Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
BISMARCK — Bee boxes sit to the west of Clark Coleman’s sunflower field north of Bismarck. Honeybees play a vital role in pollinating sunflowers, helping increase yield and quality. But up until now, the bees have been placed nearby and farmers hope for the best. “Bees pollinate, but they don’t know where,” explains Kate Lyall, who owns and operates Australian agriculture technology company Bee Innovative with her husband, David.
KENMARE, N.D. — It was June 6, 2017, and planting was behind.
BISMARCK — Sometime around 2014, John and Donovan Stober were sitting at the table, discussing ways to add value to their crops. The Stobers have farmed near Goodrich in central North Dakota since the land was homesteaded in the early 1900s. John is the fourth generation on the place, and Donovan, his son, is the fifth. The family had a previous value-added venture, Flax USA, and they felt the best way to keep their farm alive to a sixth generation was to find another idea.
TOWNER, N.D. — While much of the Midwest struggles with flooding and soggy conditions, farmers and ranchers in northern North Dakota and southern Canada are dealing with their third consecutive year of drought conditions. “Everyone I’ve talked to around this area has said the same things: The grass in the pastures is not there; the hay meadows are not there; the water holes are low. What are we going to do?” said rancher Robert Green.
Years ago, after I had devoured normal first-grade reading offerings, my mom suggested I might enjoy Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books. I dove in at age 7 and never looked back. For my ninth birthday, my parents bought me the box set of Wilder’s books, from “Little House in the Big Woods” to “The First Four Years.” I’ve reread some of them so many times that their covers are bent and faded.
BISMARCK — About six years have passed since Dean Ulmer and Jess George began contemplating building a new livestock sale barn in North Dakota’s capital city. Now, after a few false starts brought on by health issues and zoning confusion, the partners are working to get Bismarck Livestock Auction up and running by fall. The blue building, about a mile and a half north of Interstate 94 a few miles outside Bismarck, lacks most of its exterior doors, and little progress has been made on its interior. Dirt work hasn’t been completed, and no pens have been built.
While countries across the globe work to eliminate African swine fever, John Deen says he hopes that U.S. pork producers continue to strive to block the highly contagious and deadly virus from ever infecting its pig herd. Deen is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. His expertise includes swine health and welfare and epidemiology of swine diseases. As part of his epidemiological work, he has visited China, talking to pig farmers and veterinarians about the new scourge to the industry.
FARGO — North Dakota State University’s National Agri-Marketing Association marketing team’s idea for an oat milk ice cream made a big impression at the National Agri-Marketing Association conference, earning the team a national championship in the conference’s student competition.
BISMARCK — Representatives of ag groups are used to going to shows and conventions, talking to farmers and consumers. Talking to farmers about the importance of various crops can be like preaching to the choir, while talking to consumers at big events can be hit or miss on whether the information sets in, said Brian Gion, marketing director for the Northern Crop Growers Association.
BISMARCK — North Dakota stands alone in the region for its wide-open laws concerning who can go onto private property. Outdoors groups credit the law, which considers all private property open for anyone to enter unless otherwise posted, with keeping the state’s hunting traditions vibrant. But the positive note for hunters has long been a problem for many landowners, particularly farmers and ranchers who want to control who enters their land.