News

February 13, 2017

Scientists are are trying to help pork producers respond to consumers' concerns. “We want to assess and evaluate animal welfare objectively...we want to be sure animal welfare is safeguarded based on science and knowledge, rather than just saying that animal welfare is bad or good,” said Yuzhi Li of the WCROC.

February 6, 2017

Each growing season, hundreds of annual flower cultivars are trialed in the Horticulture Display Garden at the U of MN WCROC, Morris.  By the end of the season, certain varieties truly stand out as a superior performer. Steve Poppe, horticulture scientist at the WCROC, determines the Top Ten Performing Annuals for our area.  The 2016 Top Ten were recently featured on KARE 11. 

February 1, 2017

The U of MN has become one of the world leaders having developed novel production technologies and a globally-unique wind-to-ammonia pilot plant located at the WCROC.  New funding from USDA ARPA-E will further advance this important research.

December 19, 2016

The U of MN is the locus of a unique and globally significant collection of research efforts that promise to have significant impacts in the ammonia industry and the broader energy sector.  And the story began in the early 2000's at the WCROC.

December 5, 2016

Certified organic grain has become increasingly expensive. Little research is available on the results of grain supplementation levels and the subsequent impacts on the economics of milk production.  By looking at the various implications of several levels of grain supplementation in comparison to 100-percent grass-fed herds, we've developed practical strategies for enhancing dairy profitability.

November 21, 2016

Researchers at Iowa State University, the U of MN, and Rodale Institute are in the second year of a four-year project to evaluate the production, environmental, and economic benefits of growing cash crops with forage crops for grazing, including small grains and hay crops for livestock feed. They are comparing two crop rotations—pasture-winter wheat-soybean-pasture and pasture-winter rye/hairy vetch-corn-pasture—and grazing dairy steers on the cover crops as a method of integrating livestock and organic cropping systems.

November 4, 2016

The WCROC in Morris, MN, currently has 300 acres of organic cropland.  In 2016, we conducted an organic corn variety trial comparing ten varieties under conventional and organic production systems.  

November 3, 2016

One method of improving yield and productivity is to grow two crops in the same growing season.  At the U of MN West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris, winter wheat and winter rye was grown for forage and then followed with corn and soybeans.  This system worked quite well, and may be especially beneficial for organic producers.

September 29, 2016

The University of Minnesota (U of MN) has been awarded a three-year, $1.4 million project to advance animal health on organic farms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).  The project will be led by Dr. Brad Heins, Associate Professor of Dairy Science at the WCROC.

September 27, 2016

Annual flower cultivars that appear promising for Minnesota gardens and landscapes announced at the close of the annual flower trials held at the WCROC Horticulture Display Garden.

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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. Read more about it in the Fall 2011 issue of SWCD Conservation News.