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013112_rangelandsCattle that graze on rangelands in the western United States may soon have a new forage option, thanks to work by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist.

Research by geneticist Blair Waldron with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Logan, Utah, suggests that forage kochia (Kochia prostrata) can provide more nutritious winter forage than traditional rangeland vegetation.

ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA priorities of responding to climate change and promoting international food security.

Waldron and his cooperators in Utah partnered to learn more about forage kochia, a shrubby Asian native plant that sometimes survives wildfires and other environmental challenges more successfully than North American native plants. Waldron works at the ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory in Logan.

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In many high-yielding areas of the Corn Belt, residue buildup has become a challenge.

DuPont businesses Pioneer Hi-Bred and DuPont Industrial Biosciences are collaborating with Iowa State University, performing studies on residue to establish best practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as to assure the agronomic and environmental integrity of cornfields.

"We know the near-term benefits of residue removal," says Andy Heggenstaller, Pioneer agronomy research manager from Iowa. "We're now trying to learn how to take advantage of these benefits with an eye toward achieving similar long-term agronomic advantages."

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The best I can do is to review the parts of the conference that stood out to me. Others who attended may note other things that stood out to them as impressive or important.

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Two Center Pivot Irrigation Management Short Courses have been planned to enhancing the value of water through advanced irrigation management practices.

Short courses have been planned for February 6, 2012, at the Monsanto Water Utilization Learning Center near Gothenburg and for February 8, 2012, at the Cornerstone Ag & Event Center on the York County Fairgrounds in York.  

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Dave Young, NW Regional Manager for Cornell Pump, last week was named the Agriculture Chair for the 2013 Idaho Irrigation Equipment Show and Conference. Young will secure speakers, workshops and activities to support Idaho’s largest agriculture irrigation conference, hosted by the Idaho Irrigation Equipment Association (IIEA).

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