Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
Had we not had weather forecasts, Tuesday would have been a beautiful day. Wednesday would have seemed like a pretty typical early fall day, a little dreary and blustery.
WINDSOR, N.D. — Terry Wanzek was away on vacation when a historic snowstorm struck central North Dakota. Flying over the state on Monday, Oct. 14, he got his first glimpse of what the storm really had done. "It was shocking," he said the next day. Back at his farm headquarters near Windsor in Stutsman County, Wanzek said he's uncertain when farmers in his area will be able to get back in the field. Even with ideal conditions, it could be weeks.
HARWOOD, N.D. — Bruce Van Den Einde has helped raise more than $1 million to fight cancer from atop a horse. Now friends are looking to return the favor as Van Den Einde battles throat and tongue cancer. A benefit dinner and silent auction for Van Den Einde is scheduled from 2 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Harwood Community Center. Those who can't attend can visit www.lendahandup.org/give
CARRINGTON, N.D. — Through the morning of Oct. 3, Erickson Implement in Carrington had sold nine sets of after-market tracks for combines. By that afternoon, they'd sold another two sets. "We're selling whatever kind of track attachments we can get," said service manager David Nelson. "Some of the places are running short on them already. I don't know that the rest of the world was ready for this."
You're supposed to "make hay while the sun shines." But what happens when it doesn't shine? For Justin Weatherford, of Florence, S.D., the wet summer and early fall has meant putting up about two-thirds of the amount of hay he needs for his approximately 150 ewes and 1,200 feeder lambs. It also means, thanks to runoff filling low spots, that he's only going to be able to move about a third of his hay home until a hard freeze firms up the ground. "Things just won't dry out," he says. He plans to graze longer, if the weather allows, to stretch his hay supplies.
As what weather forecasters were calling a "potentially historic" October storm moved into the region, farmers and ranchers scrambled to combine crops, bale or move hay, move cattle and prepare for winter earlier than they would have liked. Snow started falling in Montana on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and moved toward the Dakotas on Thursday. The storm was expected to stretch into parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Minnesota, as well as parts of Canada.
ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN and Tate & Lyle have embarked on a project to improve sustainability on 1.5 million acres of U.S. grown corn. Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN, says the collaboration will help farmers make the best decisions for their land and their finances. "It's really putting the power back in the farmer's hand," he says.
When I was growing up — and by growing up, I mean at least through my senior year of high school — my Mom would make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with my grandma Marguerite's crab apple jelly to take to school for lunch.
MINOT, N.D. — If something can go wrong in the cattle business, Todd Wilkinson has seen it. Wilkinson, of De Smet, S.D., partners in a feedyard with his brothers and a cow-calf operation with his son, but his day job as a lawyer specializing in agriculture means he gets caught up in some ugly cases. Wilkinson told some of his horror stories during Cattlemen's Education series presentations on "Protecting Your Investment" on Sept. 19 at the North Dakota Stockmen's Association convention in Minot.
MINOT, N.D. — When cattle are sold off farms or in sale barns, it isn't usually the end buyer who is doing the bidding. Livestock dealers are the middlemen who often get cattle from point A to point B. While livestock dealers are required to be licensed and bonded, there still are ramifications for sellers and sale barns when a livestock dealer doesn't pay or a check doesn't clear.