Harley Hanke honored at Minnesota State Capitol

February 22, 2024

The family of former West Central Research and Outreach Center’s (WCROC) animal scientist, Harley Hanke, was invited to the Minnesota State Capitol for special presentation of a House Resolution honoring Harley’s commitment to agricultural research and education. Harley served as WCROC Animal Scientist from 1956-1986, and also taught at the West Central School of Agriculture. 

When it comes to climate warming, cow burps are no joke

January 18, 2024

(MPR News) The dairy cows in an outdoor feedlot at the U of MN WCROC eat a mix of hay, corn silage and grain. But every day they also get an ounce of seaweed harvested in Hawaii. "This red seaweed has been shown to reduce methane by at least 40 percent, and maybe more," said professor Brad Heins.

Solar plus cows = green dairy

December 26, 2023

(Agri-View) Agrivoltaics is the use of land for both agriculture and solar-photovoltaic energy generation, and has been utilized by the WCROC since 2017 as part of the center-wide initiative to make the WCROC farm carbon-neutral. 

Making strides in fertilizer efficiency

November 28, 2023

(CHS) The fertilizer and agriculture industries are under pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. A next-generation green ammonia plant being built at the WCROC will help.

Mixing solar and farming could be key to clean energy future

November 7, 2023

(MPR News) Interest in agrivoltaics is growing, along with the need for land for new solar farms, as Minnesota and the nation shift to cleaner energy. The WCROC began experimenting with agrivoltaics about a decade ago by putting solar panels on top of swine barns, and have solar panels in cow pastures.

Give to the Max Day!

October 31, 2023

The WCROC is participating in Give to the Max Day, which is on November 16. Our goal is to raise funds that support agricultural experiences and outreach in rural Minnesota. We hope you'll join us on Give to the Max Day!

Celebrating Legacy: Leading the way for Agriculture

October 4, 2023

With the recent passing of former WCROC Animal Scientist, Harley Hanke, we reflect on the agricultural pioneers of our past to guide our future. "In the early days of the WCROC, we all had the desire to find ways to improve production for area farmers. A big part of utilizing knowledge was to work side-by-side with farmers so they could learn from us, and us from them," reported Harley Hanke, WCROC Animal Scientist from 1956-1986.  

WCROC's Buchanan wins Research Technical Staff Award

September 1, 2023

The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the winners for the Research Technical Staff Award, which recognizes staff for their distinguished service to the U of MN research community and celebrates exemplary leadership that positively impacts their colleagues and advance the U's mission. Eric Buchanan, Renewable Energy Director at the WCROC, was selected as one of five distinguished recipients.

Honing nitrogen production with electricity

August 30, 2023

(Farm Equipment) As scientists search for cleaner methods of producing nitrogen (N) fertilizer, they increasingly look to replace the century-old method of treating natural gas with high-pressure steam to produce anhydrous ammonia - the backbone of most forms of agricultural N products. Wind-powered ammonia production has the potential to offset fall energy demands of grain drying and ventilation for agricultural operations.

Can kelp create healthier cows and a healthier planet?

June 26, 2023

(AgWeek) Kelp as a feed additive for cows isn't exactly new, but it is getting some new attention for its potential to help fight climate change. In June, the WCROC began a research project to measure the methane emissions from their grazing dairy herd with the use of kelp in the diet.