agriculture | Prairie Public Broadcasting


North Dakota's Agriculture Commissioner said the state's farming and ranching community has felt their fair share of challenges over the last six years.

Goehring said in a normal cycle, the market would likely start turning around. But he said that isn't happening now – because the market is still fraught with challenges.

"There's a trade war with China," Goehring said. "We're still dealing with high tariffs across the entire world, from many countries."

The House has approved a measure that its supporters say will make it easier to site large animal feeding facilities.

The measure says counties and townships cannot change zoning regulations after a permit application is filed. And it gives the county and township a 60-day window in which to approve or deny those applications. If the local government does not act within 60 days, the siting is approved.

Opponents said it takes away local control.

The Good Seed Train

Mar 15, 2019

The North Dakota Agricultural College was born in March 1890 when the governor approved a bill calling for its establishment. The land grant college opened its doors in January of 1892 with a president, three faculty members, and 123 students. Classes were held in six rooms rented from Fargo College. The first agricultural experiment station had been established two years earlier, and it was now incorporated into the program at NDAC.

Researchers in the late 1800s found that older farmers resisted new advances in agriculture. This was supported by the response of rural North Dakotans to the establishment of the North Dakota Agricultural College. The farmers wondered what “a bunch of college boys” could possibly teach them about farming. But the same researchers discovered that young people living on farms were more open to new ideas and more likely to experiment, and were able to introduce new ways to the older farmers.

Will tariffs against Chinese goods spark trade war?

Mar 23, 2018

The Vice President of the US Soybean Export Council says the country's ag industry cannot afford to get into a trade war.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The 4th annual “Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line” was held Tuesday at Bismarck State College.

The conference was held to talk about the weather outlook, crop production, grazing strategies and economics, especially in dry years.

David Archer is a research leader at the Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, south of Mandan. His topic was “Economics of Improving Soil Quality.” Archer said one practice toward improving soil quality is “no-till” farming.

Farm Rescue to assist ranchers with livestock feed

Nov 22, 2017

Farm Rescue has helped over 500 farm families through injury, illness and natural disasters since 2006 - and now they're focusing on helping ranching families this winter.

Dan Errdman is a spokesman for Farm Rescue. He says Farm Rescue has hauled hay for livestock feeding assistance since 2012, including this past summer during the draught. This winter Farm Rescue is expanding its livestock feeding assistance throughout its entire service area, which includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and Iowa. He says they're now looking for volunteers.

'NAFTA' renegotiations begin

Aug 18, 2017
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Canada, Mexico and the United States have begun NAFTA negotiations.

Corn farmers in the Plains and Midwest are lobbying for the status quo.

Mexico, in particular, has become a big customer of American corn, but the Trump administration is looking to modify NAFTA to aid the manufacturing industry. Jon Doggett of the National Corn Growers Association said that puts everything up for discussion.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring wants home and property owners to check any recently purchased nursery stock for the Japanese beetle.

Some plants brought into North Dakota from Bailey Nurseries of Newport, Minnesota have Japanese beetle larvae. That nursery provides plants to most North Dakota nurseries. Goehring told Capitol reporters North Dakota has been listed as a non-infested state – and he wants to keep it that way. So he’s asking homeowners to check for the larvae, or the beetles themselves – and to purchase traps.

Courtesy ND Farmers Union

The North Dakota Farmers Union held its annual convention in Bismarck Dec. 9th and 10th.

"The theme -- farm income, primarily," said Farmers Union president Mark Watne.

Watne said it has been a challenging year for farmers. He said yields are up, but crop prices are down – and input costs haven’t come down as much as farmers would like to see.

"Crude oil prices are down, but we would like to see a litle more decline in input prices," Watne said. "To rely on excellent yields to cover your bills -- that's pretty speculative. I don't think any farm can sustain that."