University offers alternative crop research tours at New Crop Field Day

Research being done on low-water, drought tolerant and salt tolerant crops

Sorghum is one of the crops being researched by the University of Nevada, Reno to help farmers use less water while remaining profitable. Photo by Melinda Yerka.

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9/12/2018 | By: Tiffany Kozsan |

Agriculture producers and others are invited to get a first-hand look at alternative crop trials and research going on in northern Nevada. The University of Nevada, Reno-USDA Plant Materials Center New Crop Variety Field Day is free and open to the public and will take place 9-11 a.m., Sept. 19, at the USDA's Great Basin Plant Materials Center, 2055 Schurz Highway in Fallon.

"Water is becoming less available, so we're looking for more sustainable and drought-tolerant crops and cropping systems," said Melinda Yerka, plant breeder and geneticist with the University's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources. "New crops and cropping systems will help producers maintain profitability while using less water."

The New Crop Variety Field Day will include walking tours and discussions of crops being researched, including:

  • alfalfa variety trials, presented by the College's Juan Solomon;
  • new commercial grain and forage sorghum hybrids, presented by Yerka;
  • over 400 varieties of sorghum and pearl millet, also presented by Yerka;
  • new cover cropping systems and a windbreak demonstration, both presented by the USDA's Christopher Bernau.

Topics discussed will include plant early maturity, higher forage nutrient content, higher biomass production, salt tolerance, drought tolerance and specialty grain traits for use in brewing. Refreshments will be provided. To RSVP, email coena@unce.unr.edu. For more information, call 706-877-0157. 

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