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Hettinger Research Extension Center annual field tour set for July 10

The NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center has scheduled a patch-burn grazing tour Tuesday, July 10, at 3 p.m. MDT, followed by the annual field tour at 5 p.m.

The patch-burn grazing tour led by Ben Geaumont, HREC wildlife and range scientist, will begin at the center office and then caravan to the research site.

"Fire played an important role in forming the grasslands of North America, yet in many areas of the country the use of fire in grassland management has ceased," said Geaumont. "In 2016, a patch-burn grazing management scheme was implanted in six pastures near Hettinger. Each year a prescribed fire is applied to one-quarter of each pasture."

Geaumont will discuss the rationale behind the project and share preliminary findings, including livestock performance, impacts on forage quality and quantity, effects on pheasant, duck and other bird populations and impacts on the local pollinator communities.

Following the patch-burn grazing tour, the annual crop tour will begin at the center’s Agronomy and Range Research Laboratory.

John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension agricultural machines specialist, will give a demonstration on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, and the types of images they can produce. He will also conduct a flying demonstration over center research plots.

Tour topics include:

• Trials on soybean seeding rate

• Inoculation and nitrogen application on soybeans

• Spring wheat seed treatment and disease management

• Information on new varieties of spring wheat, durum wheat and barley

• Weed-control research conducted at the HREC

"The tour will give producers information about new varieties, agronomic practices and current crop production issues along with interesting research on pasture management," said John Rickertsen, research agronomist. "We also are excited to have a UAS demo that will give producers an opportunity to see this emerging technology in action."

Following the tour is a free meal at the Agronomy and Range Research Lab sponsored by area businesses and the Hettinger Chamber of Commerce.

All activities are free and open to the public.

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North Dakota State University
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