 3-leaf stage and native range grass is at the 3 1/2-leaf stage.

Cattle Mineral Nutrition Program

NDSU and SDSU Extension have collaborated to create a beef cattle mineral nutrition program to assist producers in developing effective and cost-efficient mineral programs based on individual production situations. 

Cost is $130 per operation and includes a forage analysis, water analysis, mineral consumption tools, ranch consultation, webinar series and a final workshop session. Registration deadline is May 18. 


Set Herd Reproductive Goals

The number one indicator that cows within a cattle operation fit the managerial program is timely reproduction. Using your calving book, count the number of cows that calved within 21 days from when the third mature cow calved. At least 60% of mature cows are expected to calve within 21 days of the start of calving season. A total of 86% of the mature cows should have calved within the 42-day calving window. If you don't meet these goals, consider a re-evaluation of managerial protocols. 

Research Trials

  - Want to learn about plant root interactions at the microbial level in your spring wheat fields or grasslands
   - Would you like information on wheat stand establishment rates and factors that influence variability in your spring wheat fields?

Available Services

The office has the following services or equipment that can be borrowed:
   - Hay Bale Probe
   - Soil Testing Probe
   - Forage Nitrate Quick Test
   - Water Testing Bottles

   - Livestock Water Quality Test
Contact the office for more information

Pesticide Records

Private applicators must keep records of all RUP applications. Records should include: 
   - Legal description
   - Start and stop time
   - Pesticide trade name and EPA registration number
   - Amount used per acre
   - Direction and estimate velocity of wind
   - Specific crop and total acres treated
   - Applicator signature

Weed Control Guide

Have questions on chemicals, rates, special weed problems, haying restrictions, rain-free interval or spray drift? 


NDSU Extension has held numerous webinars the past couple months. Topics include:
   - Grazing Cover Crops
   - Agricultural Markets Outlook
   - FSA Programs
   - Anhydrous Ammonia Safety
   - Controlled Drainage
   - Soil Health
   - Dry Bean Production
   - Horse Manure Management

2020 County Rents & Prices

An annual survey of farmers and ranchers was conducted to obtain the average rental rates and prices of rented land. The report contains county level data for cropland, pastureland and tame hayland. The average rental rate in dollars per acre for Morton County is:
   - Cropland: $37.60
   - Pastureland: $19.30
   - Hayland: $25.50

Strategies in Times of Stress

Everyone copes with challenges and stresses on a daily basis. Often we use different strategies to cope. Below is a list of activities that can be utilized to help cope with farm stress. 
   - Write down three things you are grateful for daily
   - Take 15 minutes each day for uninterrupted conversation with a spouse or family member
   - Discuss needs of the family operation but don't let them occupy all other aspects of life

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Contact Information 

NDSU Extension-Morton County
210 2nd Ave NW
Mandan, ND 58554
(701) 667-3340