2020 Froid Farm Tour To Be Moved Online, Sidney Tour Cancelled


As is true for so many similar events, the annual Froid Research Farm Field Day typically scheduled for late June has been converted from an on-the-ground event to a new virtual tour due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists and staff with the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney made the announcement Monday. In addition, the joint Sidney Dryland Field Day with Sidney ARS and Montana State University’s Eastern Ag Research Center (EARC), also held in June, has been cancelled for this year and will return as an every other year event in 2021, according to officials from both research facilities.

This year’s virtual tour of the Froid Farm will incorporate short presentations, brochures and/or fact sheets on ongoing ARS research at farm, owned by the Sheridan and Roosevelt Conservation Districts, as well as additional research at other ARS sites. Those include research at the Sidney ARS dryland farm, north of Sidney and irrigated research conducted on land provided thanks to EARC in Sidney and at Nesson Valley in North Dakota in conjunction with North Dakota State University’s Williston Research and Extension Center. Also included will be research information from Sidney ARS’ Pest Management Research Unit whose weed and insect pest studies are conducted across the MonDak and several western states.

“A virtual tour allows us to feature more varied research, which is good, but doesn’t allow producers to see that research in person, which is not so good,” Sidney Agricultural Systems Research Leader Bart Stevens noted, when announcing the change in plans. “It also doesn’t allow anyone to take part in the wonderful steak dinner normally sponsored by the districts at the end of the tour. However, we do hope to provide opportunities for producers to qualify for pesticide points via virtual live webinars on pertinent topics.”

The virtual research presentations will all be posted to the Internet on Thursday, June 25, the normally scheduled tour day. In addition to the research offerings, the virtual tour will also incorporate at least two, hour long, live webinars over the remainder of the month on weed identification and herbicide resistant weed management that will allow local producers to still collect pesticide points.

The live webinars are planned for successive Thursdays (except the week of July 4) to accommodate the busy summer growing season. Times and dates will be announced shortly as plans are finalized. Recordings of each session will also be posted to the web for those unable to participate in the live sessions. However, no pesticide points can be earned for watching the recordings, only the live sessions, Stevens noted.

Details for accessing the live webinars will be made available soon. Watch this newspaper or our website (https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/sidney-mt/northern-plains-agricultural-research-laboratory/) for more information, or contact Beth Redlin by phone at 406 433 2020 or email [email protected]


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