Explanation of S.D. field tours and variety trials
Over the next few weeks SDSU Extension will be hosting several Field Tours at research farms across South Dakota.
June 27 Dakota Lakes Research Station Field Tour: Event begins at 4 p.m. (CDT). The tour will be led by Farm Manager, Dwayne Beck and Ruth Beck SDSU Extension agronomy field specialist. Directions to Dakota Lakes Research Farm: 17 miles east of Pierre along SD Highway 34. Tours will run until dusk on the 27. A light meal will be served.
Dakota Lakes Research Station consists of three quarters of land at the Main Station and 360 acres of land located at the North Unit. This land is along the east side of Canning Road approximately 4 miles north of the Main Station. The North Unit was purchased in 2000 to provide "west river" soils (Opal and Promise) for research purposes. During the 1990's this was done by renting land west of the Missouri River from a private landowner. This parcel was known as the Wheat Commission Rotation Study site. All of this land is and has been farmed without tillage since 1990. The main station is about evenly split between irrigated and dryland while the off-station site(s) are dryland.
The station hosts numerous small plot studies by scientists from SDSU. These trials allow testing of large numbers of treatments. The best of these treatments often receive another level of scrutiny when they are evaluated on a "production scale". This means that field size equipment is utilized with all harvest results being weighed in a 300-bushel weigh cart. Two tractors, one drill, one row crop planter, one sprayer, and one combine are used for all field work. The tractors are 135 and 105 horsepower. This equipment could farm at least 2,500 acres if all of our land was in the production enterprise (no research), and we maintained our present crop mix.
SDSU Extension and Plant Science upcoming field days and tours through on-farm tours at research stations and at farms of cooperating producers, SDSU Extension and the Department of Plant Science provide growers with the latest updates on research in a variety of disciplines including crop production and management, variety trials, entomology, disease, soil fertility, and weed management. Upcoming events include:
Variety Trial Tours Begin July 1
Variety selection is a very important management decision in a sound crop production system. Variety Trial Tours will look at current growth and pest issues, along with discussing the potential for yield, grain protein, bushel weight, lodging, disease resistance, and other factors that will be fully evaluated as the growing season continues and the crop is harvested. Regular updates to the progress of variety trials can be found on the SDSU Extension Crop Testing Facebook site.