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Forum staff reports , Published August 22 2013

Ag calendar - 08/23/13

Summer Field Day set for Saturday in Mandan

Northern Plains Sustainable Ag will hold its fourth Summer Field Day at Riverbound Organic Farm, Mandan, N.D., from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Riverbound Farm, a draft-horse-powered CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), serves more than 200 local families fresh vegetables for six months of the year. The farm is located on the edge of the Missouri River. Owners Brian and Angie McGinness specialize in growing certified organic vegetables, with an emphasis on sustainability and community building.

Call (701) 883-4304 or email npsas@drtel.net for more information.

For more information on other Summer Field Days, visit the website at www.npsas.org and Facebook.

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society is a nonprofit organization that is committed to the promotion of sustainable food systems through education, research and advocacy.

Late-maturing corn issue featured at NDSU workshop

Late-maturing corn will be the focus of a workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 27 at North Dakota State University’s North Central Research Extension Center near Minot on Aug. 27.

The workshop will be followed by lunch, at the research center headquarters.

“Corn is a crop that requires warm temperatures to grow and develop normally,” says Eric Eriksmoen, a research agronomist at the center.

“Due to a season of cool, wet weather conditions, farmers are facing a very real possibility of harvesting corn that may not be fully mature. This may result in the need for additional drying prior to storage.”

The workshop is designed to help producers prepare for these conditions and will include presentations on corn production, harvest and marketing.

“We are bringing in experts who will discuss storage, drying and handling of wet corn; marketing corn with quality concerns; and crop insurance issues,” Eriksmoen says. “Farmers may be facing decisions like the break-even price for drying corn at various moisture levels, opportunities for marketing immature and high-moisture corn, and what federal crop insurance will cover for quality losses.”

The workshop also will include a demonstration on the use of drones to assist producers with crop production. The miniature aircraft can be equipped with various sensors that give instantaneous live images of production-related problems such as disease outbreaks, weed infestations and nutrient deficiencies. In the very near future, producers will be able to get a bird’s-eye view of their crop and make more efficient management decisions based on what these sensors tell them.

Workshop presenters include Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension Service crops economist and marketing specialist; Ken Hellevang, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer; Mitchell Fiene, DMZ Aerial; and Robert Klein, Extension cropping systems specialist at the University of Nebraska, who will discuss production issues including row spacing and plant populations.

The North Dakota Corn Growers Association is co-sponsoring the workshop. The event is free.

For more information, contact the North Central Research Extension Center at (701) 857-7677. The center is a mile south of Minot on U.S. Highway 83.

Row crop tour Sept. 5 at Research Extension

Farmers, crop advisers and agricultural industry representatives are invited to attend a row-crop field tour beginning at 4 p.m. Sept. 5, at the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center. The tour will conclude with a sponsored supper.

Participants will view field research trials and receive production recommendations on corn, dry beans and soybeans, said Greg Endres, NDSU Extension Service area agronomist.

“Our objective is to concisely discuss as many production subjects and share as much research trial data as possible to give participants information they can utilize for their farms or farm clients,” Endres says.

The tour agenda includes:

Tour speakers include NDSU agronomists and plant pathologists, plus industry agronomists.

North Dakota commodity organizations associated with the crops covered during the tour are refreshment and meal sponsors, and will provide brief updates on their activities during supper.

Continuing education credits will be available for certified crop advisers participating in the event.

Additional information about the tour is available from the Carrington REC at (701) 652-2951 or on the Web at www.ag.ndsu.edu/CarringtonREC.

NDSU master gardener classes begin Sept. 27

North Dakota master gardener training is more convenient and flexible than ever, said Esther McGinnis, the North Dakota State University Extension Service master gardener coordinator.

The core master gardener course will be offered online and in a traditional classroom setting. If weekday morning classes conflict with an individual’s schedule, the classes can be watched online. Also, all assignments will be online.

The traditional classroom training will be conducted at several locations in the state, including Ashley, Bismarck, Cooperstown, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Napoleon, Wahpeton, Watford City and Williston.

The online and classroom sessions will run for eight weeks from Sept. 27 to Nov. 15. The training sessions will be held every Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Topics will include annual and perennial flowers, selecting and planting trees and shrubs, soil health, plant diseases and pests, landscape design, vegetable and fruit production and so much more,” McGinnis says.

The cost is $150 for those wishing to become a certified master gardener and $300 for those just interested in taking the class. Computer knowledge and Internet access is required. All handouts will be available online for participants to access and print.

Certified master gardeners are required to complete 48 hours of approved volunteer work through their NDSU County Extension agent. The volunteer work should be completed within 24 months following the completion of classes.

“Master gardeners become ambassadors to assist the NDSU Extension Service in providing accurate and environmentally sustainable horticultural advice,” McGinnis says.

For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service office or McGinnis at (701) 231-7406. To register, go to www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener.

All registration is done online and payment is by credit card or electronic check only. The deadline for registration is Sept. 13.