Advisory Council Members:
Shannon Duerr - Cavalier County JDA
David Monson - Producer, Osnabrock, ND
Kent Weston, Sarles, ND, ND District 9 Senator
Donna Henderson, Producer, Calvin, ND, ND District 9 Representative
Cameron Mickelson - Producer, Rolla, ND
Julie Zikmund - SBARE, Pisek, ND
Reily Bata - Producer, Langdon, ND
Greg Goodman - Producer, Langdon, ND
Taylor Jennings - Producer, Langdon, ND
Kamron Matejcek - Producer, Brocket, ND
Pam Brekke - Producer, Edmore, ND
Tom Fagerholt - Producer, Hoople, ND
Steve McDonald - Producer, Sarles, ND
Bailey Reiser - Cavalier County Extension Agent
Attendance- Rep Chuck Damschen, Sara Schuchard, Amanda Arens, Travis Hakanson, Naeem Kalwar, Leon Hiltner, Rep David Monson, Rodney Armstrong, Bruce Lewallen, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Carol Goodman, Chris Boerboom, Lynette Flage, Lesley Lubenow, Ron Beneda, Pravin Gautam, Bryan Hanson, and Randy Mehlhoff
LREC Director Randy Mehlhoff opened the meeting and everyone introduced themselves.
Minutes from the December 18, 2009 LREC Advisory Council meeting were given to meeting attendees.
Randy reviewed priorities from December 2009 LREC Advisory Council meeting and discussed the priorities that we have accomplished since then. They include – full funding for a Soil Health Area Extension Specialist, an Ag Research Specialist, the NDSU greenhouse, the LREC agronomy lab, additional operating funds for LREC operations and contract variety testing. Modernizing our seed cleaning plant was not funded and remains a high priority.
Randy discussed differences in the LREC organizational chart from 2009 to 2013. He specified the new positions and the new employees. Organizational charts are in Randy’s PowerPoint presentation.
Randy showed our LREC introductory video (including the employees that work here and their individual position descriptions).
LREC Research Scientists/Extension Area Specialists Reports
Bryan Hanson, LREC Research Agronomist, provided a report on his research activities. Bryan spends approximately 75% of his time on variety testing and 25% of his time conducting research projects including crop production research. He is actively involved with off-station plots in Pembina, Walsh, Nelson, and Towner counties. When the operating funds for variety testing become available and utilized, Bryan will spend more time on weed control, fertility and other problem solving crop production research projects.
Bryan brought up the issue of equipment and facilities increasing in price. He’s excited to be working in the new LREC agronomy lab next year. Keeping equipment up to date is important, so extra equipment funds next session would be beneficial.
Bryan showed a graph on amounts of paper LREC annual reports that are distributed each year. Getting our data out to farmers has definitely changed since the mid-2000’s. Data is being accessed more and more online.
John Lukach, Area Extension Specialist/Winter Cereals, was unable to attend because of a Ducks Unlimited meeting but did provide a handout to the council.
Lesley Lubenow, Area Extension Specialist/Agronomy, discussed what she’s done in the past year and how she was planning her program of work. She included a handout of the meetings, research projects, and activities that she’s worked on, and the committees and organizations she’s a part of.
Lesley Lubenow & Naeem Kalwar have a radio show “Talking Ag.” She explained the topics she’s talked about and how often she records with Simmons Broadcasting. Bruce Lewallen commented on her communicating with other agronomists to see what they’re learning and seeing in the field. Good to share information. JoAnn Rodenbiker asked Lesley if private agronomists call her. Lesley explained not usually because they should be contacting the county agents. Ron Beneda does receive agronomist phone calls. Bruce Lewallen also commented on how agriculture is constantly changing and he’d like to see her increase involvement with the public.
Dr. Pravin Gautam, Research Assistant Professor/Plant Pathology, provided the council his background, job responsibilities, different types of research he conducts, trials he completed in 2013 on wheat, canola, barley, and sunflowers, and presented his 2014 research plan. With the new agronomy and plant pathology lab coming, there will be a possibility of lab based research (pathogens) that he’s looking forward to. This summer there is an internship opportunity at the LREC with Dr. Gautam’s Plant Pathology program for an individual pursuing a Plant Pathology career.
Naeem Kalwar, Area Extension Specialist/Soil Health, presented his personal background and work experience to the advisory council. He discussed how the Soil Health initiative evolved and that he was hired March 2012. His program planning objectives are relationships, soil problems, and extension outreach mediums to pass on his message. These mediums include print, audio, video, workshops, meetings, demonstrations, and Field Days. There will be a Groundwater Workshop here at the LREC on Dec 19, 2013. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Naeem showed one of his videos on saline and sodic soils. He also informed the council about the upcoming tiling project near the Stable’s Restaurant in Langdon. Both Naeem and Pravin plan to do research with this project. Naeem thanked the Cavalier and Walsh County Crop Improvement Associations for donating $24,000 thus far towards his tiling project.
Rodney Armstrong, LRSC Farm Business Management Instructor, has been at the LREC for six years. He explained what his program entails and how to enroll to fine tune accounting, recordkeeping, marketing, budgeting, yearly analysis, cash flow, and working with the farmers’ lender’s. Rodney educates his students so that they are able to make good decisions. Rodney currently has around 30 farmers from the area enrolled and would like to have 40. Rodney believes the number one item that keeps farmers enrolled year to year is the yearly analysis this program creates for the farmer. All analyses are then sent to Andy Swenson in Fargo at NDSU who then creates a regional analysis available to all farmers.
LREC Advisory Council Member Feedback for 2015/2017 Budget Priorities
Leon Hiltner would like the LREC to have a long term project experimenting with the use of different tillage equipment and the outcomes.
Randy spoke on the LREC’s number one priority for 2015/2017 budget: purchasing the Kearns’ quarter of land because it is critical to our foundation seed program, nurseries, and research programs. The LREC has been using this land for a number of years and we now have first chance to purchase from the owner. Rep David Monson reminded everyone that the State of ND cannot purchase any land for more than the appraised value. Rep Monson encouraged Randy to be sure the legislators know we’ve been renting for a number of years. The quarter will be rented for 2014 growing season. Rep Chuck Damschen informed the council that there’s a measure for a heritage conservation fund. If this goes through, these entities will have one million dollars to purchase land such as this quarter.
The LREC is not asking for any full time employees this upcoming session. However, we would like to see an increase in equipment funds. Bruce Lewallen questioned if research centers ever share equipment. The answer was not usually because it’s not feasible.
Randy Mehlhoff let the council know that the LREC supports UAS and Precision Ag programs. Carol Goodman, Langdon JDA, was working to acquire the Nekoma missile site for UAS work but didn’t end up with it. North Dakota is one of the six sites across the US being tested for UAS integration. Agriculture could be a major user of UAS technology in the future. This is a top effort for this area of ND. Both NDSU and UND are currently collaborating on research initiatives for UAS.
Naeem Kalwar has had many farmers come to him with tiling issues. He mentioned that it would be beneficial to his program to have a truck with soil probing capabilities. A probe for this would cost approximately $20,000-$25,000. Rep David Monson questioned if there are private companies that do this. Naeem isn’t sure of their exact capabilities but said most of the soil samples that are brought to him come from two to three feet deep which is not deep enough when looking into tiling.
JoAnn Rodenbiker checked to see if the LREC has issues getting State Fleet vehicles. This is currently not an issue.
Randy gave everyone the new LREC agronomy lab plans. He thanked Rep David Monson for helping get this passed.
Updating research center’s seed cleaning plants has been being discussed. JoAnn Rodenbiker said SBARE need to agree on the priority before being brought to the legislature. There’s controversy whether these plants should be static or mobile. A static seed cleaning plant is $3-5 million no matter how much seed is cleaned. The LREC seed cleaning plant does need to be updated because it has been cited at safety inspections and does not have a dust eradication system. Hoping this priority is finalized and presented at upcoming legislative session.
The LREC also needs more research equipment storage. Bruce Lewallen commented that this is a minimal cost considering the cost of the equipment. Rep David Monson said to be sure to be frugal if Randy presents this issue.
LREC Advisory Council Housekeeping
Randy Mehlhoff presented new LREC Advisory Council bylaws. He asked that the members take these home to review, and come back with suggestions at the next meeting. Fargo Ag Budget would like to see all the REC advisory councils have similar bylaws.
The LREC Advisory Council will meet twice a year. Advisory council members communicated that they would like to have both meetings away from the growing season. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for end of March 2014. Randy would like to have this meeting before priorities are given to the legislature. LREC Advisory Council member terms will be discussed at the next meeting.
(LREC’s Advisory Council meeting minutes and presentations are on the LREC website under LREC Advisory Council.)
Attendance- John Lukach, Tom Borgen, Scott Nelson, Aaron Johnson, Dennis Brown, Leon Hiltner, David Monson, Randy Mehlhoff, Shannon Duerr, Bruce Lewallen, Lesley Lubenow, Janet Jacobson, Naeem Kalwar, Bryan Hanson, Kent Schlucter, Tim Faller, Sara Schuchard-McGregor
LREC Director Randy Mehlhoff opened the meeting and everyone introduced themselves.
Langdon REC Updates
Agronomy Lab- Langdon, Hettinger, Carrington, and Streeter agronomy labs were funded. Most of the labs will be completed Spring 2015. Randy passed out LREC agronomy lab blueprints. The $1.25 million project has two components- agronomy and plant pathology. Tuesday, March 25th the bid opening took place. Comstock Construction was awarded the bid. They came in under budget with the two alternates included. Construction of the LREC agronomy lab will begin this spring.
Randy announced that the LREC is hiring a new Research Specialist that will begin work on April 7th. This position will be funded with soft dollars from the contract variety testing program. Bryan Hanson is currently in charge of the contract variety testing program and will now have more time for grant projects and research projects for companies. This new Research Specialist will take over contract variety testing with our current Research Specialist, Travis Hakanson. Travis Hakanson, the new Research Specialist, and Amanda Arens will be housed at the new agronomy lab.
Industrial Beets- Randy thanked Shannon Duerr, CCJDA, for being part of the industrial beets project. Green Vision Group (GVG) has five finalist communities for the proposed ethanol plant- Langdon, Cando, Jamestown, Valley City, and Carrington. There have been meetings here at the LREC to gauge community support and enthusiasm. The LREC has tested these beets for three years and will also have the trial this year. We will also have a second trial site this year in Cando. The past three years Beta Seed has been conducting the trial. This year the LREC will take over the project. Dennis Brown asked how the response has been in Langdon. Langdon and Carrington have the highest interest. GVG is looking at co-locating the plant to share energy and railways. Jamestown has an advantage here.
GVG has also been working with Risk Management in Kansas City to get producers insurance the first year planting industrial beets. The producers would then use LREC’s past yield figures for insurance purposes. Rep. Dave Monson asked how the beets are processed. Randy explained how they are smashed using hammer mills. Kent Schlucter explained how they float the beets into the facility. Bruce Lewallen informed everyone that there are negative thoughts about industrial beets in Cando.
With the industrial beets, four year rotations are needed with 120,000 acres involved in the area. Would farmers take ownership in the company? The ownership structure is yet to be decided. It is less costly to produce ethanol from beets than corn. The plant plans to operate 365 days a year. Tom Borgen stated growers are worried about harvestability. Randy said GVG is looking at end of field storage and they’d pick the beets up at a later time.
LREC Soil Health Tiling Project- The LREC has a perfect site for a tiling research project. Naeem Kalwar is spearheading this project. He’s been discussing plans with Ellingson Company. Naeem provided the board an overview of the project and a printout of the potential layout. He could have three projects going on at one time with the size of the project. There are 25 acres of land available for the project and 7.2 acres will be tiled for research. This site is perfect to conduct research on sodic issues and provide farmers with answers to their questions regarding tiling and sodic soils.
The demonstration area of the project would allow farmers to see impacts that would be similar to impacts if they tiled their field(s). If the project goes through, construction will start this July. The final project cost is around $80,000. Naeem currently has $24,000 in funding for this project. ($20,000 came from Cavalier County Crop Improvement Association and $4,000 from Walsh County Crop Improvement Association) Although the LREC serves nine counties, Naeem does not feel he’ll receive funding from the other counties. He is planning on more funds from CCCIA and possibly private donors. The tiling company included a discount in the quote. Naeem Kalwar is quite confident he will be able to secure all funding necessary.
Hemp Research- Several years ago the LREC tried to get involved with hemp research. Back then, the requirements were insurmountable. The new Farm Bill is opening hemp research to land grant universities. We will still need to follow the State Dept of Ag rules and requirements. Langdon is the sole site for 2014. Bryan is currently learning what needs to be done. Other REC’s will begin hemp research at a later time if requirements are acceptable.
LREC employees have sent in paperwork to get licensed for this project. The challenge is getting the seed imported. There was a discussion on a 90 day holding policy – must hold seed 90 days before planting when received from Canada. Bryan Hanson is looking into the policies. It was suggested to look into getting seed from SD Indian Reservation, CO, or KY.
Tom Borgen asked about hemp being a noxious weed and how we’d control it. It has been taken off of ND’s noxious weed list. John Lukach explained hemp is part of the mint family and is difficult to control. Tillage is an option and making sure the plant does not go to seed. White mold is a big problem in hemp. Dr. Pravin Gautam could possibly conduct a research project on this issue.
Land Purchase- The LREC currently farms about 700 acres. We picked up an extra 40 acres this year. The family that owns the quarter of land east of the research center is looking at selling. The land base is vital to the operation of the LREC. Therefore, this land purchase is our number one priority for the upcoming session. It is not in SBARE’s budget. NCREC had a similar opportunity a few years ago and the local legislators were able to make a specific bill for the land purchase. SBARE passed a resolution this spring to support having a local bill created for the purchase of this land for the LREC.
The LREC has a lease agreement to farm the land this year and a verbal commitment to farm it again next year. The owner is looking to get the appraised value of the land. The land is used for the F1 potato nursery, canola nursery, Foundation seed production, and graduate students’ research projects. The soil productivity on this quarter is 69.5.
NDSU Agriculture 2015-2017 Budget Information/Discussion
Randy passed out a handout showing the budget information for entire NDSU 2015-2017 priorities. Randy covered the top priorities and said how the legislature has been very good to NDSU Ag in the past. The LREC is hoping the initiative to increase ag equipment funds passes. We’re fortunate that NDSU Ag does not have to compete with NDSU Main Campus on capital projects. There is a need to get a new Vet Diagnostic Lab funded to keep accreditation. Therefore, this is the number one capital project.
Tom Borgen feels SBARE did an excellent job on ranking capital projects. The seed cleaning stations at four REC’s are number three priority. Last session we asked for $8.9 million. This session $5.2 million is being asked for for the seed cleaning stations.
Leon Hiltner is disappointed SBARE didn’t have Harris Hall (Cereal Grains) on the capital project list. This is a big issue for the ND Wheat Commission. Tim Faller casually heard about the old diagnostic lab possibly being used to help out Harris Hall. Tim will get back to Leon on this issue. Tom Borgen also questioned the Harris Hall facility. Not sure if he’d trust the results from that lab in its current condition.
NDSU LREC Advisory Council Housekeeping
Randy asked if the board members that are present would continue serving on the LREC Advisory Council. They all agreed. He thanked them for being a part of the council.
At past meetings it was decided not to have a structure for the advisory council. The advantages of having a Chairman and Vice Chairman would be: Randy would have a “go to” person, a person to represent LREC advisory board at legislative council, and potentially a farmer to lead the process. There was agreement to create a structure.
Tom Borgen would like to see community members for chairs. Bruce Lewallen suggested the council meet on Field Days such as in the past. Janet Jacobson would like to adopt the bylaws and look at current member terms. Randy state the current members are 3 legislators, SBARE member, county agent, and 11 members (at least one from each county the LREC serves). Janet represents organic growers and Shannon is with the CCJDA. The LREC Advisory Council members are a diverse group.
The bylaws should include the language “at least 16 members.” Janet would like to see the positions advertised in the community. Kent Schlucter motioned to amend the bylaws and Bruce Lewallen seconded the motion. Janet Jacobson motioned to adopt the amended bylaws and Scott Nelson seconded the motion by Janet. Tim Faller reminded the council that they are able to make changes to their bylaws at any time.
The council decided to solidify terms and members at the summer meeting. There will be an Interim Chairman until the next meeting and he’ll help create the next meeting agenda. Randy Mehlhoff nominated Tom Borgen to be Interim Chairman. Rep. Dave Monson seconded the motion.
A goal for the upcoming meeting is to create an advertisement to invite individuals to be on the LREC Advisory Council. Will we advertise through radio and newspaper? Bruce Lewallen suggested a meeting before the Field Day meeting to solicit council names, decide how many individuals to have on the council, etc. Randy should contact all nine county agents about the openings on the LREC Advisory Council. Field Day will be held July 17, 2014 at the LREC. In the meantime, Randy Mehlhoff will be in contact with Interim Chairman Tom Borgen to finalize the agenda for the next LREC Advisory Council meeting.
Attendance- Ron Beneda, Leon Hiltner, Kent Schluchter, Tom Borgen, Paul Berntson, David Monson, Shannon Duerr, Sara McGregor, Randy Mehlhoff, Scott Nelson, Bruce Lewallen, and Chuck Damschen
LREC Advisory Interim Chairman Tom Borgen opened the meeting.
Review of March 27, 2014 Meeting Minutes
Tom asked for comments on the previous meeting’s minutes. Leon Hiltner approved with Shannon Duerr seconding.
Comments/Updates on these meeting minutes (Old Business):
Randy has a sugar beet trial in Cando this year. The beets are looking good.
Randy informed the advisory council that Naeem Kalwar has almost all funding needed for the tiling project. Naeem and Ron Beneda are the leaders in this project. Yesterday, Langdon Implement verbally committed to donating too. Project will be approximately $80,000. Randy thanked Naeem and Ron for all they’ve done for this project and commented on Ron’s great rapport with the local producers. Paul Berntson asked if the Walsh Country Crop Improvement Association donated. They gave $4,000. David Monson questioned if Naeem’s tiling project is in conjunction with the tiling demo in Edmore. They are separate projects but consist of the same team members. Edmore site is demonstration versus Langdon’s 25 acre site being used for research and demo. Naeem, Dr. Pravin Gautam, and Fargo scientists will be utilizing Langdon’s tiled site for research projects. This is the only tiling project of its kind on public land. It will increase the amount of research requests the station receives.
Randy gave an update on soliciting advisory council members. He emailed all the county agents in the northeast region, provided them with an article that could be put in their local newspaper, and asked them to mention this on their radio ads/shows. There haven’t been any suggestions from county agents or volunteers at this time. Randy suggests continuing letting people know about this opportunity since it was planting season when we solicited members. Today, Randy will mention at the tiling tour stop that we are currently looking for LREC Advisory Council members.
Shannon mentioned Green Vision Group is having issues getting a decision that would declare Industrial Beets as an Advanced Biofuels Designation. This seems to be holding up the project.
Hemp Research – NDSU is a land grant university that is able to conduct field studies on hemp. We have to follow state rules. LREC currently has seven employees licensed to perform this research. The major problem is that the LREC hasn’t been able to get the seed. The DEA is allowing research here but did not have rules on importing hemp seed. Dr. Burton Johnson is currently getting licensed to import seed. As soon as he is licensed, he’ll be able to pick up the seed from Canada and the LREC does plan to plant this summer. The site is ready and flagged. Also, the DEA from Minneapolis did make a visit to the LREC to cover all rules on this research. Hopefully Langdon will be able to conduct this research this year, share the results with the other REC’s and they’ll possibly be involved next year. Rep Monson commented on the use of this fiber. It can be harvested after 30 days, three feet tall, and the fiber will be like silk making its value higher than that of coarse fiber. Its growing season is similar to that of wheat so it will not go to seed here. It is an annual and could possibly be planted to have three crops a summer in Langdon. Another use is for cover crop. There are countless studies that the LREC can perform on hemp: planting date, white mold, etc.
Lab Update – Company just completed surveying of the exact location. Can’t put footings in until engineering was done. Next Monday they’ll start excavating. Projected end date of this project is February 1, 2015. Paul asked what will the building be used for – agronomy component (harvesting plots, etc.) and pathology component (lab, grow disease, etc). The building is 5,000 square feet at $222.00/sq. ft. Furnishings have to be included in budget and the lab has expensive equipment.
Land Purchase – A quarter we’ve been renting for about 30 years is being sold because of the landowner’s health issues. The family would like the LREC to purchase. They’ve always been proud for supporting the research here. This land is used for the canola nursery, graduate student projects, and Foundation seed production. Randy will be working with Rep Monson to put together a separate bill to purchase this land. SBARE did not include this in their budget. The land has not been appraised yet. They are aware the state cannot purchase land over the appraised value. Randy feels the land will be appraised around $2000/ac. The family would like to have the land appraised this October.
Tiling Project – There will be a stop on today’s tour at this site. Ellingson started work yesterday and should be finished tomorrow. The company agreed to install during our Field Day tours so that producers could see how it’s done. They’ll install liners, water control structures, etc. Tom asked how to regulate the water during the year. Ron said you can plug the drain tiles but isn’t sure if you can pump water back if it gets too dry after removing the water.
Tom asked about Clubroot of canola and sulfur deficiency. South of Ratzlaff’s there are four ridges in a field because of sulfur deficiency. Leon has also experienced this problem. Sulfur deficiency does not only happen on hills. One-third of Cavalier County’s tillable acres are planted to canola this year. Tom mentioned that he knows of two places in the county where there are 2,400 acres of canola touching.
Leon asked about soliciting advisory council members, if we are looking for additional or different (replacing) members? We do not have a set number so we’re asking if others would like to be involved. Don’t want to exclude anyone but also cannot get too big. Paul asked Randy if he’s talked to Duane Gronhovd… must be thinking this individual may want to be involved. Randy has not talked to him at this time. Aaron Johnson is our newest member.
Randy informed everyone that Lawrence Henry has been hired on soft dollars as our new Research Specialist. He and Travis Hakanson will be taking over the contract variety testing program and Bryan Hanson will then be able to concentrate more on grant work. Tom asked about Lawrence’s background. He has associate degrees in John Deere technology and Architectural Drafting, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, is on the city council and fire department, has custom combined, and helps a local farmer.
Paul would like to see treated and nontreated wheat variety trials and results. It’s important information. He realizes it would double the workload but feels it’s beneficial to producers.
Leon Hiltner commented again that Harris Hall needs a new building. He wanted Rep Damschen and Rep Monson to hear this. Randy said funding for a new Vet Diagnostic Lab is NDSU agriculture’s number one priority. If this is funded, this building could be updated, and Harris Hall activities possibly moved there. We’ll have to see what happens. Difficult situation because Harris Hall competes with the entire campus.
Randy stated a major agricultural problem on campus is rabbit control. There are hundreds of jackrabbits damaging plots and city policy won’t let NDSU shoot them.
Rep Damschen asked about the Ducks Unlimited Winter Wheat project. John Lukach has funding through the end of this year then his part of the program is over. DU is going from three researchers to one. The remaining position will be located in Carrington. We’ll have a party for John at the end of December.
NDSU has two or three new canola varieties ready for release but Monsanto and NDSU are still not able to come to an agreement.
Next advisory council meeting date – tentatively Friday, November 21, 2014. Randy will send out information closer to the date.
Meeting was quickly wrapped up due to Field Day tours beginning.
NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center Advisory Council Meeting – December 15, 2014
Langdon Research Extension Center (LREC) advisory council chair Tom Borgen called the meeting to order. Tom provided a welcome and thanked everyone for taking the time out of their schedules to learn of current happenings at the LREC. He noted that only three members were absent. At Tom’s request all in attendance introduced themselves. Representative Monson had mentioned he will be the chair of the EE subcommittee on the house of appropriations. NDSU agriculture will provide testimony to the EE subcommittee of the House of Appropriations on January14, 2015.
Tom called for additional agenda items not on the current agenda. There was a request for an update on the governor’s budget recommendations.
The advisory council was asked to review the minutes of the last advisory council meeting held on July 17, 2014. Kent Schluchter made a motion to approve of the minutes as printed. Bruce Lewellen seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Randy Mehlhoff, LREC Director, gave an update on the LREC. Others also provided updates of their programs at Langdon to the advisory council.
- The LREC will be conducting research on hemp in 2015 assuming seed can be obtained. The LREC was prepared to do hemp research in 2014 but was unable to acquire seed. Representative Monson expressed his disappointment in not being able to conduct hemp research in 2014. He had shared that Kentucky was able to conduct hemp research in 2014 and had minimal problems obtaining seed from Italy.
- Construction of the agronomy/pathology lab is progressing slowly. The original completion date was January 15, 2015 and has been extended to March 15, 2015. The budget is being managed well. Randy will provide a walking tour of the construction at the conclusion of the advisory council meeting.
- Efforts are underway to lobby the legislature to provide funding that will allow the LREC purchase a quarter of land. The LREC has rented this quarter for decades and now the family would like to sell it for agricultural research purposes. Representative Monson will sponsor a bill to hopefully obtain funding for the land purchase.
- Randy shared that Dr. Pravin Gautam, LREC Plant Pathologist, had resigned his position for a position with the Bayer Corporation in Nebraska. An active search is underway to fill this position. Screening begins on January 9, 2015.
- An update was provided by the new Farm Business Management instructor Allison Noll. She gave a background on her position and shared a newsletter she distributes monthly. She is planning several workshops in 2015. The workshops were welcomed by all.
- Bryan Hanson, LREC Research Agronomist, shared a power point slide show explaining his main research efforts at Langdon.
- Naeem Kalwar, LREC Extension Area Specialist/Soil Health, also shared a power point slide show explaining his main extension and research efforts at Langdon.
- John Lukach, NDSU Extension Area Specialist/Winter Cereals, shared the grant that has funded his position for the past five years will expire on December 31, 2015. At that time he plans to retire after 37+ years working for NDSU agriculture.
- Lesley Lubenow, Extension Area Specialist/Agronomy, shared a power point of her effort in 2014.
There was discussion, feedback and questions regarding efforts at Langdon. Some areas identified as future critical needs for Langdon included:
- Research technician or specialist to provide support for a new soil health program and the pathology program. This would allow Langdon to hire four less temporary time slip labor positions that are currently needed to support the programming.
- Operating Increase based on rising costs and new state fleet charges that triple state fleet vehicle costs per year by $15,000 to $20,000 per year for Langdon only.
- Seed cleaning plant replacement or renovation.
- Equipment Storage
Advisory council members were encouraged to discuss production ag issues at local farm meetings with friends, neighbors and others interested in agriculture to provide further input on relevant programming at the Langdon the REC.
Lunch was served.
After lunch the NDSU Agriculture priorities were discussed. In addition, information was presented that identified which priorities had been funded thus far in the executive budget. Dr. Chris Boerboom spoke on the extension initiatives and Mike Beltz, SBARE Chairman, presented on the Ag Experiment Station initiatives.
Janet Jacobson had inquired if any ag research was being done to offset some climate changes predicted in the future. Whether wet cycles or drought periods, it is predicted we will see significant swings in climate change throughout the world.
To conclude the meeting advisory council members drew numbers from a hat to determine length of service on the council. Results were as follows.
Default members are Cavalier County Extension Agent, District 10 representatives and senator and an SBARE member. One year term Paul Berntson, Tom Borgen and Shannon Duerr. Two year term Leon Hiltner, Janet Jacobson, Aaron Johnson, and Scott Nelson. Three year term Dennis Brown, Kent Schluchter, Bruce Lewellan and Doyle Lentz.
Attendance- Leon Hiltner, Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Janet Jacobson, Shannon Duerr, JoAnn Rodenbiker, and Kent Schluchter
Randy began the meeting by introducing the Langdon Research Extension Center’s new Plant Pathologist, Dr. Venkat Chapara. He is from India and has been working at the North Central Research Extension Center for the past four years. He is excited to become part of the LREC team and begin researching (was in extension at the NCREC). He is very knowledgeable in both pathology and entomology. We all welcome Venkat to the team.
There was a brief discussion about finding a new Ag County Agent in Cavalier County. There have been issues finding a qualified candidate and the search is now open for the fourth time.
2015-2017 Final Budgets
Randy talked about the monies the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station received for the 2015/2017 biennium:
- Bioinformatics is receiving $800,000
- Precision Ag is receiving $600,000 in operating dollars
- Enhancing research infrastructure for greater research efficiencies and effectiveness: This will provide the LREC $150,000 every biennium for equipment purchases
- Enhancing research capacity at the REC’s for $670,000: This will provide the LREC an extra $15,000 each year for operating expenses
The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station received a total one time funding of $19,997,500. This includes the LREC’s upcoming land purchase: LREC received $175,000 and will need to come up with another $175,000 to purchase the quarter of land. The LREC has been supported by local citizens on this purchase and has been offered contributions. The LREC has the funds ready but is waiting on the NDUS attorney. All the attorneys working for the North Dakota University System were let go, and now the Attorney General will hire six attorneys to oversee everything. We’re hoping as soon as an attorney is allocated to the land purchase, the purchase will move forward and be finalized. Give Rep Dave Monson a thank you for the help with the land purchase!
An item that the LREC asked for that didn’t get funded was a new seed cleaning facility. Directors asked for static plants but the legislators said for mobile mills. Randy commented a mobile mill made stationary would be good for the LREC. The legislators cannot see putting so much money into mills when we don’t clean that many bushels so there was $1,500,000 authorized for CREC and NCREC. These two centers were chosen possibly because they clean more bushels than the LREC and WREC. However, they will need to raise another $1,500,000 at each location for enhanced mills.
Next, Randy discussed monies the NDSU Extension Service received for the 2015/2017 biennium. NDSU Ext. Service asked for $3,170,000 in funding and only received $322,972. The group talked about how SBARE, administration and the Extension Service were disappointed how the legislators funded extension priorities.
Are there any other items the LREC advisory board would like added to the next budget session? We currently have:
- Research technician or specialist to provide support for a new soil health program and the pathology program.
- Seed cleaning plant replacement or renovation.
- Equipment Storage
SBARE is meeting at the end of July to prepare for the next budget sessions beginning in October or November. Let Randy know if you have an item to be added to the list.
Hemp Research at the LREC
Bryan Hanson, Travis Hakanson, and Lawrence Henry are going to Canada July 23rd to learn how to harvest the seed and attend the Hemp Field Day. Hemp plants can produce seed or fiber. The fiber is bailed and the seed is combined. It’s a tough plant to combine. The fiber is similar to flax. Fiber is usually cut early at about three feet tall. Kent asked if it regrows when cut. Janet and Randy didn’t think so. Hopefully the guys will find out on the Canada trip. Langdon area growing hemp could mean an opportunity to build infrastructure. The LREC’s current goal with hemp is variety trial testing so the LREC would have information to provide to the farmers.
LREC’s New Agronomy Lab
The lab is completed except some landscaping (plant grass and rock/plant flowerbed). We’re hoping the landscaping will be done by the end of August. The lab came in under budget so we were able to purchase $111,000 worth of equipment and contents for the new building. This included a $20,000 pathology fume hood and a $7,000 80 below freezer. The LREC has received comments on the exceptional quality of the lab equipment.
Drain Tiling Project
Naeem Kalwar has the three research areas marked, gypsum applied, and is waiting for beet lime to arrive. The pumps and infrastructure are currently working. Naeem thought the pumps weren’t working this spring but it ended up being 42” of ice at the bottom. Randy had Faller wheat planted in the project so we’ll see how it does in the saline and sodic soils. Also, Naeem will be hosting a soils workshop this fall. Stay tuned for a date!
Meeting was adjourned at 8:15am so that meeting attendees were able to attend the 2015 LREC Field Day in cooperation with the Northern Canola Growers Association. Field Day began at 8:30am and was dismissed after lunch. (See 2015 Field Day Poster for more details.)
Attendance- Anitha Chirumamilla, Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Venkat Chapara, Leon Hiltner, Dave Monson, Bryan Hanson, Allison Thompson, Shannon Duerr, Paul Berntson, Janet Jacobson, Kent Schluchter, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Chuck Damschen, Aaron Johnson, Tim Faller, and Mike Beltz
Randy began the meeting by introducing Cavalier County’s new Ag Extension Agent, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla. He welcomed her to Langdon and to NDSU. The entire group then introduced themselves.
The minutes from the 7-16-2015 advisory council meeting were reviewed and JoAnn Rodenbiker motioned to approve the minutes. Shannon Duerr seconded that motion. The minutes were approved.
2015 LREC Update
Randy began the LREC updates. He mentioned 2015 overall was a good year. There was the canola freeze scare this spring and we ended up replanting one trial but all went well. The LREC is currently fully staffed even though there were many changes over the last three to four years. Randy showed an organizational chart for the LREC.
Awards: Kevin Beauchamp is nominated for the Rick & Jody Burgum staff award. He has been with the LREC for 33 years. Bryan & Diane Hanson are the 2015 Excellence in Agriculture Harvest Bowl honorees for Cavalier County. Randy is in the process of converting Amanda Arens from Research Technician to Research Specialist for all her hard work and dedication to the LREC. She kept the pathology program running when the two previous plant pathologists resigned. Naeem Kalwar was recognized for being part of the NDSU Soil Health Program. This team has won numerous awards since he began in 2012. Lesley Lubenow and the other Crop and Pest Report contributors received national honors at the American Society of Agronomy annual meeting in Minneapolis for their collaborative work on a report that many producers have come to rely on for the latest in agronomic news from NDSU.
Capital Projects: Randy announced that the new agronomy lab is 99.99% complete. The LREC employees appreciate this facility and the $110,000 worth of equipment inside to support their programs. The project remained on budget. Everyone is welcome to tour the building after the meeting.
The LREC has been in the process of purchasing a quarter of land. The purchase is half funded by the legislature. We will be closing on this in a few weeks. Randy showed a picture of the land and where it is in comparison to our other land and the buildings. Leon asked if we now own all our land. The research center farms about 750 acres. Everything is owned except 200 acres (a quarter and a 40 acre piece).
Foundation Seedstock (FSS) Production: 90% of the LREC’s FSS sales are wheat. This is an issue because there is not much coming down the pike. Our seed sales may fall off. Randy plans to adjust the varieties we normally plant to include ND Genesis barley, Gold ND flax, and Bolles wheat in 2016 to hopefully increase our sales.
Sugarbeet Trials: Randy presented the data from our 2015 Cando plot. Half this trial was damaged but we did receive results from the other half.
Allison Thompson, Farm Business Management Instructor with Lake Region State College provided an update on her program. She covers northeast North Dakota and lives in Grafton. She currently has 30 producers enrolled and it’s going well. The producers are learning, and she’s providing them with a monthly newsletter. Let Allison know if you’d like to receive this newsletter via email. She informed the group she’s teaching a one credit marketing course sometime this winter if anyone’s interested in attending.
Dr. Venkat Chapara talked about the projects he’s been working on. He’s very enthusiastic about his work. Stripe rust was found in NE ND this year, so this new disease may be making its way to our region. The largest quantity was found in Nelson County. He’s also working on a soybean root rot study, scab uniform and integrated trials, black leg and white mold in canola trial, sunflower white mold trial, soybean population and white mold trial, and taking disease ratings on Bryan Hanson’s variety trials.
Venkat explained to Randy why a greenhouse would be beneficial for his program. Some of the advantages are:
- Club root of canola research has to be done in an isolated environments such as in greenhouses first; as of now, cannot be done in field conditions where the odds of spreading it are more.
- Greenhouse with ambient conditions usually replicate outdoor conditions for control and integrated pest management experiments dealing with local rare and newly introduced diseases and pests.
- Bioassays for crop specific nematode (Ex: Soybean cyst nematode) detection.
- Bioassays for the determination of herbicide resistance.
- Fungicide efficacy tests for quicker results: Instead of waiting for next year/summer, research can be done in winter and can be conveyed to the research community and growers (Ex: Fungicides to manage Chocolate brown spot of Faba beans as no fungicides registered so far in ND).
Venkat found the cereal leaf beetle in Cavalier County this summer. This was the first report of this insect in this county. He also reported it in three counties near Minot.
Paul Berntson asked if we test white mold in both oil and confectionary sunflowers and have the results. Yes, Venkat does.
Tim Faller will pass on the greenhouse request. He asked if it requires extra staff. No, just Venkat and Amanda.
Paul Berntson commented on the downfall of foundation wheat sales. He said NDSU is so far behind in its wheat breeding program it’s pathetic. The LREC better not spend the sales money before we have it. He doesn’t feel sales will be high this year. The wheat breeder left NDSU. Paul does not think NDSU is the best HRSW breeding program in the world anymore. Randy does believe NDSU has the best HRSW breeding program and hopes FSS sales will pick up.
Bryan Hanson provided an update to the council on his agronomy program. Seventy to 75% of his work effort goes into contract variety testing – wheat, canola, soybeans, sunflowers, corn, and small grains. Bryan also tests flax, faba beans, and hemp. He also works on private company trials.
Bryan thanked Kent Schluchter and Dave Hankey for allowing him to variety test on their land. He mentioned off-station work isn’t very efficient because of the travelling.
His other responsibilities include: crop production research management and product testing and canola work. This canola work includes: entomology (flea beetles and aster yellows), canola row width and seeding rate trial, seed treatment trials, pod shatter trial and crop sequence trial. He announced that American Crystal Sugar now allows canola in their rotations. Bryan will be presenting his canola row width and seeding rate results at the Canola Expo December 8th and the Prairie Grains Conference December 10th.
Bryan shared results on the three year crop sequence trial (see slide in his powerpoint). There’s one year left of the study. It is funded by the ND Soybean Council and Northern Canola Growers Assoc.
ND Genesis seeding rate study. It’s a two row barley. Maltsters are starting to look for two row versus six row. 54g kernel size – huge. It has terrific tillering capability.
Faba Beans: Minot, Carrington, and Langdon. Studied seeding date, seeding rate, varieties, disease, herbicide, and desiccation. 4700 lbs/acre was last year’s average yield. For more information regarding faba beans, contact Dick Roland.
Industrial Hemp: Dr. Burton Johnson of Fargo is the lead on this project. Bryan Hanson, Lawrence Henry and Travis Hakanson worked on these trials at the LREC this past summer. Obama passed a law allowing universities to test industrial hemp. This is why we were allowed to have this trial. Bryan had little knowledge on hemp before doing this trial, but “it was fun.” Rachel Seifert of Bismarck took care of a lot of the paperwork to make this happen – a legal nightmare at times. Anndrea Hermann from Canada made it possible for us to get the seed. Bryan has a poster with the results in the hallway by the VSLC large meeting room.
Hemp has been raised in Canada since 1998. We tested Canadian, Australian, and French hemp. Canada focuses on grain. We looked at grain and fiber. Canada is finally getting the fiber industry going. There are pictures on Bryan’s powerpoint along with more data. We did have issues with seeding mortality – up to 50% mortality. Bryan, Travis and Lawrence went to Roblin, Canada in July to learn more about hemp. Jeff Kostuik in Roblin is happy to help Bryan and his crew. He’s been working in Canada with hemp for 15 years now. Bryan asked how do we know when to harvest? Jeff explained when the morning doves start showing up … and the birds showed up here.
Bryan and his crew were surprised at how well combining went. Grain yields were good. We will test again next year and possibly at other REC’s. Dr. Ken Grafton has the final say. The ND Dept of Ag is currently writing a manual on hemp rules. Dave Monson spoke with Rachel about this. They know they have issues with their pilot program and are currently rewriting it. The administrative rules won’t get done until after January 1st and the deadline to apply is January 1st. Therefore, if you apply you will not know the exact rules you’ll have to follow next year. Currently we’ve been using LREC funds for this project but Dr. Burton Johnson is in the process of applying for grants for next year.
Naeem Kalwar was not present due to a conference in Jamestown. Randy Mehlhoff presented his update. Naeem’s groundwater management project: Ron Beneda and Naeem Kalwar collected $80,000 in donations from the area to make this project possible. Naeem has been taking calls on tiling, monitoring the water table levels, and applying amendments to the project. The ND Dept of Health tested the water samples he sent free of charge because they also want the data.
Naeem’s advisory board support: soil sodicity is more prevalent than common perception and requires soil amendments. There are two kinds of gypsum: mined and produced as a byproduct of coal fired plants. Right now coal fired plants are producing calcium sulfite. Naeem says by adding another process they can convert it into gypsum. Then it wouldn’t have to go into landfills. This would be beneficial to both farmers and the coal companies. Aaron Johnson asked what it entails to go from sulfite to gypsum. Randy was not sure.
Lesley Lubenow was also not present. She is taking leave to care for her dad who has cancer. She will provide a handout when she returns and we’ll mail it with the meeting minutes before our next meeting.
After lunch Randy introduced the topic “Langdon REC Ag Budget Priorities for 2017/19 Biennium.” Randy has to present his requests December 15th to SBARE. SBARE will then meet to prioritize all the requests. Randy thinks we may have to plan for a 2.5% budget decrease next session. The atmosphere of the legislature is different. We’ll have to be more conservative and diligent on what we ask for. This could be a cut of $45,000.
Randy presented some of the current requests:
NDSU Extension Service’s I3 initiative.
ABEN’s Precision Ag faculty, safety specialist, and AGTRAC lab. Mike Beltz said there’s a lot of interest in Precision Ag. Quite a few groups noted this as their number one request.
Applied Business/Economic’s commodity lab technician, CAPTS research specialist/operating: The lab is currently managed by graduate students. They want a permanent person to manage the lab. Mike Beltz commented on CAPTS – Trade is very important because we produce more than we consume.
NPSAS’s organic production specialist: Brad Brummond did a good presentation on this topic. It will provide more expertise in organic farming. Janet Jacobson mentioned it’s not just organic farming. What organic farmers do is also applicable to other farmers such as finding ways to decrease costs.
Apiary specialist? There have been issues regarding this topic in northeast North Dakota. The ND Dept of Ag has an apiary program so we want to be sure we don’t duplicate our efforts said Mike Beltz. The number of hives is at a record high. Randy mentioned the LREC has an open office if an apiary specialist is hired in this area. Chuck Damschen mentioned some changes were made to the apiary laws and next year we’ll have a better idea if the changes helped.
Mike Beltz commented on the request for a new Waldron Hall. This project would cost between 36-40 million dollars. It used to house between 12-15 employees and now has 45. The soil grinding lab cannot hold the volume needed, there are building issues, and equipment is stored in a hallway so the hallway is now considered a room.
Leon Hiltner then asked about Harris Hall. He’d like to see a request for a new Harris Hall. Mike explained that it’s a university building so SBARE has no say over this.
LREC Budget Considerations:
- The LREC would like to see an increase in operating to offset increases in state fleet (added depreciation costs), ITD (bill went from $890 a month to $1095/month), and other costs. Tim Faller commented on the increased depreciation costs for state fleet. It’s hurtful for places that keep yearly state fleet vehicles (such as Langdon). NDDOT didn’t tell the REC’s that the charges were increasing before budgets were due nor were the REC’s aware of the increase in ITD costs.
- Randy would like to keep the Precision Ag request because of the UAS potential at the Nekoma missile site. Shannon Duerr and Carol Goodman have been working on this for many years. This will be a top priority for Langdon.
- Randy mentioned we will not be asking for another full time employee. We are fully staffed. If anyone thinks differently, please let Randy know.
- The LREC is in support of the Extension I3 initiative. It’s pretty vague but this includes more operating dollars. Dave Monson asked if the LREC obtained an apiary specialist, whose budget would pay for this. Randy said it depends if the person is an Ag Experiment Station employee.
- The organic production specialist is also a priority.
LREC Capital Projects:
- Joann Rodenbiker asked about the seed cleaning plant request. David Monson mentioned Carrington and Minot each received $750,000 to go towards their seed cleaning plants. They’ll need about another $1.5 million for the new plants. Mike Beltz mentioned how a mobile mill and building is $1.5 million. A portable mill is $1.25 million. Blaine hasn’t been able to find the funds, and he’s not sure if Blaine is comfortable fundraising. Ninety percent chance he’ll end up with a mobile mill. He is currently buying the equipment to use the $750,000. Randy stated a mobile mill would be adequate for Langdon. Our current mill was built in 1961/62. Paul Berntson asked if we could hire a custom cleaner to clean our seed. We clean from mid-November thru April. Randy said we have two of the best seed cleaners in North Dakota. He would like to continue cleaning our own seed.
Mike Beltz mentioned how Casselton goes to Carrington right now to clean seed. If Carrington gets their own portable mill, then Casselton could come to Langdon instead. Leon Hiltner commented on how portable mills are made to pull out of the building, use, then put it back. Leon’s wondering why we pull them from place to place because they are not made for this. Mike Beltz commented that that’s how it would work in a perfect world, and what we’re currently doing is working.
There are four sites wanting new seed cleaning plants: NCREC, LREC, CREC, and WREC. Langdon would like a portable but the other three want permanent plants with color sorters.
There also was a comment on how two years ago the state of North Dakota had so much money they couldn’t spend it all. What happened to the oil money that wasn’t spent? Dave Monson said the money went for highways in western ND. Dave mentioned the plan was to provide money for two mills last session and two this upcoming session. The question is whether there will still be money for this. Langdon will keep the seed cleaning plant as its number one capital priority. Dave also said how it’s been on the list for so long and they’ve put money towards two of them, to leave it on the list again.
Mike Beltz also informed the council of three more capital building projects that have been requested to SBARE so it would be huge to get the seed cleaning plants off the list so that other projects can be funded. SBARE can’t go against the order on the prioritization list and they must weigh the needs of the entire system. December 15th is the first ranking of the priorities. JoAnn Rodenbiker would also like to see LREC’s seed plant funded so they can move on with the list.
Carrington REC is asking for a research technician for its plant pathology program. Randy has no problem supporting this. Dave mentioned we can ask for FTEs but it’s a hard sell. But because John Lukach retired and that position wasn’t filled, we may be able to use this for a sell. Once a position is lost, it’s hard to get back.
- Dave Monson commented on our land purchase. The money is in place. The LREC will be closing within the next two weeks. Randy stated local land owners are supportive of the project.
Mike Beltz thanked the board for what they do. The REC’s advisory councils are fundamental in what SBARE does.
Closing Items: Three LREC Advisory Council members’ terms are expiring this year: Tom Borgen, Paul Berntson, and Shannon Duerr. Paul and Shannon have elected to stay on for another three years. Randy will talk with Tom and let everyone know at the next meeting.
Issue with the LREC Advisory Council bylaws. We would like to rewrite the terms section to keep the three representatives, the Cavalier County Ag Agent, and an SBARE member on the board at all times. These positions would be permanent. The group asked that we make changes and bring to the next meeting for approval.
Every year our annual Field Day is the same day as the Ag Coalition Meeting in Mandan. This causes conflicts. We think our Field Day will be July 21st next year. There really isn’t a good solution for changing our Field Day because the Fargo speakers travel to the different REC’s together – the REC’s field days are scheduled accordingly.
Our next LREC Advisory Council meeting will be at 7:30am the day of our 2016 Field Day.
Attendance- Shannon Duerr, Rep. David Monson, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Randy Mehlhoff, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Sara McGregor, Tom Borgen, Rep. Chuck Damschen, and Kent Schluchter
Because of this meeting being before the 2016 Langdon Research Extension Center in cooperation with the Northern Canola Grower’s Assocation’s annual Field Day, the only topics discussed were the recent budget allotment, upcoming budget allotment and 10% reduction from the 2015/2017 base budget for the next biennium.
Randy passed out details on the budget cuts and asked that everyone review them prior to our next meeting. The next LREC advisory council meeting will be at the end of October or very beginning of November 2016.
Langdon REC 4.05% Allotment
This allotment was taken from LREC funds in 2016: $36,396 March 17th and $44,777 July 1st. These cuts are permanent.
The allotment request was met by cutting funds from:
- Langdon no longer needs to lease a quarter of land (160 acres) because it was purchased in 2016, for a future savings of $16,000/year or $32,000/biennium. This assumes $100/ac. We currently pay $120/ac for other leased land.
- Langdon will return three state fleet vehicles (pickups) for a savings of $9,972.00 per year or $19,944.00/biennium.
- Langdon will hire two less part time summer workers for a savings of $11,200/yr or $22,400/biennium.
- The remaining funds ($6,829) will come from operating funds.
Langdon REC 2.5% Potential Allotment in August
Langdon proposes to meet the $50,107 allotment by cutting funds from:
- Langdon REC will no longer allow overtime to be paid from appropriated funds for an approximate savings of $7,000.
Overtime can be paid from soft dollars but not grant funds. Randy mentioned how Ag Comm in Fargo doesn’t allow its employees to work over 40 hours a week.
- Langdon will return two more state fleet vehicles (pickup and a car) for a savings of approximately $7,000.
SF vehicles are charged a monthly depreciation cost whether the vehicle is utilized or not. The LREC did have excess vehicles that were able to be given back to save on costs. The LREC purchased a Ranger and received two free ATVs from excess property which helps alleviate the need for extra vehicles. We do plan on purchasing another UTV.
Randy was asked if an employee is able to take his/her personal vehicle and be reimbursed. Yes, this is also a possibility if there are no SF vehicles available.
- Langdon REC will no longer allow travel expenses to be paid from appropriated funds for a savings of $9,000.
Travel will be paid from soft dollars and grant funds. Randy will be scrutinizing all trips and possibly limiting employees to one convention per year.
- The Langdon REC will save $16,300 between July 2016 and December 2016 due to the Research Technician position being open.
One of the Foundation Seedstocks’ Research Technicians retired June 2,2016. This position will be converted to soft dollars. James Chaput and Randy Mehlhoff also work with Foundation Seed and are both paid from appropriations. The soft Research Technician will be paid from Foundation Seed income and income from the canola crop that is used in rotation for foundation seed.
Randy does not plan to rehire this position until December. Rep. Monson informed Randy that he may want to fill this position soon otherwise the legislators may not allow the LREC to fill it at a later time. Ex) If you can go six months without the position filled, is it really necessary? He also warned about the upcoming 2.5% cut.
Tom Borgen and JoAnn Rodenbiker asked about soft dollars and its sustainability. Soft dollars are currently increasing at the LREC. Also, during the good years (2011-2014) the LREC saved income for a rainy day.
One concern paying summer workers and the Research Technician from soft dollars besides the sustainability of soft dollars is Foundation Seed sales income. NDSU’s wheat breeding program is not doing well. There is no new wheat variety in the pipeline. Randy planted Bolles and Linkert HRSW, University of Minnesota varieties, this spring hoping that will increase LREC foundation seed sales.
- The additional $11,700 needing to be cut is still being decided.
- An option is paying the two summer workers (being paid from appropriated funds) from soft dollars.
Randy mentioned he loves his job but it’s not been so enjoyable the last few months because of the budget allotments.
Rep David Monson mentioned it is a possibility the 2.5% could change after the special session. Human services/corrections may not be able to sustain and this could possibly affect other budgets.
Langdon REC 10% Allotment for 2017/2019 Biennium
- Langdon no longer needs to lease a quarter of land (160 acres) because it was purchased in 2016 for a future savings of $16,000/year or $32,000/biennium. This assumes $100/acre rent. We currently pay $120/acre for other leased land.
- Langdon returned three state fleet pickups at the end of 2015 and will return one more pickup and one car for a savings of $18,788.88/year or $37,577.76/biennium.
turned in 3 pickups
Total Miles for Year
Avg # of vehicles/month for 2015: 10
All figures below are for the 2017-2019 biennium:
The monthly depreciation cost for a pickup is estimated at $177.
The cost per mile for a pickup is estimated at $0.49
The monthly depreciation cost for a car is estimated at $157.
The cost per mile for a car is estimated at $0.33
The LREC turned in 3 pickups Sept 2015 to help save money.
The LREC will turn in 1 more pickup and 1 car.
Savings Using LREC Miles:
$177+(0.49*306)=$326.94 a month
$326.94 x 4 pickups=$1307.76/month
12*$1307.76 = $15,693.12 savings/year for pickups.
$157.00+(0.33*306)=$257.98 a month
$257.98*12= $3,095.76 savings/year for car.
Total Yearly Savings = $18,788.88
- In the past, Langdon normally hires six summer workers. Langdon will hire three less summer workers for a savings of $17,424.00/year or $34,848.00/biennium.
A summer worker working June 1-August 17 works 55 days. 55 days x 8 hour days = 440 hours. 440 hours x $12.00/hour = $5,280.00. $5,280 x 1.1 (fringe benefits) = $5,808.00 x 3 summer workers = a savings of $17,424.00/year.
*Looking at having all LREC summer workers paid on soft dollars because of another potential 2.5% budget allotment.
- An LREC Research Technician retired June 2, 2016. This Research Technician position is 54% hard dollars, 46% soft dollars. By making this position 100% soft dollars, Langdon will save:
Research Technician’s yearly salary is $39,441. 54% hard = $21,298.14 x 1.535 (position has 53.5% fringe benefits) = $32,692.65/year savings or $65,385.30/biennium.
- Langdon will not allow overtime (H03) or extra pay (HP1) from the general fund. This will provide a savings of approximately $7,000/year or $14,000/biennium.
- Langdon will not allow travel expenses to be paid from the general fund. July 2014-June 2015 Langdon incurred $9,350 in travel expenses from general fund. July 2015-April 2016 Langdon has incurred $8,037 in travel expenses from general fund. We estimate this amount to be $9,000 by the end of June 2016. Therefore, by not allowing travel expenses from the general fund in the 2017-2019 biennium, Langdon will have an approximate savings of $9,000/year or $18,000/biennium.
Langdon REC Summarized Allotment Report for 2017-2019 Biennium:
- Land Savings: $32,000
- SF Vehicles Savings: $37,578
- Summer Workers Savings: $34,848 *
- Research Technician Position Savings: $65,385
- Overtime Savings: $14,000
- Travel Savings: $18,000
For a total savings of $201,811 for the 2017-2019 biennium. This meets the LREC’s required 10% biennium cut of $200,427.
The 4.05% and 2.5% are included in the 10% allotment. The 10% allotment will be based off of the base budget for 2015/2017 biennium. Normally, every biennium the budget is increased due to cost to continue (inflation). There is talk that there may not be a cost to continue amount next biennium. Rep. David Monson mentioned that there is a possibility we would operate at 88% of base budget (meaning 12% allotment).
JoAnn Rodenbiker touched on sales tax collections falling off drastically, and Tom Borgen talked about Cavalier county having to deal with budget cuts also. It’s a difficult time for the county especially because it relies so heavily on agriculture. Tom commended Randy for a job well done with the budget cuts, and Randy thanked Sara for the figures/paperwork for the budget cuts. Randy made the budget cuts seem painless. Randy informed the group that Bryan Neville, Central Grassland Research Extension Center’s Director, resigned due to budget consternations.
Randy assured the council that the LREC’s efforts won’t skip a beat even with the budget cuts. We have strong programs in Langdon and they’ll continue on, just less resources to work with.
The meeting was adjourned to allow the council members to attend the LREC 2016 Annual Field Day.
Attendance- Kim Ruliffson, Leon Hiltner, Randy Mehlhoff, Carol Goodman (on behalf of Shannon Duerr), Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Rep Chuck Damschen, Senator Janne Myrdal, Sara McGregor, Lesley Lubenow, Bryan Hanson, Paul Berntson, Aaron Johnson, Dr. Venkat Chapara, Janet Jacobson, Tom Borgen, Scott Nelson, Naeem Kalwar, and Dr. Ken Grafton (joined via IVN)
Randy welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked all for attending. The council bylaws state at least 16 members for the LREC Advisory Council. Mr. Dennis Brown passed away this year. Randy will work on recruiting two new board members.
Meeting minutes from our July 21st, 2016 meeting were reviewed, approved by Leon Hiltner and second by Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla.
90% Budget/Priorities – 2017/19 Legislative Session
Wednesday, December 7th the Governor’s budget recommendations were released. Dr. Ken Grafton provided the advisory council a budget update:
In February we gave back 4.05% ($800,000 for REC’s, $2.4 million for Fargo main station, $3.2 million total for Agriculture)
August allotment was 2.5% ($400,000 for REC’s, $1.5 million for Fargo main station, approx. $2 million total for Agriculture)
We are prepared for a 90% budget for the upcoming 2017-19 biennium. This amounts to an approximate $8 million cut for the REC’s and Fargo main station Ag.
Just yesterday Randy was provided a budget cut update. The recommendation is for Langdon to cut 12.64% for the upcoming 2017-19 session. This amounts to $231,261.
SBARE’s #1 priorities for both the Agriculture Experiment Station and Extension Service is to restore the budget to the 2015-17 original appropriation. Ag is one of the few industries that returns money to the state. For every $1 spent on ag research, $38 is returned to the state.
The REC’s and main station have been on a hiring freeze. 80% of the ag budget is salaries and benefits. With 10% budget cuts the main station is looking at cutting 25 positions and RECs 10 positions. Dr. Grafton addressed the critical role we play in our farmers being successful and asked for the board’s support. Paul Berntson asked the chance of us being able to have the 2015-17 original budget restored. It’s up to the state to determine if its financial situation will allow. The legislature does listen to SBARE and has a high level of trust with these members. The legislature does try to follow their recommendations. Tom Borgen motioned to support SBARE’s #1 priority (return to original 2015-17 budget) for the AES, Carol Goodman and Paul Berntson second. Randy will communicate this to SBARE. Everyone is invited to attend the hearing in Bismarck on January 18, 2017 to show their support.
LREC Proposed 10% Budget Allotment Report for 2017-19 Biennium:
- Land rent savings of $32,000
- State fleet vehicle savings of $37,578
- Summer worker savings of $46,464
- Research Technician position savings of $65,385
- Overtime savings of $14,200
- Employee travel savings of $18,000
For a total savings of $213,627. This meets the LREC’s required 10% cut of $200,427.
Randy assured everyone we will come up with a plan to make the 12.64% cuts without hampering our ag and extension programs.
Leon Hiltner questioned the $120/acre land rental savings. Randy provided an explanation (importance of land, only two year leases because of biennium, etc) of why we used that amount in our calculations. Of our 755 acres that the LREC farms, only 200 acres are now rented.
Tom Borgen questioned our ability to maintain with all the cuts and transferring expenses to soft dollars. We are confident we’re able to maintain these cuts in the future.
Seed sales for the last eight years have been an average of $100,000/year. Our high quality Foundation seed the farmers receive is important to us. Paul Berntson asked about 2016/2017 seed sales. 2016 we sold $60,000 in Foundation seed. Looking at 2017 - SY Ingmar and SY Soren were two of the top varieties planted in ND in 2016. They didn’t fare well. This year we’ve almost doubled our sales from last year.
Senator Janne Myrdal commented Governor Jack Dalrymple’s budget is a suggestion, not sure what Doug Burgum’s adjustments will be. Ag is the foundation of our state and I’ll fight to keep it this way. Randy congratulated Janne on her Ag Appointment.
Paul Berntson asked about sources of soft dollar income. Contract variety testing, company trials, grants, commodity groups, etc. Dr. Grafton informed us across Ag, income is usually 50% appropriated, 50% soft dollars. The LREC’s income (not including extension funds) is approximately 63% appropriated, 37% soft dollars.
LREC Research Scientists/Extension Area Specialists Reports
The LREC Research Scientists, Bryan Hanson and Dr. Venkat Chapara, and LREC Extension Area Specialists, Lesley Lubenow and Naeem Kalwar, each provided an update on their programming efforts for 2016. Allison Thompson, LRSC Farm Business Management Instructor was not able to attend.
Langdon broke its 1954 precipitation record of 28.05” by the end of September this year. On a good note, this helped Dr. Chapara’s disease trials.
LREC Advisory Council Member Terms / Member Feedback & Discussion
LREC Advisory Council member’s terms expiring this month: Leon Hiltner, Janet Jacobson, Scott Nelson, and Aaron Johnson. Each agreed to serve another three year term. Randy would like to see a grower from each county on the board and also a livestock producer. He’ll work on filling our two open seats.
Leon Hiltner asked about the #3 priority of the NDAES Capital Improvement projects – Waldron Hall. He stated the importance of Harris Hall and the condition this hall is in. To please not forget about it. It’s going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to fund capital projects this upcoming biennium. Senator Myrdal mentioned how higher ed has higher cuts than other state agencies. We’ll work diligently to keep Harris Hall on Dr. Bresciani’s list.
Seed cleaning facilities update: Because of the high precipitation, our pit keeps filling with water. Until this issue is resolved, there will be no seed cleaning. Paul Berntson asked about having our seed cleaned by a local (private) seed cleaning facility or a mobile mill. Foundation SeedStocks does have a mobile mill that starts at the ASF, goes to CREC, then to NCREC. It wouldn’t be feasible to use this mill. Randy explained the high standards for our Foundation seed and the importance of keeping our seed cleaning in house. Randy complimented Jimmy Chaput and Kevin Beauchamp on their seed cleaning expertise over a number of years.
Rep. David Monson wasn’t able to attend this meeting because of meetings in Chicago, IL.
If there are any questions or comments regarding the December 9th LREC Advisory Council meeting please contact Randy at 701-256-2582.
Attendance- Kent Schluchter, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Kim Ruliffson, Tom Borgen, Rep. David Monson, Leon Hiltner, Shannon Duerr, Aaron Johnson, Randy Mehlhoff, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Janet Jacobson, Mike Beltz, Sara McGregor, and Rep. Chuck Damschen
Randy welcomed everyone to the Langdon Research Extension Center for the annual LREC and NCGA Field Day. Randy thanked Mike Beltz for his service to SBARE. Mike Beltz thanked Rep. David Monson for his service also.
Randy asked to have the meeting minutes from the December 2016 meeting approved. Janet Jacobson pointed out that they read Carol Hart instead of Carol Goodman. Sara McGregor has corrected. Kim Ruliffson motioned to approve and Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla second.
LREC Brief Update
Randy briefly discussed the 13.5% budget cuts that the LREC has implemented, and a breakdown of these cuts has been added to the LREC Advisory Council member binders. The cuts officially took place July 1, 2017. Even with the 13.5% cuts, the LREC is fully staffed. Our plan was to reduce the number of summer workers but we have been able to hire the full amount of summer workers because of grant projects. Randy commended the staff on the grant proposals. Lesley Lubenow is working on her PhD in Entomology and received a grant for a canola project thru the NCGA. Naeem Kalwar has also been quite successful in obtaining funds.
2017 Growing Season Update – Randy said last year was the most difficult growing season since he’s been at the LREC. However, all the rain was beneficial for Dr. Venkat Chapara, LREC Plant Pathologist. So far, this year has been one of the best years in Randy’s last 17 years here at the LREC. Langdon received 0.75” of rain yesterday which is the largest rainfall this year. Our Foundation SeedStocks program planted a lot of HRSW this year. This is the first year we’re producing Foundation Soybeans (ND Henson and ND17009GT). ND17009GT will be $30-$40 cheaper per acre for farmers, there is no tech fee, and the producer can keep these soybeans and plant the following year. NDSU Soybean Breeder, Ted Helms, has received support from the ND Soybean Council to help research GT varieties and also early maturing varieties. This year the supply of the ND17009GT Soybeans was 2,500 bushels while 11,000 bushels were requested. The LREC planted two new varieties of Faba Beans (Laura & Fabelle) and a new Flax variety this year. This year we are also increasing a new variety of peas which we haven’t done in the past. ND VitPro is the new NDSU HRSW variety. Carl Tollefson planted 75 acres of this. He’s the only producer of ND VitPro in Cavalier County in 2017. The LREC’s faba beans, field peas, and flax have been inspected by the NDSSD and all passed.
Faba Beans – Livestock feeders are buying them. Hoping for faba beans to become part of the food market. They grow in saline soils and like water. Aaron Johnson asked about chemical management of faba beans. We used Treflan and Spartan. The faba beans at the LREC are owned by Legume Logic. Richard Roland did a good presentation in Minot yesterday at their annual Field Day and Cody Roland is presenting today at the LREC.
Hemp Trial – No stop at the hemp trial for Field Day but if you’d like to see it, just let Randy Mehlhoff or Bryan Hanson know. Hemp looks good this year. One change is we’re only testing Canadian varieties this year because they outperform other countries’ varieties. The DEA did a random surprise inspection at the LREC this spring. It was quite thorough but we passed. We purchase hemp seed every year because the germination of brown bag seed isn’t over 50% the following year. Mike Beltz informed everyone that there are 3,000 acres of hemp planted in ND this year, approximately 40 farmers. David Monson has a hemp conference call today at 10:00. If you’re interested in hemp, the group that David Monson is part of is looking for members. Please talk to David Monson. He is wanting to start an industrial hemp council. Randy Mehlhoff mentioned he should talk to Roger Gussiaas of Carrington, ND. Chuck Damschen informed us that medical marijuana plants can net up to $43,000. Current administration is not looking favorably on the medical/recreational side. Randy suggested Carol Goodman for the industrial hemp council.
Tom Borgen asked about budget cuts. Will they be the same next year? David Monson doesn’t forsee anymore cuts for the LREC or the county. Farm prices are helping, oil production is stable, oil price not fluctuating too much. North Dakota is number two in the nation with the most stable economy. Governor Burgum is ranked 5th in all the states.
Randy Mehlhoff stated he and Sara McGregor will look more closely at budget cuts after she returns from maternity leave. Randy commended Sara on not needing the Ag Budget Office’s assistance while out on maternity leave. Sara plans to work 1-2 days per week thru maternity leave. David Monson commended Randy on a fantastic job with the budget cuts.
The NDSU Main Station had 25% cuts to their technician budgets. Therefore, they need to find that 25% elsewhere. This does affect the LREC because some of their duties are passed onto us. Ex) Uniform Scab Nursery – The info is critical. Dr. Venkat Chapara has been helping with this trial at no charge. There was mention how the REC’s and Main Station work very well collaboratively.
Leon Hiltner asked about the status of the new Agronomy Lab. The lab is complete. Requested money for a new seed cleaning plant has taken a back burner. Mitch Otto is helping us update our old seed cleaning plant so that we’re able to clean soybeans. David Monson said to keep the new seed cleaning plant on our list. Williston REC is working on raising half the funds for a new seed cleaning plant then will ask the legislature for the other half.
Leon Hiltner questioned what it’ll take to turn the budget situation around? David Monson suggested higher crop prices and a bump in oil prices. Chuck Damschen said another factor is sales tax. Tom Borgen touched on ND property taxes increasing. There was a brief ND property tax discussion.
David Monson mentioned Senator Myrdal wasn’t able to attend today.
Randy Mehlhoff contacted Tracy Boe to become a member of the LREC Advisory Council. He hasn’t responded at this time. Randy is still working on filling the other open seat.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20am so council members could partake in the 2017 LREC/NCGA Annual Field Day.
Attendance- Kent Schluchter, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Lesley Lubenow, Bryan Hanson, Randy Mehlhoff, Sara Schuchard-McGregor, Rep. David Monson, Dr. Chris Boerboom, Aaron Johnson, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Janet Jacobson, Scott Nelson, Dr. Venkat Chapara, and Tim Faller via IVN
Randy welcomed the advisory council members and thanked Anitha for presenting Venkat’s presentation at the Canola Expo on December 5, 2017. Venkat wasn’t able to attend because of flight delays.
We will review the July 2017 meeting minutes at our next meeting because we didn’t have a quorum.
Randy presented an update on the LREC: Langdon REC 2017/19 budget reduction specifics, LREC core research programs, and LREC extension programs. Please see his SBARE report handout for more details. He also reminded everyone on the areas where we cut 13.5% due to the allotment and budget cuts: land savings, SF vehicles savings, summer workers savings, Research Technician position savings, overtime savings, travel savings, and Plant Pathologist position savings.
David Monson questioned if the Research Technician position now being 100% soft is stable? Foundation SeedStock income covers this position. If we ever can’t fund the position, Randy will try to give the individual a six-month notice. Carmen Ewert filled this position January 2017.
Randy mentioned the LREC is fully staffed, thanked the employees for their dedication, is thankful to have individuals with college degrees, and is grateful to have good facilities here even with the budget cuts. We are going to continue to do 100% of what we’ve been doing. New agronomy lab update: It’s costing 2.5 times more to heat the lab than expected. A company came in to do infrared imaging. We are working with JLG to resolve the issues. Growing season update: The season went very well. All trials and foundation fields were harvested.
NDSU Extension Administrative Update by Dr. Chris Boerboom: The legislators are having SBARE review Extension’s overall programming statewide. He provided a handout with details of Extension’s 2017/19 budget cuts, SBARE’s review of NDSU Extension, SBARE initiatives, and Extension staffing. Budget Cut includes $4.1 million dollars, 12 full-time positions to be officially closed and 8 full-time vacant positions are currently frozen. Kent Schluchter asked if any department was affected more than others. Animal Sciences had one retirement, one individual left, and a support staff took the retirement buyout so you could say they were affected more than some departments. Two of those three positions were officially closed.
SBARE is reviewing Extension. Six months of comprehensive review in all areas. See key findings on handout. North Dakota values a county based system rather than a regional system so Extension is working to keep the Extension agents county based. Dr. Boerboom talked about the educational processes that Extension provides, aiming for transformational education. JoAnn Rodenbiker (SBARE committee member) commented the SBARE committee has people from many different areas – AARP, Bank of ND, Wheat Commission, County Commissioners, etc. It was transformational in learning how Extension impacts individuals in ND. The impacts that Extension makes on a daily basis may be underappreciated. Extension will work on marketing themselves in the coming years. The review committee came up with 30 recommendations for Extension.
Phase two of the review is looking for change: Reorganization is one change that is in process. 1- Merging FCS and CV into Family and Community Wellness. Realigned from four districts to three with only three district directors. Draft revision of cost share agreement to fund Extension agents is being discussed with counties. In the past the county has paid 50% of the Extension agents salary, NDSU paid 50% salary and all benefits. Now Extension doesn’t have the funds and fringe benefits are increasing twice as fast. Different splits are being proposed. SBARE review also looked at lower population counties sharing/merging with another county. Extension is still reviewing how to make these changes the most beneficial way possible. David Monson encouraged Extension to look into K12 funding for ideas. There was a short discussion on different ideas for funding county agents. Dr. Boerboom informed us the ND Association of Counties made a resolution to support county based Extension programs and called on the legislature to provide support.
LREC Research & Extension Program Updates
Bryan Hanson, Research Agronomist, provided an update on his agronomy program: trials with NDSU breeders, contract variety testing program, private company trials, etc. Soybean comment: You need 100 feet between Xtend beans and other beans, therefore, challenge with land space and spacing in a research setting. Faba Beans: Some of his faba beans made 110bu/ac but is there a market for them yet? If we can get a market here they can easily be grown. Hemp: Very sensitive to glyphosate and doesn’t like rain. 2016 didn’t go well but 2017 had good emergence. This year 3,000 acres of hemp grown thru the ND Dept. of Ag pilot program. We need to find a market for hemp as well. Bryan attended the 24th Annual Hemp Industries Association Meeting in Lexington, KY this September. See his PowerPoint presentation for all the update details.
Lesley Lubenow, Extension Area Specialist/Agronomy, provided an update on her Extension program. Main focuses include: Soybean Management Education, Know Us, Know Trends Research, and Flea Beetle Research. Anitha, Samantha Lahman, and Lesley worked on pyrethroid resistance this summer. There’s going to be winter programming at Best of the Best and Lake Regional Roundup. See her PowerPoint presentation for all details.
Dr. Venkat Chapara, Assistant Research Professor/Plant Pathology, encourages any farmers with disease issues in Northeast North Dakota to call him so they can discuss a management plan. Venkat talked about his Clubroot trial, Silver nanoparticles in Soybeans trial, Bee Vectoring Technology trial, etc. He received funding for all his proposals submitted last year. He also mentioned Clubroot is spreading in Cavalier County to fields with a low pH. He’ll be presenting details at winter meetings. See PowerPoint presentation for all the details.
Randy Mehlhoff presented for Naeem Kalwar, Extension Area Specialist/Soil Health, because Naeem was in Indianapolis, IN attending a National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health. Naeem is preaching testing your soil before you tile. A tiling company at the Canola Expo thought sodicity would come out if you tile. Randy indicated Naeem has had many companies come to the LREC to learn about soil health and tiling from Naeem.
Foundation SeedStocks Update by Randy Mehlhoff: Carrington and Minot REC’s were given $750,000 and need to raise the rest of the funds to build their new seed cleaning plants. Our plant is old but still works. We pushed for a mobile mill but because of the budget situation we’ve been doing improvements to our plant: pit improvements, bin and seed cleaning plant equipment upgrades, phasing our durum and barley, adding soybeans and peas to foundation seed production, and safety upgrades. After Carrington and Minot’s plants are completed we’ll focus on a mobile mill.
2019/21 Budget Priorities: LREC is not asking for anything. We are supporting: the Extension programming package, the Agrobiome research initiative, Precision Ag research initiative, long term continuation of SBARE, and for the NDSU Agriculture sick leave policy to be unchanged.
Case IH Equipment at the Research Centers: Tim Faller came up with the idea. The first time asking for bids Case IH came in at $1/tractor for four years but research centers can’t put more than 250 hours on per year. Every year the equipment is traded in. The producer who purchases the used equipment gets new tractor warranty. The second bidding John Deere was $1/tractor per year and Case IH was $0.01/tractor per year for six years with an extension potential. We are now at the end of our 12th year. Request for proposals go to: Caterpillar, New Holland, Case IH, and John Deere. Only these four because we require an organization with statewide service. Currently in agriculture it’s more difficult to sell equipment so we’ll see what happens this year. Tim is confident these dealerships want a good relationship with the NDSU Research Centers. We treat the equipment with complete respect. What’d be the impact if this program went away? Most likely a 15-40% slowdown in research if the program is discontinued. Higher percentages at ag research centers vs. livestock centers.
LREC Advisory Board Expired Terms: Kent Schluchter and Bruce Lewallen’s terms expire at the end of this year. Kent has agreed to serve another term. Randy will contact Bruce about his expiring term.
Randy has contacted the Rolette County agent about Tracy Boe becoming an LREC Advisory Board member. We are waiting for an answer. The other board member opening is for a Grand Forks county representative. Randy will be working with the GF County Extension Agent to fill this spot. It would have been filled sooner but the GF Extension agent was new at the time.
JoAnn Rodenbiker informed us her SBARE term is up next year so we’ll have a new SBARE member joining.
Randy thanked everyone for their time and the meeting ended around 1:20pm.
Attendance- Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Shannon Duerr, JoAnn Rodenbiker, Leon Hiltner, Aaron Johnson, Dr. Charlie Stoltenow, Dr. Greg Lardy, Cameron Mickelson, Paul Berntson, Kent Schluchter, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, and Senator Janne Myrdal
Randy welcomed everyone and began with a short growing update at the LREC. We’ve had about 60% of our normal rainfall, Dr. Venkat Chapara has disease but would like more, and the crops look good.
NDAES/Extension Update and Governor’s 2019/21 Budget Request
Randy touched on the 13.5% budget cuts that we’ve endured, but we’re still currently operating at 100%. He presented three handouts: NDSU Extension Program Initiatives, SBARE Priorities for the ND Ag Experiment Station, and a NDSU LREC report for Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Extension Program Initiatives: enhancing web presence and operational support. Dr. Greg Lardy talked about modifying their base policy with the counties – 40% of salaries and fringes are funded by the county and 60% by the state. Extension had a 14% budget cut therefore some county, area, and state specialist positions were eliminated.
Governor Burgum is asking for another 10% cut with a possible 3% contingency. NDSU employees have not received raises for two years, creating wage compression issues. If another 13% cut is required, Langdon may need to cut a position. Senator Myrdal informed us how the legislative body has a perception of ag being against extension. She is a supporter of extension. Oil is doing better, the Legacy Fund is growing (currently around $5 billion), and she’s supporting to find other places to cut besides ag. Communication is important. Please call Janne or Representative Dave Monson with concerns.
Randy informed the group that we may have an earlier meeting (rather than our normal December meeting) to talk about budget cuts. Each agency needs to submit a budget. In December the governor will release his budget. Legislators also develop their budget (alternative budget). Then they’ll come to an agreement.
SBARE priorities for the NDAES: Agribiome Initiative, Precision Agriculture, and Enhancing Research Capacity. Capital Improvement Requests: Agronomic, Pathology, and Soils Field Lab Facility, Seed Cleaning Facility at the WREC, Equipment Storage Sheds, and Precision Ag/ABEN Facility.
The United States and North Dakota are falling behind in the world on ag research. The Agribiome Initiative will benefit this. Randy commented on how the legislature has been very good to the REC’s regarding capital projects. We have great facilities, now need to keep our employees to utilize those facilities.
Leon Hiltner asked about Harris Hall. It’s the number two priority on NDSU’s project list. It has favorable opinions in the legislature. There are currently two sites for the new Harris Hall: current Harris Hall location or across the street from the North Dakota State Seed Department.
Question was asked about NDSU having land along 19th Avenue. There is incredible pressure for developers wanting the land along 19th Ave. NDSU has to pay specials on this land, but we do want to hold onto it. It’s convenient because NDSU students can be trained at these locations right on campus.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp visited the LREC on Saturday, July 14th. Randy provided the advisory council a copy of the handout that was given to Senator Heitkamp. It informs her of our main projects here. Naeem Kalwar and Dr. Venkat Chapara spoke to Senator Heitkamp. If passed, the new Farm Bill will legalize commercial hemp production. Randy also spoke to Senator Heitkamp about foreign worker requests and making it easier and quicker to keep our foreign workers onboard.
Randy thanked JoAnn Rodenbiker for serving on our council. This is her last meeting. Randy has emailed the new SBARE member, Julie Zikmund, but will also call her.
Advisory Council Expiring Terms
Tom Borgen and Paul Berntson are serving their second term on the LREC Advisory Council. Their terms expire 12/31/2018. Shannon Duerr, CCJDA, is also on her second term that expires 12/31/2018. Randy will discuss these terms at our next meeting. However, he’d like to revisit Shannon’s seat because it will be helpful to have a JDA member on the council at all times.
Paul Berntson asked how our Foundation seed sales were this year. 2018 LREC Foundation seed sales were 4,263 bushels for $76,853.80. Bolles and Faller were the highest wheat sales, and there was more demand for the new NDSU GT soybeans than available.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15am so the attendees could take part in the 2018 Langdon Research Extension Center/Northern Canola Grower Association’s Field Day.
Attendance- Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Shannon Duerr, Leon Hiltner, Aaron Johnson, Dr. Greg Lardy, Paul Berntson, Kent Schluchter, Senator Janne Myrdal, Rep David Monson, Rep Chuck Damschen, Scott Nelson, Lesley Lubenow, Naeem Kalwar, Bryan Hanson, Janet Jacobson, and Julie Zikmund
Randy opened the meeting thanking the three legislators for attending. Due to LREC employees leaving for vacation, we began with LREC updates: Naeem Kalwar provided an update on his soil program. He’s helping farmers turn marginal areas into crops and educating on reducing the loss of topsoil. The LREC purchased a Giddings soil probe and now he’s able to probe four to five feet deep. Taking these soil samples to remedy marginal/non-productive land has created other business opportunities such as hauling gypsum with a side dump trailer and spreading gypsum. Naeem helped 39 landowners at 130 sites in 2018. Randy described how the Ag Experiment Station is research and NDSU Extension is outreach. Naeem’s position is 100% extension, but he works approximately 90% extension, 10% research. Naeem doing research is a learning opportunity for him. Naeem also talked about inter-seeding crops, such as soybeans planted into live cereal rye. He shared his findings on his groundwater management project at the LREC. Rep Dave Monson commented on how much he has learned from Naeem. He asked Naeem to testify to his committee in January. Naeem will help the legislators see the difference between extension and research but also how they work together creating a larger benefit and the effect Extension has on ND.
Janne Myrdal stressed the importance of Extension “telling your story.” Bryan Hanson’s position, LREC Research Agronomist, is 100% research but he has an extension component. Researcher’s HATCH projects now contain an extension requirement. Bryan provided an update on his agronomy program. He does variety testing, contract variety testing (public entries), private company trials, and grant trials. At this time, he is no longer conducting off-station barley trials because there hasn’t been much change, latest variety released in 2010. Bryan is still testing hemp. David Monson met with Doug Goehring. Hemp fees are decreasing, there is going to be a makeover of the ND hemp laws, call it hemp rather than industrial hemp, still need to be licensed to grow hemp, they are planning to not limit acres, must get THC checks, and price has decreased. We don’t want to overproduce hemp. Roger Gussiaas processes hemp seed but paid less this year for the crop.
Lesley provided an update on her extension and research programs. She highlighted working on soybean aphid pyrethroid resistance and the integrated pest management program. Lesley informed the group about her aphid project. They found that the aphids didn’t overwinter. They think they died. She also pushed, don’t use insecticides unless necessary – waste of money and harming the ecosystem. The NDSU integrated pest management webpage is not live data like pest web from Montana. We’ll need additional staff and dollars for that. She has a demo project with Lindy Berg, Towner County Extension Agent, and is doing flea beetle research. Lesley touched on hemp not doing well in a drought year. She was a collaborator with NDDA for a hemp project in 2018 in Northeast North Dakota. There was white mold, weed issues, and lower yields. Not to mention the price was down too. $1.00/lb vs $0.50/lb this year. Many applicants for the hemp program didn’t follow thru. The growers in Pembina want the border open to transport the product to Canada. Fiber plants in North Dakota would be helpful. Roger Gussiaas takes hemp seed but not large enough for all the production. Lesley discussed her future plans.
Randy provided Venkat Chapara’s update because he and his family are in India. Venkat had 35 research trials in 2018, including seven different crops. Clubroot in Cavalier County increased more than anticipated. At the LREC we do not plan to grow canola commercially on station for the time being. We are preserving our research land. Bryan’s private trials will use clubroot resistant varieties. He is planning to purchase a new tiller strictly for off-station use. Resistant varieties reduce the spore load but don’t eradicate it. NDSU now has the ability to count spores. At the LREC, land was found containing 400-500 clubroot spores/gram. Need 80,000 spores to show symptoms. Clubroot resistant varieties do propagate clubroot. Lesley provided a detailed explanation on how clubroot spreads. After two years there is a 50% decrease in spores, another two years another 50% decrease, etc. Venkat acknowledged his funding sources and thanked NDSU employees that assisted him throughout the year.
Foundation Seed Stocks Update - ND17009GT and ND18008GT soybeans are available at the LREC. We purchased conveyors, three bins, new screens for seed cleaning, etc for soybean production. Carrington’s new seed cleaning plant has been running for approximately three months. NCREC is still working on their plant. At the Williston REC Jerry Bergman, director, is fundraising for a seed cleaning plant. These stations plant 1500-1700 acres of foundation seed compared to our 350 acres. Therefore, we would be satisfied with a mobile mill. We have put approximately $50,000 into our seed cleaning plant. It’s operating great. We don’t plan to ask for any money for a seed cleaning plant nor do we plan to change anything. Handout showing SBARE priorities for NDAES and Extension were shared with the group.
Greg Lardy, Interim Extension Director and acting AES Director, provided an update. Duane Hauck has come on to assist him because of the administrative changes. The main station cut 30 employees, RECs 10 employees, and Extension 12 employees. They are in the process of hiring for six critical programs. The NDSSD and FSS is partnering, with Steve Sebesta at the lead. He has implemented key cost cutting measures, and FSS is now running in the black. Extension went thru a comprehensive review recently. The group gave 30 recommendations which Extension is working to implement, including: change in the funding model for Extension agents, reorganized administrative structure, created F&CW, carefully evaluating vacancies, etc. There was a decrease in enrollment at NDSU meaning less tuition income and less state funding. NDSU is offering another round of voluntary separations and evaluating positions and programs. Dr. Lardy was asked about the decrease in enrollment. Is it a one-year thing or a trend? They’re not sure at this time. They have become more aggressive over the last four to five months on recruiting. Julie Zikmund was at a meeting recently and shared a statistic: for a class with 10 students, one will go on to get his/her master’s degree, two for their bachelor’s degree, and the other seven a two-year degree or no degree. There was group discussion regarding this statistic. Senator Myrdal mentioned Governor Burgum said 70% of the jobs don’t require a four-year degree. The discussion ended for lunch break.
Approval of the July 2018 meeting minutes were motioned by Shannon Duerr and second by Kent Schluchter. Advisory board member terms expiring at the end of this month: Tom Borgen, Paul Berntson, and Shannon Duerr. Randy will contact the Cavalier County Extension agent and Walsh County Extension agent for recommendations on individuals to replace Tom and Paul. He then explained how the JDA plays an important role in what we do at the LREC. Randy suggested we always have a JDA member on the board. The bylaws will be updated and presented at the next meeting – July 2019. Motion made by Leon Hiltner and second by Aaron Johnson.
Next, Randy provided an email showing what Governor Burgum proposed on December 5th.
Highlights of Budget Additions
Extension: One-time funding of $345,000 added to develop a web strategy and reimagine content.
Main: One-time funding from SIIF added for $1,440,465 for deferred maintenance.
It is important to note that the Governor’s Budget does include a compensation package for state employees. The details are listed below.
- 4% year one (2019) increase
- 2% year two (2020) increase with potential for additional 2% if long-term salary savings are identified
- Adds a premium to existing health plan; employees would contribute $28/month
- Adds 1% employee and 1% state contribution to NDPERS (We are checking to see if this impacts TIAA-CREF.)
When one considers the budget enhancements, including the compensation package and proposed cuts, in total, the overall changes in the budgets are:
- NDSU Extension +2.7%
- Main Station, ND EXP -2.3%
- Branch Stations -2.1%
Randy mentioned if we had to endure another 10-13% cut at the LREC, we would have had to cut 1.5 positions from the agronomy and/or pathology programs. Senator Myrdal focused on the importance of “tell your story.” She also mentioned Governor Burgum is concerned about protecting our intellectual property and being compensated for sharing it.
Representative Chuck Damschen was asked his thoughts: ag commodity prices are tough, interesting discussion at today’s meeting, and touched on oil prices/production.
Representative Dave Monson’s thoughts on the upcoming session: it’s going to be a tough session, increase in oil revenue – higher than we anticipated. We’re pumping more oil with fewer rigs and producing 1.3 million barrels per day. He reiterated we need to “tell our story.” Sixty to 65% of legislators are urban. What is helpful though is the house appropriation chairs are rural. Leon Hiltner suggested town hall meetings before the legislators meet. Senator Myrdal said there is not enough time before session.
Randy thanked Paul Berntson and Tom Borgen for each serving two terms on the LREC Advisory Council. He thanked the legislators and others for attending. Everyone is welcome to email the legislators with concerns and suggestions. The meeting adjourned at 2:05pm.
Attendance- Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Shannon Duerr, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Aaron Johnson, Dr. Frank Casey, Janet Jacobson, Rep. Chuck Damschen, Leon Hiltner, Julie Zikmund, Cameron Mickelson, Kent Schluchter, and Dr. Charlie Stoltenow
Randy welcomed everyone with introductions following. The LREC is currently fully staffed, and Randy provided a brief overview of the employees and what they’ve been working on.
A Foundation SeedStock program update is a topic for the 2019 LREC Field Day. Randy and Steve Sebesta will explain what we do, varieties grown, why foundation seed is superior, take questions, etc. In 2009 our foundation seed production included four crops, eight varieties total. 2019 is six crops, 21 varieties total. This year the LREC has 525 acres of foundation seed. We are not growing canola commercially because of the clubroot situation. Clubroot was found on station last year in the canola nursery. To minimize the spread of clubroot, the canola research areas will be kept as far as possible from the contaminated area, and we no longer house the canola nursery. Our plan is to quarantine the clubroot area for at least five, possibly 10 years. We will have an old tractor and cultivator that will stay at the site and only be used in the contaminated areas. The plan is to plant grass there this fall.
Anitha attended Canola Palooza in Canada. They did research on growing crops such as rye to reduce the clubroot spore count. Farmers are using longer rotations and resistant canola seed. Clubroot is pH dependent. Using beetlime in these areas may reduce spore count too.
Randy thanked Leon Hiltner for testifying on behalf of the LREC. Dr. Frank Casey informed the group NDAES was hoping for a hold even budget. Having a compensation package is important to raise morale. He touched on the number one initiative, Agribiome. The WREC received $500,000 for a seed cleaning plant, and NDAES $940,000 of one time deferred maintenance. Dr. Casey said Dr. Greg Lardy thanks everyone for the support. Calculations show a 40% return on investment on NDSU research dollars. SB 2297 is capital improvement projects on campus. NDAES received $48 million for Dunbar Hall and $40 million for the new Ag Products Development Center (an additional $20 million needs to be raised).
Dr. Charlie Stoltenow provided an Extension update. Dr. Bresciani thanks everyone for their dedication to NDSU. He says NDSU feeds the world and NDSU cures cancer.
NDSU Extension’s budget increased 7%. The legislators decided to go back to the 50/50 model for extension agents. The counties and NDSU will split salary 50/50 and NDSU will cover benefits while the county provides operating dollars. Extension needs to update its web presence. We received a one-time $340,000 for these enhancements. Anitha asked if we are modeling our website after another university. Possibly Nebraska or Pennsylvania. NDSU hired a consultant from St. Paul to assist with the redesign.
Farmers would like an app where you take a picture of a weed, load it to the NDSU app, and it identifies the weed. Andrew Friskop and Sam Markell are working on something similar. Currently, a producer can send a picture to the Plant Diagnostic Lab for identification. One note, the ND Dept. of Ag has protocol to follow for palmer amaranth. Call your extension agent if you suspect palmer amaranth.
Dr. Stoltenow thanked Randy for supporting Naeem and Lesley. Naeem presented at the legislature this year and did an outstanding job.
Julie Zikmund is our new SBARE board member. She said there was great support for Extension this year. The listening sessions will be starting in September. SBARE also takes written testimony. Their recommendations will come out in May 2020. SBARE is so important and has been a great learning experience for Julie.
LREC Advisory Council Expiring Terms
This December the LREC Advisory Council has four terms expiring: Janet Jacobson, Leon Hiltner, Aaron Johnson, and Scott Nelson. Randy will be in contact with the extension agents to fill the upcoming vacancies.
At the last meeting the council members decided to keep a JDA member permanently on the council. The bylaws were amended and presented at this meeting. Anitha made a motion to approve the new bylaws and Kent second.
Tentative date for the next LREC Advisory Council meeting- December 12, 2019.
The meeting adjourned so Randy could welcome everyone to the 2019 LREC Field Day in cooperation with the Northern Canola Growers Association.
Attendance- Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Shannon Duerr, Leon Hiltner, Aaron Johnson, Janet Jacobson, Bryan Hanson, Lesley Lubenow, Rep David Monson, Rep Chuck Damschen, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Senator Janne Myrdal, Scott Nelson, Kent Schluchter, Cameron Mickelson, and Dr. Venkat Chapara
Randy Mehlhoff began the meeting with a welcome and introductions. Reily Bata and Jon Iverson are new advisory council members but we are still looking for a Walsh County producer to join. This will be Leon Hiltner, Scott Nelson, Aaron Johnson, and Janet Jacobson’s last meeting due to expiring terms. Thank you for your service to the LREC.
Randy provided an LREC update noting we are fully staffed. He showed the research center’s organizational chart. NDSU is dealing with salary compression issues due to employees not receiving raises for two years. He did a brief introduction for REC scientists and Extension specialists. Naeem Kalwar and Venkat Chapara were in Fargo yesterday being recognized for NDSU awards.
Randy provided a LREC building layout. Our new Agronomy Lab is having air infiltration issues. Comstock will be resolving these issues this Spring. The large meeting room in the Vic Sturlaugson Learning Center has been updated: new projector, screen, control panel, ceiling mics, laptop, etc. Total expense was approximately $70,000. We have had many compliments on the upgrade. Thank you to the legislators for the extraordinary repair funds to make this upgrade possible.
LREC Program Updates:
His 2019 soil health program focused on three areas: remediating unproductive/barren areas, improving productivity of areas producing decent yields, and communicating the findings of the Groundwater Management Project. He provided details of his program which can be found in his powerpoint presentation. He will be presenting at Lake Region Round Up in January. Naeem thanked Rep. Dave Monson for assisting with gypsum now being a byproduct from the coal fields because this has decreased the price ($300/ton to $40/ton delivered) and created business opportunities. Also, Agassiz Seed has asked the LREC to grow grasses for them. Locally grown seed will adapt better to our area and this may be an opportunity for the LREC.
Rep. David Monson thanked Naeem for presenting to the legislators last session. Naeem made believers out of some of David’s committee members. David said, “you can thank Naeem for the extra funds and the hold steady budget.”
He provided a powerpoint presentation on his 2019 program. Bryan’s research responsibilities include variety testing, private company trials, and grant projects. He mentioned there is clubroot on station. It was isolated, worked with an old disk, and in infected plots the plants were pulled then burned. We’re trying to manage LREC land due to clubroot and are not growing canola commercially. Agronomy purchased a new tiller for off-station use so we don’t spread clubroot.
The 2019 harvest resulted in not being able to combine sunflowers or corn. Bryan was able to partake in a professional development trip to Thailand in November. Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla thanked Bryan for his dedication to the agronomy program. He has 5,000-6,000 plots each year. As soon as harvest is done, Anitha has growers asking for the data. Anitha thanked Bryan for his hard work and getting data out as quickly as possible.
Rep. Monson recognized Bryan as becoming a national expert in hemp. Bryan’s work has put Langdon on the map. This year Carrington, Dickinson, Williston, and Hettinger REC’s had hemp trials and Minot worked with a company on CBDs.
Anitha has been getting questions about alternative crops that can be grown in our area. One example is camelina. Yes, it can be grown here but a market for it is the issue. Aaron Johnson asked about grass testing. Bryan has not done grass variety testing. The Williston REC has been researching kernza. There has been a producer talking with Naeem that’s been trying to get kernza seed for two years. Anitha will look into this. The Williston REC will send us kernza seed if wanted.
2021/23 Budget Discussion
By March 2020 the 2021-23 budgets are due. Randy presented to SBARE in November and December. The group reviewed the SBARE requests handout. Dr. Venkat Chapara received the Northern Canola Growers Association 2019 Excellence in Canola award. He is the top clubroot researcher in the US and travelled to Berlin, Germany to present his findings. Venkat accompanied Randy at the SBARE meeting in Bismarck this month to explain how the LREC would benefit from a small greenhouse being added to the new Agronomy Lab. Lesley Lubenow would also benefit from a greenhouse (flea beetle project). Senator Janne Myrdal reiterated, come to Bismarck and “tell your story.”
Legislators Update: Rep. Dave Monson mentioned the WHIP program may enhance federal crop payments. Dave was President of the North American Industrial Hemp Council which has now disbanded because their objective was met. The DEA wrote most of the hemp rules for the proposed farm bill which will likely kill industrial hemp production. Please talk to Dave if you have an interest in commenting on this. Rep. Monson is the Vice Chairman of the Education and Environment Division in House Appropriations. He is also on the higher education committee, and I toured the WREC. Rep. Chuck Damschen is on the water topics overview committee.
Lesley provided the group an update of her Extension and research work. It was a record year for flea beetles in canola. It was the first year that she was able to collect striped flea beetles in ND. Lesley informed the group how the trespassing bill could affect IPM scouting. Farmers are happy to have NDSU scouting their fields and sometimes ask the scout to check other fields. Changes would be required if the trespassing bill was passed.
Lesley is blessed to have such a hardworking, trustworthy field scout, Nancy.
Lesley has a new interim appointment. She is working as an Assistant District Director for the East (20%) for one year. She continues her Extension Specialist position at 80%.
Please reference her powerpoint presentation for further details.
Dr. Venkat Chapara
Venkat worked on five crops this year, with 80% of his time spent on canola disease research. He would benefit from a FTE, operating funds, and a small greenhouse. Having a greenhouse at the LREC would save him time because germplasm screening and seed treatment testing could be done inside and would save on travel time to use other greenhouses, etc. The greenhouse info handout provides all details.
Venkat stressed canola should only be planted once every three years, but once in five years is better. Try to plant a variety that is clubroot and blackleg resistant. Forty-five miles north of Langdon there is clubroot but a different pathotype. This pathotype is not controlled by clubroot resistant canola seed. It will be detrimental if/when different pathotypes are found in our area so it is crucial farmers follow clubroot procedures. See Venkat’s powerpoint presentation for details.
Randy provided a Foundation SeedStocks update. He introduced Jimmy Chaput and Carmen Ewert. Jimmy has worked at the LREC for over 40 years, and Randy considers him the best seedsman in the state. Carmen comes to the LREC with a wealth of farming knowledge.
From the mid-1950s to 2015 the LREC focused on small grains. Last few years- faba beans, peas, soybeans, wheat, flax, barley, etc. In 2019 we had six crops, 20 varieties. We’ve made investments in bins and conveyors and are in need of a color sorter. We need to produce what growers want. This past year we finished harvest but had to burn the 35 acres of ND Hammond flax. We will get seed from the Carrington REC for 2020 planting. This year was the third best seed sales year because of the ND17009GT soybean.
Randy mentioned Agassiz Seed asked us to grow grass seed for them. We’ll look into this opportunity.
The LREC 2019 Annual Report is now available online and paper copies will be ready at the end of December.
Randy noted a correction on the agenda. Our next meeting will be Thursday, July 16, 2020.
Approval of the July 2019 meeting minutes was motioned by Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla and second by Leon Hiltner. Next LREC Advisory Council meeting will be the morning of July 16, 2020. Since we may have five new members at the upcoming meeting, we will choose a council chairman at that meeting.
The meeting was adjourned around 2:30pm.
Attendance: Bryan Hanson, Randy Mehlhoff, Naeem Kalwar, Dr. Venkat Chapara, Sara McGregor, Dr. Francis Casey, Charlie Stoltenow, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Shannon Duerr, Rep David Monson, Rep Chuck Damschen, Kent Schluchter, Julie Zikmund, Senator Janne Myrdal, Reily Bata, Jon Iverson
Randy welcomed everyone and started the Zoom meeting with introductions.
Dr. Francis Casey’s updates and Dr. Greg Lardy’s notes: Legislative session starting in December. Recommending budget reductions for 2021 and 2023. Reductions are broken down by sizes. Large category, experiment station and NDSU Extension. Includes main station. Recommended to reduce budgets by 15%. Almost $8,000,000 for research and $4,500,000 for extension.
Smaller agencies, receive less than $5,000,000 from state funds on a biennial basis. This includes the RECs. $900,000 reduction for all RECs.
If cuts are enacted, it will seriously hamper our research and extension activities. We are working with SBARE, legislators, and constituent groups to minimize the effects. Mark Birdsall is focusing on priorities and a hold even budget.
Lesley Lubenow is now the District Director for the eastern district. Dena Kemmet is the District Director for the central district.
Before Greg was hired, SBARE did a study to reconfigure extension. Beneath Dr. Lardy are associate directors. We are currently looking for an associate director for extension, 7 potential candidates. Because of budget conditions and COVID19, some open positions are currently paused. Interims that are currently serving are doing good.
CARES act. The state received over $1,000,000,000. Experiment station, Extension, and the university were involved in the second round of requests (three requests total). Technology to enhance remote work and teaching and purchasing personal protective equipment are priority. The Agriculture Products Development Center is funded with $40,000.000 from the state. Total cost of the center is $60,000,000. Fundraising efforts are in effect for the remaining $20,000,000.
Representative David Monson asked about the CARES money. A 15% reduction in the budget is going to be tough. Can you use CARES money to purchase other items you were planning to purchase in the 2021 biennium to save money? CARES money must be used for PPE, technology for social distancing, teleworking, remote classes, etc. Any general work and activities cannot use CARES money. It’d go beyond the reach of the purposes of these funds. Funds must be spent by Dec 30th.
Randy LREC update: Since our last meeting we’ve had three employees leave: Lesley Lubenow, Travis Hakanson, and Jeremiah Halley. We haven’t pressed ag administration to refill these positions because of possible upcoming budget cuts. Eventually we plan to replace the positons but not sure when. Travis Hakanson was the Research Specialist for the LREC agronomy program. He is now working with CHS. We wish him the best. He is missed. In 2003 LRSC brought in a farm business management instructor at the LREC. Jeremiah Halley resigned June 2020. Hoping to refill this position soon.
Since March 15th the LREC has been basically closed to the public. We are not allowing events in the meeting room thru the end of August. We will reevaluate Sept 1st. We did allow a few events – 4H and events less than 10 people (only one event). If numbers stay high, we anticipate to extend the closure.
Rep Dave Monson – If you need to fill the three positions, when there are empty slots that show up during legislative session, especially during budget cuts, you may want to fill before January 2021. Randy will try to fill as soon as possible.
Randy provided a Foundation Seedstocks update. Three to four years the new ag lab was built. Lab was not properly insulated, used lots of propane. Several air infiltration issues. The issue was fixed and is now resolved.
Seed varieties increased in 2020: Prosper HRSW, Faller HRSW, Bolles HRSW, MN Torgy HRSW, ND Frohberg HRSW, MN Washburn HRSW, ND17009GT soybeans, Lacey barley, NDFB13 flax, ND Hammond flax, Victus faba beans, Cronos peas, and SB14-24 faba beans. ND Frohberg looks fantastic. Crops look good. Our 2020 seed sales were the best ever so we much be increasing the right varieties.
Bryan Hanson update- First year we came into spring with no falls work done. Planting was later than normal. May start harvesting some off station wheat next week. All trials are looking as good as they ever have. He’s doing a lot of work for private companies. Have seen a lot more field peas in the NE part of the state. We need to fill the open position but will manage with two for the remainder of the growing season. Grants, private trials, cooperative work with Greg Endres (CREC), soybean date study, hemp trial, ag crop insurance for hail studies, and faba bean trial to get data for crop insurance. We have four off station sites.
Usually the LREC has several NDSU breeder nurseries. Because of COVID19 some of the nurseries are not here this year. This freed up 30-40 acres. Hopefully next year things will go back to normal.
Dr. Venkat Chapara update- lots of grant research. Barley, spring wheat, durum, canola, sunflowers, and dry beans. Canola occupies 60% of his research. First research plot planted May 22nd. He was worried about disease incidence because of the late planting. Very dry after planting. Irrigated trials show good disease incidence. The small grains trials he is researching efficacy of fungicides. Canola, working with growers off station. Thanks to them for allowing him to use their field. Researching white mold, blackleg, and clubroot. More canola varieties in the pipeline to help with these issues. It’s Venkat’s fifth year of research with a Canadian company for sunflowers and bees. Good potential product but tedious work. He’s using honey bees to disperse the product. Working on how many bee hives you need per acre to control sunflower head rot. Honey bees provide disease control, less fungicide sprays. Research on dry beans – anthracnose. Thanks to Amanda Arens for her on station help. Request for a greenhouse at the LREC. He’s trying to do cutting edge research which he cannot do without the greenhouse. Venkat is currently collaborating with a greenhouse in Edmonton Canada. He’s also working on an article for a prestigious journal. Hoping to get a greenhouse in the next biennium!
Naeem Kalwar update- Randy thanked Naeem for helping set up this Zoom meeting. He’s gotten very good at Zoom. Winter 2020 started off busy: soil health café talks, workshops, etc. then COVID19 hit. Research not impacted as extension has been. We were coming to the end of the café talks when COVID19 hit so the final round of these talks were cancelled. A workshop planned for April at the LREC (6 topics) was also cancelled due to COVID19. He purchased a Zoom license and asked presenters to record presentations so he can play them for the producers at a later time. He held a series of Zoom meetings to cover all the topics. A positive of Zoom meetings is more people attended and it reached many people from outside our local area, including international people. Then Abbey Wick and Naeem had a five series webinar on prevent plant acres. They adapted to the producers’ schedules. We are still having virtual webinars. Looking forward to when in person meetings can resume. We have learned that virtual presence has its place. In the future we will offer a mix of in person and virtual/recordings so producers don’t miss out.
Salt tolerance in crops. Dr. Franzen and the soil health team revised the salinity publication. Naeem mentioned we have the most salinity and sodicity issues in the state. He’s seen oats doing as well as barley. Naeem did a trial- 4 barley varieties and 4 oat varieties. If you would like to see the trial, feel free to stop by. He’s taking pictures on weekly basis and will present all the data at a later time.
LREC groundwater management project. This project was funded with donations. Dr. Larry Cihacek and Tom Scherer revised the publication on Evaluating the Suitability of Soils for Tiling. Because of this project, we have local data to improve the publication. Naeem doesn’t recall any publications or trials that are testing what we are here. He also takes water samples for the ND Dept. of Health. There is an ongoing cost of approximately $3,000/year with this project. Usually research is a few years then when the grant expires, no funds and the project ceases. Naeem intendeds to have this project for at least ten years to gather data and to develop even more conclusions.
Randy provided a budget update for 2021/23: SBARE takes testimony, then they’ll create a list of priorities. Extension service, Ag Experiment Station, and capital projects lists. Budget process was going smoothly up until March. Possibility of funding for these lists has gone down, especially with the cuts. Randy shared the list of priorities. Julie Zikmund commented: Process was eye opening to her. Left each meeting with so much information, lots of voting to narrow it down. For those of you that testified, thank you for your time, energy, and efforts. On behalf of SBARE we wish we had unlimited funding for all the projects brought forward. It is a great process but know if your item didn’t make the list, we didn’t think it was any less valuable or important to the citizens of ND. Randy reminded everyone if any of these get funded, it’s above and beyond the base budget.
SBARE Extension Priorities:
- Livestock industry
- Ag and environmental health and safety
- Big data
- Operating support
SBARE Ag Exp Station Initiatives:
- Big Data
- Plants (this would help Venkat with his projects – asking for LREC clubroot technician)
- Operating Support
- Farm/Ranch Management
- Agriculture and Environmental Health and Safety
SBARE Capital Project Initiatives:
- Waldron Hall
- Livestock Facilities
- LREC Greenhouse
- Storage (Main station and REC’s)
- CGREC Housing
COVID19 Cares Act Funding update: We are spending most of the money on information technology items, personal protective equipment, and soliciting bids from plumbers to replace sinks and toilets with touchless technology. We are also in the process of installing a couple IT items so our system can use the Hyflex method– watching remotely will be almost the same experience as the face to face individuals. We are obtaining the Ag Budget Office’s approval the almost all items because these expenses will be audited.
Our next LREC Advisory Council meeting date was proposed December 3rd. Dec 1-3 doesn’t work for the legislators. We will decide the date at a later time. At the next meeting we will have more in depth reports and possibly more budget information.
Senator Janne Myrdal commented on seeing more oats this year than previous years. The Agronomy Seed Farm distributed oats at the LREC this spring. This hasn’t happened in the past. Anitha has also noticed oat fields this year.
Randy thanked everyone for attending. The meeting adjourned at 11:25am.
Attendance: Bryan Hanson, Randy Mehlhoff, Naeem Kalwar, Dr. Venkat Chapara, Sara McGregor, Dr. Francis Casey, Charlie Stoltenow, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Shannon Duerr, Rep David Monson, Rep Chuck Damschen, Kent Schluchter, Senator Janne Myrdal, Kamron Matejcek, Pam Brekke, Dr. Greg Lardy, Cameron Mickelson, Dr. Lynette Flage, Tim Faller, Taylor Jennings, and Tom Fagerholt
Randy welcomed everyone to the LREC Advisory Council zoom meeting and started the meeting with introductions.
Randy asked if there are any additions to the agenda; none. Approval of the August 2020 meeting minutes. Janne Myrdal made a motion to approve, Kent Schluchter second. Approved.
Randy congratulated Lawrence Henry, LREC Research Specialist, on being promoted to Research Specialist II. The LREC had an open Research Specialist position. It was filled this morning by Jewel Faul. She is a 4.0 student attending NDSU, graduating this December with a degree in Crop & Weed Sciences. She grew up on a family farm near McClusky, ND. She was a national FFA winner. Our Extension Agronomist position is still open. We haven’t looked into filling it because of budget challenges. SBARE has approved of a clubroot technician position at the LREC to help with clubroot research. It will be brought to the legislature for approval.
Our CASE IH program has been extended to 2026 which is great for the LREC. We are looking at getting a new plot combine within the next couple of months. It’ll cost approximately $250k.
Our new ag lab had air infiltration issues. After looking into the issues, this problem has been resolved and our heating costs have decreased tremendously.
The LREC received $131,128 of CARES funding (COVID19 expenses) to be spent by 12/30/2020. We have been purchasing: laptops, printers, monitors, automatic light switches, touchless faucets/toilets/urinals/soap dispensers, hand sanitizer stations, bringing water into the ag lab shop, and installing a bathroom in our heated shop. Our large meeting room is currently closed to the public. When we reopen, we want it to be a safer place for guests and employees.
Rep Monson asked about the open Extension position. Since it’s Extension, Extension spearheads the effort. It’s proposed that Extension needs to cut 15% so we haven’t applied pressure to get it filled. Rep Monson advised when the budget comes before the legislature sometimes these open positions disappear. He encourages us to fill it as soon as possible. If it goes away, may not ever be able to fill it.
Dr. Greg Lardy provided a campus update. He welcomed everyone and thanked the advisory council members. He also thanked the LREC staff for adjusting to all the changes and keeping things going. We are concerned about the Governor’s budget. He’s proposing 5% cuts for the RECs and 15% cuts for the experiment station and Extension. He informed the council members that it’s important for you to engage with legislators letting them know how much value the LREC brings. Campus is also undergoing changes. They’re using the hybrid model – some students in class and others learning virtually. Commencement ceremonies are a week from today.
Langdon REC Program Updates:
Bryan Hanson, Research Agronomist, spoke about Lawrence’s promotion and his new Research Specialist, Jewel Faul. His program consists of variety testing and production management. He’s seen a big increase in field peas in the Cavalier County area. NDSU has a new soybean breeder, Carrie Miranda. In 2020, we worked with the Williston REC and we now have a web based application for variety testing entries. Bryan was the hemp coordinator this year for the RECs. See Bryan’s PowerPoint presentation for additional details.
Dave Monson asked about hemp coming back with too high of THC. What was the cause? Hemp variety trials at Carrington REC and Dickinson REC had a variety from Colorado that came back hot. We have the samples tested and work with the ND Dept. of Ag. Langdon and Hettinger were not hot. The ND Dept. of Ag is looking into why some were hot and some locations weren’t. Last year we had a variety from Oregon of which the THC level was too high at all REC locations. Dave is concerned that with states allowing marijuana, is the pollen getting away and affecting the other varieties? Canada legalized marijuana so we want to make sure it doesn’t affect our seed source. Bryan will keep track of this and continue working with the ND Dept. of Ag.
Dr. Venkat Chapara, Assistant Plant Professor/Plant Pathology, thanked the LREC staff and summer workers for the great support for his programs. He had 30+ research trials in 2020. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) was first discovered in Cavalier County by Dr. Chapara this year. Farmers will need to follow crop rotations (soybeans only once in three years). Clubroot was found in 20 fields in Cavalier County in 2020. His bee vectoring technology trial was 6 acres this year. Thanks to all REC staff who helped him get this harvested. Venkat works on a lot of different diseases. Pathology needs a greenhouse and FTE technician. Please see Venkat’s PowerPoint presentation for more details.
Janne Myrdal asked about SDS on soybeans. What is the rotation? One soybean crop in three years. The other two years should be a non-host (not legumes) crop. Anitha said, however, corn should not be used because corn doesn’t help lower the pathogen. There are currently no resistant varieties for our area.
Pea bacterial blight. Check with your seed supplier about the quality of the seed you receive. You can maybe use copper sulfate to help but this has difficult application timings. Venkat is planning more research on this disease in 2021.
Randy announced that Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Cavalier County Extension agent, won the Early Extension Career Award yesterday. Congratulations!
Naeem Kalwar, Extension Soil Specialist, is 100% extension but does have a research program too. He talked about his before and after COVID programming for 2020. There are benefits and non-benefits for everything. A benefit of going virtual, was that he had a more diverse group of attendees and attendance numbers were good. A con is he didn’t have local people attend. Naeem thanked David Monson for his effort to get the byproduct converted into gypsum. In a year or two we may not be able to use coal for energy so we won’t have this gypsum available to farmers anymore.
Naeem’s salinity and sodicity trial comparing oats and barley was appreciated by our region’s extension agents and asked if he’ll repeat. Naeem is hoping to do so in 2021.
Naeem would like to get a no-till drill for the station. It costs approximately $75k. This will enable him to create a permanent no till research project. . Please see Naeem’s PowerPoint presentation for additional details.
Dave Monson was at a wind tower meeting in Langdon. A wind industry rep said they’re finding out wind blows all the time here, but not in Western North Dakota. They may not be able to close the coal fired plants as planned if they can’t supply enough energy across the grid from renewable energy sources. Canada gets electricity from hydroelectric plants. There is a potential buyer for the Coal Creek Plant. If someone purchases it, there may be hope we can still produce gypsum in ND.
Dave had very little sodic issues this year. Barley and canola in these field areas did well. Dave also mentioned when Naeem Kalwar testified last session, he saved the NDSU Extension budget. It is amazing how much money Naeem has saved ND farmers and the coal industry according to Dave.
Randy Mehlhoff, LREC Director, provided a foundation SeedStocks update. We have 755 acres at the LREC, 555 of which are for foundation seed production. When we get breeder seed, our mission is to increase it for the farmers. We increase wheat, soybeans, flax, faba beans, barley, and peas. The last couple of years almost all of our seed has sold. The Foundation SeedStocks program’s best sales year was 2020. A change at the LREC is we no longer use canola as a rotational crop for the FSS program. We have clubroot on station so we only have canola for trials, not commercially grown. We are investing our FSS money into infrastructure; bins, conveyors, etc. to better handle legumes and pulse crops.
SBARE helps NDSU Ag prioritize and present budgets to the legislature. SBARE hears testimony, then prioritizes them into a needs based budget. Randy presented the initiatives. It is critical that we get back to our base budget. See the three SBARE handouts.
Janne Myrdal asked about #5, the ag land reclamation initiative for NDAES. The Williston REC is spearheading this issue. They are working with the Department of Environmental Quality and with private companies. This idea came up in conversations with concerned citizens.
Kent asked about the greenhouse in Langdon. We cannot build without the legislature’s approval. Sometimes they provide funding, sometimes they allow a REC to fundraise, and sometimes it’s a mix of both. David Monson said the legislature loves when local funds can be raised to match what they allocate. Greg said the last few sessions these requests have ended up being a mix of dollars.
Greg thanked Kent Schluchter and Cameron Mickelson for tentatively testifying on behalf of the LREC. Janne said there will be several Zoom opportunities to testify but you can also come in person. They’ll require a mask, social distancing, and check your temperature. Dave said the chairman can decide if you’re masked. You can come in person. You will need to be social distanced. Make the testimony quick. Not everyone will get to talk but he’ll pick us because he knows how important the LREC is.
The LREC has been asked to cut 5%. Our thoughts are to no longer lease the 200 acres of land for the foundation seed program. Also a FTE will have to be cut to 0.5. We’re lean so now our cuts are going to hamper our programs. Dr. Greg Lardy said it’s very important to point out the value generated on your farm/business because of the work we do at the LREC. We need the legislature to see our impact and it’s critical we get the message across for the LREC’s budget.
A special thanks to Kent Schluchter. Today is Kent’s last meeting. Thank you for your service to the LREC! Also thanks to Bruce Lewallen for your service to the council. He couldn’t be with us today. Randy will work on filling these openings.
Greg Goodman is a producer and with a crop insurance agency. He sees 100+ farmers a year. Top things he noted in 2020:
- Use of fungicides and trusting them. Farmers use of fungicides is decreasing. They need to be educated and need more trial data.
- Research center variety trial data. He prints for their customers. The LREC/NDSU needs to promote this data more! It’s very important.
- Extension side: grain marketing and financing. Customers jumping in with one company to market all their grain. They need education.
- Soil compaction issues. He saw a lot of compaction issues, especially with hail claims.
- Insects – drier weather pattern. Sawfly in Cavalier County.
- Legacy fund. Big- over $7B. More than what people thought it’d be. Pushing to use it for one time requests. This produces jobs and economic benefit. Huge drag that this money can’t be spent. It’s not being reinvested in ND but other places maybe it shouldn’t be. The tax commissioner paid $40 million to have the Legacy Fund managed.
Sara asked what is the best way to promote our variety trial data. Greg responded: website, local newspaper, and the local radio station. KNDK has a community billboard. We could have someone from the REC do a short talk when the data is ready.
Sara asked how do we get more companies to enter their varieties in the variety trials. Her husband religiously uses Bryan’s variety trial data to make his seed selections. Kent Schluchter informed us the companies don’t want to be compared to others and want to control their data.
Anitha mentioned a new NDAWN station in Cavalier County was purchased for approximately $7,000 from local donations. There are a lot of generous people in our area.
Dave Monson was talking with SBARE recently. There is suggestion of a cover crops pilot program. Possibly put something in the ag commissioner’s program to give a rebate or incentive to be planting cover crops. Greg Goodman is going to bring this up with federal crop but rebating can be an issue. Dave is going to continue working on this program. He asked Naeem and Greg to email him their ideas.
Kent made a motion for Greg Goodman to be the LREC Advisory Council chairman and Taylor Jennings to be the Vice Chairman. Both Shannon and Anitha second (it was Zoom so Anitha hadn’t heard Shannon’s response).
The meeting was adjourned at 12:30pm.
Attendance: Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Dr. Francis Casey, Dr. Charlie Stoltenow, Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla, Shannon Duerr, Rep Chuck Damschen, Dr. Greg Lardy, Dr. Lynette Flage, Taylor Jennings, Tom Fagerholt, Steve McDonald, Reily Bata, Greg Goodman and Jon Iverson
Randy welcomed everyone and started the meeting with introductions.
The Dec 11, 2020 meeting minutes were reviewed. Chairman Greg Goodman asked for approval. Shannon Duerr made a motion to approve the minutes. Anitha Chirumamilla second.
Langdon REC update provided by Randy Mehlhoff:
All scientists at the LREC have very active programs and adequate resources. Without the resources we would not be able to do this level of work. This summer there are two integrated pest management (IPM) temporary workers at the LREC. They scout all of northeast North Dakota. Anitha has taken over this program since the LREC Cropping Systems Specialist position has been vacant. Thank you Anitha. Anitha said it’s been quiet on disease and insect issues this summer. There are a few grasshoppers.
Naeem is busy with his soil health program. Last session they proposed cuts so we are now in the process of filling the LREC Cropping Systems Specialist position. Anitha is a finalist.
Foundation Seed: This year we have approximately 600 acres of foundation seed: 4 varieties of HRSW, 2 flax, 1 durum, and 2 soybean. Our FSS acres have increased over the last few years. This is partially because clubroot was detected on station so we are no longer growing canola commercially at the LREC. We want to preserve the land for research. We have added bins and purchased new equipment to handle the increase in FSS acres. The past two years have been our best FSS sales. Only the RECs and the Agronomy Seed Farm in North Dakota are allowed to grow Foundation grade seed.
The legislators funded a new greenhouse for $473,000 at the LREC. It will be attached to the west end of the new ag lab. Venkat Chapara will now be able to do clubroot research in a lab, resistant weed research, and so much more. Expected completion is later summer 2022.
With the 23/25 session, the LREC is looking to enhance our seed cleaning plant. James Chaput retired this spring after 44 years. He has been replaced by Travis Hakanson. Randy is estimating 35 bu/acre for small grains on station. Jewel Faul graduated from NDSU December 2020 and came onboard February 2021 as a Research Specialist for the agronomy program.
Dr. Greg Lardy thanked the advisory board for bringing great support to the center and the region. If the advisory council members have ideas of what they’d like to see at the LREC, please let Randy know. It was a good legislative session. We appreciate the support for our budgets. Thank you to everyone for reaching out to your local reps. A few items that came from this session: the LREC greenhouse, the livestock facility initiative, a machine shed for the HREC, and a compensation package for all state employees. The livestock and farm safety initiatives will be in coordination with Extension. Dr. Lynnette Flage became the Associate Director for Extension in October 2020. Kristin Harner is the new director of Ag Communications. NDSU is in the process of revamping its website. Currently a company is working on transferring data from the old site to the new website. The new website will be mobile-friendly.
Tim Faller was a longtime HREC director and currently the AES assistant director. He is retiring this fall. They are in the process of filling this position.
21/23 budget: LREC greenhouse project. The second initiative was for Plant Sciences. In this we were requesting another technician for clubroot research for Dr. Venkat Chapara’s program at the LREC. We will try to bring this forward again next session. We also would like to update our seed cleaning facility.
Dr. Lynnette Flage provided an Extension update:
The livestock initiative has two positions to fill. They are currently determining what these positions look like and where they will be stationed. Farm Safety initiative – this is going to be an internal hire for the first three years and an announcement will be coming soon. Big Data- this is a work in process. Dr. Flage thanked the advisory board for their support.
Dr. Greg Lardy mentioned NDSU is looking for good students. Please send them Greg’s way. NDSU has a new major in precision ag. The first graduate from this program was May 2021. There will be in-person learning this fall.
LREC Advisory Council winter meeting. Please check the dates on the agenda and Randy will send an email to see what works for everyone. The December meeting will be more in detail, having the REC scientists and extension specialists each provide a 20 minute presentation on their work in 2021. This is a great time to provide feedback and propose ideas.
At the Dec 2020 meeting Greg Goodman headed a discussion on outreach and community connection. We were trying to determine how to get young famers and more producers in general to attend meetings and how to best let producers know the variety trial data is available. Greg Goodman proposed having a business sponsored meal after the 2021 data is compiled. REC staff and Extension employees would make presentations of the 2021 data; using what they put in the annual report but also in detail of what they saw this season and give individuals the opportunity to talk about it and ask questions. Randy suggested “end of season wrap up meeting.” Good time? Late November or very early December. Possibly combine it with the December advisory council meeting.
The 2021 SBARE listening sessions will be in early November and early December.
Shannon Duerr informed the group of the ND Career Builders program. There are 12 ag positions that qualify and you can get up to $17,000 of your student loan forgiven. There has to be a match with a private business but in some communities the JDA is the match. Shannon and the CCJDA are looking in to this. Website for more information: https://ndus.edu/career-builders/
Jon Iverson made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Tom Fagerholt second.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10am so everyone can take part in the 2021 LREC Field Day.
Attendance: Shannon Duerr, Rep David Monson, Taylor Jennings, Jon Iverson, Naeem Kalwar, Steve McDonald, Cameron Mickelson, Pam Brekke, Katie Henry, Sara McGregor, Blaine Schatz, Bryan Hanson, Anitha Chirumamilla, Greg Goodman, Randy Mehlhoff, Rep Chuck Damschen, Tom Fagerholt, Scott Knoke Virtual: Dr. Charlie Stoltenow, Dr. Frank Casey, Dr. Greg Lardy
Chairman Greg Goodman welcomed everyone at 9:32am and began the meeting with introductions.
The July 2021 meeting minutes were reviewed. Jon made a motion to approve, Taylor second. Motion carried.
A 2021 Langdon REC updated was provided by Randy. Because of the pandemic, there have been restrictions that affect the work we do here, such as meetings and workshops. We are being compliant with the COVID restrictions. He showed a map of all the RECs and a LREC organizational chart. Jewel Faul’s last day will be Dec 15th. She is returning to NDSU to complete her masters degree. We will begin recruiting for the position in January. Simplot is building a fertilizer facility. They cannot store the rail cars on the BNSF track so they want to purchase a small amount of land (map shared with the group). This sale will need to go thru the legislature. Langdon was given $472,000 for a greenhouse. The groundwork is complete and we are hoping to have the greenhouse completed fall 2022. ICON is the architect. Thank you to Dave and Chuck for the support. 2021 began with a drought then we experienced one of the wettest Augusts on record. 250 of our 350 acres of wheat sprouted. We also had 40% hail loss. Our soybeans averaged 17-20 bu/ac.
Dr. Charlie provided an NDSU Extension main station update: Lynnette isn’t able to be here today because of a 4-H meeting. Thank you to Naeem and Anitha for the work they do. There have been many extension off-station hires. Main initiatives: growing a stronger workforce (farm and ranch safety), food safety and security (gardening, plants, request for horticulture agents in larger counties), livestock (2 of 4 positions were granted, want a veterinarian epidemiologist for the vet lab), and building resilient communities.
Dr. Casey, the associate director for AES, provided an update. There has been collaborative meetings with SDSU.-Farm in the future proposal with SDSU for $5 million. Carbon sequestration: a working group has been formed including Howard Dahl, Sara Lovas and Ed Schafer. We want to bring light on this issue so farmers have more information on carbon sequestration. In the infrastructure bill, there is state and regional support for unserved and underserved broadband users. This may provide an opportunity for RECs to upgrade and improve network connectivity. There is an academic program for 30 credits of graduate level courses online at NDSU. Stipends are available. There is a $5 million USDA grant for Precision Ag/Digital Agriculture and an additional $450,000 for big data initiatives.
Dr. Lardy thanked everyone for their service and investment of time to the advisory board. ARPA funds- special session: CREC, CGREC, and HREC received funds for livestock programs and DREC a lab. SBARE listening sessions are underway. He encouraged everyone to provide testimony. NDSU is complying with the federal vaccine mandate otherwise NDSU can lose federal grants and contracts. (NDSU receives $33 million a year.) Employees are required to get vaccinated or seek an exemption and follow the requirements. Legislative maps are being redrawn. Speak to your local representatives and continue to be active in the political process. Randy mentioned we would like to be involved with precision ag but a couple drawbacks are being three miles from an airport and our distance from Fargo. Rep Dave mentioned the ABM missile site in Nekoma has great clearance and we could work with Shannon on this opportunity.
Yesterday Langdon High School had Career Day. Community individuals spoke with groups of 20 students for 20 minutes. Approximately 120-130 students in grades 7-12. Greg asked how many are interested in ag and plan to come back for production ag. 40% yes are interested in ag. 80% of students already involved in ag said yes. How many want to move back to Cavalier County? 60% said yes. Where do you go to school and what to major in? Under 25% were decided, particularly seniors were undecided. Shannon spoke about the Career Builders program. The JDA is helping with the match. Which careers fall under the ag program? The high school is restarting its job shadowing opportunity ‘cooperative work experience’.
2023/25 NDSU ag budget process update- Our budget is put together in cooperation with SBARE. Our items do not go to the legislature unless on the SBARE list. SBARE identities major needs. They are currently receiving input from ag and commodity groups. They take testimony then work with main station to identify needs. Langdon is asking for a storage shed for small plot machinery, a technician for Dr. Chapara’s program, and our operating dollars to be restored. SBARE submits a budget by April or May to be submitted to the Governor. Jon asked about a new seed cleaning plant. Randy will show everyone our plant, and we’ll cover this topic this afternoon.
Legislative district changes for the LREC – Districts are based on population. Langdon is no longer in district 10, now district 9. Dave is now district 19. District 9 is Sen Marcellais, Marvin Nelson, and Tracy Boe. Dave is on the redistricting committee. Population of ND grew by more than 100,000. Took number of people and divided by 47. Each district grew 2,500 people. New number is 16,000-17,000 people per district. District 9B is the reservation, 9A is the remaining area. The changes for us may end up with three reps watching over the LREC – Tracy, Chuck, and Dave (if all voted in). The new district lines will remain until 2030 when another census is conducted.
Sara provided a new NDSU website demonstration. She showed the old and new variety trial websites and the new LREC website. There is a consensus that paper copies for variety trials are necessary. Sara has submitted to Ag Comm to have the new VT website have printing capabilities. A list of additional items has also been submitted. The websites are a work in progress. Sara asked that everyone use the sites and provide feedback, both positive and negative.
Advisory board terms expiring – Tom, Reily, and Jon. All three will serve a second term. We have reps from every county except Pembina. Randy will work with Madeleine to get this board opening filled. Jon appreciates how the LREC keeps everyone informed of disease, insect, and other farming issues. Greg mentioned spraying for flea beetles in the fall and there were diamondback moth issues. Another setback was falling numbers. Half the wheat in Cavalier County didn’t get off before the rain. Falling numbers is a huge economic factor in production ag although we cannot control mother nature. Jon informed us white wheat is very susceptible to falling numbers. The state mill will not take it.
Around 11:10am Randy and the group toured the buildings at the LREC.
Lunch was served at noon.
LREC Program Updates (for more detailed information, please request the PowerPoint presentations)
Randy presented on the LREC Foundation Seedstocks program. The main mission of the LREC is increasing foundation seed so all producers have access. Jimmy retired after 45 years as one of the best seed cleaners. Our plant was built in 1962. It does 15-20 bu/hour. We have 550 acres of foundation seed production and 205 of plant path/agronomy. Our foundation seed is grown on marginal land. We only grow foundation grade seed. Our most critical need here is to update the seed plant. We have a few options: keep as is, new plant ($3M), mobile mill ($700,000) preferably inside a building, or to contract it out (has not been successful in the past). Jon suggested if we get a new plant to do custom cleaning for CCIA producers to increase our income.
Bryan gave an agronomy update. They purchased a new Zurn combine. Now they are able to straight combine dry beans. Jewel Faul is leaving December 15. He discussed the trials the agronomy team has been working on – variety trials, production management trials, NDSU plant breeder projects, etc. Peas have increased threefold in the pea variety trials. Bryan receives a number of calls for private company trials. 67 research trials, 5307 plots, and 31,000 observations in 2021. Bryan talked about the soybean row spacing and seeding rate trial, intercropping trial (not much advantage with intercropping this year). Bryan strives to produce the most reliable data for producers. Big data initiative – everyone going to Agrobase which we began using four years ago. Bryan suggests farmers look at CREC and MN trial data to get an overall picture.
Venkat provided a plant pathology update. Amanda Arens is his research specialist. She did an awesome job keeping weeds out of his trials this year. 25 research trials on eight crops. He specified the diseases he worked on. Sixty percent of his projects are canola, with 60% of the canola projects focusing on blackleg and clubroot. Sudden Death Syndrome was first discovered in Richland County, next in Cavalier County. The Cavalier County field that was severely infected last year has no disease this year. Weather conditions helped otherwise it would have been a disaster. Venkat co-collaborates with Michael Wunsch of the CREC. Whether dry or wet, white mold targets sunflowers and dry beans. Venkat wants to retain his summer employees.
In 2020, 350 samples from 44 counties were sent in for clubroot resting spores analysis. Twenty-six counties have clubroot testing spores. They are not seeing clubroot because they may be using longer rotations and soil pH may be different than Cavalier County. One field in Cavalier County, if they use common resistant varieties, it appears to not be working. Venkat is doing more research on this.
Naeem followed with a soil health program update. He talked about his short and long term goals and different issues he saw this year because of the weather. Topsoil blowing away, severely eroded hilltops and tillage induced erosion. He assisted 40 producers with soil sampling this year. Why didn’t the sump pump at the LREC drain tile site run when there was water in it and 3.8” of rain? Poor soil water infiltration. Organic matter takes 3-5 years to improve. The quickest way to do this is livestock manure or cover crops (simple mix, possibly 3-specie mix). The Benson County Extension Agent asked why farmers want to make the soil black right away. Jon informed him, they want it black so it warms up earlier in the spring. LREC plan for foundation seed land - for 10 years, half the FSS land no-till and the other half conventional tillage to see the differences.
Anitha gave a cropping systems specialist update: Anitha began in this position October 1, 2021. Anitha received the Extension Early Career Service award. Congratulations!
The IPM scouting and trapping program keeps her busy. 333 canola flower midge were found at the LREC in 2020. That was the highest number we found in the state. The Cavalier County extension agent position is open. Hoping to have it filled in January/February.
The meeting adjourned at 2:50pm.
Attendance: Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Lynette Flage, Bailey Reiser, Cameron Mickelson, Greg Goodman, Reily Bata, Taylor Jennings, Tom Fagerholt, Julie Zikmund, Shannon Duerr, Jon Iverson, Steve McDonald
Greg called the meeting to order, starting with introductions.
The Dec 2, 2021 meeting minutes were reviewed. Chairman Greg Goodman asked for approval. Jon Iverson made a motion to approve the minutes. Shannon Duerr second.
Dr. Lynette Flage provided a brief NDSU Extension and AES update. Construction on the Peltier Complex has started and tentative finish date is Spring 2024. $70,000,000 state funding, $15,000,000 private funding. North Dakota has had many changes because of redistricting. SBARE has the priorities. CASFNR enrollment is steady. Work on recruiting students for NDSU and for NDSU careers. Lynette welcomed Bailey Reiser, new Cavalier County Extension Agent. Thanks to Anitha and Naeem for their Extension work at the LREC.
Randy Mehlhoff provided an update on the LREC. The LREC is fully staffed, with Rick Duerr being hired April 2022 as a Research Specialist for the agronomy program. SBARE meeting will be at the LREC Nov 9, 2022. Will try to hold an advisory council meeting that day. The growing season this year is 10-14 days behind normal but the crops look great. A few issues for the LREC:
- $472,000 appropriated to the LREC greenhouse. JLG’s estimate about one year ago was $315,000. At the recent bid opening, the greenhouse is approximately $260,000 over budget. Only one bid was submitted. Will look at rebidding without the headhouse.
- LREC truck scale not up to code since 2003. Currently has 3 sections but should have at least 7. We have an application in to the ND Public Service Commission for a temporary variance for split weighing. In 3-5 years we will need to extend or replace the truck scale. (Scale info: 96” width of wheel base, 85’ long minimum)
- The LREC seed cleaning plant is from 1957. Randy got three bids for an updated seed cleaning plant. Approximately $1.1 million, $850,000, and Bjerke didn’t provide a bid. For now, the seed plan will have to wait.
- Case IH lease program. Supply chain disruptions. We only received one tractor this need. We need to purchase a 400hp tractor. The other RECs have one to fall back on. John at High Plains is now servicing ASF, CREC, and LREC.
We had to dump the ND21008GT20 soybeans due to a purity issue.
Shannon Duerr- At Boyd Block in Langdon there is a panel on agriculture in Cavalier County and the LREC.
Amanda Arens promoted to Research Specialist II, Naeem Kalwar promoted to Extension Specialist/Soil Health II, and Venkat Chapara promoted to Associate Agricultural Experiment Station Specialist.
Comment on fundraising for the LREC greenhouse : ask chemical companies such as Bayer, Syngenta, and BASF.
Jon Iverson made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:22am. Tom Fagerholt second. Field Day 8:30 start.
Attendance (in person): Randy Mehlhoff, Greg Goodman, Bryan Hanson, Anitha Chirumamilla, Venkat Chapara, Naeem Kalwar, Lawrence Henry, Reily Bata, Mr. David Monson, and Bailey Reiser
Attendance (virtually): Taylor Jennings, Pam Brekke, Dr. Frank Casey, Dr. Mohamed Khan, Steve McDonald, Tom Fagerholt, Shannon Duerr, Rick Duerr, Jon Iverson, Blaine Schatz, Sara Schuchard-McGregor
Chairman Greg Goodman welcomed everyone at 9:13am and began the meeting with introductions.
The July 2022 meeting minutes were reviewed. Jon made a motion to approve, Shannon second. Motion carried.
Dr. Frank Casey provided an update for the Ag Experiment Station. The Peltier Complex’s construction is well underway. He talked about the decline in students. This doesn’t impact Ag and Extension budgets but some on campus employees have joint appointments. In July 2023, a plan will be implemented for budget cuts. REC capital projects. The Langdon REC greenhouse bid was over budget as are other projects. Dr. Lardy is working with the legislature on inflation and supply/demand issues. SBARE’s critical priority is employee compensation packages. The governor recommends a 6% raise the first year, 4% second year with full family healthcare paid. Dr. Casey went over SBARE Extension and Ag priorities.
Dr. Mohamed Khan provided an Extension update because Dr. Flage wasn’t able to attend. Dr. Khan also mentioned the attractive compensation package. He spoke about the importance of ag in ND and discussed the six Extension SBARE initiatives. He introduced new hires and thanked Anitha and Naeem for their dedication. Dr. Lardy and committee members created a 2022-2027 NDSU Agricultural Affairs Strategic Plan. https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/vpag/NDSU-AgricultureStrategicPlanFinal.pdf
Link to SBARE initiatives: https://www.ndsu.edu/vpag/sbare/research_and_extension_priorities/
Randy provided an LREC update. The LREC is fully staffed. Crops were planted late this year but foundation seed yields were good. Soil testing has been completed. This was the first year we purchased multi-peril crop insurance. The greenhouse bid came in approximately $250,000 over budget. We will rebid in January or February; hoping for more bids and better numbers. We lost approximately $40,000 - 60,000 in grant funds because the greenhouse isn’t up and running.
The ND Public Service Commission informed us in July 2022 our truck scale (built in 2003) isn’t in compliance with current laws. We are hoping to get a variance to split-weigh semis until a new scale is put in. The variance, if accepted, will give the Langdon REC five years to construct a new scale and the ability to legally split weigh semis until then. As required by the ND Public Service Commission for the variance request, we have two bids for a new scale: $197,000 and $132,000. The third company did not bid.
This poses a serious problem for the Langdon REC foundation seed program as Langdon needs a new seed cleaning plant as well (constructed in 1963). The difficult question is should a new scale be installed prior to construction of a new seed plant or do we wait until authorization is obtained to construct a new seed plant or eliminate the foundation seed program? This is not an SBARE initiative! The NDCISA passed a resolution at the NENDCISA meeting in 2022 supporting a new seed cleaning plant at the LREC. Two bids were obtained in 2022 for new seed cleaning equipment that would be placed in an existing building: $1.1 million and $880,000. Safety, the inability to get parts for the current plant and inefficiency are three issues with the current plant. Regardless, Langdon must acquire SBARE support and legislative authority prior to modernizing its existing seed plant.
LREC program updates were provided:
- Bryan Hanson on the Research Agronomy program
- Naeem Kalwar on his Extension Soil Health program
- Dr. Anitha Chirumamilla on her Extension Cropping Systems program
- Dr. Venkat Chapara on the Plant Pathology program
- Randy Mehlhoff on the Foundation Seedstocks program
Representative David Monson invited Naeem to come to Bismarck to testify. He acknowledged the impact Naeem has made with his soil health extension program and his efforts to make gypsum available to growers in ND with little cost.
LREC advisory council bylaws. They say district 10 representatives but because of the re-districting, it was proposed to update the wording to District 9b representatives and 9a senator and another local representative on the board. Naeem made a motion for these changes, Reily second.
Jon Iverson’s term is expiring this month. We will work on finding a replacement.
Randy informed the board that depending on NDSU Agriculture’s legislative testimony plan, a member or two of the Langdon REC advisory council may be asked to provide testimony in support of SBARE initiatives that benefit the Langdon REC including carry over funding for the pathology greenhouse, a pathology research technician (#1 AES SBARE initiative), and a new equipment storage shed (#2 SBARE initiative in capital projects. Randy may schedule a follow-up advisory council meeting after meeting with the Senate appropriations committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55am.
Attendance: Randy Mehlhoff, Sara McGregor, Lynette Flage, David Monson, Donna Henderson, Kent Weston, Reily Bata, Kamron Matecjek, Greg Lardy, Taylor Jennings, Shannon Duerr, Mohamed Khan
Randy called the meeting to order, starting with introductions.
The December 2022 meeting minutes were reviewed. Chairman Greg Goodman asked for approval. Shannon Duerr made a motion to approve the minutes. Reily Bata second.
Randy provided a brief LREC update. All trials and foundation seed fields are planted. Fargo nurseries are looking good. We’ve only had three rain events since April but the April blizzard provided moisture. We are fully staffed except for the new position (plant pathology research specialist who will work with the greenhouse and labs). Interviews were this week. Randy thanked the legislators for funding the new position.
Randy shared a map of the Langdon walkway project. The walkway would be on state land. The project is being worked on by the Cavalier County JDA, the city of Langdon, Cavalier County, and the Cavalier County Public Health office.
The LREC greenhouse groundbreaking will be the first stop of the field tour. We also received funding for an equipment shed. Hoping to have both projects completed by the fall of 2024.
Dr. Greg Lardy provided an update on the main station. Greg thanked Rep David Monson and his colleagues.
1. Legislative session-a number of key projects were funded including inflationary costs for REC projects and the ag field lab. Mention Oakes Irrigation Station operating support. Also included enhanced employee compensation package.
2. Peltier Complex-construction continues to proceed on time and on budget. Occupancy expected in April 2024
3. Ag field lab-architect has been selected. Fundraising is ongoing. Planning design will take 9-12 months. Construction will take approximately 24 months.
4. NDSU Transform-Ag Education, Family and Consumer Science Education, and 4-H moved to CAFSNR on July 1.
5. Enrollment continues to be a challenge. High demand for ag graduates.
SBARE testimony starting in September. LREC should have someone from the advisory council involved.
Dr. Lynette Flage provided an update on Extension. She appreciates the partnership between the LREC and Extension. Extension has a presence in all 53 counties. Thanks again to the legislators for their support. They’ve provided funding for a swine specialist, soybean pathologist, 4-H operating, and farm & ranch health and safety. In our area, Extension is currently looking for ANR agents in Walsh and Rolette counties.
2023/25 legislative budget update by Randy. Originally provided $470,000 for greenhouse. Bids overbudget. Legislature increased the amount by $250,000. $720,000 that we can now use on our greenhouse. $475,000 for an equipment shed. No architect needed which will save us money. Thank you to the legislature for allowing this.
2025/27 critical needs and plans/goals discussion. All the LREC programs are adequately staffed. The Foundation seed cleaning plant is from the early ‘60s. The ND Public Service Commission has determined our truck scale is not compliant. We must replace the scale within 5 years of the determination but do not want to update unless we have a functioning seed cleaning plant. New seed cleaning plant bids came in at $850,000 and $1.1M. New plants clean seed 200-300 bu/hr. Our current plant is 13-18 bu/hr. Our Research Agronomist has been at the LREC for 30+ years and is thinking about retirement. Will want to monitor this to be sure we have great applicants.
David Monson made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Taylor Jennings second. Field Day starts at 8:30.