News

Minnesota's latest contribution to farming innovation - the "cowbot" - is nearing completion. U scientists, including researchers from the WCROC, have partnered with Toro to develop a robotic mower for pastures and fields.

On July 10, 2019, during the Midwest Farm Energy Conference Keynote Program, Morris, Senator Torrey Westrom was presented with a Lifetime Leadership and Service Award.  The award was given in recognition of Senator Westrom’s exemplary vision for renewable energy research and the unwavering support he provided as a founding member of the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center’s (WCROC) Renewable Energy Program. 

“Everybody is different, and every farm has its own characteristics when it comes to energy use,” reports Brad Heins, WCROC dairy scientist to Dairy Herd Management. The WCROC has 200 cows that graze whenever the grass is growing on the western Minnesota prairie. As such, only 7% of total energy use is needed for barn ventilation in the non-grazing months. The station’s major energy use comes in heating the milking parlor (31%), heating water for cleaning (22%) and cooling milk (11%).

Water is considered by a majority of swine nutritionists to be the most important of all nutrients required by pigs.  At birth, water makes up about 82% of the pig’s body weight and steadily declines to about 50% for a pig at market weight. While water is a vital component of any livestock diet, the question remains; does the quality of drinking water influence health and performance of pigs? We are set to address this question by looking at the impact of water quality on animal performance, gut health, and livability of nursery pigs.

Weather

September 19, 2019

Temp High (F) Temp Low (F) Precipitation (in.) Growing Degree Days
76 55 0 15.5
Soil Temp - 2" Max Soil Temp - 2" Min Soil Temp - 4" Max Soil Temp - 4" Min
84 59