Research Reports

Research Reports2018-10-04T14:07:31+00:00

Fiscal Year 2018

European Corn Borer Trapping Results Available

Janet Knodel, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology

The results of European Corn Borer trapping can be found on-line at https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/soils/corn/. 

Use of Enzymes to Improve Nutritive Value of Corn DDGs and Silage

Uchenna Anele, Carrington Research Extension Center

Feed accounts for 60 to 70% of total costs in most livestock enterprises, with energy as the major constituent of feed. Reducing feed cost is the primary driver for utilizing exogenous fibrolytic enzymes in livestock production. The high concentration of fiber, but low lignin, allows dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) to partially replace grain in finishing diets.  Although DDGS contains high proportions of digestible fiber, recent studies reported that ruminal digestion of neutral detergent fiber declined as dietary inclusion of DDGS level increased in corn DDGS-fed cattle or in wheat DDGS-fed cattle.

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Soil and Water Management for Corn Production Under Fargo Clay

Amitava Chatterjee, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Aaron Daigh, NDSU Department of Soil Science

Conservation tillage and water management are important factors affecting corn yield along with soil health in Fargo clay soil that is high in smectitic clay (48.7%) that makes them poorly drained and sticky in nature. Subsurface drainage helps to remove excess soil moisture and provides opportunity to adopt conservation tillage practices such as strip and no tillage. This project will estimate the effect of different tillage practices and tile drainage condition on corn yield. Testing will compare corn yield under different tile spacing and depth combination. It will also determine the nutrient availability as influenced by tile drainage and tillage management.

Plant Available Nitrogen Mineralization from Mixed Species Crop Residues in Long-Term No-Till Corn Production Systems

Larry Cihacek, NDSU Department of Soil Science

Previous research has indicated that long-term no-till systems where heavy crop residue accumulations occur may require additional N fertilizer to compensate for the N immobilized by soil microorganisms in decomposing the residue.  Little research has been reported in the literature addressing this issue.  To gain better understanding of the N cycling and crop N availability under high residue conditions, three soils and six crop residues (corn, flax, soybean, spring wheat, winter wheat, winter pea and radish) were incubated for 20 weeks to evaluate the contribution of N mineralization from these residues to crops.

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Identification and Management of Corn Diseases

Elizabeth Bauske, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Andrew Friskop, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology

A corn disease foliar survey has been conducted in North Dakota since 2014. The information obtained from this survey has provided valuable information documenting corn diseases in North Dakota. This is extremely important to growers when it comes to hybrid selection and the appropriate use of fungicides. Results from the survey have determined that two diseases commonly occur in the state; common corn rust and Goss’ wilt. The incidence of these diseases have varied from year to year, however common corn rust continues to be the most prevalent disease. Common corn rust rarely needs to be managed as most northern hybrids have adequate resistance. However, several hybrids are susceptible to Goss’ wilt and significant yield losses can occur.

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Technical Support For Revised Corn Hybrid Testing Program in North Dakota

Darin Eisinger, NDSU Department of Plant Science
Joel Ransom,
NDSU Department of Plant Science

Hybrid selection is one of the most important decisions farmers can make in order to improve yields. Currently there are dozens of hybrids for growers to choose from. The purpose of the Corn Hybrid Testing program at NDSU is to provide a source of unbiased information on the performance of many of the currently available corn hybrids. In order to provide the most reliable data, the program uses rigorous experimental designs and plants experiments in multiple locations. Other research has shown that growers that use the performance data from multiple locations are more likely to pick hybrids that will do relatively better in subsequent seasons. This program strives to provide this information.

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Biodegradable Films: Value Adding to Corn Byproducts

Senay Simsek, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences

Corn bran and DDG are produced in large quantities as byproducts of corn and ethanol processing. Corn bran and DDG are composed of cellulose, protein, starch, lipid, minerals, and arabinoxylan (AX). These fractions can be utilized for various value added food and industrial applications, such as food packaging materials.

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Research and Extension Efforts at the Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension (SHARE) Farm

Abbey Wick, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Caley Gasch, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Frank Casey, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Dave Ripplinger, NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics

The SHARE Farm is a key project within the NDSU Soil Health program.  On-site, there are several research projects underway looking at soil health evaluation, tile drainage, conservation tillage practices and cover crops in rotation. Off-site, Extension programs share information  using the Soil Health Café Talks, large and small field days and winter workshops and media-based outlets.  Our goals are to use approaches which encourage face-to-face discussion along with communicate what we are learning using media and web-based outlets.

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Evaluation of Corn Varieties for Resistance to Plant-Parsitic Nematodes in North Dakoa

Guiping Yan, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Andrew Friskop, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Joel Ransom, NDSU Department of Plant Science

Corn (Zea mays) is one of the major agricultural crops in North Dakota (ND) on the basis of production value. Plant-parasitic nematodes (PPN) are one of the greatest threats to world crop production. Over 120 species of PPN are associated with corn throughout the world, of which over 60 species of PPN have been reported in North America corn fields. PPN ranked among the top ten pests of corn in the US as they are responsible for yield losses of more than 294 million bushels from 2012 to 2015. The nematode survey conducted in ND corn fields revealed that 82% and 73% of the fields were positive for PPN in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and a total of eight groups of PPN were detected.

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Corn DDGs – A Value Added Functional Material for Wood Composites

Dilpreet Bajwa, NDSU Department of Mechanical Engineering
Jiang Long, NDSU Department of Mechanical Engineering

Sreekala Bajwa, NDSU Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

In the U.S., the corn dry-grind process contributes to 70% of ethanol production. Nearly 1 kg of DDGS is produced per kg of ethanol. Currently DDGS is utilized locally as feed and protein supplement for ruminant animals. In 2017 DDGS production was 23.2 million tons with selling price of $0.06-0.07 /lb which is below quality wood fiber price of $0.10/0.12 /lb. As predicted by U.S. Grains Council, the availability of DDGS will jump from 10 million metric ton in 2006 to 70 million metric tons by 2020. With increasing DDGS volume, price fluctuations, geopolitical instability, and risk of tariffs it is paramount to identify new avenues to utilize DDGS locally for long term growth and viability of ethanol industry.

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Corn Response to Sulfur Fertilizer in the Red River Valley

Jashandeep Kaur, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Amitava Chatterjee, NDSU Department of Soil Science

Sulfur (S) is considered a secondary macronutrient, following the primary macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, but is needed by plants at levels comparable to phosphorous. Plants require S for synthesis of cystine, cysteine and methionine, which are amino acids that form an integral part of proteins. Additionally, S is required in the formation of vitamins, enzymes, chlorophyll and plays a vital role in basic plant functions like photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation.

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Maximizing Soil Warming and Health Under Different Tillage Practices in a Corn-Soybean Rotation

Aaron Daigh, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Abbey Wick, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Jodi DeJong-Hughes, UMN Extension

There are many advantages of reducing soil tillage.  However, reducing tillage creates concerns of yield reductions due to cool, wet soils in the poorly-drained landscape that dominates much of North Dakota and the Red River Valley.  The objectives of this study are to monitor soil warming and water contents under chisel plow, vertical tillage, strip till with shank, and strip till with coulter on various soil series. This study will evaluate soil health and crop yields and transfer information to producers through field days, videos, etc.

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Managing Salinity with Cover Crops: A Whole System Response

Caley Gasch, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Abbey Wick, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Jason Harmon, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Tom DeSutter, NDSU Department of Soil Science

In 2017, we initiated a study to see if we can use a cereal rye cover crop to improve corn and soybean production on saline soils. Soil salinity is a common cause of poor crop yield throughout North Dakota, and we need effective strategies for improving the soil health and productivity of salty soils. Cover crops have a lot of soil health benefits, and we think they can help improve productivity in saline soils, but they might also compete with the cash crop or encourage pests. One goal of this research is to understand the difference in soils, plant growth and insects in moderately saline soils.  The other goal is to test if a cereal rye cover crop in a soybean-corn rotation can improve soil health and crop productivity without introducing too many risks.

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Identification of Bt Resistance in Northern and Western Corn Rootworms in North Dakota

Janet J. Knodel, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Mark Boetel, NDSU Department of Entomology
Veronica Calles-Torrez, NDSU Department of Entomology

Northern and western corn rootworms are common and economic insect pests of corn in North Dakota and other corn producing areas of the United States. Corn rootworms cost U.S. corn producers about $1 billion annually in yield losses and input costs to control them. In North Dakota, corn rootworms are most problematic in the southeastern part of the state, where most of the corn acreage is grown.

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Improving Salinity and Waterlogging Stress Resilience in Corn

Kalidas Shetty, NDSU Department of Plant Science

Soil salinity and constantly varying waterlogging stress especially during spring add serious burden to corn production and profitability across North Dakota. Seed germination, seedling emergence and seedling establishments are most critical period when these abiotic stresses have most detrimental effects on corn. Therefore, finding new tools for growers to counter soil salinity and waterlogging stress induced damages specifically at the early developmental stages is essential to improve overall production and profitability. To address this serious abiotic stress induced production challenges of corn, new seed treatment based innovation was advanced in this project.

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Corn Performance and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Response to Sulfur and Nitrogen Fertilization Levels and Interaction

Jasper Teboh, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center
Kelly Cooper, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center
Szilvia Yuja, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center
Blaine Schatz, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center
Heidi Eslinger, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center

In view of current low corn prices, and inconsistencies of sulfur fertilizer impact on grain yields, ongoing research aims to provide evidence that corn yields can be improved with sulfur in soils that are believed to be non-responsive to S because it contains adequate soil organic matter (SOM). It also aims to verify the assertion that sulfur fertilizer enhances nitrogen use efficiency (NUE).that sulfur fertilizer enhances nitrogen use efficiency (NUE).

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Fiscal Year 2017

Milling and Stabilization Optimization of Whole Corn Flour

Neil Doty, Northern Crops Institute

Human food and animal feed industries have become focused on reducing microbiological hazards originating from agricultural commodities. Flour and meal products derived from grain, such as corn, can be contaminated with microbiological hazards from the commodity itself; animal, bird, and insect contamination; transport equipment; storage facilities; processing equipment; and packaging materials.

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Research and Extension Efforts at the Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension (SHARE) Farm

Abbey Wick, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Caley Gasch, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Frank Casey, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Dave Ripplinger, NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics

The SHARE Farm is both a location for research efforts and a platform for extension programming. On-site, research is being conducted on evaluation of soil health, conservation tillage approaches, incorporation of cover crops in rotation and also salinity management.

Identification and Management of Corn Diseases

Elizabeth Bauske, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Andrew Friskop, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology

Corn diseases are found regularly in North Dakota, yet their prevalence and severity have never been formally documented. Understanding the diseases that occur in the state and understanding which diseases pose the greatest economic threat will help drive future management decisions for growers. The objectives of this project will help document corn diseases in North Dakota, assess the yield loss potential of Goss’ leaf blight and wilt (Goss’ wilt), and develop a better understanding of the bacterial pathogen responsible for Goss’ wilt.

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Building a Short-Season Quality Gene Pool for the Next Generation of North Dakota Corn Hybrids

Marcelo Carena, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences

This proposal addressed the need for genetic diversity and quality of North Dakota hybrids. Consequently, the NDSU corn-breeding program identified low cost high quality hybrids with reduced risk to farmers.

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Corn Response to Sulfur Application Rates

Jashandeep Kaur, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Amitava Chatterjee,
NDSU Department of Soil Science

Sulfur (S) is considered the fourth major nutrient for optimum plant growth and development. Unlike other major nutrients, researchers have not studied S extensively mainly because it was highly available from several sources like industrial emissions, fertilizers and pesticides, but several S deficiency incidences have been recorded in the Northern Great Plains.

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Improving the Profitability of N Use in Corn with Distiller Grains and N Fertilizer Extenders

Joel Ransom, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences
Jasper Teboh, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center

Nitrogen is the most important applied fertilizer and is usually the most expensive input in corn production. Management practices that maximize the return to the nitrogen applied is critical for the profitability of a farming operation and for the environment. There are a number of fertilizer products available that slow the rate of N release from the fertilizer granule (ESN) or slow the conversion of ammonium-N to nitrate-N. ESN, SuperU™, and Instinct II™ were the products used in this research. Keeping N in the ammonium form longer can reduce the potential loss of N from the soil leaching or volatilization.

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Biochar Production from Manure and Wet Distillers Grains as an Environmental Management Option

Shafiqur Rahman, NDSU Department of Ag and Biosystems Engineering

The biomass-derived biochar has shown potential to increase soil properties that are conducive for plant growth with reduced environmental pollution. Therefore, to devise a sustainable farming system in North Dakota (ND) conditions, biochar derived from crop residues and animal manure needs to be investigated. The main goal of the study is to minimize odor and GHG emissions from animal feeding operations through conversion of manure, corn stover and wet distillers grains (WDG) to biochar. Biochar can be used as a soil amendment, can increase water-holding capacity, reduce bulk density, provide additional cation exchange sites, and serve as a source of reduced carbon compounds that may benefit microbial populations, thus ultimately promote plant growth. Similarly, application of biochar in soil can reduce GHG from crop production as well as from feedlot or manure storage.

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Potassium Recalibration in North Dakota

David Franzen, NDSU Department of Soil Science
Amitava Chatterjee, NDSU Department of Soil Science

Manbir Rakkar, NDSU Department of Soil Science
John Breker, NDSU Department of Soil Science

The objective of this project was to investigate the yield response of potassium (K) in corn in North Dakota. The original K fertilizer recommendations for corn in North Dakota were borrowed from other states, because soil test K levels in North Dakota were mostly in the high recommendation range, requiring little K. Export of K from our soils due to a change from a wheat state to corn and soybeans, containing many times more K in grain than wheat, has resulted in much lower K soil tests.

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Influence of Grain Source and DDGS Oil Concentration on Finishing Cattle Performance, Digestion and Feeding Behavior

Kendall Swanson, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences
Faithe Keomanivong, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences
Mary Rodenhuis, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences
Marc Bauer, NDSU Department of Animal Sciences
Vern Anderson, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center
Chanda Engel, NDSU Carrington Research and Extension Center

Distillers grains are a byproduct of the ethanol industry that provide an excellent feed source for livestock. Distillers grains are produced at multiple ethanol plants in North Dakota. A portion is used as a feed source for livestock in the state but the majority is sent to other locations. The current process to remove corn oil from distillers grains may alter the nutrient density and affect animal performance. This may alter the demand and use of distillers grains potentially affecting domestic use and exports.

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Plant-Parasitic Nematodes on Corn and Evaluation of Corn Varieties for Resistances to Nematodes

Guiping Yan, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Andrew Friskop, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Joel Ransom, NDSU Department of  Plant Sciences

Plant- parasitic nematodes (PPN) are one of the greatest threat to world crop production today. These pests of roots are reported to cause yield losses of up to 20% in some U.S. corn fields. It was estimated that these parasites of roots reduced annual statewide grain corn yield by 4% in Iowa and 7% in Georgia. Similar results were observed in South Dakota where corn grain yield losses due to nematodes averaged in 9.5 bu/ac.

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Corn Germplasm Evaluation for Tolerance to Waterlogging

Qi Zhang, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences

Waterlogging (i.e. flooding) is a major constrain in agricultural production, affecting about 10% of land worldwide. Farmers in North Dakota have experienced severe waterlogging damage in the last two decades. One of the most economically effective methods to reduce stress damage is use of tolerant plants. Furthermore, waterlogging-tolerant plants are less likely to be affected by other stresses such as disease and insect infections and weed invasion, thus reducing other inputs (e.g., chemical applications). Consequently, economic revenue is increased.

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Identification of Bt Resistance in Corn Rootworms

Janet J. Knodel, NDSU Department of Plant Pathology
Joel Ransom, NDSU Department of Plant Sciences

Mark Boetel, NDSU Department of Entomology
Veronica Calles-Torrez, NDSU Department of Entomology

Northern corn rootworm (NCR), Diabrotica barberi, and western corn rootworm (WCR), D. virgifera virgifera, are major insect pests of corn in the Midwest. Corn rootworm (CRW) larvae damage plants by feeding on roots, which results in plant lodging and reduced yields. Many corn producers have adopted the strategy of planting hybrids expressing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) endotoxins to manage corn rootworms.

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Synthesizing Medical Material from Corn Bran

Mohiuddin Quadir, NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials

We applied for a ‘North Dakota Corn Council 2016 Producer Education Mini Grant’ to initiate our research on corn-based polymers that can be used in biomedical settings. We have selected a biopolymer, Arabinoxylan (AX), which is abundantly present in corn, and investigated the feasibility of using AX for synthesizing nanoparticles. We are envisioning to use these nanosystems for drug delivery applications in cancer.

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