News

June 9, 2020

Some solar panels can capture the sun's energy while providing shade for cattle - a win-win for farmers.

June 1, 2020

Backlogs at pork processing plants are forcing famers to face some difficult decisions regarding their herds. It’s not just the uncertainty and lost income that’s weighing on farmers; they care about what happens to their animals, said Lee Johnston, swine scientist at the WCROC.  

May 26, 2020

While the Horticulture Display Garden at Morris is a center for research, it also provides education to the public, and is a colorful place to walk around and get ideas for a home garden. The center’s All American Selections trial and display gardens are a unique feature. All America Selections (AAS) was founded in 1932 to run impartial trials of new flowers and vegetables which were not yet on the market. Horticulture Scientist Steve Poppe coordinates the horticulture research at WCROC and is an AAS judge.

May 11, 2020

A study of five Midwestern dairies unearthed which parts of the farm use the most electricity.

May 5, 2020

Swine experts from the University of Minnesota have developed guidance for producers that may be faced with holding market hogs longer than usual due to pork packing plant closures.

March 25, 2020

The current state of the country has been unlike anything we've seen or experienced before. University leadership is providing us guidance and support as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. To protect the health and safety of our employees and the public, the WCROC is functioning under reduced operations. This means our office building and grounds are closed to the public, including the Horticulture Display Garden. Essential employees are tending to the needs of our livestock herds and our greenhouses. Upcoming events are currently on hold until we know more. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 320-589-1711.

March 13, 2020

Given the growing concern of COVID-19, the upcoming training session of PQA/TQA scheduled for March 18 has been canceled. All U of MN Extension in-person trainings are being postponed, canceled, or shifted to on-line formats in effort to put the health and safety of attendees first. Please contact Heidi Olson-Manska at 320-589-1711 ext 2130 for any questions.

February 14, 2020

Market weight of slaughter hogs has been increasing over the last 30 years. The USDA reports that slaughter weights have increased from 250 pounds in 1990 to 283 pounds in 2018, which could be due to genetics, nutrition, and housing systems. U of MN researchers have been evaluating the proper floor space allowance for pigs.

Fertilizer from the Wind

2014 LiveBIG: Wind Fertilizer Feature (Minnesota)

 
The WCROC is home to the only production plant of its kind in the world: producing fertilizer from the wind. Mike Reese, director of renewable energy, and his team have developed a method to combine hydrogen and nitrogen to create ammonia that can be used as fertilizer. Not only does this interdisciplinary approach help to solve important challenges facing the agricultural industry, but also serves to reduce the carbon footprint. The Big Ten Network showcased Fertilizer from the Wind on LiveBIG in January 2014.

WCROC named Outstanding Conservationist for 2011

The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris was named Outstanding Conservationist for 2011 by the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District. This recognition was based on the ROC's research and educational programs in horticulture, water quality, renewable energy, dairy, swine, and crop production.