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Oakes Times
Oakes , North Dakota
June 30, 2016     Oakes Times
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June 30, 2016

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Section B -- Times Leader, Thursda},, June 30, 2016 roug Li ions ual 9 While some parts of North Dakota have received ample rainfall dur- ing the early growing season, other areas have not and are experienc- ing reduced hay crops and lack of pasture regrowth. In addition, these areas are having water quality issues in places where rainfall is needed to refresh stock ponds and watering holes. "There are reports of areas in the southwest and parts of central North Dakota that are having water quality issues in stock ponds and watering holes where cattle have no other options for water," says North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock environmen- tal stewardship specialist Miranda Meehan. Poor water quality can impact livestock health negatively, accord- ing to Gerald Stokka, NDSU Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. "At a minimum, it Can result in decreased water consumption, reducing feed intake and gains," he adds. "However, elevated levels of some salts and bacteria can result in Severe illness and even death." NDSU veterinary toxicolo- gist Michelle Mostrom says water sources should be tested for total dissolved solids (TDS), sulfates and nitrates. TDS measure salts. These levels should be less than 5,000 parts per million (ppm) for most classes of grazing livestock. Elevated levels of TDS may not be harmful to livestock health. "However, due to our geology in North Dakota, water with high TDS often has high sulfate levels," Mostrom says. Sulfate recommendations are less than 500 ppm for calves and less than 1,000 ppm for adult cattle. High levels of sulfate can reduce copper availability in the diet. Elevated lev- els of sulfates may cause loose stool, whereas very high levels of sulfate can induce central nervous system problems and polioencephelomala- cia, a brain disorder found in cattle. Nitrate is not toxic to animals, but at elevated levels, it causes nitrate poisoning. Water sources that receive runoff from fields and con- fined feeding locations that contain elevated levels of nitrogen are at risk of contamination. Water with elevated nutrient lev- els also are at a higher risk for blue-green algae blooms in periods of hot, dry weather. Some species of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) contain toxins that can be deadly when livestock and wildlife con- sume them. "Monitoring water , quality throughout the grazing season is important because it changes in response to climate and environ- on This is the growing season on the farm, which means more drivers and farm equipment will be on the road. "We live in an agricultural state where we see several tractors and farm implements on many of our two-lane and gravel roads," says Rick Schmidt, an agriculture and natural resources agent for the North Dakota State University Extension the equipment operator pulls off to the side of the road, according to Schmidt. He advises drivers who approach a piece of farm equipment that is moving very slowly or stopped and the operator is planning to make a left-hand turn to be patient and wait to determine if passing is safe. "Chances are, the tractor operator t, ' , " " ._~,~zeZV~p. rja_ Oliver Co~t3~:~It~ is: =an.t see: ,the ,ehioles behind him," extremely important for all people Schmidt Says. "Drivers of automo- to understand the dangers this may biles need to understand that even if cause." For example, an automobile trav- eling 55 mph will cover 400 feet (more than the length of a football field) in five seconds. At 65 mph, the car will travel 475 feet in five seconds. That means a car traveling 55 mph will take about seven sec- onds to cover that 400 feet and reach a tractor or piece of farm equipment traveling 25 mph. "As drivers seem to be more dis- tracted by cellphones and texting, the likelihood of rear-ending slow- moving vehicles will increase," Schmidt says. Farm equipment operators are supposed to pull off to the side of the road on an approach periodically to let trailing vehicles pass. Therefore, automobile drivers should not pass farm equipment until they can do so safely by observing all of the road signage and traffic or waiting until there is a dotted yellow line to pass, they are responsible if they hit the driver of the tractor, who is making a legal turn." Vehicles equipped with a Slow Moving Vehicle sign can travel no more than 25 mph. This includes pickups pulling anhydrous ammonia tanks and other farm equipment. If a piece of equipment is pulled faster than 25 mph, the Slow Moving Vehicle sign needs to be covered. "Serving the area for over a century" Grant A. Crabtree 67 Main Street Ellendale, ND BuYING OR SELLING... I GIVE US A CALLI THANK You. BROKER- PETE AWENDER 701-742-2456 ~ na~. SMALy:nA:::C" SARA IVERSON 701-210-0607 ~" 0_ak.eid!0:10215 81st St SE - 26.6+/- acres with modern updat- ed 3 bdrm ranch home & good outbuildings, fantastic view. Call~ for i~O & aaP3Poi~tw~mel?t2:kevieNWD, www.awRe~2ugeaedltPri:2 $190,000 mental conditions," Meehan says. "What is especially important is to keep a close eye on water quality during drought when using a shal- low water source and sources with a history of water quality issues." Many commercial laboratories and the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory provide testing for live- stock water quality and specialized testing. The cost of a basic water quality test is approximately $25. Contact an NDSU Extension office for a list of commercial laboratories in the state. If concerned about livestock diseases caused by contaminated drinking water, contact your local veterinarian, the NDSU Extension veterinarian or the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at 701-231- 8307 or More information on livestock water quality is available in the fol- lowing Extension publications: * Livestock Water Requirements (AS1763) - LivestockWaterRequirements * Livestock Water Quality (AS1764) - LivestockWater * Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock (V839) - LivestockNitratePoisoning * Cyanobacteria Poisoning (Blue- green Algae) (Vl136) - http:// "Everyone on the public roads needs to understand the use of Slow Moving Vehicles signage to prevent accidents," Schmidt says. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can pose another safety issue this time of year. They are not supposed to be driven on public roads. They Stored grain needs to be cool and dry during the summer, a North Dakota State University Extension Service grain-drying expert says. "Cold or cool grain has been safe- ly stored through the summer for many years," notes Ken Hellevang, an Extension agricultural engineer. "Keeping the grain as cool as pos- sible should be the goal of spring and summer grain storage." Allowing grain to warm to aver- age outdoor air temperatures during the summer can lead to insect infes- tations and mold growth. The opti- mum grain temperature for insect activity is approximately 70 to 90 degrees. Reducing grain tempera- tures below 70 degrees will lessen insect reproduction and activity, and lowering grain temperatures below 60 degrees will greatly reduce insect activity. Hellevang warns that using aera- tion could warm the grain, which may increase the moisture content ing in cooler air near the eave. This natural ventilation will not occur unless the bin has adequate open- ings at the eave and peak. Roof exhaust fans controlled by a ther- mostat also can be used to draw the heated air out of the bin if openings are available to allow air into the area above the grain. Cool grain in the upper portion of the bin by operating the aeration fan about every three weeks during a cool early morning. Using positive- pressure aeration to push air up through the grain enables the cool grain in the bottom of the bin to cool the air, which then cools the grain near the top of the bin. Run the fan only long enough to cool the grain near the top surface. That may require running the fan for a few hours during a cool, dry mom- ing for a couple of days. Running the fan more than necessary will warm more grain at the bottom of the bin, increasing the potential for of warming occurring in the grain at the bottom of the bin. Therefore, selecting mornings when the air is cool and dry is important. Verify that the grain moisture content is dry enough for storage at summer temperatures. The rec'- ommended long-term grain storage moisture con- tents are abot/t 13.5 percent for wheat, 12 percent for barley, 13.3 percent for corm 11 percent foi" soybeans, 13 per- cent for grain sor- ghum, 8 percent for oil sunflowers and 10 percent for confectionary sunflowers. The market moisture content may be higher, but storing warm grain at higher moisture con- tents may lead to mold growth on the grain. Measure and record the stored grain temperature at several loca- tions near the top surface, along the walls and within the stored grain. Temperature sensors are an excel,- lent tool when monitoring stored grain, but remember that they only measure the temperature of the grain next to the sensor. Because grain is a good insulator, the grain tempera.- ture may be much different just a few feet from the sensor. Increasing grain temperature may be an indica- tor of an insect infestation or mold of the grain slightly. Aeration fans storage problems, growth. should be covered to prevent wind If the air dew point is warmer Mold growth and insect infesta-- and a natural chimney effect from warming the grain. Wind blowing into uncovered fans or ducts will move air through the grain in a way that is similar to operating an aera- tion fan. One challenge to keeping the grain cool during the summer is that solar energy on the bin roof heats than the grain temperature or if the air relative humidity is high, some moisture will condense onto the grain during fan operation. Condensing moisture will release heat that will warm the air slightly, reducing the effectiveness of the aeration and increasing the amount tions occur rapidly at summer tem- peratures, so stored grain should be checked every two weeks. A situa- tion with only a few insects can turh into a major infestation in less than a month. Using insect traps or pla~ ing grain samples on white material helps you look for insects. can be driven in the ditches or on the air above the grain. Convection the back slope of a ditch, but not currents in the grain flow up along on the upslope ( bin watt'and down into the grain road). This is a state law, although it has some exceptions. The law also requires that those operating most ATVs must be at least 16 years old. Schmidt advises those operating an ATV to never ride with passen- gers and always wear their helmet. "Accidents with farm equipment, ATVs and automobiles are usually preventable if we take time to think about safety first," he says. "Don't get in such a hurry. Leave a few minutes early and enjoy the drive." near the top middle of the bin, draw- ing this heated air into the grain. Ventilating the space between the grain and the bin roof can reduce the amount that the grain near the top of the bin is warmed. 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