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March 3, 2019     Sidney Herald
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March 3, 2019
 

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SIDNEY HERALD Agriculture Eastern Montana Sheep Symposium to feature speakers from across state BY TIM FINE EXTENSION AGENT In 2016, myself and other agents the northeast corner of our great state thought that we had started a new program. We called it the Eastern Montana Sheep Symposium and the plan was to hold said symposium on an an- nual basis. As we would later find out, there was a program similar to this in the 70’s (I believe) that featured topics specifically related to sheep produc- tion and it went on for a couple of years. So maybe we were not as cutting edge as we thought we were, but the attendance the first year we held it was great so we decided it was something that we would certainly want to continue. When we held the program again last year, Mother Nature gave us some fits and we ended up having to cancel and reschedule so atten- dance was not the great- est, but there was still a crowd that came. Now we are in our third consecutive year and, if I do say so my- self, I think that we have lined up a pretty good program. 2019’s edition of the Eastern Montana Sheep Symposium will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The symposium will once again be held here at the Extension Office in Sidney and will feature speakers from across the state. The program will begin at am. and end at 3 pm. with lunch pro- vided. Topics that will be covered include: Produc- ers’ Handbook; Lamb, Wool, Goat, and Other Markets; Preparing Lamb; Controlling Para- sites; Classing Wool; and a Montana Wool Grow-‘ ers Association (MWGA) Update. Speakers for this event , include; Mike Schuldt, MSU Extension agent- Custer County; Brent Roeder, MSU Exten- sion sheep specialist; Marko Manoukian, MSU Extension agent—Phillips County; and Sam Ort- mann, Montana Wool Growers Association District director. The cost for the sym- posium is $20 and can be paid at the door. If you are a sheep producer, are looking at getting into the business, are look- ing at diversifying your operation, or are just generally curious about what it takes to raise some sheep, you are encouraged to attend. As always, if you have questions or need to re- quest special accommo- dations for this meeting, please feel free to give me a call at 433-1206 or send an email to timothy. fine@montana.edu. Montana FFA plans (DE Days The Montana FFA is excited to announce that the Career Development Events (CDE) Days will be hosted at Great Falls College, March 2-3. This is the third year that the CDE Days event has been in existence in Montana and first time that it will take place in the Electric City with 1,000 FFA members, advisors, and volunteers expected to attend. This event is presented by Montana Farmers Union who is the new event sponsor for CDE Days! The FFA offers numer- ous opportunities for, middle and high school students to develop their leadership and career skills. The CDE Days event focuses on develop- ing‘these skills through members’ participation in 11 state-level competi- tive events which serve as qualifying events for the National FFA Con- vention in October. Some of these events include Ag Communi- cations, Employment Skills, Food Science, Veterinary Science, Flo- riculture, and Forestry The remainder of Mon— tana FFA’s state level events will take place in Bozeman at the State FFA Convention in April. Competitive events de- velop individual respon- sibility, foster teamwork, and promote communi- cation. FFA members expand their knowledge base through interacting with peers, business, and community leaders from across Montana. Justin Loch, member- ship director at Montana Farmers Union, explains the significance of the skills that Montana’s young leaders develop through FFA. “Our partnership with the Montana FFA is integral to the mission of Montana Farmers Union because the work- based skills and leader- ship practices that FFA members are learning now are What will make them future leaders in our organization and will have influence on our industry and the fu— ture of our state,” Loch said. “We are excited to support opportunities for FFA members at this event and to strengthen our partnership with Montana FF .” More than 150 judges and volunteers are needed to put on the 11 Career and Leadership Development Events that will take place. Individu- als who are interested in volunteering to judge can sign up at this link: http://signup.com/go/ VmwayO The Montana FFA Foundation supports 97 FFA chapters across the state of Montana, representing over 5,000 members. The Mon- tana FFA FOUndation’s , mission is to cultivate partnerships, promote awareness and secure resources to enhance Agricultural Education and the Montana FFA Association. Pesticide education program offered in state The Montana State University Pesticide Education Program will be coordinating five re- gional pesticide training events across Montana in April. These seven-hour trainings are designed for individuals who want to learn more about pes- ticides and/or qualify for a Montana private appli- cator license. A private applicator licenseen- ables pesticide applica- tors to purchase and use restricted use pesticide products to manage pests on land they own, rent or lease. The registration fee is $30 and will cover train- ing materials, speaker costs and a catered lunch. Attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register as space is limited. Training opportuni- ties are available on April in Kalispell for Flathead County, April. 10 in Plains for Sand- ers County, April 11 in Missoula for Missoula County, April 17 in Con- rad for Pondera County and April 18 in Harlem for the Fort Belknap Reservation. Trainings will run from 8:10 am. to 5:30 pm. Several speakers from MSU and the Montana Department of Agricul- ture (MDA) will cover an array of subjects at each event, including integrated pest manage- ment, pesticide move- ment in the environ- ment, pesticide safety and toxicity, pesticide law, calibrating ground sprayer equipment, un- derstanding the private applicator license, and reading and understand- ing the pesticide product label. Surrounding MSU Extension county and tribal agents will also be assisting with many of the presentations. Attendees will qualify for a private applicator . pesticide license by at- tending the entire event. Once qualified, individu- als may send in a new applicator permit with license payment to the MDA to attain their Mon- tana private applicator license. Current private applicators may attend the entire program for six private pesticide recertification credits. See program agenda and details at http://www. pesticides.montana.edu/ pat/ initialhtml. The MSU Extension Pesticide Education Pro- gram is an educational program promoting the proper use of pesticides to protect public health and the environment. The program supports all applicators, business- es and homeowners by combining educational resources and knowledge from scientists, govern- mental agencies and the I public. For questions on registration contact Amy Bowser at 406-994-5178 or amybowser@montana. edu. For questions on pesticide education, contact Cecil Tharp at 406-994-5067 or ctharp@ montana.edu. Wheat markets weaker'during week IY EOUISE GARNER SPECTRUM COMMODITIES Wheat markets were weaker, led by Kansas ‘ City on disappointment that the US. was not competitive in the latest Egyptian tender. The extreme cold that has descended upon the Midwest is also threaten- ing winterkill in soft red winter wheat, while the central plains’ hard red winter wheat has stayed warm enough to avoid damage. Corn and soybeans were slightly higher in *‘ -' ' choppy trade, waiting for results from the latest round of US/ China trade talks. The cattle complex was quietly mixed, with cash trade mostly steady. The cold is adding more stress to cattle in the Midwest where feedlot conditions were‘still muddy and wet, delaying out movement and slow- ing demand for replace— ment cattle. The slow out V movement is adding to tight cash fed supplies, keeping cash prices firm as packers continue to struggle for adequate numbers. ' The Dow surged higher following the FED an- nouncement of steady interest rates and the ensuing press conference where they suggested rates would likely stay there for the near future. The dollar weakened 0n the outlook for flat interest rates, which helped to support pre- cious metals-and ener- gies. Crude oil was also supported by the opti-. mistic economic outlook from the FED amid a mixed bag of corporate earnings reports. SUNDAY, FEB. 3, NW Experts provide tips on growing better soil BY nut: JEAN mrrrr@wrrusrorrrrmw.c0n Good soil looks a little bit like chocolate cake. Rich and black, the color comes from a soil nutri- ent that doesn’t get much attention. That nutrient is carbon, and in the underground world of soil, it’s the currency of choice for plants who want to obtain beneficial services from a vast ar- ray of microbiology. It’s only a vast array, however, if the soil is getting what it needs to support that microbiol- Ogy Often times it isn’t, and that was the subject of a recent soil health workshop in Sidney with Keith Berns, co-owner of Green Cover Seed, a cover crop company. Berns and his brother Brian operate their business on a 2,000-plus acre farm in southcen- tral Nebraska that has used no-till methods for more than 12 years. They started Green Cover Seed in 2009, because they were searching for cover crops, but the seeds they wanted were hard to find. That first year, they sold enough to cover about 1,000 acres, half of which were their own. In 2018, by comparison, they sold enough seed to cover 850,000 acres. The Berns’ farm has been featured in a documentary by the Soil Health Institute at liv- ingsoilfilm.com, which has put together a series of educational videos to teach farmers how to build up their soil. One reason the Berns were selected is because of their management practices and work with cover crops. In par- ticular, harvesting corn while at the same time planting a cover crop to follow. “Soil health is one of the most complicated systems in the world,” Keith Berns said. “It’s like the economy of a country.” The currency in the system is carbon, which plants pay out in the form of “exudates,” or fluids that roots are pumping out of their system from the time they begin to grow until the time they die. These exudates are many and diverse, and plants adjust them to attract whatever it is that they need. Pulse crops, for exam- ple, use them to attract rhizomes that will asso- ciate with their roots and fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, which the plant can then use. Mycorrhizae, or fungi, also live in the soil and, in exchange for the right root exudates, they will release nutrients like phosphorus in forms that plants can use. In dry times, mycorrhizae can even provide water. “If you don’t have ac— cess to that, you have to make welfare payments to your soil,” Berns said. There are even ex- amples where plants use root exudates to attract a benign bacterial infec- tion to stop a less benign pathogen from finding a way in. These are just a few of the many, complex inter- actions available in soil that plants “buy” using the carbon-based exu- dates from their roots. “Carbon can form over 10 million compounds,” Keith Berns said. “It is the most important, but the most overlooked of all the plant nutrients. And it’s essential for plant life to have to stay alive.” Plants also have other ways of calling in help besides root exudates. Having a diversity can help ensure that help is nearby. Aphids, for exam- ple, will trigger plants to change their chemistry, putting off a fragrance or odor that attracts aphid killers. “The plant is literally calling in an air strike,” Berns said. “That works great, if you have some of the predatory insects somewhat close. Maybe only a couple hundred feet at most.” He recommends a few strips of flowering plants as an insectary nearby, so that if plants are sig- naling for help, there are beneficial insects that can answer their call. Plants collect carbon using photosynthesis, then pump various forms of that carbon into the ground to feed the microbiology. Thus, one way to increase what the soil needs to keep its microbiology alive is to grow cover crops and avoid fallow, or bare soil, as much as possible. Fal- low is starvation mode for the microbiology. Another benefit to cover crops is providing soil residue that protects bare soil from wind and rain. ' “When a raindrop hits bare soil it looks like a bomb going off,” Berns said. “We need to protect our soil against that.” Berns, however; takes the cover crop concept a step further, some- times growing cover crops along with a cash crop. An example would be sunflowers with an understory of cowpeas. The peas are providing nitrogen. The sunflowers are attracting worms, which create channels in the soil to improve the for water to filter in. It’s all working together in the dark spaces no one can see to improve soil health for the future. “When you have a nar- row crop rotation with lots of fallow gaps, you ' are living paycheck to paycheck,” Berns said. Daines cosponsors bill ta repeal death tax US. Sen. Steve Daines, R.Mont., has announced that he is cosponsoring the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2019. The bill would fully repeal the federal estate tax, also known as “the death “The death tax hits Montana’s farm- ing and ranch families the hardest and often results in the break-up of family farms,” Daines said. “Families who are dealing with the death of a loved one shouldn’t have to worry about what is going to happen to their land. I’m glad that were able to double the death tax Latest Dental Treatments for Kids Tips for Preventing Cavities Dental Products Oral Hygiene Basics Brushing Flossing 406-433-4422 122 2nd St. SE 0 Sidney, MT www.tinkdentaicenter.com [ii Dr. Richard L. Fink, D.M.D exemption in the last Congress. Now it’s time for full repeal.” The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2019 is cosponsored by 28 senators. It has the support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, NFIB, the'Associated General Contractors of America, the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition, Policy and Taxation Group, the Na- tional Association of Manufacturers and many others. DENTAL CENTER Dr. Erin B Flnk, D.D.S "Orthodontics provided by Dr. Tony Fisher, Certified Orthodontist”