The Roundup -

Dryland Field Days Set For June 20 And 27 In Sidney And Froid


Farmers and ranchers wage a continuous battle with weeds in their crops and pastures, battles that are often compounded by the arrival of new weed species and the development of herbicide resistance in existing weeds. Knowing your enemy is a key component for combating resistance and preventing introduction of new weed species. Producers will have two opportunities to hone their identification skills at field days being conducted later this month in Sidney and Froid, along with learning about other dryland research underway in this area.

The first opportunity is Thursday, June 20, when the joint field day hosted by Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center (EARC) and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Northern Plains Ag Research Lab in Sidney is held. The second opportunity is a week later at the annual Froid Research Farm Field Day on Thursday afternoon, June 27.

Both events are free and open to the public!

Other details include:

Sidney ARS / EARC Field Day – Thursday, June 20

This joint federal and state Dryland Field Day begins at 9 a.m. (registration at 8:45 a.m.) at the Sidney ARS research farm and ends at 12:30 p.m. across the highway at the EARC dryland research farm, where a free lunch is being provided by the Richland County Extension Office. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Tour talks planned include the previously mentioned Weed ID talk looking at common herbicide resistant crop weeds in dryland agriculture as well as new weed arrivals, such as Palmar amaranth, identified in North Dakota this past year. Dr. John Gaskin, botanist with the Sidney ARS lab, will lead that discussion, which will also include notes on emerging biological controls for some herbicide resistant crop weeds. Another special feature for the day is an EARC study looking at winter and spring wheat cereal variety trials using drones to characterize performance. MSU winter wheat breeder Dr. Phil Bruckner, Dr. Gautam Pradham, Research Agronomist with the Williston Research and Extension Center, and Dr. Chengci Chen, Cropping Sytems Agronomist with EARC will lead that discussion as well as demonstrate the drone, weather permitting. Dr. Chen will also be discussing strategies to enhance pea Nitrogen fixation and improve protein content along with EARC Research Scientist Bill Franck.

Other topics and speakers for the day include a Fusarium study by EARC Plant Pathologist Frankie Crutcher, looking at disease incidence in pea as a result of scabby seed left on the field from the preceding wheat crop; a soil sampling demonstration by Roosevelt County Extension Agent Jeff Chilson for producers wanting to test for soil acidification in their no-till fields, and an overview of crop rotation and N rates on nitrous oxide emissions in a wheat-pea rotation by ARS Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju. The latter is looking at options to reduce greenhouse gases, while maintaining crop yield. Also speaking is Dr. John Hendrickson, a Rangeland Management Specialist from the Mandan, ND ARS laboratory, who will discuss joint research on improving native plant establishment in CRP acreage. Other talks include an update by ARS Ecologist Natalie West on a common garden study in Montana and Colorado looking to improve biocontrol of whitetop, a noxious weed.

The Sidney ARS research farm is located about 4 miles north of Sidney off MT Highway 16. Coming from Sidney, take a left on County Road 129 and a second left on County Road 346. The turn into the farm will be marked.

Pesticide points are pending.

Froid Research Farm Field Day – Thursday, June 27

The 2019 Froid Research Farm Field Day is Thursday afternoon, June 27, from 1-5 p.m., and again features a hands-on weed ID and biocontrol update presentation by Dr. Gaskin, but also includes two additional weed management speakers. First up is MSU Cropland Weed Extension Specialist Dr. Tim Seipel who will discuss new herbicide research and formulations, along with a discussion of herbicide carryover and how to avoid plant injury. Rounding out the "weed workshop" at Froid is Richland County Extension Agent Tim Fine who will conduct a sprayer calibration demonstration.

Also on tap for the day are a couple of handy demonstrations showing producers how they can test their soil for infiltration, compaction and acidification characteristics, the latter again led by Jeff Chilson. The compaction demonstration will be led by ARS Soil Physicist Jay Jabro, and includes a shallow soil pit showing underground impacts resulting from compacted soils. Dr. Jabro also heads up the infiltration demonstration.

Other features at this year's event include a talk on pulse crop diseases by Dr. Audrey Kalil, Plant Pathologist with the Williston Research Extension Center, and a presentation on pest and beneficial insects found in oilseed and cover crop forage rotations by Dr. Tatyana Rand, a Research Ecologist with Sidney ARS. Rounding out the day is a presentation by Sidney ARS Dryland Agronomist Brett Allen on cover crop yield and forage quality in a 2-year rotation study with durum.

The day concludes with a free steak dinner at 5 p.m. sponsored by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts. Other event sponsors include the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Extension offices, and the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney.

Please join us for an interesting hands-on program! The Froid Research Farm is located 8 miles north of Culbertson on MT Highway 16. Pesticide points for this event are pending.

For more information on both the Froid and Sidney tours, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or [email protected]


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