Northeastern South Dakota has traditionally been an important small grain producing area. Small grains are still important, but row crops, primarily corn and soybeans, have assumed increased importance and activities at the station have reflected the changing crop mix in the area. This location has been and continues to be used extensively by the plant breeders. Breeding efforts include the following crops: spring wheat, winter wheat, oats, forages, corn, and soybeans. A major focus of breeders has been the development of lines resistant to biotic and abiotic stress. The herbicide demonstration and testing program has been greatly expanded over the past fifteen years and currently occupies 45 percent of the land area. Because herbicides are significant factors in crop production costs, the development of improved products and application techniques is of considerable interest to area producers. Crops included in the herbicide programs are corn, soybeans, alfalfa, flax, sunflowers, dry beans, canola, and spring wheat.
Other programs include variety testing of alfalfa, sweet clover, red clover, warm and cool season grasses, spring wheat, oats, winter wheat, soybeans, and corn. Improved methods of disease management in spring wheat and other small grains are also being investigated. Studies designed to improve fertilizer recommendations for no till corn have received increased emphasis the past several years. The effects of row spacing and plant populations on soybean yield have also been investigated. This station also served as the site for long-term crop rotation studies designed to compare the agronomic, economic, and environmental performance of conventional, reduced-till, and organic farming systems.
To summarize, a major share of the research conducted at this station has been of an applied nature and the overall objective has been to provide crop varieties and crop production techniques that will increase the production efficiency of area farmers.
Summer field tours are held each year and fall row-crop tours are also held. Attendance at the tours has been excellent in recent years, ranging from 150–350. Current and proposed activities at the station are discussed each year with the Northeast Research Station Advisory Board. The Advisory Board consists of a farmer representative from each of the ten counties (Brown, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Grant, Hamlin, Marshall, Roberts, and Spink) in the northeastern region, and the area agronomy/farm management extension educators. The Advisory Board has helped to shape the direction of research at the station, and has been very helpful in obtaining increased support.