BOZEMAN -- Montana State University Extension will host a free, annual cropping seminar series Jan. 8-11 in Fort Benton, Chester, Havre, Shelby, Cut Bank, Choteau, Conrad, Stanford and Great Falls.

Darrin Boss, MSU Northern Agricultural Research Center superintendent, will present management recommendations and an economic analysis focused on integrating beef cattle into cover crops, specific to the Golden Triangle area. (Photo courtesy Darrin Boss.)

Topics will include integrating beef cattle into cover crops, soil fertility, why pesticides may not work as designed and partial budgeting analysis.

Clain Jones, MSU Extension soil fertility specialist, will speak about soil fertility and inoculation of pulse crops and nutrient management after both wet and dry years. Jones will first discuss fertilization and inoculation of pulse crops, an important topic as an increasing number of acres in the Golden Triangle are transitioned to pulse crops.

Jones will explain why protein levels were not as high as expected for many producers in 2017, as it relates to nutrient management during and after dry or wet years. He will also cover managing nitrate in forages during years with variable precipitation. The presentation will include data on soil acidification, which has become an increasing issue in Chouteau and Cascade counties.

Cecil Tharp, MSU Extension pesticide specialist, will address how producers can most effectively utilize their pesticides. Tharp will cover common problems when applying pesticides, with a focus on the importance of calibrating sprayers, understanding active ingredients, understanding the product label and the impacts of environmental conditions on your spray application.

Kate Fuller, MSU Extension specialist in agricultural economics and economics, will share “Partial budget analysis: why and how to estimate cost of production.” Producers will explore enterprise budgeting and partial budget analysis during Fuller’s presentation. Available estimates, along with tools to help estimate and benchmark cost of production for both current and potential enterprises, will be shared. Participants can also explore current market conditions and how they will impact producer profitability.

Darrin Boss, MSU Northern Agricultural Research Center superintendent, will share his results from four years of cover crop grazing research at MSU NARC near Havre. He will present management recommendations and an economic analysis focused on integrating beef cattle into cover crops, specific to the Golden Triangle area.

No pre-registration is required, and all producers are encouraged to attend. All seminars begin with registration at 8:30 a.m., and the day’s seminar should conclude by 3 p.m. The Havre seminar will begin at 4 p.m. and conclude by 8:30 p.m.

Lunch will be available at various locations. Please contact the local MSU Extension office for lunch details.

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

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

Jan. 8:
Fort Benton, Ag Center, 1205 20th St., Tyler Lane, 406-622-3751;
Stanford City Hall, 102 Central Ave., Katie Hatlelid, 406- 566-2277;
Havre, Northern Ag Research Center, 3710 Assiniboine Road, Shylea Wingard, 406-265-5481, Ext. 233

Jan. 9:
Shelby, Comfort Inn Conference Room, 455 McKinley Ave., Kim Woodring, 406-424-8350;
Chester, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 10 E. Madison Ave., Jesse Fulbright, 406-759-5625

Jan. 10:
Cut Bank, Cut Bank Voting Center, 913 Railroad St., Kari Lewis, 406-873-2239;
Conrad, Pondera Shooting Sports Complex, 972 Granite Road, Adriane Good, 406-271-4053

Jan. 11:
Choteau, Stage Stop Inn, 1005 Main Ave. N., Brent Roeder, 406-466-2491;
Great Falls, Montana ExpoPark’s Paddock Club Gold Buckle Room, Rose Malisani, 406-454-6980, ext. 305

MSU Extension is an ADA/EO/AA/veteran’s preference employer and provider of educational outreach. If participants require accommodation for a disability to participate, they are asked to notify the local Extension office prior to the event.

Contact: Kari Lewis, MSU Extension Glacier County, 406-873-2239 or kari.lewis@montana.edu