Regional agronomy research results, managing wheat and sunflower diseases and using technology to identify field areas that may be better suited for conservation plantings will be featured topics at the 36th annual Western Dakota Crops Day, hosted by the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center (REC). The event will be held at the Hettinger Armory on Dec. 19.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts, and presentations starting at 10 a.m. Participants will be able to view exhibits and visit with vendors throughout the day.
In 2019, conditions were very favorable for wheat diseases in southwest North Dakota causing yield reductions and issues with marketing grain. Andrew Friskop, NDSU Extension plant pathologist will discuss the wheat disease outlook for 2020 and what can be done to manage diseases such as leaf rust, head scab, tan spot and root rot.
Sclerotinia was also prevalent in many sunflower fields this year and Friskop will discuss what producers should be looking for in sunflower and soybean fields next year and what can be done to control its spread.
Emily Spolyar, precision ag and conservation specialist with Pheasants Forever, will talk about developing technologies that can break down crop fields and production lands by output and profitability. This technology allows modern farming operations to identify areas that grow crops better and where plants struggle year after year. The process of precision agriculture not only assists in the identification of those areas where seed, fertilizer, herbicide and other expensive inputs are wasted due to frequent wet or dry conditions, but also helps identify conservation programs that provide farmers with income through enrollment of those acres with state or federal agencies as set-aside lands.
Results from agronomy research in the western Dakotas will be presented by Caleb Dalley, NDSU Hettinger REC weed scientist; John Rickertsen, NDSU Hettinger REC research agronomist; Ryan Buetow, NDSU Extension cropping systems specialist at the Dickinson REC; Chris Graham, South Dakota State University West River Ag Center Extension agronomist, Rapid City; and Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension entomology field specialist, Rapid City.
Topics will include updates on new crop varieties, new herbicides, crop production and current agronomy issues in the West River region. "This year’s crops day will provide excellent information on crop disease management and programs for getting better return through habitat on low production acres, along with the traditional variety performance and ongoing regional agronomy research," Rickertsen said.
The show will also include commercial exhibits by several seed, chemical and agricultural service companies displaying their newest products and innovations. The event is free of charge and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact the Hettinger REC at 701-567-4323.