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SDSU SE Research Station Compost & Organic Field Day-Beresford, SD

SDSU SE Research Station Compost & 
Organic Field Day
Beresford, S.D.
Thursday, August 8
 
Schedule:
 
9:00 a.m. – Registration at the station office
9:05 a.m. – Plot tour at the Southeast Farm including compost workshop, cover crops, and flame weeding.
12 Noon – Lunch 
1:00 p.m. – Larry Nilson Organic Farm Tour, Alcester, SD.
3:30 p.m. – Conclude

 

Southeast Research Farm near Beresford, S.D., conducts off-campus research and extension projects for the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service working with faculty from the departments of Plant Science, Animal and Range Science, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Economics at SDSU. The farm has nearly 400 acres of dryland row crops, small grains and forages and annually feeds nearly 1,000 head of livestock (beef cattle and swine). Compost Workshop – brief review of principles and general practices for making compost, including dealing with animal mortalities presented by Brad Rops, Operations Manager of the Southeast Research Farm.

Cover Crops – We will look at several different cover crop blends and discuss the merits of each and review basic principles of cover crop use and species selection. This portion of the tour will be lead by Farm Supervisor, Peter Sexton. Use of Flame Weeding in Organic Row Crop Production – Propane fueled flame weeding is an acceptable method of weed (pest) control in organic farming and is gaining interest among conventional producers due to an increase in weed resistance and costs of crop seeds. Ben Arlt, SDSU Agronomy graduate student, will discuss the principles of flame weeding and demonstrate the use of a 4-row commercial type flamer with patented hoods for broadcast and banded flaming.
 
Peter Sexton works in the Plant Science Department at South Dakota State University in the area of sustainable cropping systems. His research efforts currently focus on cover crops and nutrient cycling from crop residues. Prior to moving to South Dakota, he worked for eight years as an agronomist in the potato program with Univ. of Maine Cooperative Extension in northern Maine. His work experience also includes three years with Oregon State University at a branch experiment station in central Oregon and a post-doc position researching sulfur nutrition with soybeans at Iowa State University. He obtained his master’s degree and doctorate in Agronomy (emphasis on Crop Physiology) at the University of Florida working with peanuts and dry beans, and his undergraduate degree in Agronomy from SDSU. Peter and his wife, Esther, have three children (Luke, Gabe and Ruth).  
 
Ben Arlt lives in Brookings, S.D. and is attending graduate school, researching flame weeding for his thesis. He and wife, Kaylee, are continuing their start in farming by raising hogs and growing a few calves. They trade labor by milking cows on a local dairy for yardage for their livestock. Ben loves learning about new techniques to make farming a reality. Together, they believe organic and sustainable agricultural methods will have to provide the majority of the food in the future. More people, especially young people, will continue to look for some connection to their food and the earth and find it in organic and/or sustainable agriculture. “If resources truly become limited, then as people of this world and food producers, we will have to learn to rely more on perennial and/or grass-based systems as well as “getting by on less.” We hope that opportunities open up for interested young people to get onto some land and be responsible, ethical food producers.” They will continue to be strong advocates for improving agriculture and food systems.
 
Directions: SDSU Research Farm, 29974 University Road, Beresford, SD 57004. From I-29 take Exit 47 and go west on Highway 46, travel 5 miles west and then turn south (left) on University Road. Travel approximately 2.5 miles south and the Research Farm will be on the left (across the road from the Komstad Covenant Church). 
 
If you have questions contact Peter Sexton, SDSU Plant Science Dept.; office phone 605-688-6179; cell phone 605-691-1143; e-mail Peter.Sexton@ sdstate.edu
 
$5 for lunch and must Pre-Register by Friday, August 2 or lunch on your own.
RSVP to the NPSAS office at 701-883-4304 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.