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2013 crop variety trials

By Staff | Dec 20, 2013

Selecting the crop varieties that will grow best in a particular area can make a huge impact on a producer’s profitability. Each year, NDSU agricultural researchers conduct variety trials to help determine which varieties produce the best yields under a range of growing conditions. The researchers evaluate the varieties based on a number of characteristics. Using that data, the following link provides access to current Variety Trial Results from all NDSU Research Extension Centers. Variety Trial Results will continue to be updated as data becomes available. Printed publications of variety trials of various crops grown in our area are expected to be released near January and will be available through local Extension offices.

Ground Water

Management

In the wake of an ongoing wet cycle, “Ground Water Management” workshops were conducted at three locations across the northern tier of North Dakota including Rugby, Mohall, and Langdon. The goal of these workshops was to provide research based insight regarding the behavior of water within soils, issues related to the high groundwater levels, and management strategies to producers, crop improvement board members, commodity groups, Extension, and private industry professionals in an effort to assess and manage these questions in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

The Rugby event was held on Tuesday, December 17th at the Rugby Eagles Club. A number of producers and industry professionals from Pierce, McHenry, and Rolette counties participated in the workshop held at the Rugby location. In addition Mr. Groves’ 6th grade science class from Ely Elementary School joined a portion of the workshop. Mr. Groves’ class is competing in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) contest sponsored by Samsung entitled “Samsung Solve For Tomorrow”. As part of the contest schools must identify a local problem and propose a solution. Mr. Groves’ class has identified excess soil water as their problem and is working to come up with a solution through various classroom experiments. Mr. Groves’ class has the privilege of being the top school from North Dakota and is one of 51 schools left of 3500 total entries to compete for a chance to win a trip to Washington DC. Mr. Groves’ class has already won a video camera, laptop, and several tablets for their efforts in this competition.

Make Your Christmas Poinsettia Last

With the proper care, poinsettias can last into March and April, and even be planted outside as herbaceous plants for the summer. Since poinsettias originate from Mexico they should be given the same care as any houseplant from the tropics. Some tips for making your poinsettia last are:

  • Avoid drafts. This includes not only cold air, but also direct blasts from forced air heating systems.
  • Provide direct light every day. Place the plant by a window facing south or west.
  • Allow the poinsettia container to drain. This may mean removing the decorative wrap or simply slicing it. About 20-30 minutes after thoroughly watering the plant, dump out the excess from the saucer beneath the pot. This will help prevent root rot.
  • Keep the plant in the coolest room in the house, as long as it stays above 60 degrees. Bring the poinsettia out only when it is time to show it off.
  • If you need to transport the plant, protect it from the winter cold. Put a plastic bag over the top of the plant, and place the entire poinsettia in a grocery sack. Move it quickly into a warmed vehicle. It only takes about 20 seconds of direct cold exposure to injure a poinsettia.
  • Begin fertilization in January with standard houseplant material, and continue monthly until spring planting. Use the material at about half the recommended rate until new growth is evident. Once outside, fertilize full strength at the time of planting. If foliage begins to yellow, give a second dose.

While some may be hesitant to keep a plant in their home or yard that has been rumored poisonous, research indicates that there is no need to worry. Researchers at Ohio State University proved in the mid-seventies that poinsettias are not poisonous.

Yet, it is not a bad to idea to use caution around these plants, as they do secrete milky sap when the leaves or stems are broken that has been known to cause minor skin irritations. In addition holiday plants are often treated with systemic insecticides that can be harmful if ingested.

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