Unmanned aircraft, carinata production for biofuel and regional agronomy research results will be featured topics at the 31st annual Western Dakota Crops Day at the Hettinger Armory on Thursday, Dec. 18. The event is sponsored by the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. with coffee and doughnuts. Participants will be able to view exhibits throughout the day.
The popular topic of the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in agriculture will be one of the major presentations. John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension Service agricultural machine systems specialist, will discuss his research results using UAS applications. The project's objective is to verify the effectiveness of UAS-mounted sensors in assessing crop and livestock production issues. He also will discuss the different types of UAS equipment that’s available, what kinds of data can be recorded and potential uses of the large amount of data that is generated.
A panel discussion on the production and marketing of Brassica carinata (Ethiopian mustard) will be led by John Rickertsen, NDSU Hettinger Research Extension Center agronomist; Christine Bliss, University of Florida; and Garret Groves, Agrisoma Biosciences.
Carinata is a crop that can be managed similarly to canola and has a promising oil profile for biofuel use, especially biojet fuel. It has better tolerance to heat and drought than canola, which makes it better suited to the semiarid northern Great Plains. It would give producers another oilseed option to incorporate into their rotations with wheat and other cereal crops.
Results from agronomy research in the western Dakotas will be presented by Caleb Dalley, NDSU Hettinger REC weed scientist; Pat Carr, NDSU Dickinson REC research agronomist; Chris Graham, South Dakota State University Extension agronomist; and Rickertsen. Topics will include updates on new crop varieties and herbicides, no-till crop production and other ongoing research projects.
"This year’s crops day gives producers an opportunity to learn about emerging technology and crops in agriculture, along with the traditional variety performance and ongoing regional agronomy research," says Rickertsen.
The event will include commercial exhibits by several seed, chemical and agricultural service companies. The event is free of charge and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact the Hettinger REC at (701) 567-4323.