SDSU scientists available at Dakotafest for variety of programs

SDSU scientists available at Dakotafest for variety of programs South Dakota State University's College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences will have scientists and Extension specialists staffing its tent at Dakotafest, Aug. 19-21 near Mitchell.

SDSU will be in the blue and white tent.

SDSU Extension Program Coordinator Ralph Matz offered a closer look at the SDSU programs at Dakotafest:

* West Nile Virus: A display will feature science-based information on how to deal with the mosquito-borne illness.

* Scale Tractor Student Competition: SDSU Ag Engineering and Ag Systems Technology (AST) students annually participate in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers' tractor-pulling contest for 1/4-scale tractors. Club members use engineering principles and training learned in the classroom to design and build a one-fourth-scale tractor.

This year two tractor teams competed from the SDSU Ag & Biosystems Engineering Department. A tractor will be on display.

* Food Safety: Visit with Extension specialists and obtain information on food handling techniques to assure a safe meal for large groups. Learn through an interactive display and information to take home. Register for door prizes.

Ventilation Demonstration Unit: An interactive, hands-on mechanical ventilation demonstration building will show producers the relationships between fans, air inlets and controls. A computer program will show these relationships and how producers can adjust their own ventilation systems.

* Livestock Odor Reduction: Livestock is an important issue in many South Dakota communities. This display will show various techniques producers can implement to reduce livestock odors.

* Distillers Dried Grain Uses: With the rapid growth in South Dakota'sethanol industry, there will be a large amount of distillers spent grain byproduct produced. Researchers from the Departments of Ag & Biosystems Engineering, Nutrition & Food Science, Microbiology, Chemistry & Economics are working to find alternative uses for this byproduct to enhance the profitability of these ethanol plants.

Irrigation: Irrigation sprinklers will be demonstrated along with results of sprinkler testing. Drip irrigation and agricultural/turf sprinklers will be shown. Additional irrigation products will be displayed. National irrigation experts will be available to answer questions. Information on crop water use and irrigation management will be available.

* Climate: A live version of the state climate and weather Web site will be on display, with a live link to a weather station deployed outside the tent with up-to-the-second weather data.

ABE/AST Teaching: The Ag and Biosystems Engineering display booth for both academic programs, Ag and Biosystems Engineering and Ag Systems Technology, will show how its educational programs can impact agriculture and related areas.

SD Crop Improvement Office & Seed Lab: Producers can drop off or pick up seed samples at the SDSU Tent, where scientists can help identify or determine the quality of your sample. The 2003 Winter Wheat Directory, Yield Trial results for Winter Wheat, and SODAK Genetics RR Soybean updates will be available.

* Forage: Producers can bring in samples and leave them to be tested. Evaluation of forage samples and recommended varieties for production will be available. Check out the quality of different forages and their analysis created through their makeup. Please bring any weed samples in for identification and view the live weed display including many of the states noxious and locally noxious weeds.

* SDSU Soil Testing Lab: Experts and information will be on hand to address soil fertility issues concerning strip-till, no-till, potassium, sulfur and nitrogen. Register for free soil analysis and caps given away each day.

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