Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
MINOT, N.D. — To many, a visit to a state fair means fried foods or hitting up exciting rides on the midway. But for many in agriculture, state and county fairs remain a major way to reach the public. The North Dakota State Fair ran July 19 to 27 in Minot. State fair manager Renae Korslien didn't have a tally on how many animals passed through the many barns on the grounds, but she considered the fair a success.
RUGBY, N.D. — Richard Hoffart has about 210 cows, but he anticipates he may sell down by fall. "I'm hoping we can keep 120, 130 at least," he says. But that'll depend on how many bales of hay he can put up this summer. With dry conditions on his Pierce County ranch, that isn't looking good. Most fields are producing only about half of normal, he says. An oats field he planted for hay is yielding a bale an acre when it should be giving him close to four. "It's pretty devastating up here," Hoffart says.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Hunter Hanson told U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland he "got overwhelmed" in his grain trading business, leading to a situation in which he defrauded at least 60 farmers, grain elevators and grain brokers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada for more than $11 million.
"Grandma and Grandpa, can you come see us?" It was such an innocent question from the mouth of my 3-year-old daughter while she video-chatted with my parents on a recent Sunday night. My mom later called the sweet request, which was complete with a well-thought-out suggestion that their corgi could stay in one of our dogs' kennels, "heartbreaking."
BISMARCK, N.D. — Sometime around 2014, John and Donovan John Stober were sitting at the table, discussing ways to add value to their crops. The Stobers have farmed near Goodrich in central North Dakota since the land was homesteaded in the early 1900s. John is the fourth generation on the place, and Donovan, his son, is the fifth. The family had a previous value-added venture, Flax USA, and they felt the best way to keep their farm alive to a sixth generation was to find another idea.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Chris Adams has worked through a lot of problems as he's started growing industrial hemp, both for seed and for CBD oil. On the CBD side, he wants other growers to beware that the industry is a lot different than other ag markets. "It's the Wild West," he said.
BELFIELD, N.D. — It wouldn't seem like many people in western North Dakota would be too far removed from agriculture. But at the Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee's second annual Banquet in a Field: Western Style event, there were a few people "in shock and awe" at the foods made from crops grown at nearby farms, says Christina Jorgensen, chamber executive director.
HETTINGER, N.D. — Hannah Nordby graduated from the University of Wyoming in May 2018. But she didn't settle immediately into the workforce. Instead, Nordby went to Taiwan and Thailand as part of IFYE, a youth exchange program rooted in agriculture and 4-H. Now Adams County's new North Dakota State University Extension agent, Nordby learned about the universality of agriculture and humanity during the program.
Crop conditions in the region remain mostly good, but maturity continues to lag, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report released July 15. For instance, in the 18 states that grow corn, only 17% of corn is silking, compared to an average of 42% Silking barely has started in Minnesota and North Dakota and hasn't started in South Dakota. Likewise, soybeans across the 18 states that grow that crop usually are nearly half done blooming. This year, only 22% of soybeans in the country have bloomed.
CARRINGTON, N.D. — Farmers looking to reduce the amount of root rot in their field peas or lentils can do so without spending a dime, Michael Wunsch told a group on the agronomy tour at the Carrington Research Extension Center's 60th annual Field Day on Tuesday, July 16.