Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
MEDINA, N.D. — All was quiet in the pasture until Chad Price and Brandon Weatherly started moving bee boxes. Then the persistent buzzzzz in the air was interrupted only by the whirrr of a passing spray plane or the snap of nearby power lines. The bees haven't been producing much honey for about a month, Price said Sept. 10. But they'll stay out for another month or so on the pastures and prairie trails around Medina.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — The Big Iron International Visitors Program received more applications than ever from international buyers who wanted to visit the annual farm show here. But because of visa denials from the U.S. State Department, only about 50 participants ended up making it to the show, said Simon Wilson, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Dawn Entzminger had been having migraines and nausea almost constantly. Thinking it was "just a headache," she powered through. "One day was so bad I had to go in," she says. Entzminger, a Jamestown veterinarian, tested positive for West Nile virus, one of 86 cases in North Dakota through Sept. 4, 2018. Jenny Galbraith, surveillance epidemiologist at the North Dakota Department of Health, says in all of 2017, the state had 62 cases. "We're a little bit high, but not ridiculously high yet this year," she says.
FARGO, N.D. — Tim McGreery hasn't seen prices this low for pulse crops in 12 years. Peas, he says, are down 25 percent, lentils 40 percent and chickpeas 50 percent. McGreery, chief executive officer of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, based in Moscow, Idaho, says tariffs in India and China — formerly the two top international destinations for U.S. pulse crops — are "definitely having an impact."
WING, N.D. — Standing in a pasture west of Wing, N.D., Darrell Oswald explained the benefits of farming and ranching in northeastern Burleigh County. "We do have great grass," he said. "That's where our profit comes from." The grass is what brought a large group of conservation groups and state and federal government officials to Oswald Ranch on Tuesday, Aug. 28, as part of the North Dakota Grasslands Policy Tour and Workshop.
I made an observation the other morning: It takes me and my daughters as long to feed three calves as it takes my husband and father-in-law to feed 70 bred heifers. I've written before about our bottle calves. We ended up with three this year for various reasons. One had an abusive mother and a navel infection that meant he needed special care. One was a twin left behind by her mother. And the third had a mother get sick and quit milking.
FAULKTON, S.D. — In Australia, David Hedt says, many farmers don't run as many trucks at harvest as in the U.S. Instead, they rely on 4,000 bushel rolling grain bins, called, "mother bins." The use of the huge implements in Australia, Hedt explains, was a result of larger combine sizes and a dearth of workers to drive trucks and keep harvest moving about 20 years ago.
WASHINGTON — Producers who have raised soybeans, wheat, corn, sorghum, cotton, pork and dairy found out on Aug. 27 how much of the $12 billion trade compensation package they will receive. But many in agriculture would prefer a strong market to a government check. "It's nice to get a little money, make a little cash flow happen," said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. "Everybody is appreciative of a payment; everybody is kind of wishing the payments would go away."
WASHINGTON — Soybean farmers will receive the majority of the initial payments set aside for assistance to agriculture due to trade disruption.
FAULKTON, S.D — Drivers heading west on Highway 212 into this north central South Dakota town this summer have found themselves gawking in amazement at the image of the back of a small boy in jeans and a T-shirt on the Agtegra elevator. The image shows every wrinkle of fabric, every strand of hair and the softness of a child's form, as if a giant black-and-white photo had been pasted to the side of the towering structure. Aussie Dave even has joked about starting a pool on when the first crash will be.