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Pest Management Tour In Kimberly

Tools

By Joey Martin

Kimberly, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Growing strong and full crops is the goal of the Kimberly Research and Extension Center.

For the past 23 years, the Extension Center in Kimberly has been working with local growers, with the goal of field testing what works best for their land.

And it's tours like the one that took place Wednesday that put the magic in the Magic Valley.

"We're looking at a lot of the research we're doing for pest management, which includes weeds, insects and diseases," explains Don Morishita, Professor of Weed Science.

The Research and Extension office is basically a scaled down version of the Magic Valley agricultural community.

Crops such as sugar beets, potatoes, corn, wheat, and dry beans are just a few of the crops being researched and tested.

However, Wednesday's tour was all about controlling those external factors that could destroy a crop during the season.

"We think this is a really important opportunity to show farmers and those in the ag industry what we're doing in terms of research," Morishita says.

And in the terms of research, the way the Extension Center is set up, gives the researchers the best advantage in analyzing what works best.

"We lay these experiments out as replicated experiments so that we can collect data from them and statistically analyze the data. For our weed control studies, we apply different herbicides to compare their effect under certain situations," Morishita explains.

And it's not just the products being tested… cultural aspects are also being evaluated.

"Whether its tillage, or fertility, or irrigation.... Because those can all influence how weeds grow and how other pests like insects and diseases grow, as well,” Morishita says.

According to Morishita, there always seems to be the same response from those who attend these annual tours.

"It's nice to be able to look at some of these things side by side so we can make comparisons for what works best and gives us ideas on how we might be able to use these pest management tools in our own farms," Morishita explains.

Giving local farmers the tools and knowledge needed to ensure a full and healthy crop for the harvest.