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Ag and Extension Briefs

Beef Quality Assurance & Secure Beef Supply trainings set

Today’s consumers are more interested than ever before on where and how the food they purchase is raised, which has led to an increased focus on our beef production systems — how we handle cattle, our use of pharmaceutical products, our feed management practices, and having an accurate and reliable record keeping system. University of Minnesota Extension along with Minnesota Beef Council will host three Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Secure Beef Supply (SBS) training sessions in southwest Minnesota. Producers attending these free workshops will receive a three-year BQA certification and will learn the steps needed to begin their own Secure Beef Supply plan.

Over the past year, cattlemen and women have been asked to complete the BQA program in order to market their cattle to certain processors. However, BQA certification is still voluntary. Specific companies have chosen to extend their own quality assurance protocol requirements to cattlemen who are a part of their supply chain. A BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. When a producer does not have current BQA certification the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements.

The one and a half-hour training and certification sessions are free. Only one person from each operation is required to be certified to ensure the entire operation follows the BQA standards. However, everyone who handles and manages fed cattle is encouraged to become BQA certified.

Producers have the option of taking the in-person training in our region at three locations including Pipestone: Thursday, April 25 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Pipestone Livestock Auction Market, 1500 7th St SE. Training will be in the sale barn café. Slayton: Tuesday, June 4 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Murray County 4-H Building, 3048 Broadway Ave.

Walk-ins are welcome; to ensure enough training materials for everyone RSVPs are appreciated. Call the Murray County Extension Office at 507-836-6927 and indicate which training location you will attend.

Those unable to attend a session can also earn certification online at www.BQA.org.

4-H Crop Scouting Event July 29

The Center of 4-H Youth Development and the University of Minnesota Extension announce a 4-H Crop Scouting Event beginning this summer. 4-H and FFA teams are invited to participate. The 4-H Crop Scouting event will allow youth to test their crop-scouting skills on agronomics, weed, insect, and disease scouting through outdoor hands-on activities.

“This is a great opportunity for youth in grades 7th-12th grade to showcase what they know and to advance their crop scouting skills,” says, Brian McNeill, University of Minnesota Extension educator. The top two teams in Minnesota will advance to compete in the national competition in Iowa.

The 4-H Crop Scouting event will take place on July 29, south of Benson. The teams will test their knowledge and learn about topics such as insects, diseases, corn and soybean growth stages, sprayer technology, forages and many more. Registration is open and teams can sign up at: https://z.umn.edu/4hcropscoutingregistration . Registration will close June 1.

Average start date for fieldwork moved back in North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The expected average start date for spring fieldwork in North Dakota has been moved back a day after a recent snowstorm.

The Agriculture Department in its weekly crop report said April 28 is now expected to be the date that farmers on average get into the field.

Soil moisture supplies remain in decent shape, with topsoil moisture statewide rated 93% adequate to surplus and subsoil moisture 83% in those categories.

The winter wheat crop and cattle and calf conditions both are rated 90 percent fair to good.

Hay and stock water supplies both are rated mostly adequate.

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