NDSU Carrington organic/sustainable ag tour on July 15

Farm Forum

Organic crop production and sustainable agriculture are the focus of a tour being held during the North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center’s annual field tours July 15.

This is the center’s third annual organic/sustainable agriculture tour. Organic field establishment and management started at the center 10 years ago.

The organic/sustainable agriculture program will begin at 9 a.m. with registration, coffee and a welcome. Brad Brummond, Walsh County Extension agent and chair of the North Dakota Organic Advisory Board, will lead the tour. Speakers and their topics are:

• Anna Kirk, a research associate at the University of Manitoba – the organic wheat breeding program and first release of organic wheat varieties

• Steve Zwinger, organic/forage researcher at the Carrington center – organic oat production trials through variety performance and adaptation

• Bill Hodous, North Dakota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) co-coordinator and Ramsey County Extension agent – an update on grants and programs from North Central Region SARE

• Rick Mittleider, co-owner of R&C Mittleider Farms Inc., a certified organic family farm near Tappen – results from the NCR-SARE-funded Farmer and Rancher project on sustainability involving local and Ukrainian buckwheat varieties (More information on this project can be found at http://tinyurl.com/SAREproject.)

• Frank Kutka, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society (NPSAS) Farm Breeding Club, and Pat Carr, agronomist at the NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center – an update on the NCR-SARE grant project to develop cow pea varieties that can be used in cover crops and produce seed in northern climates (This project involves collaboration among the NPSAS, NDSU, South Dakota State University and University of Wisconsin.)

• Byron Lannoye, Pulse USA; Blaine Schmaltz, Rugby area organic seed producer; and Zwinger – developing organic seed for field pea varieties that perform well in organic systems

• Kutka and Zwinger – an update on the ancient grains (einkorn, emmer, spelt) project (This multistate effort will identify current research and provide production information.)

• Hannah Swegarden and Clair Flavin, graduate students, University of Minnesota – the organic dry bean breeding project

• Mike Ostlie, Carrington center research agronomist – using winter rye as a weed-suppression crop

Agronomy, northern-hardy fruit and livestock tours also will be held in the morning. The tours will depart at 9:30 and run until noon. An afternoon program on unmanned aerial vehicle use in agriculture will start at 1:30 p.m.

For more information about the organic/sustainable agriculture program, contact Zwinger or Karl Hoppe at (701) 652-2951 or email Zwinger at steve.zwinger@ndsu.edu or Hoppe at karl.hoppe@ndsu.edu.

The Carrington center is 3.5 miles north of Carrington on U.S. Highway 281.