Carrington Research Extension Center conducts research
and educational programs to enhance the productivity, competitiveness,
and diversity of agriculture in central North Dakota. The research effort
focuses on traditional crop variety evaluation, crop production and
management, alternative crop development, cropping systems, irrigation,
integration of crop and livestock production, intensive cow/calf production,
beef cattle feeding, feedlot management, foundation seedstocks production,
and the development of new agricultural enterprises. The central location
of the Carrington Center is significant in that the research program
is able to address research needs that represent a significant part
of agriculture in North Dakota.
This report highlights
a portion of the departmentsí contributions to research and extension.
Following are a few examples of our significant impacts and contributions
over the past year.
Bedding of cattle in feedlot Calves bedded with
modest or generous levels of straw returned up to $90 per head more
than non-bedded calves. Bedding acts as a carbon source for microbes
and our data indicates that up to 300% more nitrogen was sequestered
in composted manure. This is then available for use by crops versus
being volatilized and lost into the atmosphere.
New feedmill online The new feedmill has come online
at the Carrington Center to support an expanded feedlot research
program. The new mill features increased bulk storage, faster processing,
greater flexibility in ration ingredients, storage for diverse ration
components, improved safety, and greater precision in ration formulation.
The mill was made possible due to efforts of the ND Stockmen's Association
and financial support from a number of commodity groups including
the ND Barley Council, ND Corn Utilization Council, ND Oilseeds
Council, ND Dry Pea and Lentil Association, and Dakota Growers Pasta
Fly ash accepted for feedlot surfaces Cattle can
be maintained in much drier pens if fly ash is incorporated into
the soil according to joint research by UND-EERC and NDSU-Carrington.
A long term study at the Carrington Center has concluded that animals
perform better, pens are easier to clean, and cleanout is reduced
due to no soil mixing with manure in muddy areas. Guidelines for
incorporation of fly ash into the soil are now available.
Onion hybrid performance Stand establishment techniques,
including variety selection and using seed vs. sets, are critical
as the industry establishes itself. Results from the CREC trials
indicate yields that ranged from 79 to 985 cwt/acre. More than 75%
of the total yield was from onions larger than the desired 3-inch
minimum diameter. However, this response was associated with onions
started from seed versus those started from sets. Onion yields were
about 87% lower when Sabroso and Vaquero hybrids were started as
sets vs. seed.
Record crop yield performance during 2003 A review
of 20 different crops that have each been evaluated in CREC dryland
variety trials during the past 17 years indicates that the environment
in 2003 was exceptional for crop production in central North Dakota.
Seed yields for spring wheat, durum, barley, oat, spring triticale,
flax, rye, and crambe were at their highest in 2003 as compared
to any time during the past 17 seasons at the CREC.
processing Feedlot research completed this year determined
that processing flax was required to optimize the use of flax in
beef diets. The process of grinding or rolling both increased daily
gain by 0.3 lbs. compared to whole seeds in the ration. Processed
flax diets were also superior compared to the control diet where
linseed meal was used as the protein source.
Genetic differences become apparent in the feedlot
Thirty nine herds consigned calves (3 steers per herd) to the feedout
component of the Dakota Feeder Calf Contest, Turtle Lake, ND. Genetic
differences were observed between herds in feedlot and carcass performance.
Average daily gain between herds ranged from 3.01 to 4.05 pounds
while carcass marbling ranged from 333 to 480 (300= select, 400=
low choice, 500= average choice). Economic analysis calculated profitability
from $40 to $205 per head during the feedlot period. Feeding tests
during the stressful post-weaning period determined that calves
fed field peas ate more and gained faster than control rations.
Refined management for irrigated spring wheat Incremental
increases in nitrogen resulted in an increase in grain protein but
did not affect seed yield. Seed yields for the cultivars tested
ranged from 77 to 92 bu/acre. Wheat yields under these management
strategies were 2 to 6 bu/acre lower than wheat managed similarly
under dryland conditions.
management of spring wheat with split applications of N
Traditional fertility applications for spring wheat where 100%
of the N is applied pre-plant resulted in similar grain yields
compared to N applied at split applications of 75:25 or 50:50
PPI:POST. A reduction in grain protein content was observed
when 50% of the total N was applied at either the 3.25- or 4.5-leaf
stage, likely due to a lack of rainfall seven days after application.
of field rolling on soybean performance A field trial
evaluated the impact of rolling soybeans at pre-emergence, early
emergence, cotyledon, and first trifoliate stages. Soybean plant
injury increased as post-emergence rolling was delayed. However,
viable soybean stand and seed yield were similar with rolling
timings compared to the untreated check.
wheat variety response to seeding rate and foliar fungicide
Three spring wheat varieties with contrasting susceptibilities
to disease were evaluated for response to fungicide at two different
seeding rates. Established stands of 1.0 versus 1.8 million
plants/acre did not impact disease, test weight, or seed yield.
Folicur applied at early flowering increased grain yield of
Ingot and Reeder by 27 and 31% respectively, while Alsen yield
Cereal disease fungicide trials yield consistent responses
A series of cereal fungicide trials that are designed to evaluate
control of leaf diseases and fusarium head blight were once
again conducted at the CREC. The grain yield increase averaged
among all treatments within a trial when compared to the untreated
check were 27% (wheat scab), 16% (durum scab), 21% (wheat leaf
spot), 38% (wheat scab), 13% (durum scab), 13% (wheat leaf spot),
and 11% (wheat rust) for an average response of 20%. The best
treatments within these same trials resulted in yield increases
of 45%, 24%, 26%, 64%, 29%, 26%, and 18% which average as a
33% yield increase.