Over 500 Growers Attend Best of the Best Research Workshops

The 2016 Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research workshops held Feb. 4-5 in Grand Forks, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., were well attended with an audience well over 500 growers.

Extension educators from the University of Minnesota (UMN) and North Dakota State University (NDSU) delivered information on getting the most bang for the buck from soybean inputs. Growers were updated on rediscovering a “systems approach” to soybean weed management by making the most of fertilizer dollars invested, getting the best price through marketing and updating the management of soybean populations.

Farmers also heard updates on Soybean Cyst Nematodes and other soybean diseases.

David Kee, Director of Research at Minnesota Soybean attended the workshops.

“One of the more interesting aspects of the workshop was how all of the issues were intertwined with grower profits, or a lack thereof,” Kee said.

Daryl Ritchison, North Dakota Assistant State Climatologist, led the discussion on the transition from El Niño to La Niña. Ritchison predicted a somewhat earlier than normal planting season, with potential for a wetter than normal late May and early June, followed by a drier than normal August. 

Dr. Samuel Markell, NDSU Extension Plant Pathologist, indicated this weather potential could lead to higher than normal stem rot issues. Dr. Frayne Olson, NDSU Extension Crop Economist and Marketing Specialist, predicted this change in weather will probably lead to a “bump” in contract price per bushel, for a short time frame, due to buyer response to short-term climate variance.

Grower interests were high at both sites as predicted margins are low and expert advice is sought as the 2016 planting season approaches.

The Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSR&PC) joined the NDSU and UMN Extension Services in sponsoring these workshops to provide growers with current research information and the ability to learn from industry experts.