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MonDak Ag Research Summit
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2018 MonDak Ag Research Summit set for Nov. 14th
PDF's to download: Poster (744KB)  |  Brochure (754KB)

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2nd annual MonDak Ag Research Summit set for Nov. 14

The North Dakota State University Williston Research Extension Center (WREC), Montana State University Eastern Agricultural Research Center (EARC) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab in Sidney are partnering once again to showcase agricultural research underway in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

The 2nd annual MonDak Ag Research Summit will be held on Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain Time at the Richland County Event Center in Sidney.

The summit was established last year and is a collaborative effort among the three research stations to encourage interaction between farmers and researchers. It features scientists from all three facilities reporting on current research projects of interest to farmers, ranchers and residents of the MonDak.

In addition to the research talks, the event allows for one-on-one and small group discussions with scientists, providing producers the opportunity to share their questions and research needs and ideas directly with the scientists. The summit is free and lunch is provided courtesy of the Northern Pulse Growers Association. Other sponsors for the event include the City of Williston, Sidney Sugars, Inc., Montana-Dakota Beet Growers Association, Agri-Industries, Dawson County Implement, Cargill and Tri-County Implement.  More than 120 people participated in this event in 2017.

This year’s program schedule is as follows and begins with a special guest speaker addressing emerging and persistent weed issues in this region.

Morning topics and speakers:

*Weed control of horseweed, narrowleaf hawksbeard, kochia, Russian thistle and others – Guest Speaker Brian Jenks, NCREC, Minot, ND

*Rangeland and aquatic weed update – John Gaskin, USDA ARS

*Integrating biocontrol into your weed management plan – Natalie West, USDA ARS

*A fungus bait formulation for grasshopper, Mormon cricket control – Stefan Jaronski, USDA ARS

*The effect of tillage and rotation on rhizoctonia root and crown rot – Audrey Kalil, WREC

A morning poster session will also give attendees time to browse more than twenty additional research projects and speak with the scientists doing the work. After the poster session, the morning program will continue with the following presentations:

*Effect of tillage, irrigation, and nitrogen on sugarbeet yield and sugar content - Chengci Chen, EARC

*Tillage vs no-till effect on corn, soybean, barley and sugarbeet yield (Nesson) and water use efficiency under irrigated conditions -  Bart Stevens, USDA ARS

*Economics and soil health of sustainable cropping systems – Don Tanaka, WREC

*Dryland pea production and water use affected by tillage, crop rotation, and cultural practice – Upendra Sainju, USDA ARS

A free lunch sponsored by the Northern Pulse Growers Association will be served at the conclusion of the morning session. Brian Gion, Marketing Director of NPGA is our guest lunch speaker.

The afternoon program will feature small-group discussions where attendees can meet with scientists by subject area to discuss current industry topics. The discussion groups will run concurrently with another series of research talks of interest to area producers. Attendees will be able to move back and forth between the afternoon talks and discussion group tables as desired.

The afternoon talks include:

For those interested in horticulture, Kyla Splichal, WREC horticulture specialist, will present on high tunnel use and construction.  

For those interested in cover crops, Brett Allen, USDA ARS will discuss cover crops as replacement for fallow in semi-arid durum cropping systems.

For those interested in variety selections, Yesuf Mohammed, EARC, will discuss pulse crop variety selection and performance, and Justin Jacobs, WREC will discuss spring wheat and durum irrigated varieties.

New to our discussion groups this year is the presence of an area producer at some of the small group tables who will discuss their experiences working with local scientists and what they’ve both learned in that partnership.
Everyone interested is encouraged to attend. Again, the summit is free, but preregistration is encouraged for determining a meal count. You can preregister online at or contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-2020, or by email at

Note, too, that approvals for Montana pesticide applicator points and certified crop adviser continuing educator units are pending for this event.



November 15, 2017 MonDak Ag Summit

Written by Clair Keene, Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems, Williston Research and Extension Center


PDF's to download: Poster (294 KB) | Registration Brochure (359 KB)
Register Online at 


SIDNEY, MT – Did you know that there are not one, but three agricultural research facilities in the MonDak? They are the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center in Williston, the MSU Eastern Agricultural Research Center in Sidney, and the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab also in Sidney. Together, these three research stations have over two dozen scientists and researchers working in the areas of agronomy, soil science, plant pathology, weed science, horticulture, and entomology. If you would like to meet these researchers and learn about the important work they do, please join them for the MonDak Ag Research Summit to be held on Wednesday, November 15th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Mountain Time at the Richland County Event Center in Sidney, MT. This event is free and open to the public.


The MonDak Ag Research Summit is a collaborative effort among the three research stations and will feature scientists from all facilities reporting on current research projects of interest to farmers, ranchers, and residents of the MonDak. The morning program starts with Dr. Audrey Kalil of WREC speaking about scab management in wheat and Dr. Frankie Crutcher of EARC discussing seed treatments for management of Rhizoctonia root rot in sugarbeet. Next, scientists Tatyana Rand, Stefan Jaronski, and John Gaskin from the USDA-ARS Pest Management group will discuss biological control of wheat stem sawfly and noxious weeds. Biological control is an exciting area of research that identifies and evaluates beneficial organisms such as predatory insects or fungal pathogens for their ability to control pests.


A morning poster session will give attendees time to browse over two dozen research projects and speak with the scientists doing the work. The MonDak Research Summit wants to encourage interaction between researchers and farmers. Researchers will be available to chat and want to hear from you what production issues you think need to be addressed.


After the poster session, the program will continue with a section on long-term projects underway to evaluate cropping strategies in both dryland and irrigated production systems. Dr. Don Tanaka of the WREC will share results on a project looking at diverse dryland crop rotations that incorporate full-season or half-season cover crops. Dr. Bart Stevens of the USDA-ARS will present work looking at rotating sugarbeet and soybean under irrigation, and Dr. Stevens and Dr. Chengci Chen of EARC will talk about a joint project investigating reduced tillage strategies for sugarbeet production.


The morning program will conclude with a panel discussion on hard red spring wheat, durum, and pulse crop variety performance. Tyler Tjelde and Austin Link of WREC will discuss small grain varieties in irrigated and dryland systems, respectively, and Dr. Chen will discuss pulse crop varieties. A free lunch sponsored by the Northern Pulse Growers Association will be served.


The afternoon program will feature small group discussions where attendees can meet with scientists by topic area and pick the brains of the experts in the room. For those interested in horticulture, Kyla Splichal of WREC will present on the potential of high-tunnels for local vegetable production in the MonDak, and for ranchers and land managers, Dr. Dave Branson of USDA-ARS will discuss his work on predicting grasshopper outbreaks and understanding grasshopper ecology. The last session of the day will be a social and give attendees another opportunity to talk with researchers and view posters highlighting a wide variety of projects.


If you want to attend, please pre-register on-line at To register by phone or if you have questions, call Beth Redlin at 406-433-2020. Pre-registration is free and will enter you for a chance to win a set of collectible model tractors donated by T&E of Williston. As an additional incentive to pre-register, the first 50 people to pre-register will receive a weatherproof cell phone pouch and a water bottle. Pre-registration closes November 10th.


Admission is free at the door, but attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register so that there will be enough lunch for everyone, as well as to ensure they are eligible for the model tractor drawing. For pesticide applicators and agronomists, those attending the Ag Research Summit are eligible for 2 private and 2 commercial MT pesticide applicator points and 2 Certified Crop Advisor CEU’s.