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Forty Attend Crop Seminar hosted by Extension Office


March 11, 2020

Over forty agriculture producers attended the Crop Seminar held by the Extension Office on Wednesday February 26. The daylong program started with Uta McKelvy, Montana State University PhD candidate, Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology. McKelvy provided an overview of how fungicide resistance happened in a field crop.

Dr. Kent McVay, Extension Cropping Systems Specialist at the Southern Agricultural Research Center near Huntley, discussed computer tools for producers. Dr. McVay has developed the web site. At this site producers can select from a drop-down list to evaluate varieties, select herbicides, and fertilizer inputs. These are all based on crops grown at the six research stations across Montana. It shows yields and proteins for winter and spring wheats. Herbicide selections are based on weed inputted to the computer program. It provides herbicides and rates and prices for herbicides. The web-based herbicide program also is based on previous crop and current crop. It can handle pre or post applications. It informs the grower of what group the herbicide comes from so you can avoid herbicide resistance in weed control.

Canola production was presented by Peggy Lamb, Agronomy Research Scientist from Northern Agricultural Research Center near Havre. Some of the things to consider are chemical history in the fields as Canola is sensitive to carry over. Seed availability and market are other important considerations if you determine that Canola is a crop you want to grow. Canola needs to be seeded at ½ inch to one-inch depth. Even seed stand is best, so Lamb suggested slowing the air drill speed down when seeding. In her trial’s producers can expect 18 to 20-bushel yield. Pre-plant weed controls is important and a good stand establishment are necessary or weed issues will be a problem. If you haven’t grown Canola before, Lamb recommended to start small in acreage.

Chris Herring, Columbia Grain Inc. provided a market outlook for 2020. Winter wheat will be at $4.50 and spring wheat will be priced at $5.00 per bushel. Hopefully China will sign the first phase of the new trade agreement by the summer and prices will improve $0.50 or more, stated Herring. Yellow peas will be $4.5 per bushel. Organic wheat will be $13 per bushel and need to meet 13% protein threshold. There seems to be a glut of grain and even organic grain in the world and thus prices are not very high. Herring is hopeful that China will sign the first phase of the trade negotiation by summer so prices may improve.

If producers want to see what Person Protective Equipment for spraying looks like, jokingly Marko Manoukian, MSU Extension Agent Phillips County suggested producer log on the web and look at the Coronavirus! Producers need to protect themselves with Tyvek approved suit when working around chemical concentrate while filling and working on equipment. If a hose breaks and you have a Carhart coat on, you are not protected. This goes for chemical resistant gloves. Don’t take a plugged nozzle in your bare hand and blow through it to unplug it. If you need a respirator mask, make sure the carbon cartridges are fresh. No facial hair or you won’t have a good, sealed fit. The mask must provide a seal around your face and nose as you are assuming it will protect you from a deadly chemical.

In closing Manoukian noted that at every level, production agriculture is under attack from the public and commodity pricing. If you don’t think fake meat can have an impact, the two largest dairy producers, Borden Dairy Company and Dean Foods in the US, have closed because they can’t compete against fake milk in addition to lower milk consumption. The US is now importing fresh beef from Brazil instead of investing into our resources to produce beef. Manoukian pointed to food being a necessity and thanked all the growers for attending the meeting and their willingness to produce food.


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