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October 2, 2003     Tri-County News
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October 2, 2003

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Page 12 MISA sustainable agriculture guide Innovative farmers know that ganic farming, on-farm process- alternative crops and value- added products give them an edge in the marketplace. Effective planning is crucial to the long-term profitability of any new venture, says Dale Nordquist, farm management economist with the U of M Extension Service. Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses is a new guide- book produced by the Minne- ing, direct marketing, agri- tourism, and alternative or val- ue-added crops. Building a Sustainable Business follows several Minne- sota farmers through their plan- ning process. Excerpts lend real- life perspectives and illustrate how to set goals, research alter- natives, determine markets and evaluate financial options. The new book is available for $14 (plus sales tax and handling) from MISA, 411 Borlaug Hall, Nitrogen applications, ladybug pests, Economics of nitrogen application this fall Nitrogen prices have risen sharply since last fall and the outlook is for even higher prices a year from now. Why? Natural gas is the most cosily compo- nent in the manufacture of ni- trogen fertilizer. The Fertilizer Institute estimates natural gas makes up 70-80 percent of .the cost of producing ammonia, the source of all nitrogen fertilizers. The price of natural gas is close to 20 percent higher than a nitrogen reserves in the soil. Credit second year nitrogen contributions from alfalfa and manure. Utilize nitrogen, to the fullest extent, in manure. Time the application of ni- trogen for maximum efficiency. sota Lnstitute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA). The new book helps agricul- tural entrepreneurs transform farm-grown inspiration into profitable enterprises by devel- oping a detailed, lender-ready business plan. By using the plan, farmers can take advantage of new opportunities such as or- 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. year ago and is expected to go Paul, MN 55108. Copies can also hi--ergn byps ring. This fall, anh&apos;y- be requested by phone at (800) , drous ammonia is selling for ap- 909-6472 or by e-mail at <m/sa  . proxtmately 21 cents per pound,>. The guide may up about a nickel from last fall. also be viewed on the Intemet at Given this scenario, growers < will naturally watch nitrogen html>. Ask about bulk discounts rates closely and only apply for orders of 10 or more books. Calf and heifer workshop By ]im Sal#r The North Central Region of the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association (PDHGA), in coordination with Regional Extension educators and allied industry supporters, has organized a Calf and Heifer Tour and Workshop for Dec. 2-3. The program will begin with a lunch, tour and demonstrations at Foundation Feeders, a heifer replacement business operated by the Ron Holty family of Spring Grove, Minn. The program will then move to Decorah, Iowa, for an evening meal. Tuesday evening and Wednesday presentations include Pat Hoffman - UW Marshfield; Jim Dickrell - Editor, Dairy Today, Hugh Chester-Jones - O of M; Sam Leadley, calf and heifer specialist, Attica Vet Clinic of New York; and a producer panel consisting of heifer growers. Participants will also have an opportunity to visit with industry representatives to find out the "latest tools" availfible for rearing calves and heifers. This workshop is for dairy producers and calf or heifer growers. For more information contact Jim Salfer, U of M Extension Service, Steams County, (800) 450-6171 or <salferO01@>. Custom Combinincj Corn and Soybeans Call (320) 240-1883 or (320) 267-2517 John Raschenriem what they feel their corn crop needs for optimum growth. The U of M has done exten- sive research in the area of nitro- gen. Research has found that for corn yield goals of 150-174 bushels per acre, the nitrogen recommendation is 120 pounds per acre for medium to high or- ganic matter soils. The nitrogen rate increases to 140 pounds per acre for a yield of 175-199 bushels per acre on medium to high organic matter soils. Both recommendations are based on corn following soybeans in the crop rotation. Remember the following best management practices when setting nitrogen rates: Set realistic yield goals. Adjust nitrogen rates for soil organic matter content, previous crop, and manure applications. Use a soil nitrate test in westem Minnesota to check on We can normally count on soil temperatures to stay below 50 degrees in the Meeker County area sometime between Oct. 20- 25. Applying nitrogen before these dates is risky because of the conversion of nitrogen from ammonium to nitrate. More on ladybugs I wrote an article a few weeks ago on ladybugs. I have had lots of questions since then so I thought I would repeat a few key points. The Asian ladybugs could be found in large numbers late this summer, especially in soybean fields. They feed on soybean aphid, a relatively new insect pest of soybean growers. Unfortunately, as summer wears dcCwn, soy- bean aphids head for their over- wintering host, the buckthom, and Asian ladybugs begin look- ing for a warm place to spend the winter. The past few years, many Asian ladybugs have crept into our homes. A few come out of hiding nearly every day dur- ing the winter months in our homes. They are mostly harm- less but certainly a nuisance in- Become forest-wise at local Are you interested in forestry? Do you want to improve the health of your forest, or help others learn about fostry? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then try the Woodland Advisor program. Woodland Advisor is a master volunteer program designed to provide learning and leadership opportunities to citizens inter- ested in Minnesota forest ecolo- gy, forest productivity and agro- forestry issues. The Woodland Advisor Program builds knowl- edge and local community con- nections among private forest landowners. This activity con- tributes to the health and vitality of Minnesota's forests and its forest-related economy. Woodland Advisors are citi- zen leaders whose involvement includes providing input to poli- cy development, working with volunteer groups, answering landowner questions, and host- ing, planning and promoting ed- ucational opportunities. The ad- vantages of being an active Woodland Advisor include re- ceiving exclusive, ongoing edu- cational opportunities, such as the annual Woodland Advisor" conference. This year's annual Woodland Advisor conference will take place Saturda Oct. 11, at St. lohn's University. See their Web page for more information at <www.cnr.umn.edWcfc/ma>. To become a Woodland Advisor you must complete 10 core sessions and five elective sessions. Session topics include Minnesota's forest: History, ecol- ogy and opportunity;, Oak writ; Insects and diseases; Recreational trail design; Forest wildlife and biodiversity; Living snow fences; and Maple syrup tapping. Presenters are profes- sionals from the DNR, O of M College of Natural Resources, and U of M Extension Service. The first class on Minnesota's forest: History, ecology and op- portunity will be offered Thursday, Oct. 16, at Warner doors. seal up ter will eql;e. deltamethrin, thrin, and foundation. tions s-h-fluid be! fall. The They seem to so be sure grations peak weather Once inside, can be dybugs sunny Tree The of Natural seedlings sonable available at while 8-inch The minimum trees and into incremer species. til early ply is gone. ered to the state m more ask for the Forest Form. Lake Nature Clearwater Additional fered through locations. Cost (Note: some higher erations). sessions of $135 for Association for sions must be years Woodland' Conference Woodland few call (8OO) form and registration Registration the a t dress giverl