The Roundup -

Sidney MSU, ARS Team Up for Dryland Field Day July 1


Montana State University’s Eastern Ag Research Center (EARC) and the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab (NPARL) are teaming up for a joint Dryland Research Field Day set for Tuesday morning, July 1st near Sidney.

“We share adjoining research space and already work together on a number of projects, so it only made sense to combine our dryland field day efforts, too,” NPARL Research Leader John Gaskin said, in announcing the joint venture.

“We both host other Field Days – ARS at Froid in June and our annual event at EARC in July – and that will continue,” Joyce Eckhoff, EARC Professor of Agronomy, said. “But this new joint effort will allow local producers to visit a number of our dryland research plots that haven’t been showcased in quite a while, as well as take in additional work by ARS.”

The combined half-day event begins at nine am and will feature visits to adjoining EARC and NPARL research plots located about 4 miles north of Sidney on the Culbertson highway. EARC topics for discussion include management of Ascochyta blight in chickpea; conventional and chemical free production of spring wheat and safflower, tillage system impacts on long-term, continuous spring wheat production, and a look at safflower production in the MonDak area. ARS topics include a diversified cover crop mix demonstration project (11 strips), a jet fuel from cool-season oilseeds study; wheat and pea production following oilseed crops; and a malting barley study looking at management options to improve soil quality, mitigate greenhouse gases and maintain yields for MonDak area producers . Both EARC and ARS personnel will also discuss current and past orange wheat blossom midge monitoring efforts in Montana.

In addition to ARS and EARC, the Field Day is also being sponsored by the Richland County Extension Office, which is providing a free lunch for all attendees. Pesticide points are pending and more details on the day’s activities will be available soon.


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