MSU Extension cropping seminars set for Jan. 9-12

BOZEMAN, MONT. -- Montana State University Extension will host the annual cropping seminar series Jan. 9-12 in Fort Benton, Chester, Shelby, Cut Bank, Choteau, Conrad, Stanford and Great Falls.

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BOZEMAN, MONT. - Montana State University  Extension  will host the annual cropping seminar series Jan. 9-12 in Fort Benton, Chester, Shelby, Cut Bank, Choteau, Conrad, Stanford and Great Falls.

Topics will include pest identification, habits of profitable farmers, cereal variety trial updates from the local research centers, and control of ground squirrels, gophers and voles in crop settings. 

Mary Burrows, MSU Extension plant pathologist, will present “Pest Identification: The cornerstone of integrated pest management.” Participants will learn about the plant disease triangle, disease cycles and how to submit a sample to their county agent or the  Schutter Diagnostic Laboratory  for diagnosis. Participants will also engage in a hands-on activity to identify and manage a disease of wheat or pulse crops that is important in their area. This activity will provide hands-on skills applying integrated pest management.

Cereal variety updates will take place at each location from each region’s researcher. Researchers will cover 2016 data and historic data of cereal grains including yield, protein, wheat stem sawfly resistance, disease resistance and test weight. Peggy Lamb, agronomy research scientist at  Northern Agricultural Research Center  near Havre, will speak in Fort Benton and Chester. Pat Carr, superintendent and associate professor of cropping systems at  Central Agricultural Research Center  near Moccasin, will give updates in Fort Benton, Great Falls and Stanford. John Miller, agronomy research associate at  Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center  near Conrad, will cover talks in Shelby, Cut Bank, Conrad and Choteau.

Stephen Vantassel,  Montana Department of Agriculture  vertebrate pest specialist, will present the biology and identification of gophers, ground squirrels and voles. Vantassel will discuss control methods, including the use of trapping, fumigants or bait stations as they apply to large-scale farming operations. 


George Haynes, MSU Extension agricultural economist, will present ten 10 habits of profitable farmers. With currently low commodity prices and steady input costs, Haynes said this will give insight as to where to cut costs or increase revenue to stay in the black this coming year. 

No pre-registration is required, and all producers are encouraged to attend. All morning seminars begin with registration at 8:30 a.m., followed by presentations starting promptly at 9 a.m. The day’s seminar should conclude by 3 p.m.

Both commercial and private pesticide licensing recertification credits will be available.  

Dates, locations, and contact names and numbers for each cropping seminar are listed below.

Jan. 9:
Fort Benton, Ag Center, 1205 20th St., Tyler Lane, 406-622-3751;
Stanford, City Hall, 102 Central, Katie Hatlelid, 406-566-2277

Jan. 10:
Shelby, Comfort Inn Conference Room, 455 McKinley Ave., Kim Suta, 406-424-8350;
Chester, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 10 E. Madison Ave., Jesse Fulbright, 406-759-5625

Jan. 11:
Cut Bank, Voting Center, 913 Railroad St., Kari Lewis, 406-873-2239;
Conrad, Pondera Shooting Sports Complex, 972 Granite Rd., Shaelyn Meyer, 406-271-4054

Jan. 12:
Chouteau, Stage Stop Inn, 1005 Maine Ave. N., Brent Roeder, 406-466-2491;
Great Falls, Montana ExpoPark’s Gold Buckle Room in the Paddock Club, 400 3rd St NW, Rose Malisani, 406-454-6980 ext. 305

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