Assisting producers in evaluating and adjusting their cropping systems to maximize net returns from available resources is a responsibility of the extension agronomy program. Ryan Buetow, area extension specialist/cropping systems at the Dickinson Research Extension Center, along with cooperating county agents initiated a sunflower survey last fall to evaluate production practices for part of the National Sunflower Association survey. This particular program looked at rotation, planting population, major pests and diseases to evaluate what the major issues are in North Dakota sunflower production. The highest yield limiting factor of sunflower for ND in 2015 was disease.
In 2016 the DREC will have plots observing 6 row and 2 row heritage barley varieties that go back as far as the year 1929. On site as well as off station we will also have demonstrations observing how soybeans react to different populations and different nitrogen management strategies.
Current extension research is being conducted with growers in the region looking at various ways to reduce soil salinity/sodicity issues as well as looking at the effects of fungicide, nitrogen fertilizer, and crop rotations on foliar diseases of wheat.
Crop rotation experiments have been conducted at the DREC in recent years. Thus far, these experiments have focused on the effects of cultural practices, tillage, and crop sequence on the yield of wheat. Results of these experiments contradict long-held beliefs of many growers in this region of the state, and suggest that the economics of crop production can be improved if certain practices are changed. Plans are to expand the crop rotation trials to include additional economic and soil quality impacts of contrasting crop sequences, beginning in 1999.
Direct support to agronomy programs is provided to county agents in a 13 county area. In addition to demonstrations, presentations have been made to producers and agribusiness field representatives at field days, county crop improvement meetings, county program planning meetings, workshops, and seminars.
For agronomy updates and pictures of the work being conducted at the DREC follow @drecagronomy on Twitter or drec_agronomy on Instagram.
Contact Ryan Buetow for more information on agronomy research at DREC