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close up photo of a tractor plowing the field

Students, community invited to CLC’s annual Ag and Energy Research Center Field Day

Students and community members are invited to Central Lakes College’s annual Ag and Energy Research Center Field Day from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on August 24 at the college’s Ag and Energy Center, 26505 County Road 2, Staples. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. There is also a free lunch and program at noon, featuring Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra. For more information contact Melody Weber at 218-894-5123 or mweber@clcmn.edu.

There will be many free activities including:

Tractor ride and drive – (All day) All ages are welcome to come and experience some of the latest technologies in equipment such as sprayers, the new RX, and tillage demonstrations with trained John Deere technicians courtesy of Midwest Machinery in Wadena.

Drone Flight – (9-9:30 a.m. & 1:30-2 p.m.) Hands-on experience with drone technology, experiencing flights and agricultural uses of drones for your farm with UAS pilot Jonathan Beck.

History of 50 years of Ag Center – (9:30 & 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.) The Ag and Energy Center is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Come learn about the history of how it all began in 1968 from Del Lecy.

Kid’s Program – (11 a.m. – 12 p.m.) Kids, suggested ages 5-14, are invited to join in the kid’s activities ranging from tractor driving, digging for potatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and exploring drone technology relating to agriculture. Kids are welcome to take fresh veggies home with them.

Nitrate Reduction Water Quality Study-AgXplore-NZONE MAX – (9:30 a.m.) The goal of this four-year study is to reduce nitrate leaching through the use of AgXplore’s product NZONE MAX, which is mixed with all forms of urea when it is applied to the crop. Groundwater and soil pore water quality is being analyzed through monitoring wells and lysimeters set up at strategic areas in the field and along the parameter. Presenters will include Mark Peltier, Brandon McMillan, and Mitch Whyte from AgXplore and Dan Whitney and Kristi Anderson from NWATS.

Ag and Ground Water Quality Tour – (10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.) This presentation includes a tour of an off-site field. This study is designed to execute a land management plan that fosters soil health and provides adaptive management options that can be replicated to ultimately balance financial and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, intensive water quality monitoring is a significant portion of the study. Presenters include Ryan Perish with MDA and Dan Whitney with NWATS.

Kernza Plot Tour – (11a.m.-12 p.m.) This study was established last year to evaluate a new specialty crop kernza and its potential impacts on coarse sandy soils. Studies include a variety study-to-study yield and plant characteristics, nitrogen application timing, and traditional cropping rotations compared to kernza while analyzing water quality through the use of lysimeters. Jake Junger will be presenting from the University of Minnesota.

Palmer Amaranth Workshop – (1:30 – 3 p.m.) Palmer amaranth was recently discovered in Todd and Douglas counties. This workshop’s objectives are to increase farmers’ awareness of palmer amaranth and tactics that we can take to prevent the spread of this weed. Drone flights will be demonstrated during this workshop of how drones can be used to scout for this weed and other weeds that could be an issue. This workshop is organized by the Todd County weed inspector Nancy Uhlenkamp.

Forage Council Bus Tour to Grand View Ranch – (1:30 – 4:30 p.m.) This tour will include an off-site tour to Grand View Ranch led by Kent Solberg. Topics covered include managed grazing, frost seeding, pasture infrastructure and custom grazing.

Living Legacy Gardens Tour – (11:30 a.m.) Come and enjoy the beauty of the Living Legacy Gardens. The gardens demonstrate zone three perennials, shrubs and herbs. Plant labels throughout the garden include a QR code. Self-guided tours are available throughout the day as well as all season long. A guided tour by Tammy Rick, gleaning coordinator at CLC, will be available at 11:30 a.m. A pie and ice cream social will also be included in the afternoon at 1:30.

Local Foods Tour – (10-11 a.m.) This tour will be led by Specialty Crop instructor Thaddeus McCamant. Fruits that are demonstrated on this tour include pears, cherries and apples. Come learn about various varieties for zone three, as well as an apple density trial.

Viticulture Tour – (11 a.m.- 12 p.m.) This tour will be led by CLC instructor Dennis Drummond. Vineyard demonstrations include a variety block, high wire versus low wire, and table grape varieties. Wine making methods and best varieties for differing wines will also be presented.

Apple Workshop – (1:30 – 3 p.m.) A workshop led by Thaddeus McCamant will have further details pertaining to fruit tree crops with topics of summer budding and grafting of fruit trees and apple and plum diseases concerning Minnesota growers.

Trade show – (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Aside from publicized tours and workshops, several industry reps will be present at our trade show that will be in the machine shed. These folks will be available to share their research as well as product comparisons and some results. The will include U of M, Agriculture Research Service (USDA), and many private label seed companies. Variety trials companies will also be present to share results and go to plots as needed for observation.

Nitrate testing of well water – Attendees should plan to bring water samples for free nitrate testing.

About Jessie Perrine

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