NDSU Extension - Burke County


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Perennial Field Day Set & Sample For Soybean Cyst Nematode

County Agent News
Dan Folske
August 26, 2019


Perennial Field Day Set at Williston REC


Kernza and salt-tolerant forages will be featured during a field day on perennial crops at North Dakota State University's Williston Research Extension Center (WREC) on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Kernza is new perennial grain crop under development by breeding programs at The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., and the University of Minnesota. Kernza is intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) that has been bred intensively for increased seed size and yield for the past 15 years.

"Intermediate wheatgrass is widely used as a forage, but breeders are making

great strides in  increasing seed yield of Kernza lines," says Clair Keene,

NDSU Extension cropping systems specialist at the WREC. "Growing a perennial grain crop would give farmers the ability to plant once and harvest over multiple seasons, reducing the fuel, labor and soil disturbance that goes along with seeding annual crops."

Kernza's deep perennial roots hold soil in place, reducing erosion, and allow exploration farther down in the soil profile than by the much shallower roots of annual wheat.

"Researchers in Minnesota are excited about planting Kernza in sandy soils near drinking water wells to prevent nitrates and phosphorus from contaminating water supplies," Keene says.

During the field day, she will talk about Kernza management and the research being conducted in the Williston area. Chris Wiegert from Healthy Food Ingredients, a specialty food ingredient company, will discuss the development of the Kernza supply chain.

The second half of the field day agenda will focus on saline soil management and will highlight the progress being made at the WREC on reclaiming a saline seep with salt-tolerant alfalfa and grass varieties. Jane Holzer of the Montana Salinity Control Association will present how saline seeps form and how management of the water table must change to prevent seeps from growing. Jim Staricka, soil scientist at the WREC, will share data from the on-site saline seep reclamation project and discuss soil monitoring.

The field day will run from 9 a.m. to noon Central time. The WREC is at 14120 Highway 2, or 4 1/2 miles west of Williston.

For more information about this event, contact the WREC at 701-774-4315 or by email at clair.keene@ndsu.edu.


Producers Encouraged To Sample For Soybean Cyst Nematode

The NDSU Extension Service and the North Dakota Soybean Council are working together again to coordinate a soybean cyst nematode (SCN) soil testing program


. SCN soil test bags are available to growers on a first come first serve basis. SCN eggs have been found in samples from the Ward County gooseneck. Like any crop pest, early detection makes management much simpler.

Anyone interested in soil sampling for SCN can pick up to three pre-labeled SCN soil test bags from the Burke County Extension office. To submit a sample; fill the bag with soil, provide site information and send the bag to the partner lab (Agvise). Results will be mailed directly to the growers who submitted the sample(s). The laboratory fees are covered by the North Dakota Soybean Council.

The ND SCN sampling program began in 2013 and has been instrumental in understanding where SCN is located in the state. To date, over 3,000 samples have been submitted by North Dakota growers, and about 1/3 of those have had some level of nematode eggs.

Filed under: Burke news
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