Williston Research Extension Center


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Sustainable Agroecosystems for Soil Health in the Northern Great Plains

Cropping Systems Images
Winter Wheat
Jim holding poster
Wheat and Grasshopper

Sustainable Agroecosystems for Soil Health in the Northern Great Plains:

A New Project at the Williston Research Extension Center

In 2013, the Williston Research Extension Center initiated a new project investigating diversifying dryland crop rotations. The objectives of this project are to “Develop agricultural systems to improve soil health, crop production, precipitation use, and economic sustainability”. This is a long term research project involving multiple researchers from various disciplines. Don Tanaka, formerly USDA-ARS Scientist from Mandan and current WREC seasonal scientist, is serving as the coordinator of this project. Gautam Pradhan, WREC Dryland Research Agronomist, is investigating agronomic and physiological aspects, and conducting economic analysis. Jim Staricka, WREC Soil Scientist, is investigating the soil water use and physical soil quality aspects. Jerry Bergman, WREC Director, is responsible for the overall administration and assisting in the agronomic component of the study. Audrey Kalil, newly hired WREC Plant Pathologist, is investigating plant disease and insect aspects. Clair Keene, newly hired Area Extension Specialists/Cropping Systems, is investigating weed aspects. Kyle Dragseth, WREC Farm Manager, David Weltikol, WREC Ag Technician-Mechanic, and Cameron Wahlstrom, WREC Crop Research Specialists are overseeing the field work and applying best management practices in the production of all crops. Diana Amiot, Austin Link, and Emma Link, WREC Crop Production Research Specialists, are assisting in plot maintenance and data collection. WREC plans to recruit a soil microbiologist to participate in the project and utilize unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to assess plant health through aerial images.

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