US (ND): Sidney research center looking at no-till beets

Plant growth hormones might do more than just prime roots for growth. Some of them might also raise up natural defensive shields against pests and pathogens, helping the plant fight them off on its own. That in turn could be useful against an annual root muncher in the beet fields, namely springtails.

Research into the effects of plant growth promotion regulator, or PGPR, is just one of many projects ongoing at the Eastern Agriculture Research Center in Sidney to tease out better management practices. EARC is one of three research centers in the MonDak whose collaborations are strengthening agriculture region-wide. The three plan a research summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Richland County Event Center in Sidney. The summit is open to the public.

Plant pathologist Dr. Frankie Crutcher has projects looking at the best ways to beat various pests and pathogens that affect these crops.

She has recently set up a disease nursery in the greenhouse. The space will be useful for testing out various strategies to beat fusarium head blight and other diseases. She’s also working to create a faster test for detecting pathogens in pulse crop seeds, to help keep them disease free.

A soil sterilizer has recently been installed at the center, to ensure diseases in the nursery can’t escape, and to sterilize incoming soil for the greenhouse and new hoop house, to keep diseases from being introduced to these controlled environments.

The hoop house will demonstrate the benefit of season extension for growing common vegetables like tomato and green pepper. Williston Research Extension Center has also been working with hoop houses at Nesson Valley.

Read more at the Williston Herald (Renée Jean)

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