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Dakota Lakes Field Day Is June 26

Cover crops, on-farm fuel, no-till tricks are among the topics.

Got questions on cover, forage and green manure crops?

These topics and lots more will be on the agenda at the always popular Dakota Lakes field day June 26 near Pierre, S.D.

This year's tour will begin at noon and continues until dark. The research farm is located 17 miles southeast of Pierre at the junction of state Highway 34 and Canning Road.

"Producers may ask what they can do on prevent plant acres, hailed acres, after cool-season harvest," says Dwayne Beck, manager of the farm.

"All of these conditions provide opportunities to grow crops for grazing, or for making and sequestering nitrogen. Producers can mobilize phosphorus, compete with weeds, cycle disease to reduce problems next year. The choices are many."

Speakers on the cover and forage crop topics include SDSU Extension Weeds Specialist Mike Moechnig, along with Natural Resources Conservation Service staffers Jim Millar and Jason Miller.

Herbicide carryover impacts on cover and forage crops and other label restriction will be covered in the sessions.

SDSU Extension educators will conduct sample examinations and preliminary diagnosis on producers' samples to check crop health or pest issues. The samples will be forwarded to the SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic or the SDSU Soils Testing Laboratory for further analysis if necessary.

Wheat management is another key topic at the tour, Beck says. "We'll have SDSU personnel present to provide information on variety, diseases, insects, and to give information on variety trials performed in two rotations that differ in disease pressure," he says.

Crop production trials at Dakota Lakes are not treated with fungicides. This allows producers to evaluate the performance of the varieties when they have to defend themselves. The trials also are seeded on the early side in the fall. This increases pressure from insect-vectored viral diseases like wheat streak mosaic. There are large differences among varieties this year

Preliminary work with bio-fuels at the farm also will be discussed. "Since the long-term goal at Dakota Lakes is to use no net geologic carbon, we'll show interested attendees a crop named camelina that may be a possible source of bio-oil," Beck says. "There is also substantial work being done with native grasses such as switchgrass and big and little bluestem. These perennials may serve as a source of bio-gas, or be used for direct combustion energy."

Since the research farm includes an irrigated component, another topic covered during the tour is machinery modification and agricultural engineering. "We'll discuss some of the tricks used at the farm to deal with wet soils and large volumes of residue while seeding," Beck says.

The free event is open to the public, and local 4-H clubs will operate a stand for lunch starting at noon. Call Dwayne Beck, (605) 224-6357, for more information.

Source: SDSU AgBio Communications

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