Morton County Extension Update

Growing More in Morton
May 2021

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Welcome to the 5th issue of Growing More in Morton, a quarterly online newsletter published by Morton County Extension. The goal of this newsletter is to be an educational resource and highlight North Dakota agriculture and natural resource issues in our area.


Drought Workshop

Monday, May 24th at 1pm at the Morton County Fairgrounds, hear from NDSU Extension Specialists, Kevin Sedivec, Janna Block & Miranda Meehan as they discuss how to manage drought on your operation.

Topics include grazing readiness, grazing strategies, feed alternatives and supplements and water quality. Bring in a livestock water sample and get it tested for total dissolved solids & sulfates!


Water Quality

Having access to good-quality water is one of the limiting factors for cattle in most grazing systems and could be a challenge this year. 

It is important to watch for increased concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) and sulfates, which can be toxic to livestock. For most livestock, the TDS in the water should be less than 5,000ppm and sulfates should be less than 500ppm for calves and less than 1,000ppm for adult cattle. 


Grazing Readiness

One of the most important grazing management decisions you can make is selecting a start date for grazing tame pasture and native range. Grazing before plants reach the proper phase causes a reduction in forage production, which can reduce stocking rate & animal performance.

Herbicide Carryover

The dry fall, winter and spring conditions created an increased concern in herbicide carryover from applications made in the spring and summer of 2020. When we have dry conditions, herbicides can persist in the soil longer due to decreased microbial and chemical degradation. A field with low soil pH or low organic matter also are at a increased risk of carryover. 


Livestock Mineral Program

How much do you spend on minerals each year?
Are your livestock able to utilize the available minerals? 

Check out this educational program focused on beef cattle mineral nutrition to assist you in developing effective and cost-efficient mineral programs based on your production situations. 


Sunday Spotlight

Don't forget to tune into my Sunday Spotlights that are posted the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month. These are short education videos that are intended to keep you up to date on programs and informed about issues occurring in the county.


Conifers Struggling

In 2020, many ponderosa pine trees died due to the wet fall of 2019. This year, trees are affected by winter injury which causes random needles to die back and they were damaged by the drought in 2020. Treating trees is difficult because most of the damage is due to environmental problems.

Livestock Drought Resources

Check out this detailed listing of all the drought resources available for the state of North Dakota. It includes information from NDSU Extension, ND Department of Agriculture, ND Stockmen's Association, NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, ND Response and more!

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4-H Achievement Days

Morton County 4-H Achievement Day's will be held August 4-6 at the Morton County Fairgrounds in New Salem. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the office at 667-3340!

Drought Photos

Do you every see something and think, "Wow, that shows how dry it is?" If so, snap a picture and email it to me so I can use it in my weekly drought report for the state. 

Culling Livestock

Culling is one strategy to manage herds with limited feed resources. Culling parameters should remove cattle that do not help the ranch meet its goals.

A good question to ask before developing a culling plan is: “What are my goals, and what culling criteria will help my operation and cattle achieve them?” 

Available Services

The office has the following services or equipment that can be borrowed:
   - Hay Bale Probe
   - Soil Testing Probe
   - Forage Nitrate Quick Test
   - Livestock Water Testing Bottles

   - Livestock Water Quality Tests
   - Soybean Cyst Nematode Bags
   - ND Farm Record Books
   - ND Weed Control Guide
   - ND Field Crop Plant Disease Management Guide
   - ND Field Crop Insect Management Guide
Contact the office at 667-3340 for more information.




Mark Your Calendars!


12: Horse Management Webinar 
19: Horse Management Webinar 
24: Drought Workshop, New Salem
26: Good Bugs Webinar Series
26: Horse Management Webinar
27: Navigating Drought Webinar


9: Good Bugs Webinar Series
10: Agricultural Markets Webinar
23: Good Bugs Webinar Series
24: Navigating Drought Webina


7: Good Bugs Webinar Series
14: Dickinson Research Extension Center Field Day
15: Agricultural Markets Webinar
TDA: Glen Ullin Plot Tour
29: Navigating Drought Webinar




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Contact Information 

NDSU Extension-Morton County
210 2nd Ave NW
Mandan, ND 58554
(701) 667-3340