Farm Forum The Green Sheet: Where we grow. Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:36:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tree and shrub care and concerns for late July Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:36:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18300123 #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item4 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item5 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_1_5975845948161 .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item6 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

By John Ball
SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist

Emerald ash borer – Update

The recent confirmation of emerald ash borer in Buena Vista County in Iowa, a mere 80 miles from South Dakota, is heightening concern about its eventual presence in South Dakota. The day is certainly getting closer. Confirmed infestations were found in the Omaha, Nebraska and Minneapolis-St. Paul Minnesota metro areas and now in about half the counties of Iowa. The most ominous finding with the Alta, Iowa discovery is that it was about 100 miles from the closest, earlier confirmed finding.

The Update will provide weekly information on the location of emerald ash borer confirmed in South Dakota or a bordering county of an adjacent state. At this time, no emerald ash borer infested trees have been identified in the state or an adjacent county of a bordering state. The nearest infestations are highlighted in red; the Twin Cities of Minnesota; Buena Vista County and the counties in central Iowa and the Omaha-Council Bluff area of Nebraska and Iowa.

I am continuing to receive numerous pictures of ash trees infested by the redheaded (Neoclytus acuminatus) and the banded ash borer (N. caprea). These are native insects that generally attack declining or even dead ash. They were rarely noticed in trees before the emerald ash borer came along and now since people are more closely examining dying ash these insects are drawing attention. The Neoclytus adult makes a slightly larger exit hole (about 1/4-inch) than the one constructed by the emerald ash borer. The hole is round to oval and can also appear D-shaped but it usually is not the crisp D-shaped one made by the emerald ash borer.

Timely Topics

Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi) reports are increasing as we move into midsummer. These infected trees have one or more branches with leaves that are curling and turning yellow to brown, symptoms that are referred to as flagging. While flagging is a common symptom of trees infected by Dutch elm disease, flagging can also be due to broken branches, branches girdled by squirrels and sap-sucking insects such as aphids and soft scales.

If the bark is peeled away from a section of these branches, there may be brown streaks running along the surface of the wood. This streaking is a good indicator of Dutch elm disease and is usually sufficient to determine the presence of the disease and then to have the tree removed. However, the only way to be certain the tree is infected with Dutch elm disease is to send a sample in for isolation and identification to confirm its presences.

Take the sample from a branch that is flagging, not dead. The branch should be about 1/2-inch in diameter and the sample piece about 8 inches long. Place the sample in a plastic bag and do NOT add water or moist paper towels. Mail the sample on a Monday or Tuesday so it will arrive before the weekend. If the sample is cut later in the week, it may be best to refrigerate it until Monday and mail it then.

Once the twigs arrive at our diagnostic lab, a small piece of the streaked sapwood is cut out and placed on a plate for isolating the pathogen. After a short time period the coremia, the asexual fruiting structures, will form. They are easy to identify as they look like little lollipops sticking up on the wood! This is positive identification of the pathogen. However, to find the pathogen in the tree, it must be present in the sample so collecting branch samples from recently flagging branches is the key to positive identification of the pathogen.

Quickly removing infected trees is te best means of managing Dutch elm disease for the community. Valuable elms can be protected with injections of any number of fungicides but these need to be applied by a commercial applicator and treatments must be redone every two to three years.

Weeping trees: The problem with honeydew

Sucking insects are becoming the concern as we enter the summer heat. Each year at about this time, the volume of calls increase with the question; “Why is my tree weeping?” or “Why is everything beneath my tree sticky?” This is honeydew, a fluid excreted by sap-sucking insects, either aphids or soft scales, as they feed on the tree. These insects suck sap from tree leaves, twigs and branches but their digestive systems absorb only about half of the nitrogen and sugars, so the rest is passed from the insect. The honeydew is a food source for ants so you’ll often find trees with sticky leaves also covered with ants. These ants protect the aphid from predators and parasites as they may move their “herd” from one part of the tree to another. The honeydew also serves as a food source for sooty mold, which forms dark colonies on the sticky material. The honeydew and mold do not harm the tree, though the mold can reduce photosynthesis slightly. The real problem is the sticky material covering decks and other surfaces. Usually a mild soap and warm water solution is all that it takes to remove the honeydew and mold from outdoor furniture and cars. Sometimes plastic and treated wood will require household bleach: water solution, usually a 1:4 ratio, but always suse caution when applying bleach and test a small area first.

Are These the Dog Days of Summer?

By David Graper

SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist and Director of McCrory Gardens

I always used to think that the phrase “the dog days of summer” referred to that time of the summer when it was so hot and humid that it was even too hot for a panting dog to be able to withstand it. Or, dogs would sit in a pond or swimming pool to stay cool. My dog does not like water too much so she prefers to just stay in the house where it is cool. When she does go out, it doesn’t take long before that cute little tongue is hanging out as she tries to stay cool.

After doing a little checking though, the Dog Days of Summer actually refer to something entirely different! It actually refers to the time of the year, from July 3 to August 11 when Sirius, the “dog star” becomes visible just before sunrise. This appearance of Sirius was a signal to ancient astronomers that the hottest part of the summer was on its way, often accompanied by the flooding of the Nile river. The star Sirius doesn’t really have anything to do with the heat, humidity and storms of the summer months but they do make an interesting story.

A Question From Grant County, SD

Q An individual planted zucchini in her garden and they grow about 4” long and then turn yellow on the ends and end up shriveling up. Would appreciate knowing what she can do and what she is doing wrong.

A The summer drought and especially the excessive heat is causing problems with many kinds of fruiting vegetables being able to set fruit properly. The length of time that pollen remains viable decreases as temperatures increase. This is especially critical with cucurbits like squash, which depend on pollinating insects to transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers. If the pollen is only viable for a few hours and no bees happen to visit the flowers during that time, the flowers and fruit will abort. Fruit abortion can also happen if plants are under drought stress. The best thing you can do in both cases is to make sure plants get adequate water through good, deep watering on a regular basis. A mulch will also help to retain water in the soil and organic mulches will help to shade the soil, keeping it cooler.

A Question from Spearfish, SD

A After my cowboy husband took to the backhoe to “fix” the cistern, I was in charge of replanting the grass. I raked the clods of clay and hand spread grass seed obtained from the local co-op. The grass seed was good but not enough in the bag and had to make an emergency trip to town to the local farm and ranch store to get more seed which was a different brand and variety. Watered the seeds, mulched and three days of May rains helped get it started. Cows breaking out on several occasions in search of green lawn and tramping new seedlings and making heavy divetts didn’t help. Nephew deciding to ride over tender grass with one ton pick up and cattle trailer didn’t help. Naughty calves escaping pasture frolicking on new grass and chewing on it didn’t help. Drought has not helped.

I watered to keep ground from crusting over. Drought persists and so do weeds. Arrgh! Can I plant seeds before the first snow and then wake up to green grass next spring?

A It can be quite the project to get a lawn restarted in an ordinary year, much less when you have all those challenges to deal with. Here is what I would suggest. First of all, I think you may want to try to kill what look like broadleaf weeds in the picture by using a broadleaf herbicide on the area this fall, after the first frost. I also see what look like weedy grasses, which I think are mostly annuals. Not much to do about them now and they will die with freezing temperatures this fall. You can certainly do a winter or dormant seeding in hopes of a better result for next spring. Ideally you would rake over the area a bit with a stiff rake to prepare at least some sort of seed bed. Then, after the soil temperatures have dropped and ideally right before a light rain or snow this fall, you would apply the seed. Then, hopefully next spring, when the soil warms up, the seed will germinate and get established while there is still fairly good moisture in the soil. If you apply enough seed of the same type, over the whole area, it should help to even out the appearance that you see now. Good luck!

A Question from the Black Hills

Q What is wrong with my squash plant? This plant was growing fine a few weeks ago and now all of the newer leaves look like this. I did not use any herbicides around the area and my tomatoes, which are growing nearby, look OK.

A This is likely Squash Mosaic Virus (SqMV). Plants infected with Squash Mosaic Virus are often stunted and produce malformed or mottled fruit. There are two different strains of the virus; strain1 is more severe on melon and milder on squash, while the reverse is true of strain 2. The host range of this virus appears to be confined to cucurbits and some members of the Chenopodiaceae family like common lambsquarters. The virus can be spread by cucumber beetles and by infected seed. Beetles acquire the virus within 5 minutes of feeding on an infected host and can retain the virus for approximately 20 days. Once a plant becomes infected, there is no treatment. Remove infected plants from the garden, bag them and get out of the area so that there is a reduced chance that the disease will spread to healthy plants. This virus has become much less prevalent as more growers have begun to use certified virus free seed. Insecticide applications to control the beetle vectors are also helpful.

A Question about Pruning

Q I would really appreciate your expertise about pruning and maintaining ninebark shrubs. I have a client who wants her diablo ninebark to have a fountain-like shape with blooms on arching branches. We’ve searched the internet and found conflicting advice on the shape and pruning of ninebark. Left to its own devices, the shrub has an upright vase shape, which she doesn’t like.

A I believe you are correct, this plant normally is fairly upright but will get the vase-shaped form. This can be encouraged by doing renewal pruning at the base of the plant and never pruning it like a hedge. But, I don’t think it will ever get the gracefully arching stems of something like a bridal-wreath spirea.

A Question from a 4-H Family

Q Where can I get a copy of the old 4-H 98 publication that described how to properly prepare vegetables and other kinds of displays for Achievement Days and the State Fair?

A A revised edition is now available on It can be found by going to either the 4-H tab or the Gardens tab then clicking on the Publications tab in the search box. It is available as a pdf file that you can download and print out as needed or just look at it on your computer or tablet. We have included color images of as many of the vegetables as we could at this point. Lance Stott and I intend to continue to gather color images of the remaining vegetables or other exhibits as we can this summer to update it once again next spring in a more complete fashion. We did add a couple new vegetables to the guide and would be happy to add others. If you have some to suggest, vegetables or fruits, please let us know.

The URL is

State regulators revoke grain-buyer licenses from H&I Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:26:03 +0000 http://ffimp-18303346 By Bob Mercer
Farm Forum Correspondent

Minnesota investigating weed killer after farmers complain Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:26:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18299282 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is investigating about two dozen complaints from farmers about a weed killer used on genetically modified soybean fields that can tolerate the herbicide.

Minnesota agriculture department supervisor Greg Cremers said the complaints about dicamba started coming in earlier this month.

“They’re coming from all across the southern part of the state,” Cremers said. “Starting to see a trend where a little more moving up into the central part of the state.”

Minnesota farmers told Minnesota Public Radio ( ) the herbicide drifts into non-resistant fields and hurts crops. Damaged vegetation will be tested in the coming months to see if diacamba is to blame.

Tim Carlblom, who owns farmland in the southern Minnesota town of Jeffers, said his soybeans have rounded, cupped leaves that he believes are caused by the weed killer. He said he’s worried it may impact the fall harvest.

Agriculture company Monsanto introduced dicamba-resistant soybeans to the market. Robb Fraley, the company’s chief technology officer, said dicamba has small-scale drift issues just like any herbicide, but that most of the damage is caused by farmer error.

Some farmers may be using generic versions of the herbicide that have high volatility while others may not be properly cleaning their herbicide tanks, he said.

“The vast majority of the farmers who’ve used this tool have used it safely and effectively,” Fraley said.

Private crop consultant Stephan Melson said thousands of acres of soybeans may be damaged, but that many farmers won’t report the problem because they don’t want to hurt relations with their neighbors.

“Personally I’ve counted, I guess, 1,300 or so acres, but I know it’s much higher than that,” Melson said. “There are a lot of fields that we personally don’t work with that have this injury.”

Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee are seeing similar problems and have taken steps to restrict diacamba usage.

Ag Summit: Farm transition a tough management decision Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:16:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18259398 By Connie Sieh Groop
Special to the Farm Forum

“One of the toughest management decisions on earth is to plan the transition to keep the operation going,” Jack Davis, South Dakota State University Extension business management specialist, said as one of the estate planning panelists at this year’s South Dakota Governor’s Ag Summit in Aberdeen. “Many of the families are looking at a tradition of 125 years or more.”

Planning for the future is an important step to continuing the legacy for today’s farm and ranch families. Panelists emphasized the power of communication when planning for the future through estate planning and consistent record keeping.

From some, a detailed outline exists for what will happen in the future. For others, planning never happens.

“I like to think of it in terms of systems,” Davis said. “One set of policies won’t work for everyone. If the balance is out of line, then you will have problems. With the family, there are emotional concerns, commitment and family needs to consider. In a business system, emphasis is on performance and the need to manage change.”

If too much emphasis is on the family rather than the business, the plan may impact the profitability of the farm and the ability to strategically plan for the future.

If there is too much emphasis on business first, communication can suffer. It may mean a loss of loyalty from family. Families need to look for balance and develop a shared vision. Remember the roots of the family, past and present that built the operation through family values and good leadership.

“It all comes down to good communication,” Davis said.

If families struggle with communication, there are questionnaires and exercises available that can improve those skills. SDSU Extension offers an estate/succession planning session Sept. 14 in Sioux Falls for those looking for more details.

Hands-on numbers

Through the farm/ranch management program at Mitchell Technical Institute, Will Walter works with young producers to review basics and track costs of production.

“We work with them to develop a record management system they can use to work with bankers and lending agencies,” Walter said. “With complete records, it simplifies tax reports. Reviewing the numbers at the end of the year increases the knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the businesses. That provides the ability to determine the business financial progress in any one year.”

“These operations need to know where they are now to make management decisions,” Walter said. MTI compiles and publishes the numbers from their operators. Since this group reflects operations in beginning stages, the numbers are lower than if operators from across all age ranges were surveyed.

In the numbers shared by Walter, the average farm is barely able to make payments and provide debt service coverage. He emphasized that an important number is how much the farm pays for family living expenses. In this group, the average family expenditure for family living was $57,000.

“We need to look for opportunities when other parts of the operation fall apart,” Walter said. “It will rain someday. Maybe you don’t have hay. But if you have a truck, can you hire out to a neighbor to haul for him? A positive attitude is necessary to get through these times.”

Knowing the numbers is extremely important, Walter said. Review those numbers and discuss at family meetings. Communication is not leaning against the pickup and talking about next week or next month. An agenda needs to reflect what needs to be discussed now and for the future. All involved need to provide input on what they want to see discussed.

“In farm meetings I’ve had, we rotate who is facilitating the meeting,” Walter said. “That way the tallest isn’t always in charge. When attending a board meeting, an agenda outlines what’s expected. There is no other meeting more important than the one involving your family, your business and your future.”

Philanthropic giving

Stephanie Judson, president of the South Dakota Community Foundation, introduced philanthropy as a way of succession planning for those in the farm and ranching communities. She said it can transition producers into retirement and be used as an estate tax planning tool.

Judson explained the SDCF began in 1987 thanks to Gov. George S. Mickelson and a $5 million challenge grant from the McKnight Foundation and 3M Corporation. The governor and other leaders raised the original endowment of $10 million to create the fund.

“As a public foundation, we help donors take advantage of tax benefits, manage their paperwork, and stay on top of philanthropic trends and legal details,” Judson said. “The endowment has grown in assets to seed projects worth more than $275 million. We work with over 800 funds that provide benefits to the people of the state for generations to come. We have awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to non-profit and charitable groups.”

There are two arms to the Foundation.

The first deals with the original $10 million endowment used for grant making on a competitive basis, providing $500,000 in funds. The Bush Foundation of Minneapolis-St. Paul provides $400,000 in community innovation grants so SDCF has almost $1 million to distribute in grants across the state each year.

The second arm provides infrastructure, services and technical capacity for fund administration. One part of that involves community savings accounts. In 80 communities, local boards of directors raise money and invest money in local communities.

“We invest and give money based on a partnership in communities such as Aberdeen, Webster, and Langford,” Judson said. It also administers scholarship funds that provide several hundred thousand dollars in funds each year.

Judson said it is projected there will be a $110 billion transfer of wealth in this state in the next 50 years. The Foundation wants to capture a part of that before it leaves communities. She cited the story of Phyllis Hanse, a piano teacher in Webster who left nearly $5 million to the Day County community, using the local community foundation to handle her money after her death.

Besides the funds, Judson explained philanthropic devices that can reduce tax burdens by setting up a part gift-part sale of farm land to zero out capital gains tax.

“What an amazing legacy Phyllis Hanse leaves because someone provided a vehicle to funnel her funds to the community,” Judson said. “Because she knew of the community foundation, she had a way to change the landscape of the future for good.”

South Dakota youth compete in 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:36:06 +0000 http://ffimp-18290014 #td_uid_2_597584594f8bd .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item1 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_2_597584594f8bd .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item2 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_2_597584594f8bd .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item3 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; } #td_uid_2_597584594f8bd .td-doubleSlider-2 .td-item4 { background: url( 0 0 no-repeat; }

SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS — The 2017 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships were held in Grand Island, Nebraska June 25-30, 2017.

Twenty-seven South Dakota 4-H members were among the more than 700 to compete in the national event which attracted youth from across the country.

South Dakota youth competed in the Shotgun, 22 Pistol, 22 Rifle, Air Pistol, Air Rifle, Compound Archery, and Recurve Archery. Those youth qualified through their placings at the Spring Shoot in Pierre and the Fall Shoot in Mitchell.

The South Dakota 4-H Air Pistol team placed third nationally. This team placed in the top four in each phase of the competition. Team members include: Wade McClanahan, Tripp County; Cassandra Ryckman, Hughes County; Katrina Fatherlos, Union County and Carter Trefz, Faulk County. Arthur Kneen of Sanborn County coached the team.

Individually, two team members placed in the top 10 overall: Carter Trefz, Faulk County, placed tenth overall, tenth in slow fire and second in rapid fire. Cassandra Ryckman, Hughes County, placed seventh Overall and fourth in Silhouettes.

The 22 Rifle team was awarded fifth place in the Silhouette portion of the competition. Team members include: Cody Amidon, Tripp County; Tye Davis, Butte County; Darian Roghair, Jones County and Cole Thompson, Pennington County. Tim Pravecek, Tripp County, coached the team.

22 Rifle team member, Cole Thompson, Pennington County, placed in the overall standings. As an individual, he was awarded third overall, first in 3P and eighth in Silhouettes.

The 22 Pistol Team placed fifth in the Camp Perry portion of the contest.

Team members include Cole Roe, Hamlin County; Darby Knoll, Charles Mix County; Tane Pravecek, Tripp County and Mary Nold, Brookings County. Brian Fatherlos, Union County, coached the 22 Pistol Team.

Mary Nold, Brookings County, was awarded fifth in the Camp Perry portion of competition.

In the Compound Archery Competition, Alex Nelson, Minnehaha County, placed fifth overall in the 3D Target portion of the competition.

For more information on the national teams, check

For additional information about 4-H Shooting Sports, contact John Keimig,SDSU Extension 4-H Associate, at the State 4-H office, 605-688-4167.

National Junior Angus Board elects new officers Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:36:05 +0000 http://ffimp-18288940 By Morgan Marley
Angus Media

Throughout the barns, the prestige of the green jackets is widely recognized. National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) members serve as mentors, friends and the next generation of leaders for the Angus breed. During the 2017 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), hosted July 9-15 in Des Moines, Iowa, six new junior leaders were elected by their peers to serve on the NJAB.

“Serving on the National Junior Angus Association Board of Directors is something I have dreamed about my whole life,” says Jera Pipkin, Republic, Mo., newly elected NJAB director.

Joining Pipkin on the 2017-2018 NJAB are: Dawson Dal Porto, Oakley, Calif.; Hayley DeHaan, McMinnville, Ore.; Brody Fitzgerald, West Grove, Pa.; Sydnee Gerken, Cashion, Okla.; and Madison Sundsbak, Des Lacs, N.D.

Board members serve a two-year term and travel across the country to various events, promoting the Angus breed and helping young people succeed in the industry’s premier junior organization. Their first official activity is the Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) conference in Raleigh, N.C., Aug. 3-6.

“This opportunity will allow me to show others how Angus can change your life, just like it did mine,” Pipkin says. “I wouldn’t be the person I am without the NJAA, and this is only a small step in what I owe to give back this association. I am extremely blessed, humbled and honored for this opportunity to serve.”

In addition to the new board members being elected, members serving for their second year on the NJAB were elected to officer positions.

Named as chairman was Madison Butler, Vincennes, Ind.; vice-chairman, Will Pohlman, Prairie Grove, Ark.; membership director, Michaela Clowser, Milford, Neb.; communications director, Catie Hope, Berryville, Va.; Foundation director, Corbin Cowles, Rockfield, Ky.; and leadership director, Jordyn Wagner, Billings, Mont.

Get-to-know the New NJAB

Dal Porto says the NJAA sets itself apart because of the passion its members share for the Angus industry. Starting his sophomore year at Hutchinson Community College, where he is studying agricultural communications and is a member of the livestock judging team, Dal Porto plans to become an agricultural pharmaceuticals salesman in the future.

DeHaan purchased her first Angus female seven years ago. She hopes to live up to everything the green coat symbolizes by exemplifying dedication, passion and inspiration during her two years on the board. Entering her sophomore year at Purdue University, she is majoring in agricultural sales and marketing, and plans on adding agricultural communications as a dual degree.

Fitzgerald says the NJAA is unique because it offers so many events for its juniors. Currently, he is an Oklahoma State Cowboy studying agribusiness with a minor in marketing. He wants to pursue a career in foreign trade, particularly focusing on agricultural commodities.

Gerken believes what sets the NJAA apart is the family environment between its members. Currently, she is on the livestock judging team at Butler Community College and is pursuing a degree in animal science with hopes of being a feedlot nutritionist.

Pipkin is pursuing a degree in agricultural communications and animal science with a minor in agricultural business from Oklahoma State University. Since her family started in the Angus business in 1933, Pipkin has Angus cattle in her blood. She’s a fifth-generation Angus breeder and hopes to one day manage their family Angus operation, as well as have her own agricultural marketing firm.

Sundsbak says being elected to the NJAB is a dream come true. She is the current North Dakota Angus Queen and the North Dakota Junior Angus Association’s president. As a student at South Dakota State University, she is studying agricultural education with a minor in agriculture business and a certificate in agricultural and environmental law. She hopes to make a difference in student’s lives by pursuing a degree in teaching.

As the new six join the board, the old six also say goodbye to the NJAA and will retire in August at the LEAD conference. Those who ended their terms on the board are: Macy Perry, Prather, Calif.; Reese Tuckwiller, Lewisburg, W.Va.; Gabrielle Lemenager, Clifton, Ill.; Braden Henricks, Anadarko, Okla.; Tim Mardesen, Oxford, Iowa; and Katelyn Corsentino, Denham Springs, La.

The 2017 NJAS in Des Moines, Iowa, was a record breaker for the Angus breed. More than 1,260 head of Angus cattle were shown — the largest number since the last record was set 10 years ago.

Visit for complete show results and news from the event.

July is National Ice Cream Month Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:36:04 +0000 http://ffimp-18287200 By Julie Garden-Robinson
NDSU Extension Service Food and Nutrition Specialist

“Mongoose tracks,” the text from my 14-year-old daughter said.

“OK,” I texted back.

I knew exactly what her text message meant. No, we didn’t have a furry critter leaving tracks in our backyard. I would have been calling an animal control agency if that were the case.

The text meant she wanted me to stop at the grocery store for her favorite ice cream, which she has nicknamed. It’s chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks. Do you think she has a favorite flavor?

Ice cream is the favorite food indulgence in my home, especially for my daughter and husband. I usually do not get a taste unless I serve myself immediately upon arriving at home from the grocery store. My daughter is very disappointed if I pick out ice cream because I like homemade vanilla ice cream best.

In fact, vanilla is the favorite ice cream flavor in the U.S., followed by chocolate, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough. New flavors regularly appear in the ice cream aisle.

Americans love ice cream. On average, we enjoy about 23 pounds of ice cream per person per year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. American ice cream companies manufactured nearly 900 million gallons in 2015.

July is National Ice Cream Month and was given that designation in 1984 by then-president Ronald Reagan. He must have had a sweet tooth because he also made a particular brand of jelly beans a household name.

Ice cream has been around since the second century B.C., according to historians. The first “ice cream” was probably snow from high in the mountains topped with juice. Technically, that would be a “snow cone,” not ice cream, according to today’s definitions.

Ice cream is just one of the foods in the “frozen desserts” category. Go into any large grocery store and you will find a wide array of frozen desserts from which to choose. The title you read on the front of the frozen desserts container is defined by federal law.

“Ice cream” must contain at least 10 percent milkfat. “Light” ice cream must have at least 50 percent less fat, and “low-fat” ice cream has a maximum of 3 grams of fat per serving. Some ice cream is categorized as “premium” or “superpremium.” These designations mean the ice cream is higher in fat and has less air (“overrun”) incorporated into the product and usually costs more.

You might notice products labeled “frozen custard.” This designation means the product must contain at least 1.4 percent egg yolk solids.

To enjoy ice cream at its best quality, add it to your cart last on a grocery shopping trip. Be sure the frozen desserts, including ice cream bars, are below the “fill line” if they are stored in a chest-style grocery store freezer.

Bring an insulated grocery bag or cooler if you have a distance to travel. Store ice cream at 0 F or lower in the main compartment of the freezer. Avoid placing ice cream in your freezer door, which may have temperature fluctuations. When ice cream softens or melts, it can become grainy in texture because ice crystals develop when it refreezes.

Whether you like “mongoose tracks” ice cream or plain old vanilla, enjoy a little ice cream now and then as a special treat. Try making this kid-friendly recipe courtesy of the Midwest Dairy Association on a hot summer day. This recipe is lower in fat and calories because it is made with milk instead of cream.

Squeeze Freeze Homemade Ice Cream

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. whole milk

Small resealable plastic bag (pint size)

Large resealable plastic bag (gallon size)

Ice cubes


Optional: fresh fruit, chocolate syrup, etc.

Put sugar, vanilla and milk into small plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and properly seal. Put 1 tablespoon salt into large plastic bag. Drop the small bag into the large plastic bag with salt in it. Add 18 to 20 ice cubes. Remove as much air as possible from the large bag and properly seal. Knead the bag for approximately 10 minutes, making sure ice in the larger bag surrounds the smaller bag. When a soft ice cream is formed, remove small bag from large bag, open and eat right out of bag with a plastic spoon. For extra fun, add fresh seasonal fruit or other favorite ice cream toppings.

Makes one serving with 130 calories, 4 grams (g) fat, 4 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber and 55 milligrams sodium.

BeefTalk: Be cautious and do not overspend for hay Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:36:03 +0000 http://ffimp-18286950 By Kris Ringwall
NDSU Extension Service Beef Specialist

I have a cow worth $1,000.

Ponder these questions: Should I sell the cow and place the money in an account where someone will pay me to use my money? Should I keep the cow, hoping for a greater return on my money than if I let somebody use my money? Or should I pay somebody $100 to care for the cow?

But why should I pay someone else to tend my money or my cow? At the end of the day, I have less money.

This is the dilemma many beef producers in the drought-stricken areas of the Upper Midwest face today. Which deal is the most acceptable for producers, their families and their bankers?

A not-so-pleasant thought is keeping a $1,000 cow when paying someone else for the right to keep (feed) the cow begs the same question. The expense side of the equation looms pretty big when local resources are depleted and producers look elsewhere to maintain a cow herd.

This is the time to be cautious. What should one pay (or can afford to pay) for additional pasture or hay? That is a good question because the answer begs two more questions: What does producing a calf from a cow-calf operation cost? Do you know what it costs in your operation?

The specific numbers for buying hay may not exist for individual operations, but the process does exist for everyone. About this time, even in good years, I start to count large, round bales. Every cow at the Dickinson Research Extension Center needs about a bale a month to overwinter. (Cow size and bale size need to be estimated to make the correct and final number. But for planning, a bale a month works fine.)

A long winter means six bales; a short winter, maybe five bales. Farther south, you need less winter feeding, but when the weather is dry, pastures and cereal crops do not grow, and more hay is needed.

Should one buy hay or sell cows? Where are these thoughts coming from? My usual sources are the North Dakota Farm Management education program ( database and FINBIN ( from the Center for Farm Financial Management, University of Minnesota. Levi Helmuth, farm business management instructor at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, and other North Dakota instructors contribute to the database.

Looking at the data set, per-cow net return over direct expenses for the past five years has averaged $385.51, which seems good. If I add overhead expenses, net return over direct and overhead expense has averaged $285.46, so the desire to keep raising beef cows is good.

However, data from 2016 did drag the average down. Per-cow net return over direct expenses in 2016 was $174.43. When overhead expenses were considered, net return over direct and overhead expense was $59.77, with a negative return once labor and management were applied. Not so good.

It’s been awhile since average cow-calf producers have had to change to red ink. In 2014, the average beef producer had a gross margin of $1,309.52. Last year, 2016, the average beef producer had a gross margin of only $633.17, less than half the dollars of two years earlier. That’s a direct reflection of the price per hundredweight: $263.83 in 2014 and $131.71 in 2016.

Maybe these numbers do not apply to everyone, but I suspect they are the trend. The cow-calf business, as expenses have gone up, has challenges. Drought or no drought, costs always must be contained.

Well, let’s not be too pessimistic, and keep penciling the numbers for the FINBIN data set. Let’s use the five-year average gross margin, $868.70, along with the five-year average price of $187.64 for 500- to 599-pound calves. If that price is achieved, then the gross margin should be close, but if the price stays closer to last year’s price of $131.72 per hundredweight, then the gross margin drops toward the 2016 low of $633.17.

Even if the hay was in good supply and all prices and expenses stayed the same as last year, the cow-calf producer would again be writing with red ink. In other words, on the average, producers could lose money. But the five-year average still would suggest cattle are capable of a net return to direct and overhead expenses of $200-plus.

The bottom line today: If this is just a normal year, and believe it or not, it is for most beef producers, the balance of costs and income are very tedious. Will the ink be red or black? The answer really depends on the managerial and marketing skills of the producer.

The sure bet was two years ago, not today. The real challenge comes when outside events such as drought or other difficulties add unexpected costs to the operation. With tight margins, producers have no wiggle room.

You probably know where this is going. More next time, but in the meantime, be careful of what you spend. Be realistic if you spend cash.

May you find all your ear tags.

For more information, contact your local NDSU Extension Service agent ( or Ringwall at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, 1041 State Ave., Dickinson, ND 58601; 701-456-1103; or

Champions named at 2017 National Junior Angus Show Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:36:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18286848 American Angus Association

More than 700 Angus juniors and their families traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to compete in the 2017 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) July 12-15 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members were “Winning with the Angus Team” as they exhibited 1,224 entries during the weeklong event that included more than a dozen educational contests in addition to the cattle show.

Chan Phillips, Maysville, Ky., judged the 742 owned heifers; Blake Nelson, Warner, Okla., assisted in judging the owned heifers; Matt Copeland, Nara Visa, N.M., judged the 299 bred-and-owned heifers, 42 cow-calf pairs, and 65 bulls; Matt Leo, Snelling, Calif., assisted in judging the bred-and-owned heifers, cow-calf pairs and bulls; and Lacey Robinson, Olsburg, Kan., judged the 76 steers.

Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla., showed the grand champion bred-and-owned female, C&C Princess 6119. The winning heifer is a September 2016 daughter of EXAR Insight 2461B and was first named early calf champion.

Abby Collison, Rockwell City, Iowa, led the reserve grand champion bred-and-owned female. Collison Georgina 1557 is an October 2015 daughter of Dameron First Class and first won senior champion.

Maddy Udell, Sioux City, Iowa, showed the grand champion owned female, Hoffman H/G Blackbird 620. The winning heifer is a March 2016 daughter of EXAR Blue Chip 1877B and was first named junior champion — division 4.

Carter Ward, Plattsburg, Mo., led the reserve grand champion owned female. EXAR Princess 6680 is a January 2016 daughter of S&R Roundtable J328 and first won junior champion – division 7.

Amelia Miller, Gridley, Ill., won grand champion bred-and-owned bull honors with PVF Frozen 6078. The February 2016 son of EATHINGTON SUB-ZERO first won junior champion.

Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky., led the reserve grand champion bred-and-owned bull. CCC Double Down D211 is a March 2016 son of PVF Insight 0129 and was first named reserve junior champion.

Katelyn Holmes, Benton, Iowa, showed the grand champion owned cow-calf pair. TalonCrest Barbara 506 is an April 2015 daughter of DDA Dameron Northern Light, and first topped the two-year-old division. A February 2017 bull calf sired by BSF Hot Lotto 1401 was at side.

Rance Wheeler, Paris, Mo., led the reserve grand champion owned cow-calf pair. Conley SSis Enchantress 5100 is a March 2015 daughter of Bushs Unbelievable423 with a February 2017 son of PVF Insight 0129 at side. The pair first won reserve champion two-year-old pair.

Sydney Schnoor, Chowchilla, Calif., won grand champion bred-and-owned cow-calf pair. Seldom Rest Sandy 5086 is a May 2015 daughter of EXAR Classen 1422B. A May 2017 bull calf sired by Connealy Comrade 1385 completes the winning duo. The pair first claimed champion two-year-old.

Ryan Callahan claimed reserve grand champion bred-and-owned cow-calf pair with C&C Winnie 4039, a February 2014 daughter of EXAR Classen 1422B. A January 2016 heifer calf sired by BC II Skyfall 2812 was at side. The duo first won champion two-year-old pair.

Adam Miller, Gridley, Ill., earned grand champion steer honors with PVF Insight 6105. He is the February 2016 son of PVF Insight 0129.

Suter Clark, Gretna, Va., claimed reserve grand champion steer with Buchanan’s Wasabi. He is the March 2016 son of PVF Surveillance 4129.

Sydnee Gerken, Cashion, Okla., claimed bred-and-owned grand champion steer with SMG Insight 6510. He is the March 2016 son of PVF Insight 0129.

Miranda Raithel, Falls City, Neb., earned reserve grand champion bred-and-owned steer with Herbster Nigel 676. He is a March 2016 son of Herbster Republic 3177.

A complete list of winners follows:

Total number shown: 1,224

Judges: Chan Phillips, Maysville, Ky., judged the owned heifers; Blake Nelson, Warner, Okla., assisted in judging the owned heifers; Matt Copeland, Nara Visa, N.M., judged the bred-and-owned heifers, cow-calf pairs, and bulls; Matt Leo, Snelling, Calif., assisted in judging the bred-and-owned heifers, cow-calf pairs and bulls; and Lacey Robinson, Olsburg, Kan., judged the steers.

Owned females

Heifer Calf Champion-Division 1: EXAR Frontier Gal 0766

Exhibitor: Stuart Lastovica, Salado, Texas

Reserve Heifer Calf Champion-Division 1: Womack Skymere 6311

Exhibitor: Thomas Smoot, Campbellsville, Ky.

Heifer Calf Champion-Division 2: Colburn Party Girl 6532

Exhibitor: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Reserve Heifer Calf Champion-Division 2: Younges Keymura Katy 674

Exhibitor: Nyla Wibholm, Dows, Iowa

Heifer Calf Champion-Division 3: EXAR Frontier Gal 6997

Exhibitor: Meah Allison, Yukon, Okla.

Reserve Heifer Calf Champion-Division 3: EXAR Envious Blackbird 6994

Exhibitor: Logan Boyd, May’s Lick, Ky.

Intermediate Champion-Division 1: Hoffman WR Miss 667

Exhibitor: Shayne Myers, Colusa, Calif.

Reserve Intermediate Champion-Division 1: PVF Proven Queen 6257

Exhibitor: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Intermediate Champion-Division 2: Seldom Rest Pin Up Gal 6080

Exhibitor: Alisa Friesen, Arnett, Okla.

Reserve Intermediate Champion-Division 2: RW First Advance Sandy 605

Exhibitor: Hailey Traynham, Maxwell, Calif.

Intermediate Champion-Division 3: PVF Missie 6228

Exhibitor: Olivia Caldwell, Elmwood, Ill.

Reserve Intermediate Champion-Division 3: EXAR Envious Blackbird 68077

Exhibitor: Sydney Schnoor, Chowchilla, Calif.

Junior Champion-Division 1: WA Lucy 640

Exhibitor: Sara Sullivan, Dunlap, Iowa

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 1: PVF Blackbird 6209

Exhibitor: Logan Boyd, May’s Lick, Ky.

Junior Champion-Division 2: FCF TopLine Proven Queen 643

Exhibitor: Lauren Wolter, Aviston, Ill.

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 2: EXAR Princess 6780

Exhibitor: Seth Cox, Eagle Point, Ore.

Junior Champion-Division 3: Silveiras Saras Dream 6322

Exhibitor: Shayne Myers, Colusa, Calif.

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 3: Cherry Knoll Ark Pride 1627

Exhibitor: Claudia Hissong, Greencastle, Pa.

Junior Champion-Division 4: Hoffman H/G Blackbird 620

Exhibitor: Maddy Udell, Sioux City, Iowa

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 4: Wallace Princess 640

Exhibitor: Whitney Walker, Prairie Grove, Ark.

Junior Champion-Division 5: TopLine FCF Proven Queen 161

Exhibitor: Lauryn Mool, Lexington, Ill.

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 5: Greiman FCF SCC Blackbird186

Exhibitor: Maddy Udell, Sioux City, Iowa

Junior Champion-Division 6: Seldom Rest Lucy 6013

Exhibitor: Kathryn Coleman, Modesto, Calif.

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 6: EXAR Winnie 0336

Exhibitor: Kaylan Kiser, Proctor, Texas

Junior Champion-Division 7: EXAR Princess 6680

Exhibitor: Carter Ward, Plattsburg, Mo.

Reserve Junior Champion-Division 7: EXAR Princess 6151

Exhibitor: Austin Nowatzke, Michigan City, Ind.

Late Senior Champion: CJ Jestress 1500

Exhibitor: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Reserve Late Senior Champion: Reed Barbara 5622

Exhibitor: Courtney Dehn, Dearborn, Mo.

Early Senior Champion: DDA Northern Miss 1548

Exhibitor: Hailey Boyd, Waynesville, Ill.

Reserve Early Senior Champion: SSF Lady Impression O265

Exhibitor: Kallie Knott, Laotto, Ind.

Grand Champion Owned Female: Hoffman H/G Blackbird 620

Exhibitor: Maddy Udell, Sioux City, Iowa

Reserve Grand Champion Owned Female: EXAR Princess 6680

Exhibitor: Carter Ward, Plattsburg, Mo.

Bred-and-owned females

Late Heifer Calf Champion: HCC Forever Lady 4106

Exhibitor: Katelyn Holmes, Columbia, Mo.

Reserve Late Heifer Calf Champion: BCII Envious Blackbird 6216

Exhibitor: Ellie Sennett, Waynetown, Ind.

Early Heifer Calf Champion: C&C Princess 6119

Exhibitor: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Reserve Early Heifer Calf Champion: 3ACES Shadoe 9056

Exhibitor: Tristan Meier, Clinton, Tenn.

Intermediate Champion: Cherry Knoll May 1672

Exhibitor: Bryce Fitzgerald, West Grove, Pa.

Reserve Intermediate Champion: C&C Princess 6106

Exhibitor: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Late Junior Champion: CAW Cotton

Exhibitor: Calli West, Paris, Texas

Reserve Late Junior Champion: J&J Princess 612

Exhibitor: Sydney Pearl, Orlando, Okla.

Early Junior Champion: Collison Georgina 1638

Exhibitor: Madison Collison, Rockwell City, Iowa

Reserve Early Junior Champion: Dameron Primrose 659

Exhibitor: Jack Dameron, Towanda, Ill.

Senior Champion: Collison Georgina 1557

Exhibitor: Abby Collison, Rockwell City, Iowa

Reserve Senior Champion: Boyd Lucy 6001

Exhibitor: Logan Boyd, May’s Lick, Ky.

Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Female: C&C Princess 6119

Exhibitor: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Reserve Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Female: Collison Georgina 1557

Exhibitor: Abby Collison, Rockwell City, Iowa

Bred-and-owned bulls

Bull Calf Champion: Dal Porto Noble T154

Exhibitor: Dawson DalPorto, Oakley, Calif.

Reserve Bull Calf Champion: J&J Sugar Bear 661

Exhibitor: Sydney Johnson, Orlando, Okla.

Intermediate Champion: BA Nighttrain 1304D

Exhibitor: Brooke Adams, Terrell, Texas

Reserve Intermediate Champion: R & K OB Conversation 601

Exhibitor: Kalli Flanders, Buffalo, Ky.

Junior Champion Bull: PVF Frozen 6078

Exhibitor: Amelia Miller, Gridley, Ill.

Reserve Junior Champion: CCC Double Down D211

Exhibitor: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Bull: PVF Frozen 6078

Exhibitor: Amelia Miller, Gridley, Ill.

Reserve Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Bull: CCC Double Down D211

Exhibitor: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Owned cow-calf pairs

Two-Year Old Champion: TalonCrest Barbara 506

Exhibitor: Katelyn Holmes, Benton, Iowa

Reserve Champion Two-Year Old: Conley SSis Enchantress 5100

Exhibitor: Rance Wheeler, Paris, Mo.

Champion Mature Pair: Dandy Acres Pride 401

Exhibitor: Adam Bierstedt, Pipestone, Minn.

Reserve Mature Pair: WSO Mollys Girl 103

Exhibitor: Brayden DeBorde, Bardwell, Texas

Grand Champion Owned Cow-Calf: TalonCrest Barbara 506

Exhibitor: Katelyn Holmes, Benton, Iowa

Reserve Grand Champion Owned Cow-Calf: Conley SSis Enchantress 5100

Exhibitor: Rance Wheeler, Paris, Mo.

Bred-and-owned cow-calf pairs

Two-Year Old Champion: Seldom Rest Sandy 5086

Exhibitor: Sydney Schnoor, Chowchilla, Calif.

Reserve Champion Two-Year Old: Cherry Knoll Lady 1481

Exhibitor: Brody Fitzgerald, West Grove, Pa.

Champion Mature Pair: C&C Winnie 4039

Exhibitor: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Reserve Mature Pair: AED Rita 328A

Exhibitor: Allison Davis, Shelbyville, Tenn.

Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Cow-Calf: Seldom Rest Sandy 5086

Exhibitor: Sydney Schnoor, Chowchilla, Calif.

Reserve Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Cow-Calf: C&C Winnie 4039

Exhibitor: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.


Grand Champion Steer: PVF Insight 6105

Exhibitor: Adam Miller, Gridley, Ill.

Reserve Grand Champion Steer: Buchanan’s Wasabi

Exhibitor: Suter Clark, Gretna, Va.

Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Steer: SMG Insight 6510

Exhibitor: Sydnee Gerken, Cashion, Okla.

Reserve Grand Champion Bred-and-Owned Steer: Herbster Nigel 676

Exhibitor: Miranda Raithel, Falls City, Neb.

State Groups Of Five Head

First Place Owned: California Junior Angus Association

First Place Bred-and-Owned: Iowa Junior Angus Association

State Herdsmanship Award

15 head and less: Louisiana Junior Angus Association

16-30 head: Virginia Junior Angus Association

31-45 head: Wisconsin Junior Angus Association

46-60 head: Kentucky Junior Angus Association

61 head and more: Iowa Junior Angus Association

Sweepstakes Award

29 head and less: Virginia Junior Angus Association

30 head and more: Kansas Junior Angus Association

Silver Pitcher Awards

Boys Silver Pitcher Award: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Girls Silver Pitcher Award: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Premier Junior Breeder Award: Ryan Callahan, Edmond, Okla.

Premier Breeder Award: Express Angus Ranch, Yukon, Okla.

Herdsman Of The Year: Cheyenne Jones, Campbellsville, Ky.

Beef declared official meat of the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:26:07 +0000 http://ffimp-18286738 South Dakota Beef Industry Council

PIERRE — Rain is in short supply this summer, but August promises to be the month when BEEF will be celebrated by thousands of consumers as they head to the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) team and the beef checkoff will partner with the City of Sturgis as the “Official Meat of the 77th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is proud to partner with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council to carry on a tradition of hundreds of thousands of Rally goers coming to South Dakota and sitting down at meal times to barbeque and eat the best quality beef in the world,” said Jerry Cole, director of Sturgis Rally and Events.

As part of the sponsorship, beef will be the premiere protein at the Rally with the City of Sturgis promoting beef on promotional materials, billboards, social media, the annual mayor’s ride and numerous other events. SDBIC will also bring Kita Roberts, aka Girl Carnivore, to the venue as a lead beef advocate and celebrity food judge engaging in conversation with food enthusiasts both online and in person about the continuous power of protein. Kita will also spend some time with South Dakota ranchers listening and learning as they tell their beef story.

Beef continues to be a healthy choice for consumers. Director of Nutrition Holly Swee states, “The Sturgis partnership offers the SDBIC team an opportunity to provide rally goers a chance to engage and ask health and nutrition related questions where we can then provide information and resources that are rooted in sound science from checkoff funded research.”

The SDBIC beef team will be on hand to answer questions, provide beef nutritional information, as well as recipes to attendees on Monday, August 7, 2017. SDBIC executive director Suzy Geppert states, “The rally is iconic and draws thousands of consumers nationwide. It is a great opportunity for us to build on our consumer base and answer questions about modern beef production.”

What can rally goers expect to see this year? Geppert says, “You will see a common theme coming through in this promotional campaign, “tradition”. Both the Sturgis Rally and the beef community have long traditions that continue to influence consumer trends and activities however, we want to instill in them that although times may change, our traditions endure. Ranching continues to be a family business involving passion, commitment, and a calling to feed the world.” Above all else, Beef It’s What’s For Dinner.

For more information on the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally partnership contact Suzy Geppert at or call (605) 224-4722. For more about the SDBIC, as well as recipes and nutrition information, find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and or visit

Drought-stressed canola possible forage for livestock Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:26:06 +0000 http://ffimp-18285877 NDSU Extension

Drought stress has caused early flower abortion in canola fields in portions of the North Dakota, so canola may provide an alternate forage option for drought-stricken livestock producers.

“Livestock producers facing forage shortages may be able to feed their cows canola, provided they take certain precautions,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension Service livestock environmental stewardship specialist. “While canola makes palatable feed, it may take one or two days for cattle to become accustomed to the taste.”

Forage rapeseed (canola) has a nutrient content that’s similar to alfalfa, with crude protein of 12 to 14 percent and total digestible nutrients (energy) of 55 to 60 percent. Crude protein and energy levels will be higher if the crop is cut in the early podded stage rather than after the lower leaves begin to drop.

“Nutritional quality can vary, so producers should have a feed analysis on the forage they plan to use to determine actual nutrient values,” advises Carl Dahlen, NDSU Extension beef cattle specialist.

Feeding canola forage creates some risks; bloat and scours can be a concern, and elevated levels of sulfur and nitrates are possible. To reduce bloat and scours issues, acclimate cattle during a period of time and blend the canola with other feeds so canola hay or silage is less than 50 percent of the total feed intake.

Sulfur levels in canola can range from 0.5 to 1.3 percent on a dry-matter basis.

“Combining high sulfur from canola with high sulfur from byproducts such as distillers grains can be even more problematic, and producers are encouraged to keep total dietary sulfur below 0.4 percent on a dry-matter basis,” says Janna Kincheloe, area Extension livestock systems specialist at NDSU’s Hettinger Research Extension Center.

Feeding sulfur above this threshold can result in hemolytic anemia, interference with livestock’s use of the trace minerals copper and selenium, and polioencephalomalacia (PEM). Clinical signs of PEM include a lack of muscle coordination, facial tremors, teeth clenching, circling, stupor and cortical blindness, followed by animals leaning or lying, convulsions and death.

“Drought stress in canola also can lead to accumulation of nitrates in the plants, which warrants caution when devising feeding plans,” says Kevin Sedivec, NDSU Extension rangeland management specialist. “Producers also need to be aware of any withdrawal periods associated with pesticides or herbicides that were applied to the standing plants.”

See the NDSU publication “Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock” ( for more information about elevated concentrations of nitrates in feedstuffs.

Another issue producers should be concerned about is green canola regrowth that was subjected to moisture stress during the summer because it can be toxic to grazing animals, including cattle and sheep. Researchers don’t know the exact type of toxin causing the problem, but Australian sheep growers have reported an unidentified toxin has resulted in sheep losses.

If canola is hayed, drying time is critical to avoid moldy feed later, according to Meehan. Typically, the plants take four to six days to dry to proper moisture levels (16 to 18 percent moisture content) for baling. Canola tends to turn dark as it cures, but this shouldn’t affect palatability.

Dahlen notes that cattle may resist eating stemmy canola forage. Using a roller mower conditioner to smash stems will help reduce drying time and improve consumption.

Kincheloe says a better option may be to ensile the canola if it is leafy and has some height, although canola is high in moisture (75 to 80 percent), and wilting it to 65 percent moisture will take time. Harvesting a mixture of the mature stand and the regrowth will reduce the moisture, and crimping will hasten the drying process. Seepage and ensiling problems may occur if canola is ensiled at moisture contents greater than 70 percent.

Sedivec advises producers to follow these recommendations for safely introducing livestock to canola hay or silage:

• Introduce canola hay or silage slowly by replacing a part of the diet for several days.

• Have other types of forage available for cattle in confinement for the first two weeks as canola is being introduced.

• Test hay or silage for concentrations of sulfur and nitrates, and formulate rations or design feeding schemes to reduce the consequences of risky feed components.

Money that matters: Quality beef still brings a premium Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:26:05 +0000 http://ffimp-18285567 By Laura Conaway
Certified Angus Beef LLC

Quality cattle are so commonplace they’re no longer worth a reward, right? Wrong.

The market still pays more for the best, even as supplies grow. USDA data for the first half of 2017 puts the average Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand grid premium at $4.73/cwt., on track to exceed $50 million for the year.

CAB acceptance rates of nearly 30 percent, compared to typical historic rates of 17 percent to 18 percent may drive perceptions that market premiums have dried up. Numbers show that’s not the case.

“Our tonnage keeps setting records this year with 10 percent or more greater supply, but the average reported premium to producers is almost a dime above last year’s first half,” says Paul Dykstra, beef cattle specialist for the brand.

In fact, June 19th brought an all-time high for CAB premiums as USDA’s Mandatory Price Reporting showed one packer paid a record $14/cwt. It would be remiss not to acknowledge that a big-box retailer entered the premium Choice beef market this spring. While details of that product and specifications are unclear, there is little doubt the added demand contributed to higher premiums across the category.

Those premiums fade seasonally going into summer, but they aren’t going away.

“The fact is, there are still premiums and they’re still worthwhile,” Dykstra says. “CAB is leading the charge and there’s money to be made.”

Predominantly black, Angus cattle eligible for CAB made up 67.5 percent of the fed-cattle supply in June, compared to just 63.5 percent a year ago.

That’s certainly not evidence of oversupply or lack of demand, Dykstra says. “The record premiums for CAB occurred while the Choice-Select spread was trending extremely wide as well, creating a huge gap in price as we measure quality across Select, lower Choice and CAB.”

“I’d say it’s driven by demand,” says John Nalivka. The president and owner of Oregon-based Sterling Marketing says while 2017 total beef production and harvest are up 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, beef expenditures were down as recently as May.

“That increase in available supply doesn’t carry much weight in the world of consumer preference,” he says. “When you break it down to what consumers want to buy, it narrows that supply quite a bit.”

Demand is strong for well-marbled cuts, Nalivka says, but not for all beef: “As retail expenditures would suggest, demand exists for certain quality components of the entire beef supply.”

That’s reason enough for producers to keep aiming for quality, selecting cattle that excel in carcass and growth.

“Genetically, and from the standpoint of production, we’re good at raising cattle in this country,” Nalivka says. “Nobody else in the world can compete with us when it comes to grain-finished cattle.”

People want a safe product that was raised with humane standards, he says.

“They want to know that when they buy that $10 steak and have their friends over for a barbecue in the backyard, they’re not going to be disappointed. They don’t want any guesswork and there’s value in raising cattle that fit that,” Nalivka says.

Hearing from feedyards and packers alike, he says, “It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in the market.”

Culling the bottom end of the U.S. cow herd led to a herd that can produce 80 percent or more Choice beef, which pressures Select numbers down. Yet, demand for quality supports the better grade, creating a wider Choice-Select spread as the two move in opposite directions.

The price signals move down the chain as packers preferred buying only the higher quality cattle this spring, motivating feedyards to become pickier about which calves they purchase.

“Feeders know what it’s going to take and therefore are more selective,” Nalivka says. “That’s where this whole thing goes full circle for the rancher because it tells you that you’re probably going to get paid for quality, particularly reputation feeder cattle that fit that demand between the feedlot and packer.”

Still, ranchers must raise the cattle that fit their cost structure and intended market, he says.

“You have to have the right cattle for the right market. We have a lot better herd for producing the kind of cattle consumers want and, when you realize there are still premiums out there, you are going to have to produce for that. I think the standard for getting the greatest value has been set and there’s no going back now.”

US, China sign agreement to provide market access for US rice exports Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:26:04 +0000 http://ffimp-18285449 U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – On July 20, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time ever.

“This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future,” said Perdue. “The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly 5 million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Deadline for Centennial Farm recognition is Aug. 11 Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:26:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18285399 South Dakota Department of Agriculture

HURON, S.D. — The South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) will again recognize and honor longstanding South Dakota families at the 2017 South Dakota State Fair.

South Dakota families having enjoyed ownership of their farm or ranch for 100, 125 and 150 years have the opportunity to be honored on Thursday, Aug. 31, during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

To qualify as a South Dakota Century Farm or Ranch, a family must have retained continuous ownership of at least 80 acres of original farmland for 100 years or more. If the family ownership of land has reached 125 or 150 years, they may apply to be recognized as a Quasquicentennial or Sesquicentennial Farm or Ranch respectively. Documentation of the original date of purchase must be included with the application.

Application forms are available on the SDFB website at or by visiting the SDDA website at

Since recognition began in 1984, there have been 2,888 century farms and ranches and 323 quasquicentennial farms and ranches acknowledged so far.

Group reflects on how it helped strengthen BSE disease safeguards for US consumers and cattlemen Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:16:04 +0000 http://ffimp-18285339 R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America

Billings, Mont. — In the wake of the discovery of a cow in Alabama infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) that did not enter the U.S. food supply, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement regarding his organization’s involvement in strengthening the nation’s BSE safeguards.

“Bovine spongiform encephalopathy was first detected in Europe in 1986 and then spread to 25 countries. Worldwide, more than 180,000 cattle contracted the disease and 205 human deaths in 11 countries were attributed to BSE. The incidence of the disease has declined in recent years, with 5 cases detected worldwide in 2015 and 2 cases detected in 2016.

“In 2003 Canada detected its first native case of BSE, resulting from the importation of infected cattle from Great Britain and not having an effective feed ban in place. The United States immediately closed its border to beef and cattle from Canada to prevent the introduction of the disease into the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. food supply. However, under pressure from the meatpacking lobby, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) soon reopened the border to boneless beef from Canadian cattle under 30 months of age.

“Soon after, the USDA wanted to reopen the border to Canadian cattle and more Canadian beef products. In the fall of 2003 the USDA began allowing the importation of ground beef and other high-risk beef products into the U.S. from Canada, even though these products were prohibited.

“In early 2004, R-CALF USA discovered what the agency was doing and filed a lawsuit against the USDA, winning an injunction that prohibited the USDA from allowing the importation of beef or cattle from Canada, except for boneless beef from cattle slaughtered in a plant that only slaughtered cattle under 30 months of age. The injunction remained in effect until early 2005, when the USDA published a final rule stating it would begin removing high-risk materials from slaughtered cattle as a measure of protecting the U.S. food supply and it intended to resume trade in Canadian live cattle.

“R-CALF USA quickly filed its second lawsuit against the USDA’s final rule arguing that Canada’s multiple outbreaks of BSE demonstrated the disease was still circulating in the Canadian cattle industry and it was too dangerous to relax U.S. import restrictions. The federal court agreed and awarded R-CALF USA its second injunction, this time blocking the USDA from allowing the importation of live Canadian cattle of any age and beef products other than boneless beef into the United States. In its order the court stated that, “The USDA cannot favor trade with Canada over human and animal health within the U.S.”

“Although the injunction was lifted in mid-2005, the ban remained on Canadian cattle over the age of 30 months. When the USDA attempted to resume the importation of these higher-risk cattle, R-CALF USA filed its third lawsuit and won its third injunction, this one requiring the agency’s rule to be reconsidered by the agency with a new public comment period.

“As a direct result of R-CALF USA’s formidable legal challenges, the USDA’s efforts to prematurely resume imports of beef and cattle from Canada, despite Canada’s ongoing BSE outbreaks at the time, were effectively blocked for many months (Canadian cattle imports were banned from the U.S. for longer than two years).

“Just as important, as a direct result of R-CALF USA’s judicial successes, the USDA was forced to take additional steps to protect the U.S. cattle herd and U.S. consumers from BSE. The agency expanded the list of high-risk tissues that are now removed from cattle at slaughter to significantly reduce the risk of BSE infectivity in the food supply, the agency worked with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to significantly strengthen the U.S. feed ban to prevent the spread of BSE should it be imported, and the agency maintained its BSE testing program so infected animals could be removed from the food chain.

“The BSE-infected cow discovered in Alabama was detected before it could enter the food supply in large part because R-CALF USA members had previously demanded a much more robust and comprehensive safeguard system against BSE than the USDA was inclined to provide.”

Mexico City floating farms, chefs team up to save tradition Thu, 20 Jul 2017 23:16:03 +0000 http://ffimp-18285198 By LISA MARTINE JENKINS
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — At dawn in Xochimilco, home to Mexico City’s famed floating gardens, farmers in muddied rain boots squat among rows of beets as a group of chefs arrive to sample sweet fennel and the pungent herb known as epazote.

By dinnertime some of those greens will be on plates at an elegant bistro 12 miles (20 kilometers) to the north, stewed with black beans in a $60 prix-fixe menu for well-heeled diners.

Call it floating-farm-to-table: A growing number of the capital’s most in-demand restaurants are incorporating produce grown at the gardens, or chinampas, using ancient cultivation techniques pioneered hundreds of years ago in the pre-Columbian era.

While sourcing local ingredients has become fashionable for many top chefs around the globe, it takes on additional significance in Xochimilco (so-chee-MIL-co), where a project linking chinampa farmers with high-end eateries aims to breathe life and a bit of modernity into a fading and threatened tradition.

“People sometimes think (farm-to-table) is a trend,” said Eduardo Garcia, owner and head chef of Maximo Bistrot in the stylish Roma Norte district. “It’s not a trend. It’s something that we humans have always done and we need to keep doing it, we need to return to it.”

Xochimilco, on the far southern edge of Mexico City, is best-known as the “Mexican Venice” for its canals and brightly colored boats where locals and tourists can while away a weekend day listening to mariachi music and sipping cold beers.

It has also been a breadbasket for the Valley of Mexico since before the Aztec Empire, when farmers first created the “floating” islands bound to the shallow canal beds through layers of sediment and willow roots.

There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world, and Xochimilco is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

But that World Heritage status and Xochimilco itself are threatened by the pollution and encroaching urbanization that plague the rest of the sprawling metropolis.

Enter Yolcan, a business that specializes in placing traditionally farmed Xochimilco produce in Mexico City’s most acclaimed restaurants Those include places like Gabriela Camara’s seafood joint Contramar and Enrique Olvera’s Pujol, which is perhaps the country’s most famous restaurant and regularly makes lists of the world’s best.

Yolcan has been around since 2001, but it’s only in the last year that business has really taken off with the number of restaurant partners increasing by a third during that period to 22. Last month five of them teamed up with Yolcan for dinner to benefit chinampa preservation.

The company directly manages about its own farmland and also partners with local families to help distribute their goods, lending a much-needed hand as an intermediary.

“The thing about the chinampa farmer is that he does not have the time to track down a market or a person to promote his product,” said David Jimenez, who works a plot in the San Gregorio area of Xochimilco. “Working the chinampas is very demanding.”

All told Yolcan’s operation covers about 15 acres (6 hectares) and churns out some 2.5 tons of produce per month. Due to the high salinity of the soil drawn from canal beds, the straw-covered chinampa plots are particularly fertile ground for root vegetables and hearty greens like kale and chard.

Diners reserve weeks in advance for a coveted table at Maximo Bistrot, one of three restaurants Garcia runs. Meticulously prepared plates of chinampa-grown roasted yellow carrots with asparagus puree arrive at the table, accompanied by sea bass with green mole sauce and wine pairings in tall glasses.

Garcia estimated he gets about two-thirds of his ingredients from Yolcan or other organic farms nearby. He was born in a rural part of Guanajuato state where his family raised corn and largely ate what they grew, so sourcing local is second-nature.

“I think all of the world’s restaurants should make it a goal to use these alternative ingredients,” Garcia said, stirring a pot of beans flavored with the aromatic epazote herb. “Even though it’s a little more expensive, a little more difficult to find.”

Chinampa produce generally sells for 15 to 100 percent more than comparable goods at the enormous Central de Abasto, the go-to wholesale market for nearly all of Mexico City’s chefs that is so monolithic its competition sets prices across the country.

But chefs who buy from Yolcan are happy to pay a premium knowing they’re getting vegetables free of chemical fertilizers or pesticides and also supporting a centuries-old tradition.

Diners at Maximo Bistrot also said they enjoyed their meal, especially the burrata with chinampa-grown heirloom tomatoes. One couple said they are willing to pay the prices of these high-end eateries in order to have the best produce.

“We’ve eaten in 26 countries around the world, and for the price and quality, this was awesome,” said Kristin Kearin, a 35-year-old masseuse from United States. “I honestly think that using small producers is going to come back.”

CRP wetland and buffer lands open to emergency haying and grazing Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:26:03 +0000 http://ffimp-18290417 By Shannon Marvel

Additional Conservation Reserve Program lands can now be used for emergency grazing and haying in areas of South Dakota that have been affected by the severe drought, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“USDA is adding the ability for farmers and ranchers in these areas to hay and graze CRP wetland and buffer practices,” the release states.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D, said the USDA honored his request to open up CRP acres considered environmentally sensitive for haying and grazing.

The Conservation Reserve Program offers farmers and ranchers payments for keeping environmentally sensitive land out of production and instead implementing conservation practices on the acres. But USDA can allow it to be accessed during extremely dry conditions. Some local cattle producers have had to sell portions of their herds because there isn’t enough grass in pastures to feed their cattle.

According to Jamie White, acting state executive director for the Farm Service Agency in South Dakota, 235,000 acres were released on July 20 for emergency haying and grazing in the state. She said regulations were eased for grass waterways, wetlands restoration, farmable wetlands and related buffers, prairie farmable wetlands and duck nesting habit.

She said landowners can only hay or graze half of their environmentally sensitive acres.

The 235,000 acres comprise half of the acres released on July 20. Thune said the overall total is about 450,000.

“Today’s announcement means that USDA has used nearly every CRP option that’s available to assist South Dakota livestock producers who are suffering from these increasingly severe drought conditions,” Thune said in a news release issued on July 20.

His release said he had a recent phone conversation with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue seeking to open more CRP acres.

The other members of South Dakota’s congressional delegation — Sen. Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem, both Republicans — applauded USDA’s decision in news releases.

Landowners interesting in haying or grazing CRP acres should contact their local Farm Service Agency office and meet with local Natural Resources Conservation Service staff to obtain a modified conservation plan, according to the USDA release.

Follow smarvel_aan on Twitter.

Handsome Huntington is cozy and bright Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:07 +0000 http://ffimp-18276154 The Huntington’s wrap-around covered porch puts the average covered porch to shame. Handsome exposed timbers support and highlight its lofty central gable, and the whole works is supported by tapered bases made of stone. Custom-crafted windows, horizontal siding and shake shingles all add to the visual appeal.

Entering, you step into a naturally bright and lofty two-story foyer. A half-round crowns the upper trio of windows, and an elegant dining room is on the right. Stairs on the left ascend to the secondary bedrooms and a wide vaulted lounge that overlooks the entry and great room. It provides access to both large bedrooms, plus a sky-lit bathroom. If desired, it could be outfitted as a library/study area/computer station.

A bank of windows, stacked three high at center, fills most of the vaulted great room’s rear wall. Flames in the wide-hearthed stone fireplace nestled into an alcove on the left can also be enjoyed from the kitchen and nook. The entry to a vaulted sunroom is right next to the fireplace, entered through a glass door. Double doors there open onto a railed balcony.

The kitchen is large and open, with plenty of cupboard and counter space. Standing at the sink in the work island, you look out over a long raised eating bar into the great room. The vaulted nook is large enough to house a good-sized table, plus an assortment of potted plants. A pantry, utilities, and a bathroom are mere steps away, where they are also linked to the garage.

The Huntington’s luxurious owners’ suite fills most of the left wing. Amenities include twin walk-in closets, a spa tub, dual vanity, private toilet, and direct access to the sunroom.

Associated Designs is the original source for the Huntington 42-017. For more information or to view other designs, visit or call 800-634-0123.

Traditional Houston has a classy front facade Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:07 +0000 http://ffimp-18276150 Compact and spacious at the same time, the Houston is as economical to build as it is to heat. It’s a fairly traditional plan, with bedrooms upstairs and family living spaces on the ground floor.

The front facade is totally symmetrical. At center, classic columns support a balcony that doubles as a covered front porch. Tile crowns the hip roof while shutters add a dash of color.

Casual living areas are at the rear, formal spaces up front. The family room, nook and kitchen are bright and entirely open. There are no barriers here to block conversation or movement. A large bay window, ideal for a wide window seat, expands the family room. Sliders in the nook open onto a large and sunny screened porch.

The U-shaped kitchen has plenty of counter and cupboard space, including lazy Susan shelving that allows full use of the corner cabinets. Utilities are close at hand, in a pass-through to the garage. Dishwasher, range and oven are all built in.

A small wet bar, nestled in the alcove under the stairs, is convenient to both the family room and living room. The powder room is centrally located as well, close to everything on the ground floor.

The spacious owners’ suite that dominates the Houston’s upper level is more than twice the size of either of the secondary bedrooms. Luxury amenities include a sitting room, balcony, and private bathroom with double vanity, spa, oversized shower, and huge walk-in closet. The other two bedrooms share a bathroom. Linen storage and another closet are in the hallway.

Associated Designs is the original source for the Houston 11-044. For more information or to view other designs, visit or call 800-634-0123.

Modest Evelyn has lots of simple charm Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:06 +0000 http://ffimp-18276146 The Evelyn’s simply charming porches, almost identical in style, are gracefully inviting access points in both the front and the back.

Slender wooden columns support the porch gables, while decorative supports and handsome beams underscore their peaks. Shake-textured siding fills the apexes of the larger gables that back up the porches, echoing their upward-thrusting lines.

One long hallway runs straight through the home, front to back. Its first section is an inner entry. Double doors on the left open into what could be a den, home office, guest room, or you-name-it.

An arched opening marks the juncture to the next section of hallway. The gallery wall here is ideal for displaying art or family photos. Arched openings on the right lead into the owners’ suite and another bedroom. The opening on the left takes you to yet another bedroom, along with the main bathroom. All three bedrooms boast roomy walk-in closets.

Family and friends will enjoy spending time together in the combination kitchen and great room that fills the rear. Windows take up most of the back wall, so this space is naturally bright.

The kitchen spans one side wall and wraps around to fill half of the rear. Standing at the Evelyn’s kitchen sink, you have a clear view of the backyard, as well as the entire great room. There’s plenty of room here for a large table, handy for homework as well as meals.

The gas fireplace across the room creates a warm, comforting focal point, particularly appreciated on drab days and long, dark nights. Convenient built-in shelves that fill one wall can be used for books or art display.

Associated Designs is the original source for the Evelyn 30-480. For more information or to view other designs, visit or call 800-634-0123.

Lupine is richly windowed throughout Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:06 +0000 http://ffimp-18276124 Small panes of glass fill generously sized window openings to give the Lupine an intriguing Georgian look. Gridded garage doors echo that theme, while raised brick trim rims the upper limits of the garage doors, underscores windows, and accents graceful arches on the brick veneer front facade.

This single-level plan offers plenty of room for an active family. It also can be easily adapted for wheelchair accessibility and aging in place.

Double doors in the vaulted foyer open into a vaulted dining room with a roomy step-in closet to one side. This space links with the vaulted living room further back. A 10-foot-high display shelf provides definition at the juncture of the two spaces. The living room can also be entered by proceeding straight ahead along the foyer, passing through an arched opening and under a similar display shelf there.

Banks of windows fill most of the rear wall in the living room and nook. An arched window crowns a wide trio of windows near a gas fireplace that fits neatly into one corner. A sunroom and den/home office fill out the opposite side of the expansive space, while the kitchen sits at its heart.

Standing by the kitchen sink or working at the peninsular counter, you have a panoramic view of the entire area, as well as the partially covered patio outside. The cook top is built into a central island, and a roomy walk-in pantry nestles in one corner. A large utility room with a toilet is nearby, along with a door to the three-car garage.

Bedrooms fill the Lupine’s right wing. The owners’ suite boasts two large walk-in closets, a posh bathroom, and direct patio access. Secondary bedrooms share a two-section bathroom.

Associated Designs is the original source for the Lupine 30-747. For more information or to view other designs, visit or call 800-634-0123.

New Ag Voices of the Future program offers students education on ag policy Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:05 +0000 http://ffimp-18275682 American Soybean Association

ST. LOUIS – Eight college students from five states have completed the inaugural Ag Voices of the Future program hosted in Washington, D.C. The program, sponsored by Valent U.S.A. and the American Soybean Association (ASA), provides an opportunity for young people to improve their understanding of major policy issues that impact soybean farmers, the importance of advocacy, and careers that can shape agricultural policy. The class was held July 10-13, in conjunction with the ASA Board Meeting and Soy Issues Forum in Washington, D.C.

An application process for the program was initiated in the spring, and the following students were selected to participate in this year’s program:

• Corbin Bell, Missouri

• Kelsey Cassebaum, Alabama

• Mason Gordon, Indiana

• Evan Jackson, Kentucky

• Will Nalley, Kentucky

• William Raftis, Illinois

• Kelsey Smith, Illinois

• Abigail Steinkamp, Indiana

“More and more, regulations that impact the ag industry are being directed by legislative and regulatory leadership many generations removed from the farm,” said Jeffrey Smith, industry affairs manager for Valent. “We believe the best way to ensure sound regulation is to encourage more young leaders with a practical understanding of ag production to consider careers based in Washington, D.C. Valent appreciates the opportunity to partner with ASA to identify, develop and direct these future leaders to have a positive impact on the issues facing soybean farmers and the crop protection industry.”

The new Ag Voices of the Future program is designed to give young people, with a connection to the farm, an education on major policy issues and advocacy, and encourage these future leaders to consider careers within agriculture associations and industry, as well as government regulatory and legislative positions.

“It’s important that young people have an understanding of the important policy issues that directly impact the productivity and economic well-being of our farms and the soybean industry,” said ASA President Ron Moore, a farmer from Roseville, Ill. “ASA appreciates Valent’s support of this valuable program that helps to cultivate future voices for agriculture in Washington.”

The three-and-a-half day program was packed with activities and valuable networking opportunities including the chance to hear from ASA and Valent’s Washington representatives and a Senate Ag Committee staff member about their current positions and past career experience. The group also attended an ASA policy issues briefing, Capitol Hill visits with farmer-leaders, a visit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a presentation from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representative, and a meeting at CropLife America’s office for additional education on talking with consumers about modern agriculture.

For more information on the Ag Voices of the Future program, visit the “Learn” section of the ASA website.

Help for grassland drought planning Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:04 +0000 http://ffimp-18275594 Natural Resources Conservation Service

Huron, S.D. – With the drought hitting much of South Dakota hard this summer, having a plan in place will help producers feel better while making management decisions.

Mitch Faulkner, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) rangeland management specialist out of Belle Fourche, S.D., said producers should think about the types of management actions they should implement when they start experiencing drought conditions.

“It could be any host of different options to take some pressure off of parched grazing lands,” Faulkner said. Faulkner said producers have some options to consider with their livestock. “Actions taken now will positively or negatively affect the recovery of grazing lands when the drought subsides.”

• Yearlings: He said producers who have their own yearlings or usually receive yearlings could let those go first or communicate with the owner to not receive the cattle in the first place.

• Culling: Producers can start heavier culling of animals from the herd than in normal years. Generally, the first to go could be older cows and less productive animals.

• Early weaning: Faulkner noted that as calves get older, their pasture requirements go up. “Early weaning is a strategy to take some pressure off pastures,” he said.

The next thing producers should consider is alternative feeds or forage. Faulkner noted that many producers keep hay around for feed in case of drought. “That’s one thing we can look at to extend the grazing season. In some cases, they can feed hay longer to delay turnout onto some other pastures. When feeding during the grazing season, it is best not to feed out on those pastures,” he said.

Another forage option might include haying small grains, although producers should read the label to be aware of chemical residues. Faulkner also encouraged planting some summer annual forages like millet or sudangrass. While it may be risky to put money into cover crop seed, any growth that covers the soil is a great investment to protect against erosion. It might be more economical for a producer to graze other drought-stressed crops instead of harvesting. Also, returning livestock to cropland will improve soil health.

Producers should also consider a conservative stocking rate in their overall management plan. “A conservative stocking rate is an easier way to be able to cope with drought without the heavier culling or having to get rid of livestock at the same level in pastures that are fully used every year, even on the good years,” he said.

A grazing management plan that incorporates livestock movements to change timing of use in pastures every year, ensures proper plant recovery periods before pastures are grazed, and results in proper levels of utilization will improve plant vigor and grassland health. Good grazing management up front will help mitigate the effects of drought when it occurs and will help lands to recover more quickly when drought subsides.

When to start implementing action steps

Faulkner explains that producers know they are starting to get into trouble when the months of April, May and June are dry. That is when cool-season grasses should be growing.

By early July, producers know what they will have for peak forage production. “That’s the point livestock producers know what action needs to be taken and what level of drought management should be implemented,” he said.

Many grazing specialists suggest leaving about 1,000 pounds of residual cover on pasture, or about 4-5 inches of grass stubble to protect the soil surface from erosion. Its also valuable leave that stubble to catch snow in the winter and protect against water erosion in the spring.

Faulkner said having a drought plan in place is important to help producers make decisions. “Things may not happen the same way every year. Every year is different–with Nature’s timing, labor, financially, economically with cattle markets—it’s just different every year and these variables make the process of making management decisions challenging,” Faulkner said. “Decisions during drought will never be easy. In a drought plan, you have taken time to have those options thought through and a more solid path to follow.”

Farmers and ranchers can contact the NRCS for free help to discuss options that consider the health and long term productivity of the grassland resource and considerations for other management decisions involved for dealing with drought.

Protect drought damaged crop fields with cover crops Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:16:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18275588 Natural Resources Conservation Service

Huron, S.D. – South Dakota agricultural producers in the trenches of a difficult drought may next be facing some issues with soil erosion.

Jason Miller, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation agronomist serving central South Dakota, said there’s still time for producers to get some cover crops to grow in their fields severely damaged by drought. And, he noted that may be hard to do if the ground is too dry.

“Each operation’s going to be different of how they handle risk,” Miller said. “Some operations are willing to spend the additional money to put seeds in the dry soil on the hope they get moisture. It’s surprising how much cover crops produce, even with limited summer moisture.”

He said a number of producers in central South Dakota are haying their small grain crops. Many are planning to go back to plant something to provide some ground cover. As they consider that, Miller noted that producers need to be aware of the herbicides they applied earlier in the year on that field. Specific herbicides may not allow for choosing a wide variety of species in a mix of cover crops. Warm-season grasses, like millet or sorghum-sudangrass, might be options to handle some of the herbicide residuals. “Producers need to be careful with residuals because of some of the herbicides designed for wheat,” explained Miller.

“Producers considering grazing should check the label because the herbicide residual may not be suitable for grazing,” Miller said. “Just be careful with those details.” Miller encourages producers to talk with their agronomist or the person who applied the chemical before planting anything into hayed small grains.

Miller said producers can put in a cover crop simply to keep erosion down until the next planting year. “For cover purposes, some people are planting a cover crop seed mixture for protection against wind erosion this fall and winter, or water erosion next spring,” he said. Besides drought conditions, some producers in central South Dakota were also hit with a frost at the end of June. Miller said low areas in some corn fields were damaged which may result in delayed maturity. “We have a number of farmers who have been thrown a curveball in addition to the drought,” Miller said.

Miller recommends operators plant the covers anytime now through mid-August. “We have time yet to get rain that will kick start the cover crops.” Farmers and ranchers can contact the NRCS for free help as they consider options for use of cover crops for their fields and for controlling erosion now and in the coming year.

There’s time yet for cover crops to help feed livestock Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:46:07 +0000 http://ffimp-18275566 Natural Resources Conservation Service

Huron, S.D. – Livestock producers looking for alternative feed options during North and South Dakota’s ongoing drought might want to consider planting cover crops. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regional soil health specialist for North and South Dakota Stan Boltz said producers have a multitude of cover crops species to choose from, depending on what their goals are.

“If producers are more interested in grazing this fall or winter, it’s probably better to go with cool-season species like rye and oats and some of the brassicas. If the goal is to have forage in the summer, they’re probably better off with warm-season species like milo and sorghum and some of the warm-season broadleaf cover crops,” he said.

Boltz encourages producers to know their target goals and objectives. He pointed out that having a diverse mix of cover crops will often do better in drought conditions than a typical annual mono crop producers put in. Keeping a living root growing in the soil is important. Getting cover crops in this year would provide some benefits for crop producers, such as wind erosion control and providing a food source to keep the soil biology sustained. Nothing growing in the field is detrimental to the soil microorganism populations.

Producers can contact their local NRCS office for help with selecting cover crops specifically for grazing. The NRCS also has a cover crop seeding tool and a guide for selecting different cover crops mixtures. Before deciding to plant cover crops, Boltz suggests producers talk to their crop insurance agent first to make sure everything’s ‘OK’ first. Another major consideration is potential herbicide carryover from the main crop. After that, producers can basically plant cover crops whenever works.

“In a normal year, covers can be planted basically at any time up until probably the first of October. Although, at that point at the end of our growing season, you probably wouldn’t get as much benefit out of them,” he said. “Of course if the soil’s dry, you’re taking a risk. In a drought situation, a diverse mix of cover crops is going to more likely produce some production for grazing. It is surprising how much cover crops produce, even with limited summer moisture.” If producers are considering covers this drought year, Boltz recommends planting now through early to mid-August. “We have time yet in the next three weeks to month to get something growing and hopefully catch a rain.”

As far as maturity goes on those cover crops, Boltz said producers want them to get to a certain production but not too long where plants start seeding out. However, in drought conditions, they may only get to be 6 inches tall. He noted they would not be losing anything by grazing it.

Boltz cautions grazing cows on cover crops from extremely dry pasture. “There’s some cautions if you have cattle right now on pasture and it’s very dry. When you go to a cover crop situation, typically cover crops are going to be a lot greener, more succulent and higher in protein. When you make the transition, you want to feed the cows right before you move, make sure they’re good and full. Because if they’re really hungry when you move to a different forage, they’ll eat too much and that can mess them up for a few days and set them back,” Boltz said.

Every operation and their resources are different. Farmers and ranchers can contact the NRCS for free help to discuss options that consider the health and long term productivity of their resources and considerations for other management decisions involved for dealing with drought.

Pork Checkoff announces #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:46:05 +0000 http://ffimp-18275322 National Pork Board

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 college students to represent the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team this year. Candidates were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills. The team will be active from July until December.

“Social media is ingrained in young people’s lives,” said Claire Masker, public relations director for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s easy for them to share their thoughts about an industry that they are proud to be a part of through the various social media channels available to them.”

#RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team

• Tori Abner, Texas A&M University, Howe, Texas.

• Hannah Rehder, North Dakota State University, Moorhead, Minnesota.

• Brooke Sieren, Iowa State University, Keota, Iowa.

• Edan Lambert, Iowa State University, Orange City, Iowa.

• Katelyn Lowery, North Carolina State University, Clayton, North Carolina.

• Taylor Homann, University of Minnesota, Pipestone, Minnesota.

• Amy Lund, Iowa State University, Polk City, Iowa.

• Kristin Liepold, University of Minnesota, Okabena, Minnesota.

• Hunter Everett, North Carolina State University, Mebane, North Carolina.

• Jenna Chance, Kansas State University, Lebanon, Indiana.

• Megan Anderson, The Pennsylvania State University, Schellsburg, Pennsylvania.

• Julia Hay, Texas A&M University, Somerset, Pennsylvania.

Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and no one knows the answers better than pork producers. The Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program is helping real farmers share real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming. The hashtag (#) before Real Pig Farming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations.

“I am excited to have this opportunity to share my Real Pig Farming story with consumers searching for answers about where their pork comes from,” said Edan Lambert, one of the newly selected members of the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces and a student at Iowa State University.

“The social forces team will be encouraged to use #RealPigFarming as advocates for the pork industry,” Masker said. “Through social forces, the students will be able to improve their communications skills and expand their professional network within the industry.”

Secretary Perdue announces new leadership for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:46:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18275138 U.S. Department of Agriculture

Washington, D.C. – On July 20, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue named three individuals to take on leadership roles within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Brandon Lipps will serve as the administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as acting deputy under secretary of FNCS until the Senate confirms a permanent presidentially-nominated appointee. In addition, Maggie Lyons will serve as chief of staff and senior advisor to the under secretary, while Kailee Tkacz will serve as policy advisor. Following the staffing announcements, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:

“The health and nutrition programs administered by USDA play a tremendous role in the Administration’s efforts to improve education and job readiness. I have no doubt that Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee will help further our mission of feeding the world and making decisions in our nutrition programs that are science-based and data-driven. I welcome Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee to the USDA family and I thank them for their desire to serve this nation.”

Brandon Lipps

Most recently, Brandon Lipps worked for the Texas Tech University System as the chief of staff and director of federal affairs in the office of Chancellor Robert Duncan. In this role, Lipps was the leading force in developing policy initiatives and strategic priorities for the Chancellor. Prior to joining the Texas Tech University System, he served as counsel and senior professional staff to the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. While there, he led the nutrition policy team in developing the first reforms to, and fiscal savings from, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since the welfare reforms of 1996. Lipps also served as Chancellor Duncan’s consultant, legislative aide, and rural district director during his time as a Texas State Senator. Lipps is also a former associate at the Lubbock law firm of Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam. He hails from Woodson, Texas and graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. Lipps earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.

Maggie Lyons

Before joining the USDA, Maggie Lyons was the senior government relations director for the National Grocers Association (NGA) where she coordinated on all issues such as the SNAP and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs at the retailer level, including assisting member stores with licensing issues and questions regarding those transactions. Prior to the NGA, Maggie worked on Capitol Hill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Maggie grew up in Wilson, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor of arts in corporate communications from Elon University.

Kailee Tkacz

Before coming to USDA, Kailee Tkacz served as the director of food policy for the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), leading strategic food and nutrition efforts at the international, federal, state, and local levels. Prior to her time at CRA, Tkacz was Director of Government Affairs for the Snack Food Association and also a government affairs manager for the National Grocers Association. Her work experience has provided her with extensive knowledge of the food industry supply chain from farm to folk. Tkacz grew up in upstate New York and has a bachelor of arts degree in political science, with a concentration in American politics and public policy, and a minor in history from the University at Buffalo.

The rise and fall of designer Warren McArther Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:36:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18274561 BY TERRY AND KIM KOVEL
Kovels’ Antiques and Collecting

Sometimes a designer becomes very popular with a new design, sells his products, becomes wealthy, and then his designs become commonplace and he eventually goes bankrupt. That is the sad story of Warren McArthur, a talented designer of the 1930s who was among the first to make aluminum furniture. McArthur (1885-1961) was born in Chicago and grew up in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He went to Cornell to study mechanical engineering, and by 1914, he had filed for 10 patents for lamp designs. He moved to Phoenix and, with his brother, owned car dealerships, a radio station and built the Arizona Biltmore. He also patented a useful adapter for a car radiator. All were successful. In 1929, he moved to Los Angeles and started a metal furniture business. He improved the manufacturing process with his inventions, including an aluminum that didn’t tarnish and a way to permanently color the metal. The brightly colored metal furniture was popular in Hollywood, and was featured in movie theaters and stars’ homes. During the Depression in the 1930s, McArthur moved to New York City, and he moved to Connecticut two years later. His company made airplane seats during World War II, but went bankrupt in 1948. McArthur died in 1961.

Q I have a 22-piece chocolate set in excellent condition. It’s marked with an “R,” “Bavaria, Germany” and “warranted 18 carat gold.” Each plate has a 1-inch border of gold, the cups are gold and the pitcher with lid is gold. Does the gold trim make it very valuable?

A The gold trim does not mean it’s very valuable. The words “18 carat gold” indicate the alloy used for the gold trim is 75 percent gold, but there is very little gold used on the porcelain. A chocolate set should have a pot, creamer, sugar, six small plates, and six cups and saucers. It would sell for less than $50.

Q I have a large bowl marked “Z. S. & Co.” with a wiggly line underneath and the word “Bavaria” under the line. The bowl is decorated with roses and has a scalloped rim. If my pieces are worth anything, I won’t turn it into a bird bath.

A This mark was used after 1880 by Zeh, Scherzer & Co., a porcelain factory located in Rehau, Bavaria, Germany. The company became part of Allerthal A.G., an investment company, in 1991 and porcelain production stopped in 1992. Porcelain is too fragile to be a bird bath. If the patterns is attractive, your bowl might sell well at an antiques shop. A bowl big enough for a bird bath might bring $50-$75.

Q Is an empty Chicken Cock Bourbon whiskey bottle of any value? It has a red metal screw lid, front and back labels, and an Indiana tax label. The bottle is embossed with chickens and the name. Its condition is good.

A Chicken Cock Whiskey was originally distilled in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky. It became a popular brand in the late 1800s. During prohibition, Chicken Cock had to move its production to Canada. It was smuggled into the U.S. inside tin cans that were opened with a key. Chicken Cock was a popular whiskey in Prohibition-era speakeasies like the Cotton Club in New York City. Jazz great Duke Ellington wrote about Chicken Cock in his memoirs, referring to it as the “brand that was served in a tin can.” After Prohibition, the brand was trademarked by American Medicinal Spirits Company, but in the 1950s, a fire in the distillery meant the end of production. A few years ago, the brand was revived, and Chicken Cock blended whiskies are now being made in Charleston, S.C., and sold in metal cans. Your Chicken Cock pint flask is worth about $20.

Q I have heard that some antiques and vintage items are dangerous to own. Is this true? I am afraid to use my orange Fiesta dishes because friends say they were made with uranium and are radioactive.

A Yes, some antique medicines, cosmetics and other objects can be dangerous or even fatal. Most vintage or antique things you buy at shops or shows have been cleaned or checked for dangerous things. Some are mercury (barometers), flammable materials (stove polish that explodes when heated), arsenic (cleanser for complexion), opium (medicine to relieve pain), morphine (to sooth teething babies), alcohol (a high percentage in bitters, medicines, etc.) and, of course, anything in a bumpy poison bottle or a bottle labeled poison. Uranium was used in the clay or glaze of some items before the strict food and drug laws were passed in the U.S., but some countries still use glazes that are not safe. Your orange dishes are safe to use. If you find forgotten drugstore stock, clean it carefully in a well-ventilated area. Empty all medicine bottles; children may try to drink something.

Tip: Some types of fumes can damage paper. Don’t store your collection near the kitchen, garage, barbecue pit or freshly painted areas.

By sending a letter with a question, you give full permission for use in any Kovel forum. For return of a photograph, include a stamped envelope. Write to Kovel, Farm Forum, King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St., 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet: He could not resist Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:26:03 +0000 http://ffimp-18274276 By Vern Parker
Motor Matters

The restored 1936 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet seemed to call out to Keith Randall at an antique automobile auction he was attending in Pennsylvania.

Even though Randall had no intention of bidding on the car, he could not resist the appeal of the Cordoba Tan Ford with the Poppy Red pinstripes. Consequently Randall became the new owner of the car in October 2015.

Some of the history that came with the car indicated that it was purchased as a basket case in Miami back in 1988. A shop in Homasassa, Fla., performed a frame-off restoration on the Ford over the next four years. Upon completion, the owner took the like-new car on the “show circuit.” “He chose to show the car rather than drive it,” Randall says.

In 2001, after winning several prestigious awards in Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, South Carolina, Alabama, and Iowa the car was donated to the AACA museum in Hershey, Pa. Randall was told that one of the cars would be sold off when additional storage space was needed at the museum.

“The [rebuilt-engine] odometer showed 190 miles when I bought the car at the auction,” Randall says.

“As the new owner of the show car I spent the next year going over the car and refreshing, adjusting, and making it road worthy for touring,” Randall reports.

Ford made a number of modifications and improvements to differentiate the 1936 models from the previous-year models. The spare tire at the rear of the car was encased in a lockable metal shroud on the 1936 car. Wire wheels with spokes also became a thing of the past that year. Exposed horns suspended beneath the headlights on 1935-model-year Fords were repositioned on 1936 models, hidden under the front fenders.

Two small, round, step plates are located at the right rear for easy access to the rumble seat. The taillight stanchions are multi functional: The right one serves as one of the steps to the rumble seat while the left one holds the rear license plate, the license plate light, and the gasoline cap that leads to the 14 gallon tank.

Inside the cabriolet, only the driver’s door has an armrest. The driver steers the cabriolet with a banjo-style steering wheel. Since Randall’s car is a deluxe model it has a dashboard with a 100-mph speedometer, four-digit trip mileage recorder, ammeter, water temperature indicator, electric fuel and oil gauges, cigar lighter, ashtray, and glove compartment. A cowl ventilator draws in fresh air.

Beneath the hood is a flathead V-8 engine with the correct 21-stud aluminum heads. The trusty 221-cubic-inch engine develops 85 horsepower to propel the 2,661-pound car on its 112-inch wheelbase. Bringing the car to a halt is a task left to the mechanical brakes. Gooseneck mirrors — one on each side of the car — help when negotiating traffic on multi-lane roads.

Randall points out the 6.00×16-inch tires feature white sidewalls on both sides of the tires. They don’t improve the ride but they certainly add to the appearance.

For your car to become the subject of the Classic Classics column, e-mail us your .jpeg image, plus brief details and phone number. Type “Classic Classics” in subject box and send to Or, send a photo (frontal 3/4 view) plus brief details and phone number to Vern Parker, 2221 Abbotsford Drive, Vienna, VA 22181.

Indian Roadmaster: Classic heavy bagger Thu, 20 Jul 2017 21:26:02 +0000 http://ffimp-18274216 BY ARV VOSS
Motor Matters

Indian’s parent company, Polaris — having discontinued the production of its Victory motorcycle line — is now focusing on the new and significantly improved tribe of Indian motorcycles.

Several Indian models are available. My tester is the Indian Roadmaster — a beast of a bike, tipping the scales at nearly 944 pounds. The price tag is also on the hefty side, ringing up at $30,699. It would be proper to compare the Roadmaster with a classic luxury sedan that you sit on rather than in, and that’s loaded with comfort and convenience features. It’s possible to download new software on one’s personal computer or on the motorcycle itself, through the USB cable located in the storage area above the display screen.

Power for the Indian Roadmaster comes from an 1811cc Thunder Stroke OHV, pushrod air-cooled V-Twin motor with electronic 54mm bore closed-loop fuel injection. The exhaust is a split-dual arrangement with crossover. The Thunder Stroke makes 76.4 horses at 4,510 rpm, while also developing 110.2 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. Motive force is metered through a six-speed sequential manual gearbox and primary gear drive and wet multiplate clutch.

Fire it up and relish the thunderous rumble of the exhaust, which rivals, if not exceeds, the pleasing note of other big V-Twin models, delivering an ideal blend of sound and power that moves this iron horse effortlessly down the road with ease. Fifth gear makes for a satisfying freeway speed in the 3,000-rpm range, and there’s still sixth gear and additional unused amount of throttle to go.

At first glance, the Roadmaster’s massive size is somewhat intimidating as it is humongous. But despite its mass, once off its side stand and moving, the big Indian rolls down the road nicely balanced and maneuvers easily. On the other hand, slow-speed maneuvering is another story, and requires the rider’s full attention — trust me, you don’t want to lay this comely beast down unless you have help on hand to right it. A reverse gear would be a giant plus because backing up a bike the size of the Roadmaster is a real challenge, especially if you have to tiptoe. The Roadmaster would also benefit from a heel/toe rocker shift lever (optionally available, but not standard).

The Indian Roadmaster is a fully loaded Bagger with features to enhance its riding comfort and convenience. Gauges are clustered in the fairing and a 7-inch touchscreen displays operational information.

The Roadmaster is a two-wheeled dream machine for long hauls, with plenty of storage; the rear top trunk will easily accommodate two full-face helmets and more, and the hard saddle bags provide ample space for even more travel gear totaling 37.6 gallons of stowage.

The tribal leader rides on twin 46mm telescopic non-adjustable front forks with 4.7 inches of travel. Aft is a twin-sided swing arm with spring-preloaded air-adjustable shocks and 4.5 inches of travel.

Rolling stock is a Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B-16×3.5-inch 73H tire up front, and a Dunlop Elite 3 Multi-Compound 180/60-R16x5-inch 80H tire in the rear. Slowing and bringing the big Indian bagger to a halt are 300mm dual hydraulic discs in front with a floating rotor and four-piston caliper. Aft is a single hydraulic disc.

My test 2017 Indian Roadmaster wore a beautiful two-tone paint scheme — Willow Green over Ivory Cream with Gold striping, which set off the bike’s iconic The seats and split tank cover were done in diamond-quilted and embossed light tan premium leather.

Riding the 2017 Indian Roadmaster is a delight once you get past the size intimidation factor. It serves up a most comfortable riding position and keeps the rider warm and dry with the batwing front fairing, power windshield, and removable lower fairings with manual damper doors. Passenger floorboards are adjustable to accommodate various-sized two-up riding partners.

Power and acceleration are both smooth and plentiful, and balance and control at speed are not an issue. For that matter, neither is tight parking lot maneuvering with practice and familiarity. The twin fuel filler caps’ positioning necessitates paying attention and taking care to avoid spillage when refueling. The left cap is only ornamental and is not to be removed, while the functional cap is non-locking.

Ride and handling characteristics are easily managed and pleasing — the Roadmaster is not a sport bike, but it’s not a slug either — just don’t plan on scraping the boards. Also, expect warm thighs from the big V-Twin’s rear cylinder if stuck in traffic — removing the lower fairings will help to alleviate this problem, or just split lanes and go faster if you feel “brave” or like a chief who’s Master of the Road (hence Roadmaster).

Indian Roadmaster is a stellar, nostalgically styled heavy cruiser with the benefit of modern technology and features, and one can’t help but revel in its highly crafted fit and finish. It’s not inexpensive, but you definitely get what you pay for. It’s a knockout visually, even if you’re not a fan and it attracts admiring glances on the road or parked.