farming | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Farmers went through a number of hardships, following World War I, that affected their livelihood; "adverse crop conditions" and plummeting prices did not help the situation. Their struggles caused repercussions in other industries—such as affecting the sales of farming machinery.

The Rearview Mirror

Dec 7, 2019

Some may say it is a sign I am in my dotage, but lately I have been thinking and writing more than ever about agriculture, farming and ranching. You see, I was never supposed to be a farmer. My eldest brother was that guy, and thanks to him and his capable wife, and the others gone before them, as well as the cohort coming on, I believe I will see the family farm into the seventh generation.

On this date in 1909 the Golden Valley Chronicle warned that North Dakota farmers should be concerned about the Chicago Board of Trade. The newspaper reported on a conversation overheard in Chicago. Jim Patten, described as “the great wheat gambler,” reportedly declared that the Board had to suppress efforts by farmers to market their crops independently. The idea was to have the Board send out the flattering reports to help hold prices down until farmers gave in. Patten saw any organization on the part of farmers as a threat to the power of the Board.

In the early days of settlement in the West, it was common for livestock to run loose. Horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs wandered at will. Free range laws generally put the responsibility on the landowner to erect fences to keep out livestock that were legally at large, but the owner of the animals was still responsible for damages if the livestock broke through the fence.

Grain Rustlers

Mar 13, 2019

Cattle rustlers weren’t the only thieves who plagued North Dakota farmers and ranchers. On this date in 1914, the Devils Lake Weekly World announced that two members of a grain rustling gang had been arrested. The gang operated near Minot. The men were indicted for grand theft larceny and were being held for trial. Sheriff Kelly expected that the men would name the other members of the gang. One of the men had served time for stealing flax and had been released on parole only a few days prior to his arrest.

On this date in 1916, North Dakota farmers and ranchers attended a stock show in Chicago. While most of them were there to look for livestock, a number were more interested in finding wives.

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.

ND Grain Growers Assoc.

An interim Legislative committee has begun a study of vomitoxin.

That’s a fungus that affects small grain crops – and can render the crop useless.

"It's cost billions of dollars over the past three or four decades," said North Dakota Grain Growers executive director Dan Wogsland. "Not just to farmers, but to elevator operators, end users and everything else."

Wogsland said in 2016, vomitoxin was a serious problem in the durum crop.

Pollinator Summit held in Bismarck

Jul 31, 2013

North Dakota farmers, landowners, and beekeepers are meeting in Bismarck to discuss ideas of how to best protect honeybees.

Doug Goehring is North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner. He is also the moderator of the meeting.

Goehring said the discussion of how to best protect honeybees has drastically increased in the last year and half at the state and national levels.

Goehring said the goal of the meeting is to get an idea of how to provide a balanced approach to minimize negative impacts on beekeepers, agriculture and the general public.

Elevator numbers, grain storage capacity up

Aug 14, 2012

More elevators, more capacity.

""Actually, we're licensing more bushels than we've had in the past," said North Dakota Public Service Commission chairman Brian Kalk. He says the number of state and federally-licensed elevators has gone up – from 389 last year to 396 this year. And he says the total capacity went from 368-point-one million bushels last year to a record 379-point-8 million bushels this year.

Commissioner Kevin Cramer says there’s another trend – more farmers are building on-farm storage.