Jenny Schlecht / Agweek Staff Writer
BISMARCK, N.D. — If you ask beekeepers what kind of research they would like to see, the answer is simple. "The main thing is bee health," says Erik Dohn of Danzig Honey in Wishek, N.D. "Everything else takes a backseat to that." One of the specific bee health issues that beekeepers say needs further investigation is control of varroa mites.
I don't think Mom wanted to know how to pull a gooseneck stock trailer behind the ¾-ton pickup. But when my brother and I needed to get our 4-H animals to town on a day Dad was busy, she learned. I doubt she had a burning desire to learn how to keep score at baseball games. But when my softball team needed a scorekeeper, she became one — and a good one at that, able to distinguish an error from a base hit from a fielder's choice.
PLAINVIEW, Minn. — When Maurie Young found out Grasslands Dairy Products no longer would be taking his milk, he was caught off guard. "We were just in disbelief, kind of in shock," he says. Young, owner of Emerald Spring Dairy in Plainview, Minn., was among approximately 75 producers in Minnesota and Wisconsin told by Grasslands Dairy Products that the company no longer would be buying their milk as of May 1. Changes in Canadian pricing for ultrafiltered milk meant Grasslands lost business in Canada and no longer had need for all that milk.
TUTTLE, N.D. — As calving season winds down, Adam Sathre of Tuttle, N.D., is starting to get a little time to reflect on the whirlwind of the past six months. Calving seasons across North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana are nearing their ends. According to May 1 U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition reports for the three states, calving conditions generally have been good with average death loss. Calving progress was at 79 percent in North Dakota, 83 percent in South Dakota and 88 percent in Montana.
I volunteered myself and my 5-year-old daughter to assist in bottle feeding any bum (orphan) calves this year. With a full-time job and two little kids, I can't help out on the farm and feedlot as much as I'd like. Feeding calves was a good way to help out while teaching the kiddos about the reality of living on a farm. The first few weeks of calving brought an abundance of twins — six pairs, to be exact. A few of the calves quickly were spiked onto cows who lost their calves, but at the peak we were bottle feeding three calves a day.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The Minnesota Milk Producers Association says all 10 Minnesota dairy farms who lost contracts due to changes in pricing in Canada for ultrafiltered milk have found new processors to buy their milk.
WASHINGTON—Agriculture groups are urging the Trump administration to remain in the North American Free Trade Agreement upon reports that the White House is considering a draft executive order to withdraw from the longstanding trade deal. "Withdrawing from NAFTA would be disastrous for American agriculture," National Corn Growers Association president Wesley Spurlock said in a statement. "We cannot disrupt trade with two of our top trade partners and allies. This decision will cost America's farmers and ranchers markets that we will never recover."
JANESVILLE, Minn. — Kathy Guse grew up on a farm and now farms with her husband. Still, every time she sits in on a session at Farm Camp Minnesota, she learns something new about modern agriculture. "There's a lot of learning that goes on," says Guse, one of the volunteers who have been putting on the camp since 2012.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota Rep. Luke Simons says he's stirred up some controversy with some of the bills in his first session in the North Dakota Legislature. The Dickinson-area rancher says his Constitutionalist views have been at odds with members of his Republican party. "People think I'm kind of a radical, but I think they're kind of Communists," he says. So for one of his bills to pass unanimously was a big victory for him. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on April 12 signed Simon's "North Dakota Food Freedom Act," House Bill 1127, into law.
LAMOURE, N.D. — Kelly Klein likes to watch cattle sales while he eats dinner. Back in January 2015, he saw some "wild, longhorn-looking cattle, rodeo looking cattle" out of Loup City, Neb. There was something he liked about the red-and-white-paint bull that came through the ring as he watched on his computer screen. "He looked like he was built right, had a little fire to him. He looked kind of wild," Klein says. So he bought him.