The Roundup -

Agronomist Covers Various Topics


Dr. Brett Allen is looking forward to speaking at field day events in Froid and Sidney.

The field day programs held in Froid on June 23 and in Sidney on June 24 will feature several presentations by Dr. Brett Allen, agronomist at USDA-ARS in Sidney.

The Froid Research Farm Field Day is 1-5 p.m. June 23 eight miles north of Culbertson on Montana Highway 16. Registration starts at 12:45 p.m.

The Sidney ARS/MSU EARC Dryland Field Day is June 24 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Site is at the MSU-EARC farmsite located 4.4 miles north of Sidney off Highway 16.

The farm turnoff is on the right-hand side (east) across from the Hi Line Trucking building.

Allen's presentations in Froid and Sidney will deal with warm season legumes in a demonstration plot.

"Each year, we try to include demonstration plots that address a topic of interest that isn't necessarily included in our current research program," Allen explained.

He noted four warm season legumes are currently being showcased: faba bean, cowpea, mung bean and soybean.

"Producers will be able to see how these four grow and what they look like," Allen said. "They are definitely a different sight than crops typically seen in the MonDak."

He said faba bean performs better in this climate than mung bean. "Soybean has been doing all right," Allen added.

In Sidney, Allen will also spotlight a national oilseeds project that aims to provide hydrotreated renewable feedstocks for jetfuel. Allen said the U.S. Navy has been one of the primary promoters of the project.

ARS researchers in Sidney, Texas, Oregon, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado as well as the University of Idaho have been involved with the four-year project.

The study involves looking at cool-season oilseeds (six winter and 12 spring types) for their potential to produce reliable supplies of hydro-treated renewable jet fuel.

"We suffered significant hail damage in 2013 and 2015 precluding the collection of yield data," Allen said of the crops at the Sidney station. "We obtained fairly good results in 2014. Most other locations had three good years of data."

Allen noted different oilseeds fare well in one location but not in others, primarily due to differences in climate and soils. "Some do well in Sidney, but not in Texas and vice versa."

Allen's report will include seed yield, seed oil concentration, and oil yield of the various oilseeds.

Dr. Jay Jabro, soil physicist, will discuss the importance of understanding water use and water productivity for the study.

"It's been a very interesting project," Allen said.

Another presentation by Allen will discuss a longterm crop rotation study with diversified cereals, pulses, and oilseeds.

Allen said the study includes planting spring wheat, winter wheat or barley in one, two or four year rotations with pea and canola or camelina.

The idea is to determine the potential of alternative small grains such as winter wheat and two-row malt barley in spring wheat-based rotations.

"The overall goal is to diversify our spring wheat dominated rotations to improve yield, weed control and system productivity," Allen said.


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