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WCROC Summer Center Day is July 13

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Summer Center Day will be held at the University of Minnesota, West Central Research and Outreach Center on Friday, July 13. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with tours running approximately 1 & 1/2 hours in length. Tours will run twice, once at 8:00 a. m. and a second time at 10:00 a.m. There are 3 crop production tours to choose from. All tours will leave from the farm shop. Everyone is invited to attend. WCROC is located 1 mile east of Morris on State Hwy 329 off of Hwy 59.

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Tour 1: Tiling and Bioreactor Construction and Effectiveness.

Wulf Tiling (Doug, Paul, Byron, and Josh) will discuss the crop production benefits associated with tiling. They will be plowing in tile during Center Day and demonstrating how to begin starter holes, how a tile plow operates and showing how to install a French Drain (the drain will be open for viewing) and the benefits of French Drains over open intakes. They will also be discussing tile size and spacing, soil type and depth of tile placement, and Co Efficiency.

The subsurface drainage water from the field being tiled will be run through a wood chip based Bioreactor under construction (open for viewing). The carbon source (wood chips) provide the material for microorganisms to colonize. These microorganisms break down the nitrates in the tile water, expelling the nitrate as dinitrogen gas (N2). Denitrifying bioreactors have been shown to reduce the tile water nitrogen load (nitrates being transported to the Gulf of Mexico) by 40-60%. Andry Ranaivoson, U of M, St. Paul, and Mark Dittrich, MN Department of Ag, and will present the current findings on woodchip bioreactor research in Minnesota.

Tour 2: Precision Planting and Variable Fertilizer Application

Luthi Precision Planting (Aldean and Kent Luthi, and Adam Bjerketvedt) will talk about the agronomics of corn and the importance of accurate seed placement, which gives corn the best growing environment possible. They will also talk about the future of the corn industry and where it is heading and demonstrate the 20/20 SeedSense Meter and planter components.

Dan Kaiser, U of M, St. Paul, will discuss the benefits of variable rate fertilizer application for targeting a specific nutrient at the correct rate, at the correct time, and in the correct place. Current U of M research is focused on potassium and phosphorus fertilization to determine optimal application rates and timing, and also to determine critical soil test levels for phosphorus and potassium where response to fertilizer is unlikely.

Tour 3: Conventional Soybean Weed Management, Organic Corn Weed Management, and Glyphosate Resistant Weed Scouting.

Jeff Gunsolus, U of M, St. Paul, will highlight the tactics that conventional, organic, and herbicide-resistant weed management strategies have in common (please bring your questions).

Frank Forcella, USDA-ARS, Dan Hunberg, Ag Engineer SDSU, and Sharon Clay, Weed Science SDSU, will demonstrate controlling weeds within the rows of corn, with an abrasive grit applicator, conceived and built by USDA-ARS and SDSU. This applicator uses compressed air and any grit to abrade and kill weeds as an alternative method of organic weed management. Season-long control of common annual weeds can be achieved with grit applications at the 1-leaf and 5-leaf stages of corn.

Doug Holen, U of M Extension Educator, Crops, will demonstrate scouting for glyphosate resistant weeds. He will show what to look for in weeds that raise suspicion. The goal in glyphosate resistance scouting is to spend as little time as possible, at the right time in each field, while making management decisions based on observations.

Clinic and Displays

In the farm shop producers can bring in samples/questions on crop pests to the Crop Pest Clinic.

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