Dryland Field Day
July 3, 2019 | View PDF
Montana State University's Eastern Agricultural Research Center (EARC) and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Northern Plains Ag Research Lab in Sidney held a joint field day on June 20. The field day was held at Sidney ARS research farm located about 4 miles north of Sidney off MT Highway 16.
Tour talks included a 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, led the discussion, which also included notes on emerging biological controls for some herbicide resistant crop weeds. Another special feature for the day was 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 led the discussion as well as demonstrated. Dr. Chen discussed strategies to enhance pea Nitrogen fixation and improve protein content along with EARC Research Scientist Bill Franck.
Other topics and speakers for the day included 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 was Dr. John Hendrickson, a Rangeland Management Specialist from the Mandan, ND ARS laboratory, who discussed joint research on improving native plant establishment in CRP acreage. Other talks included 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.