drylands field days file photo farmer looking at soil (copy)

A farmer looks at a soil sample during a drylands field tour in this file photo. Acidification of soils has become an emerging problem in the MonDak, and will be among the topics of discussion at upcoming field days.

Weeds are still a continuous battle, but knowing the enemy helps you win the war.

They are just one of the important topics ahead for this year’s annual field days, which will also feature discussion of fusarium studies, soil sampling, sprayer calibration, and even trendy and healthy houseplants.

Here’s a rundown of what’s known so far for upcoming field days.

Sidney ARS/EARC Field Day

• From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 20

• Pesticide points are pending.

• Located 4 miles north of Sidney off Montana Highway 16. Coming from Sidney, take a left on County Road 129 and a second left on County Road 346. The turn into the farm will be marked.

This joint event with the USDA-ARS laboratory in Sidney and the Eastern Agricultural Research Center begins with registration at 9 a.m. at the Sidney ARS research farm and ends at 12:30 p.m. across the highway at the EARC dryland research farm with a free lunch, provided by Richland County Extension Office.

Tour talks will include weed identification, herbicide resistant weeds in cropland, and new weed arrivals such as palmer amaranth with USDA-ARS botanist Dr. John Gaskin.

Other topics include:

• Winter and spring wheat cereal variety trials, using drones to characterize performance, including a demonstration, weather permitting. With winter wheat breeder Dr. Phil Bruckner, research agronomist Dr. Gautam Pradham, and cropping systems agronomist Dr. Chengci Chen.

• Strategies to enhance nitrogen fixation by peas, as well as improving protein content, with Chen.

• Fusarium study looking at disease incidence in peas as a result of scabby seed left on the field from a preceding wheat crop, with plant pathologist Dr. Frankie Crutcher.

• Soil sampling demonstration for those wanting to test for soil acidification in their no-till fields, as well as an overview of crop rotation and nitrous oxide emissions in a wheat-pea rotation, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gases while maintaining crop yields.

With Roosevelt County Extension Agent Jeff Chilson, and soil scientist Dr. Upendra Sainju.

• Improving native plant establishment on rangeland for CRP acreage. With rangeland management specialist Dr. John Hendrickson.

• Biocontrol of whitetop, a noxious weed. With ecologist Dr. Natalie West.

Froid Research Farm Field Day

• From 1 to 5 p.m. June 27

• Pesticide points pending.

• Located 8 miles north of Culbertson on Montana Highway 16.

If you missed all the hands-on weed identification and biocontrol updates given at the Sidney ARS/EARC Field Day, you’ll have a second chance to catch it all again at the Froid Field Day.

Not only that but weed specialist Dr. Tim Seipel will discuss new herbicide research and formulations and Richland County Extension Agent Tim Fine will demonstrate correct calibration of a sprayer.

The day ends with a free steak dinner at 5 p.m., sponsored by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts.

Other event sponsors include the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Extension Offices and the USDA ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney.

Also on tap:

• Testing soil for infiltration, compaction and acidification with Roosevelt County Extension Agent Jeff Chilson, soil physicist Dr. Jay Jabro.

• Pulse crop diseases with plant pathologist Dr. Audrey Kalil.

• Pest and beneficial insects found in oilseeds and cover crop forage rotations with research ecologist Dr. Tatyana Rand.

• Cover crop yields and forage quality in a 2-year rotation study with durum with research agronomist Dr. Brett Allen.

Williston Research Extension Center Dryland Tour

• 3 to 7 p.m. July 10

• Located .6 miles west of Highway 2 and 85 Junction

This is a two-track program that includes both a dryland tour and a concurrent horticulture program.

A steak dinner will be served at 7 p.m., sponsored by area agribusinesses.

Topics include:

• Soil acidification, causes and management options

• Soybean variety trials and development

• UAV demonstration

• Dryland soybean management

• Pipeline reclamation project update

• Plant pathology update

• Weed management update

• How to make gardening less work

• Trendy and healthy houseplants

Also upcoming, but without details as yet:

Nesson Valley Irrigation Tour

• 8:30 a.m. to noon July 11

• Located 23 miles east of Williston on Highway 1804

Eastern Ag Research Center Field day

• 8:30 a.m. to noon July 17

• Located 1 mile north of Sidney on Hwy 200

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