Latest articles


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, […] Read more


Persistent lice in cattle a potent problem

As winter wears on, many cattle producers are faced with a continual lice infestation in their herd

Some producers have treated more than once and still are seeing the effects of lice in their livestock. “We are experiencing lice populations that are apparently much more difficult to control than previously,” says Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian. “We cannot be sure as to the reason for reduced lice control, but […] Read more



Warmer temperatures mean warmer grain in the bin

Solar heating on the south side of bins means that proper spring grain drying and storage are critical

As outdoor temperatures increase, stored grain requires attention to prevent losses, says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer and grain-drying expert. The stored grain temperature increases in the spring not only due to an increase in outdoor temperatures but also due to solar heat gain on the bin. Solar energy produces more […] Read more


Winter calving requires diligence

There are risks to both winter calving outdoors and indoor births

Winter calving can lead to health risks for the newborns, North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists caution. This winter’s heavy snowfall and dangerous wind chills have created calving conditions that are difficult to manage and put the ears, feet and life of newborn calves at risk. However, calving indoors also has its drawbacks. “When […] Read more



Calf losses before birth a concern

Abortions can be a major concern for cattle producers

An “abortion” is the discharge of the fetus prior to the end of the normal gestation period, according to Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. Many abortions occur within the first 45 days of conception (called early embryonic death), and the embryos or fetuses are so small that they […] Read more


Protein key for pregnant cows

Keep your cows in their best shape with proper feed

Underfeeding protein to stock cows through their winter gestation has serious consequences, a North Dakota State University Extension livestock expert warns. “If insufficient protein and nitrogen are provided and degraded in the rumen, forage digestion will be reduced and the cow may not meet caloric needs and lose weight,” says John Dhuyvetter, Extension livestock systems […] Read more



Challenging harvest means storage issues for soybeans

Cooling bins and holding until spring, then completing drying, appears the best strategy

A challenging soybean harvest is raising many storage and drying questions, according to Ken Hellevang, agricultural engineer with North Dakota State University Extension. Soybeans at 11 per cent moisture have similar storage characteristics as wheat or corn at about 13.5 per cent moisture, so 16 per cent moisture soybeans might be expected to store the […] Read more


Soybeans may be viable cattle feed option

However, there are limits to how much mature cattle can handle

Cattle producers looking for feed sources this year may have a silver lining in recent trade spats. They should consider feeding hard-to-market North Dakota soybeans to beef cattle, North Dakota State University Extension livestock experts say. Soybeans can be used as a protein supplement for beef cattle, as long as the beans are a small […] Read more



Fly bites a nuisance that can also lead to foot rot

Chemical controls and pasture rotation are options for control of stable flies

Fly problems are prevalent in some parts of North Dakota this year, North Dakota State University Extension livestock specialists warn. Horn, face and stable flies all are irritating to cattle, but stable flies have been particularly bothersome. “They will bite and irritate the animals on the legs and belly, and control of these pests is […] Read more


Water woes can hurt cattle

Dry conditions for the past many months could mean trouble in dugouts

Many producers are continuing to feel the effects of the 2017 drought, which are lingering into the 2018 grazing season. Numerous ponds and dugouts dried up as a result of the drought, and any water remaining in others may not be the best quality. “Water quality in ponds and dugouts still may be compromised by […] Read more