Extension offering education at Big Iron
Producers and others will have an opportunity to learn about crop production, the drought, farm stress and North Dakota State University’s Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department from NDSU Extension personnel during the Big Iron farm show in West Fargo on Sept. 14-16.
NDSU Extension personnel will have four exhibits at the east end of the Hartl Ag Building. In addition, Extension agents and specialists will be available to answer questions about crop and livestock production and other rural topics.
“This is an opportunity for people to stop by to view the displays, ask questions, pick up publications and provide input or just visit,” says Ken Hellevang, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer.
Crop production accounts for about two-third of the agricultural economy in North Dakota. The Extension exhibit will focus on some of the current topics, with Extension agents and specialists available to discuss current challenges.
One hundred percent of North Dakota is experiencing drought that is impacting livestock, crops and farmsteads. Producers are encouraged to bring in livestock water samples to be screened to ensure the total dissolved solids and sulfates are not toxic. Part of the Extension exhibit will include resources available to assist farmers with various aspects of agriculture impacted by the drought.
Another aspect of the exhibit will focus on resources available to help producers survive the many challenges they face.
Faculty will be available to discuss various Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department topics. The department has academic degrees in engineering, with a focus on agricultural machinery, natural resource engineering and biosystems engineering.
The department also offers degrees in agricultural systems management, which incorporates technology, business and agricultural production. The precision agriculture degree is one of only two four-year degrees offered in the U.S. and includes the many aspects of precision agriculture. Both of these degrees are through the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.
The department’s research focus is on precision agriculture, natural resources and biosystems, including crop storage and enhanced bioproducts. Extension education and technical assistance is provided on grain drying and storage, agricultural machinery and precision agriculture, and water including irrigation, drainage and water quality. Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering students will have an exhibit outside Hartl Hall showing their one-fourth scale tractor and possibly a reconditioned tractor or two.
John Nowatzki, retired NDSU Extension agricultural machine systems specialist, has organized field demonstrations related to autonomous agricultural vehicles and automated precision rock picking. Demonstrations will be conducted daily from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the field directly south of the Red River Valley Fairgrounds racetrack.