Ag Showcase invites area growers and producers to field days

Farm Forum

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The plant doctors will be in for the MonDak Ag Showcase, set for July 14 and 15, and the trio is challenging you to see if you can stump them with a plant question. The three are horticulturist Kyla Splichal, plant pathologist Audrey Kalil and cropping systems specialist Clair Keene. Bring them your weeds, your diseased plants and your insects to see if the three can identify the problem or pest at hand.

The three will be in session during lunch at the Williston Research Extension Center for the first day of the MonDak Ag Showcase, an annual event that promotes the MonDak as an ideal place for agricultural business and development with a variety of programs that also help area growers and producers, the Williston Herald ( ) reported.

For Stump the Plant Doctors, Kalil will be looking at diseases and pests on crops, as will Splichal, but on horticultural plants. Keene will be focused on identifying weeds.

“It’s a good way to share expertise with the public and let people know we are a resource if they have questions, as well as make people aware of the NDSU resources that are available,” Kalil said. “If people want to come visit us about problems they are having, we will diagnose it on the spot,” Kalil said. “If not, we will point you in the right direction to help you identify your problem.”

There is no prize necessarily if you manage to stump all three of the plant doctors, but they will put you in contact with research specialists in Fargo, where there is a top-notch diagnostic lab.

“People can send things directly to the diagnostic lab in Fargo to get help with identification of diseases and insects,” Kalil said. “They can also help diagnose injuries based on visual appearance.”

Plant samples need to be in as good a condition as possible. Kalil recommends digging the plant up, roots and all, with some soil still attached, then storing it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. It should not stay in the fridge too long, for best results.

“Take it the day of,” she suggested. “Don’t store it a real long time in the fridge. It should be within a day of bringing it in.”

Pictures are not a bad idea as well, in case the plant becomes damaged during transport. These can also help show whether there is a tell-tale pattern in your field or yard.

Stumping the plant doctors will be just one of the many programs available during the MonDak Ag Showcase, which begins July 14 at the Williston Research Extension Center, located at 14120 Highway 2 West. The first day will feature a two-track program in the morning, one to tour crop research and one for the horticulture program.

In the afternoon, the focus will be on pulse crops, from faba beans and lentils to peas and more. Diseases, scouting programs, production and contracting, weed control varieties and marketing will all be discussed.

To cap off the evening, a networking event is being held in conjunction with the MonDak Ag Showcase from 5 to 7 p.m. at McCody Concrete, 14021 Highway 2, as part of the Williston Chamber’s Business After Hours.

The second day, the Nesson Valley Irrigation Tour will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Nesson Valley is located 23 miles east of Williston on Hwy. 1804. The tour will include presentations on low glycemic potatoes, herbicide modes of action in various crops, high tunnels, variety trials and more.