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French farmers visit researchers in Morris

Research Agronomist Frank Forcella talks to a group of French farmers about research being done by Research Plant Physiologist by Russ Gesch about planting cuphea and soybeans. 1 / 2
Biomass Scientist Jim Barbour conducts a tour of the University of Minnesota, Morris' biomass gasifier facility during visit on Monday, June 3, 2013. (Submitted Photo)2 / 2

MORRIS – On Monday, a group of approximately 50 farmers and agriculture advisors from France visited the West Central Research and Outreach Center and the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory to learn more about sustainable farming research.

Trip organizer Frederic Thomas said the farmers on the trip were “progressive farmers” who have already adopted no-till practices on their farms in France. A visit to the Soils Lab and WCROC provided an opportunity to learn about new research into new farming techniques and future developments.

“We agree on the global vision, the importance of crop diversity and management of soil and carbon,” said Thomas.

The visit gave the farmers food for thought “by sharing in something that may help improve the little things” on their farms, he said.

This is the tenth trip that Thomas has organized to the United States. During the tour, the farmers also made a stop at Riverview Dairy in Morris and visited farms in North and South Dakota and Montana.

Edited to Add: On Monday afternoon, the tour also stopped at the University of Minnesota, Morris for a tour of the biomass gasifier facility.