About the DREC

Working with southwest North Dakota people to utilize and protect our air, soil and water

Our Objectives: For the families of North Dakota we research and report on agricultural methods that

  • are SENSIBLE
  • appear SUSAINABLE
  • advance STEWARDSHIP

Our Goal: Engage in science-based research that achieve SOLUTIONS.

The Dickinson Research Extension Center was established by the 1905 North Dakota Legislature as a research location representative of the Missouri Plateau region. The goal was to develop research on crop production for farmers of the region and to improve native and introduced forage crop production for cattle ranchers. [ click for picture of headquarters ]

Over the years the Center has grown from the original 160 acres to the current 4,916 acres - 3,259 acres are at the ranch unit north of Dickinson where range and beef research is conducted. [ click here for picture of ranch ]

Today, the Dickinson Research Extension Center has a unique blend of staff and programs. Research and Extension staff include animal, crop and range scientists. Work at the Center focuses on these areas:

    • AGRONOMY: The DREC continues research in tillage, variety evaluations, rotations and organic production as well. The Soil Health Demonstration project in concert with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the soil conservation districts from Stark, Billings and Dunn counties, and Dickinson State University is a major collaborative effort.
    • BEEF SYSTEMS: The DREC is continuing research that integrates crop and livestock enterprises needed for producer success in western North Dakota.
    • BIOSECURITY: The DREC is developing animal identification systems that provide the source and age verification demanded by consumers and needed to reduce the spread of pathogens.
    • CROPPING SYSTEMS: The DREC is developing crop rotations that utilize moisture and combine the positive aspect of diversity from agronomy, range and livestock practices.
    • ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: The DREC is working with producers to minimize potential pollution and capture the nutrient value of livestock waste.
    • HORTICULTURE: The DREC evaluates many species of plants and many products that local residents use in lawns, gardens, and shelterbelts.
    • RANGELAND SYSTEMS: The DREC has developed an optimal system of grazing based on animal-plant interactions. The "twice over" system improves range conditions and improves the financial outlook for producers.
    • SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE: The DREC is studying ways to simultaneously meet economic, social and environmental needs through agriculture.

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