A pickup pulls two covered wagons filled with tour guests.
Photo Credit:
Carrington REC

Field Day Preparations and Invitation, Pt. 1

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If you’ve been reading NDSU press releases in your local newspaper or favorite weekly ag news publication, you’ve probably noticed that it’s Field Day Season throughout all the NDSU Research Extension Centers. Field Days are a signature opportunity to showcase just a part of what we do, and to open our plots and yards to the public. Consider yourself invited to every Field Day you can attend.

Although we pride ourselves on unbiased research, we have to admit that we’re more than a little biased when we say that we think you and your family will enjoy the Carrington REC Field Day! It’s arguably the largest Field Day of them all – we run four concurrent tours in the morning and an additional tour in the afternoon, and we host several organizations who know that their membership will all be at the Carrington REC for our Field Day. We serve a noon meal to several hundred people in about 45 minutes.

It seems like we prepare, in some way, every month of the year. But we are particularly focused in June and July. Our Livestock team developed their itinerary in early May, but our Agronomy team had to wait until planting was done to verify their topics.

Let’s look a little deeper into three of the five tours (next week’s Center Points will cover two more tour options).

Our Livestock Unit is currently home to 250 head of beef cattle and we are in the beginning phase of an overhaul and update of our facilities. After last year’s drought and this spring’s blizzard, our livestock tour will turn to potential health issues for this fall. Rye, as an option after preventive plant and for grazing, along with hybrid rye as feed will be explored, along with pen management strategies and weed management. Hosts will review our annual producer-consigned feedouts: the Dakota Feeder Calf Show and North Dakota Angus University. Meet the new head of NDSU Animal Sciences, Dr. Guillermo Scaglia, too.

Crop breeders will review NDSU varieties of spring wheat, barley, dry bean and pulse crops. Our experts will provide mid-season production tips and observations for soybeans and corn, including updates on fungicide management strategies and the impact our spring had on invasive weed seed dispersal.

Our afternoon agronomy tour usually has special feature, and this year Leading Edge Equipment will present the first regional demonstration of John Deere’s “See and Spray” technology, which uses computer vision and machine learning to target weeds and apply pesticides only where they are needed.

As you plan to attend the Carrington REC Field Day, remember these details. Come early. We’ll be ready for you with coffee and donuts at 9:00 a.m., and your best parking will be available early. Our welcome address from our new director, Mike Ostlie, will be at 9:15 a.m., followed by greetings from the new president of NDSU, Dr. David Cook, who will be traveling to each REC Field Day with other members of NDSU administration.

All tours begin at our headquarters yard, 3.5 miles north of Carrington on Highway 281, and we’ll have trailers ready to carry our guests on each tour. Dress for the weather! Light layers are a wise option. We’ll have plenty of bottled water on hand. If you have a preferred insect repellant, consider bringing it along, but know that we’ll have plenty available, too.

CREC staff will grill burgers for a picnic lunch, sponsored in part by the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, Northern Pulse Growers Association and the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.

Next week, we’ll discuss our Organic/Sustainable Agriculture and Northern Hardy Fruit Project tours, along with sharing details of special off-site afternoon tours associated with these projects.

In the meantime, though, if you have any questions about our Field Day, please contact us.

Linda Schuster
Administrative Secretary