Crops Day

35th annual Western Dakota Crops Day to be held at Hettinger Armory in Hettinger on Dec. 20.

With warm weather in the forecast, unusual for this time of year. it is possible for everyone in the region to attend this year’s Hettinger Research Extension Center Western Dakota Crops Day.

There will be information on soil health and the latest in cropping systems research.

Regional agronomy research results, dealing with saline and sodic soils and updates on regenerative cropping systems will be featured topics at the 35th annual Western Dakota Crops Day at the Hettinger Armory on Dec. 20.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts, and presentations starting at 10 a.m. Participants will be able to view exhibits and visit with vendors throughout the day.

Topics will include updates on new crop varieties, new herbicides, crop production and current agronomy issues in the West River region.

"This year’s crops day will provide excellent information on soil health and the latest in cropping systems research, along with the traditional variety performance and ongoing regional agronomy research," says John Rickertsen, HREC research agronomist.

At 10:10 will be a roundup of crop variety updates and research featuring: Caleb Dalley, HREC weed scientist; Ryan Buetow, Extension agronomist from Dickinson Research Extension Center; Chris Graham, Extension agronomist form SDSU and Pat Wagner, SDSU Extension entomology field specialist

At 11:50 are Adams County Commodity Elections

At 1 p.m. is a continuation of crop updates with Rickertsen.

At 1:30 p.m., Chris Augustin, NDSU Extension Soil Health specialist at the North Central REC in Minot, will give a presentation on soil issues facing western Dakota producers.

Saline and sodic soils are common problems and often have similar symptoms, but are not the same thing and require different management strategies to correct.

Augustin also will discuss decreasing soil pH mainly caused by near-surface application of ammonium-based fertilizers on soils which have a relatively low cation exchange capacity.

At 2:15, the famed Dwayne Beck, manager of Dakota Lakes Research Farm east of Pierre, S.D., will talk on "Stop the Bleeding." The farm is the place where he has conducted cropping systems research using low disturbance no-till and diverse rotations since 1989.

Beck’s research explores the important role of diverse crop rotations in minimizing weed, disease and insect problems while increasing potential profitability. He will discuss his current research including no-till, diverse crop rotations, cover crops, intercropping and grazing livestock as a holistic management approach to regenerative agriculture.

The day closes at 3 p.m.

The show will also include commercial exhibits by several seed, chemical and agricultural service companies displaying their newest products and innovations. The event is free of charge and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact the Hettinger REC at 701-567-4323.