From energy companies making major moves in the Williston Basin to healthy soil sucking CO2 from the sky; here is your KX Ag and Energy Insight.

A Canadian energy company is making major moves in the Williston Basin. Enerplus Corp announced last week they are buying $312 million dollars of Hess Corp assets in North Dakota. They have been active in the Williston Basin for a decade. The 79 thousand acres they announced they are buying from Hess grows their total acreage to 294 thousand acres in North Dakota. Hess was not planning to drill on that acreage before 2026, so the sale strengthens Hess’s cash and liquidity position. Enerplus’s COO Wade Hutchings says the deal mirrors a trend not only seen in the Willison Basin but across the entire oil and gas industry. some companies are seeking to exit to get cash whereas others are seeking to consolidate.

“It’s hard to predict future acquisition activity but there are several companies that are actually seeking to market their assets today, so I would assume and anticipate there will be other acquisitions that will be announced, this week,” explained Hutchings.

Enerplus says they will immediately allocate capital on the new acreage they’ve acquired and they will now be in a position to double their production in the Williston Basing. Enerplus says MHA Nation is a key partner and they are dedicated to giving back to the community.

Dakota Resource Council is raising awareness on the importance of healthy soil restoration for a myriad of issues facing North Dakota.

Local food movement, bee populations, food security, climate solutions, urban gardening, improved farm and beef production, dangerous algae blooms, healthy water, hunting, and flood and drought issues. All these things have one thing in common and that is healthy soil.

DRC Member Dr. Shelley Lenz says North Dakota is continuing to lose an average of 3 to 5 tons of healthy soil per acre annually. Lenz says there needs to be greater awareness and action put towards soil restoration not only as a way to improve the health and value of the land but as a way for the land to naturally suck C02 out of the atmosphere – known as soil carbon sequestration.

“Soil health practices can increase soil carbon storage by one to three tons per acre per year. That’s really important as we’re looking for natural climate solutions. It’s right here in our grasslands and in our farming in North Dakota,” explained Lenz.

According to the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University in Ames — soil carbon sequestration is a process in which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil carbon pool.

A new research paper released by the academic journal Global Change Biology finds U.S. beef production the most sustainable cattle production system in the world. The global demand for beef is rapidly increasing, raising concerns about climate change impacts.

The study confirms that America’s cattle producers have reduced the carbon footprint of the industry by 40 percent while also producing 66 percent more beef since the 1960s. North Dakota Farm Bureau supports the study’s assessment as U.S. cattle ranchers have long been true conservationists of the land while also providing high-quality protein to American families.

“I think what’s important for consumers to understand is that the cow is the most sustainable, environmentally friendly, animal God ever created. A cow can take grass that we as humans cannot eat, and make something out of it, she can convert that into beef which is really tasty and good healthy protein for us,” explained NDFB Director of Public Policy Pete Hanebutt.

Data shows U.S. cattle ranching safeguards open wild spaces from wildfires as well as conserves wildlife ecosystems.

Extremely dry conditions continuing to spread across North Dakota have farmers in rough shape as seeding season begins.

North Dakota Farmers Union Vice President Bob Kuylen is a family farmer near South Heart, North Dakota. During last week’s NDFU board meeting, Kuylen said many farmers are beginning to seed in order to qualify for their crop insurance. However, they are waiting to add high-cost inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides until there are more promising signs of rain.

“You gotta put your crop in for crop insurance. I imagine a lot of people are thinking about cutting back on their fertilizer and putting in only what you have to start your seeing. And, if we do get some rain then you go top dress it and put fertilizer on that way, but if you put it in the ground and seed it, it’s going to be in the ground for next year, but you just don’t want to put those high inputs into the ground and not get anything back from them,” explained Kuylen.

NDFU tells KX the deadline for seeding for crop insurance varies crop by crop as well as in different parts of the state.