NDSU Research Leads to Crop Protection Product Development

Research at NDSU’s North Central Research Extension Center near Minot is leading to the development of crop protection products for minor crops. 

“Crop protection manufacturers typically focus their resources on developing products for the major crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat,” says Brian Jenks, weed scientist at the center.  “Far fewer resources are devoted to small-acreage crops.” 

To fill this void and expand the registration of crop protection products for minor crops, the center became involved in IR-4, a federal program with the goal of registering new products for farmers and ensuring that chemical residues are below established safety standards. 

Since 1998, center scientists have conducted 78 trials that included 32 active ingredients and 14 commodities: lentils, confection and oil sunflowers, millet, wheat, barley, canola, dry peas, sugarbeets, dry beans, sorghum, oats, safflowers and flax. These trials have led to the registration of 20 active ingredients for 10 commodities, and more are being prepared for submission.  

The center conducts an average of three to four of these studies each year. 

Each study requires scientists to complete a field data book. The book must contain information such as the study protocol, personnel training records, site maps and field history, chemical storage dates and temperatures, equipment maintenance and calibration records, application records, weather data and sampling data. By the time the books are completed, they contain more than 100 pages of study data. The study director uses the books to write a final report, which is submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The process takes approximately three to four years to go from study initiation to the IR-4 report submitted to EPA to the registration of a product that farmers can use in their fields. 

“This benefits farmers by giving them more crop protection products to control pests such as weeds, diseases and insects,” Jenks says. 

For more information: 

Brian Jenks, 701-857-7677, brian.jenks@ndsu.edu 

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