Many farmers probably want to forget last year. But, with less than a month before spring, it's time to start preparing for planting.
The Northern Plains Research Center will be hosting a conference to help producers get their fields ready.
Farming and Ranching for the Bottom Line; For the past five years, this conference has focused on the lessons learned from previous years to prepare for the next.
This year, participants are taking 3 angles after such a strange year for agriculture: Economic, Ecology, and Sociology.
Tuesday and Wednesday at Bismarck State College, farmers and industry leaders will discuss their options for 2020.
"There were a lot of things last year, but things are always changing from year to year. So thinking about how you set up your systems and handle your management in ways so you can deal with these unexpected events come along,” USDA Research Leader David Archer said.
Nutrition and labeling is amongst the hotter topics. As of this year, larger food companies have to follow new labeling laws.
Farmers are hoping linking the industry's priorities in health can lower economic uncertainty associated with 2019.
"Recognizing that we're in the business of producing food as agricultural producers, and understanding how that really links to what we do on the ground. How that links to human health and human well-being,” Archer said.
According to the USDA, 2020 is projected to be a financial improvement from the year before. Farm income is expected to increase $3.1 billion. However, crops from last year are still in the fields. Once they finally harvest and sell, profits could drop by 10% because a late harvest creates a worse crop.
Tuesday and Wednesday's conference is open and free to the public; and you can register in person.
However, if you're unable to make it, a livestream will be available at www.bismarckstate.edu/livestream