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NDSU Extension Offering Educational Activities at Big Iron

NDSU Extension agronomist Tom Peters (left) talks to a visitor about crops and weeds during a Big Iron Farm Show. (NDSU photo) NDSU Extension agronomist Tom Peters (left) talks to a visitor about crops and weeds during a Big Iron Farm Show. (NDSU photo)
Grain storage and tile drainage are two topics Extension specialists and agents will discuss.

North Dakota State University Extension Service specialists and agents will provide exhibits and field demonstrations and be available for consultations at this year’s Big Iron Farm Show, which runs Sept. 12-14 at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds near West Fargo.

Extension personnel will conduct two field demonstrations daily from 1 to 3 p.m. in the field directly south of the Red River Valley Fairgrounds racetrack.

In one demonstration, Ken Hellevang, Extension agricultural engineer, will describe the fundamentals of successfully storing grain in grain bags and properly prepared and managed covered piles.

Also during that demonstration, industry representatives will show and describe options for modular bunker walls, aeration systems, wireless temperature probes and pile or bunker covers or tarps. Industry representatives also will show and describe grain bags and the equipment to fill and unload the bags. Visitors will have an opportunity to examine the equipment and interact with industry representatives.

Another educational program will focus on the effects of tile drainage on the physical and chemical properties of soil. During the 2011 Big Iron show, tile drainage was installed in the 70-acre demonstration field. Soil pits will expose the tile drainpipes and areas between tiles to allow audience members to inspect the soil.

Other activities during that demonstration:

  • Extension agricultural engineer Tom Scherer will discuss the hydraulics of tile flow, installation procedures and the impacts to crop production in the field. Scherer also will provide an update on tiling activities across the region.
  • Aaron Daigh, an assistant professor of soil physics in the NDSU Soil Science Department, will talk about the impacts of tile drainage on soils.
  • Julianne Racine, the agriculture and natural resources agent in Extension’s LaMoure County office, will discuss the interests and impacts of tile drain in rural North Dakota.

Extension also will have an extensive indoor exhibit in the Hartl Ag Building during the Big Iron Show.

“Stop by to view the displays, ask questions, pick up publications and provide input or just visit,” Hellevang says.

The topics and Extension personnel who will be exhibiting are:

  • Agronomists Joel Ransom, Hans Kandel and Tom Peters and weed specialist Rich Zollinger will be available for consultation and to discuss multiple topics, including weed identification, selection of fall-seeded cover crops and spring-seeded nurse crops, in addition to weed efficacy and crop care related to dicamba in corn, soybeans and small grains. They will have various potted crop and weed samples for visitors to review and evaluate.
  • Carl Dahlen, Extension beef cattle specialist, and Extension agents will be available to discuss the impacts of the 2017 drought on livestock production, including animal health, feed concerns and water quality.
  • Precision agriculture generates many types of digital data. One Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department exhibit will demonstrate how to manage and analyze the data for management decisions.
  • NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) have developed a free app to alert farmers of weather inversions, potato late blight and potato early blight. This app provides current weather information from each NDAWN station. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, Andy Robinson, Extension potato agronomist, will demonstrate the app and its functions. Daryl Ritchison, NDAWN’s interim director, will be available to talk about the temperature inversion alerts, weather station information and NDAWN.
  • County agents will highlight topics discussed and survey comments from the 2016-2017 Annie’s Project programs held in North Dakota. Annie’s Project is a workshop for women on management and decision-making in agriculture. The program is designed to empower farm women to be better business partners through a series of education sessions covering the business of farming and ranching.
  • NDSU researchers are exploring planting cover crops such as camelina, rye, field peas, radish, and mixtures of various species in corn and soybeans before the cash crops are harvested. Live cover crop species will be on display in pots and a handout with cover crop options will be available.
  • Extensive unmanned aerial system (UAS)-related Extension and research activities in the NDSU colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be summarized.
  • Extension agents will be available to answer crop and livestock production questions. In addition, they can answer horticulture questions.

Visit for more information about the Big Iron Farm Show.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - Aug. 22, 2017

Source:Ken Hellevang, 701-231-7243,
Editor:Ellen Crawford, 701-231-5391,
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