MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — The North Dakota State University Research Extension Center‘s annual field days have now kicked off.

Across the state, research projects are being presented to showcase problems that need solutions, as well as new methods to try in our fields.

Over 150 agriculture enthusiasts were towed by tractors to different fields to listen to presentations from experts about new agricultural research.

Topics included wheat breeding, soil health, microbiology in farming, precision agriculture, and insect and weed control.

“It also provides us the opportunity to show farmers, we’re experiencing the same things they are. Whether it’s drought conditions, whether it’s hail, whether it’s a disease or insects. So it allows us to showcase the damage, educate them on what it looks like, what do we need to be looking for at scouting, and it helps present some remedies we can offer for them in some of these situations,” said Travis Prochaska, a crop protection specialist at the NDSU Research Extension Center.

The main area of concern for farmers is how wheat varieties can adapt to North Dakota’s unpredictable weather.

Another research project explained how certain crops can be planted to produce nitrogen for fertilizer.

“I think the most impactful thing is that they learn new strategies of their current problems and new approaches to managing agriculture problems.”

Agriculture experts also warned farmers of a new insect that could harm soybean crops in our state,” said Charlemagne Lim, a weed specialist for the NDSU Research Extension Center.

The bright orange larvae are called Gall Midges, which can eat away the plant’s stem and ultimately kill the crop.

Prochaska explained, “Right now it’s so new that it hasn’t been detected here. So, first thing is, we want to make sure we can actually come out and confirm that’s what it is. That agent or specialist will work with you to figure out what steps we need to take. There are some insecticides that are available. But a lot of them are still being tested in the soybean belt because this is so new.”

Researchers, AG producers, graduate students, farmers, and ranchers all attended the session.

NDSU experts say that the purpose of field days is to share research and best practices from all areas of agriculture.

There are four more agriculture field days left this summer, which are all open to the public.

  • July 21 – Langdon Research Extension Center – Langdon (8:45 a.m.-Noon CDT)
  • August 4 – CREC Oakes Irrigation Research Site – Oakes (8:30 a.m.-Noon CDT)
  • August 9 – NDSU Horticulture Research & Demonstration Gardens – Fargo (3-7 p.m. CDT plants, local foods and outdoor spaces)
  • September 10 – NDSU Arboretum near Absaraka (12 p.m.-5 p.m. CDT trees and ornamentals) pre-registration required