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 Agriculture News


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    FARGO, ND - mostly dry weather conditions last week allowed producers to make good harvest progress on remaining corn and sunflower acres, according to the USDA Weekly Crop and Weather Report. However, with some snow being received over the weekend there are some reports of corn and sunflower acres not being harvested until spring.

    Temperatures varied last week as they ranged from 5 degrees above normal in the southwest part of the state to 4 degrees below normal in the northeast. Statewide, there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork.

    Topsoil moisture supplies rated 80 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 81 percent adequate.

    Corn harvest was 92 percent complete, well behind last year's 100, but ahead of 83 average.

    Sunflowers harvested were 87 percent, well behind 100 last year and 98 average.

    Cattle and calf conditions rated 81 percent good. Sheep and lamb conditions rated 81 percent good. Stock water supplies rated 85 percent adequate. Hay and forage supplies rated 82 percent adequate.


    MINOT, ND (NDSU) - A series of "Crop Opportunities 2014" meetings have been scheduled for Dec 2-6 across northwest North Dakota. The NDSU Extension Service in Ward County will be sponsoring one of these meetings at the North Central Research Extension Center on Thursday, December 5th at 1:30 pm.
    The introduction of additional corn and soybean acres to the region has led to some new opportunities for producers in their cropping rotations. These meetings will take a closer look at some of the options for corn production in next year's cropping season.  The "Crop Opportunities 2014" meeting series will cover a variety of agronomic, management, and market issues that will be of concern to producers in the 2014 growing season.
    Local Extension Agent, Paige Brummund will kick off the program with a brief update on the Farm Bill and key provision of the latest House and Senate versions. She will also discuss a few of the implications of having corn in a rotation and where corn bests fits in the crop rotation.

    Shana Pederson, NDSU Extension Area Crop Specialist, will cover the topic of "Steps to Improve Corn Production." Pederson will cover the basic agronomics of corn production for North Central and North Western North Dakota.  She will also address the importance of achieving an even stand at establishment and will have live plant specimens to allow the audience a chance to practice identifying different growth stages of corn.
    With the wet conditions experienced over the past few years, there have been numerous questions regarding the practice of vertical tillage. Chris Augustin, NDSU Area Soil Health Specialist, will address some of these questions such as: What are the potential benefits and disadvantages of vertical tillage. What do we know or not know about vertical tillage? Is it effective in drying the soil and does it have any negative impacts on soil health?

    Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension Crop Marketing Economist, will provide a "Crop Market Outlook" for the remainder of the marketing year and into the 2014 crop year. Olson will discuss the major crops and their current supply and demand situation. A key discussion will focus on the current decline in the corn market, what the long term outlook will be for corn prices, and impacts of corn prices on other crops.   

    Crop Opportunities 2014 meetings will also be held at the following locations:

Dec. 3 at 9:00 am in Crosby, Dakota Theatre

Dec. 3 at 1:30 pm in Stanley, Mountrail County South Complex

Dec. 4 at 1:30 pm in Anamoose, Senior Citizens Center

Dec. 5 at 1:30 pm in Minot, North Central Research Extension Center (NCREC)- with video connection Watford City, McKenzie County Courthouse Meeting Room

Dec. 6 at 9 am in Mohall, Emergency Services Facility   

Dec. 6 at 1:30 pm in Bottineau, Bottineau County Courthouse Conference Room

    The Crop Opportunities 2014 meetings are open to the public at no charge.  For more information or details on these meetings, contact the Ward County Extension office at 857-6444 or e-mail  

    SURREY, N.D. - Surrey students will soon be using mini iPads and new calculators in their math classes. Thanks to the support of local farmers and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, Surrey School District received a $10,000 grant to purchase a classroom set of mini iPads, which will be used in grades K-12, and Texas Instruments Nspire calculators to enhance its high school math curriculum. The new technology will allow students to work simultaneously at different levels and on different applications.
    America's Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, offers farmers the chance to nominate a local public school district, which can then compete for a grant of up to $25,000 to enhance math and/or science education. More than 1,150 nominated school districts submitted applications. The Monsanto Fund will invest $2.3 million through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grants this year.
    "We are very excited to be a recipient of the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grant, which gives us the opportunity to acquire this new technology for our school district," said Cathy McDermott, math instructor for 38 years at Surrey High School. "We hope that the new technology will generate student excitement about math."
    Nominated school districts across the country submitted grant applications in the spring. During the summer, a panel of educators from ineligible districts reviewed and evaluated applications based on merit, need and community involvement. The strongest submissions were then sent to the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council. The Advisory Council, comprised of farmer-leaders with an interest in agriculture and education, selected the winning grant applications from this pool of finalists.
    "A record number of America's farmers stepped up this year to improve math and science education in farming communities across the country," said Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president. "By nominating their local school districts to compete for this grant opportunity, these farmers demonstrated their dedication to growing the next generation. The Monsanto Fund is committed to strengthening rural America and this program is an exciting way to honor that commitment."
    America's Farmers Grow Rural Education launched nationally in 2012 and has grown to include 1,271 eligible counties in 39 states. Since its inception, the program has invested more than $4.8 million in rural school districts across the country.
    America's Farmers Grow Rural Education helps farmers support math and science education in local rural school districts. Currently in its second year, this program is part of the Monsanto Fund's overall effort to support rural education and communities.
    To date, these programs combined have contributed more than $15 million to rural communities. To learn more about either program, please visit

     (Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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