News

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.

January 10, 2020

It is an energizing start to 2020 for the WCROC, who received a $5,000 Seed Grant from the Clean Energy Resource Teams to evaluate the feasibility of storing excess wind energy using a combined system of battery along with hydrogen and ammonia production.

January 9, 2020

Minnesota may be known more for its long winter season, arctic temperatures and loads of snow, but it’s the short summer season that can often be taxing on the state’s pork production systems. U of MN researchers have been looking at different ways for cooling sows in the farrowing stage of production.

November 7, 2019

A unique, hands-on learning experience will be available in the Spring of 2020 for undergraduate students at the WCROC. A course entitled “Diversity of Agricultural Production Systems” has been developed with the primary objective of demonstrating to students the wide variety of agricultural production systems, and the opportunities for fulfilling, well-paying careers in the large number of disciplines related to agriculture.

October 29, 2019

The U of MN and WCROC lost an incredible faculty member last week. Dr. Rob Gardner passed away on October 23, 2019. An enthusiastic and passionate teacher, Rob was an Assistant Professor at the WCROC as well as with the U of MN Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. His major area of research was utilizing the many properties of algae for production of biofuels and bioproducts.

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.