Bees, Peas, Grasshoppers Featured At Froid Research Farm Field Day
The annual Froid Research Farm Field Day is back! This year’s event features a special presentation on native bees and other pollinators important to agriculture, along with a special Beekeeping 101 workshop for those interested in adding honeybees to their farms. Grasshoppers, their biology and management, are also a topic of discussion as is new research underway on field pea.
Learn about all of these topics and more at the annual Froid Research Farm Field Day on Thursday afternoon, June 22, from 1-5:30 pm. Registration begins at 12:45 pm with 4 pesticide points available for participants. The event is hosted by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts and Extension Offices and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Northern Plains Ag Research Lab in Sidney.
The farm is located 8 miles north of Culbertson on Montana Highway 16.
In a special pollinator section planned for the day, Sidney ARS pollination specialist Joshua Campbell will discuss his research into native pollinators in the region and their contributions to dryland agricultural systems. In addition, County Extension Agents Wendy Becker and Shelley Mills will be conducting a special “Introduction to Beekeeping” workshop that will discuss how to effectively start your own colony and how to identify and manage disease and pest infestations. Among the pests under review, the varroa mite, considered a significant contributor to honeybee colony collapse disorder. Both Becker and Mills are graduates of the University of Montana’s master beekeeper program and have begun conducting beekeeping workshops around the region in recent months.
Another insect pest up for discussion - Grasshoppers! These pests remain a key concern for MonDak producers following extensive outbreaks over the past two years. Sidney ARS ecologist Dave Branson will discuss current research efforts focused on grasshoppers, their biology and management, as well as answering questions from producers.
Field pea research evaluating the effects of seed-applied microbial inoculants on plant agronomics and soil health are also featured during the day with Sidney ARS microbiologist Sakdikshya Dangi and Post Doc Rosalie Calderon. Plant Pathologist Frankie Crutcher from Montana State University’s Eastern Agricultural Research Center in Sidney, will also discuss findings from ongoing MSU and NDSU field pea studies looking at Fusarium and Aphanomyces disease incidence under three different scenarios found at the Froid farm, including peas in long-term, 2-year rotations with spring wheat; peas in a 3-year rotation sequence study with oilseeds and durum, and peas incorporated into a cover crop mix to replace summer fallow.
But the day is not all insects and legumes. Cheatgrass management with fire and effective greenstripping techniques to aid in wildfire management are also on the agenda, with a talk by Sidney ARS Research ecologist Carissa Wonkka. Campbell and ARS Research Ecologist Natalie West will also be discussing their study looking at the regional spread of Russian olive seeds by mammals. For his part, ARS Dryland Research Agronomist Brett Allen will share his research on water availability following a cover crop, while ARS Soil Scientist Upendra Sainju will discuss carbon sequestration under perennial grasses and an annual crop.
The day concludes with a free steak dinner at 5:30 pm sponsored by the Sheridan and Roosevelt County Conservation Districts. And note, participants qualify for 4 pesticide points in the following categories: 10 – Dealer; 30 Agricultural Plant Pest Control; 37 - Right of Way Pest Control; 39 - Demonstration & Research Pest Control; 55 Regulatory Weed; 60 - Private Agricultural Pest Control.
For questions or more information, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-2020, Wendy Becker 406-787-5312 or by email at beth.redlin@usda. gov, email@example.com.