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NDSU sets cover crops, forages and intercropping field day for Sept. 19

The field day will focus on the benefits of establishing alfalfa and other legumes in an intercropping system along with new options for managing erodible and saline soils.

Opportunities to incorporate winter cover crops, forages and perennials into various cropping systems will be the focus of a North Dakota State University (NDSU) field day on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Presenters will demonstrate and discuss the benefits of cover crops, perennials and establishing alfalfa in a growing crop. Clair Keene, NDSU Extension agronomist, and Marisol Berti, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences professor are leading the field day.

“Participants will have the opportunity to learn about cover crops and new perennial crops such as Kernza,” says Keene. “Attendees also will be able to connect with other participants who have experience in incorporating cover crops and forages into their farming systems.”

The field day will start with registration at 9 a.m. at the Hickson research site. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to Hickson, North Dakota, approximately 15 miles south of Fargo.

To access the Hickson research site, take I-29 south out of Fargo to Kindred Exit #48 then turn east. Turn left (north) onto County Road 81, then drive one-half mile until you see the field day flags. 

A free lunch will be provided to all those who register online by Sept. 12.  

The lunch and afternoon session will be on the NDSU campus just east of the intersection of 15th Ave N and Dakota Drive. Look for the white tent in the field to the east of Dakota Drive and to the west of the Dalrymple Research Greenhouse. The afternoon program will have walking tours of the campus research plots and will conclude at 3:30 p.m.

Topics at the morning session in Hickson include:

  • Corn-alfalfa and sorghum-alfalfa intercropping and biodiversity
  • Sunflower sainfoin and alfalfa intercropping
  • Evaluating crop rotations for cold climates and their impact on soil microbiota

Topics at the afternoon session in Fargo include:

  • Freezing tolerance in winter camelina
  • Alfalfa rhizobia research
  • Perennial wheat and Kernza research in North Dakota
  • Cover crops and forage sorghum

“I have researched various cover crops within many North Dakota cropping systems,” says Marisol Berti, NDSU professor in forage, cover crops and biomass production. “Establishing alfalfa in corn, sunflower or sorghum has great potential to increase the profitability of forages.”

To register for lunch and find more information about the field day, visit: ndsu.ag/covercropday.

This field day is part of the outreach efforts associated with multiple grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded to North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station scientists and USDA-ARS researchers.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Sept. 8, 2023

Source: Clair Keene, 701-231-7405, clair.keene@ndsu.edu

Editor: Kelli Anderson, 701-231-7881, kelli.c.anderson@ndsu.edu

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