What’s New: Featured at the Oahe Farm and Ranch Show

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Farm Forum

Last week I attended the Oahe Farm and Ranch Show at the Oahe Speedway. While I’ve been involved in agriculture and have written many stories, farm shows always provide new ideas or twists on old ways of doing things. This is the third year for the show, meant to appeal to those in the center of the state.

The idea behind a farm show is to provide some speakers to draw people to the show plus provide vendors offering products that people will want to use and find a value. I’m going to share some of the information I got from vendors at the show in this column under “What’s New.”

At the show, where were some industry updates offered during AgriTalk’s morning broadcast with Mike Adams from the Oahe show.

One of the guests was Mark Weinheimer who lives just north and east of the location, in western Sully County. He has been farming since the early 1990s. Mark shared with Adams that he has started planting varieties of plants what will draw pollinators to his fields. He says he’s seeing insects that he hadn’t noticed before. He’s also noticed more activity of beneficial predators. The Extension Service and ARS have been very helpful in suggesting plants and then identifying beneficial critters.

“I want to establish a consistent food source for the beneficial predators,” Weinheimer said. “Otherwise, if they don’t have food, they will leave or perish.” He said he’s seeing a lot of pirate bugs in sunflowers and smaller predatory wasps. He’s noticed more lace wings, lady bugs and dragonflies. More moisture this year has probably influenced the number of bugs. He planted 24 different plants, including some grasses, with a goal of providing adequate food, just for the bugs.

Weinheimer said that he planted a 40-ft. wide section on two sides of the field. He believes he’ll continue the practice. Thanks to Mark for sharing his experience.

Next weekend is the state bee meeting in Aberdeen. I look forward to learning more about the health of pollinators in the state.

While the show in Pierre didn’t have as many vendors as Dakotafest or Big Iron, it had a nice mix of people, eager to share information. Some of the individuals I had contacted earlier to get information for the publication that we put together with program information. It was good to see so many people at the event. And I’ll share what I learned.

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