News

Survey: Minnesotans Worried About Climate Change, but Hopeful on Solutions

November 17, 2022

(Public News ServiceIn a survey released this fall by the U of MN, 76% of residents said they're concerned about climate change. "I would say we're responding in practical steps...products need to have lower carbon intensities," said Mike Reese, WCROC Director of Operations.


Could solar panels be integrated into farms instead of taking acreage out of commission?

October 15, 2022

(Star Tribune) The idea [of agrivoltaics] is to place the solar plants of the future in working farmland, generating energy and providing another income stream to farmers. For six years, researchers at the WCROC have been investigating the possible benefits of using solar panels as shade for cows.


Throwing Shade is Solar Energy's New Superpower

October 2, 2022

(Bloomberg News) The farming world is learning how to blend agriculture with renewable energy installations - and gaining on both ends.


Data on Display

September 26, 2022

(Dairy Star) Dairy research at the WCROC aims to find ways to help balance and improve most aspects of dairy farming – herd health and longevity, profitability, quality of product and climate issues.


WCROC Leadership Change

August 9, 2022

After serving as the director of operations at the WCROC for the last 12.5 years, Professor Lee Johnston has returned fully to his research work in the U's Department of Animal Science. Lee will continue to base his research out of the WCROC. Mike Reese, who has served as the center's renewable energy director since 2001, assumed the leadership role effective August 8, 2022.


As Federal Climate-Fighting Tools are Taken Away, Cities and States Step Up

July 1, 2022

(New York Times) Across the country, communities and states are accelerating their efforts to fight climate change as action stalls on the national level. That is what happened in Morris, a city of about 5,000 in Minnesota, not far from the South Dakota border.


Grain dryer experiment will put 'green ammonia' to the test

June 28, 2022

(AgWeek) Can “green ammonia'' be an efficient fuel for drying down grain? Seamus Kane is working to prove that it can be. Kane is a University of Minnesota researcher who is about to wrap up three years of work by testing out an ammonia-fueled grain dryer at the WCROC.


Mow 'em, Cowbot!

June 27, 2022

(AgWeek) Cows don’t like to eat thistles. Farmers don’t want to let thistles take over a pasture. A new possible solution to the problem is the “Cowbot,” a weed-mowing vehicle that can operate without a driver.


U of MN Releases ‘MN-Rothsay’ Wheat

June 22, 2022

The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Rothsay.’ MN-Rothsay features a good combination of yield, protein, and disease resistance and exceptional straw strength.


Student Spotlight: Sabrina Portner

June 13, 2022

Sabrina Portner is no stranger to agriculture, or to working with cows. Hailing from a 280 Brown Swiss dairy farm in Sleepy Eye, MN, Sabrina is pursuing her Masters in Animal Science from the U of MN’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and is mentored by dairy scientist Brad Heins at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), Morris.