Bees, Peas & Grasshoppers Featured At 2023 Froid Research Farm Field Day June 22

The Froid Research Farm Field Day is back and this year’s event features a special presentation on native bees and other pollinators in agricultural systems, along with a special Beekeeping 101 workshop for those interested in adding honeybees on their farms. Grasshoppers, their biology and management, are also a topic of discussion as is new research underway on field pea.

Learn about all of these topics and more at the annual Froid Research Farm Field Day on Thursday afternoon, June 22, beginning at 1 p.m. The event is hosted by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts. MSU Extension-Roosevelt County, and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Northern Plains Ag Research Lab, Sidney.

The farm is located eight miles north of Culbertson, on Montana Hwy. 16.

Sidney ARS Pollination Specialist Dr. Joshua Campbell will be discussing his research into native pollinators in the region and their contributions to dryland agricultural systems. In addition, County Extension Agents Wendy Becker and Shelley Mills will be conducting a special workshop on how to effectively add bee hives to your farm, set up a beekeeper’s calendar, and use Integrated Pest management to keep the bees and environment healthy. The duo will also discuss how to check for varroa mites, a serious pest of honeybees and considered a contributor to colony collapse disorder. Both Becker and Mills are graduates of University of Montana’s master beekeeper program and have been conducting several beekeeping workshops around the region in recent months.

Other insect issues being addressed on the tour: Grasshoppers! These pests remain a key concern for MonDak producers following extensive outbreaks over the past two years. Sidney ARS Research Ecologist Dave Branson will be discussing current studies underway on grasshoppers and grasshopper outbreaks, as well as answering questions from tour participants.

Field pea research evaluating the effects of microbial inoculants on plant agronomics and soil health are also featured during the day with Sidney ARS Research Microbiologist Sakdikshya Dangi and Post Doc Rosalie Calderon. Plant Pathologist Frankie Crutcher, Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center, Sidney, will also discuss findings from ongoing MSU and NDSU field pea studies looking at Fusarium and Aphanomyces disease incidence under three different scenarios, including peas in a long-term, 2-year rotations with spring wheat; peas in a 3-year rotation sequence study with oilseeds and durum, and peas incorporated into a cover crop mix to replace summer fallow.

But the day is not all insects and legumes. Cheatgrass management with fire and effective greenstripping techniques to aid in wildfire management are also on the agenda, as is a talk on water availability following a cover crop, by ARS scientists, Carissa Wonkka, research plant ecologist; and Brett Allen, dryland research agronomist, respectively. Dr Campbell and ARS Research Ecologist Natalie West will also be discussing their study looking at the regional spread of Russian olive seeds by mammals. Finally, ARS Research Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju will be discussing carbon sequestration under perennial grasses and an annual crop.

The day concludes with a free steak dinner sponsored by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts. Pesticide points are pending. Additional details to come as plans are finalized.

For more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-2020 or by email at [email protected].

 

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