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 small grains plant breeders. Breeding efforts include the following crops: spring wheat, winter wheat, oats, and forages. A major focus of breeders has been the development of lines resistant to biotic and abiotic stress. Improved methods of disease management in spring wheat and other small grains are also being investigated. In the last 15 years, herbicide demonstration and testing program has been greatly expanded and currently large area of the farm. Crops included in the herbicide programs are corn, soybeans, alfalfa, flax, sunflowers, dry beans, canola, and spring wheat. Over the years, other programs such as variety testing of alfalfa, sweet clover, red clover, and warm and cool season grasses have also utilized the farm. 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.
To summarize, a major share of the research conducted at this station has been of an applied nature and the overall objective is 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 being held. Attendance at the tours has been excellent in recent years, ranging from 150–350. Current and proposed activities at the farm are discussed each year with the Northeast Research Farm 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, and extension educators. The Advisory Board has helped shape the direction of research at the station, and has been helpful in obtaining increased support.