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, beef
cattle feeding, feedlot management, intensive cow/calf production, 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 department’s contributions
to research and extension. Following are a few examples of our significant
impacts and contributions over the past year.
NDSU has a renowned plant breeding program and the NDSU Foundation
Seedstocks program has responsibility for propagating and distributing
foundation seedstocks. The CREC, a part of the NDSU Foundation Seedstocks
program, distributed approximately 26,000 bushels of foundation grade
seed during the spring of 2005. This seed was distributed to pedigreed
seed producers all across North Dakota along with various distributions
into neighboring states. Foundation grade seed is early generation
seed that must meet very stringent purity standards. All of the foundation
grade seed that is distributed from the CREC is planted, managed,
harvested, and conditioned by Center staff. There were seven crops
and 26 cultivars represented among the 26,000 bushels distributed
to seed growers.
Two soybean rotation trials are being conducted at Carrington and
Wishek to compare the impact on seed yield and quality with continuously-grown
soybean to a soybean-spring wheat rotation. At Carrington, soybean
continuously grown for four years yielded over 20 percent less compared
to soybean grown on the previous year’s wheat ground. The yield loss
was primarily due to substantially higher root disease (greater than
50 percent) compared to the soybean yield on wheat ground.
The objective of the trial was to compare onion hybrids and primed
vs. unprimed seed. Differences in hybrid tolerance to Buctril and
Goal were observed. Teton exhibited the most herbicide tolerance and
had the highest yield. Highlander was the least tolerant, resulting
in early maturity and low yields. Yields ranged from 116 to 687 cwt/acre.
The potential benefits of seed priming are faster and more uniform
germination, improved germination under a broad temperature range,
reduced seeding rates, earlier maturity, and higher yields. Primed
and unprimed seed lots were submitted for four hybrids. A faster and
more uniform emergence was observed with primed seed, but it did not
affect maturity date. Priming the seed increased yield and bulb size
in two of the hybrids.
of private seed company cultivars
The CREC continues to be a major source of un-biased information for
growers as they deliberate on the important decision of crop cultivar
selection. The many private seed companies that supply corn, soybean,
sunflower, canola, and dry pea hybrids/varieties present numerous
choices for growers. The central location and environment representative
of the CREC and its off-station research sites make the results of
our crop cultivar performance tests valuable to growers across a broad
region. In 2005, the CREC provided cultivar comparisons of 90 corn
hybrids, 181 soybean varieties, 167 sunflower hybrids, 65 canola hybrids/varieties,
and 60 dry pea varieties.
important to national effort
The CREC’s research program to address the serious crop losses due
to the disease sclerotinia continues to grow. Work currently encompasses
sunflower germplasm screening (USDA-ARS Fargo, Agriculture and Agrifoods
Canada - Morden, South Dakota State University - Brookings, and private
seed companies), sunflower fungicide and biological control agent
evaluation (all collaborators in germplasm screening in addition to
private industry), canola germplasm screening (University of Minnesota
and private seed companies), canola fungicide screening (private companies),
dry bean germplasm screening (NDSU, Colorado State University, University
of Idaho, National White Mold Nursery), field pea germplasm screening
(USDA-ARS Pullman, Washington), and field pea fungicide evaluation
(NDSU Langdon REC).
Extension programs supporting soybean production
The Carrington Center has been a leading NDSU Research Extension Center
for providing research and educational programs to support the dramatic
growth in soybean acres in North Dakota. Examples of soybean research
trials include variety performance (12 regional conventional and Roundup
Ready trials), plant establishment (e.g. planting rates, dates, row
spacing, starter fertilizer, and seed quality), plant nutrition (e.g.
seed inoculation and nitrogen management), tillage systems, crop rotation,
and land rolling. Educational sessions conducted to provide farmers
and crop advisers with soybean production recommendations have included
annual winter meetings and summer field tours (e.g. annual Field Days
and Row Crop tour).
Effect of early
planting on canola, field pea, and hard red spring wheat
In response to the unseasonably warm spring, an experiment was conducted
to evaluate earlier than normal planting dates for canola, field pea,
and hard red spring wheat (HRSW). Weekly planting was initiated April
8 and ended May 8. Very early planting resulted in higher HRSW yields,
reduced scab severity, and lower DON levels. Field pea yield was not
improved with very early planting. Canola yield tended to increase
with earlier planting. However, canola suffered higher stand losses
due to hard frosts than the other crops.
Effect of phosphorus
placement, seeding rate, and row spacing on canola
Projects were initiated at the Carrington Research Extension Center
to evaluate the effectiveness of mid-row banding phosphorus fertilizer
between every seed row and the yield response of canola planted in
wider rows. Under the conditions of these trials, phosphate fertilizer
placement had no effect on canola yield, allowing flexibility in reducing
passes over the field. Current phosphorus recommendations seem appropriate.
Yields increased as the row spacing decreased from 14 to 7 inches
with a smaller plant type (Hyola 357 Magnum). With a larger plant
type (Invigor 4870), yields were similar with 7- or 14-inch row spacing.
However, only one variety of each plant type was evaluated, so generalizations
to other varieties cannot be made. Yields for both hybrids increased
12% as the seeding rate increased from 7 to 14 live seeds/ft2.
The new grower program will be used as a platform for new growers
to gain hands-on commercial vegetable production experience. With
NDSU vegetable staff advisors, pooled specialized equipment and purchases,
and secure local processing market contracts, the program will minimize
start-up risks and capital until such time that the new growers could
start their own production. The program is designed to help farmers
learn production practices for specific processing markets which require
consistent production practices and a uniform raw product for efficient
is a valuable feed
High-moisture immature corn from the 2004 cropping season proved to
be as valuable as dry corn for feeding North Dakota grown beef steers
to market weight. No drying costs were incurred as corn was harvested,
ground, packed, and fed at 25 to 45% moisture. Animal performance
was equal to dry, heavy corn in every aspect including carcass quality.
Only a small portion of the corn crop is fed in the state, resulting
in significant losses during years of early frost or when corn does
Barley and ethanol
by-products fit well together for feedlot cattle
Feedlot cattle gained faster with wet and/or dry distillers grains
in barley-based rations compared to a rumen-degradable protein source.
Barley is often the lowest cost feed grain. More ethanol plants will
increase the supply of distillers grains in the region. The growing
feedlot industry can capitalize on the safe and low-cost combination
of these two versatile feeds to background and finish more cattle
in North Dakota.
affect animal performance
Feedlot cattle should be provided bedding during the winter to reduce
cold stress. Bedding has been proven to increase gain, carcass quality,
and net profit by up to $80/head. However, not all bedding is created
equal. Small grain straw (wheat, oats, or barley) supports the best
animal performance, followed by soybean residue. Corn stover was not
much better than no bedding. Besides increased animal comfort, bedding
sequesters three times more nitrogen in the manure pack before and
after composting. Fertilizing with manure will reduce off-farm fertilizer
purchases and add organic matter and other nutrients to the soil,
such as phosphorus and potassium.
Field peas require
processing for optimum animal performance
This new and highly palatable grain legume should be processed by
dry rolling when fed in creep feed, to feedlot cattle, and to beef
cows. Feeding whole peas or finely ground peas resulted in inferior
animal performance. The protein and energy in field peas is highly
digestible and results in increased intake and gain compared to most
other feed ingredients in beef cattle diets.
Cattle producers participating in the Eastern North Dakota Feedout
discovered their calf’s post weaning value. Average daily weight gain,
final weight, and carcass value influence calf value. Individual calf
feedlot average daily gain varied from 3.18 to 4.2 pounds per day,
final weight ranged from 1046 to 1467 pounds, and carcass value ranged
from $816.70 to $1264.95.
produces valuable co-product feed
Newly-weaned beef calves need a safe and highly-digestible fiber to
transition to higher energy feedlot diets. Soyhulls can be fed at
up to 30% of the diet without prejudice, but at 15% of the ration,
gains were superior to no soyhulls in a corn-based receiving ration.
Feeding cattle to finish in the Dakota Feeder Calf Feedout returned
an additional $94.06 per head after feeding expenses, excluding interest,
were deducted. Genetic variation among groups of cattle led to a range
in profit from $242.33 to ($-9.66). Cattle can be profitably fed to
finish in North Dakota.
Moldy corn surveillance
Late maturing corn exhibited substantial mold growth. Certain molds
can produce toxins that are deleterious to cattle growth. Seventeen
corn grain samples from across north central North Dakota identified
white, grey, pink, and black molds. However, toxins were detected
in only seven samples – six samples contained only vomitoxin (at concentrations
safe for feeding to beef cattle) and one sample showed vomitoxin,
T-2 toxin, and HT-2 toxin (at concentrations below USDA thresholds
considered safe for cattle). Testing for toxins in moldy feeds can
provide safety assurance for feeding moldy grains to cattle.