The Northern Great Plains Research Lab south of Mandan is known for trying new things in the field.
One of this year's latest crop trials is already ready for the combine.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin takes you to the field for harvest.
If you aren't sure what this combine is chewing up, you aren't alone.
These tiny oil seeds are camelina.
(Dave Archer / USDA Ag Economist) "There's been a lot of interest in this crop as a biofuels crop for biodiesel. It's an oil seed crop. It's high in oil and good for fuel use. The spring varieties tend to yield a little better, but the winter variety we think with the double cropping that might be an economical option as well."
Ag Economist Dave Archer is researching how a popular crop in Canada will grow across the border.
(Dave Archer / USDA Ag Economist) "With a new crop you are always concerned about how well it's going to yield. There hasn't been a lot of breeding work going into it, so you know it's not always going to look the best. But, we are looking at ways that you can put it into a rotation and make up for some of that yield shortfall compared to some of the other crops."
Archer says while more breeding and management work needs to be done, he does believe the crop has a future in North Dakota.
(Dave Archer / USDA Ag Economist) "The thing that we are impressed with so far, it seems to handle the dry conditions fairly well. And it seems to handle the early frost pretty well, so those are some benefits that we like about it."
(Sarah Gustin /firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Dave Archer / USDA Ag Economist) "We know with winter canola that can be an issue so we were concerned with this. We tried different planting dates in the fall to see how it would survive, so far just looking at it without measuring yields, the stuff that we planted early came up and it didn't seem to survive the winter. The stuff that was planted later waited till this spring to come up and we have a decent stand on that."
Once these plots are harvested a mix of millet and cow pea seed will be planted and cut for hay later this fall.
South of Mandan for KX news, I am Sarah Gustin.
This is the first year the lab has been able to combine the crop.
Archer says they planted camelina (cam-a-lina) last year, but it was hailed out before harvest.