FARGO, N.D. – Putting this year’s program together for the Northern Ag Expo is the biggest challenge show manager Gary Knutson has ever faced. With challenging market conditions and adverse harvest weather this fall, Knutson has made many changes to the seminars and other parts of the program as he worked to keep the show’s content relevant to the current times.
The end result will produce what he calls a “three-pronged attack” on the situation facing growers this fall – harvesting the 2019 crop when possible; the various challenges growers will face next spring in getting the 2020 crop planted; and finally the resources and program assistance that will be made available to producers as they struggle through this stressful period.
The two-day Northern Ag Expo will be held at the FargoDome on Dec. 3-4, and will feature many insightful seminars and a trade show strictly focused on the farming industry.
“Attending this year’s Northern Ag Expo will be well worth your time. There will be a lot of questions answered at the seminars, but also on the trade show floor as attendees visit with the reps and individuals who are involved with the equipment and services having booth in the trade show,” Knutson said. “This will be a chance for some questions and answers to be explored during the show.”
Producers have already discovered that some of the answers to those questions are going to be simple, Knutson stressed. He used the placement of fertilizer as a prime example. In most years, much of the fertilizer work is completed in the fall after harvest is completed. But this year, fertilizer programs could very well become a concern, especially if there are unharvested crops going into next spring, which would then turn the fertilizer programs for those fields into a late spring or early summer task.
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That is just one of a host of issues that may have to be dealt with in a split manner. Others include: noxious weeds and prevented plant acres, just to name just a couple.
“Harvest for this year’s crop is probably going to spread into April, and spring work will probably extend into July,” Knutson said. “It’s a dilemma, but I think it is solvable – we have the equipment and the technology that enables us to do a lot of things that we weren’t able to do in the past.”
At press time the final touches on the seminar program were being put together, but Knutson was able to list a few of the highlights:
- Dr. Bill Wilson of the NDSU Ag Economics will discuss the latest trade issues and the possible ramifications to farmers.
- The marketing trio of Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension grain marketing specialist, Randy Martinson from Martinson Ag Risk Management and Chad Hart, grain marketing specialist from Iowa State University, will be back for the third year in a row to give their grain marketing insights.
- Jason Hanson, a crop consultant in the region, will be addressing the challenges facing farmers for the 2020 growing season.
- Bill Beam, the Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), will headline a seminar on assistance USDA can provide, according to Lindsey Abentroth, public affairs specialist for the North Dakota FSA office. Jeremy Davis, the regional coordinator for USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation office, will also be a part of the seminar, which will focus on ways USDA can help with the current challenges facing producers. Abentroth said they hope to bring a high ranking official from the Risk Management Agency into the seminar discussion as well.
A detailed list of all of the seminar topics as well as other aspects of the Northern Ag Expo will appear in the next issue of Farm & Ranch Guide.
Knutson urges growers to mark the dates of Dec. 3-4 on their calendar and attend the Northern Ag Expo in Fargo. It will be time well spent as farmers try to meet the challenges on many fronts that they are facing right now.