Corn trial teaching tool and agricultural outreach at SMSU

Southwest Minnesota State University/Tim Moline

SMSU has 15 acres of land made available by a local alumni and farmer. 2019 will be the fifth season this plot has been established and available for SMSU students for hands on learning. As well as learning, contractedresearch has been performed for Agricultural Companies on these acres. We would like to expand this research in the Agricultural community around the region by presenting the results of the work. This for example would be conducting a hybrid trial evaluating com traits. Hybrids of the same genetic line comparing trailed com versus conventional hybrids with no traits. We would not only evaluate their agronomic performance differences, but also the economic results per hybrid and trait difference. As well as the protocol described, we would invite the state or local Minnesota Corn Growers to use the plot area for a field day if desired.

The Agricultural Department at SMSU has several major areas of study including Ag Business, Agronomy and Ag Education. SMSU presently has a 15 acre crop trial site close to campus to use for student teaching in the field. Various aspects of corn production will be implemented for student education including planting rates, planting dates, disease, insect pests, weed pests, scouting, data gathering and analysis, hybrids and hybrid response and overall corn development. Students will be actively involved in scouting and observing com development which will lead to recommendations based on economic thresholds and gathered information similar to what would be done by a farmer. This tool is of very high value for teaching and preparing students for future jobs.