Tracy Frank is a SheSays, Variety, and Farmer's Forum reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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FARGO—Farmers plan to plant more corn and less wheat than expected this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's recently released annual Prospective Plantings report. The report is based on a survey of about 84,000 farmers around the country and shows the acreage they expect to plant for each crop. Frayne Olson, North Dakota State University crop economist and marketing specialist, said the report is the first glimpse traders, market analysts and buyers get into what U.S. farmers are thinking as they prepare to plant.
When talking about the quality of soybean meal for livestock feed, Scott Gauslow wants farmers and buyers to think more about amino acids than crude protein. Soybean quality is often measured by protein. But animals don't have a protein requirement, they have an amino acid requirement, said Gauslow, North Dakota Soybean Council director, who farms corn and soybeans near Colfax in Richland County.
"Just by nature, Easter lilies are a plant that will flower three weeks earlier than the one sitting right beside it," he said. "Our shipping window is relatively short for Easter lilies, so some we try to move forward with warm temperatures and some we try to hold back with cooler temperatures." Because Easter floats over almost a month's time period, Bergen said Easter lilies are one of the most technical crops to grow.
VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- Shayne Powers, who farms small grains, corn and soybeans near here, said he's "kind of worried" about the commodity markets. "It's kind of a tough year to make a dollar," said Powers, who listened to JR Kassian, a Russell Consultant and CHS Hedging branch manager, give a market review and outlook at the North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City earlier this week. "The market's been going down lately," he said. "I'm just trying to see if there's an upside at all."
FARGO -- A group of North Dakotans recently returned from a trade mission that was the first of its kind. On North Dakota's first trade mission to Israel, delegates met with Elbit Systems, a Haifa-based technology company that is collaborating with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University to fly the first large-scale, high-altitude unmanned aircraft systems at one of six United States UAS test sites.
FARGO -- Ardis Brandl is paid to hold people's hands. "Sometimes I go home feeling pretty lucky with my life," she said. Brandl works as a patient sitter for Essentia Health in Fargo. She sits with patients who are dying, combative, suicidal, a fall risk or might otherwise need supervision, such as young children whose parents can't stay with them. Sometimes she talks with people, cuddles children and holds patients' hands. "Just kind of keep them safe," she said.
CHRISTINE, N.D. -- Last year was a banner year for the bison industry, and it's expected to continue, said Dave Carter, National Bison Association executive director. "We're actively promoting what we call the ‘bison advantage’ to other producers to take a look at getting into the bison business," he said. "We think the customer demand is going to continue to increase."
FARGO -- Ford Baldwin painted a bleak picture of weed control at a recent workshop in Fargo exploring the future of ag production. "When we delivered the message in Arkansas, our farmers didn't listen," he said. "A lot of them tell me they wish they had."
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Howard Dahl of Amity Technology says precision agriculture will allow farmers to do things they've never done before. Dahl talked about precision ag around the world at the fifth annual Precision Ag Summit held this week in Jamestown.
North Dakota-grown beans have been helping a Grafton woman with intellectual disabilities run her own business for the past 10 years.