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Carrington Research Extension Center sets organic/sustainable ag tour

Organic crop production and sustainable agriculture are the focus of a tour scheduled during the NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center's annual field tours July 15.

It is the center's third annual organic/sustainable agriculture tour. Organic field establishment and management began at the center 10 years ago.

The organic/sustainable agriculture program will start at 9 a.m. with registration, coffee and a welcome. Brad Brummond, Walsh County Extension agent and chair of the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board, will lead the tour.

Speakers and their topics are:

  • Anna Kirk, a research associate at the University of Manitoba - the organic wheat breeding program and first release of organic wheat varieties
  • Steve Zwinger, organic/forage researcher at the Carrington center – organic oat production trials through variety performance and adaptation
  • Bill Hodous, North Dakota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education co-coordinator and Ramsey County Extension agent - an update on grants and programs from North Central Region
  • Rick Mittleider, co-owner of R&C Mittleider Farms Inc., a certified organic family farm near Tappen - results from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education-funded Farmer and Rancher project on sustainability involving local and Ukrainian buckwheat varieties. More information on the project can be found at
  • Frank Kutka, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Farm Breeding Club, and Pat Carr, agronomist at the NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center - an update on the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant project to develop cow pea varietiesthat can be used in cover crops and produce seed in northern climates. The project involves collaboration among the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, NDSU, South Dakota State University and University of Wisconsin.
  • Byron Lannoye, Pulse USA; Blaine Schmaltz, Rugby area organic seed producer; and Zwinger - developing organic seed for field pea varieties that perform well in organic systems
  • Kutka and Zwinger -- an update on the ancient grains (einkorn, emmer, spelt) project. This multistate effort will identify current research and provide production information.
  • Hannah Swegarden and Clair Flavin, graduate students, University of Minnesota - the organic dry bean breeding project
  • Mike Ostlie, Carrington center research agronomist - using winter rye as a weed-suppression crop

Agronomy, northern-hardy fruit and livestock tours also will be held in the morning. The tours will depart at 9:30 and run until noon. An afternoon program on unmanned aerial vehicle use in agriculture will start at 1:30 p.m.

For more information about the organic/sustainable agriculture program, contact Zwinger or Karl Hoppe at 701-652-2951 or email Zwinger at or Hoppe at

The Carrington center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington, North Dakota, on U.S. Highway 281.

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