2003 Research Highlights

The 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 Plant.
  • 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.
  • Flax 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.
  • Intensive 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.
  • Impact 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.
  • HRS 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 increased 10%.
  • 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.
Canola Flea Beetle Management HRS Wheat Variety Response to Foliar Fungicide and Plant Density
Soybean Inoculation Trial Variability in Inoculation Trials
Field Surveys for Small Grain and Oilseed Pests in South-Central North Daktoa Effect of Split Applications of Nitrogen on Hard Red Spring Wheat
Forage Barley Variety Trial Impact of Field Rolling on Soybean Performance
Outreach Summary: Crop Management Field Tours and Training Sessions Effects of Bedding on Feedlot Performance, Carcass Quality, and Net Return of Steers Fed During the Winter in North Dakota
Effects of Fly Ash Stabilized Soils in Livestock Pens on Animal Performance Field Peas and/or Barley in Receiving Diets for Beef Calves
Discovering Value in North Dakota Calves - The Dakota Feeder Calf Show Feedout Project Determining Trace Mineral Needs for Grazing Beef Cows - A Case Study
Livestock Waste Management Educational Program Economics of Owning vs. Share-Leasing of Beef Cows in East-Central North Dakota
Preliminary Report Comparing Herbicide Tolerant and Non-Herbicide Tolerant Soybeans in East-Central North Dakota Weather Summary
Agronomic Research Trials 2003 Variety Comparison Field Trial Information


NDSU Vice President,
Dean and Director for Agricultural Affairs
NDSU Extension Service ND Agricultural
Experiment Station
NDSU College of Agriculture NDSU College of Human Development and Education