Volume 122, Number 13
Irrigation plan may help farmers and lower Devils Lake
BY RYAN BAKKEN Grand Forks Herald In much of the United States, irrigation is being used to assist crops that are battling drought. Conserving water and maximizing its use are the objectives.
Irrigation in the Devils Lake basin this summer also will enhance crops, but it also will do something that runs counter to the norm. Its second objective is to waste water.
Duane Anderson of Leeds is one of 10 farmers participating in the test project that will irrigate about 1,000 acres over five counties.
"We’ll put down water for what the crop needs, plus put down even more if the soil can handle it," he said. "It’s a completely different concept of irrigation than anywhere else."
The concept is different because the $1.4 million project will look at whether irrigation will not only help production, but also lower the level of Devils Lake. The water used to irrigate 1,000 acres will literally be a drop in the bucket for reducing the lake level, but it might lead to a wider test project. And that bigger test may lead to an irrigation plan that would help control a swollen lake that has claimed hundreds of homes, thousands of acres and millions of taxpayer dollars.
"This alone is not going to make the lake go down, but if you have excess water, you might as well use it as a plus," said Mike Parker, a Cando area farmer who will irrigate cabbage, squash and pumpkins.
The idea is to turn the water into an added-value product, by having agricultural land absorb the excess water in the upper basin. The irrigation water will come from small lakes that are part of the chain leading to Devils Lake.
A dream that began in 2001, the irrigation systems are now being constructed and should be pumping water by June 1.
We wonder what would have happened if this project had been in place for the last 10 years," said Mike Connor, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board.
Anderson has land near Lake Ibsen that he’s been unable to work for several years because of the excess precipitation. He’ll draw water from the lake to irrigate corn and soybeans.
"Sometimes, you have to call them irritation systems instead of irrigation systems because it’s something else that can go wrong," Anderson said. "But it should help me get a better income. If I can gain some more bushels, that will be great. And if we can get some of the water off, that will be great, too."
The 10 sites were chosen from applications from 36 farmers covering 9,000 acres. The sites were chosen to offer an assortment of soil types and crops, which also include alfalfa, potatoes and small grains. The experiment even includes soils that aren’t normally considered irrigable.
That variety will give soil and crop experts from NDSU a wide range of data about benefits and how much moisture can be used before the soil is damaged.
Data will be collected for three years. If the test results are positive at the end of 2008, the project will be expanded to 4,000 irrigated acres. If the numbers are still good, it will expand to 10,000 acres.
"At 10,000 acres, I think it will help the lake level," Connor said. "But I think it will do even more for the economy. Better crops and better income will create jobs."
NDSU figures show that irrigation will dramatically increase yields. The big question is whether the irrigation’s benefits would offset its costs.
The farmers aren’t paying for the irrigation in the test project, but they have to help in tracking the data.
"We’ll be putting water on during the growing season and after the crops are off," Connor said. "Next year, we’ll irrigate pre-season and during and after the growing season. We’ll be watching the economics of it, to see how much we can increase yield."
At the end of the three years, the farmers will have the option of purchasing the irrigation equipment. If there’s a dry spell, irrigation won’t be allowed.
The irrigation equipment costs $750,000 and the consulting fee with NDSU is $500,000. The North Dakota Water Commission is paying for most of the project, but almost $100,000 was raised in the Lake Region from government, civic and private groups.
"We’re trying to take the water nobody else wants and make money with it,"
Duane Anderson of Leeds stands in front of the pivot sprinkler that will irrigate his corn and soybeans with water that ordinarily would end up in Devils Lake. A diesel engine-powered generator a quarter mile away provides the electricity to move the sprinkler, which is large enough to irrigate a quarter section. The engine also provides the power to pump the water. A unique feature of the sprinkler is that the center sections have three-wheel drive to go through soft spots.
Presents US Flag
Dion Warner, left, who is stationed at the Minot Air Force Base upon his return from Iraq, visited the Auxiliary to the Robert Tovsrud VFW Post 757 of Harlow recently. He told of some of his experiences and thanked the Auxiliary for sending a goodies box which he shared with other service personnel. He is holding a US Flag which was presented to the Auxiliary.
Holding the citation which accompanied the flag is Auxiliary president Adeline Klein. The citation reads, "This is to certify that on 2 November,
2004 this American flag was flown over Forward Operating Base, Abu Shraib, Iraq near Baghdad. Proudly dedicated to Harlow VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post
757 by the 732nd Combat Engineer Squadron, supporting Task Force 134 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom II."
Knowledge Bowl contestants
Junior high contestants in the Knowledge Bowl are, left to right, back row, Cameron Leibfried, son of Albert and Carol Leibfried; Steven Hausmann, son of James and Karen Hausmann; and Daniel Luhman, son of Michael and Valerie Luhman. In the front row are Sadie Vallier, daughter of Doug and Carrie Vallier, and Abigail Brossart, daughter of Ronnie and Rita Brossart.
Senior high contestants are, left to right, back row, Patrick Dunlap, son of Jeff and Debbie Dunlap, and Bryce Zietz, son of Betty Anderson. In the front row are Krista Anderson, daughter of Greg and Karen Anderson; Laura Hausmann, daughter of James and Karen Hausmann; and Kendall Boyles, daughter of Gary and Cindy Hickman.
Maddock FFA has 75th anniversary
The Maddock A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter held its 75th anniversary banquet Saturday, April 2 at the Maddock School. Opening ceremonies were presented by chapter officers. Supt. Russ Miller gave the welcome. Michelle Olson presented the FFA Creed. Michelle was a gold award winner in the FFA Creed Contest at the District Leadership Conference. Heidi Simon gave the invocation. The meal was served by the Maddock FCCLA Chapter under the direction of their advisor, Terry Yri.
Greetings from the state FFA office were given by Rebecca Tokach, the NE Region FFA vice president. Star Chapter Greenhand was awarded to Isaac Engels by J.T. Rice. Star Chapter Farmer was presented to J.T. Rice by Brian Grondahl. Tammy Meyer, former Maddock FFA secretary and the North Dakota State FFA secretary, presented the Jim Meyer Memorial Diversified Production Award to Brian Grondahl. Dave Swanson presented the Phillip Bingham Memorial Scholarship to Jeff Wald.
The Honorary Chapter FFA Degree was presented to Russ Miller for his support of the Maddock ag department and the local FFA chapter. The DeKalb Award was presented by Scott Foss.
The Alumni President Award went to Brian Grondahl for his leadership and an outstanding supervised project over the past four years. The Prudential Spirit of Community Award was presented by David Wald, Prudential Financial representative, to Jeff Wald. The Miles Maddock Memorial Gavel Awards were presented by Rod Maddock to Brian Grondahl (2003-2004 chapter president) and Jeff Wald (2004-2005 chapter president).
Officer plaques were presented to Jeff Wald, president; Brian Grondahl, vice president; J.T. Rice, secretary; Cody Lunde, treasurer; Elisa Buehler, reporter; and Renae Slater, sentinel. Jeff, Brian, J.T. and Cody were presented leadership awards for having won two state FFA contests and receiving gold team awards in both food science and dairy foods categories at the National FFA Convention.
Aaron Walsh, SE Region FFA vice president, gave remarks on being a third generation state FFA officer. His grandfather, Bertram Berg, was a state FFA officer from the Maddock chapter in 1948, while his father, Dennis Walsh, was a state FFA officer from Rolette in 1975.
Closing ceremonies were presented by the Maddock FFA Officer Team.
Left to right are Erin Markestad, J.T. Rice, Heidi Simon, Jeff Wald, Elisa Buehler, Cody Lunde, Renae Slater and Brian Grondahl.
Leeds first graders enjoyed an afternoon of Hawaiian fun with Kaye and Vernis Nelsen. Students were given hula lessons, did the limbo, dug for sea shells, ate Hawaiian food, played games and won prizes. Left to right, front row: Richelle Darling, Chris Parker, Nikara Nelsen and Taylor Bisbee.
Second row: Devin Schwanke, Lane Ritterman and Joe Silliman. Third row:
Mathias Follman, Cameron O’Brien and Carley Baker. Back row: Kaye Nelsen, Tyler Blegen, Katelyn Nelsen and Vernis Nelsen.
Minnewaukan students take part in Regional Science Olympiad
Minnewaukan Junior High and High School students participated in Regional Science Olympiad in Bottineau March 13. Students from Minnewaukan placed third in both divisions. Students who received medals in Division C were Megan Langley and Rose Teigen, who took second in cell biology, receiving a silver medal; Carrie Hillebrand and Rose Teigen took second in forensics, receiving a silver medal; Aaron Tollefson and Ben Grann took third in tower building, receiving a bronze medal; Megan Langley and Sarah Friestad took first in designer genes, receiving a gold medal; Brandi Weed and Katie Clifton took first in forestry, receiving a gold medal; Aaron Longie, Mike Armentrout, Aaron Tollefson and Tyson HolyBull took first in mission possible, receiving a gold medal; and Ben Cline and Kenny Schmid took first in wright stuff, receiving a gold medal.
Students who received medals in Division B were Bobbi Grann and Alex Buckmier, who took third in process skills for life science, receiving a bronze medal; Beth Beecroft and Bobbi Grann took third in road scholar, receiving a bronze medal; Dallas Welch and Vince Fox took third in awesome aquifer, receiving a bronze medal; Beth Beecroft and Shantel Miller took second in forestry, receiving a silver medal; Beth Beecroft and Jacki Armentrout took first in dynamic planet, receiving a gold medal; Alyssa Erickson, Jordan Callahan and Katrece Thompson took first in mission possible, receiving a gold medal; Bobbi Grann and Shantel Miller took first in science of crime busters, receiving a gold medal; Katrece Thompson and Beth Beecroft took first in science of fitness, receiving a gold medal; and Dallas Welch and Gregor Schmid took first in storm the castle, receiving a gold medal.
All the students participated at the State Science Olympiad April 23 at the NDSU campus in Fargo.
Minnewaukan High School students are pictured. Left to right, back row, Kenny Schmid, Ben Cline, Aaron Tollefson, Aaron Longie and Mike Armentrout.
Middle row: Ben Grann, Megan Langley, Dawn Teigen, Carrie Hillebrand, Brandi Weed, Katie Clifton and Rose Teigen. Front row: Travis Myklebust, Tyson HolyBull and Sarah Friestad.
Minnewaukan Junior High School students are pictured. Left to right, back
row: Charmayne Thomas, Katrece Thompson, Jordan Callahan, Shantel Miller, Alyssa Erickson and Dallas Welch. Front row: Robin Green, Alex Buckmier, Bobbi Grann, Beth Beecroft and Gregor Schmid.