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Research

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A  group of rams, facing the camera, stand in a snowy pen.  The metal fence of the pen is visible in the background just in front of a line of bare trees.
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The Hettinger REC is a semi-arid site located in southwest North Dakota, providing the most southerly NDSU location in the non-glaciated portion of North Dakota as a site for its agronomy research program.  The HREC also is located at the center of the North Dakota sheep industry, the focus of one of its animal research programs.  Furthermore, the HREC is located in an area of rapidly growing livestock feeding ventures, another focus of animal research at the HREC.  Additionally, the HREC is located in a region where much of the land base is in the Conservation Reserve Program and Forest Service lands, which has resulted in additional research evaluating potential changes in the CRP program and how these changes may affect upland native and game bird populations.  A new research program evaluating low-cost rangeland monitoring strategies on U.S. Forest Service lands has resulted in a significant increase in the quantity of rangeland, livestock, and wildlife interaction research conducted at the HREC throughout the western Dakotas.  Research at HREC involves the disciplines of animal science, range and wildlife science agronomy, and weed science.  Collaboration is with Main Station scientists, Branch Station scientists, U.S. Forest Service, grazing associations, university scientists from WY, SD, and MT, and USDA research entities in these research disciplines to improve the productivity of livestock and cropping systems and economic development of the region.  Through these efforts, the center’s research program has gained a national reputation for  its involvement with sheep production systems as well as a strong regional and state reputation for its research in agronomy, multiple-land use, and calf backgrounding.

LIVESTOCK

BEEF

SHEEP

RAM TEST

Christopher Schauer, Director and Animal Scientist
Janna Block, Area Extension Specialist, Livestock Systems

  • Rambouillet Ram Test, Sheep Schools, Shearing Schools and Wool Classing Schools
  • Value Added Animal Production- evaluation of forage, grain, byproduct and marketing alternatives in calf and lamb finishing
  • Novel techniques and feeding systems for improving reproductive efficiency in Rambouillet ewes
  • Alternative grazing systems for cattle and sheep that minimize labor

AGRONOMY 

John Rickertsen, Agronomist
Michael Wells, Agronomy Technician

  • Crop, variety, forage, plant pest and herbicide trials throughout SW North Dakota
  • Biofuel feedstocks and alternative crop evaluation
  • Incorporation of cover crops into no-till cropping system
  • Distribution of Foundation Seed to regional grain producers

RANGE AND WILDLIFE

Benjamin Geaumont, Wildlife and Range Scientist

  • Nesting success and habitat selection of upland gamebirds and waterfowl in grasslands managed with livestock
  • Evaluation of Sharp-tailed Grouse use of the Grand River National Grasslands
  • Nesting success of upland birds and habitat use by upland chicks when managed with grazing cattle
  • Native prairie restoration techniques
  • Utilization of cover crops by wildlife and livestock
  • Interactions among prairie dogs, wildlife and livestock

WEED SCIENCE

Caleb Dalley, Weed Scientist
Daniel Abe, Weed Science Technician

  • Herbicide trials conducted in spring wheat, durum, dry peas, lentils, safflower and canola.
  • Trials conducted on cheat grass (Japanese brome) control in pasture/rangeland.
  • Weed seed of kochia, Japanese brome, wild oat, redroot pigweed, green and yellow foxtail were collected and cleaned. (Seed of Japanese brome and kochia spread on weed research fields.)