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Schmidt: Tree owners be aware

July 11, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

Homeowners are encouraged to contact their local county Extension office if they or someone they know has been contacted by an individual(s) claiming to treat disease and insect problems in trees - especially if they've experienced high pressure sales tactics with a hefty price tag. If you are contacted by one of these individuals be sure to ask plenty of questions and make sure that they are indeed insured and certified applicators. If you are in doubt contact your local county extension office.

North Central Research Center field tour

Soybean production and managing nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers in wheat and corn will be a few of the topics discussed at the 70th Annual NDSU North Central Research Extension Center field tour slated for July 16 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

According to Eric Eriksmoen, research center agronomist, this year's tour will focus on issues that farmers are dealing with right now.

"With another wet spring under our belt, getting crops planted in a timely manner, dealing with anemic yellow looking crops, struggling with effective timely weed control and trying to figure out what to do with fields that were too wet to plant are issues that just about every farmer has dealt with so far this year," Eriksmoen said. "We're teaming up with experts from across NDSU to provide farmers with a comprehensive discussion on issues relating to phosphorous fertilization of spring wheat, new nitrogen fertilization recommendations for corn, variety selection for saline soils and managing northern soybeans."

Other topics that participants will view include a demonstration on unmanned aerial surveillance to monitor crop production and a look back in time with a demonstration of the progression of wheat varieties that made North Dakota the bread basket of the world.

In addition to the annual crops tour, there will be a crop pest diagnostic and soil salinity clinic provided by the NDSU Extension Service. Farmers are encouraged to bring in plant samples and will have an opportunity to have one-on-one consultations with experts on weed, insect and disease control issues. Farmers can also bring in pint-size samples of dry soil for an on-site salinity analysis and consultations on salinity mitigation.

To provide soil for the test, take samples from a handful of spots in the field, mix the soil and take a sample of the mixture. That sample should contain about a cup of soil. Place the sample in a small dish on a sunny windowsill for a few days to allow the sample to dry. Then place the sample in a zip-top plastic bag and bring it to the field tour.

"The economics of farming is changing rapidly with high fuel, fertilizer and input costs and commodity prices which continue to be volatile. Like any business, farmers need to maintain their competitive edge and that's the objective of this event," Eriksmoen said. All field tour events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center located one mile south of Minot on Highway 83.

- Chris Augustin, Extension soil health specialist, and Eric Eriksmoen

Pierce County Small Grains Plot Tour

Each year the North Central Research Extension Center also conducts research at off-station sites in cooperation with county crop or agriculture improvement associations. The NDSU Pierce County Extension Office and the Pierce County Agriculture Improvement Association will be hosting a small grain plot tour at one of these sites July 17 beginning at 9 a.m. This year's off-station plot site is located three miles west of Rugby from the junction of Highway 2 and 3 along Highway 2 just northwest of the NDAWN Station. The plot features a number of spring and winter wheat varieties.

Topics and speakers include:

An Overview of Featured Small Grain Varieties Eric Eriksmoen NCREC Research Agronomist

Crop and Disease Issues Venkata Chapara NCREC Area Extension Crop Protection Specialist

Winter Wheat Production Considerations Steve Dvorak Ducks Unlimited Field Agronomist

Rolls and orange juice will be provided by the Pierce County Agricultural Improvement Association prior to the tour. All agriculture producers and agribusiness professionals are invited to attend.

If you have any questions, please call 776-6234, ext. 5. In case of unfavorable weather, please tune into 1450 AM.

2014 Master Gardener Program classes set

I'm excited to share with readers that the dates for the 2014 Master Gardener Program Classes are set to begin Sept. 19 and run through Nov. 21 and Rugby will be among this year's classroom host sites! To better accommodate participants' busy schedules, this year's program participants will again be able to choose between a more traditional classroom offering at selected host sites via Interactive Video Network (IVN) or an online version allowing participants to view recorded lectures from the comfort of their homes on their own schedule.

Classroom sessions will be held Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 19. The classes will originate from NDSU and be broadcast across the state to IVN host sites. Sites that will be hosting the classroom sessions are Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Forman, Grand Forks, Minot, Napoleon, Rugby and Williston. Devils Lake will also offer the course, but dates and times are yet to be determined. More locations may be added based upon demand. Registration for the Program is set to open later this month. Continue to check for updates on the Master Gardener Program website at

- Information compiled by Yolanda Schmidt, Pierce County NDSU Extension Agent



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