GFM Network News


For the past decade, North Dakota State University has conducted field research on bean yields versus plant population and row size.

Dry beans respond to row spacing and plant population

Trials on black and navy beans show a slight advantage to narrow spacing and higher plant population

Narrower row spacing and higher plant populations have some advantage in dry bean production, according to research by North Dakota State University. For the past decade, NDSU has been conducting field research examining the response of black, navy and pinto beans to different combinations of row spacings and plant populations to identify optimum seed yield. Research focused on black and navy beans grown

The key to treating a calf with scours is to identify the problem and treat the animal early.

Diarrhea can be deadly for calves

A number of different factors can cause this serious issue

Cattle producers need to be on the lookout for calf diarrhea, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock experts. The majority of scours, or diarrhea, cases occur when calves are three to 16 days old. Untreated calves essentially die of shock from a loss of fluids and electrolyte imbalances. “Calf scours is most often


Getting ready ahead of time can help ensure a successful calving season.

Prepare for spring calving

A few simple steps can set your operation up for success

Planning and preparing for the calving season can help not only minimize calf losses but also improve calves’ performance, according to North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists. The nutrition status of the calving herd is one issue to consider in preparing for the upcoming spring calving season. “Although this should be an earlier concern,

This cow herd at NDSU’s Dickinson Research Extension Center is in the last trimester of gestation.

Body condition vital to calving success

Proper feed, good water and a reasonable space with wind protection will keep a cow content

During the last trimester of pregnancy in beef cows, the fetus grows rapidly, placing increasing nutrient demands on the cow. In addition, cold weather increases the cow’s nutrient requirements. “Body condition plays an important role in successfully wintering beef cows,” says Yuri Montanholi, North Dakota State University Extension beef cattle specialist. “Late weaning, overstocking, late

A producer uses a bale processor to feed hay.

Steps to stretch limited hay supplies

All options must be closely evaluated while keeping an eye on the bottom line to ensure carrying animals through winter is realistic

Harvest and transport challenges have left many livestock producers facing a shortage of hay. That has some producers worrying they do not have enough forage on hand at this time to meet winter feed needs. “There are numerous strategies that can be used to help stretch limited forage supplies,” said Janna Block, extension livestock systems


Corn is testing on the lighter side this year, leading to producer concern.

What factors influence corn test weight?

Drying can increase the number, but drying at too high temperatures can limit the gain

Poor growing and harvesting conditions this year have producers concerned about the test weight of their corn. “Many factors influence the measured test weight of corn, including the physical characteristics of the kernel such as size, density, shape and surface of the kernel,” says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer. Hybrid differences

A producer samples standing forage as part of an extension
mineral-testing program.

Mineral nutrition vital for summer cattle grazing programs

Forage testing offers the potential to improve livestock performance and reduce costs

Proper mineral nutrition is important for optimal cattle reproductive performance, milk production, calf weight gain and a strong immune system, according to Janna Block, North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialist at the Hettinger Research Extension Center. Required minerals for livestock are classified into two general groups: micro- and macro-minerals, based on the quantity required.

Dry bean trials at NDSU showed pinto beans respond to phosphorus-based starter fertilizer.

Bean trials respond to phosphorus-based starter fertilizer

Seed-placed fertilizer can also cause bean stand reductions in dry, coarse-textured soils or with high fertilizer rates

Phosphorus-based starter fertilizer can increase pinto bean seed yield, North Dakota State University studies have shown. That finding is the result of nearly a decade of NDSU phosphorus-based starter fertilizer trials conducted at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “The published research summary should assist… farmers as they make pinto bean plant nutrition plans for the


Protect the health of the youngest members of your herd by keeping a close eye out for scours.

Keep an eye out for scours

Reduce the risk of scours and other early-life problems for calves with these tips

Protect your calves from scours, especially during the first days of life. The majority of scours, or diarrhea, cases occur when calves are three and 16 days old. Untreated calves essentially die of shock from a loss of fluids, say production specialists from North Dakota State University. “Calf scours are most often associated with infectious,

Farmers and ranchers must have ways to manage stress

If stress piles up and is left unresolved many problems can result

Piled-up stress can lead farmers and ranchers to develop physical or mental health issues, but they can take steps to reduce stress and create healthy ways to manage it, says a North Dakota State University Extension expert. “Farm and ranch families often experience pressure, conflict and uncertainty, especially during harvesting and planting,” says Sean Brotherson,