Ag and Extension

Planting bulbs

Over the past years, I have dabbled with all sorts of bulbs. I really enjoy the ease in planting them but don’t really like having to dig bulbs up each year. So, for the most part, I plant quite a few in pots. This works pretty well because all I need to do is to bring the flower pot inside. ...

Ag Briefs

Organic producers and handlers may apply for Certification Cost Share Reimbursements Starting March 20, organic producers and handlers are able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining ...

Gardens of the pioneers

My daughter and I are enjoying reading the “Little House on the Prairie” books. This is her first time and my first time as an adult rereading them. I know that when I read them as a little girl, I took the viewpoint of Laura. I really liked her spunk. I still do but now I am seeing these ...

Ag Briefs

Farm Storage Facility Loans available FSA’s Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program provides low-interest financing to producers to build or upgrade storage facilities and to purchase portable (new or used) structures, equipment and storage and handling trucks. The low-interest funds ...

Lawn products

There are times where this column will almost write itself. The one written here today is just one of those moments. I started hearing about Roundup ready lawns about two weeks ago from area gardeners curious about how they could use Roundup on their lawns. I assumed at the time that it was ...

Ag Briefs

FSA youth loans available The Farm Service Agency makes loans to youth to establish and operate agricultural income-producing projects in connection with 4-H clubs, FFA and other agricultural groups. Projects must be planned and operated with the help of the organization advisor, produce ...

Ag Briefs

Rare calf born at Conner Prairie following embryo transfer FISHERS, Ind. (AP) — A rare English Longhorn calf has joined Conner Prairie’s livestock herds following a successful embryo transfer. The male calf was born last week at the interactive history park in suburban Indianapolis. Its ...

Shakespeare and plants

As we are waiting for spring to come into full bloom, here are a few interesting tidbits about garden plants that I found recently. As someone who grew up in a small town, I had the advantage of friends and family who believed that many kids in the high school needed to have a higher education ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Extension offers one-to-one services for financially distressed farmers University of Minnesota Extension announced recently it will begin offering one-to-one financial counseling to farmers in serious financial stress. “We know that due to a variety of factors, including on-going low ...

Fertilizer formulations

It is that time of the year again, when lawn enthusiasts are getting prepared to have that perfect lawn. To get the most value out of your lawn fertilizer, an understanding of what your lawn needs and what a particular fertilizer can supply is essential. If you understand what is on ...

Ag and Extension Briefs

Request for proposals for local foods projects in southwest Minnesota People who have an idea that improves food access and availability, and/or strengthens community food systems in southwest Minnesota should contact SWRSDP. The University of Minnesota’s Southwest Regional Sustainable ...

Pruning time

Spring time is pruning time in Minnesota. The late dormant season is best for most pruning. Pruning in late winter, just before spring growth starts, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short length of time before new growth begins the wound sealing process. Another advantage of dormant ...

Farming green with cover crops

BALATON — Randy Tholen’s curiosity for agriculture research goes back to when he was growing up on his family’s farm in Tracy. “When I was 8 or 10 years old, I was always doing research,” Tholen said. “I was planting things in the garden. One thing I can remember, back in ...

The Master Gardener program

I have been a proud member of The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program for almost 25 years. It is an internationally recognized volunteer program. It exists in all 50 states, in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Nationally, there are nearly 100,000 Master Gardener ...

Ag Briefs

State agriculture director says Trump policies a concern ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — While Washington’s farm economy is doing well, the director of the state Department of Agriculture says the Trump administration’s trade policies are a concern. Derek Sandison said Tuesday that President ...

The top 10

The one really great thing about being connected to the University of Minnesota is that we get to use so many of their research topics to our own advantage. This is certainly true with the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris when it comes to gardening. ...

Ag Briefs

Commodity trends and marketing plans to be featured at conference Commodity trends, marketing plans, crop production budgets and farm profitability in southwest Minnesota will be featured at the 2017 Farm Management Profitability Conference on Wednesday, March 22, at the University of ...

Kids and gardening

Mother Nature is teasing us with these warmer temperatures but don’t be fooled. There is still a lot of winter coming. But in the meantime, we can start to prepare for our gardens, at least on paper or mentally. There are quite a few communities throughout the United States that are moving ...

Extension Briefs

Minnesota farmland sales down Slightly in 2016 By David Bau Extension educator Last month I listed the average sales prices for farmland sold in the first six months of 2016 for 14 southwest Minnesota counties. That data indicated a 2.6 percent decline in sale prices from 2015 to ...

Ag Briefs

Swedish supermarket tests lasers to label organic produce MALMO, Sweden (AP) — Something high-tech is happening in the produce aisle at some Swedish supermarkets, where laser marks have replaced labels on the organic avocados and sweet potatoes. Swedish supermarket chain ICA started ...