Most of the region’s farms rank commercial fertilizer as their No. 1 input cost. “CCRI directors want to see an intensive fertility research program to identify rates, timing, and methods of application,” Scholz said. “All of us want to see more work done in all of our area grain crops — corn, grain sorghum, and wheat. Fertility studies in bioenergy crops such as canola and sunflowers are also essential.

He said fertilizer carries over from crop to crop and year to year, making long-term studies on a permanent site necessary. “This re-emphasizes the need for a research farm.”


Herbicide research

”Our industry is beginning to face weed resistance issues in all of our major crops,” Scholz said. “Local ryegrass is already very resistant to certain important classes of herbicides, and even the new herbicides being introduced will fail over time. An intensive effort in herbicide research is essential to keeping our industry profitable.”

Herbicide research requires planting various types of weeds for test purposes. “We cannot conduct this type of research on cooperators’ farms for fear of creating long term problems. These types of research can only be justified and conducted on a research farm.”