The 36th annual Western Dakota Crops Day, hosted by the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center, will be held at the Hettinger Armory on Thursday, Dec. 19.

The day begins with doors opening at 9 a.m., and coffee and doughnuts served. Presentations begin at 10 a.m.

Producers and others are invited to the free event, where they will hear the latest research projects and crop updates.

“This year’s crops day will provide excellent information on crop disease management and programs for getting better return through habitat on low production acres,” said John Rickertsen, HREC research agronomist. “In addition, we’ll have our traditional variety performance and ongoing regional agronomy research presentations.”

Regional agronomy research results, managing wheat and sunflower diseases and using technology to identify field areas that may be better suited for conservation plantings will be part of the agenda.

Rickertsen, who coordinates the events each year, pointed out that in 2019, conditions were very favorable for wheat diseases in southwest North Dakota, causing yield reductions and issues with marketing grain.

“Dr. Andrew Friskop, NDSU Extension plant pathologist will discuss the wheat disease outlook for 2020 and what can be done to manage diseases, such as leaf rust, head scab, tan spot and root rot,” he said. “Sclerotinia was also prevalent in many sunflower fields this year, and Andrew will discuss the what we need to be looking for in sunflower and soybean fields next year and what can be done to control its spread.”

Part of the program features regional agronomy research results, how to deal with saline and sodic soils and the latest research on regenerative cropping systems.

Emily Spolyar, precision ag and conservation specialist with Pheasants Forever, will talk about developing technologies that can break down crop fields and production lands by output and profitability. Modern farming operations are able to identify those areas that grow crops better and those where plants struggle year-after-year.

“The process of precision agriculture not only assists in the identification of those areas where seed, fertilizer, herbicide and other expensive inputs are wasted due to frequent wet or dry conditions that inhibit crop growth, but also helps find the conservation programs that provide farmers with income through enrollment of those acres with state or federal agencies as set-aside lands,” Spoylar said.

Results from agronomy research in the western Dakotas will be presented by Dr. Caleb Dalley NDSU Hettinger REC weed scientist; Rickertsen; Ryan Buetow, NDSU Dickinson REC area Extension cropping systems specialist; Chris Graham, SDSU West River Ag Center Extension agronomist, Rapid City; and Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension entomology field specialist, Rapid City.

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

The show will also include commercial exhibits by several seed, chemical and agricultural service companies displaying their newest products and innovations.

"This year's crops day will provide excellent information on crop disease management and programs for getting better return through habitat on low production acres, along with the traditional variety performance and ongoing

regional agronomy research," Rickertsen said.

Participants will be able to view exhibits and visit with vendors throughout the day.

Lunch will be provided. For more information, contact HREC at 701-567-4323.

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