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Soils Lab 'Field Day' on Aug. 27 to explore new crops, markets

The 2009 Summer Field Day for the North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab in Morris will be held on Thursday, Aug. 27 at the Swan Lake Research Farm. This year's theme is "New Crops for New Markets".

Speakers and topics are:

•Soils Lab scientists Russ Gesch and Frank Forcella, Arlin Gyberg of Augsburg College and Darrell Hanscomb/Eric Odens of Technology Crops International.

Alternative oilseeds for the Midwest and their use in biofuels and bioproducts. Gesch and Forcella will talk about production concerns for new oilseed crops (agronomy and weed management). Gyberg will talk about "Mcgyan" process for making biodiesel and the potential for using alternative oilseed crop feedstock for the process. Isbell will chip in about using alternative oilseeds for bioproducts. Hanscomb and Odens will talk about calendula and the specialty oil market.

•Soils Lab scientist Jane Johnson and Joel Tallaksen of the West Central Research and Outreach Center.

Biomass removal for biofuel production. Johnson will talk about the soil quality implications of removing corn stover or other biomass for biofuel production. Tallackson will address the biofuel production side.

•Abdullah Jaradat, Soils Lab Director, and Sandy Olson-Loy of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

New crops for new foods. Jaradat will discuss the production of alternative food crops. Olson-Loy will talk about local foods and ways UMM is increasing markets for local foods in this region.

The day begins with coffee at 9:30 a.m. and the tour begins at 10 a.m.

Directions to the Swan Lake Research Farm: from the intersection of Highways 59 and 28 at Morris: travel 5.5 miles north on Highway 59 to County Road 74. Turn right (east) on 74 and travel 5.2 miles. Turn right at the dead end. Follow the signs.