Friday, March 18, 2011

No Signs of Spring Yet in Northern North Dakota

So I was in Minot, ND for the Ag PhD Agronomy Workshop on Tuesday (which was excellent) and then up to Mohall, ND for a grower meeting for the LIQUID fertilizer dealer there. It definately was still winter. Even though it is officially winter on the calendar until Sunday, it really looked like winter here. I think I saw a crew already filming Christmas commercials for next December. I had never been to Mohall or this far North in ND before, and it is flat and open, but has good farm ground. The area mostly grows spring wheat, canola, sunflowers, and surprisingly, soybeans are making an impact. There are some Group double 0 varieties that are doing well. This is a little too far North for corn, although some have tried it and I understand that there are some new 73 day hybrids out now that may make an appearance. One thing you will see around here are Minuteman III missle silos. They are managed out of Minot Air Force Base to the south. I understand that there are 150 of these in this part of North Dakota.
Here is where the lucky airmen are that would activate the missles if necessary. Didn't see any go off that day. I understand that each control center like this oversees 10 silos. These are staffed around the clock. Think of all the crossword puzzles you could do!
Like many states, another growing crop in North Dakota are wind turbines. These are somewhere north of Bismarck.
I had to fly home yesterday from Bismarck. Here is an interesting display in the airport of flying pterodactyl bones.
And when I got back to Michigan yesterday in the early evening it was 67 degrees! What a heat wave. So now the only snow around is some patches in the shade or where it was piled off parking lots. It wasn't that warm today, but it's coming soon.