Weed of the Month: Vining Milkweeds and Rough Potato

By Christina Basch, MN Department of Agriculture There are more than 2,900 described species in the milkweed family. Minnesota is home to 14 native milkweeds, all of which are herbaceous perennials. In the summer of 2020, a vining milkweed was discovered along the Lake Wobegon Trail by a University of Minnesota Extension Master Naturalist. Though species of…

Rural Finance authority clears way for Disaster Loans

Eligible drought-affected farmers can now apply for zero-interest financing The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Rural Finance Authority (RFA) Board today determined that an emergency exists in Minnesota due to drought, which makes zero-interest loans available immediately for Minnesota farmers whose operations are suffering from lack of rain. “The RFA board members voted unanimously to make…

10 tips on managing drought-stressed horse pastures

By Krishona Martinson, Extension equine specialist Recent dry weather has raised questions about how to manage horse pastures during drought. These 10 tips for managing drought-stressed cool-season grass pastures in the Midwest can help ensure pasture longevity and maximize growth when rainfall comes. Avoid overgrazing Without moisture, pasture growth slows and pastures may even become…

Fly management on the farm

By Katherine Gathje, Interim Extension Educator Flies have been prevalent recently around the farm especially in warm or wet areas. Flies are nuisance insects but can become difficult to deal with, especially on farms. Most farms are impacted by stable flies, house flies, face flies and horn flies. Managing flies on the farm not only…

Pasture management in dry weather

By Katherine Gathje, Interim Extension Educator Hot and dry conditions have not been favorable for pasture growth this summer. Farmers have had to supplement pasture feeding with more dry forages than typical, putting a strain on available forages for winter feeding. There are some pasture management practices that can be incorporated into current practices to make…

Striped cucumber beetles and Colorado potato beetles feeding on garden plants

By Katherine Gathje, Interim Extension Educator Striped cucumber beetles are commonly seen in and around gardens beginning in late May. These beetles like to spend winter under leaves or other garden debris to stay protected. They will feed on dandelions and other early flowering plants in the spring until garden host plants become available. Striped cucumber…

Report trends show financial and environmental success for dairy farmers

Three Stearns County dairy farmers enroll in a project to measure the financial cost or benefit of conservation practices Three Stearns County dairy farmers have experienced improved environmental impacts and lower financial costs while implementing conservation practices on their farms. Steve Schlangen, Tim Kerfeld, and Tom Gregory grow crops and milk cows on their farms…

Be on the lookout for wild parsnip

By Katherine Gathje, Interim Extension Educator Wild parsnip is a noxious weed on the control list in Minnesota. It has continued to spread across the state over the past few years despite efforts to slow or stop the spread. Wild parsnip is one of the weeds on the list that are enforced by the Minnesota Noxious…

Four local dairy farms honored for superior cow care

Herds with lowest somatic cell count are recognized. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen last week released the annual list of top Minnesota dairy herds with low somatic cell counts (SCC). Somatic cell count is a key indicator of milk quality – a lower SCC is better for cheese production and a longer shelf life for…

Valley Tractor Club meeting June 21

The Valley Tractor Club will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 21, at the Valley Inn in Eden Valley to finalize all details for the June 26 tractor show. New members are always welcome.