NDSU and UMN Set Best of the Best Meetings in Eastern North Dakota for Feb. 2 and 3

Kelli Anderson
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal
Current research findings and the most up-to-date production information will be featured topics at the Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean meetings


Two Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research and Marketing meetings have been set for February in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota.

The first of the two meetings will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Moorhead on Feb. 2, and the second will be held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on Feb. 3.

 Researchers and Extension specialists from the University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension and North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension will share the most recent research findings and recommendations on wheat and soybean production and research.

Both meetings will begin at 8:20 a.m. and adjourn around 3 p.m.

“Our goal through these meetings is to bring wheat and soybean producers the most up-to-date findings on crop production from a variety of sources,” says Clair Keene, NDSU Extension agronomist and event organizer. “Topics covered by the program are those considered to be most important to the farmers for which relevant research findings are available.”

In Moorhead, the program kicks off with Jodi DeJong-Hughes, UMN regional Extension educator, presenting on preventing erosion and soil loss.

“Reducing or eliminating soil erosion is critical for maintaining the long-term fertility and productivity of soil,” says DeJong-Hughes. “I’ll be discussing options farmers have for reducing tillage and building soil health, that is, the ability of their soil to hold water, cycle nutrients and support crop development throughout the growing season.”

In Grand Forks, the first speaker is Jochum Wiersma, Extension professor at the UMN – Crookston, who will be sharing results from investigating the contribution of a gene from wild emmer to protein levels in hard red spring wheat.

“We’re trying to figure out if the presence of a gene allows growers to use less nitrogen fertilizer, maximize grain yield and still get 14% grain protein,” says Wiersma.

Other program highlights include a field crop insect update from Jan Knodel, NDSU Extension entomologist, and Pat Beauzay, NDSU Extension integrated pest management coordinator. The session will re-cap last season’s insect pest issues, including cereal aphids and grasshoppers, and discuss the possible implications for these pests in 2022. They will also share results of current research being done on wireworms and insecticide resistance in their programs.

Joe Ikley, NDSU Extension weed specialist, will discuss herbicide carryover concerns after the 2021 drought and give growers insight into the chemistries and conditions that need special attention to avoid injury to this year’s crops.

Popular hands-on breakout sessions will again be featured at this year’s meetings. Session topics are:

LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Networks) technology and its application on the farm

Pigweed identification

Iron deficiency chlorosis in soybean

Wheat protein and baking quality

Kernza, a new perennial grain under development

A noon lunch will be provided at each venue. There is no participation fee but advanced registration is encouraged. Continuing education units (CEUs) will be available.

To register and view the agenda for the meetings go to https://mnwheat.org/growers/2022-best-of-the-best-registration/.

The Best of the Best meetings are sponsored by the Minnesota and North Dakota wheat and soybean grower and checkoff organizations, in conjunction with UMN Extension and NDSU Extension.